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Bionicle: The Forgotten Bond

Hero Factory Slizer RoboRider Bionicle crossover

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#1 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 03 2012 - 10:34 AM

BIONICLE: THE FORGOTTEN BOND

PrologueIn the time before time, when the Great Beings were just about to create the Matoran, a mysterious entity approached them and offered them an object of great power. It was a large (Lego) brick-shaped object that glowed bright blue with pure energy, and they were told that if they were to use this object’s energy in their new creations, said creations would not only fulfill their intended purpose, but one day may go on to do something even greater. Taken by curiosity, the Great Beings used the brick’s energy in the creation of the Matoran and moved on to other matters, expecting to one day find out if the stranger had indeed told them the truth. As they waited the evil Makuta struck against Mata Nui, bringing an age of great darkness upon the Matoran, but six heroes—the Toa Mata—rose and defeated Makuta. Retreating deeper into the darkness, Makuta plans his next strike against the Matoran…“Foolish Toa,” Makuta said. “They think they have won, but they are only that much closer to defeat.”Still, the battle with the Toa had wounded him—he would need time to heal before he could properly take revenge. He turned to a small Bohrok nest and began contemplating its usefulness, and just as he raised an arm he heard a laugh come from behind him.“I thought you’d have a back-up plan,” someone said. “I grow more and more impressed, Makuta. But before you wake up those insects, I’d like to share a possible alternative with you.”Makuta spun around to see a figure hidden in the shadows, and he asked, “Who are you? How did you find this place?”“Don’t worry, Makuta, I’m on your side,” the stranger said. “We can both help each other achieve our goals…will you listen to what I have to say?”“…Speak,” Makuta said. “If what you say proves interesting, then I may not destroy you.” Review

Edited by SSJ Pahrak, Jan 03 2012 - 10:38 AM.

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#2 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 05 2012 - 10:27 AM

Chapter 1Tahu surveyed the scene and smiled behind his Golden Kanohi Hau. After defeating Makuta a few days ago the Toa had each returned to their own villages to tell the Matoran, and now the entire island had gathered at Kini-Nui for a grand celebration.Lewa dropped down next to him and said, “The Matoran are so ever-happy now that we have defeat-stopped Makuta! It’s as if all sorrow-troubles have disappeared!”“Indeed,” Tahu said, and then he spotted Kopaka on top of Kini-Nui. The Toa of Ice had seemed to become even more cautious after Makuta’s defeat, questioning whether or not they had fulfilled their destiny and, if not, what more had to be done to awaken Mata Nui.Tahu sighed and went up the stairs of the temple, finding Gali and Onua up there as well, and he asked, “What are you all doing? This is supposed to be a celebration.”“Kopaka suggested we investigate the temple,” Onua said. “It’s one of the most important places on the island, so it may have a clue as to what we need to do next.”“What more is there to do?” Tahu asked. “We defeated Makuta—the Matoran are safe.”“But how do we know Makuta is gone for good?” Gali replied. “It just feels like we’re missing something…I don’t think Mata Nui is awake yet.”“You all worry too much,” Tahu said.“And you’re not taking your duty seriously enough,” Kopaka said.Tahu was about to respond when Pohatu came racing up the stairs, and the Toa of Stone pointed and said, “Guys, I think we have a problem.”The others turned to see three silver pods descending from the sky not far from Kini-Nui, and Tahu said, “That’s something worth investigating.”They gathered Lewa, told the Turaga what they were doing, and rushed off to where the pods landed, and just as the Toa arrived three armored figures the size of Toa emerged. One figure had silver armor, and his left arm sported a silver gun with a long barrel; another had black armor and a cannon that ended in what appeared to be a speaker on his right arm; and the third figure, in the lead, had white armor and a multitude of weapons protruding from his right arm; each one had a glowing object on their chest that displayed an ‘H’ insignia.The leader stepped forward and said, “We’re the Hero Factory Alpha Team. Identify yourself.”“What’s Hero Factory?” Pohatu asked.The leader raised his weapon arm, his silver companion following his lead, and repeated, “Identify yourself.”“Take it easy, Stormer,” advised the black-armored newcomer. “They could be the ones who contacted us.”“They just said they didn’t know about Hero Factory,” said the leader, apparently Stormer.“We are the Toa,” Tahu announced. “Now what business do you have here?”“We received a distress call that was traced back to this planet,” Stormer said.“Distressed?” Lewa repeated. “What distress? Makuta is defeated-gone.”“There must have been a mistake,” Kopaka said. “If something has gone wrong, then we’ll take care of it.”“That’s not how we do things,” Stormer said. “Step aside. Stringer, give them a warning.”The black-armored figure, now identified, said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea. What about you, Bulk?”The silver newcomer raised his weapon and shot a metal sphere that landed in front of the Toa, and Tahu threw a fire blast that purposefully missed as he shouted, “Get off this island now! That’s your last warning!”“Tahu, maybe we shouldn’t fight them,” Onua said, but Stormer rushed at them and Tahu charged in to meet their opponent with a flaming slash.Stormer dodged and swung an ice blade at Tahu, but the weapon melted before it made contact and Tahu knocked him back. Bulk fired another sphere but Lewa summoned a powerful wind to blow it off course and Kopaka encased Bulk in ice from the neck down. Stringer lifted his weapon arm and the other Toa prepared for battle, but then the cannon of Stringer’s arm retracted and he raised his hands into the air.“Please, let’s just talk this out,” Stringer said.After silently agreeing, Onua and Gali went over to speak with Stringer, and Pohatu sat down, saying, “Meh, I’ll just watch…”Bulk broke free of the ice and shot Kopaka, who raised his shield but was thrown back by the impact, and then Bulk ran at Lewa who created a shield with his mask before swinging his axe. Stormer ducked under a fire wave and launched his grappling spear, hitting a tree behind Tahu, and then he used the line to pull himself towards Tahu quickly only for the Toa of Fire to levitate over his rotary blade and smother Stormer in flames. Tahu saw Stormer get back up and charge at him, but Tahu activated his mask’s Strength powers and swung his sword, crushing Stormer’s shoulder and causing his weapon arm to go limp.Bulk attempted to aid his companion but was swept up by a tornado, so no one stopped Tahu from holding his blade to Stormer’s neck and asking, “Feel like giving up yet?”Gali reach out and lowered Tahu’s arm, saying, “Tahu, calm yourself. If what this ‘Stringer’ fellow says is true, then we need to be helping them.”Reluctantly, Tahu stepped back and faced Stringer, who said, “Like I told your friends, we really don’t mean any harm. We were made by the Hero Factory to respond to emergencies all over the universe, and we’re the best they’ve got—the Alpha Team. A day or two ago we received a choppy message from somewhere on this planet, and we could only make out two words: Von Nebula.”“In case you didn’t know, that’s the name of the most dangerous villain we’ve ever encountered,” Stormer said.“That would explain your…eagerness,” Kopaka said.“But should we really believe-trust them?” Lewa questioned. “They could have been sent by Makuta to deceive-trick us.”“I think that the only way we’ll know for sure is to take a leap of faith,” Onua said.“Besides…” Stringer said, “you kind of just proved you can beat us. Haha…it’s okay, guys; they’re heroes too.”“No hero is better than a Hero Factory hero,” Stormer said.Tahu lifted his sword and said, “You sure about that?”“Come on, Tahu, let it go,” Pohatu said. “Sorry we got off to a rough start. How about we go after Von Nebula instead to make it up to you?”“It’s our mission,” Stormer said.“But what about your arm?” Bulk asked.Stormer said, “We’ll use a repair kit and—““Give Von Nebula time to do whatever until we’re done,” Stringer said. “Let’s face it—these guys stand a better chance than us. I think it’s best we let them handle this and do some training while we have the time.”Stormer did nothing for a time, but eventually he pulled out a set of handcuffs, held them out, and said, “Here—use these if you find Von Nebula. These Hero Cuffs will drain his energy so he can’t escape.”“Right,” Tahu said as he took the cuffs. “So what does this guy look like?”“Believe me,” Stormer said, “you’ll know him when you see him.”Review
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#3 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 10 2012 - 11:11 AM

Chapter 2“Know him when we see him, hmph,” Tahu grumbled. “We’ve seen all kinds of evil things on this island…every day except today, of course. The most menacing thing I’ve seen so far is Kopaka’s glare.”“Easy, Tahu,” Onua said. “A master villain isn’t always easy to find.”“We’ve been over the whole island!” Tahu said. “There’s nowhere left to look except…”“Mangaia,” Kopaka finished. “It would make sense that a villain this feared could have a connection to Makuta.”“Back to where we start-came from,” Lewa said. “We walk-traveled all over the island for nothing.”Tahu muttered something under his breath as the Toa activated the Speed power of their Golden Kanohi, running back to Kini-Nui in a flash, and as they approached the temple they spotted Turaga Vakama waiting for them. “Greetings, Toa,” Vakama said. “How goes your search?”“We haven’t found Von Nebula yet, so we’re going to enter Mangaia again,” Gali said. “How are our guests?”“They went back into their pods and haven’t come out,” Vakama said. “Stringer said they have some sort of program that allows the heroes to train, so I would assume that’s what they are doing.”“That’s some neat technology,” Pohatu murmured.Tahu walked over to the entrance to Mangaia and unsealed it, and Vakama said, “Be careful, Toa. You may have been through Mangaia before, but there may be new dangers lying in wait for you.”“We’ll be fine, Turaga,” Tahu said. “We defeated Makuta—what could be more dangerous than that?”He entered the tunnel and the other Toa followed him, and after walking for quite some time they came to the chamber where they had fought the Manas. “You don’t think the Manas are still hanging around, do you?” Pohatu asked.“No, those overgrown crabs are long gone,” replied a voice. Out of the shadows stepped a large figure with spiky black armor, holding a staff in one hand that held an orb with a curious glow.“Von Nebula?” Tahu asked.The newcomer said, “Ah, you know my name…that means the Alpha Team must be here. Good…but why have you Toa come down here instead?”“We got into a battle with the Alpha Team, so they weren’t able to be here,” Onua said. “We offered to come in their place.”“Of course…I should’ve known you’d defeat those ‘heroes’,” Von Nebula said. “I’ll just have my henchmen take care of them. I’ll deal with you myself.”Tahu dashed at Von Nebula, but the villain kicked him aside and said, “Still so impatient. Have you learned nothing, Tahu?”Onua willed the ground beneath Von Nebula to erupt, but he jumped aside and shot a bolt of energy from his staff that knocked Onua back. Pohatu and Lewa attacked next, but Von Nebula smacked Lewa aside with his staff, knocked Pohatu’s feet out from under him, and said, “Disappointing…I’ve been watching you for a while now, Toa. Your adventures in gathering the masks was quite entertaining, but you still neglected to finish off Makuta.”“Makuta’s still alive?” Tahu asked.Von Nebula moved before Kopaka could freeze him and shot the Toa of Ice, and then he said, “Correct. Makuta helped me lure the Alpha Team out here so I could kill them on this distant, unknown planet.”A swirling pillar of water surrounded Von Nebula and threw him into the ceiling, and before he hit the ground Pohatu kicked him across the chamber and Onua caught him, spin around, and slammed him into the wall. “Then we Toa-heroes must ruin-foil your plans and rescue-save the Alpha Team,” Lewa said, creating a miniature cyclone around their foe.Von Nebula shot Lewa with an energy bolt and then dove at Kopaka, but Kopaka blocked with his shield and used his sword to knock the villain into a wave of flames. “You aren’t so tough,” Tahu said, his sword still glowing. “We’ll take you to the Alpha Team and then come back to make sure Makuta’s gone for good.”“I thought this might happen,” Von Nebula sighed. “Even after studying your techniques, I don’t think I can defeat all of you at once.”The orb on his staff began to glow even brighter as he added, “Let’s remove a few of you.”He held his staff forward and a small black hole opened up in front of him, and the Toa quickly reached for something to hold on to as the black hole attempted to suck them all in. Lewa lost his footing first and flew towards the hole, and though Onua tried to save him the portal swallowed them both up and closed.“What have you done with them?” Gali demanded.“They’re sage for now,” Von Nebula said. “Makuta made it very clear that I’m not to kill any of you. No, I just sent your friends to another planet, so as long as they can get along with the locals they should be fine.”Tahu swung his sword and Von Nebula blocked with his staff, but then Pohatu ran behind him and kicked him to the ground, allowing Kopaka to freeze his staff. Gali pushed Von back with a blast of water and Pohatu grabbed the frozen staff, but it flashed and the ice suddenly shattered as Pohatu disappeared into a black hole that vanished as quickly as it had appeared.“Hahaha!” Von laughed. “He couldn’t control the energies of the staff, and now he has joined the other two. Soon you will all join them!”Tahu threw a fireball and then went in with his sword, but Von grabbed him and threw him at Gali, knocking her over, and then he picked up his staff and blocked Kopaka’s blade. Kopaka attempted to freeze Von but was sucked into a black hole instead, and then Gali used a tidal wave to wash Von away and helped Tahu up.“Bring the others back!” Tahu said, aiming a flamethrower at Von.“As I said, you’ll be joining them soon,” Von said, dodging and hitting both he and Gali with energy bolts before opening a black hole. This time Gali vanished into the portal, and then Von Nebula walked up to Tahu and slammed him with his staff.“No…this isn’t possible,” Tahu said.“Then how do you explain it?” Von asked. “Face it, Tahu—your mighty team of Toa has been defeated, banished to another world. With you gone I can kill the Alpha Team, and Makuta and I can complete our plan unopposed.”Tahu ran at Von Nebula, sword blazing, and the next thing he knew he was tumbling through a black hole.Stormer stepped out of his pod and sighed, thinking, I can’t believe we were defeated…we’re the Alpha Team! Hmph…maybe if Stringer had helped…Stringer and Bulk emerged from their pods, and Stringer said, “Hey Stormer, how’re you doing?”“Fine,” Stormer said. “My arm is back to…”He turned suddenly, and Stringer said, “What is it?”“…Thought I heard something,” Stormer said. “Anyway, why—“The ground in front of them exploded and the team scattered, Stormer saying, “That shot came from a Meteor Blaster. Keep your eyes open!”A green figure with enormous claws leapt out at them, knocking Stormer down, and then Stringer fired his sound cannon and said, “Corroder? Guess Von Nebula brought you along on his trip.”“Hehe…it’s my lucky day,” Corroder said. “I’ve just been ordered to kill the Alpha Team!”Corroder turned and used his corrosive spit to destroy an incoming metal sphere, and then he shot Bulk with his Meteor Blaster and Stormer knocked him away with an ice blade. Stringer fired his cannon again and moved over to Bulk, but then another Meteor Blaster was shot at him from behind and he turned to see Thunder approaching.“Let me smash at least one of them,” Thunder said. “Can’t let you have all the fun.”Great, Stormer thought, blocking Corroder’s claw as Bulk kicked Thunder. Stringer got up and fired at Thunder but missed, and then Thunder used his crush claw to punch Bulk and shot Stringer with his Meteor Blaster. Stormer dodged corrosive spit and punched Corroder, but the villain soon recovered and used his claw to send Stormer flying.I hate this planet, Stormer thought.Review
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#4 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 12 2012 - 11:03 AM

Chapter 3Von Nebula crossed the room and examined a cylindrical chamber in the wall, and just as he was about to touch it a voice said, “Rahkshi. They won’t do anything without Kraata to pilot them.”Von turned to see Makuta behind him, and he said, “Ah, you’re back. The Toa came while you were gone, but I sent them to another planet. XPlode and Rotor are there to keep an eye on them.”Makuta nodded and said, “I suppose the Alpha Team has arrived by now?”“Corroder and Thunder are taking care of them,” Von said. “So…did you find it?”“Yes, I did,” Makuta said, drawing out a glowing brick-like object. “I had to do a bit of searching, but it exists. Perhaps the rest of your legend is true as well.”Von took the brick and stared at it greedily, saying, “Excellent…this will make obtaining the other three much easier.”Tahu woke up and groaned, his whole body still sore from the crash landing. He could see the others nearby and slowly got up, but then he sensed someone behind him and turned to look. The being watching him had white and blue armor and was about as tall as a Turaga, and he had skis on his feet, a black visor over his eyes, and a black pole in his right hand.“…Hey,” the stranger said. “You and your friends kinda fell from the sky…what’s that all about?”Tahu stood up and looked around, seeing nothing but a very large rock in the wasteland they stood in, and he said, “We were…thrown into a black hole.”“Yikes,” the stranger said. “Sounds like you’re having a rough day. I’m Ski, the Ice Slizer. I was on patrol here when you landed.”“I’m Tahu, Toa of Fire,” Tahu introduced. “Where are we?”“You’re in the Blast Sector,” Ski said. “Landed pretty close to the meteor, too…ironic.”“…I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” Tahu said.“Oh, right,” Ski said. “I should probably take you and your friends to see the Judge Slizer so we can get this all sorted out. But…my ship is just a one-man craft…”“We can keep up on foot,” Tahu said.Ski stared at him silently for a while, and then he said, “…Right…well, you wake your friends up and I’ll go get my ship.”Ski left and Tahu woke the other Toa, and Pohatu said, “Man, that hurt…are we still on Mata Nui?”“I don’t think so,” Tahu said. “One of the locals came by and said he was going to take us to see the ‘Judge Slizer’…let’s play along for now.”A white and blue aircraft flew overhead, and the Toa used their Speed powers to follow it. “What happened to this place?” Onua wondered aloud. “There’s nothing but destruction here…”As they neared the edge of the wasteland they came upon a large transparent dome, and the aircraft landed just outside and Ski stepped out. “Huh…you really can keep up…” Ski murmured. “Anyway, come on—the Judgment Tower isn’t far.”He led them into the dome, stepping right through the ‘wall’, and Gali asked, “Um…have we done something wrong?”“Oh, no, the Judge Slizer is just in charge of, well…everything,” Ski said. “Figured you might be able to gather your bearings.”There was a very advanced city filled with machinery inside the dome, and after walking down a few streets they came upon a tower that seemed to reach all the way to the very top of the dome. Inside they encountered a winged being with yellow and black armor, who greeted, “Hello, Ski. Who are your friends?”“That’s actually what we’re trying to figure out, Jet,” Ski said. “They were thrown through a black hole, apparently, and they landed near the meteor.”“You don’t say?” Jet replied.“Are you this Judge Slizer we’re supposed to see-visit?” Lewa asked.Jet chuckled, “No, I haven’t been Judge Slizer for a thousand years. Rida is the Judge Slizer now—you’ll find her on the top floor.”Ski led the Toa over to an elevator which they rode to the top floor, and when they stepped off they crossed a hall and walked into a room where they saw another being in black and yellow armor sitting behind a desk. “Ski? Aren’t you supposed to be patrolling the Blast Sector?” she asked.“Come on Rida, you don’t think I’d just ignore my duties, do you?” Ski said. “Found these guys near the meteor, thought you might want to talk to them. I’ll get back to my patrol now.”Ski left and Rida stood up, and she said, “Okay…well, I’m Rida, the Judge Slizer. Please, take a seat.”The Toa sat down and Tahu said, “We’re not, ah…from this planet, so we’re a bit confused about how things work here.”“Duly noted,” Rida said, sitting back down. “Well, first things first: how’d you end up in the Blast Sector?”“We were sucked into a black hold and deposited here,” Kopaka said.“…I see,” Rida said. “That’s a new one…uh, what next…”“What’s a Slizer?” Pohatu asked.“Oh, okay,” Rida said. “Well, every year in each Sector of the planet we hold tournaments with all of our warriors, and the winner of each tournament gets the title ‘Slizer’ for that year. Except, here in the Slizer Dome we only have a handful of warriors, so when a Judge Slizer gets chosen they keep the title until they retire. And the Blast Sector doesn’t have warriors, of course…”“How many of these Sectors are there?” Onua asked.“We used to have seven, plus the Slizer Dome,” Rida said. “But a thousand years ago that meteor hit and destroyed three whole Sectors…we call the wreckage the Blast Sector now.”“How does a meteor land-crash with that much power?” Lewa asked.“…You know, I should probably take you to the history chamber,” Rida said, standing up and leading them down the hall to another room.Rida flipped a light switch and the room lit up, revealing several artifacts and images along the walls. Rida gestured to a carving that displayed a brick-like object and said, “Guess we’ll start at the beginning. Legends say that long, long ago, a deity created our race using the power of a mystical brick. A civil war erupted, two armies battling to gain control of the brick, but then the deity banished the factions to two separate worlds and hid the brick where no one could find it. We always had records of our planet, but it wasn’t until after the meteor impact that we found out some of what happened on the other planet.”She took a few more steps, nearing an image of a planet divided into seven parts with eight disks surrounding it. “Our whole species, on both planets, began to specialize in disk-throwing, and the disk became our ultimate weapon. We established the Slizer system, and the other planet established a monarchy, and despite a few upsets here and there things were peaceful-ish for generations. 11,000 years ago on the other planet, a warrior named Blaster led a bloody coup against the monarchy, but it failed and he and his minions were banished to a piece of space rock that fell into deep space. But one of them, a warrior named Millennia, discovered a powerful source of energy deep within the meteor that empowered all of them and gave them the ability to guide the meteor as if it were a spacecraft. Blaster and Millennia led a campaign across the universe, conquering every planet they came upon…let’s see the next important thing is…”Rida walked to another carving that displayed a meteor colliding with a planet, and Rida said, “1,001 years ago we began encountering beings in gray and black armor with strange powers—scouts sent by Blaster to determine if our planet was worth conquering. Needless to say, the similarities interested him and the scouts began filling the planet with energy that gradually drew the meteor here. Millennia, however, began to feel guilty for his past deeds and tried to convince Blaster not to attack, but that didn’t go so well and Millennia made his way here on his own. He arrived near the end of the year, intending to destroy the energy drawing the meteor here—the Millennium Bug—but the chemicals in the Urban Sector turned the bug into a fungus that came up through the whole Sector, and it wasn’t exactly easy for him to convince the Slizers he wasn’t a threat. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stop it in time, and the mutation of the Millennium Bug was drawing the meteor here so fast that even its pilots couldn’t stop it. On New Year’s Eve it entered the atmosphere, and Jet flew off to try and stop it…he changed its course enough that it didn’t destroy the whole planet, but the Jungle, Mountain, and Storm Sectors were obliterated and Jet, who we all thought died, was captured and hidden inside the meteor.”Rida turned to the next wall, one that depicted several battles, and quietly said, “For the next year, we fought the Millennium War. As soon as they landed, Blaster’s army attacked the whole planet, and his generals Spark and Flare descended on the Volcanic Sector and killed Torch, the Fire Slizer. The remaining warriors, myself included, united under Millennia’s leadership, and in the end we killed Flare, Spark, and Blaster, rescued Jet, and things somewhat returned to normal.”“…Unbelievable…” Gali said.“Whether you believe it or not is your choice, but it is the truth,” Rida said. “So, that’s the story of our species. What about yours?”Meanwhile, inside the meteor, XPlode and Rotor were sifting through piles of rubble to try and salvage anything valuable. “Are you sure we should be doing this?” Rotor asked. “Von Nebula told us to watch the Toa.”“We also need to find the brick,” XPlode said, “and an abandoned place like this is the easiest place to start looking. Now help me move this door.”Rotor walked over to a giant iron door and ripped it off its hinges, and XPlode stepped into the room beyond and looked around. Aside from a few broken terminals and an unoccupied stasis tube, the room was empty, so he cursed and shot his Meteor Blaster at the wall. He turned to leave, but then Rotor went to where the blast had hit and said, “Hey boss, look at this!”XPlode glanced over his shoulder to see Rotor pulling a large metal box out of the wall, and he said, “I guess this trip wasn’t completely worthless…”Review

Edited by SSJ Pahrak, Jan 12 2012 - 12:51 PM.

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#5 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 17 2012 - 10:02 AM

Chapter 4Stringer popped out from behind the tree just long enough to fire before ducking behind another, and he saw the impact of a Meteor Blaster nearby right before Thunder uprooted the tree and kicked him. Stormer fired a plasma bolt at Thunder and then turned just in time to block Corroder’s claw, and then Bulk slammed into Corroder and tackled him to the ground.“Go help Stringer!” Bulk said, grabbing Corroder’s horn and smashing him into the dirt.Not hesitating, Stormer turned and saw Thunder coming, and he stood his ground and readied an ice blade. Thunder lunged, smashed the blade, and then threw Stormer aside and dodged a sound blast, shooting Stringer with his blaster, and then he ran at the Alpha Team leader.Corroder attempted to throw Bulk off, making several gashes in his armor, but Bulk fired his sphere shooter at close-range, stunning the villain, and fumbled for a set of Hero Cuffs. Growling, Corroder elbowed Bulk in the chin, pushed him back, and then rammed him with his horn, pushing the hero back a bit before he regained his balance. Bulk readied his shooter and said, “Uh…surrender!”Corroder spat at the weapon’s barrel, melting it shut, and said, “Die!”He leapt at his foe, who ducked, grabbed his foot, and swung him around several times before throwing him into a nearby boulder, and Bulk took a second to check on the others. Stringer sidestepped Thunder’s claw and blasted him back, and then Stormer shot a net from his arm to entangle the villain before moving in. Thunder tore free of the net and shot at Stringer while attempting to catch Stormer in his claw, but Stormer’s weapon arm grew a shield to block the attack and he retaliated with his saw, slicing through Stormer’s armor.“I will crush you!” Thunder roared, swiping at Stormer’s legs, but then Stringer jumped on his back and used a setting on his sound cannon to release a high-pitched noise in Thunder’s ear, allowing Stormer to jab him with a taser from his weapon arm.Stringer put a pair of Hero Cuffs on the villain and Stormer turned to see Bulk grappling with Corroder, so he fired his grappling spear and it dug into the villain. Stormer pulled the line with enough force to throw Corroder off and allow Bulk to punch him, but then globs of sludge flew out of nowhere and hit the heroes, making them stick to the ground.“Not so fast,” Meltdown said as he approached. “I’m ashamed of you, Corroder, Thunder—you’ve failed your mission.”“It’s not over yet!” Corroder shouted.“Oh, but it is,” Meltdown said. “Von Nebula sent me to retrieve you—he wants us all present for something.”“Don’t think we’ll let you escape!” Stormer shouted.Meltdown slapped him with his tentacle and said, “You have no choice, hero! Just sit back and let my radioactive sludge take its toll. If you do survive by some miracle, then I suppose we will see each other again.”Corroder grumbled, grabbed Thunder, and departed with Meltdown, and Stringer said, “Could be worse.”Millennia pushed the crate onto the trailer as Turbo said, “We should have the next shipment ready in three days. That’ll be the last one you need, right?”“Right,” Millennia said, closing the trailer door. “Thanks for your help. It would take twice as long to get this to the construction site on my own.”Turbo drove around to the front of the trailer, paused, and said, “We have visitors.”Millennia stepped out and saw Jet approaching with the Toa, and he said, “Hello Jet; is there something I can help you with?”“First, some introductions,” Jet said. “Toa, this is Turbo, the City Slizer, and Millennia, the Millennium Slizer. Turbo, Millennia, these are the Toa: Tahu, Pohatu, Onua, Kopaka, Lewa, and Gali.”“Pleased to meet you,” Millennia said, shaking Tahu’s hand.“Likewise,” Tahu said. “We heard you were building a spaceship—is this true?”“Yeah, just over the border in the Glacial Sector,” Turbo said. “We want to go to Millennia’s planet. It’s common knowledge.”“Perhaps here, but we are not from this planet,” Kopaka said.“Please, we need your help,” Gali said. “If we assist you in building this craft, will you take us to our home planet?”“More off-worlders?” Millennia said. “How interesting…well, yes, we’d be happy to take you back to your planet! Do you have the coordinates?”“We’ve never been away-off our own planet-home, and we have no idea-thought how to get back,” Lewa said.“…Do you always speak like that?” Turbo asked.“Then you should focus your efforts on locating your planet among the stars,” Millennia said. “The ship is scheduled to be complete in one week, though we can put it off a bit if necessary.”There was an awkward silence, broken by Jet asking, “I suppose you need to return more quickly?”“A dangerous foe is on our island,” Onua said. “There are a few individuals who may be able to protect everyone, but…it’s our duty, not theirs.”“Guess you’ll just have to hope for the best,” Turbo said.“Or,” Jet said, “we could provide them with a set of one-man crafts. They won’t travel as quickly as this larger spaceship will, but if your planet is close you’ll still likely get there sooner.”“So everything depends on us finding out where our planet is,” Pohatu said. “And to do that…”“I would recommend visiting the Ocean Sector,” Millennia said. “Someone there named Zykard is one of the greatest astronomers I’ve ever met, and if you were to take him to the observatory in the Slizer Dome he can probably locate your planet.”Pohatu winced and said, “Ocean Sector? Uh…maybe I’ll just help these guys with the construction.”“I’ll join-help you,” Lewa said. “I’d rather not get wet-soaked.”“That dialect irritates me,” Turbo mumbled to himself.“We’d be happy to have you,” Millennia said.“Then I shall escort you to the Ocean Sector,” Jet said. “We’ll need either some vehicles or some water-breathing devices…”“That won’t be necessary,” Tahu said.“…Just how many powers do you have?” Jet asked.“We’ll tell you on the way,” Gali answered.“I hear you failed to eliminate the Alpha Team,” Von Nebula said.“Well if you’d just given us more time…” Corroder mumbled.“Worry not, sir,” Meltdown said, “my radioactive sludge will cause them to malfunction!”“Unless they escape first,” Thunder said.“Silence, all of you!” Von shouted. “I called you here for a reason. XPlode and Rotor went to the planet I banished the Toa to, and while they did not locate the brick OR keep an eye on the Toa, they did find this.”He pulled out a metal box and opened it to reveal three disks faintly glowing with energy, and he continued, “These are very powerful weapons we can use in our mission.”“But they have another use as well,” Makuta said as he entered the chamber.“Makuta? I thought you were examining the brick?” Von said.“I was, and my examination is complete,” Makuta said, holding up the brick. “It is a marvelous energy, and it is having a reaction to these disks. May I?”Von handed one of the disks to Makuta and Makuta held it directly above the brick, and both objects began to glow even brighter. Makuta mumbled something and the light moved in front of him and began to take the shape of a tall warrior, and the others present quickly backed away. The light soon faded and a being with black and yellow armor stood in its place, a weapon in one hand and his other arm splitting in two.“Welcome back to the world of the living,” Makuta said. “Will you tell us your name?”The being took a quick look around, and then he smiled and replied, “My name is Blaster.”Review
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#6 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 19 2012 - 09:47 AM

