Time Disruption was an epic on Bzpower, written by Bzp member xccj. It was very popular and has 63 chapters. This story tells about the adventures of Takua, Jaller, Macku, Hewkii, Hahli and Nuparu after reality twists into a nasty one...
The legend of Bionicle has gone on for as long as anybody could remember. It began long ago, in the before time. The great spirit Mata-Nui came down from paradise to care for all living things. The islanders worshiped him, and in return, they named their island home "Mata-Nui." For many years, they lived in peace. But Mata-Nui was followed by his evil brother, Makuta. Makuta was jealous of what Mata-Nui had, and he wished to take it from him. Mata-Nui and Makuta fought in a great struggle, but Makuta cast a spell, that made Mata-Nui sleep. The Makuta was free to spread his darkness, and spread it he did.
Yet the islanders did not give up faith in the legend of the Bionicle. This legend foretold the arrival of six mighty heroes, who represent the elements, who would free the island from the might of Makuta.
To do this, the six Toa stones needed to be found. One brave Matoran traveled throughout the island, searching for the Toa stones, so he could unite them and summon the Toa. He was victorious, and the Toa came. Tahu, Gali, Lewa, Kopaka, Onua, and Pohatu, representing each village, arrived on the island. They collected six Kanohi Masks of Power each, which games them special powers. They fought Makuta's beasts, the Rahi, and protected their villagers, the Matoran. Then, when they had all their masks, they each received a golden Kanohi, and descended into the Kini-Nui, to confront Makuta once and for all.
In the depths of the Magania, Makuta's layer, the Toa united to form the Toa Kaita, two mighty heroes made from three Toa. The Toa Kaita defeated Makuta's final guardians, the Manas, and then faced Makuta. The Toa, using their elemental powers, defeated Makuta, ending his reign over the island.
In his last, desperate move, Makuta released the Bohrok, insect like creatures with only one goal: to remove everything on the island to make it as it was in the before time. The Bohrok came in six swarms, and were controlled by krana. The Toa again had to protect their villages, and collect eight krana from each breed. With their krana, the Toa descended into the Bohrok's nest, where they would meet the ultimate challenge. Using the krana, the Toa unlocked great shields of armor, known as the Exo Toa. Using these, they faced the greatest foe of all, the Bahrag, the twin rulers of the Bohrok swarm. The Toa were forced to combine their elemental powers, and trap the Bahrag in a cage of pure protodermis. However, they were submerged in protodermis, and changed forever. They became Toa Nuva, more powerful than they had ever been before.
The Toa Nuva believed they had won peace for their island, but they were mistaken. Six Bohrok Kal emerged, each wielding their own amazing elemental powers. The Kal's mission was to find the Bahrag, and free the Bohrok swarms once again. They stole the Toa Nuva's symbols, and that stole the Toa's elemental powers too. The Toa were now powerless, left relying only on their Kanohi mask of power. And even their Kanohi were no match for the Kal's amazing powers.
It looked like Mata-Nui was finished. But the Toa still kept faith, and teamed up again to go after the Bohrok Kal. Aiding them, were six Matoran, who were certain that they would aid their Toa in any way possible. But how could any one defeat the might of the Bohrok Kal?
The Toa would have to rely on the powers of an amazing mask of power. One mask that could alter reality, and bring an end to everything.
The six Toa Nuva teamed up again near the Kini-Nui. Along with them were six faithful Matoran. There was Jala, the captain of the Ta-Koran guard. There was Maku, the fastest canoe racer on the island, and her friend Hahli, both from the watery village of Ga-Koro. There was also Huki, the famed Koli champion of Po-Koro, and Nuparu of Onu-Koro, the engineer who had invented the boxer. Along with them was Takua, the Chronicler of Mata-Nui.
These six Matoran friends were ready to help their Toa in any way possible. They had no idea what was in store for them.
"I saw the Pahrak Kal come this way," Pohatu said. "The krana Onua and I got from that Tahnok Kal said that they have found the Bahrag, and we're ready to unleash them."
"We shall not let them free the Bahrag," said Tahu. "We will stop them."
"But how?" asked Gali. "We lack our powers, and our Kanohi Nuva are no use against their powers."
"We'll find a way, Gali," Lewa reassured her. "Nobody is unbeatable. We must find their weaknesses."
"If they really do have any," said Kopaka, glancing around. "I see a hole over there, where the next use to be. I'm guessing the Kal went down it."
"Then let us hurry, before it's too late!" Tahu said. He turned to the Matoran. "You should stay up here, little ones. It shall be dangerous down there."
"I said I will aid you, no matter what!" said Jala proudly. He took out his sword. "And I shall aid you to the end!"
Tahu gazed at Jala with pride. "Okay, come then, but be careful. These Kal are powerful."
The Matoran followed the Toa. Jala put away his prized sword. It had been given to him by Tahu a while ago, before the Toa had lost his elemental powers of fire. The sword was just like Tahu's old one, and contained a piece of Tahu's own elemental powers. When Jala held it, it would light up with the flames, and remind Jala of his Toa. It was his most prized possession, which he took with him everywhere.
His friend, Takua, had many more prized possessions that he took with him. Takua was possibly the most famous Matoran ever. In the days of Makuta, he had traveled the island and helped whenever he could. He is known for helping save Ga-Koro once from a Tarakava, helping free the Le-Korans from a Nui-Rama hive, and leading a group of Matoran to defend the Kini-Nui from Rahi while the Toa battled Makuta. Takua was also present at Makuta's defeat and the awakening of the Bohrok. He has been crisoned the Chronicler of Mata-Nui.
In his travels, he had picked up many things. He had a lightstone he'd gotten from Nokama, a chisel he had been given by Onewa, a flute given to him by Matau, and a lava surf board given to him by Vakama, plus his Episode Book, that Nokama had also given him. In this book, he was able to store him memories of all his battles, and he could review them often. This book recorded much of the history of Mata-Nui, going through the Makuta's reign and the Bohrok swarms.
To Jala's other side was Hahli. As they walked towards the Kini-Nui, Jala took Hahli's hand. Hahli and Jala had always liked each other since they had met, long ago. But this liking for each other had increased much after they defeated the Bohrok at Ga-Koro. Jala had taken some guards to Ga-Koro to protect them from the Pahrak. Hahli had helped in fighting off the Bohrok beside Jala, and they had been very close ever sense.
Behind Jala and Hahli were Huki and Maku, who were much closer. Maku and Huki had liked each other for as long as they could remember. Huki was a master Koli player in Po-Koro, and nobody could beat him at his sport. With him, he carried his disc and his favorite Koli ball. Maku, from Ga-Koro, was a master at canoeing. She always liked to play jokes on Huki, which mostly involved getting him wet. Huki hates water, but Maku loves it. However, this difference doesn't keep them apart.
The last Matoran was Nuparu. Nuparu was the smartest engineer from Onu-Koro. He had created the Boxer, a machine made out of Bohrok parts that could hold off the swarms for a while. This invention was what helped save Mata-Nui from the Bohrok. On his journeys to defend other villages from the swarms, Nuparu had come to know Takua, and a great friendship had grown. Nuparu carried with his all his mining equipment, and he could make anything with his stuff if he had some supplies to work with.
These six Matoran had been ready to help the Toa on their journey to find the Kal. They knew the Toa were powerful, but they also needed all the help they could get. Lacking their elemental powers, the Toa Nuva were weaker than normal. The Matoran were determined to help at any chance they could.
So the Toa and the Matoran came upon the hole Kopaka had found. It looked like someone had blasted into the hillside with lava.
"The Pahrak Kal's work," muttered Pohatu. "His plasma powers melted through the rock and into the nest."
"Let's go down," said Tahu. "Lewa, use you mask of levitation to slow our fall. Also make sure the Matoran don't fall too quickly either."
"No problem!" said Lewa, activation his mask. The Toa leapt into the darkness, followed by the Matoran. Once on the ground, the Toa prepared for action. But there wasn't anything different about the nest area. Except…
"That hole," Tahu said, pointing. "The Pahrak Kal again. He melted through the floor to go down further. But to where?"
"The edges are still hot," said Kopaka. "We aren't far behind."
"Lewa, you're the best at moving quietly," Onua said. Lewa nodded.
"I understand. I'll scout ahead." Lewa assured everybody.
"Be careful, Lewa," Gali warned him. "There could be anything down there."
Lewa disappeared down the hole, and the other Toa waited. Suddenly, Lewa popped up again.
"It's the Exos!" he exclaimed. "Their fighting off the Kal, but they're losing. We need to hurry, because they're about to unlock the Bahrag!"
"Quick, let's go!" Tahu shouted, and the Toa all dropped down the hole. They landed in a new cavern, and gasped at what they saw. Exo parts lay strewn throughout the cavern, and in one side there was a cage of pure protodermis, and within it were the Bahrag. The Toa watched as each Bohrok Kal touched the Bahrag with a Krana Kal Xa, and then turned to a cube that hovered in the center of the cavern.
"Now's the time," the Gahlok Kal said.
"We shall place the Nuva symbols on each side of this cube, and free the Queens!" the Nuhvok Kal said.
"Do it, free the Bahrag!" cried the Kohrak Kal.
The Kal took out the Nuva symbols, and prepared to snap them on the cube. Lewa shouted.
"They are so absorbed in their task that they are ignoring us, but that is not to last!"
"Even with our full power, I do not think we can stop them!" Tahu shouted.
"We must try Tahu!" said Kopaka.
"There must be something we can do!" Tahu cried. Then he stopped.
"Wait, there is. Something I hoped I would never have to do… something that could mean the end of everything. I call upon…"
Tahu's mask started morphing into a new shape.
"The Vahi, the mask of time!" Tahu shouted.
"Tahu," Lewa gasped. "Is that the…?"
"Yes," Tahu answered grimly. "It's the Vahi, the mask of time."
"Them you may have just doomed us all." Gali said sullenly.
"But Gali, I must do it," Tahu said. "It is the only way."
"Then do it," Kopaka shouted. "Before they get any further!"
The Kal were just about to place the Nuva symbols on the cube. But suddenly, Tahu activated his mask, and the Kal stopped. Literally, time slowed down around them, and they didn't move at all.
"Get your symbols," Tahu stammered. "I cannot hold time much longer."
The two strongest Toa, Onua and Pohatu, raced forward. They came in contact with the Kal at the last minute. Within seconds, the symbols were removed, and back in the Toa's hands.
"NO!" cried the Bahrag in the background. They had been so close to getting free.
"We won!" gasped Pohatu. He flung the symbols to the other Toa, away from the Kal. All the Toa now felt their powers come back to them.
"We won!" shouted Takua with the other Matoran. They stood behind the Toa. "We beat the Kal."
Tahu gasped, and freed the Kal from the Vahi's grip. The Kal were now free, and gasping in surprise.
"We were so close!" wailed the Lehvak Kal.
"You failed us, you fools!" Cahdok screamed. Suddenly, she caught sight of Tahu's mask. "Wait, the Vahi. That mask can undo the time and space continuum! It can undo everything, even reality itself!"
"What can we do?" asked the Tahnok Kal.
"Destroy Tahu!" the Bahrag cried in unison.
"No!" the other Toa shouted. But it was too late.
The Tahnok Kal blasted electricity towards the Toa Nuva of Fire. It was enough. Tahu was protected by his Hau Nuva mask, but this blast caught him off guard. His mind slipped, and he lost control of the mask. Soon, all of reality was swirling about.
"No!" shouted Gali. "He's lost control!"
"Remove that mask," shouted Kopaka, racing towards the Toa of Fire.
"It's too late!"
The Vahi had freed the Bahrag. Their protodermis cage exploded and turned to a liquid. The six Matoran were bathed in protodermis.
"You have failed," the Bahrag sneered. They lashed out at the Toa. "And now we shall control the mask of time. We shall make things right!"
Everything was swirling out of control. Reality was being undone. Takua opened his eyes, which stung from the protodermis. He watched as everything spun out of control. The Toa were torn apart, and the Bahrag towered above all.
"We shall make things right!"
Then everything went black.
Takua groaned, and rolled over. He opened his eyes to the desolate land.
"Where am I?" he muttered, and rolled over. At his side was Jala, who was also awakening.
"Where are we?" Takua asked himself. "What happened?"
"Where are the Toa?" asked Jala, looking around.
The memories flashed in front of Takua's eyes. He remembered the Toa attacking the Bohrok Kal, and getting their symbols back. But they had done something to Tahu, who had been wearing a strange mask. It was called the Vahi.
"That mask?" cried out Takua. "That mask Tahu was wearing. What was it?"
"The Vahi?" asked Jala. "The mask of time."
"The mask of… what?" Takua asked in surprise. "There's a mask of time?"
"Yeah, I remember hearing about it once, probably from Vakama," said Jala. "It's a very dangerous mask. It slows down your opponent for you. That's what Tahu did. But the Bahrag did something else, and freed themselves."
"How?" Takua asked again. "The symbols never touched that cube. So, technically, they shouldn't be free."
"Who knows what's going on," Jala said. "How about questions like this: Where are we? And how did we get here?"
"That's the Magani volcano," Takua said, pointing to the mountain in the distance. "So we were probably blown out of the nest. But… that would mean we'd be in Ta-Koro. And this isn't like Ta-Koro at all!"
Jala closed his eyes, and concentrated, trying to remember the topography of the land nearby his village. "If I'm right, Ta-Koro should be… over there. Behind that ridge."
"But everything around here is so… dark. And dead looking," Takua said, with an uneasy feeling. "You don't suppose the blast destroyed the land?"
"Even if it did, Ta-Koro would still be fine," Jala reassured Takua. "Turaga Vakama would keep everybody safe. Now, let's get to that ridge."
The two friends eagerly jogged up to the ridge. They expected to look over it and see the glorious lava lake, with the Ta-Koran island in the center of it. They expected to see the many Matoran huts, and the great walls of the village. Instead, they saw something they never wish they'd seen.
"No!" cried Takua, putting his hands to his face. "NO, it can't be! This isn't right!"
The island of Ta-Koro was bare, except for one little tunnel that led to some underground cavern. The only physical feature on the island was Tahu's Suva. But, the Suva that was normally well polished and everything, was now charred and broken. All that remained of it was a hump that was left on the ground.
"This can't be Ta-Koro, it just can't!" Jala sobbed.
"Wait, look," Takua said.
A line of Ta-Korans appeared, walking across the land bridge to the island. The Matoran looked as if they were shackled together, and they all looked very depressed. Leading them was one Matoran, who stood tall. But on either side of this line were Tahnok, the fire Bohrok. The Tahnok looked like they were there to keep the Matoran in line, as if the Matoran were their prisoners. And, when the end of the line came into view, the two friends saw the scariest sight of all. A red creature, slightly larger than a Toa. It had spikes on it's back, and long, slender legs. The feet were huge, and the head gave off soft, deadly hisses. The two arms carried a staff, which glowed blood red at times.
This group of Matoran, Bohrok, and the other creature went down the tunnel on the island. They left Takua and Jala feeling hopeless.
"What is this?" Jala squeaked. "The Bohrok, and… something else are now controlling the Matoran?"
The voice was sharp and commanding, but it came only from a Matoran. The Matoran came up behind Jala and Takua, and glared at them.
"What are you two doing here?" he growled. "Shouldn't you be carrying your lava!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Jala. "And who are you?"
"I am Makahi," the Matoran answered. "Task manager of Patrol H. What are you two doing up here?"
"Looking at Ta-Koro," Takua answered. "What happened to it?"
"If you're referring to the prison island as 'Ta-Koro', then nothings happened to it," Makahi sneered. "It's been that way since the before time."
"What are Bohrok doing down there?" Takua asked. "And what was that other… creature. The tall one with spikes?"
The Matoran sighed, and was growing impatient. "You two are really stupid, it seems. How do you expect the Queens to look over us if not for their sons?"
"Queens?" gulped Jala nervously.
The Matoran sighed again. "Yes. The rulers of this island. Makuta and the Bohrok Queens, the Bahrag. The Queens have their sons, the Tahnok, watch us, while Makuta has his son, Turahk the Rahkshi, to lead us."
"Makuta and the Bahrag rule the island!" squeaked Takua.
Jala, on the other hand, got defensive. "We don't need any son of Makuta to lead us! What ever happened to Vakama!"
Makahi looked confused. "Vakama?"
"Yes, Vakama," said Jala. "The Turaga that had led us Ta-Korans through thick and thin. And what about Tahu? How did he let these guys come about?"
"We have never heard of 'Vakama' or 'Tahu'," stated Makahi. "Maybe you two are just cracking up."
"You don't know who Vakama is?" Jala asked, astonished. Then, in a more fearful tone, he added, "You don't know who Tahu is!"
"Never heard of them," Makahi said. "I just know you two should be working, and not asking stupid questions."
"Working?" asked Takua. "What work?"
Makahi sighed a third time. His patience was growing thin. "Look, the Onu-Korans mine the protodermis, the Po-Koran carve the buckets out of protodermis, and the Ta-Korans haul the buckets full of lava up to the Kini-Nui. It's how we pay tribute to our leaders. Now, I don't know which patrol you're suppose to be in, but you're in mine for today. Patrols D and F messed up today, and their stairways collapsed. So they're stuck rebuilding them. And it's up to the rest of us to keep a schedule, plus we need to make up for the lava they aren't bringing. If we don't bring enough, the Makuta and Bahrag get angry. When they get angry, the Turahk gets angry at me. And if I'm in trouble, you'll be in even worst trouble! So get your buckets and haul that lava! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD!"
"We don't haul tribute to Makuta, or the Bahrag," Takua said.
"You don't, do you?" snarled Makahi. "Well, welcome to reality, little one. I want to see you hauling a bucket full of lava in five minutes. Is that clear!"
The two friends said not a word to each other as Makahi gave them each a protodermis bucket. They walked down to the lava to fill them up.
"This can't be right," Jala said, as they walked down to the nearby lava river. "Makuta and the Bahrag in control, the Toa nowhere to be seen, and Vakama not here. Where is this place."
Takua was deep in thought, but then he suddenly got the idea. "That guy just said 'Welcome to reality!'"
"Yeah, good that you just processed that," said Jala dully.
"No, not that," Takua said. "Those Bahrag said earlier that the Vahi could undo all reality. Tahu lost control of it, and look what happened! Reality has been undone. Makuta and the Bahrag rule, the Toa aren't here, and we're giving them lava as tribute!"
"That Vahi did this to us," said Jala in amazement. "But, why would we remember, if all of reality came undone? Shouldn't we think this is all normal? But that Makahi didn't remember anything from our time."
"We were splashed in protodermis," Takua answered. "Maybe that's why we remember. That protodermis is some stuff, capable of many things."
"Yeah," said Jala, who was filling his bucket with lava. "Protodermis must be the only stuff that can hold lava. Lucky for us."
"But if we remember…" Takua said. "Then maybe the other's remember it too."
"You mean…" Jala said. "Hahli? Maku, Huki, and Nuparu?"
"I bet so," said Takua.
"But this means," Jala said. "That we're the only ones on Mata-Nui who know what's going on!"
"And possibly the Bahrag and Makuta themselves," Takua added.
"This is bad, Takua," Jala said. "This is really bad. What are we going to do?"
Makahi shouted down to them. "What are you nitwits doing! We're waiting for you. Get up here now or we'll be late."
"I guess we have to go with them," muttered Takua. He lifted his bucket. "Owe, that's really hot!"
"Yes, it is," Makahi yelled down. "If you don't get up here this instant, you'll be feeling how hot that lava river is next!"
"Oh man," Jala groaned.
Jala and Takua stood in line with the other Matoran. They were all lined up according to patrols. Jala and Takua were now part of Patrol H. Looking over, they saw the beaten Matoran of Patrols D and F. Takua remembered that those two patrols were the ones who were having extra trouble today.
Jala and Takua had never gone through a worst day. They had done trip after trip from the lava rivers to the Kini-Nui. There, they just dropped their lava down this tube, that went deep underground. The work was backbreaking, and the heat from the lava had been intense. Jala and Takua could not see how any Matoran could do that every day.
Now, all ten patrols were waiting in line for the end of the day inspections. Out of the shadows came a Matoran. Jala and Takua recognized him as the one they'd seen leading the other Matoran. He had a red body, and bore a black Rau mask. But what was more important was that his mask was infected.
Behind the Matoran came four Tahnok and the Turahk, the dreaded Rahkshi. Makahi had told Takua earlier that this Rahkshi controls fear through it's staff. If it hits you with a beam from it's staff, you would either run away in terror or freeze still. Makahi had used this as a threat to Takua, telling him that if he didn't get to work, the Turahk would either scare him into the lava river, or he'd freeze and have his neck broken when the Rahkshi hit him with the staff.
"So, so, so," the lead Matoran hissed. "Slacking off today, it seems. Well, that's not very good now, is it."
He turned to the task commander of patrol D. "As I remember, your patrol didn't get fifty percent of their annual lava in today! And same for patrol F! What were you two groups doing today when you were suppose to be hauling lava!"
"We… we were repairing the steps," the task commander stuttered.
"The steps broke?" hissed the lead Matoran.
"Well then, why were you fixing them when you were suppose to be carrying lava?"
"We c… couldn't get up the steps. They were… were our only way to the Kini-Nui, and we… we needed to repair them before we get to work."
"Well, well, well," snapped the Matoran. "It seems we have a problem here. Why didn't you fix the steps during your free time at night?"
"They broke this morning."
"Oh, well, that's just peachy!" snarled the Matoran. "Maybe you should spend some more time trying to solve problems before they happen!"
"How can they solve problems before they even happen. Then they're not exactly problems, are they."
The lead Matoran froze, and glared at the Matoran who had spoken out to him. Nobody had ever talked to him like that. He stared at Takua's stubborn face.
"What did you just say?" he hissed.
"I said that if a problem happens all of the sudden, how are they suppose to fix it the day before?" Takua responded. "I mean, it's kind of like common sense. The steps probably broke because you used them so much."
"Did I ever ask…" the lead Matoran stated sweetly. Then his voice rumbled with anger. "FOR YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT!!"
Takua gulped, and he heard Jala whisper next to him, "Oh, nice job, Takua. Draw attention to yourself."
"I thought so," the Matoran growled, glaring at Takua, who remained silent. "As we have come to conclude, you are all a bunch of dull witted beings. You should spend your time trying to keep stuff from breaking apart before it does. Got it? Now, let's move on to other matters."
He turned to Makahi. "Your patrol was late for one of your trips. Ten minutes late! Do you know what that means? That you were also ten minutes late for your next trip, and then for your trip after that! You were late for all your trips, and therefor weren't able to fill in the gap of missing lava that these other patrols weren't able to fill in."
"It was him!" said Makahi, pointing to Takua. "He was slacking off, and he made us late."
"Well, well," the lead Matoran said. "You seem to be full of problems today, little one. Now, other matters."
He pulled out some tablets. "So, because of all your problems, your behind today. You missed out to your annual lava amount by ten percent. And, for your rude little friend here, you'll have to bring in ten more percent of your annual lava amount for tomorrow. So, that means you're up by twenty percent tomorrow. So I'd recommend getting up early tomorrow morning to get this done. Because if Makuta doesn't get all his lava, he is angry with me. And then I am angry with you!"
"How can Makuta be angry with you," Takua said, without thinking. "You have an infected mask, so he controls you."
Nobody said a word, and the silence in the air was deadly. Finally, the lead Matoran said, in a voice filled with anger and evil, "How did you know that?"
"Doesn't everybody?" squeaked Takua, realizing his mistake.
"Make that twenty-five percent extra you have to get tomorrow," the Matoran hissed. "Now, off with ya. Tahnok, lead them to the prison."
"Prison!" said Jala in astonishment. Although he said it quietly.
The Bohrok led the Matoran off to the island that was to be Ta-Koro. They went down the tunnel, into the hidden cavern, and realized half of the cavern was caged off from the outside. The Bohrok led the Matoran into the cage, and the Turahk locked it behind them. Takua fell in one corner, alone. However, soon he was joined by Makahi. Who exploded the moment he was next to Takua.
"You little runt! Do you know how hard it's going to be for us to make up for all this extra lava your making us haul now! Let me tell you, if you don't haul your weight tomorrow, along with somebody else's weight, then your aren't going to live to haul lava next week. And let me tell you something. It won't be Makuta's or the Bohrok's doing either!" With that, Makahi stormed off, leaving Takua feeling even more empty.
Jala walked over and sat by his friend. "Rough day, I guess."
"Extremely," Takua said. He sobbed. "I always took life for granted back then. Being free, able to go wherever you wanted to. I mean, I thought it was bad enough when Vakama wouldn't tell me everything back then. And now, he isn't even here anymore."
"If only Tahu hadn't worn that mask," muttered Jala.
"About that," Takua said. "I was thinking."
"You've had time to think today?" Jala asked, giving Takua a playful push.
"When you're life's this bad, your only escape can be thought," Takua said. "But, the Toa aren't here. They probably never were here. Does that say they don't exist?"
"So, where would they exist?" Jala asked.
"Vakama told me, once, long ago," Takua began. "That I was the Matoran who found the Toa stones, and summoned the Toa. So, suppose if we found those stones again. Maybe we could summon the Toa all over again."
"You found those stones?" Jala said in surprise. "I never knew that! Where were they?"
"The thing is, I don't remember," Takua said. "Little dreams, maybe, but I don't remember much. It's just that there were six, one for each Toa. They were hidden through the island, in their own Wahi. So, if we could look for them… maybe we could figure out how to summon the Toa."
"Wait, did you look at the Suva?" Jala asked.
"I did, and I thought I saw outlines of five masks, covered in dust."
"What!" Takua looked up. "That would mean the Toa wouldn't have to search for all their masks."
"All the easier," said Jala.
"So, we know our duty," whispered Takua. "Tomorrow, if we can escape, we'll do so and begin our search for the Toa stones."
"If we can survive the night here," whispered Jala. "Let's get some sleep."
"Where am I?" Huki asked himself, as he hauled his body off the grounds. "What's happened here? I'm in the Po-Wahi desert!"
A moan from behind him made Huki turn. Nuparu was also laying in the sand, and was starting to awake.
"Ah, at least I'm not alone!" said Huki, helping Nuparu up. "Got this engineer with me, eh."
"I don't feel so good," Nuparu said. "I feel like I've just recovered from some sort of sickness or something."
"Been there, done that," Huki mumbled. "You'll be fine, it'll wear off. But I wonder how we got here?"
"Where is here?" asked Nuparu, looking around.
"Po-Wahi desert," answered Huki. "See all those sand dunes? This is just west of Po-Koro, off the pathway that goes to Onu-Koro. Po-Koro is in the cliffs off to the east."
"I don't see any cliffs," said Nuparu, scanning the horizon.
"What are you talking about, the cliffs of Po-Koro stand out amongst everything else around here," said Huki, following Nuparu's gaze. Then he stopped. "Oh, they're not there."
"So then, where on Mata-Nui are we?" asked Nuparu.
"We're in the right place," muttered Huki, looking around. "The sand dunes are in the right place, and I can see the mountain and the foothills. But where the walls of Po-Koro should be, they aren't there."
"Well, let's try to get to Po-Koro," said Nuparu. "That blast may have blown apart the walls."
"Of coarse. How else do you expect that we got from the Bohrok nest to here?"
The two Matoran froze at these words, realizing the meaning.
"Tahu used that one mask," Huki said slowly. "But somehow, it didn't work, and the Bahrag escaped. Then, there was some big flash, and then I'm out here. So if the Bahrag are free…"
"They control the Bohrok again!" exclaimed Nuparu. "With the walls of Po-Koro destroyed, they'll be sitting Kewa to the Bohrok. We must warn them!"
"But why are the walls missing?" Huki said, mystified. "If there was a blast that blew away the walls, then why are all these sand dunes in the right place?"
"Because…" Nuparu started. Then he paused to think. "There is no possible explanation. That would defy the laws of physics."
"Well, you are right," Huki replied. "Let's get to Po-Koro."
The two Matoran took off, running across the sands. After a while, they arrived to where the walls of Po-Koro use to be. But the two Matoran stopped dead at what they saw.
The village was where it was suppose to be, but the walls that had surrounded it had been stripped away from the land, exposing everything to the desert winds. Only a few huts stood out, and one of them opened up a tunnel that went underground. The village was surrounded by a small rock fence, just high enough that it could contain the average Matoran.
And there were Matoran. Matoran sat in the sands, carving at the rocks they had. Half of them were carving sculptures out of the rocks, while the other half were constructing buckets out of protodermis. The Po-Korans chipped away at the stones, and wincing when a strong wind blew sand into their eyes.
What was scarier were the village guards. Huki and Nuparu knew instantly the guards were meant to keep the Matoran in, and not anything form the outside. The guards were Pahrak, the stone Bohrok. At the gate of the village was a tall creature who bore a long staff. This creature suddenly caught sight of the two Matoran outside of the village. It hissed loudly, and the Bohrok acted.
"Let's get out of here!" cried Huki, backing up. But the closest Pahrak lifted it's shields, and shot blinding light at the ground beneath the Matoran. The rocks they stood on shattered, and the Matoran were trapped in a hole. Two Pahrak walked over and picked them up, and threw them into the fenced off area. They were trapped.
"What was that?" asked Nuparu in a frightened voice.
"That was the Pahrak doing their duty," said a voice. A Matoran walked over to them. He wore a black Matatu. "Howdy, I'm Tunaka, the carrier. What, I ask you, were you doing out in the desert?"
"We were blown from the Bohrok's nest, after the Toa failed to defeat the Kal," answered Huki. Instead of providing information to the Matoran, they just confused him.
"Bohrok's nest? Toa? Kal?" Tunaka asked. "I think the heat's gone to your heads."
"What are the Bohrok doing around the village!" cried Huki. "And what happened to the glorious walls that use to surround the village?"
"Walls, eh," said Tunaka. "I heard once there were some big walls around here. But I guess the Bohrok tore them down may years ago."
"How long have we been knocked out?" Nuparu said. "This is insane! And what's that tall, brown thing?"
"Are you talking about the Panrahk?" asked Tunaka. "Panrahk is our leader. He's the one who makes sure none of the Matoran are messing around. He's one of Makuta's Rahkshi, or sons."
"M… Makuta!" stuttered Huki. "The Toa defeated him!"
"Never been defeated, Makuta has," said Tunaka. "What are these Toa things you keep talkin' about?"
"Six mighty guardians who would protect us against all dangers," Huki explained. "Turaga Onewa told us about them long ago, so why don't you remember?"
"Never heard of a Toa," said Tunaka. "Or Onewa, for that matter. You two best get to work. You need to get some carving done."
"Carving?" asked Nuparu.
"It's what we Po-Korans do," said Tunaka. "The Onu-Korans supply us with rocks and protodermis. Some of us carve buckets out of the protodermis. We give those to the Ta-Korans, so they can haul lava up to the Kini-Nui. The rest of use carve stone masterpieces that are sacrificed to Makuta." He winked. "Of the Onu-Korans and Ta-Korans, I'm glad I'm a Po-Koran. We have the easier job."
"I'm an Onu-Koran," said Nuparu.
"Then why are you with him?" asked Tunaka.
"We're friends," exclaimed Huki.
"Friends or not, Po-Korans and Onu-Korans have different jobs to do," said Tunaka sternly. "I'm afraid I'll have to report you to the Panrahk."
"Report me!" cried Nuparu. "I'm in trouble for just being an Onu-Koran!"
"You should be minin' stuff," explained Tunaka.
"Look, I'm sure I can get stuff right," pleaded Nuparu. "Just don't get me in any trouble."
Tunaka sighed. He felt sorry for the two friends. It wasn't his business to split up two great friends. He took a breath. "Okay, but quiet down. I don't really like that Rahkshi anyway. Deadly creepy. Just keep your head down, Onu-Koran. Follow me."
Tunaka lead the two Matoran to the corner of the village, away from most people. He explained that they'd be less likely to be noticed, as long as they didn't stir up trouble.
"You," Tunaka said, turning to Huki. "You are a Po-Koran. So carve something, out of that stone over there."
Huki gathered up a nearby stone, and looked to Tunaka. "I don't have anything to cut it with."
Tunaka handed him a old chisel. "Use that, and make something for Makuta and the Bahrag twins."
"What!" cried Nuparu, but Huki interrupted him. "I can't use this chisel. The handle is all moldy, and this thing is duller than water."
"Here," Nuparu said, gathering stuff out of his pack. He handed his friend a sharp chisel and a hammer. "Use those, I have them with me."
"What the!" cried Tunaka, watching Huki start away on his carving. "Those are tools made up of pure protodermis! Where did you get those?"
"It's mandatory for all Onu-Koran engineers to have these with them at all times," said Nuparu. "You never know when you might need them."
"Nobody has that kind of equipment, save the great spirit himself!" whispered Tunaka in amazement. "Where you got it, I have no idea!"
"So tell me," Nuparu said, as Huki continued on his carving. "What's life like here. Something very strange is going on, and I'm worried. I could use some information."
"Well," said Tunaka. "It's a long story. But here it is. This island is controlled by the Bahrag and Makuta, the might spirit. They use the Bohrok to control each village on the island, and Makuta's Rahkshi lead each village. The Bohrok all have these elemental powers, and the Rahkshi have even more powerful powers in their staffs. The Panrahk can blow up anything that he hits with a beam that comes out of his staff. Very dangerous. And the Pahrak can control the stones and rocks to their uses."
"We Po-Korans rely on the Onu-Korans for supplies. They are lead by this black Rahkshi, who steals power from whoever gets hit with a beam from his staff. He then uses their stolen power to grow stronger. The Bohrok there, the Nuhvok, can control the earth very well. The Onu-Korans are forced to mine materials from the earth. These rocks and protodermis is then taken to Po-Koro. We make the protodermis buckets that are then taken to Ta-Koro. There, the Ta-Korans haul lava in those buckets to the Kini-Nui, where they give it to the great spirit and the Bohrok Queens. When their buckets become useless, they then sacrifice the remaining protodermis to Makuta and the Bahrag as well."
"Also, everyday, the Po-Korans pay tribute with one carving. We select one to bring to the Kini-Nui, where it is dropped into it as tribute to our leaders. It takes many days to make a carving, so we Po-Korans are constantly carving to keep up our supplies of carving to give to the rulers. If we fall behind, and miss one day, Makuta gets very angry with us, and our tribute increases. Once, we missed one day, and for the following week, we had to pay tribute of three carvings a day to Makuta before he became satisfied and let us go back to normal."
"Then, there's my job. A handful of Matoran, all Po-Koran, are needed to bring supplies from one village to another. I go between Po-Koro and Onu-Koro, bringing back protodermis and rocks to supply our carvers. It's tough work at times, because if I'm late, then we're all in big trouble. But, it is far easier than any other job in Po-Koro. Plus, I get some authority to travel around."
Tunaka looked around, to see if anyone was listening. "In a little bit, I'll be heading for Onu-Koro, to replenish our supplies. I can bring you along with me, so you can get back to Onu-Koro, where you belong."
Huki turned from his carving. "Hey, wherever Nuparu goes, I go. If you take him someplace, I go with him."
Tunaka looked over Huki. "Well, maybe I can do that. But, this Nuparu could pass as a Po-Koran, but you do not seem to pass as an Onu-Koran."
"I'm going anyway," said Huki. He turned his back on them again. "And, just a few more cuts, and I'm finished with my carving."
"Ha," Tunaka laughed. "Makuta and the Bahrag only accept the most excellent stone carvings. No way you finished a quality one in five minutes!"
"Ta DA!" exclaimed Huki, backing up from the stone. It wasn't carved very well, but the shape was unmistakable. It showed a Matoran who was taking of his mask and making a rude gesture with it's maskless face. Huki and Nuparu fell over laughing, but Tunaka turned very pale. Very quickly, he rushed and grabbed a pick ax and smashed the carving to pieces.
"Why did you do that?" Huki asked. "That was good."
"You do not give disrespectful carvings to our masters!" snarled Tunaka. "Do you know what the Panrahk would do if he saw that!"
"Come on," said Huki. "That's just what I think of Makuta. Doesn't he want our honest opinion?"
"Not if that's it," hissed Tunaka. He handed his pick ax to Nuparu. "Here, you can use that down in the mines."
"This piece of worthless junk?" said Nuparu, examining the ax. "It's extremely dull. I'd have better luck digging with the handle than with the blade. I have a better one than that." Out of his pack, he pulled out his pick ax, which was polished so well that it shined brightly.
"Put that away!" snapped Tunaka. "They'll wonder what you're doing with such fine tools. Pure protodermis blades. That's not something everybody has, you know. It'll make them wonder. But for now, follow me. I need to make my run to Onu-Koro, and you're coming with me."
They followed the Matoran as he walked behind on of the huts. When Huki and Nuparu saw what it was, they froze.
"It's only my steeds, a Muaka and Kane-Ra," said Tunaka. "They're perfectly safe."
"They wear infected masks!" exclaimed Nuparu. "Makuta controls them."
"Nonsense," the Matoran cried. He hooked up a wagon to the two Rahi. "I control these two. They're my favorites, and I've raised them since they were young. I was so proud when they received their masks. However, the work makes them a lot grumpier. They are nothing like they were when they were infants." The Muaka growled, and the Kane-Ra gave a loud grunt.
"'Cause they weren't servants of Makuta when they were infants," muttered Huki to Nuparu.
"Well, get in the back," said Tunaka. "I don't want you to be seen, because that will stir up questions. But I'll just drop you off in Onu-Koro. Now, get in. I'll cover you with this blanket."
"I'm getting a really bad feeling here," muttered Huki as he and Nuparu crawled into the back of the wagon. "Rahi, Bohrok, and tribute to Makuta. This isn't right."
"I know…" muttered Nuparu back. "And they haven't ever heard of the Toa? It's like that mask messed up time."
"Isn't that what those overgrown Queens said?" Huki stated.
"You know what," whispered Nuparu. "They did say something like that. Something about that mask altering reality."
"Then maybe it did alter reality," mumbled Huki. "But why are we still normal?"
"Who knows?" said Nuparu. "But if we're sane, then I'll be the other four are sane too, and probably around here somewhere."
"Maku!" exclaimed Huki. "She might still be around! Ooh, I just wish she were here."
"Yeah, and why would you want that?" Nuparu mocked, laughing.
"Quiet," Huki growled. "I think we're moving."
"Think?" said Nuparu. The inside of the wagon had suddenly started bouncing around all over the place. After a while, they heard Tunaka speak outside. "Permission to leave."
"Permission granted," hissed a soft voice. It was unmistakably a Matoran's voice, but alltogetherly different. "Bohrok, open the gate."
Huki risked lifting up the blanket a bit to pear outside. He gasped, and let it fall back down.
"What is it?" Nuparu asked.
"That Matoran…" stuttered Huki. "He looks like the highest ranking Matoran around. But I recognize him. He's the guy who sold me infected Koli balls back in our time. And his mask… was infected!"
Takua slept uneasily. His mind drifted into a strange dream.
He was walking somewhere in the Ta-Wahi region. He could hear the trickling of lava in the distance. He came upon a huge wall, that was made from cooled lava. Steps were carved into it, and Takua followed them to a shallow cave inside the wall. There was something in the wall, some sort of box. Takua didn't know why, but he found he wanted that box. Like it would solve all his problems. He reached out to take it.
Takua awoke when he heard a sudden grinding noise. Somebody was creeping up from behind him. He leapt up, and turned to see a figure run away from him. He could make out the Mahiki mask, and realized it was Makahi.
Takua was breathing hard. Makahi was about to do something to him in his sleep, and he had been lucky enough to wake up before it happened. Thinking about the possible things Makahi would have done to him did not cheer up Takua. He glanced to his side to see Jala, still asleep. But as tired as Takua was, he could not fall back asleep. He sat in the darkness, waiting for the day to begin. Hours later, it did begin. Earlier than usual, Takua guessed, Tahnok and the Turahk appeared at the exit, and unlocked the cage. The Matoran were shaken awake, and lead outside. They filed up into their patrols, and started hauling lava. Takua and Jala were still part of Makahi's patrol, and they still filled their buckets. But as they marched to the Kini-Nui, they slowly fell behind. As they had planned, they were quickly left behind, and they could see no more of the Matoran hauling lava.
"I am so glad we're getting out of here," said Takua, setting down his bucket. "I hate the idea of hauling lava another day."
"I hate to do this," Jala moaned. "If we leave, we'll just get the Ta-Korans in bigger trouble. But we are the only ones who could possibly summon the Toa."
"Who cares about them," Takua snarled. "To the Magania with them! I'm pretty sure Makahi tried to do me in last night, but I woke up and scared him off."
"NO!" cried Jala. "No Ta-Koran would ever try to harm another Matoran! That isn't in our spirit!"
"Different times, Jala," mumbled Takua. "Different worlds. Let's get going."
Jala cold see Takua was exhausted. Deprived of sleep that night, and having been worked to the extreme the previous day, Takua was very tired. Jala made his decision quickly. "Takua, you rest here for a bit. I'm just going to scout out ahead, to make sure we don't run into a group of Tahnok."
"Okay," said Takua. He laid on the ground, and closed his eyes. If there was any danger, Jala would warn him. But for now, he could get a few moments rest.
"You dirty little Hoto bug!"
Takua's eyes snapped opened to see Makahi standing above him, with a knife in hand. The Matoran was breathing hard.
"I knew you'd slack off today!" he cried. "And it'll be my duty to punish you for that!"
Takua rolled over quickly, and Makahi's knife missed it's mark. Makahi made another slash, but Takua dashed behind one of the buckets.
"You're dead, Matoran!" shouted Makahi. He leapt forward, ready to stab Takua in the face. But his foot hit the bucket, knocking it over. It spilled it's contents all over Makahi's feet.
"AHHHHHHH!" Makahi cried in alarm. In was obvious he was in pain. The lava was now eating away at his feet. Makahi, now lacking all sense, blamed Takua for his misfortune. He lifted his knife one last time. Takua tried to run, but he was frozen in fear. In a few seconds he'd be a goner.
He never saw the disc. It flew straight and true. It hit Makahi on the head and knocked him out cold. Jala came running up to his friends aid.
"So he was trying to do you in!" Jala cried in amazement. "I thought you'd be safe, but I never imagined you'd be attacked by him!"
"All the more reason to get moving," Takua gasped. "He won't wake up for some time now, and even when he does, he won't be walking anywhere. The lava ate away at his feet pretty badly."
"So, what are we looking for?" Jala asked, as he and his friend set off, away from the knocked out Makahi.
"Well, I'm sure, wherever the stone for Tahu is, that it'll be in a special place," Takua said. "Someplace made just for it, someplace special. But it could be anywhere in Ta-Wahi. So we'd best get searching."
"What are our overall plans?" Jala asked.
"Find the stones," Takua said. "We'll sneak around the island, trying to find them all. It may take a while, but it can be done. Then, we'll summon the Toa at once, and we'll be okay. Once the Toa are here, we'll have the greatest protection."
"And maybe they'll influence the Ta-Korans to be nicer people," muttered Jala. "But until we summon the Toa, we're in constant danger. We need to be on guard."
The two Matoran spent the rest of the day combing the landscape, in search for the Toa stone. But nothing in Ta-Wahi looked 'special' enough to hold the legendary Toa stone. It was later that afternoon, when Jala and Takua stopped by a lava river.
"Might as well rest here," muttered Jala. "At least it's better than carrying lava up to the Kini-Nui. But there is a worn path on that trail."
"This place," Takua murmured. "It looks familiar, somehow."
"What!" cried Jala. "I should have known! We've been going in circles. That must be the river we saw this morning." Suddenly, he stopped. "No, that river was a lot smaller. This is new."
"Not familiar, as we have seen it today," Takua said, placing his hands on his head. "But still familiar…" He gazed upon a giant wall. "Of course!"
Jala followed his gaze. "That's just some big lava wall. Probably something left over from a huge eruption from the past."
"Steps!" Takua cried in delight.
"What?" Jala said. They hadn't seen any steps sense they had left Makahi unconscious. "What does that mean?"
"Follow me," shouted Takua.
The Matoran ran up the steps, and Jala followed him. They came upon an indent in the wall. The space was big enough to hold a couple Matoran huts easily. Takua ran to the wall, and found a smaller indent. "Here it is!" he whispered.
"What…" Jala said in surprise. "That's only a box! And it has the symbol for Ta-Koro on it. I remember those flames from the signs outside the village."
"It's more than a box," Takua said. But he suddenly felt an uneasy feeling. "Enough talk, let's move."
The two Matoran turned for the steps when they heard the crash behind them. Landing on the platform that came out of the cliff wall were four Tahnok, and also the dreaded Turahk. The Matoran gasped in fear, and turned to see four more Tahnok blocked the steps.
A Matoran stepped in front of the four Tahnok blocking the stairs. It was the Ta-Koran lead Matoran, with the infected mask. He spoke to Takua and Jala in a sinister voice.
"Give us that package, now."
"Make it easy on yourself," the infected Matoran hissed. "And give us the package now. Otherwise, we'll take it by force."
"Why would you want it?" shouted Takua.
"You know why."
"Well, you're going to have to take it with force," said Takua bravely, even though he didn't feel brave. He put the package into his pack. "Come and get it."
"You heard him," the Matoran said smoothly. "Tahnok, destroy him!"
"Take this!" Jala cried. He whipped out his sword Tahu had given him. He lit it up, and the elemental power came up. He threw a fireball at the Matoran and the four Tahnok before anyone of them could move.
The Tahnok are powerful creatures themselves, and also wield the power of fire. Jala's attack did little to them. But these Bohrok were unused to facing their own elemental powers, and rolled up into balls in an instant.
"Now!" Jala cried, and he and Takua pounced forward. The Tahnok behind them made a move, but stopped as the Turahk raised his staff.
Takua tried to jump over the heap of Tahnok, but something grabbed his foot. He turned to see the infected Matoran holding his leg.
"You aren't escaping!" the Matoran hissed. He stood tall next to Takua, but this proved to be the wrong move. The Turahk, aiming a blast of fear at Takua, his the Matoran instead. The Matoran cried out in fright, and froze up with fear, releasing Takua. He stumbled up and followed Jala as they ran down the steps.
"Now what?" Jala shouted.
"We have to run!" shouted Takua. Suddenly, he caught sight of the lava river. An idea popped into his head. "Jala, you distract them for a while. I have a plan!"
"Me, distract them?" Jala cried as they split up.
"Just take the attention for a second or two?" Takua cried as he ran towards the shore of the lava river.
"Might as well do what he says," Jala muttered to himself. Using his sword, he blasted flames in the air. The Tahnok turned to him, and came racing after him. Jala ran until he suddenly stopped. They had cornered him on a cliff. Underneath it ran the river of lava. He turned back to his foes and shot a blast of fire at them. This kept them back, but wouldn't get rid of them.
Takua ran along the bank, until he came upon a stairway. The stairway led directly down to the very edge of the river. Excitedly, Takua ran down the steps. But suddenly, something whooshed in the air. A Tahnok flew over his head and landed in front of Takua, blocking his path. Takua gasped and cried out, "Jala!!"
Jala turned to see his friend in danger. Without thinking, he took out his disc and hurtled it through the air. The disc hit it's mark, and the Tahnok fell forward. Takua jumped above it, and started down the steps again. But he hesitated, and turned back. He snagged Jala's disc from under the fallen Bohrok. He waved his hand at the Tahnok. "Ha ha, sucker. You need to be better than that to beat us!" But suddenly, the Bohrok's eyes lit up, and it stood again. Takua gulped, and turn and ran down the stairs. But the Tahnok was after him.
"NO!" Jala shouted. His friend was still in trouble, and he couldn't help out at all. But he threw another burst of flames at the other Bohrok, who were now closing in on him.
"Wait for it, wait for it," muttered Takua to himself. He reached into his pack, and glanced behind him. The Tahnok lifted it's shields, and shot a blast of fire at Takua. The Matoran jumped high n the air, avoiding the blast. He whipped out a small bundle. In unfolded and formed Takua's treasured lava surfboard.
Takua landed on his surfboard on the steps. The Tahnok had superheated the steps so much that they were now lava themselves. Takua shot down the rest of the steps, and streamed out into the lava river, safely away from the Tahnok.
"Yes!" Jala cried. "Go Takua!"
But he turned and realized his time was up. The Tahnok were closing in, and they parted to let somebody else come up to the front line. It was the Rahkshi, the Turahk, with the power of fear. Jala tried to step back, but rock crumbled under his foot, and he knew he was on the edge of the cliff. He would have to go over or face the Bohrok and Rahkshi.
"I hope I make it through this!" Jala whispered. He put his sword to his chest and looked up. Then he did an amazing back flip and sailed through the air. He just managed to dodge the Turakh's beam of fear, which had shot towards him. Jala, now falling through the air, screamed out loud.
"I'm coming for you!" Takua yelled. He turned his surfboard, and steered towards the cliff. Seconds before Jala would have hit the lava, Takua streered forward and caught him on his board. The two friends now shot down the river, away from their enemies.
"You did it, you Koli head," Jala cried in delight. He hugged Takua from behind. "Thanks for catching me."
"Hey, you saved me first, and also back there with Makahi," Takua said. "Now, let's get out of here!" He surfed at breakneck speed down the river.
Jala turned around to see the sight. The remaining Bohrok leapt from the cliff, and rolled up into balls. They plunged into the lava, and were not seen for a few seconds. Then they popped up, also speeding through the magma.
"Oh no!" shouted Jala. "I didn't know they could do that!"
"What!" Takua asked.
"The Tahnok!" Jala cried. "They're moving through the lava as a Takea would move through water!"
"Uh oh," Takua moaned. They came upon a curve in the river. Takua leaned on the board, and they easily missed the wall. They were now going extremely fast down the river, which was starting to grow dangerous.
"Oh woe," moaned Jala. "If only Lhii had been the Chronicler!"
"Hey, I can surf with the best of them," argued Takua. "And I've been in these fast of flows before. Even though Tahu had to save me."
"What!" shouted Jala. "Tahu isn't here to watch you're behind this time. And we've got Tahnok on our tails too!"
"Just makes it all the more exciting!" Takua shouted out. "Hold on."
Takua went over a jump, and they sailed through the air. Jala clutched onto Takua's back, but they landed safely. The Tahnok followed still, but some got caught on the jump, and didn't sail through the air as nicely. They were slowing down, but still not very far behind. Suddenly, one lifted it's shield and shot a stream of fire up towards them.
"Bank left," Jala cried, and Takua swerved the board. The stream missed. But the Tahnok tried again and again. Takua just managed to avoid their blasts. Suddenly, Jala noticed something. "The lava's slowing down!"
Takua noticed it too. "Why is it doing that. It shouldn't, unless… " Takua looked up ahead, and gasped out. "We're coming up to the sea!"
"Now what!" cried Jala.
"The lava cools at the sea," Takua cried. "And when we slow down, those Tahnok will be all over us!"
The lava slowed down to a walking pace. Jala glanced behind them and yelled, "They're shooting another blast!"
"I can't swerve!" Takua cried out. He leaned on one side, and the board tipped up. The stream of fire shot off next to them, just missing them. Jala then realized something. "Get in that blast of lava!"
Takua dipped the board, and they were in the path the Tahnok's blast had gone. It had superheated the cooled lava so that it sped up. Takua and Jala shot down the lava in this stream. Then, Takua saw the end of the line.
"The ocean!" he shouted.
"It looks really close," Jala commented. But suddenly, their board was suspended in mid air. They shot off the cooling lava and into the air above the ocean. Takua and Jala cried out as they plummeted into the waters.
Takua came up for air, and Jala was next to him. They weren't hurt, but they were now in the water, and couldn't move nearly as fast. They watched as the Tahnok grouped up along the edge. The cooling lava, which would have melted any Matoran, had no effect on the Tahnok. The Bohrok threw bursts of fire towards the two Matoran.
"It was nice knowing you, Jala," Takua said.
The fire hit them, but nothing happened. Takua opened his eyes, figuring the blast had missed them. But another Tahnok fired, and he saw their blast stop in mid air, right in front of his face. After a while, the Tahnok gave up on them. Their fire powers could not get them, and they retreated back into the lava.
"What was that?" Jala asked Takua.
"Something protected us," Takua muttered. "And I feel it too. Don't you? It's like some sort of shielding. Like a Hau."
"It's these waters!" Jala cried in sudden realization. "The waters are protecting us!"
"Of coarse," Takua chimed in. "The island of Mata-Nui has been infected by Makuta and his Bohrok. But the oceans around the island are still pure. Nokama once told me something like that. And this pure water is protecting us from the evil powers of the Bohrok!"
"So, we're protected," said Jala. "As long as we're within the waters."
"Amazing!" Takua said. He swam over to his lava surfboard, which was easily floating in the water. "Climb on, Jala. This think floats on water as well as lava, and I'm sure it will hold you too."
The two Matoran hastily climbed up on the surfboard. Jala felt it uneasily. "It's better than swimming, but I'd prefer a canoe."
"Well, we won't get one of those for a while," Takua said. He reached into his pack, and checked his contents. "Yes, I still have everything."
"Get that package," Jala said. Takua followed suit, and pulled it out. Jala looked over it. "I don't see what's so special about it. It only looks like some rock package. And it has the Ta-Koran symbol on it. What's so special?"
"It's not the package, but the content," Takua said. He opened it up and revealed a small stone.
"Is that?" Jala said, gazing at it in wonder.
"Yes," Takua answered. "Tahu's Toa stone."
The sun set again, ending the second day. Nuparu and Huki were in the tunnels of Onu-Koro. Their trip had been delayed a day by a dust storm, and Tunaka was pulling into the caves late in the day.
"I have to hurry up," Tunaka said urgently. "There were plenty of supplies when I left, but I need to take the latest rocks and protodermis back. Good luck mining, you two. And nice look." He winked at Huki, and took off. The two friends watched his disappear through the tunnels.
"At least there are still some descent Matoran," said Huki.
"Yeah," Nuparu agreed. He smiled at Huki. "That's a nice look for you."
Huki sniffed. "It's not very fun being covered in charcoal. It gets very dusty at times, and don't light a torch anywhere near me."
"But it gives you that black appearance," Nuparu said. "Now, let's see if we can mingle in with the other Onu-Korans. It's about time they should be turning in."
The two friends marched down the tunnels until they came upon a squad of Matoran. They had expected this, as Tunaka had told them about the Onu-Koran worker system. The Matoran were standing attention, and Nuparu and Huki took to the back of the line. The glanced up front and saw the leaders. A squad of Nuhvok and a Rahkshi, the Vorahk. In front of them was a Matoran with a black Rau. Except for one difference.
"His mask is infected," whispered Nuparu.
"Just like that Matoran in Po-Koro," Huki whispered back. "I think I see a pattern here. In every village, Makuta probably has an infected Matoran to help lead them. But he also has his Rahkshi around to provide power, along with the Bohrok."
"Quiet," Nuparu hissed, as the lead Matoran spoke up.
"You have reached you expected level in mining today," the infected Matoran said. "That is, at least, good for you. But I heard tunnel 8 has been shut down."
One Matoran stepped forward. "Tunnel 8 now lacks all useful minerals. There haven't been any protodermis finds in there for months, so we're shifting our work."
The infected Matoran lifted his eyebrow. "Ah, well, reasonable. Getting some other tunnels working faster. Good. Now, what is this about lack of protodermis."
"There must be only so much on the island," the worker protested. "We shall exhaust it at some point."
"Our protodermis is form into buckets," the Matoran said calmly, but there was a hint of anger in his voice. "That the Ta-Korans carry. When they're no longer in condition to use to haul lava, they're thrown to the Bahrag. The Queens, in turn, use it for some purpose and then redeposit it underneath the ground. It's up to us to refind it. As for now, I dismiss you all. Bohrok, lead them back to their cage."
The Nuhvok ushered the Matoran forward, and Nuparu and Huki followed the miners into a small cave, where the entrance was bared up. Huki sighed.
"So they trap us in here overnight."
"Well, we'll try to escape tomorrow," Nuparu whispered. "There must be something we can do to make things right. But we may also find some Matoran like Tunaka in here. He was really helpful."
"Yeah," Huki agreed. He gave a glance towards the guarded door. "But I have a question. Is there anything we can do to make things right?"
