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"Call this a fortress? I've seen sand castles that could be broken into less efficiently than this."The seductive quip slithered through the air like a Doom Viper, ensnaring the ears of those who still had the brain activity necessary to hear it: the number of people who fit into this category could be counted rather easily on one hand. More specifically, two fingers: in a matter of thirty seconds, Lariska had utterly obliterated the life forces of the dozen or so "highly trained" Brotherhood "operatives" that stood guard over the armory."Uh, boss," one of the grunts (which, really, was the most adept word that could be given to these lower-level pigs; recruiting standards for the Dark Hunters had fallen substantially since the murders of Nidhiki and Krekka) said. "Your boss said that we should avoid any un...unnece..unnisisiri..."Lariska snorted derisively in laughter: to her chagrin, Thing 1 and Thing 2 laughed with her, though the confused looks on their faces betrayed the fact that they didn't know why they were laughing."Unnecessary deaths," finished the erudite Dark Hunter. "The boss wanted us to avoid any unnecessary deaths. Add that term to your lexicon, big guy. It might come in handy some day."The Dark Hunter would have scratched his head if he weren't carrying a double-barrel shotgun. That was something Lariska couldn't deny, as much as she wanted to; these two muscle-bound Toa of Iron were no doubt going to come in handy. Their target was ruthless, yet sneaky, educated to be nothing more than a shadow amongst shadows, unable to be seen unless you weren't looking for her. In short, she was the worst kind of opponent, and for that, they'd need the big guns. Unfortunately, the only people qualified enough to carry the biggest guns were the biggest morons."Is a lexicon like a new type of gun or something?" asked Thing 2, his dull drone boring into Lariska's brain like a hammer. Not for the first time, she contemplated killing these two invalids, but no. Better to let the mark do that for her; it meant less paperwork, and red tape was the last thing she wanted to cut through after a job like this. Ever since the Brotherhood had so stupidly seduced the Dark Hunters into a war they both knew would inevitably end in a stalemate, there had been enough red tape to deal with."Just...just forget it," she growled through gritted teeth; the primal look, when combined with the taut and seductive posture her body gave off when tensed and full of adrenaline and bloodlust, gave her a Kavinika-like demeanor. The silent threat that the dark and dangerous bounty hunter gave off was lost on Thing 1 and Thing 2. "Let's just reload in here and then move. Her room is on the third floor, and sunset's in twenty minutes. I want her dead by the time the moon ascends.""Hey, boss! When this is over with, can we go buy a couple lexicons and start shooting people with them?" said poor, excitable Thing 2 with a stupid grin on his doughy face. The childlike glee did nothing to improve his looks: if anything, the tidal waves of fat and muscle that pushed east and west over the lines of his face as he smiled only helped to make him look more pig-like. "I'm sure the boss won't mind!"Lariska couldn't help but give a dry sob and pluck a pistol from the wall. ***** "Have you come to make an example of me?"Lariska laughed as the target sat up a bit straighter, began to feel the air around her and stretch, began to search for a weapon to use. The Dark Hunter was not fooled: this woman was prepared, much moreso than she was willing to let on, and she was dangerous. Dangerous enough to make Lariska think that three Dark Hunters might not have been enough..."Hello, Roodaka," she said, betraying none of her own private insecurities about this mission. "It's been a rather long while, hasn't it? I seem to recall you turning one of your best instructors into a glorified Fikou.""Obviously, this can only mean you need better instructors," said the Vortixx, spinning around in her chair and trying not to smirk at the two bags of flesh flanking Lariska. "And better enforcers. I mean...really, Lariska? Tweedledee and Tweedledum couldn't capture a fly with a force field."Thing 1's face contorted in confused fury: the look was not a flattering one, even to his partner, who looked at him with slanted eyes and a slack jaw."I think she just called us dumb!" Thing 1 yelled indignantly, charging