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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

May 30 2017, 12:23 AM #31

Chapter 31 – Back at Plot Q

“Well, you see, I was once the leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta. But the Brotherhood of Makuta is no more. You see, once Mata Nui knew that we were plotting a rebellion against him, he retaliated swiftly and without mercy. Teridax, the leader of the rebellion, managed to survive through his own twisted wiles. In doing so, he managed to convince the others who sided with me, to remain loyal to Mata Nui, that he was an insane tyrant that must be stopped. I tried to reason with them, but it was no use. They all choose to follow him, and one by one, in failed plan after failed plan, they all died.”
Belocka looked on, confused. “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

“What I am saying is that Mata Nui has made a laughingstock of us!” Miserix roared. “We served him and received no honor, no respect, none of the adoration we deserved, and when we tried to claim it, he killed us all!”

“Sorry, sorry,” Belocka said. “Except he didn’t kill you.”

Miserix laughed. “I knew Teridax’s plan was a farce from the beginning. Overthrow the Great Spirit himself? Too hard. And he’s still trying it, the fool.”

“Sounds like you have a pretty big beef with that Teridax character,” Belocka said.

“I don’t know who to blame anymore,” Miserix said. “All I have left is this deserted island and a few prisoners and slaves to amuse me. Not much, in the face of an entire universe.”

Belocka nodded, thinking about the problem. It was then that the floor dropped out from below her feet. She shrank back from the hole, looking down at a black and silver figure.

“Onua!” Miserix shouted. A shadow hand burst from the Makuta’s side, slamming the Toa of Earth against the bars. He cursed Teridax a few times.

“What’s wrong now?” Belocka said.

“Forget it.” Miserix snapped. “I am going to go kill that creep once and for all. Son of a Muaka.”

* * *

The Matoran who stubbornly returned to their houses were met with a nasty surprise. Vahki crashed down the doors and hauled the Matoran away, cursing and shouting.

Hidden behind a fence, Krakua grinned as he controlled the Vahki using his sonics power. Easy enough to mimic Vahki speech. Even futher away, Galari was keeping him hidden through psionic illusion.

Meanwhile, several Matoran were hammering away on machines to use against the Makuta. “This is the Makutanator!” one enterprising Matoran yelled, waving a flamethrowing axe device at anyone who would listen. “A giant axe that chops up their armor, and flames to fry their antidermis! Only 39 widgets plus rapid delivery!”

The Makutanators sold out within minutes. Krakua noticed that more of them got employed on the Vahki than anything else, and Krakua was half-tempted to tell them not to do it because they wouldn’t get any work out of the Vahki anymore.

But maybe that was a good thing.

In the middle of the chaos on the streets, the strange black Matoran had strangely vanished. Having overcome the threat of the Vahki, the rogue groups were combing the entire island searching for him in outrage. It was only a matter of time before they expanded their search to the entire universe.

Meanwhile, Galari had spent most of the day passing out proto-candy to the Matoran that were actually working in the middle of all of this chaos. Krakua caught up with her later.
“What about the arsonist?” Krakua said. He didn’t see much point to hunting him down, but he needed something to do.

“What about the waves?” Galari asked.

Krakua nodded. He had forgotten about that in all of the excitement of his plan to defeat Makuta.
“We have to go to Artahka, and stop the creativity waves. The Great Beings only intended the Matoran to be as creative as they were, to help them solve problems. This enhanced amount of creativity – it’s unnatural. And if they remain as they are, they will just create their way out of working again. We have to cut it off at the source.”

Krakua looked on at the city of Metru Nui, watching Matoran riding a ferris wheel, laughing and talking over more designs.

“This antidermis detection system will find him!”

“No, he’s probably back in his lair by now. This tank will take him out!”

He sighed. It was so creative. So effective. So powerful. So many beautiful songs…

“Looking on, moving on,
At the shadow of perfection,
And you just wish that the dream could go oooon…”

“But all beautiful things,
Must come to an end,
Even though the goodness lasts for so long,” Galari sang.

“Stop wrecking my song.” Krakua complained. Then he noticed a menacing island appear on the left.
“Looks like our buddies have decided to make an appearance,” Krakua said.

“It’s not what you think it is,” Galari said. “But I wonder why Miserix would appear now, of all times.”

“Miserix is still alive?” Krakua said. “Oh.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” Galari said. “The worst case scenario is that they are going to ally with each other, but that is extremely unlikely. Miserix hates Teridax’s guts.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Krakua said.

