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BZPRPG - Po-Wahi


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On 6/5/2022 at 2:19 PM, Snelly said:

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. 

IC: - Po-koro Gates -

News of Lapo's death had most certainly spread throughout Po-koro. Lepu had recovered and frantically told the Sentinels about the mad Toa with the infected mask that had attacked them in the desert. Of course they took him seriously, especially since his brother remained missing. Though there was no sign of the dark Toa or his victim. 

Interestingly enough, Lepu had ended up recovering in a hospital with a decent view of the gates, and every morning he would gaze out towards the desert, looking through the window as he thought of that dreaded day, he'd watch merchants, adventures, and other travelers come and go through the gates, it was peaceful. 

One fateful morning, a familiar wagon slowly wheeled it's way towards the koro ever so slowly. Lepu thought his mind was playing tricks on him but as it got closer his body began to shake. Tied to the wagon was the corpse of his dear brother, written on his chest were the bloody words, courtesy of Drakkar Brack, Prophet of Makuta.

Lepu screamed. 

OOC: Drakkar Brack to Le-Wahi 

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

I never could abide by smoking. Maybe it was a race thing, an air elemental's predilection, but the smell of tobacco always set my teeth on edge. So, glancing over to the newcomer -- a mountain of a man, and about as dirt-covered as one to boot -- and flicked a finger through the air, conjuring up a breeze to keep the stench away from me and my new, armoured friend. You would scold me for it, but I can't say that the motion was particularly subtle.

"Can't say that I recall doing so, no," I replied, leaning back in my chair so as to get a better look at this fellow. By Spirit, he was big'un, rivalling even Blue-Eyes across from me, with a mask that looked like someone had commissioned Karzanhi himself to forge a Kadin, two great horns bursting forth from it. His poncho and pants might have, at one point, been white, but that was mere wishful thinking at this point. But he seemed unarmed, which is always a general surprise on this island, and a particular surprise in a place like the Dancing Crab. The only other thing he was holding, apart from that ###### cigarette, was a scrap of paper whose contents I suspected I had already seen.

"But while you're here, can we help you with anything?" I continued, glancing over at Blue-Eyes to see those peepers eyeing the newcomer up-and-down as well -- at least he could even the odds if ###### went south.

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville @BULiK

-Void

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IC: Solan IudexIntroduction at the 'Dancing Crab'

And so, he scratched his scratchy chin, trying to think up why he might have walked up to the two gentlemen, before puffing out another gust of smoke, which floated back to him thanks to Gunner's influence over the wind - not that he really seemed to notice. 

"Either of you got any widges on ya? Need to catch the next train...think I got a strokeheat. Heatstroke. Karz flyin' back like this." Without asking, he pulled a seat nearby to sit by the two of them, perched reverse with his arms folded and leaning on the back of the chair. "Or a boat. Whichever's quickest to Ga."

OOC: @Void Emissary @BULiK

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

Perhaps I had misjudged this man -- the tattered paper between his fingers and the cavalier way he had approached us earlier, I had assumed that he had come looking for work on the 'Vika. Turns out that he just needed a lift out of town. I idly remembered hearing word that the Fowadi was in Ostia, and for a moment I considered pointing him over in their direction and making him their problem. The way that I figured it, they owed us for saving their ###### in Ko-Koro all those months back. But, blast me for it, I wasn't about to go hypocritical on myself just then -- not after giving the rest of the crew my whole song and dance about not making things harder for the folks like us left. 

For one thing, Yasurek would never let me hear the end of it.

"What you headed to Ga for, you mind me asking?" I said to him.

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville@BULiK

-Void

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IC: Solan Iudex - Introduction at the 'Dancing Crab'

"Women." 

He chortled to himself, coughing in the process loudly. Several people turned to stare for a moment.

"Nah, I dunno. Too hot here. Maybe the Marines'll take me. Sentinels told me to karz off." Gunner would probably have gotten the feeling even he wasn't sure why he was going to Ga-Wahi. "I was a bloody legend. They should be karzin' ashamed!" 

The Toa scratched his head, snorting in the process.

"Want a ciggie?" He looked to Gunner and the Skakdi, producing an ashy cardboard pack from the apparent void beneath his poncho.

OOC: @BULiK@Void Emissary

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

I raised my hand quickly to signal that I was fine without -- as well as blowing away whatever he was coughing up.

"Legend, you say?" I replied, trying to feel out who the Karz this guy was. Widgets to walnuts, this guy was one mask short of a Suva and anything he said would need to be taken with a heavy shake of salt. But between the Marines and the Sentinels, and his landing in Ostia... the fellow was of sailing stock. And, as Lohkar's recruitment campaign was evidence of, we could use all the sailors we could find, Spirit save us all.

"What's your name, friend?" I replied, glancing over to Blue-Eyes across from me as well. "'haps I've heard of you."

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville@BULiK

-Void

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IC: Solan IudexIntroduction at the 'Dancing Crab'

"Huh?"

He frowned. 

"I'd figure a lad of your stature would recognise the God Warrior when you see 'em, Tiribomba." The Toa finally stubbed the cigarette out on his knee, tossing it aside a surprisingly fair distance. The leathery back of his hand wiped across his face as he sniffed the air. "Everyone's... got a bloody short term memory these days, hmph. But Solan Iudex lives. Even if they all forgot."

Hazy blue irises bored into the wall past both the two boatmen. Was he contemplating, or just spaced out? As was usually the case with Solan, it was a bit of both.

OOC: @Void Emissary@BULiK

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IC: Gunner ! The Dancing Crab

I could feel my brow furrowing despite myself. Tiribomba certainly wasn't my name, unless I happened to look a lot like some other poor fool that this man had met previously in life. I knew that some folks claimed that it translated to jungle leaf, which was possibly a reference to my race, the connotations of which I frankly didn't have time to get into right now. More concerning was the reference to himself as the God Warrior.

And his surname, Iudex, if a childhood of fancy tutors in dead languages was doing me any good... that meant the judge.

"I'm afraid you've got me mixed up with someone else, Mr. Iudex," I said, friendly and casual, "but my name's Gunner. So perhaps you could enlighten me as to what I've been missing."

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville@BULiK

-Void

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IC: Solan Iudex Introduction at the 'Dancing Crab'

He looked taken aback as Gunner stated his actual name.

"Gunner? The karz you let 'em call you that for?" The Toa scratched at a horn, before getting up out of his chair. "Ah, it doesn't matter none. Just would pummel a Skakdi to get some widgets. Not that I'm desperate or anything. A man's gotta earn." He looked oddly forlorn, putting an unlit cig behind one of his horns.

"That train crew, the Foe-woddy, I'm sure they'll appreciate a visit from a legend in his prime." Solan muttered, starting to move to leave somewhat rudely.

