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The Gunner Chronicles
P5270260
Story
Setting
Date Set
1 BKT - 3 AKT
Timeline
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The Gunner Chronicles is the story of Toa Gundak, better known as Gunner and his adventures, brushes with death, and other close encounters. The Gunner Chronicles is a side-plot of Out of the Blue and Into the Black and A World at War , and is considered a part of the Primordius Magna Civil War Story Arc.

Chapter 1. The Toa Alpha[]

Gunner felt like he had only been asleep a few minutes, then once again, Toa Fernox was rousing him for another mission. That was the problem with being a member of the Toa Alpha. No rest. Only life threatening Missions.

"What is it this time?" yawned Gunner as he picked up his twin handguns.

"A horde of chardask demons are marching toward the city on Gonda Nui. We have to stop them!"

Suddenly Gunner was wide awake. "Where's the team? We're going to need a plan." Gunner was strategist on The Toa Alpha, an elite team of eleven toa who specialized in highly dangerous situations. They had trained hard to carry out tasks normal toa teams could not.

"Everybody else is arming themselves with weapons," replied Fernox. He was the leader of this five-star team and he led it well. Gunner slipped his bandolier on and followed Fernox out of his sleeping quarters and into the main hall of the Alpha Base. A large helicopter stood ready, blades spinning as the two toa leaped inside it. The helicopter sailed into the sky as the elven toa prepared for battle.

"Hey Gunner, what's the plan? asked Lhurini, a toa of are who was fingering his long blade lovingly.

"Well, I suppose we could dig a trench and have half of us wait in it for the chardask to come and have half lure or drive the in that direction. From the trench, we could take them out one-by-one with a couple of well-aimed shots." Gunner finished his briefing looked around.

"I've got the trench digging covered," grinned Whenapu, a muscular toa of earth. "As for placing a few well-aimed shots, got that too." He a rocket onto the launcher he carried with him. Every toa on the team had special-built weapons that that took a lot of skill to use, but were among the best weapons around.

When the helicopter arrived at the island, it hovered and the toa disembarked, sliding down a rope to the ground. Fernox gave orders to dig the trench and set up artillery as Gunner studied their position.

"I see them! The chardask are advancing this way! Hurry everybody!" Gunner yelled and the toa worked faster. The wind was howling around them and Fernox had to shout just to be heard.

"To positions everybody!" Fernox was leading a band of six toa, including himself, to attempt to lure the Chardask towards where Gunner and the remaining four other toa were positioned in the trench.

Gunner watched as the Chardask drew closer. The fight had began.

Chapter 2. The Battle of Gonda Nui[]

Gunner could barley see Fernox or any other member of the division Fernox was leading. The sky was grey with clouds overhead. Dust blew around everything.

"When do we attack?" asked Zeuna, a toa of lightning.

"Wait until I give the orders," Gunner replied to her. Gunner watched as a toa of ice went down. The chardask were ruthless warriors and had almost complete resistance to elemental attacks. They were formidable opponents. A group of four or five broke through the resistance and charged strait for the trench. "Wait for it, wait for it," Gunner muttered to himself. He was about to order a charge when something went devastatingly wrong.

He and all the other toas in the trench watched in horror as Fernox was taken taken down by three Chardask. "No!" This made Gunner hesitate in his command. and the chardask surged forward. "Charrrrrrrge!" Screamed Gunner but his call came too late. As He and Zenua and all the other toa leaped over the trench, the onslaught of Chardask overran them. Whenapu went down first, followed by a toa of water. Gunner fought for his life firing his twin handguns at everything around him.

"Rhhhooooaaar!" Gunner was nocked of his feet and trampled by several chardask. He felt the breath of the demons on him and knew he would die, just like everyone else. He had once choice. Summoning all his energy, Gunner began to charge up. Must...nova... he thought as he felt his energy drain into one final attempt to end it all. Gunner released a nova blast of magnetism. The world around him collapsed. The Chardask were stripped of their weapons, and armor. Everything even made of metal, no mater how remote began to swirl in a massive cyclone. The cyclone spun faster and faster until it burst in a shock wave nocking everything over. Not a chardask demon was left standing. Gunner felt week, and he collapsed.

"What? I'm not dead? I'm alive! But where is the rest of my team?" Gunner felt himself recovering from his black out although he was still week. Gunner found his handguns underneath a dead chardask and picked them up. That's when he noticed Zeuna. She was alive. "Zeuna! You're alive."

"Alive...not for much...longer. Gunner...you've destroyed the city." And with that, the toa of lightning passed out of existence.

"Toa Gunner!" A turaga of stone by the name of Orunik was walking toward him, flanked by two toa of fire and followed by a large, tall being Gunner did not recognize. "You were supposed to protect matoran from harm. You have destroyed the city of Gonda Nui and several matoran have been killed!

"There was no other way. The chardask would have overran the city and killed everybody. I had to nova."

"Yes, but you demolished the city! Several matoran died!" The angry Turaga was handed a scroll from one of his toa guards. "For your use of a nova blast which killed many matoran, I hear by sentence you to a life imprisonment of the moon of Lunas Magna."

"What? Gunner asked completely outraged. "I did that in the interest of the matoran. By killing a few, I have saved hundreds."

"Yes but you broke the toa code by killing, not just the demons you were permitted to kill, but the matoran who you swore to protect. Malleus, take him away!"

Gunner shot at the tall being, but to no avail. Malleus whacked the toa of magnetism around the head, nocking him unconscious again. "Now, to Lunas Magna." Malleus grabbed Gunner with one hand and with the other, created a geyser of molten protodermis, sending him high into the air.

Chapter 3. Lunas Magna[]

When Gunner came around, he found himself on an unrecognizable barren landscape. "What...Where am I?"

The large figure of Malleus standing over him answered "Welcome to Lunas Magna, home of the convicts, the delinquents and a few other nasty things I won't even mention."

"Great," muttered Gunner. "Just great. Do I even get a trial?"

"Orunik sentenced you without a trial, for he feels that you are so obviously guilty that there is no point in wasting the time."

"Well," Gunner said angrily, "Do I at least get to keep my weapons?"

Malleus replied "Turaga Orunik wishes you not to have them but I will let you keep them." And with that, the titan lord vanished.

Gunner stared around his new 'home'. There were high fences, toped with razor wire surrounding a large camp. Beyond it lay barren landscape of hard dirt and few plants. Imprisoned, his team dead and his life ruined. To release his anger, Gunner took a few shots at some yellow and green armored beings, known as the Lunarians, who guarded the camp.

"Hey, someone disarm this one! He's got guns!" yelled one of the lunarians, Gunner rolled over and fired a few more times.

"If there's a way off this rock, I will find it," he said to him self. Gunner was going to make an escape. There were lunarians everywhere. A high rock face looked the most promising. Gunner ran to the wall and began to ascend it.

"Get back here!" yelled the Lunarians, climbing after him. Slipping, and stumbling, loosing his footing, Gunner scaled the rock wall and climbed over the edge onto a plateau. What he found waiting for him was 12 more lunarians, each one with a spear or whip. Gunner reached for his handguns but to his alarm, they were gone!

