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Posts posted by Krayzikk

  1. IC:

    Fear sucked.

    Meant to keep you alive, teach you when to exercise caution. Remind you not to rush in where Light would fear to shine. Fear- natural fear- was just a stimuli, the feeling that made you fight or flee when danger reared its head. Fear could be controlled, fear could be managed, and when you understood it you could make fear work for you. Only the stupid were truly fearless.

    Fear didn't rip into Skri's mind. Terror did.

    In an instant the darkness was closing in on her like a thing alive, threatening to smother her under its weight. It tried to crush her, just like the last time- and this time, it roared deep her in her chest, it would finish the job. Once lucky, little Toa, it snarled. Not twice.  She couldn't breathe. Her muscles trembled, so suddenly and so violently that she bit her tongue when she tried to grit her teeth. Her blade felt so much heavier in her hands, the mottled and shifting patterns on the Rahkshi's carapace seemed to form laughing, monstrous faces that whispered to her that this place would be her tomb. It took every ounce of her strength, of her experience, of her resolve not to flee. Even then, that was it. She couldn't advance. She couldn't spit defiance, couldn't find within her any more strength than to keep her trembling blade between herself and her enemy.

    The Rahkshi was right- she couldn't possibly see the plasma coming this way, not with all the foresight in the world.

    It caught her left shoulder, or maybe a little further in; it was just pain, white hot and searing at the forefront of her brain blocking out all other thought. She gasped, she was dully aware of that, and spat out the bit of blood her tongue had leaked into her mouth. It hit the floor in front of her, bright in the residual glow of the plasma that had passed through her to strike the far stone wall. Her left arm was largely limp, unresponsive to command.

    But her blade wasn't trembling anymore.

    "Nui, I should've stayed in bed today." The Irregular's voice was tight, almost hoarse, but there was no more fear in it. Rather, fear no longer ruled it- pain had leveled that field. The needle had moved to fight, and there was no pushing it back to neutral. Colorful spots played across her vision, between the plasma and whatever the Karz the light weapon the LT'd just pulled out was, but it was focused again. Rage bubbled under the surface, fear pushed too far over the brink into fury, but her mind worked smoothly. Quickly. Detached, just a bit too much, from the woes of her body. "Kay, then."

    Despite how clever the setup, the overgrown bug had missed its best chance to get her in one shot. Plasma was so hot that wherever it hit her was already cauterized, and she wasn't dead yet; that meant she wasn't gonna die in the next minute, either. Small miracles. A vine shot out of the hole in her jacket, coiled itself tightly around her left arm and shot into the dark beyond to wrap around the hilt of her Acurahk staff; when it yanked back, pulling the staff back to her hand, it was almost natural. Only the way the vine lashed around her hand and the body of the staff betrayed the illusion. 

    She took a measured few steps back, pivoting slightly to keep as many of the threats in view as she could and ignoring the ragged hitch to her breath when she 'moved' her arm. She could still 'see' the floor with her pollen, and with a quick bounce of her Pakari-enhanced wrist she choked up on the hilt of her sword for better control despite her single hand.

    "Come on, you ugly bug." She sneered at what, despite its camouflage, she knew to be a Turahk. The tip of her staff beckoned mockingly. "C'mere. Takes a real coward to need a sucker punch like that."


    OOC: Some additional pieces forthcoming, after I check on a few things. To be edited in to this post if no response has come before then.

    • Like 3
  2. On 3/3/2024 at 12:49 PM, Prowl Nightwolf said:

    ((Sorry for Double Posting But...))

    How do I get back into the RP? Been gone for so long I don't remember where I left my characters or what's going on with the story since I left...
    Active I had:
    Po-Matoran Doseki and his Nui-Jaga Scorpio
    Ga-Matoran Orca

    With any luck, it might be easier to sort that out soon. Things have been a little quiet for a while.

    On that point, real life has took precedence for me for a bit. I'll be working on getting caught up throughout the week. There are posts I already know for sure are on my list, but if there's something I'm forgetting as the days go on then let me know!

    • Like 3
  3. IC:

    "We can chat more when Dehkaz is done with you. I've got a couple of questions, when you've got the time." Krayn gestured after the retreating Matoran, mostly with the wrist, and inclined his head slightly to the new Toa to bid him— for the moment— farewell. "Good luck."

    For Praggos and Skyra's bickering, he didn't pay much mind— and he didn't even touch the subject of Luten. He didn't understand it, so he wasn't going to try and explain it. He did dial his ear protection a notch or two lower. He didn't really need to listen to the back-and-forth at that volume.


    • Like 4
  4. IC:

    What the Nui was this guy's problem he just took a hundred volts this is—

    The wire, taut and softened by heat, parted under Karmine's blade. The Sentinel's own muscles were coiled tight, ready to spring, but she didn't move. Didn't act. Caught between two priorities, Ruki bounced on the balls of her feet hesitantly. This lunatic couldn't hurt her— a Hau was the ultimate, perfect defense. She chose it for that reason. Standing around here being immovable didn't stop this guy, though, and he didn't have much regard for his own life.

