Title: That was then, This is now!!!
Kokua aviatrix - September 12, 2009 11:03 AM (GMT)
The Shadowed One glared out of a window in his quarters as rain lashed against the panes.
"Something is needed that is unexpected." he thought stalking out of the room, his tail twitching with frustration.
Un-noticed by him or anyone else in the fortress, another flash of lightening illuminated the sky as a partially drowned figure was washed up on the beach.
The storm raged for most of the night, leaving piles of debris scattered over several training areas and the surrounding land.
Grumbling under his breath, Gearan glared angrily at Bladair while Cuife trailed behind as the Dark Hunters made for the storm damaged area.
"Did you have to make that wisecrack?" he growled as the trio reached the nearest pile of flotsam and began hauling it back towards the sea.
"Three weeks triple training and clearing this muck up. All because you couldn’t keep your gob shut!" the dull green Hunter snidely added, pulling at a large piece of driftwood.
"Well it did look like that symbol that those stupid Matoran dote on." Bladair muttered while trying to lift a larger pile of flotsam than Gearan.
"Oy Cuife, quit daydreamin’ and help!" the tall dingy brown Hunter yelled before he sOh, I'm sorry, it seems I am an idiot for trying to say this worded as Gearan landed on his rump when the wood he was pulling at suddenly came free.
"Something needs help." A deep slow voice came from the behemoth as he turned from where he’d been looking, Bladair rolled his eyes then he and Gearan paused as the sounds of coughing and retching reached them.
Joining Cuife, the pair watched a small figure attempting to push itself up from the ground,
"What do you think? A new training target or something to show the Shadowed One?" Cuife rumbled after several moments.
"How about both." Gearan replied before all three jumped as someone snapped angrily, "Skiving again, make that quadruple training!" Lariska’s acidic tones lashed at them while she stalked around the hapless trio.
"It was…" Gearan started to speak then found himself flat on the ground, blood streaming from his nose.
Before the others could move, the female Dark Hunter spotted the figure staggering to its feet, and take a few steps before falling over.
"Pitiful looking thing." Bladair snorted then swiftly moved back just in case.
Ignoring the disgraced Dark Hunters, Lariska approached the huddled figure drawing her daggers as she went.
Still feeling weak, Rionna blearily looked up at the tall armed being glaring down at her, "Stand up!" the tall female snapped.
After watching the strange being struggling for a few minutes, Lariska growled impatiently before tucking her daggers away then hauled the being up and over her shoulder.
"You lot get back to work." She snapped while walking past the watching trio then carried on back to the fortress.
Knowing from bitter experience that their protests that they found the being would be ignored, the Dark Hunters returned to their punishment, grumbling under their breaths.
"Ow!" a gasp came from the being Lariska had flung over her shoulder, and then she turned her head slightly to look up at the one carrying her.
Rionna blinked puzzled and was about to ask where she was when the Dark Hunter growled in frustration before shoving a door open and heading down the corridor.
"Weird looking critter." Thok muttered before absently filching some of Avak’s cleaning rags for his own use, "Hmm." Came the reply as the brown Piraka watched until the Huntress stopped abruptly as a dull hued Hunter blocked her path.
Several minutes passed as the one in the way leered suggestively at Lariska while refusing to move, then Rionna watched stunned as the one carrying her erupted in a blur of motion which left the arrogant one sliding down the wall, gasping for breath.
"Oh man, I’m in trouble!" Rionna thought, managing to catch a glimpse of the damage wrought on the now unconscious Dark Hunter while her captor knocked on a set of doors.
Several minutes passed, then one was opened by a smaller figure, which bowed and held the door open for the Dark Hunter before it hurried off on some errand.
Feeling the one she carried shiver, Lariska smiled coldly and when the Shadowed One nodded, his eyes glinting with interest, moved to the centre of the room and dumped her burden before him.
"Those idiots spotted this on the beach." The Dark Hunter explained briefly, several minutes passed as no one moved, then the Shadowed One lent forwards, his eyes narrowing as the strange being in front of his throne glanced around nervously.
"It does indeed look weak and pitiful, and we all know that Toa have a deep-seated death wish to protect those kind." his cold voice matching the temperature of the room.
Rionna breathed in sharply, stunned by the realization of where she was, as those in the room laughed venomously.
"I won’t let you use me!" a clear voice suddenly rang out, causing a deathly silence to spread through out the room.
The Shadowed One shot out of his throne and grabbed the being by her throat, "You have no say in the matter." he growled as his eyes began glowing menacingly.
"Sentrahk, take her to the laboratory. I’ll be along later." he then ordered the being who’d been standing near by just watching silently as events unfolded.
Struggling in the iron grip of Sentrahk’s arms, Rionna caught a glimpse of the Dark Hunter who’d carried her into the chamber, and another moving closer to the Shadowed One before those leaving closed the door.
While Sentrahk headed for the lab, Rionna continued trying to free herself, thumping at his arms.
“Let me go, you tin plated moron!” she yelled as they reached the lab and the door was opened by another of the smaller figures, it bowed then watched as the yellow and black being carried his struggling captive over to one of the cages and flung her into it.
Winded, Rionna rubbed her sprained ankle while the door slammed closed, then shifted as far from it as possible while cautiously watching those moving round outside.
From the cage joining the one she was in there came a low sigh followed by the sound of straw crackling, slowly Rionna glanced round to find another being watching her.
Slowly a spark of curiosity dawned in the watcher’s dull and weary eyes and he slowly shifted closer to the bars.
“Toa?” Rionna whispered stunned, her eyes taking in the emaciated, maskless and armourless pale chestnut form now leaning against the bars.
“By the light!” she whispered in shock, realizing his legs and one arm were missing, he nodded in reply to her comment then sighed again, “I’m…”
The door slammed open as the Shadowed One stalked into the room, causing those tidying to jump and scatter, Rionna and the Toa also jumped.
Seeing her reaction, the towering Dark Hunter smiled maliciously; with him was a dingy grey Hunter who cracked his knuckles in anticipation, “She looks perfect for your plan.” he growled, the Shadowed One nodded, a cold smile on his mask.
“But I’m forgetting my manners. You must be very thirsty.” He said, attempting to sound friendly while taking a water canister out and throwing it to Rionna.
“Oy, stumpy! What you think you’re doin?” the Dark Hunter beside the Shadowed One growled as the maimed Toa reached out to squeeze his fellow captive’s shoulder in warning.
The canister had landed at Rionna’s feet and while the Toa slumped back, she picked it up and shook it before throwing it as far from her as the bars would allow, “I’m not thirsty.” She replied, though desperate for a drink.
“Tough!” the Shadowed One snarled, unlocking the cage door and nodding to the one standing beside him, quickly the Dark Hunter entered the cage and caught hold of the defiant being.
For several moments, she managed to cling onto the bars until the dingy grey Hunter prised her hands loose and pinioned her under his arm, scooping up the canister as he left the cage.
“Hold her nose.” the Shadowed One said, undoing the lid and swirling the contents of the canister around, his eyes glowing evilly as Rionna struggled to avoid the Dark Hunter’s hand.
The maimed Toa of Stone watched helplessly as his fellow captive fought silently until she had to gasp for breath then the contents of the canister were forced down her throat.
Sinister chuckles came from the Shadowed One and his minion while Rionna spluttered, her eyes flickering as the drugged draught took effect.
A strange lethargy came over Rionna and everything felt distant as she went limp and was carried somewhere and placed down, “Make sure she can’t move.” A harsh voice snarled from close by.
While Rionna tried to focus on things around her, the servants hurried to do the Shadowed One’s orders.
When they’d finished tightening the straps around the drugged female, they scattered as the Shadowed One went to the work area and lifted down a canister, which glowed with an eerie red light from a cupboard.
The dingy grey Hunter looked on with interest as his boss carefully emptied the contents into a large syringe.
Rionna was dimly aware of her t-shirt being tugged up to show her midriff, then something cold brushed over the area below her ribs.
“Just there is perfect.” the malicious voice of the Shadowed One broke the silence as the vague sensation of something sharp rested against her side.
A low moan came from the bound form of the captive as the Shadowed One injected the contents of the canister, a vicious smile in his eyes, while the dingy grey Hunter spoke, “It’ll take a couple days for it to gestate.”
“Spirits protect her!” the Toa of Stone thought as the Dark Hunter began undoing the straps holding his fellow captive down as the Shadowed One watched before glancing over to where the pale chestnut Toa watched helplessly.
“I’ve not forgotten you.” he hissed as his minion carried the limp form of Rionna back into the cage and dropped her on the straw before slamming the door and locking it.
The pair then left, the Shadowed One laughing sinisterly, when the laughter faded from earshot, Kûri pulled himself as close as he could to where the limp figure lay.
“Can you hear me?” he whispered, watching the still form of his fellow captive anxiously.
Roughly fifteen minutes passed, then a low whisper reached his ears, “Yes.” came the faint reply as a hand rose up and waved weakly before flopping back onto the straw.
More time passed and Rionna found enough strength to brush some of the straw to one side so that she could see the watching Toa, a smile flickered briefly as she whispered, “I can see you.” before slipping back into unconsciousness.
Kûri watched as the female lay there, his eyes going over her face, “Yes, you are the one who is part of my destiny.” he thought, then settled as comfortably as he could and wondered if his closefriend still thought of him.
Several hours passed before Rionna became fully aware of her surroundings again and slowly raised her head to look for the Toa she’d seen earlier.
Some of the servants had returned to the lab and one was pushing a dish into the Toa’s cage, another watched cautiously as Rionna sat up, then pushed the dishes he carried into her cage.
“Thank you.” she whispered, even though the very sight of the food made her feel sick, the servant blinked then went to tidy some apparatus near by, surreptiously watching the female as he’d been ordered.
Brushing a hand over her side, Rionna winced at the tender area then moved to pick up the bowl of water and took a small sip.
“What is your name?” the Toa asked softly when his fellow captive had placed the water bowl down and was prodding the food curiously.
The green eyed being shifted closer to the bars and smiled, “It’s Rionna. Were you about to tell me yours when they came?”
“Yes, it’s Kûri.” he replied, curiously peering at what Rionna wore, “Please, tell me about yourself.” he then asked as she settled back in the straw, having moved to pick up the food dish.
Un-noticed by them, the spying servant moved closer as Rionna began speaking, telling Kûri about what she was, where she came from and when he asked her hair and clothing.
“So how did you get here?” he asked after thinking on all that the human had told him, Rionna sighed, “I’m not sure. One moment I was preparing to watch the brightest display of northern lights for a while. The next I’m floundering in a stormy sea, feeling dizzy and confused.”
She fell silent and rubbed the still tender area under her ribs while Kûri lent back against the bars and the spying servant quietly hurried off to make his report.
“Would you like this, I don’t feel hungry.” Rionna asked a few minutes later, stifling a yawn as she offered Kûri the untouched food.
“Thank you.” he replied, glancing worriedly at his new friend, concerned at how pale she looked, “What did they do to me?” Rionna enquired after she’d passed the food through to her friend and pushed as much of the straw as she could closer to where Kûri sat.
While Kûri explained what he’d seen, Rionna curled up in the straw and watched him, “No wonder my side hurts.” she murmured, wincing again before tugging her t-shirt up.
“Spirits!” Kûri whispered while Rionna swore loudly, where the injection had gone in was a small glowing mark, the same colour as the contents of the canister.
While pulling her top down, Rionna suddenly clamped a hand to her mouth then scrambled for the far side of the cage where she was violently sick.
