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BZ-Koro: To Bring Back Bionicle


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BZ-Koro: To Bring Back Bionicle

Disclaimer: All references to members and their characteristics are purely fictional and do not reflect on the actual members. Except the parts they like.

Chapter 1

Franco Mango looked up from his scroll as he heard a loud horn sound throughout the air. It had been a long time since he had last heard such a noise, but he still remembered its significance; the BZ-Koro Administration had an announcement to make.

Franco packed up his studies in the Storyline and Theory forum and headed to General Discussion. As of late, the old GD forum was usually lightly populated, ever since the ending of Bionicle. All of BZ-Koro had dwindled in activity since Lego ended the theme that had brought all of them together. Some of them stayed, like Franco, to reminisce about the past years. Others merely returned for the friendships they had formed, or to do battle in various RPGs set up by the staff. But activity in BZ-Koro was nowhere near what it had been in the glory days, when every forum was packed with excited members showing off their creations, discussing the story, or merely making friends with people who had similar interests.
But now Franco was seeing some of the old activity come back with the upcoming announcement. Members were flocking to GD, including some that Franco hadn’t seen in years. Something was certainly stirring up excitement.

A member cut out from the crowd and approached Franco, and he recognized his friend Phyoohrii. “Do you know what this is all about?” he asked.

“Not exactly,” Phyoohrii said. “But the rumor is that this is actually an official announcement from Lego, and they’re just doing it through the Administration especially for us.”

“That’s unusual,” Franco said. “Normally they just do a wide announcement to all the forums. Why should BZ-Koro get special treatment?”

“Unless it has something to do with Bionicle,” Phyoohrii said eagerly. “After all, we’re still the biggest Bionicle community, even if the theme has been dead for four years.”

“I guess we’ll find out,” Franco said, as the two of them joined the growing crowd inside GD.

In the distance, they could see the stage where a handful of Staff members were waiting, including Black Six, the Administrator of BZ-Koro. As the latecomers finally wove their way in, Black Six stepped forward and silenced everybody with a wave of his hand.

“I am sure you are all curious as to why I have asked you here today,” Black Six started, his voice booming across the forum. “I have good news, but it is also tainted with bad news. But let’s start out with what’s important; Lego is ready to bring Bionicle back.”

Cheers erupted across the forum, so much that they even drowned out Black Six’s voice. He waited for a moment for it to settle down before he continued. “We have all waited a long time for our favorite theme to return, and Lego has finally responded to us. However, while they have plans in place, there is but one major roadblock we must cross first.”

“Do we need to get rid of Hero Factory?” Portalfig asked, referring to the theme that had replaced Bionicle. “You say the word, and I can see to it that Furno inexplicably ends up in the scrap metal pile.”

Black Six shook his head. “No, it is nothing so extreme. You see, Lego cannot bring back Bionicle without. . . the Mask of the Bionicle.”

The crowd gasped, but most of it was in exasperation. “There was never a Mask of Bionicle in the storyline” member Tomana shouted. “”What are you getting at here?”

“That is true, there was never an official mask with that name,” Black Six explained. “But such a mask exists, and it is of the utmost importance. I will let Forum Leader Makaru explain.”

Makaru, one of the most powerful of the BZ-Koro Staff, stepped forward. “There is more to Bionicle than just the story canon. Lego crafted the Bionicle world in it’s own parallel universe. They have done this with many of their themes, but Bionicle was one of the more complex, and it was also their first. And as such, there was a single artifact that held it all together. That artifact is the Mask of the Bionicle.”

Whispers broke out amongst the crowd as people began to speculate what the Mask of the Bionicle was. Letagi, a master of collectibles, was heard saying, “It must be a very powerful Kanohi, and an extremely rare one at that. I’ve never even heard rumors about it before now.”

Franco, however, was more concerned with the issue at hand. “Why do they need this mask?” he asked Makaru.

“The circumstances are unfortunate,” Makaru continued. “The whole existence of the Bionicle universe, from Mata Nui to Karda Nui to Spherus Magna, is held in place by this mask. However, when Lego ended the theme, they did not shut down the universe. So the worlds there continue to exist, even though the theme has no relevance. But Lego wants to reboot the universe, and to do that they need to get rid of the old one.”

Another gasp was heard from the crowd, and this one had a far angrier undertone. “What do you mean they’re going to reboot it?” Eighty-Eight demanded. “There are so many plotlines they need to resolve.” Other members shouted similar complaints.

Black Six frowned. “We are not ones who can influence that decision. Lego has decided that if they bring back Bionicle, they will reboot the universe. And if they can’t do a reboot, then they won’t do anything at all.”

As the crowd again fell silent, Makaru continued. “If Lego had merely shut down the mask when they ended the theme, there wouldn’t be any concerns. But they left it in place, partially for us, the fanbase, to enjoy for old time’s sake.”

“Why can’t we just have two universes?” Reznas asked. “One for the old Bionicle and one for the new?”

“They would overlap too much, and it would be far too unstable,” Makaru said. “It could potentially bring the whole universe down and have serious ramifications. Instead, Lego needs the mask recovered so they can properly shut it down. The only problem is. . . Lego no longer has access to the Bionicle universe.”

There was a resounding, “WHAT?” heard from the crowd, and Makaru hastily tried to explain. “Lego’s portals to the Bionicle universe were abandoned long ago, and have since been decommissioned. They have no easy way to get back into it. However. . .”

Black Six cut him off and stepped forward. “This is where BZ-Koro comes in. We still have portals to the Bionicle universe opened. You see, they were thrown together back in the day, based on Lego’s design but crafted by our own members. They are still functional, to this very day, thanks to the continued maintenance done by the BZ-Koro Staff. And currently, they are the only known way into the Bionicle universe.”

“So Lego is going to send their people through BZ-Koro to access the portals?” Lyichir asked.

“No, Lego will not be doing that,” Black Six said offhandedly. “The employees they have on hand are too inexperienced to pull off the task, and the ones who know what they’re doing are too busy with other projects. Instead, they are relying on us, the BZ-Koro community, to pull off this task for them.”

“Wait, does this mean what I think it means?” Phyoohrii asked.

“Lego will officially allow a team of BZ-Koro members to enter the Bionicle universe for the purpose of locating and retrieving the Mask of Bionicle,” Black Six said. “It is an honor for us to be asked to fulfill such a task, but it is not one we should take lightly. The mission could potentially be dangerous, and it will test your skills. But if we don’t do this, then Bionicle will never come back.”

As the crowd absorbed this, Black Six continued. “Over the next few days, we will conduct tryouts for members to join the team that will head into the Bionicle universe. It will be to make sure that you are fit and strong enough to endure the mission, and we will select the best to fulfill it. Forum Leader Makaru will be head the team on their mission, but we need you to volunteer to join and help us. We need you to bring back Bionicle!”

The crowd roared again, and already members surged forward to sign up their names. Among them were Phyoohrii and Franco Mango. The two of them shared a glance and signed up together, eager to help bring about the return of their favorite Lego theme.

Black Six stepped down from the stage and let the lower staff deal with all the new sign ups. As he walked away from the crowd, Makaru rushed to catch up to him.

“Are you sure this is still a good idea?” Makaru asked.

“As I’ve told you before, this is the only way to bring back Bionicle,” Black Six replied, annoyed that Makaru was bringing up the subject again. “Lego personally came to me to ask for help, and I don’t want to let them down. And clearly, neither do our members.”

“But you were intentionally withholding important information,” Makaru said. “There is a reason Lego won’t do this themselves!”

“I told the members that this will be dangerous,” Black Six said. “That’s why we won’t send in any who can’t handle themselves.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Makaru said, frowning. “Think of all the staff you’ve already sent in who we’ve lost contact with. DeeVee. Takuma Nuva. Even an entire squad of Reporters. Do you really think a hapless group of regular members will fare any better?”

“That is why I am having you lead them,” Black Six said. “You’ll make sure they complete their task and come back alive.”

“I still don’t think this is the right decision,” Makaru pressed.

“Unfortunately, that is not your decision to make,” Black Six said, his eyes narrowing. “Now, I would suggest you get ready to lead the new recruits. Because one way or another, we are going to get that mask. End of discussion.”

With that, Black Six walked off, leaving Makaru behind to wonder just how the mission would go.

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Chapter 2

Franco Mango and Phyoohrii both entered the new training forum. Both of them had been enlisted into the team that would retrieve the Mask of the Bionicle, having passed the various physical and mental tests given to them by the BZ-Koro staff. Now, the team members were given a chance to practice together, in order to hone their skills before the adventure began.

Franco looked around at the other members, some of who were already in sparing matches with each other. “I count about ten others here,” he said.

“Not a bad crowd,” Phyoohrii commented. “We should be able to make it through the Bionicle universe without issue if we all work together.”

A large, muscular member lumbered over to the two of them. “Who are you?” he demanded. “This is a training ground for the adventurers only.”

“Well, that’s us,” Franco said, pulling up his certificate he had received from the staff.

The large member frowned. “You’re puny. I’m surprised you got accepted.”

“There’s more to exploring than just being strong,” Phyoohrii commented. “I’m Phyoohrii, and this is my friend Franco Mango. Who are you?”

“I’m Gurk, an expert weapons maker,” Gurk said. “And I don’t need you ants to get in my way of finding this mask.”

“So much for working together,” Franco mumbled.

“Too many of these members are puny,” Gurk continued. He gestured over to two members who were looking over some paperwork together. “Those are Tekulo and Pommy. The two of them aren’t even fighters.” Next, he pointed to two members engaging in a duel. “And that’s Trijhak and Voltex. At least they’re trying to fight.”

Franco turned to watch the duel. Trijhak had a crossbow, and he was racing around firing arrows at Voltex. Voltex was standing his ground and knocking aside the arrows with his sword, but his actions seemed to be all defense. Trijhak took noticed of this and decided to rush forward, powering up a plasma arrow as he ran. But at the last minute, Voltex sidestepped and avoided the plasma blast. With startling swiftness, he swung his sword up and smacked Trijhak on the top of his head with the flat of his blade. Trijhak fell face first into the dirt.

“Amateurs,” Gurk grumbled, and he wandered off.

Franco and Phyoohrii, however, approached the duelists. “Nice one,” Franco said to Voltex, as Phyoohrii helped Trijhak to his feet. “You’ve got some decent moves.”

“We did win again, didn’t we, yes, yes,” Voltex said, not talking to Franco directly. “Yes, Rhindon, we beat them, yes we did.”

“Who is Rhindon?” Franco asked, confused.

Voltex’s eyes suddenly went wide, and he backed away. “He knows you name, he said it. Mustn’t let him speak to you. Must flee.”

“What are you talking about?” Franco pressed on, but Voltex turned and skittered away.

“He’s had a few Kohlii balls to the head,” Phyoohrii said. “Still, that was an impressive fight.”

“Don’t let his mannerisms fool you, he’s saner than he looks,” Trijhak said. “Nice to meet you two. Part of the team too, eh?”

Franco nodded, and introductions were made. “You were quite good with that crossbow.”

“Yeah, I’ve had a lot of practice with it,” Trijhak said. “But not so much in a face-to-face fight like this. I tend to be better at sniping from afar.”

“Have you met all the others yet?” Phyoohrii asked.

Trijhak shrugged. “Well, I guess, although I’m not exactly a huge people person. But I still have checked on the stats of a bunch of these folks. That powerhouse over there is Gurk. . .”

“Yeah, we’ve met him.”

“He’s plenty strong, and is good with a lot of weapons,” Trijhak continued. “But he’s slow, so a quick attack would be most effective on him.” He pointed to some of the other members. “That’s Letagi. He’s a decent fighter, but also has a lot of knowledge about collectibles, like masks and such. For your own sanity, don’t get him started on the topic. That one over there is Cyrix. He’s a bit of an eccentric goofball, but he’s a good crafter. His process seems to be quite random, but in the end it seems to come together quite nicely. Granted, his fighting skills are dismal, but we can’t all be warriors, I guess. And that gal to your right goes by the name Urye. She seems fairly closed off, but I saw her beat down Voltex earlier with just a staff, so she’s not one to be messed with.”

“Who’s the small guy over there?” Franco asked.

“Oh, don’t let his size fool ya,” Trijhak said. “That’s Wrinkledlion. He seems quiet and small, but he’s probably one of the strongest here, rivaling even Gurk. It’s kind of surprising that he joined the team; he’s not usually very outgoing, and to sign up for an adventure is unusual for him. That makes me think he’s probably playing a long game.”

“Wait, what’s that?” Phyoohrii asked, pointing to a feline who was prowling on the other side of the forum. “Is that some Rahi for us to practice against?”

“No, that would be Skitty,” Trijhak said.

“Is she someone’s pet?”

“No, she’s a member,” Trijhak said. “Well, she is a cat, and she doesn’t really speak, but she’s very ferocious in battle, so better to have her with us, I say.” He turned back to Phyoohrii and Franco. “So what do you two have to offer the team?”

“I’m a disc maker,” Phyoohrii explained. “I can make Kanoka with any power, and I’m a pretty good shot with them too.”

“Oh good, another long distance shooter,” Trijhak said. “And you?” he asked of Franco.

“I’m a decent swordsman,” Franco said with a shrug. “But I’m really in this just for the chance to explore the Bionicle universe, you know.”

“A swordsman, huh?” said a voice behind him, and Franco spun around to see Gurk. “Just how good are you.”

“Good. . . good enough,” Franco stuttered, put off by Gurk’s sudden appearance.

“Then how about a quick duel,” Gurk said, pulling a hammer from his belt.

“Okay, a friendly match to show each other our skills!” Franco said, trying his best not to sound too nervous. “Excellent idea.”

Trijhak and Phyoohrii backed away, and Franco drew his sword and went into a fighting stance. He eyes Gurk, whose size was quite intimidating. But he remembered Trijhak’s advice, and decided a speed attack would be best. “Whenever you’re ready,” he said to Gurk.

“Give me your best shot,” Gurk said.

Franco darted forward, and then feigned a move to Gurk’s right. But then he switched his step and shot to the left, swinging his blade up. He aimed to lash out at Gurk’s shoulder, hoping a quick wound would inhibit him in battle. But right before his blade would’ve struck, Gurk shifted slightly, and Franco’s sword sliced only air.

Gurk spun around and swung his hammer hard. Franco was still recovering from his failed attack and didn’t see Gurk’s movement in time. The hammer struck him in the small of his back, and sent him flying ten feet through the air. He hit the ground with a crunch.

“I think that I won this round,” Gurk commented.

“Yes, I think you did,” Franco admitted, as he painfully got to his feet. “Well done.”

Gurk ignored the compliment. “You’re a bad liar,” he said. “You're too easy to read. I knew you weren’t a good swordsman, and you proved me right. Don’t get in my way again.”

“Sure, nice to meet you too, so excited to work together with you,” Franco muttered sarcastically to himself as Gurk wandered off again.

“Don’t let ‘im get you ya,” Trijhak said, walking over to them. “Gurk doesn’t like anybody, and he’ll mess with you all if you let him.”

“Okay, so maybe it’s not going to be the easiest group of people to work with,” Phyoohrii said. “But if they can all handle their own, we still stand a chance of getting this mask.”

“It’ll be quite the adventure for sure,” Trijhak said. “There’s going to be lots of emotional strife going around, and I can’t wait to watch the drama!” As Franco and Phyoohrii eyed him, he quickly added, “So how about we practice some more, teammates!”


On the far edge of the artwork forum, in a section dedicated to Ko-Koro, member Eighty-Eight grumbled as he walked through the cold, empty landscape. “So I’m not good enough to go into the Bionicle universe,” he grumbled. “That’s so not fair. Just because I wasn’t able to pass the first physical test. . . or the mental exams. . . those were all just rigged in the first place. Stupid staff and their stupid elite picks.”

Still, deep down, Eighty-Eight knew that he was not exactly the best pick. But still, that didn’t mean they couldn’t let him go and prove himself. “Unless,” he said out loud. “I do need to prove my worth before they’ll let me go. I should do something useful for the staff, and then they’ll accept me and let me go. Yeah, that’s a great idea.”

Suddenly, in the distance, he saw a lone figure, standing silently in the middle of an ice lake. Curious, Eighty-Eight approached her, and as he drew closer, he realized that the member was actually ice fishing. Eighty-Eight vaguely remembered some rule against fishing in other member’s properties without a license, and a thought suddenly came to him. If he could bring the staff a wrong-doer, then that would prove his usefulness to them.

“Hey, you,” he shouted. “You’re not allowed to fish here!”

The member turn and Eighty-Eight realized it was Fishers64. “Who says I’m not allowed to fish here?” she asked grumpily.

“I did,” Eighty-Eight retorted. “Also, the BZ-Koro rules. I think.”

“Well, there’s nothing much else to do out here than fish,” Fishers64 said with a shrug, and turned her gaze back to her fishing hole.

“Why would you even want to fish here?” Eighty-Eight asked. “It’s really cold out.”

“I don’t mind the cold,” Fishers64 said. “It matches the coldness of my heart.”

“Your heart is cold?” Eighty-Eight asked. “That’s bad, you should get it warmed up quick before you start feeling ill.”

“What?” Fishers64 asked, slightly confused. “No, my heart’s not literally cold. It’s just that my element is ice.”

It took Eighty-Eight a moment to process this before he understood her meaning. “Oh, I get it,” he said. “But still, why wait out here? Aren’t there better places where you can fish legally?”

“Well, nobody would interrupt my covert meeting out here,” Fishers64 said. “Well, except you, I guess. That does pose a problem now.”

“Covert meeting?” Eighty-Eight repeated, and he felt a chill run down his spine that had nothing to do with the weather. “Just what do you mean by that?”

“It’s all part of my plan for world domination,” Fishers64 said sweetly. “I’ll gather a team and follow that staff-led expedition into the Bionicle universe, claim that special mask they’re looking for, and then lay waste to anybody in my path.”

“You’re not going to get away with it!” Eighty-Eight shouted, as he spun around to run away. “I’ll tell the staff and they’ll put an end to this!”

“It’s so cute that you think you even have a chance,” Fishers64 said with a sadistic grin. As Eighty-Eight began to flee, she drew back her fishing pole and launched her line. Her hook flew through the air and snagged Eighty-Eight’s back, and with a quick yank, she pulled him back towards her.

Eighty-Eight realized he wasn’t going to escape, so he quickly switched tactics. He drew his jagged long-sword and started charging it with electricity. As he drew close to Fishers64, he swung it, unleashing a blast of lightning as he did so.

Fishers64 leapt back, barely avoiding getting zapped. “Oh, that was good,” she commented. “But not quite good enough.” She unleashed a blast of ice and flash-froze Eight-Eight where he stood.

As she regained her composure, she heard a slow clapping coming from behind her. She turned around, ready to continue her battle, only to find Portalfig applauding her.

“That was quite the show,” Portalfig said. “You could see he thought he would get away, just for a bit.”

“Regardless, his attack was still quite powerful,” Fishers64 mused. “I think I could make use of him.”

“Good luck with that,” Portalfig sneered. “He was ready to run to the staff first thing. What makes you think you could sway him.”

“I have my methods,” Fishers64 said with a wicked grin. “But enough about the popsicle; we came here to exchange information.”

“Indeed,” Portalfig said. “The staff have finished selecting their members, and they’re undergoing last minute training as we speak. They’ll head out in a day, two at most.”

“Good, good,” Fishers64 said. “And our little mole?”

