IC: Utu - Xa-KoroUtu's feet toiled on the streets, his legs starting to feel weak. It had been a while since he had really used them since waking up in "Arekule"s lab. Since he came back from the dead.With each step, his legs grew wearer and wearer. Until finally, the docks were in sight. He gave a final push, his hood flying from his face revealing his non-functioning Miru. Skidding to a stop, he scanned the docks, looking for an available boat."You!" Utu called out to a Toa manning a boat, his own breath evaded him, "How much for your boat?"The Toa stuttered at first, until he saw the desperation in Utu's eyes. He could tell Utu really needed a boat, and he seemed ready to exploit that need. This was Xa-Koro after all, and if one wasn't trying to swindle people out of their money, what was the point in living here? Utu realized that this was going to be the case."600 widgets to Le-Wahi."Utu unsheathed his blade, and brought it up to the Toa's neck swiftly, nicking the side of his neck, causing a droplet of blood to spill."How about without the driver?" Utu hissed angrily. He didn't want to draw any more attention to himself than he already had, nor spill the blood of a Toa that reminded him of himself in the streets. The Toa nodded fearfully, and Utu was tempted to activate his Mark, but thought better of it. His own feelings and pleasures were to be second to the task at hand."Take it."Utu shoved the Toa out of the way and started towards the boat.
Ooc: Permission to bunny and bring Dorian to the tipping point approved by TD.Ic: The colonel stepped slowly to Dorian's body, the moist earth squishing against his heavy stomps. He leaned close to the other toa's ear. "And so it is," Brykon said in a low, primitive murmur, a tangle of wise threat and graceful power. He rose up and walked towards the other assembled Company members."Look at him," he said aloud, gesturing at the crumpled body of Dorian. "Dorian was known for his skills and powers in both the battle... and the bed. But now he is nothing more than a sniveling fool, crying for attention like a spoiled child torn away from his home. Dorian, the once proud and resolute master of his own fate, now given his fate of blood and tears. A former Mark bearer capable of destroying villages and killing whoever he wished, now relegated to making puddles in the mud. What a failure."Dorian wept, his reply turning to a mumbled babel incomprehensible to the others. Brykon understood the tone all too well, however. It was one of subdued pride, seemingly broken beyond repair. He did not even give Dorian a glance as he shouted his mumbling.****Aurelia and Brykon played with one another atop the lighthouse's roof. The two tycoons, long separated by their work, seemed to be incapable of having these moments together unless everything was dead around them, and the stones told no tales. Only the whisper of the sea could be heard as a reminder of life around them. The two were alone. But even in their intimacy work still permeated their time. They took a rest from their activity and leaned against the railing of the rooftop. The sea breeze cooled them like a god's breath. "One thing still bothers me," Aurelia said as she looked at the cloudy sky."What is it?" Ambages said. His overcoat was lumped up beneath his head, a pillow against the hard stone he shared with Aurelia."The Cultured Gentry. How exactly do you intend to insert yourself higher into it? I mean, you're already on the board of eleven. There's a glass cieling at this point and I can't imagine how you could reach any higher.""That's the tricky thing," Ambages admitted. "The panel of three is a hard clique to enter, but it's the only direction up. Niici has a job I have no intention to possess. It's cursed.""Wokapu..." Aurelia thought aloud.Ambages nodded. "But the panel of three has people who are far less involved in open politics than I am and have been able to amass wealth that exceeds my own. They are masters of their trades. I am just a very well versed architect.""How many other architects do you know of who have reached your status?" Aurelia said after she rose up to look at her man in the eyes. Ambages had no reply, so she continued. "None. You're the best designer in the land and you're one of the richest men on Mata Nui. You deserve more than just being on the board, you deserve to be in that panel. You're at least on their level. And while you don't flaunt, I know you're wealthier than any of those three geezers or hags.""You don't have to convince me," Ambages said. "I know all that. But becoming a part of the panel is something I don't know how to do yet. Echelon gives me the information and leverage I need to get there, but I still don't have a true avenue. I have to be able to channel a path to the seat, I can't just claim it first.""It's simple, you nitwit," Aurelia said in jest, "you have to kill one of the three. Open a seat and claim it as yours.""I can't do that," he admitted. "Assassination would be too messy and obvious. Those three are gods in the eyes of their backers.""There are others ways of killing a god, you know," Aurelia teased as she poked Ambages' chest.****"The reason I had you all gather here right now is for you all to bear witness this occurrence," Brykon announced. "I wanted you all to see with your own eyes what happens to those who disappoint me. Dorian Shaddix was said at some point to be among the deadliest men on Mata Nui. He was fast, strong, gifted and clever. But you all see what I did to him. I broke him," he almost shouted."A while ago I broke him in mind. I showed him that strength and power were not everything a warrior had to be. I taught him this by way of letting him win, but I arose again unharmed. Then I broke his body by showing him justice and equality, by severing his likeness of me and giving him a gift that would require his initiative after making him sacrifice his abilities. And now, in the presence of his friends and colleagues, I broke his spirit by showing how worthless he is after all his exploits. Absolutely worthless. Pathetic. Foolish.""I am NOT WORTHLESS!" Dorian yelled, blood and saliva spitting out of his mouth like sparks from a firework. In a fit of rage he arose and charged at the unsuspecting Brykon and slammed his fist against the back of Brykon's neck. The big soldier fell from the punch at first but got up as quickly, only to accept another powerful blow, fueled by rage despite the lack of a Mark. That strike hit him in the chest and sent him tumbling away in pain, his unarmored torso taking the power like a shield, and alas to Dorian it felt like a wall to boot. "IAMNOTPATHETIC!A kick hit Brykon in the face. "IAMNOTFOOLISH!" Brykon limply fell away, landing on his back, arms played out like a star's rays. "YOU ARE!" Dorian took his rage out on his mentor, kicking and slamming all his power on the older warrior, wailing in desperation to be heard, recognized, but Brykon did not fight back. He took every blow, every wound, with the same measure of calculation as he did before. Brykon finally arose by the wheezing Dorian, his body strong and stony despite the bruises and flecking of blood. "It seems your anger can only take you so far now, young one. Now it's my turn!" WHAM! Dorian's face was collected by Brykon's thick arm and slammed into Brykon's knee. A severe kick knocked what little wind left in Dorian's lungs out and broke the armor off his chest. Still cradling Dorian precariously in his biceps, Brykon stepped on his legs and heard the satisfying cracks of his knees as they shattered. And then he twisted his body and threw Dorian over his shoulder as if he were a sack of beans being delivered to a pantry. Dorian crashed to the ground several feet away. Brykon came near and did the final act of violence, a sharp kick shattering his Kanohi and making it into little more than a cloud of sand that coated the ground to his side like magic dust. Little did Dorian or the others gathered realize that in doing so Brykon made Dorian a free man.