So, we've been evicted here. At least here we can continue our story in peace, although I know this is not the perfect solution. I hope you're all okay with this. The background story and the timeline still exist on BS01 if you want to look at them.
Lux smiled and took the sword back, 'Ah, don't mention it.'
Syryn, in sore need of some weapons, finally decided on a broadsword, and, in case he needed something slightly less lethal, a new stave to replace his lost one.
He glanced over at Hosuk, 'You sure you can't spare anyone?'
The Skakdi rubbed the back of his neck nervously, 'Well, I can ask, but the chances of anyone volunteering are slim to none.'
Syryn grimaced, but understood. Hosuk and his crew had risked a lot just helping them here. He didn't want to further endanger them.
While Syryn was increasingly worried, Lux was in awe of the supplies cache they had found. It had everything, and it was open to their use. Lux almost gaped, but held his resolve, only taking a a knife, and strange looking sickle he found.
He sat down on a nearby crate taking stock of their situation. So far they had: six Matoran, and two Toa, neither of whom were fighting fit. But, they had made it this far on their own, he trusted that they could make it in and out okay.
'Alright, what's the plan?'
What do you want? Zoma asked mentally. Even after pledging his allegiance to the Xa-Kuta, he was still deeply unsettled by the Master of Shadow's presence in his mind.
That's no way to address your superior, came the response, as overwhelmingly cold as ever, You don't seem to understand the finality of your situation. You are no longer just an idea to them, Zoma. You are their dream come true, and they will never let you go back. You must accept your destiny.
A destiny you chose for me.
No, the voice boomed, A destiny you chose for yourself. Perhaps unconsciously, but you chose it all the same. My Rahi could sense it, your uncertainty in the will of Mata Nui, in your duty, in yourself. They were hesitant to attack you because, however unwittingly, you did not oppose me. I seem to recall you telling Lohkare, before his possession, that you didn't care whether I could be defeated. Tell me, have you ever honestly believed that my brother can be awakened?
Zoma'a answer shocked even him.
No. I... I guess I always knew it was impossible, ever since the Toa disappeared. Maybe even before then.
Rylus and his new friends will be arriving soon. They abandoned you, and now they wish to steal you back. They would not have come all this way without reason. They know your power, they fear you. They fear what you have yet to become, and they will do everything in their power to alter your course. Show them the error of their ways.
”We go and find Zoma and get him as far away from this village as possible. I trust Syryn can guide us in the temple and Phantoka will be of great help in getting Zoma out of here. We worry about possible pursuers later.”
Henkka’s plan was simple, but made up by a wise mind. Henkka was a good tactician and knew that saving the victims was always the first obligatory step in a situation like this. Battles and fighting could be done later, but as long as Zoma remained in this village, he and everyone else were in danger.
“Phantoka can’t carry us all”, Tapio said. “But if it comes to that... I can stay behind.”
“Me too”, Rauha said. “Our treetop-village isn’t long-far from here. Me and Rakas can sneak-flee later and it won’t be a long walk to Le-Koro.”
Lux shook his head, 'It won't be that easy getting back out. Keep in mind, we'll most likely have the whole glitchin' Xa-Kuta army on our tail. If they find anyone...'
He didn't have to finish that last thought. Everyone understood that being captured alive was not an option.
'I suggest that whoever's riding Phantoka should cover the ground crew against attack, if things come to that.'
Syryn nodded, 'I agree. Now then, onto the extraction. Once we're inside, everyone has to cover everyone else's backs. Otherwise, we're dead.'
He sheathed his new sword, before looking at the crew, 'Now then, we should probably get going, before they follow us here.'
Henkka nodded. It was time to go.
“Be wary... ready...”, he said. “And most importantly, be loyal to one other. Our only chance of success lies in our unity.”
Stronin smiled at the other being's words. It wasn't every day when you met someone who still followed the three virtues.
"Well, let's get going. I'm not going to be around forever you know."
As the group exited Hosuk's hidden warehouse, Rylus tried to brace himself for what was ahead. This was like nothing they had done before. Being captured was not an option. Every second they waited, Zoma was closer to becoming a true Xa-Kuta, and Rylus refused to let this happen.
