The Weapon Makers
"What was that?" The old Agori paused, only because he knew he could as the armor piece he was heating in the fire of his forge. Marok glanced behind him as the only other being that was of a higher intelligence within many leagues.
"I said 'blamph.'" The lanky half made biomechanical being said from where she was sitting on the low table. She was nursing the her left arm where the most resent part of the under, or base armor was implanted. She had most of that base armor as well as the internal reinforcements.
"And why are you 'blamph-ing'?" Marok asked returning his attention to his work.
It was a few moments before she spoke, spending that time to scratch one of the sand stalkers' wedge shaped head, "I'm expressing my opinion of the world at large." She said at last.
"Hmm... Almost done." Marok warned, hearing some soft grumbling behind him. This was probably the worst part for the girl he knew, but the old Agori didn't have anything to ease the pain. Once, long ago he had, but that was centuries past when Bara Magna had been whole.
To make matters worse for him was that the girl didn't scream...Well, not a lot that is. Marok had made many Glatorian in his long life, most of all of them had to be tied down and restrained with chains stronger than them as they themselves became stronger, but this girl's near silent suffering and lack of passing out did him in.
By the sands of Bara he was getting soft.
He had made most of all the vital armor first this time after implanted that first bit of base armor on the shoulder. He had even knocked her out before the slow process of controlled braking of bones and fusing metal internally. Why was he even bothering with all this? More so when he had said, publicly at that, that he'd never make another Glatorian?
Marok was getting old.
Having only two sand stalkers and a runt of a Vorox as company and protection wasn't enough. In addition, Marok had come to realize one cold night when scavenging and after nearly freezing to death (saved only by the fact that his sand stalkers liked him because he kept them fed and had curled up to share body heat) that his knowledge had to be passed onto someone.
Then Marok had found a confused, dazed and lost female in the desert not three days later. He still thought it had been a gift from the Great Beings. Not in any sensual way, far from it, this was a blank slate of a person willing to learn for the sake of learning. Not like the Agori, Marok knew the flaws of his own kind and he didn't trust any of those in the villages even if he did once come from one of them.
Yet a purely organic being had drastically lower chances of living for long in Bara Magna. Not with threats from the harsh elements, to the predators, to the rouge and banished Glatorian, and that was not even including the Bone-hunters and Skrall. So Marok started the semi long process of turning his new charge into a biomechanical being. It was pure luck he found he could turn her into a Glatorian. A smaller than normal Glatorian, but still a Glatorian none the less.
"A runt Glatorian and a runt Vorox, you have a set." She'd joked a few nights ago, and Marok had seen the humor of it. He himself was bent with age, the only 'normal' members of their odd little group were the two sand stalkers.
"Alright," Marok said as he pulled the armor bit out of the forge and turned to see the new Glatorian had already bitten down on the thing he'd made for her to do just that. It was going to be another long night for both and for the one, very painful as well.
"You need a name." Marok said one morning, he was leaning back against the male of his two sand stalkers, the female was balled up on the other side, both critters were sleeping. The old Agori was watching the new Glatorian as she relearned how to move. Having a new body tended to make a person be off kilter in the balance department. Never underestimate what new weighted armor that couldn't be removed will do to your sense of balance.
It was a good thing the Vorox, Kiku, was tamed as much as it was, not to mention tolerant. He was putting up with being clung to in one form or another and helping the new Glatorian keep her balance as she took wary steps. Currently the two looked over, Kiku holding onto a gray, uncolored arm and shoulder to keep the girl from falling over sideways as she attempted to change her stance without really lifting a foot.
"Why?" the new Glatorian asked.
"Why?" Marok echoed the question and quirked up an eye ridge, "Have to call you something other than 'girl,' or 'Glatorian.'"
"What's wrong with that?" She corrected an over balance and kept on with the circuit around the clearing in the rocky landscape that was the equivalent of Marok's side yard.
Marok rolled his eyes, "A Glatorian is a type of warrior, not a name."
"Says who?" She asked though most of her attention was in placing one foot in front of the other. It was strange how much you didn't realize how you took advantage of something as simple as walking until you had new legs to learn on all over again.
"A name is good to have," Marok was saying, not having heard the question. "Even if at times it's all you have, it's still just yours to have." He had a far away expression, looking not at the two in front of him, but into his own past with a small frown.
"Well, I don't know any names other than what has been taken." The Glatorian said after considering it and promptly tripped over a small rock that she was sure popped out of nowhere.
"Rera!" The Vorox's quick movement pulled the new Glatorian back up to her feet, grasping her upper arms and chattering in his language, scolding was more like it. Marok did catch the one repeating word, and he thought about it.
Kiku had been referring to the girl as 'Rera' for a long time. Marok ranked his mind for a translation back into Agori and came up with either 'sweet little' or 'little sweet.' "Not bad..."
"Eh?" The girl looked over from where she was half over the Vorox's arm.
"Reh?" Kiku echoed, also looking up and over.
Marok nodded his chin, "Not bad at all."