“Got in without raising any flags,” Portalfig confirmed.

“Then perhaps it’s time that my team came together as well,” Fishers64 said. “We’ll give the Staff’s little adventuring party a head start, and then when we get in there, we’ll take them all down and find that mask. And I will claim it for myself!”

READER QUESTION: The expedition will head into the Bionicle Universe soon. Where should they go first?

A: The desert of Po-Wahi
B: The Mangai Volcano
C: The Le-Wahi Jungle

Please provide your answer in the
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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 3

Franco walked down an underground passage that he had never been in before. He was deep below the ground of BZ-Koro, in a secret facility previously known only to the staff. Since he was part of the expedition, he had been given special access to sections of the tunnels in order to reach his destination. Even then, he had gotten lost a few times, having been stuck behind many locked doors.

His gaze fell upon yet another door up ahead, visible in the dim glow of a lightstone. As he reached it, he found that it was unlocked, and he pushed through into the room beyond.

He instantly realized he was in the right place. He could see other members of the expedition already waiting inside. Some were sorting through their belongings, doing last minute inventories, while others merely looked bored. However, what really caught Franco’s attention was the portal on the far end of the room. A large steel mesh formed a circular opening, and it was held in place by a stone temple that greatly resembled the Kini-Nui. At first glance, it appeared that ancient runes were printed on the pillars of the temple, but really it was just pop culture quotes translated into Matoran script.

Franco had never seen the structure before, and had only heard vague rumors about it prior to Black Six’s announcement. But he knew that this was clearly the portal to the Bionicle universe.

Taking his eyes off the portal, Franco looked to see just who had arrived. Gurk was in the far corner, looking annoyed as he subconsciously sharpened the battle axe in his hands. Voltex was also keeping to himself, as he whispered to his sword and gently polished the blade. Phyoohrii apparently hadn’t arrived yet, so instead Franco approached two other members he recognized from the day before, Tekulo and Pommy.

“Hello there,” he said as he approached. He nodded to Tekulo, who was sorting through a collection of knives. “Quite a collection you’ve got there.”

“Hello,” Tekulo replied. “Yes, I’m quite proud of it.”

“So what do you use them for?” Franco asked.

“Cutting things,” Tekulo replied.

“Is that more of a melee weapon, or are these throwing daggers?” Franco continued.

Tekulo looked up with a confused look on his face. “Melee? Throwing? Why would I do that with these knives?”

“Then what do you use them for?” Franco asked.



“That’s right,” Tekulo confirmed. “There are lots of different ingredients, and some knives work better at it than others. If you want a hard, sturdy blade to chop nuts, you’d use this one, whereas this one is for more precision slices that are best for vegetables and fruits.”

“FRUITS!” Pommy suddenly exclaimed with glee.

Interpreting Franco’s confused look, Tekulo explained. “My friend Pommy here is a real connoisseur of fruits. She knows all there is to know about them, such as what goes best in what meals.”

“And there are so many other applications for them too!” Pommy interjected. “You can make dyes out of them, and some have juices that can be used in adhesives, and others will treat medical allergies, and some can be used as weapons, and. . .”

“Wait, weapons?” Franco asked.

“Yes, indeed,” Pommy said. “Thornax berries are great for spiked projectiles that will make your opponents go ‘OUCH.’ And, my personal favorite, the Madu Cabolo, can be used as explosives, and are small enough to fit into my slingshot.”

“So why are you two going on this adventure?” Franco asked. “You seem to be more interested in foods.”

“Oh, but you don’t seem to realize how many rare plant varieties are grown on Mata-Nui,” Tekulo said. “This is a once in a lifetime chance to fully explore the island and gather them; we just couldn’t pass up on the chance.”

“Also there are lots of fruits there!” Pommy added.

“So you two are really just in this for the food?” Franco asked, exasperated.

“Some of us just have different forms of motivation,” Trijhak said.

Franco spun around with a gasp. “When did you get here?” he asked Trijhak.

“He’s been here for a while,” Tekulo commented, going back to sorting his cooking knives.

“He likes to sneak up on people,” Pommy put in.

Trijhak shrugged. “I guess I’m just too stealthy for my own good.”

As Franco continued to converse with his comrades, Makaru was on the other side of the room, pouring over maps of the island of Mata Nui. He was musing over different locations to check for when they started their expedition. He was the leader, after all, so it was his responsibility to have the plan, in addition to making sure all the members survived the journey.

The main doors opened up again, and Makaru looked up to spot the smallish member, hunched over underneath a large pack of supplies.

“Zatth, you’re late,” Makaru grumbled.

“Sorry,” Zatth said between gasps of air, as he set down his bag. “I got a little delayed when putting everything together, but I rushed over as fast as I could.”

“As the only other staff member on this expedition, you are my second in command,” Makaru said. “That means you need to act with the dignity and stature of a BZ-Koro Staff member.”

“Not all Staff members are super fit like you,” Zatth pointed out.

“It’s not about physical strength,” Makaru said. “You need to project confidence and provide leadership, in order to be an inspiration to the rest of the members.”

“I guess I could try that. . .” Zatth murmured.

Makaru eyed the pack that Zatth had previously been carrying. “What is in here, anyway?”

“Oh, these are my maps!” Zatth said proudly, and he began to pull them out. “These are all the detailed topographical features for the various locations in the Bionicle Universe. We’ve got multiple regions of Mata Nui, Metro Nui, Voya Nui, Daxia, Stelt. . .”

“Okay, I get it,” Makaru said, shaking his head. “But isn’t this a little overkill? Did you really need to bring this much?”

“Well, a lot of it is spare parchment,” Zatth said. “This will be a prime chance to detail unexplored regions, and I want to make sure I have enough paperwork to document it all.”

Makaru sighed. Just what he needed, yet another member who was more interested in exploring than getting the job done. “Okay, but I could still use your expertise in planning our route. Let’s put your skills to good use.”

“So have you decided where we’re going yet?” Trijhak asked, suddenly appearing at Makaru’s side.

Makaru raised his eyebrow. “For your own safety, it’s best not to surprise me like that.”

“Just curious,” Trijhak said, stepping backwards, where he was joined by Franco, Tekulo, and Pommy. “But we wanted to know where we were going first. You haven’t been very forthcoming about your plans for this trip.”

“Fair enough,” Makaru grumbled. He pointed to his map of Mata Nui. “The portal will bring us to a location in this vicinity. This is the Motara Desert of Po-Wahi. We could either head southward from here into the foothills of Mount Ihu, or head east to the small mountain range near Leva Bay. We have no easy way to indicate where the Mask of the Bionicle is located, but we can assume it will be in one of the locations that was never thoroughly explored in the official storyline.”

“I don’t think that will suffice at all,” said Urye. She approached the group, followed by Letagi and Wrinkledlion, who had also taken interest in this conversation.

Makaru glared at Urye. “And why would you say that?”

“The island of Mata Nui was destroyed when the Mata Nui robot rose up from underneath it,” Urye explained. “All those locations no longer exist. Furthermore, after the defeat of Makuta, when he had taken control of it, the entire Matoran universe was left to rot, and all the locations within it were destroyed, and everybody evacuated to Bara Magna. So thus the only locations we can explore would be on the Bara Magna planet.”

Makaru grinned. “It seems you don’t know much about the Bionicle universe after all.”

“No, she’s right,” Letagi confirmed. “That’s how the story played out.”

“The Bionicle Universe isn’t quite as linear as the Bionicle storyline,” Makaru explained. “Although locations evolved and disappeared in the story, their original layout was preserved in the universe, for the most part. As such, all the major locations from the various years still exist as they were during their time in the spotlight. The island of Mata Nui is fully intact, as are all the other islands within the Mata Nui Robot.”

“And that means that the Mask of the Bionicle could be anywhere,”Trijhak mused.

“Well, almost anywhere,” Zatth said, pulling out a map of the Mata Nui Robot. “We know for sure that the mask existed in the early years, and that while some of the interior islands were planned for, not all of them would’ve existed at that time. Locations from the later years, like Bara Magna, would’ve been created too late, so the mask couldn’t be located there. By that logic, it would be assumed that the earlier in the story a location appeared, the more likely the mask was hidden in it.”

“So that’s why we’re starting on Mata Nui,” Letagi said.

“And we’ll moved through Metru Nui and the other locations in the same order,” Makaru confirmed. “That said, it could take weeks to fully search for the mask.”

“Do we have any clues as for where to look for it?” Franco asked.

“Yes we do,” Makaru said. “We just told you them.”

“But that’s ridicules,” Letagi complained. “It’ll take forever to search every nook and cranny for some hidden mask. Lego hid the mask; why didn’t they tell us where it’s hidden?”

“While the employees of Lego did originally place the mask, it’s location was a secret that was kept to just a few,” Zatth explained. “And, currently, those who know where it is are unavailable. They’re either no longer with the company, are too busy on other projects to even communicate with us, or have. . .”

“Or they’ve expired,” Makaru put simply.

“Well, it has been a long time since Bionicle came out,” Tekulo said with a shrug. “I guess even the ripest fruit must whither and die.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Makaru said. “None of them died from natural causes.”

The members blinks, surprised by this news. “Wait, do you mean someone might have killed them?” Trijhak asked.

“I’m saying that the circumstances are suspicious,” Makaru grumbled. “But it’s not my place to judge, and it’s not yours either. Let us focus on the task at hand.”

“But that could be important,” Franco insisted. “What if there’s some plot going on here.”

Makaru narrowed his eyes as the other members started looking nervous. Perhaps this was why Black Six had been so reluctant to give them all the information about the situation.

But before Makaru could explain further, Wrinkledlion spoke up. “Sparkling treasure inspires even the darkest greed,” he said, in a voice deeper than what most would expect from his stature. “Only the righteous can obtain it for the good of all, and must thus win in the race.”

“Words of wisdom indeed,”Trijhak whispered.

“The solution is simple,” Gurk said, speaking up from across the room. “We find the mask first, and stop whoever else might be after it.”

“What they said,” Makaru said. “Now, assure that all your equipment is in place; we will be leaving shortly.”

As the members dispersed, Zatth approached Makaru and whispered, “Is there really something else going on here? Black Six never mentioned any disappearances to me.”

“That’s classified,” Makaru said simply. “You worry about plotting our route.”

“Okay, okay,” Zatth said. “So, I think it would be a better idea to head for Leva Bay first and then start to circumnavigate the island. . .”

The main doors opened again, and Franco turned to see his friend Phyoohrii enter, with Cyrix and the feline Skitty in tow. “Sorry we’re late,” Phyoohrii said. “But I happened to find Cyrix lost in these tunnels, and had to drag him with me.”

Cyrix grinned crazily and broke off from Phyoohrii to go meet up with Tekulo and Pommy. Meanwhile, Franco greeted his friend. “Where’d you pick up the cat?” he asked, gesturing to Skitty.

Phyoohrii shrugged. “She just appeared behind us partway down. I have the feeling she may have been following us from the shadows for a while.”

“Interesting,” Franco mused. “Anyway, there’s some more information that’s come to light. . .”

The expedition members spent another half hour preparing for their journey. Makaru was joined by two more staff members, Windrider and GSR, who would be guarding the portal from the BZ-Koro end. They discussed some last minute tactics, while Zatth sat nearby pouring over his maps. Although Zatth trusted Makaru and the other higher staff members, he had a feeling that there was more that they were keeping from him. Zatth thought he had proven himself trustworthy over the years, so Makaru’s wariness was all the more concerning. Just what were they going up against?

Finally, Makaru gathered everybody together. “We will depart now,” he said, and nodded to Windrider and GSR. “Activate the portal.”

The two staff members approached two columns of the portal temple, and touched upon particular runes. A section of each column opened up to reveal a control pad, and Windrider and GSR simultaneously punched in a command. The structure began to whirl, and a bluish whirlpool of air in the circular opening of the temple.

“We have five minutes,” Makaru said, grabbing his pack and claymore. “Let’s go.”

“This is so, so, so cool!” Pommy squealed, as she approached the portal.

“It’s unoriginal,” Gurk grumbled. “I can think of at least three sci-fi shows that used something like this.”

Franco was one of the last to step through the portal. He felt an odd sensation, as if he walked through a shower of rain that had a weak electrical charge to it. The buzz caused all his senses to tingle, and after a few moments, he found himself stumbling into hot sand. He squinted his eyes at the sudden brightness, and felt a blast of heat that contrasted the chilled underground room he had just left. He finally looked around and found himself in a golden desert, with sand dunes spreading out for miles. He glanced back to see a small outcropping of rocks with a similar metal ring built in.

“So this is the Mata Nui side of the portal,” he said to himself.

To his side, the other members were taking in the sights. “This is amazing,” Tekulo said. “I never thought I’d get to step foot on this island.”

“Well, we’re here now,” Makaru said, slinging his pack over his shoulders. “Now let’s get moving, since we have a lot of ground to cover. I hope you guys can handle the heat!”

READER QUESTION: The desert is not without opponents. Which should the expedition encounter first?

A: Bohrok
B: Rahkshi
C: Exo Toa

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Chapter 4

Franco trudged through the desert sands, and the expedition party moved east towards Leva Bay. The sun overhead was blazing down heat on everybody, and the occasional breeze only served to blow sand in their eyes. Some of the members were handing it better than others. The likes of Gurk, Wrinkledlion, and Urye pushed on without speaking, whereas Tekulo and Pommy were struggling to keep up in the shifting sands.

“Let’s keep it moving,” Makaru said from the front. “We just started, don’t wimp out on me now.”
Franco walked alongside Zatth, who was also struggling in the desert sands. “You guys didn’t quite mention this when you promoted the trip,” he said.

Zatth shrugged. “I thought it was pretty self explanatory. We already knew that the Bionicle universe has some extreme environments, and part of an adventure is to endure them.” He squinted as a blast of wind blew sand into his face. “Not saying I like it, but I knew it was coming.”

“I thought we would stay more on the well worn paths,” Franco admitted. “This is just us blindly pushing through the desert.”

“There aren’t paths leading to all the places where the mask could be hidden,” Zatth reminded him. “Besides, we’re not going blindly at all. Makaru is following a straight route that will get us out of the sand in no time. In fact, you can already see the hills on the horizon. Pretty soon, we’ll leave the sand dunes behind and walk on more solid ground, and then we’ll get to the small mountain range. It’s not tall or anything that can match Ko-Wahi, but there are a lot of sharp, jagged cliffs and rock sculptures up ahead. A lot of the early Toa Mata scenes took place in this area, because the desert offered a neutral background to contrast the Rahi and Toa.”

“You’ve done quite a bit of research on this, haven’t you?” Franco asked.

“I know a fair amount,” Zatth admitted. “Which is one of the reasons Makaru let me tag along.”

“Has he told you more about this mission than the rest of us?” Franco asked.

Zatth frowned. “Not really, why do you ask?”

“I just get the feeling that he’s withholding some information from us,” Franco said.

“Well, he hasn’t told me anything more than what he’s announced to the group,” Zatth said.

“Ah, so he’s kept you in the dark too,” Trijhak said, suddenly appearing at Zatth’s other side.

Zatth let out a yelp, which caused him to trip and plunge face first into the sand. Both Franco and Trijhak helped him to his feet, and he glared at the latter. “What’s with you and sneaking up on people?”

“Ninja like reflexes,” Trijhak said offhandedly.

“So you think Makaru is keeping secrets too?” Franco asked, lowering his voice to prevent others from overhearing.

“It’s quite obvious,” Trijhak said with a shrug, as they continued to walk. “He’s very apt at changing the subject whenever you ask for information, and when he does answer, his statements can be ambiguous. But I don’t think the secrets are his to share either; I think he has orders from the top not to blab.”

“That’s ridicules,” Zatth said. “The BZ-Koro Staff is a little harsh at times, but they have the best intentions of everybody at mind. We only keep some secrets for your own good.”

“Uh huh,” Trijhak said, unimpressed. “Then what about Takuma Nuva. Or Chocolate Frogs? They would be right at home on an adventure like this, but no one has seen either of them for quite some time.”

“They’ve just been spending some time away from BZ-Koro,” Zatth said. “I think. Or maybe they retired?”

“For someone who claims to not be a people person, you sure know a lot about members,” Franco said.

Trijhak grinned. “I like watching people, I’m just not that great at interacting with them.”

“No way,” Zatth grumbled sarcastically. “That is so surprising.”

“Well, what do you think about the others here?” Franco asked, gesturing to the rest of the expedition.

Trijhak paused in consideration. “Well, Wrinkledlion is well equipped for this mission, but he’s not usually this outgoing. I think the old wise-man has an ulterior motive. Not to mention Urye, who’s almost completely shut off from the others. She’s quick to speak to point out their flaws, but that’s about it. Yet she’s very alert, so I think she also knows more than she’s letting on. The cat Skitty wouldn’t normally be involved with so many folks either, so just why did she join up? And I’m sure Voltex’s hiding something too. I just don’t buy that whole bit about talking to his sword.”

“He talks to his sword?” Franco asked.

“Yeah, it’s the Rhindon he’s always referring to,” Trijhak said.

“And what about you?” Zatth asked. “You’re always nosing your way into conversations, so what’s your angle?”

“It’s all about the story,” Trijhak said. “A handful of members, many with mysterious motives,
heading out on a quest for a fabled mask. The drama potential is through the roof.”

“Okay, then what about Cyrix?” Franco asked. “What’s up with him? Is his craziness also an act?”

Trijhak shook his head. “No way, Cyrix is the real deal. A total nut job.”

Cyrix, meanwhile, was bobbing up and down next to Phyoohrii, whom he had decided was now his friend. “What-cha doing?” he asked.

“Same thing you are, wandering through this desert,” Phyoohrii grumbled. He had since grown quite annoyed with Cyrix’s ramblings.

“What-cha got in your bag there?” Cyrix continued.

“Kanoka discs.”

“What are Kanoka?”

“Powered projectiles that I can launch at people who annoy me,” Phyoohrii snapped.

Cyrix paused for a moment, and then asked, “What are powered projectiles. . .”

Letagi suddenly interrupted. “Kanoka are discs that were forged in Metru-Nui from purified protodermis and contain one of eight different powers, as well as different energy levels and different flight patterns depending on their Metru of origin. The codes printed on the discs designate their abilities, and their powers include Reconstruct at Random, Freezing, Weakening. . .”

“Don’t even bother,” Phyoohrii said. “He won’t retain any of this information anyway.”

“So, you made your own discs, didn’t you?” Letagi continued. “Can I check out your work? I’m an enthusiast of collectibles myself. I’ve memorized the powers and shapes of all the Kanohi, Krana, Kraata, Rhotuka, Kanoka, Zamor, and Squids out there, among others.”

“There are collectible Squids?” Phyoohrii asked, despite himself.

“Oh yes, although they’re not quite as varied as the other collectibles, each one has it’s own unique ability, even if the official storyline never really showcased them at all,” Letagi said. “You see, the blue ones were specifically bred to. . .”

“Hey, look at that, we’re leaving the desert!” Phyoohrii said, cutting him off. “Why don’t you fill
Cyrix in on the details instead, and I’ll go check on my friend Franco.”

“Sure thing!” Letagi said brightly, and he turned to Cyrix. “Do you know about all the collectible Squid variants?”

“What’s a squid?” Cyrix asked.

“Those two are crazy, they are,” Phyoohrii muttered, as he caught up to Franco and Zatth. “In fact, half the folks here are a little off it.”

