The toa of gravity glanced to Vrina, then followed Athiel without a question. "We've got a lot of walking to do though, sure you don't want me to fly you there?"
Vrina sighed as she heard this
"I am sure.."
IC: (Larikon Torchbearer/Blackrock Canyon/Po-Wahi)
The mood in the ruined castle was rather cold. And being so, Larikon was going to stop it. He had complete faith in Jorruk and Kriigata, and knew they would capture the Crystal Toa. But fearing another Darkmine, he knew they couldn't use the ruins as their foward base, nor anywhere in Po-Koro. The Sentinels were one of Mata Nui's smaller forces, but they still outnumbered them. Then there was the fact that they might call upon the Marines, and history would repeat itself.
Thusly, the Brotherhood would focus on operations to the south, Le-Wahi, Ko-Wahi, possiblly the fringes of Ta-Wahi. Hopefully, they'd convince the Akiri that the Brotherhood operated in the south.
IC: Ferron (Po-Wahi Canyons)
"Hold on" Ferron replied, this time opting to spawn a straight-up pickaxe rather than morphing his hand again. He gripped onto it with both hands, and raised it into the air.
"Stand back" he cautioned Zuriana.
"No, no he's not" Ferron shot back as he struggled to pull himself together.
"I met him, just now," he continued, "he told me we're in danger. He has "friends", minions who are after us, to kill us for supposedly killing him"
Ferron's metal prosthetics almost shifted a little as he said it, as if his stressful situation manifested itself through his powers going haywire, if only for a second.
"Kuhrin offered to help us stop them, but in return he wants me to find a Mask of Healing for him"
Ferron looked at the chubby Matoran before him, before reaching out and taking her hands in his.
"I can't... I can't lose you too. I just can't" Ferron then relapsed into silence.
IC: AthielOur heroes eventually arrive in the bustling market of Po-Koro. "Seek out what items you deem necessary and purchase them. I will give you some widgets for the expenses paid." Athiel hands over 100 widgets each to the two of them. "Spend wisely.
I do as he tells me, looking on in awe as Ferron's pickaxe comes crashing down on the rock, smashing it to pieces. Fragments dart in all directions, forcing me to duck to the ground. When the shower of broken stone is finally finished, I slowly rise, to see that there before my friend is a mask of healing, gripped by the rock and poking its abnormal facial features into the air. It's dusty, but otherwise in perfect condition. The expression upon it is shocked, as if we have just caught whoever formerly owned it in the shower. It would be comical, if I didn't have an incling that this was the expression of whoever Kuhrin killed to get it.
Pushing such thoughts aside, I move closer, looking between it and Ferron to see which would move first.
The Toa of Earth shouted across the ruins of the Darkmine. "COME TO THE TEMPLE." He looked at everyone else there, only three, plus two zombies. There were more members of the Brotherhood than this. Where could they be?
IC: Goran [Flashback]
The Ta-Toa's foot smashed down into the water, and he reached up to wipe the rain off his brow. It was drenched here, something that hadn't happened for many years. It was dark, and wet. Dryken could barely see some of the landmarks he remembered.
But they could be made out, and the procession proceeded through the rain. Dryken spotted a rock spire he recognized and shouted, "We're close. Just turn that way, and beyond that hill is Blackrock." They followed the Matoran, and sure enough, he was right.
They began look around the former castle. The walls were destroyed, and everything was gone. Goran entered the main building, and walked down the stairs to check out the basement. He sighed. Many of the pens and walls were destroyed, and sand had flooded in.
The Brotherhood was walking around, mostly confused. The rain poured down. Goran looked up at the clouds, and then looked at his hands, still covered in the blood of Vormina. The red fell off of them, being washed away by the rain. Goran smiled. The Brotherhood had been born anew.
OOC: Invoking temporary control over Baranx
IC: Korru and Baranx (Sentinel HQ)
"Speaking of Dikapi, how is Kikanalo riding like?"
"It's the sort of thing that takes a while to master, and it's never the sort of thing that's done in a flash, even if you are good at it. It takes effort, and cooperation"
The two entered the stables, where Korru sought out the biggest Kikanalo in the entire stable, almost so big that it didn't quite fit in the pen.
"Hi there, Needlenose" Korru greeted and stroke the Rahi's head. Baranx, in the meantime, couldn't help but notice the obvious joke in the picture, a brutishly large steed for a brutishly large Sentinel.
