Template:Writer Template:Fiction The Bounty Hunter Wars is an epic set forty thousand years after the Kodax War. It details the events of the war between the Enforcers of Gigas Magna and the Bounty Hunters' Guild.
Tetrack pounded his hammer.
The din of the arguing ceased. In front of him was a various assortment of faces. Many were familiar, but a few lacked his recognition. Nevertheless, they had all come for the same purpose. All for the same purpose — except for Tetrack. No, Tetrack's reasons were far greater than simply becoming a large a notorious group of mercenaries.
But his motives didn't matter at the moment. First, he needed to tie this group of misfits together and secure their trust.
"Friends, most of you know why we are gathered here this day." He began with a standard opening to a speech, so as not to rouse anything until he had finished. "We, being the best of the best, are to form a guild of bounty hunters. We will expect hirings from others who are against the concept of the Enforcers of Gigas Magna. We will press them, constantly killing, but leaving no clues. And we will push them into a wall, so as to turn some of their members. They will start to wither, and then will finally fall. All this time, we will continue to grow, until we, the bounty bunters, the ones who truly know what goes on this universe, are the rulers of it."
"I have a question," said a figure in the shadows. The green glow of his eyes struck the whole group with a chill that rippled down their spines. "You said that this Guild was to be directed toward the destruction of the Enforcers. Tell me; have you had past feuds with them?"
"Now, listen, I—"
"What is it that makes them your target?"
"Well, because they are our biggest threat to becoming rulers-"
"Are they? Because I'm sure I could tell you at least five more that are stronger then them. Is this organization really meant to make us the dominant group? Or do you have some personal goal you are trying to conceal from us?"
"What's your name?" Tetrack asked. He was tired of this cheeky newcomer using this method on him. It was time he spun things around.
"Janneus," The being replied.
"Tell me, Janneus, if you were in my position, what would you do?"
"Simple. I would tell all to bounty hunt, return with their earnings, and use that to build us up. Then strike out the lower groups. Never go up against one that is more powerful than you when they aren't attacking."
Tetrack was baffled. Janneus had been leaning against a pillar in the back, but now he stepped into the light. "But then again, I'm not leader, am I?"
"Easy," said Tetrack coolly. He was not about to be outsmarted by Janneus. "You may have a seat. If you step out of line again, believe me, the punishment will be severe. Now, the first thing we need is someone on the inside. But don't worry there, Janneus. I've already got that part figured out."
Boreal, Enforcer of Gigas Magna, Toa of Aura, and Chronicler, leaned against a pillar overlooking the sea that was situated right against the hidden city of Gigas Nui. He heard footsteps approaching him. He turned to see Shayla and Fyxan talking about their responsibilities.
"Oh, hello, Boreal," Shayla said. Her mechanical arms moved restlessly about, constantly alert for the enemy. Her other arms, her true ones, tried to stop them. But they had a mind of their own.
"Ah, Boreal." Fyxan said. "Brominax was looking for you. You're being re-assigned from Gigas Nui Security to Street Spy. They need you on the Central Continent. Hurry there. I'll tell Brominax that you've left."
Boreal nodded and summoned a great blast of air to lift him off his feet and into the air towards the Mid Continent. But somehow he knew that this was not a good idea. Teleporting was always better. Flying across so much water is dangerous. Extremely dangerous.
Silver, also known as Fyxan, walked through the beautiful marble halls of the city of Gigas Nui. It was his favorite place in the world, for it was a battle fortress, yet one of the most glorious and relaxing places in the universe.
A figure slightly larger than himself approached. His name was Kyrus, but codenamed Haze. He wore blue armor, and walked around Gigas Nui as if he owned the place. He hardly acted as if he were on duty. Which, Fyxan noticed, he should be.
"Haze, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be on guard. And as your commanding officer, I order you to-"
Fyxan's eyes flashed red. He could not control himself.
He lunged at Haze and shook him. He then whipped out his dual saws and began slicing at Haze, trying to lop his head off. Fyxan was not there. Something new had emerged.
Other Enforcers around the place saw what was happening. The same red glow arose in their eyes. And as though they were not themselves, they began attacking each other.
Shayla joined in. The battle was ferocious and confusing. Yet no one knew what was going on. Except one, who was watching the whole thing with a smile on his face, from within the shadows.
Janneus grumbled to himself. He felt like... Well, he couldn't exactly explain it. He had yet to make a name for himself, but he felt like he knew more about how it should be done than anyone else. And to be perfectly honest with himself, he felt bad about challenging Tetrack the way he did. He was superior, and his strategy was reasonably well-known.
He shook the thoughts out of his head. He currently had a job to do. His ship sailed swiftly across the water.
He was just leaving the island when he saw a green figure flying overhead. He had done his research. If he was right, that would be Boreal, Toa of Aura, chronicler of the Enforcers of Gigas Magna, and his first catch of the day.
He summoned one of his powers, teleportation, for a strike style that had never been attempted. Swirling light consumed him. And when he reappeared, he was right on top of Boreal.
They tumbled down to the island. Janneus made sure Boreal hit the ground head-first, but the impact still flung him into a bush. But it was actually a great opportunity for him. He got up quickly and silently, and waited in the bush for the next great moment to strike. Boreal got up slowly, cracking his neck. He had barely opened his eyes before everything went black.
"ENOUGH!" Brominax's call came from everywhere, and nowhere.
But all could locate Brominax's location. They looked up from what they were doing. Fyxan was the first to drop the red from his eyes. And one by one, the same happened with all the Enforcers.
"Now I don't know what happened, but I trust it won't happen again!" he continued. "If it didn't happen to practically everyone I had, I would have you all out! Now I would like each of you to write a full report of what happened, and why in Mata Nui's name did you try to murder each other!"
A small Matoran came in and whispered something in Brominax's ear, making his eyes light up.
"Everyone, I do not wish to alarm you, but Boreal's life tester has stopped transmitting."
Boreal was missing. Brominax had declared that if he could not be found soon, he would be considered dead, for all evidence pointed to such things.
There was no way to deactivate a life tester. It was as small as a bug, shielded, and protected with the toughest armor in the universe. How could it be shut off unless he truly was dead? But Brominax refused to believe it was so. Boreal was one of his greatest friends. There had to be some way... that he could be alive.
Tetrack cut the transmission. His spy within Gigas Nui had just reported that the effects of his latest project, a device that made nearby beings go mad, worked. And that all Enforcers in the room with the device had been affected. So it worked; that was good news. But Brominax was able to stop it with just a few words of reality. It first needed to be stronger, and second, it needed to fill all of Gigas Nui. Both would not be an easy task.
Draconius came in. "Tetrack," he said, "We've caught the Chronicler."
Ora, bounty hunter, ran across the halls of the Bounty Hunters' Guild base, past familiar faces. He was a Matoran, but probably one of the most powerful ones in existence.
He carried the tablet with him. Nobody knew of his doings, except for himself. As he neared his location, he slowed as a bounty hunter walked by. He nodded to him, and once he was out of sight, continued running.
He finally reached the plain wall he was looking for. He whacked it with his elbow and it spun around, taking him into a new room that he had added, for he had been one of the ones to construct this base. He ran forward to the elevator and pressed the down arrow. The doors opened, and he stepped in.
On his way down, he thought about what he was doing. Making contact with the Terri was a very dangerous attempt, but one he would try to do.
The doors opened once more and he ran down the hall, eventually coming to his final destination. He inserted the tablet next to the other three, completing the square. It lit up in shining green light, as did the engravings in it. Then the markings began to move to form a new shape. It was the symbol of the Terri. It was a triangle, with a circle on the inside. Then it projected a green image. A being appeared on it, with its back facing him.
The Terri Lord turned. "Hm?"
"I have completed contact!" he replied.
"And you are..?"
"My lord, I am your faithful servant, Ora." The Terri still seemed confused. "One of the ones you instructed to rescue you, to return you to Aqua Magna!"
"Oh yes. I was confused. It's been so long, and it appeared as if you were making the transmission from Gigas Magna."
"I am." He answered. "But I will bring a teleportation device to you, if you will simply tell me where you are."
"I am afraid," The being answered. "I don't know. We cannot break free of our void to find out our exact location. Only one has been able to, and he has not returned — Poisonot. But you can help us. The symbol that you just created — you can send us what we need through it. You must acquire all three pieces of the power triangle. That will give us enough power to break free."
"That will not be easy, sir. For all three pieces are hidden in three different places, in the most dangerous parts of the universe. Not to mention that the bounty hunters are already looking for them."
The dream was weird and disorienting. A dark being ran across his vision. Boreal followed. The being rounded a corner, and Boreal still followed. Then it jumped into a cloud of shadow, which was obviously unnatural. He jumped in too, and instantly, his surroundings changed.
He was facing a statue of a large being. The dark being was there, too. Boreal saw him smile.
"Hello, Boreal," said a voice.
"Huh?" he replied. "Who are you, and where am I?"
"He is very odd," said the shadow figure.
A voice that seemed to come from everywhere, but mostly from the statue, said, "Perhaps, but that does not matter. Soon I will be free, I will rule, and not even the most powerful of beings will be able to stop me. But to release me, I need the power triangle pieces."
"Yes, yes, m'lord. I know very well. And this Enforcer must be able to help us. He will find the first third for us. If he doesn't, he should believe us. There will be Karzahni to pay!"
"Very well. You, Boreal?"
"What do you want from me?" Boreal asked.
"There is something I need you to do," the statue replied. "You must find the power triangle piece hidden within your base. Go, and do not waste time, for as my comrade said, if you don't, there will be Karzahni to pay!"
Shayla typed at her computer with endless speed. She barely realized what she was doing. All she knew was she HAD to find Boreal. She... felt like she needed to have him. They had been great friends. And she would not stop until she knew he was alive.
"Hey," Fyxan whispered, leaning over her shoulder. "What are you doing?"
She rubbed her eyes. "I've been up all night, going over this."
"What is it?"
"It's the numbers of Boreal's life tester; I've been cross-checking all possible injuries with their test results right before he... disappeared."
Fyxan frowned. "Listen, maybe it's time you gave up. Boreal has been missing for a day and a half. You'd think we'd have some report, or our scanners would pick something up. But sorry, nothing. But hey, while you're at the computer, could you tell me where Brominax is? I can't find him."
"Yeah, sure." She typed in a few things. "Oh, my-"
"What is it?"
"Brominax's life tester has stopped."
Boreal woke up in a cell. Whoever had captured him obviously didn't know about his strength. He summoned power from all around and channeled it through his hands toward the door of the cell. It was a blast at least ten times more powerful than the average Toa could do, and about a third of his full capability. But then, to his astonishment, nothing happened. He cranked up his power to a full blast. Nothing.
"It's no use," said a voice.
Boreal jumped. He had not seen anyone there, but there obviously was. A green figure appeared in front of him. He had been invisible.
"So, you thought you could break out? Well, to be perfectly honest, I would have thought I could, too. These cells are a special creation of Tetrack's. Oh, Tetrack is my master. Or at least, he thinks he is."
"That's enough, Janneus." A Skrall strode in. "Tell me, what is your name?"
"Do you know who we are?"
"Why were you headed for this continent?"
"A change of guard."
"And if you could kill me, would you?"
"In an instant."
"Really...?" He wrote something down on a clipboard he'd brought in.
"Sir, if I may do some questioning I might be more successful." Janneus replied.
"Oh, really?" the Skrall replied. "Well, then. I'd be perfectly willing to let you, under one condition; you don't harm him in any way; don't even give him a threat." Janneus smiled. "Perhaps I should be going."
"Perhaps you should."
Shayla felt like she could almost cry, but she had to keep working. The computer screen in front of her was starting to look like nothing but a blur. She constantly checked to see if her scanners had found something.
This time, they had.
She quickly focused her eyes and set her attention on the new info. It was a small power source, the type the order used for the life testers. It was completely new technology, and the life testers were the only thing that currently used it. It was in a place no Enforcer was logged as being at. It wasn't much, but perhaps it was the remains of Boreal's life tester — Or, she thought dreadfully, just Boreal's remains.
Shayla stuck her hand in the water and pulled out Boreal's life tester. She showed it to Haze. She needed him because he was their best analyst. He examined the tester.
"It would seem," he said, "someone has figured out a way to stop the life tester's transmission. Perhaps some new device. This would assume that Boreal had more likely been captured. Boreal now has a fifty-one percent chance of being alive — but wait, the Enforcers are a secret organization. How would someone make a device specifically for shutting down a life tester if they didn't know we even existed? They wouldn't know we used such technology unless someone has blown our cover. Unless someone is working against us from within the order..."
Janneus took the widgets from Tetrack and counted the loot. Good, he thought, he had not been cheated for capturing the famed Enforcer and Chronicler.
"Anything else?" he asked.
"Perhaps you should be aware," Tetrack stated, "that we have the enforcer Brominax in our captivity."
"Why are we capturing these beings? Why not just kill them?"
"Because we want the guard to be lowered from the Enforcer's stronghold."
"And that brings me back to my question: Why not kill them?"
"Because," said a new voice, which Janneus identified as Draconius', "if we kill them, they will merely be replaced. If the Enforcers believe they are alive, they will not be, and the guard will be lowered with the more Enforcers we capture. But we cannot let the ones we have captured know that there are others in our custody, so they don't try to escape together."
"Exactly," said Tetrack.
"Then why deactivate their life testers? Won't they think they're dead?" Janneus responded.
"Oh, the Enforcers are too smart for that. They will find at least one of the life testers and will think we've made a mistake."
"Your plan involves a lot of gambling, Tetrack. But as long as I'm being paid, I can assure you, I will stay at your side."
Janneus walked away from the room minutes later with a new task: be part of a squad which was going to try and take one corner of the power triangle that was guarded by mysterious traps in a hidden temple, and would most likely have a final guard the must be battled and then they must get away dodging all other traps they didn't already destroy, and get out be fore a giant door locked them in.
Oh, yes! he thought. This will be so easy!
He started up his ship, as did the others in his group. Draconius was leading them.
They flew for a few hours, through which Janneus was extremely bored, but finally, the fog in his window cleared, and there was the temple. He landed in unison with the rest of the small fleet. They all jumped out, and instantly Janneus wanted to run away. But it was not his own instinct that had told him to do so. It was something else.
He looked around. A few bounty hunters were stepping back.
"Stand your ground!" Draconius bellowed. "This is the first trap. I'll bet that we'll have to deal with this and many more before we actually reach our destination."
Fyxan rounded the corner and looked up from the data pad. The room before him was chaos. He stood dumbfounded as he watcher Haze fight Liquid (Liquid was Shayla's code name). Liquid fought harder than he'd ever seen her do so before. Other Enforcers were fighting too. So Fyxan did what Brominax would have done.
The room froze, and he found several pairs of eyes facing him.
Fyxan raised an eyebrow. "Now, I don't know what is going on," he continued, "But whatever it is, we must find out."
"We already have seven of our best analysts working on it, including myself," Haze stated.
"Yeah, well, that just isn't good enough, is it? Put seven more on."
A voice coughed from behind him. "Thank you, Fyxan. But seeing as I'm second in command, I'll be taking this from here."
Fyxan gritted his teeth. He slowly spun around and found himself face to face with Forsk, his nemesis. They always were fighting for the same job, but Forsk had eventually acquired his position after some heroic deed back in the Kodax War that Fyxan had actually planned out. Brominax had given him all the credit.
"Did you hear what I said?" Forsk asked mockingly. "Move."
Grudgingly, Fyxan stepped to the side.
"Thank you." Forsk turned to the crowd. "Now, it appears we are fighting each other, but no one outside these walls is. Thus, we must assume it cannot be something in the air. It would have spread. Check the food and drink to see if it's poisoned. Any other suggestions are welcome. I will assume control from here on out. We will hold a funeral for Brominax and Boreal tomorrow."
"Wait!" said Shayla.
"You have something to say?" Forsk inquired.
"Well, we found Boreal's life tester. It was not connected to his body. Haze and I think that someone is trying to deceive us. I think this—" she pulled out Boreal's life tester. "—is proof enough to continue our investigation on Brominax and Boreal's disappearances."
"Very well," Forsk said. "Miss Liquid, if you can organize a team of people to help you look into this, you are more than welcome."
"Haze has already offered," Shayla stated.
"And so have I." Silver smiled as he said the words.
Forsk just shrugged and started giving more orders.
Janneus leaped over the creature and landed on hard stone. The beast wailed. Janneus then turned his crowbar on the creature and released a blast of pure energy into the creature's eye. The other eye rolled up into its head, and the beast crumbled. Draconius came out from the rubble the humongous beast's crash had made.
"Well, that takes care of that," Draconius stated. "What's the head count?"
"We lost one in that last fight," said Janneus, "so we're two down from when we started. But according to what I read, we should only have one more obstacle to go through before we get the triangle piece. Problem is, it will be the toughest of all."
"Yes," Draconius said, "but think of it as a luxury. Once we get to the last one, this will feel like we fought a Matoran."
"Hey!" Ora said.
Shayla blinked furiously. She had been staring at the computer screen for hours now, and hadn't slept for days. But something came across her screen. It was another energy source.
It must be Brominax's life tester.
She had the computer locate it. The weird part: it was steps away. She looked in the direction the computer said it was: Brominax's chamber.
She swallowed. No one was allowed in there. And now it belonged to Forsk. If she went in and he was in there, there would be a good chance of her getting kicked out. But she had to.
She used her special access key card and went in. Forsk was nowhere. After looking around a bit, she found it. Its small size and dome-like shape felt smooth in her palm. She grasped it in victory, but this find led to more questions: How could the kidnappers have gotten in here?
But the answer came to her just as fast as the question: the inside man. She cursed. But she also knew that there had to be a clue somewhere.
She looked around a bit more. Then she found it: it was an access card. And not just any access card. It was a special forces access card. Only the highest ranking officials had access cards, except for this exception. The special forces. They were the most powerful and most tough beings in the operation, except for maybe Brominax.
She took the key card to her computer and plugged it into the slot. She had the computer decode who it belonged to, and soon his picture appeared: Jarrin.
Jarrin. She had never met him. But she was told he was one of the most trusted and skilled members of their whole organization. So that was where she went next.
"Jarrin, have you been missing this?" She held up the card.
"Oh, yeah! Where'd you find this?" he replied, seeming thankful.
"In Brominax's office. The same place I found his life tester."
"Mata Nui!" He put his hand on his head. "You don't think I did this! Do you?"
"Yes, I'm afraid I do," she replied.
"Please," Jarrin said. "Please consider that fact that it might have been stolen. I mean, what if the person who did it was an outsider who needed to get in and happened to steal mine first? Or, it could be someone who isn't very high-ranking that didn't have a key card? Any of these could be possibilities!"
"Yes, I suppose your right." Shayla gritted her teeth. "Better go show what I've found to Forsk."
"No!" Jarrin exclaimed, startling Shayla. "I mean, won't this mean he'll know you snuck in his office and think that I'm guilty?"
"Yes," she replied. "But nonetheless, it is my duty." She walked off.
Jarrin stared at her in defeat. He knew Forsk well. Too well. And he knew that after he saw that evidence, no matter how much Shayla tried to convince him, he would find him guilty.
Instantly, he whipped out a pen and paper, wrote Shayla a note and left it in her quarters with a holographic transmitter. And instantly, he was running down the hallway toward the exit. But just as he rounded the corner to get to the door, the voice of Forsk rang our across the entire base.
"JARRIN IS A TRAITOR! TRACK HIM DOWN AND TAKE HIM OUT!"
