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Everything posted by BULiK

  1. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] The Cy-Toa contemplatively cocked his head to the side for a moment, poorly hiding an irritated yawn. He didn't need to look to Muirtagh - his gaze only drifted to the table's contents that Cyrix had been eyeing, all the while the gears turning in his head. If Cyrix didn't know why Vrill was doing what he was doing, there was a snowball's chance in Ta-Koro that he knew what Vrill was doing. Him being seen leaving the Sanctum? Plausible. But at the very least, this meant Cyrix hadn't been snooping in on Korzaa's office close enough to hear Vrill's tasking. That was what he needed to know. Even if Vrill's intuition was wrong (not that it ever would be) Fenn could verify it all later in more detail. The wonderful conundrum of bringing a Rode user along was Vrill needed to be extra careful of which truths he withheld - while he was about to lie to Cyrix's face, and could continue to do so all day, the agent was careful about his wording so as to not spin the wrong lie in front of his partner. After a small, disappointed sigh, Vrill looked Cyrix in the optics and gave him a straight answer. "You know why - the widgets." Vrill had been on one end or the other of enough interrogations to know that spinning Kane-Ra dung about innocence only locks the 'gator (As they sometimes called each other in the business) in more. Sometimes, you gotta tell them what they want to hear. Plainly speaking - Vrill had admitted to nothing, but perhaps that admission was the first step in getting Cyrix to make another slip.
  2. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] "The Sanctum?" Vrill appeared almost confused by the question. "Was there some kind of... security incident?"
  3. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backrooms] "Questions..." In an unexpected turn of events, 'Syzygos' spoke. His diction was precisely slow, tone surprisingly aloof. Like Cyrix's own words had reminded him of some trivia long forgotten. This wasn't Vrill. "You said you had questions?"
  4. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] After the brief flurry of conversation, Fenn and Vrill returned to their own studies. They each had much to think about. Vrill numbed his mind with a final review of his copy. A second pass, seeing the evidence he had already copied with fresh optics. He occasionally corrected a mistake. Vrill knew all about those. He wondered how many of his he could ever correct. People were never as easy as words. For all its incongruities, even language followed a set of rules. The same couldn't be said for those who spoke it, or the actions they performed. For a brief moment, Vrill tensed as he felt a sliver of empathy at the thought of a Toa who had failed so greatly being given a second chance. Like a cramp, eventually the sharp twinge of pathos subsided as Vrill refocused himself on his work. He finally compared the last page with his last tablet. 'United in Duty, bound in Destiny, this is the way of the Bionicle.' 'United in Duty, bound in Destiny, this is the way of the Bionicle.' Duty... Exhale. Look up. Push feelings down. Let senses rise in their place. One with the structures around him. Something new. Vrill felt a new lightstone and heatstone. Someone was in the lobby. The Cy-Toa closed the book in front of him. The crystals were moving closer. Vrill stretched his neck with a satisfactory pop. He looked to the door, waiting for the footsteps to arrive and for Cyrix to follow. "Cyrix, Toa Kalta. I have some questions for you." “Funny, we could say something similar.” "He's my lawyer," the obsidian-armored Toa said. The face behind the crystal arthron-shaped Kanohi was blank, his gaze only deviating from being locked with Cyrix when he initially glanced at the Le-Toa's equipment.
  5. IC: Kreigero [The Drifts, Crevasse] Kreigero nodded slightly, the motion small not out of her usual stubborn defiance, but instead from her overwhelming tiredness. The trapper began to unravel the makeshift dressing around her head in preparation for a fresh replacement. She, too, couldn't prevent her thoughts from drifting to what they had witnessed. The dragon, the strangers... it was impossible to avoid using the precious moments of safety they had unexpectedly earned to worry and plan for what was to come. How best to survive against these new factors none had experienced before. Normally, there was a common wisdom among the stalkers of the drifts, learned through years of practice and the stories and mistakes of others. That institutional knowledge was what let survivalists like Kreigero and Savrehn hike into otherwise dangerous scenarios without nearly as much risk as anyone new to the Wahi. However, there was no such wisdom for evading dragons or bunkers of Toa. That uncertainty carried a risk Kreigero hadn't felt in a long time - she was no longer at one with the Wahi. There was a new worry of what they would find over the next snowdrift. She couldn't help but wonder if they were to become one of the many tales of Matoran who trekked into regions untoward and never returned, only to be found much later on as a frozen warning to others who dared venture further. But in typical Ko-Koronan fashion... what more was there to say on the matter? Not much, apparently.
