Setting the Stage: The Dark Times were indeed dark. This is the story of how one haunted Toa of Iron tore his team apart.
Location: Kahu Forest
Time: 23.55; Day 76; Year 503 AGC
Toa Vihar sank weakly to his knees, horrified. Horrified not so much by the scene before him, but by the fact that this ghastly picture of sin was his own doing. Before him, strewn over the silver-spotted forest floor, was the body of his leader. The corpse lay where it had fallen only moments ago. A shaft of cold iron protruded from the deceased Ice Toa's heartlight. Vihar looked down at his trembling hands and saw the gunmetal gray and burnt orange armor that covered them. The colors of a Toa of Iron. The colors of a murderer. Vihar didn't want to believe that the iron spear that had slain his leader had been materialized by the shaky hands he saw now. These hands weren't the hands of a killer, they were the hands of a victim. The Toa of Iron lifted his gaze back to the body. He gave a strangled scream and scrambled backwards as far from the corpse as he could.
Crouched over his fallen brother was a horrible creature. A wicked grinning monster, bone white with rigid spines down its back, with pallid milky white eyes set deep in a flat, horrible face. It resembled a hunched over, spindly monkey-rahi. Those eyes glowed evilly in the spattered moonlight reaching through the trees. The small terror just sat and stared at Vihar, all the while grinning. Even though the Toa had never seen this monstrous thing before in his life, he knew who it was. It was Fear. Try as he might, Vihar could not tear his eyes away from the haunting face of Fear.
As he watched, Fear began to grow. As Fear began to swell in size, he also grew in grotesqueness, enough to jolt Vihar out of his stupor. The Toa of Iron scrabbled backwards. The only thing on his mind was to escape the vicinity of Fear. He had only made it a few yards when a solid tree halted his undignified retreat. The penetrating gaze of Fear held Vihar tightly as he used the tree trunk to haul himself to his feet and backpedal away from his crime scene.
"Stop," Fear commanded in his raspy voice, like dead leaves shivering, and the Toa of Iron had no choice but to obey. Fear was overwhelming now, he was almost the size of an Ash Bear. Fear extended one bony hand towards the Toa of Iron under his spell, and said, "Come."
"N-no!" Vihar stammered, "I won't. I-" Something slammed into Vihar from behind, sending him tumbling to the ground with a yell.
"Vihar, there you are! We've been scouring the island for the two of you when you didn't...Vihar?" The Toa of Psionics that had run into him squinted down at him in puzzlement. She reached down and grabbed his hand, trying to haul him to his feet. "Oof, come on you big lug, help me help you."
"Aviara," Vihar whispered as he got to his feet finally. "Aviara, don't you see it?" He whirled to face Fear, only Fear was gone. Aviara followed her brother's gaze.
"See what, Vihar? See-" Her eyes found the prone form of the fallen Toa. "Vihar, is that..." She began to walk forwards slowly, in a daze. Deep down, she knew what she was looking at, but that didn't stop her from going to inspect. Vihar stayed where he was, clamping his eyes shut, waiting for the blood-chilling scream that was sure to come.
And come, it did. It resounded off every tree, and bringing the Toa of Iron completely back to reality. He was no longer a Toa. He was a murderer. Aviara's scream ended in a choking sob, and after what seemed like forever, she spoke, still kneeling beside her fallen leader. "Vihar, I don't know what you've done, but I'm going to need you to come with me back to the fortress."
Location: Interrogation Chamber
Time: 01.30; Day 77; Year 503 AGC
"Vihar, you were the second in command. Wasn't that enough for you?" Aviara sat down heavily on top of the interrogation table. The unfeeling stone chamber around them was silent, as if it were eager to hear this tale. "What happened exactly, after you and Iru left on patrol last night?"
The Toa of Iron ignored his teammate's question, saying instead, "Aviara, you don't have to do this the hard way. Just use one of your little mind tricks you're so good at and be done with it."
Aviara frowned, and shook her head. "That would be against protocol. Answer the question."
"Isn't torture also against protocol? Mental, physical, et cetera?" Vihar countered with a bitter edge to his voice.
"Yes," The Toa of Psionics replied carefully, and asked more forcefully, "What happened on your patrol last night?"
"Telling you about last night, can't you see that's torture to me?" Vihar's eyes were full of desperation. "Don't make me relive it. Just lock me up in a cell where there's no sun and be done with it."
