Bionicle: Chronicles Of Krahiki 2, Book 2- The Swarm
Bionicle: Chronicles Of Krahiki 2, Book 2- The Swarm
Jun 30 2008, 12:27 AM
Defender of Mata Nui
Group: Premier Members
Joined: 26-January 03
Member No.: 4694
Chapter 11- Through Onu-Koro
The three Matoran and Kuriko had been walking through the desert for hours before they reached the opening into Mount Ihu. For Krahiki it was an unpleasantly bright area, but to his companions it seemed to be no problem. He recalled that a Matoran by the name of Midak lived around here and so he fished around in his pack for his red Pakari.
Midak was an odd Tohunga, he recalled, but not someone he knew well. His reputation for enjoying the light had made him unpopular among the Onu-Matoran, and Krahiki could easily relate, not only out of being universally loathed, but also for his tolerance when it came to heights that Onu-Koronans lacked, having not lived in Le-Koro.
As he got closer, though, Krahiki lowered his Pakari, for Midak’s hut was empty. The ussals weren’t in their stables, either, which was strange. (Generally, taxi crab-tenders aren’t supposed to leave their stations while the crabs are being used.)
Kopau had noticed this too and was scratching his head over it. He sped up his walk towards the small hut and Krahiki followed closely. Poru lagged behind, still glaring at the others.
“This is awful strange,” Kopau said, stepping in through the doorway. “There’s a bunch o’ lightstones everywhere.”
“That’s not unusual for Midak…” Krahiki responded. He glanced around and noted little out of the ordinary considering the person living there. Everything was rather messy and disheveled, but for an eccentric like Midak this was the norm.
He glanced out the window into the yard and noticed Poru looking intently at something on the ground. The door to the stables was open behind him.
“Footprints!” Poru called to them. “They’re new!”
Krahiki and Kopau raced out into the back and met with Poru. He told them: “Midak’s footprints are here, along with a couple of Ussals’. It looks like he led them out of their stables maybe just an hour ago.”
Now that he looked, Krahiki could actually make out a trail of footprints leading into the tunnel to Onu-Koro. He began to follow them and was quickly joined by the others. The dark tunnel yawned open up at him and he couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous at the thought of going to Ta-Koro through the village that hated him so much.
Still, it was the fastest route, without a doubt, and he didn’t want to wait to help the Le-Koronans. So he led his group into the tunnel and walked dutifully, Kuriko at his side.
I wonder why Midak brought his ussals down here… Krahiki wondered. Perhaps he’s come to sell them at the Great Market, along with all those fish-salesman and carvers…
They continued to walk through the tunnels for maybe half an hour before Kopau stopped and put his audio-receptor to the rocky wall. Krahiki glanced at him with an expression that seemed to ask what he was doing.
He then remembered, of course, that it couldn’t be seen in the darkness, so he asked the question out loud:
“What are you doing?”
“I hear… Water,” The Po-Matoran muttered with a furrowed brow that really couldn’t be seen. “Soun’s like maybe the next tunnel over?”
Krahiki concentrated and realized that he could hear it as well. It wasn’t uncommon to hear a drop of water echoing through the tunnels, but this was different. It sounded like flowing water, perhaps a river, but the typical roar that accompanied that was really more like plain white noise here. Probably the effect of the sound traveling through stone.
“Bohrok?” asked Poru, his orange eyes glowing brightly in the darkness.
“No,” Krahiki decided. “Sounds natural to me.”
There he went again! He had no evidence whatsoever, but he felt sure it was natural. Completely sure. He hadn’t even given any thought to it. Why did he keep doing that?
They kept walking in silence for a while until Poru gave a slight jump. He spun around and looked at the rocky ground beneath him a few times before speaking.
“I’m standing in a puddle.”
Krahiki felt along the ground and realized that everything did seem a bit wet and slick. Strange he hadn’t noticed it before. He knew there wasn’t any underground stream that passed through this tunnel and he glanced around in confusion and mild irritation.
“Let’s just get going,” He said with a frown. “I want to see Jala.”
