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Varden A'rak

0 · 243 views · located in Veshrac Jungle

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Architect

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Feral and with a ferocity matched by few, the Mira are worthy of both respect and caution. Though of a culture steeped heavily in tradition and honor their lifestyle is one of violence and war.

Description

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Weapons: Two Metal Hatchets and a Magnetron pistol.

So begins...

Varden A'rak's Story

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
Tapu and Varden had strayed beyond the Mira's territorial range and well into the southern reaches of the Veshrac Jungle. Far from Tech Con patrols and logging efforts. Far from the skirmishes that had broken out across the northern reaches of the rainforest. Distance had brought new dangers with it though. The pair were weeks away from aid or ally, weeks from familiar territory.

The flora and the fauna ranged greatly, and though some of it was reminiscent to the wildlife they were familiar with, there were many dangers that were as foreign to them as they were to this land.

Their purpose out here was a dual one. The first was to scout the lands beyond their territories, in the event they had to abandon theirs. It was well beyond the ranges established by the TNG, but the Mira possessed little appreciation for such boundaries under the circumstances. They would do whatever was necessary to survive, as they always had. The second purpose... well that one was days off yet, at the coast where the <name pending> made their spring nesting grounds.

Despite the dangers that the jungle was wrought with, Tapu seemed jovial as always. In fact, he was currently lounging somewhat haphazardly across the back of Achak as he let the edgewere swampcat do the walking. And like owner, like pet, Achak seemed as oafish and laid back as Tapu as he padded along.

Tapu let out a lazy yawn as he righted himself into a sitting position atop Tapu.

"As far as scouting trips go, remarkably few things have tried to maim, maul or ingest us. Unless you count that wasp swarm three days back," he said to Varden with a quirky grin. "Didn't think Achak could run that fast."

He ruffled Achak's mane playfully, who gave a rumbling growf of contentment in return.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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"Hmph." Varden nodded with a huff. He couldn't decide whether to be angry at how leisurely his companion was taking this mission, or to be envious.

Unlike Tapu, Varden had no pet which to ride as a mount. The distance they had gone was traveled by his two feet, and they ached accordingly.

Varden had to admit he was somewhat reluctant at being chosen for this mission, especially when he knew he could be of better use against the invaders, but the Shief's word was law. He was selected due to his exhibited ability during hunts. Varden wasn't one to stroke his own ego, but he did have to admit that having his skill at stalking and tactics get noticed was...gratifying.

He glanced at Tapu and his pet once more.

Tapu was bigger than he, well he was bigger than mostly everyone he knew. The giant's raw mass spoke lengths about his strength and Varden doubted many Mira could challenge his power. This fact was somewhat comforting out here in the wilderness.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"Don't sound so glum," Tapu told Varden as he stretched languidly. "I'm going to have a look see up above."

He caught an overhanging branch in one hand and Achak simply kept walking as he hoisted himself up into the trees.

"Be back in a flash," he said with a quirky grin as he began to climb.

His oafish size meant that by Mira standards he wasn't the most suited for climbing, but he still put most terrestrial races to shame as he swung, shimmied and twisted his way upwards. Twice he was forced to abandon his current tree in favor of leaping or swinging to sturdier branches of nearby trees as he drew closer and closer to the canopy.

Claws and feline grace compensated for his size and weight, as did a natural aptitude and instinct for knowing what would or wouldn't hold his weight.

It was unlikely he would see much but trees for miles upon miles upon miles of rainforest, but maybe he could catch a glimpse of the coast and get a better estimate of how far off they were yet. He shielded his eyes against the sun as he reached the canopy and he warily scanned the sky for predators. With no sign of danger in the open skies, he directed his gaze to the horizon.

His vantage point turned up nothing of the coast, but something caught his eye. A glint of metal? He squinted against the bright sunlight, but he couldn't make out what it was that had caught his eye. Where he thought he had seen the flash of light there was only trees, and more trees. Everything was so dense you could scarcely see more than a few feet on the ground, let alone trying to see down through the canopy from above.

Still... the trees were thinner out that way he mused.

He rubbed thoughtfully at his jaw before deciding to head back down after several more minutes. The decline was much swifter than the ascent and he dropped from branch to branch at a breakneck pace before he landed back down beside Varden.

"Hey, no sign of the coast yet, but there's something out east of here that I want to check out."

The thoughtful frown hadn't left his expression. The brief reflection of light suggested something man-made, but the Aschen hadn't been known to venture this far south. Still, they would be poor scouts if they didn't check it out.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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While Tapu had been climbing, Varden had taken the opportunity to take a seat on a fallen tree to rest his feet. Having no one but Achak to keep his company his options for conversation were fairly limited, and he instead decided to simply stay quiet and listen to the jungle around them.

He glanced down at the weapon that hung on his hip, a pistol he'd taken off a human invader.

Many of his kin gave him a hard time over his possession of the item, Tapu among them, though he had to admit the giant mostly did it in jest. While many were resentful of the technology the invaders employed, Varden's curiosity compelled him. He wasn't the only one, as he'd seen few others with these human weapons, but they were a minority.