  6. OOC: Busy couple of weeks for me, to say the least... IC: Kreigero [The Drifts, Crevasse] Each step brought a bitter sharpness as each snowflake carried what felt like a thousand needles. Kreigero could only tolerate her march due to the utter lack of feeling that grew in her extremities. She never looked back, as if it had never occurred to her that she could look back without seeing the Fa-Toa, even though the winding path had long since obscured the trio from the two strangers. Kreigero continued to march (or rather, Savrehn continued to carry Kreigero in all but spirit) until the trail of Toa footprints they were following broke out of the glacial wall and into a wide field of snow. The howl of the winds intensified, and it was only then that her feet began to truly drag in the snow. It was only then that she seemed to let Savrehn set her down to rest, not that she could have done anything beyond stubborn glares from behind her Kaukau's visor for most of the journey. The trapper breathed in a powerful, steadied rhythm, but the exhalations were rasp. It was clear the group could not continue their escape without a reprieve, but for how long? She reluctantly loosened her grip on the vial of disinfectant, fingers fumbling to unroll the bandage. The shivering Ko-Matoran bit down and frowned in defiance, knowing that before it hurt less, it was going to have to hurt a lot more... OOC: oh and @ARROW404 apologies for not picking up on the fact that Priicu didn't join them again. Re; the book - I implied that Vrill had copied the entire book during the indeterminate time that Muir was likewise reading Takua's journals. It was only after that did he see the first page again for his eureka moment. If you have more places you plan on going with the book I can elaborate further but I was intending that one copy to be done. I'll get a Vrill out after another Muir (but no rush) IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost] It was as simple as that. Fill a room with a handful of characters who can be enticed to risk their freedom for the chance of a pile of widgets, give them a plump target for said proclivities, and you'll create unity faster than a Turaga's adages. I'm still satisfied by the turnout - it became the biggest crew I had ever worked with. Even if some were... less unified than others, everyone had their part to play. Each brought a set of skills that we would use to circumvent the layers of security on the Iron Mahi. Each brought a set of weaknesses that I could leverage to keep them in line. It was a delicate balance, putting that many scoundrels in one place. Much like magnets, you get too much of the same in one place, and it rips everything apart. I had to walk that line, play those odds, and ensure that the opposing forces balanced against each other enough to motivate and increase our effectiveness, without losing our cohesion. Look, what I'm trying to say is it's not as easy as it looks. There are risks. Some you have to accept. 'Specially in this line of work. But as I was saying - we had numbers on our side: Me, the fearless, dashingly handsome leader. Surdo, that mothe- ahem. Baszlin, the schizo Skak. Minnorak, the outsider. Skrol, the listener. Karmine, the not-so-reformed. and Dolbren, the old school bad###. Together, we were The Seven™. No, Quoribay's Seven. Good Company? The Insiders? Shadow Hapaka 2?!??! Look, I was too busy focusing on the plan to worry about the name. We spent many hours hashing out the details, who would go where and when, and what would happen in which order. We even had the time to make some contingency plans (Not that we would need them or anything). They say measure twice, cut once. We were about to make the cut of a lifetime, so we didn't cut (many) corners. When we were confident we'd accounted for all the possibilities, we gathered all the gear we would need and parted ways, travelling mostly separately so as not to raise any eyebrows. Everyone arrived in position at the right place and time, ready to play their role in our grand performance. OOC: Train heist crew to Po-Wahi. I'll set the scene in a post next week and then we can hit the ground running.
  7. as a heads up, gonna be sparse posting for the next few days from me. When I'm less busy near the latter half of next week I'll get the train heist into its action phase, and respond to some others who are waiting.
