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BZPRPG - Po-Wahi


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IC: Minnorak – The Iron Mahi

The burly Vortixx sat in an aisle seat near the middle of the front passenger cart, idly skimming a document on his iStone.

Kain had left him a hefty list of requests for the outpost to pick up next time he went out for supplies, and while the shopping list was utterly irrelevant to the situation at hand, it was the perfect inane thing to occupy his mind while he waited for everything to kick off.

It was good to distract one’s mind ahead of a situation like this. Dwelling on the details, wondering what could go wrong, tensing at every bump and rattle of the train, that only led to stress and nervousness, tics that keen-eyed observers might pick up on. Or worse, stray thoughts that a passer-by with a Suletu might notice. With the news of a new race of mind-readers on the island, Minnorak was even more wary than usual of letting his mind wander. 

New tools for the supply shed… a new lock for the storeroom… a temperature gauge? He chuckled under his breath. It’s Ko-Wahi. Everything’s cold. What more do you need to know? He almost crossed that item off the list, then reconsidered. Maybe the gauge was meant for machinery? Something for the cable car, perhaps? Probably better to just ask him about it when I get back.

He shuffled back in his seat, his elbow bumping the large carry case he’d dumped in the window seat beside him. Inside was his helm, his halberd (already charged), and his shield (currently primed with an antigravity rhotuka, courtesy of his Ba-Toa teammates). All of the case’s clasps save one were already open. It would take him only a few seconds to get ready when the time came.

He continued reading. Nails… a hammer to replace the broken one… wait, what do you need red paint for?

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC Yasurek - The Dancing Crab, Ostia:

“Mr. Verak,” Yasurek said, looking up from the notes he had been writing on his iStone, “As you know from your prior experience, being part of a ship’s crew is a group effort, regardless of personal motivation. Would you please share any previous partnerships or group efforts you’ve been involved in and what made you leave them?”

The Ko-matoran was resting against the wall of the tavern directly behind the interviewee’s chair, tablet in hand. Unlike Taleen he didn’t appear out of nowhere; rather, he had quietly been there the entire time.

OOC: @Visaru@Ghosthands@Void Emissary@Snelly

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IC: [Kohra - Po-Koro, aboard the Iron Mahi]

There was a flicker of something in Kohra’s eyes as she looked at Datrox dubiously with raised brows. She pushed herself up in her seat with mild discomfort and leaned forward, head tilted inquisitively.

“You know…just because I can’t remember thing one about myself doesn’t mean I can’t tell when someone’s avoiding a subject. You sure you don’t wanna talk about it?”

The Toa had been kind and helpful so far, so maybe she could return the favor at least somewhat - although she wasn't sure if she was any good at this. At the same time, anything was better than chasing the same questions in circles around her own mind. Okay, so maybe her motivation wasn't entirely selfless - but it was genuine, at least.

OOC: @Tarn

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IC Verak, in the back room the Dancing Crab

Mata-Nui, if the dead-eyed Toa Assassin was scary, she was nothing compared to the Ko-Matoran secretary. I may sound crazy here but listen: when I talk to scary warrior babes I’m usually in the midst of some thrilling heist, and who knows what might happen next. Historically, when I talk to administrators, the next thing that happens to me is usually that I go to prison. Especially in Ko-Koro, Great Spirit, are those people just immune to charm?

And that silence, man, he was more quiet than the literal invisible toa of sonics nearby! Or at least, less noticeable. To me, anyway (don’t judge me, I have a habit of tuning out things I see that don’t interest me, I’m sure you do too.)

But yikes, has he really been there the entire time? Listening to everything I said? Thank god I didn’t fill out the details of the story I was telling about literally assaulting a guard fortress yesterday—

I mean, what Ga-Koro stronghold? I don’t know anything about that. I’m just a charming, innocent Toa, the Verak you are thinking of wears a Kualsi, see, and—

Oh wait, right, I need to say that aloud.

After giving what must have looked from the outside like the same reaction Kikanalo make when they step onto the Iron Mahi tracks at night and freeze in pure terror as the train hurtles toward them and their eyes go wider and wider until they get hit by the train — I broke into a wide grin and turned to my captain.

“Where’d you pick up this icicle? He fits in among here about as well as a… a… like a… Ko-Matoran and a bunch of Pirates, I guess… sorry, I’m not good at analogies.”

Feeling a little deflated from that absolute disaster of a quip, I begrudgingly turned toward this secretary and met his icy judgy gaze (it hurt). “What, you wanna hear my life story?” I shot him the cheeky smile I usually reserve for the police. “You might need another tablet, brother, it’s a long list.” 

OOC: @pokemonlover360@Ghosthands @Void Emissary @Snelly

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--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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OOC: From Ga-Wahi

IC: Lash – Leva Bay

Its battered underbelly scraping across a sparse patch of sand nestled amidst the cliffs, the dilapidated dinghy came ashore for the first time in days, depositing its two occupants on the bleak beaches of Po-Wahi.

The port of Ostia was visible a half-Kio away, bustling with vessels of all shapes and sizes. One of them, hopefully, would soon be leaving for a new land far afield.

“A fresh start. For both of us,” Lash said, gently brushing her clawed fingertips over her companion’s faceplate.

The Rahkshi offered no reaction to the affectionate gesture.

“You could at least pretend to feel something,” Lash grumbled.

She stepped away from the boat, stretching her cramped legs before sitting down in a shady spot and taking a drink from her canteen. Breathless silently moved to join her in the gloom. Lash almost considered telling the creature to get comfortable, since it would probably be staying here for a while, but she wasn’t sure that comfort was a concept Rahkshi could even comprehend.

She’d spent their time at sea contemplating the best way to approach the city, and eventually decided that leaving Breathless behind to pick up later was going to be her best bet. She didn’t doubt her ability to convince the authorities in Ostia to allow her to bring the Rahkshi into the vicinity of the city; she’d managed it in two separate Koros in the past, and Ostia had a reputation for lawlessness. But that reputation was exactly what made her hesitant. A city like this was exactly where criminal elements like the Makuta worshippers she was trying to avoid might go to lie low. There was no sense in drawing more attention to herself than necessary.

After a few minutes’ rest, she got to her feet and started to push the boat back out. “Remain here, and stay out of sight,” she ordered Breathless. “I’ll be back for you soon.” Ever obedient, the Rahkshi shuffled back against the cliffside, its orange-and-black colouring allowing it to blend in relatively easily amidst the brownish rock and deep shadows.

Lash clambered into the boat and took up the oars, paddling onwards to Ostia.

Her new future finally felt within reach. 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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Posted (edited)

IC Yasurek - The Dancing Crab, Ostia

Yasurek’s eyes narrowed at the applicant’s quip to Lohkar, but he softened his expression as Verak turned back to face him. The former guardsman made a show of showing the display to the calix-wearing toa before swiping across the screen and bringing up a new blank page. The brief view of the display revealed thorough notes on Verak’s characteristics and interview answers with one line standing out in particular:

7. Arrogant y/n? ☑️

Yasurek tapped rhythmically on the tablet using the stylus before speaking again. “Perhaps I need to be a bit more specific in what I’m looking for. Mr. Verak, from your previous hypothetically unlawful activities you know that one of the keys to not getting caught is having information. Casing the joint, working with informants, that sort of thing. While our illustrious captain has some prior experience, our journey is taking us to a land which we know nothing about. There will be no familiar faces, no guarantee of safe haven, and the only intel we have is at least several years out of date.”

