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This article was written by Toa Hydros. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.

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Mission of Memories is a spin-off of The Hydros Chronicles. It is written by the creator of The Hydros Chronicles, user Toa Hydros. It tells the tale of Toa Hydros' first encounter with Proto-Beast, as well as reveal many parts of Hydros' mysterious past.

Introduction

Toa Hydros walked through a dark, damp tunnel as he made his way to the location of his next mission. Just hours before he had been on the island of Daxia, base of the secretive group known as the Order of Mata Nui, prepareing for a trip to the Universe Core. While this was certianly one of his most dangerous missions yet, danger was something Hydros had grown used to. For as long as he could remember he had been on some of the most dangerous missions one could imagine. Everything from spying on the mighty Brotherhood of Makuta to defeating treacherous Dark Hunters, he had done it all. He had been on so many missions it was hard to remember them all.

There was, however, one paticular mission Hydros will never forget. It was a mission that began normally enough, but ended with great pain and suffering. As he walked, Hydros thought back and remembered.

Chapter One

2,500 years ago...

Hydros walked down a dimly lit corridor. As he walked, faint whispers filled the air, seemingly following the Toa wherever he went. Even as Hydros pondered the reason for being here a bright light flashed up ahead, forcing the Toa to shield his eyes. Once the light subsided, Hydros looked in the direction it had come from. Where there was once endless hallway, there was now a door. Puzzled, Hydros stepped forward and reached for the handle.

As soon as he touched it another burst of light temporarily blinded Hydros. It took several moments, but his vision finally cleared. He looked around to see an astonishing sight. The long, unending hallway was gone, replaced by a lush forest. Wondering how this was possible, the Toa looked around with confused eyes. While he had no memories of this place, it was somehow familiar to him. While he was pondering this, a loud crashing noise sounded from the forest behind him. Hydros turned just in time to see two Matoran, a Ta-Matoran and a Ga-Matoran, rushing through the forest in his direction, eyes wide with fear. Before he could call out to them, however, they ran right into him... and then straight through him. The two Matoran had passed through the Toa as if he weren't there. The Matoran then continued running as Hydros starred after them in shock.

"What in Mata Nui's name is going on here?!" said the shocked Toa.

Before he could figure out how this was possible, another series of crashing noises came from the forest. He looked in the direction the Matoran had come from just in time to see a massive Muaka cat charge straight for him. But instead of ripping into the Toa, the Rahi cat passed through him just like the Matoran. The Rahi cat then continued its charge, evidently chasing the Matoran. Determined to get answers, Hydros chased after them.

He didn't need to travel far. The path the Matoran and Muaka took ended at a cliff overlooking the sea. The two Matoran were huddled close together as the carnivorous Rahi slowly approached them. Hydros wanted to help but knew he would be unable to touch the Matoran if they couldn't touch him. Suddenly, the Muaka charged. At the last second the Ta-Matoran shoved the Ga-Matoran out of the way, letting the Rahi tackle him. However, before the Muaka could devour the Matoran, the portion of the cliff they were standing on crumbled, sending the Ta-Matoran and the Rahi tumbling into the sea.

At that moment Hydros screamed and awoke from his sleep. Breathing frantically, he sat up in his bed looked around. Yes, he was in his home again. However, that did little to calm him down. This was the fourth night in a row he has had this dream, and it was getting worse each time.

What is with these dreams? Thought Hydros as he composed himself.

At that moment, Hydros remembered the two Matoran from his dream. He had never met them, but they somehow seemed familiar. He decided to push the thoughts aside for now.

After all, thought Hydros, they are just dreams. Aren't they?

Suddenly, there was a knocking at his door. A moment later the familiar figure of Guardna, member of the Order of Mata Nui, opened and stepped through the door. He looked at Hydros.

"Hydros" he said. "Get up. You are needed for another mission."

A short time later, Hydros and Guardna made their way to the main fortress on the island of Daxia. Once inside, they were greeted by another Order member. He was tall, lean, clad in blue, gold, and red armor, and possessed large jaws with equally large teeth.

"Hello Hydros" said Botar, the Order of Mata Nui's gatherer of the fallen. "I trust you are ready for your next assignment."

He then produced a small stone tablet. Hydros took it from Botar and looked it over. It had a carving that depicted a fearsome being. He had a fierce, skull-like face, four arms equipped with razor-sharp claws, and a long bladed tail. Beneath the carving were a series of Matoran letter that read Proto-Beast.

"Who is this?" asked Hydros as he handed the tablet back to Botar.

"He is a Dark Hunter" said Botar. "And a particularly fierce one at that. His last mission sent him to an island in the south. He was told to kidnap a single Matoran. After arriving, he killed all of the island's Matoran, with the exception of the one he was after. A being like this is far too dangerous to be allowed to continue such damage. You find him and bring him down. I will handle the rest."

Hydros nodded. "So where is this 'Proto-Beast' now?"

Guardna answered this time. "He has recently been spotted in Metru Nui. We believe he is looking for something hidden in the Onu-Metru Archives. Exactly what he is looking for is unknown."

Botar nodded and singled for Hydros to follow him. As they walked, Botar explained Hydros's mission to him: Once he reached the island city of Metru Nui he would need to convince the local Toa to help look for Proto-Beast. Once Proto-Beast was found, they would have to disable him. Hydros would then need to district Lhikan and the others long enough for Botar to take the Dark Hunter into custody.

As they walked, Hydros suddenly got a splitting headache. A moment later, a series of images flashed through the Toa's mind. He could see the Ta-Matoran from his dream floating in the middle of a huge ocean. The Matoran eventually washed up on a beach. Suddenly, a large, shadowy figure approached the unconscious Matoran and starred down at him. At that moment the vision ended, leaving Hydros shocked and drained. He was about to call out to Botar to tell him of the vision but he thought against it. With that, Hydros composed himself and caught up with Botar so he could prepare for his next mission.

Chapter Two

Metru Nui, 2 days later...

Lhikan, Toa of Fire, ducked and rolled to avoid yet another spear. Just like before, the spear destroyed the portion of the ground it struck.

"Those Zyglak really know how to make weapons." muttered the Toa of Fire.

At that moment, another Zyglak pounced on Lhikan, only to be repelled by his Mask of Shielding. This tribe of Zyglak had only recently arrived on Metru Nui but were rapidly making themselves known. Zyglak were reptilian beings that were accidentally created eons ago by the Great Beings. Shunned by their creators and hated by all others, the Zyglak hated anything associated with the Great Spirit, Mata Nui. Particularly Toa.

As Lhikan batted away the spears and knives of one Zyglak with his Fire Greatswords, Toa Gravna, Toa of Earth and Toa Sayra, Toa of Water, battled the other Zyglak. As he fought, Lhikan found himself wishing the other members of his team were there to help, but they were away on another mission. Suddenly, the call of another Zyglak snapped him out of his thoughts. He looked up to see two Zyglak trapped in a column of earth, courtesy of Toa Gravna, and three others trapped in a huge vortex of water, courtesy of Sayra.

Now it was Lhikan's turn. The Toa of Fire released a burst of fire to create a fiery cage around the last Zyglak. Instead of trying to avoid them, however, the Zyglak simply shrugged of the flames, unfazed.

"Well, if fire won't work..." said Lhikan. He then threw one his of his swords just over the reptile's head. It then doubled back and tripped the Zyglak as it passed beneath it. Lhikan wasted no time. He super-heated the pavement beneath the Zyglak, transforming it from a solid surface to a sticky tar pit. The reptilian being struggled viciously as it sank up to its shoulders. Despite its best efforts, however, the Zyglak just couldn't break free of the sticky liquid. Lhikan sighed in relief.

"Good job guys." said Lhikan to the other two Toa.

"Thanks Lhikan, but didn't we cut it a little close?" said Gravna. "I mean, we won this time, but what if there are more Zyglak on Metru Nui."

"He speaks with wisdom Lhikan." said Sayra, trying not to look at the repulsive Zyglak. She had hated and feared Zyglak ever since a terrifying encounter with one when she was a Matoran.

Lhikan thought for a moment. He then turned to the others. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to increase our patrols of the city until the others get back."

