Ic: On the first leg of the tour Brykon had just one more thing on the agenda as he brought Dorian close to a particularly noisy part of the street. He passed by with the same indifference, but the street bottlenecked there and as Brykon sifted through the thick traffic his tail disappeared in the crowd of bodies. Dorian looked to see what the noise was: Workers, drilling into the soft swampy ground and erecting wooden board walls to keep nature from poping into their hole. Nothing seemed to be wasted as the crew did many tasks at once; as some dug into the soil, others shoveled peat into buckets on hoists which were lifted and dried on beds of heated clay, then moved away for use in heating homes or fueling furnaces. Lumber was brought in as were other tools for digging and expanding while others created concrete. It was a hustle of creative engineering and productive society, curiously manned by the same scum who lived lives of crime the last time Dorian witnessed them. The transformation of the city seemed to be a slow pricess as much as it was a complete metamorphosis.But like everything, there were secrets. Brykon helf answers to some of them, and what he didn't know would be told soon enough. He turned to another alley, trusting that Dorian's other accomplice would point her master the right way. Down the alley was one of several legitimate bistros and Brykon entered it. "Table for one, mister sherrif?" the waiter asked as he cleaned a table. The place wasn't packed but there were enough people to contitute a crowd. It seemed even at the early morning hours people still longed for good food and quiet."No, for four," he said. "I'm expecting company.""This way, then," the man said, leading Brykon to a table in one of the corners of the place. He took the seat affording him the best view of the entrance. He waited for Dorian to come in.
IC: Dorian (Restaurant, Xa-Koro)Brykon didn't have to wait long. Soon enough, I walked through the door - I'll let Grokk make the bad puns, reader; I think more highly of you than that - with my thumbs and a huge grin on my face. The waiter, all smiles and charm for the supermodel before him, came over to me and asked if I was seating one. When I told him no, I had business with the sheriff, old family friend, he seemed only too happy to oblige me, and in minutes I was seated at Brykon's right, my head leaning against the window. Blue eyes met blue eyes and I grinned at the other Toa of Iron before me."So, I'm guessing you didn't bring me here because the Xa-Koran chefs learned how to properly cook a steak in the space of a few weeks," I said playfully, rolling a widget around my fingers. "Hey, Bry. Missed you."-Teezy
Ic: Brykon wasn't susprised with the chipper attitude Dorian effortlessly displayed, even here. He looked at Dorian carefully and opened his mouth to speak but the waiter came over before he could say anything. "Can I get either of you something to drink?" he offered."Vodka," Brykon ordered. "Two glasses.""Yes, s--""Stop. Make it four," Brykon interrupted. "That is, unless the others don't fancy hard liqueur," he said, looking at Dorian's eyes. "Speaking of which, where are they?"
IC: Dorian (Bistro, Xa-Koro)One stark eyebrow rose high above the other, brushing my forehead. A split second's worth of time went by, then another, before I turned to the waiter and smiled calmly."We'll take four," I mouthed, and as he walked away, I turned back to Brykon and put my feet up on one of the other chairs, leaning back against the window. The man's eyes revealed nothing but a want of the truth, a crusade to find out everything passing through his little corner of the sky. My smile intensified, along with my smooth demeanor, and I shrugged."Just for the sake of argument, who are the others?"-Teezy
IC: Sinina, Xa-KoroAs Sinina finalized her plan, she sheathed her swords, and steeled herself, changing her expression into one of friendliness and surprise."Raxa!" Sinina called as she walked towards the Toa of Crystal. "How delightful to see you here. It has been a while, hasn't it? Who's your friend?" She asked, glancing at Mirehu.
IC-Raxa:"Hmm?" Raxa turned, seemingly having been lost in thought for a moment. He looked over to Sinina, and his eyes widened in genuine happiness, and fake surprise."She's just somebody I helped get out of Heulrak's clutches," he said, waving off the thought. "I was just taking her to get some new armour, when we stopped here to rest..." then his eyes lowered, his face seemingly sad...with the ghost of a smile on his lips."So sorry to hear about Onyx, by the way," he mentioned quietly. "It must be hard on you, eh?"
