Title: I'll Make A Krogan Out Of You
Description: Closed: Clan Woade and Clan Drau Only
BiscuitReloaded - August 8, 2011 03:36 PM (GMT)
The time had finally come.
To say Battlemaster Ravanor Xarak was not looking forward to this moment was a blatant lie. The veteran krogan of many, many conflicts felt more alive than ever. His accompaniment to Chieftain Woade Blite as he went through with the Unification of the krogan people as a whole and ascended to the self-appointed title of Supreme Chieftain of the Krogan.
Xarak had to admit, Blite had a way with words for a krogan, that and he knew what earned him the respect necessary to make such a claim and not expect to be torn asunder by challengers. It had taken him centuries to amass the necessary resources and manpower to become a force to be reckoned with, but it was on the cusp of becoming a reality.
That alone said a lot about the Woade Chieftain. Xarak had been a freelancer roaming the galaxy for well over 800 years, gaining and losing fortunes as a mercenary, never settling down anywhere or retiring. It was credits, credits made the galaxy go around, and there was no shortage of aliens wanting other aliens dead. He had long ago given up on the krogan as a whole and knew that their extinction was inevitably a mere countdown. At first, he thought that Blite was out of his mind or had gotten a bit too big for his hump to think he was capable of rallying all krogan behind his cause, even himself at that.
A large majority of the Tuchanka tribes, even his own, Ravanor, knelt before Blite and accepted his call for unifying under one banner, to the infancy of the Krogan Empire. After such a sight of hundreds of thousands of krogan, not including the 2 million that arrived with Blite that were already loyal, was a sight to truly behold. It reawakened the pride as a krogan that he had long ago forgotten, what it meant to be one and what it will mean in the future to be part of something far greater than the individual.
Of course there was opposition to be had, not everyone shared Blite's views or were too short-sighted to focus on something for more significant than their petty clan territories and wars of attrition with surrounding clans to protect their borders of nothing but dust, dirt, and ruins. It truly was pathetic. It was a reminder of the krogan pride that was so brutally wounded by the Genophage, no longer having the ability to shake the galaxy to its core. Instead, they fought one another over petty indifference or pointless, arbitrary nonsense associated with obsolete traditions.
This did not bother Xarak one bit. In fact, knowing that the Empire's strength needed to be tested in the heat of battle, he was looking forward to it with the utmost focus and determination. These naysayers, dissinters, and opposition to the Empire would make for a worthy adversary when the time came. He was tasked with building the Empire's might from the first brick to the last. The time to begin laying them had started.
The bastion of clan Woade power, where it all began, was upon the planet Wrill. A truly despicable, harsh world to populate and thrive on, as was the krogan way it seemed. Nearly every world they called home in some form or another was a roiling wasteland wrought by their own hands or as a result of the Rebellions.
Here was perfect to cultivate the beginnings of an army to represent the Empire's might. A punishing world that weeded out the weak and undesirable and would only leave those worthy of calling themselves members of the glorious Empire to come.
As per his humble request to both Chieftain Woade and Chieftain Drau, Xarak had his first batch of soldiers to being training. Standing before him upon the proving grounds outside of the Woade biosphere in the harsh atmosphere of Wrill were 200 krogan. 100 from each of the respective clans in rank and file at attention. Xarak stood at the forefront of them all as if inspecting them, slowly pacing up and down the length of the first row before him.
Just behind Xarak stood 6 other krogan at ease, fellow Battlemasters fully briefed upon Xarak's tasks given and instructed by their chieftans to assist him as he saw fit in training these men. 3 from clan Woade and 3 from clan Drau would ensure that Xarak's teachings would not go over their fellow clan members' humps and be forgotten or dismissed.
The time had finally come, but just by appearances alone, he had his work cut out for him. They were all pups, young by krogan standards, 300 or so at the most, give or take a few decades. He could tell they falsely thought they were tough and intimidating by the battles they had partaken in up until that point.
It was going to be fun to break them.
Woade Blite - August 8, 2011 05:48 PM (GMT)
Woade Rizar had grown up on Wrill, as had the vast majority of the Woade Clan. It had been their territory since just after the Rachni Wars, so, the intimidation of the planet's methane rich atmosphere was lost on the majority of them. They had been clan warriors for over two hundred years, and now they were telling them they had to be trained.
It was insulting, Rizar, had thought. There was nothing that the lot of them couldn't handle. They were fully armored, equipped, Krogan warriors, whom had survived living off their own steam for centuries upon century, and they didn't need this practice. The chieftan had asked them if they were up for a lethal challenge, not a day camp! Rizar's eyes shifted, seeing the two hundred gathered warriors. It had been the first interaction most of Clan Woade had with Clan Drau, afew of them had seen each other and spoke with meetings on Virmire, but now was the first time they were forced to inhabit the Clan's space.
Blite had spoken of Drau's strength, but Rizar could not see anything special about them, sure that they were no better, if not worse, than their own forces. His eyes squinting, as he looked forward, seeing the Ravanor Battlemaster, the one who led this pointless endeavor, but they would show respect. His own tribe leader, Scour, stood to the left, showing his support of the old krogan.
Scour stood silent looking at the small wave of Krogan, he had commanded forces three time this large, by himself, and wondered why they were all needed for this little project. His doubts in this program would not be voiced, from what he knew about both each of the Woade Chieftan, disquiet was not tolerated well. Any speculation by the forces would be met with contempt, at the very least. So he had went along with the idea of the project, building it up with words, if nothing else. His own men were among the group, and his presence had helped quieten the insult to their pride, that they needed additional training.
The Krogan had always fought a particular way, and that had not changed until the genophage, and since then, they had been developing more tactics, rather than sending the endless numbers in those directions. Scour had been involved in large clan battles, and was among the best Krogan tactician that the tribes had to offer, he knew this, rather than boasted it. He allowed the tribe to boast, however, and he would not back down from challenges to this reputation.
Perhaps, it was time to develop a swifter fighting force, rather than only exploiting the tactics of every clan. It was why so many clans fought to a standstill, it made them predictable. He had decided, finally, now gathered among the seven Krogan standing infront of the mob. His eyes focused on the Ravanor's back, wondering what sort of design he had in mind, that had impressed Chieftan Blite...His thoughts went to the recent shift. Supreme Chieftan Blite...More change...Blite had preached of this day for centuries, however, and now it was upon them. Surely, the old krogan knew something he wasn't telling them all, yet.
Makarov - August 18, 2011 11:03 PM (GMT)
Woade Nathrakh eagerly awaited along side his fellow youngbloods to be trained into a true example of a strong Krogan. For years he had wished for an opportunity such as this. Every inch of him yearned to destroy the enemy of the Krogan, this program would be his first steps toward glory. Soon the profligates of the many clans would perish, each clan would be united as a single Krogan Empire that will surely make a large impact on this universe. No one could stop Blite's plans, it seemed. Surely he had been anticipating this centuries, each and every little step must have been documented within his own head a thousand more times. As soon as a great army rises, the Krogan Empire will reign and a new home to its people will be granted over time.
Today was the start of a new era for each Krogan who participated in this training, whatever happened during this course would determine their fate for centuries on end. Nathrakh was far from nervous, he wanted to be broken and shredded only to be rebuilt over time into a warrior. He had maybe only fought in a hundred battles, what a miserable excuse for a number. As of now he is crafted out of mud, but soon he will be carved out of wood or stone. Soon this Krogan will become strong and fight in what he thought was a holy cause, a holy hatred and ambition. To the day he dies, he will serve the Woade and carry its name in his retirement even.
Nathrakh waited patiently, he could imagine the strikes to his face and the shots to his chest. Once the time came, his life will finally find meaning. Soon he will be a true, bad-blooded Woade who will have many scars and souvenirs to help retell each story. His spawn will hopefully remember his name and think of him as a great warrior, someone worthy of having a similar blood as Blite himself. For years many mocked the light blue, tealish colour of his plates and his cream skin. But they will regret ever mocking such attributes as it will soon be the signs of true Krogan dominance. That was at least what Nathrakh thought, however.
For a moment, the Krogan lowered his head and muttered to himself, almost as if he was in prayer. "Nathrakh, you will succeed through this. Do not compromise to defeat, never concede to defeat, but rather let your mistakes teach you how to become stronger." He clenched his teeth and hands, his fingers dug deep into his palm. The Krogan opened his eyes slowly, they were full of determination. How long such an expression would last in them was questionable, as he will surely be broken at one time or another during this course. That possibility did not stop him from attempting to boost his confidence, "For the sake of the Krogan, I will not fail this..."
BiscuitReloaded - August 19, 2011 04:07 PM (GMT)
The veteran Battelmaster of centuries of conflict casually paced back and forth as he took in the sight before him, studying each and every one of the humps of the men before him.
In their own right, they were quite intimidating in build for males of their age. Xarak made certain that all those provided to him for this training were no less than 300 years of age. Old enough to be experienced in the basics of combat and proof that they had survived this long in their endeavors without additional training. It would save him the trouble of covering the bare basics from the get-go. That, and he assumed that even beneath Blite's command of the Empire, each clan would handle training its own forces before providing their best warriors to serve the Empire itself as a whole.
His experienced gaze of a single emerald eye that knew depths far beyond that of those before him silently scanned, watching as these krogan much younger than himself did one of two things: Either quickly advert their eyes to not entice a non-verbal challenge to the older, larger krogan, or stared hard right back at him as if daring Xarak to challenge them in some form or another. Two conflicting responses amongst both clans, but they had the same answer to Xarak:
They were weak, either gutless cowards or foolhardy and stupid to take on anyone and everyone without a second thought simply because they were krogan and assumed they were tough enough to do so. They were so full of the clan propaganda that krogan were greatly feared and unstoppable that they relied upon intimidation more than actual skills. Such mentalities needed to be put down immediately if this was going to be remotely possible.
Under any other circumstances, he would have gotten a hearty chuckle out of it as they often proved the stereotype of the krogan that the rest of the galaxy often held about them. They saw them as nothing more than mindless brutes that did nothing but war with anything and everything, void of compassion and emotion. Blunt tools to be used against the galaxy's problems, big and small, no rights, no intelligence.
Xarak couldn't count the number of times that he had come across such krogan mindlessly supporting the stereotype stigma about their race in his line of work. Granted, being a freelance mercenary seemingly perpetuated that very view, but he often carried himself differently, not simply the questions of whom he could kill where and when and for how much, but just want the client wanted done and a reasonable price for his expertise in how they wanted it done. Finding things to kill in the Terminus Sytems wasn't difficult, one simply needed to draw their weapon, aim, and pull the trigger. What was, however, was exercising restraint and control on more subtle missions. Missions that were beyond the scope of a single individual or a haphazard group of thugs in multi-color armor calling themselves a mercenary group.
He learned through time that the best warrior wasn't the strongest of body or with the largest guns, but the smartest. Smart in both terms of intelligence and experience, the ability to decide how a battle would play out, no matter how large or small, before it even began. Soemtimes, victory was best ascertained by deciding not to fight at all. It was against traditionalist krogan views and culture in soem cases, but if they were going to be more than a gathering of bloodthirsty mongrels, it was necessity to put such things to the side or even behind them and look forward to the glorious future of the Krogan Empire that they would be a part of.
"I am pleased to see that your respective clan leaders are willing to oblige Krogan Blite's request of 100 of their finest warriors for this groundbreaking undertaking." Xarak began, his deep, gravely voice bellowed to the krogan assorted rank and file at attention just outside of the training facilities in Wrill's harsh envrionment. Each and everyone of them, Xarak included, wore breathing masks, but their skin was not affected, not requiring the need for a fully-enclosed environmental suit. There was no ire or emotion in his voice save for sounding as if what he spoke of was the truth and came from experience.
"...but you are novices in my eyes. Not because I am easily 600 years your elder in most of your cases, nor is it because I am a veteran Battlemaster of many conflicts, more than most of you probably can count to...but because your experiences are limited. Limited not by the enemies you've combatted it battle in the past, but by your clans...by your elders...by the krogan...and by yourselves as a whole."
Xarak knew from the start everything he had to say wasn't going to be well-received by everyone present, but it was the most brutal, honest truth about their kind in the grand scheme of things.
"I, Battlemaster Xarak of clan Ravanor, have been given a specific task. That task lies not within Ravanor's demands, nor my own, but from Supreme Overlord Krogan Blite himself, to serve the greater good of our people, to serve the newly-found Empire. That task is to provide our leader and our people with not a clan, but a species-wide fighting force unrivaled by any other in the entire galaxy. I have graciously and honorably accepted such a task to be delivered upon my hump and I will shoulder the weight as long as I need if it means that our former honor and glory as a species can be restored."
"My background is not unlike that of most krogan that have left Tuchanka...Lusia...even Wrill here, the broken ground that we tread upon, but what separates me from the likes of you and a majority of our people is knowledge. Knowledge in the ways of battle, not just as a krogan, but various techniques that I have seen, learned, or been on the recieving end of from aliens. The notion that we are so hearty, so robust that we are nigh invulnerable is laughable at best...to believe it to be true is foolish and stupidity of a level that should be punished."
It was time for the words that would turn potentially conflictive, if not outright combative. Xarak stopped pacing for a moment, turning to face the gathering of krogan warriors before him, his gaze still scanning the congregation slowly to ensure that they knew he was addressing each and everyone of them equally.
"However...my work is cut out for me by the way of appearences. You pups think that you are hard...tough...intimidating...you think you are soldiers. You are nothing more than the very stereotype that seeks the constant mockery of the entire galactic community. I, personally, find the notion of placing all of you on the same plane as that of a soldier absolutely adorable in your preconcieved notions. You are not soldiers. Soldiers are build upon the fundamentals of discipline, strategy, teamwork, and intelligence. When I think "krogan"...none of these words come to mind to describe ANY of you. As you are now, each and every one of you are nothing more than cowards...thugs...bullies...and worst of all...ignorant to it all."
