Friday, February 28, 2014

The Red Nin-Geisha (Ninkei) MOC

 This is the red Nin-Geisha (ninja geisha), an MOC created from spare parts during an experiment to create some kind of smaller structured female MOC. I had minimal choices for the project, and wanted to make unique looking feet, so I played with some odd parts and got what now looks kind of like a set of traditional Japanese sandals; hence the idea of a ninja geisha came to be.

My options for a mask were near to nothing, the only spare I had was a silver mask of light, so I used it, and did what I could to match the color scheme as best I could. 

She ended up being quite tall for a female character because of the shoes, but I worked with it, and added a set of wing launchers to her back, in order to balance out the fact that she was almost too small in shoulder width. The wing launcher serves as a glider for when she jumps from buildings and needs to soar quietly to another roof. On the glider is a holder for two grappling weapons that aid this ninja in hanging from roof sides, and spinning in circles to clear a path when she's surrounded. When not in use her weapons appear as decorative tassels. Her basic weapon is a spear, traditional and multipurpose for fighting, or fishing.

 This character doesn't yet have a name (I've considered calling her Ninkei *nin key*) , but for now I only have a concept history which formed in my head after I made her shoes. By day she's a geisha (at some point I may dress her to look the part); and by night she's a ninja.

She lives in a simple town, and is rather quiet, her mentality somewhat dark and slightly vengeful. I might make her a character in the LoL series, just haven't settled on where or when yet.

 Ninkei prefers to stay quiet, unless she's performing during geisha hours at a tea house in her town. Her back history (still concept) is that a Makuta or maybe a Jusha gang lord killed the man she loved; ever since then she's been determined to find out which gang lord it was, and assassinate him. 

Ninkei doesn't fully abide by the code of Toa, though she is of the same species. Her mentality is that those who have wronged and killed more than one should share the same fate. 
During her day job, Ninkei performs as a geisha for extra money, and uses this job as a cover for spying on Makuta/Jusha gang lords who visit now and then for lunch, tea, and sometimes dinner. Her determination to find the gang lord that killed her love never weakens, and she only has one lead to go by, the knowledge of what tattoo symbol the lord she's looking for has on his neck. During her day job she always tries to get as close as she can to gang members, in order to get a glance at their neck; to see if they are her target.

Sometimes Ninkei hears gang members speak of assassinating certain people in her town, and she won't stand for it. When night falls and it's necessary, Ninkei becomes what the locals call "The Red Ninja"; a spirit protector of the land, and justice keeper of right. Most don't even suspect the red ninja to be female, and in legend many speak of her as being male. Ninkei takes this folk lore to her advantage; seeing people believe the red ninja is male, better clouds her cover as a geisha spying on gang lords. Who would suspect a tea server to be a skilled fighter and legendary protector of the land, supposedly a man, no mere female singer/dancer.

Her story may become more complex, and one day Ninkei may get her revenge; but for now, enjoy the MOC! ^_^

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ashton and Fiamma-togther MOC's

 Since Ashton and Fiamma are introduced several times during the start in Life of Lewa, I thought it would be fun to display them in togetherness, framed and funny. 

In a relationship sense, the two are attracted to each other, only Ashton is more attracted to Fiamma than the other way around. Fiamma secretly likes Ashton's snark, spunkiness, and charm; but also dislikes his childish nature which she feels must be broken before he's worthy of her affection. In her feistiness, Fiamma likes the strong will of Ashton, but knows that in a sense she's attracted to his bad side, and fights against that interest; using her logic over her feelings.

Here's some fun trivia: Can you see the resemblance in these two characters? Notice they both have gray hands, the same red chest plate, and both have similar shoulder armor. This was an unintentional match up, and I find it amusing seeing they're both similar (and most likely attracted subconsciously to each others similarities). :P

Also note how large a Toa's mask can be compared to a Glatorian. Their heads are about the same size, but their masks differ, which makes Ashton look like he has a swelled head compared to Fiamma, a fitting quality for his character I think. XD
Enjoy the togetherness of two fire characters from the Life of Lewa series. ^_^
Also see them individually in Fiamma MOC and Ashton MOC ^.~

Ashton MOC

 This is Ashton. His MOC was built out of spare parts left from a building session after creating Fiera so long ago. This is why Ashton's color scheme is mismatched; yet somehow I managed to pull it together in such a way that it doesn't seem too bad. The only thing I will note is that his feet aren't particularly right, they were the only feet I had at the time which didn't severely clash with the rest of his colors; but as time went on, I came to like them for some reason. If I had the proper spare parts though, his feet would be of the same mold shape, only yellow like his shoulders.

The drawing I made of Ashton in LoL-Flooded Fire was based off this MOC, not the other way around. But since I have full freedom to do as I please in drawing, I spiced up his armor and color scheme as I saw fit, and winged his mask design off the MOC, while making it more unique.

Originally this MOC had no name; it was, in my eyes, an experiment of compiled parts which soon served as some anonymous character that was often used in filler scenes during RP days. Ashton's character started out as being a trouble maker in Vulpes Toa's world; but was quickly forgotten, and had no significant role in any story, he was simply an extra. It's not till the Life of Lewa series came along that Ashton's role as a character became more interesting. Though once more his role was rather short lived, he had a more significant part in the starter days of that RP, and has now become even more interesting (to me that is) ever since I started writing LoL as a fan fiction (which some of you may know is a recent thing).

The name Ashton has been with this MOC from the day I built him, and has seemed very fitting; well chosen for his personality. Something about it that I feel matches his spunk, and
 rather stocky build.  

Here's a little trivia: Did you know that Ashton is a real name? It means Ash Tree Town, and is English in origin. I thought this was very interesting, especially since Ashton is a young fire Toa, which means he no doubt knows of the burnt forests spoken of by Matoran who lived in Ta Koro. In concept, Ashton may have had parents (meaning he was born on the LoL Spherus Magna) who named him Ashton. His father (a fire type) probably chose the name in memory of the region he once knew of (referring to Ta-Koro of Mata Nui island and it's charred forest).

A more recent concept in Ashton's history is that he's part fire type, and part stone type. His mother would have been the stone type (and yes there are female versions of every element in the LoL universe, this is related to the time shift accidentally caused by Pearllight). Being that Ashton is part stone type explains why his build is so stocky, and is also a good explanation as to why his MOC has brown feet. More of his history will be revealed later, once LoL is more established (technically my ideas are still cumulating, so Ashton's history is rather new).

Hope you enjoyed Ashton's MOC and name history; for those who like fan fictions, feel free to see his character in action by reading Life of Lewa. ^.~

Fiamma MOC

 This is Fiamma, an MOC who was invented in the middle of 2009, and was a short lived character  included in the RP of Vulpes Toa's world.

I created her for the heck of challenging myself to invent yet another female character, and let her personality build form there. Her original form was a tad bit different from this newest version; the main elements that have stayed the same is her base structure, and thigh pieces.

Fiamma's character has always been on the strong willed side; and in her starter days she was slightly sensitive, but also had this charm which easily seduced male characters, much like
 Jessica Rabbit, but not quite that obvious. 

In VulpesToa's world, Fiamma was a character who started off as a worker in the fire casino of the planet, and one day she was framed for something, then taken to a back room for questioning. Vulpes Toa's team found she was innocent, and releases her, feeling pity.
This role of being a casino worker stayed with her character, and later down the road was included in the alternate universe of LoL. Fiamma's job stayed with her as a figure, even in an alternate; the difference is what position I gave her in LoL as compared to what she was in the past. Her past casino job in Vulpes Toa's world (from a guess in memory) is that she was a type of show girl and card dealer. I switched her job to being less flashy, and placed her as a bar server with occasional job calling as a card dealer (but not a show girl).

