A/N: Hey guys. It's been years since I last posted on Bzpower. I thought I'd come back with this idea for a story I've had for quite a while (Read: One week). Hope you all enjoy it and all forms of criticism are welcome. Cheers.
(I don't think this needs to be said, but I'm not too good at blurbs. In fact, this is the first time I'm doing one.)
Even years after the Matoran Civil war, it's effects could still be felt on the City of Legends. Damaged infrastructure stunted recovery and the rahi released by Teridax during the Archives Massacre still roamed the island freely. The newly created vahki are struggling to maintain order. Among the largest problems are the large numbers of kraata and rahkshi prowling the streets of the island. Xephikas, a Toa with a clouded history and debatable ethics, attempts to contain the menace, but in doing so, he discovers that there is something or someone else at work.
It had been close to ten years since the end of the Matoran Civil War and eight years since Turaga Dume took power. Things were only just getting back to normal. The Matoran were at least willing to work with one another, unlike the first few years after the war when there was still plenty of animosity between the two alliances. Still, that did not mean that everything was fine. Rahi, freed during the Archives Massacre, were still on the loose. The newly implemented vahki were doing their best to capture the wild animals, but there were not enough of the robotic enforcers to canvass the entire island. The infrastructure of each Metru were still being repaired, with priority given to Ta-Metru, Le-Metru and Onu-Metru, in order to get the forges, transport system and archives back up and running, respectively.
Xephikas leaned against a wall of one of the many warehouses which dotted the outskirts of Po-Metru. One of the first things Turaga Dume had did when he ascended to power was to call for help from any Toa that was available and Xephikas was one such Toa who answered the call. He had been on the island for merely two days and already he had been called to aid in recapturing rahkshi and kraata. Xephikas had no problems with that, that was his speciality, after all. What he had a problem with was that it got tiresome very, very quickly. Especially since the Chief Archivist insisted on having an Archivist accompany the Toa on his missions to ensure that everything was done properly.
Xephikas pushed himself away from the wall. The Archivists could send their 'proper methods' to Karzahni for all he cared. His job was to deal with the rahkshi and kraata menace. That was what Xephikas was going to do and he was going to do it his way for once. It was certainly faster than having to take down the rahkshi non-lethally followed by extracting the kraata and placing it carefully into a stasis tube. That took too long and was not as efficient as the Toa liked. Taking care of only two rahkshi per day was too slow. Xephikas needed to speed things up.
He walked away from the warehouse towards one of the few that still bore significant damage from the war. Parts of the walls had been melted away by the Ta-Matoran and the roof had collapsed. Dangerous by any account, it was the last place Xephikas wanted to enter, but if his tracking abilities were to be trusted, there was a rahkshi hiding somewhere around the area. The Toa was more worried about the rest of the warehouse collapsing on him than the rahkshi. The fact that the rahkshi had attempted to run and hide rather than fight proved to him that the kraata controlling it was low-levelled and thus still acting on instinct rather than reason. A higher-level kraata would have used it's power to fight it's way out rather than hide.
Xephikas crouched low as he entered the warehouse, carefully stepping over piles of rubble and making sure he did not disturb the trail of large footprints leading deeper into the building. He pulled a javelin out from it's quiver on his back and held it as a spear. He had tried hunting rahkshi with the usual bow and arrow, but he found that arrows rarely had the power to punch through a rahkshi's thick shell. A javelin, on the other hand, would easily pierce through the rahkshi and quite possible into the terrain behind it if it was soft enough.
The screech of a kraata suddenly echoed throughout the warehouse. Xephikas stopped in his tracks, fearful that he had been detected. If the rahkshi was about to attack, he could either attempt to bring it down with the javelin or try to fight it in close quarters with the sword he had sheathed at his hip. Neither choice sounded appealing to Xephikas. His greatest weapon was surprise and he was determined to use it to it's utmost.
Fortunately, the screeching stopped after a while, eliciting a relieved sigh from Xephikas. The Toa hid behind a large piece of the collapsed ceiling and peeked out around the side. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, he sprinted towards the next piece of rubble and crouched down behind it. Tightening his grip on the javelin, he glanced at the footprints again. Satisfied that he was still on the right track, Xephikas sprinted towards the next piece of rubble and hid behind it. The rahkshi was close, he could feel it.
Another screech broke the silence. This time, it was a lot louder. Xephikas smiled maliciously to himself. It was nearly time. He stepped out of the rubble he had been hiding behind, still keeping low and pushed forward. He flipped the javelin around, getting it into a position to be thrown. Just beyond a partially destroyed wall, he could see the rahkshi standing in front of a wall that was apparently in it's way. Laser beams shot out from it's eyes and drilled two neat holes in the wall. They were not deep nor wide enough to cause it to collapse, frustrating the rahkshi even further. It let out another deafening screech.
“About time I shut you up,” Xephikas murmured to himself and slowly got to a standing position. He pulled his javelin-carrying arm back, and with all his strength, threw it straight at the rahkshi's back. The hardened protosteel tip easily pierced the armour and penetrated quite deeply, making it impossible for the rahkshi to dislodge it with it's frantic thrashing. Xephikas quickly dashed forward with his sword in hand before the rahkshi had a chance to even know what was going on. He slashed with his weapon, cutting deep into the back of the rahkshi's knee. With another loud screech, it collapsed immediately. However, it still had it's laser vision and it fired a burst which grazed Xephikas' right pauldron.
“That hurt,” The Toa muttered and grabbed the rahkshi by the back of the neck to prevent it from moving it's head and thus aiming it's deadly eyes. He proceeded to smash it's head against a jagged piece of rubble until it eventually stopped moving. Sighing, he got off the rahkshi and sheathed his sword. He wiped some of the rahkshi's internal fluids off his Kakama. Pulling out the javelin from the rahkshi, he returned it to his quiver. Only then did he kneel back down beside the unconscious form of the rahkshi. He drew a small knife from a sheath resting on his lower back and sunk it's hardened blade into the shell of the rahkshi, just behind it's head. With a loud grunt and a lot of effort, he pried the rahkshi's shell open, exposing it's squirming kraata.
Xephikas pulled the kraata out and got to his feet. Examining the squirming creature closely, he realized that it was only a level one kraata. “All that trouble for you...” He murmured. He had been expecting at least a level three or even a four. The Archives had enough level one kraata on display, and they needed space for the rarer, higher level kraatas. The official stance by the Archivists was that all kraata was to be delivered alive and unharmed, that they would be the ones to judge which kraata were kept and which were disposed of.
However, Xephikas honestly could not find a reason as to why he should bother delivering the kraata back to Onu-Metru. No doubt they would dispose of it, making his trip a complete waste. It would be a much better use of his time if he just got rid of the kraata and went on with his work. The more rahkshi he got rid of, the safe the island would be. Who would care if one kraata met it's end in the warehouse?
Convinced by himself, Xephikas dropped the kraata on the ground. Immediately, it tried to make a run for the nearest exit, slithering across the ground as fast as it could. The Toa caught up within three long strides. Without hesitation, he brought his heel down on the head of the kraata as hard as he could. The creature just about exploded, splattering greenish juices all over the Toa's foot and leg. Unperturbed, the Toa continued on his way out of the warehouse. The roaming Muaka would do a fine job of destroying all evidence, the smell of a dead kraata would draw them in.
Xephikas had work to do.
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Edited by Curiosity, Mar 08 2013 - 12:48 PM.