Hunted (Story Serial Continuation project)

As most everyone knows, the Bionicle story serials ended on multiple cliffhangers, as Greg was not able to continue them. I don’t know of any fan project that has actually set out to finish the serials. So that is what I aim to do. Not just finish the stories – I aim to finish them as I feel Greg would’ve. So that means taking into account things Greg said he might have done, including building up to an eventual Great Being Civil War.

This one was fairly difficult to figure out. Even in past post G1 stories I’ve done, I haven’t ever acknowledged these characters. It was hard to figure out where to take their adventure.

Previous stories in this project:


Chapter 1

If there was one thing Chiara knew, it’s that few things were more fun than a good ambush.

So far, her week hadn’t been going so great. She’d been assigned to a team of (mostly) Toa that was supposed to find the Great Beings, the last wish of the Great Spirit Mata Nui. Instead, all they’d found were a group of savage Vorox, who had decided to hunt them like animals. The Vorox had taken their weapons and sent them out into the forest, promising to find them and kill them.

Of course, the Toa had other plans. Two of their number had stayed in the open, while Chiara had hid under a rocky outcropping with the Iron Toa of the team, Zaria. When the Vorox came along, Gelu and Orde led them right past where the two Toa hid. Then, it was time for the ambush.

First, Chiara struck, zapping the Vorox with her lightning, strong enough to stun them. Then, it was Zaria’s turn, using his power to grab their weapons and disarm them. Then, the Toa took the Vorox’s weapons, allowing them to even the odds against the Vorox. Orde followed up the attack with his own elemental power, keeping the Vorox distracted with mental assaults.

At least, that was what was supposed to happen. But as the Vorox ran past and Chiara held out her hand to zap them… nothing happened. “What the…”

Zaria clamped a hand over her mouth to silence her, just as one of the Vorox turned in their direction. By reflex, Chiara tried to activate her mask of Stealth, but nothing happened; her mask power was gone, too.

“I see only two of you,” she heard the Vorox leader, Kabrua, shout. “The other two are in hiding, waiting to launch an ambush. Oh yes, I know all about Toa Power and how it works. As your friends have discovered, I also know how to shut it off.”

Shut it off? How could that be? When Kabrua had captured the group yesterday, he’d acted like it was the first time he’d ever seen Toa. Now suddenly he knew how to do something Chiara didn’t even know was possible?

Gradually, she heard Orde and Gelu disappear into the forest, followed by the Vorox. At least, most of the Vorox; two of them had stayed behind, still searching. Looking for Chiara and Zaria, no doubt.

Chiara’s mind moved at the speed of her lightning. She’d been able to use her elemental power earlier, when the Toa had first entered the jungle. Why had the Vorox only shut it off now? Were they hoping that her powers would lead the Vorox to them, as Gelu had warned? Or perhaps they wanted to lure the Toa into a false sense of security, to catch them by surprise when their powers didn’t work later. Or maybe… whatever they were using to turn off the Toa’s powers had a range limit.

Gelu might know the answer, but he was long gone by now, if the Vorox hadn’t caught up to him. Chiara and Zaria needed to rejoin Orde and Gelu. Chiara didn’t like to admit it, but in a situation like this, unity was the only hope of survival.

“We need to move,” she whispered.

“Not while the Vorox are prowling this area looking for us,” Zaria said. “We need a plan. And we need an advantage they won’t expect.” Reaching down to his leg, he snapped off a piece of armor, revealing a hooked dagger hidden within. Then he retrieved another from the bottom of his foot armor, and passed it to Chiara.

The Toa of Lightning stared at him, stunned. “You had those there all along?”

“You don’t survive being hunted by the Makuta without being at least a little paranoid,” Zaria answered.

“And you didn’t say anything about it until now because…?”

“I don’t like to share my secrets,” Zaria explained. “Unless I have to.”

Chiara sighed, then went into strategy mode. Perhaps if she could take out the Vorox who had whatever had turned off their powers… it had to be some sort of device. All she needed to do was disable it, and then she felt pretty confident she and Zaria could handle two Vorox. Then they could go help out Orde and Gelu.

Of course, there was one problem: an ambush was impossible if your enemy expected an ambush. Though maybe if the Vorox thought that they were trying to get away, she could put her plan into action.

“All right,” she said. “Listen closely. Here’s what we need to do…”


Lesovikk was having a really bad day.

Not that that was anything new for him. For much of his life, he’d felt like a failure of a Toa, when he couldn’t save the other Toa of his team or the Matoran of his homeland. But when he’d finally captured the mad tyrant known as Karzahni, who had done terrible things to Lesovikk’s Matoran and countless others, Lesovikk felt like he’d finally began to atone for his many failures.

And then all of that was undone when, during the evacuation of Mata Nui, Karzahni escaped.

Of course Lesovikk had to go after Karzahni – that monster was his responsibility – but perhaps he shouldn’t have gone alone. He hadn’t captured Karzahni by himself the first time, either; Sarda and Idris had helped. He hadn’t seen Idris since she’d gone back to Mahri Nui, and Sarda had gone to look for his old friends after the fall of Makuta. That left Lesovikk on his own.

But even then, he needn’t be alone. When he’d asked the Toa Nuva about Karzahni’s whereabout, they had been willing to help, but he’d stubbornly turned them aside. If he had waited for them, perhaps things might’ve gone better. Perhaps he wouldn’t have gotten attacked, losing his sword.

He wasn’t sure who had attacked him. In the middle of the night, all he’d seen was a small figure cloaked in shadow, which swiftly managed to knock him out. When he finally came to, he was fine, but his sword was gone.

He didn’t know why someone would steal his sword, but he wasn’t about to waste time going back to the Matoran encampment for another one and lose Karzahni. But when he’d tracked down the tyrant, he’d found his body lying at the bottom of a canyon. Apparently, whoever had attacked Lesovikk had also attacked Karzahni, but they hadn’t left the latter alive.

Had Lesovikk stopped to investigate the scene, he might have found his sword lying next to the body. But he was so consumed with rage, at this figure that had stolen both his sword and his enemy, that it never occurred to him they might try to frame him. Using his mask power, he was able to follow the attacker’s trail by scent.

He was aware that another of the Toa Nuva had spotted him, but he didn’t stop to chat. He’d followed the trail to the forest, where he’d lost it. But he kept going, hoping to find his new enemy.

Instead, he found something much worse. He found a dead Toa.


Author’s notes: There’s nothing saying whether or not Kabrua’s device affects mask powers, but I went with the fact that it does. It didn’t make much sense to me for a device made to negate Toa power to let them keep their mask powers.
12 Likes

they’re back, they’re back, they’re back… :grinning:

And it is a very nice chapter and everything.

