• Posted 2013-05-05 03:37:14 UTC
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  • IC: Tivanu


    Tivanu looked at Loren and offered a small smirk to him

    "Now May i ask what i can do to help. I may not have strong elemental abilities unless teamed up with another skakdi but i can offer my strength and my little winged friend here can survey from the sky."

    He patted Kive-phu softly on the back



    OOC: i am the companion Butra was speaking of

  • Posted 2013-05-05 04:50:58 UTC
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  • IC: [stronin]


    "So pretty girl, tell me about yourself."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 05:24:43 UTC
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  • IC: (Perkahn, Ta-Koro Courtyard)

    Perkahn stared at Jolek in semi-amazement for a second, opened his mouth, closed it, and then spoke again. "Funny. Until quite recently, I lived in the jungle, too."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 08:08:39 UTC
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  • IC: Veros


    I didn't respond to Atonal's jibe, continuing to walk towards the Charred Forest. I pulled out my staff and unsheathed my machete as I walked, attaching the machete to the staff. I locked it place and did a test stab. Perfect. Solid connection, won't come apart. This will keep Fuse off balance before I decide to Absolution. I returned my newly created polearm to my back and continued, the wind dramatically blowing my duster behind me.


    The Charred Forest isn't exactly the place you'd want to get caught in during the dead of night. But for a place for a private duel, between two Toa slinging elemental attacks and bladed weapons around, nobody would really care if everything went up in flames. It was charred enough already. No property to destroy, no civilians, nothing. The ideal place for when someone would want to slug it out without earning the ire of the Ta-Koro guard.


    Just me, Fuse, and the trees.


    And my comrades watching from afar.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 08:26:14 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    "Crimeia," said Atonal quietly. "What are the chances of Fuse bringing his own people?"

  • Posted 2013-05-05 08:30:27 UTC
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  • IC: Crimeia


    I glanced at Atonal. "Dunno," I replied. "When he was in Ga, he seemed really...crazy. Crazy people don't get followers. And considering his grudge against Ver...and what Ver was saying about him wanting the glory of the fight all to his own, I don't think he'd be one to have a crew waiting to ambush us." I kept a hand on my longsword. "We should still be careful." For ours and Veros's sake.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 08:33:48 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    Atonal nodded, returning to look at the fight. "Well then, hopefully he'll succeed."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 08:44:12 UTC
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  • IC: Veros


    I saw Fuse off in the distance, in a clearing in the woods. I stopped. "Everyone, scatter," I said quietly. "Fuse wants me and me alone. And he won't be happy if he thinks I brought backup." I went over to Crimeia and gave her a hug. She looked up at me, a bit of fear in her eyes. "Don't worry. I'll be back." She nodded, and ran off, leaping up into a tree. I turned to Atonal. "If anything happens...give me a proper burial." I tapped Absolution. "And give this to Crim if I die."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 09:29:46 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    Atonal shook his head. "You're not going to die, trust me."


    With that, he gently pulled Crimeia away, into nearby bushes.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:01:44 UTC
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  • IC: Crimeia


    I held onto Atonal, peeking out of the bushes to see Veros walk down towards Fuse. "He's gonna make it, right Atonal?" I said worriedly. He's my best friend. If he goes..I can't think about it.


    IC: Veros


    I walked towards Fuse and stopped about 10 feet away. I stared him down.


    "About karzing time you showed up," Fuse sneered, picking at his teeth with a long finger. "No backup?"


    "We agreed. No backup," I replied, my hand going to Absolution. "You didn't bring any?"


    He laughed. "Of course not! This is my fight! No one else gets to bask in the glory." He glanced down at my hip, seeing Absolution. "So you brought it back! And I thought it would have rusted by now!"


    I unsheathed Absolution in a lightning quick movement, revealing the brilliant crimson blade. Fuse blanched. “Hardly,” I replied quietly, returning the katana to its sheathe. Fuse stood there, eyes wide. He didn’t expect that. I shifted into a low stance, Absolution at the ready. “Well, are you going to just stand there staring?”