* * *

Belocka found herself alone with the unconscious Onua. She hopped down off the bed. Her skin flickered as she hit the floor, showing a tunnel leading only one direction – past the Toa she had been trying to avoid. Her skin prickled.

What was he doing here? Was he here to rescue her? Was that why Miserix was so mad?

Her skin glowed, and he sat up. “Thanks.”

“It was an accident,” Belocka said. “I can’t control this power – it comes on for no reason.”

Onua laughed. “You could almost say that about me. I had a Nuva Symbol that was captured by Teridax long ago and he gave it to forces loyal to him. I’ve been without power for years, until today, when my powers just came on. Fancy that.”

Belocka grinned. “Can you get us out of here?”

Onua smiled. “Now you’re talking.” His quake breakers revved. Then they felt the lurch of the island moving.

It stopped.

“Let’s go.”

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 12:30 AM #32

Chapter 32 – Standing on the Edge

Atilucen approached the boat. He felt like a million years had passed since he had seen it last.

“Hey” he said. He expected a Vortixx to appear. “Hey!”

No response. Then he saw a Vortixx appear, one of the males, looking over the side.

“Atilucen!” he called. “Where is everyone else?”

“They’re fine.” Atilucen said. The Vortixx moved, letting down a ladder for the lone Agori. He climbed up, and found himself shivering. It was cold.

For a second, he wanted to go to his quarters and lie down, but he knew what his dreams would be filled with.

If I keep moving, maybe I can fix this.

Part of him wanted to take the boat back to Spherus Magna. Where the silver being had gone. But something told him that was wrong. The being that had rode the boat back was fluid and had formed a being. That looked like Belocka. But wasn’t, because Belocka couldn’t do that.

At least, not the Belocka he knew. Who is trying to stop me?

But there was no way Makuta could have known about Belocka. Everyone he knew knew Belocka was long dead. Except for Belocka herself.

He raised the sail, and took the wheel. “We’re going to take the boat around the island,” Atilucen said. He braced himself to have to explain to a whole bunch of Vortixx, but surprisingly there was no response from anyone.

He didn’t feel like questioning it. He turned the boat into the breeze, heading toward the opposite side of the island. The male Vortixx lent a hand near the sail, which the Agori was grateful for. They came to the opposite side of the island, near some odd ripples in the currents.

Atilucen pulled the tarp off the submersible, and began setting up the mechanical cranks, lowering it off the side of the ship. He braced the two pulley wheels against the mast.

“I need your help,” The Agori said. “I need you to run this down the side of the ship, with me in it.”

The Vortixx nodded.

“Then I need you to run three lengths – from this pulley to this one – down under the water. When I get down under there, I have a system with the ropes. One tug means stop. Two tugs means go down deeper. Three tugs means get me up. Go it?”

The Vortixx nodded.

Atilucen got in the submersible. The Vortixx turned the crank, and Atilucen looked at the water below. It looked strange from this angle – almost like a monster about to swallow him whole.

He hit the surface slowly, first his legs, then up to his chest. He took a cautious breath of air and held it, almost afraid the rubber wouldn’t work, but his engineering held true and he soon let it out.

He stopped descending. He swallowed multiple times to deal with the pressure.

Took a breath, dove in. Waited for his eyes to adjust to the water. Pulled down.

Something glistened on the sea bottom. Pulled down some more, looking. His head hurt.

Glass. No wreckage, no boat, no dead body. Just glass on the sea floor. Shattered and broken in pieces.
He felt like his heart was in those pieces. But he was too far away to do anything further. He got back into the submersible and pulled three times on the rope. He was hauled out of the water slowly. Felt like forever.

He swallowed. Swallowed again. The crank seemed to go slower. He was afraid that he was running out of air. Swallowed again. He moved his legs, kicking at the water, even though he knew it would do no good.

Up. Slowly.

Finally cleared the water.

The rush of air made him feel dizzy. Reached the top. Got out, soaking wet.

“Nothing but glass.”

He wondered if the Vortixx would ask a question. But he did not.

“Let’s take the boat back around the island.”

“Yes sir.”

He needed time to think. At the same time, he felt the rising need to act. But do what?

* * *
Onua and Belocka crawled out of the caves of Destral, only to find themselves looking at another cave system across a shallow wade of water.

“Hope you’re not afraid to get your feet wet,” said Belocka. She ate from her store of provisions, and offered some to the Toa, which he gratefully accepted. He and the other inhabitants of this realm had a strange way of eating, but Belocka decided that questioning it was unwise.

The two waded across the stream. It was dark and menacing, but the old Toa seemed to be able to see in the dark better than most. She was grateful to him in the dark place, and as the sense of gratitude continued, her skin glowed.

