IC: Prei When Prei had returned to the headquarters following his impromptu lunch break, he had not expected to find everyone crouched behind the couch and sneaking peeks at the janitor, who seemed to be drawing some sort of fancy circle out of chalk. Usually he would simply dismiss such an event as another quirk of his colleagues and return to work, but this time, his curiosity overcame him."What's going on?" he whispered, dropping down next to the closest guard member he could find."Naona took time off," was the reply. "The janitor, along with some of the newer recruits, decided to prepare an exorcism for when she comes back.""What."The doughnut lover did not even bother with surprise. He was simply incapable of grasping the incredulity of the situation. It was true that he had experienced many absurd events throughout the course of his life, but an attempt to exorcise their colleague and resident workaholic took the cake."Yeah, I know the LT ain't possessed," continued the guard, "but this is going to be comedy gold!"Prei pressed his palm to his mask in exasperation. If this was the average competency of the force, then it was no wonder they kept on dying so easily. He quickly took back the thought; several of his friends had died as well,and disrespecting their memories was something he definitely would not want to do."Just do what you want," he sighed. "I'm going to find Tera."The Mahiki-wearer gracefully turned away from his moronic colleagues, and promptly strode out the door.
OOC: Sorry for the wait, I was really busy this weekend.
IC(Roase):"Now, now Mister Toa. Everybody knows Mata Nui is a child's story, like talking Rahi and nice Skakdi."
"Of course, General. Just common rumours among the rabble. You're a rather lucky man however, very few get to meet the Firestorm king, much less earn a generous bowl of mash from him. I think he's finally recognized your contribution to the world over here."
OOC: Pssh, no worries. I don't mind.
"Do you really think so? I always tried my best. My wife always used to say, 'Roase, would get the kraz off the couch and do something for once? The stars aren't gonna name themselves!'"
Roase starting clapping after something in the air, then closed them tight as if he was holding something. "How do I know if the other mister Toa really does like me? Lots of people have gotten me mash. My wife always used to call me, 'her mash-eater.'"
"What a silly question, of course he does! Who else do you know around these parts who names stars? Who else watches over Po-Koro from the sky like some benevolent god? Who else has the honour of calling themselves General Vakama?"
Let that sink in.
"I may not have been with the Firestorm King for a long time but I can guarantee you one thing: never will he ever do something without good reason. "
A rather stupid grin spread over Roase's face. "You know something, mister Toa? I bet he really does like me! Next time I see him, I'm gonna give him a big hug! It's the least I can do for him getting me that mash."
What a lovely sight that would be.
"I'm sure he'll appreciate that very much." Maioro said grinning. Maybe this guy wouldn't be so bad to have around. "What say you to another bowl of mash?"
Roase buried his face in his hands and started sobbing. "I-I knew it! Y-you want t-to make me fat so-so you can eat m-me!"
Maioro frowned yet this sudden outburst of emotion didn't surprise him.
"Why would I want to eat you? You're the great General Vakama, it'd be a darn shame if I ate you. They don't call Araedrex the Firestorm King for no reason too. He'd tie me to a stake and watch me burn for such insolence."
"You're a special guy and I think you deserve a second bowl of...y'know what, let's go eat somewhere nice, you and me. My treat. If anyone'll get fat, it's me."
Roase suddenly switched from crying to a violent coughing fit. This went on for a few seconds, but he recovered with a smile on his face. "I do like the sound of that, mister Toa!"
Maintaining his charismatic composure, Maioro escorted Roase out of the dingy restaurant and into the bustling streets of Po-Koro. The pair weaved their way through the crowds and streets, the Toa of earth careful not to let his elderly 'friend' out of sight.
Eventually, the two happened upon a fancy restaurant well known around town and they entered. Roase, in all his glorious filth, didn't exactly meet the place's standards, and its occupants' reactions amused Maioro very much.
Might as well have fun with this...
Roase gasped when he saw the inside of the restaurant. It was far fancier then he thought it would be. He begin searching around in his robes for a while, pulling out several rotting towels, much to everybody's horror, before pulling out a foul-smelling hat. He placed it upon his head and gave a disgusting grin. "'Always wear a hat in a fancy restaurant,' my father told me."
The smell hit him instantly. It was so pungent and thick that Maioro had to resist the urge to gag. Maybe this wasn't going to be so pleasant after all. A small Matoran reluctantly stepped up to serve them, fumbling nervously with his words.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"And why's that?"
"Your...your friend doesn't...well...he's not...decent."
Maioro frowned, glancing at Roase. "You're making a mistake. Do you know who this is? Come Roase, introduce yourself."
