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Keeper of Kraata

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  1. IC: Ahri - Oki destroyed house The Menti opened his mouth to speak, but his breath died on his mask as he saw Mitsuri's bandaged face. The brief sensation of a kanohi cracking under his hand, digging into flesh. The scream, the burned metal and viscera, thankfully those were absent from his memories. When Ahri came to, he realized his fist was clenching. To recover, he took his fist in his palm and bowed. "Mashtet Ahri, ma'am. There is a nearby refugee village, we were salvaging a boat to take them to Sado when we heard your bird. Who do we have the pleasure of rescuing? You are Vilda, if I recognize the technique." OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Click @Lady Takanuva @ARROW404 IC: Hanaloi Askha's mask stung, and she couldn't see much out of her right eye; whether it was just covered with slug guts, blinded, or just out of pain was a matter for later. Vazaria moved to push away Askha's face, but was abandoning her weapon; as training with her father had made abundantly clear, she would do well to be wary of Menti that entered a fight without a weapon. Even as she reclaimed her birthright, Askha had never been a true blue Imperial. There was a reason she had survived years outside the castes as a mercenary, an undesirable in the churn with all the other scum of Kentoku. The Vilda and Dastana provided more lumber, the clans of Iki and Sado were better artists, and the Fursics were better at politics. Being a Mashtet meant that, when the stakes were high, sometimes you had to fight dirty, to walk away, to cut off the limb in a trap. A cheap shot to the vitals was out of the question, there was too much armor for that. But, that armor also slowed down the infected Menti, and she was new to it as well; that diminished of fine control could be manipulated. Askha relinquished her telekinetic grip on her weapons, focusing on shoving aside Vazaria. She felt the heat of a soulsword forming by her face; she used the second she had before a very large hole appeared in her mask well, twisting her held arm and kicking at the side of Vazaria's leg, buoying herself with Mindarm as she spun away from her attacker. When she was free, she used the spare moment to call her weapons back to her as she backed off into the underbrush. .:I'm falling back; sounds like they are as well, let them, fall back to the Kaazi.:. Only by virtue of the strength her mask gave her did her knee not buckle, but the Kaazi Jahagir staggered back, flickering in and out of view, as if the struggle to see through the pain was reflected around her. Obviously, the traitor Imperial was not one to be used as a weapon. A sharp pain erupted from her leg as the infected Koshi Zrupgar sliced into her calf; reflexively, Hambra kicked out, then pulled back as she solidified her invisibility. She needed to rescue Riko; she couldn't lose another Kaazi, not like this. And if the Koshi Zrupgar was any indication, there were worse fates than death that awaited the fallen today. Hambra inhaled deeply, the scents of the forest poured through her mind: loamy soil, decaying wood, her own blood... wait. A tree, rotten but whole, lay on its side just off the clearing. Both sides were calling for retreat; Hambra decided to give them a little more encouragement than her scouts' arrows. She grasped the log and grunted; her feet sank into the earth as she lifted it off the ground and flipped it to her other side, so that it faced the attackers. She charged again, this time using the log as both weapon and shield, sweeping the clearing. As she approached Riko's fallen form, Hambra tossed the log, cloaking herself in invisibility as she scooped up the fallen Zrupgar and used her augmented strength to leap into the trees. Lana reacted barely fast enough to turn away from the fiery arrow, which struck her in the shoulder; she twisted off the branch and landed in the undergrowth, thankfully with her arm intact; her lamellar had taken most of the damage. Her drawstring had snapped, regardless; she futilely held the bow to fend off the jaws of a kavinika, but one of the incoming Koshi Zrupgar saved her by putting an arrow into its eye. As her victims saw past her illusion, Somei considered sowing confusion into the ranks of the Kaazi, but decided against it; while it would be satisfying and please Zataka in the short term, she did not serve to please her master. Somei was a tool, and to break her now was not in her plans. She cloaked herself and set herself down onto a waiting kavinika, which took off towards the Mashtet fortress. She strained as she reached out to her new allies, her true family, her voice echoing to them without broadcasting to the Dasaka they faced: "Caana speaks true. I will meet you and Zataka's sons at the fortress." The mind-reader Rahkshi glanced at Semraed as it fell back to avoid Hambra's log, its staff still dripping blood. As the Kavinika ran around it, it remained still, inviting the Taajar to take their best shot. OOC: @Mel @Nato G @Goose
  2. For Kentoku folks, I'll work on getting up a big 'ol post this weekend, probably Sunday. I just moved and am adjusting to life on my own, plus I'm starting a new job in addition to trying to get everything hooked up and back online. Thanks for your patience!
  3. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive, Ko-Koro "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him," Cyrix said through the haze, pausing to take a last drag on his cigarette. "Though I did see some of the splash damage when he was participating in the liberation of Ko-Koro. You have my sympathies, though; as much as I professionally admire him and the rest of the Maru, Korero didn't exactly roll out the welcome carpet." Any further conversation would devolve into either a competition to hold their breath or coughing and hacking. After one last exhale, the Toa Kalta of Air moved the isolated mass of smoky air out of the building through an open window. He wasn't sure if he bought the Cy-Toa's story; him and Muir were an odd couple to be sure, too odd to be have been working together long. There was too much.. friction. Cyrix flicked the cigarette stub out the window; it flew truer than it had any right to. "Thanks. I think that's everything I need." He got to his feet, grabbing his heatstone and screwing the top back on; he struggled slightly as the lid caught on the new imperfection, but it gave in after a moment of effort. "If you need anything else, you'll know where I'll be." The Toa shouldered his crossbow. "One our team is usually at the Kalta Arsenal, the Memorial Garden, or the Sanctum, and they can answer any questions, or get word to me. Good luck with your investigation." He nodded once at Niici. "Chairwoman." The Kalta knocked on the door to the back room. "Priicu, I'm leaving; thank you for the assistance. The store isn't locked still, is it?" OOC: @BULiK @Emzee @ARROW404 @Goose IC: Kalyss - Ko-Koro Central Square "Thank you, but I think we're good. If anything goes sour, watch for flares; otherwise, I get to play tour-guide now." She tried to put on a friendly face as she made her way back to the dragon-creature, pulling out her thermos of soup and taking a spoon from the attached mess kit. "Kaminari, looks like we're clear. I'd race you to the Sanctum, but I'd rather you not give anybody here any more frights today, plus I'd like to dig into this jambalaya before it gets cold. Ready?" OOC: @Snelly @Visaru