"The first thing you need to know about Kikanalo is that they're smart," Korru began, "smart enough to tell people apart, and then some"
"Right" Baranx replied with a stern nod.
"A Kikanalo can tell when somebody other than its rider is trying to order it around, and they can even communicate pretty well, as long you learn their language"
To demonstrate, Needlenose arced out his long, sticky tongue and gave Korru a solid lick across his Kanohi.
"That means he recognizes me and is happy to see me" Korru mumbled as he wiped the drool of.
Baranx smiled a little, this was getting off to a decent start.
Vrina looked down at the widgets in her hands and sighed
"Do not go wasting widgets on lightstones or heatstones.. i can make those for us."
IC: Melna (Po-Koro)
If there was anything that could've put a dampener on Melna's high spirits, this was probably it.
It had taken criminally long for her and Day to notice that Lux was missing, only for it to dawn on them that they similarly had practically no chance of finding him. Not that the thought had really struck Melna.
"We've gotta go and find him, Day" she insisted.
LICK: Akiri Hewkii and Ishi Polzin “Jam”
The small bottle clinked as it bumped against Hewkii's foot. He had not moved when Ishi had begun speaking. Part of him was frozen in worry that he'd been found in such a vulnerable state. Another part was trying to come up with a reply. Yet another part wanted to tear open the bottle and read its contents immediately.
Instead he stood straight, and turned. He looked over Ishi in the beating rain, not flinching or looking away. After examining the other Matoran, he met Ishi's gaze and spoke with a heavy sigh.
"I don't expect you to understand why I grieve." Hewkii said. "Turaga Onewa was like a father to me, and losing him was a wound in my soul.
"But...you are correct. I cannot commune with his spirit, and he is passed now. We shall have to do what we can in the here and now." He bent down and picked up the jar, lifting it in Ishi's direction. "Thank you for this." He said. "I will not let your risks go in vain.”
“I’d suggest not opening that until you’re someplace dry then,” Ishi responded calmly despite the itching thumb of Hewkii’s around the metallic rim. “Know someplace?”
Hewkii would not be foolhardy enough to open it in the rain, naturally. That was a given. "Not my hut." he said. "That would be too conspicuous. As I'm sure you're aware, there are a number of unoccupied huts in the village--we can use one of those.”
“Then lead the way.” His sodden coat lingered faintly in place well after Ishi had moved, the hem acting with a mind of its own in the downpour. The natural archway of stone cloistering the cemetery in its hidden canyon provided a reprieve from the rain, but once on the steps into Po-Koro the water fell on the matoran’s shoulders with the same fury as before.
Hewkii headed into the village first, passing by the gate guards alone and trusting that Ishi would follow in his own time. Once he spotted the other Po-Matoran, he passed through the rapidly dissipating crowds, making his way to an area that had been particularly hard-hit by the Rahkshi attack, leaving it depopulated. He selected a hut and hurried inside, shaking off the rain.
"I hate water." He muttered to himself.
Hewkii had disappeared down the winding staircase in the fissure. Ishi remained, the rain continuing to remind him all was not well. /Why did I do that/, Ishi wondered, his feet splashing down the flights of stone hewn steps with a leisurely pace. The sentinels standing watch by the koro’s side entrance let him by without question: what was Ishi but one soaked matoran returning from the land of his dead kin? The dull weight of widgets already in their pockets aided in the lack of vigilance.
He turned toward the southern portion of Po-Koro. On the fringe, closer to the newly erected walls of the city lingered the decrepit hovels of an older style. Domed adobe huts stood weathering away, some with shattered roofs.
I’ll have to ask why Hewkii hasn’t renovated this portion. It’s a complete rat’s nest for thievery, Ishi thought then chuckled at the candid realization of his actions. Focusing on the surroundings, Ishi quickly made his way through a mental game of guess the house Hewkii’s in before settling on a decision and entering, pleasantly surprised to be alone. He shook like a hapaka, the water flinging off his coat in great swathes, rendering the semi-spherical walls with splashes of darkened plaster. The coat soon peeled off his body and was run out in the primitive sink. Compared to the apartment he shared with Nichou the place was a sty. “We’ve come a long way in only four months. Wouldn’t you say so, Hewkii?”
"It depends on how you look at it." Hewkii replied, from the doorway. "Technology, architecture, those sciences which care not for the whims of Matoran...they have advanced apace. But in the realm of politics and those things related to it, we have unquestionably regressed.”