Ic: "Don't be coy, Dorian," Brykon warned. "Illicia and that girl you had on the rooftops," he listed despite honestly didn't know what sex the other one belonged to, but knowing Dorian there was a good chance it was a woman. "It would be wonderful if they came to join us." The cigar dangled precariously from his teeth as he spoke, dropping ash on the table that he scopped up and brushed off as the glasses came. He avoided eye contact with the waier, knowing smoking in that establishment was not encouraged. But as if to disregard the rule of the house he blew his acrid smoke at the waiter's back as he fled to his counter.
IC: Dorian (Bistro, Xa-Koro)In answer to Brykon's invitation, I turned and looked out the window; on the balcony of an inn, just out of Brykon's sight, Illicia lay crouched behin a corner, gun ready for an ambush. I jerked my thumb once towards our table, and she nodded, making her way down. I turned and looked to see Jin loitering outside the restaurant, fanning herself and electrocuting other guys whenever they gave her the wrong type of glance. I turned and looked at Brykon, who had one eyebrow raised at the display."It was funnier when she did it to Grokk," I muttered, catching Jin's eye, kissing my fingertips, and then beckoning towards the table with them. Both Vortixx made their way towards the restaurant.-Teezy
Ic: Brykon's guess was right. The successful stab at Dorian's instinct hardened his resolve for their meeting; if he was right about Dorian's primal behaviours, then Dorian was at his core the same man he knew from before. "That's much better," he said. "No surprises, see? Now who's the new face?" he asked, referring to Jin.
IC: Dorian (Restaurant, Xa-Koro)"She is Naryth's replacement.""I wasn't aware Naryth needed replacing.""Oh, he needed replacing," I replied as Jin sat down. "He was a traitor, and what's worse, he was a moron. Not even a particularly skilled one, either. My friend Jin here, on the other hand, is exactly what the team needs, especially after Illicia's little...slip-up."-Teezy
IC: Illicia"Now now," came Illicia's voice, accompanied by the footsteps of her graceful strides, from a short distance behind Dorian. "I know I was a bad kitty, but I thought we resolved that issue..." the Vortixx took the last empty seat at the table, nodding her greeting to Brykon as she did so.
Ic: Best play the fool, Brykon understood, to figure out what the opponent is up to. Of course he knew what happened to Naryth -- the iStone and the memo was rushed to his face as soon as the Peers saw it all unfold. Dorian had done a lot to the credit of Bad Company, and it wasn't as if Brykon wouldn't have done the act himself, but Dorian did it more efficiently and for that the colonel wasn't going to argue about it. Dorian was, as far as he could understand, loyal, but not to the same purpose Brykon was: Dorian was loyal to him, not his employers.That fact had led to an argument between Aurelia and himself over what to do with the Dorian conundrum. Bring him fully into the fold? Or keep him as a reserve and let him figure out what was happening by himself? In the end, it was the other Peer in the room, the doctor, who provided the solution: Bring him up to speed, but not into the true extent of the operation. Dorian's inocense was still prized and Aurelia still enjoyed seeing him frolick about.Brykon remembered the cruel conversation the woman Peer had with him. "I have to admit, Brykon, Dorian does lead a life far more fascinating than yours. Why aren't you as active as he?""I have better things to do than bed traitors," he replied.Aurelia wasn't impresed. "Dorian kills them, too. You're not original, Brykon. Maybe we should just promote him and leave you dead in the slums? Your epitaph would be just as empty either way."Those words stung Brykon's pride like nothing else. As the anger built in him he simply left the room and sulked into the streets, clinging to his badge of office like it was his last vestige of honor he had to deflect the depression all around him. But he left mainly because he wanted to break the woman's neck for what she said.His mind snapped back to the present and he sipped at his clear drink, feeling the burn of the volatile fluid as it spread through his throat. For now he was still in charge and he had to keep it that way. "Why did you come back?" he asked, having a deja vu moment; hadn't he been in a similar position in Onu-Koro? "After what I did to you the last time you came back, you still came looking for me. What are you doing here?"
