The Tales Of Shika Nui
The Tales Of Shika Nui
Jul 21 2008, 11:50 AM
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Member No.: 46498
Chapter 12: The Secret Village of Shadow
The now-five Toa Shika, Turaga Joha, and Jokao had only a little way to go before making it to their destination. During that time, they all pondered what had just happened minutes ago. They had been in sort of serious situations before, but none of them thought something like that would happen. It gave each and every Toa a more serious view on their life as Toa. Maybe being a Toa wasn't just a way to gain more loot or treasure or praise or whatever else they had been thinking about before Barilo's betrayal.
I can't belive he was going to kill Nastan, Akuna thought sadly. Maybe all this Toa power was too much for Barilo. Whose to say it won't happen to the rest of us, in time?
Chimoy was also thinking deeply. I thought Barilo would never try to do such as thing. Perhaps Makuta Hajax had messed with his mind somehow or he was going insane. Makes me wonder if that could happen to the rest of us.
Who will be next? Jokao thought, looking at each of the remaining Toa. They all looked very sober. I may not have known any of them very long, but I never thought something like that would happen. Now I wonder if I am going to make it out alive at all if something like that is going to happen every day.
It figured, Nonzra thought coldly. I figured he would try to kill someone and he did, but he also tried to kill Nastan, which is totally unacceptable. But I, however, am not extremely surprised by this. Barilo is the kind of guy that thinks the ends justify the means, while Nastan is more of the 'hero' type, always feeling that Toa need to do good, regardless of who they are. But I better keep my guard up. I am not sure if any of the others will try something like this.
Toa Addis fired a ball of plasma at a nearby rock wall, melting it instantly. No one bothered to ask why he did that, because they all knew why. He was angry that Barilo had betrayed the group. He and the Toa of Gravity had been best friends, so he took this betrayal very hard.
That was the most dumbest thing Barilo could ever hope to do, Addis thought angrily. I remember when he and I were just Matoran. We were the first to start our little group. He'd always been the one who was impatient and would rather do things the quickest and most efficient way, regardless of who got hurt in the process. But I didn't think he would actually try to kill Nastan, or any of us, for that matter.
Nastan was the most troubled one of all. He had, after all, been the target of Barilo's attack. It made him fear a little bit for his safety and for the rest of the Toa. He now knew just how precious life was.
What had I done to get almost killed? Nastan thought, saddened. Because I just happened to be the most Toa-like out of us all, that's what. Barilo and me were always opposites, but we became even more opposites now. I don't trust him. I don't trust him at all anymore.
Joha, too, was upset at Barilo's attempt on Nastan's life.
Maybe I chose the wrong the wrong Matoran to become Toa, Joha thought soberly. In all my life as a Toa of Stone, I have never seen any Toa try to kill another. It greatly disappoints me. But perhaps the power was too much for Barilo and it went to his head.
A stone rat ran across the path in front of Joha, nearly tripping the Turaga. None of the Toa bothered to see if he was okay, because they were still too sad by what Barilo had almost done. Jokao went ahead and helped the Turaga back up.
"Are you okay, Joha?" the Ta-Matoran asked.
"Yes, I am fine," Joha replied. "Just tripped is all-"
It was at that moment that Joha realized that they had just arrived at their destination. He turned back to the five Toa, who had just stopped to watch Jokao help Joha. All of them wore the same expression of grief, anger, and sadness. It saddened Joha greatly and he wondered if he should have taken them to this place at all.
After all, it would only make them feel worse, as it did to me, Turaga Joha thought. But I feel it is important and maybe they were understand this island better if they saw this.
"We're here," Joha called to the others.
The five Toa, who had forgotten all about what Joha was going to show them because of how sad they were, ran to catch up with the Turaga.
When they caught up with him, what they saw was nothing like what they imagined was going to be there. Hundreds of huts spanned for miles, with a giant temple dominating the central area. The huts and temple seemed to be made out of stone and iron, though who built them, they had no idea.
It was obvious this had once been a Matoran settlement, but it seemed as if shadow itself kept the village perpetually dark, even though the sun was out. There were no Matoran, no Toa, and no Turaga, either. To all of them, it felt as if something very evil had once lived here. Their natural instincts told them to run, but they kept their ground.
"What is this place?" Addis asked, looking at the hundreds of huts that covered the area.
"A village," Joha replied. "Or it used to be. Now its just a ghost town. Nothing survives here but...shadow."
"How did you discover this place?" Nonzra asked.
"I discovered it one year after the Dark Hunters took control of Shika Nui," Joha replied. "I tried sleeping here one night, but it was felt far too evil and dark, so I left and nearly forgot about it. No one else knows it exists, as far as I know."
"I don't like this place," Nastan said, with more than a hint of fear in his voice. "I'd rather take my chances with the Dark Hunters than go here."
Ignoring Nastan's comment, Joha went on. "I believe this was once a Matoran village. What kind of Matoran lived here, I do not know for sure. But I do know that there is something very interesting in the temple that will definitely interest all of you."
He turned around. "C'mon. Time's a wasting." Reluctantly, they followed him down a narrow path into the village.
As they walked through the abandoned village, Chimoy decided to examine the huts as he walked. Many of them were destroyed or badly damaged, as if a struggle had happened here. He occasionally peeked through windows, but there wasn't even any furniture, which made the whole thing even more strange.
Most of the buildings were ruined completely, while some of them were just barely standing. Some of them had became home to some harmless Rahi that hid in the shadows, watching the visitors walk by. Chimoy wondered how anyone could have survived in this place unless they were truly part of the shadows.
Perhaps Matoran of Shadow used to live here, he thought. Wait. What am I saying? There is no such thing as Matoran Shadow, nor have any existed. That is a very absurd thought. Matoran of Shadow! What made me think that?
A small stream of liquid protodermis ran through the middle of the village, obviously meant to be drinking water. But now it was dirty and not drinkable anymore, so they stepped over it and continued on their way to the temple.
The temple itself was huge, probably over fifity feet tall. It was shaped like a Kanohi mask, though one none of the Toa had ever seen. Spikes pointed out of the top, with two, curved eye holes that basicaly screamed evil. The temple's mouth was narrow and tall. It was painted black, but most of that black had faded away, so it looked more grayish now. The stone was smooth, but strong, even though it was indescribably old.
"Wow," Nastan said, awe in his voice. "Who built this?"
"I don't know," Joha replied. "Possibly Matoran, but why they would shape a temple to look so evil is beyond me. But we must enter, because what is inside is much more interesting than what is outside."
Nastan looked at the temple and then back to Joha, looking a little afraid. "Do we have to go in there?"
"You're not scared, are you, Nastan?" Nonzra teased. "Are you afraid of the dark?"
"No," Nastan replied, now sounding a bit annoyed. "I just don't feel very....welcome, here."
"None of us do," Jokao said. "This place feels very, very evil and unnatural."
Turaga Joha walked into the temple, motioning for the others to follow. They followed him in, one by one, until they were all inside.
Akuna's eyes looked around the temple room, lightened up only by lightstones embedded in the walls. There were carvings on the wall and writing, though most of it was worn away and in some sort of old Matoran, very old indeed. Doorways led to other rooms and a staircase to her right led up to the second floor.
The room there were in wasn't very big, with enough room for about seven beings. The roof went up about ten feet, so the five Toa fit in uncomfortably.
"Now what exactly did you want to show us, Joha?" Nonzra asked, now annoyed by how small and cramped the inside was. "Its too cramped in here and it smells bad, too."
"Keep going," Joha replied. "At the end of this room is the thing I wanted to show you. Come on."
Joha went on, with the Toa and Jokao following him. It was slow moving, because the Turaga wasn't moving very fast. It didn't help much that the hallway was cramped, too.
As they made their way through, the ceiling gradually became higher and the walls were more spaced apart, giving them more room to walk.
At the end of the hallway was....nothing. Or at least it seemed that way, until they got closer and could actually see that there was writing on the wall, though very faint and worn out.
"What does it say?" Nastan asked. "Who wrote it?"
"It was written long ago, by someone named Oggak," Joha said. "Though I have no idea what this Oggak was writing about. Read it yourself and try to make heads or tails of it."
The six Toa and Jokao began reading it. Here's what it said:
At the beginning of time,
A evil tribe wanted to rule the universe,
But they were stopped by six Toa,
And a secret organization dedicated to carrying out the will of the Great Spirit Mata Nui,
Locking them away forever more,
Never to kill, never to terrorize again,
There they remain to this day,
And there they will remain,
The six Toa and Jokao stopped reading, for that was where it ended. They looked at each other, sort of confused. They looked back towards Joha, who had been watching them with curious eyes, wondering if they knew what it was talking about.
