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Mystery on Keli-Nui


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#1 Offline xccj

xccj
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Posted Mar 25 2015 - 12:47 AM

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Chapter 1: A Turaga’s Council

Tahve stood tall as the doors to the Turaga’s chamber opened. He was Turaga Nolox’s personal guard for the evening, and he stood rigidly to show the reputation of the Guard. It was a great honor for a Matoran to guard the halls of the Turaga in the city of Keli-Nui, and Tahve had been stationed there quite often. He was proud of his job, and did his duty with pride.

However, his position was mostly ceremonial. The Turaga’s chamber was located in the Capital Building, the largest structure in all of Keli-Nui. It was located on the southern end of the city, on the foothills of the mountain that rose above the city. The Capital Building, in addition to having a constant patrol of Guards along its walls, was also home to the city’s Toa Team. There was not a better protected building in all of Keli-Nui.

The leader of that Toa Team was entering the chamber at that point. Rhagre, Toa of Iron, was the self proclaimed leader of the Toa of Keli-Nui, but he looked up to Turaga Nolox and listened to his authority. When Nolox had tough tasks that were too much for the Matoran, he recruited Rhagre, and the Toa followed his orders without question.

Now Rhagre entered the Turaga’s quarters, flanked by two other Matoran Guards. Noxol rose from his desk, and greeted the Toa. “Rhagre, you have returned!”

“Yes, I have, Turaga,” Rhagre said, bowing respectfully. “And I must make a complaint. My statue outside has yet to be polished this week. Already dust has settled upon it!”

“My apologies, Toa Rhagre,” Turaga Nolox said, taking his seat again. “One of the guardsmen shall see to it this instant.” He waved his hand to the Matoran behind Rhagre. One of the Guards rolled his eyes behind Rhagre’s back, but Nolox responded with an understanding smile. Reluctantly, they left the room.

Tahve suppressed a giggle. Rhagre was a skilled Toa, but he had a huge ego. He enjoyed nothing more than to brag about his grand adventures and be admired by the city’s Matoran. What made Rhagre unique was that he actually accomplished all that he bragged of; Tahve had been on a mission with him once and had seen his resourcefulness. But his attitude was sometimes difficult to deal with.

“I do hope you have come to see me on business, and not to simply criticize our cleanliness,” Nolox continued. “The Guard is very thorough, but the Capital Building is very large, and your statue is also very tall.”

“They are forgiven,” Rhagre said. “Besides, they are not the only ones who haven’t made progress; I have heard little of Kavihkli in the city, and seen nothing of him. There are rumors of him, but no specific sightings. If he is in Keli-Nui, he’s doing a good job at hiding.”

Tahve cringed at the name. Kavihkli was a Dark Hunter who had been causing trouble in nearby regions recently. Dark Hunters were bad enough, but Kavihkli was even worst; the Shadowed One, the leader of the Dark Hunters, had sent out news that Kavihkli was now a rogue. When the Shadowed One sent out a warning about his own henchmen, then things were really bad.

“Matoran have been warned about his possible presence, and precautions are being taken,” Rhagre continued. “But so far, there is no progress in locating him and capturing him.”

“I understand, Rhagre,” Nolox said. “I do hope that you continue to put your efforts into searching for him. We cannot let such a dangerous being have free reign in our city.”

Rhagre nodded, and turned to exit the room. However, the doors opened again, and another Toa entered. Rhagre smiled. “Well, hello, Ihrov.”

“Good to see you, Rhagre,” Ihrov said with a tight voice. Ihrov did not think highly of his Toa leader, but often forced himself to show him respect. Next, he turned to the Turaga. “Nolox, I have bad news for you.”

Tahve looked up at the green Toa of Chemistry. Ihrov had been on a mission of great importance for a number of days with his partner; if he was reporting bad news, then something must have gone wrong.

“We received information on the Gang Matoran headquarters,” Ihrov started. “It was located in an old factory on the northern edge of the city. We surrounded it and stormed it successfully, but it was empty. It appears that the Gang Matoran had left hours earlier. It’s as if they knew we were coming. We were able to confiscate some items, but nothing of great value. And we were unable to make any arrests.”

“Where are the confiscated items?” Turaga Nolox asked.

“Pyrah is bringing them in,” Ihrov said. Pyrah was a Toa of Plasma and Ihrov’s partner, who was very energetic but hardly ever spoke a word. At that moment, the red Toa entered the Turaga’s Chamber, and set down a box on the Turaga’s desk. “Many of these things seemed to be trivial items, forgotten in a hasty escape. But we weren’t able to find any weaponry.”

Tahve signed. A criminal group of Gang Matoran had formed in the last few months, and had challenged the Toa and Turaga’s rule in Keli-Nui. Ordinarily, the Toa and Matoran guards would’ve been able to subdue the criminals within a short time. However, these Gang Matoran had powerful projectile weapons that were capable of blowing apart buildings and keeping back Toa. Worst, they were sneaky enough to avoid capture so far, and whenever they were cornered, they were able to blow their way out.

“This isn’t working!” Ihrov said, pounding his fist on the Turaga’s desk. “We’re being too soft on these guys. We need to come down hard and harsh on them, and stop this threat once and for all!”

“I understand your position, Toa Ihrov,” Turaga Nolox said. “But your approach would kill these Gang Matoran, and I want them captured. Matoran can change, if given a second chance. I am sure we can reform the Gang Matoran and turn most of them into model citizens again... but we cannot do that if they’re killed. Then we’ll just be wasting Matoran lives.”

“Turaga Nolox has a point, brother,” Rhagre said. “We’re here to protect all the Matoran, not kill them. Even if they’ve gone in the wrong direction, that doesn’t mean they deserve to die. You’ve got to give them a chance.”

“You just want them to start idolizing you like all the others do,” spat Ihrov before he could help it.

The insult just bounced off Rhagre. “If the Matoran choose to idolize me, who am I to stop them. Anyway, I’m sure it’s possible for you to capture the Gang Matoran without any fatalities. You are a powerful Toa, after all.”

“Yes, that is true,” Ihrov said, lowering his voice. “Unfortunately, Pyrah and I will be starting from scratch again, Turaga, so do not expect developments anytime soon.”

Nolox nodded, and began to go through some of the confiscated items. He picked up a shard of metal, and looked it over, and then pulled out chisels, dim lightstones, a knife, an old scroll, and a handful of widgets. “It looks like you are right, Ihrov. Nothing here is of exceptional value. I shall take a closer look in the morning.” He began to replace the items in the box, but he held up the metal shard again. “This is a unique piece. Rhagre, I would like you to analyze this and tell me its properties by tomorrow.”

Rhagre took the metal, and weighed it in his hands. “It certainly is something rare,” he said. “I’ll look into it.” Being a Toa of Iron, this wouldn’t be difficult for him.

The three Toa turned to leave when the doors burst opened again. A buff Onu-Matoran entered, followed by three Guardsmen. “We tried to restrain him, but he just kept pushing through...” one of them started, but the Onu-Matoran interrupted them.

“YOU!” he shouted, pointing to Turaga Nolox. “You’re the one responsible for all this! This is all your fault!”

Nolox calmly placed the box of confiscated items under his desk, and smiled politely at the Matoran. “I’m afraid I don’t understand, Saith. What are you claiming I am responsible for?”

“SUNI!” Saith shouted. “You have turned her into an outlaw. First, you arrested her and completely disrupted her work. And now you’re spreading word about that’s making her seem like the leader of the Gang Matoran. I can no longer tolerate it.”

“I think you are ignoring some of the fine details,” Nolox said. “First of all, Suni was arrested for conducting a dangerous experiment. Normally, I would give a warning, but this was her fifth offense, and her experiment had already gone wrong. If left to her devices, she would’ve blown apart half the city. And, as you are most likely aware of, she escaped from her prison cell last week. We have simply been spreading the word around in hope of recapturing her. She is extremely willful, and refuses to see the danger of her experiments. We are trying to arrest her for her own safety, as well as the safety of the Matoran around her.”

“But she was on to something!” Saith continued. “She was making scientific breakthroughs that could help out Matoran everywhere, but you treat all her experiments as criminal wrongdoings, and now she’s out there somewhere on the run. You’ve completely ruined her life and everything she stands for!”

Nolox looked hard at the Onu-Matoran. “Saith, I know that you and Suni had a strong relationship, but I will not change my mind. Suni’s experiments are too risky, and she cannot keep using such dangerous techniques. I tried to reason with her, but she refused to abandon her habits for safer ones. If she is found, I must lock her up again until an agreement can be made.”

“You’re a tyrant!” Saith screamed, jumping towards the Turaga. Rhagre and Ihrov reacted instantly, and grabbed the wild Onu-Matoran before he could reach Nolox. Saith was strong for a Matoran, but was no match for two Toa.

“Please escort Saith out of the Capital Building,” Nolox said sadly. “I do hope he can return when his anger has abated.”

“You have this city in your iron fist!” Saith shouted, even as the Toa carried him out. “You have too many rules! One day, we’ll kick you out. Just you wait. One day the Matoran won’t need you anymore!”

“Come on, Pyrah,” Ihrov said. The Toa of Plasma followed the two Toa and the struggling Matoran, leaving the room empty save for Tahve and Nolox.

“Quite a night, isn’t it, Tahve,” the Turaga said, taking a deep breath.

Tahve allowed himself a nod and a smile. “Yes it is, Turaga.”

The door opened again, startling Tahve. He had not heard any footsteps approaching, as he had with the Toa. But the new cloaked being who entered had approached silently, and was not escorted by Matoran guards. Worst, there was something about him that chilled Tahve.

“Turaga Nolox,” the being said. “I must speak with you.” He turned to the Matoran. “You will leave now.”

Although the being was obviously someone of power, Tahve didn’t flinch. “I am here to protect the Turaga, and I take orders only from him,” he said stubbornly.

“Tahve is my loyal Guardsman,” Nolox said. “I would like to know why I should dismiss him.”

“I will only speak to you in private, and I will speak with you before I leave,” the being said.

“What gives you the right to order us around?” Tahve asked harshly.

The being pulled off his cloak, and leaned down to stared at the Matoran mask to mask. “The right of my species!”

“Ah, now I recognize you,” Nolox said, getting to his feet. “Makuta Krika, the Makuta of our region. Why didn’t you announce yourself in the first place?”

“I am here on urgent business,” Krika replied. “Confidential business.”

Nolox nodded. “I understand. Tahve, please step outside for a moment. Allow me to converse with Krika privately.”

Reluctantly, Tahve stepped out through the doors. As they closed, he saw Nolox sit back down and face Krika. For a moment, Tahve felt great respect for their Turaga, who looked a Makuta eye to eye without even flinching. And then the doors shut, and he saw and heard no more from the room.

Ten minutes later, Krika emerged from the Turaga’s Chambers, draped in his cloak again. As he moved down the hallways, Tahve could’ve sworn that he floated off the ground. He turned away and reentered the Turaga’s Chambers.

Nolox was still in his seat, putting something away in his desk, but his mood was darker than Tahve had ever seen it. “Thank you for your cooperation, Tahve,” he said as the Guard came through the doors. “Makuta show minimal respect to Matoran, and further arguments only would’ve enraged him. Besides, the news he brought is troublesome in its own right.”

“What news…” Tahve started, but a look from the Turaga was enough to silence him. It was obvious that the Turaga was not in the mood to share it with him.

“I must thank you, Tahve, for your great loyalty to me,” the Turaga said suddenly. “There are few Matoran brave enough to stand up to the likes of a Makuta, and even fewer who would give their life to protect an elder such as me. I am very grateful for your service to me, as well as your friendship.”

“Turaga, is something wrong?” Tahve asked, shaken by the Turaga’s tone.

“Yes, something is wrong,” The Turaga said, looking to the ceiling. The stars could be seen through the windows in the domed roof. “This city remains at peace, but forces of darkness are shrouding it. Ill tidings are almost upon us, and I can only hope that the Matoran of Keli-Nui will make it through.”

Tahve held his breath. Makuta Krika must’ve brought very bad news to get Nolox into such a dark mood.

“But as long as the Matoran can hold to the Three Virtues, they can weather the storm,” Nolox said, half to himself. “And with that said, I must ask you to excuse me for another moment, Tahve. There is one last matter I must attend to on my own.”

Tahve nodded slowly, and exited the room. He held his spear at his side, and guarded the Turaga’s doors, but his mood was dark now. Turaga Nolox was not a Turaga to foretell sinister futures.

For ten minutes, there was naught but silence in the Capital Building, and Tahve had time to mull over his thoughts. Then the peace was broken by a scream and an explosion that shook the floor. Tahve turned, his heartlight flashing faster than ever before. The explosion had come from the Turaga’s Chamber.

He burst through the door and took in the scene. Nolox’s desk had been blown apart in some sort of energy blast, and the confiscated items were strewn across the floor. Nolox himself had been thrown back against the back wall, and was crumbled on the floor.

Tahve ran over to the Turaga, and tried to lift him up. But the Turaga’s body was already broken. His limbs and armor were cracked and bent in unnatural ways. Worst, Nolox’s noble Ruru mask was nearly cracked in half. Behind the ruined Kanohi, the Turaga’s eyes were dimmed and his breath came in horrible ragged gasps.

“Turaga!” Tahve cried. “Turaga, answer me! You can’t die! No, you can’t die.” Tahve’s logic told him that Nolox was fatally wounded. All he could do was comfort the Turaga now. But his heart wouldn’t accept such a dreadful truth so quickly.

“Tahve...” the Turaga started, his eyes focusing on the Matoran’s mask for a moment.

“Turaga! Turaga! Nolox!” Tahve said. “Don’t go!”

“Tahve... don’t look,” Nolox said. “Don’t... look...” And then the Turaga’s eyes glazed over, and he breathed his last breath.

Tahve howled in grief.

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Edited by xccj, Mar 25 2015 - 12:55 AM.

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#2 Offline xccj

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Posted Mar 26 2015 - 12:03 AM

Chapter 2: List the Suspects

Consumed in his grief, Tahve lost control. Turaga Nolox lay dead in his own chambers. Tahve had been there to guard him, but all he had done was hear his last words. He had failed in his duty as a Guard.

Unable to stay in the room any longer, Tahve tore out of the Turaga’s Chambers and down random hallways in the Capital Building. He kept running and running, caring not where his feet took him. If he kept running, then maybe he could run away from what had just happened. Maybe when he came to a stop, he would realize that nothing had even happened, and Turaga Nolox would be there to greet him the next evening.

“Who goes there?” questioned a voice. Tahve ignored it, and kept running. But then a hand reached down and picked him up. He turned to see the mask of Ihrov.

“Tahve?” Ihrov asked, recognizing the Ta-Matoran. “Why are you not with Turaga Nolox right now? Are you not his guard tonight?”

Tahve couldn’t hold it any longer. He broke down into sobs, which alarmed Ihrov. “Tahve! What’s wrong?”

“Turaga... he... I couldn’t... he said...” Tahve tried to speak, but he couldn’t get it out.

Ihrov could see that the Matoran was in shock. He took Tahve to a small room and grabbed a glass of water. Using his elemental powers, he created a specific chemical and mixed it in with the water, and forced Tahve to drink the solution. As soon as he drank the liquid, Tahve began to breathe easier.

“It is a chemical that’s meant to calm you down,” Ihrov said kindly to the Matoran. “And maybe now you could tell me why you are so distressed.”

“The Turaga... he’s dead,” Tahve whispered.

“What!” Ihrov said, alarmed. “You must be mistaken!”

“I wish,” Tahve said, smiling sadly. “I wish my fault were as simple as that...”

Ihrov could see that the Matoran was telling the truth. He grabbed a lightstone off the wall, and went to the window. He created a chemical that caused the lightstone to spark and send out brilliant rays into the skies around the Capital Building. He grabbed Tahve, and started to lead him out of the room. “The other Toa will be converging at the Turaga’s Chamber. We must get there to greet them.”

Ihrov led Tahve through the hall, and they quickly met up with Rhagre. “Ihrov, what is the meaning of this summoning?” the Toa of Iron demanded.