OOC: @Void Emissary @BULiK

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IC: Frii'Glokk [Ostia, The Dancing Crab]

Eyes narrowed. 'Pummel a Skakdi to get some widgets' - what did he mean by this?

Edited by BULiK
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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

I gave Blue-Eyes a sidelong look, making sure that his blaster-arm was the same place that it was before Iudex's comment. Fortunately, while those eyes of his were pulled into a mean squint, he didn't seem like he was going to be making any move to attack anytime soon. That was good -- a loose-cannon in front of me was bad enough. One sitting next to me, too? I didn't like the odds on that, not one bit.

"You good at pummelling, then?" I prodded, leaning forward just a bit. "What sort of experience you got in the field? Any battles I might've heard of?"

OOC: @BULiK@Johnny Blocksville

-Void

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IC: Solan Iudex 

Solan's expression stretched as if Gunner had asked him what cooked Mahi was. 

"Any ya mighta HEARD OF?! Why there was...you know, that time when...when that..." He stared for a moment, desperately trying to recall any such events besides the ones he really didn't want to tell either of the men in front of him about. "...Well, I mean, I sunk that Lesterin brigade off the coast of Ga that time. And Echelon, 'ad him for breakfast too."

It wasn't technically lying if you didn't know it was true or not.

"I'm not lyin'." He said, to affirm that point. "Just no work around here for warborn like me. Everyone's all "shoot this lad" or "break this guy's kneecaps". Nothing like a good war."

He paused, having glanced at the piece of parchment in his hands idly for a second.

"...Ah."

OOC: @Void Emissary @BULiK

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

His pauses and stumbles didn't go by me without notice, and if I hadn't already had my doubts about his boasting, then I certainly did by then. Besides, although I had never personally met Echelon the Necromancer in the flesh, I knew for a fact that he had once led the charge that decimated the old Island Liberation Front way back when -- and the people there I had definitely known, and known well-enough to understand wouldn't have gone down without a Karz of a fight. The odds of one man going up against Echelon and beating him... well, it just didn't seem too likely.

Still, that didn't mean that Iudex couldn't scrap, and maybe even scrap with the best of them. And between the brave new world we were looking for, and Lash's little pet, we could use all the scrappers we could get our hands on. Plus, way that I figured it, if we didn't get another big guy to balance out Blue-Eyes on board, we were likely to flip the ship.

"Coast of Ga, you say?" I replied. "Sailing type, then? Funny that you ended up in this joint then, considering who's hiring. Ever work in privateering?"

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville @BULiK

-Void

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IC: Solan Iudex 

"What, like piratin' and all that?"

He itched again at his prickly chin.

"I set a few on fire once. Two? Yeah."

Another cigarette lit itself, almost unconsciously in his hands, as he finally regarded the stoic Skakdi beside Gunner with a scowl. "What's your problem, slugcatcher?" 

OOC: @BULiK @Void Emissary

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IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

"Hopefully," I said, leaning my elbows onto the table in an attempt to interpose myself between these two man-mountains, "those were pirates that you were opposed to, and not ones that you were allied with, no?"

As much as Iudex was the kind of muscle we could use aboard the 'Vika, he was sporting enough red flags for the next hundred years of trips into the Drifts. The rest of the crew was already doubting my credibility after vouching for Lash and her Rahkshi -- if I brought this guy to them, talking the way he was now, they would all be within their rights to send me straight to the Nuju-Marion to get my skull examined. I just needed to keep him talking long enough to figure if he was either lying about all of his, er, eccentricities, or to work out a way to get him out of our business as fast as possible.

Preferably before Blue-Eyes took a shot at him, or vice-versa.

OOC: @BULiK@Johnny Blocksville

-Void

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IC: Solan Iudex 

The Titan's look became solemn all of a sudden as he registered Gunner's question, answering with nothing but a nod, possibly his only action that day void of ambiguity.

His eyes drifted back to the Skakdi, carefully looking the metal mountain over. His calloused hands brought the smoke from his lips, dirty fingertips gently clutching the paper.

"It's been a minute since I been at sea." His glare slowly neutralising to the more empty-headed expression he carried around. "Not sure how long. But I've been around, ya know. Most ships won't take me now, karz, most anyone won't. Think they're above hiring someone who built their karzin' island."

A twitch below the eye, and a scratch behind a horn as he finally placed the parchment on the table, stubbing his smoke out next to it.

"I give up. This bloody handwriting makes Rahkshi look literate." He sighed. 

OOC: @Void Emissary @BULiK

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IC: Frii'Glokk [Ostia, The Dancing Crab]

With the way the Skakdi's armor rustled as his slouch straightened - recoiling defensively towards itself instead of broadening outwards - it could be deduced that this was the first time the Zakazian gladiator had held any worry in Gunner's presence.

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IC: Suran - Ostia, approaching the Dancing Crab

The lone traveler stepped from the skiff that had carried him from Ga-Koro, and tossed a small pouch with the agreed-upon price to the ferrywoman. He tilted his bamboo hat over his eyes and squinted at the sun-kissed sandstone before him. Ostia was at the same time exactly his sort of place, and very far from it. The heat, for one, made him feel like he would turn into a bag of parched Ruki strips in a matter of minutes. And second, he ordinarily wouldn't care to be seen so openly in such a lawless corner of the island. But if his sources were to be believed, he wouldn't remain here long.

He rested a hand at the hilt of the blade held securely between two plates of armor at his side, and strode quietly through the dock district, making eye contact with none, though his eyes ceaselessly scanned the area. There, a poster with what he was looking for. Crew wanted. Sailing to lands unknown. Zakaz. Not his target, but not far either. It was his best shot.

He turned his head to a man hawking his wares nearby. No, too shrewd, by the look in his eyes. He would get no information without wasting money. He walked, sticking to the shade. A beggar. He, too, would require money. Ah, there. A matoran sharpening fishhooks. "The Dancing Crab," he said simply.

The Matoran looked up only long enough to get a look at the Lesterin asking questions, then pointed down a street. "Right turn, head straight 'til you see the sign."

"Much obliged." Tip of the hat, and he was off again. He stopped to buy himself a poncho on the way. The sun was really baking him in his own armor. Better dressed now, he ducked into the bar and immediately figured out who he was supposed to. Pirates tended not to be the least conspicuous customers.

Rather than announce himself, he simply walked up, removing his hat and hanging it off a corner of his armor, and giving the group a once-over. Another water Lesterin seemed to be their leader. He allowed himself a little smile at the coincidence. Seemed the recruiters were engaged with a Skakdi at the moment. He could wait.

OoC: A returning character from Season 1! Though to be fair, he did basically nothing back then, so who even remembers him? Even I barely do. Hopefully things will be more interesting this time. Anywho, @BULiK @Void Emissary

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  • 1 month later...

IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

I smiled benignly and twitched a finger on my right hand, pulling an eddy of wind towards me and dragging the scrap of parchment along with it. I laid the palm of my hand down, pinning the paper to the table, and risked a small glance downwards to see what was written there that seemed to be giving Iudex such trouble.

I didn't, unfortunately, manage to get a particularly close look at the paper before my attention was pulled by another figure entering the tavern. Another Lesterin of Water, but one whose armour leaned much darker than the Captain's... not to mention being topped with even more of the stuff, which seemed to spike out from his body like an old samurai Toa, the kind who had once been charged to watch over the villages after the Fall of the First. He had yet to make any moves, but I had a feeling that he had come about the advertisement as well. Glancing over sideways to Blue-Eyes, I saw him sit up a little straighter and, call me crazy, he looked a little nervous around Iudex here.

"Blue-Eyes," I whispered over, "why don't you check out the guy who just walked in? See what he's about, check his credentials. I'll finish up with Iudex here."

Then, having killed two birds with one stone, I turned my full attention back to the horned man in question.

"I do happen to represent a ship that's looking to hire," I said, "and, frankly put, we could use people of your experience and strength aboard our crew. But we're not looking to start any wars, or build any islands. It's a simple mission of trade and communication, and if you feel that you can handle that, then that's good. But my crew is my family, and I don't want to bring them any trouble that I don't have to. So if you don't feel that this where your skills and your, er... temperament are best suited, then I'll be happy to pay for your passage to Ga, or Po, or wherever it is you're heading for, no hard feelings. But you won't find a place aboard our ship, if that's the case."

OOC: @BULiK@ARROW404@Johnny Blocksville Very sorry for the delay on this one! Also, I'm assuming that the paper Solan brought is an ad for the 'Vika's recruitment drive, but do let me know if that's not actually the case!

-Void

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OOC: joskander and dahkapa from ko-wahi

IC: Sir Dahkapa (Blackrock Canyon)

The journey had been long and arduous. After leaving the Sanctum, the two Toa acquired some provisions and headed off into the long and winding tunnel that led to Onu-Koro. Recently it had been blocked off while Ko-Koro was occupied, and even now the Ussalry patrolled the dark passages. Nevertheless, the two were allowed to travel freely. They passed by Darkmine, another former base of the Brotherhood. However, it was not abandoned and was actively used as a fungi farm, so nothing could be found there. He found it ironic how the followers of Mata-Nui, who hated the followers of Ak'rei'an so much, had resurrected the lifeless caverns into a place of life and sustenance.

After resting at Onu-Koro for a night (though there was no difference between night and day underground), the two continued towards Po-Koro, emerging from the tunnel into the bright desert of Po-Wahi. Dahkapa felt like he was out of his element once again, but it was still not as bad as Ta-Wahi had been. When they finally reached the village, they could take a break from walking and travel on the Iron Mahi across the Motara desert to the port of Ostia. After acquiring supplies one last time, the two headed out northeast, walking along the rocky coast.

At last, there it was: A shadowy canyon, filled with crumbling ruins and piles of bricks. In a way, it was a symbol of the Brotherhood and its state of decay. Yet Dahkapa knew that death was only the beginning.

He turned towards Joskander, who had followed him all the way here. "We travelled such a long distance just for this. Do you regret coming along?" he asked with a slight smirk.

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)

 

Edited by Daniel the Finlander

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IC: Frii'Glokk [Ostia, The Dancing Crab]

The skakdi was highly practical - words were unnecessary if he was going to respond with action. He stood up methodically, though his plate armor accompanied it with the chaotic sound of the entire brass section of an orchestra falling like dominos. A few unsubtle strides brought the Skakdi a pace away from Suran. Beneath the all-encompassing steel helmet, it was impossible to read any expressions beyond the intentions of the Skakdi's blue eyes, which silently danced their focus around at the Ga-Lesterin's equipment before locking on to his target's own soul.

"Howdy."

A pause.

"Sky guy in the booth wants to know your business here. We're screening recruits."

OOC: @ARROW404 get greeted by a fellow arc one dropout character making a comeback

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On 12/27/2022 at 5:06 PM, BULiK said:

IC: Frii'Glokk [Ostia, The Dancing Crab]

The skakdi was highly practical - words were unnecessary if he was going to respond with action. He stood up methodically, though his plate armor accompanied it with the chaotic sound of the entire brass section of an orchestra falling like dominos. A few unsubtle strides brought the Skakdi a pace away from Suran. Beneath the all-encompassing steel helmet, it was impossible to read any expressions beyond the intentions of the Skakdi's blue eyes, which silently danced their focus around at the Ga-Lesterin's equipment before locking on to his target's own soul.

"Howdy."

A pause.

"Sky guy in the booth wants to know your business here. We're screening recruits."

OOC: @ARROW404 get greeted by a fellow arc one dropout character making a comeback

IC: Suran - Ostia, The Dancing Crab

As he saw a member of the group approaching, Suran removed his wide bamboo hat and tucked it under his arm, sizing the Skakdi up briefly. He sensed no hostile intent- not that he had expected to- and responded to the 'howdy' with a nod. "Greetings." He glanced at 'sky guy' at the mention, then nodded again. "That is precisely what has brought me here. I can imagine you can guess why, as a Skakdi, in the company of a Lesterin, no less."

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IC: Frii'Glokk [Ostia, The Dancing Crab]

More comments about Skakdi nature. Hmm.

Said Skakdi looked over his left shoulder. The Captain - whom he had yet to meet - was still in discussion with a Po-Matoran woman. Turning his head the other way round, it was clear that Gunner was, as ever, preoccupied with the insane one.

"Looks like you'll need to wait in line."

OOC: I think Lohkar is waiting on a Lumune post?

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IC: Solan Iudex 

A long, deliberate stare. It was obviously a slower process for Iudex to ponder much of anything, but the process continued nevertheless.

"Aye. Fair enough." He smirked, after some time. Visibly, the man would have seemed calmer to Gunner. Sedated. "I'll...you ain't seen me like I was, not yet. But I'll be the best karzin' hire you ever had."

He rose to his feet, groaning a bit as he cracked his neck. 

"I'll stick around here. Case I change my mind to something stupider, later, and don't come back." 

OOC: @Void Emissary@BULiK@ARROW404 (also yes, that was the implication, thank you)

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IC: Joskander (Blackrock Canyon)

The Toa of Air chuckled as he strode over to Dahkapa's side.  "You're kidding, right?  A cross-Wahi road trip?  Raiding abandoned temples for secrets?  Feels like old times to me, brother."  He paused for a moment, then added sheepishly, "Well, not that I can actually remember old times all that well, of course.  But I'm pretty sure some of them were like this."