Xarak resisted smirking in amusement as he could almost sense the building aggression from the piled-on insults from within most of them. He wouldn't be surprised if even his fellow Battlemasters felt a hint of growing aggression towards such words. It would serve its purpose, as it was not solely for belittlement, but the cold, hard truth. Clan warfare, in turn, warriors, did not have the makings of a respectable army.
"I see it now in your eyes as I stand before you, the anger...the aggression...the building rage behind them. You feel belittled and insulted by someone you feel you are superior to. You wish to see my guts strewn about the ground and my limbs ripped from their sockets...it only proves the very thing I speak of. Emotions have no place on the battlefield, even by krogan standards. Emotions affect the mind, in turn, the body. They cloud judgement and reaction times...they truly are more fatal than any enemy combatant you will ever face in your wretched existences. You would not even come to know a true, worthy challenge if it punched you in the snout as you all are now."
The Battlemaster respected one thing about them as he paced, none of them broke rank and tried to come at him or draw their weapons on him. It meant either their clans taught them to stay their hands regardless of what is said to them by an elder, especially a Battlemaster of Xarak's caliber, or deep down within the confines of their subconcious, they knew what he said was the hardest truths to endure and come to terms with.
"Yet, there is a small sliver of hope. Your Chieftains at the Supreme Overlord's request have provided their so-called best to be the "test" batch of troops to build the Imperial training regime from the ground up. I will decide, based upon your performance if it is not too much to ask of you...or if you all need to stop coddling yourselves into a false sense of security behind your plates and armor that you are strong enough to take on anything the galaxy can throw at you. The Genophage has made all of us weak because of that...that every birth is so special because you simply survived the Riteitself. Congratulations, you managed to not choke before your first breath. It takes no strength to live, but common sense...something all of you are in a disturbing lack of."
Now that he had them riled up and ready to accept whatever challenge he was going to throw at them, it was time to get down to business.
"The short-sightedness in your upbringing and krogan traditions have brainwashed you into believing in outdated and frankly idiotic Rites and notions. It is my duty to break you of that and take your blinders off to see the grand picture of what is to come."
As Xarak had spoke and "introduced" himself to the men he would be training, his fellow Battlemasters and assisting instructors had made their way around and placed collapsible crates in front of each krogan warrior present.
"First and foremost, to understand what it means to be pure krogan...you cannot rely upon artificial assistance...I am taking a page directly from my own Rite of Passage centuries ago. I entered the wastes of Tuchanka with nothing more than a utility blade and the clothes on my hump. No armor...no weapons. I was told to survive for 7 days and not to return until then. I not only managed, but the armor I wear before you belonged to a Battlemaster...he did not willingly give it to me. His hide now adorns Ravanor's Chieftan's throne. I was much younger, much smaller, and just as ignorant as you are now...I was capable of taking on a larger, more skilled foe without a rifle or reliance upon armor to protect me...I used my mind. A sharp mind is more lethal than any blade."
Clasping his hands behind his back as he stood at ease to face them to show he was being quite serious.
"You all will now strip yourselves of any protective armor and weapons upon your bodies down to the undersuit and place them into the crates before you. They are keypad-locked and individually marked to belong to you. These crates, with your equipment, will be locked up in a storage container until I feel you have earned the right to don the armor and use a rifle again. You will have nothing but your undersuits and a utility knife at your disposal from now on until I specify otherwise. You do not need armor to protect you if you are smart enough to protect yourself. It is meant to enhance your natural combative instincts, not be relied upon like a crutch for the sick and weak."
As some of them looked on in bewilderment, or defiance even, he knew his fellow instructors would make sure they bent to Xarak's will.
"Your respective clan Cheiftans are more than aware of what I have in store for you...I do not expect all of you to survive, but if progress is made, lives lost are not in vain. Just be sure that if your time has come to die honorably and not fall softly against whatever takes your life."
Woade Blite - August 20, 2011 04:19 PM (GMT)
None of them broke rank, but the anger was palpable. The air was almost shivering with the distortion of that fury. The words were absorbing, however, each one challenged in those moments to really put logic in an in-congruent path with that fury.
The Battlemasters, having been personally selected by Blite, had heard such thoughts before, they were not new, but none of the had been forced upon anyone. Little things that added up to this in time, that had shifted their perspectives, at least, and now saw that time had prepared them for the emotional responce they wish they could perform.
Namely, hollowing out that old skull and playing with it. Scour was among the oldest Krogan here, however. He stepped forward, his reputation as a warrior for Clan Woade was notorious, in the clan. His eyes turned into rough slits, as he moved up beside Xarak.
The Woade clans eyes lit up, as if Scour was going to administer the beating they had all hoped for. They would love to have seen that fight taken out. The Krogan Utility Knife came up off his side, as he held it up over his head.
The crowd silenced, waiting for the blade to fall, watching, anticipating.
"YOU HEARD THE ORDER!"
Scour barked the command, it was out of respect for Xarak, that this command came. A respect earned by having the respect of the Chieftan.
The blade did fall, but the flat of the blade worked across the biggest of Warrior's skulls in the front ranks. The warrior was one of his own squad, one who should know better than to dally about.
Woade Pulva stood dumbfounded, the hit had not been aimed to kill, nor even injure anything but pride. His awareness snaped back in, and he was overcome with the feeling of the Blood Rage, the combination of verbal slander and physical violence being overwhelming. His hands moved after the Battlemaster, for his revenge.
With a swift flick from the man, his head was bowed. An excruciating pain snaking through his body from the end of his snout. The sort of pain that could quiet the mind, allow sense to come through the rage.
Blood trickled down his nose, where the smallest cut hung between his nostrils, he grunted, acknowledging the stupidity that had taken him over, before his huge hands moved down to unfasten his armor.
Makarov - August 20, 2011 11:50 PM (GMT)
Denied of his armour, something that once was his only aid in battle, Nathrakh was hesitant in removing his armour. However, this training was for the greater good of the Krogan people. He would have to abide under the requests of his superior, so he did as was requested. To him, his weapons and armour were a distinct part of him. It was as if someone asked him to remove his plates. Not like there was much he could do, once he had fastened his armour into the crate in front of him Woade Nathrakh let out an unsatisfied snort.
He broadened his shoulders and straighten his back to make up for his disobedience earlier. The Krogan would remain silent as long as possible until someone directly requested a verbal response. He would not even allow his breathing to be audible, for such a young blood he seemed to have some discipline. His light blue, wide-set eyes looked straight forward as he thought to himself. Nathrakh wondered what kind of enemies he may face in the future after the training, if he made it. Perhaps he would fight Salarians, those who 'culturally uprised' the Krogans just to fight the Rachni wars for the other aliens. If anything, maybe he would be able to stomp the head of a Turian and pry off his mandibles.
Nathrakh tried to remember all the attributes of true Krogan. Honour, loyalty, courage and fortitude, things that seem to have been lost due to the Krogan rebellions and the Genophage. Such horrible things that were afflicted upon the Krogans by the so-called allies within the Citadel, They may have erected a statue as a memorial for the Krogan who bravely protected Citadel space and nearly destroyed the Rachni species, but if it were not for someone like Blite that statue may be the last true image of a Krogan. Numbers seemed to deplete for a long time, the species itself seemed like it may die off in 200 years. But this soon to be established Empire would ensure that the species will live until the entire galaxy would be cast into the Void.
Luckily for the Citadel, they had no business in these systems nor did they have any right to intervene with the rise of the Krogan Empire. Finally, the Krogan would be allowed to obtain the power they once had and unite. Nathrakh would be pleased to fight under the Woade for centuries to come, there was not a greater experience he could possibly anticipate. Any enemy of Blite would be an enemy of his, this training will turn him into the Beserker he always fantasied to be. Nathrakh now seemed to be even further grateful that he stood among these soldiers, to be crafted into gods among Krogan.
BiscuitReloaded - August 21, 2011 03:11 PM (GMT)
Xarak watched on as they congregation of warriors reluctantly heeded the order to remove their armor and weapons and be forcefully taken from them. Some were less willing than others, for what reasons he could only assume. Mostly it was purely born of arrogance and pride after being given or "earned" everything that they had upon their persons that made them krogan. Others clearly held a hardsuit of armor or a particular weapon with sentimental value. A righteous, hard-earned trophy of a hunt or kill...a generational offering that passed from the hands of father to son over the years.
Xarak understood the attachment of the latter of the two as it was more along the lines of krogan tradition to show off the trophies obtained from defeated enemies or a worthy beast of an adversary. He himself wore armor long outdated and beat up because of that. Not many krogan, let alone aliens, could say they took on a Battlemaster as a young man and emerged victorious by the use of his own wit and nothing more than a utility blade.
However, these krogan, far younger than him and raised in the full swing age of Post-Genophage by krogan that were beaten into submission by science and a disgraced shell of their former selves proved his words to be true. They were nothing more than bitter brutes and bullies, more often than not filling the role as mercenaries with various groups to be bullet sponges and an intimidation tool while they fought weak adversaries. Xarak had rarely found a challenge as a freelancer, occasionally he would be impressed with an alien's set of skills and was honored to put his own to the test against them, regardless of the pay, but more often than not he put little effort into accomplishing the task. There simply was a lack of challenge from thugs, criminals, and mercenaries alike.
The warriors before him clung to their traditionalist beliefs about having earned their armament and arms from such false enemies. Clans quarreling amongst one another like packs of rabid Varren, or pouncing upon unsuspecting prey that was so far below them that there was no thrill in the hunt. It was pathetic and disgusting at the same time to see how far they had fallen over time.
Those that were less than willing to disrobe of their arms and armor were quickly set straight as his assisting Battlemasters and more than likely leaders of these warriors in their respective clans "convinced" them to heed the order. A firm blow with the blunt edge of the heavy metal utility blade to the snout or crest often set them straight. Injuries were expected, both minor and moderate, some even potentially severe. Medics apart from the training group were on-call and present in such events, but he would not allow them to coddle the warriors by tending to minor wounds. If they did not run the risk of bleeding out or expiring soon, they would weather and endure it. Broken bones and ruptured organs would only be tended to if they proved haphazard and prohibited them from effectively learning techniques that would be taught to them.
The Battlemaster and senior instructor for this running experiment waited patiently as finally the last of those in attendance removed and secured their protective belongings within the crates before them. Even without the considerable protection of a suit of armor upon their persons, they were still quite large and powerful looking. Some more than others, either separated by age or a stronger set of genes, but it was clear that there was a spread of size amongst those present.
"Now..." Xarak began, relaxed still as he stood at ease with his hands clasped behind his back, surveying them all. "You are without the crutches that allow weak Krogan to survive. A true krogan does not need armor to protect themselves. Your false senses of security and superiority behind it dull the instinctual senses. Without your armor, you make a mistake against an animal during a hunt or an enemy in combat, you will pay dearly for it and be reminded that you can bleed, your body can break, and you can die. There is no shame in knowing limitations, but thinking you do not have any and acting as if they do not exist is foolish and downright stupid. What you think are your limitations that have been coddled into your feeble minds is but a fraction of what a true krogan is capable of. The tales of strength, survival, fortitude, and resilience that many Rites are based upon originated from warriors far greater than yourselves. Warriors that made the krogan what they were known for...you defaecate upon their graves in disrespect as you all are now by thinking you are on the same level as they are by simply completing watered-down Rites to mimic their actions."
Taking a moment for a few more steadying, deep breaths, Xarak prepared himself as he was going to prove a point and show that they were going to follow his lead. Unclasping his hands from behind his back, they found their way to the rebreather mask over the lower half of his face that they all wore against Wrill's atmosphere. Without hesitation, he unclapsed it and removed it with a hiss of venting oxygen before giving it a toss to the ground. The air burned at his lungs, but it was tolerable.
"You will now remove your breathing masks...Wrill's atmosphere is harmful for extended periods of time beyond 2 days. Each and every day that training will commence, it will be outside of the biosphere and without breathing assistance. From dawn until dusk, you will be beyond the biosphere without a breathing mask for every hour of every day there is training. Feel the tainted air tear at your lungs, the burning pain that will only grow worse as time progresses without clean air to breathe...revel in it. You are slowly suffocating. It will make you stronger as a result to be capable of functioning at full-capacity with low levels of oxygen through tolerance. In due time, you will grow accustomed to this and ask for more, to be capable of fighting even if your body does not have ample supplies of what it needs. Going beyond environmental limitations is a necessity as there will never be perfect conditions for combat in every single scenario."[/ b]
Xarak decided to clarify the order and hopefully be a little more persuasive.
[b]"Remove your breathing masks and place them atop the crates unless you wish for it to be removed for you. By choice and acceptance is more honorable...and less painful than resisting. Refusing to heed my orders will bring shame upon yourselves and your clans you represent."
Woade Blite - August 22, 2011 03:48 AM (GMT)
After giving up the armor and weapons, this was far less detrimental to the identity of the Woade Clan. Their rites required them to breath in this atmosphere. Bored warriors would wager on such a thing as this, whom could last the longest, type bets. Their arms would come up, and take that breathing mask from their face, tossing it down onto those crates.
The methane gas was a horrible things, as it did not initially affect anyone whom breathed it in. The slight burn might be felt, on occasion, but until the real affects of it hit there is no additional problems. Dizziness would set in within an hour, after that it evolved into an inescapable headache, and with high activity levels these were just compounded, the hearts would be forced to work harder, to circulate the little bit of oxygen through the body. It was subtle, but in hours of strain, the muscle exhaustion from oxygen deficiency, on top of the other symptoms was torture.
Most of them were familiar with the symptoms, though, most tended to 'take it easy' during those rites, trying to survive up to the point of death in the atmosphere, and make it back alive. Training in that condition, every day, was going to be difficult for anyone involved, they all shared a mutual thanks to the gods for allowing them to have been raised in these conditions.
