This article was written by CaptainLandr0ver. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.
|The Feral Plains:|
|Release date||Apr. 22-Jun. 28, 2017 (Lego.com Gallery), Jul. 6, 2017 (CBW)|
|Previous||The Feral Plains: Volume V|
|Next||The Feral Plains: Volume VII|
The Feral Plains: Volume VI is the sixth part of The Feral Plains. It was first written in five episodes by CaptainLandr0ver on the Lego.com Gallery, with CaptainLandr0ver working under the name "tomatopaste101", and was later proofread, edited and combined into a volume to be released here.
This Volume sees the Toa Powai become closer to being whole again, as Keelo introduces his way of using Lewok as a "Medium".
Arvos saw Omakah through the brush. This gave him an uncanny memory of seeing the first colonist Matoran. Despite this, the two met each other with faces of relief, barely knowing what to say to each other.
Arvos was very surprised to see Omakah back. After a lengthy discussion, Omakah told him that Corduk and Navahko were with him, and he went to notify the two Toa.
Later, the Aqueduct Base was full of elation. Detras was very pleased to see that his team was a couple of steps closer to being together again, and after greeting the other Toa he discussed with Maroona his next plan.
However, not everyone was quite so happy. The moment Corduk made eye contact with Wreshi, he stopped his bustling and scowled. He did not want him here. Much to his dismay, Wreshi made his way up to him. Had there not been others around him, Corduk would have considered stopping the Toa of Stone in his tracks right there.
"Still won't forgive me, huh?" said Wreshi. "About the whole pocket dimension thing?"
"The past is valuable to a Toa of Earth," said Corduk, turning away from his brother. "Every time I tell my life story to the Onu-Matoran I'll need to skip over that part."
"Wh-Why?" asked Wreshi. "Was it traumatizing or anything?"
"I suppose," said Corduk. Wreshi had asked in a more sarcastic tone, and he felt guilt when he heard this answer.
"Well, you know that wasn't me, right? That I was possessed? It'd take me a very good reason to turn on one of my brothers like that. I don't tend to suddenly snap-"
"Navahko said otherwise."
"He- he told you about that?"
"Truth is a precious commodity, and you seem to be penniless in that area. You and I both know that you have little control over yourself."
"Self-control is a hard thing to master, you know."
"Then try harder next time."
After he had talked to Corduk for a while, Navahko had seen Salvina inside the duct. He stood awkwardly for a while before Salvina noticed him and invited him to come down to where he was.
“Navahko!” cheered Salvina. She embraced Navahko, surprising him. “I haven’t seen you in forever! How have you been?”
“Good,” replied Navahko.
“Even without your weapon, it seems?” Salvina said.
“I guess so…”
“I was talking to Wreshi about what happened,” she continued, “and it seems like you fought against ‘Alchemist’ pretty good without it!”
“Well, I was able to fight without it,” Navahko said, “but not very well. Range seems to be my greatest ally, and so I just stayed away from everything and helped out.”
"Really? I would’ve just ran in at the right time and started punching and kicking… Say, do you know where your spear is?”
"I’m sure it's somewhere near the colony," said Navahko. "Last time I saw it it was there, but they would've moved it by now."
"I don’t know what they would’ve done with it. Doesn’t look like we have any spare weapons, so you might need to resort to hands and feet for now.”
"Well, I was thinking about on the way up here, and I think I found a pretty good solution." Navahko grew a large, sturdy ice crystal from his palm. "This was what I came up with."
“Looks like it should work.” said Salvina after several seconds of studying the formation. “Sometimes I wish I could do stuff like that, water doesn’t make very sturdy weapons.”
At this moment, the sun had begun to set, and Arvos was about to return from a scouting trip. Omakah and Shensii had found themselves to be the only ones not talking, and had began a conversation.
"What was it like at the colony?" asked Omakah. Shensii thought about his for a while before she answered.
"It's pretty gloomy," she said. "There's a lot of dust and garbage from the construction happening there. On top of that, the Matoran had to train for at least five hours every day, and so that really lowered the atmosphere."
"Training for what?" replied Omakah. “I wouldn’t see any point in using the Matoran for anything else other than construction.”
"For battle. Keelo sees us as soldiers more than villagers."
"I assume that that’s why you escaped?"
"Exactly. I don't see war as anything worthwhile, and so I escaped with Detras. Ever since what happened to my island ...which was caused entirely by war… I’ve given upon combat. Maybe I'd defend myself if needed, but in any other case I'd never fight at all. If he saw me acting as such down there, Keelo would’ve had me beaten or tortured."
