Those of you with incomplete business in the arc that just ended, please conclude it here. Play as you would anywhere else - using "IC" and "OOC" indicators and such - but also please clearly indicate the location of your characters in your posts for everyone's convenience; i.e. "IC (Ta-Koro): blah-blah-blah." This topic will close next weekend, so finish what you need to finish quickly.
IC: Strack (po-wahi)
Strack nodded. "none taken" he said. the hours ticked by. the other Po-Matoran had left about an hour ago. he felt the ground tremor with footsteps. he set the vines up, then they burst out at a random time. Strack opened the mouth of the cave again, and stepped out into the crisp night. a Ko-matoran was struggling amid the stone tendrils. when he saw the Toa of Stone, he stopped struggling and allowed himself to be captured further. thinking this strange, Strack advanced cautiously, expecting a sneak attack. but none was forecoming, and the matoran simply stood(?) there. "who are you, what are you doing, and why?" strack asked harshly. "Thank You!" the matoran said quietly. Strack tilted his head "why?" he asked. Terilis advanced behind him, curious as much as he. "I was being used. some sort of being..." the matoran shuddered silently. "I don't know what it was. tall, limb, and a very deep voice. as for what I was selling, they were small rocks. nothing that would be out of the norm in Po-Koro, but these rocks give off an electrical charge. the Matoran around here become addicted to it, and when the power in it runs out, they die from it"
IC-Grochi-Ta-Koro:Grochi looked up, shielding his eyes. The sun was beating down, as hot as usual in this Wahi when combined with the extra heat, but now, instead of a nuisance, it was a blessing. He'd almost expected never to feel the sun again.
The Rahkshi had beaten into the Koro, with Grochi and Perkahn two of those on the front lines, trying to beat them back. For one, Perkahn, he was the seeming Prodigal son, returning to his home at long last. The other was a newcomer; seen rarely before, now seen again, and fighting with the same tenacity as any native son of that small village.
Then, once they were forced back to the guardhouse, planning their last stand, the siege broke. The Rahkshi turned from fighting the defenders to fighting themselves; and with a yell, Grochi was unsure from whom - himself, Perkahn, Jolek, Tuara, who knew - they ran out and began forcing the vile creatures away, back to their rocks, their holes, their festering pits that they called home.
At long last, they had freed themselves. Grochi had helped transporting others to the medical tents recently sprung up, the rebuilt hospital; he'd also been working to bring in materials for the rebuilding. Then, as he was working, a slightly hunched over Toa, with an odd growth on his back, came into the village.
"Makuta is dead."
What a victory. His old master, the one he'd renounced in order to return to where he belonged - as though he were another of the Prodigal sons - had finally been defeated, sent back to that void which he had claimed to control. Grochi had grinned, despite the losses the Koro had suffered; their plan had worked to delay destruction long enough for, apparently, this Toa and whatever others were with him to defeat that Master of Shadows, of trickery.
Now he found himself walking about the Koro, aimless, trying to decide what to do. His rapier sheathed at his belt, a smiling glance at the rebuilding occuring all around; the Matoran had tried to name him a hero. Before, he would quickly have accepted that title; now, he told them that they all were heroes, staying brave, though a holocaust under Makuta's rule had so quickly faced them, had nearly had them in its grasp.
After a while, he found himself at the Lavapool Inn, where he'd found himself, with his brother, so many months ago. The brother he'd betrayed and killed...the brother who had, he hoped, finally found peace. With a sigh, he ran a hand down the pitted stone of the walls of the inn, damaged during the Rahkshi attack; but unlike other buildings, it wore its battlescars proudly, as a testament to its strength.
No. The strength of Ta-Koro itself.
Standing for a while, he soon noticed Perkahn walking around as well. He waved to his fellow Toa, smiling again.
"Let the bells of victory proudly ring, my friend," he gaily called. "And while you do that, I'm grabbing myself a milk stout!"
IC: Lepidus, Le-Koro
Lepidus looked at the warriors around him, and smiled with pride. The Rahkshi attack had come suddenly, as the evacuation preparations were just getting underway, and they had been taken by surprise. But they had fought hard and they had made it through the bloody day, until the Rahksi formation collapsed. He had stayed on the sidelines because of his size, but he had fought hard regardless, and he had even struck down a Rahksi that was battling a Toa. He was glad for the ear muffs that Kehuri had given him moments before the attack began; they had saved his life, certainly.
He walked up to Litozen, who he was beginning to see as an older brother, and spoke to him. "That was...amazing." He breathed. "You were amazing. You're a true hero." He smiled. "...do you know where you're going from here?" And then, boldly, "Maybe I could come with you?" His face was full of hope and joy.
OOC: This is going to end sadly, I know it ;-; Also, apologies if I'm assuming too much...I'm guessing that Litozen stayed and fought, though if that seems out of character, considering his secret allegiance, I can always edit my post...
IC: Syvra (Le-koro With Litozen)
Syvra sat at the bar next to Litozen as he smiled gently to Litozen
"Well it seems like we survived another day."
He gently punched Litozen on the shoulder
"I never knew you could fight like that. Figure you could take on a Rahkshi but not ashbear."
He grinned as he thought about this but then his hand reached up to his mask which just felt different
He suddenly got a light tingle that crawled over his armor.
He remembered getting separated in the tunnel system when he was with that toa of earth and de-matoran. But he did not remember anything else, just that he lastly remembered waking up on the surface in the middle of the fight. He shook his head a bit
As small voice spoke in his head like a fleeting thought. It had a femine tone to it yet it sounded a bit dark
If only that is what it was
He shivered a bit as he heard this but ignored it
"Well Litozen i think we should take a break for awhile. After that we need a rest."
And with that he smiled to Litozen and drank from his mug of bula juice
OOC: Syvra has aquired his Anxilia and will update the profile once i can again. I plan on carrying this over to the next arc
IC: Tivanu (Ta-koro)
Tivanu sat on the edge of a lava flow. In the lava rested Kive-phu who was preening her feathers and plucking insects out of the lava. As he sat there he began to think to himself and everything that had gone on.
He had fought valiantly in the fight against the Rahkshi. He had managed to take on a Rahkshi of mind reading by himself. His strength was on par with the rahkshi but he would have lost if not for the intervention of Kive-phu who had attack he rahkshi when it opened it's head. She managed to provide just enough distraction so that Tivanu could gain the upperhand. He collected the Staff of the rahkshi and ripped off the left arm of the armor and threw the rest into the lava flow.
He now sat with the staff next to him and the arm as well. He did not know what he could do with them but he figured he deserved some form of trophy and payment for his services and this would suffice. He looked up at the sky as he tried to think of what to do next.
"Well what else can i do but seek some form of employment."
OOC: not sure if Tivanu could keep the staff but unless staff says otherwise he will. Most likely as a trophy. And that is it for Tivanu right now
IC: Zacax (Ga-Koro)It was over... Makuta is dead. This all seemed rater too good to be true. He couldn't believe the words coming from the Toa, Makuta had died. This was more than enough proof coming from one of them.Still, the Rahkshi attack was devistating. Oh the work that had to be done... But, he didnt believe they would even dare attempt to fix the village. He only hoped that Ta-Koro was still intact.
OOC: I guess I might as well finish all my characters with a bang. So Flaredrick, Lavist, and Black Ice are coming back.
IC: (Some where in Po-Wahi)
The two Toa of Fire walked the desert of Po-Koro. All supplies in tow, and a few confrontations with the local Nui-Jagas. "So what else are we missing Lavist?"
"I think we got everything we needed. Now it's off to find some more Toa to add to our clan."
Then the duo stopped, and saw a white figure far off in the distance. The figure looked tall enough to be a Toa, but they couldn't make out if he was with the blaze of the sun beating down on them.
IC Genno (Ko-Koro)"That was... fast," Genno remarked as the host of rahkshi began to turn on each other. Looking around, first at Peho, then at Kethrye, then at Alfon, he eventually lifted his eyes to the sky, obviously very confused and somewhat crestfallen. "Oh well, next time Ronin. The next big fight, we'll-uh, Ronin? You all right?" "I sense something," the parakuka replied. "Like a part of me has been... severed..." Ronin shuddered as if he were in stark terror. "Something is wrong... My father..." "Could it be?" Genno wondered aloud. "My creator, gone... Well," the parakuka continued, slowly pulling himself together. "He always was a ****."
IC: Lasinia Ga-koro
Lasinia grinned up at the sky, the entrails of the Kraata splattered across her armour. She held up a hand, where a somewhat intact slug was sitting. Moving it closer to her face, she gave it a sniff, before taking a bite into the wretched creature. Seconds later, she spat it out.
"This is disgusting."
IC: ZakamaZakama was panting hard and slow. His blades were soaked with the fluids from the Lraata, and all around him were dead bodies and also token Rahkshi shells as well. He barely managed to survive all of this... He needed to find a way to get stronger,"That... That was... Intense..." Zakama said as he withdrew his blades and looked around at the carnage.IC: Hanix (Le-Koro)The Toa of Water continued to walk, her arm was broken and her armor was covered with scratches and dents, some of it even broken. Yes, the Rahkshi were tough opponents, but they somehow survived. Still, she had to fight harder and stronger, and find out where Zakama was, she had to train him.IC: Zacac (Ga-Koro)The Toa of Fire headed to his shop were he saw most of his weapons gone. It gave him relief to know people needed his weapons, but no cash was returned. But payment could wait, besides, he could still make due with all this free scrap lying around.