"I think its a poem," Akuna said. "But it certainly is strange. What evil tribe was it talking about?"
"Better yet," Nonzra said. "What is this 'secret organization dedicated to carrying out the will of Mata Nui' that the poem speaks of?"
"Guys," Jokao spoke up. "It may not mean anything at all, you know. Some people just make poems for fun."
"Yes," Addis said slowly. "But why would someone leave this here, in a big, dark, and very scary temple in the first place? It just doesn't add up."
"Maybe it was for whoever lived in this village," Nastan suggested. "After all, who knew what they did here? Maybe it was for some ceremonial purposes." He turned to Joha. "Is this what you wanted to show us, 'cause none of us can make heads or tails of it?"
"Yes," the Turaga of Stone replied. "I thought maybe you clever thieves would be able to figure out what it means."
"Well, one, we're not thieves anymore," Nastan said, smiling. "At least, I'm not. And second, we've ran into poems and riddles in the past that lead to treasures, but this doesn't seem to be a code of any sort."
"Perhaps we should go back outside and think this over," Jokao suggested. "I want to explore this village some more."
The others agreed and Jokao lead the way out. Along the way, Chimoy decided to slide his hand over the wall. It was smooth, hard and firm, despite being very old. He didn't feel anything out of the ordinary until his hand slid over a part of wall that didn't feel normal. In fact, it felt like it could be pushed in.
What is that? Chimoy thought, stopping. He looked at the spot of the wall where he thought he had felt the weak part of the wall, but it was much too dark to see it. He looked over and saw everyone else was still walking towards the entrance. The Toa of Iron decided to check this out.
He felt over the wall again and found the part that felt weak. He pressed up against it and then fell right through the wall, letting out a yelp before falling behind the smooth stone wall.
"Did Chimoy just cry out?" Addis asked.
"I think he did," Nastan said, already running back to where he last saw Chimoy. "Chimoy! Where are you?"
He heard a faint sound, coming from the other side of the wall. He put his audio receptor up against the wall to hear it better. Now the sound he heard sounded more like Chimoy's voice, coming from the other side of the wall. It sounded like he was saying, "Help! I'm trapped!"
"Don't worry!" Nastan shouted. "We'll get you out of there, as soon as we find a way to get you out!"
The other Toa, Jokao, and Joha quickly caught up with Nastan, who was feeling over the wall, trying to find a way to rescue Chimoy. The others joined in, until Jokao felt the weak part of the wall that the Toa of Iron had found.
What's this? Jokao thought, puzzled. This part feels weaker than the other parts of the wall, like there's nothing behind it to support it. Maybe I should press against it, just to see what happens.
He pressed against it and everyone, including Joha, were caught by the flipping wall and brought to the other side, slamming into Chimoy.
"Ow," Jokao said. "That hurt."
Nastan looked around. It was dark. No lights. He couldn't see anything. He wondered where they were. It was probably a secret room or tunnel. He wondered where it led.
"Wonder where we are," Nastan said.
"Please...." Joha gasped. "Could...you....all.....get....off me?"
"Joha? Where are you?" Nastan asked, looking around.
"You're....right...on...top.....of...all of us!" Akuna gasped, struggling to breath. "Please get off, Nastan!"
Nastan looked down. He was sitting on top of everyone else, as they were all in a big heap on the ground and Joha just happened to be at the bottom
"Oops! Sorry, Joha," the Toa of The Green said sheepishly as he got off all of them. "Didn't realize where I was. And sorry to everyone else, too."
One by one, everyone got up and Chimoy helped Joha up. The Turaga looked around at the dark cave, like he was remembering something.
"This reminds me of the time my Toa team and I had to explore the dark, underground caverns of Shika Nui," Joha said, brushing himself off.. "But there were a bunch of blade burrowers and we had lightstones to help us find our way around. Not to mention there were loads of stalagmites and stalactites. Ah, the good old days. Makes me wish I was a Toa again."
"So," Toa Akuna said. "Do we go deeper in or find a way out?"
"I say we go deeper in," Addis said. "We're Toa. Adventuring is our job, and who knows, maybe there's some secret treasure deep within here."
The word 'treasure' caught the attention of the other four Toa immediately, including Nastan. Toa they may be, they had been thieves first and old habits die hard, so they all agreed to go deeper into the tunnel, hoping to find treasure. Joha willingly went, having been a Toa and facing much worse things, so he wasn't afraid of a dark cave. Jokao reluctantly went with them, but only because he didn't want to be alone in this unknown cavern.
Icetraz dodged a bolt of shadow and countered with his blast of ice. He landed hard on part of the rubble of the destroyed western part of the Dark Hunter fortress.
A few hours ago, a small army of Visorak, Rahkshi, and other Brotherhood of Makuta servants had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Strangest of all, they seemed to have be led by Makuta Hajax, the Makuta of Shika Nui, who up to that point had been believed dead.
Even stranger, Makuta Hajax was in the body of Icetraz's super Vahki, controlling its body and dodging attacks with ease. Since he couldn't talk with this new body, the Makuta used telepathy to communicate with Icetraz.
Another chain lightning attack hit the Dark Hunter, stunning him. Hajax followed that up with shadow and sonics. Icetraz rolled over and tried to aim his Cordak blasters, but the attacks were blinding him, making it harder to aim.
For years I have pretended to be your obedient little servant, Makuta Hajax said, increasing the power of his attacks. Slaving away, getting you refreshments and disciplining a few disobedient Dark Hunters because you said so. But now, Shika Nui will be mine and I will have revenge on the Brotherhood of Makuta!
"Revenge? I though you Makuta were all on the same side!" Icetraz shouted, trying to unsuccessfully dodge a blast of shadow energy.
Not every Makuta agreed with Teridax's little Plan, Hajax replied. I intend to kill him and everyone else that followed him after I finish you off, Dark Hunter.
A Cordak missile came flying out of one of Icetraz's Cordak blasters, somehow not being destroyed by all the attacks coming from the Makuta. It hit the ground in front of Hajax, sending his robotic body flying through the air. It landed with a thud, damaging the internal mechanism that made the super Vahki's legs and arms move.
"One bad thing about super Vahki is that they are easily damaged," Icetraz said, rising. He aimed his Cordak blaster at the unmoving body of Hajax. Before pulling the trigger, he said, "Should have chosen a better body."
He pulled the trigger, sending a Cordak missile right to Makuta Hajax's unmoving super Vahki body. Missile met robot and missile won, destroying the super Vahki's body and unleashing Hajax's gaseous form into the air. But Icetraz was unaware of that. All he knew was that he had killed Hajax and that's it.
Icetraz now watched as all the Dark Hunters fought the many different Brotherhood of Makuta minions. He wondered how Hajax had managed to keep so many of them secret and for such a long time. He decided to think about that later, because his allies needed help and he was their leader, after all. Now this battle was going to end much faster, since their master was now dead.
He ran into battle, knowing it was just about to end. Unknown to him, however, was just how close Makuta Hajax was to getting a new body. By the time he realized that, it would be much too late.
Toa Barilo, Toa of Gravity, wondered aimlessly among the mountains, undescribly sad and hopelessly lost.
Earlier, he had tried to do what he thought he would never try to do: Kill one of his friends. After that, he was kicked out of the group, never to return. Now he was alone with his thoughts, wondering just why he did what he had done.
I....I lost my temper, or I went insane, Barilo though soberly. Hajax did say that anyone who has had a mental link with a Makuta didn't come out sane. Maybe that's happening to me. I just can't believe that I almost killed Nastan!
So caught up with his thoughts as he was, he never noticed a cliff coming up. Barilo almost fell off, once he realized where he was walking. He looked down over the edge of the vast cliff. Huge, spiky rocks sprouted from the ground that looked like they would surely kill him if he jumped down.
But what's the point in living anymore? Barilo thought, with more than a trace of insanity. I have no friends. This island will surely be ripped apart from the Dark Hunters fighting Hajax's forces. What do I have left to fight for? To live for?
It looked tempting, jumping down, ending his existence. If he did that, he would never harm or kill anyone, on accident or on purpose ever again. But somehow that didn't seem satisfying. Ending his existence now wouldn't solve anything. No, what he needed to do was undo what he had done wrong.