"Alright, looks like we're all ready," he began, encouraged somewhat by Henkka's words, "Now then, which way to the water main?"
"Right here mates," Hosuk said, before leading them to another building, a small stone hut, tucked into a dark corner of the alley. He opened the door, revealing an even darker interior, with a low, loud hum emanating from the centre of the room.
Their approach would reveal that the humming was coming from a massive black machine. It looked like a blast furnace, with several thick pipes running from it into the walls and floor.
The Skakdi walked over to the engine, opening up a hatchway in it, "Okay, you better get going before they figure out you came here."
Syryn nodded at the Lord, smiling grimly, "Thank you old friend. I-"
"Oh, get going you sissy," Hosuk grinned, "Just don't get killed, and bring me back a souvenir, that's all I ask."
Syryn smiled, before entering the engine, sinking knee high in water as he walked through the pipelines.
Henkka was about to follow Syryn when he noticed the nervous looks on Rauha’s and Rakas’ faces. It then occured to him that Le-Matoran were never eager to spend time in tight spaces or water. Now the group was going to have to face both.
“I’m not going”, Rauha said. Rakas nodded in agreement.
“It’s just water in a pipe”, Tapio said, trying to sound confident. It still took him some effort to sound like a hero.
“I understand their concern”, Henkka said. He had seen many Le-Matoran during his time travels and had been in many adventures and difficult situations with them. He knew well how the mind of a Matoran of Air worked and was willing to spare some sympathy for Rauha and Rakas. “They are Le-Matoran. They are used to open places. And they hate water.”
“We’ll stay and care-take Phantoka”, Rauha said. “He’ll be ready when you return.”
If we return, Henkka thought grimly.
Lux smiled understandingly at the two Le-Matoran, "Don't worry. Just stay here, and stay hidden. Hopefully, we'll be back before the mages realize you're here."
He turned to the pipe entrance, taking a deep breath. The Matoran steeled his mind, trying to will himself to step into it. The last time he had been in a tunnel like this, he had fallen through a hole in the ground and broken his leg. Lux wasn't particularly eager to repeat that experience.
"Don't worry," he heard Syryn say from inside the pipe, "You won't be alone. You'll be alright."
Slightly reassured by this, he nodded, and stepped into the water. Lux activated his sword, casting a red-orange glow across the tunnel walls.
"Okay, stay close everyone. We don't know what's down here, and I'd prefer no to find out the hard way."
As usual, it didn't take long for the situation to turn sour. The group had reached a fork in the tunnel, and Rylus was clueless as to where they were relative to the temple at this point. He wasn't so sure Syryn knew which way would be faster, either.
"What now? I don't have any widgets to flip," the Onu-Matoran spoke, only half joking. He had known for quite a while now that this would be a frustrating journey, but as time dragged on he liked their odds less and less.
To make matters worse, he could faintly hear something - or someone - moving in the waters, and it wasn't one of their own. He silenced the team with a slight gesture and listened closely, but couldn't tell which direction the interceptors were coming from.
Very quietly, he murmured, "Hear that? We've got company." He turned to Syryn. "I thought this was our stealthiest option. If it is mages, and I'd bet my mask it is, how did they know to look for us here?"
~About an hour earlier~
"Those friends of yours have been causing me a world of trouble as of late," Wahkua growled, leading Zoma through the twisting corridors of the temple, "It's time to show them why we're the most feared organization on Mata Nui. Witnesses say the last they were seen was in a shady alley near the temple complex. My guess is they're trying to work their way into the temple even now."
"You don't say?" Zoma replied, "You didn't honestly think you could just whisk me away without any response? These guys are the most loyal, and, more importantly, the most stubborn group I have ever known. They won't quit until-"
He paused a moment, a strange look in his eyes.
"Rylus," Zoma answered impatiently, "He's here, under the temple."
"Down here? In the caverns, or the dungeons?" Wahkua was interested. It was exceedingly rare for a trainee to exhibit any sort of psychic ability. This one was full of surprises.