IC: It had been a hard fight, something that several new scars on different parts of his body could attest to. He had taken a position above the gate when the rahkshi attacked, doing his best to block incoming blasts with walls of sound. It had not been enough and when they broke through the lines at several different places, the Lieutenant had gathered those around him and fought their way into the town. After that it was a blur of running and fighting,trying to evacuate civilians from the combat zone while keeping the vile creatures from entering any further. It had taken all of his skill and experience accumulated during a long career in the Guard and before, but for the most part he had been successful in the first task if not the second.
When the Son of Makuta stopped and turned on each other, Loren's band of fighters had stopped for a second in confusion, then, not going to let a gift from Mata-Nui pass unheeded, they charged forward with renewed vigor. The fight forward had been much easier then the fall back, the rahkshi had lost their cohesion and perhaps some of their intelligence. In any case, they were easier to bring down, even if most of them fled, the fact that they were a dangerous foe even as wild beasts assuring that many of them reached the wastelands and Charred Forrest alive.
Somewhere along the line, he had picked up a Panrahk staff, finding it easier to deal with the long reach afforded by the weapons when he had one himself.
It was a wonderful picture, seeing the fleeing rahkshi from atop the walls that the entire koro had first fought to defend, and then take back. Others had gone pursuit of the vile creatures, coming back with reports of several more killed, but they were few in number.
The next few days had been spent rebuilding their damaged koro, something that everybody pitched in for. Theories flew thick and fast as people passed bricks back and for and repaired broken walls. Regardless of what some people thought, Makuta;s forces had been winning, and everybody knew that the Master of Shadows was smart enough to realize the fact and use it. There had been no grand demands to surrender, or crushing defeat of the forces of Light. The enemy had broken and turned on themselves, something that they would not have done with Makuta directing them.
But what if he could not? What if he was dead?
It was something that almost seemed beyond all possibility, especially for someone like Loren, who had been fighting Makuta's minions for as long as he could remember. But, ever a thing to thrive in the face of adversity, Hope lingered, and as days passed and no follow up attack took place, it grew larger and larger. Then, one day, a strange Toa with what looked like some sort of slug melded with his back came out of the tunnels that the rahkshi had dug and confirmed what everybody had hopped in their hearts.
The Makuta was dead, The war was won.
Though much work still needed to be done to fix the village, everybody rejoiced. Loren was among them, he knew that crime would not disappear, as some hoped, but there was no longer a massive threat looming over the island, threatening to destroy the peace and happiness that people managed to build for themselves in a world that was harsh enough already.
IC: [Prei - Po-Koro]
Prei's figure was gaunt as he surveyed the dead Rahkshi, but a smile was still present on his face.
"Looks like you were right Tera."
IC: Kehuri (Le-Koro)
Kehuri, breathing heavily, lay on his back, hand clutching a wound at his side. Naru was bent over him. He wanted to tell her how he felt. But this wasn't the time. If he died, revealing his feelings would only hurt her all the more. Blood flowed between his fingers. Tears blurred his vision, preventing him from seeing the Toa of Plasma's Faxon clearly. He smiled, "Th-this... isn't so bad." He grunted, "I s-served my... Duty."
"What are you..."
"I protected the civilians... Led an underground evacuation and strike... And probably caught more Rah-Rahkshi by surprise than anyone else." He chuckled. He'd drained a good portion of his elemental energy by creating a surprise chasm when the march started. A handful had fallen in. His face wrenched as a stab of pain shot through him. A Rahkshi of some variety had stabbed him when he broke the surface at the urging from some of the still-willing fighters in the tunnel. "Don't cry for me, Naru. And tell Plagia not to, either. I'll be with Mata Nui. Happier than... I ever was on even this... beautiful island."
It was then that the Toa of Air emerged from the tunnel. Kehuri blinked the tears from his eyes, desperate to see if Lewa had returned, an anxious smile on his mask. It faded as he saw only a similar Toa standing there. The Mata were still gone. Somebody else had taken their place. A touch of melancholy flickered in his eyes. He'd dared to hope that Onua could still be alive, to one day return to Onu-Koro, whether Kehuri could meet him or not. Even if the new Toa had succeeded where he hadn't, Kehuri knew no other Toa of Earth could fill the hole Onua had left in his heart.
He sighed and closed his eyes and waited. But death didn't come. Sleep, however, did. He awoke the next day to find his wound bound and feeling better. He soon got a new one inflicted by a worried-sick Naru. "Don't you scare me like that ever again!"
"I make no promises." Another punch. He'd hoped for that. Maybe, he felt, he was even now for ditching her to run after the Fowadi.
Plagia and Atox were there too. The ILF stuck together. And it wasn't his time to die yet. But he felt empty. The Makuta was dead, and he'd had nothing whatsoever to do with it. What remained now...? The Turaga's murders and the stopping of the criminals who wished to wipe out faith in the Great Spirit (assuming they were still at large with the Makuta down)? He supposed that was better than nothing. When he'd fully healed, he'd be back in action.
IC: Trizvan (Le-Wahi)
Nobody saw the wild Toa of Plantlife at the end of the battle, and his body was never found. Those who cared enough to wonder where he went assumed he'd vanished into the jungle. All anybody knew was that there was an unusual amount of tree sprouts growing all over the battlefield after the Rahkshi had finished.
IC: Hjalmar (Ko-Wahi)
The Skakdi warrior stumbled through the wastes, blood pouring from the wounds of his body. He'd been a hero, just like he'd wanted. He hadn't done much, just fight against some Rahkshi. But he knew he'd helped save lives. Brief flashes of home flew before his eyes. His smile never once faltered.
Lost in the drifts, the body of Hjalmar Snowstride fell, to be buried by the icy winds of time and forgotten by all.
IC: Aar (Onu-Koro)
Welp, there wasn't much he could have done. He wasn't a fighter yet. He had a pretty good disk-arm, he found out, though. But when the Rahkshi got close, he had no choice but to turn and run. When the fight ended, he ran to the Great Mines to tell them of what happened. As Sulov, now Toa of Earth, emerged on the battlefield, the miner smiled lightly. Sulov was a good choice, he thought. He'd make a good Toa protector of Onu-Koro. He didn't think Kehuri would be too enthusiastic about it, though.
A couple of days later, he officially enlisted in the Ussalry and began his combat training in earnest.
IC: Suran (Ga-Koro)
Suran was one of the few left almost unscathed by the ordeal. Fluid as a river, he'd turned away Rahkshi strikes and dodged their powers. A Rahkshi of Elasticity had given him a run for his money, but they turned on each other before it got too bad. The battle over, he surveyed the damages and helped the wounded. The island would be long recovering from this disaster.
IC: Demothi (Onu-Koro)
A loaded Demothi dropped a massive sack of stole valuables on the pile in the warehouse. He'd ditched the nosy Toa who'd spotted him as soon as the Rahkshi moved. "I knew we'd all be safe!" He declared to the returned thieves. "And with Makuta out of the way, the chaos is all ours for the wreaking!" He couldn't help but wonder where Zadron had gotten to, though...
IC: Zacax (Ga-Koro)The Toa of Fire was walking amoung the village, doing his best not to step on any bodies, mainly those who died protecting the village, it would be disrespectful."Jeez... Never really thought I would survive..." Zacax said aloud to himself, "Honestly how are we ever going to get this village back into order?"IC: Ambera (Le-Koro)Ambera managed to survive the battle, but she didn't do much, but tried to survive. Easily she was overpowered by the Rahkshi, her power dwarfed by their own.IC: The Rest of My Characters (Frankly I don't remember most of their names...)However, the friends of the it's didn't survive. Marksman had died in the crossfire, and the friends of Zacax had died, all except for Johan, who was now heading towards Zacax,IC: Johan and Zacax (Ga-Koro)"This was crazy..." Johan said,"So many people died..." Zacax said, "Just look at this. I mean, if what happened never happened, we would have all died...""That my friend was a miricle..." Johan said,OOC: Zacax and Johan open for interaction
IC: Litozen (Le-Koro, with Syvra and Lepidus)Litozen was stunned. The attack had left him no time to carry out his plan and instead forced him to fend for his life. When the Rahkshi had begun fighting among themselves and were driven out, he knew something was very wrong, yet he could have done nothing to prevent their victory. But there was only one explanation for such organised Rahkshi to suddenly fall into chaos, and that was confirmed as word from the tunnel-toa spread around the island; The Makuta is gone.
He felt anger far worse than even that which a Rahkshi could inflict. The one being he had faith in was no more. He wasn't perfectly sure what to think, but determined with Syvra's suggestion that perhaps it would be best not to think about it for the time being. "I agree." He said to Syvra. "We should just relax for now and think things through." He gave a genuined smile as he felt some relief wash over him. His attention was then drawn to the De-Matoran, Lepidus. He seemed to be attached to Litozen, and Litozen wasn't too sure he liked it. "I'm no hero" he said bluntly, "We all had to fight to survive. And we would have lost if not for the sudden change in Rahkshi behaviour." He drank from his mug and looked to Lepidus, "but I see no reason why you can't tag along with Syvra and I. I think for now we'll stick around here in Le-Koro. There's no sense in travelling at this point in time. But thanks, Matoran." Another warm smile came from him, no less genuine for now. His allegiences were still the same, but he was sure the De-Matoran may come in use one day.
