This story takes place during the events of Dimension Hoppers, following Toa Nasis and Toa Ahova as they investigate the possibility of Dark Hunter involvement in the theft of the Time Stone.
Author's note: You might want to read Chapter 1 of DiH before beginning this epic, for TOT will make much more sense if you do.
Table of contents:
So anyway, enough of my blabbering, here is the epic itself:
Toa Nasis, Toa of Iron and leader of the Toa Tanjo, ran through the streets of the city of Tuyar Akam, the capital of the island of Tanjo Nui, rushing past Matoran and Tagiki in his haste to get where he needed to, his gold armor glinting in the afternoon sun. He had urgent news to deliver as quickly as possible, along with an order directly from Turaga Klio, the Turaga of Tanjo Nui.
Just five minutes ago, Nasis had been at a meeting with the leaders of Tanjo Nui, at which the two Time Stone guardians, Toa Kiriah and a Tagiki named Isarot, had also been present. It was at that meeting that Nasis learned of the theft of the Time Stone – the most precious artifact to all of the Tanjo Nuians, Matoran and Tagiki alike – and of the measures being taken to retrieve the Stone.
Nasis was one of those measures. Due to suspicion of Dark Hunter involvement, Nasis and one of the other Toa Tanjo would be sent on a mission to investigate the Dark Hunters. If they found anything, they would return to Tanjo Nui to report their findings back to Turaga Klio and Baiji Kolora, who was the leader of the Tagiki.
Of course, at the moment, only Nasis knew of the mission. That was the reason he was running so fast; he had to make it to the other Toa Tanjo and tell them what had just happened. He knew they were aware that he, being team leader, had been summoned to the meeting, but none of the other Toa knew of the reason for the meeting. He had to get there quickly so they could get the mission going as soon as possible.
The streets of Tuyar Akam were very crowded today, as they usually were. Unlike most settlements on Tanjo Nui, Tuyar Akam was home to both Matoran and Tagiki, although due to the enmity between the two species there were often clashes between gangs that sometimes resulted in the deaths of civilians, even. Often, the Toa Tanjo and the Chofier – the heroes of the Tagiki – were kept busy taking care of the gangs and maintaining peace in this city alone, not to mention all of the other problems this island had.
I wonder if it is easier being a guardian of the Time Stone rather than a full-time Toa, Nasis thought as he ran around a group of Tagiki merchants that were discussing food prices. Sometimes I think Kiriah is lucky. All she has to do is look after a rock all day; a very important rock, but a rock nonetheless, whereas me and the others have to deal with gang violence, the possibility of invasion by the Dark Hunters or Brotherhood of Makuta, natural disasters such as rockslides, and many other things besides.
He was running so fast he nearly tripped over a Matoran who had bent down to pick up a dropped widget. Quickly apologizing as he regained his balance, Nasis continued running, pushing all other thoughts out of his head. He couldn’t afford to waste any more time thinking. Just got to get there and he’d be all right.
Within a few minutes, he found it: The main headquarters of the Toa Tanjo, a large, multi-story building that he and the other Toa often referred to as “HQ.” It had a sleek metallic surface – mostly thanks to Nasis’ powers over iron – with large, decorative windows on the upper floors that offered an excellent view of the city. It was a dull gray, with a large front entrance that allowed several beings to enter at once. The bulky wooden doors were equipped with heavy, thick metal locks created by Nasis himself, which were locked at night to prevent thieves (or, in a worst case scenario, murderers) from breaking in.
It was these doors that Nasis barged through, out of breath. He looked around the commons area – a large, wide open room with plenty of places to sit down and relax after a long day of work – for any sign of his fellow Toa.
The only Toa whom he saw was Toa Kicho, Toa of Earth, reclining in a chair next to a fireplace that was currently not in use, for winter had not yet come to the island of Tanjo Nui. Kicho stared at Toa Nasis with surprised orange eyes.
“Hey, Nasis, back from the meeting already?” she asked as she sat up in her chair a little straighter and adjusted her Calix. “What was the problem?”
Out of habit, Nasis began toying around with a piece of scrap iron, altering its shape into whatever he wanted it to be. He always carried this little metal thing around for it usually helped him collect his thoughts.