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander would have had this up monday night, but it's been a busy holiday break for me @_@

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

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

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Blackrock Canyon)

He nodded, somewhat thoughtfully. Joskander had experience that could be useful, even if it sounded like he was rusty. Maybe it was a good idea to bring him here after all, so he could help Dahkapa find what he was looking for.

"Consider this a nostalgic venture, then," he said as his eyes scanned the edges of the canyon. They narrowed and he pointed not too far away with his finger. "There, a way down into the canyon. The followers of Mata-Nui who destroyed the fortress likely used it too."

He headed down, expecting Joskander to follow him, and descended into the shadowy ravine. The ruins appeared even more imposing from a closer distance, even if they were reduced to a pile of dark rubble. They had a lot of work to do.

"I do not know how thoroughly the place was looted by the attackers, but I hope we find something. No, I pray to Ak'rei'an that we find something, so our lengthy journey was not in vain."

Without saying anything else, he walked to the remains of the fortress and started to explore them.

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)

still alive somehow

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IC: Joskander (Blackrock Canyon)

Joskander followed without a word, pressing himself as close to the canyon wall as possible as he drew deeper into the shadows of the ravine.  Despite his cheer, cliffsides and canyons never sat well with him- too many places to trip, too many places for avalanches, too many places for nasty things to hide.  Even the fortress seemed more inviting to him- at least it, once upon a time, had definitely been built to *not* collapse on its occupants' heads.

...then again, Joskander was hardly one of its intended occupants.  Neither, quite likely, was Dahkapa, as new a convert as he was.  Best to be cautious.  Always best to be cautious.

When the two Toa reached the fortress entrance, Joskander slowed his steps, hanging back until he was a good few strides behind his companion.  Sticking together had its advantages, but if there were any traps around, he might as well make sure at least one of them managed not to get hit.

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander 

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

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

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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Blackrock Canyon)

Dahkapa surveyed the ruins for a while, then shook his head in frustration. "Unfortunately, I did not find detailed information about the layout of the fortress. I wish to find the archives, or what remains of them. But at this rate, it might be impossible to find them..." At that moment, he wished he had a Kanohi Akaku.

"Should we split up so we can cover more ground? I doubt there's anyone or anything else in these ruins that could pose a danger to us."

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)

still alive somehow

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IC: Joskander (Blackrock Canyon)

"Rule one of infiltrating unknown territory: never split up."  Joskander grinned.  "Especially when one of your number has no sense of direction."

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander  okay but seriously tho I have no clue what to even write this fortress as looking like, much less what's inside it, so I'm inclined to leave the exploration to you

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

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab

"Fair enough, yourself," I said, standing up myself so that I could realize that I was still a few inches shorter than this behemoth, no matter how tall I thought I was. Aw well, I said to myself, Lash's pet Rahk will go for the biggest guy around anyway if it gets loose.

"The Captain and I have a couple more interviews to get through before the day is out," I said, nodding towards the booth where Lohkar and the rest were stationed, "so if you're still here by then, I'll show you to the ship. Considering how keen you were to get out of Ostia, I assume you don't have too much business to take care of before we lift anchor, correct?"

OOC: @Johnny Blocksville

-Void

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OOC: Jam courtesy of Emzee, Geardirector, Krayzikk, and Snelly

 

IC: Farzan - Jokaro - Krayn - Skyra - Tailua - Wiremu

 

 

The Po-Koro Technology Emporium, five hours before the Fowadi’s departure from Ostia

 

* * *

Right. Where were we?

“...So, how does it hold up to heat?” Tailua asked, grinning like a Muaka. “Can fire go through it? Around it? Resiliency’s a priority, ya know.”

“Well,” began Jokaro, his attention focused on the shop’s solitary customer, “I wouldn’t advise either – at least not for extended periods of time. Gas seal’s not rated for extreme heat, and you don’t want to deform the breech or the barrel either. Plus, the wood furniture on the exterior’s liable to catch fire. Wouldn’t exactly call the whole package ‘fireproof.’” 

Gingerly, the Po-Matoran hefted the launcher - his Patero V2 prototype - giving both himself and Tailua a proper look at it. “However, seeing as I’ll have to make a new one of these for you anyway - this’un’s a prototype - I can throw in a few modifications to accommodate your, uh, temperature range. Definitely would recommend swapping the wood furniture out for something less flammable. However, swapping the wood out for metal will inevitably make the thing a lot heav-”

Give me metal or give me death (metal)!”  His last word was punctuated with a thump to his chest.

“Uh, alright. Metal. Message received. To be clear, I-”

“When do you think you’ll have it ready? With the metallic enhancements and whatnot?”

“Well, uh…” Jokaro gingerly set the launcher down on the counter, mildly flustered. “We don’t have any formal blueprints drawn up just yet. I only just put it together today, actually, so if you’re fine with the possibility of malfunctions in the field, then… you get the picture. We’re actually supposed to get someone in later to do some… comprehensive testing…”

The Po-Matoran’s voice trailed off, a stray thought catching his attention. “Uh, Farzan?” He called over his shoulder into the workshop behind him. “That group that was in here earlier today - did they have any special requests or did you just sell them some stock?”

“Well, let’s see…” came the Fa-Matoran’s reply. He appeared a moment later in the threshold, scanning his notes. “We had a few requests that were a bit out of the ordinary, which is not a bad thing. There was an order for some armor plates by Captain Dehkaz… two sets of upsized wrist-volos, ear protection, a custom diskette rifle with magnification and spring-loaded belt clips, revolver speedloaders - all for a Mister Krayn Inzaka…”

Jokaro’s eyes were beginning to glaze over.

“Aha, here we are: For Miss Skyra Daring: one V2 Patero prototype in return for testing services rendered.”

“Right, testing services,” he parroted, turning back to Tailua, patting the top of the launcher. His expression suddenly turned inquisitive, and he swiveled back to the Fa-Matoran. “Farzan. This, uh, Captain Dehkaz - he’s a friend of yours?”

“We travel in the same distinguished circles, you could say.”

The Po-Matoran seemed to digest that for a moment, glancing past Farzan at his backpack sitting on his workshop desk. “Ominous.”

A sudden clatter of footsteps from the adjoining storeroom announced the arrival of a third Matoran, stirring up a torrent of dust particles in his wake.

Jokaro, having forgotten that said Matoran was even here, gesticulated toward the not-so-new arrival.

Right! Farzan, this is-”

“Oh! And who are you, my good man?”

“He’s-”

“Uh, hello. My name’s Wiremu, I was… uh… told I could find a workshop to… pitch in at?” he answered slowly, becoming increasingly frazzled and his words more uncertain as Farzan crossed the shop to approach him, pace uncomfortably fast.

