The Enemy in the Dark
There was a loud crack and a flash of light. Lesovikk’s eyes shot open. He tried to get up, but he found himself restrained. He was bound to a metal slab. His restraints were metal shackles. He took in the rest of his surroundings as quickly as he could. There were cracked, flickering light stones on the floor. The door had been ripped off its hinges and bent in half. It was strewn on the floor, discarded like a piece of trash. The hallway beyond the door was coated in darkness.
His Air Sword missing, Lesovikk needed to rely on other means to escape. He still had his Kanohi Faxon, the Mask of Kindred. He used its power to copy the ability of the Phase Dragon in order to pass through his shackles. When he tried to get up, his restraints stayed firm on his wrists and ankles.
“That’s not good,” he said aloud to no one.
Creativity was necessary in this situation. He had to resort to his elemental abilities over the air and winds. His will created a high pressure air stream to cut through the links of metal. This process took longer than expected for him to break free. After he finally sat up, he took a closer look at his restraints.
“Protosteel,” he muttered. “Whoever wanted me here really wanted me to stay.” He examined the door next. It was made of the same material. “OK, so they wanted me to say for a while.”
He looked through the empty doorway. It was pitch black. The faint glow from the light stones didn’t help. He closed his eyes and called upon the powers of the Kanohi Faxon again. He tried to copy the night vision abilities of a certain breed of Rahi. But when he opened his eyes, it was still pitch black.
“Looks like I’m doing this the old fashioned way,” he said as he picked up one of the brighter light stones. He didn’t have time to worry about his mask problems just yet. He needed to learn more about his surroundings and the current situation if he wanted to get out of there.
His foot was carefully placed onto the floor of the hallway. The first thing he noticed was the smell. The odor was of burnt flesh, smoldering metal, and death. The next was the crunching sound his feet made with each step. He had to kneel to examine the source of the sound because his light was so faint.
As soon as he did he wished he hadn’t. Little pieces of armor littered the floor. They were so torn and twisted that they were indistinguishable. Then when he got back up, his eye caught something on the wall. The bricks were coated in green stains of slime. The smell was putrid. Lesovikk jumped back at the horror.
“What could do such a thing?”
He tried to get control over his fear, but it was difficult, more difficult than what it should be. His head started to throb. “Maybe… maybe I should worry about my problems more.”
There was crunch behind him, only one. He didn’t turn or move. Fear and logic compelled him not to. No more crunches came. He detected a shifting air current back there. Something was moving in on him. It had taken advantage of his blind side. The current kept changing. The pressure kept increasing between the two of them. Lesovikk could feel that it was just a few steps away. It was about to strike.
He swiftly turned around and launched hurricane-force winds down the hallway. A bolt of lightning nearly missed his Kanohi. Lying on the floor was a very confused Toa of Lightning. She rapidly recovered and was on the offensive again. He had to twist and turn in order to avoid her devastating charges of electricity. This narrow hallway wouldn’t let him do this for too much longer without getting hurt.
“Stop! Wait!” he cried. “Can’t we talk?”
She kept firing her bolts at him. Lesovikk noticed something different about how she fired them. There was intensity behind it that he understood too well. It was fear. He stopped moving and put his hands in the air. This was the only way he was going to get a decent conversation with her.
“I surrender,” he said sternly. “Can we talk now?”
He could see that she was surprised by this maneuver. She still had a bolt charged in her hand. He was surprised, too, but he needed answers. Knowledge was the key out of here. She slowly lowered her arm as the bolt vanished.
“Who are you?” she asked, not even trying to hide the disbelief in her voice.
“My name is Lesovikk, and I have no idea what’s going on.”
Her expression quickly changed. It shifted to understanding, more or less. Well, it eased up a little bit.
“Humph, I was hoping you could tell me.” She started to walk past Lesovikk.
“Hey, what’s down that way?” asked Lesovikk, trying to get her to stay with him.
“A dark hallway with empty rooms and a dead end,” she replied, rather coldly. She hadn’t stopped walking.
“Listen, wait, shouldn’t we stick together. Someone put us here. We need to figure this out.”
“I work alone.” She stepped farther away from the light.
Lesovikk tried to get the confidence to tell her they needed to stick together because something was loose in the area, and the advantage lay in greater numbers. But he couldn’t. Something was missing. The headache still throbbed. He needed answers, so he had no choice but to follow her.
“So, what’s your name?” he asked nervously.
