Bionicle Mafia Uprising: Prelude
The Matoran held his disk launcher in his hands tightly as he crept through the pitch black hallway. His steps were agonizingly slow – even a single sound could leave him dead on the floor. He did not even dare to risk activating the flashlight that had been installed onto his wrist for the mission.
His target was far too smart for that.
He was clad mostly in black armor, and what little of it was purple was shielded from view entirely by the black cloak he wore, with the hood drawn up around his mask. If one were to meet him on the streets in daylight, he might seem like your everyday Matoran of Gravity.
Once upon a time I was, he recalled. Not anymore.
There was a dull thud behind him and the Ba-Matoran whirled around silently in the darkness, a disk of weakness ready in his launcher as he aimed it at the disturbance. He remained like that for several seconds before slowly relaxing as much as he dared and continuing on his journey. Theoretically, if his sources were anything to go by, his target’s office was at the end of the hall.
This is too easy, he thought. It’s Kaiser Manducus, quite possibly the richest Matoran in Metru-Nui... there should be more security.
There was only one reason why Manducus would not need more security. The Ba-Matoran tried not to think about that too much.
Nor did he try to think about the thud that he had heard only a few brief moments before.
And he definitely did not start making the connection in his brain.
After what felt like a decade, he reached the door. Although he could not see it in the darkness, he knew it was usually ominous and imposing – rather like Kaiser Manducus himself.
Manducus had been open about funding one of Metru-Nui’s most notorious criminals for six months now via his company RomeTech (one of the only supplies of chute fluid, among other things), and the White Council had been attempting to capture the famous business Matoran for five of those. He had been chosen to infiltrate the company a month before and had managed to work his way into the CEO’s good graces.
All so that he could detain the criminal before Manducus had a chance to slip out of the White Council’s grasp again.
Fighting down the nervousness that was pounding in his chest, the Matoran of Gravity took a slow, deep breath before twisting the knob of the door and swinging it open silently before shutting it behind him with a click. He flicked the light on and dodged to the side to avoid an attack that did not come; crouching in the corner, he blinked his eyes as they adjusted and found Manducus standing by the window that took up an entire wall, overlooking BZ-Metru. He aimed his disk launcher warily as he stood to his feet.
“You’ve betrayed me,” the CEO, a Fe-Matoran, said.
“You’re under arrest by order of the White Council,” the Ba-Matoran said, ignoring the Iron Matoran’s words.
“Of what crimes?”
“Openly conspiring against the leaders of Metru-Nui with a known terrorist and criminal mastermind, and for fleeing capture in seven different circumstances,” the Ba-Matoran said. “I could list more, but I think we both realize that is both unnecessary and a waste of my time.”
Manducus sighed, still not looking at him. “I suppose I should come quietly this time.”
The Ba-Matoran did not wait for the Fe-Matoran to make his move; he fired the weakening disk and hit Manducus directly in the back. His legs suddenly unable to support him, the CEO gave a startled cry as he collapsed, the throwing knife in his hand clattering to the floor. Discarding the disk launcher, the Gravity Matoran grabbed the cuffs off of his waist and crouched beside the Iron Matoran, linking the cuffs into place around the CEO’s wrists before activating them.
“I am going to find you,” Manducus snarled quietly, struggling feebly as the weakening field of the cuffs took effect. “And when I do, I will kill you.”
The Ba-Matoran stood to his feet, staring down at the disgraced Fe-Matoran and shrugging. “Good luck with that where you’re going.”
He froze at the sound of the door clicking shut again behind him, fighting the instinct to cringe or flinch away at the sound of the chuckle that followed.
He knew that laugh. His suspicions had been correct.
He wished they had not been.
“Don’t move Voltex,” a voice drawled. “We wouldn’t want you to put up a fight, would we?”
Voltex did not reply, waiting for the newcomer to continue. After a brief second he realized his mistake and in one smooth motion whirled around to face the newcomer while drawing the pistol from its holster at his hip. His eyes widened in surprise as he found the new Matoran already upon him – with one hand he jabbed the gun into the enemy’s stomach, while with the other he grabbed the opposing Matoran’s wrist, holding it in place just as the tip of the knife brushed his body.
