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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - Abyss

He watched the Hapaka run off, recalling his previous suggestion he had made. Maybe someone would come looking because of Reyal, but he did not feel the same kind of hope Kreigero did.

When the sound of the Hapaka running off began to quiet, paws against ice no longer audible, Savrehn turned back to the metal door before them. The pit in his stomach was still there and, if anything, had just gotten heavier. Now they were left to wait in silence, he thought. He wasn’t sure what to do now.

“If we make it out of this,” he said, looking at Atamai, “don’t write it or this place down in any of your histories.”

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~

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IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair]

"Untie y-y-y-yourselves," Kreigero reminded her fellow travelers again. She sheathed her knife but kept a hand on the grip.

Realizing that this was likely their last opportunity to speak freely with the other Matoran, the trapper spoke up once more.

"I did my best, but whatever happens happens."

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IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

The Matoran's relief was palpable, and Muir couldn't help but smile.

"Thank you. I'm interested in accounts of the Po-Koro Comet plague, and studies on Infection. And also…" Muir paused, grimacing. If the Madness was close to home for him, he could only imagine how his next question might unsettle a Ko-Koronan. "And also, anything you have on the occupation of Ko-Koro."

OOC: @ARROW404

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IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair]

Kreigero shot the Ta-Matoran a glare that could flash freeze a hoto as she issued a correction.

"Make it up to us now by making sure we make it out alive. That's all that matters."

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OOC: invoking the sacred 24 hour rule on this one, homies

IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archive, The Backroom]

Having prepared his defensive fortifications to satisfaction, Vrill suavely reached into a hidden pocket to extract and light a smoke to distract himself as he relaxed and recollected his energy. The Cy-Toa was listening, but he seemed aloof, his optics either focused entirely on the door ahead of them or utterly lacking focus and a mere reflection of the internal stillness in his softly pulsing heartlight.

Fenn was asking questions, as always. Seeing the distinct truths within the fractals of each snowflake they encountered. Perhaps Antidermis was not a new discovery, but a forgotten lesson from battles long buried.

Certainly interesting, but even if a century-old case in another Koro held clues to Antidermis's effects, Vrill failed to see how that would impact the task at hand. He was fighting a silent battle in a proxy war of truth and stability, not researching alchemical substances. From the sounds of things, the people who were supposed to be fighting Makuta (instead of the shadows within that Vrill pursued) already knew how to deal with Antidermis... even if they kept it from Vrill and Muir.

But maybe Fenn was going somewhere with this - after all, that analytical determination why he was here.

Edited by BULiK
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On 3/24/2022 at 11:03 AM, Goose said:

IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

The Matoran's relief was palpable, and Muir couldn't help but smile.

"Thank you. I'm interested in accounts of the Po-Koro Comet plague, and studies on Infection. And also…" Muir paused, grimacing. If the Madness was close to home for him, he could only imagine how his next question might unsettle a Ko-Koronan. "And also, anything you have on the occupation of Ko-Koro."

OOC: @ARROW404

IC: Priicu - Wise Man's Archive

"The Comet Plague," the librarian echoed, rubbing the chin of his Ruru. "Goodness, that feels like it happened a lifetime ago now." He nodded, mulling it over. "The occupation of Ko-Koro, we certainly do have." The bitterness in his voice was tinged with a bit of pride as well- pride that Ko-Koro survived, and remembered- though both were muted with his icy stoicism. He led the Po-Koronan Toa to the history section and pulled out a surprisingly thickly-bound book whose title read A Collection of Testimonies of the Brotherhood of Ak'rei'an's Usurpation. A few shelves down, he also produced two more books, The Encyclopedia of Mata-Nui Under the Shadow of Makuta, and Triumphs of the Toa. The latter seemed a little worse for wear, and was clearly the older of the two. The author's name explained some of why: Takua the Chronicler.

Priicu handed these to Muir, then beckoned for him to continue to follow, as he brought him to another back section of the Archive. The same section 'Syzygos' had investigated before. He uncovered the lightstone in the room and took a roughly head-sized wooden box from the shelf. "These are miscellaneous testimonies of the Brotherhood's occupation that aren't included in the book. There is an official book, but the Sanctum has it, as it has yet to be recopied."

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IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

The Sanctum. For once, it was Vrill that was best equipped to get to something. Still, with any luck, further documentation mightn't be necessary.

"Thank you, Priicu. These should be a great help. Do you mind if I study them in the back room where Syzygos is working?"