  4. IC: Kalyss - Ko-Koro Square The Su-Toa nodded. "Yeah, but the difference here is that we have one dragon-thing, and I'll be directly supervising her. If more show up, then I'd say it's fair to interrogate their intentions." Kalyss shot a glance back in the direction of the Wise Man's Archive. "I also have backup on call, so if the dragon tries something, she'll have Kalta and Guard on her faster than nui-rama on fresh meat." OOC: @Snelly @Visaru IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive, Ko-Koro Unfortunately, the librarian's words went unheard inside Cyrix's vacuum shell. He did note the ko-matoran pointing to the open window, however. Cyrix took another drag, and when he exhaled, smoke came from every hole in his mask; the bubble was starting to get visibly obscured. "I realize the value of doing investigations covertly; it's my job for the Kalta. But it's just me; gathering information to prepare the others, that's my job. But I still have the team to call on if things become hairy; Antidermis I wouldn't call a sensitive topic, not with the way the island is right now. I think the island needs to present a united front, even if Toa like us are looking into things underneath it all." Some ash crumbled from the end of the lit roll of tobacco, floating until it was caught in the unnatural sway of Cyrix's air bubble. He didn't have long before he had to cycle the air out the window. "Speaking of looking into things, why did you have to leave Ko-Koro to get Muir? Any trouble I should know about?" OOC: @BULiK
  5. IC: Ahri - Oki Village The Mashtet heard the voice; faint, quiet, the bird the only clear indication that the ruined building was the source. Ahri took a preparatory breath, exhaling forcefully. Closing his eyes, he assumed a stance to steady his breath. He had to let the energy flow freely through him; focus all of his will into Mindarm. He pictured a giant, invisible hand lifting the central beam of the collapsed hut, and the dilapidated, half-destroyed wood began to life away from the ruin. "Ladies," Ahri said in a strained voice, "I can only pick up so much at a time, I'd appreciate some help." As he spoke, he edged closer to the ruins, physically touching some of the rubble he shifted, careful not to upset the delicate balance and bring what was left down on the unfortunate inhabitant. OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva @ARROW404 @Click
  6. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa was silent as he took the cigarette, briefly noting the brand; he hadn't been out to Po-Koro, and in fact it was the only major Koro he had not visited yet out of the emblematic six. He took out his heatstone and set the cylinder down on the table, halfway screwing off the cap, slightly exposing the crystal inside. Cyrix found his gaze wandering to the cigarette in Syzygos's hands. He lit his own using the heatstone and breathed deep. It had been far too long since he had allowed himself to indulge. The Le-Toa exhaled off to the side; the smoke in the air swirled until it seemed like it hit a solid wall, flowing to the sides. Cyrix pushed the makeshift heatstone lamp towards Syzygos; the other voices in the room were muted, the vibrations of their footsteps in the floor the only thing passing through the shell of vacuum that Cyrix created between them and the others in the room. "Help me out with something; an official inter-Koro investigation into this would look great. Why did Akiri Renaka send you, and not a Sentinel?" The Toa Kalta took another drag, looking past the Cy-Toa. OOC: @BULiK
  7. IC: Kalyss - Ko-Koro Square The Su-Toa shot a glance at the Ko-Koro guard, then back to the dragon-creature. "Kaminari, give me just a moment." Kalyss scanned the guards that had responded to the dragon's landing, picking out the highest-ranking. There didn't seem to be any danger, but making sure their guest was accommodated looked like it would have to be a priority. "I'm reasonably sure that we're safe, but I think it would be in the Koro's best interest to treat Kaminari as a- " Kalyss paused, thinking for a word other than dignitary that didn't imply dignity, "Guest of the Koro. I can take her to the Wall of Prophecy, she might not fit in the archives proper." OOC: @Snelly @Visaru IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive, Ko-Koro Glancing back and forth between Syzygos, Muirtagh, and Niici, the Le-Toa's eyes locked on the Toa of Crystal. "Hey, Syzogos, can I get a cigarette? Rest of the team are health nuts, can't carry on me." OOC: @BULiK @Goose @ARROW404 @Emzee
  8. IC: Hanaloi The mind-reader Rahkshi shifted slightly to avoid a harrying stab from Kaazi Riko before she blinked away again. It paused, bringing its staff to bear, the ends emanating an insidious power. It read Riko's thoughts; her desperate stalling attempt while her Jahagir dealt with the traitor so she could get assistance... her strategy. The Son of Zataka knew Riko's thought's as well as she did. The scarred Rahkshi jabbed its staff behind it at empty air; it didn't stay empty. Like it had been rehearsed, Riko appeared and without a breath to spare, was impaled. The Rahkshi payed the gravely wounded Taajar no mind as it withdrew its staff from Riko and turned its attention to the melee between Caana and Hambra. She wasn't dead, but she was useless in a fight. If she died, she did not deserve its Mother. If one of the Kraata infected her, she could be healed upon return to their lair in the Mashtet castle. Askha hadn't expected a charge, and while she was able to bring her saber and falcata to bear to protect herself, the force of a dasaka in full armor forced the Mashtet onto her back foot; she was able to fend off the blades, but in what was surely an instant seemed to stretch on as she realized that Vazaria's charge had more to it as the kraata leapt from her shoulder directly at her mask. She still had her staff and dagger held with Mindarm; the former was useless, but her dagger... that would do the job. But the slimy form of the leaping slug overtook Askha's vision, and she realized there wasn't enough time to slice it before it reached her face. "Askha? It's your move." The young Dasaka turned back to the shatranj board. She had been distracted by some of the dashi in the courtyard carrying in a stripped trunk. Though she would have given her mask to be elsewhere; she hated these 'teachable moment' games her mother forced her to play. Everybody in Sado played Stones; only islanders like the Mashtet or the Fursic played Shatranj. And of course, her mother was one of them. She scanned the board; outside this room, it and the pieces would have been considered priceless treasures. Each was a particular Mashtet Carving; instead of wood or crystal carvings they actually portrayed a battlefield and miniature warriors. Her mother, Toroshu Mashtet Kaetyo, had moved up her Ship and, next turn, could take her Toroshu, which would put her Rora in check. Furrowing her mask, Askha slowly placed her hand on her Soko piece to take her mother's Ship. "I thought you were keeping your Soko there because in two turns you could put me in check?" Oh Zuto Nui, it was her 'lesson' voice. "Well... yeah, but I need to take your Ship, or else you'll put me in check." Her mother was right, though, she couldn't use that piece without abandoning her play to finish this boring game. "What about your Ship? It can't take mine, but it can block off that line, so I have to take it if I want to get past it quickly. Askha saw what Kaetyo