“Yeah, we were just discussing that with Trijhak here,” Franco said, gesturing to the member. But when he glanced over, he was surprised to see that Trijhak was gone. “Hey, where did he go, he was here a moment ago.”

“We will stop here for a short rest,” Makaru announced to the rest of the expedition, who were crawling out of the sand and onto solid bedrock. “Then we will begin our search in the rocks up ahead.”

Many of the members relaxed, grateful to have a chance to sit down. However, Wrinkledlion remained upright. “Something approaches,” he said in his deep voice.

Makaru took a quick swig from his canteen. “What do you mean by that?”

“Enemies come,” Wrinkledlion said simple.

“Ooh, ooh, I see them,” Cyrix said suddenly, jumping up and down and waving. “Hello, enemies? Who wants to be my friend?”

Franco shielded his eyes from the sun and gazed back into the sand dunes. Indeed, he could make out six tall shapes that were slowly getting bigger. “What are those?” he wondered.

Zatth pulled out a Clinometer and looked through it. “Judging by the angles and distance, they’re taller than a Toa by a good amount,” he said. “They could be Rahi, but they’re walking in a formation, which seems to indicate some sort of ridged order that would not be expected from an animal.”

“Why doesn’t anybody have an Akaku?” grumbled Phyoohrii. “Then we could just zoom in and see what they are.”

“The glare from the sun isn’t helping,” Letagi said. “It might mess with even an Akaku. Like, there, I just thought I saw a bright flash from one of them. Oh, look, the others are doing it too.”

“Are they trying to communicate by light?” Zatth wondered. “Is that Morse code?”

Makaru narrowed his eyes. “No, that’s a glint from a rocket blast!”

“A rocket blast?”

“Now would be a good time to run,” Makaru said, grabbing his equipment.

Franco could now make out small dots on the horizon that were blasting towards them, no doubt launched from the mysterious figures in the distance. It soon became obvious that Makaru was indeed right; they were rockets.

“Wait, I’ve got it!” Letagi exclaimed. “Tall, mechanical, with rocket blasters on their arms. Those must be Exo-Toa suits of armor.”

“Speculation later,” Phyoohrii said, grabbing Letagi. “Let’s get out of here.”

The expedition members quickly took off at a run, and not a moment too soon. Seconds later, six rockets struck the spot where they had been resting, and a huge explosion shook the air. Franco glanced back, and through the smoke he could see that the figures in the distance were getting closer, approaching at a full out sprint.

“We need to get going,” he said, panic ebbing into his voice.

“Head for those rocks,” Makaru shouted. “We can lose them in the maze of canyons beyond them.”
“Why don’t we just stay and fight?” Gurk asked, clutching his war hammer.

“Fighting is a last resort,” Makaru said. “And I’d prefer to do it when we have an advantage over them, which we don’t in this empty desert.”

Tekulo glanced back. “More incoming rockets!”

“Scatter!” Makaru shouted. “That way one shot won’t take us all down at once. Gurk, Wrinkledlion, you’re with me.”

As the rest of the expedition members rushed off in different directions, Makaru, Gurk, and Wrinkledlion turned to face the incoming missiles, and then they activated their elemental powers. Gurk and Wrinkledlion summoned a wall of earth to rise up and block the incoming rockets, and Makaru fortified it with his elemental ice powers. The rockets struck the wall and exploded, causing it to shatter, but the majority of the blast was diverted backwards and away from the members.

Makaru glanced back to see the others had reached the rock formations, and were already taking shelter in the canyons that spiraled out beyond them. He grinned; at close quarters, the Exo-Toa would be easier to dispatch. But as he and Wrinkledlion sprinted for the rocks, Makaru turned to see that Gurk hadn’t moved.

“What are you waiting for?” Makaru shouted. “We need to move!”

“I will not run,” Gurk said. “I will fight them here!”

“You don’t stand a chance!” Makaru snapped. He was about to go back, when he felt a slight tug from Wrinkledlion.

“Let the weapon maker fight,” Wrinkledlion said. “He is not wasting his strength for naught.”

Makaru nodded grimly. Gurk was going to buy them time, and they needed to use it to set a trap for the Exo-Toa that followed them.

The lead Exo-Toa reached Gurk, who swung his hammer at it, full force. The Exo-Toa took the impact and fell backwards, but then stood up, seemingly unfazed. It swiped its clawed hand at Gurk, who expertly blocked the blow. But as he did so, the Exo-Toa repositioned its rocket blaster to aim at Gurk’s head, and prepared to fire.

“Nice try,” Gurk said, and activated his Crast, the mask of repulsion. Although the rocket was fired point blank, the mask easily deflected it and sent it flying into the sand dunes, where it exploded safely away.

“You missed,” Gurk said. “Now it’s my turn.” With a sharp upper cut, he rammed his fist into the center of the Exo-Toa, at the joint where it would ordinarily open up to let a Toa enter. Gurk heard a crack, and the Exo-Toa fell backwards. The blow hadn’t disabled it, but it had taken damage.

The Exo-Toa charged back into the fight, and Gurk returned his blows. But the other five Exo-Toa ignored the skirmish, and continued to pursue the other expedition members.

Makaru and Wrinkledlion caught up with them as they started to enter the canyons. “Is this everybody?” Makaru asked.

Zatth looked around, panicked. “No, we’re missing quite a few. Skitty, Tekulo, Cyrix, and Phyoohrii ran into a different canyon, and I don’t even know where Trijhak or Urye disappeared to.”

“Draw weapons,” Makaru commanded. “Get up behind that bend up ahead. The Exo-Toa aren’t tacticians, and they’ll just race blindly after us as they were programmed, so they won’t expect this trap.”

“Wait, they were programmed to come after us?” Franco asked. “By who?”

“Good question,” Makaru growled, as everybody got in position. “Better question is, how did they even find us this quickly?”

Franco grabbed his blade, but his hands were shaking. He hadn’t expected to encounter danger like this. Around him, his comrades also drew their weapons: Zatth took out his scythe, Letagi gripped his staff, Pommy drew her slingshot, and Voltex grabbed his blade. “Rhindon is ready to slice and dice,” he said, with a crazy glint in his eye.

“Try to disable its arms first,” Makaru said, his claymore in hand. “It’s still dangerous without its weapons, but less so than usual.”

“Isn’t there some sort of weak spot we can hit it that will disable the whole thing?” Letagi asked. “Like with the Rahi, if you got their masks off. . .”

“The Exo-Toa were not built to have weaknesses,” Makaru said. “So we have to take them down the hard way.”

The first Exo-Toa turned the corner, running full tilt. But it wasn’t expecting a sudden attack, and thus wasn’t prepared when Voltex charged forward. With starling swiftness, Voltex sliced his blade into the armor, leaving deep cuts behind. The Exo-Toa swung around to claw at him, but Voltex easily dodged aside, and then Makaru charged forward, stabbing his claymore into the rocket launcher. There was a sizzle of electricity, and the rocket launcher suddenly powered down. Unable to fire, the Exo-Toa instead swung it like a mace, and sent Makaru skidding backwards.

The second Exo-Toa turned the corner, and dodged around the first fight. But the rest of the members were ready for it. As it charged forward with its claws, Zatth pointed his scythe at it and launched a blast of his elemental wind energies. The Exo-Toa was blown backwards, but it slammed it’s feet into the ground to hold out against the wind. Unfortunately for it, Wrinkledlion had already used his earth powers to form a ledge that the Exo-Toa then proceeded to trip over, and the whole thing came crashing down. Next it was Pommy’s turn, and she fired a handful of fruits at the Exo-Toa, which exploded on contact.

“Told you Madu Cabolo were useful,” she shouted.

“It’s still getting up again,” Zatth warned.

“Let me try then,” Franco said, charging forward with his sword. He activated his elemental fire powers, and flames started to lick the blade of his weapon. He slashed out at the Exo-Toa, sending a wave of fire at it. Zatth aided the fire blast by blowing on it with his winds, and Wrinkledlion used quicksand to hold it in place for a moment. The Exo-Toa crumpled under the elemental attacks, but when the dust settled, it still rose again.

“That thing is made of tough stuff,” Letagi commented.

“Teamwork will suffice,” Wrinkledlion said.

“He means that we need to work together to bring this down,” Franco said. “Let’s keep at it.”

Meanwhile, Makaru and Voltex continued to attack the first Exo-Toa, timing their attacks to keep the machine from properly retaliating. Finally, Voltex managed to slash it at the hip, and disconnected one of its legs. The Exo-Toa began to fall towards Makaru, who powered up his sword and swung it. Between the blast of ice and the sharp blade, the Exo-Toa was split it half, and the pieces that fell to the ground were no longer a threat.

“Rhindon and I conquered yet again!” Voltex shouted in victory. He glanced at Makaru. “And you
helped too.”

Makaru nodded curtly, and turned to the other Exo-Toa in battle. “That’s only two, and there were more than that,” he muttered to himself. “Did the others split off and chase the second group? Where are they?”

The sound of falling rocks drew Makaru’s attention up, and he looked at the top of the canyon, where one of the Exo-Toa had climbed, and now it was dropping down on top of them. Voltex sighted it too and jumped up to intercept it, but he was knocked aside by its clawed hand. But before it could do anything further with its weapon, Makaru sliced it off with his claymore.

But Makaru had left an opening, and the Exo-Toa kicked him in the gut and threw him back into the rock wall. With a painful grunt, Makaru looked up to see the rocket blaster aimed right at his mask. The Exo-Toa was blocking him in, so there was no way he could dodge it, and he didn’t have enough time to strike it back.

“Curses,” Makaru said, as the Exo-Toa fired the rocket point blank.

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Chapter 5

Phyoohrii paused for a moment to catch his breath. Tekulo was also leaning against the stone wall, clearly exhausted from the run. The two of them had fled into one of the canyons with Cyrix and Skitty, but they now found themselves separated from the main group.

“Do you. . . think we got away. . . from the Exo-Toa?” Tekulo asked between gasps of breath.

Phyoohrii shrugged. “Probably. We’re pretty far in so it seems unlikely that they would find us in here. But how will we regroup with the others?”

“I propose that we rest,” Tekulo said. “For a bit.”

“But I don’t want to take a nappy-nap-nap,” Cyrix said.

Skitty, however, suddenly tensed up and started growling. Tekulo glanced at her and asked, “What’s up with the feline?”

“Maybe she senses some sort of trouble,” Phyoohrii suggested, grabbing his disc launcher. “We should be prepared just in case. . .”

The canyon walls shook as an Exo-Toa suddenly rounded the corner. It sighted the four members and instantly fired a rocket. Phyoohrii and Cyrix instantly ducked to avoid the blast, but Tekulo wasn’t quick enough on his own. Luckily, Skitty pounced on him and knocked him aside, and the rocket flew past them and exploded further down the canyon. The members were showered in a spray of dust, but unhurt.

“We need to take that down,” Phyoohrii shouted, as he loaded and fired a Freezing Kanoka. Unfortunately, the Exo-Toa merely knocked it out of the air.

“Hey, robotic-armor,” Cyrix said, getting to his feet. “Want to be my friend?”

“Cyrix, look out!” Tekulo shouted. The Exo-Toa swiped its clawed hand at the member, but Cyrix neatly dodged beneath it.

“Great idea,” Cyrix exclaimed. “Let’s play a game of tag. You’re it!”

The Exo-Toa continued to try and attack Cyrix, but he was too agile and light of his feet to get caught, and he pranced in circles around the big suit of armor. “That’s mildly impressive,” Phyoohrii mused.

But then the scraping of rocks above caused him to look up, and he saw a second Exo-Toa descending down towards them. The Exo-Toa was about to fire it’s rockets, but Phyoohrii shot first, and his Shrinking Kanoka caused the rocket launcher to shrink to the point where it was unusable to the Exo-Toa.

“Nice shot!” Tekulo said, even as the Exo-Toa landed.

“It’s still dangerous,” Phyoohrii shouted. “Grab your weapons and help us fight this.”

“I actually don’t have any real weapons,” Tekulo admitted. “And I don’t know how to fight.”


The Exo-Toa charged again, knocking aside Phyoohrii’s next shot at it. However, before it could reach them, Skitty leapt on it, claws outstretched. She left deep indents on the armor and knocked it backwards. The Exo-Toa tried to recover and focus on Skitty, but then got hit with a Weakening disc from Phyoohrii.

“I’m behind you,” Cyrix said slyly, as he raced around the Exo-Toa that was after him. “And now I’m on your back!” He jumped up and gripped the head of the Exo-Toa, which immediately tried to throw him off, but Cyrix was just out of reach from its arms.

Glancing inside the suit of armor, Cyrix frowned. “You look like you have an upset tummy. Let Doctor Cyrix help you with that!” Cyrix then dove into the middle of the armor, causing the Exo-Toa to thrash about even more.

Phyoohrii and Skitty continued to trade blows on the second Exo-Toa. Phyoohrii’s discs weren’t doing a ton of damage, but they were keeping the suit of armor on the defensive, and gave plenty of openings for Skitty to charge in and use her claws. But although it was scraped up pretty badly, it was still functioning. Finally, it managed to catch Skitty mid-leap, and threw her backwards into Phyoohrii, knocking the two of them down.

“Guys, get up!” Tekulo shouted, but all he did was turn the Exo-Toa’s attention to him. It charged towards Tekulo, who decided it was time to make a grand escape. He activated his Kanohi Kadin and launched upward in flight, hoping to get out of the canyon before the Exo-Toa could reach him.

He wasn’t fast enough.

The Exo-Toa’s claw snagged Tekulo’s leg and swung him towards the wall, which Tekulo slammed into with the full force of his Kanohi’s flight propulsions. He fell to the ground, dazed, as the Exo-Toa approached. He knew that he was a goner.

Suddenly, there was a rocket blast fired, and it struck the Exo-Toa head on, causing it to explode. Tekulo just managed to shield his face as metal shards rained down on him.

Phyoohrii and Skitty got to their feet, and turned to the source of the rocket blast. “What the?” exclaimed Phyoohrii.

Cyrix was happily seated inside the Exo-Toa he had been fighting, but now he was in full control of it. “Hey guys, looky what I got!”

“How did you take control of that?” Phyoohrii asked, as he helped Tekulo up.

“Saw there were some control wirings inside,” Cyrix explained. “They were causing my pal here to go nut-crazy-cray! So I mixed and matched and tweaked and twirled and got things working again. Now we’re BFFs!”

“He does have the reputation to be quite the crafter,” Tekulo said weakly, leaning against Skitty. “I guess even as a mechanic and electrician.”

“Wanna see me use the rockets again?” Cyrix asked eagerly.

“Not just yet,” Phyoohrii said. “We need to go find the others and help them out, and I think your new pal might be just the tool we need.”


Franco glanced over at the sound of a rocket blast. To his horror, he saw the Exo-Toa standing over the fallen body of Makaru, who had just taken a full rocket blast to the face.

“NO!” shouted Zatth. “MAKARU!”

The Exo-Toa lifted its leg, ready to crush Makaru completely, when something hit it from behind. “Rhindon isn’t done with you yet,” snarled Voltex, taking another jab at the Exo-Toa. The Exo-Toa no longer had a claw hand, but it swing its rocket launcher like a blunt weapon and struck down Voltex yet again, sending him skidding across the ground.

“Someone needs to help Voltex,” Franco shouted, even as the Exo-Toa he was facing charged again.

“I’m on it,” Letagi said, racing forward with his wooden staff in hand. He hit the Exo-Toa and distracted it away from Voltex, who got back to his feet and charged in again. The two of them continued to trade blows against the Exo-Toa, but while they were keeping it occupied, they weren’t able to strike it down.

Meanwhile, Franco, Wrinkledlion, and Pommy continued to fight the second Exo-Toa with a barrage of attacks. Wrinkledlion was summoning mounds of earth to slam into the armor, Pommy was launching explosive Madi Cabolo fruits, and Franco was throwing blasts of fire from his sword. Still, they were just keeping the Exo-Toa at bay. Between one of their attacks, it managed to lift its arm and shoot a rocket at them, forcing the three of them to scatter.

Zatth, however, had abandoned the fight and rushed to Makaru’s side. “Are you okay?” he asked hurriedly. “We need to get you out of here!”

“You need. . .” Makaru said weakly. “You need to lead them now, Zatth.”

“No, no, that’s your job, I’m just the cartographer!” Zatth said, tears in his eyes. “No, we just need to patch you up and. . .”

“Find the mask,” Makaru said. “But beware. There are. . . others after it. And they may. . . know about us.”

“I don’t understand,” Zatth said.

“You must save them now, as a BZ-Koro Staff member,” Makaru whispered. “It is. . . your duty.”

“No, Makaru, no!” Zatth cried. “Don’t leave us!” But his pleas were for naught, as Makaru’s heart-light faded and went dark.

Blinking away fresh tears, Zatth looked up to see that the battle was still ongoing, and the members were just barely holding out. Voltex and Letagi were dodging around the one Exo-Toa, and kept striking at it to keep it from firing its rockets again. However, it kicked out one of its legs, and Letagi wasn’t fast enough, and he got thrown through the air. He slammed into the back of Wrinkledlion, knocking the two of them down.

Without Wrinkledlion’s earth strikes, the second Exo-Toa was able to power through the attacks and swipe at Franco and Pommy, knocking the two of them back into the far wall with a single blow. As they struggled to get up, it aimed its rocket launcher at them. Zatth cried out, but he was too far away to launch an attack. He was about to watch two more teammates succumb to the same fate as Makaru.

Suddenly, a barrage of plasma arrows rained down on the Exo-Toa from above. This threw off its aim, and the rocket easily missed Franco and Pommy. Zatth couldn’t see where the arrows came from, but he was already charging forward with his scythe in hand. He charged it with his elemental energies and launched a blast of wind at the Exo-Toa. The gale was much stronger this time, fueled by his grief, and it picked up the armor and slammed it into the far wall.

Wrinkledlion was back on his feet, and now he drew on his earth powers. A giant mount of earth rose up out of the ground, and Wrinkledlion launched it towards the Exo-Toa, sandwiching it into the canyon’s wall. There was a loud crunch upon impact, and when the earth settled, the Exo-Toa was in pieces.

Voltex continued to spar with the last Exo-Toa, which was starling to weaken against his attacks. Suddenly, elemental attacks started striking it, as Franco, Pommy, and Zatth joined the skirmish. The Exo-Toa lifted its rocket launcher to fire upon them, but more plasma arrows rained down and struck the blaster, disabling it. As the Exo-Toa stumbled back, Voltex darted forward one last time, and stabbed his sword Rhindon into the armor’s chest. These was a sizzle of electricity, and then the suit went limp.

“We beat it,” Letagi said groggily, still recovering from his earlier blow. “Hurray!”

“It was a tough foe, but Rhindon and I never admit defeat!” exclaimed Voltex.

“Is everybody okay?” Franco asked, looking around at his battered companions. “Did anybody get hurt?”

“Makaru did,” whispered Zatth, looking to the ground. “Makaru’s. . . dead.”

“He’s what?” exclaimed Pommy. “No way.”

“Well, that’s what happens when you take a rocket blast to the face,” Trijhak said.

Everybody spun around to see Trijhak standing calmly behind them. “Where did you come from?” Franco asked.

Zatth, on the other hand, angrily charged forward and pinned Trijhak into the wall. “Where the Karzahni have you been? You were behind this, weren’t you?”

“Chill out, dude,” Trijhak said. “When I saw the Exo-Toa charging, I decided it was best to get in a good vantage spot so that I could snipe them later.”

