Chapter 1: The Gathering
A beach, white sands glimmering and turquoise water sparkling in the sunlight, a tall blue figure standing in the water.
This is the scene that would have greeted one if they had come to Toa-Kal Roqini's secret beach, one day after the earthquake that rocked the dome.
Roqini pulled herself out of the sea slowly and heavily, with a sad sigh. As her body dripped dry, she stared out into the vast realm of water beyond Ayomeii. So much water, and she had no control over it anymore.
Roqini almost wondered if the transformation had been more of a handicap than a benefit, but eventually decided it had been worth it. Now she could inflict sicknesses and do away with them, poison or purify any substance, and she was even experimenting with healing wounds.
Roqini turned and suddenly drew in a quick breath. A large meancing figure stood at the edge of the forest that protected this beach from the public eye. Then she let out a sigh of relief, realizing who it was.
Immediately, the figure turned into none other than former Toa of Ice, Guutana.
"Spying on me, Guutana?" she asked with a smile and a raise of her eyebrow.
"Just testing my new powers," he said, returning the smile a bit shyly. "I see you've already figured out how to counter this one."
"Not really," admitted Roqini. "What did I do?"
"I absorbed Courage from you, so when you saw me you were expecting something scarier and saw the monster I appeared as. When you realized it was me, you stopped fearing the monster and the illusion faded."
Roqini nodded. The she grinned discreetly. Guutana broke into a coughing fit.
"Good one," said the Toa-Kal of Courage between coughs. "Now heal me."
Roqini nodded and the coughing subsided. "Unlike with your power, you can't overcome it unless I heal you," she pointed out teasingly.
Guutana chuckled and then became serious again. "Roqini, I came here to tell you that Turaga Onathei has summoned the Toa-Kal to the center of the island to discuss our new powers. He sent me to find the others and you were the first I found. You want to help me find the rest?"
"Sure," she replied with a wave of her hand. "It's not like I have something better to do."
The two found Desurk, Toa-Kal of Thought, struggling against a blue energy hound in a clearing in the forest.
The hound lunged at Desurk, but he held out his protodermic club headlong. It slammed into the club headlong, fracturing a yellowed tooth. Then Desurk noticed the arrival of his friends and turned to greet them.
"Look out!" cried Roqini, seeing the energy hound preparing to pounce again on Desurk. The former Toa of Plasma twisted out of the way just in time and shoved its spear into the hound's side, piercing its armor and the muscle beneath. A spray of white energy came out of the wound and the energy hound gave a pained yelp. It then proceeded to swat Desurk into a tree.
Guutana, observing the battle silently, decided to do an experiment. He focused courage into Desurk and fear into the energy hound. Then he grabbed Roqini and took her behind a tree. She gave a cry of protest but Guutana put a hand over her mouth and silenced her. Guutana watched.
In the small brain of the hound, fear was causing its eyes to take in sights that were not there. Suddenly the single brown-and-red Toa had become thousands, an entire army of Toa all with their sharp clubs aimed at the Rahi. Part of it was telling it that there was no logical way for that many Toa to appear out of thin air. But Rahi do not care about logic. The hound bolted and hoped the army would not pursue it.
Roqini now understood why Guutana had grabbed her: they had been standing directly in the hound's escape route? But how did Guutana know it was going to run in the first place?
Desurk voiced Roqini's concerns: "What just happened?"
"I guess it just didn't like your ugly face," Guutana replied. Immediately he put his hands to his mouth. "I didn't say that!"
A green and blue figure jumped into the midst of the three Toa-Kal, grinning widely.
"Xironu!" shouted Desurk. A second later, Xironu's grin disappeared as a short-lived migraine from Desurk assaulted his head.
"I've been looking for you guys," Xironu said. "Onathei-"
"We know," Roqini interrupted. "Guutana already told us and gathered up Desurk and I."
"Well, then I guess you'll be happy to hear that Krakana and Grunekt are already there and waiting for us. Let's go!"
"Wait," said Desurk pensively. "What happened with that energy hound?"
Guutana considered explaining, but decided to just say that "I made it very afraid with my powers."
Desurk shrugged and muttered, "Let's go, then."