Posted Oct 22 2011 - 09:01 PM
What Makes a Hero Nothing Hiralk closed his eyes and clenched his fist. The rose he was holding bent under the grasp. He was the veteran of countless wars. He watched the Makuta fall from grace, the Toa rise against Teridax, and Mata Nui's final stand. And he got no respect from anyone. Why was he carrying a rose? He had just confessed his love to Plia, the most beautiful Toa of Water on all of Spherus Magna. She had rejected him. It was a lovely gesture, but those details are not important. Hiralk sat in a gutter in New Atero, pondering what his mistakes were. None. He regretted none of the choices he made in the past, and would live on to never come to regret them. But what if he was wrong? After all, he had been wrong before. "What's the use?" he groaned, looking down at the rose. "Maybe it's her decision." He closed his eyes again and imagined the place he had called home for a thousand years. Metru Nui. He hadn't made it out with the Toa Metru in time, so he fended for himself against the Visorak, never poisoned once. He was one of the toughest Toa around. It was a mystery. For years he had tried, time and again to win her love, but nothing. "Why?" Hiralk sighed for the millionth time that night. "We were perfect for each other. Now what?" It was getting cold. Hiralk made a ball of flame in his palm and set the rose aside. There, he spent the night without so much as a look of pity from passersby. He was one of the greatest warriors, one of the most recognized figures in Matoran history, and no one gave a second glance. Not even a first glance. What had his life become. A waste, that's what it was. How had it all come to such an end? "Need a hand?" a voice asked. Hiralk ignored it and turned away. They were probably talking to someone else. "Hiralk," the voice said. "What are you doing?" He turned. It was Solaris, the local mad-Toa. He always was out doing odd stuff with the fugitive Vezon, but was the only one who seemed to offer a smile and support in this dark town. He had helped almost everyone out of their personal ruts. Maybe he would be the one to talk to. "I'm just a bit sad," Hiralk mumbled. "Plia again?" I asked. "Yeah," he sighed. "Plia again." "We've had this conversation so many times," I said. "Why do you persist?" "Because I love her," Hiralk replied. "That's a good reason," I said, reminiscing. "I've used that one too many times to count. But I always moved on." "She's the only one for me," he said, a tear coming to his eye. "And she hates me." "This is news," I said. "You've been such good friends for years. Why would she hate you?" "Because I'm me," Hiralk laughed sadly. "I know what you mean," I said. "She'll come around once she realizes what she's missing." "I can't imagine that happening," he said. "Truthfully, it might not," I frowned. "That's all the motivation I need," Hiralk said, standing up, clutching the rose once more. "I can't guarantee your success," I said, looking down, "but I hope you find what you're looking for." We went our separate ways. Hiralk walked down the street, the stars beginning to fade as the sun came closer to coming above the horizon. He was nearly at her house. There he was. Now he didn't know what to do. So he knocked. She came to the door. "What do you want?" she snapped. "Why do you deny the truth?" Hiralk shot back. "We're perfect together. I love you, and deep down, you know I'm the one for you." "No, Hiralk," Plia said. "I don't want to be involved right now." "Why do you hate me?" he asked. "I don't hate you, I just... I..." she trailed off. "Why?" "I don't hate you." "Why?" "I don't. Really!" "Why?" "Because you're you!" she burst. "What does that mean?" Hiralk said, his eyes shining with tears. "You just have quality that makes me not like you," she said, beginning to sob, as well. "What quality?" "You!" Hiralk had had enough. He stepped up to the threshold, took her in his arms and kissed her. She shoved him away and slammed the door on his face. One time to many. "I'm sorry," I said passing by. "I know how you feel." I walked away, down the street. Hiralk began to sob. He ran out into the open plains, activating his Mask of Teleportation as he ran. New Atero was at the horizon when he reappeared. The sun was rising above it, making the stone glow with the beauty matched only by Plia. But where to next? Hiralk walked out on the plains, tears running down his mask. Now what? He walked onward in no real direction, until he came to a rock. It stood blocking the small road he was on. He removed his axe and chopped it into dust with a few swings of the super-heated metal. On the other side was a pack of Iron Wolves with a twisted figure that was only vaguely humanoid at this point. "Get him," the gravely voice whispered. "Thank you," Hiralk gasped. He raised his axe and assumed a battle stance. Then he closed his eyes.