"And you don't think having to interrogate my own teammate, my brother, about a cold blooded murder he committed isn't torture for me?" Aviara's voice was made sharp with pain. "Tell me what happened, Vihar." The one lightstone in the chamber cast dramatic lighting over both masks, and the silence grew even quieter.
After countless weighty seconds ticked by, Vihar spoke."It started about three months ago, with Karzahni..."
Location: Memory of Vihar; At sea
Time: 14.00; Day 352; Year 502 AGC
Vihar, Toa of Iron, leaned on the railing on the bow of a small sea vessel, looking out for their destination. Home. He and his team of eight other Toa had only just escaped the dark and dangerous island of Karzahni. Their mission had been to scope out the landscape, and thanks to a Mask of Sonar, Toa of Sonics, they had created a very accurate map using echolocation, their mission had been completed flawlessly. The one hiccup in the plan came on their way out. A couple nasty Manas crabs had scouted out the team's hidden camp. Without going into too much detail, the crabs ended up history, and the Toa went on their merry way.
"Hey, I've gotta hand it to you, brother," An unfamiliar voice spoke suddenly, and a strong hand clapped Vihar on the shoulder, "The way you demolished those Manas crabs back there, you were amazing! Your team would have been helpless without you." Vihar looked into the genuine eyes of an unfamiliar face, but clanked his fist against the stranger's, saying, "Thanks, brother, but you're giving me too much credit."
"Oh, no, I'm giving you just enough credit. It's your teammates who aren't giving you enough credit, trust me," the stranger said.
Vihar frowned a bit, seeing nothing with his teammates. He studied this newcomer. "I don't know you, do I?" he asked. The stranger wore glossy metallic silver and dark orange armor, and wore a handsomely crafted Kanohi Sanok. He was only a bit taller than Vihar himself, but more muscled and sculpted, somehow. If Vihar didn't know better, he'd think he was looking at the perfected version of himself. Vihar narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "Who are you?"
"You can call me Pride, Vihar," He said as he began to walk away. "Just your lowly, humble Pride." And with that he disappeared around the sharp corner of the captain's cabin.
At the same instant the mysterious Pride made his escape around the corner, a Toa of Ice made his entrance around the same corner. "Iru!" Vihar exclaimed, offering his fist to greet his leader. "Did you just see him?"
Iru returned the Toa's gesture, but asked, "See who? I was looking for you, and here you are."
"A... Another Toa, I think. How could you not have seen him? You should have run into him." Vihar shook his head. "Forget it. What did you need me for?"
"Nothing, but I wanted to thank you for your help today. We wouldn't have gotten out of Karzahni so cleanly without you. Quick thinking, on your part back there, starting a landslide to bury the Manas." Iru said. "I'm lucky to have someone as reliable as you watching my back." Vihar couldn't help but let a smile creep onto his mask.
"No problem. I'm lucky to have you for a brother. We can both look forwards to a good night's sleep tonight."
A cry on deck triggered by the sighting of their destination and home, Kahu Island, interrupted whatever Iru had been going to say next. A wistful smile played across the Toa of Ice's mask, "I'll see you at the unloading dock, brother." And with that, the leader ducked into the captain's cabin.
Vihar nodded to himself, still smiling. Maybe that Pride character was right, and he wasn't giving himself enough credit for the things he did. Letting that thought sink in, Vihar descended to the main deck to help bring the boat into port.
Location: Memory of Vihar; Kahu Island Coast
Time: 02.00; Day 362; Year 502 AGC
It had been nearly a week and a half since the team had gotten back from Karzahni and their scouting mission. Ever since Pride had visited him on the short voyage back home, Vihar hadn't been the same. And now others were beginning to notice it. Since they'd returned home, Pride had been Vihar's constant companion. Nobody seemed to notice Pride, as he slunk around, following the Toa of Iron anywhere and everywhere. The thing was, though, Vihar didn't mind Pride shadowing him. In fact, he kind of liked it. Pride was always there to tell Vihar how brilliant he was, or how they could never measure up to him, and how anything they could do, he could do better. Vihar wasn't even aware that these thoughts that Pride was feeding him were even going to his head.