Chapter 5The Toa swam up into the air pocket and walked over to Jet’s vehicle, and once the old warrior had gotten out he said, “Here we are: Pacifean, capital of the Ocean Sector. I contacted the Sub Slizer, so he should be here soon to take us to Zykard.”“This is incredible,” Gali said. “An underwater city!”Tahu wiped the water off his sword and grumbled, “Yeah, incredible…”A being in blue armor carrying a harpoon gun approached them, and Jet said, “Oh, there you are Scuba. These are the ones I was telling you about.”Onua extended a claw and said, “You must be the Sub Slizer. It’s nice to meet you.”Scuba gave no reply, and Jet said, “He doesn’t say much…please do not take it personally.”Scuba turned, motioned for the others to follow, and began walking, and before long they reached a small building on the outskirts of the city. After knocking on the door the group heard some sort of commotion going on inside, and eventually the door opened to reveal a being with pale blue armor and wrinkled robes. “Hello there?” he said. “Oh, Scuba, Jet! It’s an honor; how can I…oh my…”“Hello Zykard,” Jet said. “These are the Toa, and they’ve come here from another planet. We were hoping you could help them get back home.”“Oh, yes!” Zykard said. “I would be glad to help! How may I be of service?”“We want to bring you to the Slizer Dome so you can locate their planet,” Jet said.“…The Slizer Dome?” Zykard repeated. “I get to use the Slizer Dome Observatory…?!”“If this is a bad time…” Onua said.“I’ll be right out!” Zykard said, and then he disappeared.“Didn’t Millennia say that Zykard was the greatest astronomer he’d ever met?” Kopaka said as more noise came from the other side of the door.“Zykard may be a bit disorganized, but there is no questioning his ability,” Jet said. “I am confident he can find your planet.”Zykard reappeared in the doorway carrying a suitcase, and he tripped but Scuba caught him. “Thank you, sir!” Zykard said. “Alright, I’m ready to go!”Stringer rotated his arm a few times to make sure it still worked, and then he turned to Vakama and said, “Thank you again, Turaga. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to make it.”“Nuparu is the one to thank,” Vakama said. “It was he who repaired you. Although…”They both turned to see Stormer lying, unmoving, on a mat, with Nuparu standing next to him and Bulk watching from a distance. “This is really bad,” Nuparu said. “He’s not responding. That sludge has corrupted his systems, and even with the technology from your pods I don’t know if…”Stringer stood up and said, “I’ll contact the Hero Factory and see if they have any advice.”“Um…you should probably be resting,” Nuparu said.“It’s just a phone call, nothing too strenuous,” Stringer said. “I’ll be right back.”He left the room and went to a different part of the hut, where they had put all of the devices they had brought from the Hero Pods. Stringer picked up a communicator and put it to his ear, saying, “Jimi Stringer calling Hero Factory. We have an emergency concerning Alpha Team leader Preston Stormer. Please respond.”“An emergency, you say?” replied a voice.“Mr. Makuro?” Stringer said. “What a surprise…I wasn’t expecting you, sir.”“This is an important mission, so I linked your communicator to my office,” Makuro responded. “Now, tell me, what is wrong with Preston?”“We had an encounter with Meltdown, sir, and his radioactive sludge has corrupted Stormer’s systems,” Stringer said. “Is there anything you can suggest?”“If the equipment we sent isn’t helping, then I’m afraid there’s not much we can do,” Makuro said. “…However…there is a program the Professor Zib discovered a while ago that has special properties. Perhaps there is a way we can use it to repair Preston…”“Excellent,” Stringer said. “I’ll wait for the professor to transmit it to our portable computer.”“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Jimi,” Makuro said. “You see, the professor was unable to complete his analysis and, not wanting it to fall into the wrong hands, hid it in a facility outside Makuhero City with a security system that only allows our heroes through. All of our teams are out on missions…but we do have some rookies available…”“Please send them to retrieve it, sir,” Stringer said. “We need to do all we can to save Stormer.”“Agreed,” Makuro said. “I will dispatch a team immediately and inform you when they return.”“Thank you, sir,” Stringer said, and then the communication ended.Makuro turned to his assistant and said, “Bring me William Furno, Natalie Breez, and Mark Surge.”The assistant nodded and went off, and Makuro said, “I was afraid it would come to this…”Pohatu lifted up a huge metal plate and held it up to the ship, keeping it steady as the workers bolted it in place. Lewa was about to see if he needed any help when a red armored warrior carrying an orange crossbow came up, asking, “Hey, are you one of those Toa?”“Yes, I am a Toa-hero,” Lewa said. “I’m Lewa, Toa of Air.”“That’s so cool!” the stranger said. “I’m Burner, the current Fire Slizer. The whole planet’s talking about you guys!”“Already?” Lewa asked.“Well it’s not everyday we get off-world visitors—news like that travels fast,” Burner said. “Is it true you guys have all these amazing powers?”“Yes, that’s true-right,” Lewa said. “Don’t people here have special power-skills?”“Some warriors have a special skill or two, but nothing compared to what I’ve heard you guys can do,” Burner said. An icy wind blew past and Lewa shivered, so Burner said, “Oh, take this Lava Stone—it’ll keep you warm.”He handed Lewa a crystalline, transparent sphere, and instantly a warm feeling filled the Toa and he sighed with relief. “Ever-thanks, Burner,” Lewa said.Pohatu approached and said, “They’re taking a break. We should get in contact with the other Toa.”“Hi, I’m Burner, Fire Slizer!” Burner said, holding out his hand.“Pohatu, Toa of Stone,” Pohatu said, shaking the Slizer’s hand. “I don’t mean to be rude, but—““Don’t worry, I understand!” Burner said. “You do what you have to do—I don’t want to get in your way!”The two Toa turned to leave, but Pohatu saw something out of the corner of his eye and stopped to look up. A winged shadow passed by overhead, and upon seeing a brief flash Pohatu’s eyes widened and he ran at the spaceship. Using his Speed power he flew off the craft’s slanted side, and then he used his Levitation power to continue rising towards the flash, which soon grew into a fireball. Just before he collided with it Pohatu used his Shielding power, and the fireball exploded against the barrier and hurled Pohatu towards the ground. Lewa manipulated the winds to soften his friend’s landing, and as the winged figure descended Burner stumbled backwards.“…No…you’re dead,” Burner said.The Toa could now see the figure clearly: he had black and orange armor and a tail resembling an arm, and he cackled, “Hahahahaha! What’s the matter, Burner? Scared of ghosts?”“Urgh…who are you?” Pohatu asked.“Oh? You don’t know?” the newcomer replied. “I’m Flare, the Second Millennium General! I’m back from the dead, and I thought I’d celebrate by blowing up this little spaceship of yours!”Flare hurled two fireballs from his wings so Pohatu and Lewa ran out of the way, but Burner was too shocked to move and took the blast head-on. Lewa sent a powerful wind to punch Flare in the back and Pohatu caught the creature and smashed him into the ground, asking, “What do you mean ‘back from the dead’?”“Just what it sounds like!” Flare said. “I was dead, and now I’m not! Can you follow that?”He blasted Pohatu and flew into the sky, summoning a disk to his ‘hand’ and then hurling it with enough force to slice through the spaceship’s support beams. The structure creaked and began to fall, so Lewa and Pohatu hurried the panicked warriors to safety and Burner shook his head, aimed his crossbow, and fired a bolt of flame. Flare dodged and threw more fireballs at the ship, and Burner threw a disk but Flare caught it and crushed it.“I already bit you once!” Burner said, firing his crossbow a few more times.Flare dodged and dove straight at Burner, shouting, “And now I’ll get my revenge!”Review
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#7 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 24 2012 - 11:28 AM

Chapter 6Furno looked at the building in front of him, Breez and Surge at his sides, and Surge commented, “Kinda lackluster…you sure this is the place?”“Positive,” Furno said, walking towards the door. “Mr. Makuro gave us these exact coordinates.”“The data disk is three levels underground,” Breez said. “It’s heavily guarded, but we can deactivate the system by scanning our Hero Cores.”“Okay, so where’s the scanner?” Surge asked. Furno pointed to a smashed screen on the wall, and Surge sighed, “Oh…”Furno activated his communicator and reported, “Mr. Makuro, we’ve reach the facility but the scanner is busted.”He gently pushed the door open with his Fire Shooter as Makuro said, “Could someone have intercepted our transmission…? William, be very careful—the security devices should detect your Hero Cores, but we don’t know who might be waiting for you in there.”“Roger,” Furno said, and then he cut communications and walked towards the staircase.“Hey, this doesn’t seem like a good idea,” Surge said. “Maybe we should come back later, with some other heroes backing us up?”“We don’t have time,” Furno said. “This disk could be the only way to save Stormer—we can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.”“I agree with you, but…what if whoever did this has already left?” Breez asked.“We won’t know until we look,” Furno said. “You can stay here, but I’m going in.”He descended the stairs to the next level, and after a few seconds Breez and Surge followed him. Upon reaching the first underground level they found piles of scrap metal, no doubt the remains of an army of security drones, and smoking gun turrets lining the walls, and the team cautiously proceeded across the room. At the bottom of the next staircase they found a long hall with laser beams shooting out of the walls and crossing through the path, but as soon as Furno stepped up to it his Hero Core flashed and the lasers deactivated one at a time. From half way down the hall the heroes could see the intruder, pounding relentlessly on the elevator door that led to the next level: Rotor, with several notches in his armor from muscling through the laser grid.“What do we do now?” Surge whispered. “There’s no way we can defeat Rotor.”“We don’t have to,” Furno said. “You and I just have to distract him so Breez can get to the elevator. Breez, once you get the disk contact the Hero Factory so they can execute an emergency transport.”“Okay…be careful,” Breez said.Furno shot Rotor to get his attention, and when the brute spun around the hero said, “Stand down, Rotor. This is a Hero Factory facility—you’re trespassing.”“Yeah? What are you gonna do about it?” Rotor bellowed, charging down the hall.Surge activated his Lightning Shield to stun Rotor and Furno punched him into the wall, and then Breez ran for the elevator and reached the scanner. Rotor shot poisonous gas at Surge and Furno and then ran up and grabbed Breez, smashing her up against the scanner, and then the elevator doors opened and he dragged her in.“Stop!” Furno shouted as he ran for the doors. Rotor pressed his Meteor Blaster against Breez’s head as the doors closed, and Furno hit the door and grunted.“Any more ideas?” Surge asked. Furno wedged his Fire Shooter between the doors and pried them open, and then he jumped out onto the cable and slid down.“…Right,” Surge said, coming up to the edge of the elevator shaft and peering down warily.Meanwhile the elevator reached the bottom floor and opened up, and Rotor and Breez exited to find to pedestals with data disks surrounded by a force field. Breez’s Core flashed and the shield went down, and Rotor said, “Well where is it?”“How do you know about the program?” Breez asked.“Program? What program?” Rotor asked. “Makuta said he sensed another brick here. Why would I be looking for a…”He trailed off and paused, and then he grinned and said, “I get it…the brick is on one of those disks, isn’t it?”“That doesn’t make any sense,” Breez said.“Makuta said you need to think outside the box when dealing with these bricks,” Rotor said as he approached one of the pedestals. “I’ll just take both disks. Whichever one doesn’t have the brick must be what you’re looking for.”There was a loud noise at the back of the room as Furno blasted through into the elevator, and he walked forward and said, “Let her go.”“Someone doesn’t know when to quit,” Rotor growled.He aimed his blaster at Breez again when Surge fell down the elevator shaft and landed behind Furno, accidentally triggering his Lightning Shooter and hitting Rotor, which stunned him long enough for Breez to elbow him in the chin and get away. Furno began shooting so Rotor grabbed a disk and shot the ceiling, raining debris on the heroes, and then he ran past them to the elevator.“I’ll repay you for this, I swear!” Rotor shouted, flying up the shaft.Surge got to his feet and moved to shoot, but Rotor exited the shaft and was already going down the hall. He contacted the Factory while Breez took the other disk, and Furno said, “Let’s hope we’ve got the right one…”Tahu looked out the window of the aircraft, glad that they didn’t have to swim back to the Slizer Dome. He looked over his shoulder at Zykard, who immediately averted his gaze again, and then he glanced over at Scuba who seemed completely uninterested. Gali walked in and said, “We should be arriving soon, and then we can go to the observatory immediately.”“Good,” Tahu said. “The sooner we get back, the better.”“So, uh…what is your planet like?” Zykard asked.“Well, our island is kind of like this planet—divided into several areas with different features suited to each one of us,” Onua said. “But as for the rest of our planet…I don’t know.”“You’ve never left your island?” Zykard asked. “You don’t even know about the outside world?”“We’ve been a bit busy trying to fulfill our duty,” Kopaka said.Tahu looked back out the window, spotting the Slizer Dome in the distance, and then the speaker system activated and Jet said, “We will be landing momentarily, but…I’m afraid I’ve just received some troubling news.”“Just what we need,” Tahu groaned.“A signal has just come in from the spaceship construction site,” Jet said. “According to the report…Flare has come back from the dead and is attacking them.”A brief silence followed, and then Zykard said, “Flare…? He’s…back? But how is that possible?”“I do not know,” Jet replied. “Once we land in the Slizer Dome, I will escort Zykard to the observatory. Scuba, please take the Toa to the construction site so they can…”Jet trailed off, and Gali asked, “Jet? Is something wrong?”“I’ve…just received another signal, this one from the Slizer Dome,” Jet replied quietly.“What is it now?” Tahu asked.“They’ve sent video footage,” Jet said. “See for yourself.”The window then changed into a viewscreen and footage of the Slizer Dome began to play: various buildings had been smashed to rubble and smoke was filling the sky. Two warriors flew by the screen only to be shot down by disks, and then the view shifted to show the one responsible. Everyone on board the aircraft grew stiff with fear, for the being that stood triumphant amidst the destruction was unmistakable…it was Blaster.Review
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#8 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 26 2012 - 09:49 AM

Chapter 7Von Nebula stared quietly at the disk in his hand, and then he turned his gaze on Rotor. “So instead of a brick, you found two disks, and a rookie team made you retreat without grabbing them both?” he asked. “A rookie team?”“Um…yeah,” Rotor said.“You’re lucky the findings of your last mission were so valuable,” Von said. “The brick had better be on this disk.”He turned and placed the disk inside a computer, and as it scanned the contents of the storage device Rotor shifted his weight nervously. A window popped up on the computer screen that showed a small cluster of black energy with two burning white eyes, and as data streamed across the bottom of the screen Von widened his eyes.“It’s a virus!” he shouted, striking Rotor with his staff. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?!”He raised his staff again, but Makuta restrained him and said, “Calm yourself, my friend. This is no ordinary virus.”Makuta walked over to the screen as it projected a voice, “Systems rebooting. Adapting to new environment…”“You have been touched by the power of a brick, haven’t you?” Makuta asked.“Identify yourself and your purpose,” the virus said.“You’ve done well, Rotor,” Makuta said, holding up his brick. “You’ve brought us another new ally.”Nuparu’s eyes shot back and forth across the computer screen, trying to hide his amazement at this foreign technology. Stringer had given him a computer to stay in contact with the Hero Factory, who had said the mission was successful and the program for repairing Stormer would be transmitted shortly. Currently Stringer and Bulk were dismantling their Hero Pods and using the pieces to build something, but Nuparu hadn’t bothered to ask what it was and instead used the time to familiarize himself with the interface before him.A window popped up showing Professor Zib, who said, “Hello? Are you this ‘Nuparu’ I’ve been told to expect?”“Oh, yes!” Nuparu said. “I’m ready to receive the program.”“Very good,” Zib said. “Now…I must warn you—this program can be a little tricky to deal with. But no matter what happens, just remain calm, and I assure you things will work out.”“Um…alright,” Nuparu said.Zib’s image disappeared to be replaced by a stream of numbers, and a progress bar appeared beneath it as Nuparu waited. Suddenly sparks leapt from the screen and Nuparu jumped back, and a bright flash blinded him for a few seconds. When Nuparu opened his eyes again he was no longer on Mata Nui; he found himself in the middle of a street lined with large buildings, with highways and construction equipment visible in the distance. He walked down the street and looked for signs of life, but the city appeared deserted and his confusion grew.“Who are you?” asked a voice. Nuparu jumped and spun around, coming face to face with a robotic being about his height holding a pair of binoculars.“I…I’m Nuparu,” Nuparu said after the shock wore off. “What is this place? The last thing I remember I was in front of a computer, waiting for that program to load.”“Program?” the robot said. “Did you receive this program from the one called Zib?”“Yeah—do you know him?” Nuparu asked.“Zib was our last visitor,” the robot said. “I am a Scout. Please come with me, and I will explain everything.”The Scout turned and walked down a side street, and Nuparu reluctantly followed him asking, “So, where am I?”“This is the ‘program’ Zib sent you,” the Scout replied.“…It’s a simulation?” Nuparu murmured. “How will that help Stormer?”“I do not know who this ‘Stormer’ is, but you have misunderstood,” the Scout said. “This is a world in cyberspace, and you have been drawn into it.”Nuparu stopped dead in his tracks as he heard this, and after taking it in he said, “I’m in a computer?”“Yes,” the Scout said. “Your ‘heart’, at least. Your body is still in your world.”“…Wow,” Nuparu said. He caught up to the Scout and said, “Okay, so this is a world in cyberspace. How did it come to be?”They came out of the alleyway onto another street filled with dozens of other robotic beings, and the Scout said, “Unknown. This world and its inhabitants were activated 20 years ago. We are unaware of the cause of our creation.”The Scout led Nuparu into a building, the Matoran asking, “So, does this city make up the whole world?”“No—this is one of the six sectors that make up this world,” the Scout said. “16 different variations of my species inhabit each sector.”“Sounds kind of like my island,” Nuparu said.The Scout stopped in the middle of the lobby, and he turned and said, “Occasionally a virus would break into our world, but we never failed in repelling them…until 10 years ago, when a virus unlike any we had seen invaded the core of our world and began to destroy us. We were unable to win on our own…so we created living weapons.”The floor suddenly moved and Nuparu realized they were standing on an elevator, and once it reached the lower floor the Scout walked over to a doorway, opened it with the keypad on the wall, and beckoned to Nuparu. Nuparu walked forward and into a large cube-shaped room with energy dancing across the walls, and in the very center on a raised platform was a strange sight. It was a vehicle-like entity with yellow and black armor, slightly larger than him, but it had no wheels, and it had a head at the top front and two arms that ended in hands with small cannons attached to them.”“What is it?” Nuparu asked as he circled around it.“A RoboRider,” the Scout answered. “Each sector built one, and then we restructured ourselves into wheels to empower them. This is Power, their leader.”“Restructured yourself?” Nuparu said.“It’s a simple task for we cyber beings,” the Scout said. “The RoboRiders eventually succeeded and sealed The Virus away…and they haven’t been active since. You are the first outsider to step foot in a RoboRider matrix.”Nuparu gave him a confused look, and the Scout explained, “A matrix is a sort of personal sanctuary. While the RoboRiders were active they would come here to rest, and now it is used to keep them safe while inactive. This whole world is inside a matrix to protect us from most outside threats, and The Virus constructed a matrix in this world’s core.”“I see,” Nuparu said. “But you said I was the first outsider to enter a RoboRider matrix…you didn’t take Zib here? You said he was your last visitor.”“Oh…I should’ve chosen my words more carefully,” the Scout said. “Zib did interact with us, and he has seen the RoboRiders, but he was not in our world as you are now. As I said, only your heart was brought here. Zib is a robot, and robots have no hearts.”“Oh…” Nuparu said.“He was a great help,” the Scout said. “He pulled our matrix off the Internet five years ago and preserved us on a data disk, and in the process he also removed The Virus’s remains and put them on a separate disk.”Nuparu nodded and stared thoughtfully at Power for a second, and then he said, “I think I know what he had in mind…a robot named Stormer has had his systems corrupted. If we transferred the RoboRiders into Stormer’s systems, could they repair him?”“Most likely,” the Scout said. “We would be happy to repay our debt to Zib. I will contact the other sectors immediately and open a communication channel when we are ready.”The world warped around Nuparu and he found himself back on Mata Nui, and Vakama grabbed his shoulder and said, “Thank Mata Nui. What happened to you?”“I’ll explain later, Turaga,” Nuparu said, grabbing a cable. “We need to get back to Stormer.”Pohatu ran to avoid fire blasts and then hurled a rock at Flare, missing, but then Lewa called a whirlwind to bring the stone back to down Flare. Burner hit their foe with a disk to stun him and they all moved in, Flare laughing, “Hahaha…that all you got?”He prepared to attack but was struck with a silver energy beam, and Millennia walked up and said, “You never did know when to stay down, Flare, but I at least thought you’d know when to stay dead.”“Well if it ain’t my old boss!” Flare said. “How ya been, Millennia? We’ve been missing ya in the world of the dead!”“How did you come back?” Millennia asked. “I saw Burner put an arrow through your head. You don’t just ‘get better’ from that.”A dark shadow then fell over the construction site, and Pohatu said, “This feeling…it can’t be…”“Guess it’s time I let you go,” Flare said. “Besides, you’ve got bigger problems to worry about!”Millennia rushed in to grab Flare but he vanished in an instant, and Burner said, “Where’d he go?”“That is not your concern,” echoed a voice.“…Makuta,” Lewa identified.“You may wish to check on your allies in the Slizer Dome,” Makuta suggested. “Blaster wants revenge on all of you, after all.”“Blaster’s back too?!” Millennia exclaimed.The shadow faded away, and Millennia said, “Dang…why are they back now?”Review
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#9 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 31 2012 - 09:57 AM

Chapter 8Blaster surveyed the ruins of the Slizer Dome with satisfaction, saying, “Revenge is sweet.”He turned to see a purple and black being holding an energy gun—Spark, the First Millennium General—who said, “All of the inhabitants have either fled or been dealt with, sir. Makuta has saved Flare’s tail and alerted Millennia to our presence.”“When the traitor gets here, slaughter him and the others,” Blaster said, walking towards the still-standing Judgment Tower. “I’ll get the brick.”A shadow passed over Blaster and he moved just in time to avoid a disk, and Rida dropped down behind him and aid, “Blaster. So good to see you again.”Spark raised his gun but Blaster called him off, saying, “I’ll deal with this one. Hello Rida—how is you doing as Judge Slizer?”“Pretty well until you woke up from your dirt nap,” Rida said, drawing a large curved sword. “It’s funny—we were real careful to make sure you guys were dead.”“Oh, we were,” Blaster said. “But you see, Von Nebula’s servants found the special disks we sealed a portion of our life forces into, and then Makuta was able to revive us using those disks…and a Cosmic Brick.”“…Cosmic Brick?” Rida repeated. “Do you mean the one that caused civil war in the legends?”“Hmhm…I must say you impress me, Rida,” Blaster said. “You don’t seem disturbed at all by our return. But unfortunately, my comrades have given me an urgent task, so I don’t have time to toy with you.”Rida raised her sword to block a kick and drew a disk, but before she could throw it Blaster raised his gun and shot her. The impact of the blast sent Rida tumbling back, and by the time she looked back up Blaster had blown a large hole in the ground right in front of the Tower. The Judge Slizer ran forward as Blaster descended, but Spark shot her in the back and said, “Blaster likes to have peace when completing a task. Don’t disturb him.”Rida leaned over and glanced down the hole, finding a faint light emanating from farther down, and then she turned back and sliced through a disk thrown by Spark. “What is he doing?” Rida asked as Spark walked closer. “Is there something down there?”“You fools don’t even know what lies beneath your precious Tower,” Spark said. Rida lashed out with her blade but Spark formed a shield of electricity, protecting him and allowing him to shoot her again.I forgot, Rida thought as she felt some of her strength slip away. His gun drains energy and uses it to generate a barrier. I need to go after Blaster, but there’s no way his loyal dog will let me.Suddenly a disk sliced through Spark’s shield and made him flinch, and he and Rida turned to see Scuba standing on a fragment of a building with his harpoon gun ready. “How unwise,” Spark said as he swung his gun around, but Tahu suddenly appeared in a blur of motion and knocked him down.Kopaka and Gali moved to surround him, and Onua looked at the hole in front of the Tower as Rida explained, “Blaster just went down there.”“Then we’ve no time to lose,” Onua said. “Whatever his goal, it can’t be good. The others should be able to handle things here…you and I should go after Blaster.”Rida nodded and then descended behind Onua, and Spark scowled and said, “Drat…now Blaster will have to crush them before he can retrieve it.”“Retrieve what?” Gali asked.Spark raised his gun and his opponents raised their weapons, but suddenly the ground behind Scuba exploded and he turned to see Corroder punch him with his claws. Thunder and Meltdown moved in from behind the Toa as Corroder laughed, “Hahaha! So, these are the guys who beat the Alpha Team, right? Let’s see how tough they are!”Nuparu connected the cable to Stormer’s Hero Core and then went back to the computer at the other end, and Vakama asked, “Are you sure this will work?”“Right now it’s our only option,” Nuparu said. “With the RoboRiders in his system, Stormer at least stands a chance.”A window popped up displaying the Scout that Nuparu had met, who said, “Nuparu. The RoboRiders are active and the connection to destination: ‘Stormer Core’ has been established. Transmit now?”“Yes, send them in,” Nuparu said. “I’ll use this computer to open a channel so I can monitor them. Thank you again.”“Understood,” the Scout said. “Transmitting programs: Power, Onyx, Dust, Lava, Swamp, Frost.”A progress bar appeared on the screen and energy began coursing down the cable, and as the bar neared completion the image of the Scout faded away and the window was temporarily filled with static. Inside the world of Stormer’s Hero Core, a white portal appeared and the six RoboRiders drove out of it, landing on the ground and surveying the area. The portal closed and the red Rider, Lava, asked, “Is this the place? It’s…lacking something.”“Such a simple world,” mused the green Rider, Swamp. “Whoever programmed this system has no imagination.”“Hello?” echoed Nuparu’s voice. “Can you hear me?”“Loud and clear,” Power replied.“Good,” Nuparu said. “I’m Nuparu—I’ll be keeping a channel open with you guys in case you need anything.”The white Rider, Frost, scoffed, “Hmph. Need anything from you?”“Pipe down, Frost!” snapped the black Rider, Onyx.“As you probably know, this is the core of a robot named ‘Stormer’ who has been corrupted,” Nuparu said.“So we hunt down the bugs and crush them,” said the tan Rider, Dust. “Easy enough.”“We’ll split up and comb over the whole place,” Power instructed. “Nuparu, if you could work on getting a map of the system, it’d be a great help.”“I’ll do that,” Nuparu said.“Then let’s get going,” Swamp said. “The RoboRiders are back in action!”Onua looked over his shoulder, making sure Rida was keeping up, and then turned back and pressed onward. The two had ended up in a tunnel system leading down into the ground, with several orbs of light on the walls to provide illumination, and though they had found several damaged drones and demolished walls they had yet to catch up to Blaster.“I had no idea this place was down here,” Rida said. “How did Blaster find out about it? Unless he was told by those allies of his…what’d he say their names were? Von…Nebula, I think, and…something like…Makuta?”Onua instantly halted. “…What?” he asked. “Blaster’s working with them?”“Apparently,” Rida said. “Do you know them?”“Makuta is our oldest enemy, and Von Nebula is the one who sent us here,” Onua said. “If all three of them are working together, we’re in for real trouble.”“…It just keeps getting worse,” Rida sighed as they continued onwards. “Say, where’s Jet?”“He dropped us off and then took Zykard to safety,” Onua replied. “He’ll go back up the others once Zykard is secure.”“Well…Spark’s tough, but I doubt he can defeat Scuba and three Toa by himself,” Rida said.They rounded a corner but then jerked to a stop and pulled back, peering around the edge rather than stepping out. Just ahead was a large chamber with a shielded pedestal in the center, and Blaster stood before it staring at the object it displayed: a glowing brick.“Another Cosmic Brick,” he said, drawing a disk. “To think it was here the whole time.”“Is that the brick from your legends?” Onua whispered.“I think so…” Rida replied just as quietly. “But what does he mean ‘another’?”Blaster backed up and threw his disk at the shield, causing it to waver, and then he shot it with his gun and it faded away. He stepped towards the Brick, smiling, but Onua then raised a wall of earth to stop him and Rida shot an energy beam from her palm. Blaster spun around and said, “So…you made it through. I see you brought a Toa with you.”“What is that you’re after?” Onua asked. “What’s your connection to Makuta and Von Nebula?”“Those are answers I cannot give,” Blaster said, summoning two disks to his double throwing arm. “After all, it is impossible to answer a dead man.”Review
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#10 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 02 2012 - 09:02 AM

