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Ikki o' Moopyville

Rahi Raid

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Hullo all -- postin' here a story that takes place on the island of Mata Nui, before the coming of the Toa Mata, at a time where great changes were spoken of in the winds. This is the story of the Rahi Raid, the darkest event in the Age of Makuta...

Chapter 1 – Exodus

Jala snapped open his eyes. Thunder echoed through his head and his vision was blurred by thick, choking smoke. He covered his mouth and painfully got to his feet when he felt a bolt of pain in his right leg. Clenching his teeth and narrowing his eyes to keep out the smoke, he limped forward inch by inch. There was shouting everywhere, bare discernible words in the mayhem of blackness. Too late he realized his foot had hit something sharp and he fell forward, slamming headfirst into the ground. A voiceless cry escaped his throat, and he began climbing forward.

A gust of wind blew away the smoke where he lay, exposing him yet allowing his to get some sense of orientation. Limp or dead bodies lay scattered to all his sides, and faint figures were running wildly about. It was impossible to make out the source of the smoke or the shouts, but it did give an overview of the situation. Pretty bad, Jala thought.

His hand fumbled for some leverage to lean on, and to his surprise it grabbed something eerily organic.

"Owww! Leggo!" cried a voice above him. Jala looked up, seeing the owner of the leg he had grabbed. He pressed his teeth hard together and with a hard push got himself to his feet. He leaned on the Le-Koronan.

"Sorry, Turaga," he said. "Thanks for the support, if you don't mind."

"Grab away. Two limps a fresh man makes," the elder said. He looked to be in pain as well, but kept it well concealed behind his mask. He began dragging Jala along the half-shattered stone wall on their left. "C'mon, I heard cries from o'er here. Didn't sound as wimpy as highflyers, could be yours."

Jala immediately saw what his limping friend was referring to. Amidst the gusts of smoke and broke rock lay three Tohunga bodies, covered in ash and dust, yet with faint glimpses of fiery colors showing from their armor. Ta-Koronans, no doubt. Jala immediately let go of his grip on the Turaga and on his one unbroken foot hopped over to them.

"Vohon!" he shouted, recognizing one of them as the local trader. Vohon showed no reaction. Jala cursed, bent over him, and grabbed his body, shaking his gently. "Wake up, comrade!"

Vohon jumped back to quickly Jala stumbled backwards. "What… cap'n?"

Behind Jala, the Le-Koronan Turaga was not as friendly with the other two Matoran. Activating his mask power, he sprayed them with beams of ice-cold water; after a few moments both of them were spluttering helplessly trying to get away from the icy shower.

"Giddyup, you two!" the Turaga shouted. Then, having cut off the water and seeing them to their feet, he added "Y'alright?"

Both nodded, looking somewhat confused. The taller one spotted Jala and went over to him with wide eyes. "Jala?! What happened?" he half-cried.

"I'm still trying to get an overview of things around here, Nuri," Jala replied. Then he turned to Vohon. "You three, go to the gates." There was a flash of light behind him and deafening roar. "Now!"

Vohon shook his head resolutely. "Nuh-uh. I'll stick with you veterans."

Jala frowned, about to reply when he was cut off by the Turaga. "I'll lead these fellas to the gates, Jala. You go do your thing."

Jala considered it for a brief moment, and then nodded his assent. With no further words, he turned to face the smoke and ran into the midst of it.

"C'mon, folks," the Turaga said and started towards the gates, followed by two concerned Matoran and a very silent one.

Jala ran through the last walls of smoke, gasping for breath when he realized he was out in the open again. He looked up. Before him lay Rangi's Temple, the massive building that housed the esoteric Wall of History and was the home of the Scribes. He looked around sharply. There were battered blocks, unseen people shouting, and guttural howls and roars – but no one waiting to attack him. With a final glance behind him, he ran um the ash-covered stairs and into the Temple.

