[TUCHANKA] Self (and other kinds of) Exploration (Semi-Open)

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TEETH
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[TUCHANKA] Self (and other kinds of) Exploration (Semi-Open)

Post by TEETH »

Br'uuj took a slow, deep, expansive breath.

The wind whipped around the outside of the descending shuttle, and turbulence rattled the hull. A loud endeavor, all around. But that didn't stop Br'uuj from being convinced that the only thing his Maws could hear was the thunderous beating of his hearts. It was all he could hear, so how could they not? They were running with the galloping cadence of a war mount. Loud, heavy, and undeterred from their charge.

This was it. He was going to be on Tuchanka. He was already in the atmosphere of Tuchanka. The times he'd talked about doing it. He had made arrangements on several occasions to be ferried here, only for him to back out due to 'other issues'. It was finally happening for real. And he was going to do it alone. No Maws. No subordinates. He cast a wide eye around the cabin at the ragtag group that had managed to survive the Dominated assault and escape the ship they had been raiding.

They were all preoccupied with weapon checks, their OTs, or just talking to one another. There was nothing unique about this landing to them other than the circumstances. A few cast quizzical glances at their captain, aware that he was feeling some kind of way, but keeping their distance.

Another deep breath, attempting to calm the warbeasts stamping in his chest. Lura's messages had helped, somewhat. But they could only do so much in the actual face of this event. The impact of the shuttle touching Tuchankan soil did manage to stop them for all of a second. They were here. He knew nothing of this Clan Murtag. There were no members on his socializing extranet site that he knew of coming from there. He thought, anyway. The door opened and his bravado returned briefly as he prepared to give his orders.

He was expecting, perhaps due to the cliche, of being instantly blinded by the searing light and heat of the planet after the dim shuttle interior.

What he got was the equally dim pre-dawn glow. He hopped out of the shuttle, turning around to the open door and putting a hand out to stop a particular vorcha from following him.

"No, Brekk." The vorcha and his ever-present flamethrower looked at the white krogan with confusion.
"I follow Cap'n." The reply was expected, and Br'uuj couldn't help but feel a twinge of... guilt? For his answering shake of the head. "No." He gave the remaining crew a glum smile, unusual for the violent, uncaring mask he typically wore to protect himself from the universe. Most of them followed him out of fear. But a few were for more than that, and they knew the few deeper pools of his personality that he let slip.

He hardened his expression again and looked past Brekk to the interior of the shuttle. "Head back to Omega, or wherever you want. There are no Maws anymore unless you continue to call yourself that. If you do, well, good luck." He patted Brekk on his spiky head and pushed him a step back into the shuttle. His lieutenant, Kaeda stepped forward to clap her former boss on the shoulder and give him a nod before turning inside to get the shuttle back off the ground. Brekk, however, kept staring at the krogan. He grumbled, diverting his gaze momentarily to the ground.

"I do no want go, Cap'n." Br'uuj sighed. Different thoughts fought for dominance in his mind. He could take Brekk. Surely there were other vorcha on Tuchanka. They probably wouldn't shoot him on sight as an invasive species. And it would be a piece of normality. Maybe he didn't need to wipe away everything. They could- No. This had to be done alone. At least for now.

"I am not your captain anymore, Brekk. I am not even Br'uuj anymore. Just go. We might meet again. Even if I am different we will still be friends. Live well." The krogan stepped back and the door shut. He took a few more steps backwards as the mass effect fields kicked up dust and the shuttle lifted into the air and took off into the dim sky.

The nameless krogan's eyes soon adjusted to the grey light, and he was momentarily struck by the amount of stars blanketing the sky. There were so many. And they were beautiful. Tiny lights flecked the purple pre-dawn in various colors. He had been out among them for most of his life. They were... somehow less impressive as suns you were flying past in your ship. His last fight had been in a system with two of them. But this was the view of them from the world of his species. His... people. Their home.

Nameless remained transfixed, lost in staring at the trillion-point display above him. It was warm out, despite the fact that the sun had not fully risen, but a slightly cool breeze brushed across his face. The smells of the planet, at once alien and familiar, snapped him from his reverie. The pounding of his hearts, he realized, had calmed. He was still tense, scared. But the wonder had momentarily replaced it. Wind swirled around his plates and he suddenly found himself with a desire to feel more of it. Grunting, he began the process of removing his armor. Piece by piece the jet casing gave way to pale hide. When his hands were bare he paused in his disassembly to crouch on the ground, placing his hands against the sand, burying them shallowly and feeling the grains between his fingers. A chuckle rumbled from his chest as he drew furrows in the warm earth.