“Ooooh, shouldn’t have drunk so much water.” came the reply when Kûri anxiously called out to her.
Brushing her hair back, Rionna suddenly realized the remaining servant was standing beside her cage; he glanced around nervously then passed her a damp cloth.
While she wiped her face, he silently cleared the mess up then covered the area with fresh straw.
“Sorry ‘bout that.” Rionna whispered, passing the cloth back, her cheeks glowing with embarrassment, “Just don’t let him know.” came the reply, as the servant hurried away.
Rionna nodded and made her way back to the straw pile, settling on it she quietly reassured her worried friend that she’d be alright.
“I should feel better after a rest.” she added yawning again, reaching through the bars into her cage, Kûri gently squeezed his friend’s shoulder then sat back and watched her drift into sleep.
It was the middle of the night when Rionna woke again and glanced around at the lab, to her surprise a small glowing green stone had been placed just inside the bars of her cage. Curious, she quickly moved to pick it up and returned to where she’d slept, whispering Kûri’s name as she knelt back down.
“I’m not asleep.” came the whispered reply as he shifted closer to the bars. Rionna showed him the pebble-sized stone and told him where she’d found it, “Looks like you’ve made a friend. It took him years to pluck up the courage to occasionally help me.” Kûri whispered before telling her how to brighten and dim the lightstone.
“I’ll hide it, I don’t want him to get into trouble.” she replied, slipping the lightstone deep into a pocket, “Any idea what time it is?” she asked, absently tugging straw out of her hair.
“Roughly half past two.” Kûri yawned, blinking sleepily. On seeing just how tired he was, Rionna shifted closer to the bars, "If you want to sleep, I'll keep watch." she said as the Toa fought to keep his eyes open.
"Thanks Rio..." came the reply as Kûri fell asleep mid sentence. Resting her chin on her knees, the human peered round at the dimly lit lab pondering again on what had occurred.
A soft noise reached Rionna a while later, and on peering around anxiously realized that it was Kûri. The pale chestnut Toa lay on his side, his hand reaching out as if to try and touch someone while tears ran down his face.
Reaching through the bars, Rionna managed to reach his hand and gently squeezed it, slowly Kûri's hand closed round hers and he began to wake up.
"Namis, I..." Kûri mumbled, still not fully awake while his gaze slowly focused on Rionna's puzzled expression, then he flushed and muttered an apology while letting her hand go. "It's alright, you looked so unhappy." Rionna said, sitting up and stretching the kink out of her shoulder.
"Who's Namis?" she asked a few minutes later, watching curiously at Kûri as he gazed into space lost in his memories. Several minutes passed then the pale chestnut Toa sighed, "She is my closefriend." he murmured, a wistful look in his eyes. Uncertain just what he meant, the human looked puzzled then murmured, after several moments of awkward silence, "I'm sorry I didn't know."
Glancing over to where she sat, Kûri saw that her face was red with embarrassment and chuckled softly, "It's alright, honestly. Look at what she gave me one midwinter festival."
Still highly embarrassed, Rionna peered curiously at her friend, then slipped her hand through the bars when he held his closed fist out. “It’s beautiful.” she whispered, holding the small blue glass ring up to catch the faint light, Kûri smiled, “Try it on.” he replied when she went to pass it back to him.
“You sure?” she asked, then when he nodded, tried the ring on several fingers, “It fits…but how?” the startled human glanced at her fellow captive in surprise.
Kûri smiled, “Namis found it on a beach, she always insisted that there was something special about it.” he replied.
Rionna was about to returned the ring to Kûri when the door creaked open and the servant who’d passed Rionna the damp cloth entered and glanced anxiously over to the cages before holding two fingers up in a silent warning before going over to the work area and began placing items out.
“Hide the ring and feign sleep.” Kûri whispered as he shifted back from the bars. Rionna had just enough time to slip it into the same pocket as the lightstone and curl up in the straw before the door slammed open and the lightstones brightened.
Watching from under her arm, Rionna glared at the Shadowed One as he and the dingy grey Dark Hunter went over to the work area and began mixing things together.
“Crion, get our little test subject.” The leader of the Dark Hunters growled roughly half an hour later as he passed a canister to him minion. Chuckling wickedly, the dingy grey Hunter sauntered over to the cage where Rionna was now sitting up.
“Time for your medicine.” he growled, entering the cage and approaching Rionna as she stood up. “Take it yourself!” she retorted, ducking his first attempt to grab her and tried to get to the door, as she did, he whirled round and caught her by the waist.
After several minutes of struggling and cursing, the dingy grey Hunter, now sporting a black eye, dumped Rionna’s limp but conscious form onto the table.
“Little Muaka.” he growled, tightening the straps around the captive with unnecessary force, the Shadowed One just smiled grimly, “With what Lariska said about that conniving Air Toa and the plans made, this will speed up the virus in our little ‘test subject’.”
“So the test will happen later today.” he added, glancing briefly over to the cage where the maimed Toa had propped himself against the bars and was watching silently.
As the sinister green liquid was injected into the same place as the virus, Rionna twitched, screamed and lost consciousness. “It’s much more fun when they do that.” the Shadowed One laughed coldly before stalking over to where Kûri sat, “No doubt you’re wondering what I have planned.” He taunted the maimed Toa.
Kûri didn’t reply, just stared at the one who’d taken his arm and legs until he snarled with annoyance at not getting a response and stalked back to the table.
“You’re a walking pile of Maha droppings.” came a whisper from Rionna as she regained consciousness and glared angrily at the Shadowed One. He snorted with amusement at her anger, and then glanced at his dingy grey minion, “Give it roughly two hours then we’ll see what happens.”
Nodding, the Dark Hunter removed the straps then dragged Rionna back to the cage, “Have a nap.” He growled pinching a nerve until her eyes flickered and closed.
Chuckling ominously, the Dark Hunter locked the cage, “This is going to be interesting.” he said, the Shadowed One glared at his minion, “It had better be. Remember what happened to the last one who claimed that.” before he left the lab.
Kûri hid a bitter smile as the Dark Hunter blanched and swallowed hard before hurrying to catch up with his boss. The pale chestnut hued Toa shifted to the edge of his cage as the door closed and watched Rionna for a while. Though she was unconscious, her body twitched as the recently injected liquid merged with the virus and spread through her body.
Dawn was breaking when Kûri heard the sound of footsteps drawing closer and the door was opened by a servant, the dingy grey Dark Hunter close behind him and he immediately went to examine Rionna. “Hmm, still breathing. Good.” Crion muttered then snapped to attention as the Shadowed One walked in.
“Wake her.” he ordered, his tail twitching in anticipation, the dingy grey Dark Hunter looked apprehensive as he bent over Rionna, pinching the nerve he’d pinched last time, then swiftly straightened up and stepped back.
Several minutes passed, then Rionna’s eyes opened and she focused on leering Dark Hunter before slowly sitting up. Her side where the injections had gone in now glowed sinisterly through her t-shirt “Now that looks promising.” the Shadowed One chuckled ominously as the human glanced down in horror.
At the Dark Hunters Leader’s nod, the dingy grey Hunter picked up the stunned captive and lifted her out of the cage. “Well little Rionna, seeing as you like your ‘room-mate’ here’s your chance to make friends.” the Shadowed One hissed malevolently as Crion dropped her in the straw close to where the maimed Toa sat. Still feeling dazed, Rionna lay where she’d been dropped, blinking and wondering why she felt so strange.
Kûri silently watched as the dingy grey Hunter left, slamming the door then shifted closer to his friend as she managed to sit up and smile at him. Solemnly the maimed Toa then held his hand out in the time-honoured salute, for a moment Rionna looked startled then shyly touched her fist to his.
When Kûri lowered his hand, the Shadowed One smiled in grim satisfaction on seeing a fading red mark across the Toa’s knuckles. “And so it begins.” He thought while Rionna glanced puzzled at her knuckles where a similar red mark was fading.
Several minutes passed, then suddenly the door opened and a murky blue figure entered, hurried over to the Shadowed One and began his report. The leader of the Dark Hunters listened, his eyes glowing with annoyance, “Let’s go. You! Watch and record what happens.” The Shadowed One snapped at the servant while Crion chucked a notebook on the table.
When the door slammed closed, the servant sighed and picked the notebook up then paused, glanced anxiously at the door and came to a decision. While he dashed off, Kûri felt rather dizzy and swayed slightly, seeing her friend’s face rapidly turn paler, Rionna shook off her own disorientation and moved to support him.
"What's happening?" she whispered, letting Kûri lean against her, he didn't say anything as he struggled against the growing dizziness. "Would water help?" the servant whispered, surprising Rionna. Glancing round she saw that he'd pushed bowls of food and water as far as he could reach, "That's a great help, thank you." she replied, watching as he then wrote down what was happening to Kûri, "I'm sorry but if I don't..." he murmured as he finished writing.
The human nodded, then glanced anxiously at her friend as he managed to sit up, thankful that the dizziness had passed. Before he could move further, Rionna went to pick up the dishes and carried them back. A shudder went through her as she glanced at the food, then at Kûri, whom also looked sick at the sight of it as a shudder ran through his thin frame.
“I don’t feel hungry.” Kûri admitted after looking at the food for several minutes, Rionna nodded, “I know what you mean. Ever since the first injection, I’ve had no appetite.” She muttered then offered her friend the water bowl. Reaching out to accept it, Kûri was startled to see his hand trembling uncontrollably, as Rionna hurriedly set the bowl down and tried to help somehow while the servant sighed and noted down what was happening.
“I don’t feel too good.” The pale chestnut Toa whispered as Rionna helped him to settle back on the straw, her eyes betraying the concern she tried to hide as she anxiously watched him.
“Hhhssst, here.” the whisper from outside the cage startled Rionna and as she glanced up a dry cloth sailed into the cage, landing not far from the straw. “Thanks.” she replied, damping it and placing it over Kûri’s forehead, by now the Toa was shaking uncontrollably and his forehead was hot and feverish.
Half an hour later, the strange shaking begun to ease and Kûri let Rionna help him to sit up again. While the servant hastily scribbled down what he’d seen, Kûri had a drink of the remaining water then glanced dazedly around at his surroundings.
The human was watching her friend anxiously while she wrung the cloth out removing the excess water then gently wiped his forehead. “What is happening?” Rionna asked, a yawn escaping her as Kûri insisted that she lent against his side and he rested his arm round her shoulders.
“I’ve been infected by the virus that he injected you with.” The Toa of Stone replied his tone filled with bitterness at the Shadowed One’s ages old plan.
"It's killing me." Kûri added softly when he thought his young friend had fallen asleep, the servant, at those words blanched and dropped the notebook, rubbing his face to try and dry his eyes.
Leaning against Kûri, eyes closed Rionna was horrified by the Toa's calm acceptance and slowly tears began running down her cheeks as he gently hugged her.
Kûri gradually became aware that his chest was growing damp and glanced at Rionna, the human was silently watching him, her face soaked with tears.
"Hey, come on. I was told years ago that my destiny would be revealed when I met someone unique to this world." Kûri said trying to reassure his friend, as she dashed tears from her eyes a shudder ran through her body.
"But it's not right. Yo...you shouldn't go like this." she cried as Kûri hugged her tightly and was about to reply when he began coughing.
"I think you should keep the ring." he managed to say as the coughing grew in intensity then was unable to speak as he clung to Rionna while she supported him.