I need to… no… I must give my Canonization Contest enrty MOC those.
Unless you want to make it, of course.

Maybe Great Beings thought that Kanohi can be stolen/broken, while powers can not. If that makes any sense. I see your point about it, though I think it is too powerful device if so.

Now Zaria is in my Top-10 favorite characters.

4 Likes

Let’s go!

Very nice, can’t wait for the next chapter.

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Actually, my current Zaria moc was made before I wrote this scene, so no hidden weaponry there. If you want to incorporate it on your own entry, feel free.

I imagine that the idea behind it would be to put the Toa and Vorox on fairly equal footing – no special powers, just weapons and skill. (of course, these Vorox are giving themselves an unfair advantage by taking the Toa’s weapons too, but that wouldn’t be the case if they met on the battlefield, which would probably be the case if they were supposed to be shock troopers)

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Chapter 2

It wasn’t easy to catch a Vorox by surprise. The Vorox of Bota Magna might not have gone through the same evolution that afflicted those of Bara Magna, but they were hunters by nature, and they still had bestial instincts thanks to certain… experiments done long ago. Plus, these Vorox knew the territory, and they were some of Kabrua’s best hunters; he wouldn’t have anyone less help him hunt Toa.

Still, they might know some things about Toa, but they’d never met Toa before. Thus, they made two critical errors. First, they assumed Toa would rely on their powers, and be hobbled without them. And second, they made one of the most dangerous hunting mistakes: never underestimate cornered prey.

Perhaps the Vorox named Jarahz should have expected a trap when he heard the loud clank of rocks, and saw the dark orange Toa sneaking through the brush, clearly exposed. But instead, he simply assumed the Toa were trying to get away. A blast from his weapon knocked the Toa off his feet, and he moved in for the kill.

That was when the other Toa slammed her feet into his head.

Somehow, she’d managed to scale one of the trees, and swung down when Jarahz passed below, catching him by surprise. But he recovered quickly, slamming his sword against her chest armor and causing her to lose her grip on the branch. Jarahz’ partner was on her from behind, and Jarahz turned to finish off the other Toa.

Just as he was turning, the Toa leapt onto him, jamming a blade into his arm. Apparently the Toa wasn’t as hurt as he had appeared by Jarahz’ blast. The Toa grabbed onto Jarahz and reached for the power inhibitor strapped to his arm, trying to wrench it off.

As strong as this Toa might be, though, he was mad if he thought he could defeat a Vorox. Jarahz swung his blade down, striking the Toa where his shoulder armor had been knocked off. He was clearly hurt, but he held on, and Jarahz tried to bring his stinger tail down on the Toa’s head.

Then the Toa did something completely unexpected: he let go of Jarahz’ arm, grabbed onto the tail with both hands as it swung down, and jabbed Jarahz’ tail into the Vorox’s own shoulder. Severely hurt, Jarahz dropped his blade, which the Toa swiftly grabbed and swung at the Vorox’s arm, breaking both the power inhibitor and the arm it was attached to.

While Jarahz had been struggling with the iron Toa, the other Vorox had managed to take down the lightning Toa, and was going in for the kill when her powers suddenly returned. Apparently, she had been waiting, for the moment the power inhibitor broke, lightning leapt from her fingertips, shocking the Vorox for just a moment. That was just as long as she needed to push the Vorox up, slamming his head against the trunk of a tree, and he fell unconscious.


Chiara pushed the Vorox off of her and got to her feet. Her eyes widened when she saw the Vorox Zaria had taken down, lying on the ground, his arm broken and his stinger tail going through his shoulder. “Are you trying to kill him?” she exclaimed.

“He’s not dead,” Zaria said. “And neither are we. Now, should we go make sure Orde and Geru aren’t either?”

“Gelu,” Chiara corrected. “Your shoulder–”

“It’s fine,” Zaria said, turning away. “I’ve been through worse.”

Chiara sighed, picked up one of the Vorox’s blasters, and followed her companion into the forest.


Lesovikk stood over the body of what had once been a Toa of Earth. Now, the Toa’s mask was broken, his tools were broken on the forest floor, and his head… well, the damage to his head was best left undescribed.

Lesovikk didn’t know who this Toa was, but he had a good idea of who had killed him. The question was, why? Karzahni, he could understand; there were probably few people who wouldn’t feel Karzahni was better off dead, and Lesovikk himself had considered killing him the first time he caught him. Was this Toa just as much of a monster?

Perhaps Lesovikk was dealing with someone who had lost their mind. That was the only explanation he could come up with for why someone would steal his sword, kill Karzahni, and then kill some random Toa. Maybe they had intended to kill Lesovikk too, but something stopped them?

A low growl caught his attention, and he glanced around, seeing nothing but dark forest – until he took a second look at the flicker of movement he spotted, and saw the large beast hidden amongst the trees.

Just as he noticed it, he heard a sharp clicking noise, and something flew out of the dark, hitting him in the shoulder. The beast stepped forward, allowing him to get a better view of it, and he saw a dark red, bipedal creature, hunched forward, with huge jaws and smaller claws on its forearms. On its back, Lesovikk saw what looked like an Agori, but clad in black armor.

Lesovikk thought quickly. He doubted this was the person who had killed Karzahni and the Toa; most likely, they used the Toa’s body to lure someone into a trap. They likely thought he would be an easy target with no weapons. In that case, it was time to show him the power of a Toa.

Lesovikk held up his hand, and a blast of air gusted toward the rider, nearly dislodging him from his mount, but he held onto the reigns. The beast lunged forward with its jaws, and Lesovikk just barely managed to dodge.

Then, another sphere flew out of the woods, striking the beast in the side of the neck. Lesovikk looked up just in time to see a white-armored warrior jump down from the trees, slamming a large axe into the figure atop the beast. The small Agori went flying, crashing into a tree and sliding to the ground.

The beast tried to turn its head to snap onto the warrior who had landed on its back, and got a missile to the face for its efforts, courtesy of the warrior’s launcher. The warrior grabbed the reins to hold on, while simultaneously slamming his axe into the beast’s neck.

Meanwhile, Lesovikk noticed that the Agori was starting to get back up. Lesovikk slammed into the figure, grabbing his sword, and leveled the blade against the Agori’s neck. “Call off your beast,” he growled, hoping the figure would understand.

The beast had managed to dislodge the warrior, and was going for a bite attack when its rider gave a whistle. The beast turned, faster than Lesovikk would’ve thought possible, and slammed its tail into Lesovikk, causing him to stumble away from the Agori. Lesovikk felt a sharp burn as the pointed end of the tail found a gap in his armor. Nevertheless, he held his ground, holding up the sword defensively.

The beast lumbered over to the Agori, who swiftly got back up on it. The two stared at Lesovikk and his new ally for a moment, before turning and walking away, back into the forest.