was getting at. "... which means my Taajar can jump in and take your Ship. But I need my Ship, you already took my other one." "Askha, how do you lose this game?" The Dasaka sighed, moving her position on the floor. "You take my Rora, or you take all my other pieces." The Toroshu nodded. "I have a dagger aimed at your heartstone. No matter our cunning, our plans, our trickery, sometimes it will not be enough. It will not be about winning, it will be about not losing. And sometimes, you will have to sacrifice to make sure of that. Because unlike Shatranj," she whispered, emphasizing her point by knocking over their Rora pieces, "If you are Toroshu and you die in battle, you don't shake hands and laugh; you are dead. The Clan needs its Toroshu to guide them." The flash of the memory faded as the slimy Kraata hit Askha's mask, but she knew what to do, even if she had to power through her reflex to shy away. Her knife came down on her mask and sliced down. Blinding, bloody pain shot through her face on her brow to her cheek. Thank Zuto Nui for Kanohi, she might have lost an eye. As it was, she couldn't see out of her eye anyway, it was left covered with ichor as the two halves of the lifeless kraata dripped off her face. The traitor was wearing her family armor; its plates could be pierced; cutting was right out. But while she had never worn it, she had seen her mother wear it many times; she knew that the illusions also served a practical effect, covering chinks in the protection. She pushed the bind of weapons towards Vazaria, freeing her off hand. Her dagger darted to her hand and stabbed at the collar of the fallen Menti. The Kavinika weren't the only ones focusing on Murasaki and Fanai. Somei lifted herself with Mindarm, and she hovered amongst the trees. She had given everything to the Mashtet, and these worms came to... what? Claim their bones? She knew they were all dead; she had known it in her bones when she first heard that everyone had disappeared years ago. But She had showed her that she didn't need her clan, only submission. All those years of her life, wasted in service to those that didn't deserve it. She wanted to wash it all away. And Somei would help her. The corrupted Datsue focused her Sighteye on the Plangori. Drown in it. The heat-resistant Rahkshi used the break in attacks to back off, dislodging the stolen staff from its shoulder. It flashed a hateful stare at the two Dastana, but continued to back off. Despite the bright colors of the rahkshi's carapace, the twilight seemed to swallow it; darkness was its ally, and it could afford to hang back for now. As the two Dastana Menti moved to protect one another, a yellow-orange kraata dropped from the trees before it, and the entire area, were cloaked in darkness. It didn't go for either mask, but dropped into the center; it's brothers would do the rest, hanging onto the slavering Kavinika. Kaazi Lana cursed; not only had she lost the Demon, but now the two mainlanders were in a globe of darkness her Akaku couldn't penetrate. Her tree was safe, she had already checked. She drew her shortbow, whistling a warbling call as she strung it; the Kaazi's distress call. As she took aim at the rahi nearest to the globe, several whistles responded to hers; the Koshi Zrupgar scouts were near. She smiled as she put an arrow into the neck of the kavinika she had been aiming at. Hambra also heard the calls. Unfortunately, they were too far. There was angry buzzing in her mind; Riko was dead, or near to it. Riko, who before this; had been her laziest Zrupgar; when the tribe had taken losses, had been as fierce as the ancestors. Then, Caana's tonfa hit her in the side. It struck true; had she not woven Demon carapace into her lamellar instead of crystal, it would have shattered. Spittle flew from Hambra's mouth, fogging the air. Hambra wouldn't be able to move as fast with this sort of injury, and it would hurt like Zataka if she ended up walking away. But Caana had opened herself; her tonfa were close-quarters tools, able to augment unarmed techniques. But now, Hambra was closer than close quarters. Snarling through the pain, the rage, Hambra channeled her chosen form, but with no illusion; no, her Pakari glowed, and she embraced Caana in an Ash Bear hug. OOC: @Mel @Goose @Nato G
  9. IC: Ahri - Abandoned Village, Oki Ahri pointed up the coast. "There's an encampment of refugees up the coast; we're trying to patch up one downed ships so we can move them to Sado. We would-" Ahri's attention faltered as a sakl rahi lighted down a short distance away; probably a common sight on Oki. "... We would appreciate your help; more hands I think would make for lighter work. Or at least, safer work." .:Help...:. Ahri's attention was once again called to the bird. He was silent for several moments as he grasped at memories, making sense of the incongruousness of a bird using Ideatalk, before it clicked. "... It's not calling for help, its master is. Vilda are renowned for using their birds as scouts, this must be one. We are on Oki, after all; the fact we haven't run into a Vilda yet is strange." Giving one last glance to the other visitor, then back to the rahi. He layered his speech with Ideatalk, just in case. When he had fought in the Fursic Rebellion, a Vilda ranger had been on the relief forces sent to bolster Hanaloi against the Fursic invasion; she had been taciturn, and the Toroshu had ordered her own sighteyes to keep an eye on her and her bird, but Ahri hadn't interacted with her one-on-one, so he didn't know exactly how the two had been linked. "Show us where your master- you, are, and we'll do what we can. Can you tell us what's wrong?" OOC: @ARROW404 @Click @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva
  10. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Back Room, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa narrowed his eyes as he leaned in his chair towards the chairwoman. "Miss Niici, I appreciate your willingness to help, but we've already had people at Nuju-Marion look into researching antidermis when they were looking into the parakuka victim; all they've found is that the usual post-pairing coma is a lot longer due to the metabolic changes antidermis has wrought. Which is still different from the only cured subject of Antidermis we have on record; I'd bring him in, but he's currently off doing a mission in the Dark Walk." He frowned; "Terribly inconvenient, I know." Cyrix got up from his seat, stretching. "I agree with Syzygos; this isn't some strange technology or chemical, it's something far more volatile, if it isn't actually malevolent. There are certain Kanohi that some consider to be amoral for a Toa to use. Some I agree with, others I don't. Antidermis isn't like that; if Antidermis has any positive qualities, we would probably have had reports of it. I wouldn't doubt that the followers of Makuta would have tricked someone desperate with a story of a panacea, only to infect them." OOC: @Goose @BULiK @Emzee IC: Kalyss - Ko-Koro Central Square "Uh..." Kalyss put her hands on her hips. She hadn't expected to get this far. "I'm actually not too sure about that myself. I'm sure we could find you a guide to give you a tour of our fine Koro while I look into getting you access to the Archives." That might not happen. But she had the feeling that Kaminari didn't have the attention span to go with a tour, let alone research at the Sanctum. It was also good to hear that she wasn't a fan of Makuta, either. The enemy of her enemy is her enemy's enemy, but that didn't mean they couldn't be friends. "You mentioned your elders? Did they send you here to learn of Ko-Koro? Should we be... expecting more of your people?" OOC: @Visaru @Snelly
