Rolling hills, lush green fields. What was once the condemning desert of Bara Magna was now a tranquil expanse resting under a star-filled sky. Where the relics of bygone warriors once lay, beautiful flowers bloomed.
However, some things never changed about the landscape. Namely, the frequency of bizarre things falling from the sky. Tonight was no different.
A perfect sphere of solid, protective metal, once a cocoon, now an empty shell. Over time it had been slowly drawing closer in its orbit around the planet, through the bleak vacuum of space, and now its path had reached the point of no return. It began to gain speed, falling faster and faster until it became a magnificent ball of flame, rocketing across the night sky and soaring among the stars-
-before it came crashing back down to the very ocean that had evicted it all those years before.
In the crashsite, below the waves, it stirred, the sides of the sphere’s body clicking out of place and drawing away to form claws, limbs. Two-toed silver feet planted themselves into the sea floor, and a mechanical figure began to take shape as it rose upon two unsteady legs. The pincers on its arms clicked together a few times as the creature’s sensors began to function once more. At last, the misty depths were illuminated by a pair of thin, slanted, ruby red eyes, which snapped open and darted around viciously in search of something, anything, that might tell of where it was.
The creature began to walk, taking shaky steps after what felt like eons without use of its legs. Bug-like, it staggered along the ocean floor, beginning its long trek to the nearest landmass. It didn’t know where it was, and it didn’t know why, but the fact that it was still functioning meant only one thing: it had a mission to complete, and, as before, it would relentlessly carry out its one and only task.
Free the Bahrag.
Lehvak-Kal had returned to Aqua Magna.
- - -
“I don’t care what safety measures you put in, you cannot let that ship lea- What do you mean it’s already left?!” After a garbled response from the other end, Traxin slammed the phone down in despair and buried his face in his hands.
Guard duty, no matter how much modern technology you were armed with, was possibly the least exciting job in the entire military. You could have a gun that shoots rainbows and an eyepiece with a billion different functions that can cook toast, but none of it’s any fun if you’re just going to stand there doing nothing with it.
This is exactly why Traxin pitied the guards, wherever he went. He always gave them a friendly smile in place of the usual stern respect most military men gave, in an attempt to comfort them in their post of pain and suffering.
Meanwhile, he had what was often thought to be the most exciting job available, not just in the military, but in the city. He was a member of the Secret Service. The one problem with working for the Secret Service, however, was that it was secret, and nobody could know how about all the unbelievable things he had done. As such, when people asked what he did for a living, he had to tell them he was a guard. It killed him a little bit every time he had to say this.
Now, though, he had just been informed that someone lower down on the chain of command had made a huge mistake. They had allowed a ship full of wide-eyed amateurs to set off into the endless ocean with no clue where they were going, thinking they were off to colonise some new land. Traxin knew that the entire crew of this ship would never be seen again, and now not only would he have to release a cover story, but he would also have to take the full-frontal assault from his own commanding officer.
Leaning back in his chair, the Ta-Matoran spun around and gazed out of the window from behind his Huna, with sullen eyes. In their time on this new world, the peoples of the Matoran Universe and Bara Magna had created a utopia. A police force guarded the city now, crime had hit an all-time low, and technological advancement was reaching previously unheard of peaks. All of this was bad news for him. Now, instead of raiding terrorist hideouts and bringing power mad tyrants to their knees, he was stuck behind a desk, making phone calls and getting yelled at by people.
“Quite the achievement, isn’t it?” Said a slimy voice from behind him.
He whirled back around to see an Onu-Matoran with a purple Kualsi standing in his office. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“No,” the Matoran said, cocking his head, as if he was a judge and Traxin was being tested. “My name is Zarrus, Traxin.”
He was about to introduce himself in return when he realised this stranger already knew his name. “Who are you, and how do you know my name?”
“I know a great deal about you,” the Matoran replied, casually. “I know that you’re tired of life but afraid of dying. I can bring you the excitement you seek, with your consent.”
Despite how appealing this offer seemed to be, Traxin was skeptical about the reliability of this stranger. “Who do you think you are, exactly? You waltz in here, knowing far too much about me than is healthy for you, and then expect me to accept your already shady offer without telling me the first thing about it! I would like you to kindly get the heck out of my office, if you please.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Traxin,” the Onu-Matoran turned to leave as Traxin began to walk around the desk to confront him. “If you wish to double back on you declining of my offer, here’s all you need to know.” Without turning around, Zarrus tossed a card over his shoulder, which Traxin caught absent-mindedly.
He stared after the mysterious character long after he had gone, in contemplation of what had just happened. At last, he remembered the card, and gave it a thorough inspection.
No secret explosives, no acid packs, no razor-sharp edge, nothing. Only one side was even printed, which read simply:
Mr. H. Zarrus
Visiting Hours: 18:00-06:00
Tel: 06010 210 602
- - -
With the rise of modern technology and the increasing popularity of scientific advancement, sacrifices were made, and a certain breed of person was now dying out: The gentleman scientist.
The thought always go Akuda’s spirits down. Perhaps all the things scientists made nowadays were more sleek and innovative, but they lacked the retro charm that decorated the Ko-Matoran’s library, and indeed the rest of his home. The entire structure was like a vast palace of wit and cleverest-man-in-the-room-ism, even down to the maroon armchair and polished walnut table that he sat at now. Opposite him, however, was something that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the house. For being a gentleman scientist certainly didn’t stop Akuda from playing chess with a robot.
This was how he dealt with intruders. The mechanical ‘marvel’ had been caught trying to break in through the kitchen, and had failed miserably. Whatever anyone would want with his kitchen was beyond him, but he couldn’t care less about who wanted to steal from him. What he did care about was proving that the human brain could never be defeated by a machine.
Unfortunately, he was doing rather unsuccessfully. Four moves in, and neither side had lost a piece. It was getting tense.
It was the robot’s move. Queen to Knight Six. Akuda smiled. His smile broke into a grin as he reached out. Then laughter, as he took the queen and replaced it with his king.
He leaned back in his chair, grinning maliciously at the clunky excuse for a being in front of him. “Even simple one-dimensional chess exposes the limitations of the machine mind,” he gloated.
But then the robot made its next move, and Akuda realised he had made a horrific mistake. Bishop to Queen Six.
The robot looked up at him from the board. For a moment he thought it was going to smile. “Check.”
“What?!” Akuda exclaimed, frantically scanning the board in search of an escape route.
“Machine mind computes mate, in six moves.”
“No, no, no, no-“
Akuda’s heart skipped about seventy beats before he realised it was the telephone. Thank the Great Beings.
Leaning over the board with narrowed eyes, he pressed his forehead against the unfeeling machine’s and growled, “I’ll be back. This isn't over.”
With that, he got to his feet and strode into the next room to pick up the phone. “Hello?”
“Akuda! It’s Traxin,” buzzed the deep voice at the other end.
The Ko-Matoran was ecstatic at the sound of his old companion’s voice. “Traxin! Hasn't it been a while! I’m so glad you called, I need a bit of help with-“
The Ta-Matoran cut him off. “Not now, old friend. I have a proposal. For... An adventure.”
Now we’re talking, thought Akuda. “An adventure, you say? What kind of adventure? What’s it all about?”
“Well,” the voice said, the grin almost audible through the phone. “It’s about time.”
Edited by Alex Turner, Aug 04 2014 - 10:24 AM.