Dear Tahu Stars,
In response to your inquiry about the Skrall Stars, I am glad that you asked. They have decided to remain with me, switching sides. One and Two have been very eager to show just what they can do, and have become quite attached to Kopaka Nuva. Why, just the other day they beat down several other Skrall Stars just to prove a point, and they have already helped Kopaka Nuva in taking down several other members of your army.
If this demoralizes you, it should. Tell me, Tahu Stars – if you are so powerful, if your army is so mighty, why is it that they are willing to flip over to me and betray you with the slightest nudge? Two of my fellow Toa Mata died to protect me and my cause, but your Stars line seems content to just leave you in the dust. Think on that.
Chapter 4 – Black Phantom of the Opera
“I don’t suppose we could talk about this?” Evo asked mildly. “You know, without all this hostility? I’m sure it would be a waste of your time to just squish me.”
“No, no, we will not simply squish you!” the Fenrakk Vezon chuckled. “We shall experiment on you! We see, we need to kill you first, as there are unfortunately a rather small number of bodies lying around these days, and even fewer of those are retrievable. But when subjects offer themselves on a silver platter, who are we to resist?”
“You’re both crazy.” Evo informed him. “Were you aware of that?”
“Oh yes, we’ve been aware of that for a long time.”
“Is there any way we could spare ourselves?” Evo asked.
“Do you know where a dead body is?”
“Well... not really. I just got here like two days ago.”
“Oh, you poor thing, landing yourself in this dreadful situation...” Vezon said in a sympathetic tone. “But if our experiments go well, you’ll be up and walking again in no time!”
“Wait, what? How?!”
“We have created a machine with several formulas that, together, the two of us believe can bring the dead back to life.” the Vezon told him confidentially. “Isn’t that right, other Vezon?”
“You are correct, other Vezon.” the Kardas Vezon replied. “Unfortunately, we need a body to do it.”
“Well, sucks to be us.” Rocka commented. “Somehow I always knew my death was going to be humiliating and horrible, but I never imagined it would be so soon.”
“Wait! You said you need a body?” Nokama asked.
“Why yes we do, beautiful.” Kardas Vezon confirmed. “If you have any dead bodies for us, it would be nice. We’d hate to waste the lives of three such wonderful sets as you.”
“Well, we’re screwed then.” Rocka muttered.
“Well, I know of Tahu Nuva and a few other sets, they fell into the pond.” Nokama explained. “None of them have been recovered yet. We might be able to use one of them.”
The two Vezons shared a look that seemed to telepathically communicate. The three sets below didn’t respond to it, figuring that if returning to life was possible, then telepathy was too.
In the Kitchen, Surge was sitting on the counter amidst the melons and other assorted fruit that had been left behind by Evo as he hid from a certain schizophrenic set. As such, he was unfortunate enough to be present when Black Phantom strode in, testing his soprano voice for a reason that was beyond Surge at the moment.
“Dooooooh... Reeeeeeeh... Meeeeee....”
“Oh please make it stop.” Surge whimpered.
“Huh? What was that?”
“Who is up there? If you are 2012 Hero Factory, I order you to join me down here and explain your presence!”
“What if I’m not 2012 Hero Factory?” Surge called.
“Ah, it’s Surge. Down here boy, or I let Evo eat your face.”
“What do you need me for?” Surge asked as he crawled down the table leg to join Black Phantom on the floor. “It’s because if you don’t mind I’m on the run from a certain schizophrenic set.”
“I was wondering whether you would be willing to join my opera.”
“You heard me. I am forming an opera group. I shall, obviously, be the main star on account of my perfect name. We shall be the Black Phantom of the Opera!”
“You know, I’m sure that’s a brilliant idea and all... but maybe we should just see where the heck Evo went after leaving this mess behind.” Surge suggested.
“An astute observation, my bass-toned friend... let us trumpet our way through the halls and lullaby those who stand against us to sleep as he scream to our destination!”
“Then again, maybe I’ll just kill myself right now... I hear that’s all the rage this year.”
“No suicide jokes Surge, they aren’t funny.”
“No, you’re not. But someday, you will be.”
Surge had a sudden vision of being forced to jump off of the roof of the house down to sudden death, and the visual made him gulp in a way that left Black Phantom satisfied that Surge would learn the lesson. The best lesson was a subtle lesson that the victim didn’t even realize they were being taught. Black Phantom chuckled softly as the blue hero tottered away in the general direction of the Basement, waiting a few moments before following.
“So, Zaktan, where exactly are your other three Piraka?” Lewa Mata asked with a cold smile. “Because they don’t seem to have felt like appearing at this impromptu meeting with me... wouldn’t you consider that a bit disrespectful?”
“I dunno.” the Skakdi replied. “Maybe it is? To be honest, they never really answer to me anyway!”
“We never listen to you because you can barely be labelled as a set.” Thok said drily.
“That’s confidence inspiring.” muttered Avak. “Not to say it isn’t true, of course.”