"With the vast and uncharted jungles of Le-Wahi, there would be any number of hiding places for the culprits to hide out in. Seemed like the logical idea..."
Lohkar removed his hand from his face and took several slow steps forward, until he was directly in front of Gunner, standing eye-to-eye with the First Mate. He stared into his subordinate's eyes, his face intimidatingly close to Gunner's.
"Mate," he said, "have I ever, in the long time that you've known me, in the many strange an' dangerous exploits we've been through, have I ever struck you as the kind o' guy that followed the logical idea?"
A grin broke out across Lohkar's face, and he slapped Gunner's shoulder playfully.
"Ah, no harm done, mate," he said. "But the plan was, an' still is, ta stick together with our new *ahem* friends over there in that big armoured snail of a boat. So that's what we're doin'."
The Infernavika's captain bounded up the steps to the wheel, and unlocked it, starting to bring the ship back onto the correct course.
"Besides," he continued, grinning wider, "who wants ta see the looks on the Marines' faces when we stroll into Ga-Koro, eh?"
Roase smacked Maioro in the shin with his cane. "I said keep it secret!" he snapped. "You Toa and your big mouths!"
Maioro also resisted the urge to punch Roase in the face.
"Sorry. Still, he said you're not decent and that's a no no. We deserve to be here."
"Why I you stuck up-" and Roase suddenly began whacking the Matoran with his cane, and as he backed up, Roase advanced. "Telling an old man that he has no right to be here! FOR SHAME! I outta teach you a lesson, you shriveled up piece of brakas!"
It was a bright afternoon. Sunlight fell through a partly cloudy atmosphere to watch the people of Mata Nui going about their lives. The sea around the island lapped in its normal patterns, turquoise under the happy light. For the most part, the Koros were peaceful on this afternoon. Matoran walked the streets performing their daily businesses – buying and selling, farming, weaving, carving – and the warm glow from on high relieved a little of the weary tension that had sat in their shoulders for too long. On such a fine day as this, with no antagonistic Rahi in sight, none of their friends on the march, it wasn’t so hard for the more optimistic Matoran to feel that the Great Spirit may have blessed them with a rare good day. The wiser ones knew better than to hope.
Somewhere within close proximity to the Koros, unnoticeable at first, there were slight tremors in the earth. Perhaps a leaf or two rustled, or a pebble bounced, snows or sands shifted. The tremors could easily have been mistaken at first for wind, but it was not long before they escalated into discernible quakes. Anyone who stood by chance over the patch of disturbed ground would have been able to tell that something under their feet was moving, may even have been able to hear a rumbling crack. The faces of the first Matoran to notice blanched, and they quickly ran back to the safety of their Koros, shouted the alarm. Nobody could know what was coming from below him or her, but by the feeling of it, it had to have been big.
With the speed of wildfire in dry grass, the fearful word of the trembling in the earth spread, and it was only a matter of minutes before practically the whole Koro was peering anxiously from behind cover at the patch of ground which, by now, was visibly shaking, tossing dust and debris about. The patches were all situated someplace easily within view, right at the doorsteps of the Koros; it was clearly a strategically placed disturbance. The noise of breaking ground was a pervasive growl interspersed with sharp sounds of fracturing rock. The Matoran watched with unconsciously held breath. The warriors among them already had their weapons ready; if today was to be a day when they would fend off an assault, so be it. The Matoran of Mata Nui may have been small, but they were not helpless against Makuta's pet Rahi.
Against what emerged from the ground, though, they stood no chance.
The final cracking noises were loud as gunfire, and the rock of the earth shattered outwards like ten thousand arrowheads, injuring any who were too close. The ground exploded completely into shards, revealing a gaping maw of a tunnel, wide enough for the passage of a legion. And a legion marched forth from the earth, arranged in the formations of a well-trained army. At the front of the columns were brown, spiny creatures wielding sharp-edged staffs. Even the Matoran who had never seen one of these frightful beings before knew that these, and the countless others behind them, were Rahkshi. The many brown Rahkshi of Shattering, which had carved the way for those behind them, screeched in challenge and exploded nearby boulders as signs of force, then moved to the back lines to preserve their strength. The others strode out on their long legs in unison step, weapons held with deadly ease.
Line by line, the Rahkshi emerged from Makuta's secretly-developed system of tunnels, a project he had set his tireless sons to some weeks ago. Each contingent had carved through the earth on their straight paths, and all had simultaneously broken through the final barriers before their targets at the order of their master. Every breed, every shape of spine and pattern of staff, was represented in the ranks, each different color interspersed at random with the others. There were perhaps a hundred Rahkshi at the foot of every Koro, each one a warrior with more speed and strength than two Toa combined. There were no forces in any Koro that could give any challenge to such a host of the staff-wielding creatures.