Many Bios away, two Matoran sat in the sparkling waters of Naho bay. They floated far from the shore, but they kept the land in view. Floating on a lava surfboard, they used a heatstone to keep warm.
"It's just a delightful place to spend the night," Jala said, looking around. "At least we're somewhat safe."
"Yeah, but I wish we had something large to float on," Takua said. He was sitting on one end, with his feet in the water, and Jala was doing the same on the other end. Takua continued on, fingering the Toa stone. "I'm wondering what this is suppose to do. Certainly, it is Tahu's. It was found in Ta-Wahi, and it has Ta-Koro's symbol on it's package. But it looks like a part of a bigger stone. It's rounded on one end, but it has these jagged cuts on the other side, as if something goes into it.
"So, do all six Toa stones fit together to summon the Toa?" asked Jala. He reached for a bag of his food possessions, and munched on a Bula grape. "So that means we need to find five more."
"No," Takua said. He closed his eyes, as if trying to remember something. "It's too large. I… I think only three fit together. Three Toa stones go together and form a circle. Then maybe it summons the Toa. But we may need both circles to do it with."
"Which two would go with Tahu?" asked Jala.
"I don't know," admitted Takua. "The Toa are really diverse at times. He and Kopaka and Lewa are really great fighters. Maybe they go together. And it would make sense that Pohatu and Onua would fit together, and Gali would also fit with them."
"That doesn't tell us much," stated Jala. "Which two really do go with Tahu?"
"Wait!" Takua cried. "Toa Kaita! Three Toa fuse into one. So maybe the stones use the same thee Toa as the Kaita do."
"Who did Tahu fuse with for the Kaita?" asked Jala. "You're the one who witnessed them forming. Through your temporary bond with Gali?"
"I don't remember," Takua said. Then he snapped. "Oh, my episode book. I recorded it there." He pulled it out, and touched it. The replays of his memory flowed back into his head. He shut his eyes for a while, and then snapped opened again. "Tahu fused with Pohatu and Onua to form Akamai. So, I'd say we try and find those two symbols first."
"How do we find the other symbols?" asked Jala. "They'd be on the land, and I'm sure if we touch the lad again then our magical protection from the water will vanish."
"We can always rely on the oceans for protection, so we should never try to get too far from them," Takua said. "But I'd say we do a little detective work. I have a telescope in here. From the Naho Bay, we can look upon Onu-Po-Ga-Wahi at the same time, kind of. Maybe we can spot another symbol."
"You have a telescope?" Jala asked Takua as he dug through his pack.
"Yeah, the Ga-Koran astrologer gave it to me after Makuta was defeated," Takua answered. "It can see far into the heavens. It will also let us see far distances. It's like having an Akaku, or at least one of the powers of an Akaku."
"Well, you can put it away now," Jala said. "It's night, and we'll se nothing. Tomorrow, we can do some spying on the land. But we must be careful Our little lava trip probably alerted every Bohrok on the island that we're out here. Every step has to be taken with caution."
"Don't forget those Rahkshi," Takua reminded his friend. "If they all have powers like fear and such, then they're as dangerous as the Bohrok. Plus, Makuta might still have the Rahi under his control."
"Well, save them for tomorrow," Jala yawned. He huddled closer to Takua's heatstone. "You can sleep now, if you can. I'll keep watch for now."
Jala opened his eyes to the morning light. He could feel the gentle sway of the ocean, and hear sea birds chirping in the distance. He lay with his eyes closed, absorbing the sounds and sights of the land. But then he opened his eyes, and realized he was alone on the surfboard.
Jala realized he must have fallen asleep on his watch duty, and then he realized he was alone on the surfboard. Takua was gone!
Jala shot up, and scanned the horizon, desperately searching for his friend. However, he did not expect to see him swimming towards him.
"What are you doing?" cried Jala, as Takua swam closer. "You scared my half to death. I thought you were captured!"
"Oh, you needed your sleep as much as I do," Takua said. "Anyway, this morning, I was boarded, so I went and did some spying. For a peaceful seashore, I saw a lot of Nuhvok. And they all were going around this certain cave."
"What do you mean?" asked Jala.
"I think they're doing laps," Takua explained. "Like you use to do for the guard. They must circle around, but every half hour, they appear along the shores. They march along the shore, and at this cliff they suddenly disappear. I've seen them do this three times today, and last time I saw that they actually went into a cave."
"So what do you think?" Jala asked. He opened his food bag again and prepared for a meager breakfast.
"I think they're guarding something," Takua said. "Three of them, marching in circles. I think they must be making sure nobody goes into that cave, from both ends. So I'd guess it would be one of the stones. If you're right, and all of the Bohrok are aware of us, then they might start guarding the stones. That makes acquiring them harder, but it also makes spotting them slightly easier."
"So, you've been spying all morning?" Jala asked.
"Yep," Takua replied. "I used your disc to float on a bit, but I mostly swam. And using my telescope, I can see the Bohrok from along ways from shore. I'm sure they don't know you or I am floating out here."
"And as long as we're in this water, we're safe," said Jala. "So maybe we should drift a little closer, and see what's going on."
Meanwhile, Nuparu and Huki were being awakened within the tunnels of Onu-Koro. The Onu-Korans were given a small breakfast, and then they were sent to the tunnels to start digging. Nuparu and Huki were each given a pick ax, and sent off into some dark tunnel to dig together.
"This is our light source?" Huki growled. He held up a small, candle. "When are we suppose to finish?"
"When the candle runs out," Nuparu answered. "Then we crawl back and get another candle. They told us that we must dig for four candles everyday."
"Four candles would light this tunnel up better," Huki said. He examined his ax. "Do you have a spare good one I could borrow?"
"Nope, this one's for me," Nuparu said, smiling. "We'll get a lot further than they'd expect us to, because we're using a sharp blades."
"Yeah, we really want to find those protodermis deposits," snarled Huki.
"Who said anything about looking for protodermis?" asked Nuparu, who was starting to chop away at the rocks. "I'm trying to find a way out of here. You certainly don't want to get stuck here forever."
"By the spirit, no!" cried Huki. "I'd say we'd have better luck in Po-Koro. All we'd have to do is a bit of stone carving."
"Po-Koro is too well guarded," Nuparu explained. "But Onu-Koro… they don't expect the miners to suddenly break out into the opened and run for it."
"Where would we run to?" asked Huki.
"I'd say Ga-Koro," Nuparu said. "I just hope they aren't working as much as we are here."
"Well, we wouldn't fit in," Huki observed. "They're all girls, and blue too. But we might find Hahli, and Maku! They might help us out. And maybe, just maybe, they can help us find a way to get things right."
"Yeah, well, first we need to break through," Nuparu said. "I was looking at some maps in our prison cell, and I determined that Ga-Koro is that way. If we angle our digging up at thirty degrees, then we'll break out into the air in an easy place. We should be near the Hura Mafu River, and then Ga-Koro isn't much further."
"Great, so start digging," Huki said.
"Yeah, well, you're the one stuck removing the rocks that I chip away. Get to work, Huki. If we work together, we'll get this done in no time!"
The two friends worked for many hours. Huki had to run back once and get another candle, and to report to the Bohrok. He told them they were on schedule, even though Nuparu knew they were far off coarse. The second candle was dimming when Nuparu broke through.
"We're there!" Huki cried.
"What!" said Nuparu, totally baffled. "This doesn't fit my calculations! We must still be far from the surface!"
"I don't see any light," mumbled Huki, pushing through. It looks like we broke into some sort of cavern."
"Oh!" exclaimed Nuparu. "I should have known. We're at the elevation where caverns are formed. At the normal digging levels, caravans aren't made naturally, but up here they are more common. But this could make it easier. If it's a cave, there might be an opening into the surface."
Nuparu and Huki pushed through, and their candle burned out. Huki blinked in the darkness. "This isn't good."
"I have a lightstone," said Nuparu. "Just a second while I get it."
"You have a what!" shouted Huki, though not too loudly. "When we were digging by candlelight, you had a lightstone!"
"I'll get it in a sec," Nuparu said. Huki quieted down, and the only sound that could be heard was Nuparu shuffling through his bag. Then, suddenly, there was crunch, and something moved nearby. The two Matoran froze.
"What was that?" Huki whispered.
"Not Bohrok," Nuparu whispered back. "But the earth has caves filled with Kofu-Jaga nests. We may have just come across one."
"Kofu-Jaga aren't that dangerous."
"By the hundreds they are."
Nuparu quickly snagged his lightstone and brought it out. As the stone shone brilliant, Huki and Nuparu shielded their eyes, expected to be suddenly attacked my Kofu-Jaga. But, they soon saw what really was in the cavern.
"Ussal crabs!" cried Nuparu in joy. "We came upon a nest of Ussal crabs! Onu-Korans and Ussals have been friends sense the early days. They might be wild, but they're still our friends."
It was true. None of the crabs made to attack the new coming Matoran. They saw some mother Ussal crabs huddling amongst eggs, and young ones scurried around their parents. Huki and Nuparu gazed in awe at the nesting site.
"Hey, here comes one!" pointed Huki. A small blue and yellow one scurried up, and jumped around them. Then it took off for a side tunnel. When it saw that Huki and Nuparu weren't following, it came back and ran around them.
"I think it want's us to follow it," whispered Nuparu in amazement.
"Sure, let's follow some young crab around," muttered Huki.
"These crabs do know their way around these tunnels," Nuparu said. "Let's follow it. Anyway, it couldn't possibly do us harm."
Huki and Nuparu followed the young Ussal crab as it scurried off down a maze of tunnels leading away from it's nest.
"Where is this thing headed?" asked Huki after a while. "It's not going to lead us into some trap, is it?"
"Ussal crabs are a noble species," Nuparu explained. "They cannot be infected and will not work for Makuta. Whatever this crab is doing, I'm sure it will benefit us."
"Wait, it's stopping!" Huki said. The young crab halted and sulked low. Nuparu and Huki followed suit. And sure enough, a group of Nuhvok walked nearby. But they continued on, unaware of the crab and two Matoran laying hidden nearby.
"That was close," Huki whispered. "But this crab didn't want to be seen by them."
"She's a good girl," said Nuparu, patting the Ussal on the head. The crab perked up, and rubbed Nuparu a bit.
"How sweet," said Huki. "Now, what's it trying to show us?"
"Maybe a way out?" Nuparu said. The crab led them down the tunnel the Nuhvok had come from. Soon, they arrived in a small cavern, and they saw something that was held up on the wall.
"What's that?" asked Huki.
"I don't know," said Nuparu. "But this is what the crab wanted us to see."
Suddenly, there were footsteps, coming down the exit tunnel. Huki and Nuparu exchanged looks. Whatever was coming down probably meant trouble.
"Hide your light, and get really still," Huki hissed to Nuparu. "We'll try to hide. But get out your ax too. We may need to fight our way out of this!"
Jala and Takua floated to the shore, and got on dry land again. Takua dried off his surfboard, and then packed it away. As they left the water, Takua suddenly felt something leave him. he was sure it was the protection that the water had given him, and it was now no more. They were vulnerable again.
The two Matoran had studied the Nuhvok's movements all morning, and had gotten their routine down to the minute. Takua guessed that they would search the tunnel for so long, and turn back then, so they would have time to escape out of the hole. One thing they did not want to have to deal with was a Nuhvok under the earth.
They descended into the tunnel, walking cautiously, straining to hear any sound of an approaching enemy. But they heard nothing but drips of water falling.
"It's about time we turned back," Jala whispered. "I'm sorry, Takua, but the symbols not here."
"Just around the corner," Takua said. "I just have a feeling that it's in here."
"Well, peek around that corner and get on with it," Jala said nervously. "I do not want to be down here with a Nuhvok."
The two Matoran crept further on, and came upon a caravan. Takua was about to pull out his lightstone when Jala stopped him. They heard something creeping around on the other side of the cavern.
Jala slowly walked forward, moving towards the source of the sound. Suddenly, something jumped out and tried to slash Jala. Jala leapt back and lit up his sword. There was a gasp in the corner.
Takua gasped too. "Nuparu!"
Takua reached for his lightstone and illuminated the room, to find his two friends huddling in the corner with a Ussal crab. Takua gasped at them. "What are you two doing down here!"
"What are you doing down here?" asked Nuparu.
"We're looking for a Toa stone, so we can summon the Toa," Jala explained.
"It's here," Takua whispered. He grabbed the package off the wall, which had the Onu-Koran symbol on it. "That makes two!"
"Okay, we have a lot to catch up on," said Huki, smiling at the sight of his two friends. "So it's true. You two are sane in this messed up reality."
"Yep, and we'd explain why," Takua said. "But we have to go. Nuhvok are patrolling this area. We need to get to the surface before they trap us in here."
"Then let's go!" said Nuparu. He turned to the crab. "You can come too, girl."
Takua stared in awe at the crab. "Puku!"
"That's Puku?" Jala said in amazement. "That crab you liked to ride around on? The retired racer that Onepu use to have?"
"It's her!" Takua said, patting her. "She looks younger than when I last saw her, but that's her alright. Always helpful."
"Yep, she led us here," Huki explained. "To that Toa stone."
"Good girl Puku," Takua said. "Yeah, that's my girl. She isn't even trained, and she's still helping out the Matoran!"
"Well, it's been a nice reunion," Jala said. "But we need to hurry."
The four Matoran accompanied by the Ussal crab took the pathway up to the surface again. But, suddenly they spotted something up ahead. Three Nuhvok were coming out of a side tunnel.
Takua instantly saw his mistake. There was more than one patrol of Bohrok guarding the stone, and they only knew the routine of one such group. They now had come upon another, which obviously patrolled other tunnels surrounding the stone.
"Oh no!" whispered Jala.
The Matoran hid their light, but the Nuhvok were coming right towards them. Even if the Bohrok didn't see them, they were still likely to sense them somehow.
Puku suddenly tugged on Takua, as if trying to push him in another direction. Instantly, Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu followed the crab. It shot down a hidden side tunnel, and they managed to escape from the Bohrok's path.
But they had been sensed. The Bohrok became alert, and glared suddenly into the narrow side tunnel. Then, the lead Nuhvok lifted it's shields and pushed each of them into the walls. Soon, the tunnel widened enough for the Bohrok to walk through.
"No!" gasped Huki. "There's no way out."
"The grounds slopes here," Takua whispered. "Slopes a lot, and very quickly… AHHHHHHH!"
"Takua!" yelled Jala, turning backwards.
Puku had pushed Takua over the edge, and then jumped after him. But at the sudden yells, the Bohrok leapt forward. Therefor, the other three Matoran followed suit and jumped off the cliff themselves.
"YEEEEEAHHHHHHHH!" cried out Huki.
"THEY'RE FOLLOWING USSSSSSSSS!" Jala yelled out. The Bohrok were also leaping off the cliff, and tumbling down it after the Matoran.
The steep slope leveled out, and the Matoran piled up on the ground. Out of Takua's pack rolled his lightstone, and the cave was illuminated.
"We're back in the Ussal nest," Nuparu stated. He and his friends got up, and suddenly, the three Nuhvok landed before them.
"This is the end," Takua whispered. "But I'm going down fighting!"
"Me too," Jala said, and he lit up his sword.
The lead Bohrok stuck it's shields into the ground, and suddenly the earth under the Matoran's feet became quicksand. Nuparu and Jala leapt away, but Huki and Takua were trapped. Their bodies started sinking into the earth, and all their struggling didn't help on bit. Soon, the earth was up to their necks.
"Can't… breath," gasped Huki, struggling to keep his head above ground.
"Help!" Takua managed to yell.
Nuparu seemed frozen as he watched his friends sink into the ground, but he soon realized what was going on. The Nuhvok was controlling the earth. Pulling out his pick ax, Nuparu hit a large stone on the ground, which rammed the Nuhvok's faceplate. The Bohrok hesitated, and Huki and Takua stopped sinking instantly. Nuparu launched his ax through the air, and it hit the Bohrok's eyes, and the krana fell out. The body slumped to the floor.
"Yes!" Nuparu said. But sudden hands clasped on his shoulders. A Nuhvok had circled around him, and now held him tightly, and started squeezing. Nuparu tried to break free, but his strength was little compared to the Bohrok's.
"Nuparu!" Jala yelled, rushing forward. He lit up his sword, and prepared to launch fire at the Bohrok who held his friend, but the third Bohrok stepped in front of him and smacked him with his shields. Jala flew through the air, and hit the wall with an amazing crunch. He fell, unconscious.
"No," Huki whimpered, who was still stuck in the ground with Takua. "No!"
Suddenly, Puku, the Ussal crab, shot towards Jala, rushing to his aid. But the Bohrok who had thrown Jala smacked the poor crab, and she flew into the far reaches of the cave. Puku cried out as she flew through the air, and whimpered in pain once she landed.
Suddenly, the cavern was full of angry chirps, and the Ussal crabs moved forward towards the Bohrok. The third Bohrok, who had thrown Jala and Puku, turned to meet them. But a sudden rush of crabs knocked him over. The crabs flowed over the ground, and attacked the two remaining Bohrok. The one was knocked down, and it released Nuparu, who was knocked out. When the crabs subsided, the Bohrok were down, and the krana lay on the ground. A few Ussals grabbed the krana with their claws and ripped them apart.
"They saved us!" said Takua in wonder. "The Ussal crabs saved us."
A few Ussal crabs crept forward, and quickly dug Huki and Takua out. Then the two Matoran rushed to their friends. They laid them out, and put a heatstone nearby to keep them warm.
Takua felt a nudge as he watched Jala, and he turned to see an adult Ussal crab, with Puku by it's side. The adult held some leaves between it's claws, and Puku was munching on some of them.
"Hey, those are Zulina leaves," Huki exclaimed.
"What?" Takua asked.
"Zulina is a plant that grows underground, and it helps restore your strength," Huki said. "When I was sick that one time, I drank lots of Zulina tea to get better. Except it doesn't help against infected Koli balls. But anyway, it's helping Puku here, so maybe it will help Jala and Nuparu."
"Of coarse," Takua exclaimed. He took the leaves from the Ussal, and patted it on the head as it walked off. Then Takua prepared some water by boiling it with his heatstone. Once the water was nice and hot, he added a few Zulina leaves to it, and poured a cup for each Jala and Nuparu. With help from Huki, he made sure both his Matoran friends drank their share. Within ten minutes, they were awake again, and feeling better.
The Matoran spent their time talking of their previous adventures, as they waited for Jala and Nuparu to heal. Jala and Takua told about some of their theories, and the water's protection, while Nuparu and Huki told of their experiences in Onu-Koro. And they talked about the Toa stones.
Takua took out Tahu's and the new Onua stone from his pack. He and his friends looked them over.
"They both look like they're the edges of a circle," said Takua.
"Which means the center piece will connect them," Jala said.
"But, without a center piece, we don't know if they fit on the same circle," Takua pointed out.
"Well, then we should try and find the next one," Huki said.
"And if we go by the Toa Kaita," Takua said. "Then our next Toa should be Pohatu."
The four Matoran rested quietly for some time, until Puku shook Takua awake. Takua opened his eyes to see the crab bouncing up and down.
"What is it?" Jala asked, as he shook himself awake.
Huki rubbed his eyes. "She was doing that earlier, when she wanted to show us Onua's stone."
"Oh," Takua said, and then he looked at Puku. "Do you know where Pohatu's stone is?"
The crab leapt up and down in excitement. Jala smiled.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Sure is a smart crab," Nuparu mused, as they prepared to leave. "She always was the best worker and racer in Onu-Koro."
"Yep, that's my girl," Takua said sweetly, rubbing Puku's head. "Now, we'll follow you. And you'll lead us to that stone without meeting any Bohrok, right."
Puku jumped up and down again in agreement, and then took off down a side tunnel. The Matoran left the Ussal crab nest, following her through the underground pathways. After a long while, they came up in the air. They were in the western desert of Po-Wahi.
"It must be morning of the next day," Jala observed. "But it's really hard to tell time down there. But at least it's not nighttime."
"Maybe night would be better," said Takua. "Less chance that somebody could see you in the darkness."
"Don't be so sure. I know one of the krana those Bohrok have let's them see in the dark, and allows them to sense objects from far away."
"Well, this is the calm before the storm," Huki observed. The other three Matoran glared at him, and he shrugged. "I've lived in the desert my whole life, and I know the weather patterns. There'll be a sandstorm soon."
"Well, follow Puku," said Takua. "Sand storm or no, she'll lead us to the right place."
The Matoran crossed the barren desert. The sun bore down on them, and they grew very hot. They wished a cloud would come and cover the sun, and soon one did. Like Huki had predicted, the strong winds soon started a sandstorm. They could just see each other, but Puku never stopped. It was well into the afternoon before they rested.
"Puku, stop," Takua stammered. "How much further must we go."
Puku stopped suddenly, and Huki sighed. He continued to walk forward, until he hit something and groaned. They had run into a sheer cliff.
"This must be one of the plateaus that boarded the ocean," Huki said, after the other Matoran stopped laughing at him for hitting the wall.
"Well, where now, Puku?" Takua asked. The crab bounced up and down, and it was Jala who got the sign first.
"She's pointing up," he said. "The symbol is on top of the plateau."
"How do we get up there?" asked Huki.
"We throw up some rope," Takua said, and reached for some in his pack.
"How much stuff do you have in there," said Jala, snagging the pack from Takua. He stuck his hand in, and he let out a yelp. "Ow, I got stabbed by your stupid chisel."
Takua laughed, and took back his pack. "I put a lot of stuff in here for our journey with the Toa. And it's all coming in use for us."
He took out his rope, and added a clamp on one end. He threw it up the cliff, and pulled on it. The rope tightened. They now had something to climb on.
"Takua, you go up first," said Jala. "You're the lightest, and once you're up, you can hold the rope for the rest of us. But not your backpack. It'll come up on it's own. If you wear it, you're heavier than the rets of us."
"Ha," Takua said. "What about Puku? She can't climb up here with us."
"She'll have to remain down here," Jala said.
Takua knelt down to her. "Sorry, Puku. You wait here. Once we get that symbol, we'll come right back down and get you. But don't run off unless we don't get back for a while."
Puku jumped up in agreement, and then tackled Takua, and started licking him. Takua laughed as Jala and Huki pulled her off of him. "She's such a good girl."
"Yeah, and now you need to get up that rope," Jala said.
Takua grabbed the rope and hauled himself to the top. Once he got there, he looked around. He was now above the sandstorm clouds, and could see that they covered much of the desert. Looking at the plateau, he could see it was very narrow. The other side dropped off to a small beach that bordered the sea. Takua watched the gentle waves lap the shore. He then held the rope as his friends climbed up.
"It's nice up here," said Huki, once everybody was up. "You can see all around you. But others could also see you from far away. Luckily, these dust clouds are blocking their views. We'll be gone before anybody sights us."
"I don't see anything along this plateau," Jala said, looking around. "Where would Pohatu's stone be?"
"Spread out," Nuparu suggested. "We'll get this area covered quicker."
The four Matoran split up and searched every bit of the plateau for evidence of the Toa stone. It was Nuparu who found it, embedded into the ground.
Takua took out his chisel, and broke it free. He looked at the package, with Po-Koro's symbol on it. "Three down!"
"Get the stone," Jala suggested.
Takua took out the other two Toa stones, and then reveled Pohatu's stone. He lay them out before everybody.
"Pohatu's is the center one," Huki cried out.
"Onua's looks like it fits on the bottom of Pohatu's," Takua mused. "And, yes, Tahu's looks like it will fit on the top. This is a perfect match!"
"Put them together!" cried Nuparu.
Takua lifted the stones. He placed Onua and Pohatu's stone together, and then added on Tahu's. And then, the stones lit up. They left Takua's hand and levitated in the air, and grew very bright. The four Matoran watched as it rose above the ground. Then, suddenly, there was an enormous flash, and a shockwave knocked the Matoran over. When the light had dimmed, the stones lay separate on the ground.
"Did it work?" asked Huki.
"I don't know," muttered Takua. He put the stones back in their original packages. "I really don't know."
"Let's get out of here," suggested Jala.
Suddenly, there was a loud whistle in the air. The sound sounded deadly to the Matoran's ears, and it screeched louder. Then, out of the dust clouds, figures flew, and landed on the plateau.
Three swarms of Bohrok landed on the plateau, surrounding the Matoran on two sides. Blocking their way to the desert were three deadly Rahkshi, brown, black, and red. One Matoran was with them.
"The Comet Ball Traitor," Takua said. "His mask is infected!"
"Yes, Takua," the Matoran hissed, in a voice too evil to be a Matoran's. "You are brave to have collected the Toa stones so far, but your luck has run out. And I know who you are. I know why you're here."
"You can't stop us," Jala yelled out, igniting his sword. But his small flame looked meager compared to the dangers surrounding them now.
"I will, we will," the Matoran said. "I, Makuta, and the Bahrag twins, shall remove you from this island, forever!"
The Matoran stood, frozen with fear, gazing upon the army that surrounded them. When, suddenly, there was a great bang in he air. They looked up to see three great cylinders falling from the sky.
"The Toa!" Takua yelled in delight.
Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu watched three cylinders fall from the sky. They were sure of one thing. These were those of the Toa they had just summoned. At last, the heroes were returning to the island.
But, they watched as the cylinders flew far above their heads and out to the sea. Far from shore, the cylinders crashed into the waters surrounding the island.
The infected Matoran laughed, and all the Bohrok around it chirped in delight. "You are fools to have hope. Now you shall be removed!"
"Oh yeah!" Jala yelled. In a desperate attempt, he launched fire at his enemies. He spun around, dousing them all in fire. It did nothing to harm them, and even the Bohrok stood still, unlike the last time Jala had faced them. They advanced when his attack was over.
"You shall not escape!" the Matoran cried, and it leapt forward towards Huki. He backed up, and the Matoran missed. Huki reached into his bag and withdrew his prized Koli ball. He set it on the ground and smiled at the infected Matoran. "I remember the last Koli ball you sold to me. Let me return the favor!" With a mighty kick, he sent the ball right into the Matoran's face. The Matoran flew through the air, and toppled over the cliff towards the desert. His mask had split in two upon impact, and the halves lay at Huki's feet now. He recollected his Koli ball. He shouted down to where the Matoran had landed. "And make sure to stay in bed for a few days to get over that!"
A Pahrak charged Huki now. The Koli champ kicked his ball, and it collided with the Bohrok's eye. The krana popped out, and the Bohrok fell.
Nuparu withdrew his pick ax as a Nuhvok approached him. He swung it and got the Bohrok in the eye. It fell too, kranaless.
A Tahnok charged Jala. He leapt in the air, and landed on it's faceplate. He rammed his sword through the faceplate, and through the krana. The Bohrok fell, with it's head melting away.
A Tahnok tried to grab Takua from behind, but the Chronicler took his chisel and hit the Bohrok in the eye. He stepped back as the krana fell out. "So much for that guy!" But he turned to see a dangerous sight.
The Rahkshi had remained outside the battle as the Bohrok had attacked, but now they stepped forward, pulling out their staffs. Takua felt cold fear wash over him, and it was not yet the Turahk's doing. He turn and ran from the cliff edge, and the Panrahk, the brown Rahkshi, charged after him. Takua unfolded his lava surfboard, and jumped over the cliff. He lay on the lava surfboard face first, and he sledded down the steep, rocky slope. Within seconds, he was on the beach. His surfboard flipped over, and Takua landed in the sand.
Nuparu and Huki saw their friend go over the edge, and they saw the Vorahk advance on them. The Vorahk shot a beam from it's staff, and hit Nuparu. The Matoran immediately slumped over, as his energy left him.
Huki saw the effects of the Rahkshi, and instantly shoved Nuparu over the edge. As the Vorahk tried to get him, he also leapt over, and fell after Nuparu. Luckily, they landed in a large pile of sand, and were unhurt from the fall.
Jala was cornered against the cliff by the Bohrok, and he saw the Turahk step forward to finish him off. Jala turned and jumped over the edge too, but saw the ground below him was made up of, not sand, but sharp rocks. But it was too late. He fell towards the ground, with the cliff wall rushing by next to him.
"Toa Tahu does this!" Jala yelled, and he stuck his fire sword into the wall. The sword went into the rock, but continued to cut down, and didn't slow Jala down as he hoped. Jala closed his eyes, and muttered, "But for Tahu, it stops him. Please, Great Beings, don't let me die!"
His feet gently touched the ground, and Jala opened his eyes and sighed with relief. His sword had, after all, slowed him down. He was safe. But a shadow fell upon him and he looked up. The Rahkshi were leaping down.
Takua was up, and he ran. The Panrahk nearly landed on top of him, and Takua ran towards the water. He yelled to his fellow Matoran, "Into the sea! Get into the water!"
The Panrahk lifted it's staff, and shot a beam of light to the ground. This beam channeled his energy, and it exploded the ground opened. He moved the staff close to the retreating Takua. Takua grabbed onto his surfboard, and ran for the water. When the Panrahk's beam was only one body length behind him, he leapt. His surfboard hit the water, and he zoomed over the surface. The Panrakh's beam wouldn't advance into the water after Takua, and he felt the protection from the sea again. He was safe.
Jala ran towards the water, and the Vorahk landed behind him. Jala quickly put out his sword, in fear that he would ruin it when he entered the water. He jumped when the Vorahk's beam hit him, and his energy left him. But his momentum was enough to propel him into the water. Once immersed in the ocean, the Vorahk's energy no longer bothered him.
Nuparu and Huki were up, and ran for the water. Nuparu glanced behind him to see the Turahk coming after them. Nuparu was still weak, but he poured all his strength into running towards the ocean.
Huki stopped suddenly by the water's edge. "I'm not going in there!" he cried.
Nuparu ran, but he could not outrun the Turahk's fear. The beam touched him, and all his fears came to life. Running blindly ahead, Nuparu collided with Huki, and both of them fell into the ocean. The Rahkshi's powers over them faded instantly.
Huki paddled furiously to keep afloat. "I can't swim," he yelled, and then he went under. Nuparu and Jala dove down after him, and hauled him back to the surface. Takua went by on his lava surfboard, and they hauled Huki up on it, so he wouldn't sink. Then they turned to see the Rahkshi at the shore. All three of them were putting together their staffs, as if ready to shoot one powerful beam at them.
Takua wasn't one hundred percent sure the water would protect them from the Rahkshi's new attack. He took out his heatstone and yelled, "Grab on to the board!"
Nuparu also took out his heatstone, and grabbed onto the board. Takua jumped off, leaving only Huki out of the water, and Jala snagged on to the side. Takua looked Nuparu in the eye. "On three, dip your heatstone into the water."
"One, two three!" yelled Jala.
Takua and Nuparu stuck their heatstones into the water, and the stones acted like a motor. Before they knew it, they were zooming out into the sea, and the island shrunk from view.
"Pull it up!" cried Huki. "Or else we'll lose the island!"
Takua pulled his out of the water, but Nuparu's slipped and started to sink. Instantly, Takua dove down and tried to retrieve it. But as soon as he touched it, he burnt his hand and yelped out, and he could no longer hold his breath. He opened the heatstone in one last attempt.
Jala, Huki, and Nuparu saw Takua fly out of the water and high into the air before he landed with a splash. The excitement was over. They were now safe in the water, but very far from land.
The four Matoran could not remember ever being in a worst position. They had now entirely lost sight of the island. A strong ocean current had pushed them far from the shore, and now their beloved home, which was infected by two great evils, was lost to them. Huki felt very sick, as Po-Korans had never been very good on the water. He lay on the surfboard, along with all the other possessions. Takua, Jala, and Nuparu floated in the water next to the board, and held onto it as not to drift away from it. They took turns warming themselves with their heatstones. But they would not last long in the waters. As the night fell, the Matoran slept. They were exhausted, and beaten. True, they had summoned the Toa, and still had the Toa stones, but there was nothing they could do anymore. Takua had wished he'd summoned Gali first, for she could have swum out to get them. But none of the Toa would remember them. They would be clueless, and would have to start from scratch. Now, even if Tahu, Onua, and Pohatu did make it to the island, they would probably not make it. Not without anybody to help guide them. Takua's mind wandered as the sun set. How had things gone so wrong. The Toa had been successful in defeating Makuta and the Bohrok, but how had the Kal appeared to ruin it all. How had that stupid mask altered reality so much that they were left on a horrible island. How had things gone so wrong. Takua slept, along with the other three Matoran. But something bumped the surfboard, and they all awoke with a start. "What the!" cried out Nuparu. A huge cylinder had bumped into them. "What is it now," moaned Huki, closing his eyes. "That's," Takua whispered in amazement. "A Toa capsule. There's a Toa inside it." Jala swam out to it and pressed his hand against it. Something started humming, and the cylinder started moving. "Hurry," Jala said. "Get your stuff up here!" Nuparu and Huki quickly gathered their belongings, and climbed to the top of the cylinder. Takua folded up his surfboard, and tried to grab onto the cylinder, but it was moving away. "Takua, grab on," Jala yelled. Takua swam faster, and just managed to grab onto the edge of the cylinder. Nuparu and Jala helped him up. "I couldn't leave behind my surfboard," Takua gasped. He sat on the hard metal. "This thing is moving somewhere. I'll bet it's towards the island." "Yes," Nuparu said, happily. "We'll have to thank this Toa for helping us back. By the way, which Toa is it?" "I can't identify it," Takua said, sheepishly. "But whoever it is, we're in their protection now." The Matoran again slept, this time peacefully. They were now going home, and they had a Toa with them this time. Early in the morning, before the sun had rose, the cylinder bumped against the sands of Mata-Nui. The Matoran leapt to the ground, relieved to be back. Huki went as far to kiss the ground, happy to be back on solid land. "Now what," Jala asked, watching the cylinder. "Doesn't it open?" "I don't know," said Takua. He reached in his pack, and took out the three Toa stones. Suddenly, one lit up and flew towards the top of the cylinder. It hit it, and there was a bright light, and the top burst off, narrowly missing Jala and Nuparu. Pieces littered the sand. "Which one is it?" asked Huki eagerly. "All the pieces look kind of gray," Jala observed. "A claw!" pointed out Nuparu. "A claw. It's Onua!" "But Onua has Quakebreakers," said Takua. Then, he hit himself. "Of coarse. These are the original Toa, not the Toa Nuva!" "Well, they're still Toa," said Jala, walking to the top that had burst off. "And look, Onua's symbol opened the cylinder. "The pieces!" gasped Huki. The Matoran turned to see the pieces start to rearrange themselves. The leg snapped together with the foot, and the claws attached to the arms, and the arms and legs attached to the body. Soon, the figure of the Toa was recognized, and the being stood up, and placed a Pakari on it's face. The Toa shook his head, awake at last. He glanced down to the Matoran. Takua, Jala, Nuparu and Huki bowed. "Thank the Great Beings! Toa Onua is here at last!" "Toa Onua," Onua gruffed. "Why, is that my name!" "It certainly is!" said Nuparu. "You are the fantastic Toa of Earth!" "Toa of Earth," Onua said. "Interesting. But what am I to do?" "Well, you see," Takua began. "You were made to protect this island from a horrible evil. But that evil has taken over, and we need you and the other Toa to help overthrow Makuta and the Bohrok." "Other Toa?" "Yes, there are six of you," Jala explained. "Each of you have your own elemental powers. You have control of the very earth. And that's not even counting your Kanohi masks." Onua laughed. "I take it there is much for me to learn." "Yeah, and probably more than we know," said Takua bitterly. "Well, I hope I'm a fast learner." "Get ready to learn how to fight," squeaked Huki in fright. "Look out!" The sun was just rising, and it cast light upon the beach. It allowed the Matoran to see the Vorahk and Nuhvok approaching them at a fast pace.
"Look out!" cried Jala. The Vorahk made the first move. It shot a stream of purple energy towards the Toa and Matoran. They jumped aside, and the beam missed them. "The Rahkshi," Takua said quickly to Onua. "If it hits you, you'll lose all your energy. Those Nuhvok can control the Earth, like yourself. You need to defeat them." "Defeat them, I shall," Onua said. A Nuhvok jumped before him. Onua shot out his arm and smacked the Nuhvok. The Bohrok sailed through the air, and hit the ground far away. It's krana ejected, and lay nearby it. "Like swatting bugs," said Onua. He turned to face the Vorahk. "Now I shall throw you too!" "Onua, Noo!" Nuparu shouted. The Vorahk shot another beam of energy towards Onua. But Nuparu jumped up, and took the hit instead. He fell to the ground, motionless. His energy was gone. "Oh no!" Onua gasped, as he saw the Matoran hit the ground. "What has happened!" "Behind you," cried Huki. Onua turned to see the remaining seven Bohrok. They had used their powers to heave a large chunk of earth and throw it at Onua. But the Toa only smiled. "They say I control the earth," Onua said. The chunk fell towards him, but he easily caught it. he then threw it towards the Bohrok. The Nuhvok were smashed to bits, and their krana buried. Onua spoke again. "And control the earth I will." But while Onua was busy with the Bohrok, the Rahkshi turned on him. It was about to sap Onua of his powers when a Koli ball hit it's head. It turned to see Huki, who readied another rock to kick. "Take this!" Huki yelled, and he kicked another rock, which sailed through the air. But the Vorahk crushed the rock with it's staff, and shot a beam of energy towards Huki. The Matoran had his energy stolen from him, and he fell to the ground. "How dare you do that to Huki," Jala growled. He took out his sword and threw fire at the Rahkshi. But it turned to Jala, and tried to steal his energy too. But Jala dodged it. The beam traveled beyond him, and struck Takua. Takua fell to the earth, with barely enough strength to remain awake. Jala faced the Rahkshi, with only his fire sword. The Rahkshi hissed, and prepared to strike Jala with it's staff. But, suddenly, a rock fell from the sky and caught the Vorahk on the head. And it was a much larger rock than the one Huki had thrown. Toa Onua had more strength than the Matoran, and could throw heavier boulders. The Rahkshi's head popped down, and it's spikes flew back, and something flew out of it's back and into the morning air. It resembled a slug, and it had been within the Rahkshi. The slug reared up, and hissed. It saw Huki on the ground, and slithered towards him. It was very fast for such a small creatures. The slug was about to hit Huki when it backed away from a fire blast. Jala pounced forward in order to protect his friend. But the slug only turned and sighted Takua. It raced towards him instead, and it's evil mouth opened wide. Takua glanced up and saw it. Some memory suddenly burst into his head. Takua saw in his mind a slug like this one. It would attach to a mask, and it would cover the whole surface. Then it would cover the mask in slime, which would start rusting away at the mask, scaring it too. The Matoran wearing the mask would yell in pain, and the slug would hiss with joy. When the slug finally let go, the Matoran would have lost their mind. Takua had never seen this memory before, but he knew he had witnessed it before. It was something from his ancient past, from when he had collected the Toa stones in his first reality. And, in the split second, as he watched the slug move towards him, Takua knew he would soon have the same fate. He tried to dodge, but he had no energy, and he was too afraid. The slug was just about to latch on to Takua's mask when a foot came down on it. The slug burst opened, and goo spurted out of it. The much covered Takua, but it did no other harm. The slug was destroyed. And, moreover, Takua, Huki, and Nuparu felt their strength come back to them. Onua wiped the goo off his foot. "Nasty creatures, those were. However, I feel as if this was only the first challenge." "You… you saved me!" Takua yelled in joy. He jumped up and hugged Onua's leg, with that being the only thing he could reach. He let go, but he was still shaking. "It was like some sort of krana," Jala observed. "But it was in that Rahkshi. Maybe that's how Makuta controls these things." "And it doesn't work anymore," said Nuparu, gesturing towards the body. "Just like the Bohrok. But I don't remember any krana that would attack you like that. They would get on your face, but they couldn't run. And they didn't have mouths like that!" "It… it wasn't a krana," Takua said, shaking. "It was something far more deadly, something far worst." "Calm down," said Huki, putting his hand on Takua's shoulder. "Onua beat that thing up. But why are you so shaken?" "I just remember those things," Takua said, gesturing towards the remains of the slug. "I just have this really bad feeling." "Well," said Onua, who was overlooking all their fallen foes. "It seems there is a lot for me to learn. I hope you can help me out." "I'm sure we can," said Jala. "It'll just take us a while." "Then let's get started."
Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu walked along the foothills of Mt. Ihu. It was nearly sunset, and the sun was slowly drifting away. The four friends talked quietly as they walked. "I sure hope Onua can use those Toa stones," Takua said. "I'm sure they're needed to release every Toa, but if they find Tahu and Pohatu before Onua does…" "You never had to use the Toa stones to release the Toa back in our time, did you?" Jala asked. "I'm pretty sure I didn't," Takua replied. "But I summoned all six Toa at the same time, so maybe that has a different effect. But Onua should be fine. We told him everything we know. And more." "I wish I knew more about those slugs," said Nuparu. "They defiantly have a purpose, but we don't know what. What are they, and what do they do, besides control the Rahkshi?" "I really hope we never find out," Takua mumbled. "Hey, knowledge is life," Nuparu stated. "If we don't know enough about them, we could fall victim to them." "Well, I hope I don't have to deal with one, ever again," Takua said. He looked sick. Jala patted him on the shoulder. "It's okay. There aren't any slugs around here. Anyway, the krana are just as bad. And the Bohrok and those Rahkshi are even worst." "And any Rahi that are still prowling around," Huki added. "Yeah," Jala agreed. "It's a lot easier to count other enemies that are more dangerous than to think about the slugs." "Just forget about them," Takua said. "Just change the subject." The Matoran walked in silence for a while, and then Nuparu shouted out, "I hear water!" "The Hura Mafu River," said Jala. "We can't be that far from Ga-Koro now." "And as soon as we can get to Ga-Koro, the sooner we can find Maku and Hahli," Huki added. "I have a bad feeling about Ga-Koro," Takua said, still in a grumpy mood. "If the water protects us, shouldn't it also protect the Ga-Korans? And if the Bohrok know about that, then wouldn't they try to stop them from swimming or whatever." "Takua, it's your turn to be quiet," Jala said. "Think positive. We have no idea what's going on in Ga-Koro. For all we know, they could lead better lives than any of the other villages. But we need to check it out, and hope we can get Maku and Hahli out of there." "Fine," Takua grumbled. "Look, if we go to the North, we'll just be stuck on taller cliffs. The ground levels out if we go inland." "Okay," said Huki. "I never spent much time in this area. Maku did. I always heard her bragging that she went over the rapids upriver. But she never talked much about the geography of this place." "I spent a good time around here," Takua said. "Ga-Koro always had the nicest climate. Not too hot or cold, and all the plant life, though not as much as Le-Koro." "Well, let's get hiking down," said Nuparu, leading the way. They walked on further, and the sky started getting darker. But it was light enough for Huki to spot movement in the river valley. "Hey, look! It's the Ga-Korans!" A line of Ga-Korans marched down from the hills, being led by one Matoran, and surrounded by Bohrok. Takua could easily guess that the Matoran wore an infected mask, but he could also see the blue Rahkshi coming up from behind. "They're marching down to the river," Huki said, squinting. "And the Ga-Korans are going in the water. But I can't see what's going on." Takua pulled out his telescope. "Here, use this." Huki took it, and peered towards the Ga-Korans. "They're fishing." "What?" "They have spears, and they're catching some fish in the shallow waters of the Hura Mafu River. The Bohrok are surrounding them, so they don't have a chance to get away." "Is Hahli there?" Jala asked. "And Maku?" "Yes," cried Huki in glee. "I see them! They're mingled in with all the others. They look fine, and healthier than the others." "I wonder what powers that Rahkshi has?" Nuparu wondered. "I suppose it has some special power, like all the other ones we've encountered." "We'll just have to wait and see," Huki commented, still looking through the telescope. "I don't get it," Takua said. "They came from the hills above Ga-Koro, but not along the beach. Wouldn't it be easier to go along the beach?" "Well, it's probably more difficult to go over the hills," Nuparu speculated. "And these Rahkshi and Bohrok aren't ones for letting the Matoran go the easy way." Takua nodded, but he was still troubled. "Wait…" Huki said suddenly. "Maku's picking up a spear, and she's aiming it towards the land. What the… she's throwing it at the Rahkshi!" Even without the telescope, the Matoran could see what happened. A spear flew directly at the Rahkshi, but it lifted it's staff and shot a beam of blue light at the spear. The weapon instantly shattered, and crumbled into dust that was blown away. Maku had failed to do any damage." "Oh no!" Huki cried. "The Bohrok are grabbing Maku… and they're taking her away! The other's are being herded back onto the path they came up on." "We need to follow the others, and see where they're staying," Jala said at once. "But Maku could be in danger!" shouted Huki. "We need to help her!" "But we might lose our chance to follow the others!" Jala cried. "Jala, we'll have other times to help Hahli," Takua said. "But Maku may need us now!" Jala gave a glance at the retreating line of Ga-Korans, which Hahli was a part of. Finally, he sighed. "Okay, let's go help Maku." "They're taking her up that hill," said Huki, handing Takua his telescope back. "I think there is some sort of pit up there. They might try to throw her in it." "Let's go, then!" said Jala, and they took off at a run for the hillside, where Maku was being held by Gahlok and the blue Rahkshi.
The four Matoran raced up the side of the cliff after Maku and her captures. They hid behind some rocks as they watched Maku being pushed towards a pit. "We have to help her!" Huki cried, but Jala grabbed his shoulder. They couldn't been seen yet. The infected Matoran walked up to Maku, and spoke. Takua realized that the infected Matoran was actually Maku's friend, Kotu. "So," Kotu hissed to Maku. "You resist still. I believe it is time for you to pay the final price." Maku said something, but Takua could not make it out. It was obvious that Maku was exhausted. "You have no hope," Kotu snarled. "What you are is to be no more. Into the pit with her!" Two Gahlok snagged Maku around the arms, and flung her into the pit. They heard Maku cried out, and then a thud. The Bohrok and Kotu left the hillside, passing by Takua and the other's hiding spot. The blue Rahkshi glanced at their hiding spot, as if suspecting something, but it left too. When they were gone from sight, Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu went to the edge of the pit. Darkness was now covering the land, and the sun was showing it's last beams. "She's down there," Jala said, looking into the darkness. "But is she okay?" "Let's use that rope to go down and get her," Huki said. "Now!" Takua retrieved his rope, but he had an uneasy feeling. "I don't think Maku's down there alone. I have a bad feeling about this." "Well, you can stay up here and old the rope," Huki said, as he tied it to a rock. "But the rest of us are going down." With that, Huki descended into the pit. Nuparu and Jala followed him, with their pick ax and fire sword. Takua waited, uneasily, in the night air. The three Matoran landed on the bottom, but it was pitch black. They couldn't see anything. Jala called up for a lightstone, and Huki tried to listen. He heard a whimpering nearby. Takua threw down a lightstone, which illuminated the bottom of the pit. The three Matoran gasped. The pit was filled with the slugs, in all sorts of different colors. In the other corner, Maku lay, making the whimpering sounds. Attached to her face was one of the slugs. "Ewwww!" cried Nuparu. "Yuck-o!" "Get that thing off her face!" cried Huki, jumping forward. But as soon as he moved, the other slugs charged forward. "Look out!" shouted Nuparu. The slugs shot through the air at them. But Jala took out his fire sword and blasted them with flames. The slugs backed down, but charged again. Jala fired another blast of fire, and held the slugs at bay for another moment. Huki reached Maku, and tried yanking the slug off her mask, but it refused to let go. Nuparu reached around and grabbed Maku, and together they pulled. Finally, the slug broke loose in Huki's hands. But it turned and attached to the Po-Koran's face. "NOOOO!" shouted Huki in agony. There was a flash of metal, and the slug fell off Huki's face. Nuparu had just managed to kill the slug and still avoid cutting Huki's face at the same time with his pick ax. "I don't feel good," Huki moaned. "Grab Maku and let's get up that rope!" Jala called, still fending off the slugs. But one managed to get by, and crawl up the rope. Takua noticed it when it had reached the top. "AHHHHHH!" Takua yelled, throwing the rope down. "What!" Jala cried, as he watched the rope fall down. He looked up at the wrong moment. The slug fell right on his face, and attached to his mask. "Jala," cried Huki. But Nuparu shot forward and cut this slug opened again with his ax. "We're trapped," moaned Huki, clutching his mask. "No we're not!" Nuparu said. "Huki, throw that rope back up to Takua. Jala and I will hold off the slugs!" "Too… woozy," Jala said. He dropped his fire sword, and Nuparu glanced back in panic. Maku was hurt, Huki was depressed, and Jala was delirious. And Takua was above, no help whatsoever. The slugs charged. Nuparu picked up Jala's sword and took up his own ax, and attacked the slugs on his own. He hacked away at the slugs, and used Jala's sword to keep the rest at bay. Huki finally got the rope up to Takua, and he and Jala helped haul Maku up. Nuparu took his weapons and the remaining lightstone and grabbed the rope. He yelled up, "Get me out of here!" The slugs charged, but Takua pulled on the rope. Nuparu went up through the air, and landed face down in the dirt above the pit. "You're okay!" Takua cried, helping Nuparu up. He turned to Jala and Huki. "What about you two?" "I… feel sick," Huki moaned. "Ditto," Jala agreed, and he laid down. "They got attacked by those slug things," Nuparu explained. "Just like Maku." "Just like me?" Takua and Nuparu turned to see Maku, standing upright and perfectly healthy. In the glow of the lightstone and stars, Takua noticed that her mask was scared and rusted. It was infected. "Maku has caused me much pain sense she arrived," Maku said, in a hoarse, evil voice. "Now I have made her one of us. And you will be one of us too, very quickly, Takua." Maku charged forward, knocking Nuparu to the ground. Takua leapt back, reaching desperately for anything he could use to defend himself. But he had nothing, and Maku now held Nuparu's pick ax. "You have summoned the Toa," Maku sneered. "But it is little use. Reality has been undone, and your time has come to an end!" Maku tried to stab Takua, but he rolled out of the way. He grabbed Jala's disc, and flung it towards the evil Matoran. But she blocked the blow with the ax, and cornered Takua. Takua glanced behind him to see the edge of the pit. The sounds of the hissing slugs could still be heard. "So long, Takua," Maku hissed. But suddenly, arms wrapped around her head. Nuparu caught Maku, and yanked off her mask. She fell back, and Nuparu held her mask. "Well, that was a fine reunion," Nuparu said. "What?" Maku gasped, now free of the evil of Makuta. "What happened?" "Your mask became infected," Nuparu explained. "When those slugs attached to your face." "Slugs?" Maku said, blinking. "Those… those slugs! Ooh, I remember! They were horrible!" "Jala, Huki!" cried Takua, turning to see them. Their masks were changing color. Takua watched helplessly as the infection spread over the entire mask. "Get them off," cried Nuparu. He leapt over and took off Huki's mask, while Takua yanked off Jala's. Jala blinked in the cool night air. "What happened?" Huki shook his head too. "The last thing I remember was pulling that slug off of Maku." Suddenly, he turned and saw Maku. "Maku! You're alive! But where's your mask?" Maku blushed, and hit her face. "Nuparu took it off." "It was infected," Nuparu explained. "So was yours. So we had to take them off. Those slug things must have infected them." "Yes, the kraata," Takua whispered. "Come again?" asked Jala. "I remember them from long ago, but it was something I forgot about," Takua said in a whisper. "They are of the substance of Makuta, and can infect masks. This entire pit was full of them." "And these things also control the Rahkshi," pointed out Nuparu. "I guess you were right, Takua. They are a bit more dangerous than krana. How did you ever know about them?" "Back when I first looked for the Toa stones," Takua gasped. "I… I think I came upon a few of them. But they were scarce back then. But it doesn't appear so now." "What about our masks?" Huki asked. "I don't want to walk around maskless. Anyway, we'll be more venerable to our enemies." "Kotu use to bathe infected masks in the ocean to clean them," Maku said. "Before she was infected herself. Maybe it works now too." "Yep, the sea sure has some uses now," Takua agreed. "So, let's go down there and wash this up." "Yeah, and fast," Jala said. "I don't like not wearing my mask." "And after that," said Nuparu. "Maybe we can free the other Ga-Korans."
The group of now five Matoran lay huddled together on the beach near the mouth of the Hura Mafu River. They warmed themselves with the two heatstones. "Isn't she beautiful?" asked Huki, cuddling next to Maku, who was fast asleep. "Yeah," said Jala dully. He was thinking of Hahli. "Well, your masks have been uninfected," Nuparu said. "This water works wonders. It protects us, and it heals us." "I just hope it's enough," Takua said. "All we have is the sea, and our few weapons. And little use they have been." "Hey, Jala's fire sword has helped us out plenty," Nuparu protested. "My pick ax is useful. And don't forget about your surfboard, plus all your other stuff. We're making good use of it." "But how good can it be against that blue Rahkshi?" Takua asked. "You saw what Maku's spear did against it. It shattered. That Rahkshi will be hard to beat." "Unless we can eject it's kraata," suggested Nuparu. "Then, maybe it will be like the Vorahk, and just shut down." "How do you expect us to do that?" asked Takua dully. "If we try to free the other Ga-Koran's, we're toast." "But the water's right there," pointed out Nuparu. "If we get into any trouble, we have the ocean right next to us to help protect us." "It's nearly morning," pointed out Jala. "Maybe we should go check out the village, sort of spy on it." "Why not wait for Maku to wake up," said Huki. "She'll tell us something that's bound to be useful." "I want to go now," Jala said, stubbornly. "After Maku got into that little fight, they might suspect something from Hahli. And I want to help her before she gets hurt." "Just rushing in isn't going to free her," Huki said. "It could just make things work." "Jala never said anything about rushing in," Takua said, defending his friend. "He just wants to spy out on it for a little bit. Not anything that would put us in danger." "What about Maku?" asked Huki. "We'll leave her here," said Jala. "We can hide her in the bushes and let her sleep. She needs rest after what nearly happened to her." Nuparu handed Huki and Jala their masks, and he placed Maku's beside her. Then, they packed up, and headed to Ga-Koro. Huki left Maku a note, explaining where they were. The sun rose over the ocean, and the four Matoran huddled in bushes over the cliff, looking over Ga-Koro bay. It had changed much from their time. A group of Gahlok roamed around the beach, moving stuff around. Littering the ground were many tools used by the Ga-Korans. Fishing nets, metal plates, and seaweed covered the soft sands, making it look more like a land fill than an actual beach. The Bohrok marched around, hauling rocks along the shore. In the center of the bay, where Ga-Koro usually resides, stood only a single hut. One causeway led out to it, and it's entrance was blocked with a huge rock. The hut itself was sealed up from the outside. What was most noticeable was the waterfall. What had been a glorious carving of a Kaukau mask was now replaced with a crud carving of a krana Xa. The water, usually crystal clear, was murky and dark. The Matoran could see that the village had changed drastically. "I'm betting the Ga-Koran's are locked in that hut," observed Jala, taking Takua's telescope. "I can see the door, and it looks like it's locked very well. I'm guessing that those walls are very thick." "Wouldn't the water protect them?" wondered Huki. "It's helped us, so shouldn't it keep them out of harms way?" "They aren't actually touching the water," Takua observed. "The seaweed is between them and the water. It's as strong as a prison as any of our Koros. But it looks more heavily guarded than in the other Koros." "It's early morning," muttered Jala. "I'd think they'd want to get the Ga-Korans up as soon as possible so they could get their work done. But they aren't making a move to take them out." "Maybe they just got a day off," joked Nuparu. His friends made a gentle laugh at that, because it was so impossible. "Wait, I see the blue Rahkshi,," Jala said. "It's walking between the Bohrok, obviously keeping them on task. Although it's hard to imaging Bohrok getting off task." "Jala, hush up," Takua whispered suddenly. Even without his telescope, he could see the Rahkshi look up to them. "It might here us." "Oh, sorry," Jala responded. He packed away the telescope. "Okay, we've done some spy work," Huki said. He was getting nervous, too, at the way the Rahkshi was looking up towards them. "Let's get back to Maku." "Okay, but quietly," Jala said. He turned to move, but his movement make a rock come loose. It fell down the cliffside, making a horribly magnified sound. "Oops," whispered Jala. "The Rahkshi is pointing it's staff…" Takua began. "… up here!" Huki forgot stealth. "RUN!" he yelled as loudly as he could. The Matoran bolted away from the cliff, but not fast enough. The blue Rahkshi, alerted by the falling rock, shot a beam of energy from it's staff and blew up the hillside. Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu fell towards the beach, where Bohrok and Rahkshi awaited them.