  8. OOC: Lets try to avoid autohitting. Just gonna ignore that. IC: Varqui [The Eyries, Jabbar Peak] Having successfully forced his attacker to dismount, Varqui pressed forwards. The Kaiakan's spears were excellent at controlling the range of a duel, but as Varqui stepped closer and closer after every dodge or parry, the spears became more unwieldy. At best, the shafts were bruising or scratching the Skakdi during some of the larger sweets, but there were no hits direct enough to pierce Varqui's armor. Soon, after hooking the intact spear to the side once more with his tool, Varqui leveled his shotgun at Tohmarr's chest. There was a whistle, a thunderous boom, and then much growling. The lizard's pounce had pushed Varqui's aim downward towards Tohmarr's legs, but he couldn't see how effective the buckshot's spread was as he began to tumble end over end under the force of the leaping lizard who had his right gauntlet firmly in its grasp. Varqui sneered in a growl as the fangs sunk into him, and furiously pressed a button that swung the spring-loaded arm blades outwards and into the mouth of the beast. Simultaneously, Varqui reached behind himself with his free arm and fired his grapple into the same tree Hadeel's arrow had sunk into not long before. After hearing it impact, he activated the winch, dragging him away from Tohmarr and taking the lizard with him for as long as it decided to continue biting down.
  9. there was an issue that required the server to be rebooted. should be good now
  10. IC: Varqui [The Eyries, Jabbar Peak] As Tohmarr expected, the unphased Vo-Skakdi did not back down. When the mounted warrior drew close, Varqui stood his ground, raised his right arm as if holding out a fist, and subsequently unleashed a plume of flame from his gauntlet. He waved the stream around at Tohmarr and his mount in wide circular arcs with his arm in an attempt to spook the beast. The flames also obscured Varqui from his opponent, but the Skakdi was able to use his X-Ray vision to see the incoming spear jabs before they crossed the cyclone of smoke and flame, deflecting the jabs away from himself using the hooked shape of his climbing pick in his other hand. With any luck, perhaps the wooden shafts of the spears would catch alight, if not the rider or his Rahi. While Varqui's right hand was tilted to the ground to clear his hand from the nozzle of his wrist flamethrower, it still tightly gripped the handle of his shotgun. He carefully crept forwards as he continued to burst flames and parry stabs, wanting to close the distance even further and keep the pressure on until he could find a devastating opening. Unlike his partner, Varqui didn't spare a single thought to consider communicating with the Kaiakan hunters. There would be no questioning, bargaining, or taunting - now was the time for action.
  11. OOC: lets do this old school. crank up those video game soundtracks and epic battle music mixtapes, mes amis IC: Varqui [The Eyries, Jabbar Peak] It was rather fascinating, watching the mongrels move about from afar. Varqui panned his narrow cone of vision across the breadth of the settlement, scanning the environment while ignoring the minor distortions at the edges of lenses. Occasionally activating his X-Ray vision to get a peek inside th- Varqui didn't have time to ask if Merrill had heard that strange noise that almost sounded like "herself getting hit by an arrow" before he, too, felt a sharp pain. He also didn't have time to think about where said sharp pain was coming from because before he could even think of the proper combo chain of expletives to hurl at this situation, Merrill had already thrown the Vo-Skakdi off balance. Despite his herculean physique and the perfect balance of a free soloist, Varqui was at the distinct disadvantage of having been on one knee to stabilize the long zoom of his binoculars. Not to mention that for some strange reason his legs were not immediately obeying the commands of his superior intellect. But Varqui didn't have time to process all of that, he just knew that he was tumbling in a spin trying to stand and right himself with a Lester;Nii babe on his arm (but not in the good way!). The warlord caught a glimpse of some figure behind them as he made another rotation, before hearing the whistle of an arrow's fletching zip by where his face had been a moment before. Continuing on his orbit, Varqui saw the projectile embed itself into the trunk of a tree that had been in front of him with a cartoonishly resonating wobble. With a thunderous ROAAAAAAAAAAAR Varqui rallied his immense musculature to do the most strategically viable gambit - GET THIS WOMAN OFF OF HIM. As his rotation continued, the Vo-Skakdi had held out the arm Merrill clung to, grabbing the somewhat smaller frame of the Lesterin in his own hand in return. He put all his olympian strength into the heroic discus throw and let go, the centripetal force flinging Merrill in the direction of the assailant(s?). After the woman was airborne, Varqui continued his swing, his fist hitting the snow in a heroic pose before he used his arm to push himself to his feet and regain his balance. It was at this time he had a momentary reprieve to think. Tactically assess the situation as he watched Merrill spinning ludicrously mid air as the world seemed to come to a halt. The world was no longer spinning (well, aside from Merrill), and now Varqui could unleash his mind on the battlefield. SOMETHING'S IN MY A- Varqui began to think, though he channeled the rest of the thought into a much more productive battle cry that shook snow from the nearby trees and got his hydraulics pumping: "RRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!" The Vo-Skakdi began to charge, his spiked books pummeling the snow and gripping the stone beneath. Varqui's left hand grabbed one of his climbing picks while the other unholstered his shotgun, Thunder. He tried to catch up to Merrill and close the distance with the unknown bandit, saving his two shells of buckshot for when they would matter the most.