    Fuse shook his head and his grin widened. He pulled out his swords, twirling them, leaving glowing circles of flame around him. He stopped, holding one sword upright and the other in a reverse grip. “All right then…LET’S DANCE!”


    Neither of us moved. I held steady, breathing cautiously. A wind picked up and ash fluttered around lightly.


    And so here I am. The end of the road.

  • Edited on 2013-05-05 10:05:13 by AlchemistMayCry
  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:04:13 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    "He'll make it," replied the older Toa. "I'm not going to let him die if he loses anyway."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:11:49 UTC
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  • OOC: Cue epic battle post of epic epicosity.


    IC: Veros



    Fuse sprinted at me, his speed augmented by his Kakama. He thrust with both swords, but they only met air as I had teleported past him. I beckoned him forward with one hand, waiting for him to rush me again. He spun and sent out a jet of flame at me. I ducked past it and blinked out of existence, reappearing right in Fuse’s face and I nailed him with a solid punch to the gut, followed by a devastating uppercut, augmented with a bit of plasma. Fuse staggered back, panting before rushing at me at high speed, both swords aimed at my head. “Come on! DRAW!” he screeched.


    “Well, if you insist!” I retorted, drawing my staff, using the full length to parry both of his swords. I forced the swords up and spun the staff, jabbing the blunt end into his stomach. Once again, he staggered back, and I spun my spear, pouring some plasma energy into it, the blade trailing red light as it spun. Fuse jumped into the air, coming down in a blatantly telegraphed sword plant. I leaped back, dodging and countered with a stab towards Fuse. I had him.


    Or so I had thought. Fuse pulled his swords out of the ground and locked then in an X around my staff, forcing it to the ground. I couldn’t break the staff out of the lock, even though I tried forcing it. Fuse released his swords and rushed at me, his speed boosted with his Kakama. I saw the punch coming and let go of my staff to defend my face, but got a savage punch to my gut that sent me flying. I landed on my back, the wind knocked out of me. I blinked and Fuse was on top of me. He aimed at punch at my head, which I barely dodged. I countered with a headbutt, and Fuse was knocked off. He came at me again and I did a handstand, moving into a spinning handstand kick that kept him back. I looked up and blinked out of existence, finding myself in the air. Fuse looked up and gaped, and I teleported again, landing behind him. I did a low kick, knocking him off balance, and sending him to the ground. I rolled away and grabbed my staff, breaking it free of his swords and switching back into a defensive stance. Fuse stood up and cracked his knuckles before running towards his swords. He picked them up and didn’t break stride, rushing at me while igniting his blades. He leaped up into the air and flipped, bringing the swords down at me. I smirked. Please! I sidestepped the attack, countering with a thwack to his head from the blunt end of the polearm. Fuse shook his head and glared at me before doing another rush, slashing with his left sword first, and then his right in a cross cut. I parried the left with my staff, and knocked aside the right with my hand before countering with a direct punch to his face. Two moves down… “What’s wrong Fuse?!” I taunted, grinning. “Surprised your old moves won’t work one me?!”


    That did it.


    Fuse roared in anger and really ignited his swords, the blades practically made of flame. He rushed forward, slashing once, twice, and then pausing briefly. The first was easy to duck, the second I stepped back to avoid. There were slight bursts of flame from the attacks, and I was expecting the spiral part of his signature Death Coil to be easy to block. I was wrong. He spiraled, spinning wildly, but also spinning with Kakama enhanced speed. A veritable tornado of flame surrounded Fuse and I couldn’t do anything but defend. And then came the wind up. I was about to leap back, but it was far too fast for me to counter.


    What happens when a high-speed, high-temperature blade meets a solid metal staff? The staff gets cut.


    I was thrown back. My staff was in pieces. Thankfully the machete had survived the attack, and I detached it from what was left of my staff. Fuse was casually walking towards me, dragging a sword along the ground, leaving a trail of flame. “That was disappointing,” he sneered. He sheathed one of his swords and picked up one of the pieces of my staff. “I was expecting more than a few sparks from you.”