****"What do you mean?" Ambages inquired of his mistress -- he could call her that, couldn't he? A working relationship, yes, but a relationship nonetheless. "You're not implying...""Of course I am!" Aurelia exclaimed. "You can slay a god the same way you are slaying a true 'god' right now: By severing the faith in him. These are material gods, deities of flesh and blood. Crush their empire and you crush them. Scheming always was your forte anyway, wasn't it?" she teased."Of course," Ambages said. "But hacking into their network will be tricky. My resources aren't the type to perform clandestine actions, and internal plots within the Gentry will be caught in no time. Economically I have little sway."Aurelia's eyes glazed over with mock disdain. "Well gee, if only you had someone who can tap into the economy of the island without pulling strings in the Cultured Gentry, someone as devious and powerful as you are without the dirty resume.""Ah! So now she said it," Ambages said, looking the other way. "She wants to be involved.""And why not? Besides, I can be your biggest asset here, and if I help you you'll help us all. This is a team, you know. Not everything has to just be you.""I have Brykon. He could pull some weight if it came to blows. In the meantime a subtle war of money would be the only way..." he thought."Exactly!" Aurelia rolled on top of Ambages. "We can do it together," she whispered.An iStone displaying the visual input from Dorian's mask flickered in low resolution on the display, showing the scuffle in vivid first-person detail, but the two Peers didn't even glance at it. As they flirted with each other the final destruction Brykon treated Dorian to was ignored until its display was smothered when they rolled on top of it. The tablet was noticed and pulled from under the socialites as a blight under their back and carelessly lobbed over the side of the railing. The shattering of the tablet was simultaneous with the shattering of Dorian's spying Kanohi. The chessmasters were oblivious to the violence that would prove to be their eventual undoing.****"Jin, Illicia, Grokk... Sev. We all work for Aurelia and her cohort, but you all work for me. I am your captain, your commander, and you are all responsible to me. For some of you Dorian recruited you, brought you into this family, redeemed you in some way, but you don't owe allegiance to him, you owe it to me. You're all in this and there's no leaving, but if you try to break the rules of this house I will treat you like a fool and will give you a lesson like I did to Dorian. But unlike him, you wouldn't last through it. "Dorian is special. He is clever even in his defeat. He's a good soldier, and his faith in family is the only reason he remains alive even now. I broke him completely now, but in doing so I ripped the broken record player apart. My job is done to him, and now the rest is up to him. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe he is not the man I expected of him, and if so he will die. But for the sake of me, you, and us, I hope I was right. If I am right, he will live to see the light one more time. You all need to aspire to be like what I expect Dorian to be. Be great people, but don't fail me."That's my poem for you all tonight. Leave Dorian be, we'll meet him again soon. I hope." Brykon led the team back to the elevator room that returned to their level once more. As he went in he turned around and looked through the hole of the doorway as the others went in after him and took places beside him, some shaken and others curious. Dorian couldn't see in in his bloody eyes and broken body and spirit, and even in sight his senses would betray him, but Brykon's gaze at Dorian's body was one of hope. Deep down Brykon wanted Dorian to succeed.Dorian was destroyed. Now it was Dorian's turn to reconstruct himself. Only through that way could be become the great man Brykon wanted him to be. Deep down... Brykon cared about the younger fighter because he saw a lot of himself in him. The lift started its ascent, leaving Dorian Shaddix alone.
IC: WuelpWuelp continued trekking towards the Lighthouse, wondering what they did there....OOC:
I love that."Look at him," he said aloud, gesturing at the crumpled body of Dorian. "Dorian was known for his skills and powers in both the battle... and the bed.
IC: [septimus]"Should we be heading back to the mainland?"
IC: Dorian (Underground, Xa-Koro)I screamed for hours after Brykon killed me.Aurelia didn't come down to finish me off, nor did any of the members of Bad Company; I had almost expected Heuani to come, take advantage of the moment, toy with me and then end me, but I was left in the solitude of the Toa of Shadow's domain to stew in my own thoughts. I felt weak without my Kanohi, felt weak without my legs, felt weak inside my very heart, as I tried in vain to wipe some of the blood away from my chest, now bare and expose in the wake of Brykon ripping off my armor, my face, like a china doll's, beautiful but unsettling, my soul, twisted and mangled like my body and mind: an unholy trinity.You only hurt the ones you love. Well, that works both ways, believe you me. I loved Brykon, and I had failed him. He took this as a slight, a festering wound to be repaired by a pestilential scab, and in return he ravaged me until I lay on the ground underneath Xa-Koro with my body and emotions gored beyond imagination. Machinery whirred to my right, bringing prosperity to Xa-Koro as well as Aurelia's teenage fantasy of world domination. Chessmasters, the lot of them, and I, Dorian, a pawn to be discarded.No. That wasn't true. Even as I lay on the ground, bloodied, beaten, my posture and resolve ground to dust, I was no pawn. All I had to do was prove it, first to myself, then Brykon and Bad Company, and finally to the world at large, because that's what I did, that's what I do, and that's what I've had to do and probably will do for my whole life. It makes me Dorian. Believe it or not, that's not such a bad thing for me.It took me ten minutes to reach out one hand, then another five to reach out my other, and entrench them both in the hard dirt. Slowly, though, hope in my head and resolve in my heart, I began to crawl forward, towards the lift.Don't let yourself die in this cesspool.-Tyler
IC:Rhow turned to Taoki as the Skakdi left the bar and stepped back out into the streets. Rhow looked around for a second, then said, loud enough for the other Skakdi to hear as well: "There barkeeper said there's a pretty big temple-like building in the town, somewhere over there...", she pointed in the direction the Matoran had told her, before continuing: "It was empty until a few months ago. And then suddenly people started avoiding the place like the plague. Like the Makuta himself had moved in. Which I guess he has, in a way. Anyway, that's where we're going."She turned to the rest of the group. calling out to them: "Are you ready to wreck something?"OOC: Alright, rallying call for the Horde! Let's do this before EW blows the place ^^
IC: KahlynnKahlynn's eyes flared, ready to burn, his brilliant white teeth formed his classic cocky grin and his fingers flexed their way into fists. "You bet I am."