The guards at the door turned and saw him. They fired their weapons at him, but he wasn't a special force agent for nothing. He dodged easily and grabbed one of their weapons with one hand and gave the guard an uppercut with the other.
The other guard activated his mask power. Jarrin found himself falling up. He crashed into the ceiling. The guard had flipped gravity on him, but that was no use. He easily and gracefully grabbed his flame spear and hit his opponent with the butt of it. The guard crumbled and lost his concentration, making Jarrin fall back down to normal gravity. He then began running away.
But Kyrus had seen him. He fired his Nynrah Ghost blaster at him, to no avail, and them began pursuing him. Jarrin found it strange that he did not alert anyone. Kyrus whipped out two daggers and threw them both. Jarrin dodged one, but moved right into the other: a skilled move for a being who was not trained in fighting.
Jarrin fell over from the dagger's impact. Kyrus was on him in an instant and put his dagger up to Jarrin's throat.
"I'm innocent! I swear!" Jarrin yelped.
Haze smiled. "I know."
"Thank you for the key card. It was most helpful. But now I'm afraid I must kill you. You know too much."
Haze lifted his dagger high, but Jarrin performed a move only the most trained could have accomplished. He rolled over under Haze and kicked backwards. The blade flew out of Haze's hands, and Jarrin was quickly back on his feet.
"You cannot beat me, Jarrin," Haze said. "I am not who you think I am. Kyrus is dead. I am a bounty hunter. And you cannot tell the Enforcers. They will never believe you. So run, Jarrin. Run as far as you can. But know that you cannot hide."
"It was you who released the poison upon us that made us go mad! But... how did you put it inside us?"
"I don't think I'll tell you. See if you can figure it out."
And with that, Kyrus turned and headed back toward the base of the people he had betrayed.
Jarrin had the impulse to strike at him, but if what the impostor said was true and he was a bounty hunter, he probably wouldn't stand a chance. In hatred, he whirled around and walked slowly into exile, the holographic transmitter in his hands.
Shayla sighed as she entered her quarters. She had tried to persuade Forsk to think it over, but to no avail.
Then she saw the note lying on her bed. She eagerly went to see what it was. It was from Jarrin. She opened it and read the letter.
- Shayla, I know we've not known each other for long, but I feel you are someone I can trust. The holographic transmitter next to this note is the only way you can contact me. Do so as soon as it is possible, but do not let anyone find you under any circumstances. Do it when you are out of the building, preferably on a mission alone. I may need your assistance, if you are willing to lend it to me. I'm sorry to leave, but you left me no choice as to what to do.
- There is something else you must know that I cannot let anyone find out. I have, in previous days, made an inscription on the wall of my quarters. It is in a code that I designed myself, but I have inserted the decoder in the envelope of this letter, so that you may know what I know.
- And do not tell anyone. Not even Forsk. Brominax instructed me to keep it a secret, and for good reason, as you will soon find out.
- BURN AFTER READING
Shayla lowered the letter and thought about what she might be getting herself into. Helping out a fugitive? But Jarrin needed her, and she now felt sure that he was innocent.
She grabbed the decoder and holographic transmitter that came with the message, and lit the note on fire with a bit of her laser power, then put it out with water. She then moved out of her quarters and gracefully, innocently walked to Jarrin's.
She slipped in nonchalantly and found the inscription that Jarrin had told her about. She decoded it, and then looked at the results: The Power Triangle piece is in Brominax's throne.
She stepped back. She had lost her breath. The legendary power triangle. Each piece said to be extremely powerful, but when combined, it was ten times the power. And one of those pieces was actually IN Brominax's throne?
The problem was: it was now Forsk's. Time to contact Jarrin.
Janneus, Draconius, Ora, and two others stood there. Their group had dwindled down to these small five. Sure, the force hadn't been that large to start with, but this had been more difficult than he had expected.
Janneus battled like a mad being, with the robot in front of him. It moved slowly, but its armor could not be pierced by any of their powers, despite their great abilities. The robot also had devastating attacks, powered by the power triangle piece itself. Fortunately, the robot was incapable of even getting close to utilizing the full power of the triangle piece.
"Janneus, flank his left!" Draconius yelled. "He seems to not be guarding it some much there!"
Janneus realized he was right, and tumbled into position implicitly. He was starting to actually become fond of serving with Draconius. Their skills complimented each other perfectly. Janneus landed in a battle stance and unleashed a blast of electricity into an open socket on the robot.
It wailed mechanically and slowly turned to face him. Draconius seized the moment and struck the robot hard in the back, making the robot lose its step and make it off balance for only a second. It was all Janneus needed. He was on the robot in the instant, slammed it with his shield, then whirling around and firing a burst of flame from his crowbar.
The robot turned on a shield, and it was deflected. Draconius and Ora, being on the other side of the robot, attacked. Ora launched a huge blast of power for someone his size, and Draconius fired his energized Thornax. It pierced the robot perfectly, and it was shocked with a bolt of electricity.
The other two bounty hunters pounced, but were flung away from the sizzling robot in a zap of lightning and knocked unconscious. But the robot was almost destroyed. Janneus summoned a massive amount of power and unleashed it all in one small, piercing beam right in the center of the falling robot. It crumbled, and stopped sizzling with electricity.
Draconius walked over the remaining metal parts of the robot and claimed the triangle piece in victory, holding it above his head.
Brominax was hit with the shock again.
"I ASK YOU AGAIN!" exclaimed Tetrack in rage. "WHERE IS THE TRIANGLE PIECE?"
"I WILL NOT TELL!" Brominax growled back.
"HIT HIM AGAIN! FULL POWER!"
The being operating the control board turned two knobs, then pressed the dreaded red button.
Brominax was hit by another shock of lightning. The electricity coursed through every part of his body. The pain overwhelmed him. He yowled at the top of his lungs. His eyes were blinded with nothing but pure pain. He grabbed his neck as if being choked, all the while conscious of Tetrack's smile on his face.
The pain ceased. Brominax was still blind, and he found himself whimpering on the floor, curled in a ball. He had experienced great torture, but nothing like this. He didn't even know who was torturing him, except for his evil-sounding name: Tetrack.
"Now Brominax, let's hope you are ready to reveal some information," Tetrack said mockingly. "I'm surprised. Any average being would have died from a blast of such power. Now tell me, where is the power triangle?"
Brominax slowly raised himself from the cold stone floor with quivering arms, coughing.
"I told you before, T-Tetrack." Brominax replied bravely. "I will not tell. And I never will. Tell me who you are, and what kind of organization this is."
"We," Tetrack responded, "call ourselves the 'Bounty Hunters' Guild'. And trust me, we're not a group to be trifled with. Tell me where the power triangle is, let us have it, and we'll be out of your way forever."
"I don't trust you."
"Fine. Hit him again."
Shayla had made contact. She had gotten out of the building surprisingly easily, with the classic I need to step outside for a bit; I feel a bit faint. It was actually quite sad how idiotic some beings could be.
The blue image, jerking and hissing from the static, showed a picture of Jarrin.
"Ah," he said. "You've made it outside. I'm glad. Now there is something I need to tell you, and it is of the most utter importance."
Shayla heard a whisper. "What did you say? Just now."
"I didn't say anything."
"Hold on, I need to check something out. I'll call back in a bit."
She shut off the transmitter and moved toward the sound she'd heard. The whisper was becoming more audible. Finally, she saw it: Haze was talking via holographic transmitter to some being who looked to her like nothing but a small, ugly little creature, but she listened in to their conversation.
"I've implanted it," Haze said to the being. "I've already tested it twice. It is working perfectly — a little too perfectly; Fyxan almost sliced my head off. If all goes as planned, by the end of this week the Enforcers' numbers will be cut in half. That is when you must make your strike."
"Yes," said the being. "But we have not yet gathered enough forces for an attack of that scale. We need you to get that power triangle piece. And we need you to do it fast. Oh, and—" he looked over his shoulder, right at Shayla. "—it appears you have a visitor to dispatch."
The transmission cut off. Haze's eyes stared at Shayla's. He darted at her with amazing swiftness. He knocked her over, and she fell into a nearby lake.
But the water was her strength. She willed the water to pull her with amazing speed. She was underwater with Haze, and they were battling ferociously. She fired her lasers at him, but he stuck out his hand and used a sort of shield power to block the blast. Then he quickly whipped out a blade and sent it spiraling through the water toward her. She dodged it, but it came around and began chasing her. She had to swim faster than ever before just to stay in front of it. Then she dived down even further, whipped around, and hit the pursuing dagger with another blast of laser, exploding it.
She then willed the water to take her back up to where Haze was, but when she resurfaced, he was nowhere in sight. She warily got out of the water. The instant she was, she was hit by a bowling mass. She felt a dagger trying to pierce her armor, and realized Haze had ambushed her.
She whipped out her weapon and attacked Haze once more. He deflected the slash with his dagger, and it came down to skill with the blade. But Haze seemed to have more skill then she'd originally thought.
Haze started to get her to the disadvantage, and he was slowly pushing more and more off her balance. Then, realizing she needed to regain her position, she activated her mask of jumping and practically flew up to one of the tallest trees she'd seen on the island. And breathing hard, she gazed down at her opponent, who simply stood waiting for his prey.
Shayla was starting to get hungry. She felt in the mood for some Giant Kiglo Papaya Juice. It was her personal favorite. But Kyrus was still down below the tree, waiting for her to come down. Every now and then, he would try to surprise her by launching a blast of power at her, but she easily dodged it all. It was becoming very trying, and boring. But it was at that time that Kyrus looked like he had an idea.
"Ah, Shayla," he said. "Perhaps you would like to witness the first test of the Guild's newest weapon. My master, Tetrack, invented it. It's microscopic. It's why everybody has been attacking everybody. But it doesn't just make people go insane. It's more of a mind controller. And you are almost willingly letting me control you."
He pressed some buttons on a device he had strapped onto his wrist. "In fact, you're holding it right now."
Shayla was confused. The only thing she was holding was her weapon, and tha— HER WEAPON! THE ARMORY! ALL ARE ALLOWED THERE!
But it was too late. She felt her body suddenly moving against her will. She had her own thoughts, she willed herself to lash out and attack Kyrus, but she could not. Her body had lost all connection with her mind. Kyrus smiled and activated her mask of jumping so she came down from the tree.
"Now come, Shayla." Kyrus said. "Let's get you back to the base."
Hidden deep within Shayla's pack, a beeping sound was coming from a holographic transmitter. But it was too late. Jarrin was on his own.
Jarrin set down the holographic transmitter and sighed whilst sitting on a rock. It was clear Shayla wasn't going to respond any time soon, but she had to know Kyrus was evil. She just had to.
He set down his spear, and was glad he did. It began to glow an eerie color of green. But it was brightest in one spot. Carefully, he grabbed two sticks and flipped his spear so he could see that spot. He squinted his eyes and looked as close as he could.
And then he saw it. A dot. A small black and green dot so small that no one would have ever seen it. But there it was: the reason for all the madness.
He finally had his proof. Now he could return to Forsk. He slowly picked up the spear with the two sticks, careful not to touch it lest he be mind controlled and began the long walk back to base.
Forsk sat on his throne, bored as ever, with a glazed expression on his face.
The door opened and Shayla walked in. "Master," she said, with a strange tone. He suspected she was still mad about the whole Jarrin thing. "There are intruders coming. You must order our men to grab their weapons and fight back."
She said it strangely. But if Brominax trusted her, so did he. He grabbed his microphone. "All units, grab your weapons and go out to the front of the base for further instructions!"
Forsk grabbed his spear, and instantly his eyes lit up, as did his spear. "Ah, I see. Good deception. Come on, Kyrus, you can stop hiding, and now you may lead us to our doom, if you like."
The order had Fyxan puzzled. It seemed so... sudden. But he had to follow orders.
He went quickly to the armory, grabbed his chainsaws, and waited outside for the "further instructions" Forsk promised.
As did all the Enforcers. It didn't take long for them all to be there. And then they waited.
If only Fyxan could have seen the smiling face in the window above.
"Alright, Tetrack," Kyrus said. "It's all ready. And now the fall of the Enforcers. I expect some big widgets for this!"
"And so you shall have them for your... valiant work. Proceed."
The transmission cut. Kyrus pressed the button and the battle erupted in front of him.
Fyxan could not stop himself. He dodged his fellow Enforcer's blow. It was a large, black-armored burly brute, with not much agility.
But Fyxan found himself performing not nearly as well as he could. He was slow. He missed openings. Not that he didn't want to; they were his friends. But he could not stop himself.
And he needed to. Fast. There was no one to break them out of their trance. Nobody to yell "enough!" and rescue them. But that's what they needed. And suddenly, it came, screeching across the battlefield.
Fyxan stopped and looked towards the sound. And he found himself face to face with Jarrin. Jarrin the traitor.
"The noise has awakened them," said Forsk to Kyrus. Those two and Shayla were staring through a window.
"Jarrin must be disposed of," Kyrus replied. "Give the order."
Forsk moved over to the microphone sitting on his throne a few steps away. Kyrus turned his gaze back to the window, and suddenly a massive amount of flame was being stuffed in it. Jarrin had seen him, and launched a blast of flame at him.
And now the plans were ruined. He lost his concentration.
Shayla realized what happened and dropped her weapons. Then she opened the window and wailed, "Drop your weapons, everyone! It is the cause of the madness!"
The Enforcers all dropped their weapons. All the Enforcers except Forsk.
"Wait," Forsk said, "Are you telling me the weapons are what are causing—"
"Drop it!" Shayla wailed.
But it was too late. Kyrus had regained his concentration and was now controlling Forsk. Shayla gulped. She was going to have to fight a trained Enforcer and a bounty hunter, both without her weapon.
Janneus walked through the door as Boreal watched with disdain. In his hand, he held a piece of the power triangle. Janneus had explained about their little plan to go and retrieve it.
"Now," Janneus said, "If you do know where the power triangle piece is, this will make you reveal it. If not, well, then, you'll probably experience extensive pain to the head, vomiting, and or rupturing in the upper area. Electrical currents flowing through your body are possible, along with the feeling of a dagger being sliced right through your head. Oh, and you might die.
"Now, you may ask why we've not done this to Brominax. Well, simple; he escaped, thanks to the idiot Matoran Ora. He is basically the worst guard in the universe. Except for this one guy I used to work with a long time ago, but that's beside the point. Anyway, let's get to the torture, shall we?"
Janneus held out the triangle piece and closed his eyes. And the pain that Boreal felt after that was so awful, so terrible, that if it was described, one would not be able to stand it.
But there was one promise of hope that still hung in Boreal's mind at that time. The only reason he had to keep on living: Brominax was alive. But as the torture continued, he thought of another reason to live: to get his revenge on Janneus.
Forsk came at Shayla swiftly. He brought around his fire staff, gripping it at the base so the tip was more deadly. Shayla ducked to avoid it, then stood up and grabbed the hand Forsk was using to hold the weapon. She tried to smash the weapon out of his hand, but it would not budge. Kyrus was not doing anything, but he was yelling, "Forsk! Where is the triangle piece?"
To which Forsk simply replied, "I don't know!" and continued battling.
Which made sense. The only people who knew about the triangle piece were Brominax, special force members, and now her. She was still wrestling with Forsk. Finally, she used her laser arm to blast Forsk in the face. He let go of his weapon and passed it off to her. But that was it. Kyrus had control of Shayla now.
Kyrus quickly asked, "Where is the triangle piece?"
Shayla found herself moving towards Forsk's throne. She could not stop. Forsk wouldn't stop her either. He just had a dazed look on his face as though he had no idea what was going on, and didn't intend to get involved.
As she arrived at the throne, she lifted Forsk's blade high above her head and brought it down into the rock. It split open, and there was the piece. She lifted it and began walking it towards Kyrus.
And right as she was handing it to him, her hand was shot with a burst of flame. It flew out of her hand to her great delight, and bounced off the wall, came back to her hand, flew past that, and into the ready arms of Jarrin.
"No!" Kyrus wailed. "Shayla! Get him!"
Shayla found herself moving toward him against his will. But Jarrin came at her fast, and brought his hand down on her spear HARD. It fell out of her hand and clattered on the floor. She stopped what she was doing and looked at Kyrus. Kyrus looked at Jarrin.
"Give me the triangle piece!"
"Never!" screamed Jarrin.
Then the door opened behind Jarrin and in came Brominax, weapon in hand. "What's going o—"
"DROP YOUR WEAPON!" said Shayla and Jarrin in unison.
But it was too late. Kyrus already had control of him. Brominax leaped through the air and landed on top of Shayla. With one massive hard kick, she was out of the way and sputtering on the floor. The he activated his Fehja, mask of telekinetic motion, and sent Jarrin flying back, while keeping the triangle piece in its previous position. Brominax then grabbed the piece and delivered it to Kyrus.
"Thank you. Now if you don't mind, I'll be going now."
And with a smile, Kyrus used jet shoes that Shayla didn't even know he had and flew out the top of the building, crashing through the ceiling, and laughing to himself in victory. After he was out of range, Brominax regained his sanity.
But it was at that time that the three still in the room realized that there was far more to this plot than there seemed. But to Shayla, who was just lifting herself off the ground, there was only one thing that mattered: finding Boreal.
The floor was covered in vomit. Boreal coughed; this time, thankfully, he didn't throw up.
Janneus laughed. "Well, it seems you certainly don't know where the triangle piece is. But we have other ways of finding it."
Just then, Janneus' holographic transmitter beeped. "What is it?" said Janneus as he activated it and took it off his belt.
Boreal looked at the image on it. It was Kyrus!
"Haze! Haze!" Boreal shouted. "I'm imprisoned! Come help me!"
Kyrus laughed and looked over his shoulder at Boreal. "He still doesn't know?" he asked.
"No. Now, what is the news?" Janneus asked.
"Inform your master," Kyrus said, "that I have the triangle piece and am on my way back to deliver it to Tetrack."
"I have the other piece right here," he replied. "I'll tell him."
The transmission cut off. Janneus smiled. "Well, it looks like you're not going to have to go through this again."
He lifted up his triangle piece. "Good day to you. Oh, and you might want to clean up a bit of that vomit."
Tetrack sat in his chair in the conference room. He was reflecting on previous events. But the past didn't matter; Kyrus was about to destroy the whole organization known as the Enforcers of Gigas Magna.
Then another thought entered his mind, which he had constantly tried to shove away. For thousands of years he had tried, but he couldn't.
His creator, a Great Being named Axconox, had created him separate and unique from other Kodax. He was made at about the same time as the rest, but with special orders from this Great Being; find the power triangle pieces. He had said that Tetrack would understand in the near future.
And within the next three days he did. The Great Beings realized he planned to defect and join the Core War. With a being of his great power, they could not let that happen. Spherus Magna would shatter sooner than they had anticipated, and the Mata Nui robot, along with other things they were creating to preserve life, would be destroyed. But being lovers of peace, they could not kill him. They imprisoned him in stone, a stone that could not be destroyed unless one had the greatest of power.
That was why Axconox had wanted the power triangle. That was why Tetrack had been created: to rescue him from his fate. But Tetrack was smarter than that. The instant he had realized why Axconox had wanted him to do this, he ran away. He ran to a faraway place, the place that would later be known as Gigas Magna. And now that his objective was to collect the triangle pieces, he could not help but recollect these old memories.
The door opened.
"Sir," said the voice of Janneus, "Kyrus has the power triangle piece. He is on his way here. After that, only one more to go."
"Yes," Tetrack replied. "One more to go. But it will be the hardest one of them all to get."
