Foreboding Excavations

Foreboding Excavations is a Generation 1 story serial going off the Core Universe. In Jaggedthorn's version. Years have passed as the dust finally began to settle from the Great Being Civil War, an occurrence caused by growing tensions between great beings. An asteroid called Ores Nui falls onto a nearby village, only to be saved by a mysterious band of Toa and Glatorian. With one of them turning into a Turaga. Now a new threat emerges, one that could bring the end to a peaceful life on Spherus Magna, and only a Toa Team can stop it.

Prologue
The looming air blowed softly among Ores-Koro. A troubled being in a spacious hut had mountains of paperwork, all mainly drawn to the same problem, missing Matoran. The one reading those, a Ba-Turaga, seemed to not be surprised by the dreadful messages. But non-the-less it worried him, worried him of what might be happening in the mines.

A Ce-Matoran peered over into his hut, unnoticed, hesitated, thinking over if it were wise to interrupt the Turaga in his frustration. Finally, she mustered up her courage as she entered the hut trying her best to show at least a fraction of confidence.

"Turaga," The Matoran explained. "I bring news of the Rahi's behavior located in Ores Nui."

For a moment, the Turaga looked almost relieved that she had a piece of news that did not involve Matoran, he didn't care if it were a problem, anything different was good news to him by this point.

"They seem to have become a much more aggressive," Encouraged by the Turaga's previous response to her news she pushed further. "The mines are becoming more troubling to dig through, Matoran each day are becoming injured."

The Turaga heaved a huge sigh. "I'll look into this," It was the usual, he is starting to regret ever beginning mining excavations within Ores Nui. Although things like this never happened in the beginning and there was rare and valuable materials in the rock that must be collected. But he's becoming more and more convinced that the risk is no longer worth it. "You may go back to your duty," The Turaga waved his hand to dismiss her.

The Matoran nodded as she walked away, she looked back towards Sqikus direction. The Turaga of Gravity didn't want her worrying of him, it was his duty brought by destiny to fulfill his duties for the village.

He thought of getting Nonipar to help, the Glatorian was one willing to do anything for the village, the problem was finding him as he preferred to work alone and would be hard to find this time of day. Aeirwind would certainly be one to help. The Toa of Air always had many ideas, though they weren't the most reliable. Bluhdred seemed the most capable, he was extremely patient, and something Sqikus lacked that he needed gravely in his duties as Turaga. The Toa of Ice was also a tactful thinker, although the probability of him being too busy with the village's guard was high. He just sat there, thinking of a possible decision, he finally settled on visiting Bluhdred. The Toa of Ice was a strategist, more than the Turaga, he would know what to do. He moved from his desk with a struggle as he wandered aimlessly not even trying to hide his exhaustion towards Bluhdred's office, inside headquarters of the Village's guard. The guards, automatically recognizing him, allowed the Turaga in wondering what he was doing here. The Turaga past many halls and corridors until he came to an open doored room. Bluhdred sat in the middle of the room, upon a desk, making it seem as if he expected the Turaga to come.

"Sqikus," He said in greeting. "What brings you here?"

Sqikus gave a grunt, more of amusement of seeing his friend than anything else. "Horrible," he said. "The unusual amounts of paperwork are starting to get to me brother..."

Bluhdred stood from his seat having to hear the news for the first time. Wondering why his brother didn't tell him before, he questioned him. "Paperwork? For what?"

"There has been missing Matoran," The Turaga's mouth felt like sand paper. "And I have to fill in for thirty of their jobs, but that's only for today."

"Wait, what? Did you say thirty? These are troubling times indeed..." Bluhdred said. He tried his best to show concern, cupping his chin in his hand.

"Making them is difficult work and seems almost heartless at this point." Sqikus moaned. "I would love to hear your ideas for stopping this, I would be much appreciated."

Bluhdred didn't listen to him as he laid busy thinking. "How about you shut down all access to Ores Nui. We can't risk anymore Matoran. At least not until we figure this problem out."

Sqikus led out a soft groan. "I was hoping you wouldn't say that, the idea crossed my mind but seemed too radical at the time."

"At the time," Bluhdred pointed out.

"I was hoping you and your guard could fend off aggressive rahi—"

"Brother," Bluhdred put a hand on Sqikus's shoulder, the concern in his eyes shone brightly. "You and I know this will hardly improve anything. The best we can do is shut all doors to Ores Nui until we figure this problem out."

Sqikus stood there not responding, his head looking at the floor. Bluhdred hesitated, but decided to continue on.

"Your tired Brother, even if we settle this issue temporarily it's bound to pop up again, but if we suspend it..."

Bluhdred jumped, he was surprised as his brother let out a scowl of annoyance, and the neighboring guards who were listening onto the conversation as this point also leaped in the air. "Alright, alright, it just seems... wrong to just abandon those Matoran."

"Don't worry, we'll find a way." Bluhdred pat Sqikus reassuringly. "We're Toa, remember?"

Sqikus stared at him, his eyes like daggers. "But I'm a Turaga," He said. "But I believe in you, and Aeirwind. I just hope you two don't let me down. Or more accurately mess up again."

2 Likes

Chapter 1
Zystetus was greatly annoyed, the Onu-Matoran requested numerous times a job that didn't remind him of his experiences on Karda Nui, and again, he was given the task of a miner, it seemed to Zystetus that whoever was in charge of this operation was finding themselves amused by his frustrations. So here he was, mining through piles of dirt for who knows what. Perhaps to find another legendary mask or some kind of Mauka poop. Either way his patience was getting thinner as the days progressed; he was aware with what was going on around the mines; of the numerous suspicious events. Lately he's been seeing the mining groups decrease in size. Although he was extremely anxious to figure it out, Zystetus thought it simply made sense to blame the village. It's the reason they were mining through useless rock for who knows what in the first place after all. Buried treasure perhaps?

"You really need to let yourself go Zystetus," a Po-Matoran said, noticing his not-so hidden tantrums. Unlike Zystetus he was actually enjoying the task of mining through the rock.

Zystetus straightened up a bit, hoping the response showed his anger a bit more. "I'm still baffled that you actually enjoy this... this... labor Vescivar! Doesn't it remind you of a certain thing?" Zystetus at this point threw his pickaxe at a wall, spooking a nearby Fa-Matoran who was giggling uncontrollably at their conversation.

Vescivar shrugged, being too focused on breaking down a nearby wall of stone. "All this ever reminds me of is the fact I'm doing something productive that involves a better future for the whole of Spherus Magna." He smiled in satisfaction as he finally broke through into a cavern. "Is this the correct way Ospwen?"

The Fa-Matoran nodded quite sure of himself, sporting a grin from the previous conversation "About three miles in length this one is, but we're only traveling about one-third of that distance towards the metals."

Zystetus was now agitated at his two friends, they seemed to not care of the dangers found in the caves. Of the strange Rahi, of the stalactites, and of the news of the missing Matoran. But he knew better than to abandon them, they were his friends and he had to make sure they were all safe. "I guess It's night-eyes time to lead the way then..."

Ospwen nodded. "Another reason why we don't need light stones around here. Now lead the way, night-eyes!"

"Not sure if that was a complement or you messing with me," Zystetus grumbled. Picking up his pickaxe as he stormed into the natural formation.

"C'mon, enough of this. Once we find these minerals our day in the mines can end guys," Vescivar butted in, pointing out that now was not the time to argue.

The three Matoran continued down through the new tunnel mining and shoveling away any debris on their way, running into smaller Rahi which were surprisingly aggressive, although they were not too difficult to defend against. But Zystetus did notice the aggressive behaviors they sported then from the last time he's been in the mines. "Anyone noticed how the Rahi are more aggressive than usual?" The Onu-Matoran ask.

Ospwen shrugged, "Probably your paranoia acting up as usual."

"No, I'm dead serious, I can see their actions after all, and darkness doesn't affect me tremendously like you guys."

"Whatever you say."

Zystetus grunted in annoyance as they continued down through the tunnels, passing pools of mineral water. Vescivar laid busy putting support beams anywhere necessary so their mining didn't disrupt the natural formation. "See anything out of place yet Zystetus?" The Po-Matoran called.

"Only the Rahi," Zystetus said. Continuously pointing out the danger they were in. Zystetus was scanning the area, his eyes looking for any sign of a metallic gleam. He was itching to get out of the caves more than anyone. "Still, no signs of the metal." He heaved a sigh in disappointment.

Vescivar gave a wide smile, hoping it was large enough for Zystetus to see. "I see you've finally decided to help out."

"I just want to get out of these caves as much as the next Matoran." Zystetus countered. "So if it means finding these metals is the only way you two will be content, then so be it." Vescivar's smile brightened at his words, although he was worried about his friends paranoia, he was still glad that he put his friends desires before his, most of the time anyways.

"If it's a fast getaway you want Zystetus, you're in luck, the metals are very close now, I can feel their magnetic waves pulsing now." Ospwen trudged towards the Onu-Matoran as he tried to put a hand on his shoulder, missing as he fell to the ground. In a vain effort to try to pull himself up, he stumbled numerous times, while tumbling several times, as his balance was finally restored, Zystetus could easily see him trying to make it look like he did the entire show on purpose. The Onu-Matoran rolled his eyes as he headed into a direction where the rock formations became denser.

"Is this the direction where you can feel it?" Zystetus pointed, turning towards Ospwen so the Fa-Matoran could hear him. He look at him in surprised.

"How do you know?"

"I wouldn't be an Onu-Matoran miner if I hadn't noticed the change in rock formation. Besides, I done this before, this is what typically happens."

Ospwen stared at him, doubting if that was the truth. Zystetus didn't care as he push forward, heading down into the direction, itching with newfound impatience to leave the caverns. He would investigate them later when the time came. To their dismay, as they neared the area, it became clear that the metals they were searching for were not there, instead an odd material was in their sights. It glowed with a gentle green light, the compound also seemed as if it was squashed into the rock.

"What on Mata Nui is that?" Ospwen asked.

"No Idea," Vescivar said. "But whatever it is, I think we should bring it back, who knows useful it could be?" But as Vescivar reached to touch the mineral Zystetus swatted his hand away, with more brutality then he originally intended to use. "What was that for!" Vescivar whined.

"Don't touch that, that there is Seropium; a mineral that once you're in contact with, will literally pull your fingers out." Zystetus explained. Vescivar looked at him with approval.

"How did you come to know this, and why didn't you tell us sooner?"

"I take precautions before I delve into anything. I speak with the Bo-Matoran about everything they research, memorizing as much as I can." Vescivar noticed he avoided to answer his other question.

"Then, for once, I'm glad you're with us." Ospwen replied. Trying to pat his back again, ultimately falling and squirming to get himself up. Vescivar gave a sigh, it was not directed at Ospwen though.

"Well let's get out of here, I think that's it for the day, although we didn't find materials." Vescivar groaned. Even though Zystetus was happy, he was still empathetic for Vescivar, never gotten to finish their targeted daily goal. Zystetus thought that perhaps when they returned down into the village, he could give the Po-Matoran a self-engineered utensil of his to cheer Vescivar up. He had a lot of basic inventions he made in his earlier days after all.

"Well let's get back to the village who knows what time it is right now..." Zystetus said. They all gave a nod in their own way as they headed back, Zystetus still as ever alert of his surroundings.

1 Like

Chapter 2
Zystetus was tired, mentally and physically. Although he was now used to walking such long distances, it just seemed as if his entire body eternally ached from head to toe. He decided it might be ideal for him to walk out for a bit, perhaps it was just the fact his body didn't feel accustom to resting. He had always been active, perhaps more than other Matoran, considering he was always spatially aware of his surroundings. He still felt immense tingling all over his body. Which was strange since they were living on one of Spherus Magna's deserts, too hot to be cold. Something like this shouldn't be happening, he usually tend to tremble from the vast unknown within Ores Nui, but he wasn't in Ores Nui right now. He was in its village. He dismissed the thought as he exit his hut to see how anyone else is doing. Wondering if anyone is even worried of what was recently going on in Ores Nui.

No soon as he exited his hut was he then ravaged by a rodent-like Rahi, a Lodinthi. "Gwuah?!" Zystetus exclaimed, the surrounding villagers who were at work suddenly turned their attention towards him and his attacker. "Meroa, I know you’re glad to see me but... this is just too much." The large Rahi was rubbing her head against Zystetus' chest, while the Onu-Matoran unsuccessfully struggled getting her off of him.

