Wikitronia - the Altronia Continuity Wiki

Rayzok's Revenge[]

Two years ago...[]

"You do of course know why this island is so important, Rayzok?" asked Makuta Burtok.

Rayzok replied, "Of course, and it goes like this. Once upon a time Teridax was bored. He needed excitement. He tried taking over the universe because no one could stop him. He made his allies do stupid things so they would leave him alone. The End."

"I'll take that as a no," Burtok muttered. "The real reason is that these beach crystals are a safe, usable energy source, and the island never runs out! The volcano supplies the sand, the weather supplies the fusion. Think of it...unlimited energy for whatever weapon we build!"

“I’ll admit it’s a very useful resource,” Rayzok agreed. “But what to use it for?”

“See, that’s why I’m your mentor,” Burtok said proudly.

“One reason,” Rayzok muttered.

“I’ve already got a plan for that, my good fellow. Just leave it to Burtok.”

Present day...[]

Suntrah concluded his story. “Hope that clears some things up.” “Well, it is nice to know why they won’t leave, besides obstinance,” Panuko said. “Now I’d like to know what it was that Burtok planned to build.”

Suntrah looked sheepish. “That’s where the story ends. I got it straight from Rayzok when I was on their side, and he wasn’t about to divulge unnecessary info to a subordinate. Suppose you guys had decided to gang up on me, capture me, and make me talk. All the Makuta’s secrets would be out.”

“You’re saying you’d talk,” Panuko replied, smiling. “So you’d also be willing to defect after that?”

“No such luck,” Suntrah answered, returning Panuko’s grin.. “At that point I valued my own life more than promises, like the Makuta who trained me that way. Yours and all your teammates’ virtue reminded me of the importance of virtue and morality. That’s what changed me for good.”

Voran patted his co-leader on the shoulder. “We’re all glad we could help you,” He said, with a friendly glance exchanged between them.

Burtok had been right about the crystals. He and Rayzok had powered many a diabolical contraption using those crystals, and they were very energy-efficient. Rayzok had once theorized that it was because of the lightning used to create them, made safe because of the crystals' refractive nature.

Rayzok, even as the team spoke, now pondered this in his sanctum. He had blasted himself free, as usual, and made his way back to his fortress. The Alliance could never hope to beat him, of course. He was going over another plan to use the Lightning Crystals, and was liking it. The crystals’ efficiency would help greatly, even though the electric nature of their power meant he couldn’t get much torque out of them were he to build an engine or something similar. It doesn't matter so much how they work as how well they work, he thought. However, it will be much easier to acquire them now, as of Jaykorax’s inclusion into the fortress. It's such an obvious idea I'm surprised I didn't think of it before. Grinning, he left to tell Jaykorax his plan. He was, after all, a necessary part of the grand scheme already.

"Any sign of him yet?" asked Panuko, the white Crynok warrior. Voran replied, "No, for the 218th time. He's been unseen for a week straight."

"Maybe he's having a really, really long brainstorm," the mutant Crynok female named Vaturi suggested. “Makuta like to relish in their own genius for as long as possible, so he’s probably only just starting his massive monologue.”

Levuku laughed, but Yurdil made no secret of her disapproval of Vaturi’s sarcasm. “We can possibly be less cynical about it, Vaturi. There is no need to–“

”There is no need to constantly tutor me on how to live, Yurdil,” Vaturi interrupted, irritated. “Just leave me alone.”

“Be quiet,” Voran commanded. “All Vaturi was saying was there’s a possibility of Rayzok not coming up with a plan for a while, so maybe we get a break.”

Suntrah walked in, saying, "Or maybe he's already carrying out his plan. Come see this." Suntrah led the way to the back viewing window. "Looking at those webs down there makes me think he's planning to take a permanent foothold on the island."

"Let's stop him, then," Levuku said enthusiastically.

So it was. The team gathered their equipment and exited their cave, flying to the newest webs, intending to take out the spiders as they attempted to habituate the beautiful Crystal Island. Those that could fly, which was quite a few, were carrying those who could not.

It's a relatively simple plan: use the spiders to create a colony, thus taking over at least most of the island, Voran thought as he used electromagnetic repulsion to fly toward the new web. These Scorpio-Spiders are almost pathetically easy to defeat, but in a huge swarm they can be brutal.

