Evior slowly let out his breath, so quietly not even he could hear it. He could hear the wind as it flew uncaringly through the bitter stone canyon. He stood, albeit under the guise of his chameleon power, in plain sight. He could hear the target’s uneven breathing as it made its way towards him with unsure steps. The echoes of tumbling stones rang through the air.
Another silent breath passed in and out of his body. He stood on the narrow footpath leading to the bottom of the canyon, blocking his victim’s path. If he was right, it was a nasty fifty foot drop to the bottom of the canyon.
He felt the heavy footsteps of his target vibrate the ground nearby. His eyes broke open with ice cold clarity and precision shining in them. It was time to act.
You were created to be perfect…
In the same instant, Evior dropped his camouflage and with a flick of his whip, he nicked his target’s neck. The victim, a muddy green armored Skakdi, started to fall without time even to leave the world one parting cry of surprise. The Skakdi’s now empty eyes hadn’t even registered what had hit him.
…Anything less is unacceptable.
The repulsive thud of metal on hard packed dirt and stone sent rahi birds flying from their perches. With a quick dismissive glance, Evior took aim and let loose a bolt of energy to disintegrate the remains of his target far below.
“You were created to be perfect. Anything less is unacceptable.”
With these words, a pair of luminous black eyes snapped open for the first time. As they blinked rapidly, bringing a whole new world into focus, a keen, sharp, even hungry intelligence could be seen shining raw in them. This did not go unmarked. At the sound of the same cold voice, the young eyes glanced around to find the speaker.
“You are Evior.”
And Evior abandoned searching the multiple masks that surrounded him to look down at himself. He saw a broad, strong torso covered in tough armor the color of ebony, and four strong limbs with evident strength built into their lengthy expanse. Funnily enough, Evior didn’t feel remotely as strong as he thought he looked.
“This is yours,” This time Evior had learned to follow his audio receptors to the source of the voice to the speaker standing immediately to his left. She was holding out a polished metal object to him. He looked up at her, squinting as the lights from above reflected off her armor into his face. “It’s your Kanohi Shelek.”
Mask of Silence, Evior startled himself as the knowledge sprang up unbidden. Instinctively, he brought the mask up to his face and inhaled sharply as it magnetized itself to his face with a snap. But his sharp inhale soon came sighing back out of him as the strength he’d felt was absent rushed to fill his body. Slowly and rather unsteadily, Evior sat up, swinging his legs to dangle over the edge of the large metal table he was on. He pressed his hands flat against the cool metal on either side of him to steady himself, looking around.
He opened his mouth to ask, “Who are all of you?” but only a erratic rasping noise came out. Evior frowned, and his frown deepened as hushed chuckles reached his ears.
“We are friends,” The speaker answered. “You may call me Makuta Gorast.”
Confused, Evior glanced around. Did she just…
“Read your thoughts?” She finished for him with a grin that would scare anyone else. “You see, Evior, we Makuta were made to be the most powerful beings in our universe.” She gestured to the other beings around her, whom Evior realized must also be Makuta. Gorast continued in his head. We are feared throughout the world and we let no one stand against us. We have more powers and abilities than there are islands in the Silver Sea; of those, you have access to most. You see, we are perfection creating perfection.
Nodding at her words, Evior hopped off the table, immediately stumbling backwards and having to grip the edge of the table for support.
To her fellow onlookers, Gorast held up a hand to stop anyone from aiding their new creation. “If he cannot learn to stand on his own, how do you expect him to be effective in any sort of combat or mission?”
Evior looked down at himself, trying to decide how to best balance himself to stand. Through quick trial and error, soon he stood on his own two feet without the support of the table.
“Very good. Now follow me,” Makuta Gorast commanded as some of her Makuta comrades shifted apart to let her through. Evior studied how she walked, trying to process how to apply those same movements to himself.
“Gorast,” Another Makuta spoke up for the first time. “Don’t push him too hard. He woke up not even five minutes ago, and you want him to learn to walk? You haven’t tested reflexes, motor control, or anything else yet, and you’ve barely told him about himself. Isn’t that
a bit out of protocol?”