Ha! Well, pinch my neck and call me a tunnel rat, I never thought I’d see the day!” said Farzan, shoving the Onu-Matoran’s hand into his own without the former even having offered it first, decidedly not putting Wiremu’s already nervous disposition at ease. The hand-shaking was vigorous, and mostly one-sided. Farzan continued, “To think, we get to have such a heavyweight visiting our humble establishment. This is a great moment for us, Jokaro!”

“Hm. You seem to know a lot of people, Farzan,” remarked Jokaro drily, watching the handshake become a spectacle of duration. “Wiremu here’s been sent as an attaché from Onu-Koro. Some kind of inter-village program. You probably know more about it than I do.”

Farzan seemed not to hear his co-worker and continued to fawn over Wiremu. The Onu-Matoran exchanged a glance with Jokaro, his expression one of pleading. If it were possible to shrug with one’s eyes, that was the expression Jokaro returned to him.

Tailua was also watching the exchange, his own face a mixture of bewilderment and respect. His attention returned to Jokaro when the latter clapped his hand onto the counter.

“Well! Sounds like we’ve got our work cut out for us today. Having a third set of hands should speed things up, at least,” he remarked to Tailua, jerking his chin in the direction of Wiremu. “I’d say swing by around day’s end, should at least have your launcher partially complete by then. I’ll be able to make adjustments to the design once we’ve done some well-needed testing.”

The Ta-Toa’s catlike grin returned to full strength. “That I can do!” Tailua said boisterously, turning to make his way towards the shop’s exit. “I’ll be back by sundown!”

“Appreciate ya stopping by,” remarked the Po-Matoran over the door chime. The shop devoid of patrons for the moment, Jokaro figured it was high time to free Wiremu from his social bondage, crossing over to where the pair stood, still locked in the handshake.

“Daylight’s burning, we’d better get started.” Jokaro thrust out his own hand, palm upturned, towards Farzan. “Mind if I glance over your notes?”

"Wiremu here is a big deal, you see," Farzan remarked excitedly, at long last releasing Wiremu from his grasp to retrieve his iStone for Jokaro, who had to stifle a chuckle as Wiremu began massaging his hand while Farzan’s back was turned. "Nuparu's right-hand man, they call him.” 

He slapped the iStone down into Jokaro’s palm, not even waiting a second afterwards to whirl back around, facing Wiremu once again. “Kinda surprised to see you here! Aren't you also surprised to see you here?"

Wiremu, who had just cleverly clasped his hands behind his back, was clearly puzzled by Farzan's insurmountable social intellect. He shrugged.

"Well, I wouldn’t say I’m that important, really… But we did work on some projects together, that much is true.”

Farzan’s further lauding of Wiremu’s provenance just barely registered to Jokaro, busy leafing through the orders and details thereof. “Good, good, he’ll be of some use, then,” he grumbled in scant acknowledgement. 

After delivering a jovial clap of the shoulder to Wiremu, Farzan finally diverted his attention away from the Onu-Koronan engineer to scribble down a physical copy of the work order in his notebook. Jokaro continued scanning the listed items, quietly reading to himself. One thing in particular piqued the Po-Matoran’s interest, who spoke it aloud once he parsed Farzan’s… unique stylus-writing.

“Huh. Long-range diskette rifle, single barrel. Someone’s a marksman, sounds like. Guessing you’ll want to tackle that one, Farzan. ‘Strongest firing mechanism’… well that’d be one of those spares left over from that heavy diskette launcher you made for that one guy, Commander what’s-his-name.”

“Commander Dehkaz,” Farzan replied casually, tearing the completed page from his notebook and handing it to Wiremu. 

Jokaro went still. Externally, nothing showed, but within his mind, as he suddenly connected two disparate pieces of information… well, it was certainly a reaction. Like one you’d get doing irresponsible chemistry. Two quantities were mixed together, and the result was (figuratively) explosive. It took a few moments for the (figurative) caustic foam his brain had become to cease its churning. Eventually, the resulting mixture settled, a new substance crystallizing.

“The same Dehkaz?”

“The same one as earlier. And yes, I will be handling that item. It’s got a few special components that I’ve still got t-”

“Wait a minute, hold on, hold on – is he a Captain or a Commander?”

“Both.”

The two craftsmen of the Emporium stared at each other, their expressions unreadable in equal measure. Several moments of pure silence elapsed. 

Jokaro was the first to crack, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, releasing it in a sigh.

“Well… we’d better get to work.”

Farzan simply nodded and whistled for his ussal, striding back into the workshop proper. Jokaro trundled over to Wiremu, who had been happily absorbed in studying the work order. Startled, he only looked up when Jokaro quite loudly cleared his throat.

“Hey. You handy with a heatstone torch?”

 

* * *

 

Brusque chatter amongst the three assembled craftsmen was punctuated by the soft whirr of lathes, hiss of torches, and clang of hammer against metal over the course of the next few hours. A third set of hands did indeed prove much-needed after Lenat had gone to work for the Koro’s Engineering Department full-time; the work progressed in earnest, with little in the way of friction between the assembled Matoran. Wiremu, intermittently discussing the details of the Po-Onu-Koro technology exchange, as well as some long-term plans that included building something like a college, at least as far as Farzan and Jokaro could tell, kept his statements relatively vague and reserved. The latter two Matoran, when not plying the former with questions, effortlessly danced around the not-so-subtle attempts to determine the secrets of proprietary diskette tech and related interesting if hardly-believable stories from a round-island trip, respectively.

Po-Wahi grew dimmer and cooler at a rate not totally disconnected with the frantic millings-about within the shop, which were now winding down after a hardy afternoon of labour. Farzan had made some improvements to his diskette launching system (which he had done when Wiremu was preoccupied with various tasks assigned to him by the other two present, much to the Onu-Matoran’s mild chagrin) and Jokaro had some extra time to make detailed notes on the construction of V2 Patero whilst starting on Tailua’s commission. Before long, the end of the work day approached, the bright desert sun fading to a dim crimson as it neared the shimmering horizon. Three Matoran, reeking of sweat and grease, were gathered together in the workshop proper. The day had wound down, and so had their collective and individual energy. In relative silence, occasionally shooting the shit and tinkering with some of the various items which they had spawned over the course of the afternoon - a pile of weapons and gear fit for a band of Toa - they were granted a few precious moments of reprieve and reflection. Each was perched upon a shop stool, arranged in a rough circle facing each other in the largest open space unoccluded by scrap and machinery. Farzan fiddled with the marksman’s diskette rifle while his ussal napped beside him. Wiremu wiped the grease off a few of his tools using a rag, its color now more or less the same pitch as the gunk it was displacing. Jokaro took a swig from a canteen, the liquid within ambiguous, while flipping through the wrinkled pages of his notebook. In the corner, a few lukewarm slices of Papa Podu’s lay unattended.