None in the people in the Koros moved or spoke. They waited for the Rahkshi to make the first move, but the Rahkshi, once assembled before the holes they had stepped out of, stood in still readiness. If any were foolish enough to try and brave the creatures, they were killed before they even reached the tips of the staffs. After any futile attacks ceased and silence returned to the tense standoff, the scattering of red Rahkshi of Fear began to scream, and they were rapidly joined by all their brothers. The cacophony of a hundred shrill voices curdled blood for miles around; the likes of the sound had never been heard on the island of Mata Nui. The shrieks died down after a few seconds, leaving the Rahkshi standing as they were: ready, but motionless.
The people of Mata Nui wondered how long it would be until the army that spelled their doom would strike.
OOC: Ryzen from Ko.IC: RyzenRyzen looked down as he walked, somewhat fascinated in the sand. We certainty do not get this back there. Although I should be expecting that. Sand is very much different from snow.Ryzen planned to head into town for more information, similar to what he usually does. Whatever.
IC: MImira - Infernavika -
"I'm bored!" Mimira suddenly exclaimed for all to hear aboard the ship, though it was mostly directed to Lasinia.
"Can I try rum?" She decided to pretend the first time she tried it never happened. Surely something different would happen if she tried it again, right?
"No Mimi, no rum," said Lasinia sternly. "Have juice instead. It's like rum, except it won't steal your wallet."
Strack nodded, thinking over this for a few seconds. then he said "well, since we're going to be here for a while, might as well practice. this area is sandier than what i'm used to, going down a couple feet before hitting stone. it's a bit of a pain to get through, and at the speed i'll need to be going at, I'll have to have mastered it". so Strack stood up, walked a couple feet, and clenched his fist. ten seconds later, stone "vines" erupted from the ground. he tried again and again, getting it down to 8 seconds.
IC: PreiBy the time Prei had learnt of the Rahkshi presence, the guard decided to do the logical thing: find the highest ranking guard in the village for orders.Aka Tera.
Kale Ironshaper- Fowadi- Po-wahi
IC: Before the rahkshi had broken through the sand of the Po-wahi desert, the pair of ships exited the area and headed towards Ga-wahi.
OOC: Fowadi and Co. to Ga-wahi.
IC: Ryzen"Honestly, I have no idea where Po-Koro is." Ryzen spoke to himself. Why...did I have to do that. I might get seen. Not that I'd care. Ryzen kept walking further in the desert, with the village in mind. I was already thinking of heading here, before Ko-Koro. Now I am here, I will have to get to the village. This, is going to be so much fun. he thought to himself, sarcastly.OOC: Open for interaction.
Having decided that finding Tera would be too much of a hassle for the moment, Prei decided to make his way to the town square, sucking in a deep breath for his announcement.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. YOU MAY NOTICE THAT WE HAVE RAHKSHI OUTSIDE. ANYONE WHO WISHES TO HELP GARRISON THE VILLAGE, PLEASE COME HERE."
IC: RyzenRyzen walked for around - two hours? Or was it three? He'd lost all sense of time in the desert. I don't know. Oh, I really don't know. It's probably just fatigue. Hadn't rested for days. No matter how tired he was, Ryzen continued to go on. Toward the village, or where he thought it was. He was a lone Toa in the vast desert. How interesting, he thought. A needle in a haystack. But the needle has nowhere to go, or does it? He smirked. Things were going to change, sooner or later.
OOC: Moving from Kini Nui. One day later…
IC: Wokodin – Motara Desert
After camping among the mountains, the rocky landscape finally gave way to hot dunes extending far into the horizon. The sun’s limited rays as it rose were still notably warmer here than in other parts of the island. I had definitely returned to my home region, and I soaked in the welcoming warmth.
Despite my joy at being home, I was getting anxious to return to the walls of Po-Koro. I had been gone for a very long time, mostly walking on foot. After my recent battle with two minions of Makuta, a ride back to the village would serve my feet well.
Having memorized the landmarks in this desert from a thousand travels across this very stretch, I knew the route to the Kikanalo stables. You could rent one from here and drop it off at the Po-Koro stable for a reasonable price. I turned slightly to my left and continued my path past the three egg-shaped rocks that had not moved from their spot for centuries; and as such, I knew to pass by these innocuous landmarks to continue on the path to the stables.
