Broken Unity, Book I of the Aftermath series
Broken Unity, Book I of the Aftermath series
Jun 26 2008, 11:45 PM
Group: New Members
Joined: 27-September 06
Member No.: 45906
Several screams erupted from the streets below as giant ice spikes tore through the windows of Turaga Frayja’s office. Shards of Proto-glass rained down on the villagers below. Several Ko-Matoran pointed at one of the spikes, upon which was a strange, fish-like creature.
Sivik climbed back into the office through a hole in the wall, and immediately launched a Rhotuka at Toa Kovian. A bookcase to his left melted on contact with the spinning circle of energy. Kovian retaliated with a bolt of ice.
“Why won’t you just DIE?” the Toa roared, furiously launching ice shuriken at his foe.
Sivik chuckled menacingly as the shuriken shattered on his armor. “I’m the death bringer, not the death taker, kid,” he hissed, using his staff to weaken the ice under Kovian’s feet. “That’s why.”
The Toa jumped of the ice just as it began to collapse into the room below, where several Matoran screamed as the ice fragments fell.
“Whatever,” Kovian said. “I’m ending this now.”
He twirled his scythe around, rapidly decreasing the temperature around his adversary. Sivik had little time to react; soon enough, his mechanical body was frozen where it stood, his glowing eye casting an eerie red light on the wall. It slowly faded, leaving the Toa of Ice alone, and breathing heavily.
What has happened to me? he wondered. I feel so… powerful, and yet weak at the same time. Though my mind has no intention of fighting, my body screams for battle… It’s like my very soul has been invaded by another force…
But what? Nothing comes to mind… Unless…
“The Spirit Realm,” he growled. “I knew no one there could be trusted… Not even the souls of those whom I once knew – or thought I knew.”
He turned to the door, raising a hand. A moment later, it was blasted off of his hinges, and he was in the hall, moving towards the stairs.
“I must find a way to fix this,” he said to himself, ice energy forming in his hands. “If I have to freeze everything from here to Artana, I will fix this; I promise that.”
Not a thought passed through his mind about the frozen Dark Hunter, about what the consequences of his actions would be, nor of what the future would hold for him.
Vuelo jumped at the voice. It sounded unnatural; like it had been created through some experiment… an experiment gone wrong, anyway. The Hunter turned to find Levious, his massive body dripping from his swim. Behind him stood several Rohtahrak, each of them looking uneasy.
“You’ve finally arrived,” Vuelo said. “About time, too; I was just about to move on without you and your little… pets.”
“The creations of the Mistress Jaeda shall not be spoken of in such a disrespectful tone,” Levious growled, his eyes narrowing menacingly. “Speak of the Rohtahrak or myself in that way again and I shall be forced to remove your wings.”
Vuelo shivered. He had only been speaking to the lumbering beast for a few moments, and already he was being threatened. That, and the strange creatures voice was starting to creep him out; even the Makuta of Metru-Nui would surely have recoiled at the way Levious spoke.
“All right,” Vuelo said uncertainly. “I guess we should begin our mission, then…”
Levious’s face was solid as stone. Vuelo turned away, and began to use his mask to destroy portions of the tunnel, all the while wondering how long he would have to endure the creature’s company.
“How much longer until we reach Ta-Exa?” Levrok asked irritably. “I can’t navigate my way through this darned jungle forever.”
“Relax,” Torith answered, testing out his new magnetic powers; one of Levrok’s arrows – fired at Severo and Pharren earlier – flew into his hands. “We’re almost there; then Mazen can help you with your seeing problem. Here’s your arrow, by the way.”
“Give me that,” Levrok said, reaching out to where he expected the projectile to be. “And stop being so…”
“Careless?” Torith offered. “Because I’m not; I’m practicing my new abilities.”
Levrok said nothing. Torith went a short way ahead, to see how much further Ta-Exa was. After a few moments, the trees began to thin, and Torith went back to fetch his partner.
“Oh, dear,” Turaga Mazen said as he examined Toa Levrok. He turned to Torith. “How did this happen?”
“This is how,” he answered, gently placing the bag containing the Orb of Sight on the table. Mazen opened the sack and examined the perfectly round object, wonder in his eyes.
“You’ve found the Orb,” he whispered, a broad smile stretching across his face. “This is splendid!” He turned to Torith. “Tell me, how’s Kythos doing?”
“You know Kythos?” Levrok gasped. “But… how?”
