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"I’m Linke. And the two of us... we’re just two Matoran."
— Linke to Gahla, Double: Crime and the City

Double: Crime and the City

Series The Double Saga
Author(s) Koji

Double: Crime and the City is the full-length, Epic Follow-Up to the Short Story Double, and the second installment in The Double Saga Epic Series by BZPower and C.I.R.C.L.E. member Koji.

Day OneEdit


The pain was worse than anything else that he was sure anyone had ever felt in their life. This was worse than death.

He heard nothing from the other. An axis of power enveloped their two bodies, and then, there was nothing, nothing but two eyes, and a figure rising.

The power axis shattered, leveling the street and every structure nearby. The crimson eyes set their sights, and a hand was thrown out.


One year later...

Doppel Nui, a small island in the southeast of the Matoran Universe. Filled with majestic structures, majestic landscaping, and, an odd law.

No Toa.

Doppel Nui was only inhabited by Matoran, naturally. They were artists, sculptors, scholars. They were only working to increase the beauty of their island home. Toa were banned from the island, because, more often than naught, they brought only destruction.

They were to bring safety, but, in that battle, they usually brought destruction. That was the problem with Toa, and that’s why they were barred.

Rahi, however, still occasionally appeared, as did the occasional Dark Hunter, but, other than that, there were no problems. Dark Hunters would get out of the way soon enough with minimal damage. And Rahi, they were dealt with by Matoran soldiers.

Matoran soldiers may not have been the best, but they had weaponry to try to at least discourage the Rahi from returning. It helped fairly often, with minimal damage. Less than Toa brought.

“Another brilliant piece!” A Matoran of Stone exclaimed, “Superb! I can’t believe a Ta-Matoran is this good! So much better than me.”

The Ta-Matoran nodded, “It’s been a pleasure working for you once again.” He said, “Your vision is excellent, as always. I’m still pleased that my skills can match your vision.”

The Po-Matoran nodded and picked up the new sculpture. He nodded to the Ta-Matoran, “Everyone will be jealous of me again! Once more, I own a sculpture by Recht!”

The Matoran named Recht nodded, “Glad I could be of help.” He wrung his hands on a cloth, brushing off the dust from the sculpture, “Have fun with that sculpture. Have fun showing off.”

The Po-Matoran nodded, “I will!” He rushed off, leaving the Ta-Matoran behind.

Recht sighed and walked away. He walked back into the building. Outside on the sign, it read, “Recht Sculpting: The Sculpture of Fire!”.

As a Ta-Matoran, Recht wasn’t expected to be a good sculptor, yet, he was the best on Doppel Nui, somehow.

Recht looked around, and then, walked towards his desk. He reached under it, taking grip of something. He pulled out a small key, and walked towards the other side of the office.

He stopped and looked back. He heard someone knocking, and quickly dropped the key, and kicked it under a fern couch. He walked over, “How may I help you?”

The Matoran, a Ga-Matoran, wearing a robe, walked closer. She drew out a small item, a badge.

Detective Gahla!” Recht announced. He walked over, “Can I do something for you?”

Detectives were a big part of life on Doppel Nui. They managed to keep the peace, they managed to track down from the simplest of clues, and then, solve any crimes that could have sprung up. They kept the peace, better than any of the Matoran had ever seen Toa do.

Gahla looked around, “Yes, actually, Recht.” She looked him in the eyes, “You’re under arrest.”

“What?” He shouted. He took a step back on impulse, shocked beyond belief that he would be arrested.

She drew a tablet from her robe. She held it out, “Look.”

He looked at the rendition of a dead Matoran. The wound was mortal, and, had an odd shape.

“We matched the wound with one of your sculptures.” She told him, “But, when we looked for the owner, we only found one thing.”

“And what’s that?” Recht asked.

“The sculpture is heavily desired.” She answered, “We thought that was why he was murdered. However, upon further investigation, we learned that the sculpture wasn’t owned by anyone, other than you.” She pointed at him, “One that you wouldn’t sell. You’re under arrest.”

“What?” Recht shouted, “Come on! Why would I murder anyone? Especially with one of my sculptures?”

Gahla walked over, “That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Now, come easily and I won’t resort to force.”

Recht shook his head, muttering to himself. He looked at the Ga-Matoran, “Fine.”

He sat in a small, stone room, looking around. Gahla took a seat in front of him, and showed him the image again.

“I’ve never seen him.” Recht told her.

“A Fe-Matoran named Kornek. Are you sure you’ve never met him?”

“I’m sure.” Recht answered firmly. “Do you even have proof yet that it’s my sculpture that matches the wound?”

She rose, “Actually, I was about to head over.” She pointed at him, “You’ll be watched. Don’t leave the room, or we will resort to force. I’ll fetch the sculpture from your residence, and look at the wounds. If it matches, you’re in trouble. If not, you’ll be free to go.”

“Fine.” Recht replied, “Go ahead. I’m confident you’ll find nothing.”

Gahla looked to her partner, “Find it?”

The Onu-Matoran ducked down, and pulled something out from a small shelf. He held it up, “Oh yeah! I found it all right.”

“Good.” Gahla replied, still looking around for anything suspicious, “Take it to the prison. Have it checked against the corpse, and then, take the evidence and let’s see if Recht is innocent, or guilty.”

Her partner nodded, and walked out with the evidence.

She continued to look around, not really expecting to find anything, yet, at the same time, expecting to.

She brushed her hand against a wall, feeling something odd. She looked closer, seeing the stone was fake. It was a thin layer.

She brushed at it with her armored finger, slowly uncovering what was behind it. It was a symbol.

Recht’s trademark. It was like a cross, but had the two sidebars sticking up at the end. The top bar had another on it going right, meanwhile the bottom was going left at the end.

There was something wrong with it.

A large gash was through it, as if someone wanted to get their point across.

“Maybe... he was set up.” She muttered. She turned around, looking across the room. She saw the same mark across, on the opposite wall, but this one was smaller. She strode over to it, and looked closer.

It was indented into the wall. The indent was fairly small, but still...

She leaned on the couch, and heard something move when it creaked. She crouched down, and looked under it, seeing a key. She reached for it, and took hold of it.

It had been lying against a leg, and when she leaned on it, it moved. She took it up, and looked at the end.

It was the same symbol, and the same size.

She looked at the wall, but shook her head. The indent was too small... but still...

She pressed it in, and heard the wall slide. She turned it, and then, heard a bolt being unlocked.

She looked to Recht’s desk, and walked over. She saw a small patch open in it of the same symbol. She put the key in, and then, turned around.

Recht was careful. She liked that, for she had respected Recht. But, if he was a criminal... he was a mastermind, to have set this up. This ingenious system.

She walked over, and felt the wall. It was sliding down, opening a new path. A staircase, down under the building.

She looked back, but of course, her partner was gone. She sighed, and drew a dagger. She walked down the spiral staircase, looking around the marble walls.

Down ahead, there was light. Lightstones already lined the walls, but, they provided scarce light. Down there, there was more, however.

She walked into the room. It was large, had a few catwalks, a few tables, desks, and, stone, wood, and any other materials that anyone working would possibly want.

“Don’t bother me.” A figure complained. She heard chipping going on, and looked to a Le-Matoran, working diligently on a slab of stone. Sitting beside him were a few sculptures.

“I’m not Recht.” She said, expecting the figure to assume she was the Ta-Matoran.

“I know. I’m Recht, remember?” The Le-Matoran asked. He stopped for a moment, “Wait...” He looked up, and was startled, nearly falling off his seat, “Who are you?”

“Who are you, is a better question.” Gahla replied, showing the knife and badge, “I’m Gahla, a detective. Now, I need you to answer a few questions. Recht is in for questioning involving a murder.”

The Le-Matoran shook his head, “No. I’m right here. I’m not being questioned.”

“What?” She questioned, confused beyond belief.

“I’m Recht.” He said. “I’m the famous sculptor.” He pointed up, “Oh! You’re talking about him. No, he’s just cover. I’m an isolated genius, you could say. I just sit and sculpt; he handles things, and is my public face.”

“So, let me get this straight.” She said, “You’re Recht, he’s not, right?”

Recht nodded, “Yeah.” He stood up. He wore a pouch at his waist, identical to one that was sitting next to “Recht’s” desk.

“What are you doing?” She demanded, “Sit!”

He shook his head. He was a very uncharacteristic Le-Matoran, she realized.

“Something’s wrong.” He said, looking up, “I have to go. And you have to free him.”

“Why?” She demanded.

“He didn’t murder anyone.” He walked upstairs, ignoring her calls. She ran after him, grabbing him around the throat, and smashing him into a wall. She pressed the dagger against him.

“I’m putting you under arrest!” She shouted.

“If you do, more people will die.” He said, pushing her away from him. He continued upstairs, into the proper lighting.

She was shocked. No one had pushed her before. She was respected as a detective. She angrily rushed after him, but he was at the door to the outside, holding the identical pouch.

“Now, spring my friend, and I’ll show you the real killer.” Recht said, walking out.

She ran out, but couldn’t locate him. She looked behind her, and saw her partner coming.

“Gahla!” He panted, having run a long way, “It’s not a match.”

Gahla remembered the sculpture, covered in dust. Of course it wasn’t a match. It hadn’t been moved in a long time, that was obvious.

For some reason, she wanted to believe Recht.

“We have the wrong man.” She said.

“Recht” was released into the streets, but followed closely by Gahla. He hadn’t received explanation, but was simply released.

“Why are you following?” He questioned.

“The real Recht said you didn’t kill him. He said that if I wanted to see the real killer, to find him, and free you.”

“What are you talking abou-”

“I know you’re not Recht,” she said. She looked up ahead, and pointed at the Le-Matoran, “He is.”

“Recht” cursed. He walked over to the real Recht, “Well?”

The Le-Matoran nodded, “Found him.”

The Ta-Matoran looked to Gahla, “Stand back.”

“Why?” she demanded.

Walking down the street was a large figure. He was a bit larger than the average Toa. He had a wickedly curved stinger weapon on his right arm.

The murder weapon.

He was covered in black armor, full of scars, and had a missing eye. He carried no other weapons, and was only average in stature. How he was a Dark Hunter was a mystery.

“Who are you three?” he demanded, “More people getting in the way of my mission, more I have to kill?”

“We’re here to stop you,” the Ta-Matoran spoke. He took the pouch, and drew a stone from it, as did Recht. It was about a quarter bio tall, each was just a quarter of that wide, and ragged. Recht stood on the right side and “Recht” on the left, each facing the stone at the other one.

“What is this?” The Dark Hunter demanded.

An axis of energy encircled the two Matoran. It spanned out around them, and covered them in its' power. In a flash of light, and a scream of pain from “Recht”, there was nothing but shadows as the energy departed. Walking out of the axis, however, was a new figure. A single figure. A Toa.

His right side was green, his left was red. His mask was unknown.

“Well?” The Toa asked in the voices of both Matoran, “Ready?”

The Dark Hunter rushed him. He sidestepped and slammed a knee into the Hunter. As he stumbled back, the Toa span around, getting behind. He hammered him with a kick, sending him onto his face. He span around, and kicked the Hunter’s face, taking him up again.

He quickly boxed the Dark Hunter with a few rapid punches in the chest, and then, followed up with a spinning elbow to the face, taking him back.

“Time to end this.” The Toa sighed. He leapt up, becoming engulfed in flames and a cyclone. The Toa began to spin, and then, came spiraling down in a flaming cyclone at the Dark Hunter.

The Hunter looked up and shouted. The attack collided, sending the Hunter stumbling back.

The Toa span away from him, facing Gahla. “Checkmate.” He said in both voices, and then, snapped his right fingers.

The Dark Hunter fell, erupting into flames from the fire half of the Toa. He was dead.

Gahla rushed over to them as an axis returned, splitting the two Matoran.

She was speechless.

“Recht” slapped her shoulder, “Cover by saying a fire-based Rahi did it to him. ‘The Shadowed One’ should believe that. He wasn’t very strong, after all.”

As the two walked away, she span towards them, and shouted, “Who are you?”

The Ta-Matoran sighed, “I’m Linke. And the two of us... we’re just two Matoran.” And with that, Linke and Recht walked away from her, and from the Dark Hunter’s burnt corpse.

Day TwoEdit

“What was that?” Gahla shouted, bursting into Recht Sculpting the next morning, after witnessing Recht and Linke merge into one and kill a Dark Hunter.

Linke looked up from the central desk. He had his feet up, and was whittling on a piece of wood with a small knife. “What was what, Detective Gahla?” he asked, before looking back down and continuing his work.

She stalked towards his desk, slamming her fists down on it, “Cut the charade!” She shouted, “What was that fusion back there? How did you and... Recht become a Toa? And what is this with you using his name, but that other guy being Recht?”

Linke drew his feet off the desk and stood up, walking around her back, still whittling on the piece of wood. Scrapings were left behind as he walked.

“That look like a Muaka to you?” he asked, tossing the wood at her.

She caught it and fumbled around with it, then slammed the piece of wood down, “Linke! Answer me, or go back to prison!”

He shrugged his shoulders, bending his arms and putting them up in front of him, looking at his palms. He spun around, looking at her, “Oh really? And lose this island to anyone trying to take it? Or to simple Rahi?” He threw his arms down, “No, Detective Gahla. You need me. You can’t touch me!”

She ran towards him and grabbed him by the shoulders. She used the momentum to crash him and herself into the closest wall, dazing Linke.

“I can do whatever I want!” She shouted, “Need you? We police and detectives do the work. In fact, I should drag you and Recht out of here in chains! Toa are subject to arrest, after all.”

“We’re not Toa,” he said.

“Cut the act!” She shouted, “You two are a single Toa! I know that! Now, explain yourself to me!”

He pushed his palm into her chest, throwing her back. She looked stunned at him. “Assaulting an officer,” she told him. She reached into her robes and drew her knife.

“You ever kill a man?” he asked, walking past her. She watched him, still clutching the weapon, but making any move to use it against Linke.

“Of course you haven’t,” Linke said. “I see it in your eyes.” He spun around to face her, “I remember when I killed for the first time... or maybe not. Maybe it was Recht... but regardless, I know how it felt. And you’re not cut out for killing, Detective Gahla.”

“Just answer my questions,” she said, irritated more than ever.

He walked past her again, “Okay, I’ll tell you what I can. Recht and I are a team. The two of us make up a single, dual element Toa. We use a powerful artifact called the Duos Stone. You’d have to ask Recht about that, I don’t know much about it. But, Recht is an isolated genius. I adopted his name as an alias when I came to this island a year ago. It helped us work together, since Recht doesn’t like interacting with people. I was able to be his front, and interact for him. Got that?”

Gahla nodded, “Fine. I understand that, more or less, but, give me one reason why you’re so stupid to be here, in the open, as a Toa. To even show me, a detective, that you’re a Toa! You do know I will do everything in my power to arrest you, don’t you?”

“No. You won’t, Detective Gahla.” Linke said, “Like I said before, you need us.”


“Because anything you’ve dealt with, since I’ve been here for the past year, has been small game. Did you really expect to take down a Dark Hunter? No. You need the power that Recht and I deliver to the front,” Linke said. “But, if you don’t keep it a secret, we’ll kill you,” he said with deadly intention.

“Threatening an officer,” she reminded him. “I could have you arrested right now.”

“Then you lose the island,” he said. “There’s no way around it. You need us.” He walked back and sat down, admiring the wood chunk, which looked vastly deformed, nothing like a Muaka. He wasn’t the talented one, after all. “By the way, did the Dark Hunters’ leader demand to know what happened?”

“He sent a messenger.” She replied, “We said a Toa killed him.”

Linke fell over in his chair. He struggled to his feet, rubbing his head. “You did what?” he shouted, “How stupid are you? You made Recht and I a target!” He shook his head, walking around to the front, “Wait, no matter. There are plenty of Toa, after all...”

“I said that the Toa was two-toned and had two elements,” she told Linke.

He slowly turned to face her, “You... you did what now?”

“I did my job. Cooperating with them is one of my jobs to keep the island in good order, and to keep our art protected,” she told him.

“You really did just mark us,” he told her. “Do you have any idea how many Dark Hunters will come here, looking for us? With only the powers of Air and Fire, we’re as good as dead!”

“Only those powers?” she questioned. “At least you have powers, Linke! And what’s that supposed to mean anyway?”

“I mean, usually Toa work in teams. They usually have multitudes of elements working for them. We don’t. We’ve only got two elements in one body, not six in six bodies, as a normal team would have,” he answered.

“Tell me something,” Gahla said. “Why did you, as a Toa, never try to show you were on our side? There were always rumors around about a fugitive Toa on this island... but the Toa never seemed to do anything...”

“Because the laws are a joke,” Linke replied. “You arrest Toa just so they don’t potentially do damage. That’s a stupid law.”

She ignored his interjection and continued, “You should have come to us and told us you were helping with crime,” she said. “If the Toa had come forth, we may have been lenient and used your help.”

“We did good,” Linke said. “Didn’t you notice that things were accomplished, but no damage was ever done...” He thought for a moment, “Except for a few occasions, that is. But those were unavoidable.”

“How about telling me about that street that was leveled a year ago,” Gahla said.

“Rather not,” Linke replied, thinking back to the first time he and Recht had merged. He liked to keep that memory buried.

“Fine. But still, you could have given us some indication you were working for good,” Gahla said.

“What did you want?” Linke questioned. “Did you want us to go into battle and say something corny like ‘Now, recount your sins!’, or, ‘It’s time to pay for your crimes!’?”

“No... no.” She shook her head, “But just something!”

Linke sighed and walked towards the door. He looked over his shoulder at Gahla, “Detective Gahla, there’s a crime.”

“What are you talking about?” she questioned.

A moment later, an Onu-Matoran broke into the room. “Detective Gahla! We’re needed!” he called.

She nodded, “Right, Derr.” Then she looked to Linke, “We’ll continue our conversation later. And you can tell me how you knew Detective Derr was coming.”

“Can’t I do that on the way?” Linke questioned.

“Way to where, Recht?” Gahla questioned, bringing up the façade for the moment.

“I’m going to help you two,” he announced.

There was silence for a few moments. Then, Derr started to laugh. His booming laugh filled the room.

“You? The famous sculptor, Recht, are going to help us solve this crime?” Derr questioned. “You don’t even know what it is.”

“No,” Linke replied, “but, when you came in here about six months ago, requesting some work done, I did it free of cost, since you do such good work for the island. Now, time to repay me. Let me help you two.”

“Don’t you have things to sculpt?” Derr questioned.

“Nope. Not today,” Linke replied. He slapped Derr on the back, “How ‘bout it? Time to repay me? Or, should I tell your Chief that you...”

“Okay, okay!” Derr quickly said, “You can come. It’s a murder investigation.”

Linke nodded, “Great. Let me lock up, and I’ll be right with you two.” He turned and walked towards his desk.

Gahla glared at Derr, “What is he threatening to tell to the Chief?”

“I... I’d rather not talk about it,” Derr said.

Linke walked towards them and they walked out, allowing him to close the doors behind them. He thrust the key into the lock, and then into a pouch he wore on his left side. “Okay, let’s go,” he said.

Standing over the corpse of the Matoran proved to be a usual sight for both Derr and Gahla. It proved to be unique to Linke. He had killed before, but, he had never stood over a corpse.

He had left corpses behind. That was what he and Recht always did.

“Too much for you, ‘Recht’?” Gahla questioned, hoping that it would be, and he would depart.

Linke shook his head, “No. No. I’m fine.”

“Any identification?” Gahla asked Derr.

“Other than the obvious, no. All we’ve got is he’s a De-Matoran, but that’s self-evident, and, that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the back of the head,” Derr replied.

Linke crouched down, running his hand over the back of the head. Immediately, Derr grabbed his wrist and yanked back.

“Recht!” he snapped, “This is a crime scene!”

“Something’s not right,” Linke replied, pulling his wrist free. “Can’t you see it?”

“See what?” Derr questioned.

“Just look.” Linke replied, pointing to the head, “The Kanohi.”

Derr looked at it, “I don’t see anything,” he replied.

“Roll the body over,” Linke said, Irritation filled his voice.

Derr and Gahla looked to each other. They were the only detectives on the case. Sure, there were police around, but, they were the only ones with the authority at the moment to do anything to the corpse.

It was their call to roll it onto its’ back, allowing the dead eyes behind the Kanohi Kakama to look up at them.

“What did you want to show us?” Derr demanded of Linke.

“You mean to tell me that you don’t see it?” Linke questioned. He shook his head, “Man, I could be a great detective...”

“Recht!” Both Gahla and Derr snapped at once.

“Fine, fine,” Linke said. He crouched down, onto the balls of his feet. He had his finger out, just shy of the top of the Kakama. He moved his finger around, as if to show them something at that location.

“I don’t see it,” Gahla said.

“Me neither,” Derr put in.

“I thought you were two of the best,” Linke replied. “It’s literally staring you in the faces!”

“The Kanohi!” Gahla called.

Linke nodded, “Exactly.”

Derr slowly nodded, “Yeah... but, that doesn’t account for everything. What if someone caught him?”

Of course they were referring to the fact that a blunt force blow to the back of the head would send the victim to the ground. The problem was that his Kanohi wasn’t damaged. It should at least show some signs of damage from crashing into the hard ground, with the force of the fall and body of the Matoran on top of that.

“If someone caught him, there would be at least two figures,” Linke said. “And by all accounts, only one was seen fleeing. A Matoran, right?”

Gahla nodded, “Okay. So, maybe it was just luck, or, no one saw the second.”

“No,” Linke said, shaking his head. “This guy is smart. He’s blinded you two. And nearly me, too.”

“How are you so certain of any of this?” Derr questioned, “You’re just a sculptor.”

“But you forget,” Linke replied, looking into Derr’s eyes, “I’m brilliant.” He pointed down at the corpse, without looking. “When I make a piece of work, I put my insignia into it, to show that it was made by me, ‘Recht’. I have an eye for detail, as you know. But, by putting the insignia in, I also have an eye for where it wouldn’t take away from the art, and, where it would still be noticed as my work. The second may just be a coincidence, but, I believe the wound on his chest is out of the way, if you ask me. I don’t think it’s a calling card.”

Both detectives crouched by the body. They closely examined the upper right piece of his breastplate of armor. There was a small, nearly hidden, wound. It was a slit, but, upon a closer look, they could both make it out as larger on the inside. A fatal wound, severing several internal organs.

“A thin entrance wound, a large internal result,” Gahla observed.

Linke nodded, “Very good. You get an ‘A’ for the day,” he said, rather bored. He stretched his back, “Okay, I’m going to leave you two to do the boring work. If you get any leads, you know where to find me.”

“How did you notice?” Derr quickly asked, before Linke had gotten too far.

“Like I said. I’m a sculptor. I know how to look for detail. However, the wound being bigger on the inside is something I didn’t catch. And the undamaged Kanohi’s just a coincidence that I guessed on, since it wasn’t shattered.” He looked to them, “Remember, I’m not a real detective, I’ve just got an eye for detail. You know where I am if you need me. And I bet you’ll want my help.”

Gahla stood up and looked to Derr. As Linke was walking off, Derr told her, “I don’t think we’ll want his help again. He annoys me.”

Gahla knew the truth, however. She knew that he was important. He was an illegal Toa on Doppel Nui. He had to be monitored, and potentially, eliminated or arrested.

She shook her head, “No. He’s good. I think we’ll need him in the future.”

“Are you serious?” Derr questioned, disapprovingly.

“I know you’re the Senior Detective,” Gahla said. She herself was well known, and good, but, she was only just starting, in terms of the years Derr had been doing it. However Derr may have come off as the less capable, he was actually her superior, “but, can I make this call?”

“Fine,” Derr replied, “If you want him, I’ll allow him to stay.”

“Thanks,” Gahla replied. “And besides, keeping an eye on him will be good practice for when I get to your rank.” For she knew he would be a handful.

Day ThreeEdit

Linke, what do you think you’re doing?” Recht asked, chipping away at a slab of marble, starting a new sculpture.

Apparently, despite it being so early, Recht wasn’t tired. Apparently, he didn’t get tired when he had an image he needed to sculpt.

Linke yawned, “What do you mean?” the Ta-Matoran asked, taking a swig of water from a canteen.

“Working with the detectives,” Recht replied. “We have a job to do here, and if they find out about us... ”

“You know I’m working with Detective Gahla,” Linke replied. “And she knows, since you decided to let her follow and see us fight.”

“You didn’t exactly try to stop her from seeing. And besides, we needed her, since you were in prison,” the Le-Matoran replied.

“If you wanted to, you could have busted me out, you know,” Linke replied.

“If I had brought the Stones, then we’d have had trouble,” Recht replied, “And everyone would’ve escaped in the destruction, and for what? To keep our identities concealed.”

Linke didn’t answer for a moment. He turned to his partner, “We’ve been marked, by the way.”

Recht didn’t seem fazed by it.

“You know what that means, right?” Linke questioned. “Their leader, ‘The Shadowed One’, knows a Toa is here! He’ll send Dark Hunters after us for killing his other Hunter!”

“We can handle them,” Recht answered.

“Do you know how many we’ll have to fight?” Linke again questioned. “With only Fire and Air on our side, we’re outmatched and gravely outnumbered!”

“Then we just need to step up our skills and power,” Recht replied.

“Do you have a plan?” Linke asked him.

Recht nodded, “I’m working on it, don’t worry.”

“How long?” Linke asked.

“One week,” Recht replied.

Linke nodded, “Okay then.” He looked up the stairway, “I should head topside. See if Detective Gahla’s come back for today. Maybe they got a new lead.”

“Just don’t forget who you are, Linke,” Recht said.

Linke nodded. “A fugitive. A Toa. I know,” he replied, walking slowly up the spiral staircase.

Gahla stood waiting at the desk for him. She figured he was down below, talking to Recht, but couldn’t find the key to go down there herself. She figured it was best to leave them to their privacy, however.

Finally, the door opened, and Linke walked out. He looked to Gahla, “Detective, don’t you knock? Or is barging into a building something in your job description?”

“The door was unlocked.” she replied. “And this is a business. You didn’t plan too well. What if a client saw you walking out of there?”

“Client? Please. They know not to walk in. They know to leave a message at the door. I take it once a day to Recht, he reads the requests, and we get in touch with whomever he wants to do work for. I have no need to lock my doors,” Linke explained.

She gestured to the twisted piece of work that was suspected as a murder weapon two days prior, “You don’t want to protect pieces like this? That you don’t sell?”

“With great detectives like you, no need to,” he replied. “We’d find whoever stole these one-of-a-kind pieces in no time.”

“Unless they get smuggled or sold off island,” she told him.

He shrugged, “Possibilities, possibilities. So, any leads on the murder?”

“Yes,” Gahla answered. “That’s why I’m here. I thought you’d be interested in seeing this.”

“Seeing what?” he questioned.

“Oh, you’ll see. It seems right up your alley,” she replied, leading the way.

Sitting in a painter’s studio was a frightened Ga-Matoran. Around her were wires, threatening to sever her body parts if tripped by the seemingly insane Ko-Matoran sitting behind the paints and canvas.

Police were all around the building. Weapons were all drawn, not that daggers or spears would do much against him, at least not with this situation.

“He’s the murderer?” Linke questioned, walking into the throng of police with both Gahla and Derr.

The Onu-Matoran nodded, “He admitted to the murder when we questioned him upon arrival. He’s threatening to kill her as well, if we don’t meet his demands.”

“And they are?” Linke inquired.

“Well, this Matoran is a scholar,” Derr explained. “He’s brilliant. He left a life of solitude to come here and work as an artist. Or so he said. His art wasn’t very good, yet he managed to pawn it off anyway. You see... he plays mind games. He manipulated people into buying it. But now, he took things one step farther...”

“He made an effective kill, and wanted to try to see if anyone could solve the crime,” Linke finished. Derr nodded. “I get it. The wound sizes are very good. Very tricky. But, how did we trace it to him?”

“We got a new witness,” Gahla said. “We were told he was a Ko-Matoran wearing a sandstone-colored Hau. He’s the only one matching that description. Cops came to question him, and this unfolded.”

Linke nodded, “So, what are his demands exactly?”

“A game of wits,” Derr replied.

“Game of wits?” Linke skeptically questioned.

“As I said, he’s a scholar. A genius who loves mind games,” Derr repeated. “Well, part of this mind game, this plot, is another mind game. A game of wits.”

“And that game?” Linke questioned.

“See for yourself, Recht,” Derr replied, gesturing towards the building.

Inside, sitting on a table, was a flat board, laid out in a grid formation. There were flat tiles of two different colors in various squares on the board. Each had different marks on them.

“How’d he get that here?” Linke muttered.

“Snuck it through customs,” Derr answered. “Or at least, that’s the assumption.”

“Aren’t they thorough enough to find that thing?” Linke questioned.

“Should have been,” Derr replied. “But we don’t know how it got in. And because we also don’t know when, we can’t find those on duty from that time.”

“So, he wants someone to play against him?” Linke wondered aloud.

Gahla nodded, “Yeah, we’re trying to get someone down here to play him. But so far, we haven’t got in touch with him.”

“Who?” Linke inquired.

“Our psychologist,” Gahla replied. “He’s a brilliant man, a Le-Matoran. Full of wit. No doubt he could play a good game, and win.”

“I’m not going to let you risk one of your own,” Linke said. He pushed through the throng of police. They tried to restrain him, and even turned their weapons on him, but he pushed through and ran into the building, flinging the doors open.

“Recht!” the two detectives called.

He ignored them and pushed the doors closed. He quickly sealed them, with a board through the handles, then turned, seeing the Ga-Matoran hostage tense as her would-be assailant held the wires tighter.

“One more step, and she dies,” the Ko-Matoran hissed.

Linke put his hands up, “My name is... ”

“Recht. Famous sculptor. I know,” the Ko-Matoran replied.

“Okay. You know me. What’s your name?” Linke questioned.

“My name is Unik,” the Ko-Matoran simply replied.

“Okay, Unik,” Linke said. He walked as far away from the hostage as he could, moving towards the board, “As you can see, I have no weapons on me.” He was thankful he wasn’t wearing his pouch. He didn’t want Unik to check him, and find his half of the Duos Stone. He may know something about it, but Linke didn’t want to possibly tip his and Recht’s hands in any way with the knowledge possibly exposed.

“What are you doing?” Unik questioned.

“You’re the genius,” Linke replied. “Don’t you see?”

“I see. I see alright. But what I don’t get is why a sculptor would play me at a game of Uuk-Koi,” Unik told him.

“I’m not going to let anyone in the force risk their lives in this,” Linke said, taking the seat farthest from the hostage. “Well, do you want to play me? Or, do you want another opponent?”

Unik rose. He kept the wires in one hand, and walked to his seat. He looked across the board at Linke, showing no fear in starting this game.

He tucked the wires into his belt. One forceful tug would still cut her through. She made no moves to move against his losing attention of her. And the police made no moves to break in and try to free her.

“You’re sure about this, right?” Unik questioned. “I respect you as an artist, Recht. As a brilliant sculptor, and I’d hate to destroy that mind of yours' if I didn’t have to.”

“I’m ready,” Linke said. He put his hands out. The right as a closed fist, the left over top of it, open palm facing down onto his other fist.

“Well then, let’s commence,” Unik replied, mimicking Linke’s hands.

The white tiles were on Unik’s side. The black were for Linke. Unik was starting.

With mere force of mind, the white tile closest to Linke rose into the air, flipped back, and landed atop a black tile. The tiles glowed for a moment, and then, flipped onto their long sides, pressed against one another.

A surge shot through both tiles, and into the minds of their respective owners. The pain was unbearable by most standards. However, Linke was used to fusing with the Duos Stone. This pain was nothing.

Yet, it still hurt more than anything other than the Stone was capable of, at least, for him.

Both Matoran exerted a mental bolt into their pieces. The energy surged through the two tiles, clashing against each other.

The mind of Linke fought the mind of Unik. The two Matoran struggled for a few moments, both showing pain in their eyes, but neither crying out in pain.

The game was banned on all islands but Stelt, or so it was told. Likely, other islands had it, but just didn’t admit to it, for fear of being judged by trade partners.

The game was a battle of minds. Two players sat with various tiles laid out before them in various positions. Moving one tile one square per turn, they had to destroy every tile that their opponent had.

The pain in the mind was excruciating. It was a powerful struggle that usually left the winner unconscious, the loser dead.

The winner being unconscious was the best result for the winner, as far as Linke had ever heard. Sometimes the winner had lost their sanity, or had become brain damaged, or ended up brain dead. And sometimes, they even died.

The loser always died, however, at least that’s what he’d heard.

Finally, the struggle ended. The black tile flew into the air, and shattered into dust.

The mental backlash struck Linke. He cried in pain, slumping down onto the board. He panted hard as the waves of pain started to weaken.

He pushed himself up. His entire body shook. He put his hands back out again, “Okay. I’m ready.”

“Your move,” Unik said calmly, clearly sure of victory.

Whoever won the first battle was usually assured a victory. They could use the first pain in the mind of their opponent to destroy them.

With a small force of mental control, Linke’s piece moved. It landed atop the previous victor, and the battle began.

This time, Linke was taking no chances. He was used to being a Toa. He knew how to use a Kanohi.

He used the mental control he learned from his time merged, and immediately shattered Unik’s piece.

This time Unik cried out. He glared at Linke. “Where did that burst of power come from? You shouldn’t have won that quickly, even in a first match! You shouldn’t be able to win against me, period!” he shouted. He shook his head, “No matter.” He put his hands back out, moving his next piece. He attacked another of Linke’s pieces on the corner of the board, and began the battle anew.

This time, even though Linke pressed his advantage of superior mental control, Unik fought back harder. The two clashed for two minutes before Linke’s flew up, shattering and sending waves of pain shooting through his body.

He cried out, but immediately returned to the base stance. “I’m ready,” he panted.

After another fifteen minutes, it was down to three pieces for Unik, and one for Linke.

Unik was grinning smugly. No doubt he would win. Linke didn’t have the mental discipline remaining to fight all three of them in a row. Every battle he would take more and more damage to his mind. He could potentially win two, but the third would be impossible.

However, Unik would take damage from losses, of course. Unik paid no attention to that. He had Linke outnumbered, and his winning streak was simply showing he had superior mental fortitude, regardless.

“Make your move,” Unik sneered.

Linke put his hands out and flipped his piece. He fled away from Unik’s pieces.

“No you don’t,” Unik jeered, moving to close him in.

After three turns for each passed, Linke was boxed into a corner. Unik had a piece right there, waiting for him. And it was Linke’s turn.

Linke attacked.

“Fool!” Unik shouted, engaging him instantly.

In ten seconds, the black tile flew up and shattered. Linke cried in pain, and fell from his seat to the ground.

“You fool,” Unik decried. “Such a shame, Recht. You played well, but lost to the superior mind.”

Suddenly Unik looked at his shoulder. There was a dagger in it.

“No,” Linke panted. “You lose.”

Standing behind Unik was Derr, whose dagger had plunged into the Ko-Matoran’s shoulder.

“Should have watched the door,” Derr hissed as Unik slumped into unconsciousness.

Day Four, Part 1Edit

The instant burst of light nearly blinded Linke. He looked around the white marble walls of the hospital room he lay in. His head throbbed terribly, and his muscles ached from hitting the ground so hard.

“It’s morning,” a soft voice said beside him.

He rolled his head to his right, seeing a Ga-Matoran sitting there. It was the same Matoran who had been held hostage by Unik the day before.

“Did... did they get him?” Linke asked through a painfully dry throat.

She nodded, “Yeah. They arrested him.”

“How?” he asked.

“You distracted him with that game. When the two of you were really into it, Detective Derr got in through a small side entrance. He managed to cut me free with his knife, and retie the wires to keep them tight for Unik. Then he snuck up on the Ko-Matoran, and stabbed him in the shoulder, so he could be brought in for questioning.”

She leaned over the bed, “But Recht... I have a question for you.”

“Go ahead,” he said.

“You lost,” she put bluntly. “How are you alive?”

Linke’s superior mind was a result of the Duos Stone. He was used to having two minds at once, and as a result, had higher mental control, enough so to take advantage in a game of Uuk-Koi. However, not enough to beat someone like Unik, who was truly a genius.

If he had to guess, Linke would have said that the higher mental control had allowed him to survive. He was used to the strain on the body, and having a powerful mind. The resulting combination must have kept him alive, against all odds.

“What happened to Unik?” Linke questioned. “Is his brain damaged?”

“Only if you count him being sadistic as being brain damaged,” she chuckled, despite the serious situation, which had unfolded only twenty-four hours earlier.

He nodded, “I understand.” He looked outside, staring up at the clouds in the sky, and the birds flying about. Out at the magnificent structures that adorned the Isle of Doppel Nui.

“I owe you,” she said.

He looked to her, “For saving you? No. It was my duty.”

“You’re a sculptor. Not a detective nor a cop,” she said. “It wasn’t your duty. You just did it to save me, right?”

He had meant it was his duty as a Toa. But, he couldn’t let that be known. So, he simply nodded.

“Right. It was my pleasure then,” he corrected.

There was a clear knocking coming from the door. It opened, and Detective Gahla poked her head in. “Recht. You ready to go?”

He nodded, despite the intense throbbing that followed, “Yeah. I’m ready to go.” He pushed his legs over the side of the bed and came to the ground. His knees buckled, dropping him to the ground.

“Recht!” The two Ga-Matoran called, crouching to his side and helping him to rise.

He grinned, “I’m fine. I’m fine. You two can let me go.”

They didn’t release him. They continued towards the bed with him.

“I’m fine!” he complained. “I just want to get on with my jobs!”

Gahla thrust him onto the bed, “No. You still need to rest, I see. Derr and I can continue with this case on our own. We just need to interrogate Unik, and then put him in jail. Don’t worry, Recht. You did your part already for us.”

“Does this mean you’ll let me keep working with you?” he questioned.

“Depends,” she replied. “Are you going to continue putting yourself in harm’s way like this?”

“Of course,” Linke retorted.

“Then maybe,” she responded. “I’ll have to discuss it with our Chief.”

“Do that,” Linke said. “I want to keep working on crimes with you two.”

“I’ll ask. We’ll see,” she replied before walking out.

The other Ga-Matoran took her seat. She spoke again, “By the way... my name is Halen.”

“Okay, Halen. It’s a pleasure to have saved you.” Linke said with a bit of disdain, though mostly just annoyed by Gahla. “I’m tired... can you please leave me to my rest?”

“Of course,” Halen replied, taking no offense to Linke’s words. She walked to the door and slid it open. She took one step out. “Bye, Recht,” she said before walking out completely.

Linke watched the door for a minute. When he was satisfied no one was entering, he rolled out of bed, collapsing onto one knee. He pushed himself up, holding the windowsill in both hands and pulling himself upright so that he could look outside.

He was on the second story of the two-story building. This wasn’t good.

He needed to contact Recht to come and help him out of this place. He didn’t want to stay at the hospital... he had work to do.

He looked into the street below. He saw Gahla and Halen speaking briefly. Gahla was gesturing momentarily about something, and then turned to walk down one street, towards the police department.

After a minute of standing around, Halen started to follow her, down the same road towards the police department.

“What?” he muttered.

If she wanted part in the interrogation process, or they needed to question her – which they probably did the day before – she would have gone immediately. Not a minute later.

Something was wrong.

Linke struggled towards the door, collapsing on the bed halfway there. He pushed himself up and grabbed the door, putting his weight on it.

He slid it open and began the long, arduous trip towards the first floor and the door.

How did it lead to this? How did it lead to murder? That’s what Derr wondered as he looked across the table into the cold, dead eyes of their suspect, Unik. While he was arrested for attempted murder and possession of illegal items – the Uuk-Koi game – they had no firm clue that he was their first murderer.

There was the description and the details after they moved in, but that was it. He could have done something completely different and could have thought they were after him for that.

“Did you murder this Matoran?” Derr questioned, sliding the tablet across the table. The tablet had the image of a Matoran engraved, and the image of the scene of the crime was also engraved.

Unik didn’t even bother looking at it. He simply said, “Well, what are the wounds?”

“Blunt force trauma to the back of the head to throw us off. A small wound to the chest which is deeper inside than it is outside.” Derr explained.

“No.” Unik replied.

“No?” Derr questioned. “So, you’re saying you didn’t murder this De-Matoran, right?”

“I didn’t even know there were any De-Matoran on the island,” Unik replied.

“He was coming in from a ship in our harbor,” Derr continued. “He wasn’t a citizen of this island.”

“Then no,” Unik replied. “Any murders I would have committed...”

Would have? He was trying to imply that he had never murdered.

“...would have been against those living on this island. I have no business with visitors nor traders.”

“Are you sure about that?” Derr questioned. “What if one ripped you off? Or offended you? We know you’re sadistic. So, what stopped you from trying to kill someone?”

“Look at my residence,” Unik replied. “I don’t live anywhere near the sea. I’m too far inland to have met any traders from other lands. I don’t venture far from my home or studio.”

“There’s too much evidence pointing in your direction,” Derr replied. “Need I remind you that you admitted to murder when we arrived for you?”

“You just said ‘murder’,” Unik replied. “You never said he was a De-Matoran.”

“But you just said you never murdered,” Derr growled.

“Fine, fine,” Unik said. “I killed two other Matoran. A Ta- and a Ko-Matoran. Have you not found their corpses?”

“Where were these murders?” Derr questioned. “Might not be in my division of the island.”

Unik shrugged, “Well, I will confess to two murders, and another attempted murder, but, I didn’t kill your De-Matoran.”

“Then who did?” Derr questioned, leaning in close.

“I don’t know,” Unik replied.

Derr stood up and walked to the door. He walked outside and took the corner to see Detective Gahla. She was listening through the observation room’s thinner wall.

“I don’t know,” She said. “I’m not sure if he did it or not.”

“Regardless, we arrest him for what he confirms, and we keep our eyes out for any other suspicious murders,” Derr said. She nodded in agreement.

The two walked into another room to file the reports with some officers. They would escort Unik into prison and be sure he was kept locked up. They carried more capable weapons than Gahla or Derr did, and were more capable in combat. That was the requirement for officers.

As the two detectives and two officers walked back towards the interrogation room to get their suspect, they saw the door open. Not only open, but blown off two of its’ hinges.

The four rushed into the room. They saw Unik’s corpse slumped against the wall, three wounds in his chest.

All small slits which were bigger on the inside than the outside.

“Seal the perimeter,” Gahla ordered the officers.

The two rushed out the door, calling for more officers and a lockdown to be commenced. Gahla looked to Derr.

He shook his head. “I have no ideas,” he said.

They both looked up at the same time, seeing a figure clinging to the ceiling of the room. It was Halen.

She dropped down and laughed. She threw her head up and laughed more and more, very sadistically.

The two detectives drew their daggers and held them out, ready for trouble. But Halen made no moves.

She looked at them, a maniacal grin on her face. “Do you want to know how they died?” she questioned. She threw her arms out in response to her own question.

Six long, thin tentacles erupted from her back. Each ended in a spear-like tip, each writhed around like a snake, and all under her control.

“I’m the perfect Dark Hunter,” she hissed, walking towards the two detectives. “Who would suspect me? A Ga-Matoran who was a victim in this? Well, two quick deaths and no suspicions on me. I guess this is a successful experiment that ‘The Shadowed One’ has going, wouldn’t you say?”

As she backed them into the wall, her tentacles slashed towards them, cutting deep into the walls. She was simply toying with them.

As the tentacles moved in for the kill, the two detectives rushed outside, managing to duck them, and reach the momentary safety of the hallway.

They both looked at the shouting guards. There was someone running in, wearing crimson armor.


“Recht!” both detectives shouted.

Linke’s body and mind were still wracked with pain. He could fight, however. He had to try to save the two detectives and battle against Halen.

She glared at Linke then hissed, “Recht, I will spare you if you leave. Now! I commend you for your bravery against Unik. So... go and you live. Stay and die.”

He walked forward, shaking his head. Each step sent pain rippling through his body. He glared at her and came up into a fighting stance. His left arm was at his chest; his right was out, his right side facing her.

“Come on,” he challenged. “I’ll be your opponent.”

“Recht!” the two detectives yelled.

“You can’t fight her!” Gahla snapped. “She’ll kill you!”

“I’ll take the chance,” Linke replied. He rushed forward, rolling under every stinger as they came. He shifted onto his back and slammed both feet into her chest. She went flying back and crashed into the far wall.

Linke rushed forward. A tentacle whipped at him, grazing his shoulder, but the blade had at least missed.

He plowed his fist into her chest. She cried out in pain.

He grabbed her throat and rolled onto his back, then rammed his feet into her chest, using the previous grip to send her flying back, into the table behind him.

Linke got up and rushed after her. She rolled over and launched all six spear-tips forward, ready to impale the Ta-Matoran.

Linke leapt up, going through the center of the tentacles. He landed atop two of them, forcing them down. She cried out and reared every other tentacle, ready for impalement.

Linke yanked forward on the tentacles he had, offsetting Halen, and pulling her at him. He leapt up and kicked her face, sending her spiraling into the wall once more.

Even without Recht, even without becoming a Toa, Linke knew how to fight better than most Matoran could.

He rolled under the table to the door. He looked at the two detectives and held his hands out, “The daggers!”

They quickly passed him their weapons. He flipped them point down and rushed in.

She was rising again however, and sent the tentacles forward once more.

He rolled through a gap and reached for her body. He pulled both arms back, and rammed them forward, driving the daggers into her shoulders.

She screamed in pain, retracting the tentacles most of the way. The two Matoran struggled for a few moments, before Linke took control and rammed her as hard as he could into the wall.

The two broke through, rolling across the ground. He kicked her, tearing the daggers out of her shoulders. Her body went flying out the window of the station, landing outside on the ground.

He ran out the door after her, discarding the daggers as he moved. He panted, but returned to his fighting stance.

She struggled to her feet, straining to keep her tentacles ready for battle. But, she was too tired to continue.

He ran at her and leapt up, slamming his foot into her, sending her stumbling backward. She crashed into the ground hard and rolled, and continued rolling towards the small lake near the station.

As she rose, he rammed his fist into her chest again and she continued to stumble back.

He crouched and swept her feet out from beneath her and as she fell, he rammed his foot into hers, sending her flying back, into the lake.

He stood over the placid waters as she sank into the depths.

It was over.

Day Four, Part 2/Day FiveEdit

Linke looked over his shoulder. He saw the two detectives rushing towards him, still clutching their weapons as if Halen would return from the depths and take revenge.

“Don’t worry!” Linke called. “I got her!”

The Protodermis splintered at the feet of the two detectives and the eruption of stone sent the two of them flying. They smashed into nearby walls, and slid down, luckily only dazed.

Linke looked back to the water quickly. There he saw it.

Air bubbles. Massive air bubbles.

Something was rising.

Like some form of grotesque, mutant, crab-like Rahi it rose. It had a large, blue, shelled body, lined with spikes along the carapace, going to the sides. The top, curving up, and then down, also had spikes. The head protruded with a long, scaled, almost fleshy-looking neck and had what looked like a shell of its’ own as a helmet of sorts, as well as two crimson eyes glaring from within, and rows of razor-sharp fangs.

It had a long, whip-like, yet thick, tail. That too was lined with spikes and segmented like an insect. It also had eight spindly legs coming from beneath the shell, and two large, crab-like pincers. Each pincer blade was at least as large as a Toa or similar being, and as thick as a Matoran.

Coming from between gaps in the spikes along the shell were the whip-like protrusions that had previously come from her back.

Halen in her monstrous form rose onto her tail, showing the underside of her shell to Linke. While she floated like this, glaring down at him, pincers snapping, she looked to be nearly seven bio tall.


Linke glanced to the side. He saw a lime green armored Matoran rushing in his direction from a side street, carrying the two pouches.

Linke looked up at Halen, but it was too late. One of the whip protrusions struck him, sending him flying – in Recht’s direction, thankfully – into a wall, bringing it all down atop him, seemingly crushing his body.

Gahla and Derr were trying to get up, but were too shocked by the site to move. They couldn’t will their bodies to move, to even run for cover.

Fear filled their very existences. They were petrified.

“What now?” she heard Derr mutter under his breath.

“We have hope,” Gahla told him.

From under the rubble protruded a hand in the direction of the alley. Recht took hold of it, pulling his partner to freedom. He quickly thrust the bag into Linke’s other hand.

“We have to be quick,” Recht said. “If you care about those detectives, that is.”

Linke nodded, panting and rising to his feet. He held his half of the stone in his left hand. Recht had his half in his right.

The axis of power spread out around them. The power overlapped their bodies, and the eruption of light brought them together.

Linke’s screams soon died out as a new figure stood beside the rubble. The shockwave of power sent the rubble flying, leaving only a few pieces behind. He stepped over it, walking towards the lake.

Halen glanced down, taking notice of the newcomer. She laughed and turned her monstrously mutated body towards the Toa.

“I can complete my job,” she hissed. Her voice was deep and booming, very sinister. It was as if being spoken to by a Makuta. That was how ominously she spoke, and how her voice flowed.

It was the voice of a monster. That was the only way to explain it.

The two voices spoke in unison, “Halen, what has become of you?”

“This is the power bestowed upon me to destroy you!” she laughed. “This is also the power that will be granted to all Dark Hunters, if I’m successful here. Then the Brotherhood shall lose their foolish war!”

Linke’s hand came up, brushing his fingers against his side of the Kanohi, continuing into the air, and then letting his arm fall back down to his side. The Toa shook his head.

“Too bad for the Dark Hunters then,” he said. “Because you won’t survive this.”

“Die!” Halen screamed, sending the whips down. Rows of blades filled the sky as they all came down at the single target.

“Recht,” Linke said.

Recht nodded the body, “I know.”

He threw his arm out, unleashing his elemental powers. The wind funneled into a cyclone, capturing all of the whips together into one. He threw his arm to the side, tossing them into the ground, away from anyone who could have been harmed.

Linke brought his arm up. He turned his fingers into the conventional “gun” look, and took aim. He flicked his wrist up, unleashing a bullet of fire at Halen.

The fireball struck her underbelly, but did nothing. She only laughed.

The monstrous right claw came down, crushing the ground around them. Only Recht’s quick wits had saved them, using a rapid burst of air to move them fast enough out of the way.

They slid to a stop and looked up. The next claw came down.

“Ready?” Recht questioned.

Linke’s voice came from the mouth next, “Yeah. Let’s end this.”

The body of the Toa jumped back at the last moment, escaping all but the cloud of smoke that was thrown up from impact. The Toa leapt up, running up the long arm of the beast. The right hand generated wind, the left created fire.

As they reached the elbow, they rose up, using a burst of wind to propel them higher. They floated before her head, and put the hands together.

A flaming cyclone blasted her face, causing her to scream in agony from the strike. She had to dive under, but the body of water wasn’t deep enough to hide her entire body, and she knew they would just attack anything still exposed.

She fought through the pain like any Dark Hunter would and screamed in their direction, unleashing a blast of power from her mouth.

Using a flick of Recht’s wrist, they created a spurt of wind to propel themselves up, over the burst of energy, and they used the wind to start to spin, faster and faster, until they were clear above her head.

Fire and wind overtook the body, creating a flaming cyclone around them. They shot down, spiraling towards her head like a flaming drill.

The attack struck her exposed head, smashing into the shell like a piece of armor. She cried out in pain, bringing her right claw up. She smashed it into the Toa’s body, sending him flying down.

Recht unleashed a quick burst of wind, propelling them onto the land again. They both panted and looked up.

“It didn’t work,” they said as one unified voice. “Now what?”

“Recht,” Linke said through the mouth.

Recht’s voice came out next. “I see,” he replied, reading their conjoined thoughts.


“It’s the only shot we’ve got left, since the finisher didn’t work,” Recht answered.

The Toa nodded. “It’s decided then,” they said as one.

Halen looked down on them. She laughed, and screamed down at them, unleashing her power scream attack again.

The Toa ran aside, rushing for a nearby building. They leapt up, landing on an artful arch that protruded out over the lake.

Recht clenched his fist tight, and it began to pulsate green, as he threw it down at the lake.

He unleashed his innate powers of wind into the lake, creating a powerful cyclone beneath it, all focused on Halen’s body.

She screamed as the unexpected cyclone struck her body, taking her into the air.

“If we can’t win in the water. We remove you from your element, into ours!” the Toa called out as she was shot out of reach of the water.

Recht’s side of the body began to pulsate further, a signal that he was almost out of power. He wouldn’t need much more though.

“Linke,” Recht said.

Linke clenched his fist, and put it over his chest. The Duos Stone within him momentarily glowed. He moved his fist down with his arm. His side of the body began to pulsate crimson as his fist started to burn. With each pulsation the flames grew. While they were large already, it was just for show. There was power in the fist that wasn’t flame.

“Keep some of your power, you know,” Linke warned as they leapt up.

“I know,” Recht replied. His foot began to pulsate the same way that Linke’s fist was. They used that built up power to launch themselves higher, up towards Halen.

She looked down at them, unleashing her whips again. Once more the blades whistled through the air as they came down at the Toa.

The Toa’s body began to spin around. The foot began to unleash a cyclone, miniaturized and attached. With each spin, it stayed atop the foot, simply using the rotation in all directions to knock any attacks aside.

As they came up the shell, they began to slow down, approaching her face without the spin.

They reached above her eyes and at that instant Linke punched.

The flaming punch struck down, striking her between Halen’s eyes. She screamed out as power tore through her body.

In a burst of light, she was normal-sized again, but the whips still came from her back. The two figures fell from the sky, crashing down into the water from at least eleven bio in the air.

As they fell, a light erupted from the Toa, splitting him back into the two Matoran who formed him. Linke quickly grabbed Halen’s body as they fell. He looked to Recht who stayed close.

The water felt like cement as they broke through. Linke opened his mouth to scream in pain, but water forced its’ way in, and no voice escaped him.

He saw Recht briskly swimming for shore. He had to get away, quickly. Linke pushed Halen’s body to the surface, and swam as well.

The light should have hid their de-fusion. And with them falling side by side as they had, they could have looked like the Toa yet, hopefully anyway.

Linke ran for the rubble, and dove under it. He glanced out, and saw Derr pulling Halen to shore. She was unconscious from all appearances and had a large gash through her Kanohi.

Gahla crouched by the rubble, pulling Linke out and to safety. She looked down on him, and whispered, “We’ll talk later.”

“That was quite the show yesterday,” Gahla said, walking into the shop in the twilight of dusk the next day. She looked to Linke and Recht at the desk, examining the Duos Stone.

“We used all of our power,” Recht explained. He tapped his half, as if hoping the elemental powers would answer his knock.

Linke walked towards her. “Let’s talk in the side office,” he said, pulling her into a smaller room furnished with only two chairs and a desk.

He took his seat behind the desk. She sat before it, facing him.

“What happened to Halen?” Linke questioned.

“We took her into custody. We bound her whips so she couldn’t use them, and imprisoned her, waiting to interrogate her. However, by the time morning came, and although the herbs we gave her should have worked, she was dead. Your wound killed her, Linke.”

Linke looked down. His eyes betrayed the pain he tried to hide.

“She was a murderer. She was also after your life,” Gahla reminded Linke.

“I know,” Linke muttered. “But anytime we’ve had to kill someone in the past, it was always half Recht’s fault, or so I always told myself. It was easier than accepting the fact that we had killed someone. That I had murdered someone.” He looked into Gahla’s eyes, “But yesterday, our attack didn’t work. I had to kill her with my own fist.” He clenched his left fist. “I was the one who killed her. I killed her. Recht had no part in it! This kill was all me! Do you know what that feels like, Detective Gahla?”

She shook her head slowly, “No. I never killed anyone, Linke. I can’t imagine the pain you feel.”

“Our finisher has never failed us in the past,” Linke muttered. “It just had to fail against her. Why did it have to fail? Against her of all people! I risked my life to save her! I risked myself in that accursed game against Unik! And for what? To murder the woman I saved!”

“Linke, calm down,” she said quickly. “Please.”

He shook his head and stood up, “Detective, with all due respect, you never killed. You don’t know how this feels. You also didn’t have a bond of any sort with a victim. You didn’t know her like I did. I may have barely known her, but I did know her. She was grateful to me. She thanked me for saving her.” He walked to the door, “I think it would be best for you to go, Detective Gahla.”

She rose from her chair and nodded, “I understand, Linke.” She walked out into the main room, and then towards the door. She turned around to look at him, “By the way, no one saw you two. Your secret is still safe.”

Linke leaned against the desk, looking at his half of the Duos Stone. “Good,” he said simply.

She felt the silence as oppressive against her. She turned and walked out the door, leaving the two Matoran alone.

“How long?” Linke asked.

“Five days,” Recht replied.

Linke nodded, “Okay.”

“How long do you think it’ll take for the powers to return?” Recht questioned.

“I don’t know,” Linke replied. “You’re the one who originally possessed them, not me.”

“I mean, do you feel anything?” Recht questioned. “Do you feel a bond that’s telling you?”

Linke shook his head, “No. Should I be?”

“I feel it,” Recht replied.

“Well, you had them longer,” Linke answered.

Recht put his half back into his pouch and slung it over his side, wearing it at his right. He walked towards the staircase.

“Where are you going?” Linke asked.

“To sculpt,” Recht replied, walking downstairs, out of sight of Linke.

Recht pulled his half out as he walked. He ran his hand over the rough edge of the Duos Stone. He ran only a finger across, and then tucked it away.

He could feel the tingle of the rough edge remaining on his armor for a moment.

He could feel his connection to the power.

Why can’t Linke? He had only one guess as to why. And he always suspected why.

Linke isn’t the one who should hold the other Duos Stone.

Day TenEdit

“Murder?” Linke asked Derr.

“Only attempted,” the Onu-Matoran Detective replied. “The victim was interrogated earlier. He has no idea who attacked him.”

“Any leads?” Linke asked.

“Nope,” Derr replied. He looked over his shoulder, “Gahla, got anything?”

“Yeah,” she replied, passing a tablet to the two of them, “An unmarked ship at the harbor. Seems suspicious, so I had it checked.”

“And?” Derr asked.

“No inhabitants at the time,” she replied. “But, they found identification.”

She pulled a piece of cloth out of her robe.

It had the symbol of the Dark Hunters on it.

“The Dark Hunter from that ship is our man, I think we can say,” Derr said. “But we don’t get involved in this sort of situation. Let’s find our Dark Hunter, question him, and see what’s happening. For all we know, that Le-Matoran is a criminal from another island.”

Linke nodded, “I’ll be right with your investigation. Let me run back to the shop first.”

“What could you possibly need from there?” Derr questioned.

“I forgot to lock up,” Linke replied before running off, out of the station, and towards his shop.

He would need Recht so they could deal with the Dark Hunter.

The lanky, black-armored Dark Hunter walked through the streets. His size kept Matoran away from him. The wickedly curved sword he carried on his ornate, black and silver belt didn’t hurt to keep people away with, either.

His armor was sleek. He carried little to no bulk, and had an armored face, no Kanohi. He wasn’t a very imposing figure.