Sunrise on Ga-Koro. The light was cast upon four Matoran, cowering against a wall. The blue Rahkshi walked forward. Jala stood forth, and took out his fire sword. But it would be nothing compared to the power of the Guurahk. The Rahkshi shot a beam of power towards the Matoran. They jumped apart, and the beam missed. The Bohrok leapt forward. Nuparu ran, but the Rahkshi was behind him. The Guurahk pointed it's staff to the ground, and the ground beneath Nuparu's feet evaporated. Nuparu fell in a hole, almost twice as tall as himself. But Nuparu instantly took his pickax and chisel, and started to carve handholds into the wall. Bohrok cornered Huki against the wall. But the Koli champion spotted a rock laying in the sand, and kicked it towards the closest Bohrok. The Gahlok blocked the ball with it's shields, but it gave Huki time. He raced forward, around them and closer towards the sea. But the Bohrok pursued him. Huki spotted something on the ground. "Hey, one of those old fishing nets!" Huki said. "Like the one I saved Maku with!" He snatched it up, and quickly smacked another rock at the Bohrok. This one hit the lead Gahlok's eye, and it's krana popped out, next to Huki. The Po-Koran laughed at his fallen foe, until the other Bohrok advanced on him. "We aren't winning," Takua yelled, from behind Jala. Jala was keeping the Bohrok away with his fire sword. "We need to get in the water!" "I'm right behind you," Jala yelled. "GO!" Takua split for the shore, with Jala behind him. Takua dived into the waters, hoping for the protective feeling to flow through him. But nothing happened. The Guurahk lifted it's staff, and shot a beam towards Takua. The beam exploded the earth beneath Takua in the water, and blew him into the air. Nuparu was at the top of him hole when he saw Takua. Takua hit Nuparu, and they found themselves in the bottom of the hole again. "But… how?" Jala asked, dumbstruck. He stood by Huki, who now held the fishing net. Then he looked to the mouth of Ga-Koro bay. "NO!" The water of the bay was not connected to the sea. A wall of rocks had been build, separating the water from the ocean. It also cut the water off from the protective powers that protected the Matoran. Upon the wall were a squad of Bohrok and the dreaded Panrahk. "Totally unexpected turn of events," Huki stated. "Gulp," Jala said, as the Gahlok advanced on them. The Pahrak, too, came off their wall to join the fight. "It's the battle for Ga-Koro," said Huki calmly, as if this were no more than a Koli match. "For Maku!" Filled with confidence from his friend, Jala raised his sword. "For Hahli!" "HISSSSS!" Guurahk cried, and shot a destructive beam towards the Matoran. They dodged it, and went off in their own directions. Jala did a flip, and a funnel of water shot from the Gahlok missed him. He landed on the Gahlok, and struck his fire sword through the Bohrok's faceplate, and into the very krana itself. The Bohrok cried, and fell to the ground. Jala got off, but was hit by another funnel of water coming from another Gahlok. Jala stood firm against the ground, now dripping in water. This time, a Pahrak advanced on him. It shot a beam of high pitch energy out of it's shield, which struck the rocks behind Jala. The rocks flew towards the Matoran, and pinned him to the ground. Jala struggled to get free, but his strength was not enough. The Pahrak opened it's headplate, preparing to launch a krana onto Jala's face. The krana was launched, and it flew through the air. But suddenly, a pick caught the krana, and split it in half. Nuparu came to Jala's side, with Takua. They had climbed out of the hole, and now came to their friends aid. "Jala, you disc!" Takua yelled, as Jala tried to free himself from the rocks. Jala quickly handed Takua his disc, and Takua flung it at the advancing Bohrok, who were knocked down. With Nuparu's help, he lifted the rock off of Jala. Together, they stood against the Pahrak who charged them. Huki was running from blasts from the Guurahk and the other Bohrok. A Gahlok shot a funnel of water towards Huki, but he lifted a steal plate from the ground that protected him. he looked upon it. "Cool, a shield!" Another funnel of water shot towards him. Huki held out his new shield, and it deflected the water easily. This gave him time to smack another rock, which hit another Bohrok, and disabled it. Huki backed up, holding his shield, but suddenly he fell back. He had landed in the hole Nuparu had been caught in. The Bohrok turned from Huki, who was now trapped. They surrounded the three other Matoran, who huddled together by the shore. The Guurahk and the Panrahk came forth, and put their staffs together. They were going to unite their powers in order to destroy the Matoran. But they paused for one other being to come up front. "I warned you," snarled the being. "I told you I would have you, but you resist. Now you shall meet you end!" "Kotu!" yelled Takua. "Kotu, Makuta may have control over you, but you are still a Matoran. Don't do this!" "The Matoran 'Kotu' is no more," the infected Matoran sneered. "It is I, the master of shadows, who controls this body. As I control the Rahkshi. I knew, after you rescued your friend from the kraata pit, that you would come to Ga-Koro, to find your last friend. But it was all a trap. The water shall not protect you. This is your final doom! You're only hope is to surrender!" "We shall never surrender!" Jala cried. "We will fight till the very end!" Nuparu added boldly. "So go ahead," Takua snarled. "Take your best shot!" Kotu laughed. The Rahkshi lifted their staffs. "Good bye, guys," Nuparu whimpered. "Ha Ha, catch me instead!" "Huki!" Huki had climbed out of his hole, and stood behind the Bohrok. He was already half way to the shore. The Rahkshi turned to the free Matoran. "Tried and get me, you slug-controlled freaks!" Huki yelled, taking off his mask in a rude gesture. Then, he ran full speed towards the rock wall that separated the bay from the ocean. The Bohrok charged, but the Rahkshi made no move. They waited until Huki was on the narrow wall, and each end was guarded by Bohrok. Then, they lifted their staffs, and fired their combined powers towards Huki.
"NOOOOO!" cried Jala. "HUKI!" yelled Nuparu. There was nothing to be done. Huki was one of the fasted Matoran around, but no one could outrun the powerful beams of the Panrahk and Guurahk. The beams hit, and a bright light flashed out. The crash was loud, but it was drowned out by another sound. The pouring of water. "What the!" Takua cried, but then he was hit by the giant wave of water. The huge wall separating the sea and the bay had separated the water heights. The wall had been newly built, but the Gahlok had lowered the level of the bay by shooting water at the Matoran. But the wall had been destroyed by the Rahkshi, and the water rushed into the bay again. It swept Takua, Jala, and Nuparu out of harms way, and they could feel the protection becoming part of them again. The Pahrak were knocked aside, and made for land. But the Gahlok, being water Bohrok, charged the Matoran. But the Gahlok were thrown back when they grew close to the Matoran. The lone hut that they had seen before stood out in the center of the bay, and the pathway from it to the land had been wiped away. The Matoran feebly climbed onto the lily pad, and the Bohrok regrouped on the land. "Huki knew that the wall separated the two bodies of water," Nuparu moaned. "And he knew the Rahkshi would be able to blow it up with their powers. He sacrificed his life to save us." "I know," said Takua sullenly. "If only there had been another way." A sudden coughing made them all turn. Huki climbed out of the water behind them, sputtering. "I do not want to do that ever again!" "HUKI!" yelled Nuparu in glee. He raced forward and hugged Huki. "You made it!" "I sure did," said Huki, laughing and pushing Nuparu away. "I leapt back into the water at the last moment. And it did protect me. But I still hate the water! It's just so… wet!" "Well, you sure made a risk," Takua laughed. "But we're safe." "Uh, are we?" asked Jala. The Rahkshi had regrouped, and aimed their staffs for the Matoran. "We're safe in the water," Takua said. "We're not in the water," Nuparu stated dully. "Oh," Takua said, and the Rahkshi staffs pointed towards them. "Dodge it," Jala yelled as the beams shot forward. The beam hit the side of the hut, and blew a hole in it. The explosion made the Matoran fall over and into the hut. Jala looked about. "But… the Ga-Korans aren't in here!" "Hey, it is empty!" said Takua. "Then where is Hahli being held?" Jala asked. "What's that?" asked Nuparu, pointing to something in the center of the hut. Huki, Jala, and Takua turned to see the object. "It's Gali's Suva," Takua said. He paused. "And a package with the Ga-Koran symbol on it!" "That means!" said Jala. Takua took the package and opened it up. Out fell a stone. "It's Gali's Toa Stone!" "At least it's something useful," said Takua. Suddenly, another beam from the Rahkshi hit the hut. A hole formed in the side. "But we've got to run!" "Get on the surfboard!" said Jala, as they ran for the water's edge. Nuparu, Jala, and Takua splashed in, and Huki road on the surfboard. The Panrahk shot at them again, but his beam was useless now that they were in the water. "LOOK!" Jala gasped. "The Pahrak are rebuilding the wall," Nuparu said. "And fast, too!" "We'll blow out of here before they get it rebuilt," Takua said. "I'll get my heatstone." Suddenly, one Pahrak lifted a huge rock, and heaved it into the air at the Matoran. "Are we protected from rocks?" asked Huki. "Oh no!" stated Jala. The rock flew through the air, but another boulder suddenly came up and crashed into the first one. They both crumbled safely into the sea. "I can't believe it!" Huki gasped, looking towards the shore. "It's… Pohatu!" "And Onua!" yelled Nuparu in delight. "It's the Toa!" The Bohrok growled, and turned to the Toa. Pohatu and Onua stood side by side. Pohatu turned to Onua. "Shall we take out these bugs, brother?" "You bet!" said Onua. The Rahkshi lifted their staffs, and shot at the Toa. Onua dodged, and Pohatu shot forward with his Kakama. He reappeared in front of a group of Gahlok. With one mighty kick, he knocked them all down. The Pahrak charged Onua, trying to knock his down with brute force. Onua lashed out his claw, and caught the first Bohrok. He used his strength to literally rip the Bohrok in half, and pieces fell to the ground. More Pahrak charged Onua, and they met a similar fate. The Gahlok had recovered from Pohatu's first strike, and now shot water at him. Pohatu backed off, away from the thing he feared the most. Then the Rahkshi blew apart the ground beneath Onua's feet, and he fell down. The Toa stood side by side again. Facing them, beneath the Krana Xa waterfall, were the remaining Bohrok and Rahkshi. Onua formed a green ball of energy in his hands, and threw it down upon the ground, and the earth shook violently. But the Bohrok remained unharmed. Onua squinted. "Pohatu, I need you to weaken the rocks." "It's done," said Pohatu. He took a huge chunk of rock off the ground and kicked it with all his might. The rock hit the wall behind the Bohrok, and huge chunks of the wall fell down, on the Bohrok. But Onua formed the green ball in his hands again, and slammed it into the earth. The ground shook violently, and the Krana Xa waterfall collapsed upon the Bohrok. The Pahrak and the Gahlok were no more, now crushed into small bits. The Krana remained buried. The Rahkshi backed up, unharmed, but doubtful. A blue figure dropped from the sky, and landed on the Guurahk's head. Maku had jumped off the cliff, in an attempt to attack the blue Rahkshi. The Rahkshi hissed in anger, but the head bobbed down, the spikes flew back, and the kraata flew through the air. The kraata ran across the beach, totally unaware of the Toa above it. Until Pohatu creamed it with his foot. The Panrahk backed away, and swiftly retreated. Even he could tell when he had lost. For, the Toa had just beaten the Bohrok armies at Ga-Koro.
“Toa Pohatu!” cried Jala, as the Matoran floated to the shore. “Toa Onua found you!” “His canister was just lying on the shore,” Onua said. “It was easy enough. Now, trying to tell his anything is a bit more difficult.” “Trying to understand you is difficult,” Pohatu said, grinning. “You sound like you have dirt in your mouth.” “Ha ha!” Onua boomed. “But we found this young Matoran by the beach, and she told us about your adventures.” “Maku!” said Huki, running to her. “How did you get here? And how did you take out that Rahkshi?” Maku blushed. “Onua told me about defeating that first Rahkshi, and Pohatu set up this plan. I was really just lucky.” Pohatu patted Maku on the shoulder. “Ah, but you did well. Luck is not everything, Matoran.” “Well, I can’t believe we got ourselves into this,” muttered Nuparu glancing around at the wreckage. “This was just trouble.” “And we still haven’t found the Ga-Korans,” Jala said, disappointed. “Well, we aren’t down here,” Maku said. “If you’d just wait for me to wake up, I’d tell you where they were. But what’s Takua got?” Takua held up the package with Gali’s Toa stone inside it. “ Found our fourth Toa stone.” “By accident,” Huki added. “Yeah,” Takua said. “But anyway, it’s best that we did find it. I’d never thought that they would hide it next to Gali’s Suva.” “Suva?” asked Pohatu. “Where the Toa keep their Great Masks,” Takua explained briefly. “What masks?” Pohatu said suddenly. “I know mine has a special power, and so does Onua’s, but are there more we could use?” “Of coarse!” Jala cried. “There are masks on the Suvas. Pohatu and Onua can split them up.” Maku and Jala paddled to the Suva, and retrieved the masks. They then came back to Onua and Pohatu. “These are the five that Gali has,” said Maku. “But she isn’t here yet, so I’m guessing you could use them.” Pohatu shifted through the pile of masks. “This one is mine, so you can have it, Onua. Ah, here’s one like yours. I’ll take it.” “The Pakari and Kakama,” Jala explained. “Strength and Speed.” “Yep,” Onua said, and lifted a mask. “This is like yours, Master Jala. I’ll bear this one.” “That a Hau, which is the mask of shielding.” “Ooh, good choice,” said Pohatu, grinning. “What are these two of?” “Miru, which let’s you levitate,” Jala said. “And the Akaku lets you see great distances, and through walls.” “You take the Miru, brother,” Onua said. “I’m not crazy about levitating. You can also take the Akaku.” “No, brother,” said Pohatu cheerfully. “I can see fine. You, on the other hand, need some help with looking around above the ground.” Onua grinned, and snatched the mask. He placed it onto his face, and it merged with his Pakari. He did this for his Hau and Kakama also. Pohatu did the same with his new Pakari and Miru. “The Toa got their first new masks,” Takua said thoughtfully. “Well, at least you didn’t have to fight Rahi to get them.” Jala smiled, but he tapped his foot impatiently. “It’s nice that you’re getting your masks and everything, but I want to find the other Ga-Korans!” “Or just Hahli,” joked Huki. “Where are they, Maku?” asked Takua. “Well, follow me,” said Maku, and she took off for the hills. The other Matoran and Toa followed her. “So you were up in the hills,” Takua observed. “Just curious, but what tribute did the Ga-Korans pay to Makuta and the Bahrag?” “Tribute?” asked Maku. “Yeah, they made us do it,” Takua said, shuttering at the memory. “From what I’ve heard, Onu-Korans had to mine stuff, the Po-Korans carved stuff, and the Ta-Korans hauled lava.” “What!” said Maku, stopping in her tracks. “That’s insane!” “I know,” Takua murmured. “But they didn’t make you girls do any hard work?” “They didn’t make us do anything,” grumbled Maku, turning back to the pathway. “That doesn’t sound like the overlords we’ve come to know in this reality,” Huki said. “No, no, you misunderstood,” Maku said. “They locked us away. All day, all night. The only time we were set free was when we were allowed to fish. It happens every other day. They let us out for an hour to get out food and water supply. The rest of the time, we’re locked away, to drown in our misery. Most of the Ga-Korans have completely lost hope.” “That’s horrible,” gasped Takua. “How could they?” “Hahli and I discussed it,” Maku said. “We arrived in this new reality together. Unfortunately, we found the other Matoran while they were fishing, and we were captured. Every time we were allowed out, the Bohrok continuously watched us, as if they knew we were not your average Matoran. When we were locked away, Hahli and I whispered our theories. Hahli though Makuta was trying to take the hope from the Ga-Korans, and crush any dreams of ever being free. We were wondering if you guys made it too. And last night… I just lost it, and tried to attack that Rahkshi. And I almost paid with my freedom. But you guys saved me.” “This island is terrible,” Takua said. “We’ve seen what horrors the Matoran have gone through in four of the villages. I still fear to find out what the other two villages are like.” “There!” said Maku, pointing to a cave. Its entrance was blocked with a solid protodermic door. “They’re behind that,” Maku said sheepishly. “I can open it!” Pohatu said. I raced forward and smashed into the door. The protodermis cracked, and then fell apart. Jala rushed into the cave, followed shortly by the others. But as Jala went into the darkness, something pounces out and grabbed him. “AH!” Jala cried, stepping back, but something snagged him and knocked his masks off. “What the…” gasped Huki. Takua snagged his lightstone, and illuminated the cave. Huddled in the back of the cave were the Ga-Korans, all looking fearful of the new arrivals. The creature who had actually attacked Jala was actually Hahli. Hahli blinked in the light. “What… Maku!” “Hahli,” said Nuparu. “You’re fine.” Hahli looked at the mask she was holding, and realized it was Jala's. She quickly handed it back to its owner. “Jala, I’m so sorry! I thought you were a Bohrok or something!” Jala replaced his mask and took Hahli’s hand. “No need to apologize! I’m just glad that I could finally find you.” The Ga-Korans filed out of the cave, blinking in the sunlight. Nuparu and Takua came outlast, and they watched the girls celebrate their newfound freedom. “Well, we’ve found the beautiful Ga-Korans,” Nuparu said, watching Huki and Maku, along with Jala and Hahli. “Now what?” Takua was fingering Gali’s Toa stone. He looked towards the south. “To another region, for another stone.”
The six Matoran, finally together, marched into the thick jungle of Le-Wahi. “I hope the Ga-Korans are all right,” Maku said, looking into the distance, as if trying to make out Ga-Koro. “First village to e free,” said Takua thoughtfully. “And hopefully not the last.” “They’re out in the water,” Huki pointed out. “I don’t think Makuta and those Bahrag could get to them.” “The Ga-Korans are the best fit to live a while out at sea,” Hahli said. “Anyway, if they’re in the water, how can they get hurt. Takua has told us the water protects them. So how can they be hurt?” “How do you even know they are protected?” Maku asked Hahli. “They’ve never been in the water for a long time!” “I’m guessing,” Hahli admitted, shrugging. “Look, they’ll be fine,” Huki said. “Any danger they face at the sea is a lot better than anything they’d face on the land.” “At least they’re now sink-swimming Po-Korans,” Nuparu said, laughing. “Think how Huki would feel if he had to live on a boat!” Huki looked sick just by the thought, so Maku changed the subject. “So, Takua, where are we going to find this Toa stone?” “Well, they’re in the Wahis,” Takua explained. “All of them we’ve found so far are in important places, and they’re guarded by Bohrok. So…” “Just look for an important place that’s surrounded by Lehvak,” said Nuparu brightly. “In the jungle…” “I hate the jungle,” Takua mumbled. “At least on the forest floor. It’s awesome up in the canapé while riding a Kahu bird. I did that with Kongu once.” “To attack the Rama hive, and try to rescue the Le-Korans,” Jala said, rolling his eyes. “We know, Takua. One of your most popular adventures. And stupidest, too, I might add. Seriously, you expected to beat a whole Rama swarm!” “Yes,” Takua said defensively. “But, Lewa was infected. That caused some problems.” “But we aren’t going to find much in the jungle,” pointed out Huki. “Unless you’ve got an Akaku, and can see through all this vegetation.” “Shh, wait,” Jala said, snatching his disc. “I hear something up ahead…” “It’s a clearing,” Takua said, pushing aside the bushes. He poked his head through and let out a gasp. “What is it?” whispered Huki. “Le-Koro,” moaned Takua. The others moved forwards, and peeked out. There was a huge clearing in the forest. The surrounding trees were thinned out, making small pathways that the Bohrok could oversee. Running up and down all these trees were Le-Korans, hauling baskets. Surrounding the entire area were Bohrok. In the center stood a green Rahkshi, who observed all. The only feature on the ground was a small hole. It led to the underground prison that the Matoran were held at ever night. “Ooh, that’s bad,” whispered Maku, backing up. “Let’s go around Le-Koro,” murmured Huki. “I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of the Lehvak’s acid venom. And I do not want to learn this new Rahkshi’s special powers.” “Hey, look,” said Jala. The Matoran peered out as a group of Le-Korans descended from the trees. “A cart!” gasped Nuparu. “Just like the one Tunaka drove. But what would it be doing down here?” “Quiet,” warned Takua. The Le-Korans came down from the trees, they’re baskets bulging with fruit. They emptied the fruit into the cart. But the last Matoran was a bit clumsy, and spilt the contents of his basket on the ground. The berries he was carrying burst opened on the ground. The Rahkshi growled, and leapt high in the air. It landed before the group of Le-Korans. They all held onto each other in fear as the Rahkshi hissed at them, and lifted its staff. It stuck it into the ground, and the earth instantly turned to mush. Jala gasped. “It’s poisoning the very earth!” The Matoran clung together, but suddenly sand out in harmony.
Oh, Great Lerahk, hear our plea! We never meant to pester thee! To make up for this terrible blunder We shall gather twice as many berries like thunder!
The Lerahk calmed down. The Matoran squealed in fright, and took off for the trees, to gather more fruits to make up for their mistake. “Oh, well, they still sing,” Takua said. “Let’s get out of here,” moaned Huki. “Let’s go this way,” said Takua, heading away from Le-Koro. Many hours later, as night fell, the Matoran stopped to rest, exhausted. They had looked through the jungle, and found not a single sign of a Toa stone. “This day,” huffed Nuparu, sitting down. “Has been totally wasted. We haven’t a clue of where to look!” “The jungle covers the southern part of the island,” Jala said. “That’s a lot of land to cover.” “Isn’t there something we can do to help us out?” asked Huki desperately. “Who would know where the stone would be?” asked Takua. “Maybe the Le-Korans,” suggested Nuparu. “But how can we talk with them?” asked Takua. “I don’t know.” “Shh!” said Jala. “I hear something.” “Climb up into the trees,” Takua whispered urgently. “We’ll see what’s down there, but it won’t see us.” The Matoran scrambled up the closest tree. And sure enough, as soon as they were off the ground, they creature appeared. It was a Lehvak.
The Matoran watched the Lehvak. It took no notice of them, and made its way through the jungle. “I bet it’s guarding the Toa stone,” Takua said. “If we’re quick, we can follow it.” “It’s too dark out,” Maku said. “We need to settle down. But where can we go and not be caught by Bohrok?” “Just climb up in the trees,” Jala said. “It’s safest up there. We’ll rest for the night.” “But we might not find another Bohrok for a while,” Takua said desperately. “We might lose our chance of finding the stone!” “We’ll have more time tomorrow,” Nuparu reassured Takua. “Now, come on. I’m tired.” The Matoran climbed high into the trees, and found nice places to sleep. Takua slept, but sudden images came into his mind. He was up on a large tree, near the top. It had been hollowed out, and there was a small room inside. He started climbing up a ladder to get to the opening, which shone brilliantly. But suddenly, out of the trees came the green Rahkshi. It struck Takua with its staff, and Takua was falling. The ground rushed up closer, and Takua closed his eyes, preparing for the impact. He opened his eyes to the night. He was on a branch, where he had been sleeping. Above him, Huki and Maku shared a branch. Below him, Jala and Hahli huddled together in their sleep. Jala had volunteered to be the senile for the night, but had apparently fallen asleep with Hahli. Nuparu was asleep on a nearby branch also. There was a rustle below him, and Takua spotted a Bohrok. He was about to yell to the others, but the Lehvak wasn’t moving after them. It was going on its rounds in the forest. Just like the other one had. Takua couldn’t sleep, and he had a sudden idea. He wrote a quick note to the others, and then followed the Lehvak through the forest. Hopefully, it would lead him to the Toa stone. It was slow going. Takua wished he had taken his lightstone, but it would have given him away. But the darkness engulfed him, and if he made a clumsy move and fell, it would be all over. But he was lucky, and managed to follow the Lehvak to a clearing. Takua moaned. The Lehvak was patrolling around Le-Koro, and had just lead him back to thew village. Other Bohrok were guarding the hole in the ground, where the Le-Korans slept. However, Takua saw a small hut in the corner of the settlement. There was a light within it. Takua made his way around the clearing, keeping away from the Bohrok. We made it behind the hut, and listened. Inside, he heard a Matoran voice, arguing with something else that hissed. Takua guessed that it was the green Rahkshi. Takua listened, hoping to hear something about a Toa stone. But the Matoran only talked about the fruits that had been gathered, and the schedule of the carts moving the food out to the other Koros. Takua recognized the voice, and realized it was Tamaru’s. Tamaru was Takua’s Le-Koran friend, and they had worked together defending the Kini-Nui. But why would Tamaru talk with the Rahkshi? Perhaps Tamaru was a high-ranking captain, like Makahi. But would Makahi be allowed to talk with the Ta-Koran Rahkshi? Takua’s heart froze as another thought came to him. He circled around until he could see the door to the hut. Inside, he saw Tamaru’s back and the Rahkshi bent over to fit inside the hut. Tamaru turned, and Takua’s suspicion was confirmed. Tamaru wore an infected Rau mask. “There are other issues I must talk off too,” Tamaru said. “The rebel Matoran. They won the battle with the Gahlok fools.” The Rahkshi hissed in response. “Of coarse, the Bohrok and Rahkshi there were about to defeat the stupid Matoran,” Tamaru hissed. “But something worst appeared. The dreaded Toa have been summoned!” The Rahkshi reared up, and stuck the ground with its staff. Tamaru scowled, and the Rahkshi lifted its staff. “I know. It’s bad. That’s why we must guard the other stone. Only two Toa have surfaced, and we’ll keep it that way.” Takua leaned forward, hoping to hear the location of the stone. But Tamaru broke off. “They might be in our Wahi. So I wish for you to resume your rounds. Make sure the stone is safe.” The Lerahk came out of the hut. Takua knew it was heading for the stone. But once it entered the forest, it was gone. Takua stood no chance of following it. He was not even certain what direction it took off in. Takua made his way back to the others. One the way back, he got lost a few times, but he had been in the jungle long enough to know some of the tricks n which to navigate through it. His friend Tamaru, who was now no more than a slave to Makuta, taught most of them to him. By the time he had made it back to the tree his friends were in, the sun was starting to rise. As Takua climbed up the branches, he saw Jala and Hahli were already up. Jala gave him a stern look. He clutched the note Takua had written them. “Where have you been!” Jala asked furiously. “Looking around,” said Takua. “It turned out we’re really close to Le-Koro.” “You went to Le-Koro!” Jala said, fuming. “You could have been caught, and then we would have all been done for!” Hahli took Jala’s hand, calming him down. “It’s okay, Jala. Takua’s fine, and nothing bad has happened yet.” Jala took a deep breath. “So, Takua the irresponsible, what were you doing?” “Trying to find the Toa stone,” Takua murmured. “No luck. But I think I know a way we can find that stone. I jus have to figure out how to do it.”
“I don’t see how we’ll get to chat with the Le-Korans,” observed Huki. “There are Bohrok everywhere!” “I’m sure the Le-Korans know where the stone is,” Takua said. “They may not know what it is, or why it’s important, but I’m sure they know where it is.” The six Matoran were huddled outside of Le-Koro. The Le-Korans were just getting up, and making for the trees. It looked as if there were groups of four or five Matoran, each watched over by a Lehvak. “It’s a good plan, Takua,” Hahli said. “But how can we just go in and talk to them. Some of them may not even want to tell you. I’m sure they’d get treated better if they turned us in.” “Yeah, it’s not much of a plan,” Jala said. He was still in a grouchy mood. “But there must be a way!” Takua said, frustrated. “Let’s just go back to searching for the stone,” Jala said. “So, which way did the Lerahk run off to find the stone, Takua?” “I, er, don’t remember.” “Oh, great!” said Jala, raising his voice slightly. Instantly, Huki and Nuparu pinned him down and covered his mouth, while Hahli held his hand, calming him down. “Let’s just go this way,” Maku said. “Maybe we should just give up. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.” “While you’re being chased by Bohrok and everything,” Huki added. “We should have brought the Toa,” said Nuparu. “With their speed and strength, and that Akaku, they’d be able to help us out a lot!” “The Toa need to find their other masks,” Jala said. “And Toa Tahu. It’s better if Onua and Pohatu get to him first that the Bohrok.” They left the edges of Le-Koro, feeling defeated. They headed for the seashore, where they could travel north and find the Toa. F they did get spotted, they’d have the sea right next to them. “We need to go further north,” Takua said. “In this direction, the sea is bordered by sheer cliffs. It flattens out as we go up north.” “Hey, look!” said Huki suddenly. “Berries!” “Kuja Berries!” Takua said. “Come again,” said Nuparu. “I thought Kuja berries were rare,” Jala said. “In Ta-Koro, they are,” joked Takua, picking a berry. “But I’ve seen a lot of them in Le-Wahi. They come in all sorts of colors, and they make the best wines and dyes. They’re possibly the sweetest berries around. Wait, except for the red ones. Those are sour.” Nuparu was just about to eat a red berry. He threw it back. “There are really a lot of colors. Purple, blue, yellow, green, orange white…” “Green?” Maku asked. “I heard those are the sweetest, but exceptionally rare.” “Naw, they’re just harder to spot,” Takua said, plucking off a green berry. “And they are the best! Mmmmm!” “Might as well replenish our supplies,’ said Hahli happily. She picked a purple berry. “Yum.” Maku, Hahli, Nuparu, Huki, and Takua happily started tasting all the berries. Jala sat back, watching them impatiently. “You know, we need to get a move on.” “This is a rare treat,” Takua said. “Here, have one!” He threw a purple berry to Jala. Jala missed it, and it splattered all over his mask. “Ha ha ha!” Huki laughed. “Now you look like you have a purple mask!” “Takua!” growled Jala. “You probably stained my mask. You know how tough it is t get stains off it? Takua. Takua?” Takua was glaring at Jala’s mask, totally unaware of anything else. The others stopped and glared at Takua. Finally, he said, “That’s it!” “What?” Takua picked up a green berry and smeared it across his arm. “Are you nuts?” asked Nuparu. “Jala said those stain pretty badly.” Takua continued to smear green berries across his body, until he was entirely green. “So,” he said. “What do I look like?” “You look like a silly Le-Koran,” snapped Jala. Then he thought about what he said. “Ooh!” “We can dye ourselves to look like Le-Korans,” said Takua. “Then we’d fit right in.” “Good old Takua,” Maku laughed. “Always figuring a way out. So, give me a few of those berries.” “No, if we want to look like a Le-Koran, we need to act like a Le-Koran,” said Huki. “And sound like a Le-Koran. And most Le-Korans don’t have a squeaky voice like yours.” Maku pushed Huki to there ground, and then he added, “I mean, a beautiful voice like yours.” “That means Jala can’t go either,” said Hahli. “He would never fit in as a Le-Koran. He’s too serious.” The others laughed, but Jala sniffed. “I can be as goofy as a Le-Koran if I want to be.” “Then loosen up,” said Takua, throwing his some berries. “We’re going to go back to Le-Koro. Let’s see how my plan works out now!”
“Let’s go.” Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu climbed out from the trees into a small clearing. They were high in the canopy of the jungle, and around them were many other Le-Korans, looking for fruits. Nobody gave them a second glance, because they were all covered in green dye, and Huki carried a basket full of Kuja berries. Maku had woven the basket to help them fit in. Takua also had his beloved Le-Koran flute with him. “Now what,” Nuparu whispered to Jala. “How do we find a Matoran who’s willing to tell us the location of the stone?” “Takua said he has a way,” Jala said, glaring at Takua. “So let’s get on with it.” “Just get ready for your singsong plan,” Takua murmured. He glanced around, and spotted the Lerahk. He waited until it glanced in their direction, and then he tripped Huki. Huki fell over, and his basket emptied all it’s contents. They fell through the trees, and splattered on the ground. The Lerahk hissed, and jumped towards them. Huki, Nuparu, and Jala huddled together. Takua put his flute to his lips and blew the first note. In harmony, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu all sang out, “Ooh,”
Oh, this is a song to out great overlords! . Who let us be a part of their hordes! . Oh, that Makuta is really great! . He let’s us have food upon out plate! . Oh, those Bahrag twins are an amazing bunch! . They’re the ones who let us have a lunch! . Oh, that green Rahkshi is the best leader around! . When he’s in charge, there is no disagreeable sound. . Oh, those Lehvak with their acid spray, . Can melt through rocks all of the day! . Oh, to have that power would be such fun! . We’d be able to get our work everquickly done! . Oh, and to our leaders, we deliver our loot. . It’s as sweet as eating grapes and fruit! . Oh, la de da, la de da, la de da, dum dum!
The Lerahk left them, and went to check on another group of Matoran. A few Matoran clapped lightly, and laughed. But Takua distinctively heard one Matoran say, “stink ups.” “It’s worked,” Takua whispered. “That Matoran over there, with the Ruru, will help us out. I’m sure of it.” “That grouchy one,” Huki asked. “He’s worst than Jala.” “Hey, I’m not that bad,” Jala growled. “I sang just fine.” “No way, it was my talented voice that got that Lerahk to back off.” “Just because you’re the best at Koli doesn’t mean you have to be the best at singing.” “Quiet down,” Takua said. “Come on, let’s go ask him.” “The four Matoran walked over to the Le-Koran with the green Ruru. He was working alone, and looked up angrily at them when they approached. “What do you want?” “Don’t you just love the Bahrag and Makuta?” asked Takua happily, testing him. The Matoran looked around, to make sure none would overhear them. Then he hissed, “I like a dead Fikiu spider better than that lot!” “Bingo!” Takua said. The Matoran glared at him. “What are you after anyway, twerp?” “Well, we don’t like ‘em Bahrag or Makuta either,” Takua whispered. “And we were thinkin’ of givin’ them a special surprise.” “We’ll make them scaredcower with supersecret prank,” whispered Nuparu. “Huh? I don’t understand a thing you say!” “So much for my Le-Koran slang,” Nuparu muttered. “What’s you name?” Jala asked the Matoran. “Duka,” he replied. “I hate it here. So anything you want to do against those stupid Bohrok is fine with me.” “Excellent,” Takua said, grinning broadly. “So, Duka, do you know about a Toa stone?” “What’s that?” “Let me rephrase that,” Takua said. “Do you know a place where the Lehvak and Lerahk are guarding?” “That temple area, yep,” said Duka. “They always had somebody around it, but lately they won’t let anybody nearby it. My friend… never mind.” “What is it?” asked Huki. Duka sniffed no longer sounding so tough. “My friend, wandered closeby this temple. Lehvak quickspray him, and he… he has gone to a better place.” Huki gasped. “NO!” “He was my best friend,” Duka said. “And Lehvak mercilessly killed him. I’d do anything to avenge him.” “Then can you tell us where this temple is?” asked Takua. “They don’t want us to get what they’re guarding, but we really need it.” Duka looked Takua in the eyes. He could tell Takua was being honest. Whatever he was planning, he would help the Le-Korans get rid of the Bohrok and Rahkshi. “Yes.”
“Duka was right,” Nuparu whispered. “It’s right where he said it was.” “Let’s just hope we can get that stone without ending up like his friend,” muttered Jala. “How will we do that?” asked Hahli. Takua stood back and thought for a moment. “There must be some in it.” “It’s easy to get into,” Huki said. “You run up those steps, take the stone, and you’ve got it. But it’s getting back down that’s the problem.” “You’ll be wide in the open,” Takua said. “The Lehvak will be all over you before you could even think about running. But there still might be a way.” “Let’s make some plans,” Takua said. “Come on, we need to get away from here.” Takua, Jala, Huki, and Nuparu had gotten directions from Duka, and then grouped up again with Hahli and Maku. After washing up, they followed Duka’s directions to the temple, but it seemed impossible to get in and out without being caught by the acid spray. It was midday. None of the Matoran wanted to spend another night in Le-Wahi, and they would need to get the stone before they could leave. So they would need to get the stone within the next few hours, and then make way for the sea, where they could be protected from any attack. An hour later, the Matoran had a plan all set up. Takua and Nuparu took cover by the temple. ‘Be careful, Takua,” Nuparu warned his friend. “Ill do my best, but you’ll still have to be careful getting up there.” “I’ll be fine,” Takua reassured Nuparu. “As long as your distraction works long enough.” “It will,” Nuparu said, smiling. “I always liked working with Bula berries in the mines. It’ll be easy.” “Then get to it!” Takua said. “I’ll make a run for it when I hear the explosion!” Nuparu left Takua and ran around the clearing. He stopped on the opposite side, and saw the hole that he’d dug under the tree. It was filled with a special breed of Bula berries. He took one berry, and made a trail of juice with it across the ground. He made the trail go very far away from the tree. When he was satisfied, he took out his heatsone and touched it to the trail of Bula juice. The trail ignited. Nuparu ran further into the trees, not wanting to get hit. The trail caught fire, which shot across the ground, and was led right into the hole. The Lehvak and Lerahk had never seen such a sight before. A tree at the side of the clearing has suddenly exploded, and shot high into the air, and fell down upon the ground with a crunch, smashing many Bohrok. The Lerahk looked suspiciously at the spot where the tree had once been. The explosive Bula berry juice still stained the ground. The Lerahk hissed, and turned it’s head towards the temple. The Bohrok charged. Takua climbed up the stairs with all his might, and made it to the top. He spotted a green package, with the Le-Koran symbol on it. He snatched it and threw it in his pack. He turned around, but he was surrounded. The Lehvak already had the temple surrounded, and the Lerahk made way for the top, to get rid of Takua once and for all. “All going according to plan,” Takua whispered to himself. Then, he put his flute to his lips and blew a few notes that echoed in the air. The Lerahk hesitated, unsure of what was going to happen. Then it dodged out of the way as something fell from the sky. A Kewa bird flapped before Takua. “Excellent,” Takua said, hoping on the bird. “Good thing you still respond to my flute playing. Now, off we go!” The bird flapped up, and lifted off the ground. The Lehvak shot acid at them, but they were too far away. The Lerahk hissed, waving it’s staff in the air. “Ha ha!” Takua yelled, waving down at his enemies. “Try to get me up here!” The Lerahk paused. Suddenly, it lifted off the ground and put it’s legs together. Then it shot up towards Takua. “Uh oh,” Takua whispered. He patted the Kewa. “Come on, get moving!” The Kewa shot through the air, following Takua’s commands. But fast as the Kewa bird was, the Rahkshi was faster in the air. Takua had never seen something fly so fast, besides the mighty Toa of Air. “Into the trees,” Takua said, commanding the Kewa to go downwards. “It’s what we planned for, even though it’s the Rahkshi and not the Bohrok.” The Kewa shot into the trees, and wove in and out of the branches, with Takua barely hanging on. However, the Lerahk followed. And it gained on the Kewa, only following the trail it broke through the forest, and not making it’s own. “Almost there,” Takua said, as he spotted a tree bend down. It was a landmark he had memorized. “Just about there. Ready? Duck down!” The Kewa turned down into a splitting nosedive, and shot under the Fikiu web. The Rahkshi, however, ran right into it. The Lerahk stuck, and the small spiders that had made the web swarmed it. The Fikiu stood no chance against a Rahkshi, but it would slow the Lerahk down. “Good,” Takua said, patting the Kewa. “Just keep going forward. We’re almost there.” But suddenly, a group of Lehvak jumped out of the bushes ahead of the Kewa. Their acid spray hit the bird, and it got tangled in the vines of the trees. Takua just managed to hang on. He knew the Kewa was not seriously hurt yet, but the Lehvak were coming closer. Suddenly, the first Bohrok was impaled with a flaming arrow. The Bohrok looked at the arrow as the flame ate away at the wood, but suddenly the arrow exploded, and the Bohrok blew up. The krana fell to the ground below. Coming out from hiding came Maku and Huki, with more of the flaming arrows. Takua smiled. It had been a trap for the Bohrok. Huki and Maku had arrows that were dipped into explosive Bula juice. They would light one end of fire, and shoot it at a Bohrok. Once the flame hit the juice, the arrow would explode. The remaining Bohrok were quickly impaled with the arrows. Maku and Huki were excellent marksman, and all of their arrows hit home. Takua tried to right the Kewa, but there was a hiss from behind him. The Lerahk had broken free of the web, and shot through the trees towards Takua. Huki and Maku shot a few arrows at it, but it knocked them away with it’s staff. Takua leapt off the Kewa and onto a branch. He didn’t want to get the Kewa hurt anymore. Takua jumped from branch to branch, but he was not good at windsprinting. The Lerahk easily caught up with him. “Takua, up here!” Hahli swung by on a vine. Takua took out the package the Toa stone was in and heaved it to Hahli. She swung away, through the trees. The Lerahk jumped over Takua, and pursued Hahli, who now had the stone. Luck and skill were on Hahli’s side. She had never swung through the Le-Koran jungle before, but she was acrobatic enough to do so. She swung from vine to vine as she made her way through the forest. Suddenly, she stopped. She was alongside the cliff that bordered the sea. She took a deep breath, and leapt over the edge of the cliff. Looking down, she realized her mistake. She had assumed the ocean was directly underneath her when she jumped. But instead, there was a rocky beach, full of sharp objects that would impale her when she hit the ground. There was nothing she could do. But out of the trees swung another Matoran. Jala swung out over the cliff on a vine, and caught Hahli in mid air. But the Lerahk swished it’s staff, and Jala’s vine sapped. But Jala was prepared for such an event. He used his last momentum to fly into the wall, where he managed to find a handhold. He clung to the cliff with one hand, and held Hahli with the other. “Thanks, Jala,” Hahli said. “Don’t look down,” Jala advised her. “I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one.” The Lerahk glared down at them, and lifted it’s foot and stomped the earth. It rattled Jala, but he held on tight. But Hahli loosened her grip on the package she held. ‘Oh no!” Hahli cried. “Jala, the stone! It fell out of the package!” “It can’t be!” Jala exclaimed, glancing down. He could see the small stone, falling through the air. The Lerahk saw it too, and nobody stood in his way to retrieve it.
“The Toa stone!” gasped Jala. “We can’t lose it!” “Too latte!” Hahli gulped. The Toa stone hit the ground. The Lerahk poised to jump after it, when something suddenly moved down below. “What the!” Hahli started. “I can’t believe it!” Jala said, dumbstruck. “PUKU!” The Ussal crab was down on the rocks, and it scurried forward, and snatched the Toa stone. “Puk- who?” asked Hahli. “Takua’s favorite Ussal crab,” Jala explained. “She led us to Pohatu’s Toa stone, and now she’s rescuing Lewa’s!” “I don’t think so!” The Lerahk hissed, and leapt into the air. It landed on the ground, next to Puku. It slammed its staff into the ground. Puku noticed the ground turning to mush. She backed up, but the Lerahk followed her. Puku charged him, snapping her claws, still grasping the Toa stone. The Lerahk backed up to this attack, but it was only stalling. It prepared to make the final blow. “HEY RAHKSHI!” The Rahkshi turned its head. Jala and Hahli turned to see what the commotion was. Puku hopped up and down in delight. It was Takua, on the edge of the cliff. In his hands was a blue package, with the Ga-Koran symbol on it. “Leave my friends alone!” Takua yelled. “If you want a stone, go get this one!” With that, he heaved the package into the forest. The Lerahk hissed so loudly that it could be heard from within the forest. It’s massive legs bent, and it leapt through the air. It passed by Takua, and shot through the forest, after the package. “Glad that’s over,” Takua breathed. He took out a rope and flung it down the cliffside, to where Hahli and Jala could catch it. They grabbed it and started heading down. “Takua, you Kolihead!” Jala growled. “You just sacrificed Gali’s stone! Now how are we suppose to summon the other Toa?” “Did I?” Takua asked. “Quick, get Puku and go in the water! I need to find the others.” There was a sudden rustle and Maku and Huki shot out of the bushes. “Bohrok!” gasped Maku. “We need to get out of here.” “Go down the rope,” Takua advised them. “Jala, catch my pack.” He took it off, and threw it down to his friend. Jala caught it, but something fell out. Gali’s Toa stone. “But…” Hahli began. “Just a decoy that I threw,” Takua explained, smiling, as Maku and Huki went down the rope. “I’m not that stupid. But, luckily, the Lerahk is!” “Takua, behind you!” Jala gasped. The four Lehvak charged out of the bushes. Their sudden appearance supprise4d Takua and he tumbled off the cliff, but he managed to grab the handhold Jala had found earlier. He then grabbed the rope and descended quickly with his other friends. “Here they come!” said Maku, as the Lehvak jumped to the same level they were on. Jala took out his firesword. “Tell them to bring it on!” Huki took a boulder on the ground and kicked it. It hit the Lehvak in the eye, and its krana popped out. But the other’s charged. “Jala, light this with your sword,” said Maku, taking the last of her arrows. Jala lit it, and Maku threw it with all her might. But the arrow dissolved when it was caught by Lehvak acid. “Shoot,” Takua said. Puku perked up, and nudged Takua. He hopped on her, and she shot towards the Bohrok. At the same time, the Bohrok charged the Matoran. “Get in the water!” Jala yelled. He took out his firesword and charged the lead Lehvak, just avoiding being hit with the deadly acid. “Move!” cried Huki. Maku, Hahli, and Huki raced for the edge of the ocean. But one Bohrok followed them. It fired acid at them as Maku and Hahli pulled Huki into the water. “Missed up!” said Huki, happy despite the fact that he was soaked. Puku charged the third Bohrok, and rammed into it. The Bohrok responded by shooting acid at her, but Takua leapt on his head, and broke opened his faceplate. The krana fell out, and the Bohrok was rendered useless. Jala stood up, having melted his Lehvak’s krana. He and Takua turned for the water, when they heard something from above. They turned to see the entire cliffside lined with Lehvak. Along with them was the Lerahk, holding the remains of the package and a small, unimportant stone. “Maybe it’s time we should take a swim,” Jala said nervously. “Puku, I hope you can swim,” Takua said. He and Jala quickly led her to the ocean edge, and they dove in right before the land was coated in Lehvak acid. But once in the water, the acid had no effect on the Matoran. “Puku can’t swim,” stuttered Takua, as he and Jala tried to keep her afloat. Maku and Hahli were busy keeping Huki afloat themselves. “Where’s Nuparu?” gasped Jala. “There?” said Huki, pointing to the treeline. At the tops of the trees was what looked like a Kewa. But it was a bunch of branches and leaves woven together to resemble a Kewa. Sitting on the head of the creation was none other than Nuparu and Duka. “Like this invention?” Nuparu yelled down to the Lerahk. “And it can do a bit more than fly, too!” “That thing can fly?” mumbled Jala. “Remember, he’s the Matoran that invented the Boxer,” Takua reminded Jala. “Though that thing only needed to walk…” The Lerahk stabbed its staff in the ground, and the earth turned to mush. But the trees also rotted away, and they fell from beneath the machine. “Test flight,” Duka yelled. He held on tight, and the creation fell out of the trees. But the air pushed up on its woven wings, and the creation floated above the Bohrok and Rahkshi. The Lerahk stared dumbstruck at the flying creation for too long, and by the time it had ordered the Lehvak to shoot their acid, it was out of range. With amazing skills, Nuparu and Duka managed to land the craft in the soft waters of the oceans. “It floats too,” said Nuparu excitedly, as his friends swam over to climb aboard. Takua and Jala helped Puku onto the craft, which was grateful to be out of the water. “I had been crafting this for a while,” Duka explained to the confused Matoran. “But I found Nuparu after your little stunt, and he helped me perfect it rather quickly. So we thought we’d try and save you with it.” “It’s an amazing creation,” awed Maku. “It can fly better, if I had some Bula engine pods,” Duka said. “But I haven’t been able to craft those yet.” “Well, in the water,” Nuparu said. “They work perfectly with two heatstones.” He set his and Takua’s heatstones in the water, and the craft took off. They watched as the Lerahk and Lehvak disappeared in the distance. “Duka’s one smart Le-Koran,” said Nuparu. “While gathering berries, he’s been able to calculate the gravity and resistance, and managed to devise a way to glide in his spare time. And to perfect it even more, with the simple knowledge of explosive Bula berries, he managed to write out a plan for an engine to keep the craft in flight. This is some seriously good work.” “Whoa, Nuparu says somebody is smart,” Huki joked. “That’s something new.” “Well, like I said,” Duka began, blushing. “Nuparu helped me pull out some of the kinks in the planning. I couldn’t have done it without him telling me how to make the wings more sturdier.” “So, are you glad to have escaped Le-Koro?” asked Maku. Duka smiled. “I sure am! I just wish I could help out some more.” “Well, I’m sure you’ll be a lot of help,” Takua said, as he watched the coastline go by. Nuparu was able to guide the craft through the water, and they zipped past the shores of the island. “I’ll help out as much as I can!” Duka said. “Whatever I need to do to get back at those Bohrok for killing my friend!”
“What’s that?” asked Duka, glaring in the distance. “Some sort of island?” “A floating island,” said Hahli. “That’s Ga-Koro. It’s a bunch of floating lily pads that are anchored out here.” “Ga-Koro?” asked Duka. “Isn’t that that prison that holds all the girls?” “Use to be,” explained Takua. “We helped free them a while back.” Duka jumped up with glee. “Sweet! A whole village of girls! Are they as nice as madam Hahli and Maku?” Maku and Hahli blushed. Huki smiled. “They’re very nice, but not nearly as nice as Maku.” “Duka, you can stay with them for a while,” explained Jala. “The rest of us are going to the mountains next. To get Kopaka’s Toa Stone.” “Why is it up in the mountains?” asked Duka. “Well, we think it’ll be nearby Ko-Koro,” Takua said. “Ko-Koro?” asked Duka. “Is there such a place?” Takua and Jala looked at Duka, mystified. But then Nuparu yelled to them. “Get ready to dock up to Ga-Koro,” he said. “I guess we can spend the rest of the day here, right?” “Yeah,” Takua said, still uncertain by what Duka had said. “We need a little bit of rest.”
Far beneath the surface of Mata-Nui, there was an intense argument. Three powerful creatures spoke. “You fool,” one snarled. “You have let these Matoran get too far. Your blundering sons have let them escape time after time.” “Oh, and like you Bohrok have done any more?” asked another one. “It is their blundering that has caused my sons to let them escape. If they were a tad bit smarter, then maybe we’d be getting along fine. But they can’t be that smart, if they’re controlled by you.” “How dare you!” the third one said. “It’s our Bohrok that have kept this island running. You sons and infected masks have helped, but it’s the Bohrok who have truly taken control of the Matoran.” “Silence, Cahdok,” the second being shouted. “There is no use4 in arguing. I must admit, I underestimated these Matoran. I didn’t understand why they were here to begin with, and I let them get by without turning an eye. How foolish I was not to notice the sudden appearance of six Matoran!” “Makuta, you have always underestimated your enemies until it was too late,” Cahdok hissed. “You let the Toa get too far, and by the time you really put an effort in stopping them, they were already too far.” “Ah, I also underestimated you,” Makuta sneered. “I unleashed you to destroy the island with your Bohrok. But you allowed the Toa to discover your secrets, and to overcome you. Why, because of you, they discovered the secret on how to become Nuva! “Our Kal nearly destroyed the Toa Nuva,” Gahdok snapped. “And the Toa Nuva helped us make this reality, when that fool Tahu used the Vahi. You should be on bent knees, thanking us for making this reality!” “There I no one to blame but ourselves,” Makuta hissed. “Maybe it’s true, that the Bohrok and Rahkshi have failed us. But, if used correctly, we could still crush them.” “How,” snarled Cahdok. “They already have five Toa Stones!” “But without the sixth one, two are useless,” Makuta explained. “We can crush the ones that are already here quickly enough. But the Matoran shall seek the last one, on top of the mountain. We shall use this chance to combine our forces and take the Matoran, and end their threat once and for all.” “There are so many things that could go wrong now,” Gahdok snarled. “What of the Turaga? What of the Vahi? What of the Exos? If the Matoran can located one or more of those, than we shall stand less of a chance!” “They are well hidden,” Makuta said. “And the Matoran shall not get any further. They may have freed Ga-Koro, but they will not stand a chance once those six Matoran are gone. On the mountain, we’ll get them, and they shall fall, forever more.” “Then, I hope you have a plan,” snarled Gahdok. “I do,” Makuta said. “The two surfaced Toa are in the Ta-Wahi region. We shall send the Tahnok and Turahk after them. And the Kohrok and Kurahk shall wait for the Matoran at the cliffs of Mt. Ihu! That is where they shall try and climb the mountain. And when they do, they’ll be ours!”
In the darkness of the night, six Matoran made their way up the snowy cliffs of Mt. Ihu, heading for the village of ice. “We are getting closer,” said Takua. “The village is close by, unless it has been relocated. We’ll be there soon.” “And we must be careful,” Jala reminded everybody. “The odds are this village is guarded by fearsome Kohrok, along with another Rahkshi with another terrible power. If they catch us now…” “We’ll be fine, Jala,” said Huki. “If you keep on talking, you’ll give away our position.” “It should be visible over this ridge, Takua pointed out. Slowly, he crawled over the ridge, and peaked over. He gasped. “What is it?” called Maku. Slowly, the other five Matoran crawled over to see what the village looked like. “Uh, where is the village?” asked Huki. “It’s different from what I remembered it to be,” pointed out Maku. “No, this is the right spot,” said Jala. He pointed out a bump on the ground. “Kopaka’s Suva! And it looks like parts of the Sanctum are still together. “Ko-Koro has been… destroyed?” asked Hahli, who have never seen the village of ice before. “I don’t see any signs of the Bohrok or Rahkshi,” said Takua. “Or even Matoran, for that matter. I don’t think anybody lives here anymore. Duka didn’t know about Ko-Koro, and that’s because it isn’t around.” “Great,” said Nuparu. “Now, where do we start to look for this stone?” “You shall find the stone atop the mountain.” Maku and Hahli yelped. Jala snatched his firesword, and Huki looked widely around. Takua spun around in the air to locate the source of the voice. It came from a small Ko-Koran, directly behind them, wearing a pale blue Komau. “Ko… Kopeke?” stuttered Takua, recognizing the quiet Ko-Koran. “That is I,” answered the Matoran. “You scared the daylight out of us!” cried Huki. “What are you doing here?” Takua asked. “Where are the other Ko-Korans?” “Ko-Korans are few,” Kopeke said. “I live on the slopes, hidden from the shadows, and watch the stars.” “Do you know where the stone is?” asked Jala. “Indeed,” said Kopeke. “It is atop the mountain. The easiest way to get there is to climb the cliffs on the north end. But you mustn’t go that way.” “Why?” “The path is guarded by the snow Bohrok and angry Kurahk. You are to be ambushed there.” “How do you know all of this?” asked Maku. “The stars reveal much,” Kopeke said simply. “It has told me of your arrival on the mountain, and your goal, and the obstacles you shall face.” “You still watch the stars?” asked Takua. “You can still find the prophecies from the stars?” “Turaga Nuju has taught me well,” Kopeke said. It suddenly clicked in Takua’s mind. “You know a Turaga!” “Turaga long gone, and many forget,” stated Kopeke. “I watch the stars. I remember.” “Do you know what happened to the Turaga?” questioned Jala. “They have been taken, and you shall learn where in due time,” said Kopeke. He changed the topic. “You must climb mountain from the south. Bohrok and Rahkshi won’t realize until you are too far ahead, and then they shall surround you, but you shall get the stone.” Kopeke turned and looked Takua in the eye. “Summon Toa quickly, and may Kopaka free the mountain from all evil.” With that, Kopeke turned around and disappeared into the night. “Okay, that was a bit freaky,” said Huki. “He knew about the Turaga and the Toa,” pointed out Hahli. “Nobody else on the island knows about the Toa!” “The Ko-Korans were always quiet, and knew much about the future,” said Takua. “Perhaps they still do, and also remember their past. But they aren’t enslaved by Makuta, and it sounds like there aren’t many of them, either.” “It doesn’t sound like we’ll do very good on the mountain,” pointed out Nuparu. “Didn’t he say that we’ll get surrounded?” “Not all prophecies come true,” pointed out Takua. “Plus, we just might be able to find a way out.” The six Matoran left the ruins of the village of ice, and turned to the south, where they started making their way up Mt. Ihu. It was rough going, but the Matoran made their way up the mountain, and the sun rose on the island. Takua breathed in the crisp mountain air. “At least there isn’t a snowstorm yet!” Jala looked ahead, and saw that they were coming upon a huge snowdrift. “Careful,” he warned the others quietly. “If we are too loud, we may start an avalanche on that field. Then we’d not be in a position to make it up the mountain.” Slowly and quietly, the Matoran walked up the mountain. They were almost at the end of the snowdrift when Hahli turned around, and gasped. “Jala!” she said urgently. “Look behind us!” They turned to see an army of Kohrok, also advancing up the mountain. A fearsome, white Rahkshi led them. They were moving far faster than the Matoran. “They’ll catch us before we make it to the stone!” gasped Nuparu, as the Matoran fled up the drift. Hahli slipped on the snow, and started to fall back, but Jala caught her. He noticed some of the snow start to shift. “That’s it!” he cried. The six Matoran made it to the top of the drift. Jala turned to the rest of them. "I know how to stop these creatures from following us!” “What!” cried Nuparu. “We can’t fight them, and we can’t make a run for it! What can we possibly do to slow them down?” “How about…” Jala said, grinning. “Starting an avalanche?”
