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IC: Datrox Karvan - Po-Koro - Dustpool Inn

“Uh, sure,” Datrox replied. He tried to think of a topic of conversation while they waited for the food, absentmindedly drumming his fingers against the table. His optics started to wander around the room again.

“I wonder if there’s anybody here that recognizes you. Would be a pretty wild coincidence, right?” He leaned back further and the seat creaked. “Somebody has to know you. Maybe if this cactus business doesn’t work out, maybe…I don’t know. We’ll find somebody with some answers.”

Datrox then leaned forward, back towards Kohra, but his optics still focused on the area around them. Perhaps he hoped, in vain, he would find someone here who knew something. Just had to look hard enough. “But,” he continued, “maybe it’s like you said, and it’s better we don’t meet anybody who knew you.”

It had crossed Datrox’s mind a couple times that he might have been helping someone who had done something in the past and now forgot it. Had she wronged someone? Had someone wronged her? And was this amnesia tied to it. It wouldn’t change anything—he would still help her, no matter what. But he wanted to figure her out, get a better idea of who she was.

He let out a nervous chuckle. “I guess it’s just a scary thought to me. Not really the forgetting things part, but being the thing that's forgotten.”

OOC: @Vezok's Friend

Edited by Tarn
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On 12/19/2021 at 12:46 AM, Umbraline Yumiwa said:

He nodded once, dismissing himself from the meeting. "We should go."

And he was out the door. 

IC: Ra'lhen - Po-Koro, Akiri Residence 

Ra'lhen gave one last nod to the Akiri, her guards, and the two Toa before following Stannis. 

"Please pass on the news of my newest mission to the Sentinels. If they ask, of course," Ra'lhen said to the Akiri, "I am confident that we will return with strengthen alliance with Onu-Koro"

And with that both Stannis and Ra'lhen found themselves outside of the Akiri's hut.

"You know... funny thing," Ra'lhen said, shifting his eyes around him, "I've never actually walked from Onu-Koro to Po-Koro. The last time I was there, one of your buddies teleported me here and I've been in Po-Wahi ever since. Is going on foot still the way to travel?"

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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: Vrill [Po-Koro, Akiri Residence]

Stannis was gone, and although the Maru had left many a Kikanalo in the room, he did cede a crucial tactical position to Vrill; the Cy-Toa walked to where Stannis had been seated and poured himself another mug of coffee.

Edited by BULiK
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IC Stannis’ magical coffee pot | Po-Koro, a table 

As the pitch black liquid poured out Vrill realized there was not much left and his satisfaction soured. It was the best coffee he’d ever had in his life, and now there was only scantly enough of it left for two sips.

A precious resource of black gold, indeed. 

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IC: [Kohra - Po-Koro, Dustpool Inn]

 

“Being forgotten…” Kohra mumbled, absent-mindedly rubbing at her left shoulder. Datrox could hear a soft rustle from underneath her poncho.

 

“I mean…it’s certainly been scary. I think. No one came looking for me, so…I think I’ve been forgotten too and…”

 

She paused. Not out of pain this time, but realization, or something similar.

 

“Wait…were you…did we…did I know you? Or you know me?” She asked, sounding both worried and slightly excited at the idea.

“Did I…did I forget you?”

 

OOC: @Tarn

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On 12/19/2021 at 8:31 PM, Snelly said:

IC: Skyra Daring - Po-koro -

"I don't know if it really was destiny or just a happy accident, but either way the life of a Toa suits me just fine."

IC: Lumune

She led them around to the right, into the shade of the city's natural sandstone walls. They would be arriving soon. "I can imagine... The things I'd do if I could survive a jump like that. Trapping would be easy, that's for sure."

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5 hours ago, ARROW404 said:

IC: Lumune

She led them around to the right, into the shade of the city's natural sandstone walls. They would be arriving soon. "I can imagine... The things I'd do if I could survive a jump like that. Trapping would be easy, that's for sure."

IC: Skyra Daring 

"Yeah, it's pretty handy for that sort of thing, I-" A sudden throb on the left side of my head interrupted me as I winced and rubbed it with my fingers. I briefly thought of taking the pain meds Dorian had given me, but I decided against it for now. It wasn't that painful yet. "...I do have to watch for low ceilings though, didn't have to do that as a Matoran that's for sure." 

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6 hours ago, Snelly said:

IC: Skyra Daring 

"Yeah, it's pretty handy for that sort of thing, I-" A sudden throb on the left side of my head interrupted me as I winced and rubbed it with my fingers. I briefly thought of taking the pain meds Dorian had given me, but I decided against it for now. It wasn't that painful yet. "...I do have to watch for low ceilings though, didn't have to do that as a Matoran that's for sure." 

IC: Lumune

"Boy, if that were my only worry, I'd consider myself blessed," she chuckled. This Skyra was easy to get along with. She herself had pretty much never spoken with a Toa before- not since Pohatu- so she had expected something more austere. But this felt a lot like just talking to another Matoran. Something she wasn't really good at, she had to admit.