"No, lower. But he's making his way fast."
Truthfully, Zoma was pulling this out of thin air to see just how highly Wahkua thought of him. At least, it seemed that way. His mind had been through so much stress lately sometimes it was hard to tell what was real.
"No matter," the Inquisitor decided, "He and his ragtag gang of rebels have no idea what they've just walked into. In due time we'll make short work of those arrogant fools."
"Don't kid yourself, Wahkua," Zoma warned, "You know as well as I do what they're capable of. If you want them down before they get here, it's going to take a small army of mages."
"Every entrance has already been blockaded. They'll never make it into the heart of the temple, and even if they do they'll be dead long before they find us."
"Fine. But I have a feeling the Zealots aren't gonna be too happy with you when you have a Karzload of Xa-Kuta blood on your hands."
”It will not go to that, Zoma”, a voice suddenly came behind the two. They turned to see an Onu-Matoran approach with two highly respected Zealots and most shockingly, two Rahkshi. A Turahk and a Rahkshi of Molecular Disruption.
“Let me introduce myself”, Alex said. “I am Alex. I am from the future. And I am here to insure you achieve a victory over that foolish group of heretics.”
One of the Zealots spoke: “It’s true. We have received word from Makuta himself. The Dark One claims to believe this Matoran... or whatever he is.”
Henkka heard the sounds too and took out his new sword.
“There isn’t much room here”, he said. “It will be difficult to battle in such tight quarters. We need to find a more spacious place and fast, too.”
“Syryn is at the front”, Tapio said. “If we run into mages, he will have to battle them one-on-one.”
Despite the mounting danger, Syryn had his eyes closed shut. He was doing his best to recall the path ahead, but the last time he had been here was years ago, and in that time, he had done all he could to erase those memories. They were frightening, haunting ghosts of recollections, who only sought to torment him with their tricks and traps.
He snapped his eyes open, trying to keep the look of worry from his face, "Right. We should go right."
Lux glanced at him inquiringly, "Where will that lead us?"
"The Zealots' main living area," Syryn responded sadly, provoking looks of shock and anger on the faces of his allies.
"Are you insane!?" Lux shouted at him, "Right into the mouth of the Doom Viper!"
"The Mages will be expecting us to head for the lower levels, so most likely they'll check there first. If we head right, we'll have more room to fight in, rather than having to battle mages in the sewers," he explained calmly.
In the Gravediggers' Haven, squads of rogues were positioning themselves at key entrances and exits to the alleyway. Barricades had been set up, guards given their orders, weapons loaded and stocked. They were as ready as possible.
Still, Hosuk was worried. His comrades had never thought this kind of battle before, particularly against mages themselves. He didn't know how they would do in a fight like this.
Rahua and Rakas, on the other hand, were fairly calm as they prepped Phantoka for flight, getting everything ready for a quick escape from his karz of a place.
"The future?" Wahkua sputtered, flabbergasted, "With all due respect, Honored Ones, you must be joking. This blasphemer can't possibly be--"
And then he recalled the possessed Po-Matoran warrior he had faced in Le-Wahi, how the mysterious heretic had claimed to jump through space and time, restoring peace to alternate worlds. If his tales had indeed been true, was it so much of a stretch to say that this newcomer was a similar being with the opposite motives?
"I apologize," he said hurriedly, noting the Turahk growling at his outburst, "But, I must ask. Alex, is it? Just what relationship do you have with the Master of Shadows? Of all the many outlaws, vigilantes, self-proclaimed revolutionaries and the like on Mata Nui, why is it that the Makuta chose to put his faith in you to destroy this particular group of heathens when so many mages go their whole lives without ever feeling his presence? Why you, and why them?"
Like everyone else, Rylus was not very comfortable with the idea of heading straight into the belly of the beast, but at the same time he figured they would be even less comfortable fighting a gang of mages in such tight quarters.
"It looks like this is our only option. I'd rather fight a handful of Zealots in an open space than Mata Nui knows how many mages when we're crammed together like this. Plus," he said, steeling himself for what was to come, "the Zealots might not even be there. For all we know, they're probably already looking for us."