Lesovikk turned to his new ally. For the first time, he got a good look at the figure; he was a Glatorian, like the ones who had fought in the battle for Bara Magna, his colors marking him as a member of the ice tribe. Lesovikk’s attention was immediately drawn to the cracked left side of his helmet, where a large chunk was missing, as was his eye. “And you are?”

“Name’s Strakk,” the warrior said. “Once the prime Glatorian of Iconox. Now… well, let’s just say I need your help, and you need mine.”

“I could’ve handled that Agori and his beast myself,” Lesovikk said.

“I wasn’t talking about the Bone Hunter,” Strakk said, sheathing his blaster. “I was referring to the killer. The one who killed this Toa.”

“The killer?” Lesovikk said. “You’ve seen him?”

“No, but I have an idea of where he’s going,” Strakk replied. “And only with my help can you stop him.”


Author’s notes: Lesovikk might not know Strakk, but we do. What’s Strakk up to, hmm? Also, Lesovikk does jump to a lot of conclusions here, though maybe not all of them are correct. And finally, I figured Zaria might be a bit more brutal than most Toa. He’s not trying to outright kill his enemies, but he’s not trying not to either.
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No new chapter last night because I was caught up with some IRL stuff.


Chapter 3

Hiding in a tree, Gelu pondered what to do.

He wasn’t sure he wholly understood Orde’s explanation of a Great Being ‘hiding’ in one of the inhabitants of the Matoran world, but he understood that he apparently had dark plans and needed to be stopped. Of course, if Gelu and Orde were found and killed by the Vorox, there would be no one left to warn the Matoran and Agori.

There was also the problem that they didn’t know who their foe was. Perhaps if they could capture Kabrua and interrogate him, they might be able to find out, but that was hard to do with only Orde’s Psionic powers and no weapons.

“We need to go back for Zaria and Chiara,” Orde said. “Only as a team can we have any hope of… well, anything.”

“Are we going to head back to the villages, or are we going to try to confront Kabrua and see if we can learn who our foe is?” Gelu asked.

Orde thought for a moment. “IF we could get rid of whatever he’s using to mess up our powers, and if we can capture him alive, I could probe his mind and find out more,” he said.

“That’s a lot of ifs,” Gelu pointed out. “Maybe we should just go back, and warn our people.”

Orde nodded. “Right now, we may be the only ones who know that this Great Being is hiding amongst my people. We have to spread the word…” he drifted off.

“What is it?” Gelu said.

“We can’t do that,” Orde said. “If we tell everyone that a Great Being with dark plans is hiding disguised as someone, but we don’t know who, everyone’s going to be suspicious of everyone else. It’ll cause chaos. Plus, it’ll alert our enemy that we’re on to him. No, we need to limit who we tell about this. Perhaps just the Toa.”

“And if he’s hiding among the Toa?” Gelu said.

“It’s a risk we have to take,” Orde said.

“Well, whatever we’re doing, we need to go back for Chiara and Zaria,” Gelu said. “Before they try anything stupid…”


Helryx stared down at the body of the dead Toa of Earth. “This is bad,” she said. “Very bad.”

Behind her stood Axonn and Artakha, and behind them, the Matoran Kapura, Kazi, Dalu, and Velika. On the way back to the Matoran encampment, the group had stumbled upon the body. Axonn had tried to keep the Matoran from seeing the Toa’s body, but they’d all caught a look at it.

“Do you know him?” Axonn said.

Helryx nodded. “He used to defend the island of Xia. I sent him on a reconnaissance mission to the south during our war with the Brotherhood, but never heard back from him. How did he get here?”

“He probably joined Tahu’s army of Toa for the Battle of Bara Magna,” Dalu said. “They went through the south. Then he found his way to these woods, and someone…” she trailed off.

Artakha had been studying the area around the Toa’s body, looking for signs of where the killer might have gone. He stood up and shook his head. “Seems a lot of people have been here recently, and they all went off in different directions.”

Helryx sighed. Bending down, she picked up part of the Toa’s broken weapon, scanning it with her mask power. She saw the weapon being used in many battles against pirates and the like, and saw a glimpse of a battle in a desert against an army of Rahkshi, but no sign of the battle that had killed the Toa. “It must have happened too fast,” she said.

“Well, what do we do?” Axonn asked.

Helryx got to her feet. “We’ll bring his body back with us. From there, we’ll figure out what to do.”

Axonn hefted the body over his shoulder, and picked up the pieces of the Toa’s mask and weapons. The group continued somberly back to the village. All their thoughts were focused on the dead Toa, wondering what might have happened to him… and whether whatever killed him might be in the woods.


The sun was high in the sky the time Gelu and Orde got back to the area where they’d been separated from Chiara and Zaria. Orde had taken to scanning Gelu’s mind every minute or so, to assure himself that his powers still worked. Gelu hated the intrusion, but he understood the need for it.

They found the rocky outcropping where the two Toa had hidden, but there was no sign of them. “They must have moved,” Orde said. “I’ll probe for them.” He closed his eyes, scanning the area around them with his powers. After a moment, he opened them. “No Vorox nearby. I found Chiara and Zaria, they’re not far.”

“Let’s hurry up and find them,” Gelu said. “I’d like to get out of this valley before the Vorox come back.”

The two dashed through the woods. It was slow going at first, but then they found a path cut through the dense forest, likely cut by Zaria and Chiara. As they followed the path, they eventually say the two Toa cutting through the woods.

When he heard them coming, Zaria whirled around, holding up one of the force blasters the Vorox had held. He lowered it when he saw it was Gelu and Orde. “Ah, there you are.”

Chiara turned to see them, holding up the Vorox blade she’d been using to cut through the jungle. “We were starting to worry the Vorox might have caught you.”

“Gee, great to know you have such faith in us,” Orde said.

“Well, now that we’re all together, we can get back to our quest,” Chiara said.

“Quest might be off,” Orde said. “We’ve got something bigger to worry about. I probed Kabrua’s mind, and, well, you might not believe this, but there’s a–”

Click.

The noise was very faint, and might have gone unnoticed by any other Toa. But Zaria had been paranoid for years, and his senses had been on high alert since the fight with the Vorox. “Get down!” he yelled, grabbing Chiara and pulling her down just as a blast of energy flew past where they’d been standing.

Chiara got back up and fired a blast of lightning at the place the energy had come from. At least, she tried to, but nothing happened. “Wait what? Again?”

A light sound caught Gelu’s attention, and he turned to see another Vorox behind them. Another came from the left, and finally, Kabrua came from the right. The Toa were surrounded.

“Well,” Kabrua said. “This was almost too easy.”