They continued walking and after a few minutes the tunnel began to broaden and there was a definite upward slant to it. Nothing strange there, Krahiki knew. It had always been like that.
The familiarity would have reassured him had it not been for the fact that there was a definite trickle of water now, pouring down the sloping tunnel. Dirt was being washed away, leaving loose, slippery gravel to walk on.
Kopau looked distastefully at his wet surroundings and shuddered. One thing he hated was wet, slippery… Wetness. He trudged along uphill and when the slope stopped they were in a cavern.
It was a cavern of decent size, with a multitude of tunnels leading out of each corner. Stalactites decorated the ceiling.
While the size was decent, however, he didn’t think that any other aspect of it was in any way remotely decent. It was flooded half-a-bio deep in many areas and water flowed into the tunnels leading downwards from there. Water flowed in from other, higher tunnels. A few of the passageways had collapsed into piles of earth and stone.
As the group waded through the water to the correct tunnel, Kopau attempted to stand upon and hop across un-submerged rocks to stay relatively dry. Being the only one looking down (To keep his balance), he was the first to notice the intruders.
Were those lightstones down that tunnel? Orange lightstones?
As they began to move, he cried out in fright.
Krahiki and Poru snapped their heads around and Kuriko’s eyes swiveled in place. A dozen glowing eyes clustered together in a tunnel below and all of a sudden a blinding blue light illuminated the area.
Activating their elemental powers, the Gahlok fired a blast of raging whitewater up through the tunnel and at the Matoran. The blast hit them with the force of an explosion and rocked the very tunnel itself.
Kuriko exerted his strength and planted his pointy legs into the stone beneath him, withstanding the water and allowing Krahiki and his companions to grab hold of him and avoid being washed away- But the water continued to come.
They were submerged now, and the ussal couldn’t stay in place much longer. He struggled and struggled against the onslaught of water but quickly succumbed to its relentless pressure and let go, letting the current whip him through a tunnel.
At least, for as long as the three Matoran held onto him, they wouldn’t be separated.
For perhaps ten minutes they were flung through a nearly full tunnel, only occasionally being pushed to the tunnel’s roof where they could catch a breath. The water churned and broke the walls, but they held on tightly and eventually washed into a large cavern of still, neck-deep water.
Krahiki let go of his ussal and leaned against the rocky wall. His pack was gone and he was horribly scraped, but his armor had survived. Kuriko sank underwater to the floor, where Krahiki imagined he was thanking Mata Nui for being amphibious.
Krahiki watched Kopau shiver and cough- Very uncomfortable, but alive. Poru, also, had lost his pack and disks and such, but clung furiously to the Kiril Krahiki had seen him with back in Ta-Koro. He wondered vaguely why he had it and why he treated it with such importance, but found himself much too tired to think too hard about it.
Krahiki frowned and wished that he still had his scythe with him in case he found more Bohrok, but he shrugged and got over it.
The four began walking again through a tunnel. Krahiki recognized it and knew he would reach Ta-Koro soon.
* * *
The skeleton-creature was sprawled, still, in the roots of a tree when he received Vitara’s communications. He dangled a small Rahi-mouse by the tail in his claws and toyed with it as Krahiki’s experiences over the past hours were injected into his memory.
Master, He communicated. It is good that you are well. Why did you have your host initially ignore the dangers of the Gahlok?
And again the horrible, hissing voice of Vitara crept its way into the skull of his servant. You would think, my friend, that after all these years we would have become patient. It is not so... I was hoping to skip the step in Ta-Koro and cut right to the climax of our plans. It turned out to be more hazardous than I anticipated.
But all is well, still? The Skeleton-Thing inquired.
All is well. I will be with you soon, my friend. But I cannot communicate when Krahiki needs my guidance. Finalize arrangements with Odina.
I'm going to Iceland for five weeks. Once I return I'll get back to updating regularly.
Sep 13 2008, 04:27 PM
Defender of Mata Nui
Group: Premier Members
Joined: 26-January 03
Member No.: 4694
Chapter 13- Parentage & The Fau Swamp
Krahiki opened his eyes and looked around at his new tent. The tent-flap was left open and the grey light of an overcast sky shined in. It was cool today and, due to the clouds, it was difficult to tell the time precisely. He stretched out his legs on his makeshift bed and yawned comfortably.