Makarov - August 22, 2011 11:35 PM (GMT)
|"Now..." Xarak began, relaxed still as he stood at ease with his hands clasped behind his back, surveying them all. "You are without the crutches that allow weak Krogan to survive. A true krogan does not need armor to protect themselves. Your false senses of security and superiority behind it dull the instinctual senses. Without your armor, you make a mistake against an animal during a hunt or an enemy in combat, you will pay dearly for it and be reminded that you can bleed, your body can break, and you can die. There is no shame in knowing limitations, but thinking you do not have any and acting as if they do not exist is foolish and downright stupid. What you think are your limitations that have been coddled into your feeble minds is but a fraction of what a true krogan is capable of. The tales of strength, survival, fortitude, and resilience that many Rites are based upon originated from warriors far greater than yourselves. Warriors that made the krogan what they were known for...you defaecate upon their graves in disrespect as you all are now by thinking you are on the same level as they are by simply completing watered-down Rites to mimic their actions."|
It was rare that such words could hurt and stun Nathrakh in such a way at the same time. For any Krogan who had their lives saved by their armour, the philosophy that was now being given to them could break both hearts. But the words were as truthful as they were hurtful and harming to the egos of many. These young blood had not a cut worth of the experience this superior had, they were all inferior in comparison to such a true Krogan. Some must have wanted to attack him in rage, others may have wanted to bow their heads in utmost respect. Either way, it was apparent that soon everyone will bow at one point or another to the pain that they will have to endure.
Such was life for the Krogan, an endless war story of violence and combat. It was they way of their people, because of this Nathrakh felt almost a bit of guilt for not participating in more battles than he had already. Surely he could have fought in at least another handful to further scar his face and make a name for himself. Instead he had been somewhat cautious on what fights he chose, which was something most would spit upon. Nathrakh made a mental goal for himself, after this training, he will fight in a five hundred battles or die trying.
|"You will now remove your breathing masks...Wrill's atmosphere is harmful for extended periods of time beyond 2 days. Each and every day that training will commence, it will be outside of the biosphere and without breathing assistance. From dawn until dusk, you will be beyond the biosphere without a breathing mask for every hour of every day there is training. Feel the tainted air tear at your lungs, the burning pain that will only grow worse as time progresses without clean air to breathe...revel in it. You are slowly suffocating. It will make you stronger as a result to be capable of functioning at full-capacity with low levels of oxygen through tolerance. In due time, you will grow accustomed to this and ask for more, to be capable of fighting even if your body does not have ample supplies of what it needs. Going beyond environmental limitations is a necessity as there will never be perfect conditions for combat in every single scenario."|
The first test seemed to be afoot. This would be the perfect time to show his dedication, but the pain that may occur brought back a less than desirable memory. From his Rite, the feeling in his chest as if his lungs were collapsing or the encounter that scarred his mouth, both painful memories. The more he thought over them, the more excited he got. Nathrakh should not fear such pain or feelings, as he was to be a great Krogan one day, he would have to put aside his current traits in favour of superior ones. As the Empire rises, so will Nathrakh in his devout pursuit of assisting it.
|"Remove your breathing masks and place them atop the crates unless you wish for it to be removed for you. By choice and acceptance is more honorable...and less painful than resisting. Refusing to heed my orders will bring shame upon yourselves and your clans you represent."|
The words were rather inspiring, for such things so soft. He had a way with words and could raise the morale of any army if he so wished. Nathrakh admired this, he could learn a thing or two about speeches from listening to him. He conceded to the command, the Krogan placed his breathing mask upon the crate in front of him. Afterward, he took a deep inhale and let out a slow exhale. His lungs already had an itch as did his throat, he would have to grow accustomed to it for it surely will get worse.
BiscuitReloaded - August 23, 2011 05:13 PM (GMT)
Just as reluctant as they were to willingly part with their armor and weapons, the breathing masks came off as well. Xarak immediately noticed that the Woade clan members were more willing to remove the breathing apparatus from their faces. When coming up with the general direction of training to take place, the Woade Battlemasters informed him that the Rite of Passage involved them doing so, but pushing dangerously close to the two day limit before unconsciousness and permanent damage was done by the toxic atmosphere.
Clan Drau members were not so willing to strip themselves of their only source of clean air to breath outside of the biosphere. Wrill was truly an alien world to them, but just like krogan mentality, they would adapt, endure, or and persevere. Conquering the environment was a necessity before any enemy could hope to be felled upon any world. If not, they would fall behind and be left to their own graves they dug themselves through weak genes, coddling, and a lack of work ethic that was insulting to the krogan way of life.
Only a few of them protested, but the assisting instructors were quick to rip the masks from their face, usually followed by a solid blow of the blunt edge of the heavy utility blades they all carried to the crest or snout, enough for them to remember to think twice before deciding to resist orders.
If simple requests of stripping themselves of false protection and crutches for the environment, he could only imagine how well his next orders were going to be quite disliked. That is, if his assumptions about their mentality being mired in the obsolete, inferior traditions of the past.
"Krogan Blite wishes for soldiers...an army of soldiers to be precise. Warriors at the beck and call of our fledging nation, to defend it from threats all across the galaxy. Many people and governments are not fond of the idea of a unified Krogan government...they feel threatened because of the past...because of both the Rachni Wars and the Rebellions. They feel threatened because they used us as tools against their enemies, then punished us for our victory over the Rachni, but... Xarak stipulated as a point to his statement,
"...showing aggression and anger for their decisions would only prove their paranoia correct and seek to stomp us out long before we ever become a legitimate threat. Our Supreme Overlord has no intentions of repeating the past mistakes that brought about the result of the Rebellions. It is a time of change and tolerance of others. I have learned in my years that the greatest of battles, the most dangerous foes...come to those that wait. We will not actively seek a fight unless provoked first. As asinine and cowardly as that may seem to the average whelp...it is for the greater picture that you are all still blind to. I will open your eyes one way or another, either you by choice...or they will be ripped wide open to see the entire galaxy before you, the ebb and flow...not focused on the dirt that clans squabble over."
Having their full attention, it was time to lay his first plan of action down upon them.
"The first thing of tradition that must be dashed upon the rocks of progress is the clan mindset. The Empire encompasses all clans that willingly join it...they are all equal, regardless of size, strength, territory, or any other attribute you wish to fumble over. Your clans may still choose to solve indifference through conflict, but while you are here in my presence, you are not Drau or Woade...but simply krogan. I am not Ravanor...I am krogan. We are all krogan, and as a whole, should share the same goals to work towards. Mine is building an army unlike this galaxy has ever seen...yours is to survive this regime and be the first to join the ranks of the Imperial Troopers to-be. In order to do so, you will focus on nothing but the instructions and teachings I and my fellow Battlemasters have to pass down to you pups, as well as watch one anothers' humps. I want all of you break formation and pair up here to the left of me, rank-and-file two wide."
The Battlemaster made sure they understood his next criteria clearly as he surveyed them.
"Your pairs will consist of one Drau and one Woade...I will force you to work together if it kills you."
Woade Blite - August 23, 2011 09:18 PM (GMT)
Drau Skrob sneered at the last directives. The Chieftan, Alaric, had put his support behind this 'Krogan Blite,' but none of them had seen his strength, or knew if he was even worth following. He talked alot, that was all that he knew about the old Krogan. The shift out of the solitary nature of most clans was a hard adjustment.
Skrob began filing into their Woade Counterparts. The Clan -looked- big, naturally large statures, as the Drau had obtained over years of combat and training on the Homeworld. They survived here, that spoke of them being tough, but breathing bad air was not all that warriors needed. It was his nature to judge other clans harshly in comparison to his own. He did not take them for granted, but held their capabilities at matching their own clan with circumspection.
He moved up to Nathrakh, his assigned battle brother. He let his eyes roam over the stature, giving him a half nod and a slight sneer. Not an aggressive gesture, but it was common enough, and passed for a nicety, in pre-Empire situations, at least.
His crested hand moved up to scratch along his dark bronze crest. It was odd to think of combat with someone who was not of the Drau Clan. He thought it might cause issues, each of them having been trained to clan standards and holding a great deal of possible differences in their training.
Makarov - August 24, 2011 12:29 AM (GMT)
As well for the Woade Krogan, it was new territory to fight along side a Drau rather than combating him. For years he had heard stories, typical propaganda that the Drau were potential enemies but worthy foes. This would be an interesting stage for the training, for Nathrakh had not even stood this close to a Drau without a weapon in hand. It was humorous, as Nathrakh assumed the only occasion this would happen would be to offer an instrument of surrender to a superior foe. Something humiliating and disgraceful to the Krogan people, something that could not happen in a thousand years even if it were among the weakest of his species. But this was different, they stood by each other as warriors regardless of clan and ideology.
The two individuals were very different in the ways they were brought up and trained. To work together would further make them more adaptable and reliable among the united Krogan, Nathrakh noted. This was not the embarrassing encounter he had imagined, unarmed in front of a Drau. Much rather, it was a deadly alliance between the two that would make the bulk of the Empire's back. Like two strong materials being weaved or welded together, this was a predicament that could be either a failure or a revolutionary moment for the Krogan people.
Nathrakh bowed his head slightly forward, almost as if he invited a friendly headbutt. "With our knowledge and talents rewarded individually from our clans, we will become the force that shall destroy any opposition to the Krogan Empire. Our people will become strong once again through this unity. Hopefully these speculations are correct and our clans will become stronger than any others have." The Krogan seemed to embrace a similar speech to the superior that now ruled over them for the training, however it was apparent he had not been influenced merely by the speeches before but this was indeed his true ideals that have simply become more open.
BiscuitReloaded - August 24, 2011 02:49 AM (GMT)
The two clans that were opposite one another moments ago definitely took their time haphazardly filing into pairs of one member of Drau and Woade respectively. Regardless of the two clans being allies as Chieftain Drau spoke as if he were closely assisting and partaking in Blite's master plan for the Empire, members of his clan were not so quick to simply fall in line at a moment's notice to bend to the will of another.
"You have thirty seconds to find a member of the opposing clan to be paired off with, it is simple math, there are 200 of you, 100 pairs of two, do not make this more difficult than necessary," Xarak commanded of them as they dilly-dallied for a little while longer.
With a subtle nod, Xarak motioned for his Battlemasters assisting him to make them pair off as they were all warriors that each and every one of them knew and possibly trained themselves. Words of "encouragement" and strikes of utility blades to the backs of the legs quickly motivated them to fall in line as instructed with no more voiced complaints or resistance.
"Good...now that all of you are done wasting our combined time, we can proceed," The Battlemaster began, pacing up and down the paired-off rows as he studied their choices. "...this exercise is not as trite as you may think it is in your mind and unheard words...but it serves a purpose. One that you will come to understand or will join your ancestors as Varren scraps until your bones are picked dry and skulls hollowed out as a testament to your stubborn reluctance. Your refusal to partake in activity at this point in time will not only endanger your life...but others...Look to the man beside you. Do not see that he is Woade, or Drau...but krogan...just like you. You are all the same, the same species, same gender...we all are. As such, we all must work together, as a whole to something greater. Think of it as gears in a machine if you must, whatever analogy you feel fits your comprehension the best.
Coming to stand at rest as he looked them over, Xarak cleared his throat gently to speak clearly in his age.
"The krogan beside you will be your Battle Brother...this training is going to focus on teamwork, cohesion, and unity. In due time, you will come to trust the man beside you with your life...know what he thinks, what he is feeling, what he sees, smells, and hears...two minds acting as one...and it will guarantee your survival. Dominance should not be exerted over one another...but upon the enemy as a whole. They are vital components to survival in combat as soldiers. The days of squabbling like a pack of Varren over parched soil are over...this is for the protection of everything you hold dear and the might represented by the Empire to-be. You will protect it unto your dying breaths until you are felled in battle. With the training, knowledge, and expertise that will be delivered upon you, that moment will be staved off long enough to watch our broken people become whole again."
|"With our knowledge and talents rewarded individually from our clans, we will become the force that shall destroy any opposition to the Krogan Empire. Our people will become strong once again through this unity. Hopefully these speculations are correct and our clans will become stronger than any others have."|
Xarak saw the opportunity necessary to let these warriors know he was not some old Battlemaster that was simply going to bellow hot air at them constantly as he approached the source of the voice. He was a younger teal-plated, cream-skinned krogan that looked like a much smaller version that Blite himself. One could only assume he was of clan Woade.
"...You...whelp...what is your name and why are you speaking when nothing was asked of you?" Xarak unkindly addressed. He wanted professionals, not to babysit a bunch of undisciplined children.
Woade Blite - August 25, 2011 02:41 PM (GMT)
Skrob looked at the Battlemaster as he headed towards the pair. He kept that sneer on his face. His feet shifting slightly to the side as he walked up to the member of the Woade clan.
He knew that he liked this Ravanor less than he liked the Woade, thus far. He made an inate reptilian sound, almost akin to a growl, before he shifted his head to the side, to speak.
He stopped himself, he would let the Ravanor finish, and the Woade to fight his own battle, it would show a great amount of disrespect of the Drau tried to step in, without provocation himself. The Krogan Way.
He watched both of them in the exchange, letting his large frame of vision watch every minutiae detail.
Makarov - August 26, 2011 07:46 AM (GMT)
The Krogan now knew that he had made a mistake. But he would allow him to be punished for such and will abide by what is expected of him. For only a fool would talk against his superior, lash out in anger to anyone who was not an enemy. To vicious retort to a saviour of the Krogan people would be further pushing a dagger into the dying species itself, it was something of great disrespect that could only warrant another dead to the ranks, a failure to unified Krogans. "My utmost apologies, I am Woade Nathrakh." He boldly stated, his confidence could be seen as admirable but also cockish to some.
"I had no right to speak without permission, as I am merely a youngblood who has no right or say in anything of any particular manner." He seemed eager to degrade himself in favour of the image his superior had over him. The very, damn bleak future there would be if it were not for Krogan such as him, Nathrakh had grown to admire this individual just from his way with words alone. Surely he was intelligent and strong at that, his experience probably thicker than that of an iron cavalry. "I am prepared to face the punishment I undoubtedly deserve."