Voran’s observation turned out to be accurate. The team landed on the web, vaulting over gaps in the elastic strands to confront the spiders. The team was soon overwhelmed by the Scorpio-Spiders, outnumbered about 20 to 1. They fought fiercely, but were losing badly. A need for strategy beckoned. Above the noise of battle Levuku shouted, "This isn't working! We need to think this through better!" “Yes, Levuku, I realized that already,” Voran consented. He stunned a spider with a quick electric pulse, then swung it around, taking out five others of its kind and creating space for the team to reqroup. “Retreat!” he shouted. Everyone obeyed, and they started back, only to see a stream of green entering their base and five hundred and six spiders blocking their way.

"The resistors are in custody, Rayzok," Jaykorax reported. Rayzok nodded, saying, "That is good. You're sure there is no way they could have escaped?" "Quite sure. They are in the most secure-and dangerous-place I could put them.” "And the plan?" "Still in play." "Good." "Acknowledged" "Go away now." "As you wish." With this Jaykorax left. That was a stimulating conversation, Rayzok thought as he left to check on his plan's progress.

Rayzok's plan was going along nicely. He had witnessed a huge explosion over where the resistors' hideout was, theorizing that a self-destruct sequence was the culprit. Little did he know the truth. The explosion had devastated a large number of Scorpio-Spiders, but more were constantly being made, due to asexual reproduction. This is happening ridiculously fast, beyond even my expectations, Rayzok thought. The resistors won't know what happened, until it is the death of them.

"That happened ridiculously fast," Voran said to the others in the cave. They all agreed. Their defeat had been embarrassingly easy, even more so when added to the fact that the Makuta had outwitted them with about as much ease as the spiders had defeated the Alliance.

“I hate losing,” Vaturi grumbled.

“Get used to it,” Voran replied, vhained to the wall next to her. “When you’re brave enough to stand for what is right, you can expect some stormy times along the way.”

Vaturi rolled her eyes. “Sure. Know that already. I’m talking about losing constantly. Over and over, again and again. What’s the point of fighting for right if you can’t get right to win once in a while?”

Voran looked at her with surprise. Despite her cynical outlook on life, Vaturi had always been one of the more driven of the Alliance members. Seeing her beginning to question the reason to fight for justice was disturbing to say the least.

“It will,” Voran replied quietly. “It will even if we die. If we have to die so that others can see that we died for a noble cause and take up our torch of virtue, then that is what we’ll do.”

Vaturi looked unconvinced. “If Scorpio-Spiders could think in words, that’s what they were thinking as they beat us senseless.”

Voran saw that, as hard as it was for him to admit it, Vaturi had a good point. Evil was often just a driven as good, so it was hard for one looking at the two from the perspective Vaturi was taking to see much difference. Seeing nothing else to say, he tried to reassure Vaturi by brushing his fingers across hers. She recoiled before he could touch her. “You and your overzealous ideals could get us all killed. Maybe I should look out for myself.”

Voran could do nothing but sit in silence and hope Vaturi would see the error of her ways.

Suddenly, Rayzok entered the room, striding swiftly and pridefully through a gate off to the left. Voran immediately spoke up, hiding his grief over Vaturi’s attitude temporarily. "Your plan is simple, yet clever, Rayzok, but somehow I don't see it working in my mind. The native wildlife-"

"Yes, of course," Rayzok cut him off. "The Crystal Raptors. I am aware that they are the only threat to my legions, but rest assured that problem is taken care of by the sheer numbers of my forces, as well as all my other problems...Except eleven, you eleven. You could escape if you really, really wanted to, if you were ready to join me, or you were able to break the shackles that bind you to the wall."

"If we can escape, why are you telling us we can?" Jahvoka asked.

Rayzok grinned. "Because even though you can, you can't," he replied. "Even if you escape this room, you won't escape the fortress as a whole. If you try to find a way out, you’ll be cut down by my minions or get lost forever. You're staying." As he started to leave, the slightly mutated female Crynok spoke up.

"I'm joining," she declared. Even as her former teammates gasped, Rayzok used a shadow hand to break the chains that bound Vaturi to the ground.

"Come," he said. "Your defection exam awaits." As Vaturi and Rayzok left, her new enemies sat in silence, mourning the hero that had just died, and dreading the villain that had just been born.