Author’s notes: those curious as to how Helryx and co got here can refer back to Chapter 8 of Forest of Doom, referenced here. (figured I’ll do that if any story ties back to a previous one without context, should be the only case of that in this story)
Orde and Gelu’s conversation on what to do went through several rewrites, as I tried to figure out what their best course of action would be. Then I wrote the rest of the story and their actual actions just came naturally. Maybe should’ve just done that first…
Xia is mentioned to have at least one Toa, but they’re clearly not there when the Toa Hagah show up.
4 Likes

Firtsly, double usage of word “arm”.
Secondly, do you assert here that Vorox (Glatorian?) are as strong as Toa are? Because:


A little bit of controversy here.

What actually was that? Because Thornax would’ve exploded on impact, yes? Or was it not over-riped or something?

Zaria’s coolness intensifies…

Did Lesowikk brought them? Why them? Or did Strakk and Lesowikk gone away to tell the others, and in the meantime Helryx and co appeared, took the body, and when already suspected Lesowikk and not-to-be-trusted Strakk bring someone to place, there is nothing, and everyone suspects them even more?

Everythings’s really cool so far :+1:

Hadn’t realized that, thanks for pointing that out!

That said, even if Zaria is stronger, the Vorox are usually more fierce and unpredictable, and in this case more heavily armed. Jarahz definitely thinks he has the advantage.

Yeah, it wasn’t over-riped.

(I would imagin it was on the verge of being over-ripe, enough that the Bone Hunter expected it to explode, but it didn’t. Probably would’ve included that in the scene if it was shown from the Bone Hunter’s point of view)

My intent was that they just happened upon it by chance, though now that you mention it I can see how it might seem like someone led them to it. But your second guess is correct – Helryx and co happened upon the body shortly after Strakk and Lesovikk left. They don’t know that Lesovikk and Strakk were there.

Went ahead and added a line to hopefully make it a bit clearer, and also fixed the redundant ‘arm’ line while I was at it.

thanks, I always appreciate the feedback.

He is behind you! Run for your lives you fools!

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Hey very nice callback to those theories!

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Chapter 4

Seeing the Vorox all around, Orde hefted the tree branch he’d taken as a weapon. “All right, it’s four on four and we’ve got out powers back. We can take them.”

“Uh, powers might not be on the table,” Chiara said.

The Vorox she’d attempted to zap grinned. “You really shouldn’t have left that little device you damaged behind,” he said.

Chiara glanced at the Vorox’s arm, but saw no sign of the power-nullifying device. She quickly looked at the other Vorox, but she couldn’t see it on any of them. They must have found a better way to hide it.

Gelu sighed. “Guess we have no choice,” he said, raising his fists. He didn’t think he could take a Vorox bare-handed and win, but he wasn’t about to go down without a fight.

And then, the Vorox began to move in. Without their powers, the Toa raised their weapons, preparing for a fight that could only end in death.


Hidden in the treetops, Jarahz watched his fellow Vorox surround the Toa. In his hand, he held the device inhibiting the Toa’s powers.

He’d wanted to help hunt the Toa, even after the Iron Toa had injured him so badly, but Kabrua had insisted he hang back. When the Vorox leader had found Jarahz and his partner in the woods, he’d been able to make the power inhibitor work again. It didn’t look that great – all the components were exposed, and it was dented like crazy, but it was functional.

Kabrua’s plan was simple: Jarahz would remain hidden, keeping the Toa from using their powers, while Kabrua and the other three killed them. Jarahz wasn’t happy about it, but he followed Kabrua’s orders.

He was focused on the battle that was just starting down below, but his senses were still alert; he’d already been caught with his guard down once today, and no good Vorox made that mistake twice. No Toa would be sneaking up on him again.

Not that the Ice Glatorian who was approaching the tree where Jarahz hid was really trying to sneak. He made no effort to conceal his presence as he approached the edge of the trail where the Vorox fought the Toa. Jarahz didn’t recognize him, but he kept his blaster trained on him nonetheless. He didn’t want to attack unless he had to, lest he reveal his position to the Toa.

The Ice Glatorian peered through the trees, seeing the fight breaking out, and then, after a moment, shrugged and turned to walk away. Jarahz relaxed his guard just a bit–

And that was when the Ice Glatorian’s arm flipped up behind him, firing a launcher Jarahz would’ve sworn he wasn’t holding a second ago. The Thornax fruit caught him square in the face, exploding on impact, and he fell from his perch, barely twisting in midair to land on his feet.

The last thing he saw as he landed was the Ice Glatorian’s axe swinging toward his head…


In mere seconds, the battle against the Vorox hunters had gone disastrously.
Orde hadn’t realized how much he leaned on his powers in close combat, using his telekinesis to subtly move his own weapon and that of his opponent. Now, he was left flailing a tree branch in a desperate attempt to keep the Vorox back. Chiara at least had a better weapon, and was fighting to hold her own against her Vorox opponent. Zaria was the only one who actually stood much of a chance, managing to take one of the Vorox to the ground, but then Kabrua struck him from behind, and he stumbled toward his fallen foe. By sheer instinct, he tried to use his powers to push the Vorox’s weapon out of the way, forgetting that he no longer had them, and the blade slammed into his torso. He grunted in pain, but gritted his teeth and slashed at the Vorox’s arm with his dagger.

Behind him, Kabrua was coming in for another attack when a gust of wind threw him off balance. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a green figure running out of the woods, not a Glatorian, but a Toa. The Toa raised his hand, and another gust of wind came forth, sending Kabrua stumbling away.

“Your powers are back!” the Air Toa cried. “Use them!”

All three Toa heard his cry, and quickly noticed that their powers had returned. Orde sent out a telepathic wave, distracting the Vorox for a crucial second, and managed to land a blow with the tree branch, hitting so hard that he cracked the branch. Zaria used his powers to yank at one of the Vorox’s weapons, and it turned the force blaster on him, but this time, he was ready. Just as the Vorox started to pull the trigger, Zaria focused all his power on the blaster, just enough to shift the Vorox’s aim and cause it to hit Chiara’s opponent instead. The Vorox stumbled, and got hit by a direct blast of lightning, felling him. The Air Toa clashed blades with Kabrua, and to Kabrua’s surprise actually managed to push the Vorox leader back.

Kabrua was smart enough to see when a hunt was lost; the Toa were quickly getting the upper hand, and now with the introduction of this new Air Toa, they outnumbered Kabrua’s forces. “Fall back!” he yelled, and the Vorox began to retreat, one of them grabbing the Vorox Chiara had blasted.


Seeing the Vorox pull back into the woods, Lesovikk let out a whoop of victory. He had no doubt they’d be back, of course, but Lesovikk felt sure that he’d saved these Toa from certain death.