His icy blue gaze dug into the sand toa.

“In that sort of situation, the only steady thing we’ll be able to fall back on is each other. Whether through years of cooperation or working together to defeat a common enemy, this crew has formed strong bonds that will hold up to the challenges we’re sure to encounter. If you intend to join this crew and stay with us after arriving at the new world, we’ll be expecting similar from you. I figured you might respond better to a question that let you wax lyrical about yourself, but I’ll ask you more directly instead. Can we trust you to pull your weight and stick with us, Mr. Verak? When the chips are down and the situation becomes complicated, can we rely on you?”

OOC: @Visaru@Ghosthands@Void Emissary@Snelly

Edited by pokemonlover360
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Posted (edited)

IC (Lohkar) [The Dancing Crab, Ostia]

Lohkar settled back in his seat with a broad, self-satisfied smile and swigged happily from his tankard. Now this was the power of delegation. He got all the fun of the initial meet-and-greet, got to leverage the trademark Cap'n Lohkar charisma and make sure the prospective deck-swabbers knew who they were dealing with, and then Yasurek would take over for all the boring "are you in any way suited to joining a pirate crew" bollocks.

Good ol' Yasurek. The lad was almost tediously dependable. He'd practically begged Lohkar to let him interview the applicants — though whether that was out of an ingrained Ko-Matoran obsession with paperwork (previously a foreign concept aboard the 'Vika), or a simple instinct of self-preservation (i.e. making sure his captain wasn't going to hire anyone criminally insane or dangerously incompetent), Lohkar couldn't tell. Either way, this was a truly elegant solution to the twin problems of not getting bored and not hiring anyone who would blow up the ship.

He shifted his legs (still resting up on the table) into a slightly more comfortable position, and took another swig of rum, silently toasting productivity.


OOC: @pokemonlover360 @Visaru @Snelly @Void Emissary

Edited by Ghosthands
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IC Verak

Well, it’s a good thing he didn’t ask me that first question again: the story that my history of teamwork tells is of someone flitting from one organization to another, leaving for such important reasons as trying to avoid a romantic relationship that was getting to be too involved or because I noticed a pretty light in the sky and wanted to go check it out. 

I glanced at Lohkar, who was grinning approvingly at Yasurek’s behavior, and felt a sinking feeling as I realized that there really was an interview/paperwork section of the Infernavika hiring process. 

Things have rarely looked more dire. My only ticket off this island crawling with guards eager for my arrest is to convince a Ko-Matoran I’m trustworthy? I’d rather be tied to the bottom of the ship as it sails through Takea infested waters. 

But, like the one time I was tied to the bottom of a ship as it sailed through Takea infested waters, I grinned and faced the problem head on. I wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. I’m clever, when I need to be, and I’ve got charisma in tons. Yeah, Verak, come on, you can do this!

Okay, good pep talk. Here goes nothing.

“Look, Mr…”

“Yasurek.”

“Yasurek, good to meet you, I, uh…” I drummed my fingers on the table as I assembled my point of attack. “I see you are being dead serious about this proposition, my friend. So I’m going to break character and give you a straight answer, because I respect you, Mr. Yasurek.” That wasn’t a lie, if you define ‘respect’ as ‘am filled with cold fear at the sight of’. 

I try to give a straight answer, but the words stick in my throat. I squinted, took another breath, and leaned onto the back two legs of my chair. 

“Right, here’s the deal, to be honest: a short attention span, a bad memory, and compulsive to a fault are all items you can check yes to on your little notepad here. I can’t say with a straight face I’m going to be your loyal companion through the ages until l we grow old together, especially not if you keep asking me to fill out paperwork.”

‘Okay, great job Verak, really selling yourself here,’ you say, but wait till you see the second half of this winning rhetorical strategy:

“But more importantly, you can also check ‘yes’ next to 'brave'. Or 'foolhardy', if that’s how you have it written down on your notepad there. The point is, I don’t run away from things. I run toward danger. It’s a character flaw. But it means that, if you are in trouble, if we’re sailing toward the edge of the world or a maelstrom or the jaws of some colossal monster, that’s the moment when I’m least likely to leave you. You’ll have my full attention and my enthusiastic aid when, as you say, the chips are down, because the reason I’m sailing with you is because I love situations like that. It’s an addiction, I’m afraid.”

“And I’ve sailed with you before, right? And not only did your ship and crew survive unscathed, I was a model cremate! Always the first to leap headfirst into danger when you encountered it, and I even obeyed orders. You can trust me, Yasurek, if not to show up in court for you at least to fight at your side and do my best to keep the ship afloat. Besides, once shore disappears, where else can I go? It’s help you or dive into the empty sea.”

My smile faltered a little as I tried to read Yasurek's expression.

OOC @pokemonlover360 @Ghosthands @Snelly @Void Emissary

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--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Lumune - Near Ostia

"I know, boy, too many smells, not nice," she soothed, patting Idas's shoulder. The lion grumbled irritably, but Lumune had yet to lead him astray, and she helped him catch food much easier, so he trusted her.

Sliding from his shoulder, she led him toward the port, glancing frequently from him to the settlement, gauging his reaction. He stiffened visibly the closer they got, and as they came up to the outermost signs of civilization, stopped moving. "That's alright," Lumune said, patting his leg. "That's a good lion. You'll get comfortable in time." Of course, given she wasn't entirely comfortable in civilization, that was a lie. But it was the tone of voice more than the content that calmed the large Rahi.

"Niiiiiice catch, trapper!" a voice called. She glanced over her shoulder and spotted a gruff Ba-Matoran who looked right at home in the port settlement. "Bet he'll fetch you a nice price!"

"Nicer than you can afford," she shot back, smirking. Straight-up telling him he wasn't for sale would probably just make him want Idas more.

"Hoho, I wouldn't be so sure of that. Healthy, obedient, rare... You could buy your own Kumu Islet!"

She pulled two wild Mahi off of Idas's saddles, dead but fresh, good for meat, hide, and parts, and slung them over her shoulders. "I hunt for the pleasure," she said back. "I wouldn't know what to do with myself on an island. Besides, he's not as obedient as you think. Now be a lad and tell me who might want to take these off my hands."

The other Matoran relented. "Bunch of folks could have various uses. See the butcher, right at the Dancing Crab, two houses down on your right."

"Much obliged," she said with a nod, and headed into town, lugging her load along.

OoC: Lumune is open for interaction. Idas too, at the land-side entry to the port.

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IC: Baszlin - Iron Mahi 

Far to the south, the starchy blue sky was bisected by a wall of gray - storm cells that mushroomed up into a high shelf, the complex structure within fleetingly marked by flashes of lightning. It was storming in Forsi right now. Their destination, shrouded in a curtain of rain, hours away. He could pretend that the rumbling of the train’s motion was the peal of distant thunder if he let his mind wander, though such a feat was made difficult by certain… environmental distractions.