He stopped and looked down an alley. He saw a dual-toned figure walking towards him. The right side was green and the left was red.

“Finally,” the Dark Hunter said, drawing his sword and walking towards them.

The Toa rushed him. He leapt up and spun around, propelling himself with wind, and slamming a wind blade kick into the Dark Hunter.

He stumbled back and swung. The Toa ducked and plowed a flaming fist into his chest, taking him down.

The Toa stood over the Dark Hunter, and called forth a flaming fist again. He drew his arm back to prepare for an attack.

“Fool,” the Dark Hunter hissed, kicking his legs out. He rolled to his feet and slashed his sword down.

Recht shot his arm out, using a small burst of wind to deflect the sword. They rolled and slammed a kick from Recht into his gut, sending him flying back.

The Toa rose to his feet. “We need to end him. Now,” Recht said. “Unless you want to keep using melee on him.”

Linke made the head shake, “No. Let’s end him.”

Bringing forth a flaming cyclone, they leapt up. They came down like a drill at the weak Dark Hunter, ready for the kill.

He laughed and slammed his fist onto the center of his belt buckle.

As the attack collided with the Dark Hunter, an explosion tore around them. The Toa rolled back and looked up, waiting.

As the smoke cleared, a figure walked out. He was a bit shorter than the Toa, rounded, and covered in thick lairs of armor. He carried a curved axe on his shoulder, and still wore the belt, which was now flashing red at the buckle point.

“Like this tool?” the Dark Hunter sneered, directing at his buckle, “Powerful, ain’t it? Strong enough to withstand your finishing attack!”

The Toa rose. “Is that true?” Linke asked.

“We definitely hit him,” Recht confirmed. “It looks like he’s telling us the truth.”

“Well, let’s hit him again!” Linke caused them to run forward, and exerted fire. Recht followed suit, calling on wind.

They leapt up, and came down as the flaming cyclone. As the attack hit, they stopped.

They were standing on his armor. Their kicks did nothing.

“Get off of me,” the Dark Hunter said, rather bored. He swung the axe, clipping their armor and sending them rolling across the ground, away from him.

“What now? Full power?” Linke asked.

“It’s our only option,” Recht replied, nodding the Toa’s head.

Linke put his hand over his side of the chest. The Duos Stone began to glow. His body started to shine with power, and flickered as power entered into his fist.

Recht followed suit. His side began to flicker emerald, and his fist began to take on power. A miniature cyclone sprouted from his clenched hand.

They ran forward. Their form was failing, and would be gone as soon as the blows made contact.

The Dark Hunter stood unmoving. He only laughed.

“Let me tell you something. My name is Ekiro. Ekiro of the Invincible Armor!” He swung his axe back.

The two fists collided, and plowed as one into Ekiro’s chest. The power erupted into the Dark Hunter, but didn’t defeat him.

Ekiro laughed and swung the axe forward, smashing it into their chest. The lack of power, and the blow split them apart, sending them both flying into separate alleys. He looked around, seeing nothing.

“Split into atoms?” he muttered and shrugged. “You’ll show yourself eventually!” He rested his axe on his shoulder and walked off, never seeing the two Matoran.

“We... we lost,” Recht muttered. He looked to Linke across the street, and shook his head.

“It’s up to me,” Recht said. He struggled to his feet, and leaned against a wall. He shoved off and started straggling away, towards an unknown location.

Linke watched him go, and struggled to his feet as well. He tried to run after Recht, but fell.

‘Recht’!” Gahla shouted, rushing over with Derr next to her.

“What happened?” the Onu-Matoran asked.

“Dark Hunter,” Linke panted. “His name is Ekiro.”

“Did he do this to you?” Derr questioned.

Linke nodded.

“We’ve got to stop him then.”

Linke looked to him, “He has thick, powerful armor.” He spread his arm out, showing the damage, “The Toa was here. I saw him fight Ekiro while I was beaten down. The Toa couldn’t even break through. He even did that thing that killed Halen, with both fists, and couldn’t win.”

“We’ll think of something,” Derr replied. He shook his head, then looked up. “I got it.”

“What are you thinking?” Gahla asked.

“We capture the Toa. Once he’s gone, so will be Ekiro.”

Linke slowly nodded in agreement to play the part, “Yeah, let’s.”

He had to figure out how to win, and fast.

Recht dug through a pile of stones in a field of scrapped art. As far as he could see, right next to the mountain that split the island in half, were old paintings, sculptures, statues, anything art-related that had failed.

The item he was looking for wasn’t a failure, however. It would thrive here, which is why he had put it there.

He threw a sculpture aside, and pulled something free.

“Got ya,” Recht said, rising and tucking it into his pouch. He slumped away, still feeling the pain from the battle.

He needed Linke, and fast so they could fight.

Even without much power in the Duos Stones, he knew how to power them back up. He could restore them, and they could fight.

After a long day of searching, Linke collapsed in his chair behind the desk. Of course they never found signs of the Toa.

Half the Toa had been with them.

Recht slumped in. He hurried to the desk with a bad limp, and dropped his pouch on the desk. He looked into the Ta-Matoran’s eyes.

“We have to make haste.” Recht said. He pulled his Duos Stone free, “Give me yours’.”

Linke pulled the pouch off of his side. Fortunately the two detectives hadn’t questioned what it was earlier. Gahla kept quiet, and Derr didn’t ask.

He put the stone on the desk. Recht grabbed it and motioned for Linke to follow.

“Let me rest!” Linke complained.

“No time.” Recht replied, “We have to go. Now! If we’re going to beat the Dark Hunter, that is.”

Linke leaned over the desk, “You have a way to beat him? Okay then, let’s go!”

Throwing Linke’s stone into a hot spring was an odd idea to Linke. But he nodded, and tossed it in. The stone sizzled for a moment, and then sank to the bio-deep bottom.

“Why?” Linke asked.

“It’ll feed on the heat, and restore faster,” Recht answered. He held his stone aloft. “The more wind this gets, the faster it’ll restore.” He walked to the top of a small rock overhang, and pushed the stone atop a small bulge in the rock. It was the highest position he could reach, and, it would get enough wind.

“How long?” Linke asked.

“We’ll give it an hour, then we’ll let it take its’ natural course,” Recht replied.

“That won’t be enough power,” he held his hand up. “And there’s almost no wind.”

“Don’t worry about my stone,” Recht replied, sitting down. “Just worry about yours.”

Ekiro turned around, looking at the Toa as he walked towards the Dark Hunter, the twilight behind him. He looked wounded and weakened from their earlier encounter.

“Back for more?” Ekiro chuckled. He hefted his axe onto his shoulder, “Come on!”

“Let me handle him.” Linke said, taking control. He rushed forward and leapt up, spinning around and giving him a fire-powered kick. The kick did nothing.

Before the axe could come, they rolled back, getting about a bio away. The Toa rose and threw a fireball forward, seeing it touch the armor and stop.

“Got it,” Recht said.

“What are you going to do?” Linke asked.

“Linke, how many days has it been?” Recht asked.

“Since what?”

“Since what I told you about.”

After a few moments, “One week.”

“Right,” Recht replied. He snapped his fingers and looked at the Dark Hunter.

“Toa!” a voice shouted.

Gahla was running towards them, carrying a pouch in her hand. She threw it forward, towards Recht’s side.

“Gahla, run!” Linke shouted, “We might not be able to protect you!”

“We will,” Recht assured Linke, pulling the item from the pouch, showing Linke that indeed, it was done.

It was another Duos Stone.

“What’s that?” Ekiro demanded.

Recht thrust it out. It had a small insignia on it.

“Your end,” Recht answered, drawing it into his body. The energy axis spread out for a moment, and then, combined into one small item.

Recht’s original stone.

Now, the Toa was brown on the right and red on the left.

Stone and Fire.

Recht tossed the Air Duos Stone back to Gahla. He took a fighting position, leading with Stone, and rushed forward.

“So much power!” Linke exclaimed to Recht’s mind.

“I know,” Recht answered through the body. They ducked the axe, and used an uppercut into Ekiro’s chest.

Ekiro stumbled back. The Stone powers were stronger than expected.

The Toa span around, sending a shockwave of stones rippling forward. They smashed into the Dark Hunter, sending him flying back with a shout.

Recht put both arms out. Fire and stone came to his hands. He put them together, and blasted the attack forth.

A molten like substance struck Ekiro, causing him to scream out in pain. He stumbled back, having lost his axe. He tried to clear it off, but couldn’t.

They leapt forward, and came smashing down, with a fist to the head. Ekiro cried out again, and stumbled forward.

They ducked and swept their Stone leg out, sweeping him off his feet. They came up, and sent that fist crashing down, cracking Ekiro’s armor.

A stomp of the foot forced a stone spike into Ekiro’s back, sending him into the air. He stumbled forward again, and fell, panting.

“Fire,” Recht said.

He raised Linke’s arm and made a gun with his fingers. A fireball shot off, striking Ekiro in the back.

Ekiro continued to cry in pain as he crawled forward.

It worked. The armor was gone.

“Let’s end him,” Recht said, snapping his fingers.

Gahla tossed him back the other Duos Stone. He swapped out again, and leapt up in their flaming cyclone.

“Only our natural elements can create a finisher,” Recht said. “Only two unnatural elements can create a different finisher, so this is it for us for now!” he called out, coming down in the flaming cyclone.

Ekiro looked up and braced himself, throwing his arms up for protection.

The kicks made contact, shattering his remaining armor. He fell back, burning. The Toa spun around, snapping his right fingers.

“Checkmate,” Recht said.

Ekiro erupted into flames, which quickly died out. He was finished.

“Amazing,” Linke congratulated.

Recht nodded, “I know. I’m the master carver. Am I supposed to be anything less?”

Day Eleven, Part 1Edit

Panting, the Toa leapt into the air, propelling himself with a blast of air. He spun around, landing on a rooftop, and looking into the streets below.

The blur of blue was moving too quickly. They didn’t even know what their target was because it was so fast.

“There!” they heard. They spun around, seeing Derr leading three police, all armed, and headed straight for them. They turned to face them, generating a fireball into Linke’s hand.

He thrust the fireball down, bringing up a wall of smoke as it met the roof of the building. They spun around yet again and leapt off of the building, into the street more than three bio below.

The drop took them a moment to recover from. Then they took off running down the street. The figure was still in view.

Linke threw his arm forward, unleashing a torrent of flames. They swirled through the street, smashing into the figure from behind for a split second, then the figure entered an alley.

They caught up to that spot, but there was no sign of the figure anymore.

Recht smashed his hand into a wall, “Linke, we need a new plan.”

“I know. What about Stone?” Linke asked back.

The head shook, “No. Not fast enough. I can’t make the stones react fast enough to ensnare a target.”

“Well, now what?” Linke asked.

They heard someone coming. They quickly split back into two and turned around. A moment later, Gahla entered the alley, panting, carrying a pouch with her.

“We don’t need it,” Recht told her. “We lost the trail.”

“Do the police have any idea on it yet?” Linke asked her.

She shook her head, handing the pouch to Recht. He gratefully took it and wrapped it around his waist.

“No idea. We suspect Dark Hunter, but we’re not sure,” she replied. “Even with the increased activity from them, we can’t be sure yet.”

“Any other open cases for us to work?” Linke asked. He looked to Recht who was still around, instead of departing as usual.

“There are two open cases right now. I’m working one, Derr is working another. Our detectives are spread thin trying to track this guy,” she explained.

“What are the cases?” Linke looked to Recht, “Maybe we could have a race.” He told the Le-Matoran.

Recht walked past her. “I’ll be going,” he said.

“Recht!” Linke snapped. “Come on! At least join us for this!”

“No. I’m a sculptor, not a cop.” he replied.

“You’re a sculptor, yet you’re a Toa too,” Linke told him.

“That doesn’t matter.” Recht replied. “My main duty - my only one right now - is to be doing my sculpting.”

“Fine, go then,” Linke said. “The three of us can solve these two cases.”

“Good for you,” Recht replied before continuing on, and walking out of sight, around a corner.

“He’s not the most social, I see,” Gahla said. She looked to Linke. “Well, let’s go to the precinct so you can be briefed on our cases.”

He nodded, “Alright. Let’s go then. But first, I need to make a quick stop. I’ll meet you there.”

“Okay.” She didn’t ask any questions. She just walked off towards the precinct, leaving Linke to go the other way, but also, away from Recht.

About an hour later, Linke finally arrived at the precinct. He looked around, but only saw Derr, working at a desk.

He walked towards the Onu-Matoran. “Derr, you seen Gahla around?” he asked.

He shook his head, “Nope. Not since we gave up pursuit of that... thing. She broke off to search for the Toa in another direction, trying to cut him off. Haven’t seen her since.”

Linke felt an uneasy feeling.

“She said she was coming back here, and was going to brief me on your case, and her case. She should have returned at some point. How long have you been here?”

“Since right after that speed-thing vanished,” the Onu-Matoran replied. “My men saw Gahla at one point, they said. She was seen talking to a Tai-Matoran.” He looked up, “She never got here...”

Linke ran towards her desk with Derr. They quickly found the case file on six different thin slabs of stone. They started to read over them.

“A Tai-Matoran is the presumed assailant,” Derr said. He looked to Linke. “Maybe that was him. Maybe he got Gahla.”

“I’ll take the case myself,” Linke assured Derr. “I’ll find him.”

He shook his head, “No. You take my case. I’ll find Gahla.”

“Why, what’s your case?” Linke questioned, trying to get the case to find Gahla instead.

“This is no time to negotiate! This is an order, Recht!” Derr snapped, pushing Linke aside so he could get all of the light and read in peace.

Linke looked back, but ran towards Derr’s work. If he could quickly finish this case, he could assist Derr in finding Gahla.

Derr’s case files consisted of a fairly straightforward assignment. It was to find a serial arsonist. There was no description on who it was. That didn’t matter; Linke had the perfect way to accomplish this task with ease.

“You want me to sculpt something like I never have before?” Recht questioned.

Linke nodded, “Yeah. Something... new. Something no one’s ever seen before. And fast.”

“Why?” the Le-Matoran questioned.

“It’s for a case! An important case!” Linke snapped. He shook his head. “I’m under a lot of stress. Can you please do it? And fast?”

Recht sighed and pushed the current sculpture of a former warlord aside. He nodded, “Fine. Give me an hour.”

“That’s perfect,” Linke replied. He ran to the stairs, and looked back at Recht, “I’ll be back in an hour! Have it done, and on my desk!”

Recht nodded, and pulled a new slab of marble onto his worktable. He started to work as Linke ran off, out into the city.

As the hour passed, Linke walked inside and took hold of the sculpture. It was very much like Recht’s symbol - which was actually a symbol from both of them - and very much like the twisting design of their not-for-sale piece of work that had been desired by so many.

This design was absolutely a trick of the mind. Looking at it, trying to follow the path of it, was enough to give someone a headache. This sculpture was like viewing rapture.

He took hold of it and called to the wall, “Thanks!” He ran towards the door and carried it outside.

There were mobs of Matoran in the street, all crowding in around the shop. Linke held the statue high as he walked out.

“Anyone with information on a Matoran named ‘Linke’, and his connection to the arsons, come forward!”

About forty Matoran walked forward into Linke’s view.

“You may all go!” he announced.

The crowd dropped to about half in size. Those had no information on the arsons, and just wanted the sculpture.

They were of no use to him.

“Okay, now, the rest of you, I need you to come to the precinct! We’ll question you, and make you swear an oath on Mata Nui’s soul that your information is accurate!”

About thirty of the remaining forty-five or so walked out, too superstitious to swear that, just for a piece of beautiful art from the legendary Recht.

“The rest of you come with me for questioning!” Linke called, bringing the last batch of fifteen or so with him to the precinct.

Derr looked up from his work. He got up and ran towards Linke, pulling him aside, away from the interrogation and waiting rooms. He looked the Ta-Matoran in the eyes, “Recht. What are you doing exactly?”

“I know that one of these fifteen has the answers to the crime you were looking into,” Linke replied. “Now, let me do this so I can find the arsonist, and have both of our brains working on Gahla’s disappearance.”

“Fine. Just be clean about it,” Derr answered. “I don’t want some crazy Matoran doing damage to this place nor a mob to form. It’s just us here right now, Recht.”

Linke nodded and walked towards the room.


Linke looked back, “Yeah?”

“How did you find them anyway?”

“A priceless, one-of-a-kind sculpture as a reward for anyone with information. And I weeded out any pretenders. These fifteen should either have no fear of breaking an oath to Mata Nui, or, actually know something,” Linke said.

“Good idea,” Derr replied. “I like that style you’ve got working for you.”

Linke saluted him and turned and ran back towards the rooms to begin his questioning.

After about eight Matoran, he still had nothing. There was no useful information from any of them. And he found an officer who ran their names through other Matoran. These Matoran wouldn’t have been around during the arsons, which is what they had claimed.

They may have heard something from word of mouth, but Linke doubted it. He listened closely to the tones of their voices, and picked up acute changes. That, and differences in their posture as well.

He was sure they were lying.

Deception detection was fairly hard as it is - though when those being questioned were wearing masks over their faces - it became even more difficult. Thus their bodies showed more than their faces.

Shrugs of shoulders would subconsciously denote that they weren’t completely behind what they were saying.

Scratching of the arm would indicate that they were manipulating someone. Probably Linke into giving them the sculpture.

Wiggling or wringing of fingers indicated nervousness, at being caught in the lie.

He had anticipated that one of them may be the arsonist, but there were too many displaying those signs. And, when he pressed into them more, giving them more questions, it became obvious that they weren’t the arsonists.

Now he was down to the last seven.

A Ta-Matoran sat in front of him now, displaying no signs of nervousness or anything that could make him someone not to believe.

“Well? What information do you have?” Linke questioned.

“I saw someone fleeing from the scene of one of the fires.” the Matoran replied.

Linke studied him closely.

Nothing. This is the truth, or this guy is exceptionally good at keeping his body from revealing any information.

“Who was it? Did you see any details?” Linke asked, leaning across the table.

“Yes. I saw details,” the Matoran answered. “A Matoran. But slightly thinner than most, and a little shorter too. By the flickering of the fire I saw light blue armor.”

De-Matoran,” Linke muttered. He nodded, “Okay. Anything else?”

“No. That’s it.”

“Then you can go.” Linke said, “I’ll remember your information. Maybe that sculpture will be yours’.”

The Matoran nodded and ran out so as not to keep Linke waiting for the next to come in.

After two more useless Matoran, a Ga-Matoran walked in. She sat down and started to tell him about the figure she saw.

After the last few, with only two pieces of good information, Linke walked out. There were only two options for the sculpture, and both of them were heading to the waiting room to wait for him.

Linke walked out and went towards Derr. He leaned over Derr’s desk, “I’ve got some good leads.”

“You do? Great! Do you know who it was, exactly?” the Onu-Matoran detective asked.

“No. But I’ve got enough information. De-Matoran are rare on the island, right? I need a list of them. You’ve got that, correct?”

“Yeah,” Derr ran over to a desk and pulled a tablet out. He handed it to Linke, “Here.”

Linke looked it over. “Four on the island at the moment. The others were passing through,” Linke muttered. He looked at one name in particular. “I think I’ve got this case solved.”

“From one of those four?” Derr questioned. “He could be off the island by now!”

“He’s not,” he said as he pointed to a name, “because only one fits the criteria.”

Linke, flanked by a group of four police officers, walked to a residential house. Linke smashed his fist on the door three times as a loud knock, “Come out! I know you’re in there! This is the Doppel Nui Guard!”


“Break it down,” Linke said, stepping back. The group of police took up a battering ram, and smashed it into the door. It fell with ease, revealing the home to them.

The officers rushed in, daggers drawn, looking around.

“All clear,” one reported to Linke.

He walked in and looked around, “One of you stay here.” He pointed to a side room, “One of you check it, and any conjoining areas.” He looked to the other, longer hall, “You other two, with me.”

They spread out as ordered. The two following Linke flanked him instead of going before him. He had proven his combat capabilities multiple times, and could defend himself. The police mainly wanted to see him fight, if it came down to it. It was doubtful in this situation, however.

Sitting in the farthest room back, in a large, ornate chair, sat a Turaga of Sonics.

Thin, just as the Ta-Matoran had seen.

He hadn’t thought it was a Turaga. The Matoran probably doubted there were Turaga on the island.

“You’re under arrest for several cases of arson across the island,” Linke told him. He put his arm forward, pointing at the suspect, “Arrest him.”

Day Eleven, Part 2Edit

As the four police officers escorted the Turaga into the interrogation room, Linke ran towards Derr and stood on the other side of his desk.

“I got him,” Linke reported. “No problems. He came willingly. One of the officers is about to interrogate him to see if we can get his motives out of him.”

“Excellent work,” Derr said hastily. He slid the tablets across the desk, “I have a lead to follow up on. Read these over and see what conclusions you can draw.”

Linke nodded and drew a chair to the desk. He started to read the reports, hoping to find anything he could that could help Derr. But hopefully, Derr hadn’t missed anything. He had hoped that Derr could find Gahla without his help.

Derr pounded his fist on a door, “Doppel Nui Guard! Open up!” He shouted. His dagger was in his right hand, point down. He was knocking with his left.

After a few moments, the door opened. Derr stepped out from the side of the door, and looked in.

The Tai-Matoran took a swing at him with a mallet. He ducked and came up with the dagger towards the would-be assailant’s throat.

The Matoran of Plasma dodged back. He kicked the door closed and ran farther back into his home.

Derr broke the door off of its’ hinges and followed him quickly. He looked around quickly as he ran; just to be sure he wouldn’t have anyone surprising him.

The home was that of a modest Matoran. Not too pompous, but enough to sustain his life. He was an artist, it looked like.

But, as Derr broke into the next room by kicking the door down, he found he was wrong.

The art was all forged. They were fakes, mainly fakes of Recht’s work.

“A forger,” Derr said, walking closer. The Matoran only held the mallet as a weapon, and was backed into a corner. “Haven’t seen someone in that profession in a while.”

“Not since you?” the Matoran questioned.

Derr was shocked for a moment.

That was a moment too long, and the weapon smashed into Derr’s chest, sending him to the ground. He looked up, dazed from the blow.

The Matoran grabbed him by the throat, and started to squeeze, “Derr, goodnight.”

And Derr’s world went black.

“Is this it?” Linke muttered, reading the address that an officer had given him. This was the residence of the suspect that Derr was after.

He had drawn his own conclusions, but was currently checking on Derr’s location. Checking up to see if Derr’s information was right, and, if he needed help.

Or if this was wrong, he would be able to cross some information off.

He pounded on the door. “Is anyone there?” he called; instead of saying it was the Doppel Nui Police. That may have been a terrible idea, so he went for something ambiguous instead.

The door opened, revealing a Tai-Matoran. “Can I help you?” he asked.

“My name is Linke,” Linke said. “I’m a reporter, and I was told that you were someone of interest to talk to. You see, our publication is new, and we’re not very good yet. So, we don’t really know who to talk to. We’re fairly new to the island, the four of us,” he lied, hoping to get this Matoran to let him in.

“Yeah...sure. Come in,” the Matoran offered. “I don’t know what type of article I can help you with, however.”

Linke looked around as he entered. He saw the various paintings, sculptures, statues, jewelry.

He forged pretty much anything produced on the island. Linke was sure they were forgeries since he saw so many of Recht’s pieces.

Linke made it a habit of learning who bought each piece, just in case something happened. He was glad he did, since he started working with the police.

“How about we start with these incredible pieces of work?” Linke offered. “These sure are amazing.” He crouched down by a statue of a Toa of Fire who wore silver armor and carried a spear and a shield. A Toa Hagah.

“If you really want to,” the Matoran offered modestly.

He’s good, Linke thought. I’m sure this guy’s hiding something.

He stood up and took a seat across from the other Matoran. He drew a slab of stone out and took a chisel, “Okay, where do you want to start? It’s up to you.” he told the Matoran.

The Matoran pointed to a painting on the wall at their side, “That. Let’s start with that piece. I painted it about three months ago. It’s supposed to be a calming piece.”

The picture was calming to look at. It was of a beach with the setting sun, with birds flying around, picking berries in their beaks. It also showed a Kanohi and a sword lying in the sand.

“I call it ‘After the Battle’,” the Matoran said.

“After the Battle” was quite the famous piece. This Matoran sure had guts if he was going to pass that off as his own. Everybody knew about that picture, and most wanted it. However, it was a one-of-a-kind, and not for sale.

“Nice name,” Linke said. “And it is a beautiful piece. How much is it?” he offered, trying to bait the Matoran in. “I think it’s something we’d love to have while we’re writing at the office.”

“Not for sale,” the Matoran said.

Oh, he is good. Linke though as his trap failed.

If he would have offered, Linke would have sprung the trap, and got him on accounts of forgery right there, and got a search of the vicinity done within minutes. But the game continued, forcing Linke to continue thinking of new things to say.

“Oh, that’s too bad.” Linke said. He rose and looked at the statue of the Toa Hagah, “How about that? It’s nice. Not as nice as ‘After the Battle’, but nice.”

“Oh, that?” the Matoran asked, leaning over and picking it up. “This is for sale for... well, trade for, for an original Recht.”

“That’s expensive,” Linke said, giving a low whistle, “Is it really worth that much?”

Anyone who was an artist, or who worked with an artist would know that a piece like that wouldn’t be worth anywhere in that vicinity. It would be worth a handful of widgets at best.

“Oh, of course!” he boasted. “After all, this is a carving of the famous Toa Hagah, Toa Iruini.”


Linke held his hand out, “May I see it again?”

The Matoran nodded, passing it to Linke.

He took a long, close look at it, and lunged forward, taking the chair over, and smashing the statue into the ground. As they struggled, Linke found a sharp shard, and held it to the Matoran’s throat.

“What are you doing?” he shouted.

“Did I tell you who my associates were?” Linke muttered, “Gahla, Derr...”

The fear in the Matoran’s eyes proved to Linke that he had the Matoran.

“Who are you?” he hissed.

Linke chuckled, “I told you already. But my real name is Recht.”

Linke was thrown off of him. As the Matoran leapt back to his feet, Linke leapt for him, grabbing a leg and pulling it out from under him.

“Next time...” Linke panted. “Know your forgeries better. You’re under arrest for forgery and suspected of abduction and murder.”

Claps sounded from the next room. Linke looked up, seeing two Matoran walking out.

“Very good.” The lead Matoran - a Fe-Matoran - said sarcastically, “You found our little forgery ring.” He snapped his fingers. His Onu-Matoran associate drew a curved sword and walked forward.

“You’re not getting out alive.” the Onu-Matoran said gruffly.

Linke backed away, only carrying the shard of stone that was a makeshift dagger. He didn’t particularly like his odds at the moment.

“Who are you people?” Linke demanded.

The Fe-Matoran gestured to himself, “My name is Yutrek.” He gestured to the Onu- and Tai-Matoran, “Kiren; Ventre.”

Linke saw Ventre taking a sword from where Kiren had taken one. Yutrek remained unarmed.

“And just who are you? A ring of forgers?” Linke questioned.

“Forgers,” Yutrek said. “Murderers, if we need to be.”

“Did you kill those two detectives?” Linke demanded.

“They’re alive,” Yutrek confirmed. He was clearly the mastermind. Linke would have to deal with him to get any answers.

“Why are they alive?” Linke questioned, “Why are you keeping them alive? As bait of some sort?”

“Because Derr has potential to join us again,” Yutrek said.

“What?” Linke hissed.

“Recht. Do you think that each member of the police force has a clean background? No. Derr was one of us. He abandoned us to join the police. Had we known, we’d have killed him first.”

“You mean he left your group to live an honest life, and you didn’t know?” Linke questioned.

“Correct,” Yutrek replied. “Had we known he’d join the police, we’d have killed him on the spot.”

“But how long ago was that?” Linke questioned. “And he’s just going after your ring now?”

“If he started to target us with information from his own head alone, he’d have been suspected, and ultimately arrested. But now, since Ventre got careless, he could target that new information. And he had his partner do it, to keep suspicion away from himself, in case he mixed up information they knew with information in his head. He’s smart, but not smart enough to get away from us without paying for it.”

Linke ran forward. He rolled under Kiren’s swing, and swept his leg out, bringing him down. Before Ventre could act, Linke had Kiren by the throat, his weapon pressing against the hostage’s neck.

“Unless you want Kiren to die, you take me to the detectives,” Linke threatened.

“You think we’d buy that?” Yutrek questioned. He chuckled, “Kill him if you wish. None of us will care. We won’t offer one of our lives in exchange for two of the police.”

Ventre leapt forward, running his sword through Kiren’s body. Linke leapt back before he would be impaled as well. As the sword tore out of the back of Kiren’s body, Linke’s armor was scratched by the tip.

Linke threw his makeshift weapon forward, clipping Ventre’s shoulder armor.

Ventre ran forward, lifting his sword high. He slammed it down, going at an angle to relieve Linke of his head.

Linke hooked his foot on the leg of a chair, and threw it out. The chair crashed into Ventre, dropping him to the ground.

Linke ran for Kiren’s corpse, and took the sword. He drew it towards his left shoulder, and swung it out wide, across his entire chest at Yutrek.

Yutrek retreated back, fleeing from the now armed Linke. Linke span around, kicking Ventre in the chest, sending him crashing into the forgery of a large, heavy statue atop a thick pedestal.

The force of Ventre striking the pedestal caused it to shake. He looked up, seeing the statue falling on him.

As it struck, it crushed Ventre with its’ weight.

That only left Yutrek.

As Linke slowed to a stop, he saw both Gahla and Derr, unconscious. Yutrek now had a sword in hand, and the tip pressed to Gahla’s throat.

“You take one more step, she dies,” he threatened.

Linke dropped his weapon and put his hands up, “Okay, you win, Yutrek.”

Linke saw something behind Yutrek. It was Derr, he was stirring.

“Just don’t kill her,” Linke said.

He gave a sharp laugh, “She dies now!” He tensed for the kill, for the fatal thrust.

Derr leapt for his legs, taking them out. Yutrek collapsed on top of him, but the force kept Derr going from his initial leap.

Linke ran over and pulled Gahla away. Derr got back up and leapt for Yutrek, kicking the sword away before the Fe-Matoran could grab it.

Derr had Yutrek by the throat. He smashed Yutrek’s head into the ground once, but only with enough force to daze him.

“You lose, Yutrek. Finally, I can bring you in,” Derr hissed.

Sitting in the rounded area with Gahla and Derr felt uncomfortable for Linke. He looked to both of them, unsure of what to say with his new knowledge.

Derr spoke, “Recht, what did you learn?” As if reading the Ta-Matoran’s mind.

“You were a criminal prior to joining the police,” Linke said, exposing Derr to Gahla. “You were part of their forgery ring. You were a criminal who turned to becoming a cop, keeping your criminal past a secret.”

“Wrong,” Gahla said.

Derr nodded, “You’re wrong.”

Linke rose, throwing his chair down, “You’re just covering yourself by using Gahla’s lack of knowledge as cover!” he shouted.

Derr shook his head, “No. You really are wrong. Because Yutrek was wrong.”

“What?” Linke questioned.

“I’ll explain,” Gahla offered. Derr nodded, so she proceeded, “Derr was always a cop. But, when their forgery ring came, he took leave and joined. The only one who knew was the the Chief. And after so many years, he left the ring and resumed his original job as a police officer. When he compiled his report to the Chief, he was made a detective for his thorough work. But the forgery ring remained quiet for some time, until recently. That’s why I was looking into it.”

“And when she failed to return, I was sent to deal with things,” Derr picked up. “I lost, though. I did leave you with the address, however. I wasn’t sure if it was right, but had a feeling. They never moved, it seems.”

“So, you both knew about his past. But Yutrek and the others didn’t?” Linke asked.

Derr nodded, “That’s exactly right.”

Linke nodded and picked the chair up, “Alright then, I’ll see you two tomorrow.”

Both detectives nodded. As Linke started to leave, Derr spoke.

“Your first lesson on the case,” he said. “Don’t believe everything a suspect says.”

Day Sixteen, Part 1Edit

Sitting in his topside office, Linke waited at his desk, his feet up atop the tabletop. Recht was late, and the buyer would be there any minute now.

“Recht!” Linke called.


Linke stood up and took the key from under the desk. He walked towards the wall, but stopped as he heard the door open behind him.

Without turning, he quickly said, “I’m very sorry, but your sculpture isn’t quite finished yet...” He turned, and instead of seeing the Ta-Matoran buyer, he saw Gahla. “Detective Gahla! What are you doing here?” he asked, quite surprised.

She walked towards the desk, “Forget the customer for now. We have something to follow up on.”

The wall slid open and Recht walked out. The Le-Matoran slid the sculpture of a Kanohi Hau onto the desk, and just as quickly as he had come, was leaving.

“How was the job?” Linke asked him, trying to at least get some conversation.

“Boring,” Recht replied. “I’ve never had to make something like this. The idea of it is just too boring.”

“A Kanohi,” Gahla said flatly. “Is that it?”

Recht nodded, and with a sigh, “See what I mean by ‘too boring’?”

Gahla nodded, “I’m nothing close to an artist, and yeah, I see what you mean.”

“Linke. Next time get me a more entertaining request,” Recht insisted before parting ways and disappearing into the underground section once more.

Gahla turned to Linke, “Anyway, we’ve got to go. Like I said, we have something to follow up on.”

Linke kept his pouch on the desk, and grabbed the sculpture. As they walked to the door, Linke thrust it into the hands of the Ta-Matoran walking into the shop.

“Leave payment on my desk,” Linke said. “And next time, if you have such a boring request, find someone else to fill it. I don’t appreciate such boring requests.”

The Ta-Matoran tried to find something to say, but Linke and Gahla were already departing down the street.

Derr, a Po-Matoran detective, and two officers stood in the alley, next to a wagon drawn by a tamed Kane-Ra bull. As Gahla and Linke joined them, they moved aside, showing the two newcomers what they were examining.

It was the corpse of a Ko-Matoran. Simple.

“No unusual wounds to indicate the kill,” Derr reported. “Just our run of the mill murder. A stab to the back was the killing blow.”

“Witnesses?” Gahla asked.

The Po-Matoran spoke up, “I’m running that right now. I have police in the area checking. I’ll look into any leads we get.”

Linke looked at him, waiting for a name.

The Po-Matoran held out his hand, “Ah, you must be the famous Recht. My name is Cenrik.”

“Cenrik is going to be helping us with this case,” Derr told them. “He was recently promoted to detective. This will be his... what? Second case?”

Cenrik nodded, “Yeah. My second case.”

“Well, let’s stop talking and get this corpse taken back to the precinct. We can get Karok to do an autopsy,” Derr said. He looked to the officers, “Let’s get the corpse into the wagon.”

One of the officers opened the door while the other one and Derr picked up the corpse, and laid it onto the floorboards of the wagon. One officer, Linke, and Cenrik climbed in back with it. Derr, Gahla, and the other officer went up front to take the reins.

As the Kane-Ra started to pull the wagon through the streets, the ride began to become smoother in back.

“So,” Cenrik said, “what made you want to join the police as a... liaison?”

“I prefer to think of myself as an outside perspective,” Linke replied. “A consultant to the police.”

Cenrik nodded, “Okay. So, like I asked, what made you want to help them? I mean, don’t you have sculptures to make? I’m sure that pays a lot better.”

Linke chuckled, “Yeah, the pay is great, but, I want to be able to help people. I appreciate art - that’s why I’m a sculptor - but I also need peace. I need peace to be able to work. People need peace in order to appreciate art, and to create it. That’s why I’m working with the police, so I can help maintain peace for the people of Doppel Nui.”

Cenrik nodded, “Ah, I see. That’s very good of you, Recht. If only we had more people like you in our ranks. You know, you should retire from sculpting, and join us as a full time detective. From what I’ve heard from Derr, you’re very good. I heard you solved the arson case, and, solved a hostage situation for us. That, and you held your own against murderers, and a Ga-Matoran turned Dark Hunter.

“So, all in all, you have great detective skills. You have great combat skills. You have the drive to do so much good. So, Recht, how about it? Will you join us as a full time detective, or, do you have that much need to do art, that you split your time?”

“That’s a good offer, Cenrik. I appreciate it,” Linke replied. “But, do you have the authority to let me join immediately as a detective?”

“You’ve more than proven yourself,” Cenrik reminded. “I’m sure the Chief will let you join immediately. Derr and Gahla can vouch for you, I’m certain.”

The smooth ride suddenly jolted for a moment, then went back to smooth. Then it jolted once more.

“What is that?” Cenrik muttered. He pounded on the wall and shouted to the three in charge of the Kane-Ra, “Hey! We really feel that back here!”

The wagon jolted to a stop. Cenrik stood up to go to the front and figure out what was wrong, when the doors burst open.

Three Matoran, each wrapped in long, black cloaks, which even covered their Kanohi, riding on Muaka tigers stood at the end of the wagon. Each carried a sword, and a belt full of pouches on their cloaks. Behind one of the Muaka was a wooden slab on wheels, like a makeshift wagon.

The officer took up his spear and rushed out. Linke rose, but Cenrik threw his arm out, stopping Linke from moving. Cenrik snatched his dagger from his belt, and stood in front of Linke, as if to protect him.

The spear went for the first rider, but the sword was faster. The spear was sliced in half, and then the officer took another sword to his chest, killing him.

“Stay back!” Cenrik hissed to Linke. He tightened his grip on the dagger, and waited.

“We won’t kill you,” the lead rider said. He dismounted and walked in, directing the tip of his sword towards Cenrik.

“What do you want?” Cenrik demanded.

“Just give us the corpse, and you’ll be safe.” the rider told him.

Cenrik lunged forward, grabbing the Matoran’s wrist in his left hand. He drove the dagger towards the Matoran’s chest, but his opponent was faster.

Cenrik took a knee to the face, taking him down. Linke ran forward and leapt up, slamming his foot into the rider, throwing him outside, next to his Muaka.

Another rider leapt in and tackled Linke. The rider then ignored both of the Matoran and took the corpse. He slid it out and tossed it quickly onto the makeshift wagon. The other two riders were mounted already and ready to go.

Linke struggled out and looked ahead, seeing two similar riders up front, keeping the others busy. When they saw that their comrades had the corpse, they drew three, small spheres apiece from their pouches.

The five riders threw the spheres at the wagon, bringing up walls of smoke around the detectives, covering their escape.

Cenrik got out and looked around alongside Linke. He called to the front, “I think we’ll have lost them. Let’s get to the precinct!”

He and Linke climbed back in, and pulled the officer’s corpse inside before they sealed the doors. The wagon started back towards the precinct, now having another crime to investigate.

“Why would anyone steal a corpse?” Derr muttered as he walked back and forth before a marking board, pondering it.

It was their only clue, other than the corpse, which was on the other side. They weren’t sure if the crimes were interlinked, and didn’t want to associate them together until they could bridge that gap, or be sure that there was no bridge between them.

“I think we should take a break for now,” Cenrik said.

“Good,” Linke said. “I need to head to my shop for a bit. I’ll be back soon. I’ll see if I have any new perspectives on it.”

“Let’s meet back in an hour,” Derr said. “Until then, everyone can take a break and relax.”

Linke paced back and forth and looked through the sculpture to Recht. He was sculpting a twisting design, which made it easy for both Matoran to see each other.

“I just don’t understand.” Linke said, “Why would these... bandits steal a corpse?”

Recht looked up, “Did it occur to you that it wasn’t the corpse itself that they were interested in?”

Linke stopped and looked at him, “What did you say?”

“That maybe they weren’t interested in the corpse itself,” Recht reiterated. “Maybe they wanted something else.”

“But what could they want?” Linke questioned.

Recht shrugged, “I’m not a detective.”

“You can still help me think,” Linke said.

“I don’t have to,” Recht replied.

“Why not?”

“Because I have a pretty good bet already,” Recht answered. “Remember my Hau sculpture?”

“What about it?” Linke asked.

“I decided to add something to it,” Recht replied. “Something... special.”

“Then why did you complain?”

“Because it was still boring. I thought that addition could make it a bit more fun.” He shrugged, “I was wrong.”

“What was the addition?”

“I made it thicker than it should have been,” Recht said. “Because I needed the room. Just think about that one, Linke.”

“I’ve got it,” Linke told the three detectives.

“You think you have an idea why they took the corpse?” Derr asked. “Or, is it that you think you know why he was murdered?”

“I don’t have any idea about the murder,” Linke admitted.

“We have officers checking for witnesses for that,” Gahla put in.

Linke nodded, “Right. But, I did some thinking. I think I know why they took the corpse.”

“And that reason is?” Derr questioned.

“They didn’t want it for the corpse. They didn’t want to cover the murder. No,” he shook his head. “They wanted something off of the body, not the body itself.”

“We figured that already,” Gahla said.

“I know, I know,” Linke said. “But you don’t get it. They don’t want something necessarily off of the body. They want something from inside the body.”

“That’s preposterous,” Derr said. “What could lead you to think of that?”

Gahla stood up and spoke to an officer who walked in. She took her seat again and looked at the others, “It sounds like Recht is right. They did want something from inside the corpse.”

“How do you know?” Derr questioned.

“An officer found the corpse. Cut open and gutted. They cleaned something out, but I don’t have the details. We have to go see Karok for those.”

The morgue was cold around the three detectives, Linke, and the Fe-Matoran, Karok. The medical examiner leaned over the body and directed the four newcomers to the inside of the corpse.

“If you’ll look here,” he directed to the lungs, “There are signs of bruising. They were shoved aside by someone.” He directed to the other muscle systems and organs, “And if you keep looking, you’ll see more signs of damage and movement.”

“So, someone was moving the organs and muscles around?” Cenrik asked. “Why?”

“To get something that was hidden inside,” Karok replied. “Or at least, that’s my guess.”

“What could have been in his body?” Gahla questioned. “Do you have any idea?”

“Whatever it was, it was small enough to swallow,” Karok said. He directed to the wounds on the chest from cuts, “These excess cuts show that they weren’t very good at this ‘autopsy’ of theirs. This final cut is really just luck, I’d guess. They never cut him open before to place something in him.”

“So, he swallowed something, and then what?” Linke asked. “And how did it move so much through his system?”

“We absorb energy into our bodies. We don’t need our throats to send food into our bodies for energy. So, if he swallowed something, then it was bound to move through his system. That tells me that he also had some trauma to shake the items up so much. It could very well have been from the shaking of the corpse during transport,” the Fe-Matoran told them.

“Why did he swallow... whatever it was?” Linke asked.

“I think I know,” Derr said.

“What is it?” Gahla asked. “Could it be...?”

Cenrik nodded, “I’m sure it’s him.”

“Who? What are you talking about?” Linke questioned.

“We’re searching for a man who goes by the name of ‘Ghost’,” Derr explained. “He’s one of the greatest criminal masterminds on Doppel Nui. We’ve been after him for years. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of him.”

Linke shook his head, “I’ve only been here a year, you know. So, what is this ‘Ghost’ guy wanted for?”

Derr looked to Karok, “Tell him what the assumption is, since we presume the ‘Ghost’ is involved.”

“We suspect this Matoran was used in the drug smuggling ring. We suspect he was smuggling Ethanum or Ambrosil onto the island,” Karok explained.

Day Sixteen, Part 2Edit

“Just what are Ethanum and Ambrosil, exactly?” Linke questioned.

“You haven’t heard of it before?” Cenrik asked him.

Linke shook his head, “No.”

“Well, that’s not a surprise,” Derr said. “Most frown upon its’ use and prohibit its’ use. Well, it’s a form of Liquid Protodermis that creates an intoxicating effect on whoever absorbs it. Ambrosil is just the most common form of it. The name comes from its’ amber color.”

Linke nodded, “Okay, I get it. And Doppel Nui, I take it, has a ban on the stuff.”

Derr nodded, “Right. Hence the ‘Ghost’ smuggling this stuff onto the island. From what I’ve heard, it’s very popular among struggling artists.”

“I can imagine,” Linke replied. “If they fail, they have something to turn to so they can become calm. I’m sure they could also use it for ‘inspiration’ on their work.”

Derr nodded, “From what we know, that’s the gist of the artists using it.”

“Do we have any leads?” Linke asked any of them. “I mean, where this stuff is being distributed from? Is there a network of drug dealers on the streets or anything?”

“No,” Derr told him. “No drug dealers would be foolish enough to be stationed on the streets. Police would take them immediately. We have enough law-abiding citizens to see to that.”

“So, how is this done?” Linke questioned.

“We don’t know,” Derr said.

Cenrik stepped forward and interjected, “If I may... we do know.”

“What?” Derr questioned, looking at the Po-Matoran with a suspicious feeling.

“My first case involved it,” Cenrik replied, trying to quell Derr’s suspicions. “No. I personally don’t know anything, but my former mentor - he’s retired - does. That was his last case.”

“Who taught you?” Derr questioned. “And why didn’t the entire department learn about this?”

“Are you suspicious of me? My mentor?” Cenrik demanded. “Do you think we had something to do with this ring?”

“You never told anyone, so I think something’s amiss,” Derr hissed.

“Stop,” Gahla said, stepping between them. She looked to Derr, “You know better than to think one of our own is worthy of suspicion.” She looked to Cenrik, “And you should know to share your findings with the entire department.”

“I was ordered not to,” Cenrik replied. “And so was my mentor.”

“Who was your mentor?” Gahla asked.

Philleppe,” Cenrik replied.

“Philleppe?” Linke questioned.

“He was one of the best,” Karok said, leaning over. “He was the primary detective when this system was established a year ago. Under Epee’s rule, he was a high ranking officer in the secret police.”

“I heard about that,” Linke said. “So, he worked a year, and then had to retire?”

Karok nodded, “He is very old. No one would be surprised if he died within a year or two.”

“I see,” Linke replied. “So, Philleppe led the investigation, found some new leads on the Ethanum drug smuggling ring, and then... you two were ordered not to speak of it?” he asked Cenrik.

Cenrik nodded, “Exactly.”

“By who?” Derr questioned.

They heard someone’s footsteps, and all turned, seeing a Turaga of Fire walking into the morgue. “I ordered the silence.”

“Chief Layef, why did you order silence on the case?” Derr questioned as the three detectives and Linke sat in the spacious office of the Chief.

Layef sat at his desk, Derr on the other side and the other three on chairs against the walls. Sunlight flittered through the window onto the desk, making it easy to read anything laid before anyone at the desk.

“The case is too important, that’s why, Senior Detective Derr,” Layef said. “If I told the entire department, then the case would be blown.”

“Why?” Derr questioned, leaning over the desk. “Why would this case be ruined?” he demanded. He didn’t care that Layef was Chief, he wanted answers.

“When I instructed Senior Detective Philleppe and Junior Detective Cenrik to keep their silence, it was because I stationed a man on the inside,” Layef said. “Now, if you do anything, you could blow it and get him killed!”

“You put a man in the drug ring?” Derr questioned.

“Of course,” Layef replied. “He’s investigating it all, and we’re going to bring it down soon.”

“How soon is ‘soon’?” Linke questioned, rising and walking forward.

“Recht, you’ll keep your seat,” Layef ordered.

“No,” Linke replied defiantly. “This is important. You have one man on the inside, and, who knows how many dangerous individuals? Let me guess, he’s a detective.”

“Of course,” Layef replied.

“Then he’s as good as dead,” Linke replied. “Detectives don’t have the skills that police have. But a single officer - if you would send one in his place - would be outnumbered, and killed. You’re in playing a lose-lose game, Chief Layef.”

“And I suppose you can do better?” he questioned Linke.

“I can,” Linke replied. “Because unlike all of your police and detectives, I have real combat training.”

“From who?” Layef demanded.

“My teacher’s name is Tezka,” he replied. “You heard of him?”

“No,” Layef told him. “Now unless this is relevant, sit down.”

“It is. Send me in, and I can take care of all of it. I have a great track record with this department, after all,” Linke boasted.

“And just what would you do?” Layef demanded.

“I’d get in there, use my status as a master sculptor, and get the information we need. I’d leave, and we can storm the facility. I can easily fight my way out if anything goes wrong. So, how ‘bout it Chief? Will you send me?”

“Recht!” Derr shouted, pushing him back. “This is too dangerous!”

“No,” Layef said, directing his comment at Derr. “I like it. Recht, you’re in.”

Linke pushed Derr aside and walked forward, “Thank you, Chief. I won’t let you down. Now, I’ll need the intelligence on the case thus far.”

“Of course,” Layef replied, pulling a few slabs of stone out of his desk and sliding them across the top of it. Linke took them and looked them all over, reading each detail, and letting it sink in.

“Tonight,” Linke said. “I’ll head in tonight.”

“You don’t want more time?” Layef asked.

Linke shook his head, “No. I’ve had enough time. I’ll bring this down, and get you the ‘Ghost’. You can quote me on that. I give you my personal guarantee that it’ll end that way.”

“I trust you, Recht,” Layef said. “Good luck.”

The dark blanket of night had fallen over Doppel Nui. Linke walked through the dark, cold, desolate streets alone, looking around for anything.

No one moved. There were few lights on in the homes or businesses. Most were sleeping at this hour. But up ahead, there was a single light in a window.

He walked up to it, and knocked twice in rapid succession. The light flickered twice, and Linke walked around to the side of the structure. It was a large art gallery, run by a Matoran by the name of Phasm, a Matoran of Spirits.

He walked to the door, and knocked twice on it. The door slid open, and a Po-Matoran guard questioned him, “Name?”

“Recht,” Linke answered. He took a pouch off his belt and handed it forward.

The Matoran opened it, looking at the widgets inside. He nodded, “Entrance fee paid. Go on in.”

Linke walked inside, and down the first flight of stairs, usually hidden under a few slabs of stone on the ground. As he descended, he could hear the Matoran, and see the lights all around. He stopped at the bottom and looked at another Po-Matoran.

“First time?” the Matoran questioned.

Linke nodded, “Yeah.”

“Then you’ll have to pay a fee of five widgets,” he said, holding his hand out. Linke didn’t argue, and took his other pouch, opened it, and paid the widgets. “Go on,” he said, allowing Linke passage.

Linke looked around at all the Matoran. There were a group purchasing the Ethanum at one end, at a bar, and another group standing around, talking. A group showing off weapons to each other, and a bulk of the crowd standing around or sitting at tables, playing a game.

Linke walked to an open seat, and sat. He looked across the table at whom their intelligence had told them was a big name in this parlor.

“So, the famous Recht,” the Le-Matoran said. “I never thought you would come here.”

Linke shrugged, “I need some inspiration, and a challenge.” He said, looking at the Uuk-Koi board. There were only four tiles on it - two per side. It wasn’t a game to kill, but just one that would wound the mind, making people constantly able to play.

“Well, shall we play?” he questioned. “How many games have you ever played, Recht?”

“I won a game at a parlor on Stelt,” he lied. “And I got the name of this parlor. My first time here.”

“Only one win?” the Le-Matoran questioned.

“It’s enough to play here,” Linke said.

“Right,” the Matoran nodded. “Well, shall we begin? Ten widgets to start with?”

Linke slid his widgets onto the table, “Yeah, sounds good.”

Both put their hands out into the standard position for a game. “I’ll begin,” the Le-Matoran said, flipping a tile towards Linke’s.

Linke moved, landing atop it, and beginning the battle. Their minds clashed as energy erupted around the tiles. Linke knew he had a stronger mind due to the Duos Stone, but this opponent was a great player of the game, better than Unik had been.

“You losing?” the Matoran laughed.

“I’m just getting started,” Linke hissed, applying a hidden burst of power. The hidden energy came from his dual mind ability, and was something that allowed him sanity in that form, an aftershock of the stones.

The enemy tile shattered, making the Le-Matoran slump down. He panted and put his arms out, “Good. My move.”

He attacked Linke’s tile with his sole remaining piece, and began the assault. Linke struck back defensively, only keeping enough mental pressure on so as to keep a defense. He was countering each spike in power that his enemy gave off.

Finally, as soon as his opponent rebounded, and hit a low point, Linke drove his pressure up. The spike “impaled” the opening of his opponent’s mental wall, and shattered it, shattering the stone.

His opponent fell out of his seat and onto the ground. He panted as Linke rose. “Guess I won.” he said, taking his opponent’s widgets. “Good game.”

He looked around, and walked to another open table, engaging a Tai-Matoran.

As soon as he had defeated the second Matoran, he rose, taking the widgets as victor. He knew from the inside man that this was likely the murderer, the initial killer. After all, he was a hitman in this ring, and working for the “Ghost”.

Linke walked towards the Matoran, and looked down. He walked off. He wanted to deal with him then and there, but couldn’t. He would be quickly killed if he tried. There was too much security, and too many allied Matoran.

As Linke reached the stairs, and headed up, the Matoran pursued him. As soon as Linke was on the top floor, the Matoran grabbed him and slammed him against a wall. He put his dagger to the back of Linke’s neck, holding it tight. He had Linke’s arms trapped, keeping him from fighting back. The doorman was nowhere to be seen.

“No one beats me,” the Tai-Matoran hissed. “Who are you? You suddenly came here for what reason? I saw you, you know. I saw you in the wagon. Are you working with the police?”

“So, you were one of the riders?” Linke questioned calmly.

He nodded, “Yeah, I was in charge of that mission. I’m one of the proprietors of this parlor as well.”

“You are, are you?” Linke questioned.

“What point are you trying to make of it?” he responded.

Linke flexed his muscles, seeing if he could break free. He couldn’t. It would only make him die if he tried to escape.

“That’s right, you’re trapped. Now, answer me,” the Matoran hissed.

Linke kicked the hollow wall hard, replicating the sound of a door being kicked in. Luckily, he was next to a door which lead to a room with another exit. The Matoran looked to that door, expecting someone to be coming through it at any moment.

The door at the side - where Linke had entered from - was burst in. Derr, Cenrik, Gahla, and a handful of officers rushed inside, all armed. More officers could be seen surrounding the building.

Cenrik tackled the Tai-Matoran, pinning him down and shackling his arms. Linke stepped away and felt the back of his neck, feeling a slight cut.

“You okay?” Gahla asked him.

He nodded, “Yeah, just shocked, that’s all.”

The Matoran of Plasma was hoisted up by Cenrik and Derr, and lead away, towards the door. The officers were coming into the doors on all sides, and rushing downstairs to subdue the inhabitants, and hopefully, crush the ring.

“Wait,” Linke said, walking forward. He looked at Derr and Cenrik, “He told me he was one of the Matoran in charge, and he was at the attack, and he was the murderer, apparently. I think it’s safe to say we probably have our ‘Ghost’.”

The Matoran laughed, “You think I could be the ‘Ghost’? That’s absurd! The ‘Ghost’ is a genius! Obviously, I’m not, since I didn’t kill you on the spot, Recht.”

An officer rushed back up - a Matoran of Crystal - clad in white and blue armor. He wore robes like the detectives, but were black and adorned differently.

“Lieutenant Quey, did you find anything?” Derr asked.

Quey was the man in charge of the police ranks, an officer himself, and Lieutenant of the Doppel Nui Guard. He shook his head, “We rounded everyone up...but the ‘Ghost’ isn’t here.”

Day SeventeenEdit

“I must congratulate you, Recht.” Layef said as Linke sat across the desk from him.

He nodded, “Thank you Si-”

“But you failed to bring us the ‘Ghost’,” Layef hissed. “You gave your word that you would catch him!”

“I tried!”

“That’s one thing you should learn. Don’t promise what you can’t control,” he told Linke. “Learn that.”

“So you’re not angry with me?” Linke asked.

“You brought down that drug ring, that parlor, so no. I’m pleased with your work, Recht. But now, we have no leads on the ‘Ghost’. But that’s good. The next instances of any drug smuggling are sure to lead us to him, since he’ll have to start probably from scratch.”

“I’m glad I could be of help,” Linke said.

“Now, Cenrik spoke of making you a true detective. What do you say to that, Recht? Would you like to join us for real?”

Linke shook his head, “I’m sorry, Chief, but no. I have my own work to do.”

“Perfectly understandable, Recht,” Layef replied. “Well, you can take all the time you want, now.”

“Why?” Linke questioned.

“With the promotion of Cenrik, I don’t think we need you as often. You can take a break if you want to,” Layef offered.

“You just don’t want me running this, do you?” he questioned.

“That’s not it,” Layef replied. “I’m just offering...”

“I know,” Linke replied. “But there’s no way I’ll take a break from this.”

“Okay, Recht,” Layef said. “Have a good day.”

“You too,” Linke replied as he departed Layef’s office.

Linke sat at the desk in the shop, resting and slumped over it. He was bored. He didn’t know where Recht was, there were no cases. Nothing to review.

The only thing he could think of to possibly do was search for leads on the “Ghost”, but that wouldn’t be of use at this point. There were bound to be few to any leads.

He looked up when he heard the door open. He saw the light green-armored Recht walking in, and walking towards him.

“Recht, where were you?” Linke asked.

“I use your name when I go out,” he assured Linke first. He stood beside the desk, “I was just going out. I don’t get out enough, after all.”

“I guess that’s true enough,” Linke replied. “Where did you go?”

“Just for a walk,” Recht replied. “Linke, are you worried about me?” he questioned with a small laugh.

“I haven’t heard you laugh before,” Linke said, rising. He looked his partner in the eyes, “I just worry about you...”

“The situation is over,” Recht reminded. “We dealt with it at the time.”

“I know,” Linke replied. “But it doesn’t feel like we ever finished it.”

“I know why you feel that way,” Recht replied. “But trust me, it’s over. We’d have caught wind of it if it wasn’t.”

“I guess you’re right, Recht,” Linke said.

“So, you don’t have a case or anything?” Recht asked, walking around the back of the desk, and removing the key from under it. He walked towards the wall and began the process of opening the stairway.

“No,” Linke replied. “After that job last night, we’ve got nothing.”

Linke looked out a window. His angle allowed him to see the road leading towards the door. He saw both Cenrik and the Police Lieutenant Quey approaching.

“Hurry!” Linke hissed back.

Recht disappeared behind the wall, onto the stairs. The wall sealed by the time the two members of the Guard reached the door.

Linke walked towards the door, intending to meet them halfway. The two walked in, with Cenrik following behind Quey.

“Can I do something for the two of you?” Linke questioned.

“Recht, we need to talk,” Quey said with a strict voice. “We need to talk, now.”

“What’s this about?” Linke inquired.

Cenrik stepped forward, “Recht, don’t pay him any heed. He’s...”

“Silence!” Quey snapped at Cenrik. “I outrank you. You’ll hold your tongue upon my orders.”

“Understood,” Cenrik muttered.

Quey looked back to Linke. “Now, Recht, about last night. We need a few things,” he told the Ta-Matoran.

“And that would be?” Linke questioned.

“You stole widgets,” Quey said. “Your so called ‘winnings’ were illegal. We need them. We’ll reimburse you for the widgets that you had to pay as soon as you got down the stairs, but remember, the original widgets were ours. Out of your ‘winnings’, you can keep whatever you lost. The rest is ours.”

Linke nodded. “Fine. What else?” he questioned.