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IC: Vrill [Ko-Koro, Wise Man's Archives, The Backroom]

Vrill sat silent in his solitude, savoring the calm before the storm. After a time, he cracked open the book that Priicu had asked him to transcribe and nonchalantly flipped through a few pages before closing it. Huh.

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IC: Cyrix - Cultured Gentry HQ, Ko-Koro

Cyrix stood, nodding in satisfaction. "Just that. We appreciate the cooperation, as well as your discretion." He offered his hand to shake. "My superior, Aelied, would like to meet you, though, in a more official capacity."

OOC: @Emzee

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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22 hours ago, Goose said:

IC: Muir (Wise Man’s Archive)

The Sanctum. For once, it was Vrill that was best equipped to get to something. Still, with any luck, further documentation mightn't be necessary.

"Thank you, Priicu. These should be a great help. Do you mind if I study them in the back room where Syzygos is working?"

IC: Priicu - WMA

The librarian nodded, the hint of a smile on his expression. His tension had been slowly rising throughout the 'Syzygos' situation, and these everyday requests were heartening to him. "Of course, just make sure the box and its contents end up back here. Syzygos can make copies, of course, if you need."

2 hours ago, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Cyrix - Cultured Gentry HQ, Ko-Koro

Cyrix stood, nodding in satisfaction. "Just that. We appreciate the cooperation, as well as your discretion." He offered his hand to shake. "My superior, Aelied, would like to meet you, though, in a more official capacity."

OOC: @Emzee

NPC: Saat

A white Ko-Matoran huffed as he approached the HQ, having first gone to the Sanctum, then followed the directions of those who had seen Toa Cyrix, to ultimately end up at the last place he had been seen. "A message for Toa Cyrix," he explained at the entrance.

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On 3/9/2022 at 10:14 AM, Goose said:

“I’ve had a… contingency in place here, for some time now, working off of the assumption that this base couldn’t stay secret forever. Depending on where we’re relocating to, it may be worth finding some way to activate it, or else it's possible I might have some difficulty staying anonymous.”


IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

"That so?" Syrik replied, continuing towards the laboratory. The Toa had shown a flicker of recognition at the name 'Merror', but didn't comment. "I was thinking Onu-Koro. Got a safehouse there we can use for the time being. What's the contingency?"

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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

“My corpse.” Aerus grimaced and tensed as he chose his next words, all too aware that he was revealing himself as a liability. “I’ve been successfully working under an alias for some time now, but only because I’ve had so little contact with the outside world. Under my previous identity, I am a convicted murderer and a fugitive from the law, having previously escaped the custody of the Ussalry. The charges themselves were… trumped up, to say the least, but that hardly matters now.”

“The good news is that, on the whole, I have long since slipped through the cracks. The bad is that the man who falsified those charges against me is obsessed, and will not be satisfied until I am lying dead in front of him.” He took a slight breath, refocusing himself; by the way that his posture changed, it was clear that Aerus took great pride in what he would say next. “The solution seemed obvious: after I escaped Onu-Koro and returned here, I became Aerus, changed my name and my appearance, and found a cadaver in Echelon’s collection that bore a close resemblance to myself – a cadaver which now wears my old Kanohi and effects. ‘I’ have not been seen since Makuta’s fall, and I used the network to ensure that my association with Echelon before that became known to authorities.”

OOC: @Ghosthands

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On 3/8/2022 at 6:40 AM, Nato G said:

IC: Minnorak – Obsidian Outpost

Quoribay found the outpost’s only current occupant in the mess hall, a burly Vortixx hunched uncomfortably behind a bar that had clearly been made with a much smaller being in mind.

The rustic, rectangular room was well-lit, thanks to lightstone lamps spaced periodically around the walls, and the flickering firelight of the hearth simmering in the room’s centre. Tables and chairs of various shapes and sizes were scattered haphazardly around the room, deep drag marks in the floor indicating they’d once been moved around a lot, though most were now dusty from disuse.

Scraps of parchment, pieces of armour, and old weapons were arrayed around the walls, trophies of triumphs long forgotten, and a large wooden sign was nailed to the wall above the bar, bearing the grim axiom of the Outsiders: Live By The Widget, Die By The Blade. Balanced atop the bar itself was a crate of supplies recently purchased from Ko-Koro, from which Minnorak was removing assorted bottles to restock the shelves behind the bar.

At the sound of Quoribay’s approach, Minnorak straightened to his feet and turned towards the newcomer, emerald eyes eagerly drinking in every detail.