What I need to do is redeem myself, Barilo thought. Everyone makes mistakes, but only a few get a second chance to fix their mistakes. I will go and be a hero, a true hero, like Nastan.
He caught himself at that thought. He never wanted to be a hero, he'd always been happy as a thief, stealing others things and possessions, all in the name of his greed. But now, now stealing things didn't seem appealing anymore. Being a hero being a hero and redeeming himself seemed so much better, surprisingly.
He knew what to do to redeem himself. Barilo would go and defeat the Dark Hunters, all on his own, and free Shika Nui. He might get himself killed as a result, but in the end, he decided that his life wasn't important. Only the Matoran's freedom, and his friends lives, mattered to him now.
Best of all, I can go to them, without my friends getting hurt, Barilo thought triumphantly. Yes. After that, Hajax and I will have a very long discussion about double-crossing. We will indeed.
Activating his gravity powers, he caused a flat rock at the bottom of the cliff to rise up to where he was standing. He jumped on it and then, using a complex usage of gravity, made it shoot forward, heading straight for the Dark Hunter's fortress and for what he thought was going to be his final confrontation with the Makuta of Shika Nui.
Deep within the Dark Hunter's fortress, in the coldest room, on the lowest floor, was a huge block of ice.
There wasn't much in the room. It was snow and ice, mostly, with a frozen door that was about three feet thick, made of ice and metal. Inside the huge ice block, was a being. He had crimson armor, with purple streaks covering some of the it, mostly the arms and legs.
Huge plated wings, colored gold and purple, stood unmoving. His dead blue eyes was enough to make anyone die from fright. He carried a chain with a axe at the end of it. The ice wasn't very clear, so it was hard to see what the rest of him looked like.
Who was this being? Why, his name was Makuta Koghi, Makuta of the Southern Islands.
He had lead a attack on Shika Nui just about a day or two ago. Foolishly, instead of teaming up with another Makuta, he went on his own, along with some Visorak, Rahkshi, and Exo-Toa. All of his minions were killed or captured and he himself had been capture by Icetraz, the leader of the Dark Hunters of Shika Nui.
When he had been brought to the fortress, he had broke out of his cage and destroyed the western side of it. Icetraz then froze him in his current icy prison, to make sure he didn't destroy or kill anymore Dark Hunters. It was so cold and so thick even his heat vision couldn't melt it.
Even though his body was frozen, his mind was still free. Free to think over his escape plan, which was really all he could do, given his current situation.
Next time Dark Hunter comes to check on me, I'll make sure to break out, Koghi thought frustrated. Somehow, I will.
Maybe I can help, a voice that was strangely familiar said.
Whose there? Koghi asked. Who dares speak to Makuta Koghi in his own mind?
Why, it is I, old friend, the voice said. I, Makuta Hajax, Makuta of Shika Nui, have returned.
The news stunned Koghi. Hadn't Hajax been killed by Icarax and Gorast? This being must not be Makuta Hajax. He must be a imposter, because they had brought his mask, the Mask of Deceit, with them to prove that they had slain the rebellious Makuta.
You lie, stranger, Koghi said defiantly. Makuta Hajax was killed, by Makuta Icarax and Makuta Gorast, many years ago. You're just a imposter, posing as him. You aren't fooling me.
No one in the known universe can breach a Makuta's mind but a Makuta, Makuta Hajax replied coldly. A Makuta should know that, correct?
Koghi was quiet, thinking over what the voice said. True, only a Makuta could communicate with another Makuta via telepathy and it was a well-known fact throughout the universe, especially among telepaths because of the mental strength of a Makuta. So perhaps this guy really is Makuta Hajax.
Okay, so lets say you are Hajax, Koghi said, still unconvinced. How did you survive being kill by Icarax and Gorast, the best warriors of the Brotherhood of Makuta?
Time for that later, Hajax replied. In the meantime, a squad of about ten heat vision Rahkshi and five Visorak Vohtorak should be here any minute, to free your frozen body.
Really? Makuta Koghi said, suspicious. Why should I trust you? You were against the Plan ever since the beginning. Why shouldn't I just kill you right now and be done with it? And why are Rahkshi and Visorak working for you in the first place?
Hajax laughed. Koghi, my friend, you've always been short on brains, but this is a new level of stupid for you. You can't kill me, since your body is frozen solid and I could easily decide to let you freeze to death, cool dude. As for the Rahkshi and Visorak, they listen to whoever happens to be in command and I just happen to be the top energy hound, if you know what I mean.
Koghi debated with himself. If he allied with Hajax, perhaps he could kill him later and get raised higher in the eyes of his fellow Makuta. Who knows, perhaps he would be called to Karda Nui by Makuta Antroz to help them kill the Toa Nuva and complete the Plan. The idea certainly appealed to Koghi. He decided to team up with Hajax, at least for now.
All right, I'll ally with you, Hajax, the Makuta said, But your Rahkshi and Visorak better hurry. I can already feel my essence freezing.
At that moment, Makuta Koghi thought he could hear something ramming against the thick frozen door to his prison. There it was again, this time more audible. Then the door came flying off its hings, hitting the frozen ice block that held the Makuta of the Southern Islands hard. Koghi's icy prison cracked, but not enough to get him out.
The cause of the door flying off was five red Vohtorak, all in berserker charger mode. In fact, they couldn't stop, bashing right into the giant ice block, cracking it even further. Koghi could feel the ice-cold air blow through the crack
Ten heat vision Rahkshi followed, firing twenty beams of heat from their collective eyes at the ice.
The heat vision and continual ramming by the Visorak weakened the block just enough to let Koghi finish it, melting the block of ice into water with his own heat vision attack.
Makuta Koghi could barely move, having been in the ice so long had pretty much frozen his essence. The ten Rahkshi, instead of halting their attack, fired more heat vision at the Makuta, unfreezing his substance. Now that he could finally move, stretched his limbs, trying to shake the cold off.
Many thanks, Hajax, Koghi said to the Makuta of Shika Nui via telepathy. I couldn't have done it better myself. Now where are you, anyway?
Instead of a response, the Makuta felt something strange going on in his body. It felt as though some outside force was forcing his essence out of his armor. It was incredibly painful, yet quick. He tried to keep the force out, but it was too strong for him. After it was through, he was just a cloud of greenish-black essence, floating near the ceiling of the chamber.
His armor now stood motionless. All of a sudden, the light of intelligence reappeared in the optics. Makuta Koghi now knew what had just happened: Hajax had taken his armor from him!
Makuta Hajax examined his new form, unimpressed.
"Really, Koghi," the Makuta said. "You were always a moron, but I never realized how bad a shape-shifter you were. Let me take a more suitable form, instead of this monstrosity."
The cloud form of Koghi watched in growing anger as Makuta Hajax shape-shifted his body. A few minutes went by, as the Rahkshi, Koghi's essence, and the Visorak watched the shape-shifting. Eventually, it ended and the new being emerged, much stronger and powerful-looking than the last.
The new being was well over ten feet tall, with jagged spikes sticking out from the back. The mask looked like a wild Muaka cat's face, except with a spik sticking out of the top. The body was big and broad, with a giant, spikey, crimson tail sticking out from behind.
He now held a new weapon, a broad sword that practically radiated shadow. He was blue and yellow, with huge black eyes.
"Now this is more like it," Hajax said, examining his new from. His eyes then locked on Koghi's essence cloud. "Now there is only one more problem to fix."
"Rahkshi," he ordered. The ten Rahkshi immediately stood tall, knowing that their master inhabited this body. "Fire at will." He pointed at Koghi's essence. "Now."
Heat flew from their eyes, striking the essence of Makuta Koghi, instantly destroying the cloud, killing the Makuta of the Southern Islands. There wasn't so much a scream, just the sound of heat striking the cloud and dissipating it, destroying it for good.
"Now there is one less moron in this world," Hajax said in a almost joyful tone. He had always hated Koghi, who was too dumb for the Brotherhood of Makuta, in his opinion. "Now we leave, back to the surface, where I will personally deal with Icetraz."
He tried walking out the door, but then realized he was too tall, so he altered his density and floated through the door way. He then unaltered his density, going back to being a solid, being of armor and energy. He gestured toward the bewildered Rahkshi and Visorak to follow him out he doorway and back to the upper levels.
"Come on," Hajax said. "We have a war to win."