There was a long, drawn out hum of agreement as the brown and gray matoran rigged his damp coat over the only window. The soft thump of water on leather echoed subversively beneath the pattering on the stone roof. “No one followed you? I know how to avoid a sleuth well enough, but you can never tell with ex-athletes. Sometimes the fan-girls just have to get in touch.”
Hewkii chuckled. "I've been dodging attention for three months now. I'm getting better at it. Besides, there's no one out there. I checked.”
"Well, there could always be a toa of sound wearing a huna," Ishi postulated while turning back to face Hewkii, a beaming smile on his face; "but then that would just mean whoever sent them is desperate.”
This earned a chuckle from Hewkii, part bitter and part amused. "Indeed." He glanced down to the bottle in his hand.
“Those are gonna be fun, I’ll admit,” He said, Ishi’s eye followed Hewkii’s actions. “Go ahead: open it. It’s nothing much, really.”
Hewkii nodded and broke the seal on the bottle, unrolling the parchment.
Ishi watched with dry amusement as Hewkii’s face slowly contorted into frustration at what was written. The two pages crinkled in the Akiri’s hand, glass hanging limping in the other. Finding a semi-stable kitchen stool to sit on, Ishi made himself as comfortable as he dared and began.
“Those are encrypted notes. I’ve spent thirty years developing my own language. It’s never been heard or seen by anyone else until now. Honestly, I’m surprised more informants don’t dabble in conlanging. Oh, that basically means to do what I did. Unlike matoran, it’s a devised language created artificially without a historical development of thousands of years to bench upon. What you’re looking at is an entire book of matoran letters on two pages. It’s complex, of course, but I can translate all of that for you in a heartbeat.” Ishi paused his train of thought, reacting quickly to the question beginning to bud on Hewkii’s brow; “yes, I know. How can you trust that these are one hundred percent correct records from the Ga-Koro naval yard as opposed to, say, my hotel bill written after too may bula berry wines, yes? If I’m going to be completely open with you; you need to be completely open with me. A friendship is built on a mutual sharing of information, even if only a business friendship. How deeply has Po-Koro really sunk into the pile of mahi dung known as politics?”
A small smirk crossed Hewkii's face, and he nodded. "Very well." He said. "It's hard to quantify how badly off we are, but I will try. Ta-Koro is hunting for the bomber. Ga-Koro doesn't trust us an iota, despite my efforts to promote trade on that front. Onu...are Onu. Staying out of things and profiting from the misery and mistakes of others, as usual. Ko is an enigma, honestly. We lack any reliable intelligence about their intentions." He said. "Ta, right now, are our biggest problem. I am fairly certain the Sentinels have a combat doctrine which will deter any insufficiently motivated army and force a pyrrhic victory on a sufficiently motivated one at worst. Unfortunately the Sentinels have proven reluctant to follow any kind of system aside from the crudest hierarchy, which makes higher-level planning difficult, if not impossible.
"At the moment my Captain is in Ta-Koro, doing what I don't wish to imagine. I suspect spies in the ranks of the Sentinels. We are behind in technology and the only way we can do so is by dealing with the devil a second time." He said.
“That’s certainly deeper than I’d anticipated. Honestly, I had only heard briefly about the monorail bombing via the Daily, so it’s almost fate that we’d wind up on the same side,” Ishi said after releasing a built up sigh at the list of incumbent problems. What has Hewkii been doing these past three months; he wondered. Obviously he hasn’t opened a book on foreign policy, if they even have books on foreign policy. A foot slipped underneath the stool, toes tapping thoughtfully as Ishi rectified a solution, head ever so slightly bowed. The rain took forte, filling the space between spoken words with a dramatic interlude, allowing the two men to recede into their own thoughts. Finally, Ishi’s hands rose up and clapped, the sharp sound jostling Hewkii back to attention as the smaller matoran said; “I’ve got it!”
Hewkii's eyebrow arched as his attention turned from trying to decipher this "conlang" back to the eccentric Matoran. "A plan?”
“It’s marvelous! So simple, so beautiful, so utterly grisly. When can we start? I want to start right now.”
...He needed a better word than eccentric. "It works better if you explain. I don't have telepathy."
There was a pause as the matoran standing triumphant and excited on the wobbling stool realized he’d forgotten to mention the actual plan. With a roll of his eyes he replied,“Oh right. You’re normal,” and stepped back onto the dirt floor, moisture in the air leaving little flakes of mud sticking to his heels.