Inside, all was dark. The Sacred Fire had been put out, and seemingly nobody was here. Jala cursed aloud and was about to run back the way he had come, when he heard a faint voice near the farthest wall. Startled, he looked into the darkness, but could make out nothing. "Who is there?" he called out. When he heard no response, he slowly walked further into the Temple, his heartlight flashing rapidly. When he got to the end of the building, he called out again. This time a reply came, and in a very familiar voice. "Over here," Vakama said. He sounded as I he was in pain, and Jala quickly went over to where the voice had come from. Gasping, he could barely make out Vakama lying on the cold stone floor, his arm pinned by a massive stone block.

Jala pushed at it with all his might, but it would not budge. In the dense blackness, he saw Vakama wave off his efforts. "That's not important right now," the Turaga said, his voice rasping as he spoke. "You have to get out of this city, Jala."

"What?" Jala said in disbelief. "There are Rahi everywhere, killing all the people! We have to t least get them out of here, if we can't win back Ta-Koro!"

Vakama shook his head solemnly. "The Ta-Koronans will be fine. They're not the reason the Rahi are here… not today."

Jala had no idea what to say to these words. Vakama saw this, and grabbed his hand. "It is of utmost importance that you get to safety, Jala. In this war to come, this war that begins with fire and end with ashes, the stars have chosen you as our only hope."

"I came here to save you, and Captain Ni—"

"You came here, and now you have to go. I will take care of the captain and the people." Seeing Jala's disbelief, he added. "Trust me, Jala. When has that failed?"

"When have prowler cats overrun Ta-Koro," Jala muttered in response. He looked sternly at the elder. "What is happening, Vakama?"

The Turaga just shook his head again. "Get to safety, my friend. I will have the Nihkeh bring you an update three days.

For some minutes, Jala stared at the stone block which was pinning Vakama's arm to the floor. "How are you going to help yourself?" he asked.

The Turaga gave a faint smile. "Trust me, Jala. Just… trust me and get out of here."

Jala got his feet, grabbed a burned out torch that lay on the ground, and leaned on it. Then he gave his friend a solemn nod, and limped out of the Temple the way he had come. On his way, his eyes caught a dully gleaming weapon-like object lying on the ground: the Chronicler's staff. With a quick motion he snatched it from its resting place amidst the dust, then limped out into Ta-Koro again.

"Where're all your folks? Don't tell me they be dead?"

Jala shook his head. He, the Turaga, and the three Matoran were standing under the canopies of a large tree right where the forest met Ta-Wahi. "They're meeting up with us later," Jala said. "Vakama got it under control… apparently." He realized his own lack of conviction did not make a strong case for the already unbelievable notion.

"Sure he does," Nuri said. "Is this some village-wide suicide act, Jala?"

Jala looked at him sharply, but said nothing. He turned to the rest of the group then. "All right, people. This is what we have to do." He held out a map that showed the borderlands on the eastern side of the island. "We go to Ga-Koro. From there, we can gather the crabs and… move back."

Nuri held up a finger. "Now hold on. By that time, there’ll be nothing but ashes here. How's that smart?"

"We just got out of the fire, and we can do nothing to help those still in it," Jala said with as much conviction as he could muster. "Therefore, we go to the waters to put out the embers."

It took some minutes to agree on a route, and Vohon was elected to guide the way. Creeping their way under the lush, peaceful canopies of the forest, the group was soon well on the move. For the longest time, however, Jala could not shut out the cries and howls in the distance behind them.

"Is this what they call insanity, Jala?" the Turaga said, catching up to him. "We're runnin' like bugs while the nest is being scorched. Y'know that, right?"

Jala said nothing, just kept walking. The more he thought about it, the worse he felt for not being there to at least die with his people. Yet he could not shake off what Vakama had said either… the Turaga had never been wrong. He loathed reminding himself that he was not in charge of the military actions of the town, but he knew how much safety depended on the hierarchy.

"A'ight, listen, you don't need reasons, friend. We've known each other many sunfalls, an' never has your judgment betrayed us. We go to Ga-Koro." The Turaga clapped him on the shoulder, then merrily went up ahead to chat to Vohon.

Jala nodded. "Thanks, Juhko," he called out to him.

Turaga Juhko looked back at him with his usual odd grin, then limped on.

Will be updating soon. Feedback is mucho appreciated. :classic:


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