forward. Roodaka smirked and stood up to meet him. She was surprisingly tall, almost meeting the Dark Hunter's eyes; her smirk and his roar, however, were a fleeting, momentary study in contrasts. The emphasis rested on the word fleeting, as Roodaka brought her fist up immediately into Thing 1's jaw and smiled innocently as a hidden blade underneath her sleeve jutted through Thing 1's head. His brain was cut in half, the skull completely decimated by the velocity of the blade shooting forward: death came for the brute in two seconds flat. Lariska raised an eyebrow, impressed against her will; Thing 2 tried to mimic the action, but only succeeded in sending a roll of fat shooting across his forehead like an Airship through a chute. He drew his gun, ready to fire a bullet into her, but Roodaka whipped the dagger out of her sleeve and threw it with Sanok-like precision, sending it zooming right into the Dark Hunter's aorta. Thing 2 stumbled back in shock, touching at the dagger with widened eyes."I...I should have brought a lexicon," he managed to grunt, before his life's blood bubbled up in his throat and began to cut off the air flow. Lariska watched as Thing 2 dropped to the ground in the same manner as his partner, and then looked up to Roodaka, giving the Vortixx the courtesy of a slow clap."Very good," she drawled, as the two began to circle each other like alpha males fighting over domination of their pack. "I was half-ready to just slit their throats myself and be done with it; you just saved me six hours of free time.""Where you're going, assassin," Roodaka spat, "you'll have all the free time you'll ever need." ***** The two circled each other for several minutes, their eyes never even showing an iota of anything less than pure, undiluted hatred for the woman daring to try and stand in her way. Roodaka finally broke the silence with a laugh. If Lariska was surprised, she didn't show it; the inky black void of her eyes only seemed to darken and stretch, ready to suck Roodaka into it and send her into an abyss populated by only the very worst of nightmares, where any positive emotion, any flicker of the treachery that Roodaka was so renowned for, would be pounced on and ripped to shreds, along with its owner. To Lariska, that sounded like an objective enough deal. "I must admit, I did not expect the Dark Hunters to be bold enough to waltz right in unannounced. This was supposed to be one of the Brotherhood's most secure fortresses: had I known that three Dark Hunters would have been able to breach it, I might haven ever defected to begin with." Lariska gave a harsh laugh: the sound was like the death screech of a Rahi, the screams of a witness to a murder, the frantic sobs of a Matoran pleading for his life, unable to enunciate clearly with a gun barrel between his teeth. It was horrifying. It was chilling. It was everything. It was nothing. "That was always your problem, Xian," she drawled, clearly at ease with the situation; she spun the handle of one dagger around her fingers in a relaxed manner, though Roodaka was not fooled by this act at all. "You always flipped sides too soon. At the slightest provocation, the slightest twitch of action against your side, and you would flip like a gymnast towards anyone who paid well, anyone who promised your miserable hide another millisecond of safety. You don't even deserve the title of traitor. At least traitors have a cause. And you, Roodaka? What do you believe in?" Roodaka seemed to be at a loss for words at this: her eyebrows furrowed and met, and her lips pursed fervently. She didn't make a sound. "Exactly. You don't believe in anything. You're nothing. And I'm about to prove it to you." Without any semblance of warning, Lariska pounced, swinging the butt of her dagger at Roodaka's temple. The Xian twitched upward, and Lariska had a split second's worth of realization as a blade not unlike the one that had killed Thing 1 jutted from her other sleeve and swung towards her. The Dark Hunter tilted backwards in midair and watched as the blade hovered precariously over her face for what seemed like an eon in the guise of seconds: when Lariska's feet touched ground, time seemed to recover from the temporary shock of the two femme fatales going at it and decided to watch the proceedings unfold as they may. Roodaka swung a vicious elbow at Lariska, and as the Dark Hunter moved to catch it - as Roodaka predicted she would - the Vortixx swung