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29 minutes ago, ARROW404 said:

IC: Lumune

"Boy, if that were my only worry, I'd consider myself blessed," she chuckled. This Skyra was easy to get along with. She herself had pretty much never spoken with a Toa before- not since Pohatu- so she had expected something more austere. But this felt a lot like just talking to another Matoran. Something she wasn't really good at, she had to admit.

IC: Skyra Daring 

"There's a few things I have to worry about besides that." Like Makuta's return and all. That was kind of concerning. "But not too much I guess." 

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IC: Dehkaz [Po-Koro]

His boots kicking up small clouds of dust from the sandy, hard-packed streets of Po-Koro, Dehkaz made his way towards the older section of the village. The stone wall, formerly the outer limits of the village as he had first seen it, loomed overhead. Now with the constant foot traffic going through what would’ve been locked gates it was considerably less imposing a structure than before, though old repairs and elemental blast marks were still visible on its weathered surface. Passing through the walls and into the central section of the Koro within them his destination was visible up ahead, the slab-sided granite structure just barely clearing the tops of the buildings around it.

* * *

While he had not taken a direct route towards the headquarters, as evident by the grilled Husi he’d acquired along the way, it wasn’t long until the captain had reached the geometric building.

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On 12/20/2021 at 6:54 PM, Emzee said:

And with that both Stannis and Ra'lhen found themselves outside of the Akiri's hut. "You know... funny thing," Ra'lhen said, shifting his eyes around him, "I've never actually walked from Onu-Koro to Po-Koro. The last time I was there, one of your buddies teleported me here and I've been in Po-Wahi ever since. Is going on foot still the way to travel?"

IC Stannis | Po-Koro

He subconsciously cocked his head in trying to understand why Ra'lhen asked what he did. "The walk to Onu-Koro is almost half as to Ostia," Stannis said. "It's only made longer by the lack of a railroad's speed, but the traditional means are still just good enough to keep around and there's no need to tire your legs on the journey, friend—we can use an ussal taxi."

To prepare for the trip ahead Stannis needed to collect a handful of things from his home, including his weapons and tools, so as he slipped his few smaller belongings into his rucksack he did not neglect to throw in his custom-made canister for his monthly Sulov Maru's Old Fashion Trail Mix & GORP subscription. Usually it was mailed to him, but if he was in town, then why not get the refill from the proprietor's warehouse in person? He looked forward to seeing his old friend again. 

"Was it my green buddy?" he asked as he shouldered his bag. "Also, ready if you are. I have rations for the both of us if needed."

@Emzee

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On 12/24/2021 at 2:16 AM, Snelly said:

IC: Skyra Daring 

"There's a few things I have to worry about besides that." Like Makuta's return and all. That was kind of concerning. "But not too much I guess." 

IC: Lumune

She nodded, having nothing more to add. "One more bend and we should be there," she eventually said. And soon enough, there it all way, right where she had left it. A few larger bags, her spear leaning against a rock, and seemingly just waking up from a nap, Idas.

He blinked the sleep from his eyes for a moment, then stood up, pacing a little as the unfamiliar green shape approached. It was taller- taller usually meant more dangerous. Lumune was friendly with it though. The tips of his mane glowed softly in warning, but didn't flare to their full heat.

"You should probably keep your distance," the Po-Matoran suggested. "He's still coming around to trust me, so, best not to take any risks."

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8 minutes ago, ARROW404 said:

IC: Lumune

She nodded, having nothing more to add. "One more bend and we should be there," she eventually said. And soon enough, there it all way, right where she had left it. A few larger bags, her spear leaning against a rock, and seemingly just waking up from a nap, Idas.

He blinked the sleep from his eyes for a moment, then stood up, pacing a little as the unfamiliar green shape approached. It was taller- taller usually meant more dangerous. Lumune was friendly with it though. The tips of his mane glowed softly in warning, but didn't flare to their full heat.

"You should probably keep your distance," the Po-Matoran suggested. "He's still coming around to trust me, so, best not to take any risks."

IC: Skyra Daring 

"Hmmm, right." I stopped in my tracks as Lumune warned me, I simply stood there and stared back at the rock lion, who was performing a little light show with it's mane. While I could now confirm I'd seen said Rahi before somewhere in the Le-Wahi jungles, this was by far the closest I'd been to one. 

"Big kitty." 

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On 12/26/2021 at 7:00 PM, Snelly said:

IC: Skyra Daring 

"Hmmm, right." I stopped in my tracks as Lumune warned me, I simply stood there and stared back at the rock lion, who was performing a little light show with it's mane. While I could now confirm I'd seen said Rahi before somewhere in the Le-Wahi jungles, this was by far the closest I'd been to one. 

"Big kitty." 

OoC: Actually, per the mods, this is the only one on the island.

IC: Lumune

She chuckled, "Yeah... I wonder how big he is compared to a Muaka."

