It's been a while. I have missed you, you know.
I made a promise to you. One I wanted to keep.
And one I'm still going to keep.
Chapter 7: Holding On
In the Archives…
“This is not going to help. We cannot just keep having meeting after meeting, asking where they are. It is probably just too late.”
“That’s what you say, Nokama? After all we’ve been through? After all you did?” Matau jeered.
“Stop getting on her!” Onewa commanded. “You cannot blame her. We cannot blame anyone.”
“That’s enough.” Dume slammed down his gavel, looking sternly at Matau. “This Resistance Council is doing the best it can to make sure it does not fall to Roodaka. And everything else.”
Six months had passed since the Resistance had revealed itself, and its efforts all but fizzled as the Orderly Empire recovered and reorganized itself. As Helryx executed Order 44, Karzahni unleashed the Orderly Military, consisting of Makuta and Dark Hunters, to hunt and exterminate the Toa and Turaga.
No one could have imagined the damage they would cause.
The Resistance, which had at one point been so energized and motivated that the Orderly Faction feared for their lives, had essentially been crushed before its efforts had even begun. Sure, the assassination of TSO, seizure of the Coliseum, and kidnapping of Makuta Teridax all went well initially, but everything tipped so easily back into the favor of the Empire. As the Orderly Military poured into Metru Nui, hordes of Visorak encircled the island, bordering all coasts and preventing anyone from escaping. If any Toa or Turaga was above ground and found, they were murdered instantly without question.
After that night, no one ever saw Vakama, Whenua, or Pohatu again.
“Look.” Kopaka stood, trembling. “We can’t…hide any longer. We can’t keep blaming people anymore. Whether it’s them…or us.”
Dume slammed down his gavel, motioning to Kopaka to continue. The other Turaga fell silent.
“Thank you, Turaga Dume. We can’t keep living like this! What are we going to keep doing? How much longer do you think Roodaka will wait? She’s been aching to prove her worth to Karzahni and the Empire for years.”
Matau, much more respectfully than before, raised his hand. “So what are you thinking-saying? Should we just waltz-walk out of the Archives and allow-let the Militia to snipe us from afar?”
“It’s not an army.” Kopaka tapped his mask. “Over the past few months I’ve been analyzing their movements to the best of my ability. Reception down here may be terrible, but a few boosters certainly helped the situation.”
“…and you didn’t bother to say-tell us until now?”
“I prefer to work alone, without a team of four cranky Turaga breathing on my neck.”
Dume rolled his eyes. “Well then. Please tell us what you’ve found.”
Kopaka dropped something on the floor, sliding off to the side as a giant, detailed holographic map of Metru Nui dotted with hundreds of colored dots appeared next to him.
“…or show us. It seems you learned a fair bit from Turaga Nuju.”
“When I wasn’t serving on Her Special Guard with the other Nuva, I basically lived in that lab. I just never knew his inventions were going towards a resistance.”
“Oh, they weren’t. Nuju was just a madman. Anyway, please.”
Kopaka motioned to the bottom right of the map, where a small key was conveniently placed. “Red marks the Makuta and Mahri, Green marks the Visorak, Yellow marks the Dark Hunters. Purple marks us.”
“Why violet-purple?” Matau questioned. “We have kaput-nothing to do with the color purple.”
“Can you please stop interrupting me? Anyway, we all—” he pointed to the practically purple blob in Onu-Metru “—are here. Surrounding the coast and in the center of each Metru are the Visorak,” Kopaka continued, running his finger along the green border of the map. “The Makuta and Mahri are heavily concentrated in the Coliseum; I would assume they’re considered the elite forces of the Orderly Army in guarding the Core Processor. And the Dark Hunters guard in the center and on the borders of each Metru.”
“As for Roodaka and Karzahni, they typically do not remain in just one place. They could be right above us right now or as far away as the other side of the city. It’s impossible to know.”
“But you…you’ve really outdone yourself here.” Nokama was beaming. “This is incredible. You know that. Fellow members of the Council, we have to approve usage of this. And actually use it. In battle. To take back our city.”
