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Follower Four

Fourth Adherent of the Autonomous Collective of Accepted Civilizations

0 · 420 views · located in Norline and Related

a character in “New Stars, Old Souls”, as played by Ambassador Karik

Description

Image

- Traveler Form -

Name: Arthro
Given Name: Follower Four
Nickname(s):
Gender: Unspecified
Race: Brakori
Age: -
Birthday: Nover 22.17.3 (November 22, 5:20 pm)
Height: 6' 2" at the shoulder
Powers/Abilities: Willsapper; is able to drain willpower from an individual upon physical contact. This induces a state of lethargic apathy in the victim, and is primarily used to keep servants in check. It is a natural ability of the Brakori but has been strengthened to work with the travel form that Followers live in. Follower Four is also capable of traveling at a speed up to 92 MPH (148 KMH) on flat land for a short period of time. The travel form is adapted to work on land primarily and water secondarily. For the latter, there is a small air sack in the chest cavity that stores oxygen and allows Follower Four to breathe underwater for an hour at absolute most. There is transparent webbing in the framework off the back of the form's limbs, allowing for a bit of swim capability. Lastly, Follower Four is capable of reading very basic messages from plants and some animals. It is a mild telepathic ability that is strengthened slightly through physical contact.
Equipment: -
Family: None naturally; shares genetic heritage with other Travel Forms

So begins...

Follower Four's Story

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Character Portrait: Follower Four
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Below the reach of the blue sky, smoke choked the air for miles around. Cartilaginous white paws stood buried in the crisp bed of burned plant matter that made up the jungle floor. Skeletal trees still smoked, limbs cut short and embers still brewing. Follower Four breathed in, tasting the carbon in the atmosphere while it cycled through the system. Around, several other Brakori Followers were studying the progress of the flames. Locations were marked, data sent back to the ring-shaped flagship. Follower Four let them go on their way, and turned its attention towards where it had been told the indigenous were. They were far out, trying to stop the inferno from reaching their homes. Follower crouched low, building tension in its muscles before launching forward. It bounded into the flames, touching into the soft and often still-burning land to propel itself towards the villagers.

---

Follower Four slowed to a stop, pacing along the treeline under the cover of the fire. Its white form blended among the ashen surface, but it knew the indigenous would soon become aware of its presence. The locals were trying their best, dressed in special heat-resistant material. But they fought the flames with buckets and satchels of water. Most were on foot; they were aided by slender quadrupeds that moved swiftly towards and then back from the fire to drop off water. A pair of the beasts - one blue, one lavender - moved towards Follower's location. While the blue turned as soon as its job was done, the lavender stopped sharply. Broad ears swiveled forward, fur puffing up and sharp emerald eyes locking onto the invader. The beast seemed to struggle with its instincts, barking a sharp note at Follower but then backing up from the flames. It began to pace, glancing between the intruder and the inferno before an engulfed tree limb began crashing down. The creature bounced back, then moved away with the rest of the firefighting team while the limb shattered. Embers clouded out from it, and a handful of burning bark fragments bounced off Follower's exterior. Its green eyes remained locked on the quadruped until only the silhouette remained. Follower proceeded forward, hopping over the dropped limb and maneuvering under a burnt log. Re-emerging on the other side, it dodged flaming vines that had finally succumbed to gravity's pull. The forest residents had long passed, save for... the Brakori's eyes locked onto a panicking creature. It was a tiny thing, cowering under the cover of a formerly-mossy rock den. It withdrew further in when Follower approached it. The racing heartbeat was nearly palpable even among the deafening roar of the wildfire. Follower reached in, clawing at the tiny thing. Its paw fell short of contact while the little creature stuck itself in between the ground and the boulder. It couldn't be reached. Giving up, Follower cast it a glare and then moved on. The bipeds wouldn't escape its reach so easily.

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Character Portrait: Follower Four
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A sharp pitch gave the indication that another Brakori had entered the vicinity. It was Follower Nine, bearing a series of black smudges from where it had brushed against burnt flora. Follower Four relayed its witnessing of the native quadrupeds. They had three traits of note; claws, a sharp beak, and agile stature. They would be swift and they would rip their travel forms apart. They'd be a threat. Nine barked the news to other individuals that Four couldn't see without turning completely around. It was relayed back - slightly distorted by a collapsing limb - that three more were on their way. It would be a good starting crew, and they had the flames on their side.

Ahead, there was a new sight to be seen. A party of natives was gathering forward, buckets of water in hand. They hadn't heeded the warning of the quadrupeds, or... perhaps they were unaware. Follower Four crouched down, digging into the ashen surface. Flames licked at its skin, trying to get some type of fiery grip through its thermal shielding. The Brakori felt a shudder in its muscles, instincts kicking in from the predatory position. Moments. Minutes, at best, would pass before it could claim its first set of natives. Already the Brakori had chosen names for the bipedal race; the Archive-Kin.

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Character Portrait: Follower Four
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Follower stood alert, prepared to pounce when the soundwaves of its kin resonated between the flames. It held position, listening. The ring-ship had relayed her observations; there were two intruders, one of which cast purple light towards the other. The fired-upon had dove down and landed. Its internal parasites had spread outward across their self-made home. Follower felt disdain; how dare these others try to take a sacred planet. From what had been seen, this was the home of the Traveler. A spiritual place. Each element served its purpose.

Frustration and anger arose, even while the other Followers kept Four up-to-date on the monitoring. The ring-ship was taking a wait-and-see approach. Foolish, but Four was not about to question the ring-ship. No, Four simply returned to the task at hand. Collect the Archive-Kin. From there, they would be able to devise a plan to rid this world of its growing infestation.

