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#41 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Feb 21 2012 - 02:19 AM

Chapter 39Rylus emerged from the medical hut of Le-Koro with a splint on his right arm and bandages around his abdomen to help heal his icicle wounds. With Tapio gone, and the Le-Matoran Rahi-fighting squad already planning their next attack, Rylus had virtually no one to talk to- except for Lux. Where had the Po-Matoran gone off to? Rylus decided to search the village for him, as he was desperate for something to occupy his time with.As he looked around the treetop village, he wondered if Syryn and Paha were having any luck in the search for Wahkua and Zoma. Hopefully by now they had found their quarry, but Wahkua was sure to be an elusive enemy... Who knew where he might have fled to?*Wahkua grunted as dead twigs scratched his legs. Minutes earlier, he had made a wrong step and the thin branch he was trying to use for leverage snapped, sending him plummeting to the swampy ground below. The trees here were tall, twisted, and relatively dry, providing shelter for not much more than Fikou spiders and the occasional Nui-Rama. Not that they would attack him, of course. They were kin, in a way. Both devoted to the Master of Shadows.He wasn't sure exactly what had happened to Zoma. The Onu-Matoran had briefly gone into some sort of trance, babbling and shuddering violently, but after a while had gone still and silent.Wahkua hoped he wasn't making a mistake bringing this one back to Xa-Koro. Inquisitors were specifically chosen to be those who would never make mistakes. High in ranking as he was, he still had superiors with very high expectations. Disappointing them would be sure to have... unfavorable results.*”It's no use. We're not going to find him like this. The jungle is too big”, Henkka said. He commanded Phantoka to fly himself and Syryn back to the village of Le-Koro. Henkka had learned a few things about chasing bad guys during his adventures. It was important to follow an escaping enemy as soon as possible and not lose him. If that failed, one needed to gather information about the enemy, predict where he's going and then try to get there.Le-Koro came in sight. Henkka saw Rylus in the village and made Phantoka land beside him.”Hello again”, Henkka said, but not cheerfully. ”I'm afraid we lost him. But we will find him... all we need is some information on him.””Information? I know next to nothing about this Wahkua psycho”, Rylus responded. “All I know is that he's an Inquisitor, he looks like a Fe-Matoran, he has Zoma, and he's probably the best tree-climber I've ever seen. What are we supposed to do with that?”Rylus was frustrated with this entire situation, and failed to see what Wahkua could possibly want with Zoma or where he might be taking him. Zoma had been just a miner before being dragged into all this, what special role could he possibly play? And why had he...Then he had it. A theory that explained everything, one that suddenly made him far more worried than he was before.”Why was Zoma in that clearing in the first place?” Rylus began, ”Why were all those Rahi there, but never attacking him? Think about it, all of it points to the awful truth. Zoma wasn't acting on his own will, and Wahkua noticed it when we all failed to...”Syryn knew where this was going, and unfortunately Rylus made a valid point. There was no need to say what was on his mind – he totally realized the gravity of the situation.Zoma was under Makuta's influence, and Wahkua sought to bring him to Xa-Koro.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Feb 21 2012 - 02:20 AM.

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#42 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Feb 24 2012 - 01:36 AM

Chapter 40Hirvi crouched behind a rock, filled with fear. This was it. This was the time to act. Maa had told him so. But Maa was nowhere to be seen. Should Hirvi follow his orders nevertheless? The Onu-Matoran had hinted Hirvi should attack Kalama and his group once the battle started, but Hirvi didn't see a reason to do so. He thought hard about his next move. Inside an icy cavern, battle between Kalama’s Raiders and Scurra and his forces raged. Scurra, the murderous Toa of Ice, was responsible for several murders and awful crimes against the Matoran. Scurra himself thought he was doing a favor to them. After all, he was insane. But that didn’t stop him from sending his troops to kill Kalama’s group. Kalama’s group was consisted of strong fighters. The Marines were experts at combat, Lohkar was a strong Lesterin, Agarin, Tanuka, Kozai and Knidia were powerful Toa whose powers were amazing.Kozai was giving off an incredible show of his elemental powers. He slowly morphed the cave into a stone chinese dragon, and made it regurgitate anyone who was left in. He then channeled his consciousness through it to the point he could see through it and completely control it as if it were his own body. ”Stone-Stone Puppet!” he murmured as he swooped towards Scurra in this new temporary body, ready to bite or even swallow him whole.Scurra sent a wave of Ice at Kozai and managed to break his concentration. The dragon stilled and morphed back into the original shape of the cavern. Meanwhile one of Scurra's men was ready to strike at Kozai, ready to smash his face in with a club. The Marines were tied up with Scurra’s men. Meanwhile Agarin, Lohkar, and Tanuka were also being attacked by more henchmen, one to each of them.Scurra brought up his blade to strike Kalama's, with a grin on his face. ”This island deserves a better class of heroes, and I'm going to give it to them. You'll see, I'll show ya.” He smiled as the blade pressed against Kalama's.Kalama fell back to the ground and rolled around to Scurra's right before lashing at his arm. “Hero! Don't make me sick! You murdered and tortured people for fun! You're no hero, Scurra!” “Oh, Kalama I wasn't talking about myself, I was talking about you”, Scurra said, smiling as he jumped to his left to avoid the blade and brought it once again down to strike him. “You see the coming chaos is like gravity, all it needs is a little push. You will make the choice that no else can make, Mata Nui needs people like you. Let's hope you won't disappoint on your final test.”Agarin was put up against the rock wall by a mercenary of Scurra. All according to plan.”Any last words?” the mercenary asked.”Yeah!” Agarin said “SUPRISE, MORON!” he yelled as he levitated a nearby rock with sonics. Hurling it right into the mercenary's stomach. “Dang, hope I didn't kill him.”The mercenary stood back up.”Wow this is bittersweet”, Agarin said.Lohkar sprang from the top of a drift and ran headlong down it at Scurra’s henchmen. A Skakdi came at Lohkar, a burly Skakdi with an unpleasant scowl. It was probably the only expression he was capable of. The Skakdi drew his sword just in time to block Lohkar's cutlass.The Skakdi grunted and pushed, forcing Lohkar back a few paces. Their weapons disengaged.The Skakdi aimed a thrust at Lohkar's midriff. Lohkar parried and riposted, but the Skakdi blocked again, and the two combatants slid forwards so their faces were a few inches apart.”I know you”, snarled the Skakdi, “pirate.””Sorry, I'm terrible with faces”, replied Lohkar, and brought one knee up into his opponent's groin.The Skakdi roared in pain, and lashed out with his sword with such mad strength that Lohkar's cutlass was smashed from his grip and stuck blade-first in the snow several metres away.”Oh, bugger”, said Lohkar, and rushed off to get it, narrowly missing a swordstroke from the enraged Skakdi.A Toa of fire with a Kakama was giving Knidia a hard time. The two had already traded elemental attacks, but neither could get the upper hand. They'd resorted to their masks and were whirling round the field at speeds too fast to be seen by the naked eye, ice and snow being churned into a blizzard in their wake.Alex had told Hirvi to wait until the big battle and then side with him. But Alex was nowhere around and Hirvi was alone. But maybe it was a test of some sort? Maybe Alex was hiding somewhere nearby after all? Or maybe he had simply left him? At heart, did Hirvi really trust him?The battle raged on. The Skakdi fighting Lohkar was charging at him again, swinging an axe above his head.Lohkar pulled his cutlass from the snow. Just as the mercenary reached him, he stepped neatly aside and stuck out one foot, tripping the Skakdi. As he fell, Lohkar brought the pommel of his cutlass down on his head with a resounding CLANG. He didn't get up.”That's goin' ta be sore in the mornin'”, said Lohkar, and ran off to help the Marines deal with their mercenaries.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Feb 24 2012 - 01:37 AM.

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#43 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 05 2012 - 12:51 PM

Yes, I'm still here. I've just been busy preparing for my matriculation examination tests. They'll be over in three weeks, so after that I'll be back to action for real. But here's one chapter before that time.Chapter 41 Zoma slowly opened his eyes, but did not see the lush foliage he had been expecting. Darkness, fog, and death surrounded him. Unnerving beastial sounds invaded his ears, different from any Rahi he had ever heard. He had heard tales of this place. Matoran and Toa alike had ventured here, never to return. Wahkua was taking him to the Kumu Islets, and they were nearing their destination...*”Xa-Koro?” Henkka repeated after Rylus voiced his thoughts. Henkka had never heard of such a Koro before. He knew Mata Nui, but this world seemed to have an additional village. But Henkka could guess what kind of people it belonged to. ”Well, if he's taking your friend there, that is where we must go”, Henkka said.Suddenly he heard a distant shout.”Not the foot! If you want to eat one of my feet, eat my left, but not my right!”Henkka turned towards the voice and saw one of the strangest sights known to Matoran-kind. A Toa of Iron wrapped up in a fikou spider web, and was being carried up a tree and left hanging by said spiders. And now the aforementioned Rahi were attempting to eat his left foot.”Hold on!” Henkka shouted, springing to help. He had done lots of climbing in vines during his life and could easily get to the Toa and save him. Unfortunately, his current body was the body of a Po-Matoran and wasn't built for agility. With a thud, Henkka dropped to the jungle floor as he tried to save the Toa.Two Le-Matoran, Vihrea and Usko, saw the danger and leapt close to the Fikou web and, using bamboo disks, they shredded the web and grabbed the Toa, taking him to the village. Soon after, Henkka followed. He hadn't been badly damaged by the fall, but it had been a humiliating moment.”Say, how did you get yourself in that trouble-snare?” Usko asked the Toa of Iron as they ripped off the rest of the webbing.Stronin smiled weakly. He felt relief at the fact that he would not be eaten by the fikou spiders. Stretching slightly, he looked back at his saviours before speaking.”I used up my elemental energy on the way from Po-Wahi,” he said. ”And then, after getting attacked by a Nui-Rama, I used all the energy I required for my Mask, but that wouldn't of helped anyway.””Well, you're safe now”, Henkka said. ”I wish I could say the same for Zoma...””What brought you here, Toa-hero?” Usko asked.The Toa of Iron shrugged, thinking back to when he had decided to journey to the jungles of Le-Wahi. It was all fresh in his mind, as it was a new beginning for him.Sort of.”I got bored of Po-Koro,” he said finally after some thought. ”So I took a boat ride from the port, and came here.”Henkka was pleased to know this new Toa didn't have any mission or quest as a reason to come to Le-Koro. That meant he would not be occupied with anything.”If you don't have anything special to do, how about joining us on our quest to free a Matoran?” Henkka suggested. There would be strength in numbers and a Toa more would be practical.The Toa if Iron did a double-take, nearly tripping over as he comprehended the words.”What, what, what?” he whispered, the shock causing him to be unable to think properly. In all his time as a Toa, he had never been asked to help with anything, as he already had gained a reputation as a thief, a swindler and a liar. People asking him for help was as unlikely as the island been attacked by metal ball things that could possess people with mask-like substances. So it surprised him greatly.”You are saying,” he began, slowly enunciating his words. ”That you require my help.”The expression on Henkka’s face confirmed his words.”But I'm a thief!” he shouted, the outburst shocking the Matoran. ”You're from Po-Koro! You're not supposed to trust me! You should know several people that I've stolen from!”He sighed, looking away.”If you still want my assistance,” he murmured. ”Then I'll help.”Henkka thought for a while. He remembered that his host had been evil before Henkka had come to replace his spirit. Maybe his host and this Toa had known each other? No... the reaction would be different.”Well... I was evil too, you know”, Henkka said. ”But I decided to try it another way. Perhaps you could do the same? But if you don't want to help, you don't have to.”The Toa sighed. The request had nearly turned his world upside-down, and he was still reeling from the shock of it. As he pondered, he felt that he had stolen from the Matoran before, something about Koli balls and the sort.”Alright,” he said, reluctantly agreeing. ”I'll help.”He smiled slightly after his statement.”It's funny that a Po-Koronan is asking for my help.””These are hard times”, Henkka said.The Iron Toa nodded, looking back towards the forest where he was nearly eaten, before looking back at Henkka. He paused for a moment, thinking of his life-time goal, before realising he had forgotten something.”By the way,” he said abruptly. ”What's your name?””My... name?” Henkka repeated. After arriving in this world he had two names he was being called with. Lohkare and Paha. But which of them actually was his name? He decided to go with Lohkare, since Rylus called him that.”My name is Lohkare”, Henkka said, regaining his posture. ”Nice to meet you. And you?”The Toa suddenly snapped his fingers, causing Henkka to blink at the abruptness of his action. A memory flowed into his mind, and he chuckled slightly at it.”I remember you now!” he said cheerfully. ”I met you once at a Koli stand, where I stole your newly bought Koli Ball.” ”Oh... I - I guess you did”, Henkka said. He didn't remember any of it, of course. He hadn't been in this body for that long and his host's past was a complete mystery to him. Except for the fact he had been evil and had kidnapped a Matoran.”My name is Stronin,” the Toa if Iron said.”It's nice to have some help”, Henkka said. ”We should go to this Xa-Koro as soon as possible, but first I need to see a medic. My wounds are starting to hurt and I want to be well prepared for battle. Also, I think it would be wise for me to know something about Xa-Koro before we just barge in there and tell them to give Zoma back.”Stronin smiled, his massive grin unnerving his new companion. The moment Henkka mentioned Xa-Koro, many thoughts began to swirl around in his mind, which included attempting to blow up the village. ”I'll handle anything including Xa-Koro,” he said, rubbing his hands together with barely suppressed glee. ”But anyways, there should be somebody to help treat your wounds nearby.””There's a medical hut a few street-blocks from here”, Usko said. ”I can quick-take you there.””Thank you”, Henkka said. ”I won't be long, these wounds aren't that bad. While I'm at the medics, you should try to find out information about Xa-Koro. If you know something, Stronin, that's excellent. At least we know what we're getting into.”Usko and Vihrea escorted Henkka to the medics, leaving Rylus, Lux, Syryn and Stronin to ponder what was coming.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Mar 05 2012 - 12:53 PM.

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#44 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 17 2012 - 12:46 PM

I'm not back yet completely, but here's an update to keep your appetite alive. Chapter 42The battle was over.Hirvi watched in awe as Kalama’s Raiders tied the infamous Scurra up. The fight between them and Scurra’s mercenaries had been a fierce one, but now Scurra’s followers were scattered around the cavern floor, most of them dead.Knidia looked around at all their foes. “We have won the day”, she said. “Gather anyone left up and bind them, we'll take them into custody.”Hirvi watched Kalama wrap up Scurra. They had stopped a murderer. At that moment, Hirvi realized that they were right and Maa was not. But if what Hirvi knew was true... Kalama’s Raiders would have to stop Maa too, as fast as possible.”You're right... you're all right”, Hirvi said. ”I now realize your course of action is the better one. That’s why I must warn you. Maa told me a lot of things. You have defeated Scurra, but this world is still dangerous. Maa told me he's a time tra-”Hirvi suddenly went silent and his gaze lost focus on anything. A sword was sticking from his heartlight. As he fell, Alex, in Maa's body, pulled his Ko-longsword from the body. It was now blood-stained. ”I'm sorry to interrupt your little party”, Alex sneered. ”But I thought you'd like to celebrate your victory without this talkative one.”Lohkar's eyes lit up. ”Do what ya like with 'im, Kalama”, Lohkar called, referring to Scurra, his eyes still blazing and fixed on Maa. ”We've got another murderer to be dealin' with.”He slowly and deliberately drew his Zamor launcher, and aimed it between Alex’s eyes.”Give me one good reason not to shoot you where you stand”, he said coldly.”Relax”, Alex said with a calm tone. ”I'm not here to fight you. At first I thought I would at least try to kill you, but then came to the conclusion that your existence here will only serve my goals. As for reasons not to kill me... well, let's just say I've never died before. The consequences of me dying could be catastrophic for all of you, as long as I'm concerned.”He started slowly backing up towards the exit. ”If it's alright with you, I'll get going now. All I wanted to do was to keep my word to Hirvi. And I hope we never meet again.” ”You may not think you're here ta fight us”, said Lohkar. ”But that's not your choice ta be makin'.””For Pohatu's sake will SOMEONE deal with HIM?!?!” Kalama pointed at Alex. ”I've had about enough of his shenanigans! Restrain him and let's figure out what we're dealing with here!” He barked. The Marines turned on Alex, weapons drawn. ”I'm gonna enjoy this...” Hotu leered at Maa, cracking her knuckles as she advanced on him. Lohkar sprang forward and swiped at Alex with his sword. Lohkar wasn't going to let him get away this time. He was going to get to the bottom of all this, and as he had the whole group behind him, he was confident Alex wouldn't escape. He cursed as Alex rolled, avoiding his swipe.”Listen!” Alex snapped. “If you kill me, you'll kill Maa. So you better let me get out of here, for I hold him hostage. Oh, and I almost forgot... I have more experience fighting bigger beings than myself than you have of getting drunk.”Lohkar grinned dangerously.”Since when are killin' ya an' lettin' ya go the only options?” he said. ”You have Maa hostage. So we'll take you.”A chain suddenly whipped out, wrapping itself around Alex and yanking him back into the brawl. Juno and Yuni tackled him to the ground before forcing him to sit up in a kneeling position. Yuni punched him in the face as he struggled. ”'OLD STILL YA BLAGGARD!” She yelled as the two restrained him.”Ya see”, Lohkar continued, ”we're not necessarily goin' ta kill you. But mark my words - ” he held the tip of his cutlass to Maa's chest ” - I am goin' ta get some answers.”Alex did his best to remain, and most importantly, look calm. ”Then go ahead”, Alex sneered. ”If you want to learn the secrets I hold, just ask away. But I doubt you'll be able to understand them or take them without losing your sanity. But I guess you're foolish enough to gamble with it, right?” During all this, Tapio stood behind an icy rock, looking what unfolded before him. He had been hired by Alex, who had taken him to the Wastes. Tapio had been shocked to see Alex kill a Po-Matoran. What he saw now was very strange. And another revelation shook Tapio as well – the Onu-Matoran who had hired him was actually Maa. Tapio had been a friend of Maa for as long as he could remember. The two used to meet between the border of Onu-Wahi and Ko-Wahi. But Maa had not recognized him at all and acted very differently.“Then you're an cool dude”, Lohkar replied to Alex, coolly. ”I've seen a lot o' things. This world is full o' surprises. Don't fool yourself into thinkin' your mind's stronger than mine. But, since you're so happy ta talk, first things first. Who are you?”The sword kept pointing at Alex, who almost cracked a smile. This pirate knew nothing about what Alex had gone through. His mind had been strenghtened in a million painful situations.”We'll see about whose mind is stronger”, Alex said. He smiled. ”And I am Maa.”Lohkar's cutlass twitched threateningly.”No you're not”, he said. ”You just told us ya had Maa hostage, remember? I want ta know who an' what you really are.””Today I am Maa. Who knows what I'll be tomorrow? It could be a Le-Matoran... a Toa of Sonics... Makuta himself...” Maa's eyes, for the first time, showed such dark threat. ”Or you.” ”Aha”, said Lohkar. ”So you're tellin' me that you hop into people's bodies. But in there - ” Lohkar tapped his own head for emphasis ” - you're clearly not Maa. So who's in there? Who does the hoppin'?””I'm not here of my own free will”, Alex replied. ”I was forced on this journey. So don't think I'm doing this to harm your people.””That's not the answer to the question I asked”, said Lohkar. ”Who are you?”As Tapio listened to Lohkar and “Maa”, he felt a shudder. The feeling had grown stronger... He knew this all meant something... He needed to find out what. ”Um, pirate-guy?” he said to Lohkar, revealing himself. ”How exactly did Maa... change?”Lohkar looked over his shoulder at Tapio.”Name's Lohkar”, he said. ”The change happened in Po-Koro. We split up, an' when I found Maa, 'e didn't seem ta know me. He was a completely different person.”Tapio almost swallowed his tongue. This discovery was revolutionary. He knew what this meant, he just knew! And it was incredible, to say the least. He needed to find Rylus and Lohkare quickly.”Keep him here or Ko-Koro, but whatever you do, don't let him get away”, Tapio said. ”I'm leaving for Le-Wahi, but I'll try to return as soon as possible. I think I have a way of solving this mystery, but you must wait for me.”With that Tapio turned and hurried away. It was a long journey back to Le-Wahi, but he would make it.As Tapio ran away, Alex frowned. He was becoming suspicious of the Matoran. Did he know who Alex was after all, despite never meeting him in this universe? He was mystified.”Who are you?” Lohkar asked again. Alex couldn't avoid the situation anymore.”Alex, former gangleader, commander, general, master of the Bohrok-Kal and the Spiders of Doom, leader of Bio-Land, champion of martial arts and swordfights, time traveler, explorer, engineer, arch-enemy of Henkka, labworker, former ally of 'The Claw' and the Piraka, historian, killer, hitman, timeline wrapper, Ta-Matoran, and doomed to a fate of eternal leaping between lives and timelines. At your service”, he said with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Mar 17 2012 - 12:52 PM.