Evior studied this new speaker. He was clad in contrasting bone white armor edged dangerously with black and touches of red, and had piercing, focused eyes that seemed to take in everything. Beneath Evior, his legs began to tremble, so he sat back down on the table.
Now he watched Gorast.
Everything had gone silent, and Gorast turned slowly in place to look at the new speaker from across the lab. But Evior saw the expression on her mask and registered it as mounting anger that was being suppressed, and it flashed dangerously in her eyes.
“The last time I checked, Krika, it was me, not you, who was head of this project. But if you think you can do a better job than me…” She trailed off in a rather threatening way. Almost faster than the eye could follow, Gorast snatched a large test tube off of one of the counters near her and whipped it at Evior as she snapped, “Heads up!”
And without thinking, Evior’s head ducked down, not up. But he was okay with that because he ended up not getting hit by the flying projectile, and watched as it shattered against the far wall. When he whirled to look at Gorast again, she had a round, opaque object in her hand, about as large as her fist.
“Now catch,” She ordered, and threw the object to him, without nearly as much force.
Evior traced its path in the air, and then instinctively reached out to snag it as it came within his reach.
“Excellent,” Gorast purred. “Reflexes and hand-eye coordination, check. I hope you took notes”. The rest of the observers exchanged glances. “Well, if that’s that, I’ll be going. I have better things to do with my life than to play mother goose.”
As he neared the top of the canyon wall, Evior shook off the scenes in his mind’s eye from years ago, bringing himself back to the present. From using so many of his powers, watered down versions of the abilities of the Makuta, in such rapid succession, he had developed a throbbing headache and felt considerably fatigued. He would need to wait a few hours before he could teleport off of this island.
He began wrapping up his whip, which he had been cracking and swishing idly on his trek out of the canyon. Before going on a mission that required a kill, he treated his weapon with concentrated Doom Viper venom, allowing for quick, clean death in less than four seconds. Even though he was immune to the fatality of the venom, he wasn’t immune to the nauseating effect it had after a period of extended exposure.
For the next half an hour, Evior followed the canyon rim towards the coast of the island. Going towards the coast, the canyon became more and more shallow and narrow until it ceased to exist. Evior looked up and saw the little bit of civilization on the island ahead of him. It was a small, rowdy town with almost no permanent inhabitants. Mostly everyone was simply passing through on business, because the island sat in the midst of a few trade routes. The suns were setting as Evior pushed open the door to a rusty, rundown looking pub.
The few populace in the pub, none of them bothered to spare him a glance. Not that Evior minded. Most of his missions were on islands with even less population on them; ergo it was rare the need to converse with beings other than the Makuta presented itself to him. Evior took a seat quietly in a shadowed corner of room, resting his feet up on one of the spare chairs at his empty table. He hoped to catch a short rest before continuing his business. His eyes began to lose focus and slowly drift shut.
“Can I take your order?” A gruff voice cut through Evior’s wandering thoughts.
Evior opened one eye to peer at whom he assumed to be the tavern’s owner. He found himself looking at a native of Stelt, one of the upper class. He sported dented and tarnished armor and a sneer on his face.
“I just need a short rest from the road,” Evior told him with a dismissive gesture. “Nothing else.”
“I’m ‘fraid that’s called loitering,” The Steltian glowered down at him. “ ‘S not allowed.”
“Hmmm,” Evior bothered to open his eyes and look around the pub. “It doesn’t look like anyone else has a problem with me being here.”
“Well I do, ‘n I’m th’ owner of this here joint. I’m gonna have t’ ask you t’ leave if you insist on this opposition.” The owner replied.
Exaggeratedly, Evior got to his feet, almost drawling, and drew himself up to his full height. He was about as tall as a Vortixx, with the added muscular build of a Makuta. He looked down on the pub owner, even though they were physically the same height. “By your leave, then.” He flourished a cold mocking bow and pushed his way past the Steltian through the door.
Evior made his way to the scarcely used harbor, where one small dinghy was being unloaded and a few larger boats were sitting unoccupied. He located a bench and settled down, closing his eyes, drowning out all background noise, and waiting for his headache to subside. He had just found the beginnings of sleep when something rammed into his outstretched legs. It hurt.
