Sultry music can be heard coming from the interior of an establishment in an undisclosed location. Is this the Matoran Universe? Spherus Magna? Perhaps… Okoto? Who knows? None of that matters to the owners of this bistro. No patrons can be seen within; only the employees, three beings who can only be called by the titles “Good Guy” or “Bad Guy”.
A mask-less Good Guy sits at the bar, downing a glass of liquid protodermis. A Bad Guy with no mask or helmet to cover his white, toothy grin prepares another glass for his friend. A Good Guy bearing the Kanohi Rode stands at the corner, cleaning his blade. The night is quiet, and the melody continues permeating the environment when one of their co-workers storms in.
“Everyone! You will not believe this!” he shouts. This Gold Good Guy stands at the front of the house, clutching his staff trying to regain his breath.
“Spit it out, already,” grumbles the impatient sword-bearing Good Guy.
“Carnival Nui has begun,” wheezes Gold Good Guy dramatically. The atmosphere stiffens. The tune that had played up until this point stops abruptly and inexplicably. Two seconds of silence pass as though they were two hours.
The bartender begins preparing a new glass of liquid protodermis. “It appears our peaceful days will come to an end,” he speaks gravely, his baritone voice enveloping the small eatery. “Once every seven hundred and forty-three millennia, the borders of time and space break down and allow nightmarish events to unfold. Anything could happen. It could be something… Dramatic.” He shakes the glass in his grasp. “Perhaps an occurrence most… Fantastic.” The protodermis stirs rapidly. “Maybe even… Romantic.”
The Good Guy that had been silently drinking liquid protodermis until now whirs erratically, as if to agree with Bad Guy. The bartender places the drink he had been preparing down and places his right claw on his chin. “Stay tuned.”
Toa Lewa slumbers quietly in the dense jungle of Le-Wahi, resting on a hammock he fashioned himself from leaves, vines and branches. In his dream, he soars through the open sky, no longer confined by the limits of the Kanohi Miru’s powers. His axe has been replaced by two katana, a layer of fashionable silver armor covers his natural green armor and his mask is different, more powerful. He looks down within his mind’s eye and admires the scenery. He can make out his fellow Toa amidst the Matoran, although they all appear to be the same size from his vantage point. He sees that Tahu is jerking around in a fit, undoubtedly cursing Toa Lewa and desiring the power of flight. Lewa laughs at the unfortunate mental image of his teammate as a blunt object strikes him from behind. Unable to turn around, he free-falls straight into the inferno of Mount Valmai.
Lewa wakes up with a horrified scream. Next to him is Turaga Matau, who Lewa suspects struck him with his staff. “You calm-rest while Mata Nui deepsuffers! Collect Great Kanohi, you must!” exclaims the agitated Turaga.
“Turaga, your speech-method is very confusing.” Another blow interrupts whatever Lewa was going to say. Lewa springs from the hammock and dashes into the forest. Once he’s out of sight, Turaga Matau jumps into the hammock and quickly drifts into dreamland.
After the Core War, resources were scarce, and disputes were plentiful. To solve said disputes in as clean a way as possible, the Glatorian Arena system was implemented. Tribes select warriors to serve as their champions in duels against the other tribes’ battlers to resolve quarrels of any kind and to prevent war from breaking out. Coming up is the yearly tournament at Atero, where the winning tribe will receive a vast bounty of resources.
Agori and non-participating Glatorian from all tribes fill the seats of the arena, but… something’s different. The fire tribe’s leader, Raanu, sits at the announcer’s box with retired fire tribe Glatorian Ackar and an Agori from the ice tribe who deals with all tribes as a neutral party, Metus.
“Greetings, everyone. I, Raanu, am pleased to announce that the Glatorian Arena system has been dismantled.” The audience becomes even more confused. Raanu sits back and lets Metus take the microphone. “I, Metus, have the honor to inaugurate the Glatorian Game Show system!”
The crowd realizes why the arena is decorated and furnished as a massive ceremonial stage, as opposed to being an empty sand field for warriors to clash. The Glatorian who had been waiting in the preparation rooms were equally bewildered.