Even here, in the relatively-sealed railcar, the dry heat soiled all novelty of traveling over the desert at blinding speed and disturbed his fantastical rain-soaked daydreaming. All that remained were the basest desires to be in the midst of that faraway maelstrom, to close his eyes and open his mouth, hands raised above his head and bask in the chill of the downpour. He loathed this desert. It was that loathing that persisted in his memory, even if the events that had perhaps transpired here were missing. This place was the worst.

“Yes, of course,” he replied to the Matoran seated next to him. His voice was coarse and he sounded on the verge of whining. “Been all over this island. The Ko-Wahi Drifts. The Motara. All the Koro. Seprilli. That godforsaken swamp in the south.”

Actually, yeah, scratch that. The Fau Swamp- wait no, scratch that. Let’s just lump all of Le-Wahi in the “absolute trash” category, shall we? He’d take Po-Wahi’s dry heat over the jungle humidity. He felt dirty after just a half-day walking from Ta-Koro to Le.

rumble rumble

Ah, that sound again. Wasn’t the train, nor the thunder. That was his stomach. His throat suddenly felt drier, too. He tore his gaze away from the distant rainfall, probably wasn’t helping any. He fiddled with the canvas bag containing his shotgun within, trying to distract himself, pulling at a loose thread.

“Mmh. They got any sort of food service on this thing? I’m starving.”

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IC: Lash – Ostia

Now this was her kind of city.

She’d been to a Koro carved out a glacier, one hidden underground, and one floating on lily pads, and though each one had been unique and remarkable in its own way, this was the only city on the island she’d visited so far that felt… normal.

Everywhere she’d gone, everywhere she’d heard about, the Matoran people had carved out their little lives for themselves in places they didn’t belong, in ways that made no logistical or strategic sense. What kind of maniac built a city on floating leaves in the path of potential tidal waves? Or confined their civilian population to caves that could collapse during an earthquake? Or willingly established their seat of government atop an active lava flow?

But this place… it was grounded. It made sense. Its design reflected its purpose as more of a transitory stopping-off point for traders and travellers. This was a place where secrets were stolen and sold. A place where only the hardiest or most foolhardy came to set down roots.

Like many who’d washed up on Mata Nui’s shores, Lash had no memory of her homeland. But something about Ostia… this was what she imagined her home would’ve been like. But if all went to plan, she would soon be leaving it behind as well.

Handing off a few widgets to cover the cost of mooring her boat, she set off for the tavern she’d heard about, the Dancing Crab. If the rumours were to be believed, it was the preferred haunt of the Captain who claimed to know the location of the new island.

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC Yasurek - The Dancing Crab, Ostia:

As the Ko-matoran continued making notes during Verak’s response, his eyes never strayed from the sand toa. When Verak finished making his case, the notetaking stopped, though Yasurek’s eyes didn’t stray from their target. Internally, the former guard continued to take a couple mental notes: Verak’s general uneasiness under Yasurek’s watchful eye, the sweat forming in real time as the toa squirmed, and how good this situation felt.

There was an odd satisfaction at holding power over the being in front of him, despite the differences in abilities. To be able to exert psychologically pressure on another individual with nothing but some stereotypical ko-matoran traits, a few words, and some actual professionalism produced a distinct, almost sadistic pleasure. While he had never performed many interrogations in his law enforcement career, he had sat in on a few performed by his colleagues. He saw a similar look in Verak’s expression to when the interrogators had presented decisive evidence of guilt. Perhaps they felt the same satisfaction when they were working.

Part of him wanted to keep going, to push harder, to see just how low he could make the criminal in front of him sink, to make this being who could manipulate the elements themselves wither under his authority. But that wasn’t the point of this interview. His objectives were to determine Verak’s ability to fit into the crew as well as establish Yasurek’s presence in the crew’s hierarchy, tasks he had already completed. Thus, the sadistic urge was snuffed out by a blizzard of professionalism, leaving one final task: letting Verak know his conclusion.

Yasurek finally broke the stare and relaxed his eyes for the first time in a minute or two, tilting his head slightly. His mouth curled up into a small smile; not a smirk, but a more genuine expression. He briefly glanced at Lohkar and Gunner before looking back at Verak. In theory the two crewmates would be able to deduce his conclusion from just that look, but completely non-verbal communication was always a bit hit or miss.

“…Alright Mr. Verak, I have a couple notes here, but I’ll stick mostly to the key conclusions. If you’re going to interview for any jobs in the future, it’s better to lead with your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Keep the talk of your shortcomings to when the interviewer asks about them. Otherwise, I see no issue with you that hasn’t been seen before on this crew.”

He added a quick checkmark to his notes for dramatic effect.

“With that said, the captain’s already given you his blessing, and I’m in agreement. Welcome back aboard the Infernavika.”

OOC: @Ghosthands@Visaru@Snelly@Void Emissary

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Posted (edited)

IC: Datrox Karvan - Po-Wahi - The Iron Mahi

Datrox shifted around slightly, the seat suddenly becoming uncomfortable as Kohra stared at him. He supposed it wouldn’t be right to keep something from her, especially since she had put her trust in him. Dancing around a subject would only make her think he was hiding something.

“Alright,” Datrox finally said with a sigh. “Last time I took the Mahi some bad folk got on, tried to rob it,” he explained. “Maybe you heard about it before you forgot everything. I tried to help stop them and they got away.”

He was trying not to be too loud. Datrox was slightly worried that openly discussing a train robbery would disturb the other passengers, or even be a bit of a bad omen.

“That was a while ago, though,” he added. “Not like it’s gonna happen twice.”

IC: Surdo - Po-Wahi - The Iron Mahi (First Passenger Car)

“Well, yes but—” he stopped himself from finishing. “Is now really the time? I’m a little hungry myself, but…” He glanced at Minnorak. Surdo’s anticipation was becoming impatience.

He shook his head and looked out the window of the train car. “Where’s that signal, anyhow?” He whispered. It came out almost like a breath, the Fe-Matoran not wanting the other passengers to possibly hear or catch on to what they were doing. Seemingly on cue, he saw a glimpse of something purple and remembered what Karmine’s job was.

“I think that’s as good as we’re getting,” he said to Baszlin. “Do you want to start, or should I?”

OOC: @BULiK@Perp@Nato G and the rest of the Heist Gang + @Vezok's Friend

Edited by Tarn
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Iron Mahi- Engine Car

IC: Being an engineer for one of Po-koro's growing fleet of Iron Mahi payed extremely well. Not everyone could understand the interplay of electrical and mechanical forces tumbling within the metallic shells and if you needed an engineer then it was rather required that they actually knew what they were about. Of course, the pay was probably also so good because how else did the eponymous "They" expect such talented folk to deal with total and complete boredom of the experience. Watching the landscape change from an ocean of dunes to one of water was interesting the first couple times...if one was being extremely generous. After that it just got mind numbingly monotonous.