    I stood up, sheathing my machete and drawing knives in both hands. I sent plasma coursing through them. I blinked, reappearing in the air to send two down at Fuse. He deflected them casually, but I had reappeared behind him, and he got two knives in his back for his trouble. I had four knives left, and I rolled underneath a pair of slashes, getting my own counter across Fuse’s shins. He went down briefly and I cut across his chest, and holding my last two knives like claws in my hand, gave him two parallel cuts across his face. He reeled back, screaming in pain from the white hot plasma cut that would leave permanent, but instantly cauterized scarring. Not that his face needed the help. I still had plenty of knives in my arsenal, so I leaped back, blinking out of existence into a nearby tree while Fuse was still reeling in pain. I descended quietly from the tree top, and I unsheathed my machete, enhanced it with a bit of plasma, and did a horizontal cut to send the tree dropping towards Fuse. I teleported to another tree and repeated the gesture, managing to drop four trees on top of him before he knew it. I walked out of the chaos, panting heavily from the quick teleportation, and sheathed my machete.


    “See you in karzahni, Fuse,” I said quietly.


    And then I heard a dark chuckle that morphed into uproariously laughter.


    Right behind me.


    I was all ready to blink, only to get stabbed in the shoulder. I spun around, only to get a savage cut across the face from one of my own knives. Fuse must’ve pulled it from his back. I staggered back and Fuse laughed. I saw him lick the blade of the knife that had just wounded me. “That was a wonderful trick,” he grinned. “But now, I think it’s time I kick things up a notch.” He threw aside his coat and the knife, leaving just his armored body. His gauntlets looked weird, like they were supposed to have blades on them, but the blades were missing. And then I realized that he had the blades. He just hadn’t attached them.


    Fuse locked his swords onto the gauntlets, except he didn’t lock them forward. The blades were in reverse, almost making it look like his arms were shooting flame. “Where did you get those?!” I choked out.

    “Had them custom built by a particularly resourceful Vortixx,” Fuse replied, grinning wildly. “After he had given me a, shall we say, generous discount.”


    Fuse ignited the swords and sprinted at me, leaving a trail of flame in his wake. He wound up for a punch, and my jaw dropped when he hit me with such force that it sent me flying back. Before I knew it, Fuse was behind me and nailed me with a punch that sent me skidding across the ground. I rolled, trying to get my bearings. What in the name of…


    Fuse grinned at my dropped jaw. “You like it?” he sneered. “I learned a new trick. And it’s a pretty karzing good one!” I didn’t get a chance to react when he rushed at me again, but he stopped short. He didn’t bother with a supercharged punch. He went for the gusto, unleashing rapid-fire punches at my face and stomach. I blocked as best as I could, dropping down to avoid it if I could, but I couldn’t stop the onslaught. He was just too fast, too strong. Fuse started yelling, his punches feeling even more powerful as he did so. “ORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORA!” He stopped for a second and wound up for a particularly powerful punch. His punch seemed to go into slow motion, even boosted with his sword’s flame.


    Not going to happen.


    I countered with my own punch, our fists meeting each other’s at high speed. Fuse was caught off guard for a second, and I followed up with another punch, that he blocked with his own punch. Several punches later, we were in a pummel duel, our fists flying at high speed to see who would give out first. Fuse was strong, but slower than my speed. I screamed at the top of my lungs, mimicking his battle cry but making it my own. I stopped for a second, and wound up for my own punch, letting plasma flow into it to make my fist a conduit of pure energy. Fuse countered with his own punch towards my face, and everything slowed down once more. Except this time I was ready. I deflected his punch with my off hand and my plasma-enhanced fist crashed into Fuse’s face. He went flying back and I stood, panting. He staggered to his feet. “You karzing little…”


    “Tricks like that won’t work one me, Fuse,” I said solemnly, blowing smoke from my fist. I smiled. “And anyways…you brought a gimmick…” I switched to a low stance, readying Absolution. “To a sword fight!