OOC: Thus ends Litozen's stuff. No point in continuing the conversation past this.
IC: Thentyle, Onu-Koro
During the battle, the worst had come to pass; Thentyle's kanohi had finally become completely rusted, and all thoughts of protecting Onu-Koro had been replaced with a desire to destroy it. He had kept well away from the Rahkshi while at the same time attempting the same basic objective as them...at least, until the thoughts in his head stopped. At the same time that the Rahkshi began to fight each other, Thentyle came to his senses. He couldn't understand what exactly he had been doing, but quickly rejoined the effort to drive them out, When the battle was won, He eventually dug himself a small crevice in a tunnel wall to think long and hard about what had happened. When he inspected his kanohi, he started to piece together aspects of his past with the present. There had been more to the flood back home than he liked to remember, and perhaps it had more to do with his strange behaviour during the battle of Onu-Koro. Seeing the mask was now almost powerless in every respect, he concluded that he should continue wearing it only until something new could be acquired. Whatever the case, it was not changing his thoughts like it had done while he was fighting. And he was quite happy with that.
OOC: Just wrapping up a few characters, and foreshadowing.
IC: Zealokan/Aki-Nui (Le-Wahi)
His eyelids flickered open, and the Kineticist sat up. He was in a casualty tent, surrounded by villagers treating the wounded and dying. He held his head and groaned as memories of the battle flooded his mind. The screams of a legion of Rahkshi, elements of every variety filling the air. Eventually the visions vanished, and he sighed heavily. There was a strange sensation in his left arm, and he pulled it up into his field of vision.
He stared at his forearm, scarred and disfigured, two bloodied stumps where his little and ring fingers once were. He twisted his hand around experimentally, and instantly regretted it, clutching his arm in pain, restraining a scream. A Le-Matoran ran over to him, and applied bandages to his forearm and finger-stumps, saying reassuring things the whole time. They struck up a good conversation, even had a few laughs. After the Le-Matoran had finished attending to him, Zealokan grabbed his walking stick, and went to leave the tent, turning around at the last second.
'What's your name, kid?'
'Just call me Sister.'
The Silver Toa smiled, and left for the stables, well outside the village.
The Bull perked his head up at the sound of his name. Silver Friend return back! He rushed to the edge of the fence, careful not to break it like so many times before. His owner opened the gate and jumped on his back.
'Come on, Aki. We're going on a little trip. I need to see something.' Zeal whipped the reins, and the Kane-Ra moved slowly into the jungle.
They emerged into a clearing, where Aki-Nui looked up as his owner quizzically. 'Not yet, just a little further.' He looked around and tried to smile. I met Skyra here. He helped me fight a couple of psychos. I probably would've died if it wasn't for him. Aki continued onward.
They emerged onto a beach, where Zealokan dismounted, and breathed in the salty sea air. He was in Kanae Bay, where his adventure had begun. Of course, he knew that.
Zeal knew so much more about his new home.
IC: Payiges (Po-Wahi)
She emerged from the tunnels of Onu-Wahi, squinting as her eyes adjusted to the light. Payiges was grateful to be out of the claustrophobic underground, having spent a few days in the village collecting her thoughts. She knew a few things, and frequently recited them. 'I am Payiges. I am a Toa of Lightning. I am on the island of Mata Nui.' That was about it. She didn't remember why she had woken up in a hospital, or who the mysterious Silver Toa was that took her there.
She furrowed her brow. Payiges... it meant that she had a past, something that, as far as she was concerned, happened without her. This was a perfect moment, to start anew. No more Payiges, no more remembering. She smiled to herself, her new name chosen, oddly familiar as it was.
'I am Kai'lan. I am a Toa of Lightning. I am on the island of Mata Nui.'
She suddenly felt ill. As she stumbled through the desert towards the village of Po-Koro, Kai saw a dried-up desert plant, and knelt down to it, took a small bit in her hand and crushed it up into a fine powder. She then consumed the foul-tasting substance, struggling to swallow it. However, her nausea cleared up, and she even felt more perceptive than before.
Could do with a little something...
IC: Reaver (Ga-Wahi)She will pay. By Karzahni, she will pay.
The Scarred Toa left the Marine outpost, heartbroken, saddened, and very, very angry. They had told her that the fire that burned the Casa Juturna to the ground was caused by a strange winged figure. She was to blame for the death of her best friend, Emotia, and nearly killing Reaver.
A demon in angel's clothing.
She leant against a wall in a back alley, and drew her knives. She ran her finger along the edge, scratched, sharp, familiar. They gave of an aura of rage, of bloodlust. A smirk spread over her face.I will make her pay. But who says I can't make a few widgets on the side?
IC: (Perkahn, Ta-Koro)Everything is still and calmIn the dead of nightRight before the fightClouds are gathering for the stormDestiny decidesWho will live or die
The battle, for Perkahn, was a veritable ordeal. An hour in the heat of the very heart of the battle, at the very first lines, rounded by the Rahkshi horde on all sides, swinging his Rebellion back and forth as the rage of war breathed within his lungs, channelling his elemental powers through the battleaxe to release swathes of iron spikes flying through the air. Beside him, Grochi and Jolek and Tuara and who knows who else fought on, driving the Rahkshi to a tactical standstill.And then, suddenly, it was all over. Perkahn got off with just minor injuries. But even those were worth it.The hot Ta-Wahi sunlight beating down on the Koro, breaking, slashing through the skies above. More than any time before, Perkahn felt rejuvenated by the heat and light that enveloped him, filling him, for the first time in twenty years, with actual life. He felt his blood coursing through his veins, and felt like at least once in his lifetime, he was breathing, yet again.About darn time.Like that sunlight, he finally broke through the dark clouds looming over the shattered horizon. Somehow, when he made the conscious decision to leave Dorian by that roadside, to go back and defend the city, the conscious decision to care for others over himself, when he stood with the people of Ta-Koro to stem the Rahkshi tide... When he chose not to pursue a hopeless, dubious, even selfish way to get himself an amnesty, but rather to do something right for once and show to society that Perkahn Highwind, the Stormbringer, last man standing at Ered Krom, was no criminal.He made himself free. No, wait. Grochi, Tuara, Jolek, Lumira, Stronin, Stralix and everyone else in this bloody city made him free. Alone we are nothing, together we are everything. Without them, without his desire to defend them all, without his will to stand tall and stand beside them, this would've not been achieved.The Toa of Iron grinned and nodded at Grochi. "Good luck. Meanwhile, I have something important to do."He went through the masses of people, many of whom were raising tankards to salute him, smiling at them in return. Went slowly, taking in the air of a world where he had, finally, through struggle and effort, claimed justice.Finally, he found Jolek and clapped him on the back."So, Jolek. Want to go meet your mother?"
Glassy eyes stared up into the cloudy sky, its owner lifelessly sprawled against the snow, lifeblood slowly oozing away from a large slash along the torso. The corpse of a Rahkshi lay metres away, head crushed by a heavy blow from a large hammer. Neither had been fortunate enough to see the battle to the finish, having fallen to each other in the opening stages of the fight.
It would not have mattered at all to the deceased Toa; for the village to still stand strong, for the virtues to be embraced by the citizens of the island ... that would have made him happy. He had never wanted to die, but his soul would take comfort in the fact that the cause he fought for still existed.
As people all around the village cheered for their victory, his corpse continued to face the sky.
One of the clouds looked like a shark.
Quada had always liked fish.
OOC: And kicking this off we have a jam between myself and Hubert...
IC: Incommodo & Arkrak (Ko-Koro)
An Onu-Matoran leaned heavily against his tool, watching as Onu-Koro's defenders cheered.
But he did not cheer. No, too many had lost their lives here for it to be a truly joyous occasion. Far too many good people had died here. He would celebrate, when the time came. But he would not do so until every one of the brave men and women that met their ends here had been given the respect they deserved.
He looked toward the arrival, the messenger that had brought them the news of Makuta's defeat. The Onu-Toa was both familiar, and entirely unknown at the same time. He was massive, larger even than most of his species, and he wore an unfamiliar mask. But despite it, he was unmistakeable. Even if his stance and bearing did not, the saperka he wore in place of his hand gave away his identity.
Tarnok forced himself to wake forward, standing as tall and straight as he possibly could. Pain shot through his leg with every step, and he left a small trail of blood wherever he went. But the village would not see him bow his head in pain, he refused to give the Makuta even that small victory. He had to find his friends, ensure their safety. He had to keep his village in order, as was his duty. And if time permitted... Perhaps he would be able to welcome an old ally home.
And only then would he seek out a medic. Others were far worse off.
OOC: The following was pitched to me and approved by both Nuju Metru and Friar Tuck.
"I mean it, Jaller. I'm done."
Outside the sounds of joy still blared like trumpets through the hot, thick air of the Koro; through the window behind Jaller, people kissing and hugging and cheering over the corpses of Rahkshi were like little pixels in the grander canvas of the world around them. The window caught a little point of light and focused it onto one such pixel, directed by the focal point of a Guard's badge on the table between Jaller and the Toa of Fire who sat across from him, arms crossed and robin's egg blue eyes determined and hard. His longsword, a gift from Joske, was slung carefully on the chair behind him; his gauntlet was still fitted to his right forearm, ready and loaded. Despite his lean, relaxed appearance, he still burned hot with various, simmering emotions he'd spent upwards of two years trying to hide. Phantoms danced in his eyes, expressing those emotions in ways his tongue never could. Jaller caught the look of post-traumatic stress and leaned forward, his gaze meaning to nurture and not to nudge.
