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“Well that guy was a bust, typical,” I groaned to my sole companion, a small hapaka, I had named Winter, based off when we first met, since then he’d always been by my side. Lately we’d been off a journey of sorts to find someone who could help out my village after a terrible drought. However nothing had been working, all the people we ran across tended to be mercenaries we couldn’t afford to hire. It left me wondering where the brave Toa Heroes of old had vanished to. Foolishly, I thought this last guy was going to be different, but the Turaga only mumbled some nonsense about the power to save my village resting within. I’d think I’d know if I had any sort of abilities to save my people, thanks for nothing you old hag. However if that hadn’t been odd enough he’d also thrown an odd blue rock my way, he said something about its power lying deep within, just like my own, and that it would awaken when I was ready. Another load of nonsense, but I figured I might be able to sell it at the very least, perhaps making a quick widget or two off it. “Hey Winter, what do you think,” I asked the Rahi while rubbing it behind the ears, “Think there’s someplace we can stop by to find some help?” He merely barked in response, but it was comforting none the less, at least I knew he wouldn’t turn his back on someone in need. That’s when I noticed a small tavern on the edge of the horizon, I figured stopping might be a good idea considering my throat was rather parched. So Winter and I began making our way over there, kicking up dust and sand as we walked across the barren lands. I hoped that this region hadn’t also been badly affected by the drought would have at least a couple drinks available. Yelling and loud laughter were the first things I heard when I neared the tavern, obviously the people inside were having a good time, I hoped that meant they’d be good people as well. However, the moment I opened the door everyone in the room went dead silent, it was rather unnerving to have all their glares focused on me and Winter. I noticed that in the entire Tavern there wasn’t a single Matoran, just Skakdi and other vile Piraka. Gulping, I nervously made my way towards the counter, planning for Winter and I to quickly get a drink and then be on our merry way. However the bartender‘s face just exuded obvious displeasure at my presence. “Um, I’d just like to buy some water for me and my Hapaka?” I asked meekly. My question was just answered by laughter emanating from the Skakdi sitting next to me, “Hear that boys, the kid wants a drink, doesn’t he realize there’s a drought going ‘round, we ain’t got nothing for useless pieces of trash,” his eyes then darted towards Winter, who had started baring his teeth, the Skakdi merely responded in kind. “Or his pet for that matter.” Then without warning his clawed hands grabbed my neck and brutally shoved me against the wall. His large teeth then twisted into a sickening grin. “So boy, you know there being a drought and all we just can’t afford to let everyone have what they want now can we. Don’t be so selfish, in fact I don’t think there’s enough water to go around for your pet to have some too.” I watched in horror as his hand then reached down for gun resting on his hip, I tried to scream out for him to stop, I begged and I pleaded, but he wouldn’t listen. He aimed his gun at Winter and fired. I screamed, and time suddenly seemed to slow down as large glow came from the stone in my pack. Then a large surge of energy occurred and sent the Skakdi flying off of me. His face contorted in rage and then shock as he laid eyes upon me. Then I noticed my image in the reflection of one of the glasses, only it wasn’t me, in my place stood a brilliant warrior in blue armor. I felt my Kakama working and dashed off towards Winter, healing the poor Rahi with my new found powers. Then my eyes turned back towards the Skakdi, “Guess what buddy, the drinks are on me.” Water then enveloped them all. -------------------------------------
"The Toa Stone"
Everyone wants to be a Toa, to have a mask and pursue great things. I guess that throws me in with everyone else: only I’m a little more adventurous and successful than the rest. The others wait around for Destiny, play the good citizen and worship their Toa. Me? I don’t worship my Toa. I kill him. Toa are easy to kill, so despicably easy. They walk around in their bright armor with those impractical Toa Tools and their fancy Great Kanohi, basking in the adoration of the crowds. Have you ever seen it? Ever felt like vomiting at their pride? Because that’s all a Toa is. A buffoon who plays a demigod to us powerless shrimps. They don’t have to scrape about to survive, many don’t even get into a real battle their entire course. Or maybe once one presents itself they decide that their ‘Destiny’ is complete and that they should send out some innocent new Toa to get slaughtered. They tell me I’m too cynical about it: that my almost fanatical hatred of Toa makes me worse than the heroes themselves. I never answer them, I just give a sneer. Because I don’t care, and because my accusers are usually too stupid to even tell me what a Toa is. Toa are easy to kill. Anyone who studies the Toa dark Hunter war can tell you how lousy a fighting force they are. They want their foe to fight fair, they can’t even fathom them acting otherwise. A swift