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5 hours ago, ARROW404 said:

OoC: Actually, per the mods, this is the only one on the island.

IC: Lumune

She chuckled, "Yeah... I wonder how big he is compared to a Muaka."

OOC: Ah gotcha, I can work with that. 

IC: Skyra Daring - Po-koro -

"A Muaka? Aren't all big cats basically the same?" While I had thought I'd seen one of these Rock lions before, perhaps I had mistaken it for a Muaka? While I was well versed in my birds perhaps my knowledge of other rahi was lacking. "Don't actually answer that." 

I looked over the big lion so more before I began to frown. "You know...I'm not sure I've ever seen a rahi like this before now that I'm getting a real good look...pretty unique creature." 

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IC: Datrox Karvan - Po-Koro - Dustpool Inn

“I don’t think so,” he replied. “I do think part of me hopes that, somehow, we did know eachother. Would get to the bottom of this faster.”

Datrox shook his head. He didn’t want to do anything to just confuse Kohra, especially not with the state her mind was in. “Just…just thoughts I tend to have, is all.”

He had noticed the Vortixx rubbing her arm, and it came to his mind that Kohra had been trying to keep it covered this whole time. It seemed to be bothering her. And, now that he thought about it, it was bothering Datrox too. “Your arm. Something happen?”

OOC: @Vezok's Friend

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IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi

"I...."

It was like walking to the executioner's block -- I could see myself about to die, but simply could not stop walking forward. The best that I could manage was to cling to some measure of dignity. I carefully, meticulously, leaned my elbows on the table, clasping my hands together in front of my face, and regarded Nikarra over my knuckles.

"...yes," I said. "Would you... please... play your guitar for me?"

OOC: @Goose

IC: Rynekk | The Fowadi

"Frankly, I don't think Stannis would tell us anything that wasn't already in the public record," Rynekk said. "He's the de facto leader of the Maru, which means that he writes the party line -- he wouldn't suddenly break it for a couple of mooks like us. I think that if we want to figure out what happened down in Makuta's den, we need to find someone close enough to Stannis that he'd confide the truth in, but not close enough that they wouldn't be willing to blow a whistle or two if need be. Have you heard any rumours about a schism in the Maru, or-- Karz, does Stannis even have any friends beyond them?"

OOC: @Silvan Haven @NorikSigma

-Void

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OOC: Bringing back Viima and Tivanu (Voxumo's character) after a long absence!

IC: Viima (flashback in Ko-Wahi):

Ko-Wahi was known for many things. It was cold. Unforgiving. Mostly desolate, with only a few species of Rahi managing to survive there. It was also an excellent hideaway for hermits, criminals, or those who simply wanted to lay low for a while.

One particular Po-Matoran would probably have agreed with all of those profiles. True, he wasn't much of a hermit character, but he certainly needed to stay undercover, at least for a while.

The blizzard outside was picking up. For the Po-Matoran, this was not a problem. Although he was used to the hot, arid air of the Po-Wahi desert, he much preferred the protection offered by blowing snow. No one in their right mind would be willing to come after him in such conditions.

The Matoran rubbed the sweat off his powerless Kanohi Kakama and gleefully stared at one corner of his little hideout – the one featuring a collection of crates, each containing valuable items stolen from his brother. The two had never been all that close, but a dispute over inheritance had made it all the worse – and he had decided the even out the score on his own terms. The crates before him contained some of the most valuable treasures of the family.

Let my brother seethe in anger, the Matoran thought. I deserve this portion of the inheritance. My brother always received more from the family… but no more.

The Po-Matoran walked over to a large crystal container, which held his water supply. It should be able to sustain him for at least a few weeks. Doubtless, he could never return to his native village again – his brother was known to be quite vengeful, and would cut him down on the spot if he showed his mask around those parts. It was best to wait out here in silence for a while, then seek a different village to take his new possessions. Ko-Koro might do quite nicely – they didn't ask many questions in that place, and it shouldn't be too hard to find some secluded property to live in.

A sudden flash of green off to the right caught the Matoran off guard. Before he could react, a disk flew over his head, making a sharp buzzing sound as it did so. It struck the glass container with great force, shattering it and spilling the water all over the Po-Matoran. He cried out, even as he felt something strike him in the back. The next instant, he collapsed on the floor, suddenly much heavier than normal. Gravity! he thought in alarm.

A Le-Matoran landed in front of him. The razor-disk he had thrown returned to him like a boomerang, and he grabbed it swiftly by the handle situated underneath it. He looked at the Po-Matoran coldly through the lens of his Kanohi Akaku, even as a white-and-purple Skakdi walked to join him.

"You thought Ko-Wahi would be a safe place to hide, didn't you?" the Le-Matoran said. "Your brother guessed correctly that you'd try to hide here. Of course, his problem was that the Po-Koro Guard doesn't have jurisdiction around these parts, and the Ko-Koro Sanctum Guard would likely have no interest in getting involved in a family feud… so he chose us for the job."