Alex laughed. ”No, you must have misunderstood, Inquisitor. The Makuta has put his faith in that Onu-Matoran you are training, not me. My job here is to protect his destiny... your destiny... the destiny of Xa-Koro.”
Alex walked closer to Wahkua and grinned. “And that’s not all. There is another element in this world that doesn’t belong. He doesn’t belong anywhere, any timeline, and I shall remove him. And when that is done, and when Zoma has reached his destined position, I will leave this place forever behind.”
“Then lead us”, Henkka hustled Syryn. “We need to go quick before they catch us.”
“I agree”, Tapio said, already nervous. “My disc launcher and Volo Lutu are useless in this place.”
Syryn nodded curtly, before running into the right tunnel, keeping to the sides as much as possible to keep the sounds of splashing to a minimum.
As he ran, he tried to visualize the once-familiar surroundings of the Zealots' living quarters, and the Temple in general. It wasn't exactly a welcoming place, but comfortable enough, if you had enough influence. Which the Zealots did.
His thoughts were interrupted when he nearly ran into another pipeline, this one angled upwards at a thirty-degree angle. It's walls were rusted and and pitted, and it smelled like a Gukko had been using it as a family mausoleum.
"Alright, we need to head up here," he said, pointing to the pipe, "This pipe will lead us into one of the Zealots' living quarters. A... private section of the living quarters."
(OOC: Hope this isn't dead... haven't visited in awhile. Sorry about that.)
Rylus and the group followed Syryn up through the angled, somehow even more cramped pipe, wondering what would await them on the other side. He'd been doing a lot of wondering lately and was getting sick of it. One day soon he hoped to know exactly what he was doing before doing it, but these were desperate times.
Wahkua, meanwhile, was quite intrigued by this possessed Onu-Matoran, and wondered just how he had found out about Zoma's latent power. He decided that wasn't important; what was important was making sure those troublesome renegades were finally eliminated, and if he needed to trust this strange being to make it happen, so be it.
"Well, clearly you've made quite an impression," he said, regarding the two Zealots, "Welcome aboard, Alex. I don't think you'll disappoint us."
Zoma had remained quiet throughout this exchange, but he had been studying both sides intently. Something was amiss. Perhaps Alex truly did plan to help him achieve some sort of great status, but even if this was so it was clear this was only a side project- what he really wanted was to destroy his nemesis, Henkka. Zoma decided not to call his motives into question just yet, instead pointing out what he had been trying to express earlier.
"You both underestimate them. All of them. Perhaps there are only five, but they're some of the five greatest fighters I have ever seen. Lux and Lohkare, both incredibly strong and capable Po-Matoran on their own, and with Alex's little friend possessing the latter he's even more dangerous. Then you've got Tapio. He may not look like much, but he's grown. A lot. As for Syryn? He probably knows just about every inch of this place, and I'm sure Wahkua would be the first to let you know he doesn't exactly follow the Toa code. And of course, there's Rylus. The most stubborn and loyal friend I ever had. If I know him at all, he won't stop until he's torn to pieces." Zoma took a moment to let this sink in. "Plus, that's not even considering the possibility they've recruited anyone else, and chances are they have."
It was quiet in the living quarters as Rylus, Syryn, Lux, Tapio, Stronin and Henkka emerged. It was also dark. Very dark.
“Can anyone see anything?” Tapio asked.
“Isn’t there a lightstone anywhere?” Henkka asked.
In response to Henkka's question, a ball of plasma was ignited by Syryn, illuminating the surroundings.
It was a small, but elegant room, with several long couches grouped around an extinguished fire pit. Luxurious rugs and carpets were laid out on the hard stone floor, and a small cabinet stood in the corner.
The Toa disregarded the objects, instead walking straight to the door on the other side of the room, opening it a crack. A sliver of light crept across the room, as Syryn scanned the exterior of the corridor.
"Alright, it looks safe outside," he whispered, though despite the assurance, he drew one of his daggers, just in case.
The Rahkshi of Molecular Disruption began to hiss as it sniffed the air.