her fist up into Lariska's face, slamming her knuckles into the center of Lariska's face. She fell back a step in shock, clutching at her face, and Roodaka took the opportunity to kick a blade out from her shoe and dig it into Lariska's ankle. The two went down swinging, both throwing punches and kicks and chops at each other: Lariska soon managed to slam a wicked cross into Roodaka's jaw, sending her flying back, and the injured Dark Hunter stood up and threw a dagger, cutting into Roodaka's shoulder and spilling her blood across the floor with a cry. Lariska smirked and moved for the dagger, but once again, Roodaka was ready. The traitorous Xian kicked out the blade from her shoe again and kicked Lariska in the cheek, cutting through flesh and scraping the bloody iron against Lariska's tongue. She cried out in pain, and Roodaka took the opportunity to move in on Lariska from behind and tear away her mechanical arm with a vicious pull.The Vortixx and her prize both tumbled to the ground in unison as Lariska cried out in agony and fell to her knees, clutching the newly-created stump that was connected to her shoulder. Roodaka walked up to Lariska and tilted her head up with one curved finger."Well, then," she cooed. "Looks like you'll be needing another one of those fancy little arms, Lariska.""And you another one of those fancy little heads," spat the Dark Hunter, sliding her own miniaturized pistol from her sleeve into her hand and swinging it into Roodaka's face. The Vortixx stumbled back for a second or two, which was all the time that Lariska needed to put two bullets in her opponent's chest. To her credit, Roodaka didn't drop - not right away, at least - preferring to stand tall with as much pride as she could feasibly muster."You...you've ended me..." she rasped, blood bubbling in her own throat as it had Thing 2's. "You wench..."Lariska merely smiled and pushed the gun to Roodaka's forehead."How about it, Roodaka? How about one last flip?"Roodaka opened her mouth, and Lariska jerked the gun downwards, firing a bullet through her throat: the momentum propelled Roodaka backwards in the air, causing her to land face first in a pool of her own blood, a large hole in the back of her head. Lariska looked down at the mechanical arm laying at her feet, then the pistol, then Roodaka."As gymnastics goes," she drawled, plucking the arm from the ground and walking towards the still-open door of the fortress, "not bad." ***** Disclaimer: Though the characters of Lariska and Roodaka belong to Lego and Bionicle, the idea for this little showdown came from my fellow genius/bestedest friend Aderia. Everyone give her credit where it's due, and as always, leave your opinions in the replies! You, the reader, are who I have in mind as I write these stories.As always, much love.-Teezy
Dark Vanity Aderia ₪҉₪ “And you call yourself a Dark Hunter,” The Vortixx scoffed down at the unmoving opponent at her feet. The fallen figure was just one of many operatives that her old friend, The Shadowed One, had sent after her in the past few months. Even though she was no longer the Viceroy of the Visorak, Roodaka had never stopped being queen. Upon her return to Xia, they’d crowned her and celebrated in her honor. She was Xia. The skyline, stabbing into the sky as if to dethrone the twin suns was her crown. The overwhelming aroma of success and production thrumming through the streets was her celebration. The drumming in the factories and chorus of screeching assembly machines sang for her. The two celestial torches were just beginning to rim on the far horizon. With a dismissive flick of her armored boot, Roodaka rolled the face of being into the dirt. “Pathetic. I hope you enjoy your trip back to Karzahni.” She turned and walked away, hefting her Catcher Claw deftly. Maintenance crews would find the body and dispose of it along with the day’s scrap metals in the incinerators. Her hollow metal footfalls on the roof of the skyscraper clacked rhythmically, slipping in harmoniously with all that was Xia. It was her trained ear that caught the discrepancy in the tune of Xian life, the hushing scrape of armor on rooftop and the telltale singing of a blade being drawn. Not a moment too soon, Roodaka tucked into a roll and came up facing her adversary, who was now miraculously all better. “I have to admit,” she spoke evenly, but her blood pounded in her ears. It had been a very close call. “The Shadowed One has been sending