Peaceful Beginning Edit
Altronia. The name meant "war" or "deserted" in the natives' tongue. Unfortunately all the natives were hunted to extinction, meaning that "Altronia” was an appropriate name for it. Currently it was home to dangerous Rahi known as Chilas and a huge fortress. The fortress was home to those Lihee, Toa of Fire once spoke of in telling his past to his friends. A few hundred Toa and about several dozen others inhabited the walls, all bound in a single, united duty. That duty was to destroy, mangle, and grind into tiny pieces any who defied the Great Spirit Mata Nui. They started with the Brotherhood of Makuta, but it did not go well, and they soon focused on Brotherhood of Makuta servants instead of actual members. When a member were to isolate him or herself, the warriors capitalized on it. Little did they suspect the big universal changes they would have to endure.
Suntrah stood at the bow of a vessel headed for Altronia, the Land of War. How long had it been since he had met his current friends? Months? A Year? And even then he was fighting them, under the ubermensch Burtok and flushed with evil. He had pursued them, taunted them from the shadows, and tried to kill them. Then Jahvoka destroyed his scythe and all changed. He found that little scrap of sanity that he had been unable to see before, and decided to grab hold. At the last moment he joined Voran and blasted Burtok as hard as he could, ending the battle and winning the trust of his future teammates.
That was all in the past now. Suntrah had business to deal with. Trallix had wrecked his air gun and Suntrah was remastering his skills at black lightning control and martial arts. True, he needed to get back in practice, but he would still sure hate to have to fight himself even now.
Even as Suntrah thought all these things over, he did not feel the eyes of a strange thing upon him. It watched him intently, and soon decided to attack him. The other being’s decision triggered Suntrah's mask, giving him a precognitive flash of the nearby enemy, and he whirled to face his opponent. What he saw was a disappointment. A thin, lanky creature holding a spear was looking at him.
"Aw, did I chuckle again? I really need to stop that. Especially when I am trying to ambush someone. I guess the anticipation gets to me! Hehehehehoohoohahaha!"
Although Suntrah was a little cocky, due to his visitor's state of being quite thin, his centuries of experience told him to examine his opponent and try to figure out his strengths and weaknesses. The strange, lanky being was clad in black and green armor and carried a spear with a huge, flattened head. He looked to have powerful legs and obviously had large claws. Best to avoid those. He had sharp teeth, which Suntrah could tell because his visitor was grinning, but that did not seem to be a threat.
Suntrah was done noting things now. "What's taking so long?" his visitor asked him. "Strike me already! I'm bored!"
Suntrah was only too happy to oblige. He lashed out at his opponent, but feinted at the last moment. The whacko thus tried to parry with his spear, but missed, so Suntrah followed through with a spinning kick to his opponent's side. Suntrah's quarry fell into the ocean below the ship's deck. Suntrah rushed to the edge of the deck to see his opponent fall. He expected to see him fall in, curse, and try in vain to climb up the side of the boat. What he wasn't expecting was to see his quarry turn his fall into a dive, strike the water clean, and reappear a few seconds later to leap straight out of the water and into Suntrah's face. The strange, crazy being latched onto Suntrah's head and tried to yank him into the ocean. Suntrah turned around and drove his head into the deck of the boat, his opponent sandwiched between Suntrah’s forehead and the floor. Once his opponent let go, Suntrah kicked him hard, sending him skidding across the deck.
"What are you?" Suntrah asked coldly. "I like to know what to avoid so that I do not face the same annoyance twice."
"His "visitor" smiled. "Ooooh, cranky, are we? Go jump in a lake." The psycho gestured toward the side of the boat.
"That's the ocean." Suntrah corrected.
"WHATEVER!" His visitor shouted, "Just go jump in it!"
"Are you going to answer my question yet?" Suntrah asked, exasperated.
"What was the question again?" was the reply. This time there was no wasted action. Suntrah stormed over to his quarry, grabbed his neck, and heaved him into the air.
"Now I'm annoyed." Suntrah declared. "And when I get annoyed, I throw things."
His captive smiled again. "I honestly forgot the question. Could you repeat it?"
"Tell me who you are, you annoying sand snipe!" Suntrah demanded.
"Please, sir, I am so afraid of people throwing me around. I am called Zallirix, and I was keeping my beach clean. I was going to take this boat apart for parts, but you showed up, and, naturally, I tried to avoid detection."
Suntrah was not amused. "So you could ambush me. And let's not forget that we are far from any shore."