  12. IC: Varqui [The Eyries] "What I am, is hungry," the Vo-Skakdi growled.
  13. OOC: Change of plans, Quoribay is coming ~monday IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair] The only thing that surprised Kreigero was that there were no surprises. Syrik even walked back to where he started! Kreigero was relieved as there was more distance between her and the Toa, though it was hard to tell if that was unique, given the way she occasionally quivered from her wounds. She stood there for a moment, glancing to the crippled matoran. What's his endgame? The huntress felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked to the side, saw it was Savrehn, and then turned around to follow him. She moved all the medical supplies to be under her left arm, then carefully began to walk towards the gap in the icy walls where the Toa's footprints were still somewhat visible in the snow. Kreigero kept her right hand at her belt, even though her body screamed at her to wrap it around Savrehn for support. They weren't clear yet, she just had to hold out until out of sight of the strangers. Every step blended into the next, the universal numbness partly suppressing the all-encompassing aching shared by every limb. Kreigero's body had yet to completely fail her. All she could do was take one more step after the last, count the crunches in the snow, and wonder what in Mata Nui's name was going on.
  14. IC: Varqui [The Eyries] The king-to-be was going to say something truly profound, but a strange event pulled his focus. A horn blew out thrice, the deep sound almost appearing to rustle the snow off nearby trees. He pulled out his spyglass and focused on the village below once more. Was something happening there? "What was that horn? Is this a call to prayer? Or perhaps dinner? Stay vigilant, Lester;nii - we may yet have the perfect opportunity to pilfer some of that poitín."
  15. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] "Maybe they were afraid of creating an army they couldn't control, empowering subordinates who could make a power grab. Antidermis isn't loyalty, it's corruption and decay - that cuts both ways." Vrill paused. "... or maybe they just didn't have enough antidermis or time to make their next move. Didn't want their Patero to go off at half pressure."
  16. IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] Vrill spoke rather openly - at this point the agent didn't care too much that Priicu was still here. They hadn't said anything tying their antidermis tangent to Skorm or the Kalta, so all this did was bring further credibility that Vrill and Muir were on the right side of the law, investigating signs of Makuta's influence, not internal political maneuvering. "The Turaga's legends never struck me as particularly applicable to my life, especially not my line of work..." the black Cy-Toa began, eluding an explanation of just what his line of work was. Priicu was in the room, after all. He slid his book across the table to Fenn. "But..." He leaned over and tapped on the relevant stanza. "...And betrayed him, casting a spell over Mata Nui' 'Who fell into a deep slumber.' 'The Makuta was free to unleash his shadows,' 'And unleash them, he did.' "Stannis isn't the first man who wasn't forthcoming with details on antidermis - what didn't the Turaga tell us?" Vrill leaned back in his crystal chair, letting the thought linger in the air. "Remember early in the war? Before the Kra-Toa, before Rahkshi, Parakuka - before the First Toa? Forests charred, hives swarming, tunnels flooded with lava, infection spread amongst the Rahi and sometimes even Matoran. It was always about poisoning the land to keep us in our Koros, making us fight the island just to survive instead of bringing the battle to him." "What if antidermis is the key to how he did that? Makuta always fought with influence, not soldiers. That influence never left - when he was defeated, he must have left behind that weapon for his most devout followers, like giving some matches and a keg of Stralix powder to a child. Maybe they just don't know how to fully use it yet." "We certainly don't know how to fight it, yet." Well, aside from Stannis, apparently.
