Posted Jan 13 2012 - 12:25 AM
Delaying The InevitableBy The Smoke MonsterTrinuma walked quickly through the halls of the Order of Mata Nui's fortress, not stopping for anything as he made his way to Toa Helryx's chambers. He had been going over the events that transpired during his last mission when Johmak informed him that Helryx, the leader of the organization, had requested his presence. She had remained silent about what the Toa of Water wanted with him, but from the tone in Johmak's voice, Trinuma could tell that it was urgent.He, along with another agent with four arms, had just returned from the Southern Continent. There, the two agents had saved a Matoran village from being destroyed in a battle between three Dark Hunters and a dozen Visorak. The mission was almost blown when one of the agents was almost spotted by one of the Hunters. Thankfully, no other incidents occurred, but Trinuma couldn't help but think about this event, for it had put a thought into his head. One he had never had before.Trinuma entered into Helryx's chambers and spotted the Order's leader looking over a newly craved tablet. To his surprise, Tobduk, a senior member of the Order, was also present. His typical look of rage could clearly be seen through his Kanohi Sanok.Why have I been summoned?" Trinuma asked Helryx. She took her gaze off of the tablet and looked at Trinuma. In her eyes, Trinuma could see anger and worry, fused together like two Kanoka disks about to be turned into a Kanohi Mask. She then walked up to him and showed him the tablet."A Maxilos robot found this tablet lying on the shoreline of the island." She explained. "It is from a group of beings that discovered Daxia. I know not whether it was an accident or on purpose, but I do know that they saw some of our members and other things they shouldn't have seen. They wrote down everything they witnessed on Daxia onto two tablets."Trinuma knew better than to ask who the group of beings were working with, whether it was the Hunters, Brotherhood, or just a group of travelers. If Helryx didn't tell him, then he didn't need to know.Helryx walked away from Trinuma and placed the tablet she was holding onto her desk. "Thankfully," she went on. "all of the intruders were killed by Shallows Cats."Trinuma wasn't surprised by that. Shallows Cats, native to Daxia's shorelines, looked like beautiful, peaceful Rahi. But if one got too close, they would seize the victim and drown him in the ocean. Not even Order Members were safe from these felines.Trinuma then noticed that something was missing. "Where is the other tablet?" he asked."The Maxilos robot that found the first tablet was sent to retrieve the other." Tobduk answered. "It hasn't returned.""That tablet cannot go into the wrong hands." Helryx said. "Even though I'm confident that Daxia's secrecy is secure, I still want that tablet, just to be safe."Trinuma could now guess why he had been called by Helryx. "So you want me to go search the island for the other tablet?""Not you," Tobduk corrected. "We."**********Trinuma and Tobduk left the fortress through it's southern exit point. The sky above was dotted with dark clouds, signaling that a storm was approaching. Neither of them noticed that it was coming. One didn't care about it, and the other was too distracted in thought to notice it.Tobduk, seeing that Trinuma was lost in thought, slapped his partner in the shoulder."Hey!" Trinuma growled. "What was that for?""To get your attention, daydreamer." Tobduk replied. "Now listen, we can cover more ground if we split up. You check the east side of the island, while I check the west. Anything that might even resemble a threat, we kill."Trinuma smiled. "What, you expect me to be a merciful Ussal Crab?""Of course not." Tobduk said as he turned from Trinuma and began his march to Daxia's west side. "Merciful Order agents don't live long,...and you're still alive."Trinuma watched the other agent walk away, then he decided to began his search. He activated his kinetic weaponry, rose off the ground, turned to the East.**********Two hours had passed since Trinuma had begun his search. The dark clouds overhead didn't hinder his vision, but he couldn't find any signs indicating that the Maxilos robot had been on the east side of Daxia. Deciding to take a short brake, he floated to the ground and shut off his weapon. He saw a cliff nearby and walked to it. There, he gazed out at the forest and deserts of Daxia. He allowed himself to remember the thoughts he had back in the fortress. The thoughts about the war, and the Order's secrecy.Roughly five hundred years ago, the Dark Hunters declared war on the Brotherhood of Makuta. Since then, both sides had been striking at each other at almost every place in the Universe. Battles had fought in islands as north as Xia, as south as Stelt, and everywhere in between. Toa, Matoran, and other species had been caught in the conflict. Many