After a moment of playing like this he stood and continued removing the casings of his previous life. A series of soft thuds as articles of armor were dropped to the sandy floor. At first it had been a idle thought, to remove the armor, bare more of himself to Tuchanka. But as the amount of this artificial shell dwindled he moved with more urgency, suddenly feeling trapped by these vestiges. At least he stood, bare except for the ragged pants he wore underneath the armor. His toes wiggled, digging into the sand the same as his fingers had done before. His tail gave the smallest twitch that, to some, may be misconstrued as a wag rather than the stretch it undoubtedly was.

Another breeze brought with it scents and feelings that served to wash more of his old life away, in his mind. It brushed across the multitude of scars on his body and left him feeling... new. Turning again to the stars, the nameless krogan allowed himself to be snared by the colors once more. For a minute he stood in quiet, surrounded by the scattered shell of his old self. A stronger, more sustained gust of wind snapped him out of it as sand scoured across his plates.

"I hear you." He said, to... no one in particular? The planet itself? Or maybe he was speaking to himself.

The albino wheeled around slowly to look at all of the pieces of armor. And he began gathering them into a pile. As the winds continued to pick up he built a small cairn out of the assembled ceramics. Eyeing the mace he had crafted from the bar of his cage, he thought hard about leaving it as well. But it was probably unwise to go without any weapons. The increasingly sand-whipped krogan took the belt and waist-wrap made from his hated batarian enemies and tied it around himself before tying the mace there as well.

The baptism-by-sand continued to increase in intensity as the rising sun caused greater clashes of cool and hot air. He was beginning to feel lashed by it, even through the thick hide and plates of his species. He placed his helmet on top of the pile. That was it.

Unless.

A hand went to the necklace at his otherwise bare neck. The four preserved eyes of his very last master. Tashek's eyes. Evenly spaced around the loop they were placed on. Was he ready to give that up? He was on the species homeworld. He was finding... something. A new him.

The hand fell.

No, not yet. It was too much, too far to give up the very keystone of his plans for vengeance. Another gust of wind scoured his plates. The pale krogan stood on the edge of a large crater. Supposedly within the territory of Murtag. The Sartozi Crater, if he recalled the small map he had seen correctly. The massive dish spread out impossibly before him, and the stars lit the horizon in between dust-kicking wind bursts.

Nameless took one step heading downhill. And then another.

By the time Aralakh was fully awake and glaring down at its domain; the pile of black armor sat alone, a thin layer of sand already laying on top of it as the helmet stared off into the crater. The wind had already erased any visual signs of a shuttle, or tracks of any disembarked passengers.
...

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TEETH
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Re: [TUCHANKA] Self (and other kinds of) Exploration (Semi-Open)

Post by TEETH »

Nameless sat on the stone step of the farm house he had found himself at. He imagined he could see the giant fish thrashing in the crater as Aralakh began burning away the darkness of the night. The family that lived here had been generous to him. Answering a number of questions, telling him their clan's myth about the creation of the place they lived. In the distance, the central basin of the Crater was obscured by hovering mists.

In his hands he held the sash that so often wrapped around his hips. A grotesque creation. One fitting for a dread pirate of the Nemean Abyss, perhaps. But was he ever really that? He had done his share of murdering, to be sure. But did one assault frigate really count as... anything? He had had other ships before. But the Thar'Van had been the biggest.

His vision darkened as he clutched the macabre flag. He was a joke. A nothing. And he had purposefully kept himself too stupid, to focused on his rage, on the batarians, to avoid acknowledging that fact. The entire arc of the last 72 years could be summed up as...

A temper tantrum.

Thrown by an animal out of its cage for the first time in its life. Hurt. Lashing out. His breath, coming shallow and quick, did nothing to calm the vision beginning to tunnel. He could feel the shame now that he stared at it directly. He had only ever been a fool. Everyone he had ever met probably thought him a child. Playing pirate and thinking himself intimidating while everyone else saw the truth. The back of his neck prickled like an insect was crawling up it, as the scales flushed orange. The red silk stared out of the eye and mouth holes of the batarian faces sewn together over it. With his narrowing vision the red eyes seemed endless. Zooming in towards him.

=======

Just eyes. Red, and staring.

Staring with accusation.

With judgement.

With amusement.

LOOK AT THE FOOL they cackled to each other as the red silk seemed to glow. It was the only light in the dark, emptiness of the Void. It was a cruel light. SO MUCH WASTED TIME.

NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS EVER TAKEN IT SERIOUSLY.

'THE DEVOURER'. A JOKE.

'THE CANNIBAL OF G'THERA'.
The laughter intensified after each epithet thrown back in his face. The air practically vibrated with the volume, not of the sound, but of the FEELING of each word. Accusations punctuated by shockwaves that ripped pieces of the Wanderer away. He gritted his TEETH and roared back, attempting to silence the accusers.