“Well, where to begin,” Ishi began, tapping a finger to his lips while nibbling the bottom thoughtfully. “The thing is I’m going to need your trust like you trusted me with the information. I can make this plan work, but you have to do exactly what I say. Exactly.” Ishi emphasized the words consonants like they were life or death. “We’re going to have to pull out all the breaks on this one. It starts with a body; where could someone get a fresh corpse in your koro?”
"The Sentinel morgue." Hewkii said. "I believe they just brought in the corpse of a Ta-Matoran Sentinel they found alongside the railroad tracks with some of the false documents I have salted through our records.”
"So, you're used to falsifying your own information? Good… Good," Ishi said then beckoned with a finger for Hewkii to come closer, eyes wary eyes shifting. "Come closer for the rest.”
Hewkii raised an eyebrow and leaned in. Ishi wasn't so much eccentric as slightly crazy.
“Oi, Nichou, you here?”
Ishi managed to get the apartment door open without dropping the bottles in his hands. Wrapped underneath a thin sheet of metal were pizzas, a pair of Papa Podu’s Signature X-tra Large. Stepping quickly into the kitchen he placed down the food and beverages on the small folding table serving as their impromptu dining room. With a contended sigh he hung his coat up on the back of the door and then knocked on the closed bedroom door. “Hey, Nich’? I got back: let’s par-tay!”
OOC: Unfortunately, the minor Dataclysm ate the following sub-plot: Nichou and Ishi had their pizza from Papa Podu’s while playing a drinking game. During the night, Ishi got his roommate to write a cypher in vegetable ink on a sheet of parchment, which was then slipped into the briefcase of the sentinel mole who had been found dead next to the railway line. There were no witnesses to the espionage, and the cypher became part of the evidence available for the monorail bombing.
IC: Ferron (Po-Wahi Canyons)
Ferron looked at the mask for a few seconds, having similar ideas as Zuria as to the expression awkwardly plastered across the mask. He then discarded the pickaxe as he grabbed hold of the mask and yanked it out. It looked in good condition, if a little worn by its lodging in the stone.
"Alright" Ferron said "no point in wasting anymore time here, let's get back, so we can finish this business up quickly"
"He said it was going to be in Po-Wahi, on the location marked on this map" Ferron explained, pulling out said map from his satchel and showing it to Zuriana.
"I think it's the place" Ferron remarked, what he meant by that was obvious enough.
"Right..." Walking down the market's streets, he disappeared and didn't come back until he had a pack full of food with him. "Bargain price too, only 25 widgets for all of this" He said as he patted the bag, talking to some complete stranger. He then disappeared into the market again, walking around, he came upon a weapons stall.
Qyntar looked around, noticing a beautiful white sword with an indent down the spine of it. He looked up to the salesman and inquired about the sword. "Thing's a true beaut', that one. Bought it of some strange iron-clad fellow back in Ko-Koro, said its center would glow accordin' ta the wielders energies or somethin'." Qyntar nodded. "How much for it then?" He then asked.
With about ten widgets left, a pack full of food in one hand, and a white claymore in the other, Qyntar tried to find his comrades again.
IC: BaranxBaranx smiled a little, this was getting off to a decent start."You said that only let their rider control them. How is one to learn Kikanalo riding then, since each Kiakanalo only listens to its owner's commands?"
OOC: Invoking temporary control over Baranx IC: Korru and Baranx (Sentinel HQ) "Speaking of Dikapi, how is Kikanalo riding like?" "It's the sort of thing that takes a while to master, and it's never the sort of thing that's done in a flash, even if you are good at it. It takes effort, and cooperation" The two entered the stables, where Korru sought out the biggest Kikanalo in the entire stable, almost so big that it didn't quite fit in the pen. "Hi there, Needlenose" Korru greeted and stroke the Rahi's head. Baranx, in the meantime, couldn't help but notice the obvious joke in the picture, a brutishly large steed for a brutishly large Sentinel. "The first thing you need to know about Kikanalo is that they're smart" Korru began "smart enough to tell people apart, and then some" "Right" Baranx replied with a stern nod. "A Kikanalo can tell when somebody other than its rider is trying to order it around, and they can even communicate pretty well, as long you learn their language" To demonstrate, Needlenose arced out his long, sticky tongue and gave Korru a solid lick across his Kanohi. "That means he recognizes me and is happy to see me" Korru mumbled as he wiped the drool of. Baranx smiled a little, this was getting off to a decent start.