“How will we start an avalanche?” asked Huki. Jala led them to a rock just above the snowdrift, which was wedged into the mountain. “On this,” he sad, gesturing to the rock. “The rest of you will be safe. But I’ll go down on the slope, and be real loud, and get the whole thing to start moving.” “That’s insane!” said Hahli. “You’ll get caught in the snow as well.” From Takua’s pack, Jala took some rope. “Not if you hold on tight to this!” Takua also handed Jala his flute. “Use this, it will help you make more noise. And be careful. Attaching his firesword firmly to his back, and with the rope tied around his waist, Jala walked down upon the snowdrift. He could see the Bohrok were already half way up, and this way their only chance. Taking a deep breath, Jala blew his first note on Takua’s flute. The Bohrok froze. Jala blew some more loud notes, and the landscape started to shake. Jala blew a last high note, and the snow started to shift. The Bohrok made no attempt to escape from the avalanche that came down towards them, but they were swept away in an instant. The Kurahk attempted to fight the avalanche, but also failed, and was pushed down. Jala was also carried away, but he clung to his rope, waiting for his friends to pull him up. Huki and Takua took the rope, and attempted to pull Jala back, but the force pushing Jala back was stronger than they were. But they gave a mighty tug, and the rope came undone at Jala’s waist. He tumbled through the snow, trying to fight it, as the other five Matoran gasped at the loose rope. Hahli was the first to act. She took Takua’s surfboard, and shot down the snow. She grabbed the loose end of the rope, and surfed down the moving snow towards Jala, who was losing his battle. Just before he was out of range, Hahli grabbed him by his hand. “Leave me,” gasped Jala, through the snow that was rushing around him. “Save yourself!” “No!” shouted Hahli stubbornly. But suddenly, a pile of snow hit her unexpectedly, and she fell off the surfboard, which was carried off down the mountain. But Hahli still held onto Jala, and onto the rope. Back on the rock, Takua and Huki strained to pull Hahli and Jala back, but they were slipping towards the edge of the rock. Suddenly, Takua slipped and fell back. Huki shot forward with the rope, and Nuparu grabbed his feet at the last minute. But Huki went over the edge of the rock, and Nuparu did too. Maku managed to grab Nuparu’s feet before he went over, and Takua held onto Maku to stop her from going over the edge too. “We can’t hold this much longer!” cried Takua. “The avalanche is too strong!” yelled Huki. “I’m losing my grip!” “Hold on!” yelled Nuparu. “No, let go of me!” shouted Huki. “I’ll go down with Jala and Hahli, and help them if we survive!” “NO way!” said Maku, but she was slipping along the rock. “Do it,” yelled Huki. “There’s no other choice. We’ll have to split up!” He looked at the rope in his hand, and saw that it was starting to snap again. Nuparu saw the rope too. He didn’t want to, but he had to do it. He let go of Huki. “Good luck, my friend!” “See ya!” Huki yelled, as he fell in the snow. Below him, the avalanche also overcame Hahli and Jala. They made their way to the surface, and managed to get a breath-full of air, but they were swept down the mountain. Up on the rock, Nuparu, Maku, and Takua watched the avalanche continue down the slopes of Mt. Ihu, until it stopped at the ocean. Somewhere down there were they’re three friends, who had been swept away from them. But as Takua looked down, he realized the Bohrok hadn’t been pushed down to the ocean. They started popping out of the snow, and turned to come up the mountain again. Even the Kurahk appeared. The avalanche had slowed them down, but they weren’t stopped yet. “Get moving!” shouted Takua. Nuparu, Maku, and Takua ran up the rest of the mountain at a sprint, with the Bohrok closing in on them. Soon, they were on top of the peak of Mt. Ihu. Takua looked around wildly. They needed to find the stone right away, or they would be caught. Kopeke had told him that it would be up here, but he saw no sign of it. “Wait, it’s over there!” yelled Nuparu. On top of a rock, at the very top of the mountain, sat a package with Ko-Koro’s symbol on it. Takua snatched it and took out the stone from within it. “This is it!” “Put them together,” yelled Maku. She could her the Bohrok chirping in the distance. Takua took out Lewa and Gali’s stones. He could see that they would easily fit together. He paused, and snapped them together. Like before, the stones levitated off the ground, and there was a brilliant flash and a shock wave. The Matoran fell over, and when they were up, they saw the three separate stones fly into the air. ‘They didn’t do that last time,” pointed out Nuparu. “Look!” cried Maku. Directly above them, three cylinders fell from the sky, rocketing down towards the island. The Matoran couldn’t see it, but the three stones connected to the cylinders. The Matoran did feel the rumble in the air, as the three cylinders rocketed towards the sea, where they could wash up on the beach and release their Toa. “We did it!” said Takua. “We summoned all the Toa!” “Now, how are we getting off this mountain?” asked Nuparu, as the Kohrok suddenly surrounded them. But, as the three cylinders fell to the seas, they each gave off one last shock wave. That shock wave hit the top of the mountain, and the peak exploded, and all the Bohrok plummeted towards the earth. The last thing the three Matoran remembered was the sensation of being thrown high into the air, and the feeling as gravity took over, and the ground suddenly rushing towards them. Then the three Matoran were knocked out.
Takua slowly opened his eyes. He was in pain, and he could feel the hot air around him moving incredibly fast. Then he remembered. The shock wave had knocked him into the air, and he had been falling. Was he falling right now? Takua opened his eyes, quickly, and nearly passed our again. Just in front of his face was the fast moving lava from the Magani Volcano! In seconds, he would hit it, and be gone! But seconds passed, and Takua moved only forward, and not down. Then did he realize someone was holding onto him? He glanced up to find himself in the arms of the Toa of Fire. “Tahu!” Takua cried in delight. “You saved my life!” “Little one, why exactly were you falling from the sky,” Tahu asked, as he surfed down the lava stream. “You are lucky that Onua saw you fall in the distance, or else you would be lava bones right now.” “You’ve met Onua!” cried Takua in delight. “And Pohatu!” “Yes, and I’ll be meeting them in Ta-Koro in a few seconds,” Tahu said. Takua froze. “No, not Ta-Koro!” “Just wait,” Tahu said. “Speak no more.” But Takua had to tell Tahu that Ta-Koro was a trap. The evil Matoran and Bohrok and the Rahkshi would catch them, and then… Wait. How did Tahu even know about Ta-Koro? Tahu zoomed down the river, and then hit a jump. He sailed through the air, and landed on the island in the middle of the lava lake. He set Takua down, who rubbed his eyes. Takua couldn’t believe it. On the island were the many Ta-Korans, along with the other two Toa, Onua and Pohatu. In Onua’s arms sat Nuparu. “What is going on?” Takua asked nobody in particular. “Oh, we found our hothead friend on the beach,” explained Pohatu. “And we decided to free him.” “And then we came upon this settlement,” Onua continued. “And decided to free the villagers again, because we had nothing better to do!” “Except for catch this little guy when he fell from the sky,” said Pohatu, gesturing to Nuparu. “You two nearly got friend by the lava. Tahu was fortunate to catch you before you hit.” “And I was fortunate enough to be caught by Onua before I smashed into the ground,” said Nuparu happily. “I’m still confused,” said Takua. “I mean, you guys freed Ta-Koro?” “Yep. We used stealth at first,” said Pohatu. “Well, we wanted to get Tahu some new masks,” Onua corrected his brother. “But once the Bohrok caught us, we decided to wipe them out.” “And the Rahkshi?” asked Takua. “We caught it by surprise,” said Tahu. “And yanked that slug right out of its back, and tossed it into the lava.” “Oh, and I yanked off the mask of that infected Matoran,” said Nuparu. “The Toa didn’t know about the infected mask, so the Makuta was going to use the Matoran as a spy.” “Er, what about Makahi?” asked Tahu. “The one with the melted feet?” Takua was cautious. He had come to fear Ta-Koro greatly sense he first arrived, and did not want to confront Makahi. “Most of the Ta-Korans were fearful of the Rahkshi, and were happy to be freed,” Nuparu explained. But he looked grim. “But I suppose your friend Makahi was one of them who was driven mad with rage. They are locked away in that underground prison. The others have been freed, and now we need to find a way to keep them free.” “I think the only safe place on this island is in the ocean,” Takua suggested. “Because no matter how well Ta-Koro is protected, when Makuta strikes back, we won’t last long.” “That’s what I thought too,” Nuparu said. “From the creatures I have faced so far,” Tahu said. “You overestimate this Makuta. We have beaten him so far.” “With respect, Toa,” Takua said. “You have no idea how powerful Makuta is.” There was a silence for awhile, in which Pohatu broke it by saying, “So, how shall we get these god Ta-Korans to the village on the water?” “Make boats, I suppose,” said Takua. He turned to Nuparu. “Have you seen Maku at all?” “No, the Toa haven’t seen her at all,” said Nuparu dully. “We also need to go back and find Jala, Huki, and Hahli.” “Duka has his boat, and he’ll be ready to help us,” Takua said. “If we can get these Ta-Korans to the village, then we can get him and go searching for the others.”
On the shores of Nahu Bay, one blue Matoran lay in the sands. Maku moaned. She had fallen from a great height, and had been lucky enough to land on the soft sands instead of the hard rocks nearby. Maku heard something walking towards here. She lifted her face to see Toa Gali walking towards her. In the distance, she could see Gali’s cylinder, freshly opened. “Matoran, are you hurt?” asked Gali. Maku ran to Gali, who lifted the Matoran in her hooks. The Toa smiled. “Maku, are you okay?” Without thinking much, Maku sobbed. “No. All my friends are in danger. Mata-Nui has become a terrible place… just so terrible! Takua and Nuparu… they must have also fallen to the ground. We need to find them!” “Yes, the Chronicler,” Gali said. She put Maku on her back. “I shall help you search. Do you know where they will be?” “No,” Maku managed to say. Gali turned south, where she could see the steam rising from the volcano. “Then let us try Ta-Koro first.”
Hahli opened her eyes, but there was nothing but whiteness before her. She blinked a few times, until she realized that it was just snow. She sat up, and broke out into the cool, crisp air. The avalanche had taken her down to the beach, and some of the snow had washed into the water. Nearby, Hahli could make out Jala and Huki, who were also stuck in the snow. Hahli quickly helped free them. Jala brushed the snow off himself. “I’m glad you’re okay,” he said to Hahli. He turned to the Po-Koran. “And Huki, how about you?” “I think I’m okay,” Huki said. He looked around. “I hope Maku is safe with Takua and Nuparu.” Hahli shivered, and came closer to Jala. They had lost all the possessions they had been carrying, except for Jala’s firesword. Hahli felt bad for using Takua’s surfboard. She knew he had priced it greatly, and it had been swept away in the snow. “Now what?” asked Huki. “Where do we go from here?” Unexpectedly, Jala growled at Huki. “Shut it, you stonehead! This is all your fault!” “Hey, firebreath, it was you idea to go sledding down the mountain,” Huki shot back. “So why don’t you shut it instead.” Hahli put her hand on Jala’s shoulder, trying to calm his unexpected anger. But Jala exploded. “Did you just call me a name!” “I believe I did, lava ash!” “Why, you sand blowing freak!” Jala leapt on Huki, and wrestled him to the ground. But Huki was an amazing athlete, and even Jala’s strength wasn’t enough to subdue him. Soon, both of them were in a furious fight. “Boys!” cried Hahli. “What are you doing. We need to get out of here, before someone bad shows up!” Suddenly, Hahli froze. She heard something crunch in the snow behind her. Hesitantly, she turned around, to see the white Rahkshi directly behind her. “Jala!” Hahli cried. She turned to run, but the Rahkshi was too fast. It reached down and snagged her around the neck, and lifted her into the air. Hahli realized its staff was pointed at the two boys, and it was glowing. The Rahkshi twitched the staff, and the glowing stopped, and Jala and Huki stopped fighting. “Uh, what are we doing?” asked Huki. Then Jala saw Hahli. “NO! Hahli!” He jumped up and raced towards her. Suddenly, in the snow around them, white Kohrak poked up. Jala and Huki hesitated, and the Kohrak shot icy blasts at them, encasing them in solid ice. Jala tried to heat up his firesword, but he couldn’t reach it. The Kurahk hissed angrily, and turned to walk away, still carrying the struggling Hahli. Huki and Jala tried to break free, but suddenly; the Bohrok’s faceplates came down, exposing their krana. “They only do that right before they throw the krana,” gasped Huki. “Good bye, Huki,” Jala gasped, as a krana flew towards his face. Jala closed his eyes, but the krana never hit. He opened them to see the krana before him, also encased in ice. “What the…” The remaining Bohrok turned in surprise. A tall figure came down the beach towards them. His Akaku clicked at it watched them. “It’s Kopaka, Toa of Ice!” gasped Huki. “Takua did it!” Jala yelled. “He summoned the other Toa!” The Bohrok growled, but looked unsure of what to do. Before they could react, Kopaka instantly froze them up. He walked up to Jala, and bent down to look at him. “What do we have here?” “Kopaka, you need to free us!” Jala exclaimed. “Hahli is captured, and we need to free her.” “And why should I trust you?” asked the Toa of Ice. “We are the people of this island, enslaved by Makuta and the Bahrag!” cried Huki. “Can’t you just free us now!?” “It could be a trap.” “Yes, it could,” said Jala hotly. He didn’t know why, but he suddenly filled with anger, but not the anger that the Kurahk supplied. “You have a choice, Toa of Ice. You can free us now, and help us save our friend, or you could leave us here, and discover the horrors of this island on your own. But it’s up to you to decide.” Kopaka watched them for a moment, and then looked the direction Hahli had gone. “The little one is being taken by that spiked creature?” “Yes!” gasped Huki. He was starting to pass out from the cold ice around him. Kopaka paused a moment longer, and then waved his sword. The ice around Jala and Huki broke apart, and they were free. Kopaka took of his shield and put it on the ground. “Hop on.” “Why?” asked Huki, as he got in the shield. “I’ll give you a ride over to your friend,” Kopaka said. Using his ice powers, he froze a lane of ice that he could scoot the shield on. Then he pushed the shield and the two Matoran on it down the ice path, and they realized they were moving very quickly. Soon, they were crossing the beach, and could see the Rahkshi, who still held Hahli. “There they are!” cried Huki. Once in range, Kopaka let go of the shield, which slid to a stop. Then he leapt in the air and shot an icy blast at the Kurahk. The Rahkshi hissed, and narrowly dodged the blast. Kopaka pulled out his sword, and swung it at the Kurahk, who just managed to block it with its staff. But Jala realized its weakness. “It’s holding Hahli, so it can only do everything with one hand.” “How does that help us?” Huki asked. “Watch me!” Jala yelled. He ran forward, and pulled out his firesword. As the Rahkshi blocked Kopaka again, it turned to see Jala fly towards it. It reached out with it’s other hand and caught Jala in a viselike grip. The Rahkshi glared at Jala, and hissed evilly. Jala gasped for air, but was able to smile. “Good bye, Rahkshi.” Kopaka hit that Rahkshi at that instant, knocking it to the ground. Hahli and Jala were let go, and they hit the ground beside it. The Rahkshi was up, and started to aim its staff. But before it could shoot anger at Kopaka, Huki kicked a bolder into its head. “HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!” the Rahkshi cried out in agony. But it didn’t hiss again. Kopaka caught it in a blast of ice, and it froze over. Jala then helped Kopaka eject the frozen kraata from its back, and Kopaka stepped on it. The frozen kraata shattered. Jala turned to the Toa of Ice. “Thank you, Kopaka.” The Toa of Ice turned to them. “I have helped you, and now I ask for some answers to my questions.” “We have plenty of our own,” Huki mumbled. “But we can help you out. But what we need to do is find Takua and the others. If Kopaka is here, than the other two Toa should be here too.” “If all the Toa are here now,” said Hahli. “Then we are much more safer.” Jala nodded in agreement with Hahli. But he had an uneasy feeling. He glanced at the frozen Rahkshi, which was no longer a threat. “The Toa are here,” Jala thought. “But I don’t think we’re safer. We won’t be safe until Makuta is banished from this island.”
The day was nearing an end as the Ta-Korans loaded into a few roughly made boats. Takua and Nuparu stood by the Toa as they started taking off. “We’d better go with them, so we can find Duka and then get to Jala, Huki, and Hahli,” pointed out Nuparu. “What about Maku?” asked Takua. Nuparu shrugged. “The Toa haven’t seen her. She’s a tough little Matoran, but anything could happen to her. We don’t even know where to begin to look.” “We don’t know where to look for Jala,” pointed out Takua. “The avalanche couldn’t have taken them too far,” Nuparu said. “But they were also with a lot of Bohrok. I don’t really like this at all. We’re all split up.” “At least the Toa are here now,” said Takua. He looked to the north, as if expecting to see someone. “I hope that the other three Toa get here too. We lost the stones, and maybe, without them, we won’t be able to open the canister.” The three Toa walked over. Onua picked up the two Matoran. “I’ll be taking you two to Ga-Koro, along with the other Ta-Korans. We decided that you’d need a Toa with you.” “What about Tahu and Pohatu?” asked Nuparu. “You really only need one Toa to be with you,” Tahu pointed out. “Besides, both Tahu and I are not fond of water,” Pohatu added, looking sick at the very thought. “We’ll search the island for your friends,” Tahu said to Takua. “And any other Toa we might come upon.” “Thanks, Toa of Fire!” said Takua. He, Nuparu, and Onua then boarded a boat, and took off towards the floating village. Tahu and Pohatu turned to the volcano, and started walking back. Pohatu glanced around. He turned to Tahu. “This is certainly a strange island. I wonder how so much trouble could come to all those islanders at once.” “Perhaps they have ill luck,” Tahu said. “But we are here now. We can banish any evil.” “Don’t be so sure, Toa of Fire,” Pohatu said grimly. “I’ve faced more than just the fire enemies. This island holds many dangers. Those Matoran have spoken of the Turaga before, and I wonder if those would be of any help." “Turaga?” asked Tahu, puzzled. “What are they? I haven’t heard of them before.” “From those Matoran, they sound like all-knowing beings,” Pohatu said. “But they aren’t around. I’m confused with those Matoran. They claim to have time jumped or something, and that this world is much worst than their own. But none of it makes sense. I am but a Toa of Stone, but I know that time traveling is not possible.” “Maybe more is possible than you believe, brother,” Tahu said. He suddenly perked up. “Something is coming our way.” Pohatu and Tahu turned. Over a nearby ridge, a blue figure came. She sighted them, and ran over. “I do not believe it!” gasped Tahu. “Another Toa!” “Yes, Tahu,” said Gali. “Greetings, Pohatu.” “And it’s a female!” Tahu exclaimed. Gali gave Tahu a funny look. “So, it is as I expected. You do not remember the Bahrag.” “Aren’t the Bahrag one of the creatures that rules this island?” Pohatu said. “They are the Queens of the Bohrok swarms,” Gali said. “And the Kal tried to free them, and Tahu used the Vahi mask. The next thing I remember, I’m back to my old self, and I found this one on the beach. She was underground with us.” She held up a sleeping Maku. “Well, that is one of the Matoran we are searching for,” Pohatu said. But he turned to his sister Toa. “But Toa… Gali, right… how do you know so much? Has this young one told you more than she has said to us?” “I remember,” Gali said. “However, you two do not. It is very strange.” “Everything on this island is strange,” Tahu said. “And getting stranger all the time.”
Jala and Huki walked beside the Toa of Ice, who carried the exhausted Hahli. They headed south, towards the jungle. They kept the beach to their right, and the forest appeared on their left. “Where are we headed?” asked Huki, after many hours of quiet walking. “Me feet are killing me.” “I suppose we should find the others,” Jala said. “But they could be anywhere on the island.” “Can you not handle the exercise, Matoran?” asked Kopaka coldly. “Well, I’m not a big Toa like you are, and I tire easier,” Huki snapped. “Plus, we’ve been running around this island ever sense we came here.” Jala nodded. He was as tired as Huki, but he chose not to complain. Hahli had it easy, resting in Kopaka’s grip. But she seemed nervous to be held by the cold Toa. “So, are we heading to any specific place?” Huki asked again. Kopaka didn’t answer him. His head swerved to the jungle. He used his Akaku to look through the dense brush. “There is something over there, and it is moving very quickly.” “Possibly just a bird,” muttered Jala. “It is no bird,” Kopaka said. His eyes narrowed. “He set down Hahli, and took out his sword. “Quick, little ones. Find a place to hide!” “There isn’t any place to hide,” said Huki. “Look out!” shouted Jala. Out of the forest shot the green Rahkshi. It lashed out its staff, and poisoned the ground beneath Kopaka’s feet. However, the Toa of Ice dodged the blast, and tried to lure the Rahkshi down the beach. However, Lerahk caught sight of the Matoran. It wasn’t the brightest Rahkshi, but even it could remember the Matoran who had fooled with him to get the Toa stone. The Rahkshi turned, and threw its staff towards Jala. Jala acted with lightning speed, and jumped back, pulling out his firesword as he did so. He faced the green Rahkshi. “Jala!” cried Hahli. The Rahkshi charged, and swung its staff. It hit Jala in the mask, and knocked him back. His sword went flying, and his mask was poisoned. “I’m tired of these Rahkshi,” growled Huki. He kicked a large boulder, and hit the Rahkshi head on. The Rahkshi, about to deliver the final blow to Jala, hesitated. Just long enough for Kopaka to freeze its feet to the ground. “That stopped it!” said Huki. But he frowned. The ice turned to green mush around the Rahkshi, and soon, it was free. “This way!” cried Hahli. She took Jala and Huki’s arms, and hauled them into the ocean, seconds before the Rahkshi would have pulverized them. The Rahkshi hissed, waving the staff at them. However, the Lerahk was unable to get them now. “Creature,” Kopaka said in an ice-cold voice. “It is I who you want.” The Lerahk turned to Kopaka again, and charged after him, as he was now the greater threat. Kopaka shot through the forest, leading the Rahkshi away from the Matoran. Hahli and Huki hauled Jala back to the shore. Hahli looked at Jala’s mask. She gasped. “I can’t believe it! The water healed it!” “Wow,” said Huki. “It took away the infection in our masks that one time, and now it healed Jala’s poisoned mask. Maybe this stuff isn’t so bad, after all.” “It’s the stuff of life,” Hahli said, splashing a bit of it on Huki, who backed up and feverishly dried himself off. “More important than even protodermis.” Jala was starting to come to. He looked up, and shook his head. “Ooh, what happened?” Huki and Hahli filled him in, and then Jala shot up. “Where’s my sword?” he gasped. “I can’t lose that sword!” “It flew into the bushes,” said Hahli. As the sun dipped down beneath the horizon, Hahli, Huki, and Jala searched franticly for his sword. Suddenly, Jala let out a sigh of relief. “I found it.” “That’s great!” said Hahli. “Now what are we suppose to do?” asked Huki. “Wait for Kopaka to come back for us?” Jala was about to reply, when he heard a sudden commotion in the bushed behind him. They backed up fearfully. “Now what?” gasped Huki. Jala drew his sword again, and tightened his grip, so he wouldn’t lose it again. Whatever was coming towards them wouldn’t get them without a fight.
The three Toa headed north, towards the Po-Wahi desert. Pohatu was anxious. “We have freed two villages,” he said. “And the desert village shall also be freed.” “You say that the villagers will be moved to Ga-Koro, which if floating off shore,” Gali pointed out. “Will the Po-Korans like living on a floating village?” Pohatu shrugged. “I don’t know. Probably not. But it has to be better than living under Makuta’s rule.” Tahu shook his head. “The village may not be large enough to hold three villages of Matoran. They shall need to move back to land.” “Makuta’s influence stretches across the land already,” Gali said. “And he can just as easily take the sea. But why as he not done so?” “Maybe this Makuta isn’t as smart as you give him credit for,” Tahu grumbled. “You will soon learn that you should not underestimate the spirit or darkness,” Gali said to Tahu. Tahu gave a nod, and they walked in silence. Maku was still asleep in Gali’s grasp. Suddenly, Pohatu froze. “There is a being ahead,” he said. “Be wary.” Tahu lifted his sword and ignited it. The fire created light, which shown upon the purple creature advancing on them. “What on Mata-Nui is that!” cried Gali. “It’s another one of those creatures,” Pohatu said. “A Rahkshi. It’s a purple one this time!” “The other Rahkshi was easy to defeat,” Tahu said. “I shall destroy this one in no time at all.” “We had the element of surprise last time,” Pohatu pointed out. “This Rahkshi almost took us by surprise.” “So what” Tahu said. “I still have the element of fire!” He lifted his sword, and shot a stream of heat towards the purple Rahkshi, which nimbly dodged out of the way, giving a high pitch hiss. Maku instantly woke up. “What is that!” “Be calm, Maku,” Gali said, setting her down. Gali lifted her hooks, and drew the moisture out of the air around her. She then shot that moisture towards the Rahkshi, but it dodged her again. “Sister, shoot water to the Rahkshi’s right,” Tahu said. “When it dodges, I shall get it with my fire!” “Agreed,” Gali said. She lifted her hooks again, but the Rahkshi lifted its staff first. From the Rahkshi’s staff, a loud sound suddenly came from it. The sound was ear shattering. Tahu and Gali both collapsed, clutching their heads. Pohatu tried to aid them, but he, too, was overcome by the sound. The noise was so much for Maku that it made her pass out. After the power scream, the three Toa lay in a motionless state. The Rahkshi walked over and picked up Maku, and turned into the darkness. Tahu then got to his feet, looking wildly around. “That creature dare defy the might of the Toa of Fire!” he roared. “It took the Matoran!” gasped Pohatu. “But which way did it go?” question Gali. “We shall find it, and free the Matoran,” Tahu growled. “Then we shall teach that creature a lesson for defying us.” “Always arrogant, Tahu,” Gali sighed. “I told you to not underestimate Makuta’s power.”
Jala stood before Huki and Hahli, as the noise in the bushes grew louder. Hahli perked her ears up. “I hear Matoran screaming!” Huki looked at Jala. “Should we do something?” Jala nodded. “If any Matoran needs help, we’re there for them.” “Unless they wear an infected Rau,” Huki added. He, Jala, and Hahli dove into the forest, after the noise. They were stuck in dense underbrush for a while, then they came upon a path. They could see a group of Le-Korans, running down the path. Following them was a pair of Lehvak. “Bohrok,” growled Huki. Jala gritted his teeth. He was tired of Bohrok always getting their way on this island. “Let’s show them a thing or two about picking on Matoran!” “Not again,” groaned Huki. “My feet are already soar from walking so much. I can’t always be kicking Koli balls, you know.” Jala ignored him. Lighting up his sword, he rushed the nearest Bohrok. The Bohrok hesitated. It had been chasing Matoran a few moments earlier, but one of the Matoran was suddenly rushing up to it. It instantly responded by shooting acid at the offending Matoran. Jala hit the ground, and the acid spray flew over him. He swung his sword, trying to hit the Bohrok. But this time, the Bohrok dodged, and Jala’s sword hit vegetation. Hahli grabbed a vine and pulled it off a tree. She handed one end to Huki. “Here. Run on one side of the Bohrok and I’ll run on the other side.” Huki nodded. Together, they raced the remaining Bohrok. The Bohrok again hesitated, and Hahli and Huki ran past it, and caught it with the vine. The Bohrok fell over, but Huki and Hahli turned around and tied up the Bohrok. They backed up, and the Lehvak struggled to get free. However, Huki could see that it would soon use its venom to cut the vine in half, and it would be free. However, he got a sudden idea. “Jala, light this vine on fire!” Jala was thrown by the Bohrok, and heard his friend. He turned and lit the vine on fire. The Bohrok suddenly panicked, as the fire ate away at it’s skin. However, the other Bohrok shot acid at the Matoran, and they just managed to dodge. “Huki, give me a boost,” Hahli said. Huki nodded, and boosted Hahli up in the air. She sailed up, and landed on the Bohrok’s head. The Bohrok instantly tried to throw her off, but Jala and Huki attacked it, diverting its attention. This gave Hahli enough time to hit the Bohrok’s eye, and the krana flew out. There was a ripping noise, and they turned to see the second Bohrok rip free of it’s flaming bond. It turned towards them, but was suddenly hit by a shower of rocks. On of the rocks hit it’s eye, and the krana also popped out. Jala turned to the band of Le-Korans, who had just thrown the rocks. “Thank you,” he said. The Matoran were very shaky. “Who are you?” one of them asked. “We’re just traveling Matoran,” Jala said. “You looked like you needed help.” All the Le-Korans bowed. “We owe our lives to you,” they said together. “I have a question,” Huki said. “How on Mata-Nui did you get free?” “Well, we were in our cave for the night, when suddenly, the door opened, and we all rushed out,” one Matoran said. “The Bohrok were after something else, so we ran. However, the Bohrok turned to us, and most of the Le-Korans were recaptured. Only the ones who are here escaped.” There was a sudden growl, and Jala turned his head down the path. Approaching them was a cart, pulled by a Muaka and Kane-Ra. “Reinforcements,” snarled Jala. He pulled out his fire sword again, and as he light it, he also lit up the night. “Look’s like we’re still in for some trouble.” The driver of the cart suddenly stopped. “YEE!” he cried out. “What is that!” Huki recognized the voice. “TUNAKA!” The cart stopped, and the Muaka and Kane-Ra growled fiercely. Off the cart jumped the Po-Koran driver Tunaka. “Huki, if I ain’t mistaken!” cried Tunaka. “Well, I’ll be! I left you with Nuparu in the tunnels of Onu-Koro, and then I find you days later in the jungle of Le-Wahi with this crowd. This place keeps getting wackier and wackier!” “Wait, you know this Matoran?” asked Hahli. “Kind of,” Huki said. Jala saluted Tunaka. “Hello, Tunaka. I am Jala, captain of the Guard in Ta-Koro.” Tunaka raised his eyebrow. “Now, what’s Ta-Koro needing a captain for? They cut Ta-Koro off my route today, and,” he added in a whisper. “I think it’s because them fire breathers were freed.” “Ta-Koro! Freed!” Jala gasped. “I’ve heard many strange stories sense I met Huki and Nuparu,” Tunaka said. “Our Po-Koran Rahkshi is never at the village. They say he’s always on duty, looking for something. And our village leader got a few bumps on his mask from somethin’. Plus, there’ve been some interesting flashes. One just happened earlier today. And I’ve heard rumors of these creatures as tall as a Rahkshi walking around, as they beat up on all the Bohrok around!” “It’s all part of making Mata-Nui a better place,” Jala said. “We’ll explain it to you later.” Suddenly, there was a chirping sound heard from down the path. The Le-Korans quivered. “It’s the Lehvak!” one of them cried. “Why are them Lehvak coming?” Tunaka asked. “They want to catch us all!” said Jala. “We need to get out of here.” “I can give you all a ride out of here,” Tunaka said brightly. “My friendly Muaka and Kane-Ra are faster than any Bohrok!” At this suggestion, the Muaka and Kane-Ra started bucking, and they grew angry. Huki knew why. ‘Tunaka, they are controlled by Makuta! He won’t let them get you out of here.” “How are they controlled by Makuta?” asked Tunaka. “I’ve raised them all me life! Their only change is when they got their masks!” “Then take off those masks,” cried Jala. The Kane-Ra shot out its head and knocked Jala back. But Huki took the chance, and yanked off one of the Kane-Ra’s mask. The Kane-Ra seemed to grow calm for a second, like it was having second thoughts. By then, Huki ripped off the second mask. The Kane-Ra’s mood instantly changed. It was dazed for a few moments, and then it spotted Tunaka. It leaned down and rubbed its head against Tunaka in an affectionate way. “Awe,” Tunaka said. “He hasn’t done that sense he was a baby!” However, the Muaka was fiercer. Huki tried to take of its mask, and it snapped at Huki. But Jala came up behind it and grabbed a mask, and Hahli raced forward and grabbed the other mask. Within moments, the Muaka was also rubbing against Tunaka. “Those masks did control them,” Jala said. “And now they’ll obey you, and not Makuta,” added Huki. “Help me unload the cargo, and then I’ll have room for the rest of you,” Tunaka said. The Le-Korans raced to the back of the cart, and started unloading some told Tunaka was sending down to Le-Koro. Jala made sure to keep a few for them. Once the cart was relatively empty, the Matoran crowded in. Tunaka turn the cart around. Jala, Huki, and Hahli sat next to him, at the head of the cart. Jala looked behind them, and he could see a huge army of Lehvak closing in on them. “It’s now or never!” Jala yelled. “YAH!” Tunaka said, snapping the ropes. The Muaka and Kane-Ra shot forward instantly, leaving their infected masks behind. Huki glanced back too. The Lehvak were still hot on their tails. “This will be a close race,” he said. “A race that I intend to win!” said Tunaka happily, as his two Rahi pulled the cart onward.
Maku awoke later that night. She was being carried roughly by the purple Rahkshi. She struggled to get free, but the Rahkshi was too strong. Its grip tightened, and Maku struggled to breathe. They were leaving the area between Po-Wahi and Ta-Wahi, where Maku had been kidnapped, and the Rahkshi was heading up the mountain. Maku had a rough idea of where they were heading. The Rahkshi was going to the Kini-Nui, where it could descend to the Magania. Soon, the Rahkshi was sprinting across snowdrifts. Maku grew very cold, and the Rahkshi offered her no comfort. Maku had no idea of the terror she would face if the Rahkshi made it to the Kini-Nui. The Rahkshi paused. Before it appeared something. Maku squinted in the darkness, and realized that it was a Matoran. The Matoran held up his hand, gesturing for the Rahkshi to stop. The Rahkshi was not ready to stop. It lifted its staff, and emitted an earsplitting sound again. Maku struggled to remain conscious, for she was right next to the source of the sound. However, the snowdrifts started to move. The Rahkshi had caused an avalanche. As the snow hit the Rahkshi, it released Maku, who struggled to remain on the surface of the avalanche, where she could breathe. But something grabbed her land, and dragged her through the snow. Soon, Maku lost consciousness again, and drifted into an uneasy sleep.
Takua, Nuparu, Duka, and Onua started down the coast of Mata-Nui early in the morning, on Duka’s boat. The floating village had been expanded for the Ta-Korans, and everybody there was content. “I wish we could go faster,” Duka complained. “I was able to write out a blueprint for a Bula engine pod, but without any Bula berries, I can’t make it.” “The heatstones will do for now,” Nuparu said. “And this is better than walking, anyway.” Takua was using his telescope to scan the beach. “I don’t see any sign of the other Toa,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be Toa Lewa down in this part of Mata-Nui?” “I would really like to meet this Toa,” Duka said. “If he’s anything like Onua, then I’ll love him.” Onua nodded. “I, too, would like to greet this Lewa. You say he has the element of air, right?” “Yeah,” said Nuparu. “I haven’t gotten to know him very well, but he has a great sense of humor.” “He’s also a pretty good prankster,” Takua added. “But he’s also a loyal fighter. Just like all the other Toa.” Onua used his Akaku to look at the beach. He was very quiet for a moment. “I see something.” “What is it!” Takua gasped, staring through his telescope. “Through the trees,” Onua said. “One of those spiked creatures.” “Rahkshi!” hissed Nuparu. “It’s chasing something,” Onua added. “It must be Lerahk,” Duka said. “That Rahkshi can chase an opponent for hours without tiring. However, normally, the opponent doesn’t last longer than an hour.” “Let’s go to the shore and take it out,” said Onua. Takua hesitated. “Do we really want to go mess with a Rahkshi?” “We’re protected by the water,” Nuparu said. “We won’t have anything to worry about if we can reach this stuff in time.” Duka turned the boat and headed for the shore. As the boat touched down, Onua hopped out of it. “It’s heading this direction,” he warned. Suddenly, the Lerahk burst through the bushes, towards Onua. It seemed confused at first, but then caught sight of the Matoran, and hissed furiously. It charged them, swinging its staff. Onua reached up and grabbed the Lerahk’s staff. The Lerahk hissed, but couldn’t overcome Onua’s strength. But suddenly, its staff glowed, and Onua felt the poison start to seep into him. He fell over, before the Lerahk. “Onua! NO!” cried Nuparu, rushing forward. “Stupid Lerahk!” shouted Duka. He grabbed a nearby stick, and attempted to hit the Lerahk. However, the Rahkshi twisted its staff and the stick dissolved in Duka’s hands. Takua reached for the disc in his pack, and he threw it at the Lerahk. The Rahkshi was too quick for Takua, and melted the disc with its poison. The Lerahk then kicked Nuparu back from Onua. Takua got a sudden idea. He leapt in front of the Lerahk, trying to get it to follow him. The Rahkshi turned after Takua, who ran towards the water, hoping to lure the Rahkshi into the ocean. However, the ground beneath Takua suddenly turned to mush, and he sunk in it up to his neck. Takua struggled to get free, but the poisoned ground burned his skin. The Rahkshi hissed victoriously, and was about to bring its staff down on Takua’s head when a rush of wind made it turn its head. The winds grew incredibly strong, and they ripped a tree from the earth, and it shot towards the Rahkshi. The Rahkshi was hit, and hit the ground hard. The Lerahk was back up, and swung its staff at the foliage that was being blown towards it. Suddenly, the air grew increasingly cold. The Lerahk hesitated, and ice build up on its staff. Onua regained his strength, and observed the situation. He jammed his claws into the ground, and the earth shot up and crashed into the half-frozen Lerahk. The Rahkshi stumbled forward, when a green figure leapt forward. He brought down his hatchet, and the kraata was ejected from the Rahkshi. The kraata was dazed, but then it saw Takua stuck in the ground, and it ran for him. Takua struggled, but he still couldn’t break free. However, a white foot crushed the kraata before it got to Takua. Nuparu gasped. “Toa Lewa and Toa Kopaka!” Onua felt the poison leave him, and he dug Takua out of the poisoned ground. Takua was shaking. “I do not like kraata,” he moaned. Duka gazed up at Toa Lewa. “You are the Toa of Air!” “I guess I am,” Lewa said, chuckling. He turned to Onua. “Many thanks, Toa friend. Kopaka Toa and I been fighting this evil beast for long time, and glad you finally battle-end.” Onua just nodded. “Thank you. I am Onua, Toa of Earth.” “And I am Kopaka, Ta of Ice,” he glared down at the three Matoran. “You Matoran must be very important. You are always being targeted by the Rahkshi.” The way he said it, Takua had to think. “Have you seen some other Matoran before?” “Yes,” Kopaka said. “One of them wielded the power of fire in his weapon.” “You’ve met Jala!” gasped Nuparu. “And have you seen Huki and Hahli?” asked Takua. “A crazy brown Matoran and a pretty blue Matoran?” “That is them,” Kopaka said. “I left them on the opposite of this island.” Nuparu and Takua jumped up and down with glee. “They’re alive!” Onua nodded. “That if fortunate. But are they still well?” Kopaka shrugged. “I do not know. I left them to battle this creature with Lewa.” “We should go and find them,” Takua said. Lewa nodded. “Very much! I have evergood plan. Toa Kopaka and I will lead you three Matorans to other side of the island. Toa Onua can rest, for he look notwell.” Onua nodded. “I’ll be better. But with these Matoran in your good hands, I shall go tell the other three Toa of your arrival.” “More Toa?” Kopaka asked. “We’ll explain what’s going on,” Takua said. The two Toa and three Matoran headed back into the jungle as Onua took Duka’s boat up towards Ta-Koro. In the trees, two new Rahkshi glared after two Toa and three Matoran. The yellow Rahkshi hissed to the blue-green Rahkshi, and they followed the party.
As the sun rose over the horizon, Tunaka’s cart raced crazily down a path, followed by a huge swarm of Lehvak. Jala looked back. “We’re almost to the desert, and those Bohrok haven’t lost a step!” “We’re staying well ahead of ‘em, though,” Tunaka replied. “We’re going to run out of areas to run in,” Huki mumbled. “We’ll be near Po-Koro soon, and then we’ll have even more Bohrok to deal with.” “Where on this island can the Matoran be safe?” Tunaka wondered. “We still haven’t found that place,” Hahli mumbled. “If it even exists.” A Lehvak shot acid, and it just missed hitting the cart. Jala breathed a sigh of relief. This had been happening all night, and they had only gotten hit a few times. The Muaka and Kane-Ra were fast enough to stay ahead of the swarms. But Huki was right. They couldn’t run forever. “We’ll have to do something,” Jala said bitterly. He turned to his friends. “Got any ideas?” Suddenly, there was a loud rumble, and the Bohrok froze. The two Rahi also hesitated. The Matoran glanced around, searching for the source of the sound. “Oh no,” Jala gasped. “Land slide!” cried Huki. “Get us out of here!” “YAA! YAA!” Tunaka cried, ushering his Rahi to move forward. The Muaka and Kane-Ra were nervous, and shot forwards faster than normal. The Bohrok moved away from the landslide too, but they were not as fast as the two Rahi. The falling rocks creamed the Bohrok. The cart slide to a halt just outside the area caught in the landslide. “That was strange,” Hahli said. “Stranger still that the rock happened to be on fire,” added Huki, glaring at the fallen rocks with amazement. Jala turned his gaze to the rocks too. He could see that they were nearly melted. The rockslides had been more like a lava slide. However, one by one, the Bohrok popped out of the rocks. Bohrok were very durable. The snow avalanche hadn’t taken out the Kohrak earlier, and the heated rockslide still wasn’t enough to destroy the Lehvak. But they weren’t durable enough to resist the wave of water that shot towards them. As suddenly as the landslide had appeared, a wave of water crashed into the Bohrok, and blew them towards the ocean. Hahli turned towards the source of the water. “Toa Gali!” Jala and Huki turned. “Toa Tahu!” cried Jala. “Toa Pohatu!” Huki yelled in delight. “Those are Toa?” gasped Tunaka. “With them around, you’re always safe,” Huki commented, as he ran to his Toa. The Le-Korans slowly got out of the cart to see the Toa. “Hello, Hahli,” Gali said, as she took up the Matoran in her hooks. “Gali, its s good to see you!” Hahli cried. Jala turned to Tahu. He bowed to the Toa. “I owe you my gratitude for rescuing me again.” “Again?” Tahu asked in surprise. “Well, I mean, thanks for saving me,” Jala said sheepishly. “Your friends sent us to find you,” Pohatu said. “Takua and Nuparu are in good hands. However, we lost the other blue Matoran…” Huki, filled with happiness with seeing his Toa, suddenly felt dread flow through him. “Do you mean…” he gasped. “A purple Rahkshi took her last night,” Gali explained. “We were searching for her when we found you.” “A purple Rahkshi?” Jala asked. “What village does it come from. There are only six villages, so shouldn’t there only be six Rahkshi?” Tunaka walked up to Jala. “Haven’t you heard of the rumors? It is said that there are unlimited breeds of kraata on this island. The kraata somehow control the Rahkshi, so different breeds control different Rahkshi. There are far more than six.” Jala turned white. Just the six Rahkshi were bad enough… but there were more of them! “How’d you know that?” asked Hahli. Tunaka shrugged. “I’m a traveler. I’ve heard a lot in my travels. That’s just something I’ve picked up before. Although we have never encountered any Rahkshi besides those six… rumor has it that there are many more. Like that purple one.” “Why would they take Maku?” sobbed Huki. “Why her? She could be dead by now!” “I do not believe that the Rahkshi intended to kill her,” Gali said bitterly. “It most likely was instructed to capture her for some reason.” “Why would Makuta want to kidnap Matoran?” Jala asked, but he immediately knew the answer. The Kurahk had almost taken Hahli from him, and it hadn’t tried to kill her. If Makuta had taken Hahli, Jala would have done anything to save her. And he knew Huki would do the same for Maku. “Where would they take Maku?” Hahli wondered. Jala did some quick thinking. “Po-Koro is the closest village. I’m betting they would have taken Maku there. So if we can go there and take out the Bohrok…” “Impossible!” cried Tunaka. “I highly doubt that you could defeat the Pahrak in one to one combat. You’d need an edge somehow.” Jala smiled. “And that’s where you come in, Tunaka…”
Maku struggled to open her eyes. She was cold, so very cold. She was lying atop some snow, and it offered her no warmth. Maku opened her eyes to the darkness of a snow cave. “You have awakened,” said a voice. “Please rest. You shall need your strength.” “I’m cold,” Maku mumbled. The Matoran handed her a small blanket, and Maku got some warmth from it. The Matoran chuckled. “I forget, you are not a resident of the cold mountain. I would offer you a heatstone, however we cannot let this ice cave melt over us.” Maku started to come back to her senses. “Who are you?” she asked the Matoran. “And why did that Rahkshi capture me?” “The shadows want you, Maku, along with your friends,” the Matoran said. “As for me, you called my Kopeke.” “That Ko-Koran we met earlier?” Maku gasped. “The same.” Maku huddled in silence for a moment, and then she spoke again. “Why do the shadows want me?” “You are connected to the Vahi,” Kopeke explained. “That is why.” “Vahi?” Maku said. “Isn’t that the mask Tahu used to slow down time?” Kopeke didn’t respond. Maku reminded herself that Kopeke hadn’t seen Tahu use the Vahi. Instead, she asked another question. “So, is this how you live? Do you hide in ice caves all the time?” “Within the snow, we are protected from the shadows, and are allowed to meditate in peace,” Kopeke said. “We walk the drifts at night to watch the stars. It is day now, and soon Rahkshi will be searching for you. We shall hide until night comes again.” “Why are you helping me like this?” Maku asked. “It has said so in the skies,” Kopeke said. However, he smiled. “Yet I cannot let a fellow Matoran go to the center of darkness and not do anything about it.” “What are we going to do?” Maku asked. “When night does come?” “The stars have revealed that it is time,” Kopeke said. “II have wanted to do this for a long time, but the stars have said that it was not time. And now the time has come.” “What are you talking about?” Maku asked. “I will help you find the Turaga,” Kopeke said. Maku gasped in surprise, and then felt the Ko-Korans hand on her shoulder. “Rest now,” said Kopeke. “You shall need you energy later.”
Lewa, Kopaka, Takua, Duka, and Nuparu marched through the forest. The Matoran had just finished telling the Toa of their adventures. “Very strange, indeed,” Kopaka said. “I hope Jala and the others are all right,” Takua said. “I don’t know how many times we’ve almost been defeated by the Rahkshi and Bohrok.” “Yet you are still alive,” Kopaka pointed out. “That must prove something.” “Yeah, well, we’ve been pretty lucky,” Takua muttered. “Luck isn’t everything,” Kopaka said. “Well, despite the fact that we’ve had some victories, I’m glad we have all the Toa with us now,” Nuparu said. “I feel safer knowing I have some Toa watching out for me.” “Well, we still have to be careful,” Takua said. “There are still plenty of Bohrok to be wary of.” “You have fought many evil badcreatures,” Lewa said brightly. “But worrynot now. Us Toa will helpprotect you!” “Yeah!” said Duka. “I hope we can free all of Le-Koro, so Toa Lewa can protect us.” Lewa chuckled. “I’ll try, Matoranfriend.” Duka nodded happily, but suddenly, he tripped over a rock on the ground and fell face first into the dirt. “You alright?” Nuparu asked, turning around. “Yeah,” said Duka, rubbing his head. “This is a strange carving.” “Carving?” Takua asked, coming closer to examine the rock. “Do you Le-Korans ever have time to carve?” “Naw, it’s those desert Matoran who do the carving for Makuta,” Duka explained. “Though I can’t see what this is all about. Looks like the top of a mask.” “Hey, Takua, hand my your chisel,” Nuparu said. “I’ll try to dig this rock out.” Takua handed Nuparu his chisel, and watched the Onu-Koran start to work at removing the dirt. The two Toa stood behind them, watching. “What happened to your other chisel?” Takua asked. Nuparu shrugged. “I must’ve left it in Ga-Koro. At least, I hope I did. Ah, give me a hand with this.” Duka helped Nuparu yank the stone out of the ground. It was a smooth stone about as large as a mask. On the front was some writing and a picture of a Mahiki mask. “What does it say?” Lewa asked. Takua peered closely at the rock. “I can’t make it out. It’s too blurry.” “Who would have carved something like this?” Nuparu asked. “As far as I can tell, it would have nothing to do with the society Makuta has placed on the Le-Korans.” “It’s pretty dirty,” Takua observed. He rubbed the stone a bit. “I bet if we polish it up, we could read what’s on it.” Kopaka suddenly ushered them to remain silent. He turned to the forest, peering through the forest using his Akaku. “We are being followed.” “By what?” asked Takua is a dead whisper. “Two spined creatures,” Kopaka said. “Rahkshi!” gasped Duka. Nuparu nodded, and put Takua’s chisel in his pack. The three Matoran hid behind the Toa. “There is a yellow one,” Kopaka informed them. “What powers does it have?” Nuparu raised his eyebrow. “Yellow? Which village would that represent?” “LOOK OUT!” All of the sudden, a blue and green Rahkshi appeared before Lewa and Kopaka. Takua could have sworn that it appeared out of thin air. “Let us start helpprotecting you!” Lewa said suddenly. He lifted his hatchet, and summoned a strong wind to blow through the trees. The wind lifted the blue and green Rahkshi high into the air. “Let’s see you backcome now!” Lewa said, smirking. In the distance, the Rahkshi’s staff glowed, and there was a bright flash. Suddenly, the Rahkshi appeared right before Lewa again. Lewa gasped, and the Rahkshi hit the Toa with its staff. Lewa went down. Kopaka turned to face the blue and green Rahkshi, but, suddenly, the yellow one burst out of the forest and attacked him. Kopaka lifted his sword, and incased the yellow Rahkshi in ice. But the Rahkshi’s eyes glowed, and the ice turned to steam. Kopaka was taken aback, but tried to freeze the Rahkshi again. However, the Rahkshi turned its head towards Kopaka, and shot heat beams from its eyes, and scorched the ground where Kopaka had been an instant earlier. The yellow Rahkshi fired its heat beams again and again at Kopaka. At first, Kopaka tried to summon a wall of ice to protect him, but the wall didn’t last long enough to be of any use. As the Rahkshi fired again, Kopaka tried to use his shield, until it became unbearably hot, and he was forced to drop it. The yellow Rahkshi advanced on Kopaka, and hit him dead on with its heat beam eyes. Kopaka fell to his knees, overcome by the heat. Lewa was up again, and was facing the other Rahkshi. However, he wasn’t fairing very well either. He swung his hatchet at the blue and green Rahkshi, but it disappeared to a new place every time before it could get hit. The Rahkshi suddenly appeared above Lewa, and smacked him with its staff. Lewa fell down again, and rolled away just as the blue and green Rahkshi stabbed the ground with its staff. The Matoran had taken refuge in a bush, and watch the battles in horror. The Toa were losing. “That yellow Rahkshi,” Nuparu said. “It has heat beam eyes. Kopaka can’t fight it!” “But what can we do?” asked Takua. “If we try to help him, we’ll get melted too!” “Maybe not,” said Duka. “I have an idea. Let’s get up into the trees.” “Okay,” Nuparu said, as he followed Duka. “I just don’t get one thing. I thought there were only six Rahkshi!” The kraata pit in Ga-Koro flashed before Takua’s eyes, and he instantly understood. “Oh no! There are more than six breeds of kraata! Each breed of kraata creates a new type of Rahkshi. And who knows how many kraata breeds there are!” “More types of Rahkshi!” Duka gasped, as he made it to a high branch. “Just what we need.” “So, now what?” Takua asked Duka, as he climbed up beside him. “How distracted do you think the Rahkshi would get,” Duka said. “If you dropped a Matoran down on them?” Takua couldn’t help but smile. “Good idea!” “Follow me!” Duka yelled. He jumped out of the tree and fell towards the blue and green Rahkshi. The Rahkshi noticed him, and disappeared right away, and appeared nearby. Lewa leapt over and caught Duka before he hit the ground. The Rahkshi hissed, and attempted to strike Lewa while he was distracted, when Takua suddenly landed on its head. Take this!” Takua yelled, and he punched the Rahkshi’s head. This had no effect, and the Rahkshi shook its head and Takua fell off. But when it turned around… Lewa swung his hatchet, and the Rahkshi flew into the air, and landed in the jungle with a thud. Lewa dropped Duka, and raced towards Kopaka, who was now on the ground, as the heat beam eyes Rahkshi heated Kopaka up. “Hey, slughead!” Lewa yelled. A burst of wind got the Rahkshi’s attention, and it turned towards Lewa. Kopaka stood up, and he felt his ice powers return to him now that he wasn’t the Rahkshi’s victim. Just before the Rahkshi would’ve shot its heat beam eyes at Lewa, Kopaka froze him in ice again. “Well done, brother!” Lewa cheered. “He’ll melt his way out soon!” Kopaka said, but it was too late. The heat beam eye Rahkshi was free, and it turned towards the two Toa. Suddenly, something dropped out of the trees, and landed on the Rahkshi’s head. The spines burst open, and the kraata flew into the air. Lewa swung his hatchet, and cut the kraata up as it was still falling. “Way to go, Nuparu!” Duka and Takua cheered. Kopaka narrowed his eyes. “Lewa, what of the other Rahkshi?” “I knocked it into the forest,” Lewa said, but then there was a flash of light. The blue and green Rahkshi appeared before Lewa, and shoved him aside. Then it aimed its staff towards Nuparu, and shot a bright beam of light at him. “NOO!” shouted Takua, leaping forward. There was a bright flash of light, and when Takua landed, the Rahkshi was gone. Nuparu had also vanished. “NOO!” wailed Takua. “Not Nuparu! No, this can’t be!” “This… can’t… be… happening!” Duka stuttered. “By the Great Beings!” Lewa gasped, as he stood up. “Nuparu,” said Kopaka quietly. “Is no more.”
The day was ending, and the sun sunk below the horizon. The Panrahk and Pahrak guards ushered in the cart. The Comet Ball Traitor stood beside the Rahkshi. Another infected Rau had replaced his broken Rau. However, he had a nastier look in his eyes. He looked up to the cart driver. “What took you so long! Do you have the supplies from Le-Koro?” “No,” said Tunaka gruffly. The Comet Ball Traitor was surprised. “Ah, well, it’ll be your people who’ll starve. Why are you slacking off, ‘eh?” “Lehvak guards on the road,” Tunaka explained. “Trouble down there, wouldn’t let me through.” The Comet Ball Traitor scowled. He had heard of the escaped Le-Korans, and obviously this cart driver had been delayed because of them. Ever since those Matoran had showed up, and gone around collecting the Toa stones, thing had been going wrong. Ta-Koro hadn’t been heard from in days, and he was sure that they had been freed. The Ga-Koro slaves had also been freed, when the Toa had shown up. Le-Koro was obviously the next target. “So, why are you so late?” growled the Comet Ball Traitor. “You should’ve been back by midday! We have an order of protodermus from Onu-Koro you need to go get!” “Got it,” Tunaka growled back. “Tried to make my trip productive. Have it in the back.” He gestured to the full cart. “Good,” the Comet Ball Traitor said. He gestured to the Muaka and Kane-Ra, who’s infected masks were gleaming in the moonlight. “Lead them to the stable. It’s too late tonight. We’ll unload in the morning. Get to the cage!” Tunaka nodded, and lead his Muaka and Kane-Ra to the stable. As he disembarked, he whispered, “Good luck,” before the Pahrak ushered him away.