The sound that came out was of a welp of a krogan, barely 5, crying as the prods singed his skin and his 'trainers' shouted Khar'shanian commands and herded him back into the ring to fight the other child.

The wall of eyes grew again, wrapped around him.

His own eyes stung, at the memory. The accusation.

WEAK. PATHETIC.

GIVEN ITS FREEDOM BY THE BUMBLING OF RIVAL OWNERS.
Whispers, shouts, cries of anguish and rage, all echoes of past memories joined in the maddeningly L O U D procession of laughter and judgement.

AND THEN IT CAGED ITSELF AGAIN.

FIRST THE SEWERS.

THEN THE COLD OF THE VOID.
There was only a little of the Wanderer left, now. A Nameless shape surrounded by eyes that could See it.

Shame.

But then anger. A small light pulsed in the shape that was Nameless. The eyes spun and the laughter redoubled. Its tears never fell, simply hovered in the air, vibrating with everything else until they shook apart.

THE ABYSSAL MAWS. ITS GRAND ARMADA OF VENGEANCE THAT IT WOULD DESTROY THE WORLD OF ITS OPPRESSORS WITH. The contempt was clear. There was never going to be a time that Nameless would actually destroy Khar'shan. And yet it held that as its one goal for so long.

The small light pulsed again in the shape. It wasn't going to give up. Not now. It tried forming its shape again.

EVEN THE ABYSS DOES NOT WANT YOU. BUT THE VOID WILL STILL TAKE YOU.

The wall of eyes, now a howling vortex, ceased their spinning and focused on the shape before rushing in. Eating the distance that stood between them and the Wanderer.

=======

The albino opened his eyes with a start as a small hand pressed against his shoulder. Wide-eyed and defensive, his gaze snapped to the source. Klen. She had already taken a step back, one hand up showing she was no threat. He shook his head. It took him a moment to realize he was on his side, and he got up shakily.

The child looked at him curiously, as the drifter that had found himself wandering onto their farm lifted himself.

"Are you alright, mister?" After the soundless but deafening roars he had previously been assaulted with, her voice was sweet and small. He could barely hear it. A high pitched ringing buzzed just within his hearing. "I think you might have passed out or something."

He licked his lips. Mouth was dry. Focus. He nodded at the small one, and then looked down at the cloth still clutched and trailing in one hand.

"I am fine. Can I borrow your fire?"
...

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Re: [TUCHANKA] Self (and other kinds of) Exploration (Semi-Open)

Post by TEETH »

Nameless stood, arms crossed as he watched the fire in the pit burn. His thoughts began to turn to the... vision? Nightmare? Panic-attack induced stress dream? He felt weak, stupid. What kind of krogan was he? He had never heard of a krogan fainting and having bad dreams because they were feeling... something. Another mark against his ability to be krogan. He sighed and turned his head up to look at the sky.

The fabric in the fire pit was all but gone.

Some sort of flying creature winged by on the outskirts of his vision, before diving down out of sight. About to get some breakfast, most likely. A door closing somewhere behind him caused him to turn, finding Ghrit and Klen approaching the fire pit. An extra plate of food in their hands. Ghrit handed one to him.

"Burning the old flag?"

The Wanderer took the extra plate with a measure of surprise. He was, truthfully, always surprised by kindness directed at himself.

"Thank you." The albino cast a wary eye at the fire, as if he expected the thing to leap out and wrap itself around his face. "Yes. I did not want it anymore." The child giggled, before stopping herself and looking (somewhat) apologetic.

"Oh. Is it because I said it was weird? Sorry." This brought a small chuckle to Nameless.

"No," he rumbled, "I just don't want to think about that any longer." The white krogan lifted a forkful of food to his mouth. "Mmm. This is very good."

The older krogan waved away the compliment.

"Course it is, it's Murtag grub." Ghrit turned an eye also to the fire, and the grotesque creation burning there. "Ya know...I'm not entirely sure if I believe the whole 'Gods threw a giant fish into the ground' thing lit'rally. But there's a lesson there ennyway even if ya don't." The farmer handed his now-empty plate to the waiting hands of his daughter who padded back into the farmhouse across the dusty ground. "Lookit the Crater. Folks smarter th'n me say this kinda smackdown onna planet would have killed almost anythin' an' everythin' on it. But it rebuilt. Became a home. "

The krogan formerly known as Br'uuj watched the older man with interest as he continued.

"An' then we nuked th' crap outta our own planet. Everything here prob'ly died all over again. And then it regrew." The lesson was apparently done, the knowledge passed on, because Ghrit didn't continue.

Both krogan returned to simply staring into the fire. And Nameless finished his food.
...

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