"Beautiful!" Rayzok exclaimed, beaming at his newest creation. Vaturi had been changed by the Makuta’s work into a mostly-mechanical cyborg, barely looking like she used to.

"Not too shabby, I guess," Vaturi said, looking down at herself. "I can always rebuild myself, and without a lot of pain, which is nice."

"Of course, of course," Rayzok agreed. "Would you like to see my plan in action?" Vaturi nodded and followed Rayzok down the long, shadowy hallways to a secret chamber.

Zartok sensed Lihee's nearness, but went on with his fitness exercises; the stronger he was when they arrived, the better. Also, he was trying to get his body ready for intense combat, loosening himself up. It was going to be a hard fight, and every little bit of preparation helped. Zartok began to feel himself sharpen up, his body now in prime condition. He cooled down, checked his weapons, for the fifth time in the last hour, and finally started polishing his sword. They'll be exhausted when they arrive, but we'll be in top condition, he thought. I just called myself 'we' again. Who's 'we'? Even as he assumed his guard position, the question "Who's 'we'?" kept bothering him.

Voran tugged at his bonds, the chains that were keeping him bound to the floor of the chamber. The room was actually a closed-off section of the volcano, and the heat was intense, almost unbearable after a day or so in there. The team had only spent a few hours or so in there, but it was still uncomfortable. "You're sure Vaturi isn't luring Rayzok into a trap?" Levuku asked.

Suntrah shook his head. "No, she isn't. With mine and Voran's masks, and Rayzok's telepathy, she never would have been freed if she was deceiving him, and we wouldn't be in pain about her defection, either."

Levuku nodded. "You're right, but I just thought of something. Why hasn't Rayzok killed us yet?" No one knew, or answered. Rayzok answered as he re-entered the room.

“Because the mountain will do it for me. That wall looks very unstable.” It was true. The wall behind the heroes was made of relatively weak volcanic rock, and the heat was only making it less stable. Rayzok leaned in close to Voran’s mask. “I have some juicy gossip for you.”

Voran burst out shouting. “Why must you torture us further!? We’re already smothering from the heat and burning our backsides in here!”

Rayzok smiled and straightened up. “You’re not a Toa, Voran.” Everyone looked at Rayzok, puzzled. Except for Voran, who looked at Rayzok with absolute hatred.

"Of course I'm a Toa, you arrogant, concieted blowhard! You're just torturing us further!"

Rayzok shook his head. "No, you're wrong, Voran. You're a Runask. You had teamed with your little Toa comrades back when they were at full strength. You were all captured by Burtok, and he had some fun with you and your minds. Now none of you remember much, and you, Voran, were made to think you were a Toa of Lightning. Since none of the rest of the team could remember that Toa of Lightning are all female, they fell for it too.”

“Wait,” Jahvoka spoke up, “There was one more. Xovar, a Toa of the Green. What happened to him?”

His teammates all nodded. They could all remember a few things, and the memory of their self-sufficient vegetation-controlling friend was not so easily lost. Rayzok shrugged. “He got away, I suppose. Not that it matters. The point was to make you all forget your past lives, even the one who had made you this way. That way, Burtok could tell you sometime later, reminding you of all that you had lost, and so that your leader, Voran, would be revealed as a pretender to a life that was never his.”

“You saidsts!” Yurdil yelled, her voice containing quite some pain. “You and Burtok both! Isn’t enough to try to rule and opress the ones we hold dear, and not also strike at our very cores!?”

“You obviously don’t know how thorough we Makuta are. When we conquer, we conquer completely, with our enemies having faced as much pain as possible before their demises. It is not only effective, it is enjoyable.”

Suntrah looked Rayzok in the eye. “I know you much better than any here. I’ve almost known you as a companion, but this is something I never saw before. You were never this bad, Rayzok. Burtok must have really left a mark on you.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere, you spirited turncoat,” was the response.

“He’s not a turncoat,” another Runask, called Lohrua, countered. “Just someone who realized the worst mistake in his life and now works to undo it.”

“Morality is relative, Lohrua, you well-educated dunce. Right and wrong are determined by opinion and point of view, and are not set in stone.”

Voran, who had been staring at the floor for some time, now looked up at Rayzok, pain and revoltion in his optic orbs. “If you really believe that, you’re a bigger dunce than a Matoran of Stone trying to swim the ocean. Once we’re free, I’ll do all of us sapient beings a favor and purge the universe of all lower life-forms, including you.”