The servant clutched the bars, powerless to help his friend and watched as the human dabbed blood from the edges of Kûri's mouth as he continued coughing, the sound now ragged and tearing.
The coughing began growing weaker as Kûri clung to Rionna; exhausted by the strength of the spasms his head drooped onto her shoulder as he drifted into fitful sleep.
"What is your name?" Rionna whispered so as not to wake their dying friend when the servant miserably picked up the notebook and wrote in it.
He glanced up at the weary human, briefly envious that she could do more to aid his friend, then ashamed of his feeling whispered, "It's Onair." A quiet murmur tickled Rionna's ear, "That's a good name." Kûri said as he roused and tried to straighten up, then with Rionna's help settled back in the straw.
By now the Toas' heartlight was beginning to flicker and Onair was hard pressed not to cry, while Rionna clutched Kûri's hand, willing him to beat the virus she'd unwillingly infected him with.
"Be strong, both of you. And may the Great..." Kûri whispered, his strength growing fainter with each breath, unable to finish the sentence Kûri's fingers slowly closed around Rionna's hands and he smiled weakly trying to reassure her, "Don't go, please." the human whispered, her red rimmed eyes filling with fresh tears.
A soft sigh came from the dying Toa and as his eyes closed Kûri found a final burst of strength and managed to whisper the rest of his sentence, "Spirit watch over and guide you." then Kûri's heartlight gave a final flicker and went out.
Rionna slumped back, her hands still tight around Kûri's as his fingers loosened tears streaming down her face.
While she sat there stunned, a movement flickered at the corner of her eye, puzzled the human turned towards it and gasped in stunned amazement, Onair also watched in surprise.
Watching them with a smile on his mask was a ghostly Toa; he bowed to the stunned watchers then faded from sight.
Several minutes passed then the servant noted down the final bit of what had happened to Kûri before he'd died then placed the notebook back on the table.
Rionna gently rested Kûri's hand on his chest then attempted to clean the blood from his face, her tears helping as they fell unchecked, when she'd done the best she could Rionna went and sat as close to Onair as she could.
"Was that Toa Kûri we saw?" she whispered after several minutes, glancing at him, the servant nodded.
"As he was when I first saw several Dark Hunters dragging him into this cage." he softly replied glancing around before resting a hand on Rionna's shoulder, no longer caring what would happen to him.
Rionna had just slipped into a grief induced slumber when the Shadowed One and Crion returned startling her awake as the dingy grey Hunter grabbed Onair by his throat.
"Blast we missed the fun." he snarled, while the Shadowed One read the notes taken, he then began laughing as he showed it to Crion, the cold sound echoing around the laboratory.
"If the virus does this to a weakened Toa, just think what it'll do to healthy ones. Pity we don't have a Turaga captive to see what would happen."
Rionna looked at the laughing pair in shock, while her small friend fought for breath then grabbed the empty bowl and hurled it at Crion in an attempt to make him drop her friend.
"Ah!" the dingy grey Hunter yelled as the bowl shattered on his arm, dropping Onair hard on the ground.
The servant crawled to where Rionna stood at the bars and wrapped his arms around one, coughing and wheezing.
Crouching to check her friend Rionna glared at their tormentors, the Shadowed One was watching her closely while Crion picked shards from his arm swearing venomously.
"Open the door and quit winging." the leader of the Dark Hunters growled menacingly as the servant finally regained his breath and cautiously watched them.
When Crion opened the cage door the Shadowed One ducked his head as he entered the cage and briefly glanced at Kûri's body before turning to where Rionna was still crouched beside Onair.
A horrified gasp came from the servant, when the Shadowed One's eyes began glowing, and he gripped Rionna's arm tightly.
Then as she looked up the Shadowed One glanced over to the straw and she watched horrified as two beams of light shot from his eyes and hit Kûri's body reducing it to atoms.
"No!" Rionna gasped as the beams faded and he turned back to where she was crouched, her arms now around the servant's shoulders.
Even with the bars between them, the pair clung to each other seeking comfort while Crion tried to pull them apart.
Steely hands dragged Rionna away from Onair and the bars then as she struggled the Shadowed One's eyes glowed intently and the beams struck her friend.
An ear splitting scream of grief echoed around the lab as Onair disintegrated, then the Shadowed One roared in pain as Rionna had managed to twist around and sunk her teeth into his hand.
Letting go of the human's garment, the Shadowed One struck her across the face, and as she collapsed to the floor examined his bleeding hand.
"Just as well the virus doesn't affect Dark Hunters." his cold voice growled as Rionna slowly regained consciousness and cautiously opened her eyes.
Crion finished tightening the bandage around his leaders' hand then glanced at the crumpled figure as she watched the Dark Hunters.
Unseen by those in the lab, Onair scrambled up then looked around as he realized he wasn't alone.
"Toa Kûri!" he exclaimed in surprise before bowing to his friend as he had wanted to do for so long.
The Toa Spirit smiled quietly, then both watched as the dingy grey Hunter picked up their human friend before the Shadowed One forced her to drink from a canister.
As she fell unconscious, Kûri rested his hand on Onair's shoulder, "We have to go my friend." he explained when Onair glanced up at him.
"But what about Rionna?" the former servant exclaimed as mist began swirling around them, hiding the lab from sight.
Kûri sighed, "Only the Great Beings know." he replied as they began walking deeper into the spirit realm.
Kokua aviatrix - September 26, 2009 10:41 AM (GMT)
Holding the limp form of Rionna in his arms, Crion nodded as he was given instructions on where he and Garbh should leave the 'trap' for the patrolling Toa to find.
The Shadowed One smiled darkly at the anger in Crion's eyes on finding out who he was partnered with, then hid a wince as his bitten hand pained him.
While the Dark Hunter left the lab the Shadowed One began laughing, thinking of the devastation that the red virus would cause then followed the pissed off Dark Hunter who was making his way to the jetty.
On the way a servant was ordered to inform Garbh that there was a mission for him, much to Crion's annoyance.
Biting his tongue, the dingy grey Hunter carried the human onto a small boat and placed her in the bows before catching the canister the Shadowed One threw at him.
"Make sure she remains unconscious. We don't want the surprise spoilt." he growled, smiling grimly as cold laughter rang around the jetty as those not on missions nudged each other in amusement.
Then as the boat departed they wandered off, leaving the Shadowed One watching the boat until it vanished from sight.
As dawn approached over Po-metru, the Dark Hunters found a small inlet to berth their boat and carried the sleeping human to shore.
"So how far is the drop point?" Garbh asked while prodding Rionna to see if she needed a third drink of the sleeping draught.
"A few bio." came the terse reply as Crion glanced around before shifting Rionna's limp form.
While he carried her, Crion and Garbh kept a wary eye out for sign of the Toa patrol they had to leave the 'trap' for.
Unknown to the Dark Hunters, Rionna was semi-conscious and feigning sleep as they raced through the desert.
"This is the place." Crion said, stopping abruptly before he dumped Rionna on the ground. As she rolled over they watched intently to make sure the human was still out cold.
"Come on, if the traitor's right the patrol will be along in the next fifteen minutes." Garbh said, Crion nodded, "Pity we can't stay and watch the fun." he replied.
As their fading footsteps told Rionna the Dark Hunters were leaving, she drowsily began counting as she lay on the sand, bleeding from small cuts caused by the sand.
When she'd reached one hundred, the human slowly opened her eyes and glanced around, the only things she could see were several distant rock formations and some low scrubby bushes.
Carefully sitting up Rionna lent against a rock and checked the cuts on her arms, then, unsure as to why took K¨±ri's ring from her pocket and put it on.
Still feeling groggy from the amount of sleeping draught she'd been forced to drink, Rionna rested her head in her arms and slowly began weeping for her lost friends.
"Look I know what I heard!" a pale turquoise Toa snapped, glancing irritatedly at Halak as they and several other Toa patrolled the flatlands of Po-metru.
"Alright sister, take it easy." the topaz hued Toa calmly replied as Pakele scanned the surrounding area while listening to her friends' conversation.
"Namis is still anxious about that dream that woke her." she confided to Skian, the steel hued Toa nodded as they travelled past rocky outcrops.
"Over there." Namis said a while later, pointing towards a distant area, the patrol could see a figure lent against an outcrop, its' arms around its' knees.
Fanning out, the patrol silently moved towards the strange figure ready for anything, or so they thought.
Wiping the tears from her face Rionna caught sight of the armoured figures cautiously approaching her, anxiously she looked around, "I can't let them touch me!" she whimpered.
There was a small crevasse in the outcrop she'd been leaning against and as the Toa drew nearer she tried to fit into it, but it was too narrow.
"No, no. I can't let the Toa touch me." a cry of despair rang across the plain, bouncing off the outcrops causing the Toa to slow and come to a halt half a bio from the outcrop where the figure was now watching them anxiously.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" the steel hued Toa demanded, then the patrol listened intently and with growing outrage as Rionna slowly managed to tell them, between sobs, what had taken place and been done to K¨±ri, Onair and herself.
Namis sank to the ground in shock on hearing what had happened to her closefriend, her eyes never leaving the human, while Pakele and Halak conferred on what to do about keeping the Toa and Turaga Dume safe.
"There's a cave nearby with provisions stored for emergencies. She can live-stay there." Murlainn commented after several minutes, the Air Toa's remark was met with approval and the patrol glanced at Rionna.
She nodded and as Namis stood up, watched as the patrol formed a circle then waited for the human to move to the centre.
"This way we can safe guard you from wild rahi-beasts." Murlainn explained when Rionna paused, worried by what they wanted her to do.
Quietly she nodded and moved into the circle formed by the patrol and they began the journey to the cave mentioned.
It was mid morning when they arrived at the cave, Namis and a fire Toa watched over Rionna as she rubbed her eyes.
"You look tired." Ruadh commented gently before swapping places with Pakele and going to help Halak and Murlainn while the others kept watch for any other threats.
Half an hour later, Skian joined the Water Toa and Rionna, "Things are ready, come and see." he smiled gently, wondering if the human should look so pale.
They stopped outside and let Rionna explore her new home, "Thank you." she said when she returned to the cave entrance.
"We've made a temporary gate to protect you and us." Halak added as Skian, Murlainn and Ruadh hoisted up a grid made of interlocked spears and carefully placed it over the cave entrance.
"What will happen now?" the human asked, leaning against the wall to hide her growing dizziness, "We will return to the coliseum and tell Turaga Dume of what you've told us. Then come back in a few days to see how you are and replenish the water containers." Ruadh explained while the patrol regrouped, all nodding in agreement.
Rionna managed a smile for the first time that day, "I'll look forward to seeing you." she replied while stifling a yawn.
"You should get some sleep-rest, you look exhausted." Murlainn added gently, "I will. You take care." Rionna replied then watched the patrol until they'd vanished into the distance.
"Oh Toa Namis. I am so sorry." she whispered, turning to go and settle on the blankets, swaying as she stood there Rionna tried to walk but fell to her knees as dizziness swept over her.
"Must rest." the human mumbled, not realizing she was feverish as she tried to push herself up, gripping the wall.
Rionna managed a few steps before passing out, collapsing to the floor, while the virus continued attacking its host as the Shadowed One had planned.
Several hours passed and in a realm unknown to Toa, Turaga or Matoran, a dusky spirit roused from her meditations and prepared to intervene.
As the sunlight filtered into the cave, a glowing light coalesced into a Toa like being.
She peered at the still figure lying on the ground then nodded, raising her hands.
A blue glowing mist surrounded Rionna and lifted her from the ground.