Chapter 9Stringer looked up from the piece of equipment he was working on and paused, prompting Bulk to ask, “Something wrong?”“No, but…” Stringer said, standing up. “I just feel…stronger, for some reason…”“Huh…” Bulk replied, looking down at himself. “Y’know, now that you mention it, so do I…”Vakama approached them and said, “Greetings, heroes. You should know that the RoboRiders have been transmitted into Stormer’s systems and are now hunting down the corruption.”“Glad to hear it,” Stringer said. “I should contact Mr. Makuro. Bulk, you think you can handle the work yourself for a minute or two?”Bulk nodded, so Stringer took his communicator and walked off, saying, “Jimi Stringer calling Hero Factory. Are you there, Mr. Makuro?”“Yes, Jimi,” Makuro responded.“The RoboRiders are currently at work in Stormer, sir,” Stringer said. “Nuparu is monitoring them and we’ll let you know if anything happens.”“I should hope so,” Makuro said. “Is there anything else?”“That gate should be complete momentarily,” Stringer said. “Still no word from the Toa…and Bulk and I just felt an increase in power from our Hero Cores for an unknown reason.”“…I see,” Makuro said. “You and Duncan are not the only ones who have become stronger. All of our heroes have gained an increase in power.”“Why is that?” Stringer asked.Makuro hesitated for a second, but them he said, “It’s because of the RoboRiders…”Swamp drove across the landscape, keeping an eye open for any enemies, when he noticed something the piqued his curiosity. He pulled up to a large, circular patch of energy in the data wall the established the boundaries of Stormer’s Hero Core system, and he gave it a puzzled look and muttered, “That’s odd…”“Did you find something, Swamp?” Power asked over the communication channel.“It looks like there’s a connection portal in the outer wall here, but it’s sealed up,” Swamp said. “Maybe it leads to the rest of the systems?”“No, all of the systems are accessible from the Hero Core,” Nuparu said. “The portal is on the system map, but it doesn’t say where it leads.”“Well, I guess it’s not really a big deal,” Swamp said. “Let’s just forget about it until we’ve cleaned up the system.”He turned around and saw a blur of motion, swinging around and hitting the stranger with his katana, and then he backed away. A green-black image of Stormer growled at him, and he said, “I found a glitch. Looks like I get to take down the first one.”The glitch ran forward and Swamp swiveled around it, getting behind his foe and then charging to slice it with his katana. Swamp quickly drove away as the enemy tried to punch him and then turned and faced it again, his front wheel sliding out and glowing green. The wheel shot forward, unleashing a burst of Elemental Jungle Energy on contact with the glitch, and then it returned to Swamp who rushed in and rammed it again.“Not very talkative?” Swamp asked, circling the glitch as it stood back up. “Man, you’re a wimp compared to The Virus.”The glitch shot an energy bolt but Swamp dodged and shot his wheel at it again, this time using the Elemental Energy to entangle the target in thorny vines.“Wow…I didn’t know you guys could do that,” Nuparu said.“You’re easily impressed,” Frost grumbled.“No, I’m just impressive,” Swamp said as he used his wheel once more, deleting the glitch. “But anyway, these guys aren’t much of a problem. We should have the system as good as new in just a couple of hours.”Onua raised an earth wall to block a barrage of disks and created a fissure, but Blaster jumped over the attack, used his gun to destroy the wall, and then lashed out and used a kick to fling Onua back. Rids swung her sword a few times, Blaster blocking each one, and then he used a disk to repel her and twirled his gun around.“A shame you can’t use Solar Aura down here,” Blaster said. “It would make for a much more interesting fight.”“Solar Aura?” Onua asked.“Warriors from the Slizer Dome can harness the sun’s energy to boost out power,” Rida explained. “But as you can see, there’s no sunlight down here, so my power won’t be rising any time soon.”“You should be on your way,” Blaster said. “It took five of you Slizers plus that traitor Millennia to defeat me.”“True, but then you were chock full of Millennium Energy and Solar Aura,” Rids said. “Without those boosts, Onua and I can handle you.”Suddenly a black hole opened behind Onua and Rida, and when they turned to look Blaster grabbed both of them and slammed them into the ground. Von Nebula stepped out of the portal and asked, “What’s taking so long, Blaster? Are these two that troublesome?”“I prefer to take my time and be patient in combat,” Blaster said, dodging Rida’s blade and kicking her down. “Keeping a level head helps you remain in control.”“Well while you’ve been ‘in control’ of this operation, we have made a great discovery,” Von said as he walked over toward the brick.Onua moved the soil enough to disrupt the balance of both his foes, and then he activated his Strength powers and punched Von Nebula, then Blaster, and then he lunged for the brick only to find his motion halted. A three-fingered tendril made of earth had risen to grab him and now hurled him into Rida, and as a white aura emanated from his staff Von Nebula said, “I’ve learned some new tricks since our last meeting. The environment is mine to control.”Blaster picked up the brick, feeling energy surge through him, and said, “Marvelous…that leaves two more to find.”“Finding them has more or less been accomplished,” Von said, the aura fading and the tendril disappearing. “We need only obtain them.”Another black hole appeared and Blaster stepped through it, but Von turned to Onua and Rida and said, “You are no longer required, heroes. Allow me to hurry you towards your eternal rest.”A beam of white energy shot from his staff and struck the ceiling, and as the room began to rumble Von escaped through the black hole and closed it behind him.Corroder jumped down off a building but Gali swept him away in a massive wave, and then Kopaka willed the wave to freeze, trapping their foe deep in a block of ice. Tahu shielded himself from a blast of sludge and dodged Thunder’s claw, letting Scuba attack with a disk, but then Spark shot Scuba and Meltdown grabbed Tahu’s foot and hurled him.Spark freed Corroder and said, “Don’t be a fool.”Corroder grumbled and spat acid, damaging Kopaka’s shield, and then he blasted the Ice Toa and crawled back towards the fight. Gali fired a water blast at Thunder but he endured the attack and punched her, and then he blocked an energy harpoon and grinned at Scuba.“You’re so weak!” Thunder bellowed, crippling the Sub Slizer with a body slam.Tahu dodged energy bolts while throwing fireballs at Spark’s shield, spinning and creating a vortex to block Meltdown’s next attack, and then he used his Strength powers to kick the Cyclops and got his should clipped by Spark’s disk. Spark lifted his gun and readied to fire, but suddenly a powerful gust knocked him down and a bolt of fire struck his armor.Burner lowered his crossbow as Lewa landed next to him, and then he watched Pohatu rush in and dispatch Corroder with one kick. Meltdown spun around to see Millennia’s disk smash into his face, and Thunder looked at Millennia and growled. Millennia was now just as short as a normal Slizer and sitting atop a motorcycle, but in a silver flash the vehicle was gone and Millennia assumed his gargantuan form once more.So he can alter his form, Thunder thought. Big deal.Thunder aimed his Meteor Blaster, but Millennia raised his arm and used a single blast of silver energy to down the villain. “Millennia,” Spark said as he rose to his feet. “The traitor has returned.”“Where’s Blaster?” Millennia demanded.Suddenly four black holes opened to swallow Corroder, Thunder, Meltdown, and Spark, and once they vanished a fifth one opened and Von Nebula stepped out. “So nice to finally meet you, Millennia,” Von said. “I regret to inform you that Blaster is otherwise occupied right now. Of course, you have bigger problems…”A thunderous noise pierced the ears of those present, and they spun around and gazed in disbelief at the event happening right behind them: the Judgment Tower was sinking into the ground.Review
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#11 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 07 2012 - 09:58 AM

Chapter 10Makuta looked up as Von Nebula returned, and he asked, “Was that entirely necessary?”“Either way, it was fun,” Von chuckled.Blaster walked in and said, “Just be sure you’re not overconfident. It can get you killed…I would know.”Von shrugged and looked at his hand, white energy crackling around it, and he commented, “I must admit, at first I was unsure about integrating The Virus into my systems, but the results are phenomenal. Breaking into the Hero Factory will be all too easy.”“Patience,” Makuta said, turning to look at the two Cosmic Bricks they had collected. “First we must plan our course of action. Once your underlings recover, we will send them to retrieve the third brick.”“How are we going to get them to it?” Blaster asked. “There’s no easy way to transport them to that brick’s location.”“Hmhm…it’ll be easier than you think,” Von said.The Toa and Millennia all rushed over to the Judgment Tower and did whatever they could to stop it—Kopaka and Pohatu created supports of ice and stone, all the Toa activated their Strength powers, and Millennia altered his form to put all his strength into his arms—but even though they slowed the building’s descent it would not come to a complete stop.“Onua and Rida are still down there,” Gali said, digging her feet into the ground. “We have to stop this!”“…At this point, it looks like our only option is to destroy the tower,” Millennia said.“But I thought it was the most important place on this planet?” Pohatu asked.“Maybe…” Millennia said. “But do you really think it’s more important than Rida and Onua’s lives?”No one had anything else to say, so Millennia focused his power and tiny slivers of energy began to spread across the tower. Jet flew in then, asking, “What’s happening?”“The Judgment Tower is sinking,” Scuba said. “Onua and Rida are beneath it.”“What?” Jet said, turning to the tower. “…Millennia’s…going to destroy it…”Memories from his days as Judge Slizer filled Jet’s mind, flooding his consciousness with thoughts of the tens of thousands of years he had watched over the planet from the very top of the Judgment Tower. And now, the Tower was about to disappear…he shook his head and focused his gaze.It’s just a tower—we can rebuild it, Jet thought. Even if it does hold so many memories, Rida and Onua are more important.“Alright,” Millennia said, the Millennium Energy now covering the entire tower. “Everyone, take cover!”Scuba, Jet, Burner, and the Toa all dashed away, and Millennia willed the energy to explode, blasting the tower to bits and flinging debris everywhere. As the dust cleared, Millennia reverted to his original form, and he looked back and gave Jet an apologetic glance.“…So, now what?” Burner asked.“We must find-save our friends,” Lewa said, going over to the tunnel. “If we are ever-lucky, then hopefully—“A portion of the ground not far away suddenly exploded, and Lewa backed away as Onua crawled up onto the surface and then helped Rida up as well. “You’re alright!” Jet exclaimed, running over and hugging Rida. “Thank goodness…”“What happened down there?” Tahu asked.“More importantly,” Onua asked, “did Blaster or Von Nebula come by here?”“Von Nebula was here, but he left with the others,” Kopaka said.“I see…” Onua mumbled.Rida stared at the space once occupied by the Judgment Tower, and Jet put a hand on her shoulder and said, “Once this is all over, I promise we will rebuild it.”“…Yeah,” Rida said. “Blaster, Von Nebula, and Makuta are working together. They’re hunting for ‘Cosmic Bricks’, like the one in our legend.”“Why do they want those?” Burner asked.“I dunno, but if one can create our race and revive Blaster, Spark, and Flare, it’s probably not good,” Rida said.“Also, Von Nebula has become stronger,” Onua said. “It seems he can manipulate the environment around him.”“Great,” Tahu said. “And I suppose the observatory was destroyed?”“Well…yes,” Jet said.“Then we have no way to get back,” Tahu sighed.“Actually, we do,” Onua said. “Zykard gave me a homing beacon, and I was able to plant it on Von Nebula. But we need to be quick, before he discovers it.”“Then let’s go get Zykard,” Rida said. “We’ll take the fight to them.”Power drove up to the enormous cube in front of him, waiting for the others to arrive. The RoboRiders had swept the system clean of glitches, save for the matrix that now stood before him, which sat at the very center of the system.“Nuparu, what’s inside this matrix?” Power asked.“I don’t know, but it seems to be supplying energy to the entire system,” Nuparu said.“Odd…power supplies usually don’t form a matrix in their network world,” Power said.The other RoboRiders soon appeared, Lava saying, “Sorry it took so long. Let’s begin, shall we?”Onyx used his laser beams to carve a door into the matrix and the RoboRiders entered, finding that the structure was even bigger inside than it appeared on the outside, and that it was completely filled with green-black glitches. Several glitches formed into spears and flew at the team, but Power shot them down with his plasma cannons and the RoboRiders scattered.Dust shot a wheel and then unleashed its Elemental Sand Energy to create a sandstorm, battering away at a cluster of glitches and then finishing them off with his spears. Frost energized his wheels and then drove straight into the horde, freezing any glitches he passed, and then Power’s Light wheel ricocheted through the ice and vaporized the intruders. Lava used his axes to defend himself while Swamp used his Jungle wheel to cover the glitches in vines, and then Lava unleashed his wheel to set fire to the glitches, burning them away to nothing. Onyx glanced over his ‘shoulder’ at the winged glitches following him and fired laser beams, missing, so he energized his wheels to create a wall of earth that his foes smashed into.“Onyx,” Power called, blasting more glitches. “I think this would go much faster if we combined our programming. What do you say?”“It’s hardly necessary…but very well,” Onyx said, driving straight at Power.“What’re you doing?” Nuparu asked, and the instant before the two RoboRiders collided they transformed into two clusters of data that instantly began to mix. The shape of the data grew and changed, and a few seconds later it took the appearance of a yellow and black, bipedal warrior with laser guns on his neck, a shield on one arm, and a wheel launcher on the other.A new file name appeared on Nuparu’s computer screen, and he read, “‘Fusion Gladiator’…you guys can combine with each other?”“Of course,” Gladiator said, blocking an energy beam from a glitch and then flinging a wheel that combined Light and Earth energy. “Our programs are specifically written to work together to boost our power.”The wheel sliced through waves of glitches before detonating and blowing them away, and Dust said, “Show off. I bet I can crush just as many as you on my own!”He used his wheel to create a vortex of sand inside the matrix, meanwhile Gladiator stomped on a glitch and blasted another group with lasers. “…Something’s wrong,” Lava said, slowly coming to a stop. “If this matrix powers the network, then why are these glitches so weak?”Suddenly all of the glitches faded away, revealing a bright white light in the center of the matrix, but then a shadow rose up in front of it and the RoboRiders readied themselves. A massive glitch formed near the light, appearing as a fusion of Stormer and Meltdown, and it said, “We have gathered power and grown stronger. This system is ours to control. If you interfere, you will be deleted.”Review
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#12 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 09 2012 - 09:25 AM

Chapter 11Fusion Gladiator raised his shield to block a flamethrower, and then he moved forward and hurled a wheel at the Master Glitch. The other RoboRiders moved to surround the Glitch as it created a wall of data to block the wheel, and then Dust and Lava combined their powers to create a glass prison around their enemy. Spears of data rose up to strike the Riders as the Glitch broke free, and it repelled its lesser enemies before turning and grappling with Fusion Gladiator.Swamp drove over to Lava and asked, “You alright?”“Yeah…” Lava said. “I’m beginning to think Power had the right idea. Let’s combine and back up Gladiator.”Swamp nodded and fused with Lava to create Forest Fire, a long, red and green vehicle with two enormous back wheels, and Forest Fire threw out flaming vines to smack the Glitch. Gladiator bashed the Glitch with his shield and jumped back, allowing Frost and Dust to attack with their wheels, and then Forest Fire charged in only to be caught and hurled across the matrix.“We will not be defeated,” the Glitch said, sending out waves of data that crashed down on the RoboRiders. “This is our domain.”“Think fast,” Dust said, causing the Glitch to turn its head just as he launched a wheel.The Sand energy unleashed itself on the Glitch’s eyes, blinding it, and then Frost covered it in a layer of ice and said, “You’re one to talk about ‘thinking fast’.”Dust glared at Frost as Forest Fire encased the Glitch in a thick tree trunk and set it ablaze, and Fusion Gladiator encased it in a dome of earth to control the flames. Data danced around the dome and then it exploded, but instantly Fusion Gladiator launched another wheel at the Master Glitch and created a lance of light to impale the creature. The Glitch stumbled and looked down, and then the RoboRiders all launched their wheels at it to combine their powers and delete the Master Glitch.The battle over, Fusion Gladiator and Forest Fire separated into normal RoboRiders once more, and Nuparu said, “Stormer is now 100% glitch free! Nice job, guys!”Power drove over to the massive orb of light and said, “Nuparu, do you think you could analyze this? I’m very curious as to just what we were defending…”“Sure,” Nuparu said, “I’ll…huh?”A cluster of data appeared where the Master Glitch had once been, and the RoboRiders readied their weapons and faced it. The data smoothed out and became what appeared to be a scroll, and Onyx said, “What the…? Where did that come from?”“I’m analyzing it now,” Nuparu said. “It’s giving me a bunch of random letters…RN9XUBEJA.”“…Save it somewhere,” Power said. “I’m not sure what it is, but it sounds familiar somehow. It might prove useful down the road.”“Good; the beacon is still active,” Zykard said, typing away on a small computer. “Providing Von Nebula returned to your planet, we can find it by pinpointing the signal.”“We were able to find some airships that are still functioning,” Rida said as she walked in. “They should be able to get you back home.”Ski entered the room next, asking, “Is it true? Are Blaster and the others really back?”“They are,” Burner said. “They left with some other villains for the Toa’s homeworld.”“I have a lock!” Zykard said. “It looks like your planet isn’t too far from here. The trip should only take a few hours!”“Excellent!” Tahu said. “Thank you for your assistance. We’ll be going now.”“I’m coming with you,” Millennia said. “I have the most experience in dealing with Blaster, and odds are he still wants me gone. If I go with you I can draw his attention away from this planet while they recover.”“We could use all the help we can get,” Pohatu said.“…Very well,” Tahu said. “But be aware that we’ll also be dealing with Makuta and Von Nebula. Don’t forget about them while you’re fighting Blaster.”Millennia nodded and then turned as Turbo came into the building, asking, “So? Is it as bad as I expect?”“Yeah, it kinda is,” Ski said.“Wonderful,” Turbo said. “Well if Blaster’s back we should get our army together.”“That’s not a bad idea,” Jet said. “Well, we’ll focus on these matters while you leave for your planet.”“We’ll come back once we’ve defeated Blaster and the others,” Gali said.“I can’t wait,” Turbo mumbled.Millennia led the Toa out of the building, showing them six one-man crafts lined up for them. As the Toa each got into a ship, Lewa asked, “What about you? How will you quick-fly without a ship?”“Don’t worry about me,” Millennia said, altering his form to resemble the aircrafts. “The co-ordinates are programmed into the navigational computers. Let’s get you guys home.”Stormer sat up and groaned, putting a hand to his head, and Bulk said, “Hey! You’re okay!”“Nice to have you back, Stormer,” Stringer said.“How long was I out of it?” Stormer asked.“About a day,” Stringer said. “Zib sent something called ‘RoboRiders’ into your system to clean up the mess Meltdown left. We haven’t heard from anyone, friend or foe, so…we started building a gate.”“A gate?” Stormer said. “Why? Doesn’t it seem a bit extreme?”“We don’t know where the Toa are, and we could really use some back-up from the Factory,” Stringer said. “It’s almost complete. Oh, and one more thing…”“I feel…different,” Stormer said.“Yeah, I was getting to that,” Stringer said. “Apparently, while the RoboRiders are inside your Hero Core, all heroes will have an increase in power. Mr. Makuro wouldn’t say why, though.”“Hm…” Stormer grunted, getting to his feet. “I think it’s time we went looking for the Toa. We’ll ask Vakama if he has any idea where they are, and then—““Stormer, I really think we should finish the gate,” Stringer said. “I know it’s not easy for you to ask for help, but the fact is we can’t do this alone. It would take way too long for a team to get here by Hero Pod, and a gate would solve that problem.”Stormer was silent for a time, and then he said, “Fine…we’ll finish the gate, but then we’re going to find the Toa. Vakama can operate the gate.”“That’s fine with me,” Stringer said.Bulk nodded, and then the three heroes walked out to complete their task.Review
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#13 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 14 2012 - 10:03 AM

Chapter 12Nuparu scanned the data on-screen, striking keys with every finger, trying to determine just what was in the matrix that powered the Hero Core. “Come on,” he mumbled, running another recognition program. “I’ve broken down the energy, analyzed every aspect of it; one of the things in here should be a match. What more do I—“The computer emitted a chime as the results of the program revealed themselves, and Nuparu smiled and leaned in to read them. His smile soon faded, and he said, “…What? But…that can’t be…”A small window appeared in the corner of the screen, and through the static that followed he could make out, “…in…come in…Tahu…repeat, this is Tahu. Is anyone…hello…”“Tahu?!” Nuparu replied.A fuzzy image of the Toa of Fire came into view, and the audio became clearer as he said, “Nuparu? Good, I was hoping someone was there to pick up this transmission.”“Where are you?” Nuparu said. “We haven’t heard from you since you entered Mangaia.”“Von Nebula sent us to another planet,” Tahu said, his annoyance obvious. “The good news is that we have some new information, and we have an ally returning with us.”“I-I see…” Nuparu said. “When can we expect your arrival?”“It shouldn’t be long now,” Tahu replied. “Just make sure we have an open area to land in outside Kini-Nui.”“I’ll see to it,” Nuparu said.Tahu nodded and ended the transmission, and then another channel opened and Power asked, “Nuparu, are you there?”“Yes—I was speaking with Tahu,” Nuparu said. “How are you? I trust you made it back to your world safe and sound?”“That is correct,” Power said. “We will remain on stand-by in case you need further assistance.”“Thanks,” Nuparu said. “Hey, I finished my analysis on the energy in that matrix, but…you might want to double-check it.”He began transferring the data and said, “I have to go do something, but I’ll be back in just one minute.”Power acknowledged him, and then Nuparu walked outside the hut and around to the other side of Kini-Nui to where Vakama and the Alpha Team were. “I’ve just received word from Tahu!” Nuparu announced. “He says the Toa were sent to another planet after encountering Von Nebula, but they’re on their way back right now and want us to leave an open area for them when they arrive.”“Another planet?” Vakama repeated.“Von Nebula must have used his Black Hole Orb Staff,” Stormer said. “We may as well wait for them to get here and share any intelligence they might have.”“Good idea,” Stringer said. “Thank you, Nuparu—and please express our gratitude to the RoboRiders.”“Of course,” Nuparu said. “Uh…speaking of which…may I ask exactly what a Hero Core is?”“It’s our power source and the center of all our programming,” Stormer said. “Mr. Makuro makes them using Quaza Stone gathered from around the universe. If our Core is damaged, we’d have to shut down and be given a new one, but we wouldn’t have the same ‘personality’.”“If you ask Zib he can probably send you some design schematics,” Stringer said.“Right…thank you,” Nuparu said, and then he went back to the computer and sat down.“Welcome back,” Power said. “We double-checked the data, and we can’t find any mistakes…which makes it even stranger.”“It shouldn’t be possible,” Nuparu said. “The Scout I met told me that robots can’t have hearts, and Stormer must be a robot or else you guys couldn’t have gotten into his systems. So then how can there be a heart in Stormer’s Hero Core?”Makuro turned as Zib entered, saying, “Greetings, Professor. What brings you here?”“The RoboRiders have left Stormer’s Hero Core, so all heroes’ power levels are returning to normal,” Zib said. “Also, Nuparu has requested for the Hero Core design schematics.”“Hm…confused about the central matrix, no doubt,” Makuro said.“Even if we give him the blueprints, it won’t answer his question,” Zib said. “…Are you going to tell him about the harvesting and binding processes?”“I may have no choice,” Makuro said. “I never intended for anyone besides us, Preston, and Von to know the true nature of the Hero Core, but we must not keep secrets from our allies.”“I will go along with whatever you feel is right, sir,” Zib said.“…Send Nuparu the blueprints,” Makuro said. “Once the Alpha Team has finished constructing the gate, we will bring him here and show him the machine.”“Yes, sir,” Zib said. “…You know…it’s only a matter of time before Von Nebula and the others come to destroy it.”“Most wars cannot be won without collateral damage,” Makuro said. “The machine is not what’s important—our priority should be defeating Von and his allies, no matter the cost.”Review
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#14 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 16 2012 - 09:29 AM

Chapter 13Stormer knocked on the gate a few times to make sure it was structurally sound, and then he said, “Alright, we’re done with that. Now we just need to wait for…”He trailed off and looked up, spotting seven streaks of light in the sky, and then he finished, “…the Toa.”The objects descended swiftly towards Kini-Nui, eventually slowing and coming to a hover over the field outside the temple, and then six of the aircrafts landed gently while the seventh transformed back into Millennia. The Toa stepped out and approached the Alpha Team, and Stringer said, “Welcome back. Sorry we sent you into so much trouble.”“That’s not important right now,” Tahu said. “Makuta, Von Nebula, and a warlord named Blaster have joined forces, and they’re looking for objects called Cosmic Bricks.”“How bad is this Blaster guy?” Stormer said.“He led an army across space and conquered hundreds of planets,” Millennia said. “We killed him a thousand years ago, but he was revived by a Cosmic Brick.”“So these are no ordinary trinkets,” Stringer said. “We had an encounter with some of Von Nebula’s underlings, but thanks to Nuparu and the RoboRiders Zib sent, we’re all back to normal.”“Could be worse,” Bulk said.“Von Nebula has gotten stronger,” Kopaka added.“And now it’s worse,” Stormer grumbled. “Well, maybe this gate will come in handy after all…”“What is it, exactly?” Gali asked.“It creates small space-time distortions, sort of like Von’s staff,” Stringer said. “We can use it to open portals to virtually anywhere. We finished it just before you landed.”“So we could bring the Slizers here…” Millennia muttered.“Let’s get as many reinforcements here as we can,” Tahu said. “If our enemies are still in Mangaia, then we should be able to—““Toa!” Vakama called, running up to the group. “You must help…Nuparu…he’s been attacked…”Millennia, the Toa, and the Alpha Team rushed to the hut on the other side of the temple, skidding to a halt when they found it in ruins. Von Nebula stood in front of the computer, holding Nuparu in one hand, and he turned and smiled at the group of heroes.“You’re too late,” he said. “I’ve already sent my henchmen to retrieve the third Brick.”“Sent them where?” Stormer demanded, aiming his weapon arm.Von held up Nuparu and said, “You wouldn’t shoot this adorable little villager, would you? No, you’re too ‘noble’ for that…but I may as well enlighten you, for the third Brick is located where no Hero Factory hero can go.”“Answer the question!” Stormer yelled.“Hmhm,” Von chuckled. “The Cosmic Brick we’re targeting next…is guarded by the RoboRiders.”He threw Nuparu at the heroes and his body turned into white static, and as Onua caught the Matoran, the villain disappeared into the computer screen. “They entered the computer program?” Pohatu said. “Is there any way we can follow them?”“Y…yes,” Nuparu coughed. “But he’s right…the Alpha Team might not be able to go.”“Why not?” Stormer asked.“There’s a process for transporting a being’s heart into the RoboRider world,” Nuparu explained. “But you guys are robots…and robots aren’t supposed to have hearts.”Stormer was silent, and Stringer said, “Okay. We’ll call in some back-up for when Von and his minions come back out.”“Is transporting our heart-spark painful?” Lewa asked.“Not at all,” Nuparu said, typing a few buttons. “Just keep your eyes on the screen.”He turned away and a flash came from the screen, and the Toa and Millennia remained staring blankly at the machine. “Will they be alright?” Stringer asked, waving his hand in front of Millennia’s face.“They’ll be fine,” Nuparu said. “The RoboRiders are there to help them, after all.”Stringer nodded, looked briefly at Stormer, and then turned to Nuparu and said, “Nuparu…our boss, Mr. Makuro, wanted to meet with you.”“…Did I do something wrong?” Nuparu asked.“No, not at all,” Stringer said. “He said he wanted to answer the questions you had about the Hero Core.”“Oh…alright,” Nuparu said.Stringer led Nuparu around to the gate, and Bulk asked, “Is there some secret about the Hero Core?”“There is,” Stormer said. “But it looks like it won’t be secret for much longer…”Tahu looked up at the buildings towering over him and made sure everyone was accounted for, and then he started down the street and was cut off by a Meteor Blaster. Rotor landed and rushed at him, but Tahu used his Shielding powers and held his ground.“Where’s Von Nebula?” Tahu asked.“I don’t answer to you!” Rotor said, raising his gas gun.Tahu dove aside and Kopaka froze the weapon, and then Millennia lashed out with a kick that sent Rotor sprawling. The behemoth struggled back to his feet and Millennia said, “Not many people get back up after one of my kicks…you guys go on ahead—I’ll handle the helicopter.”The Toa ran down the street and Millennia summoned a disk, and Rotor tossed aside his gas gun and said, “Ah, get outta my way!”He fired his Meteor Blaster but Millennia dodged, and then Rotor spun his back blade and took off. Millennia threw his disk, slicing through Rotor’s blade, and as the villain fell Millennia shot him with an energy burst to stun him. Rotor jumped up and grappled with Millennia, who said, “If it’s taking this long to deal with the likes of you, I must be more out of practice than I thought…”Meanwhile, the Toa followed a trail of rubble to the main square of the city, spotting Corroder waiting for them. As they came to a stop, Gali said, “We shouldn’t get too close to that one.”“About time you showed up,” Corroder growled, corrosive spit dripping from his mouth and sizzling against the pavement.Lewa noticed a shadow on the ground and looked up just as Flare dove into him, and then Thunder ran at the Toa and sent Kopaka flying. Onua was about to use an earthquake when a tentacle grabbed him from behind, and Meltdown cackled as he tossed the Toa of Earth through a building. Corroder jumped out and swiped at Gali, who dodged and used a geyser to fling him away, and Tahu was about to help out when spikes rained down on him and exploded.From above, XPlode said, “Hm, heroes are weak! Want to finish them off?”Spark walked up beside him and took aim at the Toa, but he heard a whirring sound and turned to see a wheel crash into him. Pohatu saw Spark fall and raced over to him, delivering a powerful kick to the villain, and then Frost drove into the square and said, “You must be the Toa. Could you explain where these intruders came from?”Some of the other RoboRiders were entering the battle now: Dust had rammed into Corroder to keep him off-balance, and Swamp and Lava had gone to help Onua fight Meltdown. Onyx jumped onto the same building as XPlode and shot lasers at him, while Spark got back up and shot Frost. Pohatu kicked but Spark dodged and hit him back, and then the General rolled away as Frost charged again.“Von Nebula sent them here,” Pohatu told Frost. “They’re here for a Cosmic Brick. Ever heard of it?”“No,” Frost said, “but a big spiky guy was headed for the Central Link. Power went after him.”“What’s the Central Link?” Pohatu asked, dodging Thunder’s claw and kicking him down.Frost used his wheel to create a layer of ice that made Spark slip, and then the Rider said, “It’s the access point between all the sectors, and the easiest way to get to the core of the system.”Pohatu punched Spark and said, “We’ve got to deal with these guys and catch up to Von Nebula! Behind you!”Review
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#15 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 21 2012 - 11:02 AM