“The worst news that I could ever bring,” Ihrov said as he ran. “Tahve tells me that Nolox is dead!”

Both Toa were running now, and they were the first to get to the Turaga’s chamber. They entered and gasped at the scene, which was just as how Tahve had left it. Tahve couldn’t force himself to reenter the room, and stood outside the doors in a daze.

He was there when the other four Toa arrived. Pyrah was the first to arrive, and then came Lanili, Toa of Water, Bohriv, Toa of Ice, and Gambar, Toa of Earth.

“What’s wrong?” Lanili asked. “Why did Ihrov summon us?”

“Because Nolox is dead,” Rhagre said, exiting the chamber.

“Dead?” repeated Bohriv. “When?”

“We were not present,” Ihrov said. He turned to Tahve. “Only he was here.”

Six pairs of eyes focused on Tahve, and he shifted uncomfortably. “I... I was outside, guarding the door, on the Turaga’s orders,” he said. “I only heard an explosion, and when I entered the Turaga was already dying.”

“You were obviously not guarding the door very well,” Bohriv said coldly.

Lanili shot her brother a harsh look, as Tahve’s head dropped. “Obviously, something was able to get past Tahve, despite his ability,” she corrected. “There is little he could’ve done.”

“He is the only one who was present at the time of the murder,” Bohriv stated. “That makes him a suspect.”

“Murder?” Ihrov asked. “How can we be sure it’s a murder?”

“The Turaga did not die of natural causes, and the Nolox I know would be too cautious for accidents,” Bohriv said. “It sounds like he was murdered.”

“Having seen the destruction, I would have to agree with our brother,” Rhagre said. “But it was not Tahve. I trust and respect this Ta-Matoran, and he would not kill his own Turaga. But that means that there is another killer in this city.” He looked solemnly at the other Toa. “Please, come in and see what I have seen. But be warned; it is not a sight for the faint of heart.”

The six Toa and Tahve entered the room. The destruction was just as Tahve had seen earlier, and the Turaga’s body was slumped on the floor by the far wall, where Tahve had left him.

“What’s all this?” Gambar asked, picking up a fallen chisel.

“Confiscated items from the Gang Matoran,” Ihrov said. He grabbed the box and began to recollect the items. “They must’ve scattered when the desk exploded. Nolox was planning on going through them, but it doesn’t look like he got the chance.”

Bohriv picked up a piece of the shattered desk. “Something powerful must’ve struck him,” he said. “And whatever fired it must’ve had good aim. There was only one blast, and it struck the Turaga head on.” He glanced over at Rhagre, who wore a Great Sanok, the mask of accuracy.

Rhagre and Lanili were currently busy lifting up the Turaga’s body and gently laying him down on the floor. Lanili looked over him sadly. “He hasn’t been pierced or struck by anything,” she analyzed. “His mask and armor were charred by the explosion, but the fatal damage was dealt when he slammed into the wall. The explosion had some force behind it.”

“And whatever the explosion was, it was very neat,” Bohriv continued. “It broke the desk and threw the Turaga, but it hardly burnt the floor. It was powerful and compact. Almost like a plasma blast.”

Pyrah’s head snapped to stare at the Toa of Ice, and Gambar frowned. “There is no need to make such accusations, Bohriv. I am certain that no Toa on our team would have a hand in the death of their own Turaga.”

“I wasn’t accusing, I was merely observing,” Bohriv replied.

“None of us were around at the time of the murder,” Lanili said. “Gambar and I were patrolling the southern walls together, and we saw Bohriv emerge from the his room on our way here.”

“I was comparing the metal shard Nolox had given me with the Guard’s weaponry when I saw Ihrov’s summons,” Rhagre said.

“Pyrah and I had just escorted Saith to the entrance,” Ihrov said. “I was on the way to my own private chamber when I saw Tahve.”

“Then who could the murderer be?” Lanili asked.

“There are many suspects,” Rhagre said. “As you should know, Kavihkli is still at large, and we know that the Dark Hunter is capable of anything.”

“The Gang Matoran are just as likely,” Ihrov said dully. “After all, their whole campaign is to dethrone us Toa and the Turaga. Murder wouldn’t be under them.”

“And Saith would be just as willing to join them, especially after we kicked him out,” Rhagre said. “Even if it wasn’t him, it could have been his girlfriend, Suni.”

“But there’s no evidence of any of them here,” Bohriv pointed out. “Unless the Matoran here saw something.”

“Did you see anything?” Lanili asked Tahve kindly.

“I... there was someone,” Tahve said. “He suddenly appeared and demanded to speak with the Turaga privately. Afterwards, Nolox was in a dark mood, but he wasn’t injured in any way. It was Makuta Krika.”

All the Toa took a deep breath. “A Makuta,” Bohriv said. “That doesn’t bode well.”

“We saw no sign of him entering or leaving,” Gambar said. “But a Makuta can appear and disappear with the shadows. He could easily slip through any of our defenses. And it wouldn’t take much for him to get past a Matoran a second time, and thoroughly blast Nolox to death.”

“The Makuta aren’t the friendliest bunch out there, but they don’t murder Turaga out of the blue,” Rhagre said. “Unless Nolox had some sort of hidden quarrel with them, which I doubt, there is no reason to suspect them.”

“The Makuta protect the Matoran, in their own way, but they are beings of shadow,” Ihrov said. “How can we be certain they work towards the will of the Great Spirit?”

“We can’t suspect them until we have ample proof,” Rhagre said. “And Makuta Krika is one of many suspects. Toa, hear me now, we will find who killed our beloved Turaga Nolox, and we shall bring them to justice. No one gets away with a murder like this is my city. NOBODY!”

“We need to alert the Matoran Guard, and prepare to announce this to the city,” Ihrov said. “The Matoran deserve to know that they have lost a great leader.”

“And the Guard needs to be warned,” Gambar said. “Whoever struck down Turaga Nolox may strike again.”

“So be it,” Rhagre said. “Tomorrow, I will also begin to track down the villain who did this. They might still be in this city.”

“I’ll volunteer Pyrah and myself to guard the Capital Building at all times,” Ihrov said. “Just in case.”

“What about Nolox?” Tahve whispered, finding his voice again.

Lanili knelt down to look the Matoran in the eye. “We will lay him to rest, and a proper funeral will be conducted in due time. You have done well tonight, Tahve, and have suffered much. Please, go and get some rest. Tomorrow, there will be much to do.”

“Our sister is right,” Rhagre said. “Tomorrow, we bring honor to Nolox’s name, and track down his killer.”

“As long as we aren’t struck down next,” Bohriv added, as the Toa began to exit the room.

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#3 Offline xccj

xccj
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Posted Apr 01 2015 - 12:37 AM

Chapter 3: An Unusual Interview

Tahve was awoken by a light tapping. He had retired to the Guards’ quarters last night, and had fallen asleep instantly. Unfortunately, he had slept fitfully the whole night, having dreamt of Turaga Nolox’s murder over and over again. He arose from his bed tablet and looked up to see Jalkal at the door.

“Tahve,” he said. “We have to talk.”

Jalkal was the Captain of the Matoran guard, and Tahve’s superior. And the look on his mask was not a pleasant one.

“I heard what happened last night,” Jalkal started, frowning slightly. “Already, the Matoran of Keli-Nui have been informed of the passing of their Turaga. However, until the Toa have found the murderer, we are limiting the details released.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Tahve asked.

“I do not want you spreading out the word until we are ready,” Jalkal explained.

“But... why would I?” Tahve questioned.

“Because you are hereby relieved of your Guard duty,” Jalkal said.

Tahve blinked, hardly understanding the words. “What? But Jalkal...”

“I am not blaming you for the Turaga’s murder,” Jalkal said quickly. “Whatever got past you also got past the Toa and the rest of the Matoran Guard. Only Bohriv is suspicious... and Bohriv is always suspicious.”

“But then why am I being relieved?” Tahve asked.

Jalkal put his hand on Tahve’s shoulder. “I know you are a dedicated and talented Guard, but last night you lost it. I can’t blame you; if I had been in the same situation, I don’t know if I could’ve kept my head. But this affected you, Tahve, and you need time to recuperate and relax. You need time away from the Guard.”

Tahve hesitated before speaking again. He couldn’t just let this whole thing go; the guilt on him was too great. All night, he had dreamt of Nolox in pain, Nolox crying for help, Nolox blaming him for his death. He had to do something.

“I’m not going to stand back and let the Toa do this on their own,” Tahve finally said. “If I am relieved of my Guard duty, then I will have the freedom to help them find the murderer.”

Jalkal smiled sadly. “I cannot stop you from doing this, Tahve, but as your friend, I recommend that you go home and rest. We have a dedicated team of six Toa who can solve this case; you don’t need to trouble yourself over it.”

*****


Tahve entered his apartment on the western side of the city. As he opened the door, he saw that the interior was dark and dusty. He hadn’t been to his apartment in a week because of his active guard duty in the Capital Building. If he was going to be living here for a while, he would have to clean up.

Setting aside his equipment, Tahve pondered over the Toa’s plan. Rhagre and the others were spreading out across the city, looking for any sign of trouble, while Ihrov and Pyrah stayed behind in the Capital Building. Rhagre was certain Kavihkli was their murderer, but they were also on the lookout for any Gang Matoran. However, when Tahve had offered his help, Rhagre had declined.

“We’re mighty Toa, after all,” the Toa of Iron had said. “If there’s anybody who could catch the perpetrator, it’s us. No need to worry your head about it, Matoran.”

“Nolox was my Turaga too,” Tahve said to himself, as he continued to clean his apartment. “I’m sure that I could help out.”

He dusted off his protodermic safe, and entered the code. He pulled out his Kanoka launcher and collection of Kanoka discs, and looked them over. They appeared to be in good condition, even though he hadn’t used them in years. But if he was going to track down somebody dangerous, he wanted to be armed and ready.

There was a sharp knock on his door. Tahve turned sharply, the launcher already clutched in his hand. Who would come to see him at this time in the morning? He’d just returned; most people would expect to find him at the Capital Building. Could it possibly be the murderer? After he had taken out the Turaga, was he going after the Turaga’s Guard next?

Tahve cautiously approached the door and looked through the peephole. Standing on the other end was a Lightning Matoran. And Tahve recognized her Great Komau mask. He set aside his launcher and opened the door. “Hello, Feli.”

The Matoran smiled. “Tahve, I am so glad I found you. May I come in?”

“Sure,” Tahve said, stepping aside to let Feli enter. “Sorry that it’s so dirty. I just returned.”

Feli giggled. “I’m sure it’s always like this.” She looked uncertainly at Tahve. “So, are you okay?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t I be?” Tahve asked.

“Well... I heard about what happened,” Feli said. “And I heard that you were on Guard duty when... when it happened.”

“I’m better,” Tahve said reassuringly. “But I am going to track down this criminal. I feel that it is my duty to Turaga Nolox.”

“I see,” Feli started. “Um, so do you have any leads?”

Tahve looked hard at the Lightning Matoran. “Maybe. Would you like to write this down?”

“Oh, yes, that’s a good idea!” Feli said instantly, taking out her woven journal and pen. Suddenly she froze, realizing what she had done. “Oh.”

“You were sent here to interview me, weren’t you?” Tahve asked, sitting down at his table.

“Just a short one!” Feli insisted, sitting down opposite from Tahve. “They didn’t tell us too much in the official report, and the Head Chronicler sent me up because I knew you and...”

“He was trying to use you to get an insider interview,” Tahve finished for her.

“You don’t understand!” Feli said. “He hasn’t let me write anything for the Chronicler’s Post since I wrote that article about the Takea invasion.”

“But it turned out that there wasn’t a massive swarm of sharks in the harbor,” Tahve said. “You were just at the docks and saw some fish in the water.”

“I thought they were ferocious predators!” Feli said in defense. “Besides, I don’t need to get a lot of details. I just need to get the five Hs and the one W.”

“That what?” Tahve asked.

“The five Hs and the one W, which describe all murder cases,” Feli explained. “You know. How, Hoo, and, uh, Hardy, uh, Hello, Happiness, and Whale Watching.”

Tahve looked at her, and Feli tried to hold a smile. “Don’t you mean the five Ws and one H?” he asked. “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.”

Feli broke down, and dropped her mask into her arms, sobbing. “Oh, I’m horrible at this! I’ll never be worthy Chronicler! I never get this right!”

“Hey, hey, it’s okay,” Tahve said, slightly alarmed. “I’m sure you’re good, really.”

“This happens every time,” Feli whimpered. “Every time they give me a chance, I completely mess up the article and become the laughing stock of the newspaper. Every single time!”

“Well, maybe I can help you,” Tahve said. “You just want to write an innocent article to inform the general public. I can help you with that.”

“But I was supposed to be sneaky!” Feli said. “I was supposed to ‘weasel’ it out of you, and I couldn’t even do that right! They’ll fire me for sure this time!”

“It would’ve been better if you had just asked me,” Tahve said kindly.

Ordinarily, Tahve would’ve kept quiet, but Feli was one of his closest friends outside of the Guard. He had seen her time and time again fail at writing for the Chronicler’s Post, and knew this was especially hard on her because she wanted to be a Chronicler most of all. However, she was clumsy, forgetful, and often too straightforward. She would botch up the simplest article. She never learned from her mistakes either, because the other Chroniclers never helped her correct them. Instead, they ridiculed her until she broke down into tears.

Jalkal had told him to keep quiet, but it wouldn’t hurt if Feli knew a few of the inside facts. It could help her make an impression with the newspaper. Besides, there were a few things Tahve wouldn’t mind going over with somebody else, if for nothing more than to just clear his mind.

“I can answer a few of your questions,” he said, handing her back her journal. “Go ahead, ask.”

“Okay,” Feli said, wiping away her tears. “Um, so, when did this happen?”

“It happened last night, in the Turaga’s Quarters,” Tahve answered.

“What happened?”

“There was some sort of energy blast, which killed Nolox,” Tahve said quietly.

“Where’d the energy blast come from?” Feli asked.

“We don’t know, actually,” Tahve admitted.

“Oh,” Feli said, looking over her notes. “Um, who did it?”

“We don’t know, but there are some suspects,” Tahve said. “Toa Rhagre seems to think that the Dark Hunter Kavihkli is the culprit, but the other Toa also suspect the Gang Matoran.”

“Why would they want to kill the Turaga?” Feli asked, genuinely curious.

“Well, if you know anything about the Gang Matoran, you know that they hate the administration,” Tahve said. “They want the Toa and Turaga gone, so they can run the city the way they want to. And the Dark Hunters are skilled at assassinations, so we can’t rule them out, especially a rouge one.”

“Anybody else?” Feli asked.

“Well, there is Suni,” Tahve said. “The escaped Ga-Matoran chemist. She hated Turaga Nolox because he hindered her scientific progress. She’s escaped and on the run, so it’s possible that she may have come back for revenge. Or it could be her boyfriend Saith, who blamed Nolox for turning Suni into a fugitive.”

“Suni the mad scientist?” Feli asked. “The Chronicler’s Post did an article on her the other day. She’s pretty strange, but is she a murderer?”

“Maybe,” Tahve replied.

“Anybody else with motives against the Turaga?”

“Well...” Tahve started, almost afraid to say what was on his mind. “There are a few others... but this has to be off the record.”

“Yes,” Feli said, putting down her pen.

“Some of the Toa don’t exactly get along with the Turaga,” Tahve said. “Both Ihrov and Bohriv disagreed with Turaga Nolox on many accounts. But I don’t see anything powerful enough to make them murder him. And then there is also Rhagre. He might’ve staged the murder so he could take up the top position and get more glory. But I don’t see him going that far; he got along with Nolox.”

“Surely the Toa wouldn’t be that bad,” Feli said.

“I sure hope so.”

“And anything else?”

Tahve thought about Makuta Krika, and how Turaga Nolox’s mood had changed after their meeting. “There could be other beings, with powers we don’t know, who could also be responsible.”

“Beings with powers we don’t know,” Feli repeated, scribbling it down. “Anything more?”

