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A House Divided By graywolf89 Prologue “Listen, we’ve got an update.” “What is it?” “We’re sending in another guy to help you out. ” “Well, that was sudden. I thought you were low on manpower?” “ She just came in from Piringa Nui. She’s got a clue about where the keybearer is. I’m sending you the coordinates where you’re to meet her.” “Wait, how does she know about the-………..Nevermind. I got the coordinates.” “Good. Good luck, and may Mata Nui protect the two of you.” ___________ The mechanical clomp of footsteps echoed throughout the city block, partly muffled by the thick veil of darkness. The tall mechanical being, inconspicuous in daytime, was a mere shadow in the night. Bits of rubble crunched under his feet, and the shrills of mating viloflies occasionally drifted in, filling the void. He checked his wrist com. Seeing that he was close to the coordinates, he slowed down to catch his breath. Out in the middle of the road, he felt exposed; naked. It's not like there's anyone around to see me, he thought. The neighborhood's long gone. Pale, milky light emanated from Illya, the largest of Spherus Magna's moons. Although it was nearly dawn, moonlight was all that lit his path, for power, among other amenities, had been cut off from these parts of the city. He sat on a concrete slab in the middle of the street. Dust flew up, before settling on his armor. Illuminated by the moon, the scenic view around him: More concrete slabs, jagged rebar exposed, fallen telephone poles, wrecked cars, scattered scraps of clothing; a child's play doll. Confident he was alone with his thoughts, he gave himself additional light with his power and examined the locked case he carried with him. Why did I sign up for this? Anybody else could’ve taken up the job…He turned the case over. Or maybe not. Everyone else was too busy at the time. He was not alone. Unbeknownst to him, two other beings, who were organic, observed him from atop a wrecked parking garage about a hundred meters away. These beings were Glatorians, members of the eponymous warrior caste that had protected the Agori of Spherus Magna for thousands of generations. Both bore the mark of the Arkaian Phoenix upon their armor. One observed the mechanical being through night-vision binoculars; the other through a sniper rifle. They were prone. “We should take him out, Taz. He’s isolated.” whispered the being with the binoculars. In reply, Taz held up his left hand. “Hold on, Ray. I wanna see what he’s up to.” “A single Toa is already dangerous enough. We have to kill him now.” Taz looked at him through the scope of his LMR-60 rifle, specifically designed to punch through Toa armor. Outlined in the hazy green of the night-sight, the Toa just sat there peacefully, almost motionless. Taz could tell his weapons still sheathed, and he appeared to be hunched over in a state of contemplation. Maybe he’s as tired of the fighting as I am, Taz thought. Maybe he just wants to go somewhere peaceful. “Taz, c’mon!” Ray snapped. “You gonna shoot him or not?” Taz sighed and bit his lip, and then waved a vilofly away from his face. Ray gently put a hand on Taz’s shoulder. “Let me do it then.” He grabbed the sniper rifle. “You were always the sentimental type, Taz.” ___________ The Toa jumped from rooftop to rooftop, each landing denoted by a soft clack. She was a silent shade, a quick phantom under the pre-dawn dark. She had to be careful where she landed, for some rooftops had been weakened by shelling. Others had completely collapsed. The Toa checked her wrist com. She was close to the coordinates.