“Time Stone . . . stolen . . .” Nasis gasped, trying to catch his breath as his tiny iron scrap transformed into a colorless replica of the Stone.
“What? Did you say the Time Stone was stolen?” Kicho asked, standing up and looking at him in shock. “How is that possible? What about Isarot and Kiriah? What are they doing about it?”
Nasis walked over to a chair and fell down onto it. He took a deep breath and said, “Let me start . . . let me start from the beginning here. What happened is very . . . very complicated. Let’s just say an interdimensional thief stole the Stone right from underneath Isarot and Kiriah’s noses and they are now planning to go after him.”
“Is there anything we, the Toa Tanjo, can do to help?” asked Kicho anxiously as she walked over to him. “Anything at all? And how do they plan to go after an interdimensional thief, exactly?”
“Where are the others?” asked Nasis, looking around. “The others need to hear this story before I say anything else.”
Kicho looked over her shoulder and said, “They’re all in their rooms at the moment. But I can summon them if you need me to.”
“Yes, please,” said Nasis, nodding. “Get them out here. This is a story everyone needs to hear.”
Kicho nodded in return and Nasis felt a brief tremor shake the place before subsiding. It was an agreed upon method of communication Kicho had developed for emergencies such as this. Being a Toa of Earth, Kicho would send a small tremor through the building, strong enough to catch the attention of the other Toa, but not enough to collapse the HQ. In fact, HQ’s floors and support beams had been redesigned slightly to allow tiny tremors like Kicho’s to shake the building without destroying or damaging it.
The next minute the other four Toa came down the staircase into the lobby. Some looked curious; others annoyed, probably at being interrupted during their favorite activities. Nasis knew, however, that his news was more important than whatever they had been doing before the interruption.
“Hey, look everyone, Nasis is back,” said Toa Ahova, Toa of Magnetism, pointing at the Toa of Iron. “What’s up, brother? You look really tired.”
“Just got back from the meeting,” Nasis answered as his replica Stone transformed into a miniature version of Klio’s tower, where the meeting had taken place in. “Got some very bad news.”
“Bad news?” Toa Laomos, Toa of Gravity, gasped dramatically. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”
“Oh, it’s bad,” Kicho confirmed, nodding with a troubled face. “The Time Stone was stolen.”
The others’ reactions ranged from surprise – “What? How could this have happened?” Toa Kijaka, Toa of Water, gasped – to enraged – “I’ll punch out the thief who did this!” said Toa Noros, Toa of Stone – and all the way to artistic rage – “Not fair! How am I going to get to draw that highly detailed, realistic portrait of the Time Stone I was working on if it is stolen?” Toa Laomos whined.
“But there’s more,” said Nasis quickly. “I gotta tell you all the rest of the news and what Turaga Klio and Baiji Kolora plan to do about it.”
“Shoot, Nasis,” said Ahova as she took a seat and stared intently at him. “We’re all ears here.”
Nasis took another deep breath and said, “Last night, a thief broke into the Temple of Time and stole the Time Stone. Isarot and Toa Kiriah tried to stop him, but failed, for he escaped through a dimensional portal, according to their report.”
“Dimensional portal?” Noros asked in disbelief. “Really, a-“
“I’m not finished yet,” Nasis said, throwing an irritated glance at Noros. “Anyway, Turaga Klio and Baiji Kolora are going to give Isarot and Kiriah a Mask of Dimensional Gates to allow them to chase this interdimensional thief and get the Stone back.”
“An Olmak?” asked Ahova curiously, leaning forward a bit. “Where’d they get that?”
“Eh, they just had one sitting around,” said Nasis vaguely. “Something left over from Klio’s adventures as a Toa. That’s all.”
That was only half-true. Yes, it had been used by Klio when she had been a Toa, but it hadn’t just been ‘sitting around,’ as Nasis asserted. In truth, Klio, Toa Darranas – a legendary Toa held as a hero by all of the inhabitants of Tanjo Nui, including the Tagiki – and Kolora had used that Olmak to chase another interdimensional thief 100,000 years ago, when that thief had stolen the Time Stone for the first time. Nasis did not feel like explaining that part of the story to the rest of the team, however, at least not at the moment. He would get to that later, for he felt that he had more urgent matters to discuss with them right now.