 Fiamma can be rather feisty, and she knows that if she doesn't keep it under control, she could lose her job. To burn off pressure she goes to arena matches and fights off her inner irritation, taking out her anger on her opponent, but making sure she doesn't harm them too badly.

In the above panel, I didn't exactly give Fiamma normal weapons; she normally does have blades, but in this case I gave her weapons she would have on hand if a fight broke out at the casino. In her hands are two torches, usually used at the bar for entertaining and catching specialty drinks on fire, but in a time of trouble, these tools can become weapons, and burn those who get too close. A trivial bit is that Fiamma knows how to juggle torches, while serving drinks.

The additional clothing I gave Fiamma weren't originally on the character; but I liked he look and kept it on her. At some point I plan to make a panel displaying her without additional garments to show her over structure, no cloth covering the base.

Trivia: Originally Fiamma was name Era/Eira, pronounced (ee-ra). I forgot this name after awhile, and only regained the memory when a friend made light of it later, after reading about it in her journal. (It was only recently when this was discovered). I decided the name didn't match as well anymore, and changed it to something new; which is when I named her Fiamma (meaning flame in Italian). I chose the Italian version of Flame because it's the only one that sounded most feminine. But don't worry, Fiamma's original name will no doubt be used for another character elsewhere in the LoL storyline.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hahli Pin Up Poses

In last post Hahli Mahri Modified-MOC I mentioned about this adjusted models predecessor; her modified version before the short torso problem was fixed. As stated, I planned on making a panel for this older set of images, for the sake of displaying their charm. 

Though her torso is short, I find each pose to hold its own life and quality, something I didn't feel was captured as well during photo shoot of her newer version with extended torso. This is why I made a panel displaying what I now call pin up poses of Hahli, who's positioned in multiple stances of blatant girlishness. You could practically say, in a comedic sense,
 that she was trying to be cute for Jaller.

In some ways I find Hahli's modified short torso version still holds more charm than her extended torso version.. I don't think she looks all that awkward in either respects though; unlike Gali Mistika, who definitely needed the extended torso. But oh well, improvement have been made to both, and both have their previous short torso build pictures.

Enjoy, and have a wink from the perfectly pretty Hahli. ^.~

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hahli Mahri Modified- MOC

I've always had a tendency to feminize every female character whether it be canon figures or oc's; which in this case I made a few improvements to Hahli Mahri, just as 

As usual, it's an ever so simple adjustment to the character; I simply changed around some armor, switched the feet with smaller ones and added water jet boosters, with additional spring loaded heels for higher jumps, and additional height. I changed up the wing fixture and did what I could to make it agree with the changes I did on the chest; which like Gali Mistika, has been 
given an actual breast plate, only this time in green.

There is an original model before I fixed the short torso issue, which I have some pictures of, and though it's a past design, I still love the poses of each image, so you'll no doubt see those sometime in the near future put into a panel of their own.

 Above panel is just an extra bit to show Hahli in action; after all, Toa are usually fighting, so a deep stance pose of awesome seems good. I also felt it would better express the character for who she is, not always standing pretty like she is in main panel.

Hope you enjoyed my rendition of a modified Hahli Mahri. ^.~

LoL- First Time Pod Cast

I'll admit, I'm stepping slightly out of my comfort zone on this, but I have been dreaming about it. Since I'm not a very fast reader, even when reading my own writings, I sat down and tried making my own pod cast for the Life of Lewa story. It's been my plan to make behind the scene pod casts for LoL, before I even started writing the tale. I figured it would be fun to make additional videos that explain the artistic process and exclusive details from the directors that help further explain LoL in detail; much like behind the scenes commentary as they have in movies.

With this idea, I sat down and gave my try at making my first behind the scene podcast of the LoL history article Life of Lewa-How it Began For those who like reading, thumbs up, but for those who prefer listening, the following video may be for you.

I'll confess... I feel like the podcast could be better; but I can only do so much with the simple equipment I have on hand, so apologies for the breath sounds and click noises, I don't have a devise to balance that issue out at this time. Also, my reading out loud skills aren't the greatest; I slip up ever so slightly in small parts of the recording, nothing you can't look past I suppose..after all, nothing is perfect.
        For me, listening to a story can fun, unfortunately I only have myself for making behind the scene pod casts; and I don't exactly hold the highest esteem for my own voice, and can only hope its squeakiness is bearable to those listening.

I'm considering the idea of making more behind the scene pod casts for each chapter of LoL, and maybe one day official pod casts for each LoL story chapter itself, much like books on tape. But at this time, I've only given it a first try, and hope I did ok...

What do you think? Should I make more of these? 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My View and History On Bionicle MOC's

I've never been a majorly skilled MOC builder. My interest for MOC's started off simply, and stayed pretty simple even along the path of building.

 When I first started out in being a fan of Bionicle, I didn't build my own characters till later, when I had more parts to play with. This started around 2009 I believe; I remember having fun with the canon figurines, but after awhile I got tired of someone else's character creation, and decided to make my own. Seeing that I had more parts available after a year, I sat down and created my first MOC..who I think may have been Frona.

As the years went by, my mind seemed to rewire itself, till finally I understood building techniques I didn't think I could even grasp. The step probably seems tiny compared to some of the muscle mass builds of avid MOC artist out there; but for me it was a good enough step to express and create decent characters I could call my own for play time.

 These days I can say that building MOC's is not as large of an option for me; seeing that Bionicle has retired, and the parts are out of production, I find I have an issue on my hands which has prevented me from further pursuing the MOC art form.
       During late 2009 -2010 the plastic quality and structure of the limb pieces on the Bionicle toy sets seemed brittle; and at the time it wasn't an uncommon thing for these parts to crack, even when you were being careful with them. I still have my share of sets which have such damages, and I'm highly cautious when playing with them.
       It was easy in the day just to call the LEGO company and request for replacement parts so your toy would be fixed; and so my worries of the limbs accidentally cracking during building sessions didn't concern me so much, especially because I could get the replacement parts for free.
       Then when Bionicle retired, I knew LEGO would stop producing spare parts; and for someone like me, that's a bad sign, because I can't afford to just buy parts in bulk piles off E-bay as some are more fortunate to do. This in turn put my MOC building to a stalemate; for fear of my already fragile sets, I settled with keeping them the way they are, and only making MOC's out of spare parts still in my grasp, obtained through yard sales and such. This means that my MOC characters haven't been tampered with very much since parts went out of production.
       I may occasionally change out armor pieces for a new look, but I shy away from changing the limbs themselves, unless I'm replacing them with a new one that has no cracks, or I'm building an MOC from the base up with intent to leave it built once it's made.

My true desire, to be honest, is to find a way to make my own toys, my own figurines that will never retire with a story; and I have the assurance that if damage comes to the figure, it can be fixed by my own hands, no worries about parts not being available.

 When it comes to complex MOC builds, I've never really done them, since one I don't have enough parts that match in color (which is a must for me; it drives me crazy if it's not matching);  two I lack the skill to build something extravagant, and prefer to stay with only semi complex builds, and in most cases always felt too much bulk distracts from the values of the character itself. I've always been more interested in the personality of the figure than the build. To me, a structure should match the personality and traits of an MOC, not distract from it, but rather work with it. Which in my case, medium builds do the trick just fine in expressing the characters qualities and personality over their mass.