A Matoran, alone, his arms and armour appearing both well-used, and well-looked-after.

Someone who could take care of himself.

Someone who meant business.

“Welcome to Obsidian Outpost,” Minnorak intoned, “Are you looking for work… or offering?”

@BULiK

OOC: Yeah, bad timing on my part. Took me way too long to get around to this, march was busy. But we're here now. Time to keep the momentum up.

Also, quick vibe check.

IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

This guy was, as I told him at the time,

"Perceptive!"

Now, this Vort had the look of someone with authority, but also that classic sneaky look, y'know? Don't read too much into that you know what I mean. I've worked with plenty of Vortixx over the years don't even think abou-

So point is, he wasn't talking out of nowhere, and I knew it. He saw my rugged good looks, devilishly heroic charm, and #####slaying swagger and instantly knew I meant Business with a capital B. Also, Hindsight's 2000 and all, but maybe he knew that Matoran were more likely to be giving 'im problems to solve than becoming mercs to solve 'em. In a twisted poetic way (as I often am) I was truly breaking the mold here (as I often do) by doing both at once.

So I took a seat at the bar (great seats with lots of room! better than this ####in' place) besides Minny and - and can I just say, how perfect is it to have your own bar in your base? Karz, if I had that, I'd never leave! Except to refill the kegs i guess but that's where the hired help comes in - if you can afford your own bar, you can afford the butler or the beer pipeline or whatever to restock it. Anyways I took a seat down at the bar and reached into the crate of bottles my boy Minno graciously left for me on the countertop and poured myself a glass I talked. Assert dominance like I always do, you understand. "My house, your house". Or is it "your house, my house"? Point is, I was in his house but I made the ultimate gesture of partnership and respect - acting like I owned the place as much as he did.

"I need more muscle for a score I've been casing. Risky, but worth it - it's not a pile of widgets, but the kind of one-of-a-kind wonder gizmos that would make Nuparu (Or Tarkhan) blush."

Unfortunately it was hard to see whats inside of Toa-sized crate of various liquors from where I was seated, and in order to maximize my dominance assertion I didn't get to be picky on what I pulled out. The vodka they had? Well let's just say it's memorable because I still remember how I felt afterwards.

After my throat recovered from that shot I finished my dramatic pause to continue the offer.

"You and your fellas up for that kind of work still?"

Edited by BULiK
wordin'
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IC: Minnorak – Obsidian Outpost

Once upon a time, the offer of something other than money might have been off-putting to Minnorak. Mercs liked their coin, after all. He knew all too well how tempers and violent tendencies could flare when food and money ran short. He still bore the scars from the last time.

But between the partnership with the Ko-Koro guard and renewed tolls, there were widgets and supplies enough to support the mere two people who currently called the outpost home. Money wasn’t the problem. Reputation and notoriety were what the Outsiders were sorely desperate for, and this Matoran was offering the opportunity to secure some. Word of a successful score and a bit of fancy tech to play with were sure to help lure in some new hires.

“I’d be a fool to say no to such an enticing offer,” Minnorak replied, trying to project an air of stoic confidence to assuage the weakness of his next words, “Unfortunately we’re a bit… short-handed right now. By which I mean I’m the only muscle available.”

@BULiK

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IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

"Mmm." The Toa didn't sound pleased by this development, nor particularly impressed by Aerus' decoy plan. "Well, if you can avoid an ID from anyone but this 'guy' of yours, that's good enough. And he can be dealt with if need be."

Syrik stepped into the laboratory, looking around in search of the medical supplies he sought among the various devices, worktops, cabinets, and rack upon rack of instruments and samples.  His gaze lingered on the observation window of one reinforced test chamber, built into the far wall.

Pain. Pain like he'd never felt before. Jolt after jolt of excruciation, accompanied by the harsh buzz of the voltages running through the metal frame and into his body. The restraints, hard and unyielding, digging into his wrists and ankles as he spasmed. The old man's face beyond the glass, grim, unmoved by a child's screams.

"Focus."

The voice, cold, muffled by the glass.

"Feel this, and let it focus your mind. Channel it."

The lever. Metal. Large, heavy. The old man had said it would break the circuit and end his torment. But it was beyond his reach.


He looked away, stared hard at the floor for a moment, then continued his search.

Soon his gaze alighted on the cabinet he'd been looking for. He opened its metal door magnetically as he approached, with a lazy flick of the wrist. He took a roll of bandages and a vial of disinfectant from within and turned back to Aerus.

"Right. Let's get back to our friends before they get any ideas."