“I concur,” said Onewa, barely hesitating.
“So that’s two votes. And Matau—” Dume glared at him, “even if you were to digress, you would still lose.”
“I wasn’t going to.”
“Shocking.” Dume slammed down his gavel. “The Council rules in favor of your proposition. The Resistance will reconvene tonight and we will organize a search party for tomorrow.”
“A search?? For what?”
“Kopaka, as happy I am to see that someone here has determination, we cannot fight alone. We need help.”
The Next Morning…
“Okay, you guys might want to close your eyes and blink when we first get out of here. It’s going to be bright.”
“What if someone attacks us?” asked Ehyre.
“I have my Akaku. Seeing won’t be a problem for me.”
“I feel like you mention that too often,” said Artakha. “I mean, I don’t go around saying that I have the Mask of Creation.”
“That’s because the Mask of Creation was useless until Generation 2,” Tehutti jested.
*SMASH* Is that how you do it?
Were you just trying to break the fourth wall? Because that’s just a hole in the wall. Oh wow. You literally just punched the wall.
What else was I supposed to do?
Maybe, you know, conserve our budgeting. We haven’t gotten income in the past six months.
…we don’t get paid, remember?
Let’s make a mental note to fix that if we ever get our hands on some money. We’ll just split it evenly between the three of us.
…wait a second. Who actually does the most work here? I don’t know what the comedy would be like without my transitions.
Now just hold up a second. This comedy would have been banned from BZP if I wasn’t here to censor out certain ideas and words.
Is it really that bad?
It could be. You wouldn’t want this comedy to turn into a cheesy fanfiction, would you?
I narrate! I add all the flair of prose to the story! Who would read a comedy if it was just lines with no context?
Technically, that’s exactly what’s happening right now. And I’d hope there’s still people reading this even with your CENSORED puns.
I protect all of you guys. And jail you if you’re all being unfair.
The very way you judge is unfair, and you can’t deny that. You’re the whole reason Narrator isn’t here anymore.
So, then, obviously I’m the most important.
You’re lying to yourself and you know it.
Look, I may be a fool but I’m not deLUSiONAL
What is going on
Who in Mata Nui’s name is registering our words in 20pt purple Comic Sans MS
…I think we should go back to the story before this needs to go any further.
Artakha was uneasy. “I feel him. He’s here.”
Kopaka handed him a breathing device. “Then we’ll do everything we can to make his day horrendous.” He dove in, followed by the Metrutoran.
Artakha stood at the edge. He couldn’t bear seeing his brother again, after years of being imprisoned by him on his very own island. The damage Karzahni had done…murdering all of Artakha’s Crystal Serpents, desecrating both natural and artificial aspects of the island. The only thing that remained—Artakha’s fortress, was vacated except for its namesake, his inventions, and the very criminal who tore everything apart from him.
Yet he thought of Nuhrii, the Ta-Matoran who had freed him. He unironically saw fire in the being, passion, determination to break against the norms of evil. As he watched Karzahni fall to the hands of the Matoran, Artakha had felt like crying. He felt infinitely grateful for the opportunity Nuhrii had given him to live.
It was for this reason that Artakha dove into the waters of Ga-Metru—and was immediately grabbed and hurled into the depths of the waters by Karzahni.
Closer to the Center of Ga-Metru…
“Stay close,” Kopaka warned. “Anything can happen right now.”
“Anything can happen at any point,” Vhisola retorted. “But okay.”
Kopaka sighed. “Remind me never to chaperone a group of Matoran again. I should have taken Chiara and Orde, honestly.”
“Who are they?” asked Ehyre.
“Exactly.” The center was finally in sight, except it wasn’t because it was encapsulated in the dark green webbing of the Visorak. Assorted neon lights faintly shone underneath the nest. “There.”
“Wait, you’re taking us clubbing tonight?” said Orkahm.
“Hopefully not. I hate clubbing.” Kopaka dove down and disappeared underneath the nest. The others followed suit.
