IC (Jin)You know how sometimes you’re just walking along and all of a sudden the weirdest things start happening? Yes? No? Well, this was one of those days.Dorian, Grokk and I had gotten out of the alley, which was nice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it had its charms, but I was too busy trying not to gag on the smell of garbage to notice them. We’d made our way to a nice little place by the shore. Good food, nice atmosphere (a surprise for Xa-Koro) and drinkable liquor. We’d discussed the Bad Company here and there, but most of the conversation was made up of the two men poking fun at each other. I swear, these two guys seemed to live off of their one liners. For the most part, I just sat back with a glass of fine red wine and listened, getting to know my partners in crime.The night ended, and we each retired to our rooms. I responded to Grokk’s crude comment about sharing a bed by saying that I’d rather sleep on the street with the carcass of a dead Takea, as it would probably smell better, and the ensuing laughter on Dorian’s part set them off again, trading banter as I slipped away to my room.I’d made sure to get a room with a window; rooms with nothing but blank walls always feel too small, no matter how big they are. I opened the window, allowing the cool night air to flow into the room, along with the noise of Xa-Koro that rarely, if ever, abated. I polished my knives and fans until they gleamed, then sat by the window for a while, looking out over the city. Xa-Koro was the only place on this rotten island that reminded me even a little of home, so I liked to soak it up whenever I could.My attention had been caught after a few minutes by a familiar figure walking down the street. It was Dorian; where was he going? My eyes were drawn to something glowing on his arm… something white.Naturally, I followed, and Dorian led me to one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in my life. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, so I’ll just skip it.Anyone, after the whole temple/mark bearer thing I didn’t tell you about, I continued following Dorian into the jungle. At this point, I was really feeling like a stalker, but this Heuani guy that Dorian was following was way too interesting to abandon the chase. He was tall, dark and handsome, but it was more than that: he had this cool vibe that you couldn’t help but like. I had a feeling I’d follow him even if Dorian weren’t here.I stayed as silent as possible as I followed the pair, moving through the canopy of the jungle. The trees grew so tall and so close together that it was child’s play to move from one limb to the next, although it began to get more difficult as night fell.Then they stopped, and I stopped too, watching from the treetops as the Toa of Iron and his companion went from friendly conversation to trying to kill each other. Wow. Talk about bipolar. I stayed out of the way, figuring I’d wait till the end and see what happened. If Dorian looked like he was gonna die, I’d step in… or maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I’d cheer on the Toa of Shadow (whoa, shadow –that was new), and then try and get an invitation to wherever he was hanging out tonight after this was all over.It ended more abruptly than I’d thought, though. I blinked, and suddenly Dorian was unconscious, nailed to a tree, and Heuani was gone, disappearing into the shadows he controlled. I waited five long minutes just to make sure he was really gone (if he was as powerful as he looked, I had the feeling he might have known I was following all along, and just laid a trap to nail me to a tree too, but it looked like he was really gone.I sighed. You find a charming man, and then he slips through your fingers, leaving nothing but corpses in his wake. Every time.But Dorian wasn’t a corpse –not yet, at least. I dropped off the limb I was on, swung form a branch, and landed softly in front of the unconscious Toa.Dorian was still handsome, even when bloodied and knocked out. A scarlet trail ran down the side of his face, dripping off into the underbrush, but that was nothing compared to the river of blood that was pouring out of his chest, pierced by his own sword.I looked closely at his face, or, rather, at the tree next to it. There, pinned into the wood, was a lightning bug, skewered by an iron spike just like Dorian. I didn’t know what it meant, but I had got the feeling that this Toa of shadow didn’t do anything without a reason. It was probably symbolic or something. Dorian was nothing more than a bug to him, a bug to be tolerated and then squashed without remorse.I winced. Talk about morbid thoughts. I’d have time enough for those after I rescued Dorian. I mean, of course I had to rescue him. He was my only link besides Grokk to the enigmatic Bad Company, and the Skakdi probably wouldn’t stick up for me if he found out I’d let his partner die. It was more than that, though. I’m really not the kind of gal to leave a friend to die on a tree. Sure, I’d only met Dorian a day or two ago, but he was a fun guy, one I’d like to get to know. And that did not include getting to know his corpse.If I wanted to keep him from dying though, I had to get him off this tree and to a proper healer. Sure, I knew some first aid, but I had a feeling CPR wouldn’t do much good here. Dorian’s raspy breathing had less to do with a blocked airway and more to do with the fact that there was a sword stuck through his abdomen.Speaking of that… taking hold of the handle of the sword, I pulled with all my might. Had the shadow Toa not been exhausted form his fight, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to make the blade budge, but as it was I managed to pull it out, letting Dorian’s body flop to the ground.I winced. Ouch. Not the best course of action. Also now his wound was bleeding freely. Not good.Whipping off my shirt (I still had something on underneath, you perverts), I wrapped the gash as tightly as I could. The blood quickly began to soak through, but the pressure would keep him from bleeding out for, oh, probably the next half hour, if I was lucky.I picked up the unconscious Toa and pulled him onto my back. He wasn’t much of a burden, seeing as I’m pretty strong for a Vortixx and there’s nobody better when it comes to endurance. Still, I had a feeling this would be a rough trek to Xa, especially since I had to get there as soon as possible.I began to jog through the forest, back the way I had come. The moon had risen, and the few beams that lanced through the canopy allowed me enough light to keep from tripping and falling flat on my face. I navigated the tangle of roots and underbrush, keeping a steady pace that would get us to Xa in under an hour, if I could hold it.And I needed to hold it; no, I needed to go faster. If I wanted this Toa to live, I needed to move.You better thank me for this, you son of a Piraka.