It was a pale gray light. But this seemed to be enough for the Toa to lead her on.

The sounds of a furious battle resounded up ahead, and the two looked at each other in fear. Her skin faded to normal, leaving them in almost total darkness save for the Toa’s eyes and heartlight.
“Wrong way?” she whispered.

“No.” Onua whispered back. “This tunnel slants up, in a way that no tunnel on Destral could. We’re off the island.”

“Then where are we?”

“I don’t know, exactly. Destral has a habit of teleporting to random places. We could be anywhere in the known universe.”

Belocka just shrugged. “I’ll settle for not being in a cell for the time being.”

Onua nodded. They kept walking towards the battle. Occasionally Onua would call a halt, put his hand against the wall, and then wait a couple of seconds before continuing onwards.

After a few more minutes of this, they came to a vast chamber. An armored titan was being senselessly pummeled by an angry dragon as it threw power after power, attack after attack, at its foe.

What a stupid fighting strategy, Belocka thought. Eventually the dragon will wear out and the armored titan will defeat him.

Oh wait, that’s Miserix. Too bad for him. To think that I had sympathy for him, even for just a few seconds.

“Let’s go,” said Onua. The two ran across the chamber past the battling individuals. The armored titan looked like it wanted to stop them, but Miserix took advantage of the distraction to pummel him and slam his armored form into a wall. A bolt of energy raced after them, but the two dodged it easily, almost as one.

Belocka felt like running some more, so she just kept going, until Onua picked her up and set her on his quake breakers. The tools raced through the tunnels, swerving around obstacles, until the two looked on the strange sunlight of a star floating in the ocean.

A red star.

And a strange boat was pulling up. “Hey!” Onua shouted, heading towards the boat.

Belocka followed.

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 01:25 AM #33

Chapter 33 – The Island of a Thousand Losses

Krakua and Galari stepped onto the island of Artahka. A cold breeze washed over them, a herald of a nasty rain.

“Could you have just put us in there?” Krakua complained, pointing to the fortress on the hill not too far away.

“The island shifts,” Galari said. “It reacts to visitors based on its master’s mood. And these days his moods are far too unpredictable.”

Krakua sighed. “Let’s go.”

* * *

Booms were the first sign of trouble. The air cracked with the singing of projectile weapons, and Krakua ducked.

“Makuta’s forces are attacking this island while Mata Nui is distracted.” Galari said, breaking into a jog.

Krakua followed, annoyed.

“Why would they bother?” Krakua said.

“They don’t know about us.”

“Old news.”

The two ran up the stairs. Fire lanced across their path. Krakua ran on past Galari though the flames, ignoring them entirely, even as the water sprinklers went off. Isn’t this dramatic? His mind told him. Krakua, Toa of Sonics, dashing in to save the day?

Before he could stop himself, he was playing that dramatic theme music. He stumbled into a room, where…a Toa of Fire was making a mask?

It was beautiful and orate, one of the finest masks he had ever seen. Surely dozens of new ones could be made, with all sorts of new powers to help. Yes, that would be fine, wouldn’t it.

A hiss of a Rahkshi interrupted his thoughts. The Rahkshi were a problem. Couldn’t a Rahkshi throwing arm be made to toss them into the sea?

He turned and looked.

It was a beautiful mask. Not the one the Toa was making, but the one on the pedestal. The one who had three metal spikes driven through it, it’s energies flowing into the room. Hairline cracks dotted its surface. A metal shell held it up, and Krakua could tell that if he removed the mask just wrong, he would break it worse than it already was.

As Krakua watched, the red Toa abandoned his mask-making project to walk over to the Mask of Creation. Krakua shivered in terror – until he saw that the Toa was going to repair the mask.

Krakua, hurry! The Rahkshi!

Krakua turned around to see Galari focused on the Toa and ten dozen Rahkshi staffs pointed right at her. He immediately created a sonic boom behind the Psionics Toa, the powerful sound waves rippled through the Rahkshi, clanking them together and sending their staffs off in various directions. The crack made them dizzy. Another high-pitched sonic attack disintegrated a bunch of Rahkshi, reducing them to hissing slugs on the ground. To his dismay, there were more coming.

Meanwhile, Galari ran past, and snatched the mask’s shell off the pedestal. The Fire Toa launched an attack, melting the Kraata to ash. A dimensional portal opened, and she dove through, pulling the Fire Toa by the wrist, her other arm wrapped around the shell. Krakua followed.