"If you don't mind me asking," said Janneus, pulling up a seat and propping his feet on the conference table, "what exactly should I be preparing myself for, when we go to get the final triangle piece? You keep saying it will be 'the most dangerous' and so on, but what exactly does that mean?"
"Janneus, don't you have duties to be attending to?" Tetrack asked, trying to get Janneus out of the room.
"Of course I do," he replied forwardly, "but I'm not going 'til you tell me, so tell me."
Tetrack sighed. "Alright," he replied. "We are going to have to voyage there by ship. We cannot teleport there, for there is a teleportation shield within about a thousand miles of it. We cannot go there by airship, because there is some ancient power restricting that. So thus, the only thing I can conclude is that we must go by ship, all the while braving the most dangerous of creatures."
Brominax strode through the hallway, Forsk and Jarrin following him on the right side and Shayla and Fyxan on the other. Brominax led them down a large flight of stairs and deep underground, to a room that belonged specifically to Brominax. It was his personal room. But the meeting that was about to take place was far from personal.
"Alright, listen up," Brominax said sternly. "This meeting is about the triangle pieces, and a few other matters. But first off, does anyone know what we're up against?"
All but Jarrin shook their heads.
"Well," Brominax continued, "I do. It seems we are up against a band of bounty hunters. No, more than just a band, at least three hundred I would guess. Their leader is a being named Tetrack. He seems to be paying each and every one of his men, but how he got the funds to do so is beyond me. Shayla, after Haze, you are our best analyst. Your task is to learn more about this 'Tetrack'. Jarrin, your job is to return to the base at these coordinates—" He punched some numbers into a datapad and gave it to Jarrin. "-and rescue Boreal. I assume you haven't found him yet. And I also assume he was abducted by the same group."
"As for Forsk, you are to lead a team to the temple, the legendary home of one of the triangle pieces. If the defenses are down, we know that the bounty hunters have it. And as for me and Fyxan, we're going upriver."
Fyxan looked up. "You don't mean—"
"I do. The triangle pieces are almost worthless unless you have all three. So thus, I must assume they will be after them all. So, Fyxan, prepare a crew. Forsk, prepare a team. Jarrin, a squad. Shayla, hurry up on that research, then try to catch up with us. This will be the most daring attempt ever, save that one thing I did in the war with the Kodax."
The ships were made ready. Janneus undid a rope that was holding it to the dock. Then he followed various members of the Guild up the ramp. Ora was checking off names as they got on. As he arrived at Ora, he looked puzzled. He looked through two pages of his clipboard.
"I'm sorry, Janneus, it appears as though you've been assigned in charge of the Guild while Tetrack is away."
"What?" Janneus said, aghast. "Draconius was supposed to watch the base!"
"Yes, well, Tetrack wanted him along," the powerful Matoran replied.
"I need to see him," Janneus said, angry now.
"I'm sorry, Tetrack gave me specific orders not to let anyone—"
"MOVE!" Janneus shoved the Matoran aside and strode towards the captain's cabin. He shoved his way past members of the crew, and stormed into Tetrack's room.
"What's this about?" Janneus said.
Tetrack set down the glass of Kiglo Papaya juice he was drinking and faced him. "I assure you, I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You set me as guard? Why can't Draconius do that? It is his JOB, after all. Second in command should be watching the base while your out."
Terack cleared his throat, and made a quick glance at a globe of Kodax Magna he had collected not long before the war with the Kodax. "I felt I could use Draconius' strategic mind more than your... temperamental one."
"You know you did this just because you don't like me!" Janneus shouted.
"Please," Tetrack said, "inside voices. Alright, Janneus, I'll be straightforward with you. I don't like you. From the first moment I met you, I knew you would be troublesome. And I know I didn't invite you personally to join the Guild, so who was it that suggested you?"
"It was Ora; we're old friends."
"Ah. Well, you are very skilled, but your skills are not needed today. You may go now."
As Janneus left, Tetrack smiled, propped his feet up on the table, and took another sip of his juice.
Brominax took in the fresh scent of the ocean breeze a few water drops from the sea splashed in his face, and he shuddered from the cold.
After a power triangle piece, he thought. Never thought I'd be doing this again. When I hunted down the last one, it was a disaster.
Brominax jumped. He was sure he hadn't thought his own name. He spun around to find Fyxan.
"Ah, Fyxan, come. See how the stars are shining even before it is nightfall. Rare is the time when I can spare my time in such trivial things. But whilst sailing, it is different. You are set on a goal, but there is a lot of waiting in between for one to examine such things.
"The universe is getting smaller, Fyxan. I feel the walls slowly closing in with every passing day. But while there is still light, I enjoy it. While there is still hope, I encourage it. And while there is still something to fight for, I will fight for it."
"Well said, Brominax," mumbled Fyxan. He then straightened his posture. "But enough gazing towards the future. We are approaching the arch of rocks that allows no air vehicle to pass through it or around it. And once we pass there, we come straight into the dreaded, unforgiving Waves of Danger. We need you at the wheel. We've got our best seafarers at the wheels of the other four ships, but our ship is to lead the way."
Brominax sighed, pulling his head away from nature's beauty, and began to walk away from the prow of the boat and towards the stern where a wooden wheel of fine mahogany waited for him. He gave it a slight turn, and in that he had measured the feel, the resistance, and exactly how much he would have to turn to go certain directions, taking into account the wind.
"Alright men. We are going through the arch. Brace yourselves. Prepare for heavy waves!"
They sailed through easily, the waves not having attacked them yet. The other ships filed in. And as the last ship was filing through, the sound of cannon fire could be heard throughout the area. A massive hole was shot in the back ship, and it sunk from that one shot.
Many of the sailors were rescued, but as they turned their faces to the horizon, they saw seven ships, each with a very distinct flag that bore a complicated design. The bounty hunters were upon them.
"Get the sails to seize the wind! We need as much speed as we can get! We must catch up to the Enforcers!" As Tetrack wailed these orders, he watched as the mast of the ship they had shot down went underwater. "And prepare yourselves for battle, for they may choose to attack us instead of run!"
But the Enforcers made no hostile moves. They simply kept on sailing, but perhaps they were far more frenzied. But they would catch up.
They will, he thought, be hitting the Waves of Danger right about... now.
Brominax went toppling over the rail onto the deck from the impact of the wave. He looked back to his previous position, where he had been steering. The wheel spun out of control. He stumbled to go up the stairs, and once he was almost there, another wave hit hard, sending him and many other members of the crew into the air.
As he fell, he made sure not to land in the sea. He shifted all his weight forward, and just barely caught the rail. Fyxan saw him, and stumbled towards him. Brominax gave him both his hands. Fyxan started to pull, but then another wave hit, and he lost the grip of one hand, making Brominax fall even further off the boat. Fyxan had also been pulled off, so he was hanging on to the railing with one hand, and Brominax with the other.
They needed help, but nobody could see them unless they saw Fyxan's hand. And nobody could hear them because of the waves. Fyxan appeared to be trying with all of his might to pull them up, but could not.
Suddenly, Brominax heard cannon fire. He turned to see what the Guild was up to. They were shooting at a small speedboat that was easily making its way through their ships. Brominax strained to see who was on it, until finally, he did" Shayla. She was coming towards them.
Finally, she went through the arch before the Guild did and went to the flagship. His ship. And she spotted him. She nodded, and, dodging the waves, went to the other side of the boat, where there was a ladder. Soon Shayla was looking over the railing, and saw the two.
"Give me your hand, Fyxan!" she screamed.
"I can't! If I let go, Brominax and I will fall!"
Fyxan, looking into her eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped up, leaving his hand in midair for Shayla to catch. And she did. They were slowly pulled on board.
"Now quickly, Brominax!" Shayla said. "You must get to the wheel! No one is steering the ship, and we're headed for some nasty rocks!"
Brominax nodded, and without a word ran to the wheel, and turned them away from the rocks, straight into a water fall. And down they went, not knowing what happened to their other ships, and not knowing whether they had just gave the power triangle piece to the bounty hunters.
Boreal sighed as he watched the standard news of the world. The best news Gigas Magna had: an Agori had stolen a battle tank and had accidentally crashed it into a small building. Little did they know that the Enforcers were on the brink of war.
Boreal just hoped that the Enforcers didn't think he was dead. He hoped and prayed that the Enforcers knew what was going on, and were trying to rescue him. The torture had been terrible. Janneus constantly came back again and again, unleashing his anger upon him. Any being who did that deserved to be punished. He longed for revenge. Over the weeks he'd been there, he'd grown a strong hatred towards Janneus.
And it was then that he came in.
"Hello, Boreal," Janneus said, tipping his hat. "Ready for another round? This time, I think we'll use the lightning blasters, and the power triangle piece."
He pulled the glowing white object out of a bag he'd brought in, and pressed the button on the other side of his cell, which brought down the lightning blasters.
"Wait!" Boreal said, "Why are you torturing me? Is there some info you want?"
Janneus smiled. "Nope. This is simply one of my favorite pastimes."
He smiled, sat on a stool, propped his feet on another one, and laid his head back on the wall, letting his hat cover his eyes. Then he turned on the triangle piece and the lightning, and the torture began again, one hundred times worse than before, as always.
To put it simply: he screamed.
Jarrin stepped out of the portal, and found himself face-to-face with two bounty hunters. Quick as a flash, he had their heads smashed together. But what would have knocked out a lesser being did little harm to these. They struck at him with their swords. He ducked, whipped out his flame staff, and launched a column of fire at them. They went flying back, and this time, they were unconscious.
He activated, then deactivated his holographic transmitter: the signal for the others to teleport. Apparently, the bounty hunters hadn't taken any pains to put shields around their base. Jarrin guessed they didn't expect anyone to ever figure out where they were. But they had, and they were fortunate.
Then his ear twitched as he heard a faint noise. But it was drowned out by the teleporting of other members of the Enforcers into the Guild. "You guys go on. I've got something to check out." They nodded and went down the hallway.
Jarrin went in the direction of the screams. As he got closer, he recognized the tone of the voice. It was that of his best friends! It was Boreal. Jarrin's eyes widened. And although Boreal couldn't hear him, he yelled, "Don't worry! I'm coming!"
He sprinted down the hallway as fast as he could. And Jarrin, being a special agent, was very fast.
He rounded a corner and found himself in front of two bounty hunters. He put his weapons on his back, grabbed their necks, and took them with him while running down the hall. He then lit his hands on fire, getting them as hot as ever. They slowly burned through the bounty hunters' armor, and Jarrin simply kept running without stopping so they couldn't move.
At once, however, both bodies went limp, and he dropped them. Although his hands were the ones on fire, he felt like his whole body, mind, and heart were. They encouraged him to go faster. He practically doubled his speed. And then he saw the door. He knew Boreal was in there.
"I'm coming!" he yelled.
He shouldn't have. A being in a green hat opened the door and struck him with his crowbar. He was Rotaxian, by the look of it. Great, of course he would have to go past a Rotaxian while he tried to rescue his best friend.
Jarrin just realized he was on the ground from the blow.
"Say goodbye!" said the Rotaxian, lifting his crowbar.
"GO TO KARZAHNI!" Jarrin screamed, and brought his leg around under the Rotaxian, making him fall over. Jarrin then threw his flame gun at the button that opened Boreal's cage. It lifted, and Boreal was on top of the Rotaxian in an instant, punching him in the face with all the furies of Karzahni seemingly on his side.
"Fool!" spat Janneus, "I must tell you something before you do, something you must know."
"What?" screamed Boreal.
Janneus smiled, and unleashed a blast of lightning-electricity-power-wind that totally bowled and overwhelmed both Jarrin and Boreal, sending them flying into the cage. He then shut the cage door on them, and locked them in.
"You are idiots! There, I told you. Now you may kill me, if you can!"
Janneus smiled. "You know, you Enforcer scum aren't that hard to trick, or even beat. At this rate, you'll all be dead in the next week. Now, as I wish many, good day."
He tipped his hat, which appeared to Jarrin as something he would do a lot. It suited him. It was sinister.
"Come back here you, coward!" screamed Boreal.
Jarrin stared at him, amazed. "Relax, Boreal, we'll be fine!"
"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! HE— HE DID ME! HE DID THE— HE DID IT TO ME! TO ME!"
Jarrin had no idea what Boreal was talking about, but he assumed he despised the Rotaxian. Then he looked in his hand and found he still had his flame spear. "I guess that guy isn't as smart as he seems." He showed Boreal the staff. Boreal smiled too.
Jarrin stuck the staff through the bars and tapped the release button. "Now, Boreal. You are free to get your revenge."
Jarrin gestured towards the door with his arms. Boreal smiled. "Yes," he said, "Janneus will rue this day for the rest of his life."
He revived his smile, making it even bigger. "If he even has another day for him to rue."
The last Enforcer ship was destroyed.
Tetrack smiled, but ended up biting his lip, for they were still on the Waves of Danger. "Alright, let's start turning so we don't go over the waterfall."
Ora, at the wheel, nodded, and spun the wheel around to go down a canyon. This was, according to legend, the safest way to get to the triangle piece. They wouldn't have nearly as much trouble as Brominax, who had taken his ship over the waterfall. The only thing that worried Tetrack was that his way might be faster.
He figured he'd let fate decide who got their first. But then he decided he did not want to be a fatalist. He just wanted power.
Brominax coughed as he pulled himself up to the shore. Fyxan and Shayla were next to him, but he didn't know where anyone else was. The area was foggy, so he could barely see. Probably the mist was coming from the waterfall.
"If anyone is there and they can hear me, say aye!"
A large amount of "ayes" came, and many followed his voice to where he was, until he had about fifty men.
"Sir!" said one of them. "There are injured people over here. They need medical attention! Immediately!"
Brominax sighed. He couldn't leave them here alone. They would have to tend to the wounded before they could move on. "Alright, we'll stay," he said regretfully. "But we must hurry. The bounty hunters are probably already on their way. Look through the wreckage of the ship and see if there is anything we can use as medical supplies."
The men nodded and stepped out into the pool of water they'd landed in. As Brominax got a better bearing of his surroundings, he realized they were in a small lake, and it was littered with broken ship parts. Then, along the edges of the lake was a sandy shore, and past that were rocky cliffs.
There must be a place this water goes, thought Brominax, Otherwise, over the years this has been here, this giant hole that we're in would be full of water, so where...
Suddenly, he had his answer. He watched as a piece of wood from the ship spun around in the middle of the lake, went under, and didn't come up.
"Everyone! Don't go towards the center!" he warned. "There appears to be some sort of hole in the ground. It also looks like it is our only way out of this place. So let's finish healing these people and get down there!"
They nodded, and within an hour, most of the wreckage had gone through the vortex and all his men were healed. Brominax then found himself standing in the center of the pool, feeling the suction of the mini vortex tugging at him. The crew watched him eagerly, almost saying, "I bet you can't do it. You're scared, aren't you?"
Brominax smiled, accepting this imaginary challenge. It felt like something he would have done when he was younger. And, with great faith, he leaped into the pool.
He fell far, farther than he'd ever expected. In fact, he realized he hadn't stopped yet. He was STILL FALLING! And he kept falling for another three minutes.
Then, finally, he landed in an extremely deep (thankfully) pool of water that immediately started pulling him in another direction. Brominax figured this pool was the start of a river. But no river could be stronger than him — well, actually, it could, but this one wasn't.
He swam to shore. Or at least, sort of. It was a rocky ground, and the whole area was dark. Brominax could see nothing. Then he heard screaming from behind him.
Fyxan had jumped in.
He fumbled around in the dark for the shore, and Brominax helped him up. "Good to see you," Fyxan said. "Nice to know our leader is alive. I also think I convinced the others to come, too, before I jumped. We should be seeing — er, hearing more coming down soon. Mata Nui, is it dark in here. We need a toa of fire to light this place up!"
And luckily, the next one down was one. He coughed and sputtered. "Did I mention I hate water?" said the Toa.
Brominax smiled in the dark. "I haven't known a single Toa of Fire who likes it. Personally, however, I find it quite... refreshing. Now, could you give us some light?"
If Brominax and Fyxan could have seen, they would have seen him nod. They also would have seen the creature who had just come out of his home, smelling fresh kill.
The fire turned on.
"Uh, guys!" said the Toa. He pointed behind them. They turned around, and saw the most ugly thing they'd seen in their lives.
Shayla looked down the hole. She was next. She couldn't be sure if she would find Brominax and Fyxan welcoming her, or if she would die and all the others would follow in good faith and meet the same fate.
Then she had an idea. She turned to the rest of the crew.
"I am a Toa of Water, so I'll send a blast of water through the whirlpool from below, and a sort of... spurt of water will come up through the hole. If I don't, don't follow. Stay where you are and try to find a way to escape."
She crossed her fingers and jumped in. She fell. But she didn't stop. Instantly, she realized she was too far away from the top. She would not have enough power to send the crew her message.
She fell for about three minutes. But all the time, she was contemplating her foolishness. Now the only ones that would make it were her, Brominax, and that one Toa of Fire who had volunteered simply because he wanted to get out of the water.
Finally, she landed in a large pool of water. When she resurfaced, she saw the strangest of sights. The Toa of Fire had his sword lit, trying to give Brominax and Fyxan light, while they battled a beast of massive proportions. Its head was the size Brominax, and his body was far too large for the size of head that there was on it. The tail was also quite massive. If twelve Toa grabbed arms, that would be about the same length as his tail.
The beast rampaged around, not making strategic or pinpoint attacks, but it was still doing great damage. His tail whipped around as he rounded on Brominax. Brominax launched a blast of light in its eye, and it roared in anger and pain. Fyxan jumped and the air and landed on the side of him. He couldn't get even close to the top of the beast. He started cutting at the beast's sides with his chainsaw.
"Fyxan! Give me one of those things!" Shayla said, already running towards the beast.
Fyxan threw the chainsaw, and she caught it. Then, she activated her mask of jumping and leaped higher than she ever had tried before. And she made it. She activated the chainsaw and dug it into the beast's back. It made no sign of being harmed. Frustrated, she ran towards its head, but the beast stood up on his hind legs and flung her off.
Brominax shot it in the other eye. It was now blind. The beast roared once more, and began spitting fire from its mouth. Brominax was the one tasked with dodging the massive, rapid firing balls of flame.
Shayla got an idea. She turned to the pool behind her and summoned all her power. She lifted as much water as she could into the air, and shaped it into a ball. Then she held the ball behind her.
"Alright, everyone!" She said. "Get ready to fight your hardest!"
She ran at the beast, jumped into the air even higher than the creature, and brought down the ball of water hard on the beast, stunning it for a moment. It coughed out smoke, and it couldn't blow any more blasts of fire.
"Alright!" said Brominax. "Let's go!"
Fyxan, Shayla, and Brominax all charged at the beast. They jumped at him, attacking left and right. The Toa of Fire continued to give them light. But the beast seemed to notice the abundance of power and heat near him, and it turned, and ate the Toa before he could do anything.
The light went away.
"Fyxan!" Shouted Brominax, "Use your Olmak!"
He did, and a swirling vortex of purple light glowed in the center of the room. Shayla watched as Fyxan moved it towards the beast. It tried to run away, but it could not, and eventually, it was sucked in.
"There he goes, off to the confusion dimension!" exclaimed Fyxan enthusiastically in the dark cave. "Now what?"
The boat cruised smoothly through the waves. Varzinox gazed down the large river. They'd been sailing on it for hours now, and not one of the threats Tetrack had said would be there were actually there. He was starting to think this would be an easy, smash-and-grab job. That was, until a shadow passed overhead.
Mumbles rippled through the crew.
"What is that thing?"
"It's almost as large as the ship!"
"Is it a threat?"