  17. OOC: This one turned out longer than I expected. Kinda bloated in some areas but worth just finishing up and getting out there at this point. Re: train heist crew, Quoribay coming to wrap up our interaction in Ko in ~days. Recommended listening: IC: Vrill [Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom] When Muir returned there was no evidence that in the intervening time, Vrill had even cracked open the book in front of him for a peek. As the Po-Toa studied intently, Vrill's mind was on the perimeter, reaching out with his element, feeling the ebb and flow of the occasional lightstone and heatstone of passers-by. He felt the invisible presence of the minerals as they meandered along what the Cy-Toa knew were the streets outside. Eventually, however, perhaps out of his own boredom, 'Syzygos' snuffed his cigarette in an obsidian ashtray of his own creation and began to actually do the work Priicu wanted - transcribing The Legend of the Bionicle from one of the archive's books onto Vrill's brand new collection of tablets. The process was almost an almost meditative affair. Pick up a slate, lay it over a page, and read. He would see the word underneath the clear crystal, and darken the crystal above it to create a perfect replica. Vrill didn't even necessarily need to understand what he was reading, it began to form an instinctual flow. There were no sentences, merely words in an endless fractal chain, much like was seen inside crystal itself. Each spiraling band of recorded thoughts unique, yet adhering to the unifying structure inherent to prose. Time. Was Vrill running out of time? When would Cyrix arrive? Time. Before. Did he remember what it was like before? Before the powers of his job? Before the powers in himself? Before. Time. How long had it been since he worked with a partner? Time. Vrill would occasionally glance back over his work, the repetition of clauses smoothing over any mistakes until perfection. The phrases had no meaning beyond their uniformity. 'In the time before time.' 'In the time before time.' 'In the time before time.' After confirming himself, Vrill moved on to the next phrase to repeat himself again and again and again. 'The great spirit descended from the heavens,' 'Carrying we, the ones called Matoran,' Matoran. Did Vrill know any Matoran, really? Korzaa? She was his boss. She was his greatest ally... but was she a friend? Where did respect end and trust begin? Did trust begin? He knew her from the system a united Matoran people created. Matoran. 'We were separate and without purpose,' Purpose. Vrill fought for the Matoran's Unity. That was his Duty. Preserve the integrity of their Unity. He had failed before and would not let that happen again. Was the Onu-Matoran Tarkhan a threat to that unity? Purpose. 'So the great spirit illuminated us' Illuminated. Did Vrill shine light on darkness? Or did the shadows only dance because of those who shone lights? Illuminated. 'With the three virtues:' Virtues. Was he on a virtuous mission? Or was this all, what, a thrill? Did Vrill's mission align with those virtues? What they stood for? Would he be too close to see the line? Virtues. ~~~ The pair worked well together, in that neither disturbed the other's focus or otherwise interrupted their entirely separate work. In record time, Vrill was keeping pace with the text, creating copy after copy, each mirror image creating a less comprehensible fractal of circular characters. When he was complete, the Cy-Toa aligned the stack of tablets, and his optics reflexively darted their focus across the first page once more as a final check. 'In the time before time,' 'The great spirit descended from the heavens,' 'Carrying we, the ones called Matoran,' 'To this paradise.' 'We were separate and without purpose,' 'So the great spirit illuminated us with the three virtues: 'Unity, duty, and destiny.' 'We embraced these gifts and in gratitude,' 'We named our island home "Mata Nui"' 'After the great spirit himself.' 'But our happiness was not to last.' 'For Mata Nui's brother, the Makuta,' 'Was jealous of these honors,' 'And betrayed him, casting a spell over' "Mata Nui..." 'Who fell into a deep slumber.' "V-"rill "Syzygos," Vrill's mind juggled its focus. His attention was stirred by his names, even moreso by them almost being used in concert. While he was nevertheless confused (annoyed, even) at the slip up, his optics continued to scan the last few lines as he listened to his partner explain. 'The Makuta was free to unleash his shadows,' "it's the Madness." 