“We need you to divulge information on the Uuk-Koi games,” Quey replied. “Reports indicate that you won two games in quick succession. And when we did our interrogations, we were told that you were using the Ambrosil. We need your information on this. We’ll hold you accountable to tell the truth on your work in law enforcement, and whatever you say, we’ll hold in regard higher than that of the interrogating results.”

“I didn’t use any of the drugs,” Linke assured. “I was too busy playing Uuk-Koi to have any chances to use.”

“But how did you get so good?” Quey questioned. “We know you played once, to subdue Ko-Matoran Unik. But you lost that game, nearly won. You came out without any mental repercussions, however. Explain that.”

Linke shrugged, “I’m just a natural, I guess.”

“Or you’re used to the mental strain,” Quey interjected. “Now, tell the truth. Do you play the game on a regular basis through illegal channels?”

“No. I’ve only played it three times in my life. All in police service,” Linke answered. “Now, after I get you the widgets, is there anything else you need?”

“No. That’s it,” Quey replied. He looked to Cenrik, “I’ll be departing. Bring the widgets back with you.”

Cenrik saluted bitterly, and stepped aside for Quey as he departed.

As soon as he was out, Linke looked to Cenrik, “What’s wrong with him?”

“He’s just strict,” Cenrik replied. “He didn’t become Lieutenant without being strict. He’s also very thorough, but plays by the rules, at least.” He grinned, “He’s also great fun at parties.”

Linke walked behind the desk and pulled out a pouch. He slid it across the table, “Here’s the winnings from last night.”

Cenrik took it. “You know, Quey isn’t just how I explained him,” he told Linke. “He’s also corrupt, to an extent.”

“How so?” Linke questioned.

“These winnings. He was never formally ordered to retrieve them. I think he either wants them for his own wealth, or...”

“Or what?”

“Or he’s a great guy at heart, and is going to use them for the department,” Cenrik replied. He shrugged, “I prefer to think the latter, but who knows what that guy thinks.”

“I’d like to think that too,” Linke said, sitting down. He noticed that Cenrik wasn’t leaving. “So, is there something I can do for you?” he questioned.

Cenrik was looking around, “I’ve just never been here. I’ve heard about this place a lot, but I’ve never come here. Great place you’ve got, Recht.”

“Thanks.” Linke replied. “So, anything else?”

He looked over various sculptors that Recht had made that weren’t sold. Just for browsing on the rare occasions that people came to window shop, instead of coming with a request. He took hold of a small statue and lifted it up.

“What’s this?” Cenrik questioned, turning it over in his hands, “What’s this line down the center of the Toa?”

“That’s the Toa of Doppel Nui,” Linke said. “Don’t you know of him?”

Cenrik looked to Linke. Confusion mixed with outrage. “You mean you actually sculpt that fugitive?” he said as he set it down and stalked towards the desk. “You mean to tell me that you actually sculpt him? He’s a criminal!”

“It was before I joined as a consultant,” Linke answered, trying to deflect.

“No law abiding artist would do any art for him!” Cenrik shouted. “Why did you?”

Linke sighed and rose to his feet, “I’m enthralled by him. He’s an interesting figure, when you think about it.” He walked towards the shelf, taking the statue up in his hands. He turned it over, “I mean, just think about it. He’s hunted by the police, yet fights their enemies. He protects everyone. You can’t tell me that you don’t respect that.”

“I do respect his work, but he should leave,” Cenrik said. “I would hate to see the autopsy of that body of his.”

“You mean the dual elements?” Linke questioned. “But aren’t you also enthralled by that point of him?”

“I’d rather see the good he can do be done elsewhere. I’d rather him live there than die here. Do justice rather than do it, and be hated by it at the same time.”

“So, you respect the Toa, just not on Doppel Nui?” Linke questioned.

“That’s exactly it,” Cenrik replied. He walked towards the door, “I think I’ll take my leave now. See you at the next case, Recht.”

“So, you’re staying on with us for good, right?” Linke asked.

Cenrik nodded, “Yeah. You, Gahla, Derr, you’re all great. I eagerly await more cases.”

“But what will you do if you get promoted?” Linke asked.

“We can have multiple Senior Detectives working cases, Recht,” Cenrik said. “Even if Gahla or I become Senior Detectives, we can still all work together.”

“I doubt that, Cenrik,” Linke replied. “I don’t think they’ll want three - or even two - detectives of that skill level all working together.”

Cenrik shrugged, “I know one thing for certain. While I can work with you guys, I’ll always turn down the promotions then.”

“Glad to hear it, Cenrik. I’m really liking you.”

“I’m liking you too, Recht. As I said, I await our next case together.” He stepped outside, strapping the pack of widgets to his belt. He looked down the street, seeing something rapidly approaching.

Dark Hunter!” he shouted, rushing out with his dagger.

Linke threw the statue back into the shelf and rushed for the door to Recht. He had his Duos Stone stashed under his desk, so he had to stop for a moment to retrieve it, before rushing downstairs.

Cenrik ran after the blur, but obviously couldn’t keep up. He slowed to a stop when he saw the Toa leaping building to building, propelling himself with his Air elemental powers.

The Toa spun around in the air, performing an axe kick from above. A blade of wind erupted from his foot, smashing into the ground in front of the Dark Hunter. The blur slowed, but didn’t stop.

The Toa landed just behind, but couldn’t keep up, or do anything to stop it. He closed his eyes, and then rubbed them with his thumb and pointer finger on his right hand.

“How do we stop that guy?” Recht muttered.

“Wish I knew,” Linke replied.

“What is it?” Recht asked. “You’re not saying something.”

“It’s nothing... just thinking about a case,” Linke replied.

“Okay,” Recht answered. He leapt up, using the elemental powers of his side of the body, “Let’s continue our pursuit for a time.”

“Yeah,” Linke replied, trying to think as they ran forward. He considered [[Fire|fire, but wasn’t sure what to aim at.

After running for about ten minutes, building to building, pursuing the Dark Hunter, the Toa dropped to the streets below.

“Where did he get off to?” both muttered at once.

They both looked ahead, seeing a squad of police moving in. Leading them was Quey, wielding a scimitar strapped to his wrist with a band.

Behind them were more police. Among the overall ranks were Derr, Gahla, Cenrik, and other detectives.

“We have you trapped, Toa!” Quey shouted. “Surrender, and we’ll only banish you!”

“No,” Linke said. “I won’t surrender!”

Recht was looking around the group in front of them. He remained focused on Quey.

“Who’s that?” he whispered.

“Lieutenant of the police,” Linke whispered.

“Interesting,” Recht whispered back.

“If you’re done talking to yourself, we need an answer!” Cenrik shouted, directing his dagger at them. “Answer Lieutenant Quey!”

Both spoke at once.

“I am a hero to this island! I protect it from the Dark Hunters! From any other threats that can’t be handled through conventional methods.” Recht threw his arm forward, curling his fingers in one by one rapidly and drawing his arm back to his body, bending it and putting it to Linke’s side of their head.

“I am the only Toa who will remain on this island! I am the only one dedicated to the art and beauty of this place! If you run me out, you will be losing a hero, and a patron!”

“That means nothing!” Quey shouted.

Apparently, Quey wasn’t interested in the arts, but rather, his job alone.

Elemental energy flowed into both of the Toa’s hands. He slammed them together, scattering a wall of fire around his body. He triggered his powers over the air, and propelled himself to a rooftop.

He threw his right arm down, “You claim to be justice, yet you try to quell the stronger justice of this island? That’s blasphemy!”

“After him!” Quey shouted, rushing alongside a squad that he led through the streets.

The Toa was faster, easily outmaneuvering them with his air powers.

After a few minutes, and being sure that they had escaped, the Toa dropped down into the streets. He closed his eyes, and threw his arms out.

The axis of energy spread out, splitting them back apart. Both panted, and moved on back towards the shop.

Both had taken away that the police couldn’t be reasoned with over justice.

Recht, however, had taken away something far more, the existence of Quey.

Day EighteenEdit

“We still have one target of dire importance,” Derr said, slapping a tablet down on a table in the middle of the room. He looked up at Gahla, Cenrik, and Linke.

“What who’s this target?” Cenrik asked. “The ‘Ghost’?”

“He has yet to resurface, as far as we know,” Derr replied, shaking his head. “No, we have a different target.”

“You said it was dire,” Linke told him, “Is it a Dark Hunter? The Toa?”

“A Dark Hunter,” Derr confirmed. “The Toa claims to be justice, but he hasn’t done anything to stop this Dark Hunter. We haven’t been able to do anything, either.”

“What is this Dark Hunter?” Cenrik asked.

“That speed thing,” Derr replied. “That thing that’s been moving faster than any of us could catch. We don’t even know what it looks like, but we can be sure it’s a Dark Hunter.”

“And how do you plan on capturing it?” Gahla asked.

“I don’t know yet,” Derr answered. “But we’ll find a way.”

“Why now, all of a sudden?” Linke asked. “Why are you going after it now?”

“Because in two days we have something important happening,” Derr replied. “You should know about it, Recht.”

Linke racked his brain, trying to think. He just shook his head, “Sorry, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“The opening of the new city hall,” Derr answered. “I heard you received summons to sculpt a masterpiece for the entrance.”

Linke nodded slowly. “Right... it slipped my mind. I really have to start work on it,” he muttered, trying to sound absent minded, but still focused on doing it, attempting to keep his rouse up.

“You’d better get on it. The marble quarry of Angelus Nui doesn’t send to here that often, and very less often is it blessed by the four Seraphim,” Derr said. “Now, the case. We need to neutralize that Dark Hunter before the opening. We believe that his primary mission is to destroy the hall when it opens, and possibly assassinate the mayor.”

“So, we need to stop him, but we have no ideas on how to,” Linke said. “Is that right?”

“It is,” Derr answered. “Now, we need to think.”

“We could try to create some adhesive,” Cenrik offered. “Something to literally stop him in his tracks.”

“I don’t think that would work too well,” Linke answered. “He could be fast enough that it wouldn’t even stop him.”

“Speed would rip him free,” Gahla confirmed. “I’m sure of it.”

“Then we need another option,” Derr said. “Anyone?”

“Lay down spikes,” Cenrik again offered.

“I don’t think so,” Gahla said. “Too easy to see coming, and very dangerous for the citizens. We have to be sure they’ll be safe,” she reminded.

“We could call on the Toa,” Gahla offered.

“No!” Cenrik snapped. “Never!”

“Why?” Gahla demanded. “Why not call on a Toa to help? We’re obviously not coming up with anything!”

“The Toa is a criminal,” Cenrik hissed. “I will never work with him. I will never call him a partner in any capacity. I would rather take my own life than work with the Toa on such a case!”

Linke felt his heart sinking by Cenrik’s words. Cenrik was his friend, but he knew how Cenrik felt about the Toa. He had told him about it a day before. But in such a situation, why wouldn’t Cenrik want that sort of help?

What is his vendetta against the Toa? Linke wondered. Is it all Toa in general? Just this one? For something we did? Or just because we’re breaking the law of Doppel Nui? Cenrik had said he’d rather have the Toa live on, on another island, however, and continue to do good. Rather that than die on Doppel Nui for breaking the law.

Cenrik’s feelings towards the Toa were hard for Linke to dissect, and that truly annoyed him. It didn’t make him mad. He knew that Cenrik would be duty bound as a detective to want the Toa gone. But with Linke making up one half of the Toa, it really got to him. But he knew the feeling. He knew that Cenrik felt betrayal by someone serving the law by breaking the law. And because of that, Linke knew that the feelings probably weren’t personal, so he didn’t let it get to him as much.

“I like the idea,” Linke spoke up. “I think we should call on the Toa for help.”

“What?” Cenrik shouted, turning to Linke. “How could you? Recht! I know you sculpted him, but how could you want to work with him? What’s gotten into you? Have you lost it?”

“I know he could help!” Linke snapped. “We can’t worry about the law in this situation. I think we need his help to stop this Dark Hunter.”

“But he’s tried, and failed,” Derr said. “We’ve seen him try. He can’t stop the Dark Hunter.”

“He loves this island. I’m sure of that. Why else would he stay here when he knows he’s hated? He must be a lover of the arts,” Linke said. “He...”

“He did say that,” Cenrik muttered, interrupting Linke. “Sorry, go on.”

“He can do it. I’m sure of it! Just please, let’s let him try and give him a little time. The Toa hasn’t let us down in the past when something too dangerous has arrived. I’m sure he can stop this Dark Hunter in time! Please!” Linke begged. “Give him a chance!”

Derr looked to the others, “Anyone?”

Gahla nodded, “Of course I think we should. I brought it up first. I think we should get his help.”

Derr nodded, “And Cenrik?”

“No,” Cenrik said. “I don’t want to be anywhere near him. I don’t want him working this case.”

“Two ‘yeses’ and one ‘no’,” Derr said. “I’m undecided as of yet. We’re going to take this question to Chief Layef.”

The group of Matoran started moving out of the room, heading towards the Chief’s office.

As they entered, Derr leading them, the Turaga of Fire looked up from what he was working on. He glared at the group. “What are you four doing here?” he questioned. “Just walking right in? Do you have no manners?”

“We have something important to ask you,” Derr said. “Please, forgive our interruption. But it is very important.”

“What is it?” Layef questioned. “It had better be worth my time.”

“It is,” Derr assured him. “We’re working the current speed case.”

“Speed case? Is that what you’re calling it now?” Layef questioned. “Okay, go on then.”

“What do you call it?” Linke questioned, “Isn’t ‘speed case’ good enough for this one?”

“I prefer an actual name,” Layef questioned. “One I can classify it by. Like a number,” Layef muttered. “But, go on.”

“Anyway, we can’t come up with any way to stop the Dark Hunter,” Derr said. “And now... well, Gahla gave us an idea. We could ask the Toa for help, ask him if he’ll stop the Dark Hunter for us.”

“He’s tried and failed,” Layef reminded.

“We’re sure he can do it,” Gahla insisted. “We have faith in his abilities to protect this island.”

“He said he was a patron of the arts,” Cenrik muttered. “They seem to think he can help us out...”

“You don’t want him,” Layef analyzed from Cenrik’s words. “I understand your sentiments, but in this situation, we do need help. If we can’t get any options from our own ranks, we need the Toa’s powers.”

“We’re at two ‘yes’ votes, one ‘no’, and I’m ‘undecided’,” Derr reported.

“Then go with the majority,” Layef said.

“One’s Recht,” Derr said.

“So?” Layef questioned.

“We’re not sure if he counts,” Cenrik said. He looked to Linke, “I like you. I’m not being mean... but you’re a consultant. Do you really get a vote?”

“I say he does,” Layef said. “He’s proven himself worthy enough.”

“Then majority rules,” Derr said. “Let’s find the Toa and get him to help us.” He walked towards the door, “Anyone know where to start?”

“We’ll split up and search,” Gahla suggested.

“I like that,” Derr replied. “Take areas to search,” he said. “North.”

“South,” Gahla said.

“West,” Linke said.

“Leave’s ‘east’ to Cenrik,” Derr said, looking to the Po-Matoran.

“No,” Cenrik said, stopping. “I won’t.”

“What do you mean? You want a different area?” Derr questioned.

“No. I’m not getting involved in this. I don’t believe in the Toa is someone we should be helping, or asking for help from. I’m out of this case, Derr.”

Derr glared into his eyes, “I’m your Senior Detective. You’ll take my orders.”

“No,” Cenrik said. “Gahla’s your protégé, not me. I’m just working your cases with you now. You don’t have that power over me.” With that, he turned and walked the other way, heading away from the door back into the depth of the station.

“Leave him,” Gahla said.

“I’ll take east as well,” Linke offered.

“Fine,” Derr growled. “Let’s get moving.”

The three Matoran set out, splitting up as they left the station.

The blue blur of the Dark Hunter was once more racing through the streets of Doppel Nui. The Toa leapt roof to roof after him, using his default form, although wearing a belt with a pouch with their Stone powers inside.

He slid to a stop and threw his left arm forward. A fireball erupted forward, creating a wall of fire in front of the Dark Hunter. The Dark Hunter didn’t stop, however, and went through the flames.

He wasn’t ablaze, unfortunately. It didn’t do anything.

“Recht,” Linke said.

Recht threw his arm forward. “I’ll make a vacuum. That’ll hold him,” Recht said, unleashing his powers over the wind.

He started to create a sphere around the Dark Hunter as the Toa ran once again. The sphere wasn’t going to hold up if they got out of range. The vacuum would need to be in that sphere, keeping it isolated.

It obviously wasn’t working. The Dark Hunter knew what was happening, and instead of taking turns to allow the Toa to catch up a bit, to stay within reasonable range, kept running forward, out of sight.

“We’ll use my powers to catch up, then try Stone,” Recht said, propelling them forward with a burst of wind from under his foot.

The Toa flew through the air, landing on a rooftop just behind the Dark Hunter. In the instant they landed, Recht shot his hand into the pouch, producing the artificial stone. He held it to his chest and it faded into his body. Another stone came out in its’ place, which was promptly placed in the bag.

The Toa was now brown on the right and red on the left. Recht threw his arm out, creating a stone wall in front of the Dark Hunter.

The Dark Hunter passed through it like a ghost. Nothing happened.

“He vibrated his molecules. That has to be it!” Linke shouted.

“I don’t know what we can do,” Recht muttered. “If he vibrates himself with that speed, we can’t trap him.”

“We can,” Linke said, taking control and rushing to the side, ignoring the Dark Hunter. He leapt off of the building and threw his arm out.

“What are you doing?” Recht shouted.

Then he saw Gahla rushing towards them, a pouch in hand. She threw it forward, “Linke!”

He snatched it out of the air and nodded his thanks. He took control again and raced forward, up the street. He could see the blur coming at them.

“Linke, what is that?” Recht shouted. “Tell me!”

Linke pulled the object out of the bag. It was another artificial stone.

“What is that?” Recht shouted.

He slid to a stop. “You’re not the only one who can make one,” Linke said, pressing it to his chest. He shone for a moment as the stones swapped places. He placed the original half of the Duos Stone into the bag and looked at his hand now that his change was complete, and new, raw power surged through him.

White armor. He was now able to use the powers of Ice.

Stone and Ice were now flowing through the Toa. “If he vibrates himself through a stone barrier from his speed, then we remove that speed,” Linke said, throwing his arm forward. He twisted his wrist, activating his powers for the first time.

The power felt different than ever before. It felt unstable. He was using twice as much as he should have had to, but that didn’t matter. Not yet.

The blur stopped, now frozen in a slab of ice. Only a chunk of his upperbody and his head were free of the ice, revealing his sleek, humanoid, yet reptilian form to the Toa and Gahla.

No mask nor helmet, just a blue, scaled armored face and a lashing tail, which was now frozen, as well as what looked like wheels protruding from the bottoms of his feet, which were what was allowing him such exceptional speed. He struggled, but couldn’t free himself from his prison of ice.

“Let’s end this,” Linke said, switching back to Fire. Recht also changed, returning to Air.

“Ice doesn’t go with Stone,” Recht told Linke. “Especially not flawed Ice.”

“I did my best,” Linke said as they ran forward, winds cycling around their body. Flames began to dance around them as they leapt into the air.

“Not good enough,” Recht said. “Leave stone creating to me from now on!”

“With pleasure!”

The flaming cyclone of a kick came down, smashing into the Dark Hunter. It threw him free of the ice, releasing him, but the wound was fatal, crushing his chest in the process, as well as burning apart a majority of his internal organs.

The Toa spun around, throwing his right arm forward and snapping his fingers. “Checkmate,” they said as the Dark Hunter erupted into flames from the attack, dying on the spot.

“Case closed,” Linke said. “Now your sculpture will be safe, as will the mayor tomorrow,” he assured Recht.

“Let’s hope so,” Recht said as they split apart, parting ways as usual these days.

Day TwentyEdit

“I would like to welcome you all to the opening of the new city hall,” the Ga-Matoran Mayor of Doppel Nui said to the large crowd gathered before her, in the streets, waiting to see both the hall and Recht’s new sculpture.

There were many civilians present, and just about as many police, just in case something should happen. The mayor needed protection, obviously. And Gahla and Cenrik were up on stage, nearby in case something were to happen as well.

Doppel Nui wasn’t led by a Turaga, nor a warlord, nor anything of the sort that a conventional island would have. It was formerly led by Epee, but one year ago his rule ended, and his warlord status was no longer required to be leader of the island. So rather than have divine right as a way of making a leader of the island or someone who’s demanding the job due to their power, such as another warlord coming and claiming he should rule because of his status. Or a Turaga coming, once again, because of status, the island now had enlightened despotism as the way of providing a ruler or leader of the island.

The right person for the right job, and this was decided as being a mayor, not a leader, a village elder, nor a lord of any sort, just a mayor. Power enough, but not enough to corrupt.

The mayor for the last year had been the same Ga-Matoran, a woman by the name of Marchia. She was a fair, wise and honorable leader. She kept the laws fair, the economy going, and all routes of trade open. She knew enough not to defy Dark Hunters coming to the island for business, but also made sure they were kept in check. She would have regular negotiations with the Dark Hunters’ leader about the situation, and he would actually listen. She was a woman to be respected. Her greatest asset was her sharp and silver tongue, which no one had ever seen fail her in the past. She always had logic on her side, and would easily trap someone in a word game until they gave up and accepted whatever she wanted.

Marchia was truly a great ruler. And now, finally, there was a city hall befitting of her. One year earlier, it had been destroyed in a battle. But now, it was finally rebuilt. Its’ majesty had taken one year to complete.

Despite being sensible, it was decided that a grand structure was best to serve as city hall. She didn’t object. It would show any visitors that she was a proper leader, instead of having some drab structure as her city hall.

Large archs of brilliant marble that shone in the light, encrusted walls and windows with stained glass, even the inside was brilliantly furnished with the finest furniture that one could procure, and beautiful works of art donated by various artists, but not by Recht.

No, that donation was elsewhere, out front. She had hired him - forced him - to sculpt an entrance statue for her city hall, one to show that the mayor - if it be her or another - was not to be trifled with, that the mayor was someone to be respected.

Recht had taken the offer not because he was forced to. That wouldn’t stop him. Shady Matoran demanding work had threatened Linke in the past or they would kill him. When he told Recht the requests, Recht refused. He returned, said he wouldn’t do it since it bored him, and was attacked.

After receiving rough training in the field of combat, Linke was more than able to hold his own against them. He defeated them all with ease, using actual fighting styles against senseless, violent tactics, if they could even be called tactics.

That had showed them, and they were then arrested soon after that for an unrelated matter. Linke had never gone to the police about it or anything.

Recht had no interest in sculpting for the mayor. Rather, it was because of what he would be able to sculpt with.

Marble sent from a rare quarry on the Isle of Angelus Nui. Not only that, but it was blessed by the four Seraphim of the island, the majestic overlords who watched out for the populace. They were respected by all on the island, even above Toa in most cases, even though Toa did the real work. Though for some reason, they had waited a year to send the marble over.

Recht had sculpted, spent days on it. And finally it had been completed, and sent in the day before. Linke hadn’t even seen it properly. He was eagerly awaiting this moment. But, being about to be called up on stage, he may have to talk about it, he realized. He had no idea what to say, considering he’d never seen it before. He would have to think fast if he had to talk about it. Fortunately, thinking fast was something he was good at. He shouldn’t have problems with this.

“May I call the sculptor of this brilliant piece up?” Marchia called. “Recht, please, come up here!”

Linke moved towards the stage. He looked to the sculpture which was now uncovered. It was a twisting design, the same design that was Recht’s personal emblem, but changed in a way that people would no longer recognize it as that, unless they looked very closely.

Rather than be Recht’s emblem, that was simply the base. The statue was then cut apart at various points, keeping the twisted design, but now, no longer being Recht’s, but a new symbol altogether. It still made people wonder and stare in astonishment.

“What do you have to say about your brilliant piece of work, Recht?” Marchia asked as he reached her.

He shrugged. “I really don’t have much to say about it,” he said. “It was just inspiration striking me. I have no muse, I just let it come and go. That’s all this was, a burst of inspiration.”

Good. He was sure he was doing well so far.

“What is the design exactly?” Marchia asked.

“Nothing,” Linke replied. “But actually... a gift in and of itself. I want you to have that emblem,” he offered the mayor. “Please, take that emblem as my gift as well. Use it as a personal emblem if you wish, or a symbol of office, since you won’t be the only mayor.”

She nodded. “I like that. The emblem will be the symbol of mayorship on the island,” she said.

More Matoran began to approach, each carrying a vase of some sort, with some different design on them. Marchia smiled, “Ah, more work for the inside, right? Please, take them inside and place them where you think they would look good.”

The Matoran began moving past her, into the building with the vases. They were going to add to the inner beauty of the structure, rather than like the sculpture, add to the outside of the city hall.

As the third of the six Matoran passed by, something happened. As soon as the fourth took one more step, standing right behind the mayor, they all saw a flash of light go off, and screams erupt from the stage.

“Down!” Linke shouted, grabbing Marchia and pushing her down. He got on top of her and then screamed out as he was thrown clear of her. He could hear both Gahla and Cenrik shouting for his, and for the mayor’s, safety.

What just happened? He wasn’t sure. There was an explosion, that’s all he knew. Was it an assassination attempt from that Matoran carrying the vase? No, too obvious.

There is obviously a crime going on here. An assassination attempt on the mayor’s life, but why? Why now? There were other public appearances with less police protection that could have been used.

What was special about this one? Did someone want to level city hall in the process or something?

Linke ran around the smoke, finally making sure Cenrik was helping Marchia. He saw Gahla taking off as another Matoran fled from the audience, into the streets of the city.

Linke pursued along with Gahla. She was ahead of him, but he could catch up soon. He had to catch up and help find out what was going on.

As he ran, he caught up to Gahla by forcing himself to run faster. He looked to her as they caught up, “Any idea on who this guy is?” Linke asked.

“None,” she replied. “I don’t recognize him.”

“What did he do? Have a suspicious look or something?” Linke questioned.

“He was laughing. Laughing like crazy,” she replied. “Seems like a good place to start, considering a bomb just went off.”

Linke nodded. He looked to his left, to the corner of a street. He saw a Po-Matoran standing on it, wearing a light brown and yellow Kanohi Hau. The Matoran watched him with wide eyes, and stared at him.

Linke stopped, making Gahla stop as a reaction. Linke could only say, “Alle... Allesendro?”

Gahla looked ahead, but the suspect had vanished. She cursed and looked to the Matoran of Stone, “Who is he?”

“My old friend,” Linke muttered, rushing towards him. Allesendro ran forward, meeting him halfway. The two Matoran clasped hands and smiled at each other.

“It’s been a while,” Allesendro said. “I can’t believe you’re on Doppel Nui!”

“I have been for the last year,” Linke answered. “I was going to move on, but kind of got stuck here. I got a reputation for myself as a famous sculptor.”

“Famous sculptor?” Allesendro asked. “Which one? I don’t know of any sculptor - or artist, for that matter - named Linke.”

“My name is ‘Recht’ while I’m here,” he answered.

“Oh, you’re Recht?” Allesendro asked. He grinned, “I can’t believe you, my old friend, are a famous sculptor.”

“I know. Crazy, isn’t it?” Linke said.

“If you two are done, we have a suspect to track down, Linke,” Gahla said.

“Suspect?” Allesendro asked. He looked up and down Gahla, at the robes she wore. “Are you a cop or something?”

“Detective,” she replied. “And Linke is acting as a consultant. He’s been assisting my partner and myself for a while now. He’s very good at this job.”

“Just like art,” Allesendro said. “You’re just great at anything, aren’t you, Linke?”

“Kind of,” Linke said, shrugging. “It’s nothing. It’s actually pretty easy...”

“Easy?” Allesendro laughed. “I can’t believe you call sculpting masterpiece after masterpiece and working with the police ‘easy’.”

“Gahla! Recht!” They heard.

“Oh... I go by Recht. Please, when we’re around others, use my alias,” Linke said quickly as they saw Cenrik running towards them.

“No problem. I can do that,” Allesendro replied. “Who’s he?”

“Our new partner. Another detective,” Linke answered as Cenrik arrived.

“Did you get the guy?” he questioned.

“Lost him,” Gahla answered. “But he never stopped laughing. I’m sure we can get him with ease.”

“Who are you?” Cenrik asked, looking now to the other Po-Matoran. “A witness or something?”

“My name is Allesendro,” the newcomer said. “I’m an old friend of Recht’s.”

The two shook hands. “An old friend?” he asked Recht. “That’s a first. Nice to meet you, Allesendro.”

“Likewise,” the visiting Po-Matoran said, ending their handshake.

“How’s Marchia?” Linke questioned.

“You refer to her by her name alone?” Cenrik questioned, “Recht! Show some respect!”

“Okay, sorry. How’s the mayor?” he asked.

“The bomb wasn’t strong enough. And jumping on her saved her from any damage at all. You did everything properly, Recht. I’m proud of you,” Cenrik told him.

“Happy I could be of help,” Linke said.

“Now, we have to get going,” Cenrik said. “Recht, you coming?”

He looked to Allesendro and back to Cenrik. “You two have it covered. I’m going to leave with Allesendro. Sorry.”

“I understand,” Gahla said, running off on her own. Cenrik looked to them once more, and then raced after Gahla.

“You could have gone,” Allesendro said. “I wouldn’t have minded.”

“I would have,” Linke replied. “I need to catch up with you. I’d have hated having to wait.”

“Old friend, just like the old days,” Allesendro said. “Always wanting to be with a friend over all else.”

“Of course,” Linke said, starting to walk. “I’ll show you to my home.”

“Your studio?” Allesendro asked.

“You could call it that,” Linke answered, leading him towards Recht Sculpting.

As the day started to come to an end, Allesendro had gone out for a bit. Linke opened the path to the downstairs and rushed down, searching for his partner. When he finally saw Recht carving a piece of wood in a second, small room, he rushed in.

“Do you need me for something?” he questioned, not bothering to look up to his partner at all.

“I just need to tell you I have a guest,” Linke said. “And he thinks I’m the real sculptor. Please, stay down here until he leaves in a few days. I don’t want him to know I’m a fraud. That, and I have a case to work...”

“Fine,” Recht said. “I’ll only come out when he’s gone then. Is that fine?”

“It is,” Linke answered. “Thanks.”

Recht gave no other word as Linke walked out, racing up the stairs. He sealed the door again and went towards the door as he saw Gahla and Cenrik approaching.

“Did you find anything?” Linke asked.

“We did, actually,” Gahla replied. “Something interesting.”

“We managed to get an identification on the guy,” Cenrik said. “Then we looked into our files and found him.”

“So, he’s already been arrested?” Linke asked.

“Yeah. About six months ago,” Gahla replied. “On crimes of using Ethanum, playing Uuk-Koi, and working for the ‘Ghost’.”

“So, he was probably on drugs,” Linke said. “Explains the laughter.”

“Or the ‘Ghost’ wants her dead and sent a man to do it, and said man found it funny,” she suggested.

“Actually I prefer to think that his mind snapped during a game,” Cenrik said. “Makes more sense to me.”

“Then why would ‘Ghost’ keep him around?” Gahla questioned.

“Why send in a man high on Ethanum in to do an assassination?” Cenrik questioned. “Brain damage seems much more likely.”

“Could be both,” Linke said. “Maybe a decoy for the real guy, though. Whatever it is - drugs or brain damage - I don’t see how he’s an effective tool in the least. At least, for such an assassination mission. I mean, bombs in a vase? Come on! How could a Matoran with either of those problems be expected to be detonating bombs like that?”

“I don’t know that much,” Cenrik said. Gahla nodded in agreement.

“Well, let’s bring him in,” Linke said. “I’m sure you’re right.”

Day Twenty-OneEdit

Linke, Cenrik, and Gahla crept around the streets, searching for the Matoran. He was well hidden, but they would eventually find him.

“Wait,” Linke breathed. “What if...”

“What?” Cenrik asked.

“Turn around,” he breathed, glancing behind them. “Just keep watching that path.”

After a few moments, the Matoran raced by, getting farther away from them.

“How did you do that?” Gahla questioned.

“I heard someone coming. I was lucky, plain and simple,” Linke admitted. He raced forward and tackled the man as he fled, helping to keep him down while he was being interrogated on the spot.

“Did you try to assassinate the mayor?” Gahla demanded.

“Yes,” he hissed.

“Are you brain damaged?” Cenrik questioned, jumping straight to his main point. “Or are you just high on drugs?”

“Both,” the Matoran grinned.

“Both?” Cenrik asked.

Uuk-Koi ruined my mind,” he admitted. “And Ethanum was to keep my nerves during the mission. I was going to run up and stab her, then flee.”

“Didn’t work,” Gahla said. “Someone beat you to it, it looks like. Now, who hired you, and what do you know about that explosion?”

“The ‘Ghost’ hired me, obviously,” the Matoran answered. “And the explosion? That made me laugh so hard! But I don’t know anything about explosives.”

The three looked to each other. “I think he’s telling the truth,” Linke said to them, shrugging. “I really do think so.”

“How can you be sure?” Cenrik questioned.

“His posture,” Linke pointed out. “It’s fine. His body language is fine. There’s nothing to make him look uncertain, he’s telling the truth. At least, as far as I can tell. I’m about ninety percent sure he’s telling the truth here.”

“I don’t know if that’s good enough,” Gahla said, shaking her head. “Either way, he’s a criminal. We can interrogate him to get information on the ‘Ghost’, and he should be locked up as is. But for now... he’s not our main suspect in the attempted assassination,” she told them. “Please get Quey to see to his imprisonment,” she said.

Cenrik nodded and walked out to find the officer. Linke looked to Gahla, “Then who else do we pursue? Do you have any leads?”

“He was the only one,” she replied. “But there were others there. There were others we could look into. We have an attendance list, and we’re crosschecking that list with the backgrounds of known criminals. If we find any matches, then we’ll get our man.”

“Criminals in general?” Linke asked. “Or criminals matching the use of the explosive? There’s a difference.”

“In general,” she replied. “Any lead.”

“Even if it makes no sense?” he questioned. “If I did something minor... like I stole a tablet, was caught, and my information logged, then you’d still call me in for questioning since I have a criminal background? Are you really going to enforce that much? Use that much manpower on this?”

Gahla glared at him and shook her head, “You just have to make things hard. You just have to make me justify everything I do.”

“If you want to ever become a Senior Detective, you should have justification at the ready,” he told her.

“So you’re not trying to make my job difficult... but rather get me ready?” she asked. “Since when do you care that much?”

“Since my partner decided to trust you with our secret,” Linke answered.

“Secret?” the prisoner questioned, chuckling and leaning forward. “What is that? And your partner? Tell me more...”

Both Matoran glared at him and went back to their conversation. They didn’t care about him. He was insane and a criminal, who would believe him if he heard a little too much?

“We’ll run everything ranging from assault on up,” Gahla told him. “That’s our normal procedure for something like this.”

“And if the criminal was smart enough not to be there?” Linke questioned. “Then what? Start running all records of everyone on the island?”

“Yes,” she said.

“What if it’s someone not from here? Perhaps a Dark Hunter?” he asked. “Then you can’t exactly find them.”

“A Dark Hunter using such a secretive assassination plan?” she questioned. “They would probably walk in, commit murder, and walk out. That seems more their style than using an explosive hidden in a vase.”

“You never know,” he replied. “Different Dark Hunters have different modus operandi,” he shrugged.

“We need a lure,” Gahla said, walking out of the room with him, leaving the Matoran alone inside. “We need a way to lure him out again.”

“We could reset the mayor’s speech,” he offered. “Marchia would probably be willing, since she was interrupted by the explosion last time. I’m sure she’d reset and let us wait for the assassin again. We round up everyone in the audience, in the area, and just start going through them. I’m sure the bomb was on a detonator of some sort. I don’t think someone would be able to time it to such a precise instant to blow up in such close proximity,” Linke told Gahla.

She nodded, “If Marchia would do it, that would work perfectly. We just need to get more art. That would involve moving objects again, and giving the detonation a place to work from.”

“There’s enough art from last time,” he said. “Just use it again, and we’re set. I’ll even throw a vase in.”

“Sounds like a good plan,” she said. “We just need to tell Marchia and be sure she’s up for it. I’m sure she’ll do it. I’m sure she wants this guy caught.”

“Please, let me be the one to talk to her,” Linke said. “I’m sure I can convince her to do it.”

The two walked through the hallways of the newly completed city hall. Marchia allowed Linke to be the only one to speak to her, and the only one nearby. She didn’t even have bodyguards around. She trusted him enough as “Recht”.

“So... will you do it?” he asked her. “Will you allow us to reset the speech? The entire event since it was... canceled last time from the explosion? It would give us a chance to catch this guy. I can assure you, no harm will befall you. We’ll protect you, Marchia.”

“Do you have any other way to catch this guy?” she asked him.

“No,” he replied. “We have no leads. We could go through every record on the island, but that wouldn’t get us far. We have no other way, and this guy needs to be caught. I give you my word; you won’t be in harm’s way.”

“I have a question for you,” she said. “Do you think it could be the Toa?”

He stared at her in shock and quickly shook his head. “No,” he forced himself to be calm in his answer. “The Toa wouldn’t do this. He said he’s a patron of the arts, and he is justice. Both traits are opposites of an assassination attempt. He destroyed art, if he was the man behind it, and he tried to kill you, an unjust act.”

“How can you be sure he was telling the truth?” she asked him.

“He’s fought Dark Hunters,” he answered. “He helped to make this island what it is today. I believe in him for everything he’s done. Please, just trust me. It can’t be the Toa, it just can’t be.”

“I’ll believe you... for the time being,” she replied. “Now, I do agree to this. I strongly believe in the police force. I can’t have them failing now, or faith will be lost in them from others on the island. We can’t have that. When do you wish for this setup to happen?”

Linke was surprised it was so easy. He decided to run with it at the moment, instead of going to ask anyone in the actual police force.

“How about in an hour?” he asked. “We think it should be today,” he told her, lying. “Today would be perfect, one day after would make some sense. Trying to salvage and trying to appear strong after an assassination attempt.”

She nodded, “It makes sense to me. So be it.”

“We just need to have the art moving again,” he said. “Where is it?”

“A lot was damaged in the explosion,” she replied.

“No good, then,” he said. “We want to keep the appearance up. We’ll need new pieces to replace them. I’ll even throw a piece or two into the mix.”

“I’ll have my people get on the securing of the pieces,” she said. “Recht, just be fast about getting yours to me, getting the word out, and getting the police here.”

“I will be. Don’t worry,” he assured her, parting company and leaving the building. As soon as he reached the street, he ran.

“You mean it’s today?” Gahla shouted at him, shaking her head. “Why today of all days?” she questioned. “Couldn’t you have given us more time?”

“It makes sense,” he replied. “Now, we have to get ready, fast.”

“How does it possibly make sense?” she demanded.

“I’ll explain it later. For now, we need to get the word out across the entire island, police in the area and art gathered. We need everything in place,” he told her. “Now, will you help me with that, or will you keep asking questions to slow me down?”

“Fine, we’ll get on it,” she answered. “Now, just keep your end up. Get your pieces soon and get over there.”

“Do you want Recht there?” he asked. “For the Toa? Or do you want the police to handle the entire situation?”

“We won’t need Recht unless it’s a Dark Hunter,” she told him. “I doubt it’s a Dark Hunter. Just have him in the area.”

“I will,” he replied, departing for his business.

“Fine,” Recht said.

“No argument?” Linke asked.

“It’s important,” Recht answered. “So no. I won’t argue. I’ll go, no problem. Any Dark Hunter is an immediate threat. We have to be ready.”

Linke was sure Allesendro would return soon. He didn’t want the entrance open, or Recht to be anywhere nearby while he was around. “Could you go ahead? I need to wait for Allesendro to come back.”

Recht sighed and started up the stairs, “Fine, I’ll go so I don’t ruin things, so I don’t blow my own cover or anything. Just don’t get too involved in your old friend. I don’t know how long he’ll be here, but he may get in the way in the end.”

“He won’t get in the way,” Linke assured Recht. “But thanks. And thanks for the warning.”

“If I wasn’t here to keep you out of trouble, who would be?” Recht asked, entering into the main structure.

Linke sealed the door behind them. “No one,” he answered. “And I thank you for that silently every day.”

“And you should,” Recht replied, leaving the building. As he left, he wondered about his partnership with Linke, who was thinking about Allesendro.

Linke sat down and waited for the return of his friend. But as he looked outside, seeing Gahla approaching, he knew he was out of time.

“Okay, I’m ready to go,” Linke told Gahla, leaving with the detective towards the city hall for the speech and trap.

Everything was going fine. No one was making any moves to stop Marchia from her speech, from the “opening” of the city hall. It was all going like it should have, mostly like it had the previous day, up until the explosion, of course.

Maybe the would-be-assassin was gone. Maybe he was a Dark Hunter, or a visitor who had since departed. Or maybe he hadn’t heard about it. Or maybe he no longer cared about killing Marchia.

The speech neared its’ eventual end. The works of art were being brought up and now displayed to the people. Most were vases, but some were statues. Linke assumed she couldn’t find enough vases to replicate the previous day, but that was fine. Any art was fine.

Then, it all went wrong. The explosion came not from a single piece, but from many, all at once. The simultaneous explosions threw Marchia from the stage, with police bursting in to attempt to stop anyone from fleeing.

Linke raced up to the stage, looking through the rubble for anything of use. He stopped and looked to two pieces, both by Recht, were damaged only by the explosion. There was no explosive in them, unlike every other piece of work.

But why? Why would whoever was doing this spare his work of a bomb?

He sniffed the air, and then realized the answer. It had a specific smell to it, one that was found in only one location.

He stood up and looked out to the audience. “Allesendro! You’re under arrest for the attempted murder of Mayor of Doppel Nui, Marchia!” he shouted, glaring at his friend in the audience.

“Recht! How could you say such a thing?” Allesendro shouted back. “I didn’t do it!”

“The dust,” Linke replied. “The dust from the mines! You never changed jobs. You still work in those same mines. They’re the only ones with this kind of dust, the kind of dust that makes this smell. You spared my work because we’re friends. But that was your mistake. Now, why did you do this?”

Police surrounded Allesendro. He was dragged from his seat and thrown onto the stage at Linke’s feet. He looked up at his old friend, his hands tied behind his back by the police.

“I was hired by the Dark Hunters. They wanted me to draw the Toa out and kill him. I was trying to reach the island, to see you... but the blockade around the island stopped me. They’d have killed me if I hadn’t done anything. I can only leave once I bring them the Toa’s head,” he said. “And in one week’s time, they were to come for me and kill me if I failed them. I had no choice! I couldn’t turn around, or I was dead. I figured that killing a fugitive on the island wouldn’t matter...”

“You attacked the mayor to draw him out,” Linke analyzed. “But it failed. What do you have to say?”

“All I can say,” the Po-Matoran answered. “I’m sorry. I’m very, very sorry. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll be dead in about six days as it is. They won’t stand for my failure. No matter where I am, I’ll die. And I can’t get off the island with the blockade - no one can. Linke... this was the only way. This island will die. The economy will crash in upon itself, and all will die here. You can’t sustain yourselves forever. I was trying to do what was right. I have no regrets. I tried to do the right thing for everyone involved,” Allesendro said, resigning himself to his fate.

Day Twenty-TwoEdit

“Where have you been all day?” Linke asked, taking wood off of a chunk of wood with a knife, trying to whittle something, but failing. He wasn’t the creative one of the duo, after all.

“Just out,” Recht answered. “Don’t worry; I still use your name as my alias when I’m out.”

“This is a very odd situation,” Linke said. “Using each other’s identities in public...”

“Do you miss using your name all the time?” Recht asked, taking a seat beside the desk.

“No,” Linke said. “It’s not that. It’s just... living in secret like this. I don’t really know what to think of it. I miss people using my real name, but I know we have to keep things secret. I know your anonymity is important to maintain. But if someone comes looking...”

“They’ll find you, which is exactly the point,” Recht said.

“But you miss the point I’m trying to make,” Linke answered. “If someone searching for you finds me using your name, they’ll know I have connections to you. Then it’s not a very far jump to finding you.”

“By that time, we’ll be ready for them,” Recht answered.

“I don’t know,” Linke said. “If I’m eliminated, then what happens? No Duos Stone to fall back on for protection.”

“Not with you, at least,” Recht said. “As long as you haven’t lost your half...”

“I’ll probably have it on my corpse,” Linke assured him. “Just make a break for it...”

“There’s no point in talking about this,” Recht told him. “You wouldn’t take half out to be alone. You wouldn’t have it on you if someone looking for me killed you. We’ll be fine. I’ll be safe.”

“Nothing will stop us as long as we can combine,” Linke said, nodding.

Recht didn’t answer him. He only rose and walked towards the back wall. “I’ll be in my workshop,” he told Linke.

“I’ll call down if I need you,” Linke said. “What are you going to work on now?”

“A statue,” he replied. “The Kanohi Dragon.”

Linke nodded, “Sounds like a great idea to sculpt.”

“It’s personal,” he replied. “Just for fun. You can set it up wherever you want it,” Recht said, starting down the steps.

“Oh, is there any of that blessed marble left?” Linke called down.

“No, why?” Recht called back.

“Just wondering what you might have used it for,” Linke replied. “You know, if we had any left.”

“Okay,” Recht answered, continuing down. The door slid closed, sealing itself.

Linke began to whistle as he whittled. He stood up and walked towards the door. He poked his head outside at the sound of Rahi footfalls.

He saw two Kane-Ra come up to the front of the shop. The tamed Rahi bulls were often used as forms of transport for the police, and not only for riding, but for also pulling wagons and other larger objects. These bulls had wagons mounted behind them, one officer riding each bull, one more officer on the front of each of the enclosed wagons.

“Can I do something for you officers?” Linke called out, closing the door behind him.

He heard the doors to one of the wagons open. He saw a blue and white armored Matoran walking out, coming towards him. It was Quey, the man in charge of the police ranks, and the highest-ranking officer as Lieutenant of the Doppel Nui Guard. He had complete control over the police, with only Chief Layef outranking him.

The tree of command was split, but both forks led back to Layef himself. One branch was the chain of command of the police, on which Quey was on top, except for Layef, but he was above all. The other command featured the detectives in a jumble. Senior on top, Junior on bottom, all intermixed without actual ranking other than Senior being higher. No single man held a higher position over all others, except Layef, on the very top of all.

Quey, due to his position could easily mobilize these men without having to ask another. Layef’s duty was to trust in Quey’s judgment and stop him if things got too out of hand. Chances are he didn’t know about whatever was going on currently.

“Recht, you’re under arrest,” Quey told the Ta-Matoran, drawing a dagger from his robes of rank. “Come quietly and we won’t have a problem. Make a scene, and I have more than enough men to bring you down, breaking your body in the process.”

Linke put his hands up. “What... what did I do?” he questioned. “I demand to know why I’m being arrested!”

An officer came up behind Linke and tied his arms together behind his back. He allowed Quey to lead him back to the first wagon, a prison wagon. He pushed Linke inside and then climbed in as well. There was a division, a bar door, like on a cell, between them. Linke watched Quey, still looking for his answer.

“There’s been a jewelry theft,” Quey said. “And all of our evidence points to you as the culprit, Recht,” Quey told him. “Not that you didn’t already know that.”

“I didn’t do anything!” Linke snapped. “When did the crime happen? I’ll have an alibi because I didn’t do it!”

“The crime occurred in the middle of the night,” Quey answered. “Do you have an alibi for that?”

“At home, sleeping. It was night, after all,” Linke answered.

“Convenient that you live alone,” Quey answered. “You could have come and gone as you pleased and stolen the jewel.”

Linke could have brought up Recht, but Recht wouldn’t be a credible witness, not for Quey. And that would only confuse matters.

“What jewel was stolen?” Linke questioned.

“The Crown Topaz,” Quey answered.

The Crown Topaz was a very, very valuable stone. It was probably the rarest stone on the entire island. It was given in a massive trade many years ago, between Doppel Nui and a single buyer, not a government nor a city, just a single man.

He wanted many pieces of work for his gallery. The greatest artists of the island had pooled their work and given them to him. In exchange, he gave the Crown Topaz from his personal collection. It was an orange stone the size of a Matoran’s fist, and when light passed through it, it somehow sparkled like a rainbow, with a myriad of colors, rather than the single color of orange.

It was one-hundred years ago, much longer than before Linke or Recht came to the island. It was when Epee still ruled the land. He wanted it to boost the economy of the island, and to have in his personal collection.

When he left power and the new government was established, the jewel was placed in a treasury building and occasionally taken to a museum or two. Marchia was currently looking - supposedly - for a buyer, for the money and supplies that the sale would bring. What was the point of having such an item just sitting around if you weren’t getting anything out of it? She figured selling it would be of much greater use than it sitting in the vaults.

“How could I even get to the Topaz?” Linke questioned. “I’m not good enough to get past that much security.”

“You’re a skilled fighter,” Quey said. “The Halen incident proved that.”

“That’s very true,” Linke answered. “But the guards weren’t beaten down, were they?”

“No,” Quey answered. “But stealth...”

“I’m not the stealthiest Matoran,” Linke answered. “I don’t think I could even break into the Doppel Nui Police Station, let alone the vaults.”

“The evidence is still pointing at you,” Quey told Linke.

“What evidence is this?” Linke questioned.

“The ‘R’ engraved at the sight,” Quey told him. “It matches every signature of yours’ we could find. And then your symbol was at the scene as well.”

“Why would I carve my symbol into a place I just robbed - hypothetically speaking?” Linke questioned. “That’s just asking for me to give up! Just asking to get caught!”

“I don’t try to understand what criminals think,” Quey said. “I’m not a detective. Getting into the mindset isn’t that important to me. I just enforce the laws.”

“You’re following blindly,” Linke growled. “You have to think about it more. Who cares if you’re not a detective? You should still do all you can to figure out the criminal mind!” he snapped.

“I was never that interested in the psychological method of the job,” Quey replied. “I just want to be able to save lives. To save others.”

“Then go to someplace that needs help. I heard that Metru Nui is undergoing repairs from the Visorak invasion. Go there!”

“That’s not what I mean,” Quey replied. “That’s not it at all.”

“Then find somewhere else to save lives,” Linke growled. “Somewhere not so focused on crime. And by that I mean somewhere where you won’t be persecuted for not thinking like a detective would.”

“You think that the justice element is too thick on this island,” Quey analyzed. “And as a result, you say I should go somewhere where it’s toned down, so I won’t be as looked down upon by people like you. That’s just stupid.”

“How is it stupid?” Linke questioned. “It makes sense.”

“How does it make sense?” Quey demanded.

“Well...” Linke started. “It’s just common sense. How can I even try to explain it to you?”

“Everywhere that justice thrives should be as equally dedicated to justice,” Quey said. “That’s what I believe. Leaving here for another location wouldn’t matter in the world that justice should be.”

“But justice isn’t that perfected,” Linke told him. “It varies based on location. Toa are actually allowed to help on other islands. They’re the main force of justice,” he said, taking shots at the law of Doppel Nui. “Of course things are going to be different...”

“But in my mind, it’s all the same,” Quey answered. “I don’t care if there is a difference. To me, it’s all the same.”

“But it’s not!” Linke snapped. “You of all people should realize that! I thought you were smarter than that!”

“Let me tell you something,” Quey said. “To get to where I am today, I served Epee for many years. I was a member of the secret police and did my job effectively as an officer. I was content with my position. But when I started to realize some of Epee’s orders, and started to follow them and kill... then I realized that I needed power. I needed to be able to control the masses of what could be used for justice. I needed to be able to make sure that would never happen again, but rather that the people would be safe. That’s why I became the Lieutenant of the Guard. So that I could keep the police in line and make sure someone of dark intentions didn’t take them over for their own personal tools, unlike Epee.

“I’ve been doing this job for the last six months. I’ve been shaping it into the image I believe it should be in, one following my beliefs of justice. I’ve shaped the police into a tool to be wielded by myself or by Chief Layef. I’ve made sure to mold it into something that no one can use as their own personal weapon. I’ve made sure my men are honorable, men to be respected and men to show respect. Men who won’t allow themselves to become tools again, those who will respect life, not take it.”

“Very moving,” Linke said. “But there has to be a reason for that. What happened because of Epee?” Linke questioned.

“Why do you think something happened?” Quey demanded.

“You wouldn’t change just because you had to kill a few people, not this much. Not to such an extreme, anyway,” Linke said. “Something had to set you off. Something had to make you the man you are now. Everything is triggered by something. What triggered you?”

“Nothing,” Quey growled.

“You either had to kill someone important to you, or you had to watch them die,” Linke said. “That’s it, isn’t it? Tell me that’s it. I want to be right about this one. I want to see the look on your face when I’m right.”

Quey growled at him and turned around. He turned back, “You know we’re wearing masks. You can’t see my face.”

“Very true,” Linke said. “But I can see your body language. I can see your immense anger,” Linke told him.

“Body language? What a foolish thing,” Quey said. “It sounds like something a detective would use.”

“That’s another difference,” Linke said. “I think like a detective. You don’t. I put into practice methods that detectives would use, while you ignore them. While you even hate them. You hate detectives it sounds like. That’s why you hate me as well.”

“I don’t hate you,” Quey told him.

“Stop lying,” Linke told him. “I can see the lie on your body. That... and well...” He shrugged, “You came after me with such evidence that is obvious of framing.”

“I’m doing my job,” Quey hissed. “I’m looking into you for a crime pointed at you.”

“I wouldn’t point at myself,” Linke said. “Not if I was smart. I think like a detective, you just admitted that. That means I’m smart, since you have to be smart and clever to be a detective. So, I just proved myself innocent, don’t you think?”

“Nice try,” Quey growled. “You’re not getting out that easily.”

Linke shrugged, “I’ll be out soon. I know that much, because I’m innocent. There’s no way I’ll stay locked up in here, or in actual prison. I’m an innocent man.”

“We’ll figure that out as we investigate,” Quey told him.

“So you’ll be investigating too?” Linke questioned. “Isn’t that - in this situation - more of a detective thing to do? Police just come to arrest, to maintain peace. Detectives investigate crimes to get the culprits, who the police arrest. Are you actually going to investigate like a detective will?”

Quey muttered something. He looked up, about to start shouting at Linke, when the wagon stopped. He turned around and opened the doors, looking out at the station. He jumped off of the platform and took two steps forward, enough to meet the figure of Derr running towards him.

“Detective,” Quey said.

“Lieutenant,” Derr said back.

“What news do you have?” Quey questioned.

“We have our culprit,” Derr answered. He pulled a bag off of his belt and held it up. “We recovered the Crown Topaz already.”

Quey looked in astonishment. “Where was it?” he questioned.

“A Matoran of Technology had it. He was trying to frame Recht. He had many of Recht’s works. He was able to copy the logo and the signature, well, the ‘R’, from the works, from the emblem that some of them were, and the signature that a few of them contained. We found him within minutes of starting our search. He didn’t hide his tracks well.”

Quey looked back to Linke and muttered something to himself. He took the keys off of his belt and threw them to Derr as he walked towards the station, brushing past the detective.

“Free him,” Quey muttered. “See to it he gets back home.”

Derr looked to the keys, and then up to Linke, then to Quey. He ran towards the wagon and opened the door for Linke. The Ta-Matoran exited and nodded his thanks. He watched Quey walk off, wondering what actually did happen to him to make him the way he was.

Day Twenty-ThreeEdit

Recht walked around his small underground gallery. He had the area fitted with tables, strong tables, able to hold his large quantities of marble and other stones to carve from. He had wheels for sharpening his tools, many tools stored around him. He had fireplaces to heat anything he needed with, he even had some food supplies around, in case he was so focused he wouldn’t go up to get food, to get energy. There was plenty of stored water, both for drinking, cleaning, and other stores for his art, for anything he would need. He had massive amounts of clay in a dugout in a wall, and more.

The room was a square. It was the size of the store above him, so as not to stretch out to other areas, to under other buildings, just in case someone would find them by digging out. It was large, comfortable, and even had bedding and ventilation, also allowing for life underneath the store. Just in case he got stuck somehow, or something happened that he had to stay down there.

That was put in on Linke’s orders. Recht had insisted that he wouldn’t need such survival supplies, or anything that would help him live down there. He just needed supplies for his art. But Linke had insisted otherwise.

“You’ve been targeted once before in your life,” Linke had said. “If something happens again, at least you can survive down there.”

There were enough tools that no weapons were needed. Chisels, hammers, and more were scattered about, all of them sharp, strong, and hard. Recht would be safe if something happened, if his life was in danger. Even Linke could retreat down there for defense. It was completely secure with only one way in, and strong enough walls to ensure that fact.

Recht did a majority of his work on the Duos Stone in the solitude of the gallery. Linke sometimes called it a bunker, Recht always called it his gallery, or his workshop.

The secondary powers were developed usually in the gallery. Recht had created the powers of Stone down there, but had taken it elsewhere to mature for one week, to gain strength among its’ element, among stones in a mountain.

Now, he had just finished working on another such stone. The one that Linke had created a few days prior. The stone containing the powers of Ice. The unstable stone that Linke had created and used to stop a Dark Hunter threat that nothing else could stop, nothing but freezing the enemy in ice.

Recht placed the Ice stone on a ledge. He walked towards a locked cabinet imbedded in the wall, and pulled a key out of a pouch he wore on his belt. He put the key in the lock and pulled the doors open. They creaked from inactivity. He didn’t open it very often. He had only opened it twice since the year prior, since he had met Linke.

Once to put things into, and then one other time to check on the contents. This would only be the second time he would check on the contents inside.

He looked into the darkness of the cabinet. Light started to come in as the Lightstone rigged in the roofing of it came to life as the doors remained open. He reached inside, his arms up to the midpoint between his wrists and elbows disappearing into the wall as he took grip of the item deep within.

He pulled it out far enough to see. He took grip of the handle that was present, and walked to another table. He put the briefcase atop the table and reached for the two latches, one on each side of the handle.

“What’s that?”

He turned around, startled. He saw Linke leaning against another table, fingering the fully functional Ice powered stone. He slid the stone into the pouch he wore on his belt, alongside his original half of the Duos Stone. He stepped forward, trying to get a closer look at the case.

“It’s nothing,” Recht said, resting his hands on the latches. He wasn’t going to open it for Linke.

“You pulled it out. Aren’t you going to open it?” Linke asked once he noticed that Recht kept his hands on it.

“No,” Recht said. “I just needed some room in the cabinet,” he lied.

“You barely use that cabinet. I could hear the squeak from the stairs. You’re lying to me.”

“Look, Linke,” Recht said. “I don’t tell you what to do with your life. I don’t get involved in your affairs, especially in those of the police. Please have the same respect for my life.”

“You don’t even want me asking questions when I’m concerned about you? When I’m curious?” Linke inquired.

“Exactly,” Recht answered.

“Look. We’ve only known each other for a little over a year. There’s still a lot I don’t know about you. A lot you don’t know about me. How ‘bout we start learning more about each other?” Linke asked. “I’d like to know more about your past. All I really know is that you’re an agent of some Av-Matoran group.”