“Okay, this is all sort of abrupt,” Toa Kicho commented as she rubbed the back of her neck with her hand. “So, if I understand this correctly, an interdimensional thief stole the Time Stone and Isarot and Kiriah are going after him in order to retrieve the Time Stone?”
“Precisely,” said Nasis, nodding.
“So this is some kind of epic quest of danger and adventure that two daring young heroes are about to embark upon?” asked Laomos excitedly. “If only I could paint that and immortalize it in art!”
“The Time Stone was stolen?” Kijaka said in disbelief. “That’s . . . isn’t that the first time that that has ever happened in the entire history of Tanjo Nui? What will happen when everyone else finds out about this?”
“Ah, that’s the thing,” said Nasis, hesitant. “See, according to Klio and Kolora, this isn’t exactly the first time the Stone has been stolen before.”
Silence descended upon the group as Nasis’ words sunk in.
“What?” Noros said, shocked. “What do you mean this wasn’t the first time-“
“I know it’s hard to believe, but apparently 100,000 years ago a thief stole the Time Stone and then Klio, Toa Darranas and Kolora went after him,” said Nasis quickly. “Darranas died somehow during the attempt to save the Stone, but so did the thief. They kept it a secret until today, when they revealed that story during the meeting.”
“Really?” said Noros skeptically. “That contradicts everything we’ve ever been told.”
“That’s sort of the point, Noros,” Nasis sighed. “It’s the truth, however. They didn’t have any reason to lie to us during that meeting and Kolora got awful emotional about it.”
There was more silence for a few moments.
Then Ahova, always the first to speak, said slowly, “So, er, what do you want us to say about it? Get angry? Declare war on the elders? Go after the thief? What?”
“It’s disconcerting, to say the least,” said Kijaka, folding her hands on her lap. “I thought Toa Darranas died going down heroically against an army of evil at the end of the war so many years ago. But he actually died attempting to save the Time Stone from an interdimensional thief? Why’d they lie about that?”
“According to Klio, she said that she and Kolora thought it’d be better for everyone if that part of history was forgotten,” said Nasis, rolling his eyes. “Not the best excuse in the world, but that’s what she told us.”
“What’re we going to tell the general public, then?” said Laomos as he pulled out a thin strip of wood and began drawing on it, as he was apt to do when thinking. “Surely this can’t remain a secret forever, can it?”
“What we’re going to do is close the Temple to the public,” said Nasis as he adjusted his seat. “We’re going to say it was attacked by some Rahi and that it is under repair. It’ll be that way until Kiriah and Isarot return.”
“Well, what are we supposed to do about it, then?” asked Noros angrily. “Are we going to go with Kiriah and her Tagiki friend on that dimensional trip or what?”
“Actually, that’s not what we’re going to do, Noros,” said Nasis, shaking his head. “Rather, we’re going to be investigating the Dark Hunters.”
Now Noros looked really angry. “Dark Hunters, eh? Think they have something to do with it?”
“Oh, I’d say it’s likely, Noros,” said Nasis as his statue transformed into a crude replica of the Shadowed One. “They’ve wanted the Time Stone for as long as I can remember. ‘Course, the war with the Brotherhood has been keeping them busy, but the Shadowed One is very persistent, you know.”
“Do the Hunters even have dimension-hopping tech, though?” Ahova wondered aloud, looking at her friends with a puzzled expression.
“No idea,” said Nasis with a shrug. “What I do know is that Turaga Klio has given me permission to take one of you along with me to begin our investigation.”
Noros raised a skeptic eyebrow. “Just one? Why not the whole team? The Time Stone matters to us just as much as it does to you.”
“No, two Toa makes sense,” said Kicho thoughtfully. “Two Toa can move faster than six. Also, the Dark Hunters are far more likely to notice a whole team investigating them rather than just two. It is less conspicuous that way.”
