The two Toa finally came to the final walkway to the Great Temple, their brothers gathering around them.
"Good to see you still with us!" Terhetti panted as they ran the last few legs to the Great Temple.
"I'm a perennial," Arxtann replied.
"I hate to tell you this," Korxann started, "but we're going to have to take care of these Rahkshi before we enter the temple."
"He's right!" Marnd groaned.
"Very well. Toa, give them Karzahni!"
That was the voice of Natru who had joined them at the last minute along with Luatu. The Toa struck as one, Arxtann melting them for scrap, Marnd and Terhetti combining their power to make an undulating landscape, Korxann freezing the bots, and Luatu made a hurricane with Natru. When all was done, naught but a heap of scrap lay on the ground.
"Well, that was fun," Luatu said, a large grin on his face. "I didn't know that Ga-Matoran could be so violent!" Natru's frown threw off the Toa of Air's smile.
"They were only suits of armor, so we should deal with them thusly."
"Guys," Korxann said, "let's remember why we're here." They all nodded their consent and made their way down the walkway to the Great Temple. The entrance to the Temple was not hard to find, it was locating the Toa Suva inside that was the problem. Despite everyone knowing it was in there, no one actually knew where it was. Several hours passed before an exhausted Marnd stumbled upon a lever that opened the entrance to the Suva. He practically stumbled in and promptly landed on his face.
Luatu stepped through next and remarked quite sarcastically, "You need to work-out more brother." Marnd's only reply was a grunt. Terhetti pushed Luatu aside and helped the dazed Toa of Stone to his feet.
"C'mon brother," he said, "this is no time for a nap."
"I beg to differ," Marnd slurred as he tried to jostle his mask back into place. Arxtann raised a questioning brow at Natru who answered with a shrug. Meanwhile, Luatu had been oohing and ahhing at everything inside the Suva. He was spouting some gibberish about having his statue placed at the entrance and everyone kissing its toes to get inside until he received a swift smack in the back of the head by Korxann.
"Hey!" Luatu grunted in indignation. "Who are you to strike--?" Korxann's icy glare cut off the rest of his sentence. "Zip it Luatu," Arxtann warned as he scanned the Suga itself for anything of use. "Natru, Terhetti, you're the ones most familiar with places such as these. Any idea where Toa-weapons would be held?" Terhetti only shrugged as Natru began searching the walls.
"Perhaps we are missing the obvious brothers," she finally remarked after combing the entire room. "Perhaps the start of our journey does not begin here.."
The room went silent instantly, except for Luatu tapping his toes. Korxann looked at Natru quizzically, and she stared back at him, like she had just commented about the weather.
"Sister," Korxann began, "just what do you mean?" Natru sighed and pointed to the Suva.
"We came here expecting guidance, since the Turaga are currently imprisoned."
"And supercool Toa-weapons!" Luatu interrupted. This got him a glare from the others. Natru continued.
"The Suva should be giving us weapons, as Luatu pointed out, but is not the Suva controled by the Great Spirit? Like it or not, I do not believe we shall find help here since Makuta is now our "Great Spirit"". Terhetti and Korxann instantly broke into conversation about the possibility of this while Marnd tried to look like he knew this the whole time. Luatu wasn't paying attention as usual. Arxtann rolled his eyes and clapped his hands, creating a short burst of fire. This got their attention. Luatu threw his mask off and bounced it around in both hands, trying to cool it off.
"Carefull fire-spitter!" Luatu snapped. "We're all on the same side here!"
"You've probably just alerted the Makuta to our presence if he didn't already notice it!" Marnd yelled. Arxtann just shrugged.
"Then we had better figure out a plan before his minions get here, now that I have your attention." He motioned to Natru, but the Toa of Water dismissed him, and said, "You lead them." Arxtann nodded and turned back to his brothers.
"Here's what I think. The Toa Nuva seperated because to many Toa in one spot will eventually attract unwanted attention. But their purpose was twofold: to distract the Makuta and raise resistance against him."
"And you're point is?" This of course was Luatu.
"Let us do the same, but we'll need to meet up with other Toa, as well as anyone else who is against the Makuta, be they a friend or past enemy."
Terhetti nodded. "Good idea fire-spitter. But what--?" He was cut off when the temple rumbled.
The floor broke open and smoke flooded the room. With a dramatic hiss, a gun-metal leg stepped through, followed by a bright yellow rahkshi. Upon seeing the six Toa, it opened its faceplate and let losse a terrible screech. Arxtann stepped back as memories from Ta-Koro hit him. True, that was the first time any of them had seen the "sons" of Makuta, but it still struck a chord within his mind. His thoughts were broken by Marnd's smack-talk.
"He's only one rahkshi and there's six of us! We can-- oh..."
The whole began spewing forth yellow rahkshi, each snarling and eyes glowing crimson. It was truely terrifying. In a matter of seconds, the team was surrounded.
"What do we do now fire-spitter," Luatu whispered to Arxtann. The Toa of Fire was at a loss as to what to do.
Terhetti broke the silence. "I'll tell you what we do. We SMASH!!!" At this, the Toa of Earth slammed his foot into the ground and created an earthquake that knocked all the combatants off their feet, or claws in the rahkshis' case. Marnd saw what his brother was going at and summoned pillars of stone from the ceiling to crush their foes, but he got a little carried away and a few of the pillars almost crushed Luatu, with a scathing remark from his brother.
"What is this? Squash the air Toahero?"
"Might not be a bad thing," Marnd mutters. The yellow rahkshi were not to be so dettered though. Four ganged up on Marnd and began blasting him with their laser vision. Marnd only had time to erect barriers of stone around himself, but the others were still exposed. Luatu summoned a windstorm that swept away the attackers, and Marnd.