Suddenly, all thoughts of patrol duty were forgotten. The Toa watched as a strange object streaked across the sky and land in the Silver Sea just a short distance from the Ga-Metru shore. Confident that the Vahki could deal with the trapped Zyglak, Lhikan, Sayra, and Gravna ran toward the shore to get a better look. By the time the Toa arrived, the object had pushed itself onto shore. It was a canister. A Toa Canister.

"Do you think someone is in there?" Gravna asked no one in particular.

Before anyone could answer, the lid of the canister slowly opened. Lhikan and the others drew their weapons, just in case the canister's contents were unfriendly. Then, the canister's occupant climbed out and stood up. After clearing his head he looked at Lhikan and the others. Lhikan took in the stranger's appearance. He was obviously a Toa... but not like any Toa he had ever seen. He was slightly taller than the average Toa, wore a strange mask that vaguely resembled a Hau, and was covered in red, green, grey, and black armor. If anything, this stranger looked like he would be more at home in the ocean than on land.

"Who are you?" asked Lhikan. The strange Toa looked at him.

"I am Toa Hydros." said the Toa. "It is an honor to meet you Lhikan."

"You're a Toa?" said Gravna. "You don't look like any Toa I have ever met."

"Let's just say I'm not like the average Toa." replied Hydros.

"Well... Hydros, allow me to introduce you to these two." said Lhikan, gesturing to his team mates. "This is Gravna. And this is Sayra."

When Hydros's eyes settled on the Toa of Water he found he couldn't take his eyes off of her. It wasn't only because she was beautiful. There was something familiar about her...

At that moment, a vision flashed in Hydros's mind. He could see the Ta-Matoran and the Ga-Matoran from his dreams, apparently before their run-in with the Muaka. They were sitting on a rock overlooking the sea. They were watching a spectacular sunset. For some reason, Hydros felt a great sense of happiness and peace. Then, as suddenly it began, the vision ended. When Hydro came to he noticed Lhikan and the others looking at him.

"Uh... sorry. Anyway, it is nice to meet all of you, but I must discuss my being here with Turaga Dume." said Hydros.

"Sorry, but Turaga Dume is currently away." said Sayra. "He and the other members of our team have traveled to an island to the south to have discussion with that island's Turaga."

"Yes and he has left me in charge until he gets back." said Lhikan.

"Well, then I guess I had better talk with you then." said Hydros. "I am currently on a mission to track down a Dark Hunter called Proto-Beast. My... superiors have told me he was most recently spotted here on Metru Nui."

"Your superiors are right." Gravna said grimly. "We have been chaseing that Dark Hunter all over the city for days, but he always manages to slip away."

Sayra nodded. "The Matoran are so frightened they won't go out at night." She then turned to Lhikan. "Maybe we should accept his help."

Lhikan thought about this for a moment. He then smiled and clanked his fist against Hydros'.

"Welcome to the team." said the Toa of Fire.

Chapter Three

A few days later...

Toa Hydros was in the most frightening situation he could imagine. Even after fighting Dark Hunters and Rahi, he couldn't think of a more stressful moment than the one he was living now: He was walking side-by-side with Sayra, Toa of Water, down the streets of Ga-Metru.

After Hydros was made a temporary member of the team, it was decided that Lhikan and the others would help track down Proto-Beast. In exchange, Hydros would help them out with their daily patrols of the city. While Sayra seemed fine with this, Lhikan and Gravna were not as trusting. After the incident with Nidhiki centuries ago, Lhikan had become more cautious of new Toa, esspecially one as strange as Hydros. Because of this, Lhikan decided that at least one Toa would accompany Hydros until he could fully trust him.

Hydros was fine with this, but didn't expect Sayra to volunteer to accompany him first. It wasn't because he didn't like her, though. In fact, it was the opposite reason that was behind Hydros' nervousness. In all of his years he had never met someone that made him feel this awkward. Because of this, Hydros kept mostly silent as Sayra gave him a tour of Ga-Metru.

"And there is the Great Temple, the most important building in Ga-Metru and possibly the whole city." said Sayra, pointing to the sacred temple.

When Hydros didn't respond Sayra looked at him. He was starring straight ahead with a nervous look on his face. He didn't even seem to notice Sayra's words.

"What's wrong Hydros?" asked Sayra.

Still, no responce.

"Uh, hello? Anybody home?" said the Toa of Water, waving a hand in front of her companion's face.

"Huh? Oh, sorry." said Hydros, looking embarraced. "What did you say?"

"I asked you if something was wrong. You seem a little distracted."

Distracted?, thought Hydros. More like a wreak. "Uh, nothing is wrong Sayra." said Hydros.

"Good." replied Sayra. After an uncomfortible silence Sayra looked at Hydros agian. "So, where do you come from? With all that has been going on you haven't really had a chance to tell me about yourself."

Hydros didn't know how to answer this question because he didn't really know himself. Botar had told him years ago that a member of the Order of Mata Nui had found Hydros unconciouse on a beach centuries ago. When they manged to awake Hydros he could remember nothing other than his name. Luckily for Hydros, however, he won't get a chance to answer Sayra's question.

"Hydros! Sayra!" shouted someone from above. The two Toa looked up to see Lhikan floating in the air atop his joined Fire Greatswords, using them as a hoverboard. "Meet me in Onu-Metru. Gravana has found something in the Archives." With that, Lhikan began flying toward Onu-Metru.

About an hour later, Hydros and Sayra arrived at one of the entrances to the Onu-Metru Archives. Lhikan and Gravna were already there talking to some worried-looking Onu-Matoran.

"So what did you find?" asked Sayra.

The Toa of Earth looked up at the other two. "Come." said Gravna. "I will need to show you what I found." He then walked through the entrance, followed by Lhikan and the others.

After what seemed like hours of walking Gravna stopped at a turn in the tunnel. He then looked at the others. "What I'm about to show you maybe a little shocking. So prepare yourselves." He then lead the others around the bend of the tunnel. All but Gravna gasped in shock. It was a gruesome sight.

Scattered all around the tunnel were the bodies of at least a dozen Zyglak.

"What happend here?" asked Sayra, clearly unnerved by the sight.

"Something or someone fought these Zyglak, but it wasn't the Vahki or even a rouge Rahi." said Gravna. "A couple of archivists heard loud noises comeing from this tunnel and came to investigate. When they got here it was already over."

After the shock of the sight passed the Toa began looking over the Zyglak's bodies, looking for some sign of what did this. Appearently, the Zyglak were killed by a number of cause. Some had the same scorch marks that lightning would inflict. Others had deep wounds from some type of sharp tool, and still others seemed to have been crushed by some tremendous force. When he was done, Hydros knew only one being could be responceible.

Proto-Beast muttered Hydros.

"What did you say?" asked Lhikan.

"My supiriors told me of Proto-Beast's powers and these injuries seem to be a match." replied Hydros.

There was a long silence that was finally broken by the Toa of Earth. "If Proto-Beast can do this to an entire tribe of Zyglak, what hope do four Toa have?"

No one answered, for no one wanted to think about it.

As the Toa left for the surface, they were unaware that the slayer of the Zyglak was watching them from the shadows. And he was confident that, before long, he would have four more Kanohi to claim as trophies of a successful mission.

Chapter Four

The creature walked slowly throught the Archives, all of its senses on the altert. As he walked, he caught the sent of his companions up ahead. When the Zyglak known as Scar rounded a corner, he expected to see the other members of his tribe waiting for him. Instead, he saw a sight that made his eyes widen with shock:

His Zyglak companions were lying on the floor of the tunnel. All of them dead.

Scar rushed forward. As he looked over the bodies of his brethren Scar was unable to comprehend what could have had the power to wipe out an entire tribe of Zyglak. Then the answer slithered into his mind like a serpent.

Toa, thought Scar. It has always been Toa. First they humiliate us by running us down into the Archives. Then they have the nerve to actually slay us!

Even as he thought this, however, he had his doubts. He had battled Toa for centuries. No matter what, they always seemed to avoid killing their opponents. The thought of a proud Toa like Lhikan actually killing someone when an entire city full of Vahki could simply capture them was to hard to believe.

"Believe it." said a voice.

Scar turned this way and that, trying to get a glimce of whoever spoke to him.