OOC: @Goose

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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

Aerus was too taken aback by Syrik’s dismissal to notice the Toa’s momentary distraction, or even begin to formulate a response, the thoughts stuttering and starting in his head. It was only when Syrik spoke again that something in his mind snapped back into place, allowing him to think clearly.

Aerus' new companion was a cautious man – more cautious than he might have expected. Every choice he made, the actions he took and the ones he didn't, were carefully weighed. Syrik could kill him with ease, but had chosen not to, because Aerus was (for now) convenient. There was nothing Aerus knew, nothing he was capable of, that was beyond Syrik's abilities. But taking advantage of Aerus' knowledge and experience was more expedient than going it alone, and making Aerus his ally – his 'partner' – meant that he would more readily co-operate than he might as a captive.

His partnership with Syrik, and by extension his life, was balanced on the head of a pin. But Syrik was remarkably stable; the decision to kill Aerus would not be made because of a momentary irritation or inconvenience, but because he had become more trouble than he was worth in the long-term. Aerus had spent so much time focused on moment-to-moment survival, surrounded by cultists and mad Necromancers, men who killed out of boredom just as often as necessity. Syrik was a different kind of danger, the kind that was always thinking several steps ahead; from now on, Aerus would have to do the same.

"I'll follow your lead."

OOC: @Ghosthands

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IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

Yeah, that's why it was so empty.

"I thought you were the Outsiders," I quipped. "Not the Outsider."

Actually, in a sense, I lucked out - less help, less ways to split the difference, more of a cut for me. Kept control of the job under my fingertips and prevented it from becoming their sideshow. Despite that upside, I still wanted some more leverage that his allies could provide.

"I've already outsourced a few members of the crew, actually, so I can work with this. Told 'em to meet me here so I could hash out the plan before the window closes on us. But if you can find some others quickly, that would be preferred."

I'd tell him why in a moment, but I had to get his confirmation first. This is when I sat up straight, offered a handshake to the Big Guy and gave him The Look™.

"So are you up for the score of a lifetime? We'll be legends, once they realize what we took."

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IC: Minnorak – Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall

“We were… will be again… ” he muttered, "...it’s a work in progress." Minnorak was rarely embarrassed, but he was sure as karz feeling it now. He hadn't expected a job offer to come strolling through the door so soon. He'd barely started networking, to say nothing of actually recruiting. The Outsiders weren't ready. 

But he was.

Always. 

“I’m in. What’s the job?”

@BULiK

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OOC: Recommended listening:

Spoiler

 

IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

"I've acquired some manifests of Iron Mahi shipments," I began as I finished the handshake. Yes, I'll explain the big reveal when we get there, gimme a break - and get me another drink, this story isn't going to tell itself!

"Po-Koro's been testing some new piece of advanced tech their lab boys in their research co-op have been cooking up for a while. It's in the final stages of development, and they've been keeping it under wraps - state secret and all."

I leaned in with that little sparkle in my eye when something I'm about to say something really cool.

"But I got in. Spliced their network grid," - yes, I know what those words mean. Shut. Up. - " and spied on 'em for a while, long enough to know what it is, and how important it'll be."

"This gizmo, it's like a... cart that moves without needing an Ussal to pull it. Instead it uses electricity, but it doesn't have to run on rails like the Iron Mahi. It'll revolutionize transportation, militaries, shipping - massively increase the speed of inter-koro trade. We steal this prototype, any Koro or inventor - or inventor who runs a Koro - will want a peek to reverse engineer it. And Po-Koro can't explain it's stolen because nobody else knows it exists yet, and a public manhunt revealing it by saying they lost one would be awful PR for the big prize of their research initiatives."

"Since it's so under wraps, the Iron Mahi has been shipping it from the tech centers to proving grounds outside the public eye. All we need to do is sneak aboard and drive it out of there and they'll be none the wiser. Nobody would expect a robbery on the Iron Mahi when it's in the middle of the desert with no means of escaping or transporting goods out of there, and that's what makes it perfect: we steal this and we have the escape vehicle to haul any other bonus goods we find along the way. We'll be cruising out of sight across the Motara within a five minute window before the sentinels are able to call in the cavalry."

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Minnorak – Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall

“If we’re relying on this vehicle to be both our prize and our sole means of escape, I trust you have more information on it?” Minnorak replied, after weighing up the Matoran’s words for a while. The thought of carrying out a train heist stirred a sense of exhilaration he hadn’t experienced in a long time, but the sensation was soured somewhat by the questionable nature of the exit strategy.  