Rayzok turned from Voran, evidently bored. He glanced around the room and now observed that everyone was looking at him with pure contempt, a fact that made Rayzok smile again.

Rayzok pointed at the rear wall. "See that wall? There is who-knows-how-much lava back there, and if at some point the lava melted through, you'd all be fried. It looks like that will happen soon, too."

Bartha spoke up. “You can't win, Rayzok. We've got powerful friends!"

Rayzok simply laughed, a long, cruel laugh. "They've already tried to get in here, and failed, too! Do you really think they would stand a chance at saving you!? Those other interlopers, even now, are failing at saving themselves!”

Rayzok spun on his heel and proudly strode toward the exit. He stopped just short of the door. Looking over his shoulder, he called back, “Face it, weak little slaves to virtue, you have failed!" It certainly seemed like Rayzok was right as he continued out of the room, for the wall was glowing a brighter hue, and Rayzok had locked the gate, which was out of reach anyway. The lava would soon make it through the wall, wiping out the lives of ten brave souls like they had never been.

"You summoned us, Rayzok?" Jaykorax asked.

Thrahnatuka looked edgy. "I want to go back out there! I have people to beat up!"

Rayzok shook his head, saying "When I was Burtok's partner, he gave me an order to give you a greater purpose than a simple lackey, once the time was appropriate. Thwe appropriate time has just arrived." As he said the last sentence, he shot a shadow hand out of his chest and he absorbed Thrahnatuka into himself.

When he turned to Jaykorax his aide said, "You're a regular Junior Teridax, Rayzok."

Rayzok simply said "I know." and absorbed Jaykorax, as well. The two unfortunate persons now added their power to Rayzok’s, giving him Jaykorax’s control over the Scorpio-Spiders and removing Thranatuka, an ambitious future annoyance. Rayzok whirled at a soft sound. Zartok was standing in the doorway, looking surprised. Rayzok considered absorbing him, too. The Makuta didn’t need the energy, but it would keep Zartok from leaving due to fear of that happening to him as well.

That soon was proven to be unnecessary. Zartok looked repulsively at Rayzok and said, "That was cool! Can you teach me to do that? Hahahahahahahaha!"

Voran had lost his motivation and spirit. Finding out one is not and never would be what he thought he already was is a very disheartening experience. However, Levuku had had a blinding attack of the obvious. No one had thought of it before because of the fast-paced quality of the recent happenings.

"Attack the wall!” He shouted. At that moment Levuku’s teammates’ eyes lit up and they remembered that it was, in fact, easy to break free from their bonds. Suntrah blasted his chains apart with black lightning, his natural power, while the altered Toa used their elemental powers to free themselves. They then turned to help those who had less destructive abilities, like Lohrua and Voran, and those whose power was tied to their tools, like Levuku, Buraka, and Panuko. A quick blast of black lightning combined with fire, water, sonics, and stone blasted the gate outward into the hall. The way was now free.

Levuku paused to make a comment before leaving, though. “You know Vaturi’s gone when she isn’t harassing me for being young and unpolished.”

“Can it, Levuku,” said Suntrah, filling in as leader for Voran, who was still a little shaken be recent revelations. “We don’t need to worsen the experience by hearing positive things about Vaturi’s betrayal.”

After grabbing their weapons, which were stacked in a nearby closet, the group proceeded to rush down the myriad of hallways in Rayzok’s fortress. Their senses were all tuned up to the max, looking for possible ambushes, and, for some, looking for Vaturi to punish her.

Suntrah held up a hand to stop the group from going further down the hallway to the exit. "Two reasons that continuing is a bad idea: First, Rayzok expects that, and second, we need to find out more about his plan. Something tells me it's bigger than just getting a hold on the island."

Everyone considered and, after some misgivings from and reassurance of certain team members, like Runik, agreed. Runik had always been cautious, but his alteration and power reduction by Burtok years ago had made him even more cautious, almost bordering on cowardly. Still, he realized that they had to take the chance and find out more than their Makuta adversary would want them to know.

As one, the team started exploring the hallways to find out what they could about Rayzok's base. They learned one thing fast.

"This place is huge!" Jahvoka exclaimed.

Levuku replied, "It sure is. Rayzok also probably still has it under construction, too."