"If this is about Tuara, Angelus..."
He looked down to disguise the stab of anguish that name's serrated edge left in his heart, but the facade was weak, susceptible to a detective's eye without so much as a second of flickering hesitation. Jaller looked from Angelus to the badge and then to Angelus, but his resolve did not weaken as the Toa of Fire's had. It had not weakened through the loss of Takua, to Kapura, to Vakama, and then nearly to Ta-Koro - he had the scars from all of these losses to prove it, but they were mostly physical; none of them marred his dedication. But finally, he took the badge and withdrew it from the desk's surface, relegating it to a bottom drawer. Angelus did not move; his arms were still crossed, and his eyes gazed down with the mists of reflection and regret.
"The things I've...done," he explained in a quiet tone that hit the erratic cracks in his emotive voice. "The things I've watched done...the things I failed to prevent...I can't deal with that. And you're right, it is partially Tuara...I'm not ready to deal with that, either..."
"But you will deal, in time," Jaller said forcefully, in a voice that he had long learned from Vakama. "Because you're strong, Angelus, and you're a leader. You need faith. But in the meantime, this Koro needs help rebuilding. And its Guard still needs a Captain."
Angelus looked up.
IC: Xylak (Vorex), Huaki (Wotsiznaim) (Ko-Wahi)
The Dreamer stood before a wall of Ice, examining it carefully, as though searching for some kind of marking.
It was the fifth wall they had reached in the last few hours, each one similar in appearance, and yet there was something the Dreamer saw there that was different enough that they should be forgotten. But he seemed hopeful about this one. Perhaps 'hopeful' wasn't the right word... he feared what he seeked to awaken, but he had no choice in the matter. He took a knife from his armour, and with a grimace sliced it across his palm, blood beading up and filling the line with dark red immediately. He put his palm against the ice and shivered, before beginning to channel his power into the wall. Slowly, cracks formed, and the red of his blood seemed to seep through to the other side, crawling slowly along the ice. When at last it reached the bottom, the Dreamer stepped back, looking carefully at his work.
Behind the ice, a shape took form and began to move, tall and thin, like something from a nightmare. The head, too, was far too thin, and stained with red, distorted as it approached the cracks and looked through the ice at the Dreamer and the Ko-Matoran by his side. Its head tilted, and then it stepped back. In the blink of an eye the ice had shattered into millions of tiny shards, and the two beings were thrown back by some invisible force as the creature stepped out into the light. It was hunched over slightly, its arms hanging at its side, and it had the look of some form of animal; but its eyes gleamed with an intelligence no Rahi could ever match. The Dreamer stood up to face it, but as it looked at him he was picked up into the air and a loud crack was heard as his back was bent backwards, his spine snapped like a twig, and he was quickly discarded, before the creature took a few careful steps toward Huaki, still lying on the snow.
Huaki looked on in horror as the man she had seen as her father was broken with ease and thrown away like a ragdoll. Just when she thought this moment couldn't get any worse, she looked up, and it looked back. It's eyes, the swirling abyss of the beyond she was soon to face...
No. Not today. Never today.
She scrambled back on all fours, then spun around and waded as fast as she could through the snow. As a Ko-Matoran, she was more resistant to the cold and the snow seemed to allow her to pass, but her little legs could never be fast enough to carry her to safety. Deep down, she knew this, but pushed it away. There was always hope.
Looking over her shoulder to try, foolishly, to lay eyes on it again, despite how little she wanted to, something caught her foot as it came down, her momentum bringing her front first back down into the white. Spitting out her mouthful of foul-tasting sludge, she turned to what she was certain was her certain doom.
But now, what was worth living for? Her entire life had just crumbled in one fell swoop, she was homeless, without friends, family, nothing. Alone.
Her vision began to blur. Closing her eyes, warm drops spilled from her eyes and rode, silently, down her cheeks. Wincing, she gritted her teeth, and waited for the end.
The creature stood over Huaki, its eyes glaring into her, and spun its sword in its hand, heading in for the kill. But suddenly, it stopped, looking down at the crying Matoran. It was lost and alone, broken and grieving. It spared a look at the Dreamer's body, lying still on its back, and returned its gaze to Huaki. And then it did something that no one would have expected: it spoke.
"Get up, child," Crux said, as gently as he could manage. His voice was barely louder than a whisper, and felt like sandpaper, sending a small shiver through the Matoran as she heard him speak.
Despite the fear she still felt from the creature, which even now numbed the shock of its ability to speak, Huaki could see it was trying. It was trying to do something it wasn't good at, and that made it a little less terrifying.
Still, however, she shook and stumbled as she slowly rose to her feet, sniffing once or twice and keeping her eyes on the thing standing over her. Was that remorse it was showing? Understanding? Something like that, she bet herself.
Crux looked down at the Matoran who stood before him. In a way, she reminded him of himself, before power had grasped him and taken its terrible hold on his mind. Not just in her current state, but in her appearance, too. He felt almost like he was looking into the eyes of a female version of his childhood. And it was that familiarity which had saved her life. "You are alone."
"What?" was all Huaki could manage to say at first, inhibiting the flow of tears. A moment or two passed as she looked, confused, at Crux, steam steadily puffing from between her lips, before it sank in what it had said. Yes. "Yes," she said, mumbling slightly from the stiffness in her jaw courtesy of the cold. "I... I am... Alone... I am alone..." am alone alone lone
The word echoed, rang through her mind after she'd said it, forcing her to accept she was isolated. Was this its aim? Was it trying to break her spirit even further by making her think about it?
"You have no loyalties, no allies?" Huaki may have reminded Crux of himself, but that did not change the fact that she was a person, and like other people, that made her a tool to be used as he saw fit. If she served him no purpose, it would be simpler to set her free, and hope never to meet her again. If, on the other hand, she had something of use...
This frustrated Huaki. She stood firmer, her rage serving to boost her confidence somewhat. She looked deep into Crux's eyes as she growled, "You murdered my allegiance, my loyalty, my allies," she pointed to the unmoving body of Xylak. "You killed everything I have. You killed me. Now, I'm nothing, nobody."
Crux nodded, following the Ko-Matoran's outstretched finger to the Toa's body. "I see. You are of no use to me."
His speech was odd, more comfortable than before, but still awkward somehow, like he was only adjusting to using his voice for anything but the most animalistic of sounds, and in fact he was; he had not spoken to anyone in decades, perhaps even centuries, and it had taken its toll on his grasp of the Matoran language.
You shouldn't have said that, was her first thought. Stupid girl, shouldn't have-
No, no need for thoughts like that. How was she to know of anything different? How was she to see the future? What was done, was done, and the end was now to come. And perhaps... Perhaps she was ready now. Perhaps death would be kind with her consent.
Still, even in near-death, acting was still her strong suit. Seamlessly, she became confused. What in the universe was he talking about? No more use for her? "So... What's that supposed to mean? What are you going to do to me?"
"I am going to let you live," Crux explained, calmly. With every sentence his words were growing natural, his original accent taking form once again in place of the broken one that he had started out with. "But without allies, you serve no purpose to me, unless you wish to follow me. If I succeed, Matoran, we will both have great power. If I fail, we will have nothing ahead of us but death."
She was going to live. At first she was close to breaking into song with ecstasy, but within moments she realised what that meant. One more day all on her own, one more night to cry. An entire lifetime of bleak, empty, nothingness. All of a sudden, being alive seemed like a special kind of death in itself. She saw her future, the embodiment of Karzahni it was.
"Then I am left with no choice," she said at last, reluctantly bending down on one knee. "From now on, I- I live to serve you. My..." her eyes wandered over to the black lump in the snow that was Xylak. Her mentor. Her teacher. Her father. Dead.
"Then the time has come for us to leave," Crux said solemnly, looking down at the Matoran. "Come. Our destination is Onu-Koro -- a strategic position, for rule and for fear."
This was it. The end of her old life. In leaving Xylak here, lying still in the snow, she was leaving everything she had known, everything she was. She was, both figuratively and literally, walking into the darkness with a powerful, evil stranger.
From now on, nothing would be the same.
Quada wasn't the only one who'd suffered mortal injuries in the battle. Stumbling across the dunes of snow, he made his way to the body he saw, a familiar one, nearly falling upon it when he collapsed.
"Ah, Quada," he said, smiling fondly. "The others think you did a rather good job, you know." He patted the dead Toa on the shoulder, before forcing himself up, leaning heavily on his staff. After a moment, he reached down, grabbing his dead teammate's body and pulling him along, back to the Koro proper, where the other Ancora would be gathered.
"Ah, glad to see most of you made it," Iulius said to those that were there. He gestured behind himself to Quada, and then to his own wound, leaving him with less and less blood by the minute.
"Now, I'm fairly certain you all are going to need to find a couple replacements...peace be with you, my friends."
IC: (Cylund, Le-Koro)
Cylund didn't know if he was breathing.
To be perfectly honest, he was pretty sure he was dead by some meaning of the term. His right hand he couldn't really feel, and he was pretty sure that might've just had something to do with the pile of assorted empty Rahkshi armor crushing it. His left-hand sword was broken, lying, to be perfectly exact, right atop his nose. At least, one of its shards was.
His nose... his nose, aye, it felt different. His whole face did. Something was off.