He looked up and saw Tetrack at the wheel, already calculating the odds, casualties, and all those other unimportant things about battle. The only thing that was portent was how sharp your blade was, how quick your mind was, and how powerful you are. And that was how Varzinox planned to deal with this thing.
As the shadow turned around, the lighting changed on it, and it was clear it was some sort of giant white bird. It screeched, pulled its wings around its body, and bolted towards them. It crashed into the mast, and the whole structure came tumbling down. Tetrack only nearly avoided it.
Varzinox returned his focus on the bird. It landed on the deck of the ship, and started biting at bounty hunters. Cordak blaster projectiles went through the air, hitting the wing and exploding, but no damage was caused. Varzinox flew into the air, and, riding the wind, banked toward the bird, blasting it with ice. It would simply break free, and continue attacking.
He needed to attack the eye. It was key. He flew around towards it, but the bird was moving so much it was impossible to get a direct shot. Others were trying to do the same thing. One shot a crossbow, and it hit the bird in the nose. It started bleeding, but it kept attacking. It was screeching and wailing now, because of all the things that were hitting it, but it would not stop.
Varzinox landed and decided to get a straight shot. He lifted his sword and aimed it, and started channeling his power of ice into it. He followed the eye with great precision, until finally, he had the shot. He was about to shoot when a hand put it's self on his sword.
"Don't go for the eye, rookie," said Draconius.
"Rookie? Wha—? I'm Rank Three!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. When in doubt, go for the heart. And not just physically. Watch this. Oh, and by the way, I hate your hat."
Draconius ran off. Varzinox was aghast. He HATED his hat? Then he glared at Draconius, and realized what he meant by "go for the heart."
Draconius ran at the bird and slid underneath it. And as simple as that, he dug his sword into the soft underbelly of the bird. Its eyes rolled up into his head, and it collapsed. Draconius came out and said, "That is how it's done, my friends," and walked off.
Varzinox blasted it in the eye for emphasis.
Boreal sprinted down the hall way with all the fury of Karzahni on his side. He was pursuing Janneus, who, every now and then, would turn and shoot a blast of power from the power triangle piece. If he was right, if it hit him, he would be imprisoned in some sort of cage or containment device that would take him a while to remove, and Janneus could get away. Fortunately, Janneus did not have all three pieces. If he did, he would have the power to capture and even enslave an entire army.
If he could kill Janneus, he could take the power triangle piece, and no one would ever have such power.
He dodged another blast from the piece. Then he fired back blasts of Aura from his hands. He didn't have a weapon. Janneus ran by two guards, and said, "Stop him!"
They closed in on him and swung their weapons around menacingly. Boreal would have thought his anger would confuse him. But it really gave him all the focus in the world. He knew exactly what to do. One swung his sword at him. He ducked and grabbed the arm of the bounty hunter and twisted it sideways, making him screech in pain. Boreal turned and caught the other bounty hunter's sword before it came crashing down on him. He yanked it out of the bounty hunters hand and sent it into the others' heart.
Then he spun around and had a fist fight with the other guard. Boreal blocked his standard punch and hit him in the head hard, then spun around and hit him again in the nose with his elbow. Then he jumped on the guard's back and kicked him in the skull, knocking him unconscious. Boreal acted like nothing happened, and continued his pursuit.
Continuing on, he found many more being far more powerful than himself. He defeated them as fast as a Matoran could cut a Mini Kiglo Papaya. His rage made him feel like the most powerful being alive. Finally, Janneus left the stronghold and started running out into the jungle. Boreal followed. He could not catch up with Janneus for the life of him. Janneus constantly fired the triangle piece's power at him. He ducked and dodged, every time making him lose the ground he had made up.
He fired his own power of Aura straight from his hands, but Janneus dodged easily. Finally, abruptly, Janneus stopped and stuck his shield out in the path of Boreal. Boreal would have usually hit it, but instead, since his rage was making him more in tune with the things around him, he jumped under the shield, grabbed it, and flipped Janneus on the ground.
But Janneus had his strengths, too. He let loose a powerful blast of power at Boreal while still on the ground. Boreal jumped up and dodged, only to be hit by another blast that had been perfectly placed. Janneus picked up his shield, which he had dropped when he fell, and charged at Boreal.
Boreal was lying on the ground, playing dead.
Boreal heard the sound of Janneus bringing down his weapon. Boreal kicked the weapon — or at least, tried. There was no weapon to be kicked. Janneus had faked it. Boreal stumbled over without the impact he expected. Janneus then jumped at him, and there was nothing he could do. He didn't have enough time.
The crowbar dug into his back, and Boreal screeched in pain. He jumped up and gave Janneus the hardest punch he had ever given anyone. Janneus staggered slightly. It gave Boreal enough time to wrench the crowbar out of his back and prepare to attack. He pulled it above his head and brought it down, but Janneus skillfully blocked it with his shield. Boreal whirled around and struck three more times, each time only to be blocked by Janneus' shield.
Then Janneus seized the moment to imply the combat form known as "Tekiten", an attack that used the shield for aggressive attacks. But this blow was more than simply aggressive. It practically knocked Boreal's whole head off.
Boreal stumbled to the ground, gripping his neck tightly and breathing hard. He dropped the crowbar and wailed in pain.
"You know, Boreal," Janneus said somewhat mockingly. "I was rather impressed by you. You coped with extreme torture. That shows you have a strong mind. But this here, this easy defeat, well, it lessens my admiration of you. Huh, funny how our world works, isn't it? One moment, your organization is an unstoppable, one-thousand-member secret organization keeping a whole planet intact. Now it is crumbling before your eyes because of a small organization of three hundred. Well, the Enforcers are about to go to 999. And soon, there will be none."
He grabbed the crow bar and lifted it high above his head. Boreal lowered his head in defeat.
Jarrin bolted through the jungle, pushing past trees, even dodging a Giant Kiglo Papaya.
"BOREAL!" he yelled, following the footprints of Janneus and his friend.
He continued running. He had let Boreal go on his own to fight Janneus, until he remembered how Janneus had defeated them both with ease. Boreal needed help.
Although he might not. Jarrin had been impressed as he had run through the halls, finding tons of dead or unconscious guards. Boreal seemed to be doing fine. But Janneus was a tricky one. When Boreal had left in a mad pursuit of his arch-enemy, Jarrin had hacked into the central Guild computer with ease (he had learned how to in his elite training), and looked for all Rotaxians in the Guild. He found two: Varzinox and Janneus. He knew it was Janneus by his profile picture, and Jarrin did a background check on him. He was extremely skilled, and was fully capable of killing Boreal, him, and many more at the same time.
And that's how he knew Boreal needed his help.
The further he ran, the more sure of himself he was. Finally, he reached a clearing, and saw Janneus with his crowbar coming down on Boreal.
Janneus looked up. That gave Jarrin all the time he needed. He took his flame spear and clubbed Janneus with it, sending him of his feat and onto the ground.
Jarrin looked at Boreal. Blood was gushing out of his lip in a steady stream, and his eyes were barely open.
"Don't worry, buddy. We'll get through this,"hHe said.
Boreal blinked in acknowledgment, and then lifted his finger, pointing behind him. Jarrin whirled around, but it was too late. Janneus grabbed AROUND his neck with his crow bar and slung Jarrin out of the way. He tumbled to the ground, but got up just as quickly.
"Janneus," he said, "You will pay for what you have done to Boreal! He was my friend. And you CANNOT TAKE THAT FACT AWAY FROM ME! You do not know what it is like, to have someone that you are close to! YOU CANNOT FATHOM IT! THAT IS WHY THE ENFORCERS EXIST! TO BRING PEACE TO THE UNIVERSE SO THAT THE FRIENDSHIP AND THE FRIENDSHIPS OF ALL OTHERS CAN STAND! AND WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN UNTIL ALL YOU DEVILS FROM KARZAHNI ARE GONE! SO THAT THE UNIVERSE CAN BE A BETTER PLACE! SO THAT LOVE AND JOY AND HAPPINESS SCREAM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IN A WAVE OF GLORY! AND SO THAT UNITY AND DUTY AND DESTINY, THOSE THREE VIRTUES, GUIDE THE UNIVERSE!' And so now, when you fall, it will be only a minor accomplishment. But with all those minor accomplishments around the universe, and all those meaningless tasks, when they come together, and when you look at the big picture, you realize that the world WILL BE A BETTER PLACE! AND NOW, JANNEUS, MURDERER AND PEACE-SLAYER... YOU FALL!"
And with that, Jarrin and Janneus both charged at each other with all the power they could muster, and then the battle of a lifetime began.
Shayla had just told Brominax and Fyxan what she had done, and why there were no more Enforcers coming.
"Blast it, Shayla! Now we'll never—"
"Calm yourself, Fyxan," Said Brominax. "Now, we need to think how we are going to get the power triangle piece. Let's see... We have a large group of warships with approximately a hundred beings on it that are all out to get us, we've got no ship, no sense of direction, and Artakha knows what kind of dangers could be along the way!"
"Yeah, this thinking stuff isn't fun," said Fyxan.
"Fyxan, if you would just stop seeing the glass half-empty," said Shayla, "maybe we could come up with a solution."
"Now, you two — you're acting like two fighting Matoran. And if I know bounty hunters, two Matoran don't stand a chance. Now, I noticed earlier there was a current in the pool we fell into. Maybe it's a river, or a waterfall."
"You know, we've already had a lot of bad experiences with falling water. Why chance another?"
"Because," Brominax said, "it may be our only chance of survival. And it might determine the fate of the universe. So I say, under the circumstances, getting a little wet is better than being conquered by an army of insane beings. Now, let's find that water."
It wasn't hard.
All they had to do was follow the insanely loud noise of the water pillar coming from the ceiling about a mile up. And within no time, they had located a river with an extremely smooth bottom. It was sloped rather nicely, and was rather narrow. But a lot of water was pouring into it from the pillar, so the current was insane.
"So wait, how are we going to follow it?" asked Fyxan.
"We're not following it," she said, "We're riding it."
She jumped in the stream of water.
"WOOHOO!" She said as she went down the steep stream.
Brominax and Fyxan stared at each other. Then another noise came, in the voice of Shayla.
"Shayla!" Without thinking, Fyxan jumped in the slide. Brominax grabbed him before he slid further.
"Don't let your liking for Shayla cloud your head!" he said. "We need to find a way to help her, but stay safe ourselves."
Brominax looked around for something to use, when he spotted some of the wreckage from their ship that had fallen through the ceiling.
"Fyxan, I have an idea."
He activated his Fehja, and telekinetically assembled a small wooden raft for two, with the mast on the bottom so the wood wouldn't get scratched by the stone surface they would be sliding on.
Fyxan nodded. "Okay, but how is this safer than going down without a raft?"
Brominax smiled, and stuck his staff in the wooden notch he had made for it. It dug into the ground. "We'll go slower this way, so we can see any danger up ahead. We can also dig it all the way in, and we'll come to a complete stop."
They started off. The ride was slower than they'd seen Shayla go, but they were still cruising pretty fast. They went around a curve. The thing almost seemed planned out, but it made some sense. The water had eroded the course in this weird way, because it was sloped that way, and it had just gone down so many times that it had made the course smooth the way it was. The raft kept going, until they saw it. Light at the end of the cave. They also heard the loud crashing of water. Another waterfall. They definitely seemed to be going down a lot.
Brominax dug in his staff, and as he had predicted, the raft came to a sudden stop.
"Fyxan," Brominax said, "let me see one of your chainsaws."
Fyxan obliged, and Brominax jumped out into the water with the chainsaw in full rotation. He dug it straight into the stone with a little help of his elemental power of light. He then pulled it out and slide down the river a little further, then dug it in again. He did this twice more, until he was on the edge of the falls.
"AHHHHH!" Shayla's scream alerted Brominax that she may not have fallen. But it was coming from below him.
"Fyxan, throw me your other one!"
Fyxan nodded and threw the other chainsaw out to him. Brominax caught it perfectly. Then, with a leap of faith, he jumped off the edge of the waterfall, and hooked the chainsaws to the top, so he was hanging off the lip of the waterfall by two chainsaws. And it was just as he had expected. There was an inlet behind the waterfall where vines dangled off of it. And Shayla was there, dangling off of one of the vines. "Shayla!"
She looked up. "Brominax! I was able to get here using my power, but I don't know how long I can hang on!"
"Don't worry! I've got you!"
He telekinetically pulled the vine she was dangling from. It almost got within his reach, but he couldn't quite get it. He let go of the chainsaw.
"Brominax, are you okay?" he heard Fyxan's voice say.
"It's okay, I'm fine. But you may need to be ready to come and get us."
"I found Shayla; she's right here."
"Okay. The only thing I can use the same way as you used the chainsaws is your staff, but it's holding the raft in place."
"Don't worry, we'll get to that once I actually HAVE Shayla."
Brominax cleared his mind. He looked out towards Shayla. "Okay Shayla, I need you to jump towards me. I'll catch you with telekinesis."
Shayla nodded worriedly. But without any struggle, she jumped.
But she also jumped without warning. She started to fall, but Brominax lifted her up with his mind so she could grab onto his foot. He grabbed back onto the other chainsaw. Now he needed Fyxan to pull them back up, but to get Fyxan even out there to rescue them would mean the loss of the raft. Then he had an idea.
"Shayla! While Fyxan comes to rescue us, can you hold back the water from pushing our raft off the edge?"
"Yeah, sure I could."
"Then do it."
Shayla did what she was told without questioning.
"Alright, Fyxan. Grab the staff and come get us."
"But the raft—"
Fyxan quickly came out. He reached out to Brominax with one hand and held onto the staff with another. Slowly, steadily, Brominax and Shayla were lifted onto the lip of the waterfall.
Brominax saw with a sigh of relief that the raft was still there, unmoving.
Fyxan grabbed his chainsaws and Brominax grabbed his staff. They went back to the boat, and Brominax lifted it telekinticly out of the water and onto the side of the river, which was just big enough to hold the raft and the three of them. The water that had been holding back instantly started rushing again.
"Okay, this is all great and everything," said Fyxan, "and I know Shayla has an injury or two to be repaired. But we've still got a massive waterfall to deal with. Where are we supposed to go next?"
"Don't worry," said Brominax. "I have an idea."
Forsk scowled. There he had been, braving the dreaded temple where the power triangle piece was supposed to guarded, and finally, once all the dangers were defeated, after so much struggle, he got to the end only to find a dead robot, an empty room, and no triangle piece. This was not his lucky day.
Well, he supposed now he would go back to base and see if he could track down Brominax and the gang. Hopefully they weren't dead yet.
It didn't take them long to get back to base. His squad split up and took their places around the base. Forsk went instantly to the computer and had the computer locate him. And what he saw was beyond belief.
Brominax shivered. The last time Shayla had said that, she'd almost fallen off the edge of a waterfall. This time, however, it was genuine fun. Brominax had telekinetically rebuilt the raft, making it a bit smaller, with railings. Then he took the mast and hung it above them. Now they were flying in a makeshift hot air balloon. Brominax provided the hot air with his power of light.
They were floating over a beautiful river in a canyon. The canyon was just barely higher than them. The view was incredible. They cruised so smoothly.
"Amazing, the universe," Brominax said.
Fyxan looked at him.
"Amazing how the world can be in complete turmoil, but there are places like this that take your breath away. It gives me the feeling of actually fighting FOR something. Same is the feeling when I come upon a village of Matoran."
Shayla smiled. The moment was truly amazing, as Brominax had said. And it seemed like such a moment should be filled with laughter. So she played a prank on Fyxan. She summoned her power of water and made it shoot out of the river, straight into Fyxan's face.
"Quiet, you two. Do you hear that?"
Fyxan and Shayla gasped.
Suddenly, a creature flew out of the river below. It was green, with scales all over it. It had wings that looked like it could be for water or for air. And apparently, it worked for both.
"REEEEEEEK!" wailed the creature. It was reasonably small, compared to the other beast they saw. It was about the size of Brominax.
It came straight for them. It made as if to attack one of them, but then it changed course and bit a hole in the balloon. Brominx telekinetically sewed the hole back together.
"Someone stop that thing! It'll ruin our balloon!" Brominax ordered.
"I'm on it." Fyxan, looking like he was starting to feel like his old self from the Kodax War, jumped off the balloon. Shayla was stunned. She looked over the edge and saw Fyxan purely falling. Until she realized what he was doing.
The creature flew right under him and he grabbed on.
The creature banked left, but Fyxan held on. It flipped upside down, and Fyxan was only just barely able to hang on with his left hand. The creature was shaking him like a wild Vorox. Fyxan could feel his fingers slipping.
Shayla knew what to do. She shot up another blast of water, like the one she'd played a prank on Fyxan with, but much more powerful, with enough force to shove Fyxan back on top of the creature. Problem was, since the beast was already upside down, he flipped right back up. But Fyxan was ready. He jumped while the creature was flipping, and avoided being turned over again.
"Alright, Fyxan, good stuff," Shayla cheered. "But you need to take it down fast, or it will take YOU down!"
Fyxan nodded in acknowledgment. He whipped out one of his chainsaws. The creature saw it, and instantly crash Fyxan into the wall, making him lose his grip on the chainsaw and let go.
Fyxan was holding with just one hand now. Shayla knew he needed help, but Brominax was busy keeping the balloon in the air, and there was nothing she could really do but coach.
But coach she did. "Fyxan, see if you can't blast him with light!"
"Okay, I'll see what happens!"
Fyxan started to charge his hand with energy, but the beast unexpectedly dived. Fyxan lost his balance and had to grip around the beasts neck just to stay on. They dived so far down Shayla thought they were going to crash into the river. Then it hit her. The beast could go in water.
"Fyxan, brace yourself! Your going under!"
And go under he did. And he stayed under. One minute... two minutes... three minutes.
Finally, she turned to Brominax. "I'm going in."
He nodded, and she jumped, not knowing what could have possibly happened to Fyxan.
The good news: they were at the halfyway marker.
The bad news: it would only get ten times harder from there.
Tetrack shivered. They had already been through so much. They'd lost two ships, bringing them down to a measly five. And by the end, Tetrack half expected them to be down to one. Or worse, none. But he decided then that he should keep his mind focused on the present.
Ahead was a waterfall, just like the one Brominax and his crew had gone over, except that this one was far larger. But Tetrack knew they had to go down it, for it was said that when one found the power triangle piece, they would be nearing the core of the planet. So down was the only option.
But they needed a way to survive. Even now, his crew was putting on life vests and other safety precautions. But they needed a truly safe way to continue. And they really needed their ships to be intact.
He looked up at the mast. It fluttered slightly in the wind. Then an idea started to form in his head. He started to think about it. What if the mast could be turned into some sort of parachute that would slow their decent?
No, it wouldn't work.
There were far to many of them. The best option, truly, was to round up as many air-users as possible and see if they could slow the decent. That was the plan already in action. But he knew that this attempt was futile as well
Then another idea came. What if both ideas were combined? The air-users could thrust air INTO the mast that was acting like a parachute, thus keeping them up longer. This, Tetrack decided, was the best option.
"Lower the anchor on all ships!" he bellowed. The ships came to a stop.
He told his plan to Draconius, who began bellowing orders. Others delivered the message to the other ships that were in a single-file line behind them. And then the build began. Ropes were cut. Masts were moved to other locations.
The day slowly went on. And finally, after hours of work, a massive parachute was coming out of the top of all five ships.
He grabbed a megaphone. "Alright! Listen up! We're going to do this one ship at a time! Air-users, take flight, and prepare to do your tasks!"