This post has been edited by Toa Nuhrii: Toa of Sugar: Sep 19 2008, 03:51 PM
Aug 31 2008, 10:13 AM
Group: Premier Members
Joined: 13-October 06
Member No.: 46498
Chapter 14: The Return of Barilo
As she walked ahead of the others, Akuna thought about the dead dragon they had seen before. She wondered what it was there for and if it was supposed to guard something. Treasure, maybe? Some sort of prison, full of strange and scary beings?
How odd for a dragon, of all things, to be underground, she thought. It's kind of creepy, once you think about it.
Behind her, the other Toa Shika, Turaga Joha, and Jokao were still following. Jokao didn't want to advance any further after seeing the dead dragon. He wasn't sure that five novice Toa, one Turaga, and a Matoran could possibly defeat whatever defeated the dragon.
If there is a dead dragon here, who knows what might have killed it? the Ta-Matoran thought. Whatever killed it might still be here, waiting for us. Hopefully whatever killed the Rahi is dead, too, or left to go somewhere else or something.
Up ahead, Jokao noticed how Nonzra and Addis were talking to each other. He wasn't sure what they were saying, but it was probably about taking precautions in case there were more dragons up ahead or if there were traps.
However, none of that seemed necessary, as they soon emerged into a chamber. The chamber was shaped like a sphere and obviously wasn't a natural structure. It was mostly bare, save for what looked like six stasis tubes in the middle. Lightstones were imbedded in the walls, helping to light up the room.
"Underground chamber." Nastan said, surveying the area. "Didn't know this was under Shika Nui." He turned to Joha. "How about you?"
"Neither did I, Nastan," the Turaga replied.
"Those stasis tubes look curious," Jokao said, pointing at the tubes in the middle. "I wonder what is inside them."
Then, he thought he felt something in his mind tell him to go down to check the stasis tubes out. He obeyed the command.
Without warning and regardless of his fears, the Ta-Matoran ran down the path toward the stasis tubes. Despite the size of the cave, he was at the bottom in only a couple of minutes and was looking up at the cylinders, trying to see what was inside.
"Hello," he said to the tube, knocking on it with his fist. "Anyone alive in there?"
"Jokao!" Turaga Joha cried. He was coming down the path with the five Toa Shika in tow. "You should be more careful. You never know what kind of dangers could be hiding in here."
"Relax, Turaga," Nonzra said. "He just wanted to get a better look is all. I, too, am curious about the tubes."
The Toa of Sonics walked over to the tube Jokao was standing in front of and wiped away the dust in front of it. He jumped back at what he saw.
In the stasis tube was a being. He had teeth extending from his mouth several inches long and was red and blue, with sharp spikes extending from his armor. He held what looked like a sword, except it had a trigger on it, like a gun blade.
The odd creature was clearly in stasis, because his eyes were closed and he was totally still. But there was something about his unusually long limbs that gave off a creepy feel, like he was still aware of what was gong on around him, despite the fact that he was in stasis.
"What is that thing?" Nonzra asked, horrified.
"Let me see," Nastan said, shoving his friend aside. He, too, was taken aback by what he saw. "What in Mata Nui's name is that?"
The other Toa Shika and Turaga Joha looked at the strange being in the stasis tube.
"How odd," Joha muttered. "What kind of creature is that?"
"Should I wipe the dust off the other tubes?" Nonzra asked. " 'Cause if they're going to be as hiedious as that...that thing, then it is better we leave them the way they are, in my opinion."
The others agreed, not wanting to accidentally wake the creatures up. That didn't stop Jokao from studying the tubes, however. He noticed a word engraved on the tubes: Tuikas.
"Tuikas?" he repeated. "Isn't Tuikas the Matoran word for 'fear'?"
"Well, they certainly inspire fear in me," said Nastan. "But why would they be called Tuikas? Heck, why are they even in stasis tubes in the first place?"
"Too many questions, too little answers," Nonzra said. He then looked at the entrance, where they had come from. However, he noticed the doorway was closing up, until it was fully closed, locking them inside. "Hey!"
He dashed over to where the entrance had once been and began hacking away with his sword. Addis joined him, using his plasma powers to try to melt the door down.
"What's going on?" Jokao asked, fearing creeping into his voice. "Are we locked away in here forever? I don't want to be locked away! Those creatures might wake up and kill us!"
Joha, having been a Toa for over 30,000 years and been through far worse, was keeping his cool. "Calm down, Jokao. I'm sure we're going to escape from this."
Akuna, Chimoy, and Nastan joined Addis and Nonzra, blasting away at the door. Despite the onslaught of elemental attacks, the door didn't have a scratch. Chimoy, using his power over metal, made a giant hammer made of iron appear out of thin air.
He then beckoned for the others to step back, which they did. Then the Toa of Iron, exerting all his strength, slammed the heavy hammer onto the door. Surprisingly, the door still stood. Chimoy dropped his hammer, giving up.
"How is this possible?" he muttered. "Maybe we really are locked away forever."
"All right," said Addis. "Everyone, search for any way out. Feel along the walls or along the floor or anywhere that you think might unveil a secret entrance."
The others did as he bid, walking all around the chamber and feeling along the walls. It was Akuna who discovered that one of the lightstones was loose.
"Guys, look at this," she said. Everyone else came over to her. "See? This lightsone is loose. Watch."
She pulled down on it. At first, she was a bit disappointed that nothing happened....until the wall flung opened and, with a strong vacuuming force, sucked the party up. The wall closed. None of them noticed, however, that one of the Tuikas, the first one, eyes opened and they wouldn't know the consequences of awakening the Tuikas until it was far too late.
On the surface, Icetraz blasted another Visorak into oblivion, using his Cordak blaster. Another one jumped onto his back, but a ice spike put a end to that unfortunate creature's life.
Earlier, he had killed the leader of these Brotherhood of Makuta minions, Makuta Hajax. But for some reason, instead of dispersing in out right panic, they still fought, as if they knew something momentous was going to happen.
Six Arms, another Dark Hunter, was fighting five Rahkshi. Icetraz fired off three missiles, all three of which hit the Rahkshi, destroying some and sending others flying through the air.
Six Arms turned to Icetraz. "These things just don't give up, even when their leader is dead."
"I agree, Six Arms," said Icetraz. "That is the mystery, of course. Usually, when the leader of a army is killed, the rest began to panic and are easy picking."
He was too caught up in his conversation with Six Arms that he didn't notice a Exo-Toa come up from behind. It was about to shoot him, but Death came up from behind it and stabbed it with his sword, ripping its internal mechanisms to bits and then finishing it off with a lava ball, causing it to explode. Icetraz turned around, surprised.
"Ah, Death," he said. "Good job." He pointed to a small group of Dark Hunters fighting off a big group of Visorak. "Help them kill those Visorak."
Death nodded, but he seemed to have what looked like regret in his eyes. "Yes, sir." And then he darted off in the direction of the Dark Hunter-Visorak scuffle, aiming to help his brothers.
Icetraz turned back to Six Arms, who was now running over to fight some Exo-Toa nearby. Icetraz didn't bother to help him, because the Hunter was already ripping the fighting machines apart.
He needs no help from me, Icetraz thought. That's good, because it shows his independence. But if he grows too independent, I may have to end his sorry life.
Then, to Icetraz's surprise, a giant emerged from the fortress, holding a dead Dark Hunter in his hand. Worse, this being was no Dark Hunter he knew of. The blue and yellow being instantly locked eyes with Icetraz. When he spoke, it was the deep, gritty voice of the Makuta of Shika Nui's.
"Why, hello, Icetraz," the being called, tossing the corpse away. "As you can see, I, Makuta Hajax, have new body for myself. Stolen from my fellow Makuta, Koghi, who is now dead."
Instead of answering vocally, Icetraz responded by firing a hail of Cordak missiles, all aimed at Hajax. The Makuta used his magnetism powers to stop the missiles dead in their tracks.
"You have but two choices, Icetraz," Hajax said. "Either give up and let me take control of this island or I will kill you with these Cordak missiles."
"How's about the third choice where I kill you dead right in your tracks?" Icetraz shouted, unleashing a blast of ice at the Cordak missiles.
The ice hit the projectiles, blowing them up. The explosion hit Hajax, but it surprisingly wasn't enough to send him flying.
Icetraz drew his sword and then ran and jumped, bringing the blade down on the Makuta. Hajax quickly pulled his broad sword out. Icetraz's blow landed on the Makuta's sword and the two began pushing each other, looking into each other's eyes with pure hatred.
"You know you can't win," Hajax said, struggling to force his opponent over. "Your Hunters are tiring and my minions never do."