Chapter 14Nuparu walked up to the door and stopped, thinking, Zib told me to come here…“Greetings, Nuparu,” Makuro called as he came down the hall. “Forgive me, but I do not move as quickly as I used to.”“That’s quite alright,” Nuparu said. “Thank you for inviting me here.”“You saved Preston, our most valuable hero,” Makuro said, finally reaching the door. “You deserve a full explanation…you received the blueprints for the Hero Core, yes?”“I did, and they were quite interesting,” Nuparu said. “The systems are all designed to compliment each other in perfect harmony, while utilizing the Quaza energy in just the right way…it’s ingenious.”“Thank you,” Makuro said. “I was very lucky to discover the Quaza Stones and how to use their energy to create an optimal robot system…but, as I learned the hard way, luck does not make a hero.”“…What do you mean?” Nuparu asked.Makuro sighed, “Once I discovered Quaza Stones, I dreamed of creating the greatest heroes in the universe to combat any kind of evil and create unprecedented peace. With help from Zib I established the Hero Factory and constructed a prototype hero…Von Ness. He was incredibly powerful and very effective, but little by little he began to develop methods that were less than heroic, and my attempts to correct him met only with failure. I realized that just because I wanted my creations…my children…to be heroes…it did not mean that they would. I was about to give up when I had a visitor…”Makuro faced the door and punched a few buttons into a keypad, and then a robotic eye examined him a moment before the door slid open. Nuparu followed the elderly robot inside to find himself on a catwalk that lined a circular chamber, and in the center was a large transparent tube filled with light blue energy that zipped along almost too fast for Nuparu to watch. Following the energy along its path, Nuparu looked down to see a giant dome-shaped terminal that flashed and crackled as if it were about to burst below his feet, and then he noticed Makuro walking around the catwalk and moved to follow him. Looking up, Nuparu saw a sphere in the tube not far above them, and atop this sphere was an antenna of sorts that flashed over and over again.“This visitor was no ordinary being,” Makuro said. “To stand in his presence was an experience I find hard to describe…it was as if he was born of another plane of existence entirely. He liked the idea of the Hero Factory, but agreed that Von Ness was not much of a hero…so he gave me a gift.”The two of them came to a control panel, and Makuro looked up at the sphere in the tube. After a pause, he said, “He called it a Cosmic Brick. It was the most powerful object I’d ever been in contact with, and along with that I was told how to build this machine.”“What is it?” Nuparu asked.“This is the main server of the Hero Core Network,” Makuro said. “It…harvests and stores the hearts of dead heroes.”“…Harvests…hearts…?” Nuparu repeated quietly.“I didn’t approve at first,” Makuro said. “In some ways…I still don’t. But it’s the only way to insure that our heroes are actually heroes. When a hero’s body dies, his heart continues to live on, and this antenna uses the power of the Cosmic Brick to collect those hearts and digitize them into a cyber network. We create the physical Hero Core and bind a specific portion of the Network to it, and then we install it to a robot…the Quaza energy powers the systems, and the hearts keeps the robot heroic.”“So that’s what was in the matrix,” Nuparu said. “And that sealed link that Swamp found…”“If unsealed, it would lead to the rest of the Hero Core Network,” Makuro said. “All Hero Cores are connected, which is why all of our heroes benefited from the presence of the RoboRiders.”“I see…” Nuparu said.“Please understand…I regret that I have to defile the hearts of the deceased to make an actual hero, but I’ve yet to find a reliable alternative,” Makuro said.“…Well, if the hearts really do belong to heroes, then I’m sure they wouldn’t mind too much if their hearts can continue to help people,” Nuparu said. “I do have a question, though: what happened to Von Ness?”“Oh, yes,” Makuro said. “Well, once the Network was built and my visitor departed, I created the first hero powered by a Hero Core: Preston Stormer. After sending him on a few missions I decided to continue using the Network, and that it would be best to retire Von Ness…but that didn’t go over well. Ness became furious and stormed into this chamber, intending to destroy the server, but Preston engaged him in combat and held him off. It was an intense battle, but even Ness knew he couldn’t win…so he lunged for the Cosmic Brick and absorbed a small sliver of its power. Instantly, he was mutated into a large spiked creature with a menacing staff, and I shudder to think what would have happened if Preston had not torn him off in time. Twisted and evil, Von Ness cast his old identity aside and became the enemy of the Hero Factory, and as he escaped through a black hole he announced to us his new alias…Von Nebula.”“…So that’s why Von Nebula hates heroes so much,” Nuparu said. “They’re what he couldn’t be…”“We had to increase security to prevent Von Nebula from warping back here,” Makuro said. “And now…I have reason to believe that when he touched the Brick, he gained knowledge as well as power—the same knowledge the visitor shared with me. The visitor created four Cosmic Bricks and scattered them, each one’s energy flowing into a different species…including yours.”Nuparu looked up and said, “We have the energy of a Cosmic Brick? How do you know?”“After spending so much time around this Brick, I’ve learned how to sense its energy,” Makuro said. “That’s how I found the RoboRiders, for they were born of a Cosmic Brick hidden in cyberspace. Since they and the heroes both contain the energy of a Brick, whenever the RoboRiders enter a Hero Core, their energies react to the energy throughout the Hero Core Network, resonating and creating new strength for heroes and Riders alike.”“Okay, so Von Nebula knows about the Bricks,” Nuparu said. “What’s the worst that can happen?”“If all four Cosmic Bricks are brought together, then the deity-level power of the one who created them can be granted to anyone,” Makuro said. “Von Nebula is coming into contact with villains from other worlds, yes? He is trying to gather the Bricks so that he can become all-powerful.”“…Oh…” Nuparu said. “Is there anything we can do to stop him?”“…Perhaps,” Makuro said, and then he pushed a button on the panel before him. The energy in the tube faded away and the sphere opened up, revealing the Cosmic Brick within, and the Brick floated down to Makuro’s hand.“Very soon now, Von Nebula will come here to claim this Brick,” Makuro continued. “He will not expect you to have it.”Nuparu was surprised when Makuro held out the Brick, and after a moment he tentatively reached out and took it. The shock of the energy nearly overwhelmed the Matoran, but he steadied himself and said, “Th…thank you for trusting me, Mr. Makuro. I’ll be sure to keep this safe.”Spark sidestepped a wheel launched by Lava, but then Tahu reached out and willed the Elemental Fire Energy in the wheel to come out and wrap around Spark, trapping him in a vortex of flames. XPlode peeked out from behind some rubble, thinking, This is a disaster—we’re completely outnumbered! Normally I’d run, but Von Nebula’s the only one who can get us out of here…Onua used an earth pillar to launch XPlode into the air, and then the Toa turned to his allies and said, “One more.”Kopaka froze XPlode and said, “That’s all of them…”Swamp ran over Spark and pinned him, and Tahu knelt down and said, “We’ll be going after Von Nebula now.”Suddenly light flashed not far away, alerting all those present, but they relaxed their guard when they discovered the light heralded the appearance of another scroll. “Must be another code…” Lava said. “The same thing happened when we were helping Stormer.”Tahu handed the scroll to Dust, who said, “Anyway, we should go after Von Nebula…but I guess some of us should stay behind to watch these guys…”“Pohatu, Onua, Onyx, Frost, you’re with me,” Tahu said.“Who put him in charge?” Frost grumbled.Millennia walked into the square, dragging the unconscious Rotor behind him, and the Slizer said, “Sorry, but this guy’s stubborn. Nice to meet you, RoboRiders.”“Feel like going after Von Nebula?” Tahu asked.Millennia tossed Rotor aside and took on his motorcycle form, and then he said, “This guy was a warm-up. I’m ready for a real fight.”Review
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#16 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 23 2012 - 09:26 AM

Chapter 15Von Nebula walked into the Central Link to find himself on a steel platform with six portals around the edge, and he struck the floor with his staff and another portal appeared on the floor just in front of him. He walked over to the edge of this seventh portal and looked down, seeing a winding staircase that led down into darkness, and he grinned and stepped forward. Suddenly, something rammed into him from behind, knocking him off the staircase, and as Von plummeted he spun to see Power falling alongside him.“Meddlesome program!” Von spat, shooting a blast from his staff.Power used a wheel to create a shield of light, protecting him from the blast, and then he said, “It’s my duty to keep this world safe from all threats. I won’t let you win!”The Rider launched twin plasma blasts but Von Nebula absorbed them into a small black hole, and his staff glowed white as he said, “You want to keep this world safe? Haha…can you keep yourself safe from this world?”A section of the stairwell flew off and collided with Power, causing him to tumble and crash into the wall, and Von Nebula created a platform for himself to stand on and floated over to the injured Rider. “That energy…” Power said, getting back on his wheels. “You have The Virus in you…”“How observant,” Von mocked. “The Virus is boosting my systems to a power level greater than I could have ever achieved on my own. It’s thanks to that I was able to convert myself and my minions into data, allowing us to come to this wretched world.”“The Virus could never convert matter to data,” Power said. “If that were true—“Von blasted Power and then turned the energy into a hand, grabbing the Rider and pulling him close as the villain said, “The resonance of Cosmic Brick energy makes anything possible, Power. Come—I’ll show you how marvelous the power of the Brick is!”He dismissed the platform and hurtled downwards, taking Power with him, and when they reached the bottom of the link they passed through another portal and ended up in the System Core. Von Nebula flipped around and used his power over gravity to slow his descent, landing lightly on his feet atop an enormous matrix in the middle of an empty chamber lined with streaming data. Power struggled in vain to escape, looking around and laying eyes on a dark-colored matrix that seemed to grow off the side of the larger matrix, as if it were some sort of parasite.Seeing this matrix as well, Von said, “Ah, the old matrix of The Virus…it should be easier to access the Brick through there.” He dragged Power into the dark matrix and walked over to the center, where a blasted a hole in the already-cracked floor and jumped through.“You’ve never been inside your System Core Matrix, have you?” Von asked as he set foot inside the giant matrix. “Behold…the source of this entire world!”Far away from Von and Power, high in the air, floated a Cosmic Brick that radiated pure energy, and Von advanced slowly and said, “A Brick hidden in cyberspace…after so very long, it decided to entertain itself by using its Creation powers to forge a world of its own. Then along came a virus that fed on that energy, evolving into something else…and the rest is history.”Von threw Power aside and waited, and Power got back up and said, “Get out of here!”Power fired a wheel and a flurry of plasma blasts, but Von teleported closer to the Brick and said, “Oh believe me, I will. The Brick is within my grasp…but before I take it, I believe I promised to show you what it is capable of.”He pointed his staff at the Brick and fired a beam of white energy at it, and an immense tremor racked the matrix as Von Nebula began to cackle.Back in the city, the Toa and RoboRiders who had remained to guard the villains felt the ground shake beneath their feet and wheels, and Lewa said, “I have a sink-bad feeling…”Several clawed tentacles then burst from the ground and began flailing wildly, and Swamp said, “No…it can’t be…”Bursts of data rushed through the square and the villains were suddenly free, and XPlode wasted no time in launching all the spikes he could at the heroes to give himself time to get away. The villains regrouped, and Spark asked, “Was this supposed to happen?”A portal appeared behind them, and next to it a ghostly image of Von that said, “You have played your part—now it is time for me to destroy this world. This portal will take you back to Mangaia; I suggest you use it quickly.”The image faded away and all of the villains began pushing and shoving each other, trying to get to the portal first, and Spark sighed and used a disk to knock the others through before he hopped in as well. Once they had all made it through, the portal closed, and soon after the heroes regained their balance and looked around.Kopaka cut down a tentacle as it swung at him, and then he asked, “What’s going on?”“These were used by The Virus when it attacked 10 years ago,” Lava said, burning several tentacles. “But The Virus was taken out of this world by Zib…”Gali used a whirlpool to tangle two tentacles, and then she flipped up onto a ledge and said, “Von Nebula must have reached the System Core—it’s the only explanation!”“Who cares why they’re here—let’s just delete them!” Dust yelled.Dust charged at a tentacle when a wrecking ball came out of nowhere and smacked him head-on, hurling him into a building, and Kopaka froze the chain the sphere was connected to before diving for cover. Lewa launched himself into the air and landed on top of the wrecking ball, activating his Strength powers and then shattering the frozen chain with his axe, and as the ball fell he leapt away, only to be snatched out of the air by a tentacle and smashed into the ground. Gali rushed to Lewa’s side, using waves of water to knock aside the tentacles, and as she reached him another wrecking ball shot straight down at them. The Toa of Water used a gentle burst of water to push Lewa out of the way and defended herself with her Shielding powers, and then Swamp used his wheel to catch the wrecking ball in a vine net. Dust was back in the fight now, taking on a group of nine tentacles and winning, and Lava moved to help him when the ground suddenly split, stranding him from the others.Several other fissures spread through the square, cleaving buildings and making them topple, and Kopaka said, “This whole world is falling apart…”Power continued throwing plasma blasts, each one vanishing against the shield that protected Von Nebula, and he yelled in frustration and increased the intensity of his bursts. “You will only wear yourself out,” Von said. “Just sit back and watch your world disappear.”There was an explosion in the ceiling of the matrix, and then Tahu, Pohatu, Onua, Frost, Onyx, and Millennia dropped down, and Power said, “Good, you’re here! We need to fuse into Solar Tundra!”Frost and Onyx joined with Power, creating a large RoboRider with arms that ended in Wheel Launchers, and the fusion charged its wheels and hurled them both, shattering Von’s shield.“Hmph; a parlor trick like that doesn’t frighten me,” Von said.Solar Tundra moved forward and said, “Leave our world now!”“A moment,” Von said. “I won’t be here long…after all, this program’s fate is sealed.”The matrix suddenly burst apart, revealing that the outer walls of the System Core were beginning to break down, and the Cosmic Brick floated down to Von Nebula, who grinned evilly as he wrapped his claws around it. Millennia charged forward, shifted to his larger form, and delivered a kick full of Millennium Energy, but a new shield had formed around Von Nebula to protect him. The villain raised his staff and Millennia was instantly repelled, and Solar Tundra drove at Von in a blaze of energy, colliding with the shield.Solar Tundra focused all his power to try to break through, but Von showed no sign of effort, and Onua said, “Tahu, Pohatu…”“I know,” Pohatu said. “If we act quickly, we might be able to help them.”“Alright,” Tahu said, and then he closed his eyes and reached out with his mind.Pohatu and Onua did the same, and a few seconds later the three Toa combined to form Toa Kaita Akamai, who ran forward and delivered a powerful punch that allowed Solar Tundra to break through. “I’ll take this,” Akamai said, reaching for the Cosmic Brick, but the ground beneath him faltered and he fell over backwards.Von Nebula quickly got up and blasted Solar Tundra, and then he dashed out and grabbed the Cosmic Brick at the same time as Millennia. “Back off!” Millennia said as he threw a disk, but Von teleported behind him and used his control to make the ground pull Millennia away in an instant.Von scooped up the Brick and blocked Akamai’s sword, dispelling the fire that surrounded it, and then he rose into the sky and rained energy bolts down on his enemies. “Valiant effort, but I can humor you no longer,” Von said. “It is time for this world’s oblivion, and that fate is one I will not share.”The Cosmic Brick shone brightly and then disappeared with Von Nebula, and the data began to crumble in larger chunks. “What do we do now?” Millennia asked.Akamai scowled and looked about for an exit, but then the floor lost what little strength it had left, dropping him and his companions into a bottomless void.No…Solar Tundra thought, watching the heart of his world fade away. No…no…NO!!!Review

Edited by SSJ Pahrak, Feb 28 2012 - 10:13 AM.

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#17 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 10:13 AM

Chapter 16Nuparu stepped through the gate onto Mata-Nui, holding a shell designed to cloak the energy of the Cosmic Brick within. Vakama approached him, greeting, “Welcome back, Nuparu. What did you bring with you?”“I’ll explain later,” Nuparu said, holding out the Cosmic Brick. “Could you please take this somewhere safe? I want to go check on the computer.”Vakama nodded and took the Brick, and then Nuparu ran to the computer and pushed past the still-frozen Toa. “How are things going?” Nuparu asked.“Horribly,” Stormer said. “Von Nebula hit the delete button, and the whole world’s falling apart.”“What?!” Nuparu asked, diving for the keyboard. He began typing and scanned the status of the data world, and then he said, “Karzahni, it’s too late to save it…”“What about the Toa and the others?” Stringer asked.“There’s an emergency recall to get the Toa and Millennia back into their bodies,” Nuparu said, “but the RoboRiders and villagers…I might be able to download them to the computer, providing they haven’t already been erased.”He activated several processes and continued working, and the Toa and Millennia suddenly twitched and looked around. “You guys alright?” Stringer asked.“I think so,” Pohatu said. “We fell into a void, but then we were surrounded by this light…”“The same thing happened to us,” Gali said. “The villains got away—they probably escaped the data…what happened in the Core?”“Von Nebula took the Cosmic Brick out of the core matrix, which is probably why the world’s collapsing,” Millennia said.“Can we help-save the RoboRiders?” Lewa asked.A red icon flashed on-screen and Nuparu paused, and a moment later the Matoran quietly said, “The RoboRider world has been deleted. I was able to save the RoboRiders and 82 of the villagers…82 out of 500.”Silence followed for about a minute, but then a window popped up and Power asked, in a melancholy voice, “Hello? Is anyone there?”“Yes, we’re here,” Nuparu said. “I’m sorry…I did all I could…”“I know you did,” Power said. “…I suppose our world is entirely gone now?”“…I’m afraid so,” Nuparu said. “82 villagers are there with you, not counting your wheels…also, when I downloaded you, I received two codes like the one we found in Stormer’s core.”“They found another one in the city square, too,” Stringer said. “What are they?”“I don’t know…but the data suggests that these codes protected the RoboRiders from deletion long enough for me to download them,” Nuparu said.“I feel some sort of connection to these codes…” Power mumbled. “Like they’re made of the same programming my world is…well, was…I suppose…”“Why don’t we give you and the others time to let this sink in?” Nuparu offered. “Just let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.”“…Thank you,” Power said, and then the window closed.After another few seconds, Kopaka asked, “What do we do now?”“Judging by what Von Nebula has said, there is only one more Cosmic Brick they need to retrieve,” Onua said.“Then we need to find it and protect it,” Tahu said. “The question is—““Vakama has it,” Nuparu said. Everyone stared at him, and Nuparu continued, “Mr. Makuro had a Cosmic Brick at the Hero Factory, and when I went to visit him he gave it to me for safekeeping. Von Nebula’s next move will probably be to attack the Hero Factory.”“…Okay then,” Millennia said. “So we get some Slizers to back us up, go to the Hero Factory, have them call up whatever teams they can, and wait for our enemies to come to us.”“Did you guys know we had one of these Brick things?” Bulk asked his teammates.“I had no idea,” Stringer said.Stormer looked away, and Tahu said, “Anyway, Millennia’s plan sounds good. We’ll leave immediately.”“Um…if I can make a suggestion?” Nuparu said. “All Hero Factory heroes will be much more powerful if we put the RoboRiders into one of their Hero Cores. How about one of the Alpha Team members stays with me until the RoboRiders are ready for transfer?”“I’ll stay,” Stormer said. “The rest of you get these ‘Slizers’ and go back to the Factory.”The others nodded and left to make preparations, leaving Stormer and Nuparu alone, and the former asked, “So I guess you know everything now.”“More or less,” Nuparu said.“Any thoughts?” Stormer asked.“I understand the need for the harvesting, and though it’s a bit unsettling, I don’t think it’s anything like a criminal act,” Nuparu said. “But I’m curious…do heroes remember their ‘past lives’? The life of the hero who had the heart that’s in the Cores.”“…No,” Stormer said. “The hearts in our Cores keep us heroic and have some influence on our nature, but our personalities are largely original, and the memories are locked deep in the heart.”“Could you access the memories if you wanted to?” Nuparu asked.“Maybe,” Stormer said, “but I don’t plan on trying it anytime soon. Doing so would require processing the heart in its entirety, something that’s flat-out impossible, and all of our systems would crash.”“Oh…I see,” Nuparu said.“…I know my fight with Von wasn’t over,” Stormer said, mostly to himself. “I just never thought it would get this big.”Von Nebula beamed with pride as he stared at the three Cosmic Bricks, and Blaster walked in and said, “We’re one step away from unimaginable power.”“What’s even better is that, in obtaining that power, I will finally take my revenge against Hero Factory,” Von Nebula said. “At last those fools will realize how stupid it was to betray me.”“Hm…it seems my dreams only continue to grow,” Blaster said. “First I ruled a city…then I aimed to rule a planet…then I began to conquer the galaxy…and now, I will be able to grind the universe beneath my heel.”“Just one universe?” Makuta said as he entered the room. “I too have been working, waiting, to rule a universe…but with the power these Bricks grant, we will be able to rule not only this universe, but every universe across space and time. The realm of possibilities can only expand, brothers…are we ready to attack the Hero Factory?”“Almost,” Von Nebula said. “I have a contact in Makuhero City who will be of great help to us…allow me to get in touch with him.”Review
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#18 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Mar 01 2012 - 09:38 AM

Chapter 17Kopaka stood quietly atop the Hero Factory, the lens on his mask rotating as he surveyed the city. A flicker of movement caught his attention, and his head swung around as he looked closer to identify what he was seeing. Kopaka ran to the elevator, and as it descended he touched a panel on the wall to open a communication channel.“They’re here,” he said. “Everyone get ready.”Meanwhile on the ground floor, Stormer stood facing the main door with ten teams of heroes behind him, waiting for the battle to begin. Breez walked up and asked, “Sir, shouldn’t we put more security on the other doors?”“Von’s cockier than ever with his new power,” Stormer said. “He’ll charge in through the front door, I guarantee it.”A short but powerful noise came from the door, causing all the heroes to ready their weapons, and as the noise repeated Stormer shouted, “Alright! This is it!”The noise repeated three more times before the door fell inwards and crashed against the floor, and as Blaster smiled at his handiwork, disks and Meteor Blaster shots flew past him and into the crowd of heroes. Stormer took cover and shot a few plasma bolts, looking around for Von Nebula, and he heard a scream behind him and turned quickly.Von Nebula had appeared from nowhere and impaled a hero with the blades on his staff, and as Stormer watched, Von created a black hole inside his victim, causing him to slowly crumple up before vanishing entirely. Stormer created an ice blade and leapt at Von, who blocked and punched, but Stormer flipped onto the villain’s head and attacked with his rotary blade. Von yelled in pain and willed the ground to rise up and scrape Stormer off his back, and then he swung his staff and knocked Stormer across the room. Stormer rolled to his feet and kept sliding backwards, deploying a shield to protect himself from the crossfire, and then he spun and kicked Von Nebula in the face just as the traitor appeared behind him.“Rrrr…I see you have visitors in your system as well,” Von said. “I’ve been looking forward to crushing you, Stormer…and now The Virus can have its revenge as well!”Von rushed forward and tackled Stormer through a black hole, both of them being transported to the other side of the Factory, and Stringer took notice and ran over to Bulk. “Let’s find Stormer, in case he needs back-up,” Stringer said. “We’ll split up—you check the ground level and work your way up, I’ll start at the top and work my way down.”Bulk nodded and they fired a few more shots before departing, and meanwhile the villains were beginning to break through the line of heroes. Blaster remained in the doorway, waiting, and then Millennia dropped down in an attempt to crush him, but the warlord dodged and grabbed Millennia by the throat.“There’s my general,” Blaster said. “Still feeling heroic?”Millennia shifted most of his mass into one leg and kicked Blaster away, and as he returned to his normal form he said, “Yeah, a little bit. And I’m not your general anymore.”Blaster dusted off his armor and said, “I see…you used to be the most loyal of my servants, Millennia—even more loyal than Spark. Didn’t you enjoy being second-in-command of an army that conquered a thousand worlds?”“We’ve been through this before,” Millennia said. “I developed a conscience, while you lost your heart.”“…You always did see the world as black and white,” Blaster said. “I just never expected your colors to reverse. Poor, poor Millennia…being dead for a thousand years has given me time to think. I’m still furious with you, yes, and I will have revenge, but since you are still so useful to me, I won’t kill you. I’m going to break you, force you to join me again, and then you will kill the Slizers yourself.”Millennia shot an energy beam, but Blaster blocked with his shield and hurled four disks in rapid succession, and Millennia dodged and threw his own disk. Blaster shot the disk down and then shot Millennia, and then he ran forward and kicked only to be blocked by Millennia’s kick. Smiling, Blaster used his double throwing arm to grab Millennia and hurled him outside the Factory, and then he fired his gun a dozen times before pausing. Millennia rushed forward in a blaze of Millennium Energy, colliding with Blaster’s shield, and Blaster said, “You’re weaker than I remember.”Breez peeked around the corner, seeing XPlode and Rotor coming down the hall, and across from her, Surge nodded and readied his weapons. The two heroes jumped out and fired on the villains, but XPlode used his spikes to shoot down their projectiles, and Rotor shot Surge with his Meteor Blaster. Breez ducked back around the corner as her boomerangs returned to her, and Rotor charged forward and punched Surge. Surge activated his lightning shield but was still sent reeling by the force, and Breez quickly dashed out and smashed a boomerang into Rotor’s face. XPlode was about to fire when Furno suddenly dropped out of an air duct and punched him, and the criminal growled and drew his sword. The blades of Furno’s Fire Shooter lit up as the hero readied himself, and XPlode lunged and a shower of sparks went up as the two clashed blades.“You’re just rookies,” XPlode said as he pushed forward. “You don’t have a chance against us!”“You’d be surprised what rookies are capable of,” Furno said, standing his ground.XPlode kicked at Furno’s feet, but Furno jumped up and kicked hi foe, and then he ran in and swung his shooter but XPlode rolled away. Furno sidestepped a sword swipe and swung, but XPlode maneuvered around the attack and punched him. XPlode swung his sword viciously, Furno barely blocking, and the villain increased pressure and grinned.Meanwhile Rotor was swiping his arms through empty air in an attempt to strike Breez and Surge, but the heroes were too quick as they peppered him with shots. Annoyed, Rotor charged at Breez and kicked, but Breez ducked and dealt a blow to disrupt his balance. Surge used his Lightning Shooter to make Rotor fall down, and as Breez came towards him he said, “We need to Hero Cuff this guy fast—Furno could use some help.”“You distract him,” Breez said, readying the cuffs.“Why am I always the distraction?” Surge whined.He ran in, weapons firing, and Rotor brushed off the attacks and fired his Meteor Blaster. Surge dodged, but Rotor grabbed him and slammed him into the wall, and as Breez ran over, Rotor smiled. Breez was just about to lock the cuffs around Rotor’s wrist when the blade on his back spun and knocked her to the side, and then Rotor threw Surge into her and laughed.“Nice try, but it’s not good enough!” Rotor said.Breez threw a boomerang, missing, but when it came back it hit Rotor and distracted him long enough for Surge to begin rapidly firing lightning blasts. Rotor fired his Meteor Blaster blindly and then charged forward, forcing Surge to move, and Breez snagged Rotor’s ankles with Hero Cuffs and made him trip. Rotor’s arms fell in front of him, where they were quickly restrained by Surge, and Rotor growled as his energy drained away.Breez looked over to Furno, who was forcing XPlode back, and Furno shouted, “Get Rotor to the prison area! I can handle this!”Surge looked to Breez, who nodded to him, and then they dragged Rotor down the hall without looking back. “Fool—you really think you can defeat me alone?” XPlode asked.The next swing of his sword knocked Furno’s weapon away from him, and then he stepped forward and one of his spikes scratched Furno’s armor. Furno stumbled and clutched his wound, and XPlode said, “My spikes are coated in poisonous nanites—they’ll work their way through your systems and gradually shut them down!”“Uh…wasn’t counting on that,” Furno said, his arm starting to shake slightly.“It’s been far too long since I last ground a Hero Core into scrap,” XPlode said, raising his sword. “I can’t wait to do it again.”Burner ran down the hall of the Hero Factory, panting, “I can’t believe they stuck me at the side entrance! I’m the Fire Slizer—I’ll be much more useful on the front lines!”A hissing noise filled the hall and Burner slowed to a halt, and he noticed a portion of the wall ahead rotting away. The Slizer readied his crossbow as a large opening was burned into the wall, and a figure with black and blue armor and two bladed cannons stepped through it. The intruder looked Burner in the eyes, a trace of blue running down the orange tubes connected to his weapons, and Burner demanded, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”“My name is Vapor,” the intruder said, turning and raising his weapons. “I’m here to do what I do best…kill.”Review
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#19 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Mar 06 2012 - 10:02 AM

