|The Kotal Krew|
The door from the elevator opens, revealing... a fairly irritated looking Rayne, her hair a bit out of order and her left eye twitching. "All. Paperwork. DONE. Damn that musclebound blue eagle-head for dumping all that on me. AGAIN." She lets out an annoyed sounding sigh and slumps her shoulders as she walks towards the kitchen area.
Minu is oh so comfy, sitting up on a shelf of all things, the very top to be honest with a note pad perched on her knee and a pencil scratching away making some kind of notes. The little elf is in her natural form but its clear she got to her chosen place by shifting to owl to get her to that tippy top place. As Rayne stumbles out looking all manner grumpy she smirks "there is fresh cocoa in the kitchen Rayne, a little something warm might make you feel better. Sorry that was unusually harsh. I tried to get it as organized as I could before Kotal passed it on to you. Some of those reports though were,..ghastly. Who the heck taught Ralph to spell. I know he's not of one of the common realms but...just...wow."
Could it be just coincidence or was it all planned out?
One can never be sure when dealing with the likes of Kotal Kahn.
Just as soon as Twilight, Rayne and Minu all converge into the habitation area of TASK, the doors to Sleeping Quarters open and out pours a rather odd group of people.
Front and center is a what appears to be a woman with very bright yellow skin wearing a very covering dark hood and cloak which hides most of her body. Next comes what appears to be an old school cowboy fellow, complete with the hat, guns and boots. A red hooded man floats out next, followed by a reptilian humanoid creature with light armor on. And tailing the rear is tremendously large.. ogre looking person, towering well over seven feet, to the point where he has to squat down to get inside the room. More strangely than all, there's a little wild child of a girl riding his shoulders who also has to duck to get under the door frame.
All of them head straight for one of the tables at the center of the room and take a seats on the chairs very calmly, acting as if they owned the place.
It bears mentioning that these are all people probably no one has seen before and they are not wearing TASK badges.
Twilight Sparkle makes her way out of the elevator, keeping an eyebrow raised as she looks around before locking her gaze on Rayne with some mixed curiosity and concern while removing her windbreaker and earmuffs. "Uh, Rayne... What's going on? I tried saying hello to you downstairs... And hi there, ever-." Once both items are off her head and neck, she sets them down beside the bag of books on a nearby table before eyeing the odd group. "...who are all these people? There's something I really don't get here..."
Rayne smiles wearily up at the elf on the shelf. "That is much appreciated, Minu. Both the cocoa and the organization. Ugh. I never imagined just how much paperwork was involved in all this kind of stuff. Mother never mentioned paperwork in her job... and now I'm beginning to wonder if that's why dad set out as a lone bounty... hunter..." She trails off as the odd group of individuals wanders in and tilts her head. Normally she would have greeted Twilight, but this... seems to be taking the entirety of her attention now. "I have absolutely no clue, Twilight. I don't get this any more than you do." She walks on over to the table and asks, "Uhhh... Can I... help you? What's going on here?" Normally the appearance of these people would get her on high alert, but their utter calmness about the situation sets off a flag of 'definitely talk first.'
As the odd assortment of folks comes from the barracks the little elf falls silent and in almost the same instant sets her note pad aside and shifts to owl form. She fluffs her feathers and clacks her beak. Large orange gold eyes blink at the new comers and she makes a nervous little hop.
Although far from being the most friendly looking bunch, the people sitting by don't do anything that might appear threatening to any of the present. They do turn oddly to regard them all, the little girl sitting a top of the huge muscle bound man being the first to speak, pointing right at Twilight. "Look Torr! Its purple pony! We add to collection!" A grunt from the massive ogre looking follows though its the dark hooded yellow skinned lady that raises a hand to restrain them from doing anything. "Hold, Ferra. The Emperor instructed us not to touch any one here without his explicit permission." The hooded lady sounds.. very strange, as if there was a disorient to her voice, or some kind of buzzing. The others seem ready to speak and explain themselves when-suddenly, there door to the kitchen is kicked down and out comes who one might expect to come out of the kitchen.
"IT IS DONE!!" He says in the usual way he refers to his dishes. He's holding a -massive- tray that has the biggest tortilla wrap one could have ever seen. Enough to feed all the people present many times over.. if they do happen to have 'normal' eating tendencies that is, the ogre looking guy for instance looks like he could eat the whole thing by himself.
"Ah! Excellent timing! Everyone is here already." Says Kotal as he slides the tray down the table where the strange group is sitting. "Come and join us, this is a day to truly rejoice."