"Looking for these?" A lunarian who seemed to be the commander came up behind him, holding his handguns.

"Give them back, or else I will kill the lot of you, beginning with yourself," Gunner said threateningly.

A few Lunarian guards laughed. The commander asked sneeringly, "What are you going to do? We're all armed and you aren't.

Gunner grinned evilly. "When will you fools learn? Toa Gunner is never, I repeat, never unarmed." And with that, claws appeared out of Gunners knuckles, long and deadly looking claws. "Yaahh!" Gunner leaped at the Lunarian guards. He slashed in the shoulder, got another adversary across the face and finally, sliced the head off a third. They lashed their whips at him and stabbed their spears towards him but Gunner was no going to give in. The commander fired the handguns and Gunner, hitting him in the shoulder.

"Oh, no you don't! Those are mine!" Gunner used his power of magnetism to yank his pistols out of the commanders hands. They sailed through the air and he caught them, retracting his claws. Gunner faced the remaining lunarians, holding his pistols. "Back off! Clear out! he yelled. The lunarians obliged, hissing as they went. "I am the master now!" Gunner yelled down to the lunarians. "Any who displease me shall suffer at my hands."

Gunner stared out over the vast wastelands in front of him. "Now what do I do? I need a team." Gunner looked back down at the prison camp. I could liberate the prisoners with my new authority. They would follow me and together we would find away out of this place.

Chapter 4. Toa Ignadux[]

Gunner found himself, once again, running for his life. The lunarian commander, whose name Gunner discovered was Marcanox, returned with reinforcements. "Eat protolead!" yelled Gunner, taking several shots with his twin handguns. One lunarian fell but the others kept coming.

"Get him! Kill him!" commanded Marcanox who returned fire from a projectile weapon of his own. Gunner ducked, scooped up a rock and using his mask of accuracy, heaved the rock which sailed towards the lunarians, nocking several off their feet.

"Take that, you miserable monsters," called Gunner jeeringly at them. A spear sailed through the air and hit him on the shoulder. "Aagghhh!" Gunner turned and fled toward the horizon. He ran as fast as he could, until he found some large boulders to hide behind. The lunarians following, Commander Marcanox stopped outside the boulders Gunner hid in.

"Spread out. He must be here somewhere," commanded Marcanox. From his hiding spot, Gunner could see the lunarians searching, jabbing their spears into crevices, and calling "Come out, come out wherever you are. You can't hide forever, toa." Gunner knew they would find him sooner or later so, he emerged out of the opposite side of the boulders.

"Woah!" Gunner found himself tumbling down a steep hillside, down toward another prison camp. He thought to himself, They'll never look for me here. Besides, I might be able to find some followers. Gunner crept up silently to the poles and fence incasing the prison camp. Summoning his power of magnetism, he bent the poles inward until each of the pointed toward the cells in the camp. With a sweep of his hands, Gunner released the poles, which flew like missiles, strait into the cells.

"What do you think your doing?" asked an outraged voice. A toa of fire with red and black armor emerged from a wrecked prison cell, brandishing a sword as he came.

"I'm Toa Gunner and I have just set you free."

"Toa Ignadux," replied the other. "If, thats what you call 'saving,' then allow me to save you." The toa of fire leaped at a surprised Gunner. Being a Toa Alpha, Gunner had developed quick reflexes and in a split second, his claws emerged from his knuckles and Gunner parried Ignadux's attack. "Oh, good form, good form, Ignadux said "But how's your defense?" He swiped at Gunners feet this time, Gunner only succeeded in partially blocking him.

"Ouch! Why, I'll teach you how a real toa fights," exclaimed Gunner, raking Ignadux's shoulder with his claws. "Why are you here anyway?"

"Well," Ignadux replied while cutting cooly downward and backward with his blade, "I was supposed to help negotiate prices of goods sold between the matoran of Falta Nui and the vortixx only, I used violence to solve the problem so, I'm up here. I want to get out of this wasteland."

"Well, we share a common goal," Gunner said while blocking a particularly fierce lunge made by Ignadux. Using his power of magnetism, he disarmed the toa of fire. "Now, will you join me in a team of fugitives in order to escape the lunarians and escape Lunas Magna?"

Ignadux, unarmed, gave in. "All right," he said. "I'll join you in this team. The Federation of Fugitives. We are going to need more recruits.

Chapter 5. The Federation of Fugitives[]

Gunner and Ignadux knew the lunarians were coming, so they worked as fast as they could, rescuing other prisoners from the camp Ignadux had been held in.

"All right, what do we have here?" asked Ignadux, as a yellow and black armored makuta exited the wreckage of his cell.

"Makuta Xeron ," replied the makuta, drawing a blade. "Are you here to try to kill me? Well, I'm going to make it difficult for you."

"No, we just need a team in order to find a way off this accursed moon," replied Gunner calmly. "Will you join us?"

"All right," replied the makuta. "I'll help you, but not because your toa, but because you need someone with experience on your side."

"Excuse me, but I was on the reserve for the Toa Alpha," Ignadux said indignantly.

"And I was actually on the Toa Alpha," added Gunner.

"You were one the Toa Alpha? You're better than I thought you were," said an incredulous Ignadux.

"Alright, let's go. The lunarians are coming," interjected Xeron. They set out, Gunner, Ignadux, Xeron, a skakdi named Rhanskul, vortixx named Garonuk , and two matoran.

"Where are we going exactly?" asked Murdak, one of the matoran.

"I don't know," away from here replied Gunner, a little irritated. Gunner had no real plan for he did not know what to expect. How are we going to get off Lunas Magna? Gunner though. Maybe if we took control of the moon, we could exchange the lunarian's freedom for our own. To the others he said, "We have to liberate the other prisoners so we can overthrow the lunarian's control on this moon. We will rule Lunas Magna!"

"What good will that do?" asked Garonuk.

"We can barter the lunarian's freedom for our own," replied Ignadux slowly.

"Exactly, Ignadux," said Gunner as they came upon another prison camp. Gunner thought, It's going to take alot of prisoners to make a large enough army.

.....


However, it was not until almost four years later, that Gunner had a large enough army to carry ou his plan. Gunner and Ignadux sat and watched their forces preparing. Over the last five months, the two toa had been liberating prisoners and building an army of fugitives. Now with over 500 escapees, they were preparing to capture the lunarian capital of Thalax. Xeron was bustling around, organizing the fugitives into divisions, and distributing weapons.

"Magnificent, isn't it?" Ignadux asked Gunner from their perch on a cliff overlooking the forces. "We are certainly going to capture that capital.

"Do you really think so, I know we have a large army and everything, but I thought nothing could destroy the Toa Alpha and...the...Chardask...you know," Gunner trailed off, reflecting on the death of his team.

"Oh, I see what you mean. But you had only eleven including yourself and look at what we have. More than 500 bloodthirsty warriors just itching to get some revenge," replied Ignadux with a smile. At that moment, Xeron flew up to where the two toa sat, beating his leathery wings.