more and more intelligent agents. Whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?” But she already knew. Roodaka always knew. “It doesn’t matter,” the being said. Her voice was like slippery leather. “Of course it doesn’t. I already know,” the Vortixx smiled, rising slowly to her feet, coiled tight as a viper. She slowly began edging out of the glare of the suns, careful to keep her opponent’s eyes locked on her own; eyes as cold and hard as black diamonds. “Flimsy armor, green like muddy leaves and blue like rotten bula berries. Stringy, like a piece of tendon stretched out too far. Frail like an old mother Ash Bear and a rusty robotic arm not fit for a dumpster. You must be Lariska.” Surrounded by even taller skyscrapers, nobody but Roodaka was around to see the shocking agility displayed by Lariska as she leapt into the air without a word or telltale sign.“Agile. You forgot ‘agile,” she called. By the time the Hunter had closed the distance between herself and Roodaka, the Vortixx had her clawed baton at the ready. With a testy swing, Roodaka aimed the club-like Catcher Claw end of her weighted baton at Lariska’s temple. Instead of ducking under and sweeping out in a kick like Roodaka had guessed, the Hunter raised a forearm to meet the blow, taking a step inwards and throwing an elbow at Roodaka’s windpipe. Gutsy, but not gutsy enough. Taking advantage of the close quarters, the Vortixx aimed a shadow-laced punch straight to Lariska’s face as the Hunter’s forearm got tangled in the claw. Roodaka’s fist slowed just short of Lariska’s face plates and burst open with a startling whoosh, releasing a burst of Shadow into the Hunter’s face. Lariska staggered backwards with a cry, her free hand clawing at her face. “Burns like acid, blinds you like a bat, and calls forwards your worst fears and most dreaded memories,” Roodaka chuckled. She knew the effects of non-elemental Shadow first hand. The Vortixx stepped with the Huntress, not willing to release her Claw. With practiced, dancing steps, she’d twisted Lariska’s arm taut behind her back, earning herself a cry of pain. “Welcome to the dark side of sanity, Lariska.” Without warning, the Dark Hunter dropped to the floor, and with iron grips on both ends of her Claw, Roodaka had no choice but to be pulled down with her. Lariska heaved her shoulders, rolling Roodaka over her to land with a cursing clatter on the rooftop. The Vortixx had no choice but to release Lariska’s arm from the snaring end of her weapon, but not without a painful twist of her own arm, bringing the Hunter down with her. The two femme fatales sprang to their feet at once, eyeing one another warily. Slowly, Roodaka moved her hand to her Rhotuka Launcher. “I wouldn’t,” was all Lariska said, and Roodaka only glimpsed a flash of movement before she felt a burning fire explode in her shoulder. With a cry, she chanced a look to see a throwing knife wedged between her shoulder and chest armor, deadening her launcher arm. But looking down was her mistake, because when she looked back up, she was met with Lariska’s roundhouse. The lithe Huntress packed a decent kick, and Roodaka found herself lying on the roof again, this time with a long, lethal looking knife pointed between her eyes.“Don’t try any-“ Lariska’s words were cut off with a yell of surprise and anger as Roodaka scissor-ed her legs at a painful angle and spun to a crouching position, one knee on Lariska’s throat, the other pinning her non-mechanical arm. Lariska’s mechanical arm was pinned against the knee-height wall that ran along the entire edge of the sky-scraper roof. The Vortixx wrenched the throwing knife from her shoulder joint, pushing away the searing agony and letting the blood drip into Lariska’s eyes as she held the weapon above the Huntress. "Not going to try anything, are you now?” she asked, her words jagged and her breath tattered, unable to keep the flood of pain from her shoulder out. She plucked the long knife from Lariska’s mechanical hand. Roodaka felt blood seep through her armor, spreading from her shoulder wound. With a wicked smile, she pushed the long knife slowly into the small gap between Lariska’s own shoulder and torso armor. The Huntress’s piercing screech drowned out all else. Once the Xian smog had absorbed and spirited away the cry of pure agony, Roodaka twisted the knife, shrieking with the new scream of torture, “I repay in kind.” “You… can’t defeat me. Not with my own blades,” Lariska