    A big piece of her wanted to just electrify the flooring. Hit them all with zap enough to knock 'em  out and let the Sarge sort 'em out. But there were friendlies, civilians, and the voltage to drop that Toa without seriously harming a Matoran was... Iffy. Just too chancy. It wasn't the Sentinel way. Wasn't the Toa way.

    "Alright, creep, if that's how you're gonna play it," Ruki hissed, flexing gloved fingers deliberately and balling her hands into fists. The uneven, flickering lights— still resolving their surplus charge from what had grounded out into the flooring—  caught gleaming nodes on each of her fingers. "Let's play, then."

    The Sentinel came in low and she came in fast, right fist headed for her enemy's sternum.

    @Tarn@Jesse Pinkman


    "What favor is he doing you?" The Lesterin's brows furrowed, even more confused— and troubled— than before. She didn't bother to point out that his companion's 'rancid' manners were already aimed with lethal intentions.


    OOC: Additional posts for @oncertainty and @Vezok's Friend regarding Nota coming soon, along with a post for the folks at the back of the train. Wanted to get what I had done already posted first.

    • Like 4
  5. IC:

    "You're not quite that lucky," Something in Krayn's tone took on just a small hint of amusement; like there was a joke he was in on, and Jolek wasn't. Not just yet. "You're still junior to almost everybody here. You might not have been a very good guard, but that doesn't mean you're all set to be a good Aggressor yet either. But I expect we can fix that pretty quick."


    • Like 2
  6. IC:

    "Only person I answer to is the Captain." He said simply while Skyra handed Jolek a cup of water. "In the Gukko Force, I answered to my boss all the way up the line to Captain Kongu. And I was pretty independent as officers go. The group is mostly autonomous by design, so while we ultimately answer to the Koros that isn't a day to day concern."

    Especially not if they traveled as far as he suspected they might.


    • Like 2
  7. IC:

    Krayn suppressed a flicker of irritation at how Jolek talked about the job. It wasn't really anger at the other Toa personally, he knew himself well enough to recognize that. It was... not quite pride, but in the vicinity. He didn't like that the Sentinels had revived the name. He didn't like that the previous head wasn't in charge, even though he understood all the reasons why not— and suspected Dehkaz disliked them even more than he did.

    Whether it was their right or not it didn't sit well with him. It was disrespectful, dismissive, of the work they had accomplished as a team to apply the name to a new initiative with so many new members. And without so many old.

    None of which, however, had anything to do with their newest recruit.

    "Then you're in the right place." The Toa said finally. "I'm sure that somewhere there's an official mandate, but the purpose is to go find trouble before it ever gets the chance to find us. It's officially a joint, inter-Koro effort. If the locals will forgive me saying so, though, we work off of the Fowadi. Which is a Sentinels ship. Her crew are mostly Sentinels. The Captain is a Sentinel, so's the first mate. It really just means that the other villages agreed to let Po-Koro borrow people for detached service."

    @Razgriz@Snelly@otter@The UltimoScorp

    • Like 2
  8. IC:

    "Happily," she said, stepping onto the gangplank that lead down to the dock at which the Shinushya— rather than Gilded Dragon, as she had supplied to the dock officer— was berthed. The Menti set foot on the dock with some unconscious hesitation— no matter how much her mind understood that it was stable, strange though it seemed, her body expected it to give and shift underfoot like a floating plank. It gave some, yes, but that was down to the natural pliancy of the vegetation. It shifted under her feet no more than a crystalline dock would have at home.

    "Firstly I wish to see for myself the disposition of my people. I need to see the state of their ships, feel their state of mind upon the mental plane to understand their mood. Ga-Koro, on the other hand, is supposed to possess the largest navy that this island has. I want to see it for myself. I expect to visit this village regularly, so it makes the most sense to become familiar with it, yes?

    @Jesse Pinkman

    • Like 1
  9. IC:

    "You're not," Krayn said frankly, matching pressure with pressure. The other Toa, close up, was clearly a younger man. It was in his voice as much as his face. Energy, ungoverned by the care or caution that came with even a few more years of life. But there was no deception to it. Aside from a— very passing— recollection that Dehkaz might have said something about a new recruit, he could hear it. He was an officer, a detective, with years of time on the job and he was a Toa of Sonics. Every little subtle inflection in the kid's— Jolek's— voice he could hear. It wasn't the infallible detection of a Rode, especially not without more of a background to compare it to, but it was close.

    If the kid was lying, he was the best liar in history.

    "You made enough of a scene that he'll be along when he's ready. If he offered you a job it'd be here, as part of..." The name tasted somehow unpleasant. "The Aggressors. What do you want explained?"