"The forces are readily and waiting for your command," the makuta informed the toa. Gunner rose and called for quite. The chatter from the fugitive army died down.

"My fellow fugitives, most feared escapees of Lunas Magna," Gunner preached to much approval. "For long you have sat rotting in your prison cells. Some of you have forgotten what daylight looks like. Now is the time to avenge your time spent in these camps and compounds. Now is the time to show the lunarians what happens when you coup up monsters for too long. It is time to turn the beast loose!"

"Yeeeaaahhh!" cheered 500 convicts and delinquents.

"Now, we march on Thalax until there is nothing left to march on," Gunner concluded and looked at Ignadux. Ignadux grinned.

"This is where the fun begins."

Chapter 6. Terror in the Lunarian Capital[]

Across the vast expanse of bare, rock-like soil, trudged an army of 500 liberated prisoners. Each one was had a crazed expression of anticipation on his or here twisted face. And at the head of this tide of monsters, was none other than Toa Gunner. "Steady now, steady now. Don't brake ranks. Remember, victory and revenge lie ahead of us in the form of lunarians." Gunner was using psychology to encourage his army to attack. They were about to attempt to take the lunarian capital of Thalax.

"The thrill of anticipation, the excitement of battle, I love it! I love being back in action again." Ignadux was already enjoying himself and the battle had yet to begin.

"It feels like it has been years since I've snapped the spines of some good old-fashion enemies," Rhanskul the skakdi said with relish in his despicable voice. "I can't wait to get my hands on some lunarians." The Federation of Fugitives continued to surge north toward the lunarian capital until the arrived outside of a large citadel.

"Thalax," breathed Gunner to himself. "So this is the lunarian capital. In front of them, the citadel loomed ominously, a tall grayish-white colored complex with pillars stretching toward the sky.

"Who goes there?" yelled a lunarian from high up on a balcony.

"It is I, Toa Gunner, strategist for the Toa Alpha, and liberator of Lunas Magna. Lay down your weapons and surrender, or else we will shall see just how filthy your blood is."

"Your courage has brought you far, Toa. But we have correspondents you know. Commander Marcanox has informed us of your activity over the past five months and we have prepared a defense of the citadel," replied the guard.

"If you will not surrender, then you shall fall. Charge!" Gunner yelled at the top of his voice. The tide of fugitive soldiers charred forward, screaming and hissing as they went. The gates to the citadel opened and a legion of lunarian soldiers, headed by none other than Marcanox himself, charged out to meet the onslaught of escapees in front of them.

Claws appeared from Gunner's knuckles and with a swipe of his claws, Gunner began to fight for the capture of Thalax. A sword slashed inches from his face, but Gunner pivoted around and delivered a frightful blow across the neck of the Lunarian. "Agghhh!" He crumpled, dead away. Gunner turned jut in time two see two soldiers fly at him, almost literally. He ducked and they crashed into the back wall. He had no time to check the victims to make sure they were dead for he could see Ignadux in need of help.

Ignadux was backed up into a corner, battling two large lunarians with one sword. Gunner whipped out his twin pistols and with two shots, took out Ignadux's opponents. "Thanks," Ignadux managed to say.

"We stick together from now on," Gunner said. "That way, we can watch one another's back. Gunner was rammed hard to the floor and when he looked up he saw Marcanox, Commander Marcanox, standing over him.

"Time to die, toa. Prisoners should be punished." Gunner heard the malice and hatred in his voice and resized the time had come to fight Marcanox. It was to the death.

Gunner leaped to his feet, with surprising agility for such a heavily built toa, and fired his guns. Likewise, with great agility, the commander nocked the guns out of Gunner's hands and slashed him across the shoulder. Gunner could feel he was bleeding and defenseless. Gunner deployed his talons and lunged at his adversary, but was slashed down again. Ignadux attempted to intervene, but was forced to fight lunarians of his own.

Gunner could hear the battle still raging around and realized it was getting nowhere. But he was brought back to earth when Marcanox leaped upon him and slashed Gunner's chest. "Give up, and it will be quick and painless." Marcanox raised his sword.

"Give up? Never!" Gunner rolled under his opponent and, whipping his bandolier chain off, he slipped around a surprised Marcanox's neck and pulled with all his might. Gunner was thrown off by the lunarian who stood over him, blade poised in hand. "Fool! Is that the best you can do?"

"You're forgetting, I'm a toa of Magnetism." And with that, Gunner used his power of magnetism to control the bandolier, still around Marcanox's neck. The bandolier tightened, constricting the lunarian commander.

"Ugghhhh!" with one last gasp, Marcanox fell forward at Gunners feet. But the fight wasn't over yet.

Chapter 7. Helios[]

Gunner watched the fighting around him, he saw lunarians clash with prisoners, many soldiers falling on both sides and yet, neither side had the upper hand.

"Gunner," called Xeron as he blasted a lunarian backwards with a bolt of shadow. "It we are to win this battle, we must bring the citadel down."

"He's right, you know." Ignadux appeared at Xeron's side. "If we keep fighting, we will get nowhere. We have to collapse the citadel."

"All right, Gunner conceded. "But we have to hurry. We'll have to get to the bottom of the citadel in order to collapse it." The three of them set off down the hallways, running as fast as they could until suddenly, the side of a wall burst open, nocking the three fugitives off their feet. Gunner looked backward as the dust cleared. Xeron had disappeared behind the rubble and standing in his place, was a tall, figure of a toa, positively glowing with light.

"Greeting Toa Gundak, Toa Ignadux," said the glowing figure. "I am Helios."

"Are you a toa of light?" asked Ignadux in awe.

"A toa of light? No. I am light," replied Helios calmly.

"What do you mean you are light?" asked Gunner. "Do you mean you are an entity of light?"

"You could say that," replied Helios." "I am light in a physical living form. Without me, there is no light. I am the life force of Stella Maxiumus, the star that all the planets in this stellar system orbit around. But that's not the point. The point is I have come to give you a mission, and if you complete this mission, I can get you your freedom.

"Tell us more," inquired Gunner. "What is this mission you speak of?"

"Well, perhaps I should start at the beginning. I am the protector of the balances of life in this stellar system. Kentis Nui is the protector of the balances of life on Primordius Magna. However, about a month ago, Kronaxx corrupted Kentis Nui and now controls Primordius Magna. The Order of Kentis Nui has began to rally a rebellion against his 'Confederate Empire of Shadows.' This means the rebellion has a Titan Lord on their side, Malleus. However, there may be one other Titan Lord still alive and I need you two to assemble a strike team to find this Titan Lord and convince her to join the rebellion and not Kronaxx's Confederate Empire." Helios finished and looked at the two toa.

"Who is this Titan Lord you speak of?" asked Ignadux. Gunner had a bad feeling he had the answer before Helios gave it.

"Tethys. You must seek Tethys, Titan of water. You will find her on Orbis Magna."