Four set a paw forward, delicately stepping further into the ash. The Archive-Kin and their quadruped leaders were still fighting the one-sided fight against the flames of the Brakori. They wouldn't win, but they did have spirit. Patience set in while the white creature waited. Watched. Waited. Waited.... waited.... waited.... moved. The action came virtually simultaneous with the fall of a bursting tree trunk. The humidity had built up, finally bursting part of the plant away. The Brakori launched, smoke plunging outward on its trail while it snagged the arm of an Archive-Kin. The noise the biped made was piercing; a shrill alarm to its tribe. Four fell out of balance, rolling and then pinning the creature down. It fought well, tiny limb-digits digging into the many bands of tissue that encompassed Four's travel form. But the strength began to wane. Follower Four felt its own motivations growing as the Archive-Kin's dwindled. At last, it fell silent. Melancholy. Four grabbed it, managing to drag it out of the way of a shower of embers. It repositioned itself, digging its head under the body and twisting around until the Archive-Kin was balanced. Stepping from the flames, Follower Four heard the shouts of alerted bipeds. The shrill call of one of the quadrupeds caught its attention. It dove into the smoke, choosing a less-heated path and building speed until finally the weight of the biped was lifted. Follower Four did a sharp u-turn, sending up a cloud of ash and embers as it headed back for another native. One down, four to go.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: Lieutenant Nathan Auridaxe Character Portrait: Admiral Jannery
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Reports began coming in; there was confirmation that a secondary fire - one they hadn't started - had been unnaturally crafted and the result of the Federation. It was drawing several indigenous away from the Brakori fire; likely, the ones from the latter were meeting up with and alerting the former to the invaders. On top of that, it appeared that the Federation was moving in to usurp control of the planet. Their flagship was still in orbit and had fired upon the spacecraft that met up with the Society. The Society was less of a concern; their parasites were sticking closer to the base and hadn't started any fires.

Follower stayed on standby, listening to the dialogue between the ring-ship and the aboard crew. Tensions were rising. Although the Federation hadn't tried to contact them yet, they had already proved to be aggressive. At last, the ring-ship made her choice. She began to descend, spinning slowly. So long as the Federation left them alone, they'd be fine. They routed pacifist codes to the Nebula, informing the captain that it was an unoccupied and empty cargo liner on autopilot landing due to a lack of fuel.

Worst-case scenario, they'd be a shot at. Which they were prepared for. The ring-ship withheld a hailing frequency to the captain, only sending periodic low-frequency sounds to the grounded Brakori.

(( Disregard Nathan's tag, accidental ))

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Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: Admiral Jannery
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Ring-ship spoke back to her followers, letting Four know by default that they had been responded to by the Nebula. She was receiving scans, and was letting it happen. Four knew the Federation would pick up readings of the Brakori and at least one Archive-Kin - probably seventeen by now - within her hull. Proudly she displayed her alignment to the Autonomous Collective of Accepted Civilizations, though maintained the statement that she was moving automatically and without passengers. Instead, she went on to state that her hull had been invaded by Brakori. She was requesting that the Federation remove them from her hull for incarceration.

Four stood in a clearing of the land, where only smoldering ash coated the floor. Rain was thundering down, able to break through the wall of smoke. Thunder could be heard above the roar of the fire circling outward. The Traveler was letting the Followers know that their mission - and what the ring-ship chose to do - was approved. But there was something else. A notification.

Below, something had been detected. A life-form was registering as a Person of Interest; an Archive-Kin. Follower Four was confused; how were the indigenous at all relevant here? The individual was listed as a potential ally, on behalf of records collected from a different - future - point in time. It didn't make sense... how did they have records from any time after now?

A frequency went out. Three of the nearest Followers were being re-routed off the Archive-Kind hunt to the Person of Interest. Being the lowest in rank, Four was sent to specifically seek out the report of the individual. The Brakori huffed, but complied. If the report turned out to be a success... perhaps an acknowledgement from the Traveler was at hand. Four began in the direction of the report. It was right at the border of the Federation-born flames. In the zones of high threat. Perhaps, the Traveler had chosen to eradicate Four from the band of disciples. In that case....

A wall of cold and rainy air hit Four as it left the safety of the inferno's borders. Line of sight extended outward, bringing the view of mist-enshrouded peaks and bands of sun far off on the trees. The view was soon swallowed by a mass of green and the rolls of slick forest floor. Leaves whipped around, catching in the structure of Four's exoskeleton. Several times it had to stop to rub against a tree trunk to remove thorns. Four felt the stings of neurotoxins building up, and already was regretting leaving the company of its kinfolk.

At the pass of the third time-ping, Four began to slow. It was approaching the source of the record, and no other Followers were in sight. It had been dropped from communications by the ring-ship, mission clear. Locate, confirm, detain. From there, Four only had to assume the ring-ship would collect the Archive-Kind.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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They stuck to the borderlands. Wandering a smoky ghost-town with rain pouring down upon it and the roar of flames in the back. It was the place between two elements, surely. Fire and water working in tandem to take down earth. Suffocating air in the process. They were forces to be reckoned with.

And right now, right here, they were inconvenient. It had taken what felt like a day to finally find a break in the onslaught of heat. They were on the outskirts of the village now, houses becoming spotty and giving way to the jungle. There was enough humidity to rob the inferno of dry fuel should it outlast the rainstorm and wander over. Ambassador breathed relief upon rounding a corner and finding an open path. It was not often that he got the chance to simply jump over the boundary of fires. He began to backtrack, moving outward from the village and towards where he assumed - at this point hoped on account of having wandered enough to lose bearings - was where he would find Kaliska.
-
In the back, there was only silence. La'vida had opted not to speak, and the Ambassador had apparently chosen the same. Still, there was a growing tension. Whether it was amplified by the frustration of slogging through cold mud in soaked clothing or being on a foreign planet was uncertain. But it was most certainly there. She had decided long ago to leave. Unfortunately, she didn't have a way to do that. Her best chance would be to meet up with the Society and hitch a ride back. But... that was quite a ways away. She would have to hope that the indigenous here - the Misu as the Ambassador called them - would be able to lead her back to the Society. The novelty of this planet had worn off.

