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The Tale Of Hardex


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#1 Offline _Artakha_

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Posted Oct 17 2011 - 03:18 PM

The Tale of Hardex Review

The Tale of HardexPrologueA powerful being stood in a ruined chamber in what had been, not so long ago, a great fortress. He had never been in this chamber his 100,000 years of existence, though he was sure it rarely looked the same one day to the next.He sighed. The last time nearly this much damage had been done, it had not taken long for its lone inhabitant to repair the damage. Now that Teridax was destroyed, so was the Great Spirit Robot that contained the island on which the remains of the fortress now stood.Of course, the majority of the inhabitants had survived and were now on the reformed planet of Spherus Magna. However, this place still held memories for Hardex. Spying a slightly battered Kanohi mask, he picked it up. Employing a miniscule portion of his power, he cleaned it of settled dust and dirt. Gazing at it, he remembered...


Edited by _Artakha_, Oct 17 2011 - 03:37 PM.

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#2 Offline _Artakha_

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 04:23 PM

Chapter OneAbout 100,000 years ago…Hardex hit the ground hard. In a contest of power, his opponent could not beat him nearly as quick, but in hand-to-hand combat training (no weapons or powers allowed) Hydraxon could beat him easy.“Giving up so soon?” Hydraxon said in mock surprise. “I’ve just gotten started.”“I can tell.” Hardex grunted. “Whenever I hear a crack and see a star that’s when you’ve gotten started.”He rolled out of the way just in time to avoid a kick from his opponent. Somersaulting forward and jumping off a large tree, he threw a kick at Hydraxon’s head.His breath left him with a whoosh as he thudded onto the floor. “Maybe if you weren’t so predictable you’d do better.” Hydraxon said.“I need a Calix if I’m ever going to beat you.”“Pity it's against the rules, I’d like to see how long you’d last.” Helping Hardex to his feet, Hydraxon made sure he could stand, then let go. “Guess we’ll never know. I’m off to my next assignment today. This was our last practice.”“Yes,” Hardex said thoughtfully. “I’m getting my first assignment from Helryx today.”“Good luck if it helps any.” Hydraxon said shaking Hardex’s hand. “And good-bye.”Hardex watched Hydraxon walk away then commenced to do a few practice sessions on his own.He was in one of the standard training rooms on Daxia, which meant he had plenty to practice with. This particular room was designed for outdoor combat, rocks, trees and irregular terrain making it more difficult to keep your footing. He was near the Southwest corner of the room where the weapon racks stood on the South and West walls.“Hydraxon’s right… I’m too predictable,” he muttered. Grabbing three long daggers from one of the racks, he hurled them at the targets that were scattered about in the trees. He smiled as all three hit their target.“Impressive.”Hardex turned to see an Order member with whom he was not familiar.“Thank you. Though I wish I was better at hand-to-hand combat.”“Nobody’s perfect. Except me, of course.”“Of course,” he said, and, turning as if to get something, he whirled around, drawing a sword from the rack and striking at her.Twisting out of the way with ease, she kicked him in the middle, knocking him to his hands and knees and snatching his sword from him.“I guess Hydraxon was right, you are too predicta-” She stopped in mid-word as he grabbed a large rock from behind him and threw it, hitting her on the shoulder and sending her back several steps.“Saw that a mile away I’ll bet.” He smirked, standing up and retrieving another sword from the rack.Leaping forward, she spun her sword in a fast feint to the left then struck low on the right. Blocking her blow, he feinted to her right then flipped back, blasting her with a burst of raw energy.She barely blocked the blast, but the force of the blow knocked her off balance long enough for Hardex to disarm her and shove her to the wall with his blade at her throat.“Concede.”“Why?”“I said so.”“Why?”He sighed. “Because that’s what I say to those that I’ve beaten.”She smiled mischievously. “Who says you beat me?”Before he could reply, she slipped out of his grip, leaped out of the way, and relieved the rack of another sword.“Vortixx,” he grumbled.Charging, he swung his sword at her in a swift arc, even as she spun out of the way. Digging his foot into the floor, he changed direction suddenly and sheared straight through her blade, right at the hilt. With a swift uppercut, he knocked her back, all the way to the projectile rack.He charged again, but before he made it five steps, she grabbed a Rhotuka launcher and fired.Paralyzed he watched as she stood up and got yet another sword. Smiling, she pointed the blade at his throat.“Concede,” she said, still smiling.“I didn’t say you beat me yet.”“That’s what I’m telling you to do.”“But you didn’t beat me.”She gave the razor sharp sword tip, the one at his throat, a pointed glance. “Oh, really,” she said, feigning surprise. “I was unaware of that.”“Then it’s a good thing I’m here to inform you of that fact.”Before she could respond, he sent a jolt of energy through his armor, up her blade, and into her hand, blasting her back toward the projectile rack.“OK, that’s enough, you two.”Realizing he no longer paralyzed, Hardex turned to see Helryx enter the training room.Helryx was a Toa of water, and the leader of the order of Mata-Nui. After the Hand of Artakha was disbanded and Toa teams took their place as the protectors of the Matoran, Helryx created the Order to work in secret, out of sight of most of the universe.Hardex had been a member of the Hand for only a short time before it was disbanded, and not long ago Hardex was invited to join the Order.He glanced at his former opponent. She had not been in the Hand, that much he knew. Though he knew little else about were she was from, why she left, or even why she was here now.“This is Radeeka,” Helryx said, interrupting Hardex’s thoughts. “She is going to be your partner for this mission.”“And what mission is it?” Radeeka asked. “Other than the fact that I’m going on one, and with him, I don’t know what the mission is. Or what I - we - need to do.”Ignoring Radeeka’s question for the moment, Helryx turned to her and said, “This is Hardex,” gesturing at him. “You two are going to be working together on this mission, so if you have a quarrel, solve it now. Then I’ll tell you what your mission is.”Hardex turned to Radeeka. “I have no quarrel with her. From my end the battle was purely for sport.”She glanced at him and then turned back to Helryx. “Same here. So are we going to get our mission, or should we go build the Coliseum all over again while you think it over?”Helryx laughed. “No I don’t think that will be necessary.”“Good, I was afraid there for a moment.”“Well then you must be easy to scare for a Vortixx”“I see this will be an, interesting, trip for both of you. Now then, this is what you must do…”