"Well, Wahkua, it's time to see what you've made out of Zoma", Alex said. "And you, Zoma, be prepared for a turning point in your life. We all shall achieve a victory of sorts today, by demolishing the rebels. I'm counting on you."
Alex took a break and then spoke again. "They're probably in the hallway by now, the Rahkshi is getting agitated. You sense it too, Zoma, don't you? You must kill Rylus in a most horrible way, by surprising him and stabbing him in the back. I have something in mind to fool them.
A Rahkshi of Illusion stepped out of the shadows.
"Okay, let's get going", Henkka said. The group walked along the corridor. Suddenly, Tapio began to whimper.
"We can't go on", he said, shaking. "We'll all perish."
"What's the matter?" Henkka asked, puzzled, looking at Tapio. Then he heard footsteps and turned to see Alex and Zoma next to each, along with three terrifying Rahkshi and a handful of Zealots.
"Well, there goes the element of surprise", Henkka said.
"Zoma!" Tapio cried out.
"Well, if it isn't the group of brave heroes again", Alex sneered. "We have met before, of course. And you all know Zoma. But I doubt you know him like this."
What none in the group of heroes realized was that Zoma was actually just an illusion created by one of the Rahkshi. It was supposed to fool them, to give Zoma and Wahkua a chance to enter in secrecy. Alex knew that Rylus might be able to convince Zoma to join their side again. Zoma would have to complete the kill before that could happen.
Henkka could not be fooled, though. "A Rahkshi of Illusion! It's creating an image of Zoma!"
"Take them!" Alex shouted, enraged by the cover being blown." The image of Zoma vanished, and the three Rahkshi advanced. The six Zealots were behind them.
"Come on, Zoma, do it...", Alex muttered under his breath.
Barely breaking stride, Syryn swapped out his dagger for his sword, before summoning yet another orb of plasma in his free hand.
"Alright, let's end these guys, once and for all," the Toa rumbled, hurling the orb at the nearest Rahkshi, separating its right arm from its torso. Without another word, he charged forward, bringing his sword down on the remaining limb.
Lux, on the other hand, took a more defensive approach, bringing his sword close up to his body, while slowly working his way towards Alex.
"Good to see you again mate," he said with a forced smile, "Found some new friends? Good for you, always good to widen your social circle."
The Rahkshi of Illusion hissed in agony, having lost its other arm. The Rahskhi of Molecular Disruption acted, and swung its staff at Syryn's weapon, seemingly making it disappear. The truth was different, of course, its atoms had been dispersed. The Turahk also began advancing on the Toa of Plasma.
That was when Tapio ran and leapt on the Turahk's back, trying to restrict it. The Rahkshi started leaping around to dislodge the annoying Matoran, but Tapio held on.
Alex grinned at Lux. "You are going to be sorry, little Matoran", he said. "You know you shouldn't be here. You belong home, in your cozy little hut, carving small statues for nothing. Here, you will not be able to survive."
Alex leapt and prepared to swipe at Lux, when another sword was used to block the blow. Henkka was there, standing beside Lux.
"This is between you and me, Alex", Henkka said. "Our battles have had enough victims, enough sacrifices. Now, it shall only be the two of us."
"Oh, come on", Alex chuckled. "The Piraka... the Griddlers... Minion Hounds... Tohunga... even Inwirn... you should understand that it will never be just the two of us. We represent views of life, such that attract others, like Lux here. They are just not strong enough. That is why they become victims."
The Zealots advanced on Lux, Stronin and Rylus.
"But if you wish, the forces of Makuta will leave us alone to fight till the death."
"What are you waiting for?" Wahkua growled from his and Zoma's hiding place in the dark recesses of the corridor, "Now's your chance. They're distracted. We can finally end this madness."
Zoma said nothing. He was deep in thought, as a sudden realization had occurred to him. If he was correct, this would change everything. Summoning all his will, whatever dark energies existed within him, he tried with all his might to speak with Makuta. How was it that the dark being was able to invade his mind whenever he wished, but when Zoma actually wanted to confront him he was nowhere to be found?