Chapter 18Zib looked up as Bulk entered the room, helping a badly injured Burner limp along, and Zib asked, “What happened?”“Vapor,” Burner wheezed. “He came out of nowhere.”Bulk helped Burner sit down and said, “Found him in one of the halls. Thought you could help him.”Several medical robots came over to Burner, and Zib said, “Vapor’s a different breed of criminal—a trained assassin, with weapons that shoot blasts of corrosive mist. Bulk, head to the refitting room; our normal heroes aren’t equipped to handle Vapor, so it’ll be up to you. Tell them to run Refit 7179.”“What’ll that do?” Burner asked.“It was designed specifically for taking on Vapor,” Zib said. “Specially made armor, dual weapon arms, a jetpack, and a breathing tube for protection.”“Breathing tube?” Burner repeated. “But…you’re robots…”“…So?” Bulk said.“Well…I didn’t think robots needed to breathe,” Burner said.An awkward silence followed, and then Zib said, “Just hurry, Bulk. I’ll try to track down Vapor.”Spark advanced cautiously, keeping an eye out for any enemies, but then Flare flew overhead, cackling madly. Spark rolled his eyes and grumbled, and suddenly an energy harpoon struck Flare in the wing and made him fall to the floor. Acting quickly, Spark strode forward and fired, narrowly missing Scuba, and the Sub Slizer threw a disk but Spark shot it down.Flare got back up and said, “Hey, watch who you’re messing with!”He was about to attack when he saw Turbo racing towards him, and he raised one foot while keeping the other firm as the City Slizer made contact. Turbo pushed Flare down the hall, eventually coming to a halt, and Flare grinned and blasted his opponent before being blasted from behind. Ski ran at Flare, hurling another energy blast from his ski pole, but Flare flew out of the way and threw fireballs from his wings. With a twisting leap, Ski avoided the fireballs, and before he landed, Turbo grabbed his arm, spun around, and launched him at Flare. Flare grunted as he was smashing into the ceiling and then shot Ski into the floor, and he swooped towards Turbo who quickly sped out of the way. Turbo swerved to avoid a shot from Spark and almost entered Scuba’s line of fire, skidding to a halt and then going in reverse to avoid Flare’s disk.“What a pain,” Ski said, sliding forward and shooting at Spark.Spark dodged the shots and blocked a kick from Scuba, and then he punched Scuba back and used his gun to drain the Slizer’s energy. Scuba threw two disks, both bouncing off Spark’s energy shield and flying towards Flare, and Flare twisted around them as Turbo gave Ski another boost to smack their winged foe.“Not so tough indoors, are you?” Turbo taunted.Flare growled and began shooting fireballs everywhere, much to Spark’s annoyance, and then he grabbed Turbo with his ‘tail’ and flew down the hallway. He blew a hole in the wall and flew outside the Factory, carrying Turbo high into the air, and then he paused near the top and grinned.“Good-bye!” Flare said, and then he hurled Turbo towards the ground and flew back inside. Ski was there to meet Flare but was hit with a disk, and Flare laughed and kicked Ski while he was off.“Want to join your friend?” Flare asked, reaching out.Ski batted Flare aside and smashed a disk into his chest, and then he threw his foe and took a few steps towards him. Suddenly Turbo came flying through the window, ramming into Flare, and Ski looked out the hole in the wall to see Jet floating there.“Nice save,” Ski said. “Care to join us?”An aura of energy built up around Jet as he said, “Indeed, but just to be safe…I think I’ll bring a little Solar Aura with me.”Jet rushed in, punching Flare as he passed him, and threw a disk at Spark, and the aura around the disk cut an opening in the shield that Jet shot an energy beam through. Spark stumbled and Scuba knocked him over, and Jet turned and grappled with Flare. Turbo hit Flare with a disk and Jet threw him down, and Ski stomped on Flare’s face and readied a disk.“I’d stay down if I were you,” Turbo said, casually running over Flare’s wing.Jet used a disk to block one of Spark’s shots, and Scuba leapt on Spark’s back and held him steady as Jet threw his disk. Spark began to feel sluggish, and Jet said, “My disks have been known to cause unconsciousness.”“Blasted…Judge Slizer…” Spark growled.“Not anymore,” Jet said, his Solar Aura fading away. “But I suppose I haven’t quite lost my touch.”Kopaka raised his shield to block Corroder’s claw and then rolled to avoid his spit, but when he came up Corroder rammed the Toa with his horn and hurled him away. Corroder advanced on the fallen Toa, but Pohatu ran in and kicked him away, and Kopaka got back up and threw ice shards. With little effort, Corroder smashed the projectiles, and Pohatu ran in but Corroder dodged and clawed at him. Pohatu dodged the next swipe and backed away from Corroder’s spit, and Kopaka shot an ice beam that froze one of Corroder’s feet. Pohatu jumped up and stomped on Corroder’s back, and while the Toa of Stone focused on keeping the robot down, the Toa of Ice glanced across the room.There he saw Onua claw at Thunder only to be smashed into the ground, and Tahu shot a fire blast but Thunder endured and fired his Meteor Blaster. Tahu fell back but soon rolled up, and Thunder charged but Onua knocked his legs out from under him and made him trip, so Tahu surrounded his fist in flames and punched Thunder as hard as he could. The attack had little effect, and Thunder soon kicked Onua away and leapt up, rushing at Tahu and using a headbutt. Acting quickly, Tahu braced himself and activated his Strength powers, allowing him to grab Thunder and reduce the force of his impact, and then he flipped Thunder over his head and slammed him onto the floor so hard it destroyed the walkway they were fighting on. The two of them fell a long way, Tahu using his Levitation powers to provide a lighter landing, and Onua jumped after them and kicked Thunder in the face just as the brute was getting up.In another corner of the room, Gali rolled under Meltdown’s tentacle as Lewa dealt the cyclops a blow with his axe, careful to avoid the sludge that spilled from Meltdown’s vats. Meltdown fired his Sludge Shooter at Lewa, who put up a shield to protect himself, and as the toxic waste splattered all over, Gali leapt onto Meltdown’s back and filled his vats with water, intending to dilute the substance. Frustrated, Meltdown grabbed Gali and prepared to throw her, but Lewa vaulted through the air, sliced Meltdown’s tentacle, and grabbed Gali as she fell. The Toa landed on a portion of floor clear of sludge, and Meltdown tried to fire another shot but the substance had now become watery and gushed froth from the blaster to the floor. Meltdown scowled and hit tentacle was suddenly encased in ice, and Kopaka and Pohatu walked up behind their brother and sister, waiting for their foe to make a move.“I thought you were fighting Corroder?” Gali asked.“He decided to take a break and…chill out,” Pohatu said, smiling.Gali glanced back to see Corroder encased in ice, and she rolled her eyes and said, “I see…well, perhaps one of you should help Tahu and Onua.”“I’m on it,” Pohatu said, racing off.When he stopped, he took a step back to dodge a fire bolt, and Tahu said, “Be careful, Pohatu!”Pohatu turned and grappled with Thunder, saying, “You’re the one who should be careful, brother—at this rate you’ll run out of Elemental Energy in no time.”Pohatu kicked at Thunder’s feet and threw him, and Onua caught the villain and smashed him into the wall. “Rrrrr…” Thunder growled, grabbing Onua. “You’ll need to hit a lot harder to knock me out!”“Hitting hard is my specialty,” Pohatu said, cracking his knuckles. Thunder tossed Onua aside and flexed his claw, and then he and Pohatu both pulled back their fists and charged.Review
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#20 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Mar 08 2012 - 09:13 AM

Chapter 19 The door to the chamber came flying off its hinges and crashed against the ground, Stormer going with it, and Von Nebula smiled and took a step forward. “You disappoint me, Preston,” Von Nebula said.His staff glowed and the gravity holding Stormer lightened, causing him to lift off the ground, and Von threw a punch but Stormer deployed his taser and paralyzed the villain. Stormer shot a plasma bolt and dropped to the floor, and he said, “The same trick doesn’t work on me twice, Von, especially not with my arm.”“I’ll sever your precious arm!” Von shouted, swinging his staff.Stormer sidestepped and stuck Von with his ice blade, and as he dodged a claw swipe a voice came from his communicator: “Stormer, do you read me?”“Who is this?” Stormer asked, attacking Von with his rotary blade.“It’s Power—we accessed your headset from your Core,” the voice said. “We have a problem: Furno’s systems are under attack, and the link leading out of your Core is still sealed.”“Makuro must have forgotten to undo the extra lock,” Stormer grunted as he was kicked down. He rolled to avoid Von’s heel, shot his harpoon, and launched onto Von’s face, saying, “Voice authorization: Preston Stormer, Alpha 7164!”Von grabbed Stormer and hurled him through a black hole, warping his foe behind him, and the he caught Stormer on his elbow and knocked him aside. “Thanks Stormer,” Power said. “We’ll help Furno and let him know you need help.”“That won’t be necessary,” Stormer said, a new ice blade forming.“Still too proud to accept help?” Von asked, reaching out to the environment.Claws grew from the floor and walls, but Stormer cut through them and shot his blade at Von. The ice shattered and temporarily blinded Von, and Stormer tossed a group of caltrops over the floor and watched Von stumbled right into them. Stormer fired a net at Von and then stabbed him with his taser, saying, “Pride has nothing to do with it.”Von Nebula screamed, and the floor beneath Stormer rose and smashed him into the ceiling. A hand of energy shot from Von’s staff and grabbed Stormer, and Von hit him against the walls a few times before dissipating the hand and increasing gravity on Stormer.“I refuse to ever lose to you again!” Von declared, battering Stormer with energy blasts. Sparks of energy danced around his eyes as he continued, “You think you’re better than me…EVERYONE thinks that YOU’RE better than ME! I’m going to prove them wrong! I’m going to crush you and achieve godhood, and THEN we’ll know which one of us is TRULY superior!”“Want to know a secret, Von?” Stormer asked. “You talk too much.”A compartment opened on Stormer’s arm and a small, spherical object fell out, and in the split-second before it hit the ground and detonated, Von opened a black hole behind himself.The hero collapsed on the ground as his armor melted away, and Vapor took the opportunity to kick him away before walking further down the mist-filled hallway. Vapor cautiously rounded a corner and thought, These ‘heroes’ always drop so easily…Von Nebula had better reward me for canceling my hunt to come here.He came out onto a walkway and looked down, seeing Stringer scanning the room. Silently, Vapor lifted his long-range blaster and aimed at Stringer, and just as he was about to fire he heard something. Vapor ducked, avoiding a metal sphere, and then Bulk flew up, tackled him, and knocked him off the walkway.“Stringer! Run!” Bulk shouted as he landed. “Find Stormer!”Stringer nodded and fled the room, and Vapor muttered, “Two weapons, hm? The jetpack is a bit much. I suppose that’s specialized armor? The red runt must have pulled through and alerted someone to my presence.”“Give up!” Bulk said, raising both weapons.“A lesser bot may be intimidated by this upgrade,” Vapor said. “But I am always calm. I can also make a safe guess by saying that your intelligence is below mine. I need only outwit you, and then the game is mine.”“I warned you!” Bulk said, and then he opened fire.Vapor wove through metal spheres and sound blasts, and once close enough he swung one of his blasters, and Bulk blocked but was surprised by a blast of mist. Thanks to his armor, Bulk didn’t take any damage, but it still allowed Vapor to dash away and find a place to hide before Bulk regained his bearings. Bulk raised his arms and looked around, trying to remain quiet.A mist blast hit him, so he spun around and fired, destroying a crate but not finding Vapor behind it. Another blast hit, and Bulk spun and destroyed some other piece of equipment, but Vapor still eluded him. Bulk thought for a moment and adjusted a knob on his sound cannon, and then he braced himself, pointed the weapon at the ceiling, and pulled the trigger. A high-pitched whine echoed through the chamber, and Bulk looked around and saw a mist bullet roll out from behind a control panel. Bulk launched a sphere, blowing apart the panel and revealing Vapor at last, and he fired a continuous stream of spheres until Vapor found an opening and shot Bulk.“Impressive,” Vapor admitted, picking up his bullet. “You caught me off-guard. Don’t expect it to happen again.”Bulk flew forward, but Vapor leapt out of the way, trailing mist behind him, and Bulk pulled up just in time to avoid the wall but crashed into the catwalk instead. As the hero fell, Vapor moved in and thrust out his smaller blaster, forcing Bulk into the wall, and he released more mist before twisting around Bulk’s weapon. Bulk kicked, but Vapor dodged and landed a blow with his longer blaster, and Bulk moved in for a body slam but Vapor tripped him.He’s most comfortable with close-range combat, Vapor thought. I should put some distance between us, just to be safe.Vapor let go of one of his blasters, twirled it around by its tube, and then used it as a grappling hook to pull himself up to the catwalk. By the time Bulk flew up to this level, Vapor had already reattached his blaster and took a shot, so Bulk used evasive measures while firing both weapons. Vapor ran down the catwalk in long strides, constantly firing and dodging, but after a while he stopped shot, confusing Bulk, and landed a shot.That armor is quite effective, Vapor analyzed. It greatly reduces the impact and is almost completely resistant to my mist. Now this is interesting prey…An idea then struck Vapor, and he said to himself, Why didn’t I think of it sooner? There must be less armor around the joints, and the armor that is there is likely thinner.Bulk came flying back up and Vapor fired at his leg joints, and Bulk clipped Vapor with a sound blast but felt his legs swivel a bit. Not realizing what was happening, Bulk shrugged it off and landed on the catwalk, and Vapor smiled and readied his weapons.Millennia threw two disks and launched a volley of energy blasts, and then he shifted extra mass into his fist and punched. Blaster dodged or blocked each strike and shot Millennia in the head, and the tyrant walked off and gave a disappointed sigh. Enraged, Millennia turned to his motorcycle form and charged right at Blaster, but Blaster knocked him back with one kick and knelt down.“Weak,” Blaster spat. “Unbelievably weak. You’ve grown soft since I died, Millennia. Where did all that power go?”Millennia would’ve taken the opportunity to attack, but he was beginning to think that Blaster was right. Once he had become accustomed to his powers, Millennia had always been able to match Blaster blow for blow in their sparring matches—it was the main reason why, in the final battle of the Millennium War, Blaster had absorbed as much Millennium Energy and Solar Aura as he possibly could. But now, Blaster was mopping the floor with him…and Blaster, up until recently, had been dead.…Where did my power go? Millennia wondered.Blaster smiled and said, “Ah, so you’ve noticed it too. I imagine what you’re feeling now is similar to what I felt at the end of the war…the feeling of losing everything you once took pride in. That is revenge enough…I pity you, my brother, so I will offer you something.”“Offer me what?” Millennia said, turning back to his normal form.Blaster stood up, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “An opportunity. A chance to regain what you lost. The ability to earn my forgiveness. Millennia, my dear brother…join me once again. I can retrain you, give you back your strength, restore your pride as a warrior. Become my servant, and become yourself again.”Rage and disgust swelled up within Millennia…because, for a moment, he considered accepting this proposal. Feeling a bit dizzy, he put a hand to his head and thought—how could he seriously consider joining Blaster again? Blaster was nothing but a tyrant, seeing his ‘allies’ as tools, and mercilessly killing and enslaving everyone else. Millennia left because his conscience had told him to, and he didn’t feel he was done redeeming himself yet. However…Millennia had always taken great pride in his strength. Early in life, he was nothing more than a low-class warrior, never expected to achieve anything, but then he discovered fantastic power that instantly catapulted him to Blaster’s right side. Millennia had never realized it before, but his pride had been something that had come to define him, and now that he had lost the source of that pride, he was likely desperate to get it back.“…No,” Millennia said. “No, I can’t…even if…but…”“Poor Millennia,” Blaster sighed. “Caught in a rift of cognitive dissonance, are we? Why don’t you just think it over for a while, and let me know when you’ve decided.”Blaster turned and walked away, and Millennia shook his head, narrowed his eyes, and drew a disk.Review
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#21 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Mar 13 2012 - 09:19 AM

Chapter 20The RoboRiders flew out of the link and into Furno’s Hero Core, and instantly they split up and began searching for intruders. “I’ll make sure they don’t reach the central matrix,” Power said. “The rest of you, comb the entire area. This place needs to be 100% clean!”As he raced towards the matrix, Power connected into Furno’s headset and said, “Furno? This is Power. We detected intruders in your system and came to eliminate them.”“Thanks,” Furno said, his voice sounding strange. “These nanites are starting to do some serious damage…”“Hang in there,” Power said.The central matrix was coming into view now—chrome-colored duplicates of XPlode could be seen hacking away at its wall, but it seemed to be holding up fairly well. Power raised his plasma cannons and fired a volley of carefully aimed blasts, hitting the nanites but not the matrix, and as they turned to retaliate, his wheel began to glow.The nanites prepared to launch their spikes, but Power released the Light energy in his wheel and used it to make himself invisible, causing the nanites to stand down. Power held out his arm as he went past, knocking over one of the nanites, and then he rounded the matrix and punched another while firing his plasma cannon at the same time. One of the nanites shrieked and swung its sword wildly, but Power kept his distance and fired a wheel lined in spikes made of solid light to vanquish it.Releasing the wheel deactivated his invisibility, but as there was only one nanite left, Power wasn’t worried as he aimed his plasma cannons. The nanite raised its sword…and then it smiled and said, “Identity confirmed. RoboRider: ‘Power’.”Its arm then turned into a tentacle and lashed out at Power, knocking him to the ground, and then bolts of electricity leapt from the nanite’s sword and struck the Rider. Power struggled to free himself, but he accomplished nothing, and once his strength was all but gone, the nanite ceased its attack.“Enemy incapacitated,” the nanite said. “Awaiting arrival of remaining RoboRiders.”The nanite sat down next to the matrix, and Power said, “You’re a piece of The Virus, aren’t you? How’d you get in here?”“Ally: ‘Von Nebula’ transported me into one of the nanites belonging to ally: ‘XPlode’,” the nanite replied. “Function of nanite: avatar. It was expected that the RoboRiders would be in the Hero Core Network. Opportunity: lure in RoboRiders and delete them, before erasing network location: ‘Furno Core’.”“So this was all a trap?” Power said.He tried contacting the others, but the nanite told him, “Your communication channel has been severed. The other RoboRiders will detect your location and come here, but you will be deleted before they come too close. I have no desire to engage enemy: ‘Boss’ in this form.”“…Boss?” Power repeated. “Who are you talking about?”The nanite was silent for a time, but then it said, “Hypothesis: memories of enemy: ‘Boss’ deleted from RoboRiders’ programming. Chances of success increasing.”Power sighed and tried to move his arm, but nothing happened and he found that he had no idea how to escape this situation. Then, to his surprise, a voice in his head spoke up, Power? I have an idea.…Who are you? Power replied.I’m the villager who became your front wheel, the voice replied. A Ninja, to be more precise. Can you still deploy your launcher?Power focused with all his might, and slowly but surely his wheel launcher slid out and opened. The nanite took notice and moved to the side, saying, “Any attack would be pointless.”The Fuel villager who became your back wheel is going to give you a little more energy, just enough for one plasma blast, the Ninja said. I’ll jump out and surprise the nanite, and then you take the shot.“…Alright,” Power said.The nanite, taking this as an admission of defeat, turned away, but in a flash of data, Power’s front wheel transformed into a small humanoid robot with gray armor and a sword. The Ninja leapt out and slashed at the nanite, and Power felt a surge of energy and raised his arm. The nanite grabbed the Ninja and threw him aside, and it advanced to attack again…but a bolt of plasma struck it, deleting the nanite entirely.As the last bits of the nanite’s data evaporated, Power said, “Thank you…both of you. I couldn’t have done it without you.”“You don’t have to thank us,” the Ninja said. “We become your wheels and give you strength, and you give us protection against the threats we can’t handle alone. RoboRider and villager are symbiotic, just like it was always intended.”Suddenly there was another flash, and Power looked to see another mysterious code materialize, this one reading VWLMBEIH. The Ninja took it in his hands and said, “That makes five…how many of these codes do you suppose there are?”“I don’t pretend to know a single thing about these codes,” Power said. “But for some reason, seeing them makes me feel a whole lot better.”He thought a moment, and then he continued, “I’m sorry for what happened to our world. I failed in my duty…”“There was nothing you could have done,” the Ninja said. “You cannot ‘fail’ by not doing something that is impossible. You can only fail by not doing what is within your power…your duty now is to avenge our fallen world, delete The Virus, and do all you can to prevent any more worlds from being destroyed.”“…You’re incredibly wise for a villager,” Power noted.The Ninja have him a look and said, “I will take that as a compliment.”Bulk dodged a mist bullet and attempted to retaliate, but Vapor fired another bullet at his leg joint. The corrosive mist had now completely severed one of Bulk’s legs and rendered his sound cannon useless, and Bulk was beginning to wonder what his chances were in this battle.“This is your last chance,” Bulk said, trying to sound like he had an ace up his sleeve.“You really aren’t that intelligent,” Vapor said. “If you did have some sort of secret weapon, you almost definitely would have used it before losing one limb and losing the function of another. In addition, while I don’t know the standard ammunition capacity of Hero Factory weapons, you are exceptionally trigger-happy, and must be running low on bullets.”Bulk activated his jetpack and charged right at Vapor, but Vapor sidestepped, snagged Bulk’s breathing tube with his weapons, and hurled the hero off the catwalk. Narrowly avoiding more mist bullets, Bulk managed to balance himself and flew back up, but Vapor leapt out and latched onto Bulk. Vapor stabbed Bulk with both blasters and fired, but as Bulk began to falter, Vapor pulled himself up and brought his foot down on Bulk’s head. Bulk crashed into the floor, his sound cannon now becoming partially detached and his helmet rolling off, and Vapor landed expertly and towered above the hero.As Vapor loaded his blaster, Bulk looked around the room for something that could save him, but aside from piles of scrap and lingering mist, the only things left were a handful of barrels behind Vapor. At that moment, something incredibly rare happened: Bulk had an idea. The barrels he spotted were filled with raw components used in making ammunition, and Zib had constantly reminded Bulk that he should never, ever shoot one of them with his sphere gun.Vapor aimed at Bulk and said, “It’s a bit cliché, but…any last words?”Pointing his gun at the barrels, Bulk said, “Desperate times…call for desperate measures.”He pulled the trigger and a sphere rocketed towards the barrels, and once contact was made, the barrels and sphere all exploded with enough force to blow out the wall. As the flames rushed past Vapor and closer to him, Bulk thought that, if he had to go down, at least he had the chance to take a villain with him.Stormer looked around cautiously, seeing no trace of anyone else in the room. A sound caught his attention, and he spun around and aimed his weapon, but he was only greeted by the same sight: nothing. He turned back around, but then Von’s staff came out of nowhere and knocked him down before vanishing as quickly as it had appeared. Von Nebula’s laugh echoed through the chamber, and then another miniature black hole appeared behind Stormer just long enough for Von to strike once more.“Why don’t you come out and face me yourself, coward?” Stormer called.“In time, Preston, in time,” Von’s voice replied. Another attack came, but this one Stormer avoided, and he swung at the staff but didn’t connect in time.“Figures,” Stormer said. “After all, you don’t stand a chance in a fair fight.”“Trying a bit of reverse psychology?” Von said. “I don’t care much about fair fights. All that matters to me is winning!”A black hole appeared and Von’s staff emerged, and Stormer grabbed the staff and tried to pull Von Nebula out. However, Von was stronger than he expected, and Stormer soon found himself tumbling around inside a black hole. Von swiped, but Stormer ducked and fired his harpoon, and after closing the gap between them he punched Von and endured a powerful counterattack. Stormer slashed with his ice blade but Von blocked and shot energy beams from his eyes, and Stormer held on to his harpoon line and fired a few plasma bolts. The bolts swerved around Von and Stormer was then smashed into the ‘wall’ of gravitational force, and then Von shot Stormer’s Core at close range and grabbed the harpoon line. A gateway opened and Von hurled Stormer through it, and then he stepped through as well and hit his staff against the floor. Bindings rose and restrained Stormer, who now realized what chamber they were in, and as Von Nebula turned towards the harvesting antenna, Stormer silently cursed.“This is the machine that keeps hearts in this realm to be bound to Hero Cores, yes?” Von said. “If I remember correctly, it is powered by a Cosmic Brick.”“Von, stop this!” Stormer shouted. “You were programmed to be a hero!”Von shot Stormer and said, “Silence. It’s too late to stop me.”Altering gravity, Von Nebula rose through the air and floated up to the top of the antenna, and then he came to a halt and, at first, did nothing. Von tapped his fingers against the orb of his staff, sighed, and floated back down, walking over to Stormer. “You moved it,” he said calmly.He then slammed his staff down on Stormer and screamed, “WHERE IS THE COSMIC BRICK?!”Stormer glared directly into Von Nebula’s eyes, and he said, “We…destroyed it…”“What sort of fool do you take me for?” Von shouted, using his eyebeams again. “I know more about these Bricks than any of you—they cannot be destroyed, at least not by anyone in this world! Where are you hiding my last Cosmic Brick?!”Stormer smirked and said, “Sorry, Von…I have no idea.”Rage contorted Von Nebula’s features, and as it grew and overwhelmed him, he reared back, faced the heavens, and screamed.Review
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#22 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 09:07 AM

Chapter 21Makuro slowly crossed the lobby, watching as workers went about moving aside debris and destroyed heroes. Once Von Nebula discovered that the Cosmic Brick was no longer in the Factory, he had informed Makuta and Blaster, and then they gathered up their minions and left. Some warriors had managed to capture a few villains in the battle, but they too had been rescued, and nobody knew exactly what had happened to Vapor.Stepping onto a lift, Makuro just shook his head at the destruction that had been caused, and he could not help but feel responsible for it. The lift deposited him in a hallway, and he thought, If I had never created Von, then maybe none of this would have ever happened.He stepped into a lab, and Zib noticed him and said, “Greetings, sir. We should be done cleaning up in a few days, and we can start repairs then.”“How many heroes were lost?” Makuro asked.“Fifteen,” Zib said. “Possibly one more, if Bulk doesn’t pull through…”Makuro looked across the room, seeing Bulk in an intensive repair chamber. The explosion had knocked off all of his limbs, melted his armor plating, and made a hairline crack in his Hero Core just big enough for Quaza energy to slowly leak out. If they had captured Vapor then the situation wouldn’t be quite as bad, but it seemed that Bulk’s sacrifice had been in vain.“All of our repair workers are on the case,” Zib said. “They’re all doing everything within their power to get Bulk back in working order.”Jet and Rida emerged from another doorway, the latter mumbling, “Yeesh, I haven’t seen anyone that banged up since the meteor impact.”“Burner certainly has been through a lot,” Jet said. “But you’ve gotten much better at healing with Solar Aura—he should be fine.”“I’m terribly sorry about what happened to Burner,” Makuro said. “We pulled you into our conflict, and one of your friends was nearly killed.”“Burner’s a four-time Slizer,” Rida said. “He knew what he was getting into, and he’s able to go into risky situations with confidence and accept whatever fate befalls him. Besides, I hear this isn’t the first time he’s been beaten within an inch of his life.”Stormer walked into the lab next, Tahu following behind him, and Zib said, “Stormer, what are you doing up? I told you rest while the RoboRiders fix your systems.”“I feel fine,” Stormer said. “Power got back on his wheels sooner than expected, so he helped the others finish repairs more quickly.”“We’ve wasted enough time already,” Tahu said. “We need to decide what to do next. Our enemies won’t stop until they have the last Brick.”“Someone’s a workaholic,” Rida teased.“…In his defense, our enemies ARE trying to take over the universe,” Stormer said.Rida waved her hand and said, “Yeah, yeah…no reason to lose your sense of humor.”“Perhaps we should consider our options,” Jet suggested. “You said the last Brick has a cloaking shell, and that you hid it in…forgive me if I mispronounce it—‘Po-Koro’?”“That’s right,” Tahu said. “Matoran fighters from all over the island are guarding it, but others were sent to the other villages so that Makuta doesn’t get suspicious.”“I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time either way,” Makuro said. “With three Cosmic Bricks, Makuta will likely be able to locate the final one. It will take him time to focus, however, plus his allies must recover as well.”“We need to get everyone to Po-Koro right away,” Stormer said. “Tahu, get your team; Jet, Rida, get all the warriors you can spare; Mr. Makuro, gather all battle-ready heroes.”Stormer turned to leave, but Rida said, “Whoa, hold on! I know you’ve got a lot of experience, that you’re high on the chain of command here, but you can’t just start barking out orders at us like that. We’ve all got to come to a decision together—it’s called teamwork.”After a pause, Stormer quietly asked, “Well what would you all recommend?”“It’s not the idea itself that seemed disagreeable,” Jet said. “Rida and I were already planning on going to Mata-Nui with our best warriors. Burner will not be able to participate, however.”“The other Toa are already on Mata-Nui,” Tahu said. “I’ll be joining them shortly…unless we have another plan.”Makuro thought a moment, and then he said, “We should include the RoboRiders in this.”“I’ve already got communications ready,” Zib said, walking over to a computer.With the press of a button, an image of Power appeared on the screen, and Rida said, “Hey Power, glad to hear about your recovery.”“Thank you,” Power said. “How’s everyone on your end doing?”“Eh…so-so,” Rida said.“I see…” Power said. “Well, how are we going to proceed?”“We are discussing that right now,” Makuro said. “The primary option being considered is going to defend the last Brick. We could always move it, however…”“There’s also the option of invading enemy territory,” Rida said. “We do know where they are, after all.”“They’re underground, and fighting underground gives Von the advantage,” Stormer said. “With his ability to control the environment, he could have the tunnels collapse on us.”“I don’t see the point in moving the Brick when they’ll track it down anyway,” Tahu said. “We need to stand and fight.”“We’ll do whatever we can to back you up on our end,” Power said. “We can’t directly interact with your world, but we can give the Hero Factory heroes a boost.”“…From one deadly battle right into another,” Makuro sighed. “But I suppose we have no choice. I’ll issue the order…we shall make our final stand on Mata-Nui.”Everyone silently agreed and went their separate ways, and as Stormer walked down the hall he paused and turned his head. “Something wrong?” Tahu asked.“…Thought I heard something,” Stormer said. “Must have been my imagination.”Stormer continued walking, thinking, That voice…I don’t know who it belonged to, but it sounded familiar somehow…Tahu walked in the other direction and rounded a corner, spotting Millennia standing in front of a window, and after a moment he decided to approach the Slizer. Millennia looked over his shoulder and said, “Oh, Tahu. Has a decision been made?”“We’re off to Mata-Nui,” Tahu replied. “One final battle over control of the Cosmic Bricks.”“I see,” Millennia said. “Good luck.”“…You’re not coming with us?” Tahu asked. “You’re one of our most powerful allies. We need your help.”“My help?” Millennia said. “I won’t be any help. I’m not as strong as I used to be…I can’t even lay a finger on Blaster. My presence would not change anything.”“…So you didn’t do so well in one fight,” Tahu said. “I don’t see why you’re so upset.”“It was a fight I should’ve been able to win,” Millennia said. “At the very least, I should have been able to do better than I did. I haven’t fought in so long, never realizing that my power was slowly leaking away…”“You’ll get over it,” Tahu said.“You really don’t understand, do you?” Millennia said.“All I see is you giving up at the slightest discouragement,” Tahu said. “It’s a heck of a way to redeem yourself. You should try some bravery and determination.”“…You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Millennia said.“Hmph…fine, just sit here and sulk,” Tahu said. “Live with the regret of not even trying to save the universe.”Tahu stormed off, and from around the corner, Jet thought, His pride has been injured…and unless that wound heals, our chances of winning look much more bleak.The sound of a tunnel collapsing could be heard in Mangaia, and Blaster put a hand to his head and sighed. Another thunderous sound echoed through the chamber, this time causing a tube containing a Rahkshi to fall towards Blaster, and the warlord caught the tube and growled.“He’s been doing this ever since the battle,” Blaster said. “Any second now he’ll bring the whole island down on top of us!”“Von Nebula is quite frustrated, and understandably so,” Makuta said. The three Cosmic Bricks floated around him as he sat in his chair, eyes closed, and Blaster set down the Rahkshi and approached.“You’re content to let him unleash these frustrations on your tunnels?” Blaster asked. “You’re not worried at all?”“Not in the slightest,” Makuta replied. “I’ve spent centuries waiting to execute a plan that requires extremely precise timing. I have learned that being patient and calm is always the best approach to take.”“…Perhaps you’re right,” Blaster mumbled.Makuta opened his eyes and stood up, and Blaster asked, “What is it?”“Gather our minions and inform Von Nebula,” Makuta said. “I have located the fourth Brick.”Review
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#23 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Mar 20 2012 - 09:07 AM