“Not really,” Tahve said. “But, as a friend, I can tell you this. I am not going to sit aside and let the Toa work this on their own. Turaga Nolox was my responsibility, and my friend. I am going to be searching for this murderer too.”

“But won’t that be dangerous?” Feli asked.

“Can’t be any worst than the campaigns I’ve been on before,” Tahve said. “There was that one time I helped the Toa search for dangerous Rahi in the mountains. That was pretty scary.”

“Well, I’d better get this in,” Feli said, holding up her journal. “Thanks you, Tahve. And do be careful.”

“Good luck,” Tahve said, helping her out the door. “And make sure to come by and tell me how it goes. I could use some good news today.”

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#4 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 04 2015 - 12:39 AM

Chapter 4: Interrogate the Blacksmith

Hours later, Tahve was at his cleaned desk, puzzling over a map of Keli-Nui. It had taken him some time to finish cleaning his apartment, but now he was focusing on the problem at hand; finding Turaga Nolox’s killer.

However, it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. The two prime suspects, Kavihkli and the Gang Matoran, had been in hiding for months now. The Toa had already been on the lookout for them, and they didn’t have any new leads to help narrow their search. Kavihkli could be anywhere, and he hardly left any signs of his passing. But the Gang Matoran often conducted violent attacks on the public, and vanished before the authorities arrived. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

Tahve had marked all the known Gang Matoran attacks on the map and labeled them based on when they occurred. As he added more and more data, patterns began to unfold. Clusters of attacks collected in certain areas for a period of time, and then moved on. Obviously, when the Gang Matoran settled down in a base, they didn’t go too far away to terrorize the public. However, Tahve noticed that there wasn’t just one moving cluster of Gang Matoran. In the last few weeks, Tahve identified roughly six clusters of criminal activity related to the Gang Matoran.

It was unlikely that one group would move around so much, but Tahve formed his own theory. Maybe there wasn’t just one group of Gang Matoran; maybe there were multiple groups. The Gang Matoran all claimed to be under the same leadership, but that wouldn’t stop them from splitting up to maximize destruction. Divide and conquer, as the saying goes. And if the Gang Matoran had so many separate parties under one leader, then they also must’ve had an effective communication system, which could also be used to send warnings of approaching Toa.

For a moment, Tahve wondered why nobody else had ever made such a connection. The Guard was involved with the crackdowns on Gang Matoran, but the Toa were the ones who covered the investigations. How could they have missed something so obvious?

Of course, this information wasn’t currently useful to Tahve; Ihrov had said that the Gang Matoran had just changed their base of operation. Thus, they had moved to another one of their hideouts, and Tahve didn’t have the statistics or manpower to search for them. He sighed as he realized this. Back to square one.

Of course, there was one other suspect whose address was known and recorded. However, after having seen Saith’s rage in the Capital Building the night before, Tahve was cautious to go and meet him in his own home alone. Maybe he could go to the Capital Building and see if one of his friends in the Guard could accompany him. It wasn’t that he was afraid of a confrontation; but Tahve knew that there was safety in numbers. Those who walked into danger all alone were foolish. Tahve had said that he was going to help the investigation; he didn’t say he was going to do it on his own.

There was a slight knock on the door. Tahve looked up, cautious but not as much as last time. When he opened the door, he saw that Feli had returned. Only this time, she was already on the verge of tears.

“What happened?” Tahve asked, letting her in and offering her a chair.

“They... they rejected me again!” Feli sobbed.

“But... why?” Tahve asked. “You wrote down exactly what I told you, right?” He couldn’t see how she could’ve messed this one up.

“Yes, but they still re... rejected me,” she said. “The Head Chronicler heard that you had been... been let off. He called my article... ‘Ravings of a Lunatic.’ It was awful.”

“That’s not very nice,” Tahve said, frowning. “In fact, I’m insulted. They let me off because they knew what I had just been through. It wasn’t because I lost my mind.”

“He told me...” Feli said. “To find a more... reliable source.”

Tahve patted Feli on the shoulder. “Look, this is my fault, not yours. I didn’t know they were to use my position against you.” He brightened up. “Say, would you like to help me out with something. There’s somebody I wanted to interrogate, but I didn’t want to go on my own. I’d feel much better if you came with me.”

“I shouldn’t,” Feli said. “I’m just a screw-up. I can’t help anybody.”

“No you’re not!” Tahve said sternly. “Come on, it’ll get your mind off things. Besides, there are plenty of other articles for you to write in the future. This isn’t that bad of a setback.”

“I... I guess not,” Feli said, looking up with a smile.

*****


An hour later, Tahve and Feli were walking through the northwestern section of the city. It was still midday, but the sun was hidden behind clouds of smoke. They were in the industrial section of the city, looking for the blacksmith’s shop.

Saith was a well known blacksmith in Keli-Nui. He crafted tools for Matoran all over the city, although he often refused to sell to the Guard or Toa. It hadn’t been hard for Tahve to look up his address, but he still approached with caution. Saith’s girlfriend, Suni, had been one of the top chemical scientists in the city, but she was ambitious. Her experiments often ended in turmoil, sparking fires or releasing toxic gases across sections of the city. Her disregard for public safety put her against Turaga Nolox on multiple occasions, and her last offence landed her in prison. She had escaped when, according to Ihrov, the bars that held her had chemically melted away. All the time, Saith had remained loyal to her, and shared her hatred of the Turaga.

There was no real evidence that Saith was the murderer; he had just been thrown out of the Capital Building at the time of the murder, so it was unlikely he could’ve made his way back so quickly. But Suni was a whole other story, and if she was involved, Saith might know something.

“Here it is,” Tahve said, pushing opened a rusty old door. They entered into Saith’s shop. As soon as Feli entered, she gasped and her eyes went wide. There was weaponry everywhere. War hammers and spears were leaned up against the wall. Swords and knives hung from chains off the ceiling, and there were stands filled with all sorts of metal, spiky, and sharp tools of destruction.

“Look at all this stuff!” Feli said in a shrilly voice. “This is the shop of a murderer!”

“Or a blacksmith.” Saith’s black Huna appeared through a side door. He looked hard at the two Matoran. “I craft together tools that can help Matoran society. Axes can split wood, hammers can crush rock, and at the very least a sword can be used as defense against a Rahi. Now that we’ve got that cleared, what can I do for you folks?”

Feli blushed and looked to the ground in embarrassment, but Tahve stepped forward. “Hello, my name is Tahve,” he said. “I was hoping I could ask you some questions.”

Saith’s eyes narrowed. “Wait, I recognize the likes of you. You’re a Guard.”

“A Guard on temporarily leave,” Tahve corrected. “I was, uh, present last night when you spoke with Turaga Nolox.”

“Ah, yes, about that,” Saith said. “I must apologize. My temper got the better of me last night. Here, sit down.” He gestured to two chairs next to a cluttered table. “Sorry, let me clear this out of the way. I’m not a very tidy person.” He grabbed a handful of nails, a screwdriver, some test tubes, and a silver hammer off the table and placed them inside a small crate. Then he pulled up a third chair and sat across from Tahve and Feli. “So, what do you want to talk about?”

Tahve paused. “I’m not sure you’ve heard the news, but something terrible happened last night. Turaga Nolox was killed.”

Saith blinked. “Excuse me? The Turaga’s dead?”

“Yes,” Tahve said. “Worst of all, we do not know who killed him.”

“I see,” Saith said, his good mood fading. “So you automatically suspect the raving Matoran, don’t you?”

“So you have an alibi?” Tahve asked politely.

“Sure as the fires of Krazahni I do,” Saith snapped. “I was thrown out by those Toa. They made sure I went home... and that’s what I did.”

“Just making sure,” Tahve said. “As it was, I didn’t suspect that you were responsible, for, as you said, you were clearly preoccupied. But you may know somebody who was.”

“Who?” Saith growled. “Did I sell one of my tools to the killer or something?”

“Not quite,” Tahve said. “We have reason to believe that Suni may have...”

Saith was on his feet in an instant, throwing back his chair and nearly upsetting the table. Tahve was on his feet a second later, already reaching for the Kanoka launcher on his back. Feli shrieked, and toppled backwards over her chair. The Onu-Matoran and Ta-Matoran stared at each other, neither willing to break the tension. In Saith’s eyes, Tahve could see the beginnings of rage and hatred. In Tahve’s eyes, Saith could only see determination.

The stalemate finally ended as Saith backed down. “No, Suni can’t be the murderer,” he grumbled.

“Are you sure?” Tahve pressed.

“Why would she murder the Turaga?”

“Nolox arrested Suni, and inhibited her work,” Tahve said. “It’s pretty obvious that the two didn’t get along. She has the motivation to kill him, and her presence is unaccounted for. Whether she likes it or not, she’s a suspect.”

Saith fell back in his seat, and a look of weakness passed over his mask. “The Suni I know isn’t a murderer. You may have labeled her a criminal, but don’t label her a killer.”

Tahve helped Feli back to her feet before he took his seat again and looked across the table at Saith. “It would be much easier to prove her innocence if we could find her, and that’s why I came to you. Even if you don’t know where she is, maybe you could tell us something about her habits. Where would she go? Where would she hide while the Toa are looking for her?”

“I don’t know,” Saith said. “I don’t know how she escaped... or what she’s doing now that she’s free. I’m sure she’s getting by... laying low. She could be in one of her labs, or she may have left the city already.”

“Could you tell us about these labs?” Tahve asked. “I’m sure you two spent lots of time there together, researching and stuff, right?”

“I was never much of the scientist type myself,” Saith admitted. “I didn’t always know what Suni’s experiments were, but I knew the basic idea.” He picked up a Kanoka off the cluttered floor. “You know about the invention of the Kanoka, right? Some Ko-Matoran bloke in Metru-Nui invented them. They were just experimenting and stuff, and then they found a way to form protodermis into a shape where it can contain special powers.” He looked the disc over in his hands. “Think of how helpful these discs have become. They can be used as weapons and tools, they can power machinery and robotics, and can even be formed into Kanohi Masks of power.”

He set the Kanoka disc down. “They were a revolutionary invention, that changed Matoran life for the better. That’s what Suni’s aiming for. She’s trying to create something that will benefit Matoran for ages to come. She’s faced setbacks and failures, but she kept striving on. She was sure that, eventually, she’d discover the next big thing that’ll help Matoran out forever.”

He looked Tahve in the eye. “Nolox didn’t understand her passion. He was too strict and uptight. He hindered her progress. He didn’t realize that risks sometimes have to be taken to make big discoveries. Nolox ruined Suni’s life, and she hated him, and I shared that hate. But now... may he rest in peace. Killing is not the solution to our problems. I understand this, and so did Suni. I am positive she didn’t kill the Turaga. I’m sorry, but I have nothing else to say that will help you out.”

Tahve looked into Saith’s eyes. The Onu-Matoran may have been hiding something, but what he had just said seemed true. He didn’t murder Turaga Nolox, and he didn’t believe Suni did either. Tahve wasn’t a great judge of character, but something in Saith’s eyes told Tahve that he was being honest.

Or at least partially honest.

“Thank you for your time,” Tahve said, getting to his feet. “I appreciate it; I really do. But if you do happen to come upon Suni, try to convince her to turn herself in. If I can still hold any influence in the Capital Building, I will see to it that she’ll be treated fairly. If she is not the murderer, then it will be easy to compromise with her on her experiments. Then she can make progress towards that next big discovery.”

“I will, but it’s just a waste of words,” Saith said. “I haven’t seen Suni since she was arrested.”

“Good day,” Tahve said, and he and Feli exited the store. The two Matoran walked a few blocks in silence. Feli could see that Tahve looked troubled, and finally spoke up. “I guess that wasn’t much of a visit, now was it.”

“It could’ve been better,” Tahve said. “Are you alright? Things could’ve gotten rough in there.”

“I can’t say I’ve been in scarier situations,” Feli said with a weak smile. “But it did get my mind off the whole thing with the Chronicler. So now what are you going to do? You still don’t know where Suni is.”

“Actually, I do,” Tahve said dully. “She’s staying with Saith.”

Feli blinked in surprise. “What! But he said he hasn’t seen her.”

“He was lying, at least about that part,” Tahve said. “He doesn’t think she murdered Nolox, but he’s letting her stay at his place, or at least stop by.”

“How do you know?”

“How many blacksmiths do you know that have test tubes lying around?”

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#5 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 08 2015 - 11:15 PM

Chapter 5: Meet the Mechanic

Tahve walked Feli back to her apartment in the south western portion of Keli-Nui. She was feeling better, and already talking about what her next article was going to be about. Tahve promised that, once they had this case solved, he’d try and give her an inside scoop that would blow away the Head Chronicler. That was what cheered her up the most.

As Tahve walked back to his apartment, he thought over the interrogation with Saith. For a blacksmith who wasn’t interested in chemistry himself, it was very odd for him to have test tubes lying around his house. This led Tahve to believe that Suni had dropped by at some point. Perhaps Saith had been in communication with her since her escape, or maybe she was even living with him in secret. Saith didn’t think that her experiments were enough to label her a criminal, so he would gladly hide her away from the authorities. But if she was a killer, would he still be on her side?

Tahve knew he would have to go back and investigate some more, except this time without Saith’s presence. He had gotten nothing out of the Onu-Matoran in the direct approach, so maybe it was time to use some stealth. Unfortunately, if he did get caught, he would be facing criminal charges himself. Unless he got a warrant from Jalkal first.

His thoughts were shattered with the roar of engines above him. He glanced up to see some Hover-Bikes flying over the buildings, heading north. That was odd, because there were designated air highways in the city for aircraft. Who would fly their Hover-Bikes over residential areas?

Curious, Tahve ran to the nearest building and grabbed on to the escape ladder on the side. He climbed up to the building’s roof where he had a good view of the sky around him. He could see exhaust clouds from the Hover-Bikes, but the actual vehicles were out of sight.

“I wonder what that was about,” Tahve said to himself. “Those weren’t official Guard bikes. But that design did look awful familiar.”

Something landed on the roof behind him, and Tahve turned with a start. His hand was already on his Kanoka launcher, but he relaxed for a moment as he recognized the black and gray figure. “Rhagre! What are you doing up here?”

The Toa of Iron was panting, having leapt from rooftop to rooftop for quite some time. “I... saw a Gang Matoran attack,” he said slowly. “I scared them off and started to chase them... but those Hover-Bikes are way too fast. I need to talk to the Matoran mask makers and get myself a Kakama for times like this.”

“Might as well just get a Kadin,” Tahve said with a laugh.

Rhagre frowned. “This is not a laughing matter, Matoran. If I had captured them, I would’ve been one step further to bringing Nolox’s killer to justice.”

“I’m sorry,” Tahve said. “How has the investigation been going?”

“It’s gone nowhere,” Rhagre growled. “No sign of Kavihkli, no sign of the Makuta, and no sign of the Gang Matoran, until this happened. With those bikes, they could probably be anywhere on the island right now.”

“Actually, maybe not,” Tahve said. He shared with Rhagre what he had learned earlier. “I think there are actually six groups of Gang Matoran, all working out of separate bases around the city. This group must have a base of operations near the attack site. Although that would still be hard to find.”

“A very interesting discovery,” Rhagre said, obviously impressed. “You’ve been working since you were let off the Guard this morning, haven’t you? Your name’s Tahve, right?”

“Yes, Toa Rhagre,” Tahve said. He was suddenly struck by inspiration. “Hey, have you ever seen that particular style of Hover-Bike before?”

“No, it’s not one I’m familiar with,” Rhagre said, confused. “They were pretty fast, though.”

“I know a friend who works with Hover-Bikes, and those looked like his style” Tahve said. “He’s simple enough that he might have accidentally sold Hover-Bikes to Gang Matoran, but I know he’s loyal to the Toa. I could go and ask him if he’s seen anything interesting.”

“I’ll go with you,” Rhagre said.

Tahve shook his head. “No, no, that’s not a good idea. The Gang Matoran have eyes and ears everywhere. If a Toa appears in a shop they’ve gone to, it’ll spook them and make them even harder to locate. But I’m just a Matoran; there’s nothing suspicious about me.”