And that’s when Skyra Daring burst through the door, as many a tale on Mata Nui starts.

“...so the guy asked me why he was being arrested for speeding, and I was like, ‘Look man, I’m not arresting you for that, it’s because you flew your Gukko through five market stands and then a tavern!’” 

“How did he… Doesn’t matter.” Krayn began, then thought better of it and abandoned the thought. He raised his voice, very slightly, to say. “Skyra Daring and Krayn Inzaka; are you folks in?”

Jokaro, stupor suddenly broken by the ringing of the door chime, looked up to find the other two Matoran also rapt. Eager to get the day over and done with, he pried himself from the stool and meandered through the threshold into the storefront proper, tossing his notebook over onto his workbench as he went.

“Right here, right here,” he grumbled, exhausted, stepping behind the counter. He jerked his thumb over his shoulder into the workshop where the distinct noises of an annoyed ussal crab could be heard. “Got all your gear ready to go. Farzan’s got the full inventory.”

“Indeedly I do!” said the Fa-Matoran, stepping through the threshold a moment later, waving his iStone level with his head before setting it down in front of the pair of Aggressors. He followed up with a sharp whistle, and Kreff the ussal crab skittered out of the workshop and into the storefront moments later, a table mounted on his carapace, precariously balanced, upon which rested the treasure pile of technology and gear. It took a few moments for Farzan to get Kreff to cooperate, motioning, gesticulating, and performing all sorts of bodily motion in order to wrangle the crab into position. Wiremu, keeping quiet in the workshop doorway, simply stood by, ready to lunge forward and catch anything that might fall off the crab’s back.

“Aha, it should all be right here!” remarked Farzan, Kreff now perfectly still and he himself out of breath. Dramatically, he swept his arm across the largest and most notable item on the table. “Mister Inzaka– the custom-order Diskette Rifle you ordered.”

The newly minted Sentinel irregular (consultant? mercenary?) whistled long and low, his hand running the length of the rifle laid out on the table a few inches above its surface. The other items he had ordered were arrayed loosely around it, an unconscious acknowledgement that it was the centerpiece of the spread. Finally he wrapped his fingers about the grip and lifted it, hefting it in one hand experimentally. Not too heavy nor too light, the weight was perfect, the balance just so; he sighted through the scope and smiled at the magnification. When he’d started working, something like that would have seemed impossible. The Great Telescope could do it, of course, but the lenses were so much larger; to see them working precisely on such a small scope was a minor marvel.

The silence borne of admiration was broken by Skyra, scanning the generous length of Krayn’s new rifle. “Wow, it’s so big.”

Krayn finally broke eye contact with the weapon, glancing over at the other items forming the perimeter of the rifle-shaped hole in the table’s top layer of kit. The two Volo Lutu, his spring-loaded clips, and the speedloaders for his revolver’s bullets all rested before him and each also  received a careful (if shorter) examination. He smiled and nodded his appreciation to the engineers as he laid the rifle back down. 

“These look perfect. The rifle, especially. It’s exactly what I had in mind. Did you have any luck figuring out some hearing protection?”

“Mm, ah yes, I’ve got those right here, one moment…” Jokaro remarked, a finger lazily pointed in Krayn’s direction as he moved about the shop, retrieving the requested item from the back of Farzan’s ussal.

“Funny little request, this’un.” He held out the pair of what looked like a set of heavy-duty headphones, with knobs and switches mounted upon each earpiece. “There are dials on each side to control the amount of sound that permeates through at a set interval. On one side is a switch that’ll dampen all sound as best as the device can do; otherwise on the opposite side is another switch that’ll adaptively dampen any sound above the levels set by the dials. Wasn’t easy putting this thing together, and it’s rather expensive. Don’t go breaking it now, y’hear?”

If Jokaro was aware of the pun, it didn’t show on his face.

“Perfect.” Krayn said simply, smiling. It would take some time practicing with it, learning the settings and how each one sounded to his ear, but it seemed that it would do everything he hoped for and more. “I’ll be very careful.”

The Po-Matoran responded with a distracted “Mhm” as he went to pore over the other items in the pile on the ussal’s back.

“Your belt buckles, or clips, or whatever they are– right here… speed-loaders too, and, uh, let’s see here… Right!”

Jokaro plucked the duo of modified Wrist-Volos from the rest of the spread, setting both down on the counter in front of the other Toa in the room.

“Two modified grapples for the famous Skyra Daring.”

Skyra’s confusion was instant. “Huh?” She hefted the Wrist-Volo already clamped to her arm, for Jokaro to see, looking awkwardly between her device and the upscaled ones on the counter. “Errr…” 

Jokaro frowned. He, too, compared the Wrist-Volo attached to the Le-Toa’s arm and the ones quite obviously two sizes too large for her. Befuddled, he turned to Farzan, hoping his co-worker could clear things up.  “Do you, uh… Lemme see– where’s that work order…?” Spying it, he snatched the iStone off the counter, intently scrolling as Farzan hovered over his shoulder, also staring at the tablet – the text on which was all in the Fa-Matoran’s handwriting.

In another life, Farzan probably could’ve made it as a physician. Jokaro felt a pang of embarrassment creep into his gut as he realized that everything was perfectly in order and up to spec except for his ability to decipher Farzan’s handwriting properly. The knockout blow came when he looked up over the iStone at the figure in front of him: Krayn Inzaka, failing to conceal a grin, his arms crossed. His massive forearms were noticeably devoid of any kind of gear.

“Well, uh. I guess those are also yours, then.” 

Some mild chuckling permeated the storefront, though it was not quite as mirthful a sound to the Po-Matoran. Farzan retrieved the two oversized grapples and helped the De-Toa get them fitted as Jokaro was left to remedy the awkward atmosphere. He turned back to Skyra, his hands clasped in front of him. It took a fair amount of energy not to wring them nervously.

“Heh, well, uh, it’s certainly possible that I need to get my eyes checked. Ahem, um. Right; Toa Daring, my partner’s informed me that he’s brokered a deal with you, regarding the testing of one of our new products.”

Skyra nodded. “Yeah, something like that. Some kind of weapon right?”

Jokaro exchanged a quick glance with Wiremu, and then motioned the Onu-Matoran over. “Yes indeed, a weapon,” he responded while Wiremu sidled up. 

In hushed tones, he spoke to Wiremu, giving him some instructions - no, directions

“...got all that?” 

The Onu-Matoran said nothing in reply, but nodded confidently. 

“Alright, hurry back.”

With that, Wiremu hustled out of the shop, headed into town. Jokaro refocused his attention on Skyra, who once again seemed slightly confused. Jokaro held out an arm, ushering the Le-Toa towards the corridor that led in the direction of the firing range. “This way please, Miss Daring.”

