Onu-Wahi is the region of Earth on the island of Mata Nui. Although Onu-Wahi does include surface areas, very little of the outside was ever developed. The prominent features of Onu-Wahi are mainly located underground, connected by tunnels carved long ago by the Onu-Matoran and other more sinister things. Dangerous Rahi, some of which are largely unknown, lurk in the dank underground caves of the region, which not even the bravest Onu-Matoran have explored. Some natural tunnels carry seeping water from the surface, filling several of the Wahi’s caverns with frigid subterranean lakes. Local landmarks include:
-The Great Mine: An expansive mine network near Onu-Koro where Onu-Matoran miners and prospectors toil to excavate its precious resources. Its shafts, which reach deep into the earth, provide many of the raw materials used in other villages across Mata Nui, such as Protodermis and gold. Other precious resources like Ore are mined here as well. The mine also includes the Marn Tunnels, annexes to the Great Mine around the Wahi.
-Cavern of Light: A lightstone mine in Onu-Wahi. The main supply of lightstones for the island is located here. Its entrance is located in a tunnel network connecting Onu-Koro to Ta-Koro and Le-Koro, and the cave itself is only accessible with a special key.
-Papa Nihu Reef: An archipelago of rocky islets that spread out over the waters outside Onu-Wahi. The mainland shoreline is composed of dark beaches and blank landscape, and the islets themselves range in size and shape but remain mostly desolate, save for the occasional rookery of birds.
-Onu-Koro Highway: An old tunnel connecting Ko-Wahi to Onu-Koro. Members of the Ussalry regulate the end in Onu-Koro to weed out undesirable travelers.
-Le-Koro Highway: A tunnel connecting Le-Wahi to Onu-Koro, similarly guarded.
-The Dark Walk: One of six large tunnels dug by Makuta’s Rahkshi during the final days of his rule. Large enough to encompass a walking legion, it runs directly from the doorstep of the Koro down into Mangaia. Exudes a definite aura of odiousness, and is generally avoided.
Led by Akiri Nuparu, Onu-Koro is located in a huge cavern in the middle of Onu-Wahi. It is a massive bubble in the earth with ceilings that vanish into the darkness above and walls littered with well-guarded gateways. The Koro is the central hub of a network of highways and tunnels that link it with the other parts of the island and with its mines. It consists of huts made of dark stone interwoven with a maze of metal pipes transporting water, gases, and even objects, around the Koro. A cool stream cuts down the middle of the village and is bridged by several pedestrian walkways. The village is lit by lightstone streetlamps and the glow of forges.
The center of the village has a main marketplace where tinkerers sell small ornaments and gadgets. The middle rings of the Koro are residential, peppered with other establishments like stores and eateries. Engineering plants push up against the village’s crowded edges, always bustling with activity. The smell of metal and the smoke of production fill the cavern of Onu-Koro as foundries built there smelt mined ores and turn them into machines. The industrial gases and other wastes are siphoned off to the surface through ducts high in the roof of the village.
Nuparu now occupies the great hut once used by Turaga Whenua and directs the village’s progress with clear vision. The clever hands of Onu-Koro manufacture technologies of war and progress for the entire island; but they keep as many inventions secret as they sell. Nuparu is very careful about which technologies the Koro releases, controls trade with a stern hand, and places great importance on security.
This has lead to an expansion of the formidable Ussalry, housed at its three stables around the village. The Ussalry defend the Koro and the Wahi around it and, due to the great influx of money and trade of materials, they consistently patrol Onu-Koro’s borders and check everyone and everything going in or out. The highways connecting Onu-Koro to the island at large have been greatly expanded to accommodate the movement of technologies, and are always patrolled by guards and escorts.
Business was pretty lacking. It seemed as if nobody needed a therapist, even after the possibly traumatic events of nearly being killed by Rahkshi. It wasn't healthy, bottling one's emotions in and never releasing them. In her experience, doing such things would lead to one snapping and going on a murderous rampage around the island.
She'd dealt with a few of those people before.
"Don't think I can pay the rent this month," remarked Calkf, the Turaga leaning back into her chair.
OOC: Open for interaction.
IC: I wake up.