He thought he would find himself back on Metru Nui. Instead, he found himself in another room of the fortress, standing over a stasis field. Inside, a massive green titan was suspended, maskless, in eerie animation. The rooms’ walls were white, the floor and ceiling black, making the whole place seem like a black hole.

Artahka, Galari thought. I can’t speak yet. My ears are still suffering from what you did back there.

Sorry, Krakua thought back. His mind quickly calculated all the ways to disrupt a stasis field, but he could feel the flow of ideas, creativity, in his mind, slowly crashing down to…what it was before Metru Nui. The loss of cognitive input was making him dizzy.

Galari took the Mask of Creation in her hand. The Toa of Fire looked dizzy, the abrupt creativity loss releasing him from her thrall. He fell to the ground unconscious.

Krakua nodded grimly as sadness gripped him. Across the universe, Matoran would look on at the sky in anguish as their creativity slowly drained away. The closer they were to here, the worse it would be. But they would recover.

And the songs, the designs…they faded in his mind just a little. He too had wanted to enjoy his own musical fantasy. But my most important job isn’t being a musician, he realized. It’s being a hero.




Krakua listened to the stasis field. It had it’s own thrum, its own rhythm, its own life. Now was the time to disrupt it. He reached into the field, his power of sonics disrupting the field long enough to pull the titan out.

With a little help from Galari’s telekinesis. She put the mask back on him, and used her Psionics power to wake him up.

“You are wise, Toa,” The ancient crafter said. He coughed.

“We have some…problems,” Krakua said.

“Well, you sure must have, otherwise Mata Nui would never have woken me up.” As if on cue, a door to Galari’s right disintegrated, revealing a Rahkshi. It immediately disappeared.

The next second, Galari and Krakua were standing outside the fortress, on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Artahka was standing next to them. And by their side was the form of Toa Helryx, looking on in stern disapproval.

“You have set a temptation before us,” Helryx’s voice said, although Krakua knew it was not truly Helryx. “This time, they may succeed in their wrongdoing. This is not how it was meant to be.”

“Come with us,” Galari said. “We’re going to stop it.”

Artahka sighed. “The Great Spirit has many wrongs to put right, sister, and not all are as simple as you realize.”

Krakua looked around. “You guys can come, or not.” He turned to Galari. “We need to go back to the city. We have a Makuta to fight.”

“That is not how it was meant to be,” the being posing as Helryx said.

“Yes, but that is how it is.” Galari and Krakua both said at once.

A second later, they were both standing on the shores of Metru Nui. Helryx stood behind them. An armored titan was approaching on the horizon, looking awfully tired, weary from a long fight. Dozens of Skakdi blazed away with their vision powers, striking what looked like an old pitted protosteel shield.

Artahka was nowhere to be seen.

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 03:15 AM #34

Chapter 34 – Meeting

Atilucen pulled the boat up to the coastline, landing the boat safely. He let his forehead rest against the wheel.

Just a few minutes, and I’ll be able to think again…

“Hey!” a deep voice shouted.

What now?

“Hey!” another voice shouted. This one was more feminine, more…familiar. Where have I heard that voice before? Was it one of the Toa, one of the Matoran or Agori who came with me?

What are they doing here? Are they going to press me back into that job again?

No, I’m not going to do that. Never. They can kill me first.

He pressed his forehead harder into the wheel and covered his ears.

“Sir” the Vortixx protested, shaking him. “Sir, we have visitors.”

He stood up. “Tell them to go-“

And then he saw her.

He fainted dead away. “Sir” the Vortixx said. “Sir?”

* * *

He awoke not too long afterward to see a strange black Toa, Belocka, and the Vortixx standing over him.
He covered his face with his hands and tried not to scream.

“Atilucen!” Belocka said. “I’m s-s-sorry I…”

Then she looked around, confused, as if to ask herself: Why did I say that? I only had one option, and that was what I did. And apologies won’t make anything better.

“I should be the one apologizing to you,” Atilucen said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Belocka said. “I was the traitor-“

I killed your father.” Atilucen burst out. He closed his eyes and rolled over, his hands to his face.
Then he wondered if he was being fooled by a very clever shapeshifter. If so, this was going to be twice as humiliating when everyone else found out.

But how?

All the same, he began to feel the knot of pain inside of him begin to loosen and melt, streams of it untangling and slipping loose. He would finally get what he deserved.

* * *

Belocka stood over Atilucen, leaning back against the wall. A silly smile slipped across her face. Perfect. Now I can go claim my father’s inheritance for myself. But first I have to get this boat to go in the right direction.

“Can you give us some space, please?” she said to Onua and the other being. “Like go plot strategy or something.”