A short yet tough fire Glatorian clad in bulky armor stepped forth. “Hey, what’s the big idea? I’ve been waiting all year to cave in some helmets!”
The angry voice makes it to the announcer’s box, albeit muted. Ackar takes the microphone. “Don’t be so violent, Malum. Look at it this way: at least you won’t be exiled for whatever crime you were inevitably going to commit today.”
“Shut it! You want a piece of me?” Water Glatorian Tarix shakes his head as Malum continues his tirade.
“Our first event…” Raanu picks a random piece of paper from a helmet, “shall be baseball!”
Tarix stands at the pitcher position while Vastus plays batter. Behind him, Gresh waits as catcher. Gelu, Strakk, and Kiina defend the bases while Malum plays shortstop. Two Skrall and a Stronius cover the field positions. Ackar remains at the announcer’s box, serving as the game’s commentator. Tarix fires a Thornax, which Vastus misses by a wide margin and Gresh deflects.
Tarix shoots again, Vastus misses again.
The same repeats once more. Vastus looks mortified.
“Strike three! Batter out!”
Gresh and Vastus switch positions. Gresh breaks his shield into two blades. “Don’t worry, Vastus! I’ll know ‘em dead.” Vastus doesn’t respond, just stands behind Gresh attempting to piece together his shattered confidence. Tarix fires a thornax, which Gresh handily strikes. The jungle Glatorian tosses his weapons aside and breaks into a sprint. Malum catches near-ripe rock-hard fruit as Gresh rounds first base. “It’s coming to you, second!” he yells. He loads the thornax into his own launcher and shoots it at the Glatorian covering second base.
“You’re supposed to throw it, not shoot it, you fool!” yells Strakk as he tries in vain to defend from the shot. Too slow to protect himself with his axe, Strakk gets blown into a wall. Malum taunts him from a distance. As soon as the ice Glatorian gets his bearings, he charges at Malum.
“Stop fighting and focus on the match!” yells Gelu as he stands between them, unsuccessfully attempting to make them turn their attention back to Gresh, who was close to reaching third base and would soon be on his way to home base. Realizing the futility of trying to mediate the two, Gelu primes his launcher and fires it as a last-ditch attempt to prevent Gresh from scoring. “Kiina, heads up!” The projectile rockets towards third base. Kiina ducks and Gresh halts his motion before getting to third base. Gelu stands shocked that he didn’t consider that, given the fact Kiina wouldn’t be able to catch it, Gresh had no reason to keep running into the line of fire.
The spiky fruit doesn’t descend as predicted either, thanks to a wind current. Instead, it strikes a Vorox spectator. “Gelu…” the Vorox recoils from the hit and jumps into the arena.
“Kabrua! I wasn’t trying to hit you—!” Gelu ducks as a thornax flew right at him and hits the ground running. Kabrua chases after him.
“Come back and face my stinger tail!”
Meanwhile, Gresh makes it to home base.
“The jungle tribe scores!” exclaims Ackar. “Unfortunately, given the various infractions, this round has been declared null.”
Hours later, the game concluded. The rock tribe stood victorious. Malum had been exiled, Gelu had run away and Kabrua chased after him. The Skrall hissed happily and all the other Glatorian grumbled quietly.
“Next game is…” Raanu pulls another paper, “a relay race!”
Perditus, Vastus and Kiina’s vehicles stand side by side at the starting line. Crotesius, Gresh, Kirbraz and Scodonius lay in wait by the sidelines, giving their vehicles final touches. The first set of competitors had to run a full lap around Atero, then the second set would take over for the second lap and finally a third set of participants would stand by and run on foot to the center of the arena, where an overripe thornax awaited. Whichever tribe fired the thornax first won. The final stretch would be run by Kyry, Tarduk and Berix.
Metus clears his throat. “Ready… set… go!”
The three Glatorian set off. Kiina and Vastus’ stock chariots lag behind Perditus’ Thornatus V9.