“Don’t forget we need some Toa here to protect the island from the greatest threats to Tanjo Nui’s security,” Laomos added as he finished his drawing and held it up for all to see. “See, this drawing features us standing on the very farthest edge of reality as some dark forces rumble in the distance. We are, in a way, the last line of defense against the forces of evil that want to devour this island whole.”
“Uh, not really,” said Ahova, shaking her head. “Don’t the Tagiki have the Chofier of Mata Nui or whatever?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” said Nasis, nodding. “Tajah is the leader of the Chofier. Still, I get what Laomos is getting at . . . sort of.”
“How could anyone not?” asked Laomos in surprise. “Aren’t I being clear in saying that Toa have always stood against the forces of evil since time began?”
“Whatever,” Nasis said, his statue now in the form of a generic Toa wearing a Mask of Shielding. “The point is we’re going to investigate the Dark Hunters and find out what we can. I can only take one of you with me. Since we’re leaving in the morning, I think I ought to make my choice now, especially since you’re all here.”
Nasis began examining each of his teammates, trying to decide who he would work best with on this mission.
His eyes first fell on Toa Noros, the angry, yellow-armored Toa of Stone. Noros was very intelligent, despite his angry-demeanor and large muscles, but he was also hard to work with due to his temperamental personality. He was good at battle tactics, but Nasis figured he would need someone with a calmer personality than Noros on this mission.
He shifted his attention to Toa Kijaka. She was a good deal calmer than Noros, although she wasn’t exactly patient, in his opinion. This mission would probably take a while, so an impatient person like the Kadin-clad Toa of Water probably wouldn’t do well on the mission.
Nasis looked at Toa Laomos and, Laomos would say about himself, art. Laomos, who wore a Kanohi Pakari, was quick-witted and plenty capable of taking care of himself in a fight. The only problem: He did not like sea travel, which this mission would involve, which caused Nasis to pass over him.
He thought about Toa Kicho. She was deputy leader of the Toa Tanjo and Nasis’ closest friend on the team, for they had known each other since they had been Matoran. He could name a number of instances when she had saved his life and when he had saved hers.
He decided against her, however, since someone needed to stay behind to lead the team while he was gone. As Kicho was second-in-command, he figured she should stay to lead the team in his absence.
And finally, he took note of Toa Ahova, Toa of Magnetism. She was nice, if a little too chatty. She was also fairly honest; if she liked someone, she let them know. And if she didn’t, well, she also let them know.
She was another member of the team he worked well with. Due to their elemental powers, Nasis and Ahova had several combination techniques that they often used in battle. Both could manipulate metal to an extent, so they worked well together in a fight. He could create metal for her to magnetize an enemy to and she could already magnetize existing metal and manipulate it to an extent.
After some tough thinking, he realized he was down to Kijaka and Ahova. They seemed like they would be the best choices for the mission, but he couldn’t bring both. One or the other . . . he finally came to a decision.
He pointed and said, “Okay, I’ve decided. Ahova, you’re coming with me on this mission.”
“Great,” said Ahova, clapping her hands together excitedly. “I want to save the Time Stone as much as everyone else here. If this investigation could help us find it, I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“Good,” said Nasis approvingly. Then he said to the rest of the Tanjo, “Okay, team. While we’re gone, Kicho will be in charge. You will do whatever Turaga Klio asks of you and work with the Chofier if necessary. Just do what we always do until Ahova and I return. Any questions?”
“No,” said Noros as he got up from his chair, wiping dust off his armor. “But I’ve got plenty for the Turaga. I’ll be off as soon as we’re done here.”
“I don’t know about that, Noros,” said Nasis carefully. “Klio is pretty secretive. She probably won’t answer any questions if you come at her with that attitude. Even your Suletu can’t read her mind, right?”
Noros touched his Mask of Telepathy, like he’d just remembered that. “I don’t need a Suletu to get her to answer my questions. If she refuses, I’ll keep at it.”
“Right,” said Nasis. “Well, now that we’ve got that settled, this meeting is officially dismissed. Ahova and I will be leaving in the morning, so we’ve got to start packing as soon as possible.”
Edited by TNTOS, Jan 16 2012 - 09:46 AM.