Of course, he hadn’t done it alone. It was Strakk who’d led him here; he’d seen the Toa earlier, though he didn’t know they were being hunted by the Vorox. It seemed Lesovikk and his new ally had arrived just in time to save the day.

Lesovikk waved the sword he’d taken from the Bone Hunter at the retreating Vorox. “That’s it!” He shouted. “That’ll teach them not to… mess… with…”

His vision blurred, his heart light suddenly blinking rapidly, a dull pain in the back of his head. He fell to his knees, grunting in pain. Dimly, he was aware of the other Toa crying out, though he couldn’t make out what they were saying. He tried to say something, but it only came out as a choke. Then the world started to go dark…


Author’s notes: the Vorox Chiara zapped was just knocked unconscious; Chiara’s not going to violate the Toa Code that easily. Jarahz, on the other hand… he’s not going to be showing up again any time soon.
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It was made by Nokia, definetly.

I am not sure, maybe Greg used same phrase somewhere, but I always thought Toa don’t have teeth.

Same here. Maybe should be replaced with “his heartlight started flickering rapidly” or something.
I just always liked when MU inhabitant’s difference with humans was emphasized in-story, so little bit nitpicky here.

I already thought that Zaria was going to die unbeautifully, but he just got hurt, fhew.
I am not so sure about Lesovikk though…
Nice and smooth othervise, very rapid turns, keeps in suspense. Good showing of Strakk’s treacherous methods.

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I think I actually wrote that his heartlight was blinking rapidly in my initial version, but then I felt that he wouldn’t really be able to see that unless he were deliberately looking down at it, so I’m not sure if it’s something he’d be aware of. Though, it makes sense that it would correspond to his theoretical ‘heart’, so he’d be aware of whatever was causing it. So yeah, I went ahead and changed it to his heartlight.

As far as teeth go, I went ahead and checked. The one instance I could find in any of the story serials was this line from Birth of a Dark Hunter:

“He’s a moron,” [Toa Nidhiki] said through clenched teeth.

I’d say both are common enough general phrases that they could apply even if they have some sort of “teeth equivalent”.

Did you just kill lesovikk? not cool man /s

not yet… :smiling_imp:


Chapter 5

From the tree line, Strakk watched the Vorox pull back. He saw Lesovikk celebrate the victory, and resisted a sigh. There was a bigger threat than the Vorox lurking out there, and this victory would mean nothing if Lesovikk and his fellow Toa couldn’t–

And then, Strakk saw Lesovikk collapse.

Stunned, Strakk ran out of the trees toward the fallen Toa. The other Toa turned toward him, aiming their weapons at this stranger, and he held his hands up. “You can trust me. I’m a friend,” he said.

But one member of the party recognized him. “Strakk?” Gelu said. “What the heck are you doing here?”

Strakk muttered a curse. Darn it, why did this group of Toa have to have a Glatorian with them, anyway? “I’m here to help,” he said, hoping that Gelu would at least let him help Lesovikk.

You’re here to help?” Gelu said. “Right. I’ll believe that when the desert freezes over.”

Well, Gelu could believe whatever he wanted. Bending down, Strakk grabbed Lesovikk and rolled him over, trying to determine the cause of the Air Toa’s sudden collapse.

His eyes were immediately drawn to a mark on the Toa’s chest, a familiar mark. Grabbing the Toa’s chest plate, Strakk wrenched it off. “Hey, what are you doing?” the lightning Toa protested.

But then, she saw what Strakk saw: a dark, blackened mark on the Toa’s muscle tissue. “What is that?”

“It’s a Rock Steed sting,” Strakk said. His mind flashed back to the Bone Hunter attack, when Lesovikk had been hit by the Rock Steed’s tail; he should’ve checked for a sting then, but he hadn’t thought of it.

Normally, Rock Steed venom should’ve killed the victim in minutes; Strakk suspected Lesovikk’s mask power was helping him resist its effects. Of course, Strakk couldn’t say that in front of the others; they’d want to know how he knew that, and Strakk wasn’t prepared to answer.

“We need to get him treated, quick,” Strakk said.

“Where?” Gelu said. “We’re days away from civilization, unless you count the Vorox city, and I doubt they’d be eager to help him.”

Strakk hesitated. There was a way to save Lesovikk, but did he really want to take the Toa there yet, not until–

“Strakk’s hideout isn’t far from here,” the blue-and-gold said. "He didn’t want to say that, but if it can help us save Lesovikk, we need to go there.

Strakk muttered under his breath. Right, mind powers. Well, he had little choice now. Hopefully they wouldn’t ask too many questions.

“Fine,” he said. “Let’s take him to my camp.”


“This is your camp?” Orde said, incredulous.

The group stood in front of a metal door in the side of a cliff. The door was mostly obscured by vines, and Gelu would never had found it if Strakk hadn’t led them to it.

“I found it,” Strakk said. “Seemed abandoned, so I made it my home.”

“After Iconox kicked you out, you mean,” Gelu said.

Strakk sighed. He really hadn’t wanted the Toa to find out about that yet. “Bring him in,” he said. “There’s medical supplies here. We can still save him, if we act fast.”

Strakk wedged the doors open, and the group walked in. A single torch lit the center of the room, and the rest of the room was obscured in darkness. Hopefully, Gelu and co. wouldn’t ask for a tour.

“Lay him on the table,” Strakk said. “I’ll get the supplies.”

“I’m surprised you’re being so cooperative,” Gelu said. “The Strakk I know wouldn’t do anything unless there was money involved.”

“I’m not the Strakk you know,” Strakk answered. “And there’s more at stake here. I need him. I need all of you.” He hoped that would do for now.

Gelu clearly had more questions, but he seemed willing to set them aside for now; saving Lesovikk was the bigger priority.

Unfortunately, the Toa weren’t about to stay quiet. “What is this place, anyway?” Orde said, looking around at the tools and equipment on the shelves next to the table. “I figured it was some kind of bunker, but it looks more like a workshop.”

“Definitely not a place that belongs to someone like Strakk,” Gelu said.

“What did he do, anyway?” Chiara asked. “You said Iconox kicked him out, must’ve been something big.”

“He violated the Glatorian creed,” Gelu said. “During an arena match, Strakk conceded the fight. Then, when his opponent turned away, Strakk attacked him from behind and tried to kill him.”

“I wasn’t going to kill him,” Strakk protested, searching for the medical kit. It’d be easier to find with the lights on, but he didn’t really want the others seeing the whole room. “Just rough him up a bit. I was angry, okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” Gelu said. “Don’t worry, I totally believe you.” His tone made it clear that he did not.

“You can believe me or not,” Strakk said, walking back into the light with the medical pack. “But at least believe that this Toa needs help, and I am going to help him. Think what you want of me; it doesn’t matter to me.”