It was irrelevant, anyway.
Back to the subject matter, Cylund felt different. He did not have many clear memories of the battle, just being surrounded by an entire squad of Rahkshi that quite enthusiastically took to using combinations of different powers on him, hoping for success. The Toa of Plasma fought on valiantly, but that's difficult when you're floating in midair, poisoned, and your left hand is slowly being disintegrated.
And then they all suddenly turned on each other.
Irrelevant, anyway. Cylund, lying under that pile of Rahkshi, was feeling... angry. For the first time in his life, he was feeling angry. Why didn't anyone help him? Why didn't anyone assist him when he needed help? Right now, his right arm remains bleeding, and he is given no help despite having fought on when all those cowards were pushed back! What is this treason? He deserved better! Better!
The Toa of Plasma felt his anger fill him, reach to the furthest areas of his body, and he smiled, a dark, dark grin. He felt this anger envelop him in warmth, no, heat, no, power! His rage boiled within him, and he awoke.
He rose, the Rahkshi's corpses pushed aside, no matter how many of them at once lied atop him. When he could not simply push through, he incinerated them with his plasma, and, when he was finally straight up, he took a look at the village they were rebuilding around him. Simple Matoran, simple fools! He'd show them yet.
As Cylund stormed off and out of the village, an intrepid soul with a liking for engineering took to the pile of Rahkshi corpses that Cylund had just pushed off himself. He was quickly shocked to find a Kraata, presumably Stage 2 or 3, slithering around the armor pile. The aspiring engineer logically deduced that the Kraata must've lost its own suit of armor but survived, otherwise it would, naturally, still be a Rahkshi - right before stabbing said Kraata with a pocket knife.
It let out a quiet squeal as it died.
IC: Everyone (Po-Koro Desert)
The figure finally came into view as it walked closer then stopped a few yards ahead of them. He was a Toa of Ice with a Volitak, and heavy ice armor. He said "You know how hard it is just to find you two? Besides walking all around Mata Nui and battle a bunch of Toa."
The duo looked at him, then at each other. They knew just what to do, draw their weapons. With that they drew their weapons, as so did the Toa of Ice.
"Now that's no way to welcome your death. Show some respect."
Then his hand opened and has held over the ground where the two stood.
"I think you two need to chill."
[OOC: Edited to account for Lenat's fate being revealed]IC: Voutok [Ga-Koro]Shortly after arriving at the Marine HQ with Suran and Lenat, the Koro was caught off-guard. The Rahkshi commenced their invasion. Voutok got lost and all but trampled on by the subsequent outpouring of Marines (Matoran, Toa, and others) inside the HQ. Eventually worming his way out to the side of the crowd, he also lost track of Lenat."Lenat? Lenat! Where are you?" Before Voutok could get an answer, the Rahkshi stepped foot in the Koro. Voutok slowly drew his bladed discs as they approached. The Rahkshi engaged the defending Marines, as well as a few determined Matoran, Toa, and others. Voutok simply stood on the outside and awaited an opportunity; he was not foolish enough to engage a legion alone and unprepared. Around the time that the Rahkshi went wild, however, Voutok sternly turned the dial of his headset down to "2" and charged to join the battle, finding his opportunity. Voutok displayed a professional level of combat, picking out and focusing on engaging isolated and distracted Rahkshi (specifically ones who were engaging another individual) using his heightened hearing and quick analysis of the arena that Ga-Koro had basically become. He focused on outmaneuvering these isolated Rahkshi with effort and landing a view strikes with hit-and-run tactics, focusing on the heads. He also sought out down and wounded Rahkshi, in which case he would charge up and strike at the kraata within them.Throughout the struggle, Voutok felt himself undergoing more of those "familiar sensations", and sometimes mid-battle his vision would temporarily replace the scene of the Rahkshi invasion with scenes of what seemed to be a similar battle in which he did almost the exact same things to beings of the exact same size and shape. Voutok remained focus on the battle, however, and fought off these visions with the same fury he engaged the Rahkshi with.As the battle drew to a close and the rest of the village repelled the invaders, Voutok could clearly hear the ringing in his ears from all the noise and finally became self-aware of a few wounds he had received: one of the Rahkshi had slashed him in the arm, leaving a minor wound there. Another had apparently jabbed him in the side, and he even noticed some bite marks in a few isolated areas. For the rest of the day, aside from getting some bandages for the aforementioned wounds, Voutok wandered through the village, usually following the Marines, and sought to help as he could with restoration work. Ga-Koro had emerged from the battle victorious, even when caught virtually unprepared. Voutok looked around the village for Lenat as he went on, but felt his primary duty at the moment was to help deal with the casualties. When night fell, Voutok did that which he had sought to do since shortly after arriving in the koro...He enlisted in the Marines.Of course, his enlistment could not be considered official until the Marines fully sorted out who was to take charge of the Marines and the induction process, considering Nokama was assassinated, Ketan turned out to be a conspirator plotting to take over the village, and the immediate death of the previous Captain of the Marines by the latter. In the meantime, Voutok volunteered to be one of the overnight watchmen. He knew he wouldn't get any restful sleep and used that opportunity to both keep watch for any retaliation forces (though he expected none, given the strange manner in which the Rahkshi fled) as well as continue his search for any trace of Lenat. Shortly thereafter the unspoken rumor was proven true by the arrival of the Toa who supposedly had played a role in its implications: the Makuta was dead. The news was pleasant to Voutok, mainly because it implied less beasts attacking the village, but work was far from over. Later that day, he found out where Lenat ended up: he had been assisting with the reconstruction and had started his engineering business in Ga-Koro. How did he find out? Well, it was pretty obvious when he ran into a Marine talking with his squad about the new "crossbow" he got from a Vortixx. Voutok made a note to stop by and visit him later that day to congragulate him on the opening. While he was glad to know Lenat still lived, Voutok wasn't sure if he'd ever find out what ever happened to Firion or Virin. He didn't even know if he'd ever find any trace of Gahree, the matoran who had helped him upon his initial arrival in Po-Wahi. But one thing was sure, for both the island and himself...A new chapter of life had just begun.[A little rushed, but that should do for now, unless I did something wrong or something else needs doing. Wish there could have been an actual mass-PC vs Rahkshi battle, it would have felt less awkward for me than what I did here.]
IC: Naru [Le-Koro]
The Toa of Plasma rolled her eyes, as if contemplating the idea of punching the Toa of Earth a third time.
Makuta was dead.
It was hard for Naru to completely wrap her head around that fact. It left her feeling empty, as if the world was suddenly missing a vital part. It was hard to believe that it was... over. All the death and destruction left by Makuta's followers, and it would be no more. Naru hadn't escaped the battle unscathed, a rent along the side of her shoulder armor gave way to a long, thin scar underneath, where she had gotten a little too close for comfort to a Rahkshi of Laser Vision's blast. It was over.
IC: Leli [Onu-Wahi]
They did it.
It was hard to believe. After so long, they actually did it.
A smile crossed the green-armored Matoran's Huna, though no one was around to see it in the near darkness around her. The expression was tired, and did not hide the exhaustion behind it very well, even in the low lighting. Leli was propped up against an earthen wall, the only light coming from a lightstone in the distance. A dagger was clutched shakily in one hand, as she held it out to the swirling shadows before her. Her other hand was held tightly against her body, just below and to the right of her shoulder.
In font of her lay a motionless set of armor, it's blue and green shell battered and dented. Not too far from that was the corpse of some giant, armored slug, it's green blood still dripping off the blade held in the Le-Koroan's shaking hand. A bladed staff of Le-Koroan origin was impaled in the Rahkshi armor, going through it's mid section and straight out the other side. That was good. The Kraata inside had soon escaped it's metal shell, only to be stabbed by a well-aimed knife before the slug itself could teleport away. That was also good. However, the resultant fight beforehand, the Rahkshi had teleported both of them somewhere in the catacombs around Onu-Koro in an act of desperation. That was bad.
The fact that her armor from her chest to the ground was a few shades darker than the rest was also bad. Very bad. The liquid, normally maroon, was almost black in the low light. And there was a lot of it. A cough broke the short lived smile, one that was accompanied by more of the dark liquid. Two eyes, their dim gaze still managing to look bright, looked down to their own body, as a hand removed itself from her armor.
Yes, maybe that large hole was a problem.
Was it getting darker?
The lightstone couldn't be going out. That wasn't right.
Another fit of coughing snapped her back into reality. She knew she shouldn't go to sleep.
But she was so.
Who knew Rahkshi could be that strong?
IC: Desuka (Ko-Wahi)
The Makuta himself was gone. Peace, although undoubtedly temporary, had finally come upon the island of Mata-Nui. In the snow still lay the dacaying, shattered fragments of Rahkshi armour, and a few corpses here and there, including the one he still gripped tightly in his hands. The battle was done. The shadow was done.
But Desuka wasn't.
He looked down at the empty, dead eyeholes of the creature's head. The squishy slug within was well and truly dead - the spine of the armour was crushed and shattered, a thick, translucent purple liquid oozing out. Desuka had done in a few seconds what many others would consider impossible - he had killed a Rahkshi; he didn't even care. His eyes were drawn to the hands that held its neck, and the arms that were attached to those hands, and the body they came from, the huge bestial form in which his mind resided, but wasn't his to command. This body was not his, the beast that had killed the Rahkshi was not him.