But earlier that day, during a break in a sparring session, he and his team were talking battle tactics during the Toa/Dark Hunter War. "Ah, but Toa Lhikan, nobody could hold their own against him! He's a legend. His tactics, his strategies, his skill level, it's unbeatable!" One of the team's Toa was gushing about his favorite war hero.
"You weren't there, you don't know any of that for sure," someone else pointed out.
Pride whispered to Vihar, "One thing I'm sure of, Vihar, you could out-maneuver that rusty old fire-spitter any day. I mean, the guy ended up murdered, so how clever could he really have been in the first place anyways?"
"Yeah," Vihar agreed, and repeated to his team, "I'm sure I could out-maneuver the rusty old fire-spitter any day. The guy ended up murdered, so how clever could he really have been in the first place?" And the Toa of Iron was met with the appalled looks and gawking faces of his team. The he realized what he'd actually said. He whirled around, looking for Pride to accuse, but the slippery fellow had melted away.
Now, it was two in the morning, and Vihar was reliving that humiliating scene in his head yet again. Vihar sat on a bench, looking out towards the dark horizon, where the ocean met the stars. Beside him, he felt someone sit down beside him, and he didn't have to think twice, he knew it was his old friend Pride again. The Iron Toa drew a heavy sigh. "Did you see the looks on their faces? My team probably hates me. It's your fault too, you know."
"My fault?" A silky, and most definitely feminine voice purred beside him. Vihar jumped up with a yelp. A green armored beauty had slipped onto the bench beside him. "Mata Nui, you scared me. I thought you were someone else. I'm sorry."
"You should be." Vihar whirled around to see Pride emerge from the shady woods behind the bench and take a seat next to the beautiful green armored being. "How is any of your team's spite towards you my fault? If you go around throwing accusations like that around all the time, it's no wonder they hate you." Pride looked hurt.
"You keep feeding me these arrogant ideas, and that's the last thing I need." Vihar grumbled to Pride.
"Hey, whoa there. Nobody said that you have to listen to me, much less repeat what I say." Pride countered. It was true. A wave of self-loathing washed over the Toa.
"You know, you could be just as great as Lhikan." The green lady said, crossing her arms in a delicately thoughtful way.
"Is that so?" Vihar turned to her, open to suggestions.
"No, no he couldn't. Lhikan was a great leader of legions upon legions of Toa. Vihar here is only second in command of his eight person team."Pride countered, still hurt from Vihar's earlier accusation against him.
"Oh, but you want to be a leader, don't you, my dashing Toa hero?" Tthe green lady crooned. "Come, sit, and we'll see if we can't make a leader out of you."
"I'm sorry, what?" Vihar shook his head. "I don't even know you. Besides, it' s late, I really should think about resting up for tomorrow."
"Karzahni, where are my manners." Pride berated himself. "Vihar, meet my dear friend, Envy." The green armored female bobbed a quiet nod. She reminded Vihar of a Vortixx, almost. The two of them, Envy and Pride scooted apart, and Envy patted the space between them on the bench. "Sit back down, Vihar."
Location: Memory of Vihar;
Time: 17.30; Day 56 ; Year 503 AGC
It had been almost two months since the team had returned from Karzahni, and progressively, Vihar had become more and more distant from them. The bridge between the Toa of Iron and his team had been crossed and burned when, at the celebration of the New Year, Vihar had elected to stay secluded in his chambers alone, as opposed to participating in festivities with the villagers and his team.
After the evening sparring session, Aviara approached him before he had time to slip away back to his hermit hole. "Vihar, is there anything you want to talk about?" she asked gently. The Toa of Iron's gradual withdrawal since Karzahni hadn't escaped her keen eye.
"No, I'm fine. Do you need me to go on patrol?" Vihar wanted to know, and his tone of voice sounded like he was tired of talking to her already.
Aviara's eyes narrowed, and she refrained from launching a psychic probe into Vihar's mind, since it was against her morals. "No, but since you're offering, if you wouldn't mind taking the late beach patrol, that would be wonderful."
The Toa of Psionics expected her brother to roll his eyes and accept the task like it was the weight of the world, or not accept it at all, but to her surprise, he nodded and said, "No problem." And without another word, left.
On the quiet, gray sanded beach that lined the southern edge of Kahu Island, one set of footprints could be seen meandering down the coastline. But it never occurred to Toa Vihar to look behind him and see that his two companions were not leaving any footprints in the sand to accompany his own. He was too distracted by the wardrobe change his companions had pulled.
