~ :: ~
..........Whispers. Whispers shouting from the darkness. Another voice came. This one distinctly in the form of telepathy.
.........."Kaeru," Shakaz's deep, sinister voice rang in Kaeru's head, "report to my chamber. Now."
..........Kaeru had been looking over the blueprints for the fortress trying to figure out more defenses when he received the message; immediately stopping what he was doing, sitting up from his chair, and making his way to the door of his room. He shut the door behind him, making his way through the hallway. The white fluorescent lights brightly lit up the hallway; the chain they were connected to swaying slightly as the circulating air flowed past them. He hastily walked into the main chamber of the fortress, the heat from the large fire clearly felt throughout the spacious room.
..........A chill when up his spine as he made his way into the Leader's hallway. Instead of lamps, there were torches lining the rough stone wall, eerily illuminating the passage-way. He slowed his stride a little, the fear rising in him of talking to his leader.
..........Whispers. He quickened his footstep, eager to get out of the repulsive corridor. The torches diminished in quantity, until only a few lit the remaining of the tunnel, darkening the area.
..........He finally reached the entry to Shakaz's chamber, and, after pausing for a moment, knocked on the steel loudly.
..........A faint but malicious "enter" was heard, and Kaeru opened the door slowly; stepped inside and closed it behind him, the hollow bang sounded throughout the room as the steel hit against the door-frame.
..........I don’t know why I’m so nervous, the Toa said to himself as he looked around for his master. I’m a high-ranking officer in his organization, after-all. I’m going to have to get used to talking with him.
.........."Come here," a voice spoke, a shadow becoming slowly visible as the fire from the hearth shown on Shakaz's dark armor. A faint outline finally appeared with a pair of eyes so red that blood would look pink in comparison. Faint, barely discernible hints of violet defined the shadow standing before Kaeru, with the silhouettes of spikes placed intermittently around the mass. The Toa of Sonics walked closer, his gunmetal armor becoming illuminated from the fire.
.........."I have a mission for you," the voice continued. "You have shown yourself to be a formidable tracker, which is the reason I have chosen you for this job. You are to find the two escapees and bring them to me. They were last seen in the volcanic land near here, making their way toward the forest. Start there, and work your way into the forest. If you fail to bring them back, you will wish you had never been born." His voice slowed at the last sentence.
.........."Yes, master," Kaeru quickly said; no intention of angering his leader. With that, he disappeared into a mass of shadow energy.
~ :: ~
Kaeru appeared next to an active volcano in a volcanic wasteland, his body quickly bringing his molecules together after his teleportation from Shakaz's chamber.
..........How the heck am I supposed to find them? his brain asked itself, the nervousness growing within his being as he thought of who gave the order. He knew Shakaz would surely kill him if he did not complete the mission, so moved on.
.........."Kaeru," a dark voice suddenly spoke from behind him. Kaeru quickly spun around, his eyes wide with fear at the vicious voice; a sharp breath escaping from his lips. But there was nothing. Nothing but the ashy ground for kio around; patches of orange visible above the various charcoal-hued volcanoes.
..........Kaeru let loose a breath as his gasping started to turn to normal.
.........."Kaeru," a whispering voice exclaimed again. The Toa quickly spun around, trying to find the source, only to find none.
..........Kaeru. He looked around frantically again, and started running toward the woods. A large patch of grass appeared in the middle of the trees. He ran through the field; the cold, wet grass numbing his feet. He shivered -- from panic or the cold, he didn't know.
..........The trees rushed by his eyes as he ran; some of the leaves whipping his face as he ran by. A drizzle of blood appeared from where a branch had hit him, but the Toa sprinted onward, the tension overwhelming his being.
..........He hastened his pace still, looking around for a source of the whispers. He heard the toll of a campanile as the foliage thinned, revealing a valley dotted with trees. He looked for the source and saw an ancient, ruined building in the distance – once a huge temple.
..........He dashed toward it, his lungs struggling for air, and the eerie fog causing his vision to blur. He didn't stop to ponder how the bell still rang, or what the building was, but kept running, attempting to free himself from the voices. The ghastly glow of the moon broke its way through the clouds, slightly illuminating his path as he rushed across the grass. He finally reached his destination, and quickly ran inside the abandoned building. He ran to a large stone column and hid behind it while catching his breath. He stuck close to the pillar, too afraid to move from his current position.
..........A knife suddenly flew past his ear. His eyes followed its direction to see it plunge into the body of a Matoran; blood sputtering out from the open wound as he fell to the floor. Kaeru turned back to where the knife had come from, only to see a knife flying at his head, plunging into his mask but doing no damage.
.........."Who's there?" the Toa of Sonics screamed, panicking as he looked around. He ran down the pathway to another pillar and attached on to it, his eyes wide with distress. He moved his body back-and-forth around the pillar with terror. A clank sounded behind him. He looked back, seeing a knife fall down from the wall it had just hit.
.........."Where are you?" he shouted, his voice trembling in trepidation.
..........He turned around, only to see another knife fly at him. The last thing he ever heard was the echoing whispers in his head.
..........A pitch black Toa emerged from the shadows, wearing a mask of illusion.
..........“I am not going back to that place,” the Toa spoke softly to himself on the opposite side of the room as the knife struck Kaeru. As the Toa of Sonic’s body fell to the floor, the blood pouring from the wound, the campanile struck midnight.
~ :: ~