"Meroa, off girl!" The large Rahi turn towards her back as she bounded off of Zystetus, circling her master. Another Onu-Matoran. "Sorry about that Zystetus, she just always seems to be glad to see you."

Zystetus was brushing off his armor, trying to get at most of the sand. "I can easily see that Wesur, considering how she attacks me every day." Zystetus groaned, stretching almost involuntary to relieve his body. Wesur just frowned at him, standing idle as if he forgot something. Something he was trying to bring back to his mind, pounding his forehead in the process.

"Oh that's right! There was something I've been needing to show you Zystetus." Wesur explained. Zystetus suddenly felt the color leave his mask, Wesur was an inventor, although he was one of Ores Nui's most creative inventor, his inventions tended to 'blow-up'. Wesur immediately saw Zystetus' expression change, he tried to reassure him the invention was safe. "Don't worry! I've done many tests and alterations. Although it blown up every single time before..." His voice trailed off frowning, then replacing it with a giant grin. "But, I think I got it this time!"

"What do you mean by, this time?" Zystetus said, his eyes as hollow as a ghost. He became even more discouraged as Wesur, evaded the question.

"Come on, I'll show you it." Wesur started to run off, with Meroa following close behind, beckoning Zystetus to follow. Zystetus gave a huge sigh knowing that he couldn't bring himself to disappoint his friend's excitement. He still feared his safety if it ever blows up in his face. It happened so many times before and it's still as painful. Just by simply remembering it felt painful. They entered a large hut where some other Onu-Matoran along with some Fe-Matoran seemed to be at work tinkering with all kinds of crazy looking things in their respected areas. They never seemed to need rest, always at work. Zystetus envied their energy although was also thankful that he could take time off of things, even if it was for a short amount of time.

"Over here!" Wesur said, Zystetus forgotten of Wesur's and Meroa's presence, marveling at how big the other Matoran's ingenuity seemed to be. He ran to keep up with their energetic movement trying to not lag behind. There was one large space out of the entire hut that seemed to belong to Wesur. It was due to the fact that his invention's destruction radius is surprisingly huge. Even for the smallest of things. Zystetus shivered remembering those small, destructive inventions he tested. Wesur was busy digging through a pile of his other inventions, ones that didn't blow up. This at least gave Zystetus some form of hope, it encouraged him to move closer to Wesur. Although he was quite spooked when Wesur poked out, holding what seemed to be...

"It's... a pickaxe...," Zystetus said, trying to not sound disappointed, unsure if his attempt at hiding it worked, Wesur gave a large, abrupt laugh. His response was surprising.

"Not only did I make it a pickaxe, but it's also a ranged weapon!" Wesur said, acting a bit too proud. Zystetus took a step back, afraid for his friend's health.

"Are you... okay?"

"Sure I am! What makes you think that?"

"Well... you know..." Zystetus cocked his head towards the pickaxe. Wesur looked at it, then exploded into repetitive laughter. Meroa just looked at her master with a joyous expression, jumping up and down occasionally.

"I haven't showed you what it can do yet!" And as Wesur said that, he tossed it over to Zystetus, pointing at what looked like a trigger to him. Zystetus continued to look at him as if he was took down an entire Vorox pack. He focused intently as he tried holding it in his hand, with an awkward grip, he pulled the trigger; sending a beam of energy into the air. Destroying the roof in the process. Zystetus looked up in horror and Wesur smiled at him quite creepily.

"Wha–"

"I know right!" Wesur held his arms out, no longer being able to contain his excitement. To Zystetus he looked like a psycho.

"How–"

"Heat stones of course! They can melt nearly anything with just enough control."

"I–I'm just going to go now..." Zystetus trembled as he was about to put the pickaxe down when Wesur grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks.

"Keep it, I want someone like you to have it." Wesur said reassuringly. Zystetus stared soullessly at him speechless, he exited the building with the death beam in hand. He wondered how he was going to tell his friends of this when they would go out mining. He thought it better to keep it to himself for now as he began putting in his pack, being extra careful not the pull the death ray's trigger.

On his way back to his hut, he overheard something he probably knew he shouldn't have echoing from Bluhdred's quarters.

"How about you shut down all access to Ores Nui. We can't risk anymore Matoran. At least not until we figure this problem out."

Shutting down access to Ores Nui? And what's going on with the Matoran. Ironically the news filled him with glee. He was right. Something weird was happening in Ores Nui, the smaller groups, aggressive Rahi, even being allured to that soft mineral when Ospwen was certain it was supposed to be the metals they were searching for. The more he thought about it the more he wanted to investigate. He could always protect himself with Werus's ...thing. Zystetus spun around sharply, heading away from his hut he began bounding off for Ores Nui again. The Ta-Matoran guards saluted him as he entered the mines, grabbing a standard pickaxe to at the very least attempt to not look suspicious. He went through the usual popular Matoran mines, running into many dead ends along the way as he made his way through the caves.

If he could stop whatever might be happening, he knew now was the time to do it. To finally rid himself and his friends of any major danger that was happening in the caves. He would be the one to do it. He stumbled into a part of Ores Nui that seemed to have a lot of natural growth among the walls. As he ventured further the walls became wider, he came to an abrupt stop as he heard something, he crept around the corner, trying to cover himself the best he could, and hoping whatever came into view couldn't see him lying on the ground. A hulking humanoid Rahi crept along, thankfully for him, it was looking straight across, not down. Grasping on what seemed to be a dual weapon with fire jetting on each side, illuminating even brighter than the light stones, while in his other hand seemed to be a rusting cage, make of crude materials, that looked heavily aged. Still, to Zystetus he knew if whatever was in that cage, would a have a great deal of trouble getting out. Zystetus focused his eyes, trying to render whatever was in the cage.

He concluded it would be best to follow the Rahi from a safe distance, and see what on Spherus Magna it had contained in the cage. Zystetus was careful not to step on any rocks while keeping an eye on the Rahi and the cage, although the fire from the Rahi’s weapon was pretty blinding, he was glad he didn't have to rely one hundred percent on his natural night vision. The natural growth started to become thicker the more progress Zystetus made following the Rahi, varieties of minuscule Rahi were on the Rahi's path, that were suspiciously smart enough to get out of the Rahi’s way. Instead swarming Zystetus as he passed them.

Whatever the Rahi was, Zystetus knew that they must be truly dangerous for the natives of the rock to stay wary of it. The passage seemed to open up into a large room, Zystetus was unsure of how to hide, going behind the growth in his best attempt at concealment. Although most of his sight was blocked by the plant-life, he could see the Rahi placing the cage among several others either in better or worse shape. He could finally see what were in the cage.

A Matoran! His suspicions were correct, the culprit for the disappearance of the Matoran must be this Rahi. He started shuffling out from the growth excited to inform the Turaga of such events when he began to realize four red, angry eyes stared down at him. He knew it was time for him to run. As he pushed through the growth running the best he could, tripping on debris on the way, he rummaged through his pack trying his best to pull out Wesur's invention. As he turned to look behind him, he could see the Rahi was gaining ground on him. It was now or never, shakily, he grabbed the pickaxe, targeting the head of it towards the Rahi. It looked surprised at this action, but didn't flinch, focusing on taking the Onu-Matoran down. Beads of sweat started to form on his mask as he tried pulling the trigger multiple times, his fingers feeling suddenly weak to do it. He kept trying with a new surge of energy for the doom he may receive by the Rahi.

Just as the Rahi had its blade over him, it felt a sudden powerful energy hitting his torso, melting his armor, only partially in the process. It didn't expect such an attack from the Matoran, as it was pushed back, hitting the cavern's walls. The Rahi fell to the ground limp, but Zystetus wasn't taking any chances as turn to run, running as fast as he could, as far away as Matoranly possible.

1 Like

Chapter 3
Mantle kept pounding upon one of the many training dummies on the outskirts of the Town of Ores Nui, sending his anger into it. Although he wasn't paying attention to it. Many other Matoran trainees simply stared at him, all in a mix of awe and horror for Mantle's quite aggressive tactics. He arrived into the village quite recently and already the entire place knows of his 'unique' ability, an ability of being ignored by every Rahi and mechanical robots to ever be found on Spherus Magna. Many rumors said his strange powers drained the memory of anyone he met. And surprisingly, although it sounded completely ridiculous, many Matoran and Agori believed it.

The impatience of the Ta-Matoran was boiling to the peak, his excitement for actually do something, something that could be proven useful was causing Mantle to break down the dummy unconsciously, it surprised the instructors, since the dummies were made to sustain excessive amounts of wear. And although Mantle's body was designed to repel intense heat, he couldn't help but feel sweat running across his armor. He looked around with a surprising burst of energy, trying to spot Bluhdred, although the Toa of Ice was nowhere to be found, there were plenty of senior guards that were paying attention to him. One of them even ventured to walk towards him. Mantle seemed to have left quite the intimidating effect on the guards.

"Mantle," He said, trying to sound commanding. "You need to understand that although such power is useful it's just..." The guard was trying to find the best word to describe Mantle's aggressive behavior, without angering the Ta-Matoran. "Reckless; you need to figure out a strategy when facing an enemy whose most likely going to best you in size." The guard became more and more confident speaking to Mantle, seeing the Ta-Matoran openly absorb whatever he was saying. "Remember, 'true warriors use mind over power, with power in mind.' keep that in your head the next time you decide to... tear down a dummy." The guard pointed to the ragged dummy. "Now clean this up and fetch a new one."

Mantle wanted this job more than anything, he stood to attention acknowledging his understatement. He watched the guard walk back towards the others as he began to clean up a pile of cloth, dented metal beams, and dried grass that no longer had the look of a dummy. As he made his way towards the barracks a couple of Agori who were also training to become guards watched Mantle, they moved towards the Ta-Matoran as he finished disposing of the old dummy. Mantle looked up to see the Agori looking at him, sighs that they didn't come negotiate shown in their eyes.

"Hello there," One of them said, grinning quite devilishly.

"Can I help you?" Mantle said, trying to keep his temper under control. It was too obvious to the Ta-Matoran they meant harm, although he was confused why they didn't have any weapons, even a training Kanoka and spear by their side. He gave up contemplating, preparing to endure any aggressive antics that might target him. Instead he was surprised when they simply spoke to him, although it was in an aggressive manner.

"Man you sure seemed like a hotshot out there." One of the Agori said, putting extra bitterness into his words.

"Hotshot you say?" Another laughed, to any onlooker it would've looked like a poorly planned play, sadly Mantle took their words seriously. "This guy couldn't get a Rahi to attack him even if he injured it!" All three of the Agori laughed hysterically, although Mantle was quite confused with what their big plan was to do to him, he couldn't help but start to boil. He wanted to prove that he had the capability to fight Rahi. Bluhdred himself said, his odd tendency to be ignored by Rahi and robots could actual work to benefit the village. But here is was, doubting his ability, all because a couple of jealous Agori said so.

Mantle felt the heat in his head rise as steam, a typical reaction among many Ta-Matoran, typically. "I-I can prove it to you freaks, I'll go into Ores Nui and bring a fallen Rahi just to prove it!" Mantle's hands were shaking with anger.

The three Agori all looked at Mantle, then turned their eyes to each other, grinning. "We'll believe it when we see it!" They said, in an attempt at a chorus, although it failed miserably, their mission to get Mantle out of the picture worked. They walked away laughing uncontrollably, anyone would think they ate some kind of weird fungi.

Mantle still stood there, shaking. With heavy impatience, he grabbed an official sword; something a trainee like himself wasn't allowed to use, trailing off towards Ores Nui. I'll show them all. He thought.

1 Like

Chapter 4
Vescivar trudged outside the village, his eyes glowing with worry. He had asked all over the village where Zystetus was, everyone told him he was with Wesur but when he saw Zystetus wasn't there and asked Wesur, it only brought him back to square one, with the Onu-Matoran telling Vescivar he went back to his hut. Vescivar was supposed to meet Zystetus to plan and map out the route they had uncovered like every other average day.