"No don't touch me." a weak feverish moan came from the human as the spirit telekinetically manoeuvred her to rest on the blankets.
The spirit could see that this being she'd been told to help was dying as she watched and focused her energy, knowing that this healing would take her a long time to recover from.
"Precious star, your time is not yet." the dusky Great Spirit spoke, then she began singing, the song swept around the cave before coalescing around the comatose human.
Slowly the mist and song merged together enveloping Rionna in its embrace and hiding her from sight.
The singer continued her song as it and the light deepened in intensity as she concentrated, bringing her hands together and focusing most of her energy into a sphere of blinding multi-coloured light.
The song then changed to one, which wouldn't be heard on Metru Nui for aeons as the dusky Great Spirit released the sphere and it drifted into the mist and song around Rionna.
The light grew even brighter before slowly fading away revealing the comatose form of Rionna, she was still wracked with fever, but now free of the virus.
"Sleep deeply, little one." the weary Great Spirit whispered softly while covering Rionna with a blanket, then she returned to where she'd come from to regain her strength.
When the patrol returned to the coliseum and made their report to the Turaga of Metru Nui he glanced up from the plans while Lhikan listened intently.
"You left this human on her own?" he replied then nodded as they explained why, before nodding in agreement and asking them to help figure out where the supplies had to go.
"It's a shame about Kuri." Dume added in a quieter tone after verbally dissecting what the Shadowed One had tried to do.
"If you want, we'll go back to where Rionna is tomorrow." Skian said while peering at the plans.
For several minutes the Turaga stood in thought before writing a note and headed over to one of the Vahki, the Vahki nodded its' compliance before flying out the room.
The patrol listened as Lhikan then explained further about the supplies, which would be arriving quite soon.
"That is good to know." Pakele said, while figuring out how many would be going to Ga-metru then glanced at Namis.
The pale turquoise Toa hadn't said much since learning about K¨±ri's fate, her eyes shone with unshed tears and her hands were clenched so tightly her knuckles were white.
Returning to the group, Turaga Dume paused beside the silent Toa and glanced up at her strained expression, "Have a seat and let it out." he murmured gruffly before going over to the table and began tidying the plans away.
While Halak helped comfort the grieving Water Toa, the others discussed what things they should take out to the cave.
They were still talking about the days events when the Vorzahk returned with Nahele, the malachite hued Toa listened fascinated as Ruadh filled him in.
"Turaga Dume, Lhikan!" a shout suddenly broke the quiet conversation as a emerald hued Toa raced into the room and skidded to a halt as he began speaking.
In the cave, Rionna lay under the blanket murmuring quietly in her fever wracked dreams; her hand curled around the pebble-sized lightstone Onair had given her.
The morning after the failed attempt by the Dark Hunters and the traitorous Air Toa Nidhiki to wipe out the Toa, the patrol headed out to where they'd left Rionna.
As they travelled on the Vahki that Turaga Dume had insisted they took, Pakele talked with Nahele about the human in more detail now they had time.
"So that's why I had to travel-come with you." the malachite Toa remarked with a smile as the cave came into sight.
"What!?" Skian exclaimed stunned as the patrol saw that the grid had been moved and now lay on the ground.
Cautiously the Toa climbed from the Vahki and taking their weapons out drew closer to the cave entrance.
"It looks like it's been blown out." Halak remarked as he finished examining the grid, "Nahele, what can you show us?" Skian asked, glancing at their vibrantly hued brother.
Raising his hands the Air Toa activated his mask and projected a square of light onto a nearby rock, which cleared to show the inside of the cave.
"Why hasn't she brightened the lightstones?" Halak muttered anxiously while Nahele shifted the image around.
"Look, there." Pakele exclaimed, gesturing to the pile of blankets, as the image centred on them, there was a slight movement and Rionna shifted into sight.
"Mata Nui! What's a Matoran doing here?" Skian gasped in surprise, Namis on the other hand glanced closer at the image then before the others could prevent her raced into the cave.
"Sister what are you doing?" the steel hued Toa shouted while the others watched Nahele's image anxiously.
Pausing to let her eyes adjust to the dim light, Namis moved to where the Matoran lay and crouched for a better look, nodding as she saw the ring she'd given K¨±ri.
Glancing back to the entrance she caught a glimpse of Murlainn, "It's Rionna." she called, then knowing Nahele would still have the image up reached out and rested her hand on the Matoran's brow.
A chorus of shocked comments exploded from her brothers and sisters as they watched Namis as she then examined her hand before holding it up for Nahele to see.
After showing her unmarked hand to the others, Namis gently wrapped the feverish Matoran in several blankets then left the cave.
"Don't ever do that again, sister." Skian said sternly as she let them look at the unconscious form in her arms.
"I'm sure Turaga Dume will chew me up soon enough. Now let's get Rionna to a healer." Namis replied as they started back to the Vahki.
The Vahki, Namis had travelled on had relayed what she'd done to the coliseum and all the Vahki now had instructions to go directly to the coliseum.
"How do you know she's free of the virus?" Ruadh asked when the patrol reached the Vahki, "Rionna said she saw a red mark on her knuckles after K¨±ri...K¨±ri tapped fists with her. But that didn't happen when I touched her forehead back there."
The pale turquoise Toa fell silent as she climbed on the Bordahk and carefully positioned the bundled up yellow/pale green Matoran safely before glancing defiantly at her fellow Toa.
They nodded, knowing there was no talking with Namis when she was in this mood, and climbed aboard the Vahki, which took off and started back to the inhabited regions of Metru Nui.
The air as it rushed over the returning patrol briefly roused Rionna and her eyes flickered briefly before she lapsed back into unconsciousness.
When the Vahki didn't land in Po-metru, the Toa glanced at each other, "Looks like Turaga Dume wants a word now." Pakele murmured, glancing over to where Namis sat watching the coliseum, her arms holding Rionna protectively.
As the Vahki landed in the arena, close to the tower entrance the patrol could see Turaga Dume and two healers watching, him in annoyance and the Ga-matoran curiously.
"Go with the healers and I'll want a word with you later Toa Namis." Turaga Dume said when the patrol reached him, "Meanwhile the rest can tell me what they saw."
Silently Namis bowed then followed the healers inside, as she did Dume turned and led the others to a small conference room.
"In here, Toa." Lakino quietly said after they'd reached the third floor and entered a corridor leading past various rooms.
The room they entered had several beds and Namis swiftly moved to the nearest and gently placed the feverishly delirious Matoran down then watched as the healers began their work.
A while later Sl¨¤na came over with a drink, "Here this will help." she murmured before returning to help Lakino.
Sitting on the bed nearest the one Rionna lay on, Namis sipped the drink and watched anxiously, several minutes later there was a sigh followed by the clatter of the beaker as Namis succumbed to the sleeping draught she'd been slipped.
Glancing up the healers nodded briefly then continued trying to help their patient.
Several hours later the exhausted healers sat on one of the beds, "All we can do now is wait. The next three days will be critical." Lakino whispered, her gaze drifting back to where the yellow/pale green Matoran lay, a damp cloth over her forehead.
Sl¨¤na nodded, then both looked over to the door as it opened and two Vahki entered with Turaga Dume, while the Vahki placed the trays down the red and black Turaga moved to where Namis was waking up.
"How do you feel? Skian has told me all of what happened." he said as the turquoise hued Toa sat up, "I feel hungry. How long have I been asleep?" she replied as Turaga Dume sat beside her.
"That's good." he said, then they listened to what the healers had to say including answering Namis's question.
When they'd finished speaking, Namis insisted on passing the dishes to the healers before taking the remaining ones over to where she'd slept and handed one to Turaga Dume.
Slowly Rionna began to regain consciousness, struggling up through clouds of confusion she managed to open her eyes.
"Where?" a barely audible whisper made everyone jump and the healers dropped their dishes and hurried to the bed as Rionna tried to sit up.
"Easy, lay back. It's too soon for you to move." a sky blue Matoran said as she gently prevented the feverish Matoran from trying to get up.
At a nod from Turaga Dume, Namis joined the healers as Rionna looked in confusion at those around her, "Easy, Rionna. It'll be alright." the turquoise hued Toa gently said, catching the Matoran's hand.
"No, don't touch me." Rionna whimpered as the fever began to dominate her again, dragging her back into delirium.
Watching as the strangely coloured Matoran passed out, Turaga Dume dismissed the Vahki and moved to join Namis, who watched anxiously, her hand tightly gripped by Rionna.
"Looks like you'll be staying here for a while," he commented softly, "It's alright, as Skian said I can chew you out later. But for now you're needed here." he added, a brief smile crossing his mask, then Dume left the room.
Namis nodded unable to bow then watched Rionna as Lakino carefully replaced the cloth onto her patient's forehead.
For three days the healers, Namis and Pakele, who insisted on helping fought to keep Rionna's fever under control.
"Sisters, you should rest, the healers have fallen asleep midmouthful." Easan said as she peered around the door before moving to join them.
"I know, but the fever's reaching its crisis point." Pakele yawned, rubbing her eyes wearily, Namis nodded to sleepy to argue before glancing at Rionna, sitting beside her, the azure hued Toa also peered at the Matoran.
Rionna lay there, her hand still clutching Namis's while she murmured random incoherent words and sentences, her mask was pale and hot to touch as Easan beat Pakele's move to dampen the cloth.
"Poor thing, she's been badly used." the azure Toa murmured compassionately as Namis yawned, rested her head on the bed and fell asleep.
"You have a nap sister, I'll keep watch over her." Easan insisted as Pakele yawned again, her head jolting up as she tried to stay awake.
"Alright, wake me in..." hte dark blue Toa whispered, falling asleep mid sentence.
Glancing around at the sleeping healers and her sisters, Easan nodded, "Sleep well you all need it." she whispered before peering at the yellow/pale green Matoran.
"The picture Murlainn drew of your original from was fascinating." she thought, gently dampening the cloth again, "Onair wait." the Matoran moaned softly, her free hand reaching out before falling back on her chest.
"Easy Rionna." Easan whispered then glanced up as Turaga Dume, Skian and Phira entered the sickroom, silently they listened to Easan then Skian lifted Pakele up and rested her on the bed beside the one Lakino and Sl¨¤na shared.
"You were right to insist they rested." Turaga Dume murmured as Easan shifted to give him space to check on Rionna, the azure Toa nodded then blushed as Skian joined them.
Tactfully ignoring the blushing Toa, the Turaga watched the feverish Matoran for several minutes then handed a packet of herbs to Easan, "Place them under the cloth." he instructed as she glanced at him inquisitively.
Lifting the dry cloth from Rionna's forehead Easan gently put the herbs in place before wetting the cloth and replacing it.
A gentle fragrance slowly spread through out the room, rousing the healers who stretched before joining those around Rionna's bed.
Skian, feeling at a loose end went over to the windows and gazed out towards Onu-metru, "Oh brother, I hope you're at peace now." he thought when he turned his gaze in the direction of Po-metru.
"Hold her!" a sudden cry went up as Rionna began trying to get up, the fever at its strongest.
"Please, K¨±ri, Onair wait for me. Don't go." the delirious Matoran cried out, fighting against Easan and the healers, her eyes gazing around blankly.
For several minutes the struggling Matoran cried and pleaded for her friends before suddenly collasping into Easans' arms.
Gently the azure hued Toa rested Rionna back and everyone watched anxiously until the Matoran's breathing told them she was past the worst.
It was late afternoon as the suns broke through the clouds and brightened up the room where Rionna had been moved to.