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My BZPRPG profiles - Kirgan, Viima, Jarkale, Tuli, Hile, Lai LaiSurina, Khervos, Teede


#45 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 24 2012 - 09:48 AM

Chapter 43”So, uh... Stronin, right?” Rylus said. “I guess I should probably fill you in on what happened... We had a nasty run-in with an Inquisitor in the jungle, along with a few Mages. Somehow he found out we were fighting Makuta's Rahi here, and he came to put a stop to it. We managed to take care of the Mages, but by the time we all met up again Wahkua- the Inquisitor- had left with a friend of mine. We think he's trying to convert him.”Rylus decided to leave out the part where Lohkare turned out to be a psychopathic Makuta fanatic and kidnapped Lux, only for the two to come back as if it were all some friendly game. Stronin, if he even believed the story, would probably be gone in a second if he knew that.Syryn didn't like sitting around. He was normally very calm in these situations, but this was different. He didn't like leaving Wahkua out there...The Toa leaped from his perch and ran to Phantoka. He leaped on, harnessed himself in, and took off for the swamp.Lux whirled around to see Syryn leave. “Brakas,” he swore, before turning to Rylus, “Where the Karz did you find this guy?! He just took off!”Just then Henkka returned from the medic, also seeing Syryn take off. ”What's going on? What's he doing?” he asked.How did a vacation turn into this? Stronin thought as he attempted to register the situation around him. He had thought that whatever he was needed to do would be rather simple and straight-forward.”Heck if I know. He just...flew off.”What was Syryn thinking? Rylus didn't know much about the Toa of Plasma, but he had at least figured they could trust him not to hijack Lux's steed and fly away. Maybe he would manage to find Wahkua and Zoma, but alone his chances of stopping the villain were nowhere near as high, especially this late at night.”So what now?” Rylus asked, addressing no one in particular, ”Do we try to go after him, or just wait it out?””That fool...”, Henkka muttered. ”Well, we can't just wait. If that Toa is thinking of challenging Wahkua on his own, it might be his doom. We should go to Xa-Koro ourselves. Maybe we'll meet up with Syryn there. Hopefully before he's... you know.”Lux shrugged. “I agree with Paha. Or Lohkare. What are we calling you now?”

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Mar 24 2012 - 09:49 AM.

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#46 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 27 2012 - 07:19 AM

Chapter 44Lohkar's eyebrows shot up.”Nothin' like bein' honest,” he said. Being Lohkar, it was the craziness of what Alex had just told him that convinced him it was true. ”I can see we've got a lot o' talkin' to do here.”*At the dock, Kalama and his raiders were about to leave the cold environment behind. ”Well, it’s time to offload my... Nokama's guest”, Kalama said. He looked at the tied-up Scurra. “Then we have a trip to plan to solve the mystery that is Xa-Koro. Alright. Pack in our luggage and lets get moving.” Alex was intrigued by the name “Xa-Koro” and hoped to hear more. However, no more words of the matter were said and instead, Yuni forced Alex into a very uncomfortable position while Juno trussed him up like a Maha. Hotu threw him over her shoulder.”All Marines present and accounted for sir”, Kali said.Alex was furious. He was being carried around like a sack of bula berries. Anger boiled in him. Once he had been very powerful with the powers of three Toa. And what was he now?””Exactly how did you end up like that?” Kozai asked. “I mean, you hopping into other bodies.””Oh, just a need for revenge, some tinkering with unsafe machinery and the Mask of Time, add an epic battle and voila! There goes I”, Alex replied.”Oooh...”, Lohkar breathed, his eyes lighting up. ”The Mask of Time...the most fabled treasure in all o' - ”He stopped himself. ”I've got to stop doin' that,” he said to himself.”I believe that mask exists here too... if you let me, I can show you where it is”, Alex said, trying to use Lohkar’s greed for his own benefit.”What. That myth?” Nala asked, having moved back to Lohkar. “Honestly, I don't know why you'd go chasing myths and fables. The Vahi doesn't exist. It's a dream that all relic hunters chase all their lives with nothing to show for it.””Normally I'd disagree but in this case Nala's right”, Nuraka added. ”Who else remembers Malina?””That half-baked Ruki?” Hotu asked. ”She was a whack job. Going on about other lands and sailing beyond the horizon and all that. Never got very far, she kept coming home.””Easiest 5,000 widgets I ever made for repairs”, Nuraka looked pleased with herself. ”She didn't know a thing about boat maintenance and kept coming back to me.””What ever happened to that one anyway?” Hotu asked.”Las' Oi 'eard she whent doon tew Makoota's lare onna teap the Valhai wuz doon ther'. Manas pro'bly gut 'er, noo ones seen 'er since”, Yuni answered.”There, see? Vahi. Perfect nonsense. Nothing more than an old tale used by the Makuta to lure seekers to their deaths”, Nala yawned. ”If you'll excuse me, it's late and I need more sleep.” With that she curled up around Lohkar's shoulders and promptly started snoozing.*”THIS is a Port Base?” Tanuka asked.Kalama had led them into a canal and at the end was a dead end with a steel reinforced door.”Yep. Trust me, it's more impressive on the inside.” He looked at Lohkar. ”Behave yourself now.” Turning back to the door he knocked on it in a rhythmic fashion.A sliding viewer suddenly opened and the yellow eyes of another Ga-Koran peered out. Spotting Kalama, who flashed his insignia patches, she asked: ”What's the Password?””Makuta jumps ropes at midnight.”The hidden Ga-Koran blinked at him. ”How many?””16, 9 Marines, 4 Toa, 2 prisoners, and a special guest who is not to be hassled.” He gestured at Lohkar.The Marine blinked again before slamming the viewer shut. Several locks were heard undone before the rumblings of the heavy door slid aside. Another squad of Marines was on the other side. The highest ranking among them was a Seawoman. ”Yer late”, the Seawoman said to him.”Got held up by the Watch.””Get in.” The Seawoman turned to the others. ”The Commander ordered no one touch the pirate so ignore him.” The two Corporal Types relaxed but the 5 Privates remained tense.After the last person was inside, the heavy door was closed and relocked.”You know where you're going?” The Seawoman asked.”Yeah. You can tell dispatch Kalama's Raiders are here.””Noted. Welcome to Port Base Frigid Commander. However long you're staying”, the Seawoman saluted him. Kalama returned the salute and the Seawoman went back to her guard duties. Kalama turned to Agarin, Lohkar, Kozai, and Knidia. ”Lady and Gentlemen, thank you for your cooperation. As our objective is completed, I do not require your services any longer. If you wish to leave, Shipper Jira here has volunteered to shuttle you to your destination, no questions asked. Or you can talk with Seawoman Kiana at the gate and she'll let you back in Ko-Wahi. I, myself, am heading to Xa-Koro. Scurra's tale has brought up some interesting questions I want answered and apparently I need to go there to get them answered. You're free to leave at your discretion. Otherwise, now is the time to say if you're going to follow me still.” ”Are there any objections to me taking Maa back to Onu-Koro?” Knidia asked. ”He came from there, and that's where he committed his crimes, so it seems only right he should be tried there.”Kalama looked at Knidia. ”Honestly, no. If the Ussalry is looking for him I'd rather not get tangled up in THAT mess.” He nodded at Hotu who tossed Alex onto Knidia's tail.”I take it you won't be coming with us then?” Kalama waved at her. ”Safe journey. Don't lose Alex.”Knidia began the journey to Onu-Koro. When she and Alex were far away from the others, Alex started talking: ”Say, Knidia... I'm really speaking the truth about the Vahi. What do you say we both go to Ta-Koro - you can even keep me tied up - and see about that legend.””What would I do with the Vahi?” Knidia asked, slinging Alex over her shoulder in a fireman's lift, ”By the sound of it, it just brings trouble. And I'd advise against trying to escape while I'm carrying you,” she said. ”I'll be using my Kakama. Fall out of my hands and you'll hit the ground so hard we'll have to scrape you off it.”*Knidia came to a halt in Onu-Koro, bits of dust and debris flying up as her tail skidded along the ground. She checked her captive was still secure before heading in the direction of the Turaga's hut”If you don't want the Vahi, how about money? I'll give you 10 000 widgets for letting me go. Quite a good price for such a simple deed, don't you think?” Alex tried.”I have this thing called a 'conscience'. And it is too dear to be bought off”, Knidia said. She dumped Alex on the ground and began dragging him along rather than carrying him.”OUCH! Yeah, I've heard of that. But consciense is like... oof... like a chain wrapped around you. Once you get rid of it, you are truly free.”After a short while Alex decided to change the subject. ”You know, I have many secrets of the universe hidden inside my head... well... Maa's head. I have valuable information I could share with you. Whenua would just lock me in a cell or something. Or is there no way to bribe you? Don't tell me you've never sinned. We two could create legends together.””You claim to posses great secrets of the universe, yet you can't understand the Toa in front of you,” Knidia paused for moment. ”How very metaphorical. Or possibly ironic.”Alex was getting really annoyed at this Toa. ”You know, you might be even helping me complete my mission now. I've already ruined Maa's life. I've sold his stuff and ruined his relationships. And now you're carrying me to the Turaga and he will undoubtedly put my host in a cell forever for 'his crimes'. That appears to be my mission and I leap away, to the next world, and poor Maa remains in this ruined life of his forever. No one will believe he has changed. After all, who would believe a murderer? Looks like you don't.””I thought you said you got here by accident,” Knidia pointed out. ”I don't think you can just leap away. You would have done it already if you could.””It's always an accident on my part”, Alex said, ”but not on the part of the force of time. I have always had to do something evil to get away from a world. It doesn't seem systematic at first, but I've been doing it hundreds of thousands of years already. I see it does have some sort of a system in it...””Well then, with luck you won't get to 'move on' if indeed you do, and will be imprisoned until you deserve it no longer.”She raised her free hand to her eyes in a theatrical manner.”Here comes the Ussalry now.””Mark my words, Toa. I will be free and when I am, nothing will protect you from me.””You are a Matoran lacking in any training other than apparently killing yourself,” said Knidia, as the Ussalry guards grabbed Maa and hoisted him onto one of their crabs. ”I am a Toa with elemental and mask powers, and experience and training in combat. I'm not exactly scared.””Many of the things I've been would be enough to make you really, reeeeaaally scared”, Alex said. ”This body may not be the perfect one for revenge, but I warn you. When my revenge comes, you will not see it coming.””If I can't see it coming I can't be scared of it, can I?” Knidia laughed as Alex, descending ever further into cliche villainy, was carted off by the Onu-Koro Ussalry.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Mar 27 2012 - 07:20 AM.

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#47 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 29 2012 - 12:37 AM

Chapter 45Did Syryn regret leaving the group? Possibly. But if he was, he was keeping it to himself. Not that he could tell anyone. He was in the middle of the swamp, roughly in the direction of the two Matoran.The Toa guided Phantoka to a landing and then patted the Nui-Rama's flank and pointed her in the direction of Le-Koro. She didn't need any invitation. Syryn had to admit, she certainly was loyal to Lux.He turned and set off to work.*”So we have a destination, then”, Henkka said. “We'll go to Xa-Koro and hope to the Great Spirit we beat Wahkua there.” Rylus suddenly noticed Phantoka in the distance, approaching the village- without Syryn. This meant one of two things... Either Syryn had found Wahkua and sent the Nui-Rama back, or the Toa had met some sort of unpleasant fate.”Um, guys, this doesn't look good. Where's Syryn?”Rylus had a feeling they all knew where Syryn was. He had found Wahkua, and was about to face the Inquisitor alone.*”Ah, you're awake,” Wahkua observed as Zoma looked around confusedly at his surroundings. ”We're getting close to the coast. From there it's just a short ride to the Kumu Islets. You'll like your new home, I think. It's not as dark and depressing as the foreigners say.”This was probably the calmest Zoma had seen Wahkua since meeting him the previous day, so he decided to take advantage and ask a few questions.”Why me?” he asked. ”There were six Matoran and a Toa in that clearing, why try to convert me out of all of them?”Little did they realize, ”a Toa” was not far away, listening in on their conversation even now.”You're special, Zoma. Didn't you ever notice? Didn't you ever feel a little different back in Onu-Koro?””No... Not really.”It was the truth. Aside from occasionally taking part in Rylus's misadventures, he'd never felt especially odd or out of place. What made him different from anyone else? The strange visions and nightmares had not started until after Lohkare left with Lux, how many days ago? Two or three, maybe four? Besides, he was convinced those were simply stress-induced. Or at least he tried to be convinced.”Really? You never noticed how Rahi act strange around you? I want you to think about this, Zoma, and I want you to think about it very hard. Has an infected Rahi ever, in your entire life, actively tried to attack you?”Zoma scoffed. What a stupid question. Everyone had been attacked by Rahi at some point, it was unavoidable. For example, there was that time when...And then, suddenly, it struck him. Not once had a Rahi ever singled him out, even when Fikou swarmed the mining tunnels, even when that Nui-Kopen chased him through Onu-Wahi. Yes, he had heard it scuttling behind him, yes, it had followed him tirelessly to the edge of a cliff... But it had numerous opportunities to fire off its venom, or lunge with its razor-sharp tail... And did it? Never. All this time, Zoma had thought that Lohkare dragged him into this mess because he owed the Po-Matoran for saving his life. Had Lohkare known all along? Did he sense something about Zoma, like Wahkua had, that even he himself had failed to notice?Apparently, Wahkua took notice of Zoma's startling revelation. ”Fascinating, isn't it? What you can completely overlook until someone points you in the right direction,” he showed a surprisingly warm smile, ”I'm here to help, Zoma. After all those years of toiling away in those cramped mines, you'll finally have a purpose. You're coming home.”

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Mar 29 2012 - 12:38 AM.

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#48 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 11 2012 - 06:10 AM

Chapter 46Alex was relieved to finally get away from Knidia and the rest. They had been too... stubborn. Alex had killed Hirvi because the Matoran knew too much, but Alex ended up having to tell everything about himself. Not that it mattered to him, though. He was here to do something evil and once he was done, he would get away from this foul place.Now Alex was being dragged to Turaga Whenua's hut by the Ussalry. Maybe Alex's job had been to send his host to prison? Perhaps he'd be free after that, to move on?”Maa. I'm disappointed in you”, Turaga Whenua said. ”I am very confused and displeased. Of all Onu-Matoran, you were the most unlikely to ally with the Makuta.”Alex kept silent. He wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.”But, I have heard rumors”, Turaga Whenua continued, ”that you might not be Maa. That you might be posessed. Is this true?”Alex thought for a while. A Turaga wasn't easy to fool, but telling about his real identity would give birth to useless discussion on his part.”No, Turaga”, Alex replied. ”Those are but rumors. They cannot understand my... new behavior... and thus they created 'theories' about it.””That's what I feared”, Whenua said. ”So you have really joined the Makuta, then. How? Why you?” ”I realized it would be more... satisfying in every way. You really think I was content being that nice, Onu-Matoran miner who always did his duty in honor of the Great Spirit? Well, no. I always had the urge to be something more... to be freed of all responsibility... and Makuta gave me the chance.”Whenua lowered his head and sighed. ”I am very sad to hear this. So you ARE crazy.” ”Perhaps”, Alex replied, ”but a happy one at that.”At that point, Whenua had heard enough. ”This is clearly another Xa-Kuta. For all these years, we thought of him as something else, but that was not the truth. I should've known it. Long ago, I learned that appearances and the behavior of someone can be misleading.”The guards grabbed Alex, thinking they were doing so with Maa.”He is to be imprisoned, nothing more, nothing less”, Whenua said. ”And do it quick. I'm too sad to see him being dragged away like that. This world is a dark place and becomes more so every day.”The guards took Alex out of the Turaga's hut. Alex smiled. This had been perfect.*More like a dungeon, it was. The Onu-Koran prison. The guards took Alex down a stairway, deep into the earth. They came to a row of cells, each one containing an imprisoned Makuta worshipper. One was empty, but not for long.As the cell door slam shut, Alex smiled. Besides swordfighting, Alex had a very good talent at escaping from prisons. He had done that countless times before. In fact, he had wished for more of a challenge. But apparently he'd have to do the same routines he had done so many times before.This prison had four guards walking in the corridor. The first step was to get them all near his cell. He waved through the bars at one of the guards. ”Hey, you! I have something to ask you.”The guard approached, annoyed. ”What is it?””Would it be possible to see my friend, Tonga?” he asked, using the name of someone he had known in his universe, but whom none of the guards recognized. The guard looked puzzled.”Tonga?” ”Yes. A friend of mine. Was convicted for worshipping the Makuta and was brought here. Could I see him?” ”I don't know any Tonga.” ”What kind of a guard are you?”Another guard approached. ”What seems to be the problem here?” ”He's ranting something about a Matoran named Tonga here”, the guard replied. ”Tonga?” Alex turned up the heat. ”Yes, Tonga. Surely there's someone who knows him.”And soon things were already going his way. One guard at a time, they all came in front of Alex's cell to wonder out loud who Tonga might be. Now was the time for phase two.”I can give you a hint of what he looks like, but I'll have to whisper it to you so the other prisoners won't hear. If they do... they might become insane.”Interested, the guards leaned towards Alex. Alex backed off slightly, making the guards come closer. Soon all of them had put their heads through the bars, attempting to come closer to Alex and hear his secret. Alex whispered something. Not hearing, the guards still tried peeking through the bars. They all were now in the position Alex wanted them to be in. As fast as lightning, he struck one of the guards. There was a chainreaction as all the guards were hit with equal force by the attacked guard's head. The effect was strengthened by the bars. And just like that, all four guards lost consciousness and fell on the floor.Alex chuckled. This trick worked everytime. It seemed strange and impossible, but that had always been the case. That was why no one ever expected it. Now it was easy for Alex to grab the keys off one of the guards and open his cell door. He started towards the staircase when he heard a shout from one of the cells.”Hey! Free us, too!”Alex was about to ignore the shout, but then thought about it. Freeing the other prisoners would give him... a dangerous gang of Makuta worshippers. What more could he possibly need?Alex turned around and opened all the cell doors. About a dozen criminals were freed in the process. ”Now, listen carefully”, Alex said. ”It is time to pay back. In Makuta's name!”The former prisoners cheered silently.”Once we're up the stairs, we need to down the guards there quick. Near the entrance there is an Ussal stall. We'll all grab an Ussal and get out of here. Out of Onu-Koro and Onu-Wahi. To... Le-Wahi.””Why Le-Wahi?” one of the prisoners asked. ”Our vengeance begins there”, Alex replied. ”Now go!”The criminals, lead by Alex, went up the stairs. They quickly downed the few guards there and took their weapons. Everything went smoothly. The area around the entrance wasn't inhabited and it was easy to get to the nearest Ussal stall without being noticed. They all got themselves an Ussal and followed Alex as he went towards a tunnel. He didn't know where the tunnel lead, but it would connect to the others at some point. They would in Le-Wahi soon. Alex would use these prisoners to get what he wanted and then he would dump them like the trash they were.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 11 2012 - 06:10 AM.