BiscuitReloaded - August 26, 2011 03:48 PM (GMT)
|"My utmost apologies, I am Woade Nathrakh...I had no right to speak without permission, as I am merely a youngblood who has no right or say in anything of any particular manner. I am prepared to face the punishment I undoubtedly deserve."|
Many krogan walked a fine line in Xarak's eyes. Much like he had already slated this individuals for, they were either bravely stupid or pathetic cowards. This young krogan of Woade seemed to be the latter. It was enough so for him to lose a small bit of respect for Blite's clan for that moment to produce such a walked-on weakling. Tiny iota at best, but still enough to not hold them in slightly higher esteem over Drau. It was proof despite demographics and geology, good genes could still produce weak krogan.
However, the Battlemaster's face never twisted or contorted to reveal what was going on in his mind as he loosely folded his arms before him as he studied the teal-plated krogan before him. It was impassive at best, as he had been thus far. No anger, no aggression or disgust, just simply neutral. A clear mind for a clearly-planned goal to be reached in due time.
"Well now, Nathrakh...I'm impressed, been some time since I have met another krogan my junior with manners and respect for their elders...tell me...have you birthed a clutch yet?" Xarak mused, not a single smirk to accompany it. The Battlemaster was being quite serious.
Needless to say, Nathrakh looked to him in confusion, if not outright dumbfounded by the question. Was it a test? A question if he answered wrong would earn him punishment. The Battlemaster was most certainly unorthodox in his training methods thus far, this was no different.
Xarak saw no immediate verbal response other than the look of dumbstruck awe on the youngblood's face. His tone was that of testing his patience.
"Well? I asked you a question, whelp...have you or have you not birthed a clutch yet? You seem to be of age and you most certainly speak as if you don't have a quad. I am having difficulty deciphering if you are male or female at the moment given your coloration and how you lick my boots without a shred of respect for yourself."
He wasted no time in unkindly grabbing Narthrakh by the back of his crest and pulling him within inches to glare hard with his single emerald eye into the much younger blue ones wide in fear of what was to come.
"You are weak in will more than you are in body, Nathrakh...a true krogan would admit his faults, not grovel for punishment to be taught a lesson. He would accept the fact that he made a mistake and seek to learn from it, learn experience, and learn to not make it again on his own, not beg for forgiveness through redemption by someone elses' hands."
Before Nathrakh could pull away or react, Xarak reared back and smashed his much larger and more than likely heavier crest with his bodyweight behind it into the younger's head, sending him to the ground from the blow.
"Pick yourself up...dust yourself off, and find your quad while you are down there before rising to your feet and opening your mouth to speak. Stand with a backbone, not a coward's tail."
The Battlemaster left the younger Woade to pick himself up and find self-respect and dignity as a member of his clan, a warrior, and most of all, as a krogan.
"Let this be a lesson to all of you. I respect those that are capable of admitting they made a mistake and take responsibility for their actions...but you are the one that will rectify it and make up for it...not I or your Battlemasters to punish you for them. Asking for forgiveness will earn you that punishment. You do not ask for anything...you are krogan, you earn it. You will earn respect...you will earn forgiveness for mistakes...you will earn the right to be called warriors again. I will not give you anything...but you will give me everything...is that clear?"
If they knew what was good for them, the next words out of their collective mouths in response would be "Yes, Battlemaster" in unison, 200 voices strong.
Woade Blite - August 26, 2011 05:36 PM (GMT)
Skrob gave a rather scornful glance at Nathrakh. Krogan whom had gone through the Rites shouldn't talk like that, unless he was being sarcastic. Sarcasm would have made that sentence much better, might even of fixed it entirely. It wasn't though, or, at least, there wasn't hint of such a thing in his tone. The other Krogan was three hundred, that was not a young blood, surely he was patronizing the battle master.
He shook his head, thinking. It was a strange thing. What was there to respect about this Woade Clan, whom had given rise to the Old Man Blite, amongst them. Surely, there was more than the subservience displayed by the Krogan next to him, but as it was, they would have plenty of time to get acquainted.
Skrob didn't know how to think about Xarak either, at this point, the newness of everything that was going on was overwhelming for most of them, since things hadn't changed in centuries on any perceivable level. His hand gripped his utility knife, that each of them had been allowed to keep and carry.
This all seemed like the biggest disappointment, even more than the insult it had promised to be of training them to 'superior' warriors. They were all Warriors by their clan standards, what were these people trying to prove?
"I think you should stay down there for a few minutes...try to sleep off the embarrassment."
BiscuitReloaded - August 26, 2011 08:04 PM (GMT)
Xarak seemed to be getting through to the majority after all of his orders, words, and showing of his own dominance over one amongst them for him speaking out and being an insult to clan Woade and krogan everywhere with his apologetic words asking for forgiveness.
However, it seemed not everyone was clearly getting the message. It was time to hammer it into their thick skulls...potentially literally if necessary.
|"I think you should stay down there for a few minutes...try to sleep off the embarrassment."|
The Battlemaster's gaze locked onto Nathrahk's Battle Brother, a Drau, or at least he assumed was from clan Drau as that was his prior orders of pairing them up as such. It was unbelievable that after witnessing the result of one of them speaking before being spoken to that he would dare to do much of the same.
Before he even approached, he noticed how the Drau looked at him, the tenseness of his body, and the fact that he had a hand resting upon the sheathed utility blade on his belt line, as if he intended to use it.
"Now you...YOU look like you're ready for a fight, like a true warrior!" Xarak seemingly praised with a convincing laugh as if it were a light-hearted compliment. "What's your name?"
Woade Blite - August 26, 2011 08:14 PM (GMT)
Skrob was an adult. He had passed his Rites, and he felt it more than his place to make whatever comment he deserved. It didn't matter if a superior had addressed him, or not. His eyes shifted up to the Battlemaster once again, and cocked his head to the side.
When he sought his eyes they were easily found, not blinking as they looked upon each other. He wasn't going to do anything that would invoke the wrath of his battlemaster, whom stood to the front of the groups, but he wouldn't cower as this Woade had done.
"Drau Skrob." It was a short response. Praise wasn't expected, nor was it treated as non-hostile. He had seen many a times, where a friendly hand was offered only to truly be aggressive.
He continued his non-blinking stare, until the headache struck. For a moment his eyes looked away, as the dizzyness of the planet had set in, it only increased the Blood Rage reaction that was bound to take over. The tell-tale signs of it was setting in, his pupils getting abit narrower at a time.
BiscuitReloaded - August 26, 2011 08:36 PM (GMT)
Xarak studied the younger krogan for a moment after hearing his name. He definitely held himself in higher esteem than the Woade had, but he was still naive...still fresh in the Battlemaster's eyes. It was difficult to not see anyone easily 600 years younger than himself as anything but a novice. Granted, 300 years old allowed plenty of time for battles to be fought and partaken in. It meant he was a veteran and skilled, enough to still be alive so far. The only question was if he had ever truly been challenged in combat or if he was just like any other krogan that thought they were amongst the best of the best because no one had bested them yet.
"Skrob...excellent name. A proud name for a proud warrior such as yourself," Xarak continued, "I can only assume a krogan of your caliber has seen many battles and emerged victorious in the blood of your enemies over the 300 years or so you've been alive, correct? That is the krogan way, after all...to exert complete and utter dominance over the opposition and crush them beneath a power far greater than their own."
Unless it was obvious already, Xarak's praise was false as the look in his eye changed as he stared Skrob down, nodding to Nathrahk on the ground beside him.
"...however, you suffer the same impairment that your Battle Brother does...a potentially fatal case of near-sightedness and stupidity. I care not about how many battles you've partaken in, or whom your foes were. They were not your enemies, they were false opposition in false battle for false reasons...your pride is FALSE!"
If that didn't set off any self-respecting krogan, he didn't know what would, but the elder Battlemaster was more than prepared for the proverbial grave he dug for himself with his statement. No matter how angry this whelp was, even in Blood Rage...he was going to be in for quite the shock of his life if he came at him.
Woade Blite - August 27, 2011 06:52 PM (GMT)
|"...however, you suffer the same impairment that your Battle Brother does...a potentially fatal case of near-sightedness and stupidity. I care not about how many battles you've partaken in, or whom your foes were. They were not your enemies, they were false opposition in false battle for false reasons...your pride is FALSE!"|
The words had the desired affect. Everything he had ever done was being belittled. Each of those battles were reduced to meaningless squabbles, which some of them, undoubtedly, were. This Ravanor was insulting his clan, their Rites, the reknown he'd gained as a warrior, everything about the way of life he was used too.
His mind wasn't in the condition to process this, it was in the state where he wanted to squash what was causing this trauma. His right hand began to move up in what was normally a strong and precise attack. The Dizziness induced by the planet was beginning to disturb him, and that swing went wild, more flailing at the Battlemaster than something that might actually do harm. It was an impotent thing, weakness, manifested.
The rage pumping through him, fueled the attack. The chemistry of the Krogan mind that made retreating from challenge near impossible to those whom had not worked on denying the output. It was how they evolved to keep their overwhelming numbers low enough to survive on a planet, and now it fed the idea that they were brutes, but, in truth, some of them needed to die so that others might live.
The evolution had damned them to their current outlooks, had damned them to assaulting the Council, and had damned them to the genophage. Now the Blood Rage and the genophage worked dually on them, and that struggle was manifesting here, more than anything else.
BiscuitReloaded - August 27, 2011 11:35 PM (GMT)
It was the exact response that Xarak had expected out of the younger krogan.
He was exactly the type of mentality and attitude that needed to be removed from their people's psychological makeup. It could be done without losing their heritage and culture, but change was needed. Change that many krogan were opposed to by clinging ignorantly to long outdated traditions. Their stubbornness was the source of mockery on a galactic scale. No respect, no equal treatment, nothing would ever be possible as long as such a mentality was shared amongst the consensus of an entire people.
The veteran Battlemaster knew this well in his long lifespan thus far and surely longer to come. It was not going to be easy and take time, but every step, no matter how small, was a progressive step forward. It seemed that some krogan wished to see their feet stayed and mired in the regression of clan squabbling and bickering over superiority amongst themselves rather than a respectable place at that galactic level. Blite had great plans, within them, Xarak played a key role. He wasn't going to fail the Supreme Overlord or his own duties over a bunch of immature, short-sighted pups not wanting to toe the line.
Skrob's pupils shrunk a fraction of a moment before he haphazardly stepped out of line and lunged for the Battlemaster. It was clear his less-than-respectful words and the atmosphere of Wrill were affecting the Drau. It was the earliest stages of Blood Rage, and a sign this so-called warrior had much to learn in the ways of tolerance, discipline, and control.
Xarak took a casual step back as the wide lunging swing missed, hitting nothing but air, not bringing his hands up in defense, but instead, waited for the next follow-up from the other direction before he parried the blow with a simple push in a change of direction. That small, negligible force threw Skrob off-balance, setting him up for a clean, solid headbutt from the Battlemaster as a counter.
Aiming to teach this krogan a lesson, as well as further show that he was not there to babysit them or speak so highly of himself for the sake of doing so, Xarak continued fluidly, surprisingly fast for a krogan, let alone one of his size as he took Skrob's wrist of his outstretched arm and twirled him around by it to place himself behind the smaller krogan, in turn, twisting and locking his arm up behind his back in the same motion. He held the warrior's arm twisted taught and outstretched laterally before drawing a fist back and smashing it into the back of his upper arm.
Bone audible snapped as Xarak made contact, Skrob's arm bent unnaturally backwards at the elbow. Just as calmly as he had begun his retaliation to the whelp's display of aggression, he ended it equally so with a firm foot planted on his backside just below his tail to send him face-first into the dirt.
Xarak kept his eye on Skrob before addressing the pairs of Woade and Drau. He had personally requested no fewer than three medics on standby at all times to assist with field injuries. Even if they were caused by their own stupidity, Xarak wished for them to learn from their mistakes as opposed to simply shrugging them off like most krogan did.
"You may hate me and come to despise me, but you WILL respect me. I will not allow myself...the Empire's military...or Supreme Overlord Blite to fail because of the likes of you. You will fall in line, heed orders, and will survive if you are strong enough to see it through to the end. Do not test me or you will end up like Drau Skrob. Control your Rage...control your emotions...control yourselves. Control...that is the key...an army operates upon the principle of control. You are part of the makings of an army, not clan squabbles. You will do as you are told, when you are told, how you are told, and not question orders or your superiors."
He extended his arms openly as if addressing all of them as such. His tone was not borne of being overly confident or arrogant, but having just proved his strength, even they had to respect it.
"Will there be anyone else that wishes to voice their opinions or give in to their emotions? I would like to begin training sooner rather than later."
Makarov - August 30, 2011 01:24 AM (GMT)
Nathrakh could hardly believe what he witnessed or how he felt. Not only were the words that he heard crushed any of his spirit, but the example made of the other Krogan made it obvious they were all expendable. Nothing but target practice for aggression. Each and every last one of them would have to do everything according to the plans of their superior, or they could die in the process. There was no more room for the weak, it was time to weed out those unworthy of glory and send them toward the ground to rot. Carrion in an open grave, the craters of warfare. Not even to die a true Krogan with the enemy's throat in their hand's grasp as they slowly fade into the Void.
A single Woade seemed to step from the ranks. Nathrakh knew what kind of punishment he endured for merely talking out of line, he pondered what this particular Krogan would suffer for doing anything physical. He watched and hoped to see an example, it would be a warning so that he would not be tempted to do the same. The young Krogan, unfamiliar to most of his fellow Woade stood with his arms extended, reaching out to the asides. A mocking invite for some form of retaliation.