The other Matoran, who was of Iron and looked as though he had been cobbled together from the wrecked pieces of metal at a trash site, laughed.
“You’ve still got the moves, Voltex. I admit that I’m impressed.”
Voltex swallowed the fear rising in his throat and responded, “it’s a shame the same can’t be said for you, Xaeraz.”
Xaeraz’s eyes widened a little in curiosity as he regarded the Ba-Matoran. “And here I thought you were frightened of meeting me. Such a silly assumption.”
“Not an assumption,” Voltex said grimly. “I’m scared out of my wits right now, Xaeraz. You’re the most terrifying Matoran I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting.”
“Oh, but of course...” Xaeraz trailed off, nodding in understanding. “You were in the Bionifight tournaments. You’re one of those silly fools that responds to fear by directly creating conflict with it.”
Voltex frowned at the criminal’s ability to read him so easily – but then, there had to be a reason why Xaeraz was considered a mastermind.
“The White Council will be sending reinforcements soon,” he said.
“I know,” Xaeraz said casually. “How about this – I promise to step back and not stab you for a few minutes if you promise not to shoot me.”
The Gravity Matoran considered it for a moment before relenting. Both Matoran warily released the pressure, with Xaeraz taking several steps back to sit on top of Manducus’s wooden desk.
“You do realize that you can’t kill me here, right?” Voltex asked.
“I won’t,” Xaeraz corrected.
Voltex frowned. “You won’t?”
“I won’t,” Xaeraz repeated, nodding and twirling his knife in his hands idly.
“Because I don’t want to,” the Fe-Matoran said simply.
The Ba-Matoran’s frown deepened as he considered the statement. He was so lost in his thoughts that he did not notice that Xaeraz had disappeared until the Fe-Matoran coughed loudly to grab his attention, as the criminal poked his head back into the room from the air vent in the ceiling he had climbed inside.
“We both know you can’t stop me because I’ll just kill you in retaliation,” the Iron Matoran said brightly. “I’ll let you take Manducus as a consolation prize.”
“He’s the main prize,” Voltex said. “I came here tonight to arrest him, not you.”
“So you did,” Xaeraz acknowledged, “but it’s me that you really want. Consider yourself lucky.”
“Because he hired me as tonight’s security specifically to kill you,” Xaeraz said, “but now isn’t the right time for that. I have big plans for you, Voltex. Just remember that. I won’t visit you in the middle of the night – if I was going to you’d be dead already – but when I put my plans into action, you’ll be right at the center of it all, drowning in blood.”
“You like blood a lot,” Voltex noted, choosing to ignore the ominous words being sent his way.
Xaeraz shrugged. “So I do. I find it helps me to remain calm.”
“Is that why you senselessly murder civilians?”
“It is!” Xaeraz said brightly. “Thank you for noticing, pal. We’re gonna have a lot of fun later – but for now, good bye!”
The most wanted criminal in Metru-Nui vanished then without a trace, before Voltex could come to his senses and just shoot him down.
When the two backup Toa arrived, Voltex was still standing in that same spot, pondering Xaeraz’s words. He ignored the questions the Toa asked, handing Manducus over to them silently and turning away from the numerous curses being spouted from the disgraced CEO’s mouth.
When I put my plans into action, you’ll be right at the center of it all, drowning in blood.
Voltex shivered as he stepped out of the building with those words echoing in his head – and it was not because of the cold. Shaking his head, he starting walking away, formulating the report that he would have to hand into Burnmad the next morning.
What could Xaeraz possibly be planning that was worth keeping him alive and allowing the capture of his greatest ally?
Voltex was not sure he wanted to know.
This was written as a oneshot prelude to Bionicle Mafia Uprising: Book 1 - Isolation, which releases later this week.
C&C as is your wont.
E: Fixed a bit.
Edited by Voltex 2, Mar 04 2014 - 03:27 PM.