Where are you, Makuta? If you're truly as omniscient as you claim, I know you can hear me. I demand an audience. In fact, I want you to make yourself known to everyone in this room, here and now. I've been smuggled and silenced for far too long now. I want answers.
Still, there was only silence. Wahkua continued to look at him expectantly, glancing at the fracas in the middle of the hallway.
"It's now or never, Zoma," he hissed, "They're going to notice us sooner or later unless you act."
Fine then, Zoma said mentally, You'll reveal yourself one way or another.
Zoma stepped out into the open slowly and walked toward the battling groups without any sort of cover. He would not be controlled any longer.
The fighting continued. Henkka and Alex, locked in combat as they had been for so long now. Tapio and Syryn facing the three Rahkshi. Rylus, Lux, and an unfamiliar Toa of Iron hopelessly outnumbered and outmatched by a squad of powerful Zealots. All were consumed by clashing blades and swirling energies.
"I said ENOUGH."
Everyone suddenly stopped and turned. This was not part of the plan. Wahkua rushed out to stop Zoma before this could go any further, but a chunk of stone spontaneously loosened itself from the wall and hurtled into his back, knocking him down.
"What in blazes are you doing?!" he screamed, throwing the debris off, "Just what exactly are you trying to prove? You cannot stop what the Master of Shadows has started. The heretics must die!"
Zoma ignored him and instead addressed the crowd.
"You're fighting for the wrong reasons. All of you. I have come to realize that you Xa-Kuta worship a coward."
Naturally the Zealots did not take kindly to this outrageous claim and bore into Zoma with utter contempt, but before they could go any further another voice echoed through the hall.
An intriguing sentiment, Zoma. Elaborate for us all, if you would be so kind.
Makuta had arrived.
(OOC: If this is going too far or anything, I can just edit this. I know Makuta actually coming out and talking to everyone is kind of a risky move but I've had this in mind for a loooong time now.)
OOC: I like this. A lot. :D
IC: Henkka held his sword tightly. He did not feel fear, for he had faced many Brotherhood of Makuta members before. He had even defeated Makuta himself. Two times, to be precise. The Makuta in this world was not visible, though, and that added a feeling of danger and threat in the air.
Tapio was shaking. He tried controlling himself, but was too overrun by panic. He had tried to become a hero, and what had that lead to? He was facing the ultimate enemy now, the bringer of all evil Could he do it?
Alex was delighted to hear Makuta interfere. There was no doubt he could finally convince Zoma that darkness was the right side to be on.
Zoma shuddered at the sound of Makuta's voice. It had plagued his mind for some time now, but somehow this was far more intimidating. Still, he continued, knowing full well the Master of Shadows could strike him down at any second.
"It was never about making me a Mage. It was never about making me into some kind of grand weapon for the Xa-Kuta, or helping me realize my true potential. If anything, the idea was to stifle the alleged powers Makuta saw in me."
"Alleged?!" Wahkua sputtered, "You just slammed a rock into my back not one minute ago! What is 'alleged' about that?"
With a slight gesture, Zoma mentally lifted the debris from the floor and brought it back down on the Inquisitor.
"I'm not talking about magic tricks. I'm talking about something much stronger, something capable of destroying Makuta once and for all." He paused, turning his gaze to the darkest crevices of the hallway. "And you feared it. You would do everything in your power to prevent me from discovering the forces that would spell your end. It was the same with Joske Nimil, wasn't it? You saw a being who might dare to challenge you, and, not wanting to waste a potential ace in the hole, you converted him. Convinced him his heart was full of darkness, just as you did me. The only difference is that I now see what he couldn't. A paranoid, manipulative puppetmaster."
You flatter yourself, Zoma. You have great abilities, yes, but you are no threat to me. If I had thought you were I would have eliminated you when I first suspected it.
"That's just it. You didn't suspect anything, your Rahi did. In fact, I'd be willing to wager I wasn't so much as a blip on your radar until I got dragged into this whole mess by Lohkare. By that point, I was already seriously doubting whether anyone stood a chance against your influence. All you had to do was take advantage of my own fragile state, and suddenly you had a new pawn who was none the wiser. Not yet, at least."