"Hey!" the unfortunate Toa of Stone shouted. Luatu only smiled and blew him into a wall.
Despite our antics, we seemed to be winning, until Natru got careless and accidentally flooded the Suva area. Control over the elements was greatly lacking, Arxtann thought to himself as water surged over him. It was then that he realized he couldn't swim and began panicking. He saw Luatu desperately wasting air and energy by struggling to the surface, as Terhetti sank like his element. Natru swam about with an alarmed look on her face at the water she summoned. The yellow rahkshi weren't to happy either, but their laser vision began slowly evaporating the water. In a last-ditch attempt, Natru commanded the waters to flow out of the temple and into the sea of protodermis, taking the rahkshi with it. Unfortunately, her lack of control almost sent Korxann to share his enemies fates, until he froze himself to the ceiling. Marnd coughed and took his mask off in order get all the water out.
"Well," he coughed, "I wouldn't want to go through that again."
For once brother," Luatu choked, "I concurragree with you."
Natru only looked sheepish as Korxann struggled to remove himself from his own ice. Arxtann walked over to help by evaporating the ice with an overdose of fire, which cause Korxann to throw his mask off because if the heat. Terhetti raised a brow at this.
"Seems that we all are trying to remove our masks these days," he commented. Marnd turned his around and tried to recognize the design. "My armor is silver and brown, and my Kanohi has a spike on it to match."
"Seems like it's the Kanohi, Spikio!" Luatu quipped. "The great mask of fashion!"
"Shut up!" Marnd snapped.
"Let me see it," Korxann requested. Marnd handed his Kanohi to the scholar, who fiddled with it, turning it around and around in his hands before finally saying, "I don't know what Kanohi this is. Guess we'll find out."
Marnd just grumbled and put if back on, but Luatu just wouldn't stop about Marnd's mask.
"Perhaps it's a pathwayfinding mask of getting lost? Or maybe it--"
"Shaddap already!!" Marnd demanded and launched himself at his antagonist, who promptly flew into the air and hit the temple ceiling.
"Ouch!!! Now that hurtsmarts everbad!!"
"Kanohi Kadin, the Mask of Flight," Kroxann murmured. "How fitting."
"Enough," Arxtann commanded. "Your arguing has given me a plan. We split into three groups to exit Metru Nui, and than track down any leads as to where the Toa Nuva are hiding out. Perhaps from there we can figure out how to stop the Makuta."
"Stop the universe?" Terhetti questioned. "We all know that is what he did."
Natru put a hand on her brother's shoulder. "Whether he is or not, there must be a way to stop him. The bigger they are, the harder they fall."
"Or the bigger they are, the more bones they break," Terhetti replied. "Sounds like a good plan. Who're we splitting up with?"
It took a while, and a great deal of bickering (Marnd refused to partner with Luatu, who of course feigned to be hurt), but three groups were created within the six of them. Terhetti and Marnd were to escape by "borrowing" a small airship. Luatu and Natru would escape via and underwater chutes. While Arxtann and Korxann would "commandeer" a boat. All six of them would meet up on the strip of land that lead to Karzahni, and then seek out the heroes they knew could save them.
Ahkmou paced the halls of the Coliseum nervously, awaiting his audience with the Makuta. His overlord has summoned him right after the news had come that Toa had been seen on the streets of Ga-Metru. Ahkmou had thought nothing of it, since stories tend to be exaggerated by the witnesses. But his master's summons caused him to rethink this. Of course, the Makuta wouldn't appear in person, that was impossible. Instead, he would likely speak through a rahkshi, or some other fierce beast. There was no telling with Teridax. Ahkmou's thoughts were interrupted adruptly when a deep, purple rahkshi barged through the doors at the other end of the hall. It advanced menacingly towards the frightened Matoran, each step taken deliberately and with power. It's eyes glowed a sinister shade of crimson, revealing its possession by the ruler of the universe. Ahkmou gulped and tried to control his shaking hands. The rahkshi faceplate opened as a hideous voice scratched upon his ears.
"There is a disturbance in my city. Six new Toa have been created, under your very nose."
Ahkmou tried not to stutter. "That should be impossible. Where could they ever get Toa stones with the security I have in place--"
"They made them," the rahkshi hissed, towering over the Matoran, growling. "These Matoran succeeded in creating Toa, somehow."
This disturbed Ahkmou. If his master had no idea how this astonishing feat was achieved, then it seemed that anything was possible for this group of Matoran.
"What of the Toa?" he questioned. "Shall I arrange for the Vahki to--"
"Your Vahki fail in every task! No. I shall have Nord deal with them. They have exited the city, under your very nose, and are making their way south to join the Toa Nuva. I shall see to it that this is properly dealt with."
Now Ahkmou was worried. He had only heard of Nord by what his few witnesses called him: the plague of the shadows. His victims were found alone, terminated without a trace of unnatural causes. The only clue that it was done by his hand was the scar branded upon the mask-less faces. The Makuta would certainly receive the best of service, Ahkmou thought. But if he was all powerful, why would Teridax, he who now wielded the power of the universe, stoop to hire underlings to do his own job? Perhaps he wasn't as strong as he made himself out to be. The rahkshi chuckled (a truly horrible sound) as though it could read his mind.
"Oh Ahkmou. Have you no faith in my abilities? This power takes some, getting used to. At my current rate of control, I would eradicate the Northern Continent when I merely meant to break a bit off. No. This job requires finesse, not a sledgehammer."
With that, the rahkshi shuddered and fell to the side. The Makuta had left him. Ahkmou began pondering all that had been told. Teridax had left him much to think about.