-

Four struggled to see through the fog. Streams of water wandered off its body, while droplets forced their way between the exposed exoskeleton tendons. The latter was uncomfortable, feeling the slight adhesion within the bands. Four reminded itself that the rain was a gift - an omen of good luck - and had more healing to it than could be comprehended. The lightning, on the other hand, was a whole other thing.

Mood perked when emerald eyes landed on a form. A standalone, a biped, an Archive-Kin. The Archive-Kin that had been indicated. A 'potential ally'. There was a trace of anxiety in the Brakori's mind, not knowing what would happen as it continued to close the gap between the two. No data had been given as to what this species - let alone this individual - could do. They could be poisonous. Hypnotic. Shape-shifters. Perhaps this wasn't even their natural form. For every possible threat was also a possible gift. It was a gamble.

Four made itself known with a statement from its humanoid-esque 'rider' once it began to see the finer details of the Archive-Kin. The female, known to the records as 'Kakla'. The voice was organic enough, though to Four it still felt fake. "Generic interplanetary greeting, Kakla. This Follower speaks on behalf of the Autonomous Collective of Accepted Civilizations, an allied force in your efforts." It was perhaps one-hundred quadrupedal paces from the Kakla Archive-Kin now, her features becoming clearer. She was with another - one in bright orange - who was currently insignificant. Follower kept note of the other humanoid and paid more attention to the Kakla. The Brakori came to a stop thirty quadrupedal paces from the other. "You must inform this Follower whether or not it may approach."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Follower Four
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#, as written by Beeps
Kaliska furrowed her brows, frustration growing as she stared over at the lifeless form of Nathan's orange suit. She had thought the words were coming from him and the irritation came from his sudden ability to change his voice and speak completely different than he had before. Her patience was gone.

"Other Nathan, this Misu does not under..." Her words abruptly stopped as she noticed the actual source of the voice creeping upon them from behind. For a moment, she could not respond through limb or words. Her mind was urging her to move. To find the warrior she had been accompanied by and flee. The others were finally here. Who knew how many of them were out there, hidden behind the wall of jungle. Her heart was racing as quickly as her frantic thoughts. She was not ready for this. The Misu were not ready for this.

It was a moment later that the translation of this new other's words trickled into Kaliska's mind. Allied force? Did that mean friend? Or least... Not yet an enemy? It, the other, was asking her permission to come closer. A follower? She had never heard of that type of other... Finally her body regained the ability to move. Her green eyes first darted to the closer Misu who were working at the fire. Some of them were now watching with wide eyes, some ready to defend her if needed.

Collecting her courage, she straightened her shoulders and hardened her features as she turned to face this new other that greatly resembled a creature. It was not an unheard of concept on other stars, she knew, but Kaliska had never before seen it for herself.

"Y-you may approach, Follower," Kaliska could have kicked herself for the sudden shakiness of her voice but she'd would be lying if she claimed to be not frightened by this new other and all the possibilities that came with it. Somehow over the last four days a worry had set in her, completely hiding her once carefree and adventurous attitude.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four
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Follower Four waited until granted permission to approach. It was here that the guidance from the ring-ship had ended; it had been instructed to locate, greet, and approach the Kakla. Now it was lost. Running on improv. It chose to step forward, hesitating to another stop a handful of paces from the Archive-Kin. She was a small thing; Follower laid down, bringing itself just under eye level. It kept up the image that the humanoid shape on its back was a separate, speaking entity. It was better this way, likely more comfortable for the Archive-Kin. "This Follower requires confirmation of your identity. Are you Kakla?" Follower looked the biped over, trying to assess what the ring-ship had considered potentially helpful. The individual did not seem to be amphibious or otherwise set up for aquatic access; how would they help find the Traveler?

-

Ahead, the plant life began to distinguish itself from others. Misu. The fire-fighters seemed to regard the two with fear and confusion at first, backing away and seeming to try and figure out if they were invaders. Ambassador spoke all he knew - "Kaixo" - and spotted an expression of recognition. There was hesitation before a few started back on their firefighting. The inferno was a more pressing matter at this point, Ambassador assumed. But there was one Misu that seemed to coordinate with others before running off. Hopefully a messenger to Kaliska. If.. she was alive. Ambassador glanced to La'vida and followed after the lone Misu.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: Kirin Sage Poletti
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#, as written by Beeps
Kaliska's eyes widened slightly as the other approached. Slowly she swept over it's appearance, seeing now that it was laying, that it was actually the person-like other on the creature's back that was doing the speaking. Weary eyes traveled upward to examine them both in their entirety. She was safely going to assume that neither were native to Norline.

"Kakla?" She asked before slowly shaking her head in general sign of 'no'. "This Misu is not called Kakla..." She answered cautiously before mustering up some courage to ask a question of her own, "I-is it a Misu that you, Follower, are looking? I know no Misu called by Kakla."

Surely this other would not be referring to her though the first syllable did sound similar to her own name. Others did not even know her. Aside from Cole and Ambassador that is and Cole never knew her as anything else beside Misu. For a split second she wondered if Cole was even still on Norline. He had been their initial threat. Him and the idea that others from a Society were chasing after them, falsely accusing them of slaughtering their kin. That fear almost seemed childish and fanciful.