  11. IC: Sydelia - Sado, Gardens The menti narrowed her eyes, but disguised it with a smile. "Atramentous," she said, rolling the name around and savoring it. She could tell that his words were measured, possibly in respect to the others around her. Very well, she could have words in private with him. Sydelia focused her Sighteye on the ronin, her illusory self making a show of examining him. She was not a subtle illusionist, and the illusion bled colors around it like a watercolor painting. "I get the sense you have something else to say. If you'd like to meet in private, I can call in someone to cover me and we can meet in the city." OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
  12. IC: Hanaloi The blue-silver Rahkshi began to focus its power upon Fanai to crush her, but shrieked as Murasaki's soulsword bit into its shoulder. One of its arms fell to the ground, limp and useless. With its remaining arm, it pulsed power through its staff, repulsing Murasaki and lifting itself into the air with one movement; in seconds, it was flying back to the fortress, disappearing into the treeline. Although the Rahkshi was gone, the threat wasn't; Murasaki scarcely had a moment to savor her victory before the demon was replaced with several infected kavinika, circling her in a hungry pack. Snarling, the aqua rahkshi was not fazed by the soulwhip; its greatest danger was to its allies, not itself. It was, however, pushed back by Mari's staff as the blade sunk in; however, instead of recoiling, it only grasped the staff, preventing the Dastana from pulling it back. The reasoning came quickly enough: the kavinika were upon them, and several snapped at the Menti while her hands were on her stuck weapon. Several howled at Rina, still ruled by some semblance of instinct beneath the madness. Meanwhile, Lana had already scaled the tree she had nearly shattered her back against, hazing her image as she scanned the battlefield with her Akaku. .:Watch yourselves, those slugs are all around us. Our scouts are on their way to assist.:. Vazaria's pet kraata retreated back into the cover of the infected Dasaka's armor when Askha telekinetically stabbed at it with her knife; Vazaria's flight kept her away from the main blow, but every dodge was a moment that Vazaria or her pet weren't attacking. "You think I don't know you? I know who you are because I was you. I've seen the gutters of this rotten Empire, and I've begged, I've killed, and I've suffered!" The Mashtet released her rahkshi stave to grip a more familiar weapon, her saber. "My mother taught me that power is only something you have if you can fight to keep it. The years as a sellsword taught me that you find who's there for you, and you keep them close, because nobody else is going to be there for you. But your master? Zataka taught me that even when everyone else is brought down to our level, we still have each other." She had the staff feint a long thrust, then moved forward under cover from her falcata's heavy blade, bringing the tip of her sword down in at a deadly velocity at the hand holding Vazaria's own sword. Despite the lack of reaction from the mind-reading Rahkshi, it seemed satisfied. It extended its mind reading, taking in the presence of the Dasaka in the vicinity. It moved in, watching the pattern that Riko laid out when she used her Kualsi. It twitched and raised its staff; a heartbeat later, the Kaazi's blow was blocked. The scarred rahkshi didn't move in for a followup, only continuing to watch, content to occupy the younger Zrupgar. Exhaling, Hambra's Pakari glowed as she sprang towards the melee, her arm outstretched. No illusion, no staff, no extraneous matter to get between her and clotheslining Caana. Somei had to drop the illusion around Murasaki, but it wasn't enough. She had never been a Menti. The last piece she had worked on was restoring a courtyard statue of a smaller clan on Oki; she had demanded solitude, and had applied the varnish and sandpaper with only the gentle noise of cicadas and songbirds. It was louder than it had been on Hanaloi, even with her small workshop. Now, there were no cicadas or songbirds, only shouts, shrieks, and snarls. Her illusion must have wavered for an instant with her memories; the kavinika pounced. The Datsue shouted in fear, but the rahi did not tear into her. Instead, they pinned her down as their passengers slithered down, seeking Somei's face. She shrieked as Darkness came over her mind, worse and more total than even the most forceful Willhammer; endless night. OOC: @Mel @Nato G @Goose
  13. IC: Ahri - Abandoned Village, Oki The male bowed, showing respect. Her comment referring to the 'Sons of Zataka' sunk in. No longer was that a term that referred to Ahri. That connection to the divine no longer applied to him; was he truly forsaken? "Greetings, Ilkyazu. I am Mashtet Ahri, and I am in the company of-" He paused for a moment. Was it proper to introduce the other Menti with him, given the gender imbalance? He decided it was, given the obvious difference in age, it was appropriate. "This is Koizumi Yuna and Raika. We are helping a nearby group of refugees, and would appreciate your assistance as well." He came up from the bow, taking in the newcomer. Ikyazu was a Dasaka name and she wore armor in the style of Imperials, but she had a Taajar accent. He rested his makeshift spear on his shoulder as he decided to try something. He directed his mind outwards to convey Ideatalk, but sticking to Vulgar Taa, where his accent would hopefully be less atrocious. .:I ask you stick to speech when talking to us; Yuna is... special. She cannot perceive Idealtalk unless Willhammer is used:. OOC: @ARROW404 @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp IC: Askha - Hanaloi Forest The Mashtet adjusted her grip on the rahkshi staff she held. A tiny portion of her mind took in what Vazaria said; the former owner. The last person she had seen wearing the family armor, the only person to wear it in her lifetime, as her mother, Mashtet Kaetyo. The traitor had all but confirmed her death; it wasn't possible that she would relinquish the Mashtet Panoply to someone not of Clan Mashtet. Her mother was dead. Her father was dead, her family was dead. But as long as a single Mashtet lived, the Clan lived on. She felt in her mind's hands her weapons; they were physical extensions of her will. Her faith in them would see her to another morning. "I see," Askha said. "Then my mother is dead. By birthright, then, her title passes on to me. I am Askha, Toroshu of Clan Mashtet. You betray the Empire, trespass on our island, and defile our dead. I name you as you are: honorless traitor. I'll let you guess the sentence." Scarcely after Askha inhaled, she rocketed forward, jabbing at Vazaria's midsection with her staff, while the floating weapons lashed out in unison, Askha's knife darting sideways before closing in, her sword going for a diagonal cut, and the white falcata going for a deadly chop at the infected Menti's shoulder. OOC: @Nato G
