okoto toa form kaitas by sitting on each other's shoulders. akamai vs waihura ensues
...So you can blame him for this.
Tahu scratched the back of his head and looked down at the Protector. “…Run that by me again, Vakama?”
The elder glanced away, clearly embarrassed. “You see – that is – there have been legends, after all, and they speak of unity and joined strength –“
“How do you get from that to asking us if we can combine ourselves?” Pohatu broke in.
“Well,” Vakama ventured again, “it – could be a useful tool against the Skull Spiders and their cohorts –“
“It’s absurd, is what it is.” Kopaka’s voice was sharp and more than a touch confused. “Why in the world would you even think such a thing is possible?”
“Because –“ the elder raised a hand dramatically and threw fire into his voice – “you are the destined Toa, sent to save Okoto, as foretold by Ekimu and passed down –“
“Takua put you up to this, didn’t he?” Lewa asked.
The elder kept his hand in the air and stared straight ahead in the hopes that ignoring the Toa of Jungle long enough would, in fact, rewrite history so that he would never have spoken.
“Protector Vakama.” Onua’s voice was almost chiding.
Vakama’s arm drooped down and brought the rest of him with it. “I’m sorry,” he said wearily. “It got out of hand – he asks about you all the time, you know, can Toa Tahu do this, can Toa Gali do that – I can’t very well not answer him.”
“And he asked you if we could combine?” Gali sounded halfway between bemused and bewildered.
“I never should have told him about lending you my weapons,” the Protector grumbled. “He has such an active imagination – give him an inch, and he’ll hear a mile.”
“Is that pride I hear, Vakama?” Tahu said with a smile.
The elder stood tall. “My son has a good heart and a sharp mind, Tahu. He will do great things for this island someday.”
“But until then, you told him we can put ourselves together into super-Toa,” Pohatu replied chipperly.
Vakama sagged once more. “It just sort of happened. He was asking about how you all worked together – if Gali and Lewa could make a swamp from thin air, if Kopaka and Pohatu could go skiing in the desert. Before I knew it he was convinced you could all fit together like a set of builder’s toys. What was I supposed to do, tell him he was wrong?”
“Yes,” Kopaka said simply. The other five shot him a glare. “What? We cannot simply take ourselves apart and put the pieces back together.”
“You’d probably misplace half a dozen of them anyway,” Lewa replied.
Gali put her hands up. “Alright, alright. Protector Vakama, I’m sorry, but there simply isn’t anything we can do for Takua.”
The elder looked desperate. “Please, Gali. It doesn’t have to be real, just think of something! You don’t know how many times he’s tried to follow Tahu and I out on our quest – if I can show him the power of the Toa without dragging him into danger, maybe he’ll settle down. ”
Tahu sighed and put his hand to his face. “Well – I suppose I could take him lava-surfing.“
“He’ll be expecting something from all of us,” Onua replied.
“So what do we do?” Lewa asked.
For a few moments the hut was silent.
Pohatu snapped his fingers.
“Oh no,” Kopaka muttered.
The Toa of Stone ignored him. “Lewa, those jungle-plays your village does. Think they can spare a few props?”
“They’d spare the stage if I asked.”
“Then brothers, I have a beautiful idea.”
Takua was practically vibrating as Vakama lead him down to the village’s south gate. “The Toa are going to be here all six of them and they’re going to show me how they combine and it’s going to be just like the legends this is going to be so cool –“
“Now, Takua.” Vakama tried to keep his voice stern – easier said than done given the smile that seemed to be creeping across his face of its own will. “The Toa have a great quest and a greater destiny to deal with; they cannot spend too much time with us. You must be very polite, do you understand?”
“-And the Skull Spiders won’t stand a chance, even if they put themselves together –“
Vakama sighed and patted the younger Protector on the shoulder. When this was over, he owed the Toa a debt of thanks.
Before long they had reached their destination, a secluded clearing tucked between a few stone outcroppings. Matau was already there, seated on a bit of rock and whittling away at one of his little wooden figures. He looked up with a smile as the two approached. “Evening, Vakama. And a good evening to you as well, Takua.”
“Mat- Protector Matau!” The little villager was practically hopping up and down. “Did you come to see the Toa too?”
“I did. I hear they’re going to do something really special.”
Takua nodded so vigorously Vakama had to keep a hand atop his son’s mask, lest it fly away. “Uh-huh! They’re going to combine into the Toa Kaita, and then they’re going to go clear out the skull spiders once and for all!”
Matau smiled and nodded back, but shot Vakama a slightly incredulous look. ‘Toa Kaita’? The Protector of Fire shook his head helplessly. “Takua,” he began, “remember, the Toa will be very busy, and they all have their own quests. This is only for a few minutes –“
Takua gasped and shot out a finger. “There!”