So Tal had taken to skipping through the various radio broadcasts that had started to fill the air ever since the technology had been released to the general public. The selection was pretty limited for obvious reasons. Not everyone could afford their own pile of machinery the size of an old-style hut after all. It was better than struggling to stay awake listening to the clatter of the tracks and the hum of the engine however. His personal favorite was a broadcast that some enterprising Matoran had started a few weeks back. Once a day for about three hours the smooth voice of a woman would come on the air and read out one of the new paperbacks that aspiring authors were now printing out in droves.

The woman was in the middle of her hourly break in the story to thank a few companies who apparently payed her to do exactly that when several things happened in quick succession. First, the signal was almost washed out in a wave of static. Second, there was a metallic groaning from up above that was almost immediately follow by a loud SPRANG. Then the radio signal cut out entirely.

"What the Karz?"

That could only have been the radio antenna being torn off. Shorn off? No way to tell without going up there and seeing just what was going on. Whatever it was, it was definitely strange. Strange and mysterious events generally weren't something that one willingly stuck their hands into, not if they wanted to keep all their fingers. Especially not when there was a detachment of Sentinels onboard perfectly willing to do it in his stead. One long arm reached out and grabbed the microphone for the train's internal telegram system. There were actually a pair of guardsmen in another compartment of the engine car but doing this had the double advantage of informing the entire Sentinel detachment of the situation.

"We've got an issue."

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"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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Posted (edited)

IC: ??? - Outside the train

Surdo, and for that matter really anyone in the few carriages near him, would hear a heavy percussive thumping sound on top of the train. It would appear that the crew's teammate had indeed finally done his job for now.

OOC: @BULiK@oncertainty@Tarn and the rest

Edited by Johnny Blocksville
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Posted (edited)

IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [the very back of the second passenger car]

With his fellow Ba-Toa's first sounding of what seemed to him a surrogate war drum, Dolbren looked up at the ceiling of the train and smiled. The smile stayed in place as he glanced about the passenger car, his eyes resting for a moment on each of his fellow passengers in turn. He had no need to plaster the expression there; all the nervous energy had left his body as soon as he knew things were really underway.

As it was, he felt good. Well, perhaps just a twinge of sadness for the other passengers, so unaware of what really went on just outside of their perception. He was tempted, in the moment, to inform them all immediately. It would be awfully educational to see how they would react when confronted with reality.

He didn't heed his flight of fancy. There was work to be done now, and there would be time enough to others to reveal their natures later. Still, he could not keep himself from smiling.

OOC: Heist crew, and any non-affiliated passengers in the second passenger car

Edited by oncertainty
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IC: Ostia, the Dancing Crab

On 5/30/2022 at 3:45 PM, pokemonlover360 said:

“Welcome back aboard the Infernavika.”

I gave a triumphant bark of laughter, finally free of that long suspenseful gaze that Yasurek held on me for what must have been far longer than necessary. 

“Brother, you should have said that as soon as you saw me and you could have saved yourself the trouble of the interview! I promise you’ll only regret this decision on the bad days." I wink at Yasurek, then raise my stolen tankard to the assembled crew around me. “Well, mates, cheers to me, and my return to a life of pirating! Let’s sail off the edge of the world together!”

OOC: @pokemonlover360 @Ghosthands@Snelly@Void Emissary

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--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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Posted (edited)

IC: [Kohra - Po-Koro, aboard the Iron Mahi]

“A train heist?” the Vortixx asked incredulously, not picking up on the Toa’s efforts to keep his voice down until she saw him wince.

She grimaced in turn, then lowered her voice too. “Sorry…What were they moving with this thing that they wanted to steal it? Also…why hesitate to mention it. You said you were trying to help, right?”

THUNK

“...what was that?”

OOC: @Tarn
 

Edited by Vezok's Friend

 

 

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IC: Datrox Karvan - Po-Wahi - The Iron Mahi

“That’s the thing—I don’t know,” Datrox admitted. He just remembered the train being the target, but he had never found out what kind of cargo must have been on the Mahi that would attract criminals like that. “Look, I only hesitated because…no, not because I was that worried about it happening again. I don’t like admitting to the fact they got away.”

He slumped into his seat slightly. “I could have caught them, I’m sure of it. Got told my help wasn’t needed anymore, and that they wouldn’t get far. Never heard anything else of it. They wouldn’t have got far, alright, if I had—”

THUNK

The Ta-Toa sat up straight suddenly, his hand immediately reaching for the travel compartment overhead that currently held his Obsidian Blade. No, was probably nothing. The talk of train heists had got his nerves acting up. Datrox leaned back again, although now he was much more focused on his surroundings and listening intently for anything else out of the ordinary.

“…probably nothing,” he told Kohra.

IC: Surdo - Po-Wahi - The Iron Mahi (First Passenger Car)

“Nevermind,” Surdo said, getting out of his seat upon hearing Karmine’s knock. He gave one last glance to Minnorak and nodded. “I believe that’s what we were waiting for. Come on, Baz, you remember how we practiced—time to do our part of the job.”

He limped out into the train car aisle, before thumping his cane against the floor once in an attempt to get the other passenger’s attention. He opened his mouth as if he was going to say something, but paused, looking confused. Surdo then dramatically clutched at his heartlight and stumbled before falling over, his cane making a loud clatter as it hit the floor.

“Ba…szlin…” was all he managed to croak out, reaching out to his companion in desperation.

It would seem the older Fe-Matoran was suffering a medical emergency of some kind.

OOC: @BULiK@Perp@Nato G and everyone else...is there a doctor in the house? + @Vezok's Friend

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IC: Minnorak – The Iron Mahi

The Iron Mahi was a noisy machine, clanking and rattling along the tracks, but there was still no mistaking Karmine’s knock when it came. Short of a flying rahi ploughing into the roof, the sound could only have been produced by the Ba-Toa bandit.

Audible though it was, it was such an innocuous sound, not coming even close to conveying the severity of what it was signalling. But that was always how these things began. Softly. Suddenly. The click of a firearm being cocked, the scrape of a blade leaving its sheath, the sharp intake of breath that preceded a thrown blow… and then the chaotic cacophony of conflict.

Usually.

In this case, however, what followed the sound was the sight of Surdo sputtering in the aisle in the throes of what was hopefully a fake medical episode. Minnorak remembered the idea being discussed when they were planning the heist, but Surdo did look somewhat… infirm. Him actually suffering a heart attack would have been exactly in line with Minnorak’s usual luck lately.

The look on the Vortixx’s face as he beheld the unfolding scene was a very genuine expression of concern, albeit perhaps not for the same reason as the other passengers. The distraction might be enough to arouse the confusion and concern of the civilians on the train, but with the long-range communications down, any guards on the train were sure to be suspicious of any strange behaviour. The ruse likely wasn't going to hold up for long. 

Not wanting to draw undue attention to himself, Minnorak remained in his seat, playing the part of bystander by continuing to gawk at the floundering form of the Fe-Matoran.  

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IC: [Kohra -  aboard the Iron Mahi]

“You sure?” the Vortixx asked. She had noticed how on edge the Toa had briefly become. 