IC: Dorian (Xa-Koro)Whoever said that climbing horizontally wasn't possible should be slapped to death with an ice pick and then hung from a rock wall.I had spent the last four hours, fueled on nothing but a shot of vodka from the bistro, literally moving myself like a slug; the cycle of taking one dagger, sticking it into the ground, taking another dagger, stabbing into the dirt, and then pulling myself forward had become as natural as breathing, or eating, or seduction.The shadows of the tunnel had dispersed before me as I crawled towards redemption, and now at last the lift was in sight, still dutifully awaiting me. If my bone structure wasn't frozen into a poker face in sheer exhaustion, I would have laughed, or perhaps even grinned: the smirk that my face spread into was reward enough for the elevator as I inched towards it and pulled myself in. I collapsed into the corner, panting, and closed my eyes, taking a minute to rest for the first time since Bad Company had left.The elevator began to rise...*****"Hey, you. Kid."Kid turned dutifully to look for the owner of the voice, laden with exhaustion, gin, and had a texture that reminded him almost of rust. Could a voice rust? Kid had a feeling that, if it could, then the fighter that approached him was exactly the person that would be subject to such a sound residing inside his throat. He was massive, physically perfect, muscles rising like hills and plateaus bulging above the plains of what armor he wore. His eyes glowed a deep blue as they observed him, scanning his soul; Kid felt unnerved for all of a quarter of a second before grinning."What can I do for you, Gramps?" Kid asked, ballsy as ever. "Company on the way back to the old folk's home?"The man, as Kid recalled, hadn't even smirked at the joke, merely shook his head and gestured towards the bench sitting in the part of the cavernous lobby designated for fighters. His gaze was unreadable, which unnerved Kid, who had spent so long mastering the art of subtle emotional detection. Gramps merely gestured once again for him to sit, noticing that Kid hadn't moved, and then, when he did so, held out his hand."Men call me Senegal," he'd stated, as if this was the most obvious thing in the world. "I saw you fight. Your technique is raw, but it has potential."Kid shrugged and leaned back, ignoring the hand for a second, and Senegal's blue eyes intensified, shining with a light that the young man was unaccustomed to seeing in any eyes but his. The Bard seemed to recognize this and held his hand out forward another inch more."You're good in the ring, child, and you have a pretty face, but you have a lot to learn in the way of respect. You can learn a lot of a man from shaking his hand, and without learning, your life doesn't mean much of anything to anyone, least of all me."Kid's blue eyes met Senegal's, and finally, he sighed with barely disguised impatience and shook the veteran's course hand, a stark contrast to the smooth palm of the younger fighter."Men call me Dorian," he replied simply. "Hiya."*****I thought about conjuring up some sort of metallic surface inside the elevator, maybe trying to catch a glimpse at any external damage inside the sheen of the iron, but my Kanohi was gone, my muscles taut and fraying underneath my skin, and my bloodied eyes would hardly do me much good in the sight department anyway. It would be best, I decided, to conserve my energy, save it for moving into Xa-Koro. Finding home. Rebuilding.My knees hurt like a Kavinika, and I was sure that my knees were in no position to walk until I could safely create some sort of temporary Protosteel replacement. To do that, I needed my element. For my element, I needed energy. Once I got out of here, a new Kanohi, then something to help me walk. Then Brykon.The elevator whirred to a halt, gears tightening up and locking together in a hard embrace, and the doors slid open. Slowly, determinedly, I began to crawl again, towards the bookcase. Genuine light was almost in my reach now, and as I inched towards the bookcase, I could almost taste real oxygen, replacing the natural gas I'd been inhaling for the last few hours. Just a little farther, Dor...*****Three nights later, everything burned in Kid's soul and everything ached in his body as he sat down, groaning and cursing and coughing up blood from mincemeat-raw lungs and abdominal muscles. Senegal sat across from him, just as physically damaged; the Bard, however, carried an aura of acceptance in the beating he had taken. It was a pleasure, not masochistic, but almost benevolent: he felt as though he had given the crowd what they sought via the duel, and he obviously expected Dorian to carry the same humility.In typical Dorian fashion, he didn't."That was ########," he groaned weakly, restraining the blood bubbling up in his throat again. "You hear me? That was ########, all of it. There was no way you should have--"Senegal raised a hand, and despite himself, Dorian's tirade ceased."Dorian?" he asked calmly, looking almost meditative as he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes: even through closed sockets, the gaze of the older fighter seemed to penetrate the depths of Dorian's mind in ways that the assassin turned fighter, in his arrogance, had never stopped to think they could be penetrated. "Have you ever heard of hubris?"*****With the help of a cool little lever thing, I managed to access the passageway in much the same why Brykon had and crawled my way through it, into the alleyway. It would be all too simple to collapse right there, fall asleep, let myself soak in the oxygen and light and success I felt welling inside me for getting this far, and for a second or two, I considered it. But this was, after all, still Xa-Koro, and if I fell asleep, I would almost certainly not wake up in this plane of existence. Or any other. I wasn't particularly spiritual; I wasn't sure what to expect from the afterlife, if such a thing existed.That said, I knew I could expect a very quick end to this life if I stopped, so I pulled myself across the street, keeping to the shadows in a way that would have made Heuani proud, slinking my way into a Kanohi store and propping myself up with my elbows to give the illusion of standing. The manager walked out from the backroom, having heard the commotion I made by entering, and stopped when he saw my face, still beautiful, but undoubtedly matted in blood, my clothing, still expensive, but now more of an L-neck than a v-neck - Brykon had ripped off the left half of my shirt in his final barrage, and my scarf, matted in congealed blood and tears."Uhm...can I...help ya?" he asked gruffly, trying not to sound surprised. I signaled for a Kanohi, any Kanohi, and the man quickly handed me a mask. I didn't stop to look at it until after it was on, and once it was, I was too busy focusing on keeping myself in control after the sudden rush of power the mask afforded me. After handing over the scarf as payment - I didn't have any widgets on me, and the guy seemed to like it enough - I slinked out once again to the edge of the store, sitting down and focusing my replenishing powers onto creating sockets and joints of Protosteel that would allow me to at least move properly for the next couple days, until I got replacements. It was then that I took off the mask and looked at it.Slowly, I smirked.