"Great, said Gunner sarcastically. "Just great. So if we go and get are selves killed on this suicide mission, we will be redeemed of our errors and be allowed back into Primordius Magna?"

"Well, I wish I could help you but I cannot. However," Helios seemed to, if possible, brighten up even more, "I can give you a departing gift to aid you on your quest. An armor upgrade!" Helios waved his hand and Gunner looked down at his armor. It had grown bigger, thicker, and spikes had sprouted from his shoulders and sides. And yet, it didn't feel any different.

"This is awesome!" exclaimed Ignadux, looking at his enchanted red armor.

"And new weapons," said Helios, producing an upgraded version of Ignadux's fire-blade for the toa of fire, as well as a shield. For Gunner, he produced a large, rapid-fire cannon with a targeting scope.

"Thank you," breathed Gunner, looking at amazement at his new weapon. "I can't wait to try this out."

"Good luck, Toa Gundak, and toa Ignadux. I suggest you avert your eyes" With that, Helios disappeared in a blinding flash of light.

"Well, now we have a chance to escape Lunas Magna," remarked Ignadux, swishing his new blade through the air.

"Well now, I can't let you look for the Titan of Water alone now can I?" Ranskul leaped in through a hole in the side of the wall, grinning wickedly.

"And there is no way two toa and a skakdi are going to stand a chance against Tethys without a makuta!" Xeron reappeared from behind the rubble. "I'm coming, too."

"As am I." The vortixx Garonuk appeared, with a cut face, but grinning none the less.

"Well, said Gunner, I guess this is it. The federation of fugitives have a new mission: Find Tethys and not get killed in the process." On that note, the five fugitives of Lunas Magna set out on their suicidal quest.

Chapter 8. An Encounter on Orbis Magna[]

Gunner, followed by five other fugitive prisoners were racing out of the ruins of Thalax. Gunner and Ignadux had just been given a suicidal quest to find the murderous Titan Lord of Water, Tethys. They were just exiting the Citadel of Thalax when Garonuk suddenly stopped in his tracks. "What is it?" Gunner called back to the vortixx.

"I just though of something," he said. "Um, how are we going to get off this moon?" Gunner stopped too.

"I never thought of that. I assume Helios will give us some form of transportation once we're out of the Citadel. He fingered his new rapid-fire cannon nervously. He did not want the others to doubt his leadership skills. After all, some of them were convicted murderers.

As if to answer their question, a faintly glowing, pinkish colored vortex appeared in front of them and out stepped a tall gold-and-blue-armored being. An aura of power radiated off of him; he seemed to be almost glowing. In each of his hands there was an Olmak, the Mask of Dimensional Gates.

"I am The Keeper of Gates . Approach and chose on of the two Olmaks. One will take you to your desired destination and the other will lead you astray." He held up the two Olmak's.

"Which do we choose?" asked Rhanskul to Gunner, but it was Xeron who answered. The makuta stepped forward, grasped the Olmak in the Keeper's left hand, and put it on over his own mask.

"How do you know that's the right one?" asked Ignadux.

Xeron replied, "I wear the mask of foresight. I can see things right before they happen. I can see which mask will lead us to Orbis Magna and Tethys."

"That's good enough for me." Gunner grabbed ahold of a conner of the Olmak and everyone else followed suit. "Orbis Magna!" Gunner commanded the mask. As they disappeared through a portal, Gunner could here The Keeper of Gates saying, "You have chosen wisely."

Eventually, the portal reopened and Gunner, along with his four companions fell out onto an extremely rocky, fog covered. trail. One one side, the trail dropped off down a vertical cliff into the fog. The sky was grey and there was little light. Gunner could not even see his feet through the fog; it was so dense. So this is Orbis Magna, thought Gunner to himself. To everyone else he said, "Well, perhaps we should just follow the trail upward and see what we can find."

But as they stepped forward, Gunner suddenly saw a figure, obscured by the fog, blocking their path. "Who go's there?" asked Rhanskul to the figure.

"It is I, Smilos," answered a icy voice. A figure with black and blue armor and a dome full of water over his head stepped out of the fog. He was carrying a blaster and wore deadly-looking wrist-blades. "I am here to kill you, Gunner."

Gunner tried to laugh. "There are five of us and one of you. You are out numbered."

"I am a trained assassin for the RHA and do you think I am alone?" There was a churning sound to Gunner's left. He looked and saw that there was a pool of water there, black in appearance. And out of the water, emerged a bulky being with red and gold armor. A craydaxian, an amphibious warrior species, known for their blacksmith work. "Brutakadux is the name," said the craydaxian. "And killing's the game!" He flexed his claws menacingly.

"The RHA?" asked Gunner. "Who hired you?"

"Kronaxx," smiled Smilos. "He says to kill you before you can find Tethys."

"Why would you side with Kronaxx? He over through Kentis Nui. He's evil."

"For years I served the Titans," said Brutakadux with anger. "I fought in the war and led Malleus' army to victory. And what happened? I was forced to serve that no-good-leader, Kentis Nui." Brutakadux and Smilos moved in closer towards the five fugitives. "We support him!"

Gunner thought Just as I suspected: A suicide mission.

P6080251

Gunner vs. Brutakadux

Chapter 9. A Shocking Performance[]

Gunner found himself, once again, in a situation where it looked like he would have to fight his way out of certain, impending, death. This time, two killers whom would profit from his death were up against him. We stand no chance in open fight, thought Gunner to himself. If we are to get away clean I am going to have to think of something else. Just then, Smilos sprang at him, blades slashing toward Gunner's throat. "Wait!" Gunner yelled. "Brutakadux, I challenge you to a duel of honor!" Gunner thought back to what he knew about craydaxians and honor. He knew that Brutakadux would have to accept the challenge and all terms and conditions that he, Gunner, named.

"State your terms," said Brutakadux, holding up a hand to signal Smilos to stop. Smilos looked from the the toa to the eagerly.

"Here are my terms," Gunner said, attempting to sound calm. "If I win, you and Smilos have to let my companions and myself continue with are journey unhindered. If you win, then you can do what you wish with us."

Brutakadux said coldly, "I accept your challenge and conditions. Let us Fight! Brutakadux began to circle the toa of magnetism, watching for an opportunity. Gunner loaded his rapid-fire canon and took aim and fired several rounds, straight into the craydaxian's armor. To Gunner's horror, his bullets had no affect on Brutakadux what so ever. They barley scratched his armor. However, the bullets did enrage the brute. "Ha, ha! You thing your bullets can beet me, toa? Stand and fight like a true being of honor!"

"All right, I will." Gunner dropped the gun given to him by Helios and stood, with his claws unsheathed, ready to fight. Brutakadux advanced upon him slowly, his own large claws poised, ready to pound the life out of Gunner. Then he lunged, and Gunner parried with his own claws. Boy, was he a strong opponent! Gunner found himself flat on the ground with a massive bulk of red and gold armor towering above him.

"Concede, Toa. You have lost. I am indestructible!" Brutakadux stood with his right claw clasped around Gunner's chest, pinning him down, and his left claw raised, ready to deliver the final blow.