The residents of the village were tired, yet joyful at their victory and the end of eleven hundred years of turmoil. Still, Desuka felt like an outside, like his presence put them in danger. Even now, he got glances from those he could once call his friends. They didn't talk, but they spoke a great deal. He wasn't one of them. He was a monster. An animal.
He felt a crunch in his hands, and looked down. He hadn't notice his grip tighten in anger and envy in tandem with his thoughts. Out of the corner of his eye came a lime green figure, who stood out in the white oblivion of the snow. Tirra.
It was time to go.
He made to leave, descending to all fours and beginning to pace out of the village, but she called after him. She recognised him, in this form. She called his name. She asked where he was going.
It took all of the beast's mental capacity to speak Desuka's single word: "Protection."
Although he couldn't see her, he could sense Tirra smiling in confusion. "You don't need protection!" She exclaimed.
"Protection for you," it growled. This time speech gave it a splitting headache; it whimpered, and disappeared into the fog.
Tirra was left standing in his spot, staring after him. Keuirce approached slowly and embraced her in an attempt to comfort her. She returned the hug gratefully. They both knew they weren't going to see him again.
IC: The Toa of Magnetism was slow to respond.
He had come to know his father quite well in the past hours, including the fact that he needed someone to watch his back. Of course, ever the loyal son, the younger of the Highwind family was keen to fill that role, as the thin line across his cheek could attest. He chuckled inwardly. Guess we both have out moments of slowness, don't we, buddy? He thought, images of the sealed gash in the side of a certain Toa of Crystal cropping up in his mind. For a brief moment, he had worried about his lifelong friend, but that soon passed. He knew him better than that, and he'd had his own battles to fight.And what a battle it was. He thought himself versed in combat, survival, and all that jazz, but it had never been put to the test quite like this. Everywhere he looked, something wanted him dead. It was... exhilarating, in that "Gods above I could die any time now let's rock" sort of way he had only felt once before in his life. Even as he let loose pulses of sheer magnetic energy, sending enemies careening of their feet, and shredding some, it seemed like twice their number rose to take their place. Not one to balk at such odds, he had eagerly met them with hammer, fist, and his own unique colors with which he painted a canvas of taunts and jabs at the serpentine beasts.He looked up at this Toa of Iron, Perkhan. In a matter of hours, he had felt he knew him nearly as well as his old friend. The... unique mesh of their personalities lent itself to that. At first he wasn't sure whether or not to believe the Stormbringer, but as he saw Perkhan's true self brought to the surface, he saw more than a little of himself as well. In combat, this was more than evident. The two flowed like water, yet were immovable as a mountain. Always saving eachother's hides, yet never once interrupting the natural flow they had between them, even in spite of the radical differences in technique, that same Highwind tenacity reared it's head in each.He gave it a moment. Physically, he was exhausted-- Dropping into a siege on the defending side after a three day trek tended to do that to you. Mentally, though, even with the weight of his physical exhaustion, he was racing. He almost lazily looked up at his father, golden eyes showing energy where the rest of him couldn't."Lead the way, old man."
IC: Butra and "Avalanche" (Ta-Koro)
When Butra regained consciousness, he found himself feeling oddly... peaceful. Almost as if nothing in the entire world mattered. He felt tired, so tired, he really needed to lie down soon.
As he looked around, he noticed that his Kanohi was damaged, the lenses weren't working properly, right now the display was partly static whatever he did to remedy it.
Dust hang in the air, and rubble was everywhere around him. He tried to get up, only to find himself assaulted by numbing and stinging pain emanating from every bone in his body, and the fact that a large boulder was wedged on top of him. His legs weren't even visible.
Butra dumped back into the dust, as memories came flooding back to him.
A Rahkshi of Shattering was standing before him, hissing as a threat. Butra could do nothing but defend and hope for the best.
The fight was over before it even began, the Rahkshi blasted his newfound axe to pieces before he even got a chance to use it, and a rapid blow to the gut had rendered Butra practically kneeling before the Rahkshi.
Butra was against the wall, and couldn't do anything but pray to Mata Nui as the Rahkshi blasted the wall high above him to bring the rubble down on the crippled Ve-Toa.
He remembered little of what happened next, something had slammed into him, he heard a hiss, and then several more, and a scream of agony.
"Hello?" he tried, anyone there?"
The burning rubble yielded no answer.
"Hello? Anyone there" he tried again.
"I'm here" a voice responded.
Butra turned his head, and couldn't for the life of him be able to pinpoint exactly where the voice was coming from.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I'm the guy who tried to save you, that's what" Avalanche replied.
"Then I am you ever thankful" Butra replied, smiling weakly.
"Not sure how that works, seeing as I didn't do a very good job" Avalanche replied as he turned his head to try and spot the Ve-Toa. and cringed as the Rahkshi staff that he was impaled on struck a sensitive spot.
"I'm certain your intentions were good, brother" Butra replied, as he tried to get a fix on the stranger with his mask.
Avalanche spat "I'm not a hero. I haven't been in a long time"
"And yet you put your own life at risk to save mine." Butra replied
A small pile of rocks shifted, and was slowly, but surely, moved aside as Butra finally caught sight of his companion. A muscular Po-Toa, impaled against the wall with a Rakshi staff, that stuck him in a sitting position.
Avalanche was breathing heavily as he fought to temper the numbing pain that was erupting from his chest. Even as he lowered the arm he'd used to direct his powers to the miniscule rock pile that had separated the two, he'd been forced to sacrifice a significant amount of his remaining time among the lving to do so.
"Perhaps... I still had... one deed left" He joked.
"I'd say so indeed", Butra replied.
The two remained in silence for a while. Seconds? Hours? Neither knew, nor did they care. Everything had come to an end for them, and all that had to be said, was already said.
Well, most of it.
"By the way, my name is Butra" the Ve-Toa said, looking at the Po-Toa from his position on the floor.
Avalanche turned to meet the Ve-Toa's gaze, and could see one of the most honest, kind and compassionate faces he ever saw, not that he'd seen many of those, but still.
"My name..." Avalanche began, before he trailed off again.
"My name is... Delmoy" he finished.
"It was a pleasure to battle beside you, Toa Delmoy" Butra said
"Same to you, Butra" Delmoy replied.
And with that, the two closed their eyes and drifted off, neither talking anymore...
IC: (Perkahn, Ta-Koro)
"Lead the way, old man."
Perkahn's face was contorted, at these words, by a smile that had equal parts of exertion and happiness. This was definitely his son.
For just a second, his distant, distant memories beckoned him, demanding he give into them, listen to what they had to say, to remind him of a day in a past age, long, long ago.
The wind was howling that day, as the two silent figures, father and son, slithered through the quiet of the Charred Forest, which then was not yet charred, but a green, lush jungle. Diarmuid led his young son, Perkahn, through the forest's pathways and through its clearings, until they finally saw their target. It was a Kane-Ra, enough to feed a family for a month and also enough to, when infected by Makuta, destroy a family within a day.
Diarmuid turned to Perkahn and asked, quietly, "Are you ready, son?"
"Lead the way, old man."
If he wasn't sure there would still be a thousand opportunities, Perkahn would've shed a tear. But for now, they had more important things to attend.
The house that Perkahn had built with his and Arianna's own hands such a long, long time ago still stood nigh unchanged, with a carefully tended, quaint garden planted in a small patch of green that they defiantly, with no small intervention from their and others' elemental powers had maintained in spite of the volcanic terrain, and a wooden porch not one bit larger than was necessary, a second wooden floor atop a stone ground floor, the building itself leaning against the Ta-Koro city wall. As Perkahn took one step after another - sanctified, slow steps to punctuate about every fourth beat of his heart - he felt the past breathe in him. But no longer did the past wound him. Now, the past gave him new life, a chance to live yet again.
The door he opened, and found himself in a familiar, very familiar hallway. The walls were still decorated with shields. Tons of shields. Back in the day, Perkahn had a pathological obsession with collecting decorative shields bearing the crests of noble or powerful families - a very strange obsession, given the fact that he never used a shield to begin with.
At the end of the short entrance hall, they reached a door, which they pushed aside, and found themselves in the common room - quite enough place there was for a feast, by a long table surrounded by benches, stretching nigh across all the hall to the fireplace at the other end. To the left, there was a stairway up, and to the right, there was a door to the house's kitchen; and on the bench sat a silent and beautiful as ever Arianna, her hand locked around her chin, a thoughtful expression etched upon her face.
"Arianna," Perkahn spoke, in a low and somber voice, "We're home."
She turned at his voice, not saying a word, and stood, quiet, but smiling. "You're back," she said, and Perkahn smiled back, and nodded. She took a step closer, a single tear of happiness in her eyes... and then she saw Jolek and froze, quite obviously unable to believe what she was seeing.
"Jolek?" she finally asked, after staring at him for two seconds, tears welling up in her eyes. "Son?"
Perkahn's smile widened at the expression of mixed shock and almost inane happiness that his wife was having. He didn't quite react with such surprise; possibly because he was going through the most confusing couple of weeks of his life and anything seemed like a rational event to happen when it did.
Seeing Arianna as happy as often as possible, Perkahn, slowly, realized, that's what really matters.
IC (Le-koro square, medical center (OOC: Temporary Medical base for after-battle medical attention. Will cease to exist after this post unless someone continues it.) )
The battle was quick, and pointed.