Now there were plenty more to be afraid of.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Follower Four
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Follower pondered that possibility. After all, no other Followers were here to greet the Person of Interest. But... Misu? Maybe it was a religious term, or a rank, or something else in that realm. Regardless, she was not Kakla. At least didn't identify as such. Follower was disappointed. "Yes," Four finally answered, "This Follower is looking for a Kakla with which to discuss diplomacy for the establishment of an aquatic arcology." Four wasn't sue whether or not t was permitted to discuss the intent of the ring-ship, but it saw no harm in it. "Is your species aquatic or amphibious? This Follower must know before diplomacy can begin."

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Follower Four
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#, as written by Beeps
Follower's words flowed well over the Misu's head. There were several words that she could not translate even if she tried. Jeremiah had been a good teacher, but likely he never dreamed in a million suns that Kaliska would ever need to know the meaning of words such as arcology or amphibious. Trying to keep collected amid all the destruction and confusion literally surrounding her, she took a breath and slowly shook her head again.

The rain had already weighed down her wavy locks causing them to cling to the sides of her face. The storm was picking up around them. The drops were coming down in sheets and the wind to tug at her soaking dress. Misu were used to rain. It washed everything away and left it clean and refreshed. But now, despite the downpour's best efforts, Kaliska knew that the rain would not dash away the others or the situation she was in which she currently found herself.

Blinking through the fat droplets she finally answered as best she could. "Does Kakla mean Protector? Perhaps that is the Misu you are looking for if you are wishing to discuss such... matters. None of the Protectors are here right now." She probably should not have disclosed that information to yet another strange other but she could not imagine the situation getting worse than it was already. "I'm the closest you will get. This Misu knows not the meaning of your words. Are you... Are you asking about water?"

Somewhere in the back of her memory she recalled Jeremiah once referring to water as aqua... Perhaps it held the same meaning to these people at well. Then again she could be way off from the actual meaning. After all,if they were seeking water, all they had to do was look up or to the great Monsayno.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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- Follower Four -

Four found itself at a loss. It hadn't predicted the other to have such a different dialect. The fact she understood and could carry a conversation in Basic at all had been a blessing. It knew nothing of this culture, and it was entirely possible that Kakla meant Protector and the ring-ship had chosen to speak of the individual in that religious rank. If Four was looking for a Protector, and if that Protector was found, perhaps Four would be able to finally promote to an aquatic form. "Yes, that must be true." its mind was turning to try and improvise language. The Archive-Kin-Misu didn't know several words, or at least not in Basic. Perhaps Four had mistranslated. It studied the woman's form, thinking of what to do. Under normal circumstances, the ring-ship would have called for the indigenous to be collected for information. But Four was working outside normal circumstances; if the Archive-Kin-Misu could guide it to the Kakla-Protector, there was little sense in sending her up from the surface of the planet. "This Follower does mean water." The umbrella term - 'water' - felt stale and inaccurate. It was only two syllables... how could it possibly relay the importance of the element? "This Follower is looking to gain the favor of the Kakla on behalf of this Follower's congregation." Here, Follower thought over if it had given too much information. The thought quickly vanished with the strengthening of the rain; Follower Four was on the right track. But where were the other Followers? Why hadn't the ring-ship re-established communication?

- Ambassador and La'vida -

Fire in the village mingled with the tiny fires bouncing off raindrops. Pins of sunset light were piercing through, casting colors in odd places. It was difficult to tell how much of the sun was genuine evening light and how much was simply reddened by the smoke, giving the illusion that so much time had passed. Ambassador's clothes were nearly soaked through, fortunately the majority being in the region of the Misu cloth. He was grateful he had chosen to stick with the trekking trousers and boots; the latter offered complete dryness halfway up to his shins. The former was less resistant, but dark and unrevealing to the wetness. As far as the billowing shirt went, it was beginning to cling. Virtually useless for modesty where it stuck to his skin. The upside to the thin material was that it made it possible to feel the chilled droplets as they fell, counterbalancing the heat of the humid air.

An expression of relief and then frustration scattered across his face. He had lost track of the messenger, the Misu vanishing into the environment like a proper native. As it turned out, they had been following a short footpath he had thought the messenger was on but hadn't been. Residences - untouched by the fires - stood between the two and the rest of the village. The view of the river was effectively blocked, leaving him wandering again. And back to the feeling of frustrated anxiety. He didn't like being lost. Finally, he stopped and turned to face his progeny. Even with her frown and wetted-down red hair, he couldn't help but feel the upbeat of being near her. Seeing her again. So much taller than he remembered... "I don't know where we are." he admitted.

La'vida glanced out, sweeping over the area. She had a basic grasp of where they were, her tracker coordinating their location based on the saved points of the Society outpost, the village, and the river. They'd stayed relatively parallel to the last-mentioned. The thing was, she wasn't sure where they should be. The Ambassador hadn't provided her with coordinates. Presumably, he didn't have any. She was just as lost as he, though she wasn't about to let that be said. Looking back to him, "That one Misu you talked to was heading in a relatively straight path south-by-southeast. We're a little way off track, but I assume you wanted to follow him?" she received confirmation. Her eyes settled on a little colored beast peeking out from its shelter in the crevices of a tree trunk. It regarded her for a short time and then retreated back into its den. La'vida indicated off the path. "That way. If we stay lost, I have a tracker that is updating me on how far we are from where the river meets the village. We can backtrack if need be."