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#49 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 12 2012 - 10:55 AM

Chapter 47”He's in a hurry to meet his doom”, Henkka said about Syryn as Phantoka flew back to them. “I say we all just board the Nui-Rama now and head for Xa-Koro. Hopefully we're in time. Stronin, you can use your mask for flight. Me, Rylus and Lux will use the Rahi.”Stronin nodded, acknowledging the words of the Po-Matoran in front of him. Seeing that the others were about to mount the Rahi, he then activated his mask, and began to levitate slightly above the ground.”Should we go now?” he asked.”I guess so. Is everyone ready?”Stronin nodded. He was still levitating in the air, but only several centimetres above the ground. The quick confirmation to Henkka was due to his anticipation to deal with Xa-Koronans.Phantoka, with a short running start, leapt off the suspended platforms of Le-Koro and into the starry sky above. Rylus wasn't sure about what might happen next. They were going into the heart of darkness itself, where Mages and Inquisitors prowled every street and corner. But if it meant rescuing Zoma from a life of shadows, and possibly destroying an Inquisitor in the process, he knew it would be worth it. Getting into the city would not be too difficult, at least not for Stronin, though a large Nui-Rama with three passengers might not go unnoticed.It didn't matter, he decided. For all he knew, maybe the Xa-Kuta were more hospitable than the tales suggested... at least as long as you didn't voice your anti-Makuta views. Either way, Rylus was determined to succeed. He had thought Zoma a traitor once, mere days ago, and he didn't want anything else to come between them. It was a mistake to split up in Ko-Koro, which felt like such a long time ago even if it had only been about a week. It was time to get his friend back, this time without any wicked fanatics pulling the strings.Lux watched the horizon with concern. It was finally happening. He was heading for Xa-Koro, after all the planning, all the fighting.His mind wandered to one of his master's sayings: “Often, destruction comes from within. Be wary, and look.”Yes, destruction would come from within.Henkka did some thinking too. He didn't know much about this Xa-Koro, but the locals seemed to regard is at a source of evil. Typical, Henkka thought. I guess that's my fullday job. Traveling into the darkest places imaginable and rescuing the good guys.*As the trees became less frequent and tangled, the foggy southern coast of Le-Wahi came into view. Sure enough, there was Wahkua's small boat, just where he'd left it. Of course, the Xa-Kuta emblem on it was sure to deter would-be thieves.”Six of us, including myself, came here in that boat,” Wahkua said solemnly, ”Only two will be going back... Such is life, Zoma. The Xa-Kuta must learn to cope with watching colleagues meet their fate. Friends are rare among us, especially Inquisitors like myself. The two of us, though... I believe we will make a rather intimidating duo, once you are trained.”Zoma nodded weakly. At this point they were so displaced from the others Wahkua felt no need to keep a firm hold on Zoma. Where could the Onu-Matoran run? He was clearly considering Wahkua's generous offer, probably still trying to remember even one instance of a Rahi attacking him. He never would, of course. He was protected by Makuta himself.The two boarded the boat and left the shore, sailing off into the black waters of the Kumu Islets.Syryn watched them intently from the shadows, determined to follow and help Zoma. There was just one problem. He had no boat. He could use his Matatu, but that would take energy, and he was running on empty...Swimming it is, he thought. Bracing himself, he dove into the frigid water, nearly crying out from the cold. He grit his teeth and swam, further and further into the fog...After a while Wahkua helped Zoma up onto the docks and told him to stay close. Xa-Koro, he said, was not an overall dangerous realm, but mutant beasts were known to lurk outside the city walls. The two were able to get in without any problems, due to Wahkua's status, and Zoma was surprised by what he saw. There were no duels in the streets, no one being dragged screaming to the distant Temple... The city was bustling with activity, though not the kind he had been expecting. Matoran engaged in peaceful trade and chattered with friends. Had he not known this was Xa-Koro, Zoma might not have even realized he'd left Mata Nui's mainland.*As the group flew above Xa-Koro, Henkka carefully observed the village below. Situated on a large island, towering rock walls made it impossible to see into the mysterious city from outside. If it weren't for the docking area and occasional guard, the place would almost seem uninhabited.”Now I guess we'll just have to find Wahkua and Zoma”, Henkka said to the group. ”Does any of you have any idea where they might be?””First off, we need to find a place to land”, Rylus said. “We can't fly around over the Koro all night, we'll surely be caught. We need to find somewhere not as crowded, where Phantoka won't be too noticeable. Maybe we can find a part of the wall without too many guards?”Rylus was worried that they'd be spotted soon if they kept searching from above. Looking around on foot would be more difficult, but it was much less risky.Stronin turned to the voice of Rylus. The words had interrupted his thoughts, which were mostly about how he had finally ended up in Xa-Koro. ”Place to land?” he asked, immediately thinking up several places which they could safely use as shelter for the night. ”Maybe an abandoned hut or warehouse?””There, perhaps?” Henkka pointed to a silent alley, far from the downtown. It seemed to have some empty building on it too.Lux nodded. It looked like a nice enough spot. He directed Phantoka down, keeping to the shadows as much as possible. It may have appeared friendly, but it was still Xa-Koro, Makuta central, your one stop shop for all things evil.*Syryn grunted as he got to his feet. He was getting far too old for this. He had managed to trail Wahkua this far, and assumed that he would have entered. That was where it got tricky. He was a wanted fugitive. They would probably kill him immediately.He crept along the shadows, trying to ignore the piercing shrieks and howls of the night things. The Toa waited and dove for the wall when the guard was distracted. He pinned himself to the wall, trying to appear as small as possible. Syryn was out in the open now. If the guard were to look his way...Syryn activated his Matatu, using it to slowly lift himself up. Along the way, however, he began climbing himself. The mask was just a valet.He had gotten about midway, when he heard a shout and an arrow whizzed past his head. The guard must have spotted him. No time for stealth now. Syryn just focused on getting over in one piece.He only just made it over the threshold when another arrow flew just millimetres from his mask. Too close, he thought. He leaped down and scurried into the darkness.*Meanwhile Tapio, along with two Le-Matoran, Rauha and Rakas, had found a broken canoe on the shore of Le-Wahi. It had been a long journey for Tapio, first running from Ko-Wahi to Le-Koro to search for his friends and then here, to the southern shore of Le-Wahi. In Le-Koro Tapio had got two Le-Matoran allies who wished to help him find Rylus and the others.The craftsmanship of Rauha and Rakas had proven useful in repairing the broken canoe and the small band had sailed to the coast of Xa-Koro.”Why exactly are you in so much quick-hurry?” Rakas asked.”You could say I found something... interesting in the Wastes”, Tapio answered. ”I need to find Rylus and Lohkare quick.”The three Matoran approached the village.”We're here to trade”, Tapio said to the guards. They let them in since they didn't seem agressive or suspicious in any way. Besides, what they had for trade might be for the good of Xa-Koro. Had they asked Tapio about what they had to trade, Tapio could've only said a Volo Lutu Launcher or Bamboo Disks. Good thing they didn't ask.Once inside, Tapio told the two Le-Matoran: ”We're looking for an Onu-Matoran and a Po-Matoran. Stick close and follow well. We have the whole city to go through, but they've got to be somewhere in here. Tuuli told me they came here.”*Stronin grinned as he followed his companions downwards to the spot where Henkka had picked for them to land. The excitement of infiltrating the most dangerous place of Mata Nui had gotten to him, and he was intoxicated by the adrenaline.”So,” he remarked, his cheesy grin getting even larger. ”What do we do now?””We find Zoma, rescue him, and make our leave as quickly as possible”, Henkka said. ”Remember, they might find out we have taken their hostage and might pursue, but the most important thing is to get Zoma as far away from this village as possible. I'm sure we are able to battle some Xa-Koronans. But stealth is never in vain.”Henkka looked around the corner of the alley. ”Also, while we roam the village, if anyone asks, we worship Makuta.”Stronin nodded as he deactivated his mask, landing with a thud on the ground of the alley. The idea of him worshipping the Makuta left a bad taste in his mouth, but he knew he had to deal with it if he wanted to get out of the city alive.”Seeing that we seem to be all prepared,” he said. ”Let's go.”Lux guided Phantoka to the ground, with a less-than-graceful landing. He brewed over a certain problem that had been ebbing at his mind. How were they to hide Phantoka? Even here, a Nui-Rama was bound to attract attention.He supposed that it was best for her to remain in the air. When they needed extraction, he'd call. After a strenuous 15 minutes getting the Rama to comprehend, she flew back into the sky, hovering about a kio in the air.Lux turned back to Rylus and Henkka. “Sooo, what's the plan?””We go, we find, we save, we leave”, Henkka replied. ”But remember to remain calm and attract as little unwanted attention as possible.”With that, the group went to the streets of Xa-Koro, looking for Wahkua and Zoma.Stronin prickled as he felt the eyes of some Xa-Koronans rest on him. It was unnerving for him. Walking into the lion's den in plain sight, said lions all around them. He paused slightly, letting the rest of the group move onwards, slowly gazing around him. Only a few people were glancing at him, but most were merely minding their own business.Stop being so paranoid, a voice from deep within his mind spoke. It's not like we're going to die.True, thought the Iron Toa, replying to the voice. We're perfectly safe.Having calmed down from his mental discussion with himself, he ran after the group, a single thought in his mind.What could possibly go wrong?Then there was a shout as Tapio and his Le-Matoran friends found who they were seeking. ”Rylus! Rylus!” he called to him as he ran, attracting the attention of the locals.”Tapio? You came back? How did you even find us here?” Happy as he was to see the Ko-Matoran again, it suddenly dawned on Rylus that his name probably had a high price on it in Xa-Koro due to his and the others' battles against the Rahi in Le-Wahi, as well as the defeat of Wahkua. Before he could react, dozens of heads whipped around to look at the group. He almost laughed at the ludicrous situation. He had never believed his name would even reach Xa-Koro, let alone become one surrounded with such hatred.”Any ideas?” Rylus asked as he saw Mages approaching.Within the confines of his mind, Stronin mentally slammed his head into a very hard object. He just had to tempt fate, causing his companion to attract the attention of the Xa-Koronans around them.”I doubt stealth is an option now,” he muttered dryly, moving his hand towards the hilt of his sabre.Tapio ran to Rylus. ”Rylus, I found the most incredible thing! We have to go to Ko-Wahi quick! Tuuli told me you were here!”As his two Le-Matoran companions, Rauha and Rakas, followed, Tapio saw the attention Rylus' group was receiving. Not in a positive way. ”Um, what's happening?””Of course. Typical”, Henkka puffed. ”When an old ally comes back, he brings along more trouble. How do you think we're going to get away with this? We can't battle an entire village.”Stronin gripped the hilt of his blade tightly, which was still sheathed and hanging from his hip. A few Xa-Koronans were slowly heading towards them, their weapons at the ready.”Fight off an entire village?” he inquired, looking back at Henkka. ”I doubt we'd be able to do that.”The Toa of Iron returned his gaze to the Xa-Koronans.”We've lost our element of stealth,” he muttered. ”Do we have a back-up plan, though?”Henkka thought about his past and all situations in his timetravels that would give a tip on what to do now. He had battled multiple enemies before, but not exactly entire villages at once. And these mages weren't some stupid Rahi, they had their intelligence and magic to guide them. Henkka was sure he and his team would beat many mages, but not all of them. They would be captured and...”That's the answer”, Henkka said. ”We surrender. They might take us to Zoma. If not, at least they might take us to the master of all this Makuta-worshipping. And getting among the big leagues is always the way to victory.””They could do the easy thing and kill us,” interjected Stronin, a small bead of sweat trickling down the side of his Kadin. ”But that's a rather logical plan.”The Toa of Iron let go of his sabre's hilt, and looked over to the Xa-Koronan mages.”But that doesn't really mean I have to like it.”Lux grimaced. Henkka was right, it would be impossible to fight them all. But Lux was in no mind to give up quite yet.Unfortunately, he had a point. They were in mage territory. He could call Phantoka, but they would probably kill her and strand them permanently.Lux sighed and let go of his sword. “This had better work, Paha.””Once they capture us, be wary. We must avoid being separated”, Henkka told everyone.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 12 2012 - 10:56 AM.

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#50 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 12 2012 - 12:40 PM

Chapter 48Things were not looking good for Henkka and his friends.”You there!” shouted a Red Mage. ”Rylus, isn't it? It just so happens we've received word that an Onu-Matoran by that name was involved in anti-Makuta affairs in Le-Wahi the last few days. Let me guess... Your friends here are Lohkare and Lux, aren't they? And you,” he said, addressing Tapio, ”You were with them too. We know all about it.”Rylus knew there was no point in lying. Henkka's plan was their best shot - maybe if they just surrendered they'd find a way to reach Zoma.”Yes... That's us,” he decided not to say anything about looking for Zoma; that might ruin their chances. ”We came to finish the job. With Wahkua, that is. He got away, and we wanted to end what he started.”He had tried to sound as threatening as possible, but whether he had succeeded was another story.”Well, at least you're an honest heathen. We don't see many of those, do we boys?”The other Mages chuckled lamely. Dumb, brutish specimens; used as guards for their brawn rather than their brains.”So,” Rylus said to Tapio as the group was bound and dragged off to the Temple, ”What was it you wanted to talk to me about?””You know what happened with Lohkare? How he suddenly changed? Well, I found another one in Ko-Wahi”, Tapio began. The mages tying the group listened with interest, but Tapio didn't care. Maybe it was a good thing? If the mages got interested, it might give Rylus, Tapio and the others an advantage somehow. After all, information was one of the most valuable posessions.”My friend, Maa. I didn't recognize him at first, because he had a different mask. He didn't seem to recognize me and hired me for some mindless assignment. He was later tied by a group called 'Kalama's Raiders'. They were questioning him about his sudden change. He had murdered, Rylus. That was not Maa, although the body was his. I immediately thought about what we saw happen to Lohkare... don't tell him, but I think we've found a counterpart.”*As Alex and the band of criminals he had freed rode their Ussal's in Le-Wahi, he thought deeply. He knew he had to do something evil to get out from this world and body. So far he had tried to kill and defeat those who worshipped Mata Nui, but maybe it was the wrong approach? Maybe he was supposed to strengthen those worshipping Makuta instead?Since arriving, Alex had heard plenty of stories and rumors of a place called Xa-Koro, located in the Kumu Islets. By taking his group there, he might be able to help the village somehow and then hop out. It was worth a shot. He lead his band of criminals towards the Kumu Islets.Nearing their destination, Alex could tell his ”minions” were eager to arrive in Xa-Koro. Perhaps they had been there before?”How do we cross?” Alex wondered out loud, looking at the sea. The criminals gave him a funny look. Then, one of them went into a bush and pulled out a canoe.”By a canoe, of course.””Of course. Naturally”, Alex replied, stepping into the canoe. The group was forced to leave their Ussals on the coast as they sailed towards the village of Makuta.*As he was tied up, Henkka inhaled a deep breath. He had learned this trick long ago, it was one of the basic ones when it came to being captured. He would have to hold his breath and when the mages were done, he'd exhale and would have a little more room under the rope. Then, when the time would be right, he could break free more easily.”I'm getting second thoughts about this,” Stronin said. The mage that was dragging along his bound body ignored him, and continued following the rest of the group. He sighed, knowing that nobody was actually going to listen to him, slightly wincing as his head scraped across the ground.”Could you please help me stand,” the Iron Toa asked his guard. ”My head hurts.”Said guard continued ignoring him, and continued dragging him along.”Lohkare,” he said, turning his head around to look at the Po-Matoran. ”What's the plan if they decide to kill us instead?”Henkka had been many things in his life. He'd been a leader, an elder, a hero, a slave. And that had been even before his time travels. But most of all, for his entire life, he had been a protector.”Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you”, Henkka said sternly, not even realizing how much those words both confused and amused the mages.Stronin grinned happily as he looked up at the sky. He was still being dragged along by the mage, who had not decided to help him stand. Despite the awkwardness and strangeness of Henkka's declaration, he felt that it had somehow given him a bit more confidence.”Surprising that a Matoran's gonna protect me,” the Iron Toa joked. ”But I'll take your word for for it.”Lux grimaced as his head was “accidentally“ smacked to the hard rock below. He tried to distance himself from it though, thinking, instead, about the last time a Xa-Kuta had tied him up. Now, the same person was his traveling companion. What a strange world.However, Tapio's story intrigued him. It sounded just like what happened to Paha. Or whoever was in there. And besides, if it was true, how long would Paha stay noble? What would happen when he reverted back, or if?Lux shook his head. He would worry about that later. For now, he just wanted to survive.*Syryn skulked through the darkened alleys, looking each way for Wahkua. He seemed to have lost track of him. So far, he had managed to avoid detection, but how long that would last, no one knew.He leaped up onto a low platform that gave him an excellent view of the street. What he saw, wasn't great.Syryn almost gasped when he saw Rylus and the others being dragged by a number of Mages. Luckily, no one saw him, and he managed to slip away, feeling even emptier inside than before.*Zoma decided he needed to know where they were going. If Wahkua wasn't going to give him a choice in joining the Xa-Kuta, he at least wanted to know their destination.”So, where are we headed? Where do we start this 'training' you keep mentioning?””The Temple, of course,” Wahkua answered with a smug grin, ”We'll have to decide what you want to be first. A Mage, an Inquisitor? It's up to you. Becoming an Inquisitor takes much longer, naturally, but in my professional opinion the higher status is worth it.”Zoma would need time to think about his role in all this. What suited him best? He wasn't exactly a hardened fighter, like Wahkua had been when he was converted, but maybe the training could change that? It would be a difficult decision.”You know, Zoma, if my intuition is correct -and it usually is- you'll go on to do great things, regardless of the rank you choose now. Maybe one day you'll even become a High Priest, or a Zealot. Wouldn't that be something?”As an outsider, Zoma had only heard very dubious tales of the fearsome upper classes of Xa-Koro. How could he ever hope to achieve what they had? Wahkua must have had very high hopes for him; clearly his strange case of never once being attacked by a Rahi was more rare than he had initially believed.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 12 2012 - 12:41 PM.