"Pride, Envy, I almost didn't recognize you," He said. Pride, instead of looking like a Perfect Vihar, had transformed into a jet-black, bulky, killer version of Vihar. His armor was more angular, and dangerous looking, and his eyes were glowing white hot, and even Vihar had to admit it was a bit intimidating. And Envy had swapped out her signature poison green armor for a lethal blood red and ebony set of armor. If looks could kill, anything the femme fatale made eye contact with would be dead.
"What do we owe this change in costume to?" Vihar questioned his friends. "Pride?"
The black armored being scoffed. "That ship has sailed. You may call me Anger."
"Anger?" Vihar cocked his head, wondering what brought on this change. "And who are you, Envy?" He decided to play their little game, see what they were really getting at.
"Vihar, how long ago were you a Matoran?" she asked. Even her voice had changed, becoming an embodiment of velvet. She didn't let him answer before she continued. "Just as you died as a Matoran to be born as a Toa, I have died as Envy to come back as Lust."
Something deep inside Vihar squirmed, desperately trying to warn him against taking this path. "Anger and Lust..." He repeated numbly, as he stamped out that little piece of conscience. "Why are you here? I'm not angry, and I certainly don't lust for anything. Can't you just go back to being Pride and Envy?"
"Stop denying it, Vihar." Anger snapped. "You are angry. You are. Remember how Iru, the slob you call your leader, takes the credit for anything good you and your team accomplish?"
"Well, he is the leader, isn't he?" Vihar countered.
"Yes, of course he is, but he wouldn't even be alive if it wasn't for you," Anger replied without missing a beat. "He owes you his life. They all owe you their lives. And what do you get instead?"
"What? They owe me nothing!" Vihar snapped. "They are my teammates, and that's what we do."
"Exactly! They think they owe you nothing for saving their lives countless times. They treat you like nothing. Name the last time you sat down and had an actual conversation with one of them?" Anger challenged him.
"Aviara, right before I came on patrol, she and I talked," Vihar told him.
"Yes, I know, and all she did was send you out on patrol. She sent you out on patrol alone. Doesn't that seem like the perfect excuse to get rid of you for a few hours?" Anger was relentless in his arguments.
"No, I...I volunteered. Besides, why would she want to get rid of me?" Vihar muttered.
Anger saw Vihar falter, and pounced at this chance to manipulate him. "Of course they want to get rid of you. They can't stand you." Anger stated this matter of factly, and grinned evilly as Vihar visibly flinched.
"They're my team, they don't hate me." Vihar whispered.
"Of course they do, why do you think none of them can stand to talk to you? Why do you think Lust and I come every day to keep you company? Because your team treats you like nothing."
Even if Vihar, somewhere in his consciousness, knew that these were outright lies, Anger had done his job. "I'm not nothing." The Toa of Iron snarled. "I am not nothing! I saved their lives! Countless times, I saved them," His eyes darkened. "I brought them back from Karzahni alive. And Iru takes all the credit."
"That's right!" Anger crowed in agreement. "Iru took all the credit and didn't even bother to thank you."
"How can they not see what a bad leader he is? He almost led them to their deaths there! I was the one who got them out of there! I don't get a word of thanks, and now I'm being turned into the island's outcast," Vihar growled.
Anger smiled. He had planted his seed of sin so deep inside of this Toa, that Vihar wasn't even remembering that one day when he'd first met Pride, right before Iru actually had thanked him for saving the team in Karzahni. But Vihar had been so blinded by Pride he couldn't see it.
Now Lust stepped in, with her voice like velvet. "Nothing is wrong with the world, dear Vihar. It's Iru. He's brainwashed the team into turning on you. I hear them, every day, plotting against you. Don't look so surprised, really now. You're a threat to Iru's power. He wants you out of the way."
Vihar was silent. If he'd been free of the burning grasp of Anger, he would have easily been able to see through these outrageous lies. But it was not meant to be.
Lust's slippery words fell on the seed that Anger had planted, watering and nourishing it. "You know," She continued, "It's not too late. You can still have all that you deserve."
"What do I deserve?" Vihar demanded.
