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Project Protodermis


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--IC: Idgaddiy and Skondh--

The pair hastened away from the storehouse as soon as the blood-curdling shriek sounded.

Once they were safely away, Skondh complained, "aW, i HaVe To WaiT uNTiL ToNiGHT To GeT MY STeaKS?"

"Come on, it's not that bad," Idgaddiy said.  "At least you'll get them.  If you're that hungry, there's some food waiting back at the barracks.  It's not steaks, but it should make you less hungry."

"OK," Skondh muttered, allowing Idgaddiy to lead him back to the barracks.

Once there, Skondh collapsed onto his now-half-corroded bedsheets, while Idgaddiy searched for the promised bread and Dikapi eggs.

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IC: Zaryna

 

Watching Nidhiki in the combat ring had been illuminating to Zaryna, and her perception of the interjecting leader took a turn for the positive. He was strong and worth listening to, if his effortless prowess were any indication. The Akula imagined him to be an amoral character, reminding the trainees that they shouldn't kill each other because they were assets—expendable, of a surety, but only for the cause of the Dark Hunters and not their own bloodlust. Nidhiki was treating her and her fellows as tools to be inventoried, cleaned, sharpened, cared for, and used. 

 

Zaryna found no fault in that. It was how she thought of soldiers also. 

 

Once the brawl was done and they were all dismissed for recreation and cleanup Zaryna chose the latter, returning to the barracks only to remove an oiled cloth from her locker and then sat on a large rock outside. She busied herself with the cloth, wiping away the smudge on her armor she got from the gauntlet in the obstacle course, taking care to polish her shoulder and arm until it gleamed again. Her flawless appearance was of great importance to her, and it emphasized her sheer superiority if not her deep sense of pride. Arguably, she earned that pride, though it was not unanimously accepted; the odd Vortixx was an example of that.

 

She occasionally looked up at other Dark Hunters passing by, or to observe her surroundings observe, but said nothing to them unless they spoke to her, which was not the case and so she passed the moments in silence, pausing her hand only to add a few drops of oil more to her cloth before busying herself further. 

 

OOC: I'm open for interaction! 

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IC: Nilauhk

The fist impacted Nilauhk's visor, launching the Matoran back through the air. However, as this occurred, she spun her polearm, switching the bladed end for the slight hook opposite it, seeking to yank him down as well.

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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Irritated

 

The next few hours of the rahi's time was spent begrudgingly giving blankets back to other trainees that came in wondering angrily why a beast was sitting in a nest made from them. Soon enough, Abominable found itself sitting on a mostly barren spot on the floor, with only a couple blankets that had yet to be reclaimed. It snorted in frustration, turning its gaze to that Matoran that had been the first to demand the cloth article back.

Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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IC (Huntsman): Acanon chuckled a little at Kohu's question. It seemed that he still had a little of that eagerness about him, a and confidence in his own skills that, by now, was well founded. If he were put back into the same situation today, he might have told Kohu to take the shot.

 

"You were a good scout and a reasonable shot too, but by far the least experienced member of the team. When one stray shot could have alerted the Toa to our presence and ruined the ambush, we were best to take a slower, more careful plan that made the most of our surprise, and the skills of the other soldiers on the team."

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OOC: Thanks for the quick post Ghost.

 

IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

"Right" 

With the benefit of hindsight I could see that his logic made sense. The battle had turned out better the way he had done it after all. Still we didn't have all day to reminisce, I needed to get a handle on the others in project protodermis.  "It was fun meeting and sparring with you once more lieutenant, but if you'll excuse me I think we should split up and get to the know the rest of our future comrades".

 

Leaving Acanon behind I made my way into the rest of the Barracks. Ahead I noticed an Akula polishing her armour up on the rocks. from the way she held herself today I had a guess she was one of Pridak's women, time to see if I was right.

"I suppose you're another league veteran miss? ..."