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#51 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 13 2012 - 07:32 AM

Chapter 49As he was being dragged by a mage, Henkka thought about their destination. They were now walking on very silent streets and alleys, which did not encourage him. It was possible the mages were just taking them to a place where no one could see them kill their prisoners.Henkka thought about his host. He had been evil before Henkka had been teleported in to take control of his consciousness. Then he realized that perhaps he wasn't using his host well enough. Time to fix that.”You know, I'm actually on your side”, Henkka began, thinking carefully about his next words.”We know”, one of the mages said. ”We have been watching you. The Makuta is everywhere and nothing can hide from his sight. And what he can see, we can interprete. You kidnapped a Matoran but freed him. You're not complete. You must be trained.”That was when it hit Henkka. His host has been a Makuta-worshipper, but apparently didn't belong among the people of Xa-Koro. They had seen his evil deeds and now they wanted to train him.The mages suddenly separated. Henkka and Lux were taken to an empty alley while the others were taken on to a different direction.”Hey!” Henkka shouted. The mage dragging him gave him a punch.”Silent! Makuta took you in his protecting arms and you left him. You kidnapped this Matoran”, he said, pointing at Lux, ”but then let him go. No one backs out of the darkness, Paha. No one. Such attempts are met with torture and execution.”He paused.”But... you have potential. You have seen Makuta's true power. You were in Ta-Koro when the meteor hit. That's what converted you at first, wasn't it? You know what's good for you and the others. Don't resist it. Our master has decided to give you another chance. Accept it, and you might still be allowed to join our ranks. Fail us, and you will be executed, along with your 'friends'.”Henkka didn't say a word. His bonds were loose enough for him to get free with just little time, but he was still waiting for the right moment. The mage continued. ”You captured this Matoran to convert him, but you chose a bad target. He has always been too strong-willed in the eyes of Makuta. He doesn't deserve life under his rule. Sure, we could break him... given time... but better not to. Now is the time to prove yourself, Paha. Kill this Matoran and we will spare you and make you one of our own.” *”This isn't good”, Tapio said as he, Rylus and Stronin were being taken away from Henkka and Lux. ”We mustn't let them separate us.””There's nothing you can do about it”, sneered one of the mages. The mages took them far from the markets, the chattering Matoran and civilization, into abandoned, empty streets. Tapio could've sworn the darkness was gathering around them even as doom closed in on them. *Lux almost laughed when he heard the Mage. Probably shock, but he still almost laughed. That was soon replaced by panic. He hoped that Paha wasn't a Xa-Kuta anymore, but...Could his change of heart just be an elaborate ploy? Or could the new Paha have sided with Makuta by now?Lux steadied his nerves and said: “If he has to kill me, could he use my sword? You know, sentimentality?” *Syryn pulled his cloak lower and went down yet another back alley. He needed to find Wahkua soon, or this escapade would be for nothing. He switched corners only to ram into a pair of Matoran. He was about to yell at them, but looked to see two very familiar masks. Zoma and Wahkua.Syryn immediately obscured his body with his cloak and bowed low, trying to appear as beaten down and sycophantic as possible.”A thousand apologies, great inquisitor,” he cooed with a nasally and gravelly voice.Zoma and Wahkua looked at the Toa. Something about that voice was familiar, but Zoma couldn't quite place it.Wahkua didn't seem especially bothered. The Toa didn't appear to be an overall successful one, probably just an urchin. Unsusual for a Toa, but it was known to happen. No sense in punishing the lowly being for a simple mistake.”Not to worry. Just be more careful next time.”The pair continued on their way, unaware of the Toa's true identity...Syryn chuckled softly and straightened back up. He slipped down a side road, hoping to meet with Wahkua at the next intersection. Due to his many years living here, the Toa knew this place like the back of his head.*Henkka hoped Lux didn't seriously think he would kill him. His host might've been easy to convert, but they were dealing with someone whose mind had been strengthened in a thousand worlds. Even before his timetravels Henkka had learned to resist all kinds of mental assaults. There was no way he would break. If only Lux would realize that...The mages were silent for a while. Then, one of them spoke. ”Hm, why not?” he said. ”But don't you try any tricks. The Makuta has guardians everywhere. Make a wrong move, and you both die.The mages took Lux's sword and gave it to the freed Henkka, who took it without hesitation. With a weapon, he felt a bit safer and more able. Then again, this situation was a difficult one.Henkka started advancing towards Lux, doing his best to look insane and bloodthursty. Looking deep into Lux's eyes, he said: ”Yes. I will. I will strike like a Spirit of the Air to end the life of him who opposes our master.” Henkka could only hope Lux got his hint before he was too close.*”This doesn't look good,” Rylus whispered urgently to his companions, ”I don't know about you two, but to me it doesn't seem they have any intention of trying to convert us.””Something you want to share with the group?” one of the Mages asked mockingly, ”If you're trying to make some pathetic little plan, don't waste your breath. You can't hope to take on the three of us.”It didn't help that all three of the Mages were Toa. The Mages the group fought in Le-Wahi had mostly been Matoran and Turaga.”We were just wondering where you're taking us,” Rylus said, hoping he'd get an answer, ”It looks like we've skipped roads to the Temple a few times now. Are we going in through some sort of secret entrance?””Oh, we're not going to the Temple. We've got something else in mind for you.”That was all the proof Rylus needed. They were definitely not being converted. The trio was being taken to a place where no one would hear their dying screams.Stronin shuffled around. He had reached the same conclusion as Rylus, and was attempting to find a way to escape the mages. He frowned, racking his brain for something he could do. That was when a spark of inspiration was lit.The Iron Toa grinned. Using his elemental powers, he modified the shape of his armour. They slowly reformed into sharp pieces of metal, slicing apart his binds. He mentally cheered in triumph, and then bounced up to a standing position.”Could I have my weapon back?” he asked the guard in front of him, who still had not turned to face him.”No,” replied the guard, who began to turn around. ”Then you would-”A fist slammed into the guard's face. Stronin smiled happily and took his sabre from the guard, who had been knocked to the ground, dazed by the metal fist.”Hello,” he said cheerfully, looking at the other two mages, who had readied themselves to combat him. ”My name is Stronin. Remember to record that when I humiliate you all in combat!”Tapio looked happy at first to see Stronin break out of his bounds. Then one of the mages started threatening Tapio, Rylus, Rauha and Rakas with his weapon.”Surrender, fool, or these friends of yours WILL die.”Tapio struggled under his bounds to reach his Volo Lutu launcher. It had been packed away and thus it hadn't been taken by the mages. One would think a Volo Lutu would be useless in a situation like this, but the launcher had gravity powers in them. Reaching the launcher, Tapio tried to fire it inside the rope. As he had hoped, this turned out to cause only chaos. Tapio flipped over in the air due to the gravity of the launcher and smashed right into one of the mages, the one threatening them.”Go for it!” Tapio yelled at Stronin. He was still bound and his head was ringing, but once again, he felt he had accomplished something.The shock of seeing his companions being threatened had gotten to Stronin at first. The shock of said companions being called his friends by the lead mage, however, had helped snap him back to reality. He had never really had many friendships in his rather short lifetime. Tapio shouting at him to go for it encouraged Stronin. He grinned, a warm feeling entering him to see that someone had put their trust in him.”Seeing that you want me to,” he replied to the Matoran, readying his cavalry sabre. ”Then I'll submit to your demands.”He sped towards the lead mage, slamming the hilt of his blade into the chest of his enemy, knocking the Xa-Koronan off balance. The Iron Toa followed his attack up with a roundhouse kick, knocking the mage to the ground hard.Two of the guards, both Red Mages, ran at him, one slashing their blade upwards while the other slashed downwards. Stronin smiled, and slammed his sabre against both swords.”It would’ve been a brilliant tactic,” he remarked, a grin overtaking his face. ”But my grandmother could've done better than you two.”Both mages were unable to move quickly enough when metal burst out of the ground and grabbed a hold of their legs, trapping them. The Iron Toa dodged two shots of elemental energy from the weapons of the Red Mages, and walked slightly back, smiling at the two.”If you really want to try to kill me, try harder.”That was when Stronin dropped his sword and began to generate two rotating balls of metal in his hands. Close observation showed them to be spiky and spinning very quickly. More observation showed the target of the deadly metal balls.The two currently trapped guards.*Lux watched Henkka raise the sword. Spirit of the Air, why did he say...Lux smiled. Of course.Out of the corner of his mouth he whispered: “Ta-Zya,” and watched the sword glow.Henkka was very close to Lux when the Nui-Rama named Phantoka descended from the sky with a screech. Immediately when it was possible, Henkka grabbed the tied-up Lux and threw him on the Rahi. The mages, however, were not going to let them escape. Henkka slapped Phantoka, making her fly away from immediate danger with Lux. Henkka turned to see three mages, weapons at the ready, about to kill the traitor.But Henkka had a sword too, this time. That was all he needed. Even before he had started travelling between timelines, Henkka had been an excellent swordfighter, downing many difficult opponents at once. These mages had powers, but it really didn't matter. Henkka had a sword, experience of thousands of years and a mind like steel. Nothing would stop him now. Meanwhile Lux managed to untie himself and flew in the opposite direction. He didn't want to leave Henkka, but still. Henkka was diverting the Mage’s attention. Going back would just make his sacrifice vain. No, he had to find Rylus and the others. Then, they would find him.Down below, Henkka barely evaded a blow by one of the mages. Two of the mages were black, one was red. All of them were Toa and apparently more skilled than Henkka had thought at first.Henkka used Lux's sword to slice at the leg of a black mage. It didn't do much damage, but while the mage concentrated on the pain, Henkka quickly punched the sword right through the mage's heartlight. It was cold and efficient. Henkka normally had mercy and he hated to kill, but the situation didn't leave much of a choice.As the mage fell, the remaining two used their powers in unision to create a sphere of darkness around Henkka, making it difficult to see. This didn't hold Henkka well, though. He soon found out that the sphere moved with him wherever he ran. He listened to the sounds of the mages and then rammed himself against one of them. Being able to touch him, he could easily kill the mage. Once again, he shuddered a little. He made a mental note to avoid these situations at all costs in the future. Or the past, wherever he might be transported next.The sphere of darkness vanished and Henkka found himself facing the red mage. The mage yelled something and suddenly a creature of heat appeared out of nowhere. It tried to strike Henkka, but the time traveler was too good at dodging. Eventually, Henkka managed to fool the creature into hitting the red mage. The red mage was merely stunned, but that was enough. Soon the last of the mages fell to Lux's sword.Henkka was about to sigh in relief when 13 Onu-Matoran suddenly appeared round the corner. They looked at the corpses of the mages and gasped, readying their weapons.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 13 2012 - 07:33 AM.

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#52 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 13 2012 - 08:43 AM

Chapter 50Lux circled the village before he finally caught a glimpse of Rylus and the others. He couldn't see much from his altitude, so he had Phantoka level out near the roof of a medium sized warehouse. He leaped down, peeking over the ledge.Tapio had gotten a hold of his Volo Lutu launcher, managing to confuse the Mages long enough for Stronin to begin battling them. Once again, Lux wished he had his sword. He noticed his staff and shrugged. That would do.He climbed down a narrow ladder to the ground, careful not to be noticed. He rolled over next to Rylus and clamped his hand over his mouth before the Onu-Matoran could say anything. After that, Lux busied himself untying him. Once finished, he pointed to the others, motioning for Rylus to do the same. Stronin smiled as he held two spinning balls of liquidated metal in his hands. The spinning balls were rather deadly, which was actually rather obvious to see due to the spikes that were rotating around the surface of the balls. Said balls were also being aimed in the direction of two Red Mages, who were trapped to the ground by his iron powers.”Nice knowing you,” he said nonchalantly, beginning his charge toward the guards. ”But you two will have to-GURK.”The Iron Toa's charge was stopped by a spear sticking through his upper chest. Behind him was the fifth of the guard mages, who had most likely been watching the fight from a different vantage point.”...What?” Stronin managed to croak out as he slowly dropped onto his knees, his spinning balls of metal dropping to the ground and carving small craters as they did.The shock of being stabbed wore off, and Stronin then began to feel pain. He looked down at the spear in his chest, and then up at the mage that had attacked him. His loss of concentration had also freed the mages he was about to kill, and they had walked up to flank the other mage.”Hmmph,” the mage grunted. ”You should have attempted to cover your back. But luckily for us, you didn't.”The Toa of Iron wasn't really listening, having fully collapsed on the ground, the force pushing the spear up further, now sticking out of his back. His eyes flickered as he began to lose consciousness, the pain overtaking his mind.*Alex had guided his 12 criminal helpers inside the village of Xa-Koro, convincing the guard they were indeed Makuta worshippers. Alex had immediately started to look for a quiet, abandoned place to go to discuss plans with the other Matoran. They found something interesting on their way - a Po-Matoran with a sword and three dead mages. The Onu-Koronan criminals took out their weapons.”Wait!” the Po-Matoran shouted. ”They were traitors and that's why I killed them.””Relax”, Alex said to his group. The Matoran lowered their weapons.Alex walked over to the Po-Matoran. ”Hello. My name is... um... Ihern. We were simply looking for a calm place to discuss strategy in private. We promise to forget what we saw here.” ”That'd be good, thanks”, Henkka said. ”I don't want to worry the master. The elimination of these traitorous mages was to be done in secret and thanks to your trustworthiness, it will remain so.”Alex tried hard not to chuckle. He? Trustworthy? Please. There was something nagging at him, though. This Po-Matoran seemed... too familiar. Had he perhaps seen him in Po-Koro?”I shall go now”, Henkka said. ”Where?” Alex inquired, not wanting to let this one out of his sight. ”Well...”, Henkka thought for a while before continuing. ”There's another group of these kind of mages. They took my friends too. Xa-Koronans, of course. There's a threat inside this village, one that threatens all who worship the great Makuta.” ”Really? May I provide you some help? My group... they're all good fighters, and experienced. We might be able to aid you.” ”Well, why not? We've got to stick together when danger threatens. Come on.”Alex was bothered. This Po-Matoran seemed familiar and not very evil. Still, he had managed to kill three Toa mages, apparently alone. This was no simple Matoran. Alex followed Henkka's lead, hoping to find out what was so strange about him.After following the tracks of the mages for some time, Henkka found just what he was looking for. Well, he hadn't wanted to find Stronin dying, but still. He saw the Toa of Iron on the ground with four mages around him. One was knocked out. Tapio, still bound, was lying next to him. Lux had already got here and Rylus was out of the bounds. Lux grimaced. When you see one ally mortally wounded and another coming to the rescue with thirteen Matoran, it's time to get into a new line of work. He could see Stronin was well in hand with Henkka, so he set to untying Tapio.”Crazy day, huh,” he laughed, trying to bring some sense of reality back to this moment. *Syryn hunched over, appearing to inspect a large battle axe hanging from the wall as Wahkua passed. As soon as the Inquisitor had left, the Toa had swapped out cloaks, just in case Wahkua got suspicious.Once the Xa-Kuta had left, Syryn scooted over to the street parallel, heading in the same direction.*Behind Henkka, Alex arrived with his 12 criminal ”friends” he had freed in Onu-Koro. He had volunteered for the whole group to help “Lohkare” kill some traitorous mages he had been talking about. In reality he had only wanted to stay close to Lohkare, who seemed... familiar, somehow. Besides, Alex had a mission to do in this world. Since killing good guys hadn't made him leap to the next world, Alex had conducted that maybe he was to help Xa-Koro instead of harassing the other villages. And if Xa-Koro really was threatened by traitorous mages, he would have to get rid of them. Maybe then he could move on.As Henkka ran to Stronin's aid, Alex noticed Tapio in the midst of it all and had a flash of realization. So all Lohkare had said had been a lie. The mages weren't the traitors. Lohkare and the ones he was trying to save were enemies of Xa-Koro. At that moment Alex knew this had to be his task. Killing Lohkare and the others and free Xa-Koro of their threat, enabling the village to continue with whatever evil it had in store for the other villages.As Henkka attacked the mages, Alex turned to his group and whispered: ”We have been deceived. Make sure none of them is left alive.” Alex then turned back to the scene and took out his weapon, walking towards the action.As Rylus and Lux helped untie Tapio, Rauha, and Rakas, the former noticed the suspicious band of Onu-Matoran approaching. The leader of the group looked evil. Extremely evil. Rylus didn't like the looks of that.”Hey,” he murmured to the others. ”See that less-than-friendly-looking gang of Matoran over there? I think they've got a nasty surprise in store.””That would be scary-bad indeed,” Rakas said, clearly worried, ”There are, perhaps, twelve? Thirteen? Large-number Earth-gang is no easy foe.”Rylus grabbed his Volo Lutu, trying his best to keep it hidden. If his suspicions were correct, this would not be an easy fight.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 13 2012 - 08:44 AM.

