“So, Mr. Turik. What qualifies you for a spot in my elite training course?” asked Ahkmou from his comfortable chair and desk. The Vo-Matoran thought for a bit.
“Well, I tried out for the Ussals and they said I had talent, but needed experience.” It was natural for a Vo-Matoran to have talent in Kohlii. They were so fast they weren’t allowed to play in many lower leagues. Ahkmou stroked his mask for a bit.
“I’ll see what I can do. I think I can fit you in with my weekend seminar. Hope you don’t mind Matoran of Energy!” Ahkmou chuckled. Turik shook the hand of the master Kohlii Trainer and Ball Aficionado and went on his way. Turik jumped for joy a moment after leaving the office. Several other matoran watched in the long line to his room. Some had expressions, Ahkmou could only fit in a select few for his sessions.
That night, Turik practiced hard. Kohlii was nothing like Uila Racing, but it would have to do.
“Alright, class! Today we will begin with rudimentary combat exercises!” shouted Ahkmou. A matoran of energy looked confused and raised his hand. Ahkmou ignored it. “The art of Kohlii is much like the art of the sword! It takes patience, strength, bravery, and cunning. Find a dummy in the shed to practice on. By the end I want either you or the dummy on the ground.”
Turik grabbed a sword from the shed and charged at the waiting dummy. The dummy was a big bag of hay attached to a spring on the ground and when he hit it, it bounced back and sent him flying backwards.
“Are you OK?” asked a worried looking matoran of energy. She pulled the Vo-Matoran up. “Ahkmou, I think he’s got a concussion! I’ll take him back to his house.” She walked to the dizzy matoran over to the door and lead him to the stone road of Po-Koro. She flagged down an Mahi Cart. She got in and handed a few widgets to the driver. “What’s your address?”
“None currently. I hope I could have stayed in a team dorm…” Turik said. He had spent all his money travelling to Po-Koro in the hopes of becoming a Kohlii star but had blown it at the tryouts.
“I’ll take you back to my place. By the way, I’m Erna,” Erna told her address to the driver and they rocketed away. The next day, Turik didn’t feel much like practicing.
“You’ve got to come! It’s your dream, isn’t it?” Erna persuaded him.
“Turik! Get your head in the game! What was Nolta’s last move?” Ahkmou shouted.
“Left parry.” Turik replied glumly. He picked up his Kohlii stick for another round. He and Erna had been paired together for a team which was nice. They seemed to be losing quite a lot to Nolta and his partner.
“Turik! If you could be a little more like Nolta then maybe the score would at least be 1:7 instead of 0:23!” Ahkmou shouted some more. The short tournament was exhausting, but Erna backed him up. They ended up getting fifth place, higher than many other teams. Nolta got first. Ahkmou gave him a little stone medallion. When Turik was leaving he saw that Ahkmou’s office door was ajar. He stopped for a bit to hear a fragment of a conversation.
“Remember, it’s a life decision. You can perform the sacrifice and follow the path of greatness or…” It was Ahkmou’s voice.
“Consider it done!” That was Nolta’s this time. That night, Erna cooked him a stew and they talked about their travels. The next day, Turik came to practice with a smile on his face. Not only did he have a home, but a friend. He and Erna got in 1st place this time. Was it because they had improved or was it because Nolta and his partner didn’t show up? Nolta already went to practices on and off, so it wasn’t unusual. His partner was known to be wealthy enough to go on vacations, too. 2 months passed and Nolta and his partner were still gone. One day, Turik waited at the curb for a bit as Erna was still inside. It had been an hour. She finally arrived.
“What are you looking at?!” Erna asked angrily. Turik jumped.
“What’s gotten into you?” asked Turik, confused.
“Nothing…sorry. Stressful day.” Erna took out a stone medallion and flipped it in her hand. That day, at home, Erna was preoccupied. Finally, Turik spoke up.
“Do-do you think Ahkmou is up to something? I saw him talking to Nolta the day he disappeared. Something about a sacrifice. That day, the partner also disappeared!” Turik’s voice sounded frightened. Erna normally wouldn’t believe such wild conspiracy theories.