Vakama looked up. For a moment his mind wasn’t quite capable of processing what he was seeing, and then he clapped a hand to his mouth to keep either a groan or a laugh from escaping – he wasn’t sure which it would be. Off to his side, Matau was grinning up a storm.
Onua, Pohatu, and Tahu came first; Onua was the base, of course, with Pohatu’s feet awkwardly locked on to his shoulder armor with what looked like a bit of hasty metalwork. The Toa of Stone was gripping Tahu’s feet so hard it was a wonder his fingers didn’t break, and the Toa of Fire himself was clearly doing his best not to wobble too much in his role as top of the Toa tower. (There was also an attempt at an overlong cloak dangling from Tahu’s shoulders, but somewhere a string had come loose and it was now fluttering in the wind, hiding exactly none of the fact that this was just three Toa standing on top of each other.)
“Hear me!” yelled Tahu, in what Vakama could only assume was an attempt at sounding dramatic. “I am Akamai, the Master of Valor!”
Vakama glanced at his son. Takua’s eyes were practically bulging out of their sockets.
Kopaka, Gali, and Lewa were the next around the corner; the Toa of Water served as the base, with Lewa atop her shoulders and Kopaka above all. If Tahu had looked concerned about toppling over, Kopaka looked downright terrified, and Vakama could see that someone had taken the measure of binding his feet to Lewa’s hands with thick vine.
“I am Waihura-“
Vakama could see, if not hear, Lewa hiss “Wairuha!”-
“-Wairuha, the Master of Wisdom! It is my destiny to battle evil!”
It couldn’t go on like this, surely it couldn’t. He was going to have to take Takua home and apologize that the Toa couldn’t do anything better, try to assure his son that this was no reason to lose faith in their destined heroes. (He might have to spend some time convincing himself of that fact, frankly.) “Takua,” he began, and then his son bounded off towards the towering Toa.
Tahu looked down as he skidded to a stop. “Well, if it isn’t Takua. Was it you who summoned us, little one?”
“Yes!” the villager managed, his voice little more than a squeak.
“Well, have no fear. As long as we are here – be it together or separate – we will protect this island.”
Takua nodded vigorously; Vakama could practically see the next three months of pre-bedtime chatter forming in his head. “So, so, then, um-“
Out of the corner of his eye Vakama saw Lewa squeeze Kopaka’s foot; the Toa of Ice started as Gali took a step forward. “Indeed,” he bellowed. “My wisdom will guard you from the dangers Akamai’s brute strength cannot.”
Takua turned to the other ‘Kaita’. “So – you’re the smart one, and he’s the strong one?”
Vakama winced; at his side, Matau was doubled over in silent laughter. Kopaka looked at a loss for words for a moment, before managing, “No! No, my power is as great as any other’s.”
“And I carry just as much wisdom as he!” Tahu shot back. (Beneath him, Onua and Pohatu exchanged a glance.)
The villager looked from one tower to the other, his brow furrowed in thought. “So which of you would win if you fought?”
The breath Vakama’d been taking went down wrong. After a few seconds of spluttering, he managed to call out, “Takua! You must not ask such –“
“Wisdom shall always triumph over brute force, of course,” Kopaka called out.
“Ah, but what is wisdom without the strength to enforce it?” Tahu snapped back.
Oh no. Vakama rushed forward and put his hands on his son’s shoulders. “O noble Toa, forgive my son – in his youth he knows only rashness –“
“Dad, the Toa were talking!”
“That’s right, Vakama,” Matau said, his voice nothing but cheer. “We must respect the words of our Toa, must we not?”
That flower-sniffing, vine-eating son of a Gukko, Vakama thought and didn’t say. Instead he forced a smile and patted Takua on the shoulders again. “My apologies, o wise Toa. If you have some lessons you would pass on to us, we would be honored to hear it.” The fact that all of them save Tahu and Kopaka were now trying very hard not to grin wasn’t helping matters, it really wasn’t.
“Well, brother,” Kopaka said, “if you are so certain of the value of strength over wisdom, surely you can show that for Takua here?”
Tahu’s eyes narrowed behind his mask. “Why, brother, do you challenge me?”
Oh no oh no oh no. “Exalted Toa, I ask you not show my child your ways of war-“
“Why not?” Takua asked.
Tahu stamped down on Pohatu’s hand, and the three awkwardly rearranged themselves. The Toa of Fire brought up his weapon – or, more accurately, a five-minute attempt at attaching his weapon to Pohatu’s held together by what looked like vine and prayers. Takua gasped. “Dad, he has a fire jetarang!”
At this point Vakama could do nothing but pray their destined heroes weren’t actually as stupid as they looked. Forcing a smile, he clutched Takua’s shoulder and tried to move them back without seeming too obvious. “Yes – yes, he does. Very impressive!”