snarled. Impressively, her voice was devoid of any suffering. She was looking to say more, but the words escaped as another scream as Roodaka pulled the knife out. The scream choked to an undignified gurgling as Roodaka cut off the Dark Hunter’s air supply with the knee on the windpipe. “Who said anything about simply defeating you? I mean to send you back to the Shadowed One in a body bag.” A spasm jolted through Roodaka’s entire frame suddenly, rocking her back on her feet, releasing Lariska. Every nerve ending was tingling with electricity and fire. It hurt. “Poison,” The Hunter coughed, rolling to her feet and trying to staunch her own blood that was streaming down her side. “Fun, isn’t it?” Roodaka crouched breathless in the shadow of the sky-scraper barrier, her vision turning white with the next flash of poison. But this time, she pushed it down. She detached herself. Through the fire and blood and agony, Roodaka stood. I am a queen. I am a queen! I will not be brought low by this weakling. “You are a fool,” Her voice was shaky, but she continued regardless. “I’ve commanded legions of Visorak, the stealers of life. Poison is their best friend. Toxin runs in my veins and venom to me is like water to you. Just like I can’t defeat you with your own blade, you can’t bring me low with what I know best.” And almost on cue, Roodaka watched as the same poison in her body now wracked Lariska’s frame. Using the Hunter’s own words, the Vortixx purred, “Poison, my dear. Fun, isn’t it?” Even as her vision whited out once more, and the burning in her veins flooded through, she stayed standing. It was time to end this. Roodaka was losing too much blood. With the next flash of white and pain, the white was hesitant to fade from her sight, making her dizzy. Tossing her Rhotuka launcher to her functioning hand, the Vortixx began charging it, watching Lariska fall down onto the barrier that ran along the edge of the roof. The Huntress was twitching and trying her best not to cry out. Obviously, she hadn’t bothered trying to build up immunity to her own poisons. Now she was paying for it, rendered helpless. Roodaka trained her launcher on Lariska’s erratic heartlight. Nobody would recognize her, but that would be their own problem. “It’s been a pleasure,” she whispered, and pulled the trigger. In a blinding flash of dark lights, like more Shadow energy, the Dark Hunter tumbled over the edge of the sky scraper, already beginning to mutate past recognition. It wasn’t until Roodaka heard the sickening thud on the pavement far, far below that she collapsed. The Vortixx pulled a knife, long and thin like the last, from her abdomen. The blade had rotten yellow residue on it. Another poison. The Dark Huntress had gone down fighting. Mustering only just enough energy to send a flare of Shadow energy into the Xian sky, an advocate for her dire need of help, Roodaka drifted off into a fitful and agonizing oblivion, murmuring to the Shadowed One “Well played, my friend.” ₪҉₪ A/N: Aha, well there you have it, my version of Lariska Vs. Roodaka. This can be considered a variant on fellow genius, author, and a great friend, Tyler’s story, Femme Fatality which I highly recommend.I hope you enjoyed, and as always, written for you.
".. than just wearing an Avohkii" [ small version 130 kB]:..:[Huge version; 1317 x 1462 px, 534 kB] Not a thumbnail this time, because I could not decide on which version to link. I prefer the bigger one, but since I don't like being bomarded with huge, screen-eating files, I thought I'd leave the choice to you. ^_^Anyways, what do we have here? It's a speed-paint from April. I just haven't gotten around uploading until now.Firstly, no, this is not me, my Bionicle alter-ego or OC, however you want to call it. Just another being that happens to be wearing an Avohkii. ;3Other than usual, there's actually a story behind the image; I wondered what would happen if evil would be expected from someone wearing a mask of light. And thus, a story of a Makuta swapping bodies with a Toa emerged in my head, and eventually led to the creation of this pic. (Yep, the epic showdown xD)Simple, huh?I originally played with the thought of submitting this to the AC, but somehow I wasn't sure whether it would be fitting, partly because it's, as said, a speed-paint, and partly because it doesn't really resemble a battlescape, IMO. :whatsthat:Any form of comments or criticism would be greatly, greatly appreciated.