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IC: Priicu - The Wise Man's Archive

The librarian needed a moment of his own to collect his thoughts. Today had taken a sharp turn from what he had expected when he'd woken up. He settled himself at his desk and busied himself with filling forms out. The orders for the Ko-tatsus were done, but there were books, scrolls, equipment, all sorts of busywork he could do while thinking.

An innovative business proposition that turned into potential sedition. A Toa that had given off the impression of dishonesty at first, but then proved to be perhaps the most forthright person who'd visited the Archive that day. Establishing the beginnings of a rapport with the Kalta, and possibly the Gentry, and it seemed, involving himself in something quite a bit bigger than he had ever envisioned.

He wondered if today's meeting might be worthy of history in the future. The seedbed of an alliance? At the thought, he set aside the work he had half done, and took out his journal instead, documenting the details of the day for posterity. Whom could he trust, he wondered. Muir was friendly, and had probably made the best impression on him. But he knew what people said about lawyers... Cyrix hadn't made the best first impression, but that had been pretty nicely cleared up. Syzygos was pretty mysterious... Priicu had never particularly prided himself on his judge of character, but he had even less of a read on him than usual. But he was willing to do honest work, so that was that! He saw no reason not to continue their arrangement. And then there was Niici... Muir's warning echoed in his mind. The Ko-Matoran didn't know what to think of it all, or who to trust. But with the warning he had been given, he would keep the Gentry at arm's length. Amiable enough to not make enemies, but distant enough not to become friends. For the time being, anyhow.

He set the journal aside and got back to work. He'd put some hiring flyers out the next day, looking for scribes to transcribe the tablets Syzygos had made him. Yes, business as usual. He thought it best not to overthink the questions he didn't have answers to.

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OOC: Big thanks to @Visaru for the jam

IC: Vrill & Korzaa [Ko-Koro, Sanctum] (Later that day)

Inside Captain’s Korzaa’s office, among the many tablets of ice in drawers and shelves, there was an impostor - a singular tablet of a translucent blue crystal. Most of the tablet was scored with a grid of circular markings, the basic common element of Matoric script. The bottom half was blank space.

Inside the first circle at the top of the tablet, crystal parted like flowing molasses to form the crossed bars and dot of the Matoric letter :v:.

The message did not have to lie dormant for long. Korzaa organized her time with the same rigid bureaucratic consistency as she organized her files, and since the day was fading and the last of her meetings were over, that meant, as it did every day, that she was putting her office in order. She sorted her stacks of tablets from her desk into a series of well fitted slots in the drawers and shelves around her office, double checking that the other tablets were organized. On a usual day, the casual manner with which she checked the crystal tablet would have been indistinguishable from the rest of her sorting. But today was different.

As she saw the letter on the first line, she immediately paused and checked that the door of her office was shut, then quickly finished filing the rest of the current stack of documents and set the crystal on her desk. 

She carved a K into the circle next to the V, and then: REPORT

On the next line of the grid, letters grew inside the circles like microbes in petri dishes. Each letter came with sizable anticipation - such precision took skill and concentration in equal measure, and was never speedy. As such, brevity was paramount to the Cy-Toa.

LEADS > T > KALTA > SKORM + ANTIDERMIS

The message continued on the next line.

STATUS > CYRIX TAILING V +

Already bad news, but there was a pause before the line finished out:

STATUS > CYRIX TAILING V + ROGUE ASSET CALLCODE M

The next lines were written more rapidly, as to not linger on the unfavorable position.

COVER > M + V INVESTIGATE ANTIDERM FOR AKIRI P

CYRIX UNAWARE TARGET > T
CYRIX UNAWARE K INVOLVE
CYRIX + NIICI TEAM ?

M DEDUCED TARGET > T
M UNAWARE K INVOLVE
M STATUS UNKNOWN + ROGUE

OVERALL > EVIDENCE INSUFFICIENT

RECS > RSRCH ANTIDERM CNTRMEASR + WPN POTENTIAL
NEXT LEADS > WHY KALTA SPY ON KALTA
WHY KALTA W GENTRY + IF T INVOLVE

REQ > 

Another pause before the line finished.

REQ > RECRUIT M VIA DISCLOSE K?

The mixed message ended the same way the conversation began:

:v:

After copying over a few relevant notes on another tablet, Korzaa added a response in the lines below Vrill’s terse message, carving clearly and slowly into the surface with her stylus. 

DO NOT DISCLOSE K. WORKING WITH M PERMITTED ONLY IF K INVOLVEMENT SECRET.