“You’re right, Tahve,” Rhagre said. “But I think I have a solution to that problem.” He concentrated, and his Sanok mask morphed into a Great Mahiki, Kanohi Mask of Illusion.

“With this, I can shape shift into any form I want,” he said. He focused, and his whole body began to glow. Before Tahve’s eyes, his appearance shrunk down into that of a Matoran.

“And now I’m just another inhabitant of Keli-Nui,” he said with a grin. “So, where’s that friend of yours live?”

*****


Tahve and Rhagre crossed the city again, and entered the industrial section in the north. Tahve looked up at the smoke filled sky and frowned. Although the Matoran shops and factories were very productive in northern Keli-Nui, they produced too much air pollution for his tastes. It was a tradeoff many Matoran crafters were willing to make, but it wasn’t one that pleased Tahve.

“At least I’m getting a workout today,” Tahve thought to himself. Walking to Saith’s shop had been quite a journey. But Tahve’s friend lived even further north, in a more dangerous section of the city. There were fewer Guard patrols up there, and criminals had freer reign. It was no coincidence that the Gang Matoran would do business in such an area. However, Tahve’s friend faced the danger everyday without a second thought, although this was probably due to the fact that he wasn’t well aware of the danger around him.

To make conversation, Tahve said, “Rhagre, since when did you have a Mahiki mask?”

“I’ve collected my share of masks,” Rhagre said. “A Sanok is useful and everything, but it can get boring. I also have a Huna and a Miru, specially made by the mask makers in this city.”

“Well, it certainly is useful,” Tahve said. “But there are still a few problems with your illusion.”

Rhagre had stopped to admire his reflection in a shop window. He grinned and flexed his strong Matoran arms. “What errors could you be talking about?”

Tahve rolled his eyes. “Rhagre, you look like you just stepped out of Keli-Nui’s Matoran Beauty Pageant. You look too perfect.”

“I might as well look good on the job,” Rhagre said with a grin.

“Yeah, but the point is to not stand out,” Tahve said dully. “Make yourself look more normal.”

Rhagre sighed. “I guess you have a point.” His mask glowed, and his body subtly changed. His mask and armor now had more wear and tear to them, and he no longer looked like a Matoran powerhouse. He looked normal, which was just how he was supposed to look.

“You spend so much time being admired; shouldn’t you like a chance to be more normal?” Tahve asked.

“I like the admiration you Matoran give me,” Rhagre admitted. “It makes me realize that I’ve done something of importance in my time as a Toa. It’s given my work a purpose.”

“Your purpose is to acquire fame?” Tahve asked.

“My purpose is to be a role model for all Matoran, someone who they’d like to be one day,” Rhagre said. “When my time has come and gone, I want Matoran to remember back and say, ‘Toa Rhagre was a really great guy. I wish I could be like him.’” He grinned. “The fame is just an added bonus.”

“We’re here,” Tahve said, abruptly changing the subject. Rhagre was sounding so strange; he wasn’t his usually arrogant Toa self. Instead, he sounded like a Matoran who just wanted to make a name for himself.

Rhagre looked up at the sign over the shop. “Doesn’t look like the most popular shop,” he said.

“Appearances can sometimes be deceiving,” Tahve said. “It doesn’t look like much, but this guy’s a pretty amazing mechanic.” He walked up to the front door and knocked.

A green eye stared through the peephole and a voice said, “Password?”

Rhagre cast a glance at Tahve, and he shrugged. “Okay, so he’s a little odd too. That may turn people off.” Turning back to the door, he said, “Speed-fast crash.”

The door swung opened, and a Le-Matoran greeted the two of them. “Correct! And if you’ve done that, you’ve come to the ever-right place! Welcome to Triki’s Hover-Bikes, Repairs and Enhancements! If I can’t fast-fix it, you can’t fly it!”

He paused, looking around. “You have no wreck-crashed bike,” he said, disappointed.

“Hey, Triki, it’s me, Tahve,” the Ta-Matoran said. “Remember me?”

Triki’s eyes went wide. “Ah, yes, Tahve! Tahve the Guard! Of course, yes, I have the permits here-now! Let me go quick-find them, and...”

“No, no, I’m not here for the permits,” Tahve said. “I was wondering if we could talk.”

“Talk-chat?” Triki asked. “Sure, sure, talk-chat away. In-come, in-come, and make yourself home-happy.” He looked at Rhagre. “Who’s Matoran-dude?”

“Oh, this is my friend,” Tahve started. He paused, trying to think up a good cover name for Rhagre. However, he needn’t bother.

“Tahve’s friend!” Triki exclaimed, grabbing Rhagre by the hand and pulling him in. “Tahve’s friend! In-come and seat-take!”

Rhagre was too surprised to react as he was pulled into Triki’s shop. The inside of the shop was a complete mess, with Hover Bike parts scattered across the floor and shelves. There were no less than three partially built bikes lined up against the wall, and enough parts to build dozens more. As Triki dove into a pile of parts and tried to find a spare chair for his guests, Rhagre pulled Tahve over. “This guy is nuts!”

“Triki does have a few loose bolts,” Tahve said. “But he’s an excellent mechanic and an avid inventor. Plus, he’d make adjustments on bikes for anybody, including Gang Matoran. He might be able to tell us a thing or two about them.”

“How do we know he isn’t working for them?” Rhagre asked.

“Even the Gang Matoran wouldn’t allow such a crazy Matoran into their ranks,” Tahve said. “Here, let me do the talking and we’ll see what we can find out.”

Triki finally fished out a chunk of metal that could double as a stool. He brought it over and sat down on it, and turned to Tahve and Rhagre. “So, how can I ever-help you? Need a muffler? New paint style? Super charged engines that make it look like your bike’s on flame-fire?”

“Actually, we were wondering about your recent sales,” Tahve said. “Have you added any of those supercharged engines to any bikes recently?”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Triki said, nodding his head up and down. “Real big order. Almost a dozen-lot. Bikes go fast-speedy now.”

“Do you remember who you sold them to?” Tahve questioned.

“Sure do!” Triki said. “Big, ugly Matoran. Mean-looking. Said they wanted bikes for fast-chases. Swell dudes.”

“Oh,” Tahve said, sharing a glance with Rhagre. That had been too easy. “And was there anything unusual about these Matoran?”

“Yeah,” Triki said. “They didn’t slow-back away and give me weird eye-look. Like that!” he said, pointing to Rhagre, who was looking at Triki as if the Matoran had sprouted a second head. “Most people look at me like that! I guess they must be odd-weird if they don’t greet me otherwise.”

“And did they carry any weaponry?” Rhagre asked.

“Yeah, big projectile blaster thingies,” Triki replied.

“That sounds like a Gang Matoran,” Rhagre said, turning to Tahve. “They’ve been seen carrying these new launchers which they use to threaten civilians and fight Toa. Sounds like they paid your friend Triki a visit.”

“Did they threaten you?” Tahve asked Triki.

“At first,” Triki said with a shrug. “But they became real friendly after I quick-helped them out.” He frowned slightly. “Hey, aren’t Gang Matoran bad-mean?”

“Yes, they are,” Tahve said. “I think you were fooled into supplying Keli-Nui’s worst criminal group with fast Hover-Bikes.”

“Well, that’s cool-not,” Triki said. “They trickicated me.”

“This is interesting, but it won’t help us find their base,” Rhagre said.

“Maybe they left something here that can lead us back to them,” Tahve said. “Triki, what did they use to pay you? Some kind of forged widgets? Stolen artifacts?”

“Naw, they didn’t quick-give me anything for payments,” Triki said. “They invited me to their party-bar, where I got my groove down. It was a wicked-blast night.”

Tahve and Rhagre turned to each other, grinning. “Triki, you don’t suppose you could show us this bar of theirs?” Tahve asked.

“Problem no!” Triki said, jumping up. “Who’s ready for some party-fun tonight?”

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#6 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 14 2015 - 02:47 AM

Chapter 6: Infiltration of a Criminal Base

Triki led Tahve and Rhagre between the warehouses near the coastline. Many of the buildings up in this area of the city were used mostly for storage, and only a few Matoran ever worked in there. Its remoteness was ideal for a Gang Matoran hideout, and there was such an intricate system of warehouses that it was difficult for the Toa to search through them all. But Triki already knew where the Gang Matoran bar was, and was happy to lead the two of them there.

Although Rhagre still had his doubts. “That’s the second time we’ve passed that building,” he whispered to Tahve. “He’s leading us in circles.”

“He’s just a little disoriented,” Tahve said. This seemed to be the case, as Triki puzzled over which direction to turn. Finally, he seemed to recognize something, and rushed off to the left. Tahve and Rhagre had to sprint to keep up.

Triki pointed to a broken down warehouse. “It’s in there!” he said. “But there’s a secret-hidden way inside. Follow me.”

Triki passed by the main entrance and walked to the back. There, he found a small exit door and pounded on it ferociously. Tahve wasn’t sure what to expect, but he was still surprised when the door opened to reveal a very large Matoran inside.

“Password?” the Matoran grunted. The Matoran was huge and filthy. His armor was worn and cracked, and he smelled. He was a Gang Matoran if Tahve had ever seen one.

“I’m here to get my groove on!” Triki exclaimed.

This didn’t amuse the Gang Matoran. “Get lost,” he grunted, as he was about to slam the door. But suddenly, another voice said, “Who do we have here?”

A Ta-Matoran with a brown Matatu walked up to the door guard. The Matoran turned to him and respectfully said, “It’s that crazy Le-Matoran again...”

“Ah, Triki,” the Ta-Matoran said, pushing aside the guard. “Of course, it’s our favorite Hover-Bike mechanic! You are always welcomed here to... er, dance.” He glanced at Tahve and Rhagre. “Who are your two friends?”

“This is Tahve and Tahve’s friend!” Triki said brightly. “We came to Par-tay!”

The Ta-Matoran looked over the two Matoran and shook his head. “They look too clean-cut. Throw them out.”

“Wait!” Tahve said. “We’re... uh, we’re smugglers! Triki here said you guys were a good source for black market goods, and we came to trade. Of course we’re clean-cut; we had to get past Toa to get to this city.”

“Foreigners,” the Matoran said, grinning. “Well, you came to the right place. I happen to excel in smuggling. I have contacts from Metru-Nui all the way to Xia. Perhaps we can discuss some things. Come in.” He grinned wickedly. “By the way, you can call me Gragu.”

“Gragu?” Rhagre repeated. Gragu was the known Gang-Matoran leader in Keli-Nui who had organized the whole thing from the very start. Although the Toa never knew exactly who he was, he had proved to be elusive and very dangerous. Locating him was a big step in bringing the Gang Matoran’s reign to an end.

Gragu led his guests further into the warehouse. The main section of the building was in sever disrepair; rubble was lying everywhere and in places the roof had collapsed. The only remarkable thing in the space was the collection of Hover-Bikes, lined up for a quick getaway. But this was not where the Gang Matoran lived. They followed Gragu down a hidden stairway and into the basement.

They entered the main recreation room, which was filled with Gang Matoran. There was a bar where Matoran were handing out beverages, a couple of tables where Matoran were gambling, and a dance floor. A strange contraption hung over the dance floor; it was a bunch of colored lightstones tied together in a spherical bundle that rotated and spread out sparkling beams of light across the room. A music device was playing rustic tunes, which spurred Triki to instantly jump to the dance floor and start grooving. Tahve and Rhagre instead followed Gragu to one of the tables.

“Nice place,” Tahve said. “Well hidden.”

“You bet,” Gragu said. “We’ve got a dozen of these facilities around the city, just in case the Toa discover us. Just the other day, we had to move out at the last minute when we heard that the Toa were coming to investigate. Sure, we lost some stuff, but nothing of great value.” He leaned over and grinned at Tahve, who had to stop himself from moving away due to the smell. “So, you’re a smuggler, ‘eh? What are ya lookin’ for?”

“Uh, whatever,” Tahve said. “Actually, we were interested in weaponry.” He patted his Kanoka launcher on his shoulder. “Discs are well and good, but we want something that can really blow stuff up.”

“Well, we might have something that’ll interest you,” Gragu said. He snapped his fingers, and a Gang Matoran ran off into an adjacent room. He returned shortly with a large blaster in his hand.

“They’re called Cordaks,” Gragu said, lifting the weapon. “Got them in a recent deal, and they’ve worked wonders. The explosive missiles can shatter buildings and mountains, and can certainly knock down a few Toa. They’ve allowed my collection of friends to really expand their influence around this city.”

“Cordaks?” Rhagre said, reaching for the weapon. “I’ve never heard of them.”

Gragu pulled the Cordak blaster out of Rhagre’s reach. “No touching. Of course you haven’t heard of these; they’re not really a Matoran play-thing. But they’re a hit with larger, nastier beings. We managed to get a good contact and received some of these, which put any other Matoran weapon to shame.”

“How many do you have?” Tahve asked, straining to keep his voice calm and normal. Being surrounded by so many Gang Matoran was beginning to make him nervous, but he knew that he couldn’t show it. Rhagre, on the other hand, just looked bored.

“I have enough to spare a few,” Gragu said. “If used properly, I probably have enough to take over this city. Won’t that be the day?”

“Do you have anything that can fire powerful energy blasts, but it is also deadly quiet?” Tahve asked, thinking of the attack that had killed Nolox.

“Looking to assassinate someone?” Gragu said with a grin. “Sorry, but we don’t have anything like that here. If you want a weapon from the Gang Matoran, you’ve got to expect something that’ll leave quite a mess afterwards.”

All the Gang Matoran around the table chuckled at this statement. Tahve grinned weakly, but his mind was spinning. A Cordak blaster hadn’t been used to kill Nolox, that was for sure, so what was the murder weapon? Perhaps the Gang Matoran did have it, but they weren’t willing to reveal its existence to new smugglers. Gragu was being very opened, and it was making Tahve nervous.

“Oh yeah!” Tahve turned to see Triki out of the dance floor. He was spinning around and waving his arms madly. He spread out his legs and did the splits, and then snapped them together, jumped up, and pulled off a back flip. The Gang Matoran cheered him on, and he grinned wildly. “Oh yeah! Who’s the ‘toran? Who’s the ‘toran? I’M THE ‘TORAN!”

“Simple fool,” Gragu chuckled. “He has no idea who we are or about our operations. I’m actually surprised you were able to reach us through him.”

“We’re old friends,” Tahve said. “And it wasn’t that hard. After all, who else would make such strange payments?”

Gragu grinned. “A brilliant piece of deception, if I do say so myself. We get top notch Hover-Bike maintenance for absolutely no cost, and all we have to do is let him come by every once in a while to make a complete fool out of himself. Much better than going through Turaga Nolox’s people.”

Most of the Gang Matoran scowled at the mention of Nolox. “That Turaga is the worst thing to happen to this city,” one of them said.

“He has too many restrictions and laws!” another shouted.

“How can we get a little fun with his Toa always tracking us down,” a third complained. “I wish he’d drop dead.”

Now Rhagre was starting to get angry, and Tahve could see it. Before he burst out, Tahve said, “But haven’t you heard the news?”

“What news?” grunted Gragu. “We tend to ignore any new laws he creates.”

“The Turaga’s not going to be making any more laws,” Tahve said, trying to keep back his emotion. “He’s dead. Murdered in his own chamber.”

The Gang Matoran in the room fell silent, with the exception of Triki. Gragu lifted his beverage and somberly said, “To Turaga Nolox.” He grinned. “Good riddance!” He drained his beverage while the Gang Matoran roared with laughter.

Rhagre was not impressed. “They’re sending the Toa out to find his murderer,” he said. “Shouldn’t you be worried?”

“What’s to be worried about?” Gragu said. “We ain’t his killers. Although it’s not through lack of trying. Boy, I’d like to shake the hands of the criminal who finally knocked him off. Killed him in his own chamber, you say? That takes skill.”

“Why should we be worried about his Toa?” one of the Gang Matoran shouted. “They’re pathetic!”

“Now, I wouldn’t say that,” Rhagre started, but he was interrupted.