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#3 Offline _Artakha_

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Posted Oct 19 2011 - 04:49 PM

Chapter TwoTheir mission turned out to be a simple one. They were going to Xia to pick up the last shipment of Cordak blasters. When questioned as to why they were required, since none of the earlier shipments had needed additional escort, Helryx told them that the shipments had been coming in with less than the Xians reported on sending. So, they boarded their boat and off they went.Having finished setting course for Xia, Radeeka turned to Hardex.“So, what was in that canister you lugged aboard?”He looked at her, surprised that she had noticed. “I like to take a few Kanohi with me on longer trips. Why do you ask?”“I’m just making sure that I know everything that’s on the ship.”“Why? There is a complete list of all things that were brought aboard.”She looked him in the eye. “I don’t like being surprised, so if there is anything else in there I want to know.”“You don’t trust me do you?”“No.”“Can I ask why?” Hardex said questioningly. “I’ve never given you reason not to.”“I don’t trust anyone until they give me a reason to trust them.” A slight smile played on her lips. “I also don’t like the color red.”“Oh, No! Kill me now! Be sure to tell the friends I don’t have that I was thinking of them in my final moments.”She was about to reply with a sarcastic comment when, out of nowhere, a giant wave came up out of the sea nearly swamped the boat.Spitting out seawater, Radeeka stared in awe as an unnaturally powerful storm sprung up out of thin air.She tried to call for Hardex, but the force of the wind blew the words back into her face.“HARDEX!” she yelled as loud as she could.“Here!” he gasped, crawling back on to the boat. “This is no natural storm, someone is causing it.”“Whatever gave you that idea?” She clung tightly to the mast as another wave tossed their ship high into the air and crashed it back to the sea.Hardex leaped from the rail he had been holding onto and knocked her off the mast a second before it was reduced to burnt splinters by a bolt of lightning.“And to think,” he grunted, hauling them into the cabin. “I thought that this was going to be an easy mission.”“Oh, that’s why it’s going so well.”“Yes, and its about to get even better,” he said, water lapping their feet. “We’re sinking.”“Goodie,” she snapped. “Remind me never to go on a mission with you that you think will be easy.”Hardex managed to get over to the other side of the room and grab a few packs. Then he made his way to his canister in the corner.She was able to make it over, though the water was already to her knees.“What do you need?”He was filling the packs as fast as he could with supplies and masks. He thrust one of the bags into her hands.“Fill this with anything you find that you think we’ll need.”The ship was hit by another wave, and somewhere in the forward part of the ship, there was a loud crash.“This ship will no survive this storm.”As she waded through the now waist deep water there was another crash.“I would never have guessed!”Her pack was almost full when Hardex finished filling his second. He quickly removed the mask that was on his face and put a new one on.“That’s enough!” he called. “We have to go now!”She had closed the pack and started toward the door when the largest wave yet smashed into the boat, and it finally broke in two halves.