IC: Korru (Sentinel HQ)
"Easy," Korru replied, "we have a couple of Kikanalo that are specifically meant for training newcomers. And once traning is finished we'll see to it that a new steed is brought in"
Korru then pointed toward another set of stables a little further off.
"Right there we have Chuck, Fenriz and Little Rhin" Korru introduced the three, pointing to each in order.
For the first time in a long time, I dared to step foot in the Motara Desert. In my mind, warm sands would greet me, searing heat would beat down on my skin and harsh sunlight would stab at my eyes. It had always been that way. However, this time, it wasn’t. Instead, rain disfigures the land, drowning out its features until whatever remains is unrecognizable. Wet sand clings to my feet, drops of water batter my armor a thousand times over and grey clouds permeate the sky.
I feel lost. Confused. Angry. Everything’s wrong. None of it makes sense. It was as if someone turned the world inside out, warping reality into some twisted joke. Only the company of Melna brought forth any sense of familiarity but even then, something was missing. Lux, specifically. He disappeared right under our noses, any trace of the Po-Matoran nonexistent. Automatically, questions and assumptions flooded my thought process, the sudden mental flow unending.
"We've gotta go and find him, Day"
I don’t know what to say. For all it was worth, thinking at this point was irrelevant. He’s gone. Chances of finding him were next to zero in these conditions. A waste of time and effort which could potentially make things worse. Every rational idea dictated that we continue onwards. I wanted to move onwards. It was only logical. But it wasn’t right. If we left Lux to nature’s cruel devices, he’d die alone. I don’t need another death on my conscience. So I do what he’d do in my place.
I’m not quite sure how long it took to find him. Melna’s crouched down beside his body and I stand a little further back. I taste something sour and my stomach is sick. My eyes run their way down his spine, observing the slug with morbid fascination until I can’t take it anymore. Murderous instinct bids me to kill the parasite yet doing so would only end Lux’s life in the process. I can only watch as it feasts off his life energy, eating his body from the inside out and that’s not the end of it. Powerlessness settles in and I hate myself. All my fault. That’s the conclusion I come to. I want to lash out, yell, hit something. Why don’t I?
Melna says something, though I’m too fazed to understand. In an instant, I’m moving and the next, Lux hangs off my shoulder. The rest involves a whole lot of walking.
Outside, rain continues to pour down without rest and at this rate, I doubt it’ll ever stop. Melna and I sit in the hospital lobby, patiently waiting for an opportunity to see Lux. I’m hunched forward, elbows propped onto my knees, lost in thought. It’s been two days since we arrived though time has the habit to slow to a crawl when you’re feeling like this. Why I feel like this, I’m not sure; Lux and I aren’t very tight, nor have we had enough time to develop any sort of strong camaraderie. Sure, it’s expected of me to feel bad, guilty, whatever but downright miserable?
As we wait, I struggle to uncover a little truth about myself.
OOC: Bah, my brain's fried from school. Not one of my better post but I had to pump something out to get us moving
IC: AthielAthiel only bought some food, paper, and charcoal. He intended to make a new rubbing of the map and use what he learned from Akura to translate it himself. He felt no need to go to Ko-Koro when it was so out of their way. While walking about looking for non-essential item, he wondered upon Qyntar."Have you found what you desire, friend?"
"Well, I managed to get a pack full of food for a bargain price, only 25 widgets. But also," Qyntar took out the white claymore "Look at this sword, it's quite unique, don't you think?" Qyntar said as he looked from the sword to Athiel, his eyes asking the question just as much as his words.
IC: BaranxBaranx walked over to each one. They looked smaller, yet older, than the other Kikanalo.Except for little Rhin. The young Kikanalo snorted when Baranx came over and tried to lick his hand."I think this one likes me," Baranx said.
Vrina turned to look at Athiel and Qyntar before heading off to gather several supplies; Preserved bula berries and waterskins filled with.. well what else but water. She exhausted about 75 of her 100 widgets before stopping.. She saw these little cages and they had small birds in them.. with a devious smirk she bought one and with the last of her widgets spent she went back to approach athiel and Qyntar.
"so got my supplies."