“Have you seen that leader of theirs?” a Gang Matoran crowed. “He’s that big oaf of a Toa of Iron. Thinks he’s special and all that. Isn’t aware that he’s Rahi dung!” The Gang Matoran roared with laughter again.

“Can’t hit the broadside of a Kikinalo.”

“Probably spends more time polishing his mask than actually using it.”

“With a guy like that leading the Toa, we have nothing to worry about.”

Rhagre’s mask was starting to glow red, and Tahve hoped that was just from the emotion. “I disagree. I think Rhagre’s a really tough Toa,” he said, narrowing his eyes,

“Yeah!” Tahve said. “Tough, but nothing these guys can’t handle.” He nudged Rhagre painfully in the ribs. “Nothing to worry about, right?”

Rhagre grunted, getting the message. “Right.”

A Gang Matoran entered the room and spoke quietly to Gragu, who rose to his feet. “If you’d excuse me for a moment,” he said. “We can complete our deal when I return.” Tahve watched as he left to return to the ground floor.

The Gang Matoran around the table were still trading insults about the Toa. “Did you hear the story about Rhagre and the Hoto bug?” one of them started. “After a week long struggle, Rhagre had a statue of himself constructed for his victory. But that was only after he called in Pest Control for backup!” The Gang Matoran chortled.

“Then there was the time where he fell in love with a Toa he’d just met, only to realize that it was a mirror reflection of himself.”

“How about the time when he chased and apprehended a burglar onto to realize it was one of his own Guards!”

Rhagre jumped to his feet. “Those are all lies!” he shouted.

All the Gang Matoran looked towards him. Triki collapsed in the chair next to Tahve, worn out from dancing so hard. “Why’d the laughing quick-stop?” he asked. “Did somebody tell joke-bad?”

One of the Gang Matoran snorted. “Well, the stories may not be true, but they’re pretty funny. Don’t be such a killjoy, pal.”

“Yeah, after all, even the average Matoran civilian knows he’s a stuck-up prick,” another said.

“Well, I’ve heard stories about that Toa which would make your armor crawl,” Rhagre said.

The Gang Matoran all chuckled. “Go ahead, then. Enlighten us.”

“Once, Toa Rhagre was trying to stop this secret society of beings,” Rhagre started. “But they were very crafty, and knew how to run and hide. But Rhagre got the better of them; he disguised himself and infiltrated their ranks. And then, when they were least expecting it, he captured every last one of them, bringing upon them the ultimate defeat.”

The Gang Matoran all frowned. “If there’s any tale that’s false, that one sure is it.”

“No, no, it’s true,” Rhagre insisted. “In fact, let me show you.”

Rhagre’s masks glowed for an instant, and Rhagre’s Matoran body shifted. The Gang Matoran gaped in surprise as Rhagre regained his Toa form. They were just starting to react when Rhagre struck.

Changing his mask back into a Sanok, Rhagre started materializing metal chains into his hands. He threw them with incredible accuracy at the occupants of the room. Before half the Gang Matoran could even move, they found their arms and legs wrapped up in thick chains which were then pinned into the walls and table. The other Gang Matoran ducked for cover, but many were struck by the flying pieces of metal and brought to the floor.

One Gang Matoran jumped aside and grabbed the Cordak blaster. He aimed for Rhagre’s back, hoping to strike the Toa down from behind. Then Tahve struck him from behind, knocking him down with a swinging kick. He loaded his Kanoka launcher and fired a disc at another Matoran who was charging towards Rhagre with a spear. The disc struck, and the Gang Matoran was encased in ice.

Rhagre threw a metal bar, striking the last Gang Matoran in the chest and knocking him unconscious. He used his elemental powers to create protosteel manacles that held every last Gang Matoran. He looked at Tahve with a grin. “Who’s the big oaf now?”

“You imbecile!” Tahve shouted. “If you were going to go ballistic and capture all these guys, you could’ve at least waited until their leader returned!” He pointed to the staircase. “You made so much racket that Gragu’s probably a hundred miles from here by now.”

“Maybe not,” Rhagre said, rushing up the stairs. “Let’s go get him.”

Triki appeared from under the table. “How’d your friend quick-grow?” he asked. “And why’d he wreck-bash place?”

“I’ll tell you about it later,” Tahve said, grabbing Triki’s arm. “Come on, we need to get the rest of them.”

The Toa and two Matoran burst into the warehouse to see the remaining Gang Matoran hop on their Hover-Bikes. Rhagre fired two metal spheres and knocked two Matoran off their bikes. But Gragu and the others were already lifting off, and blasting away into the evening sky.

Rhagre was shaking his fists at them when something else caught his eye. There was a being staring down through the hole in the warehouse roof. He appeared to be mostly white, but his orange eyes locked on Rhagre as the Toa of Iron looked up. Rhagre gasped as he saw the Toa sized being. But this was no Toa, because he had an extra pair of arms hanging down his side.

“Kavihkli,” Rhagre whispered. In an instant, the figure disappeared, leaping off the roof and out of sight.

“NOT TODAY!” Rhagre roared. Before Tahve could even ask, the Toa of Iron picked up one of the fallen Hover-Bikes, which was just big enough to accommodate his bulk. Then he blasted off into the darkening sky, but he wasn’t moving in the direction of the Gang Matoran. Instead, he was following the Dark Hunter.

“Unreliable,” Tahve grumbled. “Triki, come on. We’ve got to follow that boss of yours, and set things straight.”

“That’s right,” Triki said. “I didn’t get to dance-boogey long enough!”

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#7 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 25 2015 - 12:05 AM

Chapter 7: Chase in the Air

Even in the darkening skies, Rhagre could see his target; an orange and white Dark Hunter. Rhagre didn’t know much about Kavihkli’s appearance, but two sets of arms and the mask-less face made it apparent this being was no tourist.

Worst, he had the ability to fly. He wasn’t doing this naturally; he had some sort of hovering power that allowed him to glide through the air with ease. Rhagre had seen this technique used in the robotic Vahki of Metru-Nui, and knew that the Dark Hunters had long ago acquired the technology. But the ability to fly did not make Kavihli invisible.

The Dark Hunter turned his head, and his orange eyes locked on Rhagre. The Toa of Iron was advancing on the borrowed Hover-Bike, and readied an attack. Rhagre used his elemental powers to create a metal spear in his hands, and then used his mask power to throw it directly at Kavihkli. At the last minute, the Dark Hunter rolled to the side, and the spear flew by. Then he dove down in between the warehouses, hoping to lose the Toa closer to the ground.

Rhagre gunned the engine, and dove down after him. He sped through the narrow pathways between large structures, always keeping his quarry in sight. When Kavihkli made a sharp turn, Rhagre followed. He was able to keep up with him, but Rhagre realized that he wasn’t gaining any ground. He couldn’t go faster or else he’d risk missing a turn and smashing his bike into the side of a building.

So he decided to go on the offensive again. He summoned multiple metal spears and threw them with all his might. Kavihkli avoided the first few, but then one caught him at a glancing blow. He slowed down slightly, and Rhagre sped up, throwing metal shrapnel through the air at the same time.

Kavihkli came to a stop, and turned to his oncoming pursuer. Just before Rhagre and his metal attack would’ve struck him, Kavihkli cut off his flight ability, and dropped down to the ground below. The shrapnel missed, and Rhagre flew directly over the Dark Hunter. The Toa of Iron turned to follow up with another attack, but saw Kavihkli swing a scythe in his general direction. A green blob was released from the scythe’s blade and flew towards Rhagre. He turned the Hover-Bike just in time to avoid the poison missile.

“Oh, very good,” he said. “A poison attack. I hope that’s not all you’ve got.”

Kavihkli tilted his head slightly, and then heaved another glob of poison towards Rhagre. Again, the Toa dodged around it, but in doing so his Hover-Bike clipped the side of the building, bringing him crashing down.

Rhagre got to his feet, expecting to see Kavihkli attack. But the Dark Hunter stood still, and merely snapped his claws that were attached to his second pair of arms. Before Rhagre could attack, he lifted off and flew away again.

“Not a fighter, huh,” Rhagre said, pulling the Hover-Bike upright. It was damaged, but it could still fly. Only this time, Kavihkli had a longer head start.

Once in the air, Rhagre spotted Kavihkli’s distant form, heading towards downtown Keli-Nui. Once there, he could lose himself in the vast metropolitan maze of skyscrapers. Rhagre wasn’t going to give him the chance, though, and followed. He went as fast as he could, ignoring the sputtering of the Hover-Bike. He was not going to lose the Dark Hunter that easily.

He finally caught up with Kavihkli as he dove down amongst the skyscrapers. Rhagre was right behind him, and hurtled a metal disc towards him. The disc clipped Kavihkli’s head, causing him to veer off course. He was headed right into the side of a massive building. Kavihkli dropped out of his flying mode, and spread out his arms for the impact. Instead of crashing, he simply struck the wall and bounced off. He used his momentum to throw him towards a windowsill, where he neatly landed. Then, he bent his legs and pushed off, propelling himself far into the empty air, where he went back into his flying mode. He had managed to do this in a matter of seconds, and Rhagre never had a chance to strike.

This was starting to irk the Toa of Iron.

Rhagre used the chance to catch up to Kavihkli, and landed a solid punch as he flew by. This disoriented Kavihkli, but then the Dark Hunter regained his senses and shot down a side alley. Rhagre turned the corner, ready to follow.

However, as he made the turn, he saw Kavihkli hovering in the air, waiting for him. He fired another glob of poison towards the Toa. Rhagre brought up the Hover-Bike just in time, and it blocked the poison attack. Unfortunately, the poison ate away at the Hover-Bike’s mechanics, and the whole vehicles shuddered and took a nosedive. Even as Rhagre fell, he threw a shard of metal at Kavihkli, bringing the Dark Hunter down too. Rhagre leapt off the Hover-Bike just as it crashed into the ground, and landed with a grunt behind the wreckage. He turned to look down the alley, where Kavihlki was already on his feet.

“Dark Hunter!” Rhagre roared. “You are under arrest.”

Kavihkli was about to jump up and fly away when another piece of metal flew above his head. “And don’t even think about trying to run.”

Kavihkli looked at the Toa with a bored expression. “You don’t want to fight me,” he said in a raspy voice.

“Oh, I think I do!” Rhagre said. Concentrating on his elemental powers, he created a sword blade in his left hand, and held it tight. Uttering a war cry, he charged the Dark Hunter.

Rhagre had skill with a sword, but he never expected his foe to be quite so agile. Kavihkli blocked the first blow with his lance, and then nimbly dodged around all the other strikes. Rhagre summoned another blade in his second hand, but Kavihkli still parried. In addition to his lance, he was using his clawed middle hands to block all of Rhagre’s blows. This just urged Rhagre to lash out all the faster.

Suddenly, Kavihkli grasped both sword blades in his claws. With a flex of muscles, he shattered the blades, jumped up, and kicked Rhagre square in the chest. The Toa fell back to the ground, where the Dark Hunter stared at him.

“Where is the Dedh-See?” the Dark Hunter asked.

“The what?” Rhagre said, confused.

“I am here for the Dedh-See,” Kavihkli repeated. “And you, Toa, are just getting in the way.”

Rhagre lashed out. He created a strand of chain, and used it to wrap Kavihkli’s clawed hands together. As the Dark Hunter struggled to free himself, Rhagre jumped up in a spinning kick and caught Kavihkli in the chest. The Dark Hunter took the blow hard, but had already snapped the chains as he got to his feet. He swung his lance towards Rhagre’s head, but it was blocked as Rhagre created another sword. The two exchanged blows, but Kavihkli was pushed back. He them jumped up in a back flip, and his feet struck Rhagre’s Kanohi. Rhagre’s back hit the ground and Kavihkli rushed forward, his claws snapping. Rhagre pushed his feet up, catching Kavihkli and using his momentum to throw the Dark Hunter up and over him.

Rhagre scrambled back to his feet, metal arrows forming in his hand. He stared at Kavihkli with barely controlled rage. “You come here and demand something of us, but you have no right. You killed Turaga Nolox, and now you will suffer the consequences.”

He threw the arrows, but Kavihkli knocked them aside with his claws and lance. “I didn’t kill your Turaga,” he hissed as he jumped forward, punching and kicking. Rhagre tried to avoid the blows, but he was still knocked back into the wall.

“You lie,” he snarled, forming a metal staff in his hands. He used it to block Kavihkli’s claws, and managed to strike the Dark Hunter in the head.

Kavihkli backed up, stunned by the blow. “I didn’t kill your Turaga,” he repeated. Then he paused. “But I know who did.”

“WHO!” Rhagre shouted, charging. This time, Kavihkli grabbed the staff in his claws and snapped it in half, and send a sharp kick into Rhagre’s gut, throwing him back.

“Bring me the Dedh-See,” Kavihkli said. “And then I’ll tell you who the murderer is.”

“You can tell me,” Rhagre grunted. “After I lock you away in the Capital Building’s prison!”

Kavihkli was unimpressed. He lifted up his scythe, and a greenish orb formed on the tip. He threw it up in the air and let it land, releasing a cloud on noxious gases. Rhagre’s eyes went wide, and he jumped up and grabbed a handhold on the wall. He pulled himself up as the green mist filled the alley. He kept on climbing until he reached a balcony. He looked down below to see that the mist had finally dissipated, but there was no sign of the Dark Hunter.

There was a slight scraping, and Rhagre looked up. Clinging to the wall above him was Kavihkli, who had moved so swiftly and silently that Rhagre had missed him.

“Bring me the Dedh-See, and I will pass on the information you seek,” Kavihkli spoke with a hiss. With that, he leapt off the building and flew away. Rhagre tried to bring him down with metal projectiles, but he was too fast. And this time, Rhagre had no way to follow him.

“Curse that Dark Hunter!”

*****


Gragu settled in his seat, extremely displeased. They had relocated to another secret base near the docks on the eastern edge of the city. The new base was almost the same as the old one; they had a bar and a disco ball, as well as a good supply of weaponry and ammunition. However, this new location was smaller and in a more populated area. But what really peeved Gragu was that this was their second retreat in just as many days. The Toa were becoming more efficient, so the time of secrecy was nearing an end.

“What do we do now, Boss?” one of the Gang Matoran asked.

“We’re going to strike back,” Gragu said. “But we have to make it quick. I don’t know how the Toa discovered us back there, but that was too close. Not only did we lose half our numbers, but precious weaponry as well. I wonder how they did it.”

“Those two smugglers were very suspicious,” the former door guard said. “I bet they had something to do with it.”

“You are right,” Gragu said. “How foolish of me to invite total strangers into our base. We should’ve arranged to meet them elsewhere.”

“So, what’s our plan of attack?”

“Whoever the smugglers are, they did bring some good news,” Gragu said. “The Turaga is dead. I don’t know what circumstances brought up this lovely opportunity, but we’re going to take it. The Toa and Matoran Guard will be in disarray right now, trying to keep the public calm and the criminals in check. They’ll be spread too thin, and it’ll be perfect for a full out attack. And once we overthrow them, then we can claim this city as our own.”

“But we don’t have the numbers or power,” one Matoran piped in.

“We have both,” Gragu said. “Just before the evacuation, I spoke with Kavihkli. He organized another shipment of Cordak blasters, and they’re waiting in this very base. I came here for a reason, of course. As for numbers...” He held up a scroll. “That’s what this is for.”

The Gang Matoran hushed up, staring at the scroll. Gragu continued. “There are five other companies of Gang Matoran in this city, all under my command. But only I know where each and every one of them are located, and I have recorded them in this scroll. In this time of need, I will pass on the information to you. You will spread the word of our attack, so every Gang Matoran in this city can take down the Capital Building, each with a Cordak blaster in hand.” The Gang Matoran cheered for him.

“I will need all of you to proceed with this plan,” Gragu said, looking over the ranks of Matoran. “In addition to spreading the word, we will need to distribute the Cordak blasters and other weaponry. We also need to do this quietly as well as quickly. The Toa are obviously on the lookout for us, so we can’t allow ourselves to be captured. How surprised will they be when we strike them where they live, instead of the other way around. The irony suits me.” He laughed along with the Gang Matoran.