 Because I lack certain skills and parts to pull off most my MOC's, I've always turned to more crafty methods in order to achieve an interesting look without having to use so many pieces. I turn to cloth, jewelry, and outside accessories not of Bionicle. My mentality is to balance out the bare spots of the set by covering it with cloth and jewelry accents, a way of creating an illusion of more body on a figure, when in reality there's not much beneath. This same concept applies to real fashion, where you balance out your form by wearing certain styles of clothing which cooperate with your shape; the same techniques apply to toys.

The MOC art form is fun; and I still enjoy it, only I don't have it down as my official art form. There are some things I still can't pull off detail wise on an MOC, and therefore turn to drawing and painting to achieve certain designs which just can't be built quite exact.

Also, I feel that MOC's shouldn't be picked at so much...after all, there's only so much you can do with standard Bionicle parts, and not all MOC builders have the oddball parts to do the job. But that doesn't mean they can't create a cool character with what they do have; and with just a little cloth, jewelry, and creative wrapping techniques, any MOC can have a drop of awesome in my eyes, with or without lots of fancy parts and a big build. So come on, be creative, lean for unique and well built as a standing character, big or small. ^.~

There you have it, a peep at my view and history to Bionicle MOC's.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

LoL-Chapter 4-Part 2 Heart Burn

Chapter 4 continued- “Heart Burn”

When Tahu wakes, he gently pats the side of Lewa's face to wake him; “Psst...psst, Lewa?”
Lewa moans and slowly opens his eyes. In his drowsiness he's confused when he doesn't hear jungle ambiance, forgetting that he fell asleep in the fire region at Tahu's home. Suddenly his eyes get big and he snorts tiredly, jolting up from the couch, “Uh... Where am I..wait, where am I...? Tahu?”
Tahu smirks, “Yeah fell asleep here, remember? You're in New Ta-Koro.”
Lewa smiles, “Oh.... that's why it doesn't sound right.”
No, it doesn't sound like the forest” Tahu snickers, “unless you consider the locals, jungle life.” Tahu pauses briefly, “Speaking of wild life, where is Ashton?”
Suddenly the two hear an annoying, sing-song humming echoing from the bathroom. Tahu face palms, “Oh no...” he says grudgingly. Lewa lifts a brow, “What?” he asks. Tahu looks at him blankly, “He ate chilly... Apparently he didn't throw all of it up yesterday.. And do you know what happens when the kid eats chilly?” The entire house suddenly starts to smell like rotten beef and beans; Tahu holds his nose and grimaces, “I'm going to open some windows.” he says to Lewa.
Lewa nods, “I'll blow a breeze in once you do.”
That would be nice.” grins Tahu. The two hold their breath from the horrible smell as Lewa aids in airing out Tahu's home.

Ashton finally comes from the rest room, and lets out a breath, “Phew.... Okay, what's for breakfast?”
Tahu stares at him blankly, “Did you have to mention breakfast after stinking up my house with the scent of day old chilly?”
Ashton grins awkwardly, “Sorry....” he squeaks; then breaks into a laugh, finding it oddly amusing that such a strong Toa leader is so intolerable to the smell of chilly.
Tahu shakes his head and blinks with a miffed face, “All right...we're going out for breakfast; we're not staying here while it smells like this.”
Lewa grins, “Hey, why don't we go to Flame's? He has good pancakes.”
Tahu shakes his head, “Flame's coffee is in the city, Lewa. I was thinking somewhere local.” Lewa shrugs, “Sorry...habit.”

The Toa go out and search for breakfast; to their luck, Pearllight happened to be passing through with a small coffee/breakfast stand she calls, “The Perk”. Though Pearllight is disguised in red armor, to look like a fire Agori, Lewa recognizes her; “Pearllight..right?” he questions for assurance.
Pearllight nods, “Yeah Lewa..shh, I'm disguised as a fire type today, ok?”
Lewa rolls his eyes, “Ah kid, I'll never understand you.” he says somewhat jokingly.
Pearllight blankly blinks, “Yeah... you would understand if you were a complete alien walking around on someone else's planet, with no resemblance to anyone whatsoever... so of course I'm disguised.” She then looks at the three and says, “I'll take it you guys are looking for breakfast?” “Yep” Lewa nods. Pearllight smiles, “I've got breakfast, what would you like?”
Lewa thinks for a moment, “What do you have?” he asks.
Anything you want.” Pearllight smirks.
Lewa nods and looks around, “Hey Ashton, what do you want for breakfast?” he asks. Ashton licks his lips and says, “I could really go for that Human food called..stuffed French toast.” Lewa grabs the plate with just that, handed to him by Pearllight, and gives it to Ashton. Ashton gapes, “ about fast service.”
Tahu recognizes Pearllight and places his order, knowing it can be as ridiculous as he pleases, and she'll have it; “I'd like a whole chocolate cake, with cherry filling.” he says.
Pearllight gapes, “Are you serious?”
Tahu nods, “Yes, we eat a lot, kid.”
Pearllight shakes her head, “'re a giant, I know you eat a lot.....” Pearllight pulls out a whole cake as Tahu ordered, and hands it to him as he gingerly prepares to take his first bite. Ashton gapes at this scene, confused as to where this server of such a small shack got an entire cake just for Tahu.
Lewa then takes his turn, “Mm, I'll take a large coffee, and a tall stack of pancakes with boysenberry syrup.” Pearllight hands him the food, then asks, “You want mint in that coffee?”
Lewa nods, “Yes please.” Pearllight simply taps the cup, and the drink suddenly tastes of mint. Lewa rolls his eyes, “Why thank you very much, Pearllight.”
Pearllight playfully sticks her tongue out at Lewa, and suddenly the cart vanishes. Ashton yelps at the sudden scene, and sputters, “Who was that?! Wasn't there a cart there just a second ago?”
Lewa shakes his head, “Yeah, don't ask.” Ashton shivers and shakes his head in wonder. Lewa smirks and playfully says to him, “Eat.. you're still dreaming; you need to wake up.”
Ashton lifts a brow, “You lier..I know a vanishing cart when I see one.” Lewa simply chuckles at Ashton's confusion.

The Toa sit down to enjoy their food, watching Ta-Matoran workers pass by as they lounge.
Ashton finishes his meal before the two, and burps to the loudest, then leans back, “Ah, that hit the spot. I'm good.” he says satisfied.
Tahu smirks, “So, you're full, mostly digested, and ready to go?” Ashton nods yes, and Tahu grins, “Good, now get back to work and go ask around.” he says.
Ashton gapes, “ Wha? Well what about you?” he scoffs.
I'm going to start my work too, but you can get a head start; you're young.” smirks Tahu.
Ashton shakes his head, “Oh yeah... that's just an excuse to get rid of me, I know it.. Fine, fine.” Ashton gets up and walks off, thinking to himself, “I hate this job.... Why should I care about some princess anyway? Girl's seem to be nothing but trouble.... stupid damsels in distress that cause problems just to spread rumors.” he mentally grumbles.

Was there any particular area they were looking for Marine?” Lewa asks Tahu.
Tahu takes out a small screen and shows Lewa a map. “Well, they've been heavily searching regions of the desert lately according to recent articles; and also this medium sized fire city known for its famous coin pit, the Red Ruby Dragon cassino. I'll see what I can do and will probably search in the western part of the city first.”
Lewa nods, “I'll see if I can drag Pohatu in on this; especially if she's anywhere near the desert-sand areas.”