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#53 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 16 2012 - 05:11 AM

Chapter 51As Stronin lay dying on the ground, thoughts whirled around in his mind. He had never truly thought he would die so early in life, for he had expected to live longer. He knew that he had gone through many near-death situations, yet he had never come this close to dying ever before in his life. However, it seemed he would be entering the domain of Karzahni very, very soon; as in several minutes soon.“cool dude! Are you just going to lie down and die?” The voice rang through his mind, causing him to mentally wince at the noise level.”Well yeah,” he replied morosely. ”There's nothing else I can do.””Of course there's more things you can do! Just because you're lying on the ground bleeding and half-dead does not mean you can't survive!””I'm lying on the ground half-dead and bleeding,” Stronin shot back. ”Of course I'm going to die.”He winced in pain as he felt his life slipping away. It seemed as if he wouldn't have much longer to live. That was when something akin to a slap slammed into his face, even if it was merely a mental creation.”The Toa Stronin I know would not let death get in the way of his epic career of stealing things! The Toa Stronin I knew fought for survival, and would always manage to get out on top!””Well I won't be Toa Stronin any longer in a few minutes,” said the Iron Toa dryly, wincing again as pain coursed through his body once more.”The Toa Stronin I knew would always keep his promises.”This caused Stronin to freeze up, his mind flashing back to his past, when he was much younger. The voice, triumphant at its victory of the Toa, spoke, the tone of voice making him feel as if it was smirking.”You still haven't fulfilled that promise. How are you going to if you die?”Stronin felt lighter than before, as if several mental chains snapped, allowing him to freely move around. Having freed his mental self from despair, in the physical plane one of his fingers twitched.”I've been such a fool,” he chuckled. ”How could I have forgotten that promise?”Back in reality, his whole arm twitched.”So you understand now eh?” said the voice. ”You're supposed to survive. No matter what it takes, you have to live long enough to fulfil that promise.””Of course,” said Stronin. ”Don't underestimate my awesomeness.”He clenched his fist, and back on the physical plane, his body did the same.”By the way,” he continued, addressing the voice. ”Who exactly are you?”A chuckle came from all around him. ”I'm you of course. Who else other than Stronin himself can make him live. Now go bring down the fist of Mata Nui on the world. Good luck.”And so, Stronin began to pull himself off the ground.”I don't need luck,” he said as he began to lose connection to his mental world. ”I'm Toa Stronin.”*”Thanks”, Tapio said to Lux and Rylus as they untied him. ”Now we just have to...”Tapio turned around and saw the 13 Onu-Matoran approaching. He knew one of them was no ordinary Onu-Matoran, though. The leader of the group was Maa, an old friend of Tapio. Recently, Tapio had discovered that there was something really wrong with his friend. It had happened in Ko-Wahi, where Tapio's fears had been proven correct. He had raced back here to tell Rylus and the others about the possible possession of Maa... a similar possession Lohkare might've been going through. And now Maa, or whoever he was, was leading a group of criminals against him and his friends.”That's him!” Tapio cried out at Rylus and Lux, pointing at the approaching body of Maa. ”He's the one I saw in Ko-Wahi, who I told you about!”Now Alex realized why Tapio had left so quickly. He had suspected something. Typical, he thought. It seems as if everyone around here knows who I really am.”Attack!” Alex yelled at his 12 bandits. The Onu-Matoran drew their weapons and ran at the assembled crowd of heroes and mages.Henkka was surprised by Tapio's cry and he turned to look at ”Maa”, whom he had just taken here to help against the mages. But now, the group of Onu-Matoran was attacking himself and his friends instead.”Look out!” Henkka shouted, even as both the Onu-Matoran and the mages attacked.A wall of iron suddenly formed in front of the mages and Onu-Matoran, preventing them from getting close to Tapio and company. Stronin cracked a weak smile, ignoring the pain in his chest. He may have been half-dead, but he could still use his powers, even if they were somewhat weakened by his injuries. He quickly turned to face his companions, slightly strained from creating the metal wall.”Miss me?” he asked, smiling at the others.No sooner had Stronin said those words than the iron wall between himself and the mages started shifting and crumbling. Dark powers corrupted the wall and disintegrated it.”You have dared to oppose Makuta”, one of the three said. ”Somehow you survived being stabbed, but Makuta will see to it that you won't live much longer.”Dark clouds began forming in the sky.”Oh, he will.”Sorry guys,” said Stronin as cheerfully as he could while half-dead. ”Not my religion.”From his hands, two metallic lances formed. Ignoring the pain that came with using his powers, he threw both of them at the mages. One of the lances crashed into one mage's chest, while the other pierced the second mage's head. The Iron Toa chuckled morosely at the sight, before turning to face the rest of his enemies, who were advancing on him and his companions.”Come at me bro,” he said, raising his arms. ”You guys managed to nearly kill me once, can you do it again?”And from his armour, a rain of metal swords shot towards them.Tapio was amazed at Stronin's display of power. Henkka could not help admiring Stronin's persistence.Many mages were hit by the swords of Stronin, dropping to the ground dead. However, one of them simply turned intangible and let the swords fly right through him. Then he leaped forward and blasted Stronin with dark powder of some sort, designed to make the victim fall asleep.”Stronin!” Tapio shouted. Suddenly he heard voices from behind him and turned. From the other side of the alley, ”Maa” and his Onu-Koronan bandits were coming.”You thought the wall would hold us, didn't you?” Alex sneered. ”But the way you blocked wasn't the only one here.Henkka still had Lux's blade. He ran to his friend. ”Here's your sword”, he said. ”Thanks for letting me use it.”Lux chuckled, and grabbed the disk in Henkka's hands, swapping it for his sword.“I think you'll make better use of it,” he grinned, “Besides, it doesn't have that much sentimental value to me.”With that, he charged, slamming his full body weight into an oncoming Matoran. Not expecting such a bold (and foolish) attack, they both toppled to the ground.Tapio was nearby, readying his Volo Lutu. Rauha and Rakas both took out bamboo disks. The Onu-Matoran seemed undeterred and kept coming towards the group.When the dark powder had slammed into Stronin, he had felt drowsy for several seconds, before his determination to survive kicked in, keeping him awake. He was not going to let a simple magic-user take him down with powder, so he barrelled through the cloud of blackness, tackling the mage, both beings crashing to the ground. He came up on top, and punched the other being in the face, knocking the mage unconscious.”I may be half-dead but I'm still awesome,” he quipped, ignoring the pain still present in his chest.He moved to face the Onu-Matoran gang, and grinned again, before firing another barrage of metal swords at them. However, just after this, he coughed violently, collapsing to the ground in pain. *Syryn held his breath, waiting. He was certainly in a real predicament. A Skakdi holding a knife to one's neck usually qualifies as that.“Your choice old man,” he snarled. “Money or blood. I'm good either way.”Syryn couldn't say anything at this point, not without the blade penetrating his throat. Fortunately, he didn't have to.“Get your filthy hands off him!”Both combatants stared at the intruder, only to see that it was a Ta-Matoran. A rather scared Ta-Matoran.The Skakdi roared and went to grab, but Syryn was right there, and seized the warrior in a headlock before slamming his head into the nearby wall, knocking him out. The Toa let him fall to the ground, then turned to the Matoran.The Ta-Matoran looked up at Syryn, saying, “Thank you, Toa.”Toa. That word again. He was supposed to be a Toa, but what was he. A coward, who was running away from his destiny. All the while his friends, the only people who had accepted him, were fighting for their lives somewhere nearby, and where was he?He bent down, handing the Skakdi's dagger to the Matoran. “Be safe.”Syryn turned and sprinted back the way he came.*Wahkua and Zoma were nearing the temple of Xa-Koro now, and the former couldn't seem to shake the feeling they were being followed. There wasn't much evidence of this, really, but the Inquisitor did have a sense about these things, making a mental note of every passerby. Not that there were many at this point. Few non-Xa-Kuta dared to venture near the temple complex unless they had direct business with one of the powerful mages or higher-ups who resided in the area.”Have you made your decision yet?” Wahkua asked the awestruck Onu-Matoran in his shadow. They had been trying to settle on a position for Zoma to accept after the proper training.Zoma wasn't quite sure. He still had doubts about this whole thing, of course. After everything he and Rylus had been through, he didn't want to turn his back on everyone who had tried to rescue him back in Le-Wahi.And where are they now? mused a sinister voice in Zoma's mind, the very same that had haunted his dreams for days, Your so-called friend has abandoned you. If he truly cared, wouldn't he make some attempt to follow you here? Soon enough, you'll show him that he has made a grave mistake.”I think I know now,” Zoma responded softly, ”I think I want to be a Black Mage.”*Of course, Rylus and the others were trying desperately to prevent this from happening, but Zoma was not privy to this vital piece of information. At the moment, however, Rylus was beginning to think that Zoma never would get this particular piece of information, as he and the others were currently being assaulted by a number of savage Onu-Matoran outcasts, led by someone called Maa who he assumed to have some relation with Henkka.Already, chaos was erupting around him. Stronin was in terrible shape with a potentially mortal wound to the chest, and the group was greatly outnumbered. Realizing there was no need to conceal it now, Rylus whipped out his Volo Lutu and fired, hooking the mask of one of the bandits and tearing it off his face. He couldn't help but grin.”I love this thing,” he said with a smirk.Before meeting Rylus, Tapio had been nothing but a simple inn-keeper's assistant, waiting tables and cleaning them every evening. He had been happy with that lifestyle. After all, he had not known anything else. He had not even dared to think about adventuring all around the island, battling Rahi, mages and bandits. But meeting Rylus had changed all that. Tapio had had friends before Rylus, of course, but his bond with this one was special, somehow. Not only had their friendship been tested in dangerous situations, but Rylus had also taught Tapio how to fight, he had taught the value of trust and loyalty. All that was beginning to show.Tapio fired his Volo Lutu at two bandits who were close to each other. They dodged out of the way. Too late, they realized they had not been the target at all. The sphere hit the wall behind them and soon Tapio was flying towards them. When he was close enough, Tapio spread his feet and managed to kick both of the bandits. The damage wasn't considerable, but they were dazed.Henkka was about to go and help Stronin, who was in very bad shape, when Alex suddenly attacked him. Henkka was amazed at the accuracy and power of Alex's strike and could only barely block it with Lux's sword. Henkka was thankful to Lux for letting him keep the blade. That was what he was good with.Before Henkka could retaliate, Alex gave more blows, all of which Henkka blocked or dodged with much difficulty. The skill of this combatant was incredible. Never before had Henkka fought against such a good swordfighter, after...Alex...Henkka gasped. No, it could not be...Alex swung again at Henkka. This time, Henkka was flung back by the force of the hit. Alex leaped on top of Alex and swung his sword in a way that clearly showed the intent to kill. It was a deadly efficient move Henkka had only encountered once before. Then it him almost as hard as any blow from Alex.”Alex!” Henkka cried out, the sword now about to pierce his host's body...”You're not dying on my watch,” muttered Stronin, coughing some more as he took out his cavalry sabre, throwing it straight at Alex's blade, sending the weapon flying off into a completely different direction. He had promised to help his new companions, and wouldn't let them die so easily.The strain of throwing his sabre caused more pain to surge through his body, nearly causing him to spasm. However, he gritted his teeth, hoping that if he ignored the pain, it would go away. If he was going to die, he would do so by saving his companions from dying first. There was no time for dying at the present time.”It's rather sad that all of you cannot kill a single half-dead Toa,” the Iron Toa said mockingly. ”I mean, I'm on the ground and somewhat disabled. How hard can it be to kill me?”Lux slammed his fist into a bandit's face again and again. Both Matoran were on the ground, grappling. Lux had managed to gain the upper hand, and now had the bandit pinned down, punching him over and over again. Hardly honourable, but now wasn't the time for that anyway.Just when he thought he might manage to finish this, he felt himself being hauled up by the collar. Soon, he found himself in the worst possible place: face-to-face with a mage.“So then, Lux,” he snarled, “Think you're better than the great Makuta, do you?”Lux hesitated. “Er...can I not answer that?”That, obviously, was not the right answer. The mage reached into his cloak, pulling out a thin blade. He slowly brought it up to Lux's throat.“I'll kill you for that, heretic,” he snarled, before –- gurgling. His grip slackened, and he let go of both Lux and his knife, before collapsing to the ground himself. In his back, was a metal spike, generally used for construction, which could be found anywhere.Standing over him, was the single person Lux never expected to see. An elderly, grizzled, thoroughly haunted Toa of Plasma. Syryn had returned.Tapio leaped and took out a disk, hurling it at a bandit. Tapio's disk-throwing skills had improved a lot since he'd begun his adventures and he managed to knock off his mask. Tapio then ran over to Stronin. They had never been introduced to each other, but Tapio knew the Toa of Iron was on their side and needed help. ”We must get you out of here”, he said to Stronin. ”You won't stand a chance in the middle of all this.”Henkka shook his head to clear it and stood up. Stronin had just saved his life. Glancing at ”Maa”, Henkka now saw something different. He still saw the Onu-Matoran... but at the same time he could see another being in its place. And the being he saw was no other than Alex himself, in his original form of a Ta-Matoran with a Pakari. No, this was no magic, Alex had not morphed... but nevertheless, Henkka could see him like this.Must be the realization, Henkka thought. Once I realized he's Alex, I started to see him like this.The same thing had happened to Alex. He now saw Henkka's true form at the same time with the body he was possessing. After all these years, the two arch-enemies were finally face to face again.”So...”, Alex said. ”It happened to you too.” He fingered his blade. ”I am not surprised. Nor impressed.””And I can guess you are not here to save anybody”, Henkka said grimly, tightening his grip on Lux's sword.Alex chuckled. ”Oh, you're right. And you're about to find out just how right you are.”With that, Alex stepped forward, swinging his sword.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 16 2012 - 05:13 AM.

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#54 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 22 2012 - 02:43 AM

Chapter 52Rylus glanced over to Lux and saw that Syryn had returned. This was perhaps the best news he'd gotten all day; they needed another Toa since Stronin, while still a force to be reckoned with, was badly injured. Rylus considered going to help him, but Tapio beat him to it. Turning around, he noticed Henkka locked in battle with Maa, and it didn't seem to be going well.He started toward the two dimension-hopping Matoran, only to find himself slamming into the ground. Upon picking himself up, he was face to face with a particularly large Onu-Matoran criminal. The brutish specimen looked somewhat familiar. It occurred to Rylus that they must have worked in the same mines once, long ago. How far they had both come in that time.”Rylus, isn't it?” the hulking Matoran growled, ”You ought to know I'll feel real bad about having to kill you.”The fiend swung his weapon of choice, a massive club, at Rylus, but the attack was predictable and he ducked it easily. He grasped a disk from his back and blunted the next strike. Though he'd become skilled at throwing disks and using his Volo Lutu, he hadn't had many opportunities to hone his melee skills, and was afraid of letting his guard down to try and land a blow.Rylus leapt to the side of his opponent's next swipe, using this window to fling his disk into the brute's gut. This knocked the wind out of him, giving Rylus the chance he needed to clock him over the head with one more. He turned back to Henkka. Strong as he was, it looked like the warrior could use some help.*Meanwhile, Wahkua was leading Zoma up the steps to the enormous temple doors. A Toa in dark, ornate robes approached from within, stopping Wahkua as he passed.”You had better be right about this one,” he said in hushed tones, ”You've been a valuable asset for years, Wahkua, but this is quite a gamble. If you're wrong, this will ruin your reputation.”And Zoma saw something in Wahkua's eyes he never had before, even when he had fled from his attackers in Le-Wahi. Intimidation. The Inquisitor's cold, calculating stare broke, but only for a second. He instantly regained his composure and merely nodded.”I have a very good feeling about this one,” Wahkua assured, showing no trace of his fear. He had dealt with this Toa and others like him before. ”I'm willing to stake my reputation on him.”The Toa regarded him coolly and left. Zoma watched him go, stunned by his aura of power and menace. That was no ordinary Xa-Kuta. He had just met one of the legendary Zealots.”Sorry about this, Zoma,” Wahkua apologized as he brought a thick black sheet down over the Onu-Matoran's visage, ”It's just customary, really. We prefer for our new recruits not to know the layout of our fine temple.”Zoma said nothing. Seeing that look of fear in Wahkua's eyes upon meeting the Zealot, however brief, had made him less inspired by the Inquisitor's power. If he was going to join the Xa-Kuta, he wanted to be trained by the best, especially if he was as special as Wahkua claimed.As Wahkua led him through a complex and unfamiliar network of corridors and winding tunnels, Zoma wondered about Onu-Koro. He was so far from everything he knew now it all seemed like a distant dream, and he questioned whether it even existed anymore. Perhaps the Xa-Kuta had already won, and Le-Wahi had been the last place they needed to conquer.No, he decided, that couldn't be. He was sleep deprived; between the horrid nightmares and late hour of the night his mind was connecting loose ends that weren't there.When Wahkua took the shroud off his head, Zoma considered his surroundings. He was in a smallish room with a bed and a desk, surprisingly well lit by several lanterns.”This is where you'll be staying for awhile,” Wahkua told him, ”At least until you're officially named a Black Mage. It takes several months for most, but for you, maybe one or two.””It's not bad,” Zoma said, ”It's really not much smaller than my hut back in Onu-Koro.”Wahkua smiled faintly, remembering when he used to live down here. ”Well, this is where we part for now, but I'll be back tomorrow to begin your training. Try to get some sleep.” He opened the door to leave, but stopped in the doorway. ”Oh, and trying to escape would be very ill-advised. Trust me... I know from experience.”*Stronin gave a weak smile at Tapio.”Don't worry,” he said. ”I'll live through this. I just need to get you guys out alive first.””You can barely get yourself out of this”, Tapio said to Stronin. “You –“An Onu-Matoran attacked from behind, but Tapio was ready, getting down and then kicking upward, knocking off the mask of the attacker.“You need to get out now”, Tapio finished.Meanwhile, Henkka was in the most intense battle of his life. He had just found out that the Onu-Matoran Maa leading a group of bandits was actually possessed by Alex, his long lost enemy.Unlike Henkka, who did good deeds in his travels, Alex evidently did evil ones. But that alone was not the reason they were fighting now. They had been enemies long before their travels in time.The battle was extremely even. No one knew Henkka better than Alex. Every move and attack made by either one was blocked efficitently. Both were equally skilled in the arts of swordfighting. Neither had managed to land a blow yet, but swords certainly clashed. Henkka also had a disadvantage. The Po-Matoran body he inhabited was not very agile. Neither was Alex’s body, but still. Only Henkka’s memories and skills helped him stay alive.“I always knew it would come to this at some point”, Alex said, all the while fighting.“You would’ve been foolish if you hadn’t”, Henkka replied. “For some reason we keep running into each other. But it ends here, today.”Rylus was rushing to Henkka's aid, as his mighty ally was currently being relentlessly attacked by the vicious “Maa”. He picked up the dagger of a fallen Onu-Matoran on his way, hoping it would stand a chance against the villain's blade.Maa didn't seem to notice him coming, and he wanted to keep it that way. Rylus looked to Henkka and made fleeting eye contact, trying to let him know without words that he was here to help. As quietly as possible, Rylus tiptoed toward Alex's unprotected back...And tripped.He hadn't noticed the ruffled robes of a fallen mage in his path, and landed hard on his right shoulder. It didn't hurt terribly, but an involuntary grunt had escaped from between his gritted teeth when he hit the ground, and he knew his cover was blown.*Before either Lux nor Syryn could get a word out, Lux had already spun around to knock out the recovering bandit. However, once that was done, he turned back to the Toa.“Glad to see you alive,” Lux said.“Likewise.”Lux smiled slightly, then, with great seriousness in his voice, said: “Go help Stronin. He's done unless we do something now.”Syryn nodded, then started running towards Stronin, only to hear Lux call out: “And don't steal my Nui-Rama again!”The aging Toa grinned as he skid to a stop next to his fallen comrade, but it fell from his face once he saw the Toa's condition.“What the Karz did you do?” ”Well I got a spear stuck in my chest,” replied Stronin as he slowly attempted to get up. ”And no, you guys aren't going to be able to stop me from fighting. Besides, I can still fight. You guys get out of here.”With that, he turned to face the beings still fighting and concentrated, ignoring the pain that came with him letting his power out. He may have been half dead, but he still had enough power to fight off the rest of the group's enemies.”Storm of Blades,” he whispered as swords rained down from the heavens.Syryn placed his hands on Stronin, trying to stop him from moving. “Calm down. You keep moving, you'll bleed to death. If you die, you won't be of much help.”Inside, the Toa's mind was racing. How was he supposed to help this man? What power was strong enough...Slowly, the answer dawned on him, but he didn't much like it. He might be able to pour his Toa power into Stronin, in order to heal the wounds. The downside, would be that Syryn would, if he was lucky, turn into a Turaga, or (if he was unlucky) die.But the sight of Stronin lying on the ground was enough to shake any doubts from his mind,“Stronin, I've got an idea on how to heal you. I'm going to use my Toa energy to heal your wounds, but I need you to tell me all of them. Understand?””No,” said Stronin. ”I am not letting you give up on being a Toa just so you can heal some minor flesh wounds. Besides, I'll be fine. I doubt a giant hole in my chest and several gashes in my limbs can stop me from living.”*Rylus's grunt didn't go unnoticed by Alex, who was still busy attempting to slice Henkka into little pieces.Tapio watched in awe at Stronin's attack, then saw his friend, Rylus, in trouble. Maa had noticed him and would not let him out of that easily. Tapio leapt up and ran towards Rylus. Alex didn't make a move, surprisingly. With a quick glance over at Rylus, he resumed fighting Henkka. Henkka knew why. Alex was very confident in his own abilities. Often it was almost as if he had eyes behind his back. Alex would not let Rylus hit him.Once Henkka had thought these thoughts, Alex suddenly swinged around, knocking Rylus'd weapon off his hand and at the same time knocking Tapio's mask off. Then he swung his sword back at Henkka. To his shock and disappointment, however, the sword was stopped short by Lux's staff, held by the Matoran, who stood in front of Henkka.“Want him, you'll have to get through me!” he snarled.While Alex was preoccupied with Lux, Rylus helped Tapio retrieve his mask. The dagger had flown out of Rylus's hand and was out of sight now; trying to find it would be a waste of time. The Onu-Matoran criminals' numbers were starting to dwindle, but already a few that the group had knocked out earlier were beginning to wake up.”We have to make a run for it,” Rylus murmured. Tapio looked at him questioningly. ”We can't keep this up all night, Tapio,” he continued. ”We're outnumbered, and surely more mages will be arriving any minute. The sun will begin to rise in about two hours, maybe less. If that happens, our stealth is shattered, and we'll never get to the temple in time.”He paused, wondering if his friend had already reached that dreaded fortress.”We may be too late already.”Tapio understood. “You’re right”, he said. “We need to get out of here... but I know there’s something strange about those two, Lohkare and Maa, I mean. If we run away, we might lose Maa.”The sun began to rise. “But you’re right. I guess we have to go.”Meanwhile, Alex gave Lux a demonic look. “Don’t make me laugh”, he said. “How adorable. A little Matoran is playing with disks and pretending to be a hero.”Henkka stood up behind Lux and went to stand by his friend. “He is not JUST a Matoran”, he said. “I know you. You might be evil and have a sick sense of humor, but you’re not stupid. But if you want to prove me wrong, then go ahead and attack us both. Oh, and did I mention that the rest of our party has already defeated most of your bandits? They will be here standing next to us as well, soon enough.”Alex knew Henkka was right. Alex and what remained of his group of bandits would not stand a chance against all of Henkka’s friends.“Very well”, Alex said, grinning. “But we will see each other again.” Before anyone could react, he swung his sword and slightly hit Henkka, scarring him, then ran away, calling to his gang to follow. Only a handful of them did.Henkka looked where Alex had gone, then back at Lux. “Thanks for standing up for me”, he said, smiling. “He scarred me, but I’m alright. It’s just his way of making sure I don’t forget him, I guess.” Henkka looked at the small scar in his hand.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 22 2012 - 02:44 AM.