“You didn’t think that I spent all of my time protecting the island, did you?” Mazen answered, laughing. “No; I had spare time on my hands. On one occasion I just happened to come across the Temple of sight; Kythos nearly tore me to pieces before I explained that I had arrived by accident.”
“Interesting,” Levrok said. “He seemed pretty well… besides the fact that he attacked us, the Dark Hunters, and knocked Pharren into mine and Torith’s path, which, in turn, caused me to go blind. What does that tell you?”
Mazen shrugged, though Levrok obviously didn’t see. The Turaga walked back over to him, to examine his eyes again.
“This shouldn’t be too big of a problem,” he said. “More of a minor set-back, actually. I can teach you to fight, and move, and use your bow without the use of your eyes; it will only require more concentration on your part, as well as a willingness to learn.”
Levrok did not object. Though he opened his mouth to speak, he immediately closed it again, and nodded. Mazen squeezed his shoulder comfortingly, and then turned to Torith, a serious look on his face.
“Torith,” he said. “Though Toa Levrok’s determination and agility would aid you greatly in your search for the rest of the Orbs, I’m am afraid that he will not be able to accompany you any further – at least, not yet. You will need to find one of the other Toa, and have them help you in your search. Tell them all that they need to know; alert them of the dangers; and stay safe.”
“All right,” Torith answered. “Who do you suggest?”
“I would say that Parugi and Galagi would be a great help to you,” he answered. “Kovian, I am afraid, is busy with other matters at the moment; however, I will send a message for him to locate and assist you as soon as he is able to. Rodax, on the other hand…”
The Turaga fell silent.
“What about him?” Torith pressed.
“I am afraid that he has disappeared – again,” Turaga Mazen informed him. “I notice that he has a knack for doing that when he is most needed; alas, it is impossible to tell when or even if he will return before something terrible befalls the island.
“Meanwhile, I give you this advice: Do not enter Onu-Exa. Jaeda and Xaeda have unleashed another one of their servants; and, unfortunately, he just so happens to be adept at swimming.”
“What does that have to do with Onu-Exa?”
“Everything,” Mazen said gravely. “You see, one of the Dark Hunters has broken the dam that kept the underwater river from flooding the village. Naturally, that means-“
“All right; I've got it,” Torith said. “Better get going, then. Keep the Orb safe until I return, as well as Levrok.”
This post has been edited by Parugi: Aug 30 2008, 06:47 PM
Jun 27 2008, 10:59 PM
Group: New Members
Joined: 27-September 06
Member No.: 45906
When discussions came to the topic of Toa Parugi and Toa Galagi, all but a select few would agree that they were twins; twins in every meaning, every connection, and every type of link that is associated with the word. Neither of them disagreed with these beliefs; nor did they try to discourage them. For of all the beings to have ever existed, few knew of the fact that they were truly, in essence, twins.
It had started with their creation. Unbeknownst to most, they were created at the exact same time; in the exact same location; and with the exact same materials. There was only one difference: One was born of Water, the other of Stone. And from the moment they were created, they knew that they shared a bond; a bind closer than the closest friendship; one closer than Toa could ever hope to achieve.
And this is what made them special; for this bond served many purposes: To locate the other… to feel what they felt… to endure in their pain… to share in their joy…
Toa Galagi of Water opened her eyes. The cloud covered sky dimed the light of the sun just enough so that its soft rays of light could gently wake one who has been unconscious. She breathed in a sigh, closing her eyes once more. The sounds of the oceans waves sent waves of calmness over her. The soft sigh of the wind enchanted her. Not a thought passed trough her mind that was not peaceful.
Presently, she became aware of someone shaking her softly. She opened her eyes to behold her companion. Toa Parugi stared down at her, smiling.
“I see you’ve been enjoying your nap,” he teased, holding out a hand to help her up. “Where did you disappear to?”
“What?” Galagi asked, confused. “Oh; the fight! Hetnuh!” She cast several wild looks around the village; it was all coming back to her now. “She got away! She ran into me and hit me with something and then…”
“You were unconscious,” Parugi finished the sentence for her. He sighed. “Don’t worry about it. As long as she’s gone-“
“But she might not be,” Galagi pointed out. “Maybe she’s waiting until we’re gone, and then she’ll.-“
“Attack the village,” Parugi nodded understandingly. “I don’t think so. Not even she could stay underwater forever; and there’s no where for her to hide in the village.”
Before Galagi could reply, a new voice sounded behind them, “Long time, no see.”
Both Toa whirled around. Toa Torith stood before them, smiling at them behind his Kanohi Kora. He held out a fist. Parugi smiled at the sight of the Toa Exa’s leader, and clanked his fist against Torith’s. Galagi did much the same.