Tahu thinks for a moment, and sees Ashton hasn't walked far; “Ashton?!” he calls out.
Ashton looks around and lifts a brow, “What?!” he irritatedly shouts.
Tahu points at the map, “I need you to look in this region... You know anybody there?”
Ashton smirks, “Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. I'll go this way.... and see what I can find.”
Tahu squints with suspicion as Ashton walks off, “The kid seems to be familiar with that region.... I wonder why?”
Lewa scratches his chin, “Did you say there was a casino there?”
Yeah...” Tahu nods, “and that's the region he said he'd search.”
Lewa nods, “All right, I'll go visit Pohatu and see if he can help....Also, do you know anyone who sells infrared lenses? Trying to spot stuff from the sky isn't exactly easy.”
Tahu thinks for a moment, “You could change your mask to the akaku...but then you wouldn't be able to levitate. I think there's a small store over that way that sells infrared goggles; might find something there.”
Lewa smirks, “That should work. Thank you.”

Lewa heads for this small digging supply store, and goes in. At first the place seems too quiet, “Hello...hello?” he calls out.
Suddenly an Onu-Matoran peeps his head out from behind the counter, “What...what do you want? Oh, a customer! Hi.” he awkwardly grins.
Lewa glances around, “Do you have any infrared goggles with additional heat vision?”
The Onu-Matoran nods, “Yeah, there's a whole wall of them over there. What are you doing, excavating?”
Lewa shakes his head, “Uh, no... high-flight search, looking for something.”
The Onu Matoran nods, “Then you're probably going to need the super powerful ones on the top shelf there.”
Lewa pulls them from the shelf and checks them over, “How much for these?” he asks.
The Onu Matoran opens a pricing book, “ gold have those?” “Yeah.” Lewa nods, then drops the payment on the counter, which the Matoran takes, then hands him a booklet and says, “Ok, here's your instruction manual; the goggles have a few extra options, complete with snazzy zoom in lenses. They can click over or under your mask, and are adjustable for head size or mask size.”
Lewa nods, and quickly pops his mask off, then clicks the goggles on.
Anything else?” the Matoran smirks. Lewa shakes his head, “No, I don't think so.”
The Matoran then adds, “Might want to be careful with those....and no, they won't last if they drop from the sky at the height you'll probably be flying.”
Yeah, well I don't expect the warranty to cover that... I'll be careful.” Lewa snickers; then says goodbye and walks out.

Lewa sneaks up on Tahu, “Boo!” he playfully sounds. Tahu slightly jumps, not recognizing Lewa at first due to the sudden orange eye color, a result of the goggles over his yellow green eyes.
Lewa grins, “You pointed me in the right direction....And now I'm seven gold coins lighter.”
Tahu nods, “All right, I'll start my journey West and ask around.”
And I'll go for a wind-fly search.” nods Lewa. Tahu smirks, then says, “And careful.” Lewa grins, then takes off.

Lewa decides to dial Pohatu's contact number from his mask cell as he heads for Nu-Po-Koro.
Pohatu happens to be in the middle of a Kohli game, “Hello?!” he loudly answers to be heard above the noise.
Lewa strains his hearing, “Pohatu?”
Lewa? Is that you?!” Pohatu shouts back.
Yeah, what are doing?” asks Lewa.
Pohatu squints, “I could ask you the same thing; what's with the breezy sound?!”
Lewa rolls his eyes, “I'm flying.”
Pohatu shakes his head, “Lewa..... you're making a phone call while flying? Isn't that a bit dangerous?”
Lewa smirks, “I'm higher than anything else flies; I'm good.”
Pohatu shakes his head sceptically, “Oh yeah..that's what you thought before you got hit by a Nui-Kopen back on Mata Nui island so long ago.”
Hey, I'm watching where I'm going, don't worry.......” assures Lewa, “What are you doing?” he asks, noticing strange noises in the background.
Pohatu laughs, “I was wondering when you'd finally ask. I'm playing a game of kohli.”
Right, well I need to talk with you, preferably not over a mask dial that can be intercepted; so...where are you?” asks Lewa.
Pohatu sighs, “Just come to the main Kohli field of Nu-Po-Koro. You know the place.”
Ah, I'll be there shortly, bye.” returns Lewa before ending call.

Pohatu pauses, then holds up a hand and shouts to the Matoran, “The Toa of air will be showing up soon; clear a landing spot!” he says playfully.
One Po-Matoran excitedly holds up his kohli stick, “All right, another player!”
Pohatu shakes his head, “No, sorry to say he isn't coming to play a game of kohli.” he sighs. The Matoran droop their heads, “Aww!” they pout.
Suddenly Pohatu spots Lewa in the air and shouts out, “Incoming, clear a space!” All the Matoran take cover behind boulders as Lewa swoops down and lands with a skid, a large dust cloud cumulating around him, briefly shrouding his sight. Lewa coughs, and sees no one when the dust clears, then says, “Oh come on Pohatu, you know I'm not going to hard-land on you...”
Pohatu peeks from behind a boulder, and snickers, “I wasn't afraid of you landing on me, so much as I didn't want to choke on your dusty landing.” He then peppily calls out to the hiding Matoran, “Ok guys, you can come out now!” The Po-Matoran happily come out and greet Lewa, patting his legs and exchanging fist knocks, smiling up at a friend.
Lewa grins, then looks at Pohatu; “Hey Pohatu, gotta steal ya for a minute.” Pohatu follows him to the side lines, and Lewa explains the whole story about Marine to him; then hands him her picture. Pohatu nods, and feels concern and pitty; “I see, I suppose I can look around, speed ahead and scout near her village.” he says.
Lewa nods, “Here's the thing of the regions she could be in is the sand regions. I don't think she's dumb enough to wander into the lands of liquid sand... but, the lands bordering it may be promising.”
Pohatu nods, “I'll skim by those areas none the less; I just won't venture too close.”
Lewa nods and says with concern, “Keep an eye out for her... her kingdom has a reward for anyone, including bounty hunters for her capture and return.”
Pohatu winces, “That sounds really suspicious.” he says uneasily.
Lewa nods in agreement, then looks at the sky; “All right, I have some flying to do, and should do better with these infrared goggles on.”
Pohatu smirks, “I was wondering why your eyes are an orange color...fitting.”
Lewa smiles, “Yeah, they match your armor for once.”
That they do.” Pohatu snickers, while patting Lewa on the back.

Lewa takes off and continues his flight west, till evening falls. Suddenly he notices something down below, wriggling in the mud as he grazes a clearing of some wooded area. He stops and mumbles to himself, “There's something down there....” then flies closer and calls out, “Hello?!”
Lewa suddenly hears Ashton's voice, “Yes! Finally...someone..over here!”
Lewa lifts a brow, “Ashton? Oh buddy...what did you do?”
Mud pit... I didn't see it in the dark, and fell in.” Ashton sighs.
Lewa nods, “Oh.. All right, lets see if we can get you out. How far down is it you think?”
I'm swimming to stay afloat.” Ashton puffs tiredly.
Lewa shakes his head, “Lovely....” he remarks sarcastically, then hovers over the pit.
Since there are no vines around, when you see my foot, grab it.”
Ashton puts his arms up submissively, waiting for Lewa to come near; suddenly Lewa's foot bonks him in the head and he grabs on quickly.
Oh, you're heavy.” replies Lewa, as he tries flying up.
Thanks a lot for hitting me in the head.” Ashton tiredly grumbles. Lewa shrugs, “Sorry...”