Multiple green figures shot into the air in an orderly arrangement. "Alright. We shall go first! HOIST ANCHOR!"
The weight was lifted, and the ship started moving once more. They neared the edge of the waterfall, until finally, the went straight over the side. The parachute did nothing. They started purely falling. But the air-users were right with them. They summoned all their power and shot it straight up into the mast, and the ship slowed with a sudden jerk. Many were lifting themselves off the deck, but it was clear; it had worked.
They were lowered slowly down to the lake that was at the bottom of the waterfall. They sailed a good distance away, and then Tetrack told an air-user to tell everyone that it worked, and to come.
Soon after, another ship came and landed successfully. Then another. Then another. But when the fifth and final one was coming, Tetrack already knew they would fail. Their mast was not tied on right in one corner. When the air-users started their power, the knot slipped loose, and the whole mast broke off. The air-users tried desperately to help, but it was no use. With a crash like thunder, the boat hit the water and sent a massive tidal wave at them that pushed them on.
And Tetrack knew there would be no survivors.
The dream came again at that time.
Boreal followed the being of shadow. His conscience knew he had done this before, but his brain did not register it. The shadowy being again led him around the corner, and into the shadowy ball. Again it led him to a dimly lit room where the shadowy being stood next to a statue. But this time, it was different. The statue could move slightly. It tilted his head towards Boreal.
"So you have returned, foolish Boreal," said the statue. "You have failed me. The bounty hunters got the triangle piece. Now I have a new task for you: wait until the bounty hunters have all the pieces, then steal them."
Boreal nodded without knowing what was happening.
He could not realize that these dreams were starting to grab at his mind. They were starting to feel comforting. He was starting to become the servant of Axconox.
Jarrin leaped at Janneus. Janneus sidestepped to avoid being hit. Jarrin whirled quickly and stuck him with his flame staff. Janneus fell over. Jarrin charged at him in pure anger and hatred. But Janneus blasted a massive blast of power into Jarrin's face, making him go flying off. Janneus got up and hid just as quickly in a bush.
When Jarrin returned, he looked around for Janneus to no avail. Then Janneus jumped at him, and began fighting again.
Strike. Dodge. Parry. Lunge. Insanely huge blast of power that would turn a Matoran into ash.
The battle was a blur. But both Janneus and Jarrin were completely focused. Jarrin's skill was as great as Janneus'. Janneus' power was greater than Jarrin's. But Jarrin's anger was far greater than Janneus'.
Janneus could not gain the upper hand, but neither could Jarrin. It was a complete, total, and utter stalemate. Janneus even tried teleporting the ground underneath Jarrin's feat away, but Jarrin merely jumped out of the hole Janneus had just created.
Then Jarrin struck Janneus on the shoulder. And Janneus diverted the slightest bit of attention of what Jarrin had done while he battled. Jarrin had destroyed his teleporter, so he could not teleport away. He would have to go all the way to the underworld of Daxia to get one as high-quality as the one Jarrin just destroyed.
But that didn't matter now. He was struggling to stay alive. He never believed a being could fight as hard as Jarrin was. But he was, and Janneus had to deal with that.
- What if you had a brother?
- A brother that does not know you exist?
- What if, one day, you hear that you have a brother, and he is part of a dark and powerful society?
- What if the being who tells you this is named 'Baterra Magnus'?
- What if he tells you that you are destined for great things?
- What if he tells you that you must kill the brother who you never knew even existed?
- Would you do it?
- What if he tells you that your brother might indirectly cause the end of the world as it is known?
- Would you kill him then?
- What if you used to be in his same profession, bounty hunting?
- What if you were a highly trained weapon, but saw how your doings harmed those around you, and quit?
- What if killing your brother meant dipping back into the old life that you swore never to return to?
- Would you kill him then?
- What if your brother's name was Janneus?
- What if you've heard of his power and capabilities before?
- Would you kill him then?
- What if Baterra Magnus risked his own life to save yours, just to tell you to do this one task?
- Would you repay him?
- Would you kill your brother?
- Here's another thing to take into account:
- Your brother is Rotaxian.
- One of the most powerful Rotaxians of all time.
- Most Rotaxians control one or two elements, like Janneus does.
- What if you are one too?
- But what if you have no power, and you know you don't stand a chance?
- Would you kill him then?
- What if, a long time ago, at the beginning of your life, you met a being named Poisonot?
- What if he told you that you were destined for great things?
- What if he told you that you had a talent?
- A talent for making weapons?
- What if he told you that you could design powerful weapons, with great abilities?
- What if he asked you to join the Terri, and you refused, simply not wanting to involve yourself with violence?
- What if you knew how to make a weapon that could potentially kill your brother?
- Would you build it?
- These are the questions I am confronting.
- Strange things have happened in my life.
- But I think it is time I revived my old training.
- I will build a weapon more powerful than the world has ever seen.
- And I will kill my brother.
- I will kill Janneus.
Fyxan struggled against the creature's might, but to no avail. He couldn't reach for his chainsaw; he was in no position to do so. He gurgled as the creature dragged him further beneath the surface. He could feel himself slowly losing energy and breath.
Until a splash of bubbles alerted him of a blue figure swimming toward him.
He was really starting to weaken now. He could barely see who he knew was Shayla. Then everything went black.
However, it quickly faded into a scene of a small town that Fyxan did not recognize. Or at least, his brain did not. His conscience did.
In front of him stood a being that looked almost like he was made of shadow. The being smiled and ran around the corner. Fyxan followed. To his surprise, a large vortex of shadow was right in front of him. He saw as the foot of the being disappeared in it. He followed the shadow being straight in.
His surroundings changed. He was in a chamber with a large statue of a odd-looking being. The shadow leaned on it.
Then, to Fyxan's surprise, the statue began to talk. "Fyxan, do as Boreal tells you. Do as you are told. Do not fail me as you did last time."
"Last time, I asked you to get me the power triangle piece within your society. But you failed."
"I failed," Fyxan repeated mindlessly.
"Now you must listen to Boreal. He will know what to do. Boreal knows best."
"Boreal knows best."
"Good. Now where were you? Oh, that's right. You were holding your breath."
Instantly the chamber was filled with water, and Fyxan found himself being dragged to his doom by the creature once more. He found he had more air than he thought he'd had. He also found Shayla tugging at the creature, trying to get it to let go. Finally, Shayla shot it with a blast of laser, and it let go. Fyxan and Shayla started swimming up together, Shayla using her powers of water to lift them both up faster, until finally, they resurfaced.
"Oh," said Shayla, "I'm so glad you're safe!"
"Boreal knows best."
"Never m-mind. How do we get back up to Brominax?" He pointed to the parachute craft.
She smiled. "Like this." With a wave of her hand, the water beneath them began to gurgle.
The water shot up from underneath them, sending them flying into the air, above the parachute, until they started falling again. But a sudden realization told Fyxan they were going to miss their target. They fell really close, but missed the parachute by an inch.
Suddenly, however, Fyxan felt himself being picked up and brought right back onto the parachute.
"The Kanohi Feja," said Brominax, "does amazing things."
Fyxan smiled and nodded. Brominax made a blanket of light and put it over the shivering Fyxan. "Well, it looks like we may have to disembark our creation soon," Brominax said.
"Why?" asked Shayla.
"Look. The canyon end just up here, and turns into a cave. Our parachute can't fit in there. And so, from now on, we walk."
The battle with Janneus was simply too exhausting.
Jarrin went for the throat, but Janneus did a strange move involving his shield and spinning and knocked Jarrin's weapon straight out of his hand. Jarrin had to duck as the power crowbar cam at him.
Jarrin whirled his legs around and tripped Janneus, but Janneus interlocked his feet with Jarrin's legs and spun him around. Then Janneus tossed Jarrin into the air with his legs and launched a massive blast of wind power into Jarrin's chest. Jarrin was flung even higher, and when he started to fall, he saw Janneus ready to slice him to bits.
However, he wasn't quite sure he was ready to. As he came down, he stuck his hand out in front of him, and when Janneus swung the crowbar, Jarrin clamped it between his hands and yanked it out of Janneus' grip. Janneus smiled and attacked with his shield at Jarrin. He blocked with the crowbar he'd just stolen. They dueled with both weapon's of Janneus' for a few seconds, with skill none could comprehend, until Jarrin got a sense of something: He's going easy.
Jarrin smiled. It was time he cranked it up to full level. He charged the crowbar with his own element, fire, and incinerated Janneus' shield. In retaliation, Janneus shot a blast of plasma from his eyes doing the same to his crowbar.
It came to a fistfight.
Jarrin went for a solid punch, but Janneus grabbed his arm and flipped him over. Jarrin then kicked upward at Janneus, making Janneus flip over on his back on the other side of Jarrin. Jarrin took the momentum from his kick to flip him over on top of Janneus, and Jarrin started punching at Janneus with his hands on fire, as hot as they could be.
But Janneus activated his power over wind and sent the fire into his face. Then Janneus got up and ran and grabbed Jarrin's staff. Jarrin just recovered from the blast of flame when he saw his own weapon being brought down on him. He grabbed it, and for a moment the two wrestled against each other's strength to see who would end up getting the weapon. Suddenly, Janneus turned transparent and Jarrin and the weapon went tumbling backwards.
"Like it?" Janneus asked.
"Of course. I should have seen it coming. Rotaxian ghosting powers!"
Janneus smiled and turned back into his standard form. "You're slow for someone in the fast lane."
"Maybe," said a voice, "but so are YOU!"
Boreal struck Janneus in the back with his sword, tearing up a great amount of armor from Janneus' back.
"Come on. We've got to get going. The others may need help taking the Guild's base."
"No need to worry," said Forsk. They both were stunned to see him.
"I finished my mission, and found the triangle piece missing. So I came here to see if I could... help out." He winked. "But your men, Jarrin, surprisingly, completed their job rather well. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. You have my respect."
Jarrin smiled. "Now, let's clean this mess up and see how we can help the others."
There he was.
His brother had just been taken out by two beings from an organization called the "Enforcers of Gigas Magna." He was not as weak. But most of the work had been done for him. Now all that had to be done was to slit his throat.
But then he saw something. Janneus was starting to blur into the background. He was awake and well, well enough to keep fighting. And little did the three beings that were on their way back to the Guild know he was about to assault them, with the power of a Rotaxian. And at full power, that would be hard to deal with.
He wondered if he should intervene. Then he decided he should engage Janneus himself, and not let anyone know. He activated his own ghosting powers and turned completely invisible, just like Janneus. The thing was, with Rotaxians, if two were invisible, they could see each other. So he knew exactly where Janneus was.
He looked at the weapon mounted on his arm. He had designed it. It had a large cannon on it, a sword, and a small dagger that was completely invisible. The cannon and the sword could also turn invisible, leaving the dagger alone slit someone's throat. He activated the invisibility power of the cannon and the sword and activated his knife, which stuck out through two of his fingers. He clenched his fist as he walked towards Janneus, who still hadn't spotted him. He started picking up his pace as he saw Janneus climb a tree in front of the trio. Janneus was going to leap on them, and solidify himself when he was right on top of them. He needed to stop Janneus before that happened.
He kept quickening his pace until he was right next to the tree. Janneus jumped and was about to solidify himself when he was knocked out of the way by his brother. The trio never noticed anything, and walked into the bounty hunters' base without noticing anything.
But Janneus noticed. His brother attacked him madly and skillfully with his knife. Janneus had no weapon; he'd lost his earlier in combat with Jarrin. So Janneus had to skillfully avoid contact with his brother's knife.
"Who are you?" yelled Janneus as he battled with him ferociously.
"I am your BROTHER!"
The battle at that moment got a lot more intense, so Janneus couldn't reply, or express his shock.
"Brother? I don't have a brother!"
"I'm afraid you're sadly mistaken!"
"You're mad! Admit it!"
The battle continued without a word. Each with incredible power and skill. Janneus used elemental powers to extreme; air and fire were his two abilities, plus, he could use blasts of pure power. Since his brother did not know his element, he was only capable of firing power from his bare hands and knife.
Janneus, surprisingly, held his own without a weapon.
However, he started to intentionally back away into the Bounty Hunter's Guild. He continued to move back and the doors opened behind him with a hiss, letting him in. An Enforcer saw them come in. Or at least, saw the door open on its own, and went to see what happened with a confused expression on his face. Janneus seized the opportunity and un-ghosted.
The enforcer had no time to react. Janneus grabbed the Enforcer's sword from his sheath and plunged it through his chest, then turned it on his brother. Now he had the advantage, with a much better weapon.
So his brother made his sword and cannon visible, and therefore usable. And then things changed... again. The battle went back and forth, but neither could gain a good advantage.
Finaly, Janneus tired of sword-fighting, summoned his control over air. He blasted at his brother's chest, but nothing happened. He turned up the power to blow away a being far more powerful than himself, and fired again. But nothing happened.
Finally, Janneus sent a pinpointed blast at his brother's head, with enough force to flip over the entire base of the bounty hunters. And still, nothing happened.
In all honesty, Janneus' brother didn't know how the air hadn't affected him. He merely had willed the air to go around him, and it did.
"Who are you?" Janneus asked.
"I already told you; your brother."
"No, your name."
"My name... my name is... Salahad."
If Salahad could have read Janneus' mind, he would have known that Janneus had an instant flashback.
Suddenly, in their tracks, a dark figure rose from the sand. It looked robotic. Janneus stepped on the pedal; he didn't really care if a worthless piece of machinery was destroyed. But instead of being flattened, the machine picked up their Multi-Terrain Escort Vehicle and slung it away. They skidded to a halt, luckily facing up.
They instinctively got out of the vehicle, and in front of them was a red and black being, looking similar to a Skrall, but slightly different. It had wings, and a silver sword.
"Who are you?" asked Salahad.
"I am a Terri. And behind you is my latest invention. You make excellent test subjects."
"Okay," replied Janneus, "but what exactly is that thing?"
"It is a Soul Carrier. It carries the soul of a being who wished for more power or ability. A Bone Hunter's soul is in there right now. The Bone Hunter now has abilities and powers he would never have dreamed of having. Now, Soul Carrier, ATTACK!"
The robot complied and fired a rocket from its hand. It flew through the air and hit the ground right between the two brothers. It sent them flying away from each other, and Janneus saw Salahad hit his head on the ground just before he hit his own, and everything went black.
Janneus awoke. He got up and looked around. He saw a limp white body that seemed dead. Also, a limp robot-like being was scattered, in ruins.
"Ah, good you're up. 'Cause we've gotta move. A band of Bone Hunters are on their way. I mean, I could have single-handedly taken 'em all out, but they've got three Terri with them. Yikes!"
Janneus turned around to see a small green Matoran. "Who-"
"I'm Ora, but there's no time for introductions. Let's go!"
"What about... whoever these guys are?"
"You don't know who they are?"
"I'm not sure even who I am. I know my name."
"Yes, and you look Rotaxian, but we can't rest on that now. We're going to have to let them die. They may already be dead. Now let's GO!"
Janneus put a hand to his head. The memory had gone through his head in seconds. Little did he realize he was still in a battle with his brother, Salahad.
His brother swung his sword over his head, and they clashed swords. "What happened?" Janneus asked in the midst of the battle. "After I left with Ora?"
"Well, I don't remember any of it. Baterra Magnus had been watching the whole thing, though, and he filled me in."
They still fought. "Baterra who?"
"Never mind. Anyway, the Bone Hunters came and started to attack me. I fought a few, but the Terri were beating me too badly. Then a strange being, Baterra Magnus, intervened. He saved my life, then left. I could only just thank him. Years later, I met him again, in my bounty hunting life." They still fought. "He told me if I wanted to repay him for what he'd done, I would kill you. And so I did. And here I am."
Janneus stopped, and as did Salahad. Janneus dropped his weapon. "I can't do this."
"Neither can I."
They both smiled, a thing neither had done in a long time.
And together, they un-ghosted and went into the bounty hunters' base, ready to take back what was theirs.
They were almost there. He could sense it. Mist clouded their vision, but Tetrack knew they were close. They had to be. He shivered in the cold.
Ora came up to him. "Sir, our maps show we should be nearing another cave. Legend tells of a strange race of beings, hatched from a group of Kiglo Papaya. They call themselves the Fruit Glatorian, and they never leave the cave. We should be prepared, however primitive they may be or seem."
"Very well," Tetrack responded. "Alert the crew to arm themselves. All ships should be on yellow alert."
"Yes sir." Ora dashed off and started barking orders. There was something strange about that powerful little Matoran. He couldn't put a finger on it, though.
Draconius came to Tetrack's side and leaned on the aged banister with him. "Draconius," Tetrack said, "Remember when I first met Janneus? He asked why I should choose to target the Enforcers of Gigas Magna."
"Yes, but you had a logical reason; revenge. Vengeance, in my opinion, is always logical."
"You know that's not true. Here we have a dangerous and powerful force with the most skilled beings in the universe, and we're using it to avenge what they did to my fellow species. I know my strategies are flawless, my tactical abilities are known throughout the universe, but do you think I'm using them for the wrong reason?"
"Tetrack, you shouldn't trouble yourself with this sort of thing. With the Enforcers gone, it is just one less organization to deal with."
"Yes, but we are bounty hunters. Do you think we should start acting like them?"
"I don't doubt that when we do defeat the Enforcers, word will get out, and we will start acting like them."
Tetrack sighed. "Alright, then, I guess we should focus on the present. Look, there's the Fruit Glatorian cave. Let's prepare ourselves."
Draconius nodded, and Tetrack went back to his thoughts. Fruit Glatorian. He'd never heard of them. He didn't know if they were to be feared or not. But Glatorian usually didn't possess any powers, so he guessed it would not be a problem.
As to his senses, he had the feeling the Fruit Glatorian would be the last challenge before the final one for the power triangle.
The cave was dark, and the only reason Shayla could see was the light emitting from the two being in front of her. Fyxan's light was fairly dim, for he claimed he wanted to "save energy." But Brominax was a pure ball of light. And it wasn't for that ball of light, they wouldn't have been able to see a figure run across their path. They couldn't see it for the cave was far too dark. But there was no mistaking: They weren't alone.
"Who's there?" called Fyxan.
Brominax shushed him. He moved his glowing blade around slowly, glancing warily from side to side. Shayla turned her back to Fyxan and started walking backwards. "Careful, everyone," Brominax said quietly.
Shayla thought the anxiety and fear were getting the better of her. Another being crossed behind the group, and Shayla, seeing it, gasped. "What?" asked Fyxan.
"Another one," she replied.
He nodded. "Steady, everyone."
Their group was starting to form into a triangle shape, so they could watch from every side.
Suddenly, a green, yellow, and silver being jumped at Shayla. With the skill, instinct and speed of a Toa, she fire her laser arms at the being, it fell to the ground, sizzling. Fyxan inspected it.
"Okay, I have NO idea what that thing is," Fyxan said.
Suddenly, they heard voices and the small splashing of water. Shayla's trained mind let her know it was a ship.
"Careful around those rocks," said a voice.
Brominax put a finger to his lips and gestured for them to move forward. As they sidled nearer to the sound, they began to guess what it was: the bounty hunters. Finally, Brominax cut his light, and Fyxan followed suit.
They moved a little more and saw a ship sailing away from them, further down the cave. The ship was lit with lanterns, and that was the only way they could see. They needed to get on that ship, secretly. Brominax nodded to Shayla, and she made their swim towards it, soundless. The speed at which they swam was faster, as they were slightly pushed by the water behind them. When they got to the boat, they climbed up ropes on the side, and Brominax cracked a window with telekinesis, making it almost soundless.