“Why are you following me?” She didn’t even look back at him.
“There is something down here. What do you think shredded those Rahkshi into bits of scrap? We need to stay together in order to face this thing.”
She stopped and turned to look at him. He could see the worry and concern in her eyes. There was also the subtle, underlying layer of fear behind them. Then she quickly masked it and asked, “How did you know that those remains were Rahkshi?”
He took a few steps back and pointed at the evidence as he explained. “The stains on the wall, nothing leaves a residue like this except Kraata. They just reek of Makuta. The shredded bits of metal are not from mechanical components. There aren’t any organic tissues of any kind. It’s just armor. These facts narrow it down to Rahkshi.”
“Right, and that has nothing to do with the broken Rahkshi staff on the floor.” She kicked one of its ends to his feet.
“Well, it might have helped a little.”
“I know. That’s the problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“Something happened here, and we need to find out what. Now, are we going to stay together or not?”
She waited a while before she gave her answer. “You probably wouldn’t leave me alone anyway.”
They continued on as a pair. Lesovikk couldn’t help but feel a little proud with himself. Females were a species unto themselves. He had about as much intellect as a protodite when it came to dealing with them. He only had decent experience with one, and she was long since gone. However, there were other things to deal with.
“You still haven’t told me your name yet,” he pointed out.
“Well, I don’t want to call you by a nickname like Sparky or something.”
“I don’t know – wait, do you hear that?”
“Heavy breathing,” he answered. He ran down the hallway.
She quickly followed and asked, “What are we going after?”
“It’s either a victim that needs our help, or it’s the thing that killed those Rahkshi. No matter what, we need to find it and take care of it.”
They came to an intersection. Slumped in the middle of it was a brown Skakdi. He was lying of his left side. His spiked spine faced them. Some of the points were bent and twisted. His breathing was heavy. There were more shredded bits of metal and green stains on the floor and walls. It was the same smell as before.
Lesovikk was about to kneel down next to him when she put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
“Listen, Lesovikk, he’s a Skakdi. Should we really help the likes of him? He can’t be trusted. He could be the one put us in here.”
“Either of us could have done that,” he pointed out. “We’re Toa. That must always come first.”
He shrugged her hand off his shoulder. He knelt down by the Skakdi and rolled him onto his back. Lesovikk started to shake him awake. His eyes opened and then they flared into a bright red light. A sickly, lime-green sphere appeared around Lesovikk. He quickly held his breath as he realized that a continuous vacuum had come with it.
Another flash of light followed. The sphere disappeared. He could breathe again. He looked to his companion with her hand raised, sizzling after firing another bolt. Then he saw where the bolt had struck the Skakdi. It still smoked and smoldered. Burnt flesh wasn’t pleasant to smell.
“Thanks,” he panted.
“Next time listen to me.” She approached the Skakdi now. A jolt from her finger woke him up. His eyes started to flare when she grabbed him by the neck. “Don’t,” she said sternly. Her hand began to crackle.
“What do you want?” he grumbled.
“Some answers,” she replied. “Let’s start with something easy. What’s your name?”
“Avak,” he spat.
“OK, Avak, tell me, what happened here?”
He didn’t answer at first. Her grip tightened and a sharp crackle came from her hand. Avak writhed with pain. His response came quickly after.
“An experiment,” he sputtered.
“A what?” She was shocked.
“We were performing an experiment. It went wrong, as you can see. Now, our creation is loose, and we’re all going to die.”
“Then why are we here?”
“We needed test subjects and what better than lone Toa without a home? Who would miss you?”
“Is that why we can’t remember? You messed with our heads!” The crackling became louder.
“It was for science!”
“Then what happened down here, huh? Why are all these Rahkshi dead? What experiment went?” Sparks of electricity sprang from her hand. Avak writhed in pain, again. Lesovikk could see the lust for revenge grow in his eyes.
“It was one of the experiments performed on one of you. I don’t know exactly what went wrong. I wasn’t there at the time.”
Lesovikk’s vision went in and out of focus for a brief moment. The headache became even worse. He had to lean against the wall to remain standing. She didn’t even notice and went on with her interrogation.
“A Skakdi couldn’t have done this on his own, right? With Rahkshi involved, there had to be a Makuta. Who are you working with?”
Another jolt went through the Skakdi. “Makuta Tridax,” he gurgled out. “He didn’t want any of the other Makuta involved just yet. He wanted his work private from his ‘brothers,’ but he needed help. So he hired me.”