Once Ashton is finally pulled free of the mud, Lewa sighs with relief, “Oh, you're not as heavy now.” Once they land on solid ground, Ashton happily sighs and stumbles, relieved to be saved from the mud pit. He smiles, and in his joy, much to Lewa's surprise; Ashton gives him a big hug, coating Lewa in mud too.
Lewa tenses up, “You're muddy.” he squeaks.
Well yeah...I was stuck in a mud pit, Sherlock.” laughs Ashton.
Lewa blinks tiredly, “Where were you trying to go?” he asks.
Ashton points west, “I was heading that way towards the fire city.”
Hang on, I'm flying you there.” sighs Lewa, wishing to keep Ashton out of trouble.
Ashton tenses up, “Eh, I don't know, I don't do well with heights.”
Lewa shakes his head, “I won't go high; now grab on.”
Ashton hangs onto Lewa's feet, his legs dangling about three feet above the ground as Lewa hovers. He feels slightly squeamish, but does his best to ignore the feeling; and looks up, then says, “This is a weird angle....I hate looking up while dangling from your feet.”
Lewa glances down, “Yeah, please don't” Ashton smirks and keeps his head forward from then on.

After about five minutes of hover-flight, Ashton gets bored, “Are we there yet?” he starts in.
Lewa shakes his head, “I can't see lights yet, so no.” Ashton waits another five minutes, “Are we here yet?” he asks once more, playfulness in his voice. Lewa rolls his eyes, “Nope.”
Can you fly any faster?” Ashton pouts.
Lewa shakes his head, “Not without risking your safety. We could fly higher and faster...but.”
Nope.” Ashton quickly cuts in. The path ahead starts looking thick, Ashton glances and squints, suddenly noticing spiky bushes up ahead in his path, “Lewa...Lewa...Lewa...!” he panics.
Lewa flies higher just before they reach the brambles; Ashton clings to his legs, teeth gritting. Lewa notices more brambles ahead, and quickly swerves to the side, not paying attention to Ashton, who suddenly whacks a tree branch; “Oooof!” he heaves, and falls off.
Lewa pauses, suddenly realizing Ashton isn't with him, “Whoops....” he awkwardly says before turning back for the poor kid.
Lewa hovers near to a dangling Ashton, who flops over a tree branch, then desperately, and angrily grabs onto Lewa's feet once more. “Watch where you're going!” he snaps.
Lewa doesn't respond to Ashton's anger, just gets him out of the woods as quickly as he can; then points ahead, “You see those lights?” he says. “Yep.” nods Ashton. Lewa spots a clearing and lands, then says, “That's where you want to go; go.”
Ashton nods, still miffed, and starts his walk towards this very populated suburb, dry mud cracking from his armor as he treads towards this medium sized city.
Lewa smirks and shouts out, “Have fun kid!” before taking off once more, this time at full speed, heading for the higher atmosphere.
Ashton growls in irritation, “I need a break.” he thinks to himself.

Once Ashton reaches the fire city an hour later, and passes Coal St., he heads strait for the Ruby Red Dragon. Ashton takes a deep breath when he reaches the doors of the cassino, and smiles, ready for the adventure to begin.
Ashton keeps cool, and walks past the gambling tables like there's nothing on the planet that can keep him from doing what he wants.
He talks with a few of his bounty hunter friends who happen to be in the vicinity. Ashton didn't dare mention about his connections with such people to Tahu or Lewa, for fear that the hunters may hunt him if they knew he revealed their names.
Ashton also uses a few of his smooth charms to speak with the ladies; enjoying his time at the cassino, but keeping his mission in mind so Tahu doesn't back hand him. He also planned on renting a room at the cassino for the night, but delays the idea for later consideration.

Meanwhile, Lewa contacts Tahu, who happened to book a hotel room in the city, not too far from the cassino. Lewa knows to meet him there, and lands outside the hotel, then approaches the front desk. “I'm here to see Toa Tahu; I'm a friend of his.” Lewa says politely to the desk worker.
The woman at the desk is quite taken by Lewa's appearance, and lightly blushes; then types on the screen and smiles, “Lets see, Tahu is in room 24.”
Lewa nods, “Thank you very much.” The woman grins and lifts the lid from a candy jar, “Have some mints.” she says while batting her eyes. “Thanks.” smiles Lewa, while taking one and walking off, oblivious to her gestures.
Once he's gone, the manager leans against the door frame of his office and shakes his head at her, “Really?” he says, “With all the men passing through here..?”
The woman shrugs, “That one was good looking.” she titters.
The manager can only wonder why air types seem to contain so much charm, yet such stupidity and oblivion.

When Lewa reaches room 24, he knocks; and Tahu answers to find a slightly muddied Lewa standing in the doorway, somewhat tired looking from a long journey. “Ah, I made sure to get a room with two beds...figured you'd be coming.” says Tahu.
Thanks.” Lewa smiles; “So I ended up talking with Pohatu, got the word out; and at one point found Ashton hard-stuck in a mud pit.”
Tahu lifts a brow, “A mud pit?” he questions.
Lewa nods, “Yeah, so I got him out, and he should be in the city by now. Other than that...I found nothing. And you?”
Tahu sighs, “I found a few things that indicate Marine might be heading near the region she came from, but we don't know for sure.”
Lewa nods with concern; then Tahu tiredly sits down in thought, “Anyway, I'm going to give Ashton a call.” he says.

When Ashton feels the buzzer go off, he frantically signals for surrounding company to be quiet; then answers very informally, “Uh, yeah?”
Ashton?” Tahu questions grouchily.
Oh, hi Tahu.” replies Ashton with a more laid back demeanor.
Did you find anything?” grumbles Tahu.
I'm working on it. I'm at the.... never mind, I'm asking around. I'll be sure to report something if I do find anything thing, ok? I gotta go..” replies Ashton somewhat figity, then hangs up as quickly as possible.

Tahu lifts a brow and looks at Lewa, “He's acting suspicious.” says Tahu with discern.
Lewa shrugs, he may not be in the best of situations right now.”
Tahu frowns and looks at the tracker, then glances at the map and his lips tighten with irritation. “You know where he is? According this tracker he's at the cassino.”
Lewa snickers, “Probably why he didn't let you know. But ay, if he has contacts, he has contacts.”
Tahu clinks his fingers against the desk with suspicion, “Yeah, but what kind if contacts? And who's he working for, if anyone? See, it's just now occurring to me...what if Ashton is working for someone who's looking for Marine just as we are. Did you ever think about that?” questions Tahu.
Lewa lifts a brow, “Ashton, working for a bounty hunter....why?” Tahu shrugs, and Lewa further states, “He didn't even know about the situation till we mentioned it.”
Tahu shakes his head, “Or did he? Who's to say he wasn't playing us?”
Lewa frowns and feels oddly against Tahu's theory, and says, “Hey, look... if he's not behaving by tomorrow, then you bring him in and knock some sense into him, if he's misbehaving.”
Tahu gives in, and pretends to let down his suspicion; “All right, I'll let it slip this night, but tomorrow...” He pauses, then says to Lewa, “I'll need you to do aerial searches over the cassino tomorrow, while I ask around down below.”
Lewa nods, “Ok..and maybe I can find some air types around here who can help. We tend to do the weird jobs no one else likes, mostly ones involving heights. Window washing for see all kinds of stuff when you do that.”
Tahu smirks and shakes his head. “What?....What?” questions Lewa at Tahu's teasing face.
Tahu chuckles, “When you're flying around, you wouldn't happen to be skimming near waterfalls where people bathe, would you?” he questions.
Lewa gulps, “I...actually, I've learned my lesson with that; there have been things that can't be unseen....never again.... armorless Turaga...uwaaaho..” he shivers.
Tahu blinks, “Ok Lewa, that's enough.” he says, wishing for no further details.