" Power. Authority. Leadership," Lust rattled off. "I can list thousands of other things as well." Vihar was silent. "Your teammates are simply rahi-sheep, and Iru is their shepherd. Sheep follow where they are led. And it wouldn't be very hard to become the one that leads them."
Anger smiled. "Indeed. In fact, for such a handsome, capable, crafty Toa like yourself, it would be mere Matoran's play." Lust purred in his ear.
Location: Memory of Vihar; Kahu Forest
Time: 23.30; Day 76; Year 503 AGC
Vihar and Iru walked silently together towards the far end of Kahu Island. The half-moons and stars in the sky peppered the forest floor with their celestial light through the canopy of trees. "Vihar?"
"Did you hear me?"
"I said that tomorrow is a big day," Iru chuckled a bit nervously. " Are you sure you're okay?"
"Oh, yeah, I'm fine. What about tomorrow?" Vihar reigned in his attention and focused on Iru. He felt sick looking at his leader, with that phony grin plastered all over the dopy Kanohi Ruru. He swallowed a shudder. He could almost hear Anger telling him that now was the time. "Well, first off, I have to apologize for keeping you out of the loop." Iru started, slowing their pace a bit.
They were right... Vihar thought darkly. Things were intentionally being kept from him. But the fact that Iru was apologizing for being secretive threw him off guard.
"I never meant anything personal by it, but you just seemed distracted, and I could never find a way to bring this up. Besides, I thought it would be better if I surprised you." Seeing Vihar had nothing to say as of yet, Iru continued, "You see, only a few days we got back from Karzahni, you remember that trip, right? Only about three months ago?"
"Of course I remember." Vihar said neutrally. "And that island that we were scoping out the terrain for?" His leader continued. Vihar nodded, and Iru began to explain. "Well when they got our maps, they sent a letter of thanks back, but also a request. You see, the island we were working for is chock full of veteran warriors. Toa, Matoran, Vortixx, and who knows whom else. Anyways, they're planning some sort of siege on Karzahni. So they need some warriors who've been to Karzahni before to guide sentries from their legion and place them in key positions. Do you follow me?"
"Yeah, I follow. This is kind of big, huh?" Vihar chuckled. Who'd have thought that when they accepted that mission that it would be tied to something this big. Drawn into the plots of war and siege, Vihar forgot about his shady companions, Anger and Lust. Iru smiled upon glimpsing a bit of the old Vihar for a moment.
" Yes, it is pretty big. I was going to ask you as soon the request for the scouting party was sent, but you seemed...preoccupied. Anyways, I'm needed here at the fortress and around the village. So, Vihar, as my second in command and brother, would you be interested in leading four other Toa from our team for this mission?"
The Toa of Iron stopped in his tracks, utterly dumbfounded. It all made sense now. True, his team had been in conspiracy, but it was conspiracy for his own good. And looking back, Vihar saw that if he hadn't been so darned suspicious and full of himself, that they never did actually spite him, and that he had brought his period of solitude upon himself, by the way he'd been acting. He should have never listened to Pride in the first place.
"You know, some of the villagers said you had gone crazy. Like, they said they'd seen you talking to yourself a lot. But really, Matoran will be Matoran, right? But you are okay, aren't you?" Iru tried to catch Vihar's eye.
"Of course. Of course I'm okay. I'm better than okay!" Vihar said, breaking into a smile and meeting his brother's eye. The consuming weight brought on by all the bitterness and hate he'd been fed was suddenly lifted, now that he knew that it was all a malicious lie.
The Toa of Ice returned Vihar's smile, and told him, "There were legends, saying that simply setting foot in Karzahni makes people go crazy, with hallucinations and all. We got a good laugh at that, down at the docks one time."
Anger and Lust had had enough. They'd silently followed Vihar in their usual skulky way. The two of them were silently dying, watching as the seed they'd planted inside of their victim had withered and died all in the matter of a few minutes.
"Well, come on then, Vihar, let's finish out this patrol." The Toa of Ice began walking again, turning his back to Vihar.
Instantly, Anger and Lust leapt from the shadows, and began closing in on Vihar, circling like wolves.
"You!" Vihar snarled, seeing his haunting fiends. Before he knew what was happening, they'd encircled him. "You lied. Both of you. Nothing, not a word of it, was truth!" He whirled in place, trying to keep an eye on both his tormentors at once. "You played me for fool!"