"You speak words and perform vicious actions, yet you question our strength when you, yourself merely hit a child!" This particular Krogan seemed to have a death wish. Nathrakh would not let either of his hearts feel sympathy for such a disobedient member of his clan. Surely he acted out in hopes of representing the strength of his people. As arrogant as he was, the other Woades in the proximity looked away in disgust of their fellow Krogan's display.
"Are you a fool..?" Nathrakh whispered as the young Woade passed him. He tried to discretely give him some sense, something to at least convince him to apologize. Surely the superior will kill this mere child for his aggressive, groundless words. "There will be another time to fight, against an enemy..." Nathrakh continued to try and back him down, but it seemed to be all in vain. The other Woade seemed to wish to jump on the idiot at this point, he was only going to be the most vicious example of a Krogan who steps out of line. How dare he even oppose someone who was making Blite's ideal army more than a fantasy.
Nathrakh could not allow someone like this disgrace the name Woade. He stepped in front of the young Krogan, his slight hesitance in action at first would be made up with words. Even though he learned not to speak, not to even consider a verbal grunt without permission, he seemed to defend his fellow Woade. "He is young as myself, stupid and foolish as they come at this age. Allow me to take the punishment for this one, for he is too stupid to accept authority." It seemed like Nathrakh had taken it up upon himself to take whatever was deserved for the fool.
BiscuitReloaded - August 30, 2011 02:49 AM (GMT)
It seemed Xarak's actions had stirred the consensus up. Some finally fell in line and accepted their fate beneath the Battlemaster's command, others thought of it as a challenge worthy of tackling head-on just to simply prove the old windbag of a krogan wrong. Yet still, there remained a rebellious element. Of so-called warriors within the third century of their lifespans, none of them had shown the capacity of their "mature" age or experience as a warrior yet in Xarak's eyes.
Just as he accused them of only minutes before, they were mindless, savage brutes whom partook in clan squabbles for cracked, parched parcels of soil upon Tuchanka and elsewhere krogan settled amongst one another. They clung tightly to obsolete beliefs and traditions that were making their people weaker over time rather than stronger simply because elders, the traditionalists from generations prior, demanded it. What they seem to forget was the Rebellions, Genophage, and Demilitarization of their people left them broken, in shambles, and the laughing stock of the galaxy.
What was even more disgraceful was how krogan wallowed and reveled in it, simply accepting their fate as-is. Xarak regretted waiting this long to even attempt to do anything about it, but as with many things in life, it all was a matter of timing. He would atone for his past mistakes and begin acting like the "pure" krogan that he touted and demanded the others to be.
The Battlemaster looked down at Skrob with pity and disgust momentarily before turning his attention to an approaching Woade clan member. He had not only broke rank, but also seemed to move to challenge Xarak.
|"You speak words and perform vicious actions, yet you question our strength when you, yourself merely hit a child!"|
Xarak throatily chuckled at that. It was going to come down to that, was it?
"A child?" He began, amused, mockingly almost, "I was not aware that fully-matured warriors were children...so which are you? Warriors or pups that need to go back the coddling care of your mothers to make you all the more weaker? Would you like to be culled now or later for such words of disrespect to yourself, your clan, and our people as a whole?"
Xarak didn't advance towards the outspoken Woade, but was rather surprised as Nathrakh, the young Woade he had headbutted moments before for his grovelling had stepped between his fellow clansmen and the Battlemaster to prevent his advance.
|"He is young as myself, stupid and foolish as they come at this age. Allow me to take the punishment for this one, for he is too stupid to accept authority."|
He was mildly impressed and kept his visage stonily still at best in being impassive. Xarak only gestured for one of the Woade Battlemasters to stay his hand just as he was about to deliver a hellacious blow upon the outspoken whelp for his disrespect and failure to comply.
"...wait...him...Nathrahk...strike him the same you were going to that one."
The Woade Battlemaster was confused to say the least.
"...Are you certain?"
"Very...deliver his punishment to Nathrahk...he wishes to shoulder his brother's hardship as his own, grant him his wish." Xarak explained, watching his tone to not sound like a bellowing Warlord or Chieftan to his fellow Battlemasters, merely explaining his insight upon the matter.
Without another word, the Woade Battlemaster approached Nathrahk with his utility blade drawn, drawing it back before taking a mighty swing with it, smashing him in the snout with the blunt-faced back of the heavy metal blade. It was enough to draw blood from both nostrils and stagger the young krogan, but he remained on his feet.
Xarak looked to the dumbfounded whelp that sought to challenge the Ravanor Battlemaster, getting his attention.
"Your fellow clansmen just took punishment that was meant for you...I suggest you not let it be in vain by falling back in line and shutting your mouth before it is shut for you by pain you cannot possibly imagine."
Woade Blite - August 30, 2011 02:42 PM (GMT)
Pain was a wonderful counter the the Blood Rage, enough of it anyway. Natural depressants flooded the body from the brain, and it suppressed the anger and fury that the Blood Rage had kindled him them, for the normal Warrior. Skrob found himself moving to stand, using the one, non-broken, arm to move to stand and fall into line. He felt as if he had been cheated on that encounter, but it was what it was, and he could respect power won by strength, as most Krogan could.
He shut his mouth, but the observations of the other Woade was...strange. Who would take a beating rather than let it pass onto another? It was something to think about. It seemed foolish at the basest level, but there was something....noble about those actions, even if it ultimately resulted in disaster. The intent to better another was noble, when displayed in this fashion. It took that to let the ideals of the Empire click, and at once, his mind began to shift. To see what was happening around him.
This was a grand project, and the cogs were spinning to align all Krogan in this manner. It was...ineffable.
BiscuitReloaded - August 30, 2011 05:57 PM (GMT)
It was difficult to believe at how quickly time passed on Wrill of all places in the galaxy. It had been nearly three weeks since the official addressing of the Drau and Woade warriors that Xarak was provided from the respective clans as part of a running experiment.
That experiment was to give the Krogan Empire it's might...the Hammer...the Fist...Sword and Shield, whatever analogy that krogan would use to describe its nation's army. It was a fighting force beyond the clans and their politics. It was not Drau, Woade, Urdnot, Ravanor, or any other clan in the galaxy...but simply krogan. Krogan in service to their people as a whole regardless of where they came from or what their clan cultures believed in. It was in essence, pure krogan. The very same notion that Battlemaster Ravanor Xarak had spoke of since day one.
In the time that had progressed, the impromptu test program of building a fearless, respectable army worthy of the Empire's defense from the ground up was daunting to say the least. From day one, it faced opposition from those chosen to fall in line. Those that decided they new better than what their clan Chieftains and other superiors did voiced their opinions. Xarak and his fellow Battlemaster instructors were quick to discipline them by any means necessary. The consensus quickly learned through the first few days to keep their comments to themselves and not dare challenge Xarak or his training methods.
It would be the death of them before it troubled Xarak, but they were not going to stand in the path of greatness stubbornly and hold up progress. This was more significant than their lives. They were laying the groundwork for legions of soldiers to come for many generations. In a society such as theirs, it was surprising to see so much opposition to the idea of a grand, organized army for potential battles to be seen in the future on a scale that would rival that of the Rebellions, if not greater. Not for territory or the thirst of blood, but in defense of itself and their right to exist and unite. Potentially more if the Supreme Overlord's diplomatic missions with neutral factions in Citadel space and beyond would be willing to form some type of alliance.
Allies didn't make an army weak. Relying upon them did, however. Allies were to assist, not make up for a lack of force either by low numbers or a reduced manufacturing capability to supply their forces with arms, armament, and other supplies to fund a war machine. With their projected budget and division of it to divert most of it towards building infrastructure and establishing urban population centers for trade and commerce to boost the economy, it was thinking in the long-term towards a mighty army to be funded, as was how most krogan should be thinking rather in the short-term.
Regardless, Xarak knew that Blite was quite aware of what he was doing and more than intelligent enough to accomplish his tasks successfully. What the Empire did on the government side of things and even in the civilian sector was beyond his scope of control. Blite wanted an army, Xarak was going to deliver the best one he could with what he was given.
Each day was as difficult and trying as the last for the recruits. From sun-up to sun-down on a world with a rather long day-night cycle was hellacious to say the least. What made it even worse was the lack of clean air as their lungs were forced to breathe in methane-tainted atmosphere the entire time. The damage was mended nightly when they returned to their barracks within the training biosphere, but it made it no less enjoyable. Slowly, but surely they would eventually build up a mild resistance and grow accustomed to the tainted air. The self-inflicted torture of burning lungs would serve its purpose. If they could operate at full capacity upon tainted air without breathing assistance, when in an oxygen-rich environment or in a sealed suit, they would feel energetic, alert, and more alive than ever.
Still, there were a few that were slower to adjust than others that often passed out from extreme physical exertion while they slowly suffocated. Medics would get them a breathing mask long enough for them to regain consciousness and be forced to rejoin the training group right thereafter.
Once the recruits learned the cardinal rules of only speaking when spoken to, addressing Xarak as "Battlemaster" to show their respect, and not staring any of the instruction staff, Xarak himself included, down as if challenging them. More often than not, failure to comply to all of the above earned a firm whack from a utility blade's blunt edge. Even to a krogan, a blade that size carried weight and was not pleasant after repeated strikes, usually to the snout or somewhere more prone to being sensitive upon their bodies rather than the plates or crest that would weather the blow as if it were nothing.
Between daily physical exercises both in the morning and evening, the average day for the first three weeks of the course thus far consisted of Xarak giving a display of his hand-to-hand combat prowess. It was clear the krogan Battlemaster knew something beyond the average warrior of his species, even moreso than his fellow instructors assisting him in keeping everyone in line. It was an unorthodox approach as most of his hand-to-hand and melee techniques were not of krogan origin. A krogan army utilizing alien-influenced tactics? Most unorthodox.
Opposition to the idea or not, after several "demonstrations" resulting in dislocated joints, broken bones, and in one case, a detached retina, the combined Drau and Woade Battle Brother pairs were quite accepting of effective teachings that proved strength and dominance over an opponent. Laws of physics in battle, such as momentum, inertia, and gravity, were drilled into their heads to maximize the effectiveness of attacks with minimal effort to preserve strength, stamina, and also in the event of being overladen with combat gear in the field.
The second aspect of close-quarters combat was making the most use of the utility blade that any self-respecting krogan carried. A knife that served many purpose for hunting, warfare, and survival. It was both a tool and weapon. Razor-sharp and large enough to cleave off the limbs of aliens with a krogan at the handle of it, it was formidable to say the least. Xarak made sure to drill them into using it as an extension of themselves rather than flailing with a bladed weapon. Using the same principles of hand-to-hand in terms of physics, it came surprisingly easy.
The learning curve, however, was not. Given the use of bladed weapons, there was always an inherit risk of injury even by krogan standards. Small knicks, cuts, and slices in plates and flesh were nothing other than little reminders to not make mistakes or it would cost them their lives in a combat situation. The training group suffered its first expected casualty, at least by Xarak's standards.
A Drau warrior was in a full-contact "spar", for lack of a better term. Xarak believed in replicating realistic combat scenarios to remind them that even in training, the dangers were present and to not take it lightly. Either this particular warrior had not taken such training seriously or had made a mistake. His mistake was a misstep in not reading his Battle Brother appropriately and failed to block a lateral slice. The slice severed the krogan's massive throat and arterial spray followed. He bled out like a depressurized suit venting atmosphere, far too quickly for medics to stabilize him. It was a grim reminder that this was as serious as could be.
Still, an acceptable loss and proof that this training was only going to get more difficult and all the more dangerous as it progressed. Only three weeks in and the end was nowhere in sight, either. What could the Ravanor Battlemaster possibly have planned next for them to undertake in their quest to become ultimate, "pure" krogan soldiers to faithfully serve the Empire?
Woade Blite - August 30, 2011 07:58 PM (GMT)
Rath had just recently come from Illium in order to complete his Adult Rites. He had been moving around Wrill for several days with gore from the natural animals draped over his snout which he had personally carved up. He happened upon the camp of the Imperial Training Corps.
It was clear by his flesh and crest color that he was a Woade, and more than likely of Blite's line. He was what humans would call the 'spitting image' of the Supreme Overlord. His stature already immense as most of their particular genetics, although muscular build was strange, compared to the average Krogan. Xarak had conscripted him into this new form of "Adult Rite" if he survived this training he surely was worth of his adulthood, that was what they had said to him.
The pup of a Krogan had seen the close quarter techniques being deployed by them, and had noted afew of the things taught to him by the Drell Fighter from Illium. He loved to learn, he took to it like one of the Ruk to slaughter. (Hehe, Krogan Puns.) He was obviously, different from the others, showing a general excitement by fighting, but was not compelled to it at the drop of a hat.
He had not come in armor or with weapons, having just the clothes on his back and a utility knife, as the newer Rites encouraged to be the process. He had acclimated well to the training process, and pairing up with a battle brother whom also arrived late, ordered there by Blite himself, one Kolvant Rutvor.
Their hand to hand combat had increased, as well as their speed and technique with the blades, each small adjustment that Xarak noted to make had approved their efficiency beyond the basics, getting that razor margin that was the difference between life and death in hand to hand fighting.
Rath happily praised Kolvant on good attacks that he could barely manage to block. Both of them advancing at a similar rate. Rath's lean build was all that gave him an edge, and kept him on par with the other krogan perfecting their skills in this program. It was fantastic to see so many of them progressing at this rate. Rath was filled with Pride for his species, this being the first he had interacted with a great deal of them, his father having raised him off planet for some reason or another.
Every other krogan there had centuries of life to their name, and he had only a couple of decades, that knowledge alone was intimidating, but it was miraculous that he was able to keep up at all, thinking of how much the other's had on him, experience wise, but this in itself was a leveling of those, all shared information given to him so young would prove to be invaluable for the rest of his existence.
He had been there for two and a half weeks now, and it seemed like something big was going to happen soon, they all stood assembled as they did when the Battlemaster Xarak was going to announce something to the whole of them, which happened rather rarely since he arrived.