"Who is there?" asked Scar. "Show yourself!"

"As you wish." said the voice from behind the Zyglak. Scar turned around to see a tall, vicious-looking being. He had a head equiped with large jaws and razor-sharp teeth. He had four arms that ended in huge talons. To top it off, he had a long tail equiped with a large balde at the end. Scar backed away a few teps.

"Who are you?" demanded Scar.

The stranger chuckled. "You can call me 'Proto-Beast'."

"What do you want with me?" asked the Zyglak. "Are you the one respocible for the death of my fellow Zyglak?! If you are then so help me --"

"Relax, relax. I didn't kill your little friends." lied the Dark Hunter. "But I know who did."

"Then tell me before I show you a pain beyond anything you have every felt!"

Proto-Beast chuckled agian. "I think you already know." said the Dark Hunter. "You were thinking it just a few moments ago."

The Zyglak's eyes widend. "The Toa did do this!" said Scar in an infurriated voice.

He then took another look at the dead members of his clan. How dare those Toa strike down his companions. He knew he would have to get even. He knew he would have to get revenge.

"Those Toa will pay for this." said Scar in a voice darker than even the lowest levels of the Archives. "They will pay with their very lives. This I promise."

"And that is a promise I can help you keep." said Proto-Beast.

Scar turned around and looked at the Dark Hunter. "What do you mean?" asked the Zyglak.

Proto-Beast stepped toward Scar. "I have come to this city of Metru Nui on a mission." said Proto-Beast. "Part of that mission includes stealing something of value and smuggleing it off of the island. I've done the first part, but I need someone to deliver this treasure to some... friends of mine who are waiting offshore. If you can do this for me, I can help you exact your revenge on the Toa that killed your friends."

Scar's eyes narrowed. "How do I know I can trust you?" asked the Zyglak.

Proto-Beast put a clawed hand on Scar's shoulder. He then flashed a smile that revealed all of his razor-sharp teeth. "Oh come now Scar." said Proto-Beast. "Does this look like the face of someone who would decieve you?"

Chapter Five

Hydros jumped and dodged twin blasts of laser vision even as he returned fire with a mini-cyclone. Suddenly, a water blast struck him dead-on and sent him flying. He landed hard on the floor of the Coliseum's arena. Hydros painfully pulled himself into a sitting position and looked at his opponent: Toa Sayra.

After the Toa's disturbing encounter with the Zyglak in the Archives, Lhikan and Hydros decided that they and the other Toa should practice their battle skills on each other. Lhikan and Gravan fought first, with Gravna barely managing to beat Lhikan with a combination of his Mask of Growth and his elelmental earth power. Next up were Hydros and Sayra... and Hydros was rapidly learning how expirianced the Toa of Water was in combat.

Hydros quickly got to his feet and charged, sword in hand. Sayra also ran forward, Aqua Sythe at the ready. Their weapons clashed agian and agian. Suddenly, a small cyclone, curtosy of Hydros, appeared between them, forceing the two Toa back. Hydros then fired a fire bolt at Sayra. Even as he did this, however, a vision flashed through his mind. He could see the Ga-Matoran from his dreams being held by the neck by a Zyglak, with the Ta-Matoran trapped beneith its clawed foot. Hydros was so destracted by the vision, his fire bolt spiraled off course and blasted a portion of the arena wall to rubble. Gravna, who was observing the battle from the sidelines with Lhikan, had to shield his face from bits of rock.

"Hey!" yelled the Toa of Earth. "Watch where you aim those things!"

Hydros snapped out of his vision and looked at Gravna.

"Uh, sorry!" said Hydros. "Guess I wasn't paying attention."

Suddenly, a blast of electricity sent the Toa flying. After recovering his senses, Hydros shot a look at Sayra. Her hands were crackling with electricity, her Kanohi mask glowing all the while. She had appearently activated her Kanohi Faxon, which allowed her to copy the powers of virtually any Rahi beast. She had evidentally chosen a beast that could throw lightning bolts to defend itself from attack.

"I was hopeing for a challange. Want to give up now and avoid humiliation?" mocked the smileing Toa of Water.

Hydros slowly got to his feet. He wore the same smile she did.

So, she wants a real battle does she? thought Hydros. Well, I had better give her what she wants. "I never back down from a fight." said the Toa. "Give me your best shot."

"Well, don't say I didn't give you a chance to surrender." said Sayra with a chuckle.

The Toa of Water raised her hands in the air. Then, using her control of water, she commanded moisture from the air to collect into a large water sphere. The sphere got bigger and bigger until it was easily four times the size of a Toa. It the transformed from a sphere into a vortex. She then unleashed it onto the field. The tornado of water slammed into Hydros, pulling him inside. As the other Toa watched, Hydros spun around around at an amazing speed. Hydros struggled in vain to get out of the vortex. It wasn't the danger of drowning that worried him, however. He could breath underwater just as easily as if he were on land. It was the danger of passing out and loosing the fight that worried him.

I'm in trouble. thought Hydros. How can I get out of this? Suddenly, he found the answer. The vortex couldn't exist without water.

Outside the vortex Sayra and the others watched as Hydros countinued to struggle agianst the water.

Lhikan decided it was enough. "Sayra." said the Toa of Fire. "That's enough. Let him out."

Sayra shrugged. She was about to deactiveate the water vortex when she noticed a bright, reddish glow coming from it. Before she could ponder what could be responcible for the glow, the water that made up the vortex suddenly disappeared, replaced by a cloud of steam. Hydros suddenly landed on the ground and commanded a strong wind to blow the steam cloud in Sayra's direction, blocking her vision. She was so distracted, she never heard the small eartquake until it was to late. The tremor knocked her off of her feet and to the ground. When the steam finally cleard she could see Hydros standing over her, a mocking grin on his face.

"Finished?" asked the Toa, offering her a hand up.

Sayra took his hand. Then, with blinding speed, she pulled him to the ground and pounced on top of him, pinning him to the ground. The Toa of Water looked at the stunned Hydros and smiled.

"No." said Sayra. "Now I'm finished."

Hydros was still looking at Sayra when he heard Lhkian and Gravna approach.

"All right you two. That's enough training for today." said Lhikan.

Sayra got up and helped Hydros to his feet.

"You okay?" asked Sayra, hopeing she didn't injure Hydros.

Hydros was still starring at her. He then smiled.

"Your good." said the Toa. "Where did you learn those moves?"

"A friend of mine back on my home island taught me my hand-to-hand moves." said the Toa of Water.

Hydros was about to reply when he heard a shout from behind.

"Toa! Toa! You are needed!"

Hydros looked to one of the doorways that lead from the arena to the inside of the Coliseum to see a Matoran running toward them. It was a Po-Matoran Gravna knew.

"Ahkmou." said the Toa of Earth. "What is it? Why are we needed?"

The carver known as Ahkmou ran up to the Toa and took a moment to catch his breath.

"Attacks. There have been attacks on Matoran." said the Po-Matoran.

"What attacked them?" asked Lhikan.

The Matoran quickly discribed the attacks. There were at least two creatures in two different Metru. A number of Ga-Matoran were attacked in Ga-Metru by a Zyglak, while the Po-Matoran of Po-Metru were being terrorized by a being that fit the discription of the Dark Hunter Proto-Beast.

"Was anyone injured?" asked Lhikan.

Ahkmou nodded. "At leat two Ga-Matoran were seriously wounded. At least four Po-Matoran are dead."

The four Toa looked a each other with worried eyes.

"Alright." said Lhikan. "We need to split up. Gravna. You come with me to Ga-Metru. Sayra. I want you to take Hydros to Po-Metru to handle Proto-Beast. Now lets go."

The Toa quickly ran off, leaving a worried-looking Ahkmou behind. The Po-Matoran dropped to his knees and let out a great sigh of relief.

Okay. said the Po-Matoran to someone in his mind. I've done what you asked. Now please leave me alone!


Ahkmou could hear a chilling chuckle inside his head.

You have served me well indeed Matoran. said the voice. Very well. I will break my mental link with you. But remember, if you tell anyone you have done buissness with me, I will tell all of your little friends that you where the one who told me were to find that special artifact in the Archives. Think about it. You would go down in history as the most selfish and greedy Matoran ever!