“Hey,” Lesovikk whimpered as he slumped to his knees. She hadn’t heard him.
“How do we get out of here, then?”
“We don’t. This place is under quarantine. We’re here until this matter passes over, and that’s when Tridax decides.”
“Where is he?”
“How should I know? I’m not his boss.”
“Hey!” Lesovikk said again. He could feel a gentle breeze pass by. There was the familiar sound of crunching Rahkshi armor.
“Is there any other way out?”
“Of course not! This is what quarantine is for, to kill off the loose test subjects.”
She became so enraged that she unleashed a powerful bolt of her power through Avak. He instantly blacked out. She stood back up and breathed heavy gasps of air. She seemed relieved.
“Listen to me!” Lesovikk managed to shout. He had made it back onto his feet, but he was bent over in pain.
She rushed over and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“He’s here,” he panted.
“Who’s - ” She fell to the ground, unconscious.
Lesovikk held up his dying light stone, but it was knocked out of his hand. It hit the floor and shattered. The hallway was consumed by darkness again. He couldn’t even see his own hands it was so dark. A spear tip was placed close his neck. There was a vicious snarl.
“Listen to me,” he said gently. “I know who you are. Don’t do it. We need each other, you and I. I know you’re confused, but please don’t do anything rash just yet. We can do this, together. Please…”
A tremble coursed through his body. He knew exactly who held the spear, and how he would react. The possibilities were terrifying.
“Who you?” asked the spear-holder. “Why so… familiar?”
“Use your mask. You should be able to.”
“Think back to the, uh… humph. The, uh… I can’t remember.” His long-term memory was slowly fading. Everything that made him was slipping away.
“I know what you talk.” Suddenly the hall lit up with a faint, green glow. It came from the spear-holder. Even though he had figured it out, the sight still chilled Lesovikk to the core.
Standing mere inches away from Lesovikk was an exact duplicate of the Toa. Well, almost exact. He glowed, but there were other differences, too. This Lesovikk was coated in green slime stains. His eyes were animalistic. Death surrounded this Lesovikk like a cloak.
“What have you done?”
“All dead but you three.”
A deep pit filled his heart light. It felt like a physical blow. “How many?”
“They hurt us!”
“Almost killed us!”
The doppelganger threw the spear on the ground. Energy crackled from it. “Why it matter?”
“How many? And I won’t ask again!”
Lesovikk was too stunned to reply. He stumbled back and fell. His other self caught him and lowered him to the floor. He panted heavily. His lungs were in pain. The headache kept getting worse. The flashes between his heart light kept getting faster.
“What wrong?” asked his doppelganger, concerned.
“Do you realize what you threw on the floor in anger?” he coughed.
“A weapon I found. It killed many.”
“And how did it do that?”
“They shattered like glass.”
“Oh, you’re such a Rahi! How could you be in any Toa?”
“We not Toa, remember? You were one who was buried!”
“So, you figured it out, too?”
“Take no genius. This Spear of Fusion. We from same person. I woke first. I saw spear and you and others I killed. They split us, and I killed them. I wanted you to be safe.”
“Well, isn’t that sweet? Death in my honor!” The sarcasm flowed bitterly from his mouth. Silence fell. The other Lesovikk looked at the female Toa.
“No one of your concern.”
“She like Nikila.”
“Don’t you dare speak her name!” His throat was quickly wrapped by the other’s hand.
“She my friend too.” He let go, and then he helped himself off the ground. “Remember that!”
“Listen,” said Lesovikk, “we need to be one person again. I’m dying. I don’t have much time left. It’ll be impossible after I’m gone. Please?”
The other remained silent. Lesovikk feared the worst was now happening. All that was animalistic in his being was standing before him. He was smart but uneducated. He ran on instincts and didn’t care what fell in his way. Violence was his answer for everything. In his current condition, Lesovikk wouldn’t stand a chance. He had the elemental control of air, but that meant nothing if he fell due to his lack strength. He could barely stand at the moment. The other one was so much stronger right now.
The tension was released when both of them were suddenly slammed against the wall. Both struggled to move, but it was impossible. They were held there by an invisible force. Then a crimson and pruple armored being stepped into the faint, green light. He seemed pleased by the sight of both Toa. He almost seemed to chuckle.
“Makuta Tridax, I presume,” wheezed the first Lesovikk.
“Yes,” he replied. “I see my reputation precedes me.”