Now Vescivar has scoured the entire village but still hadn't found Zystetus. He knew his friend was always discouraged to ever go inside Ores Nui, and doubted he even decided to go in there. Vescivar had been traveling away from the village for a while now. Wondering how much time had passed and where exactly Zystetus was. It wasn't like the Onu-Matoran to leave the comforts of his huts, unless an actual emergency called for it. The Po-Matoran found himself running across the sand. Perhaps he was kidnapped by Bone Hunters! He fret, he still couldn't believe something like this could happen. The sun fell down across the horizon as Vescivar covered ground. He hoped Zystetus wasn't captured perhaps his friend had to go to the nearby village.

Vescivar knew how dangerous it was to travel at night, the Vorox would be out. But he couldn't help but feel he must do something for his friend. He always felt that way. And just the instant the sun was completely down, a single Vorox jumped on him, spewing it's saliva across Vescivar's mask. Vescivar squired, trying to get out of the Vorox's grasp as it kept trying to hit him with its stinger. He felt the energy leave his body as started to believe it was over. He would never find his friend and be able to help him with whatever urgent matter sent him on his way. The Po-Matoran closed his eyes, waiting for the final strike. It never came as he suddenly felt the intense pressure the Vorox had on him disappear. He opened his eyes to find an Iron Tribe Glatorian, parrying every attack the Vorox sent to him. Vescivar found this strange considering he never once heard of a Glatorian besides Malum who could know how a Vorox attacked. He looked in awe when the Glatorian made weird clicking and hissing towards the Vorox. It seemed to recoil at the sound as it went back underground.

The Glatorian looked at Vescivar, squinting as he stared at the saliva on Vescivar's face. The Po-Matoran seemed oblivious to it. "Are you... okay?" The Glatorian said. Seeming unsure of himself.

"Ya, uh... how did you do that?" Vescivar said, pointing to where the Glatorian and Vorox were battling.

The Glatorian stared where he was pointing giving a shrug, "Just something I picked up from an old friend, a tribal leader of a band of Vorox." The Glatorian said it in the past tense as if something happened to tribal leader. Vescivar didn't have time to think it over enough as the Glatorian started speaking again. "Anyways you need to get back to the village of Ores Nui, it's not safe here at night, and even if you had combat experience, I doubt it'll be useful against a Vorox."

Vescivar indeed had no kind of combative life. He was a miner since the Piraka incident, and has been a miner since. He felt like objecting to the Glatorian but kept his mouth shut, he only had a hunch of where Zystetus may be. The Po-Matoran turned around as he went back to the village, feeling disappointed his search got him nowhere.

He decided to head to the mines, in hopes to relieve the stress he heavily felt on himself from searching for Zystetus. He grabbed a standard pickaxe and shovel going pass the gates just as he noticed them closing. He really felt like an airhead, not noticing something like that. His stress must've really gotten to him. He thought it all over as he wandered into the mines, realizing he forgot his map. He knew he was stuck inside, so there was no way for him to retrieve the equipment.

"Hello there," A voice called to him. Vescivar was startled by the voice. Who else could be here besides him? Just as he thought it over, a Ta-Matoran appeared before him looking quite annoyed. He held a sword in his hand, perhaps he had trouble with some Rahi?

"Having trouble?" Vescivar replied.

The Ta-Matoran threw up both his hands up, swinging the sword in the air without the thought he might hit the Po-Matoran. "Trouble? Yes I'm having trouble! I can't find a single frigging Brakas here!"

Vescivar flinched at the term. The Ta-Matoran was truly angry.

"And now the gates here have closed, it's like Mata-Nui either wants me to subdue a Rahi or die trying!" Steam risen from Mantle's head. Ta-Matoran were legendary for their quick impatience and anger. This one just prove how far their anger could go.

"You’re not the only one," Sighed Vescivar. "I'm here to roll off some stress myself, but I have left my map, so I don't know how I'll be able to mine with no problem..." The Po-Matoran lifted his tools then let them fall to show his anxiety.

The Ta-Matoran scratched his chin, "You miners hit me as the type who memorized every inch and corner of this place."

Vescivar shook his head, "We used to, but the mines have gotten too complex. So we made maps for easier, and safer travel." The Ta-Matoran seemed to have been absorbing all this information in to Vescivar's surprise. He could have sworn the Ta-Matoran was blinded by rage. He shrugged it off as he held out his hand. "Name's Vescivar"

The Ta-Matoran looked at his hand for a moment before grabbing it. "Mantle," he replied. As they let go their hands the both of them seemed to hear some sort of heavy panting.

Vescivar looked at Mantle, "Do you hear that?" But as he said that the Ta-Matoran was already sheaving his sword.

His eyes laid with immature excitement, "Indeed, it could be a Rahi" But to both their surprise it was an Onu-Matoran, who was looking behind himself, not noticing the two other Matoran as he crashed into them, breaking the wall behind them. "Ow! What was that for?!" Mantle scowled.

Vescivar recognized the Onu-Matoran, it was Zystetus in the bio-mechanical flesh. He seemed to be startled, more than usual.

"Look, we got to get out of here, as fast as we can, I don't know if it's still trailing–" Zystetus stopped his sentence entirely as he began to look up. Mantle and Vescivar looked his way wondering what stunned him. They were surprised to find an altar right behind them, in all the time Zystetus and Vescivar has been in the mines, they've never seen such a relic before, well they never seen a relic but that's not the point. The altar seemed to have already been open on one side, further evidence showed that there were six holes, but only five of them contained weird looking crystals. They didn't look anything like Toa stones or nuva cubes for that matter. Mantle's curiosity itched at him as he reached for one of the crystals, it was a dull gray color but as he touched it glowed a bright clear ruby, floating, and circling him as it did so, along with two other that were beside the stone. One glowed a bright clay color as the other, the color of granite, circling the Po-Matoran and the Onu-Matoran.

Vescivar looked towards Mantle's direction, horror shrouded on his face. "Mantle..." he said, "What in the name of Mata Nui did you do!" He freaked out, he felt his entire body pulled on him losing his original form as he became taller, his pickaxe and shovel fused as it also grew larger becoming more spade-like. He felt his stature become hunched as a tail grew behind him, he saw that his friends’ transformations didn't seem as brutal, but they were probably feeling similar pain as he did.

The stones faded dissolving into their bodies as the changes finally stopped. The three Matoran looked at each other. Mantle was the first to speak.

"Did we? Just..." He said, his excitement seemed to annoy Zystetus who was not taking to the transformation of his body. In the silence Vescivar decided to speak letting his words float in the air.

"Become Toa? Then yes, we did," But he got an entirely different reaction altogether as Zystetus and Mantle stared at him. They both screamed in a melodious way that would cause most people to laugh. Vescivar looked at them confused. "What are you guys screaming about?" He looked at them dumbfounded.

Zystetus let his armor reflect in Vescivar's direction, to act as a mirror for him. "You've um... seemed to, uh... changed."

Vescivar looked at his reflection in horror. He seemed to have become some sort of Toa/Vorox hybrid! Now it was Vescivar's time to scream. Mantle and Zystetus cringed from the ear-splitting sound. It had to be a dream! Vescivar thought, Zystetus probably never disappeared and he never turned into... this! But if it weren't a dream... Vescivar screamed again.

"Man Vessy, once is enough." Mantle wriggled his ears, trying to restore is hearing. Zystetus looked at him in confusion.

"Vessy?"

"Ya, I've decided to give him a nickname, so much easier on the tongue." He explained ironically in a serious tone to Zystetus. The now Toa of Earth slowly turned his head away from the now Toa of Fire, looking behind himself as if waiting for something to pop out. He then turned towards the two toa his face regaining the seriousness it previously had after the entire... change.

"Okay then!" The Toa of Earth clasped his hands together. "Vescivar and, um... whoever your name is, we need to talk."

1 Like

Chapter 5
Zystetus explained to Vescivar and the one named Mantle about his findings of the missing Matoran and a large Rahi, well not-so large anymore seemed to have captured them, holding them all in cages. He decided to show his pickaxe, which seemed more like a sideways laser crossbow now, to let them understand how exactly he escaped. Both the Toa looked at Zystetus with heavy doubt. It seemed impossible for a Rahi to do such a strange thing, no less wield a weapon.

"I highly doubt if any of that is true," Vescivar sighed. "But that pickaxe-thing, it does explain some truth even if you're lying because of more personal matters..."

Zystetus fumed, he told them the entire truth and they didn't believe him! He didn't even bother to contemplate how far-fetch his story seemed, trying to convince them it was authentic.

"Even if it were true..." Mantle responded, "Then we got to do what we're destine to do! Why else were we made Toa?" Mantle was swinging his sword around, a red light started to radiate from it as it began to vibrate, pushing down the Toa of fire with an impact of an earthquake.

The action further encouraged Vescivar to criticize them. "Look at us!" Vescivar whined pointing to Mantle. "We're hardly capable of such a job at the state where at! And even if we were destine to be Toa why didn't anyone tell us?!"

Zystetus watched Mantle and Vescivar argued, he wanted to help but he couldn't feel himself move. A strange voice washed over him, it had a powerful tone to it. The kind of voice even the most arrogant of people would listen to. Zystetus felt himself lose consciousness telling him over and over the same sentence. Let me handle it. Zystetus gave him control, hoping it would bring something good.

Zystetus body went limp as it began to float in the air, his head turned around to reveal a singular glowing golden eye, showing signs of annoyance. "SILENCE," Zystetus said, but it was not his voice. Vescivar and Mantle stopped arguing as they turned around towards Zystetus. The voice continue on. "I didn't make you fools Toa to only stand here and bicker, listen to the one of earth, he speaks truth. You must fulfill the destiny I've gave you. Listen and follow." The eye dimmed as it disappear from Zystetus' head, with Zystetus's own familiar red glow returning to his eyes.

"Uh, what happened...?” Zystetus said, massaging his mechanical head. But he was left unanswered with a stunned Mantle and Vescivar, both of them frozen like statues. "Uh, guys? Hello?" Zystetus still remained unanswered as the two Toa stood with their faces unwavering. In his impatience, he shot his Toa Tool at the wall causing a loud rumble. In response to it, the Toa of fire and stone both flinched at the erupting power, shaking heavily as their bodies try to loosen their stiff muscles.

As Vescivar rotated his neck back and forth he questioned Zystetus, "What on earth happened to you brother?" Crossing his arms, quite painfully as he done so.

Zystetus only looked at him with concern and annoyance. "Listen, we have no time to lose, we either stand here wondering what in Mata Nui's name to do or investigate the only leading evidence we have, going down this corridor." The Toa of Earth pointed his arm towards the tunnel he came running down, as he now realized it seemed quite small, it would mean the Rahi would indeed have trouble getting to him. And if he were trying to get to him right now...

The Toa of Earth readied his weapon. "I want to guys to unsheathe whatever Toa Tool you got." Although Mantle and Vescivar were confused with what he had in mind, they followed his order as they prepared their weapons, making sure to not activate something that would make them go haywire. The three Toa had to crouch through the tunnel, although they still held their weapons quite comfortably, ready for anything. Zystetus followed everything by memory, the tunnel became large enough to walk through, but as they neared the one large opening which had the Matoran...

"It's... gone." Zystetus said, disappointed with what he found. Mantle looked at Zystetus, he couldn't help empathize his disappointment, it happened all too often in the numerous jobs the Toa of Fire used to have.

As the two Toa were about to turn back, they were startled by Vescivar who was looking at the ground the entire time. "Wait," He suddenly said through his small pincers, startling Zystetus and Mantle who didn't expect him to sound so loud and sudden. "There seems to be tracks going from here to..." The Toa's eyes followed Vescivar's finger as he pointed to a wall. He then took out his Toa Tool as he jabbed at the rock cracking it but not breaking through.

Knowing what his sword could do, Mantle shoved Vescivar out the way, putting the tip of his sword into the rock. Before the Toa of Stone could protest, the familiar light from the core of his sword started to glow again. The Toa cheered Mantle on as they realized his sword was cutting through the rock like a jack hammer. Although the rock was thick, it took no time until Mantle revealed another corridor with the tracks Vescivar saw earlier continuing down it. Mantle roared at his achievement.

"Now that's progressed!"

They entered the large tunnel, green slime dripped from the walls of the place, giving an eerie atmosphere. Zystetus was unsure of the place. Whether it was because of his typically paranoia, he didn't know but he found himself turning behind him more than once as if they're being followed. "Be careful," He found himself saying, but didn't have enough time to acknowledge his teammates understanding as he found himself being hit square in the back.