Fine!, thought Ahkmou. I won't tell anyone! Just leave me alone!

The voice chuckled and faded away, replaced with Ahkmous' own thoughts.

Somewhere in the remote desert of Po-Metru the Dark Hunter known as Proto-Beast smiled as he deactivated his telepathic link with Ahkmou. He then relaxed as he waited for his Toa prey to wonder into his trap.

Chapter Six

Hydros and Sayra walked through one of Po-Metru's many assembler's villages, watching for any sign of Proto-Beast. However, the two Toa were seeing no sign of the Dark Hunter. In fact, they were seeing no sign that the Matoran had seen Proto-Beast. Sayra walked up to a Matoran carver and tapped him on the shoulder. The Matoran Sayra knew as Onewa turned around.

"Yes?" asked Onewa.

"Have you seen anything strange around here lately?" asked Sayra. "We have been hearing reports of a Dark Hunter called 'Proto-Beast' was in the area. We were told he was harming Matoran."

Onewa shook his head. "No Toa Sayra. I have heard this Proto-Beast was in Metru Nui, yes, but I haven't seen him in Po-Metru."

"Thank you Onewa." said Sayra, turning back to Hydros. "It must have been a prank of some sort. It isn't uncommon for some Matoran to report such things as a joke."

Hydros nodded. "Maybe. But just to be safe, maybe we should potral Po-Metru a little longer just to be sure."

"Alright." said the Toa of Water. "Then while we are here I might as well show you around. Po-Metru might not be as nice as Ga-Metru, but you haven't lived until you have seen the Sculpture Fields."

For the next several hours Hydros and Sayra wondered around Po-Metru, taking in the sights as they did. Though, it seemed Hydros was more interested in looking at Sayra than anything else. She wasn't like any Toa he had ever met before. Strong, skilled, smart, ... and beautiful.

Suddenly, several images of the Ga-Matoran from Hydros' visions flashed through his mind. The vision finally ended after a few moments. Why was this Matoran always on Hydros' mind?

After Hydros cleared his head he could once agian hear Sayra pointing out the many Po-Metru land marks. Something suddenly moved out of the corner of Hydros' eye. He turned around and saw nothing. He couldn't be certian, but Hydros couldn't shake the feeling that they were being followed. He decided not to dwell on it.

Eventually the pair ended up sitting atop of a large statue overlooking the Sculpture Fields. The twin suns were about to go dark fore the night, bathing the city in a beautiful reddish and orange glow. As they took in the sight Sayra noticed a group of Kikanalo making their way across the desert, the glow of the fadeing suns reflecting off of their metalic hides.

"There is something about this city at sunset that brings back memories about my home-island." said Sayra.

"Really?" asked Hydros. "What island do you come from?"

Sayra shrugged. "Oh, it's no any place you would know. Besides. I don't really like to disscuse my past with anyone"

"Don't be so sure. I've been many places over the years. Come on. You can trust me."

Sayra looked at Hydros. While she had never met him until only a few days ago, she felt like she could trust Hydros more than anyone she had ever known.

"Alright" said the Toa of Water with a smile. "But as long a you don't tell anyone."

"Like I said...", replied Hydros. "you can trust me."

Sayra took a deep breath. "Nynrah. My home island is Nynrah."

Hydros couldn't help but be slightly shocked by what he had heard. Nynrah was a mysterious land, and was known as the home of the secretive Matoran craftsmen known as the Nynrah Ghosts. To actually be in the presence of a native of Nynrah was quit astounishing.

"You're from Nynrah?", asked Hydros. "Then that would mean you are a Nynrah Ghost."

"Was." corrected Sayra. "I have't been a crafter in years."

"Why is that?"

Sayra gave a slight sigh and looked away.

"It's alright Sayra.", said Hydros, putting a hand on her shoulder. "If you don't wish to talk about it anymore we don't have to."

"No.", said Sayra, trying to compose herself. "It's just... I lost a very good friend when I was still a Matoran. He was one of the islands greatest crafters. We were very good friends. But one day he fell into the sea and was never seen agian. After that I just couldn't go on with crafting. I left Nynrah in an attempt to escape the memories of that place."

"Oh.", said Hydros. "I'm sorry. What was your friend's name?"

Sayra looked at Hydros. "Nobody you would know. A Ta-Matoran named Pyros."

As soon as she said the name a flood of images and forgotten memories filled Hydros' mind. He could see the Ta-Matoran from his visions, as well as the Ga-Matoran. He witnessed events he had never experianced, but somehow he knew they were his own memories.

As the memories flashed through his mind, the dreams and visions he had experianced all of his life finally made since. He had been a Matoran on the island of Nynrah. He had been best friends with Sayra... Exept his name had been Pyros. At times Pyros wished he and Sayra could have been more than friends, but he had always been to nervous to talk to her about it. He had suspected she felt the same way about him, but could not be shure. As it turns out, Pyros would never get a chance to talk to her about it. A Muaka had chased them until Pyros fell off of a cliff, disappearing beneath the waves. He would drifted in the ocean for several days until he washed up on an island, barely any of his memory intacted.

As suddenly as the vision began, it ended. Once he came to he could see Sayra stareing at him.

"Hydros?" asked Sayra. "What's wrong?"

"I - I don't know how to tell you this Sayra.... ,but I..." Hydros' voice trailed off.

"What is it Hydros?" asked Sayra in a concerned voice.

Hydros took a deep breath. "Sayra. I - I think I am your old friend. I am Pyros."

Sayra's eyes widend with shock. They then narrowed with anger."That's not funny Hydros. That's sick." The Toa of Water got up to her feet. She then looked at Hydros. "And you're a liar." She turned to walk toward the latter that led down to the ground.

Hydros got to his feet. "If I am a liar then how could I know that your favorite hobby as a Matoran was collecting the sea shells you found on the beaches of Nynrah?"

Sayra stopped dead in her tracks.

"And how could I know the reason you hate Zyglak is because you were attacked by one years ago?" asked Hydros ."I tried to help you but the Zyglak over-powered us. Had our friend not shown up we would have been killed."

Sayra turned around, her eyes filled with shock. Nothing in Hydros' tone told her he was lieing.

"And how could know that the afternoon before I fell into the sea, we sat on a rock over looking the ocean and watched the sunset, just as we did today?"

Sayra took a few steps toward Hydros. He had the same firey eyes as her old friend. And though he didn't look like Pyros, he had the same personality.

"I know this must be alot to take in..." said Hydros. "so I will give you some time alone."

He turned to leave, only to fell a hand grasp his shoulder. He turned around to see Sayra stareing into his eyes, as if she were looking into his very mind, heart, and soul. After a few long moments she smiled, tears forming in her eyes at the same time.

"Pyros." she said softly. "It is you."

Hydros smiled. For all his time spent in this world he had no life outside of serving the Order of Mata Nui. But now he has remembered his life from before the Order. And the most important person from that life was now here in front of him. He, for the firt time ever, had a history beyond that the Order provided.

The two Toa leaned in closer to each other slowly. Then, they finally kissed. They both wished this moment could last forever.

Unfortunately, that wouldn't be the case...

Suddenly a soft laugh came from somwhere near by. "How sweet." said a voice.

The two broke off the kiss. They looked this way and that, but could not see anything. Suddenly a pair of glowing, red eyes appeared out of nowhere. The Toa were suddenly blasted by a massive burst of laser vision, causing them to be flung over the edge of the statue. Hydros waisted no time. He caught Sayra in his arms and activated his power over air, creating a cyclone that cushined their fall until they were gently lowered to the ground.

As Hydros placed Sayra on her feet they both heard a loud thud come from somewhere nearby.

"Who is there?!" demanded Hydros.

There was no responce. Sayra activated her Kanohi Faxon, granting her the power of a Rahi that could see in infared. She looked in the direction the sound had come from. She saw the body heat of a large, multi-armed being.

I'll tell you who is there."said Sayra. "Show yourself Proto-Beast!"

The Toa could hear a chilling chuckle.

"Very clever Toa." said the voice. Suddenly, the Dark Hunter known as 'Proto-Beast' appeared before their eyes. "Very clever indeed."