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IC: Zaryna
 
Telltale crunches of gravel and dirt, though softer than the footfalls of every other Hunter who passed by, drew Zaryna's attention away from her therapeutic polishing again. Her sharp eyes habitually instantly analyzed the approacher, taking in his look, his scars, his powerless mask, his tools, his body rhythm, all in an effort to glean as much about him for future use. He wasn't small, certainly not in the general sense of the term, but walked with an unnerving, unassuming gentleness belied by his battle-weathered appearance that conjured imaginations of either a well-trained butler or recon spy. Neither idea was disreputable and warranted anything less than her respect, so she gave it willingly.

"I suppose you're another league veteran, miss...?" the man asked.
 

Zaryna mentally frowned at the casual use of 'another.' It reminded her that the League of Six Kingdoms was all but forgotten, little remnants of it spread like tiny shards of a great crystalline edifice long since shattered and scattered as far as the winds blew. There was no greatness in the League anymore, a reckoning that turned even Zaryna's tenacity cold with dismay. Still, outwardly, she remained composed and continued to work her oiled cloth into her armor and even gave the shiest semblance of a smile at Kohu.

 

"A veteran," she mused and considered it a moment. "Yes, I suppose that's an accurate enough term, dear. I'm named Zaryna, though the Dark Hunters would prefer to call me 'Exile.'" Her eyes lingered on Kohu expectantly. 

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

I read her response, she was good at masking her emotions, but I could see her focused gaze analysing my every detail. Reading me like a book no doubt. Thinking back to the few times I had seen her today I could see that she was intelligent and a perfectionist. Someone best had as an ally and not an enemy. yet I couldn't quite figure something out about her.

 

"Kohu, and I'll soon answer to the codename Ghost" I replied "served under Carapar's banner ... I presume you worked for Pridak correct?"

 

Edit= had to correct a typo

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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IC: Zaryna

 

"Pridak is my king," the Akula confirmed with a nod, "and I was one of his vassal rulers. Some called me their princess, others their general, and many others their archnemesis." She frowned, seemingly betraying her carefully maintained bitterness. Kohu had caught her at a moment of reflection and tending, perhaps the weakest she would allow herself to be in the presence of the Hunters and likely one of the last times she would stoop to that level. "Now, I'm the exile they branded me," she said, rolling her eyes to the side of their sockets in the direction of the base's reigning tower.

 

Her eyes abruptly snapped back to attention and her mouth curled back to the sly smirk that drew the ire of every other recruit who conversed with her that day. "You strike me more as one of Mantax's men," she said, and pulled her sword from its scabbard. "Why Carapar?"

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Bored


With its patience having long reached its limits, Abominable got up and began to lumber its way out of the barracks. On its way out, the rahi awkwardly shouldered past a figure speaking with a rather smug-lookibg Vortix, being as of yet unaccustomed to its new body.
 
Edit: (OOC: Supposedly, this was an attempt to butt into Kohu and Zaryna's conversation; Oh well.)
 
Edit: This post is void.
Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

I took a moment to read what that sly smirk meant, did she think she had figured me out? Unfortunately for her, she hadn't. Still I could see now how she had riled up that bionic Vortixx earlier. Most of the recruits of Project Protodermis probably lacked experience to develop a the tolerance for large ego's needed to work in the mercenary business. Still I had to wonder how an Akula of such high stature could swallow her pride enough to work for the Dark hunters, especially when she had been given a codename she seemed to detest so much. I'd push for that information later though.

 

"No, I only served Carapar during the Leagues days ... " I explained as I took a moment to examine her weapon, the blade was sharp and almost pristine from the care it had been given. 

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Curious

 

Still sitting upon its one remaining blanket, the frost-ape turned its attention to the only other being in the room that fit a similar physical description to itself: a rather foul-smelling Vemosai laying in a nearby bunk. It sauntered over to him, hopeful for the chance to converse with someone of kindred blood—oblivious to the obvious species difference— and the rahi attempted to speak a greeting to the fellow.

 

"Y-y-yoou... H-Erm, hello there?" 

