The icy slopes of the mountain passes that formed the wastes held refuge only for the most dangerous of creatures. Fierce Muaka cats stalked the slopes, waiting to ambush their clueless pray, snow birds dive at unwanted visitors to their home, and on the slopes of Mount Ihu, even the fierce Nui-Rama can show their ugly faces, sweeping wanderers of all sorts from steady footing and down the steep slopes of ice to their death.
Above all however, was the most dangerous creature in the Wastes. Wondering as he pleased, with no fear of what may lie ahead, Toa Kopaka was the most dangerous of beings on Ko Wahi. Or at least...he had been. It had been a few suns since the swarms had shown their faces on Mata Nui’s surface, and already the results were catastrophic. Burning and crushing and flooding their way through the village’s the island bore, it seemed Mata-Nui had faced no adversaries such as the Bohrok before. Even the mighty Toa themselves were rivalled by the skill shown by the overwhelming numbers they faced, and yet they were forced to hunt down these creatures anyway, in search for the repulsing creatures that lay within the Bohrok’s shells, the Krana Turaga Vakama had spoken of.
Already, Lewa was missing, and each Toa had been pushed to their limits in finding these creatures, and taking their Krana while doing so. It was hardly only the Toa who had taken up arms against this new threat. Already, in protection and in some cases vengeance for their homes, Matoran from all six villages had taken up arms to fight. The Onu-Matoran were travelling the island, bringing with them grand machines that could do great damage to the swarms, as they had been crafted from the mechanical bodies of the machines themselves. This was a war now, not just an invasion.
As he stalked the wastes, covered in the light snow falling from the sky, Kopaka bore a dangling chain of Krana on his back, collected from the Bohrok he had defeated. They were the only company he had, for the first time in a short while, he mused. It brought some comfort being alone again, as no matter how powerful the combined powers of the Toa were in times of need, Kopaka always felt far more at home with no voices to be heard but in his head, and no footsteps in the snow but his own. Even in their recent victory over Makuta, it was still relieving to be parted from Lewa’s quips, and Tahu’s arrogance. Pohatu as well, Kopaka thought with some uncertainty, as he could hardly lie to himself. He enjoyed the presence of the Toa of Stone, although he’d be the last one to admit it.
His wandering and stalking for Bohrok patrols came to an end when he saw something in the snow a short ways out from him. Kopaka was near a great slope, leading into a canyon below, and further down the slopes edge, he saw a flicker of movement. Calling upon the power of his Kanohi Akaku, to look closer upon the figure, which now was clear to Kopaka as Matoro, a Matoran from Ko-Koro. A great stiffness overcame the Toa, as the last time he had found Turaga Nuju’s Right Hand in The Drifts; he had only narrowly saved him from an inevitable fate at the hands of a Muaka. As he stepped towards higher ground, Kopaka prayed he would not find another fierce cat involved in this finding.
However upon looking from a better place, Kopaka quickly discovered that today, Matoro was not alone, as further along the canyons edge, buried in piles of snow were other Matoran, looking down below just as Matoro was. Disks stacked nearby and ropes gathered beneath the Matoran’s hunching forms, Kopaka recognised the other Matoran as a number of trappers from Ko-Koro, very skilled in catching Rahi. In these numbers gathered here, Kopaka knew they could only be putting their expertise to work, and a moment later, this became a proven point.
In the canyon below, a band of marauding red-clad Bohrok burned their way through the high-piled snow. Not stopping for a minute, the Bohrok continuously marched and burned their way through the canyon, although clueless to the presence of the Ko-Matoran above.
The Toa of Ice slung his shield over his arm like he had done many dozen times before, reaching for his sword with his right hand, prepared to assist the Matoran in a battle he doubted they could truly win. Skilled were the trappers of Ko-Koro, but their power was little compared to the ruthless strength of the Tahnok, and besides, he needed the Krana. He stopped for a moment however, hand on the hilt of his sword, and watched as the Matoran began their attack.
Snow collapsed into the canyon like a great avalanche, although too slow to strike the Bohrok. It became clear a moment later, however, that this was not the intention, as the avalanche had near entirely filled the canyon behind them. To fall back would be impossible for the Bohrok, although Kopaka did not suspect this would occur anyways. A moment later, the Bohrok were pinned For in that same moment, bursting from piles of snow and holes in the ground ahead of the Tahnok came more Matoran, and not more trappers from Ko-Koro either. Running to rhythm of beating drums, riders of the Onu-Koro Ussalry rose from the ground, some mounted on crabs, others charging by foot. From beneath the snow emerged two Boxor fighting machines, forming an impenetrable line of defence behind the riders. As the Tahnok charged the Onu-Matoran, a number of traps and snares caught them and pulled them to the ground, as place by the Ko-Matoran, who also began to rain disks upon the oncoming Tahnok.
Kopaka paused in his steps, not drawing his sword, for some reason not even he knew, choosing not to go down to the battleground below. He had every urge to accompany the Matoran in their fight, but instead, chose to relax, dropping his hand from the hilt of his sword. The Matoran had not the slightest idea he was watching them, and yet they began their attack with veracity unlike Kopaka had ever seen from them. This was their battle, not his, and remarkably enough, they were holding their own.
The Tahnok incoming were part of a smaller party than, usual, and so despite their superior abilities, they were outnumbered by the attacking Matoran, and caught off guard as well. The Boxor moving in struck powerfully, crushing and tearing off the faceplates of the Bohrok, and knocking the Krana from their headpieces. With such heart they attacked as well, for Kopaka saw the Onu-Matoran miner Taipu charge at a Tahnok alone, with a pick in hand. Leaping at top the machine’s head, he held on with his life as it attempted to buck and throw him off, but Taipu gained the upper hand. As he was thrown off, Taipu pried open the faceplate of the creature, but was tossed into a snow bank at the same time. Pulling himself up to look at the Bohrok, he was narrowly saved when the Ussalry Captain, Onepu, rammed the machine with his Ussal crab and flung it over sideways, throwing it’s Krana astray.
Under the heavy attack of both the hardy Onu-Matoran and the precise throwing disks of the Ko-Matoran, the forward Bohrok were slowly disabled, and the remaining were forced to push back, before they came under the full firepower of the Boxor vehicles, which battered away at the remaining Tahnok. One by one they fell to the Matoran’s attacks, until the canyon was filled only with the discarded red shells of the monstrous creatures and a great number of cheering Matoran, from both the villages of Ice and Earth. Only but a few Matoran had fallen injured to the Bohrok, or enslaved by their vile Krana, but it was not long before they had been restored to, and were helped out of the canyon. One Boxor had been damaged beyond repair, but the remains of the Tahnok were quickly pulled out of the canyon, back to where they could be made into new Boxors.
Kopaka silently watched the Matoran cheer over their victory, and slung the shield over his back again. Turning on his heel, Kopaka headed away to hunt more of the swarms wretched fighters. He nearly cracked a smile, having seen the Matoran conquer the battle, even such a small skirmish. The Toa considered heading down into the canyon below to collect the Krana from the fight, but decided against that as well. Even the cold, calculating, logical warrior felt wrong taking spoils from another being’s battle, and instead chose to wander off southward; following a curious trail of footprints left by what must have been Bohrok Va.
Perhaps it had been for the better he had not shown his face. He wouldn’t always be there to protect his people, and these were Ko-Matoran after all. Just like him, they had always felt far more at home with no voices to be heard but in their own cold, calculating heads, and no victorious footsteps in the battle-worn snow but their own.
Edited by Bite My Shiny Metal Armour, Nov 01 2011 - 06:06 PM.