Inside of her, a rivlet of emotion stirred then, and she sank down to her knees. In her hallucinations she had gone back and killed her father a thousand times in her rage. He had been responsible for so much grief, and caused so many problems, and in her pain, she had made him out to be worse than he was, especially talking to Atilucen.

He was just trying to protect her. A few tears flowed then.

But she wiped them away. That fool deserved everything he got. Every single thing. He obviously never cared for what I really wanted, and so he paid the ultimate price. Fair’s fair.

All the same, how did Atilucen escape being hanged? Had he spent all 100,000 years being a fugitive for her?

What kind of mess did we both make? Oh, Atilucen, you shouldn’t have done anything for me. Killing him…

But she couldn’t find the words. What were the right words?

It was my fault. I tricked you. I owe you now for coming to look for me? Thanks for the help, now I don’t have to worry about him anymore?

It felt so hard to think. How did she get this catatonic Agori off the deck and back in working order?
Oh geez, now I’m thinking like him!

She thought back. Her memory kept telling her about the one time her father canceled debts.
“Why did you do that?” his daughter said.
“Because they don’t have any money,” her father said. “There is no point in expecting repayment. So I forgive them their debt. It wasn’t a lot of money anyway.”

Then she remembered that more than debts could be forgiven. She had read that somewhere. With Atilucen, actually, that one time…

“I forgive you,” she said.

He looked up. “What?”

“I said, I forgive you.”

“You can’t be serious.”

Belocka giggled. He was being silly. There wasn’t much to forgive, anyway. What is this, I forgive you for doing what I wanted because you think it was horrible? You got a big conscience?

“Atilucen, I am so incredibly serious. You can bet my life on it.”

Atilucen sighed. He lay down on the boat, and let himself smile. But then, as he felt the sadness receding, he felt one small pocket of hurt left. His smile faded as he looked over at her.

He remembered how many hours he had spent on this boat, and now, that he thought about it, on this one. And he remembered the payment that he demanded, and how he was tricked out of it.

“What’s wrong now?” Belocka said. “Did you do something else terrible?”

He laughed. “No, not really. More like something stupid.”

“Do tell,” She sounded amused, as if anything would be trivial after all of that.

“When I was younger, I wanted something in exchange for my boat-making services, remember?”

Belocka shuddered. “You’re not going to hold me to that, are you?”

Atilucen sat up. “Belocka, I forgive you for tricking me and running off with my boat. You did that because of what I asked, and it was stupid of me to ask. I couldn’t buy you. You’re your own person, and I think a lot of people forgot that.”

Belocka smirked. “They did.”

“Fortunately, they all paid the price for it,” he said. Including me.

“Indeed.”
Atilucen got up and headed back to the wheel. “So,” he said, “how did you manage to survive for so long?”

“It was a glass dome under the ocean. Some silver fluid transformed your boat into a dome thing, and transformed me, too, I think.”

Atilucen smiled. “That…actually makes sense.” So that’s why I saw “Belocka” riding in that glass boat.

“Really?”

“Tell me about it along the way, please,” Atilucen said. “I have a Red Star to fix, and a planet to save.”

“So that’s why you’re out here?”

Atilucen paused. “No,” he said. “I was out here to find you.”

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 04:25 AM #35

Chapter 35 – What it feels like

“Are you insane?” Belocka said. “First you kill my worst enemy, then you’re a fugitive for a hundred thousand years, and then you come out here to find me?”

“They ‘died in the Shattering’” Atilucen said. “You missed it. Remember the Energized Protodermis that the Ice Tribe found. The Fire Tribe finally got it, and they blew it up, exploding the planet. A bunch of people died. What were five more dead bodies?”

“That’s brilliant.”

“I got lucky,” Atilucen said. “And I came out here because I thought you were one more casualty, but I had to be sure, so my secret would remain alone with me forever.” Why am I telling her this?

“That’s not really true. You wanted to see me alive so you could share it.”

“Sort of. But I didn’t believe you were still alive.”

“You believed enough to make a boat trip.”

Atilucen went back to steering, trying to contain his silly smile. Why I am I smiling? I just did something really stupid that will haunt me forever. Now she will use that secret to control me. Stop talking. Every word you say is another knife in your side.

“So you killed my worst enemy, crafted a clever lie to protect yourself until this planet came back together, and then built a boat to go find me?”

Atilucen sighed. “Stop putting a positive spin on it. It sucked. I’m not anywhere near as crazy as you think I am. Stop approving or ignoring all the things that I did wrong. I don’t need that.”