 

(OOC: Skondh, hopefully)

Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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--IC: Idgaddiy and Skondh--

Skondh sat up quickly, hearing a voice that he thought was directed at him.  Looking around, his eyes came to rest on a primarily white-colored creature with red tubing in its arms and back.

A bit hesitantly, he addressed it.  "HeLLo THeRe..."

In the meantime, Idgaddiy had found where the bread and Dikapi eggs were.  He filled a plate with them and began to make his way back to his partner.

 

--OOC:--

Yep, that's Skondh.  Sup, Drakua.

Idgaddiy is Open For Interaction on his way back to the bunks.

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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Curious

 

"HeLLo THeRe..." The large Hunter replied.

 

Taken aback by his curt reply, Abominable instinctually dropped to all fours, its knuckles to the floor, and growled in what appeared to be a happy greeting. This other being appeared to be friendly, in spite of Abominable's trepidation. Realizing how this behavior might look to its compatriot, it quickly rocked back onto its hind feet and attempted to ask the hunter his name.

 

"H-Who-who are y-you?" it asked.

Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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IC: Zaryna

 

"I find that amusing, seeing as bold Carapar preferred direct tactics while it was Mantax who used the clandestine approach," the Akula reflected. "Still, I imagine any of the kings would have benefitted from a ghost in their ranks, as the Dark Hunters now hope to do." She placed her saber on her lap and proceeded to take her oiled cloth to its blade, stroking it in long passes until it also reflected the midmorning sun like a beacon. 

 

Her ruby eyes drove into his emeralds again. Military people, she found, all were by and large possessed of a similar set of characteristics: They were confident, capable, and believing themselves able to control their emotions with the uniform mental conditioning war gives to those who fight in them. That was one particular example where Zaryna differed from the ones in the trenches: She was not a soldier no matter how many battles she fought, her role was to rule and lead, mental tiers far above the grade of the rank and file. The lessons she learned were not in managing her emotions but in managing others' emotions, all to achieve a singular goal.

 

Of course, she had also failed at executing this with her subjects, having been deposed and, consequently, exiled as a result of that failure. But that shortcoming was covered by history and there was a certain knowledge surrounding her that Zaryna, despite being far away from her home and long since disengaged from the leadership of her king, was meticulously clever and undoubtedly dangerous. She still wielded the weapons of the mind Mata Nui endowed upon her to great effect, if not at the masterful level like her one-and-only King Pridak.

 

With the delicateness of a feaster poking at a decadent shrimp cocktail with a tiny fork Zaryna plunged for information from Kohu, reading between the lines on his face and muscles for tidbits she could seize upon... with which to converse about, of course. "But it has been many years since the League's fall, my dear, and like me you would have had a lot of time to spend on other pursuits before ultimately arriving here. How did you pass the time, I wonder? Who else did you serve?" she asked, testing the fineness of the edge of her saber once.

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IC: Nilauhk

Her aim true, Nilauhk opened the panels on her armour again, somewhat awkwardly landing on her feet. But most importantly, braking the Ga-Matoran early. Gripping her polearm with both hands, she thrust her glaive forward into the oncoming Steltian.

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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

I paused in focus for a moment as I briefly considered what information I should divulge. How would she respond to knowing I had worked for the Makuta in exchange for power?. I decided on a vague response "I served anyone willing to pay, as an assassin or simply a scout, I accepted any job worth my time" I answered, "the Dark hunters decided to recruit me soon after I started undercutting their prices"

 

Considering I had came here partially to get information on Zaryna, the Akula certainly had a way of turning the conversational tables, I needed to get to asking my own questions. "Something tells me you have  a very different story to tell of your time since the league fell?"

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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--IC: Idgaddiy and Skondh--

"i aM SKoNDH," Skondh said.  "WHo aRe You?"

He reached out a large hand in what he hoped was a gesture of peace.  With other species, one never knew how they'd interpret gestures.

It was at this time that Idgaddiy returned with the food.  "Here you are, Skondh, one plate of..."  His voice trailed off as he saw what his partner was doing.

"Um... are you... trying to pet that other guy?" he asked.