    • Like 3
  10. IC:

    "Everybody relax."

    He didn't raise his voice a decibel, but something in his tone cut through the growing tension. A little detour in the conversation was winding everyone tighter and tighter, no one more than the newcomer. Why he was expecting a fight to start Krayn couldn't say but he could see it. The way he was tracking everyone around him, noting every sound. Skyra hadn't meant anything by it but he'd ratcheted up a few more notches once she took a circuit.

    "Dehkaz is the captain. Probably in his office, or up by the helm." He gestured, mostly from the elbow, in that direction and held out his right hand. There was no disguising the way his coat shifted, revealing a glimpse of leather belts and holsters underneath. Ta-Koro was too hot to have it buttoned. But unless he was completely brainless he could tell a greeting from a threat. "I'm Krayn. Have a name?"

    @Snelly@otter@The UltimoScorp@Razgriz

    • Like 3
  11. IC:

    Rockwall had been fairly familiar, albeit populated by the strange and unknown. A coastal installation overseen by a military installation, docks, some small luxuries that grew up around any sailing village. Ga-Koro was at once more familiar than that and utterly alien. The waters were full- clogged, really, with the crystalline ships of the Dasaka. The local marines were working overtime to try and keep them organized, prevent collisions and generally avoid a maritime disaster. The flow of refugees on top of that required some kind of intake, medical attention, food... All the basic needs that a mass exodus over a nearly uncharted sea would have lacked. A foreign people required interfacing with the locals, the processing overseen by both marines and imperial Menti.

    A true coastal village- nearly a city- should have been even more familiar than the Rockwall. But in truth the sheer... Absurdity of it was enough to strain even Kiyaku's capable imagination. The whole village was built atop floating pads of vegetation, not unlike the water lilies commonly found in gardens across the archipelago. They were immense. One could hold a home, maybe even multiple, some held even larger structures. Where a single pad, however large, wasn't quite enough multiple had been gathered together. Similarly organic bridges connected the pads, and organic material composed the structures as well! The village held more green upon the water than almost anywhere back home on the land.

    She allowed herself, for a few minutes, to take in that alien landscape from the deck of her ship.

    Not that it had sailed towards the village under its own colors; it had not sailed to the village in its previous guise, either. The Umbralines would be here in force. It would only take one informed enough busybody to wonder why they had never heard of one of their clan's own ships, or her captain. No, the Shinushya had traded in her Umbraline livery for that of the Eiyu. Aligned with the Umbraline, but secluded enough to raise no questions among most of the refugees. In all likelihood, they wouldn't even have noticed. They had spent so long adrift, desperate, it would be the last thing on their minds.

    But it never paid to be careless.

    "Ela?" Kiyaku asked aloud, tearing her eyes away from the scene. The Menti, yet again, seemed to wear a different skin than before. Ela had been aboard for a handful of days, enough time to be introduced to the crew and travel to Ga-Koro, but in that time Kiyaku had never looked exactly the same twice. Recognizable, perhaps, but her features and build were a little different each time. "Would you accompany me into the village proper?"

    @Morgan Yu

    • Like 4
  12. IC:

    "Depends if he knows how to throw anything other than luggage." He'd shifted position a little, lifting his right leg to brace his foot on the railing. It wasn't nearly as difficult as it looked; the forces wanted to pull his body that way anyway. All he had to do was make sure his foot was hooked properly and allow, just for a second, that pull to gain a little ground. Much stronger position to keep. "Not sure yet, Luten."

    It really didn't take long to pull him in. The grappling gauntlet was meant to pull things in fast, even with the extra resistance from the water. It was a matter of moments before the swimming Toa was dangling against the hull, another moment before he was at the railing. The Toa's hands were on the cord, naturally keeping it from retracting the whole way, so he took the Toa's wrist and heaved him over the railing pretty easily. He was a little denser than Krayn was, but the relative mass didn't matter nearly so much without the winching mechanism involved.

    "Evening, there," He said, tone reasonable, to the dripping Toa. "Something we can do for you?"

    @otter@Razgriz@The UltimoScorp

    • Like 3
  13. IC:

    "You know, thought I'd see what I caught."

    For a second Krayn throught he would have to reevaluate the Toa's intelligence. What in Nui's name was he waiting for? He was about to shout when the idea seemed to register, and the swimmer grabbed the hook and gave two distinct tugs.

    "Grapple's going to do most of the work," he answered, double-checking his foot's purchase beneath the cleat before he triggered the reel-in. He wasn't concerned about the weight, the only challenge was that he was supposed to be the object remaining stationary. He would have liked to brace on the railing with his left, but... His arm didn't hang uselessly at his side, but it did remain purposeless. It wouldn't help. "Just make sure I don't go over instead. Lunatic weighs more than I do right now, I think."

    @otter @Razgriz

    • Like 5
  14. IC:

    He's really trying it.