“I’ve had that hunch, too! I’ve been doing research into Ahkmou’s background. He’s had several run ins with the law as well as a strange habit of collecting dangerous rahi. I think he’s working with Makuta.” Erna said. Turik was dumbfounded. Could it be true? There was little evidence, but, if both of them had a hunch, then maybe. “I found this medallion in Nolta’s locker! They were cleaning it out.” She showed Turik the medallion. It had the symbol of Makuta on it. Turik gasped. “We’ve got to keep our cool. Tomorrow, we have to sneak around to find out what’s going on. Don’t be too loud about it. We need more evidence.”
The next day, Ahkmou’s building seemed different. It loomed over the two matoran like a dark twisted sculpture. The two tiptoed through the door to find that the candles had been snuffed out. It was pitch black.
“Sorry for the trouble.” A voice echoed from behind them. Turik jumped but Erna reassured him. It was Nolta’s voice. The matoran appeared out of the darkness. He had a candle with him. “Our candle supply caught on fire.” They followed him through the dark corridors to the open air Kohlii Field. Thank god, they were back outside. Turik screamed. A ten foot tall Muaka lumbered about. “What?” Nolta asked, feigning surprise. “We’ll call animal control at once.” He said in an equally emotionless voice. Now that Turik could see him clearly he realized Nolta was wearing a hood. He was too scared of the giant beast to say anything. Nolta guided them back inside. Faint scratching could be heard through one of the walls. They reached a long dark room. Nolta struck a match to light up a series of candles. Suddenly, 20 faces appeared from the darkness.
“Surprise!” they yelled in unison. Ahkmou came out from the darkness and shook the hands of both Erna and Turik.
“Congratulations! Welcome to your surprise party!” Ahkmou said cheerfully.
“Why are you having a surprise party for us?” asked Erna.
“Because,” Ahkmou paused, “You’ve made the cut! You guys are the best Ussal Racing team in this entire training group! I’ll post you guys up for the next tournament!” There was cheering. Ussal? thought Turik. Nevermind. He’d made the cut! There was cake and everything.
“This is great, isn’t it?” cried Turik excitedly. Erna was still suspicious of Ahkmou.
“I think this is a red takea to throw us off the scent.” said Erna. “Let’s sleep on it.” That night, Turik returned home with a stomach ache. He had eaten too much cake. He passed out.
Turik woke up in the middle of the night. He had a fevered dream. He was sweating. He got up from bed and lit a candle. A face shone back at him. It had black, sunken eyes that receded far into its head and jagged mask. It was his own. This apartment was too stuffy. He had to get out. Turik packed his bag and began walking. He tripped. All of his supplies came tumbling down the stair and into oblivion. A matoran passerby helped him up. Another Vo-Matoran. It was nice to see one of his own kind in this foreign land.
“Are you OK? You look like you’ve seen a Tuura Spirit!” The Vo-Matoran helped Turik up. “I’ll take you to the healer’s place.” He put Turik on the back of his Mahi cart. The matoran passed out. He woke up on the stone bed of a healer’s bed to see a Po-Matoran talking with a matoran of energy. The matoran of energy was Erna. Had she come to get him? She picked him up on a cloth stretcher and brought him into a cart outside. He fell asleep once again.
He awoke in a familiar room. Ahkmou’s office. He got up frantically but found he was chained to the desk. Strange green candles lit everywhere and a massive M was written in red ink above the door. Several hooded figures entered.
“The decision of decisions awaits. Will you remain an infidel or go onward toward the path of Rahkshi-hood?” asked one of the figures. Turik recognized his voice as that of the Vo-Matoran who had taken him to the healer. Another figure entered, clad in a necklace of teeth and a red robe without a hood. It was Erna. She took out a dagger.
“I am ready.” She took out a dagger that seemed stained with something foul.
“Erna? What’s going on?!” Turik’s voice escalated into a high pitched whimper.
“She is no longer Erna, she is Kraata. Will she be Rahkshi?” said a another figure sitting behind the desk. This one had a long black cowl and grey armor with red jewels embedded into it. Ahkmou. Erna raised the dagger up into the air. There it stayed. Turik was sweating profusely, to petrified to scream. Ahkmou tapped his foot impatiently. He abandoned the solemn, mystic tone of a cult leader for his kohlii trainer voice. “Well?”
“Sorry,” she replied. Turik couldn’t tell if she was saying sorry to Ahkmou or to him. He didn’t have time to find out…