“Information such as how big it is, how fast and far it can travel, how many beings it can accommodate, how much weight it can carry… and of course, how to actually operate it,” he continued. “We won’t be getting far if we can’t figure out how to drive it, or if the inventors had the sense to disable it somehow while it’s being transported.”

That was certainly what Minnorak himself would do if he was transporting something as important as Quoribay was claiming. Technology wasn't worth much to thieves if it was missing a power source or other vital component. Granted, if the Po-Koroans were confident in their security, perhaps they saw no reason to bother. Still, it was better to be certain. 

"I don't need all of the details now. I just need to know that you know them." 

@BULiK

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IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

"Of course - I wouldn't be assembling a crew here if I wasn't confident I knew the details," I said, mostly correct. I had plenty of time to walk him and the others through the docs I had later on, but in general, I knew what was up. But the next part was even more awkward.

"However, there is one complication. Those partners I told you about? I've got a hunch one of them is gonna try to cut me loose the soonest chance he gets, and I need to know you're with me on setting him up to take the fall for us. Best way to ensure that we aren't tracked back home? Make it look like we never made it out to begin with, solve the case for the Sentinels so it never picks up steam. And to do that, they'll expect some of us in the wreckage. A bit harsh, I know, but it's necessary and it means more of a split for the rest of us."

"Two Taku, one Kohlii ball."

Yeah I'm never getting that image out of my head. You know that I was AT that Kohlii match? The surprise on Joske's face when - yeah, you all have heard the expression, you know how it ends.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Minnorak - Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall

"Hrm..." Minnorak's brow furrowed at Quoribay's words, "...in my experience, betraying your partners isn't great for your reputation, or future business prospects. I'm trying to rebuild the Outsiders brand here. If word gets out that I screwed someone over on my first job in months..." 

But then again, if word didn't get out, what did it matter? If all worked out as planned, the survivors would control the cover story. Comradery and loyalty had been core tenets of the Outsiders, but whoever he was about to be working with weren't the Outsiders. They weren't his friends. He didn't owe him anything. And they were unlikely to have his back beyond whatever the job demanded. 

Still, the Matoran was being awfully bold making such a request of a total stranger, and it left Minnorak wondering if similar suggestions had also been made to any of the other potential partners.

"...that said, this is your score," he continued, after a moment more of contemplation, "If someone tries to cross you, I'll have your back. And if someone needs to take the fall... well, the battlefield is an unpredictable place, and history is written by the winners."

@BULiK

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IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

Minny was more amenable to the idea than I feared, but less than I hoped. The honesty laced in his response was a good sign, and I considered that a win, overall. All of this was quite the risk but what was even riskier was going into the heist without something watching my back.

"Exactly - this is a contingency, and why I have to be able to trust you on it."

"I get it, it's not my first option either, but this guy - Surdo - has crossed me in the past, and when I had the misfortune of being spotted by him on the way over, he butted into this plan with some threats on the delusion that I owe him for a debt long paid. I doubt the threats he made then are the last I'll see."

"Point is - keep your eyes on him, and there might be some parts of the plan that we'll have to hide from him and anyone he brings. When the day comes, be there if he tries to throw me under the tracks. Either way, we'll want to make a scene of the train car in question to keep detectives guessing while we make our escape - but if he gets caught in the blast I'm not concerned."

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Minnorak - Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall

"Understood," he nodded, leaning back against the bar. "Well, I think the rest of my questions can wait until the rest of the party guests arrive. No sense in making you repeat yourself. So, how many visitors are we expecting?" 

@BULiK

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

So, then I told Minnorak about everyone I'd recruited thus far, taking care to mention that Baz might be loyal to Surdo, before we took a break. I forget exactly what happened next aside from that vodka not really getting any better the more I drank, and that it wasn't long before said accomplices began to show up. Don't worry I'm not going to go into the whole planning process, but meeting the crew has some things that make it a story worth telling, and you'll see why later.

OOC: Gonna give space for people to show up. No rush but no reason to delay anymore.

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IC, Skrol: Obisidan Outpost

Tap

Tap

Tap

These faint sounds were heard outside of the door. They were soon followed by a slightly louder smack on the door itself. The handle turned, and the door slowly opened. A Lesterin with a walking stick shuffled in. A slightly raspy voice called out from him.

"Quoribay? Ya here?" the being asked aloud. After a brief second (and some soft tongue clicks) the blind Lesterin was able to zero in on the Matoran. "Ah, there ye are." He began walking toward him, swinging his stick in front of him in a back-and-forth motion. "So I got yer message- what exactly did ya have in mind?"