Examine my surroundings. Spartan ceramic. One lightstone. My armor. No furniture. No presence but me. No Him in my hand, the mountain of light and steel only in the distance. No fight to draw it out.
(Home. 530 hours.)
I stand up. Stretch.
Time to train.
I create blades. I box shadows. Each time I change something in my movements, in my powers. Each time I experiment.
My movements are not perfect. From their imperfection, they will become perfect. That is why I experiment--for Prosperity. Prosperity is achieved by becoming cognizant of reality and acting within it. So I act to make the reality of my violent world not absent or expanded, but redirected. Training is a method towards that end.
Breakfast. I walk from the room.
I enter my other and sit before the dining table and its sole lightstone, cross-legged. My servant kneels and places the plate before me without a word. I look into his eyes.
He is young, indigent, and shy. His armor is shining. He bought a new suit, I see, his old scarred by a life on the streets. He likes to cook. He loves solitude. He believes in our kind, in sapience and the enlightenment it brings. He didn't get here because I sympathized with his case due to my own upbringing. He got here because he worked for this job.
He is like Sulov Koskium.
I let his gaze depart. He kneels. I nod back and consume. Five omelets, filled with vegetables, meats, cheeses, and starches. Not a touch different from the usual. He is a good employee.
I am finished. At this moment, my stockbroker enters. He, too, is not wealthy, but he is persistent and perceptive. He kneels before sitting across from me with portfolio in hand. I nod.
The permission to begin speech has been granted.
"Onu Ore is a bad dog," He starts the debate. "Its EPS has dropped throughout the week. I think we should re-examine our stock in the firm."
"ROA?," I query. "EPS alone does not make a firm."
I ask him questions. He answers. Eventually, we begin to argue in earnest, and hearing the debate, I soon conclude it. We will hold.
In the future of our koro, we hold always.
He leaves and I rise. I trust both of my employees to retrieve a day's pay from my account in the Bank of Onu. I need not speak with either further. On the calendar of my home I have instructed each that today I will be going on a business trip. They have doubtlessly prepared.
I walk to the door and to another of the objects in the house, the coathook, and accompanying lightstone. My servant is there, cloak in hand, and robes me. I trust him to not have inspected the contents of my cloak. A check with my powers further rewards that trust; not a thing is out of place. I flip my visor down as I study the nature of us.
Truly, my workers and I are Prosperous.
I examine my appearance in the black ceramic of the wall. Dressed for business.
Time to go. I open the door and walk out.
The people are there.
They greet me, always, in silence. They know I do not waste time. They know I mean business. They know my symbol and my house. They know my servant.
They know this Sulov. And I know them.
They kneel. Ussals drop to four legs. Children fall to both knees. Ussalmatoran bend on one and bow their heads, saluting.
I walk purposely on. I am now acting on my Duty, to fulfill my Destiny, in recognition of Unity. My walk shows that purpose. I stand straight and avoid my natural hunch. My eyes, hidden beneath both visors, focus on the path ahead. I walk past the guardians of the village without a thought for what lies behind. I've given them the respect of leaving them to guard the land while I'm at work.
I am not respected. I am feared. I am not a person. I am a soldier. I am not a hero. I am an exile.
But for Onu-Koro, I will be respected. For my island, I will be a person. For my people, I will be a hero.
I will be Guardian of Onu-Koro, Sulov Uhunga.
It's dirty business. But it's got to be done.
I walk into the tunnel to Ko-Wahi. Sulov Uhunga's got business with some old friends. He's going to attend their funerals.
OOC: Sulov Uhunga to Ko-Wahi.
Ashiem entered the doors of the Horseman Company, walking up to the pretty receptionist.
"Hey, were there any jobs for me while I was gone?"
IC: Ferron (Onu-Koro, Ferron's Forge)
Clang, clang, clang.
The echo of Ferron's hammer repeatedly swinging at hot metal over the anvil was mixed with the sound of Ussal crabs scurrying around, Matoran shouting, and similar noises from the town of Onu-Koro
After spending some time just getting his head together after Krell's heroic death, Ferron had decided to do something constructive, and set up a temporary handyman shack in Onu-Koro. It felt good to revisit his roots as the gearhead everyone relied on for anything remotely resembling repairs or inventions. Plus, it provided him with something to set his mind to.