“Seems like it was a pretty risky move.” Omakah said. “It’s not that often you see a Ga-Matoran as brave as you are.”
Shensii giggled a bit, making Omakah smile. “Thanks! I think the same about you, y’know. Maroona said you helped defend this island a long time ago?”
“Well, not exactly. It was more like I indirectly aided the Toa while they were driving off some Makuta by engineering machines for crops and such. Some would would consider it heroism, maybe.”
“I would.” Shensii said with a smile. “Bravery goes far beyond the heat of battle, and that’s something I’m very sure of. War can be a very awful thing, I think, but maybe if it’s for just the right reason, it can be redeemable.”
“Even if there’s still fighting involved, and all?”
“It’s those kinds of battles that are special, the ones that are really worth fighting. In reality, you can help fight for freedom without ever touching a weapon.”
A Noiseless Yell
"Alchemist" lurked behind the bushes, watching the Matoran work away. They were building strange machines that looked like mounted blasters. They strangely resembled some that had been used long ago, back when he was the one of the only beings on the island who had heard of Leskya Nui.
He knew that if he was spotted nothing good would come of him. For the first time in a long time he could feel emotions, and now he was feeling very fearful.
"Alchemist!" cried a deep, far voice. The Dark Hunter looked to his upper right and saw Keelo wearing his intimidating black velvet cape and looking at him menacingly. "Or, following your recent incident, should I call you, Dehka?"
"Alchemist" was surprised. Nobody had called him by his true name in a long time.
"How did you know about what happened yesterday?!" he yelled. “And how do you know my real name?”
"I know somebody, who has... methods... of getting information. Anyway, that's besides the point. Normally I’d be angry to see you here again, but in fact you’ve come at just the right time!”
“Wh-What? What do you mean the right time?”
“You’ll see,” Keelo said. He then yelled, “Merdana!”
A yellow female Toa of Stone came jogging from the construction site. She looked like she might be hesitant to do whatever the Emperor commanded her to do.
"Go fetch the Medium and the Tool." Keelo commanded. Merdana swiftly left. After a minute, she came back holding a strange eight-armed device in her left hand. She was simultaneously prodding Toa of Air Lewok, his Great Kanohi being held by Merdana, to move forward.
Merdana ordered Lewok to kneel down. He was silent. She raised her voice, and told him to kneel, and he looked back resentfully. Finally, Keelo yelled with his booming voice, and Lewok winced and knelt slowly and patronizingly. Merdana then handed the device to her Emperor.
"What is that?" said "Alchemist". “I’ve never seen such a thing.”
"This," Keelo announced, "is the Mask Maker's Tool. Once used by the Great Beings to create the Legendary Masks, now discarded by them. It was among the many anomalies on this island, and after a bit of... reconnaissance, I’ve taken it, and found that this Toa of Air here was perfect to use it on."
"Alchemist" had never seen heard of such a thing. How had something used by the Great Beings ended up here?
Keelo continued, "The Mask Maker’s Tool allows the user to edit, nullify, activate and control any nearby being's mask power. At least, that’s what I’ve heard, so I'm going to hit two Gukko with one disk. I'll test this thing out and see if what I’ve heard is correct, and I'll show you your place in my Empire."
"A place in your Empire?" said "Alchemist". “What do you mean? Where would that be?”
"The ground," Keelo said bitterly. "Merdana, place the Medium’s mask on."
Merdana placed Lewok's Kanohi Mask of Transmission on his face. In an act of defiance, Lewok used it to send an image of mockery to Keelo. It showed a cartoonish version of Keelo blabbering about how intimidating he was The Emperor used the device to stop him from doing this, and then stood in a tense stance.
"This is how I'm going to win," muttered Keelo. He activated the device again, and this time Lewok's head began to feel unsafe and perforated.
He shook his head back-and-forth, saying “No! No, No!” between his gritted teeth. He winced as if he were in pain, and his mask began to flash, as if it was spontaneously turning on. Finally, he looked up at the sky in pain, cursed Mata Nui, and his mask activated completely.
A surge of psychic power hit "Alchemist" like a tidal wave. He could have sworn that the mask’s activation physically pushed him back. Thoughts began running through his head at unimaginable rates, all unintelligible.
His robotic mind's processing speed was poorly unmatched, and he began to hallucinate heavily. He heard painful screeches and felt immense pain all throughout his body, crawling up his spine and penetrating into his head. Phantasmagoric imagery was all that he could see, seemingly resulting from an unholy melding of thoughts of resistance and thoughts of destruction.