    His Pakari throw— for that was clearly it— wasn't perfect, but with such an improvised payload it was a little impressive that it reached the deck at all. Not that some of the sailors nearly clobbered by it agreed. For a village so new to sailing they nailed how a sailor spoke very quickly. Maybe Ember's work? In any case, with his belongings aboard the lunatic— he'd had too much success to simply dismiss as stupid— dove in with equal strength.

    Despite his time aboard Krayn was not an experienced sailor. He'd asked once how fast the Fowadi could move and the answer had been unintelligible. Why a ship needed to be measured differently than anything else was beyond him, but rather than solve the mystery he was content to leave sailing to the experts. Close enough to shore with objects for reference, though, and he could eyeball the speed just fine. This Toa was moving fast, father than he could in the water. Not as fast as a Kakama would allow but sheer force, it seemed, behind each stroke made a difference.

    He'd taken too long, though. It was only a few moments of indecision at the end of the dock but Krayn suspected those moments to be crucial. The Fowadi, unlike this desperate swimmer, was still accelerating. Without thinking too hard about it Krayn slipped his foot underneath one of the cleats on deck; it was meant for tying things down in the event of a storm, but it'd hook on his foot just fine. Strictly speaking whoever this was shouldn't be allowed on board while underway, especially not without clearance. But if Dehkaz really didn't want him on board, they could just drop him back.

    He released a short length of slack and swung the hook in circles to build momentum while he watched, and waited, for the point that the Toa would get closest to the ship before it began to pull away.

    Not quite.

    Not yet.


    He released the hook, casting it out at the sea with every bit of precision his Sanok allowed. It'd make contact with the water an arms length ahead.


    • Like 3
  15. IC:


    "You know, I do believe he's going for it."

    Krayn almost didn't realize he'd spoken out loud, so caught up was he with a sudden curiosity. He had been watching the coast, what little of it there was to look at. It was still a part of Mata Nui, and he had been dwelling on the great journey that loomed ahead far out into the Endless Ocean. Far away from home. The gray Toa there on the docks had only caught his attention as a matter of habit; Krayn had watched him look to the sea, to the village, and back enough times to recognize someone trying to make a decision.

    What he hadn't expected was the Toa to turn and sprint like Makuta himself was hot on his heels.

    Was he really trying to catch the ship? That was his best idea? He wasn't wearing a Kakama, or he'd have made it already. Curiosity, and a little amusement, brought his focus into the present more than anything else. He shook his sleeve a little, a motion he'd been practicing, to make sure it was clear of his new grappling hook. He thought maybe he would have to go fishing, soon.

    See what he caught.



    • Like 5
  16. IC:

    Science scoffs at the concept of 'ancestral memory'. It was one of the dumbest opinions the scientific community held, which in Nikolai's considered opinion was saying something. No, the memories of his great-great-grandfather or whatever weren't buried in his DNA. But certain responses were hardwired into the human nervous system, responses understood before anything else. Over however many ridiculous thousands of years humanity had evolved its most basic, fundamental operating system for the most sophisticated organic computer ever created. Instinct. What is an instinct except the memory of the survivors?

    He'd be long dead, even with a Spartan's lifespan, before he knew what instincts the survivors passed on from the war with the Covenant. But he knew what his were saying— screaming— when he came face to face with Madrigal's Sangheilli representative.

    Markov didn't really hold grudges. It wasn't professional, and they only get you dead. But for his entire life— nearly— the Sangheilli had been dedicated to the eradication of humanity. Not to their defeat, not to their surrender, but to their extinction. It wasn't personal; it couldn't be when your enemy was an entire species. But it sure felt personal when the dust settled.

    "Miss 'Sakuai," He greeted, remembering the unfamiliar glottal stop that preceded the surname. He couldn't be certain what his face had looked like for just a moment, there, when his first impulse tried to take control; but he schooled it now into a friendly, casual looking smile. The hand that had drifted a few bare inches towards his holstered Magnum he extended in greeting rather than draw attention to what his instinct had been by moving it away. "Don't think I've had the pleasure."

    @sunflower@Vezok's Friend

    • Like 2
  17. IC:

    "Don't trust people who make that much more than I do."

    Banter aside, it was the God's honest truth. Nikolai knew who Vasquez meant as well as she did. Markov was a reformed troublemaker; he didn't go poking around places he wasn't supposed to be, snooping out files he shouldn't see, or squeezing information he wasn't supposed to have out of unsuspecting marks. Much. But that instinct didn't go away, and he wasn't the only person to be able to add two and two and realize they don't make five. Office of Naval Intelligence didn't always have the same priorities as everybody else. Spartan Program timelines were a big one, but not the only one. And after the war, that business he saw on Sangheilios...