“You could’ve given us a little bit of a warning, you know,” Franco said. “We thought you just up and vanished.”

“Well, it wouldn’t be very stealthy if I announced when I was sneaking off, now would it,” Trijhak countered.

“How do I know you weren’t the one who summoned the Exo-Toa?” Zatth snarled. “Somebody clearly knew where we were, and perhaps they were a mole on our team. That means you’re the one who’s responsible for killing Makaru.”

“Hey now,” Trijhak said. “I didn’t kill no one. In fact, in case you didn’t realize, my arrows saved your sorry behinds.” He grinned slyly. “Besides, there are quite a few others missing right now. Maybe one of them’s your mole.”

“Zatth, calm down,” Franco said, pushing him back. “Like it or not, Trijhak did help us out here. And he’s also right in that we’re missing a bunch of members, and we need to go find them.”

“Fine,” Zatth spat. “But I’m keeping my eye on you,” he added, glaring at Trijhak.

“Yeah, let’s go find Tekulo and the others,” Pommy added.

“To follow a new path, one must return to the origin,” Wrinkledlion said.

“He means we need to get out of these canyons,” Franco said. “Let’s go.”

READER QUESTION: The members of the expedition have some tough choices ahead. Should they…

A: Move forward as a group, for safety
B: Separate into smaller groups to cover more ground
C: Return to BZ-Koro for reinforcements

Please provide your answer in the Review Topic! Edited by xccj
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Chapter 6

Gurk leaned back as the dry desert air blew across his face. He had been waiting at the head of the canyons for quite some time now, ever since he single handedly defeated the Exo-Toa. Now he had re-commissioned some of the broken parts to build a chair that he could rest in until the other expedition members returned. He figured that either the survivors would come back to find him or the remaining Exo-Toa would attack him once the rest were dead.

The sound of footsteps in the sand caught his attention, and he looked up to see one of the parties exiting the canyons. They were led by Wrinkledlion and Letagi, while Zatth and Franco were dragging somebody behind them.

“Gurk, you survived!” chimed Pommy upon sighting him.

“Of course,” Gurk said. “I’m more surprised to see that you all lived.”

“Not all of us,” Zatth said somberly. Gurk now saw that he had been carrying Makaru’s lifeless body out of the canyon.

“Shame,” Gurk gruffed. “He was a good fighter.”

“Have you seen any of the others?” Franco asked. “We know they split off from us, but we haven’t heard from them since the attack began.”

“Our group took down three of the Exo-Toa,” Letagi said. “And Gurk here claimed a forth. But that leaves two unaccounted for.”

“Oh no, you don’t think they followed Tekulo and the others, do you?” Pommy asked, worried.

“If they did, then they’re goners,” Gurk said. “Not a decent fighter amongst them.”

“Hey, one of those missing is my friend Phyoohrii,” Franco said. “They’re just as good as any of us!”

“That doesn’t disprove my point,” Gurk shot back.

“Aw, but Gurk is the real softie amongst us,” Trijhak said slyly. “After all, his plan was to draw the Exo-Toa away from us so we could escape. It’s didn’t quite work out, but his heart was in the right place.”

“What?” exclaimed Gurk. “Nonsense. You see, this was just the first exciting thing that had happened, so I was eager to go pound on something.”

“Don’t be so modest,” Trijhak teased. “We all know you were trying to be heroic here.”

“You’re not one to speak of heroics, traitor,” Zatth hissed. “We still haven’t figured out what we’re going to do with you.”

“Are you still going on about that?” Trijhak asked. “Look, I can point out a handful of others who are more likely to be traitorous than me.”

“Enough, we don’t have time to deal with this,” Franco said. “Zatth, cool down with the accusations. And Trijhak, stop egging him on, it doesn’t help. What we need to do is find the others.”

“And where do you propose we start looking for them?” Letagi asked.

Franco shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“The water always flows downhill, to return to the ocean,” Wrinkledlion whispered.

“What does he mean by that?” Pommy asked, frowning. “Should we go to the ocean shore? You know what, more fruits grow by the shore. Let’s go there!”

“He’s just using his fancy riddles to tell us that something’s approaching,” Gurk grumbled.

“How’d you figure that?”

“He can feel their footsteps through the earth, ‘cause it’s his element,” Gurk explained. “It’s my element too.”

“Wait, do you hear that mechanical sound?” Letagi asked. “It sounds like. . .”

“Exo-Toa,” Gurk snarled, grabbing his war hammer. “They’ve returned for a second round.”

“No, wait,” Trijhak said. “I think this is something different.”

Sure enough, an Exo-Toa emerged from one of the other canyons, but Cyrix was inside it, and he was followed by Tekulo, Skitty, and Phyoohrii.

“Oh great,” Gurk grumbled, sitting back down on his makeshift chair. “None of them got knocked off either.”

“You’re alive!” Pommy said, rushing to greet Tekulo.

“More or less,” Phyoohrii said. He nodded at Franco. “This crazy one actually has his uses. How’d you guys hold out?”

“We defeated three suits,” Franco said. “But it cost us. Makaru is. . . dead.”

“No, that can’t be,” Tekulo said. “He’s the strongest staff member here. How are we going to get by without him?”

Franco shrugged. “We’re not sure yet.”

Zatth, meanwhile, was doing a count. “We’re still one short,” he mused. “Where’s Urye?”

“I distinctly remember her running off when the Exo-Toa first attacked,” Phyoohrii said. “But I haven’t seen her since. I thought she must’ve gone with you guys.”

“Suspicious, isn’t it,” Trijhak said over Zatth’s shoulder. “I wonder where she got off to.”

“She might have gotten captured, or even killed,” Letagi pointed out. “One of the Exo-Toa might’ve gotten her before it came across us.”

“Maybe, but it does seem odd,” Zatth said. He glared at Trijhak. “Perhaps the two of you were working together.”

“Really, that’s the conclusion you’re going to jump to?” Trijhak asked.

“If she hasn’t gotten back now, I don’t think she’s coming back,” Tekulo said. “What we need to do is get back to BZ-Koro and tell Black Six. Then he’ll send reinforcements to help us deal with stuff here!”

“Out of the question,” snapped Zatth. “Someone sent these Exo-Toa after us, and they killed Makaru. We need to track them down now.”

“How would we even do that?” Letagi wondered.

“You wanna find who was bossing my suity-friend around earlier?” Cyrix asked, leaping out of the armor. “I can helps with that.”

“What do you mean?” Zatth pressed.

“There was signal that was guiding suits,” Cyrix explained. “I disabled it for Exxy here, but I could rewire it to track the source.”

“That’s a brilliant idea,” Zatth said. “Then we can confront them and avenge Makaru.”

“Wait a minute,” Gurk said, getting back up. “I didn’t come here to be part of some staff grudge match. I’m here to look for that mask. Forget about this other nonsense and let’s continue our search.”

“Truer words were never said,” Trijhak said.

“No,” Zatth snarled. “You’re coming with me. If you want to prove your innocence, then help us find Makaru’s killer. And if it was you this entire time, then I want you where I can see you.”

“I don’t know, with all this going on, maybe we should go back for help,” Letagi put in.

“Rhindon and I came here to find that mask,” Voltex said. “And find it we shall!”

Everybody started speaking up, their voices echoing across the desert as they argued. Franco had finally had enough, and shouted, “STOP!”

Everybody fell silent and turned to him. Franco took a deep breath before continuing. “Look, we have a lot to do, and perhaps the best way to move forward is to split up into teams. One team will continue to search for the mask, while another team will investigate the source of the Exo-Toa signal. Finally, a third team will return to the portal and warn BZ-Koro of what’s happened, and then Black Six can send reinforcements.”

“Sounds reasonable,” Trijhak said.

“We’ll divide into teams of four,” Franco announced. “Gurk, Voltex, Wrinkledlion, and Skitty will continue to search for the mask. Meanwhile, Zatth, Trijhak, and myself will join Cyrix and track the signal. Tekulo, Pommy, Letagi, and Phyoohrii will return to the portal.”

“Wait, you’re sending me with the crazy crew?” Phyoohrii complained.

“I need somebody who can handle things well,” Franco admitted. “Can’t think of anyone better.”

“Fine,” Phyoohrii grumbled.

“I think I know what you mean,” Tekulo whispered to Phyoohrii. “That Letagi can be pretty insane.”

“Alright, now we move out,” Gurk said.

“No, there’s one last thing we need to do together,” Zatth said. “Makaru needs a proper burial first.”


Windrider drew his blade to block the incoming strike from Reznas. Reznas drew back, eyeing the staff member eerily. Windrider narrowed his eyes and prepared to retaliate, but then another blade was swung towards him. He blocked the rapier strike from Lyichir just in time, but then Reznas attacked again.

Windrider wasn’t the only one under attack. GSR was in a fierce battle with Tomana, who was striking back with surprising speed. GSR had duel blades, which should’ve given him the advantage in battle against Tomana’s knife. However, Tomana was using his iron elemental powers to manipulate the metal in his blade, so that his knife’s shape was different each time. This variety kept throwing off GSR, who was only barely managing to hold off the attacking member.

Windrider did a wide swing, knocking back both Reznas and Lyichir temporarily. “We need to sound the alarm,” he shouted. “We have to. . .”

His voice fell silent as he realized the air was vacating his lungs. Both Reznas and Lyichir had started using their elemental air powers to create a vacuum around Windrider. Windrider clenched his jaw shut to avoid suffocation, but his voice couldn’t carry in the vacuum, so he was effectively silenced.

Lyichir darted forward, hoping to impale Windrider before he could recover. But he had underestimated the staffer’s strength, and Windrider easily swatted him aside with his blade. But Reznas had held back, and now unleashed gale force winds. They picked up Windrider and slammed him into the far wall, knocking him unconscious.

GSR saw his comrade fall out of the corner of his eye, but he couldn’t spare any further attention away from Tomana. They locked blades again, but then Tomana’s knife twisted and wrapped around GSR’s blade. Tomana yanked back and ripped GSR’s weapon from his hands. However, GSR still had one sword left, and he swung it hard before Tomana could recover. The blow knocked Tomana across the room.

“Now I’ll take on the rest of you,” GSR shouted, turning to Reznas and Lyichir. But as he turned, he saw for the first time the glint of the jagged longsword. He drew up his blade to block it, but it was already crackling with electricity. As the swords connected, the electricity passed through the weapon and into GSR, thoroughly zapping him. He fell over in a heap.

Eighty-Eight stood over GSR’s fallen body. Emotionlessly, he lifted his blade into the air, ready to stab the staff member through his heart-light. But before he could, a voice rang out through the underground chamber.

“That will be enough,” Fishers64 said, striding through the doorway. “I don’t want any of them dead; unconscious will do just fine.”

Reznas, Lyichir, Tomana, and Eighty-Eight all stood attention as Fishers64 entered. She nodded approvingly at them. “Very well done, my minions. You were very quick at dispatching these two.”

“Are you sure it’s safe to keep the staffers alive?” Portalfig asked, entering behind Fishers64. “If we kill them now, we know they’ll never bother us again.”

“I don’t like killing,” Fishers admitted. “It’s too easy, it makes things end too quickly. And since I’m the one in charge here, we’re doing things my way.”

“As you say, grand leader,” Portalfig said, somewhat sarcastically.

Two more members entered the underground room after Portalfig. They were Dotcom, a miscreant artist with an aspiration to draw graffiti, and Smoke Monster, a buff powerhouse weapons maker who’s known to be trigger happy.

Dotcom’s face lit up as he entered the room. “So many empty surfaces to paint on!” he exclaimed. He immediately drew his spray paint and started working on the walls.

Smoke Monster, however, narrowed his eyes at the four members who had just taken on the staff. “They did this?” he asked gruffly. “They look like a bunch of do-gooders to me.”

“I am curious as to how you convinced these guys to join us,” Portalfig said, looking closely at them. “Eighty-Eight was ready to turn you over to the staff, and Reznas and Lyichir are both known as rules-lovers. Seems odd that they’re working for you now.”

“It’s all perfectly explainable,” Fishers64 said. “I just had to change their minds. Or specifically, have him do it for me.”

Portalfig and Smoke Monster turned to see a lumbering figure enter the room. He was easily the largest member there, towering above even Smoke Monster, and he wielded an axe that was larger than Dotcom entirely. However, his mask was wrapped up in a sheet, so only his eyes were visible through it.

“Meet the last member of our gloriously evil team,” Fishers64 said. “This is Constructman. “

“Where’d you pull this monstrosity up from?” Smoke Monster asked.

“Same way I found the rest of you,” Fighers64 said slyly.

“What does he do?” Portalfig asked.

“He’s a master of Psionics,” Fisher64 explained. “He has taken a mental hold on these members here and turned them into our minions.”

“No offense, but that’s a terrible idea,” Portalfig said. “The good guys just have to knock him out and boom, those members turn on us. It’s too risky.”

“Don’t misjudge his psychic abilities,” Fishers64 said. “This is not mere mind control. Instead of moving them like puppets, he has already dissected their brains and rewired them to be utterly devoted to our cause. This means they can think and act on their own accord, with their full intelligence intact. But their loyalties now lie entirely with me.”

“And what’s to keep him from taking control of our minds as well?” Portalfig hissed.

“Certain members have a. . . mentality that will prevent him from doing so,” Fishers64 said. “That is why he can’t brainwash the staff, or me. But against a regular member with no mental training, they wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“Oh good, I thought I would have to be worried for a moment,” Smoke Monster said, relieved.

“Nope, pretty sure you fall in that latter category,” Portalfig said.


“Nothing, never mind me.”

“Now that our team has united, it is time to press forward to victory,” Fishers64 said, turning now towards the portal on the far end of the room. “Let us open the gateway into the Bionicle universe!”

On cue, Reznas and Lyichir stepped towards the two columns on either end of the portal. Based on the information Fishers64 had stolen, they activated the control panels, and then simultaneously typed in the commands.

“Let the portal activate!” Fishers64 said, throwing her arms dramatically in the air. However, nothing happened.

“I don’t get it,” Smoke Monster said. “Why hasn’t it activated?”

Fishers64 narrowed her eyes. “Try it again,” she commanded Reznas and Lyichir. They did so, but again the portal didn’t start up.

“What’s going on here,” she snarled, pushing Reznas aside. “They’re putting in the proper commands. Why isn’t this working?”

“Hmm,” Portalfig said, taking over the controls from Lyichir. “It appears the system has been corrupted by an outside source.”

“Meaning?” Smoke Monster asked.

“Somebody has sabotaged the portal,” Portalfig explained.

“No, this can’t be!” Fishers64 fumed. “How am I supposed to begin my evil reign of terror if I can’t even get into the Bionicle universe?”

“Chill down, ice queen,” Portalfig said. “With some time, I can fix this, and we can get in. But just looking at this now, it’s very crafty, and I don’t even think the BZ-Koro Staff has realized that it’s down. It must’ve been hacked right after the expedition went through.”

“So what does this all mean?” Smoke Monster asked again, clearly confused.

“For right now, it means that our evil plans are going to be slightly delayed,” Portalfig responded. “But overall, it means that there’s somebody else out there who’s messing with things. . . and they’re willing to break the rules too.”

READER QUESTION: The expedition has split up. Who should be the focus of the next chapter?

A: The members who are continueing the search for the mask
B: The members searching for the controller of the Exo-Toa
C: The members who are attempting to return to BZ-Koro

Please provide your answer in the Review Topic!
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Chapter 7

Phyoohrii cursed as he trudged through the sand dunes. “I can’t believe we crossed this desert just to turn around and cross it again.”

“Guys, we need to hurry,” Tekulo insisted, even as he stepped in ankle-deep sand. “The sooner we can get back, the sooner we can get help.”

“Tekulo is right,” Pommy said. “We’re in over our heads here. I mean, I would totally like to explore the island and find more fruits, but let’s be realistic here.”

“We really don’t even know what’s going on,” Letagi put in. “So it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.”

“You guys call it that,” Phyoohrii grumbled. “I call it turning tail and running away.”

“So you would rather get beaten up by a rampaging Exo-Toa?” Tekulo asked.

“No, but I don’t mind fighting one,” Phyoohrii said. “Part of this expedition was that we’d be willing to take risks, not calling for help at the first sign of trouble.”

“In case you forgot, Makaru got killed,” Letagi pointed out. “That’s not ‘the first sign of trouble’ in my opinion. This seems like a perfectly reasonable course of action. Besides, we split up so that we could get help and continue the search at the same time.”

“I guess then I wish I had been on one of the other teams,” Phyoohrii muttered to himself.

“I think we’re almost there!” Pommy exclaimed. “See, that’s the rocky outcropping up ahead.”

“So it is,” Letagi said. “Let’s move it!”

“About time too,” Tekulo complained. “I hate walking through this sand.”

The four of them quickly reached the base of the metal ring that was built into the rocks. They had been given instructions on how to reactivate the portal, but it still took them a while to find the two control panels located on either end of the ring.

“Okay, to do this right, we need to flip the switches simultaneously,” Phyoohrii explained. “Otherwise the thing won’t activate and we’ll need to wait five minutes before we can try again.”

Tekulo went to one side and Letagi was on the other. When they were in position, Phyoohrii said, “Okay, on my mark. Three, two, one... now.”

Tekulo and Letagi flipped their switches, but nothing happened. Phyoohrii frowned. “Gosh, this thing must be finicky. Okay, let’s wait for it to cool down and try it again.”

But five minutes later, the portal still didn’t activated. And five minutes after that, on their third attempt, still nothing happened.

“Are you guys that bad that you can’t even flip a switch in sync?” Phyoohrii asked.

“No, I was watching, they totally did it at the same time,” Pommy said.

“So maybe it’s not just the switch part we’re doing wrong,” Letagi pointed out. “Is there anything else we’re missing?”

“There isn’t a lot else to miss,” Phyoohrii said. “There’s plenty of security on the BZ-Koro end, but that’s not needed here.”

“Maybe there’s some setting that’s off,” Pommy suggested.

Letagi gazed at the control panel. “There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on here. I don’t see how it could’ve been changed.”

“Unless there’s something else wrong with the portal,” Pommy said.

“The control panels aren’t the only mechanical feature,” Phyoohrii said. “Look around and see if you can find anything else.”

The four spread out and started canvasing the rock formation, looking for anything that might be connected with the non-functional portal. Letagi continued to examine the metal ring itself, but besides the two panels, there seemed to no other controls built in. Pommy climbed up on top of the rocks to see if she could spot anything, while Phyoohrii and Tekulo began circling the parameter of the rocks.

Tekulo was the one who found it first. He let out a loud gasp that carried through the desert, and then shouted, “Guys, over here!”

He was halfway around the rock formation when the others found him, staring at the rock face. In the particular section, the rocks had actually been camouflage for the machinery that was powering the portal. However, that machinery had been exposed and was severely damaged, with wires and metal parts strewn across the ground.

Phyoohrii whistled as he saw the wreckage. “Oh yeah, that would do it.”

“Oh man, that is bad,” Letagi said. “No wonder the portal wasn’t starting up.”

“What could have done this?” Pommy asked. “You don’t suppose it was some Rahi.”

“A wild Rahi wouldn’t have a need to go tear through rock and damage a machine,” Phyoohrii said. “Something with ill intent was behind this.”

Pommy gasped. “Maybe it was Rahi controlled by Makuta!”