Yurdil spoke up, "Hey, people, I think you might want to see this."

Everyone moved toward her voice. She had found a balcony which she gestured them to look out from.

This they did, and some reacted by cursing, some gasped, but all Levuku said was, "This stinks." They were overlooking a huge conveyor belt that had Lightning Crystals rolling on it. Rayzok was already tapping the beaches' reserves. Scorpio-Spiders were putting big buckets of the crystals on their backs and taking them...somewhere.

"This really stinks. This really, really-"

"We know, Levuku," Buraka cut him off impatiently. "And we need to know how to make it stop happening."

"It doesn't stop, you fool," Rayzok cut in. "But your existences will."

Suntrah fired an explosive round out of his rifle, only to see it swerve off course and hit a wall, due to Rayzok's magnetic power.

"They will stop abruptly and painfully, or slowly and painfully, depending on how much you resist."

Lohrua fired a Zamor, shouting, “I’ll show you how we resist!”

The Zamor struck Rayzok in the chest, disassembling it, and sending shards of sliver and emerald armor every which way. The Makuta was far from finished, because, as soon as he saw the front of his torso gone, he immediately went to work with magnetism, drawing the parts back together. The task was distracting, but it was done quickly just the same. Still, as he looked up, he saw that no one was there. The captives had escaped.

They’re good, he thought. Better than I expected. Oh, well. They can’t get out of here, and one of my lackeys will surely find them and occupy them long enough for me to get to them. What happens next? That’s too delicious to think about at this time.

"Well, there you have it," Levuku said. "A big, fat iron door in our way." They had made it past Rayzok, once the Makuta was occupied with his out-of-chest-armor experience, and arrived at the door in question after a quarter of a mile of hallway. The day was not going well, and tensions were mounting.

"Let's hit it with something," Lohrua suggested.

“Well, duh, genius,” Bartha returned. “I have an idea, too! Let’s--somehow–get by it! Ohh, there’s a novel idea!”

Yurdil gave him a look. “Leave Lohrua alone! It’s all anyone can do when stress levels are so high, and our enemy is right behind us. You have just proved the former problem to the fullest.”

Bartha returned her look.

Suntrah charged up his laser vision and black lightning powers, but Levuku stopped him. "Hit it with one of those,” he said, pointing to one of the spare ammo canisters on Suntrah’s pneumatic gun. “It’ll be more satisfying."

Suntrah nodded, then loaded and shot an explosive round out of his pneumatic rifle, sending the door flying backward into the chamber beyond. The room was of a large, vague dome shape about fifty feet across, with four exits, the door they had just come in, one to the left, one to the right, and one across the room. There was a huge something under construction in the back-right of the room, as well as two enemies, one a psychopath, one a cyborg, standing dead center.

“Who are those?” Panuko asked, brandishing his staff.

“The smiling one is Zartok,” Jahvoka replied. “He was fighting Lihee last week.”

Panuko nodded. “How about the robot person? I don’t recognize him.”


“What, Suntrah?” Runik asked.

“Her,” Suntrah repeated. “It’s female. It’s Vaturi. She’s changed, but...”

“Good,” Voran said, energizing a Rhotuka.

“Why?” Bartha asked.

“Because if she weren’t here, I’d have to go to the trouble of hunting her down to make her pay.” Voran said darkly.

Rayzok was fine now, but, though his body was mended, he was still burning with a desire to rend those insolent little inferiors. Just his luck to be stuck with a seemingly uninhabited island filled with beings who didn’t recognize his--the Brotherhood’s–superiority. Maybe after this, I’ll get promoted to a higher honor. Maybe I’ll fulfill a rank almost as high as Gorast’s, or Icarax’s.

Savoring thoughts of promotion and relief from his menial role in the Brotherhood’s plan, he continued down the hall. He finally caught up with his enemies, but they all had their backs turned and were obviously distracted. Rayzok prepared to strike, but an explosion caught him up short. Fearing it was form his enemies, he flattened against the wall. Next he heard Zartok laugh, then concluded that the team had broken through the iron gate leading into the habitation sector’s main lobby, and Zartok, Vaturi, and probably the re-created Rahkshi Squad ambushed them. Rounding the corner, Rayzok saw that he was right. What a sight to behold, he thought. I think I’ll just stay here and watch.