    Point was, being on the side of the angels (and he wasn't prepared to say humanity was) didn't make you an angel. ONI was no angel. Some— even a lot— of what they did was necessary. But they had their priorities, and Nik had his. They didn't always line up. Even when they did there could be a string attached. He tapped his helmet against the plating on his thigh, unconsciously emphasizing the point to himself. ONI hadn't been displeased enough when he turned 'em down. And ONI's point man back when he was a 'jumper bringing him his 'graduation gift' after passing Spartan Ops' training? He could see the hook buried in that bait a mile away. But they didn't have to hide it, either. They knew he wouldn't turn it down before he even saw it.

    Angel or demon, good or bad, ONI kept the other demons at the door. Their one, inalienable priority above all else. He'd take whatever weapon they handed him, and they knew it. He just hoped he wouldn't regret that hook in his mouth.

    "Mad's a Halberd, right? They used to squeeze two squadrons of Nandaos in the hangar during the war. OF-9's not even a quarter the size. They've gotta still have that second Pelican in inventory." He scratched at his stubble thoughtfully. "We rigged one up on remote during New Alexandria. LOCUS'll take its HUD feed just fine. We set it up before we go I could probably guide it over once we pacify anybody on board. Won't do nothing fancy but all I gotta do is get it from hangar to hangar."

    @Vezok's Friend

    • Like 1
  18. IC:

    "Well, I haven't risked throwing up the galley's food for a while. I figure I'm due."

    Nik flashed an easy grin at the (slightly more) senior and (slightly) shorter Spartan to his left. He hadn't personally worked with her before Madrigal but she was alright in his books. They were all Spartans now and that spoke well for 'em but what they were before held a lot more sway with him. Vasquez was a 'jumper before she'd ever been a Spartan, and that was a standard to respect. Something was bugging her a little, though. Mixed crew, maybe? Nah, with a Valk probably...

    "I find anybody with a hole in 'em I'll keep 'em from leaking too bad before you get there, doc." He grinned again, then tilted his head a couple degrees. "Are you thinking this crew's as weird a mix as I am?"

    @Vezok's Friend

    • Like 3
  19. IC:

    Leave it to the Covvies to be this inconsiderate.

    With no way of knowing when their target would arrive Madrigal had been maintaining fifty percent watch since entering the system. That was a standard week where half the crew was on duty at all times, and the other half was only off duty to sleep. That was only a step below general quarters, rather than the usual shift rotation in place on any UNSC vessel. If the crew was feeling it, that went double for the lunatics who'd be out on boarding action soon.

    Not quite the same way. Nikolai had done this before, and it used to be much worse. As a trooper he'd been awake 'cause of enough stims to set his teeth on edge, hanging in there until the adrenaline kicked in and banished the last traces of fatigue. Spartans were— quite literally— built differently. Minimal sleep didn't pose an issue. It did leave him feeling a little scruffy. Seven days with minimal downtime hadn't really left any time to shave, and it was enough time to leave him with a little stubble. No one was gonna see it once his helmet was on and it didn't hold a candle to how a trooper might have looked during the war, it was just a little... Irritating.

    Well, no. That wasn't really true. In the grand scheme of things he wouldn't've cared if he went out there with marker drawn on his face. But complaining about the enemy's timing was a time-honored and familiar tradition, just like the preparations he was going through. It didn't matter that he'd done them every day for a week. He did a brass check. He made sure not one of his firearms had developed a jam. He checked his sight alignments. Smooth, efficient, precise. No, he was complaining to keep his mind off the one— well, two— things that just weren't quite right. There'd be two members of the mission that used to be Covenant, up until war's end.

    It was like a pebble in his shoe.

    It was just about showtime, though. Magnum, carbine, and combat knife found their magnetic strips again and Spartan Markov rose to his full height. He tucked his helmet under his arm and headed for the hangar.

    • Like 4
  20. Markov 2.0, some changes so new post.


    Name: Nikolai Markov

    Species: Human

    Gender: Male

    Age: 29

    Appearance: Before three weeks vacation at a little bed and breakfast on Mars, Nik Markov had been a little taller than your average grunt and built lithe. Skinnier than you’d really expect for special forces, not that you could tell when he was suited up to dive feet first into . Now he’s only really lithe if you stand him next to another Spartan and at 6’10” he’s taller than even many other IVs. For his old squadmates it’s a bit like talking to a tree trunk, not that he noticed during the PT to get used to his new frame. The Spartan IV augmentations gave him a whole new lease on life with combat capabilities that could extend well into the next century, but they didn’t do anything to hide a lifetime of injuries big and small. Outside his armor, Nik’s hands are calloused and pockmarked by well-healed scars. Without a shirt you could see similar marks across his body, along with a pale line tracing a path across his shoulder and the skull-and-comet tattoo on the left side of his chest.