“What in Karzahni’s twisted name-“ He thundered, leaping up. A Matoran pushing a small warehouse cart had run into him. The cart was piled with crates so large the Matoran had no hope of seeing over or around.
He rounded on the petrified looking Matoran. “What do you think you’re doing? Is it too much to ask for, getting a decent rest around here? I have half a mind to blow you and your cart halfway into next year!”
Evior stopped, actually looking at the pitiful Matoran for the first time. He was a stout little fellow, covered in grimy looking grey and black armor. He stood his ground, which Evior realized he admired. “I-I’m sorry!” The Matoran squeaked.
“Sorry?” Evior repeated lamely, his anger sputtering out instantly. “Oh. Okay then.” It hadn’t crossed his mind that someone could be
sorry for something so small like running over someone’s foot with a cart. For him, “Sorry” was what he would say if he was late reporting after a mission. Yet this little being was sorry for something so trivial, and Evior had blown up in the Matoran’s face. With what might be comparative to embarrassment, he turned abruptly and walked away.
Evior ducked into the nearest empty warehouse. Ignoring his headache, which had actually started to recede, he pictured his destination in his mind’s eye. The warehouse around him started to slide out of focus, growing more and more blurry, almost pixilated. It was irritating, but Evior was used to the process of teleporting.
The heavy door to the record room in Destral’s fortress swung open, and an almost perplexed Evior came striding out. He had filed his report, just as protocol required. But usually one of his commanders, one of the Makuta, was always there to debrief him or send him straight out on another mission. Evior took a sharp left down the nearest cold stone corridor, initiating a low key heat vision sweep in order to locate one of the Maktua. After what could only have been three minutes of walking, he had to switch off his heat vision because it was too draining.
Evior thought of himself as a Matoran version of a Makuta. If a Makuta’s power level was that of a Toa’s, Evior’s power level was that of a Matoran. Matoran had trace amounts of their given elemental energy inside of them, just as Evior had trace amounts of Kraata power inside of him. The difference was that he could access his power. Of course not to any great extent, but some was better than none.
As he pushed open the door to the debriefing room, Evior was startled to find a meeting in session. Four pairs of eyes met his own luminous black ones.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. This word had new depth for him, ever since he’d heard that Matoran in the harbor use it so sincerely.
“Stay, Evior. I was just about to send for you.” Makuta Gorast called him in from the corridor.
In the room, Makuta Gorast, and Makuta Mutran stood around the table, along with two other beings that Evior had never seen. The four of them stood in a way that obscured whatever was on the table from Evior’s sight.
Evior crossed the room to join them at the table even as they shifted to make room for him. And what he saw on the table caused something to jump inside him, although he didn’t know what. Even though covered by a respectful white sheet, unmistakable, lying on the metal lab table, was a body.
Evior looked up into Gorast’s eyes, and saw that she was trying to read his expression. He himself didn’t know what he was feeling, so he doubted she could know.
“Don’t be so uneasy, Evior,” Gorast told him, with the slightest hint of that feral smile.
He looked around at the other masks. Makuta Mutran, of course, he knew. But the other two he did not recognize. One was a rusty red armored colossus with a savage’s dancing light in his eyes. His companion was a lanky vixen, and her dark mottled armor suggested she could have been a Vortixx at one point. She radiated intensity that bordered on insanity. Even though Evior did not recognize the beings themselves, he did know their Kanohi. Slowly, he pieced together why he was feeling so on edge.
The rusty titan wore a Kanohi Tryna, and his friend sported a Kanohi Iden. A Mask of Reanimation, and a Mask of Spirit, also sometimes called the Mask of Possession, and a dead body on the table.
Makuta Gorast nodded towards both the body and the strangers at once with a wicked gleam in her eyes. “Evior, we have a new mission for you.”
A/N: So this was one of those Short-Story-turned-Epic plotlines. This actually was the first chapter to a totally different Epic that I had planned, but the story had other ideas. So now it's become a preview of an upcoming Epic that I'm currently writing, titled Faux. R&R, and be on the lookout for the rest of Evior's story!
(Edit: Epic is posted, go check it out!! Link)
Edited by Aderia: Toa of Ducklings, Mar 06 2012 - 03:42 PM.