'And unleash them, he did.' "Antidermis is the Madness." "..." As if broken from a trance, there was a sizeable delay as Vrill silently turned to look Fenn in the optics. His expression was not one of shock or eureka, but a blank severity, like a Kikanalo that was deciding if it should run from or fight a predator. "Plausible." His amber gaze flickered to the book in front of him. 'Casting a spell over Mata Nui, who fell into a deep slumber.' Mata Nui was asleep, or so the Turaga's songs promised. The detective recalled something Stannis had said during Muirtagh's interrogation. "I would never have claimed to have vanquished... or destroyed... the Makuta. We defeated him. We put him into a place where he couldn't reach us so we could rest. But it wasn't a full vanquishing. Such a thing would have been impossible against something so powerful as Nothingness." Stannis's recitation of Makuta's words rung through Vrill's mind as if spoken by the lord of darkness himself. "You cannot destroy Nothing, but Nothing can destroy you." The madness was no ordinary plague. It was spread not through biotics but by special Kohlii balls hawked by a greedy vendor. Recovery was not as simple as disinfectant or building immunity through exposure. Even after Takua's news, those who ground their Comet balls to dust out of anger did not destroy the toxins. The destruction merely increased the potency, spreading the poison more effectively and making it harder to contain. Once aerosolized into dust, the disease could more easily take root in a Matoran's internals and decay them from within. By all accounts, it was a sickening way to go. 'Husked'. "Now... how can one hope to vanquish something so much a part of you? Something that exists in you and in everyone else you know?" A century later and people still shied away from the condemned quarry tunnel where the most exposed had been entombed. On occasion, Po-Koronans would check to ensure the site was still untampered. Never since has there been such a plague, though some copycats had tried to bring about their own poisonings. "The people of the world are Builders, but look into their hearts and you will find that they also have the power to destroy." After a few moments of contemplative silence, Vrill frowned. "Not plausible. Probable." Like Makuta, the epidemic had not been vanquished. In the end, the solution was that every tainted Kohlii ball in the Koro was rounded up and dumped at sea, their presence removed entirely. Only then did recoveries become the rule instead of the exception. "You cannot destroy me, no more than you can destroy the sea, or the wind, or the void. " The Madness, the Comet plague - or really, as Fenn had surmised, the Antidermis - was a force only the might of an endless ocean could salve. It could only be destroyed (as Stannis had described during the extaction from Skorm) by boiling itself away once separated from a host: once it had no outlet for its own destructive energy besides itself. Only Nothing can destroy it. "It's just as dangerous as Stannis warned; it's Makuta's original weapon."
  18. IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall] I gracefully did not make Surdo pay for that slap on the back. "Oh, Surdo, you know - just the boring details." I began, glancing towards the heavily armed and armored Skakdi as he continued to steadily march towards Minnorak. “Hmmmmm.” "Now that everyone is here we can get to the fun part -," I continued as Baz and Minno sized each other up. "Can I help you?" Everyone was silent for a few moments, not even the two titans seeming to be sure of what their future accomplice was thinking. Then the next big wrench was thrown into the works. “This one... has tried to kill me before.” What were the odds a bunch of mercs would have been on the wrong side of a client at some point in the past century? "Ah, the hallmarks of true friendship," I said, playing it off. I had to undercut it by saying something stranger and less serious, not that I was sure Baz could even comprehend such comedic genius. The crew disintegrating was the last thing I needed. At the very least, this didn't add much complexity to my problem with Surdo and by extension Baz - if anything it strengthened the reasoning for Minny and I to watch each others' backs. "'Who among us', am I right?" I continued, tilting my head to Surdo in a shrug before turning to address Baszlin. "How does the Ga-Koronan saying go? 'Let he who has no impurity throw the first Madu'?" "This gonna be a problem? It looks to me by the fact that both of you are standing there that this situation's already resolved, and it isn't a problem." "Because if it is a problem then it becomes OUR problem," I said, splaying my arms out in a gesture to the assembled mass of mercenaries.