Belocka shrugged. “Stop ignoring the fact that you love me, you silly Agori.”

Atilucen opened his mouth to spout a bunch of lies…and closed it. “So what? You don’t care for me at all beyond what I can do for you.”

True, Belocka thought.

“I’ll take you home, but after that, you’re on your own. Like you always wanted.”

“And I got it for 100,000 years.”

“I’m not a pawn you can use in your games, Belocka,” Atilucen said. “Those days are over.”

And this is when she threatens to tell everyone my secret if I don’t, Atilucen thought.
“So be it.” I don’t even want you as a pawn. You’re manipulating me. I’m not going to be on your chessboard. Why I am still talking here?

Atilucen pulled the boat into a gash in the defunct space orb. Belocka created steps of glass up the inside of the scaffold and began climbing immediately.

“Aw, come on!” Atilucen complained. The Vortixx appeared. Atilucen smiled. “Go get Onua. Let’s move.” He threw the anchor overboard and tied the boat to one rope…only to see a giant thruster appear from nothing above him. He scrambled up the ladder.

Belocka scrambled onto the catwalk just in time to hear a green-hued titan say “I designed it that way,” and slap a tan-hued figure’s back.

Alarms blared as Atilucen arrived on deck. “Incoming hostiles,” read one computer screen, showing two boats, armed to the teeth with something that didn’t look friendly.

“EVERYBODY FOLLOW ME!” the Agori shouted, scrambling down the ladder. Everyone from Atilucen’s crew followed him, scrambling down the ladder and climbing down over each other.

They got down to the bottom and Atilucen began checking to see that everyone was there. Frantic.
Where’s Belocka?

* * *

Belocka stood alone in the Red Star, next to a green titan and a hunched over Skakdi. Her mind had sorted itself, it seemed, finally. She wasn’t going to stay where she wasn’t wanted. Why not stay here?

Unfortunately, the green titan turned around and waved his hand, and she was gone.

She was standing on a boat, in the middle of a gale force wind. Belocka felt the momentum as the ship lurched backwards, then turned abruptly left. Atilucen at the helm.

He turned and saw her. She grabbed the railing to keep from falling over.

She saw a huge red star blast away from the sea, heading for the sky. The water churned underneath, forming a wave that pushed the boat away, and at the same time eroded the island behind them in a horrific way, sand and rock crumbling into the sea as flames erupted over its surface. The thing dissolved away into what seemed a huge gaped maw, and a head rose from the sea.

She could not look away as the giant robot rose from the sea, standing up on the reaches of Aqua Magna.

I was inside that…thing?

* * *

Krakua waited for darkness and lightening to envelop the Skakdi and take them out. But there was no sign of any of that as the being of shadows approached.

“Your eyes deceive you, Toa Krakua,” Helryx’s voice said. “Follow me.”

She took off running, then stopped abruptly. “Stop.”

A second later, Krakua felt a teleportation power take hold of him. It was not the smooth teleportation of Artahka – more like the time he had to use a mask of Quick Travel in training once.

He found himself in a room surrounded by machinery. Galari popped out of a dimensional portal a second later, looking dazed.

And that was when the room filled with an eerie sonic hum. Krakua and Helryx were unaffected, but Galari eerily froze in place. Frantic, Krakua absorbed the sound around them.

“Do not bother,” Helryx said. “It is too late.”

Krakua sighed. He supposed that the two of them hadn’t really become friends. There was no time for that.

“Yes, it is indeed.” A deep voice sounded from all around them. “I must say, thank you for the help, noble Toa.”

“Everything I did was to stop you,” Krakua said, summoning a barrage of sonics. “I’m not going to stop now.”

And that was when the earthquake hit.

* * *

Atilucen swerved the boat around to see the giant robot in the distance, and the two boats smoothly moving into position opposite it.

To his surprise, he noticed that the two watercraft were small, about half the size of his own watercraft. They were made from what appeared to be excidian mixed with protosteel, their gleaming black hulls reflecting the water below.

But what stole his eyes right now was the huge cannons mounted square in the middle of each craft. The sides of each were huge rectangular boxes lying lengthwise across the cylinder of the cannon, making deep ridges across the sides, and making the end of the cannon appear like a stubby flower. In the center of the flower was a huge metallic eye.

One of the cannon-boats was bare, with only what looked like a thick rubber cable running out of its back and through a guide in the back of the boat. The other boat had a control panel which a Matoran was frantically typing away at.

A Bo-Matoran, who looked up and stepped back and dramatically pressed a button.

Quantrasil.

