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Two Hours Later

"Who is that, sitting over there with Gyotaren and Feyain?" demanded Onathei to his captive. There was no response. He realized that the poison had probably made Hirirai blind by now. "He looks like you but he's turquoise."

"Kusurai," said Hirirai weakly. The poison had gotten to him and within minutes he would be beyond help.

"Hold out a little longer," Onathei said. "I'll give you some of the antidote in a minute." The Toa of Plantlife scooped up Hirirai in his arms and jogged to Kusurai.

"I've got your friend here," said Onathei. "He's minutes away from succumbing to the poison I gave him two hours ago."

Kusurai laughed. "That's ironic. Isn't it, Gyotaren? Feyain? Seeing as how you two will be dead in a few minutes too." Gyotaren moaned and grasped his stomach. Feyain made no sign that she was still among the living aside from her dimly-glowing heartlight and the fact that she was standing up. The poison had gotten to her quicker.

Onathei cracked his knuckles, a nervous habit of his. "It's definitely ironic. So, I'll heal your friend, you'll heal my friends, and we call it even?"

"No," Kusurai said. "I'll heal one of your friends. The other will die."

"You're bluffing," said Onathei. "You can't kill one of them just like I couldn't kill Hirirai. I was planning to give him the antidote no matter what."

"I don't bluff."

Feyain toppled over rather dramatically. She fell to her knees and then fell forward, catching herself on her palms. She coughed. Then her arms were too weak to support the weight of her upper body, and she collapsed. Just before she closed her eyes, she gave Onathei a grim smile. She mouthed "Go."

"No." Onathei's reaction was one word, said quietly. "No!" he cried. Onathei's head flung downwards, clanking against his collar-armor. "If Feyain is dead..." His face contorted and his eyes lit up with a thirst for blood. "Then you're next."

"Heh," said Kusurai. "You wouldn't kill anyone. You can't."

Onathei was beyond logic now. He had ceased thinking. "You'll pay!" he screamed. Onathei stepped forward. Kusurai shuddered and stepped back. Onathei grabbed Kusurai by the neck with one arm and raised him above his head. He squeezed.

Nearby, Gyotaren and Hirirai had mustered up enough strength to give cries of protest. But Onathei could only hear the sound of Kusurai's heart beating, drowning out everything else.

He didn't hear Kusurai choke, gasping for breath and pleading for life. Eventually he heard the heartbeat stop. He threw the corpse to the ground and fell to his knees.

He pried the antidote out of the lifeless hand of Kusurai. Then he retrieved the second antidote from Kusurai's other hand... Wait, thought Onathei, his consciousness returning to words instead of raw emotion. Kusurai had two antidotes?

Then he realized what had happened. In Kusurai's last moments, as a plea for life, he created a third antidote and had offered to heal them all. But Onathei had still killed him.

Somberly, Onathei handed Gyotaren and Hirirai each an antidote. They gladly took the offerings. Then he took the one he had created two hours back. He picked up Feyain's limp body. Then he slid the antidote into her mouth, hoping it wasn't too late.

Onathei stood and walked away.

Feyain was swimming in poisoned water. It was purple and viscous. She was at the bottom of a pool of it. She couldn't breathe.

She wondered vaguely when death would spare her.

Then a beam of light shot forth from outside of the pool. It grabbed her and warmed her and filled her lungs with air and her heart with life. The light carried her up and out of the pool. Around the pool was simply blackness. The light continued to carry her upwards, and upwards...


The voice was familiar. It called from the blackness.

"Feyain? Please, come back to us."

It was a second voice. It wasn't familiar.

The light was so warm and inviting. Everything else was cold and dark. Which should she choose?

She looked up. The light simply ended in more blackness. There was nothing waiting for her in either case but blackness.

So she chose to go where she had friends. Feyain escaped the light's grasp and fell.

She landed.

"She's breathing!" Hirirai cried.

Gyotaren only laughed in relief.

Feyain's eyes opened. She was in Gyotaren's arms. A joyful tear rolled off of Gyotaren's mask and landed on Feyain's mask. She recoiled at the sudden wetness.

"Onathei," said Feyain. It was a question.

"He thought you were dead," said Gyotaren. "So he killed Kusurai and stalked off."

"Then you healed me?" Feyain asked. Gyotaren noted that she didn't seem to be surprised by the mention of Onathei killing. Maybe Feyain had no respect for the Toa code either.

"No," Gyotaren said with a shrug. "Onathei slipped the antidote down your throat before he left. He thought you were dead, but he still had hope."

"Where he going now?" asked Feyain.

"Probably to fight Nizarkha on his own," said Hirirai.

"We follow him," said Feyain. It wasn't a suggestion. She wriggled out of Gyotaren's arms and stood up.

"He's a killer!" protested Gyotaren.

"I am too," said Feyain. "Dig up the dirt in that difcolored area."

"Which?" said Hirirai. "There are two."

"Two? That one."

Gyotaren nodded and made the earth churn and turn upside-down. Brought to the surface was the body of Kakirai.

"You killed him?" said Gyotaren, reburying the Rai of Fire. "I'm the only one who bothers with the Toa code, I guess."

"He died," said Feyain with a shrug. "I juft helped."