    Fuse grinned. “Well, it’s about karzing time!” He quickly detached his swords, readying them normally before rushing at me, boosted by his Kakama. I unsheathed Absolution in a lightning quick counter, sending one of his swords flying into the air. That didn’t stop him from switching to a two handed grip and whaling on me. I parried the attack and sent his other sword aside with a kick. Fuse was defenseless, but he didn’t let that stop him. He started his rapid fire fists again, and I dodged past them, countering with my own high speed blade attacks, cutting through his armor like it was nothing. He was bleeding everywhere, but he was still going strong. I stopped and he sagged, before leaning back and roaring at the top of his lungs. He sped away, grabbing one sword and then another before speeding towards me again. I switched into a more defensive stance and he went at me again, trading in his rapid-fire fisticuffs for rapid-fire stabs. I deflected stab after stab, seeing that Fuse was beginning to slow. “Getting tired? Must be the wounds,” I quipped. Fuse said nothing, opting for a downward double slash. I blinked out of existence and reappeared behind him, doing a backwards stab into his gut.


    He took this remarkably well. And actually started to laugh.


    “I told you…that sword yearned to bathe in my blood…” I pulled the sword out of him, and turned. Fuse was losing quite a lot of blood. “Now…now I can really fight. Pain…this is why I fight! This is my normal…” he purred, sheathing one of his swords so he could put his hand in his own blood and lick a bit of it.


    I flicked the blood off Absolution and sheathed it in one fluid motion. “You’ve lost your mind, and this duel, Fuse.” I said quietly.


    Fuse laughed. “I’ve only just begun!” He rushed at me again, swords at the ready, obviously unaware that this strategy didn’t work the first time. I readied Absolution. He’ll attack with the right sword, and then the left. Fuse did so, his right sword ready to hit my head. In one blazing fast motion, I unsheathed Absolution, sent plasma energy running through the blade, and cut Fuse’s right arm clean off, and then sheathed it again. Fuse passed by me, and a few seconds passed. He seemed unaware that I was holding his right arm, his sword on the ground. He turned around, and his eyes widened, his jaw dropped. He tried forming words, but couldn’t. “Y-y-y-y-you…took…my…ARM!” he roared.


    I threw the limb at him. “I’m sure you could get it reattached,” I replied stoically, turning away from him. “You can leave now.”


    “AS IF!” I could hear Fuse running at me again, sword igniting. In one fluid motion, I spun around, unsheathed Absolution, sidestepped Fuse’s charge, cut off his left leg, and sheathed Absolution once more. Fuse stumbled to the ground without his leg. I turned to face him. He struggled to get up with only one arm, using his sword as a makeshift crutch. “You karzing son of a…” He spat at me. “Why don’t you end it?! FINISH ME! LIKE YOU FINISHED OFF THE REST OF THE BURNOUTS!”


    I stared at him coldly and responded simply. “No.”




    “Because I follow the Code.”


    “Karz with the Code! END IT!” He was practically begging.


    “That’s what you want, right? To die and be with your comrades in that special level of karzahni?” I turned away and started walking back towards my friends. “Death is a kindness that you don’t deserve. And when you finally realize all the suffering you have caused, all the pain and death, only then will you have my permission to die."


    I continued walking, Fuse howling like a madman.


    It’s over now. Finished.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:21:15 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    Atonal watched expressionlessly as his friend walked towards them.


    "You know," he began. "I'm proud of you. You could have killed him, but you didn't."


    A kind smile graced his face.


    "You're worthy of being a Toa, even though you might think you aren't. Now come on, let's head back to Ta-koro before sun-"


    A terrifying shriek.


    "We need to get back now."


    OOC: Realigning with the current time.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:27:57 UTC
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  • IC: Veros


    That shriek was terrifying. "What in karzahni was couldn't be....?" I slumped from the various wounds I had. Crimeia helped me up. "What's going on?"