ANTIDERMIS INFO + CONNECTIONS TOP PRIORITY

FURTHER INVESTIGATION INTO KALTA, GENTRY, AND TARKAHN APPROVED

:k:

There was a lengthy pause - reading from a distance took as much precision as writing. In the chapel a few walls away, some nearby Ko-Koronans were mildly annoyed at the Cy-Toa’s sigh.

Soon, text began to take shape once more.

UNDERSTOOD

CAUTION > CYRIX AWARE V ON ANTIDERM CASE
AWARE P ORDER M + V ON ANTIDERM CASE
MAY SUSPECT K IF K BEGIN PUBLIC CASE 
AWAIT OUTSIDERS TO REQ ANTIDERM CASE

There was a chilling wait in the utter silence - the agent had yet to sign off. There was more to say, but as the sentences cautiously formed it became clear that he struggled to find the proper words to etch, as if bringing them into the world would surely manifest their harm.

The next set of glyphs began to form, one after the other with frightening clarity.

FINAL CRIT INTEL >

V + M INTERRGTED STANNIS
VERIFIED > MAKUTA BANISHED
NEVER SLAIN

IMPLICATIONS > CALAMITOUS
CONTINGENCIES PARAMOUNT
ALL AKIRI MUST KNOW
ALL ARMIES MUST PREPARE

:v:

Another pause stretched out. Korzaa’s hand hovered over the line below, rereading and rereading this last message, lowering her stylus to write something before reconsidering and picking it up again. Then, her hand shaking only slightly, she carved:

CONFIRM: 
MAKUTA IS ALIVE?
:k:

Embellishment was unnecessary. The exact words had yet to leave the operative’s mind. After a beat, the slate wiped itself clean, and lengthier words occupied the tablet’s space in a cruder, less mathematically precise script laced with grammatical omissions.

V + M + P WERE PRESENT
USED KANOHI RODE

STAN QUOTE >
WE DEFEATED HIM
PUT IN PLACE WHERE HE COULDN'T REACH US
BUT NOT FULL VANQUISHING
SUCH WAS IMPOSSIBLE VS NOTHINGNESS
WE PUT HIM AWAY IN SAFEKEEPING
DIDN’T KNOW WHERE + HOW LONG HE’D STAY
DIDN’T UNDERSTAND TIL TOO LATE
MARU FOLLOWED PROPHECY
NONE UNDERSTOOD IT
SAID “MAKUTA IS GONE”
NEVER DEAD

:v:

Inside the chapel, the spy finally faltered, trance broken by beads of sweat and salty optics. Each of the slouched Toa’s intentional breaths were deeper, intake desperately attempting to rejuvenate his burnt lungs. His mind spun.

The Cy-Toa's armor thinned as he absorbed some of the outer crystalline layers. Undefended, the cold bit him freshly. At first, the air stung like countless needles, but it coalesced into a saturating pain. The subsequent numbness sharpened his focus. He reached out again with his elemental senses, pinpointing his tablet amidst a sea of lightstones and heatstones throughout the building.

By the time the undercover guardsman found it, he could sense a brief response already scratched into the bottom lines of the tablet. It read:

UNDERSTOOD.
CONSIDER STANNIS INFO ON MAKUTA DECLASSIFIED
CONTINUE INVESTIGATION
FOLLOW UP KALTA + GENTRY + T LEADS
FURTHER MAKUTA INFO HIGH PRIORITY

:k:

Nearing the end of his resolve, the Cy-Toa was glad the exchange was over, though he hardly felt any better for it.

COPY

V OUT

A few moments later, the entire tablet squirmed as crystal grew into the etchings, erasing any evidence of the document. The now blank crystal tablet was slotted back into its drawer, hidden among the rest of the near identical ice tablets. The exchange would live on in their minds, and it would do so for some time to come.

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IC: Casanuva - The Capella, Ko-Koro

"Well it's a good thing I trust my team. Sounds pretty lonely." He glanced aside at his water, thinking about Skorm and Cyrix. Did he trust them? Skorm, he could say that he did - now. They may have had their personal falling outs, but now, and before they came to this island, he'd still trust Skorm with his back. But what about Cyrix? Skorm trusted him, which after what Skorm went through, said a lot. He had been a ghost, but he looked out for them.

"I'll check in now and then. If you're even half as good as an elementalist than you are at moralizing, you'll be able to find me too. But I'm normally at the Kalta Armory; if you get within a hundred meters of the place, I will find you. We don't appreciate people working behind our backs; if you ever want to share information with us on the level, talk to me at the Armory. There's no reason for us to be enemies, and many for us to be friends; I could even help you with that axe of yours," Casanuva said, gesturing with his half-full water glass.