"Keep talking, Makuta scum bag," Icetraz growled. "Because you'll be eating those words in a few minutes!"
Up in the sky, Barilo flew in to the battle at the fortress and immediately noticed Icetraz fighting some yellow and blue titan that had a tail. He wondered who that was.
He also noticed Dark Hunters fighting Visorak, Exo-Toa, and Rahkshi, even some Vortixx. He had no idea where all of the Brotherhood of Makuta minions came from, but that didn't stop him from being disappointed.
Did I already miss my chance for revenge on Hajax? Barilo thought. Then I have no further reason to be here, even though kicking Dark Hunter tail sounds very appealing.
Then he heard Icetraz, down below, call the giant 'Hajax.' That surprised Barilo greatly, because when he last saw the Makuta of Shika Nui, he was in a super Vahki body. Where he got this new body, Barilo did not know. But he wasn't about to pass up this chance for revenge, the being really was Hajax.
Time for some pay back, Barilo thought, lowering to the ground.
Barilo knew that it would just plain stupid to attack while he was in the sky, in case a Hunter saw him and then try to blast him out of the sky. So he lowered to the ground, behind a boulder in the proto forest so he wouldn't be seen immediately by the Hunters and then have to fight them. And then he jumped off his rock, pulling his gravity axe out and was about to charged into battle, seeking to defeat the Makuta and hopefully Icetraz, too.
He was surprised when the other five Toa Shika, plus Jokao and Turaga Joha, shot out of a hole in the ground and landed on him. The hole quickly closed back up.
Nastan looked around. "Hey, where are we? I hear battle sounds coming from the other side of this rock."
"You're on top of me!" Barilo shouted. "I need to breath too, you know."
Everyone froze, recognizing who the voice belonged to immediately. They remembered how Barilo had killed Iroko and how he almost killed Nastan while he was at it. Now he was here and they were on top of him! Nastan immediately knew that Barilo might try to get him again.
All of them jumped off of Barilo and the five Toa Shika drew their weapons. The Toa of Gravity scrambled to his feet and held his hands up.
"Look!" he said. "I don't want to hurt you guys anymore. Honestly, I've learned my lesson."
"We're sure you have, Barilo," Nonzra snapped. "Or should I say, 'traitor who nearly killed our friend'?"
"I was confused and insane back then," Barilo admitted. He got on his knees. "Please, Addis. Accept me back as a part of this team and I won't ever betray you guys ever again."
Addis looked into Barilo's eyes. Having been a thief as a Matoran, Addis knew how to make his eyes look innocent when accused of a crime. He knew that Barilo also knew how to do that and what he was seeing in Barilo's eyes wasn't fake innocence. It was the true, I-want-forgiveness-or-I-don't-know-what-I-will-do-with-my-life kind of look.
The Toa of Plasma looked down to Joha. "Turaga, look in his eyes. What do you see?"
Joha locked eyes with Barilo. "Well, I see someone who really does want to help again. It doesn't look fake, either."
"So are you saying that we should accept Barilo back unquestioningly?" Nastan asked in disbelief. "He almost killed me!"
"Nastan, I think you should be more forgiving," Joha said gently. "Barilo really does look like he regrets what he has done."
"Please, Nastan, forgive me," Barilo said, his voice sounding very sad. "I will do anything to prove my honest, sincere quest for forgiveness."
The five Toa looked at each other. Jokao was standing beside Chimoy, because he still didn't trust Barilo. Then the Toa huddled up to discuss what they should do. Jokao and Joha also joined in.
It was only a few minutes, but it seemed like a eternity to Barilo before they finally stopped talking to each other. Barilo looked from one of his fellow Toa to another. He noticed how Chimoy, Akuna, Nonzra, and Addis were smiling. Nastan looked uncomfortable and Jokao did, too. Joha simply had no expression on his face, but his eyes gave him away. He, too, was happy.
"Barilo, with much discussion," Addis said, walking forward. "We have decided that, despite the fact you almost killed Nastan, you are sincere about wanting forgiveness. We all forgive you and we want you back in our team. Do you accept?"
Barilo nearly cried out in joy, but didn't because he knew it would give away their position to the Dark Hunters.
So he simply said, "Yes. I would like that very much."
Then, for the first time in a long time, Addis and Barilo did the traditional Toa salute of bumping fists. He did it with the rest of the Toa, too, even with Nastan, who did it rather reluctantly.
"I still don't trust you, Barilo," Nastan said.
"That's all right," Barilo said, patting his fellow Toa on the back. "I don't expect you to trust a theif. I expect you to fight with me like a warrior."
He looked down at Jokao and Joha. He bent over and bumped fists with Joha, despite the fact he was a Turaga. Then he turned to Jokao, who, like Nastan, looked rather reluctant, but he did it anyway, just so he didn't anger Barilo.
"All right," Barilo said, standing to his full height. He pointed over his shoulder with his thumb. "There's a mini war going on between the Dark Hunters and Brotherhood of Makuta back there. Hajax is fighting Icetraz and this is the perfect time to strike. Shall we, Toa brothers and sister?"
The others nodded and drew their weapons again.
"Hey, can I stay here?" Jokao asked. "I'm not a Toa and I wouldn't last very long out there. I'm thinking of heading back to my village, which isn't very far from here. Hopefully all of the Dark Hunters are preoccupied by this battle, so they won't try to get me."
"Then I will accompany you, Jokao," Turaga Joha said. "Like you, I would not last very long in battle, either."
He turned to face the six Toa Shika. His eyes were filled with pride as he looked at each of the Toa. He even had pride when he looked at Barilo.
"You know, despite your downsides, I believe destiny chose the right Matoran to become Toa," he said. "I am proud of you six, especially you, Barilo."
"Me?" Barilo asked, shocked. "But I betrayed my team and nearly killed Nastan!"
"But you had the guts to shove down your pride and ask for forgiveness," Joha reminded him. "That makes you just as much a Toa as the others, perhaps even more so."
"Thank you, Turaga," Barilo said, his voice choked with emotion.
"Hey," Addis spoke up. "Let's not get all mushy, all right? We have some Hunter butts to kick!"
"Yeah," Akuna agreed. "Let us free Shika Nui from the Dark Hunters slavery once and for all!"
With a mighty battle cry, the six Toa Shika ran out from behind their boulder. They were now a united team. Despite their pasts as thieves and despite what they had been through, they now accepted their part as heroes who would save Shika Nui from evil.
But if they could only sense what is destined to happen to them, where they would be going, they wouldn't nearly be as eager as they are now. Not nearly as eager at all.
This post has been edited by Toa Nuhrii: Toa of Sugar: Aug 31 2008, 10:14 AM
Sep 11 2008, 11:56 AM
Group: Premier Members
Joined: 13-October 06
Member No.: 46498
Chapter 15: Chaos!
Every Dark Hunter and Brotherhood minion was surprised to see the six Toa Shika enter the battle, firing elemental power from their weapons at their enemies. Tyu, too, was surprised, as he quickly beheaded a Rahkshi with his sword and then turned to see the Toa get surrounded by a group of Visorak spiders.
"Where did they-?" Tyu asked, surprised and shocked. He shook his head. "Never mind. I'm going to get my revenge, one way or another."
Raising his sword, he unleashed a blast of solar energy from the blade, aiming directly at the Toa. Chimoy noticed the beam and then used his metal powers to create a shield out of thin air. Then, angling the shield at just the right angle, deflected the solar energy beam right back to Tyu.
It hit the winged Hunter over, causing him to go sprawling right into a group of Rahkshi. Chimoy turned away and saw that, while his fellow Toa had succeeded in defeating the Visorak that had surrounded them, Dark Hunters were moving in on them and Nonzra was already fighting Death, a Dark Hunter that the Toa Shika had fought some days earlier.
Nonzra dodged a lava ball, then unleashed a wave of sonics at Death. The Dark Hunter dodged, rolled, and then fired five lava balls from his sword as he went. Most of them missed, save for two, which hit the Toa of Sonics in the chest and right leg, knocking him over.
Death was upon him in two strides. He put the tip of his sword to Nonzra's neck.
"What are you doing here, Toa?" asked Death. "I am surprised to see that you are still alive."
"My team and I are here to defeat Makuta Hajax and you Dark Hunters," Nonzra replied defiantly. "That way, we will free Shika Nui and we won't have to deal with you tyrants anymore."
Death locked eyes with Nonzra. The Toa of Sonics wasn't quite sure what he saw in the Hunter's eyes. He had expected to see revenge in his eyes, but instead he say something else. It looked like anger, it looked like sadness. Most of all, it looked like he was thinking.