"What do you want with us monster?" asked Sayra

"I thought you were here to steal from the Archives." added Hydros. "So why attack us?"

Proto-Beast chuckled. "Yes it is true that part of my mission was to steal an item of importance from the Archives. That part of my mission ia over. And you will be happy to know that The Shadowed One will take good care of the Staff of Artakha."

"And the other part of your mission?" asked Sayra.

Proto-Beast grinned. "Since you are about to die anyway, I see no harm in telling you. The second half of my mission isa to kill all of the Toa present in the city."

"What?!" said Hydros.

"With only four Toa present in the city, it will be a simple matter of eliminating all of you." said the Dark Hunter. "With the other members of your team away there will be no one left to oppose the Dark Hunters. Our forces will storm Metru Nui. By the time the other Toa return, the city will be filled with Dark Hunters."

"I don't think so monster!" said Hydros.

"You may beat us", said Sayra. "but you will never defeat Lhikan and Gravna!"

Proto-Beast simply chuckled. "Actually, I have already found someone to take care of those two. And I'd say he is tearing them apart at this very moment."

Chapter Seven

The world spun as Toa Gravna forced himself into a sitting position. He looked up just in time to see the Zyglak they had been fighting slam Lhikan into a nearby wall.

How could things have gone this bad?, thought Gravna. He and Lhikan had gone into the Great Temple to investigate a Zyglak sighting when they were attacked. Their attacker; a Zyglak who called himself "Scar", had quickly disarmed the Toa, as well as show off his battle skills. All the while, the creature was ranting and screaming nonsense about Lhikan and the other Toa killing the other members of his clan.

I have had enough of this!, Gravna screamed in his mind. The Toa of Earth then activated his Mask of Growth. While the roof of the temple restricted him from growing to maximum size, Gravna still managed to increase his size until he towered over twenty feet above the ground. The Toa then reached down, and scooped up the startled Zyglak like a toy, only to throw him back to the ground with all of his strength. Scar hit the ground hard enough to cause a large portion of the temple floor to crack and buckle.

Even this, however, wasn't enough to finish the battle. Scar managed force himself to stand, cradling a dislocated arm. He looked up to see Lhikan and Gravna standing a short distance away, weapons at the ready. What the Zyglak did next was most unexpected: He smiled.

"Great job little Toa." Scar said. Then, in one quick motion, he twisted his injured limb until all present heard the chilling sound of it popping back into its joint. Despite the pain, Scar never screamed or twinged. "That almost hurt."


***


Back in Po-Metru, Hydros and Sayra were also facing a powerful opponent. Proto-Beast had been showing just why he had been chosen for this mission. His experience and power in battle were frightening. He had already slammed Hydros into enough sculptures to render him unconscious. He was now focusing his attention on Sayra.

Sayra unleashed a water burst that would have blasted the armor off of an opponent. Proto-Beast, however, simply used his telekinetic abilities to send the water burst back to its source. Sayra countered this by using her Faxon to copy the ability of a creature that could use teleportation, allowing her to vanish before the water burst hit. She then reappeared behind Proto-Beast, and sent him sprawling to the ground with a well-placed kick to the back.

"Give up yet?" asked Sayra as she unlimbered her Aqua Sythe.

Proto-Beast rolled over and fired twin blasts of laser vision, sending Sayra to the ground.

"I don't think so." said Proto-Beast, getting to his feet.

"Then think agian!" sounded a voice.

Proto-Beast turned just in time to see a large chunck of sclupture come flying toward him. It then slammed into the Dark Hunter, knocking him senseless. Sayra looked up to see Hydros a short distance away. With Proto-Beast taken care of for the moment, he rushed over and helped Sayra to her feet.

"Are you alright?" asked Hydros with concern in his voice.

"Yes, I am fine. I -- Look out!"

Sayra's warning came just in time, as she was able to push Hydros out of the way before a lightning blast could hit them. The Toa quickly got back to their feet to see Proto-Beast standing a short distance away, his huge claws crackling with electricity.

Sayra wasted no time. She charged forward, activating his Kanohi Faxon. Its power granted her the raw strength of a creature she once encountered known as "Keetongu". Using that massive power, she delivered a blow that sent Proto-Beast soaring through the air before finally slamming into a sculpture. He then slumped to the ground, stunned. A few moments later, he felt Hydros grab him by the tail, and send the Dark Hunter spiraling through the air once again. Proto-Beast, however, had recovered from Sayra's blow, and maneuvered himself in midair so he came to a graceful landing on his feet.

As he starred at the Toa, Proto-Beast gave a slight chuckle. "Well, I will admit that I haven't had a challenge like this in a while." He paused for a moment, taking a glance at Sayra. "But I really must finish up here. The Shadowed One is probably worried about me by now."

"The only thing the Shadowed One worries about is his next payment." replied Hydros.

"True." said Proto-Beat. He then smiled. "But then again, the same applies to me as well."

Proto-Beast then unleashed a lightning blast. The Toa managed to dodge it and counter attack. Sayra unleashed a burst of lightning from one hand, curtosy of her Faxon, and water from the other. The result of this combination was literally shocking, causing the Dark Hunter to fall to his knees. Now, it was Hydros' turn. He used his power to create the strongest quake he could muster. The shockwaves were so powerful, they ripped the ground apart, creating a fissure that likely reached to the lowest levels of the Archives. Caught off guard, Proto-Beast lost his footing and fell over the side of the chasm. The Toa listened as the Dark Hunter's screams faded, and finally stopped all together.

Hydros cautiously stepped toward the chasm and peered over the edge. Nothing. Proto-Beat was nowhere to be seen. All Hydros could see were the faint shapes of Rahi beasts that had been released from stasis in the Archives.

"Well, it seems you have a real mess to clean up." Sayra said as Hydros walked away from the large crack in the ground.

"I guess I did went a little overboard." replied Hydros, a hint of embarrassment in his eyes. "But I wanted to make sure he didn't go after you once he recovered."

"Thank you, Pyros." said Sayra, as she picked up her Aqua Scythe. "Or should I say 'Hydros'?" she said with a chuckle.

Before Hydros could reply, however, a bolt of pure electricity struck the Toa of Water, causing her to slump to the ground.

"Sayra!" screamed Hydros as he rushed to her. He was stopped by a burst of laser vision that sent him to the ground. He looked up to see Proto-Beast standing near the edge of the chasm, electricity crackling around his talons. "One down..." said the smiling Dark Hunter. ",and one to go."

Chapter Eight

Hydros tried in vain to get to his feet, but he was simply to weak. Proto-Beast had managed to learn the Toa's weakness of high amounts of electricity and was using that to his advantage. Again and again, the Dark Hunter unleashed powerful bursts of electrical energy from his claws, causing crippling damage.

Enough of this! thought Hydros. The Toa then called upon a flaming cyclone that surrounded Proto-Beast. Distracted, he was defenseless as Hydros fired his Cordak Blaster, blasting the Dark Hunter over twenty feet. Hydro rushed forward, but was sent flying backwards by his foe's telekinetic abilities.

Proto-Beast got to his feet and unleashed more lightning bolts. Hydros screamed in pain as he twinged and floundered on the ground. Much more of this, and Hydros was sure to be dead. The Dark Hunter smiled and cut off the attack. Hydros gasped as the pain slowly disappeared.

"I thought Toa were supposed to be powerful warriors, not cowering wimps." heckled the Dark Hunter. "If you were a true warrior, you would have finished me off when you slammed me into that sculpture a few minutes ago."

"I ... am not ... a wimp." Hydros croaked, his strength slowly returning to him.

"Of course you are. You are no stronger than those pathetic Matoran over there." Proto-Beast replied, pointing to a group of nearby Matoran, many from different districts of the city, who had been watching the battle for the last few minutes. “If you were really strong, you would use your power to force the weak to do your bidding, and not simply protect them for no reward. And those who don't wish to serve should be crushed."

The Dark Hunter's words made Hydros force himself to his feet. He looked at Proto-Beast as if he were something he had found crawling beneath a rock.