"But yeah, we're done for now."

OOC: @a goose

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Muir (The Capella)

The lawyer laughed again and pulled his coat tight, bracing himself against the coming cold.

"I didn't say 'people you don't trust,' did I?" There was an odd twinge of sadness behind Muir's eyes to accompany this smirk. "See you around, Cas. And good luck."

And with that, he made his way back out into the storm.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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[IC: Siika - Ko-Wahi]

On 12/9/2021 at 9:29 PM, Rahisaurus said:

Taking the fish from her bag, she placed them in a stone-lined cubby beneath her floor, covering them over with crushed ice and replacing the lid. That should keep them fresh while she made the trip to Ko-Koro for supplies. This was something she had to do once a week, or thereabouts.

...

Siika thought to herself as she took her spear and headed for the door. She was going to find out where that crook had gone and make him pay. Closing the door behind her, she steeled her gaze into the icy winds at the path ahead. Justice would be done.

Siika was halfway up the mountainside when she realised she needed something to actually trade for the supplies she needed. Thankfully she knew there was a river nearby, and that the fish would be migrating upstream this time of year. What luck! She took a minor detour and found herself at the source of the musical trickling, watching for the familiar glint of fish moving beneath the rushing waters. She crouched low, her piercing blue eyes watching intently, her spear-hand slowly rising... then with a jolt of sudden movement, the spear was sticking out of a fish nearby. She smiled.

Still got it.

Maybe she didn't need the extra fishing net and bait after all.

...

The next day, Siika arrived in Ko-Koro with 3 large fresh fish in her sack. She wandered through the quiet marketplace, heading for the stall she knew well. The owner easily spotted her towering figure before she had a chance to greet him first, and rolled his eyes.

Doesn't she know this is the worst city on the whole island to sell fish? Nobody wants to eat that up here, they want hot, warming meals.... 

"Koreko! My old friend." Siika flashed a sharp-toothed grin.

That's an overstatement...

"Here I am again, with the finest fish your stall has seen this week!" she said, putting on her best saleswoman voice.

"Try the only fish my stall has seen..." mumbled the aging ko-matoran.

"I will trade you these three fine fish for a new net and a parcel of mealworms", offered the Skakdi.

"Look, Siika, this is... rough for me but I just can't sell your fish. Last week I only sold one, and the others stunk out my store room before I had chance to throw them out."

"What?? Clearly you weren't trying hard enough to sell them?  What else am I supposed to do, huh? Big girl like me, I can't craft fine things like you or do anything else worth money. Fishing's all I got!"

She shifted the weight of the shield on her back, the scar on her shoulder swimming over the rippling muscles beneath.

"...that, and pummeling."

"Okay! Alright, I'll take them, but you're only getting the mealworms."

"WHAT?!"

The sounds of their continued argument echoed about the marketplace, no doubt drawing a few stares.

 

ooc: @Geardirector one buff skakdi, loud, proud, and ready for noticing, senpai

tune in next year to catch the next thrilling instalment of Siika Does Something™

Edited by Rahisaurus
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IC: Joskander (Sanctum)

Joskander frowned, considered, shrugged.  "Once or twice while I was running errands for Ihu.  Can't say I liked it much.  Too much sun, too much sand, not enough water."

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander RL got in the way of this one!  Got a lot of different writing projects going on at once.

It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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OOC: who doesnt love writing when working/studying and then writing some more during free time

IC: Sir Dahkapa (Sanctum)

"Ah. Well, you won't have to come with me there then, if you do not want to experience all that again."

He showed the map to him and pointed at the northernmost tip of Mata Nui. "I'm thinking of paying a visit to Blackrock Canyon," he whispered. "See if the fortress still standing. I'm afraid it is the only place where I can find what I'm looking for. And if there's any members of the Brotherhood still there... well, I hope I'll be able to convince them of the error of their ways."

He paused to let the information sink in and rolled up the scroll before putting it back on the shelf. "I've never been there myself, though I've visited Po-Wahi before. Nevertheless, I doubt I'll need to borrow this map. The canyon can be reached by just going north along the narrow cape. It would be a long journey, though."

"Do you want to stay here?"

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)

still alive somehow

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IC: Muir (Drifter's Inn)

Big Al was less than pleased to be letting a room on credit, and Muir found himself hoping dearly that Renaka would cover his expenses. Alrin seemed to hope that too, given the way his eyes lit up when he realised Muir was getting someone else – someone unfamiliar with the typical cost of a night in his establishment – to foot the bill.