1 Like

Chapter 6
Saonce was agitated, he allowed a Matoran to get away, and his orders were simple. Capture any wandering Matoran, and kill any onlookers. With the exception being Matoran, but in the heat of the moment he found himself activating his weapon instead of using his powers to knock them out. The Rahi punched the nearest wall in frustration, the lucky braka had some kind of ...beam on his pickaxe.

Shaking his head he hooked the remaining Matoran on the ceiling chains. He knew he had to tell his master, news like this shouldn't go unanswered. He just had to figure out how to interpret it where he wasn't punished too harshly for the... slip up. Saonce jumped from the extremely steep edge that separated and hid the captured Matoran from the rest the caverns as he headed towards his master. As he progressed, the Rahi became larger; although many of them were larger than Saonce, they all warded away from him knowing what the risks would be if didn't move.

Although even if they didn't move, Saonce's mind was too busy to kill them, he was trying to figure out the best way to tell his master of the events. A safe way. He knew he wouldn't be killed, he was unique among the other Rahi, but that didn't mean ruthlessness wouldn't be met. Saonce dug his feet in the dirt, frustrated. Never had meet a situation like this, especially one he had to think in. He was going to make sure the Matoran paid. He trudged heavily, digging through the rock as he impatiently tried to make his way as slowly as possible. He reached his master’s chambers, with somewhat of a plan. He smiled a bit. Perhaps the encounter with the Matoran wasn't entirely bad, he learned how to think, making it now his weapon. He would use it against the Matoran if they ever met again.

"What brings you hear, Saonce?" A voice suddenly boomed behind a black waterfall composed of protodermis. Saonce although startled, didn't jump. The same voice created him to make sure he didn't show anyone fear.

"I come with woeful news, master." The protodermis falls suddenly stopped flowing straight as it became rapid, vibrating ripples. After they stopped the falls stopped flowing. Saonce never saw such an action from his master before. Although he didn't tremble; he hesitated as he entered. Coming towards his master, like a king on a throne he loomed over the Rahi. As he stood, although shorter than the Rahi, he showed to be quite powerful, symmetrical spikes lining his entire body. Especially his 'hands'. His bird-like head glowed a strong pomegranate red.

"You will speak if you know what's good for you, Rahi." His eyes cringed in impatience, ready to hear what Saonce had to say.

Saonce's body sulked as he bowed to the Makuta. "Sydemus, o' great individual of raw power–"

The Makuta held his large spiked hand, "Please Saonce, this is no time for formalities."

The Rahi looked at Sydemus, nodding his head as he stood up, fixing his shoulders. "There's a Matoran who as infiltrated the mines, he held a strange tool that had melt a part of my armor." He point to the melted piece of armor, as he done so Sydemus seemed to have muttered something foul. Saonce pressed on, "This Matoran has seemed to have... witnessed me caging some of its comrades, I've come to advise you to see if you could... do... anything?" Saonce looked at his master unsure of himself. Sydemus was smiling to himself.

Out of nowhere, the Makuta gave a giant roar of laughter. He took his time as he slowly went face-face with the Rahi. "I've heard they've shut down access to Ores Nui, no way in and..."

The Rahi felt himself shrink afraid of what'll might happen if his answer's incorrect. "No way... out?" He looked at Sydemus unsure, only to be surprised as his grin became more devilish.

"Exactly! If we must capture this Matoran, I have a little... helper for that." The Makuta's gaze turned towards someone who was sulking among the shadows behind them. As he did so, the phantom appeared. One hand on his hip. For he only had one hand. "Meet, Acitik."

Saonce looked the newcomer up and down. In place of a hand he have a blade, glowing green at its center. His feet were quite large and circular. Twin blades jutted from his shoulders. One on each side, his head only had one eye. A part of his chest resembled a Metru-Matoran's, which meant...

Saonce's eyes widened as he realized what they were. "You're a... Matoran..."

The large Matoran gave a sly smile. "You’re not far from the truth pal."

The Rahi turned to Sydemus, confused with what's going on. Sydemus heaved a gentle sigh. "He's modified," The Makuta began to explain. "He wanted to volunteer, I was curious, so I gave him that body in exchange for his loyalty. Now then..." Sydemus showed that he wanted no more questions as he stared the robotic Matoran into the eye. "Acitik, I want you to find this Matoran, bring them to Saonce, alive. I believe the he will know what to do with them."

Saonce smiled to himself, he'll be able to punish the Matoran for his embarrassing act, even if no one was watching.

The robot looked at Saonce then back at Sydemus. "I'll be on it then," With a final nod he exited the room, becoming nearly invisible among the rocks, with an occasional green glow emitting from his blades.

Saonce turned to Sydemus, forgetting oppressing matters were over temporarily, along with dropping formalities. "So, why a... Matoran?" Saonce said the word with disgust, he believe they were capable, even if they became completely robotic like Acitik.

Sydemus strolled back towards his throne, sitting down as he rearranged himself. "I'm sure the experience will be the most... amusing" Was all Sydemus said, a smirk sneaked across his face. "For the both of us."

1 Like

Chapter 7
Acitik was impatiently excited, after all the combat training he did with Sydemus, fighting his 'failed' experiments. It was time to see what he was really made of. In the heat of the moment acid erupted from the tips of his shoulder blades, flying through the air as it hit nearby rocks, causing them to melt with a sizzling sound that resembled a loud hiss. Acitik watched them disintegrate in satisfaction, picking up the acid in his fingers as he threw it at a nearby wall. Smiling like an addict as it burnt away. He loved using his acid, being able to have the ability to kill your foes, let alone have arms made him squeal.

All his life he never had arms, Whenua promised him Karzahni would've given him arms, but did he? No. Instead he was shipped off to a place called Karda Nui with weapons literally shoved into his shoulders. Walking around like a flightless bird wasn’t the best feeling Acitik felt, Skakdi who called themselves the 'Piraka' didn't help him get used to it. They pointed it out laughing at him as he struggled to get up on multiple occasions when the Piraka were bored and wanted to see what happened if they pushed Acitik down. Acitik looked at his left arm, mounted with a blade, although he lacked facial expression he let out a chuckle, imagining the Skakdi melting, horror stretch all over their faces! He gave a chuckle then sighed, it was too bad they were no longer... Skakdi. And with Karzahni dead, revenge would've never be met the way Acitik pictured it. He at least smiled knowing he could still get back at the Matoran who aimlessly pitied him.

His smile fade as he began to hear footsteps with his strengthen sensors, he camouflaged himself among the walls of the caves planning on taking a more secretive approached towards the Matoran, taking another route that went all around. Like Sydemus and the Rahi he briefly met, he had the impeccable memory of every cave, tunnel, and crevice he had ever ventured in Ores Nui. Well that's what the Matoran called it, according to Sydemus.

Acitik became even more curious as he crept closer to what he thought was a single pair of footsteps. Identifying two other's. He smiled to himself. Perhaps he would get lucky and find Toa accompanying the Matoran. They needed the Matoran anyways in order to know exactly where Saonce caged the Matoran. Assassinating a Toa is the highest feat on Acitik's two-do-list. As the acid on the walls became more frequent, Acitik became even more careful. Although the acid wouldn't hurt the robotic Matoran. It would still produce a loud noise when he would absorb it. Something he wanted in order to annoy a foe in close-quarters. But now he sees how it would be an awful ability when it came to sneaking and assassination. The specialty Sydemus wanted the robotic Matoran to pursue in.

He neared the end of the arched tunnel he took. And just as he suspected, the Toa were now farther into the tunnel. Near a ledge where no wall was present. He was surprised to see that it was three Toa instead of the Matoran and the Toa. It verified that the Matoran must've been a Fa-Matoran. And a good one at his job, he frowned in disappointment. He hoped he could at least kill a Matoran along with these Toa. He shrugged, knowing how much more valuable the Toa were. He carefully aimed for the back of the Toa who seemed to carry a projectile. It would be the most annoying one to deal with. Although the acid was Acitik's projectile he would have to aim carefully or be at close-quarters with his target in order for it to work. He shot expertly, before the Toa went down into the lower cave beneath the tunnel he hid back into the tunnel. Hoping the two other Toa would follow where the projectile came from to avenge their brother. He began to spin his blades, absorbing all the acid around, making as much noise as possible.

His prediction was successful, they attacked him. But just as he was about to shoot the angered Toa. Something he found strange, Sydemus told him not to underestimate Toa, and they always have a cool head under pressure, making them quite difficult to fight. But the advice didn't help as he met the impact of some sort of shovel and a red blast of energy strike him quite ferociously.

1 Like

Chapter 8
Mantle and Vescivar fought the strange being amateurishly, they didn't know who it was but they knew they were trouble. You don't simply attack a Toa out of no-where. That's at least what the two Toa believed, and that belief was probably going to be good in the long run. You can't just simply ask someone who wants to kill you why they want to kill you. They were combating the assailant left and right. Mantle wasn't used to the tight space the tunnel offered. And his new larger body wasn't helping at all either. The robot believing he got the upper hand slashed at Mantle, crippling the Toa of Fire quite easily, realizing the other one disappeared, he coated his armor in acid. And just as he suspected, the Toa leaped from the ground which was now completely sandy. They interlocked weapons until the Toa of Stone knocked his from his hands. Acitik wasn't surprised at this maneuver, he was surprised how monstrous the Toa of Stone looked, and perhaps they were turned into a Hordika sometime before.

If the Toa was a Hordika then they must have had some kind of transformation, what seemed like three stingers were poised against him, as if ready to strike down at him if the strange Toa had the chance. Acitik grunted with frustration, sending a volley of acid onto the Toa of Stone, hoping it would kill him. The Toa of Stone was blinded by the acid as it met his face, he screamed in agony as he clawed at his mask trying senselessly to get it off, burning his own hands. It was all Acitik needed as he fled from them two Toa, sending another volley of acid onto the fallen Toa of Fire. Although he failed to kill them, he grinned at the new information, Sydemus was only ruthless when you had nothing to bring back, but valuable information like this could still save his butt.

Toa Zystetus coughed viciously, he was being sprayed by endless amounts of cool water. With water in his eyes, he couldn't see who was doing it. He tried rubbing the water from his eyes, but failed unsuccessfully.

"Here," The being said, tossing a papery substance onto his mask.

As Zystetus removed the water from his eyes he could see who the being was. They wore armor color of sapphire and snow. He held a giant cannon in his right hand, seeming to turn a dial. It must have been the object he was sprayed with. "T-thanks," Zystetus voice shivered, having cold water across your armor in a cool cave was not comfortable. He already missed the hot desert sands. He would preferred that any day. He shook himself silly, which seemed to have amused the being he was beside. He's a Toa now, Turaga Sqikus had told him and the other Matoran tales of adventures before he became their Turaga, like the Toa in the stories, it was his duty to overcome hardships like this that'll show themselves. He stood up looking as strong as ever, but the moment was short lived as he realized there was no way for either of them to leave the crevice. He sat back down trying to think of a way out.

"So..." The Sapphire Armored being began, "What exactly are you doing?" The being scooted over to Zystetus as if he could learn of the plan Zystetus was trying to think up just by being near him.

"Trying to find how to get out of this crevice," Zystetus replied. He was hesitant to reveal anything to the being. All he knew was that he could likely betray him, just now he was attacked out of nowhere and could still feel the singe the blows of whatever hit him gave. Caution has always been his ally he knew, now a new challenge rises for caution. A scenario Zystetus hadn't met with yet; dealing with a stranger in a strange place. He stood up, trying his best to hide his smile beneath his mask. "The plan is to blast through that rock over there until we found a way out." He pointed towards a wall. It wouldn't bring suspicion of how little information he gave.

"I like it!" The being said, "Someone who's straight to the point for once, the others always go into explicit details which always seems to bore me. I feel that there was a time it didn't inflict me, but I can't seem to remember... oh well! Let me just break through this wall, it won't take that long." The being turned the nob on his cannon, firing a large chunk of ice that immediately crushed the rock and dirt in front of them. The being turned around a giant smile on his face, he was a definite showoff. "I’m Dhakonz by the way," Giving Zystetus his hand.

Under normal circumstances, Zystetus would have been surprised at such sudden power the being showed, but nothing surprised him after the events his experienced in such a short period of time. He took Dhakonz's hand, shaking it. "I'm..." He had to think of a clever name, something this dull minded being would believe. It had to be extraordinary! Spectacular! "I'm Pleu" Seriously Zystetus? Pleu?! He thought, it sounded better in his head, but now's not the time to think over how bad his fake name was.