Very well. Perhaps I would be willing to concede that I took certain... precautions. But I fail to see how this is of any use to you now.
"And there you have it. You fail to see. You are not all-knowing." He grinned. "You made a mistake."
What are you implying?
"Let's look at it this way. Nearly a century ago, everyone seemed to think Takua was the Chosen One. But it wasn't because he was never attacked by Rahi. No, it was just the opposite. He was willing to put himself in danger to protect what he cared about, and he cared about this island and its people more than anything. He was willing to look death in the eye without fear, without hesitation. I am not the Chosen One."
Zoma took several steps closer to the crowd and looked his oldest friend in the eyes.
"But I did lead him here."
"Yes, you did", Alex said. "But without the second one, he will be useless."
Alex suddenly leapt and sliced at Tapio with his sword. The Ko-Matoran yelled and fell over, gagging. At that very moment, Henkka could see Alex's form being surrounded by a light as red as blood. At the same time, time itself seemed to blend around Alex. Only Henkka could see this.
"As legends tell, a Chosen One will free the island from Makuta", Alex said as he began the transition to a new world. "Few know that there were actually two Chosen Ones. They were to meet by accident, and to become a mighty pair. They were to be tested and their friendship was to grow stronger and stronger, invincible. Rylus and Tapio."
Tapio began to lose grip on his life. "Rylus...", he gasped.
"And now my duty is done", Alex said. "It was fun watching all of this. Bye."
"No!" Henkka shouted and threw himself on Alex. "You're not going anywhere!"
"You think you can stop me? Time is taking me away from here!"
Henkka paused. Then he shouted at Zoma: "My duty is to free you from darkness. I can't get away without that! Please, please make the final move!"
Alex was becoming a blur to Henkka. "Quickly!"
With Zoma and Makuta's intellectual battle distracting the Zealots, none of them saw a young Po-Matoran flying through the air until it was too late.
With a muted cry, one of the Zealots crumpled to their knees, a sword imbedded in their back, Lux clinging to it with all his might.
"Who else wants some?!" he shouted with insane fury, "Zealots! Rahkshi! Makuta! I'll take you all on!"
Syryn, on the other hand, wasted no time in analyzing the situation, trying to find the best route in success.
And he found one. And he had Stronin to thank for it.
As Tapio toppled from the advancing Turahk, the Toa brought his hand up to the Rahkshi's throat, using his plasma power to melt and separate its head from its body. Whirling around, with his other hand, he reached out and grabbed Tapio by the arm, pulling him close.
"Tapio, I need you to stay calm," he whispered to the Matoran, before placing his hand over his wound, preparing to use the last of his Toa power to heal him, and give him another chance at life.
OOC: Toatapio, thoughts on this?
(OOC: I accidentally added myself as category instead of section header. Whoops.)
Rylus rushed to Alex with his hammer drawn. He didn't know much about this smug time traveler, but he had mortally wounded Tapio and that was reason enough for Rylus to want to crush his skull.
Zoma was running to intercept the possessed Onu-Matoran as well, summoning a storm of stones from the ground as he went. Burying Alex wouldn't stop him for long, but it might buy them just enough time to find a way to keep him in this universe.
Suddenly Rylus stopped in his tracks, dropping the hammer. Pain exploded in his chest. Slowly, he looked down, knowing exactly what he would find. A long, crooked blade protruded from his torso, smeared with blood. Just behind him, Wahkua grinned savagely and roughly pulled the sword out, twisting it slightly. Rylus cried out in agony and fell to his knees.
"I've been waiting far too long for this moment," the Inquisitor declared, "I assume he wasn't of much use without the other one anyway, but better safe than sorry. It seems I overestimated your capacity to kill, Zoma. You should have finished me off when you had the chance; maybe there would have been a sliver of hope for you that way. Pity."
Zoma decided to prove him wrong, and unleashed a barrage of jagged rock at Alex.
"Don't...", Tapio said to Syryn. "There's no... time. You would just... waste your energy... and we'd both die."