"My proud, great, warriors from Outworld have found me here and you must meet them." He motions for Rayne, Twilight and even the shy Minu owl to come join them. However, there is something wrong! He gives one look at Twilight and the Aztec warrior bangs his fist on the table. "Blast it all!! I forgot Twilight is a vegetarian!!" And apparently the tortilla wrap is filled with meat. "I will return shortly." He makes a mad dash for the kitchen. "You all introduce yourselves!!" Whether he's remembering Twilight's eating habits correctly or not, it seems that Kotal holds bigger importance over his cooking than introductions.
For their part, the odd group look at Twilight, Rayne and Minu in turn and silently stare at them, looking like they want the TASK residents to go first with the introductions.
Twilight nods, simply, keeping her eyes on the out-of-place group while using her magic to put the books away. "Well, I guess I'll go first... Hello there. My name is Princess Twilight Sparkle, and I come from a world much different, known as Equestria. Though it's probably very obvious, owing to how I look right now."
Rayne doesn't take this all nearly as in stride as Twilight Sparkle does. "Uhhhhhh.... Hi? I'm Rayne Hurris, uh... Second in command here at TASK..." She looks at the odd group one at a time. "Um... how are you? Is it all right to ask what you all are?" Well, one of them looks human. Which makes him look even more out of place, oddly.
The little owl hops and fluffs her feathers. There is a little hiss and beak clack and then a sigh and a drop of her head as if she just realized she wasn't in a proper form to communicate with others. She shifts and squirms there on her shelf. Smoothing her skirt she pushes her glasses up onto her nose and primly looks down at the assembled group. "Greetings to you All. Welcome to TASK. You have all found your welcome packets I am sure as well as your contracts. I am Kotals personal assistant, as such I will be expecting those contracts signed and returned by morning. My name is Minu. No I am not cute, nor am I edible. Just to make sure we are all on the right page."
It looks like this group is just as accustomed to Kotal's eccentricities as the TASK group since they all say nothing when he runs out, instead they patiently wait for the introductions.
The guy wearing the cowboy hat looks less than thrilled about revealing his nature though and he shifts sideways, putting his booted feet on the table. "I rather not, really."
"Behave yourself, Erron." The hooded lady who seems to be the de-facto leader of the mismatched group, scolds him. "Do not dishonor the Emperor with your impertinence. He assured us that these ones are worthy of our trust."
"This one will go first." She says as if to set the example to her companions. "This one's name is D'vorah, and is a Kytinn. Insect humanoid species, yes?" She pulls her hood down to show her antennae and bald head, black bug looking eyes and all the features that clearly place her as some kind of insectoid person. "This one serves as the Emperor's prime minister of defense. Well met." She regards Twilight momentarily and says, "You are strange, though certainly not the strangest person we've seen. There are many odd species in Outworld too, this one is certain the Kahn explained about our origins in Outworld." D'vorah looks to Minu then and nods politely. "Ah, yes, this one wondered where such well written documents came from. This one will ensure that they are all signed momentarily."
As if stirred by the bug lady's confidence, the others introduce themselves as well. "I am Reptile, the Emperor's master of espionage. Greetingsss.." The lizard man says and slithers his tongue in a snake like fashion."
"We are Ermac." The hooded, floating person speaks next. His voice is an echoing one as if there were many people speaking at the same time "We are bound to the Emperor and serve as his body guard."
The cowboy guy rolls his eyes and relents, deciding to be polite after all. "Howdy, name's Erron Black. I'm a hired gun and mercenary of Kahn."
And finally; "Me Ferra!" Chirps the wild child on the ogre's shoulders. "This Torr! We bash skulls for Big Boss!" Her introduction is followed by a disappointed aww, "Bird lady no cute or tasty!?" Even Torr looks somewhat sad about Minu's standoffish disposition.
D'vorah shakes her head but turns to look back at Rayne with those unnerving black bug eyes of her. "The Emperor made you his Second? This one is impressed, you must be a formidable Kombatant." Yes, all these guys apparently have Kotal's same tendency of pronouncing combat with a K.
Twilight Sparkle extends her right foreleg, taking flight with steady beats of her lavender wings and making her way around for greetings. "Two of you remind me a lot of Princess Luna and Applejack from back home... Regardless, it's a pleasure to meet all of you. And believe me, Equestria is a lot of the same."