“Maybe something broke or they hit some unlucky Rahi. Maybe we should tell someone…”

Kohra stood up, struggling a bit to get to her feet. The train, despite being a relatively smooth ride, still rumbled a little and the constant sway threw off her balance. She steadied herself against the overhead cargo rack as she moved towards the aisle, looking to see if she could spot an attendant.

OOC: @Tarn
 

 

 

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IC: Lash – The Dancing Crab

The Dancing Crab was every bit what she’d expected it to be. Replete in rustic charm, rife with unregulated rowdiness, and reverberating with raucous revelry.

She waded between the tables, working her way towards the back of the building, away from the entrance and windows. She knew from experience that the seediest deals always went down in the darkest confines and corners, but finding one specific captain in all of this was still going to be-

“Well, mates, cheers to me, and my return to a life of pirating!" A jubilant voice boomed from beyond the ajar door to the tavern’s back room. "Let’s sail off the edge of the world together!”

-never mind.

That was clearly the room she was looking for.

She strode up to the door and rapped her knuckles against the frame as she leaned inside. Her gaze swept across the various beings within before settling on the Lesterin sitting behind the table. Between his naval coat and attire, his confidently comfortable posture, and the way everyone else in the room seemed to be gravitating around him, this had to be the man she was looking for.  

“Captain Lohkar, I presume?" She offered the pirate her best smile. "The name's Lash. I'd like to sign up."

@Ghosthands @Visaru @Snelly @Void Emissary @pokemonlover360

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IC: Taleen - The Dancing Crab, Ostia -

Taleen glanced at the Vortixx with interest as she walked in and introduced herself to the captain. Looking Lash over, Taleen had a few guesses who she could be, and the sorts of things she may or may not have done. Being well connected with the underworld went hand and hand with being an assassin, or a former one in her case. You heard things, especially when you were a Toa of Sonics. 

At any rate, Taleen liked interesting people, and no offense to the boys, but having another woman around would be nice as well. "Recruitment seems to be going well, captain." 

@Ghosthands@Void Emissary@pokemonlover360 @Visaru @Nato G

 

IC: ???? - Somewhere in the desert -

Life has a funny way of working out, sometimes in ways you don't expect. Two matoran brothers had lost their way in the Motara Desert, a sandstorm had caused them to lose sight of the road, and they weren't entirely sure where they were anymore. Thankfully their wagon provided them shade, pulled by two Mahi. However, they were rapidly running out of water, and forget food. The Mahi had begun to slow as well, and once they collapsed it would be over.

Luck had finally turned around for them, however. In the distance they saw a tall figure, he had a massive shield and sword, and wore impressive armor that covered his even more impressive muscles. It was a Toa! They were saved! 

At least that's what they thought as they ran up to him, till the Toa turned around, revealing his infected Kanohi. 

"Ah..." The Toa spoke, looking at the two, petrified Matoran. "...do not be alarmed, for a bring great tidings. The Dark Lord, Makuta...has returned!" 

They ran as fast as they could back towards the cart. Lapo was always faster, and was a meter head of Lepu...till a stone spike rose from the earth and skewered him anyway. 

Lepu screamed, his brother's blood splattered against his mask. Lapo was dead...just like that. 

"It's rude to walk away when someone is talking to you..." Lepu spun around, he couldn't control his breathing as he fell backwards, looking at the Toa in absolute terror. "...there is no reason to be afraid. Your brother has been taken by the Great Spirit, to slumber with him till his time to awaken comes." 

"Y-You're not well, that mask...Makuta controls you!" Lepu barely managed to get the words out without screaming them. 

"Oh this?" The Toa reached for his mask, before he ripped it off his face. "I wear this mask, blessed by the Dark Lord, to show my absolute devotion to him. My Lord may control me anytime he wishes, but I follow him quite willingly." He placed the mask back on his face, looking almost euphoric while doing so.

Lepu couldn't understand, how could he willingly... "Why!? Why did you kill my brother!? Why do any of this!?" 

The Toa started to laugh, "I killed him to send a message of course." He smiled, it wasn't a wicked smile, he seemed to be full of joy. "Much like your Stannis Maru, I am a prophet. We merely follow different Great Spirits. Though I serve the Dark Lord with all my heart, know that I have nothing but respect for his slumbering brother, the Great Spirit Mata Nui. Makuta and Mata Nui may have their quarrels, but they are brothers. They are two sides of the same coin, darkness and light, the sun and the moon...don't you see?"

This Toa was clearly mad, this much Lepu understood. "Are you going to kill me too? Like my brother?" Lepu was afraid, but he wasn't sure how he could go on without his brother either...maybe this was for the best. 

The Toa shook his head. "No, death does not call for you this day." He explained. "Your purpose is to live, live on and tell everyone what happened here today. That I...Drakkar Brack, prophet of the Dark Lord, murdered your brother, so that his blood may pave the way to enlightenment! The time of darkness has come, and the champions of Mata Nui must come to stop me! It's the only way the cycle can continue, don't you understand!?"

 Lepu shook his head, this Toa was utterly mad. The Toa frowned. "Well, you will understand soon enough. You all will. Now go."  The Toa pointed towards a path...Lepu recognized it, it headed towards Po-koro!

Lepu started to run, he didn't look back, not at the mad Toa, his brother, or the cart. He didn't stop, not until he reached the gates of Po-koro themselves...where he finally collapsed. 

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Posted (edited)

IC: Baszlin - Iron Mahi 

The Skakdi watched his charge with mild confusion as he rose from his seat and began toppling over, in the way a puppet does when its strings are cut. Questions wracked his brain, though any answers failed to appear. Practiced? Practiced what? I don’t remember practicing anything.

Now everyone in the train car was staring at them, or rather staring at Surdo, writhing on the floor and clutching at his chest, as if some sort of ailment had crippled him. Bazslin tutted at the dithering, almost embarrassing quality of the performance, almost invisibly shaking his head in bemusement and befuddlement as the Matoran called out his name, clutching at the air as if he were in some low-budget Saturday-evening soap.

“What are you doing? Stop that.”

Edited by Perp
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IC: Tailua — Ostia, Main Square

The red porky Toa stuck the next flier off of his stack with considerable strength, making sure the adhesive held long enough to stick. Tailua had is clocked to about 15 seconds. He was currently down the main street on the highest tier of the port town, one of the cleanest parts of the ratty area. The gruff Toa knew that he’d soon have to venture into the darker yet more familiar parts of his town. He wondered for a moment what his old buddies would think of these ads for the Tech Emporium’s newest wares. The Toa wasn’t really thinking of much else. As he looked down the massive avenue filled with merchants, tourists, and sailors, his eyes shifted around and calculated the most optimal distribution of fliers. These kind of puzzles were fun, and something that his friend Makua had trouble appreciating. He was more about the more shallow but more social side of things. He only read as much as he needed to if it impressed the right girl.

Once he had a route in mind, Tailua kept walking.

??? — Ostia, Main Square

Several feet behind around, around the corner of a chum shop, three shadows stood so still that no one noticed them. Their uncanny immobility then slowly morphed into a slinking motion as they scuttled to the next building in front of them. Their identities were obscured by tan robes that further camouflaged them, but under their cowls, eyes peered forward at the red Toa ahead of them.