“It’s not fair that he gets to use that!” groans Kiina.
“Says the one who has an extra teammate,” retorts Vastus.
“Ugh, don’t even tell me about those two. They’re more of a liability together.”
“Well, no matter, I’m not losing this match!” roars Vastus, pushing his chariot to its limits.
“Big talk from someone who can’t even hit a thornax!”
Vastus shrugs her off, not letting himself get depressed again. He closes in on Perditus and Kiina only trailed slightly behind them.
“Not bad at all,” says Perditus smugly, “but you won’t defeat my wonderful Thornatus V9.” Perditus sighs happily and lovingly strokes his vehicle. Kiina and Vastus look at him with a hint of disgust.
Minutes later, Perditus finishes the lap and Crotesius sets off. Vastus follows ten seconds later and Kiina follows just a second or two behind the jungle tribe. The last of the vehicles were out and the runners take their places.
Crotesius takes a strong lead with his Cendox V7 and Gresh falls far behind on his dune chariot. Kirbraz and Scodonius stand between them, but they have their own problems. The former unhooks the Kaxium V3's sidecar and runs ahead of the latter.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Scodonius demands angrily.
“Just snatching the win. You’re holding me back.”
Scodonius sees red. He speeds up as much as he can and tries to ram Kirbraz off the track. The larger vehicle gets a leg up. Kirbraz repays in kind by shooting a thornax at the Scodonius’ tire. The vehicle scrambles out of control and hits Kirbraz. The two water Agori are injured and retire from the race.
Crotesius has a clear lead and was halfway through the track. Gresh is just about ready to give up.
“You meanies will regret not having invited me!”
An explosion tears a hole into the side of the wall Crotesius was circling, knocking him off his ride. The dust clears to reveal Telluris riding his Skopio XV-1. Telluris rampages across the arena, shooting at random. The spectators panic and begin evacuating. The foot racers scramble to safety.
Chaos engulfed the arena. It had been an hour since Telluris showed up and demanded to be allowed to participate. Two more games had been played. Telluris threw a tantrum whenever things stopped going his way. Tuma, who had been acting behaved until now, also became unruly. No matter which of the games it was, things fell into turmoil. Hide & seek turned into seek & destroy and go fish turned into a more literal interpretation of the game, with the Glatorian angling at each other with their weapons. Raanu and Metus had been dragged into the conflict; only Ackar remained standing.
“This concludes the first annual Glatorian Game Show. The judges will deliberate on who won and announce the results at the end of next year’s Glatorian Game Show. Thank you all for coming and good night!”
The sultry music resumes at the bistro. Bad Guy voices his thoughts as he prepares a drink. “The Glatorian are a ruthless people. Toa are a much more compassionate kind, but even then, there are some who let their troubles overcome them and force them to stray from the path of righteousness. Up next, the story of one such Toa.”
Do You Have What It Takes to be a Hero? With Toa Vakama!
“H-hello, everyone. I am Toa Vakama, host of “Do You Have What It Takes to be a Hero? With Toa Vakama!” on today’s episode, we analyze what can cause a Toa to renounce their morals. We have Toa Lesovikk as a guest on today’s episode! Please say hello.”
Lesovikk remains quiet, staring ahead without anything resembling life in his eyes.
“U-um, Toa Lesovikk, could you tell us of your circumstances?”
Lesovikk responded in a dry, monotone voice, “All my friends are dead.”
Vakama remains silent for almost a minute before respond. “Y-yes, the Toa Cordak were wiped out by Zyglak. What about that drove you to become a wanderer?”
“I watched them all die horrifically before my eyes.”
“…Yes, I-I feel terrible for reminding you of this traumatic event.”
“It’s cool. I see their deaths play out every time I close my eyes.”
“A-and you don’t feel angry about this anymore?”
“I don’t really care anymore, I just do me. Can I go yet?”
“W-why yes, I suppose so. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in!”
A series of crimes in Metru Nui! Matoran being murdered?!? Help us, detective Tuyet!