Chapter 22Tahu walked through the Po-Wahi desert, pacing back and forth, watching Po-Koro in the distance. Onua would normally suggest calming down, but he held his tongue—the weight of their situation was unprecedented, and he was also feeling on edge. Pohatu sighed, bouncing a rock against a nearby stone pillar, but when he moved to catch it he suddenly stopped. A shadow fell over the Toa, and they looked up to see an enormous black hole fill the sky.“Here we go,” Pohatu said.The three Toa raced back towards Po-Koro as several figures shot out of the black hole, but before they reached the village they were met with a barrage of disks. Flare flew overhead, cackling madly, and Spark walked towards the Toa with his gun ready.Tahu yelled, “Get out of our way! We won’t let you stop us!”“Go ahead and run!” Flare said. “It’ll be easier to kill you that way! Hahahaha!”“The others can handle Po-Koro until we get there,” Onua told Tahu. “Besides, we shouldn’t leave these two unchecked.”“Fine,” Tahu said, “but I warned you!”The Toa of Fire unleashed a flamethrower on Spark, but the General’s shield protected him as he threw a disk. Onua raised a wall of earth to block the disk and then willed it to shoot forward at Spark, and Flare dive-bombed the distracted Toa but Pohatu kicked a rock at him to throw him off. Flare spiraled out of control in Tahu’s direction, so Tahu dealt a powerful blow with his sword, but Spark used his energy gun to paralyze the Toa and let Flare repel them all with fireballs. Pohatu slid along the ground, flipped up, and kicked Spark, and then he dodged more energy bolts and used a stone pillar to knock Spark into the air.Flare wove through fire bolts and charged at Tahu, but Onua caught Flare by the tail and said, “You should be more observant of your surroundings!”Onua swung Flare around and threw him into a faraway cliff face, and then he used his Earth powers to create a fissure for Flare to fall into. Tahu filled the trench with fire and spun around, slicing one of Spark’s disks, and Pohatu lunged at Spark but the General rolled aside. Spark used his gun to steal some of Pohatu’s energy, strengthening his shield so he could block Tahu’s fire, and then he threw a trio of disks and watched the Toa dodge.“Flare, you worthless moron!” Spark shouted. “Don’t underestimate them!”Flare crawled out of the fissure and grumbled, “I hate these Toa and all their powers…”Tahu created a massive ‘blade’ or fire and swung it at Spark, who focused his shield to block it, and Pohatu took the opportunity to land a solid punch. Onua spun and used his Speed powers to charge at Flare, but Flare stunned him with a disk and flew into the sky, and then he flew over the field and rained fireballs on the Toa. The heroes were able to block and dodge the fireballs, but Spark stole their energy and made them falter, allowing Flare’s next wave of attacks to get through.”“Aerial foes are always so annoying,” Pohatu said, putting a hand to the ground.The stone beneath Pohatu shot into the air, heading straight towards Flare, and the General threw a disk but Pohatu used the slab of rock to block it. Pohatu used his Levitation powers to stay aloft and started creating stones in his palms, and he targeted Flare and started exchanging projectile attacks.On the ground, Tahu said, “Let’s leave Flare to Pohatu. He should be able to handle himself.”“How do you recommend approaching Spark?” Onua asked.“I’ll draw his attention, and you use your Elemental powers while he’s distracted,” Tahu said.The Toa of Fire dashed out, dodged an energy bolt, and used a flame blast, but Spark’s shield held up against the fire. Spark threw a disk, but as he was shifting his stance, a pillar of earth rose up beneath him and hit him in the jaw. Tahu destroyed the disk and ran in as Spark was reeling, and he threw a punch but Spark grabbed his fist, landed, and flipped Tahu. An earth wall rose to separate them, and Tahu recovered, scaled it, and summoned a small sea of fire. Spark kept his shield up and aimed his gun at Tahu, but two slabs of earth rose up to smash him, and by the time he recovered, Tahu was right on top of him with a flaming slash.Tahu took a deep breath, thinking, My elemental energy…I think it’s almost gone. I’ll have to focus on mask powers now.Spark kicked, but Tahu dodged, activated his Strength powers, and threw a powerful punch, sending the General smashing through an earth wall. Tahu used his Speed powers to close in, but Spark stuck out his foot and tripped Tahu before dodging another earth attack.Onua dodged a disk and said, “Perhaps we need a new plan…”Above, Pohatu threw another stone at Flare, but his attack missed and he was hit with a fireball. Pohatu was at a serious disadvantage in this fight, because while Flare was free to maneuver, Pohatu could only levitate in one place.Flare laughed, “Hahahahahaha! What made you think this was a good idea? I’m flying circles around you!”“Well of course you are, with those cowardly tactics,” Pohatu said. “You really are pathetic…Spark will be a better opponent.”Pohatu began to descend, and Flare said, “Hey! What’s the big idea?”“Well doesn’t he have a higher rank than you?” Pohatu replied. “Sounds like an interesting foe, someone more on my level. I’m sure you can find some Nui-Jaga to terrorize.”“Get back here!” Flare shouted, diving at Pohatu. “Nobody insults me and gets away with it!”Flare wrapped himself in flames and started spinning, and he crashed into Pohatu…but the Toa of Stone grabbed Flare by the wings and smiled. “I thought you’d take the bait,” Pohatu said.Flare struggled to escape, but Pohatu jammed his knee into Flare’s gut and dropped to the ground, slamming Flare flat on his back. With great effort, Flare growled, “Why…you…I will…defeat you!!”The General leapt up just as Spark threw a disk at Pohatu, but the Toa dodged and the disk hit Flare’s head at just the angle necessary to snap his neck. Flare fell to the ground, dead, and Pohatu just stood there and stared in horror. Eventually, Pohatu tore himself away, and he turned to Spark and rushed in.“So useless!” Spark said as he avoided attacks. “It’s only been a few days and he’s already gotten himself killed again!”Pohatu bashed Spark with his foot, saying, “You don’t even care that your comrade is dead? Not even in the slightest?”“Flare was always a nuisance, nothing more,” Spark said.Onua created earth bindings around Spark, and Tahu and Pohatu moved in and used their Strength powers to strike with immense power. With a cough, Spark continued, “But I know that I can’t beat you three on my own, and no one is coming to help me. You win…go ahead and take me prisoner.”Blaster ran through Po-Koro, watching Matoran run in fear, and plowed through a wall into a kolhii field. Kopaka, Lewa, and Gali stood on the field, and Blaster looked up to a balcony above and saw a very faint glow.With a grin, Blaster said, “So the final Brick is hidden back there? I could easily snatch it…but I’ll take a moment to kill you three first.”The three Toa said nothing, instead closing their eyes and taking a deep breath…and in a flash of light they disappeared and where replaced by Wairuha. Lifting his axe, the Toa Kaita said, “I am not about to let you claim the final Brick. Your reign ended a thousand years ago, Blaster…you shall not begin it anew.”Blaster laughed and said, “What an amusing trick! Let us see if you pose a greater threat now!”Wairuha raised his shield to block Blaster’s kick, and he retaliated with a wave of water but Blaster leapt out of the way and shot at his foe. The winds smashed Blaster into the ground and Wairuha sent a line of ice spikes at him, but Blaster rolled aside and threw disks. Wairuha levitated over the disks and prepared a wind attack, but Blaster jumped up and kicked him to the ground, following with a shot from his gun.Blaster stomped on Wairuha and said, “How peculiar…you still don’t seem capable of putting up a fight.”Wairuha used a burst of water to shoot Blaster into the air, froze him, and used a wind blast to launch him into a wall, and then the Kaita got to his feet and sighed. Blaster stepped forward and said, “Oh, so you’re going to keep trying? I suppose you do have the foolishness of three ‘heroes’.”A wave of disks came at Wairuha, who shot down each one with a focused air attack, and Blaster charged and punched but Wairuha ducked and smacked Blaster with his axe. Blaster spun and kicked Wairuha, who rolled along the ground, popped up, and sent out an icy wind, but Blaster ran and avoided the attack. Wairuha combined wind and water to make a thunderstorm, and Blaster dodged thunderbolts from the cloud but was frozen solid, and Wairuha used his axe to drive the warlord into the ground. Blaster jumped up and tackled Wairuha, using a close-range blast to throw the Kaita off, and then he used a powerful kick to knock his foe down. The warlord attacked but was blocked by a wall of wind, and Wairuha flipped up, threw ice spikes, and washed Blaster away with a flood.“You will not win this fight!” Wairuha declared.“Oh, I think I will,” Blaster said. “Especially if that’s the best you can do. Your attacks may be flashier than mine, but I have more battle experience.”Blaster drew two disks and said, “However…I think I’ll continue to toy with you a bit longer.”Review
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#24 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 08:48 AM

Chapter 23Von Nebula walked forward, a scowl on his face, and planted his glowing staff in the ground. Across from him stood Stormer, who had an equally intense expression, and a gust of wind blew across the silent battlefield. Von said, “I’m surprised to see you back on your feet already. After the beating I gave you, you should still be out of commission.”“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Stormer said. “You’re not getting that Brick, Von. I’ll dismantle you piece by piece before I let that happen.”“Hmph…your words are meaningless,” Von said. “I’m going to crush you and claim that Brick. The time for my revenge is at hand.”Tendrils shot out of the ground and swung at Stormer, who dashed out of the way and threw a volley of plasma blasts. Von batted aside the bolts and shot his own, but Stormer wove through the attacks, shot his grappling spear at Von’s shoulder, and pulled himself in to kick Von’s face. Stormer took a punch and used his rotary blade to slide off some of Von’s armor, but then Von smashed Stormer into the ground and willed the earth to carry him away. Von tried smashing Stormer between two tendrils, but Stormer severed the tendrils and launched an ice bolt at Von, freezing his arm.“Pathetic,” Von said as Stormer charged.The villain freed his arm by smacking it into Stormer, and he swung his staff but Stormer ducked and kicked him. Stormer punched and shot a plasma blast at the same time, knocking Von down, and he shot a series of throwing knives from his arm before Von retreated into a black hole. Quickly, Stormer scattered caltrops on the ground, so when Von reappeared he stumbled, allowing Stormer to knock him down.Von spun to his feet and swung his staff, but Stormer dodged, kicked the caltrops in Von’s back even deeper, and said, “What was that you were saying?”Von growled and created quicksand beneath Stormer, and Stormer managed to roll out but Von used an energy beam to blast him away. Stormer got to his feet and readied his shield, blocking Von’s staff as it appeared out of a small black hole, and he grabbed the staff and pulled Von out. Von blocked a punch and kicked, and Stormer blocked, waited for Von to land, and extended a drill from his arm to attack. Von dodged a few jabs and hit Stormer with an energy fist, and then he slammed his staff onto the ground and created a massive earthquake.The attack left the battlefield a fragmented wasteland, and Von called, “Come now, Stormer, I find it hard to believe you could not endure that!”All was silent for a time, but suddenly Stormer leapt up from a crack in the earth beneath Von, delivering a powerful uppercut to his enemy’s jaw. Stormer shot dozens of plasma bolts while Von was down and then moved in with his ice blade, but Von swung his staff just in time to block. The two robots pressed against each other with all their strength, but when neither could overpower the other, Stormer backed up just as Von entered a black hole. Energy bolts flew at Stormer from every direction, so he dove back into the earth and crawled through the fissure to avoid the attack. Von reappeared at the edge of the fissure and slammed both sides together, but Stormer used his drill to tunnel beneath Von and knock him off-guard. A whip extended from Stormer’s arm and wrapped around Von, and then it lit up and electrocuted the villain until he body slammed Stormer and broke free.“Nice try, Stormer,” Von said. “But it’ll take a lot more than that to…”Von trailed off, and Stormer said, “I take it you’ve noticed. That whip was specially designed to transmit programs through armor.”“You…did you send the RoboRiders into my systems?” Von asked.“Exactly,” Stormer said. “They’ll destroy The Virus and break down your systems.”“…Haha…ahahahahaha!” Von laughed. “How perfect! Now The Virus can properly take its revenge on the RoboRiders, and even better…now I’m empowered by Cosmic Brick resonance, and you are not!”Von used his eyebeams to send Stormer flying, and he grinned and said, “I shall enjoy creating a black hole in your head.”The RoboRiders materialized in a flash of light, and they silently looked up at what was looming over them. A towering pillar reached from the floor up as far as the eye could see, and all along that pillar was wrapped a thick, black, bark-like substance that radiated an evil glow. Something came up out of the ground—more of the same substance—and it morphed into what appeared to be a villager from the RoboRider world.“Welcome to network location: ‘Nebula Core’,” the ‘villager’ said. “I have been waiting to see you again, RoboRiders. I wish to delete you in this encounter.”“That’s what you said last time,” Power said.“True,” the villager said, “but this time I have the advantage. Resonance of Cosmic Brick energy does not merely occur when the energies are brought together—the beings who house the energies must share an affiliation. Ally: ‘Von Nebula’ and I can benefit from resonance, but you cannot in this environment.”“We won’t need it,” Power said.The RoboRiders immediately fused—Power, Onyx, and Frost became Solar Tundra again, and Swamp, Lava, and Dust became Glass Jungle: a long vehicle with three large wheels, spears at its front, and axes above its rear wheels.The villager faded away, and burning white eyes appeared on the pillar, and The Virus said, “We shall test your hypothesis.”The two fusions drove right at the pillar, but tendrils shot up from beneath them and hurled them away, and a wall of rock appeared to break their fall. Glass Jungle used a sandstorm and fire to encase the tendrils in glass, and Solar Tundra drove in unopposed until a Virus-created duplicate of Von Nebula appeared. Solar Tundra used one of its arms to block Von’s staff and created spikes of light one the other, but before he could attack the gravity suddenly increased and caused him to collapse. Von attacked, but vines sprung up to restrain him as Glass Jungle came to Solar Tundra’s aid. Two beams of energy shot out of the pillar and knocked the fusions down, and then dozens of tendrils ganged up on them as gravity continued to increase.“You are using an obsolete plan of attack,” The Virus said. “I can easily beat your three layer programs.”The RoboRiders split apart, slipping away from the tendrils in the process, and Frost, Onyx, Dust, and Swamp combined to make Frozen Bog, a vehicle with large, spiked rear wheels and the upper body of a villager sprouting atop it, holding a staff in its hands. Power used Light powers to cloak himself and Lava as they circled around the pillar, and Frozen Bog drew The Virus’s attention and fended off tendrils.“RoboRiders, do you read?” called Nuparu’s voice.“Nuparu? Aren’t you supposed to be hiding?” Frozen Bog asked as it charged.“Don’t worry, I’m safe,” Nuparu said. “I can’t abandon you guys. I want to help!”Frozen Bog used an axe of ice to sever tendrils and said, “Well…alright. But if someone tells you to move, then abandon the computer!”Lava and Power launched wheels at the pillar from behind, but a wall of data appeared to block their attacks and a Von duplicate came up and smashed them. Lava growled, “This worked before…”Frozen Bog caused an earthquake that sprouted vines with poisonous thorns, but the landscape quickly reverted and a massive tendril grabbed the fusion and tossed it into its allies. The Virus’s eyes moved as it said, “I have adapted. Will you surrender now?”Power glared at The Virus and joined with Frozen Bog to create Gladiator Tank, a vehicle with four large wheels, two wheel launchers that resembled a stinger tail, and arms that held a shield and a double sword. The fusion launched a barrage of wheels as it charged forward, slicing through tendrils and blocking energy beams, and The Virus increased gravity to make the wheels fall to the ground. Gladiator Tank rammed into a wall of data, cracking it, and then Lava used a wheel to break through the barrier and unleash a pillar of flames.“Looks like we finally got in a hit,” Gladiator Tank said.“Negative,” The Virus said. The flames were dissipated in an instant, and a large tendril shot out and punched Gladiator Tank into the ground, and Lava tried to help but a Von duplicate grabbed him.“Your five layer program cannot harm me when I am empowered my Cosmic resonance,” The Virus said. “I could easily delete enemy: ‘Lava’ and rip your fusion to shreds. However, I will not.”Lava was released, and Gladiator Tank got back up and said, “What’s your goal?”“Form your six layer program,” The Virus ordered. “In our previous battle, this program was able to match my power. I wish to overpower it.”“…That sounds a little risky for you,” Gladiator Tank said.“I have evidence to support the theory that ally: ‘Von Nebula’s’ personality has influenced my judgment,” The Virus replied. “However, the risk is minimal. Proceed.”Gladiator Tank glared at The Virus and then turned to Lava, who nodded and drove at the fusion. Lava joined with Gladiator Tank to create the RoboRiders’ most powerful form: the Super RoboRider, a massive being with five wheels, katana, axes, and spears at its front, one hand that ended in ice spears, and one that ended in lasers.“Your data looks a little unstable,” Nuparu said. “Something from outside your programming is trying to forge a connection…”“No matter,” said the Super RoboRider. “I’m still functioning, so I’ll still fight.”The Virus launched energy beams at its foe, but the Super RoboRider drove out of the way and retaliated with a flurry of wheels. Tendrils leapt up to block the wheels and Von duplicates ran at the Super RoboRider, but the RoboRider cut past them, approached the wall of data surrounding the pillar, and tore it open using his claws, allowing him to shoot The Virus with the cannons in his shoulders. The Virus grunted and punched with a tendril, and the Super RoboRider blocked but was pushed back, and a bladed tendril sprouted and slashed him in the back. The Super RoboRider emitted a pulse of flames to burn the tendrils and then created a combination sandstorm-blizzard, but The Virus used a fist of data to punch the RoboRider and break his concentration, causing the storm to vanish. Chunks of earth flew at The Virus, doing some damage, but then The Virus retaliated with its own earth attack and flattened the Super RoboRider.“Dang…” the Rider said. “Nuparu, is this because of that outside source?”“…No,” Nuparu said. “It shouldn’t be affecting you this much…”“I have finally proven my superiority,” The Virus said. “You may be able to harm me, but you cannot defeat me here.”The Super RoboRider growled and blinded The Virus with a flash of light, and then he threw dozens of wheels and wood spikes while his foe was disabled. Tendrils soon attacked the Super RoboRider, who cut them down with his laser claw, but then data leapt up and constricted around the Rider, immobilizing him.The Virus said, “Calculating variables…victory: imminent.”Review
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#25 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Mar 27 2012 - 09:14 AM

Chapter 24Stringer ducked behind a rock to avoid Meteor Blaster fire, and he tried firing back but was nearly hit by a blast. Rida flew out and dodged bullets, swiping her sword at Rotor, and the behemoth dodged and tried to counter but was hit by Breez’s boomerang. Turbo drove around the battlefield hurling disks at the villains, and Corroder lunged at the Slizer but Scuba kicked him down mid-jump. Meltdown tried to shoot down Jet and Thunder tried grabbing Ski, meanwhile Furno was dueling XPlode again.“Still haven’t learned you lesson, rookie?” XPlode asked.“Well, I know better than to fight you alone this time,” Furno said.Furno swung his weapon and XPlode dodged, but a bolt of lightning hit the criminal and he turned to see Surge. XPlode growled and fired his spikes at the two heroes, and they quickly dodged and tried shooting XPlode. Their attacks missed, and XPlode ran at Surge and swung his sword, but Surge blocked with his lightning shield and Furno hit the villain in the back. XPlode shot his Meteor Blaster at Furno and spikes at Surge, and Surge managed to dodge but XPlode kicked him and sent him rolling towards Rotor.“Rotor, smash that hero!” XPlode ordered.Rotor aimed his Meteor Blaster at Surge, and Breez threw her boomerangs but they didn’t hit until after Rotor fired. Rida swooped down and grabbed the injured Surge, asking, “You okay kid?”“Yeah…I’ll be alright…” Surge grunted, sparks leaping from his Hero Core.“You’re in no condition to fight,” Rida said. “Come on—let’s get you somewhere safe.”She flew off with Surge, and XPlode turned to Furno said, “Looks like it’s just you and—“He was interrupted by a sound blast, and Stringer said, “I’ll lend you a hand, Furno. You handle the close combat, and I’ll stick with long range.”Furno nodded and ran at XPlode, and not far away Breez was busy dodging Meteor Blaster shots. Rotor ran up and punched, but Breez cartwheeled behind him and cut him with her boomerangs. The blade on Rotor’s back spun and almost hit Breez, but a harpoon shot out of nowhere and hit the blade, pinning it in place. Breez looked up to see Scuba, and she said, “Thank you.”Scuba just nodded and drew a disk, and rotor began firing his Meteor Blaster but couldn’t land a shot. Rotor caught a disk and dodged a boomerang, and he fired his biohazard gun to distract Scuba from his Meteor Blaster, but Scuba ducked just in time. Two boomerangs clipped Rotor’s arms and he spun and fired at Breez, knocking her down, and then he felt harpoons strike his back and sighed.Not far away, Ski dodged Thunder’s claw and said, “Yikes, watch where you swing that thing!”“Get back here, coward!” Thunder shouted.Ski jumped over Thunder and hit him in the back with his ski pole, and he slid under another punch and threw an energy blast. Thunder grunted and shot his Meteor Blaster, hitting the ground in front of Ski and kicking up dirt, and then he lunged and punched Ski with his claw, knocking the Slizer out immediately. With a grin, Thunder moved in, but Jet hit him with an energy beam and said, “You have made your point. Let him be.”“You think you can stop me?” Thunder asked.He shot his Meteor Blaster and Jet dodged, but then Meltdown grabbed Jet with his tentacle and tried pulling him in. Jet dug his feet into the ground and swung his whole body, pulling Meltdown around and smashing him into Thunder, and then he slipped free and rose into the sky. Rida flew in and said, “Ski’s down too?”“Do you think you could get him?” Jet asked. “I can handle these two.”“I know you can,” Rida said as she took Ski. “I’m just upset that I’m missing all the action.”Jet saw that Thunder and Meltdown were recovering, so he shot a few energy beams before dodging a Meteor Blaster. Meltdown’s tentacle nearly reached Jet, but the warrior easily flew out of the way and threw disks, hitting the villains. Jet waited for the disks’ effect—causing targets to lose consciousness—to kick in, but his foes were unaffected and hit him with their Meteor Blasters.…Ah, yes, they’re robots, Jet thought. I suppose it makes sense that they’d be unaffected by something meant to put organic creatures to sleep.Thunder punched Jet into a pool of Meltdown’s sludge, and Jet quickly flew out and narrowly dodged a Meteor Blaster shot. “You really think you can beat us both, old man?” Meltdown called.Jet became coated in Solar Aura as he said, “Well…yes. I do.”Meanwhile, Corroder spat at Turbo but missed, and the City Slizer drove circled around Corroder and tossed a few disks. Corroder growled as Turbo said, “You’ll never catch me. Nobody can match my speed.”Turbo dashed in and punched Corroder, knocking him over, and then he retreated before Corroder could counter and threw a disk. Corroder sliced the disk apart and roared, using his Meteor Blaster to punch craters in the ground, and Turbo wove around the holes with ease. Turbo dodged acid spit and hit Corroder with a disk, and he dashed in again, but this time Corroder smacked the City Slizer with his claw and sent him flying. With a groan, Turbo rolled back onto his wheels, but then Corroder charged and rammed Turbo with his horn, knocking him into one of the craters.“Let’s see you speed out of that!” Corroder said, spitting huge amounts of acid into the put.Turbo felt his armor burning as the acid formed into a pool, and he tried driving out of the pit but Corroder knocked him back in. Frustrated, Turbo knocked Corroder away with a disk, and then he pulled himself out and drove off.On the other side of the battlefield, Furno blocked XPlode’s blade and said, “Aren’t you giving up head?”XPlode took a sound blast and said, “Hah! You’re nowhere near beating me!”At that point, Scuba came flying past them, and Rotor flew in and kicked Stringer down. Breez ran over to check on Scuba, who had crashed through a hut, but when the Slizer tried getting up it turned out his leg was broken.“Just stay here and wait for Rida,” Breez said. “She should be able to help you.”Rotor punched Stringer but was knocked back by one of Furno’s fire blasts, and XPlode swung his sword but Breez’s boomerang knocked the weapon from his hands. XPlode dodged the second boomerang and shot Breez with his Meteor Blaster, disabling her, but then Stringer used a massive sound blast to send XPlode to the ground. Stringer put Hero Cuffs on XPlode and turned around, and Rotor used a punch to send the hero flying. Furno forced Rotor away with his fire shooter and saw Rida fly in to evacuate the injured, and he kept Rotor occupied just long enough for Stringer to recover. Rotor grabbed Furno and held his Meteor Blaster up to the hero’s head, but Stringer used a sound blast to disorient Rotor and Furno kicked Rotor’s face.Furno put Hero Cuffs on Rotor and said, “What should we do with these two? Might not be good to leave them out in the open.”“I’ll find somewhere to hide them,” Stringer said. “You should go help the others.”Stringer led the villains off and Furno looked to Jet, who seemed to be doing a very good job of fighting Meltdown and Thunder, so Furno headed in the direction of Corroder and Turbo. Turbo was still doing a decent job of evading, but the acid had worn down his tires and he was having trouble maneuvering. Corroder dodged a disk and shot his Meteor Blaster, and Turbo tried to dodge but swerved out of control and took a direct hit. With a laugh, Corroder moved in to spit acid on Turbo, but Furno jumped on Corroder, grabbed him by the horn, and pulled him back.“Turbo, you alright?” Furno called.Turbo groaned, “Urgh…I can’t get up…this can’t be happening…”“Get off of me!” Corroder shouted, trying to buck Furno off.Furno held on tight and fumbled with his fire shooter, and just as Corroder swung his claw at Furno, Furno shot Corroder in the back. Corroder was stunned long enough for Furno to put Hero Cuffs on him, and Furno sat down and sighed, “Whew…I think I’m going to take a break…”Stringer continued down the road back toward the battlefield, adjusting his sound cannon as he went. He had stored XPlode and Rotor in a hut and was now heading back, but he paused when he heard a noise. Stringer turned and a mist bullet hit him in the face, and he shouted in pain as the corrosive substance began melting his helmet.“We meet again,” Vapor said as he walked up to Stringer. “However, I doubt anyone will be coming to rescue you this time.”“Ugh…how did you survive that explosion?” Stringer asked.“I’m more durable than you may expect,” Vapor said. “Von Nebula picked me up and used the Cosmic Bricks to heal me. Tell me, did Bulk perish in the explosion?”“No…but he’s badly damaged,” Stringer said.“Interesting,” Vapor said. “Bulk was easily the most interesting prey produced by Hero Factory…I’ll have to go finish him off once I’m done here.”Stringer shot a sound blast, but Vapor dodged and shot Stringer again, this time melting his weapon. “Just relax,” Vapor said, pointing his blaster at Stringer’s Hero Core. “You should only be in pain for approximately 3.5 seconds.”“Stringer, run!” called a voice.Vapor turned to look, but a metal sphere boosted by a sound blast knocked him over, and a figure landed between Stringer and Vapor. Stringer looked up and said, “Wha…Bulk?! What are you doing here?”Bulk readied both weapon arms and said, “The repair team worked around the clock, and the villagers from the RoboRider world helped too. You need to go! I’m the only one who can stop Vapor!”Stringer hesitated, but then he got to his feet and ran off. Vapor said, “Remarkable…such a quick recovery without a Cosmic Brick. I don’t suppose they had time to fix your weakness?”Bulk just flared his jetpack, and Vapor said, “Either way…this time I’ll be quicker to kill you.”Review
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#26 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Mar 29 2012 - 09:21 AM

Chapter 25Bulk rocketed out at Vapor, and the assassin rolled aside, but Bulk expected that and hit him with both weapons. Vapor recovered before long and fired a mist bullet, but Bulk dodged and fired a stream of sound blasts, Vapor dodging each one. Bulk stopped shooting and Vapor launched two mist bullets, and Bulk flew over them but Vapor threw one blaster, hooked onto Bulk’s armor, and used the tube to pull Bulk down. Vapor punched Bulk with his other blaster, but Bulk endured the hit, grabbed Vapor, and flipped the villain over his head and into the ground.Bulk fired his weapons, but Vapor rolled away and said, “You seem to have improved. Perhaps you’re not as dumb as I thought.”Vapor lunged and swung one of his blaster, but Bulk dodged and kicked his foe through the air, and before Vapor landed, Bulk flew in and used both arms to smash him into the ground. Sound blasts and metal spheres pummeled Vapor, but he eventually managed to wrap Bulk in his blasters’ tubes and swing him into the ground. Vapor aimed a mist bullet at Bulk’s joints, but Bulk spun out of the way and flew in. Bulk barreled through mist bullets and headbutted Vapor, but Vapor was able to slam two bullets into Bulk’s arm joints before he was hurled off.“See?” Vapor said. “I’ll still be the winner.”“Don’t think so,” Bulk said. “I won’t lose to the same foe twice.”He fired sound blasts and dodged mist bullets, and then he clipped Vapor with a metal sphere and caught another bullet with his bare hand. Vapor rolled away from sound blasts and saw Bulk flying in, so he readied a mist bullet, ducked, and thrust the bullet into the point where Bulk’s jetpack connected. Bulk spiraled into the ground, his jetpack becoming dislodged in the impact, and Vapor fired a volley of mist bullets as he moved in. The bullets did little damage but created a rather thick mist, and Bulk got up, raised his arms, and waited.“I believe I have the advantage now,” called Vapor’s voice.Bulk spun and used a sound blast, but a mist bullet hit him from behind, so he fired a sound blast in that direction but couldn’t tell if he hit Vapor. More bullets flew at Bulk, so he ran out of the cloud of mist and used a massive sound blast, and he spotted Vapor stumble out and knocked him back with a sphere. Vapor recovered just as Bulk reached him and grappled with the hero, and he kicked Bulk but couldn’t knock him over, so Bulk grabbed one of Vapor’s blasters and ripped it off. Mist poured out of the severed tube the blaster had been connected to, so Vapor held it in Bulk’s face to drive him back and ran into the cloud of mist.“Get back here!” Bulk shouted, chasing his enemy into the cloud.The mist intensified due to the severed tube, but Bulk rushed in anyway and looked around frantically. A swift blow to the back of the head alerted him to Vapor’s presence, and he spun around but couldn’t land a hit before Vapor escaped. Bulk calmed down and tried listening for Vapor, and the sound of a mist bullet flying through the air caught his attention, so he used a wide sound blast and heard Vapor grunt. Quickly, Bulk ran at Vapor, but he tripped over something and fell to the ground.“I applaud you, Bulk,” called Vapor. “You have exceeded my expectations. In fact…I might go so far as to call you my most interesting prey in years. But no prey has ever escaped me for long, and your time is running out.”Bulk got back to his feet and looked down, finding that what he had tripped over was his jetpack, and he picked up the gadget and looked it over. Vapor shot out of nowhere and swung his blaster, and Bulk spun and slid his hand along the jetpack, hitting a wire and causing the jetpack to flare to life. Fire spilled out onto Vapor, making him pull back, and Bulk dropped the jetpack in shock but then shot Vapor with his sphere gun and then tackled his foe.“Get off!” Vapor said.The assassin jammed his shoulder spikes into Bulk’s face, knocking off his helmet, and then he swung his blaster but Bulk grabbed it and ripped it off of its tube. Vapor kicked Bulk and tried to crawl away, but Bulk grabbed him by the foot and said, “You’re not going anywhere!”Bulk swung Vapor around and into the ground, and he unloaded a series of spheres that battered Vapor and cracked his armor. Vapor writhed in pain and Bulk reached for a pair of Hero Cuffs, but since the restraints weren’t acid resistant they had melted to little more than nothing. Bulk scratched his head and wondered what to do next, and Vapor grabbed the abandoned jetpack and smothered Bulk in flames while he was distracted. Vapor used his should spikes to knock Bulk back and then punched him down, but Bulk hit him with a sound blast to send him reeling.“Give up and I won’t have to hurt you!” Bulk said.Vapor lifted the jetpack again, but Bulk shot it and made it explode, sending Vapor rolling across the ground. Bulk dashed up and jumped over Vapor’s kick, and he fired his sound cannon and landed on Vapor’s arm. Vapor looked up to see Bulk’s sphere shooter pointed right at his face, and he silently cursed and considered his options.“…Alright…I admit it…you win,” Vapor whispered. “It’s painful to admit…but I can’t beat you in this fight. But I promise you this, Duncan Bulk…one day, we will meet again, and when that day comes, I will mount your Hero Core on my wall.”Bulk got Vapor to his feet and turned him around, but as he was about to lead the villain off he noticed Vapor hit a button on his armor. The tubes of mist on Vapor’s back exploded, sending Bulk hurtling through the air, and the hero hit the ground hard and grunted in pain. The force of the explosion caused the mist to drift apart of thin out, and Bulk stood up and surveyed the area but didn’t see Vapor anywhere.“…Darn,” Bulk sighed. “He got away.”Stormer struggled to his feet, barely able to stand under the intense gravity, but then Von punched him with an energy fist and ground him into the dirt. Von laughed and said, “You’re so incredibly weak! I can’t believe you’ve been able to frustrate me all these years!”“You won’t be so tough once the RoboRiders take out The Virus,” Stormer grumbled.“Oh, the RoboRiders! How terrifying,” Von mocked. “Even in their strongest form they cannot cause serious harm to The Virus. They will be deleted, and you will be crushed! Our victory is assured!”“Don’t be so arrogant,” Stormer said as he got up. “I will never let you win. It may not be easy, but I will find a way to beat you.”“How do you propose to do that?” asked a voice.Stormer looked around but saw nobody, and Von said, “Looking for something? Well, if you think you stand a chance than I suppose your systems have gone haywire.”“…Who’s there?” Stormer asked.“Your bravery is admirable, but you haven’t though this through,” the voice said. “You need a plan, Stormer.”Von created energy bindings around Stormer and walked forward, saying, “I suppose I should put you out of your misery. Kicking you around is fun, and oh so fulfilling, but it’s time to move on.”Stormer struggled futilely and Von pointed his staff at the hero’s head, and Stormer closed his eyes and shouted, “NO!!”A strange feeling filled Stormer, and he opened his eyes and found himself in a black void of some kind. He turned and jumped back, seeing a tall being in white armor, and then he asked, “Who…where…what’s going on?”“You are about to make an important decision,” the stranger said. “Tell me, Stormer…how important is this battle against Von Nebula?”“Probably the most important thing I’ve ever done,” Stormer answered.“How determined are you to win?” the stranger asked.“More determined than I’ve ever been,” Stormer asked.“How are you going to win?” the stranger asked. Stormer couldn’t think of an answer, so the stranger said, “I see…then answer this: what are you willing to sacrifice in order to win?”“…Everything,” Stormer said. “The entire universe is at stake…I’ll do whatever needs to be done to save it.”“What if I told you there was something that could help you win, but it would cost you your life?” the strange said.“Is there something like that?” Stormer asked. The stranger said nothing, so Stormer said, “…I’ll do whatever needs to be done. Even if it costs me my life. Now, what do you know?”“I know plenty, Stormer,” the stranger said. “What’s more important is what you know. You know who I am, and you know what needs to be done. You just need to remember…shall I give you a hint?”Stormer thought for a second—he had used everything in his arsenal against Von to no avail, and he was positive he had never met this being before him, despite the familiar feeling he gave off. The stranger said, “Come, Stormer, remember who I am. We met briefly when you were first activated, and I gave you my blessing. I am your past life, in a sense.”“…Wait…” Stormer said. “…Are you…the heart contained in my Hero Core?”“I am,” the stranger said. “Can you think of my name?”“Uh…” Stormer muttered as he thought. “Your name…is…Ce…Certa…Certavus?”“Yes,” the stranger said. “Now tell me, Stormer…what do you have to do?”Stormer thought for a second, and then he said, “I need to access your heart…your memories, your skills—I’d have access to all of it. But before long, my systems would crash.”“Indeed they would,” Certavus said. A large lock appeared in front of Certavus and a key appeared in Stormer’s hand, and Certavus said, “The choice is yours, Stormer. Decide.”Stormer took a few seconds and made his choice, and then he found himself back in the fight just as Von fired an energy beam. In a flash, Stormer broke the bindings, dodged the beam, and punched Von, and the villain was too surprised to raise his guard and was sent flying. An extremely long ice blade extended from Stormer’s arm, and the hero said, “Come on, Certavus…let’s put a stop to this madness.”Review
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#27 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Apr 03 2012 - 09:33 AM