"Toa aren't killers." said Hydros. If we were, we would have started with you and the rest of the Dark Hunters." Hydros' words seemed to spark whispering among many of the present Matoran. Hydros then looked directally into Proto-Beat's crimson eyes. "I am a Toa. A proud and noble warrior, dedicated to defending the weak and innocent." He then unlimbered his sword. "That is how I live, and that is how I will die."

To some present, these might be simple words. But a few of the Matoran present, one Ta-Matoran in paticular, would remember Hydros' words for years to come.

As the Matoran's murmuring continued, Proto-Beast finally lost his patience. He fired a burst of laser vision at the crowd's feet, sending them running. Hydros launched a fire bolt that seared the Dark Hunter's shoulder armor. Proto-Beast retaliated with an electrical burst that sent the Toa to the ground. He then stalked toward the stunned Toa.

"If you wish to die as a Toa," said Proto-Beast, taking aim with his electrical talon. "then allow me to grant that wish."

Before he could fire, however, an ultrasonic screech disrupted his concentration. Once the horrible sound ended, Proto-Beast looked up to see Sayra standing between him and Hydros. She looked as if she were about to drop from exhaustion.

"I ... don't ... think so ... you sorry excuse for a reptile."

"You dare challenge me?" said Proto-Beast.

"Don't." Hydros said to Sayra, getting to his feet. "You are to --"

"No, Hydros." the Toa of Water interrupted. She turned to her companion. "We are doing this together, whether you like it or --"

Before she could finish her sentence, a blast of electricity struck her, sending her stumbling backward until she stepped over the edge of the chasm behind her. Hydros rushed forward and grabbed yhe Toa's arm just in time.

"It's alright, Sayra." said Hydros. "I've got you."

Just as Hydros began to pull the Toa of Water up, one of Proto-Beast's claws sliced into Hydros' right shoulder and unleashed a wave of electricity. Hydros screamed as electricity caused the Toa's arm to go limp and numb. That is when he realized something horrible: The pain had just forced Hydros to release his grip on Sayra!

Hydros watched in horror as Sayra, the one being who knew him better than anyone else in the world, fell down into the huge fissure, before finally disappearing into the darkness.

Proto-Beast watched with satisfaction as the Toa of Water plunged into the depths of Metru Nui. That sense of satisfaction didn't last long, however. Suddenly, intense heat coming form the Toa's body forced Proto-Beast to pull back his claw. He backed away a few steps as the heat began to increase even further. Hydros then got to his feet, even as he kept increasing his body temperature. He then turned around to face the Dark Hunter, his eyes filled with anger and hate.

"Do you have any idea what you have just done?" Hydros said in a disturbingly quiet tone. He then fired a fire bolt that sent the Proto-Beast to the ground. The Toa began to stalk toward the Dark Hunter; intence flames swirling in his open hands. "You will pay for your actions, Dark Hunter." The Toa's features then darkened, causing even the veteran Dark Hunter to hesitate. "You will pay dearly!"

Chapter Nine

During his time as a Dark Hunter, Proto-Beast has done things most would consider cruel, horrific, even psychotic.

There was the time he kidnapped a village’s beloved Turaga. On another occasion he forced a herd of Gorzak to stampede though a highly populated Matoran settlement on the Tren Krom Peninsula. With the village’s inhabitants dead, wounded, or fleeing, Proto-Beast could loot whatever items of value he could find at his leisure.

Through it all, the mutant Dark Hunter never showed any signs of remorse. He always believed if someone was not strong or smart enough to defend what is his, he should not have it at all.

This day, however, Proto-Beast was more sorry than he had ever been about anything: He was sorry he had not killed Toa Hydros when he had the chance. In his state of pure rage, the Toa was thrashing the Dark Hunter with every ounce of strength he possessed.

“You sorry excuse for a Rahi carcass!” Hydros screamed as he landed yet another crushing punch. This one sent Proto-Beast flying backwards until he collided with a statue. He hit it with enough force to reduce the structure to rubble. Proto-Beast struggled to stay awake as he attempted to dig his way out.

Before he could, however, Proto-Beast was seized by Hydros and pulled out of the rock pile, only to be thrown several yards. The Dark Hunter hit the ground with a thud.

He forced himself into a sitting position as he waited for the gongs to stop ringing in his head. Proto-Beast looked up in time to see Hydros hurl a large boulder at him. The Dark Hunter managed to get to his feet and dodge just before the giant rock could flatten him. He spun around and unleashed the strongest lightning blast he could muster, confident it would render the Toa harmless. It struck the Toa dead center… only to have virtually no affect.

Proto-Beast’s eyes widened. “What?” he said in disbelief.

Hydros rushed forward, a chilling battle cry escaping his mouth all the while. Proto-Beast unleashed more lightning bolts, accompanied by blasts of laser vision and telekinetically hurled boulders.

None had any effect. The Toa didn’t even notice the blasts, even as he reduced the boulders to pebbles with a swing of his sword. Hydros then unleashed a cyclone of fire that sent Proto-Beast stumbling backwards in pain. Before his vision could clear, the Dark Hunter felt the Toa’s fist connect with his head. Proto-Beast was sent sprawling into the dirt.

“You took away the only person that truly knew me!” Hydros said with fury in his voice. The Toa then threw Proto-Beast with all his might. The Dark Hunter hit the remains of a sculpture with shattering power. He then sagged to the ground, barely awake.

Hydros slowly walked over to where his downed opponent groaned in pain.

“Now…” the Toa said quietly. He then unlimbered his Cordak Blaster. There was one rocket left.

One rocket is all I need, the Toa thought darkly.

He then took aim and prepared to trigger the launching mechanism. A blast from Cordak Blaster at such a short range would surly destroy the Dark Hunter, ending his threat and making him pay for what he has done.

Hydros was just about to bid his hated foe a silent farewell when he heard a familiar voice come form behind him. “Don’t do something you may regret one day, Hydros.”

The Toa turned to see Botar standing a few yards away. With him was a recent Order of Mata Nui recruit Hydros knew as Kevtho.

“Now is not the time, Botar!” Hydros said impatiently.

“I beg to differ.” Botar replied. “You have fulfilled your mission, Hydros. Proto-Beast has been defeated. Now, allow me to fulfill mine.”

Hydros’ eyes blazed with anger. “No! Do you know what he just did? He --”

“I don’t care.” Botar interrupted impatiently. “I have orders to carry out. If you do not step aside, you will share this Dark Hunter’s fate.”

“Now, now Botar.” said a voice. Hydros and the two Order members turned to see a Toa walking toward them. He was clad in green and brown armor and wore a Great Mask of Rahi Control. He looked from Hydros to the simi-conscious Proto-Beast and then to Botar. “No reason to be rude, old friend.”

“What are you doing here, Zuvak?” asked Kevtho.

“I was sent to monitor Hydros’ activities.” replied the Toa of Plant Life. “I saw what happened. I am truly sorry, Hydros.”

“Don’t worry about me.” Hydros growled, aiming his blaster at Proto-Beast. “I am about to feel much better.”

“So, you’re going to kill him?”

“Why shouldn’t I?!” Hydros asked. “You saw what he did.”

“Would killing him bring Sayra back?” asked Zuvak. “I thought I taught you better than this.”

Hydros growled in frustration. “Do you know what it is like to find someone who knows more about you than even you?” Hydros asked with anger in his voice. “Do you know what it is like to realize you love that person.? Do you have any idea how it fells to watch the one you care about most slip through your fingers, and meet a horrible death?”

Botar and Kevtho silently waited as Zuvak pondered Hydros’ words. Zuvak then looked directly at his former student and said, “Yes, actually. I do now what that is like.”

“What?”

“I do now what it is to feel hate and rage.” Zuvak said. “I do know what it is like to seek and wish for revenge.” He paused for a moment before saying, “But in the end, seeking vengeance is pointless. If anything, it makes you feel even worse.”

Hydros seemed to be listening carefully, though he still didn’t lower his weapon.

“But, what do I know?” Zuvak added quickly. “Go ahead and kill him. But if you do, you will only be making a liar out of yourself. After all, you yourself said ‘Toa aren’t killers’.”

Hydros thought about Zuvak’s words for several long moments. Something deep inside the Toa told him to fire his blaster and be done with it. But something else told him Zuvak was right. If Hydros killed Proto-Beast, he would be no better than the Dark Hunter.