He had, however, never expected to find himself with this kind of competition.
The many changes that had come in the recent months had left Ferron confused and, for lack of a better word, scared. Now that the island was essentially without any harmonious tendencies whatsoever, Ferron had been forced to make a choice. He had chosen Onu-Koro because it was the one place he had someone familiar to live near.
The Fe-Toa threw a glance out the window, his sight landing on the bustling streets of the marketplace outside. He hadn't seen Zuriana in a while, and his stomach had been starting to rumble. He really felt like he could need a bite to eat.
"I'm so hungry I could swallow a Kane-Ra" Ferron berated himself as he moved the rather large lump of glowing metal off the anvil with his unfeeling metal hand and dipped it in a barrel of water.
A massive cloud of steam roared out of the barrel with unparalleled ferocity, bathing Ferron's immediate surroundings in white smoke.
Ferron brought the still indiscernible shape over to a table where he laid it to rest. He then dropped down in a large armchair to take a breather…
The Onu-Matoran said quietly, standing beside the comatose Iroiit's bed. Despite the time that had passed, she still hadn't woken up. "Brought something for you."
"It took a while to get Ussalry High Command to let me have it." Reaching into his bag, he set a small sack of fragments that clinked together quietly on the table next to her head. "That's his mask. At least, what's left of it. ""I just wanted to let you know that he didn't get away." Tarnok was quiet for several moments, before turning to the door. "I've got a meeting to attend. Get better, alright? This village needs its heroes. And I'm sick of having to pretend to be one of them."
IC: ChronnThe sound of snoring echoed out of the repaired building, it had taken a lot of work over the past few months, but you could barely tell a group of killers had come in there, determined to end my life for apparently learning too much. But that wasn't enough to scare me, I was going to learn a whole lot more, and anyone who got in my way would find that I wasn't going to be the one caught unaware this time.
There was a new sign hanging outside would inform those passing of exactly what the building contained. I didn't see any reason to fancy it with unneeded design. It was there, and it stated what it was intended to, that was good enough for me. Anyone walking by could see it, and read the words that spelled out my job, and why they would need my help. Anything else was a waste of my time
-Dark C Investigations-
Thedar Chronn, Homicide Detective
The door was closed, but not locked. Anyone could step inside if they required my services, but the prices would be for me to decide. I most certainly didn't work for cheap, and "out of the goodness in your heart" would be a one way ticket out of my office. If I had wanted to run a charity, I would have chosen a different profession, like insulting the incompetent as they walked by, in the futile hope their would realize their ignorance.
But curing stupidity would have to wait for another time, when dead people didn't show up just begging for their killers to be found. Those around them would need to come to me, and then they'd learn exactly what happened. It was a little harder without my mask, but I had more than enough skill to make up for the loss.
The murderers of the island had already heard it, I'm sure, but soon they would learn to fear the name Thedar Chronn, knowing me as the man who brought them down into the dirt to face my own style of justice. When I was done with them, the whole island would find itself a much better place.
Yes, they would all learn to fear the name of the man sleeping at his desk, his face drooped into a bowl of trailmix.
IC (Matan and Natan): The two Skakdi had expected business to be good following Makuta's defeat, but they hadn't anticipated anything like the boom that came after the Rahkshi battles. In addition to rebuilding all of the villages, the demand for and use of technology on Mata Nui had skyrocketed - the pair of engineers had never had it so good.
It also became quickly apparent, however, that Le-koro was falling behind. Soon enough, even membership of the Cultured Gentry (which was steadily gaining influence in the village of air) wasn't enough to keep them at the cutting edge of advencement. If they wanted to be part of the action, they would have to move.
And so they did. They packed up all of their belongings, put them all on the backs of an ussal convoy, sold their house and workshop in Le-koro and shipped the whole lot out to Onu-koro. That was where the technological revolution was centred, so that was where they needed to be. Matan was a little sad to leave the bright forest behind, but in the end they said goodbye to the village of air.