The healers had gone to rest and the Water Toa who'd kept watch had been pestered into also getting some much needed rest by their brothers and sisters.
Phira and Atinu were taking their turn watching over the sleeping Matoran while quietly talking about the events of the past few days.
"I'm still shocked he would even think of betrayal." a soft voice roused Rionna and she slowly opened her eyes, blinking away the dryness and focusing on the indigo and platinum Toa sitting nearby.
"Thirsty." a whisper reached Atinu as Phira stared out the window and he glanced over to where the Matoran lay, looking hopeful as she watched the Toa.
When the icy Toa moved to help Rionna, Phira glanced around and moved to assist, gently she propped the yellow/pale green Matoran up using the pillows Murlainn had brought through.
"Aren't you worried about the virus?" Rionna croaked, her throat still dry as the indigo hued Toa made sure she was comfortable.
Sitting back Phira smiled gently, "No little one. Somehow you've been cured of it."
Atinu then carefully held the beaker for Rionna to sip from, as he did she managed to raise her hand to try and hold the beaker.
"Oh, what has happened to me." Rionna murmured, her stunned gaze fixed on her hand, "We don't know." Atinu replied as the Matoran glanced up at the Toa.
Bewildered yet fascinated, Rionna had another sip of the juice then her gaze shifted back to her buttercup coloured hand as she drifted back to sleep.
Gently tucking the coverlet back around Rionna's shoulders, Phira glanced at her closefriend, "Namis will be delighted to know Rionna's woken. She's wanting to return that small lightstone.
When Rionna woke again it was the middle of the night and sitting watching over her were Murlainn and Namis.
The pale turquoise Toa was watching the view from the window and didn't notice they were being watched.
"Want-need some juice?" the sage green Toa whispered as the Matoran smiled shyly at him, "Please it tastes nice." she replied as Namis hearing them chat, turned back to the bed and smiled at their weak friend.
When Rionna had managed as much of the drink as she could and Murlainn was making her comfortable again, Namis placed a fine silver chain around the Matoran's neck.
"This will keep your lightstone safe." she explained as Rionna glanced at the wire wrapped lightstone on the end of the chain, her eyes drooping wearily as she fell asleep.
"Thank y..." the whisper hung in the air as both Toa watched their small friend, "How long do you think she'll need all this sleep-rest for?" Murlainn commented placing the beaker beside the jug on the table.
Namis glanced at her brother and shrugged, "It could take several weeks or even longer." then both glanced to where Turaga Dume muttered in his sleep, turning over as he did.
"It was a bit of a surprise when he insisted on moving Rionna here to his quarters." Namis whispered as the red and black Turaga settled again, a puzzled expression on his Kiril as he slept.
Several days passed and Rionna slowly began spending more awake, though she was extremely weak the unusally coloured Matoran was curious to learn about her new friends and they in turn about her.
Turaga Dume took great interest in hearing about Rionna's past and spent one evening taking notes while Rionna lent against the pillows, alternetly dimming and brightening her lightstone pendant.
"Would you draw a picture of Onair? Though he wasn't a Matoran he deserves to be remembered." Dume said as he finished, set his pen down then looked over to where Rionna was snuggling under the covers.
"Mmmm, I'll do my best Turaga." the Matoran drowsily replied as she drifted into sleep, the red and black hued Turaga smiled and went to rest.
Unknown to the Turaga of Metru Nui, someone was watching him with malevolent intent and was nearly ready to make his move.
When Turaga Dume was asleep, a shadow appeared in the room and tipped a powder into the jug beside Rionna's bed.
"This'll ensure you can't interfere." the red eyed shadow thought, a sly cold smile crossing his mask before he vanished from the room.
When Rionna woke the following morning she realized that Turaga Dume wasn't there and glanced at the clock, "Eleven o' clock! How long am I going to carry on doing this?" she mused while pouring out some juice.
Sipping it the Matoran read the note Turaga Dume had lent against the beaker, 'Namis will come by shortly.'
Delighted Rionna smiled and finished her drink before picking up the paper and pencils that Dume had placed there and began sketching Onair.
Ten minutes later the pale turquoise Toa entered Dume's bedroom and settled on the edge of Rionna's bed.
"I would have been here sooner but Takua was being chased by the Vahki again and tried to hide behind me." she explained, her golden eyes glowing as she laughed Rionna joining in, then both glanced around as a Vahki entered bearinga tray and a note.
"I've got to go to Ga-metru for a while," Namis said after reading the note, "But I'll drop in to visit you again." she added when Rionna looked
"Okay, but I'll be glad when I can explore the metru with you, Toa Namis." the Matoran replied then watched her friend depart before having another drink of juice.
Tugging the paper back to her, Rionna paused as her vision blurred then she felt giddy, "Strange." she muttered then, when another wave affected her, placed the drawing down and lay back.
She was still laying there when Turaga Dume peered in to see how she was, "I feel weird." Rionna whimpered when he asked, while placing a small tablet on his work table.
"I'll be right back." Dume said, hiding his concern about how the Matoran looked pale while her eyes glowed with fever.
"Get Lakino and Sl¨¤na. Rionna's having a relapse." the Turaga of Metru Nui instructed the nearest Vahki, the machine nodded, shifted to flight mode and left the tower as Turaga Dume re-entered his quarters.
Checking Rionna, the Turaga found she'd lapsed into a fitful sleep he gently brushed a hand over her hot mask then went to examine the table knowing the healers were coming.
Several minutes passed and Rionna woke and watched Turaga Dume as he slowly began translating the prophecy, "Of course. But what does it foretell?" he suddenly muttered, gazing into space.
As the Turaga stood deep in thought while Rionna lay watching semi-conscious the door opened silently as a figure entered.
Movement caught Rionna's eye and she watched in shock as the figure approached Turaga Dume then struggled to try and warn him.
A slight movement caught the Turaga's attention and as he turned in its direction, Rionna watched helplessly Dume was knocked unconscious by his double who then ordered the Vahki with him to place Turaga Dume in a silver sphere.
"Take it to the Canyon of Unending Whispers." the false Dume said while he moved towards Rionnas' bed as the Vahki did his bidding.
"You have seen too much, so..." the false Turaga chuckled darkly as he lifted the jug and swirled the contents around.
Shaking her head Rionna tried desperately from the bed but was too weak, "Drink up!" a cold gravely voice suddenly echoed around the room as the false Turaga lent over her.
"Turaga, what is wrong with Rionna?" a worried voice broke the silence as Makuta tried again to make Rionna drink the drugged juice, hiding his anger the false Turaga glanced up.
"She's delirious again and thinks I mean to harm her." he calmly replied, stepping back as the healers hurried to Rionna's bedside.
Desperately Rionna clung to Sl¨¤na, too terrified to speak as she and Lakino tried to comfort her, while the false Turaga watched, feigning concern. His gaze turning cold when the healers couldn't see and enjoying the feverish Matoran's reaction.
When Rionna whimpered and burst into tears Lakino took a small canister out her bag and gently coaxed her into drinking the healing draught.
Slowly Rionna's eyes closed as she drifted into healing sleep, still desperately trying to warn the healers of the danger they were in, her arms slipping from Sl¨¤na¡¯s neck.
While Lakino helped Sl¨¤na make Rionna comfortable, the false Turaga instructed the Vahki on what they were to do with the healers.
"Turaga Dume, we'll need to go and get more herbs." Lakino said, watching him as he finished instructing the Vahki.
"Of course and the Vahki will assist you." he replied with a smile while silently laughing at the trusting naivety of Matoran.
The healers bowed, then left the room followed by the Vahki, brief cries of alarm were heard from outside as the Vahki followed their orders.
Silence fell then a Rorzahk entered carrying a silver sphere while two more Vahki carried two, now occupied spheres away to store below the coliseum.
Watching as the Vahki placed the sphere down, Makuta glanced at Rionna as she whimpered in her sleep, "Bury it deep in the Po-metru desert where no-one will find it." he instructed the Vahki after the unconscious Matoran had been placed in the sphere.
Picking the sphere up the Vahki signaled its compliance and left the private quarters of Turaga Dume, the disguised form of Makuta following close behind.
Unknown to the Dark Spirit another had witnessed what had happened to Rionna, and her sleepy gaze followed the path of the Rorzahk into the desert.
"When it is time you will be found." she promised, before lapsing back into restorative sleep.
The dusky spirit wasn't the only one watching the single Vahki as it carried the sphere deep into the desert.
Watching from the shade of a nearby canyon the Kikanalo herd rumbled curiously amongst themselves.
*We should remember this* the chief growled softly as the herd watched the machine excavating a deep hole before it placed the sphere in and began covering it.
When the Vahki had finished and left, having knocked several rocks over the spot, the Kikanalo went and throughly examined the area, memorizing it carefully.
Moving from the area the herd made their way back to their feeding grounds, quietly discussing what they'd seen.
Kokua aviatrix - October 10, 2009 10:34 AM (GMT)
Years passed during which the Toa Metru battled with the Morbuzakh, imprisoned Makuta, managed to defeat Sidorahk, Roodahka and the Visorahk hordes and finally relocate the Matoran to the Island of Mata Nui.
Then they awoke them, becoming Turaga in the process before helping the Matoran to make a new life on the island while they awaited the arrival of the Toa Mata.
Eventually Takanuva was revealed and fought with Makuta, during which they became Takutanuva who raised the gateway to Metru Nui and revived Jaller.
The Turaga were quietly delighted to be able to inform the Matoran of where they'd originally come from.
Then, as they prepared to return, the human called Sherrie and her pet dog Wotzit appeared for the first time and a kraata was revealed to be more than she appeared.
Several more years passed in which the human and her dog returned to the Bionicle world before Sherrie/Anuenue's destiny was fully revealed and Kokua joined the Toas' ranks.
The rebuilding of Metru Nui went steadily with a pause when the Toa went seeking Kokua and found they had to locate the Mask of Life, which could heal the Great Spirit.
Returning to Metru Nui with the Voya Nuians, Toa Voya and one of the order of Mata Nui when Voya Nui ripped itself apart.
After a brief quiet spell then came Aikane's abduction and rescue followed six months later by the entering into legend of the seven elder Turaga.
All this time Rionna slept in the sphere.
The healing draught she'd taken slowed down by the effects of the sphere and it had somehow managed to protect some of her memories of after the fever had first broken.
While the calf played with the young Kikanalo, the chief gazed around the landscape until he found what he was looking for.
*I think it's think we tell the tall ones what happened before the dark time* he rumbled as the rest of the herd finished eating and moved to join him.
Soft growls of agreement came from the others, then as they turned to head for Keetongu's cavern the calf glanced back then slipped from his dams side for a better look.
*Tall one, there* he growled squeakily as the young one turned to nudge him back to safety.
The herd, when the young one echoed the calf’s comment, swiftly joined them and watched curiously as a dusky figure examined the area where the sphere had been buried.
Rhya Nui could sense the Kikanalo herd watching her curiously and turned to watch as the herd came down from their vantage point and approached cautiously.
*Who are you?* the chief rumbled as the herd stopped and let him move forward, though the calf managed to wriggle through the adults' legs for a better look, the dusky spirit smiled as the calf nudged the chief's leg.
*I'm Rhya Nui, Turaga Anuenue knows me* she explained as the herd gathered closer and the matriarch let the calf go and examine Rhya.
*Would you be able to help me move some of this rock?* the dusky Great Spirit asked, scratching behind the calf's ears as he nudged her gently.