"Never! Gunner replied from his position under Brutakadux. "If craydaxians are indestructible, than how come there are only five left, including yourself?" It was the wrong thing to say, especially when pinned down by an opponent already payed to kill you. With a roar, Brutakadux brought his claw down with all his might onto Gunner's body. That would have been the end of Gunner, only he managed to jab his own pair of claws into a soft spot, between the craydaxian's plates of armor.

"Aggghhhrrrr!" Brutakadux recoiled in pain giving Gunner just enough time to get to his feet. The fight was growing desperate. He had to win but how could he? Brutakadux's armor was too thick to penetrate. Even the weak spots between the armor did not make good targets. But then Gunner thought back to what he had said If craydaxians are indestructible, than how come there are only five left, including yourself? They had been wiped out by diseases! But Gunner had nothing to infect Brutakadux with. Then Gunner had an idea.

Brutakadux swiped twice with his claws, niching Gunner in the shoulder the second time. Gunner hardly noticed, for he was slipping off his bandolier chain. He remembered a trick he and other matoran of magnetism had been taught back in Metru Major: If you took a wire or a conductive piece of metal and spun a magnet around it, you could create an electric current. Gunner slipped the bandolier around his hands and began to spin his hands like a coddling machine. Gunner spun his hands faster and faster, summoning up his control over magnetism, and channeling it into the bandolier chain. The began to crackle and spark with energy. Ignadux an the others watched in amazement as Gunner lashed out with his bandolier chain as soon as Brutakadux was close enough to him. As soon as the electrically charged chain hit him, Brutakadux received a powerful electric shock that checked his body so violently, he keeled right over.

"Victory!" Yelled Gunner, looking down at the feebly stirring form of Brutakadux on the ground. "You agreed to let us go so don't attack us.

"Kill...kill me,"pleaded Brutakadux. "I have lost what little honor I have left." Smilos came over angrily to face Gunner.

"I won't have it!" Smilos shouted. "Deal or no deal, honor or no honor, we have a job to do. We are to kill Gunner!"

Chapter 10. The Apocalypse[]

Smilos leaped at Gunner with a furious expression. Gunner saw it coming and he ducked and rolled aside.

"No!" Shouted Brutakadux now springing between Smilos and Gunner. "This toa has shown true honor! To kill him would be dishonorable."

"You fool!" retaliated Smilos, pushing him back. "This is why your species is extinct. You set too much store by your honor."

Ignadux sidled up to Gunner's side. "Nice one! You really won that craydaxian's respect. Now let's get out of here before we meet any more psychopathic killers."

"I agree with you," replied Gunner with a smile. But just as they turned to leave, another figure appeared in front of them.

"Now what?" exclaimed Xeron, voicing just what Gunner and Ignadux had been thinking. This figure was slimmer than the other two, with snow-white armor and a large circular hat.

"The name's Fairdono and I intend to claim the reward issued by Kronaxx for the capture of Toa Gunner.

"Fairdono, said Rhanskul. "Never heard of you. You must not be that good of an assassin."

"Shut up, Rhanskul," hissed Garonuk.

"Capture?" asked Gunner skeptically. "Your fellows over there said they were ordered to kill me."

"Change of plans. Kronaxx wants you alive." Fairdono drew a large and menacing looking blade. "I'll give you a choice. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Which will it be?"

"Let's just kill them now!" Smilos nocked Brutakadux backward and ran toward Gunner and the other seekers of Tethys. Rhanskul was nearest and charged at Smilos raising his bade.

"I'll take him!" He slashed towards Smilos' head but as quick as lightning, Smilos cut downward with his wrist blades, killing the skakdi instantly.

"Enough! yelled Fairdono. "Our new orders are to take them back to Kronaxx alive."

"Kronaxx doesn't need them all. He only wants Gunner."

"The others may come in useful." To Gunner and his companions he shouted, "March! We haven't got all day you know. Gunner, Ignadux, Xeron, and Garonuk all had their hands bound behind their backs and were marched downhill, through the fog, until they reached a large black ship. Through the fog, Gunner could make out an black oval shape with spikes jutting out, swept backwards and all pointing in the same direction.

"Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into!" said Ignadux irritably.

"You shut it!" snapped Gunner. "How is this my fault? How?"

"Enough bickering!" Smilos nocked their heads together. "Welcome to our flagship The Apocalypse." Gunner found himself being frog-marched into the dark, cavernous interior of the ship. They were marched into a small, solid metal room with no windows and only one door. Smilos shut this door behind them, saying, "Have a nice trip." They were trapped.

Great, Gunner thought. We were trying to find the murderous Titan of Water and now we're stuck on this garbage scow on our way to meet Primordius Magna's new leader. This has been a great day.

Chapter 11. Kronaxx's Offer[]

They were trapped: Gunner, Ignadux, Xeron, and Garonuk. Trapped in a cell aboard the RHA flagship The 'Apocalypse, headed towards wherever Makuta Kronaxx was located and Gunner had been informed that he was the new leader of Primordius Magna. Makuta Xeron stood up. "Gunner," he asked, "can you use your power of magnetism to bend the door open."

"I can try," said Gunner doubtfully. He was pretty sure that the RHA had locked a toa of magnetism in a cell, and wished to keep him there, that the door would be resistant to magnetism. "It's no use," Gunner told them after he attempted several unsuccessful times to open the door. "It must be made of carbon or something that wont magnetize easily." Gunner began to hammer his fists against the door (he had severed the bonds that had bound his hands together earlier).

"Well, Im not going to sit here until we arrive at Kronaxx's place," announced Garonuk. "Give up if you want, Gunner, but I am not resting until I get out of here."

"Carbon..." said Ignadux thoughtfully. "Perhaps I can heat it up so much that we will be able to just push down the door." With that, Ignadux began to roast the prison door with flames.

"Oh, no you don't!" Gunner jumped as he heard an malicious and evil sounding voice echo around the tiny cell as if over an intercom. "No one escapes! Computer, activate the gas valves in Prison Cell G! Gunner looked up in horror. Sure enough, valves on the ceiling opened and a greenish gas began to sweep in.

"We're going to suffocate!" screamed Ignadux as the fumes fogged up the cell. Gunner did not feel like he was choking. Only just a little sleepy. Perhaps he would just lie down for a while...

When Gunner opened his eyes, he found himself facing the gigantic, red form of an evil looking being standing in front of him. "Agghh! Who are you?" Gunner sprang of the floor.

"Standing in front of you is the greatest warlord the universe has ever seen, and standing, or rather, lying in front of me is the most foolish toa the universe has ever seen." Gunner could now see this being had large, wings with red membrane stretched between elongated finger-like bones. "I am Sheir-Khan, leader of the Red Hand of Assassins," the being informed Gunner. "Kronaxx seeks audience with you and your companions. Follow me." Gunner, Ignadux, Xeron, and Garonuk all followed Sheir-Khan out of The Apocalypse and into a large colosseum. Gunner had been here before. They were in the Metru Major Colosseum. But it had a more sinister feel now, as if all the good in it was gone, replaced by an evil presence. And as Gunner rounded a corner, he found he was correct.