Tahu tiredly rubs his face, and flops on one of the beds, hoping Lewa will soon get tired and go to sleep as well. Tahu's plans are to head for the casino alone once Lewa drifts, feeling Lewa might mess up his plans of spying on Ashton, and would prefer doing this mission alone, seeing that Lewa doesn't suspect Ashton as being a problem.
Lewa suspects this is what Tahu is up to, and flops on a bed, then pretends to sleep; but keeps his ears open, and senses on high alert.

When Tahu feels the coast is clear, he quietly leaves the hotel and heads for the cassino, unaware that Lewa follows close behind.
Tahu asks questions along the way; seeing if any of the locals have caught word of Princess Marine, and if they know where she might be. During this time, Tahu is unaware of the quietly hovering Lewa who stays high enough in the sky that he can't be seen, but follows Tahu's every move.
About 20 minutes later, Tahu bumps into a man who's heard things about Marine, and know this guy who's friends with a man at the cassino, who supposedly has a drift on Marine's whereabouts. This odd stranger then directs Tahu to where the cassino is, and tells him to be careful, for water guards lurk in the region. Tahu thanks him for this information, and heads strait for the Ruby Red Dragon, thinking to himself, “It seems I may have a chance to kill two Rahi with one stone.”

Tahu adjusts his armor to disguise himself, and enters the cassino, Lewa following not far behind. Tahu quietly asks around, but finds it would be safer to listen in on conversations. Suddenly he spots his first target, Ashton, who sits at the Bar near a couple water guards. Little does Tahu suspect that Ashton had been doing his job this entire time, listening in on conversations that hold a hot trail for finding Marine. Tahu decides not to intervene just yet, and sits at the bar several seats down from Ashton.
Lewa sees Tahu is already at a good start, and decides not to make himself known, but rather goes off to the side lines to play a few rounds of Black Jack, knowing you tend to hear many interesting things around the Black Jack tables, and hopes to snag a little information on Marine himself. He starts off with a single gold coin, and goes from there.

Meanwhile, Tahu sits in disguise at the bar and talks with a few guys sitting next to him, all the while keeping his eyes on Ashton. The water guards leave, and suddenly Tahu notices a large, rough looking guy sit down next to Ashton. Tahu suspects him to be a bounty hunter, and Tahu listens in on their conversation as best he can.
Ashton: “Hey.. Zihrias; long time no see.”
Zihrias: “What are you doing here kid, you know this place is sprawling with both enemies and friends of our past. I thought I told you to stay low and out of sight ever since that one mission I took you on.”
Ashton: “I know...I'm not here on some crazy adventure, but rather I've been pinned on a mission to find this princess named Marine. Ever hear of her?”
Zihrias: “Wow, kid, you're dabbling in an area that could get you killed. I've heard of the princess all right, she has one of the hardiest bounties I've seen yet for such a small female.”
Ashton frowns: “Listen Zihrias, this princess is no threat to anyone. She's an innocent being who's fleeing from what appears to be a threat in her kingdom. You of all people should know how it feels to be hunted and hurt... If you know anything about her, please tell me and keep other hunters from pursuing her for capture.”
Zihrias smirks, “No way kid; even if I dropped out of the opportunity... other hunters will be on the trail for the pile of money that kingdom is offering. Tell you what though, for old times sake, I'll strive to find her first, that way she won't be harmed, and I'll still get the loot.”
Before Ashton can ask more, Zihrias pats his shoulder and leaves the bar.

At first Tahu sees Ashton is carrying out his duty, and respects that; but then Ashton's mind is distracted when he notices a familiar individual who happens to be one of the bar service girls. Ashton orders a drink, and when a cup is placed down in front of him, he suddenly recognizes the armor pattern of this server, and looks up to see Fiamma.
Ashton gulps and grins awkwardly, “Hhhiii....” he nervously greets.
Fiamma clinks her fingers against the counter, “What are YOU doing here?” she growls.
I'm researching.....hehe.” gulps Ashton. “And what are you doing here?” he squeaks.
Fiamma stares blankly, “I work here.... Researching what?! Are you following me?”
Ashton puts his hands up in a panic, “No, of course not... I...I.” He quickly tries figuring out what to tell Fiamma without making her angry, to avoid cumulating unwanted attention, and possibly become her friend in the long run. He realizes that if he were to tell her his mission, it would come across the wrong way, especially if he says he's looking for a girl.. and not just any girl, but a royal. In his panic, and his longing to impress Fiamma, he decides to compromise the mission, and feels the sudden urge to attract Fiamma instead of spending his time around bounty hunters and guards, searching for a woman he's not infatuated by.
Ashton clears his throat, “Well I...I like red, and this place is full of red.” he awkwardly states.
Fiamma squints with suspicion, “Why don't you look in the mirror, hot shot?”
Ashton shrugs, “I'd rather look at other red things besides myself.”
Fiamma clinks her fingers harder against the counter, and lifts a brow; “Finally growing up, or are you still a baby? It's only been two weeks, so I'm sure it's the later.” she mumbles.
Ashton sinks in his chair, “Oh come on Fiamma...that last two weeks..ok, maybe I was a bit of a jerk.” he squeaks.
Fiamma takes back in surprise; “You admit it?” she says with slight shock.
Ashton nods, “Yeah, I kind of jerk off a lot of people....including myself. See, watch.” He starts comedically slapping himself to get on Fiamma's good side, causing her to laugh at his self inflicted pain.
Ashton grins, “I fight myself all the time.” he says while slapping himself once more, like his hand has a mind of its own, and says, “Oww... sometimes I can't control it.”
Fiamma shakes her head, “You're making a fool of yourself.” she snickers.
Ashton shrugs, “Hey, I'm at the bar.”
Fiamma nods, “That's true..but you don't have to be at the bar to make a fool of yourself.”
Ashton frowns and chokes up as Fiamma walks away to serve more customers.

Meanwhile, Lewa had been listening in on Ashton's conversation through carried winds, while playing and winning several games of Black Jack, feeling awkward and out of touch as women surround him and cheer for his winning hand.

Back at the bar counter, Ashton waits for Fiamma to return, then before she takes his glass, says, “Ok, are we going to insult each other, or have a nice conversation? I'm here to have a few chats, a nice know, here to relax.”
Fiamma leans in close and sharply, but quietly says, “Let me get this strait, you're not here to walk around with the show girls, and gamble at games you're not good at? You honestly think I should believe you?”
Ashton shrugs, “'s hard not bumping into the show girls who want to start up conversations..but no, not deliberately. Besides, I like a drink here and there, and I mostly talk with the guys about *cough * business..”
Fiamma's eye twitches, and her face turns a brighter red, “Do any of the show girls like you?” she growls.
Ashton shakes his head, “No, they don't even know me.” he says in a slightly sad tone, eyes drooping down at his feet.
Fiamma goes quiet, thinking about the situation and seeing that Ashton is rather respectful when he wants to be. She starts wondering if he's just a jerk because he's lonely, and feels rejected and stepped on.