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:34:21 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    "I don't know, but let's get into the village," replied Atonal, helping Crimeia carry Veros as they sped towards Ta-koro.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:43:58 UTC
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  • IC: Veros


    "ugh...wake me up when we get there..." i mumbled, closing my eyes. "I am losing quite a lot of blood..."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:46:17 UTC
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  • OOC: Timeskipping to whatever time everyone else is in, because we're stretching BZPTime to its limits now.


    IC: [Atonal]


    "Got it," he replied quietly, leading them into the village and to a hospital.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 10:51:50 UTC
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  • IC: Crimeia


    "Hang on Ver, we're in the hospital..." I said. "MEDIC! HEALER! SOMEONE! COME ON!!!! GOT SOMEONE WOUNDED RIGHT HERE!!!"


    "Must you be so loud?" Veros mumbled. "Dying here and all you can do is scream..."


    "Ver, for the love of Mata Nui, shut up."

  • Edited on 2013-05-05 10:52:01 by AlchemistMayCry
  • Posted 2013-05-05 11:00:34 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    Atonal watched as a healer came, carrying Veros away on a stretcher.


    "He'll be okay Crimeia, don't worry."

  • Posted 2013-05-05 11:02:57 UTC
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  • IC: Crimeia


    "So what now? What's going on? What in the name of karz was that shriek we heard?" And why do I have a bad feeling about this?

  • Posted 2013-05-05 11:08:05 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    "I have no-"


    "THE RAHKSHI ARE HERE!" screamed a Matoran as he sped past them. "WE'RE DOOMED!"


    "-idea," finished Atonal lamely.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 11:16:20 UTC
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  • IC: Crimeia


    I didn't have any words. I just collapsed onto a chair. "Well...what do we do now? There's an army of Rahkshi out there...right?"

  • Posted 2013-05-05 11:19:58 UTC
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  • IC: [Atonal]


    "I don't know if we can do anything," replied Atonal, voice distant as he stared the hospital door.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 12:29:19 UTC
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  • IC: Natalia looked between Atonal and Crimeia and dashed off, following the stretcher with Ver's body on it. Her right hand was already glowing with healing energy.Left was iron. Armor was gonna need to be fixed.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 13:46:53 UTC
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  • IC:


    "About that... I have no idea if that could work. I've never really tried that before..." Sehrii said, giving a cheesy grin.

  • Posted 2013-05-05 21:40:53 UTC
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  • IC: (Tarotrix/In the Area with the Ta-Koro Defenders/Ta-Koro)


    Tarotrix summarily began to do his job, as the Le-Matoran had so kindly told him off about. Namely barking orders at a group of nearby guards. He sent out his four squadmates to hunt down Magnetism and Iron Toa, and order those willing or not to the wall. If they didn't, they would be threatened with arrest. This, of course, wasn't peacetime.


    He then began to walk back over. Ignoring Perkahn and Jolek...personal talks, he wandered over near Lumira. Overhearing the coversation she was having, he couldn't help but try to think about a solution.




  • Posted 2013-05-06 02:53:39 UTC
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  • IC: [stronin]


    "Oh yeah, we also need to make a 'hot-air balloon', or whatever that is."

  • Posted 2013-05-06 03:06:46 UTC
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  • IC:

    The Rahkshi started to move forward.


    As a block, each regiment advanced upon their respective Koro. It was all too clear that they had received the order to begin at last; the ones in the lead brandished their staffs and shrieked, intimidating and terrible. All the Rahkshi marched in perfect synchronicity; their precisely composed footfalls made their approach even more ominous. At first the shock of the creatures’ motion and the awful noise they made shocked the Koro defenders into renewed stillness – thanks in part to the Rahkshi of Fear – but it was not long before the Toa and Matoran of Mata Nui remembered their purpose. Remembered their courage.


    Volleys of attacks launched forth against the Rahkshi. Elemental nebulae pelted the ranks of spiny things, catching one in the chest, another in the leg, and perhaps driving them back a pace. Arrows, rocks, and anything small enough to throw were airborne projectiles that rained down on the hard backs of the attacking army; in most cases these ricocheted off, but sometimes a lucky arrowhead would bounce off the shell of one Rahkshi and injure another. Blowguns, Madu Cabolo, disks, knives, throwing axes; the first of the Rahkshi fell to their knees. Some, albeit few, did not stand up again, but their collapse was enough to bolster morale. The defenders cheered.