* * *In the very heart of the storm, a ship floated were the air was so still, even the loudest thunderclap was but a distant rumble. A tall being watched from the prow and smiled as Radeeka flew free of the boat when the wave smashed the boat to splinters, and smiled even wider as she struggled to make it to a piece of wood from the shattered ship. The figure caught sight of Hardex using the powers of the mask he had put on just before the boat was destroyed. The figure laughed.

* * *Radeeka was swimming the best one could in such frantic seas when, quite unexpectedly, Hardex popped up next to her.“Surprise!” he said, sounding very pleased with himself. “Would the poor Vortixx like a ride?”She looked down and saw two large Razor Whales just below the surface.She looked back at Hardex. “If you don’t mind, then yes a ride sounds nice.”“Hold on!”She grabbed on tightly to the whale. “I will assume that I’ll need to hold my bre-”The whale dived suddenly then came back up with a spluttering and gasping Vortixx.“It could help a little.” Hardex took a deep breath, and Radeeka, glaring at him, followed suit. Then in perfect unison, the whales carried them away toward the island of Xia.


Edited by _Artakha_, Oct 19 2011 - 05:10 PM.

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#4 Offline Po Koro Productions

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Posted Oct 19 2011 - 04:55 PM

Its a good story, can't wait for the next chapter! PKP :P
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PM me to give me your ideas for my story or email them to me at awsomejack118@yahoo.co.uk!!!

#5 Offline _Artakha_

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Posted Oct 23 2011 - 11:02 PM

Chapter Three

Radeeka looked around with well-hidden dislike of her surroundings. True there were worse places in the universe, but for some reason she had never liked Stelt. Of course, coming here for a new boat was better than going all the way to Xia on the back of a Razor Whale. So, here they were at one of Radeeka’s least favorite islands in the universe, and they couldn’t get off it thanks to the fact that they hadn’t brought enough to trade with.

She sighed and tuned back in to the conversation between Hardex and the trader who had a boat that fit their needs.

“I am sorry but a couple Kanohi and a paltry 450 widgets are not worth a boat as fine as this, although…,” The traders eye had a glint that Radeeka did not like at all, “I might accept if you toss in that fine sword you have there...”

“No.” Hardex was losing patients with the trader. “This is our offer take it or leave it.”

“Well I have to make some profit out of this boat. They don’t build themselves you know.” He looked over at Radeeka. “Would you be willing to part with her sword?”

“That would be up to her.” He looked her way. “Radeeka?”

She sighed. “Very well.” She tossed the sword into the small pile. “Will that do?”

“Well…”

“Yes or no.” Hardex glared at him. The trader was a full head shorter than Hardex and took an involuntary step back.

“I guess I’ll have to say yes.” He said trying to keep his composure. “Yes, the boat is yours, have a good journey.”

“Thank you, have a nice day.” Hardex said, turning away from the trader, Radeeka right behind.

They walked down the dock to their new ship.

Hardex looked at the sleek sides of the craft, then analyzed the strong, flexible mast then sighed.

“It will have to do.”

* * *

The trader smiled as they walked out. Pulling out a staff he had “borrowed” the last time he visited Onu-Metru, he took aim and fired at the ship as it left port, striking the vessel amidships without attracting the attention of either one of its two crewmembers.

He picked up the screen that had a detailed map with one blinking light on the coast of Stelt and smiled even wider.

* * *

The trip to Xia from there was uneventful at best. The Vortixx, naturally, tried to finagle a higher price out of Hardex. They now know better than to try that with him again. After loading everything aboard, and making sure nothing was missing, Radeeka and Hardex set sail again the next day.

After some time sailing, Hardex left Radeeka on watch, and retired to below decks and, Radeeka noticed, did not give any reason other than being tired.

It was about an hour later that she called him back up and brought his attention to a ship that she said had been following them for some time in an irregular fashion to avoid being noticed.

“Who do you think it is?” Hardex said, looking at her.

“Probably the ones that attacked us on the way Xia.” Then she added, “And the ones that have been causing the blasters to disappear.”

He reached into his pack, pulled out an Akaku, and switched it for the mask he had been wearing. “I see about… a half dozen Skakdi, and one is a little taller.”

“He’ll be the leader.”

He frowned. “Maybe.”

“Look out!”

Hardex turned just in time to see another ship that had snuck up on them while they were examining the other craft, come right along side them. He barely got himself out of the way as the crew of the second ship open fire with the missing Cordak blasters, and even then, several chunks of protodermis hit him in the head, stunning him momentarily.

Shaking his head to clear it, Hardex assessed the situation. There were eight Skakdi against himself and Radeeka that had boarded the ship. He could also see two others still armed with the blasters in the masts of the other ship. The damage to his vessel did not weaken the integrity of the hull, but had still badly crippled the craft. However, why Radeeka hadn't seen the other ship heading for them sooner he couldn’t guess.