As his limbs began to jitter, the only thought he had was a vision of a timid Le-Matoran being dragged away by a mechanical being.
Keelo turned the machine off, allowing lewok to gain control of his mask once again.. “Alchemist”’s battered upper body slumped forward into an awkward pose. The Emperor slowly walked forward, and jumped down several large steps before arriving at “Alchemist's body. He nudged it with his knee, and the torso fell backward, revealing the lack of life in the machine’s eyes.
Dehka was no more.
Detras and Salvina stood just outside the Aqueduct, in a patch of flattened greatgrass. Salvina was pacing in circles, pondering heavily, while Detras stood still.
"Detras, why aren't we talking about this in the meeting room?" asked Salvina.
"Because this isn't a meeting," said Detras. "There's no reason to panic. Even with Keelo's growing power, we greatly outmatch him in both experience and knowledge."
"He's using Lewok as a weapon," Salvina replied, "and he's fully capable of using himself or anyone else as one too."
"I just... need time to rest my brain, and figure things out, I guess."
Salvina sighed. "Y'know, you're really not acting like yourself, to be honest. You're always a go-getter, like me. You put your leadership before anything else, and you'd do anything for your team!"
"And just like you, I have a breaking point. I just need time to calm down, and relax..."
"You've been calming down for the past few days, brother. Lewok needs us, and-"
"Then you can go and get him-" Detras interrupted.
"-And he needs you especially!" Salvina continued, drowning out Detras’ words.
This struck Detras, waking him up further. He decided to sit down in an attempt to calm himself as he had stated multiple times.
Salvina continued, "You guys have been friends for a long time. He's counting on you. I'm counting on you, and so is everyone else!"
"I... I guess," Detras said.
"You guess what?" Salvina said. She was trying not to be hurtful with her words, but this was a desperate situation.
"I guess that if we have all this time, it'd be better spent preparing."
“I-” Salvina stopped herself. Detras still believed that they still had time, which she was definitely unsure about. But at least he was going to start doing something now. That seemed to be all that mattered.
"So, first you use others to do your bidding rather than doing things yourself," said Hysterix, "and now you'd rather use them as weapons, too. How pathetic of you, especially with all of the power you have."
"That's quite hypocritical coming from you," Keelo replied.
"Out of the two of us, you're the only one who can stroll outside without being shot at." Hysterix said.
"I thought you had Kraana powers or something?"
"Kraata powers, yes. There are 42 of them, and most Makuta have all of them. But since this new body was created through different means, it didn't come packed with everything. No Kraata powers, just shadow and telepathy. Well, aside from a few like Chameleon and Elasticity."
"Is that why you need me to do all of your work?"
Hysterix heard talking behind him. Keelo did too, and looked behind to see Yedrin and Vandir. He panicked, since Hysterix was there with him, but the Makuta had already turned himself invisible.
"Yedrin," said Keelo, "do you have something to show me?"
"Yes," replied Yedrin, "it's Vandir. I've done all I can, but it will still take him a while to recover. Those blasters can do some serious damage."
Vandir's chest-plate had been replaced, built from the armor of "Alchemist". He wore a black cloth with white patterns around his right shoulder, which had also been badly damaged during the fight.
"Come here and talk to me, Vandir," Keelo ordered. Vandir stood in silence, angering Keelo slightly.
"The blast also damaged his vocal chords," Yedrin explained, "so he'll be mute for a few days. He'll have to go through voice rehab, but he should be good after that."
"Well, I can still help with deciding something," Keelo said, hiding his anger at the natives for what they did to Vandir. At his command, Vandir walked up to him. "So, Vandir I've been thinking, and I've decided that with all of this power, I'll need to display it. You following?"
Vandir nodded slowly.
"Good," Keelo continued. "I was thinking, I could use some training to help me fight. I was going to have you train me, seeing how Merdana's improved. Of course, I would need to see how you were doing, and if you were in the right condition to train me."
Vandir shook his head.
"Well," Keelo said, you could at least duel me?"
Vandir shook his head again. He tried to say something, but only ended up croaking, confusing Keelo. Instead, he pointed out to Hatar, who was helping with construction.
“What about him?” Keelo asked. “You want him to train me?”
After a slight pause, Vandir nodded.
"So," Shensii began as she carried a reaped Greatgrass plant over to the pile, "I hope you don't mind me asking… my memory seems to fail me sometimes... why are we collecting these again?"