Letagi shook his head. “There is no Makuta here right now. He was part of the main story and thus moved on as the years progressed, which is also why we don’t see any Matoran or Toa. Makaru explained that earlier.”

“Then what did this?” Pommy asked again.

“My guess,” Phyoohrii said darkly. “The same person who sent the Exo-Toa after us.”

“So still think this is something we shouldn’t tell the BZ-Koro Staff about?” Tekulo asked.

“No, you’re right, something very odd is going on here,” Phyoohrii said. “But this was our only way back, and now it’s broken, so there’s no way to get help.”

“Oh,” Tekulo said, the color starting to drain from his mask. “That’s right.”

“Could we fix it?” Pommy asked.

Phyoohrii shook his head. “None of us are really electronics experts, and we don’t know exactly how this worked in the first place. We’re out of luck.”

“Maybe not,” Letagi said suddenly. “You carry Kanoka discs, right? If you have a regeneration disc strong enough, that might do all the technical fixes for you!”

“Good point,” Phyoohrii said, and he began to root through his bag of Kanoka. “I think I have one in here somewhere.”

“It will be a power type code seven,” Letagi said helpfully.

“I know how to read Kanoka codes,” Phyoohrii snapped. “I made most of these, after all.” Finally, he pulled out a disc. “Ah, here we go, and with a power level of six.”

Phyoohrii loaded the disc in his launcher and took careful aim at the wrecked machinery, even as the others stepped back. Finally, he fired it; the disc struck the electronics and emitted a bright burst of light. As it dimmed, they saw that the wiring began to reposition itself, getting back into its original, operating position. When it was over, although there was still some structural, the internal workings were put back together.

“Excellent!” Tekulo exclaimed. “Now let’s go get this thing started.”

However, as the four of them returned to the front of the metal ring, they saw it began to activate, and the bluish whirlpool of air began to form.

“Cool, we didn’t even have to start it this time!” Pommy said excitedly.

Phyoohrii, however, was not as optimistic. “That wasn’t from us,” he said.

“Then what’s going on?” Tekulo asked.

“It looks like somebody from BZ-Koro is trying to get here,” Phyoohrii said. “But why would they do that? We haven’t even been gone a full day.”

The portal was finally fully activated, and right away a silhouette appeared in it. Fittingly enough, Portalfig was the first to step out, already in midsentence. “. . . don’t know how we got it started, but it’s indeed working now.” He paused as he took in the scene, including the four members staring at him. “Oh, hello there. This is unexpected.”

“Who are you?” Phyoohrii asked. “Why did you come through the portal?”

“Oh, you know, just because,” Portalfig respond, but his eyes were keening scanning his surroundings, trying to pick out any other members who might be waiting for them.

“Well, this is good, because we need to get back to BZ-Koro right away!” Tekulo said. “We were attacked by Exo-Toa and Makaru was killed and so much strange stuff is going on that we need to get help right away!”

“You’ve been attacked?” Portalfig asked, a sly grin forming on his face. “You don’t say.”

“Who are you?” Phyoohrii repeated, taking aim with his Kanoka launcher. “You’re not staff, so how did you get access to this portal?”

“I am just but a humble servant,” Portalfig said. “But true power is coming through right behind me.”

Another silhouette appeared I the portal, and then Dotcom walked out. His eyes went wide at the scenery. “Oh, wow, this is Mata Nui! This is so cool. Hey, look at those rocks. I can totally start painting on them and draw all sorts of cool designs and. . .”

Portalfig sighed. “So much for that dramatic entry. No, true power isn’t him; hopefully she’ll be coming through next.”

Right on cue, Fishers64 stepped out of the portal, and narrowed her eyes. “Well, I didn’t think there’d be any expedition members left here. What are you supposed to be, the rear guard?”

Something about her voice caused the other members to back up, but Phyoohrii held his ground. “Who are you?” he repeated.

“I’m just part of the conquering force,” Fishers64 said. “I take what I want, no matter what. Now the real question is, what are you going to do about it?”

Phyoohrii acted without hesitation, taking aim with his launcher and firing a Kanoka. Fishers64 tried to dodge it, but it struck her and encased her torso and arms in ice.

Dotcom blinked. “They just attacked her!” he exclaimed. He turned to Portalfig, asking, “Why did they attack her?”

Portalfig, however, was unconcerned. Instead, he merely grinned. “Just watch.”

“A freezing disc?” Fishers64 asked, unfazed by the sudden attack. “That’s a very good move, I certainly approve of it.” She flexed her muscles, and suddenly the ice shattered, leaving her completely unscathed. “But since that’s my element, it’s not exactly your best offensive choice.”

More figures were stepping out of the portal, as Smoke Monster, Reznas, Lyichir, Tomana, Eighty-Eight, and Constructman gathered behind Fishers64. Phyoohrii’s eyes went wide as he realized these members were probably not there for reinforcements. “Guys, run,” he whispered.

“What was that?” Tekulo asked, already jittery.

“These are not our friends,” Phyoohrii shouted. “Now run! I’ll hold them off!”

Smoke Monster, seeing a fight about to break out, charged in first. But Phyoohrii had already launched a shrinking disc, and it struck Smoke Monster and shrunk him down to a tenth of his original size. Meanwhile, Tekulo, Pommy, and Letagi bolted, running around the rocks to give themselves some immediate cover.

Fishers64 sighed as she watched them run off. “I guess we better go gather them up before they stir up any more trouble,” she said. “Dotcom, take Reznas, Lyichir, and Tomana and follow them.”

“What about that other guy?” Dotcom asked, pointing to Phyoohrii, who had just kicked the shrunken Smoke Monster through the air like a football.

“I’ll take care of him,” Fishers64 said slyly.

Phyoohrii was turning to reload his launcher and aim at someone new, but suddenly Fishers64 was right there next to him. With a swing of her hand, she knocked his Kanoka launcher clear from his grasp. Unarmed but unfazed, Phyoohrii swung up his free hand, ready to deliver a blow to keep her back. But Fishers64 expertly parried the punch, and then swung her free hand at Phyoohrii’s neck. He just barely managed to duck beneath the strike.
The two continued to trade blows, but Fishers64 was too skilled for Phyoohrii to overcome. Finally, he feigned a swing at her head and instead struck her in her side, which caused her to stumble back.

“You got a blow in,” she said. “I’m impressed.”

“That’s not the end of it!” roared Phyoohrii, charging in to resume the fight.

However, Fishers64 had grown weary of the scrimmage. “I hope you don’t mind if I borrow one of your moves real quick,” she said, then swung her hand and struck Phyoohrii in the gut. However, as she did this, she also unleashed her elemental powers, and quickly flash froze Phyoohrii in a block of ice.

The miniature Smoke Monster groaned as he approached Fishers64. “Congratulations on defeating him,” he said. “I don’t suppose you’d wait for me to return to normal size so I can properly crush him, would you?”

“That won’t be necessary,” Fishers64 said. “I like his style; I think I’ll keep him.”

“You do like collecting your followers, don’t you,” Portalfig commented. “Although he was a formidable foe, for being just an ordinary member.”

“I can see why they left him behind to guard the portal,” Fishers64 said. “Those others were too quick to abandon their posts. I think it will be safe to merely imprison of them, once they’re captured. I can make some ice sculptures that won’t thaw even in this heat for a long time.”

“They were not here as rear guards,” Portalfig said. “They mentioned that they had been attacked, and were returning for help. That, and supposedly their leader, Makaru, has been slain.”

“Makaru’s dead?” Fishers64 asked, frowning. “That’s a shame, I was looking forward to our climatic battle together.”

“Your plans are truly wondrous if you can cause so much disarray in their forces before we even arrive,” Portalfig said. “Tell me, how did you do it?”

Fishers64 chuckled. “While I appreciate the flattery, don’t overdo it. This is not part of my designs, and neither was the broken portal. Somebody is not just messing with us, it seems.”

“I see,” Portalfig said. “And if that somebody has already managed to claim the life of a high level staff member. . .”

“Then we are up against quite a formidable foe,” Fishers64 said. But she was still grinning. “And I relish the challenge they will bring.”

READER QUESTION: What Disney song should be used in the next chapter?

A: Under The Sea
B: A Whole New World
C: Just Can’t Wait To Be King

Please provide your answer in the Review Topic!
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Chapter 8

Gurk, Voltex, Winkledlion, and Skitty walked along the beach in the setting sun. They had surveyed much of the desert mountains in the northeastern corner of the island, but had not found any sign of the mask. Now they were moving south, towards the Ga-Wahi region. Already, the landscape was becoming more lush, as greater vegetation grew along the coastline.

“We will keep searching until dusk,” Gurk said. “Then we will break for the night and make camp, since not all of us can see in the dark.”

“A Ruru would be most helpful, yes, for searching at night,” Voltex said, looking sideways at Wrinkledlion’s mask, which was indeed a Ruru. “But a mask of stealth is mighty useful too. Yes, indeed it is, Rhindon, you are right.”

“We will thoroughly search Ga-Wahi tomorrow,” Gurk continued. “There’s a fair amount of marshland and open plains here to hide something like the mask. Then we’ll move onto Ta-Wahi. I have a good feeling about that area; important artifacts are always hid within the fire region.”

“A hidden location is not too good, if it be the first place a seeker will look to,” Wrinkledlion pointed out.

“Well, we’re checking everywhere anyway, just to be thorough,” Gurk said. He allowed himself a quick grin. After all, they were covering a lot of ground; it had helped that they had split off from the main group, and now only those truly dedicated to the hunt were with him, with no weaklings to slow him down.

Skitty suddenly came to a stop, and started growling. She turned her gaze to the cliffs and started pawing the ground, her eyes narrow.

“What do you see?” Voltex asked eagerly, stroking his blade. “Did Timmy fall down the well? If so, then he’ll be cornered when we attack. Rhindon never liked Timmy, no he did not.”

“They view us from above, but they are not of the birds,” Wrinkledlion said.

“Rhindon doesn’t get that,” Voltex said, frowning. “I do, but please explain for him.”

“He says that there’s somebody up there,” Gurk said, pulling his war hammer from his belt. “Maybe we should go and do a quick side investigation.”

Skitty led the way, finding a quick path up the cliffs that were bordering the beach. It took a little bit of effort for them all to reach the top, and when they did they were bathed in the scarlet light of the sunset. In the distance, also atop the cliffs, was a lone figure.

“Who are you?” Gurk shouted. But this only caused the figure to turn and run. Eager for the chase, Gurk sprinted after their mysterious quarry, followed by the others. Quite soon, they had cornered the figure on the edge of the cliff, and there was nowhere for them to escape to.

“Show yourself!” Gurk demanded. Slowly, the figure turned, and Gurk sighted a familiar mask. “Urye!”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Voltex said, completely confused. “That’s the gal who got chomp trashed by the Exo-Toa. We left her for dead.”

“When one cannot find the body, a cause of death cannot be determined,” Wrinkledlion said.

“Oh, I get it,” Voltex said, nodding. “So we kill her now and blame it on the Exo-Toa?”

“Silence,” snarled Gurk to his companion. He turned back to Urye. “You were last seen fleeing from the Exo-Toa. I thought you were merely a coward, but then we find you here. There is more to you than it first seems.”

Urye lifted her gaze, staring at the air over Gurk’s shoulder. “You should not have followed me,” she said. “I was to merely observe, not interfere.”

Skitty started growling again, and crouched down, as if preparing to pounce. Gurk didn’t get her reaction at first, but then he noticed that Urye was starting to change. Her features began to blur and mix together; it was subtle at first but quickly her entire appearance started changing.

“Just who the Karzahni are you?” Gurk demanded, lifting his war hammer. “Answer me, Urye.”

“I am not Urye, but I am,” she said hauntingly. “She never existed, yet only existed as me. I am one who is many, and many who am one.” Her eyes went wide and red, which caused all four of the members to step back.

“I am Eyru!”


Tekulo, Pommy, and Letagi ran for their lives across the desert, with Dotcom, Reznas, Lyichir, and Tomana in hot pursuit.

“You guys have any ideas for how to take them on?” Letagi asked as they ran.

“None at all!” Tekulo managed to say.

“I have Madu Cabolo left, but not much since I used a lot on the Exo-Toa,” Pommy replied.

“Maybe we need to take another route,” Letagi said. “What are your elements?”

“Plant control,” Pommy said.

“The Green,” Tekulo put in.

“Oh, I also have a plant control element,” Letagi said thoughtfully. “So if we all share the same element, maybe we can combine our powers into a massive attack!”

“Except we’re in the middle of the desert, and there aren’t any plants!” Tekulo shouted.

“Oh, good point,” Letagi said.

Behind them, Dotcom led the chase with the brainwashed members. “Why are they running?” he asked. “Stop running, it’s exhausting. Stay still so we can hit you.”

The fleeing members didn’t obey his commands, so he decided to use another tactic. “Hey, you guys have air powers, right? Help me make a wind storm!”

The four of them came to a stop, and Lyichir and Reznas summoned their elemental air powers with Dotcom. The three of them forced their air to swirl around, forming a massive tornado, which they quickly unleashed on the members. However, Dotcom had miscalculated. He could control the movements of a cyclone created by his powers alone. But a tornado made by three separate members was too much, and they realized they had no way to direct it.

The tornado blew towards Tekulo, Pommy, and Letagi, throwing sand into their faces, but then veered away on a curve, and headed back towards its instigators.

“Phooey,” Dotcom griped, seeing their tornado coming back for them. “I guess we need to get rid of it now.”

But stopping a tornado was not as easy as starting one. Dotcm, Lyichir, and Reznas tried slowing it down with their powers, but to no effect. Instead, they fled out of its path with quick blasts of air, narrowing evading it. However, Tomana did not have elemental air powers, and was not able to escape in time. He yelped as the tornado sucked him up, and his disappeared into the swirling winds.

Dotcom watched as the tornado continued off into the desert, showing no sign of dissipating. “Whoopsies,” he said. “Okay, let’s stick to chasing and punching then.”

Tekulo, Pommy, and Letagi had gotten some distance between them and their pursuers thanks to the tornado, but they soon ran out of places they could run. They had reached the northern shores of the Motara Desert. Jagged cliffs were on their left and right, and an endless ocean expanded out in front of them. There was nowhere else they could flee to.

“Now what?” Tekulo yelped.

“Maybe we can run by them and try hiding someplace else?” Pommy suggested.

“Doubtful,” Letagi said. “We might have a good chance if we try to swim away, as long as none of them have elemental water powers.”

“But I can’t swim,” Tekulo said.

“Is there anything you can do?”

“I can cook a mean soufflé au citron!”

“Look out!” Pommy shouted.

Dotcom and the others had caught up. Lyichir charged in first, header for Letagi. Letagi drew his wooden staff and blocked Lyichir’s rapier blade.

“Hey, look, I know you’re probably angry that I still own you twenty widgets,” Letagi said. “But I’m sure there are other ways we can work this out, right?”

Lyichir ignored him and swiped at him again with his blade. Letagi blocked the blow, and then darted back at Lyichir pressed forward.

Reznas charged towards Pommy. She fired a Madu Cabolo at him, but he flicked it aside with his katana, and it exploded away from him. He charged again, but this time Pommy waited for the right moment and then fired her fruit at point blank range. The explosion hit Reznas’s hand, forcing him to drop his weapon. Before he could retrieve it, Pommy grabbed him and threw him up in the air.

“Bet you weren’t expecting me to be that strong,” Pommy said gleefully. “But the Pakari mask really helps with that.”

She expected Reznas to come crashing down, but his descent was controlled and he gently floated back to the ground. He had activated his Miru, mask of levitation, to slow his fall.

“Oh,” Pommy said, disappointed. “Want to arm wrestle for this instead?”

Tekulo took off running, but quickly found himself cornered by steep rocky cliffs. He heard footsteps behind him, and spun around to see that Dotcom had boxed him in.

Dotcom drew his spray cans and swirled them in his hands, a mischievous look on his face. “Let’s get this done and out of the way,” he said. “Any last words to say?”

“Um, can I sing them instead?” Tekulo asked meekly.

Dotcom blinked. “I guess so. I don’t think there are any strict regulations on this kind of thing, really. I should ask Fishers64 about that when I get back.”

“Okay,” Tekulo said, taking a deep breath. Then he started to sing, “I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering, splendid.

“What world?” Dotcom asked, suddenly intrigued.

Tell me, artist, now when did you last let your heart decide?” Tekulo continued. “I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder.” He gestured to the stone cliffs above, bathed in the setting sunlight. “Over, sideways, and under, on a Kikinalo ride.

It’s a whole new world!” Dotcom gasped, just now taking in the scene. “A new fantastic point of view! No one to tell me ain’t, or where to paint, or say I’m only crazy.

A whole new world,” Tekulo repeated. “A dazzling place I never knew. But when we’re way out here, it’s crystal clear, that now we’re in this whole new world, it’s true.

Reznas continued to swing at Pommy, but she darted aside from all his attacks, crisscrossing the beach. He launched a blast of wind at her, but she dodged it, and then turned around and charged straight for him. Reznas stabbed his blade forward, but she ducked beneath it and came up behind him. Before he could react, she had jumped onto his back and wrapped her arms around his mask.

“Try to deal with this!” she yelled, even as Reznas thrashed about to throw her off. Finally, he managed to get a grip on her arm and yanked her off his back. Then, with a blast of wind, he threw her across the beach. Pommy bounced painfully off the sand a bit, and stood up slightly dazed. She regained her composition just in time to see Reznas pointing his blade at her, and just managed to avoid another blast of wind.

However, now Reznas’s aim was off. His head was foggy from earlier, and his mask was now on crooked. He lifted his hand to readjust it, but then felt a liquid dripping down through the eye hole. It was red, but he quickly realized that it was not his blood. But then, what was it? It was almost like juice from some sort of fruit. . .

Pommy had recovered, and she drew her slingshot again. But she was out of Madu Cabolo, so instead she grabbed a small rock and fit it into the launcher. “Eat this, dunder-head!” she shouted as she fired it.

Realization suddenly struck Reznas. Pommy has stuffed the last of her Madu Cabolo fruits into the top of his mask when she had latched onto him. He tried to somehow block the incoming stone, but Pommy’s aim was true. It struck him on the mask, and the collision triggered the Madu Cabolo.

There was a large explosion, centered around Reznas’s head. When the smoke cleared, Reznas was lying on the ground, his face charred and his mask split in two. He was not dead, but he was out of the fight.

“Score one for the Pomegranate!” Pommy chanted in victory, waving her hands in the air.

Lyichir and Letagi were just about evenly matched as they sparred, katana on wooden staff. Letagi was indeed skilled with a staff, but he was just barely able to keep up with Lyichir. But all the same, something was different. Letagi had faced Lyichir in mock battles before, and normally knew him as someone who was always talking. In fact, the two of them had often chatted about collectibles in the past, although they had also gotten into sever disagreements. (Letagi still insisted that his pronunciation of ‘Lewa’ was the correct one.)

But while this Lyichir had all of the same skill, he had none of the attitude. He just silently pressed forward into the battle. Letagi found it odd, and would’ve pondered on it further if Lyichir hadn’t currently been trying to kill him.

As their weapons clashed yet again, Letagi decided to try and pull one of his ace moves. But for it to succeed, his opponent would need to be disarmed. Letagi feigned a swing to the right, and Lyichir immediately tried to block it, but his weapon didn’t move there. Instead, Letagi swung at his true target. This wasn’t Lyichir’s head or body, but his sword holding hand. The strike caused Lyichir to drop his rapier, and Letagi knocked it away.

