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NTL Ep 7 (Final):

Hewkii, Nuparu, and Matoro burst into Hahli’s house to grab ammo. Hahli is limping down the stairs and demands “What’s going on?”

Nuparu glances at her. “Several Brotherhood supporters blew up the warehouse, others are slaughtering civilians, and we, naturally, are out of ammo.”

As the three busily stock themselves to the brim with weapons and ammo, a determined Hahli grabs a gun and catalogue and begins to limp past them. Hewkii blocks her. “Hahli, you aren’t fit to fight and you know it.”

Hahli shoves his arms aside. “It’s either fight them now or stay here, quivering like a coward and wait for them to hunt me down. I think you know which one I’m choosing.”

“I mean, at least this is your turf. You could set a pit-trap right beneath the stairs, some water near that power outlet, some bowling balls above that door...”

Hewkii drifts off as Hahli is staring at him. He grins sheepishly.

In rapid succession, the two alternate:

“I know what you’re trying to do.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You can’t convince me--”

“All I know is that if you--”

“I’m not Macku.”

Hewkii blinks and stares at her. “Now that’s not fair.”

Hahli places a hand on his shoulder before limping past him and saying, “I’m not going to be left behind for a third time.”

END SCENE

They all run back to the scene of the battle where the Brotherhood has entrenched further in their absence. The Inika position themselves behind various cover, with Hahli and Hewkii taking the flanks. Hahli uses her cane to balance a gun and stabilize her shots. Without warning, a shot from a Brotherhood agent ricochets and strikes Hahli’s cane, causing it to snap in half. Hahli starts to fall and Hewkii immediately begins running for her shouting,

“HAHLI!”

He skids to a halt, however, just short of the Ga-Matoran who’s successfully balanced on both feet. Although she is very uneasy, she reaches down and snaps the larger half of her broken cane in half again. When she speaks, her voice is hard with repressed undertones of fear.

“I’m fine.”

The fighting resumes and Inika are soon successful in pushing back the dark Brotherhood agents. When the Brotherhood agents turn to flee, Nuparu looks at the others who are gathered around Hahli.

“They could be back soon, with reinforcements. We need to get moving.”

Hewkii looks up at the Onu-Matoran, and then past him. He gasps and points at something on the opposite side of the field. Someone is moving toward them in the shadow of a building.

“Look!”

Without hesitation, Matoro draws his weapons and begins firing in the direction of the intruder who’s still hidden in the shadow. The figure shouts in surprise and quickly bounces and dodges the bullets. After a few shots, the figure jumps into a patch of light and his face is revealed.

“Matoro,” he shouts, “It’s me! Chill!”

Matoro gasps and lowers his gun. Kongu runs over, shouting. “What’s Hahli doing away from the house? Was it attacked?”

“Thankfully, no--” Matoro says.

“Wait a second,” Hewkii interrupts, laughing. “Did you just tell a Ko-Matoran to chill?”

Kongu rolls his eyes at Hewkii, but his expression quickly becomes grim. “I checked the warehouse. Takua’s gone!

“Where did he go?!” Hahli demands.

“I don’t know. He could be anywhere by now.” Kongu says.

“If only Jaller were here,” grumbles Matoro.

“Jaller still isn’t back yet?” exclaims Kongu.

“No, and it’s been way too long,” Nuparu says. “We have to find Jaller. Matoro, do you remember anything about Ahkmou which could be of use to us?”

“Of course it was Ahkmou. I should’ve guessed,” scoffs Hewkii.

Matoro sits down on a nearby piece of rubble and rests his head in his hands.

“Well… If I remember correctly, Ahkmou’s file stated he has a history of disappearing into the Badlands.”

“Then we’ll start there,” declares Nuparu.

END SCENE

The Inika arrive at the Badlands.

“Did the files say anything else about Ahkmou?” asks Hahli. “Like where specifically in the Badlands he disappears?”

Matoro shook his head. “They only mention the Badlands because this is where he vanishes to. If we knew where he went, there would be no need to include that fact in his profile.”

“Shhh,” Nuparu says. The Inika hush. There are footsteps coming from somewhere in front of them. Silently the Inika find cover behind ruins in case it’s a Brotherhood agent.

“On my mark,” Nuparu whispers. “3… 2… 1… MARK!”

The Inika leap out from their cover, brandishing their weapons as they go. Standing where they had just been is Takua. The Matoran leaps back and raises his hand immediately.

“Don’t shoot! I’m unarmed!”

“It’s Takua!” Kongu gasps.

Hewkii walks over to Matoro and lowers the Ko-Matoran’s gun. “Chill, Matoro.”

Kongu lowers his gun. “I’m never gonna live that one down, am I?”

Nuparu walks over to Takua, followed by Hahli who’s fighting to control her hobble. The Onu-Matoran seizes Takua’s shoulder.

“You better give me a really good reason not to let my friends shoot you where you stand, Ta-Matoran.”

Takua eyes Nuparu as he unconsciously shrinks away. “You wouldn’t…”

“I would. Try me. Go ahead, you want to? Nuparu backs away and signals the three Matoran behind him. “Fire on my mark.”