For the first time in a while he had had a good sleep. He knew that soon he would have to face more perils in rescuing Le-Koro, but nonetheless he was happy to have a good rest for a while.
Krahiki rose out of bed and ducked through the exit. Kuriko was ambling around contentedly, reaching into the underbrush for scraps of food. He couldn’t see Kopau, but he was most likely nearby.
Downed trees were everywhere, as were the omnipresent pits carved out by the Pahrak. Many of these remained full of water. The secret tunnel to Onu-Koro which had previously held Krahiki’s hut was now caved in, and it contained a several-inch deep pool of water at the bottom. The hatch and covering once at the top was thoroughly demolished and all that remained of the hut within was a pile of rocks that formed the base.
Krahiki inspected his surroundings quickly and as such became bored quickly. He walked over to the box Jala had left for them and rooted through it- Along with other supplies, including weapons and such, were a couple of Ruki fish and Bula berries. He removed these and sat on a log, eating happily. Kuriko scuttled up to him and Krahiki treated him to a small piece of Ruki fish.
After this he stood up, more alert now, and walked around a bit in search of Kopau. Not seeing him immediately, he cleared his throat and called for him.
“Hey, Kopau! Where are you?”
In the distance he saw Kopau’s familiar Kakama appear from a ravine and the Po-Matoran shuffled out and began jogging towards the tent. When he reached Krahiki he paused and spoke.
“I was lookin’ fer dry wood to start a fire,” He said. “It’s not nessary to cook the Ruki to eat it, but it’s best that way. Everythin’s still damp, though- I ‘spect the trees themselves were covered in ice so the ice melted straight onto ‘em.”
Krahiki gave an uninterested shrug and looked around again. He thought for a moment before speaking up.
“Think that we should go down to Ta-Koro to ask Jala if Lewa’s been found yet?” Krahiki asked.
Kopau nodded and offered his mask to Krahiki. He accepted it and handed Kopau his own.
“I think that perhaps only one of us should go,” He said. “We can remain inconspicuous better that way.”
Kopau agreed with this and Krahiki set out through the woods. He clambered over a couple of fallen logs and occasionally had to inch his way around treacherous pools of water, but overall his progress was fast. Within an hour or so he had reached the edge of the Charred Forest.
He briefly surveyed the lava-field, noting that Agni and Maglya still guarded the only entrance into the village. He started towards them, making sure to stand up straight and keep a look of dignity and casualness on his mask. He didn’t want to draw attention to himself.
He walked on over to the wall and quietly climbed up the rungs of the ladder. The two guards sat at the top talking about nothing in particular, and Krahiki went right past them, virtually unnoticed. He climbed down the other side and turned to face the village.
He began purposefully heading down towards Jala’s planning room and was surprised when he nearly bumped into Jala, who exited from a supply-hut right in front of him.
“Ah! Oh, hi, Jala.”
“Hi,” He replied, his eyebrows rising in bewilderment. He struggled to think for a moment before speaking. “How are you doing… Aiyetoro?”
Krahiki briefly looked disappointedly at him as Jala guided him to his meeting-room. They walked up the spiral staircase and he shut the wooden door behind him once they were safely inside the main chamber. Jala pushed a poorly-made replacement diorama of Mata Nui to the other side of the table, making room for the two Matoran to sit down opposite each other.
“You know,” Krahiki said, “Aiyetoro doesn’t wear a Kakama.”
“Well he was the first Onu-Matoran that came to mind.”
“It’s Tehuti who wears a Kakama.”
“That’s nice,” Jala dismissed him. “So, what are you here for?”
“News on the Lewa-search. How is it?”
“He’s been found!” Jala smiled. “Onua got him yesterday. So, as for what you’re probably going to ask next, yes, we are preparing an attack on the Bohrok in Le-Koro. I was just talking to Takua about it when you ran into me. Onua managed to find two free Le-Matoran who had escaped the Krana, by the way- Kongu and Tamaru. They’re helping us to fight. They’ve set up a meeting-place in an abandoned hut in Le-Wahi.”