"Welcome, Toa Gunner, to my new base." It was Kronaxx. Gunner had seen him before but on that occasion, Kronaxx had been a large, bat-winged makuta with a silver mask. But now, Kronaxx was taller, better armored. Instead of wings, he now had a second pair of arms, which looked to Gunner, if anything, more sinister. Lastly, Kronaxx no longer wore that silver mask. He now was wearing Proteridax's signature mask, the Kraahkan, the great Mask of Shadows. "as you may see," continued Kronaxx, "there has been a change of leadership. Proteridax is dead, and Kentis Nui now bows down to me. I control Primordius Magna!"

"Impressive," Gunner said cautiously, yet stoically. He knew that he should not upset Kronaxx, and yet, he did not want to sound afraid either.

"Well, Toa Gunner. As you can see, I am now the ruler of this planet and what I say goes. I wish to make a proposition."

"Let's hear it," Gunner said.

"You, strictly speaking, were banished from this planet, imprisoned on Lunas Magna. Yet, now there is new blood, there is a new leader. I can grant you freedom and a full pardon, and you can live a good life again, if you are willing to help me. I want you to seek the Titan Lord Tethys and convince her to work for my cause instead of working for the Order of Kentis Nui. "

Chapter 12. Fight and Flight[]

Gunner was stuck in a predicament. Makuta Kronaxx had just offered him the same job he had already been given by another being, Helios. However, Helios wanted Gunner to convince Tethys to work on the Order of Kentis Nui's side, where as Kronaxx wanted the Titan of Water on his side. Gunner did not wish to aid Kronaxx, but if he refused, he suspected Kronaxx would kill him. "Come on," urged Kronaxx, "which will it be? Will you help me or shall I kill you here and now?" Gunner was saved the trouble of answering by an unexpected savior.

Smilos had stepped forward and asked Kronaxx, "What about the money for this toa's capture? Don't we get the dough?"

"Shut up!" snapped a makuta who resembled an insect. His name wasTakanian and he usually killed first and asked questions later. "You hunters are the slimiest scum I have ever had the misfortune to tread on."

"You'll get your money once Gunner, here, has made his decision," Kronaxx told the mercenary.

"We want our money now!" yelled Fairdono, stepping forward as well, brandishing his sword as he came. Kronaxx moved towards Fairdono but Takadanian got their first. A shadow hand erupted from the bug-faced makuta and it grabbed Fairdono around the waist, dragging the mercenary towards Takanian until Fairdono was absorbed. There was an instant up-roar.

"I am declaring war on the spot!" yelled Sheir-Khan, lunging towards Kronaxx, claws out streached.

"Run!" Gunner yelled to all his companions as the makuta and RHA members clashed. They were nearly out of room when a blue makuta with long, skinny arms appeared in front of them, blocking their path.

"Empousa," said Xeron coldly. "Get out of my way or I, personally, will make you dig your grave and die in it!"

"Xeron, my friend," said Empousa evilly. "I thought you were rotting in a cell on Lunas Magna. Have you come to join the Confederate Empire? Do you know what my job is to do with makuta who don't join? To kill them!"

"Stand aside, and let us through!" commanded Gunner. He had grown to like Makuta Xeron, annoying as he could be. What was more, he was tired of all these delays.

"Die, toa!" screeched Empousa, blasting a shadow hand towards the toa of magnetism.

"Nooo!" yelled a new voice. A large red and gold blur tackled Empousa from behind, nocking the makuta off his feet. It was Brutakadux. "You shall not hurt these beings of true honor, you, slimy, sneaky, pathetic excuse for a life form.

"Brutakadux!" exclaimed Gunner. "Am I ever glad to see you!"

"I have come to offer my services to you. I wish to help you seek Tethys. You are a toa of courage. And true honor!"

"We'll see about that!" Kronaxx had broken away from the fighting and stood facing Gunner and his companions. "Brutakadux, I thought I hired you to kill this toa. I thought you hated Kentis Nui for forcing your friends out of power and letting your species die."

"You, Kronaxx, are the most sneaky, malevolent, malicious, arrogant, ball of worm-infested filth, with rahi spawn for brains, and a heart as black as the darkest reaches of hell, that has ever had the nerve to exist!" Kronaxx exploded, opening his mouth and letting forth a primordial, ear-splitting, roar, so load, Brutakadux tumbled backwards out of sight. From his position on the ground, Gunner could not move he was so terrified.

"Now, Gunner!" Kronaxx bellowed at the toa. "Will you accept my offer, or die a slow and painful death?"

"I would rather die 1,000 painful deaths then pledge my allegiance to the likes of you!" replied Gunner with relish. And with that, Gunner used his power of magnetism to rip a great gash in Kronaxx's armor, splitting him down the middle. That should have been the end of Kronaxx, but to Gunner's horror, the makuta's armor began to knit itself back together.

"If that is your choice," screamed Kronaxx, "so, be it!"

Chapter 13. The Identities[]

A shadow hand erupted from Kronaxx and shot straight for Gunner. Gunner dodged it and, using his power of magnetism, summoned his rapid-fire from somewhere aboard The Apocalypse. "Eat protolead!" yelled Gunner, opening up fire on the makuta's flanks. The bullets hit Kronaxx but just as fast, his armor knitted back together. Fortunately for Gunner, the incisive pounding of bullets against Kronaxx's body sent the makuta stumbling backwards. "Run!" Gunner yelled to Ignadux and the others. They raced out of the coliseum and onto a landing platform for ships. There, to Gunner's great astonishment, stood Zeuna.

To toa of lightning beamed at them and said, "Come with me if you wish to live."

"Zeuna!" you're alive! You're!" Gunner ran forward, but Xeron seemed to sense something was wrong.

"No, Gunner, wait!" he yelled but it was too late. Before their eye's, Zeuna metamorphosed into a large insect-like creature and screeched. Before Gunner, or Ignadux, or Xeron, or Garonuk could do anything, the insect-creature clapped its claws together and a whirring enveloped the four Seekers of Tethys, whisking them away.

Gunner opened his eyes slowly. "What...Where are we?" Standing over him was the insect-like creature that had impersonated Zeuna just a minute before.

"I am an identity," replied the creature. "I am an identity of teleportation. Welcome to Jerodax Magna. You shall be a highly valuable specimen for our project."

"What is an identity and what is this project you speak of?" asked Ignadux to The Identity.

"We are your worst nightmares, every evil though that has passed through your mind. We feed on your thoughts and prey on your fear. Eventually, you will loose all sense of who you are, for that is our job: To steal the identities of toa! Well done, Garonuk. I did not think you would be capable of the job, but you have done well."

Ignadux turned to Garonuk. "What is he talking about, Garonuk?" Garonuk smiled.