Iru turned, seeing that his brother wasn't following. "Vihar...Vihar, are you coming?" But the Toa of Iron was deaf to his leader.
"We didn't lie to you, Vihar dear. We would never lie. What reason would we have for that?" Lust, with her silk voice, but now it sounded like slime to the Toa.
"We were simply trying to help you get what you deserve. What's best for you. What you want."
Anger with his lean and lethal build now looked fragile and thin. "And you saw truth in our words, you did! Why else would you start out your patrol ready to kill?" she pressed.
"Well I'm not surprised you got cold feet. Coward. And he calls himself a Toa." Anger scoffed in Vihar's face. Lust cackled in agreement.
Iru didn't know what was happening. He saw his brother, rooted in one place, whirling back and forth in one place, sputtering a few words here and there. "Vihar!" He changed direction, going to see what was wrong.
"You know, you're right. Vihar, you should really listen to Anger." Lust smiled, fixing her eyes on the Toa's, and he didn't see her as she reached for her long whip at her hip. The sound of metal sharpening metal took Vihar's attention next, and he saw Anger had produced two curved blades that looked beyond deadly.
"And you like to compare yourself to the oh so great Toa Lhikan. Why, you can't even measure up to your own leader." The two fiends wouldn't stop grinning. Vihar didn't know which one he feared more.
He drew his own Toa Tool, a morning star, as they drew closer and closer in their circling. The Toa watched in horror as their grinning masks twisted into grotesque faces, like something out of a nightmare.
One look at what used to be Lust, and it was all Vihar could do not to shudder and give away his horror. "I liked you better when you were pretty," he said honestly. "But really, I should never have liked either of you at all! Go back to Karzahni, where you belong!" The Toa of Iron swiped at Lust with his morning star, and he should have landed a solid blow that could uproot a tree. But the ghoul sidestepped out of the way with speed that should not have been possible. Vihar's momentum carried him and his weapon up through another arc, which he brought down where Anger should have been, but all his weapon found was air.
Lust and Anger danced around the haunted Toa, screeching and chattering obscenities. "Keep dancing, little Toa. Death is drawing nearer. There will be no escape," Lust howled. By this time she'd twisted into something like a harpy bird. A fiery crack of her whip caught the chain of Vihar's weapon, and with a triumphant scream, she yanked the weapon out of his grasp.
"Vihar!!" Iru bellowed. It looked like his brother was fighting nothing. But at Vihar's anguished cry, he saw the morning star yanked from his grasp for no apparent reason, and fly through the air, landing yards away. "Brother, tell me what's happening!" But still Vihar was numb to reality.
Suddenly, Anger and Lust halted in their tracks. They stood side by side, expressions of pure hate permanently sculpted onto their hideous faces, comparable to an unhappy Skakdi, but worse. Vihar stopped too, but not because he sensed what they sensed.
"What?" He demanded. But instead of a response any mortal could comprehend, Lust threw back her now grotesquely avian head and let out a piercing, otherworldly scream. It drove Vihar to his knees, with his hands clamped over his audio receptors. Even Iru halted in his tracks, sensing something.
Lust choked off her scream, and Anger looked to the sky, and two words escaped him that sent icy chills through everyone's frame. "Welcome, Death."
Vihar followed their gaze up to the stars, but saw nothing. Vihar snapped his gaze back to his two foes, suspecting a trick. He called upon his elemental sway over Iron for the first time in what felt like forever. The gazes of both Anger and Lust were still fixed on the sky when Vihar held a fully formed iron spear.
Vihar could count, and his math told him that he could only spear one of his tormentors before the other would strike, and most likely kill him. There was no time to think twice. If he didn't act now, he might never get the chance to again. Vihar leapt up with a cry, lunging forwards in one smooth motion, and sending his spear flying through Anger's heart. Both fiends tore their eyes from the heavens.
Vihar braced for a deathblow, or another power scream, or Karzahni knows what. But all he received was laughter. And the icy, mirthless laughter was more terrifying than Lust's scream that heralded Death. It paralyzed Vihar.
"My dear, dear ," Anger managed between fits of lunatic laughter. "Oh my, would you please explain to him, while I catch my breath?" He dissolved into insanity.