Krahiki nodded and thought for a moment.
“So, how are we doing this, precisely? Who’s going to be there?”
“The Onu-Matoran have built a tremendous amount of Boxors now, so they’re the ones spearheading the operation. The Ta-Koro Guard is mostly backup, but we’ll be there.”
Krahiki thought for another moment and asked, “So when is it starting?”
“We hope to reach Le-Wahi by nighttime. Traps, Boxors, and all that will be put into place then and in the darkness of early morning. We’ll lead the attack a little while past sunrise, once the sun is as bright as it gets. With the dense tree-cover blocking so much light it pays to attack at a bit past dawn, regardless of tradition.”
“And who’s going?”
“Well, I’ve only gotten permission from Vakama to take twenty guardsmen, to tell you the truth. Onu-Koro’s sending many more, though. Many regiments. Our village needs more protection, you see, as theirs is underground and invulnerable to most Bohrok breeds. They have the strategic advantage over our village.”
Jala shifted uncomfortably in his seat for a moment and chewed his tongue a bit. “And, uh, Poru won’t be there. He’s relieved of duty for a while to get his behavior towards you out of his system. And to mourn for his, uh, father…”
Krahiki blinked. He had forgotten all about this aspect of the Ta-Matoran! He said, “Yes, I’ve been meaning to ask about that. Do you know anything about this father-business? I thought I was the only one.”
“Well,” Jala said with a frown, “I’m not so sure myself. I’m not 100% sure that he was really his father at all, at least in any natural sense. I suspect not like a sea bird, anyways. I just know that Poru was born, somehow, three hundred or so years ago. He had an empty mind, like a baby bird, or like all of us when the Great Spirit first brought us to this land. As you know, we obviously don’t remember any details from those early days on Mata Nui, and I assume he doesn’t remember his early days either.”
“It may be obvious to you,” Krahiki muttered, “But remember that I was ‘born’ at some point, too, earlier on. But back to the story: What was his father like? Was he always here?”
“He was here for as long as I can remember, though he never seemed young to me. Always older and wiser. Quiet, though. He didn’t tell stories to us like the Turaga. Kept to himself. His name was Tipuna. Now that I think of it, he raised Poru in the same way the Turaga raised all the Matoran… Except you two.”
Krahiki wondered if this was at all what his own parents had been like. Had they actually been different, physiologically, from other Matoran, or had he come to them from elsewhere? He thought of the rusty sphere he had seen washed up from the sea… Had he come ashore like a Toa, he wondered?
Jala seemed to be thinking as well, and after a little while he ventured a bit of new info on the subject.
“You know,” He said thoughtfully, “Now that I think a bit, Tipuna didn’t keep to himself entirely. I remember he always had a Guard Ensign he carried with him so that he could use the cable-car to visit Ko-Koro. He had a friend up there living in the Drifts.”
Krahiki furrowed his brow in thought and spoke again.
“Well, I guess I’d better get going. When should Kopau and I come to you to depart for Le-Koro?” As he said this, he came close to not mentioning Kopau, though he wasn’t sure why. All of a sudden he felt a bit of resentment towards having Kopau for company, and he suspected he was under Vitara’s influence again. He shook it off.
“Come at dusk and remain inconspicuously around the watch-towers. We’re gathering there.”
The two Tohunga said their friendly goodbyes, and Krahiki was off on his way down the spiral staircase. As he closed Jala’s door behind him, though, he had a lot on his mind, twisting and turning right below the surface. Was there a connection between these two “born” Matoran? Surely there must be! It was otherwise unprecedented.
And if there remained an accomplice of Tipuna living somewhere in the Drifts, should he seek him out when he had the chance? Perhaps this Ko-Matoran would have the answers he was looking for- What the sphere on the beach was, why he had a father, etc.
But perhaps more pertinent was his odd discomfort with bringing Kopau with him to Le-Koro… Was this trick by Vitara some unintended warning of things to come?
He wanted badly to know, but Vitara silenced these thoughts. He would learn soon enough.