Varden felt no qualms about keeping the weapon. The mercenary officer he'd ripped it off of had put up quite a show of combat prowess, in a way it was Varden's trophy, but the way Varden mostly looked at it, the thought that drove most of his fellow Mira, was that they would use any means necessary to drive the invaders from their home.

When Tapu returned, the look on his face did not go unnoticed, and Varden quickly got to his face.

"Trouble?" Varden asked as he sniffed the air. Humans tended to get around in machines that put a smog into the air.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"Probably not," Tapu replied with a shrug. "I just want to take a look. Come on," he said as he led them off through the jungle. Within moments the three were swallowed up by the dense foliage without a trace that they had ever been there.



Tapu crouched with Varden within the dense undergrowth of the jungle. In the distance the shell of some metallic structure could scarcely be seen. It was half-buried underground and overgrown with years of plant-growth, but the dingy metal finish could still be made out.

Overhead the canopy was less dense and you could even make out the sky through it. Beams of sunlight danced across the hatch that lay before them, but it was for this reason that Tapu remained wary. The open skies brought an element of danger from above, and the open area left them vulnerable on the ground.

He wouldn't move until he was certain that no one else was in the area, and that no threats lingered above.

Achak was nowhere to be seen.



Twenty minutes passed and the sounds of the forest filled the air. The chirp of birds, the buzz of the insects, and the distant howling calls of a troop of monkeys. A spiny lizard crawled up the tree trunk next to them before it spread a pair of insect like wings. The lizard buzzed its wings a few times before it flew off into the distance.

Not even the insects seemed disturbed by the presence of the Mira, and all seemed at ease.

"Come on," Tapu said as he broke from cover and slunk his way towards the hatch.

Nothing had disturbed the hatch in a long time, and the entrance was entangled in thick ivy. It seemed unlikely that anyone had been here in a very long time, and even less likely that anyone would be returning anytime soon.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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Varden was hesitant to move towards the metal structure, even after they had waited what seemed a suitable time. He let Tapu take point, letting the larger Mira move into the clearing first. In the mean time he closed a clawed hand around the shaft of one of his axes, If this did turn out to be a human trap, he wanted to be sure he could cover his companion.

He waited until Tapu crossed the open ground, and only began to move once Tapu had reached the ivy covered hatch.

"What do you think this is?" He whispered when he got across the clearing and stood beside the other Mira.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"I don't know," Tapu relied as he started to pull at the ivy around the hatch."It looks too old to be the Aschen."

With the ivy clear, he gripped the wheel of the hatch and gave it a turn. It didn't budge. He gripped it tightly this time and threw his full weight behind it, but it gave little more than a low creak as Tapu failed to get it to turn even an inch.

"Give me a hand with this?" he asked.

The oafish Mira's curriosity had thrown caution to the wind. He wanted to find out what was on the other side of this hatch.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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"Too old to be Aschen?" Varden repeated, confused. "Since when did you become an expert on the invaders Tapu? I mean I know you claimed yourself their new god and all...."

He sighed, watching the the wheel Tapu struggled with. Varden felt entirely uncomfortable with even standing next to this...thing, and Tapu wanted to explore around it. He found himself envious that the giant could be so carefree with his curiosity as opposed to being afraid of it.

Varden cursed his own fear and took hold of the wheel. While not nearly as strong as the behemoth Tapu, Varden was no slouch.

"Screw it. Let's see what's inside."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
Tapu grinned as Varden reminded him of his self-proclaimed god-hood.

"I mean that this has been overgrown for years, and they only showed up a few months ago. Someone else left this here a long time ago," he explained.

As Varden took hold of the opposite side of the wheel, the pair strained hard and with a load creek the wheel finally gave an inch, then two, until it finally released with the loud clang of metal against metal.

Tapu dragged the door open to reveal a darkened bunker. His refined night-vision was more than sufficient to see by though and he entered cautiously. He had to hunker down to fit through the open hatch that had been designed for people of smaller stature, and the interior was't particularly large either. The structure appeared to be about two-thirds underground and consisted of only two rooms in total, but it was packed to the brim with gun racks, weapon cases, and crates of explosives. Most of the equipment Tapu couldn't make heads or tails of, but it was plain to see that it was a weapons cache of some sort.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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Varden bent his head forward slightly in order to follow after Tapu. The sight that waited for him inside astonished the Mira.

"These are....Human weapons." Varden said aloud, glancing down at the pistol on his hip. "No....they're slightly different than the Invaders'"

Varden could not hope to contain his curiosity as he pulled a rifle off it's rack.

"These weapons all bare an Insignia dissimilar to the ones on the Invaders'....I think you are right Tapu, this place is not Aschen."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
Tapu pried a lid off one of the crates which was full of more weaponry packed in with straw.

"The Shief will want to know about this," Tapu mused. "Let's bury it for now. We can grab some of this stuff on our way back, and Leonis can send a party to retrieve the rest if he wants."

Even Achak was trying to get a look inside the hatch and the large swampcat let out a chortling huff of breath as he sniffed at the air inside the bunker. He was a bit too large to get in and to navigate down the steps, so he settled for blocking up the doorway with his head shoved inside.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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"I'll get to work gathering some foliage to cover this place." Varden said as he returned the rifle to it's rack. "We wouldn't want the invaders to find this place with one of their machine birds.