Takua chuckles nervously.

“Three…”

Takua says nothing.

“Two…”

“Look, I don’t know anyth--”

“One…”

Takua leaps forward and kneels before Nuparu and Hahli. “Okay, I’ll tell you where Jaller is, please just--I’ll tell you--I can’t--”

Nuparu looked at Hahli. “What do you think?”

Hahli snaps. “I told you he was hiding something. Let’s break him and extract the information from his head.”

Nuparu chuckles and looks behind him. “Matoro? Kongu? Hewkii? What do you think?”

Takua grovels before the two Matoran. “I’ll tell you everything, I swear! But… We’ll have to go to my place. It isn’t safe here.”

Nuparu leans in close to Takua’s mask. “Fine, Takua. But if I sense so much as a mousetrap, I swear to Artakha, the powers of no Makuta will protect you from my wrath.”

END SCENE

Takua leads the Inika arrive at an alleyway featuring a doorway to Takua’s hut. Just beside is a post to which Pewku is leashed. “Right in here.” Takua indicates the Inika enter, but Matoro shakes his head.

“You first.”

Takua eyes him and starts into his home. Soon they’re all inside. Takua’s home is simple, although, unlike most Ta-Matoran, his dwelling is filled not with masks but trophies from his journeys. Takua turns to the Inika.

“How do we know you’ll tell the truth?” Hahli cuts him off before he can start.

“Let’s just say… I owe him now.” Takua glances down and then up again. “Jaller has been taken by the Po-Matoran Ahkmou and the Ta-Matoran Nuhrii. They operate out of the Brotherhood’s Ta-Metru base, a forge deep in the Northeastern quadrant of the Badlands. I don’t really know what they’re doing, but they say the Plan is nearing its completion, so you better hurry. You can even borrow Pewku, my Ussal Crab, if you want.”

“You’re in quite a rush to be rid of us, aren’t you, firespitter?” Hahli advances toward him. But Matoro puts a hand on her shoulder and leads her away.  The Inika turn away from Takua as Matoro says:

“If they have Jaller, there’s no telling what they’re doing to him. We should get moving.”

“And if he’s lying?” Hahli snaps. “If he leads us astray, we’ll only take longer.”

Hewkii shakes his head. “I sensed no deception in his words. He at least believes he’s telling the truth.”

“Should we leave someone to guard him?” Kongu asks.

Matoro shakes his head. “After what’s happened with Jaller, I’m in no rush to split up the team anymore than we must. Let’s leave him here, and if we have to hunt him down later, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

The Inika turn back to Takua. “Stay here,” Matoro says. “And we’ll take you up on your offer for Pewku. Now tell us about this forge...”

END SCENE

The Inika reign Pewku to along a street in a seemingly abandoned neighborhood. Down the street is a forge.

“Is that it?” asks Kongu.

“These are the coordinates he gave us.” Nuparu says. “Let’s move in.”

“Here goes nothing,” Hewkii mutters.

The Inika stealthily move toward the shadow, leaping from shadow to shadow. As they’ve almost reached the building, a Le-Matoran sentry spots Kongu and whistles.

“If nothing’s already gone, here goes what?” asks Hewkii to no one in particular. The Inika dive for cover, exchanging shots with a handful of Brotherhood agents who emerge from the building. “Or is that the advantage of having nothing to lose?” Hewkii adds.

Hahli shouts in surprise. “My gun’s jammed.”

Kongu leaps from his hiding spot and runs for Hahli, dodging a spray of bullets. He jumps and lands beside Matoro and hands him a gun matching his own.

“My advice? Whenever you can, always grab weapons in pairs.”

The sentries are shot down, but as the Inika gather in the street again and prepare to move into the forge, Ahkmou and Nuhrii plus several of their servants dart out of the main exit, each hauling a box of equipment. Matoro instinctively raises his gun, and then lowers it. But Hewkii raises it again.

“I think this is one case where you shouldn’t chill.” the Po-Matoran chuckles.

The Inika run along the streets, firing at the two agents (with the other Brotherhood servants firing back at them), but Ahkmou and Nuhrii are out of range/sight just as the Inika reach the forge.

“We’ll follow them after we have Jaller and regroup.” Nuparu says. The Inika run into the forge where they find Jaller.

“Jaller, are you okay?” shouts Hahli.

The injured Ta-Matoran lies on the ground, unconscious. The Inika shake him awake. Jaller coughs, groans, and spits up.

“Aauugh… I thought you’d never get here.”

“What happened?” Matoro asks gently.

Jaller rubs his head. “Makuta… read my mind… They know where the map to the Toa Stones is.”

The Inika gasp all at once and some of them exclaim. “Makuta?!”

“What’s Makuta doing north of the Great Barrier?” Nuparu demands.

Jaller breaths and explains everything he saw. The others nod as he talks. When he reaches the end, Matoro frowns.

“So let me get this straight. There are six keys, each of different elemental powers.”

Jaller nods. “Yes.”

“When they come together, they open a portal to bring Makuta and his evil army from realms under his rule to conquer the universe.”