*We'd be honoured to help, dusky one* the matriarch replied as the herd finished discussing what the tall one had asked.
Shifting out the way, the calf following her, the dusky spirit watched as the largest Kikanalo began pushing the biggest rocks out the way.
After several minutes the others moved in and began digging with their horns while the eldest female joined Rhya Nui and let her calf feed.
A clang suddenly echoed around the canyon as one of the Kikanalo hit the buried sphere and stepped back shaking its' head, dazed for a few moments before rejoining those now excavating around the sphere.
*Are you alright?* Rhya Nui asked the young Kikanalo as she came over when the chief growled softly, calling her to join them.
*Yes thank you, dusky one* she replied, moving to let Rhya Nui see into the hole, a fine layer of sand still covered the sphere and Rhya Nui jumped lightly down to brush it off.
*How will you get it out?* the chief rumbled curiously, then the herd stepped back surprised as a glow formed around the sphere, lifting it out the hole and gently resting it nearby.
*You are more than you appear* he added, lowering his head in respect as the Toa like being climbed out the hole and sat on the edge.
Mata Nui's sister smiled and stood up, *Thank you for helping, it is dull working alone* she replied, gently brushing traces of soil from the chiefs' nose and horn.
The matriarch snorted in amusement as the chief scuffed the ground in embarrassment, Rhya Nui hid a smile as he shook his head pretending the dusky spirit had tickled him and then turned to where the sphere rested.
The herd watched intrigued as the tall dusky spirit removed the lid and gently lifted out the sleeping Matoran.
*Oh she's pretty* the young one rumbled softly as Rhya Nui rested Rionna down before turning back to the sphere.
Replacing the lid, Rhya Nui glanced at the watching herd, *You'd better move back a distance* she warned, as her eyes began glowing.
The chief nodded and when the herd had moved away from where the dusky spirit stood, they watched poised to move further if necessary.
Turning back to the sphere, the dusky Great Spirit's eyes turned incandescent as she concentrated on destroying the last of the spheres that had been made by the Dark Spirit.
The sphere began glowing as energy flowed from her hands, purifying the metal as it shrank and crumpled in on itself.
Eventually the incandescent light faded away and, as the herd watched, the dusky Great Spirit lifted up the small ball of pure protodermis before putting it away.
*Are you alright, dusky one?*[i] a gentle rumble came from the young Kikanalo as she moved to stand beside Rhya Nui, the Great Spirit glanced at the Kikanalo who watched her anxiously.
[i]*Thank you young one. I will be* She replied, rubbing the Kikanalo's nose before moving to where the yellow/pale green Matoran lay, one of the others now shading her from the suns heat.
Rhya Nui then knelt beside Rionna and lightly passed a glowing hand over Rionna's mask, *We need to take her somewhere to sleep the healing draught away* she said after a few minutes while gently picking Rionna up.
*We'll be going past Keetongu's cavern and would be honoured to take you there* the matriarch growled softly while her calf sniffed curiously at the sleeping Matoran.
*Thank you, that is most kind* Rhya Nui smiled then She joined in the laughter as the calf began racing around excitedly growling about going to see his friends.
At Keetongu's cavern, he, Aikane, Kokua and Turaga Anuenue were talking about how everyone was slowly getting use to having one Turaga.
"The strangest part is knowing that for years Dume managed alone and that it was only Nuju and the others who could remember that time." the Turaga of Colour said as she watched Keliana and Wanimua playing.
Naneki was happily examining a brightly coloured pebble that Kokua had brought from the beach between Ga- and Le-metru for him and Notegeku and Makeo had just returned from foraging.
"True and you've done well in the past few months, sister." the violet hued Toa replied as they sipped the water Keetongu had given them.
Anuenue smiled absently as her thoughts drifted back to when Nuju had first met Keliana, Aikane smiled guessing what her rainbow hued sister was thinking about as Kokua began humming gently, unconsciously reacting to Rhya Nui's approach.
The cubs were first to hear the herd approaching and squeaked excitedly as they went and tugged at Notegeku's hands, "We see Kik-nalo?" the small pale green gold cub piped excitedly.
The dark green gold rahi smiled at the cubs enthuastic pleas then nodded as her mate smiled in agreement.
"Alright, we'll be out in a minute and be careful." Keetongu rumbled as Wanimua chirped reassuringly to his friends.
Giggling happily, Keliana hurried over to Kokua and tugged on her arm, "Kua come too." the cub insisted when the hybrid glanced curiously at her small friend.
As her winged sister and the eager cub headed for the entrance, Aikane sensed the approach of Rhya Nui.
"Why don't we go with them and welcome our friends?" the Toa of Twilight asked, glancing at her friends and sister, "Alright." Notegeku purred softly noting how excited her violet friend had become.
Outside the cavern, Naneki and Keliana were sitting in the shade of Kokua's wings as she sang, her eyes shining while she gazed in the direction of the approaching herd.
So wrapped up in song was the hybrid that she didn't realize the others had joined them, "Rhya's coming that's why." Aikane explained to the curious rahi as Turaga Anuenue switched to her Rau.
Several minutes later the Kikanalo herd stopped nearby and the chief crouched to let Rhya Nui slip from his back.
*Thank you great one. I'll let you know how Rionna does* the dusky Great Spirit smiled, managing to free a hand to rub his nose again.
The chief nodded then moved to speak with Keetongu while Naneki and Keliana played tag with the calf under the watchful gaze of Notegeku, the young one and his dam and the remainder of the herd settled in the shade.
Aikane, Kokua and Turaga Anuenue bowed then peered curiously at the sleeping Matoran in Rhya Nui's arms.
While the healing rahi and Kikanalo talked, the Toa, Torahka and Turaga followed the dusky spirit back into Keetongu's cavern and listened as she explained about the yellow/pale green Matoran.
"So much for her to bear, poor thing." Kokua whispered then nodded when Rhya asked her to hold Rionna, "She may not remember any of what has befallen her." the dusky Great Spirit softly replied, her hand brushing over Rionna's mask.
Aikane and the Turaga of Colour had been making up a bed for Rionna to rest on when Notegeku, Keliana on her shoulder, returned inside and joined them.
"I have to go and she's in good hands." the dusky Great Spirit murmured after Kokua placed Rionna on the moss and covered her with a blanket.
The pale green gold cub had been watching shyly from behind her dam then scrambled onto the moss and cuddled up against Rionna's side.
"I care for." she squeaked, drawing a smile from Rhya Nui as the air around her started glowing, "As I said, in good hands." Mata Nui's sister laughed.
The musical laughter rang around the cavern then faded, as did the light, Rhya Nui with it, "She's gone, how?" Keliana piped up gazing at where Rhya Nui had sat, Anuenue glanced at Aikane both wondering how to explain.
"Rhya is sister to the Great Spirit. She's very powerful." Kokua suddenly said while she moved to sit beside Aikane, who nodded in agreement.
"I like her." Keliana replied while stifling a yawn as she snuggled closer to Rionna, "Sleep well sweetheart." Notegeku rumbled as her daughter fell asleep, her arm draped over Rionna's chest.
"Fun with Wanimua as well as the Kikanalo calf?" Anuenue grinned when Keetongu carried Naneki in out of the midday heat, the drowsy orange gold cub protesting he didn't feel tired.
Keetongu chuckled, "Yes the matriarch had to carry her calf away." he said, placing his now sleeping son beside Keliana and then peered closely at the sleeping Matoran.
Sitting beside his mate, the healing rahi listened as Turaga Anuenue related what Rhya Nui had told them, nearby Rionna shifted slightly and she began to dream.
Kokua aviatrix - July 20, 2010 12:05 PM (GMT)
"She looks better than when I last saw her." a familiar voice drifted into Rionna's consciousness and slowly the Matorans' eyes flickered open.
Everything around her was blurred and it took a few moments for her vision to clear, "Toa Namis... Where's Turaga Dume! There was someone who looked like him and...." Rionna blurted, gazing worriedly at her friend.
"Easy little one. The false one was defeated." the familiar tones of the Turaga of Metru Nui reassured her as he moved into view.
While Namis helped Rionna to sit up they were joined by the other Toa-Spirits who knew the puzzled Matoran.
Sitting a short distance from the group, a small dark figure watched them as they reassured Rionna then glanced up at his friend.
"Think she'll remember us, K¨±ri?" Onair whispered, glancing around the flower-covered meadow, "It's possible, Turaga Dume and the others were fascinated by her transformation." the pale chestnut Toa chuckled.
The other Toa took turns hugging their small friend then Rionna glanced over to where two others watched quietly.
"Careful-steady Rionna." Murlainn commented reaching out to steady the Matoran as she managed a few steps before stumbling.
"Rionna!" the small dark figure cried out, scrambling up and hurrying over to where Skian and Easan were helping the yellow and pale green Matoran to sit up again.
Rionna peered curiously at Onair when he shyly paused, her hand reaching up to clasp the small green lightstone
"Onair?" she murmured before glancing at the chestnut hued Toa who'd now shifted to sit beside Namis, "But I thought you were dead, Toa K¨±ri too."
Turaga Dume sighed as he sat beside the bewildered Matoran and rested his arm around her shoulders; "There is no easy way to break this to you. But this is the area where spirits can meet those still living."
"Oh," Rionna murmured, glancing around the meadow again, "Does that mean I'm dead?" she added anxiously looking at her friends.
The Toa-Spirits glanced at each other in surprise at Rionna's question, then Easan sighed, "No little one, you are still alive." she explained.
"We are the ones who have passed into legend." Skian added softly as Rionna stared at them, her eyes growing misty with unshed tears.
"Return and recover." Rhya Nui gently whispered as the yellow/pale green spirit faded into the glow now surrounding them.
Without turning around the dusky spirit smiled as a square of light formed on the grass, showing the healing rahi, Aikane, Kokua and Turaga Anuenue watching over Rionna.
"Thank you, Nahele. Let's join the others." Mata Nui's sister said as the image faded and she stood up, bowing the malachite Toa grinned, a cheeky gleam in his eyes, the dusky Great Spirit laughed as both left the meadow.
As midday moved to afternoon, the Toa and Torahka had joined Keetongu on an extra foraging session as the golden rahi and his mate had insisted that they and Turaga Anuenue stay the night.
While they foraged, Aikane smiled as she 'heard' their rainbow hued sister 'talking' with Gali and Amaya about what was happening.
Back at the cavern, Turaga Anuenue finished 'talking' with her sisters and smiled up at her dark green gold friend.
The healing rahi smiled back, then both glanced over to where the cubs had woken and were squeaking quietly as they peered at Rionna.
"Pretty one crying." Naneki commented, after scrambling from the bed and going over to his dam, Keliana nodded while using a corner of the blanket to dry Rionna's mask.
"Wake up soon?" the pale green gold cub asked when Anuenue joined her, looking closely at the sleeping Matoran the Turaga of Colour nodded.
"Maybe by this evening." Anuenue replied softly, gently brushing a fresh tear from Rionna's Kakama.
Keliana nodded then clambered off the bed holding her rainbow hued friends' hand as Anuenue rejoined Notegeku, Naneki now on her lap.
After a few minutes the cubs grew restless and the Turaga and rahi left the cavern to let them run off their energy.
Notegeku and Anuenue sat beside Wanimua and Makeo and continued talking about Rionna.
Laying on the moss, Rionna slowly became aware of her surroundings as she ran a finger over the moss, wondering where she was and if she should open her eyes.
While thinking about that and her dream the Matoran heard voices approaching and listened curiously.