"Quite a fine blade indeed. It is obviously of Ko-Koran make, and has been specially designed to channel the wielders element power, not dissimilar to a toa tool. Except this isn't just for toa. Any able to control the elements may wield this to full effect. I used to own one, but I sold it a while ago. Quite a good use of widgets. Are we ready to go?"
OOC: Athiel knows his way around weapons.
"Aye.. and i bought a little bird to tell us if there is anything wrong in these tunnels you speak of."
Qyntar nodded at Vrina's words "That's a good idea" He then turned to Athiel again "But I'm ready when you are."
OOC: Just keep in mind, this sword is special, Athiel can't know everything about this weapon, so keep knowledge of it in minimum, no matter how much I reveal to you ooc.
Vrina smirked a bit
"That is what i thought as well.. Though i am ready to go as well.'
IC: Korru (Sentinel HQ)
"Not unexpected," Korru replied, "Little Rhin has always been pretty welcoming, ain't that right little fella?" he said as he stroke Little Rhin's horn.
Anybody who observed the scene would probably get an idea about who exactly it was that had given the Kikanalo the nickname "Little Rhin". Korru really was obscenely large.
"Anyway, let's get you saddled up" Korru declared and looked over at the rack where the saddles hang. Using his Matatu, Korru levitated one of the saddles over to them.
IC: Melna (Po-Koro Hospital)
Melna was twisting thumbs. She did that when she had a lot of pent up frustration inside, maybe even other people's thumbs on severe occasions, although Melna hadn't reached that point just yet.
As she sat in a chair of her own beside Day, she kept going through the moment where they'd found Lux again and again. The image of him lying there like a useless hunk of Protodermis with that... that... thing lodged into his back was thoroughly burned into her consciousness. Melna's ingrained optimism had taken a solid blow to the nether regions then. This wasn't what she expected at all.
"Don't just go barging into things"
Colx's advice rang in her mind like a hammer of judgement. How little heed she'd paid that one most important of lessons that Colx had tried to impart her with, she'd been a lousy student and a fool for not lending more weight to his words.
"It's my fault" Melna whimpered.
I realized that I wasn't dead when I started hurting.
I was dragged out of unconsciousness by the dull, grinding ache along my spine; the feeling of cold steel around my ankles and wrists; the contractions of my neglected stomach and the hellish burning of my nostrils in the dust. They weren't anything major, I wasn't screaming and thrashing and begging for relief; but they were there, and they poked and prodded me back to life. Slowly, so slowly, my eyes fluttered open.
It was then that I truly realized that I was facedown, lying on a bed with coarse white sheets that smelled a little too much like ammonia for my tastes. I was tied down for some reason, my arms and legs chained to the stone bed frame so that I spread-eagle; and I felt a weight pressing down on my back, seeming to push the pinpricks of discomfort that were there even deeper into my spine.
I regret to say that my first thought on the situation was "Oh God, what did I drink last night?".
Which was followed by "This can't be a good sign".
And then by "Hmm, I wonder where I actually am".
I tested my bonds, but they held steadfastly; my keen, metallurgic eyes told me they had been made out of protosteel. It was hopeless trying to break them. So, instead, I stretched my neck, trying to crane it around so that I could get a sense of where I was.
I was surrounded by white tiles... and when I say that, I do mean surrounded. The floors, the walls, the ceiling were all covered in the ceramic plates, only sometimes interspersed with inset lightstones, covered with panes of translucent crystal. To my right was a small wooden nightstand, devoid of decoration. Everything was plain, mundane, and totally unhelpful in my deductions. I let my head back down to rest on the pillow, wincing slightly at the crick in my neck and the ache in my back.
My thoughts wandered back to the weight pressing down on me, and I quickly assumed that it could only be inextricably linked to the pain lingering in my spinal column. And even if it wasn't, it was certainly strange enough to warrant investigation. I craned my neck once again, shifting my body as far as it could go to get a better view.
They say that amnesiacs are innocent.
So I suppose that God smirked at my innocence.
I remember the colour green, but mottled and pitted like a mould. It was skinny and, I suppose, rather cute in a relative sense; but to me it was a massive as Mount Ihu, and infinitely more monstrous than anything my mind could concoct. It had no eyes, nothing for light to shine off of and give it a sense of humanity; it was absolutely alien to me, separate from anything I could imagine--
--except for me. It squirmed softly along my back, pulsating like a giant, sickly heart. I felt bile rise up in my throat as I thought -- and vehemently tried to deny -- how such a disgusting thing could be touching me.