"Now dig up the other one," said Hirirai in puzzlement. Gyotaren agreed.

What was revealed shocked all three of them.

A turquoise plate of armor emerged from the dirt. Gyotaren moved the rest of the earth away.

"That's..." Gyotaren began, almost afraid to finish.

"Kusurai," finished Hirirai. "And yet..." He gestured to the strangled victim of Onathei. "So is that."

"If Kufurai wuv already dead," Feyain said, "who did Onathei kill?"

"An impostor," Gyotaren said.

"Well, obviuffly," Feyain said. "But who was the impovfter?"

"And more importantly, how did the impostor kill the real Kusurai?" said Hirirai. "There are no wounds on his body at all."

Then Gyotaren suddenly felt a brief flash of energy. He knew the energy signature. It was the same as the big enemy he had encountered in this very spot about three hours ago, only fainter. It quickly faded away. But it had been enough for him to figure out what was going on here. There was no time to explain; the only hope was for everyone to escape.

"Everyone, run!" he cried. "Someone far too powerful for us to fight is about to get here! If you don't run, you'll end up like Kusurai, or worse!"

Feyain turned and bolted in the direction she saw Onathei's footprints leading in. Hirirai flew. Gyotaren tunneled.

A deep voice that sounded as if the island itself was speaking let out a hideous curse as its prey escaped. The word it spoke could be heard throughout the island, but the voice was centered around the (fake) corpse of Kusurai.

The body then melted away, revealing a small red ball of energy. The energy ball formed into the same gigantic being Gyotaren had run into earlier.

"There will be tomorrow," the being said. "Or the next day. Or the next year. But one way or another, you will all become willing servants of Kaanyui."

"Onathei!" cried Feyain.

The Toa of Plantlife turned to see a girl who should have been dead. Onathei screamed. He punched himself.

"What'f wrong?" asked Feyain. "Aren't you happy to 'ee me?"

"More than you could ever know," said Onathei. "But if you're alive, then I killed Kusurai for nothing."

"You didn't kill Kufurai," said Feyain.

Onathei gave her a puzzled look. "Then who did I strangle?"

"I don't know," said Feyain. "Gyotaren just 'aid to run... He said that 'omeone far too powerful to fight wuv coming and he would kill uff. You only killed that 'omeone's imperfonation of Kufurai, and he lived. The real Kufurai wuv already dead."

Onathei started to talk but decided not to. He grabbed Feyain and hugged her. She squirmed to get out of his grasp but Onathei was stronger.

"Why try hurt me?!" demanded Feyain. It was too urgent of a situation to use grammar.

Onathei looked confused and released her. "I hugged you. It's a sign of friendship. What is your problem with other people touching you?"

"The Rahi not let other to touch them," said Feyain, her grammar taking a dip again below its previous limit.

"...Rahi? What do Rahi have to do with you?"

"I think I wuv Rahi one time. I was different from the reft. But they treated me like Rahi. Then Toa-girl find me."

"The one that brought you here?" asked Onathei.

Feyain nodded. "Toa-girl help me and try to teach me how to talk like Matoran again."


"I ufed to talk Matoran. But then Rahi made me forget. Before I talked like Matoran. With Rai and Auferv and Eilaiki and--"

"Auserv? Eilaiki?"

"They like me," Feyain explained. "Auferv start Ta and go Ak. I start Ak and go Ga. Eilaiki start Ga and go Palif like you."

"Their elements changed? Your element changed? Wait, Feyain, you're giving me the story of your past but in scattered chunks... Can you tell me the story from the beginning?"

"I'll try," said Feyain. She paused to think. "Firft I wuv born. Then...Auferv, Rahi, Toa-girl, Onathei."

"...Can I have more detail?"

"Nope," said Feyain, rubbing her head. "It hurtf... My head..." Suddenly she yelped, and Onathei was reminded of a startled Rahi crying out in pain. "It never hurt thif bad before," she moaned.

Onathei caused a short plant to grow nearby. He sat down and gestured for Feyain to as well. "Eat this," he said, picking one out, plucking off the roots, and handing them to Feyain, who was sitting facing him. "It helps with headaches."

Still clutching her head with both hands, Feyain leaned forward and Onathei put it in her mouth. Feyain was breathing heavily. "Is there any way I can make you more comfortable?" Onathei asked, wincing just from witnessing her pain.

"Hug me again," Feyain whispered. Onathei gladly obliged.

How annoying, Gyotaren thought, hiding underground in a tunnel he had made. Feyain and Onathei are Mata Nui-knows-where, I'm completely lost, and there's a tall guy, a dragon, Nizarkha, and ten Rai still out there, plus whatever else lives on this "uninhabited" island.

He decided to burrow upwards out of the tunnel and see where he was. As soon as he did so, he regretted it.

"Hello, Gyotaren," said a girl's voice.

"We've been expecting you," said another girl.

"Yes, for a long time," agreed a third.

"Now we're going to get revenge for what your friends did to Kusurai and Kakirai," said a fourth feminine voice.

A fifth: "Even if you weren't involved, your death will make the others more...cautious."

Finally the sixth girl spoke. "So, Gyotaren, now you have to die."