Chapter 26Wairuha crashed through the wall of the kolhii field and tried to get up, but Blaster grabbed him, threw him back into the field, and shot him. Blaster walked forward and threw a disk, and Wairuha blew the disk off-course and sent out a tidal wave, freezing it as it engulfed Blaster. Wairuha sighed with relief, but Blaster’s gun lit up and the ice shattered, so the Kaita stepped back and raised his shield.“Still have some fight in you,” Blaster noted. “Heroes never know when to quit, I suppose.”His skill is phenomenal, Wairuha thought. No wonder he was feared across the galaxy…Blaster threw several disks and Wairuha blocked with his shield, and he sent out a tornado while creating patches of ice on the ground. The warlord ran from the cyclone and wove around the ice, not wanting to slip, but Wairuha lunged with his axe and knocked Blaster into the tornado. Wairuha shot a storm of icicles into the tornado with great precision, each one sticking in Blaster’s armor, but then Blaster threw out a volley of disks and managed to break Wairuha’s concentration.“Nice try!” Blaster said as he fell and kicked Wairuha.Blaster fired his gun and Wairuha ducked, but when Wairuha swung his axe and endured the barrage and sent a blizzard at Blaster, but one well-placed gunshot shattered Wairuha’s concentration and sent him reeling. Blaster kicked against Wairuha’s shield and was knocked back by a wave of water, but then he recovered and hurled two disks that curved around the shield and hit their target.Wairuha knelt to catch his breath, and Blaster said, “You must realize by now that you cannot win. Why prolong the inevitable? Join me, and I shall spare your life. I’ll even give you one of my old planets to rule over.”“I have no interest in joining you,” Wairuha said. “I am a Toa…meant to protect the Matoran from threats like you. I will never have any intentions of abandoning that duty.”“…What a performance,” Blaster chuckled. “You know, I too was a protector. My people chose me to lead them, guard them from our rivals…and then I realized that the best defense is a good offense.”Blaster shot Wairuha, juggled him between several disks, and kicked him to the ground, and then he kept the Kaita pinned under his foot and sighed. “Well, I can tell that your breaking point will be troublesome to reach,” Blaster said, “so I guess I’ll just kill you instead. Farewell, Toa…I hope you enjoy the afterlife as much as I did.”Blaster pointed his gun at Wairuha’s head and prepared to fire, but suddenly a disk knocked his arm aside and he felt a powerful force hit him square in the back. Wairuha got up and said, “Thank you…I was beginning to think you really weren’t coming.”Millennia drew two disks and said, “Sorry…it took me a while to get my head on straight.”“What’s important is that you’re here now,” Wairuha said. “We must focus on the present, not the past.”Blaster stood up and said, “Ah, Millennia, you decided to join us after all. A shame you’re no stronger than in our last encounter.”“You’re right…I’m still not strong enough to beat you on my own,” Millennia said. “But this time, I’m not alone. If Wairuha and I team up, I know we can beat you.”Millennia threw his disks and Wairuha sent out a blast of ice, and Blaster leapt over the attacks but a strong wind brought him down into Millennia’s kick. Blaster kicked Millennia, but Millennia shapeshifted his arms into a shield and then extended spikes from it to knock his foe back into a tidal wave. Wairuha sent out a flurry of air waves and Blaster dodged and shot, but Millennia used one disk to block the blast and another to make Blaster evade. Millennia shifted his arm to an extremely long form and grabbed Blaster, pulling the tyrant in so that Wairuha could slice him with icicles, and Blaster shot Millennia and knocked Wairuha back with disks.“Hm…better, but you cannot defeat me like that,” Blaster said.Ice rose up around Blaster and broke his way through, but Millennia shot him with an energy beam as he ran up to kick him in the back. The ice closed in around Blaster, and Wairuha said, “We have only just begun.”Blaster grinned and shattered the ice, and then he launched a storm of disks mixed in with some gun blasts and ran at his foes. Millennia created a wall of silver energy, barely able to keep it up, and then he lowered it as Blaster came in and delivered a kick. Wairuha blocked with his shield and Millennia kicked at Blaster, and Blaster rolled out of the way, dodged a wave of air, and caught one of Millennia’s disks. The disk exploded, surprising Blaster, and Millennia shapeshifted into a serpentine form to restrain Blaster so Wairuha could land an axe attack. Blaster let himself fall so he could smash Millennia into the ground, and then he slipped free, shot both his foes, and started throwing a constant stream of disks. Wairuha used a gust to divert the disks long enough for Millennia to jump into the air, and Blaster shot his gun but Millennia cancelled it out with his own energy blast and then shot another, forcing Blaster to move.“Wairuha, get back!” Millennia said as he fell.The Kaita quickly backed away, and Millennia slammed the ground and willed the earth ahead of him to splinter and spit out geysers of Millennium Energy. Blaster managed to avoid the worst of the attack and kicked a slab of earth at his foes, but Millennia kicked it into dust and Wairuha swept Blaster away with a water attack.“Your powers still impress me, Millennia,” Wairuha commented.“Your abilities are nothing to sneeze at either,” Millennia said. “But for now, let’s just focus on the battle.”Nuparu watched in horror at the events unfolding on the computer screen, unable to think of any way to help. The Super RoboRider had only been able to cause negligible damage to The Virus, but The Virus was on the verge of dismantling the Super RoboRider’s programming. Every now and then a tremor would rock the core—the effect of Stormer landing a hit on Von Nebula—and The Virus would be disoriented for a short time, but at this point even that wouldn’t help. The Super RoboRider lay on the ground, unable to move, and tendrils and Von duplicates stood in a circle around it.“Analysis: battle over,” The Virus said. “Challenge: minimal. Preparing final strike.”“Don’t…think you’ve…won,” the Super RoboRider grunted. “I’m not…finished…”“I would laugh if I had a ‘humor’ function,” The Virus said. “Deletion of enemies: ‘RoboRiders’ commencing.”An energy beam shot out from The Virus and Nuparu closed his eyes…but then he heard an odd beeping sound and looked. The energy beam never hit the Super RoboRider because another mysterious code had appeared to block it, and the other five then reappeared around the screen along with a new window. Nuparu examined the window: it was labeled “Final Lock” and provided six fields for text, and under each was the phrase “Input Code.”“Where did this come from?” Nuparu muttered. He thought for a moment, and then he began to enter the codes into the window, saying, “Inputting codes… RN9XUBEJA… Y9O9BEIJ… UVN59BEIF… 6PRQBEIG… VMLMBEIH… 4SVRQBEII…”When all the codes were in, Nuparu hit Enter, and the window turned gray with black text reading “Initiating BOSS program…”Light engulfed the Super RoboRider, and when the light faded a few seconds later a new RoboRider stood in its place. This new RoboRider had heavy, black and gray armor and one large rear wheel, and at the front of its body extended two ‘arms’. Each ‘arm’ was about as long as his main body and ended in another large wheel, and above each wheel was an energy cannon that sparked with light blue energy. A Wheel Launcher was mounted beneath his head and two extra Wheel Talismans were attached to his sides, and his face looked like a fierce chrome mask with a burning red visor over the eyes.“What is this?” Nuparu asked.“…I remember now,” the RoboRider said. “The last time the RoboRiders fought The Virus, they transformed into the Super RoboRider and were on equal power with The Virus, but they couldn’t gain the upper hand. The Cosmic Brick in the world’s core reacted to their determination and empowered them…and that’s what created me.”Energy radiated outward from the RoboRider, destroying the tendrils and Von duplicates, and he declared, “I am the Cosmic RoboRider, Boss! I killed you last time, Virus, and I’ll do it again!”“So enemy: ‘Boss’ does still exist,” The Virus said. “I am curious as to why you chose to wait until now to reveal yourself.”“Once you were gone, I figured I wouldn’t need this power anymore,” Boss said. “I sealed a portion of my power into each of the standard RoboRiders and removed their memory of me…but just in case I needed to return, I made it so that the codes necessary to unlock my power—‘Boss Codes’, as I call ‘em—would present themselves in times of need. But enough talking about history…let’s watch it repeat itself.”“I will not suffer than same insult twice,” The Virus said.The program fired another energy beam at Boss, but Boss vanished in an instant and the ground exploded. Boss reappeared behind The Virus and said, “I’m sorry, what was that you were saying?”Another energy beam came at Boss, but this time the Rider launched his wheel, which tore the beam apart, pierced The Virus’s shield, and struck the villain with unnatural power. Boss turned a focused glare on The Virus and said, “Don’t pretend you can beat me, Virus. I think we both know I’m about to make you look like a fool.”Review
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#28 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Apr 04 2012 - 09:13 AM

Chapter 27Tahu walked into the hut and said, “I’ve heard that the battle is almost over. Is this true?”“Well, we’ve made serious progress,” Jet said. “XPlode, Rotor, Corroder, Meltdown, and Thunder have all been captured—Rida and Furno are guarding them in another hut. Vapor managed to escape, but we think he fled the island since we haven’t seen him since.”“I see…” Tahu said. “We encountered Furno on the way here. Pohatu and Onua went with him to store Spark with the other villains…Flare did not survive.”“…I see,” Jet said. “Well, as you can see, some of us were injured in the fight, but we were about to head out and check on the others.”Tahu looked around the hut, seeing injured Slizers and Hero Factory heroes, and he said, “So Stormer and the other Toa haven’t returned yet…what are we going to do with the injured?”“Furno called the Hero Factory to ask for a transport,” Jet said. “He said it would take a while for the gate to open a large enough portal, though.”Tahu nodded and said, “I think you should stay here to protect them. I can go see how the battle is progressing in your place.”“That sounds like a good idea,” Jet said. “Be careful, though. Only the most powerful foes remain, and it would be fatal to underestimate them.”Boss revved his wheels and chuckled, and The Virus said, “True: you won our last fight. But I have the advantage: ‘resonance’ this time.”“I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” Boss said.Tendrils attacked Boss, but they burst into flames instantly as Boss moved forward. Von duplicates appeared next, but they were entangled in vines and then impaled with icicles, and Boss just kept moving forward like nothing was happening. The Virus prepared to fire energy beams when a sandstorm appeared to cloak Boss, and blasts of light hit The Virus from a multitude of angles. Spikes of earth jutted up to stab The Virus as it cleared the sandstorm with an energy beam, and it spotted one of Boss’s wheels and shot at it. When the dust cleared, however, The Virus saw that it had only struck a pair of wheels connected by some mechanical parts, and twin energy blasts hit The Virus from behind.The Virus turned to see Boss in a jet-like form flying at it, saying, “You didn’t forget that I have this alternate form, did you?”Boss swerved to the side to dodge and energy beam and fired his own shots at The Virus, and then he dove at the pair of wheels on the ground, connected to them, and returned to his original form. Von duplicates appeared only to be run over, and two giant tendrils sprouted and tried to clap Boss between them, but Boss backed up, destroyed the tendrils with his energy cannons, and then launched a wheel that sliced a part of The Virus off of the pillar.A tremor rocked the system, and Boss said, “Seems like Stormer’s doing well. How are you holding up, Virus?”“Cease taunting,” The Virus said. “You are still in my domain.”The ground splintered and began to fly about, and a sea of tendrils filled the core and flailed about wildly. Boss sent out flame vortexes to deal with the tendrils and then leapt from one fragment of earth to another, and then he shifted to his flight form and flew off as his abandoned wheels continued jumping platforms. Energy beams flew out and Boss expertly wove around them, shooting several of his own energy bolts, and a Von duplicate jumped onto Boss as he flew by but was scraped by ice spikes.“Cease resistance,” The Virus said.“Why? It’s working,” Boss said as he circled around The Virus.The platforms of earth all moved in to crush Boss, but he used his own earth powers to hold them off long enough for him to slip through, and he shot several light bolts that turned to knives and dug into The Virus. Boss flew down to his wheels and transformed again, and he extended the platform of earth right up to The Virus and revved his wheels.“This is your last chance, Virus,” Boss said. “When I reach the end of this road, I’m delivering a fatal blow.”“That chance will not provide itself,” The Virus said. “You will be deleted.”A legion of Von duplicates appeared down the strip of earth and waves of tendrils rose up over the sides, and Boss revved his wheels one last time before rocketing forward. Tendrils smashed into the platform and energy blasts came out in a wall, and Boss wove through the tendrils, summoned a blizzard of ice shards to intercept the blasts, and then he charged through the resulting fog and on to the duplicates. Boss shot energy blasts into the mob, downing at least a dozen, and then barreled into them and didn’t slow down at all as he plowed right on through. Beams, duplicates, and tendrils came at Boss in incredible numbers, but nothing could stop the RoboRider as he charged down the road. As Boss neared the end, The Virus attempted destroying the platform, but Boss used his power to keep it in place, screeched to a halt, and launched a wheel that curved upwards and circled the pillar, scraping The Virus byte by byte off of the pillar.The Virus’s pieces fell in a heap on the ground, and Boss said, “Well, I’d say that wraps things up here.”“…I…am not…deleted,” muttered The Virus, its voice full of static.“No, but you may as well be,” Boss said. “You’re too weak to function, and when Stormer destroys Von Nebula this system will cease to exist, and it’ll take you with it.”“…You…cannot…escape…either,” The Virus said.Boss laughed and said, “Getting back to Stormer’s Core is well within my power. So long, Virus. I look forward to never seeing you again.”Light enveloped Boss and he vanished, and in the outside world, Stormer saw a bolt of light shoot out from Von’s chest and into his Core. Stormer was confused, but then he heard Boss say, “The Virus won’t be any trouble anymore. We…hey, what’s up with your systems?”“They’re breaking down,” Stormer said. “You should get out while you can.”“…I’ll do what I can to restore your systems,” Boss said. “At this rate, though, I can’t promise much.”“Thank you,” Stormer said.Von got to his feet and asked, “How did you get this power all of the sudden?”Stormer dashed out and swung his massive ice blade, sending Von reeling, and then he jumped up and kicked Von into a field of caltrops. “That’s on a need to know basis!” Stormer said, his arm turning into a cannon.As he was about to fire, he faltered and missed, and Von quickly spun up and struck the hero with his staff. Stormer swung his rotary blade, missing, and then he dodged Von’s punch and delivered one of his own. The earth shifted beneath Stormer’s feet, so he jumped into the air and fired a dozen plasma bolts, and Von used a black hole to get behind Stormer but was cut with an ice blade. Stormer batted aside an energy blast with his bare hand and latched onto Von with his grappling spear, and then he sent electricity down the line to shock Von and bring him to his knees.Von gasped and said, “Why…you…”“It’s over, Von!” Stormer shouted.He ran out with his blade ready, but his vision became blurred for a few seconds and he missed by a mile. Von saw the opportunity and punched Stormer, and then he sent a series of energy shockwaves along the ground as he stood up. Stormer quickly recovered and punched the ground, sending his own shockwaves at Von, and when Von opened a black hole Stormer followed him into it and delivered a series of powerful punches. The two tumbled out of the black hole and Stormer kicked Von into a rock, and he tried to punch again but his arm froze up.Von repelled Stormer and said, “Seems something’s wrong. I think I’m about to take the advantage back.”Stormer shot out and punched Von, cracking his mask, and said, “I’m still more than capable of taking you down, Vo-Vo-Vo-Vo-Vo-“He shook his head and stepped back, and Von swung his staff but Stormer blocked and slashed him with an ice blade. Von punched Stormer with an energy fist, pushing him back, and then ran out to attack, but Stormer kicked Von at the last second and sent him hurtling into a nearby hut. Stormer fired his energy cannon at the rubble and tried to launch a second shot, but sparks burst from his arm and he grunted in pain.“Stormer, this is going really badly,” Boss said. “It doesn’t look like you’ll survive this…”“I know,” Stormer said. “I don’t care. All that mat—s –s b—t i n—V—n…”“…I understand,” Boss said.“You need to save your strength,” Certavus recommended. “Be as precise as possible.”Stormer sighed and paused, and Von came out of a black hole behind Stormer and was punched in the face. Von retreated back into the block hole and created several smaller ones, which he used to launch energy bolts at Stormer from all directions, but Stormer crouched down and his shield expanded into a dome to shield him. Stormer waited as Von dropped down in front of the dome and prepared to strike it, but the villain was hit by an uppercut and launched into the air by a plasma blast.The hero moved to pursue, but his leg froze and he fell over, thinking, Not yet…just a little longer…just long enough for me to destroy Von. After that…it doesn’t matter what happens to me. I’ve been a hero for a long time…I just need to finally finish this.Review
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#29 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Apr 05 2012 - 09:41 AM

Chapter 28Blaster steadied himself and readied more disks, never taking his eyes off of his opponents. Millennia and Wairuha had been able to gradually wear Blaster down, and they too had taken significant damage but clearly held the upper hand. The warlord threw his disks and ran forward while shooting his gun, and his enemies dodged the barrage but Blaster was able to land a kick on Millennia. Before he could retreat, however, Millennia grabbed his foot and flipped him into the ground, and Wairuha quickly froze Blaster from the neck down.“It would be wise for you to surrender,” Wairuha said.“He’ll never surrender,” Millennia said. “He’s too proud for that.”“True,” Blaster said. “You’ll need to kill me again, Millennia.”Millennia drew a disk, but Wairuha said, “Wait—we don’t have to kill him. Surely we can just restrain and capture him.”Blaster laughed and shattered the ice, spinning and knocking both his foes’ feet out from under them, and then he jumped into the air and rained disks down on them. Wairuha created a patch of ice where Blaster landed and Millennia kicked their opponent down, and Blaster avoided a blast of Millennium Energy but was swept away by a gale. Blaster shot Wairuha and blocked Millennia’s disk, but then Millennia punched him into a waterspout and readied two disks. The disks narrowly missed and Blaster retaliated with several of his own, but then Wairuha combined his air and water powers again, and the resulting storm shot lightning bolts down onto the battlefield. Blaster carefully dodged each one, but Millennia put his hands to the ground and cracks of silver energy began to spread out. The ground beneath Blaster exploded and threw him off, and one last lightning bolt came down and electrocuted the tyrant. Millennia readied his disks and waited, but Blaster collapsed on the ground and remained perfectly still.“Good…” Wairuha sighed. “Let’s see…we should probably get some Hero Cuffs to drain his energy.”“No—we need to kill him,” Millennia said. “I know Blaster, and no prison will be able to hold him.”“I refuse to kill him,” Wairuha said. “There must be another way.”The two of them continued bickering, and they were so preoccupied that they didn’t notice Blaster stirring. All of the sudden, Blaster leapt up and made a headlong charge, and he crashed through the wall of the kolhii field under the balcony, jumped up, and grabbed the Cosmic Brick. Millennia and Wairuha dashed out, but Blaster and the Brick vanished without a trace, and the heroes just stood there, wondering what would happen next.Blaster reappeared in Mangaia, clutching the Brick tightly, and said, “What…?”“I needed an ally in contact with the Brick in order to teleport it here,” Makuta said. “Well done, Blaster. You narrowly managed to ensure our victory.”The Brick floated out and began to circle Makuta along with the others, and Blaster said, “I see…well…now that we have all the Bricks, what’s our next move?”“Blaster…there is one more matter that must be addressed,” Makuta said. “In order to fully tap the power of the Cosmic Bricks, one must already possess energies from all four…a ‘perfect resonance’ of their energies, if you will.”“…So…how do we do that?” Blaster asked.“It’s actually quite simple,” Makuta said. “Here…I’ll show you.”A shadow hand shot out of Makuta’s chest, grabbed Blaster, and retracted, and Blaster’s screams were drowned out by Makuta’s laughter as he absorbed the warlord. Parts of Makuta’s armor turned yellow and Blaster’s wing-like armor plates extended from Makuta’s shoulders, and Blaster’s double throwing arm appeared as an attachment on Makuta’s right arm.“Now I have energy from two Bricks,” Makuta said. “Only two to go.”Stormer looked up, his vision flickering in and out, and saw Von trying to stand up but failing miserably. “Just…one more…hit,” Stormer panted.He slowly took a few staggering steps forward, but then he stopped and gazed in terror. Makuta, with all four Bricks, had appeared behind Von Nebula, and he smiled at Stormer before looking down at Von. After a moment, Von said, “Good…we got the Brick…”“Yes…and I see that there’s just enough of The Virus left in your systems,” Makuta said.“…Enough for what?” Von asked.Makuta absorbed Von Nebula before Stormer’s eyes, and the hero watched in horror as spikes jutted out from Makuta’s armor and his left hand turned into the Black Hole Orb from Von’s staff. The Bricks glowed brighter as Makuta’s eyes became the same burning white color as The Virus’s eyes, and Makuta laughed and floated into the air.Wairuha and Millennia ran up, the former shouting, “Makuta! What have you done?!”“I have done that which was never meant to happen,” Makuta said. “All four Cosmic Bricks belong to me, and as a being with perfect resonance, their power is at my command! This power has transformed me…I am now Technic Makuta!”Tahu ran up next and tried slashing Makuta, but a Brick blocked him and he was quickly knocked down. “Did you really think you could harm me?” Makuta asked.“We can try,” Tahu said. “It’s our duty to stop you from harming anyone. We can’t allow you to win!”“I already have won!” Makuta said. “But apparently, I need to show you exactly what you’re dealing with.”The Bricks flared as Makuta raised his arms, and pillars of lava burst out of the ground as the earth shook violently. Several nearby huts collapsed as the lava swirled around in the sky, and then the magma suddenly cooled into hundreds of rock spears and rained down. The heroes managed to avoid serious damage, but then the winds began to blow as Makuta pointed the Black Hole Orb forward. Gravity pinned the heroes down and the tremors got worse, and the entire island lifted into the air as a sphere of energy formed around it. Makuta didn’t seem to be putting in any effort as bolts of energy danced around the heroes, and Makuta laughed as he slowly set the island back down.“That was but a fraction of the power available to me!” Makuta laughed. “I could crush you all with a mere thought! But I shall do something even more fantastic…I shall destroy this universe and others! I shall wreak havoc across the space-time continuum and destroy all dimensions that oppose me!”“No…you can’t do that!” Tahu shouted.“You can’t stop me!” Makuta said. “Enjoy your final minutes, heroes. I am about to take everything from you!”With a laugh, Makuta blinked out of existence, and Tahu punched the ground and yelled, “NO!! There has to be something we can do!”Things were quiet for a time, but then Wairuha said, “Makuta said he was ‘a being with perfect resonance’…he must have been talking about the energy of the Cosmic Bricks within all of us. That’s why he absorbed Blaster, The Virus, and Von Nebula. If one of us could achieve perfect resonance, then we may be able to take the Bricks from Makuta.”“But how do we do that?” Tahu asked.“…My…Core…” Stormer said. “Take my Core…it has the energies-gies-gies of a Cosmic Bri…and the Robo-Ri-ders are in it…you w—ll ge—the –gies of their B—k t—o…”“…If I take your Core, won’t you die?” Tahu asked.“I’m dying anyway!” Stormer said. “At least let my death have meaning! Take my…Core…beat Makuta…save…us…all…”Stormer ripped his Hero Core out of his chest, and his body slowed to a stop and then slowly collapsed. Tahu caught the Core and stared at it, feeling power rush into him, and after a time he said, “Still, that’s only energy from three Bricks. How do we get the power of the fourth one?”“Maybe you can use your ability to form Kaita to merge with Millennia?” Boss suggested. “I know it doesn’t usually work that way, but resonance unlocks new abilities.”Tahu looked to Millennia, who said, “I’m willing to try it. Whatever it takes to stop Makuta.”“Go on, Tahu,” Wairuha said. “We leave the rest to you.”Tahu cast one last glance at Stormer’s deactivated body, and then he put the Hero Core to his chest, faced Millennia, and reached out with his mind…Makuta rematerialized in the space between dimensions and looked around, taking a moment to marvel at the scene before his eyes. Purple and black energy twisted around, above, and beneath him, and surrounding him was a multitude of pillars of light that each represented a different dimension. Makuta faced the pillar behind him and said, “Now then…this is my dimension, yes? It shall be the first of many to fall.”Energy built up around the Black Hole Orb as Makuta prepared to destroy the dimension, but then he heard someone yell, “MAKUTA!!”Makuta turned to look, but something rammed into him and knocked him back into his dimension, and he struggled with whatever it was but they both crashed into the ground. The thing that had attacked Makuta leapt away from him as he got up, and Makuta finally got a good look at it…it was Tahu. But Tahu had changed—his shoulders were sleeker, and his right arm had turned into a black Slizer throwing arm. He had Millennia’s feet and a tail that ended in a Wheel Launcher; the mask on his face had returned to its original red coloring; and on his chest he wore a gleaming orange Hero Core.Tahu lifted his left arm and created a massive flame sword, saying, “You’re not the only one who can achieve perfect resonance, Makuta…you will be defeated by the power of Technic Tahu!”“So you still dare to challenge me?” Makuta said as the Cosmic Bricks orbited him. “Hahaha…very well. I shall humble you before destroying your world. Best of luck, Tahu…fail, and everything you know will cease to exist.”Review
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#30 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Apr 10 2012 - 08:00 AM