“I kill you!” shouted the other Lesovikk. He kept struggling to break free.
Now, now,” Tridax cooed mockingly. “Don’t give me any ideas. I could kill you with the flick of a wrist, but I can’t. Not really. The experiment must continue.”
“What do you mean?” asked the calmer Lesovikk. It was getting harder to talk for him.
“All of this,” responded Tridax, waving at their surroundings, “is part of the experiment, centered on the two of you.”
“Yes!” cried the Makuta. The Rahkshi, the building, the quarantine, and the two of you were part of the same thing. I wanted to see what this spear could.” The weapon flew into his grasp. “I what would happen if the Toa was ripped from the Rahi. Imagine the army that could be created from such a source, a Toa with no morals, no remorse. It would be the perfect soldier.”
“No Toa,” stated Lesovikk, “no matter what part of him it is, would ever do that!” The other one snarled in agreement.
“Oh yeah,” countered Tridax, “look at what he’s already! He’s a monster.”
“No worse than you,” Lesovikk interrupted. He felt a sharp pain from his torso. A quick look showed him that he had been stabbed by his own Air Sword. It fell and clattered loudly on the floor. He soon followed it. Tridax laughed manically at his handy work. Then he became morbidly serious.
“Next time don’t interrupt me.” He laid a heavy kick in the Toa’s torso. This further worsened Lesovikk’s condition. He only had mere moments left.
His “worse” half became furious. His strength increased tenfold. He broke free from the wall and charged the Maukta. Tridax grabbed him by the throat and threw him down the hall. His laugh came back to annoy both of them.
“You fool! Do you think you can take a Makuta head on?” Both Lesovikks floated into the air and were brought in front of the Makuta again. Then he slammed them against the wall. They hung there, defeated. One of the Toa’s heart light was slowly fading. He observed them closely and thought it over. “Further testing will need to be done, though. This is just the first step toward. However, it can’t be done here.” He fiddled with his gauntlet, and the place started to shake.
A bolt of shadow came from his hand, and it hit Avak. The Skakdi snapped awake. “Avak, you’re fired. You shouldn’t have gotten yourself or Chiara,” he pointed at the Toa of Lightning, “involved. You put the whole experiment at risk.”
He started to walk away. Rubble fell from the ceiling. Lesovikk and his other half fell to the floor. The spirit in each was broken. Yet, the “beast” wouldn’t stop. Rage empowered him. Nothing was going to stop him. He got back up, grabbed the Air Sword, and ran at Tridax, unleashing a powerful battle cry.
The Makuta turned around and unleashed the power of the spear. The two became one again. Lesovikk felt like a new person, and yet so very old. He was highly disoriented. The memories of both conflicted with each other. His health was almost perfect now. There wasn’t any evidence of what occurred on him. He was Lesovikk again.
“Don’t say I never did anything for you,” Tridax mocked. “Also, you might want to get out within the next… now if you want to live. Quarantine is over.” He vanished, taking all the craziness with him.
Bits of the ceiling kept falling on top of him. Avak was too stunned to move. Chiara had missed the whole thing. Lesovikk looked up to see huge cracks in the ceiling. Light came through to the bizarre trio. Acting quickly, he grabbed a hold of Avak, slung Chiara over his shoulder, and created a cyclone that launched all of them through the crumbling building. The screams from Avak’s mouth wouldn’t stop until he was on the ground again.
“You’re mad crazy, Toa!” came from the Skakdi.
They blew through the final ceiling. Lesovikk looked down to find that the building they were in had been underground. When they landed on the ground, the hole they came through had closed up. He looked around to see that they were on a small island, somewhere in the Western Chain.
After he had gotten his bearings, Avak had run off and disappeared in the nearby woods. Lesovikk let him go. The Skakdi wasn’t worth it in the end. The rest of the evidence was gone. Who would believe two mad, lone Toa? He hardly did himself.
He set Chiara gently on the ground. His “beast” half had really done a number on her. She was all right, though. It wasn’t anything that she couldn’t handle. She was so much like Nikila. Everything about her reminded him of some aspect of his old friend. That’s why he had to leave.
He got up and walked off. It pained him to do so, but he knew it would be worse if he stayed. She didn’t work with others, and he couldn’t risk losing anyone again. It was best that they went their separate ways without a good bye. After all, the Lesovikk she had gotten to know was long since dead, and he wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon.
Edited by Xander004, Oct 14 2011 - 12:00 PM.