(not to say that i'm elitist but... but you really had to be there for it, i guess)
Slowly, painfully, inescapably, the word Parakuka rose up in my mind like the sickness in my stomach, and then I felt the slug -- my slug, that slug, some slug, can't-be-my slug -- reach for it with cold fingers. I shuddered, straining to get away from the it, but it always followed. It was always there, staring at me with its eyeless face. I screamed for help, for relief, for anything to save me from this thing. I pulled and pulled against the chains holding me down, hard enough for thin cuts to form on ankles and wrists. But I received no answer. I was alone.
We were alone.
Together and forever.
I wept bitter and futile tears.
Suddenly, amidst my fear and desperation, I felt a warmth spread through my body. I had immediately concluded that my bladder had betrayed me as well as my eyes, but that seemed not to be the case. Pain and comfort flooded my system side-by-side, and my entire body shook. I felt everything inside of me quicken, and the despair that had gripped me fell aside to a wave of adrenaline which hit me with an electric buzz that made my spirit soar and my mind burn like the inside of a star. My hands wrapped around the chains that bound me, and even though they were now claws I wasn't fazed. Everything was all right again. Nothing could hurt me. Nothing could make me stop.
I pulled on my bonds, and they did not give, for they were forged from protosteel. But the stone frame they were attached to shattered like it was made from decorative ceramic, and I leapt to my feet, a free man. The weight on my back grew, but I was too strong, too powerful, too mighty for it to be a burden anymore. I saw the door, the slab of burnished protosteel, and I flew towards it, my fists crashing into its surface with the steady beat of a metronome. One blow after another, each one rattling my body until it felt like my bones would snap, but the door wouldn't move. I clawed at it, smashed the heels of my feet into it, even tried to biting through it, but it would not falter before my power. Frustration joined the cocktail of emotions boiling in my blood, and I tried to release it through a roar like the sound like thunderclaps but nothing changed.
I was not strong enough.
I turned from the door, looking for a new weakness in the room, and found the window which had been facing me from behind. Sunlight streamed in from the blue sky before it; a scene which begged for my flight from this cage.
Because I would not be caged.
I ran to it, and each step was faster than the last, but when I reached the window and tried to escape, I rammed into an invisible barrier that sent me sprawling backwards to the floor. I climbed to my feet, confused and hurting and frightened, and reached out to the window. My fingers, my talons, spread themselves against cold crystal.
And I could break crystal. I knew I could. I had to be able to.
Because you cannot cage a god.
I beat at the surface, raining pummel after pummel into it; but nothing changed. But I kept attacking, and I wasn't just attacking the window, but also everything that I saw in it. Every bird that flew freely and uncaged, every cloud that floated by without a care.
Every monster that stared back at me through the window. I hit and slashed at the creature watching me, the one with blood-red eyes and gnashing teeth and clawed hands and spines and the blind slugs watching everything regardless.
Because you cannot cage a monster.
So I kept on the offensive, never wavering my assault, even as each strike grew weaker than the last, and my knees were turning to water, and my vision was darkening, and I was falling--
And I was fallen.
Everything went dark again.
IC: BaranxBaranx grabbed the saddle from mid-air."So how do I put it on Little Rhin?" Baranx asked. He tried putting it on the way one would for smaller animals like a Dikapi. It worked properly."Glad to see some thing never change," he said."I think I'll need help getting on to this Kiakanalo. I'm Matoran after all, and quite small compared to Little Rhin," Baranx said.
IC: Athiel"Then let's set off. I hope you both brought food and a bedroll. We will be camping tonight."OOC: Athiel just recognized the make and purpose.
"you fancy people with your bedrolls.. don't know what it is like to sleep on the cold hard ground."
"Actually, how about we visit a tavern? Might be nice to grab a drink before we set out." Qyntar put his sword on his back, then looked around. "Although... things have kind of changed since I last came here."
OOC: I have no idea what taverns are actually in Po-Koro
NPC IC: Sign
The paper had been hammered into a rock wall in the center of town. Nobody had stopped the person who hung it up while he did so, so it was most likely legal. It was written in Skakdi lettering, illegible to most non-Skakdi that would see it when they passed.
SKAKDI OF MATA NUI
DO YOU FEEL OPPRESSED OR CONTROLLED?
ARE YOU SICK OF THE KOROS BEING ON THE BRINK OF WAR?