    As much as some things change, though, plenty stays the same. It might be almost a foot higher than it was but Nik’s face definitely stayed the same. Pale skin, sharp facial features, and deep green eyes could easily look unfriendly (especially with his new build) but they’re softened by a friendly, irreverent demeanor. He smiles a lot more than you’d expect from an ODST, let alone a Spartan. Nik keeps a clean shave aside from the occasional five o’clock shadow depending on how busy he’s been, and his brown hair is kept medium length though not always tidy. 

    Rank: Spartan

    Personality: Friendly, laidback, self-assured, and easygoing; all of the words you would not expect to apply to someone who’s been among the most effective operatives in the UNSC for the better part of a decade. But nine times out of ten, before his augmentation, Nik’s first impressions ran contrary to preconceptions. That’s a lot harder now, but he would say all the more important for it. Don’t want to become as frightening to the guys on your side as the ones against, you know? In another time and place he would have lived a pretty peaceful life, but born five years into the Human-Covenant war didn’t leave many options. It’s when he becomes focused, on whatever has his attention, that it becomes clear why he is where he is. Nikolai can be driven in the extreme when he sets his mind to something, and considers success an inescapable fact. It’s only a matter of how you have to get there.


    Nonetheless Nikolai is more capable and much more intelligent than he tends to let on despite his informal education, and maintains the utmost respect for his colleagues and peers. He never had the institutional distaste for the Spartans his fellow ODSTs tended towards, maybe because ONI had been using them to boost morale by the time he joined the outfit. He does, however, have an intense and occasionally problematic mistrust of former Covenant species and soldiers. Nothing that discipline doesn’t curb, but the Martian finds it difficult to remember that they were trying to kill him for his entire life.

    Background: Nikolai Markov was born on June 19th 2529 on Mars, and knew nothing but war until it ended. Papers will probably be written about the psychological impact of growing up under the shadow of a war for survival on such a massive scale, but Nik didn’t understand any of it. But he grew up scared because in the shipbuilders’ neighborhood he was raised everyone was scared. Under the weight of such existential dread the young man acted out, getting into all sorts of trouble. Nothing serious, Nik was a good kid at heart. But he would break into places he wasn’t supposed to, get access to information he wasn’t supposed to have, anything he could do to benignly try and draw attention to himself. It went on for years, until he broke into a supposedly secure office (and server) at his local UNSC office and nearly got himself a juvenile record.


    Cutting it that close finally nudged him a few degrees back onto the straight and narrow, and more importantly finally gave him a focus. On June 19th 2547 Nikolai Markov enlisted in the UNSC Navy. After a long night of celebrating, drinking, and saying goodbye to the neighborhood he grew up in he shipped out to UNSCN basic training the next day. Almost on day one he lobbied for a shot at the grueling, volunteer-only recruitment process for the renowned Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. About two years later he got it. No matter how tough he expected it to be he couldn’t have prepared himself for the reality. The training was designed to push him to the absolute limit, and it succeeded. Not everyone who applied made it. His own standards and the humiliation of being Returned to Unit kept him going and at the course’s end Nik was among its graduates. Then-PFC Nikolai Markov was initially assigned to the 105th Shock Troopers Division, serving under a former special forces marksman for his first few drops. He showed a real knack for sabotage and reconnaissance, remembering his youth and gathering any additional information from behind and between enemy lines that wasn’t nailed down. His career brought him to the defense of New Alexandria during the Fall of Reach, and later operations during the Battle for Earth that truly proved his mettle.


    At the war’s end a good many problems still needed the none-too-gentle touch of an ODST fireteam, and Nik was happy to oblige. Many of those solutions took a liberal application of black ink and Nik found himself co-opted by ONI’s own plans on occasion. Four years after the war’s end, the Office of Naval Intelligence offered to put his talents to permanent use. A free ride through university, and a guaranteed job with a hefty security clearance attached. Spartan Operations, around the same time, offered him a chance at augmentation. The choice wasn’t hard.

    Equipment: A charcoal suit of Helljumper armor topped by a LOCUS helmet rounds out Nikolai’s only permanent set of equipment. At least according to Madrigal’s registry system. The suit manifestly is not the armor it is registered as, bearing no manufacturers’ markings, no serial number, and a blackboxed BIOS. Whatever its origin the suit— labeled ‘Recluse’ in its interface— is built to the GEN2 standard, with signs of upgrading towards the GEN3 standard under development. A M6H2 Tactical Magnum is usually attached to the magnetic strip on his right thigh, with several extended magazines stored on his person, but his primary (or tertiary) equipment rotates depending upon mission specifications. The helmet’s passive cyberintrusion package, battlenet cache, and multiple video feeds make for unparalleled battlefield awareness. What his linked teammates see, he sees and through skill or assistance he parses that information into the context of his own person.

    Nikolai travels light; eleven years service makes it an ingrained habit. His armor, his sidearm, and personal effects that can fit into a UNSC standard locker. The only other items he brought aboard with him are a Brute Spiker and a Sangheilli energy sword, both of which are kept in his locker rather than prepared for active duty. Not like he could reload the Spiker anyway, could he?