Several weeks later, they were now official contractors of the Akiri of Onu-koro, and got to work alongside the best technological minds on Mata Nui. Natan opened the door of their newly-constructed workshop (still with a distictly junglish appearance thanks to Matan) and planted a large sign outside. The burnished metal gleamed golden under the new floodlights that lit the village, and, using his elemental power, Natan caused words to form themselves into the surface, surrounded by a sharp pattern of laeves and vines.
The sign said:
Open for Business:
Matan & Natan - Engineers
Inventors, Crafters and Weaponsmiths.
For all types of machines, hand crafted weapons and armour restoration.
Wood and metal objects a speciality.
Matan and Natan were open for business once again.
IC: Khervos (Onu-Koro)
My footsteps cast echos within the dark tunnels of Onu-Wahi, bouncing off the murky walls like ghastly howls filled with the despair of the weak and weary. The tunnels of Onu-Wahi, slithering and crisscrossing like a bog of snakes, led me deeper and deeper into the depths of Mount Ihu and beyond. Despite the dark surroundings, I felt at ease, at least for the moment.
My name is Khervos, and I'm what some people would call a "Detective", as they whisper my name in hushed tones before scurrying back into the shadows of the underworld from whence they came. I prefer the term "Private Eye".
My mission here was simple, just like how a murder could seem simple, just a slit of the throat, and a life is whisked away from the world of the waking. I was here to follow a lead that my current investigations had led me to, into the investigations of a series of burglaries.
Where some saw nothing more than routine law enforment in investigating "petty thefts", I saw an opportunity to prove myself, to show that I had what it takes to rise up as one of the island's foremost bastions of justice, stretching my arm out to grab the wicked with the arm of the law.
I had arrived at my destination, a small establishment that read Dark C Investigations. With a small lump in my throat I knocked on the door.
Matan & Natan
Ferron knocked at the door to the Skakdi weaponsmiths.
"Hey, you guys in there?" he asked.
IC: Aar and Kehuri
Kehuri slammed an axle in place with a resounding clang. Giving the lever it connected to a testing tug, he nodded to his friend, who set the machine in motion. A couple of test swings to confirm its solidity, and he nodded in satisfaction.
"It's funny," said the guard, "How you're so good at putting these things together, but so terrible at making up your own."
"I'm just not creative," sighed the Toa or Earth, failing to see any humor in it.
"Come on, Kehuri. I thought peace was what you wanted."
"I do! ... Did... I just..." He paused, hand on the dull metal of the digger he had just fixed, "I don't like what came out of it." He averted his eyes, "And I wanted to actually help bring the peace."
"Would you rather Makuta came back so you could bring about his downfall?"
Kehuri almost said yes. "No. I... I just wish there was something I could really help with. Toa are here t-to protect the Matoran. But how... can I find my destiny just fixing machinery?"
"You won't," said Aar. "Destiny will find you." He wasn't sure where that had come from, it as soon as it left his mouth, he knew he'd said the right thing.
The comment actually brought a smile to the forlorn Toa's purple Hau. He couldn't shake the emptiness that peace had brought on him, but having someone else remind him of his own beliefs was comforting.
"Besides," called the miner as the machine whirred to life next to them again, "You're gonna see your girlfriend today, aren't you?"
Kehuri gave him a half-smile, "Yeah. Along with the rest of the old team." Well, he called them 'old', but it hadn't been long since they'd split up. And only a couple days since he and Naru had temporarily parted ways.
"What are you all going to do?"
Kehuri shrugged as he watched the machine vanish into a tunnel, "Who knows? I don't even know if Plagia and Atox are still in with... the ILF anymore. Actua...lly, scratch that, I don't even know if the Front is even a thing anymore. What's there left to liberate the island from?" To himself, he thought of industrialism, greed and pride. But he couldn't do anything about that.
"Well anyways, you'd better get going. You wanna get there early, right?"
Kehuri just nodded and stopped following as the digger continued into the darkness of the tunnel. The Toa of Earth turned and headed back towards his hut. Not for the first time, he reflected on the transformation the island had undergone. He'd already hated the widget system, but now they were going full-blown industrial. He couldn't even recognize the island anymore. It didn't feel like his home. It hadn't since the defeat of the Makuta, but this was just too much for him.