Tapio turned to Rylus. "No...", he gasped. "Rylus... don't... we..."
Tapio's eyes blackened and his heartlight faded. Just before he died, he managed to say: "See you soon, my friend."
Alex laughed. He was already about to be transported far away from this world...
"Impact!" Henkka had slammed into him, knocking him off his feet. The good time traveller was glowing bright as a star, although no one but Alex could see that.
"What are you doing, you fool?!" Alex cried out, struggling.
"I'm not letting you escape", Henkka realized. "We might never meet again. An endless amount of realities and bodies... what are the chances we would come together again? Not likely."
Alex struggled. Both he and Henkka were glowing with energy even as time itself wrapped itself around them, preparing them for their most dangerous trip yet...
"You're crazy! You're killing us both!" Alex shouted.
"Maybe it's worth it, then", Henkka said. He had done his task in this world. The battle was not over, but Zoma had realized the truth. Unfortunately, Alex had done his too, killed Tapio.
"The energies of time enveloped both Henkka and Alex at the same time. Alex screamed. Then, with a burst of power and the fabric of time suffering a crack, the two time travellers flashed away, to a fate unknown.
THE END for Forgotten Destiny. Thanks to you for continuing the story with me. This is the end of the novel. The sequel, featuring Stronin, will be unleashed on Bzpower soon after I've uploaded the last chapters of this book. Thanks again!
Anyway, I'm sure you want to find closure to your characters, so we can continue as long as you want to. Here's what happens right after Henkka and Alex leave...
Lohkare twitched. He was laying on top of an Onu-Matoran. Around him, chaos had erupted. There were mages, Rahkshi, Toa, all battling, dead people...
Lohkare was already insane and this did nothing to improve his mental condition. He slammed Maa at the ground, screaming, and stood up, running around wildly.
Were Lux a flippant man, he might have commented on how two of his allies were dead, one had gone stark raving mad, one was critically injured, and one was... well, to put it lightly, old.
Lux, however, was not feeling very flippant at that moment.
Rising to his feet, the Po-Matoran narrowed his gaze, setting his sights on Wahkua. In that moment, there was no other being in that room. No other being that Lux hated more. No other being that was currently worth attention.
Letting loosed a sound have between a sob and a battle cry, the Matoran charged at the Inquisitor, sword swinging at his head.
Even Syryn, not particularly known for showing much emotion, was helpless against the remorse that filled him. This couldn't be happening, it couldn't...
But it was. No time to grieve. No time for self-pity. He had a job, and he was going to do it.
He let out no cry, no shout, no yell of anger. he was almost deafly silent, and somehow, that was even worse. He brought his fist down on of the Zealots, sending him sprawling to floor. Not even hesitating, Syryn landed a swift kick to ribs, before using his elemental power to turn his armour to slag.
With that, he turned, headed for the next target, leaving the Zealot writhing in pain on the floor.
Zoma's hail of stone daggers flew uselessly over Alex's head as Henkka tackled both to the floor. Not that it seemed to matter much anyway, as the Onu-Matoran could tell by the looks on the two enemies' masks that they were no longer enemies at all. Just two hopelessly confused beings in the midst of a violent confrontation. Zoma no longer feared Lohkare. After all he had been through in the last few days, the mad Po-Matoran didn't hold a candle to the dark powers of the Xa-Kuta.
He turned his attention to Rylus, who was fading fast. They had had their differences lately, to say the least, but Zoma could not bear to see his oldest friend in such pain.
"I'm sorry, Rylus," he choked, "I brought this upon us. Before you're gone, I want you to know that this was not a failure. Makuta may still be out there, but we sent him an important message. I will continue to fight for you, brother. Always."
Rylus opened his mouth to speak, but found that no words escaped his lips. He closed his eyes and simply nodded. He had no regrets. Zoma was still alive, and he was not in any danger of joining the Xa-Kuta by now. He had done what he had come to accomplish, and that was enough for him.
As the light faded from his friend's eyes, Zoma stood and looked to Wahkua, who was backing away quietly into the shadows.
"Where do you think you're going?"