Having finished getting the Wrist-Volos set up, Farzan and Krayn followed behind them. Only one bench in the range had anything on it - the second prototype laboriously put together earlier in the morning. On the other side of the range, not really visible if you weren’t paying attention, some shrapnel was still embedded in the stonework walls from the test firing of the first prototype.

Jokaro stopped in front of the bench, resting his hand on the body of the weapon.

“So, are you familiar with the Patero launcher?”

 

* * *

 

A few hours later, the crickets were chirping unceasingly, the air was soothingly cool, even bordering on cold, and the stars were out.

Farzan and Jokaro stood outside the front doors of the Emporium, both of them cast in a pale yellow glow from the now-uncovered streetlamps lining Po-Koro’s avenues. The Po-Matoran was scratching idly at his chin, exhaustedly ruminating on the day's events while the Fa-Matoran locked the doors, the shop closed for the day. Wiremu was absent, having been bade farewell by the other two Matoran, returning to his guest accommodations twenty minutes earlier. He had done exceptionally well on his first day at the shop – he was clearly much more talented and attentive than he initially let on. Perhaps Farzan’s appraisal of the man’s accomplishments and ability was not quite as exaggerated after all, and the inter-Koro initiative he represented could prove to be one of the most important developments for Po-Koro’s immediate future. But above all, he was dependable, industrious, and had a direct line to Nuparu, which Jokaro would be sure not to forget. 

Jokaro's first day back at the shop in a very long while had been an incredibly eventful and tumultuous one, to say the least – you could probably label it destiny that he returned right when he did, if you were a spiritual type. So many grand new ideas and responsibilities battered him from this direction and that; in some ways, it was quite stressful, even overwhelming. However, at the literal end of the day, one feeling that eclipsed all others was relief, for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, his newest invention hadn’t exploded during testing and injured one of the most famous Toa on the island, which would have most likely tarnished his reputation irreparably, so that was a great victory, even if that testing revealed that he’d have to do a great deal more work. Which leads us to the second reason for his relief: he did not, in fact, have to part with his prototype as he feared he would – maddeningly scribbling down notes as Skyra Daring described the airflow dynamics of the weapon as she fired shot after shot, it became patently obvious to all parties that, while the prototype functioned well enough, it would still need quite a number of modifications to be reliably safe. So Skyra hadn’t taken the V2 home with her after all. There’d been some negotiation after that regarding payment for services rendered but they eventually agreed on a modification to the deal: when the V2 finally entered production, she would receive two of them for no cost, a deal which was certainly generous.

Perhaps too generous. See, Jokaro had very much prepared for the possibility of the V2 being gifted as payment had it outperformed expectations, and thus devised a much more… equitable method of payment, and he’d be dаmned if it wasn’t a great opportunity that he’d regret forever if he passed it up right then and there. So, to set the stage, he added even more sugar to an already saccharine deal: a serious discount on her next order was offered in exchange for one extra-special request. This was kickstarted by the task Jokaro’d sent Wiremo off on earlier. His relief was owed to the Onu-Matoran’s return, having managed to convince the sketch artist he’d been sent to find to return to the Emporium with him.

Baxter P. was a talented small-time artist travelling around Mata Nui, just as Jokaro had been doing months earlier. The two had met while Jokaro was hiking through the mountains of Ko-Wahi, and stumbled across the spot where Baxter had set up his easel. They’d spoken at length, and got on well, the Po-Matoran finding his range of different styles impressive. Baxter just so happened to be in Po-Koro right now, as it were – Jokaro had bumped into him on the road the other day, headed into town. Baxter had let him know where he’d be staying in the city while he solicited street commissions. So, during the day, Jokaro had cooked up a plan to put his newest creation, as well as Baxter’s art, in front of a whole lot of eyes, and Wiremu had succeeded in bringing him aboard, just in time. The grand majority of people on Mata Nui would not know Baxter’s name or his face, but they would certainly know those of Skyra Daring.

So, that was his great scheme. Advertising. Celebrity endorsement. They’d all shaken hands (Farzan especially) in the end after haggling out the exact percentage of the discount, but by the next hour, Baxter had whipped up a fantastic pop-art poster of Skyra posing with the V2 in record time. It was an advert specifically for the V2 (nobody needed to know they hadn’t finalized the design yet) and it told of the only place on the island you could get them: the Po-Koro Technology Emporium. Greater Accuracy! Faster Loading! Light and Nimble! All these exclamations boasting of the prowess of the V2 were noted on the poster - and in the middle of it all was Skyra Daring, one hand on her hip, the other toting the launcher. So, their deal sealed, the Aggressors had taken their equipment and left, each of their respective payments fulfilled. 

Of course, a separate deal had to be made with Baxter. It was a relatively simple matter – a flat fee for the commission and then a percentage of all V2 sales over a certain period. Jokaro made the deal with the artist himself, partly because it was his idea and so he’d front the money, not the Emporium, and partly because he sought to spare Baxter from Farzan’s iron grip. He was certainly not done for the night, however. Shortly after Baxter had departed, he’d run off into town with the poster, hoping to catch the local printers before they closed. It was about another hour when he returned, a stack of printed copies of the poster in his hands along with the original, again relieved to have caught them in time. 

He’d bumped into Tailua on the way back, hefting his new launcher and thanking the Po-Matoran for his quick work – Farzan had completed the sale while he’d been away. Opting to not inform him about the potential safety risks testing had illustrated with the prototype just yet, he’d directed Tailua to return to the Emporium with him. Jokaro had yet another idea to cover all his bases. By the time the Ta-Toa left the shop again, he had three new things with him, in addition to the launcher: a cursory warning about the prototype’s faults (purely for legal reasons), half of his money back, and a stack of advertisements for the V2 featuring one Skyra Daring to distribute as he traveled. There was no handshake this time.

Yes, he’d spent a lot of money today. Yes, he’d made deals and promises that would cost both himself and the Emporium some profit in the future. Yes, he had a lot of work cut out for him if he wanted to get the V2 into production. No, he wasn’t too concerned; these were all just minuscule bumps in the road compared to the relative mountain that lay beyond them. He could practically feel the sketched-out blueprint burning a hole through his backpack as he stood there, drawn back to the present by the deep clack of the Emporium front door’s lock snapping shut, the workday finished at long last. Farzan replaced the key in his belt as the two Matoran exchanged their farewells, walking in opposite directions down the street.

“Well, another busy day over! See you tomorrow, Jokaro.”

“See you then.”

He’d only taken a few steps, still thinking on the one request that plagued him for the millionth time that day, when Jokaro had the first inkling of an idea on how to start climbing the mountain. He spun on his heel abruptly, facing Farzan’s retreating form.