OOC: @BULiK

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IC: Niici— Ko-Koro, Cultured Gentry HQ

The ritzy-looking Toa smiled as she rose from her chair. She reached out and took the Le-Toa’s hand, shaking it with enthusiasm.

“That would be most excellent,” Niici said, “My staff can arrange for a meeting — anytime that’s convenient for Toa Aelied”

Niici began making her way to the door. When she opened it, she saw her secretary at the end of the hallway talking with another Ko-Matoran that she did not recognize. Naturally, she assumed this visitor was also here to see Niici.

“Looks like I have a busy day ahead of me,” Niici said to Cyrix nodding towards the two Matoran.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata@ARROW404

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"hey girl: here’s an idea, but… it’s up to you:

You’re the boss of this operation."

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IC: Dolbren - Obsidian Outpost

Dolbren shivered in the cold, in spite of himself. He had been in Ko-Wahi long enough, he reasoned, that he should have gotten used to it. Standing in the shallow snow cover in the courtyard of the Obsidian Outpost, the gap between expectation and reality was eminently clear to him. He didn’t know it then, but for the rest of his life he would never feel quite at home in lower temperatures.

At that moment, however, he hastened inside. He opened the doors without knocking. He wasn’t sure of the time, but he felt late. He was wrong about that too, as he found out when he leaned into the mess hall and saw only three others inside.

He smiled and gave a slight nod to Quoribay. Quoribay, he recognized; that one was something of a known quantity. Minnorak, he knew by reputation and hearsay only. The third figure, the Lesterin, he had no idea. That problem, of course, was easily remedied.

He swung out his arms to either side, palms open, closed-mouth smile.

“You know, I’m glad I’m not late. I don’t know everyone here, and I’d rather make a good first impression. I’m Dolbren—”

Dolbren was unguarded: he said that with an obvious expectation of replies in kind,

“—and I’m excited to work with you all. Though I fear you may have the advantage of me; you really weren’t very specific about this plan, Quoribay.”

OOC: @BULiK @~Xemnas~ @Nato G

Edited by oncertainty
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IC: Cyrix - Cultured Gentry HQ, Ko-Koro

"I wouldn't want to keep you, then." Giving Niici a final nod, he turned to leave the way he came. The less people that saw that he was meeting with Niici the better. He was briefly confused when the ko-matoran approached him instead of the Chairwoman.

"Uh... yes?"

OOC: @Emzee @ARROW404

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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OOC: Recommended listening:

Spoiler

 

IC: Quoribay [Ko-Wahi, Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

So those guys I was talking about? Wasn't long before they started showing up. First was the signature tapping of an acquaintance who hadn't ever seen me before and never would - Skrol. Skrol was a solid pick for this this kind of caper because what he lacked in optics he made up for with crisply precise hearing that was my best shot - short of an Akaku - of finding what I needed once we got in the thick of it. Might be blind as an ice bat and as batty as Nuju was back in the day with all those annoying clicking noises he made, but if it worked, it worked. It helps to have someone on the crew who won't notice your optics rolling. At least, I think he can't.

Anyway, he asked me what I had in mind and I was about to give him the rundown when our next puzzle piece walked through the front door with a smile. Dolbren was a prime example of the type of Toa that became commonplace after the First Toa fell but before Makuta bought the farm - easygoing guy with no qualms with kicking ### and looking for a paycheck. Independent contractor type, a real Xa-Koro type beat. In fact, I met him in the closest thing you could consider to Xa-Koro - Ko-Koro under Legacy control. Much like myself he was too savvy to believe the hype of those in charge and sign up to die for Echelon's pride, and we both managed to similarly bug out of town soon as the odds were against it. I'd been around Dol long enough to know he'd see this kind of risk as a challenge - nobody had ever done this before. Well, in this way, at least; there were a few false starts a ways back but they never went anywhere or went bad from the get-go.

“You know, I’m glad I’m not late. I don’t know everyone here, and I’d rather make a good first impression. I’m Dolbren—”

Ah, reminds me of the good old days, y'know? Not everyone used to be so uptight and 'introspective'. There was a time when we meant what we said and said what we meant, even though we didn't really understand what we were saying or meaning at the time. Not as many straight shooters today. I had that kind of attitude once, actually. You wouldn't believe the hijinks I got up to and how and why I did - but those are stories for another time - I'm nowhere near hammered enough to talk about those first few gigs of mine.