*****"Hubris, Dorian. You're smart. You should know what it is.""Hubris is...pride. The kinda pride that leads to a fall. Right?" Dorian replied, seemingly uncertain, not entirely positive where the philosophical scrapper was going with this. Senegal nodded once in approval."Right, Dorian. Pride will always lead you to a fall, eventually, and that's why I'm telling you this now. Don't look for reasons why people beat you, because they always will, and trying to explain it away as a fluke each and every time is why foolish men die quicker than sensible ones. Humility and loss are to be accepted, as a part of growing; until you learn that, you're a spoiled child. Understand?"Dorian snorted once in laughter, blood spitting from his right nostril, and shook his head."I don't think I should be hearing this from you, of all people, Senegal," he said, standing up. "I'm gonna go get really drunk, find a really hot girl, and then forget that tonight ever happened. Hasta."He was only three steps out the door before Senegal imparted one last little nugget. His face was impassive as he spoke, an uneasy contrast to the look of boredom and exasperation on Dorian's, but his voice carried with it a deep passion, laden with smoke damage and that peculiar rusting sound."Hubris, Dorian. Don't ever forget about it: it's the one thing that will always keep you from being great."Another snort of laughter."Night, Senegal," spoke the Duelist skeptically, before walking out the door, leaving the bloodthirsty poet alone with his own thoughts and reservations. It was the last time they would see one another for five years.*****Jin heard it first.A shuffling sound, a slight gasp of pain every now and then, as a figure approached the group from behind; Bad Company walked down the street calmly with Colonel Brykon Senegal in the center, observing his realm with the face of a hardened gambler. Almost as one, the group turned to look, and there I stood, limping towards them with a grin on my face.I would later figure out just how I looked. Scratches and blood encircled my eyes, giving them the appearance of cartoon suns, shining a bright, determined blue. My expensive clothing was either ripped at or matted in blood and dirt, and my lips were split and cracked from screaming and dehydration. My muscles poked out, completely sore to the touch, and yet, though I was a physical mess, I carried in my step a new determination, a quiet humility, and in my eyes, a sense of gratitude.The electric blue eyes of the young cardinal met the deep azure of the old crow, and in the depths of the latter's eyes, something smiled. I stopped about twenty feet away from them, standing, panting, leaning on my left leg because I had ripped my right leg open on some kind of debris in the street from a construction job. Blood dripped quietly, but I gave it nary a thought as I observed the team."Well, I did it. I ditched the scarf."-Tyler
IC KetruI continued to follow Whuelp but eventually I lost him. Sighing nmechanically, I returned to the Xa-Koro main square, passing by a large group of beings and a battered toa of iron in the process. Ignoring them, only one thing ran thhrough my mind.Command: Find Work.Scanning Surroundings for Work...No targets aquired.Searching mnemonic databases...No mnemonic articles found.Sighing again, I sat down on a bench.
IC (Jin)Well, I'll be.To be perfectly blunt (that's one of my better qualities), I thought Dor was dead. And y'know what? Good riddance, am I right? The kid was puking and crying and bleeding all over the place, letting his emotions get all out of control like some snotty-nosed bra-Okay, I'll admit it: I was rooting for him. For some dumb reason, even though he had let himself get one karz of a beat down, and pretty much destroyed the possibility of any of Bad Company showing him any kind of respect for the next ten years, I was still glad to see him technically alive. Technically being the key word: the kid looked more like a cut of meat than a living, breathing man. He'd been to karz and back, and it showed.It'd been a couple of days- I'd long since told myself to get over him and move on. There was no way he could cheat death again; no heroic, beautiful Vortixx to run to his aid. But here he was, more or less alive and kicking.I didn't have a reaction planned out for this (I'd thought he was dead for good, remember?), so it fell to my naturally quick wit to come up with a response to the miracle walking down the middle of Xa-Koro:“Well Bry, I didn't think it was possible, but you did it." I smirked at Dor. "You beat the bad fashion sense right out of him.”
IC-Marfoir:Marfoir, silent as ever. He'd watched as Brykon beat down Dorian, leaving the former Mark Bearer stuck in the dust, and he'd come back to watch Dorian make his way out, crawling back to the elevator. Silent, watching. Almost, it seemed, waiting for something. Waiting to see what Dorian would do, how he would pull through.How he would survive. And prosper.And now, here he was, walking near the back of the group, the seperation that had been given to him since Onu-Koro still evident, to one who knew the group's dynamics. His eyes, guarded, cloudy, but still with some piercing intensity, as he looked over to the Toa of Iron, who, despite any and all odds, had pulled himself through nearly every obstacle put in his way.Slowly, he nodded to Dorian. A simple gesture, that could have many meanings. Then, somehow, a smile broke through."Going for a more conventional garrote, these days?"
IC: WuelpUh Oh, Wuelp thought. He wasn't a good swimmer, but he had a pair of flippers and scuba gear somewhere in his cart. The rest of it, he could ditch.Taking time, he wore it, and started to swim away, only keeping his shield.