of them, especially Toa, had even been killed in these battles.Unbeknownst to the two warring organizations, the Order of Mata Nui had been involved in the war. Order agents had participated in many of the bigger battles between the Hunters and Brotherhood. Many important lives had been saved thanks to the Order's efforts.This was not bothering Trinuma, however. What bothered him was that, while participating in the war, the Order had remained in the background of the battles. The beings that created the Order vowed to tell no one of the organization's existence, unless it was necessary. They made this vow so that the Order could focus solely on serving the Great Spirit Mata Nui.But Trinuma couldn't help but wonder if, perhaps, the Order could do more for Mata Nui if the organization existence's was known to the world. Sure, keeping the Order a secret from others had allowed it to perform actions that others would frown upon. Trinuma, however, couldn't help but feel that, if the Order was recognized, they could focus more on the war currently wrecking the universe."Tobduk and I wouldn't have to hunt for some tablet to keep Order's secrecy safe if everyone knew about us." Trinuma thought. "Then we could be more useful to those that need us."Trinuma's musings were interrupted by the sight of something he recognized at the bottom of the cliff. Surprised by what he saw, he jumped off the cliff, activating his kinetic weaponry in midair to slow his fall. He landed gently next to the object in question. Yes, it was what he thought it to be."A Twin-Bladed Black Fire Sword." Trinuma said quietly to himself. This kind of sword was carried by Maxilos machines. This particular sword was broken in two, with one of it's blades missing. The nine foot tall being could tell that something had attacked the robot. Something monstrous.Trinuma searched the area for the Maxilos' body. There was no sign of it. What he did find was drag marks on the ground next to the sword. They led away from the weapon and into the forest."Whoever, or whatever, attacked the Maxilos dragged it away." Trinuma thought. Activating his weaponry once more, he rose off the ground and followed the drag marks. He pulled out his shield as he flew. He knew that he was going to have fight the creature that took the Maxilos, and only one of them would likely survive.**********Trinuma followed the trail for at least a mile. Just when he was about to give up, he found the Maxilos' Cordak Blaster. It had what appeared to be bite marks and scratches slashed into it. The scarred weapon made the agent more hesitant, but at least he knew he was on the right trail.Soon after, Trinuma arrived at the end of the trail. The area he was now in was a rocky field with a few small hills made of rock dotting it. There was no forest, or any vegetation, that could be seen in the area. What Trinuma did see was the Maxilos robot lying in the entrance to a nearby cave in one of the rock hills. Even thought he was about hundred feet away from the machine, he could see dents, cracks, and gaping holes in it's armor. Trinuma also saw the second tablet, there in the grip of the wrecked Maxilos' right hand!Trinuma began to fly towards the robot. He hadn't made it ten feet when he heard a cry come form his left. A cry that sounded like a mix between a hiss and a growl. A cry that would even make a Makuta tremble. A cry he knew all too well.Trinuma barely turned his head, already knowing the Rahi's identity, when the Shallows Cat slammed into him in midair. The agent crashed in the rocky ground like a meteor and slid on the rocky surface. The blow was so strong on impact that he lost his grip on both his weapons. He slid about twenty five feet away from them before he stopped.As soon as he could, Trinuma jumped to his feet. He was slightly dazed by the surprise attack, but otherwise okay. The Shallows Cat growled at him again as it slowly circled the agent. The tan-colored Rahi was seven feet tall. It was armed with three claws on each of it paws. It also had a jaw full of razor sharp teeth.There was one thing different about this Shallows Cat than the others of it's kind. This particular specimen was covered in mud and dirt. It was not beautiful or sleek like other Shallows Cats, but instead it was hideous to look upon. Trinuma hadn't the slightest clue as to why this Rahi, normally found on Daxia's shorelines, was doing this far inland.The Rahi stopped walking as it placed itself between Trinuma and the Maxilos. Trinuma could guess that this feline had brought down the robot. He activated his Kanohi Mask of Charisma. He attempted to convince the Rahi that it should let him approach the Maxilos behind it. He expected it to comply with him. Instead, the feline charged straight towards him. The agent barely dove out of the Shallows Cat's path as the feline tried to attack him.The monstrous Rahi pursued after it's new