This was a great find. With this the playing field would be ever slightly more even, if only for a little while. But even if the weapons only meant one less mira losing their life in battle, then varden felt it was worth it even if he had to carry all of them back to the village on only his back.

Well, first Varden would have to get by Achak, whom sat blocking the only way out with his curiosity.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
Achak gave a disgruntled rumble as he backed up out of Varden's way. Tapu took a moment longer to cast a final look around the bunker before heading back outside with Varden. Unlike his companion, Tapu had a sense of unease about what they had found. Human weapons were dangerous and destructive, and what lay within that bunker was as much a threat to the Mira as it was to the Aschen who plagued their land.

His return to the surface was cautious and his eyes where on the trees overhead. The canopy was too thin, too accessible to aerial predators.

Rather than aiding Varden in gathering branches to cover the hatch, Tapu kept vigil atop it, always mindful of the surrounding jungle. Every scent, smell and sound told a story, and for one able to read them... they offered warning. The rainforest was a dangerous place, and those who didn't remain vigil, didn't oft survive long.

Once the visible bits of the metallic hatch were suitably covered over with branches and ferns, Tapu hopped down.

"Come on, let's get out of here," he told Varden. "We should cover as much ground as we can before dark. Wouldn't want to be late," he said with a quirky grin.

Despite his jovial jesting, the success of their mission could well prove paramount to the continued survival of their species.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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"I do have to wonder what the shief will say about this." Varden thought aloud. "This may be just as big a deal as those humans you brought into the village."

Varden wasn't sure on just how he felt about said visitors. They hadn't seemed initially dangerous, and Tapu said the sun haired one had tried to reason with the invaders.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
When Tapu and Varden reached the coast nearly a week later, they where met with the shrieks and cries of <name pending> and the sky was filled with a dazzling display of vibrant colors and swooping bodies that plummeted over cliff edges towards the azure waters below. It was stunning.

<names> where typically solitary creatures, but every year during the breeding season they gathered in flocks along the southern coast. Their breeding season coincided with the fish migrations that left the waters rich with the necessary food to sustain such a massive number of large predators and their offspring. The males had already dispersed back northwards, leaving the much larger females to rear the young.

If all was on schedule, and the information they gathered was accurate, the clutches wouldn't have yet hatched. The trip had taken longer than they had anticipated though, and they would be hard pressed to make it back to the village before the eggs did hatch and started imprinting.

"Well, this is going to be fun," Tapu remarked with a grin from the treeline where he and Varden lingered. "Achak won't be able to scale the cliffs, so we'll have to bring the eggs up to him."

"Any ideas?"

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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Looking around, Varden thought quietly to figure out a solution to the problem. He stepped a few feet away from Tapu, examining the trees they hid in. He glanced at Tapu, then at Achak, before rubbing a paw against his chin. Looking out towards the cliff, he noted just how much open ground they faced.

"Climbing while carrying the eggs would be fairly difficult..." He mumbled, before looking down at himself. He fingered his own shirt, something that a lot of Mira tended to go without, and nodded approvingly.

"Well...I have one. But we're gonna need a lot of vines...and uh..." He paused for a moment. "And a lot of guts."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"What are you thinking?" Tapu asked.

He ruffled Achak's thick mane of fur as the big cat nudged at him with a low murring.

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"Well, we could make some kind of lift, and have Achak pull up the eggs. That's the simple part of it anyway, the difficult part is, we need someone to distract the creatures while the other gathers them...."

Varden put a hand on his chin and thought quietly.

"But then again maybe live bait isn't the best of ideas either..."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"Achak's smart, but I haven't trained him to do anything like that," Tapu replied.

He pat the big beast on the shoulder. It was unlikely they could get Achak to understand what was needed of him to perform such a complex task without any former training and trial runs.

"We'll need one of us up top, and the other climbing down for the eggs."

He rubbed thoughtfully at his big furry jaw.

"We can make a shapeshift sling out of one of the satchels, but we'll probably only be able to send up one egg at a time. I'm not sure how big these things are going to be.

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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Scratching at his head Varden pondered. "There's still the issue of the mature [Name to be decided], Once we get the eggs to the treeline we should be fine, but the problem will be with trying to get the eggs in the first place. Getting one will be lucky, but doing it over and over again will be a miracle."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"We'll wait until the sun sets," Tapu said. "If you think you can get in and out without waking them," he added with a quirky grin.

He would go down himself, but size for size Varden was the better option to get in and out.

"Achak and I can wait up top and load the eggs as you send them up."

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"Night would be better." Agreed Varden. "I should be able to move quietly enough. Let's get to work crafting the lift then. It'll take us a bit to fashion some more rope, and wind them enough to be strong enough to support the weight of the eggs."

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Character Portrait: Tapu Character Portrait: Varden A'rak
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#, as written by Tiko
"We should have enough rope in Achack's bags," Tapu said.

He yawned lazily then.

"Let's get some rest. Achak can take first watch."