IC: Dorian (Bistro, Xa-Koro)"I came back because I knew you needed me around, and I told you that when you did, I'd be there," I said simply. "In return, a counter-question: after what I did to you, why are you still questioning my motives, Bry?""Because that's my job." Brykon replied. "Because I have to be concerned about every thing that could be important, but most of all because I care." It was a swift but eloquent answer that threw Dorian off his guard and resonated more deeply than the two women at the table could tell.He was right. I was thrown off my game, and now that maddening aura of calm that I had held against even Heuani was ruffled like the fur of a dog after you were doing petting it. I blinked, slowly and calculatingly, to make it appear as though I weren't doing so too fast or too slow. Jin and Illicia looked on as though nothing had happened, but Brykon and I both knew the full meaning of what had just been said."In that case, then," I said, before coughing: I made the motion seem as though my throat was dry and in need of moisture, so nobody picked up on anything. "In that case, you'll be happy to know that we do, in fact, have a full team again. Isn't that right, girls?"-Teezy
Ic: "Welcome back, Illicia," Brykon finally said to aknowledge the tamed kitty, "and welcome, Jin," he said to the same effect. "But before you get too excited, you have to know that things have changed, Dorian." He gestured at the little street outside and, by viryue, the rest of the town. "A lot has changed while you were gone and the casino isn't one of our priorities anymore. We have a different directive for now."
IC: Dorian (Bistro, Xa-Koro)As my eyes scanned the newly redecorated Xa-Koro, I half-heartedly took my glass of vodka and took a sip, the coarse liquid running down my throat; for the purposes of my dry throat act, I acted as though I was slowly sated by the drink and set it down again after another sip. My attention shifted back to Brykon, who was staring at me, awaiting a reaction of some sort. I gave none; whether he was pleased or disappointed at this response to his test, I wasn't sure."So, what are our priorities besides growing a Koro wide community garden?"-Teezy
Ic: Brykon took a deep breath before he exmplained it, thinking if this was the apropriate place to to it. Seeing that there were no snoops, he decided to go ahead. "Xa-Koro was a lawless town, and in many ways it still is. But when you left, my boss came into town and instituted law. She created a use for these people, these... hyopeless derelicts of society, and she gave them hope, purpose in a life that seemed so empty. It's a delicate thing, though, what she wants, and she had to keep things in order, in progression. To ensure that things went according to her agenda, we were elisted to effectively 'rule' in public for her. It's not glorious on the outside, but that's not what matters. What matters is what we do beyond the badge.""And what's that?" Dorian asked, not particularly enthralled by what he was hearing. He already guessed most of that.Brykon looked about again, the sort of paranoia that was healthy and came from a life of instinct. He suddenly did not feel like that was the safest place to speak further -- or just not the appropriate place. No, there were better locations to show what he meant. Still, he gave a teaser. "We're constructing something, several things, throughout the city. Things nobody knows, that we can not let anyone know. We safeguard the real meanings of being in Xa-Koro. Drink up, the lot of you, I have something else I have to show you."
IC KetruKetru was hungry again. He went to another restaurant and ordered rice wine while he considered what to order.OOC Open for interaction
IC, Nilyn (bunnying Kellin as allowed by Tyler): "I think we should turn back."Kellin turned around. "Why?""What if that... thing comes back? We'll never make it out alive," responded Nilyn. "My life is more important than the stuff that may or may not be in this place...""Alright, let's turn around, then."The pair walked back through the tunnel to where the ceiling had collapsed. Kellin shrunk himself using his Pehkui and crawled through the spaces between the rocks, pushing ones that were weak. Working together, Nilyn and Kellin made a hole small enough for her crawl through. Then they moved on to the second area of collapse. Again, they worked together and made another hole. Nilyn crawled out of it and walked with Kellin......Later, much, much later, the pair finally arrived at the entrance to the underworld. "That was... ridiculous..." said Nilyn. She looked over at Kellin. "Time to go?"OOC: There. Close enough.
IC:It was not long before the party of three emerged onto the beach. Vilor inquired, "Now who is this?"Makkan moved his stone platform behind, cutting off any escape routes, while Takari answered, "I believe he wants to discuss business." Ziraul, Matatu, and Tirax moved into place as well, creating a circle around Heulrak with Vilor at the head. "Go ahead. Talk." Vilor's voice boomed, an intimidating noise.