That old school charm lifted my spirits - or maybe that was just what the Ba-Toa used his powers for.

Oh yeah, as I was saying that he was saying:

“—and I’m excited to work with you all. Though I fear you may have the advantage of me; you really weren’t very specific about this plan, Quoribay.”

So introduced Dol to the rest of the crew

"Dolbren, meet Skrol, our sound guy. Skrol, meet Dolbren. He lifts, among other things."

In hindsight I maybe didn't need to point to Minnorak for the sake of introducing him to Skrol.

"Minnorak here is our host at Obsidian Outpost who will help me seal the deal with our buyer afterwards, and provide muscle along the way."

After racing through their introduction, I got the two of them up to speed rather quickly.

"Still expecting a few more, but until they get here, I'll at least tell you the target: a self-propelled cart straight out of Nuparu's wackiest dreams. We steal it and drive away with any other tech goodies Po-Koro's shipping to Forsi."

"Now, how do we do that? We'll go over that when the others arrive."

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Minnorak - Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall

Minnorak was generally a very stoic individual, but even he couldn't hold himself back from directing an "are-you-kidding-me?" glare at Quoribay when the blind Lesterin blundered into the building. He held his tongue, though, not wanting to make a poor first impression to a being that might yet surprise him.

He knew first-hand how beings could adapt to adversity and ailment. He'd known Draygon both before and after he'd lost his eye, seen how the experience had changed him. In some ways, the loss had made him stronger. In other ways... not so much. But he'd always been loyal and reliable, right up until the end. Hopefully the same was true of this Skrol character. 

The next arrival was even more of a reminder of the dear friend Minnorak had buried on the mountainside than the first had been. A Ba-Elemental armed with a wry smile, a confident demeanour, and a big sword; Minnorak almost expected to hear the same strange accent when the Toa opened his mouth to introduce himself as Dolbren. 

"Greetings, both of you," Minnorak offered, once Quoribay had finished introducing everyone. "Take a seat, make yourselves at home. I imagine it's going to be a long evening." 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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On 4/18/2022 at 12:37 AM, Goose said:

"I'll follow your lead."


IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

The Toa grinned.

"Good plan."


Together, the newly-acquainted partners traversed the corridors back towards the entrance. Syrik waved open the magnetic door once more, and stepped out, medical supplies in hand. If he was relieved or surprised to find the three Matoran were still there, he didn't show it.

"I hope we didn't keep you waiting too long," he said amiably.

Although...

The Toa's eyes swept around the ice cave, then settled on Kreigero. He tilted his head a little to one side, a quizzical hint of a smile hovering over his lips.

"Your Hapaka's gone."

 

OOC: @Goose @BULiK @~Xemnas~ @Tarn

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IC: Karmine Madoc - Obsidian Outpost ("Hey, kid. I'm putting together a crew.")

Well, I'm really not sure what to think at this point, except for the fact that Ko-Wahi is bloody cold. It doesn't really seem like there's many people at this outpost, which is a bit strange, because as I remember, this was supposed to be where the Outsiders were camped out. 

Completely impulsively I open the door without knocking, praying to Mata Nui that it's a little warmer inside. It isn't, really, but the wind's gone, which is nice. And then inside is apparently the people I'm looking for, including Quoribay. Everyone seems nice enough, especially for the people Quoribay usually tangles with. I place my launcher by the door, rubbing my hands together and looking around.

"Well, hello! Sorry I took a while, last client wanted me to escort them home. Everyone have a safe trip?" I smile, closing my bad eye to get a better look at the fellowship that had assembled.

OOC: @Nato G@BULiK@oncertainty@~Xemnas~

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OOC: Syrik's a Big Guy

Spoiler

 

IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair]

The Ko-Matoran was surprised that the Toa wasn't lying about those supplies - perhaps she had misjudg-

"Your Hapaka's gone."

The huntress had become extremely aware that the Toa was looking to her - no, at her. The urge to shiver increased, but she fought it off with her spirit. She couldn't falter now. Must. stay. strong.

Kreigero had tangled with Muaka many times in the past. She knew that apex predators guaranteed their success not just through their raw strength but by choosing their fights when they were certain it would be in their favor. It was known amongst those who roamed the drifts that if a Muaka chose you as its next meal, running away was not an option. Running was a last resort with no chance of success once you were any distance from civilization - the Muaka would always catch up, and the second you ran, you just became an easier, defenseless target.