And what he watched was quite a spectacle. Lohrua quickly used his mask to scan Vaturi, bringing a quick profile of Vaturi’s new form to his mind. She now had four mechanical arms, each carrying a protosteel blade. Her mask had been replaced, gaining a powerless helmet with a visor. She also had no access to her natural powers over dark matter, since most of her organic form had been removed. He also quickly saw that, while she was quick, coordinated, and dangerous, she was also reasonably easy to damage, which Lohrua planned to help the team use to their advantage. He hadn’t been standing still while making this analysis, though. He had been dodging Zartok’s red disintegrator beams and projectile attacks from the Rahkshi. He passed the info on to his teammates, who sprang into action.

Suntrah engaged Zartok in the air to make quick work of ridding the team of his annoyance. Panuko stuck his staff in the floor and sent ice crawling over the far half of the room, where the Rahkshi and Vaturi were, making it slippery. Buraka fired electro-bolts from her staff as Levuku did the same with acid, keeping the Rahkshi busy.

The Toa went for Vaturi, trying to force her up to a wall and pin her there. Vaturi fought off their attacks bravely, but their fury and speed forced her on the defensive, and their strategy worked. Partly. Vaturi was indeed forced into the wall to the left of the hallway, but she dug the blades in each of her four hands into the wall and scuttled up like an insect. Using sonic waves to float, Jahvoka tried to follow, but Vaturi met his charge and, with a few moves of her blades, Sent him flying toward his teammates. As they were surrounding him to check his well-being, Vaturi ducked into a nearby dormitory.

The Rahkshi, still occupied by dodging and swatting away blasts, were successfully being stalemated, and the addition of the Toa made the advantage shift to the Alliance. It seemed that the Rahkshi would lose, but, in reality, they were maneuvering into a more compact arrangement. Once in it, only so many blasts could hit them at a time, and the interior Rahkshi had cover form the outer ones. The Plant-Rahkshi went to work, plunging its staff into he ground, sending a small horde of vines to wrap around the Crynok’s and Lohrua’s hands, holding their weapons back. While the fighters were freeing themselves, the Lightning-Rahkshi shot Lohrua’s Zamor Launcher and destroyed it. The Rahkshi charged, but a small wall of flame from Runik cut off half of them, leaving the other four to face the Toa. The Shadow-Rahkshi lunged for Jahvoka, but he used well-tuned sonic tones to make the creature’s feet vibrate. The instability in friction with the ground made the creature slip, allowing Jahvoka to toss his claw tools onto the Rahkshi’s wrists, pinning it down. He then sent concussive waves of sound at the Rahkshi’s headplate until it shattered and the Kraata was reduced to bits.

The Cyclone-Rahkshi didn’t fare so well, either. It charged for Runik, who struck first, blasting the creature with flame. It summoned a cyclone to scatter the flames, but a pillar of stone created by Bartha was turned to magma and flung by the twister at the Rahkshi. As the antidermis monster was coated in lava, Runik absorbed the heat of it into himself, effectively creating a statue out of it.

Yurdil at first seemed to be alone against the electricity-controlling Rahkshi and the teleporting Rahkshi, but Runik and Bartha finished so quickly they came to her side before she had to defend herself. This first Rahkshi sent lightning bolts out of its staff, which were cancelled out by water spheres and tossed rocks. The second Rahkshi teleported behind the three Toa, but Runik spotted it in time, and superheated the floor beneath it to force it to retreat. The Rahkshi hissed in pain and began to teleport, but a loud whine blared at the exact moment it tried to do so, caused by Jahvoka, who was approaching. The tone disrupted the Rahkshi’s scattered atoms mind-teleport, and also stopped it from returning to normal.

While he did this, the Lightning-Rahkshi’s efforts were being resisted by the other three Toa. Yurdil and Bartha blacked its attacks with their elemental powers, while Runik shot fire bolts at the creature. The creature managed to find haven behind a doorway. The Toa could see a glow emanating from behind the wall, a sign the creature was charging its power. In unison, Yurdil, Runik, and Bartha utilized their abilities, Bartha bringing up a stone wall, Yurdil eroding it to sand, and Runik fusing it to glass. They then got between the Rahkshi and their creation. The blue-white creation of Rayzok burst out from behind the doorway, firing a huge lightning bolt. The Toa all dove aside, allowing the bolt to strike the glass wall behind them, reflect, and strike the Rahkshi. Even as the creature blew apart, Bartha used his power on the atom-scattered Teleport-Rahkshi that Jahvoka was keeping busy, sending pile driver of stone into the Rahkshi’s substance, scattering its atoms. The matter condensed into a mist then dissipated.