"I am not what I appear at all." And with that, the vortixx began to metamorphose until two insect-like creatures stood before Gunner. "I am a Identity of Teleportation too! Surrender now, Toa Gunner, or you shall feel the wrath of the Identities. A bolt of pure energy shot from the blades the two identities carried. We know your every move! Gunner could here their thoughts inside his head. We know what you are thinking, and it will not work. Remember, for every identity you see, there are probably 25 more you don't see. You will be a valuable specimen for our experiment!

Chapter 14. A Mind-Boggling Experiment[]

"What is this project you speak of?" asked Ignadux as the two identities grabbed him and Gunner. "What do you mean by 'experiment?'"

"I demand that you let us go at once!" shouted Gunner sternly, struggling against the identity holding him, whom happened to be the treacherous Garonuk. Garonuk only laughed.

"Struggle if you want, Gunner, but you cannot beat us," Garonuk said jeeringly to the toa of magnetism. The two identities lead the two toa towards some large machinery. However, Gunner realized that the identities had forgotten someone: Makuta Xeron. Xeron swooped down upon the identities, flapping his bat-like wings, and enveloped the two identities in a cloud of shadow.

"Take that, you arrogant bug-brained balls of slime!" hissed the makuta. Garonuk threw his head back, and let forth an ear-splitting scream. Gunner clapped his cuffed hands over his ears the best he could. Xeron was not as lucky. The sonic scream nocked him out of the air and he didn't get up again. Gunner found himself thrust roughly into a stasis tube, transparent blue in color. On Gunner's right, Ignadux was thrust into a tube of his own. Scared are you, toa? Garonuk's thoughts entered Gunner's head. We aren't going to kill you, yet. You are going to participate in our identity-switching experiment. You will loose all senesce of who you are. You will feel like some one else. Upon hearing this, Gunner began to hammer his fists against the inside of the stasis tube in a futile attempt to escape. A small needle began to descend into the tube, controlled by the machinery. Gunner closed his eyes, as the needle to bore into his skull and...

When Gunner opened his eye's, he felt very stranger indeed. Why, he was angry, he felt fiery with rage. He wanted to roast those identities alive with his fire powers! Gunner attempted to let loose a jet of fire, only, he was unable to. That seemed weird after all, he was a toa of fire, right? Wait a minute, thought Gunner, I'm not Ignadux, I'm Gunner. Oh, no! The identities switched my identity with Ignadux's! Damn it, this personality sucks! I want to roast him alive.

"Come on, yelled Ignadux, whom now had Gunner's personality. "Let's go. We've wasted enough time hear already. Where is my gun?"

"I'm Gunner, you idiot!" Gunner screamed at Ignadux. He did not mean to sound so rude, but it was hard not to, with Ignadux's personality controlling him. "The identities switched our personalities, you fool!" Yes, the experiment is a success. Gunner could still hear those accursed identities thoughts in his head.

"Look, Ignadux..."

"Gunner! I'm Gunner!"

"Look, Gunner, it doesn't matter who's personality you have, we have to get off this planet and get back to Orbis Magna. We have to find Tethys." Gunner had had enough. He hated having Ignadux's personality, he wanted his back. With a roar, Gunner leaped upon Garonuk and grabbed the identity by the neck.

"Can you see what I'm thinking?" roared Gunner. "I'm imagining twisting your accursed head off, and if you don't give me back my idiosyncratic qualities, my imagination shall come true!" Garonuk promptly turned into the late Toa Fernox. Gunner found himself strangling his best friend. "No more tricks!" bellowed Gunner at the identity. "Set me back to my self, or I shall wring your neck!"

"You shall be stuck like that forever," gasped the identity. And then all of a sudden, Garonuk became intangible. The liquidized identity flowed out of Gunner's hands.

Just as Garonuk was flowing away, Ignadux broke free from his identity and, screaming the words "Die, you evil fiend!" as he let loose a torrent of fire from his swords, vaporizing the liquid Garonuk on the spot. However, Ignadux had forgotten one thing. While Garonuk may have been defeated, the other identity was very much alive and murderous. It leaped at the two toa, slashing with all for arms, for the toas' throats. That would have been the end of Gunner and Ignadux, if it had not been for Xeron. The makuta had recovered from the sonic scream and had arrived just in time to see the identity leaping for the two toa. A shadow hand erupted from Xeron's chest and wrapped around the teleportation identity and pulled him, screaming, into Xeron's body. Xeron had absorbed the identity into his body.

"Right," said Xeron, looking, if anything, amused at the whole ordeal. "Let's get you two back to normal. Back into those tubes."

Chapter 15. Taking the Plunge[]

Gunner felt a hugely relieved as he exited the stasis tube, now with his own, idiosyncratic characteristics once more. Ignadux voiced aloud how Gunner felt. "Agghhh, it's good to be back to normal. Xeron had successfully restored their personalities that the identities had so kindly switched.

"Alright," Gunner called to his companions, "let's get a move on. We still have a Titan Lord to find and I doubt Garonuk will stay vaporized for long."

"Yeah, he will probably condense back into a monster and kill us all," said Ignadux in a mock, cheery voice. "And turns us all into big, ugly, b-"

"Wait a minute!" Gunner interjected, "How are we going to get off Jerodax Magna?" Xeron smiled.

"I thought you might say that. I've got it covered. Remember, I just absorbed a teleportation identity." So with that, the makuta grabbed ahold of the two toa, and they were whisked away in a faintly glowing portal. Gunner landed a few seconds later on a familiar, rocky terrain. The sky was grey and the fog so thick, Gunner could not see his own feet. Yep, they were back on Orbis Magna alright. Their, to Gunner's left, was the vast, black lake that Brutakadux had emerged from, and the dulled Gunner. Suddenly, Gunner though of something. "In that lake," he said.

"What about it?" asked Xeron.

"We are looking for the Titan Lord of Water, right? So, what better place to look than in a vast body of water?:

"Oh, no!" groaned Ignadux. As a toa of fire, he naturally loathed anything to do with water. "Must we go into that lake?"

"Yes," Gunner said, "I have a good feeling that if Tethys is here, than she is somewhere out in that lake. Besides, if this was not the place, than why did the Keeper of Gates bring us to this spot in the first place? And look, their is a boat we can take."

"I think she would be under the surface of the water," Xeron said. Gunner thought about it for a minute, and then he had an idea.

"What if we took the boat, turned it upside-down, and placed it over our heads? That way, when we walked into the lake, we will have an air pocket in which we can breathe."

"I like that idea," Xeron said.

"Oh, great," groaned Ignadux, "here we go again, with one of Gunner's crazy ideas."

Chapter 16. In The Black Abyss[]

The three of them, Gunner, Ignadux, and Xeron quickly carried out Gunner's idea. With the upside-down boat over their heads, they walked slowly into the icy abyss before them. Gunner was relieved that his idea was working. Their was an air pocket just large enough for the three of them to breath. As the lake grew gloomier, Ignadux remarked, "Buuurrrrr! This is cold. I hate water. This is madness, utter madness."