"Vihar, dear. We can touch you. We can twist you and make you dance any which way we please. But you can't touch us. It's all in your head," Lust told him. "I would say your little trick with the spear was worthless, but really, it wasn't! See, you've accomplished what you set out to accomplish tonight after all!!" She crowed. Taking two deliberate steps towards him, she leaned down and whispered in Vihar's ear. "You murdered your leader."
Anger stepped aside, passing through the spear like he was made of air. Vihar's aim was true, and his spear had found its mark. A perfect bull's eye in the heartlight. But the perfect bull's eye in the wrong heartlight. Anger and Lust mockingly bowed to Vihar, as the empty case of armor, mechanical parts, and select organic tissues that used to be Iru, Toa of Ice, crumpled to the ground.
"You monsters...." Vihar rasped, straightening up to look Anger and Lust in the eyes. "Go to Karzahni."
"You say that like it's condemnation!" Anger laughed. "Karzahni is our playground."
But then, something nobody expected happened. Time seemed to freeze as a small Matoran in all white armor stepped out from behind the tree closest to Vihar. "Did somebody call me?" she inquired, looking from the fiends to the Toa of Iron and back. Her voice was sweet like the flowers of an island paradise.
"Who are you?" Anger snarled at the little Matoran. The Matoran shrugged, and in that movement, she unfurled her snowy white wings like an angel.
"Somebody called for Death, so I answered."
"You're not what we expected." Lust frowned.
"Death is unexpected," the Matoran said reasonably. "Now is there a problem that needs addressing, or am I free to go about my business?"
"No, you're free," Anger drawled. "We've done our jobs. Vihar's done his as well." With one last smile, that would haunt Vihar for the rest of his life, Anger dissolved out of existence, just like that. Lust looked Vihar in the eyes, never blinking as she shrunk back to the green armored beauty Vihar had first known. "Job well done, Toa. If you ever find yourself missing me, you know where to find me." She planted a burning kiss on the cheek of his mask and then she too melted into the night.
Vihar looked around for the white armored Matoran, whose presence he'd found disturbingly calming.
But he was alone.
Location: Memory of Vihar; Kahu Forest
Time: 23.55; Day 76; Year 503 AGC
Toa Vihar sank weakly to his knees, horrified. Horrified not so much by the scene before him, but by the fact that this ghastly picture of sin was his own doing. Before him, strewn over the silver-spotted forest floor, was the body of his leader. The corpse lay where it had fallen only moments ago. A shaft of cold iron protruded from the deceased Ice Toa's heartlight. Vihar looked down at his trembling hands and saw the gunmetal gray and burnt orange armor that covered them. The colors of a Toa of Iron. The colors of a murderer. Vihar didn't want to believe, that the iron spear that had slain his leader had been materialized by the shaky hands he saw now. These hands weren't the hands of a killer, they were the hands of a victim.
Location: Interrogation Chamber
Time: 02.45; Day 77; Year 503 AGC
"So there you have it, Aviara." Vihar said quietly. "All my sins remembered. Do they answer all your questions?"
"Yes." Aviara nodded, trying not to be overwhelmed, as her mind sorted through the memories she'd just seen.
"Now, I have a question for you," Vihar leaned forwards, peering up at his teammate. "Why didn't you all see hallucinations when you came back from Karzahni?"
Aviara was at a loss. "Some things aren't meant for us to know, Vihar. Now, I'm going to have to escort you back to your holding cell. Come with me."
Location: Holding Cell
Time: 03.00; Day 77; Year 503 AGC
The heavy metal door slammed shut after Aviara. Sitting on the cold stone floor, Vihar chuckled sourly to himself. Using an iron door to hold him seemed rather foolish. He could escape easily with his eyes shut. And that's what he intended to do. Just, not exactly. He'd thought this through dozens of times since he'd first thought of it while waiting in the interrogation room. From a small leather pouch that he'd 'forgotten' to give up to security, he pulled out a small tablet. All Toa had one of these tablets. When ingested, it created chemical reactions that halted all mechanical and organic functions with a specific radio-electrical pulse frequency, effectively causing death in under three minutes. Trying not to be overly dramatic as he leaned his head back and swallowed, Vihar smiled and closed his eyes, counting to ninety. "Hello, Death." He breathed.
A voice like sweet flowers answered him. "Hello, Toa."
Edited by Aderia, Nov 22 2014 - 01:05 PM.