A quiet moment. How many... what did La'vida have installed? He had to be honest in his opinion; it was disapproval. No one needed implants, certainly not any child of his. He only sighed, trusting her guidance and veering off the path. The first step was tricky, requiring a cooperation of pushing aside plants and crawling up onto a slight ledge. His boots slipped once before he made it up there. There was the concern of not knowing which plants that were coming in contact with him were dangerous. La'vida would have a hardier system. She might even... he cast the thought aside. Medical implants were commonplace now, as much as he would have liked otherwise.
-
Quiet drops rolled off leaves of every shape and shade. Flowers cast their scent out, taking advantage of the humidity and filling the air with the mix of wet earth and attractive sweetness. Though the air was relatively clear of insects, many flyers glided. Some seemed to be intercepting water droplets, others seemed to just enjoy the mid-flight bath. Their calls and colors were becoming more familiar now, more comfortable. The rainforest never seemed to be quiet.
-
A clearing made itself known. They had found another path, this one with a plethora of fresh tracks. Almost all of them overlapped. In a few places along the edges, little puddles formed in indents left by paws and sandal-feet. They were on the trail of Misu and Eagox. A good sign. Ambassador stooped under a tree limb, pausing to hold it for La'vida before carrying on. Thunder rumbled in the back. The lightning, it seemed, had moved on to another part of the storm. He hoped any fires started by it had been snuffed by the rain. In the haze ahead, he caught what he thought was the shape of a Misu. And a stone or.. an Eagox. As he approached, he felt an instinctive fear arise. Something wasn't right with the Eagox. It lacked the long tail and looked a bit skeletal. It was laying down, though, seeming to interact with the Misu. And then a wave of joy washed over. The Misu. It was Kaliska. He stepped up the pace, casting a check-glance over his shoulder to make sure he hadn't lost La'vida. When they were close enough for him to see with a startle that there was a small rider on the Eagox, he remembered what Kaliska had told him. He slowed again, offering his hand to his companion. La'vida hesitated, giving him an odd look. "It's a sign of allyship to the Misu." he explained quietly.
She took the hand. "What do I greet with?"
Ambassador smiled slightly through the rain. "Kaixo. You learned her name, but I believe it is as it would be back home. For now, greet her as 'Miss Misu'. It doesn't seem to be a strict ban, but it did take me a couple of days to be told her name. You may introduce yourself as you wish. I am known as Ambassador to her."
La'vida nodded once, turning emerald eyes back to the Misu of topic. There was something.. not right about the creature beside the woman. A heavy frown crossed the redhead's face. The creature was white; it didn't bear jungle colors like the rest of the residents. Nor was its body structure similar. It was... odd. Maybe it was a mountain native.

Ambassador called out when they were a couple dozen paces from Kaliska. "Kaixo, Miss Castilla. Am I interrupting?" he carried forward regardless, casting a quick look to the other humanoid that seemed woven into the white not-quite-Eagox. The creature did not move its head, only its eyes looked to him. It seemed to have an immobilized skull. It seemed a little familiar, but he couldn't place it. The rider said nothing to him, its face hidden behind a smooth black helmet surface. He hoped with everything he had that this wasn't an associate of Nathan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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Ambassador closed the distance, losing hold of La'vida as he was unexpectedly greeted in the more familial of Misu ways. Her grip was cold from the rain, gripping through the thin material. Her traces of memory flooded in, a background distraction overspoken by the Misu's words. He hadn't had the chance to see her eyes this close before. They were a rich green, bright and cheerful. He was about to pull her into a hug when she let him go, focusing on La'vida. He didn't get the chance to prepare the latter for the greeting, and instead was simply resigned to stand by while Kaliska greeted the newcomer. In the time, he looked to the white creature. It was silent. Still.

The way the Misu greeted the Ambassador was... odd, to say the least. It seemed rather cozy, for theirs being a friendship of only four days. She couldn't help but feel distaste and a bit of irritation. She frowned, but let the expression fade when the Misu turned to her. She took a reflexive step back when she was approached, and made a half-hearted attempt to free an arm when it was taken hold of. When their foreheads touched, she took full advantage of the opportunity to look for memories of Ambassador. There were few.. mundane. The only one of note was something about being freed from a jail cell while in his presence. It wasn't enough to go on. She didn't speak when the Misu did, instead remaining tense in the onslaught of the rainstorm.

An odd mix of emotion rose; La'vida seemed oddly uncomfortable with the greeting. She had come far from the snuggling little girl he had seen only a couple of years ago. His attention shifted back when his name was mentioned. He struggled a moment to understand what she was communicating. She had called him a Misu. Was it a statement of acceptance, or a facade like he had used with Nathan...?


Follower Four regarded the two new ones. They were notably taller. At least, the male. What looked like a male biped. Ambassador. A diplomat. Its attention piqued. Was this the Kakla it had been charged to find? The ring-ship had spoken of a female... perhaps these bipeds interchanged. After all, the records were from a time ahead of now; it was possible that this was indeed the Kakla and they hadn't become female yet. Or maybe the kin was. She was virtually identical to the not-Kakla-Misu it was more familiar with. Regardless.... "Generic interplanetary greeting, diplomat and diplomat-kin."