“Torith,” Parugi greeted. “What brings you to the formerly serene and peaceful village of water?”
“It’s a long, painful story,” Torith answered; Parugi just noticed how beaten and tired he looked; as if he had just been in the middle of a large battle. “Come; I’ll tell you while we walk.”
“It all started earlier, while I was waiting in Turaga Mazen’s office in Ta-Exa. There was a massive bioquake shortly after he arrived-“
“I remember that!” Parugi said. “That was the whole reason I came here; to ensure that Ga-Exa hadn’t been damaged by it.”
Torith cast him a look, but otherwise showed no sign of annoyance at being interrupted.
“Anyway, right after this happened, this large group of Rohtahrak – you know; those beasts that live in the Shadow Zone? – somehow got into the village and started attacking and destroying everything in sight. I arrived in the streets just in time to stop a couple; but I found out that there was more to it than a random attack.
“I wandered the streets for a while, looking for more of the savage creatures, when I came across something worse; one of our old acquaintances, Dága. You remember him, right?”
“Former Toa of Fire, disappeared along with five of the other Toa Exa when Xarax came and eventually became Dark Hunters,” Galagi said. Torith looked surprised at the Dark Hunter part. “Yeah, we ran into Hetnuh. She told us a bit about what she, Dága and the others did when they left; that part seemed like the most exciting to her.”
“Hm,” Torith said, thinking about this for a moment. “Well, anyway, we had a short conversation, and then a fight. Ultimately, it ended in a draw, but that was only because Levrok arrived in the knick of time.
“After that, Mazen told us what he suspected; that the two Makuta who live in the Shadow Zone had turned away from the light and were attempting a take over of the island. He suspects that they are after six Orbs, which were, apparently, created several thousand years ago to bring the island together. So, he sent Levrok and I to retrieve them.”
“So then why are you here?” Galagi asked. “If the fate of the island rests in your hands, shouldn’t you be dealing with it? And where is Levrok?”
Torith’s hand twitched in annoyance. “I was just about to get to that.
“As I was saying, we went searching for the Orb of Sight – Le-Exa’s Orb. See, there is one Orb hidden in each section of the island (minus the Shadow Zone.) Unfortunately for us, we ran into Pharren and Severo, who not only got away, but left Levrok with both a broken wing and a broken spirit, since his Hordika helmet was crushed by Pharren during their getaway.”
He was silent for a moment, evidently thinking.
“We followed the two former Toa, and stumbled upon the Temple of Sight,” he said. “Luckily, they had set off all of the traps before we had arrived, so we had an easy time finding our way into the Orb’s chamber. That was when it happened…”
“What happened?” Parugi demanded.
“Levrok was blinded,” Torith stated. Galagi gasped, while Parugi stared questioningly at him. “See, the guardian of the Orb – Kythos – had knocked Pharren away, and into our path. She got up just as we were passing, and knocked Levrok into the Orb. For some reason, it mistook him as a threat and sucked away his vision as a result. That just left me, Severo, and Kythos.
“I didn’t have to wait long until it was my turn to fight. Kythos dispatched of Severo easily, and then turned to me. We had a fairly short fight, which I ended up winning. He allowed me to take the Orb and leave in piece, though not before granting me with this.”
He stopped, took his sword, and threw it. While it was still soaring through the air, he used his Magnetic powers to call it back to him.
“Magnetism?” Parugi said. “That’s impossible; Toa can’t control more than one element.”
“Apparently, they can,” Torith retorted. “We left the temple to go back to Ta-Exa, where Kythos had told us that Mazen would be able to help Levrok. Once we got there, he offered to help our friend by teaching him how to fight and such without his sight. He told me to come and ask you guys to help me in my search and that Kovian would be here as soon as he could come.
“And that’s why I’m here,” he told Galagi. “To tell both of you the mission and bring you with me.”
Both of the Toa were silent for a moment. After a few moments, Parugi spoke up.
“Let me get this straight,” he said. “You need us to help find a bunch of Orbs so that they don’t come into the possession of the Makuta, who would then use them to destroy the island and possibly more to the outside world?”
“That’s pretty much it, yeah,” Torith answered.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Parugi grinned. “I’m in.”
“If it’s to save the island… okay,” Galagi said. “Where do we start?”
“Here,” Torith said. “Like I said, there are Orbs in every Exa; since we’re here already, what better place to start looking?”