IC: Kellin (Xa-Koro)"Gladly."OOC: Kellin and Nilyn to Le-Wahi.-Teezy
IC: Gunner - Infernavika, Xa-Koro DocksIn one smooth movement, I unsheathed my broadsword, bringing it centimetres from Floria's throat, all the while glaring at her with my signature, intensely dark gaze."Or," I growled slowly, punctuating each word with a healthy amount of venom, "I could just slit your throat, Miss Whatever-Your-Name-Is. Because, quite frankly, you've done nothing but disrupt this ship since you've gotten here, and I'm starting to get just a little sick of it!"I advanced a step towards the Toa, my blade not moving a centimetre away from her neck, still glaring down, with a snarl planted firmly on my face.-Void
IC: MirehuThe young Toa of Crystal looked from Raxa to Sinina and back again. Eyebrow raised, Mirehu turned to Raxa. "Right. Who's your girlfriend?" she asked, crossing her arms, the bag of widgets still held in her hand.IC: HeulrakThe crime lord almost smiled. Covering my exits, how cute. Well then, perhaps they aren't totally incompetent, Heulrak thought, but of course, they don't know that I make my own exits.The gigantic Ve-Toa crossed his arms, lean muscles bulging under his jewel encrusted armor. "Greetings," he said in a deep, but smooth voice. A voice that put those he was dealing with at ease. A voice that didn't seem to match his hulking frame. "I am Heulrak, a... businessman within these parts. Perhaps you've heard of me, perhaps not. I offer my services in exchange for... employment, if you will. With the death of Onyx in Onu-Wahi, my business has suffered greatly in recent weeks."Heulrak studied the Toa infront of him. Orange and black armored, Vilor was quite large, around the same height as Heulrak himself, but more massive. He was obviously build for strength rather than speed and agality, something that Heulrak would be able to use to his advantage with his Calix. The fact that he wore a Pakari further increased this image. Not too fast are we? Well, that's okay...His hand casually resting on the butt of one of his throwing axes, Healrak prepared himself for what was to come.
IC-Raxa:"Hmm? Oh, the relationship isn't official," Raxa said, flashing Mirehu a quick grin, turning from Sinina for a moment. "I mean, I know she likes me that way, but it hasn't gone much farther than that."He kept a hand near one of his knives, in case he proved to need it soon.
IC: Mirehu"Riiiiiiiiiight..." The young Toa of Crystal replied, drawing out the word."I believe you," she said, despite the look that said she didn't.
IC-Raxa:"It's true," Raxa said with a perfectly serious face. "I mean, just look. She's staring at me like you stare at those widgets. Probably wants to hold me the same way as well..." he turned, flashing a grin at Sinina.
IC: FloriaFloria smoothly walked underneath the blade and patted Gunner on the shoulder. "Wow, calm down bro. Or you'll burnmad."
IC: Mirehu"Oh Karz, just... stop there," Mirehu said holding up her hand. Not the one holding the widgets, that she keep by her body at all times. "I dunwannaknow."
Ic: The two Vortixx and Dorian were quick to finish their drinks at Brykon's order. Despite the girl's loyalties towards Dorian, it was as if mirroring Brykon's connection to Aurelia that by virtue they were loyal to Brykon through a middleman. Since Dorian still obeyed Brykon, so too did the women do as the barrel chested toa said. But Brykon was paranoid, healthily so, and still was wary of being surrounded by those with secondary oaths. He would not be the first sherrif to be murdered by those he turned his back was turned to in trust. It was with this caution that he ordered Dorian and his entourage to be split up: Jin remained close to Brykon while Dorian and Illicia followed on the opposite side of the street, never out of mind or sight but at the very least out of reach. Aurelia had her ways of alerting him if anything were to go amiss on the other side, too; Brykon's safety was reliant on his instinct and trust in what he felt he could lean on. Despite his argument with the rich merchant queen, he was still an invaluable asset, already trained and loyal; Dorian would be a complete wild card without Brykon. Aurelia would protect her assets.As for Illicia, Brykon did not know what to think of her, truly. She had already been compromised, but in turn Dorian compromised her, and that was a frightening idea for Brykon. To him, Illicia was as great a question mark as Dorian ever was. Best keep her at arm's length, too. Despite being a member of Bad Company, too, there was no telling if her oath had been replaced by another. There was no way to be sure yet; the surveilance was visual, not aural.Conversation wasn't one of Brykon's strengths. It never was. Thankfully, Jin did not try to strike up talk between them, though Brykon could tell the Vortixx had some sort of awe for the toa, quiet as it was subtle, but Brykon was good at picking up subtleties. Jin simply accompanied him silently, following his quick commands to turn or to wait, but that was all that they exchanged. In the meantime, Brykon surveyed her, taking note of her appearance and arsenal. While