Rayne says, "Well, you'd... be surprised at how much he managed to... not tell us, actually." She raises a hand to the side of her head, scratching slightly at her already slightly out of place hair. She then adds dryly, "And if you like things in order, Minu will be the godsend to you that she is to me." She shakes her head slightly and lets an ever so slight grimace come to her face. "I'm not nearly up to Kotal's level. It's been kind of a..." She pauses a moment. "...Best option available thing. Someone needs to be second, or there'd be chaos if the worst happened." She then forces a smile to replace that frown. "But yeah, it's, uh, a pleasure to meet you all." Something tells me I'm going to be getting even more headaches.
Minu is a small and helpless looking creature and she is well aware of that fact. She is also a long time student of the same archive she lived and served in and her favorite topics had always been, cultures and animals of various realms. As such she had learned that making a strong initial impression of creatures of various realms was a good idea, less they get the idea that some how she is prey. Looking at the insect lady as first introductions are made, Minu nods and smiles "I am glad you find them so. Kotal is a great many things but a word smith is not one of them." She looks to each of the others in turn, her brow rising a bit at the cowboy fellow, making a note to check up on him a bit. We already had a merch on the team and a second hardly seems needful, especially as much as Kotal and Urus tend to bang heads. When the child and ogre seem dismayed at her uncute and inedible status she pushes her glasses up her nose. "I might be a little cute, but don't mistake that or my size, for being helpless or harmless. I have an eidetic memory, which means I never forget." She lets the words hang there, a good warning...don't piss off the one who organizes your life cause she could make things uncomfy.
D'vorah mimics Twilight's mannerism as a pair of insect like wings sprout from her back and she flies up gently towards the pony princess. She meets her mid-flight and shakes Twilight's hoof with a friendly hand/hoof shake. "Sounds like an intriguing place, this one would like to know more of it sometime." The bug lady lets Twilight pass around and shake everyone's hand first though, but Twilight might want to be careful as Ferra and Torr are awfully grabby and will more than likely try to pet her.
"Truly? The Emperor has not spoken of Outworld?" D'vorah does indeed look surprised and tilts her head curiously at the rainbow haired girl. "Strange, though this one suspects he has his reasons. Will ask him about that."
Then, the bee lady is tilting her head to the other side, antenna flicking a bit towards Rayne as if trying to grasp her. "Indeed, your chi signatures feel rather low. This one is perplexed that the Emperor would name someone so weak his second. Will ask about that too." Whoa, this lady sure has an attitude and it seems like Minu, she's already marking her territory.
"Ignore her." The cowboy scoffs suddenly and raises his hat. "D'vorah here was Kotal's Second in Outworld. She's just jealous of you, sweetheart."
"Quiet!!" The lady bug hisses and insect wings buzz from her back, great large stingers sprout from her back too, though she uses them to pull Erron's cowboy hat down his eyes and then push him backwards, taking advantage he was leaning back on his chair. As expected, the cowboy flails his arms and then goes careening down to the ground with a crash and a grunt of pain.
With matters dealt with, D'vorah glances back at Rayne and gives her a less judgmental look. "Nevertheless, this one looks forward to working with you. If the Emperor named you his Second it must have been for a reason." She nods to Minu then and even seems to chuckle. "Indeed, god of war he is, not god of words." At least she does seem to be on the same page regarding that.
Ferra and Torr both look rather confusedly at Minu though eventually the girl just smiles. "We no hurt, bird lady! Big Boss said we be friends from now on! Bird lady and we play together!" And that's that apparently.
Twilight Sparkle eventually touches down, not really minding the petting from Ferra or Torr during her greeting session. "If I ever find a way back, maybe I'll arrange for you to visit. Hopefully Discord doesn't decide to try pulling any of his usual tricks..."
Rayne winces at being called weak, but holds up her hands in a bit of a surrender position. "Hey, I've never claimed to be one of the best, uh, 'kombatants' around. As it turns out, it really is more of an administration thing, anyway..." She mumbles under her breath, "Not that I'm much better at administration." She straightens up, trying to make herself seem important. Really, she's more imitating her mother's posture when she was talking with other higher ups in the Tyrian Navy. "Regardless, I'm not overly attached to the position of second if it comes to be an issue between us." Wow, she backed down fast.
Minu frowns a little at the commotion and the attitude aimed at Rayne. She tilts her head picks up her note pad "do try and remember, you are new to Twisted and there are many things that you do not yet know. Kotals lack of sharing is his bad and I assure you we will be discussing that. For now, Rayne is in the position of second, I am in position to make your lives uncomfortable if you become annoying. Lets all play nice and get along because we all have much work to do. Now that burrito thing is getting cold and I am hungry."