“Oh, Farzan! he called, watching the Fa-Matoran stop and turn in response. “I won’t be in tomorrow morning - I’ve got to consult Lenat about a major project! And man, this one is a real mother!

 

* * *


OOC: This has been an absurdly long time coming, and I’m glad to finally get it wrapped up. We’ve got some serious BZPTime quantum character superposition going on, glad to get at least a part of it sorted out. Thanks again to everyone involved in this jam: @Emzee @Geardirector @Krayzikk @Snelly






oh yeah bazpost too

 

 

IC: Baszlin - Iron Mahi 

What does it mean to ‘think’? The brain can sometimes be mysterious in its inner workings, but it is never not thinking. Even the most zen states of mind still crackle with the background radiation that gives rise to consciousness. When energized and active, however, it is an entirely different spectacle. The synapses form an everlasting fireworks display, flaring and fading unceasingly, each minuscule quanta of thought branching out to others, which then form their own branches, ad infinitum. Branches within branches – a literal tree of knowledge, each thought its own tree in a psychoelectric forest. Often, these trees grow so large that they overwhelm the roots of their neighbors, depriving them of the nourishment they need to continue growing. The lesser tree withers – a whole train thought snuffed out by a grander one, and in time even the victorious thought can wither, becoming overtaken by another just as it had done. It is an invisible dance that plays out beneath our notice, governed by the stimuli of our senses injecting patterns of noise into this synaptic grove. The forest takes on shape and structure as we take in more of this noise: a grandiose, beautiful garden which comprises a whole person.

It was unfortunate that, in Baszlin’s head, the forest had a few lumberjacks milling around. Here and there, a tree was felled at random, a blossoming thought suddenly erased, and another took its place, filling the void where there had once been some musing of philosophy, a peaceful memory, one’s strongest passions. They could disappear at a moment’s notice almost as quickly as they sprouted.

He no longer craved the snacks he desired a moment ago. 

New stimuli drew his attention elsewhere, new trees flashing into existence where others had faded or been felled. He turned around, leaving the others to their ministrations at the front of the passenger car, and wandered the length of the central aisle. The seated passengers – densely wooded, as previously described – paid him little heed, if they could do such a thing in their state of mind, as he passed between their ranks. There was commotion at the back of the car, and he was curious. There appeared to be a Vortixx standing in the connector between the two passenger cars, just on the other side of the thick door which was shaped like a different Vortixx that had perhaps wanted to kill him at some point.

The female Vortixx looked pretty worse for wear, quite a match for the haggard appearance of Baszlin himself, if he discounted that she looked like and clearly was a drug addict of some sort, and he looked like he had been chewed up and spit out by a muaka once or twice. Not a joke by the way, that actually happened. Regardless of whether or not this Vortixx was allowed in their boys only club no girls allowed, she was trying to get in anyway. She was talking directly to the door, saying something about wanting to help. Honestly, it sounded pretty fair to Baszlin, the door was just being difficult and stubborn; they were gonna need all the help on this one they could get, especially when the psycho went feral later and they had to bump him off. Still, something at the back of his mind (thankfully the lumberjacks had missed that particular tree) told him that Surdo would not be totally pleased if they began allowing more individuals to join them without going through the standard interview process first. Instead, he peeked his head around the door’s shoulder, and addressed her directly. 

“Hey buddy, I think you got the wrong door, the buffet service is two cars down.”


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

Edited by Perp
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IC: Sir Dahkapa (Blackrock Canyon)

He frowned, pondered for a moment and finally nodded. "I suppose you're right. These ruins are quite the maze, and there might be unknown dangers. Perhaps I am just used to doing things alone..."

He stroked his chin thoughtfully. "In that case, I wonder where we should explore first. Where would've the Brotherhood kept its important tomes? It must've been somewhere secure, hidden from sight. Like for example, under the ground. Maybe we should look for a stairway or some other passage?"

OOC: @Endless Sea (Alaki Nuva)

 

still alive somehow

BZPRPG profiles

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IC: [Kohra - Iron Mahi, First Passenger Car]

 

“Hey buddy, I think you got the wrong door, the buffet service is two cars down.”

 

Oh to karz with this.

 

Benefit of the doubt went out the window as her frustration spiked. Whether there was someone hurt or not - and there was that part of her mind that was shouting at her that there wasn’t - these people had clearly no intention of helping. In fact they seemed to be determined to be in her way. So she’d have to go out of her way.

 

Sorry, Datrox.

 

The other Vortixx was blocking the corridor forward, so instead of through him, she leapt to the right, using the overhead luggage racks to swing herself sideways - up and onto the seats - before jumping over them to get back into the corridor behind him. Be unexpected, go around, get past. That was the plan. She could picture it flawlessly in her mind. But her body was unwilling to follow through with a flawless execution. In fact it protested, her muscles aching just from holding her own weight. The up and onto part worked well enough, but getting over the seats became an inelegant scramble to keep her footing.
 

OOC: @Tarn@Nato G@Perp

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IC: Joskander (Blackrock Canyon)

"Oh?"  Joskander raised an eyebrow.  "You guys had stuff you wanted to keep secret from your own members?"

OOC: @Daniel the Finlander

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

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

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On 1/23/2023 at 4:44 AM, Perp said:

OOC: Jam courtesy of Emzee, Geardirector, Krayzikk, and Snelly

IC: Farzan - Jokaro - Krayn - Skyra - Tailua - Wiremu

 

 

The Po-Koro Technology Emporium, five hours before the Fowadi’s departure from Ostia

“Oh, Farzan! he called, watching the Fa-Matoran stop and turn in response. “I won’t be in tomorrow morning - I’ve got to consult Lenat about a major project! And man, this one is a real mother!

IC: Farzan (Tech Emporium)

"Oh, Jo, you spoil me" I answered quite genuinely in response. It had been quite a day, and if there were going to be more like it, that was all fine by me. I rather liked my job, thankfully.

"It'll be our little secret for now, I'm sure"

BZPRPG Profiles

Nuparu-Ferron-Mar-Zelvin-Wiremu-Farzan-Mako-Krex

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IC (Lohkar) [The Dancing Crab, Ostia]

A pair of blue hands clapped down on the shoulders of Suran and Frii'Glokk, eliciting dull clangs from their respective pauldrons. The spikily crested head of their Lesterin owner was thrust forward between said shoulders a moment later.

"Somethin' tells me you fine gentlemen might be lookin' for my humble self." Entirely unconcerned by any reactions of surprise that his sudden interjection might've elicited from the pair, Lohkar looked from one to the other with his usual winning smile. "How might I help two fellow natives o' the greater Zakazian area?"


OOC: @ARROW404 @BULiK Sorry for the delay, once again. Life keeps throwing its curveballs...

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