After a long moment, the three figures moved again. Weaving effortlessly through the crowd and remaining unnoticeable to any normal observer. All the while, they kept Tailua’s position in their sights and in their mind. Eventually, the trio split off; two taller figures went to the left, deeper into the cleft of the cliff they hosted Ostia. Meanwhile, the shorter, sylphlike figure went to the right, remaining in the sunlight and heading down the main avenue. After more slinking, the sylphlike figure leapt onto the railing to her right. On the other side of the railing was the end of the cliff and a long way down, but the figure had impeccable balance. This was effortless. The figure perched on the railing and continued their watch of their target as he continued to place fliers upon posts in a systematic fashion. The figure knew that Tailua would eventually have to venture into the less visible parts of Ostia — the uglier parts. There, and only there, would hold their best shot at making a strike.

While the shorter figure couldn’t see the other two of her comrades, training and experience meant she’d know where they would end up. The sylphlike figure just needed to make sure she where she needed to be so they would see each other.

Slowly, the lithesome, hooded figure moved forward.

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IC: Lumune - Ostia streets

The trapper meandered, in no rush, from the butcher's, where she had sold off her catch, a few widgets heavier now. She noticed a tech emporium flyer stuck to a wall and gave it a cursory once-over. She had just been there a few days ago and gotten what she needed, but again, she wasn't in a rush, so why not satisfy a little idle curiosity?

She also cast her eyes about the street as she walked, examining the wares on display for things that might be useful, or just nice to have. A few cloaked figures slipped past, though she paid no mind to them.

IC: Idas - Ostia desert-side entrance

The lion pointedly ignored the looks cast his way, curling up instead for a short nap in the shade. An errant breeze made that difficult though, as a bizarre scent made him shiver. It was distant, but too close for comfort. Ears flicking upward, he sat up and watched for the source of the scent. Antidermis. Rahkshi? He growled lowly.

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IC: Tailua — Ostia, Mid levels

The clientele had definitely changed noticeably from the people on the highest and outermost levels of the pueblo-like structures. Tailua was still able to appreciate the sea-salt smell of the beachside, and the view of Leva Bay under the clear skies was rejuvenating. It was a rare sight to Tailua back when he lived out here with his fellow miscreants. They lived within the inner wards of the settlement, The Dancing Crab being a common get-together spot away from all but the most bullheaded Sentinel officers.

The people hustling and bustling around him were not the ruffians that he was used to. No, on the mid-levels, the people were much like their positioning in the stacked homes: they were in the middle. They were not affluent enough to be on the outer edges of the settlement with clear views of Leva Bay and the white beach, but those people were not so concerned about that. From Tailua’s previous observations of them, the folks who lived out here feared being cast down into the deepest levels of Ostia, crammed in the inner caves. There, only destitution and desperation roamed — often in the form of roving gangs and drunk beggars. Down there, Tailua and his friends ruled — or at least, they ruled their one corner block.

Tailua’s team comprised of impalpable thieves and bruisers who would avenge those thieves if one was ever compromised. It was fantastic work with people who were loyal and capable. Makua could never stand to be around such low-class people, despite actually having few differences from them. As such, the ruffians were largely Tailua’s friends.

Before entering the middle levels of the port settlement, Tailua had smartly moved his coinpurse to his front. The people at the bottom had nothing to steal, so the thieves largely depended on people in the mid levels to give them the scraps that they needed. It did not matter that such people only needed to lose a coinpurse or two worth of riches to end up forever in the same depths as these thieves; the mid level dwellers were affluent compared to the desperate beggars below, and few pickpockets were brave enough to take from the people on the highest levels.

Tailua continued placing fliers for the Po-Koro Tech Emporium on the walls and he was now heading deeper into the clefts of the settlement. The view of the beachside that had given Tailua energy was now obscured by stone building and cave walls. The fliers that Tailua was distributing featured the newest products that they had to offer at prices that he knew the people living here could afford. Sure, the models accessible to them would have less bells and whistles, but these dwellers could afford them.

After completing about 3/4s of his planned route, Tailua got that all-too-known feeling of being watched. He was now deep within what he called the “backside” of Ostia. This was where it was darkest and the town blocks felt more like the caves of Onu-Koro. His coinpurse was still at his front and perfectly safe. Now that he was in the inner caves of Ostia, some bandits could be more emboldened to see if they could bring home a hefty prize. Tailua turned a corner and stopped, leaning back against the rocky wall of a meat market. His subconscious had detected footsteps behind him as well as shadows that remained in his peripheral vision longer than what was normal. But such distinct sounds of metal shoe on cobblestone street ceased only a few seconds after Tailua stopped walking. He turned his head to his right and concentrated while he put his bundle of fliers away in his backpack. On instinct, he looked directly upwards, checking for any crevices above where someone could get the drop on him. As a former bruiser to a band of thieves, Tailua knew all the tricks.

However, Tailua saw nothing but light pouring out of a pair of square windows above him. The would-be robbers would have to quickly break into this meat market, run up the stairs to the second floor (where the owner’s family almost certainly lived) and bust through these windows right about now.

That would draw many eyes though, and Tailua would’ve heard commotion. No, it was clear his possible-followers — if they were following him — needed to not be seen.

Tailua gave a huff and continued walking deeper into the cavern-like alley, joining the crowds of people trying to get to where they were going.

Behind him, two hooded figures turned a corner and trailed him. They both had eyes trained on the porky red Toa, but were now benefiting from the crowds of Matoran, Skakdi, Vortixx, and Lesterin giving them ample concealment.

??? — Ostia, Mid level alleyway

On the opposite end of the alley, towards the bright light and views of the water, the lithesome, hooded figure strode forward. Far ahead, through the throngs of traders and herders, was where her target ambled. At the rate this waif was going, they would meet head on. If the routing of her teammates was correct, the other two cloaked figures would be trailing behind the Toa of Fire.

Not here, the Waif thought. She knew that her companions knew this too. They were not down deep enough, and they all knew that Tailua would not pass up an opportunity to meet with his old friends down at the lowest levels of Ostia. Their target was almost done with this route, and they needed to trail him until he reached the lowest levels. There, the Waif knew there would be less commotion over a slaying. The people here were more-or-less middle class. Such executions didn’t really happen up here.

With that being the case, the Waif stepped aside, and into a tiny trinket shop. She would wait there until Tailua walked by, and then she would trail him again.

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IC: Surdo - Po-Wahi - The Iron Mahi (First Passenger Car/the floor)

Surdo was unresponsive to his companion. It was becoming increasingly unclear whether this was a genuine medical episode or part of the plan. Whatever the case, Surdo had to admit that Baszlin’s lack of care in the situation hurt just a bit. He was his bodyguard, anyway—wasn’t this the type of situation where he should be jumping to action, real or not?

The Fe-Matoran continued to writhe, letting out exaggerated moans of pain. Maybe at least one of the confused passengers would step forward and try to help, but for now they were all too stunned, it seemed. Was this a Po-Koro thing? Not helping those in need?