    The Rahkshi, as a whole, hadn’t been slowed by the ranged attacks. They swatted aside elemental constructs, broke through walls of ice and stone as easily as if they’d been made of paper. The dark beasts started to use their own abilities, fighting back. Sonic clusters broke walls, sent Matoran on them flying away; whirring cyclones gathered all around, full of separately summoned chain lightning; hazes of confusion and fear were dangerous pockets of air that, if stepped into, would make a defender lose his or her head until he or she was pulled out; the ground beneath the defenders’ feet warped, lost its density, crumbled; beams of thin laser vision sliced through weapons and unwary bodies.


    Where there were gaps to be bridged or large obstacles to be overcome, the Rahkshi leapt into the air and assumed the shapes of arrowheads, hovered for a moment, and then zinged towards their foes. The melee started in earnest, and both sides surged towards each other. Swords and spears and axes and shields blocked the first savage swipes of Rahkshi steel, sparked against the sharp blades at the end of the infamous staffs. The quicker weapons retorted in turn, scored a few blows on their foes; the slower ones were wounded.


    The fighting was intense; the Koro defenders were fuelled with the righteous rage of protecting their homes. The Rahkshi were the greater force, but would not be met with surrender. Toa and Matoran fought with fury, fought like they knew that one day their deeds would be remembered in the great legends. This was the ultimate struggle for survival. This was the fight that they needed to win.


    But they were losing.


    The Rahkshi pressed their advantage gleefully, pushing the defenders back into their Koros, getting their first real footholds into the cities. Slowly but surely, even against a tide of renewed desperation, the Rahkshi advanced further. They crushed homes; they crushed anything they could get their hands on. The defenders were virtuous, but the Rahkshi were too strong. All was nearly lost; the tide of the battle had turned.And, instantly, it turned again.


    It was as though a switch had been turned inside the Rahkshi. All at once, they all seemed disoriented, looked sharply around, hissed to themselves. Upon noticing that they were surrounded by their own kind, the eyes of Rahkshi widened in shock, and then narrowed dangerously. As though suddenly aware that they were all similarly charged magnets and that they felt the strong desire to repel, they imploded. Rahkshi began to fight Rahkshi, and began to slay one another viciously. Slugs squealed as they were plucked out of carapaces and crushed in iron fingers; staffs clanged against one another until first blood; sharp teeth dug into unprotected undersides. Shrill, pained screams filled the air.


    It took the defenders a few moments to process what exactly was happening. But once they saw that the resolve of their foes was gone, their spirits soared, and their objective became very simple: push the Rahkshi out of the Koros, let them destroy themselves elsewhere. With renewed vigor, Toa and Matoran cooperated to drive back the Rahkshi, which was a far easier task than before. They were wild beasts now and, when shoved with elemental attacks, blades, and even fists, they opted to take the path of least resistance: backwards.


    As they ran on their long legs back the way they’d come, Rahkshi encountered other Rahkshi doing the same thing and, as though mutually offended another had stolen their strategy, they brawled. Usually, only one came out alive. The grounds before the Koro were littered with the rent corpses of Rahkshi, trodden carelessly underfoot by those still fleeing. Into jungles, down snowy slopes, over white cliffs, through dark tunnels, over dunes, into burnt wasteland (or straight into a lava lake), the surviving Rahkshi – perhaps a quarter of those that had attacked – spread out in all directions. They were territorial creatures, and each sought its own domain.


    Parties of quick-footed Toa followed some of these Rahkshi and, after difficult duels, killed them as well, but most of the Rahkshi had slipped away too quickly to be caught. The defenders hardly cared; they were so exhausted, so utterly happy to have survived, that the escaped creatures were the last things on their minds. They had won! They had done the unthinkable, and they had won!