“Never mention that,” Recht hissed. He walked away from the case, closing the distance between himself and his partner. He grabbed Linke by the throat and stared into his eyes. “Never mention that I was their agent,” he hissed again with deadly intent.

Linke had never seen such rage in his partner’s eyes. It frightened him that Recht would be this violent.

“You say it in such a way that you’re no longer with them. Whoever they are,” Linke gasped. “What... what does that mean?”

“It doesn’t mean anything,” Recht muttered, letting him go. “It was just a faulty choice of words. Now, please. Leave me. I have things to do.”

“Recht, I’m worried about you,” Linke said.

“Why? Because you lost your friend, Allesendro? Is that it? So now you’re attaching yourself to me, to be sure I’m not going to turn sides and become an enemy – a threat? Is that it, Linke? You’re just doing your job as a consultant to the police?”

“I know about the psyche,” Linke said. “You’re acting hostile. The secretive ways you have, the new hostility you show... something’s wrong.”

“Very deductive. Do they reward you or praise you at the station for such an obvious observation?” Recht questioned. He turned to look Linke in the eyes. “I can see, by just looking in your eyes, that you’re very confused. That you’re looking for connections when there aren’t any. You’re thinking about me, thinking about my current actions, and trying desperately to connect the dots. That’s what a detective would do. Connect the dots. But you can’t figure out how they connect, so you’re stuck, confused... scared. Now, Linke. By looking into your eyes and your eyes alone, did I come up with a proper observation of you?”

Linke swallowed hard. “You... you did. You got me right on the mark in a few moments. How... how... how did you do that?”

“Observation is easy,” Recht muttered. “Its’ application of it that you seem to have problems with. I don’t know how you can be such a help to the police. I bet with someone like me they’d solve everything in at least half the time,” he boasted, trying to bring Linke’s confidence down.

“Why are you acting like this?” Linke questioned. “Why?”

“Just leave,” Recht said. “I don’t want to see you again for a while.”

“Recht, answer me!” Linke shouted, now being the one to close the gap. He grabbed his partner by the shoulder and spun him around, now taking Recht by the throat. “Answer me!”

Recht’s eyes appeared dead, uncaring to Linke. “You get many answers acting like this as a cop?” Recht questioned.

“I’m not a cop. I’m a consultant working with detectives. If you’re going to mock me, at least get my title right,” Linke said.

“I am mocking you,” Recht said. “And it’s a lot better than what you can come up with.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Linke demanded.

“A cop is lower than a detective, technically. You’re technically half a detective, which is still higher than a cop, somehow. I’m referring to you as a cop. But now that I’ve explained it, it takes the humor of the situation away. It makes my mock just a sting, not anything for me to laugh at anymore.”

Linke had to hold back from punching Recht. He knew Recht could be callous, uncaring, and more, but he never really saw the Le-Matoran like that. He never saw him as most Le-Matoran were – wild and crazy. He always found a more calm, collected approach to things, which was like Linke’s, but to a greater extreme.

Linke withdrew his arm and glared into his partner’s eyes. “I don’t know what’s with you today, but I hope it’ll be over by the time I get back. I have to go to the station.”

“Good. Go,” Recht told him. He walked towards his briefcase. “Give me some peace.”

Linke watched him for another few moments, and then walked up the stairs, leaving Recht alone in the studio.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into him today,” Linke was telling Gahla as they walked the halls of the station alone.

“You don’t talk to him often, do you?” she questioned. “I mean, other than with immediate danger. You don’t just chat with him?”

“No... not really. He’s not the type of guy you ask about what he thinks of the weather, or something,” Linke said. “He’s kind of hard to talk to sometimes. And today is one of those days. But I’ve never seen him like this. I’ve never seen him renounce his past.”

Gahla gave him a look. “Renounce his past?” she questioned.

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s odd. I don’t know if I ever told you... but he’s an agent of a secret group. And today he told me that he’s no longer one. Or at least, implied it.”

“Wait, Recht’s some mysterious agent?” she replied. “That’s amazing!”

“And that’s why he had the Duos Stones,” Linke told her. “If you wondered about that.”

“I put that much together,” she told him.

“Good job,” he said. “But according to Recht, our powers of deduction pale in comparison to his. He’s amazing at deduction, it turns out. By just looking into my eyes once, he had me pinned down to my very core of my current thoughts. I’ve never seen something like that before.”

“And I’ll bet you did the same before or after, and you came up with almost nothing,” Gahla said.

“How did you guess that?” he questioned.

“The universe would punish you in such a way to make you look the fool before him,” Gahla said. “That’s a given.”

“Well, you’re right,” Linke confirmed.

The two walked into the circular briefing room. Already the two other detectives were there, waiting for them.

Derr approached them, while Cenrik kept his seat. He held out a tablet. “Here. Just got this earlier today.”

“What is it?” Gahla asked, taking the tablet.

She skimmed it over, trying to get the main idea before reading it all, while awaiting her answer.

“It came from Xia,” Derr said. “One of our officers headed there to visit a friend who works in a factory. Long story short, he caught wind of something bad happening and sent this back via messenger. It got through the Dark Hunters’ blockade, fortunately. Seems there’s a crack in their small fleet.”

“How did he get out?” she questioned.

“He was already gone by the time it started,” Derr told her. “Now, the reason why he sent this information is because he caught wind that it was about to happen here.”

“What was about to happen here?” Linke questioned, trying to read the tablet over Gahla’s shoulder.

“It seems that there have been a string of murders,” Derr told him. “They range across various islands, but are all in the same manner. A cut throat, but not deep enough to kill. That’s followed up by a slash to the back of the head, the back of the head pried away, and the brain removed.”

Linke and Gahla were sickened by the description of the murders. “Who would do such a thing? And why?” Linke questioned.

“There’s a link,” Derr told him. “The link is what concerns us.”

“The link is?” Linke questioned.

“This serial killer is only killing specific Matoran. And Matoran alone, it would seem,” Derr said. “And those specific Matoran are associated with a group. Members of a group spread across multiple islands. Usually alone. The main group of them are elsewhere, hiding away, or well protected, or something.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Linke said. “Now, this group. Who are they?”

“Their mission is to give defense to Matoran. They create tools and weapons for Matoran to use to protect themselves with. We think they call themselves the Meiu, but we aren’t certain. Even calling in all the favors we can, no one really seems to know for certain.”

Cenrik approached them. “And we have received reports that a year ago an agent came here, and has subsequently been spotted at multiple occasions since last year. The agent came here under Epee’s orders, and remains on the island. The serial killer is supposed to be coming here, hunting that agent down. All we really know is that he’s a Le-Matoran who wears a Kanohi that we believe is a Trard.”

Linke’s heart skipped a beat when he heard the description. When he put it all together, about how the group members were being killed. About the gruesome murders.

He knew why Recht was acting like he was. He knew about the murders as well.

Recht walked the streets of Doppel Nui, looking into the occasional store windows as he walked. He admired some of the art, but hated most of it.

Most of the sculptures paled in comparison to his works. He believed his works to be the greatest of all sculptors on Doppel Nui, and many believed that. To look at these other sculptures and then compare them to his work was like comparing night and day.

He looked into another window. An orange glow was reflecting on the glass as the day was drawing to an end, and the twilight was beginning. He enjoyed this time of day. It was not light, it was not dark. It was gray. He often compared the day’s rotation as that of a man’s mind, at least, to himself.

Good, evil, and moral gray. The twilight was gray, and was like him. He believed himself as gray over anything else. That group was gray, in his opinion. They were helping Matoran, any Matoran. Good or evil.

He looked closer in the window. He admired the painting. He couldn’t paint nor draw, so he always enjoyed looking at these stores. Then, he saw a reflection next to his own in the window.

“Ah, Recht. Long time no see.” He turned, looking at the black and white armored Matoran of Anger.

Ezim,” Recht muttered, backing away in fear of the Cu-Matoran.

Day Twenty-FourEdit

Linke walked into the store in the early morning hours. He had spent most of his night with the police, investigating what were being called the Meiu murders”, hoping to use a proper name, trying to piece together a profile for the man who was killing the Matoran.

They didn’t have much to go on. What they did have was almost all assumed, which made it very difficult. But they still did the work. And when they had conflicting information, they created a branched plan.

One plan would contain one set of traits; another plan would contain minor variations, or major variations, based on their various pieces of evidence. They continued to build such trees of traits and possible motives from their little evidence until they were sure they could match him to any one of these profiles.

All they knew was that the killer seemed to be named – or at least, using an alias of – Ezim, and he was a Matoran of Anger.

Cu-Matoran were uncommon on the Isle of Doppel Nui, just like they were uncommon everywhere else. If he was here, it wouldn’t be too hard to find him. But some of their evidence from their man on the outside was that Ezim could blend in anywhere and hide everywhere.

Their man on the outside of the island was named Hanu. He was formerly a soldier in the Metru Nui Civil War, so he knew weapons, and he knew warfare. And being on Xia for so long, even though not planned, he was learning more and more about weaponry, especially new and dangerous weapons.

Linke knocked on the door to Recht’s studio. He called down, “Recht! You down there?”

He could hear someone coming up. That was either a good thing, and it was Recht, or it was a bad thing, and it was Ezim.

When the door opened, he saw Recht, and he was relieved beyond belief.

“You’re okay. That’s great,” Linke said happily. “I feared that Ezim got to you.”

“How do you know about Ezim?” Recht questioned, walking into the main room from the stairs. He turned around and leaned against Linke’s desk. “How do you know about him? Do you know everything?”

“We know that he’s been killing Meiu,” Linke said, turning to face Recht. “We got a report from an officer outside of Doppel Nui. Meiu all over are being killed. And we received reports that a Le-Matoran Meiu agent on Doppel Nui is next. That’s you, isn’t it?”

“Could be someone else,” Recht said, shrugging.

“The reports are that he wears a Trard,” Linke told him. “That can only mean you, since the Trard is a fairly uncommon Kanohi. You’re group is the Meiu! Isn’t it?”

“That’s what they’re called?” Recht asked him, also answering the question. “But what do you care?”

“I care for your safety,” Linke told him. “Why? Did you encounter him? Do you know that he’s here?”

Recht didn’t answer him.

“Answer me! This is important!” Linke shouted. “He’s a murderer!”

“You don’t need to catch him to protect people,” Recht told Linke, “He only kills the Meiu, if that is indeed their name. I’m the only one on the island. I don’t think he’s a threat to the populace. To the order of the island.”

“That’s not the point!” Linke shouted. “The point is that he’s a threat to you! That he’s a threat to many more of the Meiu! That he’s already a serial killer, and he needs to be stopped! Now, have you seen him around here?” Linke had taken to using the proposed name.

“I saw him yesterday, during the twilight,” Recht said.

“How do you know it was him?” Linke questioned. “We need to be positive.”

“Don’t tell me,” Recht said. “He’s a Matoran of Anger.”

“He is,” Linke confirmed.

“In my year on this island, I’ve seen two Matoran of Anger. One who was here on a trading ship, and Ezim. I don’t know of any who live on this island. And the way he spoke to me reveals that it is him.”

“How do you know that?” Linke demanded.

“Because I know Ezim,” Recht answered.

“How do you know him?” Linke questioned. “Is he one of you gone rogue, or something?”

“That would be clichéd,” Recht said, shaking his head. “No. He was once someone we helped. He was living on the Tren Krom Peninsula, so we gave the Matoran there some weapons, some tools for survival. He was there. And when the three of us agents were about to depart, he and his group of bandits cornered us and captured us.

“They tortured us for two months, demanding secrets so they could create more weapons on their own, without waiting for the Meiu to come. Wanting more powerful weapons than we would provide them with. They wanted to be conquerors. Ezim, at least, wanted that. And he had followers who would do anything for him.”

Recht’s voice became unsteady. He lost his cool, stoic demeanor and started to shake visibly. His voice started to change pitch constantly as he lost focus, as his emotions started to flood in to him. He rubbed his arms with his opposite hands, as if he were cold.

“He did unspeakable things to one of my companions. He did so much torture to him that he begged to be killed. He begged to be killed in a way that would make you sick to your soul. A way that would be so painful, you’d want to live through whatever torture you were trying to escape from. Except that Ezim’s torture was so much greater than the pain that this death would bring. That’s the scary part of this... Ezim was a master at torture. He and his bandit comrades. He had an entire village under his command after torturing only one Matoran to the brink of death and back, and back to the brink. For months he held one Matoran like that in the outskirts, and travelers would see this. They would be held at swordpoint and forced to watch this, until word spread and Ezim walked in and took it all without opposition.

“He was never opposed. But we didn’t know about it when we were sent there to supply the village with tools for survival. Ezim was a power hungry monster, and he still is, it sounds like. We were fully aware of what was going on, but we tried not to care. I didn’t even care. I’m sure my comrades did, but they tried not to show it. When we were tortured, and my one comrades was in such pain, my other comrade and I could no longer watch. He screamed our names so much that I’ll never forget his voice. When I’m in silence, I can hear him screaming for us. I can’t even remember his name, since I only heard ours being called, and Mata Nui’s, begging the Great Spirit for death to come to him, to escape the pain. He even begged to Karzahni for death.

“After two months, my surviving comrade and I managed to escape. We fled for the shore of the Peninsula against out better judgment. We managed to reach the waters, but Ezim and his men were right behind us. They used our tools against us, trying to kill us, but we leapt into the waters, fighting against sure death from the tides, from the waves, from the spiked rocks behind us. We swam for our lives, hoping to get out of range. No matter how far we would need to swim, we would rather swim until we died of fatigue rather than go back.

“My last comrade died in the waves. He didn’t have the strength since half of his arm had been cut into. His muscles gave out quickly, and he drowned, leaving only me. I managed to swim to a fishing boat that I found, and was taken back to the Southern Continent. From then on I never thought about Ezim, and only continued my job as a Meiu agent.”

“Why is he killing the Meiu, though?” Linke questioned. He could see how shaken Recht was from telling the story, but they needed information.

“I guess because two escaped him, and one escaped with his life. I guess he doesn’t want the weapons anymore, he just wants vengeance. Maybe he’s looking for me specifically, and just killing those in his way. I don’t know.”

“You know,” Linke said. “He told you, didn’t he?”

“When he talked to me yesterday... he mentioned he misses torturing me. He misses my screams, he misses the screams of my two comrades, but they’re both dead. He wants to hear me scream again before I die. Then he left. That’s it.”

“Why didn’t he kill you last night?” Linke questioned.

“I... I don’t know,” Recht said, slumping to the ground. “Linke... I’m scared. I renounce my old allegiance, I told you that. It’s because of him.”

“Will it do you any good?” Linke questioned.

He shook his head. “I doubt it.”

“Is there anything else you have to say?” Linke questioned.

Recht didn’t say anything. He just sat there.

Linke crouched by him. “Stay hidden in the studio. I’m going to take this information to Gahla and the others.”

Recht slowly nodded, just sitting behind the desk, on the floor. Linke rose. He didn’t want to leave Recht, but he couldn’t bring Recht with him, not like this. He was sure Recht could go on on his own.

He ran to the door and ran down the streets, heading towards the station.

“That was a beautiful sunrise for such a terrible day,” Gahla told Linke as the two walked towards the store. Gahla didn’t want to run. She had chased a criminal the other day and had twisted her ankle, making her unable to run. She could walk just fine, however.

“I know,” Linke replied. “It’s just opposite of what we need.”

“Linke... you’re not telling me everything,” the Ga-Matoran told him.

He turned to her. “Recht’s scared,” Linke said.

“Well, of course he is!” Gahla exclaimed. “Someone is after his life! Anyone would be scared.”

“No, you don’t get it,” Linke said. “I’ve never seen Recht scared before. Not even when I met him, when he was summoned by Epee. I was scared out of my mind during the whole event, during everything that happened. But Recht was never once scared. He was always confident, he always was sure of what he was doing, because of the Duos Stone, and he was Meiu. I can’t say the same for myself. But this morning... he was scared. He was frightened to such a state that he couldn’t move. He told me about his past... how he and two fellow Meiu agents were tortured by Ezim. Tortured in such unimaginable ways it would make you hurt just thinking about it.”

“Torture?” Gahla gasped. “How long?”

“Two months,” Linke replied. “And in such terrible pain. Ezim even told Recht last night that he wants to hear Recht’s screams again, and the screams of the others... if they were alive.”

“You said Ezim controls an entire village. And surely, more by now. Why would he leave it all and go on a killing spree?” Gahla questioned.

“I don’t know,” Linke said. “Recht might, but he’s not talking. I guess Ezim just got so angry at Recht’s group that he decided he should finally take revenge.”

“And he’s doing a good job, so far,” Gahla said. “Except not on the object of his desire.”

“I know. And for that, Recht has to stay safe. He has to stay alive, no matter what.”

“You think you can protect him?” Gahla asked.

“I hope so,” Linke replied. “And we have the Duos Stones if all else fails.”

“What if Ezim has some Meiu weapon?” Gahla questioned.

“We can assume that everything was done by a simple knife or dagger,” Linke answered. “The medical examinations show that, don’t they?”

“They do,” Gahla admitted.

As they entered the shop, Linke could see that the door to Recht’s studio was open. He shouted and ran for the door, leaving Gahla to struggle on her own after him.

He hurdled the desk and ran down the stairs, nearly tripping over himself as he ran. Once he reached the bottom he looked around. There was no one around. But on the counter was Recht’s Duos Stone and the artificial half that held Stone powers.

Gahla struggled down and looked around with him. “You don’t think...?”

“No. He can’t be dead,” Linke said. He rushed forward and found the briefcase that was locked up the day before, that Recht was looking at when he had interrupted the Le-Matoran. He snapped it open, but there was nothing inside.

“What was in it?” Gahla questioned.

“I don’t know,” Linke answered. There was no indentation to give anything away. Whatever was inside just sat there. “But I think Recht went to finish things. I think he went to confront Ezim on his own.”

It was midday as Recht reached the center of the island, the mountain range that split the island between the civilized Matoran half, and the heavily forested, Rahi half. There were trees coming across the mountains, making the civilized half fairly thick yet at the base.

Standing in the shade of trees was the figure of Ezim, watching as Recht approached him. Smoke was around Ezim and the remains of a fire were behind him. He had camped here, evidently.

“You came,” Ezim said. “I can hear your screams now.”

“No, no you won’t,” Recht said. “Because the police know where you are. You won’t get out of here.”

“I have to be leaving anyway,” Ezim said. “Because if you got the police, I don’t want to fight through them. I wouldn’t be able to deal with all of them. And I have other targets. Targets that I want to kill before I hear your screams again. I want to compare the sounds before I decide when you should die.”

“You tortured everyone before you killed them, didn’t you?” Recht demanded.

“Of course I did. That’s how I compare the screams. If they are better than you three, then I keep them alive for a time. If not, I kill them. I need more comparisons before I come back for you,” Ezim told him. He turned to the shore, about half an hour’s walk away, “Goodbye, Recht. Until the next we meet, and you’re once more my prisoner.”

“What makes you think you can leave?” Recht questioned.

“You’re not the killing type,” Ezim said. “As I torture, I know. I know the people I torture through their screams, through what they shout. And I know that you’re not one to kill. You care about life too much to kill someone. And I’m sure the police – if they’re coming at all – are too far behind. They would catch me eventually, but it’s not worth it right now. Not yet. So I’ll go, and come back later. And you’ll never have me killed. You’re too much of a Meiu, too much of a preserver of a Matoran’s life. That’s why you’re weak, Recht. You care too much.”

Ezim began to walk again, kicking the remains of the fire as he walked.

“Ezim!” Recht shouted.

Ezim turned around, smoke again curling around his body. “Yes?” he questioned.

Recht looked through the tree cover, into the blocked sky. He was trying to think of what he should say, but nothing would come. He looked down, knowing what he needed to ask Ezim. It was an important question for such a beautiful day.

“Did you see the sunrise this morning?” Recht asked.

Ezim almost laughed, but didn’t. He looked up as well, and then back down, taking the question seriously.

“Of course I did. It was beautiful.” He truly meant it. “Why do you ask?”

Recht pulled a small, golden-ended handgun from his belt, aimed, and fired his single elemental shot into Ezim’s head.

Day Twenty-FiveEdit

“Anything new?” Cenrik questioned the Onu-Matoran as he walked in. Derr looked to him, leaning his feet on Derr’s desk. The look he gave – even behind a Kanohi mask – told Cenrik to take them off. The Po-Matoran quickly complied.

“Yes. Two new orders of business, actually,” Derr told his second Junior Detective partner. He laid out two slabs of stone on the desk. “Both of them are very interesting cases.”

Gahla and Linke were also in the room. They walked over to look at the tablets. Cenrik leaned forward, taking another look at them.

“The first report is that a corpse has been discovered to the east,” Derr told them. “By the mountain that separates us from the Rahi.” He showed them a picture carved at the bottom. It was a rough composite sketch of the body. The head was noticeably disfigured, as if a corner had been completely blown out by some powerful attack.

“Do we have any identification on this guy?” Cenrik asked. “Or any clues as to a killer? Or what could have even done something like this?”

“It could have been a Nui-Jaga,” Gahla put in. “The stinger could have probably made that hole.”

“It’s a rough sketch, but the hole is properly proportioned,” Derr said. “The stinger of a Nui-Jaga would take more of the head out.”

“Well... maybe some form of anomaly among the Jaga,” Gahla suggested. “Something to create a smaller stinger tail...”

“No,” Derr told her, “It wasn’t a physical object. Karok can already tell that much. It was something like an energy blast, he figures.”

“An energy blast?” Cenrik questioned. “What could cause an energy blast? Was it a Dark Hunter?”

“That’s the thing,” Derr said. “The corpse is of Ezim, the Meiu killer.”

“Ezim?” Gahla questioned, pressing forward. “Are you certain? Are you sure that someone took care of him?”

“We are,” Derr said. “All of our information points towards this being him. Matoran of Anger, same Kanohi. The thing is, even if it was a decoy corpse, where would he get another Cu-Matoran, or get whatever could create such a wound? And the armor is natural. It’s not like it was forced onto another body. It’s Ezim.”

“How did you find the corpse?” Linke questioned.

“Someone left a message here, at the station. A few officers went out to check it out, and sure enough, just as the message said, there was the corpse. Or, at least, that’s what I’ve been told,” Derr explained.

“I don’t understand,” Linke said.

Quey apparently, in another version of the story, was the one to tell the others where the corpse was, and headed out with other police to confirm this fact. So one version is of a message telling us, one is that Quey came with the knowledge,” Derr told them.

“So... could Quey have been the one who killed Ezim?” Cenrik questioned.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility, except for the wound,” Derr told him. “The wound is the only problem.”

“Right. How would he create such a wound...” Cenrik muttered.

Linke needed to throw something out. He needed to prompt another option, since no one else was throwing it out. He knew it might be bad to throw out, might bring bad publicity, but it needed to be said.

“It could have been the Toa,” Linke said.

“The Toa...” Derr muttered. “He would have murdered a killer. It seems like something he would do... but then again, how would he know for a fact about Ezim?”

“Let’s just assume he knows,” Gahla said. “And let’s assume it was him. He did a great service to us.”

“I guess,” Derr said, shrugging. “Anyway, what’s done is done. The police are currently out looking for whoever killed Ezim, and any clues. They have two detectives with them, at least. Now, we have an assignment.” He directed them to the second slab. “We got a Ka-Matoran on drug charges.”

“Drugs?” Linke questioned. “Ethanum and Ambrosil?”

“Yeah,” Derr said. “And not just any Ka-Matoran. We got the Matoran of Spirits named Phasm. If you recall, it was his art gallery that had the underground parlor that we investigated while searching for the ‘Ghost’.”

“So, Phasm is connected to this,” Gahla muttered. “Was he just dealing? Or was he using? Or what, Derr?”

“He was dealing,” Derr said. “I’m heading in to question him right now. You three come with me. Recht, I’m counting on you to try to pick up anything off of him.”

Linke nodded. “No problem. I’ll watch his body language.”

“Good. Come on,” Derr led them out of the room, towards a holding room to interrogate the white and blue armored Matoran who wore a Kanohi Iden, living up to his name and elemental affinity.

Phasm was in handcuffs, sitting facing towards the door. As Derr and Linke walked in – the other two in a side room, watching through a one way window – Phasm stared at them, but mostly at Linke.

“Recht... what’s Recht doing here?” he questioned, pressing for answers.

“Recht is a consultant,” Derr said. “He’s proven very useful in the past. He’s here to observe this interrogation. Now, Phasm. You were brought in on the charge of dealing drugs on Doppel Nui. Drugs are forbidden here. Used, but forbidden. If you comply with us, you’ll get a better sentence than you normally would have.”

“Comply. How?” Phasm questioned.

“Give up a list of clients, a list of users on the island. We’ll take care of them, and you’ll get a lenient sentence. Also, give up any suppliers and accomplices,” Derr told him.

“You’re after the ‘Ghost’, aren’t you?” Phasm questioned.

“Of course we are. If you can give him to us, you’ll be pardoned of your crimes. We want him that badly,” Derr said. “Now, can you give us any information?”

Linke watched intently. He was waiting for anything, any shift in posture, any movement of the eyes. Anything to betray what Phasm was thinking.

“He’s calm,” Linke said aloud. “I think he’s on it right now.”

Linke was trying a plan. He was trying to unnerve Phasm. He wasn’t sure if the Matoran was using or not. He hoped that the accusation could either bring out fear, shock, or any reaction that could prove if he was indeed using or not at the moment, and hopefully open him to further reading as it went on.

Nothing happened. Phasm sat there.

There was little doubt now that he was using, or he was an incredible manipulator, and able to work against Linke’s brilliant mind.

“Now, give us information, or go to prison,” Derr hissed, leaning forward. “The option is yours, Phasm.”

“You want the ‘Ghost’,” Phasm said. He leaned forward to whisper to Derr. “You’ll never find him. He’s somewhere you would never find him.”

“Where?” Derr demanded, clenching his fists.

“I won’t tell you,” Phasm chuckled.

“You’d better tell me,” Derr hissed. “If you don’t, then things will only get worse for you.”

Phasm sat back, laughing to himself. “You’ll never find the ‘Ghost’.”

Derr looked to the mirror, the one way mirror. “Get some officers in here; have him dragged off to prison. He’ll serve time for a while. Maybe some time there will get him to talk.”

After about half a minute, two officers walked into the room, fully armed with their daggers and spears. They yanked Phasm to his feet and pulled him out of the room, towards the holding cells. Derr turned to Linke.

“Recht... were you serious? Was he using?” Derr questioned.

“I don’t know,” Linke admitted. “I was hoping that my accusation would get him to reveal something. If he was or not. But nothing happened. I don’t know.”

“He’s good,” Derr said, walking out.

Linke stepped to his side, following him. “Yeah. He’s really good. I think he’s not just some dealer. I think he knows more about the ‘Ghost’ and the entire operation than an ordinary dealer would.”

Derr nodded. “That’s for sure. We’ll get him to talk, no matter what.”

Linke stopped and looked to the nearby door. He looked to the Onu-Matoran. “I’m going to leave, okay?”

Derr nodded. “Yeah, sure. We don’t need you around right now for anything. You can go, come back tomorrow if you want.”

Linke nodded. “Thanks. I’ll probably see you tomorrow then.” He turned and walked to the door, walking out and heading back towards his studio. Ezim was dead, and he needed to question Recht.

“I killed Ezim,” Recht confirmed. He turned to the stairs as Linke reached the bottom step. “I assume that’s what you’re here to ask me.”

“It is,” Linke replied. “How did you kill him? What was that?”

“That briefcase held a firearm. Only someone destined to become a Toa can use it. The raw power of a Toa, the innate elemental energy within a Matoran flows through the weapon and fires a single elemental bullet. It destroys the weapon, but it serves its’ purpose with enough power. I had one from the Meiu, from when I first arrived on this island. I used it to kill Ezim before he could kill anyone else,” Recht said, as if it were nothing. As if murder was nothing. As if killing – which he hated – was nothing.

“Okay. But you could have come to me,” Linke said. His simple answer showed that he was fine with what Recht had done. He understood Recht’s situation, and knew that killing Ezim was the best thing Recht could do.

“Linke,” Recht said, walking towards him. He pointed to a table next to the two of them. “Your Duos Stone is sitting there, along with the Ice stone.”

Linke nodded. “Okay. What about it?”

“I’ve questioned it for a long time. Since we met, I’ve questioned it. I’ve questioned the fact that we’re a team.”

“I don’t understand,” Linke said. “Explain this to me.”

“I’ve questioned if you’re a worthy partner,” Recht said, simply. “And I’ve come up with the answer that, ‘No, you are not.’

“What?!” Linke shouted. “All those battles, all those challenges, al–“

“You see,” Recht began. “You were the only choice at the time. There was no one else to give the other half of the Duos Stone to. Only you. So I chose you. But now, as of late, I’ve questioned it once again. And now, I’ve come to a conclusion. You are not fit to be my partner. You’re more committed to solving crime than to this partnership, to what we stand for. To what the Meiu made me stand as.”

“Recht! How can you say this?” Linke shouted in outrage. “I can change! How can you possibly strip me of my position?”

“I asked you once, and you said no,” Recht said.

“Asked me what?!” Linke shouted.

“If you could feel the elemental power within the Stones,” Recht said. “And you said you couldn’t. I could – can – feel the power inside of them. And do you know what that means?”

“No,” Linke said.

“I used the firearm, which means I’m destined to become a Toa. I have that power within me. And because of that, since I can feel the power inside of the Duos Stones, that’s another sign that I’m destined to be a Toa someday – a proper Toa, mind you. And because you can’t feel the powers, that means you aren’t destined. You’re holding me back.”

“So you want someone who will become a Toa someday,” Linke said. “Good luck with that. And when you fail in that quest, I’ll be right here, waiting.”

“I’ve already found somebody,” Recht told him. “Someone else destined to become a Toa. Someone else who can feel the energy. Someone I can trust to do the job, and be devoted to it alone.”

“Who?” Linke demanded.

He saw movement in the corner of the room. The corner held a small room which had Recht’s sleeping quarters and various supplies, if needed. As the figure stepped into the light of the main room, Linke was shocked.

“Recht... or should I only refer to you now as your normal name, ‘Linke’?” Quey questioned. “What do you prefer at the precinct?”

“Recht,” Linke hissed in answer. He turned to the real Recht. “Recht, how could you do this? Quey is the police lieutenant! He’s an enemy to the Toa!”

“No,” Recht said, walking towards the Ki-Matoran. “He’s a believer in justice. He believes in the cause, now that he knows the entirety of the situation. Of the Duos Stones. He’s fully committed to helping me to keep peace here. To protect the island as we were supposed to be doing.”

“As lieutenant, I don’t need to be at the precinct,” Quey said. “I have so many officers to do that job. I barely have to do anything. I can be the perfect partner to Recht, that means. I can be the perfect power for the Toa. Air, Crystal, Stone, and Ice. Crystal is a much better power than Fire, Linke.”

“Go,” Recht said. “You can still stay here, of course. You own this building. And I’ll be staying down here, as always. And you must still act as a front for me, if you don’t want people to question why the great Recht is no longer working. But as far as I’m concerned, go and be a proper detective, or officer, or whatever. You’re no longer a Toa.”

Linke glared at the two of them. The two smug Matoran. He always knew that Quey, from the moment they met, was a smug man who he didn’t care to ever see again in his life. He knew Quey as someone who was a commander – one who liked to command – not necessarily one who was good at it. He always knew Recht to be one who followed his duty, and who followed wherever his boredom left him – his work, his carving.

Combining the two into a single dual-elemental Toa actually made sense to Linke. Their personalities seemed to fit together fairly well. And Quey’s experience – without a Trard – would still keep the skills of the Toa at their peak.

“Fine,” Linke muttered. “I’ll go. I’ll go and join the police properly.” He walked to the stairs. “But Quey, we never speak of this at the station.”

“Agreed,” Quey answered.

Linke looked back, looking at his former partner. The man he had fought side-by-side with for the past year. Whom he had put his life into the hands of, and vice-versa. Now he was just being discarded.

“Recht. If you ever need me... forget it,” Linke hissed, walking upstairs.

Day Twenty-SixEdit

Linke’s life was in a tumultuous position at the moment. He had been serving as part of a dual-elemental Toa – making up and fighting as half of a Toa – a hero, a protector to the island, whether they wanted the Toa or not. Now, it was in tumult.

He had been wrapped up in a police investigation nearly a month ago. He had been arrested for the murder of a Matoran, and only because of his partner, the enigmatic Meiu agent, Recht, had Junior Detective Gahla, whom he had heard of as a new, hotshot detective, freed him, knowing him not to be the murderer after all.

Recht had appeared on the Isle of Doppel Nui one year ago, at the same time as Linke. Even on the same day, though on two different boats. Linke was traveling, looking for someplace to settle down, to be a merchant. That’s what his profession of choice was at the time. He knew that he could try to become a member of the secret police of the island, but that would take some time. He decided that being a merchant would be a good use of his time until then.

He had been trained by an amazing instructor by the name of Tezka. Tezka was renowned in the Southern Continent for his abilities. He had trained in the Southern Islands for much of his life, and had perfected a style of combat. Linke had persuaded him to teach it to him, and Tezka had eventually accepted, and taught Linke his fighting style.

That being said, Linke was an amazing combatant. He needed no weapon to defeat an armed opponent. A larger opponent. A stronger opponent. A faster opponent. He knew how to deal with them all thanks to Tezka.

Then he had had a run-in with Recht. When things got bad, Recht was forced to give half of the Duos Stone to Linke, who had accepted it so he could live. The two of them became a single Toa, and with their twin Kanohi Trard, and Linke’s skills, as well as Recht’s skills – not that he liked to show them off – they were able to overcome the threat. From that day on, they had been partners. The incident of their meeting had created a Toa to protect Doppel Nui from threats that the police couldn’t handle.

Now, it was all over. With Recht taking Quey as his new partner, that left Linke out of it. Linke was now on his own, no longer a Toa. No longer a powerful being who was justice unto himself for the sake of the island.

He was just a Ta-Matoran who worked as a consultant detective.

He was no more important than the other detectives, the other police officers. He no longer had a position of absolute power, power that could help to hold the island together. And now, especially with the fleet of Dark Hunters laying siege to the island, he was needed more than ever as a Toa.

He was sure that Recht and Quey could handle it, given time. But Linke had known Recht for the past year. For that year, they had trained together, lived together, fought together. They had been one so many times that neither could count them. They knew each other; they knew how each other thought, fought, moved...

Quey would be a good partner – he was destined to be a Toa, just like Recht was – but there may not be time for them to become one. For them to learn to fight together.

Merging into the single Toa took time to learn how to control. Recht had to control the entire right side, while Quey would have to control the entire left. Their unity would have to be perfect to even walk properly.

One side could take over the other side if need be, but that wasn’t up for discussion. The other side would instantly know because of the mental link they had, and would instantly comply, as if automatically. This was a given, but one under special circumstances.

The Kanohi Trard – Great Mask of Skill – which both Linke and Recht wore, allowed them to be in perfect unity from the first moment they merged with the Duos Stones. Quey wore no such Kanohi, and as such, would be lagging behind Recht, who still had his Trard.

The island would be in danger. The Toa would be next to useless if the threat was too great. Linke could only hope that he would be in the vicinity and able to pick up where Quey left off, should the Toa fail, and Recht be alive, the Stones intact.

Linke stopped his thinking and lifted his head from the desk. He looked to the door, at Derr walking in. Once he saw Linke, he frowned and moved forward.

“That’s my desk,” Derr told him. “Find somewhere else to sleep.”

“I’m sorry,” Linke said as he rose to his feet. “I was actually here because a while back, when Cenrik and I first met, he offered me a job.”

“He did?” Derr questioned.

Linke nodded. “As an actual detective. And I just wanted to come to say... I’ll take the job, if it’s still on the table.”

“What about your art?” Derr questioned.

“I’ve thought long and hard on it. I want to do good for the island, not just beauty,” Linke said. “I’ll still do art, but to a lesser extent. My mind is more suitable for doing good, for being a detective.”

“I don’t know if you can become a detective, even with your credentials,” Derr told him. “It’s a long path, after all.”

“You did it so quickly,” Linke complained. “So did Gahla and Cenrik!”

“I was around before them. I had a spot in the secret police,” Derr told him. “Gahla and Cenrik both joined after the reform. Things have changed. There are multiple psychological exams, tests, and more for you to go through. As the days go by, it gets more complicated to become a detective.”

“Then give me everything,” Linke said. “Every test, everything. I want to do this.”

“I can’t do that,” Derr said. “Not right now, anyway.”

“Why? What’s happening that you can’t?” Linke questioned.

“We have a client,” he said.

Linke was confused. “‘Client’ doesn’t sound like the right word to use.”

“I know, but she’s a client,” Derr said.

“Please, explain this one to me,” Linke said.

“She needs protection. She says there are bodyguards that she could hire if she wanted to, who would be with her at all times. But then she said that she’d rather have someone who is qualified for the job, and has proof of qualification. She chose public security, rather than private. She chose the Doppel Nui Guard,” Derr explained.

“And who is this woman?” Linke questioned.

“She’s a Ce-Matoran who came here through a crack in the lines,” Derr said. “She’s visiting.”

“Another crack in the lines?” Linke questioned. “Those Dark Hunters are getting sloppy.”

“They’re in a war,” Derr reminded. “I’m sure they can’t just focus on laying siege to an island like Doppel Nui with enough manpower.”

Linke nodded. “True. Now, please. Go on.”

“Right. Well, she’s here to see Marchia and to help establish trade routes between Doppel Nui and the Southern Continent, some cities on the south end of it, some port cities. She’s trying to find what we have to offer,” Derr told him.

“Is it just with Doppel Nui?” Linke questioned. “Or the entire Dome of Mashau Nui?”

“Just Doppel Nui,” Derr replied. “That’s because of our smaller size and less options for what we can do. They want to help us, and Marchia has decided to accept their assistance.”

Linke nodded. “Okay, now, why does she need security?”

“She fears that someone is after her life,” Derr said. “And we’ve heard things. We have people on the street, blending in. Mostly, they’re after the ‘Ghost’. But we’ve been hearing about possible assassination attempts on our guest, who, by the way, is named Isha.”

Linke nodded. “Okay. So, she’s chosen the police as her guards. Does this include detectives to look for the assassins?”

“No,” Derr replied. “Not until we have confirmation on any threat to her life.”

“Derr... what can I do?” Linke questioned.

“Until we have time to get you as a detective, become an officer,” Derr said. “It’s not as hard. You just have to have a knowledge of the laws, be able to pass some physical tests, and you’re pretty much set. Go see Chief Layef for more information.”

Linke nodded. “Derr, when I become an officer – because there’s no doubt I will pass these tests, and later, the detective tests – I want to be one of Isha’s guards.”

“No problem,” Derr replied. “I’ll make it happen.”

Linke nodded his thanks and ran off.

The Turaga of Fire listened to Linke’s reasoning for wanting to join properly. He was bored of his art, and wanted something else to do. He wanted to properly bring justice to the island. And until he had time to be given the detective tests, he wanted to become an officer, and be one of Isha’s guards.

“Very well,” Layef said. “I’ll see to your examinations. And I’ll also be sure to tell Isha that her guard is chosen.”

“Just one guard?” Linke questioned.

“That’s all she should need with someone of your skill, Recht,” Layef said.

Linke nodded. “I guess you’re right.”

Layef looked at a tablet on his desk. “I know you have a knowledge of the laws of the island. I know you’re skilled-you were able to defeat Halen, even though she was transforming into a living weapon. Now, I just need to know if you know the proper regulations of the police.”

“Chief, I’ve been around here for almost a month,” Linke said. “I’ve done business with police and detectives in the past. I spend most of my time here, helping with crime. I think I know the regulations and procedures that come with being an officer.”

“You should know them,” Layef agreed. “I’m going to trust that you do. I really just don’t want to administer these pointless questions to someone like you, Recht. Welcome to the police force.”

Linke shook Layef’s hand. “I’m happy to be here, Chief.”

“Now, Isha is waiting in the main lobby. And the meeting will be happening shortly. Go meet her, and get going.”

Linke nodded. “Will do, Sir.”

Linke rose and walked out of Chief Layef’s office. He walked into the lobby of the station, and then realized he had no robes, no badge, nothing. He had no way to show that he was an officer now.

He decided not to go back. Most of the officers and detectives knew who he was. He should be fine.

He saw the blue and gold armored Matoran sitting in the lobby, alone. He ran over and stopped in front of her.

“Isha?” he asked her.

She looked up. She wore a deep blue Kanohi Huna, “Yes?”

“My name is Recht. I’m the officer assigned to protect you,” Linke said, holding his hand out.

She took it and shook his hand. “Recht... I’ve heard that name before.”

“I get that a lot,” he said. “But that’s because a lot of people actually know who I am. I don’t know if you do.”

“You’re the famous sculptor!” she exclaimed. “I know of your work, along with many others from the island.”

“You do, do you?” he asked.

She nodded. “That’s what we’re here for. Trading supplies for art, if need be,” she told him. “So I did my research, and I learned about you.”

“Glad to know my reputation spreads out farther than just Doppel Nui,” he told her.

“So, are you an officer now?” she questioned.

“I was a consultant detective, but until I can become a proper detective, I’m an officer,” he said. “I’m doing less art these days, and wanted to do justice.”

She nodded. “That’s a very good career choice, I think. But are you the best choice for my guard?” she looked over his body. “You don’t have any designation nor any weapons on you.”

“The designation... I know. I just became an officer before I found you. I guess that doesn’t matter for now. And I don’t use weapons.”

“Don’t use weapons?” she questioned. “How can you not use weapons if you’re an officer?”

“I was trained by one of the greatest Matoran combatants in the universe,” he replied. “Tezka.”

“Tezka!” she exclaimed. “He trained you?”

The two moved through the streets which were fairly busy for the time of day. Linke nodded. “Yeah, he was my teacher. After some persuasion, he finally taught me his style.”

“That’s great! I feel completely safe with you, Recht.”

“You trust Tezka’s abilities that much?” Linke questioned.

“I trust his techniques,” she replied. “So yes.”

As they walked, the crowds became less and less. Eventually there were only two or three other Matoran around on each block.

“Only a few more minutes,” he said. “We’ll be at the city hall then.”

As the turned around another corner, someone stepped out of the building. He turned the corner after them, drawing a dagger from his belt.

“Don’t panic,” Linke whispered. He spun around, but the figure was gone. “What?” he muttered.

He heard a shout, and turned around. The man was gone, but two more Matoran were grabbing Isha, pulling her away, binding her arms and legs with rope.

“Isha!” Linke shouted, running at the men. He leapt forward, kicking one of them to the ground. He spun around, going for a kick at the other’s chest.

This one was fast. He pushed Isha back and dodged back himself. He drew a dagger from his belt and leapt forward, slashing, but he missed as Linke dodged back.

He threw a punch as hard as he could, striking Linke square in the face. Linke hit the ground hard and stayed down.

“Recht!” Isha screamed. “Someone, help me!”

The Matoran struck her, keeping her quiet. He carried her off as Linke pushed himself back to his feet. He shouted her name, and tried to run after her, but found that his legs didn’t want to work properly. The blow had really rattled him.

He saw the downed Matoran and grabbed him by the shoulders. He propped him up against a building and shook him a few times.

The Matoran’s eyes finally came to life. He looked at Linke. “What?” the Matoran hissed.

“Don’t ‘what’ me!” Linke shouted. “Where is Isha being taken? Tell me or die!” He took the dagger and held it to the Matoran’s throat. “What’s your motive?” he demanded.

“Kill me,” the Matoran hissed. “I won’t tell you where she is.”

“What’s your motive?” Linke demanded, trying to get any information he could.

“Our group – cult, as some call it, even on the inside – is going to sacrifice the Ce-Matoran,” the Matoran said. “Then our dark Master will awaken once she’s sacrificed on the morrow!”

Linke slammed him into the wall, smashing the head into it, knocking him unconscious. He let the body slip to the ground and then ran, searching for any backup he could find.

Day Twenty-SevenEdit

“Today’s the day that the Matoran said Isha would be sacrificed,” Layef said. “Recht, you were supposed to protect her, and we’re almost out of time!”

“I did my best,” Linke hissed. “I tried, okay? I tried.”

“You didn’t try hard enough,” the Chief hissed. “Now go! Go and find her.”

Linke pushed himself out of the chair and walked out. He then left the station. He knew that there were many officers searching, as well as detectives. He wasn’t needed to search. He had something else to do.

He stood at the window of the main room of his store. He looked outside, into an alley that was mostly hidden from the street. He watched as Quey and Recht sparred with each other, learning each other’s styles, fighting moves, preferred attacks.

Anything that would help each other later.

Recht was pretty good on his own, even without the Trard when he became a Toa. He had skills from being a Meiu agent, and from being tortured by Ezim. But Quey had greater skills. He led the entirety of the police force, with only Chief Layef above him. He, being second-in-command, as a lieutenant, had to have incredible fighting skills.

They would be amazing together, Linke was sure.

“Do me proud... Quey...” Linke muttered about his replacement. “You had better make Recht proud. He chose you... make him proud.”

He walked to the desk and sat down. He gazed at the door. He knew there were requests, but he couldn’t give any to Recht. He didn’t even like looking at his former partner anymore. He couldn’t speak a word to him, not while trying to fight down his outrage at being replaced, his anger, his animosity.

He had to let Recht and Quey be their own duo, and not say or do anything to or for either one of them. He had to let them be autonomous, without his shadow hanging behind them.

He had a job to do. He had to do it. He knew the other police were out looking, but he had to do his part.

He wasn’t an officer, but rather, more of a detective. He could use his skills to find her. He had to!

She was taken from his custody. His honor was scratched, his job on the line, and the life of an innocent Matoran also on the line, in desperate peril.

“I need to find her,” he hissed. “I can’t allow her to die on my watch.”

He focused, trying to think of the details of the day before. The Matoran he had brought down was being interrogated. Any information he would give through the legal means would be of vital importance.

Legal means were sure not to work, however. Linke was sure of that.

The Matoran had told Linke to kill him. He wasn’t going to get any information from the man, so he was supposed to be silenced. He was also part of a cult, a dark sect which wouldn’t speak. He would hold his tongue. He wasn’t just talking big.

Linke knew they wouldn’t get anything out of him. They could torture him, and get the information that way, but they wouldn’t. Legally they couldn’t. Even if they did it illegally, the station would become corrupt and be brought down by Marchia.

Then the main defense of the island would be gone. Only the Toa would remain.

And Recht and Quey would be that Toa.

If they got the information, then Linke would have no place in protecting the island anymore. The police would be gone due to corruption, and he wasn’t part of the Toa.

It was a terrible situation. He could go and torture him himself to get the information, without the police knowing about it, but how could he do that? He didn’t even know how to properly torture someone.

Recht might, since he was tortured. However, Quey would be likely to learn of this, and as lieutenant of the police, he would stop Recht, or Linke, or whoever they got to do the torture.

Linke would give himself to save Isha. He would give his freedom, his career, anything to save her. If only he knew how to extract the information, that was. He had to find her before he could give himself to save her.

He ran out of the store, towards the station. He had to go over any clues that had the potential to exist. Those clues were the Matoran prisoner, and him alone.

“I won’t speak,” the Onu-Matoran said.

“You will,” Linke said, leaning over the table.

“No, I won’t,” the Matoran reiterated.

“You will, or else,” Linke threatened.

“Or else what?” the Matoran demanded. “Will you kill me? I already asked you to. Torture? I won’t break.”

Well, that killed the option. But Linke wasn’t going to use it anyway.

“No. You see, I know how to get you to talk,” Linke said, pulling a pouch from his belt and setting it on the table.

“What’s inside?” the Matoran demanded.

Widgets,” Linke replied.

“A bribe?” the Matoran questioned. “Why would I need money?”

“Okay, it’s not a bag of widgets,” Linke said, opening the bag. “Rather, it’s this.”

He pulled the item free. It was just a slab of stone, that was it.

“I don’t understand,” the Matoran said.

“You told me that you believe in a dark power reviving upon the sacrifice of Isha.” Linke said. “You believe in darkness. I don’t think that’s standard, evil darkness. I think you believe in something that you want to rise up and send the entire universe into eternal suffering and misery. Not Makuta, but rather, something more evil. Something spiritual, beyond our very existence. Is that right?”

“So far,” the Matoran said.

“Good,” he said, pushing the slab forward. “You see, I had to carve something majestic for the opening of the city hall a while back,” Linke explained. “And I was sent special marble from a quarry on Angelus Nui. Now, that marble was blessed by the four Seraphim. They are the greatest defenders of that island. That island of majesty, of belief, of light, and of faith. They are on the forefront of defending such faith and actions with their light of majesty. They seem to be the opposite of what you stand for, Matoran, your entire cult is opposite of the Seraphim and Angelus Nui.

“Now, what would happen if you touched this stone?” Linke questioned, grinning, pushing it forward. “If I touch you... will you burn?”

The Matoran scooted back. “No! Don’t touch me with it!”

Linke was thankful that it was working. He was also thankful that Recht had some scraps left, and was mistaken when he had told Linke earlier that none remained. He had managed to find small bits and pieces, and had managed to smelt them together through a miracle of guessing the process. He put the pieces together and started to use heat to fuse the sides, making it as smooth and as much of a small pillar as possible.

He guessed a pillar might be best. It might represent reaching into the light.

It was only about the length of his elbow to his wrist, and it was hollow on the inside. It was a good bluff, and one that was working.

“Okay... don’t touch me,” the Matoran sighed. “What do you want to know?”

“Where are they holding Isha?” Linke demanded. “Where is your base? I need to rescue her!”

“I can’t betray them,” the Matoran said. “I can’t betray my comrades! My beliefs!”

“You believe in darkness, and you’ll be touched by the light,” Linke said, grabbing the stone and pushing it forward. The Matoran backed away in fear, actually falling to the ground out of his chair.

“Okay!” he screamed.

“Good,” Linke said. “Now, cooperate and tell me where to go.”

“Okay, they’re on the southern coast,” he said, “We have a building on the southern coast, just about seven blocks inland of the ocean. The building is marked with an ‘X’ across the side. It looks dilapidated; looks like it should be knocked down. But that’s it. I swear!”

“How long until the sacrifice?” Linke demanded.

“About an hour,” he said. “You’ll have to hurry.”

Linke rose. “Thanks for the information. I’ll be going to rescue her now.”



“You’ll keep that stone away? And I’ll get a reduced sentence?”

“I’ll keep the stone away,” Linke promised. “And I’ll see what I can do about your sentencing.”

“Thank you,” the Matoran said as Linke walked out.

“Whatever,” Linke muttered, leaving him alone in the room.

Linke and Cenrik rode hard on tamed Muaka steeds. They were taken through back streets, so as to avoid startling the Matoran populace, as well as avoiding anyone possibly tipping off the cult of their approach.

“Was it smart? Just you and me?” Cenrik questioned.

“You asking why I didn’t bring others?” Linke questioned.

Cenrik nodded. “Yeah!”

“I trust in you,” Linke said. “I know we can do it! And I need to redeem myself. I know you’re dedicated to helping me. I know you and I can do this!”

“Thanks for believing in me,” Cenrik said, nodding to Linke’s words. “How much farther?”

“Seven blocks in,” Linke said. “Where’s the coast?”

“A few minutes away,” Cenrik answered. “If it’s seven blocks in, we’ll stop in two minutes and search the immediate area.”

“We’ll have to dismount,” Linke said.

“They’ll see us coming on Rahi,” Cenrik agreed with a nod.

The two slowed their Rahi steeds to a stop. Linke dropped down and took the reins around the Muaka, tying it off to a building. He judged the support he tied it to would be strong enough, unless the Rahi was spooked. It was trained well enough not to run off just because there was no rider around, and smart enough not to take a stranger as a rider.

Cenrik dismounted, doing the same as Linke. He checked his robe, making sure that his dagger was under it, attached to his belt. He looked to Linke, who wore nothing to represent a rank, and carried no weapons. He was going in as he was. That was how he fought, always.

Cenrik had heard about how Linke had defeated a Matoran named Halen, who was enhanced through mutations given to her by the Dark Hunters. She had tentacle like appendages from her back, each tipped with a blade. He had easily defeated her with two daggers. Now, scale that down and remove the daggers as a result, Linke was fine.

The two crept around the streets, stopping when they saw a large, dilapidated building with an “X” on it. Linke nodded to Cenrik, and both ran, keeping their heads low.

Linke pushed his back against the building. There was an old door to his left, a crack opening. Cenrik was on the other side, waiting. One of them would probably be able to get in while the other looked for another opening. They would only want one to go in, in case the door should creak too much with being open for too long. Best to get in as fast as possible.

“I’ll head in,” Linke whispered, taking a peek inside. It looked fine. He could see a handful of Matoran up ahead, all in black robes. There were about ten of them. Then he saw Isha strapped to a slab between them, struggling as one was chanting, holding a knife. There were dark designs on the walls around them, and some sort of weapon nearby, a cannon it looked like. Probably to keep intruders out.

“The others should be here soon,” Cenrik said. “They were told to come five minutes after us, right?”

Linke nodded. He had said it was just the two of them, but he knew numbers would be the deciding factor. He would get in before the police arrived, get Isha, and then let the police to the actual work of bringing them in. He knew that alone he wouldn’t be able to. He and Cenrik also would fail.

“Find another entrance,” Linke said, pushing the door silently open. He crept in and ducked behind a box. Cenrik was elsewhere, searching for a way in. He glanced around, seeing them still chanting. He hadn’t been seen yet.

He got up and then looked to his feet. He saw an old dagger lying there, probably from some long past ceremony. He picked it up, and crept forward.

“Look!” one Matoran shouted.

They all turned, seeing Linke creeping for another box. Linke cursed and quickly tried to formulate a plan. He saw them not charging him, but rather, going to the cannon, turning it on him.

“Not good,” he muttered, making a mad dash forward.

The cannon was higher than Isha, and behind her head. It would fire over the top of her body to get at him.

The energy bolt flew forward, forcing Linke to drop. He could feel the energy crackle right over his back, feel the heat of the energy. He rose and continued forward. One tried to get in his way, so a quick punch to the face put him down.

Linke rolled forward as another shot was fired. As he came back to his feet, he threw the dagger as straight as he could, plunging it into the cannon, damaging the wiring and controls therein, frying it.

He leapt forward as the leader with the dagger slashed at him. He got by the dagger, landing on top of Isha. He rose to his feet and spun around, sweeping a leg out to kick one down. He knew that the leader wouldn’t kill him in such a way to get Isha in the process. His ritual wasn’t complete due to Linke’s intrusion, Linke figured.

Linke was about to attack, when someone hit him from behind. He gasped out in pain as he fell, a dagger buried in his lower back. He hit the ground hard, groaning. It hadn’t done any serious damage, anything life threatening, but it hurt. It was immense pain. It wouldn’t allow him to fight again for a day or two, he figured. It wasn’t serious enough to keep him down for more than three days, not with the healers of Doppel Nui.

He looked up, watching another draw a dagger. It was an ordinary dagger, not a fancy one, not like the ceremony dagger.

This one could kill him, he knew.

Linke held his breath and screwed his eyes closed. He prayed that Cenrik would save him, that the Po-Matoran would be right there.

He heard the door burst open, and heard the sounds of feet flood the room, then shouting. He looked up, watching Cenrik come in the building, slashing one Matoran in the back to take him down. The police were taking care of the rest.

And the leader? He stabbed himself rather than be captured.

Day Twenty-NineEdit

Linke walked out of the hospital. It had taken two days... well, a day and a half, for him to heal. The wound wasn’t too bad. It hadn’t hit any major tissue or organs. The tissue hurt, but he had been given something to dull the pain.

He knew he had redeemed himself. He may have been hot-headed in just rushing in alone like that, but it had worked. He had saved Isha by his quick thinking of getting on the table.

He wasn’t sure if Quey would see it that way. Quey had a lot of sway with his position, he knew. He knew Quey could twist it, say it wasn’t a plan, and he could have easily gotten Isha killed by going to her location.

But he was sure Quey would be too busy as Recht’s partner to bother. He despised Quey for becoming Recht’s partner, but at least saw the usefulness in it. It would keep his mind away from trying to stop Linke from doing any jobs for the police.

They already knew that they each had a different method of justice, different beliefs. He didn’t want to get into a clash with Quey again, and with Recht, he was sure Quey wouldn’t bring it up – he wouldn’t have the time to.

He was too busy defending the island to a greater degree than ever before.

Linke started to wonder if anything had happened. He was sure he would have heard of any Dark Hunter attacks, or any sightings of the Toa.

He wondered if Recht had decided to combine with Quey just to practice yet, or if they were saving it for a real emergency.

Linke walked away from the hospital. He was glad to be out of that place. It was the second time he had been there recently, the first being during the aftermath of his game of Uuk-Koi against Unik, and having to leave early to pursue Halen when he put the pieces together, or at least, started to.

Now he had nothing to do. He was properly discharged. He figured he would have to get back to work, but didn’t really know what to do.

He was in a crossroads. One path led back to Recht, to his position as a Toa. A position he wanted back. A life he wanted back.

The other road took him to the station, and the station alone. This road would either make him into a fully fledged detective, or an officer.

He desired his old life. Partnership and acting as a correspondent. He didn’t want a proper job with the police.

He hadn’t even come to the island to get involved in anything of the sort. But rather, he had come to work as a store manager. He was a trader, and wanted a business. He wanted to run a trading outpost, and to do trading as well, until he got employees.

He wanted to be an entrepreneur. One with a challenge. He figured that Doppel Nui would provide him that challenge, making him figure out what to do. Trade supplies for art? For services of artists?

He wanted that challenge of pulling together a living. He wanted to know artists; he wanted to have different people to befriend, to just be around.

Doppel Nui was that place. It was the place where he could fulfill his wishes. His hopes of success, or crushing failure.

That was the challenge he sought in life. To try to carve his own living. To try to do things his own way.

But then he had met Recht. And they were thrust into destiny together.

His unity was with Recht. His duty was to stay alive and pursue his dream. His destiny became that of a Toa.

The Great Spirit must have a sense of humor, Linke decided long ago. He came to do one thing, he was thrust into a situation where the three virtues were tested upon him, put upon him quickly and severely. Breaking any would mean death in most situations that Linke had encountered.

And that was one reason he wanted his partnership back. He was breaking his unity, his duty, and his destiny. The virtues, of course, set into place after he had arrived.

Maybe he could finally pursue a new set of the virtues. Maybe he should get back to his roots. Maybe he should abandon the police, abandon Recht. Go elsewhere on the island and just work as a trader, as a store owner, like he had always wanted to.

But he couldn’t leave his friends, his comrades, behind. He needed to be there, he needed to help them. He needed to help justice thrive on the island. And he had done his fair share of justice dealing.

If it hadn’t been for him, then Isha would be dead. No one else would have gotten the information out of the Matoran like he had. No one would have thought fast enough about how to interrupt the ceremony and keep her alive by thrusting her into the action.

Without his quick thinking, then Doppel Nui wouldn’t have the trade agreement that Isha had arranged.