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 06:07 AM #36

Chapter 36 – All Villains Defeated

Krakua could do little as the gauntlets of Helryx lanced chain lightning through the machine. He was too busy holding on as the earthquake rocked the room. He released his barrage of sonics at the being, but it seemed to have little effect.

Except the chain lightning stopped.

The room settled. Some rubble fell from the sky and crashed to the floor. Heat vision lanced from Helryx’s eyes, meeting a bitter gas cloud. Powers flashed as the Toa and the rogue spirit battled.

* * *

Atilucen was snapped out of his daze by Hahli Mahri yelling “No!” as both of the cannons fired at once.

“What?” Atilucen said.

“Krakua is in there!” Hahli said. “We have to stop him!”

“A little late for that,” Belocka said.

To everyone’s surprise, the cannons fired energy that didn’t punch two holes in the robot’s chest. Instead, the energy from the cannons spread from their contact point, enveloping the robot in an eerie white haze. It stumbled and fell backwards. Atilucen’s boat was driven even further away by the choppy waves. He was forced to forget the entire battle in an effort to keep himself alive, driving the boat away from the scene in order to flee.

* * *
Krakua hurled a blast of sonics at Teridax. The distraction was just enough for the Water Toa as she hurled a blast of lightening that burned the antidermis to shreds. As the burst of Sonics faded, the Toa heard an ominous sound.

The sound of water.

He looked at Helryx.

“Bend your knees.”

The next thing he knew, he was falling into water. Around him, there was a bunch of Vortixx and a group of Skakdi.

“I hate water!”

“This was the worst vacation ever! I lost all of my money gambling and spent too much time bounty hunting! I want a refund!”

Krakua looked on. “We might have a bigger problem,” he said, pointing to the giant cannons that were adjusting their aim to go right at them. He began swimming that direction. Meanwhile, a current of water began pushing him forward. A wind battered the cannon ships as fire caught on board: two of the Skakdi were using their powers in combination.

Krakua swam on, only to see a familiar face in the midst of the flames. Quantrasil! He was typing on the controls furiously, even as they burned. Still too far away…

One of the boats exploded, the cannon sinking into the water. Krakua felt himself being pushed upward, out of the water, tackling the Bo-Matoran to the floor of the vessel. The De-Toa wasted no time in jumping off the vessel, taking Quantrasil along with him right before other boat exploded. He frantically swam to safety.

“You idiot!” Quantrasil shouted. “I needed those to reawaken the robot so Makuta could have it!”

“Makuta is dead,” Helryx said. “I killed him.”

Krakua sighed. Distantly, he wondered if he could have stopped this from happening. But there was no time, and he didn’t know what he was doing. He looked up to see two Red stars in the sky. “This place is fast becoming a giant robot graveyard.”

“This is not what is meant to be,” Helryx said.

“Now that’s real useful,” One of the Skakdi commented. “Maybe if I wish real hard, I’ll be on dry ground again too.”

A Vortixx closed her eyes. Krakua paddled over to her…and then they were on dry ground again.

And it didn’t feel like a teleportation either.

“What is meant to be?” He said to Helryx.

“We were supposed to provide guidance to Mata Nui, and share in his wisdom,” the water Toa said.

“Who is we?”

“Us. We are antidermis, its essence. We were once within a certain being’s shell, and it was destroyed, and this one brought to life. So we took possession, to fix the wrongs of the others.”

Krakua nodded. “Helryx is dead…or is that just the form you took?”

“Both.”

He looked on sadly. Helryx had once been his friend and mentor. To see his friend…inhabited…in such a way left him bitter. He scrambled to his feet and walked into the sea a short way.

“Perhaps, I could take another form. Would that help?”

“No.”

“I meant, to abandon this Toa’s form and take another. We would need materials to build a form, but it could be done.”

“Yes, I would prefer that.” He wanted to mourn his friend’s passing properly.

“It shall be done,” The being said.

“Wait” Krakua said. “Why did you rescue me all of those times?”

“You were meant to live. It was your destiny that one of my other selves attempted to destroy. He has altered many destinies, but I seek to see yours fulfilled.”

Krakua sighed. He still had so many questions, and, it seemed, so few answers. And as he forcibly led his Bo-Matoran prisoner away, he felt it would be a long time before he got any real ones.

* * *
Atilucen was wondering the exact same thing as his boat made the trip back, which seemed to be an awfully short compared to the trip before. Maybe it was the waves that shoved him away.