"Shut up," Xeron said irritably. He was no more happy about being under water and wished to get it over with as quick as possible. Gunner was not interested in their argument. He was trying to concentrate on how deep they were, and where they were going. Suddenly, the gentle slope of the lake bottom gave way to a deep trench, and Gunner, no longer able to see where they were going, stumbled over the edge.

"Hold on!" screamed Gunner, as their boat plunged over the end of the trench, and began to sink. The two toa and the makuta hung on for their life, as the boat dragged them deeper ad deeper. After sinking for what felt like a mile, they finally landed back on the lake floor. The pressure was far grater down their and Gunner noticed, to his horror, the air pocket had almost diminished. "We're running out of air!" Gunner yelled to Ignadux and Xeron. We're going to drown!"

"We have to swim for the surface," cried Ignadux, "it's a long shot, but it's our only chance!"

"No," Xeron said, "the surface is too far. We won't make it."

"Enough arguing!" Gunner yelled desperately. "Take a last breath and swim for your life." As they were arguing, the air pocket continued to decrease in size. Gunner took one last breath, and swam out from under the boat. Even as he began to ascend, he knew he would not make it to the surface in time. He was going to drown. Gunner could feel his lungs burn as they screamed in protest for oxygen. Stars began to pop in front of his eyes, and still he swam. But so black, and so deep was the lake, that Gunner could not see the surface. His lungs were about to burst open. Gunner could fight the impulse to take a breath, no longer. He opened his mouth, and inhaled deeply, knowing it was the end. Bust instead of filling with water, his lungs seemed to cease their burning. He hadn't drowned! Gunner looked down, and did a double take. His body had become more streamlined, and his feet had grown into large, webbed flippers. But most importantly, Gunner now had a breathing apparatus attached to his mask. It was filtering dissolved oxygen out of the water, and feeding it into Gunner's mask. For a moment he wondered how this miracle had occurred, but then the answer hit him. The armor upgrade, bestowed on him by Helios, must have been adaptive armor. In a matter of minutes, Gunner had become amphibious.

"Hey, Gunner." Ignadux swam up beside Gunner. His armor, too, had adapted to the aquatic environment.

"This is great, isn't it?" Gunner remarked, looking again, at his flipper-like feet.

"It's good for us," said Ignadux, "but what about Xeron? Gunner, we have to find him!"

"It's too late," Gunner said grimly,"he will have drowned by now."

Chapter 17. The Ream of Tethys[]

With their new aquatic armor and breathing apparatuses, the two toa dived down, once more, into the black abyss. The water grew gloomy once more, but now, Gunner could see. It was only a five foot radius of vision but it was better than nothing. Heavy breathing from the left betrayed the presence of Ignadux. "Breathe normally," Gunner told the toa of fire, "you're hyperventilating. You'll pass out if you keep breathing like that, and then you will drown."

"Okay, okay," Ignadux replied, trying and failing to calm down, "water makes me nervous; I'm out of my element." By and by.they came upon what appeared to be a gigantic, marble palace, covered in green algae.

"This must be the place," breathed Gunner, a large bubble escaping from his mouth. "This must be the ream of Tethys.

"Well, what do you know," remarked Ignadux, "Tethys really was in this lake after all. Either that, or someone just felt like constructing a big, slimy, green palace down here for the hell of it." The two toa swam inside the apparently deserted place, not knowing what to expect. Is this a trap? Gunner thought, Did Helios just send us down here to meet our executioner?

"Gunner," Ignadux asked, "do you get the feeling, that were are being followed by something? Or someone?"

"No," Gunner lied. He too, felt as if there was something or someone lurking just behind a pillar in the algae-coated palace, but he was trying to convince himself that he was imagining it. Then all of a sudden, something red and gold swam out of nowhere, and grabbed the two toa from behind. It was Brutakadux. Somehow, the craydaxian had gotten back to Orbis Magna, and found them in the lake. "Let go of us at once!" commanded Gunner, as he and Ignadux wrestled with Brutakadux.

"He who wishes to speak to the Lord Tethys, must first, remove any weapons that he is caring. He succeeded in wrestling Gunner's rapid-fire canon, and Ignadux's flame sword from the toas' grasp. "They will be returned to you when you leave."

"You work for Tethys?" asked Ignadux incredulously, "but why? During the titan war, you led an army apposing Tethys. Why side with her now?"

"Tethys promises to rebuild the craydaxian empire. She has provided me with food, shelter, and work, better than Kentis Nui, or the RHA," replied the craydaxian.

"You wish to speak to me?" asked a voice from down a hallway? "Come forward, and speak." It was Tethys herself. Tall with silver and blue armor. Power radiated off her, just like with Malleus.

"Tethys, Lord of Water," Gunner began, bowing, Ignadux following his example, "I have come to inform you that Primordius Magna is in a state of civil war. Kronaxx has overthrown Kentis Nui and now rules Primordius Magna. The Order of Kentis Nui Rebellion offers you your freedom in exchange for your services to them." Tethys sneered.

"What do I care? I tried to take over Primordius Magna once before."

"Yeah, but look where it got you," Ignadux interjected, "stuck in a stinking black lake for all eternity." Tethys rose from here stone thrown.

"How dare you insult my kingdom? I out to kill you where you stand."

"It's true and you know it, Tethys." A ball of golden light suddenly burst in front of them, and there stood Helios, the entity of light. Tethys recoiled at the sight of him. "Tethys, this is your chance to redeem yourself of the wrong you have done, and maybe even, regain your realm and honor. You would be a most powerful ally for the Order of Kentis Nui, and Malleus would be delighted to know you are still alive."

"Malleus hates my guts," sneered Tethys again, "he imprisoned me here in the first place."

"Yes," Helios replied, "but it was also him that persuaded Optimidus to sign your release papers if you were to help us. He still cares." Gunner looked from Tethys to Helios as if following a Kholi rally.

Finally Tethys gave up the argument. "Alright," She said standing, "if we are to defeat Kronaxx, we had better get going. One more minute in this hell hole, and I would have exploded. Brutakadux, Gunner, and Ignadux, come with me. We have a makuta skull to split."

The End

The Story will be continued in A World at War

Characters[]

Federation of Fugitives[]

  • Gunner
  • Ignadux
  • Xeron (deceased)
  • Rhanskul (deceased)
  • Garonuk (Status Unknown)
  • Murdak
  • An Unnamed Matoran
  • At least 500 other warriors

Toa Alpha (Excluding Gunner)[]

  • Fernox (Deceased)
  • Whenapu (Deceased)
  • Zeuna (Deceased)
  • Lhurini (Deceased)
  • Six Other Members (All Deceased)

Red Hand of Assassins (RHA)[]

Lunarians[]

  • Commander Marcanox (Deceased)
  • Numerous Soldiers (Many Deceased)
  • Prison Guards
  • The Keeper of Gates

Confederate Empire of Shadows[]

Other Characters[]

  • Chardask (Many Deceased)
  • Helios
  • Malleus
  • A Teleportation Identity (Deceased)
  • Orunik
  • Orunik's Toa Guards
  • Tethys 
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