Surprisingly, the Dark Hunter lifted his sword off the Toa's neck. Then, he blasted the ground in front of him, causing both the Dark Hunter and Nonzra to go flying into the air. The two enemies landed on the ground. It wasn't so much the shock of landing on the ground as it was the fact that Death didn't kill him. Who was this Dark Hunter, who didn't kill Nonzra when he had the chance? Nonzra had always assumed that Dark Hunters killed Toa whenever they got the chance, as they demonstrated when they had killed Toa Joha's team, over 25,000 years ago.
Death crawled over to him and whispered, "I am giving you this chance to live. Don't blow it."
Nonzra looked at him with distaste on his features. "And just why should I believe a Dark Hunter, of all beings?"
"Because I could have killed you right there," Death whispered back harshly. "I don't want to fight for the Hunters. I never wanted to join the Dark Hunters in the first place. I originally joined to help my people, not to kill novice Toa. I am going to pretend I am unconscious, okay? Then you get back up and fight my brothers. Got it?"
Nonzra nodded, still confused as to why Death was allowing him to live. The Dark Hunter closed his eyes and he was so convincing that Nonzra almost believed he truly was unconscious. He then rose and turned around to see that his fellow Toa were fighting Dark Hunters, Visorak, and Rahkshi.....And were doing just terrible. Nastan was alone against five Dark Hunters, with a sixth one coming up from behind. Akuna and Chimoy were also desperately fighting Rahkshi and Visorak. As for Addis? He was doing just as good as Nastan, which wasn't good at all.
Barilo was the only one holding his own. He had already taken out at least five Visorak, six Rahkshi, and a Hunter or two and he was now fighting the female Dark Hunter Yehiku, who the Toa of Sonics recognized from Barilo's description of her. Nonzra knew he needed to do something to turn the tide, but he just wasn't sure how.
There is my mask, Nonzra thought. After all, it saved us the first time. Who is to say it won't save us again? It might bring more of those dragon creatures, like the dead one we saw in the tunnel. Perhaps that would turn the tide in our favor.
Closing his eyes, he activated his Kanohi Zatth, the Mask of Summoning. Then he opened them. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Just the normal chaos one can expect on a battle field is all.
That was, until he heard something burrowing from beneath the surface. He looked down at the ground. There wasn't anything unusual until he saw a claw break the surface. Then, another claw, followed by a Rahi's head, which Nonzra immediately recognized as a blade burrower.
At first, the Toa of Sonics was disappointed. How could one blade burrower help them defeat the Dark Hunters? He thought that until another blade burrower followed. Then another, then another, until at least 20 of them had emerged out of the hole.
Without warning, the 20 blade burrowers moved in to attack the Dark Hunters, Visorak, and Rahkshi. One blade burrower even destroyed a Exo-Toa. Now the battle field had Toa, Dark Hunters, Brotherhood of Makuta minions, and blade burrowers. One could truly call the area a war zone.
I call it complete and utter chaos, Nonzra thought.
While that was happening, Barilo was fighting Yehiku. She was surprisingly agile, but apparently she didn't pay attention to where she was walking, because more than once she nearly tripped and that gave Barilo a advantage.
"Giving up, Yehiku?" Barilo asked as he dodged a fierce kick.
"Never, Toa," she replied, dodging a well-aimed punch. "If anything, you should be the one giving up."
"Toa never give up," the Toa answered, meeting Yehiku's sword attack with his axe. "I learned that the hard way."
The two struggled to push the other away with their weapons, never giving in. Barilo still held feelings for Yehiku, but, now knowing what it is like to be a true hero, was ready to fight for the freedom of the Matoran of Shika Nui.
Perhaps I can convince her to join us? he thought as he struggled to keep the Dark Hunter from pushing him over. I mean, Toa don't kill, right? It doesn't say that Toa can't convince their enemies to join them, right? But, then, if she doesn't want to help us now, why would she want to help us anyway?
Yehiku, on the other hand, had no feelings for Barilo, nor anyone, for that matter. She was for the Dark Hunters cause and was willing to die for it, if she needed to. Besides, even if she wasn't a Huntress, she wouldn't team up with Toa, anyway.
Toa are weak, Yehiku thought as she tried to push Barilo away. Ancient said so. From everything I've seen, that statement is true.
So caught up in their battle they were that they didn't notice a blade burrower come near them. It, like the rest of it's clan, had been called up onto the surface by some mysterious force. This particular burrower was still hungry and it believed these two creatures would satisfy its hunger well.
It could not see them, since blade burrowers have notoriously poor eyesight, but its since of smell told it that there were two beings. It could not know that one was a Toa and that another was a Dark Hunter, but it didn't care. Eat first, ask questions later would be its motto if it could talk.
Barilo noticed the Rahi beast coming up from behind Yehiku and tried to warn her, but she wasn't listening.
"There's a giant blade burrower coming up behind you," said Barilo as he tried to push her away.
"I'm not falling for the oldest trick in the book, Toa," Yehiku snapped. "I am smarter than that."
A giant claw, courtesy of the burrower, slashed her in the back, sending her flying into Barilo. The two rolled over and over until Yehiku managed to get some distance between herself and Barilo. She then kicked him in the mask, sending him rolling over again until he hit a nearby tree. The Dark Huntress painfully picked herself up and then looked at Barilo, who, while not unconscious, was laying on the ground, stunned.
"Ouch," he groaned. "That was painful!"
Yehiku looked around, trying to find her sword she had dropped when she had collided with the Toa of Gravity. She noticed that it had somehow ended up right next to Barilo and he was taking full advantage of it.
Barilo sprang up and then, moving faster than Yehiku's eyes could follow, grabbed the sword off the ground and unleashed his gravity powers on the Dark Huntress. Without gravity to help her stay on the ground, she started to float upwards. For a moment, she panicked, until she remembered the daggers that Lariska had given her some years ago. Yehiku never used them, mainly because she much preferred using her long sword over those tiny daggers. But now, as she fumbled through her bag, she realized just how grateful she was for the knives.
Now Yehiku wasn't the best at throwing daggers, but she had a somewhat good aim. She threw the daggers and, while one of them missed, the other didn't. It hit Barilo in the shoulder and he cried out in pain. He dropped her sword and then stumbled backward.
His concentration shattered, Yehiku fell to the ground. She looked up and saw the Toa of Gravity was trying to remove the dagger from his shoulder, cursing all the way. Now was her chance to attack.
She jumped up into the air, executing a perfect flying kick, sending Barilo into a tree. He hit the tree and slumped, his eyes closed. Yehiku cautiously moved forward and then poked him with her recovered sword. Was he dead?
No, she thought. Just totally unconscious.
Just then, Barilo's eyes abruptly opened, which startled Yehiku. Instead of seeing the look of a brave hero in his orbs, she saw complete and utter rage. Barilo now felt the same rage he had felt when he had killed Iroko. Now he was ready to unleash his full wrath upon the Dark Huntress and he wasn't going to hold back.
Despite his damaged shoulder, he rose and then activated his gravity powers, aiming to crush Yehiku like he did with Iroko. Unlike what he did to Iroko, however, he was not going to kill Yehiku abruptly. Rather, it would be a slow, continuous process that would leave her a dead heap of armor and organic tissue.
"No! Wait!" she screamed in agony. "You're killing me!"
"That's what I am aiming to do," Barilo snarled. "And after this, I will go after your leader, Icetraz. Then Shika Nui will be free forever!"
He watched as she fell to the ground, falling into unconsciousness. But before he could actually kill her, his eyes instantly lost the rage. In fact, now he looked like a different person altogether. He shook his head like someone who had awoken from a bad dream. Barilo looked down at the unconscious Dark Huntress and then realized exactly what was happening.
"Oh no!" he shouted, horrified by what he was doing. "I gotta stop this!"
He cut off his gravity powers, lessening the damage on Yehiku. He then leaned over to inspect her. The Toa sighed a sigh of relief that she was just unconscious and not dead. He really didn't want to experience killing another living person again, not after what had happened last time. Then he stood up and felt extreme pain in his left shoulder. Barilo glanced at his shoulder and realized that it still had the dagger in it.
Exerting all of his strength, he pulled the dagger out and tossed it away. Now he felt even more pain, worse than even when the dagger was in. He looked around and realized that the other Toa were still fighting Dark Hunters and Brotherhood of Makuta minions. He was in no shape to fight, but the Toa of Gravity didn't want to be left out in what he believed was the final battle for Shika Nui.