I had walked to the stables from here before, and knew that it would take about twenty more minutes.
IC: RyzenIt's hot. Like I wouldn't notice that. Not half as bad as Ta-Wahi, though. And I still have my ice powers, like I'm going to lose them. Ryzen snorted. That sounded very absurd, a Toa losing their power. Is that even possible? Unless you give up your Toa power, no. And I don't see me doing that soon. I didn't find a destiny, or a path to take yet. That's not easy.Ryzen sighed. Watching the sun shine on the sand and rocks, he continued. To him, this setting seemed almost...sad. He wondered why, he rarely felt any sorrow. I have almost no feelings now. At least, not to others. They are my own, to keep inside me unless I let them out. And it's not very easy, to let your own mind sanctuary out to others. No, not easy at all. Maybe more walking would do me some good, and relieve me of the world. Just now.
The Mystix safely below deck again, and with Beynii on-board...
The Fortune headed off to Ga-Koro.
OOC: Fortune and all who are on-board to Ga-Koro.
The Toa of Iron stood just outside one of the many stone buildings that made up the village of Po-Koro, glancing about the area in apparent confusion. Something was on the other side, a lot of somethings. Then came the scream. A horrible scream, one that brought up memories that never should have been seen again. Aelynn froze where she was standing, eyes wide in shock, frozen in fear.
"So... On a scale of one to bad... I'm going to assume that's über-mega-ultra bad," Auron said, sporting a new cloak. The blue-shaded Ta-Toa stood by Aelynn, already reaching for the sword strapped onto his back.
Prei burst through the doors of the hospital, striding up to the room where Tera was in.
"Rahkshi. Outside. Plan. Now."
Terilis shrugged, and stood up. He tried to summon a bit of electricity, but it crackled weakly in his hand. He sighed. Of course this would happen.
"I... can't really do much in the desert. So much dirt in the air grounds and absorbs the electricity I put out."
He lightly pulsed again, with much the same result. He could put out more energy, but he didn't want to risk shocking Strack...
IC: Tera turned and looked at Prei with obvious shock. "Okay, Zieta, this'll have to wait unless you want to help. It'll lessen your sentence." She walked out of the hospital with Prei, not looking to see if Zieta was following. A messenger was dispatched to Texin and Ronah to extend the offer to the others, except Mayhaka. This was no time for trigger-happy "heroes".
"Prei, get all the guardsmen together, as well as any volunteers. We need all the help we can get."
For once her mask was silent, probably quaking in fear.
It would be surprisingly easy for the Po-Koro Guard to mobilise, especially as he was sure that most of them were still in the headquarters, watching the ridiculous attempt by the janitor to create a magic circle. He would know, seeing that he had been there only minutes prior.
"I believe you will be better at obtaining volunteers," he added. "I can mobilise the guard."
IC: Tera nodded. "Okay."
She walked outside, whistling to get the attention of all those in the square, her Guard insignia flashing on her shoulder. "ATTENTION. I assume you all have noticed the Rahkshi outside the village. If there is anyone that can fight, heal, or fortify, I call on you. There may be rewards, such as they are, but that assumes we survive."
"Those men and women back in the guardhouse will be up there, fighting for your safety if they attack. I urge you, help us hold the line!"
"Aelynn... We should help," Auron said, glancing at his companion.
The headquarters were just as Prei had left them, filled with the hustle and bustle of guards. They too, had heard of the Rahkshi outside the village walls, and were quickly arming themselves for an inevitable battle. Although their numbers were small, they would do everything in their power to stop the invaders.
"Everyone ready?" asked the Gravity Toa. "Good, because we're all going to die."
IC: RyzenRyzen had walked for a bit longer, he was not so sure how. Keeping his eyes forward, he waited until he actually was somewhere. This is a total waste of time. I should've never left Ko-Wahi. Then again, he didn't have much of a choice, being lost in the drifts. Or what he thought to be the drifts.Ryzen noticed something up ahead. "It must be the village", he muttered to himself. "But, why does it look strange?" The Ko-Toa looked closer, and saw some creatures surrounding the village. What...are those? Can't see much, but they look like Rahkshi to me. Of just Rahi. Whatever it is, I should stay away. Ryzen, who was about to head into the village, decided to take a large circle around it, and started to walk in that direction.
"R-right," the Toa of Iron replied, dragging herself out of painful memories. She had seen Rahkshi before, at the hive battle. It really wasn't something she needed to focus on right now. With a single movement, the silver-armored Toa slid out her only weapon at the moment, at long bladed kampilan. Having powers over metal definitely would help her if it came to a fight. "Let's go."