No, the only way to stop the Muaka was to puff your chest, wave your spear, and growl with the spirit of a Kane-Ra - show it that you would not go silently and it would pay dearly for encroaching upon you.

Nonetheless, it occurred to Kreigero that she might have made a mistake - was sending Reyal away a show of force, or a sign of weakness? It all depended on how this unusual pair of hermits interpreted it. The more unpredictable of the two, in particular. Syrik had been nearly inscrutable until now and that worried Kreigero more than the frail Matoran who thought he was some kind of genius.

"Yes," Kreigero confirmed, treating the Toa with some Ko-Koronan courtesy as she stared at him in a fruitless attempt to judge his reactions and predict his actions. Why does he look almost... pleased?

IC: Quoribay [Obsidian Outpost, Mess Hall]

I gave the next accomplice a nod. Karmine was another Ba-Toa I'd called out of the woodwork - I knew we'd need at least one or someone with a Pakari for moving the goods on this job, but I was particularly please at having both because that opened up so many options in our eventual plan. I knew nothing could prevent Karmine from being on the front lines on the next big fight - when he shifts into a his more rebellious personality I suspected he and Dolbren would become fast friends - and this bloodlust would be very useful since he was going to be taking some of the greater risks in the plan. In fact, he took quite well to it when I gave him the pitch because despite how dangerous it was (or perhaps because of it) his role was the thrillseeker's dream.

But that's talking about the plan, I'll get to that later when I get to the part of the story where we actually go through with it and it all goes sideways, buuuuut that's a story for after another glass. Yes. You. Get me one. Don't worry you're not gonna miss the interesting part, you were already here when I told you about Surdo and Baz.

Ah yeah, so where was I?

The crew was really coming together. While some weren't able to make it (</3 Liacada) we still had more than enough on board to pull it off - barring any unexpected surprises popping up, but... we'll get to that.

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IC (Syrik) [Echelon's Lair]

Silence hung heavy in the frigid air. Whether Syrik was expecting Kreigero to elaborate, or keeping quiet for some other reason of his own, the others could only guess at. His gaze remained locked with the Ko-Matoran's. The faint not-quite-smile did not waver until he spoke again.

"And...is he all right?"

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IC: Savrehn - Ko-Wahi - Abyss

“He’s a bit of a free spirit,” Savrehn interjected, unable to stay idle. “Tends to wander ahead of us, but never get lost. Very brave, that one.”

He glanced over at Kreigero. He wasn’t sure if the Toa had somehow figured out what they were doing, or if this was genuine concern for the wellbeing of a pet. More than likely, he just wanted to make the group nervous.

“He’ll return to us when he feels like it. You know how Rahi are.”

OOC: @BULiK@~Xemnas~@Ghosthands@Goose

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IC: Kreigero [Echelon's Lair]

With great discipline, Kreigero didn't take her eyes off of Syrik and Aerus as Savrehn spoke. She was surprisingly lucid, alertly watching for any of their actions. She would thank Savrehn for his input later, if there was a later for both of them. Maybe even thank Atamai for not screwing it up further, if such a thing actually happened.

Her lack of elaboration continued unabated.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Aerus (Echelon's Lair)

Even as the male Ko-Matoran spoke, Aerus' eyes did not waver from the female. Like Syrik, he had noticed the Hapaka's absence, but he also took note of the fact that the ropes connecting the trio had now been cut. They had been busy – which meant that the female Ko-Matoran, so clearly the leader, had been busy.

It was an admirable gamble. If things went sideways, they had sent the mutt ahead for help, and she was the least likely to survive a confrontation. It was cold calculus at its best; she was already dead, and even with the Hapaka, she didn't believe they could overcome Syrik. Escape was their best bet. They were, in his estimation, putting a tad too much faith in a dumb animal's ability to find help and return to them, but the meager advantage of having the Hapaka with them was arguably outweighed by the possibility that it could succeed in its mission. None of this, though, was what impressed him.

The actions the Matoran had taken changed little about their actual odds of escaping a hostile situation, and at worst risked provoking Syrik, depending on how he might interpret them. It was Aerus' suspicion that the female Ko-Matoran knew this, especially since she had already consigned herself to death. What had changed, however, was the attitude of her companions – still afraid, of course, but with newly bolstered confidence and a greater sense of control. In other words, they were no longer panicking; no one would freeze if things broke bad, nor would anyone get jumpy and trigger a confrontation when Aerus and Syrik returned.

As Aerus smirked, the glimmer in his eyes was one of recognition, and respect. Nicely done.

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