In the dead of night, Jala and Huki, along with four Le-Korans and Hahli, climbed gingerly out of the back of the cart. In the stables, they were hidden from the Bohrok and Rahkshi guards. Jala yanked off the one of the Muaka’s Hau masks off and rubbed it clean. The Kuja berry juice, used to make the mask look infected, rubbed right off. Jala replaced his mask on his face. “About time.” One Le-Koran took the other Hau and Huki and a second Le-Koran cleaned off their Kakamas that were on the Kane-Ra. “Well, we’re following the plan so far,” whispered Huki. “Now what do we do?” “I’m betting that Maku’s in the cage with the other Matoran,” Jala said. “We’ll need to get somebody to go down there and break into the cage.” “Don’t you remember what Tunaka said,” Hahli whispered to Jala. “There is always a Pahrak guard down there with the Matoran. How can any one of us get past it without causing an uproar?” “We’ll cause a different uproar,” Jala smiled. “Tunaka told me that there are some other carts with Muaka and Kane-Ra tied up over here. So, if we release them, after removing their Kanohi…” “They’ll cause a nice distraction!” finished Huki. “Wouldn’t the Pahrak hurt them?” Hahli said in a worried voice. “Let’s hope not,” one of the Le-Korans said. “Tunaka will be very sad if one of his Rahi get hurt.” “Okay, go in pairs,” Jala whispered to them. They should be snoozing, so it will be easy to get their masks off. But be careful anyway. These are dangerous Rahi, after all.” The Le-Korans split up into two pairs, and Jala, Huki, and Hahli teamed up. They each went up to the three other carts in the stable. “They’re asleep,” Hahli assured them, and they silently walked over to the Kane-Ra. Huki wrapped his arm around one mask and Jala did the same to the other mask. “Do it slowly, so he doesn’t wake up,” Jala whispered to Huki. “Let’s go.” The two Matoran gingerly pulled off the infected masks. The Kane-Ra instantly started snorting, but it was a pleasant sort of snort. “That was easy,” Hahli said, and she pulled off the infected mask of the Muaka. She smiled as she set it down. But as she turned around, she saw the Muaka’s yellow eye open wide. “Oh…” Hahli started, backing up. Jala, on the other hand, shot forward. He snagged the last mask, but the Muaka growled and stood up. Jala was now dangling in the air, clutching to the mask. The Muaka growled again, getting aggravated. The Kane-Ra also awoke, but it wasn’t as angry as the Muaka, because it was already free of Makuta’s infection. Jala gave a mighty tug, and the mask slipped of the Muaka. He dropped, and at the same time, the Muaka tried to slash him, and just missed. It’s anger ebbed off a bit as the last infected mask came undone, but it was still angry for being waken up from its slumber. “Jala…” started Huki, as the Muaka towered above them. “Open the door!” Jala cried. “Let it free.” With a roar, the Muaka leapt for Jala, who nimbly dodged it. Huki shot towards the door and pried it opened. The Muaka sprang towards him, but he dodged it, and it ran out into the open. “GO!” Jala shouted, and slapped the Kane-Ra. This Rahi also sprang for the door, following the Muaka. They could also hear the Le-Korans having success, and soon, six large Rahi were out and abut in Po-Koro. Jala glanced out and saw the Pahrak rushing after them as the Muaka they had freed crushed half made statues and eventually creamed the fence. A Kane-Ra extended its head, and they saw a Pahrak explode into many pieces. Jala looked around widely for the Panrahk, but he hadn’t sighted the dreaded Rahkshi yet. However, he did see the Pahrak come storming out of the underground cage. “Huki, Hahli,” Jala commanded. “Follow me! “The rest of you, get Tunaka’s Rahi ready to roll!” “You got it!” squeaked a Le-Koran, and they rushed to get the cart ready. Jala, Huki, and Hahli raced across the desert sands, and down into the cage. Inside, they saw the Po-Korans, awaken from the commotion above them. Tunaka was jumping up and down at the front of the cage. “You guys did it! Yippee!” Jala strode forward when a wicked laugh met his ears. He turned to see the Comet Ball Traitor, holding onto a purple kraata like it was his most prized possession. “I thought you might come here soon,” the infected Matoran sneered. “Now, feel the power of my Shadow Kraata!” He dropped the purple kraata onto the ground, where it seemed to try and stand. Suddenly, Jala and Huki felt a familiar sickness take them. Their masks were slowly becoming infected. “Jala!” cried Hahli. As Jala fell forward, Hahli grabbed his firesword off his back and felt it light up in her hands. She brought it down on the Shadow Kraata, which exploded in bits of slime. Jala had passed out, but Huki ripped off his mask before he became infected himself. He turned and ripped of Jala’s as well. The Comet Ball Traitor was beside himself in rage. “You shall pay for destroying that kraata!” he snarled. “You know what, I’ve had quite enough of you,” Huki sneered. He jumped up, and kicked the infected Matoran’s mask with all his might. Again, the infected Rau split in half, and the Matoran slumped down to the ground. All the Po-Korans cheered. Hahli hastily took the keys from the wall and unlocked the cage. Hahli led the Matoran up into the open. Tunaka and Huki struggled to drag Jala out. The Bohrok were still fighting the Muaka and Kane-Ras that were rampaging around, but the Le-Korans had managed to bring Tunaka’s cart up to the entrance of the cage. Hahli led all the Po-Korans into the cart, and Tunaka took his place up behind his friendly Rahi. “Are you beauties ready to run again?” The Rahi snorted, and started off. Huki helped Jala onto the cart, but then rushed back into the cage. Hahli worried about leaving him behind, leapt down too. Huki came running out holding an infected Kakama and Hau. “We’ll have to wash these later,” he gasped. Hahli grabbed him, and helped him catch up to the cart. They piled on, and Tunaka took off at top speed. “We did it!” cried Hahli in delight. She found her way up front with Tunaka. “We freed Po-Koro!” Tunaka suddenly froze. “NO!” he cried. “Panrahk! YEEE!” he yelled at his Rahi. The Panrahk fired at the cart, and hit the straps holding the Rahi to the cart. The Rahi broke free, and ran off. The cart skidded and toppled over, spilling all the Matoran. The Rahkshi hissed angrily. The Pahrak turned from the Rahi and started towards the overturned cart. “Oh no!” gasped Hahli. “Where are the Toa?” cried Tunaka. The Rahkshi leapt towards them, raising its staff. But Hahli felt something well up in her. She lit Jala’s firesword, which was still in her hands, and charged the Rahkshi. The Rahkshi hesitated for a moment as the insane Matoran raced towards it. Then, the Panrahk aimed its staff, and blasted a hole in the ground before Hahli. Hahli tried to jump over it, but tripped and fell into it. The Rahkshi hissed again, but then it was his by a fire fiercer than that of Jala’s firesword. Tahu leapt upon the Panrahk, slashing at it with his sword. The Rahkshi pushed him away, and tried to blast the Toa apart. Tahu used his Hau to protect him, but the strain was too much. “Remember me?” The Rahkshi suddenly turned, as Pohatu kicked it. The Rahkshi, amazingly enough, dropped its staff and crashed into the earth. Pohatu was upon it, using his Kakama to zip over. He rammed its head down, and the kraata popped out. Pohatu’s large foot easily crushed the kraata. Hahli crawled out the hole to find the Toa tackling the remaining Pahrak. Gali had attacked the rest, and many of them were kranaless. Tunaka raced forward and helped Hahli out of the hole. He was positively beaming. Hahli could see that his Rahi had come back, and all the Po-Korans were crawling from the wreckage of the cart. “We won!” Tunaka cried in delight. “We freed Po-Koro!”
Maku was shaken away. She opened her eyes to see Kopeke. “What’s wrong?” Maku asked quietly. “Night has come,” Kopeke said in a whisper. “We shall leave now.” The last thing Maku wanted to do was stroll around the snowfields in the dark, but Kopeke led her out of the snow cave. They emerged on the snowfields of Mt. Ihu. The sky was cleared of all clouds, and the stars twinkled at Maku. “Are you going to take me to the Turaga?” Maku asked Kopeke, as they started across the snowfields. “The Turaga are captured,” Kopeke said. “Long ago, Makuta took the Turaga, but not before they left clues behind them.” “How do you know so much?” Maku questioned the Ko-Koran. “Do you remember our previous timeline?” Kopeke shook his head. “I was not transported back through time. I am part of this reality. However, the skies remember. The skies tell me of you and your task. The stars have now reveled to me where Nuju’s clue can be found.” “What clue?” asked Maku. “The Turaga were aware of their capture,” Kopeke explained. “They had read the stars too. They prepared stones with clues on how to free them. They were to be given to the Matoran. But the Makuta took them, and their stones remain hidden from the Matoran. Makuta then formed an alliance with the Bahrag, and they enslaved the island. The Turaga were lost, and forgotten.” “Why haven’t you gone looking for them before now?” Maku asked. “The stars told me that my time would come. That is now.” Kopeke fell silent. Maku remained slightly confused, but followed the Ko-Koran through the snow. Maku shivered, and the cold was starting to get to her. However, Kopeke stopped, and pointed to a patch of snow. Maku followed his gaze, and saw a smooth stone with a Matatu engraved on it. Below it, Maku could make out some writing. “This is the stones the Turaga left,” Kopeke explained. “They are clues. Follow me.” Kopeke led Maku to a cave nearby, where they could warm up over a heat stone. Maku warmed her frozen limbs, but questioned Kopeke. “Was that stone buried in the snow?” Kopeke nodded. “It was left in the snow drifts, and wind and time has buried it deep into the drifts, so it has been long forgotten.” “But the winds just happened to reveal it tonight?” Maku asked. “The stars told me it was time,” Kopeke said simply. “What does the stone say?” Maku asked. “Read it,” suggested Kopeke. “It is a clue.” Maku took the stone, and scrapped off the ice so she could read the writing upon it.
Climb high as you can be So all five Wahis you can see From the light, into a cavern you flee Solve the puzzle to lead you to me
Maku looked up, puzzled. “It is some kind of riddle. But I don’t get it.” “It will lead us to the next clue,” Kopeke said. “It’s directions?” Maku asked, rereading the riddle. Kopeke nodded in response. Maku thought. “Well, it says you have to climb up until you can see all five Wahis… and the only place you could do that is on Mt. Ihu. But isn’t it a really big mountain?” “Yes.” Maku could see that she wasn’t going to get much help out of Kopeke. She would mostly have to figure this out on her own. “Well, the mountain is on the western side of Mata-Nui, so you’d have to be on the eastern part of the mountain to see the other Wahis,” Maku speculated. “Or on the very top. Which must’ve been damaged pretty badly after we found Kopaka’s Toa stone… but wait! It says we have to go into a cavern! There wouldn‘t be any place for a cavern on the top of the mountain. So it must be on some part of the eastern side… but that still leaves a lot of ground to cover!” Maku turned to Kopeke. “Can you take me up to the eastern side of the mountain?” Kopeke nodded. “We can go now.” “But I’ll need daylight to see the other Wahis…” Maku started. “Sun will rise by the time we arrive,” Kopeke said. “But we must be quick. Makuta loves darkness, but in the light, we will be spotted. Especially on the mountain top.”
As night fell, the two Toa stopped near the hills, not far from their battle with the Rahkshi. Kopaka kept a lookout, while Lewa and Duka tried to comfort Takua. Takua had been weeping since Nuparu had vanished. “Why did he have to go?” Takua wailed. “Why?” “He was helping us out,” Duka pointed out. “It was Nuparu who helped defeat that yellow Rahkshi." “Why did he have to go now?” asked Takua. “We’ve gone through so much together.” Duka put his hand on Takua’s shoulder. “I know what it is like to lose a dear-friend, Takua. Let us avenge them.” “Yes, good idea!” said Lewa. “But how do we defeat dark foes such as Makuta?” “I don’t know,” Takua shouted. “I don’t know!” Duka was keen to change the subject. “What about that one rock!” he said. “I brought it here with us. Let us polish it up like you suggested, Takua.” Lewa nodded. He hovered up into the high branches of the trees, and came down with a leaf that had collected dew in it. “Let us use this to clean-wipe this rock.” Takua dully took the leaf and started cleaning off the stone. Even filled with grief, he was able to take his mind off things as he cleaned the stone. Finally, the last of the grime was off it. Takua pushed it back to Duka. “There. It’s clean now.” Duka quickly read over the stone. “This is strange,” he said. “It is some sort of riddle. It has a bright green Mahiki carved on it. Does it tell you of a place to find this mask?” “Masks?” asked Lewa. “I collected some at clearing where prisoner-Matoran were held. Yet bug-Bohrok pushed me away from collecting the rest.” “What do you think of this, Takua?” Duka asked. He handed the stone back to Takua, who read the riddle.
In the great jungle, and to the west Located where many Kewa nest Inside the large hollow tree Solve the puzzle to lead you to me
“Sounds like it’ll lead you to a someone, not a something,” Takua said, pushing the stone back. “Who wold leave clues for somebody to seek-find them?” Lewa wondered. “I can tell you one thing,” Duka said. “It isn’t going to be any Matoran. No Matoran has ever gone into hiding before Takua and his friends arrived.” “Then what other beings are there who want to be found?” Lewa asked. Takua glanced at the stone, and the mask imprinted on it seemed to remind him of someone. Then Takua leapt up. “Turaga Matau!” he cried. “This will help lead us to the Turaga!” “Turaga who?” Lewa asked. “The Turaga are the wise elders of Mata-Nui,” Takua explained. “Or they were. None of the Matoran has heard of them, but Kopeke did hint that the Turaga could be found. I think.” Kopaka turned his gaze on Takua. “Could these Turaga help us in any way?” Takua shrugged. “I’m not sure. Probably. They know a lot, but exactly what they know…” Duka stood up. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s quick-find this Turaga!”
Jala and Huki sat in the back of Tunaka’s cart. They had just made a journey to the sea to disinfect their masks, and now Tunaka was taking them back to Po-Koro. Huki was in a dark mood, and was fidgeting around. He turned to Jala. “What are you doing?” Jala had a piece of protodermus in his hand, and he was carving it with his fire sword. “I’m making a sword for Hahli. She told me what she did with the Panrahk. She sounds like she has a warrior’s spirit within her. I thought she’d like her own weapon.” “Oh,” said Huki, and turned his back on Jala. Jala set aside his sword and tugged on Huki. “Look, I know what’s bugging you. I’m sure we’ll find Maku somewhere.” Huki rudely pushed Jala back. “How so? If she was taken here, then they must’ve… gotten rid of her. If they took her somewhere else, then we’re going to be too late. Maku is gone.” “I know how you feel…” Jala started. “No you don’t!” Huki shouted. “You don’t understand what it’s like to have the Matoran you care the most about taken away from you!” “Yes I do,” Jala said quietly. “The white Rahkshi took Hahli, remember. It just grabbed her and took her away from us. It took her away from me. I know what it’s like to feel empty like you do now. I almost lost Hahli. If it wasn’t for Kopaka, we would’ve never seen her again.” Huki was silent. When he spoke, it was in a weak voice. “I don’t know how I can go on without her, Jala. I left her when we got caught in that avalanche, remember? I left her to help you and Hahli, because I thought you’d be in danger. But instead, she’s the one who’s captured. She’s gone, and I never got to say goodbye. I don’t know how to handle that.” “Fight in memory of Maku,” Jala whispered. “If she is truly gone, then let us avenge her. But do not lose hope yet, Huki. Maku is one tough Matoran. She won’t be easy to get rid of. We could still find her.” Huki whipped away a tear. “Thanks Jala.”
“What do we plan to do with all these Matoran?” Pohatu asked. He and the other Toa were watching over the Po-Korans, as they prepared to leave their desolate village. “The Ta-Korans have been taken to the Ga-Koran village,” Tahu pointed out. “Perhaps we can taken them there.” “Be serious, Tahu,” Gali said. “We cannot fit Ga-Koran, Ta-Koran, Po-Koran, and Le-Koran Matoran in one single village. There must be something else we can do.” “Toa Gali is right,” Hahli said. She was at the Toa of Water’s feet. “The makeshift village is small for just Ga-Korans. We cannot fit the entire island’s population of Matoran on one floating village!” “You Matoran have told us that the water protects you,” Pohatu pointed out. “Any place on the island is bound to be overrun by Bohrok and Rahkshi.” “The water protects you?” Gali asked, astounded. “How so?” Hahli blushed. “Well, we’re not sure if it protects all of the Matoran. But Takua, Jala, Huki, Nuparu, and Maku and I were all protected from Bohrok and Rahkshi when we’re in the waters around the island. It’s like a shield for us, and it has helped us ease infections and poisons from the enemies. That’s why Jala and Huki went to the ocean to clean their masks.” “Just you six Matoran…” Gali said. “You are special. You have helped free this island from the grasp of the Makuta and Bohrok. You have summoned the Toa. You are also protected by the scarce waters.” Hahli shrugged. “Well, I know it sounds absurd, but we think we were carried through time to this new reality. Really, everything on this island should be different. There should be Turaga, and Makuta and the Bahrag did not control us.” “Yes, I see,” Gali said. “You were the six Matoran who were with us when we tried to defeat the Kal. You may be of more importance than we are to believe.” “Really?” wonder Hahli. Then, “Wait! You remember the Kal? You remember the previous timeline?” “Yes I do,” Gali nodded. Tahu and Pohatu just stared. “These little guys,” Pohatu started. “And gals,” he added, with a wink at Hahli. “Have been confusing us with these stories ever since we arrived. And now the Toa of Water seems to understand it!” “I would like to understand it as well,” Tahu mumbled. “Why do you remember?” Hahli asked. “And why doesn’t anybody else remember?” “Of that,” Gali sighed. “I am not sure.”
Nuparu awoke suddenly. He was shoved face first into the ground. The ground was cold, and it absorbed all of his hope along with his heat. “You can go,” boomed a voice. The voice seemed to come from nowhere specifically, but at the same time, from everywhere at once. Nuparu heard the Rahkshi stomp off into the distance. Nuparu observed his surroundings. There was only a dim light, which allowed his to see the ground, and a black mist swirling around him. He could tell that he was underground, but he could not make out any walls or the ceiling. All he could see around him was the black mist. Nuparu shivered. He could sense the evil lurking around him. He tried to stand tall, and await whatever was about to attack him, but he could not summon the power to even lift his head. “You are mine now,” the voice said n a whisper that vibrated throughout the mist. “I have you.” “No!” Nuparu mumbled, covering his head. “No…” The mists were drawing in closer. “You shall tell me all you know,” the voice said. “Wh… what?” gasped Nuparu. “Tell me where your friends are,” the voice hissed. “Tell me where the village is. I will know this.” “I…” Nuparu sputtered. But he summoned all his courage. Before he could think about fear, he stood up and waved his fist into the shadows. “I won’t tell you anything. I won’t rat out my friends.” “I told you it wouldn’t work!” snapped another voice. This new voice was more of a hiss than the other voice, which carried so much more fear with it. “You are a fool to try,” said a third voice, much like the second voice. The first voice spoke again. “Then I shall taken his mind. I need it anyway, to keep things right.” Nuparu was frozen with fear. The mist swirled around him faster and faster, and pressed in one him. The utter darkness was blinding him. Nuparu fell to the ground. He reached blindly in his pack for his pickax. For anything that he could use. His hand grabbed something, and he yanked out his lightstone. The shadows gave a shriek, and fell back suddenly. Nuparu could see that the mist was not just a mist, but moving shadows, which had nearly engulfed him. With the shadow held at bay, Nuparu ran. But he had nowhere to run.” “He is resisting!” shouted the third voice. “You fool!” “I shall douse his light!” the first voice roared. The mists followed Nuparu, and tried to stop him. Yet they fell back at the glow of the lightstone. Nuparu ran, but he felt as if he were going nowhere. All he could see was the mist about him. Suddenly, he tripped over a golden sphere, with a small hole in it. He stood up, and stared at the sphere. He remembered a story Takua had told him once. When Takua had been present at the awakening of the Bohrok, he had escaped by injecting his chisel into a golden sphere. Perhaps this sphere would do the same thing for him. “NO!” the voice cried out. The mists came closer. Nuparu held his lightstone up high, and tore through his backpack with his other hand. He knew he had Takua’s chisel. It was in his pack somewhere… The shadows shot forward. A sudden tentacle of shadows crashed into Nuparu’s lightstone, and it shattered. The light died out instantly. At the same moment, Nuparu closed his hands on the chisel. Clutching his pack, he lunged in the darkness for the golden sphere. His hands felt the sphere, and he searched for the correct spot to insert toe chisel. The shadows touched him, and he felt them bind his legs. Desperately, in the dark, he clung to the golden sphere, while trying to insert the chisel. Finally, the chisel penetrated the sphere, and Nuparu inserted it to make the golden sphere complete. The shadows were thrown back again. A golden sphere of light now surrounded Nuparu, as he got steadily to his feet. “You fool!” cried the second voice. “He is escaping. HE IS ESCAPING!” “We know where he will turn up!” the first voice yelled. “Send the Tahnok! Send the Tahnok out to get him!” The sphere of light levitated up, and Nuparu levitated with it. Suddenly, the sphere shot off, and Nuparu found himself moving through the darkness.
“Over there,” said Lewa. “That is Kewa-bird nesting spot. Lots of Kewa there. Saw them earlier. Amazing Rahi. Must be great to everfly in the sky.” “Yeah, I’ve heard of this nest,” Duka said. “The Bohrok have been sent to destroy it before, but them Kewa are fierce. They defend their nest from all Bohrok, so they’ve been left alone to care for their young in peace.” “They always were amazing birds,” Takua said. “The Kewa flying force was amazing. But even a good Rama swarm could take them on.” “According to the riddle,” Kopaka said coldly. “We need to find a ‘hollow tree’ in this ‘Kewa nest’. Then we shall find what we seek.” “The Kewa nest is built around one very large tree,” Duka pointed out. “So that tree must also be hollow.” “Come, let us investigate it!” Lewa said, bounding off towards the nest. Kopaka reluctantly followed him. “I do not wish to deal with these beasts,” Kopaka said. “I sense danger. These birds could be dangerous.” Duka and Takua followed Lewa, who led them to the base of the large tree. Above them, they could hear the squawking of the birds. Takua looked up, and saw many holds in the tree above their heads, through which Kewa birds flew in and out. “This tree is hollow, all right,” Duka said. “But it looks like we’ll have to get inside from up there.” “No need, Matoran,” Kopaka pointed out. He walked around the base of the tree, and found a doorway, leading inside. “I saw this with my Akaku,” he explained. “It would be easier than going through the holes higher up.” Lewa laughed. “And I was going to have so much fun jumping up there with the birds.” “We are not here to have fun, Lewa,” Kopaka snapped. “We are here to find answers.” Takua led the way through the door, and entered a vast chamber within the confines of the tree. Takua’s first impression of the nest was that it was very similar to the Rama nest he had been caught in once before. There was a strange darkness, and the only light came from the openings in the tree above. The squawking of the Kewa birds increased inside the tree, but none of the birds seemed to notice the arrival of two Matoran and two Toa. Lewa was in awe of the birds. “There are so many of them!” he marveled. “Wondrous creatures. And see how they have built their nest in this tree! Amazing.” Duka agreed. “I always liked Kewa birds, though I rarely saw them in Le-Koro. They rarely fly over our village, because of the Bohrok.” “So, where is the person we seek?” Lewa asked. Kopaka pointed to a stone in the corner of the tree. “There is something there. I cannot see through the stone, but there is something there that might be useful to us.” Takua and Duka walked up next to the stone. Takua squinted at the carvings in the rock. “It’s a few models of Matoran riding on Kewa. It looks like you have to organize them.” “How would you organize them?” Duka asked. Takua pondered this for a while. Suddenly, he got an idea. “I know. These are Kewa formations. Hen I was flying with Kongu, he instructed his Kewa force to fly in some formations so they could best attack the Nui-Rama swarms. There are some titles here, and I think we’re suppose to put these Kewa models in their correct formation.” “Okay,” said Duka slowly. “I have no idea what you just said, but I take it that you can crack this, right?” “Uh, I guess,” Takua said. “This first one is ‘Point Attack’. That’s the… one where they fly in a V formation. Yeah, one Kewa in front, and then the rest V off from them. That’s the one Kongu used. He was in the front.” “Tree Skimmer?” asked Lewa, reading over Takua’s shoulder. “What would that one be?” “I think Kongu did that one too,” Takua said. “If I remember correctly, two Kewa are up front, while three Kewa are directly behind those two, and up a little bit higher. The two in front skim the treetops, and have to be pretty good flyers.” “Wave Attack?” Duka asked, puzzled. “That doesn’t sound like something that would happen in the air.” “No, I remember that one too,” Takua said. “The Kewa are in an S formation, and fly straight towards the Nui-Rama. That way, a couple lines of Kewa hit some of the Nui-Rama.” Takua finished putting the Kewa models into position, when the stone suddenly stirred. Takua backed off, and the Kewa models started to glow. In a flash of light, the stone shattered. The Matoran and Toa jumped back. The birds above them stopped squawking, and the entire nest fell into a silence. Kopaka looked at the spot where the stone had been. “What is that?” Takua stepped forward. Where the stone had been, there was now a staff, a mask, and a stone tablet. Takua cautiously picked up the staff. “This belongs to…Turaga Matau. As does the mask.” “The Turaga?” asked Duka. “Yet where is the Turaga?” Kopaka asked. “I… don’t know,” said Takua. In his hands were the Turaga’s staff and mask, but Takua still didn’t know where the Turaga was. “The riddle on the stone,” Lewa remembered. “Said something about us being led to him. Perhaps he was never here, but the staff and mask will lead us to him.” Duka picked up the stone tablet. “What about this? This shows some sort of temple, and it also shows the staff and mask on the temple.” “What?” asked Takua. He looked at the tablet. “That’s the Kini-Nui, and it shows the staff and mask placed on its steps.” “The Kini-Nui?” Duka asked. “Isn’t that at the center of the island? That’s where the Ta-Matoran use to deliver lava to the Bahrag.” “One riddle only leads us to another,” Kopaka mumbled. “So it is on this island.” Suddenly, the Kewa birds started screeching again. The two Toa and Matoran held their hands to their ears, and fled from the tree. Takua slid the stone tablet into his pack, and carried the mask and staff with him. Outside the tree, Duka looked back at the nest, where Kewa birds were now flying around in a circle. “What got them all roused up. Did we do something wrong?” “It was not us,” Kopaka stated. He pointed to the trees. “We have company.” Takua, Duka, and Lewa turned about. Coming out of the trees were a swarm of Lehvak, lead by a menacing black and white Rahkshi. “Another Rahkshi!” gasped Takua. “Acid-shooting Bohrok!” shouted Duka. Kopaka lifted his sword, and Lewa his hatchet. “Ready, brother?” Kopaka asked. “Time for the Bohrok-beating!” Lewa shouted. He leapt into the air, and swung his hatchet. The lead Bohrok was caught head on, and was thrown into a nearby tree. As it hit, it’s krana popped out. “Now for Rahkshi!” said Lewa. He spun around, and summoned his winds to blow into the Rahkshi. But the Rahkshi waved its staff, and the winds died down instantly. “Uh oh,” Lewa gasped. The Rahkshi pointed his staff at Lewa, and the winds started moving again. Before the Toa of Air formed a cyclone and the wind hit the Toa and knocked him to the ground. The Rahkshi tried to move forward, but found that its feet were incased in ice. Kopaka charged forward to take on the Rahkshi, but the cyclone moved, and blew Kopaka out of the way. As Kopaka struggled to his feet, the cyclone blasted the ice off the Rahkshi’s feet, so it could move again. Lewa was up, and was ready to charge the Rahkshi, when acid melted the ground before him. Lewa turned to come face to face with a Lehvak. However, before the Bohrok could reach, Lewa knock it on the head and ejected the krana. Yet he saw that the Bohrok has charged the two Matoran, and rushed to their aid. Kopaka lunged at the Rahkshi, and swung his sword. The Rahkshi hissed, and leapt back, and Kopaka just missed him. The Rahkshi in turn swung his staff, but Kopaka blocked the blow with his shield. Yet the Rahkshi summoned another cyclone, which blew the Toa of Ice back. Kopaka fired ice into the cyclone, but the air would not slow down. Instead, it sent out a shower of sharp icicles flying through the air. “Brother!” Kopaka yelled, realizing his mistake. “DUCK!” Lewa hit the ground, and the shards of ice plowed into the Bohrok he was attacking. The ice also hit the other Bohrok, and Takua and Duka were lucky enough to duck before they would’ve been hit as well. “Thanks for takin’ out them Bohrok!” Lewa yelled to Kopaka. “I still fear that we have other problems,” Kopaka said. He eyed the Rahkshi. “Such as those who can create cyclones.” “Rahkshi-menus isn’t the only cyclone-creator around here!” Lewa said. He lifted his hatchet, and a tornado spun down from the sky and shot towards the Rahkshi. However, the Rahkshi lifted its staff, and the winds calmed down. “Well, that didn’t work,” said Lewa bitterly. The Rahkshi raised its staff high, and two twin cyclones shot out towards the two Toa. Kopaka and Lewa were both knocked back into the jungle, away from the Rahkshi. Duka and Takua struggled to their feet. Duka shuttered. “Now what?” However, Takua felt a rage pick up inside him. It was a Rahkshi such as this one who had obliterated his friend. “Charge!” Takua yelled. Holding Matau’s staff tight, Takua ran towards the Rahkshi, with Duka right behind him, who held a stick he had found on the ground. The Rahkshi hissed at the two Matoran, and jerked its staff. A small cyclone picked up the two Matoran, and carried them up high into the air. As the Rahkshi jerked its staff again, the cyclone vanished, and Takua and Duka started to fall. “Oh no!” Duka gasped. Suddenly, there was a great squawk, and a Kewa flew out of the nest and snagged Duka in midair. Another Kewa caught Takua as well. Then, before the Rahkshi, an entire swarm of Kewa birds flew out of the nest and dive-bombed the Rahkshi. “Yay!” Duka cried out. “This are helpful birds, all right!” But the Kewa weren’t able to overcome the Rahkshi. A cyclone quickly blew all the birds off course, and many crashed into the trees and the ground. Those that remained in the air squawked angrily, and prepared for another attack. Before they could get organized, the Rahkshi sent another cyclone to throw them all out of the air. The birds that carried Takua and Duka crashed into the trees, and the Matoran managed to grab onto some vines before they fell to the earth. The Rahkshi jerked back as it was smacked in the face. It turned to meet Lewa, who had sneaked up behind it. The Rahkshi hissed, and raised its staff, but Kopaka appeared behind it. Before the Rahkshi could summon a cyclone, Kopaka incased it in ice. Lewa knocked the Rahkshi on the head, and a kraata ejected from its back. Before the kraata had hit the ground, Lewa swung his hatchet and cut it in two. “Another Rahkshi down!” Lewa said. Kopaka glared back into the forest. “More Bohrok coming. Prepare yourself, brother.” However, when the Bohrok appeared, the Toa didn’t have to attack at all. More Kewa poured out of the nest, and swarmed the Bohrok. The Kewa ripped apart the Bohrok pieces, and before long, the birds had defeated the Bohrok swarm. “See Kopaka,” Lewa said, as he watched the Kewa birds take down the Bohrok. “These birds are useful after all. Maybe I can quick-tame a few so you can experience real air-flying!” “I think I’ll pass,” Kopaka said. “Though I do admit, these birds are good after all.” Takua and Duka made their way down to the ground. “Now, that was a bit exciting,” stammered Duka. “Not something that I’d want to repeat, but exciting.” “That was not a random attack,” Kopaka said. “Something did not want us to discover that staff and mask. They do not want us to discover this Turaga.” “Well, ‘something’ is going to be disappointed,” Lewa joked. “Where to now, Matoran?” “There is a picture of the Kini-Nui on that stone tablet,” Takua said. “So I would guess that we should head there. Maybe we’ll find out how to bring Matau here.” “Then off to the Kini-Nui we go!” Lewa said. “But be alert,” Kopaka said. He looked at the fallen Rahkshi, and the remains of the kraata. “We could encounter more trouble on the way. We mustn’t be caught off guard.”
“We are almost to the sea,” Gali said, staring over the desert sands. The sun was high in the sky, and illuminated the patrol of Matoran crossing the desert. The three Toa led the three carts filled with Matoran and goods across the desert, towards Naho Bay, where they could build boats. Once in the water, they would sail out to Ga-Koro. “The sea,” Pohatu shuttered. “You know, I’ll stay behind. Again. I don’t like water. At all.” “I shall likely join you,” Tahu said gruffly. “Toa Gali will protect these Matoran from any harm as they cross the water. Perhaps she shall also find Onua there as well.” “Brothers,” Gali said. “Join me. I will make sure you do not get wet.” “Don’t worry about us!” Tahu said. “We can defend ourselves on this island.” “Unless you happen to come upon a purple Rahkshi,” Gali said coldly. “Tahu, you must not overestimate your powers. I have seen horrors on this island that were unheard of in my time.” “Next time I face that Rahkshi,” Tahu grumbled. “I will make it pay. I am prepared this time. I’d melt it and the slug inside it before it could make a peep.” Huki, Jala, and Hahli walked behind the Toa. Hahli rolled her eyes. “The Toa still argue.” “Yeah, well, Tahu was never very agreeable,” Jala whispered to Hahli. “Especially when it came to pointing out his faults.” “Or Pohatu, when it comes to water,” added Huki. “And I’m with him on that. If that stuff wasn’t so darn useful, I’d never want to touch it.” “Can’t you swim?” Hahli asked. “Maku was always giving you lessons.” “Yeah,” said Huki dully. “I never really listen to what she said. I only paid attention to her beautiful voice. I wish I could hear it again.” “Oh,” Hahli realized that she had brought up a bad subject. “Well, it’s a nice and warm day out. If you do get wet, you’ll surly dry off quickly.” Huki didn’t answer, and sulked away from Jala and Hahli. Jala watched him go sadly. “Poor Huki,” said Hahli. “You know, we shouldn’t go to Ga-Koro,” Jala said suddenly. “Toa Tahu and Toa Pohatu are staying behind. I say that we take them with us and look for Maku.” “Do you really think she can be found?” Hahli asked. “I’ve done some thinking about it,” Jala said. “The Rahkshi who took Maku did not go to Po-Koro. All the other villages have already been freed, except for Le-Koro, which was too far away. So they must’ve taken her to Onu-Koro. It sounds like a perfect place to keep a Matoran. The earth is close around you, and there are only so many ways to escape. If we had Onua with us, he could dig his way out. But all in all, Onu-Koro would be a tough village to escape from.” “You want to go to Onu-Koro?” gasped Hahli. “Just the three of us and the two Toa?” Jala shrugged. “Look at Huki. He can’t stand not doing anything for Maku, because we’re just heading for Ga-Koro. We have to do something for her, no matter what.” “What if she wasn’t taken to Onu-Koro?” Hahli asked. “What is she was taken… somewhere else. Somewhere where we can’t rescue her?” “I’m not giving up hope,” Jala said. “I’ve known Maku for some time. I don’t think she’d give up.” Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted by a crashing noise. All the Matoran froze, and the Toa tensed up. From the shore rose a gray Rahkshi, and behind it came an army of Gahlok. “More Bohrok,” said Pohatu. “They are but water Bohrok,” Gali said. “I can take them on. But… what is this Rahkshi?” “Trouble,” Pohatu offered. “I shall take on the Rahkshi!” Tahu said. He leapt forward, closer to the Rahkshi. He ignited his sword, and launched a wave of fire at the Rahkshi. The Rahkshi was soon lost in the blaze of flames. “Let’s see him stand that!” Tahu said smugly. “Uh, Tahu…” Gali said slowly. “The fire had no effect on him…” Indeed, the Rahkshi leapt from the fire, and swung it’s staff. Tahu leapt back, and managed to narrowly avoid the staff. Gali leapt to his aid, and doused the Rahkshi in water, but this had no effect either. Pohatu kicked a boulder at the Rahkshi, but it smashed the rocks to bits. All the Toa stood stupefied before it. “This Rahkshi…” Gali started. “Is invulnerable to our powers!” “Look out!” The Rahkshi swing its staff, and caught all three Toa at once. They fell back into the desert with a dull thud. The Rahkshi hissed victoriously as the Toa got to their feet again. The Matoran were all staring at the Rahkshi, and the Bohrok army behind it. The Toa were not powerful enough to defend them, and the Rahkshi would bring them all back to their previous overlords. All except for three Matoran. Jala, Hahli, and Huki stood beside their Toa. Jala had a gleam in his eye, and he pulled out his fire sword. “Jala, you can’t…” Hahli started. “Attack!” Jala yelled. He rushed forward, beyond the Toa and towards the Rahkshi. Hahli hesitated, but bound out after Jala. Huki sighed. “Here we go again.” And then he took off after his two friends. The Rahkshi hissed unafraid as the three Matoran charged towards him, but the other Matoran had second thoughts. First, the escaped Le-Matoran, yelling in Le-Koran slang, and charged towards the Rahkshi and Bohrok. Soon after them came the recently freed Po-Matoran. Tunaka and the other cart drivers drove their Muaka and Kane-Ra towards the Rahkshi. Soon, the Matoran lines had surpassed the Toa, who were frozen in amazement at the Matoran’s courage. The Gahlok also appeared frozen, but the Rahkshi remained unaffected. It waited until Jala was almost upon it, and then it swung its staff, ready to crush Jala. The Ta-Koran leapt out of the way just in time, and Hahli jumped upon the Rahkshi. It easily shook her off, and then was pelted by stones kicked by Huki. It still remained unaffected, but then the rest of the Matoran hit it. Overcome by sheer numbers, the Rahkshi was knocked over. The Toa were coming to their senses. “Gali, aid the Matoran and take out the Bohrok!” yelled Tahu. “Pohatu and I shall take this Rahkshi on.” The Rahkshi was up again, but Matoran were beating on it with all their might. However, the Rahkshi shoved them all away, throwing one Le-Matoran high into the air. The Matoran parted as Tunaka’s Muaka and Kane-Ra charged forward towards the Rahkshi. “Yeah, bite ‘im!” yelled Tunaka, nudging his Muaka. The Rahi’s jaws shot out, and grasped the Rahkshi’s staff. The Rahkshi looked the Rahi in the eye, and gave the Muaka a mighty kick. There was a snap, and the Muaka fell back. Many of his teeth had snapped when the Rahkshi had pulled its staff out of the Muaka’s mouth. “NO!” cried Tunaka. The Kane-Ra, enraged by the violence to his partner, head butted the Rahkshi, but with one swing, the Rahkshi gave the Kane-Ra a hard hit to the head, and he fell to the ground, moaning. The Rahkshi kicked the two Rahi again, and sent Tunaka and his cart smashing into the desert sands. “What have you done to them?” cried Tunaka, as he gazed sorrowfully over his fallen Rahi. “How could you hurt them?” The Rahkshi didn’t respond, and lifted its staff to bring t down on Tunaka. Just before Tunaka would’ve been pulverized, Huki pushed him out of the way. The Rahkshi’s attention was soon turned away from the Matoran, and to the Toa of Fire who stood before it. “Have a taste of this!” Tahu shot a blast of flames point blank into the Rahkshi’s head, but he still had no effect on the Rahkshi, who quickly knocked him away. The other Matoran were battling the Gahlok, and the Bohrok were defeating the Matoran. However, the sea arose in an angry wave, and crashed into the Bohrok. Gali allowed the wave to wash all the Bohrok out to sea. Pohatu stood beside the Toa of Water. “Nice move, sister.” Gali was worried. “They came from Ga-Koro…” Before Pohatu could ask for an explanation, Gali leapt into the water and swam full speed towards the village of water. Pohatu turned to the desert again, and he saw a dust cloud form over the horizon. “Oh no,” he gasped. Coming up behind them was a swarm of Pahrak. Pohatu rushed out to meet the new swarm of Bohrok, who caught the Matoran from behind. “I will defeat you!” Tahu yelled. He swung his sword, and caught the Rahkshi’s staff. However, the Rahkshi pushed back, and Tahu found himself on his back, with the Rahkshi’s head inches from his mask. The Rahkshi uttered a hiss, and attempted to crush Tahu into the ground. But help came. The Rahkshi jerked upright as Jala stabbed his own fire sword into the back of the Rahkshi’s leg. Although the sword didn’t penetrate the Rahkshi, it diverted its attention. Tahu was up, and setting the Rahkshi ablaze. Jala rushed around the Rahkshi’s feet, trying to distract it so the Toa could finish it off. But the Rahkshi was tiring of the Matoran. With a quick back-kick, it caught Jala and sent him into the sands. Jala rubbed his head, but his arms were numb and not responding to his thoughts. The Rahkshi pushed back Tahu and came over to the helpless Matoran. “Stand back!” Hahli came running up on the Rahkshi from behind, followed by Huki. The Po-Matoran helped heave Hahli into the air, where she landed on the Rahkshi’s back. Up there, she held on tight and tried to release the kraata, but the Rahkshi’s back was sealed tight. And as soon as the Ga-Matoran was on its back, the Rahkshi went berserk, rushing around everywhere. “Hahli, hold on!” yelled Huki. He searched for a large boulder, and finally found one. He kicked it, and hit the Rahkshi as it rushed by. The Rahkshi was knocked off its feet, and crashed to the ground. Hahli was thrown from its back, but she landed safely in the desert sands. “Keep it on the ground!” yelled Huki. Tahu was up, and he tried to pin the Rahkshi to the ground, but his strength waned. However, just before Tahu was thrown off, Pohatu jumped out of no where, and rammed his foot down hard on the Rahkshi’s head. The Rahkshi’s kraata was ejected, and crashed into the earth. Tahu was up, and he pinned the kraata down with his foot. “Evil slug,” Tahu growled. “I shall end your life now!” He pressed his foot down harder, but the kraata resisted the pressure and would not burst. “Let me show you how it’s done, brother,” Pohatu said. Tahu removed his foot, and Pohatu brought down his own foot with all his might on the kraata. But the slug continued to remain intact. “Okay, I have another idea,” Pohatu said. “Tahu, pin this thing down for me.” As Tahu subdued the kraata, Pohatu rammed his fists into the earth. Suddenly, a huge fissure broke open in the earth, and Pohatu kicked the kraata down into it. As soon as the slug was gone, Pohatu sealed up the fissure. “That might not kill it,” Pohatu said. “But I’d like to see it escape from deep within solid rock!” Tahu glanced around. “Brother, we’ve got Pahrak coming from the desert and more Gahlok coming from the ocean. And where is Gali?” “She left,” Pohatu said. “Hurry, we must aid these Matoran!” Hahli and Huki rushed next to Jala, who lay motionless on the ground. “Jala!” Hahli cried. “Jala, wake up!” Jala opened his eyes slowly. “I’m awake, Hahli,” he said in a small voice. “I’m just a bit… sore. I can’t move my arms or legs. I think I’m…” “In shock,” Huki said, rolling his eyes. “Jala, you’re in the guard, and you should know about this type of stuff. After getting hit that hard, you’ll go numb for a while before you heal up. Not that it’s a good thing, but you’re not dying.” Jala smiled. “Thanks Huki. But I won’t be much use for a while.” “Well, I bet the water will help you,” Hahli said. “Huki, help me haul Jala to the sea. At least he’ll be protected from any more attacks.” Huki and Hahli managed to drag Jala to the waters, but the battle behind them raged on. Tahu was taking on the water Bohrok, and Pohatu fought the Bohrok of his element. With the aid of some brave Matoran, the Bohrok were all dekranaed or driven off. Pohatu stood by Tahu as the Matoran cared for the wounded. “We… won,” Tahu said. “But the Matoran suffered. And the Rahkshi nearly defeated us… again. My powers were useless against it.” “Maybe we’ll have to start out-thinking our foes as well as overpowering them,” Pohatu suggested. “Gali was right. We underestimated our enemy, and the Matoran suffered from this.” “Well, it won’t happen again,” Tahu said. “We must protect the Matoran from all harm. No matter what.”
“This is where you must search,” Kopeke said. “We are close to the summit of the mountain.” The sun was rising, and Maku looked out over the rest of the island. “I can see all of the Wahis from up here,” she said. “Mata-Nui really is a beautiful island.” Kopeke nodded. “It is light now. We must hurry, or we shall be seen.” “Are there any caverns around here?” Maku asked. She climbed out on a pinnacle, and looked across the slopes of the mountain. “Nothing. I don’t see any caves. We must be in the wrong spot.” “Look deeper,” Kopeke said simply. Maku groaned. She couldn’t see any place that would hide a cavern entrance, and she couldn’t see how she could look any deeper. If Nuparu was with her, than he could tell her how to sight caverns, but she was on her own. “There must be some way to work this out!” Maku said out loud. “What kind of land forms would house a cavern entrance? The mountainside is smooth besides this pinnacle…” Suddenly she stopped. “This pinnacle! Maybe there’s a entrance beneath this pinnacle!” Kopeke led Maku down the slope to the bottom of the pinnacle, and indeed there was a small entrance into the depths of the mountain. Maku hastily climbed inside, and found a dim lightstone, hanging over a large stone, that had writing on the top of it. “What is this?” asked Maku. “Is this the right cave?” “Yes, it is the right cave,” Kopeke said simply. “There are more clues for you to solve.” Maku looked closer at the stone. Atop it was a star chart, with many constellations from the night sky. A movable red stone was available, along with a few extra carvings on the bottom. “It’s stars… and some carvings,” Maku said. She knew it meant something, but she couldn’t think of anything that it would mean. Kopeke decided to give Maku a clue. “The red pebble symbolizes the red comet.” “The red comet!” gasped Maku. “Wait, I understand this now! This three carvings down here represent prophecies, and I need to place the red star in its proper location for each prophecy.” Kopeke nodded, but Maku’s face fell. “I don’t know any prophecies!” said Maku. “I’m not an astrologer. How can I figure this out?” “You will have to try,” said Kopeke. He sat by the cave entrance, while Maku pondered the puzzle she had to complete. Maku had often seen the Ga-Koran astrologer’s work back before she was transported to this new reality. In the back of her mind, she could remember the three prophecies that were symbolized on the stone. But she could not remember their respective red comet constellations that went with them. For a while, she played around with the red comet stone, and then she was struck by sudden inspiration for one of the prophecies. She moved the comet into the right place, and the stone she was working on gave a slight jitter, but did nothing more. “I got it right!” she said happily. “But I still don’t know these other two.” She turned to Kopeke. “Can you help me at all?” Kopeke was sculpting an icicle by the cavern entrance. He shook his head when he heard Maku. “This is your riddle.” “But you know all about the prophecies!” Maku protested. “I am busy creating this ice spear,” Kopeke said simply. “I cannot help you.” Maku grumbled, but went back to her puzzle. Maku tried to remember every moment she’d spent in the astrologer’s hut and all about the symbols and prophecies and stars. It took her some time, but Maku eventually discovered the second prophecy’s constellation, and she went to work on the third one. Yet it was late in the day by the time she had set up the correct formation for the third prophecy. To her amazement, the stone started to shake, and then it exploded, revealing its contents to Maku. Maku gasped in amazement. “That’s… Turaga Nuju’s mask and staff! But now what?” Kopeke left his now sharp ice spear, and picked up a stone next to the staff. “This is where we must go to next. Me must place these tokens on the steps of the Kini-Nui, and then we shall take the next step.” “What would that be?” Maku asked. “I do not know,” Kopeke said. “Maku, secure the staff and mask to your back before we leave. We do not want them to vanish in the snows."” Clutching his ice spear, Kopeke led Maku out of the cavern. “How far is it to the Kini-Nui?” Maku asked. “It is less than a day’s journey,” Kopeke replied. “But we shall take longer than a day, because we shall be pursued.” As if commanded by Kopeke’s words, Maku heard the stomping behind her. She turned to see a horde of Kohrok leap off the pinnacle, and land before them. Leading the ice Bohrok was a purple Rahkshi. “Oh my!” Maku started, turning as white as the snow. “We’re caught.” The Rahkshi lifted its staff, and let out an earsplitting screech. Maku fell to her knees, but Kopeke stood tall. He seemed to be unaffected by the power scream. “You do not scare me, sons of shadow,” he said defiantly. The Rahkshi let out another roar, and Kopeke shook, as his will started to lessen. But he still stood firm, and he lifted his ice spear, and heaved it. The spear flew above the Bohrok, and wedged into the rocks of the pinnacle. “No!” moaned Maku. She thought that Kopeke had missed. But then she saw that the Ko-Matoran had planned ahead. The pinnacle, already weakened by the power screams, suddenly gave was as the ice spear hit it. The huge chunks of rocks fell on to the Rahkshi, and crushed it. The Bohrok and the Matoran leapt out of the way, and avoided getting crushed. But all was not over yet. The snowfield behind the pinnacle was started to move downhill, unleashed by the loud sounds and crashes. “Oh no!” Maku cried. “Another avalanche! Kopeke, what do we do?” “What do we do?” Kopeke repeated, now with a tone of panic in his voice. “The stars have not foretold it, but now we run!” He spun around and started sprinting down the slopes, and Maku started off after him. However, the Bohrok were not far behind. The Kohrok raced down the slopes after the Matoran, shooting icy blasts at them. And then a wall of snow and rock followed the Bohrok, and gained on them. “Oh woe!” Maku said, as she looked behind her. The avalanche had caught the Bohrok, and was about to catch her as well. Maku took one last sprint, and then everything around her went white.
Nuparu regained his senses. He could feel the rough sand against his mask, and could hear the ocean nearby. He looked up to see that he was on the Ta-Wahi beach. But then his face fell back into the sand. He had no energy. Nuparu felt coldness in his limbs, from his time underneath the ground. He was sapped of energy, and he could not get off the beach. He could only lie in the sand. But even that was not an option for him. Nuparu slowly became aware of the stomping of many feet, and the air began to heat up. He rose his head again, and looked behind him. Tahnok were climbing down the hills. “The ocean!” gasped Nuparu, with a raspy voice. He got to his feet, and tried to sprint to the edge of the sea, where he would be protected from attacks. But his energy was gone, and he fell flat on his face again, only a few steps away from the gentle waves. The Tahnok slowly surrounded the Matoran, and Nuparu knew that he wouldn’t have any chance of escape this time. The lead Bohrok opened up its headplate, and prepared to launch a blue krana towards Nuparu, but something made it crash aside. Th other Bohrok turned, and began to growl. Nuparu tried to see what it was, but his vision was too blurry. All he saw was the outline of a tall figure. “A Rahkshi, I bet,” thought Nuparu, but he was wrong. The figure scooped up a clump of earth, and heaved it towards the Bohrok. A Tahnok was thrown back, and the figure advanced. It was Onua. “Leave the Matoran alone,” Onua growled. The Tahnok turned away from Nuparu, and focused on the Toa. The Bohrok charged Onua, but he was prepared. He caught the lead Bohrok, and threw it back towards its partner, and they both fell. More Bohrok charged Onua, but he slashed back at them with his claws. Yet one Bohrok turned back to Nuparu, and readied its krana. “No!” cried Onua. He pushed the other Bohrok aside, and threw Nuparu out of the way. As the Bohrok charged again, Onua unceremonially heaved Nuparu into the waves. “You’ll be protected there.” Onua said, and turned back to the Bohrok. “You, on the other hand, will find no protection!” Using his earth powers, Onua turned the sand beneath the Tahnok into quicksand, and then sunk into the earth, and the waters washed over them. They weren’t beaten, but they were subdued for now. Onua turned to find Nuparu, but could not sight the Matoran in the water. Nuparu was weak, and he had gone under. Seize by sudden panic, Onua dove into the water, to find the poor Matoran.
Night fell again on the island of Mata-Nui. Toa Tahu and Pohatu rested beside the camp of freed Matoran, keeping an eye out for trouble. However, they had faced no opposition since the battle earlier that day. Pohatu was watching the ocean, when he suddenly saw something. “Tahu, look!” he said. “Something comes.” Tahu glared into the distance, and watched the floating objects. “Those are Matoran boats. All was not well for the Ga-Koran village, after all. The boats of Ga-Matoran and Ta-Matoran landed on the shore, and they mingled in with the rest of the freed Matoran. Gali met up with her brothers. “What happened?” Tahu asked Gali. Gali had a disgusted look on her face. “The water does not protect all of the Matoran. A swarm of Gahlok took the village, and ripped it to shreds. I got there just in time to push the swarm away, and save the Matoran. The Matoran no longer have a safe village to reside in.” “We can build a village, out of stone,” Pohatu suggested. “We could build it in the cliffs over there. With a stone village, and the ocean right next to us, we can surely protect the Matoran.” “Yes, but it may be tougher than that,” Tahu said. “It is true, sister, that we nearly met defeat with the Bohrok today, and the Matoran suffered. We will not let this happen again. I will not underestimate the enemy any longer, or overestimate my own powers,” Tahu finished with a sigh. “My powers did nothing to the Rahkshi.” “That would be a wise thing to do, my brothers,” Gali said. Then she changed the subject. “Do you know where the Matoran Jala, Hahli, and Huki are? The three special Matoran?” “There are many Matoran here now,” Pohatu said. “Finding them will be difficult, but I was able to get my Akaku from Po-Koro, so I can easily search through the crowd.” “Likewise, I also got my Akaku from the ruins of Ta-Koro,” Tahu said. “I remember seeing the three of them together earlier, while Jala was still healing up.” “Yeah, I saw Jala give that sword he was working on to Hahli,” Pohatu added with a grin. “He got a hug out of that!” “I wish to speak with them,” Gali said. “They are special in some way, and I am curious to know what their destiny is, for they will surely do something important.” Both Tahu and Pohatu scanned the crowd of Matoran, but neither could sight Jala, Hahli, or Huki. Gali waited impatiently. “If only I had my own Akaku,” she said. “But some Toa seemed to have taken it before I arrived.” “That was Onua,” Pohatu said quickly. “I don’t see any of them. Now that I think about it, I haven’t heard from them in hours. I’m afraid that they’re gone.” “Have they been taken?” wondered Tahu grimly. “Impossible!” Pohatu said. “None of the other Matoran have seem any enemy, and there’s no way they could’ve been taken without them causing a scene.” “Then they sneaked out,” Gali concluded. “Why would they do something like that?” Tahu asked. “It’s dangerous out there!” “They are searching for their friend, Maku, who we lost to the purple Rahkshi,” Gali said. “These Matoran ventured around the island before we arrived, and were able to survive. They’ll be okay without us. They knew that we had to protect these Matoran, and protect them we shall. This will give us time to construct a village in the stone, and set up defenses. I will speak with them if they come back.” “If they come back,” Tahu said under his breath.
In the desert, just out of sight of the Matoran’s camp, Jala, Hahli, and Huki marched under the cover of darkness. They headed for the foothills of Onu-Wahi. “I sure hope the Toa don’t come after us,” Hahli said. “They’ll stay with the other Matoran, which is what they need to do,” Jala said. “We’re going to find Maku on our own.” “So, where will we get to Onu-Wahi?” Hahli asked. “I’ve never been there before.” “Onu-Koro use to be this amazing village in a giant cavern,” Jala said. “At their peak, they had shining Lightstones all over the place, and there were always the amazing Ussal Races. Puku won quite a few of them when she was in her youth, but then she retired and taxied Matoran around the tunnels. That’s how Takua met her.” “Well, Onu-Koro isn’t that pretty anymore,” said Huki. “Dark, slimy caves, with one passageway for cart drivers like Tunaka. All the Matoran live in a cage, like every other village, but they have the earth all around them, cutting off any hope of escape. There are tunnel systems all around the Wahi, and you could come upon Nuhvok at any time. If you want a tough village to escape from, Onu-Koro is your village.” “But you and Nuparu escaped,” Hahli pointed out. “Yeah, well, I was with Nuparu back then,” Huki said. “He knew the earth, and knew ways to dig out, and that still took us a while just to break into a Ussal cave.” “If you think this is too hard, we could just go back to the camp and forget about Maku,” Jala suggested. But Huki shook his head, with a wild glint in his eye. “No, we’re going in. I’ll search through this entire island until I find Maku.”