  14. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backroom, Ko-Koro "Well," Cyrix began, adjusting his chair, "From what the Kalta know from our investigations into it, its a potent mutagen that the forces of Makuta, as well as the Piraka, have access to. It had multiple uses, including granting mutations to his followers, and being to induce destructive changes in wildlife and some people." He frowned, looking at no one in particular. Thinking back to the time he had spent hiding in Ko-Koro wasn't pleasant. "Actually, I think it was more the Piraka, and the Legacy's people getting access was part of their truce. I wonder if that's the explanation for their unusual powers... and Rahkshi bodyguards." OOC: @Emzee @BULiK @Goose @ARROW404 IC: Kalyss - Central Ko-Koro Holding a hand up to stop any further action from the Guards, Kalyss further approached Kaminari. "I'm sort of new here myself, only been here a few months. But the abridged version is that Ko-Koro was one of the original Matoran settlements on Mata Nui; it used to be fairly small and monastic, but we've grown into the largest settlement in Mata-Nui. Our Sanctum houses the Wall of Prophecy, an important cultural touchstone for the people of Mata Nui, though its also houses an impressive archives. Several months back, the Koro was occupied by the forces of Makuta; while we were able to free the innocents they took prisoner, we're still rebuilding from the occupation." Feeling like she had deescalated the situation appropriately, Kalyss pulled out her thermos and started unscrewing the cap. "If you want something more in-depth, I'm sure we can find you a tour guide." OOC: @Snelly @Visaru
  15. IC: Kalyss - Ko-Koro Center So, basically a very cryptic tourist. "All right," the Su-Toa said, approaching the Mystix, lowering her hands. It clearly wasn't hostile, or it would have done something already. "It's just... well, Ko-Koro has been through a rough time recently, and while all visitors are welcome so long as they have peaceful intentions, we get a bit nervous when someone doesn't check in at the gate." She breathed a sigh of relief; she had already been involved in a scuffle today and she didn't want to have another. "Is there anything I can do for you, Kaminari? Directions, information?" A talking Rahi was definitely not what she was expecting today, either. OOC: @Snelly IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive, Ko-Koro The Toa of Air studied the perfect form of the Ko-Toa seated across from him. He hadn't seen her during his time observing in occupied Ko-Koro. But still, everything she said technically applied to him as well. Cyrix was silent as he waited for either Syzygos or Muir to answer Niici. OOC: @BULiK @Emzee @Goose @ARROW404
  16. IC: Hanaloi Askha's mask curled into a smile as she forced the renegade down. She shifted in the branches, viewing her options; Mashtet were trained to use the treeline to their advantage, and she would be doing just that. Below her, the kraata on Vazaria's shoulder shuddered and spat out a fast-moving, crackling blast. The residual heat briefly felt like a soulsword, but quickly subsided. The plasma bolt impacted the trunk behind her, exploding in a shower of sparks and cracking the branch below her. The sound of the tree cracking filled the night over the din of battle; panic raced through the young Mashtet's mind as she ran and leapt to another tree. That crackling blast sounded again and she was showered with sparks as she was blinded by the light. Askha twisted away from the fire, falling towards the ground. A snarling kavinka jaw greeted her; on instinct, Askha tucked into a roll, nudging herself with Mindarm to land on the kavinika's back, which gave out with a sickening crack. She pushed herself from the underbrush, focusing on the fiery armor, the one thing that stood out nearby as her vision readjusted to the twilight. She recognized the armor. It was a new look, but only one set of armor was like it in Kentoku: the Mashtet Panoply. Using an ancient, advanced form of Mashtet Carving that reflected the soul of the wearer, passed down from Toroshu to Toroshu. Her mother had worn it for ceremony and for times of war. Breathing heavily, Askha reached out to her thrown Rahkshi staff, pulling it to her hand. On their own, her other weapons drew themselves from their sheathes; the sword at her hip, her white crystal falcata, and her dagger splayed splayed out behind her like abstract wings. "That armor doesn't belong to you." The aqua rahkshi curled into a defensive position to shield its face from Mari's darts but it wasn't quite enough, and one of the darts found its way into the demon's eye. It was in a frenzy, though, and didn't flinch or recoil. Mari was not who the Rahkshi's attention was on. When Rina's soulwhip wrapped around the Rahkshi's leg, its staff glowed, and the energy whip did not bite into the Rahkshi's armor. The Rahkshi jerked its leg back, pulling Rina towards it, where with reflexes no Menti could hope to match, it caught her and by the chest and smashed her to the ground. Before it could do anything further, it moved to defend itself from several new strikes; Kaazi Lana, taking the form of a three-headed serpent, struck with alternating heads covering her weapons, the ends of a Rahkshi staff that her Jahagir had snapped. The Rahkshi of Fire Resistance was forced back by the assault until it caught one of the Zrupgar's blades on the strong end of its block, throwing her off-balance. With a clawed foot, it grasped the prone form of Rina and with serpentine grace, threw the body at the illusion-cloaked warrior, sending both Dasaka flying. It did not notice the Plangori warrior lurking behind it. Nearby, the mottled blue and silver Rahkshi recovered from the distraction, and its eyes locked on the screaming warrior rushing it; it did not meet it with an attack; It's staff glowed again while the creature shifted its angle slightly, and gravity changed around Murasaki, turning her charge into a helpless fall parallel to the ground, slamming into a tree. The demon made to impale the Plangori to the trunk, but she appeared to slip away and begin running; the Rahkshi tilted its head in curiousity, stabbing her in the back. Her form dissolved, and in her place was a half-rotted piece of wood. In the grove, Somei concentrated her illusion cloaking Murasaki from sight. She was still pinned by the crushing gravity, but at least she could drop her Mindarm from the decoy. A snarling from her flank caused her to inhale in panic; all around her, several kavinika stalked the underbrush, sniffing the air. She slowly exhaled, layering the illusion around her and masked her scent as well. The infected beasts growled, but did not leave. Hambra and Riko's eyes met for the briefest moment, but that look shared almost as much information as a conversation in Ideatalk. Riko's Kualsi glowed once more, taking her behind Semraed, pulling them back from Caana's attack range. "Koshi Zrupgar," Hambra shouted in Vulgar Taa, "Take to the trees, the kavinika cannot climb!" One of the infected rahi leaped, lunging at Hambra's neck. She turned slightly, and the creature was impaled on the spines of the rahkshi armor on her shoulder. It still snapped at her throat, but it was ineffectual; the Kaazi Jahagir's Pakari glowed as she grasped the beast's neck and pulled; the snap came before it fell off her armor, and she threw it at the traitor Caana. The purple Rahkshi viewed Caana's skirmish impassionately, neither moving to help nor hinder. The infected kavinika parted around the demon. It raised its staff, pointing at Caana. It began to glow, and the ronin could feel her thoughts being probed. It was unlike a Willhammer; there was neither finesse nor savagery, only cold, methodical Knowing. OOC: @Nato G @Mel @Goose IC: Ahri - Oki Village Sighing, Ahri nodded. "That's good; I'm glad it's apparently in such good condition despite..." He glanced at a hole in one of the huts. "... everything else. We haven't found much of use, but those creatures were here at some point. Though we did find something," he said, echoing the last part in Ideatalk as well. .:Come out. I know the touch of a Willhammer; if you mean no harm, then neither do we.:. OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva @ARROW404