Then the door burst opened, and the Gang Matoran fell silent. “Nice plan, Gragu, but I can think of a few flaws in it.”

Gragu looked up with a dull expression. “Smuggler,” he said, addressing Tahve, who stood in the doorway with his Kanoka launcher in hand. “I had a feeling you were responsible for this.”

“Forget-not me too!” Triki said, jumping beside Tahve, holding his own Kanoka launcher.

“Triki, have you turned on us?” Gragu asked with mock disappointment. “After all we’ve done for you?”

“Tahve told me you’re bad-evil Matoran,” Triki said. “That, and you have a bad-poor collection of groovy music.”

“So what are the smuggler and his mechanic friend planning to do against the Gang Matoran?” Gragu asked.

“I’m not a smuggler,” Tahve said. “Maybe I forgot to mention this; I’m part of the Matoran Guard. Gragu, you and your minions are under arrest for terrorizing Matoran and plotting to overthrow the Toa.”

“Don’t they teach you anything in Guard training?” Gragu asked, snapping his fingers. All the Gang Matoran in the room lifted their Cordak blasters. “You don’t arrest Gang Matoran. You run from them.”

Tahve fired first, sending an Enlarging disc at a nearby chair. The chair expanded in size just as the Gang Matoran opened fire. Tahve and Triki ducked behind the chair as Cordak missiles flew through the air, blasting apart the wall. Tahve leaned around the chair and tried to fire a Weakening disc, but it was shattered in mid-flight by the Cordaks.

“Wow, those things are loud-bangs,” Triki shouted over the noise.

“We’ve got to stop them somehow,” Tahve yelled, as a portion of the chair above his head exploded.

Triki looked around wildly, and then he tilted his head up and sighted the lightstone disco ball. He grinned, and loaded a Regeneration disc into his launcher. “Eye protection optional!” he shouted to Tahve as he fired his disc directly up. Tahve got the hint, and held his Kanoka disc over his eyes.

The disc struck the lightstone disco ball and caused the lightstones to explode in blasts of light. Brilliant streaks of light shot across the room, and Tahve could see their reflections even from behind the disc. When it was over, Tahve lowered the disc to see portions of the walls still shining with an afterglow. Even better, the Gang Matoran had stopped with their bombardment of Cordak missiles.

Tahve looked over the wreckage of the chair to see most of the Gang Matoran wandering aimlessly. The fierce blast of light had been enough to temporarily blind them, and now they couldn’t aim their Cordak blasters properly. However, some had covered their eyes in time, and were now moving to continue their attack.

Tahve leapt aside as Cordak missiles blasted apart the remains of the enlarged chair. He spun around and fired a Shrinking disc, and the Gang Matoran suddenly found himself too small to even hold the Cordak blaster. Before he could escape, the weapon pinned him to the ground. Another Gang Matoran was about to open fire on Tahve when he fired a Teleportation disc. The Cordak blaster disappeared, leaving the Gang Matoran empty handed. Before he could grab another weapon, Tahve leapt up and kicked him in the mask, sending him down.

Tahve was turning around when a metal bar knocked his launcher from his hands. Gragu leapt forward, swinging the bar. Tahve ducked down and the weapon just missed striking him on the head. He tried to punch Gragu, but the Gang Matoran leader blocked the blow and then knocked Tahve’s feet out from under him.

“Hey, Gra-gooey!” Gragu turned just in time to see a Reconstruct at Random disc flying towards him. Once it struck, Gargu felt his armor began to change. It formed into a goopy substance that weighed him down and made him stick to the floor. He struggled to get to his feet, but his molecularly reconstructed armor was too heavy. He was down for good.

“Oh yeah!” Triki said, twirling his Kanoka launcher in his hand. “Who’s the ‘toran? I’m the ‘toran!”

All the Gang Matoran were now either blind or subdued. Tahve bent down and grabbed the scroll from Gragu’s goopy hands. “Why, thank you for this. With this scroll, we can track down every last Gang Matoran and bring your reign of terror to an end.”

He turned back to Triki. “Thanks for your help, friend. Now let’s tie the rest of these guys down before their vision returns. I already sent a message out to the Guard before we got here, so they should be along shortly. And we also have to go back and pick up the Gang Matoran Rhagre left chained up at the last location.”

“Yeah, sure-good,” Triki said. Tahve could see that he looked slightly disappointed.

“Triki, what’s wrong?”

“I’m going to have to find a new place to dance-groove,” Triki said. “All the other places out-throw me for ‘wild behavior.’ I not-know what they’re talking about.”

Tahve grinned. “I’m sure you’ll have a chance to party again, Triki. But these Gang Matoran have had their last bit of fun. From now on, they can dance in the Capital Building’s prison!”

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#8 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 28 2015 - 02:43 PM

Chapter 8: Memories

Tahve entered the Capital Building. It had certainly been a busy day, especially since he wasn’t even on the job. However, there was one last thing he needed to investigate, and it was something that chilled him to think about. He had to return to the Turaga’s murder location.

Tahve immediately ran into Jalkal, who was passing down the entrance hallway. When the Guard Captain saw Tahve, he turned on him an exploded. “Just who do you think you are?!”

“Uh, nice to see you too,” Tahve said, confused.

“Don’t play dumb with me,” Jalkal shouted. “I specifically told you to keep your mouth shut, but then you blabbed out all the details of our investigation!”

“What! No I didn’t!”

“So you told absolutely nobody about the Turaga’s murder?” Jalkal shot.

“Um,” Tahve said, hesitating. “Okay, I told my friend Feli a few of the basics. She was trying to get an article for the Head Chronicler, since it’s her dream to be a Chronicler someday. I didn’t tell her much; I just listed a few suspects and details. Stuff we should let the public know about.”

‘The public’s not the only one!” Jalkal said. “The murderer may have read the paper, and we wanted to keep the hunt for him quiet until we caught him. But thanks to you, the word’s out.”

“But, it didn’t get published!” Tahve objected. “Feli showed it to the Head Chronicler, and he wouldn’t let her publish it, because he heard that I had been taken off active duty so I was no longer a reliable source.” He paused. “Are you telling me he published the article after all?”

“The Head Chronicler didn’t just publish it,” Jalkal said, throwing him the evening edition of the Chronicler’s Post. “He wrote it.”

Tahve scanned the article. It was exactly what he had told Feli, with a few exaggerate details. However Feli wasn’t credited for the article at all; the Head Chronicler had put his name down instead.

“I can’t believe this!” he said. “This guy ripped off Feli’s work right after he rejected her.”

“I can’t believe you let her interview you in the first place!” Jalkal shouted. “Now people like the Gang Matoran know we’re after them. We just lost the element of surprise.”

Tahve looked up. “You haven’t heard the news? I sent a message out to the Guard, so I’d thought you would’ve been informed.”

“Informed about what?” Jalkal snapped.

“Rhagre and I located the Gang Matoran’s base this evening,” Tahve said. “Or at least one of them. Rhagre and I detained all of them, and a Guard patrol came by and helped lead them back here. They should be arriving any time now.”

Jalkal blinked. “You jest, my friend. Certainly you haven’t been that busy.”

“No, it’s true,” Tahve insisted. “Plus, I think I know where Suni is. You know, the escaped Ga-Matoran chemist.”

Jalkal shook his head, refusing to believe it. But then the Guard patrol showed up, leading the company of Gang Matoran, all of whom were in chains. “Hey, Jalkal,” one of the Guards said. “Tahve told us to come and help round these guys up. Sorry, but we were in such a rush that we didn’t have time to inform you. Which prison cells should we lock them away in?”

Jalkal rubbed his eyes. “I’ll be with you in a second,” he said. “Just lead them down there; we’ll find room.” He turned back to Tahve. “Okay, I guess you were telling the truth. But where is Rhagre?”

“Last I saw of him, he was chasing the Dark Hunter,” Tahve said. “It turns out Kavihkli was supplying the Gang Matoran with weaponry. Hopefully Rhagre will bring him in.” He grinned. “By the way, don’t fill up all the prison cells. There are more Gang Matoran out there, and now we can find them thanks to this.” He held up the scroll he had taken from Gragu. “It contains information on the whereabouts of all the Gang Matoran, but I think there might be more. A scroll was confiscated by Ihrov the other day, and it was in Turaga Nolox’s possession. I was hoping that I could go find it and see if it also contains useful information about the Gang Matoran.”

“I see,” Jalkal said. “Although Nolox has been removed from the Turaga’s Chambers, nothing else has been touched. You may go and search for this second scroll. Just be careful.” He paused. “Oh, and Tahve.”

“Yes.”

“Good job today.”

*****


Tahve slowly entered the Turaga’s Chambers. Already, emotion was threatening to overcome him. He had been able to channel his sorrow of Nolox’s death into determination to find the murderer, but it was almost too much to take back in this room.

He looked around, searching for the box of confiscated goods. The shattered remains of the desk were still on the floor, but the box had been pushed back against the wall. Tahve knelt down and started to remove the items. He set aside knives, chisels, a crystal, lightstones, and widgets, but didn’t see the scroll. He picked up the box and shook it upside-down, but no scroll fell out.

This chilled Tahve. Nobody had been here since the Turaga’s death, so who would’ve taken the scroll? Did the murderer grab it just before he dealt the killing blow? Was it perhaps the same Gang Matoran scroll that he had in his hands? Tahve shook his head. That didn’t make sense, as the Gang Matoran had no clue about the Turaga’s death. As evil as they were, they weren’t responsible. However, their ally, Kavihkli, was still a potential suspect. Hopefully Rhagre already had the Dark Hunter in chains.

Tahve began to look over the other items, just to see if any of them looked important. But nothing looked suspicious; they were all just left behind in the Gang Matoran’s retreat. Then his eyes fell upon the crystal. It wasn’t just an ordinary gem; it was a memory crystal. Maybe it had important information stored inside it, and the Gang Matoran had dropped it accidentally in their haste.

Tahve grabbed the crystal in his hand and concentrated, trying to draw out the memories it contained. Something new started to fill his consciousness, and the room around him appeared to mist over. However, when the mists cleared, he was still in the Turaga’s chamber. Only this time, he wasn’t alone.

“The right of my species!” said a being near the door. He was tall and had white spikes, and he had just thrown off his cloak. He was leaning down to leer at a Matoran. Tahve gasped. That Matoran was him, facing off against Makuta Krika.

“Ah, now I recognize you.” Tahve spun around in surprise. The words came from Turaga Nolox, alive and healthy, sitting at his desk. Tahve was so startled that he dropped the memory crystal, and the images around him faded away, until he was in the empty room again.

Tahve looked at the crystal. It was indeed a memory crystal, but not one that had belonged to the Gang Matoran. Turaga Nolox had recorded his memories in it shortly before his death! It must’ve fallen to the floor when the desk exploded, and accidentally placed with the confiscated items. Tahve’s curiosity was piqued, so he grabbed the crystal again and concentrated, until the memory reformed around him.

“Makuta Krika, the Makuta of our region,” Turaga Nolox said, as he got to his feet. “Why didn’t you announce yourself in the first place?”

“I am here on urgent business. Confidential business.”

“I understand. Tahve, please step outside for a moment. Allow me to converse with Krika privately.” The Tahve of the past reluctantly walked out through the doors, but the present Tahve stood where he was, with his eyes focused on the Turaga and Makuta.

“Your Matoran is very nosey,” Krika said. “I may have to mind-wash him on my way out. It cannot be publicly known that I have come to this city.”

“Tahve is a good Matoran and a good Guard,” Turaga Nolox said. “I’d trust him with my life, and then some. If you want to remain in the shadows, Makuta Krika, I can see to it that he takes an oath of silence.”

“The shadows... yes, that’s where I belong,” the Makuta grumbled. “Now, to business. The Brotherhood rarely sees the need to inform others of our activities, but something deeply disturbing happened. The Dedh-See scroll was stolen from our island naught but two days ago.”

“How terrible,” Nolox said politely. “Excuse me for asking, but what is the Dedh-See scroll? I am not familiar with such an artifact.”

“The Brotherhood of Makuta has... recorded something in the scroll,” Krika said, hesitating slightly. “It is not your business to know what, but know that it is something of importance. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, then the Brotherhood could fall. I understand you rely on the Toa for protection, but if someone were to overthrow the Makuta, then all the universe would be at risk.”

“I see,” Nolox said. “But how can I be of assistance, Makuta Krika? I cannot ask my Toa to stage a hunt for the Dedh-See scroll if you want to keep their theft a secret.”

“We have reasons to believe the thief retreated to this continent,” Krika said. “In such desperate times, our leader has ordered us to inform the authoritative figures of the Matoran cities. If you hear anything about the scroll being in Keli-Nui, than we demand that you inform us. Immediately.”

“It’s that important, huh?” Turaga Nolox said. “I am surprised that the Brotherhood would be so trusting with me in this situation. You Makuta are always so sure of yourself; if you ever have faults, you do not let anybody ever know. To come and admit that you’ve been robbed is something new.”

Krika leaned down towards Nolox, but the Turaga didn’t even flinch. “This was no ordinary thief. There was a Makuta on guard; the thief killed him. There are few beings in this universe with the power to kill a Makuta, so we are being very cautious this time around. Very cautious.”

Any ordinary being would turn and run after being addressed in such a sinister way, but Turaga Nolox simply treated Krika as an equal, something which further infuriated the Makuta. Tahve felt a rush of pride for his Turaga as he watched Krika finally back away from the Turaga’s steady stare.

“I will look into it,” Nolox said. “If there are any reports of a stolen scroll or an unusual thief, I will alert you right away. How shall I reach you?”

“I must leave soon for an emergency meeting on our island,” Krika said. “But I will return in two days time. When I return, I hope to hear a full report from you, Turaga. But be careful; this is a very dangerous situation.”

“How so?” Nolox casually asked.

“The thief was willing to kill a Makuta; he is a murderer as well as a robber. He wouldn’t hesitate to kill a Matoran... or a Toa, if the chance arises.”

“And the scroll?” the Turaga pressed. “Is there anything dangerous about the scroll?”

Makuta Krika hesitated, as if wondering how much to tell Nolox. “No, the scroll itself is harmless. You will recognize it from the Brotherhood symbol upon it. If you come upon it, give it to me at the first chance possible. That is an order.”

“In my city, I do not take orders,” Nolox said sternly. “Only friendly requests.” Krika scowled, even as he threw his cloak over himself. “Travel safely, Makuta Krika.”

As the Makuta left the room, Nolox reached into his desk and pulled out the same memory crystal that Tahve now held in his hands. His eyes focused as he imparted his memory into the crystal for safe storage. The doors opened, and Tahve saw himself enter the room. Turaga Nolox let go of the crystal, and replaced it in his desk. As he did so, the room began to mist over again, until Tahve found himself back in the present.

Tahve fell back, breathless. The Makuta had come to announce that a thief and murderer was loose near the city, and that this being had a powerful artifact; the Dedh-See scroll. Tahve looked over the Gang Matoran scroll in his hand, but it didn’t have the Brotherhood symbol on it, so at least it wasn’t the stolen artifact. Perhaps Nolox had known something about the Dedh-See, but before he could act his killer struck. Then there was the missing confiscated scroll. Could it be the Dedh-See? Did the killer take it after he murdered Nolox? If so, where was he now? And more importantly, where was the scroll?

Tahve put the box back where he had found it, but kept the memory crystal. He slowly exited the room, thinking of heading back to his apartment. It was late at night, and there was little more he could do. With a little rest, he could start again tomorrow morning.

*****


Tahve was surprised to come home and find Feli waiting at the door for him. She waved as he approached. “Where have you been all day? I’ve wanted to talk to you.”

Tahve was still in a dark mood from the memory crystal. “I’m sorry, I’ve been busy. Why are you here?”

Feli looked to the ground. “Um, I was thinking about what we heard at Saith’s shop. You think Suni’s there, right? Well, we should go over there and do a stakeout, and see if we see anything suspicious. Then maybe we can determine if Suni really is hiding out there.”

“What?” Tahve said. “Why would you want to do something like that? You saw how scary it was when Saith got angry. If he catches us spying on him, then what do you think he’ll do? Besides, I didn’t think you’d want to go through that again.”