Tahu watches from the sides lines and sees Ashton is thinking, calculating, being sneaky and clearly up to something; he just can't quite tell what.
Suddenly Tahu hears the rowdy cheering in the background at the Black Jack table, and spots a large green being surrounded by women, and winning every game. Tahu squints with suspicion, remembering there's only one person he knows who's big, green, and oddly skilled at the game of Black Jack; that person being Lewa.
Tahu grinds his teeth, then gets up and goes over to the Black Jack table. Suddenly Lewa feels a heavy hand flop on his shoulder; “Evening...” grumbles Tahu.
Lewa smirks, “Eh, I was wondering when you'd finally notice me.” he snickers.
Tahu shakes his head, “You were faking sleep, weren't you?” he grumbles.
Pff, yeah.” nods Lewa.
Tahu's lips tighten, feeling like Lewa is almost as bad as Ashton in some respects. “Enough gambling.” he says sternly.
Lewa frowns, “What? It's a good cover, and I'm winning.”
Tahu blinks and tightens his grip on Lewa's shoulder, “I said, enough gambling. Take your coins and come with me.”
Fine.” sighs Lewa, then takes his chips and goes to cash them in; the surrounding women pouting as he leaves the table.

Tahu doesn't feel right, and signals for Lewa to come with him after he grabs his money at the exchange counter. “Come here.” says Tahu on edge.
Lewa lifts a brow, “What?” he questions.
Tahu points over at the bar, “Look at Ashton.” Lewa nods, “Yeah, what about him?”
I've been listening in on his conversations” says Tahu, “While you were gambling, He's been chatting with bounty hunters, specifically a guy named Zihrias, and overheard him mumbling about possibly meeting the OTHER guys in a back room later on. He mumbled about Marine to this guy... He also spoke with those water guards over there by the casino stairway, and listened in on their conversation. Those guards work for the water kingdom; keep your head low and don't act suspicious or attract anymore attention to yourself, they're looking for Marine just as we are..and we don't want them to know that.”
Lewa nods, “Ok, I'm going to get a drink; something know I can handle something light.” says Lewa in laid back way.
Tahu shakes his head, “That's not what concerns me. You know how young fire types can be....neglectful?” “Mm hmm” Lewa nods. Tahu winces at Ashton, “Well keep your eyes open. Though I don't trust him and feel he's being awfully secretive, I believe Ashton knows something important, but the question is...will he remember to share it? I would find out now, but at the moment he's surrounded by too many friends for me to interfere.”
Right..” says Lewa, who then calmly goes and sits down at the bar, unnoticed by Ashton who's too absorbed in thought about Fiamma.

Fiamma serves Lewa a light drink, then notices something familiar about him, and starts up a conversation. “I'll take it you're going simple tonight in drink.” she smiles.
Lewa smirks, “Yeah, I need to be able to think when I get back to my hotel room.”
Not from around these parts, huh?” Fiamma smirks.
Lewa shakes his head, “No, just speed-passing through.”
Fiamma nods, “Haven't I seen you before?” she questions.
Lewa smiles, “Ever been to the arena fights? I go there plenty.”
Yeah... I was there two weeks ago.” Fiamma snickers.
Yeah, sounds about right. Weren't you the one who hard-beat that kid over there?” says Lewa while jerking his head at Ashton.
Fiamma glances, then smirks, “You're that air type, aren't you?”
Lewa shrugs, “Yeah...well, don't bring it up.” he says quietly.
Fiamma shakes her head, “Not here...” she whispers. “Thank you.” replies Lewa.
Fiamma then chuckles, “And yes, I did beat up that kid over there.”
And I remember you guys trying to hard-fight it out in the healing tank.” snickers Lewa.
Fiamma pauses in thought, “Do you know much about him?” she asks Lewa.
Lewa nods, “Yeah, some....why?” he wonders.
Fiamma glances at Ashton once more and shrugs, “Well, because he keeps talking to me, and I don't know where he's coming from.”
Lewa leans in, “What's he saying?”
Fiamma speaks quietly, “Oh, you know...just saying that he's training, learning to fight better, and *smirk* having to deal with a couple individuals...who, judging by his description would be you and your fiery buddy over there.”
Lewa sweats slightly, “Yeah...don't point him out either... That's Tahu.”
Fiamma nods, “You two followed him huh?”
Lewa starts fumbling in his words, “Mm hmm...well, we were all together on some mission or whatever; and he's...kind of breaking protocol. But hey, whatever, the kid can be an idiot sometimes... He can be nice when he wants to be...but. That and Tahu deep-trusts him about as far as he can throw him.”
Fiamma nods and finds this situation oddly interesting. “Yeah, that's how fire types tend to be.” she says, then get backs to work, suddenly feeling an odd attraction towards Ashton.

Ten minutes later, Tahu drags Lewa away from the bar, “Might not want to spill so much information!” he sharply whispers through his teeth.
Lewa rolls his eyes, “It's fine. You do know she noticed you about an hour ago.”
Tahu lifts a brow, “What?!” he gapes. Suddenly Tahu's attention is gravitated towards the bar once more. “Wait a minute....wait a minute.” he says with suspicion while pointing at Ashton who speaks with Fiamma quietly.
Lewa cocks his head, “What?” he questions.
Tahu squints, “What are those two up to at this late of an hour?” he mumbles to himself. Lewa shrugs and sits down tiredly; Tahu decides to wait and find out. In the next fifteen minutes, at 12:20 A.M., Tahu notices Ashton helping fiamma into her coat, and walking out with her into the night.
Tahu nudges Lewa, “Something doesn't seem quite strait. First Ashton said he'd go and meet some people in a back room, but never did; and now he's managed to sneak off with Fiamma who allowed him to touch her. Seems kind of off. You up for a little snooping?”
Sure.” returns Lewa, glad to finally do something productive.

Tahu and Lewa follow Ashton to a fairly large home, with a large amount of property, gated off from the surrounding suburban areas.
Lewa followed by air, and Tahu by foot. Tahu stays low and sees Fiamma and Ashton enter her home; he decides to give it time, and wait for about an hour, Lewa joining his company and wondering why they're doing this again.
Finally Lewa gets bored,and remembers the tracker Tahu had put on Ashton. “Are you able to activate the microphone on that thing Ashton wears?” he asks.
Tahu thinks about it, then tries it, but only hears static noises at first; “ works, but the signal is weak.” he says.
Lewa grins, “Can I listen?” “No.” says Tahu sternly.
Lewa frowns, “Why not?” he childishly whines.
Tahu shakes his head, unwilling to share for reasons he'd rather not reveal. Tahu can in fact hear a few odd noises through Ashton's microphone, ones that don't need to be shared. Tahu's lips tighten, and he shakes his head with irritation, suspecting something he's not yet ready to conclude till he has proof; “Mm, things are getting staticky....Follow me.” he says.