The Rahkshi, apparently tired of waiting for the Toa of the koro to make a move, had attacked. They climbed, flew, and scurried; like a nest of bees that had been stirred by their kidnapped queen. The first ranks were not long in reaching the top of the trees. Sharpened fingers tightened around deadly staffs, spines that had been flattened stood straight and tall, increasing the already fearsome visage of the enemy. Flying Rahkshi fell like sharpened stones upon the ramparts of the koro. Kraata squealed in anticipation and glee.
And then the battle was joined.
Those matoran who had not left the koro joined together in a brave (or foolish, that was yet to be decided) endeavor to protect their home. Stones, arrows, projectiles of every shape and size bashed harmlessly against hard metal Rahkshi armor. Makuta's sons took the small beating like Masochists on a pain-high, relishing in the apparent pain of those few projectiles that actually hit a sensitive mark. They marched forward unhindered for the most part, like an unstoppable tsunami wave of metal and shadow.
And that was where me and those toa who had decided to stay behind came in. Some of us were shocked by the appearance; some, by memories of fallen comrades lost to us because of these fearful creatures. Fear, whether the nameless kind that came from the Rahkshi before us, or the poignant memories of death and wanton destruction that accompanied these beasts, gripped us. In either case, that fear was soon replaced or amplified by the adrenaline coursing through our veins. Everything became either disturbingly clear, or a complete blur. But there was no time to muse, no place to meditate on the natural drug's effects. This wasn't philosophy class, this was war. And we were ready.
Those few of us with Magnetic and iron powers attacked first, using our superior advantage over the shells of Rahkshi to thin the line. Our powers did little, but the barrage combined with those of our brothers of the other elements, were enough to push back the tide, however little. Rahkshi were thrown off of parapets by vines controlled by Toa of Plantlife; Seared to death by the heat of toa of fire and plasma; suffocated, drowned, frozen, and crushed. Those who could took to the air, engaging the Rahkshi in an aerial dogfight the likes of which I had never seen before. The wave was almost gone, and we rejoiced at our temporary success.
And then the real force came. Before we had time to regroup or strike from a distance, the main force converged upon us. The battlefield of the trees became a drunken melee, with Toa facing up to three rahkshi at once, all pretense of fighting style gone. Fists pounded against metal, sword against staff, edge against edge.
I myself was facing down a Rahkshi of Magnetism, the greatest foe of a Metal-wielder. Every blow I brought against the beast bounced off, due to the polarizing field the beast had put 'round itself. It let its guard down only to deliver massive, double-handed blows upon my person. One of my short-swords shattered from a blow from the edge of a staff, the other was knocked away by a parry and riposte faster than what seemed possible. The Makuta-spawn kicked me in the chest, sending me flying across the platform, and into a large hut, which collapsed as I fell through it. The Rahkshi flew toward me, assured of its victory. It came down upon me brutally, and I had no defense. The strength of the blow which it dealt me shoved away my upraised arms, and slashed into my chest. My breath came in ragged gasps, and I awaited the end.
It was then that I remembered the shield.
I had never found much use for any defensive weapon. My aim had always been to disable, injure, or kill the other being before he could kill me. A shield seemed impractical; a crutch for those who were too afraid to attack all-out, to give their all in service to others. I had never understood why Amerikos had wielded a shield as a primary weapon. At the time, I had thought him foolish, even insane at times for his choice. But his words rung true at the moment of my greatest need.
"Though a shield seems weak, young one, it is greater than any blade thou couldst wield. You see, a shield bides its time. It waits, protects, defends, and guards against the coming darkness. It seems gentle, placid, even passive at times. And yet, when the time comes, you will find that even a shield has an edge."
The words seemed a bit corny, even now. But I had finally found meaning in the words of my strange mentor. I had finally found a use for a shield.
I unlimbered the shield, and raised it, even as the being above me delivered the killing stroke. I closed my eyes, waiting for the inevitable feeling of an edged staff piercing my body. Instead, I heard a loud clang, almost a boom, come from the shield. The defense had held. I rose to one knee, and braced myself for the next strike. And it came, harder than the last stroke, if that was possible. I felt my arm strain with the impact, the shield tilt and the blow slide off. The blow came again. I tilted the shield a little to the right this time, and the blow slid off with a shower of sparks. I stood, and pressed the enemy back, bashing the beast with my shield. When the son of Makuta seemed disoriented enough, I turned my shield horizontally, and spun.
Amerikos was right. A shield does have an edge. And a very sharp one, too. The Rahkshi wheeled, injured badly by the blade of my shield, and ran, though it was not my effort that scared it away.
The island, burdened for so long by the chokehold of Makuta, had finally exhaled.
The Rahkshi became feral, killing each other as often as possible. We pushed them into the jungle, and left them for the Muaka.
Although our casualties were not heavy, our injuries were. We set up a station, and began to tend to injuries.
The battle was over.
The healing, however, had just begun.
IC (Kaiapo) (Ko-Koro)
The last of the Matoran had been pulled from the ruins of the bank; Kaiapo blew on his freezing fingers as the last Ko-Matoran ran off. Where to? To join the line, perhaps- the Rahkshi were at the gates. There was no time for rest: the battle was imminent.
The gargantuan Toa jogged across the Koro, joining the throng of Matoran, Toa, Skakdi and Vortixx who all rushed to the gate where an army of Rahkshi stood, massive and terrifying. He banged his caestus together; the black metal threw off sparks that winked in the icy air.
Then the battle was joined.
The Rahkshi advanced, their multitude of voices producing a chorus of screams that froze the hearts of even the bravest Toa. But the defenders would not be dissuaded. They roared back in defiance of the Makuta and his sons; they would not surrender their home without a fight.
Massive chunks of ice were launched from the walls, crushing a Rahkshi here and there. They were joined by boulders flung by Po-Toa and comets of red fire thrown by Ta-Toa, and pillars of earth that broke through the ice beneath their feet. Kaiapo himself was responsible for many of the latter: with one knee bent, and his left fist pressed to the ground, he called the mountain itself to rise up through the glacier and attack their foes.
But their attacks could only dent the multitude. All too soon, the army was at the gates. The Rahkshi blew the ice down in seconds, creating a jagged breach through which they poured, like ants, into the Koro.
The defenders fought valiantly, but it was obvious that they were being pushed back. The Rahkshi were too many, and too strong.
The Toa of Earth stood twice as tall as any other Toa in the village; his mask glowed, granting him size and strength beyond his natural attributed. This made him a bigger target, but it also gave him the strength he needed to fight the strongest opponents he had ever faced.
His first foe was a Rahkshi sporting dark gray armour. Its red eyes flashed with malice as it struck at him with its weapon, a staff double-pronged with razor-sharp blades. Kaiapo blocked the blow with his gauntlets, sparks flying as he grasped the staff and flung it away, and responded with a punch that landed on the side of the creature's head. The Rahkshi hissed in anger as it was knocked down, but it was up again in a flash, leaping at the Toa with cruel claws outstretched.
Kaiapo raised his own hands and caught the Rahkshi's own; the two struggled against one another briefly, before the son of Makuta overpowered the Toa and thrust him down. Its talons glinted in the sunlight before swiping at Kaiapo's face; the Toa of Earth only managed to ward off the blow at the last second; he followed with a blast of earth that knocked the Rahkshi back, littering the white snow with dirt and clay.
He stood, and advanced on the creature, then struck, once, twice, thrice, each blow calculated and strong. The Rahkhi dodged one and blocked the others, seemingly unharmed by the powerful blows. It responded with a strike of its own, forcing the Toa back; it was joined by one of its brethren, as black as Kaiapo.
The Toa snorted, his breath steaming in the cold air, then reached over his shoulder and drew his blade. Black as jet and as sharp as glass, it was long and deadly. With his right arm raised to ward off any blows with his caestus, he advanced once more, attempting to land a blow on one of his opponents.
But he was only one man, and the Rahkshi were two. Slowly but surely, they drove him back, feinting blows to keep him off his guard, until finally the black one scored a hit.
Its staff scratched his side; it was hardly a mortal wound, but it affected the Toa as though he had just been stabbed. He felt his strength ebb away; he gasped in shock, then set his jaw and poured more concentration into his Kanohi.
His body expanded by another foot, and his strength increased in the same way. The Rahkshi hissed in annoyance, and continued their assault. Quickly, they began to strike him more and more; every time the black one touched him, more of his strength vanished, as though sucked away by a hungry parasite. Each time, Kaiapo attempted to feed his strength with his mask, but this made him bigger as well as stronger, and thus easier to hit.
When the black Rahkshi finally struck the killing blow, the Toa of Earth, beset by four Rahkshi, was almost seventeen feet tall, towering over every other combatant in the village. The son of Makuta thrust its wicked staff into Kaiapo's belly, drawing a groan of pain and dismay from the jet-armoured Toa. His form flickered, then rapidly shrank as he lost control of his Kanohi. He fell to his knees before the creature, but, as he fell, he let his enormous fist drop. It caught the Rahkshi by surprise, piercing its shoulder on his black blade, and bringing it to the ground along with him.
Even as his strength bled away, Kaiapo looked deep into the monster's scarlet eyes and found the resolve he needed for one last act. Calling upon the earth, his staunch ally, the foundation of his power, he caught the Rahkshi's carapace in a vice of earth, and squeezed. The creature squealed in pain, then went limp as its armour buckled, crushing the kraata inside to a pulp.