Kopaka reached for his own weapon; his hand closed around air once, and then he managed to lift an unholy amalgamation of harpoon, axe, and – ski? He glanced down; Takua looked as though Ekimu had returned to life and bestowed upon him a thousand golden masks, plus a basket of sweet-fruits.
Tahu pointed his ‘fire-jetarang’ towards the other Toa and roared. On cue, Onua began to trundle across the clearing, the ground shaking beneath the weight of the three Toa as he picked up speed. Kopaka raised his harpaxski thing high in the air, charging it with energy. Beneath him, Gali braced herself against the ground, and Lewa tightened his grip on the Ice Toa’s feet.
With a shout, ‘Akamai’ brought the weapon down as they reached ‘Wairuha’. There was a crash, a smash, a flash.
When the light had cleared, there was a dusting of ice all around, and the six Toa were picking themselves up off the stone. Kopaka was doing his best to hide the vines still loosely wrapped around his feet beneath a suspiciously large patch of snow, while Pohatu stubbornly tried to bend his boomerang back into shape; Lewa and Gali had pulled apart their weapons, and Onua simply seemed to be standing around until Vakama realized the Toa of Earth was blocking Takua from seeing the rest of the Toa. Tahu returned his sword to his back and gestured to Matau; Vakama looked over just in time to see the other Protector drag that absurd cloak out of sight.
Takua was hugging his waist, and Vakama looked down to see his eyes unfocused and his mouth hanging open in awe. The elder cleared his throat. “Takua, say thank you to the Toa.”
Takua blinked twice. “Where did the Kaita go?”
There was a moment of confused glances before Gali caught on. “Akamai and Wairuha have returned to the legends, Takua, until such time as they are needed again.”
“But what happened? Which of them was stronger?”
“Each had his own strengths, little one,” Onua said. “Only by combining them could they awaken to their true power. And there was nothing to be gained from setting them against each other.”
Takua’s face fell. “But – they’ll come back some day, won’t they?”
Tahu looked up to Vakama and raised a brow. He smiled back and raised a hand; it was time to go full storyteller. “Listen well, my son. The Kaita are not symbols of power, but of unity. As long as our Toa have faith in each other, they shall always live on within them. When times are darkest, and all hope seems lost, Akamai and Wairuha will return, if not in body then in spirit. That is my promise to you, for that is what the legends have foretold since the dawn of time.”
Takua looked from Toa to Toa, his eyes still wide. Vakama lowered his hand and patted his son on the head. “Now, then. It’s getting late. Tell the Toa thank you.”
Takua started. “Thank you, Master Tahu, thank you, Master Gali, thank you, Master Lewa” – at this point, Kopaka started to roll his eyes; Pohatu jabbed him in the side – “thank you, Master Kopaka, thank you, Master Pohatu, thank you, Master Onua!”
Tahu smiled and nodded to the villager. “Any time, my friend.”
“Then, tomorrow too?”
The Toa of Fire’s eyes went wide, but before he could respond Vakama clamped a hand down on his son’s shoulders. “It’s time to go home, Takua.”
Gali sighed in contentment as the Protector and his son vanished around a corner. “Vakama is right – Takua has a good heart. One day he will be as benevolent a leader as his father.”
“Indeed,” Kopaka grumbled. “If he stops asking his Toa to beat each other up, that is.”
“Which of us was it that couldn’t take being called weak, brother?” Tahu responded.
Pohatu sighed. “Look, all you two had to do was follow the script-“
“-It was difficult enough staying balanced on Lewa, thank you –“
“-And Pohatu, wasn’t it you who said we should do a mock fight anyway?-“
And the four Toa went, bickering, into the night. Lewa, Onua, and Matau shared a glance, and then a grin. “Well,” Matau said, “I suppose that leaves the two of you with cleanup duty. Come on, let’s get all these props back to the jungle.”
Onua nodded and went to work scooping up the various bindings that had fallen about; Lewa plucked the cloak from its hiding place. For a few seconds he looked at it.
“Something the matter, brother?” Onua called.
“Oh, no.” He grinned. “I was just thinking how with a little more prep time, we could really do something here.”
The Toa of Earth shook his head and clapped his brother on the shoulder. “Save your theatrical aspirations for after the island is saved, Lewa.”
“He gets plenty of chances to be theatrical, Toa Onua, believe me-“
“-Says the Protector who tried vine-swinging across half the island-“
And then, save for the two smiling spirits that watched their Toa go, the clearing was empty once more.
Author's note, part 2: hopefully this goes a little ways towards easing the pain I inflicted on y'all a year and a half ago, eh?
Also, no, I don't really think the Protector is literally G2 Vakama or the little Protector is literally G2 Takua. But they make for convenient names.
Edited by Black Six, Jan 20 2015 - 08:53 AM.