Acting swiftly he leaped out from his cover and blasted one of his opponents in the other ships mast into the sea as he tried to fire at Radeeka and, dodging several shots from other Skakdi in the mast, he tackled two that were trying to circle around Radeeka. He smashed the head of one into the mast, then parried a strike from the others axe. Recovering faster than Hardex expected the first foe rammed Hardex off balance long enough for his ally to knock Hardex’s sword out of his hand. Twisting painfully to the side, Hardex barely avoided another shot from the sniper in the other ships mast.

However, that move cost him even more footing as two more Skakdi, wielding a clubs, struck him hard from behind, bringing him down to the deck. The Skakdi with the axe smashed Hardex’s mask as he attempted to rise. He lashed out trying to bring one of his opponents down earning himself a blow in the back of the head with a club. Barely conscious, Hardex saw Radeeka, with several Skakdi standing to attention around her, rise from the ground. He smiled slightly, realizing who was behind it all. Then he was struck again and was lost completely to unconsciousness.


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#6 Offline _Artakha_

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Posted Oct 30 2011 - 11:09 PM

Chapter Four

Radeeka’s laughter echoed in Hardex’s ears as he regained consciousness. Shaking his head to clear the fog, he looked around. He was chained by his wrists to the wall in a room with a low ceiling and lit with one dim lightstone. And looming over him, the glow of the lightstone shining around her shadowed face, stood Radeeka.“Traitor,” he spat accusingly, half noticing at the same time that his mask was missing.“Traitor yourself,” she said, her voice maddeningly smooth. “We both know you could normally beat a mere Skakdi with one hand behind your back.”The chains glinted in the dull light as Hardex strained against them.“No use doing that,” Radeeka said, smiling at the attempt. “I didn’t waste time in making sure that these could hold you.”He glared at her, and noticed that something was… off.“Of course,” she continued, “you never were very good at noticing an obvious deception.”“Get out of my sight.” Hardex growled.“Now what kind of come back is that?” she said, moving out or the way of the lightstone and allowing the full light of it to fall on Hardex’s face. “Come on, try again.”He said nothing and continued glaring at his tormentor.“Well since you don’t want to talk,” she said with an evil glint in her eye, “I’ll tell you a story about a Ga-matoran, a pool of molten protodermis, and a most unfortunate accident that left you without a friend.”Hardex lunged at her in rage, and the look in his eyes was enough to make Radeeka stumble back to get out of the way. He strained with all his might, but the chains held. Collapsing to the cell floor, he looked up at his tormentor.“Go to Karzahni.”Radeeka smiled even wider than Hardex thought possible. “Very well, I’ll see you later. At your execution.” She slammed the cell door as she left.

* * *

Radeeka regained consciousness in a cell that was, in her opinion, less than impressive. The low ceiling and dim light were, of course, made to create feelings of helplessness and despair in the prisoner. However, she did have to admit that, despite the second rate lock on the rusty cell door, the chains around her wrists that kept her well away from the door were more than strong enough to hold her.Radeeka considered what had happened before she lost consciousness as she examined the chains that bound her. She had been holding off her Skakdi opponents with surprising ease when, for no reason she could see, they stood to attention as though she was in charge. Looking about she saw Hardex on the ground, though he didn’t look like he was fighting his best and she thought he smiled right before one of his opponents knocked him out. She had started forward to help when everything went black.“Having fun?”Radeeka looked up from the chains as Hardex entered the cell, casting his shadow upon her.“Oh bunches, however the décor could use a little cheering up. Your head would fit quite nicely in that corner there.”He looked in the corner she indicated, then in the corner opposite. “Yes, and yours would fit just as well in that one.”“Well we’ll have to work on that later; I’m hot on the quest for a weak link in this chain. Be sure to close the door on your way out, it gets awfully drafty in here.” She then continued to study the chains and completely ignored him.He shrugged. “I’m afraid that your quest will be futile. However if that is how you wish to spend your time, be my guest. I’ll see you at your execution.”Still smiling larger than should have been possible, Hardex slammed the door behind him as he left, knocking the lightstone to the floor.

* * *

‘Hardex’ turned to one of the guards outside the door and gestured for him to follow. As they walked, his body grew leaner, his smile, impossible as it may seem, grew wider, and his armor changed in color. In a few moments, the transformation was complete and beside the guard stood an unusually tall Skakdi in blue and golden yellow armor.“I think it’s about time we had those two sort out there differences,” Xylax said, removing his Mask of Illusion. Drawing a blade from a sheath hidden in the armor of his right forearm, and testing its edge, he added, “Although I would hate to clean up afterward.”The guard, who was a low ranking Skakdi in green armor with hopes to have a far greater position one day, would never admit it, but he felt a chill go down his spine.

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