“Uh… yes.”

“Until then, Makuta takes the form of a black and crimson flame to communicate with his servants.”

“Uh-huh.”

Matoro breathes slowly. “... … This show is on the verge of cancellation.”

“Um… Not to my knowledge.”

Inika collectively breathe sighs of relief. Vaguely, Hahli is heard muttering “Yes, this is G1, not G2.”

“Then we should go,” Matoro says. “If Makuta did read Jaller’s mind, we have to get back to our base.”

“Yes, what are we waiting for?” Jaller leaps up and starts to run for the exit before stopping and looking at Hahli. “Wait a second. What happened to your cane--”

Hahli storms past Jaller. “Stop worrying about me.”

END SCENE

In the new Brotherhood base, Nuhrii and Ahkmou are putting the final touches on the portal (perhaps looking like that from Lego Dimensions?). Nuhrii stands back and looks proudly at the assembled product.

“Excellent. We may not be master builders, but we certainly got the job done,” he says proudly.

“We can admire our handiwork later; he have to find the rest of the stones!” Ahkmou snaps.

As if on cue, a scout runs in with a piece of parchment in his hands.

“There you are!” Ahkmou exclaims. “I sent you to find the location of Department’s stones an hour ago; what took you so long?”

The scout presents the map. “The stones are hidden in a warehouse not far from here!”

Ahkmou seizes the map: “Well done.” Ahkmou examines the map as he says: “I’ll take a detachment to recover the stones.” He looks up. “You’ll stay here with a few agents to stay here and guard the portal. Nuhrii, take a small party and look for the other Toa Stones. If the Inika have followed us here, hold them off until I return. If this map is correct, I will not be gone long. When I return, with any luck, I shall be the harbinger of Makuta’s arrival.”

END SCENE

The Inika are running as quickly as they can toward their home. Hahli is lagging slightly behind, but determined not to let her injury bog her.  

“We’re almost there!”

As they draw near to their base, they see, to their horror, Ahkmou and three other Brotherhood agents emerging from the Warehouse. Ahkmou is carrying a torch. The Po-Matoran doesn’t see the Inika as soon as the other agents, so he leans over and tries to catch the warehouse on fire out of spite. But when he hears the shouts of the agents as they run and he sees the Inika fast approaching, he drops the torch and runs as well. The servants are some distance ahead of him, so they are more able to avoid the Inika’s shots even as they fire a few back themselves, but Ahkmou is hit in the leg and falls. The Toa Stone flies away from him. A servant darts over to pick it up before resuming running.

Belly down, Ahkmou shouts at the fleeing servants, “Come back here, fools! Why are you not here to save me?” He rolls over to see the Inika standing over him, guns at the ready. Hahli steps on his leg.

“Limb for a limb?”

Ahkmou gasps in pain. Hahli steps off and Ahkmou attempts to crab-walk backward. “What do you want, Matoran.” He says the word in deep disgust, despite being himself a Matoran.

Jaller wastes no time. He kneels close to the Po-Matoran. “Why do you seek to bring Makuta through the portal?”

Ahkmou laughs nervously and chokes on blood. “Why do Pilot fish swim alongside Takea? Why do Colony Drones accompany Visorak hordes? When Makuta and his forces seize the City of Legends, we will burst through the Great Barrier and rain down on what little remains of the Defenders. Like acid rain, we will burn through anything that stands in our way. It’s only a matter of time.” Ahkmou leans up near Jaller’s face. “When Metru Nui falls, the Universe will belong to the Makuta. Makuta will rise up to come crashing down on everything you know.”

Jaller looks at the others. “We have to stop them--”

“Brilliant deduction, Ihu! The jaws of Makuta’s plan are closing around you, and I swear to Karzahni, the powers of Mata Nui himself won’t protect you from Makuta’s wrath!” Ahkmou exclaims and laughs.

He looks at Jaller. “Once you joked that “at least I’m not Ahkmou”. Perhaps now you’ll regret our positions aren’t reversed.”[At this point, if you want him dead, here he will gurgle and die--or in whatever fashion you see fit--and if you don’t, he’ll pass out.]

The Inika exchange glances. “This is it,” Jaller says. “If we don’t stop them now, we never will. His Plan is almost complete. We must ready ourselves to sacrifice our very lives, for if Makuta wins, they will be his anyway along with everything we know and love. So in the end... what do we have to lose?”

The Inika exchange grim and determined nods.

END SCENE

Nuhrii runs back into their new base where the scout is waiting and guarding the portal loyally. When Nuhrii arrives, he snaps to attention.

“Do you have the Stones, sir?” he asks.

Nuhrii shows him the stones. “Yes, and with not a minute to spare. Has Ahkmou returned yet?”

“No sir, but he should be back any min--”

Ahkmou’s three agents run inside the base. The one at the lead says, “The Inika captured Ahkmou and they’re hot on our trail.”

“Give me the Stones,” snaps Nuhrii. The three agents hand him each of the Department’s stones.”

Now Nuhrii holds all six stones in his hands. He chuckles.

“Let the Reign of Shadows begin.”

END LOLOLOL

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