“Well, I was a little nervous,” Feli admitted. “But you were really brave and determined. Maybe if I go and help you, I can be brave and determined too!”

“No, I was really nervous,” Tahve insisted. “I just didn’t show it.”

“Well, then I need to learn how to now show it too!” Feli said. “I always get scared or jittery, and then I ruin things. That’s why the Head Chronicler didn’t accept my article. I probably didn’t present it well enough, because I was really anxious when I spoke with him.”

“Feli,” Tahve said softly, not sure how to break the news. “Um, the Head Chronicler did like your article. But he didn’t want to give you credit, so he plagiarized it and published it under his own name. I’m sorry,” he added, as Feli’s eyes began to water over.

“Why would he... do something like that?” she whispered.

“Probably because his head is as big as a Kikinalo shed,” Tahve said. “Look, I’m sorry I brought it up, but he used you. You need to go talk with him about this.”

“But I can’t!” Feli said. “I need to learn how to be brave and determined, like you!”

“That’s not something I can teach you,” Tahve said. “You have to learn that on your own. Anyway, isn’t Saith more dangerous than your boss?”

“No, my boss is a lot scarier when he’s mad,” Feli said.

“Look, I don’t think we should waste time on Saith,” Tahve said. “I don’t think he’s the murderer, and neither is Suni.” After all, it seemed the murderer and the Dedh-See thief were the same person, and Tahve doubted that either Saith or Suni could take down a Makuta. “It’s too dangerous and risky. You should try to confront your boss instead.”

“Tahve, please let me help you!” Feli said. “I could learn something and...”

“But this isn’t a time for you to be learning,” Tahve snapped harshly. “Turaga Nolox was murdered, and I’m trying to find out who did it. I don’t have time to drag you along.”

Feli’s eyes watered up again, and Tahve realized just what he had said. “Look, Feli, I’m sorry, but...”

Crying, Feli turned around and ran off into the darkness, heading back to her home. Tahve started to follow, but stopped himself. After all, this was better. Now Feli wouldn’t be in any danger, and he would be free to track down the killer. Not that he knew what to do next.

He walked back to his door and noticed a note attached to it. At first, he thought it was a message that Feli had left him, but the handwriting was different. Besides, when he had first arrived, he hadn’t seen anything attached to his door. The reality spooked him. “Whatever put this here must have done so in the few minutes I chased after Feli!” He hadn’t seen or heard anything, but that wouldn’t stop somebody who was stealthy. Bringing the note under the glow of the lightstone street lamp, Tahve read the note out loud.

“You have questions, Matoran, and I have answers. Climb the mountain tomorrow morning. Come alone and you might just find enlightenment.”

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#9 Offline xccj

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Posted Jan 29 2017 - 01:03 AM

Chapter 9: Inside the Mountain Cave

Sunrise saw Tahve already on the lower slopes of the mountain. He had a backpack full of gear, as well as his Kanoka launcher. Somebody strange was trying to contact him, and he wasn’t completely sure they weren’t dangerous. He wasn’t completely sure who they even were.

He was making good time, but he needed to keep up a steady pace. He had traveled into the mountains to the south of Keli-Nui various times with the Toa, and had encountered some very vicious Rahi. The peak directly south of the city was not home to many Rahi, but there were a few up there who could do more than a little damage. Plus, the high winds and low temperatures added to the danger. Tahve was not planning on spending the night on the mountain; if he hadn’t found anything by midday, he would turn around and go back to the city. The mountain climate was no place for a Matoran.

Unfortunately, Tahve had absolutely no idea what he was looking for. He supposed it was going to be something out of the ordinary, but how could he expect the unexpected? Whoever wanted to meet him up here, he hoped they would find him, instead of the other way around. Unless, of course, they were out to get him. The idea had crossed his mind.

Tahve had hoped the intense workout of climbing would take his mind off things, but as he climbed up, he thought more and more. He thought about Turaga Nolox, and what he must’ve known that would get him killed. He thought of Makuta Krika, who had been very vague about the importance of the Dedh-See scroll and just what its new owner was capable of. He thought of Toa Rhagre, who had not returned since he chased after Kavihkli.

Most of all, he thought of Feli and how he had hurt her last night. He had been no better than her boss, the Head Chronicler. She was willing to give something a shot and try her best at it, but since she wasn’t already good Tahve had rejected her. He had thought of going to see her that morning before he left, but in the end rejected the idea. He wanted a very early start up the mountain so he could meet this mysterious being. His head told him that the case at hand was much more important than a small argument with Feli. But his heart was telling him otherwise. He tried to drown it out with exercise, but it wasn’t going away.

“I’ll go see Feli when I return,” he said out loud, taking a short rest. “I’ll apologize to her. Then I’ll see if she can help me with this investigation. There are plenty of things she could come with me on. After all, two Matoran are safer than one. But spying on Saith is unnecessary... and she probably wouldn’t have liked this hike.” He paused, looking down to the city in the distance. He could see the Capital Building and the metropolitan north of it. To the east, he could see the ocean reaching towards the horizon, and he could see the smoke lingering over the northern edge of the city. “Well, she may have liked the view.”

Far below him was Keli-Nui, and he was just one lone Matoran climbing up above it. When he traversed the streets, he had always felt that the city was very large. But whenever he climbed into the mountains and looked back, he remembered just how small it was. It was one Matoran settlement on a continent with many; and one continent in a universe full of islands. In the end, he was just one Matoran, trying to make a difference in the world infinitely bigger than him.

He started climbing again, finding the best pathways up through the rocky terrene. In sections, the slope was so steep that Tahve had to use clamps and picks to climb to the top. Other times, he could find gentler creek beds that wove around the rocks. He knew that it was like this all the way to the mountain’s summit. Unfortunately, the assent was always the easy part. It was during the descent that Matoran fell to their doom.

Tahve pulled himself up on a rocky ledge and froze. There was a cave cut into the mountainside slightly off to his right. It wasn’t unusual for one to find caves up on the mountain, but there was something else that drew Tahve’s eyes. The rocks by the cave’s mouth were scorched, as if there had been some sort of energy blast inside. The scorch marks looked very similar to those found in the Turaga’s Chamber after the murder.

Tahve grabbed his Kanoka launcher and slowly entered the cave. It was a tall and wide cave, but it didn’t go very far back. As he entered, Tahve could see that it had been used rather recently. There were camping supplies strewn across the ground, as if they had been caught in the explosion. Tahve couldn’t see into the far corner of the cave, so he reached for a lightstone. As the glow illuminated the cave, Tahve yelped and jumped back.

There was a dead Toa crumpled up against the far wall.

Tahve tried to slow his breath, but he was shaken. Summoning all his courage, he approached the Toa. The Toa appeared to have had red armor, similar to Toa Pyrah’s. However, the masks didn’t match up, so this was not a Toa Tahve had met before. He had been thrown against the wall with a strong force, and his armor was scorched and broken. He had died a quick but painful death.

It was eerily familiar to Nolox’s death.

Tahve took a step back, observing everything in the cave. As he took in the scene, it became more apparent that whatever had killed this Toa had also killed Turaga Nolox. Everything in the room had been blown away by a massive energy blast, which had originated near the center of the room. While the blast had ruined the Toa’s armor, it was the force with which he had hit the wall which had killed him. Just like Nolox.

“There are similarities, aren’t there?”

Tahve spun around at the sound of the raspy words. There was a being standing in the cave’s entrance, blocking him in. He was about as tall as a Toa, with white and orange armor. He also had an extra pair of arms, with wicked claws on the ends. His other hands held a lance and a scythe. His orange eyes focused on Tahve, who uttered the word, “Kavihkli.”

“You have heard of me,” the Dark Hunter said.

Tahve moved quickly, firing his Kanoka launcher at Kavihkli’s face. The Dark Hunter swung his lance and knocked the disc aside casually, and stepped forward. “That was an unwise move.”

“What are you doing here?” Tahve shouted, trying to ignore the fact that he was trapped. “I thought Toa Rhagre was chasing you!”

“The chase was very brief, if not intense,” Kavihkli said. “The Toa of Iron lost me, and I was free to continue tracking you.”

“Me...” Tahve started. “Then it was... you who summoned me here!”

“Good, you have pieced together the facts,” Kavihkli said. “Yes, I have been following you since you first saw your Turaga’s dead body. I had a feeling that you would go to all lengths to find his murderer, and I was correct. You have followed what leads you have, but you are looking in the wrong directions.”

“You!” Tahve stuttered, raising his launcher again, despite the fact that his arms were shaking. “You killed Nolox!”

“I witnessed his death, true,” Kavihkli admitted. “But I did not kill him, and I do not intend to kill you, Matoran, so stop your shaking. Instead, I have a tale to tell you, and only you. I have observed you, and I approve of your methods. You are the only one who would actually follow my advice.”

“What are you talking about?” Tahve asked.

“Sit, and I will speak,” Kavihkli said. “I have come to Kavi-Nui for one reason; to find the thief who took the Dedh-See scroll.”

“No, you left the Dark Hunters!” Tahve shot. “You’re a rouge, and The Shadowed One has even called for your arrest.”

“The Shadowed One is a fool, and the Dark Hunters are a waste of time,” Kavihkli spat. “Steal and hunt for his benefit only? No, I left months ago to seek my fortune elsewhere. I came here, because I’ve heard rumors; there are people here who want to challenge the Brotherhood of Makuta. I made connections in this city and elsewhere. I arranged for shipments of weaponry for the Gang Matoran of your puny city, so they can draw away the attention of the Toa. But I was on the lookout for something grander; those who would take on the Brotherhood. I did not seek to join them; I sought to discover them and sell their location. I seek employment by the Brotherhood, and one must have a good track record with them to receive such an honor.”

“The Brotherhood wouldn’t hire the likes of you!” Tahve said.

“The Brotherhood does a lot that you Matoran aren’t aware of,” Kavihkli said. “They need servants to govern lands, and warriors to subdue those who rebel. If I could hand them a party of beings who planned to overthrow them, I would be in their favor and be able to reap the benefits. However, although my search was thorough, I found very little of their passing. Until four days ago... rumor began to spread that the Brotherhood had been robbed. The thief had killed a Brotherhood member, and had stolen the Dedh-See scroll. And then they had fled to this continent.

“The instant I heard the news, I knew that those I hunted were involved, and I journeyed to Keli-Nui. Two days ago, I discovered this cave, and its dead occupant. He looked as if he had been killed by the scroll, so I knew that the rest of them must be in the city nearby. Since it was a Toa, I suspected that Turaga Nolox was involved.”

“Wait!” Tahve interrupted. “The scroll killed him? That’s impossible! It was some sort of energy blast.”

“Where did the energy blast come from, Matoran?” Kavihkli asked. When Tahve didn’t respond, he answered his own question. “The energy blast came from the scroll. The Dedh-See scroll is property of the Brotherhood, so it has an advanced security system. Only a Makuta can open the scroll and read it. Anybody else will set off a lethal energy blast, which usually proves fatal.”

“But...” Tahve said, horrified at the very thought. Seeing that the Matoran was speechless, Kavihkli continued with his tale.

“That night, I snuck down to the Capital Building’s roof, and I spied on the Turaga’s Chamber through the dome’s windows. I saw Turaga Nolox speak with the Toa, while you stood guard. I saw him converse with that cloaked being. Shortly afterwards, after you had left a second time, the Turaga pulled a scroll out of the box. He studied it for a long time, and it didn’t take me long to guess that it was the Brotherhood’s stolen property: the Dedh-See scroll. I planned on breaking in and taking the scroll by force, but then the foolish Turaga tried to open it. The resulting energy blast nearly blinded me, and it killed your Turaga.

“After the light had subsided, I continued to watch the events unfold, although my sight was temporarily damaged. I saw you come in and grieve over the Turaga. Not once did you notice the scroll that lay by his side. Then you left, and I considered breaking in and taking the scroll myself. But then... another being entered into the room. The light was dim and my sight was bad, but I saw him grab the scroll and leave.”

“Then that was...” Tahve started.

“The true murderer,” Kavihkli confirmed. “Whoever it was, they knew that the Turaga would be receiving the scroll, and they were waiting to retrieve it once it had killed him. I couldn’t tell you exactly who it was, but I recognized the shape. It was a Toa.”

Tahve blinked. “No, that’s impossible.”

“Is it?” Kavihkli asked. “Six Toa arrived on the scene shortly after the Turaga’s death, no doubt alerted by you yourself. One of them could’ve easily doubled back after having taken the scroll from the crime scene.”

“But all the Toa had alibis!” Tahve said. “Ihrov and Pyrah were taking Saith outside, while Gambar and Lanili were on patrol and saw Bohriv leave his room when they saw the summoning. And Rhagre was also...” he paused. “Well, he was working on a task that Nolox has just given him. But none of them had the time to steal the scroll back.”

“I know what I saw,” Kavihkli said. “At the very least, your list of suspects has decreased. It was no Matoran that killed your Turaga, nor was it me. You can continue your search from there, and now you know not to trust the Toa. One of them was lying; and it’s possible that two or more are working together. For all I know, the entire team of Toa could’ve plotted the Turaga’s death. It is not for me to decide; I have stayed in the background and watched things unfold. I will continue to do so, but you may be able to make more progress with this information.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?” Tahve asked, staring Kavihkli in the eye.

The Dark Hunter shrugged. “You don’t. But if I wanted to harm you, Matoran, I could easily do so without luring you outside your city. I control various poisons, and it would be easy to silently kill you. But, for now, you are better to me alive.”

“Well, then answer me this?” Tahve shot. “Why did Turaga Nolox open the scroll if it had a defense mechanism?”

“It’s not something obvious,” Kavihkli said. He gestured to the dead Toa. “He obviously didn’t know about it, and it cost him his life.”

“But Krika said that the scroll wasn’t dangerous...” Tahve started.

Kavihkli narrowed his eyes. “This Krika was lying, then. Strange, I have heard that name before.” His eyes widened. “Surely you do not mean Makuta Krika!”

“Yes, Krika was the cloaked being who spoke with the Turaga,” Tahve said. “He’s the Makuta of our region. But... he lied to Nolox. If he had warned Nolox of the dangers, then the Turaga might still be alive today.”

“This is big indeed, if Makuta Krika is involved,” Kavihkli said. “He is one of the most skilled and dangerous Makuta in the Brotherhood. He must’ve come to Keli-Nui for a reason.”

“Indeed I did.”

This time, it was Kavihkli who spun around in surprise. A glob of poison formed on the end of his scythe, and he flung it at the approaching being. But the white being used his gravitational powers to deflect the poison, and then used his magnetic powers to rob Kavihkli of his weaponry.

“I came to this city for the stolen scrolls, and it seems you know a thing or two about them,” Krika said, approaching silently. Tahve could see that his feet weren’t even touching the ground. “You will lead me to the scrolls, and I will perhaps spare your life.”

“Great Makuta!” Kavihkli said. “You startled me, and one cannot be too careful in these mountains.”

“Indeed,” Krika said. “As I passed over, I happened to notice life forms in a nearby cave, so I came to investigate. I overheard a little something about a scroll, and that motivated me to reveal myself. Now, where is the Dedh-See scroll?”

“Makuta Krika, I do not believe you understand the situation,” Kavihkli said. It was painful to hear him try to be polite with such a raspy voice. “The true thief has still eluded us, but this Matoran and I can find out who it is for sure.”

“Strange times indeed, when a Dark Hunter has allied himself with a Matoran,” Krika said. “So, are you Nolox’s best hope at finding the Dedh-See scroll? Pathetic.”

“Turaga Nolox is dead,” Kavihkli spoke. “Killed by the scroll. Likely planted on him by the murderer.”

“Dead?” Krika repeated. “Well, that is surprising indeed.”

“And you’re the one responsible!” Tahve shouted suddenly, an anger welling up within him. “You could’ve told him how dangerous the scroll was. You could’ve at least warned him not to open it! But you kept your secret, and now Nolox is dead and your Dedh-See is still missing!”