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#55 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 22 2012 - 05:48 AM

Chapter 53”As much as I'd like to go after them, we've got to move,” Rylus announced to the group. ”It's going to be light out sooner than I thought, and we can't afford any more setbacks, or worse- imprisonment. Or even worse than that, execution. We made it out with our lives this time, but if anyone saw this, word is going to spread fast and the mages won't underestimate us next time... So, in short, we can't let there be a next time. We need to keep to the shadows and try to find the quickest possible route to the temple.”He now addressed Lux: ”Lux, you got a pretty good view of the Koro when you were flying overhead, right? I know it's not the same when you're in the middle of it, but if you can find us a fast way to get through this place it would be much appreciated.”“There is one route,” a voice called out. It came from Syryn, still crouched over Stronin. The Toa of Iron didn't want to be healed, but he truly needed it.“Alright Stronin,” the Toa snarled. “I know you don't want to be healed, but too bloody bad. If you die, then all of these Matoran die. And if you die because you refused to be healed, I swear to Mata Nui, I will bring you back to life, just to kill you again.”He stood back up, regarding the Matoran. “There's a very little known side-street that leads right to water mains of the city. If we make it there, we can go right into the Temple.””I'm not going to die,” said Stronin, smiling as he got up, ignoring the pain in his chest. ”I promised someone that I'd play one more game of Kohlii with them, and I don't break my promises. Now let's go save your friend.”Henkka looked at Stronin and listened to his words. He was being awfully stubborn. In a bad way. “You need to be healed”, he said. “Like it or not. Besides, healing won’t necessarily take all of Syryn’s power.”Tapio was already thinking about the temple and what the group might find there. “If they’ve taken Zoma to the temple”, Tapio said to Rylus. “Can we still rescue him?”Tapio's question had occurred to Rylus as well, and it worried him greatly. By now, Wahkua and Zoma had most likely already made it to the temple. Luckily, Syryn's route sounded relatively safe, but even once they arrived how were they supposed to get in without being caught?”Well, for now we should just focus on getting there. Once we make into the temple, we can figure out where they're keeping Zoma and how to get to him without being discovered. I mean, we can't exactly fight our way through. We'd be found out almost immediately, and we can't possibly take them all. So we have to stick to stealth, and try for as little conflict as possible. Syryn, where do the Xa-Kuta typically keep their newest members?”Syryn paused for a moment, before replying in a quiet voice: “If Wahkua's trying to convert Zoma, he's most likely in the sub-levels, near to the training rooms and the prison cells. If not, well...”Syryn looked back at Stronin. “Look kid, you may think you're going to live through this, but I've seen enough war-injuries to know a bad wound when I see one. Either let me heal you, or start taking it easy.””I'll take it easy then”, said Stronin. ”You're the more experienced Toa. You can handle things better than I can.”He moved his hand towards his chest, looking at it, where some dried blood had flaked off. He grinned slightly. The wound may have been rather severe, but it seemed to be clotting already. He would deal with the infections later, if they survived the mission.”Now let's get going,” he said.*Henkka was happy to have the team on the move again. He was worried about Zoma, but there was another worry too. Henkka had a feeling he knew why his enemy, Alex, was in this world. And if he was right, Henkka and his friends should travel fast before Zoma ran out of time. Fortunately, the temple was already visible and the group was closing.Tapio looked at the structure in fear. “Um, would someone remind me of the plan here?””We run in, save your friend and run out,” said Stronin simply, still ignoring the pain. ”Then I can fly you guys back to the mainland, before going home and taking a nap.”Rylus guessed it was nearly six now, and as the light grew, so did their chances of being caught.He wondered what Zoma was thinking right now, if his friend even knew they were looking for him. After all they had been through the past few days, Rylus had to suppose not. But they would prove him wrong. Soon, this whole mess would be behind them and they could go back to their ordinary lives in Onu-Koro.Right?...Or, what if Wahkua had somehow managed to convert Zoma? Could Rylus and his new friends have come all this way for a lost cause? How could they be sure that as soon as they found him, if they even managed to find him, Zoma wouldn't turn on a dime and betray them all?”I think it's going to be more complicated than that, Stronin”, he said. “This is the belly of the beast, it's going to be crawling with mages- and worse.” He shuddered at the thought of running into the upper class of Xa-Koro.They had arrived at the base of the towering structure, and now it was time to find a way inside.”Syryn, you're the only one who knows the interior of this thing. We're going to need you to guide us every step of the way, or there's not a chance in Karzahni we'll ever find Zoma,” Rylus paused and attempted to smile reassuringly. ”No pressure.”Henkka looked at the temple in front of him grimly. He could sense and feel the evil of Makuta, so contaminated was the air with darkness. This was not exceptional to Henkka. He had challenged darkness and evil before, even in much worse places than this one. However, one factor made his current assignment deadlier than any had before. The presence of another time traveler.Henkka never knew upon entering a new time what he would have to do. Always he had found it out in the end, however, and done the necessary. Sometimes it was saving lives, sometimes preserving relationships, sometimes a small, simple deed to ensure something else would happen in the future. By now, Henkka had figured out his task. He felt it burning inside him, like a flame impossible to extinguish. A Matoran was being held inside the temple. The evil of the Makuta would try and poison him and force him to make a wrong choice. It was Henkka’s mission to save that Matoran and prevent him from making the mistake of his lifetime. Zoma did not belong here. He belonged with his friends and his home.Though he felt saving Zoma would be the right thing to do, Henkka struggled against another urge. This was not a simple case of “do a task and get away”. As long as Alex was here, within the same moment, no move made by Henkka would be permanent. Two forces were reshaping this moment, this part of time. Both were separate from time itself. Both were their own particles. There was time, Henkka and Alex. If Alex was not stopped, he would continue doing evil in other places, other times. Whatever Henkka would fix could be undone by Alex. And given the fact that the possibility of both of them being transferred to the same place at the same time again was practically unexisting, Henkka could not let Alex go. The battle would have to end here, whatever it would take.Whatever it would take.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 22 2012 - 05:48 AM.

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#56 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Apr 22 2012 - 07:47 AM

Chapter 54Syryn nodded grimly at Rylus. “Well then, let's get going.”He started walking to the left of the direction of the Temple, heading into a darkened alleyway.“Keep close. They call this place 'The Gravedigger's Haven'. Stay frosty, but don't look like you're staying frosty,” he said.Lux raised an eyebrow. “Why do they call it that?”Syryn grinned, as if telling a rather morbid joke. “Because this is where gravediggers get all their business.”Lux gasped, before snarling in frustration: “You said this place was safe!”The aged Toa snapped back: “I never said that! And safer than anywhere else in Xa-Koro for us.” He chuckled slightly. “Besides, we'll be fine. I've got some connections here.”Lux sighed, wishing he had Syryn's confidence. Or Rylus' courage. Tapio's loyalty. Paha's skills. What did he have? A headful of impossible dreams? Good intentions? Lux would be next to useless in that deathtrap.He turned to Rylus. “Rylus, it's been great fighting with you man. You've been like a brother to me. But...I can't go in there. I can't let you guys be weighed down by me.”*Alex looked at the big temple with a sense of respect. Something about the structure made even him feel humble and inferior to some greater power. He had a reason besides admiring the architecture to be here, though. He had learned from the last of his Onu-Matoran companions that this was the temple of Makuta, the heart of darkness. After telling him this, the Matoran has scattered in fear in the streets of Xa-Koro. None wanted to join Alex there.Alex had no fear towards the building. This was where Henkka and his team of “heroes” would come, he just knew it.As Alex entered the temple, he thought about Kalama, Lohkar and the others he had left behind. It all had felt so vain at first, the whole experience with the bunch who sought to capture a Toa of Ice. Nothing good had come out of that... or had there?It had only been later that Alex had realized his experiences with the Kalama’s Raiders had been important ones. He had learned about this world, the identity of his host, and most importantly, of the existence of a place called Xa-Koro, home of the Makuta worshippers. He had been pointed to the right direction. Here Alex would finally be able to complete the task he had been given, and kill his worst enemy, Henkka, for good.As Alex went deeper into the temple, he suddenly felt cold. He could feel eyes watching him from every shadowy corner. Alex knew the feeling. And there was only one thing in this world that could’ve caused it. The Makuta was watching him.*”You know,” said Stronin, attempting to lighten the mood. ”If I die from my wounds, could you use my body as a shield so it actually looks like I died in battle?”He paused for a moment, realising that his comment was not something the others would have dwelt on, seeing that it would basically reduce their confidence if he died, leaving them with only one other Toa. However, he didn't plan on dying yet, and would continue fighting with them as long as he could. Or forever, depending on how long he lived.”Well,” he continued as he leaned against a wall. ”Let's get to work shall we?”Syryn smiled grimly. ”One of the best plans I've heard all day.”He walked forward slowly, glancing back and forth in case any stray vagrant attempted anything funny. Confident that they were relatively safe, the Toa nodded back at his allies.“The entrance to the main is this way,” Syryn said. “Just keep quiet, and follow my lead, and we'll probably not get hurt.”As promised, when they rounded the corner, they found themselves in a largish alleyway, with a small building at the far end. Scattered across the street were numerous beings living in various states of squalor, each looking more desperate than the last.However, at the sight of Syryn, they all looked up, some even standing up and cheering. One Skakdi, with a strange, warped grin on his face approached and patted the Toa on the back. “Syryn, it's been too long,” he said jovially.“Good to see you too, Captain,” he replied.“Not Captain no more, it's Lord now.”“Well anyway, these are my friends,” he smiled, before turning to his allies. “It's alright, he's friendly.”*Zoma's eyes snapped open, staring up into an unfamiliar ceiling of dark stone. Slowly he remembered where he was, and why, but that only made him feel worse. He had no idea what time it was. Any sundial would have been useless this far below the surface.He didn't feel well rested. Only a few hours of sleep, he guessed. Maybe four, it was hard to say.Zoma paced the room for some time, trying to find any efficient method of knowing what time it was. Before he found anything of use, however, there was a light knock on the door and Wahkua stepped into the room.”I know, it's early,” Wahkua explained. ”But--””Is it? How should I have known that, exactly?””Fair enough,” the Inquisitor said, pulling a small device out from a pocket in his robes. ”Use this. It's fairly new, some Vortixx had them when they arrived on the island. Portable clock, very useful down here.” He tossed it to Zoma.”Thanks. So, you were saying something about it being early?””Right. Apparently there's been word of a breach of security floating around town, so I think it's best we start your training sooner rather than later. It's rare for anyone to access their magic the very first day, but I think you have a good chance. Let's get going, quickly.”*Rylus was stunned by Lux's news, but he felt he should respect his friend's decision.”I understand if you don't feel comfortable going through with this. After all, this is the most dangerous place in all of Mata Nui, and it's only going to get tougher to survive from here on out.”But something dawned on him just then that he hadn't thought of before. ”Wait, Lux, where will you go? I figure you'd want to get off this cursed rock as soon as possible, but if you take Phantoka, well... That's our ticket out of here.”Henkka turned to look at Lux with worried eyes. Lux was the single person Henkka had been with from the very beginning of his mission here. The two had come a long way from the dark cave where Lux had been bound.“I understand your worry”, Henkka said to Lux. He knew Lux hadn’t addressed him, but rather Rylus. Still, Henkka couldn’t let Lux leave. Every fighter was worth a lot. And besides, it would be dangerous for Lux to wander alone. “But we need you, Lux. I’ve seen what kind of a warrior you are. You have a strong will and you can still be of great help to us.””Technically I'm weighing you down more,” said Stronin. ”Don't sell yourself short. You don't need to be awesome to succeed in your goals.”Henkka suddenly turned to face Stronin, a serious, even angry look on his face. “That’s what you say”, Henkka said sternly, never blinking an eye while he stared at the Toa of Iron. “But do you believe in it?”Before anyone could react to Henkka’s surprising words, he continued: “You’re telling Lux you don’t need to be awesome to succeed, yet you refuse to acknowledge your own condition. You were stabbed, you’re in horrible condition, but what do you do when Syryn offers you his help? You refuse to be aided by another Toa. By anyone. And why? So you could look awesome yourself while you perish to your wounds and apparently ‘sacrifice’ yourself for Mata Nui. Let me tell you something. Mata Nui does not need victims. He doesn’t want martyrs. He is not the one who wishes death and destruction on others, that one is Makuta!”Henkka breathed heavily for a few moments before continuing still. “We’ve got a friend, a noble Matoran dedicated to the will of Mata Nui, imprisoned in this temple. We need to go and rescue him, and you are of no help to us if you insist on walking around dying like you are. Shut up, forget your dream of becoming a martyr and let Syryn help you so we can get to saving Zoma.”Stronin promptly slapped Henkka, his expression somewhat grim. ”You think I want to die? Of course not. You know why I'm not letting Syryn help me? Because he needs his powers, and all of us plus a half-dead Toa is better than just all of us with a Turaga.” He continued leaning against the wall, surveying everyone. ”I'm a thief. I have no time to look awesome. I get in, do my job and get out. Grandstanding leads to capture, which leads to being thrown in prison.”The Iron Toa paused for a moment. ”And don't worry, I won't die. What kind of protector of Matoran would I be if I die before all of you manage to save your friend? I'm going to survive the entire ordeal and make sure everyone is safe.”Henkka could sense the anger and pressure inside the Toa of Iron. There was a lot going on in his mind, Henkka could tell. ”Even your will won’t keep you alive much longer”, Henkka said. “Besides, Syryn isn’t going to become a Turaga, unless he has wasted his Toa Power a lot in the past...”Henkka turned to Syryn. “Did you?”*Such power...The words echoed in Alex’s mind, as if they had been thought by him. But Alex knew better. This was Makuta speaking. As soon as he realized that, two bloodred eyes appeared in the shadows before him. They narrowed as the voice came again.Such incredible will... and memories from a thousand realities. Who are you?Alex should’ve twitched in fear at Makuta’s dark tone, but he didn’t. He simply smiled.“Nice to meet you at last, Makuta”, he said. “I know you well, of course, but it seems in this version of the timeline you have not yet met me. But we have worked together before, Master of Shadows.”The shadows grew darker, more deep around Alex.I can see your mind, though some strange barrier is keeping me from seeing all of it. Still, I see you are not from around here. The darkness I sense in you is so heavy, there is no one like that on this island... except me.“That is why I’m here”, Alex said. “I’m here to do something no one else can. Something no one else could do without feeling sorry, feeling regret.”Makuta was silent for a long time. Then, he finally spoke again: Yes. Prepare yourself. You are about to know your mission.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Apr 22 2012 - 07:48 AM.