He had been visited by Cenrik the day before. Cenrik had informed him that Isha had completed the trade arrangements, allowing a new flow of goods into the island from other sources. And that the Dark Hunter blockade was too slack, and they could actually get supplies in and out without worrying too much about it.

But the Dark Hunters were still present. They were still waiting for their chance to invade one by one and find the Toa.

Linke still wondered why every Dark Hunter out there didn’t invade at once and just force the Toa to fight, and they could kill him. He wondered if it would be a waste of men? Maybe the Toa could slip out?

If it was the latter, it wasn’t much of a blockade anyway. He could slip out as it was, probably.

Linke hated not knowing. That was another reason he wanted to join with Recht again. Then he would be on the forefront of the knowledge, and he would be able to do something about it. He would find a way to stop any attack. They always had before.

When Ekiro had proved too powerful, they used the powers of Stone to bring him down, and Linke had learned about the elemental properties of the Duos Stone, about being able to craft new ones, new powers, to replace the standard Duos Stone.

He had created Ice after that. And Ice was the only thing that had helped to stop a potential assassination job by another Dark Hunter. And now Ice was a fully functioning power, according to Recht.

They had four elemental powers between them – and still four between Recht and Quey, since they had his powers over Crystal once they would combine.

Linke imagined the use of Crystal. He assumed, however, that Fire and Crystal would be more useful than anything that Recht had.

Fire being focused through a crystalline weapon would be devastating, Linke was sure. It could function like a cannon, or something similar to that.

But that wasn’t how things were. Linke wasn’t going to be part of the unity of the Toa anymore. Not with Quey around. And Quey was powerful; no doubt he would do his job for a long time. Longer than the year that Linke had been doing it.

As police lieutenant, Quey had been properly chosen. His strength merited him this job, more than any of Linke’s skills had.

Linke was a great fighter. He had learned from who he considered to be the best, but he had no other skills that were useful, other than fighting, and the Trard that he wore.

Linke put it out of his mind as he saw the station up ahead. He pushed the doors open, walking in. He nodded to two officers as he walked by, and approached the area the detectives usually met.

Gahla looked up, surprised to see him. She rose quickly to her feet, “‘Recht’! I’m surprised. I didn’t think you’d be out this soon.”

“It was just a minor wound,” he assured her. “Nothing too bad.”

“Well, you still got stabbed,” Derr said, standing up from behind his desk. “Maybe you should take some more rest.”

Linke shook his head. “I want to get back to work. You can’t keep me from working,” he told them.

Derr smiled at his attitude and nodded. “Okat then.” He sat down. “What’s your job? Officer yet?”

“I need to go talk to the Chief about that,” Linke told him. “I’m about to do that.”

Cenrik walked in as Linke turned around. Cenrik let out a big grin. “Recht! You’re back!” He ran down, clasping his friend’s hand. “I can’t believe it only took a day and a half!”

Linke pulled his hand away. He guessed this was Cenrik’s version of a hug, but he didn’t want to hug Linke, which Linke understood, especially with the wound.

“I’m strong,” Linke told him. “I recover fast.”

“Well...” Cenrik said. “I was hoping to have more time to explain this to you...”

“What?” Linke questioned.

Allesendro is missing,” Cenrik replied.

A chill shot down Linke’s spine. “Missing?” He remembered Allesendro saying exactly one week ago that he would be dead in a week, that a Dark Hunter would murder him for failing. He feared for his friend.

Cenrik nodded. “Yeah... he’s missing. I don’t know what happened, no one does.”

“Has there been any Dark Hunter activity?” Linke questioned everyone.

Derr nodded. “Yeah... we got a claim earlier this morning that a Dark Hunter was on the island. The Matoran didn’t give us many details, but we believe her.”

Linke nodded. “I’m going to go out on patrol,” he said, walking out. He really wanted to go to Recht and Quey.

“Aren’t you going to see the Chief?” Gahla questioned.

“Later,” Linke said. “I’ll talk to him later. I’m not a proper officer... so I’m just leaving.”

“You can’t do that if you do get a proper job here!” Derr shouted as a reminder.

“I know!” Linke called back, rushing out.

He found Recht and Quey on the move, running through the streets together. Quey had discarded his robes and weapons, only carrying a pouch on his belt. No doubt he held the Duos Stone and perhaps the powers of Ice inside.

Linke ran out of a street, getting in front of them, surprising them and himself. “I assume you’ve heard about the Dark Hunter,” he said.

“We’re on our way,” Recht told him as they passed. Linke turned on his heel and followed just behind them.

“I want to see,” he said, answering the silent questions they had.

The group of three Matoran found their location. It was a lush park near the northern edge of the island. They were usually located in the center of the island, near the station. The station could then hit any of the eastern side, the inhabited side. Their middle was the eastern center, not the actual island’s center.

The Dark Hunter came stomping out of the forest. He was about the size of a Toa, but far more muscular. He had razor-sharp armor protruding from his shoulders, and draped down his back like some sort of razor sharp cape. He had an armored helmet on instead of a Kanohi mask, and he carried a blade on each wrist. His armor was a mix of black and dark brown with some dark green, for camouflage.

“Who are you?” he hissed, his voice booming and distorted from the helmet.

Recht and Quey answered by pulling their Stones from their pouches. They stood close to each other, facing the Duos Stones at each other. Energy crackled from between them, forming an arc around the two Matoran, slowly rotating, attempting to pull them into a single being.

Quey screamed. Just like Linke screamed. The pain was intense, but as always, Recht never screamed, never made a sound.

Then, it stopped. No shockwave of power, but rather, Recht standing there, and Quey on the ground, not moving.

Recht looked in shock at the ground, at the unmoving Quey. He looked quickly back to Linke, who was rushing forward.

“The pain was too much,” Linke muttered.

Recht looked back to Linke. No fear, but rather, hopelessness was in his eyes.

“I need you,” he said.

“Really?” Linke questioned. “Or will you replace me again?”

The Dark Hunter rushed forward, drawing both arms back.

“I need you!” Recht begged.

Linke ran forward, claiming the Stone from Quey’s dead hand. He held it out, forming the proper axis of power, forming the proper arcs around them, pulling them together. As the Toa formed, the shockwave rippled forward, throwing Quey’s body aside.

“I have two new Stones,” Recht said. “Water for me, Earth for you.”

“Done?” Linke asked.

“Finished today,” Recht answered.

Linke nodded the head. “On you?”

The pouch that Recht had worn was on the ground, torn free during the fusion. He crouched and pulled a stone free. He looked to Quey. “Grab Earth and change!”

They rolled, dodging the attack as it reached them. The Toa spun around, snapping Linke’s fingers at him.

A fireball occurred at the snap, flying forward, dazing the Dark Hunter long enough for Linke to find the Stone. He rose, and like Recht, put his new Stone to his chest.

The body flickered for a moment, and the Stones changed. The ones inside their bodies were dragged out while the ones outside were pushed in.

Recht’s right side was brown, Linke’s left was black.

“It’s over,” they said, rushing forward. They spun around, lifting Linke’s leg high, dropping an axe kick on the crown of their opponent’s head. Linke looked down, seeing them standing on a stone pedestal to get the height they needed.

They fought well together. Without even having to say anything, the other knew what move to make to accomplish things. They were a fully-automated machine of a fighter.

“Let’s end him,” Recht said.

“How?” Linke asked.

“These two powers go together,” Recht answered. “We combine our powers for a finishing move, just like our standard form.”

Linke nodded. “Do it, I’ll follow lead.”

Recht had them rush forward, throwing both arms back, but bending them at the elbows. Elemental energies flowed around them as they launched their powers forward.

A pillar of stone and one of earth came up, encircling each arm. They crossed the arms into an “X” once they reached their opponent, and slammed them down over their foe’s body, pulverizing him under an avalanche of stone and earth, using the weight and force to crush their enemy.

They spun around, the material dropping down, draping over the body, completely ending the threat. Linke threw his arm out, snapping his fingers once more. “Checkmate.”

They returned to normal as soon as he had snapped. The pair of Matoran walked forward, claiming the pouches, and then clasped hands.

“Good to be back,” Linke told his partner.

Day Forty Edit

Ever since returning to being a Toa alongside Recht, Linke's life had been more normal. He had gotten back onto the proper road in his life. The fork that he wanted to follow.
It had been a while since Quey's death, since he reclaimed his rightfully earned position. Was it rightfully earned? It was. He had put his life on the line so many times for Recht’s sake, for the sake of the island.

Without him, Recht would be dead so many times over.

Quey didn’t earn anything, not like Linke had. Quey had just been good, a great warrior, a dealer of justice. But he wasn’t as good as Linke. And he couldn’t handle the pain. Or maybe, the Duos Stone rejected him. It was possible that the Stone had grown accustomed to Linke, not Quey, and had killed the potential thief of the Stone.

Linke didn’t believe that, and neither did Recht. They were both sure that Quey’s constitution wasn’t strong enough, that he didn’t have what it took to be part of the Toa, part of the proper justice of the island.

When Linke had returned to the station that day, about ten days ago, he had went straight to Chief Layef and had told him of the tragedy that had occurred. That first, he didn’t want to be part of the police anymore, nor a detective. He decided to keep things as they were. Sculpting and consultant work.

Second he told Layef about rushing to the scene and watching the Toa come, with Quey being the first to arrive. He said that in the battle, Quey attempted to help the Toa, trying to hold the Dark Hunter at bay, but he was killed by the Toa’s attack, which also took care of the Dark Hunter in rage.

He said Quey died a hero. One who was doing all he could against a superior opponent, trying to protect the island as he was trained to do. As was his duty.

The wounds showed no indication of anything other than trauma and bruising to the chest, from the shockwave, which Karok hadn’t learned anything from. When he saw the cause of death for the Dark Hunter, and heard Linke’s story, he matched them up, saying the trauma was likely from the stones and earth falling and crushing the Dark Hunter. He was probably clipped in the chest. His organs were shot, so that contributed properly.

He said it could have also been crush syndrome. Keeping a body part cut off for too long due to pressure, such as being crushed, and then relieving the pressure. The returning flow of fluids into the body would act like a poison, killing the unfortunate victim soon after. But he doubted that was the cause of death. He assumed the impact rattled his lungs and other organs too much, killing him.

What was Karok’s opinion of the Toa? Linke asked him. Karok had said that he believed the Toa did a good job, that he could be trusted as a defender of the island. He believed in him to take care of the larger problems, such as Dark Hunters, while he was comfortable with police solving murders and dealing with Rahi and the like.

Linke was pleased to hear that. He was happy that Karok was on his side.

As he left the morgue, he returned to see his three detective partners. He saw Derr lecturing to the two Junior Detectives, and then looked to the door, seeing Linke standing there.

“Well come on in, Recht.” He said. He seemed pretty angry, “You want to help us on our next case or not? You need the details, man!”

Linke walked in and looked to the other two. He looked to Derr, “We have a case?”

“Mysterious murders across the island.” Derr answered, “Same weapon every time, but it’s odd.”

“Odd how?” Linke questioned.

“Stab wounds through the chest, right through the left lung every time. The Matoran died instantly, however, at each occasion. Once or twice can be understood…but not each time, not an instant death. Karok believes some sort of poison was secreted for an instant kill. However, he doesn’t know what it could be, no one in the station does or has heard of anything of the sort, and, the blade is too fine to be crafted by anyone. The ports are watching carefully, and they can be nearly one hundred percent sure no weapons got in that are that fine.”

“Dark Hunter?” Linke questioned.

“Meticulous wounds for the kill?” Derr questioned, “And the location. It was straight in, no angle. Size is a factor, here. The size has to be the same height as the victims.”

Linke shrugged, “Dark Hunters recruiting Matoran again.” He offered.

“Question still remains. How did a blade like that get onto the island? We check too much to have let that slip through.” Derr said.

“Security can’t be perfect.” Linke said, “Could have missed it.”

“A dagger, maybe.” Derr said, “But a blade?”

“How long is it?”

“Cut all the way through the body. At least as thick as a Matoran’s body, and then some.” Derr said.

Linke scratched his chin, “Ok…no missing something that size.” He agreed. He shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe it was here already.”

“But who could craft such a fine blade is the question.” Gahla said.

“In my work, I craft fine, straight, perfect designs all the time.” Linke said, “Many master sculptors do. Maybe we have a master blacksmith here.”

“We went to every blacksmith already.” Derr said, “None can make something that fine.”

“Maybe it’s not steel.” Linke said, “Like I said about sculptors. Maybe it’s someone making a weapon of stone.”

Gahla shook her head, “Cuts are too fine. Has to be steel.”

Linke shrugged, “I really don’t know. I have no idea, sorry.”

“You weren’t here to give us ideas.” Derr said, “You’re here to run through witnesses.”

“We have some?” Linke questioned.

“No.” Derr replied, “But you worked miracles with the arson case about a month ago. I’m sure you can come up with some witnesses if you use the same methods.”

“My methods are known to too many.” Linke said. He looked to Cenrik, “You’ll have to be the front man on this.”

“I heard about what you did.” Cenrik told him, “But I can’t sculpt, so what do I have to offer?”

“Do you know any artists?” Linke questioned.

“You.” Cenrik said.

“Ok, stupid question.” Linke said, “Any other artists?”

Cenrik shook his head, “No, I don’t. Sorry.” Then he looked up, with a new light in his eyes, “Wait…a painter.”

“Who?” Linke questioned.

“My old Senior Detective partner and mentor, Philleppe.” Cenrik said, “He paints now!”

“I heard about him.” Linke said, “Doesn’t he paint really abstract scenes? Said to peer right into the heart?”

Cenrik nodded, “That’s what they say.”

“Then let’s do it. You know how to run the game, right?” Linke questioned, and Cenrik nodded. “Ok, good. Then I’ll be there to watch for expressions when you interrogate them.”

Cenrik nodded, “Ok, I’ll do that much.”

“I’ll contact Phillippe.” Derr said, walking to the door, “You get the word out, I’ll get him in on this.”

“We don’t even need him in yet.” Cenrik said, “We’ll get him after. And if he refuses, we have Recht’s sculpting to fall back on.”

Linke and Derr both nodded, both agreeing. Linke to “sculpt”, Derr to hold off on talking to Philleppe.

“Ok, let’s run the game.” Linke said.

After Cenrik had spread the word around, there were seven Matoran witnesses to the murders. After watching each interrogation and doing some of his own, asking provoking questions, Linke came to a conclusion.

“They all are telling the truth.” He scratched the back of his head, “That’s a lot of painting…or a lot of sculpting…”

“Only if we catch this guy.” Cenrik reminded as the two of them walked the halls of the precinct.

Linke nodded, “Right. Only if we catch him.”

The two walked into the room with Gahla and Derr waiting. “Well?” Derr asked.

“Our information tells us this much.” Cenrik said, “The murderer is a Po-Matoran with brown armor, strictly brown with some tan, they believe, no yellow, unlike me. He was seen around each victim before the deaths, and occasionally leaving the scene after they heard the screams.”

“Well, I believe we have our man.” Derr said, “Who is he?”

“That’s the thing.” Cenrik said, “No one knows. No one can ID him.”

“We’ll check records.” Gahla suggested.

Linke looked to her, “Are the records detailed enough to have armor color?”

Derr shook his head, “No, unfortunately.”

“Then we do it the hard way.” Cenrik said, “We go on foot looking. I’ll get some officers together…”

“Ok, you do that.” Derr said, “I’m going to get some officers together to help us out in this situation.”

Linke spoke up, “I’m going to go searching on my own.”

“Ok, just be careful.” Derr said.

“I’ll go with.” Gahla offered.

“No.” Linke said, “Let me go alone, please.”

Gahla nodded slowly, “Ok…just be careful, Recht.”

“Right, everyone, be careful.” Derr said. “Suspect may be using a very potent poison. Engage only if necessary.”

Everyone nodded and departed, except for Derr, who stayed behind to do some last minute work, some “paperwork” to get the officers.

The three split up, parting ways as the day struck noon.

“You want me to help you?” Recht questioned, pacing around the desk where Linke sat. He looked Linke in the eyes, “Why?”

“Please, just help me.” Linke said to the Le-Matoran, “I really need your help on this case.”

“What about it?” Recht demanded.

“Well…you see…I have an idea of who it is, and what’s going on. I just need your help to bring this guy down and bring him in.”

“Why do you need our powers?” Recht questioned.

“Because I suspect the guy we’re after, the murderer, is no ordinary Matoran. I suspect he’s a Sleeper.”

Recht stared at him with full intensity. “You’re sure of this?” Recht demanded, his voice only carrying a serious tone. He was in no mood to joke or anything. “You’re sure this is a Sleeper?”

“It all fits.” Linke said.

“Dear Spirit…” Recht muttered, as a silent prayer to the Great Spirit, “I thought they were only a rumor, an experiment gone wrong and died out.”

“No experiment, from what I know.” Linke said, “But rather, microscopic entities from another dimension inhabiting Matoran bodies, waiting to be deployed, waiting for their invasion. This fits a Sleeper. The perfect blade, the length of it, the poison…”

“Arm blade from the mutation of the body, of the organics, of the armor.” Recht agreed, “Poison secreted through the organics and through the blade to allow for a kill…”

“See? It fits.” Linke said.

Recht nodded, “Where do you need me?”

Twilight. Linke walked onto a dock. There was another dock a bit away from him, not jumping distance, but farther. There was the target, the Po-Matoran, on the other dock, looking out into the ocean.

Linke looked to him, “I know what you are! Give yourself up, Sleeper!”

The Matoran turned, revealing a dagger in his hand. He threw it across the gap between the docks, plunging it into Linke’s shoulder. Linke fell in backwards into the water. A moment later, the water bubbled up, and the Toa shot up. His right was blue, his left was red. Water and Fire.

He floated on the water’s surface with the powers over Water. He threw both arms out, combining his powers, shooting steam forward, blinding the Sleeper Matoran for a few moments.

Recht had hidden underwater, waiting for the moment for Linke to go under. He also had the Earth powers down there, the Stone being held in-between their knees.

Linke grabbed it and quickly changed, becoming blue on the right, black on the left. They put their hands together and triggered their powers. Mud flew forward, slamming into the Matoran, trapping him where he stood.

One more change. Transforming back to Water/Fire.

Instead of using steam again, Linke threw his arm out, unleashing heat. The mud was heated rapidly, and soon hardened, trapping the Matoran inside. He could form his blade out of his armor and organics, but it would be useless. That, and the bombs stored in his organics would be useless without being able to pull them free, he would kill himself. Sleepers needed to self preserve.

He looked towards shore. Sure enough, the detectives and police were coming. The anonymous tip that Linke had left had worked.

The Toa went back under, taking grip of the Earth Stone which they dropped in. They swam, propelling themselves with the power over Water, getting away from the scene and looking for a better location to surface at.

“Thanks for the help.” Linke said as the two of them walked through the twilight streets. Orange light was on every wall around them, making it eerily peaceful for some reason.

“It was a Sleeper.” Recht said, “I had to help, lest it attack some more and kill us all.”

“Do you think there are more out there?” Linke asked.

“After seeing this one, I’m sure of it.” Recht said, “Just feeling it from a distance, feeling how unnatural it is…it disturbed me. I hope anyone else dealing with a Sleeper is smart enough about dispatching it.”

Linke nodded. He stopped in the streets, watching the beauty of the magical time between day and night.

“Linke?” Recht asked, turning back.

“We’ve only just begun. I’m sure of it.” Linke said, “Partner…I’m sure from today on, our trials will only continue to become harder.”

Recht nodded, and the two continued on.

Day Forty-Three, Part 1 Edit

Recht rose from his work and looked to Linke who stood at the stairs. The Ta-Matoran said nothing; he only watched his partner work.

“What are you making?” Linke asked, walking towards Recht.

“I just finished something.” Recht replied, holding up two stones.

“You made more?” Linke exclaimed in astonishment, “That’s great! What powers are they?”

Recht threw one of them to Linke, “Here is yours. My power is Iron, yours is Sonics.” Recht told him.

Linke looked at the stone. It looked no different from any of the other ones he had. Now, with this fourth stone, Linke had powers over his natural element of Fire due to the original Duos Stone, and specialized, elemental Stones which further gave him the powers of Earth, Ice, and now Sonics.

Recht, with his normal Duos Stone, could gain powers over Air, his natural element. Then he had the powers of Stone, Water and Iron.

As a Toa, they were truly a powerful opponent now. How could anyone stand against such a combination that could easily switch at will? No Dark Hunters could oppose them anymore, not with these new powers in their possession.

It could be said of Linke that he was growing cocky now. He knew how dangerous Dark Hunters were, how any number of them could pose a serious threat to the island, and to the Toa. But yet, he believed that none could stop them when they merged, when they became one. When two partners became one warrior.

No bounty hunter, no amoral warrior like a Dark Hunter could bring them down. This was Linke being cocky indeed. But he also didn’t think that someone without morals like the Dark Hunters could defeat two men with such morals as them, as their Toa form.

It just wouldn’t make sense. But then again, the world didn’t have to make sense. It could easily happen that the Dark Hunters could win. But as long as he lived, Linke would never allow that to happen.

Linke walked upstairs without a word to Recht. He had seen the Le-Matoran anxiously looking for more work, and decided to leave him to it. Ever since they had become partners again, he knew that he should still act the same, leaving Recht to his work, but not to bother him during it. Ever.

As Linke walked out, he closed the secret door behind him and walked to the front door of the store. He walked into the street, looking around. When the breeze came, something felt very wrong about it.

What was it? What could this feeling be?

He felt shivers going down his body. Something completely wrong was nearby. Could it be a Dark Hunter, he wondered? He had no idea what it could be, but didn’t want to be nearby, not without his partner and the possibility of becoming a Toa.

He ran back into the store and to the door. He quickly performed the long sequence of opening the door, finally getting it open and walking down the stairs. He realized he should probably fix that, make it an easier way of getting in. This long, annoying process was one he didn’t enjoy doing, especially in a situation requiring haste like this one.

He poked his head out, “Recht! Something’s wrong!”

Recht looked up from his work. He had a sheet of stone and was carving a scene into it. He got up from his chair and took his pouch, attaching it to his belt as he ran for Linke.

“An enemy?” He questioned, rushing up the stairs behind Linke.

“I don’t know. I believe so.” Linke answered, “A Dark Hunter, I’m sure of it!”

“Have you seen it?” Recht questioned.

Linke shook his head, “No, I haven’t. It’s just…something in the wind feels off. Feels evil.”

“You’re a Matoran of Fire.” Recht said, “No offense, but leave the wind to me.”

Linke nodded, “If I can feel something off, you should have no problems feeling it.” He told Recht.

The Le-Matoran nodded, “My thoughts exactly.”

They raced out to the door, into the streets. They both looked around, both of them feeling simultaneous chills going down their spines.

“Something is definitely off in the wind.” Recht said, “I have no idea what it is…but I don’t like it.”

“Me neither.” Linke said, taking his Duos Stone from his pouch, “Should we get ready?”

“Not yet.” Recht said, “Give it a minute to appear, if it will.”

The two looked up and down the street, waiting for something - anything, really - to happen. Anything to provoke a response that would hopefully end the threat right then and there. Whatever this threat was.

Finally Recht shouted. Linke span around, looking down the street. He could see a tall figure in dull green armor walking forward. His shoulders had spiked armor; his chest armor was buffed out farther than the rest. He walked with a particular swagger in his step. His leg armor, from the knees down, was thicker, and the knee armor pointed up at the end. He had spikes lining under his arms between his hands and elbows.

He wore no Kanohi. He instead wore some sort of strange X shaped chunk of armor over his face. His eyes were on the left and right gaps of the X, his mouth on the bottom.

He was a Toa, no doubt about that. A hostile Toa.

“Let’s do it.” Linke said, walking forward, standing on Recht’s left. They put their Duos Stones out, facing each other.

Energy erupted around the both of them, arcs of power drew them in closer to each other. The power spiraled around their bodies, drawing them into one tall, muscular body. They span around, propelling wind around them to create the spin. The wind erupted forward, carrying hints of fire as it went for the other Toa.

He threw his hand out, stopping the wind. The flames were thrown free of the wind, striking his armor. He didn’t seem to notice as he walked forward, burning intent in his dull blue eyes.

“Who are you?” The new Toa demanded. His voice was completely chilling. It sounded like dry leaves rustling together in a breeze, which somehow fit him perfectly.

“The Toa of this island.” Both Matoran responded at once through the mouth, their voices overlapping.

“So, you are my target.” The Toa of Air said, throwing his left arm out, looking down his arm, pointing his index finger at them, “You’re done.” He hissed.

Crimson energy built up at the tip of his finger. It lanced forward, burning through the air at them. The street below and the walls at its sides crackled as the energy passed by.

“What is that?” Linke shouted.

“I…I don’t know!” Recht shouted back. He threw his arm out, creating a wind buffer. The energy crashed into the wind, but didn’t peel around it and disperse as planned. In moments, the wind shattered - it actually fragmented and shattered, to their disbelief - and the energy carried forward, smashing into the body of the Toa, throwing them to the ground.

“What…what was that attack?” Linke shouted as they rose, swaying on their feet. He threw a fireball forward, carried by Recht’s wind. The enemy Toa easily sidestepped the attack and started forward.

“That is my power.” The Toa answered, lifting his arm for another attack. Crimson energy again built up on his finger.

“We need to switch powers.” Recht hissed, dropping the body and going for both of their pouches. He tore his open with his hand while Linke tore through his with his hand. They rose, each holding a new Stone.

“Power changing.” The Toa said dryly, “I heard about this.”

“Let’s see how you like these powers.” Recht said. “We’ll see if your knowledge can prepare you for this!”

They shoved the Stones into their chests. Light erupted, and the Duos Stones came out. The new Stones entered their bodies, flowing their new power through the body.

The Toa began to shine, and when it died, the Toa was now two new colors. His right side was gray for Iron, and the left was pale blue for Sonics. They both put their pouches onto their sides.

“Let’s end this.” Linke said, throwing his fist forward. From the fist came sonic waves, crashing through the air for the Toa.

He threw his arm up, creating a vacuum right next to the sonic attack, slowly drawing it into nothing. By the time it would have reached him, nothing had.

Recht threw the right fist forward. A ripple of steel from the ground came up, smashing into the Toa, throwing him to the ground.

“Good move.” He muttered, floating himself back up with an air pocket. He took to his feet and threw his right arm forward. His fingers began to glow crimson again, and the power sailed through the air once more.

Recht waved his arm through the air, preparing to bring up a wall of iron to defend them. But as he swept his arm out, nothing happened.

“I’ll stop it!” Linke shouted when he realized Recht’s failure to create a defense. He threw his fist forward, sending a sonic wave out again. But as the left arm went out, nothing happened.

“No!” Recht shouted, “It’s as I thought!”

“What?” Linke demanded.

“Change powers! Now!” Recht snapped, reaching for his pouch at his waist. He tore a new Stone free and prepared to switch powers, but the attack reached them first, sending the Stone down the street, behind them, and their body sailing back.

“Why can’t we fight back?” Linke demanded, “What’s wrong with our powers?”

“The Iron and Sonic powers are unstable due to their strength.” Recht said. He ran back, snatching the Stone again. “They’re too powerful. They’re unstable. They just backfired, Linke. Ok? I failed! I failed to be able to contain such powers!”

“You mean secondary elements…” Linke muttered.

Recht nodded the head, “Yeah, secondary elements are beyond my ability, it seems.”

“We still have primary.” Linke said, drawing a Stone free. He and Recht both put the Stones to their chest, switching powers once more.

Water and Ice. Blue on the right, white on the left.

They ran forward, Linke flicking his wrist to create an ice sword on his arm, while Recht was drawing water up his arm.

“You really think that combination can defeat me?” The enemy Toa questioned. He laughed and ran forward, drawing his right arm up to his left shoulder.

As Linke drew his blade up and slashed it down, his opponent did the same, using the blades under his arm to cut the ice in half, destroying the blade.

“You’re too weak.” The Toa said, smashing into them with his left, pointed shoulder. The Toa went flying back, a major wound on Recht’s side of the body.

Recht unleashed his powers, sending a spiral of water flying forward. The blast struck the Toa of Air in the chest, throwing him back. They could hear him grunt on impact.

“Now what do we do?” Linke muttered, “Straight to the finisher?”

“Why not?” Recht questioned, pushing them up. “Our new powers are too strong, too unstable. They should be able to beat this guy…but without them, what other option do we have?”

“You’re acting like me. More reckless.” Linke said.

“This guy vexes me.” Recht answered, “He uses my powers to his fullest, unlike me. And he uses them for evil. That feeling in the air? It was the wind screaming from his presence, from the poison he brings to the air by fighting for the Dark Hunters. So, let’s defeat him.”

“Ok, let’s do it. Our finisher.” Linke agreed, making his side run forward to match Recht’s.

As the Toa rose and saw his opponent rushing him, he drew both arms to his opposite shoulders. He generated power into both of his arms, and to his hands. As the Toa approached, generating powers of Ice and Water, he unleashed his attack.

He swung his arms down, sending blades of wind rippling forward. The wind smashed into the Toa, sending him flying back, crying out in pain as the blades dug into his body, cutting him severely.

“You’re no match.” The Toa of Air said, walking towards them. “Give up and make my job easier.”

Recht flicked his wrist, sending a blast of water into his close foe’s eyes, making him stagger back from the sudden momentary blindness. As he moved, Linke unleashed his power, creating a path of ice behind him, making him slip and hit the ground hard.

They rolled to their feet and backed away. “I don’t know if we can take him down.” Recht muttered.

“Let’s kill him now!” Linke snapped, throwing his arm out, creating a blade of ice on his arm, leveling it at the Toa.

“No.” Recht hissed, “We’re beaten here.”

“How?” Linke demanded.

He looked down, now seeing the crimson energy burning on every finger of his opponent, all of it crying for release, crying out to kill the dual toned Toa.

“We need to be able to kill him in one move.” Recht said, continuing to back away, “He’d kill us if we tried to impale him right now.”

Linke nodded in agreement and turned to run. As the Toa ran, the enemy Dark Hunter rose, lifting only his right pointer finger.

“I’ll have mercy and not level this street.” He said, taking aim at the Toa’s back. He unleashed his attack, watching it sail through the air, creating a burning smell. The attack crashed into the Toa’s back, sending him flying into the next street, and then he didn’t move.

“You dead?” The Toa of Air shouted, walking down the street to get a look at them. As his minute long walk ended up with him at the location, he looked down, but saw nothing.

Well, not nothing. There was a mound of dirt.

“Changed again, eh?” He questioned, “Hiding from me? I’ll find you! I’ll find and kill you! Just wait!”

With the powers of Water and Earth, the Toa panted. He glanced around, making sure no one was around, and then he spilt back into his two components.

“We have to get away.” Recht said, “If he follows the tunnel, he’ll have us.”

Linke nodded, running alongside Recht. They left the back room of the gallery they had found to hide in, and rushed out into the streets.

“How are we going to beat him?” Linke questioned, “And what is that power?”

“I’m sure it has to do with that X thing he wears.” Recht said, “Now, as to how we defeat him. Like I said, we need more power. We need to defeat him in a single move to stop him from killing us in retaliation. We need to get control of our unstable powers, and fast.”

Day Forty-Three, Part 2 Edit

The two Matoran continued to run, rushing towards the nearest set of densely clustered buildings. They had to hide for the time being. They didn’t want to have to face the Toa of Air just yet. They needed time to train, and a location to do that in.

“How are we going to train?” Linke questioned, “Use the powers until they stop again? And then what? Recht, do you actually have a plan for training?”

“We have to commune with the powers.” Recht answered, “We don’t use them and keep using them until something happens, until we suddenly have full control. We just need to find a quiet place and meditate on the subject.”

“Meditate?” Linke muttered, “They’re rocks…with elemental properties. How will doing anything spiritual help us, exactly?”

“They’re like the Duos Stone. Offshoots of the Duos Stone.” Recht said, “And the Duos Stone is connected to us, mind, body and soul. So, as such, we need to connect with the offshoots.”

“And meditating is the only way?” Linke muttered, hating the idea.

“It is.” Recht said, “Unless you want to forget it and go in blindly.”

“Well, that gives us more of a fighting chance. Even without control, we could just smash him with iron, right?”

“We could, if we could make it work properly.” Recht said, “Just because we got a minute or two of control last time doesn’t mean we’ll keep control. This time we may get five minutes of control, or five seconds. It’s a gamble every time we use them until we get perfect control, perfect synchronization.”

Recht pushed open a door in the alley and glanced inside. There were crates all around, but nothing else in the darkness. He motioned for Linke to follow him in. Once the Ta-Matoran walked in, Recht closed the door.

“This darkness will help us to focus.” Recht said, “And no one should come in here. We should be fine in this back room.”

Linke looked closely at one of the crates. He found one that was open and looked inside, looking at paintings and sculptures.

“We’re in a gallery again.” He said. “Someone very well could come back here to get items for display.”

“We’ll be fine.” Recht said, motioning towards the back of the room, “If anything, they’ll take from the front. We sit in the back, behind some of the piles in the corner, quiet in meditation, we’ll be fine.”

Linke nodded slowly. The logic was making sense to him. So, with that, he ducked behind crates alongside Recht and sat down, his back against the cold wall.

He glanced over to Recht. He saw the Le-Matoran was sitting with his legs crossed, his eyes closed, his hands holding the Iron Stone on his lap.

Linke took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He folded his legs in the same manner and set the Sonics Stone on his lap, holding it in both hands as well. He closed his eyes, letting the darkness overtake him.

“Linke.” Recht was hissing, shaking the Ta-Matoran.

Linke opened his eyes and looked up at the Le-Matoran. “What?” He questioned.

“It’s time to go.” Recht said, “We don’t have time to waste anymore.”

“Did you get a hold of the power?” Linke asked, shaking his legs out and rising from his cramped position.

“I did.” Recht said, “And you?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know how it would feel.” Linke said.

“We have to hope you have it.” Recht said.

“Why? Why so soon?” Linke questioned.

“It’s been hours.” Recht replied, “We’ve been sitting there for hours.”

“Hours?” Linke shouted, his voice reverberating along the walls, “It only felt like a few minutes!”

“Keep quiet!” Recht hissed sharply, leading the Ta-Matoran outside. The sun was setting, casting a glow of twilight along the streets. It really had been hours since they had begun their meditation.

“Why do we have to go now?” Linke questioned, “Is he attacking?”

Recht pulled him out of the alley and pointed towards the city hall ahead of them. They could see Marchia hanging inside of a wind bubble, unconscious and as a hostage, with the Le-Matoran demanding the Toa to appear.

Recht pulled Linke back into the alley and nodded to him, “It’s time.”

“How are we going to do this?” Linke questioned.

“I’ll free her with my normal powers, then we switch and engage him.” Recht replied, pulling his Duos Stone from his pouch.

Linke nodded, “Good plan.” He said, holding it out.

The arcs of power circled their bodies, drawing them slowly together. In moments they stood as one being, power filling their shared body.

They walked into the street, head held high as they opposed the Toa of Air. He watched them, still waiting impatiently for them to come closer.

“You finally came.” He finally said, “I was wondering when you would arrive.”

“Training.” The Toa answered, throwing his right arm out. Recht unleashed his powers, taking grip of the wind encircling the mayor, and scattering it, dropping her body to the ground. It wasn’t a far drop, nor was it a hard surface. She would be fine. But for good measure, Linke had heated the air beneath her to slow the descent.

The Toa glanced down at her and shrugged. He walked forward, lifting his right arm, showing off the blades, “Let’s get this over with.”

He dashed forward, slashing his arm wildly. Every slash was met with the Toa backing away, trying to gain room to switch again. He ducked and span as the Toa slashed at the head. Linke unleashed a fireball into his chest, throwing him away as they stood with their full height.

Both hands drew a Stone and held it to their chest. The powers quickly changed and the Stones swapped. Now the Toa of Air and Fire was the Toa of Iron and Sonics, with gray and pale blue colors.

“This again?” The Toa mocked, “It didn’t work last time, it won’t work this time!”

“You have no idea what went wrong last time.” Recht said, “This time, things are right, so you’re done!” He threw his arm out, creating a spot beneath his palm on the ground where his power was being focused on.

As energy crackled around the ground, he drew his arm up, drawing whatever was in the ground up. He reached down and grabbed the weapon he had just formed, now that the hilt was above the ground.

He swung his sword out to his side and walked forward. He whispered, “Linke, be ready to cover me.”

“I will.” Linke whispered back.

The Toa of Air raced forward, creating an X with his arms, getting ready to use the blades on each arm as a deadly weapon to tear through his opponent.

Linke and Recht raced forward. Recht lifted his sword and slashed down, coming down on top of the X, forcing all of the weight down he could with his single hand.

“That’s not enough strength.” The Toa of Air mocked, “You can’t fight me one handed! You’re not that good!”

“I lack the strength is what you’re saying.” Recht said.

“You are.” The Dark Hunter hissed in reply.

Linke added his hand, applying his pressure as well. “How’s this?” Recht questioned, keeping up the rouse of the single being.

“Better, but not enough!” The Toa shouted, using his elemental powers. Wind circled around them, acting as a vacuum behind the dual toned Toa, trying to draw him back, lose some of his strength, and it pushed the Toa of Air forward, giving him more weight to throw into his attack.

As Linke and Recht dug their feet in, trying to keep up, trying not to lose their position, they knew it was hopeless. This combination was going to overwhelm them, they both knew it. They both knew that the enemy Toa would cut them down if they didn’t do something fast.

Linke let go of the sword and focused power. He threw a punch into the Toa’s gut, throwing him back by unleashing a point blank shockwave. He hit the stage on which Marchia’s body lay, and stayed down for a moment.

As the Toa rested, plunging his sword into the ground as a spot to rest, they could hear their foe’s screams. The shockwave’s sound qualities had fragmented the chest, the armor. The armor was cracked and missing at points. Some of the armor was sharp and was sticking into his muscles, causing him to scream in pain.

The Toa leapt onto the stage, holding the sword down at the Toa of Air’s throat. They glared down into his eyes, waiting for him to make a move.

“You going to try anything?” They questioned as one.

“That voice…” The Toa muttered, “Two elements…two voices…you’re two beings in one!” He shouted.

“That’s right.” Both of them replied at once, “And you’re dead.”

“I’ll survive. I’ll kill you!” He shouted defiantly, charging the crimson energy into his fingertips.

“No, you won’t.” Recht said, leaping back as he rose, drawing both arms back, readying for his lethal blast.

Recht swung the sword out, using it as the medium to unleash his powers. He took control of the iron and steel inside of the stage, and sent it erupting upwards, impaling the Toa from the front, back, and sides, skewering him, effectively killing him.

His arms still had the power in their fingertips. If the arms dropped, the power may be released. As a precaution, Recht threw more power out, impaling the arms as well, keeping them up and out as they already were. That way, the energy wouldn’t slip. It would be as it was. Perhaps he would cut his foe’s hands off?

They walked up the stage, looking into the dead eyes of their foe. Recht reached out, taking the X off of his face and looking it over. He turned it over in his hands and shook his head.

“What is it?” Linke asked him, not about the device, but what he was thinking.

“I’ve never seen anything like this.” He answered. He held his hand out, palm up. The device floated, being levitated since it was made of his element. He opened it with a simple thought, splitting it and getting a look inside. But there was nothing.

“No machinery.” He muttered, “It’s mystical, not technological.” He looked at the hands. The energy was gone. “And this does cause the energy attacks.”

“What should we do with it?” Linke asked.

Recht clenched his fist, crushing the item. He rolled it into a ball and left it to drop. On impact, he spread it out, making it a part of the stage.

“Done.” He said. They turned around and saw a being standing behind them. Presumably another Dark Hunter.

He was clad in red and black armor. His upperbody looked like that of a Toa, while his lower body had four legs, like a Rahi of some sort. He was a centaur of a being.

His face had an item like the X, but only over the eyes. It acted like a visor, but had the same feel to it. He carried a spear on his back, which he was now drawing.

“You killed my partner.” The centaur hissed, hitting the ground with his extra legs, spinning the weapon overhead, “I’ll kill you both!” He raced forward, charging crimson energy into his left hand, his free hand.

“Ready to cover me this time?” Linke asked.

“Go ahead.” Recht answered.

As the energy was unleashed, he threw an iron wall up. The wall took the blow and stood, only dented.

Linke threw his arm forward, punching the wall. He focused his attack, unleashing it, condensed, through the wall. A chunk of the wall flew out, smashing into one of the leading legs, slowing him slightly. The shockwave continued, smashing into the spot where the artificial legs and the body met, making him cry out and spark.

The Toa raced forward and leapt. Linke kicked him hard in the same spot the previous attack had struck, knocking him to the ground. As the centaur warrior fell, he swung his spear, clipping Linke’s leg.

Linke cried out in pain and threw his arm down, unleashing another Sonic attack. The waves overtook the centaur’s body, making him scream out as his armor splintered and his body was impaled by his own armor.

The Toa crouched before him and reached out, removing the visor. They looked into his eyes. He was still alive, but in unbelievable pain. His eyes showed it all.

“I’m sorry, but you allied with the Dark Hunters. This pain is what you deserve.” Linke hissed. He crushed the device with a fraction of his power. He rose and threw his palm down, “You’re done.”

He looked down, watching as the body blew apart from a wave entering it. The sounds cracked the entire body, splitting it apart with the condensed waves.

The Toa turned and walked away. Two Dark Hunter deaths, and no casualties, other than the Hunters.

It was a good day. And on top of that, they gained control over their newest elements, their most powerful elements.

They split apart mid-stride. Linke and Recht looked to each other as they slipped their Stones into their pouches and continued to walk.

“What do you think of the Dark Hunters?” Linke asked.

“Why?” Recht questioned.

“I’m just curious. I was thinking about it earlier.” Linke explained.

Recht shrugged, “They’re evil and vile.”

“That’s not an answer. That’s a fact.” Linke said, “I want your opinion on them.”

Recht shrugged again. “I guess I hate them. They make people suffer. They fight for money. What’s to like about them?”

“So…you have no qualms about killing them, like just now?” Linke asked.

“None. You?”

“Only Halen. But other than that, no. Only taking lives unnerves me, but it’s fine.” Linke said.

Recht nodded, “Anything else?”

“Do…do you think they’ll ever defeat us?” He questioned.

“You want to know if I think we’ll win every fight because we’re morally superior, right?” Recht asked.

Linke nodded, “Exactly. So, do you?”

Recht shrugged, “Who knows? I certainly don’t.”

“It’s an opinion.” Linke muttered.

“As long as we stay together, we can overcome anything.” Recht said, “No Dark Hunter can defeat us alone, or even as two of a kind. We’re better than their individuality.”

Day Forty-Five Edit

“Individual Dark Hunters will not work for this matter.” Was the decree given to them by The Shadowed One, the Dark Hunter leader, two days ago. The decree came when their two operatives had been slain by the Toa of Doppel Nui. “Individuality cannot overcome the Toa. One of a kind, two of a kind…more are needed. You are some of my finest in this field. You shall go.”

A ship set sail for Doppel Nui. As Recht's words had said, and had been echoed by the Dark Hunter leader, one or two warriors couldn’t defeat the Toa. A specialized team would be needed specifically for this assignment.

Three Dark Hunters. All different, all powerful, all highly skilled and deadly. They were the ones who would deal with the Toa now, once they arrived in two days time.

Panic filled the streets. Linke was staring outside, watching as people ran. What was the trouble? He hadn’t heard of any Dark Hunters, and he had no idea what could cause panic like this.

People were fleeing in all directions. If there was an enemy, like a Dark Hunter, they would flee away. But in this incident, they were fleeing in all directions.

Either there were multiple targets appearing, making them flee without realizing what they were fleeing into, or, something was seriously wrong.

Linke walked to the door and opened it. As soon as he did, a handful of nearby Matoran fled into his building, thankful for the safety.

As the Matoran continually thanked him for opening the door - which wasn’t locked, but they assumed was - he questioned them. “What’s happening exactly? What’s going on out there?”

“Something is falling from the sky!” One Ta-Matoran panted.

“Something falls from the sky?” Linke questioned, “What?”

A Matoran of Lightning spoke up, “Projectiles! They look like spikes, but are curved a bit. They’ve been falling from the sky for the last half hour, but at random locations! No one knows where they’re coming from, or where they’ll land. It’s chaos out there! Everyone is fleeing for shelter so they can stay safe.”

Linke watched outside for a few minutes. Then, he saw one of the projectiles striking nearby. He opened the door and poked his head out for a look. Sure enough, long, gray, curved, about as wide as his fist. And there was a small crater around it as it had made impact.

“And these are falling everywhere?” Linke questioned.

Matoran started to nod to him. He scratched the back of his head, “Made a small crater…if it hits a building, it’ll be fine, unless multiple ones fall.”

“Do you think we’re in danger, even inside?” One Matoran questioned.

Linke shook his head, “No, for now, we’re safe inside.” He answered, “As long as it doesn’t concentrate fire, if something is firing these.”

“You think something is shooting them?” A Ka-Matoran, a Matoran of Spirits, questioned.

He looked to the female Matoran. Ka-Matoran could be either male or female, this one was female.

“Perhaps. I don’t think they’re just falling from the sky. I think something is setting these off. If that’s firing them, or triggering them another way, I don’t know. But it’s not natural, I can tell you that much.”

“What do you think it is?” A male Ka-Matoran asked.

“If I had to guess…a Dark Hunter.” Linke answered.

“Why would a Dark Hunter be doing this?” One Ga-Matoran cried out.

“To force the Toa out.” Linke said, making it sound like a guess, “I’m sure that the Toa of this island is the target.”

“Then he should give himself up!” A Po-Matoran shouted, “He’s a criminal! He should just give in!”

“Why?” A Ko-Matoran demanded, “He does a good job! He protects our island! Even if he is a criminal, he does good.”

“You sure seem to like him…” An Onu-Matoran said, “Sympathetic to criminals, or something?”

“No!” The Ko-Matoran snapped, “But I want to see bigger enemies, like Dark Hunters, taken out. I don’t think our police can do it!”

“They never had to in the past.” A Ga-Matoran muttered, “Then that Toa started causing initial trouble…and the Hunters aren’t here to hunt for bounties anymore, but for a Toa who keeps killing their people. That’s just great.”

Linke watched them as they argued back and forth between their numbers. Linke ignored it. He had heard it all before. Some stood for the Toa, some against. While he was an illegal entity, he did a lot of good.

He looked outside again and now to the sky, trying to get an idea of where the projectiles were coming from. He could see buildings taking hits all around, but the area was never constant from where they were coming from, making this a lot harder.

The building shook and mortar crumbled down to the ground from the ceiling as a projectile struck them. The Matoran shouted in panic, but Linke kept silent, reserved, determined to track the source.

He ran out and looked around the panicked streets. He made a break for a barricade that he saw manned by a police officer.

The officer saw him approaching and quickly realized who he was. Linke stopped and ducked behind the barricade, which sloped and curved in front of them, but could also go over the top if they needed. He had it down so he could see out in front.

“Do you have any idea where any of the detectives are?” Linke questioned, “I need information so I can help.”

“Keep checking the perimeter.” The officer said, “I think the plan is to secure it, move in, secure, move in, and so on, until we find the source.”

Linke nodded, “So they’ll be around somewhere. Thanks.” He said, running off straight ahead, trying to keep around the perimeter, trying to keep where he would be able to see them with ease.

He stopped when he saw Derr up ahead with an officer, speaking back and forth. They had the protective shield overhead, just in case something got a bit too close.

Linke ran and ducked under it, crouching beside them, panting. Both turned to him, but Derr was the one who addressed him.

“What are you doing here? How did you find me?” Derr questioned.

“Looking for answers…and I was looking until I found anyone.” Linke answered, replying to both questions in order. “I just found you first.”

“We don’t know anything.” Derr said, “All we assume is a Dark Hunter is attacking the island - the city - and is firing these things from an unknown position. We can’t flood him out, or it out, or whatever, because we don’t know a location or what exactly we’re dealing with.”

Linke nodded, “I have a bunch of Matoran at my store, hiding out. I’m going back. If I think of anything, I’ll report back to you.”

Derr nodded and then turned to the officer, “Move up a block.”

The officer nodded and lifted the barrier, moving forward. They dropped the overtop shield so they could see. Officers within eyeshot were to follow suit, and so on until everyone had moved in.

Linke made a run for his store. It was a few minutes away, so he had to be fast and careful. One hit, and he was dead.

When he finally returned back, the Matoran were gone. He ran to the back and pushed on the wall, seeing the secret door was open. He rushed down the stairs, seeing that the Matoran were down there with Recht.

“Your other survivor told us to come down.” A Ko-Matoran told Linke, “Good thing you have a bunker.”

“When did you get him?” A Ta-Matoran asked, “How long before the rest of us?”

“A few minutes.” Linke told him, walking towards Recht. “We need to talk.” He told his partner.

Recht stood up and followed him upstairs. It didn’t bother Linke that people were down there, had seen Recht, since they were in danger. And they wouldn’t question his appearance. He was just another Matoran to any of them. He wasn’t a target, like he was to others.

“We need to combine and get out there.” Linke said.

“They need our help to find this guy?” Recht questioned. “I heard the stories down there.” He said, clarifying.

Linke nodded, “I think it’s our best option. We flush him out with some Stone powers on your end while I use Earth powers. Shockwaves in the ground, I’m thinking.”

Recht nodded, drawing his Duos Stone from his pouch on his belt. Linke did the same, standing on his left, Stones facing each other.

The arcs of power flew around their bodies, spiraling around them, drawing them into one being. The light faded, showing the Toa standing there. He raced towards the door and left the store, rushing towards the closest barricade to see how close they were.

As soon as they saw the barricade, they leapt onto a roof and looked out. There was an area of roughly seven blocks that the shooter could be hiding in.

The Toa leapt down and slammed both fists into the ground, sending shockwaves in all directions, hoping to at least disrupt the attacks. But nothing happened. No disruption, still constant firing.

“I think that says he can either dodge, or...” Linke said.

“He’s not on the ground.” Recht finished. He drew his arm up, creating a stone barrier around them as more rained down, on them this time.

“Now what?” Linke questioned, “Any plans?”

“We could run through and look.” Recht said, “But going roof to roof like that would get us shot down pretty quickly.”

“I have a plan.” Linke said.

“What is it?” Recht questioned.

“Get ready to revert to basic.” Linke said, pulling a powered Stone from his pouch. It wasn’t the standard Duos Stone, however, unlike what Recht was using.

They both changed their forms, now becoming Air and Sonics. Green and pale blue.

Linke threw his arm out, unleashing a sonic attack. This attack, however, was just sound. Just a distraction.

As the sound rang out, the attacks stopped. It had worked. It had stopped the attacks, giving them time.

He switched back to his standard Fire form. Then, it began.

“Spread our attacks.” Linke ordered, creating flames in his hand. Recht responded by creating wind waves before them, taking on the flames, and sending them forward, spinning around the buildings, crashing into anything that was sticking out. Anything that wasn’t a wall. They knew where the wind would go, right around the edges. If something out of place was there - such as a being clinging to a wall - it would be struck.

After a few moments, they heard a shout and impact on the ground.

The Toa raced over, switching as he ran, becoming Iron and Sonics. He slid around a corner, looking at the target.

This Dark Hunter was clad in black armor. He was hunched over and had a large black shell with spikes coming off of it. Each of the four spikes had an opening, large enough for the projectiles to be deployed from. He was looking not at them, but the ground, trying to figure out what happened.

Then he looked up, trying to move to a new location. Once he saw the Toa, he fled; rising to his full height and running, instead of looking like a turtle with how he was hunched.

The Toa gave chase without a word. The strange Dark Hunter ran the barricade it reached, fleeing past Gahla. The Toa didn’t give her a look as they passed. They were focused only on the Dark Hunter.

The run took them to the west. While they could attack with their elements, they didn’t want to risk taking a spike to the chest. If they attacked, they would provoke the enemy into attacking. Better to let it stop moving first and make the first move.

After nearly fifteen minutes of running, they passed over some rubble and rocks. The lowest point of the mountain that split the city and the Rahi jungle beyond. The Dark Hunter was fleeing into the Rahi infested jungle.

“It’s time to end this.” Recht said.

Linke nodded the head in agreement, “We don’t want to fight in the jungle.”

They put their hands together and triggered their powers. The iron spiraled forward as a literal spiral, smashing into him, and then forming around him, trapping him on the inside of a complex, twisting ball of steel.

With a flick of his wrist, Recht was closing the sphere around the target, and then conforming it to be skintight. He flicked his wrist again, causing the steel casing to start to spin the Dark Hunter around with no end in sight.

It was Linke’s turn now, for the kill. He made the body move forward and snapped his arm forward, unleashing a sonic wave at the spinning steel coffin.

The sonic wave struck the steel coffin, taking effect over it. The skintight steel started to fracture and split apart, just like the body beneath it. The entire thing, from one end to the next, had the same series of cracks. It didn’t matter if it was steel, armor, or muscle, it was all going. The “coffin” and body.

The steel erupted, shattering and killing the Dark Hunter in the process. The Toa span around , throwing his right arm out, snapping his fingers.

“Checkmate.” They said together, not to anyone, since no one had followed. It just felt right to say it, especially since they had used a proper finishing attack to defeat the opponent. It was customary to say it.

The two Matoran split into their components and looked to the remains of the body. They looked to each other, and clasped hands.

“Great work as always.” Linke said.

“You picked up on the finisher fast.” Recht told him.

“It was easy to figure out once I saw the skintight steel.” Linke said, “A great finisher you came up with.”

Recht nodded, “Thanks. It’s very effective, isn’t it?”

“Very.” Linke agreed, the two of them walking off towards town.

Had they looked back, or during the fight, looked too far up at the forest, they’d have seen a watcher. This watcher had clawed feet, clutching to the branch. Cloaks flowed down around his body, barely hiding the blades on his arms, or his claws. He had protrusions on his shoulders which the cloaks couldn’t hide either. His wings spread out behind him, gray like the bits of his body that could be seen.

His avian face looked down, taking notice of them as they split. Taking notice of their power. He turned and flew off the other way.

They would need to learn in time that they weren’t the dominant force of the island.

Day Forty-SevenEdit

The small ship pulled up beside the larger ships of the Dark Hunters. Each ship had the Dark Hunter insignia painted on its side, as well as a flag, flying the same symbol. Dark Hunters - mostly lower ranked Dark Hunters, expendable Dark Hunters with a few higher ranked warriors for good measure - patrolled the ships, laying siege to the island of Doppel Nui.

There were gaps in their wall of ships, but that was expected. They didn’t have the manpower to completely lay siege. With the war against the Brotherhood of Makuta going on, there was no time to lay full siege.

There was one troublesome Toa who continued to slay Dark Hunters. That was the only reason they were there. To claim revenge, and the Toa’s head.

The Dark Hunters, as powerful as they were, were no match for the skills of this Toa. There was something unnatural about him, about his powers, about his skills.

His powers were beyond what they had expected. His continual shifting of elements, his dual elemental body. These made him a dangerous opponent. Potentially more dangerous than a full Toa team.

And then the Toa’s skills. They were beyond normal skills. They were incredible, and seemingly unmatched by anything the Dark Hunters could throw at them.

Perhaps he wore a Kanohi Trard. That’s what some Dark Hunters thought. But even with the power of a Trard, how was that Kanohi able to give him so much power? It seemed at least twice as potent as a single Trard.

Could it be more than a single Trard? More than an ordinary Trard?

It didn’t really matter. Nothing mattered now that this smaller ship had pulled up beside the flagship of the siege. The largest ship of the siege. It had the most Dark Hunters on it, mostly lower ranked footsoldiers, usually bruisers from Stelt, with a handful of higher ranked warriors, more skillful warriors to keep it under control.

A few bruisers looked over the side of the ship as the small one pulled up. They pulled weapons, but as soon as they saw the Dark Hunter flag flying, they withdrew their weapons.

It wasn’t the flag that got to them, but rather, the symbol.

It wasn’t the normal Dark Hunters symbol. It was the symbol, but in gold with a large crimson X going through it. The crimson was set in such a way that it looked like blood running down the black flag.

This was the symbol of not normal Dark Hunters, but rather, the elites of the group. A special team. A trio of assassins.

A Triad, as they were called.

The Triad ship shot a rope ending in a harpoon up at the flagship. It embedded itself into the wood, securing the smaller ship to the deck. The door of the cabin opened, and a single figure emerged, looking up, clad in primarily black armor.

“Take me to your current commander.” He hissed.

“Has Phasm started to talk yet?” Linke asked Derr, looking into the cell of the Ka-Matoran from a distance, out of eye and earshot of the prisoner.

“No. Not yet.” Derr answered.

“Any evidence yet?” Linke asked.

Derr shook his head, “No. Just the drug dealing charge. We can’t hold him for much longer. We need something conclusive.”

“Did you search his gallery?” Linke asked.

“It was searched when the raid happened, when we took out the gambling ring beneath it.” Derr answered, “And nothing.”

“We should check again.” Linke said, “Maybe something new happened since that raid. Maybe he started using it again. Or, even the underground parlor. We should check.”

“We have no warrant.” Derr said.

“Will Marchia care?” Linke asked.

“She may not, if it can help us bring the "Ghost" into custody, but Chief Layef will.”

“Why would the Chief care?” Linke practically shouted, “We’ll be bringing down the "Ghost" of all people!”

“What if we find nothing?” Derr questioned, “And then Phasm will have the system against us. Say we get no warrant, search, and find nothing. He gets released on only the charge of drug dealing, serves his time, and then, goes back, finds some proof that we were searching his gallery, and then brings the law against the few of us involved. Marchia would have to side with him, and we’d be out of jobs, Recht.”

Linke nodded slowly, “I guess you have a point there, Derr.”

“I do have one.” Derr answered.

“Then let’s get a warrant.” Linke simply said.

“Can’t.” Derr told him.

“Why wouldn’t Chief Layef give us one?” Linke questioned.

“We have no proof that anything could be there. And we’ve been holding Phasm on suspicion for too long. In nearly a week he’ll be released. And due to how long we’ve held him, it’ll count as his sentence. It’ll take nearly five days to process the warrant, and on top of that, we need to get Marchia’s approval. There are other cases going on, Recht. If we try to get to see Marchia with the warrant for final approval, we’ll be out of time.”

Linke shook his head, “I don’t follow.”

Derr sighed, “We request a warrant from Chief Layef, whenever we can get a processing slate and get it to him. That can take any amount of time, depending on how many are out. We have a set amount at a time. Now, say we get one immediately. We got to him, but he may be too busy with other matters, more important matters. We have to wait him out. Then, if he agrees to it, he has to go into information on the case, and anything surrounding it. Any information we have for anything connected, such as the raid that happened earlier.

“Now, it’ll take nearly five days for him to process everything. For him to get all that information down and sign off on the warrant. We have seven or eight until Phasm is released, leaving two or three with the warrant. Then, we need to see Marchia. And seeing as she’s the mayor, it’ll take time to get in to see her. Now, she’ll have to ask us about the case, and we’ll have to tell her about it. We’ll need to give her any information she asks for. And chances are, it’ll take time to get all that information to her, due to how relevant some may be, and how irrelevant some may be. Then she has to decide if she’ll sign off or not, trying to protect the rights of her people.