  17. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backroom, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa nodded in greeting to Niici, observing both her and the reactions of the Po-Koro pair. He leaned back as Niici literally took a seat at the table. This was what he was afraid of; hopefully, everything would stay civil - and controlled. Still, better to nudge it towards that goal. Under his disc buckler, he pulled the lodestones apart slightly before letting them click back together. "Niici," he said with a gentle smile, "You arrived just in time." Lie. He could use her appearance to his advantage. "Syzygos and Muir are investigating some events that occurred during the occupation. Turns out they dovetail into some matters that the Kalta have been looking into. Chairwoman, how familiar are you with the Legacy?" * * * "Medium hahnah bisque." The De-Matoran chef nodded brusquely, and Casanuva handed over his thermos before shuffling off to the side. He handed a few widgets to the cashier, who gave him his steaming thermos and a small bun. "Thank you," he smiled and raised the thermos, taking in the rich smell. He had gotten a taste for this back in Ga-Koro, and was delighted when the soup shop had started carrying it. Next in line, he heard his teammate audibly thinking, like she was a vast calculator grinding her gears. What vast knowledge of prognostication required this work? "Hmmm... I'll take the jambalaya, Po-Koro style." The chef's frown slightly deepened as she took Kalyss's thermos. Moments later, Kalyss dropped a few widgets into the palm of the cashier as she was handed back her thermos. "Uh, don't I get bread?" Oh dear Mata Nui. Casanuva tried to get Kalyss's attention, making a quick chopping motion over his throat. "Bread is extra. Next!" "But you gave him a roll," the Su-Toa said, gesturing at Casanuva. The blue-armored Fa-Toa held up his hands defensively. "Kalyss, it's fine. I will give you my bread. Lookout duty, remember?" The Toa Kalta of Plasma sighed audibly in frustration as she joined Casanuva; he sighed silently in relief as she didn't get them banned from his favorite soup place. He tossed the bread roll to Kalyss, who quickly caught it. "Hey, that Ko-Toa lady was let in." The two had taken up their earlier positions at the edge of one of Ko-Koro's bridges, overlooking the avenue with the Wise Man's Archive. Casanuva took a gulp of his soup before replacing the lid and magnetizing the thermos to his belt. When Cyrix had asked the two of them for their help when he had dropped in, he had already wanted to tap out from the scuffle with Soraph earlier; his bandaged shoulder was still a little sore. The lodestones that he was tracking were still together; no signal yet. "Apparently, he was expecting her. Of course he was." He heard Kalyss inhale to reply, but it was cut off by a bestial roar. He spotted a winged shadow passing over the Koro spread out beneath them; their gazes went to the sky. Casanuva had trouble seeing anything, there was so much reflected light; Kalyss apparently had no such issue, being a Su-Toa. "Some sort of flying rahi; reptilian, not a gukko. It looks like it's touching down in the Koro center. Let's... What's up?" She ended her command with a tilt of her head. Casanuva was staring at the library below them. "I just felt a signal. Small one, he put them back together; he wants eyes on the situation." The deputy of the Kalta looked from the library to where the dragon had just landed, and back to Casanuva. "Okay, Cas, you stay here and be ready to intervene, I'm going to check this out. If I need backup, I'll throw up a flare. If I need all hands on deck..." "Three flares, understood. Good luck, glorious leader; don't get eaten." Kalyss gave him a wry smile, punching him softly in his wounded shoulder, as a reminder of what would have happened without her around. Her Great Kakama glowed as her form blurred, and she was off. * * * With the Kakama, you had to cede a lot of control over your movement to physics and reaction time; it was never about how fast you could go, it was what you could do with it. Running straight the the Koro center would have been pretty dangerous, but Kalyss was very practiced; she didn't need to think in straight lines. Walls, rooftops, and the open air were just as easy to traverse for her. It was less than a minute since the sighting before Kalyss skidded to a halt in the Koro's center, spraying melted snow and steaming from her armor. It talked. This wasn't just a misplaced rahi; beyond that, its eyes glittered with intelligence. Well, at least that gave her something to work with. Kalyss held her empty hands out as she approached the dragon. She spoke loudly to be heard above the din of surprised matoran. "Attention, my name is Kalyss of the Toa Kalta, guardian of Ko-Koro. I can see that you're not just a rahi; provided your intentions are peaceful, all are welcome in Ko-Koro. What is your business here?" OOC: @Emzee @ARROW404 @BULiK @Goose @Snelly
  18. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backroom, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa shook his head. "We haven't exactly had a large sample size; I'm unaware of any other side effects. Skorm's blood turned oily black and he started bleeding from his eyes; his Kanohi is still stained, but with Soraph and her parasite, besides what healers have told us is a much longer coma than usual and the Parakuka's size, it doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary." He heard, faintly, the sound of knocking. It wasn't his backup, they wouldn't knock. Another customer, possibly, but someone he had a good hunch had been coming was Niici. "You know, I really wish you had approached me with this earlier. One of the theories I had been operating under was you were a mercenary spying on our industrial dealings. I... may have conferred with others and shared that conclusion." OOC: @BULiK @Goose @ARROW404 @Emzee
  19. IC: Ahri - Abandoned Oki Village "Raika," Ahri said, his voice hard, yet level. "You are not alone, you are safe. You have to be strong, for those refugees, for Yuna, for me. I know that strength is inside of you; I would be dead otherwise." The Mashtet pulled Raika into a hug, and his voice went hoarse. "And if anything is going to try to hurt you two, they're going to have to go through me." He held Raika for a moment before whispering, scarcely audible: "And I don't mean to panic you, but I think we're being watched." He saw Yuna heading for them, still dripping wet from her dive. He gave Raika one last squeeze, then softly let her go, moving his grip to her shoulders. "You good?" There was a quality of performance in his voice not usually there; this was for show. OOC: @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp @ARROW404