“Fine,” Gelu said. “But you’re not touching him. I’ve saved an Agori stung by a Rock Steed before. I can patch this Toa up, too.” He turned to Orde. “I’d like you to nullify his pain as much as you can, and make sure he doesn’t wake up. The shock could kill him.”

Orde nodded, placing his hands against the Air Toa’s head. “I can still feel him, but faintly,” he said.

Gelu got to work. “You sure this will work on a Toa?” Chiara said. “We’re a bit different from your kind.”

“It’ll work,” Gelu said. “I hope.”

Chiara was about to say something else when a loud clank caught her attention. “What was that?” she said.

Zaria grabbed his weapon. “Strakk, is there anyone else here besides you?”

“There shouldn’t be,” Strakk said.

For just a second, Orde dropped his focus on Lesovikk, scanning the area. That was long enough. “Well, you might want to turn the rest of the lights on,” he said. “Because there’s someone else in here with us.”


Author’s notes: Rock steeds having venomous tails is something mentioned in the set descriptions, but never seen in the story. I was half expecting someone to pick up on that being the reason Lesovikk fell before this chapter.
The second half of this technically violates my usual “one Point of View” rule, since Strakk wouldn’t know the Toa’s names, but writing “the [insert color scheme] Toa” each time felt a little clunky.
6 Likes

nooo he needs to suffer more!

great chapter as always btw.

No, I didn’t forget to post a new chapter yesterday, what are you talking about?


Chapter 6

Chiara held up her hand, lightning crackling around her fingertips. “Could it be a Vorox?” she said.

“Why would a Vorox come in here and shut the door behind him?” Gelu said. “And turn off the lights, too?”

“Maybe this place wasn’t as abandoned as Strakk thought,” Zaria suggested.

“Or maybe he was lying about being alone,” Gelu replied.

“Well, only one way to find out,” Chiara said. Then she yelled “All right! Either you come out where we can see you, or I’ll come find you. And if I have to come find you, you won’t like what happens.”

Strakk sighed and grabbed another torch, lighting it off the one over Lesovikk. “This is my hideout,” he said. “I don’t take kindly to invaders. Gelu, Orde, see to Lesovikk. Lightning Toa, Iron Toa, let’s find our little guest.”

Zaria raised the Vorox blade, following Strakk into the dark. In his other hand, he held the Force Blaster he’d taken from the Vorox, and he kept his eyes trained on Strakk as the three went off into the dark. He already didn’t trust Strakk, and he couldn’t recall anyone mentioning Orde’s name.

As the three walked through the darkened hideout, lit by the fire from Strakk’s torch, Chiara scanned the walls, seeing more tools and equipment, as well as half-assembled parts of things she didn’t recognize, and diagrams here and there. “This looks like a place where an inventor might work,” she said. “Wonder how long it was abandoned before Strakk found it?”

“How long ago did you find this place?” Zaria asked.

“A few days ago,” Strakk said.

Zaria’s eyes narrowed. He knew how to read a room, seeing the patterns of dust, to tell if people had been there, and how long. This room had been seeing frequent use for quite some time. Either Strakk was lying about when he found it, or someone else had been using it before Strakk… and maybe they still were.

Zaria’s keen eyes caught sight of a shadow moving along the far wall, just outside of Strakk’s light. “All right, come out!” he yelled, aiming the Force Blaster at the shadow.

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, a figure stood up and walked into the light. “All right, don’t kill me,” the grey-armored Agori said. “I’m not here to cause trouble.”

“Hey, I know you,” Strakk said. “You’re that Skrall assistant, Atakan or something like that. What are you doing here?”

“Atakus,” the Agori said. “And I was just wandering. Just curious, is all, found this place by accident.”

“Really,” Strakk said. “So you elected to go stumbling around in the dark? Or do you Rock Agori have night vision now?”

Atakus sighed. “All right, you caught me. I knew this place was here, known for quite a while. I knew you were here too, Strakk, I just didn’t want to say anything.”

“All right,” Strakk said. “Let’s say I believe you. What brought you back here?”

“Well, I couldn’t find a paper I needed,” Atakus said. “I thought maybe I left it here last time I was in here, so I came back to check, and sure enough, here it is.” He held up a piece of parchment.

Strakk instantly recognized the paper Atakus held. In a flash, he had his Thornax launcher aimed at Atakus. “Give it to me. Now.”

“What?” Atakus said. “I promise, this isn’t from your little hideout. Not that anything here belongs to you anyway, but this is mine. Just some ideas I was scribbling one day for an idea I had. Was going to try and make it here, but–”

“It isn’t yours,” Strakk said. “It’s the plans for a powerful weapon. And you have no business with it.”

Now it was Atakus’ turn to narrow his eyes. “How do you know that?” he said.

Chiara abruptly launched a bolt of electricity, zapping Atakus and causing him to drop the paper. Strakk immediately made a move for it. Then, suddenly, his armor locked up, and he couldn’t move. He turned his eyes to see Zaria holding out his hand. “No way,” the Iron Toa said. “Not until you explain what’s going on here.”

“Grab the paper, and I’ll tell you,” Strakk said. “And don’t let Atakus get away!”

The rock Agori got back to his feet, and saw Chiara advancing toward him. He didn’t like his odds against one Toa, let alone two. There was only one thing to do.

“Stop him!” Strakk shouted.

But it was far too late for that. Atakus dodged Chiara’s lightning and pulled out a small launcher, much like the Force Blaster Zaria held. Zaria raised his other hand, and Atakus felt his armor lock up too, but it was too late – he already had the launcher aimed at the iron Toa, and pulled the trigger. Zaria was caught by surprise by the blast of force, and he dropped his hold on Atakus and Strakk. Strakk tried to grab Atakus, but the Agori was quicker, running for the door. He ran past Gelu and Orde, still tending to Lesovikk, and they looked up at him, surprised, but they were too busy with the Air Toa to stop him.

Atakus slammed his hand against a lever near the door, and there was a loud rumble of stone. He wedged the door open roughly, greeted by a wave of dust and a rush of pebbles. Pushing through it, he dove to safety, just as a landslide of dirt and rock fell in front of the entrance.

Getting to his feet, he pointed the blaster at where the entrance used to be, but as the dust cleared, nothing else emerged. Strakk and the rest were buried, hopefully for good.

Maybe that would help make up for the fact that Atakus had lost the plans for the weapon…


Author’s notes: I initially wrote this scene with Atakus just running away, before it occurred to me that Zaria could probably stop him easily. Zaria’s a bit focused on not trusting Strakk, but we know he can grab two people at once.
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This is getting really good, tying in the plot thread of Atakus working for Velika.