Tolgron - August 30, 2011 09:34 PM (GMT)
Rutvor honestly never expected to find himself on a shuttle towards the Imperial Training grounds when he first decided to abandon Tuchanka altogether in the name of preserving clan. He expected to be kept behind and retained as a double agent, sure, feeding false information to Wrent while providing intel to Blite. Maybe even sent to compromise industry and key defences. Ajivahta was impregnable by reputation, but only from the outside. Get someone inside with enough of a high-level access, and it’d come tumbling down as much as any other building.
But here he was, training in hand-to-hand combat with Drau, Blite, Ravanor and other clans who were now fighting a cold war against his old one. He knew full well what they all thought of him. He was a traitor in their eyes; someone who sold out his clan for motives that varied from telling to telling. Cowardice, greed, some horrific crime that had led him to be exiled, some inbuilt tendency towards treachery, oathbreaking. The list was as long as the stares heated.
So he committed himself to his training with zeal; he’d prove them all that he was no coward and no traitor. Why he was there was plain; how could he save his clan by fighting against the very key of its salvation?
The training was highly unusual, a far cry from the sort he’d received as a whelp growing up on Tuchanka. There were no cases of being thrown a gun and then expected to know how to use it through trial and error. There were clear, precise instructions, repetition, horrific discipline, repetition, gruelling marches, repetition and, above all, repetition. For any other species the death toll would be immense and counter productive, but krogan were strong. There were deaths, sure, krogan who became too weak to wake up in the morning. But those who died were impurities that’d leave the end result purer and stronger.
Another krogan attached himself to Rutvor during his training, seemingly unbothered by his turncoat nature. Rath was his name, apparently, another Woade and one who bore certain similarities with the Emperor, enough to make Rutvor wonder if he was in some way related. The company was welcome enough, even krogan needed people with whom they could confide in and socialise with, and in certain ways a friendly face made training easier. Rath seemed quite happy to help Rutvor catch up with the others in their training and ensure that he grasped the basics of his training. After that he found he could make his own way from there.
The weeks passed on, the Kolvant’s cover as a hostage keeping him relatively safe from clan reprisals. Hopefully it’d make slipping back in relatively easier when the time came for him to infiltrate the clan again. For now, however, he was determined to improve. Wrent was a powerful fighter, and Rutvor lacked the edge biotics gave.
Makarov - August 30, 2011 11:11 PM (GMT)
Nathrakh made sure not to hold back during the training. He would give every part of himself to prove that he was willing to risk everything. After taking a strong, blunt strike to his face for his fellow Woade, he was more determined than ever to further show his willingness to help the clan prosper. To move forward, strike as one while they were many, to lacerate the lines of the enemy as pure Krogan was this Woade's dream. Through the help of their Battlemaster, they will become the fist that holds the sword for the Krogan Empire. Each day meant everything, a single second meant the survival of each individual here, the perseverance of them would only be apparent through their willingness to participate. As the weak became smaller in number, the many remaining could feel their strength increasing subtly.
In a spar he had tackled his opponent. He fought him as if it was the enemy, as if they were in it for life or death. It was exactly what was expected of them, to take this training as if they were on the battlefield now. Nathrakh did not hesitate to attack the eyes, nor did he ponder for a second on whether or not to try and strike out his opponent's teeth. His spar partner was just as worthy, he retaliated quickly and had beaten Nathrakh in the time it took for him to merely knock him down. Despite this defeat and a small, new scar to add to the collection. When it came for further confrontations, Nathrakh would not hold back nor will he let himself be humiliated.
He watched the others in their spars, studied them and contemplated what he would have to do if he were to encounter them in combat under any circumstance. Every time there was a moment of rest, he only found himself restless with the many thoughts and fantasies of war running through his head. An army seemed to march in his head, there was not a moment he did not think of a glorious battle and final, victorious charge to victory. His opponents changed, they would be fellow Krogans in one dream and Turians in another. The destruction and the aftermath remained the same, it was all a similar scenario of battle he wished to make come true.
The Krogan kept to himself, merely made friends with his battle partners and his spar partners. He had little intentions to socialize with anyone who would not help him become stronger, more ideal warrior whose only motive is to kill anyone who threatens the development of the Empire. Like a haunting dream, he constantly teased himself with the possible benefits the Empire would give to the Krogan people. If he were not to be a part of it or a contributor of any sort to such a concept, may he die and vanish into the Void where there is nothing but suffering for him. As it would be an absolute sin not to solidify these foundations that were being built around them, without it the Krogan might as well submit to the genophage and beg for extinction. Blite was a saviour of sorts.
Krogan Sushi - August 31, 2011 05:02 AM (GMT)
(OOC: Krax's entrance into this thread has been approved, so that he may be readied for his eventual Imperial role.)
Jorgal Krax also appeared late at the camp, dropped off by Warlord Alaric himself. He was here to be groomed into, of all things, a diplomat.
Krax wasn't convinced when the idea was first suggested to him. A job that amounted to "talking at people" was not very kroganlike in the traditional sense. Then again, Krogan Blite himself had delivered a stirring speech at the birth of the Empire. The loyalty of millions of krogan had been earned without wasting a drop of warriors' blood. Here was the use of exercising dominance with words as well as in battle. And Krax realized that he'd unconsciously been perfecting this skill himself, since using brute force on the Citadel was a good way to get yourself arrested.
When he offered himself as a potential diplomatic candidate to the Supreme Overlord, his proposal was merely acknowledged. Krax, he was told, was not yet ready to take on the job. To be considered as a representative of the Empire, he would, frankly, have to be whipped into shape.
There was no denying this assessment, since Krax had grown a bit soft in his two decades on the Citadel. He'd learned to suppress his natural aggression, and had also let his physical condition slide. If he were sent to negotiate with other krogan, they would not take him seriously. He had to become impressive to look at as well as to hear. He would be sent to the Imperial training grounds.
Right off the ship, he was bullied roughly into the barracks, barely having time to catch Alaric's amused smile as the elder krogan turned to leave. The Battlemasters provided him with a locker to dump his armor and shotgun until he deserved them. Krax's grumbled protests were met with harsh physical consequences, no matter how hilariously he'd worded his complaints.
A utility blade was pressed into his hand. He was told it had belonged to a krogan of Clan Drau who would no longer be needing it. His immediate reaction was one of unease, even fear, but he quickly squashed it. Unless Krax committed to making his mind and body indestructible, he too would end up leaving the knife to someone else.
Training began for him, and it was hellishly difficult. He took the place of the fallen Drau, though he did not inherit his Battle Brother. The krogan he was paired with was, surprisingly, a Kolvant. This Brother was also fairly new to the camp, but had been a Champion of his clan. All of the other trainees were nearly twice Krax's age. Frequently he found himself on the ground, tasting his own blood, or getting treatment for a broken bone here and there. He also provoked many a blow from Battlemasters who didn't appreciate his cheek.
And yet, the cruel treatment allowed him to grow. At his lowest point, Krax spent a night in the medic tent unconscious, on oxygen, and with a hairline split along one of his nearly-fused crest plates. And it was the next morning, when he was harshly awakened for drills, that he finally became aware of it - a cool rage unlike anything he'd ever felt. Not like the blazing rages he'd already succumbed to once or twice since he'd arrived. Those only overloaded his consciousness and drove him to defeat himself. This rage was more akin to a deadly focus. He hungered for victory, for perfection. His mind was sharpened, better equipped to spot and act upon weaknesses. In this state, he felt truly deadly.
With this breakthrough, Krax became less of an embarrassment to his Kolvant Battle Brother. He still lost most of his matches, but now the culprit was usually his inferior size and muscle mass. He even scored a victory here and there over krogan he was able to goad into carelessness. He began receiving fewer beatings for insubordination, as he was finally learning when to keep his mouth shut.
He was not yet perfect, by any means. But at last he was improving.
BiscuitReloaded - August 31, 2011 11:56 AM (GMT)
Despite going against his principles and best wishes, all Xarak could do was allow these new recruits to join the consensus mid-program. The young pup during his Rite of Passage was understandable. He was Woade and seemed to revel in hand-to-hand combat, if not skilled enough to force the Battlemaster instructors to try. A small portion of himself wanted to test his might against someone far younger, yet so potentially skilled. The notion was quickly squashed as it was not his purpose, he was not there to dominate and feel superior, but elevate his fellow krogan to heights they thought unreachable.
While understanding of Rath's presence, if not inviting as this training would supersede his Rite of becoming an adult in terms of difficulty, what he was not fond of was the not one, but two "outsiders" entering amongst the midst to replace dead or incapacitated recruits. It wasn't a matter of clan to Xarak, but more they were not there from the start and had not suffered the same that their fellow man had within the ranks. To others, it may seem like favortism to spare them the very beatings and hardship that the others had went through for days prior to their arrival for political reasons no less.
The Ravanor Battlemaster was more than aware of Kolvant's presence. Blite personally requested for him to be allowed to join the training group as he would be effectively trained in the ways of the Imperial Trooper and more than a match for Wrent in the Rite of Dominance. He also knew that Rutvor was in favor of joining the Empire and wished for Kolvant to follow, but due to Wrent's short-sightedness and jealousy of Blite, he stubbornly stood his ground of the epitome of an immature brat of a krogan that was beyond stereotypical.
The other, the Jorgal clan was to be a diplomat to the Empire for whatever reasons. Reasons beyond Xarak's scope of authority, but Blite wished to see him undergo the same training to "understand" the military, people, and mindset that he was to be representing. Xarak wasn't fond of him thus far, being a cheeky little bastard with his retorts and comments that often earned a strong blow from the nearest Battlemaster, both for talking out of line and for being generally annoying.
They were all going to come to learn and love discipline one way or another. How many broken bones, bruises, and other assorted injuries it took to beat it into them was entirely up to them, their own actions, voices, and failures earned them their reward of a strike.
The aggression overall was slowly going from being directed at Xarak and his fellow instructors, to themselves. Not in the way to wish to tear one another limb from limb...but turning back on themselves into an introverted state. It was what Xarak sought in the grand scheme. Anger was useful to the point until it clouded the judgement and hazed the eyes over. It was the harshest critic of them all and would force them to outperform and go beyond what they thought their physical and mental limitations were prior.
Controlling their emotions to use to their advantage rather than the other way around was absolutely vital. Ultimately, Xarak wanted to be able to crack any of them hard with a utility blade and they not glare at him, but simply nod and return to their position in the formation without a comment or reaction. Ideally, more for the psychological ramifications it would hold over an enemy, when struck, they would shrug it off and laugh, even if it was debilitating. Krogan were naturally resilient against the elements and tough in general...he sought to make them truly hardened and on another plane no other military in the galaxy could match.
Without questions, hesitation, or their own comments in disrespect or disgust, the recruits all orderly marched from the barracks and took up their formation rank-and-file outside of the biosphere, as they did every day. It was easy to tell the training was making a slow transformation in their minds, their eyes sharper, more focused, but not hazed over by any emotion. Bodies that were naturally strong conditioned furthermore through rigorous physical exercise and oxygen deprivation naturally made possible by the unforgiving atmosphere of Wrill.
The Ravanor Battlemaster stood at-ease with his hands clasped behind his back as he looked them all over, impressed within his own thoughts, but neutral physically on his face. They were meeting his expectations thus far amicably well save for the few casualties inflicted. It was proof that some were coddled more than others, or did not have the mentality of a true krogan.
"Good morning, recruits, welcome to another day in paradise," Xarak quipped, not so much as a twitch or sound in response. They knew the rules now. "Are we feeling strong and ready to tackle any challenge thrown our way this morning?"
The consensus present was drilled in their response.
"Excellent, I am pleased to see you are all oh so very eager for whatever awaits on the horizon," The krogan continued, beginning to slowly pace up and down the front row of recruits. "Your performance thus far in both hand-to-hand and melee combat is...acceptable at best. There is always room for improvement and practice. You would fare well against the average threat in the Terminus Systems...but not much is considered average in such a lawless tract of the galaxy. Organized, hardened veteran mercenaries would still cut you down in the blink of an eye. However, there is hope for the likes of you whelps yet. You have made it through this first phase of training to better prepare you for what is to come...it is only going to get more difficult from here on in."
Xarak's tone was one of disinterest as if he was not truly impressed with their accomplishments thus far. That was far from the truth in his mind, but showing them such words of praise would relax their minds and not force them to deliver everything they had to prove they were the best of the best.
"The next phase of your training is going to utilize not only the skills you have learned thus far, but as well as your own natural survival instincts as krogan. I cannot imagine a better setting that Wrill for what is to come with its land so treacherous and inhabitants so deadly. The atmosphere only compounds existing obstacles further. Much like the homeworld of Tuchanka, this world will punish the foolishly brave and stupid."
As Xarak addressed those present, the Woade and Drau Battlemasters were busy preparing what looked like small kits of equipment. What was within them was a mystery yet, let alone what purpose they would serve soon enough.
"A krogan that is capable of fighting effectively with just his mind and body as his weapons is a threat...one that can utilize a utility knife in close-quarters even more so, especially against alien species. However...this next test will not be against a tangible foe, but the world around you, the environment, and all the threats within it. Based upon your effort and performance up until this point, I have personally organized all of you into squads of five...two Battle Brother pairs and those that showed their strength in hand-to-hand training will be temporarily split up to assist. Behind me, as you can see," Xarak gestured briefly as he began instructing them upon what they were to be doing next. "are kits that each squad will be using in the field. Within those kits are ONE breathing mask to be shared amongst the five of you in the squad, a waterproof, folding map, a magnetic compass, and a single ration block to get you started. I am not so heartless to send you out completely unprepared, but I doubt you will make that last for the length of time this phase is going to take place."
It was clear that he had their undivided attention by now as they knew not doing so would result in missed vital information that may be the death of them in the field. Wrill was naturally unforgiving. The presence of pirates and criminals spread throughout its surface didn't help matters any on top of the predators that lurked at all hours of the day. There was no such thing as "safe" upon Wrill beyond the biospheres.