“Watch out!” warned Kopaka. “They’re making another charge!” The Lehvak charged forward again, but the two Toa were ready. Lewa commanded a gust of wind to blow the snow into the Lehvak, and Kopaka froze them again. But more Bohrok were on their way, and their brothers would be freed once again. Kopaka, Lewa, Takua, and Duka were in the snowfields of Mt. Ihu, heading towards the Kini-Nui along the shortest route possible. However, a swarm of Lehvak had followed them completely out of the forest and into the snow, and were continually making charges towards them all through the night. “It sure is cold out here,” said Duka, as a gust of wind chilled him. “Just our luck that there’s a blizzard out here.” “And it would be aiding the Bohrok as well, if Kopaka didn’t have his Akaku,” Takua added. He clutched the staff and mask of the Turaga they were searching for. “But it could be a little less cold out here.” “I think the temperature is delightfully perfect,” said Kopaka, as he shot a stream of ice behind them, and caught a Bohrok. “It enhances my powers.” “Well, it is funnot for me,” Lewa said. “I everagree with the Matoran on this one. The cold slows down my element as well.” “The storm ends as soon as we get across this snowfield,” Kopaka said. “There is a valley up ahead, where the temperature is warmer. However, the Bohrok could easily gain on us once we reach the valley. We shall have no time for rest.” Suddenly, Kopaka’s head swung around. Lewa turned to him. “What is it, brother? Another wave of Lehvak?” “No,” Kopaka muttered. “I mean, yes, that too, but there are more Bohrok waiting in the snow ahead. They’re preparing for an ambush, I believe.” Lewa turned, but then the Lehvak appeared again. Lewa leapt forward, and swung his hatchet, and knocked a few Bohrok back. He tried to summon his winds, but his reaction was too slow, and he couldn’t stir up any more strong winds. The Lehvak prepared to shoot acid, but their shields were freezing as well. The cold was affecting the Lehvak too. But then the ice Bohrok appeared. They burst out of the snow, and shot icy blasts towards Kopaka and the Matoran. Duka and Takua dodged out of the way, and got smothered in the snow. Kopaka charged the Kohrok head out, instantly freezing them with a touch of his sword. Before long, Kopaka had the Kohrok taken out, and then he aided Lewa as he kept off the Lehvak. After a while, Kopaka had all the Bohrok frozen in blocks of ice. “That’s all of them,” Kopaka said. “The rets of the Lehvak are fleeing. They’re freezing up as well.” “We’re not doing to well either,” said Duka. He shivered constantly. “I’m going numb.” Takua nodded in agreement. It was not the first time that he had nearly frozen to death on the side of the mountain. “The Matoran will freeze soon!” Lewa warned Kopaka. “Even I will freeze soon. We must do something.” Kopaka swung his head. “I shall construct a snow cave, like the other Matoran here, and we shall weather out the storm.” “Other Matoran?” Lewa gasped. “What other Matoran?” “The Matoran buried in the snow,” Kopaka answered. “They aren’t exactly comfortable, but they’re warmer.” Using his ice powers, Kopaka blasted a hole in the snow, and led Takua, Duka, and Lewa inside the cave. He left for a while, and then returned with two other Matoran. Takua was very cold and numb, but he instantly recognized the two Matoran Kopaka brought in with him. “Maku! Kopeke!” “A white Matoran!” gasped Duka in amazement. “These two were buried in the snow,” Kopaka explained. “According to the white one here, they got caught in an avalanche with the Kohrok. You are lucky we came along.” “We were indeed fortunate,” Kopeke said. “I could’ve dug my way out after some time, but the Ga-Matoran wouldn’t have lasted as long as I. I believe it was fate that crossed our paths, Toa of Ice.” Kopaka glared at Kopeke. “You speak in riddles,” he muttered. “They all have to speak in some sort of riddle.” Takua took out his heatstone, and he, Duka, and Maku huddled around it. “Have you been up to a lot?” Takua asked Maku. “Got captured by a Rahkshi, got rescued by Kopeke, and solved some puzzles,” Maku replied. “I haven’t heard of any of the others? Have you seen Huki and Jala and Hahli? Did you find Nuparu?” Takua bowed his head. “Let us share stories later.” “Indeed,” Kopaka said. “Now is time for rest. So rest now.”
Wake up, little one! Wake up!”
Onua heaved Nuparu’s wet body into the dry sands, but the Onu-Koran showed no signs of life.
“You can’t go out now,” Onua said weakly. “Please, Matoran, wake up!”
Nuparu twitched, and then coughed up some water. Onua sighed with relief. “I thought I had lost you for a moment, Nuparu.”
“Where am I?” Nuparu asked weakly.
“On the same beach I found you on,” Onua replied. “Why did you not swim when I threw you in the water?”
“I must’ve… passed out,” Nuparu said. He was very weak, and he lay in the sand. “I have been drained of energy, Toa Onua. I have passed through the shadow and back again.”
“That is not something I can help you with,” Onua said slowly. “I shall take you back to Ga-Koro, where they may heal you up, as it seems the water was unable to do for you.”
“Zulina leaves…” Nuparu murmured.
Onua perked up. “I have heard of those. What are you talking about?”
“Zulina tea is good for the weak,” Nuparu said slowly. “I had some earlier to heal from other injuries. It might help…”
Nuparu fell silent and suddenly passed into a slumber. Onua quickly set out in search of Zulina leaves, and found them on the far edge of the beach. As quickly as he could, he heated some water and added the Zulina leaves, and gave it to Nuparu to drink. After a few minutes, Nuparu awoke again, and his energy was already restored.
“Zulina leaves help restore energy,” Onua said thoughtfully. “I must remember that.”
“Thank you, Toa of Earth,” Nuparu said, and he remembered his adventures. “Do have some yourself, for you were weak when we left you, as I remembered.”
“Yes, but I’ve healed up,” Onua said proudly. “But I have questions for you. Like how did you get separated from Takua and the other Toa? And what were you saying about shadows?”
“I was captured,” said Nuparu sadly. “I do… not want to talk about it.”
“Your stuff is strewn across the ground,” Onua said, changing the subject as he walked across the beach. “Your pack has split open, and all your stuff is about in the sands.”
Nuparu helped Onua collected all his equipment and he gathered it in a pile beside the shredded remains of his pack. Most of Nuparu’s equipment was undamaged, along with Takua’s chisel. Onua handed Nuparu a round stone. “Here, you might want this back.”
“That’s not mine,” Nuparu said dully. “It’s just a stone.”
“But it has writing on it!” Onua said. “Along with a picture of a mask of some sort.”
Curiosity overcame Nuparu, and he took the stone from Onua, and read it out loud.
To where you discover what the prophecies do hide Where the fire and water in fury do collide Underneath the gem through which the heavens you see You will find the clues that will lead you to me
“It’s a riddle,” Nuparu said. “It’s instructions that are suppose to lead you to someplace. And that’s a Huna mask, like the one Maku wears. When it has power, the Huna mask can make the user invisible.”
“I wonder why that stone will be on this beach, next to all your equipment,” Onua wondered out loud. “Is it special at all?”
Nuparu tried to think, as he had done so often before, but his brain was clouded from his previous experience. However, a sudden thought did indeed strike him. “Riddles, a Huna mask, and a mysterious feeling about this whole thing,” Nuparu said suddenly. “There is only one person who this stone refers to. Turaga Vakama!”
“The Turaga again!” Onua said. “They must’ve been quick tricky fellows when they were around.”
Nuparu was trying to solve the riddle. “The place where fire and water meet would be on the Ta-Wahi beach, where we are right now,” he summed up. “The lava flows into the ocean to the South, so that would solve that part of the riddle. But where would you try to ‘discover what the prophecies do hide’? That would mean that you need decipher a prophecy. So where would you do that? And where would you look into the heavens through a gem?”
Onua shrugged. “I’m not a prophecy master, little one. I can’t help you out on that one.”
“It’s the Ko-Matoran who know about prophecies,” Nuparu summed up. “I’m just an Onu-Matoran miner. We use logic mostly, not fancy mythological studies that help us see the future. However, I do have a respect for those who read the prophecies. The prophecies of the Toa were what gave us hope when we were at our darkest hours on Mata-Nui. Although these hours seem much darker than that other reality.”
“Well, then we won’t be able to solve this riddle,” Onua said sadly. “Neither of us understands the prophecies. Maybe we should find Kopaka. He is from the mountains, right?”
“We don’t need to know too much about prophecies to figure this out,” Nuparu said. “We just need to use some logic that I’m just not grasping at the moment. Anyway, the Ko-Matorans weren’t the only ones who studied the stars. The Ga-Matoran astrologer use to study the sky all the time, and knew as much about the future as the Matoran in the mountains.”
Suddenly, Nuparu slapped himself. “Of course! The Ga-Matoran astrologer! She looked through a telescope to see the stars, and the telescope has a gem inside it to help magnify the night skies. And she always used the famous telescope on the Ta-Wahi beach. Which is…” Nuparu pointed to a rocky pinnacle that jutted out over the ocean. “Right there!”
“So logic is all you needed after all,” laughed Onua. He scooped up Nuparu, and hastily climbed up onto the pinnacle. On the very tip, Nuparu found the remains of a telescope. The gemstone lay on the ground, cracked in half.
“Now what?” Onua asked.
“The riddle mentioned something underneath the telescope,” Nuparu said, pointing to a slab of stone beneath the broken telescope. Looking closer, Nuparu could see faint carvings of masks and writing.
“There are a bunch of masks,” Nuparu summed up, after studying the stone. “First, there’s a Matatu with a number three underneath it. Next to that is a carving of a Kakama, with a number four under it. Then there’s a Mahiki paired up with a five, a Komau paired with a two, a Miru paired with a three, and then another Komau paired with a two. Beneath all the masks and numbers, there are six blank spaces. I’m guessing we’ll have to write something there, and then these masks are clues to helping solve the riddle. So, the question we need to ask ourselves is this; how does a number relate to a mask that then relates to a specific symbol?”
“That’s too much to ask a Toa of Earth,” Onua said. “Will prophecies help us solve this one?”
“No, we’ll need logic this time, not prophecies,” Nuparu said. He started writing stuff in the dirt. “A three is relating to a Matatu. A Matatu works with telekinesis, which would be used to…”
Nuparu went on, trying to solve the riddle for a while. Onua listened to him for a while, but soon Nuparu was mostly talking to himself, as the Toa of Earth observed the surroundings for enemies. Nuparu spent a long time trying to solve the riddle, but he eventually cried out in frustration. “I don’t get what this means!” he cried out. “The masks and the numbers can’t possibly relate to each other in any way at all! It’s insane! No Matoran could possibly solve this!”
“Maybe you could just guess the word that’s suppose to go there,” Onua said. Nuparu shot up. “That’s it! This doesn’t require any of the knowledge about the mask’s powers at all! This is simply a word game!”
“A word game, ‘eh,” Onua said. Nuparu started drawing words in the sand. “M – A – T – A – T – U spelled out Matatu, this mask,” Nuparu said, writing the word in the dust. “Maybe the three represents the third letter in the spelling of the mask’s name. In that case… it would be a T. And the next one is a Kakama, spelt K – A – K – A – M – A. The forth letter is an A. That starts off by spelling Ta. And since we’re in Ta-Wahi, anything beginning with Ta could certainly be the answer.” Nuparu continued writing the words in the sand. “The fifth letter in Mahiki is a K. Then the second letter in Komau is an O. The third letter in Miru is a R, and then there is a second Komau, so that’s another O. That spells out T – A – K – O – R –O. That’s it. Ta-Koro! That’s the answer!”
Nuparu quickly carved out the specific letters in their correct spaces, and the stone he wrote on started to quiver, and then it shattered. All that remained were a Huna mask, a firestaff, and a stone tablet. Nuparu leapt up and down with glee.
“That’s Vakama’s stuff!” he said jubilantly. “I solved the riddle! I did it! We’re going to find the Turaga!”
“And all you had to use was some logic,” Onua joked. “But now what. The Turaga isn’t here? Where shall we go next?”
Nuparu picked up the spare stone tablet. “This has a picture of the Kini-Nui, along with the mask and staff. I think we should go there next. Maybe the Turaga is trapped in the Kini-Nui!”
“Let’s sew up your bag first,” Onua said, as he took Nuparu down the steep cliff. “That way, you can carry everything safely.
Nuparu gathered his stuff, and started to repair his torn backpack. Onua waited patiently for Nuparu to finish, until he gave out a sudden gasp when he looked out to the sea.
“What is it?” Nuparu asked.
“Creatures in the water!” Onua said. “And if I’m not mistaken, it’s those Bohrok again!”
“Uh oh,” said Nuparu, following Onua’s gaze. Already, the Gahlok were washing onto shore, and turned to the Toa and Matoran.
There it is!” cried Maku in delight. “I can see it. It’s the Kini-Nui!”
“We’re almost there!” Takua reassured everybody.
“That’s very good!” snapped Kopaka. “Because I really care about how far we are from the temple. Oh yes, I am so ecstatic about reaching our destination. I’m just so… Look out!”
The Matoran ducked down as another Kohrok charged through the trees, and shot an icy blast at them. Kopaka used his shield to block the blast, and shot his own icy powers at the Kohrok, and froze it to the ground. But more Kohrok were on the way.
“These stupid creatures have followed us off the mountain, and all the way to the temple,” Kopaka growled. “What a nuisance.”
“Just gives us evermore practice at Bohrokbashing,” Lewa pointed out.
“I guess you could look at it that way,” Kopaka said dully. “Lewa, start Bohrok-bashing that Lehvak to your left.”
Lewa spun around as a green Bohrok leapt from the foliage. Lewa swung his hatchet, and caught the Bohrok in the eyes. The krana fell to the ground, and the Bohrok slumped over.
“They are certainly not lessening up on the attacks,” Duka said.
“They’re about to increase their attacks,” Kopaka said, looking through the trees with his Akaku. “We have a swarm of Lehvak and Kohrok on the way. And there are more Bohrok lurking nearby. Be prepared for some action!”
More Bohrok leapt from the trees. Lewa and Kopaka charged forward, swinging their weapons. A few Bohrok came upon the Matoran, but they were ready. A Lehvak prepared to shoot venom on Maku, when a wooden spear penetrated its outer shell. Kopeke threw another sharpened stick and hit the Bohrok’s eye, and the krana was ejected. A second Bohrok was knocked out when Duka threw a rock that knocked out its krana.
Kopaka and Lewa had finished off the rest of the Bohrok, but Kopaka warned them that there were more lurking in the forest around them. “I see red ones coming from the volcano, and black ones digging up from under the ground,” Kopaka said.
“Tahnok and Nuhvok!” cried Takua. “I’m guessing that they don’t want us to get to the Kini-Nui.”
“Oh, but we’ll get there,” Lewa said. “Then we’ll just Bohrokbash them until nothing is left to bash around.”
“Be warned, Toa of Air,” Kopeke said. “Four swarms of Bohrok are indeed a strong force to contend with. Two Toa may be easily overcome, especially when we’re out in the opened by the temple.”
“Four Matoran could turn the tide, right?” Duka asked Kopeke, as he collected more rocks to throw at the Bohrok.
Kopeke shook his head. “Four Matoran would be crushed like four trees in an avalanche.”
“That’s one way to put it into perspective,” Kopaka said.
The company suddenly came out of the trees and before them were the remains of the great Kini-Nui temple. Pillars had been chipped away due to lack of maintenance. The hole where the Ta-Matoran use to pour lava down to the Bahrag was now sealed up, to keep other beings out. The temple had an evil look to it. It was very different from the temple Takua and Maku remembered from their previous timeline.
Kopaka looked about. “The Bohrok are surrounding us. Prepare to battle.”
“How can we fight off four armies of Bohrok?” Maku asked. Even as she spoke, the four breeds of Bohrok could be seen, rushing through the trees.
Takua tensed up, gripping a stone himself. “We’ll have to do our best,” he said. “Aim for the eyes, and try to avoid any of their blasts. Especially the Tahnok, who’ll melt you pretty quickly.”
“Let’s go!” Lewa shouted, leaping up. He swung his hatchet, and the Bohrok who failed to dodge were hacked apart. Lewa then summoned a gust of wind to knock more of the Bohrok back into the trees before they could react.
Kopaka shot icy blasts from his own sword, and blew back many of the Bohrok. He charged them as well, knocking on their eyes when they came close enough.
The Matoran fared well. Duka did a back flip to avoid a blast from a Tahnok, and then threw a stone straight and true, and knocked the Bohrok down. But as he landed, the ground beneath his feet crumbled away. He jumped away, as a Nuhvok crawled out of the ground. But no sooner had it surfaced than Takua knocked its krana out. Bohrok advanced on Kopeke, but he launched his last sharpened wood spear. He also knocked the krana out.
The Toa and Matoran fought back at the Bohrok, and held their ground. Suddenly, all the Bohrok froze, and started to back away. Duka was gleeful. “They’re retreating!”
Kopeke was less optimistic. “They are just falling back. They’re expecting something else.”
“The little one is correct,” Kopaka said grimly, focusing his Akaku. “We’ve got company. Two Rahkshi are heading this way.”
Threw the Bohrok lines, the two Rahkshi appeared. One was bright orange, and the other one was part red and part yellow. Behind them was a swarm of small insects.
“Two new Rahkshi!” Takua gasped. “What powers will they have?”
“We’re about to find out!” Lewa said. “Right now, I’m going for some Rahkshibashing!”
“Take the orange one, brother,” Kopaka said coldly. “I’ll have the other out cold in no time.”
The two Toa charged forward, and the Rahkshi met them. The orange one swung its staff, but Lewa dodged out of the way, and tried to hit the Rahkshi with hit hatchet. But suddenly, as if commanded by the Rahkshi, the swarm of insects attacked Lewa, distracting him for an instant. While Lewa tried to deal with the bugs, the Rahkshi gave him a heavy blow in his chest. Lewa fell back, but the insects started biting him, and the Rahkshi prepared for another attack.
Kopaka shot another icy blast towards the red and yellow Rahkshi. He concentrated all his power into freezing the Rahkshi, but his ice had absolutely no effect on the Rahkshi. It hissed evilly, and swung it’s own staff. Kopaka blocked it with his shield, and swung his sword. Soon, Kopaka and the Rahkshi were in a fierce battle as they clanged their weapons onto each other.
With the Toa distracted, the Bohrok turned towards the Matoran. They huddled back to back, but the Bohrok soon had them surrounded.
Duka prepared to throw a stone, but he was nervous. “We’re doomed,” he muttered. “We can’t take on all these Bohrok. We’re just Matoran.”
“Maku and I have fought Bohrok before, and won,” Takua said. “Of course, Jala was also there, and he had his fire sword with him…”
“Do you think we’ll survive, Kopeke?” Maku asked the Ko-Matoran.
“The prophecies have not revealed my destiny to me yet,” Kopeke said quietly. “But I have hope.”
The Tahnok and Lehvak surrounding the Matoran shot acid and flames in unison, and the Matoran shielded themselves. However, to their amazement, a huge clump of earth flew above their heads, and crushed the Bohrok, along with blocking their elemental attacks.
“What on Mata-Nui…” Duka cried out.
“Hope always shows up,” Kopeke started, smiling. “In the form of a Toa.”
The Toa of Earth charged forward, throwing more clumps of earth towards the Bohrok. The Bohrok were instantly crushed, but they formed ranks again, and charged the Toa. Onua shot out his claws, and ripped the Bohrok’s faceplates as they attempted to charge him. As the Tahnok fired flames at him, Onua quickly switched to his Hau mask, and blocked the attack. He rammed him claws into the earth, and unleashed an earthquake to the ground underneath the Bohrok. The Tahnok, Lehvak, and Kohrok all tumbled over, but the Nuhvok charged forward again. They unleashed their own earthquake towards Onua, but he calmed down the ground before it effected him. As the Nuhvok prepared for another attack, Onua lifted a fallen Kohrok, and threw it into the group of Nuhvok. He knocked the Bohrok of earth to the ground, and krana flew through the air as the Bohrok shells burst opened.
The two Rahkshi was slowly overcoming Toa Kopaka and Toa Lewa. Kopaka’s ice no longer aided him in battle, and he was forced to physically combat the Rahkshi. Lewa tried to us his winds to blow the bugs away, but the Rahkshi wouldn’t let him summon the power as it continuously smacked him with its staff.
“This Rahkshi…” Kopaka started. “Is… resistant to my… ice!” He tried to block the Rahkshi, but it caught him in the mask, and Kopaka toppled back.
“Then let me try it on!” Lewa said. He did a back flip, as the Rahkshi swung at him. Lewa sailed through the air and came in contact with the red and yellow Rahkshi, as it attempted to smack Kopaka again. Lewa parried with his hatched, and made his own attack.
The orange Rahkshi summoned the insects to attack Lewa again, but Kopaka turned on it. Summoning up another icy blast, Kopaka froze the cloud of insects, and then fell to the ground, now individual bugs caught in tiny blocks of ice. The orange Rahkshi hissed, and swung its staff towards Kopaka, but he easily blocked it with his shield. Then Kopaka caught the Rahkshi on the head with his own sword.
“Hey, Lewa, need a hand!” Onua yelled, as he crushed the last Bohrok.
“Hey, it’s Onua!” yelled Lewa, narrowly dodging the Rahkshi. “Help would be a goodnice thing right now!”
“Here ya go!” Onua said. He threw a Tahnok shell, at it hit the Rahkshi, knocking it back. While the Rahkshi was distracted, Lewa caught it on the head, and the kraata flew out. Onua caught it in mid air, and squeezed it until it burst.
“This one defiantly isn’t resistant to ice,” Kopaka said, fighting back on the orange Rahkshi. He blasted the Rahkshi with some more ice, as Onua threw another Bohrok shell towards it. The Rahkshi crumbled, and the kraata flew it the air. Kopaka froze it, and crushed it beneath his foot.
“Goodgreeting, brother!” Lewa said, patting Onua on the shoulder. “You betterwell now than the last time we spoke?”
“You could put it that way,” Onua said with a grin.
“Well, now you can deal with Lewa,” Kopaka said. “I am tired of listening to all his slang words.”
“We’re glad to have you back, Onua!” Takua said, rushing up to the black Toa. However, a purple Rahkshi suddenly appeared through the trees. The Toa froze, and Maku turned pearly white. “Oh no!” she whimpered.
“Yet another Rahkshi that we’ll have to take down,” Kopaka said.
“If we work together, it’ll easily get crushed,” Onua pointed out.
“Then let’s Rahkshibash some more!” Lewa said. “Attack on my count. Three, two, one…”
The purple Rahkshi let out another ear-breaking scream, and all three Toa fell to their knees. The Matoran all slumped over as well, except for Kopeke. He calmly walked up closer to the Rahkshi, who now gave a high pitched growl.
“Toa Kopaka, please make me an ice spear,” Kopeke said slowly. Kopaka regained his senses, and created a narrow strip of ice before the Rahkshi let out another scream. Kopeke calmly picked up the ice spear and walked towards the Rahkshi, who let out a third scream.
“I have much practice with peace,” Kopeke said slowly. “You’re screams do not effect me as they do to others.”
The Rahkshi screamed yet again, and the Toa and Matoran rolled in agony. But Kopeke didn’t move or even flinch. The purple Rahkshi leapt forward, swinging its staff widely. However, Kopeke moved to. Just before the Rahkshi would’ve caught him, he sidestepped, and the staff missed the blow. While the Rahkshi was bent down, Kopeke leapt into the air, and stabbed his ice spear directly into the Rahkshi’s head. The Rahkshi gave off another cry, but it was a cry of pain. Kopeke hit it on the head again, and the Rahkshi’s back popped opened. The kraata flew out, and landed on the ground. Kopeke leapt down, and cut the kraata in half with his sharp ice staff. The kraata gave off one last ear-splitting cry, and then was silent.
The Toa and other Matoran got to their feet again. “Way to go, Kopeke!” Maku cried in delight.
“I think I just completed my destiny,” Kopeke said slowly. “I have taken down the Rahkshi.”
“I’ve helped take down four Rahkshi,” Lewa pointed out.
“Yes, but he is not a mighty Toa, like we are,” Onua said with a grin. “And I didn’t see you attack that particular Rahkshi.”
Lewa shrugged. “Well, I still helped take down some others.”
“And I am grateful of that, Toa of Air,” Kopeke said. “That was just a thanks for the protection you have given me.”
“Yeah, thanks a lot, Kopeke!” Duka said. He rubbed his head. “My ears are still ringing. You must be made of tough stuff to handle that scream.”
“I have had much time to prepare,” Kopeke said with a smile. “Of course, I was lucky enough not to be held captive by the forces of darkness, like you.”
“This is great to be back together again!” Onua said. “But wait! Where is that little Onu-Matoran, Nuparu?”
Takua, Duka, and the other two Toa grew solemn. “We, lost him,” Takua said miserably. “A Rahkshi obliterated him. He’s gone now.”
“Oh, he is, is he,” Onua said, with a grin. “Don’t always believe what you see, little one.”
Something burst from the bushes. Takua turned, and nearly passed out. “NUPARU!”
Kopaka and Lewa stared. “I guess he’s not as gone as we thought!” Kopaka stated.
“These Matoran really can handle a lot!” Lewa added.
Takua rushed over and grabbed Nuparu in a hug. “You’re alive!” he cried out.
“Uh, yes, I am,” Nuparu said. “Can you please let go. I’m a bit sore right now.”
Takua released Nuparu, but he was still giddy. The other Matoran went over to see Nuparu, and the three Toa stayed behind. They didn’t want to interfere with the reunion.
“The villagers of this island are really something,” Onua said. “I found Nuparu almost dead on the beach, but after some Zulina tea, he was active and solving riddles.”
“What for?” Lewa asked. “Takua and Maku have been solving riddles as well on their adventures.”
“Nuparu thinks that he can summon one of those Turaga folks,” Onua said.
“What an coincidence!” Lewa replied. “We are doing that as well. Both Takua and Maku have clues as well.”
“Then we are about to find the Turaga,” Kopaka said. “Maybe they can shed some light on the mysteries that we keep facing. Like where do all these Rahkshi come from? And why are these Matoran so special? And why did they leave behind so many stupid riddles instead of just telling us straight where to go?”
“According to this tablet, Turaga Matau’s stuff goes on these steps,” Takua said, placing the Turaga’s staff and mask on the steps of the Kini-Nui temple.
“Ah, that’s what this means,” Maku said, fingering the stone tablet she had. “Nuju’s stuff goes two steps over from Matau’s stuff.”
“And Turaga Vakama’s stuff is shown to be right next to Nuju’s stuff,” Nuparu added, placing down the staff and mask of the Turaga of Fire. “There, now we’ve put everything in its proper place.”
The company of Toa and Matoran stood off to the side, but nothing happened. Duka looked anxious. “Is something suppose to happen?”
Takua rubbed his head. “Uh, what are we suppose to do now?”
“This tablet only shows the placement of the mask and staff,” Nuparu added. “What else are we suppose to do?”
Maku turned to Kopeke. “Do you know anything more about finding the Turaga?”
Kopeke shrugged. “The prophecies don’t tell me everything. All I knew for sure was that you would solve Nuju’s clue.”
“Stupid clue,” yelled Takua. “We get to solve riddles and run from Bohrok and fight Rahkshi, and now we don’t even know what to do!” He threw the stone tablet on the steps beside the mask and staff. Suddenly, there was a rumble, and the steps with the mask and staff and tablet started to sink into the ground. All the Matoran and Toa gasped as an opening in the Kini-Nui formed, leading deep into the ground.
Kopeke chuckled. “Losing your temper is normally a bad thing, but it looks like Takua put it to good use.”
Maku and Nuparu also place the stone tablets next to the masks and staffs, and two more pathways led down into the earth. They all met up with each other, and turned into a tunnel that led into the depths of the island.
“The Turaga are under the ground?” Lewa asked, with a hint of panic in his voice. “Down where the earth presses in all around you? Down where you can easily get trapped and never reach the skies again!”
“Down in the depths of Mata-Nui, where all is peaceful and the earth is right by you, there to protect you,” Onua said thoughtfully. “Besides, if there is a cave in, I can dig us out.”
“In that case, I’ll let you go down and I’ll stay up here,” Lewa said.
“Oh, Lewa, then you won’t get to bash around any more Bohrok,” Kopaka said sarcastically. “And I thought you were a brave Toa-hero.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll go,” Lewa said. “As long as Onua leads the way.”
“So we still have to journey beneath the ground before we can come upon the Bohrok,” Duka said. “I’m with Toa Lewa. I never liked going under the ground, mostly because the prison in Le-Koro was underground.”
“Then let us be quick about it,” Takua said. “Earth is just another element, and we have the Toa of Earth to help us out if we get into trouble. Let’s go and find some Turaga!”
Led by Onua, the company of Matoran and Toa descended down into the temple, making sure to retrieve the masks and staffs of the Turaga. Takua used his lightstone to light up the darkness. Slowly, the Toa and Matoran walked through the tunnel.
After some time, Duka fell to the ground. “I’m too tired to go on,” he gasped. “It’s too tight in here.”
“I’ve seen worst,” Nuparu said dully. “But this place does give me a creepy feeling. Like we’re being watched by the shadows.”
Takua leaned against the wall. “Yeah. I suppose that the Makuta is keeping an eye on us, somehow. But, on the bright side, we’re bound to find the Turaga soon. Right?”
Lewa held the staffs and masks of the Turaga. He gave a nervous look around. “I am also getting the badfeeling that the Matoran feel.”
“Just because you’re underground doesn’t mean that something bad is about to happen,” Onua pointed out to the Toa of Air.
“Yet I am also getting the same feeling that Lewa just complained about,” Kopaka said coolly. He turned to look behind them, and used his Akaku to spot the trouble. “Just as I expected. A few black Bohrok are tunneling towards us."
“Thank the Great Beings for your Akaku,” Lewa said.
“You’ll have to pick up one of those masks as well,” Onua said.
“Yeah, I saw some masks when I botherfought the Bohrok in Le-Koro,” Lewa said thoughtfully. “Never thought that I would need to see through earth, though.”
However, before any of them could act, the earth around them started to shake. Kopaka shuttered. “The Nuhvok are using their powers!”
“I’ll counteract their earthquake!” Onua said, driving his claws into the soil. The tunnel stopped shaking a little bit, but there was a sudden crumble. The wall Takua was leaning on gave way, and Takua fell backwards into a sloping tunnel.
“Takua!” Nuparu leapt forward, trying to grab his friend, but he missed. Worst, Nuparu lost his balance, and toppled in after Takua.
“No!” Duka cried out.
“We need to eversave them!” Lewa cried.
“The Bohrok are closing in,” Kopaka warned them.
“You need to find the Turaga!” Maku said. “You can’t go after Nuparu and Takua!”
“Come again, Maku?” Onua asked.
“Kopeke, make sure the Toa go after the Turaga,” Maku said. “I’m going after my friends. So long!” Before any of the Toa could react, Maku leapt into the tunnel and slid from sight.
“They just left!” Onua cried. “They may be in danger!”
“No, they have survived dangers before, and they can still survive them today,” Kopeke said. “It is our duty to save the Turaga.”
“Then lets start by getting out of here!” Kopaka cried out. Behind them, the Nuhvok burst into sight.
“There!” Jala pointed to the hillside. “That’s where we’re going.”
“Are you sure that will lead us to Onu-Koro?” Hahli asked.
“I think it’ll work,” Huki said. “The main tunnel that Tunaka used to go through is over those hills over there. Onu-Koro is connected by many tunnels, and this one may not be watched as well as the other one. We can probably sneak into the village, and find Maku.”
“Have you thought about what you’re going to do once you’re in Onu-Koro?” Hahli asked. “Don’t you think we’ll stand out, especially because the Bohrok will be looking for any strange Matoran that might be trying to free the villagers?”
“I think we could possibly free a few Onu-Matoran along with Maku,” Huki mused. “But we’ll just tear apart any building until we have Maku.”
“Or we could take a stealthier approach,” Jala suggested. “But first, we need to find the Koro, and that means that we’ll need to go underground. Huki, take out the lightstone.”
“The lightstone? I don’t have a lightstone.”
“What? You’re the one who was suppose to swipe a lightstone!”
“Me? This was your idea! I didn’t know that we needed a lightstone.”
“We’re going underground! Of course we’ll need a lightstone. The Bohrok don’t keep the tunnels lit like the Onu-Korans use to.”
“Boys!” Hahli said, rolling her eyes. “You are obviously not prepared for this, are you?”
“I repeat, I was not the one who did the planning,” Huki said, folding his arms up.
Jala rolled his eyes as well. “Fine, we don’t need a lightstone. I’ll just light up my firesword. That way it’ll light up the way for us, and I’ll be ready for trouble.”
Taking out his prized weapon, Jala descended into the shadows. Hahli stuck close to Jala’s side, and Huki walked close behind him.
“Really scary in here,” Huki said, shivering. “They use to say that Onu-Koro was as dark as Makuta would want it. It is the ideal village for the spirit of darkness. Except that all the Matoran carried around Lightstones… or torches.”
“I heard that the tunnels were beautiful at the peak of Onu-Koran mining,” Hahli said.
“Oh yes, beautiful,” Jala replied. “I got to go to the lightstone mine a few times, and it was gorgeous. There are lots of shiny stones underground, along with protodermis. The Onu-Korans were as much as artists as the Po-Korans. But now, they are just simple miners who are forced to mine protodermis. I wonder if anything’s changed since we’ve been around.”
“Tunaka noticed some changes,” Hahli said.
“Yeah, but Tunaka got to travel around the island,” Huki pointed out. “The Onu-Korans are isolated underneath the ground. They may not even know what the sky looks like. I would hate to see what Maku has to deal with down here.”
“But we don’t even know if Maku’s down here!” Hahli said.
Huki gave Hahli a nasty look, and turned away. Jala gave Hahli a look as well. Huki didn’t need to be reminded of the chances of Maku being in Onu-Koro.
“Well, where else would she be?” Jala asked. “She wasn’t taken to Po-Koro. She certainly wasn’t taken to the old Ga-Koro or Ta-Koro. I doubt that they’d even consider taking her all the way to Le-Koro, either. Onu-Koro is the only village where they could hold her.”
“There is one other place,” Huki whispered. “Makuta’s shadows. We know that the Bahrag have their own little cave, deep in the earth, and the Toa faced Makuta underground before. If Maku was taken there, then there’ll be no helping her. She’s gone Jala. They wouldn’t take her to a village. They’d take her to the center of the enemy's power.”
“Huki, this isn’t time to give up hope,” Jala said, with a plea in his voice.
“Yeah, we don’t know where Maku is,” Hahli said. “For all we know, she could be in the ocean, protected from the enemy. We know nothing for certain. If you give up hope, then you have lost Maku. But if you keep some hope… then maybe we will find her. This is a big island, after all.”
Huki whipped away a tear. “I guess I just can’t handle it,” he said miserably. “I just wish I could see her once more. To hear her voice one more time.”
They stopped for a quick break, each of them silent with their own thoughts. However, in the silence, they heard the crunch of footsteps. Jala instantly powered down his sword, and they crept back in the darkness. Jala reached for Hahli’s hand, and grasped it tight. Something was coming down the tunnel. As the three Matoran cowered in the darkness, they saw the green eyes appear at the edge of the tunnel.
Hahli gasped. They were Bohrok eyes. The Bohrok froze, as it suddenly sensed the Matoran. Then, letting out a low growl, it charged forward.
Jala was ready. He ignited his firesword, and jumped towards the Bohrok. The Bohrok, not expecting an attack, rammed directly into Jala, but this proved to be a mistake. Jala’s firesword had gone through the head plate and into the krana itself. The Bohrok slumped over.
But before it had fallen, the Bohrok had conjured up an earthquake, and the tunnel started to shake. In the light of Jala’s firesword, they could see the ceiling start to collapse.
“RUN!” Huki yelled, as the tunnel started to cave in.
Jala led the way as they ran down the tunnel. The rocks started to fall faster, but Jala, Huki, and Hahli raced forward, avoiding the falling rocks.
“We’ve got to get…” Jala started, as he ran down the tunnel. Suddenly, his foot connected with empty space, and Jala tipped forward into a hole in the tunnel. Before Jala could yell a warning, Hahli and Huki plowed into him, and the three of them went tumbling down the tunnel. Luckily, the cave in above them did not effect their new tunnel.
“YEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” shouted Huki, as he somersaulted down the tunnel.
“AHHHHHHHHH!” Hahli cried out.
“Oh no!” Jala yelled as he flipped around. However, in the distance, he could swear that he heard more yells, coming from others besides his two friends.
The yells sounded strangely familiar to Jala. But before he could think more about the voices, he bounced on something, and flew into the air, where he collided with something else. Yet it was not a rock.
Jala tumbled around aimlessly for a while longer, and then he crashed into a pit of sand at the bottom of the tunnel. He had bumps and bruises from the fall, but he was okay otherwise. He reached out, and grasped a Matoran hand, but the hand quickly jerked away.
“What the…” cried a Matoran voice.
Jala fell back. “T… Takua!” he gasped. He reached to the ground, and felt for his fallen firesword. When he finally found it, he lit it up to the scene. In the sand with him were Hahli and Huki. But three more Matoran had joined them.
Huki was ecstatic. “MAKU!” Without thinking, he threw himself on Maku, and hugged her tight. They had been reunited.
Nuparu rubbed a bruise on the back of his mask. “Uhg. That was an experience I do not want to repeat.”
“I agree with you there,” Takua said. “But look who we found. Jala the guard captain, Huki the Koli champion, and the Ga-Koran maiden, Hahli.
“By the Great Spirit, where did you come from?” Hahli asked.
Nuparu pointed up. “From up there.”
“Why is Maku with you?” Jala asked. “According to the Toa, Maku was captured by a Rahkshi.”
“Yeah, why are you hanging out with Takua and Nuparu?” Huki asked, finally breaking away from Maku. “I was worried sick about you. We freed Po-Koro just to find you.”
“I got some help, and escaped from the Rahkshi,” Maku said with a shutter.
“Don’t believe everything you’re told, or that you see,” Takua said. “I thought Nuparu had been obliterated, but then he showed up out of nowhere.”
“Obliterated?” Jala asked. “Then how’d he come back?”
“I don’t know,” Takua said, giving Nuparu a sideways look. “He didn’t tell us.”
Nuparu grew dull. “I’d rather not talk about it.”
Takua and Jala fell silent. However, Hahli went up to Nuparu, and put her hand on his shoulder. “Come on, Nuparu, tell us. We’re your friends.”
Nuparu shuttered, but spoke. “That Rahkshi… didn’t kill me, but took me somewhere. I don’t know for sure, but I think it teleported me somewhere. When Lewa and Kopaka were fighting that Rahkshi, it would just appear and disappear suddenly. I guess it used its power on me.”
“Sounds like you’ve encountered a few new Rahkshi as well,” Jala said.
Takua twitched. “Yeah, you could say that.”
“Anyway, it took me deep into the earth,” Nuparu continued. “And then there were these shadows… they wanted to know where you guys were, but I wouldn’t tell them. Then they tried to… to control me. But I had Takua’s chisel, and I put it in this weird sphere thing, and then I was taken out of the shadows, and I found myself on the Ta-Wahi beach.”
“You found one of those spheres things?” Takua gasped. “Just like the one I found in the Bohrok nest. That means…”
“I was in the realm of Makuta,” Nuparu shuttered. “I can see why you were so afraid when you left the Bohrok’s nest that one time.”
“Oh yeah,” Takua said. “It doesn’t seem so scary when compared with this reality.”
“So the Rahkshi were after us,” Jala said. “The Kurahk tried to take Hahli, but Kopaka stopped it. Maku was also taken by a Rahkshi…”
“I got saved by Kopeke,” Maku added.
“And then Nuparu got taken by a teleportating Rahkshi, but he managed to escape,” Jala summed up. “Why do the shadows want us? Just because we remember what the other reality was like before the Bahrag took control of the Vahi. Because we were spreading hope and calling up Toa?”
“Or is there something else?” Nuparu questioned. “Something that we don’t know about.”
“Maybe the Turaga would know,” muttered Jala. “I wonder where they are.”
“Well, they’re somewhere down here,” Takua said. “We’ve had some interesting adventures since we separated.”
The Matoran shared stories of their adventures. Jala, Hahli, and Huki retold the freeing of Po-Koro, and Takua, Maku, and Nuparu retold the riddles they had solved and their theories about the Turaga. Soon, all six Matoran friends were caught up on each other’s adventures.
However, now they were anxious for something else. “How are we going to get to the surface again?” Huki asked.
Jala talked past the sandpit that they had fallen into. “There’s another tunnel over here. We could go this way.”
“Do you have any Lightstones?” Hahli asked Takua and Nuparu.
“Mine… broke,” Nuparu said.
“I think I left mine behind with the Toa,” Takua added sheepishly. “I didn’t really have too much time to gather my stuff. Besides, Jala’s firesword works just fine.”
Jala led the way down the tunnel, and all the others came up behind him. Maku huddled close to Huki. “Aren’t there lots of dangerous things underground?”
“You mean like Nuhvok, Kofu-Jaga, and possibly mole Rahkshi?” Nuparu said. “Yeah, there’s plenty of dangerous stuff down here. Along with the chance of a cave in or something.”
“Don’t worry, Maku,” Huki said softly. “I’ll protect you.”
Nuparu was about to say something, but Takua nudged him. They both broke into grins as they watched Huki and Maku embrace.
“It would still be helpful if we knew where we were going,” Jala said. “Nuparu, do you know how far down we are?”
Nuparu though for a moment. “Well, we’re below the limit for natural caves, so this must be something… Matoran made. I’d guess that we’re around the level of Onu-Koro.”
“If this was made by a Matoran… or a Bohrok,” Takua said. “Then we could be walking right into a trap!”
“I’d guess that we might get to Onu-Koro,” Nuparu said. “However, with cave-ins and other obstacles like that, then we might just reach a dead end, and be stuck down here forever.”
“That’s an optimistic way to view the situation,” Hahli said.
“At any rate, we should keep on moving,” Jala said. “Who knows what we’ll find, but we won’t get anything accomplished by just standing around.”
The tunnel they followed were very long, and had many twists and turns. The Matoran hiked on, taking brief rests. Time seemed to grow still, until suddenly they heard the sound of voices nearby. Jala froze, and extinguished his sword.
“What’s that noise?” Jala asked.
“Onu-Matoran miners!” Huki whispered. “We’re close to Onu-Koro after all.”
“Should we go say ‘Hello’ to them?” Maku asked.
Nuparu shook his head. “If we get seen with them, then they’ll get in trouble, even if we can escape. However, we could follow them and maybe find a way out of here.”
“Nuparu, why can we not free them?” Hahli asked. “Jala, Huki, an I have helped free Po-Koro, along with some of the other villages. Why should we just leave behind the Onu-Korans? They’re your people, Nuparu.”
“This is Onu-Koro!” Nuparu shot back. “There are only so many ways to escape. We are just six Matoran, without any advantages at all. We don’t even have any Toa to help us. And if we get captured, then we’ll be taken to the Magania. And I do not want to go back there!”
“The Onu-Korans do deserve freedom,” Maku pointed out. “But we cannot give it to them right now.”
Jala nodded. “But we can find the Toa, and then they can help us. But for now, let’s just find a way out of here. We’ll get closer, so we can see the Matoran.”
Following after Jala, the Matoran crept down the tunnel until they saw a faint glimmer of light. Working in a side tunnel were three Onu-Koran, who had a small candle that was burning low. They were slowly chipping away the rocks as they searched for protodermis.
“Poor Matoran,” muttered Huki. “When Nuparu and I were down here, we used his shiny protodermis equipment to dig. These Matoran have some really bad equipment, and they are forced to dig every day.”
Before Huki could say any more, Jala heard something. Something was stomping down the passageway, towards the miners. Jala and his friends hid behind a wall, as a Nuhvok showed up.
However, instead of showing fear, the miners sighed with relief. They formed a line, and marched down the tunnel, with the Nuhvok following them. Jala and his friends hastily pursued them.
“The Nuhvok must be taking them back to Onu-Koro,” Huki said. “Their shift is over for the day.”
“And they’ll lead us right to Onu-Koro,” said Jala.
They followed the Nuhvok and Matoran, and quickly found themselves on the edge of a dimly lit cavern. In the center, they could see a large group f Matoran coming back from the mines. The Matoran were stashing their equipment away for the day, and the Bohrok ushered them into their cage. The Matoran with the infected Rau was not present.
Takua was very quiet, but he pointed to the edge of the cavern. They could see another tunnel leading out of Onu-Koro. It was very large, and Huki and Nuparu confirmed that it was the one that Tunaka had come through when they had first entered Onu-Koro.
“Be very quiet,” Jala said. “There are only a few Bohrok here, but they could possibly cause an uproar if they sight up. Carefully make your way along the edge of the cavern, and get to that tunnel. Once there, we’ll run through it until we reach the surface. Then we’ll be in the desert, and we’ll find our way to the camp of Matoran, where three Toa now reside.”
Very carefully, the six Matoran walked along the edge of the cavern, and the Nuhvok seemed completely unaware of them, as they were herding the Onu-Korans into their cage. With very little difficulty, the six Matoran made it to the exit tunnel, just as the last miner was locked away.
“Poor Matoran,” muttered Hahli. “We shall come back and save them.”
“Let’s get out of here, before we have Nuhvok all over us!” Huki said. He started up the tunnel, but froze. He could see the green eyes coming down the tunnel, and could hear Matoran voices.
“The village of stone was taken. How terrible.”
“Yes, and it is believed that some of your villagers had important roles in the taking of Po-Koro. I thought you said that you recaptured all of your escaped Matoran!”
“The Lehvak got almost all of them, and a few must’ve gotten away due to pure luck! And at least I didn’t let my entire village get away, like some others.”
“You know why I lost my village! I had two Toa against the Rahkshi and Bohrok, who were unprepared. But we took the floating village earlier today. The Matoran may have survived, but they will no longer be able to live over the water.”
“We have to villages left! We must make sure that we do not lose any more Matoran, or we’ll suffer. Master wants the Matoran to obey him, and by the time we get rid of the Toa, the Matoran around them will perish. We still need to keep Matoran under our control.”
Huki, Jala, and the others froze in fear as they heard these voices, and were not able to move in time. Out of the exit tunnel came three Matoran with infected Rau masks, representing the villages of Ga-Koro, Le-Koro, and Onu-Koro. Behind them were three Nuhvok. As they came out of the exit tunnel, they spotted the six Matoran.
“Well, what do we have here!” said Tamaru.
“The six Matoran!” hissed Kotu. “The six that our Master wants!”
“You’re master won’t have us,” Jala said bravely. But he still felt cold fear as the Nuhvok turned towards them.
“It was your mistake to come here!” hissed the infected Onu-Matoran. “Nuhvok, take them!”
The Nuhvok behind the infected Matoran rammed its shield into the ground, and the earth shuttered. Large chunks of the ceiling started to fall and the Matoran jumped out of the way to avoid getting hit.
“You know what!” Huki yelled. “I’m sick of always you infected guys always getting you way around here!” As a large rock fell from the ceiling, Huki jumped up and kicked it with all his might. The rock flew straight and true, and smacked the infected Onu-Koran in the mask. He was knocked out cold.
“Get them!” Tamaru and Kotu yelled. “Krana them!”
Two of the Nuhvok lowered their headplates, and launched two krana towards Maku and Takua. However, Maku and Takua jumped over the krana, and each tacked one of the remaining infected Matoran.
The third Nuhvok hesitated, unsure about which free Matoran it should strike first. It made a move to grab both Takua and Maku at the same time, but stopped suddenly. Nuparu leapt forward, and pulled out his pickaxe. The blade struck threw the headplate, and cut into the krana.
Jala and Hahli turned around to see the other Nuhvok charging towards them from behind. Simultaneously, the two of them pulled out their swords; Jala lit his firesword and Hahli held her new protodermis sword that Jala had given her. In unison, they leapt forward and stabbed two charging Bohrok. Jala cut through the headplate and into the krana, but Hahli missed the krana and got her sword stuck in the headplate. She tried to pull back, but the Nuhvok’s strong arms gripped her shoulders. However, before the Nuhvok could start squeezing Hahli, Jala drove his firesword into the side of the Bohrok’s head. The Bohrok fell back, and Hahli got to her feet, shaking.
“You need to thrust and aim,” Jala told her. “It has to be a nice clean sweep, and it must go in straight, or else it will get stuck.”
“Like this?” Hahli asked. She pushed Jala aside and thrust her sword into the oncoming Nuhvok. She cut through the headplate, and into the krana, and quickly yanked her sword out before the Bohrok fell over.
“Yeah, exactly,” Jala said. “Thanks.”
“I’m always watching your back, Jala,” Hahli said with a wink and a laugh.
Huki kicked another boulder at oncoming Bohrok. “How about less love-talk and more back-watching!”
Takua tried to get a firm grip on Tamaru’s mask, but the infected Le-Koran would not sit still and allow Takua to overpower him. Tamaru did a back flip, and knocked Takua to the ground. Takua rolled over, and narrowly avoided a blow Tamaru sent towards him. Takua grabbed Tamaru’s arm, and pinned him to the ground again, but Tamaru kicked his foot and caught Takua in the back of the head. Takua hit the ground again, and Tamaru got on top of him, now pinning him to the ground.
“You time has come to an end, Takua!” Tamaru hissed.
However, Takua wasn’t done yet. He kicked his own back leg up, and caught Tamaru in the chest. He expertly slid out from under Tamaru, and got back to his feet.
“How’d you do that?” Tamaru hissed.
“My friend taught me that!” Takua said. “It’s what he use to do when Kongu tackled him. Tamaru taught me that, and he will be free.”
The infected Matoran growled, but there seemed to be a shutter in his eyes, and they grew less dull for a moment. He paused, as if having an inner conflict with himself, and Takua acted. He jumped forward, and got a tight grip on the infected Rau mask. Then before Tamaru could react, Takua ripped it off.
Near by, Maku and Kotu were in another furious fight, but Maku was coming up ahead. Unlike Takua, Maku was far more agile than Kotu, yet the infected Ga-Koran fought furiously. However, Maku finally got a grip on the edge of Kotu’s mask, and ripped it off as well.
Huki and Nuparu had been fending away Bohrok who charged towards Takua and Maku, but Jala and Hahli had challenged all the other Bohrok, and now empty shells littered the ground. With a clean slice, Hahli cut the last Nuhvok headplate, and the krana spilled out. Huki walked over to the infected Onu-Koran, who was starting to regain consciousness, and ripped off his mask as well.
“There you have it, Nuparu,” said Hahli, as she whipped the dirt of her new sword blade. “We ended up freeing Onu-Koro after all.”
“I guess we did,” Nuparu said with a weak smile. “You work nicely with a blade, Hahli.”
“Jala taught me a few of his tricks,” Hahli said, giving Jala a playful nudge. Jala smiled.
“Are those two okay?” Huki asked, gesturing to Kotu and Tamaru, who seemed to me unconscious.
“They’ll be fine,” Takua said. “I bet they haven’t been in control of their bodies for a long time.”
Hahli picked up a key off of the Onu-Koran. “Here, with this, I bet we can free the other Matoran!”
Quickly, the six of them rushed over to the door and unlocked it with the key. As it slid open, they saw many Onu-Matoran, staring at them.
“Don’t be afraid,” Jala said, as they backed away. “We’re not here to hurt you. We’re here to free you!”
“Free… us?” asked one of the Onu-Korans.
“Yes, we know of a place where Matoran are protected by heroes known as Toa,” Hahli said. “Follow us, and we’ll lead you out of here.”
Smiles broke out on the faces of the Onu-Korans, and they cautiously left their prison and entered the cavern. Takua pointed to the exit tunnel. “That way!”
“Maku, Hahli, you lead them up,” Jala said. “We need a few of you to help those Matoran up, because they are a bit… tired. The rest of us will carry out this last Onu-Koran.”
Hahli nodded. “Follow me, all of you!” She and Maku started up the exit tunnel, followed by the Onu-Korans. A few of them helped lead Tamaru and Kotu, who were awaking. They could walk, but they needed help to keep them from stumbling.
The other four Matoran huddled around the fallen Onu-Koran. “How do we wake him up?” Huki asked. “I don’t want to carry him.”
“You are the one who knocked him out,” Jala pointed out blandly.
“I have an idea!” Nuparu said. “I have some left over Zulina leaves from when I met Onua…”
“Oh, Zulina leaves!” Huki said. “We really should’ve stocked up on those when we first began our adventures.”
Nuparu mixed some crumbled Zulina leaves in with some water Jala provided, and they gave the Onu-Koran a drink. After a few moments, he started to come back.
“Easy,” Jala said. “Look, we have to get you out of here. Who knows what’s going to come to this village.”
“You are the Matoran who… Makuta wants!” gasped the Onu-Koran. “You freed me, and I am ever thankful, but our time runs low. I know what is coming!”
“Coming?” Takua asked. “What’s coming.”
“Before my mask was ripped off, I… gave master a warning. He is sending reinforcements!” the Onu-Koran cried. “We won’t escape!”
Jala, Takua, Nuparu, and Huki were all alarmed at this news. However, Jala was not going to back down. “Let us get out of here before anything shows up.”
There was a horrible explosion, and the Matoran spun around. Behind them, the southern wall of Onu-Koro shattered, as a swarm of Nuhvok advanced. Mingled in with the earth Bohrok were also Gahlok and Lehvak.
“Run!” yelled Nuparu, as grabbed his pickaxe and sprinted towards the exit, with his friends right behind him.
However, there was a sudden pop, and then the exit was blocked. Standing before the exit was the blue and green Rahkshi of teleportation. It had teleported two more Rahkshi with it: a tan Rahkshi and a purple and blue Rahkshi.
The Onu-Koran grew deathly pale. “We’re trapped!” he cried out. “Master will take us again. And then there’ll be no going back!”
Jala could see only one solution to their predicament. “Fight!” he cried out, brandishing his fire sword.
Nuparu could think of a few other solutions. “RUN!” he shouted out.
The blue and green teleportation Rahkshi aimed at Nuparu, and shot a beam of light towards him. Nuparu froze in fear, and didn’t move. However, Huki acted, and pushed Nuparu out of the way just in time. The beam traveled beyond the Matoran and struck a Bohrok. The Bohrok vanished, and the Rahkshi hissed.
“Thanks,” Nuparu gasped.
“Where would you be without me?” Huki asked.
“Probably consumed by the shadows,” muttered Nuparu.
Jala slashed out at the tan Rahkshi, but he sword blade did not penetrate the Rahkshi’s shell. Instead, the Rahkshi seemed to just bend out of the way of the blade. Jala gasped, and the Rahkshi kicked him to the ground.
The purple and blue shot a quick blast of high frequency light with precise precision towards the previously infected Onu-Matoran. The poor Matoran was touched in a vulnerable spot, and was instantly paralyzed. He fell to the ground, but the other Matoran scattered.
“Watch out for their powers!” Takua yelled out, as he rushed away from the Rahkshi.
The tan Rahkshi glared at Takua, and reached its arm out towards him. To Takua’s amazement, the arm continued to stretch out, and reached him in no time. The elastic Rahkshi arm wrapped around, and dragged him back towards the Rahkshi.
“Let go of my friend!” Jala yelled, as he lit up his sword, and jumped upon the tan Rahkshi again. However, the Rahkshi just extended its second arm, and Jala was captured suddenly.
The purple and blue Rahkshi shot more short laser blasts from its staff, aiming at Huki. However, although its aim was accurate, the Po-Matoran was far too quick and agile for it to hit. Nuparu narrowly dodged blasts from the teleportation Rahkshi, but he was tiring out, and the Bohrok were closing in.
“Help!” Takua cried out as the Rahkshi tighten its grip.
Huki got a sudden idea. “Hey, you!” he yelled, as he rushed behind the teleportation Rahkshi. “You overgrown spiked nuisance! Try to teleport me!”
The blue and green Rahkshi hissed, and turned on Huki, and fired a blast towards him. Huki jumped into the air, and the blast missed him. It went on, and struck the tan elastic Rahkshi. The tan Rahkshi instantly disappeared, and Takua and Jala fell to the ground.
The teleport Rahkshi hissed angrily, but it vanished as well.