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#57 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted May 10 2012 - 05:02 AM

Chapter 55Syryn shook his head at Henkka’s question. “Naw, they kind of beat that out of you in Xa-Kuta.” He turned back to his Skakdi friend. “Listen, Hosuk, I need a favour.”The Skakdi grinned and laughed jovially. “I hope you don't need me to get someone out of that rat's nest again.”Syryn, for his part, just kept looking at him.Hosuk sunk. “You've got to be kidding me...”“It's important! They've got an innocent Matoran in there! We just need you to get into the water main, that's it!”Hosuk snarled, and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “So, what you're saying is: After I risk my neck, and the necks of my friends, our friends, to smuggle you outta there, you repay us, by going straight back in!”A long moment of silent tension fell upon the two, before a voice broke it. “It's not that simple.”Lux stepped forward. “This isn't just about getting someone out of that place. It's about showing everyone that Makuta isn't invincible. If we can get in, and save an innocent, it'll prove that anything is possible, even fighting the Xa-Kuta.”He looked back at his friends, Henkka, Rylus, Tapio, Stronin. Despite only knowing each other for only a few days, he already felt confident in the knowledge that together, they could stand up to anything.“I, myself, am ready to fight and die for my beliefs, and think these guys are too. So if you won't let us pass-“Hosuk held up his hand. “Kid, I didn't ask for your whole life story. If you wanna risk your lives for this guy, that's your business. My business, is to help you do that.”The Skakdi turned to the group. “Now then, I can only get you to the water main, but, if you want, I think I've got some supplies with your names on 'em.”*Wahkua couldn't help but smile as he led Zoma out of his room and toward the training chambers in which he would be instructed on how to use the magic that dwelled within. The Inquisitor had been wildly lucky in Le-Wahi. Had he returned without this potential legend in tow, he would have been harshly reprimanded for failing to eliminate Rylus and his band of renegades. But Zoma had provided the perfect leverage, and not just that, but if he proved as powerful as Wahkua believed, the Onu-Matoran would earn him great favor in the eyes of the High Priests and Zealots. Maybe one day he and Zoma would sit side by side among the High Council. Wouldn't that be something?Eventually the two Matoran reached their designated training chamber, where a black-robed Turaga awaited their arrival.”Since I myself have not learned the ways of magic, I can't teach you properly on my own. So I'll be leaving you with Tajnaal here,” Wahkua explained. ”He's one of the best, highly respected around here. I suggest you treat him as such.””Come,” Tajnaal said, gesturing for Zoma to enter the room. ”Let's begin by selecting your spells.”The Mage handed Zoma a small tablet with three categories. He was excited and nervous all at once, and carefully chose one from each category: Quake, Drain, and Temper.”Right, then,” Tajnaal observed. ”Let's start with Quake, the most basic. Once you get the feel for this, the others should come naturally.”The Turaga picked up an ordinary-looking brown stone from a pile in the corner of the room and dropped it at Zoma's feet.”What's this for?” the Onu-Matoran inquired. ”Is this what gives me my powers? Is it some kind of magical stone?””No, it's just a rock.””Then why--””You're going to break it. Maybe not today, but you will some time down the line. Just focus on the rock, and imagine it shattering. You come from Onu-Koro, no?””Yes, that's right.”Tajnaal nodded. ”Good, then try and recall exactly how it felt in the mines, when stone was crushed under your pickaxe. Look at the rock, replicate that feeling in your mind, and simply remove the tool. You can't just see it, you have to feel it. I'll channel an inkling of my own power into you to give you something to go off of, but try not to focus on that. We don't want you to become reliant on it.”Zoma felt a slight surge of energy. It was invigorating, but he tried to follow Tajnaal's instructions and not rely on that solely. He stared into the stone in front of him, focusing all his attention on it. He summoned all his memories of the mines back home, of the mighty cavern walls giving way under his strength. If there was one thing he was good at, it was focusing on a single task. Zoma used this to his advantage, clearing away all else but the vision of the stone shattering.Suddenly he felt the energetic charge withdraw, and he collapsed to the floor, breathing heavily.”Why did you break the link? I was almost there!” he sputtered at his trainer. He looked at the rock, and understood. Yes, it was still there, but much smaller right now. And surrounded by thousands more tiny chunks of stone.Even through Tajnaal's Kanohi Volitak, Zoma could see he was stunned.”What I just did... Is that rare?””Not just rare,” the Mage answered solemnly,”Almost unheard of. No one has completed their first task that quickly and effeciently since...”Zoma picked himself up, and the two stood in silence for what felt like ages. The Onu-Matoran shuffled his feet and glanced again at the scattered remnants of the stone.Finally Tajnaal cleared his throat and announced: ”I will send for Wahkua. We're done for today.”Zoma reclined in a chair and waited, wondering just how powerful he could become. Who had Tajnaal been comparing him to? A High Priest? Even a Zealot?When Wahkua did return, Zoma watched him discuss something with the Turaga in hushed tones. Why did they insist on treating him like a child? If something important was going on, he wanted to know instead of being left here to guess and then having it thrust upon him later.He felt something else in that room, other than the tension. Voices that didn't belong to Wahkua or Tajnaal. A sudden cold tingle that neither seemed to notice. This was all too familiar. Zoma's reaction was a simple one.You again.*Henkka smiled at Lux’s brave words of encouragement and smiled. He was right, of course. And that’s when realization hit Henkka. He understood that he was not here to save only Zoma, but to also convince others through that deed, that Makuta was not invincible. Zoma’s rescue would be a message to the other Matoran to keep on fighting, not to surrender to darkness.Tapio was nodding enthusiastically at the current plan. Finally, their group was getting somewhere. And even as the life of a bar tender’s assistant was left far behind by Tapio, a new one arrived to greet him.“Let’s go.”Hosuk smiled. “Alright then, let's get you kitted out.”He led them into a non-descript building. Slate-grey stone, nothing at all remarkable about it from the outside.The inside, however, was a different story.Stacked straight to ceiling were crates, and boxes, filled with provisions, weapons, and other assorted objects. It was a veritable treasure trove of food and equipment. Scattered among the stacks were about half a dozen Toa, Matoran and Vortixx double-checking supplies.The Skakdi held his arms wide, in a welcoming stance. “Go ahead, fill your boots.”Tapio looked around in wonder. Here was a stock of high-quality weapons and he could choose anyone of them. Deciding he was rather a long distance fighter than a melee fighter, Tapio chose a launcher that shot some kinds of disks. A Matoran working nearby told him that it was a Kanoka launcher and that bamboo disks could be launched with it.Henkka, on the other hand, was a melee fighter. He chose the best sword he could find. It was light, yet durable – and very sharp. Having another sword now, Henkka gave Lux back his own sword. “Here. Thanks for letting me use it, but I don’t think I need it any longer.”Lux smiled and took the sword back. “Ah, don't mention it.”*An ancient legend speaks of a Matoran who is to become a warrior and spark the beginning of a final battle against the Makuta, in which darkness will finally be banished and the route to the home of the Matoran will be opened. For years after the Toa Mata vanished, many thought of Takua as the hero of the prophecy. But Takua also disappeared into the cold darkness of the Kini-Nui. The legend was forgotten over time, by almost everyone but Makuta.And now Alex knew. He sneaked deeper into the darkness of the temple, ready to fulfill his mission in this time. The best thing was, Henkka would have to interfere. It would be so pleasant to kill him...*Rylus was astonished by the enormity of the hidden cache he and his friends had been welcomed to. How Hosuk and his crew had managed to keep this out of the watchful gaze of the Xa-Kuta was beyond him. After this moment of admiration, he began to assess the contents of the storehouse and picked out a fresh supply of bamboo disks, which he had noted earlier he was running low on. Upon seeing Tapio find a Kanoka Launcher, he decided he should get one for himself. He was fairly skilled at throwing disks, but this would be far more accurate.Realizing he would need some method of melee combat other than whacking his opponent with disks, Rylus also took a sturdy hammer, which felt natural and familiar after spending much of his life working in the mines of Onu-Koro.He looked around at his unlikely team and Hosuk's group of renegades, thinking just how impossible it was that they'd all gathered here under these circumstances. This was truly the point of no return. He took it all in, the sights and sounds around him, knowing full well that this might be his last chance to see his friends alive.Syryn, in sore need of some weapons, finally decided on a broadsword, and, in case he needed something slightly less lethal, a new stave to replace his lost one.He glanced over at Hosuk. “You sure you can't spare anyone?”The Skakdi rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Well, I can ask, but the chances of anyone volunteering are slim to none.”Syryn grimaced, but understood. Hosuk and his crew had risked a lot just helping them here. He didn't want to further endanger them.While Syryn was increasingly worried, Lux was in awe of the supplies cache they had found. It had everything, and it was open to their use. Lux almost gaped, but held his resolve, only taking a knife, and strange looking sickle he found.He sat down on a nearby crate taking stock of their situation. So far they had: six Matoran, and two Toa, neither of whom were fighting fit. But, they had made it this far on their own, he trusted that they could make it in and out okay.“Alright, what's the plan?”*What do you want? Zoma asked mentally. Even after pledging his allegiance to the Xa-Kuta, he was still deeply unsettled by the Master of Shadow's presence in his mind.That's no way to address your superior, came the response, as overwhelmingly cold as ever, You don't seem to understand the finality of your situation. You are no longer just an idea to them, Zoma. You are their dream come true, and they will never let you go back. You must accept your destiny.A destiny you chose for me.No, the voice boomed, A destiny you chose for yourself. Perhaps unconsciously, but you chose it all the same. My Rahi could sense it, your uncertainty in the will of Mata Nui, in your duty, in yourself. They were hesitant to attack you because, however unwittingly, you did not oppose me. I seem to recall you telling Lohkare, before his possession, that you didn't care whether I could be defeated. Tell me, have you ever honestly believed that my brother can be awakened?Zoma'a answer shocked even him. No. I... I guess I always knew it was impossible, ever since the Toa disappeared. Maybe even before then.Rylus and his new friends will be arriving soon. They abandoned you, and now they wish to steal you back. They would not have come all this way without reason. They know your power, they fear you. They fear what you have yet to become, and they will do everything in their power to alter your course. Show them the error of their ways.Destroy them.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, May 10 2012 - 05:03 AM.

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#58 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted May 10 2012 - 06:56 AM

Chapter 56”We go and find Zoma and get him as far away from this village as possible. I trust Syryn can guide us in the temple and Phantoka will be of great help in getting Zoma out of here. We worry about possible pursuers later.”Henkka’s plan was simple, but made up by a wise mind. Henkka was a good tactician and knew that saving the victims was always the first obligatory step in a situation like this. Battles and fighting could be done later, but as long as Zoma remained in this village, he and everyone else were in danger.“Phantoka can’t carry us all”, Tapio said. “But if it comes to that... I can stay behind.”“Me too”, Rauha said. “Our treetop-village isn’t long-far from here. Me and Rakas can sneak-flee later and it won’t be a long walk to Le-Koro.”Lux shook his head. “It won't be that easy getting back out. Keep in mind, we'll most likely have the whole glitchin' Xa-Kuta army on our tail. If they find anyone...”He didn't have to finish that last thought. Everyone understood that being captured alive was not an option.“I suggest that whoever's riding Phantoka should cover the ground crew against attack, if things come to that.”Syryn nodded. “I agree. Now then, onto the extraction. Once we're inside, everyone has to cover everyone else's backs. Otherwise, we're dead.”He sheathed his new sword, before looking at the crew. “Now then, we should probably get going, before they follow us here.”Henkka nodded. It was time to go.“Be wary... ready...”, he said. “And most importantly, be loyal to one other. Our only chance of success lies in our unity.”Stronin smiled at Henkka's words. It wasn't every day when you met someone who still followed the three virtues. ”Well, let's get going. I'm not going to be around forever you know.”As the group exited Hosuk's hidden warehouse, Rylus tried to brace himself for what was ahead. This was like nothing they had done before. Being captured was not an option. Every second they waited, Zoma was closer to becoming a true Xa-Kuta, and Rylus refused to let this happen.“Alright, looks like we're all ready”, he began, encouraged somewhat by Henkka's words. “Now then, which way to the water main?”“Right here mates”, Hosuk said, before leading them to another building, a small stone hut, tucked into a dark corner of the alley. He opened the door, revealing an even darker interior, with a low, loud hum emanating from the centre of the room.Their approach would reveal that the humming was coming from a massive black machine. It looked like a blast furnace, with several thick pipes running from it into the walls and floor.The Skakdi walked over to the engine, opening up a hatchway in it. “Okay, you better get going before they figure out you came here.”Syryn nodded at the Lord, smiling grimly. “Thank you old friend. I-““Oh, get going you sissy”, Hosuk grinned. “Just don't get killed, and bring me back a souvenir, that's all I ask.”Syryn smiled, before entering the engine, sinking knee high in water as he walked through the pipelines.Henkka was about to follow Syryn when he noticed the nervous looks on Rauha’s and Rakas’ faces. It then occured to him that Le-Matoran were never eager to spend time in tight spaces or water. Now the group was going to have to face both.“I’m not going”, Rauha said. Rakas nodded in agreement.“It’s just water in a pipe”, Tapio said, trying to sound confident. It still took him some effort to sound like a hero.“I understand their concern”, Henkka said. He had seen many Le-Matoran during his time travels and had been in many adventures and difficult situations with them. He knew well how the mind of a Matoran of Air worked and was willing to spare some sympathy for Rauha and Rakas. “They are Le-Matoran. They are used to open places. And they hate water.”“We’ll stay and care-take Phantoka”, Rauha said. “He’ll be ready when you return.”Lux smiled understandingly at the two Le-Matoran. “Don't worry. Just stay here, and stay hidden. Hopefully, we'll be back before the mages realize you're here.”He turned to the pipe entrance, taking a deep breath. The Matoran steeled his mind, trying to will himself to step into it. The last time he had been in a tunnel like this, he had fallen through a hole in the ground and broken his leg. Lux wasn't particularly eager to repeat that experience.“Don't worry”, he heard Syryn say from inside the pipe. “You won't be alone. You'll be alright.”Slightly reassured by this, he nodded, and stepped into the water. Lux activated his sword, casting a red-orange glow across the tunnel walls.“Okay, stay close everyone. We don't know what's down here, and I'd prefer no to find out the hard way.”*As usual, it didn't take long for the situation to turn sour. The group had reached a fork in the tunnel, and Rylus was clueless as to where they were relative to the temple at this point. He wasn't so sure Syryn knew which way would be faster, either.“What now? I don't have any widgets to flip”, the Onu-Matoran spoke, only half joking. He had known for quite a while now that this would be a frustrating journey, but as time dragged on, he liked their odds less and less.To make matters worse, he could faintly hear something - or someone - moving in the waters, and it wasn't one of their own. He silenced the team with a slight gesture and listened closely, but couldn't tell which direction the interceptors were coming from.Very quietly, he murmured: “Hear that? We've got company.” He turned to Syryn. “I thought this was our stealthiest option. If it is mages, and I'd bet my mask it is, how did they know to look for us here?”*About an hour earlier...“Those friends of yours have been causing me a world of trouble as of late”, Wahkua growled, leading Zoma through the twisting corridors of the temple. “It’s time to show them why we’re the most feared organization on Mata Nui. Witnesses say the last they were seen was in a shady alley near the temple complex. My guess is they're trying to work their way into the temple even now.”“You don't say?” Zoma replied. “You didn't honestly think you could just whisk me away without any response? These guys are the most loyal, and, more importantly, the most stubborn group I have ever known. They won't quit until-“He paused a moment, a strange look in his eyes.“He's here.”“Who?”“Rylus”, Zoma answered impatiently. “He's here, under the temple.”“Down here? In the caverns, or the dungeons?” Wahkua was interested. It was exceedingly rare for a trainee to exhibit any sort of psychic ability. This one was full of surprises.“No, lower. But he's making his way fast.”Truthfully, Zoma was pulling this out of thin air to see just how highly Wahkua thought of him. At least, it seemed that way. His mind had been through so much stress lately sometimes it was hard to tell what was real.“No matter”, the Inquisitor decided. “He and his ragtag gang of rebels have no idea what they've just walked into. In due time we'll make short work of those arrogant fools.”“Don't kid yourself, Wahkua”, Zoma warned. “You know as well as I do what they're capable of. If you want them down before they get here, it's going to take a small army of mages.”“Every entrance has already been blockaded. They'll never make it into the heart of the temple, and even if they do they'll be dead long before they find us.”“Fine. But I have a feeling the Zealots aren't gonna be too happy with you when you have a Karzload of Xa-Kuta blood on your hands.””It will not go to that, Zoma”, a voice suddenly came from behind the two. They turned to see an Onu-Matoran approach with two highly respected Zealots and most shockingly, two Rahkshi. A Turahk and a Rahkshi of Molecular Disruption.“Let me introduce myself”, Alex said with a grin. “I am Alex. I am from the future. And I am here to insure you achieve a victory over that foolish group of heretics.”One of the Zealots spoke: “It’s true. We have received word from Makuta himself. The Dark One claims to believe this Matoran... or whatever he is.”“The future?” Wahkua sputtered, flabbergasted. “With all due respect, Honored Ones, you must be joking. This blasphemer can't possibly be—“And then he recalled the possessed Po-Matoran warrior he had faced in Le-Wahi, how the mysterious heretic had claimed to jump through space and time, restoring peace to alternate worlds. If his tales had indeed been true, was it so much of a stretch to say that this newcomer was a similar being with the opposite motives?“I apologize”, he said hurriedly, noting the Turahk growling at his outburst. “But, I must ask. Alex, is it? Just what relationship do you have with the Master of Shadows? Of all the many outlaws, vigilantes, self-proclaimed revolutionaries and the like on Mata Nui, why is it that the Makuta chose to put his faith in you to destroy this particular group of heathens when so many mages go their whole lives without ever feeling his presence? Why you, and why them?”Alex laughed. ”No, you must have misunderstood, Inquisitor. The Makuta has put his faith in that Onu-Matoran you are training, not me. My job here is to protect his destiny... your destiny... the destiny of Xa-Koro.”Alex walked closer to Wahkua and grinned. “And that’s not all. There is another element in this world that doesn’t belong. He doesn’t belong anywhere, any timeline, and I shall remove him. And when that is done, and when Zoma has reached his destined position, I will leave this place forever behind.”*Henkka heard the sounds too and took out his new sword.“There isn’t much room here”, he said. “It will be difficult to battle in such tight quarters. We need to find a more spacious place and fast, too.”“Syryn is at the front”, Tapio said. “If we run into mages, he will have to battle them one-on-one.”Despite the mounting danger, Syryn had his eyes closed shut. He was doing his best to recall the path ahead, but the last time he had been here was years ago, and in that time, he had done all he could to erase those memories. They were frightening, haunting ghosts of recollections, who only sought to torment him with their tricks and traps.He snapped his eyes open, trying to keep the look of worry from his face. “Right. We should go right.”Lux glanced at him inquiringly. “Where will that lead us?”“The Zealots' main living area”, Syryn responded sadly, provoking looks of shock and anger on the faces of his allies.“Are you insane!?” Lux shouted at him. “Right into the mouth of the Doom Viper!”“The Mages will be expecting us to head for the lower levels, so most likely they'll check there first. If we head right, we'll have more room to fight in, rather than having to battle mages in the sewers”, he explained calmly.*In the Gravediggers' Haven, squads of rogues were positioning themselves at key entrances and exits to the alleyway. Barricades had been set up, guards given their orders, weapons loaded and stocked. They were as ready as possible.Still, Hosuk was worried. His comrades had never thought this kind of battle before, particularly against mages themselves. He didn't know how they would do in a fight like this.Rauha and Rakas, on the other hand, were fairly calm as they prepped Phantoka for flight, getting everything ready for a quick escape from this karz of a place.