  20. IC: Hanaloi The mind-reader heard this as well. It wordlessly looked at the lead rahkshi, who swept down to engage the larger group. As it flew through the branches of the trees, its passengers leapt from the trees, almost a half dozen kraata. The whining stopped, replaced by a screaming warcry as it plunged at Rina, staff glowing. The blue rahkshi joined it, but kept its distance as it drifted to the ground before reaching out with its staff. The air itself became impossibly heavy around the group; Somei cried out as she was pulled to the ground, unable to stand up. The mind-reader went to assist their willing ally, landing down between the groups, observing. Hambra was still turning when the treacherous ronin's leg kicked her own out from under her. Hitting the ground briefly, the pain dazed her, and when she came to, she could foggily see Caana readying to stab her. .:You're just the same as the others.:. The image of half a dozen Hambras rolling out of the way appeared. The true Hambra was none of them, instead turning invisible and forcing herself to her feet, activating her Pakari while she brought her own staff to bear. As the Kavinika closed the gap, the two Kaazi zrupgar glanced at each other as they struggled to stand, and Lana nodded. They both shifted into their battle forms; Lana into a mix between a serpent and a nui-jaga and Riko into a Rahkshi. Riko activated her Kualsi, leaving a pop in the air as the now empty space filled. Riko let forth the warbling scream of a Rahkshi as she appeared behind Caana, stabbing with her own stolen staff. Askha was forced onto one knee by the increased gravity. Two traitors. Ideatalk was out unless she used Taajar, which she knew that the other Imperials didn't speak. Her aunt was immobile, and even though her Menti outnumbered the Rahkshi and the traitors, the Kavinika were almost upon them. It would be chaos, and then it would be a slaughter. We've faced long odds before. She had. Her family had. Why would things change now? That blue one was doing something, but it hurting them; the same reason the Mashtet deployed their sighteyes: battlefield control. She brought her staff to bear like a javelin and threw. If she had been relying on her muscles, it wouldn't have gone far, but she instead used Mindarm. It wasn't particularly fast, but all the same, the rahkshi had to bat it away, disrupting the gravity attack. "Fanai, Murasaki, distract that silver one; Somei, get up one of the trees and help with Sighteye, don't let it get off another attack on us! Dastanas, Lana, take out the bright blue one. I'll handle the traitor." She clutched her hand into a fist, telekinetically picking up a flat, mostly round piece of shale. Askha pulled the broad knife from her sheathe, jumping up the nearest tree, using the knife to hold herself. When she had a better view of the sky, the Mashtet focused on the flying Menti with the smoky armor, spinning her makeshift discus with her mind, then threw it to intercept. She remembered the name that the traitors had discussed with each other... .:Hey, Vazaria! The Mashtet have a welcome gift for you!:. OOC: @Goose @Nato G @Mel
  21. IC: Hanaloi The pack runs together, jaws waiting to be slaked on blood. Hambra led the three back; though she was able to use the shortcuts only someone very familiar with the forest would know about, but the sun crept lower and lower. By the time the tallest tree was in sight, the sky was lit orange as the sun behind Mount Koshiki, casting a wide shadow over Hanaloi. What might have been a bush moved to Hambra; one of her Koshi Zrupgar. "The mainlanders are still there with your cohort, Jahagir. Otherwise, its quiet." Hambra nodded. That wasn't exactly a good thing; it meant the enemy was hiding something, and it was always quiet before dark, even on the night of the attack on their village. "Thank you. Take the others and pull back to the camp, I'm going to introduce our guests." The scout nodded and disappeared back into the brush. Glancing back at Caana and the Kuychar. .:There are some other mainlanders I have brought to meet you, two of the Kuychar on the south shore and the menti Caana.:. Images of her guests accompanied her Ideatalk. .:I believe we represent all Dasaka on the island.:. Heavy panting. Meat to be shared. As the sun dipped below Koshiki's peak, the Rahkshi around Vazaria moved. Silently, the newcomer, the heat resistant rahkshi, and the mind reader stalked outside and assumed their flying positions, waiting on Vazaria. Despite the extra weight of her new armor and her guests, Vazaria's Kanohi was up for the flight. The heat resistant rahkshi took the lead of the formation, while the healed blue and silver rahkshi and mind reading purple rahkshi took up the flanks around Vazaria. In formation, they flew north into the forest, just above the treeline. In the sparser areas, the dark Menti spotted movement below the canopy, but the Rahkshi didn't stop. She realized that it was a mass of bodies converging on their same destination, several packs of kavinika, running, hunting. Rip. Tear. Devour. Askha and the others heard the Ideatalk, though it was faint. She had never seen the ones Hambra had referred to, so it couldn't be the traitor .:I'd like to talk to them. There's one more Menti on the island, a traitor working with Zataka. They're doing something at the Mashtet fortress; I did some scouting. We were also attacked by a small creature, something from a Rahkshi.:. She, in turn, relayed an image of the slug that had tried to attack them. .:It's dead, but if one attacked us out here, how many more are there?:. Around them, the natural sounds of the forest came to a halt; cicadas quieted, bird rahi stopped, only the wind on the leaves. When the chimes started, they did not seem out of place, as natural a sound as the wind. First one, then many followed; in the trees, Taajar and Imperial, visitor and islander, could spot dozens of pairs of glowing eyes making their way through the darkened canopy of the forest. The Koshi swung from branch to branch as if they were made of delicate paper. The Kaazi were just as shocked as the Dastana. Riko smiled in wonder; "I've never seen so many Koshi out like this... it must be a good omen!" Somei tracked them; all the strange little rahi were moving in the same direction, north. A cold feeling struck her belly as she looked south. In the dim twilight of the forest, she could see distant movement. "It's not an omen," she said shakily. "It's a warning!" The sound of pairs of paws over earth and stone, too short and rapid to be dashi, soon reached the two groups. Soon it was joined by panting, growls, and the high-pitched whine of flying Rahkshi. The silence of the forest was about to come to a crashing end. The command echoed inside the minds of the infected kavinika: Kill. Kill. Kill. OOC: Breakdown of coming battle: the forces of Zataka include Vazaria (@Nato G), three rahkshi (Mind Reading, Heat Resistance, Gravity), roughly two dozen infected Kavinika, and a host of revived kraata currently riding on those previously mentioned. The other Dasaka are spit into two groups, roughly in shouting distance of each other: One group is Plangori Fanai (@Mel) the NPCs Dastana Mari (Arhtron/Mindarm), Dastana Rina (Huna/Soulwhip), and Plangori Murasaki (Calix/Soulsword); and Mashtet Ashka and Mashtet Somei (@Keeper of Kraata) and the NPCs Kaazi Riko (Kualsi/Sighteye) and Kaazi Lana (Akaku/Sighteye). The other group includes Kaazi Hambra, Caana (@Goose), and the Koshi Zrupgar NPCs Kuychar Falki and Kuychar Semraed. The battle is taking place close to the Observatory, so the terrain is generally hilly, but broken up by a multitude of large trees. The forces of Zataka's goal is, obviously, kill or infect everyone present. The goal of the Dasaka and Taajar is equally simple: survive.