So, that is why Hydros, with great effort, lowered his Cordak Blaster. Zuvak gave a slight sigh of relief and smiled.

Hydros walked over to where the others stood. “I suppose a lifetime of imprisonment is a worse punishment than a quick death by my hand.” the Toa said bitterly. He looked back at Proto-Beast. He was still awake, but his senses were so scrambled by his battle with Hydros, it was doubtful he understood anything that had been said.

“Go.” Zuvak said. “Lhikan and Gravna need your help urgently. Botar will transport you to Ga-Metru.”

Without a word, Hydros stepped forward. In the moments before his transport, Hydros looked over his shoulder, starring at the fissure Sayra had fallen into. Then, he was gone, sent to Ga-Metru via Botar’s teleportation power.

With Hydros gone, Botar, Kevtho, and Zuvak gathered around the semi-conscious Proto-Beast. Botar, gatherer of the defeated, then picked up the limp Dark Hunter and slung him over his shoulder. With his target captured, Botar activated his power of teleportation, causing him, and his companions to disappear in a flash of light.

Chapter Ten

The island of Odina…

A lone figure sat atop a throne inside a stone chamber, his crimson eyes starring straight ahead. No one dared enter, lest they tempt his wrath. Under normal circumstances, no sane person entered the being’s room unless summoned or dragged in against their will.

That this point in time, however, all present on the island knew it was a particularly good time to put as much distance between themselves and the leader of the Dark Hunters as possible.

It had been nearly a week since the Shadowed One sent two Dark Hunters to Metru Nui to steal a legendary item of power known as the Staff of Artahka. They should have been back by now.

It had been the perfect opportunity for such a raid. The majority of the city’s Toa where away with Turaga Dume, leaving only Lhikan and two others of his team to guard the city. What could be taking two veteran Dark Hunters so long?

At that moment, a white-armored warrior, staff in hand, walked into the room. The Shadowed One recognized him as Conqueror, one of the hunters he had sent to Metru Nui. Unlike most of the Shadowed One’s operatives, Conqueror didn’t bother bowing, kneeling, or showing any other signs of respect to the Dark Hunter leader.

The Shadowed One wasn’t surprised. Legend had it Conqueror had been a mighty ruler long before the Dark Hunters were even founded. Though his attitude toward higher members of the Hunters, particularly the Shadowed One, was disrespectful (something that did not boad well with most beings), the Dark Hunter master allowed Conqueror to do so due to the fact he was so effective.

“That, I assume, is the item I wished to possess?” the Shadowed One said, pointing a claw at the staff Conqueror held.

“Yes.” Conqueror replied, handing the staff to the Dark Hunter leader.

The Shadowed One examined the staff for several long moments with what seemed to be idle curiosity. He then gestured for someone to step forth. Almost immediately, a yellow, four-armed Dark Hunter stepped from the shadows.

“Take this to the vault, Sentrakh.” the Shadowed One said, handing the legendary staff to his loyal servant. Without a word, Sentrakh obediently walked out of the room to carry out his task.

The Shadowed One then turned his attention back to Conqueror. “Where is Proto-Beast?” he asked.

Conqueror shrugged. “Metru Nui of course.” The Dark Hunter said. “He had a Zyglak bring the staff to my boat off Metru Nui’s shore. If I know him, he’s probably doing some hunting.” After a long moment of silence passed, Conqueror added, “Toa hunting.”

The Shadowed One couldn’t help but smile. As long as he had known him, Proto-Beast had always been unusually fond of hunting and eliminating Toa (even by Dark Hunter standards). No doubt he would eliminate one, or even two of the Toa Mangai before being forced to flee the city.

Well, the Shadowed One thought. I guess we will be seeing Proto-Beast very soon, then.


***


Back in Ga-Metru…

Lhikan and Gravna were fighting for their lives.

Despite being out-numbered, Scar had managed to disarm his Toa opponents. He was now attempting to rip them apart.

“You will pay for slaying my brothers!” Scar ranted as he tried to slash through Lhikan’s armor with his sharp claws. Before he could, however, a hand of earth erupted from the temple floor and seized the Zyglak. It didn’t last long; though it lasted long enough for the Toa to gather their weapons. Exerting all of his strength, Scar shattered the hand and rushed forward.

The Toa were ready, however. Combining their elemental powers, Lhikan and Gravna created a giant hand of molten earth. The fist shot forward, slamming into Scar with the force of a Kikanalo stampede. It the pinned the angered Zyglak to the back wall.

Lhikan rushed forward, activating his ability to absorb heat. He drew every last bit of heat from the molten hand, cooling it until it hardened. Gravna then summoned a shell of earth that encased the Zyglak even more.

Scar struggled against his prison, but to no avail. The Toa gave quick sighs of relief and clanked their fists together.

“Never a dull moment, huh?” Gravna said with a smile.

Lhikan nodded. “You stay here.” he said. “I am going to see is Sayra and Hydros need help.”

“Don’t bother”

The two Toa turned to see Toa Hydros walking toward them, a defeated look on his face.

“Did you find Proto-Beast?” Lhikan asked.

“He has been… taken care of.” Hydros replied, the tone of his voice suggesting he did not intend to dwell on the subject.

“Where is Sayra?” Gravna asked.

Hydros bowed his head with a sad look on his features.

Lhikan could tell what it meant. “Oh no.” he said quietly.

“What happened?” Gravna asked in a shocked tone.

Hydros quickly related what happened to Sayra (omitting Botar, Kevtho, and Zuvak’s roles). After stating Proto-Beast managed to escape somehow, Hydros began making plans of searching the Archives.

“If we search the damaged area beneath the Sculpture Fields, we maybe able to find her.” he finished.

Lhikan and Gravna exchanged worried looks. Gravna then said, “In one piece, hopefully.”

The Toa were just about to alert the Vahki of Scar’s whereabouts when Hydros heard a sharp crack. He over Lhikan’s shoulder to see the enraged Zyglak charging straight toward them, dagger in hand.

“Look out!” Hydros bellowed as he unleashed a gust of wind powerful enough to send a Tahtorak flying. It slammed into Scar and sent him flying into the back wall. Hydros then aimed his Cordak Blaster and fired. The rocket struck the ceiling, bringing large chunks of rubble down on top of the Zyglak.

The three Toa waited as the dust cleared. Once it did, all that could be seen was a large pile of debris.

“Those things just don’t quit, do they?” Gravna said, edging closer to the pile.

Suddenly, a blue talon shot from the beneath the rubble, followed by the rest of the Zyglak’s anatomy. H e was battered, wounded, and tired… but still standing.

“You can say that again.” Scar replied, hefting his dagger.

He never got a chance to use it, however. The floor beneath the Zyglak began to crack and crumble due to the impact and weight of the rubble. An instant later, a large portion of the floor collapsed, sending Scar tumbling out of sight. It was only the Toa’s quick reflexes that kept them from joining their foe.

A few moments later, the Toa heard a most unusual sound: Splashing.

Hydros and the others carefully edged closer to the hole in the floor. They looked down into it to see an unexpected sight: A large pool of silvery liquid rested at the bottom of the hole. As they watched, large chunks of rubble began to dissolve before their eyes. There was no sign of the Zyglak, however.

“Is that…?” Lhikan began.

“Energized Protodermise.” the Toa of Earth finished for him. “I’ve heard it occasionally gathers in underground pools like this.”

“So, does that mean Scar is… gone?” Hydros asked. He had heard of energized protodermise’s tendency to destroy beings exposed to it.

Gravna was about about to reply when he and the other two Toa heard the worst sound they have ever heard, or would ever hear again: A Zyglak screaming in agony.

The trio looked back down into the hole to see Scar flailing about, desperately trying to climb out of the protodermise. As he screeched and roared in pain, his body went through dozens – no, hundreds – of transformations in mere seconds. All the while, the Toa starred at the sight in horror, powerless to help.

Then, with a load, yet strangely hollow, scream of anger and pain, Scar slowly sank beneath the surface… and never came back up.


The next few days were the hardest of Hydros’ life. With the help of Onu-Matoran archivists and Vahki, the three Toa searched the Archives below the Sculpture Fields, looking for any sign of Sayra.