“Doctor…somebody…”

There was a hint of frustration behind the words. The other passengers might not have noticed, but Surdo’s optics had now moved from Baszlin to Minnorak.

OOC: @BULiK@Perp@Nato G

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IC: Baszlin - Iron Mahi 

Scrutiny and curiosity struck the Skakdi in equal measure, causing his brow to furrow and his eyes to squint. Certainly something was going on here, but what? All eyes were on the two of them now, the car’s passengers, some with mouths agape, watching the two of them. You might think him uncomfortable to have so many eyes pointed in his direction, but curiously a strange comfort washed over the Skakdi instead - a feeling probably not shared by the Matoran writhing on the ground at his feet.

Baszlin knelt. The plowed troughs dominating his forehead became distorted by the upward motion of an eyebrow; as did the lines at the corners of his mouth in a confused grimace, and the rest of the lines making up the scars on his face followed suit. That old, familiar rumble at the back of his throat emerged halfway when he spotted Surdo’s own eyes, not directed at him, but elsewhere within the cabin. Baszlin followed the gaze to its likely end - the Vortixx who he had confronted mere hours earlier; sharp dark lines of an onyx fa-

Something snapped. Snapped? Maybe not the right word? Broke? No. Shifted? Maybe. Whatever it was, something changed, roiled and ballooned to the front of his conscious mind. It was almost audible - a muted peal of thunder that rang out from a distance… but this was not the storm visible out the car windows right now. It was something only he could see. The lines of his face smoothed again as his expression twisted into a visage of grief and rage, head shooting up to stare back into the eyes all upon them.

“Are none among you able of spirit, of compassion!? Before me lay a man dying! Can there be no greater injustice than to let men perish through the inaction of the meek and weak-hearted!? Villains, all! Villains!

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IC: Karmine Madoc - Grand Entrance At The Iron Mahi (Recommended listening)

All of the goings on inside the train unbeknownst to me, I'm currently climbing back down to the side windows of the carriage - or, well, more accurately rappelling, just with no rope. The noise and commotion caused by Surdo and Baz's somewhat poorly telegraphed (but in the end, well executed!) act left me free to lightly hop down the side of the train, wind still carving across my face like tiny little Takea teeth. I do this until my feet are positioned directly above the top of the train window. I can just about see some of the passengers inside, the black cloaked Ta-Toa catching my eye in particular. 

And with Baszlin's passioned, but sadly inaudible, address made to the commuters on board, I finally untighten the weapon around my shoulder. It is somewhat regrettable how quickly I check it over, making sure the magazine inside was full, and that there is not a round already chambered, so as to avoid accidental discharges. Collateral damage is good for nobody.

I'd be lying if I said I was not a little nervous as I breathe in, turning my face away from the window and using my gravity powers to give me an extra bit of boost in my jump, and an ever so slight pull back to the window. 

Well, actually, I won't be modest. It's quite a karzing strong pull. One that I feel every bit of as my body painfully crashes through the window, glass flying and falling across the empty seats in front as well as into me. And try as I might to hold on and to not let the adrenaline and excitement take over, I'm afraid I can't help myself as I stand up quickly in the centre of the carriage, weapon drawn and blood streaming across my arms and face already, both eyes open and more than alert.

"GET YOUR DISGUSTING BLOODY BEHINDS DOWN AND YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEADS, UNLESS YOU WANT TO MATCH EYES WITH ME!!!"

Oh dear.

OOC: @Tarn@Perp@Nato G@Vezok's Friend

 

Edited by Johnny Blocksville
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IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Compartment

I cast my eye around the compartment, looking for details: the faded gold-to-yellow of the wallpaper where the desert sun had shone on it too many times, the Toa of Gravity by the door chipping at the edge of his table, the drops of condensation caught between panes of crystal in the window. I looked anywhere save into Nikarra's eyes, which was the one place that frightened me even more than what secrets Ak'rei'an held.

"Once," I said, "I was given a vision of my future, in which I saw nothing but a horizon of pure void. I said to myself, 'What is anything in life compared to that? What has meaning compared to such meaninglessness?' There was nothing more than this crude matter called the present. Nothing more than whatever made me feel good and strong... proud, even."

I allowed myself a wry, bitter smile at that.

"That was a philosophy that had once saved me," I continued, "but has since foundered against your shores. I need to find another philosophy if I want to... endure."

It was then, by chance or not, that I heard a hard bang against the roof of the train. My hand instinctively moved to the hilt of my blade, whereupon it rested uneasily for a few moments. When the silence continued, I allowed that grip to slacken slightly, giving Nikarra a look of apology.

OOC: @Goose@oncertainty

-Void

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IC: Nikarra (The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Car)

The loud noise startled Nikarra, too – her hand instinctively went to her thigh, where there was no longer any knife to withdraw. She shrugged sheepishly at Vyartha.

"Old habits, huh?"

The thump had been peculiar, coming as it did from the roof of all places, but she tried to dismiss it. It was hard to imagine many places safer than a rolling metal bunker.

Philosophy. Did Nikarra have a philosophy? Even before Vyartha described the void, Nikarra had believed that Nothing awaited us after death, but life had never seemed meaningless to her. Sure, she had lost the will to live before, but what was so different about what had brought her back from the brink?

All it took was a smile and a scarf wrapped around her shoulders in a Ta-Koro bar. Proof that people could change – no, that people could heal. But she had never felt that she had a purpose, not since her days of trying to mitigate the damage caused by her cousin. Was that what she was missing?

Was that what had led her to this train, this carriage, this day? What had led her back to Vy? That would mean the existence of fate. Of Destiny. That would mean it was Dor's destiny to die alone, miles beneath the earth, far from everyone who loved him. It was his destiny to die thinking no one believed in him, that he couldn't redeem himself.

If that was what fate meant, then Nikarra preferred not to believe in it.

"What if you weren't all wrong?" She asked, meeting Vy's eyes again. "What if this really is all there is, but there's still more to life than just doing what feels good, with no regard for others?"

OOC: @Void Emissary @oncertainty

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

"So it does, Tal..."

I raised my glass to the new woman, Lash, gesturing for her to come over to the table and join us.

"The captain's highly distractible, miss," I said, "so I can handle your intake, if you'd like. Name's Gunner, first mate and quartermaster of the 'Vika. Why don't you tell us a little bit 'bout yourself?"

OOC: @Snelly@Nato G

-Void

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IC: Lash - The Dancing Crab

Lash nodded to the Le-Toa and settled into an empty seat. "There's not too much to tell, really. I've done some mercenary jobs around the island, a bit of private security work, but nothing's really worked out," she said, "I was in Ko-Koro, then it got invaded. I had a contract with the Ussalry that I traded up for a better position with a private businessman, only for his business to go bust... and so on. Now I just want to get off this rock before certain people try to collect on debts unpaid." 