Dhakonz showed no signs of suspicions, shaking Zystetus hand with more energy than before. "Nice to meet you Pleu!" Dhakonz let go of Zystetus' hand as he lead the way, firing chunks of ice at the wall, deepening the tunnel.

Zystetus didn't know what exactly he would do to escape Dhakonz, but he knew it would have to be soon. His gut, which has never been wrong in his entire lifetime told him this Dhakonz fellow would lead him to the very enemy he planned to stop. His spine shivered knowing he didn't know who the enemy was, but he felt for certain they were in control of the Rahi. Specifically the Rahi that was kidnapping Matoran, whatever shot him in the back causing him so much pain. And this Dhakonz fellow. If he is to follow whatever destiny has in stored for him. He can't do it alone. That, at least he knew for sure.

1 Like

Chapter 9
Mantle and Vescivar laid down at a makeshift camp of their own creation. Mantle was able to get his elemental powers working to create a fire. He was throwing rocks into it, practically with little or no energy, as if stumped by their current situation. Vescivar on the other hand was pacing the small cavern, kicking dirt in frustration. Moments before they were yelling Zystetus name, hoping there was a small inkling of hope he would respond. Sadly, the two Toa gave up when Rahi became attracted by their noise, after the wounding battle with the strange bright green and black armored being, they were not in a state where they could pick a fight with the countless Rahi. The two Toa wanted to find their brother badly. He was the only one right of now who could lead them. The only one who knew at least what was happening in Ores Nui. Not only that but Vescivar owed him his life, countless times he had been there to rescue Vescivar, countless times the Toa of Stone was reckless and would've probably be dead if it weren't for his brother.

Vescivar banged on his head in fury, the Vorox side of him was getting frustrated not knowing where to start, what to do. Mantle looked towards his brother with great concern, he was the only one to receive a partial amount of the Vorox DNA, corrupting his own when he was transformed into a Toa. It was hard for Mantle to feel something similar, he never had to deal with being part anything before.

"Are you... okay brother?" Mantle was hesitant about asking, he didn't know if it would harm the Toa of Stone or help him. He was relieved to see his brother's breathing slowed, stopping any potential signs that he was indeed turned into a Hordika.

"For now, hopefully" He responded hand pressed against a wall from over exhausting his brain. "It's just... you know tough to think up a strategy when you never done it before. I gave speeches, I never put anything into action before..." Vescivar heaved looking down at his clawed feet. He could feel Mantle put a hand on his shoulder.

"Easy there brother, remember, you're not alone," Mantle expression changed entirely as if he was remembering something from the past. "You don't need to go through what I did, we have to work together on this." He stared hard into Vescivar's eyes, grinning as Vescivar returned the same notion.

The both of them relaxed a bit, they were brothers, and they knew they could trust each other. Even if their meeting was brief the fight with the robotic being proved they were willing to give their life for the other. They leaned in closer, Vescivar creating a stone barrier to block out any sound from escaping, in case whatever the enemy was had a spy of some sort. It sent a shiver down their spine knowing all too well the lime green and black armored foe was not behind the surprise attack. They spent hours whispering to each other figuring out a plan, constantly coming to abrupt stops. After many hours the solution to their plan came as an unexpected burst from Mantle.

"At this rate why don't we just let them capture us!" He grumbled.

Vescivar stared at him, his eyes wide. Not because Mantle said something stupid, but he said something intelligent for the long hours they've been discussing a plan. But there was multiple flaws. "We don't know if they want to capture us, or kill us. Not even that, we don't even know how to use our own mask powers." Confusion crossed Vescivar's face as Mantle started to smile. A large grin that would've made anyone suspect he was part-Skakdi. "I'm suspecting you got an idea?"

Acitik stormed back towards the direction the Toa last were. Sydemus wasn't happy to find out the Matoran was gone, he was even less amused to find out that there were Toa searching for all the missing Matoran in Ores Nui. He angrily shot at any Rahi he saw in his sight of vision, not caring for their end. Not caring for stealth anymore he shot walls for a quicker passage, he planned to go all out this time, no carefulness, nothing. But by the time he got there he was surprised to find a sleeping Toa of Stone all alone. Perhaps his friend went out on patrol or something, Acitik thought. He sat by the Toa of Stone waiting for hours for his friend to come back. He took the privilege to tying up the Toa of Stone, not wanting to deal with another rebellious Toa. What he found strange was the Toa of Stone didn't wake up through all of this. Even odder the Toa of Fire didn't seem to return. Acitik grinned.

It was likely the Toa of Fire put the Toa of Stone into a coma, then leaving him there to die by the Rahi. Acitik would've congratulated the Toa, but as of now he had to get back to Sydemus, patience is never on his mind. The thing was, the Toa of Fire never left Vescivar in the first place. All the Rahi saw them. It's just that Acitik couldn't. He also never saw it coming as a heavy blow by an unseen target knocked his bio-mechanic mind into unconsciousness.

Vescivar quickly came awake as if on cue from the fake sleep. Mantle burnt the ties away helping the Toa of Stone up. They both grinned at each other. "Well brother," Vescivar said. "I'd never thought having a mask that would make you invisible to robots would be so useful"

The two Toa looked at their unconscious foe. Now it was their time to interrogate the unfortunate being, and hopefully find out who's behind all of this. And more importantly, find where Zystetus is.

1 Like

Chapter 10
The caverns which Zystetus and Dhakonz traveled through seemed to become more and more treacherous. Although Zystetus knew Below Zero was leading him to the enemy, perhaps unintentionally. He still didn't know how he would deal with the foe. He'd never saw who they were and what they might be capable of, but if anything, they must be intelligent. Ensuring him his life, after all, a bunch of Toa showing up in a cavern could be quite valuable to interrogate.

Zystetus shrunk back to the main path as he realized he was going off course. "Are you sure you know where you're going?" He ask, trying to keep up the dim charade for as long as possible.

Below Zero grunted, obviously enjoying he knew something Zystetus didn't. "Of course I do Pleu!" He bellowed, "He'll help you out perhaps. He's always looking for new recruits to help with his work."

Zystetus narrowed his eyes, so it's a he, He thought. The gender narrowed down the description of the adversary but not by a whole bunch. Although the Below Zero character seemed to have said something about their leader, 'looking for others for work'. Was it to keep the caged Matoran in check? Was it for something bigger? As he watched Dhakonz he noticed how all the Rahi steered clear of Dhakonz. He knew plenty of them could probably easily take on the blue and white armored being. But why didn't they try? Was it because they didn't see him appetizing? No, not likely. Maybe the enemy has control over the Rahi? But if that was the case then the adversary must be...

Zystetus eyes widened at the realization of whom they might be dealing with. He thought they all died in the energy storms. That's what the Toa Mata said, but why are the Rahi acting so strange? Why were there Rahi in this Asteroid that were never seen before? It all kept going back to the same answer of who it was. Zystetus didn't want to accept it. With the exception of Miserix, they can be quite dangerous to a peaceful life on Spherus Magna. Zystetus put his weapon on his back. Whoever it is, he surely didn't want to have to fight them, collecting as much information, even if they get information he knew was Zystetus top priority, he had to try to convince them, if they would to spare him for interrogation. He just didn't know how.

A moment later Zystetus found himself ramming into the back of Below Zero. "Hey what's with the sudden stop for-?"

"Run" The blue and white armored being said hastily.

"What?" Zystetus was confused, he looked into Dhakonz's direction but didn't see a thing. Was this guy going mad?

"I said... run!" Below Zero hastily readied him cannon, turning the nob to a dangerous level. Zystetus couldn't imagine anything more powerful then when he broke down the ice. He shuttered, knowing they'll be enemies in the near future, having him as an adversary would be near suicidal. But he had to do it, fight him when the time rises. For the Matoran, and for the future of Spherus Magna.

Zystetus ran, hoping to not need to use his weapon or elemental powers, batting at the suddenly hungry Rahi. He turned around a quick moment to see Below Zero blasting at the invisible thing, suddenly turning visible partially with the ice. It looked more organic than bio-mechanic, almost resembling the Kardas Dragon with wings, a tail, claws, and feet. He stared off in the distance as Dhakonz fought the beast, blocking it's every strikes with his cannon. Rahi, finally seeing what was going on fled the scene, dodging falling stalactites. Zystetus himself was dodging them as he continued to watch. Paying attention more to Dhakonz's moves than the beast itself. He had to take every chance he could get read his future opponents movements. It would come in handy when he would have to fight them.

The beast although huge proved to be agile, slivering in all kinds of directions the moment Dhakonz had a clear shot of the things vital areas. Wherever they might have been. It hissed, spraying dark green saliva that Dhakonz just nearly dodged sticking to areas Zystetus guessed where it would take ages to come off of.

Hours passed and both adversaries are tiring, their movements becoming slower, now incredibly bored, Zystetus punch the wall he stood by, causing a crack that ran up the ceiling. The ceiling shook as the adversaries stopped fighting looking up to see a plummeting large chunk of rock hit square on the organic creature, sending the beast down with a dazed, Dhakonz took his chance striking down the beast, covering its entire body with ice then shattering it all, along with the beast in quick succession. Zystetus was far enough where the blue chunked landed in near his feet, missing him by an inch. Dhakonz was pushing pieces of the beast off, looking victorious.

Zystetus walked up trying to look more confused than annoyed. "So," he began, "What on Spherus Magna was that thing?"

Dhakonz looked back at the beast, as if he was trying to confirm what Zystetus meant by thing. "That, was what we called Keswarvish. Originally a virus it fed on rock and plant materials until it became... that." Dhakonz tired trying to smile. "And for the first time, one of us actually finally killed. Although it was by luck." It showed that Below Zero didn't know that it was Zystetus who caused the rock to fall, using his elemental powers to do so. He felt that no choice was given, he didn't want to reveal himself as a Toa to the now blue armored being but if he was to save the Matoran, he needed Below Zero alive. "Now that that is over," Dhakonz continued bobbing his head. "This way Pleu."

Zystetus continued to follow Dhakonz leaving the treacherous cavern, after many hours they appeared in some sort of chiseled chamber. A large throne was in the middle what seemed to be multiple tanks flooded the room.

"That's strange..." Below Zero scratched his head, looking around the chamber. "He should be hear... he never wastes an opportunity for a recruit..." As Dhakonz walked away from Zystetus a large cage flew from the ceiling trapping the Toa of Earth inside.

"Correction," A new voice said. Walking up towards where Zystetus was caged. "I never waste an opportunity for a Toa"

1 Like

Chapter 11
"Mata-freaking-Nui" A green and black armored being said bitterly, he was trapped in cage of stone that covered him neck to toe. Squeezing him mercilessly. The robotic being was starting to regret letting the Toa live, thinking he would've have had a great chase that involved him causes the havoc, not the other way around. Two beings stood in front of him, looking at each other as if they were communication non-verbally. The ruby armored Toa turned to look at him as he burnt a side of his face. Although robotic, his Bio-Mechanic mind still felt the pain causing him to scream in agony.

"Don't give us this Muaka poo," Mantle said bitterly, he was tired of the impossible robot. He decided to ask something as generic as the robot's name but even with that he's obviously denying it. He inhaled a deep breath trying to calm himself. Anger was probably what the brakas wanted. He tried to make sure the robot didn't get to him. "No one more time, what is your name!" Mantle practically screamed, slamming a burning fist into the wall of the camp Vescivar and Mantle set up before.

The impact made Acitik cringe a little, he didn't want to help these Toa but looking at his entrapped body and weapons laying to the side with what seemed to be an ill-tempered murderer interrogating him and his partner just looking at them with a killer intent, he probably wouldn't be having what he wanted. Trying to calm his inflated ego he forcibly said his new name without gagging, "Acitik" his voice module projected, sounding as if his teeth were pushed together, if he had teeth, or a jaw for that matter.

Mantle put his hand where he believed Acitik's shoulder was beneath the rock. Bearing his cybernetic teeth that shown through his mask, "Okay then Acitik," He growled. "What exactly are you?"

Acitik chuckled, he could answer truthfully, and see if the Toa would hesitate in his next move. "I'm, your enemy" He lifted his chin in confidence.