DO YOU WANT TO GET AWAY FROM THE KOROS?
MY NAME IS VHOHAN, AND I HAVE A SOLUTION.
BE A PART OF A GLORIOUS NEW KORO FOR SKAKDI.
FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR PEOPLE, AND THIS ISLAND.
COME TO 567 WEST USSAL STREET IN ONU-KORO FOR MORE.
IC: Athiel"Well, we might as well. We're safe within the city wall and there no reason to rush. Do you know of any Qyntar?" Athiel adjusted his pack, heavy with supplies.
"No, it's not." I said in a hollow tone, sounding as if I was attempting to convince myself that it's not my fault, our fault. Try as we might, Melna and I could never deny the truth and we never would. Someone had to take the blame and that someone would be me. I wouldn't allow anyone else to bear that burden.
I turned to face the Lesterin, briefly taking in her appearance. Deflated, upset, angry. Just like me. In this state, she's a stark contrast to the usual bouncing ball of joy I've come to know. Strange, seeing her like this only worsened my mood. For the briefest of moments, all I wanted was to see her smile. I had to say something, anything, yet no words would come. They never did. I felt helpless in my silence, furious at how incompetent I was, how powerless I was. All I wanted to do was break something.
There was a scream, one that chilled my blood but the worst part was, I recognized the voice. Lux. I started towards his room, pushing past whoever stood in my way. The screaming grew louder but it wasn’t until I reached his door that it stopped.
Then it started all over again, but in a different sense. Dull and monotonous, something battered the metallic door, something big, strong, vicious. A roar. From my end, it sounded like someone had just imprisoned a monster who refused to be caged. Not Lux. Couldn’t be. The chaos continued, its cacophonic presence resonating throughout the hallway. Slowly but surely, the sound began to die down and the silence which ensued seemed louder than anything else.
IC: Korru (Sentinel HQ)
"Gotcha" Korru replied, and picked Baranx up easily. Before plopping him on the Kikanalo's back.
"Now, I'll go out round the back and open this corral. Korru left the stables and did as he'd said. He then led Little Rhin into the fenced area behind the Sentinel HQ.
"This is the training area" he said.
IC: Melna (Po-Koro Hospital)
At first, Melna had looked at Day, face dark and somber, trying to find the words to describe how grateful she was for his support. It really did mean a lot to her, coming from him.
That was cut short when Lux's scream riled up the entire hospital. Melna was right behind Day when he ran off to investigate.
Mata Nui, please save him" Melna pleaded as she skid to a halt next to the agitated De-Toa. For a second she considered asking Day if he could use his mask to look within and see what was going on, but she quickly remembered that his mask only looked like an Arthron. Even so, her concerns were only worsened when the dull thunders started echoing from Lux's room. What in Mata Nui's name was going on in there.
"Someone, anyone" she yelled "open up, he needs help" She would've bashed the door in herself, but her weapons had (for obvious reasons) not been allowed in with her, and she could only lift heavy objects, not tear them off their hinges like a Po-Toa might have done. She was cut short when the chaos slowed to a halt, thinking back to the coccoon of silence that Day had demonstrated back when they first met.
This was like that, except no fun at all.
"Please be okay" Melna whispered
IC: BaranxBaranx was amazed. Despite the relative young age of Rhin, he seemed healthy enough. Baranx could feel the strong breathing of the Kikanalo and feel its strong muscles working to carry Baranx.""Training area. Train riding?" Baranx asked Korru.
"I'm afraid I haven't paid enough attention to my surroundings in my few visits to Po-koro, so no." Qyntar looked around, a concerned expression on his face. "In fact, I don't know where we are right now..."
Vrina shook her head a bit
"I have never been to Po-koro before so i have no idea what is here."
IC: Athiel"Then I would recommend we look for navigation signs if you would like to go."
Vrina nodded slowly as she hears this
"Well i will admit an inn would be nice before we embark on this.. a good night's sleep will do us all good especially since i stayed up on watch."
IC: Korru (Sentinel HQ)
"Yup" Korru replied as he opened the gate to let Needlenose out as well.
The considerably larger Kikanalo snorted in acknowledgement at Little Rhin as he lumbered over to Korru.
"Now Needlenose," Korru said to the herbivore, "I'm gonna need a little help here, you up for it?"
Needlenose nodded, and looked over at Little Rhin again with a look that said "time to get busy, kid"