But he allowed himself a smile as he thought of Naru again. She, and to a lesser extent, Plagia, Aar and Atox, were just about the only things he still felt attached to anymore. Seeing them all again would be refreshing.
IC (Matan): The door opened to reveal a tall green and brown Skakdi, who looked Ferron up and down. "How can I help you?" he asked politely.
Ferron reached into his satchel, and pulled up a blueprint.
"I've been trying to figure out this new weapon for nearly a week now. It's supposed to be a stronger repeating crossbow, but I seem have hit a dead end, the ammo cache never manages to sit right"
Ferron handed Matan the blueprint, expectantly awaiting his opinion.
IC (Matan and Natan): "Hmm, looks complicated" Matan said, running his eye down the plans. "Come inside and we'll take a look". The Skakdi stepped inside and held the door for the toa to follow in after him.
Inside, the hut was lined with wooden panneling, though the main structure was of iron. At intervals, small, leafy fern fronds extended inwards from the walls. They gave off a powerful smell of moist earth and jungle blooms. The room was lit by glowing blue vines that ran around the edges of the ceiling and down to the floor at the corners. Two wooden doors in metal frames led off from the main room, and Matan lead them through the one on the right, into his workshop.
In this room, much of the wooden decorations had been replaced with metal. The entire space was full of various pieces of half-finished machinery and tools. Shelves lined the walls, which were littered with gears, springs, wheels and other paraphernalia pretinent to their profession. More lightvines crept around the ceiling and down the walls at the corners, but this time a set of lenses served to fucus their glow onto a workbench that stood in the centre of the room, again littered with tools.
Natan was inside, the grey Skakdi working on an order of wheels for new mining carts. He looked up when they came in, and then swept aside the clutter from a small area of workbench and motioned for them to sit down. Matan perched on an iron frame for some machine that wasn't identifiable yet, and layed the blueprints down on the table.
"Repeating crossbow" he explained simply. "Ammo cache keeps popping out of alignment. Wants our help to fix the design". The two brothers were silent for a moment as they studied the plans. After a brief pause, Natan spoke up.
"What sort of materials are you using for this?" he asked Ferron. "and how far do you expect it to fire?"
A Toa of Earth was returning home. He'd been on Mata Nui for a relatively short amount of time, but he had fallen in love with Onu-Wahi's dark tunnels and being surrounded by the earth that it had pained him somewhat to be away for so long. Still, Thentyle had required a new kanohi after the Rahkshi Attack, and had spent a long period of time training himself to use his new Huna efficiently in Ta-Wahi where he'd bought the mask. But now, Onu-Koro was his destination. He was walking down the descending cave network until he finally came to the Koro's entrance. Nobody would bat a second eye to the presence of an Onu-Toa, especially one who wanted nothing more than to serve his home. Of course, Thentyle was unable to look away in awe at the changes made since he was last here; while in Ta-Wahi, he'd seen the area and Koro become steadily more advanced in technology. He'd heard that it mostly came from Onu-Koro, but he had not expected that his home had changed so much. Still, he felt glad that the place he called home was doing so well.
OOC: Thentyle open for interaction
IC: Ferron (Matan & Natan's)
Ferron leaned over the blueprint, and made a sweeping motion as he explained
"As we all probably know, regular crossbows are some of the farthest-reaching projectile weapons on the island. I've seen one personally that almost managed to reach as far as 50 Bio. Repeating crossbows sacrifice range for increased firing capactiy, I was trying to find some sort of middle ground, maybe around 30 Bio"
"As for the materials, I mostly use metal, it's sort of hard not to when you're a Toa of Iron"
IC (Natan): "Your not the only one here with iron powers, mate" Natan told the toa with an exasperated look. "I was asking what kinds of metals. Protosteel, regular steel, alloys, any special properties you were going for, all that. Your materials will be important for judging the thickess of some of these parts to give the strengths we'll need. I assume you're using a metal bowstring as well?"
IC: Ferron (Matan & Natan's)
"I needed a metal that had an enormous amount of tensile strength. As such, Protosteel is the order of the day. Took me nearly a week to generate enough, though"
"The bowstring is indeed metal, steel wire to be precise, while the cache itself is made of iron. The bolts are also steel, coated with a teflon shell to make them more effective"
Ferron paused as he awaited the Skakdi's response.