Mantle didn't seem happy with the answer as he tensed up his muscles and gave the robot a right handed hook. Disrupting the signals in his brain, causing him to feel the similar pain he felt, although not as severe when he was knocked out. It angered him that these Toa could hurt him, but it frustrated him even more knowing Sydemus couldn't guarantee, although in a robotic body, that he wouldn't feel pain. Acitik let out a much delayed scream of pain, yelling, "Curse you!"

The screamed caused Vescivar to interfere, an annoyed look on his face. "Brother, it seems this arrogant Kavinika won't cooperate. I think it's time you get something."

Mantle stared at Acitik a snarl displayed on his face, he stood there for a moment before slowly walking out. Slamming an enflamed fist on the wall.

Acitik stared in silence until he was gone, letting go a sign. "Boy, that friend of yours was a real monster, never have I met someone in my Matoran days–" Acitik shut his mouth shut immediately before finishing off his sentence, but it was too late, he said too much.

"Matoran days?" Vescivar repeated as he looked into the robot's eye. A gleam of satisfaction showed on his eyes as he grinned. He leaned closer, purposely spitting into Acitik's face. "Anything else you might want to share?" His Vorox-like pincers snapped in his face, causing the robot to feel an ominous shiver down his spine. And as if on cue, Mantle came back.

"Here comes plan B!" he bellowed, he carried with him a stone cage that contained a rodent like Rahi. He placed the creature roughly on the ground, causing a scream that sounded like 1,000. "Unluckily for you, my brother has explained to me the capabilities of this thing, hopefully you know nothing of it," His grinned became so large someone could've probably mistake him for a Skakdi.

Vescivar butted in, his smile also getting wider. "There's no need to hope, he's a Matoran, and I’d doubt he'd tried to learn Rahi in Ores Nui"

Mantle stared at Vescivar in surprised, he doubted the lime green and black armored being manipulated him, but he doubted he was a Matoran, he certainly didn't look like a Matoran, and the way he acted just seemed... not normal among his species, or at least what was his species. He heaved a sign, planning to ask Vescivar the question later as he threw a squishy fruit Vescivar told him was the animal's favored food item. The moment it splatted all over the robot's face the rodent stared rock around the cage. "Vescivar," Mantle said with urgency, "I think now's the time to set them free." Vescivar nodded as he covered the weapons, while he unraveled the Rahi’s and Acitik's snares. As soon as they were both free, they bolted out of the Toa camp. With the two Toa following close behind, trying to not lose sight of the pursuing Rahi. They saw as others of the rodent's species started chasing him mercilessly, blinded by the strong scent of the fruit. Vescivar and Mantle had to dodge unseen stalactites and stalagmites, slowing down their progress.

Unfortunately, they soon lost sight of them, they slowed down, kicking the ground in anger. But there was a larger problem, they didn't know where they were. "Now I know why it was our backup plan." Mantle said. Vescivar didn't say a thing, not even moving a muscle, "Hey, are you alright brother, you're acting as if you've seen a ghos–" but Mantle never finished his sentence as he stood to see Zystetus right in front of his eyes, simply brushing off some dust.

Zystetus turned to the two stunned Toa, he slowly looked from them to his hands, slowly touching his mask, finally saying. "Uh... wha?"

1 Like

Chapter 12
Zystetus knew it, it was a Makuta, but he could've sworn that all the Makuta were killed in the Energy Storms years ago, most of them anyways. The Makuta was black with blue highlights around his armor, giving a sort of cool look, cool as in cold water. He stood very tall, his legs bend in an unusual manner typically seen in elbows. He looked menacing with a hunched back and a huge torso. Many bluish spikes seemed to protrude out of his armor, particularly from his hands. But what struck Zystetus the most was his head, it seemed freakishly mutated to look like a Rahi itself. Two large claw like mandibles hanged beneath his Rahi like head. It he made himself look like that on purpose to send fear into his opponents, then he'd done a great job.

The Makuta brought his needle infested right hand to his chest. "Forgive for not introducing myself," He began. "I, am Sydemus, the forgotten Makuta, what Teridax feared, and the great Rahi Maker. With skills not even Mutran could come to rival." Sydemus's mandibles curved into a disturbing grin that nearly made Zystetus gag. "And your name?" He finished.

"He told me his name was Pleu, sir," Below Zero butted in, obviously wanting to talk.

Sydemus turned to look at Below Zero, "Pleu?" He repeated. "What kind of name is that?" It was more of a question to himself then anything. He also knew when Acitik said his old name was Honiseui, it also seemed far-fetched, but at least more believable then Pleu. "Whatever..." The Makuta continued. "I think it's time we actually know who we're dealing with." Sydemus's mask started to glow.

At first Zystetus was confused until he found himself feeling more and more demotivated, it was certainly the mask power, but he also found he couldn't think over it for a long time.

"What's the matter?" Sydemus said with a ghoulish chuckle, "Feeling a bit, tired?" The light from the Makuta's mask grew brighter. Zystetus began to feel his shoulders fall limp his large amounts of gleeful energy turn to that of growing despair. He didn't know what was happening but he obviously knew it was the Makuta. Once he felt his legs give way the Makuta stopped, a villainous look plastered on his monstrous face. "Now" His voice roared. "Who's the name of the Matoran who told you of our presence here?"

Demotivated to lie to the Makuta, the Toa of Earth answered his question freely in confusion, "You're mistaken Makuta, no Matoran told me anything of whatever plans you have here." He voice sounded very drowsy. Some of his words practically mumbled. But Sydemus understood it all completely.

"But if that's so then why did my..." Sydemus cut his sentence short, trying to rephrase his previous one in order to find the answers he desired. Creeping a little closer to Zystetus breathing in his face he said. "Who found out about the imprisonment of the Matoran?"

Zystetus' eyes moved down to the ground, trying to resist but his mind was too exhausted and the hormones that stimulated truth were too strong for him to resist. "That... that would be me." Sydemus narrowed his eyes, frowning, Zystetus guessed he didn't believe him although it was the absolute truth, he tried to chuckle but he was too tired to perform any kind of movement except talk and blink.

"Well then," The Makuta began, "Not sure if you're a Toa of Psionics or is just telling the truth." The Makuta grumbled as he brought his needle like hands to his chin. "Saonce never lies to me he told me that it was a Matoran..." Zystetus heard him clearly, although the Makuta's words sounded more towards himself. Now a new smile crawled on the Makuta's horrid face, causing Zystetus to shiver. "So." He said in a ghoulish tone. "What are your powers and capabilities? Who are you with? What weaknesses you may have?" The Makuta was now trying to take advantage of Zystetus as he saw the Makuta's mask grow even brighter. The Toa of Earth found himself breathing more heavily and short, although he didn't run across the entire Spherus Magna desert or anything. He was finding himself losing consciousness, hearing the Makuta trying to wake him up, feeling sudden surges of energy that quickly disappeared as they have come as he entered darkness.

Sydemus watched in horror as Zystetus head turned around until the top of it with a singular eye was shown. He was trying to find information on the Toa, finding in disappointment how weak his mind was, and now seeing such an alien thing going right now, in front of his eyes.

"Makuta Sydemus." The voice rumbled, similar to the one Vescivar and Mantle heard. "You will not tantalize this Toa. And you will not wreak havoc across Spherus Magna."

The Makuta stood there stunned, his eyes were wide in surprise as he found himself trying to use his Kanohi against the Toa, but still he was finding no result. "W-who are you?" He stammered, trying to regain his confidence. The being stood looked down at him, chuckling to himself.

"I, am the one who will stop you and this master plan of yours. I will see that it fails Makuta," As he finished his sentence, his entire body was replaced with rock. As Sydemus recovered, he stared down in fury as his prisoner had escape his cell. He smashed the earthen-shaped Toa looking from side to side, trying to figure out where his prisoner had gone. Only to find himself brought to his back as the dirt and soils it was made of smashed into him.

"Dhakonz," He growled. "Fetch as many Rahi as you can and meet with Saonce." The Makuta wasn't looking at the blue and white clad being. He continued to stare at the area the Toa was previously in. Fearing for his safety, Dhakonz grunted in agreement, too surprised to say anything. As he pelted off, Sydemus slowly stood, walking towards a strange compass with its spinning arrow. "They haven't seen anything yet." He muttered, his quills shaking with horrifying anticipation.

1 Like

Chapter 13
Fetching Rahi? Dhakonz thought, he never knew how to do that, he found his skill to be better at shooting things or intimidation; but fetching Rahi? He wanted to laugh, to believe Sydemus didn't meant what he said. But he knew otherwise. He swallowed a gulp of air, coughing at the pain it brought him. His breathing became shorter, more troubled with his increasing difficulty to think; he was never much of a thinker. All those years bullying, killing, scaring Rahi. They would all rather stay a safe distance from him than to freaking follow him. He wanted to go to Sydemus, ask for his advice, but Sydemus is more intelligent than that, he would've said something, but why didn't he? The pressure on his head made him dizzy. He needed to cool down, find something to punch. Yes, a good pummeling could help him regain his cool. Dhakonz began to stagger away, disliking the feeling of vulnerability this was bringing him.


Vescivar couldn't believe it. Through all their hard work trying to find Zystetus. Risking their lives to capture an unknown adversary. Getting used to their new bodies and their combative styles, using much of their time for planning. Yet here in the name of Mata freaking Nui was the Toa of Earth. Recovering, Vescivar approached the stun Toa of Earth, "How did you...," Vescivar questioned, his eyes fluttered their luminous orange in confusion. Zystetus just gave him a similar look as if he had no idea.

"Could it be my..." Zystetus began, stopping as two voices were heard not too far away.

"I think its best that we continue this reunion somewhere else, brothers. It seems Mr. one-eye is back with something big, and I'm not about to wait to see who, or what it is." Mantle silently hissed. They all agreed, now wasn't the time to dawdle. The three Toa gathered their strength, quickly moving off. Zystetus blasted the roof with his weapon, surprised to find himself being pushed by from the recoil as rocks tumbled down, blocking their adversary's chance at following them. For a while anyways. The three followed what seemed to be familiar paths and tunnels, finally reaching the same chamber which turned them into Toa. Of the original six crystalline color-less stones. Although the Toa never noticed, only one remained.

"We should be safe here... hopefully." Mantle weakly chuckled.

Zystetus wasn't paying attention to him. He mind was elsewhere. Silence quickly followed until the Toa of Earth spoke. "I seemed to have used... my mask power?" He said, unsure of himself as if he was trying to comprehend what he just announced.

Vescivar was in deep thought himself. "How could a Toa use their mask power so involuntary? Turaga Sqikus told me such powers required an immense amount of concentration and willingness."

"Well you see, um, I was captured—"

"Wait, captured?" The Toa of Fire exclaimed leaning in as if not to miss a single word.

Zystetus stared at him in annoyance for being interrupting until continuing on. "...As I was saying..." Zystetus explained the entire story to them, starting from his fall, meeting a being named Dhakonz to when he was captured by a Makuta named Sydemus to suddenly finding himself located where Vescivar and Mantle were. There was a mix of confusion, frustration, and anxiety in the two of their faces. Once Zystetus finished, the three stared off, looking at the ground in silence.

"So Miserix isn't the only Makuta left, huh..." Vescivar muttered.

"And I fear this one might have some ill intentions." The Toa of Earth warned.

"Still," Vescivar insisted. "It doesn't explain why you were able to use your mask power in the first place. What I'm getting at here is that you fell, unconscious, and you somehow ended up with a returned mind to us? It doesn't add up."

Zystetus looked at him in surprised. "I never thought of you to be one for worrying of others, brother."

Vescivar shrugged, "I'm surprised you just noticed." The three of them all laid their gazes on each other. Feeling relief bolster through them all. They finally, hopefully, knew who was leading this entire operation. The missing Matoran, the weird Rahi being, the acid-spraying adversary, and the ice-loving brute. They all seemed to have been doing some sort of joint mission. It still didn't explain why Dhakonz was stuck in the large hole the Toa of Earth fell in. But that didn't matter anymore. They had the answers they were looking for, to formulate their plan.

"Vescivar, I want you to scout the caves," Zystetus ordered.

"Me?" The Toa of Stone said in confusion. "What good could I do with scouting when I got these huge stingers that could easily give me away?"

"You're part Vorox, the species has been known to be able to naturally walk silently through and below the sands of Spherus Magna and Bara Magna before. Even in forest grounds."