“By the time we get in, by the time we give her all the information, time may be up. We might be out of time, and by then, Phasm will have returned. And if he’s smart, and has anything there, he’ll destroy it. And he’ll impede our investigation every step of the way with his presence. Face it, Recht; we have no time for a warrant anymore.”

“Why didn’t we get one earlier?” Linke questioned, “Did you not think it relevant to search his gallery?”

“We did, but didn’t have time.” Derr said, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’ve had a lot of cases recently. More Dark Hunter activity. We’ve had to keep it in check as best as we could, and also follow up on the Toa at every sighting.”

“Can’t you leave him to do his job?” Linke questioned.

“No. He’s an illegal presence, so we have to follow up, no matter what he does. Even if he does our jobs, we have to process the information and pursue him, hoping to apprehend him if possible.”

“It’s not, you know.” Linke said.

“It’s a hard job, but one day we will.” Derr told him.

“I doubt it.” Linke answered, walking away from the area. They were done talking about Phasm, so he didn’t need to be near the prison. He walked down the hallway into the conjoining police station, heading towards the door.

“Recht, where are you going?” Derr questioned.

“I’m heading to my shop.” He answered, “I have work to do. And since we have no case, nothing to do here, I’m leaving.”

Derr nodded, clearly wanting to continue the conversation, to try to set Linke straight about the Toa’s role in society, that even though he was a force of good, he had to be apprehended. But with the Ta-Matoran departing, he couldn’t. And he couldn’t let the other Matoran stop doing his real work. He also didn’t want to make him mad, to make him tell Chief Layef the secret he knew about Derr.

The Onu-Matoran sighed, remembering the agreement they had. He could tag along on investigations and he wouldn’t tell the Chief about what he knew on Derr. He was the only one to know, and Derr hated his carelessness.

He sighed and walked into his office. He sat down and opened a drawer on his desk. It was a locked drawer, but he had unlocked it earlier to get an item out. Now, he withdrew what the carver knew about him.

It was a statue of the Toa. A brilliant statue, beautifully carved. It was better than any Toa artwork done before from the hand of Recht.

Derr actually liked the Toa. He believed in the abilities of the Toa, even though he didn’t believe in his presence. He had to hide the statue for fear of ridicule from his peers.

He put the statue away and started to look over some old cases, carved into tablets that were spread across his desk. He just needed busywork now.

Linke pushed the doors open and looked to his desk, surprised to see the Le-Matoran sitting there. Recht didn’t move as he saw Linke come in. He just sat there, whittling a piece of wood with a knife.

“How’s that witling going?” Linke questioned, pulling up a chair to the desk.

“Pretty good.” Recht answered simply.
Linke hated that he could actually whittle. Linke enjoyed the act of whittling, but hated the fact he was no good at it, because he was no artist. He did find the act calming, but his work never turned out, negating the calm he felt by replacing it with anger directed at his own lack of abilities.

“Why are you at my desk?” Linke questioned.

Recht pointed to the wall, “Worked on the door. I made it easier.”

“How so?” Linke asked.

Recht set the wood and knife on the desk and walked to the sealed door. He pushed it open and looked to Linke.

“That easy?” Linke asked, “You really don’t think we need to keep it complicated and hard to get into?”

“No. Ezim is dead; we have mastery over all of our powers. We’ll be fine. I don’t need that much protection…” Recht said, trailing off.

“I hope not.” Linke replied, “I would hate to see that event ever come to occur. I’d hate it to happen again. It may not work out as well this time.”

“I know.” Recht answered, pulling the secret door closed again. He looked to Linke, “Well, I’ll get back to my work.” He said, walking back towards the desk.

Screams. Screams pierced their silence, coming from the outside.

Both Matoran ran towards the door and looked outside. They could see Matoran fleeing down the street, past the store.

“Let’s go.” Recht said, pulling his Duos Stone free. Linke nodded, pulling his free, and rushing out alongside his partner, dodging Matoran as they ran towards the intersection up ahead where the commotion was originating from.

They both stopped and stood, their Stones facing each other. The power erupted around them, drawing them into one, even before they got a look at their foe. As they stood tall, they attached their pouches to their waist, ready to change if need be.

They saw a black and gray armored warrior up ahead. His body was primarily black, but a few spots of gray were over him. He had a lean body, muscular and tall. He looked like a deadly foe, a very deadly foe. He held a powerful looking blade with a fairly ornate hilt in his right hand, and nothing else. His black helmet betrayed nothing due to its simple design. His crimson eyes showed hate.

“Come, Dark Hunter.” The Toa spoke, “It’s time for you to meet your end!”

“I don’t think so.” He replied with an icy calm voice. “It is you who will not survive. My team is here to kill you.”

He rushed forward with amazing speed. He drew his sword back, point down in his right hand. He slashed it forward with all his might as the Toa dodged back, slashing through the Toa’s chest armor. They both cried out as they slid away.

“I have a team of elite mercenaries here to butcher you.” The Dark Hunter said, “That is who we are as Dark Hunters. And that is who I am as a Voeren.”

A Voeren. A member of a species who lived for assassination.

“Who are you?” Linke demanded, rising to his full height of the Toa’s body. They raced forward, throwing a flaming punch. The Voeren simply parried with the flat of his sword, showing no concern in his eyes.

“My name is "Keizaln".” He said simply. “It’s ancient Matoran. It means both “servant” and “king”. Do you know why I named myself that when I became a Dark Hunter?”

“Why?” Linke demanded, throwing as much heat as he could into his fist, but it wasn’t enough to even scorch the sword.

“Because as a Dark Hunter, I am a servant. I will one day be a king. But for now, you’re the hero, and I’m the dragon!” He slashed with all his might, throwing the flat to the side, throwing Linke’s arm away. He drew his knee back and rammed it into the Toa’s gut with all his might, throwing them on their back with a grunt.

This Dark Hunter, "Keizaln", was clearly more powerful than any other Dark Hunter the two had fought before. They rolled over to their knees and rose to their full height. Recht quickly drew the Water Stone and put it to his chest, changing elements.

He threw his arm out, firing a stream of pressurized water at "Keizaln". The black armored assassin was too fast, thanks to his natural abilities of his species. He rolled forward, slamming his foot into them, throwing them to the ground.

“Steam.” Recht hissed, rolling them over, “We need steam.”

“Right.” Linke said, agreeing. He threw his arm out, as did Recht. They both fired their powers forward, combining the flames and water, creating steam which hid them. As "Keizaln" watched, his crimson eyes paying careful attention, the Toa began to move.

The steam surrounded the Dark Hunter. It was thick and encircled him. He continued to turn around in seemingly no pattern, just watching.

The Toa launched himself out of the smoke, his left side black for the powers of Earth, his right side gray for Iron.

The hands interlocked and were lifted, getting ready for a double fisted slam. There was only a split second between leaving the steam and attacking, giving the Dark Hunter no time to counter.

He did. His eyes were so adept that he had no problems finding the Toa in the steam. His species again provided for him with their natural abilities.

A slash across their chest put them down, leaving "Keizaln" standing over them, glaring down in victory. But as soon as he had slashed, his sword was being holstered on his back, and he was vanishing into the steam.

Day Forty-Nine Edit

By the time that they had both recovered from the wounds inflicted on them by the Dark Hunter - the Voeren - "Keizaln" two days earlier, they had both created an assumption of why he had left them alive.

He was toying with them.

The Voeren had no order in their society. It was a continual game of assassinate the leader, become new leader, and let the cycle continue. Voeren lived to kill, but with daggers and other stealth weapons. Only stealthy assassinations pleased them.

The men of the species were the cocky, bold ones usually. They usually used larger weapons, such as maces and swords. "Keizaln" was one of the cocky ones, one of those who really didn’t care about a quick kill, about not getting to watch his foe’s face as they realized the dagger protruding through their front - from their back - was their end, and they were about to die. He had no pleasure from such an action. From an assassination.

No, "Keizaln", like some other males, wanted combat. Wanted to be able to fight and die by the sword, like a true warrior. He hated hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right time to pounce and kill. He was a man of direct action. His appearance had proven that, by frightening off so many Matoran by just walking down the streets. A true Voeren would have killed them all one by one from the shadows, probably with some easily concealed projectile weapon, such as a crossbow, for such a number.

"Keizaln" enjoyed the combat. He had spared them because they hadn’t put up the fight he wanted. He could have eliminated them at any time he pleased. He could see through the thick steam, the two Matoran? Not so much. They were guessing and using their Earth and Iron powers to simply feel through the ground to find his position and attack.

As a Voeren, he could have dashed inside, got behind them, and plunged his sword into their back, ending it right then and there. But no, he wanted a battle. He wanted combat. That was the only reason why the two Matoran were alive.

“He’s elite.” Recht said, sitting at a chair beside the desk. “He said so himself.”

Since the battle they hadn’t spoken of it. They left it out of their conversations. Now they were talking about it.

“He made it sound like he’s leading a team against us.” Linke said, “He said he has a team waiting to kill us.”

“We’ll defeat them.” Recht said, “We just lost to him because we didn’t know what to expect. Now we do. We can counter his natural abilities and defeat him next time. Once he falls, it’s over. The rest will fall one by one, like dominos, without their leader.”

“We just have to wait for him to come back.” Linke agreed, “And hopefully alone, not with others.”

Recht nodded his agreement. “We can only hope that he tries us alone again. He’s cocky; we know that because he’s a Voeren who thrives on combat. Hopefully he’ll come alone again.”

Linke kept the silence for a moment, and then spoke.

“Do you think the Dark Hunters are throwing more at us now? Have we killed too many of them, that they’re calling in people like him? Elite warriors?”

“We’re making the Dark Hunters worry.” Recht said, “Or rather, angry. They want revenge for us killing their people. That’s all it is, I think.”

“They probably won’t stop until they have revenge.” Linke said, adding a sigh, “I don’t think we’ll ever get peace here. This is just like when Epee was after us…”

“It’s different now, though.” Recht said, “Epee was one man, who we defeated, who’s probably dead. The Dark Hunters will keep coming at us with so many numbers.”

“Numbers are the only difference.” Linke said, “Epee had a lot of conviction to keep after us. To keep throwing men at us, trying to kill us. We’ll be fine, just like we were then.”

“We fought Matoran then.” Recht said, “Now we’re fighting thugs and murderers. Vast difference.”

“I guess you’re right.” Linke said. He looked at the piece of wood that Recht had been working on. He hadn’t touched it since they lost to "Keizaln". Neither had, it had just sat there. Now Linke tried to make out what it was being carved into, but couldn’t. Not yet.

They heard a knocking at the door. Both turned to look, but saw nothing. Linke jogged towards the door and pushed it open, getting a look outside. He saw a shadow moving into an alley at the side of the store. He thought it was obviously a trap, but went anyway, motioning for Recht to be ready.

Recht waited inside the door as Linke took the corner. He looked at whoever it was, ready to do whatever he had to to defend himself if need be. His heart stopped when he saw who it was.

A tentacle had knocked on the door. A tentacle tipped in a blade. It was like a tail, but instead of a single thick appendage, two tentacle like appendages held up the larger blade.

The being was hunched, no longer tall and powerful, but he still looked strong. He wore the same helmet in vanity to what he was. He was a grotesque figure with four arms and two heads.

He had his normal arms, tipped in claws now. They were jointed at an extra position, however, and off of one of the areas of each arm came two more arms. Not really arms, but more appendages, each wielding a sword. One was ribbed; one was the crystalline, razor sword.

From just above his knees, which were constantly bent, were two more arms. These were more of arms than appendages, since the appendages on the arms simply were tipped in blades. These actually had claws - two pointed claws, but claws. The left one held a shortsword.

Behind his head, on his back, was a growth which ended in another shortsword, this one going out over his head, tipped down. It was higher than his head and came nowhere near to touching it.

At the bottom of his chest, just before his waist, was the second head. It had two empty, dead eyes, unlike the vibrant red eyes of the normal head. This head was adorned in what looked like a Kanohi, but was the face, due to closer examination, as a single object, not an object over a face. It had red and black designs, and had ribbed “claws” coming out around where the mouth would be on each side of the head. This head looked stiff, unmoving, as opposed to the other head.

This was a being they had once known. A being they had just spoken of, but now vastly transformed into something evil. Into a living weapon.

This was the former warlord of the island, Epee.

“It’s time I took my revenge.” His voice said, now empty and rattling around. It sounded like he was speaking into a vast, empty space, and hearing the end result of his echo, without the drawn out words. The voice noticeably came from the lower, unmoving head.

“What happened to you?” Linke shouted, trying to back away, but was too overcome with shock to do it. It had been just over a year since he had deposed of this tyrant, who was actually seen by some as an enlightened despot. He had only helped to overthrow the warrior because he tried to take the Duos Stones for his own use, as a weapon. He had tried to murder Recht, so Linke had to help, and as such, he became partners with Recht. Partners in crime first, partners in combat later.

“I’m going to take back my island.” Epee hissed from the smaller head. He moved forward, his clawed feet gripping at the ground, the tail moving, slashing at the walls with the blade. The arms, every appendage, moved constantly, waiting to be put to use. The head on top of the shoulders was looking around, like a normal head would, but it said nothing.

“Recht!” Linke cried, rushing away, drawing his Duos Stone. As he saw the door opening, Epee came around the corner, looking at the two Matoran as they drew together, arcs of power flying around them.

“You’re still together.” Epee hissed, “How good of you to stay together, make my job easier.”

“What happened to you?” Recht shouted as they came together. They backed away, attaching the pouches to their waist. He threw a blast of wind forward, but it did nothing to the crimson monstrosity.

“I joined the Dark Hunters.” Epee hissed, “I used their supersoldier formula. It was a success on me, just like Halen before me. However, my transformation was…different. I am a monster now.” He gestured to the normal head, “This head doesn’t do anything! I grew another! I see through all four eyes, by the way. It drives me crazy, being forced to watch through all four to get my vision, and being able to move my upper head, unlike my lower head. It’s insanity. That’s why I haven’t come yet. I needed to get the methods down.”

The Toa threw a fireball into his body, but he didn’t slow. He raced forward, lifting every blade, and slamming them all down.

Recht threw his arm out, creating a bubble of air. The bubble was struck, repelling them back. They span around in the air, digging their heels into the ground, and running down another alley as Epee pursued.

They had to get away from the city. They couldn’t allow anyone to get hurt by Epee. They had no doubt he would use anyone he found as a hostage.

They had to head for a clearing. A clear area to fight in, or too many innocents would get in the way.

They span around, firing a flaming cyclone forward. The cyclone smashed into Epee, but nothing happened. Epee continued after them as if nothing had happened.

The supersoldier formula had made him nearly invincible, it seemed. He wasn’t going to be stopped.

They had made it into an area of town with fewer buildings, less occupancy. Hopefully this would be their arena.

As they backed away, trying to come up with a plan to use, they heard something above them. They looked up atop a building, seeing a strange figure standing there, watching them, and watching Epee.

“You wear that helmet for vanity.” The avian figure hissed, his voice soft and creepy, offsetting and terrible. Even though it was soft and so kind it was creepy, it had a very dark tone to it, making it something that no one should want to listen to. “You’re trying to retain dignity through vanity. Right, Epee?”

“What do you want from me, Akumo?” Epee screamed, looking up with his upper head, his voice resonating from farther beneath.

“You joined the Dark Hunters, took their formula, for one reason.” The avian figure of Akumo said, his cloaks obscuring his form billowing in the wind. Blades and claws could be seen, as could a bit of wings on his lower back, and the bulges from his shoulders, but what they were couldn’t be seen, he had only three fingers per hand. “You failed Mistress Eish. You joined the Dark Hunters for their formula out of fear of her wrath. You failed to keep Doppel Nui. You lost. You know you were only put in charge because you’re both patrons of the arts. When you lost this island of art that she loved so much, you failed her as aide. And now that you’ve been foolish enough to come out of hiding, you try to reclaim the island and make things better? Eish doesn’t forgive people like you, Epee. That’s why I was sent to eliminate you.”

“You think she sends one aide to eliminate another without an ulterior motive?” Epee shouted, “She’s hoping you die too! I’m sure of it!”

“I won’t.” Akumo said, dropping to the ground. He walked between the Toa and Epee, towards Epee, paying the Toa no heed. He had watched them earlier against the shelled Dark Hunter. He didn’t need to fight them, he had seen that fight.

The Toa ran forward. Recht used his powers, propelling them into the air, landing them as the third point of a triangle that the three warriors now made up. Linke had his arm up, flames around his fist in preparation for combat.

“You really wish to oppose me?” Akumo hissed, his voice now becoming lower, creepier and silkier at the same time, but retaining the dark inclinations, “You fools will die. The Duos Stone can’t protect you, or defeat me.”

“We’ll see.” Linke hissed, “If anyone will kill Epee, it’ll be us. If we have to go through you first, then so be it!” He shouted, racing forward at Akumo.

Akumo shook his head. His face had a gray helmet on it, his eyes easily seen, but seated farther back than the eyeholes. There was a large gap at the mouth, which led to teeth lining beneath the Kanohi, not from the Kanohi, but rather, from Akumo’s face. Despite being avian, the teeth - or rather, fangs - looked very appropriate on him, somehow.

“You’re done.” He said. His gray helmet glowed for a second, and then stopped. It was no helmet, but rather, a Kanohi.

As Linke saw his target, his target was suddenly getting farther away. They were running backwards, somehow. He shouted, throwing his arm forward, but Recht’s moved instead. He shouted in annoyance, trying to throw his arm out, but couldn’t. He tried to move his head to the left, but it moved right.

“My Kanohi Sakan takes you out of the fight.” Akumo said, looking now to Epee, “And time for you…” He triggered the power of the Sakan, Mask of Inversion, again.

Epee moved forward with no problems. His brain wasn’t being rewired by the illusory properties of his foe’s Kanohi. He raced forward, lifting all of his blades as he closed in on the avian aide to Makuta Eish.

“This helmet isn’t just for vanity!” He shouted, slashing down, “It blocks out mental attacks! Including your Kanohi!”

He slammed all of his blades down, forcing Akumo to lift his arms, using the hidden blades under his arms to parry. He was slid back by his foe’s overwhelming strength, but didn’t lose out to his foe.

Akumo leapt back, preparing for an attack. Before he could even make a move, Epee acted. He put all of his arms together, including the extra appendages on his real arms, and focused. Energy glowed from the combined mass of blades and claws. The crimson blast of energy roared to life, erupting forward, tearing up the ground as it flew, sizzling the air. It was nearly as tall as Epee - eight or nine feet - and about three feet wide.

The blast struck Akumo, but he didn’t scream out. When the smoke faded, they could see the extent of the damage.

His entire left side was missing. From the right side of his chest, up to his upper and lower torso, was a circular hole. All of his left shoulder and arm were missing, with only a little of the upper torso on the left to survive to hold his head up. A chunk of his left leg was missing, but it was still connected to his body, but barely. His heartlight was half missing, but his head perfect.

“Lung, half of the heartlight, guts…” Akumo muttered, taking inventory of what had been lost. He looked up at Epee, “This won’t slow me down.”

“I don’t even know how you can still be alive after that.” Epee admitted.

In a flash of black, the cloak was gone. In a flash of silver, the sword that was attached beneath his right arm flashed, and in a scream of agony, Epee’s body hit the ground, the red and black head rolling. Akumo rose to his full height to look at his handiwork, before he turned away in disgust of it.

“You’re free, Toa.” He hissed, cutting off his Kanohi, allowing them to regain control over their body. As they shook out their body after regaining control, they watched him just walk away, as if nothing had happened to his body. As if all was normal. But now, the corpse of Epee lay before them. They had nothing more to fear from that man, and Recht had no fear anymore about anyone coming after him.

But now, there was Akumo. Was he their new foe as well?

Day Fifty-One Edit

It was hard to get over. It was hard to believe that the man to have hunted them, to have driven them into partnership with each other, was dead. Not by their hand, but by the hand of another.

With Epee dead, his corpse being handled by the authorities, what else was there for either of them to go on for? Their partnership had partially stemmed from their mutual hate and fear of the man, Epee. Of what he could do, what he would do to them if he ever returned, assuming he had survived their final battle a year ago.

He had survived. He had been the one to come to the shop while they were both out and slash Recht's emblem to get a point across. It had taken him time, but he had come back for them. In the form he had taken, it was doubtful that the Toa would have been able to overcome him very easily. He would have been a very deadly opponent, had they had a proper duel for revenge on both ends.

Their standard powers had done little to nothing. Had they switched to another strategy, like one of pure power, such as both Stone and Earth, they probably could have done a lot of damage. Pure muscle would have done wonders against Epee, they were sure. His body would have taken beatings from muscle while elements would start to smash into him, using the entire ground they stood on as a weapon.

Even if that hadn’t worked, they had both Iron and Sonics. Their strongest powers. Iron would have worked wonders; even crushing his armor would have worked, had Recht had the time to use such a technique. It was a difficult one to use. While it was an easy kill, he couldn’t do it very well. He had practiced, but it took a lot of focus, and also required him to have an estimate on how heavy his foe was, and how hard the armor was to get a grip on what to aim at in terms of position of the body.

But he had other ways. He could have impaled Epee with iron from the ground. He could have stopped the blades as they came. He could have done many things with powers over steel.

And then, there was Sonics. Linke could have blasted through his armor with a sonic attack, using sound to crack his armor, or destroy it completely, or just to confuse him. Sound had multiple offensive uses that Linke could have used. Any of them could have done a decent amount of damage, if not kill Epee.

The combination of both elements, with two minds working on it, would have been especially deadly. He would have stood no chance, even with his new powers.

But that energy attack he had fired could have been a big danger. They doubted that steel walls would keep them safe, especially after seeing what happened to Akumo after he was struck. But he fought on. That was probably his own endurance, however.

Epee was just as deadly now, if not more so. But so were Linke and Recht. They had the powers to match his, and could have eventually brought him down. Brought down the warlord, former ruler of Doppel Nui, tyrant, and former aide to Makuta Eish who ruled over the region of the Southern Chain that the island of Doppel Nui sat in.

Doppel Nui had no Makuta overseer, so she had assigned her aide, another lover of the arts, to watch it for her. She had used to watch Doppel Nui, but was soon made as an overseer of the region, not the island. It was more power, more prestigious, but left Doppel Nui without a Makuta, which many liked, even though Eish appreciated them.

Having a Makuta appreciate you, however, was a fearful thing. Many feared her good graces upon them. Epee was more like them, more grounded, less powerful. At least with him they didn’t have as much fear. And he answered to her, and could probably keep her from anger due to his position as aide. Not just a servant, but an advisor, an aide.

Then there was Akumo. Another aide to the same Makuta. He was apparently either Epee’s replacement, or former colleague. It was probably the latter, since they knew of each other, and with Epee on the run, it was doubtful he would run into Akumo elsewhere without already being dead.

Epee’s fate had been sealed the moment the fight became three ways. He could have probably overpowered the Toa, that was for sure. But against someone of his caliber, someone deserving of serving as an advisor to a Makuta, he was no match. Even with his new powers, his enhancements, he was no match.

Epee used to just be a swordsman. A man great with weapons, strong, fast, quick witted. But now, he was just as fast, much stronger, more weapons, and much more deadly with attacks like that energy blast of his. He was formidable in the past, and even without powers, earned his right to advise a Makuta. With these new powers, he was grotesque, but much stronger.

Without his powers, it probably would have taken moments for Akumo to kill him. Akumo seemed to be watching, waiting to see what he could do with their battle. He had never seen this form, after all. He wanted to know what Epee could do, and then kill him.

That cost Akumo a lot of his body, though. It probably wasn’t worth it.

Now, it all came down to if Akumo was a threat. He had spent some time on the island, apparently, since he had an idea of who the Toa was, even that he was two Matoran thanks to a Duos Stone. He had knowledge, which was deadly.

He could easily return and decide to eliminate the two of them. Linke doubted they would be able to fight Akumo. They could have dealt with Epee, but not Akumo. He would be far too strong. He was too fast, too strong, too resilient. If he could function after losing half of his body, how would they defeat him? What could they use against him?

And then there was his Kanohi.

While the two Matoran each wore a Trard, giving them amazing fighting prowess as a Toa, making them nearly unmatched in hand to hand combat, Akumo wore a stronger Kanohi. One that could rewire the brains of targets, making them go in reverse. Their left was now their right, their up was their down.

Linke moved his arm, he moved Recht’s, actually. He wondered that if he let loose his powers, if he would unleash wind, or fire? If they wore different Kanohi that had to be activated, not always on at a low level, if Recht’s would be activated instead of his.

By trying to move forward, they had moved backwards. By trying to fight, they were looking like fools.

This Kanohi was powerful. It crippled their fighting. Even with the Trard, it would be hard to overcome such an obstacle. But the Mask of Skill would surely quickly allow them to adapt to such a situation, should they fall into it again.

If Eish had sent one advisor to kill another, even one trying to reclaim his territory, the territory held dear to Eish, then did that mean she was going to have Akumo claim the island for her? Become its ruler, as Epee once had done?

Was Doppel Nui’s government in danger? Was Marchia?

Akumo could easily swoop in, kill her, and claim the island. And then, if that wouldn’t be bad enough, there were Dark Hunters waiting. That would be the perfect time to strike. Anarchy would reign over the island.

“Next time we encounter that Akumo…we must kill him.” Linke hissed.

“You’re thinking about what would happen if we lose, if he claims Doppel Nui, right?” Recht questioned, “If he became the next Epee?”

Linke nodded. It was as if his partner had read his mind. They were close partners, however. They both knew what the other thought, from time to time.

The past day had been filled with nausea as a result of the Sakan on their minds. They had both been sick and had sat or laid down the entire day. They couldn’t handle the mental effects of such a Kanohi, unfortunately. Now was the first time they spoke of the events of that day.

“If he becomes the next Epee - claims rule of the island - than we’re doomed. He could kill us with ease, enslave the populace, and then the Dark Hunters would probably attack in the confusion…”

“If they did that, then Akumo could die, and the island would be theirs.” Recht said, “But do you think Akumo would enslave?”

“He doesn’t seem to love the arts.” Linke said, “But then again, he was there to kill Epee, not admire art.”

“Even if he’s no lover of art, his boss, Eish, is.” Recht reminded, “She won’t let him disrupt the art.”

“If he’s even alive to try to take the island, or in any condition to.” Linke said. “What do you think?”

“That wound?” Recht questioned, shaking his head, “He fought well after it, but I don’t think he will continue to. Even if he begins to recover, there’s no way he can survive for long. He lost a lung and a chunk of his heartlight. His vitals are going to be shot. He won’t survive. He’s probably already dead.” Recht told him, “Even if he goes to Eish, she can’t heal him. That’s not healing, that’s regeneration. Makuta can’t do that.”

“I hope you’re right.” Linke said, “I’d rather fight a Makuta than fight Akumo, just because of that Kanohi of his.”

“I know what you mean.” Recht answered. “But a Makuta’s power of illusion may be more damaging than a Sakan.”

Linke looked to him, “You know his Kanohi’s name?”

Recht nodded, “The Sakan, Mask of Inversion. He said it during the fight.”

“I missed it…”

“Why is it so quiet?” Recht muttered, running to the door. He looked outside and looked back, “Do you hear that silence?”

Then Linke realized that the bustle of the day was gone. It was silent. At this time of day, there should be noise. But there was none.

“Let’s move.” Linke said, “Something probably happened.”

Recht held the door open and ran out after Linke. The two ran down towards where they had fought Epee, having a bad feeling about the place.

Sure enough, once they arrived, they saw "Keizaln" standing there, sword in hand. He watched them, keeping his silence up. Keeping the theme of silence around them.

“I want the Toa.” He hissed, holding his sword out, “Find me the Toa, and live, you brave fools of Matoran.”

“Brave fools?” Linke questioned.

“You’re the only ones to approach me.” "Keizaln" answered, “Find me the Toa, and you escape death.”

Both Matoran drew the Duos Stones free, “We are the Toa.” Recht said, “Do we disappoint?”

“Interesting.” "Keizaln" said, “Of course not.”

The two faced their Stones at each other. Arcs of power flew around their bodies, slowly pulling them into one, tall powerful form of a Toa. As the Toa came together into one, they threw their right arm out, sending a blast of wind rippling forward.

“We’ve analyzed you, you know.” Linke said, taking another Stone out. He put it to his chest, changing into his Ice form as Recht kept his Air powers.

“What did you come up with?” "Keizaln" questioned.

“You’re a Voeren who uses a sword. Who didn’t use his assassination chances for anything.” Recht said, “You fight head on, rather than assassinate. You’re one of the cocky males who hates the assassin lifestyle, who lives for combat. Are we right?”

"Keizaln" nodded, “You are.” He said. He raced forward, lifting his sword high in both hands. He slammed it down as hard and fast as he could.

Linke threw his arm up, parrying with an ice blade on his arm. Recht quickly acted, generating a miniature cyclone in the palm of his hand. He plowed the palm, the cyclone, into the Dark Hunter’s chest, throwing him back. He skidded across the ground and rolled.

As he came to his knees, a barrage of ice struck him, cutting him and keeping him stuck under the increasingly heavy amount.

“That won’t stop me!” "Keizaln" shouted at them, pushing the ice away and coming to his feet. He raced forward, holding his sword in only his right hand. He slid forward, drawing the sword back, tensing all of his muscles, and then swung.

Recht was ready for him. He had been generating a new attack into his hand. Instead of a cyclone again, he created a sphere of wind in his palm. Inside of that sphere was constantly shifting, spinning winds, like a series of miniature cyclones.

Linke threw his arm up, parrying the blade with his ice blade. The steel sword went through over half of the thick ice, but did stop. Linke’s arm shook and throbbed in pain from how hard the Voeren had swung his blade.

While his sword was stuck, and he was focused on it, it was Recht’s turn to act. He plowed the sphere into "Keizaln"’s chest, causing the Voeren to scream in agony.

He collapsed to his knees and stayed there, unable to draw his sword free. He held the hilt, but the blade was still in the ice. Linke threw his arm up, tearing the hilt free of "Keizaln"’s hand.

Before he could respond, Recht was changing his powers. He had put a new power into his body, which slowly changed his half into brown, into Stone powers.


He punched "Keizaln" in the face, throwing into a building about three body lengths away. He broke through the wall and kept going, landing inside, groaning with pain from the strength of the blow.

“Are you done?” They demanded, walking forward.

"Keizaln" pushed himself to his feet. He muttered something and stood, waiting to make his move. He was slowly planning out his next idea.

Recht drew another Stone from his pouch and switched powers again. Now he had the powers of Water. Water and Ice, blue and white.

“It’s over.” They said as one, putting their hands together, the left behind the right, fingers splayed on both, overlapping any gaps with fingers of the other hand.

Water erupted from the front hand, Recht’s hand. It smashed into "Keizaln", pushing him back, keeping him stuck where he stood. Then, Linke’s involvement came in, making the water drastically colder until it started to freeze after a few moments.

As "Keizaln" was being frozen over, the Toa raced forward, drawing his left arm back, preparing for an Ice powered attack. "Keizaln" could guess at what would happen.

Linke saw the opening. As soon as he would strike the ice covered "Keizaln", he would splinter the ice, impaling his foe, and ripping him apart. That was the plan, anyway.

"Keizaln" dodged back when the punch arrived. He slid back and dashed around the Toa, going for his sword on the ground. He rolled, picking it up, and rose. He looked back and threw his arms to his sides.

“Another day, you two!” He called, turning and walking away with a swagger of confidence.

“We have him.” Linke said with glee, “We have him on the ropes. We can beat him.”

Day Fifty-Three Edit

“I expect you all to be on your best behavior.” Layef said to the group of officers and detectives he had called into a meeting. The Turaga looked over the eager group, which included Derr and his apprentices - Gahla and Cenrik - as well as Recht.

“This diplomat is here for very important matters.” Layef continued, gesturing to the Tai-Matoran standing beside him, “Very important matters.” Layef repeated, “I can’t even tell you where he came from, where he’s representing, or his actual title or job. He has come, however, to view procedures of our island, of our police force, and how we operate. You lot will be the ones to keep your eyes on him, to be sure he’s protected at all times from any threat that could arise.”

“You handpicked us.” Gahla said. She had no need to call out. It was a small enough room to simply speak normally, “How does our guest not assume you chose only your best, trying to make a good impression?”

“I’m old. I chose at random.” Layef said.

The Tai-Matoran nodded, “Rather, I chose.” He said. “I handpicked officers from a list of names I was given.” He said, gesturing to the officers on one side of the room, “And then again from detectives.” He gestured to the other side, the side with less Matoran, “And I chose which detectives partially based on their apprentices. Such as Derr, for instance. He has two apprentices, so he seemed interesting.”

“It is. I‘m one of them.” Gahla said, making the guest feel uncomfortable for speaking to her as if she didn’t know the situation.

“And he has a famous sculptor working with him.” The Tai-Matoran continued, telling everyone, “So he seemed interesting. I chose at random based on what I had, like this situation, but also normal detectives, to see how they are on their own. How they function without any odd circumstances.”

He bowed, “My name is Tial. I hope we can all get along while I look around and report back.”

“Tial, please, feel free to go as you wish with these officers and detectives. Feel free to come to me for anything, a well.” Layef said, patting him on the back and walking off the stage.

Tial rose, “I’m going to look around the city. If something happens, can someone find me? I’d like to see a case in action.”

“I’ll go with you.” One officer said, stepping forward, “It’ll be easier that way. If something happens, they’ll know to tell me, due to my robe of authority. And then, you’ll be with me, easier to find. And I can protect you this way.”

Tial nodded, “That’s fine with me. Let’s get going.”

The officer nodded, waiting for Tial to come off the stage and follow him out of the room. As soon as they left, everyone else got to work, departing the room to go to their usual areas, whether it be patrols or work.

“What do you think of this?” Gahla asked Linke.

He shrugged, “Odd setup, I guess.”

“It’s going to be annoying.” Cenrik muttered, “Being watched by someone like him. Just being watched in general…”

“Get over it.” Derr said, “It’s not for too long. And he’s interested in officers right now. He only chose us because of you, really, Cenrik. If you want someone to blame, blame yourself for joining my authority.”

“I’ll blame Recht.” Cenrik said, shooting a look at the Ta-Matoran.

“I’m a special case.” He answered, “But I don’t know if he would have found it had he not found two Junior Detectives under one Senior.”

“The records don’t really have you marked.” Derr confirmed, “He would have had to have been told by someone.”

Cenrik muttered something about being proven wrong and then stayed quiet in his anger of being the reason he was being watched. That he had no one to blame but himself for wanting in on that team.

As the hours passed, the detectives and Linke never saw Tial again. He was still out with patrol officers, not watching them, which would have made Cenrik angry.

“Can’t he get it over with so I can stop waiting?” Cenrik muttered.

“I thought you didn’t want him watching us.” Derr said.

“Now I’m eager. I just want our turn to be over so I can relax.” Cenrik explained, “The sooner he comes, the sooner I can stop being so stiff.”

“I get it.” Derr replied, “But you know, he may not even come.”

Cenrik muttered and cursed at that possibility.

“I wonder where he is.” Gahla said, “It’s odd that he’d be on patrol this long, unless something happened. He’s only here today, right?”

Derr nodded.

“Then shouldn’t he be looking at all aspects? Officers, patrol, detectives? And we’re set up in such a way that our group is unique. He should come look at us. But he’s not back yet, and he only has a few hours until the last boat leaves at twilight…”

Linke rose, “I’m going to go look for him. Something might be wrong.”

“You do that.” Derr said, “And if he comes, then we’ll start without you. After all, I don’t think anyone else like you on another island, wherever he’s from, will be joining the police like this. A famous man as a consultant…” He muttered, shaking his head, still in disbelief at how ridiculous it sounded.

“That’s fine. Go ahead if he comes.” Linke replied, walking out. As soon as he got out of the station, he ran, searching for any signs of patrolling officers.

After about an hour of running, he stopped in front of his store, panting. He had found patrol officers, but no one had seen the officer that was with Tial. No one had seen Tial either. Something was wrong.

Recht.” Linke said, walking in, “We need to go.”

“Why? Is something wrong?” Recht asked, pulling for his Duos Stone.

“An ambassador is gone.” Linke replied, “He just vanished. I have a bad feeling about this.”

“Could be a normal crime.” Recht reminded, “Abduction…”

“The officer that was with him is gone too.” Linke said, “Officers are trained to fight. I don’t think he could have been abducted too. No one even knew about the ambassador coming. No one can even be told where he’s from, or what his actual job is! Something is wrong here, and I think it’s a Dark Hunter.”

“If you really think so, then let’s go.” Recht said, slipping his Duos Stone back into the pouch as he walked to join Linke. “Where do we begin?”

“If its "Keizaln", we just walk around together and he’ll eventually come when he sees us.” Linke said.

Recht nodded, not arguing with his logic, which was actually sound. The two left the store and started out down the street.

After about half an hour of walking, they reached the abandoned area of town. They both looked around, aware of the eyes on them.

This was the place.

“So glad you found me.” "Keizaln"’s voice said.

“Clichéd location.” Recht muttered, drawing his Duos Stone.

“It makes sense, though.” "Keizaln" said, “Clichéd as it may be.”

Linke drew his Stone to correspond with Recht’s. The two turned around to face the Voeren, holding their Stones towards each other. Arcs of power flew around them, drawing them together, forming them into a single Toa.

As they took their first steps of this fusion forward, they attached their pouches to their waist again. The fusion process knocked them off, so they had to reattach them every time.

“Let’s make this quick.” Recht said, drawing a Stone. He put it to his chest, changing his form to Iron.

Iron and Fire opposed "Keizaln" as the Dark Hunter drew his sword. He walked towards them, “Well, this is interesting. What powers does your right have?”

Recht put his arm out, holding it over the ground. A circle appeared on the ground from where he worked. He drew the finished weapon up, taking hold of the sword as it formed below the ground. He span it around, opposing "Keizaln" and his blade.

“Iron.” "Keizaln" said, “Interesting. A duel, then.”

Recht nodded, “Two steel weapons ringing out against each other. It’s just like the ringing of steel on a stone when carving. This is how we should be fighting, "Keizaln". I’ve been a fool to just realize that now.”

“You have been, but better late than never.” The Dark Hunter answered, rushing forward. He slashed down with one hand.

Recht copied him, swinging up with one. He thought dark thoughts, making sure Linke felt them, as if to warn him not to use his flames.

The two struggled, keeping their blades locked together. Neither was able to overcome the other with their one handed grips. Their strength wasn’t enough on either end to win out against the other.

“Let’s make this more interesting.” "Keizaln" said, putting his left hand on the hilt, putting more pressure down against Recht.

“Do it!” Recht shouted.

With pleasure, Linke drove his fist into "Keizaln"’s chest and unleashed his power, sending a blast of fire rippling into the Dark Hunter, throwing him back.

"Keizaln" rolled and slammed his sword into the ground to stop himself. He rose to his full height and span the sword around in a circle, creating a perpetual shield as Linke continued to unleash his powers.

The spinning sword continued to stop the flames as they came. Perfectly protecting the Voeren. He laughed as he approached them, still spinning, still safe.

Linke stopped his attack and switched to Earth. The black half of the Toa threw his arm out, sending a wave of dirt and earth forward, smashing into "Keizaln", knocking him to the ground. It would only take a moment for him to rise, but that was all Linke needed for his plan to work.

As "Keizaln" rose, he used his powers again, drawing minerals out of the ground, reshaping them into what suited his needs. He threw them up as a clump and then changed back to his standard form. He threw a fireball at the minerals as they fell, igniting them, causing an explosion between the two warriors.

As the explosion went off, "Keizaln" leapt back for protection, but was buried under rubble. Safe, but buried. It would take time for him to get out.

The Toa was thrown back and split back into two. As they hit the ground, Linke got up and ran, running towards the nearest empty building. He looked around, shouting, but when no answer came, he ran for the next, continually looking.

“Who are you looking for?” Recht questioned, “The diplomat?”

Linke nodded, “He has to be around here somewhere!”

Recht glanced to the rubble where "Keizaln" was buried. He ran over, starting to search other buildings, shouting Tial’s name. No answer was coming from these buildings either.

Linke ran into another one and then saw the Tai-Matoran on the ground, his arms tied behind his back. He ran over, untying them. He saw the legs were tied, and undid them as well.

“You’re safe now.” Linke assured him, “I’m with the…”

“I know who you are, Recht.” Tial said, “What about that guy who took me?”

“He’s a Dark Hunter. He’s being dealt with.” Linke vaguely assured him, “That officer that was with you…”

“Dead.” Tial said, sitting up beside Linke.

Linke tried to find something to say, to comfort Tial as he thought of what to do with the diplomat, then Tial spoke.

“I’m not actually a diplomat.” He whispered, “I’m a nobody.”

Linke looked to him in confusion, “What do you mean, a nobody?”

“I’m no one.” Tial said, “I’m a worker. A mindless laborer, a cog in the machine. I was selected because I was replaceable, and I would be in danger, potentially, but not anyone important would be. I’m still expected to report, but it won’t matter as much, what happens to me.”

“You matter.” Linke said, grabbing his shoulders, looking into his eyes, “Even cogs in a machine matter. They allow the machine to function. Without you, the machine will jam.” He said, not saying it would die. He knew Tial would be replaced, but it would slow and jam first, “You’re important, Tial. Everyone is!”

“Thank you. I don’t know if I can believe that, but thank you.” Tial said. “But I’m not like you. I’m not a famous sculptor.”

“I’m not either.” Linke said, “I use that identity as cover. My partner is the carver…I’m like you, a nobody.”

“You are?” He questioned, “But you work with the police!”

“I may, but I’m still essentially a nobody.” Linke admitted, omitting the fact that he was a Toa, “But, even as a nobody, I’m still important.”

“How?” Tial asked.

Linke drew the Duos Stone out, “Have you heard of the Toa of this island? I make up half of his body, along with the real Recht. We fight as the Toa.”

“Then you are a somebody!” Tial exclaimed.

“I was in the right place, and the right time. Or wrong place at the wrong time, depending.” Linke answered, “But I was a nobody. I am a nobody. Only on occasion do I use this power and fight. Tial, you could be like me. You can excel at something and become like me. Become an occasional somebody. But remember, not everyone is always a somebody. People are nobodies until they are somebody.”

Tial nodded in understanding of his words. He completely understood.

An explosion shook the building. Linke heard Recht cursing, and ran towards the door. Recht rushed in, pulling both other Matoran with him.

“What’s happening?” Linke questioned.

“"Keizaln" has backup.” He hissed, “A red armored Dark Hunter with heavy weaponry. He’s firing on us right now!”

As they ran out a back way and doubled around to escape, instead of standing to fight, Linke got a look at this Dark Hunter. He was clad in black and red, with a silver helmet. He carried many projectile weapons across his entire body, looking incredibly imposing.

Whoever he was, they would have to overcome him in the end, however. Linke only wondered if he was one of "Keizaln"’s special assignment men.

They ran, heading back towards the shop for safety as "Keizaln" rose with the other Hunter’s help. They didn’t care about the fleeing Matoran, rather, they cared about returning to the ships for now.

The gunner watched them go with his crimson eye. He knew he would be the one to kill them.

Day Fifty-Six Edit

“It’s all just a game. Keep telling yourselves that.”

The Toa dashed behind a tree and slid to the ground. He panted and looked behind the trunk, looking through the denser foliage that lay behind him, as opposed to the lighter foliage before him, leading back towards the city.

“If you call this a game…life and death…then you found a perfect place, joining the Dark Hunters!” Linke shouted.

“Oh, you speak finally?”

The tree erupted into splinters of wood which rained down on the Toa. They ran and dodged the small energy bolts - pellets, really - rushing for deeper woods, hoping to hide. They were no match for this Dark Hunter.

A few days ago, they had rescued a Tai-Matoran named Tial. When they had taken care of "Keizaln", another Dark Hunter had come to his rescue. One heavily armed, in crimson and black armor with a silver helmet, and a crimson optical eye on it.

He was heavily armed, and obviously not an opponent to take lightly. He wasn’t like the normal batch of Dark Hunters they usually faced, warriors who relied on brute strength, or blades of any sort. This was a Dark Hunter who knew what he was doing, who knew how to track, how to use his surroundings.

He was one of the higher ranked Dark Hunters who was in charge of the siege at Doppel Nui. He wasn’t a member of the Triad that "Keizaln" had brought with him, but rather, was a Dark Hunter who was already there.

If he had appeared earlier, then they would have been lucky to survive fights with only their standard powers.

But now, it looked like they would have to. They only had the Duos Stone, only their natural elements to manipulate.

It had started earlier that day, in the morning…

Linke had been with Derr, standing in the station, watching down the hall that directed them to the prison, to the cells. They watched as two officers came out, leading the Ka-Matoran, Phasm, between them. They each wore a dagger on their belt as their only weapon, spears being too excessive to wield against a prisoner they were taking out of the station.

Phasm stopped, making the two Matoran stop. Phasm turned around and looked at the two Matoran glaring at him, eyeing him up.

He gave them a sinister grin, a disturbing smile, “Well, it’s been good. I had fun staying here. It was…a new experience for me. I really hope when I get home, my gallery will have been untouched.”

Derr and Linke continued to glare at him. Neither had been able to search the gallery due to the issues with getting search warrants and the time constraints and lack of evidence against Phasm. Had they more evidence, they could have gotten a warrant soon enough to search before he was released. But with only seven or eight days, they couldn’t get one fast enough. Phasm seemed to know this fact.

He seemed to enjoy pushing their buttons. He enjoyed making them mad, knowing that they couldn’t touch him. If they lost it and tried to attack him right then and there, they would have been in serious trouble.

They were the law. They couldn’t break it just to get at Phasm.

Phasm grinned and turned to both guards, “Ok, let’s go. I’m ready to leave now. I think I’ve stayed here long enough.”

“Things to get back to?” Derr demanded.

“What do you mean by that, Detective?” Phasm questioned, mocking him to a degree.

“You’re the "Ghost".” Derr hissed.

“If I was, I’d be in prison.” Phasm said, “And not only on a drug selling charge, but for actually being who you claim I am.”

“I know that there’s really no other option other than you being the "Ghost".” Derr hissed, “It all makes sense in retrospect. Your gallery being the place where the drugs and the illegal games going on, it all adds up to you!”

“Do you have proof?” Phasm questioned, “Other than your wishful thinking, of course?”

Derr muttered under his breath, cursing. He looked up, watching as Phasm left with the guards, laughing at him.

“I know he’s the "Ghost". He has to be!” Derr shouted. He looked to Linke, “We have to watch him, Recht. One day he will slip up, and we’ll have him.”

Linke nodded, “I agree completely, Derr. I’m sure he’s the "Ghost" as well. It all makes sense, just like you said.”

“We’ll get him.” Derr vowed, “If he’s the "Ghost", we’ll get him. If he’s a subordinate, we’ll find the "Ghost" through him. Either way, he’ll give us the "Ghost".”

Linke nodded, “I’ll do everything in my power to get him.”

“We.” Derr corrected.

Linke nodded, “I’d best be going.” Linke told him.

“Ok. I’ll see you later, Recht.”

Linke nodded, “Yeah, I’ll be by tomorrow again. I don’t know if I’ll come back again today. Doesn’t look like too busy of a day here.”

Derr shrugged and nodded, “You’re right. See you whenever you come back.”

As Linke was walking away, Derr called out the name of Recht.

Linke turned when he heard his alias, “Yes?”

“The statue you did for me. The thing I owed you for making…I was looking at it again yesterday.”

“Do you finally realize that you hate it? That you finally have no answer for me for why you wanted it?” Linke questioned.

He recalled telling Derr that he didn’t know why he would want it. He knew of his animosity towards the Toa, and had told the Onu-Matoran in the past that he would regret purchasing it, even placing the order.

Derr had never regretted it as of today. They occasionally spoke of it before Linke joined them as a consultant. They spoke once or twice of it while he was a consultant. This was the first time Derr had been the one to bring it up.

“I have an answer.” Derr said.

“Oh?” Linke questioned.

“I wanted it - and I still like it - because it’s a sign of what I’m not. Of what I can never be. Of the duty that I do for my island, but at the same time, showing me the dream that I can never reach. Being able to do my full duty and protect everyone from every threat. That is something I can’t do, but the statue reminds me to do my best, and leave everything to who we know will do it.”

“Are you finally warming up to him?” Linke questioned, keeping it vague, just like Derr was. If another officer or detective heard, they would become suspicious of things.

“No.” Derr answered, “I just know that until we can take care of it, it’s useful.”

Linke nodded in agreement, “Ok, I understand.” He turned to depart without another word, leaving the station.

Again he had found himself at the shop with his partner, Recht. Time had gone by, and they had settled for speaking to each other about anything that came to either’s mind.

Then, it had happened.

Someone had knocked on the door. Linke walked towards it and took a slab from the ground, looking at the words on it.

He looked to Recht, “We have something we must do.” He said, walking over to the desk.

“Someone brought a message straight here about the Toa’s need to make an appearance?” Recht questioned.

Linke nodded, “Yeah. That means someone knows.”

“What does it say?” Recht asked.

“It’s vague enough for the messenger not to know what it meant, should he have read it. It says that we’re needed by a tall client at the mountain.” Linke said, “Tall client - Dark Hunter. Mountain - area to fight in. And client - opponent.”

Recht nodded, “Very obvious.” He took his pouch from the desk and put it on, “Let’s go.” He said.

Linke put his pouch on and walked towards the door with his partner. With a nod, they departed.

“You’ve come.” He said.

The Dark Hunter, crimson and black in armor, had a long barreled blaster on each shoulder. He had two blasters on each arm that were connected with an open area. The ends were rounded and the blaster portions. His right hand held a weapon that was two Cordak Blasters with a similar blaster, like on his arms, between them. He had two blades, going down the other way, arcing down. His left hand held a small handgun blaster, with a blade arcing down the bottom up his arm, and another blade on the top with a sight and a bayonet, the bayonet and blade both folded back along his arm.

The two wasted no time in their fusion. They stood before him, waiting.

“Remember me from the other day?” He questioned, “It’s time for our actual duel.”

“What’s your name?” The Toa questioned.

Helsrok.” He said, lifting his handgun. The bayonet top turned, the sight targeting the Toa’s body. “Run.” He hissed, opening fire.

Now it all came back to the Toa’s flight. He rolled behind another tree as a Cordak missile hit the ground, blowing it apart. He glanced behind the tree, looking to Helsrok as he approached.

They had lost their pouches. He had used his shoulder mounted weapons earlier to blast them, using the precision targeting that he had with his optical eye to blast the straps off, dropping them. By the time either Matoran noticed, he had both pouches.

Now they were on their own with only their standard powers. A forest was surrounding them, Rahi filling it, and a powerful and hostile Dark Hunter pursuing them relentlessly.

Helsrok was a marksman. He could only fight with projectiles, it seemed. Any time they attempted to corner him and attack, no matter how close, he relied on firearms, even though he had a few blades on his weapons.

“We need to stop his weapons.” Recht said, “I think I can oxidize their internal mechanisms if we can get him distracted long enough.”

“I’ll lay down some fire, burn down a few trees on him, you start the process.” Linke offered.

“It’ll take time.” Recht told him, “I’m not just hammering him with wind. I’m trying a delicate process. It’ll take focus for me to oxidize.”

“How long?” Linke questioned.

“Two minutes a weapon, I’ll bet.” Recht answered.

“I’ll do what I can.” Linke replied, making a break for the Dark Hunter. As Helsrok raised his handgun, he trained the sight on the Toa’s chest.

Flames tore up the ground around Helsrok, offsetting his footing. The Toa dove behind a tree while the flames roared. Linke continued to feed them, keeping his opponent trapped. Meanwhile, Recht focused and threw his arm out, focusing on the handgun, attempting to oxidize it.

“It’ll take too long!” Linke hissed.

A blast struck Recht’s hand, forcing him to withdraw it with a hiss of pain. He nodded, “We’ll just break his weapons.”

They rolled out. Recht threw his arm forward, unleashing wind blades. They sliced into the shoulder weapons, dropping them to the ground in pieces. Helsrok looked up in anger and focused. The arm mounted weapons flashed to life, unleashing twin spheres of power from each weapon. The spheres were locked together by an energy bar between them. The two blasts were spinning as they flew through the air towards the Toa.

They rolled to avoid the attack and span around. This time, it was Linke’s turn to disable weapons.

He snapped his fingers at Helsrok’s right side. The weapon began to melt, becoming useless. He cursed, cutting the slag off of his arm with the bayonet’s underside, which had a blade.

Now Recht attacked again. Unleashing a miniature cyclone contained in a sphere of wind, he pushed it towards the weapon on the left, digging into it and ripping it apart from the inside out.

More cursing as he cut it away.

Both arms went forward, both hands snapping.

The Cordak Blaster combination started to melt into slag, becoming useless. Wind cut through the center of the handgun, making the barrel useless.

“You two are good.” Helsrok hissed. He walked towards them, spinning the Cordak around to wield the twin blades which curved upwards. He span the blade on the bottom of the handgun up and the bayonet back.

“You’re relying on blades, now.” Recht hissed, “That says a lot.”

“Let’s see how you are with blades.” Linke said.

Helsrok shook his head, “No, I’m not going to fight you with these. I’m not good enough with blades to defeat you.” He kept his blades out, “I’ll only keep them out for now, until I get away from you two.”

He dropped both weapons and hooked his thumbs behind the belt he wore. He tore the pouches off of the belt and threw them forward, landing them at the Toa’s feet.

“Where are you going?” Linke demanded.

“I have other business to attend to.” Helsrok said, crouching down and taking grip of his weapons, keeping the blades out. “I’ll repair these, and later, I’ll return. We’re going to fight again, Toa. Just not today.”

The Toa watched him depart. They quickly dropped to their knees, searching through the pouches. They found their supply of Stones safe. All of them were there. Recht felt power in all of them, realizing they were real.

“He didn’t do anything to them.” Recht said, “Don’t worry.”

“That’s good.” He told Recht with relief.

They rose and put their hands to their chests. The Duos Stones came from their chests, reverting them back into two Matoran. They slid the Stones into their pouches, attaching the pouches to their belts, and the two Matoran departed back towards the shop, leaving Helsrok on his own. They were ready to face him another day.

Day Fifty-Eight Edit

Striding onto the island with pride, "Keizaln" held his head high and his hilt exposed. He walked through the jungle, heading east, heading towards the actual city on Doppel Nui.

He had decided to take the stealth entry. By going through the jungle, he also got to test his blade. As a Voeren, he was naturally agile and could easily get through the jungle. He could probably use his acute senses to avoid every Rahi as well, but he didn’t want to.

He wanted to take a leisurely walk, and sharpen his blade against Rahi.

Was that so much to ask for? He was about to go and duel a Toa. A Toa which had been a thorn in the Dark Hunters side for too long. This Toa had to be put down, and today was the day that "Keizaln" would do it. This would be the day that he would cut the Toa down where he stood.

They had three duels already. The first was a curb-stomp battle, with the Toa going down before he could do anything to wound the superior Dark Hunter. The second fight had been more of a draw, a duel between blades. The third had ended in "Keizaln" being buried under rubble, due to a trick by the Toa.

"Keizaln" won the first, came out with a draw on the second, and was incapacitated for the third.

He was even across the board. But so was the Toa.

Defeated, draw, win.

Today would be the day that they would settle the score, and one would come out on top. And the one to do so would be "Keizaln".

His days of being a servant were going to soon end. Once he rid the Toa from the Dark Hunters presence - once he plucked the thorn from the belly of the beast that was the Dark Hunters - he would be recognized by his peers. He would become a much more highly regarded warrior.

He wouldn’t just be looked at as an assassin, a Voeren. A skilled warrior. While he would still be looked at for his skill, it wouldn’t be because of his species. The Voeren were natural killers, but not combatants. Not as much, anyway.

No, when he would win, it would bring him recognition as a skilled warrior due to skill alone, not species. It would also bring him praise, killing a Toa that no others could kill.

He had spoken to Helsrok earlier. Helsrok had dueled the Toa, and had also saved "Keizaln" from the rubble a few days prior to his duel with the Toa.

Helsrok had reported that the Toa was skilled. He had managed to cripple them to a degree, bringing them down to only the elements of Air and Fire. Even without their full array of powers, they were still able to overcome the odds and destroy every weapon he had, other than his blades. But he wasn’t much of a close quarter’s warrior, so he quit at that point, knowing he couldn’t win that fight.

He had returned the Toa’s Stones, the rocks which gave them various powers. That was something "Keizaln" didn’t understand. It was an odd sense of honor.

Honor was looked down upon in the Dark Hunters. You didn’t need it, you didn’t want it, you weren’t expected to show it.

"Keizaln" respected Helsrok. Helsrok was one of the highest ranked Dark Hunters in the mission. He was highly respected and was a leader of the siege mission. He was the one who sent most of the Dark Hunters out to do their jobs on Doppel Nui of eliminating the Toa.

But even he couldn’t win. But he had admitted that he was toying with them.

"Keizaln" knew that feeling. He knew about toying with a foe. He enjoyed toying with his opponents.

Honor aside, "Keizaln" held Helsrok in only the highest regard. He knew the man was one of the deadliest Dark Hunters due to his accuracy and his firearms. Anything that was “impregnable” wasn’t. Helsrok always got in.

"Keizaln" stopped, realizing that this jungle, these woods, was where Helsrok had fought. While he was too far west to be at the sight yet, he looked around the woods, wondering what that duel was like.

Maybe he would draw the Toa into the jungle to fight. Maybe that would make the duel more fun, more interesting.

"Keizaln" dismissed the idea and continued moving inland. He put his hand on an immense tree trunk and looked up at it. It towered to the height of all the other trees, give or take, but had an immense trunk.

It was like three or four trees were one.

A reminder of the ability of the Duos Stones to combine two Matoran into a single Toa. Into a warrior who was only there to stop the Dark Hunters.

"Keizaln" hissed as he walked by the tree, pushing the thought out of his head. All that he cared about was fighting the Toa, and claiming his head. He didn’t care if this Toa was two Matoran, or a natural Toa.

All that the fact that he was two Matoran showed was that they had a different way about them. They had a different way of handling things, the Matoran way. They also had two elements to manipulate, and more with the help of additional powers through their Stones.

The only real advantage that the Duos Stone gave was their dual elemental abilities, their dual Kanohi, and their shared mind.

Other than that, "Keizaln" regarded them as any other Toa he had cut down in his time. Any other warrior he had ever dueled.

He stopped when he came to an area with less trees. He looked ahead to a Muaka tiger, grazing in the grass.

He knew that the police of the island sometimes trained these tigers to act as mounts. Some also did it on their own, but it wasn’t a smart idea.

Kane-Ra were also fair game, but this wasn’t a bull, it was a tiger.