I’m interested to see how Strakk knows what he does, both Orde’s name and the weapon design. Maybe he was involved with the Great Beings a long time ago, when Orde was created? After all, he clearly understands what’s in the rest of the lab:

EDIT: I just remembered that one of Greg’s original ideas was for The Yesterday Quest to take them to the workshop where the Toa (or at least some Toa) were created. Is this that lab? That would explain why Strakk would want to hide the room from the Toa, and it’s conceivable there could be some kind of diagrams with Orde’s name on them…

EDIT 2: If Strakk was working for the Great Beings, that would offer an explanation as to why he went south to “take care of business” just before the Shattering.

Slight delay on this one – I wound up having to rewrite it a bit.


Chapter 7

Zaria coughed and got to his feet. Dust filled the air, and the torch Strakk had been holding had been extinguished, plunging the group into darkness.

Chiara’s lightning lit up the dark a bit, sparks crackling between her fingers. Many of the walls had caved in, one nearly burying Chiara. “Everyone okay?” she said.

“Fine,” Strakk said. “Atakus sealed the entrance. He’s trapped us.”

“Why?” Chiara said. “Why would he do that?”

“I don’t know,” Zaria said. “But I suspect Strakk here does. You want to tell us what you’ve been hiding, or do we have Orde force the knowledge out of your head?”

“I don’t know the full answer,” Strakk said, “but I do know that a great weapon was unleashed. I thought it was an accident, but now I wonder if it was intentional.”

“What kind of weapon?” Chiara said.

“The worst kind,” Strakk said. “The kind designed to kill your kind. All Toa.”

Chiara gasped. “Who would make something like that?” Zaria said.

“The Great Beings,” Strakk said. “There’s a lot you don’t know about them.”

“Wait,” Chiara said. “Why do you know about it?”

Strakk sighed. No point hiding it anymore. “I was sent here by a Great Being,” he said. “I was supposed to help you stop the weapon.” He coughed a bit in the lingering dust. “But if we’re stuck here… it could kill them all before we get out. Fortunately, there’s another way out that maybe Atakus wouldn’t know about, but I don’t know where it is. But she might…”

“Who’s she?” Chiara asked.

Strakk held up his hand. “I’ll tell you more, but first, we need to find the others.”


With Chiara’s help, Strakk was able to locate and relight his torch. Then he took the group to a wall panel to turn on the lights, but when he flipped the switch, nothing happened.

“The quake must have broken something,” he grumbled.

“I don’t get it,” Chiara said. “How did one little Agori nearly bring down this whole place?”

“It was supposed to be a failsafe to seal the entrance in case… something undesirable wanted to get in,” Strakk said. “But it was never completed. Ideally, it would’ve just brought down a rockslide in front of the entrance, but I guess it was too strong.”

“Well then,” Chiara said. “Guess we’ll have to find the rest of the team in the dark.”

Strakk led the group back to the entrance, where they found Orde helping dig out Gelu, who had been caught when part of the wall collapsed. Fortunately, the collapse had narrowly missed Lesovikk’s body.

Gelu stared at Strakk, having heard the Ice Glatorian’s story. And he clearly wasn’t buying it. “Right. Strakk, working for a Great Being personally. Somehow, I can’t see it. You want to tell us the real truth now?”

“He’s telling the truth,” Orde said. “He really does know a Great Being. But there’s something else he hasn’t told us.”

Strakk sighed. “I used to work with her years ago, before the Core War,” he said. “When the Shattering happened, we got separated, and I didn’t hear from her for millenia. Then the planet gets fixed, and suddenly she contacts me again. Says she needs me to stop one of her creations.”

“So you agreed to help her on a dangerous mission?” Gelu said, doubtful.

“Well, she was paying me,” Strakk said. “And being exiled does make it a bit hard to get paid, you know.”

“But now we’re stuck here,” Orde said.

Strakk didn’t look happy about what he had to say next. “There’s only one way out. I have to take you to her. She’s here, in this lab.”


“You had one job, Strakk.”

The white-robed female paid no mind to the three Toa gawking at her, instead focusing all her attention on Strakk, gazing at him furiously. Strakk, never one to flinch, met her gaze just as intently.

“Get the Toa where they needed to go, stop the salvation, and keep me from having to get involved,” the woman said. “And you managed to fail at all of that.”

Strakk held up the scroll Atakus had tried to steal. “I found the plans we needed.”

“You mean Atakus found the plans we needed,” the woman said. “It seems one of my brothers also knows the weapon is loose. But was he trying to stop it, or trying to make sure it carried out his mission?”

Orde finally spoke up, for the first time since Strakk had led them to the Great Being. “Wait, why would you want to kill the Toa?”

“In case you went bad, of course,” the Great Being said. “The Glatorian and Agori would be powerless to stop you. We had to do something.”

“So you made a weapon to kill us all?” Orde said.

The Great Being nodded. “I helped make it. It was made here, the same place where…” she hesitated. “It was locked away, to be released if it was ever needed. But when Mata Nui brought you all here, it escaped.”

Orde could tell the woman was hiding something, and instinctively tried to probe her mind, only to discover he couldn’t. For a second, he thought the Vorox were back with their power blocker, but it wasn’t that his powers didn’t work; they just didn’t work on her.

But Strakk wasn’t so well guarded. From his mind, Orde saw what the Great Being – Fierah – was hiding about this place. He started to blurt it out, then hesitated. Not yet.

“And now we need to escape as well,” Fierah said. “Follow me.”


With Fierah in the lead, the group walked deeper into the bunker. Or, as they now realized, the Great Being laboratory. Chiara and Zaria were carrying Lesovikk, who was still unconscious. Gelu had done what he could, but he wasn’t sure if the Air Toa would make it or not.

She led them to another set of doors, these ones much bigger than the front door, reinforced and clearly locked tight, with a thick layer of rock on the other side. “Strakk, would you like to do the honors?”

Unlimbering his axe, Strakk slammed it against the doors, once, twice, three times, before finally breaking through. Behind them, there was a wall of rock, which fell before Strakk’s axe, revealing a clearing and the forest beyond. Zaria had his blaster ready, just in case, but no enemies waited to ambush them.

“You see?” Fierah said. “Sometimes, it pays off to have secrets. The other Great Beings understood that, unlike some people.” She glared at Orde, and he realized she was probably aware he had tried to probe her mind.

Well, Orde probed everyone’s mind. She’d just have to get used to it. “Speaking of secrets,” Orde said. “There’s something I need to ask you about. Do you know anything about–?”

“Look!” Chiara cried abruptly.

Orde grumbled something about things always interrupting him, and looked to the sky to see what Chiara was pointing at. And then, all thoughts of the dark secret he’d learned left his mind.

In the sky, a huge red meteor was falling rapidly to the surface. Orde had only seen it recently, since coming to this world, but it was fairly unique, hard to forget or mistake for anything else.