They floated next to a door, bordered by soft blue and pink neon lights. Kopaka pressed a button, and a soft buzzing sound rang on the other side. A being on the other side shifted aside the eyehole. “Password.”
“Password,” Kopaka replied.
The being grunted, twisting the knob on the other side to open the door. Carapar hastily motioned for the group to enter, closing the door quickly once they had all entered. The hideout of the Barraki was small yet spacious for the six warlords, and Carapar pointed to a set of chairs and couches for the group to sit on as Kalmah brought drinks to them. “We were expecting you. Finally.”
“It’s been years since we saw you six. I probably don’t even remember, if it was before we arrived at Mata Nui,” Kopaka sipped his drink. “I’m frankly surprised you’ve stayed alive.”
“They know we’re here,” Mantax said, lighting a small torch to set down on the coffee table. “Thankfully, they don’t want anyfin to do with us. Perhaps it was compensation for stealing our chance to krill the Mahri and obtain the Mask of Life.”
“Trust me, we wish we could kill the Mahri too,” Orkahm muttered under his breath.
Tehutti slapped him. “It’s not their fault. They’re just brainwashed. They all are.”
“Even Ahkmou? What happened to him, Tehutti? Was he brainwashed by Shadow Leeches like the Mahri. You think there’s still good in him. That’s funny.”
“...so, the Resistance Council approved my ‘plan.’ And now here we are,” said Kopaka, finishing his explanation of the situation.
“Trust me. I’ve wanted to go after those boneless freaks for years,” said Pridak after some time. “The Makuta and Dark Hunters both betrayed us. And we’ve never cared for any of your kind, but the other side has gone way overboard.”
“But how do you expect us to do this?” questioned Ehlek. “You fink we’re just going to ally with you and risk losing everything? We’ve done fine for nine years without talking to either side and you need us because you’d flounder without us.”
“And, you sea, even if we took your opportunaty, we don’t even have our army. We haven’t for nine years. We’ve been unable to leave this Metru for nine years. But we’ve been happy here,” added Kalmah. “Maybe you could take that as advice.”
Takadox had remained silent up to this point, but she had watched Kopaka and his team’s expressions fall as each warlord voiced their disapproval. “Guys. We can’t confinue to be shellfish. I fink we should help them.”
Pridak glared at him. “Water you talking about? They’ll poach us!”
“They would probubbly poach us eventunally anyway! We have a choice here, why don’t we just take it?”
“I mean, it would be nice to leave here,” Kalmah mused. “Seems like it’s for a good porpoise too.”
“Enough with the fish puns. Pridak, what do you think?”
Pridak rolled his eyes at Kopaka. “Only if you let us make fish puns.” He extended his fin, and Kopaka immediately took it and shook.
In the Coliseaum…
...I mean, In the Coliseum…
Artakha helplessly squirmed, wrapped in layers of Visorak webbing, as Karzahni whipped at him with his chains. “I missed you, brother.”
Karzahni kicked him. “I don’t like your sarcasm, brother.”
“You two are so immature. Grow up.” Roodaka put her hand on Karzahni’s shoulder and spun him around from facing his brother. He instantly relaxed his clenched fists and let his chains fall to the floor.
“Sorry, honey. I don’t want to kill him.”
“Sure seems like it,” Artakha scoffed.
“Shut your trap. We’ve been waiting to find one of your kind for months. And now you can tell us where they are,” Roodaka sneered. “We’ve always known you’ve been out there.”
“You should just join us. Let the past die.” Karzahni smiled, holding out his hand to his brother.
Artakha chuckled. “Karzahni. My hands are wrapped in this stupid little cocoon. And even if they weren’t, I still wouldn’t join you.”
Karzahni’s face fell as he picked up his chains, brandishing them inches away from Artakha as they burst into flames. “Well, then. I’m sorry, brother. We have no choice.”
To Be Continued…
Yes, clearly this is not Interview #2. But never fear! Special #4 is near!
As always, be sure to let me know what you thought of this chapter, or previous chapters. Hope you're all having the best of lives.