    It was only once the overjoyed clapping of backs, cheering, and crying had died down that the denizens of the Koros started to wonder why they had won. They’d been so close to being wiped out, until something in their foes had changed... It had been as though the Rahkshi had instantaneously lost their sense of direction, or they’d all been beheaded-


    Could it be?


    Was it even possible?


    It was the only answer that made sense.


    Did they dare hope?


    Hope is tenacious. It snuck into their heads whether they liked it or not.


    The theory spread with the rapidity of wildfire, and it wasn’t long before everyone had the idea planted in his or her mind. The thought was appealing, too appealing. Could they really give it any credit? Perhaps this was all an elaborate trick. Then why had so many of the Rahkshi died, first? He wasn’t one to be wasteful… No… It was still the only answer that made sense.


    The rest of the day, for many, was a haze. Post-battle cleanup was difficult, as many vital structures on the outside of the Koro had been broken. Fatalities were surprisingly low, though many had been dealt severe wounds. If the battle had gone on longer, they wouldn’t have received the medical treatment they’d needed to survive. The defenders praised Mata Nui the umpteenth time that day for their good fortune. Everyone milled about the streets, finding their friends and allies, feeling weights lift from their weary shoulders as they saw that these people had survived, too.


    It had been a bright afternoon, and it darkened into a beautiful evening. The stars seemed to shine more brightly than they had the evening before. The dead were mourned, and dismissed in the customary way by full-Koro funerals. Guards were still posted at the borders of the Koros, watching for a return of their enemies, but no retaliation came, not that evening, nor the next day.


    Blue skies blessed the inhabitants of the island once again. The reparation process continued, and as they patched walls and huts, the Matoran chatted with each other happily. Smiles broke out on faces where they hadn’t been seen for years. With each passing instant, last night’s theory seemed more and more tangible. No Rahi, no more Rahkshi lining up. The warrior Toa assembled in parties to search the nearby wilderness for Rahkshi stragglers. A few were found and caught, but most seemed to have gone quite deep, and they were dismissed as threats for later. It was a gorgeous morning, and their Koros needed their help in restoration.


    The only ominous sense that endured clung to the tunnels from which the Rahkshi had emerged. The black holes, wide enough for the passage of armies, were gaping maws in the earth, which made you shudder to look at. Light seemed to be swallowed unnaturally by these vile passages; everyone could guess where they led, and so they were watched with the utmost vigilance. If there were to be a second army, the Koros would not be caught unawares.


    The guards saw some motion from within the tunnels. The patter of footfalls echoed around the wormlike passages, emerging amplified into the air outside. The watchmen sounded the alarms, and as quick as lightning, the Koros reassembled for combat. They dreaded what would come out of the tunnels. They held their weapons ready, and they were weary. How happy they had been instants before.


    At last, the source of the footfalls emerged into the light. Out of the hole came a tired-looking Toa nobody had seen before. This Toa, dwarfed by the huge tunnel opening behind him, had a hand shielding his eyes from the bright sun, which gleamed off of his armor, revealing it to be a corresponding hue to the Koro’s natural residents. At the sight of the Toa, everyone was quiet. Who could this be? Was it a friend, or an enemy? Silence and stillness greeted the mysterious Toa as he stepped out of the tunnel and into the sunlight.


    As the Toa’s eyes adjusted, his hand lowered, and his audiences could see that he wore an unknown Kanohi. Strapped to his body were powerful, noble-looking tools. Something in the Toa’s eyes glowed with a reassuring power. The older Matoran in the crowd found something familiar about the way the Toa bore himself.


    When the Toa spoke at last, he didn’t just confirm last night’s rumor to be true; he explained it. His existence explained it.


    “Makuta is gone.”



    In the distant ocean, amid the dancing waves, a small something broke the surface. The water lapped against it and dotted its thin crystal viewport with droplets of foam.


    The eyes below the viewport gazed. They were met by vague mist, the kind of thin fog that clung to land. Sure enough, below the haze was a dark line sitting on the horizon.


    The periscope lowered as it moved forward, cutting through the sea.