“You,” Levious barked at two of the Rohtahrak. “Scout ahead. Make sure there is nothing that could cause any permanent damage to the hired one.”
He flashed a look at Vuelo, who glared at the abomination.
“I’ve had enough of this,” the Dark Hunter muttered, moving further down the tunnel.
“I order you to halt,” Levious growled. When the Hunter did not comply, he launched one of his power draining blasts at him. Vuelo let out a yelp, and fell to the ground. Levious picked him up. “When I give you an order, you follow it. Got it?”
Vuelo did not answer; instead his eyes widened as he saw what lived in the tunnels. Levious turned around just in time to dodge a large, spider-like foot. He signaled for the Rohtahrak to attack.
“This must be where the Orb is,” Levious murmured. He turned to the Rohtahrak. “Keep it distracted while the Hunter and I retrieve the Orb!”
This post has been edited by Parugi: Aug 30 2008, 06:47 PM
Aug 30 2008, 06:45 PM
Group: New Members
Joined: 27-September 06
Member No.: 45906
Jaeda… Why did that name sound so familiar? Kovian wasn’t sure. Where ever he had heard it before, it didn’t matter now, he told himself. Right now, the only important thing to do was listen to the stranger’s words.
“How do you know of what has happened” he demanded. He noticed at that point that the street was completely abandoned except for himself and Jaeda. The Toa wondered about this.
“News travels quickly,” she answered. “Even little known things as this – of course, how I know is not a matter of importance – what matters is that you carefully follow my instructions.”
“I’m listening,” Kovian said. For some reason, he felt very inclined to trust this person…
Jaeda held up a hand, in which was a small chip. Kovian recognized it as a recording chip. She pressed a button, and six images appeared – each was identical to the rest, slowly spinning in the air. They seemed to be Orbs of some sort, though Kovian only vaguely recognized them… like he had seen them in a dream.
“Have you ever heard the Legend of the Orbs of Power?” Jaeda asked curiously. Kovian thought for a moment, and then nodded slightly. “It appears you do not fully remember… Allow me to refresh your memory.”
Jaeda pressed another button on the chip. The Orb images were replaced with an image of six small mini-islands.
“Long ago, Exa-Nui was nothing more than fragments, each with different environments for different races. Several hundred years after it first came to be, a Toa of Water named Exaina discovered the islands, searching for a home for her Matoran followers.”
At this point, the image had been replaced with a picture of a Toa and several Matoran.
“Deciding that the islands were a perfect haven for the Matoran, Exaina crafted six Orbs. Using their combined power, she brought the six sections together, fusing them into one island – at a price.”
The hologram was now a full map of Exa-Nui, showing the borders for each section, as well as the gates to the Shadow Zone.
“The Matoran were quick to colonize the island, sealing off the Shadow Section with nearly indestructible gates. Exaina hid the Orbs, and placed mysterious guardians to defend them. Later on, she was murdered on a nearby island called Xia, and the secret nearly forgotten by all. But, that is another story for another time. Right now, we must speak of these.”
The image turned back to the Orbs. Kovian now remembered why they seemed familiar: the legend. He looked at Jaeda.
“What do those have to do with me, again?” he asked. ”Must I destroy them, or what?”
“Oh, no,” she said, chuckling. “If you were to destroy them, or even move them an inch past the islands’ borders, then Exa-Nui would split back into separate sections. No; what you must do is find the Orbs, retrieve them, and bring them to me – for only then can your problem be corrected.”
Kovian considered this. It seemed like a dangerous task, though one that would potentially earn him the respect that he had so longed for… Something occurred to him: if messing with the Orbs was so dangerous, then why did she want them? Even in this state, the Toa had enough sense to know that going back to normal wasn’t worth endangering an entire island.
“This doesn’t seem right to me,” he said uncertainly, backing up a few steps. “Surely there is a more safe way to heal me? Or is there something else that you haven’t told me that requires the attention of the Orbs?”
“Very observant,” Jaeda smiled. “There is another factor in this whole affair, yes. There are two words for it, and they are Dark Hunters. The Shadowed One – the fearsome leader of that dreaded organization – wants the Orbs for himself. He has sent six of his finest Hunters to retrieve them and bring them to him. Your brethren are currently trying to get to them first, in an attempt to stop them, but I fear that they may fail soon.”
Dága gently pushed open the door, expecting to find sort of generator or something. What he had not expected was to be lifted off of his feet by a small group of mechanical arms. Contrary to his “hard as a rock” nature, he could not help but let out several screams as his armor was forcibly ripped off of his body. In several moments, his armor had been ripped apart by the aforementioned hands. Even more hands emerged, each one holding or helping to hold another piece of armor.