  19. IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair] He's still focused on me? Kreigero thought as Aerus kept his complete attention on her, smirking with a strange intensity in his optics. What does that mean? Her thoughts shifted back towards Syrik as he spoke again. Kreigero stood her ground as the Toa approached with the bandages and disinfectant. In that split second she was struck with the realization that while yes, something about all of this still felt so so wrong, any action she made beyond the most oblivious would only make it worse. Showing explicit distrust of the Toa would do nothing but cause some unpredictable reaction, whereas taking the offer at face value (as was clearly more plausible than she initially believed before they had returned from the cave with the items in question) had a chance of maintaining the status quo, provided the Toa didn't make any provocations. All the trapper could do was be careful - watching closely while controlling her breathing and keeping her limbs slightly tensed. The biting cold helped to keep her on edge and alert, but she knew if the Toa made a move there was only so much she could do to react at such a distance. Or if this standoff dragged on for much longer. Her pains were at times sharp and yet constantly aching, but while her senses were numbed by the cold, she could still feel how wet the cloak wrapped around her forehead was. She reached out and took the roll of bandages in one hand and the disinfectant with the other, then gave a nod of thanks to the Toa.
  20. IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair] With great discipline, Kreigero didn't take her eyes off of Syrik and Aerus as Savrehn spoke. She was surprisingly lucid, alertly watching for any of their actions. She would thank Savrehn for his input later, if there was a later for both of them. Maybe even thank Atamai for not screwing it up further, if such a thing actually happened. Her lack of elaboration continued unabated.
  21. OOC: Syrik's a Big Guy IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair] The Ko-Matoran was surprised that the Toa wasn't lying about those supplies - perhaps she had misjudg- "Your Hapaka's gone." The huntress had become extremely aware that the Toa was looking to her - no, at her. The urge to shiver increased, but she fought it off with her spirit. She couldn't falter now. Must. stay. strong. Kreigero had tangled with Muaka many times in the past. She knew that apex predators guaranteed their success not just through their raw strength but by choosing their fights when they were certain it would be in their favor. It was known amongst those who roamed the drifts that if a Muaka chose you as its next meal, running away was not an option. Running was a last resort with no chance of success once you were any distance from civilization - the Muaka would always catch up, and the second you ran, you just became an easier, defenseless target. No, the only way to stop the Muaka was to puff your chest, wave your spear, and growl with the spirit of a Kane-Ra - show it that you would not go silently and it would pay dearly for encroaching upon you. Nonetheless, it occurred to Kreigero that she might have made a mistake - was sending Reyal away a show of force, or a sign of weakness? It all depended on how this unusual pair of hermits interpreted it. The more unpredictable of the two, in particular. Syrik had been nearly inscrutable until now and that worried Kreigero more than the frail Matoran who thought he was some kind of genius. "Yes," Kreigero confirmed, treating the Toa with some Ko-Koronan courtesy as she stared at him in a fruitless attempt to judge his reactions and predict his actions. Why does he look almost... pleased? IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall] I gave the next accomplice a nod. Karmine was another Ba-Toa I'd called out of the woodwork - I knew we'd need at least one or someone with a Pakari for moving the goods on this job, but I was particularly please at having both because that opened up so many options in our eventual plan. I knew nothing could prevent Karmine from being on the front lines on the next big fight - when he shifts into a his more rebellious personality I suspected he and Dolbren would become fast friends - and this bloodlust would be very useful since he was going to be taking some of the greater risks in the plan. In fact, he took quite well to it when I gave him the pitch because despite how dangerous it was (or perhaps because of it) his role was the thrillseeker's dream. But that's talking about the plan, I'll get to that later when I get to the part of the story where we actually go through with it and it all goes sideways, buuuuut that's a story for after another glass. Yes. You. Get me one. Don't worry you're not gonna miss the interesting part, you were already here when I told you about Surdo and Baz. Ah yeah, so where was I? The crew was really coming together. While some weren't able to make it (</3 Liacada) we still had more than enough on board to pull it off - barring any unexpected surprises popping up, but... we'll get to that.