They climbed in, and found themselves in the captain's chamber. The walls were lined with Kiglo Papaya juice and Kiglo rum. On the desk in the center of the room were scattered papers, each with ingenious battle strategies.
"Tetrack," Brominax breathed.
"Who?" asked Shayla and Fyxan together.
"He was the one who tortured me. I didn't realize then that he was the leader of this organization."
Fyxan nodded. "So, is it safe to stay here?" Shayla asked.
"No, but to roam the ship would be even more dangerous. We should stay here."
Suddenly, they heard crashing and banging from above. Shayla guessed that the creatures who had attacked them just before they got on the boat were attacking now.
Then they heard footsteps out side the door. "Hide!" Shayla hissed instinctively.
They hid behind a pile of crates in the corner of the room, and as Fyxan dived in, the door opened. There were six of the strange creatures. They all sniffed the air, as if they'd been drawn there.
They can smell us, Shayla thought. But that wasn't the case at all. The found the stash of Kiglo Papaya products and began consuming them.
"Fruit Glatorian," Brominax breathed. Shayla and Fyxan looked at him. "Legend has it that they can be hatched from a Giant Kiglo Papaya, but it's never been tried," Brominax whispered. "That's why they're attracted to the Kiglo items."
Two more entered the room and joined their comrades. "What are we going to do?" whispered Fyxan. "Once they finish drinking they'll smell us."
Shayla saw Brominax look at the crates. She looked too. Nine crates, five on bottom, four on top. Eight enemies. Perfect.
Brominax nodded at the two of them, activated his Kanohi, and launched the crates telekinetically at them. Every last one fell over, and it gave them the advantage, but a bunch of crates can't kill any being, only slow them down. The eight began to rise, but Fyxan sawed two in half, Brominax blasted one with a ball of light, and Shayla blasted two with her lasers. Brominax then did a jump in the air, spinning his swords in the air and lopping the other three's heads off.
They almost could celebrate their victory had not a small green Matoran, a white Rotaxian, and a Skrall come down the ship's below-deck hall and see the ajar door, and therefore them.
"Ora," said the Skrall, "get Tetrack. Tell 'im we've got stowaways."
Forsk sprinted away from the green Rotaxian bounty hunter. He fired blasts of flame over his shoulder repeatedly, but to no avail.
Then, suddenly, no one was following him. He turned around carefully. If he would have had eyes in the back of his head, he would have seen Janneus un-ghost behind him, then whack him on the head with the sword he stole from one of the enforcers.
Janneus continued, not caring whether the being he'd just hit was dead or not. He was on his way to rescue the captured bounty hunters. He ghosted right before he rounded a corner, where he saw a group of twenty bounty hunters surrounded by forty Enforcers.
This would be difficult. But perhaps a perfect blast of wind directed at certain points might work. Janneus summoned all his power, un-ghosted, and unleashed a massive blast of wind in the faces of each Enforcer. They few against the wall, and the bounty hunters immediately got up, killing their former captors with their own weapons.
Then Janneus led the small party and met up with Salahad, who'd rescued ten. They continued running until they came to the exit, but as the door opened, a large team of sixty beings appeared in the doorway. Janneus smiled. There was Boreal, his eyes burning with the want for revenge.
"Sorry, Boreal, old pal." Janneus said, "You can't lop my head off this time."
And with that, Janneus and Salahad ghosted and ran off, to Boreal's everlasting rage.
In a prison cell... again. Fyxan had been in there couple of times during the Kodax War, and the one thing he knew: He hated them. The worst part was that it wasn't exactly even a fancy prison cell. It was the brig. And Fyxan often got seasick. The worst place to be.
Also, he was cut off from Brominax and Shayla, and he was alone. He suspected it was because the cells weren't that strong, and that the bounty hunters feared that if they combined their powers they might break free.
He looked around for an escape. His chainsaws were resting on the wall just outside his cell, and he could just touch them, not grab hold. His mask had been taken away, so he guessed the same was the case with the others, so Brominax wouldn't be able to pull one of those crunch-the-ship-into-pieces-in-every-place-except-where-you-are-just-with-your-mind things with his Fehja.
Still, Fyxan looked around for more escape options. No heating ducts or windows. No latches on the ceiling. Nothing in the room to try to smash the way out. It was a pure blank room. And a small one at that, even for a brig.
The door opened, and in came the white Rotaxian he'd seen earlier. They didn't exchange any words, and the Rotaxian slid a plate of food through an opening in the bars made just for it. Fyxan noticed as the Rotaxian walked off, he was limping. Probably from the Fruit Glatorian.
He still couldn't understand. How could a bunch of beings with no power attack four ships, all with extremely powerful, highly trained beings on it? It didn't add up. But perhaps they simply had numbers. He turned to the wooden wall.
Surely he could break out. He turned to the back of the room and attempted to punch a hole through it. Solid. But perhaps with an elemental power...
He summoned his power of light and channeled it trough his hand at the wood. It slowly began to sizzle away, until it broke all the way through the wood. He gulped up the fresh air, and instinctively stuck his hand through the new hole, only to be zapped by a force field.
Great, he thought. Just great.
He peeked his eye through the hole he had just made. Sunlight was streaming through. It took Fyxan a couple of minutes to adjust his eyes. So they were out of the cave of the Fruit Glatorian; the bounty hunters were able to deal with them.
All he could see was ocean waves. Birds chirped. He forced himself to see it the way Brominax would. Beautiful.
Then some sort of snakelike thing moved across his vision. He looked closer. Some sort of massive sea creature. And was it massive. But it was hiding, ready to strike. He'd bet it was caable of snapping the entire ship with a simple flow of its muscles. The most dangerous beast they'd fought yet.
He hated the situation, but he had to look out for himself and Shayla and Brominax. He had to warn the bounty hunters.
"HEY! DOWN HERE!" He hit the ceiling above him, trying to get their attention. "HEY! COME HERE."
A Skrall stalked in the room, slamming the door against the wall and went right up to Fyxan, and grabbed his throat. "What is it you insignificant little being?" The Skrall said with fury.
Fyxan calmed himself, not liking the idea of giving information to the enemy. "There is a sea beast underneath your vessel. It is waiting for the right moment, but it will strike. And when that happens, you will not be able to survive."
The Skrall raised an eyebrow. He looked at the hole Fyxan had made. "Already been trying to escape, have we?" he asked.
"Yes, wouldn't you have already started? The sooner you start, the quicker you're out."
The Skrall smiled. "You know, if we weren't on opposite sides, we could've been great friends. You're very straightforward, just like your comrade, Boreal. Get this: when I asked him 'If you could kill me, would you?' he replied, 'in an instant.'" The Skrall chuckled, something Fyxan had never seen a Skrall do. They certainly could have been great friends. But laughter in this time of difficulty showed intellect. This Skrall was definitely not like the others.
"And," the Skrall continued, "if you are that honest, I don't doubt you are telling the truth. But that is merely an instinct. I must see it for myself."
"You could come in and look," Fyxan suggested, without any deceit intended.
"Sorry," the Skrall said, "but I'd rather not take my chances getting strangled."
He moved over to a porthole next to Fyxan's cell. Fyxan looked around and finally saw it again. "There, on your left."
"I see it. That thing is massive. I'd better warn Tetrack."
He went to walk, but then turned to Fyxan. "You know, just because we are enemies doesn't mean we have to treat each other poorly," he said, "so, um, thankds."
They smiled at each other. Fyxan hoped that maybe, one day, the fighting would end, and he and the Skrall could be friends. The Skrall.
"Hey," Said Fyxan. "What's your name?"
"Draconius," said the Skrall. "My name is Draconius."
And with that, Draconius left with a new friendship, and a warning to Tetrack.
"That deceitful little Rotaxian!" said Boreal.
Jarrin looked up. "Deceitful Rotaxian? Isn't that redundant? It's like calling someone a 'murderous killer'."
Boreal shrugged. He was taking it rather well. Jarrin suspected his rage had died down, but he didn't doubt Boreal would be scarred forever.
The Enforcers surrounded the rest of the bounty hunters and imprisoned them in their own cells. When Boreal closed the last cage, he went outside, intent on heading home. But once he reached outdoors with Jarrin, a group of soaking wet Toa, Kodax, and others approached.
"What happened? Weren't you supposed to be with Brominax and the crew after the triangle piece?"
"Brominax and a few others are dead, we think," replied a Toa.
"No," said Forsk, who walked in. "They are not. Right before I came here I checked their status: They are well on their way."
The Toa raised an eyebrow. "Then we were mistaken. We were trapped in this hole, and it took us a while to figure out how to get out."
"Were there other survivors? Who was with Brominax?" Boreal asked.
"There was Fyxan, Shayla, and Magto, the Toa of Fire. The other ships were destroyed, with only a few survivors, whom we picked up."
"Negative," said Forsk. "Magto was dead when I checked."
"So there's only Brominax, Shayla and Fyxan after the triangle piece?" Boreal asked, exasperated.
Forsk and the Toa looked at each other. "Yes," they said sequentially.
Boreal put his hands on his head. "Isn't there any way we can send help?"
Forsk thought about it. "We could send in more forces. The chances are that those in front of us took out all the obstacles, so it may be easy. We could be safe sending, say, three ships?"
Boreal nodded. "If we can spare that many, then we'll do it. Please, Forsk, let me take command."
Forsk shook his head. "If anyone is going to lead this mission, it's me. Now, we'd better hurry. Let's get back to base."
They ran back into the base to rally the rest of the Enforcers. If they could have seen that which was invisible, they would have seen Salahad and Janneus listening to their whole conversation.
"PREPARE THE STARBOARD CANNONS!" Tetrack shouted. "BE READY TO FIRE ON MY MARK! FLAME USERS, PREPARE TO SCARE THE BEAST! ICE USERS, PREPARE TO FREEZE THE WATER! WATER USERS, DO WHAT YOU CAN TO STIR IT UP! I WILL NOT HAVE DAMAGE TO THIS SHIP, IS THAT CLEAR?"
"Yes, sir!" replied the crew sequentially.
"And brace yourselves," muttered Draconius, who'd just come to his side.
"Draconius," Tetrack said, "I need you on one of the other ships. Go to the Core War.
Draconius nodded, but before preparing to change ships, Tetrack noted, he went below deck. The Skrall was skilled and wise, but he needed to know the enemy was the enemy. Some would say there were no good or bad in this universe, but there were definitely sides. Some choose not to take them, but they exist nonetheless. Draconius needed to pick his own.
There were also sides within the sides. That of Janneus, for example. But Draconius had befriended him. And that, Tetrack knew, was not an act of betrayal. But it sure seemed like it.
He grabbed the railing as the boat rocked from the sea creature underneath. He took a deep breath. He was smart, cunning, and one of the best leaders and strategists. But, for some reason, he was not the best fighter. He knew how to command wars, not fight in them.
But there were times, like this, that he had to figure it out nevertheless.
The boat rocked again, this time much greater. The time was coming. "Put down the layer of ice!" Tetrack yelled.
The ice users spread a sheet of ice across the water, freezing their ship in place. Suddenly, the beast was visible. It effortlessly broke the ice, and... tentacles began to rise up the sides of the ship. It wasn't a snake... it was a squid.
"BEGIN THE FIRE!"
The fire users went to the sides of the boat and began spraying flame at the tentacles. Most were simply picked up, and pulled into the water to their doom.
The other ships were in action now. Those who had shots that could harm the beast but not the ship took them, but not much happened. Not much, except that the squid turned on the other ships, went straight to them, and took them out.
First went the Defiant.
Then the Autumn Cannon.
Then the Core War...
Tetrack watched as the ship Draconius was on was destroyed. But then he realized Draconius had never gone. He was still on the flagship! Tetrack let out a sigh of relief.
Ora came to his side. "Sir, we're not going to be able to fight it!"
Tetrack looked at his feet. Draconius came to his side. "Sometimes," the Skrall said, "you must learn to swallow your pride."
Tetrack nodded. "Release Brominax," he said with everlasting distaste. "Give him back his mask."
Draconius nodded and started running, but the squid was upon them.
Draconius sprinted as fast as he could. A tentacle went to grab him, but he skillfully jumped over it, landing in a ball and tumbling. He ran towards the trapdoor that lead below deck. The squid made another grab for him, this time succeeding. Draconius was lifted high into the air, but he managed to grab his Skrall sword and stab it into the tentacle, making the beast release him and drop him face first onto the deck.
He landed sprawled on the ground, but quickly scrambled up, opening the trapdoor.
The squid kept sticking its tentacles into the side of the boat, sending splinters of wood everywhere. The ship was coming apart fast. He had to hurry. He opened the door, glimpsed a scared Fyxan, and ran down to Brominax's cell.
"We need you!" Draconius said.
Brominax didn't need to question him; he knew the state of things. Draconius opened the cage and tossed Brominax his Fehja. He knew the reason Brominax was helping them was just to save his own life, and the life of his friends.
Brominax put on his Kanohi as they were running and when they finally burst through the trapdoor, Brominax was stunned at the sight of things.
He summoned all the strength he had; every ounce. He had never attempted something like this. All his power, all his strength, he channeled to his mask. And then, with one amazing stroke of power, he lifted the beast into the air telekinetically and slung him a mile away. And with that, Brominax fainted, Draconius cradling his head.
A bright light flashed over Brominax. It shifted from the right eye, then the left, then the right again.
"Brominax?" called a voice. It seemed to be distant, as if in another universe.
"Brominax?" the voice said again, but as Bromnax regained his senses, he realized the voice was right in front of him.
The lights flashing from eye to eye ceased. He opened his eyes and blinked them thrice.
"Whew!" said Shayla, who was right next to Fyxan, who'd been flashing a light from his hand over Brominax's eyes to get him to wake up.
"We thought you wouldn't make it," stated Fyxan. "According to the Bounty Hunters' medic, you used more power than you ever had before. Is that so?"
Brominax coughed. "It sure felt like it."
Brominax finally realized where he was: on a beach. "Where are we? I thought we were on the Bounty Hunter Ship?"
Fyxan cleared his throat before responding. "Tetrack wanted us gone. He was going to kill you, me, and Shayla, but that one Skrall, Draconius sort of... stepped in. he managed to get Tetrack to drop us off here. They're still on their way toward the triangle. I'd guess they're there right about now. You've been asleep for a while."
Brominax shot straight up. "Wha- We MUST find that Triangle piece NOW!" He held his head and slowly moved back down to the ground in pain from sitting up so quickly.
"Shayla, I'm fine, don't worry. We simply have to find the other triangle piece. If we don't, it could mean the end for the Enforcers, and a new, tyrannical rule."
Fyxan looked at Shayla. "Sorry," Fyxan said, "But if you haven't noticed, we're kinda stuck where we are."
Brominax sat up, this time very slowly, and looked around. They were in an inlet, just off a river. There was a small pool of water just off the beach where there was no current, but go much further and there was a crazy amount. He looked around and saw giant cliffs rising up around them. They couldn't go through the water, lest they wanted to get dragged away. Of course, Shayla could calm it...
He looked at her. She seemed to know what he was thinking, and she shook her head, implying that she wasn't strong enough.
Brominax stood up completely and moved over to the cliff wall. He looked around for a handhold to maybe climb there way out. He tried everywhere, and nothing. Nothing, until his hand, searching for a handhold, hit a stone, which slowly dragged itself inside the wall.
A small rectangle from the side cliff slid forward, then to the side, revealing a secret passageway. Shayla gasped. Fyxan raised an eyebrow. "What now?"
Bromnax smiled. "We go in."
Draconius could not believe they had finally found it. The final triangle piece was in the center of the room, on a small stand, with a half-sphere of glass as it's only protection.
It was just so simple.
Just too simple.
Tetrack walked forward with Ora and Draconius at his side. He nodded to Draconius, who raised his sword and brought it down on the glass dome.
It didn't break.
Tetrack, Ora, and a few others tried with all their strength and power, but none could get it to break.
Suddenly, a voice rang out, booming in the ears of all who were in the chamber; Tetrack, Ora, Draconius, and unknown to them, Brominax, Fyxan, and Shayla.
"IT IS NOT SO SIMPLE!" the voice said. "YOU MUST FIRST PASS THREE TESTS TO FIND IF YOU ARE WORTHY. ONLY ONE CAN DO THESE TESTS. SELECT WHO SHALL DO IT."
In Draconius' mind, it should be either him or Tetrack. But before they could make up their minds, a figure ran into the center of the room, put his hands on the dome of the triangle piece, and spoke.
"I will," said Brominax.
Tetrack growled, and moved towards him, preparing to attack, but when his weapon hit Brominax, it bounced harmlessly off, revealing a force field around Brominax.
"NONE SHALL HARM HE WHO CHOSE TO PASS THE TESTS!" the voice said.
Fyxan and Shayla stayed hidden so that they wouldn't be attacked, but Tetrack suspected where they would be. He whispered to Draconius to head over there, and he grabbed a team, slowly moving in their direction. Brominax moved to help them, but was stuck in the force field.
"Wha—?" he said. "LET ME GO!"
"NONE SHALL LEAVE UNTIL THE TESTS ARE PASSED."
"THEN GIVE ME THE TESTS!"
Eleven glowing rods appeared in mid air before Brominax.
"THERE ARE ELEVEN." The voice said, "YOU MUST MAKE ELEVEN BECOME NINE WITHOUT REMOVING ANY RODS!"
Brominax looked at the rods, but a scream distracted him. Shayla had been hit by a clever strike by Draconius.
Fyxan was battling the bounty hunters on his own now. He had to hurry. He turned back to the rods.
Then he saw it. He quickly rearranged the rods. The rods were rearranged to spell the word "NINE".
The voice spoke again. "VERY WELL. HERE IS YOUR NEXT TEST."
Brominax looked at Fyxan and Shayla. Fyxan had moved now, dueling ferociously with Draconius. Shayla still lay on the ground in pain, but her mechanical laser arms kept blasting the advancing enemy away. The pressure of the situation was building.
"YOUR NEXT TEST IS A RIDDLE. HERE IT IS.
- "A CLOUD WAS MY MOTHER,
- "THE WIND IS MY FATHER.
- "MY SON IS THE COOL STREAM,
- "MY DAUGHTER IS THE FRUIT OF LAND.
- "A RAINBOW IS MY BED,
- "THE EARTH IS MY FINAL RESTING PLACE,
- "AND I AM THE TORMENT OF ALL.
- "WHAT AM I?"
Brominax turned the words over in his head, trying to concentrate while the battle around him raged. The torment of all? Karzahni? But Karzahni and Artakha had no mother, no father, no sons and no daughters.
But then he figured he was looking at it to literally. It must be some simple word. Some simple object. He racked his left brain, then his right.
And that was where he should have started all along.
The answer was right there.
"Rain," he said simply.
The voice grunted. "VERY WELL," it said. "ONTO THE FINAL TEST."
But time was running out. Draconius had Fyxan pinned, pressing his sword against Fyxan's chainsaw, getting dangerously close to his neck. Shayla was so weak, Brominax was surprised she was still alive.
"Hurry!" he called at the voice.
He also noted Tetrack biting his fingers. He knew they would be in trouble if Brominax succeeded.
"THE FINAL TEST IS..."
Brominax couldn't stand how close this was coming.
"HOW YOU WISH TO DIE!"
Brominax's eyes widened. Tetrack looked up.
"What do you mean?" Brominax asked, "I came all this way for nothing?"
"THE GREAT BEINGS DID NOT WANT ANYONE TO HAVE ALL THREE PIECES OF THE POWER TRIANGLE. THIS ONE IS THE ONLY IMPOSSIBLE ONE TO GET."