"Marked upon the maps are a common location that you will have exactly 7 days from the point of insertion to reach with nothing but this equipment, your blades, and wits. Your insertion point will not be marked on the map, it is up to you to figure out where you are located and how to get to the final destination through analog navigational skills. Once the squads are organized and supplied with their kits, you will all be blindfolded and dropped off at random intervals, all within contention of the point of destination. No squad will be placed closer or farther way in the surrounding area."
The veteran Battlemaster stopped pacing momentarily before facing the consensus once again.
"You will be reviewed on your performance based upon how many members of your squad returns in good health, the severity of any injuries inflicted, or loss of life. After 7 days, do not even bother returning to the biosphere as you have failed to meet the task given. With such ample time, equipment and your own survival instincts, you are a disgrace of a krogan, let alone to the Empire. The only honorable thing to do from that point on is to commit suicide and never allow the potential of you procreating and polluting the genepool with your weakness."
Xarak took up his datapad from his belt, opening it to begin scrolling through the list he made. It wasn't simply because of the political ramifications, but it would be a test of krogan vs clan in mindset, but there was one particular group that he made certain was forced to work together under such dire circumstances.
"When I call your names, line up over there, single-file and receive your supplies," He gestured, finding the document "Skrob...Nathrahk...Krax...Rutvor...Rath will be joining you for this phase."
Woade Blite - August 31, 2011 02:19 PM (GMT)
Rath moved out of the line first as his name was called. Those of the Woade clan, or even those who respected or had seen Woade Blite up close could see the strong resemblance of the Supreme Overlord in the pup. It was a testament to the old man's genes, that seemingly every trait he possessed was etched into this slightly miniature frame.
Rath had spent time, each day, after sparring with his Battle Master, helping those whom had a less than perfect technique. Friendly spars with each of the other recruits. He had endured discipline training before, though, not in a true Krogan manner, but he could see visibly that it was much harder for those around him at most times than it seemed to be for himself.
He walked slowly towards the Battlemaster, Ravanor Xarak, the man was stern, but he had been teaching a wide variety of techniques that were practical and strictly advantageous. He had compiled techniques that were the most efficient, whilst throwing away the filler. Rath could tell the man was enjoying watching the younger Krogan gain knowledge a step at a time, but he would never had said it out loud. It was only his time with the human trainers that would even hint at it. Those yellow eyes though, seemed to hold that hint of pride in them.
He allowed his golden eyes to fall on Xarak, the slight outline of red around those sharp serpentine eyes. He moved forward to receive his kit, and then would move out of the way of those whom came after him. He had spent time with Kolvant Rutvor in combat, the man seemed to be a Pariah among the group, and Rath had seen some news reports and the retelling of the Clans stories, but Rutvor was here with them, that means he supported their cause, why should he be looked down on?
It was all strange in his mind, but the Kit was thrown back around his shoulder, as he flipped open the Kit, looking through it, checking all that was there. The Breathing Mask wasn't in there, must be in one of the other kits. He shrugged his shoulders, and then watched as the rest of them would join him to the side, and they'd be taken off.
Tolgron - August 31, 2011 05:56 PM (GMT)
From the offset Rutvor used his tactical and strategic thinking always to his advantage, making it his habit to study his fellow krogan during the rare occasions when they were not being trained and making mental notes. Everything that could be used against them was committed to memory that the Kolvant could use it against them later. Details such as habits in their fighting styles, weaknesses in their bodies, certain actions or phrases that particularly enraged them and things of that nature. Strengths as well that they may be avoided or nullified.
One krogan was noted for a tendency to always fight with a stance that was particularly wide, so when Rutvor came to fight him he honed in on that stance to make him unbalanced. After kicking the krogan’s leg out from under him, Rutvor ended the fight by holding his utility knife to the warrior’s throat. Another was famed for preferring to charge head on, using his large and heavy bulk to pulverise the opposition. Defeating him was easy. Rutvor simply ensured that never stayed still long enough for the krogan to get moving in his direction, until finally he grew so tired and disorientated that he toppled. Yet Rutvor was by no means undefeated; more than once Rutvor tasted the alien dirt of Wrill himself and was sent limping with broken bones, ruptured organs and deep gashes that oozed orange blood. But it gave him an advantage most other krogan didn’t have.
None of it was enough though. Especially not to Xarak.
For every victory that Rutvor scored, Xarak made sure that it was paid for with interest. “You learn nothing by winning” was his catchphrase whenever the Kolvant sent another opponent to the ground. Then he’d send him off to run around the whole facility with several concrete blocks on his back, or to fight five opponents at once or spend the rest of the day performing other gruelling physical tasks until he barely had the strength to crawl back into his billet.
All to often when Rutvor said prayers to the ancestors for glory and victory over his foes, the Ravanor’s cold face came to mind. It was a sentiment widely shared among the krogan, at least for a while. The training he was put through was not merely physical after all.
As the training wore on, something in Rutvor’s mind clicked. How or when he never really knew, but he realised that Xarak would never be so harsh on him if Rutvor was actually learning something. His anger turned less towards the ancient battlemaster and more towards himself and his failings. Rutvor was relying too much on his mind to overcome his foes, too much on trickery and plans that could fall apart at the slightest change in events. It wasn’t enough to be a strategist, that wasn’t why he was here. It was why he could never be strong enough to overcome Wrent and seize leadership. He had to become a warrior, a soldier. A killing machine.
And Xarak was there to guide him to that end, in his own way. If Rutvor wasn’t strong enough, then that was entirely his problem to solve.
So it was that when the morning came when Ravanor Xarak ordered them all into their columns as usual, announcing the training exercise he had devised for them, Rutvor thought of nothing but success. He bellowed such intentions along with the rest of his contingent when prompted.
The task laid before him sounded challenging enough, a sure way to test what he’d learned since arriving at the Imperial Training Facility a mere champion. He knew a little of the krogan he’d been assigned with as well. Enough to know their various strengths and weaknesses, yet apart from Rath he didn’t really know any of them personally. He’d seen Krax a few times and knew him as a krogan who liked to talk, which often resulted in a fist quickly connecting with his face. Apparently the Jorgall had been assigned to him as a "battle brother", although as of yet Rutvor had not had much time to interact with him outside the sparring ring. The two had much to catch up on, after all, and Xarak was relentless in his efforts to force them to catch up. Krax was a strong fighter, though, just unpolished. If he could stop talking for more than five minutes, he may even have had the makings of a Kolvant Champion, had his circumstances been different. As such he tried to ensure he gave the Jorgall as much help as he could allow; dropping hints about weaknesses in his attack, poor habits and offering encouragement towards his strengths.
Nathrahk, meanwhile, struck him as brutal and unrelenting, yet headstrong and prone to leaving himself undefended in all out attacks. He knew very little else about him, however, being a krogan that Rutvor seldom saw outside the training fields and had little need to talk to.
An interesting team, one that gave Rutvor much to think on.
He stepped forward silently, joining Rath and picking up his share of the equipment. A quick inspection confirmed that he hadn’t received the mask either, but that was neither here nor there. They were just going to have to make do and try not to breathe too much. Once his things were claimed he stood next to Rath, waiting for the next order.
Krogan Sushi - August 31, 2011 06:53 PM (GMT)
At the mention of his name, Krax immediately moved forward. He had finally gotten the hang of keeping his expression neutral, though a slight bounce in his step would betray his excitement to keen observers. As productive as the regular routine had been so far, the repetition was getting a little numbing. Here he was being offered new pain, a new obstacle to subdue. Something fresh for him to wrap his brain around. He was fully aware it would suck, a lot. But what else was new?
He joined his squadmates in retrieving a small pack. Woade Rath had been assigned to his squad, and for that he was glad. Rath had taken the time to clarify some sparring technique for him on more than one occasion, helping Krax make up for lost time and inexperience. The young Jorgal didn't know him very well beyond that, but he liked to see a strong team player in the squad.
Rutvor, of course, had been his assigned Battle Brother. Krax's brotherhood was weaker than most, since the bulk of his time with Rutvor had involved Krax getting his back slammed to the ground in an alarmingly short time. The Kolvant would then be pitted against sparring partners that could actually test his skills. But lately, Krax had actually been able to make a half-decent fight of it before going down. He respected Rutvor, even forgetting most of the time that he belonged to the strongest clan opposed to the Empire.
The others - Nathrahk and Skrob - he only knew by name and sight. He'd sparred with both of them, being overwhelmed more often than not. All the krogan in the camp had become wise to his "insult 'em to stupidity" tactic faster than Krax had preferred. He'd had to abandon it for learning actual fighting skills. How to turn an enemy's strength against him. How to apply one's own strength at the exact moment the enemy was ill-equipped to withstand it. How to compensate for his own weaknesses. Each of his squad had taught him at least one lesson he now carried into every fight.
When Krax checked his pack, he found the breather. A flicker of amusement leaked onto his face - he knew the other krogan thought of him as a chatterbox. Were this a more casual setting, there would no doubt be jeers flying about already. But he forced his expression back into neutral, and pulled the mask portion out to show he had it. After all, it wasn't his - it belonged to all his squad brothers. He would merely be its guardian.
Makarov - September 1, 2011 07:19 AM (GMT)
This particular Krogan has known the horrors that awaited outside of the biosphere. He could recall the events that took place during his Rite. The memories would make him stronger, give him hope as he would push past any obstacle to his destination. Knowing that this was not solely for himself, it would be an act of destiny for him either to succeed or die in attempt to assist his fellow squad to the destination. Finally, a chance to give glory to the superior Krogan race and become an asset of it. There would be no more fantasy, only action. Compromise, except among comrades, is useless. Whatever enemy they face will have to fall, Nathrakh would be more than willing to lose his own life if he were to fail.
Nationalism is what humans would call a bane to society, to a culture and a race in general. To the Krogan, it was the only philosophy one should have. The universe is cruel, it is an asylum to the weak and a battlefield to the strong. You are either a fool in the cross fire or the one shooting in the first place. In the many collective nightmares that inhabited the galaxy war was the one they all chose for themselves. It was the Krogans that killed the largest threat known to any species, the Rachni. It was also the Krogan who started the galactic equivalent to a world war. The Rebellions were a set back, but a message to anyone who wished to oppress these people further.
The reward for years of prejudice, being deceived into being the Citadel's mercenaries, was a statue and a couple of movies. The Council itself sits behind and plays political games, the Krogan were never the kind for such things. It was always fight to survive, never compromise, let the dead lie and fear those who refuse to die. They may look down upon them all, make their jokes and tell their war stories, but there will never be an example of Krogan power like the Empire will be. If anyone dared step foot into these operations, it would be a blinded mistake surely. The Empire will rise, with or without Nathrakh, or anyone else here in this squad. The training was a stepping stone, one that most builders would refuse but here it laid.
Nathrakh remembered the last spar he had. It was his best one yet, he prided himself with it. Finally he found an opponent who could not anticipate a berserk charge, a sprint into a tackle. The power he felt when overpowering him, the youngblood being only a few years behind Nathrakh himself. He fought back and he did so well. Even on the ground as the Woade pounded his face, several strikes to the already injured snout of Nathrakh disorientated him. Even in a daze, he continued to punch down as if it was his sworn enemy beneath him. After awhile, he even started to put his elbow into the strikes. It was a victory few were impressed with, as Xarak surely saw better ones among the ranks. Few noticed the battle, few acknowledged Nathrakh, but it was the first time he ever felt absolute power over anything. It was in that single spar he found out that he managed to over power the enemy quickly and efficiently, victory would come shortly after.
He stood among the others who were called, named for this specific group. Nathrakh did not bother to let his ego influence his opinion of the others. There was no superior but Xarak. Compared to him, they were all inferior weaklings. But soon, they combined strength will be a hammer to slam the nails into the supports of the Empire. In due time, every last one of those who survive the training would be glorious soldiers marching through the veins of an eternal legacy known as the Superior Krogan. Everything was changing, the most important rise of all time would not go unnoticed. Future generations will remember these soldiers, their sacrifices and victories will not be forgotten. Nathrakh found himself among Skrob, Krax, Rutvor and Rath. These were his knew brothers, for the time being anyways.
BiscuitReloaded - September 1, 2011 12:06 PM (GMT)
The Drau warrior was still not entirely convinced that Xarak was fit for command in the manner he was going about it. The insults, belittling, making clan cultures seem like a joke. On top of that, the alien-inspired manner of fighting. It was a piss upon the graves of their ancestors whom fought as krogan should for eons before by krogan teachings. In his eyes, Xarak was nothing more than a krogan that lost his way and was out of touch with his own people. Wandering the Terminus Systems for centuries without returning to one of their colonies or worlds tended to do that. His so-called "superior" teachings were about things that their people shunned or didn't believe in. Taking advantage of opponents' mistakes, their weaknesses. Using their own attacks against them. It wasn't the krogan way.
Fighting headlong against a strong enemy and beating him into submission or death with their bare fists was the way of the krogan and had been for many years. Who was this old windbag of a Battlemaster to come along and throw that out the window in favor of something that would weaken them in the eyes of other clans? Unlike the rest of the beaten, grovelling masses, Skrob wasn't going to allow himself to submit so willingly. He would endure and tolerate, but not forget his roots and what made him strong up until this point.
It wasn't just a matter of culture in crisis to him...but of pride. After that first day and having his arm broken so easily amidst his Blood Rage by someone that was far from putting any effort into his counter attack, it sickened him to the point of anger. Anger at both Xarak for making him look foolish and inept...but also himself. Age and titles aside...Xarak was still krogan, just like him, just older and larger, but not invulnerable. The fool was blind in one eye apparently enough with a patch covering some disfigured reminder of however he lost it. His depth perception couldn't be that of a healthy warrior. Yet, near on a thousand and blind in one eye...he still bested Skrob on even terms with little effort.