It was the Red Star. And it was falling.


7 Likes

Yes, I know, wildly inconsistent release schedule for this story. This week’s been very busy, so it’s been hard to keep up with this.


Chapter 8

Chiara had wanted to go see what had happened to the Star, and even Orde had to admit to being curious – especially when he caught a flash of worry from the Great Being’s mind, upon seeing the Star fall. But there were bigger problems to worry about, and Orde still had a secret to share.

Fierah stared at the Toa of Psionics, her arms crossed, a deep frown on her face. Orde had told her what he’d learned from Kabrua’s mind, about a Great Being hiding in one of the people from the Matoran Universe, and even for her, it was a lot to take in.

“I think I know who it might have been,” she said. “Though I have no idea whose body he stole. If his plans are as dark as you say…” she shook her head. “And I thought Marendar being loose was bad. Maybe it was this Great Being who set him free?”

“That would make sense,” Orde said. “So, how do we stop him?”

“Well, we start by stopping Marendar,” Fierah said. “And luckily, we have the key to doing that.” She held up the paper that Atakus had tried to steal, and began to unfold it.

“What is it, anyway?” Chiara said. “You said it was the plans of a weapon. Was it Marendar?”

“A part of him,” Fierah said. “And with any luck, it will allow us to track him down. Hopefully, with my help, you can–”

“Uh, guys?” Chiara said. “Lesovikk’s… his heartlight isn’t…”

The group turned to look at Lesovikk. Sure enough, his heartlight had gone dark. The Toa of Air was dead.

There was a moment of silence, finally broken by Fierah. “That’s… unfortunate,” she said. “The only thing we can do now is carry on in his name, and try to stop Ma–”

“Shut up,” Orde said abruptly.

Fierah stared at him, shocked. “Excuse me?”

“This is your fault,” Orde said. “You and your think-headed secrets. You know all there is to know about how Toa work, don’t you? You could have saved him earlier, when we brought him to your lab. You were hiding there the whole time. But no, you sent an exiled Glatorian to clean up your mess, and when Lesovikk needed help, you just let him die.”

Fierah glared daggers at the Toa of Psionics. “You don’t know the–”

But Orde wasn’t finished. “And that’s not all,” he said. “You know how to bring him back, don’t you? As soon as we realized he was dead, you let your guard down, and I saw what you were thinking. You thought about that star. Something there can save him, but you don’t want to tell us, because of your stupid secrets. Well, I’ll tell you what.” Orde waved his hand, and a wave of psionics yanked the paper out of Fierah’s hand and into his. “You and your secrets can go to Karzahni. Maybe Mata Nui was wrong. We don’t need you.”

The rest of the group stared at the two, stunned. Fierah stared at Orde, and Orde stared back, undeterred. “You dare to talk to your creators like that?” she said. “Would you talk to your Turaga that way?”

“If she were as stupid as you, yes,” Orde replied.

Fierah met his stare for a moment, and then shook her head. “I only tried to help you at my brother’s behest,” she said. “I was happy to let Marendar wipe you out, but he convinced me you were worth saving. I’m not sure what he saw in you.”

“Maybe he saw people who were willing to fight for each other,” Orde said. “Instead of putting their ‘secrets’ over the life of their creations.”

“Look, even if you take him to the Star, there’s no guarantee that usable revival tech will have survived the crash,” she said. “And what about Marendar? You just going to let him run around killing Toa while you try to save the life of one Toa? If Marendar gets to them, the Red Star won’t be able to bring them back.”

“Why don’t we do both?” Gelu said. The rest of the group turned to look at him. “Way I see it, you need materials to make something for us to track Marendar. Can those materials be salvaged from the Red Star?”

Fierah blinked. She hadn’t considered that. “It’s… possible? Assuming that the death sensors survived, I might be able to rewire them using parts from the Ignition Protocol, tracking the energy from…”

“So, does that mean you’re going to help us?” Orde said.

Fierah pondered for a moment. She had told Angonce she would deal with Marendar. No matter what she might think of these Toa, she had a promise to keep. “I’ll help,” she said. “But let me tell you something, Toa of Psionics: if I feel you probe my mind again, I can and will turn your powers back on you. Permanently.”

“All right,” Orde said. “I’d say our first mission was a success; we found a Great Being, even if she is quite possibly the most Mahi-brained one around. New mission: Save Lesovikk, and then track down and defeat a weapon designed to kill Toa. Sounds easy enough. What about you guys, you in?” he turned to look at Chiara, Zaria, Strakk, and Gelu.

“I’m down,” Chiara said. “Let’s go kick Marendar’s butt.”

Zaria simply nodded, and Gelu shrugged. “Might as well. Beats walking back home by myself, through a forest full of Vorox.”

Strakk shrugged. “How much are you willing to pay me?”

“Now there’s the Strakk I know,” Gelu said.

“Then let’s get to it,” Orde said.


“You lost them?”

The voice contacting Atakus through his high-tech gear was harsh, angry.

“They’re buried, along with the Toa team looking for you guys,” Atakus said. “They cornered me, so I–”

“You ruined our best chance at fixing this mess,” the voice growled. “Perhaps our allies from the sand can dig them out and fix your problem.”

There was a long moment of silence. “As for you, Atakus, I have a new task for you. The Star has fallen. I want you to find out who has survived. Make sure you’re not spotted. Try not to fail again.”

The voice went dead. Sighing, Atakus changed direction, heading to where the Star had crashed.


Power. Marendar could feel the Power. The strongest source of it. He’d already taken down one source of the Power, but there was a bigger one out there. It was the biggest threat, which meant it needed to be dealt with first.

But suddenly, he paused. Something was coming. Lots of power, not all in one source like the big one he felt, but several smaller ones, descending to the surface… with that red light from the sky. The red light was falling, and with it, it brought the power.

The big power could wait. This needed to be dealt with. Turning, Marendar started heading toward where the Red Star was about to crash…

To be continued…


Author’s notes: figuring out how to end this one was hard. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to end with them seeing the Star crash – in fact, at one point I ended the story at the previous chapter, but it didn’t feel like it really concluded anything. Still feels a bit inconclusive – they found a Great Being, and now their mission’s kind of changed – but now they’re going to get involved with the Star Story.
The Star crashing is going to get a lot of attention, probably a lot of people will come to it to investigate, and there’s going to be quite a bit going on there. I imagine there might be more than one story there. But before I get there, right now, I’ve got one story “finished” (pending editing and rewriting) and one possible idea, and then I plan to start on the crashed Star stories.
And since I usually give some kind of hint to the next story here, it’s going to involve some guy who became a Toa because he put on a shiny mask. I’ve heard he’s supposed to be important.
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