IC (Natan): "Ah, right then, I think I see your problem" Natan replied, looking back down at the blueprints. "Protosteel is very strong, but it's also heavy and inflexible. If I understand these designs right, you're trying to have this cache sit on top of the arrow chamber, which connects through to the recurve, which is all protosteel. The problem there is that for your arms to bend back all that way, which they don't want to do, they're having to transfer a lot of that strain through to the rest of the firing mechanism. That's bending the body of the weapon out of shape slightly, so that it moves out of alignment with the cache each time the bow is drawn."
OOC: I'm not sure if what he just said makes any sense, really. I'm no expert on crossbows, or engineering.
OOC: Considering that we're both making it up, I concur
IC: Ferron (Matan & Natan's)
Ferron nodded as he accepted the blueprint, and looked carefully at it.
"If I readjust the rim, and switch to regular steel..." Ferron mumbled as he drew out a charcoal marker to make some adjustents.
"There, what do you think?"
IC (Matan and Natan): "Yeah, yeah, better" the iron Skakdi grunted, drawing out his own pencil. "Steel on the arms, but there's no reason not to keep the protosteel in the rest of the mechanism. There and there, that inflexibility will be a good thing - give you more power."
"Just while we're at it with the teflon" Matan put in, "why not coat the launching pad rather than the bolts? Same effect, less wear on the mechanism and you'd only need to put in on once, instead of every arrow you want to fire".
IC: Ferron (Matan & Natan's)
"Right, so..." Ferron trailed off as he adjusted the schematics in accordance with Matan's instructions.
Ferron stopped and picked up the blueprint, his trained eyes studying it carefully.
"Eureka" he said with a smile.
IC (Matan and Natan): Matan and Natan were smiling as well, though their giant Skakdi grins outshone the toa's by a wide margin. It was always satisfying to find a good solution to a difficult design. "Problem solved" Matan agreed.
IC: Ferron (Matan & Natan's)
"Thanks a lot" Ferron said, and rolled up the blueprints.
"If there's anything I can do in return, you need only say the word"
With a gurgling grunt, there was the sound of a bowl being knocked over from inside the building, followed by a few select words that commented on my irritation at the event that had just occurred. Then it was followed by the sound of something being pushed along the floor, a slight scraping noise. Then the entire house went completely silent.
I opened to door to see who had awaken me from my slumber, whatever it was that brought then here, it had best involve a murder. If anything else, then it was a waste of my time. People knew I only solved murders, my sign said 'Homicide Detective', not 'Detective who investigates anything'. And yet the people of this island often showed their inability to read.
From wannabe employees whose very existence had been an insufferable irritation, to people wanting me to find their missing knives. This island had no end to crime, and I couldn't care any less about the petty crimes that plagued this island, there were much more important ones to solve.
Looking down at the Matoran standing before me, a look in my eyes that could be called either weary or angry, I spoke. "Who died?" My voice buzzed out like a machine, a light hum echoing through. A little 'gift' from my attempted assassins, trying to crush my throat. Now I was stuck with this wretched metal inside it, and the buzzing would never cease.
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
Hey. I'm breathing. I'm still breathing. That's a surprise. Three months later, still breathing.
Three months. Three months since she destroyed the facility she was kept locked up in, she was wandering the island, helping various Matoran in various villages rebuild, hopelessly searching for other members of the Toa Astha. In some cases, such as those of Skyra, she even knew where they probably were, but every time she got there, she couldn't find them - in other cases, such as that of Merror, she had no idea where he was at all. Elianne, feeling extremely alone, found herself reduced to the sort of life she had before she joined the Astha. Hopelessly wandering the wilderness, this little swordmaiden with a spear and a shield, alone and lost.
This was the sort of Elianne that arrived in Onu-Koro today, with no food and no money besides a loaf of bread, some homemade Nui-Jaga steak, and two lonely widgets. At the entrance to the village, the guards asked her what her business was. Elianne wasn't sure what to answer, so she just said, "It's private."