Krika glanced down at the Matoran as if he was a bug that had just made itself known. “I know you. You were Nolox’s guard, and you were obviously eavesdropping. I should’ve wiped your head clean when I had the chance.”

“I believe the true thief is one of the Toa in this city,” Kavihkli said. “Although I have yet to determine which one.”

“Then I shall destroy them all, and rip apart their minds until I find my scroll,” the Makuta said.

“No, you can’t do that!” Tahve shouted. “We already lost our Turaga, and now you’re talking about wiping out all the Toa when they might still be innocent. Let me find out who the right one is! Then you can confront him and leave the others be.”

Krika looked over the Matoran, observing him physically and mentally. The Matoran was desperate, he could see, but determined all the same. “If any other Makuta were to know about this, I would be humiliated. But all the same... I will take up your offer, Matoran. Only I am impatient, and I journeyed a long way to get here. You have until sunset to provide me with a name. After that, I will tear the Capital Building to the ground, and all the Toa with it. Do not be late.” He turned and walked away, vanishing into the shadows.

Kavihkli didn’t speak until he was sure Makuta Krika was gone. Then he looked at Tahve. “You’ve got guts, Matoran. But now you have a time limit, and it’s going to take you hours to reach your city. Use my information well.” With that, he stepped out of the cave, moved into his flight position, and took off. Tahve walked out of the cave in time to see him dive down into the city, where he was lost from sight.

“He could’ve at least given me a lift,” Tahve grumbled, as he started his decent.

******


It was already mid-afternoon when Tahve reached his apartment. He was sore and tired, but he knew he had to be quick. If Kavihkli was telling the truth, then one of the six Toa was the true murderer. While it still seemed impossible to Tahve, he had to admit that he had his suspicions. Of the six Toa, he only trusted Lanili and Gambar, but the other four all had motives to take down the Turaga. It would be difficult to figure out who it was.

Plans had already formed in his head. He would need to question all the Toa, but he didn’t have enough time to do this on his own, and he needed somebody he could trust. He would find Feli, and she could help him figure out who the real killer was.

As Tahve approached his apartment, he saw a Matoran standing there. For a moment, he thought that it was Feli, but it turned out to be Jalkal, who looked rather worried.

“Tahve, where have you been?” he asked. “I’ve been trying to contact you all day. Mostly to congratulate you on the Gang Matoran. But I also had some news. Like Rhagre returned alive, but he said he lost track of Kavihkli. And Ihrov also wanted to know more about the other Gang Matoran companies, and I told him you still had that data, but...” He grimaced, and handed Tahve a note that had been attached to his door. “I saw this when I arrived.”

Tahve took the note and read it. It was a note from Feli, in which she said she was going to prove herself by spying on Saith. Tahve dropped the note in surprise, and his expression matched Jalkal’s.

“I know,” Jalkal said. “I already pieced it together. You said you knew where Suni was; it must’ve been Saith’s place, right? It sounds like Feli also knew about this, and decided to pull a stakeout. A very dangerous stakeout, I might add.”

Tahve nodded. “I can’t believe she’d do that!” he whispered. “Oh, I’ve got to go and help her, right away! But...” he turned to Jalkal. “Look, something really bad is going to happen at sunset at the Capital Building. The Toa and Matoran there are in danger, and it’s not something they can fight. I have... I have reasons to believe a Toa was responsible for Turaga Nolox’s death, and somebody is coming to claim the murderer tonight. The problem is, they don’t know which Toa is responsible, and neither do I.”

“What are you talking about?” Jalkal asked, frightened by Tahve’s words.

“I don’t have time to explain,” Tahve said, tossing his pack of gear aside but keeping his Kanoka launcher. “Just... look, at sunset, tell the Matoran Guards to be alert. And if something happens... tell them to retreat outside the Capital Building. Otherwise they may be killed.”

“But if the Toa are all against us,” Jalkal said. “Then how can we possibly last against whatever’s coming?”

“I would trust only Lanili and Gambar,” Tahve said. “But even then, I can’t be sure. Just keep an eye on the Toa and beware anything they might do. Once I find Feli, I’ll be back, and I’ll help sort this all out.”

Jalkal sighed. “I am putting a lot of trust in you, my friend,” he said. “Don’t let me down.”

“I’ll do my best,” Tahve said.

“What are you waiting for?” Jalkal said. “GO! Feli needs you!”

Tahve left without another word.

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#10 Offline xccj

xccj
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Posted Jan 31 2017 - 04:03 AM

Chapter 10: Discover the Chemist

Tahve reached Saith’s street and paused to catch his breath. He didn’t want to get too close; that might alert Saith that something was up. What he had to do was find the places where Feli would most likely spy on the shop.

He entered the building adjacent to Saith’s shop from the back door, and made his way through the rooms. It was a crafters shop, with various rooms for Matoran to create tools and others to sell them in. At this time in the afternoon, it was nearly empty, and no Matoran would arouse too much suspicious by running down the hallways, even if he carried a Kanoka launcher. Tahve wasted no time, and started searching the rooms with windows facing Saith’s street.

Finally, he found what he was looking for. He opened one room to find Feli’s scattered supplies in the corner. She had a portable telescope and her journal, which was opened and filled with her notes. However, she was conspicuous by her absence.

“Where is she now?” Tahve muttered, looking around. He picked up her journal and started reading her notes. A few pages were filled up with ideas for future articles, but one page had a chart of times written on it. There were two columns; one was labeled “Leaves” and the other “Returns.”

Tahve rubbed his mask. Feli had recorded when Saith had left and how long he was gone. She even added some extra details, such as what he brought back when he returned. Tahve had to admit that it was a good strategy, but it lead to a disturbing course of action. Feli was recording how long Saith was gone to know how much time she would have to sneak in.

Tahve caught a glimpse of yellow and red out the window. He looked down on the street and his jaw dropped. He saw Feli stealthily enter Saith’s shop. Obviously, Saith had just gone out for another trip, and Tahve had missed Feli on his way up. Judging by Feli’s notes, she had less than twenty minutes before Saith came back. If he caught her sneaking in, there was no telling what he’d do to her.

His heartlight flashing, Tahve tore out of the building and back into the street. He looked around wildly, but didn’t see Saith approaching. Then, taking one last breath, he ducked into the shop.

It was dark inside the main showroom. Tahve walked to the back and noted a small staircase that led up above the shop to Saith’s personal quarters. However, there was no light on up there, and he could hear no movement. Where had Feli gotten off to?

He became aware of a slight glow in the next room. He cautiously entered and discovered a door leading down into a basement. This puzzled Tahve; most building like this didn’t have basements because the Matoran preferred to build up instead of down. However, if Saith had an unknown basement, then he might also be hiding something down there.

Tahve grabbed his Kanoka launcher and started down the staircase towards the basement. But halfway down, he froze. He could hear a voice below.

“Who are you?” snapped a harsh female voice.

“I... um,” said another voice, which Tahve recognized as Feli’s.

There was a sudden zap, followed instantly by a shriek from Feli. The other voice said, “Good, now you know what I can do. Answer me or I won’t miss next time.”

“I’m just a customer,” Feli stuttered. “I couldn’t find... find Saith, and I saw this light, and I thought he might be down here.”

“When Saith left, he put up the giant closed sign,” the other voice said, unconvinced. “Besides, I saw you push open the door to the basement. You didn’t see a light here.”

There was another zap, and Feli quickly started speaking again. “No, no, I really don’t mean any harm. Really, I was just looking for Saith... I don’t want any trouble.”

“You look like you’re just a lowly criminal, hoping to steal some riches while the blacksmith’s away,” the other voice accused.

“But aren’t you a criminal too!” Feli broke out. “I’ve recognized you from your picture. You’re Suni.”

These words startled Tahve. He inched down closer to the bottom, and peeked around the corner. He saw that the basement was actually a giant lab, with machinery filling up a majority of the space. Even then, it was a very large basement. He could see Feli, backed into a wall. The other Matoran, assumedly Suni, had her back to Tahve and was facing down the Matoran of Lightning. She held some sort of blaster in her hand, and she fired a laser from it. Feli dodged to the side in fright, and the laser burned a smoking hole into the wall.

“I’m not a lowly criminal like yourself,” Suni snarled. “I’m a brilliant scientist who just happens to be on the run. If it weren’t for that blasted Turaga and his team of Toa, I’d be out working my inventions for the betterment of the Matoran.”

“No, no, I’m not a criminal!” Feli said. “I’m... I’m a Chronicler. And I’d love to interview you and get your... your unique perspective.”

“You’re just looking for some reward,” Suni snapped, aiming her laser blaster to Feli’s mask.

“No, please no,” Feli whimpered.

“I should just blow that pretty little Komau off your face,” Suni jeered. “But first, I want the truth. Why are you down here!?”

Tahve gripped his launcher, and prepared to jump out and attack. But then he felt something in the air behind him, along with a soft whisper, “I wouldn’t try that if I were you.” A quick glance behind him confirmed that Saith had caught him.

Saith pushed Tahve out into the basement, surprising Suni and Feli. “I thought something odd was going on, especially when I kept seeing that Matoran of Lightning staring at me from the window across the street,” Saith said. “Turns out I was right.”

“Tahve!” Feli cried out, excited. “You came!”

“Tahve,” Saith repeated. “Part of the Matoran Guard, right? Or were you the one they fired? Maybe it was because you decided to break and enter.”

“You’re the one that’s harboring a convicted criminal,” Tahve muttered.

Suni heard this, spun around and aimed her laser blaster at Tahve. “What did you call me? I am not a lowly criminal, except in the eyes of the Turaga and the Matoran he’s brainwashed.”

“Newsflash,” Tahve snapped harshly. “The Turaga’s dead, and has been for two days. And now the city’s Toa are in danger. So if you let us go now, I can find the true murderer, and maybe even forget what I saw down here.”

Suni chuckled. “Oh no, the poor, poor Toa are in danger. If that was supposed to sway me, then you don’t know me very well.”

“No, Suni and I have crafted a better solution for this,” Saith said. “Drop your launcher, and join your little friend. You’re not going anywhere for a long time.”

Tahve didn’t want to give in so easily, but both Saith and Suni were aiming at him. Worst, if he fought back, they might turn on Feli, who was defenseless. Reluctantly, he dropped his launcher, and walked over to Feli.

“Tahve, why did you come?” Feli asked.

“To try and help you,” Tahve said. “Looks like I didn’t do a good enough job.”

“But what should you expect from a minion of the Turaga?” Suni asked, snorting. “A pathetic charade of a leadership. He restricts the best and brightest, and let’s the dull continue on with their meaningless ways of life.”

“You know full well why you were arrested,” Tahve snapped. “You put yours and others’ lives in danger with your little experiments.”

“Risks have to be taken to achieve greatness,” Suni said. “And sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”

“For example, you sacrificed your freedom by coming here,” Saith said, grabbed two metal beams which had computer chips embedded in them. “Don’t move,” he said, as he placed the beams on either side of the two Matoran. Then he pressed a button, and bars of lasers formed around Tahve and Feli, trapping them in a cage.

“An effective way to contain Rahi or overly sneaky Matoran,” Suni said. “Pure laser bars, capable of cutting through protosteel. With a few slight adjustments, we can make the cage shrink until...”

“But we won’t need to go to such extremes,” Saith said quickly, cutting Suni off. “As long as you are contained, you pose no threat.”

“Why are you doing this, Saith?” Feli asked. “She’s a criminal, and she’s mean. She tried to blow my mask off.”

“Suni can be a little trigger-happy, but she’s looking out for all Matoran,” Saith said. “She realizes that our Turaga and Toa ‘leaders’ are hampering us too much. Matoran need to be free to govern themselves and make their own decisions.”

“Funny, that’s how Gang Matoran think,” Tahve muttered. Saith ignored him.

“I was so close to making a breakthrough, but then I was arrested,” Suni said. “When I got out, I came to Saith. He understands me, and let me use his secret basement to restart my studies. With his help as a blacksmith, I have been able to create so much in just a few weeks.”

“We’ve made machinery that will make the Toa inadequate,” Saith said. “Machinery that can make the Matoran true masters of their own affairs.”

“We’ve made robots before,” Feli said. “Yes, you’re rather creative, but are these things completely revolutionary?”

“Well, I do know some Gang Matoran who would kill for that laser blaster,” Tahve added.

“What do the Turaga and Toa have to power their robotics and vehicles?” Suni leered. “Magnetized protoermis? Kanoka discs? Weak, weak sources. But I have created something of supreme power!” She gestured to a metal chamber in the center of the room. “I call it an Energy Cell. A mixture of liquid protodermis and other chemicals that are constantly combusting. I have discovered the mixture and found a way to contain it and tap into it. Now I can recreate this into smaller cells and power all other machinery indefinitely.” She held up her laser blaster. “This blaster taps directly into the Energy Cell, using its power to create a pure energy blast. This blaster has enough energy to down your average Matoran, but a larger blaster can take down a full grown Toa and any other being that crosses our path!”

“You’re crazy!” Feli shouted. “This is exactly why the Turaga locked you away! You can kill somebody with that!”

“Why, that’s its main purpose,” Sun said, aiming her gun at Feli through the bars of her cage. “Who’s the one caged now?”

Saith reached over and forced Suni’s arm down. “We’re saving these for those who matter, not other Matoran.”

“What are you talking about?” Tahve asked.

“The Energy Cell can be used for more than just blasting foes,” Saith said. “It can be used to power any machinery. With my technical skills and Suni’s scientific discoveries, we can make something that can down a Toa. In fact, that’s what these are designed to do.”

He reached up and pulled a tarp off a large shelf. Or, at least, Tahve thought it was a large shelf. Instead, it uncovered two humanoid figures. They were powerful robotic suits of armor, covered with thick plates of metal and a compartment for a Matoran driver. One arm was a larger laser blaster, while the other had a tools on it; one suit had a sharp claw while the other had a nasty drill. Embedded in the back of both suits was a miniature version of the Energy Cell, which was used to power the suits.

“These beauties can stand up to anything,” Suni bragged. “Using my chemical genius, I have added protective coatings to make them immune to most elemental blasts. And, of course, there’s no way a spear or sword can piece the armor. Inside, the Matoran is perfectly protected. They can move this armor around with ease, and challenge beings much larger than they are.”

“And what do you plan to do with these?” Feli asked in a whisper.

“It’s obvious,” Saith said. “We’re going to use these to take out the rest of the Toa in Keli-Nui. Somebody already got the Turaga for us, but we can take down the greater foes.”

“If what you say is true, and the Toa are in danger, then we’d better hurry,” Suni said. “We’ve been preparing all day for an attack, and we have to get there soon enough to take out our share of Toa.”

“You don’t understand,” Tahve shouted. “You’re getting in the middle of a scheme that’s bigger than you! It’s dangerous.”

“In these suits, we are invulnerable!” Saith said. He pulled down the armor to one of the suits, and helped Suni inside. The armor clamped in around her arms and legs, protecting her fully. Only her mask was visible behind a strong sheet of glass. The armor began to move, as it flexed its powerful arms. Suni was able to control the robotic limbs as if they were her own.

Saith climbed into his own suit. “We were thinking about stalling our attack a little longer, but with your intrusion, I suppose there’s no better time than the present.”

“I can’t believe you’re doing this!” Feli said. “The Toa are our protectors!”

“The Toa only want to control us!” Saith snapped. “Well, its time we showed them who has the real power.”

“By the time we return, Keli-Nui will have six less Toa,” Suni said. “And now we have to be off.”

“I would reconsider that last statement!” The basement door was blown down the stairwell, and two Toa entered. “I think we have something to discuss.”

Feli beamed. “Toa Rhagre! Toa Gambar!”

Tahve smiled, but only weakly. He wasn’t sure if he completely trusted Rhagre, because he was self absorbed and quick to act. There was still the possibility that he had killed Turaga Nolox.

Plus, there was the whole thing about two deranged Matoran in Toa-killing armor that dampened his mood.

Suni, despite the turn of events, grinned. “To think the first Toa killed would be in my lab!” With that, she charged into battle.

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Edited by xccj, Jan 31 2017 - 04:03 AM.

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