* * *
It was late now, and Krahiki and Kopau trudged along behind a Po-Koro style caravan. Many of the guardsmen going on this trip sat inside the mobile planning room, leaving the lower-ranking Matoran to walk alongside and protect it from danger. A couple of stubborn Fire-Maha pulled it along and now and then Kopau went up to them and motivated them when they stopped walking and refused to budge.
Kuriko had been left at Krahiki’s tent because he feared his ussal might get hurt in the attack, but at this point he was beginning to regret this decision. His legs were tired. They had been walking for many hours in the smoky blackness of the Charred Forest and the only light illuminating the night was the orange flickering of the torches in the caravan.
Krahiki didn’t like their flickering. It was manic and disorganized and made his sensitive Onu-Matoran eyes reel a bit. Nothing at all like the cool and even glowing of lightstones. He learned to ignore it, though, and they marched dutifully along like actual Guardsmen.
They had just traveled a winding path around the green foothills of the Mangai Volcano and they were nearing the Fau Swamp. Suddenly, a loud voice rang out from the caravan:
“Guards, halt! The swamp ahead is too muddy to get caravans through! Take supplies and leave the caravan here- From this point on, we walk!”
This was of course nothing new on this trip for Krahiki, but he heard a cacophony of groans from those lucky higher-ranking Matoran who got to sit down and ride inside.
“Quit your complaining! We’ll walk North-West towards Le-Kini! The hut is on the way!”
The grumbling Guardsmen exited their comfortable vehicle, lugging around bags full of shovels and disks. The group now proceeded along their path. Soon Krahiki entered knee-deep mud and had to pull his leg from the muck for every step with an unpleasant, wet schlopp!-sound.
The Guard went on through the mud for a while, and Krahiki noted with amusement that up ahead of him, Agni was holding his shiny, polished Miru as high above the danger-zone as possible. After some time the tired and filthy Ta-Matoran arrived in a clearing between some trees, bustling with activity.
A small, rapidly decaying hut stood there, covered in holes and surrounded by Onu-Matoran. (Krahiki was glad now more than ever that he was wearing Kopau’s mask as disguise.) A number of formidable-looking machines dotted the area, crushing ferns into the ground with their mechanical feet. He took these to be the “Boxors.”
Krahiki approached the hut and saw that Takua the Chronicler, his old friend Nuparu, Kongu, and Tamaru were inside speaking to each other. Jala walked towards the hut and Krahiki caught up with him.
“Mr. Captain, sir,” Krahiki said to him, half-jokingly, as if he were one of his lowest subordinates, “Is everyone here going to participate in the meeting in there?”
“No, Tehuti.” He said sternly, eying Krahiki’s Kakama. (This was a Jala who knew which Onu-Koronan was which!) “They’re just going over the basics. Kongu and Tamaru were discovered by Onua before he saved Lewa, so they didn’t even know their Toa had been freed. They’re being briefed.”
“May I be briefed, Mr. Captain Jala Sir?”
“Stop talking like that,” He said seriously. “And yes. Right now the Guard-members are heading over to near Le-Koro to dig pits at the edge of the forest. We’re planning to lure the Le-Matoran there and trap them. And Nuhvok do best only in tight quarters, so we’re reducing their strength, as well.”
“Lehvak were there, too, when I was there.”
“Admittedly, they’ll be a problem. Still, though, we have a good amount of Boxors that should do the job well.”
“I see. What should I do?”
“Well, I was heading down to monitor the digging. You and Kopau are free to come along.”
* * *
A trio of Dark Hunters stood on the dark shore of the City of Legends. They had spent the night there, and had awoken early in the morning. Walking back to their small boat, Antigrus paused. The Great Barrier would pose no problem for them- Not with this strange, thin map. Every twist in a tunnel was illustrated in wonderful detail.
His single eye glared at his partners in the boat. He stamped out the remains of a campfire with which they had cooked their breakfast and walked over the water. Nanamu approached and assisted him in launching the boat, though it was hardly helpful given the Matoran-sized Dark Hunter’s limited reserves of strength.
They hopped aboard and the three began to row. They would reach the surface-island soon.
Bet you can't guess who the third Dark Hunter is.
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