IC: Utu - Kumu-IsletsUtu stepped on "his" boat, revved up the motor, and let it rip, sending it from the docks. Quickly, he moved his way to the wheel, gripping it tightly.It pulled out of the port. He didn't turn back to see the Toa he stole the boat from standing on the end of the docks, watching his "600 widgets to Le-Wahi" ride away.He stopped after clearing the Kumu-Islets. Looking off the way he had ran from the outskirts of the city. There was no boat on the sea, no hint of a ship he had been searching for. Suddenly, a question came to his mind.Which side of Mata-Nui did they leave to?He pondered this for a moment before letting go of the wheel and kicking the side of his ship. Utu fumed. Which way would they have gone? He waited for anything. A sign, a hint, a dragonfly maybe to land on a certain side of the ship.
IC:The being watched its companions curiously, silently observing the minuscule actions and habits they possessed. People were such strange beings, especially the ones who seemed sane on the surface. Of course, it could not judge saneness itself, seeing that it would not be considered sane according to the classification of the majority on the island."I shall take my leave," it said, letting Salvinn down gently to the ground. "Farewell."It dramatically turned away from them, and began to stalk through the swamps of the islet towards the port.
Ic: It had been many hours of playing and plotting before Ambages looked at the stardial on his wrist; it was time to go. "It was great seeing you again," he said as he got up and tugged on his overcoat that still cushioned under Aurelia's body. She rolled languidly as he collected his jacket and mumbled a mixture of obscenities and love notes as he dusted the wool. "Have fun blowing the place up.""Where'r y'going?" Aurelia mumbled at him in her slumbering stupor. "The Le-Koro concert will start without me, but I mave a message to deliver to Niici."The electress perked up a little at the familiar name. "Tell her hi for me, then.""I will," he lied before slipping the coat on and disappearing down the narrow, dark staircase down the belly of the lighthouse.Aurelia smiled to herself, knowing full well Ambages wouldn't honor her request. They were the ones who lived their lives on lies and snares. What was one lously request when they thought little of killing a god? None. But down below, at the doorway to the lighthouse, Ambages exited with full dignity as if he was not to blame for all the destruction that would happen in the wake of his footsteps. Ooc: Ambages to Le-Wahi.
IC: Salvinn"Woah, woah," Salvinn exclaimed before Soulgain had taken even two steps into the jungle, "Just where do you think you're going mate. You can't just leave me hanging like this. Besides, weren't we going to liberate these islets?"OOC: Post sucks.
IC:The being paused midstep, and turned back to face Salvinn. "In your condition, liberation of this wretched hive of scum and villainy is impossible."
IC: Salvinn"You just gotta have fate man," Salvinn responded, "C'mon isn't that right Sep, we can do it, we've made it through all these hassles so far, up for another adventure?"
IC: [septimus]"Not until I get you fixed up," replied Septimus. "The creepy guy is right. You need to head to a hospital. Your back is pretty much broken."
IC: Salvinn"What! You too buddy, come on mate, I thought you'd atleast have some fate." Sighing for moment, Salvinn bowed his head and relented, "Alright."
IC:Soulgain carefully lifted up Salvinn, and began to lead them towards the bay.
IC: Salvinn"So where are we going exactly?" Salvinn asked atop Soulgain's back, "Xa-Koro's hospital's are a bloody karz pit."
OOCPost approved by EW, cause Laki's joining the Peer's army, in case you missed that. Also- just in the nick of time. And Laki from Le-Wahi, since my OOCs always have to be boring. IC- Laki - Xa-KoroLaki looked back at the receding shoreline of Le-Wahi, feeling a knot tie itself in his stomach, feeling the regret at his decision, and urge to leap off the small ferry and swim back to the treeline, run through the forest and back to Le-Koro, forget about his decisions and realizations and try to live a normal life. But Laki knew he had to keep going. There was nothing in Le-Koro but hollow happiness. He needed a purpose. A destiny. He looked around at the ferry. There were a few battered matoran, wizened and broken and probably crawling to the pit of the island to die. There was an enormous, bulky, and terrifying white toa who was probably a bounty hunter or someone else with dark motives.He felt out of place, naïve. By the looks the other passengers and the ancient, pathetic ferryman gave him, he could already tell he’d get picked on, lose his money, get swindled. He stood out, an upright, upstanding matoran among thieves and killers.He took a breath reminding himself that he had a purpose here, that he could find his destiny in Xa-Koro.He leaned against the side of the boat and prayed that he’d find his calling in the Karz-hole he was going to. Laki had had to do a lot of persuading to himself to step onto this ferry. There was nothing in the Kumu Islets but death and thieves, he knew, but there was nothing anywhere else besides peace and the occasional duel or fight. At least here, there might be some sort of adventure he could embark on, or some sort of mystery he’d find. The other Koros were too safe.He shook his head. Where were you supposed to go to find your destiny? How were you supposed to do it? These questions frustrated him to no end, aggravating his very soul. He had something important to do, he knew it. His life had a purpose, more than just some random, boring carpenter in the village of air. But he didn’t know what it was, or where to find it. What was he supposed to do?He looked from the disappearing shore to the slowly growing islands where evil nested. It was ominous, scary. He was going to a place were people wouldn’t give a second thought about stabbing him or stripping him of everything he owned. Laki was scared, and he began to regret his decision more and more as the dangerous islands grew closer.He closed his eyes, trying to push out the feeling that he was going to this place because he was one of these broken people, these beings that had nothing on the island of Mata Nui, and was left with nowhere else to go.Laki had thought he had a good life, but this feeling, this empty feeling of a wasted potential had pushed him to these slums.As the village of Xa-Koro came clearly in his sight, he realized he had made the wrong decision. He didn’t belong there, he belonged in Le-Koro. Who cared about his destiny, when he had once had a peaceful life with no danger?He took a few deep breaths, probably looking incredibly weak and foolish to the beings around him. He could do this. Xa-Koro was just a test. It was a step on his path to adventure. He could do this.Laki stepped off the boat with apprehension and slowly walked across the creaking, ancient docks. He stepped into the city, and looked around. It was nicer than he had expected. The streets were dirt, and some of the houses looked frighteningly unstable, but overall, it was fairly well kept up. The most notable thing was the amalgamation of styles- a familiar Le-Koro style woven hut sat next to a tall building make of rough stone and signs proclaiming their good wares and attractive women. The people, however, were just as unfriendly as he had expected. They sat in the gutters, or in the doorways of their houses, watching him walk by with greed or hate, twirling their knifes openly and displaying their rotting teeth.A few beggars were scattered about, but no more than in the slums of his own home town, and he hadn’t seen any violence yet, although the town reeked of it. He stopped next to a recently rebuilt pillar in a square were merchants sold their shady wares, taking a few deep breaths, wondering what to do now. He looked around. One popular storefront was offering good pay for the strongest builders. The matoran smiled and handed money and a pass to most everyone in the line, rejecting only the most emancipated of beggars. Laki put a hand to his belt, to reassure himself that his bag of money was still there, and, now that he thought about it, he to move it into a safer place within his backpack.When the matoran realized it was gone, he was extremely disappointed but not surprised. Of course he had been pick pocketed- Laki didn’t know the first thing about avoiding that eventuality. With a sigh, he grimly realized he needed money, or he’d be sleeping in the streets, and would almost certainly be stabbed and robbed of what little he still had.He slowly walked over to the line where the builders were, and stood in line, grimly realizing that all that had happened was a fall from a perfect life to a desperate, miserable one. There was no destiny here, no calling. Just the lost.