"How fares Rionna, Turaga?" a deep warm voice rumbled as two lighter voices squeaked happily, footsteps approached the moss bed where Rionna rested then a hand brushed lightly over her forehead.
There was a pause then a calm voice said, "She's nearly back with us." curious as to what the Turaga of Colour looked like, Rionna opened her eyes and slowly focused on the one watching her.
"Hello little one, would you like something to eat or drink?" Anuenue asked when the Matoran shyly smiled at her.
Hearing the Turaga speaking, the cubs wriggled down from the log seat picking up a beaker and dish of fruit before they hurried to her side.
"They are fascinated by Rionna." Kokua murmured softly while coaxing several feathers back into place before accepting the bowl of food Keetongu passed her.
Aikane nodded absently while telling Gali what was happening, sipping her drink as she watched.
"Please, Turaga Anuenue." Rionna whispered hoarsely as she tried to raise herself up onto her elbows.
"Easy now, you've been still for a long time." the rainbow hued Turaga murmured, wondering how Rionna knew her name, while helping the Matoran to regain her balance as she looked around the cavern.
"We help." a piping voice said as the cubs came to a halt and held up the beaker and fruit, Rionna gazed stunned at the rahi now standing beside the moss bed.
"Rio want a drink?" the pale green gold cub spoke again while offering her the beaker, still stunned by her surroundings and the rahi watching her Rionna nodded then managed to hold the beaker, "Thank you, er?"
"I'm Keli, this is my brother Nane and you're pretty." Keliana squeaked, happy that the yellow/pale green Matoran was awake.
Blushing slightly as she sipped the water, Rionna glanced around the cavern again pausing when she noticed the Toa and Torahka sitting by a small fire.
"That's ¡®Kane and ¡®Kua." Naneki squeaked quietly as he offered Rionna the bowl of fruit, "Place it beside Rionna so she can help herself." Anuenue suggested as the Matoran in question watched Aikane and Kokua, fascinated by the blue and silver being.
"Thank you Nane." Rionna murmured turning her attention back to the cubs and the smiling rainbow hued Turaga, who was now perched on the edge of the moss.
"Turaga," the Matoran said quietly, after eating a few berries, "I had a strange dream. Turaga Dume and my friends were in a flower filled meadow. Skian said they'd all departed into legend."
She paused, rubbing her suddenly watery eyes then glanced up surprised as the cubs scrambled back onto the bed and hugged her tightly.
"Don't cry Rio, we look after you." Keliana squeaked, her arms around Rionna's neck, Naneki adding his own reassurances, "I'm sorry, it's all so strange now." Rionna whispered trying to stem the tears running down her mask.
"I think someone needs a bigger hug." a musical voice murmured softly and Rionna glanced up into the green eyes of Kokua, "Your sire and dam want you to join them." she added, smiling at the cubs.
After a last hug, Keliana and Naneki slipped from the bed and hurried over to their parents who scooped them up, sitting them on their laps.
"I'm sorry." Rionna sobbed helplessly, as Kokua placed the bowl and beaker on the floor then carefully sat beside the crying matoran and hugged her gently.
"Let it out and don't worry." Turaga Anuenue replied, catching Rionna's hand squeezing it reassuringly before moving to join the others.
Accepting a bowl from Notegeku as Keliana snuggled drowsily against her dam, squeaking quietly, Anuenue sat between the dark green gold rahi and her violet hued sister.
"we will take Rionna to the coliseum and I will go through Dume's journals and see if I can find out anything about our young friend." the rainbow hued Turaga said while the cubs fell asleep in their parents' arms.
Kokua smiled as Rionna nestled against her while rubbing her mask dry then shyly peered up at the Torahka, "Feeling better?" Kokua asked, her wing curving around Rionna to block any stray draughts.
"A bit, thank you." the Matoran whispered sleepily, "Don't leave me alone, please." Lifting Rionna into her lap as she tried to stay awake Kokua reassured her that she wouldn't and began softly humming.
Rionna's eyes grew wide with amazement then she fell asleep whispering, "You sound like..." the hybrid peered at Rionna curiously then glanced over to the piles of moss where Aikane and Anuenue were now sitting.
"Sis, can I have a word?" Kokua asked when Aikane finished chatting with their rainbow hued sister, "Of course," the violet hued Toa smiled while Anuenue shifted to let Makeo settle beside her.
"What is it?" Aikane murmured, holding Rionna while Kokua settled and explained what Rionna had said, before resting her beside her blue and silver sister.
"Hmm, it sounds like Rhya sang to her and Rionna's right. You do sound like her when you sing sometimes." Aikane said then grinned as Kokua blushed deeply, before hugging her embarrassed sister.
"Why don't you ask Rionna tomorrow?" Anuenue added softly, while Keetongu covered the embers with sand and Notegeku put the cubs to bed.
In the dim light of Anuenue's Colour-staff the rahi settled on their bed, Makeo watched as Anuenue wedged her staff in the ground, its lightstone shards gleaming softly.
"That's an unusual lightstone Rionna has." the Turaga of Colour whispered as she hugged Kokua before returning to her bed and settled, Makeo crooning softly as he nudged her arm.
Whimpering roused Kokua and as she opened her eyes, the Torahka realized Rionna was in the grip of a nightmare.
"NO, NO! Sl¨¤na, Lakino, he's not Turaga Dume!" the Matoran screamed before sitting up abruptly, trembling like a leaf.
Startled murmured came from Anuenue, Aikane and the cubs while Notegeku and Keetongu scanned around for any sign of danger.
The Turaga of Colour brightened the lightstone shards on her staff then moved to where Kokua sat, arms around Rionna as she huddled against her side, gently trying to reassure the half awake trembling Matoran.
"Try your Komau, sis." Aikane commented as Keliana and Naneki had latched onto her insisting on a cuddle, nodding, Anuenue switched masks and gently rubbed Rionna's hands until she looked up at the rainbow hued Turaga.
"Oh Turaga." the lavender and pale green Matoran cried, reaching out to hug Anuenue as she activated her mask, "Easy Rionna, relax. No one is going to harm you. Just lay back we'll protect you." the Turaga of Colour murmured, her Komau glowing gently.
Rionna gazed enthralled at Turaga Anuenue's glowing mask and kindly gaze as she repeated what she'd just said.
Slowly Rionna's sobs eased and she settled back on the moss, her eyes closing as the compulsion to relax and sleep became overwhelming.
The Turaga of Colour sighed when Rionna was deeply asleep; "I think we should ask our shadow twins if they could give us a hand taking Rionna to the coliseum."
"Aw, don't go." Keliana protested, yawning as she nestled closer to Aikane, Naneki had already returned to sleep, his hands curled around the Toa of Twilight's forearm.
As the pale green gold cub fell asleep, Aikane chuckled, "Well it looks like I'll be here until sunrise. But I agree, it would be better to moved Rionna while she's asleep. And that you should go straight to Ga-metru and talk to Lakino and Sl¨¤na."
"Yes, there's a slim chance they might just remember her. Even if it's only briefly." her rainbow hued sister replied before turning to thank Keetongu and Notegeku for their hospitality.
"You are always welcomed here Turaga." the golden rahi rumbled softly, so as not wake the cubs, while Anuenue moved to free her staff.
Kokua and Notegeku finished wrapping Rionna in a blanket then the dark green gold rahi placed the Matoran into Kokua's arms, "Take care of her." Notegeku commented with a smile as Anuenue moved to join her winged sister.
The Turaga brightened the lightstone shards on her staff and those awake watched as Aikane then rested a hand over her shadow and called to their shadow twins.
Smiling as her's and Kokua's came into focus and glanced around before moving to Aikane's side to find out what she wanted.
Aikane's nodded when her real self had finished and Kokuas' hugged her before they joined Kokua and Anuenue.
The healing rahi settled back on their bed and watched as their friends were led into the shadow, Anuenue's Colour-staff winking out and they vanished.
Then they snuggled together while Aikane tugged her blanket over the cubs and began drifting back to sleep.
"We've arrived, Turaga." Aikane's shadow twin commented several minutes as she glanced at the wind chimes refracting the light from Anuenue's staff.
Opening her eyes, Anuenue smiled up at the shadow twins then glanced around to get her bearings, "Thank you so much." the rainbow hued Turaga said while Kokua sat on her bed so that she could support Rionna while giving her shadow twin a hug.
"We'll return the blanket to Keetongu's cavern." Aikane's murmured, kneeling to hug the sleepy Turaga before helping her into her bed.
"You sure? We can take it back later." Anuenue mumbled between yawns, her eyes trying to stay open, "Of course. We want to let Aikane know things are alright." the violet hued shadow twin replied.
When the Turaga of Colour had fallen asleep, Aikane's shadow twin moved to join Kokua's as she held Rionna while Kokua got comfortable.
"It'll be interesting to find out more about Rionna." the hybrid's shadow twin whispered, settling the sleeping Matoran beside her real self, who nodded her hand stifling a yawn.
"Yeah, I hope there's something in Dume's journals." Kokua replied, finishing tucking a blanket around the yellow/pale green Matoran before resting her head on the pillows, falling asleep as she did.
After covering Kokua with another blanket her shadow twin folded Keetongu's blanket up as she joined Aikane's in the centre of the bedroom, "Let's take this back then tell our brothers and sisters." Kokuas shadow twin whispered after glancing at those sleeping.
Seconds later, as the moonlight inched across the floor, the shadow twins departed leaving the sleepers in peace.
As she woke Anuenue glanced over to Kokua and Rionna, both still slept, "Gali, are Resha and Solis with you?" she called silently while watching the butterfly flock basking on the window ledges.
"Just Resha, Solis went over to Le-metru last night. Why?" came the reply, while the Turaga of Colour explained then asked if they could find Sl¨¤na and Lakino and come over to hers, the butterflies left the window ledges and fluttered around her.
"We won't be long." came the reply, "Thanks sis." Anuenue smiled, while several butterflies landed on her arms and the rest curiously examined the sleeping Matoran.
Silently the rainbow hued Turaga left the bedroom, accompanied by the seven butterflies sitting on her shoulders and went into the kitchen.
"Thanks Ahonui." she murmured, fixing breakfast for her sisters, the healers and Rionna, the butterflies flicking their wings as Anuenue prepared some fruit for them.
"Hang on." the Turaga muttered grinning as the rainbow winged butterflies fluttered around her eagerly while she used her Matatu to carry the heavily laden tray into the bedroom.
"sis can we come in?" Gali enquired several minutes later as the Turaga of colour watched the flock enjoying the fruit now spread across the window ledges.
"Of course, we're in my bedroom. Kokua's awake but Rionna's still sleeping." Anuenue commented, while pouring out drinks for everyone.
Gali peered around the door then entered, Resha, Lakino and Sl¨¤na beside her and they joined Anuenue at the table, listening while she related the events of yesterday.
Sipping her juice, Kokua glanced at Rionna, the Matoran's hand had curled around several of the hybrid's wing feathers, as she watched the waking Matoran Lakino wandered over and peered at Rionna.
Rubbing her eyes Rionna glanced up at Kokua, letting the feathers go as she helped her to sit up and look around, "Lakino." Rionna exclaimed, reaching out to hug the sky blue healer.
Returning Rionna's hug, Lakino wracked her thoughts for any memory of the yellow/pale green Matoran as she lent back against the pillows Kokua had fluffed up, watching her anxiously.