The Toa of Earth let go with a gasp of pain, and fell to his side. The Rahkshi's staff had impaled him entirely through; now his blood pooled on the ice and stained the snow crimson. His vision blurred, but as he fell, he heard a cry of triumph rise up from his allies. Dimly, as though through a veil, he managed to make out the Rahkshi turning, being pushed back.
His grimace of agony was briefly replaced by a pained smile. That was all he had wanted: to fight for a free Mata Nui. He had given everything he had for his home; no one could have asked more from him. Now the darkness beckoned, pulling him beyond the pain, beyond this life, into darkness.
Warm, comforting darkness. Kaiapo had never been afraid of the night. The darkness was friendly to him; it was home. It reminded him of the mines of Onu-Koro: dark and deep and full of wonder.
A brief pang of regret- he would never see his beloved Onu-Koro again. But his sorrow was tempered by an inexplicable contentedness: he was going home. He could feel it.
His eyes closed; his sword slipped from nerveless fingers, and fell to the snow.
IC: Veritas(Le-Koro)Veritas sighed, tired of the current events. The battle, and everything after. He smiled to himself, and looked at his tool. The same tool he used to help in the defence of Le-Koro, where he managed to strike down a Rahkshi or two. He could stay in an inn or something, just for the night. Then he'll go somewhere.Only time will tell. Yes, indeed.IC: Ryzen(Po-Wahi)Ryzen sat down. It was the middle of the desert, alright, but he was tired. Very tired. Days of walking, he finally rested. Maybe in Ko-Wahi would be a nicer place to rest. As always, the place you started out is the place you will end up.OOC: That. Was. Amazing. It'll be nice to see how the next season will be like.
IC (Lohkar) [The Infernavika, near Ga-Koro]
Lohkar stood on the deck of the Infernavika, cutlass in one hand, launcher in the other, as sounds of battle filled the air. He cut and jabbed, blocked and slashed and fired off Zamor shots, at the squad of Rahkshi that had boarded the ship. His ship.
As the Rahkshi had begun to advance, he’d quickly scrambled the crew, dropping the boarding party onto the village docks even as Zmija and Doomslayer fired shot after shot at the legion on the beach.
All too soon, he’d had to call all hands to deck to repel boarders; several of the armoured fiends had targeted the ship and landed, forcing the pirates to move onto the defensive.
The fight was a blur of blades and spines; Lohkar fought like a fiend, bringing sword-stroke after sword-stroke to bear against the Rahkshi. He roared in fierce laughter as he fought, his Water-Lesterin agility just about matching the deadly sons of Makuta. Down went a third-stage Telerahk; minutes later, a metal Zamor to the gut sent a second-stage Panrahk tumbling away off the ship.
And then came a Rahkshi of Laser Vision. Sixth-stage, by the look of its Kraata and the dark intelligence in its eyes. Advancing slowly towards him, it hissed in challenge.
“Come on then, ya great metal Brakas,” Lohkar growled.
Suddenly the two sprung into action. Lohkar dived to the side as a beam of laser-vision scored a smoking hole in the deck where he’d been milliseconds before. Quick as a flash, he raised his launcher – but another blast from the Rahkshi’s red eyes pierced the weapon, melting straight through it.
Lohkar dropped the gun, scowling at the Rahkhsi.
“That was a good gun,” he said.
Rolling under yet another pair of laser beams, Lohkar was suddenly in melee-range. A swipe from his cutlass was blocked by the Rahkshi’s staff, and his riposte struck its shoulder-armour harmlessly. He weaved away from a stab from the razor-sharp staff, ducked under another, and dodged a laser – and his own attack, a cutlass-hack coupled with a kick, staggered the Rahkshi back a couple of paces.
The Rahkshi and the Lesterin, the demon and the pirate, dueled their way across the deck, with clangs of metal on metal and occasional showers of sparks as their weapons met. Lohkar’s skilled swordsmanship and ferocity and the Rahkshi’s sheer strength and speed seemed evely-matched; neither could quite gain the upper hand.
When out of the blue, the Rahkshi stumbled backwards, shaking its head as if confused. All around, its fellows made similar movements; a change came over the entire army. Lohkar saw his chance and redoubled his assault, forcing the Rahkshi back. One sword-thrust wrenched the staff from its hands. The creature’s eyes widened in fear, glowing as they prepared one last desperate vision-blast –
And they were extinguished, as the cutlass-blade sliced clean into its carapace and out through its back.
Lohkar pushed the creature off his sword with one foot.
“An that, ladies an’ gentlemen,” he said, grinning in triumph, “is what happens ta scum that tangles with Captain Lohk-“
Lohkar’s words stopped abruptly.
He hadn’t seen the Lerahk.
Its venomous blade had cut into its side – not a fatal wound, by any means. But the poison now seeping through his bloodstream was a different story.
The cutlass fell from his hand as the proud pirate captain slumped to his knees, staring straight ahead.
Even as his faithful crew rushed forward to beat the Lerahk back and dash it into pieces, Lohkar collapsed limply onto the deck, his eyes closed, blood mixed with green poison dripping from his side and onto the lacquered planks.
Zmija was the first to his side, closely followed by Yasurek, who grabbed his Captain’s wrist and felt desperately for a pulse.
The Ko-Matoran’s head slowly drooped.
[Ambages | Ko-Koro]
The manservant was busy sorting things the ILS members had meddled with and finding if anything had been taken -- after all, the people who searched the architect's apartment weren't all wonderful and congenial men with spotless records (in fact, Ambages was almost certain none of them were). He waved for his servant to attend to his immediate duties and answered the door himself with a roll of his eyes. Who could it have been this time? he wondered, but he was not expecting the sight that greeted him when he finally opened his oaken door: Jin.
He didn't show his surprise or recognition; not yet, anyway. He needed to be sure what this assassin, this operative, this employee was here for. "Hello," he said. With the popularity of his establishment, however, he had become irritable and he allowed that true emotion to pour out in a cunning counter to acting. "Who are you?"
"Jin," she replied, betraying no emotion. "Bad Company."
"Direct," Ambages said in a low tone. "Come in." He turned and let Jin close the door after herself. When the door shut the architect remained standing and spoke to the Vortixx. "I know who you are, what you have done and who you work for. What I don't know, what I find curious, is why you are here. What manner business brings you to me?"
"Someone told me you needed help," she replied. She paused, then let slip one of the lines to Caerus' poem. "Trophy of the elder strong, of stone. That's all I know."
"Who is 'someone?'" Ambages pressed. He was warily trusting of Jin. He knew her creds and heard about her actions in Ta-Koro
"A poet," Jin said, articulating only the barest of knowledge she had on the man. "He likes dark places."
"I know who you refer to." It seemed that Caerus was doing his job after all. Hearing the manservant in another room Ambages waved for Jin to follow him into his study, then he locked that door and sealed the sounds within the room. "The trophy our mutual friend refers to is none other than Onewa's Kanohi. It seems it is in trouble, though what that is I'm unaware of. Our friend, however, doubtlessly does, and so he sent you. I had it placed in the koro bank this morning; you'd best start your search there -- down the left, two levels down, marked with a widget sign outside its doors. That mask cannot be dropped into the wrong hands.
"Go save it and bring it to me." The architect opened a hatch beside the hearth that showed a passageway, narrow but wide enough for Jin to fit, albeit snugly. It would put her in one of the drainage culvers in the ice block Ko-Koro was on and she could go into the streets from there. "And we never met."
[Antrim | The Massif, Ko-Wahi]
"It is...a pleasure to be here again," Merror mused. "The last time I passed through I unfortunately didn't have much time to admire your village. I'm glad to be able to visit at a less urgent time."
Toa Antrim laid down a ceramic pot and a few tin cups of squeezed juice. "Drink," he said, pouring into the cups. Only once Merror had taken the first sip of the beverage did Antrim raise his own and ask, "What brings you back to this place?"
The slender user of Lightning sat on the ramparts, tying up a wound in a bandage. One of the Rahkshi had stabbed him in the shoulder, and it would be fine. Eventually. But for now, Vorlik sat, licking his wounds. Not literally, of course, but that is the general idea.
IC (Merror) [The Massif, Ko-Wahi]
"A holiday, though it seems absurd to say it," Merror replied, politely sipping the sweet juice. "I have, I suppose, overworked myself these past few weeks, and my teammates convinced me to take some time to relax, in peace and calm. What better place than here?"
The Toa of Fire's green eyes earnestly met Antrim's.
"If you would permit me, I would like to stay in the Massif a while. To recover from all that I've been through lately."
Verak's face fell with Yasurek's, at seeing Lohkar dead. He hadn't long known the Lesterin, but for the time he had, he'd grown to like the man.
"Now the Captain's dead," he muttered. "Hopefully Gunner will be cool-headed enough to take charge..." Verak shook his head. Too early to thing such thoughts. Sighing, he pulled out a bottle of his favorite whisky, grabbing a few glasses, and setting them on the table. After pouring a few to the brim, he raised his.
"Here's to the best captain on this side of Karzahni," he said, just loudly enough for anybody paying attention to have heard him. "Valiant to the end."
[Antrim | The Massif, Ko-Wahi]
"My village is a place of refuge for all," Antrim said in his slow drawl and sat in a rocking chair. It creaked as it rolled to and fro and the guardian remained sternly welcoming. "I will arrange for a room in the monastery for your accommodations if that's what you would like."