* * *
Laki smashed the final nail in it’s place and stood back. His work was complete- a complete and well built support. It was basically a pillar- it was all he had been allowed to build- but a good one, that reached up a couple bio to the house which hung out from a small cliff. Half the building was on solid land, and the other half hung over the air, and the city was trying to prevent it from toppling off the edge.Laki glanced around. Most of the other workers were struggling with supports, not knowing the first thing about building. Many had obviously never handled anything remotely like a hammer; Laki watched one pitiful Ko-Matoran smash his own finger with the tool, drawing blood. He heard a creaking sound, and snapped his head to the side.“No!” he exclaimed involuntarily. “Do not nail-attach that board to my support-board!” Laki shouted at the matoran who had been trying to do just that, obviously hoping that Laki’s small but strong structure could help support his own shoddily made one. “Yours is hard-leaning to the side! Dead weight will make mine shaky-unstable, instead, put the board facing-”“You tellin’ me what to do?” The builder asked, turned and taking a couple menacing steps towards Laki. He was much taller than Laki, and had very odd armor- It was patched together from other’s. It was green and black and grey and red, every piece strapped onto him, making him appear a bit like a lopsided pile of junk.“You think you’re better’n me? Huh?” the matoran bellowed again, drawing the attention of many of the other workers.“No, no ever-sorry, I was just help-giving advice.” Laki mumbled, taking a few steps back.“Oooh, sheepish, are we?” The other builder mocked. “Is this poor little Hikaki too weak to stand up straight?” Laki had never head the world Hikaki used as a curse- Xa-Koro was strange.“I’m not sheepish.” Laki said, looking the bulky figure in the eye. “I’m trying to help you.”The builder smirked, and slapped Laki in the face. Hard.Laki fell to the ground with the force of the blow, holding one side of his face and cursing. Stars flickered in and out of his vision, and his teeth felt strained. His mask was lopsided, and his cheek ached.That hurt. The builder laughed, and turned away.Laki, fueled by the sort of stupid anger you only get when you feel pain, spun up, whipped out one of his serrated disk blades, and hurled it at the aggressor. The builder roared as the disk sliced along his back, not digging in any further due to it’s tendency to return to the person who threw it. Laki caught the disk and glared, the huge diagonal red slash across the enemy worker’s back filling Laki with satisfaction.The builder turned, but then dropped to the ground, still screaming in agony.Laki felt good. Really, really good. He had brought this man to his knees with almost no trouble.The Le-matoran adjusted his mask and turned around, coming mask to mask with a very thin but well polished brown Kanohi.“Um… hello?” Laki tentatively asked the Matoran.“Hello. We’d like to offer you a job.”“A… a job?” Laki asked, surprised. “Much better pay.” the Po-Matoran added, “And you’ll get off the island.”Those last few words sucked in Laki’s attention immediately, and even a few workers who were within earshot.Laki glanced around the construction sight at the pitiful, lost builders and the Matoran he had just defeated. He looked around at the low, skyline, and the haphazard village as a whole.“Right. I’m in.”
* * *
For the second time in the last week, a blow to the face knocked Laki to the ground. “Get up.” The Skakdi growled, lightly kicking Laki. “You’re not done yet.”The Le-Matoran hated this. What had he gotten himself into?The foreman who had recruited him had led him to a small, inconspicuous hut near the outskirts of the village. It at this point that he had become concerned. Small huts were an odd place for a builder.But the lure of getting off the island he had gotten himself onto beckoned. Maybe he’d find something exciting too- discover what he had been really looking for down in the islets. So he entered the mysterious hut with the Po-Matoran, which was bare save for a hatch in the muddy floor.So Laki went underground, where he found a small metal room, where a wooden platform was set up along with a bunch of weapons.The burly Skakdi was there, and before Laki knew it, he was being taught how to fight.What had he gotten himself into?Laki stood up and glared at the Skakdi training him.“Come on, Matoran. Let’s go. At least get yer Karzin’ stance right.” Laki did his best to stand correctly, feet apart, knees bent, fists up.“Stop bouncin’ like that- yer wastin’ energy, fool,” The Skakdi growled. Laki did so.“Good. Now try an’ hit me.”Laki did his best, jumping forwards and ducking under the expected right hook, but only met the muscular knee of his unforgiving trainer.He lay on the ground, eyes closed, asking himself once more what he was training for. Why did they need him? What did they want with a poorly trained carpenter? His questions would not get answers by lying there on the wooden ground. “Get up. Try again.” the Skakdi spat.Laki groaned, and he did, realizing that his life just didn’t seem to stop getting worse.
IC:"Ga-Koro," replied Soulgain as they reached the bay, where a very familiar boat was waiting.