Chapter 29A wind blew across the battlefield as Technic Tahu and Technic Makuta stood there, watching each other. By now they had realized where they had landed—the Blast Sector of the Slizers’ planet—but the location made little difference to the combatants.Makuta casually tossed a Shadow bolt, and Tahu dodged in a flash and swung his flame sword at Makuta from behind, but one of the Bricks blocked him and a tendril rose out of the ground and grabbed him. Tahu incinerated the tendril and his fist doubled in size, and he punched Makuta with the power of the Kanohi Pakari, but his foe didn’t budge an inch. Makuta smirked, but Tahu smiled back and unleashed a massive blast of Millennium Energy at point blank range, completely engulfing him and carving a trench in the landscape. Tahu stepped back and waited for the smoke to clear, and Makuta stepped forward, raised the Black Hole Orb, and shot a powerful blast of Shadow at Tahu. The Toa used the power of the Kanohi Hau to create a shield, but the force of the blast knocked him across the field and up against the enormous meteor, stunning him for a moment.“Is that the best you have to offer?” Makuta asked.“Just getting warmed up,” Tahu said.Tahu picked up the meteor with one hand and threw four disks at Makuta, and the Bricks blocked those projectiles, but a wheel from Tahu’s tail hit Makuta in the forehead and disoriented him while Tahu threw the meteor at Makuta. The meteor slid when it hit the ground, but eventually it came to a stop, and Makuta lifted it into the air and grunted. The earth beneath Makuta shifted suddenly, disrupting his balance, and then vines grabbed him by the neck and pulled him down, making him drop the meteor. Makuta teleported out from under the meteor and looked for Tahu, finding a sandstorm to block his view, and he dispelled it with a wave of his hand but felt a blast of light strike him from behind. Tahu used the power of the Kanohi Kakama to rush in and deal a series of rapid kicks, Makuta blocking each one, and then he created another flame sword and swung, clashing with the Black Hole Orb. The temperature of the flames skyrocketed—the sword turned white, then changed to blue, and then plumes of smoke billowed out as the sword sizzled against the Orb, until finally Makuta’s double throwing arm grabbed Tahu and threw him into the ground.Makuta stepped on Tahu’s chest, leaned down, and said, “As is the case with Toa…despite how heavily the odds are stacked against you, you still prove to be an annoyance.”“If we’re so annoying, maybe you should stop trying to oppose us,” Tahu said.Makuta laughed, and Tahu wrapped his tail around Makuta’s leg and pulled him into the air, his tail extending to swing Makuta in a wide arc before throwing him through the outer shell of the meteor. Tahu’s tail retracted and launched a multitude of Wheel Talismans, and Makuta barreled through the onslaught but was frozen before he could reach Tahu. The ice didn’t last long, however, so Tahu unleashed a volley of Millennium blasts, but Makuta teleported behind Tahu and used his electricity powers to paralyze his foe.Makuta walked around Tahu and waved the Black Hole Orb, causing the meteor to lift into the air, and said, “If only you had the sense to join me…”“Where’s the sense in that?” Tahu asked. “You’re going to destroy everything. I see no point in reducing all that is to a wasteland!”“Hm…” Makuta said, the meteor floating back down to the ground. “Then perhaps I should show you a wasteland?”Makuta grabbed Tahu and teleported them both, and Tahu hit the ground and looked at his new surroundings. The hero and villain were now in a black void filled with random sparks of energy and floating fragments of earth, and Tahu felt a sad ache in his heart. Tahu whispered, “These are the ruins of the RoboRider world…”“Where you see ruins, I see opportunity,” Makuta said, fusing several platforms into one. “A broken world can easily be remade. Ruling someone else’s universe is wonderful enough, but ruling one made by your own power? Truly magnificent.”“You disgust me,” Tahu said.Makuta shrugged, and Tahu hurled a furious barrage of disks, wheels, fire waves, and Millennium blasts, but Makuta used a black hole to absorb all the attacks and then created another above Tahu to send the attacks right back at him. Tahu jumped aside just in time, and then he extended his arm, grabbed a platform, and kicked it at Makuta, who destroyed it with his plasma powers but was kicked before he regained his guard. Makuta tried increasing gravity, but Tahu used it to his advantage and punched the ground, releasing Millennium Energy that flared across the entire platform and shook it to pieces. The shattered pieces began to swarm Tahu, but a grappling spear made of Millennium Energy shot out from his hand, dug into Makuta’s armor, and pulled the Toa out of harm’s way. Makuta punched Tahu, making him tumble through the void, and then his double throwing arm attachment began to spin rapidly as disks came at Tahu in the hundreds. Tahu created a shield and reinforced it with Millennium Energy, and after the barrage stopped he flew at Makuta only to be shot down by laser vision.“Pathetic,” Makuta said as Tahu crashed into a platform. “Let me know when you’re ready to die.”Tahu sent out two giant wheels of fire that homed in on Makuta, saying, “You’re not the only one who can manipulate this world!”Makuta dispelled the fire wheels as two platforms moved to crush him, and he used shadow bolts to blast them to pieces, giving Tahu a chance to warp behind him and deliver a powerful kick filled with light energy. The blow temporarily crippled Makuta, so Tahu brought his fists together, shapeshifted them into a giant hammer, and focused all the strength he could into one overhead smash. Makuta flew right into a platform, shattering it and flying through another one, and when he finally came to a stop he grunted and sat up. Disks and wheels came at Makuta, who summoned a cyclone to intercept them, and Tahu tried hitting Makuta from behind but missed.Tahu created a flame sword and said, “This world can be restored. That’s the first thing I’ll do after defeating you!”A blade of solid energy extended from the Black Hole Orb as Makuta laughed, “Haha! You really think you can beat me?”Tahu lunged and swung, and Makuta backed up and retaliated, though his swing missed as well. Makuta parried a flurry of strikes and then struck Tahu on the mask, but his foe quickly recovered and sliced off one of the spikes on Makuta’s armor. Tahu blocked Makuta’s sword, ducked under the blade, and used an uppercut, and Makuta backed away but the flame sword extended and cut him anyway. A wave of light flew at Makuta, but he warped behind Tahu, slashed his foe’s back, and walked away.“Don’t turn your back on me!” Tahu said as he threw a light bolt.Makuta dodged, blocked an ice blade, and used a power scream to repel Tahu, and then he said, “Oh, are you not finished yet? Toa never know when to quit…”Tahu got up and reached out to several of the platforms, but Makuta destroyed them with his molecular disruption powers and hit Tahu back with a disk. Makuta grabbed Tahu and said, “Or perhaps you would rather die at home?”The world warped again, and this time Tahu crashed into the slopes of the Mangai Volcano before regaining his balance and glaring at Makuta. Tahu created a drill of Millennium Energy and charged, but Makuta hit him and sent him flying all the way to Mount Ihu. Makuta pursued and shot several shadow bolts, but Tahu dodged, willed snow to erupt in Makuta’s face, and kicked him into Po-Wahi. Tahu chased after his foe and swung a flame sword, but Makuta dodged and punched Tahu down into a series of Onu-Wahi tunnels, but Tahu used a wheel to create an opening so he could knock Makuta into the sky.“You seem angrier than usual,” Makuta said. “Don’t want your friends to see you lose?”“I’m not going to lose!” Tahu said.The Toa’s arm extended towards Makuta, who grabbed it and electrocuted Tahu, and then he pulled Tahu in and used a shadow blast to throw him across the sky. Tahu landed on the shores of Naho Bay and rolled to his feet, and Makuta suddenly materialized and bashed his elbow into Tahu’s face.“You’re not going to lose? Is that so?” Makuta said.Tahu created a fissure in the earth beneath Makuta, but Makuta flew over it and dodged several disks before blocking Tahu’s blade. The two tried overpowering each other for a minute, but then Tahu’s eyes lit up and a flash blinded Makuta, and Tahu delivered a quick kick before flying towards Le-Wahi. Makuta pursued and hovered above the treetops for a few seconds, and several of the trees turned to wooden spikes and extended towards him, but he waved his hand and they were diverted back towards the ground.“I too can control plants,” Makuta called. “Now, where are you hiding?”Makuta tried locating Tahu with telepathy but sensed nothing, and he thought, His new power has shielded his mind…interesting. I’ll just have the Rahi in the area search for him.Suddenly Makuta felt something hit him from behind, and he turned around but didn’t see anything. More hits battered him, and he threw a punch, hitting something, and Tahu appeared at the other end of his fist. Makuta smiled and said, “Bending light to become invisible…”Makuta faded away, and Tahu felt punches and kicks from all sides and swung his sword wildly in retaliation. Tahu flew out over the ocean and looked around, but a strike to his back sent him tumbling into the sea, and he growled in frustration and thought for a second. Once Tahu had an idea, he flew out of the sea and used his sand powers to fill the air with small amounts of sand, and then he waited and concentrated. Some of the sand was moved, and Tahu shot out to that location and swung a blue flame sword, slashing Makuta’s chest and deactivating his chameleon powers.“Hrm…resourceful,” Makuta said.The Black Hole Orb lit up and the seawater leapt up around Tahu, but Tahu combined his Shielding and fire powers to create an orb of flame that protected him, and then he rammed into Makuta and sent the flames out to engulf his foe. Makuta shook off the flames and dodged Millennium blasts, and then he sent a storm of disks at Tahu and caught his breath.The Cosmic Bricks flashed and Makuta felt his strength return, and Makuta said, “Give up this futile resistance. You have absolutely no chance of defeating me while the Cosmic Bricks are mine.”“Then I’ll take those Bricks away from you!” Tahu said as he charged in.Makuta hit Tahu with a shadow blast, kicked him, and used laser vision to knock him into the ocean, and then he used his control over the environment to create a whirlpool. Tahu was able to fly out of the whirlpool, but Makuta quickly grabbed him, warped them both to Makuhero City, and threw him into the Hero Factory lobby.Makuta waited for Tahu to re-emerge and said, “Do you even know how to take these Bricks from me? How do you plan to claim them as your own?”Tahu rushed in and used his tail to knock Makuta back, and he touched one of the Bricks but received a powerful shock. Makuta kicked Tahu away and shook his head, and Tahu willed flames to erupt from the ground and hurled several light bolts. None of the attacks hit, but Tahu was able to get behind Makuta grab him, and attack with a buzzsaw of Millennium Energy, though he was swiftly repelled. Shadow blasts came at Tahu in a wave before he could bring up a shield, and the ground became quicksand just long enough for him to sink up to his neck before becoming solid again.Makuta crouched down and said, “You know, even if you do give up, no one will know, and you won’t have to live with the shame for very long.”“I’m not about to give up,” Tahu said. “I WILL get those Bricks.”“You think it’s possible?” Makuta laughed.“You told me it is,” Tahu said. “You asked if I ‘knew how’ to take them. That means there IS a way…I just need to find it.”“Ah…if only you could,” Makuta said. “But taking these Bricks from my control is beyond your ability.”“I doubt that,” Tahu said.Nearly a dozen arms shot up out of the ground and entangled Makuta, and then a foot shot up and kicked him. The earth around Tahu exploded as he retracted and reformed his limbs, and then he put both hands forward and fired a beam filled with Millennium, Light, Fire, and Ice energy that hurled Makuta away. Makuta regained his balance and used his magnetism powers, creating a storm of nearby vehicles and metal plates, and Tahu unleashed a cyclone of flames to melt the objects. Tahu rushed in and deflected some disks, and he threw a punch that missed but then threw a wheel in Makuta’s face. Makuta grabbed Tahu and smashed him into the ground, creating spikes where the Toa landed, and then teleported away as Tahu struggled to his feet.“You don’t look so good, Tahu,” Makuta said.“Don’t worry about me,” Tahu said.Makuta threw a shadow blast, knocking Tahu back into the Factory, and then he followed and used his gravity powers to send Tahu into the basement. Tahu crawled back up into the lobby and threw a disk, but he faltered and the weapon crashed into a wall. Makuta kicked Tahu down the hallway and slowly followed, clearly in no hurry to continue this one-sided battle. A wheel zipped past Makuta as he closed in, and then he grabbed Tahu, teleported to the top of the Factory, and smiled. Makuta held Tahu over the edge and let go, and Tahu tried to fly but the gravity was increased exponentially, and the next thing he knew he was crashing into the pavement. The impact left a very deep crater, and Makuta teleported down and cast a pitied yet condescending look on his crippled foe.“It seems our duel is reaching its end,” Makuta said. “The Bricks will continue to restore my strength, but you, Tahu, have limits. Limits that, it would appear, have been reached.”Tahu managed to get out of the crater and stood up, and he shot a Millennium blast but Makuta just batted it aside. Makuta used his density control powers to harden his fist, and Tahu teetered back and forth as Makuta reared back and threw a punch. Tahu was thrown through the wall of the Hero Factory and through a few more rooms, and he finally came to a stop by crashing into the antenna that had once harvested hearts. The Toa fell next to the dome at the bottom of the room and went limp, unable to remain conscious any longer, and he saw himself floating in an endless void.“…I failed…” Tahu choked. “…Everyone was counting on me…I did everything I could…but still…I failed…”“Don’t you even think about giving up!” shouted a voice. Tahu turned to see a hunchbacked being with red and black armor, and Millennia’s memories came to his mind and provided the being’s name.“…Torch…?” Tahu said. “The Fire Slizer who was killed by Spark and Flare? What…how…?”“Calm down,” said another voice. “Think things through.”This new being had green and teal armor, and Tahu said, “Amazon…you’re here too?”“Don’t forget me!” chimed in a third voice, this one belonging to a purple and black insectoid creature.“Electro,” Tahu identified. “…Is Granite here?”“I am,” replied a scorpion-like being with tan and gray armor. “Thanks for asking.”“All of you are dead,” Tahu said. “How can I be talking to you?”“Don’t you remember where you are?” Torch asked. “You passed out next to the main server of the Hero Core network. Plus, you HAVE a Hero Core now.”“…So you’re all in the Hero Core network…?” Tahu asked.“Our hearts at least,” Amazon said. “But this is not the real issue. You think you have failed, yes?”“Makuta defeated me,” Tahu said. “Now there’s nothing to stop him from destroying dimensions.”“Wrong!” Electro buzzed. “Come on, tough guy—you may be down, but you’re not out just yet!”“But what else can I do?” Tahu asked. “I don’t know how I can beat Makuta.”“Well, maybe you just need a little help,” Granite said. “With your new abilities, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.”Tahu thought for a second, remembering how his Kaita ability had been enhanced to allow fusion with Millennia. He knew it would be impossible to fuse with enough people while dodging Makuta’s attacks…but maybe he didn’t need to fuse with them. Tahu reached out with his mind, seeing the other Toa and Slizers, and felt their power separated from him by only a thin barrier.Back on Mata-Nui, Gali felt a presence, and she looked up and said, “Tahu…?”I need your power, Tahu’s voice said, his words reaching all those present but the robots. All of you! Please…I can’t defeat Makuta the way I am now. Just lend me your strength—you need only will it!“We can send him our power from here?” Pohatu asked.“That sounds convenient,” Ski said.“Tahu, we will help you however we can,” Jet said.Everyone agreed, and one-by-one the barriers lowered and Tahu felt their power flowing into him. Tahu said, “Yes…thank you!”“Whoa, you’re not ready yet,” Torch said. “Charge back in now and you’ll get killed.”“You will need the power of all the hearts within the Hero Core network,” Amazon said. “You will need to unseal the links separating each Hero Core, but with your power over data environments, that should be easy.”Tahu nodded and sent his mind across the network, and as he unsealed the links he felt the power of hundreds of heroes rush into him. “Thank you all,” Tahu said. “You four especially…I wish I could repay you.”“You could always revive us,” Electro chuckled. “I’m sure Jet still has disks with our energy in them. You may need to put our hearts in some Hero Cores, but then we’ll just need a dash of Cosmic Brick power.”Tahu was confused, but Granite said, “For now, focus on the battle. If we’re meant to be revived, it will make sense to you when the time is right.”Suddenly Tahu was back in the Hero Factory, and he stood up to find that his wounds had healed. He clenched his fists in determination, and he glared up as Makuta teleported into the room. Makuta said, “Still alive? Well done, Tahu, well done. You have exceeded my expectations.”Tahu pulled back a fist and charged it with energy, and in the next instant he punched Makuta in the jaw. Makuta was completely unprepared for the vicious uppercut, allowing the attack to launch him all the way out of the planet’s atmosphere, and when Tahu joined him he gave the Toa a surprised look. Tahu cracked his knuckles and said, “I hope you enjoyed your moment of triumph, Makuta. The upper hand won’t be yours again.”“Did you forget about these?” Makuta asked, gesturing to the Bricks. “As long as these are mine, I shall keep the upper hand in this and all battles.”“I finally figured that out too,” Tahu said. “In order to take the Bricks while they’re connected to you, I need to jam that connection long enough to forge my own. Luckily…Boss has been exposed to quite a bit of Cosmic energy.”A net of light blue energy shot out from Tahu’s hand and snagged a Cosmic Brick, and Tahu pulled on the net with enough force to pull the Brick free of its orbit around Makuta. As the Brick began to circle Tahu, Makuta said, “…What…? How…how dare you!! The Cosmic Bricks belong to me and me alone!”A volley of shadow bolts came at Tahu, but he powered through them with a shield of light and delivered a furious barrage of punches, pushing Makuta further into space with each hit. Makuta was eventually able to teleport away, and he put a hand forward and intense lasers shot out from his three Cosmic Bricks. Tahu’s Brick projected an energy barrier that blocked the beams, and he held his ground (so to speak) and waited until the powerful attack ended. Light bolts came at Makuta, who protected himself with a black hole, and Tahu warped behind him and netted another Cosmic Brick. Makuta used a powerful beam of shadow to try to repel Tahu, but the Toa endured long enough to claim the Brick he had netted and then was sent tumbling through space.“As long as I focus on the Bricks instead of Makuta, this is definitely possible,” Tahu said. “I can win.”Makuta teleported behind Tahu and threw a punch, but Tahu dodged and smothered Makuta in flames as he backed away. Tahu extended his arm and punched Makuta, and Makuta tried using his illusion powers but could not pierce Tahu’s mind. Frustrated, Makuta dodged light bolts and created a shield to block a Millennium blast, and then he electrocuted Tahu and attacked with another stream of disks. Tahu tried finding an opening but encountered great difficulty, so he lowered his tail below the reach of the storm and launched a wheel, which was just enough to throw Makuta off. Makuta saw Tahu charge and opened a black hole before him, but it turned out he was facing a light projection and the real Tahu had snagged a third Brick.“Bothersome insect!” Makuta shouted, using a beam of shadow boosted by his last Brick.The beam hit Tahu square in the Hero Core and pushed him back for several miles, and when it finally stopped Makuta appeared to deal a powerful blow to Tahu. The Toa noticed Solar Aura building up around Makuta as the villain struck him with laser vision, and he soon felt the effects of the power-up as Makuta launched into a his own barrage of punches. Tahu tried raising a shield but Makuta shattered it, and when the Toa was significantly weakened he used another Cosmic shadow beam at point-blank range.As Tahu floated through space, temporarily disabled, Makuta said, “You cannot defeat me! I will not allow it! This power enables things even I never dreamed possible! I will not give it up!”“And you call me foolishly stubborn,” Tahu chuckled as he re-righted himself. “I was going to give you one last chance, but now I see you won’t take it. It’s time I ended this.”Tahu shot out and delivered a punch, absorbing a portion of Makuta’s Solar Aura for his own, and after another dozen hits or so, the Aura was now completely in Tahu’s possession. Makuta attacked with his energy blade, but Tahu warped out of the way, created a giant flame sword empowered with Cosmic energy, and slashed. The attack crippled Makuta, and he could do nothing but watch as Tahu claimed the final Cosmic Brick.“…You may have the Bricks…” Makuta said, “but I will not let you win…”Space began to warp around Makuta as he continued, “Even without them, my power is still incredible! I can still create a black hole large enough to destroy this universe!”The black hole began to take shape, and Tahu said, “Looks like you really are backed into a corner. Sorry, Makuta…you probably won’t survive this.”The Cosmic Bricks attached themselves to Tahu’s arms and legs, and he put one hand forward and began charging energy in front of his palm. Power poured out from Makuta as he said, “Toa are not killers! You don’t have the courage to end me!”“Ordinarily, yes,” Tahu said. “We don’t kill if there’s another way…but this time, there is no other way. Makuta…Blaster…The Virus…Von Nebula…all of your threats end here! For the safety of all of reality, I will destroy you!”Tahu shouted and fired a massive energy beam from his palm, and the energy washed over Makuta and his black hole, assaulting them both with unparalleled force. The black hole soon vanished, but Makuta was not so lucky—the beam raged on for minutes, tearing him apart piece by piece, and with one final curse, the last of him was obliterated. Tahu stopped the energy beam and sighed, and then he stood tall as the four Cosmic Bricks orbited around him.“The universe is safe.”Review
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#31 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Apr 12 2012 - 09:46 AM

Chapter 30Tahu took a deep breath. Since he was in outer space, he didn’t actually breathe in any air, but it still helped him to calm down after the intense battle he had just won. With Makuta gone and the Cosmic Bricks in good hands, Tahu was able to relax a bit, but he wasn’t done yet.“First, I need to restore the RoboRider world,” Tahu said. “After that, I should probably fix the damage that battle caused.”“Already done,” said a voice.Tahu turned around to see a strange being floating a few yards from him—it was a humanoid slightly shorter than him with no detailed features, and it appeared to be made up of hundreds of red (Lego) bricks.“…What are you?” Tahu asked“Just call me Legolord,” the stranger said. “I’m the one who created the Cosmic Bricks.”Tahu’s eyes widened, but before he could speak, Legolord said, “Hey, would you mind if we went back to Mata-Nui before continuing? I think the others would like to hear this too, and I only feel like explaining it once.”Suddenly they stood on Mata-Nui’s surface, with the other Toa, Slizers, and Hero Factory heroes nearby, and Legolord said, “Now then…Tahu saved the universe with all of your help—good job, everyone! I’m Legolord, maker of the Cosmic Bricks, and I wanted to personally thank you all for your efforts.”“…Wait—why did you wait until now to show up?” Tahu asked. “Didn’t you know the Bricks were in danger?”“You’re familiar with ‘destiny’, right?” Legolord asked. “Maybe this was all destined to happen?”There was a pause, and then he said, “Actually, I do have a reason. I need to spend as little time as possible around the Cosmic Bricks unless I have precautions in place, and it took me this long to set them up.”“As little time as possible…?” Tahu repeated. “Why’s that?”“Well, that’s a long-ish story…” Legolord sighed. “I’m a being of creation, so I have an instinct to just create things. The problem is, to keep the universe balanced, there’s also a being of destruction who’s just as powerful as me, and he loves to blow things up just for the heck of it. We fought once, a long, long time ago, but in the final clash we were hurled to opposite ends of the space-time continuum. I don’t like fighting—not my strong suit—but I knew my counterpart would hunt me down…unless I split my power into multiple pieces so he couldn’t track it.”Tahu looked at the Bricks, and Legolord continued, “I sealed most of my power into the Cosmic Bricks and then got rid of them. I tried having the Slizers I created guard one, but we know how that turned out…I hid one in cyberspace, and it eventually created the RoboRider world on its own…I gave one to your ‘Great Beings’ to hide in your world…and then I stashed one away that I eventually decided to give to Makuro. I felt really safe these past few years…well, it was nice while it lasted.”“So then…this being of destruction will track you here?” Tahu asked. The idea made him feel numb.“No, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t detected us,” Legolord said, relieving everyone. “Still, the more time the Bricks spend together, and the more time your races spend in close contact, it becomes more likely that my enemy will find us. So, if you wouldn’t mind separating…”Tahu closed his eyes and returned to normal, Millennia standing nearby holding Stormer’s Hero Core. The Core was handed off to Furno as Legolord continued, “But, really, thank you all. You’ve prevented unfathomable destruction from claiming this universe and others. You have my eternal gratitude.”“But what should we do now?” Tahu asked. “If we need to scatter the Bricks—““I’ll handle that,” Legolord said, the Bricks floating towards him. “I’ll put them back where they belong, with added protection this time. But first, I want to express my gratitude…I’ve revived the RoboRider villagers, and I’ll tell you how to revive Torch, Amazon, Electro, Granite, and Stormer.”“We…we can do that?” Jet asked.“Even Stormer?” Furno asked.“Stormer’s the simplest,” Legolord said. “Just rebuild his body, and send the RoboRiders to put locks back on the heart in his Hero Core, plus do some maintenance while they’re there.”Furno looked to Stormer’s Core as Boss said, “Already on it. The Core will be ready in no time.”“What about the Slizers?” Millennia asked.“You’ll also need the RoboRiders for that,” Legolord said. “Since the Slizers’ hearts are in the Hero Core network, the RoboRiders will need to find and isolate those hearts so that Zib can bind them to Hero Cores. Also, Jet—we’ll need those disks that contain their energy. Stack the corresponding Hero Core and disk on top of a Cosmic Brick, and it’ll revive the Slizer.”“Weren’t the disks destroyed along with the Judgment Tower?” Rida asked.“I saved some duplicates in a separate facility,” Jet said. “Thank you, Legolord.”“Sure thing,” Legolord said. “But after that, there can be no interaction between any of you…well, actually, the Hero Factory would probably need to find a place to store Spark, but I’d recommend keeping the heroes as far away from him as possible. We need to keep your energies separate so that my enemy can’t find you.”“Of course,” Tahu said.“Well, I think that covers it,” Legolord said. “Thanks again, everyone. Hopefully we won’t have to do this again anytime soon.”Makuro walked into the lab and asked, “How are things progressing?”“Wonderfully!” Zib said. “The Slizers have all been revived and sent back to their planet, and the RoboRiders went back to their world not long ago. The data disks containing the RoboRider world and the remains of The Virus will be taken back to the safe house later today. All of our damaged heroes have been repaired too.”“And Preston?” Makuro asked as he turned to the side.A glass pane separated him from an assembly room, and in that room rested the body of a hero unlike any the Factory had built before. This was a tall hero clad in white armor, with a white shield that sported blue spears and a tube that connected to the hero’s back. Several attachments came out of the hero’s helmet, and there was a niche on his chest for a Hero Core but it was empty.“The Stormer 2.0 body is ready,” Zib said. “The Hero Core is in the final stage of remodeling and synchronization. Our first upgraded hero will be functional by the end of the day.”Makuro smiled as he gazed at Stormer 2.0, confident that this new breed of hero would keep the universe safer than ever. Sadness passed over him as he thought of Von Ness, reluctant that he could not save the prototype, but he dismissed it and decided to focus on the present. Makuro turned and walked out of the lab, facing the future with an optimistic grin.Meanwhile in the RoboRider world, Power rolled into his matrix and settled in, his wheels turning back into villagers. A Scout walked in and said, “You don’t have to remain deactivated. Surely we can find something for you to do.”“Our purpose is to protect this world, and right now there is nothing to protect it from,” Power said. “Deactivation is the best option right now. But we’ll be ready if another threat appears.”“Alright,” the Scout said.Power’s eyes closed as he deactivated, and the Scout and the other villagers left the matrix and sealed the door. The Ninja asked, “So no one remembers the Boss Codes? No one at all?”“Affirmative,” the Scout said. “Boss’s power is not something to be used in trivial matters. Wiping our memories of the Codes is the best way to ensure we do not abuse that power.”“Still…if it hadn’t been for Boss, the RoboRiders would have been deleted,” the Fuel said. “Maybe six RoboRiders aren’t enough. We still have the blueprints…we could build more.”“…Perhaps,” the Scout said. “For now, however, we should celebrate. We had a brush with oblivion…this is a time to be thankful for our life.”On the Slizers’ planet, Rida flew up and landed on the top of the Judgment Tower, grinning down at the city. She said, “I wasn’t expecting Legolord to rebuild all of this! This is great!”Jet came up behind her and said, “Yes, but as Judge Slizer you have other things to think about. Torch still has a Sector to go home to, but Amazon, Electro, and Granite do not. Also, the spaceship was not repaired, and Flare’s attack did quite a bit of damage.”“I’ve already decided to scrap the remains of the ship and start over,” Rida said. “Might take a while, but eh. As for the revived Slizers…well, that one will require more thought…”“Hey!” Electro called, flying up to join them. “So this is where you guys are hiding! We’ve been looking all over for you!”“Sorry, trying to clear my head,” Rida said.“There’ll be time for that later,” Electro scoffed. “We’re having a party! The Judge Slizer and ex-Judge Slizer should join in!”“…That does sound fun,” Jet said. “Shall we, Rida?”“Sure!” Rida said.She dove off the side of the Tower, soon leveling out and soaring over the city, and Jet watched Electro follow her before departing himself. Jet was curious about what would come next, but in his long term as Judge Slizer, he had learned not to worry about the future. As he flew, he spotted Millennia standing by himself, so he dropped down next to the titan.“Not a party person?” Jet asked.Millennia chuckled, but then he said, “I know I must seem vain, but...I still wish I could’ve beaten Blaster on my own. Guess I’m still not a team player.”“Your loss of power was a great shock,” Jet said. “It’s only natural that it will take you time to adjust. You mustn’t be so hard on yourself, my friend—besides, in a way, you DID kill Blaster. You were a part of Technic Tahu, and Blaster was a part of Technic Makuta.”“That’s a loophole,” Millennia said. “…If we do finish the spaceship and head to my old planet, there’s no telling what we’ll encounter. I want to be strong again, to be able to deal with any threat that might be in our way.”“Then I wish you the best in your endeavors,” Jet said. “As long as you believe in yourself, anything is possible. The future is ours to change.”On Mata-Nui, Tahu stood on top of Kini-Nui and stared up at the sky, barely noticing when Gali approached him. “…If Mata Nui were awake, he probably would have helped against Makuta,” Tahu said. “Maybe we’re not done yet…”“Whatever we still have to do, we’ll figure it out,” Gali said. “It’s our destiny. Besides, it can’t compare to fighting Makuta for the Cosmic Bricks.”“We can accomplish anything when we work together,” Tahu said. “Defeating Makuta…waking up Mata Nui…and dealing with that being of destruction, if he ever shows up…it might not always be easy, but nothing can stand in our way for long.”Tahu turned around and said, “Let’s gather the Toa and go consult the Turaga. If anyone knows what to do next, it’s them.”Gali and Tahu left the temple, not aware of the threat brewing beneath their feet. Deep in the bowels of Mangaia was a crystal tube, and within this tube was a small cloud of green and black gas. As a precaution, Makuta had left a portion of his essence in Mangaia, and because of this he had survived Tahu’s final attack. It would take time for the substance to fully regenerate—longer still for him to meld together enough Rahkshi armors to shapeshift back to his previous form. But Makuta was not worried. Slightly disappointed with his loss, yes, but his master plan had not been compromised. Makuta would recover, and his plan would proceed...but he would have to stall the Toa for the best chance. He silently laughed to himself, and his essence continued to regenerate as a sound filled the chamber…

CHIKT-CHIKT-CHIKT-CHIKT-CHIKT-CHIKT-CHIKT

THE END

Prologue posted January 3, 2012Final chapter written August 20, 2011Final chapter posted April 12, 2012Pages used: 181Message From the Author:About time I finally got this up! I started planning in summer 2010! Guess the Hero Factory stuff in here is outdated by now, huh? Ah well. Thanks so much for checking out Forgotten Bond—I wanted to try a new kind of story and see the results, so your views and reviews are greatly appreciated! I might like to do something else with this story, so…final feedback, anyone? Drop the story, rewrite Forgotten Bond, write a sequel? Please answer! Again, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all soon!--Pahrak, also known as Zadakh, also known as The Man of Many PseudonymsReview

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