  22. IC: Nichou [Ga-Koro, Streets] The Onu-Matoran was considering the options that Ranok was listing when he noticed the musician's entire focus was at something over Nichou's shoulder. He turned around to see what had capture the attention of everyone else nearby - a dragon head sticking out of the water and looking into the Great Takea. "I've never seen that Rahi before... have you?"
  23. OOC: Recommended listening: IC: Quoribay [Ko-Wahi, Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall] So those guys I was talking about? Wasn't long before they started showing up. First was the signature tapping of an acquaintance who hadn't ever seen me before and never would - Skrol. Skrol was a solid pick for this this kind of caper because what he lacked in optics he made up for with crisply precise hearing that was my best shot - short of an Akaku - of finding what I needed once we got in the thick of it. Might be blind as an ice bat and as batty as Nuju was back in the day with all those annoying clicking noises he made, but if it worked, it worked. It helps to have someone on the crew who won't notice your optics rolling. At least, I think he can't. Anyway, he asked me what I had in mind and I was about to give him the rundown when our next puzzle piece walked through the front door with a smile. Dolbren was a prime example of the type of Toa that became commonplace after the First Toa fell but before Makuta bought the farm - easygoing guy with no qualms with kicking ### and looking for a paycheck. Independent contractor type, a real Xa-Koro type beat. In fact, I met him in the closest thing you could consider to Xa-Koro - Ko-Koro under Legacy control. Much like myself he was too savvy to believe the hype of those in charge and sign up to die for Echelon's pride, and we both managed to similarly bug out of town soon as the odds were against it. I'd been around Dol long enough to know he'd see this kind of risk as a challenge - nobody had ever done this before. Well, in this way, at least; there were a few false starts a ways back but they never went anywhere or went bad from the get-go. “You know, I’m glad I’m not late. I don’t know everyone here, and I’d rather make a good first impression. I’m Dolbren—” Ah, reminds me of the good old days, y'know? Not everyone used to be so uptight and 'introspective'. There was a time when we meant what we said and said what we meant, even though we didn't really understand what we were saying or meaning at the time. Not as many straight shooters today. I had that kind of attitude once, actually. You wouldn't believe the hijinks I got up to and how and why I did - but those are stories for another time - I'm nowhere near hammered enough to talk about those first few gigs of mine. That old school charm lifted my spirits - or maybe that was just what the Ba-Toa used his powers for. Oh yeah, as I was saying that he was saying: “—and I’m excited to work with you all. Though I fear you may have the advantage of me; you really weren’t very specific about this plan, Quoribay.” So introduced Dol to the rest of the crew "Dolbren, meet Skrol, our sound guy. Skrol, meet Dolbren. He lifts, among other things." In hindsight I maybe didn't need to point to Minnorak for the sake of introducing him to Skrol. "Minnorak here is our host at Obsidian Outpost who will help me seal the deal with our buyer afterwards, and provide muscle along the way." After racing through their introduction, I got the two of them up to speed rather quickly. "Still expecting a few more, but until they get here, I'll at least tell you the target: a self-propelled cart straight out of Nuparu's wackiest dreams. We steal it and drive away with any other tech goodies Po-Koro's shipping to Forsi." "Now, how do we do that? We'll go over that when the others arrive."
  24. IC: Myhruk [Ta-Koro, Streets] A Su-Lesterin walked the streets of his city. After every intersection his stagger straightened and there was more of a drive behind his steps. Something was different about him. He couldn't shake the feeling himself. Not that anyone paid enough attention to him before to notice such subtleties now. This Lesterin wasn't big on friends - he got the job done and lived his life, any while there was as much living memory and pain in this Lesterin as the next being, it was only lately that he had begun wondering what was next. Times were changing. OOC: Myhruk, open for interaction.
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