    Skills: Nikolai excels in neutralizing hostile entities and hostile technology, by force or subterfuge. The former is really pretty simple. Nik’s first ODST fireteam leader drilled the unit on marksmanship endlessly, and it stuck. He’s versed in the operation and proficient in the use of almost all UNSC firearms, and he was a crack shot before augmentation. After undergoing the procedures it would be more notable if he missed. The latter is more nuanced; Nik has spent his professional career building on the intrusion skills he learned as a youth, and may be among the better cyberintrusion specialists in his current branch of service by now. His armor assists, of course, but the Martian has a certain innate knack for turning enemy or unaligned electronics to suit his own purposes. And after a stint doing asymmetrical warfare as an ODST, a learned proficiency for simply blowing up resources he can’t utilize. 

    Flaws: As dedicated and effective an operative as he is, Nikolai has two evident flaws. His mistrust of the Elites and other species formerly a part of the Covenant and an unrelenting perfectionist streak. For all his laidback mannerisms Nikolai allows himself no slack or quarter and it impacts his ability to effectively delegate tasks that don’t require his personal attention. Any failures become personal failures, and personal failures he struggles to let go of. As a former enlisted man he also is of minimal use on the bridge of a ship, or in the operation of small craft. He can fly a Pelican in a pinch, but don’t expect an air show. He’s used to gravity doing the work for him, what do you really expect?

    • Like 1
  21. GM IC:


    Gravity reasserting itself is never fun. Sentinel training included, at least once, experiencing what it's like to have gravity messed with. One of the most fundamental forces in the world, and a small but significant number of people could mess around with it. It's disorienting, it's nauseating, it just plain sucks. When it comes back you wind up smacked onto the floor. Which is exactly what happened.

    There wasn't much time for the Hau, and it wouldn't have helped. She hit the deck, catching herself on her other forearm to avoid breaking her nose on the floor. 

    Hey! Could you keep it down?! We can’t hear ourselves think! Thank you.

    "You're welcome," She grumbled instinctively— before realizing she was being thanked by one of the troublemakers. Nui, that wasn't a great look. "Ugh."

    Karmine got a reprieve for the moment. The whole car was metal, avoiding shocking the wrong person was easy when all the lightning needed was a little nudge. With him in the air it crackled dangerously between his feet and the surface— probably inflicting tissue damage on said soles, electricity was rough— but it slowed and abated. The Toa was still essentially tethered by the chain now partially melted onto his arm.

    "Sir, this is your final warning." She snarled. "I have no desire to kill you. But the next shock'll be for effect."

    @Morgan Yu@Tarn


    Yup, someone was definitely down there. The grunt followed by an impact spoke to that. However... Nota reached out with his element, searching for the telltale magnetic affinity found on the gear used everywhere on the island. Inside of the space between cars it should have been easy to spot. But it wasn't, and that meant his quarry was no longer in that space. The Mahi's metal skin made it possible for him to traverse it, but it also made those traces of affinity much harder to spot. Consciously or not he'd been camouflaged.

    So he was forced to resort to his brain.

    He didn't see him move back to the next car, or fall off. Both would have been visible. He'd have heard if he opened the entrance to the car below. So he clung, in some manner, to one of the three sides of the car adjacent. Ahead, by the door, or to the left or right. Figuring that out got a lot easier when the Vortixx— Kohra— shouted a question. He could see where she was looking.

    So the Sergeant lowered himself down, magnetizing his hands as well as his feet to the surface, and crept slowly towards the edge. Stay low, assess, then act.

    @Void Emissary@oncertainty@Vezok's Friend


    "You're committing a felony as a favor?" The Lesterin looked confused, troubled. She lowered her voice conspiratorially when the Skakdi came back, shooting worried looks towards the engine. "Baz, that crazy Toa's trying to kill people."


    • Like 6
  22. IC:

    "Appreciate that, ma'am," The Sergeant said solemnly, without condescension. "Don't really like people getting hurt doin' my job, though. Appreciate it if you could make your back to the back of the carriage and proceed into the second passenger car where—"

    A loud groaning, creaking sound drew his ear. The Toa's head snapped towards the rear of the train. The Sentinels' presence was, most of the time, a safeguard against disaster. Or at least a first response to it. When he trained for this assignment the boss arranged for a demonstration of most of the many, many things that could go wrong and none of them were good. Not when you could hear them from the outside.

    "Sorry, miss, bigger fish. Your grip will hold for a couple minutes." The Sergeant crouched, a coiled spring ready to go, and added. "Please expedite your trip inside, and keep yourself and the other passengers safe. We'll make it up to all of you. Somehow."