However the other Rahkshi struck. It shot an well-aimed blast that caught Huki in the neck as he dodged the other Rahkshi’s blast. Huki spun wildly in the air, and crashed down on the ground, in pain.
“That thing had good aim!” Takua muttered as he watched Huki fall.
“Yeah, well, so do I!” Jala snapped. He reached for his disc on his back, and flung it through the air. He caught the Rahkshi off guard, as it focused on Huki. The disc struck the Rahkshi on the head, and it toppled over. It started to rise again, when a Nuhvok accidentally hit it as it rushed towards the Matoran. The Rahkshi fell to the ground, temporarily out of the fight.
“Huki!” Nuparu yelled. He raced to his friend’s side, and tried to help him up, but the Bohrok charged forward. Jala and Takua rushed to their aid, as Jala threw fire from his sword, causing the Bohrok to back off. Takua threw a few rocks, and a Nuhvok got its krana knocked out.
“Get your pickax!” Jala told Nuparu. “Looks like we’ll have to fight our way out of this!”
Nuparu took out his weapon as the Bohrok surrounded them, and prepared for a final attack. “I don’t think we’re going to make it out of this one, Jala.”
“We’ve survived danger before,” Jala pointed out. “We’ll survive.”
“But we don’t have any Toa to back us up,” Takua said.
“Huki’s hurt too!” Nuparu said, as he stood by his friend’s side. “The Onu-Matoran is gone as well. We’re doomed!”
“Giving up now is useless,” Jala snapped. “We may fall, but we’re not going down without a fight. Ta-Korans fight until the end.”
“Then let’s start fighting,” Takua muttered, gripping another stone tightly. “And hope there’s a bright light at the end.”
Suddenly, just before the Bohrok lunged forward, there was a sudden rumble and the ceiling shook violently. The Bohrok backed up as large rocks started to fall, except for one Nuhvok. It charged towards the Matoran, pushing aside falling rocks. But it did not manage to avoid one falling object.
All Takua saw was a green blur. Then the Bohrok was knocked to the ground, with the krana lying next to it. The dust rose in a cloud, blocking the Bohrok from view for a second. Takua gasped at the green Matoran that stood over the Bohrok. “Duka!”
“Hey, it’s Takua-friend!” Duka was with a smile. “And Jala-fellow as well. I decided to come and everhelp you fight the Bohrok."
“How’d you get here!” Nuparu asked.
“I jumped,” Duka said, shrugging. However, there was a quick movement, and a Lehvak charged forward. It hit Duka, and knocked him to the ground, and prepared to douse him with venom. But before it could react, a spear of ice struck it, and it fell over. The white Ko-Koran fell next to his ice spear. He yanked it from the Bohrok, for further use.
“You should spend more time everwatching your back, Duka,” Kopeke said with a smile.
“I don’t believe it!” Jala said, rubbing his eyes. “The Le-Matoran we found in the jungle, and the mysterious Ko-Matoran we found on the mountain.”
“Ah, yes, you are the firebreather,” Kopeke said. “May your courage help us in battle.”
“Where did you come from?” Takua asked. “Did you find the Turaga? And where are the Toa?”
“Yes, we found the Turaga,” Kopeke said with a nod.
“The Toa are digleading them to the surface,” Duka said. “They’ll be along shortly.”
“The Bohrok are attacking!” Jala said. “Prepare for battle.”
Kopeke casually stepped to the side, as a Gahlok charged forward. He turned and embedded his ice spear in the Gahlok’s head, and then pulled it out as the Bohrok toppled over. He turned and repeated this procedure with another Bohrok.
Duka and Takua picked up more rocks, and flung them at the opposing Bohrok, knocking their krana out. Jala rushed to meet the Bohrok, and his firesword burned brightly in the cavern.
Nuparu knelt down next to Huki, and gave him a quick drink. Immediately, Huki revived. “Ow, that really hurt.”
“Well, don’t get hurt again,” Nuparu said. “That was the last of my Zulina leaves.”
Huki leapt to his feet. “Okay, Bohrok, bring it on! Huki the Koli champ is ready for you.”
Nuparu and Huki charged forward, aiding their friends. Nuparu struck the Bohrok with his pickaxe, which Huki kicked large rocks towards offending Bohrok.
Together, the six Matoran managed to keep back the line of Bohrok. However, the Bohrok suddenly backed off, leaving a clearing before the Matoran.
“Quick,” Jala said. “While they’re backing off, run for the exit. Maybe we can get there before…”
There was a sudden pop, and the Rahkshi of teleportation and the Rahkshi of elasticity appeared again, blocking the exit. Takua gulped. “Not again.”
“More Rahkshi-bad creatures!” Duka snarled. “Just our darn-luck.”
The Rahkshi made a move towards the Matoran, but they stopped as the cavern rumbled yet again.
“What is this madness!” cried Huki.
“Toa,” Kopeke said simply.
The ceiling above the Matoran exploded, and large chunks of rocks fell towards the Matoran. The Matoran scrambled out of the way, and the Rahkshi and Bohrok backed away from the rubble. However, landing on top of the fallen rocks were three Toa, who looked very different.
Nuparu rubbed his eyes. “What am I seeing?”
“Is that… what the legends said back in our time?” Jala asked. “Are those…”
“Exo Toa!” cried Takua. “The powerful suits of armor.”
“Yes,” Kopeke said. “The Toa found the Exo armor.”
The Rahkshi hissed, but the Rahkshi of Teleportation instantly teleported himself and the tan Rahkshi to another place, as the Bohrok charged forward.
“Ho, little ones!” Onua said. “We thought you could use a hand. Or more particularly, a claw.” Operating his suit, Onua slashed out with the Exo claw, and caught a charging Bohrok. He them easily lifted it up and threw it into the ranks of the other Bohrok.
“These suits are ideal for combat,” Kopaka said. He swiped his own Exo claw, and ripped apart Bohrok. Between the three of them, Lewa, Kopaka, and Onua tore apart the Bohrok line. The remaining Bohrok fled into the caverns on the edge of Onu-Koro.
“Ha ha!” Lewa said, enthralled. “OH yeah, that is what I call Bohrok-bashing! Oh yeah!”
“But we aren’t done yet!” Kopaka snapped. The two Rahkshi suddenly appeared again, and the blue and green Rahkshi charged towards Lewa.
“I want to try this out!” Lewa said with a grin. He aimed his other arm, and launched the Exo missile. The Rahkshi of teleportation saw the missile, and instantly teleported away from it. The missile crashed into the adjacent wall, reducing the rock to dust.
Kopaka charged forward, and clawed at the tan Rahkshi with his Exo claw. However, to his dismay, the Rahkshi’s armor easily bend in his clawed grip, and he was unable to tear it apart. The Rahkshi, sensing this, hissed happily, and lifted its staff with its free hand.
However, Kopaka just smiled. “I have you now, monster!” He lifted his Exo missile, and fired point blank. The Rahkshi was caught head on, and its elasticity could not help it out. It fell from Kopaka’s grip, as a crumpled bit of armor. Kopaka used his claw to rip the Rahkshi's back open, and released the kraata. The kraata tried to stretch and crawl away, but Kopaka aimed his missile a second time. The kraata was vaporized.
Onua and Lewa were taking shots at the teleporting Rahkshi, as it tried to appear in a place where it could strike the Toa. However, whenever it got close to the Exo armor, the Toa would use their Exo claw to try and snag it. Eventually, it teleported before Kopaka.
“I’ll freeze it in place!” Kopaka cried. But as he lifted his sword, he discovered the dreadful truth. “My ice powers… they are much weaker than normal.”
“It’s the weakness of the Exo Armor,” Takua called to the Toa of Ice. “They hinder your elemental powers!”
Kopaka took a swipe at the Rahkshi, but it teleported out of the way. It then teleported closer to Kopaka, and swung its staff, and hit Kopaka on the head. Kopaka fell back, but then the Rahkshi was hit by a missile, and Lewa was upon it. “Thanks for gaze-distracting it, brother!” Lewa cried joyfully. He used his claw to rip the Rahkshi in half, and tore apart the slug.
“Two Rahkshi down,” Kopaka said.
“These suits are ever-useful against Rahkshi as well as Bohrok,” Lewa said thoughtfully.
“Two Rahkshi?” Jala asked, as the Matoran walked up to the Toa in their Exo armor. “There were three Rahkshi…”
The purple and blue Rahkshi of accuracy was up again. Before Lewa or Kopaka could react, the Rahkshi fired two quick lasers. Each laser struck the Exo Toa, and while it did not harm the armor, it knocked it over. Kopaka and Lewa struggled to get upright, but the Rahkshi fired again on the Matoran. Takua and Jala nimbly dodged out of the way, but a laser struck Duka in the back. He fell to the ground with a cry of pain.
“No you don’t, creature!” Onua yelled. He blocked the Rahkshi from the Matoran, but the Rahkshi fired at him. However, its blasts were deflected off as Onua activated his Hau.
“Back, Rahkshi!” Onua cried. He charged forward, as the Rahkshi tried and failed to shoot more blasts at him. However, Onua’s Hau shield protected him from the Rahkshi’s amazingly accurate attacks.
Takua rushed over to Duka. “Duka, are you okay?”
“My back…” Duka cried. “I feel… pain…”
Jala examined Duka’s injury. He turned very pale. He whispered to Takua. “This… this is a fatal injury for a Matoran.”
“What!” Takua cried. “No!” He dropped down to Duka’s side. “Get up, Duka. We need to leave!”
“Can’t move…” Duka said. “But the pain is going… I can’t feel my back. I can’t feel anything. Oh…”
Kopeke was somber. “He was hit in a vulnerable spot. He… cannot heal.”
“Zulina leaves helped!” Nuparu said franticly. “We must find some Zulina leaves!”
“Zulina leaves would not help even if we had them now,” whispered Kopeke. “They ease pain and restore energy. They do not return others to heath.”
“No!” moaned Takua. “No, this can’t be!”
Onua continued to corner the Rahkshi, but suddenly, the creature shot into the air. Onua didn’t budge, in order to keep his Hau activated, so he did not see the chunk of rock about to fall on him.
However, Kopaka acted. He got out of the Exo armor, and shot a stream of ice that knocked the rock aside. “That’s more like it!” Kopaka said. “Brother, take him down!”
Onua charged forward, and the Rahkshi hissed hopelessly, as it’s incredibly accuracy could not help it this time. Onua fired the Exo missile point blank, and the Rahkshi armor shattered. However, the kraata slid away in the darkness, screeching in fear.
“You beat it, brother,” Kopaka said.
“Yes, but not quickly enough,” Onua said sadly as he ejected from his Exo armor. “The Matoran… he’s hurt!”
The three Toa surrounded the Matoran, as they comforted Duka.
“I’m sorry, Duka,” Takua said, wiping away his tears. “I’m sorry that I ever got you stuck in this whole mess.”
“Sorry for what?” Duka managed to say. “You helped me escape Le-Koro, and see the island. I got to be apart of something big, and I got to meet the Toa. And I feel that I have taken out enough Bohrok to… to avenge my friend. If only we couldn’t lived to see tree-bright days… but I am glad. Good-bye, Takua. Good-bye, good friends. I shall miss… you all…”
Duka’s breathing came in raspy gasps, and he closed his eyes. Soon, his breathing stopped, and he lay still. Duka’s time had ended.
“This way!” Hahli cried. “We’re almost to the surface!”
The company of Onu-Matoran had nearly the surface. The stars cast a peculiar glow over the desert landscape as the escaped Matoran came to rest.
“Where are the others?” Maku wondered. “Do you think they got attacked?”
“I hope not,” Hahli said with a shutter. “But Jala will take care of them. They’ll be just fine.”
“It’s dark out,” Maku stated. “The stars shine, but a shadow hangs over us.”
“Well, I know where it’ll be a bit brighter,” Hahli said. “It’ll be quite a hike, but there is a camp of Matoran on the far side of the desert, where the ocean waters meet the dry sands. It is there that we’ll meet three Toa, and a bunch of villagers from Po-Koro and Le-Koro.”
“Come on, everybody!” Maku yelled. “Let’s get out of here. Follow me!”
Maku started out into the desert sands, but quite suddenly heard a hiss. From the desert came a gray and green Rahkshi, headed towards the Matoran.
“Oh dear,” said Maku with a gasp.
“It’s just a Rahkshi,” Hahli said. “If we work together, then we can take it down!”
“But you have no idea what powers it processes!” Maku pointed out.
“I know!” squeaked one of the Matoran. Maku spun around to see Kotu, looking weary.
“This is a very dangerous Rahkshi!” Kotu warned them. “It has the power of confusion. It….”
The Rahkshi acted. Before Kotu could utter another word, it shot a bright beam of pink light from its staff, which struck Kotu. Kotu was suddenly dazed, and walked about crazily, mumbling random syllables. The Rahkshi’s powers were indeed at work.
“We need to work together!” Hahli cried. “Half of you, rush it on the left, and the rest of you, take it on the right! Avoid its blasts, and try to distract it!”
Some of the Onu-Matoran took off, but the others stayed back, fearful of the Rahkshi. The Onu-Matoran who charged forward were quickly caught up in the Rahkshi’s powers, and were suddenly walking about mindlessly. Quite suddenly, only Hahli and Maku remained sane, and the Rahkshi turned to focus on them.
“Hahli, look out!” Maku jumped and pushed Hahli aside as a beam of confusion shot towards her. However, Maku was caught herself, and she fell to the ground, suddenly laughing hysterically.
“Maku, no!” Hahli gasped. The Rahkshi took another step closer, and lifted its staff yet again. Hahli had little time, but she had a plan. She pulled out her protodermis sword, and threw it through the air, hoping to distract the Rahkshi once it was wounded. The blade pierced the Rahkshi’s leg and it hissed in pain. Hahli ran towards it, hoping she could do something, but the Rahkshi reacted too quickly. Just before Hahli could get to it, it ripped the sword from its leg, and kicked Hahli into the sand. Hahli lifted her head from the sand to see the Rahkshi pointing its staff directly at her.
“Oh woe!” Hahli moaned, and shielded her eyes.
“Good bye, Duka,” Takua finally said, after everybody had been silent for some time. “May you travel to a better place than this island.”
None of the Matoran spoke again, until Lewa broke the silence. “Good fighting, brother,” he said to Onua. “You showed that Rahkshi. Those Hau masks are really good, yes they are. I should pick one up sometime. Oh, look. There are some masks!”
Lewa pointed to Onua’s Suva, that lay buried beneath the rubble that had fallen from the ceiling. Lewa quickly removed the rocks and started picking through the masks. “Kopaka, you can evertake the Hau, but I shall choose the Akaku, and sightsee like the rest of you. Onua, you don’t have your Miru yet, so you can take that mask. I shall take this mask, a Kakama, I believe, and Kopaka shall take a Pakari. This last one is unfamiliar to me, so I’ll let Kopaka have it.” He tossed the masks to the Toa as he picked through them.
“Lewa,” Kopaka said coldly and sternly. “How can you concentrate on masks? One of your villagers just died!”
“Oh, I notnoticed,” Lewa snapped back harshly. “I notnoticed how I failed him, and how the Rahkshi quick-kill and how I did nothing. I notnoticed that friendly Duka is gone! Gone!”
“Easy,” Onua said, as Lewa fell to his knees. “We have all failed, Lewa, but we can still carry on.”
“Duka much-help us on tough-journey,” Lewa said. “And his life-journey ends in underground village, not in open air, so he notsee stars and sky again. I am terrible bad-Toa. I care only about Bohrok-bashing and Rahkshi-fighting, and I notsave my people. I deservenot the title of Toa.”
“Don’t lose hope, Toa of Air,” Jala said. “Duka risked his life to save us before, in order to get your stone. Apparently, he risked his life again and again when he journeyed with you. He may be gone, but he died a hero. And he fulfilled his dream.” Jala paused. “His friend was killed by the Bohrok, and he wanted revenge. He has found his revenge, and played an important role in the cleansing of this island. Let’s not mourn his death this much, but let us honor him as a fallen hero, and fight on in his name.”
Takua nodded. “Like what we did when… Nuparu disappeared. Although I do not expect that Duka will be coming back.”
Lewa gingerly picked up Duka’s fallen body. “Then let us much honor him,” he said softly. “But let us bring his body out of this evil cave, and let his spirit fly in the open airs above the jungle.”
Kopaka picked up the fallen masks. “Quick, let’s get in the Exo Armor, and get out of here. The Bohrok will be back.”
As the Toa stepped into the Exo Toa, the earth started to rumble yet again. Kopaka swung his head, and focused his Akaku. “Oh no.”
“I can eversee the trouble now, brother,” Lewa said grimly, switching to his own Akaku. “Nuhvok, causing earth-shake. Let us quick flee.”
“I can’t counter their attack,” Onua said. “I cannot use my powers from within the armor.”
“Then run!” Kopaka said. He ushered the Matoran into the exit cave, and they fled towards the surface, with Kopaka right behind them. Onua waited for Lewa. “Hurry, brother!”
Lewa gingerly picked up Duka’s body with his Exo claw. “I’m ready now, brother.”
Hahli waited for the confusion to control her, but she felt nothing. “Do I even know that I’m confused?” she wondered. “Can I think clearly, but I just can’t control my body?”
Her eyes snapped opened, and she found herself still curled up in the sand. But the Rahkshi had turned on somebody else. A red figure was charging the Rahkshi.
“Tahu!” Hahli said, getting to her feet. “I wonder if he can fight this Rahkshi!”
The Rahkshi sent a beam of confusion towards the Toa of Fire, but Tahu dodged it and shot a stream of fire towards the Rahkshi. The Rahkshi backed away from the fire, but prepared for another assault.
Filled with new hope, Hahli rose and grabbed her fallen sword. She came up upon the Rahkshi from behind, and stabbed it in the back of the leg just before it shot more confusion towards the Toa. As the Rahkshi cried out, Hahli pulled out her sword and leapt back, as Tahu surrounded the Rahkshi with a ring of fire.
“I thought that might do the trick!” he said smugly.
However, a bean of pink light shot from the fire, and struck the Toa. Tahu wobbled back, confused, and then tripped and fell to the ground. The Rahkshi leapt out of the fire and turned towards the Toa of Fire.
“No you don’t, Rahkshi!”
Gali jumped out of the sands and onto the Rahkshi’s back. She got a grip with her hooks, and then yanked the Rahkshi’s back opened, and the kraata flew out. It landed in the sands, and sighted Hahli. Still hissing, it charged towards the Matoran, but Hahli had enough with this Rahkshi and kraata. She thrust out her protodermis sword, and caught the kraata head on. The kraata gave one last hiss, and then died.
Instantly, all the Matoran effected by the Rahkshi snapped out of it. Maku stopped laughing and looked about. “What just happened?”
Tahu stood up, rubbing his shoulder. “Thank you, sister. I tried not to underestimate my foe, but that is hard to do when you are not familiar with its powers.”
“You fought well, brother,” Gali said with a smile. She turned to Hahli. “Little one, it seems that you have been up to much since we last parted.”
“Yes, I guess I have,” Hahli said with a grin. “But… Jala and Huki and the others are still down in the cave. We were waiting for them when this Rahkshi attacked.”
“Then you are lucky that Tahu and I arrived when we did,” Gali said. “We left Pohatu to take care of the Matoran, and came out to seek you. Brother!” she called to Tahu. “Our task is not yet over.”
However, before either of the Toa could react, the earth began to shake. Hahli turned and sighted the tunnel they had come up through. She could see large shapes coming out of it.
“Oh no!” she cried. “More trouble!”
“Beware, brother!” Gali warned Tahu. “We could encounter anything!”
“Matoran, get back!” Tahu cried. He leapt before the Matoran, and activated his Hau shield. However, his eyes widened when he was what was coming out of the cave. “In Mata-Nui’s name!”
Jala, Takua, Huki, Nuparu, and Kopeke rushed out of the cave, followed by Kopaka, Onua, and Lewa in their Exo armor.
“Jala, you made it!” cried Hahli, leaping forward and hugging him.
“More Toa!” cried Tahu. “A green one and a white one.”
“Look, Lewa, it’s two more Toa,” Kopaka said. “A pretty blue one and a fiery red one.”
“Greetings, brothers,” Gali said, bowing. “I know we haven’t yet met in this reality, but I am glad to have you back amongst our ranks.”
“Uh, yes,” Kopaka said. “And you are…”
“I am Gali, Toa of Water, and this is Tahu, Toa of Fire,” Gali said. “Tahu, this is Kopaka, Toa of Ice, and Lewa, Toa of Air. You already know Onua. And our other brother, Pohatu, Toa of Stone, is protecting the other Matoran. But where did you find the Exo Toa?”
“They were underground,” Onua said. He ejected out of his armor, and stood on the ground. “We found them with the Turaga.”
“Speaking of which,” Kopaka said. “We left them in the hills nearby, before we went back to help the other Matoran in the village under the earth. We need to go get them.”
“I shall like to go with you,” Gali said.
“And I would like to go as well,” Tahu added.
Lewa was still somber. “I do not wish to go.”
“Brother, why do you hold that Matoran?” Gali asked. “Is he…”
“I’ll tell you later, sister,” Kopaka said. “Let Lewa be.”
“I’ll lead the Onu-Matoran to the Matoran camp, with Lewa,” Onua said. “The rest of you can take the Exo Toa, and find the Turaga.”
“We shall go as well,” Jala said, gesturing to all of his friends. “We reunited underground, and I do not wish to separate again.”
The Toa swapped Exo Toa armor, and Onua and Lewa led the company across the desert through the night. The three remaining Toa followed Kopaka over the hills, as Jala, Takua, Huki, Nuparu, Maku, Hahli, and Kopeke struggled to keep up. Kopaka led them to the foothills of Mt. Ihu, and then to a gentle hill that had a hole dug, from where the Toa had burst out from underground. Standing beside the hole were three small figures.
The Toa left their Exos, and stood before Turaga Vakama, Turaga Matau, and Turaga Nuju.
“So, you are the Turaga we have heard about,” Tahu said.
“Indeed we are, Toa of Fire,” Vakama answered in his aged voice. “Night brings darkness with it, yet never has Mata-Nui seen brighter times.”
“Oh, I forgot to mention,” Kopaka said quickly. “They tend to speak in riddles.”
“As we do, Toa of Ice,” Vakama said, with the hint of a smile. “We thank the mighty Toa for freeing us from the grip of Makuta.”
“Well, we did not have everything to do with it,” Kopaka said. He gestured for the Matoran to come forward, and they all bowed to the Turaga. “These three Matoran here solved your puzzles, and have helped free this island.”
“Not to mention the fact that we had to find all of the Toa stones to summon the Toa in the first place,” added Huki.
Vakama nodded. “Yes, you Matoran have proven your worth. We thank you for all you have done for us.”
“These Matoran are more special than you might believe, Turaga,” Gali said. “They are protected by the ocean waters from all harm, and they have come to this reality after having followed us Toa Nuva into the Bohrok’s nest.”
Takua nodded. “Yeah, she’s right.” Then he did a double take. “Wait a second! You remember the other reality?”
Hahli nudged Takua. “Yeah, she does for some reason. I’ll tell you about it later.”
However, Nuju was interested. He started clicking and chirping something, and Vakama gazed at him in a thoughtful way.
“Why does he not speak clearly to us?” Tahu asked.
“I forgot to tell you,” Kopaka said again. “Turaga Nuju does not speak in any language but his own, for some reason or another.”
Vakama nodded, as if agreeing with Nuju. “My brother Turaga brings up a good point. Long ago, the prophecies suddenly changed, and then the nightmare began. If we are truly in an ‘alternate reality’, as you say, then the prophecies have changed to tell of new fortunes.”
“Indeed they have, Turaga,” Kopeke said. “The stars tell much of our future, but do not speak of the time these Matoran come from.”
“I have some questions for you, Turaga,” Tahu said. “Where do these Rahkshi come from, and what powers do they possess?”
“The Rahkshi are literally the sons of the Makuta, the master of the darkest of shadows,” Matau said. “They are kraata that have been dipped in protodermis. They need another kraata to operate. There are forty-two different types of Rahkshi, and each has a specialized power.”
“But what are the kraata?” Kopaka said. “Where do they come from?”
“The kraata are parts of Makuta himself,” Matau continued. “There are of his very substance, and he creates them when he wishes. Before our abduction, we Turaga hunted for kraata and stored them away in hidden places. However, since out seizure, I fear that the kraata have been found and released.”
“Yep,” Jala said. “We’ve encounter Rahkshi controlling fear, anger, poison, disintegration, and shattering powers.”
“Along with the Rahkshi who can steal energy,” Huki added. “And one that is completely invulnerable to the Toa’s powers. And the one that could shoot those beams of light with precise accuracy, and then the one who could stretch…”
“And we’ve encountered Rahkshi with the powers of heat vision, cyclones, insect control, ice resistance…” Takua stared.
“Teleportation,” Nuparu added in.
“Power scream,” Maku said with a twitch.
“And Confusion,” Hahli ended.
Matau chuckled. “You have indeed fought many of Makuta’ sons, and yet you still live. That is an accomplishment. How many have been removed?”
“The Toa have helped us get rid of most of them,” Huki said. “Personally, I can’t believe we ever lasted against them. If it weren’t for the protective powers of the water…”
Nuju clicked again, and Vakama nodded. “Yes, Gali did mention that earlier. How is it that you six Matoran are protected from attacks?”
“We were hoping that you could answer that question,” Jala said.
“I cannot pull the answers out of the air, for this is a thing unheard of,” Vakama said. “If what Gali says is true, and that you are indeed from another reality, then it must have taken unlimited energies to bring you here.”
“Well, we have some speculations,” Hahli said. “Just before reality came undone, we were covered in protodermis, which may have helped in some way or another.”
“Reality cannot become undone!” injected Matau. Nuju clicked his agreement.
“It was the Bahrag…” Takua started.
“The Bahrag are powerful, but they cannot control the flow of time, nor can they control the fine fabric of reality,” Matau said.
“But they did change reality!” Takua said. “They did it after Tahu Nuva lost control of the Vahi!”
The Turaga suddenly grew silent. Tahu and Kopaka were mystified by the argument, and Gali seemed curious for more knowledge as well. Finally, it was Jala who spoke up.
“I have a question for you, Turaga,” Jala said, bowing to Vakama. “What is the Vahi?”
“The Vahi…” Vakama murmured. “It is among the most powerful of masks in existence. It can indeed control the fabric of reality and time, allowing the wearer to slow down his opponents. It is a power that even the Toa cannot master. And if a Toa loses power over it… and beings as powerful as the Bahrag have access to that power… then indeed time could’ve been rewritten, and the Bahrag could indeed create this new reality. Six Matoran, bathed in protodermis, so close to the epicenter of the power, could’ve formed an exception that allows them to travel to this reality, although they are not strictly a part of it. They remember the true reality, but are stuck within this new one. The only other beings who could remember such would be the Bahrag themselves, and Makuta.”
“Then how does Gali know so much about our old reality?” Takua asked. “She wasn’t covered in protodermis, like we were. And if she could remember, than why do the other Toa not?”
“Of that, I cannot tell you for sure,” Vakama said, bowing his head. “That would be a riddle for Nokama. But her poor soul is still trapped within Makuta’s power, and I know not where her clues lie.”
“However, I may have an answer to the Matoran’s question,” Gali said. She bent down and rested her hand on Takua’s shoulder. “Back when you were the Chronicler, you and I had a bond, and that bond has not yet been broken. I believe my connection to you has preserved my memories.”
Takua was wide eyed. “Oh.”
“Well, what do you know,” Jala said, giving Takua a playful tap on the shoulder. “I guess I’m glad Lhii wasn’t the Chronicler after all.”*
“So this Vahi…” Tahu said, irritated for not understanding the conversation. “Could it be of any use to us?”
Nuju clicked, and Vakama nodded. “Nuju points out that if we had the Vahi, and had the strength and willpower to use it, then we could rewrite reality, and go back to the time where these Matoran are at home. But none of us have the willpower or strength, and we do not have the Vahi, either.”
“Does it exist?” Takua asked.
“It does,” Vakama said, in a voice barely above a whisper. “Yet it is not in a place where we could reach it. Deep in the earth, around the lair of Makuta, the spirit of darkness holds many things. Hidden there are us Turaga, three of whom you have freed. Hidden by each Turaga is the mighty Exo Toa armor, three of which you have also found. But inside the Magania, in the very heart of Makuta’s power, it lies. The Vahi, the mask of time. Makuta dares not use it, for he might accidentally rewrite reality to the way it should be. But he protects it, and keeps it away from our grasp. We cannot get the Vahi, and we could not use it even if we had it.”
The Toa, Matoran, and Turaga remained quiet, as the wind whistled around the hilltop. Finally, Kopaka broke the silence.
“I have been told of the Matoran camp set up in the desert,” he said. “Let us return the Turaga there, where the danger is not as great.”
The sun was just beginning to rise as the company of Toa, Turaga, and Matoran arrived at the beach where the Matoran had been camped.
“Where did they all go?” Hahli asked.
“They are close by,” Gali reassured her. “They were going to start building a new village, where they could be safe. Pohatu would lead them through the construction. It seems that they must be doing pretty well of they are no longer in their camp.”
Nuparu suddenly ran into something, and jumped back with a gasp. Huki spun around. “What is it?”
“Oh, nothing,” Nuparu said, as he caught his breath. “It’s just a disabled Bohrok. For a moment, I thought…”
“Nope, all the Bohrok on the beach are disabled.” There was a sudden flash, and Pohatu appeared before them. He smiled at Gali and Tahu. “Onua told me you’d be arriving back here soon, with some new friends. Greetings, Toa.”
Kopaka nodded back. “Pohatu, if I am not mistaken. Toa of Stone, meet the Turaga.”
“Oh, those super geniuses,” Pohatu said. All the Turaga chuckled, and Pohatu gave a quick bow.
We do not excel in intelligence, Toa of Stone,” Vakama started. “We merely have a large amount of experience to derive from.”
“So, how goes the construction, brother?” Gali asked.
Pohatu beamed. “These Matoran are amazing builders! With all of them working together, they’ve carved out the hillside and made many huts in and around the hillside, along with an amazing stone wall to block intruders. I was working to reinforce it, but I came out to get you. Then when Onua showed up with all those miners, they started thinking up ways to dig into the stone and create caves for Matoran to rest in. Unlike many of the other Matoran, they see the benefits of having a structure underground.”
“Let us see this wondrous village!” Tahu said. “And we have some more who can occupy those huts for you.”
“Follow me!” Pohatu said. “They carved it into the cliffs down there, although you can hardly tell until you’re almost there. It’s an amazing place, and I can’t wait to show you!”
The company of Toa, Turaga, and Matoran followed Pohatu down the shoreline, but they inadvertently left some body behind.
Deep in the Magania, three creatures again quarreled.
“You are a fool!” Gahdok hissed. “We have followed your directions, and now we see how they have failed us! You chose to try and bring in one of the Matoran. Just bring him in, torment him, and get what you needed afterwards. Then, when you had him here, you let him escape! It is so pathetic that I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t have seen it!”
“Why bring up that again?” snarled Makuta. “As you know, they was only a slight problem, which barely effected our plans. Indeed, it has brought great fear into the heart of that Matoran, making him weaker. It may yet serve our purpose.”
“Yet you still failed to keep the Turaga safe!” Cahdok said. “We sent legions of Bohrok to try and stop the three Toa, but they still managed to get to the Turaga and free them. And then they got the Exo-Toa. Do you know how much power the Toa have now? The Exo Armor is resistant to the attacks from our Bohrok! And most of your Rahkshi can’t penetrate it either. With Exo Armor, the Toa will be invulnerable.”
“The Exo Toa can be destroyed,” Makuta said in a harsh whisper. “You two remember, don’t you. You two know what powers are needed to destroy the Exo Toa.”
The Bahrag hesitated. “Our Bohrok do not posses those powers now.”
“You are the fools, who have not thought ahead,” Makuta said. “Victory can be achieved, even after we’ve been defeated time and time again. The Toa have weaknesses, and we must exploit those weaknesses. They have three Turaga, but the Turaga are not enough to turn the tides. Even their Exo Armor will not stand up against our powers, once we use them correctly. The Toa have powers, but they only delay their defeat by resisting us. We will have them. We may lose Matoran before this is over, but when it is over, there will be no Toa left to defend them.”
“All the Matoran associated with the Toa will not go back to us willingly,” Cahdok hissed. “They will either have to be fiercely controlled… or eliminated.”
“And if we plan to eliminate all the Matoran who are associated with the Toa,” Gahdok continued. “Then we have failed in our goals. We need the Matoran alive to run this island. If we eliminate them all…”
“The only Matoran who will be eliminated,” Makuta said. “Will be those who fight with the Toa until the end. Once the other Matoran see that their Toa have been broken, then they’ll abandon them, and be forced to rejoin us. And our duty to control the Matoran will still go on.” Makuta laughed wickedly. “And their enslavement will be more discouraging after they have had a taste of freedom.”
“As you can see, my fellow villains, the occurrence of the Turaga and Exo-Toa will not aid our adversaries. We just need to use our powers wisely.”
“There is but one thing that you have forgotten…” Gahdok hissed. “The Vahi! You know as well as I that the Vahi could possibly restore reality. If they have that…”
“You are then a bigger imbecile than I would have thought,” Makuta sneered. He gestured to a stand in the middle of the cavern. “There lies the Vahi. Does either of you think that the Toa could get to this mask? The Turaga and Exo-Toa are one thing. The Vahi is quite another. Anyway, none of the Toa could handle its power!”
“It’s not the Toa we are worried about,” Cahdok hissed. “Don’t be a fool, Makuta. You know the possibilities as well as we do.”
“They are slim to none,” Makuta said. “Especially if we can act first…” The three beings sat in silence, all pondering the situation, finally, Makuta started again. “Can you create them?”
“Yes, we can create them,” Gahdok said. “But it will take time. Days, at the least. Possibly weeks. But when they are completed, they will put even your Rahkshi to shame.”
“Yet we have time on our side,” Makuta said. “Gather all of your Bohrok in the southern desert. The Matoran are building a base, where they believe they will be safe from outside attacks. We will send a legion of Bohrok to crush this base! Even if the Matoran and Toa resist, they shall have to fight for their lives. And when the battle is over…”
“We shall release them,” Cahdok said. “I see your plan, Makuta. But what if the Toa and Matoran win? We will lose a large amount of Bohrok. We have already lost many Bohrok since the troubles began.”
“You can make more Bohrok faster than Husi could reproduce,” Makuta snapped. “I know what you are capable of, Bahrag. Unfortunately for you, you do not know all that I am capable off.”
“So you threaten us!” roared Cahdok.
“Not yet!” sneered Makuta. “Just listen to me, and follow my orders. We will give the Toa and Matoran a few days to rest, to set up a defense. That way, they won’t be so easily pushed over in the battle, which would be too dull of an operation for us. But when we do strike, we will strike so hard that the Toa won’t know what hit them! And when we are done… our control of Mata-Nui shall be secured.”
Huki walked out onto the desert sands, scanning the land around the fallen Bohrok bodies. Finally, he sighted what he was after, and rushed over.
“Hey, Nuparu!” he yelled. “What are you doing out here?”
Nuparu looked up from the Bohrok he had disassembled. “Oh, hello, Huki. I was just looking at these Bohrok…”
Huki rolled his eyes. “We all left to see the village, and you stay behind to play with some machines. I was wondering what happened to you.”
Huki sat down next to Nuparu, and looked over his work. “So, are you thinking about building another Boxer?” Huki asked.
“Something along those lines,” Nuparu said, as he worked away with the Bohrok parts.
“You really like to focus on your work, don’t you?” Huki said with a laugh. “Come on, Nuparu, let’s go back to the village. It’s safer there.”
“No, I’m working,” Nuparu protested. “I have this idea for something like a Ultimate Boxer… but I still need to design everything. With all these Bohrok, I bet I could make a bunch of these machines… if I can get some to work.”
“Well, we don’t want you out here all alone…” Huki started. “I guess I’ll help you out.”
Nuparu looked up. “You? You aren’t much of an engineer, Huki. Won’t you be bored to death?”
“Probably,” Huki admitted. “But I know a bit about building stuff. Anyway, you can’t be out here all alone. I’m your friend, so I’ll weather it out with you.”
Nuparu smiled, heart-warmed that his friend cared so much about him. “Thanks a lot, Huki.”
“Not a problem,” Huki said. “Now, what is this Ultimate Boxer going to do…”
The next few days were the most peaceful ones that the Matoran had encountered since their adventure began. The freed Onu-Matoran worked hard to create new rooms under the earth, as they extended the new village. The Toa took the counsel of the Turaga, and Gali, Onua, and Tahu kept up a constant guard. Yet no Bohrok showed up at all. It was as if the shadows had forgotten about the Matoran’s new village.
Kopaka, Pohatu, and Kopeke embarked on a journey to Mt. Ihu for a day, and came back as night fell. With them was a company of Ko-Matoran who had been hidden on the mountain. Kopaka also discovered his Suva, and passed on his extra masks to his fellow Toa who were still lacking them.
Jala, Takua, Maku, and Hahli also embarked on a journey to Ga-Wahi, to gather some supplies in the plentiful wilderness of Ga-Wahi. They came back the next morning with loads of bamboo and other plants, along with some foods that the Matoran could start to grow.
However, as soon as they returned, the four of them went to work on constructing a canoe. When they were finished, they lay Duka inside it, and pushed it out to the sea. Gali created a current to carry the canoe far out to see. The six Matoran and the Toa watched mournfully as the small craft disappeared over the horizon.
“Farewell, Duka,” Takua said finally. “We cannot give you the thanks you deserved, but we would have failed if it hadn’t been for you. May you rest now.”
The problem with food was starting to arise in the village again, and Lewa volunteered to trek to Le-Wahi to collect some fruits to bring back. Lewa, Kopaka, and Tahu left with a few Le-Matoran, and spent much time down in the jungle gathering supplies. They came back the next day, and the Matoran started building a garden to grow all their food. However, the Toa came back with more than just food.
“The enemy is regrouping,” Takua heard Kopaka tell the Turaga. “Bohrok are gathering near the foothills of the mountain, and are coming from all across the island. I fear that they will attack our village soon.”
“Then we must rely on the defenses of the Matoran and the courage from our Toa,” Vakama had said.
“If that is enough…” Kopaka murmured.
Takua met up with Jala, Hahli, and Maku in a spare hut that was carved into the cliff side, and passed on the news. They were all very somber.
“We have done a lot since we arrived here,” Jala said. “We’ve found the Toa, and nearly freed all the Matoran. But I still don’t think we’re out of the hot water yet.”
“Could this village stand against all the Bohrok on the island?” Hahli asked.
“No, we’d fall,” Takua said. “With all their powers, the Bohrok would crush the walls and then destroy the rest of the city. Even if we fought them, we’d be running amongst them, trying to hit their eyes and eject their krana. There’s no way that we could do that and stop them.”
“What about the Toa?” Maku asked. “They have those Exo-Toa. With those on, they can tear through Bohrok and easily keep them back.”
“Not if the Bohrok overpower them with sheer numbers,” Jala said. “This sounds bad, but… it doesn’t sound right. Since when do the Bahrag unleash all of their Bohrok against us at the same time? I would think that they’d try to do something simple. Send in one Rahkshi that could just take out the city, and not risk all the Bohrok. They’re either running out of ideas… or they’re up to something.”
“Why does it matter?” Maku asked. “They’ll still beat us.”
“Who’ll beat us?”
Huki and Nuparu entered the hut, looking tired but excited.
Takua passed on the information. “Kopaka fears that a large army of Bohrok will assault the village.”
“Oh, we’ll have to fight them!” Huki said.
“That’s impossible!” Takua said. “Even if we could, they would destroy the village while we were in the battle.”
“Well, we could meet them away from the village,” Jala started. “The Bohrok will likely come up from the south, following the shoreline. That is the easiest way to get to this village. So if we go and meet them on the desert plains, then we can fight them and not risk damage to our village.”
“That is, if we could effectively fight them…” Takua went on.
“Why can’t we effectively fight them?” Nuparu asked.
“Well… if we go by our usual standards of fighting,” Takua started. “Then we’ll be overthrown by sheer numbers, as Jala would say.”
Jala nodded. “If we are to fight them, we’ll need an advantage.”
They were all silent, and then Hahli changed the subject. “What have you two been up to?” she asked Nuparu and Huki. “You’ve barely stayed in the village.”
“Oh, we’ve had some work to do,” Nuparu said. “In fact, we’re finished, and we wanted to show you.”
Curiously, Jala, Takua, Hahli, and Maku followed Nuparu and Huki out of the village, and onto the desert plains. Jala and Takua gasped when they saw it.
“What is that?” Jala wondered.
“I would call it Boxer, but that wouldn’t be exactly fitting,” Nuparu mused. “I was thinking more on the lines of Ultimate Boxer. It still has the original ring to it, but it sounds a lot more dangerous…”
“Nuparu designed this, and I helped him build this prototype,” Huki explained. “It’s built out of Bohrok parts, just like the first Boxers. But this one used a lot more Bohrok, and I’m guessing that it’s much stronger than the original Boxer.”
“This thing is amazing,” Maku said, gawking at the machine. She nudged Huki. “So you helped build it?”
“I did the physical work,” Huki said, blushing. “Nuparu did all the intellectual work. I don’t even know what it all does.”
“I’ll explain it to all of you,” Nuparu said with a smile. “This one has treaded wheels, to help it cruise across the desert. The original Boxer had legs, and while it could move over most terrain, it was rather slow. While these wheels won’t work too well in the jungle, they’ll carry this thing over the desert sands very quickly. The driver can sit here, and control the locomotive sections. A few blades here will help clear the pathway for the Boxer, by getting rid of fallen Bohrok and such.”
“How fast do you think this could go?” Takua asked.
“I bet it could outrun a Husi,” Huki said with a grin.
“Then it has some attack features,” Nuparu continued. “These two arms can last out, and slash the Bohrok and knock out their krana. Then can be controlled by the Matoran who sits up there. Also, that Matoran can control twin catapults placed on the top. We can place boulders inside, and launch them into the Bohrok hordes. I have enough storage space to carry ammunition for six shots. Plus, the Matoran up there can be armed with discs, and they’ll be in a perfect position to knock out Bohrok.”
“Amazing!” Hahli gasped. “Nuparu, you are a genius!”
“There’s one other feature…” Nuparu continued. “This thing is powered by Bula Berry Engines. I hope you guys brought some back from your trip to Ga-Wahi.”
“Yep, we’ve got some growing,” Jala said. “How many would you need?”
“A single berry would last for a while…” Nuparu started… but his voice cracked. Takua understood.
“It wasn’t your engine design, was it?” he asked.
“No, it was Duka’s design,” Nuparu said sadly. “He would have been delighted to see how well it works.”
“Let’s test it out!” Jala said. “Can I test out the catapult, Nuparu?”
Nuparu nodded, and Jala climbed up into the catapult control seat, and strapped himself in. Nuparu got in the driver’s seat, and started the Ultimate Boxer up. The machine roared to life, and Nuparu drove it across the desert sands, with his friends watching in awe.
“This is great!” Jala yelled down to Nuparu. “Well done!”
Nuparu turned the Boxer towards the ocean, and came to a halt. “Test out the catapult,” he suggested.
Jala flipped a few levers, and a small boulder was loaded into the launcher. He used a crank to pull back the catapult, and then yanked one lever back, releasing the catapult. The catapult shot off, and the boulder flew through the air, and splashed into the sea. Nuparu drove back to his friends, and then they got off.
“That was spectacular!” Hahli said.
“This will certainly help us against the Bohrok!” Takua said. “Nuparu, you’ve got to make more!”
“Oh, making a second one will be easy,” Nuparu said. “It took me so long because I was experimenting with the design, but I know exactly how to make a new one. With all the disabled Bohrok lying around here, I think we could make at least six more Ultimate Boxers.”
“We must go tell the Turaga and the Toa!” Maku said. “Nuparu, you may have saved us all with this invention.”
Nuparu smiled again, but even Takua could see that he was recalling bad memories.
“I just don’t want any other Matoran to go through what I went through,” he said simply.
Jala nodded. “That’s good enough. Come on, let’s go tell the Turaga.”
Suddenly, there was a chirping sound behind them. Takua spun around. “Hey, it’s Puku!”
Takua hadn’t seen Puku since he left the floating village of Ga-Koro. When the Bohrok had destroyed the village, a few Matoran had kept Puku afloat until Gali had come to their rescue. Once on dry land, Puku had vanished, and she hadn’t been there when Takua and his friends arrived back with the Toa and Turaga. However, Puku had returned. However, she was not alone. Behind her were many other Ussal crabs, all chirping happily.
Jala blinked. “Where did all these crabs come from?”
“Puku brought a squad of Ussals with her…” Takua said thoughtfully. “The Onu-Koran guard had been made up of Matoran riding on Ussal crabs. They were always useful in battles…”
Puku rubbed up against Takua, and he patted her head affectionately.
“Then we have a lot to tell the Turaga!” Jala said, with a grin. “The odds are looking up, friends. Let’s go.”
Again, the next few days went by without any conflicts, but the Matoran were still hard at work. The Turaga had approved of the Ultimate Boxer and the Ussal crabs to be used in a battle. Nuparu, aided by Huki and Maku, led a team of Matoran to build as many Ultimate Boxers as they could, and then train them how to use them. Pohatu and Onua also helped, as they molded effective boulders that the Boxers could use in the catapults.
Takua took as many Matoran as were willing, and tried to come up with a Ussalry. Many of the Onu-Matoran and Ta-Matoran were willing to ride atop Ussal crabs into battle, and Takua tried to teach them all he knew about riding the crabs. Hahli herself was very interested in being in the Ussalry herself, and she joined Takua’s class as well.
Jala was not training for the battle, but he helped the Turaga plan the battle. Jala’s strategic mind, combined with the Turaga’s vast knowledge, along with bits from Kopeke, allowed them to come up with a battle plan against the Bohrok. Jala talked often with the Turaga, late into the night after all the other Matoran rested for the day. Takua wished he could have been with Jala, but he was the only one who knew how to handle Ussal crabs, so his duty did not lay with his friend.
Besides keeping up a constant guard, the Toa were at work as well. Pohatu and Kopaka kept a constant eye on the Bohrok swarm, marking their every movement. So far, they only reported that more Bohrok were joining the swarm. Lewa had gone on one last trip with Onua, and had come back with the rest of his masks from his Suva. All the Toa now had all six of their Kanohi masks, but they did not have their Golden Kanohi, which they received after collecting all six of their original Kanohi. The Turaga made no mention of it, and Takua and his friends wondered if the gold masks even existed in this reality.
After two days of hard work, the Matoran came back to their huts in the evening to rest. Takua and his friends occupied a hut together, and they were all resting in the middle of the night when there was a loud horn blown.
They all shot out of their hut, and rushed towards village gates. The three Turaga and Jala were meeting with Kopaka and Pohatu, and they had sounded an alarm.
“What is it?” asked Hahli, who was very tired after a long day of Ussal training.
“The swarm is on the move!” Pohatu said. “They started this way about an hour ago, although they are moving slowly.”
“We’ll need to set up our defense, and quickly,” Jala said.
“The Matoran need some rest…” Huki started.
“We have no time for rest now,” Kopaka said. “They will be here by morning.”
Jala eyed the line of Matoran. They were all prepared and eager to fight. They would be a formidable force.
Behind him, the line of Bohrok could be seen, moving across the desert. They were getting closer, and Jala had never seen so many Bohrok in one place before.
“There must he thousands of them!” Hahli had said.
“Yeah, and we’re going to take them all down!” Huki had said afterwards.
In the light of the rising sun, the Matoran army waited as the Bohrok drew closer. Jala could see they were all feeling anxious, and he knew why. The worst parts of battle were always when they wait for the enemy to attack. Fear gnawed at them as the Bohrok got closer and closer. Once the fighting started, the fear would lessen as they fought for their lives.
Jala stood before the line of Matoran. He jumped up and waved his arms. “Hey, everybody! Listen to me. I’ve got something to say!”
The Matoran grew silent, and focused on Jala, who stood firm.
“Today, we will be fighting for our lives!” Jala said. “Today, we shall face the Bohrok, and fight for our village, our freedom, and our friends. We shall meet the Bohrok in battle, and show them what we’re made of!”
The Matoran cheered. Jala waited for them to calm down before he started again.
“For too long has Makuta and the Bohrok kept control over us all!” he continued. “For too long have you dug through the earth, carved the stone, gathered the berries, carried the lava, just to appease these ‘overlords’. For too long have you lived in fear of the Bohrok and Rahkshi. For too long have you been enslaved on the island that is named for the Great Spirit himself! Today, w will show them that we aren’t under their control!”
There were more cheers. Jala waited.
“We’ve got the Boxers,” he cried. “We’ve got the weapons. We’ve got the will of every Matoran who is willing to fight for his friend. We have the Toa, who are always there to protect us! But they do not fight alone, for we will stand side by side with our protectors, the Toa, and we will fight with them! We will show Makuta and the Bahrag that the Matoran will not be controlled!”
“Our destiny is not to be controlled by Makuta and the Bahrag. Our duty is not to appease them! Our duty, our destiny, is to fight back, in the name of the Great Spirit himself, Mata-Nui! United we will stand, and the Bohrok will fall. Today we will prove ourselves! Today, we will fight against the Bohrok, and we will win!”
Jala shouted. “For Unity! For Duty! For Destiny! For the freedom of all Matoran! FOR MATA-NUI!”
The Matoran broke out into loud cheers, and Jala smiled. The front line was made up of the seven Ultimate Boxers. Nuparu was situated in the center, and Huki drove another one with Maku aiming the catapult. Also down the line was Tunaka, the cart driver, who was also driving a Boxer. Spread out amongst the Ultimate Boxers were the Ussalry, who all carried sharpened bamboo spears. Takua proudly rode on Puku, and Hahli rode on another friendly Ussal. Standing beside the Ussalry were more Matoran on foot. Kopeke led a team of Ko-Matoran, who all carried sharpened spears, who would travel on foot and attack the Bohrok. Other Matoran also had spears and discs, and had a few catapults that they could use against the Bohrok that weren’t attached to an Ultimate Boxer.
Behind the boxers were the Toa. Toa Pohatu would remain behind, and help load the catapults. Kopaka and Tahu would attack the Bohrok on foot, and Gali, Onua, and Lewa would aid them while in the Exo-Toa armor.
The Bohrok were getting closer now. Jala could pick out individual Bohrok rushing towards them. “Prepare to fight!” he cried. “Load the catapults. Boxers at ready!” As the extra catapults were pulled back, Jala climbed up into his seat on Nuparu’s Boxer. “Ready?” he asked his friend.
“If not now, then I don’t know when,” Nuparu replied.
“FIRE!” Jala cried out. The catapults shot forward, and enormous boulders flew through the air. The boulders crashed into the line of Bohrok, crushing two or three Bohrok at a time. However, the Bohrok now took off at a run towards the Matoran.
“NOW!” Jala yelled. “Boxers, forward!”
Nuparu turned on the Boxer, and the Bula Berry engine roared to life. The wheels started to spin, and with a sudden lurch, the Boxer was speeding across the desert sands. Jala grip tightly to his seat, but Nuparu grinned widely. Behind them, the other Ultimate Boxers took off.
“Here we go!” Nuparu called. They got closer and closer to the Bohrok, and then, they crashed into the front line. The Boxer knocked aside many of the Bohrok, and the rest turned on it, using their powers. However, before they could react, Jala shot the arms of the Boxer out. The blades on the arms cut into the Bohrok, and they crashed over. Nuparu took over control of the arms, and Jala loaded in one of the catapults. He aimed it down, and launched a boulder directly into the ranks of Bohrok. The Bohrok were crushed as the bolder rolled along the ground.
“YEAH!” Nuparu yelled out gleefully. The arms continued to cut apart Bohrok, and a few started to retreat. But Nuparu easily caught up with them, and cut them down as well. Jala fired a few discs, and knocked out the Bohrok who Nuparu missed.
The other Boxers were also mingled in with the Bohrok, and they also taking out Bohrok. Huki and Maku easily broke through the line, and rolled over all the Bohrok that got in their way. The Bohrok started to spread out, and stopped advancing. However, the Ussalry charged forward, along with a few other Matoran on foot. They all rushed into the swarm of Bohrok, knocking out krana and taking down Bohrok.
The Toa joined the battle shortly afterwards. Gali, Onua, and Lewa tore through the Bohrok, using their Exo claw to slice apart the Bohrok. Tahu and Kopaka charged in as well, using their elemental powers to an amazing extent.
Although in shock from the first charge, the Bohrok started to get tougher to take down. They split into large groups, and attacked the Boxers from every direction. Most of the Boxers held together, but Lehvak shot acid onto one, and caused it to crash. The two Matoran on it were rescued when the Ussalry drove the Bohrok off.
The Bohrok fought back, and the Matoran found themselves cornered. But they continued to fight on, taking out Bohrok right and left. Yet the Bohrok had the advantage in numbers, and fought on without fear or fatigue.
The sun got higher in the sky, and the battle raged on. Nuparu expertly maneuvered his Ultimate Boxer, and slashed out the arms and took down two more Bohrok. However, a large group was gathering ahead of them, and prepared to charge.
Nuparu turned towards them. “Let’s go!”
“No, wait!” called Jala. “I have a better idea!” He loaded a boulder into each of the catapults, and pulled them back. He released them, and the two boulders flew through the air, and crashed into the ranks of the Bohrok, knocking them all aside. Jala shot a few more discs, and took out the Bohrok who survived.
“Good job, my friend!” Nuparu said.
“Well, we only have one boulder left,” Jala said. “We’d better use it at the appropriate time!”
Nuparu turned to another group of Bohrok. “Let’s go take out some more Bohrok!”
“No, wait!” Jala yelled. “Turn to the left! To the left!”
Nuparu jerked his head. Crossing the desert sands was a light blue Rahkshi, casually walking towards them.
“Rahkshi!” hissed Nuparu. “Okay, let’s take it on!”
“Rahkshi always have deadly powers,” Jala warned Nuparu. “We need to take it down quickly, before it can start using its powers. Let’s go!”
Nuparu turned towards the Rahkshi, and accelerated across the sands. Jala loaded in the last boulder, and prepared to fire the catapult one last time. The Rahkshi sighted them, and waited patiently for them to get closer.
“Almost there… almost there…” Jala muttered to himself. “NOW!” He fired the catapult, and the boulder soared through the air, directly towards the Rahkshi. However, the Rahkshi impassively lifted its staff, and seemed to send a vibration through the air. The boulder suddenly vanished, turning into random molecules. Nuparu instantly braked the Ultimate Boxer. “What did it just do?” he said with a gasp.
“It made the boulder… disappear!” Jala cried.
The Rahkshi lifted its staff again, and let off another vibration. The Ultimate Boxer started to shake, and then it, too, vanished, right out from under the two Matoran. Jala and Nuparu fell to the earth, confused and afraid. As they fell to the ground, the Rahkshi advanced on them.
The light blue Rahkshi slowed walked up next to Jala and Nuparu, and lifted its staff, ready to make the final blow.
Jala, still in shock, couldn’t do anything. He just said, “Oh no!”
The Rahkshi leapt back as an Exo missile narrowly missed it. Onua, strapped in his Exo Armor, charged forward. “Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size?” Onua asked.
Onua strode forward, ready to lash out with his Exo Claw. However, another vibration was emitted from the Rahkshi’s staff, and the Exo-Toa shuttered, and then vanished as well. Onua, startled, fell to the ground in a heap.
“What the…” Onua cried. He tried to get to his feet, but the Rahkshi attacked. It brought down its staff on Onua’s head, and knocked him to the ground. Moaning in pain, Onua tried to roll out of the way, and get to his feet. But the Rahkshi swung its staff hard, and caught Onua directly under his chin. Onua’s head snapped back, and he fell to the ground, unconscious.
“No!” cried Nuparu. “ONUA!”
The Rahkshi turned back towards them, but something flashed by its legs. The Rahkshi jerked to see Takua come around again, riding atop Puku.
“Get back, Rahkshi!” Takua yelled. He held a sharp spear, and Puku charged towards the Rahkshi again. Takua tried to stab the Rahkshi with the spear, but suddenly it just vanished. The Rahkshi swung its staff again, and Takua was knocked off Puku and thrown into the ground.