The Le-Matoran knelt down to peer darkly at the Po-Matoran still pinned to the floor by the force of gravity. "We're taking the items you stole back to Po-Koro."

"T-take the items. Take anything else you want! But please let me stay here," the Po-Matoran stammered. "I can't go back to Po-Koro… I can't!"

Viima rose up. "Well, you're not wrong," he said. Then, he hefted the razor-disk into the air and began to spin it in preparation of another throw. "Returning the items wasn't the only job your brother gave us."

With that, he flung the disk at the Po-Matoran.

***

IC: Viima (Po-Koro, The Iron Mahi):

Viima sipped his drink at the Iron Mahi, looking vacantly into the distance. "Another day, another completed assignment," Viima said to Tivanu. He set his glass on the table and leisurely tapped it with his fingers, but didn't turn to look at it or Tivanu. It was clear that his mind was elsewhere... but where that elsewhere was, one could only guess.

OOC: @Voxumo

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IC: Tivanu

The Purple and White Skakdi formally known as Tivanu rubbed at his eyes as Viima spoke. While his corrective goggles were useful, they were a pain to wear for an extended period.

"It amazes me sometimes how much wealth one can gather in their short lifespans. Some of the goods were worth well more than what we got paid." Tivanu replied, his tone indicating some discontent with the job.

"But it certainly was one of our more efficient jobs."

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IC: Nikarra (The Iron Mahi)

The effort it took her not to laugh was more than paid off by the sheer self-satisfaction of Nikarra's smug smile. Truly, no grin had ever eaten quite so much shite.

"Here, catch." The adorable sloth plush sailed through the air between them, on a collision course with Vyartha. In spite of the cramped quarters, Nikarra was soon up and standing on her seat in a single, fluid motion - and she quite frankly surprised herself with that. Her grief-fuelled workouts really did have her in the best shape she'd been in in-

Wait, years?

Oh god. I'm…

I'm getting old.

Reaching into the overhead storage, she shoved her sheaths and her existential crisis aside. The sheaths were new - or, rather, they were so old that she had grown out of them, prior to their unwelcome return. Nikarra hated sheaths; wearing a giant tube or two on your back or - god forbid - your legs, was extra weight and less freedom of motion, which seemed to her to be just about the worst possible trade-off in a fight. It was on that basis, and without a moment of regret, that she had ditched her original Toa Tools for her custom-crafted knives.

Her knives were a thing of beauty - perfectly balanced, yes, but more importantly, tailored to fit seamlessly against her thighs. The hidden compartments in which she stored them had proven invaluable time and time again, most memorably when abducted and restrained by pirates, during the truly absurd marathon of trauma that was her time as Mark Bearer of Lust.

And now… now, they were gone, stolen by some Po-Koro lowlife who was probably only in it for the first edition body pillow. It was a sad day for society when a thief wouldn't even leave behind a girl's knives. What's a woman without her weapon of choice, I ask you?

Behind her swords, however, was Nikarra's preferred added weight and loss of mobility - her guitar case. What, you thought I was gonna make some crack about it being Vy? No chance, perv. I'm a top.

She descended, triumphant, and sat on the table, facing Vyartha with her guitar in hand.

"I take requests," Nikarra announced to her companion, wearing a gleefully cocky grin as she started to quickly tune up her strings.

OOC: @Void Emissary

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IC: Viima (Po-Koro, The Iron Mahi):

Viima shrugged, still staring ahead. "We got the payment we agreed on beforehand."

He stopped tapping the glass, but held it firmly between his hands. He reflected on the past year he had spent with Tivanu, doing mercenary work all around the island of Mata Nui. The Le-Matoran and Skakdi must have been an odd pair from the point of view of others, but somehow they had managed to make an effective team. Although their relationship had been stormy at first, by now they trusted each other enough to have formed a brotherly bond of sorts... even when their worldviews collided.

Yet, there were still unresolved issues in their friendship. The two rarely spoke about their past conflicts, and neither knew just how much the other held on to the hard feelings resulting from them. Additionally, Viima still kept quiet about the period of time that he had been missing before being rescued by Tivanu from a gorge. Of course, that was not entirely due to mistrust towards Tivanu - rather, his own amnesia of that time period kept him from talking about it. By now, the issue had long remained brushed under the rug, and Viima expected the Skakdi to be content with what he did now: that Viima was back, willing to work with him, and no longer beyond killing for personal gain. It was a change Tivanu doubtless did not understand, but fortunately he seemed alright with it.

"That Matoran was annoying," Viima suddenly added. "His voice was irritating, don't you think?"

OOC: @Voxumo

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IC: Tivanu (Po-Koro, Iron Mahi)

"Less irritating and more sniveling. The sort of voice belonging to one who would beg for their life and then waste it the instant you looked away from them." 

Tivanu could tell that there was something eating at the Matoran, though he was never the best at reading past the surface. "I'm surprised you took the initiative in delivering the killing blow. I had thought it would be more fun to take his mask and leave him in the nearest snow drift. Would he lose consciousness before the cold got him?"