"Many reasons," said Omakah before he swung his hook, slicing another plant. "Most importantly for rice, which if you haven't noticed is pretty much the staple food around here. Any vegetables or meat we collect usually goes with rice."
"Back on Leskya Nui," Shensii said, "we had a leaf vegetable called Leski, which was our staple food. It didn't taste very good, but it was the only crop that could survive the island's cold climate for a long time. After we started trading it with others and made money off of it, others started calling our island the Leski Island, and that’s how the name ‘Leskya Nui’ came to be."
"So it was cold on Leskya Nui?" Omakah asked.
“Undoubtedly," Shensii said with a laugh, "We didn't have many Ta-Matoran because of the snow. They saw it as a torturous place. But anyone who could appreciate the snow thought it was heaven there, including me."
"I..." Omakah stuttered as he tried to jog his memory using what Shensii had said, "I think I might have been there before."
"Really?" Shensii said surprisedly as she reaped some more plant.
Omakah took out a rope and began tying several dozen lightweight Greatgrass plants into a bundle.
"I think so," he said. "I haven't told you this yet, but I originally wasn't from this island. I lived on Nynrah for a while. After the island was attacked, I left for the Southern Islands along with a Fe-Matoran castaway who was part of some weird organization. If I remember correctly, I dropped him off somewhere that sound a lot like your island and then headed west and landed here."
"What was the Fe-Matoran's name?" Shensii asked.
"I think," Omakah said, "that it started with a 'D'."
"Uh- yeah, that was his name!"
"Yeah, I remember him." Shensii began. "He became a Toa after a Makuta named Antharahk started attacking our island.
He was kidnapped, though, and not many of us really knows what happened to him. Some say he became a Dark Hunter."
"Well," Omakah as he finished his knot, "it's a weird place in this part of the Islands. Friends disappear without explanation. Although I'm surely glad they haven't taken you yet." He gave her a smirk. Shensii gave a warm smile back at him as she helped him pick up the long bundle.
Shensii suddenly heard something from the foliage. Panicking, she looked back to see her old friend Jeko spying on the two.
"Spy!" Omakah yelled. He dropped the bundle, grabbed his hook and ran at the invader.
With no choice, Jeko began to duel Omakah with a claw-based weapon of his own. he deflected Omakah's swipes and slashes, occasionally throwing a kick or punch with little-to-no success. However, after a short period, it was clear that Jeko had the upper hand.
Unsure of what to do, Shensii quickly looked around. She eyed the sickle in her hand, which glinted in the sun.
She couldn't. Never.
Her eyes fell on the plant bundle, and her eyes lit up with a great idea. She dropped her sickle, untied the rope and ran toward Omakah and Jeko.
Sticking to her firm beliefs, Shensii picked up a small rock from the dirt. She waited until the right moment, and tossed it on the ground. Jeko stepped on it, slipped and fell, allowing Omakah to roll him over and hold him down.
Shensii handed him the rope, and he swiftly tied the spy's hands together at the wrists. Omakah pulled the excess rope as tight as he could to make the knot as tight as he could get it. Jeko tried to wrench his arms out, with no success.
“Okay,” Shensii said, panting heavily, “what are we going to do with him?”
Without hesitation, Omakah said, “It’s best that he take him to Maroona. She’ll know what to do with him.”
Before Jeko could try to stand up, Omakah had grabbed him by the rope and began dragging him up the Desolation River.
The blazing sun sat in the middle of the sky, mercilessly blasting Jeko with heat as he sat kneeling before Turaga Maroona.
"I'll never," Jeko said as he panted heavily, "tell you anything!"
"Nothing?" Maroona said. Everyone else who had escaped Keelo was standing behind her, facing the captured Ko-Matoran.
"Nothing at all!" Jeko repeated.
"Oh, no, whatever will I do?" she said sarcastically. Jeko smiled at the hint that he wouldn't fail to keep his secrets, but this smile soon faded when Wreshi and Salvina snickered. It was apparent that everyone else knew something that he didn’t.
"If only," Maroona said dreamily, "if only I could just touch your mask and know what you've been up to recently. Oh, what a magnificent world this would be!" Detras and Corduk, the more serious Toa, held back chuckling.
"Yeah, woe is me!" sneered Jeko, "Now do you need me for anything or not?"
"Well, it's not exactly you I need," smiled Maroona as she pulled Jeko's Powerless Kanohi off of his face, "although I do appreciate that you brought this here for me."
Maroona activated her Noble Mask of Psychometry, and sharpened her focus onto Jeko's mask. She remembered when she was training to use it for the first time, she would always repeat the words "Open the gates to the past" in her mind, which mysteriously eased her in activating her mask.