The suit was slammed onto the Dark Hunter’s body, bolted to his body, welded to the other pieces. His Kualsi was forcibly ripped from his face, replaced by what looked like a Kanohi Huna.
Dága gasped. The arms let go, and he fell to the floor. His nerves screamed in agony from the augmentation that it had just gone through. As he slipped unconscious, the CHIMERA armor began adding its own enhancements to his body.
Rodax turned to leave the genetics lab, only to find his way barred by Makuta Xaeda. Shadow Scepter in hand, his eyes narrowed as he sized the Toa up.
“I thought I sensed scum in here,” he said venomously. “Rodax, is it not? Or has some other shape shifting trash wandered into my fortress?”
“You know your… enemies… well,” Rodax chuckled lightly, casting a quick glance at the door. “No; I’m afraid the only other shifters on this island are you, your sister, and any other Makuta that have decided to join your… questionable cause…”
Xaeda advanced, keeping Rodax at the point of his blade. His mask of anger glowed slightly – Rodax suspected that he was suing it to keep his adrenaline – and therefore physical abilities – up.
“You know what I must do to you now, correct?” Xaeda said, his scepter already glowing with shadow energy.
“Aw, come on,” Rodax implored. “Can’t we just talk this out?”
Xaeda’s response was a shadow bolt. Rodax ducked under it.
“Guess not,” Rodax shrugged. Stepping back to put some distance between himself and the Makuta, Rodax sent a glob of plasma at Xaeda. The Makuta merely swept the glob away. Taking aim with his Ghost Blaster, he sent a bullet of energy at Rodax. The Sherif activated his Kanohi Faton, using his elasticity powers to twist around it.
“You know, this has been fun and all,” Rodax said. “But I’ve got to go.”
In a flash, he had leaped over to a nearby table, snatched up a mask of teleportation, and then used it to teleport back outside the fortress. Xaeda glared at where the intruder had been.
“This is not over,” he said, leaving the room.
Turaga Mazen’s voice seemed to come from the right. Levrok turned his head that direction, and immediately after that felt someone gently turning it to the left.
“You need to focus,” Turaga Mazen told him. Even through the darkness of being blind, Levrok could tell that the elder was frowning at him. “You’ve relied far too much on your vision over the years – now is he time to practice a different sense.”
Levrok sighed, aggravated, but nonetheless began trying to hear for extra, background sounds
“Breath,” Mazen said quietly, putting emphasize on the word. “Clear your mind…”
Levrok closed his sightless eyes, listening. He ran his fingers over the shaft of his arrow. With a deep breath, he whipped around, launching his arrow at the target that Mazen had set up. Mazen smiled as he saw the arrow embed itself near the center.
“Excellent!” he said. “You were close – a little to the left and you would have gotten a bulls-eye. Keep trying.”
Vuelo stared at the ceiling of the tunnel. Behind him, gagged and bound just as much as he was, was Levious. Both were being carried upon several dozen bodies, unable to break free of their thin yet durable web bounds. So, they were left to their thoughts.
Vuelo, currently, was thinking of the plan. Jaeda and Xaeda had informed them that their jobs would be dangerous – they never said anything about becoming the appetizers of a horde of Guardian Spiders. Even now, Vuelo was beginning to wonder whether they had been set up for this.
Nah, he realized. They would never kill one of their most prized creations…
The “prized creation” he was thinking about was right behind him. Levious was too valuable as a Toa-killing machine to send to Karzahni -- surely they had had a plan for him?
The Dark Hunter thought further on. There did not seem to be much to the plan, now that he thought about it – get the Orbs, take over the island, and return home -- that was what they had been told. It seemed too simple… like there were some missing links. Of course, who was he to judge? He was not a planner – merely the force that was used to succeed. In the past, he had always left the plans for the others to think up… he had done it on most of his Hunter missions, on his travels to Odina, and even when he was still a Toa Exa.
Inside, he was actually beginning to miss those days. For however short a time that he had been a true Toa, the adventures had been exceedingly exciting to participate in. What would have happened had he not left with the others? Would he be in the same position as the current Toa? Would he, Vuelo, be recognized as a true, noble hero? He vaguely remembered the reason that he and the others had left in the first place – because they were not praised. The current six – Rodax, Torith, and the others – had always been held in higher regard than he and his companions, but then…
Was it possible for that to have changed in time?
This post has been edited by Parugi: Aug 30 2008, 07:08 PM
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