    He pushed off, loosely oriented towards the rear of the Mahi, and let physics take over. Stuck to the train, identical speed. In the air? Wind resistance slowed him faster than the train. A little magnetic repulsion to keep him off the surface, reverse the charge, and— He landed nimbly at the rear of the second passenger car, stuck easily to its surface on three points. Low and controlled. Whatever was going wrong down here, it was probably between these cars.

    So poke it with a stick.

    A dagger off his belt, flipped once in the hand, and tossed underhand down into the gap between the cars. See what happened.

    @Vezok's Friend@oncertainty


    "No, no, of course not! No." The Lesterin smiled shakily, sheepishly. "Does... Does that pay well? Being a bodyguard?"



    The sound she made, yanked off her feet, was perhaps less the rough and tumble Sentinel and more like... She wouldn't call it a squeak. Certainly not. But it might have sounded kind of started, followed by a little nausea as gravity suddenly changed. Not nearly enough to keep her from activating her mask and avoiding a meeting with the roof, though the Hau still had to do business with physics; she let out a little oof when her acceleration stopped suddenly.

    "Well, color me shocked." She hissed with the smell of ozone in the air. Karmine might— might— have had a split second to spy the copper inside the chain before the whole length became electrified. It didn't even have to be directed; the enemy Toa was the fastest, most efficient path to the ground. Not enough voltage to kill— she was a Sentinel, and a Toa at that— but more than enough to leave him a scorched, convulsing mess on the engine room floor.

    @Tarn@Morgan Yu


    The two stowaways, emerging from their hiding place, found themselves in a cargo car. Enormous shock. Rows of crates, stacked in an orderly fashion on racks if they were small and on the floor otherwise. Labeled, tied down, and secured for the trip. If they could see that far— no one was anticipated to be in the cargo hold on a regular sort of basis, and no one wanted to be easy to rob. There were no windows, only regularly spaced lights high on the walls to illuminate the space. They cast long, irregular shadows between the crates and pallets.

    They were also, for the moment, alone.


    • Like 6
  23. GM IC:

    "Kohra," The Sergeant drawled slowly, tilting his head just a fraction of a degree. "Well that definitely sounds like our boys. Yes ma'am, I'd say I'm the help. First thing's first. You alright?"

    @Vezok's Friend


    "Very bad." The Lesterin agreed shakily. "Um, what's your name? If you can tell me. Might be... Be a little more comfortable, you know?"




    "Assault with intent," The Toa's voice might have quavered for just a moment, watching five metal diskettes bounce off of the shield before her. Each impact triggered a quick ripple across the invisible spherical surface, bright and shimmering. Whatever hesitation there might have been eroded quickly with each word filling up with energy and resolve. She was a Sentinel, there were standards to live up to! "No further warnings required per Article II. Surrender, or I will utilize whatever force required!"

    The Sentinel shook her wrist, loosening a length of fine linked chain threaded through with copper. She flicked it at Karmine, a small, dense weight at the end visible for just a second, and the chain shot forth like a striking serpent...

    And wrapped itself unerringly, impossibly, around the outstretched wrist and forearm that held Karmine's weapon. The links constricted painfully tight, an iron grip on the other Toa's arm.

    @Tarn@Morgan Yu


    OOC: Post for the rear of the train in a bit for you guys, @~Xemnas~and @BULiK. That'll take me a little longer.

    • Like 5
  24. 1 hour ago, Vezok's Friend said:

    IC: [Kohra - Iron Mahi, First Passenger Car]


    The Vortixx was half on her back, half on her side, clawed hand clinging to a vent of some kind to not slip off. It took her a moment to realize she wasn’t alone. The Toa standing over her appeared skewed and upside down from her position. Her response came as a strained groan:


    “Sitrep…what…who are you? You with those brakas back there?”


    She really didn’t need another one trying to get in her way.


    OOC: @Krayzikk


    "Situation report," The Toa enunciated, slowly and patiently. A quick twitch of his fingers secured the Vortixx more readily to the roof- magnets were pretty nifty- and he gestured with the same finger to the roof below his feet. "Been a son of a Brakas before, but I don't think I've been associated lately. Sarge Nota, Sentinels, here to thump some bad guys."

    "If you could point 'em out, that'd sure make it easier Miss...?"



    The Iron Mahi's engine isn't as big as you might think. Rather, the engine is exactly as big as you think but the room for its engineers is rather smaller. Most of what would be useful space on a passenger or cargo car is taken up by the Mahi's engine itself, leaving a control room a little less than half the length of a standard car and only about three quarters as wide. Little hatches and alcoves, accesses to service spaces for the Mahi, dotted the walls and floor. The far wall consisted almost entirely of controls and gauges.

    Except, of course, for the Toa of Lightning standing between the intruders and there.

    "Halt!" She pointed accusingly. "This area is off limits to passengers. Return to your seats!"

    @Tarn@Perp@Morgan Yu

    • Like 6
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