Ambassador's head cocked to the side. He wasn't prepared for this situation either. The rider spoke.. like a droid. Culturally oblivious. It was an.. other. Another other. He was beginning to understand why Kaliska was so on edge; everywhere he looked, it seemed there was another species. He sent the Misu a mirrored look of what she had given prior. He wasn't sure why she had chosen to stop and converse with this one rather than go on the defensive. Nathan seemed to be gone. Kaliska had no other reason to remain here. He stepped close to her, tagging La'vida along. ".. General.. interplanetary greeting, Follower." he replied with a wary tone. The rider didn't appear to be breathing. Or really... move. He got a weird feeling about the individual, not bothering to hide the fact he was staring at the faceless mask. The creature seemed to be sizing him up, its eyes looking at him from under its fixed eye ridges. It was a creature of notable size, unlike the rider. It was possible they came in with the Society, in which case... Ambassador set a hand on the Misu's shoulder, asking the rider "To whom are you affiliated?"
Follower spoke with pride, "The Autonomous Collective of Accepted Civilizations. This Follower requires confirmation of your identity. Are you Kakla?"
The Autonomous... Collective. It didn't ring a bell, but it certainly sounded like the name of a governmental organization. Fantastic, they were dealing with another Federation... "No." he replied, "Just the Ambassador." he turned his focus away from Follower for a short minute, casting a check-glance towards his daughter. Her expression spoke of recognition. She motioned her over. She ignored him. Frowning, he spoke to Kaliska while looking down towards her feet. "No hostile record was found regarding the Autonomous Collective within our databanks." he hoped she would follow along. "However, your presence has been requested at Fort Ryilla to the west-"
"This Follower and this Misu were speaking of your kin's civilization." Four interrupted. It caught the sidelong gaze of the not-Kakla diplomat. The full look was received when Follower Four moved back up into a stand. It towered a bit above the trio, shoulders just higher than the eye level of the tallest. It diregarded the tallest, speaking again to the first Archive-Kin-Misu it had interacted with. It spoke with what it hoped would be a friendly humanoid-biped tone; curt, forceful. "The Traveler approves your way of life." Follower felt a pang of fear; it was not its place to speak of what the Traveler wanted. Hopefully the Witnesses would be okay with it... "The Followers seek to inhabit the waters of your land. We travel on behalf of the Traveler. If these Misu live within the blessing of the Traveler, these Misu must have Witnesses." Follower took half a step forward, reveling in the sense of fresh rain feeding on the village inferno. "Although this Follower is designated to meet with the Kakla, this Follower would be praised to meet a Witness." It was a lot to ask.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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#, as written by Beeps
Ambassador's hand on her shoulder felt strange. Kaliska wondered what this gesture meant to his kind. Only her eyes showed a slight hint of puzzlement before she followed his gaze to Follower. Perhaps it was something of protectiveness or possibly just a simple sign that he was in fact her ally. Either way she did not make any motions for him to move in, if anything she leaned into every so slightly. Not enough to cause much pressure, but enough to give the impression she appreciated the gesture, whatever it meant.

The Misu listened to the conversation with a furrowed brow, trying hard to figure out the meanings of the words and still pondering over who was this Kakla that Follower kept insisting after. Whoever it was, Ambassador confirmed that it was not him the other was looking for either. Before she could good it much more thought Ambassador was speaking directly to her. She brought her bright eyes back to focus on him again. She tilted her head backward a bit as he done so.

Databanks? Fort Ryilla? What was he talking about? Maybe the docks? Was he suggesting they go to the merchant ship?

Before she could even shake her head in confusion or ask just what he was speaking about, Follower interrupted Ambassador. Now turning her attention back to Follower, she caught sigh of him just as the beast decided to rise up on it's hind legs. Normally she was not fearful of trained animals, but this was not a Misu trained beast. This was something unknown and foreign. An other as well. And one that was nearly twice Kaliska's size in height. Reacting to the move, Kaliska stepped closer to Ambassador, practically leaning against him now, though she made sure that she was between him and this other and his beast. Ambassador was still hers to protect.

Kaliska had to tilt her head back to look up at the rider now as he spoke. The tone he used was confusing when matched with the offensive stance of his ride. She swallowed as he spoke, trying her best to remain clam and translate his words.

"I, this Misu, knows nothing of this traveler that you speak of, Follower... The Misu are happy that he approves of our life, though Misu were not seeking approval from any travelers..." She took a steady breath and almost reached for Ambassador's free hand, but resisted and continued on... "The waters of Norline do not belong to any Misu." Neither did the land actually, but she did not want to get into a theology and rights conversation with an other at the moment. Those types of talks could be long and frustrating even when speaking to an aged Misu.

"This Misu knows nothing of a witness either, Follower. Perhaps you have came to the wrong star. None of who you seek seem to be on this one..."

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four
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Witness... Followers.. the Autonomous Collective... Traveler. There seemed to be a pattern; there were leaders and followers, and the Followers seemed to be a pack of admirers of some sort of wanderer. The creature that Follower spoke from was unusually larger than what would be sufficient for the rider. What more, he hadn't seen the rider breathe. Or move. The rider seemed almost.. woven into the creature. There didn't seem to be supplies bound to the beast like what would be expected of a land-based wanderer team. From what he could tell, the creature couldn't fly. A fair amount of facts weren't adding up...

Ambassador gave Kaliska's shoulder a gentle squeeze. She had moved between himself and the Follower, taking the role of leader. But he knew she didn't know what she was doing. What to say. She wasn't even a proper leader, not yet. Where were the Protectors for all of this...? He was pulling up every memory he could, trying to remember where he had heard of a 'Traveler' deity before. Within that, he was growing even more nervous. The creature didn't seem to have claws or visible fangs, but what it did have was large stature and a menacing leer. And being in such proximity... with a rider whose intentions were foggy at best... in the middle of a rainstorm with tricky light... it was a recipe for danger. And his adrenaline made sure to remind him of that.



Follower huffed just slightly, venting the irritation of an assumed-female biped using a male pronoun for the Traveler. As the dialogue continued, it was clear that the situation at hand was a difficult one. The Traveler had shone blessing of these Misu-Kin, but had left them with enough differences from the Brakori so as to cause a challenge for Follower. They did not seem to understand the significance of being a host world to the Traveler. Or perhaps... Traveler had chosen not to make the presence known. It was exactly why only someone of a higher rank should be handling the dialogue with the indigenous...