Lyichir backed up, eyes scanning the surrounding landscape as he thought up a new tactic. But Letagi wasn’t going to give him the chance to retaliate; instead he charged forward and pushed his staff up against Lyichir. And then he activated his elemental powers.

Letagi had plant control elemental powers, but those had been almost useless in the lifeless desert. But there was one piece of plant life that he could control in times of need: his wooden staff. Immediately, spiked vines began to grow from the staff and wrap around Lyichir, binding him. Lyichir tried to resist, and even managed to summon a gale force wind that knocked Letagi back. But the vine had already been activated, and then didn’t stop growing until Lyichir was completely immobilized.

Meanwhile, Dotcom and Tekulo were still singing together, having apparently forgotten their animosity towards each other. “Unbelievable sights,” Dotcom sang, spinning around in the sands. “Indescribable feelings. Running, jumping, and spinning, under an blood-red setting sky.

A whole new world,” Tekulo sand. “A hundred thousand things to see.

I’m like a shooting star, I’ve come so far,” Dotcom continued. “I can’t go back to where I used to be.

A whole new world!

Every turn a surprise.

With new horizons to pursue.

Every moment gets better.

I won’t chase you anywhere, there’s no time to spare,” Dotcom sang. “I’ve got to paint this whole new world anew.

The two faced each other and started singing in harmony. “A whole new world, that’s where we’ll be! A thrilling chase, a wondrous place!

For you and me,” Tekulo finished.

“What, no,” Dotcom said, breaking out of the song. “Just for me.” He swung his fist and struck Tekulo in the face, throwing him back into the sand. Then he turned and happily skipped off into the sunset, towards the cliffs that were just begging for spray paintings to be made on them.

READER QUESTION: We haven’t yet heard from the team that went after the Exo-Toa signal. Where will their chase lead them?
A: The peak of Mt. Ihu
B: The caverns of Onu-Wahi
C: To the Kini-Nui
Please provide your answer in the Review Topic!
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Chapter 9

Fishers64 paced across the dark desert sands next to the temple that housed the portal. It was night
now, but they had set up a few lightstones tiki torches to illuminate the immediate area. Frustrated, she glanced down at her time piece, and then up again. “Are we all packed?” she snapped.

“Yes we are, master,” Smoke Monster replied. He had since returned to normal size, and had gathered most of their supplies into a single massive backpack. As he was the strongest member in Fisher64’s crew, he would be carrying most of it, but that was all right by him, as he had strength to spare.

“Good, good,” Fishers64 murmured, and then she resumed her pacing.

Smoke Monster frowned, and glanced around. Constructman was standing nearby, just on the edge of the light, but he was motionless and silent. Furthermore, the two members next to him were equally statue-like. They were Eighty-Eight and Phyoohrii. Constructman had spent twenty minutes working on Phyoohrii’s mind, and when he was finished, the member was now entirely loyal to Fisher64. However, the two controlled members wouldn’t talk either, so Smoke Monster had no one to converse with.

Deciding to break the silence, he asked Fishers64, “Why do you keep pacing?”

“The others should be back by now,” she grumbled. “It was such a simple task. Take down a few stragglers. Why are they not back yet?”

Constructman suddenly moved, and the motion caught Smoke Monster off guard. But if he was expecting something exciting, he was disappointed, as Constructman was merely pointing into the dark desert.

Fishers64, however, took interest in this. “They’re back,” she said.

However, the only ones to wander back into the light were Portalfig, dragging an unconscious Tomana behind him.

Fishers64 narrowed her eyes. “Explain.”

“It’s a good think I went scouting after them,” Portalfig said. “They appear to have defeated our men. Tomana here was passed out in the middle of the desert; I don’t even know how they managed to achieve that blow to him. Reznas and Lyichir are also their prisoners, it seems, and Dotcom was nowhere to be found. I fear the worst.”

Fishers64 mused. “So they were more powerful than we gave them credit for. Makaru clearly saw them for their hidden talent. We must do our best not to underestimate them in the future.”

“I don’t know about that,” Portalfig continued. “It could be that they just got lucky. Or perhaps Dotcom turned on us. He was always a bit of a loose cannon.”

“There is nothing that they could offer Dotcom that would sway his loyalty,” Fishers64 said confidentiality. “They must’ve overpowered him or something.”

“We should launch a counter attack, and take them down for good,” Smoke Monster put in.

Fishers64 shook her head. “It would not be worth the effort at this point. It’s already a blow to our mission, and so early on too. Three lost in one outing.”

“But one gained,” Portalfig added, nodding to Phyoohrii. “That one seemed to be quite the fighter.”

“Oh yes, he will be exceedingly useful,” Fishers64 agreed. “He was also a tough one to crack, but Constructman conquered him in the end.” She sighed. “Well, this venture has been for waste, and it’s not even like our real goal is to defeat the expedition members.”

“Wait, it’s not?” Smoke Monster asked, disappointed.

“Well, that’s not our primary goal,” Fishers64 conceded. “I mean, if they get in our way and all, then we’ll exterminate them. But we’re not out to hunt them down for some vendetta or anything. We just need to make sure we claim the prize first.”

“Well spoken,” Portalfig said.

“And with that out of the way, let us start off for real now,” Fishers64 said, picking up one of the lightstone tiki torches. “We make way for the Kini-Nui. Eighty-Eight, Phyoohrii, carry your comrade Tomana until he wakes up. We can’t afford to wait any more. We must be off at once.”

“Alright, let’s go!” Smoke Monster said enthusiastically. “Except I don’t understand. Why are we going to the Kini-Nui?”

“Because that’s the quickest way to get to Metru-Nui,” Portalfig explained.

“Ah, good point,” Smoke Monster said. He paused for a moment, then added, “Why are we going to Metru-Nui?”

“Because, my dear, ignorant brute,” Fishers64 said with a grin. “That’s where we’ll find the Mask of the Bionicle!”


Franco Mango, Zatth, and Trijhak clung tightly onto the Exo-Toa armor being manned by Cyrix. They had to, because he was using it to jog across the desert. It was indeed a fast form of transportation, but there weren’t any seats on the Exo-Toa for passengers, so the three members had to cling onto the back to avoid getting thrown off.

The sun had set and darkness now covered the desert, but Cyrix has merely flipped a switch and activated some headlights on the armor, allowing them to see where they were going. Franco hadn’t even known that the Exo-Toa had headlights, but Cyrix had the command ready at a moment’s notice. Even in the darkness, the stars were still visible in the sky above them, and they could still make out the shadows of the Ko-Wahi mountains to the south.

“Where are we going?” Zatth asked for perhaps the tenth time.

“We’re following the signal!” Cyrix responded. “To the signal. It can’t be stopped, and neither can we!”

“I mean, where is the signal originating?” Zatth clarified.

“At the place we’re heading to,” Cyrix answered without really answering anything.

“He probably doesn’t have exact coordinates,” Trijhak said. “No need to keep hounding him about it. When we get there, we’ll get there.”

“Then I should really be asking you, traitor,” Zatth snapped. “Since this is probably all your doing.”

“Please, sending a squadron of Exo-Toa is totally not my style,” Trijhak said casually. “There are so many better ways I could’ve assassinated all of you.” He paused. “And of course I didn’t try a single one of them, thus proving I am on your side. Ish.”

“Would you two cut it out?” Franco murmured. Their bickering was giving him a migraine, and it didn’t help that he was also getting motion sickness from riding the Exo-Toa.

However, their journey came to a sudden halt. The Exo-Toa came to a stop, and inertia took the three members and threw them into the ground. Zatth was the first to get to his feet, and spun around to angrily glare at Cyrix, still pleasantly seated in the armor. “What was that about?”

“Run-time is over,” Cyrix said. “Safer to walk-walk now.”

“Walk where?” Zatth asked.

“Down there, I think,” Franco said, also getting to his feet. Zatth turned around and saw they were at the entrance of a large tunnel.

“We’re going underground?” he asked, slightly put off.

“Signal is coming from below,” Cyrix explained. “So this way we a-go.”

“Seems fitting,” Trijhak said. “This is a large entrance, tall enough for the Exo-Toa to pass through. I bet there’s a connection.”

Zatth was about to shout again when Franco stopped him. “Let’s just go underground and check this out. Here, we all have lightstones to help illuminate our way.”

“Not-need lightstone!” Cyrix said. “I got battery powered light up Toa armor suit guy here.”

“Well, they’ll make for a good back up anyway,” Franco said. “Lead the way, Cyrix.”

The four members descended into the tunnel, which quickly dropped down deep beneath the surface. The warmth of the desert soon gave way to the cool underground, and as they descended, the air grew moister. Although the desert received little rainfall, there was still enough water to seep down through the earth and eventually wet the tunnel’s walls.

Eventually, they came across a fork in the tunnel. Cyrix instantly turned left, but Zatth called for a pause. “Let me just jot this down,” he said, pulling out some parchment.

“This isn’t the time to be making maps,” Trijhak said. “Cyrix knows the way to go, just let him lead.”

“He knows the way to the signal, but not back to the surface,” Zatth shot back. “I want to make sure we can get back up on the return trip. Or, at least some of us.”

But it turned out that Zatth’s caution was for the best, as the tunnels continued to split the further then went on. Zatth kept a very detailed drawing of their route, so it would be easy enough for them to go back up. But without a map, Franco was sure they would get hopelessly lost.

Finally, they came to a large, steel door. Cyrix pointed at it, and said, “Signal’s behind that.”

“Then we’ve reached our destination,” Franco said, drawing his sword. “And perhaps the mastermind behind this all too.”

“But first we need to get through that door,” Trijhak pointed out. “Looks locked. Anybody have any ideas for how to get in?”

“I can just blasty-blast-blast it opened!” Cyrix exclaimed happily, activating the Exo-Toa’s missile launcher.

“No, you cool dude, don’t do that!” Zatth shouted. “A missile blast in here could bring this tunnel down on us.”

“Fine,” Cyrix said dejectedly, lowering the Exo-Toa’s arm.

“I could use my elemental fire powers to perhaps heat the hinges,” Franco brainstormed. “Then maybe Zatth could blast it with some cold air, and it’ll weaken enough that we can break through with sheer force.”

“Or we could just unlock it,” Trijhak suggested, stepping forward.

“Ah ha, so you admit this is your lair!” Zatth said.

“No, just that I know a thing or two about picking locks,” Trijhak said, and he started working on the handle. “This one doesn’t seem so tough, should be able to open it in a jiffy.”

Zatth stood back as Trijhak worked. “I still don’t trust him,” he muttered to Franco.

“I think he’s been plenty helpful,” Franco said. “And he did save us from the Exo-Toa earlier. If he was behind them, why not just let them finish us off?”

“Maybe he’s playing a long game?” Zatth said, but now he sounded less sure.

“Or maybe we’re facing somebody else entirely,” Franco said. “You told him to come with us so he could prove his innocence. Keep an opened mind and let him do that.”

“Fine,” Zatth grumbled. “But if we’re walking into a trap he set. . . well can’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Got it!” Trijhak said triumphantly. There was a loud click, and the steel doors swung opened, and the four members entered the room beyond it.

Franco glanced around, and saw machinery lining the walls. “This does seem to be the place,” he said.

Zatth, however, was brandishing his scythe. “Come out villain!” he roared. “We know you’re here.”

Trijhak held up his lightstone, to further illuminate the room. It wasn’t very big; it couldn’t even fit Cyrix’s Exo-Toa. “I don’t think there’s anybody here.”

“They might not be here right now,” Franco said. “But this could still be their base of operations.”
Cyrix dropped out of the Exo-Toa and dashed towards the closest computer console. “Ooh, lots of pretty machinery. I wonder if there are any games here. Oh, look, buttons! I wonder what pressing them will do? Which one should I try first?”

“This is the room that the signal is coming from, right?” Zatth asked.

“Oh, indeed,” Cyrix said, pointing to a particular piece of machinery. “That’s the transmitter right there.”

“So the bad guy had to activate the Exo-Toa from here,” Franco summed up. “He can’t be that far away.”

“Well, not necessarily,” Cyrix said. “This is one of many stations, and he or she or it or they could’ve easily remoted in from any other location with similar access.”

“Wait, so the signal could’ve come from somewhere else?” Zatth exclaimed.

“Nope,” Cryix, shaking his head. “Signal came from here. But signal could’ve been activated from elsewhere. Now, if you’ll much-excuse me, I have levers to flip and buttons to press.”

“So this was all for waste,” Zatth raged. “We’re still no closer to finding Makaru’s murderer!”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Franco said. “If Cyrix could trace the signal here, maybe he could locate any other substations. Right, Cyrix?”

“What?” Cyrix said absentmindedly. “Oh, sure, whatevs.” He punched a few commands, and a screen went active, displaying a map of the island. “There, blinky lights showcase other substations.” With that, he turned back to his tinkering.

“Well, look, a map,” Trijhak said. “Now we’re back in your area of expertise, Zatthy-baby.”

Zatth ignored him and stared at the map. He pulled out some fresh parchment and started jotting down the locations on it. “There’s a lot here. A few scattered out in the jungle, one on Mt. Ihu, another next to the volcano, a few more along the coast. It’ll take a long time to check all these out.”

“Wait, look at the one,” Franco said, pointing to a location in Onu-Wahi. “That’s close to where we are. Heck, I think that might be for this particular location.”

“But then that means. . .” Zatth started.

“This itself is just another substation,” Trijhak summed up. “Which means the main headquarters must be located elsewhere.”

“Cyrix, can you pinpoint the master station?” Franco asked.

“Sure, sure,” Cyrix replied. He switched monitors, and began typing in more codes. “Looks like it’s the underground one.”

“We’re at the underground one right now,” Trijhak pointed out.

“No, not this one,” Cyrix said. “The really, really, really deep underground one.” He pointed to a dot that seemed to be located in the center of the island.

“That’s pretty far out of Onu-Wahi,” Trijhak mused. “It’s not even that close to the Kini-Nui. I wonder how we’ll get there.”

“Wait, I get it!” Zatth said suddenly. “It’s not just underground; it’s in a whole other city. It’s in Metru Nui, and probably the Coliseum at that. I’ve overlaid a map of Metru Nui with Mata Nui before and that dot would line up with the center of that city. And it is also further underground than even Onu-Wahi, so it makes sense.”

“And Metru Nui would have more machinery that could be used to program the Exo-Toa,” Franco added. “It’s all adding up.”

“Our advisory wasn’t even on the same island as us!” Zatth surmised. “Now let’s go to the city of legends and face him once and for all!”

“Or her,” Cyrix added. “Or it or they.” His elbow slipped and he stuck a lever. This activated the machinery behind him, which roared to life and sudden emitted a sonic blast. The four members were knocked to the ground. But although they were unhurt, the same couldn’t be said for their lightstones, which shattered. Around them, the low buzz of the machinery died down, and the monitor with the map on it went dark. Soon, the four members were shrouded in complete darkness.

“Oh great,” Zatth complained. “Way to go and destroy our light source, Cyrix.”

“No worries, there should be some undamaged lightstones in our packs that are with the Exo-Toa,” Franco said, slowly feeling his way towards the door. “Once we get those, we can light up this place and get out.”

Cyrix was still tapping at the computers, but now there was no response. “Uncool,” he complained. “Everything broke again. Just like last time I was allowed in a computer lab.”

“We don’t need those computers anymore,” Zatth said. “We know where we’re going now, so let’s get a move on.”

However, he paused as he heard scraping on the rocks. “Is that you guys?” he asked.

“Not me?” Franco responded. “Trijhak?”

But Trijhak did not respond, and now the scraping was growing louder, and seemed to be coming from multiple directions. Realization suddenly dawned on Franco.

“Oh no! It’s a Rahi attack!”

READER QUESTION: What underground Rahi are going to attack them?

A: Kofo-Jaga
B: Manas
C: Ussal Crabs. Evil Ussal Crabs

Please provide your answer in the Review Topic!
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Chapter 10

Tekulo awoke to a painful throbbing in his head. He opened his eyes to darkness, but after a few moments, his vision began to clear and he could make out stars overhead, as well as the shining red comet.

He sat up and looked around. He was still on the Po-Wahi beach, but it was the middle of the night, and nearly everything was shrouded in darkness. The exception was a small campfire not far away, where he could see his two friends.

“Hey, you’re up!” Pommy shouted, waving at Tekulo. “Come join us by the fire.”

“How did you get the fire started?” Tekulo wondered, as he joined Pommy and Letagi by the fire.

“I used the last of my Madu Cabolo fruits in the fight,” Pommy explained. “But there was enough leftover juices left to light this fire. A pretty ingenious trick, if I do say so myself.”

“The fight. . . the fight!” Tekulo exclaimed, as his memory came flooding back. “We were under attack! But what happened?”

“Well, you managed to send Dotcom screaming,” Letagi said. “Although it looks like he clocked you on in the end. Pommy knocked Reznas out, and he still hasn’t come to. And I ensnared Lyichir.”

“With his staff!” Pommy said. “He was all, ‘Boom, my staff is a prison!’ and used it to wrap around Lyichir.”

“Unfortunately, it’s a one-time only attack,” Letagi said, frowning. “I’m weaponless now.”

“In the end, we managed to beat all the bad guys,” Pommy said. “And the rest haven’t tried to follow, so they must be scared.”

“What happened to Phyoohrii?” Tekulo asked.

Letagi shrugged. “We don’t know, he hasn’t shown up yet. Maybe he’s still fighting or managed to escape some other direction. But they may have captured him, or worse.”

Tekulo collapsed on the ground. “This is it, then, isn’t it? The bad guys beat us, and they have the portal so we can’t even get back to BZ-Koro.”

“They haven’t gotten us yet,” Pommy reminded him.

“But it’s only a matter of time,” Tekulo insisted.

“Let’s not throw in the towel just yet,” Letagi said. “There are other expedition members still out there, but they might not know what they’re up against. We should try to find them instead and warn them.”

“But where would we even begin looking?” Tekulo wondered. “We split up after all.”

“Skitty and the others were headed for Ga-Wahi,” Pommy pointed out. “We could head that direction. And there are also lots of plants down there, which will help us all elementally. And I can find more fruits down there too!”

“That might be the best way to go,” Letagi agreed. “Zatth and the others went following a signal, and we don’t know where that’s taken them. But if we can catch up to Gurk, Voltex, Skitty, and Winkledlion in Ga-Wahi, that could help us for sure.”

“Except for one little problem,” Tekulo said. “I’m not exactly an expert navigator, but I’m pretty sure we have an entire desert between us and Ga-Wahi. It’ll be too treacherous to make it across on foot, and that’s without considering the fact that there might be enemies waiting for us out there too.”

“We’ll think of something!” Pommy said optimistically. “At dawn, the Crazy Crew will ride out into the sunrise, to seek fortune, friends, and fruit!”

“I wish you wouldn’t call us the Crazy Crew,” Tekulo said glumly.


Franco tensed up as he heard the scrapping of hundreds of clawed feet fill the tunnel. Something was heading towards them, and there were a lot too.

“We need some light,” Zatth hissed. “We need to see what we’re up against.”

“I have an idea,” Franco said, drawing his sword. He concentrated on his fire powers, and flames appeared along his blade, illuminating the small tunnel. As they did so, the glow also cast light on the swarm of Rahi that was now crawling through the tunnel.

“Awe!” Cyrix said. “They’re cutesey wutsey Ussal crabbies!