Skondh looked taken aback.  "No, i'M NoT.  i'M TRYiNG To LeT HiM KNoW THaT i MeaN HiM No HaRM... aT LeaST, NoT RiGHT NoW."

"Well, there are ways of doing that that don't look like you're trying to pet a guy," Idgaddiy quipped.

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IC: Zaryna

 

Kohu was covering something up in the pause before he answered, and Zaryna perceived the evasiveness but kept her thoughts closely to herself that time. She decided to indulge Kohu with a bit about herself. He was, after all, the first person in the Project to show any interest in what she did before.

 

"The war never ended for me," she said. "After my subjects revolted, I took to raiding and assembled a platoon to that end. The massacring and plundering kept me busy enough but gave me little sense of purpose, even when I tried to find what became of our kings. There is no joy in death for death's sake, Kohu, it needs to have a reason."

 

Zaryna almost sounded tired in that moment, as though the weariness of a life devoid of a purpose for tens of thousands of years had finally, in that exact instant, finally caught up with her. There was wisdom in her words but it seemed betrayed by the fact that she was sitting in the midst of mercenaries and guerrillas alike. Kohu, with a little thought on his part, would come to realize that Zaryna, the former general and would-be queen, was as much a soldier of fortune as any of the others even if her preferred currency was a different sort. 

 

Somehow, that only made her seem more dangerous. 

 

She put her sword away. 

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IC: Kohu

 

In that explanation I understood, I could see how a princess of Pridak's ended up in the dark hunters. She was like me, another lost soul looking for a purpose after the fall of the Barraki, she just chose to become a raider instead or a merc. Still I couldn't act 'soft' in front of someone reading me so intently, so I subdued my sympathy.  "I understand, after the league I could not be satisfied with a quiet life but I also couldn't go back to fighting for the Barraki ... so I chose to find other people to fight for".

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IC: Zaryna

 

"Like the Makuta?" Zaryna said in an even tone. It was not a statement but a question; for all her wits she was not yet entirely certain. 

 

Kohu's silence confirmed her speculation. 

 

"Don't be so surprised I've found your secret, dear," she cooed disarmingly. "Your kind don't possess powers and Carapar never used fog in his battles, which point to you receiving such an augmentation after the League's fall. It would have taken a scientist to give you weather-based abilities, and the Brotherhood is rife with curious meddlers who could take an interest in someone such as you. I don't hate you for your choices... but you were wise to think I would be offended."

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IC: Kohu

 

Hmm, she really was good at reading others. What else had I unwittingly revealed? No matter, more secrets would be spilled as we worked together. "You've guessed right, I know from experience that some people get angry knowing I worked for the Makuta, especially ex-league members, so I keep that information on a need to know basis"

 

There was a brief silence then a passing thought gave me a new question to ask. With her ability to read others, Zaryna seemed like the perfect person to ask. "So, d'you think anybody's going to quit?"

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IC: Zaryna

 

"The most likely one seems to be all but dead already," she answered with an amused chuckle. "A few of the others don't quite know what they're up against, but we'll see how well they adapt under pressure. Nidhiki is talented, especially for a toa, and I don't doubt he will see that every one of us are tested until we break. It's what I would do, and it's the best way to see how fitful we are for this mission." 

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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IC: Waveahk "Commander" (Odina, Project Protodermis Compound, Practice Arena)

 

The glaive pierced the mutant's chest. The pain caused him to let go of his staff, sending it flying and embedding it in one of the nearby pillars.

 

Having finally run out of patience with the Matoran's games, Wakeahk snatched the Cordak Blaster from his hip and prepared to fire.

Edited by Toru Nui
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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

I raised a brow in surprise. There was already a casualty so soon into the project? Then again the standards for getting into project protodermis seemed pretty low. "Yes" I agreed, "I expect Nidhiki's just gauging us for now to see our limits, but when he really starts testing us we'll see the true character of our fellow project members"

 

I could have called an end to the conversation here so I could continue examining the other project protodermis recruits, I had enough info to tell what sort of person Zaryna was. That said I felt it prudent wait and see if she had another question to ask first.