It was all in vain, however. No Matoran had seen Sayra since her battle with Proto-Beast, and no trace of her could be found. It was suggested Sayra was either killed or seriously wounded by her fall, making her easy prey for whatever creatures lurked below the Archives. So, with a heavy heart, Lhikan was forced to call off the search.

Hydros, of course, did not take this well. Even after the search was called off, Hydros continued searching for days until Lhikan finally made the Toa realize Sayra was not going to be found.

Hydros would stay long enough to see a memorial statue of the one he cared for most erected in Ga-Metru. Though he had been offered a spot among the ranks of the Toa Mangai, Hydros declined; stating he already had a “team” of his own.

Climbing into his Toa Canister, Hydros left Metru Nui, heading for Daxia; his mission complete.


Epilogue One

Ga-Metru, one day later…

A Vahki Bordakh lead two others of its kind through a hallway in the Great Temple. After the Toa’s battle with the Zyglak, the Ga-Matoran researchers who worked in the temple called the law enforcers of Ga-Metru to inspect the interior of the structure to ensure it was safe for repair crews.

The trio of Vahki finally entered the room that had taken the most damage. The squad leader signaled for its companions to break off and search the other rooms. The lead Vahki then took a few steps closer to the gaping hole in the floor. There was no sign of the energized protodermise the Toa had reported. The large crack at the bottom of the pool suggested the protodermise had leaked out somewhere underground.

A sudden noise to the right interrupted the Vahki’s investigation. The robotic enforcer rushed over to where its companion had been. There nothing there… nothing except a few shards of armor and a broken stun staff.

Another noise came from behind the robot. It spun around to see the remains of its other companion scattered about the floor. The Bordakh stepped forward carefully, all of its computerized senses on the alert.

Suddenly, the Vahki robot heard a sizzling sound come from somewhere nearby. That was when the Vahki noticed smoke rising from the floor. It looked down to see it was standing in a puddle of silvery liquid. It seemed to be eating away at the bottom of the Vahki’s feet.

Determining the substance was apparently acidic, the Bordakh stepped out of the puddle.

Drip… SZZZZZ! … drip… SZZZZZ! … drip… SZZZZZ!

The Vahki heard yet another series of sizzling noises. It then heard a loud clanging noise; like a metal tool striking the ground. That was when the Bordakh noticed its right arm was much lighter than usual. It looked down to see half of its right arm was no longer attached to its body. It seemed to have been… melted off by intense heat.

Drip… SZZZZZ! … drip… SZZZZZ! … drip… SZZZZZ!

The Bordakh heard the dripping sound yet again. Suddenly, the robot heard a long, deep growl come from above. The Vahki looked up to see a large, shadowy figure clinging to the ceiling, energized protodermise dripping off of its body.

The Bordakh raised its functioning arm, taking aim with its stun staff. Before it could fire, however, the creature dropped down and crushed the Vahki beneath its weight.

With the Vahki destroyed, the creature began searching for the exit. As it walked down the hallway, it passed a large crystal the Matoran used for decoration.

That is when the creature noticed its reflection.

“No. What has happened to me?!” the being said to itself. He had been a normal Zyglak when he fell into the protodermise; but now he was larger, had green and silver armor, and had grown what appeared to be a crest of some sort on his head.

The Toa did this to me! Killing my fellow Zyglak wasn’t enough for them?!

The mutant Zyglak began walking again, dark thoughts filling his mind. The Toa, ALL Toa, would have to pay. He had to find a way to exact his revenge on them and all beings who honored Mata Nui.

I don’t care how long it takes. The Toa, the Matoran… even the Great Spirit Mata Nui himself will one day bow before the might of the Zyglak; this I swear!

And so, under the cover of darkness, Scar, future ruler of Zyglak, made his way to Ga-Metru’s channels and vanished from Metru Nui.


***

Meanwhile…

Proto-Beast slowly opened his eyes. He was surprised to still be alive. It was not, however, a pleasant surprise. The Dark Hunter’s entire body ached and his head pounded.

As his senses returned to him, Proto-Beast could hear someone talking. He lifted his head to see the tall being who had captured him talking with a blue armored Toa.

“You are certain Trakon extracted all of Proto-Beast’s knowledge of his days as a Dark Hunter?” the Toa asked.

“Yes, Helryx.” The taller being replied.

Suddenly, the pair heard Proto-Beast groan in pain.

“He’s waking up.” the Toa said. “You know what to do.”

The other being nodded and walked over to where Proto-Beast was. The Dark Hunter closed his eyes to blink. When he opened them again, however, he found himself in a very different place.

He was in a massive cavern; it walls lined with what appeared to be holding cells. Proto-Beast painfully forced himself to stand. Almost instantly, the Dark Hunter was surrounded by several large, red and grey robots, each wielding a double bladed sword.

“How nice.” said a voice. A black and silver armored being walked up to stand beside on of the robots. “Botar has brought me yet another addition to my little collection.”

“Who are you? Where am I?” Proto-Beast demanded.

The black and silver being ignored the Dark Hunter. “Take him to his cell.” he said, walking away.

Two of the robots grabbed Proto-Beast and hauled him to the nearest cell. They then threw him in roughly and slammed the door shut.

“Well look at that.” came a voice from inside the cell. “It seems Hydraxon has given me a roommate.”

Proto-Beast got to his feet and looked around the cell. Someone was standing in the shadows near the back of the cell, though Proto-Beast could only make out two piercing red eyes.

“Who are you?” the Dark Hunter asked with anger in his voice. “What is this place?”

The being chuckled softly. He then stepped from the shadows, revealing his skinny, blue armored form.

“The name is Takadox, my banished friend.” the being said. “Welcome to the Pit.”

Epilogue Two

A sudden noise from behind snapped Hydros back to reality. It was hard to believe he had shifted through all of these memories in mere seconds. Hydros turned to look behind him.

Nothing. He decided to keep moving; he could see a point of light up ahead. The Toa began to run for the light. Suddenly, he was tripped by something, causing him to hit the ground hard.

“Going somewhere without me?” said a horribly familiar voice. The Toa rolled over to see what he had hoped wasn’t there.

“Proto-Beast?!” Hydros said, shocked to see his foe here. He had only recently encountered Proto-Beast during a mission to the Pit. How could he be here?

“Surprised to see me so soon?” asked the Dark Hunter with a chuckle.

“Yes, actually.” Hydros replied, unlimbering his sword. “How did you escape the sea around the Pit; and how are you breathing on land?”

“Calm yourself, Toa. I am not her to rip you to pieces this day.” the Dark Hunter replied. “A group of people who claim to oversee you activities freed me and gave me this new equipment. They said if I help you, I will earn my freedom.”

Hydros pointed his sword at Proto-Beast, ready to unleash a flame burst if need be. “You’re lying.”

“Why would I lie about my chance at freedom?” Proto-Beast asked. “I suggest you put your little sword away and save your strength if you wish to have my help defeating Makuta Verahk.”

Hydros considered Proto-Beast’s words. He had no doubt the Dark Hunter would plan some sort of treachery along the way; but Hydros knew every moment spent fight Proto-Beast would risk Verahk meeting up with his fellow Makuta.

The Toa lowered his weapon.

“Very well, Proto-Beast. I will accept your help. But if you make even one mistake, you will be back in the Pit in the flash of a heart light.”

The Dark Hunter chuckled. “Alright, Hydros.” Proto-Beast said sarcastically. “I will do exactly as you say. Now, come on. We have a Makuta to stop.”

Proto-Beast then began walking toward the light at the end of the tunnel. Hydros followed closely behind.

Well…, Hydros said to himself. It seems yet another memorable mission is about to unfold.


To be continued in The Hydros Chronicles

The End.

Characters

  • Several Zyglak
    • A number of Zyglak that were defeated by Lhikan, Sayra, and Gravna.
    • A dozen Zyglak that were killed by Proto-Beast.
    • Scar
  • Dark Hunters
  • A Muaka
  • A group of unnamed Onu-Matoran.
  • Ahkmou
  • Onewa
  • Vakama
  • Three Vahki Bordakh
  • Takadox

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