"Lady, I don't mean to be rude, but you have got to tell us something, it's our job to ask questions."
"And it's my choice to tell you to get out of my way. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a law in Onu-Koro that prohibits free entry."
"Toa," the guard responded, coolly, "you are a Toa, and thus more powerful than much of our guard, and you are also armed. You are a potentially dangerous individual. I'm asking nicely for the last time - what is your business here?"
Elianne stifled the urge to glare at him. She knew that glares were something only caused by her anger and she knew, ever since that event at the science facility, that it was anger that ultimately led to doing wrong.
Yes. Her anger... her anger murdered mercy that day, and she still hated herself for it.
"I need to get some supplies. Or look for a certain person I know. Preferably both."
"See, that wasn't so hard. Go on."
She didn't like this. Elianne really didn't like what seemed to be happening to every village on this island after Makuta had gone away. It's as if suddenly every village became a fortress, at a time when there was no one left to defend said fortresses from. Either way, she did as she was told - went on.
After learning that there had been no jobs assigned to her during her leave of absence, Ashiem made her way out of the company building, taking to the bustling streets of the village. It was surprising, seeing how much Onu-koro had changed in a mere three months. Makuta's defeat had seemed to reinvigorate the people of the island, and all the villages had definitely benefited from the new determination present in the villagers. If she had been told that Ta-koro had a "railway", or that Onu-koro would become a centre of great industrialisation several months ago, she would have laughed and brushed it off as nonsense.
It was reality.
"What will this new freedom do to us?" she mused. "Will we find our limits? And what will we give up in exchange?"
Yet her philosophical pondering was interrupted when she bumped into a nearby figure.
"Sorry about that," she said quickly, taking a small bow and raising her head ...
... To see one of the most unique people she had ever met in her entire existence.
Her mind shut down.
"Wow ... she looks ..."
A pause. The working part of her brain fed her the answer.
Like the echo of sins long past, Chronn's voice carried a distinct tone to it that overflowed with the flair of an old ringmaster, someone who knew the tricks of the trade, and sure as karz didn't need any help.
I looked up into my colleague's eyes, and prepared to plunge into a conversation that I'd be one lucky son of a tarakava to come out of unscathed.
"I'm asking the questions here, Detective" I said as I grabbed my notebook and pencil as if my life depended on them.
"I'm running a few investigations into what might look like a burglary ring, but I need some more information in order to crack the case. If you let me ask you just one question, I'll leave and you can go on about your day, drooling all over your desk"
I took one long breath, before I asked the question with all the confidence I could drag up from my own black depths.
"Where would you go to connect with the black market here in Onu-Koro?"
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
Likewise, Elianne found herself staring into the face of someone she just knew would change her life forever. Sort of like potato chips. In a really, really bad way that ends with you being physically incapable of renouncing them, yet their constant, everlasting presence in your life results in you getting fat and cancer.
"Quite... alright," she replied, trying to chase off the feeling described in the first paragraph. "I should've watched where I was, myself, going more. It's just that there's no roll of paper in this world large enough for me to list all the things on my mind right now... Sorry."
The Matoran thought he could question me? Ask of me when it was he that had so rudely awakened me from my slumber? He certainly cut to the point though, wasting no time in quickly getting straight to what he wanted. At least that was a respectable trait, the rest of him I could already tell I would find insufferable annoying.
"You come up to the home of a detective, and you expect him to allow you to ask the questions? Funny, I really did think that was my job." I spoke, the distaste clear in my voice as I looked down at the annoyance that seemed t expect me to actually comply with whatever little reason he had for seeking out the black market. And really, what could possibly make him think that I even knew the location?
"Last I checked, a burglary ring had nothing to do with Homicide, so I suppose it would probably be better for you to explain your reason for coming to me instead of forcing the information out of some pathetic criminal." I responded, pulling one of my sitting room chairs over to the door and taking a seat in the doorway. I did not offer the other seat to him. "And then I might think about assisting you in your quaint little investigation."
I had managed to hold my tongue on his comments about drooling, something that I did not in fact do, but I was certainly going to make him suffer for it. You don't insult me and expect to get away unscathed, and he was going to learn that getting information from me could be one of he most challenging things this island had in store.