"Let—" he smashed the field. "me—" he smashed again. "GO!" He smashed for the final time with all his might, but it would not let him out.
A sword and a hand appeared above his head. "Now," the voice said, much quieter, "How would you like to die? Ah, how about this. If you say something true, I will strangle you."
The floating hand waved.
"If you say something false," The sword slashed, "I will cut your head off. What do you say?"
Brominax gave a silent prayer. This was the final moment. At least he knew the bounty hunters would not get the triangle piece. He was about to say something false, for he figured the losing of the head would be easier than the strangling, when an idea popped into his head.
Eh, what the Karzahni, he thought. I'm gonna die anyway.
He cleared his throat and took a step forward, within the radius of the force field. Smiling, he said, "My head will be cut off."
The voice seemed to think. Brominax knew he had him cornered. If it were true, and the head would be cut off, then he would be strangled. But that meant it would be false, because it means he would have been strangled. So it was false, so his head gets cut off, thus making it true.
The voice grumbled. "Congratulations, you passed the test."
The force field removed itself, the glass dome disappeared. He grabbed the power triangle piece, then activated his Fehja, lifting all who were attacking Shayla into the air, slamming them into the wall, then the ground, then across the room into the wall again. Then he used the power of the triangle piece to imprison Draconius, who was about to make the killing blow, in ice, then telekinetically sending him across the room. However, since the power triangle was not whole, Draconius quickly broke out of the ice, standing with the enemy, which looked like an army compared to the three of them.
Fyxan smiled. "You know," he said, "Legend has it that when the power triangle piece is found, teleportation will be possible. So — and this seems weird saying this to such a respectable group — SEE YA, SUCKERS!"
He created a portal with his Olmak, and Brominax, Shayla, and Fyxan jumped in. Tetrack just missed the opening. He turned to Ora. "Ora, did you trace where they went?"
He nodded. "They went to the shores of Gigas Nui."
"Then take us there. We have to get that triangle piece."
Ora smiled like the words meant even more to him. "Yes, sir."
Brominax appeared after Shayla, then Fyxan came in, crashing right into Brominax. Brominax looked at the triangle piece in his hand. It was finally theirs. He walked towards the city of Gigas Nui, where he expected either a large crowd, or a small one, depending on if the away team to the Guild's base had finished or not. He was almost there when he heard the familiar sound of teleportation.
He slowly turned to see what he knew was inevitable. There was Tetrack, and hundreds of Guild members. There was nothing that could be done.
"Give me the triangle piece!" Tetrack said, holding out a hand.
Brominax closed his eyes, knowing he would have to destroy it. He charged his hand with a massive amount of power, let it go and...
Nothing. The triangle was not destroyed. Nothing happened. Not even his most powerful of bursts would do anything.
Tetrack laughed. "ATTACK!" he wailed.
A wave of bounty hunters came pouring in. Brominax tried to fight them off along with Shayla and Fyxan, but they were overwhelmed. Shayla jumped using her mask out of the crowd of warriors. Fyxan teleported out of the crowd, going right next to Shayla. But Brominax was overtaken. He felt the triangle piece get taken out of his hand, and saw the small Matoran who was taking it triumphantly to his master.
No, he thought. I will not let them win this. They will NOT have this victory. If they do, it could mean the doom of the universe.
Closing his eyes, he activated his mask, took the triangle out of the Matoran's hands telekinetically. He sent it through the air to the steps of the base of the Enforcers, where Shayla quickly picked it up, and turned to see an army of crazed beings after her.
Shayla ran. She ran faster than she ever had before inside the base. She ran past guards who tried in vain to stop the bounty hunters. Until, finally, a bounty hunter grabbed her leg, and she fell to the ground, the triangle piece sliding out of her hand across the ground and into the hands of... Jarrin.
She looked up to see him, Boreal, and Forsk standing triumphantly in her path.
"Boreal." she ran towards him and lifted him in the air. He smiled, embarrassed, at Jarrin.
"Right then," Jarrin said, turning to Forsk. "Would you like to do the honors?"
Forsk smiled, turning to the bounty hunters who had stopped in their tracks at the sight of a more powerful group of enemies.
The Enforcers charged and chased the bounty hunters out of the building, where Brominax and Fyxan joined the fight. The battle was a ball of blades and craziness. But on the side of the battle, seen by no one, were three beings sneaking into the base. Two wore hats. The other bore technological genius. Janneus, Salahad, and Kyrus were there.
"This," Kyrus hissed, "Is NOT what I signed up for!"
Salahad looked at him. "You truly are VERY annoying, do you know that?"
"I don't really care if I'm annoying. You can deal with something like that. You guys are trained killers. I, however, am a technicion. I deal with annoying TECHNICAL problems. But this situation you've put me in is just plain annoying. And I don't even get a reward!"
Janneus smiled. "Oh, you get a reward, alright." Kyrus looked up. "You get to live another day."
Haze frowned. "Very funny. I'm bursting with laughter. Maybe I would enjoy your comedy-bit if I wasn't handcuffed. Are they really necessary?"
Janneus rolled his eyes. "Okay, Salahad, take them off."
They were in the heating duct, crawling through the minuscule space to the main control room. Once there, they would have Kyrus hack into the system and set the self-destruct timer, with just enough time to escape.
"We're here," Janneus announced. He looked through the vent just in front of him that angled down into the control room. There, many beings sat typing on their computers and speaking frantically into their microphones, talking to those who were battling outside.
"How do we get past?" asked Kyrus.
Janneus smiled. "Now, that," he said slyly, "is OUR specialty. Salahad, you stay here and make sure scared here doesn't try to make a break for it. I got this."
Salahad nodded, and Janneus kicked through the vent, dropping into the room. He cleared his throat, and everyone looked up.
"I'm sorry, I do not wish to alarm you, but I'm taking over this establishment. Those who wish not to fight, the exit is to your right."
He gestured to the open door. But none moved.
"You really think you stand a chance against all of us?"
He smiled. "Oh, I know I do."
They reached for their weapons and started advancing on him. They started to back him into a corner, but he merely got on the ground and into a small ball, as condensed as he could be. He heard many whisper:
"What is he doing?"
"Is he surrendering?"
"Why is he glowing green?"
They didn't have time to react. He quickly charged a massive amount of energy, and finally, when they were all very close to him, he let it go, in a massive shockwave, that sent everyone flying. Most hit walls and were sent through them. Others split their heads on the corners of their own desks. And still others hit the ceiling, flying up and out, never to be seen again.
Kyrus and Salahad came down. "Well, that went well," said Salahad, and he shoved Kyrus over to a desk.
Kyrus sat down by the computer. Janneus watched closely to make sure he didn't try any tricks, but no one could have seen what he did. In the upper right hand corner of all computers was an alert button. All Kyrus had to do was quickly click on it.
Janneus punched him in the face, making him collapse on the ground, but it was too late. The guards had arrived, taking them into custody. But Janneus wasn't ready to quit just yet. He looked around for options, until he saw it: a weapon Kyrus had planted the mind-controlling device on. All the bounty hunters were given remotes so they could control anyone. He quickly grabbed his captor, swung him into Salahad's, killed Kyrus', and fought off a couple more. Then he grabbed the weapon, threw it at Kyrus, and he instinctively caught it. He looked down at it. His eyes widened in realization, but it was too late.
"Kyrus, hack into that computer and set the self-destruct."
Like a robot, he moved to the computer, typed, his eyes unfocused, and soon, he heard the familiar computer voice say; "Self destruct: thirty seconds."
Salahad looked at him. "Let's book!"
Janeus nodded. He left Kyrus there, awaiting the orders that would never come, and the fate that was always meant for him. A fate that never would have happened if Janneus was alive. A fate that would never have happened if Salahad hadn't decided not to kill Janneus. And so, somewhere far off, Baterra Magnus screamed in fury. For Kyrus, one of the select few who was capable of stopping the universe from reaching its ultimate doom, would die in thirty seconds.
And no one could prevent that now.
Jarrin looked up from his battle with a very skilled Skrall. Janneus, Kand another being he recognized from his earlier battle were fleeing the building.
But he couldn't bother to think what they were doing. He had to focus on the battle. He parried the Skrall's blow, then launched a blast of flame at him, which was blocked by the Skrall's shield. Then, using the momentum from his last block, the Skrall spun around and sawed at Jarrin's chest with his shield-saw. It cut straight through, and Jarrin staggered. The Skrall, still in the same, fluid movement, brought his leg around and nailed Jarrin in the face, making him sail back a ways and land on his back hard, letting go of the power triangle piece that he'd held onto the whole battle. Then Skrall ran for it, but in a final effort by Jarrin, he was able to grab the Skrall's foot, tripping him.
He reached for the triangle, but Jarrin tugged him back. Jarrin looked up, to see Janneus staring at him, then the triangle piece. However, the Skrall wasn't so distracted. He wrenched himself out of Jarrin's grasp and ran for the triangle piece. Jarrin lifted his flame gun and aimed it at the Skrall's head, and fired.
The Skrall fell back, and Jarrin guessed he was out for a while. He saw Janneus running towards the triangle piece, but Jarrin scrambled up and grabbed it just before he got there.
"You fiend!" Janneus snarled. "That triangle piece belongs to ME!"
With that, he jumped at him, his crowbar gleaming in the sunlight. Jarring ran out of the way, and Janneus landed in a skillful roll. Jarrin ran out of the battle scene, and jumped from a tree, then to the roof of the base. Janneus looked at him, then checked his wristwatch, smiling.
"See you in Karzahni."
Jarrin at first was confused, but a rumble from beneath his feat told him all he needed.
This place is going to self destruct!
He had to get off. He was going to leap to the tree he had come from, when the ground beneath him crumbled. He fell a story, landing one floor above the ground level. He ran towards the wall he knew was the closest to being out, but it burst into flames before he could get there.
He whipped around, running for the next closest exit, but the roof collapsed, sealing off his exit. He coughed. The flame was getting to him.
Relax! he told himself, You're a Toa of Fire! You can deal with this!
But the place was destroying itself. He turned around and realized he was cut off by flames. He turned around again towards the caved in ceiling, and jumped up through the newly created whole in the ceiling.
But up there, it was worse. He looked at the power triangle piece in his hand. It could make invincible cages of many things... including ice. Could one piece, with only a fragment of its whole power, help him? He decided it was worth a try. He froze the flames that were blocking his path, and the barrier held strong. Then he broke through with all his strength and kept running. A tree crashed through the ceiling, but, in a random attempt, he grabbed the tree, which crashed through multiple stories to the ground. He slide off, ran for the front door, but the instant he opened it, a fist was in his face, sending him flying back.
"You are not going to escape that easily!" said Janneus, striding into the exploding building. Janneus lifted his weapon and created a vortex around Jarrin, which started suffocating him.
He fell on his knees, gripping his throat. His vision started to blur until finally, everything went black, his last sight being that of two other beings, one blue and one green, attacking Janneus.
The world came back to him in a sudden blur and hissing noise. Then his vision snapped clear, and he saw Shayla standing over him, cradling his head. He felt a soft, cushy thing underneath him.
A bed, he thought.
"Wha-" he stammered. "What happened? Where am I?"
"We're in the emergency bunker. Our Gigas Nui base was destroyed, but plans have already been made to rebuild it."
He sat up groggily, draping his legs over the edge of the white cot. "And the power triangle piece?"
Shayla looked grim, and looked up at Boreal, who had been there the whole time, Jarrin reasoned. "Janneus got it," Boreal said with fury.
Shayla smiled sympathetically. "But I'd never seen anyone fight harder than Boreal that day. You were amazing."
She rubbed his arm gently, and Boreal smiled. Jarrin couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy. "So," Jarrin said, "This means we lost. The Bounty Hunter Wars are over before they even begin. They have the triangle piece, and they will dominate the universe."
"Yes," Shayla said, "But we will stand against them the whole time. We will not back down. We will fight until we die."
Boreal looked away. "What is it?" she asked.
"It's Janneus. The reason I fought so well," he said, "is because I wanted revenge. What's happening to me? I'm becoming one of THEM!"
With that, he slammed his fist against the wall. "It's getting personal now," he continued. "I wanted him to DIE, Shayla. Am I supposed to feel that? An Enforcer."
She looked into his eyes. "I-" She bit her lip. "I don't know."
Suddenly, Boreal's eyes got a strange expression. "Uh," he said, "I must be going now. I'm meeting Fyxan."
Jarrin eyed him strangely as he left in a run.
Fyxan awaited Boreal outside the bunker, until he finally arrived.
Immediately, he snapped to attention. "Boreal knows best," he said mechanically, his eyes glowing purple.
Boreal smiled, his eyes the same shade as Fyxan's. "Let's get a move on, then."
Fyxan teleported them to the bounty hunters' base. The found their way inside, got into their hiding place, and waited. Simply waited.
Ora peaked around the door. Tetrack was placing together the power triangle. Present in the same room were Janneus and Draconius. They watched as the pieces snapped together, and the creation began to glow yellow and red.
"Glorious, isn't it?" asked Draconius.
"Yes," said Tetrack, breathing calmly.
"We earned it," Janneus put in.
Ora could tell he meant he earned it, but Ora would disagree. They had all found the first one, Kyrus had found the second, and all BUT him went on the mission to find the last one. It just so happened that he was the one who ended up getting it.
Tetrack eyed him closely. "Indeed," he said. "Come. Let us prepare for the battle tomorrow."
Janneus' eyes widened. "Tomorrow?" he asked.
"Yes," Tetrack said, looking towards the door. Ora quickly moved out of sight. "Tomorrow. When better? They've barely started rebuilding."
Janneus rolled his eyes. Ora guessed he was thinking: Another reason to thank me.
"Alright," said Draconius. "Then let us prepare."
The three walked out of the room, and Ora hid just around the corner. Just when they couldn't see him, he crept into the room, staying out of sight of the security cameras, then he dashed in their sight, then back out, grabbing the newly made power triangle.
Alarms immediately sounded. He didn't care. He sprinted out of the room and down the hall, came to his secret wall, tapped the special location, and it flipped around and let him in. He ran over to the Terri symbol he had made, and activated the holographic transmitter. The Terri lord was there.
"Who is it?" he said.
"It is I, Ora. I have the power triangle."
The Terri's eyes widened. "WELL, SEND IT!"
Ora nodded, the power triangle piece in hand. But he had sudden thoughts. I'm releasing a crazed race of being back into the world. Do I really want to do this?
He bit his lip. Then he decided to do it. He took a deep breath, the power triangle piece in hand, and slowly inched it toward the symbol. It was just about to make contact when he was lifted into the air, and the power triangle piece was taken from his hand.
"Our master will be please to have this," said a voice.
Ora turned around in his captors grip to see Fyxan, someone who he'd encountered during the hunt for the final power triangle piece, and another Toa of Aura he recognized from the recent battle.
"No!" he said, "Don't take it! It must go to the Terri! Not Brominax!"
They smiled. "Brominax?" Fyxan said. "Oh no, he's not our master. Our master is Axconox. He's been frozen in stone for thousands of years. And today, he finally will rejoin the universe. May everyone do his bidding!"
With that, the Toa of Aura punched Ora, sending him flying across the room. And the last thing Ora saw before he blacked out was the holographic image of the Terri Lord's ultimate rage.
Tetrack sat on his desk, sipping his Kiglo wine in thought. Ora, a traitor. How could that be? It seemed impossible. Tetrack had known Ora for many years. He had even hired him to help design the base for the Bounty Hunters' Guild.
Now he was caught, imprisoned, but the power triangle had yet to be found. And not all the torture in the world could get Ora to talk. He had personally tried to get it out of Ora, but all he got was two menacing eyes staring back at him. It gave him the chills. He had never thought Ora even capable of such hatred.
Just then, Draconius walked in. "Ah," said Tetrack, "I have been waiting for you. I wanted to discuss what we should do about our... setback. Sit."
The two placed themselves in chairs sitting opposite each other. "Firstly, I would like to get to the matter of Ora, who has somehow managed to—"
He found a gun pointing at his face. Some sort of modified Nynrah Ghost blaster. Tetrack shifted in his seat a little, and eyed Draconius. He swallowed, then calmed himself. "What is this, Draconius?"
Draconius smiled and waved a hand. The door opened once more, and Draconius came in, being levitated into the air. By the way the newcomer looked at Tetrack, he could tell he couldn't talk. "What is this? Who are you really? Are you... some Skrall warrior?"
Not-Draconius smiled and stood up. "Fool!" he spat in a lower tone than even the real Draconius, "did you think I would not return? Did you think I would NOT WANT REVENGE!"
Not-Draconius flipped the desk over and moved in to choke Tetrack. "For 36,000 YEARS I HAVE WAITED TO TAKE MY REVENGE! BUT NOW MY TIME HAS COME! AND THE UNIVERSE WILL BOW TO ME LIKE IT WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO DO! And it starts with you. My very own creation."
Tetrack was thrown onto the ground but looked up from those last words. "Axconox," He said, wide eyed.
The shape of Draconius morphed into a far larger being, with strong muscles and brutal weapons. "I have returned."
36,000 years ago...
Axconox had only a little time. Mutran was by his side, armed. It was said that the Great Beings planned to stop the Terri from creating the ultimate weapon: something that could destroy the entire universe and rebuild it as the user wished. He had to get there before the Great Beings.
Breaking into a Terri stronghold was no picnic. However, being a Great Being yourself, you had certain... advantages.
The duo approached a mound of sand that was just to the left of the stronghold, and hid behind it. Axconox turned to Mutran. "You remember the plan?"
Mutran nodded. "You are referring to the one you repeated to me OVER AND OVER again, right?"
Axconox grabbed his neck. "Very funny. But believe me, you won't have such a sense of humor in a few years, trust me. I gave you life, and I can take it away just as easy."
Mutran raised a finger. "Ah, master, actually, may I point out that it would be FAR easier to kill me than create me. From what I understand, you went through the process of many trial and errors before finding a solution to the disfiguration of-"
"Shut up! You can be very annoying. Sometimes I wish I never HAD created you. I'm seriously reconsidering bringing you on this mission. Perhaps I should have brought Tetrack instead."
"You can't do that and you know it!" Mutran responded hastily. "If he learns of your plans, he will immediately turn you in to the Great Beings."
"Tetrack is a fool—"
"You designed him to be a genius."
"—Who knows nothing of what he's gotten himself into—"
"Actually, you got him into it."
"—and will never know until I am imprisoned."
Mutran looked up. "Imprisoned, sir?"
Axconox sighed. "Once the Great Beings discover that I have defected, they will imprison me. They are too spineless to kill me. So I have instructed Tetrack to hunt down the power triangle pieces in a few years. I told him he'll know why soon. My hope is that he will feel guilty and finish the job to rescue me. But I can't tell him what my real plans are."
"Um," Mutran asked, "why can't I go get the triangle pieces to rescue you?"
Axconox sighed yet again. "We've been over this, Mutran. Because you-"
"Have to spy on the the Mata Nui robot and all that stuff. Yeah, I know. Are we gonna steal these blueprints or what?"
Axconox nodded. Right, the blueprints. He was planning on stealing the designs for the weapon and then hiding them before he was captured.
So here went nothing.
"Alright," he said, "Begin."
Mutran flew straight into the sky, and launched bursts of shadow at the entrance. Alarms began to sound, and Terri soldiers came out of the building, and began firing their own creations at Mutran. The sky exploded in loud booms, but Mutran dodged them with expert skill. He then flew straight toward his enemies, dropping glowing blue balls on their heads, and they disintegrated instantly.