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IC: [Kohra - Po-Koro, Dustpool Inn]


 

The Vortixx was relieved at first. Well, kind of. She couldn’t trust that she’d never crossed paths with Datrox before, but spending this much time and neither remembering the other was a pretty sure sign they didn’t know each other in any meaningful way before. Of course it didn’t get her any closer to clearing things up…which part of her feared it might even be better not to, somehow.

 

“Your arm. Something happen?”

 

Kohra froze for an instant, then pulled her arm closer to her chest, using the other to adjust her poncho to make sure it stayed out of sight.

 

“Hurts…like everything else.” She replied, obviously evasive.

 

“It’s injured…not pretty.”

 

Datrox could see she was pulling back in her seat, trying to get as far away from the topic as possible but only getting gas far as the backrest.

OOC: @Tarn

 

 

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On 12/5/2021 at 11:46 AM, Haman Karn: A Magical Girl said:

IC:

Dorian's gaze clung searchingly to Praggos, watching him for some telltale sign of betrayal or admonishment that always seemed to come from senior figures. When none came, he reached over with a fist and punched the doctor on the shoulder that had once been Marked with contempt.

"I've never really thanked you for ev-ery...thing..."

They had both stopped to watch a pillow, its fluffy surface marred with twin knives, plunge from the top floor of the Dustpool into the sands. Marred with sweat, dirt, and...um, drool? Wet spots - the pillow gazed up at the two Toa with a smug, boyish rictus that belied its grievous wounds. DON'T I JUST LOOK A-DORABLE? the body on the pillow's surface crowed in a speech bubble, printed to the right of its face. Praggos started to chortle as Dorian's gaze drifted up to the window, then back down to stare at it.

"Oh, no," he muttered sadly, as though he had watched a young sloth plummet to its death. Praggos' chuckles grew louder, a little stronger. Dor shot him a sullen look and scooped up the mortally wounded body pillow, carrying it a few steps forward to the alley between the Dustpool and a blacksmith. One Dorian Shaddix propped another up against the building, pulling the knives from his wounded body - after all, the pillow was far beyond any danger of bleeding out - and setting them at his inked-on hands. He produced a cigarette and tucked it inside the top of the pillow's case. His fingers clutched the lighter that had once belonged to Joske Nimil, as a reminder of the fire he'd lost. Dor kept it for similar reasons.

"Here, suck on this, soldier," he murmured. "And rest. I know how hard you fought." He lit a second for himself, and the two himbos shared a respectful final moment together.

DON'T I JUST LOOK A-DORABLE? the pillow quipped, brave in the face of dusty oblivion and future scavengers.

"Yeah. Yeah, of course you do." Dor scooched the knives closer to the pillow's sides and stood to rejoin Praggos. He had shoved one hand into his pocket grumpily and flicked his cigarette to the ground with the other. As they began their walk to the bazaar in earnest, the smile gone from Praggos' face for some reason, Dor made sure to dig his boot over the cigarette, burying it in the sand.

"I don't know why anyone had to do that," he grumbled. "It wasn't the pillow that hurt anybody."

-Tyler

IC:

The sheer absurdity of a Dorian body-pillow getting flung from the top of the inn as we walked past was impossible for me to ignore, I'll admit. Especially in the face of that momentary, heartwarming phrase—a sincere moment of friendship only to get interrupted by some sort of grudge. Now, while I didn't expect that, I did expect some of Dorian's normal theatricality to come into play in response. At the very least, some sort of irreverent quip or the like would've been fitting, but for him to go over and nearly start reading off the pillow's last rights was even better.

Except, of course, for when I realized that he was actually somewhat serious about it.

"Someone you knew, perchance?" I asked as we started to walk on, glancing back at the Dustpool. That Vortixx who had just walked in as we were going by seemed...

Well, awfully familiar, emphasis on the awful part. "Do you think they'll come on down to pick it up, or at least retrieve their knives?"

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IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi

Thanks to my years of military training and experience in the roughest parts of this island, I caught the stuffed sloth (oh, how droll, Nikarra) easily.

"When I was younger," I said, "there was a folk song that my mother sang -- of a great Toa of Air. Not Lewa the Toa, for this was before any of the First Toa had arrived on these shores, mind you. But it was a hero who must have been able to command the winds, for they walked on threads high above us. I don't recall the name of the song. But I remember the tune--"

And so I hummed it for her, quietly, as best I could recall it from the days of my youth.

OOC: @Goose

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On 12/30/2021 at 4:14 AM, Snelly said:

OOC: Ah gotcha, I can work with that. 

IC: Skyra Daring - Po-koro -

"A Muaka? Aren't all big cats basically the same?" While I had thought I'd seen one of these Rock lions before, perhaps I had mistaken it for a Muaka? While I was well versed in my birds perhaps my knowledge of other rahi was lacking. "Don't actually answer that." 