Who, as it turned out, seemed to be trying to deter Follower from its path. "Tell this Follower where it might find the Kakla." It half-asked. The usefulness of the not-Kaklas was dwindling alongside the weakening of the thunderstorm. Follower regarded the tallest of the natives carefully, noting a lack of connection between the tallest and the apparent Misu-Kin.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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#, as written by Beeps
"As I said before, Follower... I am the closest you will get to a Protector at this time." Kaliska's patience was growing thin and her tone was taking that of slight annoyance. Not so much with this other in particular but of a combination of the serious of events leading up to this moment. Her father and Ryilla's Protector had enough to deal with at the moment without the hassle of an other as well. "The Protector of this place is occupied quelling a fire that an other started," This was not a fact, but more of her suspicion. "Each moment we stand here the fire grows closer to Ryilla putting Misu lives in danger thus the Protectors will not be interrupted... I am truly sorry that nothing is known of the Kakla, witness or traveler that you seek. There is little that this Misu can do about that... In the between time you may join us in the Protector's Keep. Perhaps there we can sort out what or who exactly you are looking and help to put you in the right path to your answers."

With that Kaliska turned with intent to lead the small group back to Ryilla's Keep and this time she did seize Ambassador's hand as she done so. Both signalling him to come with her and to ensure that he stayed close. She trusted this new other no more than she had any of them, with the exception of Ambassador. But he was different... Somehow.

The rain was showing no signs of stopping any time soon which was to the great benefit of the band of Misu working to extinguish the village fires set by the ruffians who accompanied the other Nathan. She hoped the same would be true for the fire that her father was fighting, but given that the rain from yesterday did not help, she doubted this one would either. An evacuation North or to the other side of the Monsayno would likely be in Ryilla's residents' very near future. Possibly as soon as Trusol's next rise. Kaliska was looking forward to that just about as much as she looking forward to housing an strange other again. If she wasn't so exhausted and emotionally strained she would have at least found humor on the expected look upon Aileen's face, but even that could not bring a smirk to her lips.

The only comforts she had was the cool and constant drops that washed over her body and the cool hand to which she clung too. Breaking her hardened features, she gave Ambassador a sidelong glance and a gentle squeeze. She wished she could pull him aside and speak with him privately about his thoughts on this strange other. She could make it happen, of course, but somehow felt that now was not the time or place to engage in such behavior. For now she would just be happy that he came back or at least that the gods brought him back. Kaliska had yet to figure out if it was fate, force or will that allowed him once again at her side. Another conversation she wished she could stop and have with him but would have to wait.

"Your kin is welcome as well, Ambassador." Kaliska added softly. Despite the more pressing distraction of Follower, Ambassador's Kin's display of disapproval had not gone unnoticed. Though Kaliska was unsure if it was regarding their situation, the other other, or Kaliska. Yet another thing she was yearning to know from Ambassador.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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Though the words from the not-Kakla did not give much, there was still an offer to move forward. It had been invited into a defense base - presumably the Fort Ryilla mentioned before - with the promise of being aided. An oddly trusting course of action for the indigenous; most of them before had at least tried to kill the Followers that sought them out. Follower Four didn't hesitate to follow the trio when their backs turned. Everything seemed to be going well; Four sent a grateful glance up towards the rainclouds. Should it be allowed to reach the body of water housing the Traveler, it would be sure to thank the deity personally.



Ambassador smiled lightly at Kaliska's comment. He realized that La'vida had not introduced herself, and he hadn't done so either. Speaking between the raindrops, "Sorry, this is my daughter La'vi-"
"Guardian." she interrupted, stepping up to the dialogue and the Misu's other side. She received an inquisitive glance from the Ambassador. "The Guardian."
He was paused in speech, looking at La'vida. She hadn't told him she took a title. The Guardian... but home was gone. When had this happened? Where did Timesmith take her in his absence? Looking slowly back to Kaliska, "The Guardian, then." It felt artificial to say. Why hadn't she informed him of this when they were exchanging memories? For that matter, he had a lot to speak to Kaliska about. Nathan was nowhere to be found, there were fires running rampant... and they still hadn't been able to go off to Isottina. The last seemed an impossible dream now. There had been such developments in such a short period of time... he hadn't quite transitioned back from simply observing and interacting with the planet to trying to cope with its invasion. "How are you doing?" he asked Kaliska quietly.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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#, as written by Beeps
Guardian, Ambassador, Follower, Traveler... Others had very... Interesting names... Or titles maybe? There jobs perhaps or there path in life? Kaliska was puzzling over the topic of names as Ambassador's daughter came up beside the Misu. Bright green eyes swept over the girl, or woman, as she very well could have been Kaliska's age or maybe even older, taking in her appearance with a thoughtful expression.

"Daughter?", the Misu hadn't meant to utter the question aloud but it bubbled out through the confusion. Either Ambassador was much older than he appeared, which was not unlike Misu, or perhaps his kind grew at a rapid rate. She almost blurted out her mental inquiries about their ages, but had found she had somehow regained control of her tongue. Instead of questions, she gave Guardian a smile, it was genuine but also showed signs of the Misu's exhaustion.

"Welcome to Norline. I very much enjoy your father." This time she turned her smile toward Ambassador just as he was asking about her state. How could she answer? She herself was not entirely sure how she was doing. Coping... She could say, for that is most what she was doing. Dealing with each new threat that decided to spring up or cascade down upon the Misu. For the first time she wondered if the other villages were getting any attacks or attention from others. She had yet to hear any news from any of them. A painge of fear struck her suddenly. What if she had not heard word, because there was no one left to give word...