Another wave came out, this time with Terri weapon specialists. One pulled out a weapon that self-targeted Mutran's wing and shot a hole through it, bringing him to the ground.
The Terri moved closer to their enemy. Axconox took the chance. He ran for the door. A Terri spotted him, but Axconox's control over weather sent an amazingly powerful gust of wind that sent them all a good distance away. He close the doors behind him, leaving Mutran on his own. Axconox proceeded through the building, observing all sorts of weapons on display, actually taking a heat-seeking missile pod launcher.
He rounded a corner and found himself facing precisely sixty-four Terri staring at him. One stepped forward, clearing his throat.
"The blueprints are—" he pointed behind Axconox. "—that way."
Axconox turned around and found himself facing exactly thirty-six Terri on guard. Leave it to the Terri to post exactly 100 guards in that specific area.
The ceiling above his head transformed into a weapon, and it was pointed right at his face. The Terri who'd talked before put out a hand and said, "Now, if you will, our weapon?"
Axconox was about to hand them the weapon when he noticed something: metal floors. Smiling, he changed the course of the weapon and shot it at the gun above his head.
The Terri gasped and made a move to grab it from him, but he summoned all his energy, channeled it into his sword, and plunged the sword into the ground, letting out a burst of lightning which shocked the whole floor, frying all the Terri until they were all unconscious. Then a voice came from nowhere: a speakerphone.
"Very good, Great Being," said the voice. "Now proceed to your left, where we will have the blueprints and a fight ready for you."
The transmission cut. Axconox didn't doubt it was one-hundred percent truth. The question was, what sort of fight? Could he handle a preset battle with the Terri, with all possibilities all ready thought about and accounted for? Axconox assumed he had no choice.
He went down the left hallway, and found at the end of it a giant, looming door. On the side, it read "Testing lab."
Axconox sighed. Here goes nothing.
He reached for the handle.
"I didn't win the battle that day," Axconox said to Tetrack, "but you are going to help me find those blueprints. Their base has been buried for years now on Bara Magna, after the Terri were imprisoned. I cannot find it alone. But you will help me, in exchange for me helping you with your little battle with the enforcers. Deal?"
"First, where is the power triangle?" Tetrack asked.
"It is here." Axconox pointed at his chest, where the triangle had been fused to him. "I need more people to help me search. You can have any of the other weapons that we find to help in the battle, but the blueprints are mine."
"What exactly do the blueprints contain?" Tetrack whispered.
"It is none of your concern. With my help, you can win the battle without a struggle. Agreed?"
Axconox lifted his hand out to Tetrack. He eyed it warily, but couldn't disagree. He slowly moved his hand out, and they shook.
The transmission cut, and the image of Ora flickered away. Agath analyzed where the hologram had been, as though it may somehow flicker to life again.
Sighing, he stepped away from the transmitter, and it exploded into purple smoke. Purple smoke; there was a time when he enjoyed the color, for it reminded him of the shadows of the universe. But now, when he saw it, it made him go insane. For 36,000 years they had been trapped in the strange void; an alternate dimension with flat, purple terrain that stretched in all directions, never ending. Above him, the black sky yielded no wind. The only upside of the place was that anything could be made in your mind. If you so much as thought, oh, I wish I could sit down, a purple chair would appear before your eyes. But it was driving Agath insane. A Terri Lord should not have to be in exile like this!
He needed to get out. He needed the power triangle. And he knew how to get it. He needed to call someone who was just as insane as Agath was. In his mind, he created another, full-sized table with a built in holographic transmitter, and he called his old friend.
The holographic image flickered to life in a light shade of... purple.
"Tygoscus ," Agath muttered, "It's been a while."
The black and red-armored figure laughed his insane laugh.
"So true, so true." He spoke with a high pitched, nasal voice, with heavy doses of insanity thrown in. "So, what's the word, Agath, m'bird, it's so absurd from you to be heard!"
He choked on his last words a wheezed out a cloud of dust.
"I have a new mission for you," Agath stated calmly, in perfect contrast with Tygoscus.
"Ha! Great, just like old times, eh? I'll do it as long as I get to blow something up!"
Agath smiled. "That can be arranged. I need you to hunt down two beings. From what I saw of them, they are a Toa of Aura and, curiously, a Kodax of Light. They're master was, in fact, our old friend Axconox. Find Axconox, you'll find the power triangle. Then I need you to send it to me. Can you handle that?"
"Sounds like an explosive job to me."
Usually, guard duty was Shayla's least favorite job. But after working so hard to repair the Enforcers' base, she welcomed the chance to stand still.
Behind her, back at the base, the construction continued still at a marvelous pace. A Toa of Stone and Iron worked together to create walls, as Toa of Air and Magnetism lifted them into place. Toa of Fire were welding the pieces together, Toa of Ice created temporary scaffolding for the others, and Toa of Water worked to put out the remaining fire.
Forsk was, as usual, barking out orders, doing no actual work himself. Brominax, on the other hand, was doing the most work of anyone, and never seemed to tire as he lifted the largest items with his Fehja. Shayla looked at Jarrin, who was standing next to her, also on guard duty. If she didn't know him, she'd say he was a statue.
But his unmoving face was troubled. No, it was... contemplative.
"What's wrong?" She asked, and paused for a short while, waiting for his answer.
After a few seconds, he broke out of his trance and met her eyes.
"It's Boreal and Fyxan. They still haven't returned, and they left kind of suddenly. I asked Brominax if we could send out search parties, but he said we don't have the resources. He said that we have to either wait for them to come back, or wait until the repairs are done. Either way; I hate waiting.
Shayla nodded in understanding.
Suddenly, a FSHWIP sound erupted in front of her, and a green matoran appeared.
Shayla gasped, letting her guard down, but Jarrin moved straight into position, aiming his spear at the matoran's neck.
"Who are you?" He interrogated.
The matoran laughed, "Relax, relax. I'm not your enemy."
Shayla wasn't sure when, but she'd seen this matoran before. She just couldn't place him...
"My name is Ora." The matoran continued, "I am formerly of the Bounty Hunter's Guild. Presently a loner. Futurely, I hope, an Enforcer of Gigas Magna, and a bearer of news that will be most interesting for you to hear."
Jarrin looked skeptical.
"Come with me. We'll take you to Brominax."
The hot sun pounded down on Janneus' face as he dug his shovel into the ground. They were digging for an "Old War Base" as Tetrack had put it. But Janneus knew better. He'd overheard a conversation, or at least, a few words from a conversation between Draconius and Tetrack. One of the words, and that word being key, was "Terri". Janneus had done his research. The Terri were an ancient race, bent on supplying weapons for all sides of the core war, and making extreme profit in the process. So in essence, it was kind of like a war base they were searching for. But a more acurate description would be a factory. By Tetrack's calculations, they were digging in the same spot it had stood centuries ago. Apparently, it had either been destroyed, or covered by the Bara Magnian sand. The place was an endless desert of water deprivation. And Janneus was tiring far too quickly. He thought about getting up to go the the refreshments tent for a break.
It sounded like a good idea. But before he left, he dug his shovel into the ground one more time. He heard a THUNK.
He summoned his powers of air and moved the sand aside, and found what appeared to be a hatch. Quickly, he re-covered it. Then, nonchalantly, he climbed out of his hole he'd been assigned to, and started for the tent. But right as he reached the opening, he darted to one side, behind the tent.
Then he brought out his holographic comlink.
"Salahad. Come in."
The blue, glowing image of Salahad flickered to life.
"I'm here. What do you need?"
"Initiate the distraction."
Janneus strode out into the open, grabbing a glass of water from the tent. Suddenly, a gun shot sounded, and a Bounty Hunter collapsed to the ground. Salahad had sniped him.
"There's a sniper! On the hill over there!" Called Janneus. Tetrack nodded and sent the Bounty Hunter's after him. Janneus, meanwhile, slipped into his hole and used his Rotaxian ghosting powers to slip through the metal hatch. He was in. And around him, he saw an infinite collection the universe's most powerful weapons.
Brominax raised an eyebrow. "Axconox? You can't be serious."
Ora nodded. "But I am. That's what I heard. Their master was Axconox. I assure you, they are no longer your followers."
Brominax scratched his neck, and looked to Shayla, Jarrin, and Forsk, who were eyeing the former bounty hunter closely, each with their own doubts.
"Forsk," Brominax said, "Take him to the lie detector. Find out if what he says is true. In the mean time, Jarrin, Shayla, I want you to find Fyxan and Boreal. Now."
Janneus sprinted through the chamber as fast as he could, stopping for nothing, looking through the weapons, trying to find what could be so valuable that they would do such a huge excavation for it. But he came across nothing but a cheastplate that interested him, which he put on, and a small wrist knife, which he could activate or retract with a subtle flick of his hand.
But after efficiently searching the building, even blowing through a vault, he didn't find much else. There were some more powerful weapons, but they were heavy, and inefficient, which did not work well with Janneus' style. So he ghosted out of the building, and grabbed a pair of binoculars to watch his brother run away from oncoming bounty hunters. Fortunately, Salahad was smart. He managed to hide behind a rock, then ghosted, invisible to the unobservent eye. Soon, the bounty hunters that were sent to capture him were on their way back to the tents, where Tetrack was waiting, visibly irritated.
Janneus didn't wait to see their punishment. He hid his chest plate behind the tent, kept his knife concealed, and went back to his hole. He plunged his shovel into the metal hatch, allowing a much louder THUNK to be heard. Tetrack was standing over his hole in an instant.
"Janneus," He said, smiling. "You've found it."
Janneus nodded, showing no pride, and simply jumped out of his hole, allowing Tetrack to be the "first" person inside.
Jarrin and Shayla sprinted at full speed, Fyxan and Boreal up ahead. They heard nothing but their hearts beating, their feet pounding against the sand, and a slight ringing in their ears as a residual effect from their recent teleportation.
Fyxan spun around and released a burst of light from his palm. Jarrin dodged, the light blast hitting the sand with a CRACK.
Shayla released a wave of water from her spear, flooding the ground beneath Fyxan and Boreal. They were knocked off their feet, and were swept over the top of a sand dune and out of sight.
Jarrin picked up his pace and leapt over the hill, sliding down the slippery terrain and gaining ground on Fyxan. He was upon him in a few more seconds, and grabbed Fyxan by the neck, choking him. Boreal got to his feet and charged Jarrin, but Shayla let out a bolt of laser which made him fly back, unconscious.
"What happened to you!" Jarrin snarled at Fyxan. "You were my FRIEND!"
Fyxan grabbed his neck with both hands as Jarrin tightened his hold.
"I... will not... succumb to your lies. I will tell... you nothing."
Jarrin raised an eyebrow. "So they are not traitors. They are entirely out of their minds."
"But what could have caused this?" Shayla questioned. "What could make someone do what they've done?"
Meanwhile, Fyxan was muttering on. "Axconox will never let you have me. He'll kill you."
"I believe that is the answer." Jarrin said, his eyes widening. "It is Axconox. I know not much of who he is, but that which I've heard is not good. Although I thought that he'd been frozen in stone for eternity with the..."
Jarrin gasped as everything dawned on him.
"Come on!" He said. "We have to get to Brominax."
Jarrin slung Fyxan over his shoulder, and Shayla grabbed Boreal.
"What? What is it?" She asked.
"We knew the Bounty Hunters had it, until Fyxan and Boreal stole it. They took it to Axconox. To RELEASE him! Now, not only is and extremely powerful great being on the lose: but he has the power triangle as well. Brominax MUST know."
Jarrin grabbed their teleportation device, and was about to press the button when a sudden WHOOSH sounded, and Jarrin found a dart in his neck, and he crumpled unconscious. Shayla and Fyxan tried to run, but were downed by the same weapon.
Two dark beings came and stood over the four unconscious bodies.
"Alert Tetrack." One said, "We've got company."
Shayla, Fyxan, Jarrin, and Boreal were dragged unconsciously over the sand dunes. The two Bounty Hunters were slowing down against the heat of the sun on Bara Magna.
Jarrin was faintly aware of what was going on, but was too tired to put up a fight. His hands dragged limply in the sand. To his surprise, however, his hands came into contact with what felt like a piece of paper, rolled up into a scroll.
He slipped the paper into the pack on his back without the guard noticing, making a mental note to look at it later... if there was a "later".
Suddenly, Jarrin heard a ZAP and he was dropped to the ground, no longer being held by the bounty hunter. He opened his eyes to see his captor had been launched ten yards away by a bolt of electricity. He turned to it's origin in time to see another blast let loose, killing the other bounty hunter.
The shooter was a large, red and black armored being. He spoke in a crazed voice.
"Well well well, you two are hard to find for mad ol' Tygostus. But not impossible!"
He walked over and picked up Boreal and Fyxan.
"Now," He said, "Where's that master of yours? Where is Axconox?"
Boreal spoke first.
"With the Bounty Hunters, over that sand dune." Boreal pointed.
Tygostus was surprised that the truth had been given so easily, but he tossed the pair in the sand and started trudging in the direction Boreal pointed, leaving all four behind. Boreal and Fyxan scrambled towards Jarrin and Shayla.
Jarrin arose, ready to fight, but that was not the case.
"Quick!" Spoke Fyxan, "There isn't much time. I suspect Axconox still believes us to be unconscious. That's why he's not controlling us. But he will soon. There's a device attatched to his wrist. Destroy that, and you free us. But remember-"
Suddenly, Fyxa's eyes flickered, and he activated his chainsaw. Jarrin awoke Shayla immediately, and screamed, "Quick, they've been repossessed!"
Jarrin and Shayla sprinted over the same dune Tygostus went over, and found themselves overlooking the Bounty Hunters' camp. But they had little time to be startled. They continued running, and passed Tygostus, who whirled around. They ran right into camp, and Fyxan and Boreal followed. Bounty Hunters all around began to encircle them. When Jarrin and Shayla were surrounded, they turned around and began to duel Fyxan and Boreal, all the while dodging blasts of various kinds from the Bounty Hunters.
Then Shayla grabbed Jarrin and used her Mask of Jumping to get out of the circle. Fyxan and Boreal were captured, but the pair kept running. Three bounty hunters were sent after Jarrin and Shayla, one of them being Janneus. The bounty hunters quickly gained ground, and Jarrin and Shayla were forced to whirl around and battle.
They quickly disposed of the other two bounty hunters, but Janneus remained, whirling his crowbar with expert and skilled movements.
When both had their guard down, Jarrin and Janneus fired blasts of fire at each other. The streams of flame met in between the two and pinned the other down. Shayla moved in to attack Janneus, but he knocked her over with a wave of his hand and a blast of wind.
Both Jarrin and Janneus channelled their powers further, putting more strength into their blasts of flame, neither one gaining the advantage. It was like an epic arm wrestle.
Finally, Janneus let lose and ghosted, narrowly avoiding Jarrin's stream of fire. Jarrin looked around in all directions, looking for any sign of Janneus. Suddenly he re-appeared behind him, and locked Jarrin in his arm, putting the sharp end of his crowbar to his neck.
Shayla was getting up now.
"Don't try anything," Said Janneus, "Or he dies. Now, come back to camp with me, slowly."
The began to walk back, but when they finally camp into view of the camp... it was in ruin. In the center, two beings were having the battle of a life time amongst burning flames.
Tygostus and Axconox.
The distraction was just enough time for Shayla to make her move. She grabbed Janneus crowbar from behind and flipped him around onto the ground, Freeing Jarrin.
"Let's go!" She shouted.
The two of them sprinted down the hill, towards Axconox and Tygostus.
"Why are we headed toward such chaos?" Jarrin asked.
"Because," Shayla stated, "The Bounty Hunter's must have a teleporter around here. We need to get Fyxan and Boreal and get OUT of here!"
"Okay," Jarrin responded. "I'll get Fyxan and Boreal, you find the teleporter."
Jarrin started running, but his foot was caught in the crowbar of Janneus, who'd caught up. Jarrin instinctively whirled around and kicked sand into Janneus' face. The maneuver gave him enough time to arise and spar with Janneus. They battled for a few seconds, until Janneus found an opening and kicked Jarrin down the hill into the valley where the excavation was taking place. He tumbled in the sand, and his pack rolled off his back and next to the battle with Axconox and Tygostus.
Out of it tumbled the rolled up piece of paper Jarrin had inserted into his pack earlier. It was blue.
Blueprints, Jarrin thought. But he didn't have time to consider more of what it was. Janneus slammed his crowbar into Jarrin's stomach. He spat blood into the sand.
In the meantime, Axconox had felt something bump his foot. He waved his hand and sent Tygostus flying into one of the burning tents, then stooped to pick up what he hoped was his future. He unrolled the scroll. It was. The secret to unlimited power, resting in the palm of his hand.
"I see the sign of my friend!" Screamed Tygostus in a crazed voice. "The sign of the Terri is on the back of that paper! Master will want to see it! And master want the TRIANGLE!"
Tygostus charged forward, and the two sparred. Janneus saw what was happening and left Jarrin, knowing the blueprints were what everyone was seeking.
Jarrin scrambled up and battled two Bounty Hunters who were guarding Fyxan and Boreal. He defeated them quickly, and grabbed the two of them.
"The controller!" Fyxan screamed, "It's on his wrist. Grab it!"
Jarrin turned and saw the device Fyxan mentioned. It was on Axconox's wrist. He knew it must be destroyed if Fyxan and Boreal were ever to be returned to their normal states.
Alright, he thought, Here goes.
Jarrin stepped closer behind Axonox and tried to grab the watch-device off Axconx's wrist. Axconox stood in a classic fencers position, with right hand on sword and left hand dangling behind. In his left hand was the blue prints, and around it was the device. Jarrin grabbed both at the same time.
That was really dumb. Tygostus, Axconox, Janneus, and a now emerging-from-the-underground-Terri-base Draconius and Tetrack all stared at him.
"Jarrin!" Screamed Shayla from his left, "RUN!!!"
Jarrin laughed, thinking for a second his predicaments to be funny. Then he abruptly stopped laughing and began sprinting away, pursued by the whole troop.
But there was no hope. Everyone was gaining on him. He was almost over a sand dune, at which point he would have a downhill advantage. But not much hope there, either. He tripped as he reached the top of the dune, and the blueprints and device fell out his hands and rolled across the ground.
They bumped into a dark colored foot.
"Hello, Jarrin." Said Brominax, "Need a hand?"
As Jarrin took in his situation, he saw behind Brominax a group of over twenty Enforcers.
"Enforcers, ATTACK!" The squad charged over the hill.
Brominax stopped and gave Jarrin the Blueprints and the Device.
"Do NOT lose these!" He said, and followed the Enforcers.
Jarrin quickly slipped his supplies into his pack. Then scrambled up, back over the dune, where total chaos had erupted. Bounty Hunters and Enforcers were dueling all across the landscape. To his relief, Fyxan and Boreal were fighting on the right side.
He threw the device on the ground and destroyed, to ensure it could not happen again. Brominax was locked in combat in a three way duel with Axconox and Tygostus. Forsk and Fyxan were fighting Janneus. Shayla and, curiously enough, Ora, were fighting Draconius. Apparently Ora had been accepted into the Enforcers of Gigas Magna.
Boreal was dueling Tetrack. And for a mad, almost powerless Bounty Hunter, Tetrack was holding his own. Actually, he was winning.
Brominax, in the middle of battle, turned, and tossed a teleportation device to Jarrin.
"Go!' He shouted, "Get out of here! Keep the blueprints safe! Go back to the base!"
Jarrin didn't need to be told twice. He activated the teleporter and vanished out of sight, seeing before the flash complete chaos, and after the flash, utter peace.
And he hated it.