“Yeah, see? They never listen to me.” Zaktan said brightly. “But I’m not generally there to boss them around anyway!”
“Why is that, Zaktan?” a voice asked from the shadows behind Lewa Mata.
“Who is that?” asked the green Piraka.
“It’s Pohatu Nuva.” Lewa Mata replied, rolling his eyes. “Get out of the shadows, you doof. What are you trying to do in there?”
“I was... well... you know... never mind. I don’t really remember.” Pohatu Nuva answered, taking a seat beside the other Toa.
“So we’re free to go? Great, I’ll be leaving then.”
Thok stood to leave, but was frozen into place by a glare from Pohatu Nuva. An even harsher glare from Lewa Mata forced him to re-take his seat, much to the confusion of both Zaktan and Avak.
“Why are you not there, Zaktan?” Lewa Mata asked.
“Well, you know a Piraka has things to do.” said Zaktan. “I myself like to sneak suspiciously around suspicious locations that are on the suspicions list of suspiciously suspicious locations.”
“I’m just gonna let that one go.” Lewa Mata said, sighing.
“Well, if we’re free to go...”
“Get back here, Thok.” Pohatu Nuva said. “We’re not done with you yet.”
“I’m done with you though, so I’ll see you all later.” Thok said, waving before stepping out of the room.
“He did not just do that.” Lewa Mata said, staring at the door.
“He did, actually.” Zaktan said. “Don’t worry, Avak and I can slap some sense into him later.”
Lewa Mata rolled his eyes, waving the two Piraka away and turning around to inform them that the conversation was over. It had been pointless from the beginning to get real answers out of the Piraka, as evidence by Thok walking out. Both Zaktan and Avak took the hint, and they left the room.
“So much for that plan, eh?” Pohatu Nuva said.
“Yeah... that plan dove down the drain pretty quickly.”
“Alright, it looks like the coast is clear.” Evo whispered.
“Remind me how we’re supposed to do this.” Rocka muttered furiously. “We’ve got a giant stuffed turtle that’ll be waiting at the entrance to the house for us!”
“Hey, that’s not very buh nice.”
“And then we’ve also got one titan accompanying us all the way to the pond...”
“I think you’re being rather rude.” Evo interrupted.
“...and another titan is going to be roaming the yard waiting to beat people up.”
“Are you gonna buh make a point?”
Rocka scowled at the giant stuffed turtle that the two Vezons had sent with them with a look of distaste and distrust.
“Not to mention that the turtle has to accompany us to find the other two.” he said. “There is no physical way we can accomplish this.”
“Have some faith, Rocka.” Nokama said. “If you’re convinced the mission will fail, it will fail. If you believe we will succeed, we will succeed!”
“That’s a load of bull, Nokama.”
“You’re face is a load of bull, Rocka.” Nokama said.
“Oh man Rocka, you just got burned! Burned, dude! So burned!” Evo said, laughing.
“I hate you guys.”
“Oh hey guys, what’s up?”
The new voice belonged to Surge, whom both Evo and Rocka had almost forgotten existed – on account of Surge never actually having hung out with them at all since they arrived.
“Why are you showing up now?” asked Rocka.
“Well, I was in the Kitchen, and Black Phantom came through trying to force me into some opera group.” Surge said, shrugging. “So I ran away and noticed you guys coming out of the... the... never mind, I guess that’s a taboo subject.”
“Good to know you like hanging out with us, Surge.” Evo said with a hint of sarcasm.
Surge clearly detected the subtle sarcasm in the remark. “Shut it, fatty.”
“Who just got burned now, Evo?” Rocka asked, pushing Evo away. “You see Surge there? He has good taste, unlike you.”
“Can we please stop fighting? I’d hate to get ugly with you guys.” Nokama interrupted.
“Let’s go the Living Room before I have to buh eat one you puny buh heroes.” the stuffed turtle added in. “And my name is buh Omega Turtle. Respect me or get buh eaten.”
“You’re creepy.” Surge said as the group began to move once again.
“I don’t buh care. You’re ugly.”
To Be Continued in Chapter 5: Illisus Primus -
“You know, I really ought to report you to Lewa Mata.” Takanuva Stars said. “However, I also don’t want to, and I’ve been itching for a fight recently....”
“No freaking way, really?” Furno asked with mock surprise. “I couldn’t tell that at all.”
“Here’s the deal, peeps.” Takanuva Stars said. “I battle you four heroes all at once, and if you win, I help you in some fashion. If I beat you, then you’re screwed, because I go to Lewa Mata.”
“What if I just buh eat you?” Omega Turtle asked.
“Against the rules, turtle – this is going to be a fair agreement.”
“Wait just a minute.” Rocka protested. “Leave Evo out of it, please – he’s so fat, we’ll lose within five seconds.”
“Very well then, I shall agree to your request.” Takanuva Stars said, nodding graciously. “However, be sure to keep that in mind when I beat all three of you within five seconds regardless.”
-The first fight of the season, coming right up!