However, if there was one person Skrob couldn't stand more than Xarak, it was his so-called "Battle Brother" Nathrahk...the groveling worm that he was. Woade were supposed to be fearless and indomitable, or so the stories passed around the clans. Yet, he was as pitiful as a beaten varren. It was insulting to himself and his own clan. If a fellow Drau had done that, he wouldn't have hesitated to "discipline" him upside his head himself for stooping so low to lick Xarka's boots. There was a difference between respect and needlessly praising...Nathrahk crossed that line.
Still, throughout the training, it was necessary to remember why he was there and what he did reflected back upon clan Drau. If Cheiftan Drau found out that something Skrob did may or may not affect the clan's standings within the military by his representation, there would be hell to pay. He may have been proud and a fundamentalist in tradition, but the Drau warrior was not going to ruin ample opportunity for his clan's advancement based upon his actions and performance.
The very definition of tolerance the more he thought about it, the garbage that the Battlemaster running this circus had been spewing from the beginning. His regime thus far was equally brutal as the planet it took place on. The hot sun of Wrill beating down on them from sun up to sun down with no climate-control from their absent armor. No breathing masks against the burning, dizzying, oxygen-depraved atmosphere. All the while physically exerting themselves beyond belief as various hand-to-hand and melee techniques were drilled into them until they were perfected and down to a science. No thinking, merely action and reaction.
As much as Skrob hated to admit, the technique was...useful so far against aliens by using the advantages of size and weight to their advantage. It seemed...effortless, as if not trying or putting force behind the maneuvers, simply allowing them to take place and happen on their own through guidance. It was fighting effectively without hardly fighting at all. Skrob could take on ten opponents back-to-back with such techniques rather than be winded after one. Maybe there was a method to the old man's madness after all.
Yet, melee training was unforgiving. Using similar methodology in instruction, it became something of a graceful dance of blades as metal sparked against metal and flurrying speeds while remaining balanced and prepared to act and react to their opponent's moves. A deadly, high-speed game of chess in many ways. That was the best way to describe it. This training was teaching them to fight with an analytical, methodical mind rather than straightforward and without thought. Telling them to stop playing checkers and learn the ways of chess.
Problem is, chess is difficult to master and that much was apparent.
The lethality of utility knife combat claimed its first victim in the form of a Drau warrior with his throat slashed wide open by his Battle Brother in a spar. There were emotions raging and many of the Drau were ready to tear the Woade limb-from-limb. It was a hostile situation and required diffusion. Xarak was surprisingly good at being "diplomatic" and reminded them that it was not intentional, but the Drau had made a mistake and it cost him his life. It was a testament to what would happen amidst battle. No enemy was going to show mercy...there would be none shown here.
After nearly three weeks of this brutal undertaking, Skrob was sore, bearing injuries similar to those around him with various healing nicks and cuts upon his plates and flesh from the melee training, but standing in good health still. He was Drau, he was resilient and strong even by krogan standards, this would not beat him. Tolerance and control, he learned to not incur the wrath of Xarak and the other Battlemasters, but it did not mean he was a beaten whelp like Nathrahk.
When Xarak called his name to join with the rest of the multi-clan unit that was clearly more a political ploy than out of necessity, especially with the Kolvant present. Everyone within the Empire and beyond knew of Kolvant Wrent's defiance at the Crush upon Tuchanka. It was safe to assume Supreme Overlord Blite sought to remove Wrent from power through one of their own that was loyal to the Empire. A cunning strategy, but even he could tell Xarak was not the most pleased with it.
Regardless, what was done was done and Xarak seemed to know his place, just as Skrob should come to know his. Orders were orders, regardless of liking them or not. If the Empire was to prosper, learning tolerance and diplomacy was a must. In this day and age, with their numbers, the Genophage, and lack of technological advancement or manufacturing capabilities, an interstellar war in any capacity would be over rather quickly for them to join the Rachni in the Void and be nothing but a memory in the galaxy.
With their current stereotypical outlook by the rest of the galaxy, if they were to go extinct, it would be with honor and dignity, with might, and at the apex of power. Maybe Xarak had a point to all of this after all...
Woade Blite - September 1, 2011 02:50 PM (GMT)
The five of them joined up in the first squad, moving to the side to allow Xarak's orders and groupings to continue through the remaining Warriors. Within an hour they were all sectioned off and being moved to a freighter. Which would deploy them to their respective starting marks.
Pieces of varren hide were wrapped around their eyes to conceal their surroundings, even before they were led inside the cargo bay of the freighter. The bay had no exterior windows, and a large door that opened up which they could be deployed from.
As soon as all the blind krogan were loaded into place they would bark the remaining orders.
"Make sure your utility knives are stored properly and your supply kits are securely fixed on your back."
The orders were nonchalant, not pressing those whom considered it just a routine check, but little did they know...
Rath could hear the shuffling of the krogan whom were directing their small group through the cargo bay, and they lined up. Rath was prepared to get off, bouncing on his feet, this sensory deprivation for the duration was disorienting, that was the point though, he realized.
Out of no where, he felt a giant boot on his back, as he flew forward out of the back of the cargo container. Brief panic set in, against all of training, before he forced himself to remember his own biotics. He had not used them at all in the training, thinking it gave him an unfair advantage, and he wasn't one to exploit opponent's weaknesses in training, he wanted to defeat them because of his skill not others follies.
His muscles moved, preparing that biotic charge that were known to those capable, but before he had time to intact it, he hit the ground, sliding through the rough dirt, feeling his body and supplies taking a beating as his momentum naturally decreased as he rolled across the ground. Their crests would absorb a majority of the damage, they had apparently been going quite slowly and low for the time he had been in the air.
His hands came up to his eyes, finally to pull the blindfold off, and he saw the orange sky at full daylight. His body ached from the fall, but in a matter of moments he knew that pain would leave him. He took a deep breath, expanding his chest, before he let out a sigh. The alien expression was one that stuck with him.
Turning his head he saw that similar things had happened to the rest of his squad. His tongue came out, lips, before he moved to stand. Lifting his arms to stretch out, and to test his crest making sure none of the still soft shell had cracked or fractured in the fall.
He looked around and called out. "You all survive?" The thoughts of those who didn't fasten their utility blade down appropriately was now becoming more clear. It would be a horrible and disgraceful way to go.
Tolgron - September 1, 2011 03:36 PM (GMT)
Rutvor submitted himself to the blindfolding, before he was suddenly pushed off towards the deep rumble of a cargo carrier and kicked onto the back, where he stumbled blindly in search of somewhere secure to sit down. As ordered, Rutvor touched the sheath across his front where his utility knife had been secured, making sure the straps were still done up tight. Satisfied, Rutvor then further tightened the straps of the kit on his back. Everything seemed secure enough.
For a while he sat silently where he was, his world little more than the rumble of the carrier’s engine, the occasional muttering of their escort and the constant jostling of unseen bodies. There were smells aplenty, but all obscured by the more overpowering reek of fuel that was used to keep the vehicle running. It was stronger than usual, probably to prevent any krogan with a keen sense of smell from keeping track of where they were. It was uncomfortable to say the least, but then they weren’t here on vacation. To complain about comfort would result in mocking laughter if unnaturally lucky, and quick yet thorough beating if possessed of ordinary fortune.
Eventually he heard the mechanical whine of the cargo doors opening, followed by an acrid gust of wind from Wrill’s toxic atmosphere. At once the Kolvant’s lungs began to burn, but he weathered it without a sound. Unsteadily he forced himself to his feet, hands groping at the walls to keep himself from toppling over.
That was all made unnecessary when a pair of hands seized him by both shoulders, manhandled him over to the back of the carrier and promptly booted him from the vehicle entirely. There was a moment of rushing wind past his ears, vertigo and confusion, and then his shoulder connected with the dusty, barren soil and sent him sprawling.
After the first tumble, Rutvor managed to control himself, using his hands and weight to direct his movement towards a more efficient forward motion that brought him to his feet with another roll. He stumbled over an unseen rock, yet managed to remain upright. The rest of the momentum was spent with a short jog forward, clumsy in his movement but steady and constant enough to keep him from falling again. His shoulder throbbed painfully, as did his wrists from the forced collision to the ground and his left foot when it struck the stone, but otherwise he was surprised it went so well.
Gasping, both from the roll and from the atmosphere, Rutvor tore off the varren hide blindfold and winced as the harsh light of Wrill’s sun attacked his eyes. Blinking with a grunt, resisting the urge to cover his eyes with an arm, the krogan’s sight soon adjusted and he beheld the scorched landscape of the planet at last. As far as he could see, they were in the middle of nowhere, the surroundings consisting mostly of a vast dusty desert of orange sand, brown rocks and a sky the colour of blood. Wind whipped past his face, its touch made wicked from sharp grains of sand that scratched at his hide. Towards the horizon, Rutvor imagined he could see the glimmer of a distant lake. Behind him he could hear the drone of the cargo carrier slowly subside into a distant echo.
They were alone.
After a moment contemplating the landscape, Rutvor quickly checked his things, finding his knife still in its sheath and his belongings still in their pack. Good. There was that at least. Placing a hand to his shoulder and rolling it, making sure it was undamaged, Rutvor then turned to help his fellows up to their feet should they need it. Rath had managed to get to his feet pretty swiftly, he found, having already removed his blindfold and checking up on the rest of the party.
“You all survive?” he asked, looking no worse for wear.
“Everything fine where I am, unless I'm in a very unusual hell,” Rutvor said, his chest burning from the hot air. At least there was some oxygen on this planet, otherwise one breathing mask would have barely lasted them the night. “Everyone still got their things?”
Krogan Sushi - September 2, 2011 02:16 AM (GMT)
The smell of exhaust was indeed overpowering - the noxious atmosphere of Wrill trickled in as that all-too-familiar itching in his lungs rather than an actual scent when the doors opened. He double-checked his pack and knife - everything was set.
When the shove came, it didn't come as any sort of shock. Getting pushed around was part of the regular routine at the camp. What was unexpected was the drop that followed. Krax couldn't help but shout in surprise, his stomachs lurching as gravity took over. He curled inward a little, but there wasn't time to do much else before he slammed into the dirt. Tumbling clumsily, he tried to keep as much of his weight off his pack as possible, to protect the breather his squad would have to share. Pain seared his left arm as he used it to exercise a little control over his speed and direction. He finally stopped his skidding roll in a crouched position, his weight distributed evenly between both knees and his right arm.
Breath hissing painfully through his teeth, his left wrist throbbing, Krax raised his head and squinted. His blindfold had been removed for him by the surface of Wrill.
"You all survive?" That had to be Rath.
Rutvor chimed in first, already on his feet. "Everything fine where I am, unless I'm in a very unusual hell. Everyone got their things?"
The breather! Relying mostly on his good arm, Krax removed his pack to check on their sole source of guaranteed oxygen for the next week. No cracks, no dents, a couple scratches, but otherwise good. Phew.
"I'm all set!" he grunted, pulling himself upright as his muscles ached in protest. He slung the pack back where it belonged, rotating his wrist to see if that made it any better. It seemed to be helping at least, besides the rapid healing he enjoyed as a krogan.
Makarov - September 2, 2011 03:15 AM (GMT)
Without his sight, it was as if he had lost everything else. Without his eyes, he found himself at a major disadvantage. Of course he could try and hone in on his other senses or rely more on his instincts, but he had not done that in so long. During his Rite, his eyes had been scratched from an encounter earlier on his quest back to the biosphere. When another Krogan jumped him, he had to rely on what he could hear and feel. To do that again made him uneasy, despite the experience and training, a sudden fall to the ground would shake up everyone.
Thankfully his gear was tightly fastened, a mishap other than a fall itself would not occur. His pained snout dripped blood again after the impact with the ground. It made contact so much faster than he expected, it was a painful reminder that gravity was not anyone's friend or ally. Startled, he flopped on the ground for a moment before he forced himself to spring up. Taking off the Varren hide, the sun beat down onto his face hard. He closed his eyes hard before he reopened them, facing the ground. Eventually his eyes readjusted and he was able to take a look around. His surroundings were familiar yet foreign, such was the environment of Wrill.
The sudden embrace to the atmosphere literally choked him at first. He coughed into his fist as he eventually rose to his feet, determined as always. Nathrakh made circular movements with his shoulders, they felt heavier than usual. His body overall was stressed, the ground was a sudden awakening for it. It felt as if his leg would fall asleep, nothing that a walk could work off. "Not exactly the start I expected, but it was a start indeed." Nathrakh muttered to himself. With his hand he wiped blood from his face and took in a deep inhale. It burned and made his already sore snout spike with pain for a moment, less than desirable but he would have to get used to it. Every breath stung and it would only get worse from here on end.
|“You all survive?” he asked, looking no worse for wear.|
The Krogan faced his ally, it would be a good time to become more acquainted with these individuals. While he may have sparred with them, trained along side them, he hardly knew them personally. Some Krogan thought it was unwise to make friends, as those who get even remotely familiar with you often die. While many found comfort in knowing a friend had honourably passed in battle, others considered it merely a distraction. The only allies worthy of remembering were the greatest of Krogans whose remains now laid within the Hallows. Otherwise, a battleground was still a battleground. It was no field for a grave, no place for remembering anything other than a war. "Thankfully, it appeared we all did. Good to know there is not a fool among our ranks."
|“Everything fine where I am, unless I'm in a very unusual hell,” Rutvor said, his chest burning from the hot air. At least there was some oxygen on this planet, otherwise one breathing mask would have barely lasted them the night. “Everyone still got their things?”|
Nathrakh turned to him as well. For a Krogan he seemed rather social, eager to make comrades for when things got worse. Better to have someone have your back who respects you, rather than carry a fragile alliance to the battle. Nathrakh chuckled heartily, "Hahaha, welcome to the VOID friend. The worst part of it." Many others could agree the conditions outside of the biosphere were that of pain, suffering even. To those damned to it, 'hell' was a suitable term for it. "My gear is secured." He confirmed for Rutvor. It appeared that everyone was ready, so far.