I looked over the big lion so more before I began to frown. "You know...I'm not sure I've ever seen a rahi like this before now that I'm getting a real good look...pretty unique creature." 

IC: Lumune - Po-Koro outer wall

Her heart sank at Skyra's change in tone. Only a little though. She did feel sorry for her lion, alone and unique on the island, but she was also just sort of confused. About what to do now, mostly. They might have a lead, but was it worth looking into? Or should she just carry on as she had for the past couple weeks, as Lumune the Trapper-with-a-lion? "Well... thank you for coming to look anyway," she said with a nod of gratitude. "I guess I'll get back to work," she said with a shrug. She didn't move yet though, wanting to bid the Toa a proper farewell, and also hoping a little that she would have more to say.

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On 12/19/2021 at 4:29 PM, Perp said:

IC: Jokaro - Po-Koro, Technology Emporium

It was right about then that he noticed just how quiet the shop had become - he assumed the customers Farzan had been serving had all left while he was concentrated on getting the V2 prototype prepped and lamenting over the prospect of not being paid. After a few moments of pure, unbroken silence, Jokaro laced his fingers behind his head and slouched back even further, closing his eyes for a quick spot of rest. Not even a minute had gone by when he heard the door chime again and heard the shuffle of footsteps, followed by the sound of his own resigned sigh.

Rest can come later, I guess.

Lazily, he pulled himself out of his seat and meandered over to the doorway to the front of the shop, peeking his head through. He hoped the Fa-Matoran hadn’t wandered off again.

“Farzan?” he called, “Prototype is finished.”

IC: Wiremu (Tech Emporium)

"Oh, hello?" an unfamiliar voice answered, and Jokaro would get to see the face of another Matoran who had just poked his head in the door of the Emporium. The door had chimed, but he had not quite entered the shop yet. For a moment, him and Jokaro presumably stood there with their head peeking out behind each other's door, before Wiremu took some initiative and opened his fully to step inside.

"Uh, hello? My name is Wiremu, I'm... an attaché from Onu-Koro who've been sent here for the benefit of a new agreement our Koros have made. I was told there was a workshop and some inventors here...?

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IC: Nikarra (The Iron Mahi)

Nikarra's smugness faded away, her expression turning tender. Something in her seemed to relax, tension she didn't even know she was carrying falling from her shoulders as Vyartha spoke. Her chest felt… strange, tight somehow, and she felt something ball up at the bottom of her throat. She almost felt like she might cry, not because of anything Vy had said, but because some door had been opened somewhere deep inside her, and the tears were already waiting.

She didn't cry, though. The look in her eyes broke every rule of emotion, achingly sad and yet indescribably full of affection. Thinking back on it later, Nikarra would come to the conclusion that the feeling was heartbreak - not the bitter, sorrowful kind, but the breaking of some shell that had formed around it, painful and necessary. It was freeing, and it was terrifying; it was true vulnerability, in all its joys and all its dangers, and it was the moment of realising that you no longer had any choice in whether to risk it. Nikarra knew exactly what it was - she'd felt it before, years ago, when a barman had looked at her with kindness in his eyes and tenderly wrapped his scarf around her neck.

Well, ####. She couldn't even manage to sound genuinely dismissive in her own head - the warm glow spreading inside her had robbed her of her detached snark. Which was, quite frankly, criminal. Her detached snark was great. Everyone's at their funniest when using comedy as a defence mechanism in order to bury the scary emotions inside - ask anyone!

 

Nikarra closed her eyes as Vy began to hum, letting the tune wash over her. Vy's voice only made the feeling in her chest intensify - it was shy, a little shaky, but deeply earnest. It occurred to Nikarra that there were few things quite as intimate as singing.

She picked the melody at first, stumbling a little - it had been a while since she'd played by ear - but once she had it, a fog began to clear in her memory, and a long-forgotten song made its way back to her in that way that only music could.

The chords she played were soft and sad, even mournful, with an ominous dissonance creeping in beneath. She was sure her simple finger-picking probably wasn't quite right, improvised as it was, but the more she played, the more she remembered. When she began to sing, it seemed almost subconscious, her eyes still closed and her voice nearly a whisper:

"High up above the crowd, the Great Valerio is walking; the rope seems hung from cloud to cloud, and time stands still while he is walking.

"His eye is steady on the target; his foot is sure upon the rope. Alone and peaceful as a mountain, and certain as the mountain slope."

OOC: @Void Emissary

Edited by Goose
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On 12/25/2021 at 8:48 PM, Umbraline Yumiwa said:

"Was it my green buddy?" he asked as he shouldered his bag. "Also, ready if you are. I have rations for the both of us if needed."

IC: Ra'lhen -- Po-Koro

"Yes... I believe it was," Ra'lhen answered, trying really hard to remember that guy's name, "Koran... Korilo... Kalaro... don't worry it'll come to me"

With that, Ra'lhen nodded, showing he was ready to leave. He followed Stannis to where the Ussal taxis were waiting for their patronage. The Lightning Toa tried to remember the last time I rode on such animals. It may very well have been before he'd even become a Toa... an archaic time in his life that was becoming blurrier by the week.