IC: SalvinnSalvinn's smile turned to a face of dismay as his eye's landed upon their ship. "Sweet mother of Mata-Nui," he exclaimed, his jaw wide open, "How in bloody karz is that brakas of a vehicle still in one bloody piece."
IC:"WHY IS IT STILL HERE?!" screamed Septimus. "HOW IS IT STILL ALIVE?!"Soulgain looked at the duo with a blank expression. "I found it recently."
IC: Salvinn"I-I-I thought it was scrapped for parts in Po-Koro, what the karz. WHAT THE BLOODY KARZ!" Salvinn raged incredulously as Soulgain continued dragging him along."
IC:"I required a sea-worthy vessel," replied Soulgain in its usual monotone as it ushered the others in, before entering itself. "It was remarkably simple acquiring this from the village of stone."
IC: SalvinnSalvinn just collapsed against the mast, resigned to his fate, "Mate this thing is far from sea worthy." He warned, clouds beginning to gather as the ship cast off.
IC: [septimus]"Agreed," muttered Septimus, the boat moving away from the Islets. "Here they come."OOC: Magic Boat and crew to somewhere.
IC KetruAbsolutely no work tomb done here... I looked at the island and POOF, I was gone.OOC Ketru to Le
OOC: A timeskip, and the fact that he's also the 1% saved....IC: WuelpWuelp, seeing as there was truly nothing to be done now, simply headed back towards where he was....employed.***There was a broken machine waiting outside. It looked as it had unlodged a large rock, and it had crushed down onto it. Sitting down on his desk, he took out the tools he needed, and started working.***The machine was retrieved by 3 workers when he was done. Wuelp was tempted to punch one of them, but resisted the urge to squash the little guys beneath his spiked feet. Turning back, he started on new designs or finishing prototypes, moving from one to another whenever he got frustrated. Eventually, he stopped, and relaxed a bit.And then he thought, They'd better not leave me behind.
Ic: The morning rays of sunlight ate through the clouds that hovered overhead for all the hours of the night with rabid hunger, much like the engines that churned through the catacombs underground. But in truth the game was a waiting game at that point. Everything was planned out; people worked to meet the deadlines set and boats, weaponry and training were all happening at speedy rates for the moment when it would all tie together.Aurelia was bored to bits indeed. She had little to do but sit on her hands and await the final hours of the countdown, and oh how she wanted that time to come. She was distraught when she found that her link to Dorian's mind was broken but failed to reach Brykon. Maybe the sheriff was too busy enforcing law? Of course not, there was something afoot, but Aurelia dismissed that worry. Brykon was doing all he could to maintain his control and shattering her connection to Dorian was needed for him. It didn't matter enough for the electress to be bothered by it any further, so she let it go. Brykon would answer for it eventually.And so she waited...****[Three days later...]It was a usual day for Brykon Senegal, Sheriff of Xa-Koro and colonel of the clandestine armed forces (which included Bad Company and the future army): Work out in the morning, smoke a ripe Kumu cigar, have a coffee with some kick, eat fried eggs and steak, wake the other oafs up, evade Aurelia's requests for audience and patrol. Patrol the docks, patrol the streets, patrol the rooftops. So far they were as a team on the streets. Mid-morning streaks of sunlight basked the team of marauders with natural golden glory, unfitting their grey hearts and sullied souls. As usual, Brykon was in the front, shoving the way like a wedge parts a log ushering the head behind the point."Well, I did it. I ditched the scarf."Brykon hadn't given up on Dorian Shaddix. It had been over three days since he had last seen him, bloodied and shattered, crushed to a pulp in a very literal fashion. He was hardly recognizable at all back then and probably wasn't any better now. Brykon's face remained impassive even as he heard that familiar voice, but he didn't turn about yet."Well Bry, I didn't think it was possible, but you did it." Jin said. "You beat the bad fashion sense right out of him."Brykon closed his eyes, imagining what this Dorian looked like now. Was he shorter? Did he lose weight? Was he chalky from a lack of sunlight and blood? It had been three days. The loss of fluid would be... immense unless he allowed the wounds to clot. That brought to mind an image of a ghoulish character drenched in filth. But of all things, it was the scarf that caught the other people's attention. Or the lack thereof. Mentally, Brykon narrowed down Dorian's looks now. No scarf: Check. Progress."Going for a more conventional garrote, these days?" Marfoir said.Brykon opened his eyes and looked to face Dorian. What he saw was nothing like the shell he left behind... or the kid he had lunch with a long while ago. Dorian looked... different now. There was the physical appearance, of course, and in that respect Brykon's imagination was not that far from the mark, though two silver orbs were at his knees suggesting that he did try and fix himself a little. But the real difference he saw was in Dorian's eyes and face. The face was still mauled, haggard and misshapen. He would never have that pretty face again -- Aurelia would be upset if she saw him now -- which was good for everyone involved. A new mask adorned his head but it showed no less care, obviously it had seen better days, too. But beyond all the sudden ugliness that Dorian had on his skin there was something new about his eyes. "Dorian," Brykon said in his observation as their eyes met, "you've aged." That was all he said. Like many things the poet said, it bore great meaning in contrite sentences. For the first time since they had met, Brykon's remark was one of approval. Dorian's eyes captivated something Brykon wanted to see in them for many, many years: Humility and honesty. It was all he ever wanted to see in those sockets. "Jin, Illicia, take to the rooftops and patrol the city from there. Sev, Grokk, look around the docks, and let me know if you see any sign of the boats coming in. Marfoir, go find Wuelp in one of the depots and take him to Aurelia. Leave me with Dorian." They balked at the final sentence. The last time the two men were together... that happened. Having the two alone again was generally accepted as a bad idea. But their apprehention was dissipated when Brykon continued: "Dorian needs to be polished." Not fixed, not healed, not reconstituted; Dorian already took care of all that. No, he didn't need to be pieced together and made whole, he needed to be cleaned and made new again. "Go!"