The room looked, and was, cheap. The musty smell that came part and parcel with unopened windows in a damp Koro was pervasive, and the mattress may as well have been made of stone, but it offered at a competitive price those usually expensive qualities of privacy and discretion.

Muir let his chest plate fall to the floor with a thud, taking a deep breath at long last. He had been wearing it far too much these past few days; an unfortunate necessity of public appearances, and one that would leave him sore for quite some time. The whiskeys had done their job, though, dulling the ache significantly, and his smoking doubtless posed a far greater risk of long-term damage to his lungs than binding a few hours too long.

The lawyer knew his metabolism well, and knew that he had just enough time to transcribe his conversation with Casanuva before the drink would cloud his mind. The trade-off for an easier night's sleep was that he would be unable to allot time to processing the events and discoveries of the day until morning, but it was an easy trade to make – all that information would continue percolating in his mind while he dreamt, and his anger toward Vrill would have somewhat abated, allowing him to make a proper, objective assessment.

His work done, he closed his notebook, and soon after, his eyes. This day had lasted long enough.

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IC: 'Vrill' [Ko-Koro, Solstice District]

A Toa stumbled into the Glacierpool, Ko-Koro's former bastion of mediocre fights to watch with mediocre drinks...

The war was lost...
The treaty signed.
I was not caught...
I crossed the line.
I was not caught...
Though many tried.
I live among you...
Well disguised.

I had to leave...
My life behind.
I dug some graves...
You'll never find.
The stories told...
With facts and lies.
I have a name...
But nevermind.

The last time the Cy-Toa had been here was... earlier that evening, actually. Before that? Hard to count. Not in the state he was in, at least. Luckily, few optics turned to the apparent drunkard. Well, few stayed on him, at least. None thought to upset him on the warpath to the abandoned lot.

There were still some frozen beds there, which might even be habitable if sealed off by the drunk Toa's element. But slightly better mattresses existed at other frost rat dens like Drifter's for nearly the same cost. Plus, despite his stubbornness, he had more than enough widgets in reserve for a classier joint like Rhanus's, too. Why come to the Glacierpool's grave then? Something the agent had spied on the elemental plane earlier that day.

The nameless Toa picked himself up after falling over one of the formerly-load-bearing walls, dusting off the ash that remained from a furniture fire that had been long since been snuffed out. He didn't bother to reabsorb the spilled crystalline flask, because that's when he saw it - the pile of broken glass. With an exhale of relief, he went limp and fell into the mass of former bottles. His mask glowing as he fell, the shards wrapped around him like a kaleidoscopic blanket, soothing the ache of what had been his elemental reserves.

He needed rest - maybe it would clear his head. A pleasant lie. The Cy-Toa saw the crossroads, but his choice had already been etched into the Wall of History. Sleeping on it wasn't a vain search for clarity; all he needed was the strength to walk the only path.

OOC: Vrill on ice for a little bit here while some other things percolate.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Joskander (Sanctum)

"Nah.  This sounds like something I'd want to stick around for."  Joskander shrugged as nonchalantly as he could.  Inwardly, he grimaced.  In Ko, Dahkapa certainly seemed to be among friends... but a Brotherhood fortress was another thing entirely.

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander I was actually on the fence about what I chose here because I've got so much writing to do for class these days >_>

It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Sanctum)

He simply nodded, though inwardly felt good that he wouldn't have to make such a long and dangerous journey alone. He had always been a loner, and though he wouldn't call Joskander a friend, he had to admit it was still pleasant to have company.

"Alright," he whispered again, "suppose we'll get some provisions and head straight to Onu-Koro via the tunnel. From there, to Po-Koro, then to Ostia on the Iron Mahi, then finally north along the coast to the canyon."

He glanced at the guard who was watching them. "So, let us go then," he spoke, now loud and clear.

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva) up to you if you want to rp each part of the trip or if you want them to teleport straight to po-wahi/the canyon.

Edited by Daniel the Finlander

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IC: Joskander (Sanctum)

"Mm, we go to Po, yes."  Joskander nodded twice- first to the guard, then to Dahkapa.  "After you, brother."

OOC: Joskander and Dahkapa to Po-Wahi!  I'd rather let you decide the pace- I don't really know anything about Po right now xD @Daniel the Finlander

It is not for us to decide the fate of angels.

Dominus Temporis, if you're out there, hit me up through one of my contacts.  I've been hoping to get back in touch for a long time now.  (Don't worry, I'm not gonna beg you to bring back MLWTB or something.  :P )

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