He approached it slowly. It didn’t take notice of him yet, but would surely attack as soon as it did.

If he really wanted to, he could get past it without being seen. His ability as a Voeren would let him get by.

But that wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to test his blade. And by just walking behind it, trying to get past it, he knew he would fight it.

The tiger heard him. It turned, glaring at him with its two large, glowing eyes, like two angry, hot embers.

"Keizaln" looked into those eyes. His dark armor made his eyes twin beacons as he looked into the eyes of the beast.

It roared at him and lifted its claws. It slashed them down as hard as it could, throwing its primal strength into the attack. Should the claws strike him, he would be ripped apart. "Keizaln" wouldn’t survive this simple minded monster’s attack.

His right hand was on his hilt in a moment. He wore the sword on the short of his back, making drawing it awkward, but confusing to his opponents, due to how odd a style it was for him to use. However, this oddity, this tactic of confusion, could very well end up getting him killed right here against this thing.

In an instant, his blade was free of the small piece of scabbard that his sword was always driven into. It made it easier for drawing, rather than having a full scabbard up the length of his back.

He whipped the blade out, holding the actual blade away from his body, struggling, keeping his muscles tight as the claws slashed the steel of the blade.

He struggled, grunting with effort. He was slowly being pushed back by the strength of this monstrosity he fought.

The tiger roared and snapped its head forward. He could see the maw of darkness that was its mouth. Its razor fangs would tear him apart much faster than the claws would.

If the claws or teeth got him, he was dead. Now, it was only an option of what he wanted to kill him.

Drop the sword to strike at the mouth, and be killed by the claws. Or, he could keep his defense up and be ripped apart by the teeth of the beast.

His crimson eyes flashed in determination, in anger. He used his natural agility, flipping into the air with a front flip. He plowed his feet onto the nose of the tiger and drew his sword up with him, allowing the claw to plunge into the ground, the teeth to dig into a tree.

"Keizaln" span his sword around and looked right between the eyes of the beast. Like an animal himself, he plunged it down, cutting through the armor, the organics, the skull of the monstrosity. It fell to the ground with a loud thud and moved no more.

"Keizaln" stepped off of the corpse. He looked back to it, wondering how long it would take before the scavengers got at it and tore it apart, feasting on it.

Such was the way of life. "Keizaln" was only a part of it. He was one of the beings on the top, killing weaker creatures, even the mighty Muaka tiger.

He continued on, towards the city, towards his duel. Towards another creature beneath him on the food chain.

“He’s lying.” Linke told Cenrik, watching as Gahla questioned a Matoran.

“Lying about killing his friend?” Cenrik asked, “Or about stealing?”

“The murder.” Linke replied, “He never stole, not as far as I can tell. But he did make up the story about his alias, so chances are, he killed him.”

“How do you know he made it up?” Cenrik questioned.

“He was carving his name into some slabs for legal purposes.” Linke said, “You know that. Well, he was doing it no problem, talking to Gahla about the case. He said he didn’t steal during this. When she brought up if he murdered his friend, he stopped as he told his story. He fabricated it. Lying makes menial tasks more difficult.”

Cenrik nodded in amazement. Linke was about to say something, when an officer walked in. He whispered to Linke, and walked out.

“I have to go.” Linke told Cenrik, “Use what I said to help this case.”

Cenrik nodded, watching as Linke left.

Linke turned the corner outside and saw Recht standing there. He moved into the alley by which Recht stood, pulling the Le-Matoran in with him.

“What is it?” Linke breathed.

“"Keizaln" has returned.” Recht responded.

“What? How do you know?” Linke questioned.

“I heard people talking.” Recht said.

“Where were you that you heard people talking?” Linke questioned.

“Out, looking at art.” Recht answered, “Now that Epee is dead, I don’t have to hide as much anymore. I’m free. He’s dead, Ezim is dead…”

Linke nodded, “Ok, where is he?”

“The abandoned area last anyone saw. He moved by now, surely.” Recht said, passing Linke his pouch.

The two withdrew their Duos Stones and put them at each other. The arcs of power flew around them, pulling them into a single being. They leapt onto the rooftop beside him, hooking their pouches to their belt. They used Recht’s powers to propel themselves on, beginning their search.

"Keizaln" stood in the abandoned district, his sword drawn, panting. He looked ahead of him at the Toa, using a sword. He was using his powers of Iron and Fire.

Their duel had been going for nearly ten minutes. "Keizaln" had claimed that he would win this day, and the Toa scoffed, taking up a blade from iron from the ground. They had dueled with their blades ever since.

They dashed at each other again. "Keizaln" lifted his blade high, slashing it down. The Toa swung his blade to the side, making the parry. The sword continued to the side, the Toa rocked back, avoiding the tip of the sword. He rocked forward, slamming the left foot into "Keizaln"’s chest, throwing him to the ground.

"Keizaln" rolled and slammed his sword into the ground, using it to stop his slide. He pulled the blade free and ran forward, clashing swords again with the Toa. They both struggled, trying to overcome the other’s muscles, but they were evenly matched.

“Give up!” Linke shouted.

“I won’t. Not until I become a king!” He shouted, kicking the Toa back. He rolled and slammed his sword down this time to stop his sliding. He pulled it free, seeing it full of chips, unlike the Dark Hunter’s sword.

“Let’s get this over with.” Linke hissed, rushing forward, lifting his sword high.

"Keizaln" lifted his sword high and raced forward, ready to end their clash.

"Keizaln" stumbled back to the Dark Hunter flagship. He groaned in pain, his sword was perfect yet. It would be a miracle for his opponent to chip it, to damage it. The ProtoSteel was tempered in a much more unique way than anyone else had ever done.

Ragged breaths came from his body as he stumbled around before finally sliding down against a wall. He looked around. There were two doors into the room. The way he came in, which was open, and another, closed door.

The closed door open and two figures walked in. They both looked down at him.

“Have fun?” The smaller figure asked. He was clad in black and gray armor with some lime green. He had the same armor, more or less, as "Keizaln", and had black and lime green claws mounted as gauntlets over his hands. He had a dagger in the small of his back, and a naked, armored face. He looked very similar, but that was to be understood. He was Kabarn, the main species of Voeren, who were their subspecies.

Erok…I nearly did it.” "Keizaln" panted. He rose, revealing the extent of his wounds. His entire left side was scorched from a massive flame attack that Linke had unleashed. “As bad as I look…I did just as much to the Toa.”

The larger figure, clad in blue and white armor, was a Skakdi. He stalked forward, holding an axe in his right hand. He looked with his wicked grin to "Keizaln", the nearly permanent grin of a Skakdi. Not just a Dark Hunter who lived to kill, but a Skakdi who loved his job.

“I’m surprised you survived.” He said, his deep voice resonating around the room, “You didn’t die from the heat hammering your organs?”

“No, Wenos. I survived.” "Keizaln" said to the final member of the Triad.

“Next time…it will be a kill.” Erok said, putting his hands behind his back and keeping them there. He had that habit of locking his arms behind his back.

“I know it will.” "Keizaln" said, “I know how they fight. They try to duel me with a blade, which I easily outmatch them. It’s only their elemental powers that can oppose me. But next time, I will end it.”

Erok took a step forward and rested his left hand on "Keizaln"’s shoulder, “Ok, "Keizaln". You just rest for now. Next time, as a Voeren, your pride will lead you to victory.”

He plunged his dagger into the Voeren’s gut. "Keizaln" cried out with a gasp as he slowly lost his vision and his life.

“Next time, the subspecies won’t fight, but the main species shall.” He mocked as "Keizaln"’s corpse hit the ground, “And the leader of the Triad shall soon enter the fray, servant.”

Day Sixty-Three Edit

“You want to learn to carve?” Recht asked, not paying Linke much heed as he chipped away at a piece of stone.

“I do.” Linke simply answered, “Will you teach me?”

“Why?” Recht asked.

“Why what?” Linke demanded, losing his patience with the Le-Matoran. He may not have been eccentric, unlike every other Le-Matoran Linke had ever met, but he really never seemed to answer questions properly. He always just seemed to get on Linke’s nerves, no matter what. It seemed like Recht’s hobby.

“Why do you want me to teach you? And why do you want to learn to carve?” Recht questioned, wanting answers for both.

“I want to be able to carve so I can have a hobby, a pastime.” Linke said, “Is that so much to ask?”

“No. Carving is good.” Recht said.

“I know. I’ve seen you do it for so long, I’m jealous.” Linke admitted, “I have visions in my head. I’d like to get them on stone.”

“Why do you want me to teach you?” Recht questioned.

“Do I even have to say it?” Linke exclaimed in question, “You’re the best! You’re a legend! I want your expertise teaching me!”

“Naturally.” Recht said. He put his chisel against the stone, but didn’t strike it. He looked to Linke, “Ok, I’ll teach you.”

“Thank you.” Linke said, relieved that the great Recht would teach him.

A piece of stone sat before Linke. It was large, about the size of his head. He eyed it up. It was a perfect square, without flaw on the surface. Supposedly it had no internal flaws either, nothing to potentially damage the structure of the statue that were to come.

“Now, before I can teach you anything, you must look at the stone.” Recht said, “This in itself is the first lesson.”

“I don’t get it.” Linke replied, just staring at the stone.

“Just pay attention.” Recht said, sitting beside him, looking at the stone, “Now, pay attention to the stone, not me. Just look at it, take it in, see it in your mind’s eye.”

Linke watched the stone, looked over the smooth, granite colored texture. He closed his eyes, seeing it exclusively in his mind.

“Ok, now, find the sculpture within.” Recht said.

Linke opened his eyes and looked to Recht, “What?” Is all he could question to Recht’s statement.

“Like I said, find the sculpture within.” Recht said, looking from Linke to the rock, “In your mind’s eye, see what is within it. See the beauty of what you will bring out. You see, a sculptor knows that he isn’t creating a statue, he is only bringing it out of the stone by removing the excess.”

Linke thought Recht had lost his mind. How did a stone already have a sculpture within it? How was a sculptor’s job to simply remove the excess? Wasn’t he supposed to carve what he saw in his own mind, not what he saw in the stone already existing?

By looking at it, taking the texture and color, he could say it would be a statue of a Toa of Stone. The color made him think that.

But that wasn’t what Recht wanted. That wasn’t the lesson he was trying to teach to Linke.

“But you take requests.” Linke said, “You carve on what you have. How can the stones you have down here - that I purchase for you - contain exactly what is requested?” Linke questioned, trying to stump Recht.

“Simple.” Recht said, “I take the request and look at every stone until I find the one that will best contain my vision. When I look at a stone, and I see something that isn’t it, I skip it. Let me put it this way. My request is a Hau statue. I look at a rock like this one, I only see figurines in it. I look at a rock, hard, strong, very hard to carve into…then I know I have my Hau. It’s strong like a Hau, powerful, hard to break, just like the Mask of Shielding.”

“You make the stone fit the vision.” Linke said, “You don’t take any stone and put anything in it, you find the perfect stone that matches your vision as best as it can, and make that the vision you see in your mind’s eye. Right?”

“Very good.” Recht said with a nod of approval, “That’s right.”

“Now, in this I see a figure.” Linke said, running his hands over the stone, “I see a figure. A small one, but that’s because the stone itself is small.” He traced his finger around a general oval, “This will be the figure itself. The rest is excess.”

“Why cut so little off?” Recht questioned, moving his finger inside of Linke’s and tracing, “I would take all of this off yet.”

“That’s you.” Linke told him, “This is my vision. My modified version. I need the extra room to refine the texture of the body, of the armor.”

“You’re getting into texture.” Recht said, “That’s advanced. I’m not teaching you that for a while.”

“I have ideas.” Linke said, “I think I could make texture.”

“You can make rough. I’m sure you can do that.” Recht said, “But texture, all types of texture, not just rough and smooth, is beyond you and will be for years to come.”

“I don’t plan on striving to become a master, not like you.” Linke said, “Just a hobby carver. I don’t need that degree of detail.”

Recht nodded, “I understand. I don’t think I would have the time to teach you anyway.”

Linke gave him a look, “What are you talking about, Recht?” He questioned.

He shrugged, “Between my carving, your work with the police, I don’t have time. Learning to add all types of textures to a piece of work takes hours of work at a time. Neither of us have hours to spend like that.”

Linke nodded, “You’re right.” He chuckled, “I thought you were going to say you were leaving my partnership.”

“No. I can’t.” Recht said, “Not while we have the Duos Stones. Not while I have a duty along with you to protect this island when others cannot. I wouldn’t leave your partnership, Linke. We have a duty.”

“Our duty, our unity, our destiny…those are more important to you than your own life? A life you could get back to having?” Linke questioned in astonishment.

He nodded, “I don’t need my life back. Being a servant to those people…I don’t need it. As much as it helped, there are others to do my job, I’m sure. I’m better off here, creating art and fighting Dark Hunters and Rahi…and whatever else comes our way.”

“I’m touched.” Linke said, laughing at how odd that sounded.

Recht started to grin, “It does sound odd, coming from you.” He said. He dropped his grin, “Anyway, onto the carving.”

“You take that seriously. Very seriously.” Linke said.

“I do.” Recht replied, hence why he had dropped the grin.

“Shouldn’t this art be something to have pride in? To have faith in? To be happy about doing?” Linke questioned, “A reason to smile?”

“Many are that way.” Recht replied, “I’m not.”

“Why?” Linke questioned, “Why do you not smile when you work?”

“My smile isn’t important to my work.” Recht answered.

“Why? Give me an actual answer!” Linke pressed. “Come to think of it, you’ve never told me where you learned to carve. How did that come about?”

“I don’t want to talk about that.” Recht said, standing up. He pointed to the rock, “Right now, that’s your priority. Have basic marks from your chisel in it by the time I return. Show me you know how to begin.”

Linke nodded, taking up his chisel and hammer. He eyed the rock and started laying the chisel’s tip on the stone and taking light swings, just making marks for now, not even cuts. Recht watched for two swings, and walked away, heading into town.

Recht stopped, looking at a painting hanging in a store window. He eyed it and looked at the price. He knew that the money wasn’t an issue. They had more than enough from his sold art. He just had to get some widgets from Linke later.

He turned to the door, about to inquire inside to request the painting be held, when he heard screams. He turned and ran the other way, stopping in the middle of a larger street a block and a half away.

A Skakdi, clad in blue and white armor stood, showing his grimacing smile. His blue and white spine and blue head swayed as he walked, his claws crushing the ground with each step. Matoran were fleeing from the Skakdi, whose eyes were glowing with power.

He looked to the axe he carried. His eyes flashed, charging lightning into the axe. He laughed and swung it, sending a shockwave through the ground, smashing the ground apart and scattering Matoran.

Recht turned and ran the other way. He had to get to Linke and fast. This Skakdi just felt more dangerous than foes they had faced before, even "Keizaln".

He knew that neither of them were fully ready for combat. Their last duel with the Voeren had ended terribly. They had scorched his body, but his slashes had left their bodies aching and covered in wounds. They were starting to recover, but neither would have full strength for a fight like this one. Especially not against a Skakdi.

“I’m not done with my marks yet.” Linke said, “I thought you’d be taking longer.” He didn’t look away from his work. He started adding more marks.

“No time.” Recht said, “Skakdi, enemy, streets.”

Linke sprang up from his seat and span around, “Ok, then let’s get going.”

Recht grabbed his pouch from a table next to him, attaching it to his belt. He ran upstairs along with Linke, who grabbed his pouch as they ran into the main room. They each drew their Duos Stones mid stride, holding them out as they ran.

Arcs of power drew them together mid-step. They became one and continued running as they connected their pouches back to their belts.

Wenos looked to his side, to the street he stood at the intersection of. His grin widened when he saw the Toa approaching.

“Finally, some fun.” Wenos hissed, turning to face them. He lifted his axe up, putting it before his body, the blade going across his body, facing towards the Toa.

“Who are you?” They both questioned as the body stopped moving. They watched Wenos, “Are you a Dark Hunter?”

“Of course I am.” He hissed, “And a member of the Triad sent here to kill you.”

“The Triad…” Linke muttered.

“Triad?” Recht questioned.

“In the Dark Hunters, we have groups called Triads.” Wenos explained, “Groups of three expert Dark Hunters, we come in when things are bad, when normal Hunters don’t get the job done.”

“Is "Keizaln" your leader?” Linke demanded.

He let out a booming laugh. He looked down, his crimson eyes glaring at the Toa’s, “"Keizaln" was a fool who didn’t know his place. He thought he would become a king, but he died as I knew he would: a fool. He wasn’t our leader, he was just a warrior. A good one, but a fool at the same time. Now he’s dead, and can no longer bother me.”


“How did he die?” Linke shouted, “My attack didn’t do enough to kill him, even with time! How did he die? Answer me!”

The Skakdi of Lightning chuckled, “Erok, our Triad’s leader, killed him for failing.”

“How did he fail?” Linke demanded, “He nearly killed us!”

“Wasn’t good enough, left side Matoran.” Wenos said, “He thought that Erok would give him another shot. He was wrong…dead wrong…” He chuckled at his own joke.

“He was ours to kill!” Linke shouted, “He was a warrior who was ours to take out of the fight!” He charged forward, against Recht’s better judgment and orders to stop.

“I’m a Skakdi.” Wenos said, “I can’t use my lightning without another Skakdi.” He looked at his axe, his eyes glowing with power. The axe erupted with lightning, “But I have this power.” He hissed, slamming his axe down.

A shockwave rippled down the street, smashing into the Toa, sending him flying. He hit the ground hard and rolled, coming quickly to his feet. He rushed forward, as if nothing had happened.

“Stamina…good.” Wenos said, “This will make the fight fun!”

He slammed the axe down again, releasing the last of the power he held. The lightning erupted towards the Toa, but he didn’t seem to notice.

He rolled to the side. Linke threw his arm out, sending a blast of fire sizzling forward. The flames smashed into the Skakdi, but didn’t seem to take him down, or even faze him.

“It’ll take more than that to bring me down!” He laughed, stalking forward, “A Skakdi would never be allowed to live if that would even wound him! We’d be laughing stocks!”

“What now?” Linke questioned.

“Strength.” Recht replied, changing powers to Stone. He clenched his fist and raced forward, drawing his arm back.

“As a Skakdi, we have a third power.” He hissed, “A power of our body. We have element, vision, and another power. My power…”

The punch struck, but Wenos stood, laughing, unharmed.

“My power is to copy a power of my opponent.” He hissed. As the fist went down, they saw that he was seemingly made of stone. His defense had just skyrocketed.

His grin was still on his face. He lifted his axe high, slashing through the Toa’s chest as he brought it down. Both Matoran screamed in pain as they hit the ground. They managed to hold their form, but just barely.

“You’re done.” Wenos hissed, approaching them. His body slowly reverted to normal as the stone seemed to just peel back off of him, into the ground. He looked at his axe, igniting it again. He lifted the weapon high, laughing.

“Now!” Recht shouted, using his powers. A stone erupted from beneath them, throwing their body up at Wenos. In that moment of surprise, the Skakdi didn’t attack.

Both sides began to pulsate as they focused all of their power into their fists. The dual punch of Stone and Fire crashed into Wenos’s body in waves. Waves of power, waves of pain. No matter what, this Skakdi was going down, even if it cost them their power for at least a day.

While Recht would be fine - just not using his Stone powers - Linke was crippled until his Duos Stone recovered power. This attack would have to be worth throwing everything into.

As the dust of the explosion of power settled, Wenos swayed, still standing, laughing. He pointed at them, “You guys are fun!” He laughed, backing away, woozy, “I see why "Keizaln" didn’t assassinate you!”

He turned and swaggered off, alive. The Toa watched him depart, and then as he left eyeshot, they fell to their knees. Their armor became gray, and they split back into two men.

Day Sixty-Four Edit

Linke looked at the stone before him. He had carved the excess off with the chisel, but hadn’t made any other leeway yet.

“I need some widgets.” Recht said, “I found a painting I liked.”

“Widgets are in my desk, upper right drawer. Don’t spend too much.” Linke said. He stopped, “Why don’t I just go? I can use the name, see if I get a discount, or some deal.”

Recht shook his head, “Epee is finally dead. I can walk the streets without worrying anymore. I want to get out and finally live properly again. Like I did when I was an agent of that group of Av-Matoran.”

Linke nodded, “Ok, I understand how you feel, Recht. But in exchange for the money, I want to ask you some things when you return.”

Recht nodded, “Sounds reasonable. I’ll be back soon.”

Linke nodded, listening to him climb the stairs. He looked over his stone, still trying to find where he should start the first cuts into it. Where he should properly begin the process of forming his statue.

Recht walked out of the store. His money pouch was still nearly full. He had grabbed more than he required, just in case. He held the painting under one arm. A tarp was over it, as was customary for sold paintings, to protect it on the way back to the location it was to be bought for.

Recht had purchased a beautiful piece of work that depicted a sandy beach, a setting sun, placid water, and a discarded Kanohi and sword on the sand with a sitting Toa. The piece was beautiful, and he felt that it stood for what they fought for, why they fought the Dark Hunters.

He returned to the store and looked along the walls. He found the mark that Epee had left on the wall. Right over Recht’s emblem was a deep cut from Epee. They had since plastered over it, but it had soon fallen away, revealing it again.

The wall was large enough at this position. He removed a nail and hammered it into the wall. He hung the picture on the nail and admired the beauty of it, as well as the placement. He returned the money to the drawer and walked back to the workshop.

“You’ve made progress, I see.” Recht said, walking over to take a look at the statue. He could see the basic form of a Toa coming out of it.

“You’re back sooner than I expected.” Linke said simply. He leaned back and looked to Recht, “The painting?”

“I found a spot upstairs. You’ll see it when you go up.” Recht answered, leaning against the table, “Now, what questions did you have for me?”

“How did you learn to sculpt? From where? Who?” Linke asked.

Recht shook his head, “It was long ago. I was once on Metru Nui. Some Po-Matoran taught me the basics of carving. I never got good until I traveled, and soon met my employers, and became an agent, traveling more often. I eventually met an old Po-Matoran who taught me what he knew about carving. He was a great man.” Recht said.

Linke was watching him, “You lied.” He said.

“No.” Recht said, “What would make you say that?”

“You had uncertainty at the end. When you said he was a great man.” Linke answered, “Now tell me. What really happened?”

Recht sighed, “He wasn’t a great man. He was a hard man who wasn’t impressed by anything. He lived alone on Nynrah, away from the actual civilization. He was a hermit, but one who formerly lived on Metru Nui as a carver. A sculptor. I learned what he had to teach…but at a price.”

“What price?” Linke asked.

“I lived with him for months.” Recht answered, “Trying to refine my technique. Trying to gain the status he once held, as a master. Then…every time I failed to do something properly, he would beat me. He had a metal rod he would use at every error to correct me, in his own, personal way. That made me hate him, hate sculpting.

“He told me that was good. That I needed to hate it. He said that if I hated my art, that it would come out as I required it to. That’s how he learned, to use hate to form beauty. Hate that he could never achieve immortality, but meaningless chunks of stone could carry his name. It angered him, and he attempted to pass that message onto me.

“It never really took, so he started to beat me harder when I admitted it. My body became stronger as a result, so he stepped it up, using a harder weapon against me, beating me unconscious sometimes. I was always in terrible shape from the beatings. I was never in any condition to do anything, like fight back. He kept me weak. Eventually I couldn’t even carve because my arms were so shaky from the beatings.

“That made him beat me more.

“Eventually I focused the pain into my work. I lied to him, telling him it was my hate. He believed me, and allowed me to continue. Even without being given physical pain, I bore the emotional pain for long to come, and I still do. I used that pain in every piece I ever sculpted. I never used his hate method, but rather, came up with my own variant. I’m not proud that I’ve twisted beauty like this, but I’m hoping to rectify this with you, Linke.”

Linke had taken his entire story in. It was amazing what Recht had been put through to learn how to carve like a master. Linke couldn’t find words to tell his partner, so he just kept his mouth closed.

Eventually the silence became too much, and Linke spoke.

“Is that why I’ve never seen you smile while you sculpt?”

“It is.” Recht said, “It is a joy of mine, but I can never smile while I sculpt. It’s against how I learned, so I just can’t do it.” Recht said.

“That’s terrible.” Linke told him. “What happened to him, exactly?”

“Age got him. Time caught up.” Recht said.

Linke nodded, “Are you going to teach me to carve without smiling?”

“No.” Recht replied, “I want you to smile as you work. I want your work to stand different from mine. I want you to have more pride than I do in sculpture. I want you to do what I never could. To use a smile.”

“Why do you want to fight for us?” Wenos demanded, looking the figure up and down. He grinned wider and wider at what he saw, sure of this man as just what they needed to kill the Toa and end the siege.

“I want the fun of it.” The being hissed back.

Wenos really liked him. He was a being who also lived for combat. Who wanted to fight. He had heard of a species of the Southern Islands who lived for it, but was fortunate that this warrior had come first. He hated dealing with the locals…

“Your name isn’t important. Not to me.” Wenos said, “It may be important to who you kill.”

The figure nodded. He was clad in green and black armor, and had a reptilian face. He had no weapons, but rather, he had claws for his hands and his feet.

“I will use my name on those I kill.” The figure hissed, “Especially that Toa.”

“Perfect.” Wenos said. He scratched his chin, “You know, there’s an opening in our triad. You pass this mission, you kill the Toa, and it’s yours. I guarantee it to you.”

“Really?” The figure hissed. “Well, then I’ll have to eliminate the Toa. Working for the Dark Hunters is what I need, especially in a position like a triad.”

“Then do the job, unlike "Keizaln". Use your abilities to just waste the Toa. He was fun to fight, but he needs to die. A fun fight can wait for the Brotherhood war.”

The figure nodded, aware of the war against the Brotherhood of Makuta, and completely undeterred by it. He bowed to Wenos and stepped out, leaving the private chambers of the triad for a skiff to take to shore.

Erok was leaning against a wall, out of sight of the figure. He stepped around, clasping his hands behind his back, “A spot in our triad?”

“It was the only way to get him to join us.” Wenos hissed, “I know that Rakile are powerful. I know that this one can butcher the Toa. And then, we just use him as a simple weapon in the war until he dies, then we forget him.”

Erok nodded, “If that’s what you want to do, then go ahead.” Erok said, walking out of the chamber, “Just remember.” He said, stopping and looking back, “If this blows up in your face, it’s only your face. No one else.”

“I know.” Wenos answered, watching as Erok departed the rest of the way.

The green and black armored reptilian Rakile was nowhere to be seen. He had been spotted earlier, prompting the police to enter the field with their weapons in an attempt to apprehend the figure.

He wasn’t there. He was gone.

A figure moved away from a building. Color shifted around, slowly becoming the natural colors of the Rakile - Velsrok. He lifted his arms and slashed them aside, clearing a row of officers with his claws, bringing them all to their deaths.

He laughed as others rushed him. He stepped back towards a building and blended his color in, taking use of his chameleon ability. He moved, easily able to dodge the attacks that struck where he had been standing.

He appeared again, returning to his normal colors. He cut an officer down, and retreated again.

“I’m here! If it is me that you are searching for!”

Everyone looked to the nearby rooftops. After searching for a few moments, they finally saw the Toa leaping down, standing in the center of the perimeter of officers. He looked around for the Rakile, “I know you’re here! Show yourself!”

“And my target arrives.” The Rakile said, stepping out. He looked them over, “Not too impressive. You look weak.” He hissed, drawing his claws back.

“Weak, eh?” Recht questioned. He drew a stone from his pouch and held it to his chest. The Duos Stone switched places with his new Stone. The power entered his half of the body, turning him brown, giving him strength and the powers of Stone.

Linke followed suit. He switched his Duos Stone with a secondary Stone, switching his powers of Fire for a stronger power, a more muscular power. Earth.

“Everyone, stay back!” The Toa shouted as one to the officers. The Matoran started to back away as the Rakile faded into the buildings again, becoming invisible once more.

“We must only wait.” Linke said, looking around. He turned the body around, just looking for any tell-tale signs.

“No, stop.” Recht hissed, “Just stand still and trust in me.”

“Ok, I trust you.” Linke said, keeping still, despite wanting to move, wanting to attack anywhere, trying to flush him out.

Velsrok leapt at them from behind, claws drawn back, ready to cut him down with a swipe. He made no sound as he leapt, only waiting for the feeling of his claws burying themselves into his armor.

The Toa span around, throwing his right leg forward. Stones followed up as a stream under his foot, smashing its tip into the Rakile’s body, tossing him aside. He hit the ground hard, and the stones continued to pile on him.

Linke drew his arm back, and threw it forward. Earth started to come around the Rakile, trapping him inside the dual layered prison.

“Now we wait.” Recht said.

The earth and stones began to shift. Soon, Velsrok stepped out, nearly unharmed. It was as though their attack didn’t have enough power to even slow him down.

“Let’s do it.” Linke said, drawing the arms across the shoulders, like an X over their body. They drew their arms back down, to their respective sides, but kept the elbows bent as they raced forward.

Earth and stone flew up in spirals as they ran. It spiraled around the respective arms as the Toa approached the Rakile who waited to attack.

They crossed their arms as they came upon the Rakile. Velsrok drew his arm back, ready for an attack, but he didn’t realize it was too late.

The X crashed into the Rakile, smashing him down, smashing him against the ground. The power of the attack kept him down, and if done properly, would have literally crushed Velsrok, ending his threat.

The Toa backed away, looking over the body. They had done good work.

The ground started to shift as the Rakile rose again. He laughed, saying, “I won’t die that easily!” He shouted, assuming a new background.

The Toa grabbed a Stone from each pouch. They both switched powers, becoming Water and Ice, blue and white. It was time for this finishing move to be attempted.

They waited. In moments, the Rakile leapt out, blindsiding them from behind. They span around, using his momentum. They kicked him in the chest, throwing him back as the Toa staggered around, prepared to make his move.

“Now what?” Velsrok shouted, “Are you going to try to kill me again? I’m too resilient!”

“We have another plan.” Linke said. He raised an arm, but as Velsrok focused on it, Recht shot his arm forward, unleashing a torrent of water on the unsuspecting warrior.

He started to lower the temperature with Linke’s help. The water started to become ice. The thick ice soon covered Velsrok entirely, keeping him trapped for good in a stream of splintering off ice.

The Rakile was frozen by the attack. He couldn’t believe it as he was frozen and lost all movements, all thoughts.

Linke raised his arm out, putting his palm towards them. He unleashed his powers over the element of Ice.

The ice started to crunch on the Rakile’s prison. He pushed harder, shattering the ice, sending it splintering inwards, impaling the Rakile with the ice, ringing him to his knees, making sure to being an ultimate end to him.

The Toa looked at the officers standing around. No one made a move to attempt to stop them, arrest them, or even try to preach about why a Toa was an outlaw.

But this group was different. They seemed pleased about the Toa. Happy that he was there to save them, or they would be dead. They owed him, at least, for some time.

The Toa walked past them all and walked down the street, unable to go roof-to-roof without switching back to the Duos Stone. He looked back, “Thank you, everyone, for not trying to stop me, even though it’s your job to stop me. I did good for you all, and I hope you appreciate this. If you didn’t, though, I’d be under arrest right now, I guess…” Linke said. He looked around, and he and Recht kept walking, leaving the site.

“Your sculpting. Do you have a reason to smile?” Recht asked.

“For the people.” Linke answered, “They are my reason to smile, always, while I work.”

Day Sixty-Sixty, Part 1 Edit

“What do you think?” Recht asked in the light of morning, looking at the picture. While Linke had seen it, he had only seen it in the dark, not in natural light such as this.
“It stands for what we do.” Linke agreed.

“Peace. A desire for a rest and peace upon the completion of our job.” Recht agreed, “You see why I liked the painting?”

“Oh, yeah. It’s beautiful.” Linke agreed, “It’s one of the best pieces, the deepest, I think I’ve seen.”

“Not that deep, though.” Recht said.

“Well, it kind of is.” Linke said. He looked hard at it, and shook his head, “Ok, it’s overt. Not covert. You’re right.”

Recht nodded, “It may be, but it’s still a beautiful, meaningful piece. It still stands for our duty.”

“And it’ll make this place look more inviting.” Linke said, looking around, “Too bland now. The rest of this place.”

“It’s fine for now.” Recht said, “If I find anything else, I’ll buy it.” He put a hand on Linke’s shoulder, “Now, let’s get back to your sculpting lessons.”

Linke nodded, allowing Recht to head down first to the workshop.

A Ko-Matoran stood on the bow of a ship coming into the harbor. The Dark Hunter blockade was behind them, open at points. They didn’t seem to care about letting people in, but rather, getting out was the problem. They didn’t want their target to escape them.

There had been more ships earlier, but some ships had been called away. More warriors were needed to fight in the war against the Brotherhood, meaning less Dark Hunters to go about the siege and hunt at Doppel Nui.

The rays of the morning shone down around the Ko-Matoran, reflecting off of his white armor. He gazed at the island as they approached, and then, he looked behind, at another ship coming in. Ships usually came in pairs to the harbors of Doppel Nui. That ship wasn’t the one he was worried about.

It was the one that would come later that day. The man who hunted him wouldn’t have gotten a ship this quickly. He would have to wait until the afternoon ships came to the island in hopes of pursuit.

The man looked back out as the ship arrived. He knew his hunter would know where he would flee. He knew the being who hunted him would pursue him. He just needed to buy some time to get ready for him.

As the ships pulled in, this ship took the closer harbor while the other would find the next and use it. This ship wasted no time in setting a plank down to allow the passengers off from.

The Ko-Matoran wasted no time in getting off of the ship. He rushed through the streets, trying to remember what he had been told. He dodged past people, rushing through the twisting, turning streets of the island.

Then, he found the proper road, recognizing the street name. He walked down, casually, lest he draw attention to himself. Unwanted attention.

This was the first time had had truly been in fear. He wanted to arrive at his location quickly, and hopefully get the help he sought out before it would be too late.

He had hours, presumably, but wanted to get this out of the way immediately. He looked around, and when the street cleared, he ran again, heading down as far and fast as he could, until he came across the proper location.

He walked towards the clear glass doors and stepped inside, realizing that nobody was inside. He cursed the fact that the owner or owners were probably out, and looked around. He sat on the couch in the room and looked at the painting on the opposite wall.

He could hear voices. He rose and walked to the back wall. He smiled, realizing it. He pushed open on the hidden door and started down the steps.

He looked around, seeing tables and the like around. There was a chunk of stone being carved on the table, and other stones around. There were some statues, and other materials around, other supplies. Some cabinets on the walls, but no people.

He saw two chisels to his throat. He glanced left, to a Le-Matoran pressed against the wall. Right, to a Ta-Matoran pressed against a wall. Each held a chisel as a weapon, waiting for him.

“You were right. It wasn’t Gahla.” The Ta-Matoran said.

“She’d have knocked.” The Le-Matoran said. “Now, who are you?”

The Ko-Matoran smiled and laughed, “Good job, Linke.” He said to the Ta-Matoran.

“Linke?” The Le-Matoran questioned, “He knows who you are?”

Linke nodded, “Recht, this is Tezka, my teacher.” He put the chisel on a table behind him, “The man who taught me how to fight. How to be a man. What are you doing here on Doppel Nui?” Linke asked.

“I needed to find you.” The Ko-Matoran, Tezka, answered. “It’s a dire emergency that needs you.”

“What is it?” Linke questioned.

“Have you ever heard of a species down here? They’re called the Musvo'wo.” Tezka said.

Linke shook his head, “Never.”

“Once.” Recht said.

Tezka looked to him, “What do you know, Recht?”

“They’re vicious. They don’t stop. It was in the context of juggernaut.” Recht said.

Tezka nodded, “I thought as much.”

“What is a Musvo'wo?” Linke questioned, looking between the two of them, “One of you want to tell me more?”

“They’re a species that reside down here in the Southern Islands.” Tezka said, “Vicious, they live only to fight, to defeat all others and show their dominance as the strongest warriors in the universe. I met one during my travels in the north…and I defeated it.”

“I heard it’s quite a feat to defeat one.” Recht said.

Tezka nodded, “It was.”

“You probably didn’t have much trouble.” Linke said. He looked to Recht, “Tezka trained with Po-Matoran, Le-Matoran, Onu-Matoran, and others in order to learn his fighting style. He learned traits from each type of Matoran. Agility from the Le, and so on. I’m sure he had little trouble against a Mus…whatever they are.”

Tezka glared at Linke, “I thought I taught you not to be so cocky, even if it’s not yourself. You’re being cocky towards me, and I don’t appreciate that. Linke, until you know truly what a Musvo'wo is, you don’t understand anything.”

“You really bring this subject up.” Recht said, interrupting, “Is it…after you? Is it hunting you?”

Tezka nodded slowly, “It is. That’s why I came here.”

“To draw it here?” Linke questioned.

“No, you fool.” Tezka growled, “You’re my only student. I thought you would like the chance to help me. Help me to defeat and kill this monstrosity of a being. Are you in, Linke? Or are you scared?”

“I don’t know what a Musvo'wo is. I don’t have fear for that, since I don’t know what it is. I’ll do it.” Linke said, shrugging, “Besides, it’ll be great to fight alongside you again, Tezka.”

Tezka nodded, “Ok, I anticipate it to arrive when the next ships do. We have a few hours before then.”

“What do you propose we do?” Linke questioned.

“Rest.” Tezka answered, “You’ll need it.”

The sun was starting to set. The light was failing. The second set of ships would be coming into harbor anytime now.

As Tezka and Linke stood at the door, Recht approached them. He stopped behind them, “Linke, why don’t we just…you know…?”

“That’s not the way we’ll fight.” Linke answered. “That’s not the way I was trained.”

“What are you talking about?” Tezka questioned. He turned to Recht, “What is it?”

Recht pulled the Duos Stone from his pouch and held it out. “This.” He answered.

“Duos Stone.” Tezka muttered. He looked to Linke, “And I suppose you have the other one…”

“I do.” Linke confirmed, “But we won’t use it. We’ll fight, you and I, as just two Matoran. No Toa involvement.”

“Wait…are you the Toa the Dark Hunters are blockading this place for?” Tezka questioned.

“We are.” Recht answered, “Why?”

“I wanted to know who was riling them up so much. Glad to know it’s my pupil and his partner doing the job.”

The two Matoran nodded and headed out the door. Recht stepped after them, about to ask if he should go. Then he realized his combat experience as a Matoran was too limited, and walked back inside, to the couch. He sat down with a knife, wood, and began to whittle, looking at the picture at the same time, feeling at peace.

Linke and Tezka stood at the harbor, looking through the crowd of Matoran entering the island. They saw one cloaked figure who was too large to be a Matoran, and kept an eye on him as he moved.

“That’s probably him.” Tezka said, “Be ready.”

Linke nodded, “Always ready.”

The two followed a safe distance behind. The figure’s cloak whipped around him, hiding his every detail. It draped to the ground, hiding everything, even his feet. Although, something was coming out from the bottom. Large claws emerging back from the heels. Green.

As soon as this figure was in a large enough street, it reached up, taking grip of its cloak, and discarding it, casting it aside. It revealed the gray and green body it had. The silver ribs it had looked thick and like an exo-skeleton. The silver armor on its legs, the wire-like tentacles emerging from its back. They were like Halen's, but were natural, not a result of mutation.

The naked, vicious face of the being seemed so plain, so ordinary, but it actually was very deadly.

“Who are you?” The being hissed in a flat, snake-like voice. It looked to Tezka, “Oh, my prey has arrived.”

Linke drew up a fighting stance alongside Tezka, “And so has his apprentice.” Linke said, “Musvo'wo, you’re done! You won’t hunt him any more after today!”

“Oh, I beg to differ.” The being hissed, taking a few steps forward, “My name is Opuric. Now that you know mine, I can kill you.”

Opuric raced forward, smashing a forearm into Linke’s face, bringing him to the ground. Before he could try to attack from the ground, Tezka kicked Opuric in the gut, throwing him to the ground.

As soon as Matoran started to see this unfolding, they fled, in fear of the powers of the Musvo'wo, and the mere presence of the being.

“I am bred to fight! To kill!” Opuric laughed, “Do you think you two fools can stop me?”

“I did alone already.” Tezka reminded.

“If he can, so can I!” Linke boasted, “As his pupil, that is.”

“Student and teacher?” The Musvo'wo hissed, “Fun!” His tentacles perked up and lashed forward, their spear-like ends driving for them.

The two Matoran rolled aside and raced forward, following the tentacles with their hands. At the moment that Opuric was about to pull back, they pulled forward, drawing the monster of a creature in towards them.

They both rolled to their backs and slammed their feet into the gut of the monster, throwing him over their backs, slamming his body into the ground.

“Two of you together can actually do something.” The being hissed. It raced forward, throwing a rapid series of punches, trying to strike anything. It span around, driving a kick into Linke, throwing him to the ground.

Tezka leapt forward, punching the face. Opuric stumbled back and looked up, sending tentacles whipping forward at Linke.

Linke rolled under the tentacles and reached the Musvo'wo, kicking him hard in the gut, throwing him to the ground.

Tezka leapt onto his downed body, driving an elbow into his foe’s throat, threatening to crush it with his weight.

“Why did you follow me?” Tezka demanded, “Talk!” He shouted, applying more weight.

“You defeated me.” Opuric hissed, “I cannot allow that to stand. None is stronger than a Musvo'wo!”

“I am.” Tezka said.

“So am I.” Linke said, referencing having the same style.

“No, you’re not.” Tezka said, “You aren’t trained to handle a situation such as this specific one.”


“You have trained under me, but you require more training.” Tezka said, “Practice more, and it won’t be a fluke.”

“You consider my win just now a fluke?” He hissed, moving closer, grabbing Tezka by the shoulder, “How can you say that?”

“It’s the truth, as far as I see it.” Tezka simply answered, “Now, let’s finish him off so we can be on our way.” He leapt back, removing the elbow, joining Linke farther back.

Linke nodded, drawing up a fighting stance beside Tezka. The two raced forward, ducking under the swing of tentacles, arms and legs. Linke span around, getting behind his opponent. He kicked him hard in the back, throwing him forward.

Tezka leapt up, kicking his foe hard in the face, knocking him to the ground. The two Matoran regrouped and watched as their Musvo'wo opponent rose again.

He was powerful. He wasn’t going to stop fighting, just like any other member of his species. This truly was a species made for wars. This was going to get ridiculous without any powers to speed this up.

“If we had the Stones!” Linke snapped.

“What? Fight like a coward?” Tezka answered.

“Fighting to win.” Linke answered.

“Fighting to win isn’t the same as winning.” Tezka said. He turned his back, “I think we should run, lest he rip us apart in anger.”

Linke looked to the downed warrior, and nodded, racing after Tezka back to the shop.

Day Sixty-Six, Part 2 Edit

Tezka and Linke paused and looked around the corner; just to be sure that Opuric was no longer following them. Both looked to each other with relief.

“Well, we won this one.” Tezka said, “But the battle isn’t going to end. A Musvo'wo will chase you to the end of the world and back if it means getting a shot at defeating or killing whoever disgraced them in battle.”

“And since you won, he’ll never stop.” Linke said, “And since we won together…”

“You’re a target now, too.” Tezka said, “But chances are I’m still first on his hit-list. If I were to be slain, he’d go after you next.”

“I won’t let that happen.” Linke said, looking to his teacher, “We won’t let that happen. You and I, or just you, if it should come to it, can defeat him for good.”

“Doubting your own abilities?” Tezka said, noticing Linke’s lack of putting his own name into the list alone.

“You said not to be cocky.” Linke replied.

“Don’t discount yourself. Don’t be modest, either.” Tezka said.

“Now I remember one of the reasons I left…” Linke muttered, “You’re so difficult sometimes…”

“What was that?” Tezka questioned.

“Nothing.” Linke quickly said, covering up what he said, “Now what?”

They looked back, watching as the lanky Musvo'wo approached, looking around every alley. His tentacles lashed out around everywhere as he walked. He was fuming, wanting his challenge to return. He roared, smashing his fist into the side of a building, leaving a large impact. He roared again, driving his tentacles into the building, ripping the walls apart.

“Where are you?” Opuric roared, whipping around and smashing his tentacles into another wall, shredding the impact sight. He roared, stomping down the road, looking for the two Matoran.

Tezka and Linke pressed harder against the wall and slid down, hiding in the darkness of the alley. The Musvo'wo stopped and glanced down the alley, letting out a grin. His eyes flashed, adapting to the darkness. He stepped into the alley, “Found you.” He chuckled.

“Run.” Tezka hissed, pulling Linke along with him.

“We’re not going to stand and fight?” Linke questioned.

“Enraged, a Musvo'wo is the most dangerous being you’ll ever meet. He’s enraged right now. We need to wait for him to cool down a bit, like in a day.”

“But he’ll kill innocents! I’m sure of it!” Linke shouted, digging his feet into the ground.

“No!” Tezka shouted, “We have to run!”

“We can’t!” Linke shouted, breaking his arm free. He glared into Tezka’s eyes, “I have a duty here.”

“What duty?” Tezka demanded.

“I have to help protect the island, as a Toa.” He hissed. He turned to face his opponent, “Recht and I each wield a piece of a complete Duos Stone. We are Toa. We protect this island from the threats that stand before us! And this creature is a threat to us. Go and get Recht here, and we’ll kill this thing.”

“You aren’t a real Toa.” Tezka reminded, “Which again, is why I ask you the question. What duty?”

“We act like Toa.” Linke replied. “Even if we aren’t a traditional Toa, we are the Toa of this island.”

“This island doesn’t use Toa. You’re a criminal. You shouldn’t use that power to just eliminate this guy.” Tezka said, “Besides, as good as you are, if he fought a Toa, things would go to a whole new scale.”

“We told you who we were at the shop. From that point on, you should have understood our duty. That we are a Toa, and we act like one. We protect the Matoran, which includes protecting them from someone like this! Now, if you aren’t going to comply, I’ll stand and fight on my own, and maybe get ripped to shreds. Will you watch your pupil die like that? Or will you comply and retrieve Recht if things go bad?”

“You were always so stubborn.” Tezka hissed. He turned his back, “I’ll get Recht.” He said, turning and running off.

“Thank you.” Linke breathed, not that his teacher heard. He drew up into a fighting stance and waited for his foe.

“I’ll give you the first move.” Opuric hissed, stepping forward. He threw his arms out to his sides, “Come! Approach me you fool!”

Linke raced forward. He rolled forward and kicked his opponent in the chest with both feet. Opuric stumbled out of the alley, smashing into a building. The blow was too light to daze him, however, so his tentacles immediately shot forward.

They ensnared Linke by the arms and legs, drawing him into the air. One more tentacle was poised for the kill, about to run him through.

“You’re done. I’m not playing with you anymore. I want the Ko-Matoran!” Opuric hissed, plunging his tentacle forward.

Lightning crashed down the tentacle, into Opuric’s body, making him fall to the ground and scream. His tentacles retracted, dropping Linke to the ground. Linke glanced down the street with Opuric, watching as a larger being approached.

“That Matoran is half of my prey.” Wenos hissed, “I won’t allow you to kill him.” His eyes still glowed from the release of electrical power, “Now, Musvo'wo, stand down, or die.”

Opuric rose, “A Dark Hunter. I can practically smell your kind. Your stench. You recruited so many of my people into your ranks. I would never join beings like you. I wouldn’t be able to prove that I’m the strongest!”

“We’ve had rebellious Musvo'wo before.” Wenos said, hefting his large axe onto his shoulder, “And you know what happened to them?”

“What?” Opuric hissed.

“We cut them down.” He shrugged, “They thought they were strong, the opponents in our ranks that they chose were far stronger. They stood no chance.”

“That’s because they aren’t the strongest, now are they?” Opuric shouted, “But I am!”

“All Musvo'wo are like that.” Wenos answered, “They all shouted that same thing when told that their brethren were already slaughtered for betraying our ranks. They just replaced the name with their own, if they used a name, or spoke in the third person. They all thought the same as you, and they were all cut down, just the same. You’re no exception.”

“Oh, but I am.” Opuric hissed, “I truly am the strongest!”

“We’ll see about that.” Wenos hissed, rushing forward, lowering his axe. He slid forward, sliding towards his foe on his side. He had his axe arm drawn back. He swung it forward, going to cleave his opponent in half.

The Musvo'wo threw his arm out, catching the blade in his hand. He slid back, but showed no pain. He laughed as he lifted his hand, showing the deep cut in his armor, all the way to his organics.

“I feel pain, but I don’t fall before it.” He hissed, “I’m sure my brethren did, when they fought Dark Hunters.”

“They were all like you.” Wenos said, “I myself offed two of them. It’ll end the same.” He said, throwing a punch forward, smashing his left fist into Opuric’s face, throwing him to the ground. He stomped his foot onto Opuric’s body, his claws curling around the throat and shoulders.

“I’ll crush you.” He hissed, starting to slowly apply weight, “Or do you want to live? I want you to beg.”

“Musvo'wo do not beg!” Opuric shouted, “And we are never out of options.” He hissed, pulling tentacles back, and driving them forward. Three dug into Wenos’s leg, while three more went for the torso.

Wenos’s eyes widened as he looked down. His power flared, smashing into the tentacles, charging them, and driving the electrical torrent into his foe’s body, making him scream out in pain.

“You’re no good.” Wenos hissed. He started to apply more weight, “Now, want to try again?”

The singed tentacles drew back and slashed forward again. The blades went for the throat this time.

Wenos reached out, brushing his finger against one of the blades. While the tentacles were organic, the tips, the blades, were steel, ingrained into the organic tentacles.

As soon as he touched the steel, his body became the same material. As soon as the blades struck his throat, they stopped, being resisted by much more of the exact same material, backed by more weight than the momentum that Opuric could throw forward.

“A Skakdi is the most dangerous being in existence.” Wenos hissed, leaning down and looking into his foe's face, “Not the Musvo'wo.”

Opuric drew his leg up, releasing all of his strength, smashing it into the steel body that Wenos now had. It went through the steel, going through his entire chest.

Wenos’s mouth opened, but no sound escaped. He looked down into his foe’s eyes. Opuric was grinning like a madman as he withdrew his leg and rose.

He backhanded Wenos, cracking the steel, knocking him to the ground. He stalked over, letting his tentacles drape themselves over the Skakdi.

“You may want to rescind that comment.” Opuric said, lifting the Skakdi with his tentacles. He looked at his opponent, “We are the deadliest.” He said, drawing the tentacles towards himself with full speed. He drew his knee up, smashing it into Wenos, making him actually scream in pain.

“That’s right.” Opuric said, dropping Wenos, “Admit it!” He shouted.

Wenos rose. The steel body retracted, revealing his normal form. He still had damage on his face, and a large hole in his chest, severely wounding and weakening him. He could still fight, and he still would fight.

“I won’t die.” Wenos hissed, “I won’t surrender! I will rip you apart you weak fool!”

“Weak? You call me weak?” Opuric chuckled, “You’re the one with the hole in your chest.”

Wenos looked at his axe. The axe blade became charged with power. He slashed it down, sending a shockwave of destructive electric power rippling forward.

On impact with Opuric, it blew apart, sending the Musvo'wo flying back. He hit the wall of a building hard, sailing through it and into the building. Wenos leapt in after him, lifting his arm as soon as he had the room.

He slashed his axe down, slamming the blade into Opuric’s chest, making him actually cry out in pain for once. He lifted the axe, his opponent’s body still on it. He looked into the vicious, bloodthirsty eyes of the Musvo'wo, and span around, throwing all of his weight into the spin, and smashing the body of his foe into the wall, shaking the entire structure.

He did it again, this time adding an electrical current into his foe’s body. A third time, with the current in the wall. This time, his body went through the wall and off of the axe, hitting the ground hard outside.

Wenos stepped through the rubble and stomped his clawed foot onto his foe’s upperbody, folding his claws around the throat.

“I shall fly your head as a flag on the ship of the Dark Hunters.” Wenos hissed, lowering his axe to Opuric’s throat.

Opuric grinned, throwing a single tentacle up. The tip was nearly touching his foe’s throat. If it touched, he could change to steel. A quick thrust would kill him, however, and be too fast to allow him to change.

“One of us dies.” Opuric hissed.

Wenos hissed, “Yes. But who?”

Flames bombarded the ground around the two of them, throwing them both in different directions.

The Toa dropped down, his Air and Fire powers active. He looked to both of them, throwing an arm up both ways.

He made a finger “gun” with each hand. The Air powers faced Opuric, while the Fire powers faced Wenos.

He flicked both wrists up. A blast of compressed wind smashed into Opuric, throwing him into a building. As he slid down, he stayed down.

A blast of compressed fire smashed into Wenos, but he rolled. He was thrown into the air and rolled in the air. It didn’t do the desired damage, but it was good enough for now.

“Who wants to die first?” The Toa questioned, throwing his arms out each way, “Any takers? Volunteers?”

Wenos rose, “Toa, get out of the way. I’ll deal with you after this.”

The Toa looked to him, “You still want to eliminate the Musvo'wo?” Recht questioned him.

“Of course.” Wenos said, stalking forward, “Our fight isn’t finished yet.”

Opuric walked forward, “I don’t know who you are, but move. You’ll be my prey after this Dark Hunter dies. After I prove the power of the Musvo'wo!”

The Toa dashed back as the two rushed each other. A fist collided into each face, sending them both down. They both rose again, each sending a punch into the other’s throat, bringing them both down once more.

The fight continued with each countering the other’s with the same move, both of them falling to the ground. Neither would be getting anywhere, nor were either tiring, it appeared. They could both continue for a long time.

The tentacles of the Musvo'wo wrapped around the Skakdi’s arms, pulling them apart. With his chest open, Opuric pulled himself forward on the tentacles, driving a knee forward for a critical blow.

Wenos grinned and laughed. His eyes flashed, smashing their power into Opuric’s chest, throwing him back. But with the tentacles wrapped too tightly, he wasn’t able to fall back. Wenos pulled his arms back, pulling Opuric forward.

He laughed, slamming his head down, headbutting his foe with enough strength to shatter both skulls. Both of them stumbled away, rubbing their heads.

“Should we intervene?” Linke questioned.

“It’s up to you.” Recht replied, “The Musvo'wo is after your teacher. The Skakdi is after both of us.”

“We’ll wait.” Linke said, “I think it’s for the best if we let them tire each other out.”

The head nodded, “Yeah, I agree. Maybe they’ll kill each other.”

“If not, one may attack again shortly after, and then we can deal with it.” Linke said.

“Agreed.” Recht said, rushing off away from the sight of the two tireless warriors fighting it out in the streets of Doppel Nui. Hopefully everyone, including police, would stay away. If not, they would be butchered.

Linke only hoped that Wenos won. He hoped that Tezka would be safe.

Day Seventy-Three Edit

A week had passed, and no sign of anything. No crimes, no Dark Hunters, no signs of Opuric.

There were no corpses. The police had found nothing when they investigated, nothing except for damage. Linke assumed that either Wenos won, took the corpse back with him, or Opuric won, took the corpse with him to some hiding hole, like the sewers or the jungle, or they both survived and both of them retreated.

He prayed one of them was dead. He’s rather fight the Skakdi than the Musvo'wo. If Opuric was dead, then Tezka was safe. If he wasn’t, Tezka had a threat. Linke didn’t doubt his teacher’s skills; he just didn’t want him to be in the line of danger.

Linke had found himself looking at the picture that Recht had purchased. Every time he looked at it he liked it more, and thought more about it. About himself. He found himself even looking at it for hours, only to be broken out of it by someone else speaking to him. He was enthralled by it, by the message it represented to both Linke and Recht, about their duty, and about being a Toa.

Tezka didn’t seem to understand. He didn’t know why Linke would want to be a Toa on an island where Toa were resented. But he was no ordinary Toa. They did do damage, yes, but they didn’t do the damage that a team of Toa would do. That made the art safer than having an actual team around. That made the Matoran happier.

The police were still after them, however. It was their duty to bring him in as a Toa. As long as they didn’t know anything, and as long as Gahla still believed in them, then they were safe. He feared that Tezka may leak something, however.

But then again, he knew Tezka better than that. He knew that his teacher would never leak something like that. He knew the secret was safe.

He was again staring at the picture. He blinked, losing his focus on it. He leaned back in his chair, wondering where the others were.

He hadn’t been called to the station in at least a week. The crimes were down, so he wasn’t required. He couldn’t work on his carving recently, because Recht was more active on the island, and with Tezka, he didn’t have the time. Tezka didn’t really understand art, so he didn’t approve of Linke trying to learn how to carve.

Tezka was a handful to handle at times. It was hard taking in everything he said, everything he did. Linke respected him deeply, but he didn’t appreciate everything he was told, everything he heard from his teacher.

Linke looked to the door as it opened. Recht was coming back inside, walking towards him. As soon as he got to the desk, he looked at the picture.

“Magnificent.” He said, “I’m glad I got it when I did. It really is inspiring. If we only had purchased it sooner.” He shrugged, “If it had been painted sooner, I’m sure you’d have bought it.”

“I would have, had I seen it.” Linke confirmed, “And of course, had it been painted in the past. It’s too new to have purchased it prior.”

Recht clasped him on the shoulder, “Lost in the beauty too?”

Linke nodded, “Yeah, I am.”

Recht nodded, “It has that affect. I think it’s because of our odd status.”

“I wonder if other Matoran have used such power to become Toa.” Linke said, “And what they did with such power?”

“It could be used for good or for evil.” Recht said, “Temptation is strong, you know. I think it could have easily gone either way.”

“Ok then, I wonder if anything other than the Duos Stone is used for such transformations.” Linke said.

Recht shrugged, “That’s a good question. I have no idea. I’ve never heard of anything else, but I’m sure there’s more. I doubt that my employers are the first to come up with such an idea.”

Linke wondered why Recht never referred to his former employers by their name. The Meiu. He wondered if that meant Recht had truly severed all ties with them, and had simply refused to remain as their agent.

“Have you seen Tezka recently?” Linke asked.

“No.” Recht replied, “Why?”

“He’s never gone this long.” Linke replied. He rose to his feet, “I’m going to go look for him.”

“I’ll come too.” Recht replied.

“No. If he comes back, you can be here to wait.” Linke said, “I’ll go alone.”

Recht nodded, “Fine with me.” He said, taking Linke’s chair and turning to look at the picture, “I’ll be fine here.”

“Thanks.” Linke said, walking out. He looked down both ways of the street, and chose one direction, heading in it.

He had no idea where he was going. He was just walking, hoping to find anything. Any sign of Tezka, anyone he could ask if they had seen him.

He reached the eastern side of the island. This area was known for having parks, having trees. The only other place to have trees was the jungle in such copious amounts. There were small parks in other areas, but they of course had fewer trees.

He walked towards it, and then heard it. The screams of pain, the sounds of combat.

He ran forward and stopped behind a tree. He looked out, seeing Tezka engaging the Musvo'wo in combat. By the wounds, he was sure this was the same one. This was Opuric, looking for his revenge.

The wounds that Wenos had inflicted gave him away. They had turned into scars in his armor. But they didn’t make him look weak, wounded. They made him look even more imposing, even stronger than he actually seemed to be.