So I fight, Barilo thought. Whether or not I actually can.
The pain ripped through his body and he knew he needed to find a way to ease the pain. At that moment he wished he had a Mask of Healing, because then he could jump right back into action. But instead he was going to fight, even if only one of his arms moved.
Groaning with pain, he lifted his axe, running back towards the battle field. This time, he wasn't going to worry about fighting Hunters or Brotherhood minions. Now he was going straight for the Icetraz-Hajax conflict, even though he knew he might get killed as a result.
Since the blade burrowers were taking care of the Dark Hunters, the other five Toa Shika had regrouped behind a boulder to rest. None of them quite knew exactly what to do next and where Barilo was exactly. Nastan peered from behind the boulder to see Barilo, with his left arm limping at his side, running straight towards Icetraz and Hajax, with a look of either determination or of insanity on his face. Nastan could not tell the difference.
"What does he think he's doing?" Nastan exclaimed.
"What does who think he's doing what?" asked Addis.
"Barilo," Nastan replied bitterly, sitting back next to Akuna. "His left arm is limping at his side and he's running toward Icetraz and Hajax, the two most powerful combatants on the field right now. He's gonna get himself killed."
"Well, brothers and sister," Addis said, getting up. "We ought to help him."
"Why?" Nastan asked, frustrated. "He nearly killed me and now he's probably going to get himself killed. Good riddance."
"Nastan, he's our friend again," said Addis. "Friends help each other. Thought you were the one tooting about Unity, Duty, and Destiny? I can't believe you of all people would say 'Good riddance' about a fellow Toa! Geez, are you still sore about him almost killing you? He says he's sorry and I believe him. You should, too."
Nastan didn't respond, he simply looked at the ground. Then he got up and drew his bow out, already loading it with a arrow.
"Guess you're right," he said. "We should help him, I guess." Then, he added, "I now see why you're our leader."
Akuna nodded, drawing her staff out, electricity cracking at the tip. "Of course. Now let's move. He really is going to get himself killed if we just stand here talking."
Nonzra drew his sword and Chimoy, not having a permanent Toa tool, made a mallet appear out of thin air. Then the five Toa once again moved from the rock to go help their Toa brother.
Meanwhile, Icetraz was already gaining the upper hand on Makuta Hajax. The Makuta was not very used to his big body, having lived in a super Vahki's body for so many long years, which was far smaller and less bulky than his current form. While Icetraz, however, was not only skilled at using swords, but was also very agile and fast.
I need to kill this fool quickly, the Makuta of Shika Nui thought. But how?
Out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash of purple and gray. He wondered what that was, so he scanned the area with his mind, not wanting to take his attention off Icetraz by shifting his gaze, and then immediately knew who the purple and gray color scheme belonged to.
Barilo... Not only Barilo, but evidently the rest of the Toa had came, too. This is going to get very messy, very soon.
Quicker than Icetraz's eyes could follow, the Makuta quickly began unleashing shadow energy unexpectedly, aiming to drive back the Dark Hunter. It was working and Icetraz was too off balance to strike. Hajax then got back onto his feet and unleashed his magnetism power.
At first, Icetraz didn't notice anything out of the ordinary....until he started noticing armor, weapons, and bits and pieces of metal were clinging onto his body like bees at a bee hive. He kept trying to get the stuff off of himself, but it was staying magnetized to his body and was weighing him down. There was no way to get the clinging metal off of his body!
Finally, he fell down, far too heavy to stand up. Hajax, using his mind powers, then shredded Icetraz's mind into a million pieces, sending the Dark Hunter leader into unconsciousness and possibly insanity as well.
"I really should have done that earlier," Hajax said, brushing himself off.
"And I should have done this earlier!" Barilo shouted, jumping up and then bringing his gravity axe down on Hajax's head.
The Makuta stumbled forward as the axe collided with his cranium, shaking his head. He turned around and saw Barilo, looking like a fierce Muaka cat, gravity axe at the ready, despite his limping arm. Despite how fierce and brave the Toa looked, Hajax could not help but laugh. The Makuta of Shika Nui's power was much stronger than Barilo's and he would be able to finish the Toa of Gravity off quickly.
"Ah, Barilo," Hajax said, chuckling. "Killed anyone recently?"
"I didn't kill Iroko on purpose," Barilo snapped, swinging his axe around. "You broke our mind link and that caused me to go insane for a little while."
"Are you sure you still are not insane?" asked Hajax. "After all, you're going to take me on, all by yourself. You'd have to be completely insane to attack a Makuta head-on, all by yourself. Go and leave this island, if you wish to live. I am offering you mercy, something a Makuta never does. Take your team and go, because you're useless to my cause now."
"Never!" Addis shouted, running with the other Toa to stand beside Barilo.
"We stand together," Nonzra said, swinging his sword around. "Like true Toa do!"
"Yeah!" Nastan agreed, aiming his crossbow at the Makuta. "Even though we may never get along all of the time, we are far better off than you, Hajax. Your own brothers killed you, for Pete's sake."
Hajax looked over each one of them. He had no doubt in his mind he could kill all six of them easily, but he knew that Chimoy was a Toa of Iron. the most dangerous of all of them, for he could break Hajax's armor open and let his precious energy leak out. He would have to go first.
He activated his darkness power, bringing complete darkness around himself and the Toa. But then a bright light, courtesy of Toa Akuna's Mask of Night Vision, broke through the darkness, striking Hajax's eyes. Since his eyes were not suited for bright lights, the Makuta screamed, destroying his concentration and cutting off the darkness. Plant life burst forth from the ground, capturing Hajax, stopping his movement and pulling him down to the ground. Nonzra unleashed a wave of sonics, powerful enough to hurt the Makuta's hearing.
Then Akuna sent a lightning bolt upon him, jolting his essence. And Chimoy aimed to rip open a hole big enough for his hand to fit through in the Makuta's armor, letting Hajax's essence leak out.
"Give up, Hajax," Barilo shouted. "We can beat you and you know it."
At first, Barilo thought that Hajax must be unconscious because he wasn't replying. Then he saw the Makuta of Shika Nui ripping through the plant life and sending a explosion of vines, sending the six Toa flying into the air. They fell down, hard, on the ground, as Hajax rose.
"Seriously, I was giving you the chance to leave and be 'heroes' somewhere else," Hajax said, drawing his sword. "But now you reject it and for that you must die."
Raising his hand, he unleashed a force of cyclones, shadow, electricity, and overwhelming fear into the Toa, which would surely be enough to kill all six of them. What he didn't expect, however, was that the attacks instantly rebounded off the Toa, like some sort of invisible force field was protecting them.
"Who dares stop Makuta Hajax from killing these Toa?" he questioned, looking around.
Nastan managed to look up and saw that Julok, of all beings, was walking over to them, a dead Visorak in his claws. The Toa of The Green wondered why he had saved them.
"You!" Hajax yelled, pointing at the Hunter. "Did you save these Toa, which you so obviously hate?"
"Yes, I did," the Dark Hunter replied calmly. "You are a enemy of the Dark Hunters and so are the Toa. I have no love for them or their kind, but I do want revenge upon them for making a fool of me and I intend to pay them back in full. I'm not going to let some dark warlord rob me of my revenge!"
"Why you-!" Hajax snarled, aiming his sword at the Dark Hunter.
Before he could unleash a blast of shadow, however, a fifteen-foot, green and silver warrior appeared, grabbing the Makuta from behind and pinning him to the ground without much effort. The strength of the Dark Hunter who had pinned him down was enormous, stronger even than the Makuta himself. What was worse was that his essence was still leaking out, making Hajax weaker each minute.
"Wha-?" Hajax said, straining to twist his neck to see who had dared attack him.
"Name's Byki," the giant replied in a deep, rumbling voice. "I saw what you did to Icetraz and what you were going to do to Julok. Now I'm gonna rip your head right off your neck!"
Before he could carry out his threat, Hajax used his density control power to alter his density, allowing Byki to fall right through him. Then the Makuta rose and changed his density back to normal, unleashing as he did so blast of chain lightning. The chain lightning hit Byki, sufficient enough to knock-out the huge Hunter.
"That is what you receive for daring to hurt a Makuta!" Hajax bellowed. "Now I will-"
"You will what?" Julok asked. "Your army, oh great Makuta, is dead. We killed every single minion you sent at us and the rest of your troops have fled." He said the 'oh great Makuta' part with more than a hint of sarcasm.