@Void Emissary

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi [Standing up in the second passenger car]

Dolbren would have been a little bit insulted if he really thought that Quoribay had only asked him to be a heavy lifter. Part of what he was being paid for must, of course, be his discretion. Dolbren had ample reason to believe this. For one, especially in these delicate early moments, his part in the job depended on it. More importantly, Quoribay hadn’t met Dolbren as a strongman. Quite to the contrary, they had found one another in the same moment of pragmatism: deciding that it would profit nothing to go down with the ship that was the Legacy’s vision of Ko-Koro. Dolbren remembered that trek well. Moving across snowy fields, camouflaged among the refugees. Warming his hands by an outdoor fire. The pleasant feeling of having avoided pointless trouble.

These images on his mind, Dolbren rose. He slid out from his seat and into the aisle. He was aware that this was less than discreet. Better not to give his fellow passengers any reason to notice him. And yet, he reasoned that he might as well stretch his legs. He might very soon need to move.

Thus justified, Dolbren loped down the aisle towards the other end of the car. Part way down, a momentary clanking shudder of the train led him to steady himself on the adjacent wall. He looked to the Toa seated on either side of that compartment, one red and one purple, and smiled apologetically.

"My apologies.”

Giving a nod to the pair of Toa, Dolbren proceeded to the far end of the car, and peered through the window. He squinted. Through two panes of glass, and small windows at that, he could see relatively little. Even so, it was difficult to miss Karmine. Standing tall in the aisle, crazed and bleeding, weapons drawn. Dolbren gave a small nod of approval, so slight as to be almost imperceptible. Who would have thought the kid had it in him? Would that the rest of the day could be equally surprising.

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville @Perp @Tarn and all other heisters, @Goose @Void Emissary fellow second passenger car riders

Edited by oncertainty
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On 6/1/2022 at 7:03 PM, Visaru said:

“Well, mates, cheers to me, and my return to a life of pirating! Let’s sail off the edge of the world together!”


IC (Lohkar) [The Dancing Crab, Ostia]

"Ha, I'll drink to that!" I affirmed with a grin, and did so. Consequently I was still nose-deep in my tankard when another prospective shipmate arrived, introducing herself as 'Lash'. Gunner, always quick on the up-take, took point while his captain was temporarily indisposed.

Contrary to appearances, even as I downed the mug of rum, I was listening intently to the Vortixx's self-introduction. So far, so run-of-the-mill. A washed-up merc looking for a fresh start...Artakha knew there were enough of those floating around Ostia. And yet, my instincts raised a faint ping of warning. Her story was smoothly delivered but short on detail, vague in all the right places. That in itself wasn't necessarily a problem; in my business you generally have to take a don't-ask-don't-tell approach to recruitment. If somebody's willing to join a roving band of thieves on the high seas, chances are they're either the carefree-bordering-on-unhinged type (exhibit A: Sandman over there) or they've got a thing or two to hide. But I've heard a polished liar or two in my time (hey, you're lookin' at one) and sometimes you've just gotta listen to your gut when someone comes across a little too slippery. Wasn't reason enough to turn her away, of course. Just one to keep an eye on.

I emerged from my drink with the trademark grin on full blast. Rule 1 of being cautious: don't let anybody know you're doing it.

"Good ta meetcha, 'Lash'."

Without moving from my eminently comfortable position, I extended one palm for a firm handshake.

"Rest assured, we can get ya as far away from this rock as it's possible ta go. Question is..." I continued, eyes a-twinkle, "what can you do for us?"


OOC: Sorry about the delay; been a rough couple of weeks but I should be able to post more regularly for at least the near future. @Nato G@Visaru @Void Emissary @Snelly@pokemonlover360

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IC: Lash – The Dancing Crab

“I can offer you something that’ll make you the envy of any captain, anywhere,” she said, injecting every ounce of confidence she could muster into the words as she shook the offered hand. "How would you like to be the only captain on the continent who can count a Rahkshi among their crew?" 

There was no point beating around the bush with her pitch. Lash had her skills, but Breathless was the real drawcard here. 

@Ghosthands 

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Compartment

The figure who had been chipping at the veneer of his table stood up and passed us. I glanced back at him. I had guessed correctly that he was heading to the compartment door, but when he merely stood by it and looked through its window, with no movement made to open it, I could not help but feel something spark in the back of my mind. I let my body tense itself, coiling even as I turned my attention back to Nikarra, trying to find the right words for her.

When none arrived, I choose the first words that came to me.

"The first battle of Kini-Nui," I said. "I fought in that when I was still a Ta-Matoran. The First Toa had ventured deep beneath the earth to challenge Makuta, with only a ragtag band of Matoran to hold the line at the temple's entrance. Captain Jaller had led us all the way there from Ta-Koro, until we could smell the stench of infected Kanohi where we stood. 'For the Toa!' he had shouted, sword in hand, his voice nearly drowned out by the roar of Rama wings beating the air, screaming their way towards. 'For Mata Nui!'  We were fighting the good fight, you see? For god, against the devil. In the name of heroes against villains. That's what made it worthwhile.

"That's what made all those deaths worthwhile."

My body felt like a metal spring that had coiled so tightly it had gone brittle -- and would snap at any point.

"Maybe when the First Toa didn't come back... that's when all this started. Even before I glimpsed the void through that infected mask. Maybe I glimpsed it then and there. Maybe that's what I'm trying to... fix. Escape. I do not know. All I know is that if there is nothing... higher than this... then it's just us. Throwing ourselves into the fray, over and over. It's all just blood."

OOC: @oncertainty@Goose

-Void

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IC: Baszlin - Iron Mahi 

If the sudden cascading peal of shattering glass failed to faze the Skakdi, as harsh and violent the sound may have been, it would come as no surprise that the resulting razor shards vaulting through the air to pelt his spine and shoulders with pinprick cuts suffered the same fate. In fact, Baszlin remained stock-still after delivering his lamentations to the assembled passengers, still staring into their eyes long after they had turned their attention elsewhere - to the cause of this sudden intrusion. Plainly visible to him, some recoiled at the threats verbally leveled at them - invisible daggers of terror thrown wildly and minuscule particles of spittle (also impacting Baszlin’s turned back) sharing a common origin.

He - and therefore the plight of his patron beneath him - was no longer central to the attention of their small audience.

This would not do.

The air was still for a few beats. Some passengers shrieked, others stayed silent. Hands began to move, but Raaka Baszlin did not see where their motion ended. Still knelt down at Surdo’s side, it took only a fraction of a second to refocus the grief and rage displayed earlier upon a new, sole subject. In that same time, his torso and neck twisted so that he could look upon his new quarry, an outstretched arm and accusing finger added to his arsenal and pointed squarely at the–

Interloper!he cried, the indignity in his voice palpable. “A crisis weighs upon us! ‘Tis a weight hardly borne by those whose spines doth already buckle ‘neath burden of evil doings! No further can one bend! No further! See you not the cataclysm on the cusp - that of poor Surdo, whose life leaks from a heart cleft by sinners of the same thread as thou! Thou, who beholdest the ailment of fair folk and seek chaos even so! Thine eyes betray thine cruelty! I spit upon your ilk! Vile mongrel! Cur!

A thick globule of mucus landed itself at Karmine’s feet a moment later.

Edited by Perp
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