The idea was insane to Vescivar. He looked the part of a Vorox, but he sure as hell didn't act like one, or felt like he was one. Sure he knew the knowledgeable knack the species had for stealth, he himself was attacked by a pack not too long ago. But there was a difference between intuitive instinct and pretend instinct. And he certainly didn't have either.

"I don't know... I-I just don't know if I could be comfortable doing this, I'm not a Vorox. There's a difference between looking the part and acting it." Vescivar exclaimed, he never felt afraid before. He was shaking. What if he did turn into a Vorox, even one as weird looking as him.

"But we are Toa, and the first part of a Toa's duty should be to using as many parts of the spectrum as possible. Look brother, if we don't try, then what good will it come to the future. Whatever called us here, I got a feeling our destiny is to stop whatever this Makuta is up." Mantle's eyes were filled with determination, as if he believed as much as he said. There was no way Vescivar could win such an argument. He couldn't think of an alternative. Besides, they were right. What if it was their destiny? Their destiny to stop this. His destiny to become... this. Might as well try.

"Fine brothers, but if I end up getting captured, I'm blaming it on you." He said accusingly.

Zystetus sighed with relief, he relaxed a bit at the Toa of Stone's cooperation. "Remember when you used to give those speeches to the other Matoran on Voya Nui to help oppose the Piraka. You took a risk."

"Things change, I surely don't feel prepared for this... it just seems so rushed." Vescivar replied.

Mantle got replied angrily. "Brothers, are we going to sit around here and continue another stupid freaking argument, or will we try to figure how to rescue these Matoran! There's no need to look back at the past, the future is our merit. Not the freaking past."

The two Toa looked at him stunned, Vescivar completely forgotten how hot-heated most Ta-Matoran could get. Curse both their arrogance.

"Doesn't mean we need to boil up because of this." Zystetus countered. Mantle just looked at him. Fuming. The Toa of Earth sighed, "Actually Mantle your right, we must get things done, we can't have a missed opportunity, and we have to fulfill this as quickly as possible." The Toa of Fire grinned, leaning closer to Zystetus as he awaited a plan. Vescivar did the same, even if he didn't feel it, he still needed to be ready regardless of condition. Now was not the time to give the enemy an edge.

1 Like

Chapter 14
I will see that it fails, Makuta. The words echoed in Sydemus's mind. It certainly wasn't that Toa who was speaking. Something else entirely. It frustrated him. Did someone or something knew of his plans? No... He was getting ahead of himself, it was probably speaking of the captured Matoran. And speaking of Matoran. With no luck, none of his servants found that freaking Matoran who Saonce reported of in the first place. There was even no luck looking within the eyes of any of the scouting Rahi. If only he allowed himself to see through the eyes of the Rahi before, if only he didn't allow Saonce to be in charge of rounding up the Rahi. He never expected a Matoran to be so curious as to follow such a path. He put enough Rahi to drive Matoran from entering such locations. He cursed his overconfidence, he might've had the element of surprise, but something tells him his time is getting shorter. He found at least the three Toa, speaking of their mask powers of all things, but even they seemed have disappeared eventually. He checked the entrance of the Asteroid. He could hear the pounding of picks on the rock from the outside. But no Toa. Where could they have gone? He made sure there was no place to hide... Unless one of them had the mask power to do so otherwise... Gah! It frustrated him so much, but he knew they only knew one thing... it caused him to smile across his toothy mask. The Matoran. That's all that they wanted it seems. He knew he was losing time with that plan. But maybe if he changed a few things, it could go much more smoothly. He just needed one thing... It was time to move, he checked the scouting Rahi one more time, revealing the locations of his most trusted servants. As expected, they were tailing the Toa, Acitik leading them, but now was not the time for to be the hunter. He will make them the hunted; it was required for his plan to work.

The Makuta frowned as he finally found his three lieutenants. They were arguing over losing the Toa and what to make of it. The shouting died quickly as Sydemus crept closer. He was never much of an expert in stealth.

"What might we have here?" The Makuta bellowed, his voice showing as much displeasure as possible. The three servants looked at each other, stunned to see that the Makuta left his chambers.

"Well if the three of you are done bickering, we have new plans to follow. I need your obedience for this to work."
"Wait a new plan?" Acitik questioned. He was the most outspoken one of the three, a trait that always had amused Sydemus.

"I need the three of you to help me redirect the cages from the lair. We must prepare them for where the Matoran lay. We must stand on guard if any of the Toa come."
“Wait. Does that mean?” Dhakonz beamed.
Sydemus sighed, of course he didn’t gather the Rahi. “Yes, you don’t have to fetch Rahi.” He always forgotten Dhakonz wasn’t good with anything that didn’t involve blowing something, or someone up.
Acitik's eyes gleamed with what he presumed was easy to understand. "Then we lure the Toa as we fight them into the cages."

Sydemus's eyes narrowed. "No, though you will fight them, allow them to take the Matoran."

"Wait? Take the Matoran? Are you sure you know what you're doing, Master?" Saonce shouted in dejection.

So the worm does have a spine. Sydemus thought, it surprised him that Saonce could've built the nerve to argue with the Makuta. He created Saonce to be a crafty follower. Not one to complain about his ways. But it pleased him non-the-less how far his studies in creating the perfect intellect as brought him. Shame his replicating viruses revolve around hive-minds though...

"Don't question the plan, I assure if everything goes accordingly, there will be nothing to worry about." The Makuta grinned. They joined him knowing that they would have to serve without question. Although Acitik did make it a habit of questioning his authority, ironically enough, it helped the Makuta. But the actions of Acitik also allowed the Makuta's understanding of the Matoran grow, and his desire to wipe out their domination over the Rahi grew with it. I will see that your plan fails, Makuta. Sydemus didn't know what he meant by that, but In the name of Mata Nui, he wasn't about to let his goals fail. He was just going to have to bend things to fit his ideals. Even if some of his plans were to fail, he was going to need backups and a lot of them. But that would be for later, he didn't have time to pre-plan just yet. Now. Now was the time to make sure things go his way. He didn't spend thousands of years in some rock just to sit by idly.

1 Like

Chapter 15
Mantle was surprised at Vescivar's unexpected return. He presumed it would've taken more time for him to find the captured Matoran. But any previous idea of his was soon discarded.

"Why would they not guard the Matoran?" Mantle demanded. "It doesn't make any sense to abandon them."

"I'm as confused as you, brother." Vescivar looked towards Zystetus, very much lost. The Toa of Earth seemed to be the only one taking the news fairly reasonably. Mantle could understand why he was feeling relieved, having a leader like that behind you at least could give you the confidence that the fight wasn't yet over.

"This. This is why I'm so cautious, Vescivar. Studying every angle of a situation, always being on edge, it helps." The Toa of Earth produced a wicked smile. A gesture Mantle was more than familiar with in the past. It brought memories and annoyances he would've preferred to forget.

"If you have anything to say, brother, best to say it while we still are breathing." The Toa of Fire impatiently urged. Zystetus was surprised at Mantle's aggression. Sure he controlled it in the past, but now he couldn't just hold it in. Years of practice only brought him back to square one.

"Okay, um... so this is what I'm getting at." Zystetus continued. "If our adversaries have disappeared, then they must be planning something too. I'd doubt they're planning a surprised attack. We're very much ready for that anyways." He swung his weapon around, stating of what he meant.

So the enemy hasn't given up. Mantle didn't know why he felt so relieved, Mata Nui have mercy on his soul. Must have been his lack of combat over the years. The feeling would just never fade.

"Are we supposed to wait then, brother?" Vescivar asked.

"No, time is too precious for us. But maybe now would be a good time to understand our mask powers among other things," Zystetus responded.

It was the perfect time for Mantle to really teach Vescivar of his masks powers. It would be a shame that he would be the only one unable to use it unlike Zystetus and himself. "Vescivar lets see about using that mask power of yours."

"Wait," Zystetus stood in front of Mantle, locking their eyes together. "You can use your mask power?"

The Toa of Fire realized he never told Zystetus. He'd only used it once since he became a toa and that was to surprise attack the Acitik fellow. "Yes," he replied. His guilt took a toll on him, quickly being replaced with frustration for not telling his brother any sooner.

The Toa of Earth sighed "Well, if you knew, could you at least help me understand how this thing works? I've been trying to tell you guys I never knew how my mask was even used in the first place; but you always cut me off."

Mantle was confused. He could've sworn the Toa of Earth already knew how to use his mask. His situation probably stressed him so much that he used it with luck being on his side as he found himself in front of Vescivar and Mantle. But that would be impossible. Never in Mata Nui's life was there ever knowledge of any Toa activating their mask power through stress. Must be different for everyone. "Alright then," He admitted. "Just understand the immense amount of concentration it takes to familiarize yourself with the energies. There's never really such thing as beginner's luck."

Hours passed as the two Toa grew more accustomed to their new powers. Zystetus seemed to have the most unstable of the three as every time he used it he would show up at a different location. Thankfully he at least ended up near the previous location.

Vescivar's was much more confusing to figure out. It took the fact that he had to touch Mantle's and Zystetus' weapons in order to understand what it was. It seemed to have been able to cause the weaponry to blast energy when he commanded it. What caught Mantle off guard was the amount of energy and power he felt through it versus the time he used it. He looked over to Zystetus, seeing the same sort of surprise. Vescivar didn't looked too happy of it, though.

"So I have a mask power that can enhance the power of energy-based weapons," He scowled. "Yet I myself don't have anything that could project energy in the first place!"

Zystetus put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry brother I'm sure you'll find a use for the weapon somewhere... probably." Vescivar looked unimpressed, his dis-contempt really was something amusing though..."

"Mantle..." The Toa of Stone said. "Are you laughing at me?"

The ash colored Toa didn't even realize he was giggling. Sooner enough, Zystetus was doing it too.

The Toa of Stone grunted. "Forget you guys, I'm going to scout for the Matoran again!" He shouted, using his high-impact shovel as he reopened his artificial tunnel. He certainly couldn't dig through such stone his just his hands after all.

Mantle and Zystetus were still laughing, even as the sand armored Toa disappeared. Eventually, they stopped, and sat down as comfortably as the stone ground would allow them.

"Mantle," Zystetus asked. "What even brought you here to Ores-Koro in the first place?"

Mantle was surprised that the Toa of Earth even wanted to know of his past. But he did seem extremely curious of everything that went on around him.

"Well, um..." Mantle didn't know where to start, his experiences as a Matoran were much more vast and lively than he or any Matoran would've liked. Perhaps he'll just stick with main reason. "There are some things that I would just like to forget, brother. Have you heard of the Great Being Civil War."

"Of course, brother, that war caused so many troubles and ailments..."

"Then you know my reasons."

A long silence passed between the two. Mantle just wanted some peace for now, at least until Vescivar came. But now, here he was, hoping Vescivar wouldn't come back so soon. Not yet anyways. The ash armored Toa felt like he needed some rest, something he hadn't felt in ages. Which was odd to him considering how much he wanted to contribute as soon as possible to the rescue of the Matoran. It wasn't long when Vescivar came back, unlike before, there wasn't any signs of frustration or anger, just fear.

"They're here," The Toa of Stone said. "Our enemies have returned."

1 Like

Chapter 16
Zystetus and Vescivar looked up through the cramped tunnel system Vescivar made. Mantle was walking casually, acting oblivious as he passed the entrance of where the captured Matoran laid. He had his mask power activated as to not notify Acitik of his location as he bypassed them. With success, Dhakonz followed him, not saying a single word of it. Acitik looked on questioning, dismiss it as he continued watch. It was time for the Toa of Earth and the Toa of Stone to come out.

Zystetus crawled out of the hole with Vescivar shortly leaping after him. The two of them drew their weapons as Acitik began to notice, sticking the blades mounted on his should in their direction, spraying a full on force of acid. Vescivar was quick to dodge, but Zystetus had to use the blast of his weapon to get out of the way. Zystetus was recovering as he soon found the giant red and green armored Rahi standing face-to-face with him.

“That smell…” It said. “You were the Matoran?” The Rahi shrieked in unbridled frustration and confusion, activating its familiar double bladed flame weapon. The Rahi slammed down its weapon in rage, scorching the Toa of Earth’s armor. Zystetus was quick to block the Rahi’s second attack, parrying with his shield as he caused the Rahi to stagger. And with an opening, he shot, only to find that the Rahi had already moved out of the way.

