/THE MOUTH OF THE BEAST
The battle had already broken out in full force as Kalii soared over the violent waves. She watched Matoran in their Booster Suits grapple with the Reisen as the perturbingly massive beast glided through the water. The Le-Matoran she had spotted earlier caught her wandering eye as she surveyed the turbulent seas. Kalii had long admired the Booster Unit's penchant for Matoran diversity, but it was oddballs like Sephra that always caught her interest.
Kalii stopped letting her mind drift as she focused on the task at hand. The beast on the horizon only seemed to grow bigger and bigger with every moment that passed. Taking initiative and soaring out to deliver the first blow would allot the Booster Unit more time and energy to battle the Reisen hordes, but would ultimately be foolhardy. Kalii knew she needed a plan if she wished to topple the tremendous monster.
As a gray-masked Matoran struggled to stay afloat against the blows of a particularly vicious-looking Reisen, Kalii fired a bolt of electricity at it. The Matoran gave her a reverent nod as he finished off the monster, stunned and charred and looking like nothing but a black ball of teeth and blubber.
Time to face the music, Kalii thought, arcing through the air with her Kadin. The monster appeared more and more like a column of flesh stretching up to the stormclouds every second. She might not have a plan, but if she allowed it to draw any closer to Fälsch shores the consequences could be unimaginable. As she soared toward the thing she almost marveled at its grace. A mountain of blubber and eyes, moving so still and unperturbed through the storm and the turmoil.
The monster remained unfazed by the blue-clad Toa soaring towards it. This thing is not Reisen, Kalii thought, staring into its soulless and foul profusion of eyes. It is something different. Something far more...ominous. A sign of something terrible coming.
It was only when Kalii was upon it that it opened its great maw. If its unsettling face bore any semblance to a Matoran's--eyes up there, mouth down there--it would almost look as if it were grinning. The rows and rows of teeth spun independently, beckoning Kalii to a painful demise.
It'll take more than some teeth and an ugly face to topple me! Kalii thought, absorbing the abundance of electical charge from the stormclouds above. This is what I'm made of!
Stopping flight mid-air, Kalii allowed the power surging through her to travel in a single beam straight through the mouth and into the belly of the beast. With a heave and a deafening rumble, the monster closed its mouth and squinted most of its terrible eyes. The storm almost seemed to clear for a moment. The sea stood still, waiting to see what this monster would do.
Its mouth opened again. The sound of tearing metal rent the air as a horrid roar escaped the huge thing's throat. Kalii covered her ears, struggling to concentrate enough to work her mask. With that same uncanny grace that the monster had used in its swimming, countless arms rose from the water, disturbing the waters unsettlingly little.
This place is not yours.
The words seared in Kalii's head like a brand. They were not Matoran words, but a thought shared between Reisen and Toa, burning with millenia's worth of flame. Kalii couldn't ponder the omen further--she couldn't even defend herself from the tendrils and their bony fingers. Delicately, not unlike hands preparing for a massage, they reached upwards and under Kalii's mask.
"No." Kalii felt the color drain from her body. She felt powerless as gravity took hold of her and the remaining electricity poured out from her body. Everything looked dark and blurry. The hands delivered her almost lovingly, through the air, into the horrible maw. This place... is not... yours?
Kalii could not fight the waves of unconsciousness. She was met with a dreamless sleep.
At least, for a moment.
The first thing Kalii noticed was the smell. How could she have missed it before? It dwarfed the smell of the sea and the rain. The air was rank with the smell of decaying metal.
The second thing she noticed was the light. She was surrounded by shadow, laying powerless on rotting layers of flesh. But above her shone this beautiful light, like the moon in a starless sky.
Finally, she discerned the shape and the sound. Among the teeth and the stillness, the silhouette of a Booster Suit stood splayed in the beast's lips.
"Toa Kalii!" wailed the Matoran. "Please wake up!"
The voice brought Kalii back to her senses. Her mask had been forcibly removed. She'd been nearly swallowed by the mutant Reisen, but a Matoran had come to her aid. Not just any member of the Booster Unit, however. Silhouetted against the relative brightness of the storm, Sephra stood, holding open the jaws of the monster with everything in her.
It was then that Kalii noticed the pain and the weakness shredding their way through her body. "Save yourself," she hissed through clenched teeth.
"Not today, Toa Kalii." The horrible sound of rending metal echoed again, Sephra's booster suit seeming to give way. "Not to say haste wouldn't... be advisable."
Kalii, unaccustomed to her body without the power of a Kanohi, staggered to her feet and charged forward. With a roar of her own, she gathered all the static she could into her body. Kalii flung herself at Sephra, wailing and releasing the electric buildup within her.
The two soared from the monster's mouth toward the sea below. The Reisen flailed and spat behind them. Kalii held onto Sephra's booster suit for dear life, hoping the damage dealt to the suit wouldn't reduce it's buoyancy.
The Great Spirit was smiling upon them, Kalii decided when they landed in the sea with a mighty crash. Not only did they float upon the surface shaken but unharmed, the blue Kadin bobbed in the water next to them. As the waves settled, Kalii perched herself on Sephra's shoulders and dove into the sea.
She rose to the surface, putting the mask firmly in place.
Still dazed from all that had just transpired, Kalii could only nod. "Thanks."
Sephra seemed to be equally shocked by all of this. "Sure."
Kalii turned around and gritted her teeth. Expecting to see the beast rearing up for round two, she saw instead that uncanny and graceful movement. The Reisen were floating away en masse, led by the revolting pillar of eyes and teeth.
"This place is not yours," she whispered.