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, May 10 2012 - 06:57 AM.

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#59 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Jun 21 2012 - 02:15 PM

Chapter 57Like everyone else, Rylus was not very comfortable with the idea of heading straight into the belly of the beast, but at the same time he figured they would be even less comfortable fighting a gang of mages in such tight quarters.“It looks like this is our only option. I'd rather fight a handful of Zealots in an open space than Mata Nui knows how many mages when we're crammed together like this. Plus”, he said, steeling himself for what was to come, “the Zealots might not even be there. For all we know, they're probably already looking for us.”“Then lead us”, Henkka hustled Syryn. “We need to go quick before they catch us.”“I agree”, Tapio said, already nervous. “My disc launcher and Volo Lutu are useless in this place.”Syryn nodded curtly, before running into the right tunnel, keeping to the sides as much as possible to keep the sounds of splashing to a minimum.As he ran, he tried to visualize the once-familiar surroundings of the Zealots’ living quarters, and the Temple in general. It wasn't exactly a welcoming place, but comfortable enough, if you had enough influence. Which the Zealots did.His thoughts were interrupted when he nearly ran into another pipeline, this one angled upwards at a thirty-degree angle. It’s walls were rusted and and pitted, and it smelled like a Gukko had been using it as a family mausoleum.“Alright, we need to head up here”, he said, pointing to the pipe. “This pipe will lead us into one of the Zealots” living quarters. A... private section of the living quarters.”Rylus and the group followed Syryn up through the angled, somehow even more cramped pipe, wondering what would await them on the other side. He’d been doing a lot of wondering lately and was getting sick of it. One day soon he hoped to know exactly what he was doing before doing it, but these were desperate times.*Wahkua, meanwhile, was quite intrigued by this possessed Onu-Matoran, and wondered just how he had found out about Zoma’s latent power. He decided that wasn’t important; what was important was making sure those troublesome renegades were finally eliminated, and if he needed to trust this strange being to make it happen, so be it.”Well, clearly you’ve made quite an impression”, he said, regarding the two Zealots. ”Welcome aboard, Alex. I don’t think you’ll disappoint us.”Zoma had remained quiet throughout this exchange, but he had been studying both sides intently. Something was amiss. Perhaps Alex truly did plan to help him achieve some sort of great status, but even if this was so it was clear this was only a side project- what he really wanted was to destroy his nemesis, Henkka. Zoma decided not to call his motives into question just yet, instead pointing out what he had been trying to express earlier.”You both underestimate them. All of them. Perhaps there are only five, but they’re some of the five greatest fighters I have ever seen. Lux and Lohkare, both incredibly strong and capable Po-Matoran on their own, and with Alex’s little friend possessing the latter he’s even more dangerous. Then you’ve got Tapio. He may not look like much, but he’s grown. A lot. As for Syryn? He probably knows just about every inch of this place, and I’m sure Wahkua would be the first to let you know he doesn’t exactly follow the Toa code. And of course, there’s Rylus. The most stubborn and loyal friend I ever had. If I know him at all, he won’t stop until he’s torn to pieces.”Zoma took a moment to let this sink in. ”Plus, that’s not even considering the possibility they’ve recruited anyone else, and chances are they have.”*It was quiet in the living quarters as Rylus, Syryn, Lux, Tapio, Stronin and Henkka emerged. It was also dark. Very dark.“Can anyone see anything?” Tapio asked.“Isn’t there a lightstone anywhere?” Henkka asked.In response to Henkka”s question, a ball of plasma was ignited by Syryn, illuminating the surroundings.It was a small, but elegant room, with several long couches grouped around an extinguished fire pit. Luxurious rugs and carpets were laid out on the hard stone floor, and a small cabinet stood in the corner.The Toa disregarded the objects, instead walking straight to the door on the other side of the room, opening it a crack. A sliver of light crept across the room, as Syryn scanned the exterior of the corridor.”Alright, it looks safe outside”, he whispered, though despite the assurance, he drew one of his daggers, just in case.*The Rahkshi of Molecular Disruption began to hiss as it sniffed the air.”Well, Wahkua, it’s time to see what you’ve made out of Zoma”, Alex said, ignoring Zoma’s remark about the capability of the group they were facing. ”And you, Zoma, be prepared for a turning point in your life. We all shall achieve a victory of sorts today, by demolishing the rebels. I’m counting on you.”Alex took a break and then spoke again. ”They’re probably in the hallway by now, the Rahkshi is getting agitated. You sense it too, Zoma, don’t you? You must kill Rylus in a most horrible way, by surprising him and stabbing him in the back. I have something in mind to fool them.”A Rahkshi of Illusion stepped out of the shadows.*”Okay, let’s get going”, Henkka said. The group walked along the corridor. Suddenly, Tapio began to whimper.”We can’t go on”, he said, shaking. ”We’ll all perish.””What’s the matter?” Henkka asked, puzzled, looking at Tapio. Then he heard footsteps and turned to see Alex and Zoma, along with three terrifying Rahkshi and a handful of Zealots.”Well, there goes the element of surprise”, Henkka said.”Zoma!” Tapio cried out, the power of Turahk beginning to fade.”Well, if it isn’t the group of brave heroes again”, Alex sneered. ”We have met before, of course. And you all know Zoma. But I doubt you know him like this.”What none in the group of heroes realized was that Zoma was actually just an illusion created by one of the Rahkshi. It was supposed to fool them, to give Zoma and Wahkua a chance to enter in secrecy. Alex knew that Rylus might be able to convince Zoma to join their side again. Zoma would have to complete the kill before that could happen.Henkka could not be fooled, though. ”A Rahkshi of Illusion! It’s creating an image of Zoma!””Take them!” Alex shouted, enraged by the cover being blown. The image of Zoma vanished, and the three Rahkshi advanced. The six Zealots were behind them.”Come on, Zoma, do it...”, Alex muttered under his breath.Barely breaking stride, Syryn swapped out his dagger for his sword, before summoning yet another orb of plasma in his free hand.”Alright, let’s end these guys, once and for all”, the Toa rumbled, hurling the orb at the nearest Rahkshi, separating its right arm from its torso. Without another word, he charged forward, bringing his sword down on the remaining limb.Lux, on the other hand, took a more defensive approach, bringing his sword close up to his body, while slowly working his way towards Alex.”Good to see you again mate”, he said with a forced smile. ”Found some new friends? Good for you, always good to widen your social circle.”The Rahkshi of Illusion hissed in agony, having lost its other arm. The Rahskhi of Molecular Disruption acted, and swung its staff at Syryn’s weapon, seemingly making it disappear. The truth was different, of course, its atoms had been dispersed. The Turahk also began advancing on the Toa of Plasma.That was when Tapio ran and leapt on the Turahk’s back, trying to restrict it. The Rahkshi started leaping around to dislodge the annoying Matoran, but Tapio held on.Alex grinned at Lux. ”You are going to be sorry, little Matoran”, he said. ”You know you shouldn’t be here. You belong home, in your cozy little hut, carving small statues for nothing. Here, you will not be able to survive.”Alex leapt and prepared to swipe at Lux, when another sword was used to block the blow. Henkka was there, standing beside Lux.”This is between you and me, Alex”, Henkka said. ”Our battles have had enough victims, enough sacrifices. Now, it shall only be the two of us.””Oh, come on”, Alex chuckled. ”The Piraka... the Griddlers... Minion Hounds... Tohunga... even Inwirn... you should understand that it will never be just the two of us. We represent views of life, such that attract others, like Lux here, to join our causes. They are just not strong enough. That is why they become victims.”The Zealots advanced on Lux, Stronin and Rylus.”But since that is your wish, the forces of Makuta will deal with your companions while we two fight till the death.”

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Jun 21 2012 - 02:16 PM.

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#60 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Jun 21 2012 - 10:35 PM

Chapter 58”What are you waiting for?” Wahkua growled from his and Zoma’s hiding place in the dark recesses of the corridor. ”Now’s your chance. They’re distracted. We can finally end this madness.”Zoma said nothing. He was deep in thought, as a sudden realization had occurred to him. If he was correct, this would change everything. Summoning all his will, whatever dark energies existed within him, he tried with all his might to speak with Makuta. How was it that the dark being was able to invade his mind whenever he wished, but when Zoma actually wanted to confront him he was nowhere to be found?Where are you, Makuta? If you’re truly as omniscient as you claim, I know you can hear me. I demand an audience. In fact, I want you to make yourself known to everyone in this room, here and now. I”ve been smuggled and silenced for far too long now. I want answers.Still, there was only silence. Wahkua continued to look at him expectantly, glancing at the fracas in the middle of the hallway.”It’s now or never, Zoma”, he hissed. ”They’re going to notice us sooner or later unless you act.”Fine then, Zoma said mentally, You”ll reveal yourself one way or another.Zoma stepped out into the open slowly and walked toward the battling groups without any sort of cover. He would not be controlled any longer.”That’s enough.”The fighting continued. Henkka and Alex, locked in combat as they had been for so long now. Tapio and Syryn facing the three Rahkshi. Rylus, Lux, and an unfamiliar Toa of Iron hopelessly outnumbered and outmatched by a squad of powerful Zealots. All were consumed by clashing blades and swirling energies.”I said ENOUGH.”Everyone suddenly stopped and turned. This was not part of the plan. Wahkua rushed out to stop Zoma before this could go any further, but a chunk of stone spontaneously loosened itself from the wall and hurtled into his back, knocking him down.”What in blazes are you doing?!” he screamed, throwing the debris off. ”Just what exactly are you trying to prove? You cannot stop what the Master of Shadows has started. The heretics must die!”Zoma ignored him and instead addressed the crowd.”You’re fighting for the wrong reasons. All of you. I have come to realize that you Xa-Kuta worship a coward.”Naturally the Zealots did not take kindly to this outrageous claim and bore into Zoma with utter contempt, but before they could go any further another voice echoed through the hall.An intriguing sentiment, Zoma. Elaborate for us all, if you would be so kind.Makuta had arrived.Henkka held his sword tightly. He did not feel fear, for he had faced many Brotherhood of Makuta members before. He had even defeated Makuta himself. Two times, to be precise. The Makuta in this world was not visible, though, and that added a feeling of danger and threat in the air.Tapio was shaking. He tried controlling himself, but was too overrun by panic. He had tried to become a hero, and what had that lead to? He was facing the ultimate enemy now, the bringer of all evil.Alex was delighted to hear Makuta interfere. There was no doubt he could finally convince Zoma that darkness was the right side to be on.Zoma shuddered at the sound of Makuta’s voice. It had plagued his mind for some time now, but somehow this was far more intimidating. Still, he continued, knowing full well the Master of Shadows could strike him down at any second.”It was never about making me a Mage. It was never about making me into some kind of grand weapon for the Xa-Kuta, or helping me realize my true potential. If anything, the idea was to stifle the alleged powers Makuta saw in me.””Alleged?!” Wahkua sputtered, ”You just slammed a rock into my back not one minute ago! What is ‘alleged’ about that?”With a slight gesture, Zoma mentally lifted the debris from the floor and brought it back down on the Inquisitor.”I’m not talking about magic tricks. I’m talking about something much stronger, something capable of destroying Makuta once and for all.” He paused, turning his gaze to the darkest crevices of the hallway. ”And you feared it. You would do everything in your power to prevent me from discovering the forces that would spell your end. It was the same with Joske Nimil, wasn’t it? You saw a being who might dare to challenge you, and, not wanting to waste a potential ace in the hole, you converted him. Convinced him his heart was full of darkness, just as you did me. The only difference is that I now see what he couldn’t. A paranoid, manipulative puppetmaster.”You flatter yourself, Zoma. You have great abilities, yes, but you are no threat to me. If I had thought you were I would have eliminated you when I first suspected it.”That’s just it. You didn”t suspect anything, your Rahi did. In fact, I’d be willing to wager I wasn’t so much as a blip on your radar until I got dragged into this whole mess by Lohkare. By that point, I was already seriously doubting whether anyone stood a chance against your influence. All you had to do was take advantage of my own fragile state, and suddenly you had a new pawn who was none the wiser. Not yet, at least.”Very well. Perhaps I would be willing to concede that I took certain... precautions. But I fail to see how this is of any use to you now.”And there you have it. You fail to see. You are not all-knowing.” He grinned. ”You made a mistake.”What are you implying? ”Let’s look at it this way. Nearly a century ago, everyone seemed to think Takua was the Chosen One. But it wasn’t because he was never attacked by Rahi. No, it was just the opposite. He was willing to put himself in danger to protect what he cared about, and he cared about this island and its people more than anything. He was willing to look death in the eye without fear, without hesitation. I am not the Chosen One.”Zoma took several steps closer to the crowd and looked his oldest friend in the eyes.”But I did lead him here.””Yes, you did”, Alex said. ”But without the second one, he will be useless.”Alex suddenly leapt and sliced at Tapio with his sword. The Ko-Matoran yelled and fell over, gagging, the sound of death.At that very moment, Henkka could see Alex’s form being surrounded by a light as red as blood. At the same time, time itself seemed to blend around Alex. Only Henkka could see this.”As legends fortell, a Chosen One will free the island from Makuta”, Alex said as he began the transition to a new world. ”Few know that there were actually two Chosen Ones. They were to meet by accident, and to become a mighty pair. They were to be tested and their friendship was to grow stronger and stronger, invincible. Rylus and Tapio.”Tapio began to lose grip on his life. ”Rylus...”, he gasped.”And now my duty is done”, Alex said. ”It was fun watching all of this. Bye.””No!” Henkka shouted and threw himself on Alex. ”You’re not going anywhere!””You think you can stop me? Time is taking me away from here!”Henkka paused. Then he shouted at Zoma: ”My duty is to free you from darkness. I can’t get away without that! Please, please make the final move!”Alex was becoming a blur to Henkka. ”Quickly!”With Zoma and Makuta”s intellectual battle distracting the Zealots, none of them saw a young Po-Matoran flying through the air until it was too late.With a muted cry, one of the Zealots crumpled to their knees, a sword imbedded in their back, Lux clinging to it with all his might.”Who else wants some?!” he shouted with insane fury. ”Zealots! Rahkshi! Makuta! I”ll take you all on!”Rylus rushed to Alex with his hammer drawn. He didn’t know much about this smug time traveler, but he had mortally wounded Tapio and that was reason enough for Rylus to want to crush his skull.Zoma was running to intercept the possessed Onu-Matoran as well, summoning a storm of stones from the ground as he went. Burying Alex wouldn’t stop him for long, but it might buy them just enough time to find a way to keep him in this universe.Suddenly Rylus stopped in his tracks, dropping the hammer. Pain exploded in his chest. Slowly, he looked down, knowing exactly what he would find. A long, crooked blade protruded from his torso, smeared with blood. Just behind him, Wahkua grinned savagely and roughly pulled the sword out, twisting it slightly. Rylus cried out in agony and fell to his knees.With only a weak grip on life, Tapio turned at Rylus. ”No...”, he gasped. ”Rylus... don’t... we...”Tapio’s eyes blackened and his heartlight faded. Just before he died, he managed to say: ”See you soon, my friend.””I’ve been waiting far too long for this moment”, Wahkua declared. ”I assume he wasn’t of much use without the other one anyway, but better safe than sorry. It seems I overestimated your capacity to kill, Zoma. You should have finished me off when you had the chance; maybe there would have been a sliver of hope for you that way. Pity.”Zoma decided to prove him wrong, and unleashed a barrage of jagged rock at Alex.Alex laughed. He was about to go away from this time... but he suddenly noticed his depart was being slowed by... Henkka.The good time traveller had slammed into him, knocking him off his feet. He was glowing bright as a star, although no one but Alex could see that.”What are you doing, you fool?!” Alex cried out, struggling.”I’m not letting you escape”, Henkka declared. ”We might never meet again. An endless amount of realities and bodies... what are the chances we would come together again? Not likely.”Alex struggled. Both he and Henkka were glowing with energy even as time itself wrapped around them, preparing them for their most dangerous trip yet...”You’re crazy! You’re killing us both!” Alex shouted.The rocks sent by Zoma were closing in on the duo.”Maybe it’s worth it, then”, Henkka said. He had done his task in this world. The battle was not over, but Zoma had realized the truth. Alex had done his mission as well by killing Tapio.The energies of time enveloped both Henkka and Alex at the same time. Alex screamed. A part of the fabric of time was torn. Events from the past and the future were mixed with each other, memories of things were gained and lost. Years bypassed Henkka and Alex. The hallway they were in became a blur, everything fading from their view.Then, with a burst of power and the fabric of being rearranred, the two time travellers flashed away, to a fate unknown.The End... for the time being.Well, it has finally happened. Forgotten Destiny is completed. Thanks to everyone who was contributed to this story and brought his or her own ideas and imagination into its creation. To see what happens to Henkka and Alex and how it all finally ends, check out the sequel to this story, Death Decisions, soon as it appears on Bzpower.Thank you!

Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Jun 21 2012 - 10:38 PM.

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