If only a certain other period of Ra'lhen's life could be so easily forgettable.

Indeed, the Toa couldn't help but consider what could happen if he was recognized in Onu-Koro. Granted, not even the super-observant Akiri seemed to recognize the Toa's connections to the dreaded Makuta servant. That, or Renaka was even better at reserving her emotions than Ra'lhen thought -- and he already felt that Renaka was remarkably good at being so stoic. 

OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa

Edited by Emzee
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On 1/9/2022 at 2:42 AM, ARROW404 said:

IC: Lumune - Po-Koro outer wall

Her heart sank at Skyra's change in tone. Only a little though. She did feel sorry for her lion, alone and unique on the island, but she was also just sort of confused. About what to do now, mostly. They might have a lead, but was it worth looking into? Or should she just carry on as she had for the past couple weeks, as Lumune the Trapper-with-a-lion? "Well... thank you for coming to look anyway," she said with a nod of gratitude. "I guess I'll get back to work," she said with a shrug. She didn't move yet though, wanting to bid the Toa a proper farewell, and also hoping a little that she would have more to say.

IC: Skyra Daring - Po-koro -

Lumune looked disappointed, which made me feel bad I couldn't be of more help. But it wasn't like I could just find another lion out of the blue. Was a Rock Lion even native to Mata Nui? Obviously there were other islands out there, we all knew that from the years of people washing up on shore, not to mention the more recent psychic foreigners I'd heard about. It stood to reason that a Rahi could also come to the island the same way. 

"Uh yeah...no problem. Sorry I couldn't be of more help." I felt a little awkward, I decided I should just get out of there. "Well um, I should go...I gotta buy a pretty boy something cute and then meet up with my friends....bye!" 

I turned around and began walking back into Po-koro proper. Well, I couldn't have ended that in a more awkward way...

 

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IC: Lumune

She quirked a brow, "Hmm, Toa romance?" she mused to herself quietly. She realized she knew very little about Toa- or rather, she knew more than she realized. They essentially were Matoran, in terms of their minds and habits. "Do you come by Po-Koro often?" she asked, before Skyra could leave earshot. "Just... out of curiosity. I'm not really one for social visits, but..." She shrugged.

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20 hours ago, ARROW404 said:

IC: Lumune

She quirked a brow, "Hmm, Toa romance?" she mused to herself quietly. She realized she knew very little about Toa- or rather, she knew more than she realized. They essentially were Matoran, in terms of their minds and habits. "Do you come by Po-Koro often?" she asked, before Skyra could leave earshot. "Just... out of curiosity. I'm not really one for social visits, but..." She shrugged.

IC: Skyra Daring - Po-koro -

I turned my head back to look at Lumune. "Oh well uh..." Thinking about it, I did visit Po-koro frequently enough...and pretty much every other Koro. I never stayed in one place for too long did I? And now that I was going to be on a ship sailing around the island that was even more the case. 

"...yes, I don't stay in one place for too long, but I travel pretty much everywhere. Po-koro is somewhere I've been to many times. So uh, I guess next time I'm around I'll say hi?" 

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Po-koro - Renaka's house - Renaka

IC: With the other two Toa gone the akiri could now focus on the thought that had been buzzing around her head since she'd first learned of what Muir and his shady companion were up to. Her bright gaze focused on those still in the room. Or more specifically Muir as what she was about to ask was directed at him in particular.

"I would like to hire you to look into the possible crimes of Skorm.The information brought to light here has convinced me his action bear further looking into.His crimes may not have occurred in this koro but that does not mean that they cannot still reach him."

It was also worrisome that Ko-koro had chosen someone with such a dark past to be a member of their preeminent Toa team. If one were to be a suspicious type, like Hewkii for instance, it might suggest that the new akiri's efforts at turning a new leaf were less genuine than it would appear on the surface. The current So far her contact with the eccentric inventor had been through intermediaries. Practically rebuilding the Po-koro from the ground up was a time consuming effort to say the least. All the other signs of his intentions had been genuine enough however. She needed more information before making any further moves in that region.

 

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IC: "From what I hear, Stannis isn't exactly the gregarious type. Nice enough but not exactly the type to go out and make friends in the market. The akiri might know but I also know that akiri Renaka is booked. My meeting with her about our funding got pushed back to next month for some reason or another." The words were accompanied by an annoyed snort and a shake of his head. The ones following had a slower and more contemplative note to them. "Our best bet might be one of the other Maru. Leah is said to be one of the most friendly of them and we are heading to Ga-koro in the next few days. How about we go pay her a visit while we are there?"