Lewa follows Tahu to the side of Fiamma's home, where a faint light glows from a second story window.
Tahu looks up at the window, then glances at Lewa, “Think you can hover quietly, and peek in without being spotted? I'm pretty sure they're in that room.” he says.
Lewa nods, and carefully hovers up to the window, then peeps his head just to eye level above the sill. He cocks his head in confusion at what he sees, and quietly whispers down at Tahu, “It looks like they're doing some kind of odd Rahi dance.”
Tahu's eyes get big, “Rahi dance?!” he whispers sharply. Tahu grabs onto Lewa's legs and climbs up to see what Lewa's talking about. “Oww, hey...ow ow, watch it!” complains Lewa as Tahu clings to his back and peeps in.
Tahu flinches, and gapes at the scene, then quickly jumps off and yanks Lewa down with him. Tahu is furious, and Lewa shrugs, “What?” he question calmly as Tahu stomps his feet.
Tahu shakes his head, “Odd Rahi dance?!”
Lewa nods, “Yeah, there's no heart-shame in that.” he says oblivious.
Tahu face palms, “ you even know what that odd Rahi dance is?” Lewa shakes his head no, and Tahu face palms harder; “Oh.... you're more naive than I thought. Haven't you ever watched Gukko birds before?”
Lewa nods, “They do the same dance.” he says without a care.
Tahu shakes his head in disbelief at Lewa's innocence. “All right, not now...never mind; at a later time we'll discuss this. Wait here.”

Tahu heatedly stomps up to the front door of Fiamma's home, and knocks. “Ashton....” he growls to himself.
To Ashton's bad luck, he hears the knock, and agrees to go answer it for Fiamma; little does he realize what fate lies outside for him. When he opens the door to find Tahu standing in the moonlight, he gulps and his hands slightly tremble, eyes big with shock. “Waaa!” he yelps, then grins and laughs uneasily, “Eh he he.... Tahu, what a pleasant surprise.” he squeaks.
Tahu grins with gritted teeth, his face implying he has something in store. “ are you?” he says menacingly. “Come here!” Tahu growls, while grabbing the back of Ashton's neck, and yanking him to the side alleyway of Fiamma's home.
Ashton drags his feet along the way, and sobs, “Tahu....wait! I... I can explain. I...I have some information you should know... please let me go!” he cries.
In his anger, Tahu grabs Ashton by the chest armor and slams him against the brick wall of Fiamma's house, then holds him there. “No Ashton, first I'll be asking some questions!” yells Tahu. “ Did you honestly believe I would let you out of my sight? First off, I followed you to the cassino tonight, I saw you speaking with bounty hunters and water guards, and I overheard your conversation about meeting some guys in a back room later on. Now I have one thing to ask, are you working for someone on the opposing side?!”
Ashton puts his trembling hands up, “No... I'm not working for anyone.. honest.” he sobs, “I have a few bounty hunter friends ok, but I was afraid to tell you because if they found out I revealed their names they might hunt me. As for Marine... I.. I only asked my more trusted friends if they might know where she is, but they didn't know and refused not to hunt her. The back room gig is just a special room where they serve expensive imported drinks that are too pricy for the average bar customer... Me and the guys sometimes meet back there for a drink or two and exchange chit chat...sometimes you hear a lot of interesting things that happen in a bounty hunters life you wouldn't normally hear about on the open cassino floor. I thought about joining them to see if I could find out more, but found it wasn't important after I remembered what the water guards spoke of during their time at the bar. The trail is hot, they know Marine has returned home, and are sending out forces to find her as soon as possible. She was supposedly spotted yesterday wandering the gardens outside palace grounds, but is very good at hiding, so they haven't found her yet. I... I spoke with Fiamma...and I wanted to be her friend, so I delayed telling you the news about Marine.” he sobs, “But I swear.... I was going to tell you by morning.. I swear, I was only taking a break for the night.” Ashton cries, tears of fear running down his face.
Tahu growls and slaps Ashton hard. “Your tears aren't going to get you out of this, Ashton. Not only did you disobey my order to contact me immediately if you found something on Marine; but you also gave in to your own lust, and put Marine's life before your own! I saw you from the window a matter of minutes ago, I saw what you were doing, and for that you WILL pay the consequence! You're still a boy, and therefore need training; in order to be a great Toa, you must put others before yourself.... which you clearly didn't do tonight!” Tahu hisses.

Lewa tenses up from the side lines as he watches Tahu reprimand Ashton, and knows what's coming; but in his oblivion tries to reason with Tahu in hopes of lessening Ashton's fate. “Tahu...they were just dancing.. You're going to punish him just for dancing?”
Tahu and Ashton both look over at Lewa like he's crazy. Ashton's jaw drops in disbelief, “Man, and you thought I was childish. He's that oblivious....? Tell me he's not that oblivious.” Ashtons chokes with shock, while glancing at Tahu.
Tahu shakes his head, “Yep, he's that oblivious.” he grumbles to Ashton. Then says, “Lewa, we'll get back to this subject later.... For now I have a rotten young Toa to deal with.” he growls.
Tahu holds Ashton firmly against the wall with one hand, and his other hand starts to glow with heat. “Do you know what I do to misbehaving youth? Especially ones who commit such secretive things outside of marriage, and put their pleasure before their duties?” growls Tahu.
Ashton shakes his head and trembles, “ Tahu, p..please... don't... please... NOOOOO!!!” Ashton cries as Tahu brings his hand forward and singes Ashton's anatomy.
Ashton collapses to the ground, bawling his head off, hot tears running from his face as he curls up and rocks back and forth in pain, holding his singed man hood.
Fiamma hears the terrible cry, and rushes outside to the alleyway. “What is going on here?!” she snaps. “Why is Ashton on the ground..? What did you do to him?” she asks concerned.
Tahu sighs, “He probably didn't tell you his mission, did he, Fiamma?”
Fiamma frowns, “Well..he, told me that he was training, and sort of mentioned about it, but didn't give exact details. What's this all about, Tahu?”
Well, I'll tell you. Ashton here got into trouble as it is, no more than a day ago, all because he pulled down the skirt flap of a woman at the Capsao Pub. He was then pinned on me, and I was voted to be his trainer, his example, his teacher. There has been a run away princess named, Marine, who we've come to believe is in danger, and needs help. I agreed to help Lewa find this princess, and dragged Ashton in on the mission to help teach him some better scouting skills and responsibility...which he apparently failed to learn, and gave in to his own lust, putting the princess's life before his own, deciding that the valuable information of her whereabouts was less important than his infatuation for a female of the fire regions, and planned to delay telling us the details on Marine's location, till tomorrow, after he was all finished having his fun.” growls Tahu.

Fiamma stays silent for a moment, then feels like Ashton tricked her, anger fuming in her eyes when she realizes Ashton is more inconsiderate than she suspected, and still very selfish. In her rage, Fiamma stomps over to where a bawling Ashton lies, and kicks him in the side, causing him to moan and cry all the more.
Get out of here you trash! And don't come back till you've learned the ways of a Toa; and gained the traits of responsibility, self sacrifice, consideration, and the love for life beyond your own!” Fiamma screams at him; trying not to cry herself as she stomps off and goes back inside, slamming the door behind her.

Tahu shakes his head and looks down at Ashton who sobs and squeaks in pain. “Let this be a lesson to you, young Toa... Next time remember your duty, and place it before yourself.” he says.
Tahu then picks up Ashton and says to Lewa, “Tomorrow we start our journey for the water lands. We must get there before the guards find Marine...let us hope we make it in time.”

The Toa go back to Tahu's hotel room for the night, and Tahu gives Ashton burn ointment and an ice pack for his singes. In some way Tahu feels both anger, yet pitty for the kid, who curls up in the bath tub, still sobbing as he places the bag of ice between his legs, and cradles back and forth in misery. His mind is burdened by the rejection of a woman he can't take his eyes off of, and by the pain in his side and between his legs. Ashton feels terrible, sick almost from all the tears; the worst singe not being curable with ointment or ice, only time he knows, can heal the wounds of his heart.

All goes quiet in the hotel room that night, pain and ails put to rest till morning.