  22. IC: Raiyo - Harbor, Ga-Koro The Dashi collected herself, audibly taking in a breath. "I will try to convince the Toroshu of my request. And I will try to find someone for your... second condition." She bowed, before scurrying away. That had gone better than she hoped. She wanted to feel happy, but she knew it was only the first step of what was going to be a long, difficult process. She could convince Robalta, of that she was certain. Even if she had to lie... but she would do what she had to. Indeed, it seemed the more difficult task was to find someone that would go with her to Onu-Koro... OOC: @Vezok's Friend
  23. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backroom, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa wrinkled his mask. "Uh... I think so. I didn't really connect those two together. I haven't been back to Le-Wahi since then, and I had a lot on my mind doing recon for the team in Ko-Koro." He leaned foward again, more attentive. "It wasn't the last time that Skorm and I encountered Antidermis. In fact, its how we know what it's called; a Dasaka dignitary that had been travelling with the Kalta was captured by the Legacy - don't ask, both of us thought it was a bad idea and Aelied only allowed it because he figured she would sneak off and do it anyway, and we mounted an extraction. By the team we had showed up, though, they had latched the poor girl with a Parakuka and, according to a Legacy clerk we were coercing, the parasite had been injected with Antidermis. It had grown to huge proportions, and what we know about Antidermis is largely a result of the... hasty interrogation we performed. We had to leave the clerk behind, an Onu-Turaga, but one of them found and freed him before the Legacy withdrew into the Dark Walk. According to him, Antidermis was known amongst Makuta's forces to induce... mutation. Grant new or enhanced abilities; we didn't have a lot of time, but most of the Legacy leadership was enhanced in this fashion, including Echelon, but not Eisen." He leaned back, glancing into nothing as he organized his thoughts, like mentally pulling forward a map. "One of the reasons I never engaged Zaktan was because he could... disincorporate at will. Turn himself into thousands, millions of particles and reassamble himself again. I think Antidermis may be the source of that ability." OOC: @Goose @BULiK @ARROW404
  24. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backoom, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa stood still a moment, reflecting on that he hadn't told the full story to anyone except Aelied months ago, and this would be the first outsider he talked to. He pulled out a chair and leaned on the table, but did not speak. Instead, he shut his eyes and inhaled deeply. The distant sounds of the street muffled to only faint vibrations in the floor as Cyrix pulled in the air in the room, leaving it in a shell of vacuum. "What I'm telling you I haven't fully accounted to anyone outside the Kalta. I hope you don't plan on using this information to harm the Kalta, Ko-Koro, or Skorm." He looked at Muir. "Because you will never see retribution coming." Cyrix leaned back in his chair, letting the air circulate before putting up the vacuum shell once again. "I've witnessed three instances of antidermis being used. First, you need to have a picture of Skorm before this happened, because as far as I'm concerned, he was the real victim. We don't remember much from before coming to the island, but our training is intact. Well, my training; Aelied kept me mostly separate from the rest of the Kalta during training. So even when we met, the others didn't know much about me, but Skorm and I had a bond the others lacked. He never knew why he was picked before he touched his toa stone; after, he felt like he had a lot to prove. Had some interpersonal problems with Casanuva, who was the only person who could match him in weapon sparring, elemental control, you name him. Cas could be, uh... polarizing. Very confident, but could be a bit of a bully, and Skorm was not overflowing in the confidence department. He went from someone small who was pushed around a lot to someone twice the size of us who could could bench press his own body weight, under heavy gravity." With another deep breath, he cycled the air again before it got stale. "We actually hit it off; both of us were outsiders on the team. When we woke up on Mata Nui, everyone else was trying to find each other; I knew where they were. Aelied had ordered me to keep an eye on them. I caught up with Cas in Le-Koro, and when he had left for Ta-Koro, I stuck around to shadow Skorm doing the same thing." He averted his eyes. "Then Skorm had a run-in with a green Skakdi. I later found out it was Zaktan. Of the Piraka. Zaktan was doing something with some of the local bugs; Skorm snuck up to investigate, and was splashed with a greed liquid that Zaktan had on him. He dropped and convulsed; Zaktan used a similar liquid to infect the insects which turned ravenous, started to devour whole trees. Skorm was back up pretty fast, he looked... a lot more sure, but that's when his mask started appearing stained. He started using his Huna when he moved; it was nearly impossible to track him, so I wasn't able to keep a direct eye on him; he passed through Ta-Koro, and to Ga-Koro." "I... figured something was wrong, but I didn't know how wrong it was. I was never able to keep on him for long in Ga-Wahi, he was always moving. I didn't witness what went down in Ga-Wahi when he found Kalyss, Cas, and Vakua, but I heard afterwards. After that, I had totally lost him, and I reported in to Aelied in Ko-Wahi; we had regrouped there after the Legacy took Ko-Koro. The next time I saw him, I had infiltrated occupied Ko-Koro and he was sent by Aelied to meet me; he had already been cured. He had been changed; he was sure of himself, and especially of his Duty. I don't know if it was what Stannis did to cure him, if it was because he had to face what he had done under the antidermis, or both. He told me later he remembers everything. He remembers his choices, and how it felt like they were, at the time, logical and entertaining. But there was a lot of pain, too. The arguments with the rest of the team, they became these points of hatred he could use to focus his thoughts, clear the pain. He told me that, somewhere deep down, he knew that he was broken." The air was silent save for Cyrix cycling the air again. "Even before he was literally broken. He was running with a few Vault-seekers, and they ran into some of the Piraka and something called the Abettor. He mouthed off or something and the Abettor smashed him up pretty badly. He was able to ask Zaktan what happened to him, and he said that... his head had been cleared. But it was precious, and that he wouldn't waste more of it on an almost-dead wretch." Cyrix sighed again, dropping the vacuum shell. The air around them popped as the air rushed back together. "I was so close... I had him in my sights. A bolt wouldn't have put down Zaktan, but I could have suffocated him, something." The anger and despair in him manifested in an edge to his voice as he spoke. "I could have captured Skorm, brought him to help. He carried me out of Ko-Koro during the liberation, literally on his back, and I wasn't even the only one. He did it without thinking, without hesitating." Pausing, he pulled a flask of water from his gear and took a sip, the ice-cold liquid briefly biting. "And the worst part is that he wouldn't blame me." Truth. OOC: @Goose @BULiK @ARROW404
  25. IC: Cyrix - Wise Man's Archive Backoom, Ko-Koro The Le-Toa's eyes hungrily followed the dark-armored Cy-Toa as he pulled out the cigarette pack and furrowed when the cigarette was put out. It was a lot to take in; he thought back to the first time he had been at the library, trying to find out what Syzygos had been researching; it had been right there, stories about Skorm. "Yeah... yeah, alright." Honestly, this was a best case scenario. "I'll answer your questions as best I can. Antidermis has been something the Kalta have been looking into. Ask your questions." Truth. OOC: @BULiK@Goose @ARROW404
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