“Thanks for allowing my suspicions to be answered, it seems you are indeed the Matoran. Your fighting skills are well… I’ve seen better.” The Rahi sneered as it leapt into the air, its flaming staff pointing straight for Zystetus. The Toa of Earth tried to calm himself, the Rahi was indeed no match for him, and his speeds excelled that of the Toa. Vescivar wasn’t doing too hot either as he was getting dominated by the robotic being, looking unsure of how to fight with his stingers. The steel armored Toa screamed as he began to truly feel the burns take effect. He had to think of a way to get the upper hand against the Rahi, he couldn’t do it through maneuverability, but maybe perhaps…

It was a long shot, and he still couldn’t control it that well, but he decided to use his mask power. The Rahi at this point was charging at him, its speed picking up through each step, and then… earth. The Rahi was both angry and confused as he felt a strong charge of elemental energy hit his back. As he plummeted into the earthy formation of his adversary, he was pushed back as the formation exploded. Causing the Rahi to stagger in exhaustion.

Zystetus was feeling extremely tired by this point but still smiled from his feat. He hastily used his elemental powers to cage the Rahi as he went to help Vescivar, who at the point was beginning to lose. But the being known as Acitik was ready for him, attacking the approaching Toa with his blade as he continued to try and his Vescivar with his shoulder-blades. Vescivar was slowing down at this point as his leg was singed in his escape, causing him to fall. Zystetus, instead used his shield as his blocked the projectile, shooting his strange-pickaxe in response. The Toa could see the rage fill his eyes. Much more than the Rahi, he didn’t understand, but continued to shoot his weapon as he got closer to Vescivar.

“Are you okay, brother?” He asked.

“I think I’ll be able to survive. Can’t say the same for my leg.” He point to the acid eating at it.

Zystetus continued to block incoming projectiles from robot. “Can you at least stand up?”

“I’ll manage, but what do we do about Acitik?”

“Use our elemental powers, I guess. What other alternative do we have?”

“Alright then, brother, pick me up will you?” Picking up the Toa of Stone was proving to be difficult task while someone was constantly spraying his shield. He had no idea how long it would be until the acid would eat away at it. Thankfully, the Toa of Stone was able to get up on his own after that point, picking up his spade, channeling his elemental power through his weapon. Seeing his example, Zystetus soon followed after, incantation his power into a projectile for his weapon. As the two of them released their power towards Acitik, the Rahi in front of the elemental energies, incinerating them with a much more ferociously blazing flame staff. Acitik didn’t look happy at the Rahi saving him, pushing him back as he faced the two Toa. Causing the Rahi to start yelling at him, follow Acitik replying back in an angry tone. Soon enough the two of them start attacking each other. Zystetus was stunned that such skilled fighters seemed to refuse to work together. Deciding to take advantage of their arguing as he and Vescivar fired a much more powerful elemental force combined of their Earth and Stone abilities. Acitik and the Rahi didn’t even seem to notice this as they continued their fight against each other. Only to find themselves stuff in a giant ball of Earth and Stone together.

“That was an interesting experience to say the least,” Vescivar commented.

Zystetus didn’t care for the strange affair, it helped them in the long run. “Well now, let’s go free those Matoran.”


Mantle was surprised that despite his intelligence, his Adversary showed a great deal of combat intuition. Tactically dodging and parrying every attack Mantle threw at him. He was glad he was able to melt every blast of ice the being tossed at him. He recalled Zystetus saying how the blasts were strong enough to help crush rock. He didn’t know how long he could keep up with him. He knew that his elemental powers wouldn’t last forever, he had to find a way around the beings icy blasts. Kicking it certainly wasn’t an option. Maybe if he used the being’s intelligence against him…

Suddenly, Mantle remembered or thought he remembered that his sword can do more than just be a Sword. Hoping the Dhakonz fellow wasn’t actually trying to kill him he ran in front of a wall. He felt a strong blast of cool ice hit his feet. Which was exactly what he wanted. He didn’t know why someone who didn’t seem to ever have a plan would do that, but he didn’t want to wait and see. He grabbed his sword by its hilt, sticking its tip into the wall. He could hear Dhakonz walking closer, no doubt feeling triumphant. The ash armored Toa pushed another button on his weapon, instead of a laser like before, it began to vibrate. But Mantle was prepared for the sudden, powerful movement of his Toa tool. His Adversary’s footsteps stopped, although he couldn’t see them, he was no doubt surprised at Mantle’s sudden and odd display. Rocks began to tumble from the ceiling as he heard an oomph behind him. Feeling triumphant, he blast the ice at his feet, turning around to see the just of his work. Instead to his horror he found the blue and white armored being unscathed. Instead a much larger, darker being had rocks piled on his back. He didn’t look amused at all. He shook the rocks off with ease, creeping closer to the Toa of Fire. He must’ve been the Makuta Zystetus talked of. Sydemus.

“Well then,” The Makuta said in a cool manner, one which caused Mantle for some reason to shiver. “I was going to make this as gently as possible, but now you leave me with no choice.” Sydemus’s quills seemed to shiver as he said this. He hoped his brothers were able to get the Matoran to safety in time. Whatever this Makuta was up too, he didn't want to find out.

1 Like

Chapter 17
The moment Zystetus entered the chamber. He felt an incredible drowsiness sweep across him. Strange flowers with green striking petals filled the room. A strong golden pollen drifted all over the chamber, floating gently near sleeping Matoran. The cages they resided in were hideous as rust formed on the cages. Zystetus looked at Vescivar, who showed an equal concern for the Matoran’s condition. At least they knew how the Matoran were being kept asleep. Now they just needed to find a way to free them. He caressed one of the cages. The Matoran were sound, totally oblivious of their situation. It pained Zystetus to see them in such a way. He always found it worst not knowing of your situation versus knowing it. Hundreds of other Matoran laid inside hundreds of cages. He didn’t know how he and Vescivar would be able to get all these Matoran out in time. He didn’t know how long Mantle could hold off Dhakonz, or how long the ball of Earth and Stone would keep their adversaries restrained. Zystetus looked over to Vescivar. The Toa of Stone had his eyes closed. What was he doing? Vescivar's mask began to glow, a second later every single door of the cages were opened.

Zystetus was stunned. “How did you—“

“Know my mask would do this?” Vescivar finished. The Toa of Stine shrugged. “A mask has to be used for more than just causing weaponry to fire off its energy projectiles, right?”

Zystetus didn't know what he meant by that, but was glad for the convenience. Now their only problem was to find a way to get all the Matoran out of here. They didn’t have anything to easily transport. And the Toa of Earth doubted Sydemus had a device for such conveniences. He started, shooting down the flowers, hoping it would provide some sort of result. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The Matoran were still sleeping and Zystetus felt like an idiot.

“Can’t think of anything to transport these Matoran, brother?” Vescivar asked.

No, he couldn’t think of anything. Curse him for focusing too much on getting to the Matoran in the first. Not even getting a huge Rahi would help.

“Perhaps, ‘I’ can be of assistance.” A voice said. The steel armored Toa’s blood chilled as he heard the all too familiar voice approached. He looked on in horror. Not because of the Makuta’s presence or Dhakonz, along with the failure of their mission. But of Mantle, who resided in a cage underneath the belly of a long-legged Rahi.

What did you do to him!” Vescivar screamed. The Toa of Earth was surprised at his display. It was hard knowing if he was truly a Vorox from such a call. Sydemus seemed have been as equally stunned. But he seemed to have recovered from his shock, a wry smile returning to his face.

“Don’t worry about the Toa, I’m sure the Matoran are a much more vital mission for you, hm?” The Makuta’s voice shivered with such sure certainty. Zystetus didn’t know whether to scream or listen.

“How about a little trade?” The Makuta proposed. It caught the Toa of Earth off guard.

“Trade?” The blue and white armored being said, “Why didn’t you tell us this?” The Makuta just raised a hand to Dhakonz, as if to say any discussion with him was over.

What did the Makuta mean by trade? Zystetus though. The Makuta flexed his shoulders, they were as broad as his confidence.

“I allow the Matoran to go, for your capture. The Matoran for their capture,” Sydemus declared. It would mean a certain safety for the Matoran. It seemed a sound deal, this was their mission after all.

“Zystetus, don’t tell me you’re listening to this buffoon! Surely you believe a word he says! Vescivar shouted him back into reality. The Toa of Earth didn’t know what to do.

Sydemus was equally frowning. “If you don’t believe me, then how about this.” The Makuta activated his Kanohi, causing the Matoran around to begin to stir from what seemed to be an endless slumber. Zystetus could hear the klunk of metal as it fell around him. He had to lift his feet as a thin sheet of metal slid underneath him. He looked over to Vescivar as the same happened to him. He could see a similar Rahi that had Mantle’s cage as it was strapped around their cages. The Toa of Earth felt the force of the ground lift beneath him, feeling the sway of the large Rahi walk off with him. He felt a sudden drowsiness hit him as Sydemus activated his mask’s powers. He saw Vescivar fall down unto the cage’s bottom before the same happened with him.


The trek back to Sydemus’s chambers felt much shorter than usual. It could’ve been his triumphant success capturing the Toa, but he didn’t really care. As the Rahi followed into his chamber, bringing down the cages onto the floor, Sydemus activated his Kanohi again, causing the Toa to wake up. There was a mixture of confusion and anger in their eyes. The Makuta smiled. Let them hate, He thought. What else could they do? He made sure to keep his quills inside of them. He didn’t care if they still had their weapons. They couldn’t even move their toes if they wanted to.

“Glad you’re all awake.” He said. The Toa just continued to look at him. He was glad the paralysis couldn’t allow them to speak, who knew what they wanted to say to him?

“While we’re all here, how about I tell you a fantastic story?” Sydemus continued. He needed to help burn time. He waited far too long, and although one of his plans failed, he won’t let this one too. The problem was that this one needed time. And a whole lot of it. Maybe he should tell these Matoran of his past? He bet they were dying to know. He laughed at his own horrible joke. Better not keep them waiting.

“You may be wondering with: Why am I here? Why are there so many strange Rahi around? Who are these strange people? Well, it all started on Aqua Magna…” Sydemus continued.

I will see that you fail, Makuta. He wasn’t about to let that happen.

1 Like

Epilogue
Bluhdred never saw so many Matoran in his life. Not all at once, at least. They’ve been mining through collapsed rocks for days on end, trying to get back into the Mines when an Onu-Matoran, Po-Matoran, and Mantle, the Ta-Mantle went back into them. Although Bluhdred was glad to see so many Matoran, he couldn’t find the three other missing Matoran amongst them.

“Where did Mehnera go?” One of the Matoran called. Upon hearing them, the Toa of Ice continued to look through the crowd. Mehnera was a prominent Ga-Matoran for the search and rescue squad. Her disappearance crippled the squad as more members continued to disappear. The fact that she was still in there would be a problem. Even if the search and rescue team learned not to rely on her.

“Go see Turaga Sqikus for any serious injuries you may have. All of you should get some rest. There will be no arguments” Nonipar ordered. He was always of the serious sort.

Aeirwind and Bluhdred, guided the most beat-up Matoran to Turaga Sqikus. His black and purple armor looked extremely dull.

“Turaga,” Bludred called.

“What’s the matter this time?” Sqikus said. It shattered his heart to see his own brother brought to the extent of expecting bad news. He was glad to see Sqikus happy the moment he turned around to see the countless faces of the missing Matoran. Perhaps he’ll tell the news that there were still four Matoran missing later. He hadn’t seen his brother happy in ages since the problems grew.

“Aeirwind and Bludred, I’ll see to their wounds. The two of you should go prepare a party for the village. Tonight, we celebrate their awaited return! Bluhdred frowned, a celebration was the last thing on his mind. He would’ve preferred to investigate the other disappearances, but he also didn’t want to disappoint his brother.

The party seemed to have gone forever for the Toa of Ice. He was relieved to get out of it as soon as he could. It was extremely dark out. The only lights that resonated in the village was the ones belonging to the engineer’s. They rarely ever got sleep. Making the nights hardly quiet. As Bluhdred reached the edges of the desert village, he sat down onto the sand. He looked up to see the Red Star glowing ever so brightly. He could still hardly believe that it wasn’t a star at all. The Toa of Ice looked at the other stars that shined brilliantly in the sky.

Oh Mata Nui, He prayed. Please return the Matoran safely to us.

End

1 Like