prey. Trinuma responded by firing his twin Ghost Blasters at his attacker. The Rahi simply slashed through the projectiles and continued it's attack.Trinuma didn't understand it. Why would a Shallows Cat be so far away from the shoreline? Why would it allow itself to become so dirty? And why did it think that the Maxilos was it's dinner? As he dodged the Rahi again and fired more shots from his Ghost Blasters, forcing the cat to back away temporarily, the answer came to him. It sent a chill down his back."Deranged." he thought, horrified by the revelation."It's deranged!" Trinuma took a few steps away from the Rahi. Only a long conversation with Botar was worse than facing an insane Shallows Cat.Behind his mask, Trinuma's eyes glanced to the left. He could see his weapons nearby. With them, he had a chance. Without them, he would share the fate of the Maxilos robot. Deciding that it would be better to die with his weapons in his hands, he bolted to them. The Shallows Cat bolted as well. Both of them ran as fast as their legs could take them. One ran for his life, the other for it's meal.Trinuma made it to his weapons just as the feline reached him. It's jaws were wide open. Trinuma grabbed his shield and lodged it into the Rahi's mouth, robbing it of the ability to close it. The agent then grabbed his kinetic weapon and fired it at his attacker, knocking it onto it's side.The Shallows Cat wasn't out for the count yet. It spat Trinuma's shield out of its jaw and advanced on the agent, moving faster than ever before. Trinuma tried to fly away from the Rahi, but he wasn't fast enough. The feline jumped after him and grabbed him by his lower left leg. Trinuma, unable to fly with the added weight, was pulled down by the Rahi and slammed back firstinto the hard, rocky ground.Trinuma was too stunned to get back up. The Shallows Cat jumped on top of him and raised it's paw over his neck. Before the Rahi could finish him off, a beam of energy stuck the feline. The beam forced the Shallows Cat off of Trinuma as it incinerated the Rahi. Ten seconds later, the Rahi was nothing more than atoms.Trinuma weakly turned his head and saw Tobduk standing nearby, his staff aimed at the spot where the Shallows Cat had been a moment ago. The senior agent then turned and walked towards the ruined Maxilos machine. He put his staff away as he reached his target. Almost casually, he pried the tablet out of the Maxilos' dead grip. He turned to Trinuma as the stunned agent was slowly rising to his feet."This is no time to be lying down, Trinuma." Tobduk said, almost mockingly."What do you think I'm doing? Taking a nap?" Trinuma asked, frustration in his voice.Tobduk shrugged. "Now that we have the tablet, we had better get back before Helryx thinks we're dead. Follow me."Tablet in hand, the two agents began to walk back to their secret fortress."And you're welcome for saving your life." Tobduk mumbled to Trinuma along the way.**********Helryx said nothing as Trinuma and Tobduk explained to her everything that had happen to them on their quest. She said nothing until they were finished."Good job." she said to them after they were done talking. "I will find out who the group of beings were, and what they were up to. But for now, Daxia's secrecy has been kept safe thanks to you two.""For how long?"Helryx turned to Trinuma. He stared at her, his face unreadable to her."How long?" he quietly repeated. "How long will we keep ourselves a secret, and allow the Dark Hunters and Brotherhood of Makuta to destroy our universe? How long will we stand by and allow Toa and Matoran to die? How long will we put the Order's secrecy above the lives of innocent people?""As long as Mata Nui requires us too." Helryx said, angry at Trinuma for questioning what the Order's creators vowed at the beginning of the universe."I understand why we keep ourselves a secret. I do." Trinuma went on. "But have you ever wondered if we could do more for Mata Nui by revealing ourselves to this war-torn world? Perhaps, if everyone knew of us, we could focus more on the will of the Great Spirit, and not wasting time hiding ourselves from everyone."Trinuma took a step forward. "Have you ever wondered about that, Helryx?"The Toa of Water said nothing. Trinuma expected her to yell at him about how important the Order's secrecy was to do Mata Nui's will. Instead, she walked calmly to her desk and sat in her chair."Ask me again when the war between the Hunters and Brotherhood is over." She simply said. She then told Trinuma and Tobduk to leave her chambers. Trinuma left, his questions still planted in his mind. He wondered if he would ever get the answer to them.It would be five hundred years after these events before the Order of Mata Nui revealed itself to the universe. It would be a time where Toa were few, the universe would be on the brink of destruction, and, most importantly, when Mata Nui needed them the most.