Jala slowly got to his feet, as he watched his friend get knocked from the Ussal crab. “What powers does this Rahkshi have?” he cried. “It destroyed the Boxer and the Exo Toa just like that!”
“It has destroyed rock and Bohrok parts and Exo Toa…” Nuparu muttered. “But it hasn’t made us vanish. Maybe… maybe it has a disintegrating power as well. Only it can’t be used on organic matter!”
Jala glanced down at his fire sword. He decided not to bring it to hand, as it would be no use to him against this Rahkshi.
The Rahkshi turned on Puku, who nimbly dodged its strikes. However, filled with fear, and uncontrolled, Puku fled from the Rahkshi, rushing towards the foothills nearby. Takua got to his feet, weary but alive.
The Rahkshi now turned back to the Matoran. Jala, Nuparu, and Takua tensed up. They knew they couldn’t fight this Rahkshi, but they would still go down fighting. However, help came at last.
“Creature!” Tahu roared. “Stand back!”
Tahu rushed next to his fallen brother, and then turned to the Rahkshi. “You will pay for that, creature!” he growled. “I shall fight you!”
“Tahu, this Rahkshi can disintegrate things!” Jala warned Tahu. “But it can only destroy inorganic matter. It can’t use its powers on you!”
Tahu smiled. “You are going down, Rahkshi!”
The Rahkshi hissed, and jumped forward. Tahu launched a stream of fire, but the Rahkshi waved its staff, and the fire was extinguished. Jala gulped.
“I guess Tahu’s fire is on the list,” he said nervously.
Tahu seemed to have lost some confidence as well. Yet he still remained positive. “So, creature, I have judged your powers, and I have compared them to my own.” Tahu paused. “And I think that I can take you on!”
The Rahkshi swung its staff, but Tahu brought up his own sword, and blocked the blow. The Rahkshi hissed, and swung again and again at Tahu, but the Toa of Fire fought back. As the Rahkshi swung its staff, Tahu blocked in, and lit up his sword. Before the Rahkshi could react, Tahu hit its arm with his blazing hot sword. The Rahkshi cried out, and jumped back. Tahu had hurt it, but not badly enough. Before Tahu could even catch his breath, it was back for more.
The fight was attracting Bohrok, who turned from the Matoran and turned towards Tahu. Jala noticed this, and pulled out his sword. “We’ve got to keep the Bohrok back!”
Jala and Nuparu charged forward, and used their weapons to knock back two Nuhvok. Takua collected some rocks, and through them through the air, knocking back a Kohrak. However, a squad of Lehvak advanced, shooting acid spray towards them. However, they were knocked down when Hahli showed up, riding atop a Ussal crab.
“YEE!” Hahli cried. The Ussal spun around towards another Bohrok, and Hahli yanked out her sword, and slashed the Bohrok as she shot by. The Bohrok wobbled, and then crashed to the ground as its leg gave way.
“Thanks, Hahli!” Jala yelled as she rode by.
Tahu and the Rahkshi continued to fight. Tahu blocked its worst blows, but took many of them. Tahu was wearing out, but he still fought on, giving the Rahkshi burning slashes with his sword. However, the Rahkshi was not tiring, and Tahu’s attacks seemed to only cause temporary pain for it. Suddenly, the Rahkshi swung its staff hard, and Tahu failed to block it. The Rahkshi caught Tahu right under the mask, and threw him through the air. Tahu landed with a crunch, and did not get up. The Rahkshi started towards him.
“NO!” Jala cried. He slashed out at one last Bohrok, and then rushed towards the Rahkshi. The Rahkshi casually dodged Jala’s attack, and grabbed him. It yanked him up and glared at him. Jala stared back into the Rahkshi’s eyes, and saw them suddenly widen. Jala gasped, and understood. The Rahkshi had just recognized him as one of the important Matoran.
However, before the Rahkshi could react, it screeched and dropped Jala. Jala leapt back from the Rahkshi, and it ignored him. The Rahkshi was being assaulted again.
“YAAA!” Hahli cried. She directed her Ussal directly towards the Rahkshi again. The Rahkshi swung its staff, attempting to knock Hahli off her crab. However, Hahli jumped up at the last minute, and landed on top of the Rahkshi’s back. Her crab ran beneath the Rahkshi, and rushed off into the desert, possibly following Puku’s path.
The Rahkshi hissed angrily. It swung its staff around wildly, trying to knock of the Matoran. However, Hahli kept a firm grip on the Rahkshi’s spines. She jabbed her sword into the Rahkshi’s back, but she could not eject the kraata. Meanwhile, the Rahkshi leapt around, trying to grab her. Before too long, Hahli found her grip weaken, and the Rahkshi’s hand grabbed her leg. In one mighty tug, the Rahkshi ripped her from its back and threw her through the air.
“Hahli!” Jala cried. He jumped up to catch her, but she crashed into him, and they ended up in a pile in the sand.
The Rahkshi turned to the four Matoran, narrowing its eyes. Jala knew what it was thinking. Its master wanted them, and it had them now.
But it was delayed yet again. A boulder flew through the air and smacked the Rahkshi in the back. The Rahkshi toppled over, and made the boulder vanish. It turned to see who had thrown the rock, when an Ultimate Boxer crashed directly into it. Just before the crash, Huki and Maku bailed, and landed on the ground nearby.
“That should hurt it!” Huki said happily.
The Rahkshi was indeed under the crashed Boxer. It used one of its free arms to twitch its staff, and then the Boxer was gone. It got back to its feet, but they could see that it was indeed worn out.
“Boy, that’s one tough slug-head,” Huki said.
Hahli held her sword tightly. “Let’s take it on! Six Matoran can overcome a Rahkshi, right?”
“Put your sword away, Hahli,” Jala said urgently. “It can destroy inorganic matter. Your sword wouldn’t stand a chance. The Boxers and Exo Toa didn’t even stand a chance.”
Hahli nodded, and quickly hid her sword behind her back. But the Rahkshi was up and slowly walking towards them. All six Matoran could feel fear well up inside of them.
However, Jala still had hope. “Get ready to run,” he said quietly. “Right about… now!”
Twin missiles struck the Rahkshi from behind. The Rahkshi collapsed to the ground, and bits of rock flew towards the Matoran. Jala grabbed Hahli, and yanked her out of the way. Takua, Huki, and Maku also dodged the boulders. However, Nuparu tripped and didn’t dodge quickly enough. Giant claws scooped him up and pulled him out of the way of the flying rocks.
“Be careful, young one,” Onua said gruffly.
“Onua!” Nuparu cried. “You’re alive!”
“That I am,” Onua said. But Nuparu could see that he was hurt.
Despite being blasted by two Exo Missiles, the Rahkshi was back up again. Gali stayed back, but Lewa charged forward in his Exo Armor. “Time to say ever-good night, Rahkshi!”
The Rahkshi pointed its staff towards Lewa, and the Exo Armor vanished. Lewa gasped before he fell to the earth, but the nimble Toa of Air quickly got to his feet. He raced forward, and swung his hatchet towards the Rahkshi, who easily blocked his blows.
“This… is… for… DUKA!” Lewa cried. He tried to catch the Rahkshi, but missed every time. However, he finally made contact, and the Rahkshi fell back. It hissed angrily, but the hiss sounded weaker.
“I’m sorry, brother, but this was my Rahkshi.” Tahu came up behind the Rahkshi, and stabbed his fire sword directly into the Rahkshi’s back. The Rahkshi hissed in pain, but its back melted away and the kraata fell to the ground. Before the kraata could move, Onua came up and crushed it.
“Good job, brothers,” Lewa said. But he looked sympathetically as Tahu fell to his knees.
Gali rushed over, and ejected from her Exo Toa. “Tahu!” she cried. “Onua! You two look terrible!”
“Well, I defeated the Rahkshi, with some help,” Tahu sad between gasps. “But it took a lot out of me…”
“It was a tough foe, brother,” Onua wheezed. “We are now two Exos short, it seems.”
The Toa and Matoran turned to the battle. Only two Ultimate Boxers were left standing, and Matoran on foot were spread out across the battlefield. However, there were only a few Bohrok remaining, and they were fleeing towards the mountain.
Kopaka walked over to the other Toa, followed by Kopeke and the other Ko-Matoran. “We have won the battle,” Kopaka said. “The Bohrok are fleeing.”
“But at what cost?” Gali asked sadly. “How many Matoran do we have left?”
“We lost none of them,” Kopaka said grimly. “But they are exhausted. Most of the Boxers have been destroyed, and many of the Ussals have fled.”
“But we still won,” Jala said. “The Matoran have proved themselves, with the help of the Toa.”
“Now we’ll just need to survive the second assault,” Gali said.
The three beings met again.
“The battle has ended,” Cahdok said.
“And what happened?” Makuta asked.
Gahdok hesitated. “We lost a majority of our Bohrok. The Matoran did not lose a single life. Your son destroyed two Exo Toa, and most of the Boxers are in ruins. Yet the city was not touched.”
“It was all a waste!” Cahdok growled. “We gained nothing from this. All we did was prove the Matoran’s strength. Now they will have confidence!”
“All for the best,” Makuta said. “That means they will have further to fall when we do win. And now they are all worn out. Even the mighty Toa have reached their breaking point.”
“That is true,” Gahdok said. “But…”
“Are they done yet?” Makuta hissed.
“Then now is the time. Release them.”
“We will do that,” Gahdok sneered. “I hope your plan isn’t flawed this time, Makuta.”
“Don’t worry, my Queens,” Makuta said. “Once this is over, it will all be over…”
The Matoran sulked back to the village, and collapsed in their huts. The battle had drained them of all their energy. Only a few Matoran remained active. Tunaka remained awake, telling anybody who would listen how well he commanded his Ultimate Boxer, which was one of the few that remained in one piece. Kopeke and his Ko-Matoran friends, despite being in the center of the action, took positions of the wall as a guard, just in case. The Toa also lined the wall, to guard the weary Matoran. Tahu and Onua were in pain, but Gali used her water powers to help lessen their pain.
Only a few Matoran had remained behind, because they were too weak for battle. Now they saw to their friends who had come back exhausted or hurt. Many Matoran had suffered injuries from the Bohrok, but none of the injuries were fatal.
Takua, Nuparu, Hahli, Huki, and Maku also remained awake. They traveled to the Turaga’s hut, to tell them of the battle. Jala has said that he would join them, but he had something else to do first.
As they entered the hut, they bowed to Vakama, Matau, and Nuju. “Greetings, Turaga,” Takua said.
“So, how did you fare in battle?” Vakama asked.
“We lost all but two of the Ultimate Boxers,” Takua reported. “The Ussal crabs have fled, and two Exo Toa have been destroyed. But none of the Matoran were killed, although many were hurt. Even the mighty Toa of Fire and Toa of Earth were hurt.”
“That is very unfortunate,” Vakama replied, bowing his head. “Yet it sounds like the battle was a success.”
“I’d call it anything but a success!” Huki injected. “We lost our main source of protection. Sure, we took down a load of Bohrok, but there are always more. Plus, a new Rahkshi just happens to pop up and cause trouble. We can’t keep this up, Turaga! We can’t last against an enemy that never tires!”
“So, what would your suggestion be?” Matau asked.
Huki looked down. “I do not have any idea about what to do.”
“Very well,” Vakama said. “We shall continue as we have. With more Bohrok, we can continue to build Boxers, and work on more efficient ways to fight against the Bohrok.”
“Can we really go on like that?” Maku asked. “Back in our own time, the Toa fought the Bahrag in order to subdue the swarms. Why can they not do something like that?”
“The Toa do not have the powers to face both the Bahrag and the Makuta,” Vakama said solemnly. “With time, they may master their powers, and defeat the threat once and for all. But as of now…”
They were silent, and then Takua spoke up. “Turaga, what of us?”
“What of you?” Vakama repeated.
“We know we’re special, for some reason,” Takua said. “We remember our old reality. We’re protected by the sea. We’re wanted by the shadows. We know we’re different than all the other Matoran. But we don’t know why!”
“From your tales…” Vakama started.
“What is our destiny?” Hahli interrupted. “Why are we here, and why are we so special? What are we supposed to do? And if we can do anything, then will it help the other Matoran?”
“And if we do have to do something,” Maku added. “Can we do it before the shadows stop us?”
The Turaga remained silent. Finally, Nuju started clicking. Vakama nodded. “Yes, I suppose we should tell them, Nuju.”
“Tell us what?” Nuparu asked.
“What do you know?” Takua asked politely.
“Ever since we… learned of your… peculiar traits,” Vakama started. “We Turaga have been curious. It is possible that… you could rewrite history.”
“Rewrite history?” echoed Huki. “How?”
“We have talked with Jala of this, but we do not yet know anything for certain…” Vakama continued. “But you are the Matoran who remember the old reality. With your special traits, you may be able to alter reality, and bring it back to where it belongs. That is why the shadows would be after you.”
“How could we alter reality?” asked Takua. He felt an excitement that he hadn’t felt before. Since he had arrived in this new reality, Takua had longed for his old reality, with an island that was friendly and peaceful. But never had he ever truly believed that he could ever go back to it.
“We have only theorized…” Vakama said. “We only have guesses and myths to draw from. But it is possible that you could do this by…”
There was a sudden explosion outside. The Turaga and Matoran jerked. Takua rushed for the door, but Vakama grabbed him and held him inside. They peeked through the doorway towards the village gates.
The gates were growing very hot, and the Matoran around them were scattering. A loud horn blew, acting as a siren to warn the Matoran of immediate danger. The six Toa appeared, and lined up before the gates.
“The wall is heating up!” Gali said with a gasp.
“I shall cool it down!” Kopaka said. He shot ice from his sword, but the ice turn to steam before it even reached the doorway, and failed to cool down the door.
There was an explosion, as the melted rocks of the gate turned to steam. Through the hole that used to be the gate came a brown Bohrok. However, this Bohrok was very different from the Pahrak. Its limbs were sparkling silver instead of dull black, and its head plate had a scally outline across it. And, unlike the Pahrak, it did not have power over rock, but had plasma powers, capable of melting through any rock.
Hahli gasped. Maku gave of a quiet scream. Nuparu stared in disbelief, and Huki swore so badly that Nuju gave him a dirty look. Takua was astonished. “No, it’s can’t be!”
“What creature is this?” Vakama wondered.
“Kal,” Takua said softly. Vakama instantly understood, and glared out the window.
The Pahrak Kal strolled through the remains of the front gates. He glared at the Toa. “Greetings, Toa. I have come for a package.”
“Return to where you came from!” Kopaka snapped. He shot icy powers from his sword, and the Pahrak Kal’s feet were suddenly encased in ice. However, the ice seemed to sizzle away within seconds of contact, and the Kal barely had to wait until he was freed.
“Your powers are worthless against me, Toa,” the Pahrak Kal said casually. It extended its shields and shot a stream of plasma towards Kopaka. The Toa of Ice tried to counter the attack with his own element, but it was no use. Kopaka was struck by the plasma, and all the Matoran could smell burning flesh. The Pahrak Kal let up, and Kopaka collapsed to the ground, alive but out of the fight.
“Brother!” Gali cried.
Lewa, however, was bent on revenge. “You will pay for that, creature!”
The Pahrak Kal shot plasma towards Lewa, but the Toa of Air jumped and avoided the blast. Lewa then summoned a whirlwind to blow sand around the Pahrak Kal. At first, the Pahrak Kal tried to turn the sand to steam, but he only succeeded in making glass. He was helpless in Lewa’s air cage. However, help came for him.
A silver and green Bohrok now entered through the hole the Pahrak Kal had created. It chuckled as it saw its brother.
“Lewa,” the Lehvak Kal said. “Toa of Air. I believe you will appreciate these wind powers I possess.”
The Lehvak Kal used its vacuum blast to shoot pressurized air directly into Lewa, and threw him into the sky. The Toa of Air crashed into the canyon wall, and then fell to the ground with a thud. The whirlwind around the Pahrak Kal diminished, and the Kal was free.
Pohatu gave Tahu a look, and they simultaneously charged forward. Tahu took on the Pahrak Kal, pushing it back against the wall. The Pahrak Kal tried to use its plasma powers on Tahu, but the Toa of Fire was unaffected by the blazing heat. Pohatu charged the Lehvak Kal, and used his Kakama to bolt around the Kal, and wildly attacking it. The Lehvak Kal was too slow to stop Pohatu. But then more help came, in the form of a black and white Bohrok Kal.
“Your speed is nothing against my powers, Toa of Stone!” the Kohrak Kal sneered. It shot a sonic blast towards Pohatu. Pohatu paused, and gripped his head in agony. Then the Kohrak Kal sent a powerful wave of sonic powers, and Pohatu fell to the ground, unconscious.
“Back, Toa!” the Nuhvok Kal snapped. It extended its gravitational powers to Tahu, and the Toa of Fire fell with a crash to the earth. His Hau mask was chipped as it came into contact with the rocky floor.
Onua and Gali gave each other a nod, and charged forward. But at that instant, two more Bohrok Kal entered the village: a blue one and a red one. The Gahlok Kal eyed Gali and Onua. “I don’t think so, Toa.” Using its magnetic powers, the Gahlok Kal made Gali and Onua suddenly crash into each other and stick together. The Matoran nearby stared in horror as the Kal took down all six of the Toa.
“We have come to gather the Matoran!” the red Bohrok Kal, the Tahnok Kal, shouted. “Give them up now!”
Pushing past Takua and the others, Vakama walked out of the hut, and turned to face the Bohrok Kal. “The Matoran will not go with you willingly,” Vakama said. “You shall have to destroy them all to take them.”
“You misunderstand us, old one,” the Gahlok Kal sneered. “We do not care for the average Matoran. The Queens want the unique Matoran. Give them to us!”
Takua and his friends exchanged glances. The Kal were after them!
There was a sudden movement. Kopeke leapt off the wall, and attempted to stab one of the Kal with a spear. However, the Nuhvok Kal spun around and reversed Kopeke’s gravity, so he was suspended in the air. Tunaka was suddenly rushing towards the Bohrok Kal, also holding a spear. However, Gahlok Kal sighted him and magnetized him to the ground, causing him to trip and stick.
More Matoran tried to attack the Bohrok Kal, but they were tired from their battle. The Kal easily pushed the Matoran back, by only using a small fraction of their powers. The Tahnok Kal turned to Vakama. “Give us the Matoran, or else we shall completely destroy this city until we find them!”
“What Matoran?” Vakama asked.
“The six special Matoran!” the Tahnok Kal hissed. “The female warrior. The inventor, the athlete and his girl friend, and the traveler. And the Guard with the fire sword.”
“We won’t sell out our friends!” Vakama said. He held his staff ready, but the Tahnok Kal advanced.
“We’ll find them,” the Kal said. “We’ll tear this city apart. And we’ll start with you!”
“No you don’t!” Takua cried. He strapped on his pack, and rushed out of the hut. Behind him came Nuparu and Hahli, both taking out their weapons. Huki and Maku rushed out behind them.
The Tahnok Kal turned away from the Turaga, and gazed at the Matoran. “So, there you are.” Suddenly, the Tahnok Kal shot out a stream of electricity, and seemed to wrap the Matoran up in a wire of electricity.
“NO!” Vakama whispered. But the Tahnok swung his shield backwards, and knocked Vakama to the ground. The Kal turned to the Matoran again. “Only five? Where is the last one!”
Standing in the ruins of the gate was Jala, who had his pack strapped on and held out his fire sword. However, with a blast of electricity, Jala fell to his knees.
“We’ve got what we wanted,” the Tahnok Kal announced.
“We shall leave you now!” the Lehvak Kal called to the Matoran.
“Do not feel despair,” the Gahlok Kal sneered. “Soon, our brothers will flatten this city, and you shall join these Matoran. But you will have to wait.”
The Matoran were silent as the Pahrak Kal blew another hole in the wall, and the Bohrok Kal marched off with the six Matoran. The Matoran had watched their leaders fall, their city crumble, and the Matoran who had started everything get taken away. They felt despair that was greater than even that they had felt in their captivity.
However, a few Matoran remained positive. Tunaka stood up, after the Gahlok Kal’s effect had worn off.
“Look, we can’t just give in!” he called. “We lost our friends, but they have taught us a lesson. It is up to us to change things. We are still free, and we can still work together.” He raised his voice. “You heard Jala the other day. We are Matoran, and we won’t back down! Jala may be gone, but we shall fight on!”
The Matoran around Tunaka all cheered in agreement. Already, more went to work to repair the damage caused to the wall. Matau and Nuju helped revive the Toa and Turaga Vakama.
When Gali heard of the Matoran, she shook her head. “Oh, what could happen to them now?”
Nuju clicked, and Matau nodded. “The Matoran are beyond our help now. May the Great Spirit watch over them.”
The six Matoran were marched out of the village and through the desert. Each Matoran had a Bohrok Kal to watch over them. Jala was followed by the Tahnok Kal, and Takua was under the eye of the Lehvak Kal. The Kohrak Kal watched over Hahli, the Gahlok Kal watched over Maku, the Nuhvok Kal watched over Nuparu, and the Pahrak Kal watched over Huki. The Kal made sure each of the Matoran marched on, with no rest.
The sun sunk in the sky, and the Kal marched the Matoran out of the desert and into the Ga-Wahi region. Night fell, and the Bohrok Kal continued to march on, with the Matoran fighting to continue. Finally, Maku collapsed, angering the Gahlok Kal.
“Get up, Matoran!” the Gahlok Kal snarled, kicking Maku.
“Leave her alone!” Huki cried. He tried to get to Maku, but the Pahrak Kal pushed him back.
“Stop this!” Jala called. “If you make us go on, then we’ll never survive to go to… your masters.”
“We don’t take orders from you, Matoran!” the Lehvak Kal hissed.
However, the Tahnok Kal was thoughtful. “The Queens requested that we bring these Matoran back alive and unspoiled.”
“So we take orders from this Matoran here?” sneered the Nuhvok Kal.
“Unless you want to carry us,” Jala offered. “Or perhaps if you’d like to only take three of us back with you.”
The Bohrok Kal hesitated. Finally, the Tahnok Kal spoke up. “You have three hours to rest. When the three hours are up, you will be marching again. And don’t try anything funny, Matoran. We’ll be watching…”
The Bohrok Kal disappeared amongst the foliage, leaving the six Matoran alone.
“Maybe if we try to escape now…” Nuparu started.
“It’s no use,” Jala said. “These are not ordinary Bohrok. The Kal not only have superior powers, but they can think. They brought the downfall of the Toa Nuva in our old reality. And they may very well bring the downfall of the Toa in this reality. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
“But there must be something we can do,” Hahli said in a pleading voice.
“There is something we can do,” Jala said. He walked towards a tree and broke off a few branches. He built a small fire that he lit with his sword, and leaned on a rock on the ground. “We can rest. I fear that we shall need our strength once we… pass into the darkness.”
The Matoran huddled around Jala’s fire. Huki and Maku snuggled close to each other, and Nuparu sat apart from the rest. He seemed to shiver, as he remembered his last experience with the shadows. Hahli leaned next to Jala, and watched the fire. Takua could feel the hopelessness in his friends. And he could see no way out of this situation. Suddenly, his eyes sparkled.
“Gather around, friends,” he said. “I have something to show you.”
The Matoran diverted their eyes from the fire and focused on Takua, and he reached in his backpack and pulled out something.
“Is that your Episode Book?” Nuparu asked.
“Yes,” Takua said. “Nokama gave this to me, and I used it to record all my memories of Makuta’s reign and the Bohrok’s attack. It can store my memories, so others can recall them later on.”
“So,” Huki asked.
“We have experienced much in this reality,” Takua said. “And maybe the Matoran will fall to Makuta. But maybe, just maybe, good will eventually come to this island, and vanquish evil and shadows for all eternity. If that ever does happen, then our memories can be stored, so we are not forgotten.”
“You mean…” Hahli started.
“I want us all to add an entry into this Episode Book,” Takua said sadly. “Our journey may be ending, but let us leave our mark in this book. Just maybe… maybe it’ll change something.”
Takua passed the book to Jala, who passed his experiences into the recordings. Hahli took it after Jala, and then Maku, Huki, and Nuparu all recorded their experiences as well. At last, Takua recorded his memories, and set the book in his pack. “Now maybe well be remembered.”
“Yeah, thanks, Takua,” Nuparu said.
Hahli took Jala’s hand. “I don’t want to go into the shadows. I miss our island, in our old reality. Why couldn’t we have stayed there, and have this never happen?”
“Everything happens for a reason,” Jala said. He seemed to be looking at something none of the other Matoran could see.
“Oh, Jala, I don’t want to go!” Hahli wailed. “I want to be with you!”
“We’ll be together, in the end,” Jala said, smiling. “We’ll be together.”
Huki and Maku clasped hands as well. “This time,” Huki said. “We’ll go down together. As friends. Makuta can’t take one of us without taking all of us.”
“We’ll face the shadows together,” Takua said. He nudged Nuparu. “This time, you won’t have to go through this all alone.”
“Thanks,” Nuparu said.
“We’ll go down together, as friends!” Maku said. “We won’t part again.”
The Matoran nodded, and remained silent. Finally, Jala broke the silence. “I also have something to give you guys.”
“Yes?” Takua asked. Jala reached in his pack, and took out six glass vials, with a silvery liquid inside.
“What’s that?” Maku asked.
“It’s something I made,” Jala said. “It’s kind of like a… a fair-well drink. Let us drink this in the end, to celebrate our friendship. Keep it close at hand, my friends.”
Each of the Matoran took a vial, and packed it away. Then Maku yawned loudly, and her eyes drooped.
“We should get some rest now,” Jala said. “We have less than three hours before the Kal come back to take us. We might as well get some sleep.”
The Matoran nodded, and curled up next to the fire. Takua closed his eyes, and kept them closed for a while. But he did not sleep. After a while, he opened his eyes again. Huki and Maku were dozing together, and Hahli was leaning on Jala’s side, asleep. However, Jala himself was wide-awake, looking into the fire thoughtfully.
“Don’t you need some sleep?” Takua asked quietly.
“No, I am alright,” Jala whispered. However, he seemed preoccupied. “Takua do you remember the peaceful days of Ta-Koro?”
“I’m afraid I don’t,” Takua replied.
“It was always warm,” Jala said. “We had guard duty, but we rarely had to fight. The lava river would flow smoothly by, giving us all a soothing feeling. Turaga Vakama would sit beside the fire and tell us stories. Have you ever heard the story of Lhii’s demise?”
“Can’t say I have,” Takua said.
“Lhii was always an amazing surfer,” Jala said. “He always wanted to go for the most dangerous parts of the rivers. He was always pushing it, taking to the higher extremes. Then one day, he decided to go on the river that came directly out of the volcano.”
“Lhii prepared for days. He worked on his board, he practiced move, and he prepared for everything. On the day he was suppose to do it, a large crowd of Matoran showed up to watch him. He started surfing down the lava… but then he missed one move. He flipped his board over, and fell into the lava.”
“Lhii died because he pushed it too far. He was the most experienced lava surfer around, and he was always prepared for the worst. Yet in the end, one small mistake took him out. In a life that was full of risks, his first mistake turned out to be his last.”
Jala was silent. “One little mistake could end it all. But if that mistake doesn’t come… if Lhii had been prepared for even a small slip…”
Jala was no longer talking to Takua, but talking to himself. Takua let him go on, and settled back down on the ground, and closed his eyes, while Jala continued to mumble to himself though out the night.
“Get up, Matoran! We are leaving now!”
Takua awoke sharply as the Lehvak Kal kicked him. It was still nighttime, and Takua could see the stars through gaps in the clouds. Around the dead fire, the other Matoran were awaking as well.
“We must move out now!” the Tahnok Kal growled. “You have had your rest. Now we shall take you to the Queens.”
“I’m getting up,” Maku said groggily, but the Gahlok Kal pulled her to her feet. Huki moved to help her, but the Pahrak Kal constrained him.
“Stay in line, Matoran!” the Pahrak Kal hissed.
“Don’t cause trouble, Huki,” Jala advised him. “We are under the Kal’s control. And they do not want to hurt you. After all, they are supposed to deliver us ‘alive and unspoiled’…”
“Silence, Matoran!” snarled the Tahnok Kal, pushing Jala forward. “Less talk. More walk. We have a long ways to go to get to the Kini-Nui.”
The Matoran started marching through Ga-Wahi. Their rest had greatly helped them, but they could all feel the impending doom coming closer with every step. Hahli couldn’t handle the silence, and she finally burst out, “Why us?”
“Silence, Matoran,” Kohrak Kal snapped.
“No,” Hahli said defiantly. “Why are we being taken? Why do the ‘Queens’ want us? What good are we to them?”
“You are special Matoran,” said Nuhvok Kal gruffly. “Not be quiet and march!”
“Why are we special?” Hahli snapped. “What good does it do to get rid of us? You know, I know you do! You aren’t just Bohrok. You know what your masters want. You understand why they want us!”
The Tahnok Kal stopped and turned back towards Hahli. Hahli remained silent as the Kal walked right in front of her, and glared at her with its deadly blue eyes.
“Of course we know,” the Tahnok Kal said. “The question would be, can you comprehend it, miserable Matoran?”
Hahli stood her ground, and the Tahnok Kal seemed to fill with rage. It extended its shields back, as if ready to strike.
“NO!” Jala cried, breaking his own rule and started to reach for his sword.
“Don’t!” Huki said firmly. Jala and the Tahnok Kal looked towards him.
“The Bahrag want us alive,” Huki said. “And unspoiled. You can’t do anything to us, as we continue to be under your control.”
“The filthy Matoran is correct,” the Tahnok Kal said, turning from Hahli. “Move, Matoran. We still have much distance to travel. And you shall all remain quiet from now on, or else you shall be partially ‘spoiled’ for the Queens.”
The six Matoran, understanding the threat, did not speak any more. They marched through the Ga-Wahi region, and then entered the Ta-Wahi region. On the other side of the jagged hills lay the Kini-Nui.
The sun was beginning to rise as the Matoran and Bohrok Kal finally descended into the forested area surrounding the Kini-Nui. The first rays of the sun reached the Matoran, but it was quickly blocked out by dark storm clouds. Too quickly, the Matoran were at the steps of the great temple. A gold Rahkshi was standing guard next to a small entrance in the Kini-Nui. The Tahnok Kal pushed Jala into the hole, and they walked into the confines of the earth. Takua, the last to enter, saw the gold Rahkshi wave its staff, and the clouds vanished.
The Matoran marched down a flight of steps, and after a long time, they came into a large cavern. The Matoran looked about, but they couldn’t see the ceiling at all. Across from them was a large doorway, with the symbol of Makuta engraved on it.
The Tahnok Kal stopped. “We are here.”
“What’s behind that door?” Jala asked.
“The Queens,” hissed the Tahnok Kal.
“Then I suppose now is as good of a time as any,” Jala said. He pulled out his vial, and popped out the cork. He drank the liquid in one gulp, and then threw the vial into the ground. The glass shattered, and the Tahnok Kal turned abruptly.
“Thank you for escorting us this far,” Jala said. He pulled out his fire sword. “But I think that we can manage it from here.”
“Jala!” cried Hahli.
“You’ll pay for this, Matoran!” the Tahnok Kal hissed. It shot electricity from its shield, and aimed it at Jala. There was a sudden explosion of sparks, and dust filled the air. The Tahnok Kal was confident. “The Queens will have to do with just five Matoran.”
But as the dust clear, the Tahnok Kal was surprised to see Jala still standing.
“But…” the Tahnok Kal cried. “You… I… impossible!”
“It’s quite possible!” Jala said, with a wide grin on his face. “It worked. And now we’re going to show you how special we are. Friends, drink the liquid I gave you!”
The Bohrok Kal hesitated, unsure of this new turn of events. However, they turned their attention to Jala as he leapt for the Tahnok Kal. The Tahnok Kal zapped Jala with electricity, but it had no effect on Jala.
Jala lit up his fire sword, and slashed out at the Tahnok Kal. The Kal back up, unhurt but wary. The other Bohrok Kal rushed to the Tahnok Kal’s aid.
“What’s Jala doing?” cried Maku.
Hahli watched Jala, and a smiled spread across her face. “I don’t know,” she said. “But let’s do as he said. Drink this liquid!”
Hahli pulled out her vial, and pulled the cork out of it, and drank the liquid. As she finished up, the Gahlok Kal turned towards her. “The other Matoran have it too!” it snarled.
“Well, take that!” Hahli cried, and she threw the vial, and it broke as it slammed into the Gahlok Kal’s head. The Gahlok Kal was angry, and lifted its shields.
“You’ll pay for that, Matoran!” the Gahlok Kal snarled. It tried to use is magnetic powers on Hahli, but there was no effect..
“The other Matoran!” the Gahlok Kal cried. “Get the other Matoran! Before it’s too late!”
“NOW!” Huki cried. He reached for his vial, and yanked out the cork, and chugged the liquid. Maku intimidated him, and drained her vial just as the Kohrak Kal turned towards them.
“I don’t think so!” Maku said. She rushed towards the Kohrak Kal, who then gave off a sonic blast. However, Maku was protected, and she collided with the Bohrok Kal, knocking it back.
Nuparu fumbled through his pack, searching for his vial. He finally grabbed it, but the Pahrak Kal turned to him. “Burn, Matoran!” the Kal said.
“No way!” As the Pahrak Kal shot a stream of plasma towards Nuparu, Huki jumped in the way, and reflected the blast. As Huki held off the Kal, Nuparu drank the rest of the liquid, and then challenged the Nuhvok Kal.
Takua pulled out the cork and drank from his own vial. The liquid had a very bitterly and sandy taste to it, yet it still was the most flavorful think Takua had ever tasted before. And as soon as he had swallowed the liquid, Takua felt something about him. It was the same protection he had felt when in the sea. He was protected from any direct attack from his foes, but he was nowhere near the ocean water.
“Amazing!” Takua cried.
The Kal broke off from the Matoran, and grouped together. “All together!” the Tahnok Kal cried. The Bohrok Kal shot their powers towards the six Matoran, but they still had no effect on them. Jala smiled.
“Friends, take on one of the Kal. Let them never see the surface again!”
Jala charged the Tahnok Kal. The Tahnok Kal tried to distract Jala by firing random bursts of electricity, but Jala was not fooled. He slashed out at the Kal with his fire sword, burning into the Kal’s skin.
Maku used her acrobatic skills to jump around the Kohrak Kal, and she lashed out at the Kal, but was able to do little damage. The Kal had given up firing sonic blasts, and was now just trying to protect itself.
Nuparu faced the Pahrak Kal, whose hot plasma powers didn’t affect the Matoran. Nuparu tried to attack the Kal with his pick axe, but he couldn’t get close enough without the Bohrok trying to melt his weapon.
Huki jumped up and down, as rocks guided by the Nuhvok Kal’s gravitational power shot past him. Huki kicked a few boulders towards the Bohrok Kal, but the Kal threw them off course before they hit their target.
Takua had tried to throw rocks at the Lehvak Kal, but the Kal had blown all his throws off course as well. Takua had then jumped closer, trying to directly attack the Kal, but the Lehvak Kal kept blocking his blows.
Hahli pulled out her sword, but the Gahlok Kal used its magnetic powers to pull on the sword. Hahli was soon struggling to keep hold of her sword, yet she held her ground. The Gahlok Kal used all its energy to try to pull the sword from Hahli’s grip, and the Ga-Matoran suddenly saw her opportunity.
“You want my sword?” Hahli puffed, as she tried to keep the sword in her hands. “Well, then you can have it!” With all her might, Hahli yanked back the sword, and then threw it directly towards the Gahlok Kal. The sword accelerated through the air as it was aided by the magnetizing powers of the Gahlok Kal.
“NO!” cried the Kal. It tried to reverse its magnetic powers, but it was too late. The sword flew through the air, and slammed directly into the Kal’s head-plate. The Kal wobbled for a second, and then crashed to the ground, before Hahli’s astonished eyes.
Hahli cautiously walked up to the Kal, and yanked out her sword. The head-plate burst opened, revealing a Krana Kal that was cut in two.
“The Bohrok Kal aren’t the enemies!” Hahli cried. “Get the Krana Kal!”
“What do you think I’ve been trying to do?” huffed Maku, as she jumped back from the Kohrak Kal. The Kal took the chance to fire a sonic blast at her, but it had no effect.
“Maybe we should work together,” suggested Nuparu. He spun around a jumped up behind the Kohrak Kal, and dug his pick axe into its back. The Kal gave off a cry, but Nuparu jumped out of the way as plasma shot towards him. The Kohrak Kal got caught in the heat, and fell to its knees.
“You fool!” it cried to the Pahrak Kal. It stood up and sent a sonic blast towards the Pahrak Kal, who was blasted into the wall. However, while it was preoccupied, Maku got on top of it. Maku kicked at the eyes and the head-plate popped opened. Maku took the Krana Kal, and leapt off the Bohrok body as it fell to the ground. Nuparu took the Krana Kal out of the crippled Pahrak Kal as well.
Huki jumped out of the way as a huge boulder shot past him. The Nuhvok Kal was annoyed. “Stop moving!” it growled.
Huki kicked a boulder of his own. “No way!” he shouted back.
“Huki, kick one this way!” Takua yelled, as he rushed the Lehvak Kal.
“Okay!” Huki called. He spun around and kicked another boulder, which shot towards the Lehvak Kal. However, while he was turned around, a rock grazed his shoulder.
“That was close, Kal,” Huki said, as he turned around, only to see a wall of rocks flying towards him.
“Fall, Matoran!” the Nuhvok Kal sneered.
However, things didn’t go according to plan. The Lehvak Kal, seeing the boulder flying towards, and used its vacuum powers to send the boulder flying back. Huki jumped out of the way, and the Lehvak Kal accidentally sent a hailstorm of boulders towards the Nuhvok Kal unexpectedly.
“You imbecile!” the Nuhvok Kal cried, as the boulders brought it to the ground.
The Lehvak Kal growled with rage as well. “If you hadn’t be so dull-witted…”
However, before it could finish, Takua was on top of it, and punched it in the eye. The Krana Kal was ejected, and it fell to the ground. As the Nuhvok Kal pushed aside the boulders, Maku and Nuparu leapt on its back. While it was distracted, Huki rushed up and kicked the eyes, and stomped on the krana.
Jala and the Tahnok Kal were still in a furious fight, as Jala lunged with his sword and the Tahnok Kal block it with its shields. The Tahnok Kal expected the Matoran to tire, but Jala fought on with growing determination and strength.
However, the five other Matoran stood behind Jala, and the Tahnok Kal hesitated. “But…”
“Your fellow Kal are now krana lying on the floor,” Takua said.
“Are you’re going to be next!” Hahli said.
“I guess we’re not just some weak, pathetic Matoran after all,” Maku added.
“Don’t worry,” Jala said. “We’ll tell your Queens about your demise!”
With that, Jala thrust his fire sword into the Tahnok Kal’s head-plate. The last Kal stood for a second longer, and then it too crashed to the ground as well.
The six Matoran stood before the door of the Magania. The ruins of the Bohrok Kal lay behind them.
“We’re alive!” Takua said. “We fought the Kal and won!”
“Yes, but how?” Nuparu asked. He turned to Jala. “Where did you get that potion?”
“I made it,” Jala said. “The Turaga and I discussed a bit about the protective powers we got from the sea. I guess Nuju came up with a formula that might transfer that protection to us via a potion. It’s just made up of some ground up protodermis and some seawater. I was making some when the Kal attacked.”
“So, it gives us the sea’s protection, away from the sea!” Hahli said. She gave Jala a hug. “Oh, Jala, you’re a genius. You saved us!”
Huki nudged Nuparu. “Now, why didn’t you think of that?”
“I’m an engineer,” Nuparu said. “Not a chemist.”
“So, now what do we do?” Takua asked. “We defeated the Kal, but now what? Do you think we can escape?”
“No, we made a promise,” Jala said. “We must tell the Bahrag that the Kal have been taken out.”
“You want us to go on?” Maku asked incredulously.
However, before Jala could answer, the door pulled up. The Matoran all shared worried glances, and rushed in. Behind them, the door slammed shut.
The Matoran were silent, until Jala yelled, “We know you’re here. Show yourselves!”
Two eerie figures approached. “So, we finally have you.”
“The Bahrag,” whispered Takua.
“We are not here under your command!” Jala said bravely. “We just came by to tell you that… that your Kal are dead.”
“That is impossible!” screeched on of the Bahrag.
“No, no, it truly did happen,” said another voice, a much more dreadful voice. “They defeated them right outside our sanctuary.”
The Bahrag ignored that voice. “If you were lucky enough to destroy the Kal,” the red one said. “Then you are but fools to try to challenge us!” It lashed out, and bit the air right in front of Jala. Despite himself, Jala cried in fear and fell back.
“You fool!” said the Bahrag. It lifted its foot, and attempted to crush Jala. However, the foot could not stomp down on Jala at all.
“What is this?” the Bahrag cried.
“Get one of the others!” the second Bahrag screeched. It lashed out, trying to bite Hahli. However, its mouth wrapped around the Matoran, but an invisible barrier stopped the Bahrag from biting down.
Hahli cried out, but saw an advantage. She shot out her sword, and slashed at the Bahrag’s tooth. The Bahrag screamed as Hahli’s protodermis sword slashed off its tooth.
“DESTROY THEM!” bother of the Bahrag screamed in unison. They shot vast elemental powers towards the six Matoran, who shielded themselves from the blinding light. However, there was no effect.
“You two are both fools,” the third voice sneered. It walked out of the shadows, and the Matoran fell back in fright. It was a vast, tall being, with a powerful staff and a dreadful mask. It was Makuta.
“They have found a way to bring the sea’s protection with them down here,” Makuta went on. “That is the only way they could defeat the Kal. While they have that protection, not even your powers could harm them. And anyway, we do not want them destroyed. We need their souls, and then when we are through with them, they can be destroyed.”
“Our… souls?” squeaked Hahli.
“Yes, do you not know why I brought you here?” Makuta asked. “Oh, I suppose you don’t. You are special Matoran, as you well know. You remember the way things should be. You are the only connection to the real reality, and the only way you can change things. Once I have your souls, then this reality will be permanent. Then I can take the powers, and even the Toa couldn’t stand before me!”
“You won’t get our souls!” Nuparu roared. “You tried it before, and you can’t do it again!”
“But what’s stopping me?” Makuta asked mockingly.
“Well, these protective powers we have, for starters,” Huki said.
“Yes, they prevent me from stealing them now…” Makuta said. “But what about later?”
The Matoran paused, and Makuta laughed.
“Fools! Do you think this protection will last forever? Of course, it will fade away, and you will be vulnerable. You knew that, brave fire spitter. And now, all I have to do is wait.”
“We can find a way out!” Takua cried. “I have the same chisel, and we’ll make our escape.”
“You will not,” Makuta said. “Especially if you can’t find it. Let me see how well you do in the dark, Matoran…”
All across the room, dark forms moved. Makuta summoned his shadows to surround the Matoran slowly. Jala knew what they had to do.
“Grasp hands!” he cried. “Before we get separated again!”
Jala took Hahli’s hand, and she held onto Maku. Following Maku came Huki, then Nuparu, and then Takua. They formed a chain of Matoran as the darkness spread around them.
Jala held his fire sword up high, and it illuminated the immediate area around him. He took off through the shadows. “Follow me!”
Jala rushed through the shadows, with his friends following him. However, they couldn’t tell where they were going, and they endured the taunts of Makuta and the Bahrag, who were undoubtedly aware of their location, and saw how they walked around aimlessly.
“Time is running short…” Makuta said. “Soon, you will be ours, Matoran…”
“Jala, what do we do?” Hahli cried.
“It’s hopeless!” moaned Maku.
“The shadows will have us in the end,” Nuparu said dully.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Takua said. “There’s no escape.”
“There is just one way out of here…” Jala mumbled to himself.
“And what way is that?” Huki asked.
“I just need to find the center…” Jala said. Suddenly, he collided into something. He followed this with a cry of joy.
“What is it?” he friends asked.
“NO!” Makuta roared, causing the ground and walls to vibrate.
“Gather around!” Jala called. The Matoran formed a ring around something, and Jala lit his fire sword. It revealed a podium with an orange mask placed on top of it.
“Is that…” Takua started.
“The Turaga’s tales are true!” gasped Huki.
“The Vahi!” murmured Hahli.
“The mask of time!” Jala said. “I talked with the Turaga, and they had a theory about this mask. We’re the special Matoran, so maybe it is our destiny to use this mask… and restore our old reality. The reality we lived in before time was disrupted.”
“But… how do we use this mask?” Maku asked. “Do we have to wear it?”
“I do not know,” Jala said quietly. He placed his hand on the mask, but felt a jolt. He brought his hand back, moaning. “Ouch!”
The shadows around them lessened, and they found themselves surrounded by the Bahrag and Makuta. Makuta held his staff at hand. “Your time is coming to a close, Matoran.”
“We can’t let them use the Vahi!” the Bahrag snarled.
“They won’t be able to,” Makuta said.
“I felt the power of the Vahi… but it was too much for me…” Jala started. “But if I’m prepared…” He reached out and touched the mask again, and remained in contact with the mask. However, his friends could see the strain on his face.
“Jala…” started Takua.
However, Hahli understood. “We are six special Matoran, not one,” she said. “We all need to share this burden.” She placed her hand on the mask, beside Jala’s hand. The strain on Jala’s face fell. “Thanks,” he managed to say.
Maku and Huki shared a look, and then placed their hands on the mask. Nuparu placed his hand on the mask as well, and Takua was about to do so as well, when he felt something leave him. Instantly, he realized that the potion had worn off, and he was vulnerably to Makuta and the Bahrag. He placed his hand on the Vahi, and hoped for the best.
“NOW!” Makuta cried. He brought his staff down upon the Matoran, but it was thrown off. Another field surrounded the Matoran, a slightly orange field. The field was created by the Vahi.
“It’s working,” Jala said. “Concentrate, my friends.”
“The field is weaker now!” the Bahrag said. They built up their powers. “Let us wipe it out in a single blow!”
“Indeed!” Makuta said, lifting his staff. But he lifted it urgently.
“NO!” Maku cried.
“They can’t stop us!” Nuparu said.
“They won’t,” Hahli replied.
Makuta and the Bahrag launched their powers towards the Matoran. But suddenly they froze, and their streams of powers froze as well. Time had literally stopped for them. Yet they could still speak.
“NO!” the Bahrag cried. “This can’t be happening!”
“The Matoran can not have that control!” Makuta roared. “They cannot mend time! They are too weak!”
“We are not weak!” Jala said. “No, together, we are strong. We stand united, we do our duty, and we fulfill our destiny. We are strong!”
The Matoran concentrated, and suddenly, Makuta and the Bahrag burst into fragments, and blew away like dust. The cavern around them started to swirl. Something rushed around them, like a whirling mass of orange liquid air. But it was much more than that: it was time itself.
“What are we doing?” Maku cried.
“We’re changing reality!” Nuparu replied. “We’re shifting time itself!”
“How can we do this?” Huki asked. “How can we shift reality? What if we only make things worst?”
“Focus, my friends!” Jala called. “Focus on our reality. Focus on our home. Focus on making things right!”
The swirling grew faster and faster, until everything was a blur before Takua’s eyes. He focused on returning to his real reality, but the pressure on his mind was too much. Everything continued to spin around faster and faster and faster… And then it all stopped.
"They are so absorbed in their task that they are ignoring us, but that is not to last!" Lewa Nuva called.
"Even with our full power, I do not think we can stop them!" Tahu Nuva shouted.
"We must try, Tahu!" said Kopaka Nuva.
"There must be something we can do!" Tahu cried. But then he hesitated. "Wait, there is. Something I hoped I would never have to do… something that could mean the end of everything. I call upon… the Vahi, the mask of time!"
“Tahu," Lewa gasped. "Is that the…?"
"Yes," Tahu answered grimly. "It's the Vahi, the mask of time."
"Them you may have just doomed us all." Gali Nuva said sullenly.
The Toa Nuva were facing the Bohrok Kal, as they attempted to place the Nuva symbols on the Nuva cube. Once they were done with that, they would free the Bahrag, and the Bohrok would be free to rampage across the island of Mata-Nui. The Toa, robbed of their elemental powers, would be helpless to stop them.
Tahu focused his Vahi. “I shall stop the Kal in their tracks!” he said. He unleashed the power of the mask of time, and the Kal froze, just before they would have attached the symbols to the cube.
Tahu strained under the mask’s powers. “I can’t hold them off for much longer!” he said.
Onua Nuva and Pohatu Nuva rushed towards the Kal, in an attempt to take back their symbols, but a sudden field appeared around the Kal, and repelled the Toa’s attacks.
“It’s useless!” Onua cried. “The Kal have formed a barrier that stops of from attacking them.”
“We should’ve expected this!” scowled Kopaka. “In their last moments, the Kal are unstoppable.”
“Then we have failed,” Lewa said miserably.
Six Matoran watched the Toa act against the Kal. Jala jumped forward. “No! You are Toa. You can’t fail us now!”
“Jala is right…” Gali said. She closed her eyes, and then opened them. “Those symbols harness our powers. If we can focus… then maybe we can overwhelm the Kal!”
“We have nothing better to do,” Onua said. He turned to Tahu. “Brother, release yourself from that mask’s powers! We need your will now!”
Tahu released the Kal from the Vahi’s grip, and the Toa focused on their powers. The Kal, unaware that time had even stopped, hesitated as they felt something new.
“I feel… power!” the Nuhvok Kal said. “It’s coming from these symbols!”
“These symbols are increasing our powers!” the Lehvak Kal cried jubilantly. “We can continue the mission without the swarms!”
“It’s working!” Takua observed.
Suddenly, Hahli glanced back. “Oh no, Bohrok!”
Six Tahnok were rushing down the hole, after the Toa. If the Tahnok distracted the Toa, then the Kal could finish their mission.
Jala knew what they had to do. “Attack!” he yelled. He pulled out his treasured fire sword, and slashed out against the leading Tahnok. The Tahnok, caught off guard, crumbled to the ground.
Maku and Hahli used their aerobic abilities to knock the Tahnok down, and Huki kicked his Koli ball and knocked the krana out of one Bohrok. Nuparu decided to use his pick axe, and managed to trip a Bohrok himself. Takua was amazed when he jumped up and smacked a Bohrok directly in the eye, causing its krana to eject.
While the Matoran held of the rouge Bohrok, the Toa focused on their symbols, and the Kal were fed too much power. Before they knew what was happening, the Kal’s powers started to destroy them. The Tahnok Kal was zapped by its own electricity, the Kohrak Kal was blasted by its own sonic powers, and the Gahlok Kal was crushed under broken Exo parts. The Pahrak Kal was melted by plasma, the Nuhvok Kal was turned into a black hole from gravity, and the Lehvak Kal was blown apart by its own vacuum powers. While the Kal fell, the Bahrag screamed in rage at the Toa.
And then it was over. The last Krana Kal fell to the ground, and the Bahrag grew quiet. The Toa picked up their symbols from the remains of the Kal, and regained their elemental powers.
“We… won,” Lewa said. “But this does not feel like a victory.”
“No, we were nearly defeated,” Kopaka said quietly. “But… but we did win. The Matoran are safe now.”
“Tahu, we need to thank you,” Gali said. “If it were not for that mask… it gave us the time we needed.”
“But it was too much for me to handle,” Tahu said. “I almost lost control… If I had, then time would have been torn apart, and reality would’ve been undone.”
“What would that have been like, Toa?” Takua asked.
“Nobody knows, Chronicler,” Tahu answered. “Time is not a thing even the Toa Nuva should tamper with. Vakama warned me not to use it, and I think that I shall not use it ever again.”
“What about you Matoran?” Onua asked. “You saved the day as much as we did. If those Tahnok had caught us off guard…”
“I just thought that we should keep them back,” Jala said, blushing. “I don’t know why, but I feel something inside me. It’s like… a new determination. A new feeling. But I do not know where it comes from.”
Hahli nodded. “I feel the same thing, Jala.”
“It’s like something very important just happened,” Nuparu said. “But I can’t remember a thing. It’s just a feeling.”
Pohatu laughed. “That Vahi might have effected the Matoran,” he said. “You should be careful when using it, Tahu.”
Huki smiled. “Say whatever you like, Toa of Stone. I just feel… different. But it is a good kind of different.”
“Maybe you feel like a Toa,” Gali suggested. “For you saved us as well as we saved you. We all know the feeling, Matoran. The feeling of pride that comes with helping your people. But for us Toa… this is a different victory, where we nearly met defeat.” She turned to the other Toa. “We have learned something from this as well. We must not be separate again, Toa. For if we are, a threat could easily come and destroy this island.”
“What threat could come now, sister?” Onua asked.
“No one can tell, brother,” Gali said quietly. “No one can tell…”
The Toa and Matoran were silent, in the cavern filled with the remains of the Bohrok. Finally, Kopaka broke the silence.
“We have won this battle,” the Toa Nuva of Ice said. “Now let us return to the surface. I believe that these Matoran will see cause to celebrate amongst their friends.”
The Matoran of Mata-Nui rejoiced after the defeat of the Bohrok-Kal.
Shortly after the Toa Nuva returned victoriously, the Turaga held a special event. The Matoran showed up to learn that there would be a name changing ceremony. Jala, Maku, and Huki were renames in honor of their actions against the Bohrok. They were renamed Jaller, Macku, and Hewkii. They also renamed Takua’s beloved Ussal crab from Puku to Pewku. In addition to the naming ceremony, Turaga Onewa announced the invention of a new type of Koli, known as Kohli, inspired by Hewkii’s actions against the Bohrok. Players would have sticks and shields, and would get to knock boulders into rival goals. Afterwards, the Matoran started practicing the new sport. Both Hewkii and Macku became very skilled at it in a very short amount of time.
However, the real surprise came a few days later. The Turaga secretly rebuilt Takua and Jaller, giving them new, stronger forms. Afterwards, they announced their success to al the Matoran, and promised that every Matoran would be rebuilt to be even stronger than before.
Takua also underwent a drastic change when Turaga Vakama pulled him aside one day.
“Takua, where is that Episode Book Nokama gave you?” Vakama asked.
“I have it right here, Turaga,” Takua said, pulling it out of his pack. “Why so?”
“I have something to show you, Takua,” Vakama said. He led Takua to a bare wall. “This will be our wall of history. We shall record all of our major events here, so all Matoran can read them. I am sure you have many exciting victories stored in that Episode Book, and now I wish for you to record them on this wall.”
“I will do that, Turaga, even if it takes some time,” Takua responded.
Vakama handed Takua a staff. “Here, use this. It is the Chronicler’s Staff, and you can write with ease on the wall if you use it.”
Takua make a mark on the wall using the staff, and he smiled widely. “Thank you, Turaga!”
“I shall take your episode book,” Vakama said, taking it from Takua. He weighed it in his hands. “Oh, this is much heavier than when I last held it, after the Bohrok were first defeated. Have you added much of your adventures to it?”
“No, I haven’t,” Takua said. “I’ll do that…”
“No need, you can write them on the wall,” Vakama said. Suddenly, there was a hustle behind him, and he turned to see Jaller. Behind Jaller stood Hewkii, Macku, Hahli, and Nuparu, all eagerly looking towards Turaga Vakama.
“Greetings, Turaga,” Jaller said with a bow. “We were looking for Takua, and you too. We were wondering if we could use the Kohli field…”
“Most certainly, Jaller,” Vakama said. “You six Matoran underwent much while traveling with the Toa Nuva. You all deserve some time to play.”
“Thank you Turaga!” the six Matoran friends called. Jaller, Takua, Hewkii, Macku, Hahli, and Nuparu all rushed off to the Kohli field, to practice the new sport together.
Vakama went to his hut, and set aside Takua’s Episode Book. “You have gone through much, Chronicler,” Vakama said to himself. “May the Matoran always honor you and your friends for what you have done.”
Thus, the chronicles of the adventures of Takua, Jala, Huki, Nuparu, Maku, and Hahli were forgotten, erased from all memory. All that remains are the six entries in the Episode Book, in the Turaga’s storage.
And the island of Mata-Nui returned to peace… for the time.