the weapons never made the assassin, they were a fairly good window of what someone was, or wanted to be. Minimalist. Prefers smaller things or surprise tactics, probably based on skill. Her traits would be an interesting counter to the hulking brutality Naryth represented, an elegant solution for a vacancy."Stop," he said simply. She stopped. Dorian and Illicia had to catch up for a moment. "Move. Turn right." They moved as Brykon wished. They were in a residential area now, it's people mostly vacant by that hour of the morning, put to work by the new system that had invaded their routines and made them worker bees, not able to simply stay in bed all the time and live debauchery and hopelessness. Aurelia had re-instilled the reality of their roots in them, and so they left in the morning to their jobs. But they were just passing through the neighborhood. A larger structure came into view, a mercantile shop, a supermarket of sorts: Aurelia's special pet project and the result of her initial speech. That market was the very place the woman delivered her speech to the people of Xa-Koro, instilling them with a fear of god and woman and forcing them to adopt new ways of life and purpose. Brykon entered the reputable establishment and went straight for the back; it was not a very uncommon sight, people did not look to see what was up. Brykon came here regularly, business with the manager he would always say. The truth, however was far more sinister. A jingle behind them alerted them that Dorian and Illicia followed obediently. Brykon and Jin disappeared around one of the backdoor management corners into an office devoid of all but a few bookshelves and a desk. Dorian and Illicia came in and closed and locked the door at the sherrif's beck. "This is just the beginning," Brykon said enticingly as he turned one of the bookshelves like it was a wheel on the wall and the whole room descended like an elevator. "This is what we truly protect."
IC (Jin)If there was one thing I had to say about Brykon, it was that there were no surprises with him. The guy was exactly like I'd thought he would be: he was big, tough, and no-nonsense, which you kinda had to be when dealing with Dorian. Believe me, I knew. After watching an evening go by in a whirl of one-liners and yo-mama jokes, I knew that the only way you could ever keep the Toa of Iron in line was to be serious. All. The. Time. If the rest of the Bad Company was as hard to handle as Dor, it was a given that their leader was gonna be serious enough to keep them toeing the line.As for me, I didn't feel particularly threatened by the guy, but my first guess would be that it only had to do with the fact that I hadn't threatened him yet. He seemed to be a cautious guy, with his caution sometimes bordering on paranoia, but the fact that Dorian trusted me was apparently a big enough deal that he didn't need a second opinion. I'd helped by maintaining a good image, I suppose: I'd stayed quiet, and obeyed Brykon without question. Granted, all he was doing was telling me when to stop or turn left, but it's all in the little things, right?Things had quickly escalated in complexity from the pleasant little meeting I'd expected: we'd left the bistro and started walking across the city. Brykon made the decision of splitting up Dor and I, which I approved of (like I said before, Dor's a bit of wild card; Bry would be dumb not to split up the lieutenant of questionable loyalty and the mysterious friend he'd brought in to the fold), and before long we'd come to our destination: a typical market in a residential area. We made our way to the sparsely decorated back offices.I'll admit it: I had no idea what was going on. Dor had told me that the Bad Company was simply a group of the best mercs on the island, not some conspiracy group. I was intrigued, though, and that was enough to keep me beside Brykon, even when he pulled a trick with one of the bookshelves in the back room and the entire room began to descend into the ground.On the outside, I was the epitome of calm and controlled; the perfect picture of a levelheaded, highly trained soldier who didn't give a Jaga's rear about anything. On the inside however, I was definitely a little surprised, and more than a little curious, and pretty sure I'd jumped into waters a fair bit deeper than I'd first expected.
IC: Dorian (The Brykave, Xa-Koro)This, more than anything, intrigued me; Brykon was not a man of smoke and mirrors, and this clandestine maneuvering was about as new for him as getting up on stage and doing a duet with a Ga-Koro lounge singer. Again, a name popped up into my head that I had heard when we first arrived in Xa-Koro months back - Four Peers - before settling again into the storage unit of my head. For now, I stood at Brykon's right side as the elevator finally sank down and stopped."Welcome to Xa-Koro," I muttered to myself. "We're just one big happy rabbit hole."-Teezy
IC-Raxa:Raxa shrugged, keeping with his semi-indifferent appearance he attempted to keep in Xa-Koro."You asked," he said, before leaning against the wall again, before looking over to Sinina, expectant for a reply.