"Where would you go to connect with the black market? An interesting question indeed. Perhaps a better one would be who would you go to, to connect with the black market, wouldn't you think?" I leaned back in the chair, making myself comfortable. "Once you start asking the right questions, you might find yourself getting the right answers."
Ashiem shrugged. The problems of the other Toa weren't exactly her business, but ... her father had taught her to be polite to people.
"It's okay," she replied. "But do you need help?"
The terrible-looking girl was growing on her.
Like a fungus.
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
"I don't know, really," Elianne replied, and if she was a proper human being and not a member of a race out of a children's toyline, she would've fidgeted with her hair at this point. "Is a guy named Skyra in town? Or a guy named Pirok, or Weta, or Skeldan? Or Merror? Any of those would be great."
This girl. Like potato chips. Precisely like potato chips.
"Well, that or just some food would be good, yes."
IC: Ashiem"I don't know any of those people," she replied, scratching her head. "But I can get you Food if you want."It was the best she could do, considered Ashiem. After all, this girl definitely needed a meal."I'm Ashiem by the way."
"Where would you go to connect with the black market? An interesting question indeed. Perhaps a better one would be who would you go to, to connect with the black market, wouldn't you think?"
As hard as it was to admit, I couldn't argue with that. I quietly put away my things, and proceeded to answer each question as well as I could.
"Homocide is just like any other branch of crime investigation, it's all about information, and if a victim's personal effects are missing, wouldn't it be nice to know when something fitting their descriptions is being passed along in a grimey alleyway, or how an illegal murder weapon traded hands?"
"Besides, the ussalry was too busy and there's no other detective in this town" I added as an after-thought.
"Second" I continued and set my eyes in his "there's more than one detective taking part in this conversation"
"Third, I don't know the criminal underground of Onu-Koro... yet"
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
The Toa of Lightning flashed a brief, bright, grateful smile. Finally some good news. "Thanks. Mata Nui's name, thank you. I didn't expect someone I don't even know to help me out this way."
Stop eating the chips, Elianne. It's a trap. Stop. No. Noooooo.
"I'm Elianne. Nice to meet you, Ashiem."
The slightest hint of a smile crossed my face at his responses. It seemed he wasn't as mentally lacking as I had expected. He may very well be halfway competent, which is more than I could say for most people I was stuck dealing with in my life. Now is when things started getting interesting, and my curiosity was growing stronger.
"It's always a good idea to know of whats trading hands, but the black market doesn't prove all that willing to give away information of that nature. You have to know how to trick it from them." I responded, slowly sitting back up in my chair. "But it all really depends on what you are looking for, because there are people for everything, and none who see it all."
It would be too easy to comment on his mentioning a lack of any other detectives, but I understood his meaning quite well. Not other multi-crime detectives, who cared to waste their time looking into the smaller squabbles and crimes that were the common occurrence. I held fast to those crimes that resulted in death, he was looking into those involving the still living.
"Learning the underground takes some time, and tracking down the black market itself is no easy matter. Those in the know are always informed, but those outside have to search. And as of my business repairing my buildings, they have slipped away once more from my view." It was basically my way of saying I had no clue where the black market was right now, I would worry about finding it later.
IC: Ashiem"It's no big fuss," said Ashiem. "My boss pays me well, so it's not going to drain me that much."She decided that Elianne (The name felt a bit pretentious) was an alright person. Like a toxic mushroom instead of something that spread its spores, took over your body and used it to incubate more spores.It was probably the smile that helped.
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
"Still," she said, still smiling, "I can't imagine you feed every person asking for food that you don't know. So thanks a lot."
I had braved the Muaka's roar.
I had incurred the monster's wrath, and survived relatively unscathed.
"There's always complications in this business" I mumbled as I flipped through the notebook's list of stolen items.
"Maybe I should try the bazaar, if any of these items have made their way into legal trade via the back door, that'd be somehwere to start"
"Unless you have anything else you want to say"?
IC: Ashiem"I'd be penniless if I did that. But anyway, noodles good with you?"
IC: (Elianne, Onu-Koro)
This Ashiem must've been reading her mind, because that was singlehandedly Elianne's all time favourite food.