Runik’s fire wall had died down, allowing the other three Rahkshi to charge forward, but by now the three Crynok and Lohrua were free too. Levuku melted the Plant-Rahkshi’s faceplate with acid venom, while Buraka pumped the Stasis-Rahkshi full of her Energy Discharge power and Panuko gored the Plasma-Rahkshi with staff-created diamond crystals. Lohrua ripped the only remaining Kraata, the Plant-Kraata, out of its Rahkshi and tossed it in the air, planning to chop in half with his staff.

Instead it was struck with an explosive and incinerated. Suntrah descended into the middle of the team then, and told them all how he had managed to distract Zartok long enough to lead him near a window. Then, a quick flying roundhouse kick was enough to send the maniac through the window and out into space.

As the team realized Vaturi was still unaccounted for, she charged back into the room, four arms swinging around vigorously...almost like a weedwhacker.

"Oh, crud," Levuku said.

Voran shrugged. "That's no big deal," he said, and fried her circuits with a high-voltage blast from his staff.

"What was that for!?" Suntrah screamed at him. "She used to be our friend and teammate!"

Voran simply said, "Used to be, but not anymore. She decided that our path in life was not for her, so she’s living with the consequences.” A pause. “Yes, she’s alive, and she'll self-repair in time as well."

"Bad news," Lohrua piped up. "We lost a weapon." Lohrua displayed his now-free arm, thus announcing that his disassembling-Zamor sphere launcher was gone.

“Well,” said Suntrah, “I guess that means disassembling Vaturi fast and painlessly is out of the question.”

“As is your departure,” Rayzok said, rounding the corner. Levuku fired a blast of acid at the same time as Voran fired lightning. The two blasts met, and Levuku’s acid ignited, making a huge fireball, which blinded Rayzok and cut him off from the Alliance.

“Let’s get the Karzahni out of here,” Voran said, and led the team away from Rayzok, through the hallways, and to a window. Having Jahvoka’s sonics shatter it, they all dove out of it and slid down the mountainside.

Rayzok’s base was carved out of a volcano in the center of the island, surrounded by a ring-shaped lake. As the Avenging Alliance slid sown the slope, Voran shouted at them to prepare for a drop. The drop came pretty quickly, and the team straightened their bodies to hit the water without too much noise, for fear Rayzok would be listening. Voran led the team to the shore while underwater. The team then traveled across the rest of the land, under cover of the jungle, to the ocean.

Their former base was no longer safe, so the Alliance relocated to a small islet just off the main island. They set up a brief camp, and gathered around the fire to discuss all the happenings. Voran did his best to dwell on the negative. "I challenge anyone to find ONE good thing about this whole ordeal," Voran grumbled.

Levuku took the challenge. "I'll give you three. We're ALIVE, we're safe from Scorpio-Spiders here, and know finally know the truth about yourself."

“How is that last a good thing?” Voran asked.

Levuku shrugged. “Well, the Makuta gave you a pretty self-deceiving existence, so I’d think you’d be glad you’re now informed of the truth.”

"Okaaaaaaay, I'll give you that," Voran said, smiling for the first time in quite a while. “Good job, all. Let’s retire.”

With many statements of agreement, the other Alliance members each made a bed for themselves, and settled in to sleep. Voran was the last one up. He chose to sit and ponder for a minute or so more.

He looked up at the stars. There were many visible, since it was a clear night. There was little chance of rain to disturb their sleep. Of course, Rayzok could do it, but after how hard the Alliance had just hit him and his forces, they could probably look forward to a long break. The thought of Rayzok brought Voran’s recent revelation to mind. So he was a Runask, like Suntrah and Lohrua. Big deal. Levuku was right. It was better to know the truth. Our enemies are already trying to deceive us in every way possible. There’s no need to help them succeed because the lie was more comfortable than the truth.

Voran doused the campfire and settled into his own improvised sleep pallet. Tomorrow was a new day, and he needed to be ready. It was time to stop worry about what could have been. It was time to sleep in preparation for what was to come.

To be Continued ...[]