"Suntrah, We've landed!" Runik called. Runik's call surprised Suntrah, and Zallirix grinned again.
"Or not. Now let me go!" He drew his legs back and kicked Suntrah aside. Once free, he executed a series of acrobatic flips and disappeared over the side of the boat.
It was too late. The strange being was gone. Sighing, Suntrah glided down to the beach and surveyed his surroundings. Where he was obviously was not a Matoran vacation resort. It was basically a flat, barren desert island with nasty-looking shapes lumbering off in the distance. There was also another shape off in the distance. It looked like a foreboding fortress. In Suntrah's view, Lihee looked as if he was going to faint. That fortress was apparently where Lihee had said he had trained in the past. Zalkatrex looked upon the building with aggravation and slight disdain. Then again, that was basically how he regarded everything, but Suntrah sensed something different than just Zalkatrex's cranky nature at work. The aged Hokanuka somehow recognized the building, was familiar with it, and disliked its inhabitants. Suntrah was good at analyzing people, and his mask was just a supplement to that skill. It was a good advantage in battle. And sometimes, Suntrah thought, advantages are all one needs to win.
Zallirix examined his enemies with a look of curiosity and aggravation. They had invaded his beach and were now trying to get to The Building. Something had to be done to drive these thoroughly sensible and wholly sane beings off this island. After all, there was no one sensible and wholly sane anywhere on this island. Or, Zallirix was reminded, they could succumb to partial madness, like the owner of that fortress, and then they would be welcome. If that would work, then it would be Zallirix's job to be the one to drive them mad. He was good at that.
Then he remembered that he was not the designated welcome wagon for the island. Why had he actually spent all this time planning this out when he was never going to do it at all? Life had too many questions for Zallirix. He wanted the answers to be in the back of the book. Life also required far too much patience. Zallirix had precious little, and he just wanted to get to the good part. Whatever the "good part" of life was, Zallirix did not know, and really did not care. All he cared about was fun, and lots of it. He glanced around at the newcomers. The young, emerald green warrior looked just about ripe for fun time. Whatever or whenever "fun time" was.
Levuku had been having a rather peaceful fifteen seconds on Altronia. The ship had landed without breaking, which was a miracle in itself. What's more, they would not be in danger of death once they knocked on the fortress's door, Zalkatrex told them. More pleasant surprises.
Then Zallirix lunged at Levuku like a Muaka at a Rahkshi. Yelling, "BANZAI!" the lanky, twisted being latched on to Levuku and tried to take his mask off. Levuku held onto his mask with both hands, but that allowed Zallirix to snatch Levuku's staff away from him. He rested it on his shoulder like a heavy blaster and aimed the bottom end at Levuku. The young warrior rolled to his feet instinctively, because bad things befall one who waits too long in battle. Coincidentally, he avoided Zallirix's attack with the move, which Levuku soon discovered was acid venom, fired from his own staff. Zallirix reset and fired again. This time Levuku used his mask to teleport and avoid the attack. Zallirix reset again, and the process cycled rapidly. Zallirix was soon laughing like the overenthusiastic maniac that he was. Levuku's comrades dove for cover from the flying acid. Zallirix soon stopped firing short bursts, and just went for broke, a constant acid stream.
This was Levuku's chance. The constant stream was harder for Zallirix to control, making it harder for him to aim and change position. Levuku disappeared and popped up behind Zallirix, the action of which was followed up by a flipping of Levuku's staff back into the hands of its rightful owner.
Now, when the Hokanuka had set out from Crystal Island, they took with them many things plundered from Burtok’s fortress, obviously before it had been covered in lava. One of those was a small speeder, intended for a small being to ride. Yarik had used it to travel from land to land quickly, but with his metamorphosis and more recent demise, it had been up for grabs, and the Hokanuka got to it first. The Hokanuka planned to allow their larval members use it, thus opening a whole new area of possibility for the types of missions that the young creatures could be assigned. That plan would not last long, as not many do not when Zallirix is around. Once Levuku knocked his own staff out of Zallirix's hand, the mad combatant turned tail and ran straight toward Yarik’s speeder, which had been abandoned when acid was flying everywhere. Zallirix jumped on the speeder and kicked on the ignition, starting to hover above the ground.
"Muwahahahahaaaaa-" *cough* "Eat lasers, cheater!" Zallirix shouted. He trained the laser sights on Levuku and pulled the trigger. Hot beams of energy flew out of the lights on the speeder's front, which seared past Levuku's mask. It was time to move.