assassination they can never handle. A good knife is all I need, and I have it. Short little me, a flimsy Ta-Matoran. Tonight I’m going to be a Toa. I don’t need an alibi story. This village is never going to see me again after tonight. Unless I decide to torch the place to test my power. That might be fun. I leave my house in the early morning, before anyone can notice me. A note on my door to tell anyone who passes that I’ve gone hunting. I don’t think I would have planned it like this but for the fact that this is the last day of my Toa’s Destiny. Tomorrow he is a Turaga. Already the Toa Stone is prepared. I could leave him as a Turaga. But I won't. His house is bigger than the rest, but I force open a back window as easily as in any other house. The inside is comfortably furnished, better than most in the village. I’ll definitely torch this. There’s not much to do, so I hide myself away comfortably and wait, dagger in hand. It’s really no different than hunting. Hours pass my half opened eyes, and it’s almost evening before I hear the door opening. My eyes are certainly wide open now as I watch the Toa walk in, his black armor making him a dark figure in the waning light. He throws his short spear down by the door. Clearly very tired. Good. He comes closer. Killing him isn’t enough. I leap out in perfect timing, stabbing him deep in his leg. He gasps, falling to the ground even as I climb on top of him, stabbing him again. I let him see me for a moment as I raise my blade up, dripping with his blood. His eyes show fear and I drink it it. Then my knife puts out his heartlight. I search him, and give a soft shout of triumph as I grasp the black stone. Tonight my hunt is done, my search complete. I grasp the Toa Stone, feeling its energy coursing through me. I have found my power. -------------------------------------
He landed the wrong way when the rubble collapsed on him. His body slammed on the floor, whiplash from the fall knocking his mask somewhere into the dust. It was impossible to see anything beyond the debris, and his dazed condition made it even worse now. Pinned and winded, he lay limp on the concrete floor.
“What happened? Are you still there?” a panic laced voice screamed. The pinned victim clamped his eyes tightly shut, the stimuli too much for his weakened condition.
“Trapped...” the word moaned meekly from his mouth.
“I got clear! I’m going for help!” Footsteps scuffled as the owner of the voice ran off, leaving him alone. Coughing, he sagged under the slab of concrete that pinned him, its weight practically unbearable. There was something pressing- probably impaling- his shoulder and tears of pain dripped down his smudged face as he struggled to free himself.
Up above, he could hear the roof shake. The sound of rocks falling reached his ears from afar, and he shut his eyes, praying he would not die here. Fear of death made him squirm, wiggling only to feel the beam in his shoulder bury itself deeper. Gritting his teeth he abandoned all hope of comfort, and jerked his shoulder away. The pain was excruciating, and he felt the slab shift to another mighty pressure point on his body. A yell of agony rang from his lips.
He gasped heavily as dust entered his lungs. As he jerked from the episode, however, he realized that he could move his torso. Very little it was able to maneuver, but he could still shift a little. Opening his eyes, he could see the beam directly above him, and tried not to think of the end that was snapped off. Above that in the grey shaft of light, the concrete that pinned his legs slanted away.
He pushed on the beam, feeling the weight of the room working against him. His shoulder was on fire, but he shoved harder and harder against it, feeling it shift. Please don’t let anything fall on me, please don’t let anything fall on me... he silently begged. Using his weakened strength, he painfully pushed until he could no longer reach the wood.
There was a metal barb ahead of him, across the floor, some steel that had snapped in the collapse, and now jutted out. His fingers were teased as he reached for it, struggling for excruciating minutes until his hands wrapped around it. His strength was failing as he pulled, and he desperately wished for his mask. It was a useless power, but if he could focus... little did he know, however, was that his panic was propelling him more than any mask ever would.
There was something in his back that cracked as his legs were freed from under the slab. Maybe his spine was separated. He curled up and silently wept, as he felt all of his body parts still intact. Peering around after those few minutes of pain and relief at the same time, he looked for holes in the rubble to climb through.
A noise. His attention snapped to the ceiling, but it was no sound of rubble shifting. A voice was not far away.
“He got me free, but trapped himself in there, said he was pinned...”
He needed not to be called. Urgency flooded his broken body, giving one last surge of willpower, and he miraculously picked himself up. He was definitely broken. But the hole there just needed a little pry so he could wiggle through...
As a crowd gathered to see the collapsed building, he emerged. Disfigured and maskless, mangled in countless places and mangled, he stumbled out. Down the debris he tumbled as his body finally collapsed, but he needed not worry any longer, as he fell into the arms of a rescuer.