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IC: Vrill [Po-Koro, Akiri Renaka's House]

A visibly unsurprised Vrill downed the last of his mug of coffee as Renaka spoke, successfully suppressing his reflex to do a spit take at the unexpected turn the conversation with Renaka went. The agent had been expecting something more... dramatic... but it appeared that there had been a détente of sorts regarding his motives and origins.

Fine by him.

The Cy-Toa's empty mug dissolved back into his crystalline armor as he crossed his arms, waiting for Fenn to answer how Vrill knew he would.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Muir (Akiri Renaka's Home, Po-Koro)

Muir, even though many would expect otherwise, did in fact have a poker face - in his line of work, it was a necessity.

Court cases rarely held surprises, despite what every salacious legal drama would suggest; this was the whole point of discovery, opening arguments, witness lists - each lawyer knows the evidence the opposition has access to, and knows the arguments they intend to make. But in order to make the best case for a client, their representation must look confident in them at every turn. If cross-examination goes poorly, or the jury is introduced to a particularly damning piece of evidence, the damage is exponentially worsened if they see the other lawyer sweat. Every person, guilty or innocent, is entitled to the best possible legal defence.

This is the context that is required in order to fully appreciate the novelty of Muir’s visible surprise. True to form, however, he quickly recovered.

“I would be honoured, Akiri Renaka.” And glad, too - Muir could not deny that it came as something of a relief to him, knowing he would be compensated for his work. It was also both encouraging and interesting that their new Akiri would choose him for this job - she had not lied, which gave him some confidence that she had not merely hired him in an effort to ‘keep her enemies closer’. But it was still a curious choice, investigating one of the official protectors of another Koro, and allying herself with someone as… perhaps not controversial, but certainly not universally beloved, as Muir in the process. Renaka, it seemed, warranted more attention than he had originally thought.

“May I ask - Skorm’s position in the Toa Kalta being, of course, relevant to this investigation - what you think of Ko-Koro’s new Akiri?”

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Po-koro - Renaka's house - Renaka

IC: The pale matoran's head tilted to one side and her eyes drifted as she accessed her mental file on her new peer. If she was going to give at least one half of this pair official backing she might as well equip him as best as possible. A very slight smile quirked one corner of her mouth as her thoughts momentarily flitted to the other one. Hiring a spy to investigate his own people had a certain level of amusement to it. Satisfaction as well if she was going to be honest with herself. The thought that Hewkii had likely gained much enjoyment from such games killed the smile as quickly as it appeared.

"The fact that the koro elected a foreign weaponsmith as their new leader is somewhat worrying. Even so it makes a fair amount of sense considering their troubled history. They seek safety and local leaders have been less than helpful in that regard. The man himself has been only friendly so far. We are in talks for several trade agreements and have one or two fairly significant treaties already signed. It's too early to say that I trust the man but so far the Kalta are probably the most worrisome decision he's made so far."

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IC: Vrill [Po-Koro, Akiri Renaka's Home]

Vrill looked to Fenn with his classic bored, almost unnervingly emotionless expression on his face. Did his lawyer have more questions?

Behind his mask, the Cy-Toa was running back through his mental notes. He'd succeeded in blowing his cover to make Stannis Maru more cooperative, and now they had a sanction from another Akiri to investigate Skorm, giving Vrill the excellent cover of plausible deniability to all but his partner Fenn himself, who had yet to know how this investigation had truly come about... but was disturbingly close to the truth, despite Vrill's attempts to mask it.

The only way this could get more ironic and convoluted is if Commander Tera approached and asked them to investigate Renaka... that would be too funny.

Depending on the perspective, an argument could be made that Vrill was a clandestine agent of a koro, a double agent, or a triple agent. Just the way he liked it. Being able to swim that sea of ambiguity without drowning within it was the test of true tradecraft, and Vrill felt at home in those murky waters, always swimming forward like the sleek and deadly Takea.

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Muir (Akiri Renaka's Home, Po-Koro)

“Mm.” Muir seemed satisfied with the response, but remained thoughtful. The trade agreements were no surprise, but something was eating at him. His thoughts drifted back to something he had said earlier, to Vrill - an offhand comment at the time, but…

“I imagine they’ve got good relations with Onu-Koro at the moment too, considering.” He let that hang for a moment, calling back to his earlier comments on Onu-Koro’s current prosperity, and its relations with Po-Koro. “I’m curious; like most people, I know little, given how private he kept his dealings. How was your predecessor’s relationship with Onu-Koro?”

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Po-koro - Renaka's house - Renaka

IC: There had always been suspicions about certain events. Things like oddly generous loan rates or low prices right after unfortunate events elsewhere on the island. There was never any proof however. Nothing that anyone had the time or opportunity to put together at least. Renaka had suspicions herself based off of odd gaps in the records. Considering everything else that the island she was dealing with it had been an infected mask she'd been hesitant to touch.

"From what I understand Onu-koro made a point of keeping close with all of the akiri back then. But...Hewkii did seem to have a knack for getting more out of them than most others. Our current close relations are mostly due to my head of engineering. A vortixx by the name of Lenat."

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