Now, in rough detail, she could see Jeko's recent history in her mind. It was like a room of images in her mind, full of various situations he had been in. Many of them saw Jeko hiding in the vegetation, spying on the natives and writing things down onto a pad. One situation caught her eye, and she focused on it. The image seemed to gravitate toward her before engulfing her vision completely.
Jeko was hiding in the bushes, along with his female Onu-Matoran friend and "Sweetheart", Tyria. The two had decided to spend as much time as they wanted to together before Jeko had to leave on his spying mission. It was ironic that the two never appeared to enjoy each other’s company, although deep inside both of them felt better when they were together. It seemed like the relationship was self-constructed and had led it’s own maiden voyage.
The two could see Keelo, standing with Merdana and a green Native Toa on a rock ledge. Keelo was blabbering about a powerful device called the Mask Maker's Tool and what it could do.
"He thinks he's so powerful, doesn't he?" said Tyria. She shifted her position to get a better view.
"I guess," said Jeko. "It seems like someone else is teaching him how to rule sometimes, and even then he's a terrible ruler."
"He's not terrible," said Jeko, "just... corrupted. A lot."
"He reminds of that green Makuta that was there during the big battle." Tyria replied. "There are rumors going around that they never really got rid of him."
"I hope they got rid of him," Jeko added. "They say he could be messing around with stuff then, and he could be doing the same now."
"Have you overheard anything weird?" Tyria asked curiously.
"Oh yeah," Jeko said, "I think Keelo's planning some sort of 'Duel' with the Native Toa of Fire. I heard him talking to himself about how it was going to be a trap and that he was going to 'get rid of the Toa of Fire'."
"Sounds like a dumb plan, doesn't it?" Tyria said pessimistically.
"Oh, yeah," said Jeko. "Maybe he is a terrible ruler like you said. I mean, if I were ruling and I made that decision, I'm sure I'd be impeached or something."
The two Matoran remained silent as Keelo Fiddled with the Tool.
"If you're trying to be funny," Tyria said, "it's not working."
"I wasn't," Jeko replied, although he wasn't sure about his answer. "Y'know, maybe if-"
He was cut off by a massive blast of psionic energy. He fell back into the bushes, while Tyria fell onto her knees. The two writhed in pain.
Maroona wasn't being affected, but she could get a feeling of the sheer power just by seeing what was happening. She quickly shut off her mask.
“What happened?” Corduk asked. “What did you see?”
"Detras," Maroona said hastily, "it's planning time."
“N-Now?” said Detras. “Surely, you don’t have enough information for us to formulate a cohesive plan. You always told me that information was the key to a good plan.”
“Well,” Maroona said, “it seems that Mata Nui just decided to bust the lock for us. Let us waste no time.”
- Antharahk (mentioned)
- Tyria (In a flashback)
- With the debut of Tyria, Volume VI is the first Volume since the timeskip after Volume III to introduce a new character. Tyria's name was originally Murex. This Volume also mentions Antharahk for the first time.
- This Volume is also not only the first Volume of The Feral Plains to kill off a character ("Alchemist"), but also the first time CaptainLandr0ver has killed off a major character (Nohri and Ruthos were considered minor characters).
- On the Lego.com Gallery, mentioning death is not allowed. To get it across that "Alchemist" had been killed, CaptainLandr0ver placed in several hints:
- On the Gallery, the name of Chapter 2 was "Calidum Nasus", which in Latin for "Hot nose". The Hot Nose Sign is a medical term referring to a perfusion (passage of fluid, in this case blood) in the nose, causing it to warm up, and is a sign of brain death. "Alchemist" was killed when his brain was essentially "killed" by overloading the cybernetic parts of it.
- Keelo mentions that "Alchemist"'s place in his Empire is "in the ground", referring to the burial of corpses.
- CaptainLandr0ver seems to dislike this Volume over the others, because it is full of dialogue, exposition and character development and seems lacking in action.
- Vandir's condition was recycled from an earlier story idea which was scrapped. The idea was that, following a hesitation to follow his orders, Vandir's arm would've been cut off by Hysterix, and he would've been taken into care by the natives, eventually joining them. They would've replaced it with a mechanical arm and given him a black cloak over his right shoulder, the same one he wears in this condition.
- The fact that Vandir is rendered temporarily mute is also a nod to his inspiration, the Norse deity Víðarr , who was associated with Silence among Vengeance and the Forest.