“The sonic blast must’ve attracted them somehow,” Franco said. Indeed, the swamp now covered the entire tunnel floor, blocking their only exit. The Ussals were also scurrying around their supplies and the Exo-Toa.

Franco glanced back as his comrades. “Okay, let’s try something to shoo them away without getting them riled up, because there are a lot of them. Zatth, maybe you could try diverting them with a breeze, and Trijhak could shoot a few arrows to herd them.” He looked around suddenly. “Where is Trijhak?”

Zatth also looked around, but found no sign of Trijhak. “Did that traitor disappear again?” he growled.

“Okay, one issue at a time,” Frnaco said. “Let’s just calmly deal with these Ussal. . .”

“Ussals want hugs!” Cyrix said, running straight towards the closest one. “Because they’re so cute and adorable!”

“Wait, Cyrix, no!” Franco yelled out, but it was too late. As Cyrix approached, the lead Ussal snapped out its claws, striking Cyrix and sending him flying backwards into the wall. He hit the rock with a crunch and fell down.

“That not very huggable,” he said wearily. “In fact, I would say they’re downright evil!”

“These aren’t friendly, tamed Ussals,” Zatth said, drawing his scythe. “These are Rock Ussal. They’re very aggressive, and very strong.”

Franco threw a blast of fire at the Rock Ussals, but they brushed it aside and charged. Franco gulped, and added, “Also they’re resilient against elemental attacks.”

“I got this,” Zatth said, summoning a mighty gust of wind to blow the Ussal backwards. Or at least, that was his intention, but he only managed to summon a slight breeze. “What the. . .” he said, as the Ussals caught up with him.

Franco grabbed Zatth and pulled him back, blocking the Ussals with a wall of fire. But it wouldn’t be long before they brushed that aside. “Your air powers must not work well underground,” he said to Zatth.

“That’s right, confined spaces and all,” Zatth grumbled. “This must be Trijhak’s trap, and he knew I would be weaker underground.”

“Well, you still need to fight,” Franco said, using his sword to block one of the Ussal’s claws.

Zatth gripped his scythe as another Ussal charged him, and this one had buzz saw blades on the end of its claws. He took a swing as it, but it knocked his weapon aside and leapt on top of him, pinning Zatth to the ground. Then it swung its buzz saw bladed claws, attempting to tear into Zatth’s mask. Zatth managed to grab the claws when the blades were inches from his face, but the Ussal was quickly overpowering him, and Zatth couldn’t hold out much longer.

Suddenly, something landed on the Ussal’s back, stunning it. Zatth used the change to kick at it’s underbelly, knocking it off him. He glanced up to see Cryix leaping from Ussal to Ussal in the midst of their frenzy.

“Let’s play ‘The floor is crabby lava,’” Cryix said, leaping onto a particularly large Ussal. It tried to buck him off, but he held on to it tightly.

“Not a bad idea,” Franco said, leaping over a Ussal that was charging him. “But how will we escape?”

“I might know how,” Zatth said. He closed his eyes and began to concentrate on his mask. However, as he did so, the Ussals turned towards him.

“Look out!” Franco yelled. He jumped between Zatth and the charging Rahi, throwing fire to keep them at bay.

Zatth finally started to stir, and he opened his eyes. “It’s coming,” he said.

Franco shot an angry look at him. “What were you trying to do there?” he asked.

“I just used my mask of summoning to call for help,” Zatth explained.

“Ooh, so like you ordered us a pizza then?” Cyrix asked, leaping over another Ussal.

Zatth grinned. “Not quite.”

Franco heard a low grumble, similar to the sound of tank treads, and then the wall on the other side of the transmission room exploded as a Mana Ko drove through it.

“Now that’s a big crab!” Cyrix remarked.

The Mana Ko thrust its powerful claws forward, and fired disintegrating energy blasts into the swarm of Ussals. The Ussals split up and now turned their attention to the new enemy. They swarmed the Mana Ko, nimbly dodging its energy blasts. The Mana Ko was strong and powerful, but it was not fast, and it couldn’t stop the smaller but swifter Rock Ussals from climbing on top of it and attacking it with their claws.

However, the Rahi fight eased up on the Ussal’s attack on Franco, Zatth, and Cyrix. They still had to contend with the Rahi, but now there were fewer of them.

“Grab your supplies and get to the exit,” Franco yelled, reaching for his pack. He grabbed it and strapped it on, and saw Zatth get his too. Strangely, Trijhak’s bag was already missing.

“Let’s make our escape now,” Franco said, using his sword to block one attack from the Ussals.

“No way,” Cyrix said. “They fighty-fight me, I’m going to fighty-fight back!” He leapt up into his Exo-Toa and activated it. He swung the clawed hand, sending Ussals flying. “Take that, you adorable things you!”

“Are you crazy!” Zatth shouted. “Don’t fight in that thing down here!”

But his words went unheeded, and Cyrix aimed a rocket blast at the swarm of Ussals. He fired, and the explosion scattered the crabs and even stunned the Mana Ko. But it also caused the walls to shutter, and cracks started forming in the ceiling and floor.

“Oh no!” Franco yelled out. The ceiling started to give way, but so did the rock beneath their feet. Franco lost concentration and the fire of his sword went out, pitching them back into darkness. All he could hear was the roar of the cave-in as he and the others fell into depths of the earth.

READER QUESTION: How will the Crazy Crew get to Ga-Wahi?

A: Sand Surfing
B: Atop the Noble Mukau
C: Atop the less noble Husi Bird

READER QUESTION: What do Franco, Zatth, and Cryix fall into?

A: A convenient tunnel to Metru Nui
B: Energized Protodermis
C: The mouth of a Toa Terrain Crawler

Please provide your answers in the Review Topic Edited by xccj
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Chapter 11

Tekulo opened his eyes to bright sunlight. He sat up, blinking the sleep out of his eyes. He had fallen asleep on the beach, and nearby he could see Letagi and Pommy were also starting to wake up.

“Great, yet another days on Mata Nui,” Tekulo mumbled. “It’s not nearly as fun as I thought it would be.”

“We should be getting going soon,” Letagi said, getting to his feet. “We have a long journey ahead of us.”

“Wait, aren’t we missing somebody?” Pommy asked, looking around.

“It’s just the three of us,” Tekulo said. “And our two prisoners, I guess.”

“But I only count one prisoner,” Pommy said.

Letagi glanced around. Reznas was still out cold, tied up on the far side of the camp. But Lyichir was missing; all that remained were the small shards of Letagi’s staff.

“He must’ve broke free while we were asleep,” Letagi mused. “But he didn’t attack us. I wonder why?”

“Well, so be it,” Tekulo grumbled. “I wasn’t planning on dragging him with us, since he did try to kill us.” He glanced down. “I’m hungry, but we left all our food behind when we ran off.”

“We still have this one!” Pommy said, leaping next to Reznas. She leaned down next to his ear and shouted, “Wake up, sleepy!”

Reznas started to stir. He opened his eyes and looked around, confused. “Where am I?” he asked.
“The coastline of Po-Wahi,” Letagi said. “You know, the place where you attacked us last night.”

“I what?” Reznas asked. He grimaced, and said, “Man, I have this splitting headache. Feel like my brain exploded or something.”

“Yeah, that was close enough to what happened,” Pommy said. “Now, we’re going to play a game. I’ll be the bad cop, Letagi will be the good cop, and Tekulo will be the shy cop who only joined the force out of family obligation.”

“What are you babbling about?” Reznas asked, but then Pommy grabbed him and started shaking him. “Tell us why you attacked us!” she shouted.

“Gah, stop that, my ears are already ringing!” Reznas complained.

“Just tell us what you know,” Letagi said. “Lyichir also attacked us, and he was acting oddly too. And when we captured him, he broke free but didn’t continue the attack. What’s up with that?”

“What I know?” Reznas asked. “It’s all a blur. I remember wandering around BZ-Koro, disappointed that I couldn’t join the expedition, and then somebody attacked me, and I fought back, but I got trapped in ice, and...” He paused. “Then there was somebody in my head.”

“In your head?” Tekulo repeated. “What do you mean by that?”

“It was a telepath,” Reznas said. “Somebody using elemental psionic powers. I think he scrambled my brain, forcing me to join their cause, or something like that. I remember receiving orders and carrying them out, but the details are so vague.” He paused. “Did I attack you? They might have forced me to attack you. If I did, sorry.”

“Apology accepted!” Pommy said. “I think.”

“That might explain things,” Letagi said thoughtfully. “If Lyichir was brainwashed, that would remove his personality during the attack. But why would he leave after breaking free? Unless the enemies have a bigger agenda than just attacking us.”

“I only remember bits and pieces of it all,” Reznas said. “Maybe it will come back with time. But their leader is fierce. . . I just can’t remember her name at the moment.” He rubbed his head. “Well, whatever happened to me, it seems to have shaken their mental hold of me loose, so I’m at least back under my own control again.”

“I guess the remedy to brainwashing is an explosion of Madu Cabolo behind your mask,” Pommy said.

“What now?” Reznas asked. He felt his face, and then asked, “Hey, where is my mask? That’s probably why I have such a head ache.”

“I think I have a spare mask in my pack,” Letagi said, fishing around in his bag. “I hope you don’t mind an Elda.”

Reznas gladly accepted the mask. “Thanks,” he said. “But what are you going to do now.”

“Well, the plan was to regroup and swap stories,” Tekulo said. “But the rest of our team is on the opposite side of the desert, and it’ll take forever to cross it, since it’s mostly these giant sand dunes.”

“Sand dunes?” Reznas repeated, and a grin formed on his face. “Oh man, there’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Have you ever heard of sand surfing?”

“The concept is basic enough,” Letagi said. “But it works best during a storm, where you have wind strong enough to blow into your sails. But there’s no strong wind right now.”

“I have elemental air powers, so I can provide that,” Reznas said. “Now all we need are boards and sails.”

“We have some cloth between us,” Pommy said. “I have this bag that I was planning to fill with fruit, but I don’t have any fruit so it’s empty.”

“But we still need boards,” Tekulo said. “But there’s nothing nearby which would be of use to us.”

“Then let’s look around,” Letagi said.

The four of them split up, and started exploring the nearby cliffs. Tekulo walked to the west, hoping to find some driftwood on the shore. Instead, all he found were strange paintings on the rocks. “That’s odd,” he said.

Letagi and Reznas wandered out into the desert, but they saw nothing of particular interest. Pommy, however, had scrambled up one of the cliffs to get a better vantage point of the area. Once she reached the top, she squealed in excitement. “Up here, I think I found something!”

The three others climbed up after her. However, once he got to the top, Tekulo frowned at Pommy’s find. “Cactus?” he asked. “You found a grove of cacti? How will that help us?”

“Cacti sometimes bear fruit!” Pommy said. “But these aren’t in bloom, unfortunately.”

“But they are plants, and we have elemental powers that work on plants,” Letagi said. He touched one cactus and activated his powers. The cactus started to reshape itself, and then split in half. Letagi grabbed one half and held it up. “Here we go, our very own sand surfboards.”

“Complete with lots of spikes on the bottom!” Pommy said, grabbing the other half.

“That might hurt if you wipeout and land on the wrong side of the board,” Tekulo said.

“Oh, if you wipe out while sand surfing, that will be the least of your problems,” Reznas said.

The four of them gathered up more cactus boards and brought them down off the cliff. They then fashioned whatever cloth they had into various sails. Once their preparations were finished, they packed everything up and hiked out towards the edge of the sand dunes.

Letagi stopped as they reached a spot where the sand was ankle deep. “This seems to be a good starting point,” he said. “But we have to be careful. That one evil group could still be out there, waiting for us.”

“But we’re almost weaponless,” Tekulo said. “Only Reznas has his katana.”

“Then instead of fighting, we run,” Letagi said with a shrug.

“Let’s do this, let’s do this!” Pommy said excitedly, as everybody got into position.

“How can you be so excited?” Tekulo asked nervously.

“Because we’re heading towards Ga-Wahi!” Pommy responded. “And there’s lots of fruit over there!”

“Prepare yourselves,” Reznas called out, summoning his elemental air powers. A big gust of wind blew across the desert, and filled their sails. “Let’s go!”

Tekulo gripped tightly onto the ropes as his sail pulled him forward. But he wasn’t lifted too far up, and his cactus board skimmed the surface of the sand, leaving a small cloud of dust trailing behind him. Tekulo was scared out of his mind, but he had to admit that it was working. He was sand surfing.

“Haha, this is awesome!” Reznas shouted in glee. He summoned a strong gust, blowing him up high into the air. He flipped around a couple of times, and then gently landed back in the sand without breaking a stride.

Letagi and Pommy, meanwhile, were doing their best to keep their sails steady. They were enjoying the ride, but weren’t acting quite as recklessly. However, they were making good time, blasting across the desert much faster than they had the previous day. Best of all, no enemies popped out of the sand to attack them. Even if the evil members were waiting for them, there was no way they could catch them while they were sand surfing.

“Well, I have to admit that this is a good idea,” Tekulo shouted above the roar of the wind, trying not to sound as frightened as he really was. “So when we get to Ga-Wahi, how do we stop these things?”

“I have no idea!” Reznas shouted back, a wide grin on his mask. “But we’ll figure that out when we get there!”


Franco groaned, as consciousness slowly returned to him. He remembered falling in the darkness, after a sudden attack of Ussal crabs. There had been a lot of crashing into rocks, and at the time he was sure he was going to die. But when he had finally hit something at the bottom of the cave, it had been a liquid.

Yet it was then that his memory went hazy. Franco remembered intense pain and agony, as if he had been immersed in hot oils. But the liquid had been cool to the touch; there had been something else about it that had pained him.

Franco opened his eyes. He was still underground, but the cavern he was in was not pitch black; there was a silvery glow that filled the room. He was on dry rocks, so he must’ve somehow crawled out of the liquid before he passed out, even if he had no memory of doing so. He tried to sit up, but his limbs felt odd. They were bulkier, more muscular, with heavy armor padded atop them. Franco didn’t even feel like he was in his own body.

He forced himself to sit up, but then glanced down at his body. He was now clad in crimson and silver armor, with a very different style than he had ever seen before. What had happened to him?

There were groans on the other side of the room. Franco glanced up, but he could only see hazy silhouettes in the darkness. He guessed that those were his companions, Zatth and Cyrix. But they didn’t look right either; they were much larger too. In fact, they looked more like the powerful and muscular higher staff members that Franco had seen before. Like Black Six or Makaru. But both Zatth and Cyrix had been much smaller, so just who were these beings in front of him?

Franco’s attention turned towards the light source. There was a pool of silvery liquid on the far end of the chamber, and it was giving off the glow. Franco approached it, but stumbled on his first step. His legs were longer, and he wasn’t used to these new proportions.

As he drew closer to the liquid, he saw that there was something floating in it. It was the carcass of an Ussal crab, one of the Rahi that had attacked them earlier. But it had not survived its fall into the liquid. And as Franco’s eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, he saw there were more Ussal shells floating in the liquid. Some were still sizzling, as if they were floating in an acid.

But Franco now recognized the liquid. It was not an acid; it was something much worse.

“Energized protodermis,” he whispered. “But that means. . . I was in that stuff. And since I didn’t die, that must mean that I was transformed!”

He was no longer Franco Mango. He was Franco Nuva.

He turned back to his companions. It was indeed Zatth and Cyrix, for they had been mutated too. Zatth was clade in dark emerald armor that was complete with multiple spikes. Meanwhile, Cryix looked as if he had been merged with the Exo-Toa, because he now had a clawed arm on one side and a blaster built into his other hand. Both were starting to stir, but they hadn’t realized what had happened to them. Franco himself could hardly believe it.

But then there was a gurgling sound, and Franco spun around. Bubbles were coming out of the energized protodermis, and then something broke the surface. Franco stepped back in surprise. It was the Mana Ko, and it had also survived its mutation. But now it was angry, and it focused on the three members ahead of it.

READER QUESTION: Enough of these guys, let’s get back to Fishers64’s team. Where will they go first once they arrive in Metru-Nui?

A: Le-Metru Moto Hub
B: The top of the Coliseum
C: Po-Metru Canyon of Unending Whispers.

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Chapter 12

Fishers64 took a step off their makeshift boat and onto the gravely Le-Metry beach. In the distance, she could already see the tall structures that made up Le-Metru in the growing light of the morning, on the southern edge of the island city of Metru-Nui. The city of legends itself was based on its depiction in the Toa Metru storyline, so it did not bear the destruction of the Great Cataclysm yet. However, without any Matoran habitants, it was eerily quiet, and the remaining Rahi freely roamed the streets.

“We’re close now,” Fishers64 whispered to herself, a sly smile forming on her lips.

“Are we there yet?” Smoke Monster complained, wearily disembarking himself, since he was not fond of water travel. “This trip has taken so long.”

“It’s only been a day,” Portalfig commented. “We had to transverse those tunnels and construct this boat to cross the silvery sea, so I think we’re making good time.”

“But it’s felt like months since anything’s happened,” Smoke Monster grumbled. “I’m bored.”

“Quit bellyaching,” Portalfig snapped. “You’re here to provide your muscle, not for your own entertainment.”

“Smoke Monster has a valid point,” Fishers64 pointed out. “We have been unopposed since we left the desert. It is odd that we have not encountered any more of the expedition members. It could be that they are already ahead of us, or plotting to set a trap.”

“You think they’re that well prepared?” Portalfig asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Don’t underestimate the enemy,” Fishers64 said. “Now, gather the full crew, because we still have some distance to cover.”

Portalfig looked back to see Tomana, Eighty-Eight, and Phyoohrii leap off their makeshift boat, followed shortly by Constructman. The three brainwashed members had been undertaking most of the physical labor to build and row their boat, and now they moved to the front of the line as they pushed deeper into the city. Meanwhile, Constructman took up the rear, mentally scanning the local area for other minds so as to spot possible ambushes.

However, their journey into Le-Metru was also uneventful, aside from a few Rahi encounters. Smoke Monster tried to bring the fight to a few of them, but instead just scared them off.

Finally, after a few hours of trekking, Fishers64 came to a stop. The twin suns in the ceiling above them were now glowing bright, illuminating the Metru around them. There was still activity in Le-Metru, including many functioning chutes. But without the activity of Matoran crafts, the city still felt empty.

“Are we there yet?” Smoke Monster groaned again.

“Nearly,” Fishers64 replied. “But our time on the ground is over with. It’s time we move upward.”

Smoke Monster looked confused, so Portalfig quickly explained. “We need to start climbing. The activity in Le-Metru was not on the ground, after all.”

“Why are we in Le-Metru again? Smoke Monster asked.

Portalfig sighed. “Do we have to explain every little detail to you?”

Smoke Monster paused to consider this, and then answered, “Yes.”

“Because the Mask of the Bionicle is here,” Portalfig said. “It is in this Metru. And if I’m understanding Fishers64 correctly, it is in this very building we’re standing next to. Do you got that?”

“But why is it here?” Smoke Monster asked. “Le-Metru wasn’t that important.”

“All the better reason to hide it here,” Fishers64 explained. “This region never played a huge role in the story, but in the background it was vital in maintaining the chutes in the city. Such a transportation hub would be easy to get to from anywhere on the island, and serves as a valid location for the Mask of the Bionicle to be hidden. It’s easy to get to and placed nearly in plain sight, but hardly anybody even realized it!”