IC: Wraith - Kumu Islets -It was long before they arrived where Wraith had seen Seven, they hadn't been that far off at all. As they approached Wraith almost felt relieved as he saw Seven, of course he didn't really feel that because he had almost no emotion at all. "Seven, you alright?"
IC: Sinina, Xa-KoroThrought Raxa and Mirehu's conversation, Sinina's expression changed slightly, from amused, to indifferent, to smiles of coy agreement. However, her expression never transcended the previous one, staying true to the image of friendliness and joy she had created. "How flattering, Raxa." Sinina said, raising an eyebrow as her lips turned into a slight smile. "I didn't expect you to mention our little secret to anybody else. Oh, and on the topic of Onyx: Yes, it's been hard, but I've gotten use to it by now. I've began to create a new life for myself."
IC: Mirehu"Uh, who?" the young Toa of Crystal asked, not familar with that particular name. "Isn't that like, some kind of rock, or something?"Why the Karz are they talking about rocks?
IC: [The Seventh]"Other than losing my magic tattoo, I'm fine."
IC-Raxa:"No, he was a person," Raxa replied to Mirehu, smiling somewhat himself. "And I felt that the world ought to know about our secret, y'know?" With a grin meant for Sinina and Sinina alone-and with likely multiple meanings to that recipient, Raxa stepped forwards, offering the other Toa his arm."Shall I escort you to your hotel, miss Sinina?" he asked, sounding for all the world like a proper gentleman, but with a slightly amused expression on his face. Keeping with his act of friendship.
IC: Anyanka (Xa-Koro)Meanwhile, tucked away in a recess of Xa-Koro so far forgotten that it seemed to exist out of the grasp of time itself, a girl slumbered.If you dove past the thin layer of external beauty, the soft, beautiful appearance of the prone Toa in the bed, you'd assume her to be like any other: her chest rose and fell with the slow intake of breath as any other chest would, the same soft, bewitched smile rested on her face as any other expression would, and her eyes, deep and brown, like chocolate freshly packaged and awaiting consumption, flickered in rapid eye movement. Dig past that, though, and...The girl, as she slumbered, was unaware of her current surroundings: she slumbered in a bed with way too many lumps and unsavory stains. The floor was in a similar state, coated in mildew and filth; the lone curtain was more of a paper towel that was tousled and thrown by the wind, pushing through fault-line thick cracks in the glass of the window. The cold, harsh atmosphere, though none would be able to tell while observing her externally, contributed to the bleak and isolated tone of the dream. Some called this stimulus; the girl considered it a sign.Sure enough, she had received many signs since she started receiving the Dreams. At first, she had to squint to comprehend them, unsure of what she was truly looking at, but as time went on, and the Dreams intersected with Reality too many times to be disregarded as mere happenstance, the girl realized what they were: Prophecy. So she slumbered willingly and peacefully, despite the bleakness, and she Dreamed.Suddenly, the slumber broke, the Prophecy unraveled, and the prophet-girl's milk chocolate eyes opened, snapping like bullwhips: she reached for her gladius, her weapon of truth in the battlefield that had become of Mata Nui, on the table next to her. As she took the leather-clad hilt in her sword hand, a surge of power and determination coursed through her, through blood and bone and her very soul. The girl smiled to herself and left the room as quickly as she had entered it the previous night, marching onwards towards cold, bleak destiny.-Teezy
IC: MirehuNever let it be said that I didn't say that I don't like where this is going.
IC:"You will be happy to know that I keep my employees quite busy with my little Black Inferno. However, our job interview tend to be rather atypical. They open with a combat test. To be clear, no kills until we're in the field." Vilor wasted no time, raising a hand and opening with a plasma hand that flew towards his foe. From behind came impact vision, a sonics blast and a burst of lightning.---Matatu, Vilor's ever observant guard, tossed the head of a Vortixx into a nearby pile that contained four limbs-and no torso. It was the result of the last being who had undergone Inferno testing. He observed the newcomer carefully, looking for a weakness.