A gasp escaped trembling parted lips and Kaliska stumbled in her steps at the weakening thought. It couldn't be true, of course. Her father would have known. He had just left Isottina and had not mentioned any threats of others. She was worrying too much. Gripping Ambassador's hand a bit more firmly as she found her pace again before finally answering him in a voice she hoped didn't sound to him as pathetic as it did to her.

"I think this Misu is doing what she can... But perhaps that is not doing enough or the way that is right..."

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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Ambassador acknowledged the sort-of question with a mild nod. Kaliska was likely confused by the fact La'vida looked close to himself in age, and he wasn't sure how to explain that different timelines were playing a part. He himself was still adjusting to seeing his daughter looking like a young adult rather than a little girl.

La'vida frowned rather deeply at the statement from the Misu. From what she understood, the two were a couple. Ambassador had simply shunted Timesmith off and taken up another life here an eternity away. She already regretted telling him they had gotten by so he wouldn't feel guilty; he probably didn't even remember Timesmith. Much less care. He hadn't exactly been the most considerate of partners, even when around. It had been close to seven decades since they'd seen him last... "I bet you are..." she muttered under her breath.

Ambassador regarded Kaliska a bit sadly. She was dealing with not just one batch of offworlders, but... how many was it now? There was himself, La'vida, the Society, the scavenger team - if they were still around - the Federation, and now Follower. Six, and those were just the ones he knew about. It seemed that wars were brewing, simple sabotage taking hold. They were a simpler people here, at the hand of teleports and advanced weaponry. He wasn't even sure what they could be making of it. All things considered, Kaliska seemed to be keeping it together. He vocalized this. "From what I've seen, you have chosen the path of preferring diplomacy over blind combat. Several battles have been avoided, and not just when Nathan was near." here he paused, waiting to see if she would mention finding him or not, "It is the course of action seasoned leaders take. Better to offer a chance for peace than bloodshed." he tried to console.

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Character Portrait: Kaliska Character Portrait: Ambassador Character Portrait: Follower Four Character Portrait: La'vida
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He was quiet. Before now, Kaliska hadn't spoken of an other in such a fashion. It was disdainful, understandably. So he had been the one to start the fire, but... then killed his team? It didn't make sense. Perhaps Kaliska had heard wrong from a witness, or misunderstood the situation. And then he had.. wandered off. She wouldn't have just let him go, not with all that he'd done. Ambassador had to wonder if the Misu was keeping the true facts of the situation private. She didn't seem to be coated in blood... but he wouldn't put it past her to draw it. He was reminded of the first time he saw her. Hunched and intimidated, yet just as prepared to end his life. That had been just over half of a week ago. In fact... what had ever happened to Cole? His memories were spotty, offering recalls of a scuffle where he thought he had been assaulted by Cole. He'd hit an assailant with a rather heavy and jagged object. Had he.. had he killed Cole? A wave of cold fear swept over him. He'd completely forgotten about them. About what happened. The little coincidences and events that had brought him here in the first place.
Still, he didn't know what to tell the Misu. He could understand her hostilities to the others. But... he was still one. Despite what she said, and how she acted, he was not a native. And would never be, not truly. The best he could do was continue to offer support. Something he knew he couldn't offer nearly enough of to fend off the invading forces. The only good news apparent was that - as far as he was aware - only one of them had made an outright show of aggression. And that was the Federation.
They were passing by smoldering buildings, some of which had fire scars spanning almost their entirety. It was very fortunate that the majority of the homes were primarily clay and stone-based; while the walls were charred, they still stood. Thatched roofs and blinds were gone, as were plants around them. It was not a total loss. But... it was one that could have been avoided altogether. Uncomfortable, Ambassador chose to try and spark another topic. "Well... at least we have the Eagox pups and Isottina to look forward to." He forced a half-awkward smile. "Josephus should be able to help." Or was it Jeremiah...



La'vida kept a step behind the two. She wandered closest to the Follower, casting sidelong glances at the creature and rider. She had been hearing what before she thought was thunder; now that she stood alongside the beast, she realized there were soft low-vibration sounds rolling off of it. Communication. Ambassador hadn't seemed to notice, nor had the Misu. Perhaps they were just ignoring it. La'vida had also begun to notice that the rider didn't quite... examine. The armor he wore was at least flexible enough to allow his head to move, but he didn't. Neither out of curiosity or reflex at the sounds of the jungle-creatures. Finally, she spoke. "What are you?"
Follower Four kept a slow pace to stay with the three biped Archive-Kin-Misu. They were small things, but large-headed. Unusual proportions. It didn't understand how they kept their balance. They sort of... alternated legs that they would fall forward onto in order to walk. Sure, Follower had seen bipeds before. But not in such proximity.
It took the Brakori a moment to realize it was being addressed. When the realization was made, it tried to remember which the voice belonged to. They were all the same. Slowing until all three were in view, it waited for the question to be asked again and identified the source. "This Follower is a fourth-rank Follower of the Autonomous Collective of Accepted Civilizations."
"That's not what I meant." She clarified. The Autonomous Collective.... now she understood. It was a Brakori. They had occupied Stravin Twelve long ago, seeking something called a Wanderer. Old memories surfaced. The ones she knew had been serpentine and aquatic. Banded and white, with a black cabochon on their back. She remembered visiting one of their underwater cities as a child. It was a living thing. "I met you, once. On-" she cut herself off. "It was another water planet. Your people..." La'vida trailed, thinking back. There had not been riders. Only white aquatics with green eyes. They had called themselves something else. She couldn't remember. "Well, I met one of your people there anyway."