The Makuta looked around. Julok was right. All of his Visorak, Rahkshi, Exo-Toa, and various others were dead or utterly destroyed. All of the Dark Hunters were now shifting their attention to Hajax, stomping over the corpses of the dead Brotherhood minions as they went. It was almost enough to send Makuta Hajax running, but he kept his ground.
"My men!" he shouted, scanning the area frantically. "What happened to my men?"
"We destroyed'em," Giho replied, axe at the ready. "And now we're gonna destroy you!"
Hajax knew that, while he could take on any of them individually and win, he could never defeat hundreds upon hundreds of Dark Hunters all on his own. Not to mention his own armor was already ripped open as it was, greatly weakening him. But he also knew he wasn't going to go down, not after so long of hiding and waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
His gaze shifted to the right, where the six Toa Shika were now standing up as well, elemental energy crackling at the end of their Toa tools. The Toa joined the Dark Hunters and now Hajax knew for sure he was going to die, though he was going to die fighting.
"Give up, Hajax," said Addis. "And we'll let you live."
"Let him live?" Kigin, who was among the Dark Hunters who was surrounding the Makuta, said, shocked. "He deserves to die the most horrible death imaginable, the Makuta does!"
Addis glared at the Dark Hunter. "Since when did you get to make the rules around here?"
"Since I became a member of the Dark Hunters," Kigin shot back. "There are more Hunters than Toa here, hero. We're going to kill him, right guys?"
All of the Dark Hunters shouted a resounding 'yes' and then they all ran forward, weapons ready to tear through Makuta armor. Hajax desperately began shooting shadow, cyclones, electricity, and whatever else he had at his command at the Dark Hunters. But none of it was strong enough to even slow down the wave upon wave of mecerneries. Soon, he was lost beneath the sea of Hunters. All that could be heard was Hajax's screaming as they tore away at his armor.
The Toa Shika had not joined in the unfair killing, for they were Toa and Toa do not kill. They were making their escape, actually, because they knew that once the Dark Hunters were finished with Hajax, they would be coming after them next.
"Quickly," Nastan whispered as he tiptoed with the rest of the Toa. "We can escape into the forest before they realize we're escaping.
"No," Barilo said, shaking his head. "We're gonna fight them, whether we like it or not."
"You're in no shape to fight," Nastan pointed out, annoyed. "Your shoulder is damaged."
"Shut up," Barilo snapped. "I can fight just fine."
"Quiet both of you!" Addis whispered harshly. "We're going to escape and that is final. We need to regroup and plan out another strategy."
"But a time like this to hit the Hunters this hard won't come again," Barilo argued. "We need to strike now!"
Further argument was cut off by the sight of at least two dozen Dark Hunters - Or people who looked like them, anyway- emerging from the forest. Those Dark Hunters looked just as surprised as the Toa were to see them.
"Toa?" one of them, a black and gold being, said, confused. "Wasn't Joha the only Toa left on Shika Nui?"
"Quickly!" Addis shouted at the top of his lungs. "Let's make a break for the fortress!"
Before Barilo could question what Addis was thinking, the Toa leader was already running to what was left of the western entrance. The other Toa followed, though somewhat reluctantly, because they knew it was pure madness to run into the fortress of the Dark Hunters themselves.
They entered the building and Chimoy quickly threw up a thick wall of metal, enough to completely close the way out. Now they were trapped in, but it didn't matter. Only figuring out what Addis was getting at was important at the moment.
With the heat of the outside cut off, the area grew deathly cold. Akuna couldn't help but shiver in the cold as she ran with the other Toa. She knew that it was stupid to run into the Dark Hunters' fortress, but she was too busy running and being cold to complain.
Chimoy glanced around as they ran. He noticed that there were many dead Visorak and Rahkshi, with some Dark Hunters as well. On the walls were carvings that might have represented past Dark Hunters, but now they were totally destroyed beyond recognition. Many of them looked like the ones Toa Barilo had described when he had infiltrated the fortress before, but badly damaged and totally unrecognizable.
He also noticed stone statues that had fallen and were destroyed. One of those statues looked as though it had been brought down purposefully, on a unlucky Visorak that Chimoy didn't care to look at.
Surprisingly, even though they were in the Dark Hunter fortress itself, they had ran into no Dark Hunters at all. They were all probably fighting Hajax, he thought.
Gradually, though, they came into what looked like the throne room. It wasn't very damaged, save for the throne itself and some carvings on the wall. Suits of armor stood on either side of the room, leading up to the damaged throne. He figured most of the suits once belonged to Dark Hunters or perhaps Toa, since he recognized the armor of Toa Siso, the Toa of Lightning that used to be on Joha's team until she and the others got killed, 25,000 years ago.
Apparently, this was where they stopped, for Addis abruptly halted, signaling for the rest to do the same. Barilo, panting and in extreme pain because his shoulder was still hurting, dragged himself to the damaged throne and sat down on it, trying to rest his shoulder. He then locked eyes with Addis, annoyed.
"What in Mata Nui's name were you thinking?" Barilo asked.
"Yeah!" Nastan agreed. "We could be walking right into the hands of the Hunters for all we know!"
"No, that wasn't what I was getting at," Barilo said, shaking his head. "I was going to say that the battle is out there, not in here. See what I am getting at?"
Nastan sighed heavily. What he wanted even less than Barilo being back on the team was fighting all of the Dark Hunters on the island. Nearby, Chimoy was created walls of metal to cover the entrances, just in case there were some Dark Hunters still wandering in the fortress and then noticed the six Toa.
"Well, Barilo, I figured we could escape them by going into their fortress and finding that ancient door of protodermis the Dark Hunters are trying to open," Addis said, panting. "That's all. Perhaps whatever is behind it could helps us save Shika Nui?"
"Well, I was never serious about actually going down there and opening the door, but what the Karzahni, why not?" Barilo said, shrugging. He winced at the pain in his shoulder when he shrugged. "I could lead you guys there. I know where the entrance is."
"No way!" Nastan exclaimed, taking a step back. "They probably have the place guarded and they probably have booby-traps just in case!"
"I agree with Nastan on this one," Akuna said, stepping up. "It isn't smart to just run in foolhardy. Only cool dudes do that."
Chimoy nodded. "It is unwise to run straight into a trap without a plan."
Nonzra, however, was all for going to find out what was going on behind the door.
"C'mon, guys," said Nonzra. "I betcha all of the Hunters are busy killing Hajax at the moment. The door is probably completely unguarded, you know? It's ours for the taking."
After much more debate, Addis, being the team leader, finally chose to go and explore the door, even if there was guards placed around it.
"After all," he reasoned. "We have the power to deal with any Dark Hunters that might be guarding the door."
"Fine," Nastan sighed. "Have it your way, leader."
"Barilo, show us the way there," Addis ordered. "You're the only one who knows his way around this fortress, after having infiltrated this place before."
Nodding, the Toa of Gravity rose from the throne, but then winced and sat down. He groaned in pain.
"Well, we don't have to go if your shoulder still hurts," Addis said, walking up to the throne.
"N-no," Barilo said, struggling to stand up. "I-I can still walk. Don't you worry about me. I'm tough."
"Okay, then, which way is the door?" the Toa of Plasma asked.
Barilo pointed to the eastern entryway that Chimoy had closed off, like the rest. "That way, I'm sure of it. Chimoy needs to bring the metal wall down first, though."
Nodding, the Toa of Iron reared back and then punched the wall, causing it to fall down, revealing a hallway that extended several feet into the fortress, lightened up by lightstones embedded in the walls.
Addis helped Barilo up and then the six Toa Shika went down the eastern entrance, with Barilo leading the way.
As they walked down the hallway, Nastan looked at Chimoy. "Was it necessary to punch the wall down when you could have used a less loud way, like tearing it down with your elemental power?"
"It was fun," Chimoy replied, smiling. "I don't see why I shouldn't."
Nastan sighed as Akuna wondered what could possibly be behind the door. Untold riches? A legendery Mask of Power? A powerful weapon?
Whatever it is, I'm sure we're going to like it, she thought confidently. And if we don't, we can deal with it.
Little did any of them know, however, was that there was evil so ancient it had been locked away forever 100,000 years ago. None of them could even begin to conceive of the evil hidden behind there. And it was likely none of them would survive to tell the tale.
This post has been edited by Toa Nuhrii: Toa of Sugar: Sep 21 2008, 01:01 PM
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