The mood on the boat was somber, as it seemed that everyone knew of someone who had died in the effort to stop the tsunami. The revelation that the Vortixx had been lured away after Atilucen’s party left had done nothing to improve his spirits. And although Belocka frequently derided him for his big conscience and told him the deaths weren’t his fault, it did little to deaden the sense of loss and blame.

Why do I always think of myself, and then everyone else?

Still, there was nothing to do but go home and accept his fate. Atilucen, murderer. It seemed that he could do nothing without leaving a huge trail of death in his wake.

But finally, finally, the boat landed on the Spherus Magna shortline. He immediately began tying the boat down and yelling “Everyone off!”.

“Hey, you’re getting in the way of my nap!”

Atilucen looked down to see a familiar Vortixx lounging in the sand. He looked around, only to see a bunch of them lying in the sand in front of him. “Sorry,” he said.

Another Vortixx stuck her tongue out at him. “Lounging on the beach – best vacation ever. Peace out.”
Atilucen sank to his knees in relief. “Have you seen the Skakdi or Krakua?”

“Skakdi? Those filthy dogs left long ago man. Where have you been?”

“Krakua left with that Matoran that was on the boat launching cannons at us, you know, green and blue guy? Argh, he was the worst vacation-killer ever.”

Atilucen dropped to his knees in relief. “They’re not dead.”

Belocka laughed. “See, you’re not as bad of an evil villain as you thought.”

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Joined: Dec 4 2016, 01:55 AM

Nov 2 2017, 07:12 AM #37

Chapter 37 – The Epilogue

Night fell on Spherus Magna, and Atilucen found himself standing on his tied-up boat. Pragmatically, it was because he didn’t want to make the long hike back into the land, back to his house.

But in reality, it was because his mind was still plagued by questions. Why did that robot decide to come here? Did it just crash? How did Quantrasil get the cannons? Did he make a big deal with the Great Beings or something?

* * *

“I know that your robot came here to harvest resources from our own universe.” Krakua said. “Why didn’t it just do that from space?”

“You don’t understand,” Quantrasil said. “Makuta kept trying to put viruses in Mata Nui to affect his systems, so Mata Nui had to continually work around or stop his attacks. He would have had to focus on Makuta, resource transfer, and flight controls all at once. I think it was too much effort. Plus I looked into Mata Nui’s scanners – they work better when he lands. Plus, when I died and when he killed Zaktan, he probably predicted that we would crash the Red Star.”

“So you crashed the Red Star?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“So we could escape and get back to our robot home. Also we needed to keep Mata Nui here so we could target him.”

“And how did you get the cannons?”

Quantrasil smiled. “Now that is privileged information, my friend. Suffice to say I had a deal with a certain special someone.”

“A Great Being?”

“You could say that.”

“Who?”

“Oh, he’s a little wrong in the head. He’s good at breaking into places, though, I’ll give him that. I paid him extremely well.”

Krakua sighed.

“You wouldn’t know him anyway, even if he told me his name, which he didn’t. It was all part of the deal.”

* * *

Belocka summoned up her courage and crawled up the ladder, walking across to the other blue Agori standing on the deck.

He looked at her. “What are you doing here?”

“I just wanted to say goodbye. What do you think you’ll be doing next?”

Atilucen grimaced.

“I just want to know so I can stay out of your way.”

“Now you’re the one who’s lying,” Atilucen said. “How many people have you told my big secret yet?”

“What?” Belocka said. “Atilucen, come on! Why would I tell people that you’re a murderer? I don’t want to see you hanging.”

“Yet. I’m sure the day will come.”

“Really. I’m going to go out of my way to betray the person who brought me home.”

“You did it last time.”

True, Belocka thought. “I don’t want to repeat the experience. I will never do that again.”

“Belocka, I still don’t know why that robot crashed here, or how Quantrasil got those cannons. I need answers, okay? If there’s anything I’ve learned from the past 100,000 years, it’s that unanswered questions bug me. I think if I go find Quantrasil, and maybe go north afterwards, I might be able to answer them.”

“I want to go with you.”

Atilucen looked out at the sea. “Just stop. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now, okay?”

“I’m just being honest. I don’t want anything from you right now. But I do want to know why I’m alive right now. Why that thing was there. And about your friend.”

She paused. “And besides, you won’t have to wonder what I’m doing. Ever thought about that unanswered question?”

True, Atilucen thought. “I don’t trust you.”

“You don’t have to,” Belocka said. “Just let me come along without killing me!”

“Alright, I think I can manage that,” Atilucen said. Maybe. Given my previous record, I really shouldn’t talk.

The possibility touched the edge of his mind again, but he dismissed it. Given all concerned I’m just really happy to be alive.

THE END.

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