IC. Bar Drinking Contest Bonanza.Clapping rang out in the bar, but it was to a beat. The crazy clapping had stopped much earlier. The tempo was fast- fast enough to keep him conscious as he downed another drink."See, back home, this is generally referred to as 'too much.'" The Toa who Kinika drank against claimed.The Toa of iron grinned. "Back home, this is generally referred to as the first round."With a loud cheer, he grabbed another glass and drank it. His vision hadn't blurred yet- that was a good sign. That was a very good sign. However, would it last? He shrugged mentally. One way to find out."Yeeeeee-haw!"
IC-Marfoir:One last glance at Dorian. Beaten, nearly ripped apart, and then put back together, painstakingly reconstructed to the very last piece. His eyes, carrying the barest mark of wisdom that hadn't been there before. He nodded. Slinging his rifle back over his shoulder, he left the group, walking off towards the shop where Wuelp worked.
IC: IlliciaIllicia had said little since the introduction of Aurelia. All she could think about was Dorian, no matter how hard she tried. She wasn't entirely sure what it was that made him so darned irresistible, but it sure as karz worked. Brykon's battering of him had shaken her more than it realistically should have, and despite her best efforts to forget him and focus on obeying Brykon and Brykon alone from now on, Dorian had stayed in her mind for three days straight, like he was clinging to it for dear life. Perhaps that was why she at first wondered why everyone was so surprised to see him.Her face inadvertently formed a sort of diagonal line as she silently observed the conversing between the other members of the Company. The lack of a scarf was hardly the peak of her concerns about Dorian's appearance. He looked and moved like a corpse, and he might as well have been one. His ability to spark strange new emotions in her hadn't managed to die quite as much as him: she felt pity, and a twinge of sorrow, something she had suppressed deep within her since childhood. "Go!"Reality hit her like a stampede, and she snapped out of her daydreams to scale a nearby building and patrol the rooftops on the other side of the street to this new girl, Jin. She wasn't sure what to think of her, but she didn't seem too bad so far. Nice to have a woman's touch.
IC: Dorian (Xa-Koro)"Could be worse."Those, of course, would not have been the first words out of my mouth three days ago, but now, I found myself almost apathetic as I stared at my new face. I wasn't that sort of feminine gorgeous I had been three days ago, nor would I ever be, but to the trained eye there was still a rugged handsomeness on my face - almost, I noticed with a shiver, like Brykon's - that refuse to go away, and my eyes still burned with the same underlying ferocity. That said, that handsomeness would take a while to come back in force: my eye sockets and the space around them were brutalized, my cheekbones were totally screwed, the older layers of blood still needed to be washed from my face, and my torso, still muscled and well-kept, was dotted with the barest hints of ribs jutting from their assigned positions and bruises scattered like leopard's spots. Brykon shrugged."Not much worse."I turned back to Brykon. It was the first sentence he'd said after he had led me to lunch, gotten me something substantial to eat, and then gotten me to wash up and try and make myself look like something organic again. Finally, I shrugged as well."Something in me died down there, Bry -- what I'm supposed to be died down there. Is it wrong that I really don't mind?"-Tyler
IC. Afterwards.Kinika stumbled out of the bar, vomiting as he left. He'd won. Or maybe he'd lost. He couldn't really remember. All he could remember was choosing a stronger drink. Much stronger. Too strong.You're just a drunken disease on society.That was new. The voice in his head was insulting him now. He began thinking of obscenities, knowing that he thoughts might as well have been directed at the voice.You know it's true. You're completely useless despite your bloodline. Kraeyn. Naara. They both made something out of their life and gifts. You? You did nothing.He didn't reply. He had a really bad headache. He groaned mentally, and the headache went away. His mind seemed to clear. He felt power. Feel that? You have power. Use it.He tilted his head. What did the voice mean by that? He did feel intensely stronger. It was rising. He...he... Couldn't believe...------Roughly a sixth of an hour later.He woke up. That's what it meant. There was a...Parakuka? That's what it had called itself during the power high. Specifically, Orion. A Parakuka named Orion. For ten minutes it had drilled heroism into his head. What he needed to be. What he could become.You understand now. Will you carry out this purpose?Kinika smiled, nodding slowly. He was a hero. He'd be darned if he didn't become one.OOC: Orion, of course, has evil purposes. These will surface soon enough.
Ic: "What you're supposed to be is now," Brykon rumbled. He was in the opposite room of the apartment they were in, reading his tablet while Dorian groomed in the washroom. "There is no reason to miss what you were. That was an armor against what you perceived to be a danger, a safeguard subconsciously made as you grew without a purpose But now you see that life is more than womanizing and fighting, that life is full of possibility and it requires that shell to be dropped. Only when you're open in mind and body can you truly realize yourself."The sounds of trickling water and muffled yelps of pain could be heard from the washroom. "I'm not a doctor but I know you're in shambles. This is good, but you need someone more skilled than either of us to clean you. Stay here; I'll get a doctor. Aurelia hired a few of them.""Brykon," Dorian said. It was a welcomed change that he used Brykon's full name; the affectionate 'Bry' and its variations grated the colonel's ears. "What?" was the brusque reply."Why is it good?"Brykon was quiet for a moment. "You know why. You tell me."Dorian didn't need to think about it; it came instinctively from his pondering as he scraped the dirt the days prior. It was a lesson taught by his mentor even when they dueled. "Because one's greatness is derived not from how often we fall but how dignified we get up."Brykon silently nodded in satisfaction as he left the flat.
IC: Fantum (The Final Problem, Xa-Koro)Fantum stood before Reichenbach's assorted minions, excluding Ynatru, who refused to be moved, and six statues at the back of the room, each looking similar to one of the Toa Mata."It has come to my attention," the Toa said, pacing back and forth, "That our leader, Reichenbach, appears to have settled into life here and given up on the outside world. We haven't seen action in far too long."So, I have a proposal for you: I have connections with a group on the mainland, that could always do with people with your... skills. If you accept my offer, we will cross over to Mata Nui on the ferry, leaving Reichenbach and this casino behind. All in favour, say 'aye'.""Aye." Stranax said."Aye," Karhaz added.Fantum looked to the rest, awaiting a response.