Seeing no resistance to their petting, both Ferra and Torr take turns grabbing Twilight and petting her mane, wings and back. Eventually the little girl Ferra gets really excited and climbs out of Torr's shoulders to tries to ride Twilight like a horse. "Whee!!" She cheers.
D'vorah, in the meantime, gives a razor sharp fanged smile at Rayne when she declares that she's not fond of being second in command. Her bug eyes flash and its a non too friendly look either, like a predator spotting prey. Rayne must remember that if these guys are from Kotal's homeworld, they are all probably killers just as he is. "This one appreciates your honestly." She tells Rayne, not looking too impressed by the more formal posture that the rainbow haired girl takes all of the sudden. She's interrupted by Minu though and D'vorha's lips tighten in discomfort, not enjoying being reminded that she is new here and not in a position to complain.
"Minu is right." The doors to the kitchen open and out comes Kotal Kahn, who was apparently hearing the conversation all along. "There are many reasons why I am not even considering you for the role of Second, D'vorah. Or must I remind you how much I disapprove of those who consort with Shinnok?" He's at the very least walking out of the kitchen with a smaller, though still sizable, tray with a vegetarian tortilla wrap. "Rayne will remain my Second, and some day, we might find a worthy replacement. But it will not be you, D'vorah, at least for the foreseeable future." The Aztec glares at the bug woman who apparently previously did something to displease Kotal to the point where he no longer trusts her as his Second. D'vorah shrinks in embarrassment and puts her hood up again to cover her face, avoiding Kotal and Minu's stares. "This one understands." She says simply.
Nodding, Kotal advances towards the table and slides in the other tray. "I tire of politics for now. If there are technicalities that must be discussed we can speak of them at a later time! I wish for now to rejoice in this reunion, to see the friends of my past meet with my contemporaries brings me much joy that I had no experienced in many, many moons."
Erron Black manages to pick himself up from the floor with the help of Ermac and sets himself back on his chair, adjusting his hat. "What is this anyway, Khan?"
"I believe it is called a 'Chimichanga'." Answers Kotal, "Some kind of different version of a Mexica dish that I found intriguing. By all means, dig in, I wish to know if I am proficient with this new recipe."
Almost immediately the giant ogre Torr grabs a big chunk of the chimichanga with one massive hand and starts shoving it down his mouth. Apparently there's no such thing as table manners in Outworld.
Twilight Sparkle, at the mention of food, smiles faintly in unconcealed embarrassment as her stomach growls. The announcement of food has the lavender-furred pegacorn cheering and cutting herself a piece of the meal.
Rayne blinks as Kotal re-enters, honestly surprised at his defense of her position and dismissal of D'vorah's ambitions. I've got a sinking feeling about this now... With a light shake of her head, she indeed sits down for a piece of the chimichanga... and pales as Torr just grabs a chunk of it by hand. "Um..." is all she manages to say on that issue before she just sighs and cuts a part out in a more civilized manner. Taking a bite, she nods. "S'great as always, boss." Really, she's yet to witness Kotal's cooking not to her liking.
As Kotal re-enters and everyone settles in to eat. The elf, shifts to her owl form and takes to wing. She does a tight circle over the table then arrows toward Kotal, then back wings and lands lightly on the arm of his chair. She hoots and fluffs her wings then gives the big blue man an expectant look with those big golden eyes.
Hard to go wrong with Kotal's food when one is as big of a fan of spicy food as Rayne. If you like Mexican food or a lot of hot spices in general, then TASK is the place to be.. strangely enough.
"Excellent." The Aztec nods approvingly at yet another recipe has been tackled and mastered. He even pulls a small notepad and checks something off. However, he is mostly satisfied to see everyone now happy and settled while eating. No one is trying to kill each other which is definitely a good thing in his book. D'vorah has even taken a back seat and is holding her peace now, quietly eating her portion whilst the others munch away at the chimichanga.
The only sign of the peace being shattered is when Minu takes into her owl form and perches on Kotal's armchair. The Aztec recognizes what the little owlette wants and he smiles at her before offering some food to her so she can eat from his hand.
Whether Minu realizes it or not, she's definitely marking her territory as Kotal's favorite since the others stare at the owl with a look of surprise mixed with jealousy, especially D'vorah, who grips her fork a little tighter. The bug lady might be a problem in the future.
There are others in Kotal's krew that don't care much for the hierarchy around here. Namely Torr who wants nothing to do but eat, Ferra who is still riding on Twilight's back, and Reptile who hasn't stopped staring at Rayne. "But sseriously now." Says the lizard man. "What'ssss with the rainbow colored hair? I've never seen a human like you before." Reptile is new here, and he's making the rookie mistake of asking Rayne about her past.