Opuric threw a punch, caving in a trunk of a tree as Tezka ducked it. The Matoran threw a jab into the Musvo'wo’s face, staggering him back. He leapt up, giving a spin kick into his chest, throwing him to the ground.

A tentacle shot up, but just missed his face. It slammed down on his right shoulder, using enough force to temporarily disable the arm. Opuric rose and kicked Tezka in the gut, throwing him to the ground.

He drew an arm back and punched down. Tezka rolled to the side and kicked at the elbow joint, bending the arm. As Opuric’s balance swayed, he kicked Opuric in the face, taking him to the ground.

Tezka rolled up to his feet and span around, lifting his right leg when his back was to his downed opponent. He came back around; slamming the leg down at his opponent’s neck with all the force he could muster.

Opuric pushed himself up, swaying back and forth. He hissed in pain and in rage. He lunged forward, throwing punch after punch at the Matoran, but Tezka continued to dodge with ease.

He span around, dodging a punch into the ground. He had control over his right arm back, and came up into a fighting stance. He motioned with his left hand for Opuric to approach him.

Opuric rushed forward, but Tezka dodged back. He leapt forward, kicking Opuric in the gut. He put his foot back down and span around, giving a backhanded fist to his foe’s head. He came back around, jabbing him in the throat. As Opuric staggered back, he received another jab to the throat, and then a punch to the face, right between the eyes.

He grabbed Opuric by both shoulders and rolled onto his back. He slammed both feet into Opuric’s gut, throwing him over his back, landing him hard on the ground.

Tezka came up, panting with effort. He was sure that he had finally taken the Musvo'wo down, at least for a few minutes. Long enough to take his life.

But without stop, he rose. He laughed, stalking forward, “I knew you would be fun.” He touched his wounds from the fight with Wenos, “These wounds make things much more interesting.”

Tezka was shocked. “You still feel pain, and yet you fight like that?”

“Of course I do!” Opuric boasted, “I am the greatest warrior!”

Linke continued to watch. He was about to rush in, to assist Tezka, but he froze. Why? Why couldn’t he keep going?

Was he too scared? Did he want his teacher to fight alone? Did he worry about what he would be told about interfering in such a fight?

He didn’t know what stopped him. But, he regretted not being able to fight. He wanted to fight; he wanted to help his teacher defeat this monster of a warrior.

A Musvo'wo was a despicable being. Linke hated it with all his being. Ever since first laying his eyes on Opuric, he hated the species with a passion. He wanted to wipe them all out, and was all too pleased when he heard Wenos saying that he and other Dark Hunters had butchered Musvo'wo who betrayed the Hunters. He was glad that there were less of them around now.

“I think it’s time we ended this.” Opuric hissed, “Or I’m going to lose.”

“How will you end it?” Tezka questioned, “If you indeed think you’ll lose, then how will you stop me in time with whatever you plan on throwing at me?”

He threw his arms to his side and threw his head up in laughter. His tentacles shot up, wrapping around the tree branches above him. They were long enough to then go down and wrap themselves around Tezka’s ankles.

Before Tezka could react, Opuric took control. He drew his tentacles back towards him, drawing Tezka into the air. But, he pulled himself up too, both of them going for the branch that the tentacles were wrapped around, going for collision.

As they both reached it, the tentacles came off of the branch. They were still wrapped around Tezka’s ankles, however. Opuric was upright when they met, but Tezka wasn’t.

He grabbed Tezka by the ankles, and put his feet down between Tezka’s arms and body, pushing down hard, making Tezka cry out in pain.

They span around, Tezka now being right side up, and then he was back down, with Opuric right side up. They span three times rapidly as they approached the ground.

It ended with Opuric upright, smashing Tezka’s head into the ground. There was a small shake on impact, and Linke found himself just standing there, unable to move, unable to think. Unable to function.

He watched as Tezka’s body stood there with Opuric on top of it. The Musvo'wo stepped off, throwing his arms to his sides, walking away, laughing, swaying back and forth as he walked in some form of mockery, or victory fashion.

Tezka’s body collapsed onto its back, just lying there, looking up at the sky with dead eyes. There was a large sign of impact on the crown of his head, where his mask was cracked, and where it was very obvious of how he had died, from blunt force trauma.

Linke ran out towards him. He grabbed and cradled Tezka’s corpse, looking down at him, thinking it all a dream. He hoped against hope that Tezka would get back up and tell him that everything was fine.

It wasn’t. He was gone. He would never return.

“Tezka…Tezka…” Linke said, shaking him. He didn’t believe that his teacher was dead. He couldn’t believe it, “Tezka…Tezka!” He screamed, throwing his head up, screaming to the heavens above, “Tezka…!”

Tezka’s corpse was lying on the desk inside as Linke and Recht left the store, Duos Stones in hand. They were on the hunt for the Musvo'wo that had taken Tezka from them.

As they walked down the street, it became apparent that most Matoran were at their jobs at this time of the day. Not many people were out and about.

They stopped as they heard someone following. They both turned, ready to fight the Musvo'wo, but were disappointed when they saw a Skakdi in blue and white armor, with a blue grinning face.

“Wenos, you survived.” Linke said bitterly, “We’re after the Musvo'wo. We don’t want to fight you.”

“Too bad. You get me first.” Wenos said, lifting his axe, “Hurry and transform. I want to fight you!”

“You asked for it.” Linke said softly, putting his Stone towards Recht’s. Arcs of power spread out between them, combining, and pulling the two Matoran together.

As soon as they merged, Linke pushed them out at Wenos, letting out a cry of rage. If he had slain Opuric, Tezka would still be alive. All of Linke’s rage was focused on the Skakdi at the moment.

“You know my power.” The Skakdi hissed, “You hit me, I change to counter.”

Linke changed powers, switching his Duos Stone with the power of Sonics. As Recht propelled them with his wind powers, they reached him in moments.

Recht threw a punch. Slashing wind came around his fist, going in at Wenos. The Skakdi dodged the blow, unable to copy the properties of wind. That would have cut him apart.

Linke gave him a hard uppercut to the gut, knocking him back a few steps. They span around, sending out a wind blade from Recht’s foot. The blade slammed into Wenos, throwing him to the ground. He rolled and looked at them, sending his explosive electrical power forward.

Linke threw his arm out, parrying with a sonic pulse. The blasts connected and blew each other out. Recht again sent them forward, spinning around and giving a wind powered kick to Wenos.

Wenos caught it in his left hand. He lifted his axe high, aiming to remove the leg. He slammed it down hard, but met it parried by Linke’s forearm.

Linke’s eye looked into Wenos’s right eye. The two looked into each other’s souls for a moment, using combat to see who the other was, seeing who they were deep within.

Linke could see rage. Rage and a drive for combat, a drive to kill the Toa.

“What do you see in my eye?” Linke demanded.

Wenos stared for a moment. “Nothing.” He hissed.

“No. You miss it because it’s so all-consuming.” Linke said, “It’s rage. Destructive rage. Right now, it’s all aimed at you. Later, it’ll be aimed at that Musvo'wo. But you were unlucky enough to get in my way first.”

“What are you babbling about?” Wenos demanded, “Why do you want the Musvo'wo?”

“He killed my teacher.” Linke hissed, drawing his arm back. Wenos was focused on his eye. He didn’t notice, “He killed him before my eyes. He traveled all around, following him, trying to kill him. And today, I had to watch as he succeeded in his goal.”

Linke threw the punch into Wenos’s gut. The hole was gone, healed. He laughed, “You can’t kill me! A punch like that won’t even make me come to my knees. And a sonic attack won’t even wound me. I can change my body to match yours. Your body can handle the soundwaves you’ll release, so I’ll become immune via contact with your fist.”

“You wish.” Linke said. His body pulsated as he threw everything from the Sonics stone out, powering his entire half of the body with pure destructive power, unmatchable destructive power.

He carried his punch farther, throwing his entire arm through his foe’s body. Wenos opened his mouth to scream, but no sound escaped. Then sound tore his body apart, ending him.

Day Seventy-Six Edit

Linke held his head in his hands as he stared at the desk. His eyes couldn’t focus on the grain pattern, or anything. He probably wouldn’t have even been able to tell someone what color the desk was, even though he was staring so intensely at it.

His mind was raging against him. He was mentally imbalanced. Ever since he had butchered Wenos, he had felt this way.

His full release had ripped the Skakdi's body apart. There was nothing left but a few odds and ends of armor. The police had investigated, and he had gotten the message from Gahla, but he was too unstable to even respond to her, let alone go with her and try to help the investigation, which would surely go nowhere.

After slaying Wenos with a massive outpouring of sound, they had gone in search of Opuric. Or rather, they would have, had Linke not lost control of the fusion due to his full release of power, making the Sonics Stone useless, even three days later. They were unable to make another fusion at the moment, with Linke’s instability, so they went searching as two Matoran to look for the Musvo'wo.

They searched everywhere, but couldn’t find him. Linke feared that he had already left the island, his job of killing Tezka done. But some Matoran had seen him, some were sure he was still on the island somewhere.

They had gotten another report today that he had been sighted, but when Recht went to investigate on his own, there was nothing. No signs of Opuric.

Linke had become so unstable mentally that he couldn’t even help in the searches. He would only go if they found him, and he would help to kill the Musvo'wo who had murdered his beloved teacher and friend.

“Linke, you need help.” Recht said, standing beside his partner, resting a hand on his shoulder, “You need to go and see a psychologist.”

Linke didn’t answer.

“The police have psychologists. I could go and see Gahla, who could send a police psychologist over to see you. How does that sound?”

Linke still didn’t answer. He didn’t even move. He was frozen where he sat, looking at the desk. His inability to even move made Recht fear that rigor mortis had set in by now, making his muscles unable to move with any ease at all.

“Linke, please, answer me.” Recht said, “I’m concerned for you. For your well being. For your very sanity! Please, answer me.”

Linke didn’t answer. Again, he didn’t even move.

“Ok, fine then.” Recht said, “I give up! I can’t help you like this!” He walked towards the door, “I’ll be back. Don’t worry.” He said, walking out. He looked back inside at Linke once more, and then ran.

Recht entered the police station and looked around quickly. He knew they had his description, ever since Ezim had come. They knew he was a target. A Le-Matoran with lime green armor, wearing a sleek Trard. They knew him as a member of the Meiu, thanks to informants from another island. No doubt a possible Meiu, or someone who knew them, not just someone who had picked up the name of Meiu.

He hoped that they would be focusing on the death of Wenos instead. On reports of the Musvo'wo. On reports of two Matoran digging a grave in the park.

Linke and Recht, before Linke had lost himself in grief, had buried Tezka in the park at night, not near the sight he was murdered, but farther away, near a small pond. A more beautiful location. A location befitting Tezka, a beloved Matoran mentor and friend.

Recht walked through the station, and stopped an officer by grabbing his arm. “Excuse me. My name is Linke.” He said, using Linke’s name. He couldn’t exactly use his own name in this place, not since Linke used it as his alias as he worked with the police, “I’m looking for the detectives.”

“Someone specific?” The officer asked.

“Detective Gahla.” He replied.

“I’ll take you to her.” He said, “Please, follow me.”

The two walked into another section of the building. They walked into a rounded room with desks and a board that was used to keep track of information with chalk or some other material like it. There were three Matoran inside. An Onu-Matoran, a Po-Matoran, and a Ga-Matoran.

“Detective Gahla, this man is here to see you.” The officer said.

The three looked up. Recht hoped that neither of the others would recognize the description of the Meiu.

Gahla rose and nodded, “Ok, thank you.”

The officer nodded and walked off to perform his other duties. Gahla stepped out of the room and walked a little ways away with Recht.

“Recht, what do you need?” She whispered.

“Linke, please.” Recht said, “Call me that while I’m here.”

“Ok.” She said with a nod, “Linke, what do you need?”

“It’s Recht.” He answered, using Linke’s alias, “Ever since his teacher and friend, Tezka, was murdered by that Musvo'wo you guys have been chasing, he’s lost it. He killed the Skakdi you guys are investigating. That Dark Hunter just got in his way at a bad time, and was brutally slaughtered in a release of all of his Sonic power.”

“Ok, so…what do you need, exactly?” Gahla asked.

“I need you to try to talk to Recht. He’s not responding to anything. I’m fearing for him, honestly, I am.” Recht said.

“Ok, let’s go.” Gahla said, “I’ll talk to him.”

It was late afternoon by the time they arrived back at the store. Linke was sitting as he had been earlier, unresponsive. He didn’t even look up at the door as it opened.

“Linke.” Gahla said softly, walking towards him, “Linke, you have to snap out of this!” She said.

No answer, no response.

She grabbed his shoulders, “Linke, listen to me! His death was a tragedy, I admit that. But please, you can’t be like this! You have to break out of this! You have to go back to normal, and do whatever you can to make yourself a better man! If going after that Musvo'wo will make you better, than do it! Go after him! But you can’t just sit here like this!”

“I would go after him…” Linke muttered, clenching his fists, “If I could find him…”

“We found him.” Recht said.

Linke’s head shot up, “What? Where?” He demanded, throwing the chair to the ground, “Where is that murderer?”

“I’ll take you to him.” Recht said. When Gahla gave him a questioning look, he responded, “I heard an officer mention his location. He’s hauled himself up inside an old building. They fear to get too close. It’s more of an officer’s thing than a detective’s, he said.

“If he’s hauled himself up inside a building like that, then he’s a trapped animal. He’s bound to be even more dangerous. The men will likely pull out in a day or two to give him room, and then ambush him, or something.”

“We’re going.” Linke told Recht, grabbing his pouch and attaching it to his belt, “It’s time that Tezka gets revenge! Gets absolution.”

“Linke!” Gahla shouted, “You can’t go! He’s going to be far too dangerous right now! You just had a psychological breakdown, you can’t fight in this condition!”

“I have to.” Linke said, “I won’t let him escape. Not again.”

“Please, don’t go! Not yet!” Gahla pleaded, “You’ll be in grave danger if you do end up going!”

“Then so be it.” Linke hissed, “We’re going. Right, Recht?”

“Right.” Recht agreed. They both pulled out their Duos Stones. Linke put his Sonics Stone on the desk and walked towards the door with his partner.

Gahla ran after them, following them into the streets. There was silence between them for a long while as they walked for blocks, until they reached the split in the road they would have to take to reach the building.

“Please, reconsider. I beg you!” Gahla pleaded, “Don’t be rash and get yourselves killed out there!”

“We’ve made the decision to go.” Linke said.

Recht nodded, “I can’t leave my partner like this. I must go where he does. I have to help him overcome this pain. Gahla, I’m sorry, but we have to fight.”

“You can wait! You can wait two or three days, can’t you?”

“No, we can’t.” Linke said, “I think I would die if I did. I wouldn’t be able to stand it any longer. I must go, now.”

Recht nodded, “Gahla, until you must avenge someone, you won’t understand the feeling. Right now, Linke is an avenger. And I am joining him. I had to avenge a fallen partner by killing Ezim, I know how Linke must be feeling. I have to help him, no matter what. He needs absolution, as does Tezka.”


“No.” Linke said, “Don’t try to talk me out of it. I’m committed, Recht is committed, we’re going, no matter what you say.”

The two split off from Gahla, heading down the street towards the building where the Musvo'wo was hiding out. Gahla watched them go, and couldn’t make herself move. She had to stand there, watching as they walked away from her.

She wouldn’t leave the spot.

The two Matoran held up their Duos Stones. As they walked, they were pulled together, assuming their form as a Toa. They each attached their pouch to their waist as they walked, ready to change if the need arrived. However, both saw some sort of justice in using their traditional, Duos Stone granted form.

Linke thought that Ice could be appropriate, for avenging the fallen Ko-Matoran, but he decided against it. Air and Fire would be the powers they used to begin with, at least. As things went on, anything would go. As long as they lived.

The end would justify the means.

They stopped as they reached the police barricades. The police moved at the sight of the Toa, allowing him to walk towards the building. They stood there, and Linke shouted, “Opuric, I’m here! Come out, now!”

The Musvo'wo came to the window, looking out at them. He grinned. He leapt out the window, walking towards them, “Finally. I was afraid you wouldn’t come. I can kill you now, just like I killed that Matoran, just like how I’ll kill that Skak…”

“I killed Wenos.” The Toa said.

Opuric looked at them. After a few moments, he shrugged, “So be it. I didn’t need to kill him anyway. He was too weak…”

“You’re trying to make everyone believe that you’re the strongest.” Linke said, drawing up into a fighting stance. Police were backing away, fleeing the area, “Let’s see if you can beat us.”

“Us?” Opuric questioned. He noticed the two toned body, “Two in one, eh? Fun.”

He threw a punch. Linke blocked with his forearm, sweeping the arm to the side. Recht quickly struck with a knee to the gut, knocking him back.

Opuric span around, slamming his foot into the side of their face, flipping them to the ground. They rolled as the tentacles shot at them, digging into the ground just where they had been a moment earlier.

They came to their feet. Both of them made their “guns” and flicked their wrists, sending their compressed elemental bullets forward.

Opuric blocked by waving his tentacles around. He raced forward, drawing back on all of them, and driving them all forward at one time.

Linke waved his arm, creating a wall of fire. The tentacles withdrew as soon as they were singed. Linke leapt the body through the fire, driving his knee into the Musvo'wo’s face, knocking him to the ground.

He rolled back and came to his feet. He hissed at them and raced forward, throwing a punch into their gut. He followed up with a series of rapid punches into the gut, leading up into the face, and adding a few knees as well as a few shots from his tentacles in.

The Toa staggered back when all was said and done. His body was battered from the swift, fierce attacks his opponent had given him.

“We’re not done!” Linke shouted, throwing a blast of fire forward. The jet of fire missed as Opuric span to the side. He laughed, but was thrown to the ground from a sudden blast of air. He rose, hissing.

“I’ll end you, just like that Ko-Matoran.” He hissed, lashing his tentacles out, lashing them over a pole coming out of a building. It was probably a flagpole, or something like that. He bent it down until it was more horizontal than vertical, and lashed the tentacles for the ankles.

As soon as he had the Toa, he pulled. He himself went up as well, spinning around with the Toa. He grabbed the Toa’s ankles, and smashed his feet between the Toa’s arms and body, driving the head at the ground, until things went black.

Gahla watched as the sun was setting, as the twilight was upon the streets. She saw as the Toa swayed towards her, alive, but vastly drained.

As soon as he came within arm’s reach, she could see that the body was fully gray. No dual tone, no line down the center, just a gray mass of armor by the look of it.

“What…what happened?” She questioned in shock.

“A full Elemental Burst.” They said as one.

“You released everything from both sides into him?” Gahla questioned, “Am I understanding this right?”

They nodded their head.

“He had us wrapped in his tentacles, ready to use his pile-driver, like on Tezka. What killed him.” Linke said, “We released everything in that one instant he made contact, his body against ours. It blew him away, ripping him apart.”

“It took everything out of us. It’s a miracle we could retain our form as we walked back.” Recht told her.

The Toa came to his knees, and his body fell forward, into Gahla’s arms. She held the two Matoran. They had split as soon as they had fallen forward.

She looked at them both. Both of them were asleep or unconscious from the battle. From how tiring it was, being drained of their elements like that. She wouldn’t be able to imagine how tired they must both be.

She still held them both as the twilight came across the armor of the three of them. “Shhh. Sleep, you two.” She said softly, “It’s over. You’re both so weary, you two can finally rest. Tezka is avenged.”

Day Seventy-Seven, Part 1 Edit

Erok walked around the ship, looking out at the island of Doppel Nui. There were Dark Hunters nearby, but none to send out. None that could actually do anything.

He had killed "Keizaln" nearly twenty days ago. He had shown "Keizaln" that he was a servant, not a king. That he would always be a lowly servant.

He didn’t regret killing the Voeren. Kabarn and Voeren naturally hated each other, but the failures are what got to Erok more than their deep, inherited hate of each other.

And then, there was Wenos. Erok’s faithful warrior, a Skakdi who had never truly lost a battle.

He had been slain not long ago by the Toa of Doppel Nui. He had lost the powerful Skakdi, and before that, the Rakile that Wenos had hired. If even Velsrok were still around, he could be of help.

There was currently no experienced Dark Hunters on the ship, not even Helsrok. It looked like it all came down to him.

Erok had his hands hooked behind his back, clasping one wrist with the opposite hand on both arms. He walked towards others on the ship, “I need a ship! I need transport towards the island itself.”

“How large of a ship do you require?” One Dark Hunter asked.

“Large enough for an invasion force of at least ten Dark Hunters. Weaponry removed. I just need it for transport.”

“You’re not taking a force with you?” The Dark Hunter asked.

Erok shook his head, “No. I’m going alone. I want the job done, so I’m doing it myself. I cannot allow us to spend any more time at this worthless island. Not with a war going on. So, I’m heading there myself to see to it that the Toa is slain.”

“The extra room on the boat?” The Dark Hunter asked.

“That’s none of your business.” Erok hissed, “Remember to keep out of the business of another, especially your superiors.”

The Dark Hunter quickly nodded and apologized. He rushed off to prepare the ship for transport.

Erok looked once more at the island, and then headed to the cabin to get his equipment. He would need weaponry for his foray into enemy territory.

Linke found himself waking up on the couch in the main office. He sat up and looked above his head, at the painting just above it. He walked to his chair and sat down, looking at the picture.

Then he wondered how he had gotten to where he was. He stood up and opened the door to the basement, rushing down.

Recht was in bed at the bed in the back of the room, still sleeping. He walked towards his sleeping partner. He sat down on a bench by the bed, against the wall.

After about ten more minutes, Recht awoke. He rolled over and looked to Linke.

“Do you have any idea what happened yesterday?” Linke asked.

“None.” Recht replied, “But I’m assuming you’re asking me about why we were both sleeping like this. And why I was in this bed…and where were you?”

“The couch upstairs.” Linke said.

Recht nodded, “Well, I have no idea why we were where we were.” Recht told Linke, “Maybe…”

Gahla.” Linke said. “I remember…”

“We killed Opuric and avenged Tezka.” Recht said, “We used a full Elemental Burst. It must have put us under, and she brought us back here. On her own, somehow, I assume, and she put us to rest in comfort after such a hard fought battle.”

Linke nodded, “Makes enough sense to me.”

“Should we go to the grave?” Recht asked.

Linke nodded, “Yeah, we should. And Gahla should join us. She was there after we avenged him, after all. She helped us to rest.”

Recht nodded, “You get her, I’ll take care of the Duos Stones.” He said, finding the pouches on a nearby table. He took the main Duos Stones out and set them down, and then felt the power inside of them.

“Linke…they’re fully functional.” He said. He looked to the Ta-Matoran, “They’re both fully powered.”

“How?” Linke questioned, rushing over, “We used all of the power yesterday! How could they recharge so quickly?”

“We could have been asleep longer than a day, you know.” Recht told him.

Linke nodded, “We could have been. We’ll need Gahla to tell us.”

The two stood outside of the police station, waiting as Gahla came out to join them. The three started to walk towards the park, to see Tezka’s grave.

“You were only asleep for one day. It was only yesterday that you killed that Musvo'wo.” She confirmed.

The two partners looked to each other, “Then how did the Stones recharge after only one day?” Linke questioned.

“They may be so close to us, to our inner strength, that they regenerated their powers faster, drawing off of our will alone.” Recht said, “That’s my best theory on it.”

Linke nodded, touching the pouch he wore, “I still can’t feel the power inside, but I do feel something, deep inside of me as I touch it. I think you’re right, Recht.”

Recht nodded, “I think so, too. I also feel it, but since I can actually feel the real power, it’s a lot stronger looking at it from the power approach.”

The three continued to walk. After about half an hour, they arrived at the park. The three moved through the woods until they reached the spot where Tezka had been buried. Only a small mark in a nearby tree - Recht’s trademark - directed them to the spot.

The three were alone. They stood around the location, standing in silence. Their silence was enough.

Linke finally found words. “Tezka…my teacher, my friend. You taught me so much. Not just about how to fight, but about myself. You taught me who I was; you made me who I am today. You were my friend, as much as my teacher. You and Recht are like brothers to me, more than just brothers in arms. I…I could have tried to save you, Tezka, but I froze. I couldn’t get out there to help you. But with Recht’s help, Opuric is dead. Please, take solace in that fact, and be happy in the world of the dead.”

It was Recht’s turn.

“I didn’t know you very well. All I really knew is that you made Linke who he is today. Linke is an amazing man, so I imagine you were very much like him. I wish you could have been around longer, I wish you were still here, with us. You were a great man for the week or so that I knew you. No one deserves to be killed by a monster bent only on combat. Tezka, we avenged you, find peace, please.”

Gahla had nothing to say. She had never met him. She had nothing to offer, other than her silence.

“How touching. Is this a memorial or something?” A voice sneered.

The three turned, watching a black armored being walk out from behind a tree. He had black armor with some specks of gray. Instead of hands, he wore gauntlets that had claws instead of fingers. They were lime green in contrast to his normal black. He wore two daggers on his back, one on the small of his back, one higher up, by his shoulder blades. His face was naked, but he lost no power.

“A Voeren?” Linke hissed.

“No.” The man answered, “Kabarn.”

“Voeren are their sub-species.” Recht told the other two, “They’re bound to look familiar, similar.”

Linke nodded, “Ok then, who are you?”

“The leader of the triad. The current commander of the Dark Hunter forces at Doppel Nui.” The Kabarn answered, “Erok. I am the man who killed "Keizaln", by the way. But Wenos told you that at one point, right?”

“So, you’re Erok.” Recht hissed, pulling his Duos Stone free, “We finally meet the source of our troubles.”

“No, I’m not the source.” Erok said, “It’s you two.” He said, pointing at the two Matoran, “You brought us here by being persistent and stubborn, surviving everything we threw at you, killing every Dark Hunter we sent. You are the source, we are the stop.” Erok said metaphorically.

“You won’t win.” Linke said, drawing his half of the Duos Stone out, “We’ll stop you, just like we did to "Keizaln", to Wenos, to Opuric, and to every Dark Hunter thrown at us as of yet!”

The two stood closer together. Power swirled around them, drawing them into one being. The shockwave spread out, turning up dust and leaves around them. Gahla ran from the forest, trying to get out before the battle would begin.

The Toa attached his pouches to his waist, and ran forward, throwing a flaming punch. Erok dodged back with ease and grabbed his forearm. He drew the Toa in and gave him a palm to the face, dazing him. He pushed the Toa back.

He motioned for the Toa to follow as he walked away, towards the edge of the woods, following Gahla out to the streets. The Toa hissed, and walked after him. They didn’t want to run, and have him attack. They wanted to keep an eye on him.

And fighting in such an area wasn’t good. Fire was going to be too rampant and dangerous to use in there.

After a few moments, they reached the street. Erok turned to them, and dashed back, into a side street. The Toa pursued and slid down the street, looking for the now vanished Dark Hunter.

Erok came out from behind them, slashing with his right dagger point down. It was the one from the small of his back.

The Toa dodged back and span around, throwing a small blast of fire forward, trying to see how Erok would react.

He lifted his dagger. The ProtoSteel blade caught the flames. He swung the blade out, effectively deflecting the attack.

He rushed forward, slashing the Toa up the chest. He stumbled back, and then took a kick from Erok, getting his body slammed into the pillar on the outside of a building, being used as decoration. It was large and flat, comfortable for their body to be pressed against.

That was good, considering what was about to happen.

He ran his dagger through the Toa’s open hand, sticking the right hand to the pillar. The Toa pulled, but couldn’t move his hand. He reached his left hand for the dagger’s handle, but the second dagger was quickly in hand, and running through the left hand.

The Toa was stuck. His back against the pillar, right hand partially up, left hand down. Both hands impaled by a dagger.

Linke focused, trying to use his powers to melt the dagger in his hand. Erok apparently noticed, prompting his next words.

“Try melting it, if you want. You’ll be there forever. That is ProtoSteel, my friend. It won’t melt that easily.”

“Don’t blame me if I try.” Linke hissed, focusing again, but again, nothing. No change in the dagger at all.

Erok pointed towards the shore, about a three minute run from where they currently were. It was to the east, “I have thirteen Matoran on my boat out there, they are my hostages. Toa, if you wish to get them back, you’ll come to the flagship and duel me, one on one, in three hours. Do you understand?”

The Toa nodded slowly. He could hear Gahla breathing behind the pillar, waiting. The breaths were quiet enough for only them to hear, to know her location.

Erok turned his back on them, clasping his hands behind his back. He took a few steps forward, “Now, will you come to the flagship so we can have a proper duel?”

She quickly reached out, grabbing a stone from Recht’s pouch. She checked it and quickly raised it up. It was absorbed into Recht’s side, and the Duos Stone fell free, into her hand. She slipped it into the pouch.

His half of the body was suddenly gray. He had Iron powers now. He manipulated the dagger in his palm, tearing it free. He pulled the dagger free of his other hand as well with force of will through his powers. They raced forward, floating the daggers around his right hand as they ran.

Erok turned to face them, “Resourceful, I was hoping you would be.”

The two daggers came out beyond the hand. He took control with his powers over Iron, and slashed them down. He slashed them wildly, hoping to hit something with them, while Linke was throwing a fireball forward, intending on scorching Erok.

Erok rolled aside, avoiding every blow. He leapt forward, slamming his palm into their face. As they stumbled back, he span around, sweeping his leg out low, taking them off of their feet. The daggers fell, into his awaiting hands. He sheathed them properly on his back and turned away.

“Three hours, remember.” He said. He walked away, and then stopped and approached them again. He walked past their body as they tried to rise, and grabbed Gahla by the neck. He lifted her up and showed her to them.

“Help!” She cried out at them. She was stuck in the folds of her robe of rank, unable to get her arms free enough to grab her knife and at the least stab the Kabarn’s wrist.

“If you don’t come, she’ll die along with the other hostages.” Erok said, “This detective is my new hostage.”

“You can’t take her!” Linke shouted, “Gahla!”

“Why can’t I take her?” Erok questioned, “It’ll get you to fight harder, so of course I’ll take her. I want you to fight to your best, Toa.”

Erok started to walk away, Gahla in his grip. He shook her a few times, making her become silent. The Toa struggled to get up, but couldn’t.

“Three hours. What are we doing to do?” Linke questioned.

“Check on Sonics.” Recht replied, “Get some steel for manipulating into weapons. Get some rest prior, and get ourselves a boat.”

“You’ve thought it out.” Linke said.

“I know. And we’re going to want to take all the time we have.”

“Let’s blindside him now!” Linke snapped.

“No. Gahla could be injured. Didn’t you think of that?” He questioned.

“No…” Linke muttered.

As Erok vanished from sight, the Toa split in half. They got up and raced away from the park, heading back towards the shop.

They needed to check on Sonics. They needed to use their money to charter a boat, they needed to get rested and prepared.

This duel would decide at least fifteen lives. This duel could very well end the Dark Hunter threat on Doppel Nui.

This duel was immensely important, and had to be won at any cost.

Day Seventy-Seven, Part 2 Edit

“What do we have to do?” Linke demanded as they walked.

“Why are you mad at me?” Recht demanded back.

“I’m not.”

“You sound like it. Your tone of voice sounds like it.” Recht said, directing at Linke’s demanding tone.

“Fine, I’m just annoyed. My anger isn’t at you…it’s just misdirected. I’m sorry.” He said, “I’m just so frustrated…”

“We couldn’t save her.” Recht said, “I understand. You had to watch your friend be taken away right before your eyes. And not too long ago we lost Tezka as well. This must be increasingly difficult on you, Linke.”

“You have no idea how hard this is.” Linke hissed.

“I think I do.” Recht said, stopping, “I lost my partners, and though they weren’t my friends, I still have the pain resonating within me.”

“But they aren’t your friends.” Linke told him. “You don’t understand!”

Recht stopped and turned Linke, looking into his eyes.

“Don’t you think I had a life before I worked for those Av-Matoran?” He shouted, losing his control over his rage, “What do you think happened to that life, Linke? I was forced to abandon it! Not stop, pack up, and leave, but just leave! Those Av-Matoran needed an agent, I was there, I was someone who could come and go as I needed, blend in, be emotionless enough to do the job. They didn’t want me to leak any information. They wanted me, and that was the end of it. I was gone. As far as my old life is concerned, I’m probably dead. All those friends I once had, they probably think I’m dead! Dropped off of the face of the world! If I was alive, they would probably assume I would have come back by now. But I haven’t. It was made clear to me that I was never to return there, or I would be killed. I would be eliminated by another agent. It would look like I never existed in the first place.”

“Never…existed?” Linke questioned in confusion.

Recht nodded, “They said they would have me killed, my body burnt, destroyed. They would go to my village and wipe out my former home, kill everyone who ever knew me. They were clear that I was to never return, never to go back to my old life in any way.”

“I can’t imagine they’re too pleased then, that you haven’t returned. Reported in. Or don’t they expect you too? It’s been a year, hasn’t it?”

“It has been.” Recht confirmed, “It was a simple mission of delivering the Duos Stone to Doppel Nui. They probably assumed I died. If they think I’m in hiding, they’ll be watching my old home, I’m sure of it. I’m sure someone is there, watching and waiting. If I go back, I’m sure I’m dead.”

“They don’t bother checking up on you?” Linke questioned, “They don’t care about the life of an agent?”

“No. I’m expendable. And if I try to tell anyone about who I am, I’m dead. They’ll show me just how expendable I really am.” Recht said.

“So, if they find out you’re alive and have told me these things, I’m dead too, aren’t I?”

“You are.” Recht confirmed.

“We can deal with it.” Linke said, “We have the Duos Stones.”

Recht smiled, “And that’s how we’ll get Gahla and the other hostages back. With the Stones. If you’re confident enough that we can survive an encounter with my employers and whoever they send to eliminate us, then you should be confident enough that we’ll defeat Erok and save the Matoran.”

“Erok is so strong, though. Even without powers.” Linke told him.

“He’s strong, but without power, as you said. He’s only a Kabarn.” Recht said, “He’s had to work on his body to make it that strong and fast. "Keizaln", on the other hand, had help from being a member of the Voeren species. They naturally have that grace, agility and strength that he had. We’re fighting someone with the determination to grow stronger. He’s about to fight two people with the determination to save lives.”

“And we’ll defeat him.” Linke said, “You’re right. He has the will to make himself stronger, to become the best he can be, to kill with that ability. But, we have the ability, the determination, to overcome such obstacles. To free those that he has captured.” Linke smiled, “He’s done. As soon as we arrive, he’s finished.”

“That’s the spirit.” Recht said, “Now come on. We have to get a boat chartered, and get Sonics prepped.”

They started to run through the streets now, heading towards the shop. It wouldn’t take long to get Sonics, but the ship was the iffy part. They would have to find someone they could rent from without problem, probably in Toa form, someone loyal to them, so that they would know why the boat would probably come back destroyed.

“Recht…” Linke said.

“Yeah?” Recht asked, looking to him.

“When this is over…I want you to do something. A favor for me.” Linke said, “You know, when this is all over. When the Dark Hunters are gone and everything.”

“Ok, what’s the favor?” Recht asked.

Linke looked at him with a serious look in his eyes, “For me…I want you to go to your old home. I want you to see your old friends, your old life. And I want to come with you, to help you stay alive. I want you to go back and tell them all what happened. No man should have to live as you have.”

Recht smiled at him. It was only the third or fourth time that Linke had ever seen him smile in such a way.

“I’m glad you’d be willing to give me that. To let me see them again.” Recht said, “To help protect me so I can get out alive, but when they find out that I’m alive, they’ll come here, after both of us, after Gahla and the others, I’m sure. If you give me this, you’ll be throwing everything you have, everyone you know, into jeopardy. I can’t allow that to happen to you, Linke, or to everyone else.”

“I’m willing to relocate.” Linke said, “If it comes down to it.”

“They have more agents than you think.” Recht told him, “I’m afraid that no matter what you do, they’ll find you, and eliminate both you and I. I’m only safe right now because they think me dead. If they know I’m alive, and with you, they’ll keep coming to silence me - us. If we try to fake our deaths…it wouldn’t work. They would still be after us. There’s no escape, Linke. Not again.”

“I understand.” Linke said, “I just thought you should see them again.”

“I know you had your heart in the right place. I appreciate that.” Recht told him. “You’ll never know how much I want to go back to my old life. How I’ve dreamt of it so often…”

“I won’t understand.” Linke agreed, “But I’m sure it feels like an unreachable goal that looks within reach.”

“It is.”

The two finally arrived at the store. They ran inside and reclaimed the Sonics Stone. With their new determination it would somehow re-energize without any problem. The Duos Stone was keyed into their minds, their mentality, and this would help refill it. And since the other elemental stones were copies, offspring, so to say, of the main Duos Stones, the Sonics Stone would soon refill.

“Let’s get moving.” Recht said, “It’ll refill as we go.”

Linke nodded, rushing out alongside him. “What now? Where do we get a boat?”

“I don’t know.” Recht admitted. Then, it hit him. “Ezim!”

“What about him? Is he going to help us from the dead or something?” Linke questioned.

“He was camped in the jungle. He made an actual camp near the coast. I noticed he had a raft.”

“We’ll take it.” Linke smiled. They stopped and turned, running the other way, heading west towards the mountain, and towards the jungle.

They had one hour left by the time they pushed through the thicket of trees and foliage. They had yet to encounter a single Rahi, for some reason or another.

Maybe it was the danger in the air. Maybe the Rahi were sensitive and could feel it. Feel how unnerved the two Matoran were, feel the ill-set emotions coming from the sea, from the Dark Hunter blockade.

Whatever it was, the two Matoran got through pretty easily. With Recht leading, they had no problems getting through and finding the old remains of the camp from nearly fifty days earlier.

“Fire is still here.” Linke muttered, kicking the blackened wood away, breaking it apart with the touch of his foot. “I guess when his corpse was found, nothing else was done by the police. That’s good, I guess.”

Recht was untying the raft from the tree it was tied around. It was light, but seaworthy. He guessed that it was tied to prevent the wind from taking it.

“The wood he used is very light.” Recht warned, “It’ll float, but it’s very light. Just watch your step. We don’t want to damage it and offset it somehow.”

“Got it.” Linke said, approaching him, “Let’s get to the shore and get going.”

Recht nodded, rushing off with him on the five minute run to the shore.

It indeed took them five minutes, as predicted. Fifty five minutes left.

Recht put the raft in the water and put his foot on it to keep it stable and at hand. Linke climbed down the small ridge of land and dropped lightly onto it. He held onto the ridge with his hands, allowing Recht to come down onto it as well.

“Let’s move.” Recht said, pushing off. He had a large stick in hand, which he was using as a form of oar. He looked to Linke, “We could transform, use my Water powers to move us.”

“I think a fusion might break this thing apart.” Linke said, “I think our combined weight as a Toa would as well.”

“Then we’re stuck doing this.” Recht said.

Linke removed his pouch and set it down next to Recht. He slid off the back, holding on with his arms and upperbody. He started kicking, helping to propel the boat forward by swimming behind it, pushing it.

“Which one is the flagship?” Linke questioned.

Recht pointed to the largest one, about half an hour away at the rate they were moving at, “That one, I imagine.”

“We’ll go for it.” Linke answered, kicking as he had been. He didn’t kick harder. He didn’t want to wear himself out. His pace wasn’t going to wear him out at this rate, and they would make it in time. That’s what counted. Being rested enough to fight, being active enough to be ready to fight, and making it with time to spare.

The two Matoran climbed a rope ladder that was dropped for them. They walked onto the large bow of the ship, looking at the large flat before them. Erok stood a decent distance away. It was roughly a street block he stood away from them.

The two Matoran stood side by side, moving closer. Dark Hunters started to crowd around, creating a circle of men around the three warriors. No way out, other than up.

The two Matoran scanned the crowd. There were all sorts of Dark Hunters. Lanky fighters, heavy fighters, tall, muscular, short, swift. Swordsmen, bowmen, grenadiers, hand to hand combatants, and more.

All sorts of species. Humanoid, aquatic, animal - Hordika, avian, and more.

“Glad you could make it.” Erok said, twirling a dagger around his right hand. He looked to them, “Well, hurry up, transform and fight me.”

The two quickly drew their Stones out and were merged into one without further ado. They stepped forward in their normal form. No materials to change for a weapon from the Iron element. There was more than enough iron or steel around for them to take with their powers.

They kept looking through the crowd. Linke spoke, “So, where’s Helsrok?”

“Called away, unfortunately.” Erok said, “He was too good to keep here. We have a war going on, you know. He was needed to fight on the front lines. When I meet him in the war, I’ll be sure to tell him how you died.”

“If he couldn’t kill us, you can’t.” Linke provoked.

“But he didn’t fight you with a blade. He could have kept going, but he decided against it. I’m not going to give up because I’m out of my element in weaponry, should it happen.” Erok said. He pointed his dagger at them, “Well, come!”

They could hear the Matoran hostages behind the ring of Dark Hunters. There were so many that they couldn’t see the Matoran, however. But they knew they were there.

The Toa rushed forward and slid towards him. As he thrust his dagger forward, Recht brought his arm up to parry. Linke threw a flaming fist into Erok’s chest, bringing him to his knees.

“Good. Fast.” Erok congratulated. He rose and threw a left hook into their face. They stumbled back. He span around, slamming his foot into the side of their head, dropping them to the ground. He pointed his dagger down, “Don’t make this so easy on me!”

Recht flicked a finger forward. A ball of air formed under Erok’s foot, in the space between the board and foot. The wind grew, offsetting his balance, making him give out a cry as he started to fall.

The Toa rose, throwing a flaming punch into his chest. He hit the ground hard and rolled back across the planks. The Toa stalked forward.

“What? Can’t you fight me?” The two Matoran demanded as one, “Have you lost that ability you had earlier today?”

Erok rose and swore. He rushed forward with his dagger, flipping it point down and slashing wildly for their chest, trying to cut them open.

The Toa dodged side to side gracefully, thanks to Recht’s powers. They span around, sending a wind blade off of the foot, smashing it into Erok’s chest. As he stumbled back, Linke snapped his fingers forward.

A fireball formed in Erok’s gut, throwing him to the ground. The planks split on impact, sending a few shards of wood up.

The Toa approached, “Well, we’re doing better now, aren’t we?” The Toa questioned as one unified voice.

Erok swore as he rose again. He threw the dagger forward, aiming it for the head.

“Don’t discount elements.” Recht said, throwing his arm up, catching the dagger in the wind. The blade stopped, just floating between them.

As Erok watched, the blade turned around in the air, and found its mark in his chest. He hit the ground, gasping for air as the Toa stepped over him.

“I think that means we win.” Linke said, “Now, the captives. We’ll be taking them, as per our deal.”

Dark Hunters stepped aside. Erok was leading this fleet. They were to listen to his word, or be executed by him. That was how they were trained.

As the Toa and Matoran walked towards the ship Erok had used initially, they dropped it into the water, and started towards the island, no Dark Hunters pursuing them.

Day One-Hundred: The Final DayEdit

The duel with Erok had been swift and meaningful. Erok’s own weapon plunged into his chest. He was downed, unable to continue the fight. He may have been able to rise, but they didn’t want to keep fighting, not since they knew they could get away with the prisoners without any intervention from the Dark Hunters.

They were to listen to Erok’s orders. He ordered freedom if he was defeated. They obeyed him. If he had risen again while the Toa was there, they would have barred his way for the fight to continue.

They didn’t know if Erok was dead or not. All they knew was he couldn’t breathe, and his dagger was in his chest. That seemed like it could go either way. They hoped he was dead.

Over the time since the fight, Recht had continued to teach Linke how to carve. Soon, Linke had learned everything there was to learn from Recht. He had learned all of his skills, all of his principles. He had learned to identify stone, identify flaws or weaknesses inside of the stones, and how to draw out the inner sculpture.

He had done some carving, but he was still an amateur compared to the likes of Recht or other accomplished artists across the island. His art would never sell, he knew. And he still liked to look at other’s art for the beauty. But he liked to look at his art if he ever needed to look into his own heart.

That’s what statues were, carvings were. A look into the heart of the carver. And Linke excelled at that. He excelled at viewing his own heart. Recht told him that not every artist could view their own heart through their art, and usually, not as fast as Linke learned how to. Linke was fast in this way. He was a fast learner in the empathetic fields of art.

He had looked at the painting, but wasn’t able to pick anything off of it. He shook his head every time. It was beautiful, calming, held a deep message for the two of them, whenever they looked at it in relation to their duty as Toa.

But neither could see the heart. They didn’t know what it was supposed to mean. There was also no artist signature or marking. Nothing to show who had painted it.

At one point, they had gone to where it was purchased from, but the owner said he was just selling it. That he usually bought from a supplier elsewhere on the island. The supplier might know, but he had burned off the last of his inventory not long ago, and had moved to another island. That supplier would have been in touch with each artist, but he was gone now.

They asked any artists they knew, but no one could tell them who painted it. Linke feared that the painting would remain as just that, a painting. Never a window into anyone’s heart, never the extension of another person, their arm extending through the brush as they painted such beauty.

“I fear we’ll never know.” Linke breathed as Recht came to the door. Linke shook his head, further confirming that he had been unsuccessful in finding the artist on his next foray into the city to search.

“Ok then, what do you see in it? You, personally. Don’t think about the artist who painted it. I want to know what you see.” Recht said.

Linke looked up at it. He often stared at it for long periods of time. This time, he needed only a few moments, coupled that with his older knowledge, and shook his head.

“I don’t see anything in it.” Linke said. “There’s nothing in it for me. That’s why I want to find the artist, to see what he can see in his own work. To know where he was coming from when he painted this.”

“We’ve asked nearly every artist in the city. I don’t think we’ll ever find out.” Recht told him.

“I fear as much.” Linke said, dropping his head in defeat.

The painting of the Toa on the beach, sword and Kanohi set aside, made them both ponder the question for hours. It was hard to let go of, to stop trying to think of it. It had been such a powerful part of both their lives since purchasing it. They had both thought of it when they needed to find inner peace. Even in battle they both found themselves thinking of it, deeper than they knew, they thought of it in their minds, to almost the point where they couldn’t realize they were thinking about it. It helped them to read their enemies, for one.

The placid surface of the water, the Toa with discarded Kanohi and sword with the setting sun. That was the picture. It was similar, but different than a very rare piece called “After the Battle”, which featured crashing waves to show the ferocity of the Toa, the birds flying to show life going on, and the discarded sword and Kanohi, minus the Toa, to show that the Toa was still on duty, but striving for something better, by his not being in the picture, despite his mask and tool there.

This new piece had the placid surface to display peace. The setting sun to also give a peaceful effect. The Toa sitting with his discarded mask and sword represented his acknowledgment of duty, but also his notion to relax and be at peace. This piece of art was much better than “After the Battle” for the minor differences, though the differences made them much more detailed than one would think to look. You had to read into the pieces, not look, see the similarities, and call one a copy of the other. They both pertained different messages, and that had to be acknowledged.

“There are some requests.” Linke said, directing to the small pile of thin slabs of stone, each with a different requests written on it. The pile was neatly stacked, as always.

“I’ll get to it.” Recht sighed, walking forward.
“What is it?” Linke asked him, grabbing him by the arm.

“Nothing.” Recht said, “I’m just…”

A chill shot down their spines. An overwhelming sensation shot through both of their bodies. An explosion could be heard downtown. Smoke was drifting into the air as they both turned to look.

“We’ll deal with it later.” Recht said, rushing back towards the desk with Linke. They both grabbed their pouches and connected them to their belts. They both ran off, out the door and through the side streets and alleys, rushing towards the sight of the explosion.

Whatever it was, they had to get there, fast. It looked and sounded like something big. Probably revenge for Erok’s fall, or Erok’s revenge. One or the other, that much could be gathered from the explosion alone.

Police were sealing off the area of the crater. The entire area was leveled. The pit was flat at the bottom, nearly for half a block each way. Then the walls sloped up from the impact, to the streets above. It wasn’t a far drop, but getting out might be a problem if you were on your own.

Cenrik walked towards an alley. It was the fastest way out of the area. He was going to return to the station to report to Chief Layef about what was happening. That something had crashed on the island and was dormant, unmoving as of yet. The Turaga liked to know about things like this, things that offset the peace this much.

As he entered the alley, he saw two Matoran rushing down. One he recognized as the Ta-Matoran, Recht. One was the Le-Matoran whom had spoken to Gahla the day before she vanished, taken by the Dark Hunter, and then brought back.

He watched them, about to say something to Recht. He was going to tell him to report to the station, not the site, and demand to know who the other Matoran was, when he saw them each draw out a stone and face them at each other.

They hadn’t seen Cenrik, or they would have stopped. He watched as an arc of power flew around their feet and rose up around their bodies. The two stones seemed to find a connection, and draw the two Matoran together, creating a wave of energy around them. When that energy faded, they rushed out as one body.

As the Toa of Doppel Nui.

Cenrik backed away and pressed his back to the wall, just outside of the alley. He was shocked by the sight he had just seen. His friend, the great sculptor and the police consultant, Recht, was actually a Toa. Or at least, half a Toa. How was that even possible? How could two Matoran become a Toa?

The Toa raced out of the alley and leapt over the police, down into the pit. The Toa looked up, “I’ll handle it from here.” He said with one unified voice, “I’ll bet you’re out of your element, here.”

The police seemed all too eager to hand such a case over to the Toa. They backed away, but stayed in the area.

He turned to the black thing that lay before him. “What are you? “ Linke questioned, hoping if it was sentient, it would answer.

The thing started to unfold and rise. It laughed as it came to its full height.

It was clad in black and gray armor, but the gray was few and far between. The body had spikes going up on each side of the neck from the torso, a naked, armored face, and thick armor that almost seemed alive. He had lime green and black claws, claws on his wrists which had wings sprouted from them, wings coming from his back, thick, armored legs that ended in claws, and a long, lashing, powerful tail, ended in two spikes.

He had a dagger mounted on the right claw. The dagger ended in a golden orb that seemed to be in constant movement, somehow.

The form was different, but there was no doubt who it was.


“I used our mutagen. Our supersoldier mutagen.” Erok hissed, “And I changed!” He threw his arms out to his sides, laughing, “I am the greatest warrior now! And you shall now fall, Toa.” He lifted his right arm up, showing his dagger, “A Fang Dagger. One stab, and your life will be sucked out, into the orb. You’ll fall dead where you stand. You’re done, Toa. I’m stronger than before, faster, greater. You can’t defeat me again!”

He looked at his arm, “This form is a bit odd for a mutation, though. This mutagen makes other mutations far different. More monstrous, or more covert. This seems…enhanced, neither as a monster, nor as a covert mutation.” He shrugged, “Maybe it has to do with my species.”

“Let’s end him fast.” Linke said, throwing a fireball forward.

The flames smashed into Erok’s new body, but nothing happened. He chuckled as he walked forward, shaking his head.

“Won’t work.” He said, whipping around, smashing his tail into their body, sending them flying into the curve of the land. They slid down and stayed down for a moment.

Erok raced forward, on all fours. His tail and wings were up, ready for action.

As he reached them, his powerful tail snapped down. The Toa rolled aside, watching as the tail sailed through the spot they were just at, disappearing up to the body, almost, as he bent over. He pulled back, withdrawing his tail from the hole, rather than just cut through the ground like a knife through butter.

He leapt forward and spread the wings farther, taking to the air. He span around, and dropped, throwing his leg out, clenching his clawed foot.

The Toa leapt back at the last moment. He appeared in front of them a moment later, impacting the ground. Both of them threw their arms forward, blasting him with their powers, but nothing happened to him. He was too resistant.

“I’m immortal like this.” Erok sneered, leaping forward. He drove his dagger forward, but the Toa span aside, avoiding it with ease.

Erok didn’t let up. He drove the Fang Dagger forward again, but the Toa just managed to dodge back.

“You know what? The Fang Dagger is one of the most coveted objects of my people, the Kabarn. We hunt for treasures, that’s what we do. I joined the Dark Hunters to achieve that end, and found this weapon after searching and killing. It wasn’t payment, but rather, spoils of the mission. This is one of the deadliest weapons ever created. I’ve searched so long for this weapon; I’m going to make this be what kills you. I won’t kill you any other way!”

He lunged forward, driving the blade forward again. It caught Linke’s leg, but slipped out, just cutting him. Erok hadn’t been fast enough to be aware that he had a stab.

The Toa span around, sending a wind blade kick into his face, throwing him back. As he stumbled away, the Toa rushed forward, pressing their advantage. A double fisted slam to the back of the head brought the head down. A knee snapped it back up again.

The Toa reared his right leg back and smashed it into Erok’s gut, throwing him into the opposite side of the crater, hitting him against the curved wall.

“You’re a Kabarn. You’re good, but you’re not good at combat. Your sister species, sub-species, rather, the Voeren, are. I think you’re trying to be a Voeren more than anything else, by trying to prove yourself through combat. That’s right, isn’t it?” Recht questioned, “No Kabarn would try to fight this hard. Would subject themselves to such mutations.”

“Be quiet.” Erok hissed.

“That’s it, isn’t it?” Linke mocked, joining in, “You want to be a Voeren! You want combat, not a life of treasure hunting. That’s why you joined the Dark Hunters. That’s why you fight so hard. Admit it!”

“Voeren are weak!” He shouted, rising up to his feet. He crouched over, bent partially. His tail came up above his head, “The Voeren are ready to fight from the moment they are created. They have the abilities to be amazing warriors and assassins. We Kabarn are their main species, but have no such capabilities. All we have is a knack for treasure hunting. What good is that? It also shows that we are greedy people, that we desire objects and money. I hate that. I hate the Voeren for not having to work for their abilities. I want to show my dominance and transcend both my Kabarn brethren, and my Voeren cousins!”

“Now that you have shown us who you are…we won’t feel as bad about ending your life.” Linke said. He threw his arm out and stepped sideways. He looked over his shoulder, down his arm. He curled his fingers in one by one, facing his now fist at the mutated Kabarn.

“Now, prepare for your death!” The two Matoran shouted as one.

“What?” Erok hissed. He broke out into laughter, “You can’t be serious! Do you really think you can kill me with that finishing move you have?”

The Toa raced forward. Flames and wind picked up around his body as he ran. He leapt into the air, throwing his arms to his sides. The flames and wind combined into one flaming cyclone, the tip acting like a drill beneath his feet. He sailed down, the flaming cyclone spinning around him as he came for Erok.

“You can’t kill me!” Erok laughed, throwing his arms out wide, “Try me!”

The two Matoran had proven to each other, to themselves, that sheer force of will could do amazing things. It could recharge the powers of their Stones with ease, beyond what the Stones should be able to do. It would also help them here.

Their combined will could create miracles for them. It could grant them the ability to fight, and to win.

The flaming cyclone crashed into Erok’s chest. He slid back at the moment of impact, but managed to stop. He laughed as the cyclone continued, trying to dig into him, to finish him, but it couldn’t.

The Toa came out of it, sending a flaming bicycle kick into Erok’s chest. This started to crack his armor, and make Erok cry out in pain. He could feel his armor breaking. It was as though his organics were being pounded.

His mutation made him more at one with his body. Armor pain became actual pain, no longer a shield to prevent such pain, but the pain itself.

Erok let out one last scream, and one last shout before his end.

“Long live the Dark Hunters! Long live the Kabarn!” He cried out, proclaiming the longevity of his faction, and of his people, as he fell to his knees, and his body fell back, his legs slipping out, still bent. He hit the ground, and stayed down. He was dead. The only remaining Dark Hunter of rank at the siege was gone. The siege was at its end.

Cenrik stormed into the shop with Gahla behind him, trying to stop him. Linke looked up from his desk, “Cenrik, Gahla…”

“I saw!” Cenrik shouted, “Recht, I saw! You’re the Toa! You and that Le-Matoran!”

Linke sighed, “Recht!”

“What?” Cenrik questioned. He saw the Le-Matoran emerge, “Wait…you’re Recht?” He questioned, completely lost.

Recht nodded, “He’s Linke.” He said, pointing to the Ta-Matoran, “And together, we are the Toa of Doppel Nui. This island’s guardian.”

“And now that the siege is over, I think they’ll be hesitant to send more Dark Hunters here for a while.” Linke said, “I think our time as the Toa is nearing its end, Recht.”

Recht nodded in agreement, “We can go on with our lives.”

Linke smiled, “I’m glad you two are here.” He said to Gahla and Cenrik, “Since our lives can go on now…I’m starting new. I’m going to go by Recht yet, in public, of course, but things are different. I’m leaving this business, and starting a freelance detective agency. Either of you in?”

The two looked to each other. Gahla stepped forward, “I’m in, Linke.”

“Cenrik?” Linke asked.

“I am.” Cenrik replied, “I trust you, Linke, even if you are the Toa. Even if you used an alias. You’re my friend, and I trust you completely. I’ll join.”

“Thank you.” Linke said.

“I’ll join too.” Recht sighed. He pointed to the pile of requests on the desk, “There’s nothing left to sculpt that interests me, and I’ve taught you all I can. I can’t go back home, either. I’m with you from now on, partner.”

“Thank you, Recht.” Linke said. He rose, “The four of us.”

“Five.” Cenrik said.

Linke looked to him in confusion, “What?”

“There are five. I’m sure Allesendro will join.” Cenrik said with a smile.

“Allesendro?” Linke questioned. He hurdled the desk to land before Cenrik, “You…you mean…” He grabbed Cenrik’s shoulders, “You mean he’s alive?”

“I kept him in a safehouse. He was targeted, after all. Just like he said. I wanted him to stay alive, and Chief Layef permitted it. He’ll be thrilled to join, I’m sure. We became friends, since I was his guard, more or less. And he’ll be released soon, anyway.”

Linke smiled even wider, “That’s great. That’s absolutely fantastic!” He motioned for the two new members of their group towards the picture, “Now, I want you two to look at this. What do you see in it? What is the heart of the painting? Do you see it? Recht and I can’t…”

“Slow down.” Gahla said, “Stop babbling. We get the gist of what you’re saying.” She said.

The two former detectives looked at the painting. Then they both turned to Linke and Recht.

“Well?” Linke asked.

“It was painted with hope.” Cenrik said, “Hope for the painter’s future.”

“And, it was painted among friends.” Gahla said, “He wasn’t alone when he painted it.”

Linke and Recht looked to each other, and then to the painting. Both nodded to each other and smiled. The mystery behind the painting was over, and the ideals of the painter were with them.

It was as though fate had dropped this painting into their lives. As a sign of what was to come, and what had just begun.




  • The plot of Day Twenty-Three and Day Twenty-Four is an homage to the "Magnum P.I." two-part premiere of the third season entitled "Did You See the Sunrise?", with Recht taking on the titular character's role, and Ezim taking on the role of the Russian named "Ivan". The fate of Ezim is the same as Ivan's, being shot in the face, in revenge for years of past torture, after answering about the sunrise.
  • In Day Forty Three, Part 1, Recht makes the comment that Iron is a secondary element, along with Sonics. While Sonics is indeed a secondary element, Iron is not. This mistake is due to Recht's ignorance on the subject of elements, considering he's only familiar with a few personally.

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