"I remember this falling on the floor." Lakino murmured, reaching out to brush a finger over the lightstone pendant, "But not much else, I'm sorry." she added, hugging Rionna again, meanwhile Sl¨¤na chewed her lip in frustration, "Turaga, I can't remember anything." she admitted unhappily.
"It's alright, go and talk with Rionna. After all you and Lakino are the only ones she knew apart from the Toa back then and Turaga Dume." Anuenue said, patting Sl¨¤na's shoulder reassuringly.
While the cobalt hued Matoran joined Lakino and Rionna, who hugged her delightedly, Kokua moved to give them some more space and sat with Gali and Reshana as they quietly discussed what Anuenue had told them.
"Resha, why have you switched masks?" Kokua asked puzzled as she finished eating and watched her sea green and apricot butterfly friend as it sipped at a spilt drop of juice.
"Anuenue asked me to, seeing as Rionna knew Toa Phira and I now have her mask." the young Toa smiled, glancing over to where the Matoran were chatting while they ate.
"What are you thinking about, sister?" Gali enquired, glancing at the rainbow hued Turaga who was quietly watching Lakino, Sl¨¤na and Rionna.
Anuenue turned to look up at her sister and smiled, "Just wondering which of Dume's journals I should start with." she explained.
Kokua aviatrix - January 14, 2011 03:40 PM (GMT)
"The ninth book from the right." an unexpected voice spoke, causing everyone to look to the centre of the room where three figures now stood.
"Turaga Dume!" Rionna exclaimed amazed before she tried to climb from Kokua's bed, "Not yet." Slàna commented as Rionna sat back feeling giddy.
The red and black spirit smiled kindly at the watching matoran then turned to his friends and sister, "I wrote a fair bit before I was mugged. Then later when I had a few moments, added to my notes."
While he explained, Phira peered curiously at Reshana who flushed slightly, "Come and see Rionna with me." the indigo spirit commented with a grin, while Atinu nodded politely to Gali.
"Aikane will be here shortly." the platinum spirit said before joining Phira and Reshana, as his closefriend whispered to the young indigo hued Toa who nodded in response.
Lakino and Slàna shifted up to let Reshana sit beside Rionna, who peered fascinated at the wave pattern on her armour while listening to Phira as she explained what had happened to her and Atinu.
"Show Rionna, Resha." Atinu commented gently after the matoran and Reshana had dried their masks.
Puzzled Rionna glanced up at the Toa she now lent against and watched astounded as the mask the indigo Toa wore was replaced with one she knew well.
"Oh, you could almost pass for twins." Rionna whispered, her eyes wide with amazement, Atinu chuckled as the door opened and Aikane and Tein'a entered.
While the Toa of Twilight placed a heavy bag on a chair, the Toa Voya of Ice bowed to the spirit Toa then sat on the end of Kokua's bed, the healers moving to join Toa Gali.
"Sis, Ferinus is wondering if you'd like to join him for a walk around the archives?" the platinum hued Toa said then smiled kindly at Rionna as she looked between him and Atinu, Reshana and Phira fascinated.
"How did you get the masks if Phira and Atinu were trapped?" the yellow/pale green matoran asked, her eyes drooping wearily as she nestled against Tein'a, causing him to blush.
"I'll tell you later. But for now you should rest." Aikane said gently, as she moved to join the spirit Toa and Reshana, when Rionna drowsily protested; the violet Toa gently squeezed her hand.
"You've got plenty of time sleepy head. Regain your strength while I go talk to a friend." Aikane commented as Rionna fell asleep, curled against Tein'a's side.
"Just as well I haven't got anything planned." the young Toa grinned, nodding to Turaga Dume, Atinu and Phira as they returned back to the spirit realm.
"I'll stay too.” Anuenue muttered, glancing up briefly from the three journals Aikane had picked up on her way over, the healers had been talking with Gali and went off somewhere with her.
While Tein'a watched Rionna and Anuenue immersed herself in the journal, Aikane and Kokua left their rainbow hued sisters' home, "What will you do sister?" the violet hued Toa asked as they wandered in the direction of the chute station.
"I'm going to tell Lewa, Sheranu, Malie and Solis." the winged hybrid replied, grinning at the thought of going to see her closefriend.
Watching Kokua take flight then circle around before heading for Le-metru, Aikane chuckled and entered the station, nodding to Kazi and Suna then took the chute heading for Ta-metru.
While she travelled there, the Toa of Twilight called out to Amaya, knowing she was there with Takanuva, "We'll meet you at the station, sister." came the Toa of Colour's reply.
Tein'a glanced up surprised when Turaga Anuenue suddenly stood up, a stunned look in her eyes while the mid morning light edged into the bedroom.
Without saying anything the rainbow hued Turaga left the bedroom and Tein'a heard her pacing around the living room, pausing from time to time.
Unable to move the young Ice Toa wondered what had surprised the Turaga of Colour.
Several minutes later he heard a quiet voice emanating from the direction of the living room followed by Anuenue's muffled response and not long after quiet giggling.
"Mmm, where is everyone?" Rionna mumbled, rubbing her eyes as she woke up, Tein'a smiled, poured a beaker of juice for the matoran and while she drank he explained what the others were doing.
"Turaga Anuenue sounds happy." the yellow and pale green matoran commented as more giggles erupted from the direction of the living room.
Tein'a smiled briefly, "Her closefriend is visiting." he replied, and then glanced towards the door as the sound of running paws could be heard approaching.
"What's that? It sounds familiar." Rionna murmured as they then heard a flurry of barking.
Before Tein'a could answer, Wotzit dashed into the room, came over to where they sat and sniffed eagerly at the one his pack leader had told him to be gentle with.
"A dog," the matoran whispered glancing up at Tein'a, "But how do I what he is?" she added reaching out to stroke the watching rahi.
"It could be a surfacing memory." the rainbow hued Turaga replied as she entered the room, several other Turaga with her.
"The sphere you were placed in will have affected your memories." the blue hued Turaga explained as Anuenue gestured to Wotzit he needed to move.
"Oh!" Rionna murmured then giggled as Wotzit had moved, walking through several of the Turaga, "Kohlii head." Anuenue snickered while the spirit Turaga grinned.
"He's just as daft-funny as ever, colour-sis." the green hued spirit laughed, winking at Rionna as she blushed in embarrassment.
"He'll never change." the Turaga of Colour agreed, sitting down as the white hued spirit moved closer to her.
For a few minutes, the spirit Turaga watched Anuenue as she sat there deep in thought, then as she glanced up at them Turaga Anuenue sighed and closed her eyes
When she opened them again, the Turaga of Colour found herself sitting in the flowered meadow facing the Great Spirit.
Gazing up at Him the rainbow hued spirit could sense what He wanted to do and bowed in acceptance.
"Thank you." the Great Spirit said, then formed a square of light so that Anuenue's spirit could watch, as she peered curiously at the image Mata Nui placed His hand on her head and the rainbow hued spirit felt energy flowing through her.
It was only a second that Turaga Anuenue's eyes were closed for and when she opened them again Tein'a and Rionna stared in awe as the spirit Turaga bowed to the presence now watching them before Anuenue lifted up the journal and carried it over to Rionna.
"Turaga Dume agrees that you should read what he recorded while you regain your strength, little star." a strong calm voice came from the Turaga of Colour as she placed the book down then lightly brushed her hand over Rionna's mask, while her now blue eyes shone with understanding as Rionna stammered a reply.
"My Daughter will return soon." Mata Nui added as the entranced Turaga then went to where Wotzit sat, wriggling in excitement as the new friend within his pack leader reached him.
Mata Nui/Anuenue placed her hand on Wotzit's head watching as a golden light surrounded the gold and black rahi then faded into him, the spirit Turaga nodded then slowly vanished.
"Don't be surprised if Anuenue will sleep-rest for the rest of the day." Matau whispered to Rionna before he winked again and vanished with Nokama.
A soft chuckle came from the blue eyed Turaga as she moved to sit on her bed then settled back, her eyes closing as she did.
"Has that ever happened before?" Rionna whispered, still unsure as to who'd just spoken through Turaga Anuenue, while Wotzit nudged the sleeping Turaga then settled on a squashy cushion in one corner.
"Well, I've heard the Great Spirit speak through Anuenue once before but never of Him moving around in her body." the young Toa replied as Turaga Nuju nodded, brushing his hand over his closefriends' mask then departed to join his brothers and sister.
The spirit Turaga were still watching the image when Vakama glanced up and smiled, "Coming to watch?" he asked those approaching. "If you don't mind, yes please." came the reply as Anuenue looked up curiously at those with Namis, the chestnut Toa smiled at the Turaga of Colour while the dark hued being with them bowed and stayed close to the Toa.
"It's alright Onair. Turaga Anuenue is the one keeping Rionna company." Turaga Dume commented as the Toa spirits sat down between Dume and Matau.
"And Tein'a." the rainbow hued Turaga added, smiling at the stocky spirit as he edged closer to her and sat down.
"Will Rionna be alright?" Onair shyly asked while the Turaga of Colour stifled a yawn then nestled against Nuju, who placed his arm around her, "In a day or two she'll be strong enough to go outside." Anuenue replied, reaching out to pat Onair's hand.
"Er, please could you tell Rionna I said hi?" the former servant suddenly asked, gently squeezing the nearly asleep rainbow hued spirits' hand.
Drowsily, Anuenue smiled at the anxious looking spirit, "I will as soon as she wakes up." she promised, resting her free hand over his as her eyes closed.
Nuju hugged his closefriend tightly and watched as her spirit returned to her body.
"We'll watch until they've both woken then return to the spirit realm." Turaga Whenua said, his eyes watching the image curiously.
Arriving at the Ta-metru main station, Aikane grinned when she saw Tahu with Amaya and Takanuva.
"Missed you." the Toa of Twilight commented as her closefriend moved to hug her, then giggled as he blushed deeply.
As they walked through the streets towards the foundries, the violet hued Toa brought her sister and brothers up to date on what was happening in Ga-metru.
"So I thought I'd ask Jaller if Pewku would like to come over and help give Rionna a lift around until she's fully regained her strength." Aikane finished speaking as they crossed the square preceding the nearest forges.
"Good idea sis, mind if we come back with you?" Takanuva asked when they reached the forge Jaller helped out in.
"Sure. Tahu, do you want to come?" Aikane replied, glancing at her closefriend while he looked around for Jaller, "Yes. I'm interested in seeing Rionna." the fiery Toa replied then whistled to catch the Captains' attention over the noise.
Putting down his work, Jaller made his way over to where the Toa waited and listened as Aikane explained.
"I'm sure she'd want to help. Er, does Hahli know yet?" he asked, turning slightly pink as they headed over to where Pewku stayed.
Chuckling, Aikane replied that the little blue Chronicler didn't but that it wouldn't be long before she did.
Having reached one of the causeways between Ta- and Ga-metru, the small group paused to refresh themselves.
"Any idea if Rionna's woken yet?" Takanuva asked, sprinkling the contents of a water canister over his mask and shoulders before tipping the rest over Amaya.
As the Toa of Colour squealed and threw the remains of her canister at him, Aikane glanced in the direction of the main square.
"Oh," the violet hued Toa exclaimed several moments later, her eyes wide with amazement, "Anuenue has just woken up. Father was there and moved to speak with Rionna." she added.
"Let's go and find out more." the fiery Toa replied, standing up as the Toa of Light raced ahead chased by his closefriend.
Pewku chirruped, nudging Jaller until he climbed on then the Ussal crab trotted alongside Tahu and Aikane as they headed across the causeway.