Twilight Sparkle diligently keeps eating her meal, keeping her fork and knife cocooned in her magenta aura as she levitates each cut-up piece into her mouth. Meanwhile, she actually seems to be pleased to have Ferra sitting on her back, in much the same manner as her draconic assistant back home sometimes did.
Rayne blinks at Reptile's question. Somehow, such a basic question that she'd get even in her home dimension was about the last thing she'd expect to come from him. "What, you've never seen someone with dyed hair before?" She lets that stand just a few seconds before she sighs and relaxes her shoulders somewhat. "But no, no, that's not what this is. Wierd hair color, and sometimes eyes as well-" She points to her eyes, which are in fact a purple color generally not found in humans. "-is kind of a marker feature for a phoenix." She breifly glances at Twilight, seemingly surprised that the pegacorn doesn't take issue with being ridden like that. She looks back to Reptile as she continues. "My father's hair, for instance, looks like fire, starting blue at the very roots and going into yellow then red. I've seen him grow it long enough a couple of times to know that it turns smokey grey if it goes too long, but he typically keeps it too short for that." And she's completely glossed over the fact that she's a phoenix, instead focussing entirely on the hair. Hey, that's the question that was asked, right?
Minu is quite aware of the yes upon her. She may be small but she is wily. As Kotal offers her those tidbits from his own hand, she carefully nips at the with her beak and swallows then down. The little owl floofs up and wing flaps then rubs herself up under the blue gods hand when it isn't other wise in use. Oh yes, she has staked her claim on position right enough, and it maters not if they think her pet or assistant, she has the gods ear and attention, and by that right, a force to be reckoned with.
"Wheee!!" For her part, Ferra is having the time of her life whilst on Twilight's back and could care less about the political machinations happening before her. Far too busy reaching over Twilight to grab pieces of the chimichanga with her claws and munching on it. She also flings some food at Ermac who looks like he's ignoring her as hard as he can.
Reptile stares intently at Rayne and leans forward to stare at her strange eyes, serpentine tongue flicking out in curiosity. "A phoenix you ssay!?" Oh no, Reptile is a lot smarter than he looks, and he's not going to ignore the fact that Rayne just revealed a crucial part of herself like it was nothing. "Emperor, you hadn't told us we'd be working with a phoenix!" He says in disbelief to Kotal Kahn.
"It makes no difference does it?" Answers the Aztec in a very dismissing manner as he's far too busy petting and preening Minu's feathers as if she were a beloved pet. He seldom gets to spoil her like this and so he's taken ample advantage that Minu wants to show off!
"I sssupose it doesn't.." Mumbles Reptile and stares back at Rayne, yellow reptilian eyes shifting at her. "Perhaps there is more to you than your chi sssignatures indicate. I would like to know more about you when we have time." Reptile is after all Kotal's master of espionage, and information gathering is what he does.
Meanwhile, D'vorah has not stopped staring daggers at Minu this whole time. No doubt she was at one point in the owlette's position, receiving caresses and pets from Kotal Kahn. If her skin weren't yellow one could swear she's turning green with envy.
"Oh, before I forget." Kotal does have enough presence of mind to not let Minu distract him completely. "My warriors will be joining TASK from now on. But they will be doing so as regular officers despite whatever position they might have held in Outworld. This means of course that they will also be under your command Rayne, and if both of us were to be indisposed, they will be answering to Minu." Better to set the chain of command right now so there are no questions asked later.
"Is that clear?" All of Kotal's warriors nod, including D'vorah.
Twilight finishes the last of her meal, counging a bit at the spicy flavor before looking back up with a light giggle. "Seems you really enjoy sitting there, huh...? It's kind of cute, honestly."
Rayne says, "Well, it's not as exciting as it sounds. I've got some control over fire here and there, and I can take a bird form, but I generally don't like to for...reasons." She seems set on leaving that one at that for now. "Then there's the whole reborn in fire thing." She then looks to Kotal as he explains the newcomers' roles. "Oh... Really?" She looks over the group again. Reptile, Erron, and Ermac seem okay so far. I'll probably have to keep an eye on D'vorah, but I'm guessing fear or wanting to please Kotal is all it really will take to keep her in line. Her face falls as she looks at Ferra and Torr. This is going to be a nightmare.
Minu doesn't seem to care what else is going on in the room. Or at least thats what it would look like as she fluffs and moves in pleasure under the gentle stroking and preening of Kotals fingers. When The blue god lays down the chain of command, she actually blinks briefly then ducks under that hand a little and wiggles.