 

Edit= Typo corrected.

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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IC: Nilauhk

Nilauhk tensed somewhat as her glaive came free, returning it to a readied stance. Cordak Blasters. She had encountered them once or twice before. She had one main priority in dealing with this. It was pretty easily understood, and not hard to see why it was important.
It was, simply,
Don't get hit.

Both of her legs tensed, ready to leap off either way, however she spun her polearm around so the sharp end was pointing backwards.

The Ga-Matoran herself continued to remain silent.

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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Startled

 

Startled by Skondh's reaction, as well as the sudden arrival of the Vemosai's companion, Abominable had to fight the urge to climb into the rafters to sling rocks. He instead grunted awkwardly and cocked its head to the side quizzically. Pet? the rahi nearly asked odd duo. Instead, he resolved to answer Skondh's question.

 

"I... I was once called Konu-Ra. Dark hunter that changed me... called me Konu-To. Shadowed One... he named me Abominable."

Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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IC: Kohu

 

I let out a wistful chuckle, as I thought back to my early days in Carapars legion. "Oh it's a simple reason really" I explained, "my home's in his territory and after joining I found myself rather fond of my brothers in arms".

 

Reading into Zaryna's wording, I decided I needed to stick up for my preferred Barraki. "Besides Carapar's smarter than people give him credit for, and I respect his zero tolerance approach"

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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IC: Zaryna

 

"No quarrel there," Zaryna conceded with a nod. "There are reasons Mata Nui chose Carapar, out of all of his kind, to be king." She then paused in reflection for a moment, forming a thought. Kohu was a killer for hire, sure, but perhaps he was not entirely without faithfulness.

 

"What is the Great Spirit Mata Nui to you, Kohu?" she asked at last, the culminating question to her inquisitive banter.

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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--IC: Idgaddiy and Skondh--

Skondh reached over to the plate that Idgaddiy was holding and began to cram his mouth full of Dikapi eggs.

Idgaddiy, however, was still paying attention to their new acquaintance.  He had given them three names.  "Which of those names would you rather us call you?" he asked.

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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Relaxed

 

"I... do not know," the rahi replied. To be perfectly honest, it had never thought of choosing a name. It had been used to being called names; like monster or beast or even mongrel, but it choosing one for itself? It paused for a moment. Then, after much deliberation it gave the duo their answer.

"I wish... to be called Konu-To."

Edited by Drakua Toa of Rahi

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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

Now that's an interesting question to ask. "I'd never given much thought to him, he supported our lords but allowed his chosen ones to overthrow them, only to be replaced by the worse Makuta".

 

Now considering what I just said, I realised maybe I had thought about the great spirit more than believed I did. "In my eyes Mata Nui is either ineffable or a fool ... and I'm not entirely sure which is more worrying"

Edited by The Invisible Noob
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--IC: Idgaddiy and Skondh--

"OK, we'll call you Konu-To," Idgaddiy said.  "And I am Idgaddiy; you already know my friend Skondh over here."

Through a mouthful of eggs, Skondh asked, "WHeRe Do You CoMe FRoM, KoNu-To?"

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IC: Abominable

Location: Barracks

Status: Fine

 

A look of remorsefulness washed over Konu-To's face in response to Skondh's next question. Memories of being captured, caged and then shipped off returned to the forefront of its mind.

 

"I... do not know," he finally replied. "The Skakdi... stole me away so long ago."

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IC: Zaryna

 

"But you do believe in him," Zaryna probed, her eyes gleaming with intelligence. "As do I, but only in his mere existence. As a deity, he forsook me long ago and is consequently no longer worthy of my worship. Some would argue that he has even turned his back on all his creations over time, and I would not disagree, would you?"

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IC: Kohu (Ghost)

 

"Well he has forsaken a lot of his creations" I said while mulling over the actions of the great spirit. "This very organisation is a testament to that, but I would not go so far as to say he's forsaken all of his creations, while I do not envy them the spirits favouritism towards the Matoran is still obvious"

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