“Then how did you?” Smoke Monster asked, genuinely curious.

“I have studied the histories of this city deeply, so I had a lot to go on,” Fishers64 replied. “Plus, I got a few helpful hints when I interrogated a few former Lego employees.” She paused for a moment. “In fact, those kidnappings may have been why Lego handed off the task to the BZ-Koro staff in the first place.”

“Then where is the mask?” Smoke Monster asked.

“It’s somewhere above us,” Fishers64 said. “On the roof of the Le-Metru Moto Hub.”

Smoke Monster glanced up in awe. “But how will we get up there?”

“There’s an entrance right there,” Fishers64 said, pointing to a door thirty feet off the ground.

“That’s still a little too high to jump up to,” Portalfig pointed out.

“I can take care of that,” Fishers64 said, and she drew her fishing pole. She drew it back and let her line fly, and her hook snagged the door handle. With a quick yank, Fishers64 pulled the door opened. Then she concentrated her power through her fishing pole and unleashed her ice powers, which followed the fishing line and created an icy ramp up to the door.

“After you,” she said, gesturing to Phyoohrii, who obediently took the lead up the ice ramp. “Now, let’s go find that mask.”

The interior of the Moto Hub was dark and dusty. Although everything was in working condition, it showed that the building hadn’t been used in a long time. But even as Fisher64’s team pushed on, nothing got in their way.

“I don’t think we have to worry about the expedition members at this point,” Portalfig whispered to her. “If they were here, they’d attack before we could get any further.”

“The expedition members aren’t the ones I’m worried about,” Fishers64 replied. “Now, have the mind controlled members take that stairway. I believe it will lead us to the roof.”

After an hour of intense climbing, they finally pushed through one last door and found themselves on the roof of the Moto Hub. The structure towered above the surrounding buildings, and gave them an excellent view of the rest of the city, including the towering Coliseum in the distance. Strong winds were also gusting along the roof, causing the members to readjust their stances in order to avoid getting blow away.

“This certainly feels like the Metru of Air,” Portalfig said.

“I thought it was supposed to be the Metru of Jungle, because of all the Rahi and plants on the ground level,” Smoke Monster said.

“Don’t be ridicules, jungle isn’t one of the six primary elements,” Portalfig shot back.

Fishers64 was scanning the roof, and her mask lit up as she sighted a small pedestal near the center. “This way!” she said. “The mask is ours!”

“Where is it?” Smoke Monster asked.

“Right there,” Fishers64 said, gesturing to the pedestal. An unnatural mist was collected over it, but they could make out the outlines of a strange mask behind it. Fishers64 ran over to grab it, but when she reached out, her hand passed through the mist completely.

“Hey, why didn’t you grab it?” Smoke Monster asked, disappointed.

“There’s nothing solid there,” Fishers64 said.

“Is it some sort of test?” Portalfig wondered. “Like only the righteous and pure of heart can actually grab the mask?”

“Or more like an illusion,” Fishers64 said, narrowing her eyes.

Constructman suddenly tensed up, and sent a mental warning to Fishers64. Fishers64 sighted the spear aimed towards her out of the corner of her eye, and quickly dodged aside. The spear struck the roof and seemingly imploded; only then did she realize that it had been made of water.

“Wait, are we under attack?” Smoke Monster wondered. But he turned to see that all the other members had tensed up and gone into fighting stances. Above them, storm clouds began to swirl around, and the strong winds now sprayed them with a mist of water.

Fishers64 drew her fishing pole and pointed it at a shadow that had appeared on the roof. “Who goes there?” she demanded. “You must be very skilled at hiding, because Constructman didn’t detect your presence until the moment before you attacked. So tell me, where is the Mask of the Bionicle?”

“Your antics amused me for a long while,” the figure said. “I was satisfied with watching the others struggle from afar, but your skills were something of worth. They were skills I wanted to test against my own.”

“Hey, your vagueness, who are you and what’s going on here?” Portalfig demanded, drawing his interlocking shields.

“I am like that of a Great Spirit,” the being said. “A watcher of all, who sets forth events to play out for his amusement.”

“Nonsense,” Fishers64 said, a sly grin forming on her mask. “You’re just another member who happened to beat us to the mask. And you’ve been using it too; you’ve been messing with the BZ-Koro’s expedition members from the beginning, from sending the Exo-Toa to damaging the portal.”

“Perhaps I was once a member, but no longer am I,” he said. “Now, bow before the might of the Great Spirit Onarax!”

“Former member can still be beaten,” Fishers64 said, gesturing for Tomana, Eighty-Eight, and Phyoohrii to attack. “I guess we’ll just have to prove that to you.”

Onarax waited patiently as the three members charged him, their weapons raised. But then he lifted his hand, and the water in the air around him condensed and formed a giant sword. With a swipe of his hand, he sent the blade towards the three members. Phyoohrii managed to duck beneath it, but Tomana and Eighty-Eight got struck head on. The water splashed over them with incredible force, throwing them backwards. Portalfig grabbed onto Eighty-Eight, but Tomana was washed off the roof completely and disappeared from view.

“Hey, nobody attacks my minions like that except me,” Fishers64 shouted. She drew her fishing pole and charged towards Onarax, as Phyoohrii also leapt up to assist her.

“Well, it looks like it’s our turn to join the fight,” Portalfig said, tossing aside the bedraggled Eighty-Eight. “Let’s go!”

“Finally,” Smoke Monster said, gripping his battle axe. Suddenly, he glanced to the side, and was surprised to see Tomana standing there. “Hey, weren’t you just thrown off the roof?”

Instead of responding, Tomana leapt up into a roundhouse kick, striking Smoke Monster in the jaw and throwing him backwards. Portalfig turned in surprise, wondering if Tomana had somehow regained his will. But Tomana started to change, forming into a more slender figure with a Mahiki mask.

“Who the blazes are you?” Portalfig demanded.

“I am not Eyru, but I am,” she responded. She charged towards Portalfig and threw a punch, but he blocked the blow with his shield. Yet she darted around him and struck again, with unparalleled agility. Portalfig did his best to keep up, but Eyru was quickly overwhelming him.

“You hurt me!” Shadow Monster roared, getting back to his feet. “Now I’ll hurt you!’ With that, he charged towards Eyru.

“No, wait, you buffoon!” Portalfig yelled, but it was too late. Shadow Monster swung his axe, but Eyru ducked beneath it, and instead Portalfig got the full force of the strike. He crashed down on the roof, unconscious. Before Shadow Monster could even perceive that he had struck his own ally, Eyru attacked, delivering a knockout blow to his face, which felled him too.

Eyru stood up, grinning, but became aware of a presence behind her. She turned to see Constructman, who was glaring hard at her.

“Nice try,” Eyru said. “But you will not break into my mind. My master has made me powerful, too powerful for you to control. It is only him that I serve.”

Constructman nodded solemnly, recognizing that his psionic powers would be no use in this fight. But he still raised his axe to attack. Eyru’s grin merely widened, and she charged in to fight again.

Fishers64 and Phyoohrii continued to attack Onarax, but to no avail. Onarax kept summoning weapons made of pure water to block their attacks, and the two of them were forced to dodge when he threw those weapons at them. He created a saw blade of water and threw it towards Fishers64, but she swung her fishing pole at it and flash froze the water, and then shattered the ice with her pole before it could strike her.

Fishers64 knew she could take this fight, but then she glanced back and saw that Portalfig and Shadow Monster were already down, and Eyru was in the process of defeating Constructman, who was not fast enough to defend against her attacks. Fishers64 could handle one enemy, but not two of them, especially when the rest of her team was already down.

“So it looks like I’m not the only one who has some hired help,” Fishers64 said, using her fishing pole to fire a blast of ice an Onarax, even as she stepped sideways. “Great minds think alike.”

“Eyru pleases me as a servant,” Onarax said. “Eyru has pledged loyalty to me. Do the same and you may live under my rule.”

“Yeah, unfortunately I don’t work well with authoritative figures,” Fishers64 said. “So I think I’ll just take back that mask by force.”

“If you won’t obey, you shall fall!” Onarax said, summoning a giant wave of water. Eyru, having just knocked down Constructman, turned to join her master, and Fishers64 saw her approach out of the corner of her eye.

“Among other things, I am also a strategist,” Fishers64 said. “And I hate to admit it, but you have beaten me this day.” She narrowed her eyes. “So I have no choice but to retreat.”

Onarax launched his wave of water at Fishers64, and Eyru darted forward to finish her off after the water struck her down. But Fishers had been anticipating the water attack, and with a flick of her pole she turned it into solid ice. Instead of splashing down, the wave hit the roof of the Moto Hub and shattered, and the falling shards of ice caused Eyru to retreat. Meanwhile, Fishers leapt backwards off the edge of the roof, but she swung her fishing pole one last time. “You’re coming with me,” she said, as the line swung over and wrapped around Phyoohrii’s arm, and she yanked him off the roof with her.

As soon as the ice cleared, Eyru darted towards the edge and looked down, expecting to see the two members splattered on the ground below. However, Fishers64 had directed her fall towards one of the functioning chutes, and she and Phyoohrii were already long gone.

“Heed not their departure, for they will be back,” Onarax said to Eyru. “Instead, take these hapless beings to our prison. They shall serve their purpose in my entertainment soon enough.”

READER QUESTION: Franco, Zatth and Cyrix were previously up against a Mana Ko Nuva. What was the result of that conflict?

A: They have defeated it, and repurposed its shells as armor.
B: Cyrix trained it and now they ride it as a mount.
C: It’s actually still chasing them. Yes, a day has passed. It’s a long chase.

BONUS READER QUESTION: Which character(s) would you like to see get some more limelight?

Please provide your answers in the Review Topic
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Chapter 13

Franco squinted as he walked out into the light, which was blinding after having spent the last day in the darkness of the caves. He had finally made it to the Metru Nui, and the light of the two suns glinted off the surface of the silvery sea.

“Looks like we made it,” he said, glancing back at Zatth. Zatth responded with just a nod. He had not spoken since his transformation. Franco was sure that the cartographer was having trouble adjusting to his new Nuva form, but for now he was keeping it all bottled up inside.
There was a sudden roar behind him, and Franco turned to see a quickly approaching shadow. It was the Mana Ko Nuva, and it was charging right towards him.

Franco frowned. “Stop that,” he said.

“HEEL!” yelped Cyrix. The Mana Ko Nuva instantly came to a stop, but in the process Cyrix was thrown off its back. The cybernetic member nearly slammed into Franco, but he sidestepped at the last moment to avoid the collision.

“You can’t keep riding him like that,” Franco said. “Someone will get hurt.”

“But Manny likes to roll fast!” Cyrix said, getting to his feet. “If I don’t exercise him now, he’ll get restless.”

Franco shook his head. ‘Manny,’ the mutated Mana Ko, had initially attacked them after emerging from the energized protodermis. Franco had been given a chance to test his new abilities in his Nuva form, and he and Zatth had been able to hold off the new monster. But then Cyrix had jumped into the mix, and after a prolonged fight, he was suddenly on friendly terms with the Mana Ko, and had been riding it as a mount ever since.

“Well, unfortunately, I think we’re going to have to part ways with Manny,” Franco said. He gestured to the silvery sea. “We’re headed towards Metru Nui, and I don’t think the Mana Ko can swim.”

“Oh, good point, but I has counter point,” Cyrix said. “I can’t swim.”

“You can’t swim?”

“Well, not for a prolonged period of time,” Cyrix said. He gestured to his robotic limbs, which he had inherited from the Exo-Toa he had merged with. “Liquid protodermis would cause rust. That bad.”

“Well, we don’t have any materials to build a boat,” Franco mused. “And my elemental powers of fire won’t do much good in the water. So just how will we get to Metru Nui from here?”

“Boat idea good,” Cyrix said. “I make one!”

“How? We don’t have any materials.”

“I have boat right here!” Cyrix said, slapping the back of the Mana Ko Nuva. Startled, Manny drove forward and off the edge of the shore, splashing into the water.

Alarmed, Franco rushed forward to rescue the Mana Ko. He wasn’t a huge fan of Manny, but he wasn’t going to let the poor Rahi drown just because his teammate was a little eccentric. However, much to his surprise, Manny was content and floating in the water.

“Armor additions to Manny make him float-worthy,” Cyrix explained. “We can quick-ride him across sea, no problem.”

“I guess if the Mana Ko doesn’t mind us, that’ll work,” Franco said. He glanced back at Zatth, who was staring at the distant city. “You want to hop on so we can continue our journey.”

“No,” Zatth said, his voice lower than Franco had remembered. “I’ll meet you there.”

Before Franco could question him further, Zatth held out his hands and fired blasts of air from them. The force of the wind lifted him off the ground, and soon he was rocketing through the air, heading towards the island city.

“Okay, I guess he’s going to fly,” Franco said, as he and Cyrix boarded Manny. “Let’s make sure we’re not far behind him.”

Manny started turning his threads, which acted as underwater motors, and soon they were all moving across the silvery sea.


Portalfig groaned as he regained consciousness. There was a throbbing pain in the back of his head where he had been struck, and it was already darkening his mood. He was still alive, but he remembered getting defeated earlier in the day, so he knew he wasn’t going to wake up in a friendly space.

All the same, he was startled as he opened his eyes and saw a feline face staring down at him.

“What the!” Portalfig yelped, pushing back. Skitty meanwhile growled and barred her fangs.

“Fear not the kitty,” said Voltex, slouched against a nearby wall. “She doesn’t bite.” He paused. “Well, yes she does, but she doesn’t bite all the way through. Most of the time.” He frowned. “Actually, yeah, fear her, why not. Gives us something to talk about.”

“What’s going on here?” Portalfig said, jumping to his feet. “Where are we? What are you trying to do to us?” He took a step back, but his movement was slowed. He looked down to see that a ball and chain was attached to his ankle.

“You’ll get it soon, bud,” Voltex said with a sneer. “You’re a prisoner now.”

“A prisoner?” Portalfig repeated. He glanced behind him, and saw more members of his team. Smoke Monster was still out cold, but Tomana and Eighty-Eight were awake and sitting up. Each of them was also shackled to a heavy metal ball, and they all appeared to be inside a dark, stone room. A single window on the side offered a small glint of sunlight to illuminate the space.

“So we’ve been captured,” Portalfig stated. He turned back to Voltex. “And who are you, the prison keeper?”

Voltex frowned again and gestured to his shackled leg. “I am no such thing.”

Portalfig turned from Voltex to Skitty, and noticed the ball and chain on the feline too. “You’re both prisoners too!” he realized. “And... you’re expedition members too! You came here with Makaru!”

“Truth is in your observation,” spoke a third voice. Wrinkledlion walked out from the shadows of the far corner. “A mission we were given, but we found naught but chains. Still, an inquiry remains as to the objectives of you and yours.”

“A riddler, eh?” Portalfig said. “You want to know why my team is here? That means you haven’t heard about us.”

“A waste a question would be, if the answer is already known,” Wrinkledlion stated.

“I see,” Portalfig mused. He was quickly taking in the situation. These three members had been part of Makaru’s team, but they had been captured by Onarax’s forces. And they didn’t know about Fisher64’s true goal, or else they would be more suspicious of him. This also meant that Eighty-Eight and Tomana were still under Constructman’s mental control, for neither had told of their mission to Wrinkledlion or the others. And that meant that Constructman was still alive, although he was not being held in the same room with them.

Now it was up to Portalfig to win them over; all he needed was a convincing story. And it would be better to tell it before Smoke Monster woke up and spoiled it all with his ignorant honesty.

“You see,” Portalfig began. “We were on a rescue mission. When we hadn’t heard from your team, we set out from BZ-Koro to find you, and managed to track you to Metru Nui. But, as you could guess, we fell into the same trap, although some of our team might have escaped detection.”

“Lies!” Voltex shouted, jumping forward.

“Lies?” Portalfig repeated nervously.

“Lies!” Voltex confirmed. “I am the greatest warrior of all time. Nobody would feel the need to come to my aid. Ever.”

“If you’re so great, then why are you in prison with the rest of us?” Portalfig asked.

“Because... because,” Voltex started, but his voice began to crack. Suddenly, he started to wail. “They took Rhindon from me, away from me! I be lost without him, and he without me. Rhindon and I are a team, and parted we have become!”

“So, you have a partner, and you’re not being held in the same cell,” Portalfig summarized. “Okay then.”

Voltex narrowed his eyes. “Speak not ill of Rhindon, for next time we be together again, he will cut you up. Into many, many pieces. Of equal or similar mass. Rhindon appreciates the attention to details, he does.”

“So you’re nuts, the other guy won’t speak clearly, and the other’s a cat,’ Portalfig said. “Guess I’m the only sane member of this lot. If you listen to me, we might just make it out of this.”

“Out of what?” Voltex asked. “I could take your spirit out of your body, no problem, but I’d rather save the kill for Rhindon. He’ll appreciate that more.”

“I’m talking about what the rest of you are too ignorant to consider,” Portalfig said, rubbing his hands together. “Using our combined skills, under my guidance, we will break free of this prison. And then we’ll teach Onarax a thing or two about capturing us!”


Meanwhile, Onarax stood inside a control room within the Moto Hub. Spread out across the wall in front of him were various monitors sending him live feeds from across Mata Nui and Metru Nui. Some were positioned in important locations, whereas others were seemingly randomly located. All in all, it was a very thorough surveillance system.

Onarax frowned and tapped on one screen that had gone dark. “This Onu-Wahi substation has been taken offline,” he said to himself. “The very one that I routed the Exo-Toa signal through. How amusing.”

He fell silent as he heard somebody enter behind him. “What news do your bring, Eyru?”

“My master,” Eyru said, with a quick bow. “I have secured the prisoners, as instructed.”

“I see,” Onarax said, gesturing to one of the monitors which displayed the prison. “They are already making plans to escape.”

Eyru’s eyes flashed red. “Then I shall go and remove their limbs from their bodies.”

Onarax held up his hand. “It is inconsequential. They pose no threat to my plans, and any escape attempt will do to amuse me. Leave them be for now, we shall deal with them when the time is right. After all, I will still need them alive, so might as well let them have their fun while they still can.”

“Your foresight exceeds my own,” Eyru said. “You are as merciful to your captors as you are wise. I will see your desires be fulfilled.”

“Enough with the compliments,” Onarax said. “There are still loose threads to collect. You captures some members on the surface island, but some remain, no? Make it your next task to capture them.”

“Understood,” Eyru said. “But it was my understanding that you were going to veture to the surface yourself, to show off your own skills in the hunt?”

“That is what I desired, but the situation has changed,” Onarax said. “I have detected an anomaly on the far shore, and I think it will require my full attention for the moment. And as much as I desire to fight the members on my own, there are still preparations here that must be made. That is why I have brought you with me, to fulfill these tasks which I cannot.”

“As you wish,” Eyru said. “So your task at hand, is it to recapture Fishers94? She escaped you earlier by sheer luck, so now you must go out of your way to bring her down personally?”

Onarax sighed. “Sadly, it is not as exhilarating a task as that. Fishers64 is a unique anomaly, one I did not fully anticipate. It will be far more amusing to wait for her to plan out her next move than to hunt her down.” He grinned. “The next time we meet, the fight will make for great entertainment.”

READER QUESTION: Onarax didn’t say where he was heading. You pick.

A: Northern coast of Po-Metru
B: Great Furnace in Ta-Metru
C: Icy Knowledge towers in Ko-Metru

Please provide your answers in the Review Topic
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