Hey guys! I'd just like to thank those that reviewed and I'd like to thank my Beta Reader for being patient with me and my muses. Anyway, there was a review from someone that said if I needed any extra OCs then I could ask. Well, I'm not looking for any right now, but I might plan on it in the future. If that does happen and I do ask, don't post it in a review, but please PM me with the character.
Tahu: Don't worry, she'll give you credit for the characters.
Pohatu: But she doesn't get credit for owning us. Just the story. XD
Me: Gee, thanks for reminding me. Kira, please give a better disclaimer. *goes to sulk in corner*
Kira: Hi! G'reth doesn't own Bionicle, but she does own me, the plot, and other characters you don't know! :D *jumps on Lewa's back* Come on Lewa, you promised to take me flying!
Lewa: You got it, little-sister! *takes off* Wind-fly!
"Wake up! It's morning!"
Mak grunted in surprise as a weight suddenly pounced on his back, knocking the air out of his lungs before he turned and stared at the culprit. A little face grinned down at him, eyes bright with energy as she sat with her hands pressed against his back.
"Just how can you be so energetic in the mornings?" he groaned as he weakly rubbed his face with one hand. First he couldn't get to sleep because he was up all night worrying about yesterday, then his little organic alarm clock had to wake him up. 'And I had just fallen asleep an hour ago…'
Giggling at the accusing glare he sent through his fingers, Kira shrugged and said, "I dunno."
He heaved a sigh at her innocent response, deciding that it wasn't worth trying to pry a better answer from the six year old. "Alright then, let Daddy up now," he said as he propped his arms up beneath him.
Kira nodded as she moved off his back, climbing down from the high bed before retrieving her toy. As she watched him stretch his arms out, she asked, "Dad, who's coming to our house?"
A strangled groan escaped as Mak froze, his arms stiff as he struggled to relax without making the pulled muscle in his neck hurt any worse. Massaging the sore area, he stared down at his daughter as she blinked innocently up at him. "N-no one's coming to our house, sweetling," he stuttered quickly, smiling in an attempt to cover his blunder. "Your mother is out with Uncle Tak right now, so it'll be a day just for you and me!"
"But…what about my lessons?" she asked in confusion.
"We had to cancel for today," he replied as he picked her up, walking back to her room down the hall. "The blizzard is coming in a lot faster than anticipated, so your instructors had to stay home for the day."
She tilted her head to the side as she regarded him, her expression thoughtful as she thought over his words. "Then…are we going somewhere?" she finally asked.
'Smart girl,' he thought with an internal sigh. "Actually, Kira, we're going on a trip," he told her honestly as he sat her on her little bed. "We're going to be going somewhere far away from our home." When he saw the look on her face, he added, "It's not a bad thing! Just think of it as a chance to explore a brand new place outside the forest…like a Toa exploring new islands!"
Kira tightened her hold on her toy, staring up at him with worried eyes. "Daddy, this doesn't feel like our other trips," she said nervously. "And you're scared of something…but why won't you tell me?"
He stood still for a long time, uncertain on how to approach this. Kira always seemed to have a sixth sense about other people's feelings and their problems. To try and lie to her about this would only cause her to start panicking…
With a heavy sigh, he knelt in front of her bed so that he was eye-level with her, his face taking on a serious look. "Kira…this isn't easy for me to say," he began slowly, trying to pick his words carefully. "There really is someone coming…and he is a very bad person that wants to hurt us. He…he's going to try and take you away from us."
"D-did I do something bad?" she stuttered fearfully, most likely remembering the tales her uncle had told her about a being that carried bad people to the Pit. "I-I'm sorry if I did! I-"
"No, no, no! You never did anything wrong and you never will," Mak reassured her as he wrapped his arms around her. "But he won't stop until he has you."
She stared up at him with frightened eyes, tears threatening to fall as she whimpered, "You won't leave me…will you?"
"…no," he said firmly, his gaze set as he tightened his hold on her. "I will protect you with my life."
"And just how far are you willing to go to prove that?" a voice suddenly hissed from the shadows, the room growing dark with an eerie gloom.
"D-Daddy?" Kira whimpered as he gathered her in his arms, clinging to his shirt as he warily looked around. "Why did it get so dark?"
But instead of his reply, the voice from earlier chuckled, sending chills up his spine as they hissed, "Yes, Daddy, why don't you tell her what's really going on?"
Mak crouched over Kira in defense, ready to move if the need arrived as he scanned the darkness for the intruder. "You are not welcome here, monster," he called out, trying to pin-point his location as he stood still and listened. "Leave this place now or there will be dire consequences."
He waited impatiently for a sound, a single quiet shuffle that would point to his hidden enemy. Then, a chilling laugh echoed through the air, Kira shuddering as she clung even tighter to him than before. "Such brave words for someone who is about to die," the voice echoed around the room, making it near impossible to find the source. "You have something I want…and I intend to take what's mine."
A dangerous scowl crossed his face as Mak's hand instinctively reached up to gently cup the back of his daughter's head. "You won't lay a hand on her!" he snarled angrily, his red-orange eyes narrowing in rage. "She doesn't belong to you. You have no right to take her away from her family!"
"Oh…but I am part of her family," the voice sneered back. "A family that wants her back where she rightfully belongs."
"A group of murderers does not make a family," Mak retorted.
He could just barely make out a shape in the darkness, slowly making its way towards him. From the angle it was moving, it was trying to get behind him.
'But I'm not going down without a fight,' he thought to himself as he concentrated. "I'm impressed you managed to get this far, monster," he called out to the shadow, hoping to buy some time. "If I were to die, I would hate to go without at least knowing my killer's name."
For a long, agonizing wait, the shadow finally spoke again, this time in amusement. "I suppose that would be fair," the voice said thoughtfully. "It's not like you'll remember it once you're dead." There was a stretch of silence before the voice continued. "I have had many titles in my career: the Nightfury. The Banshee. The Black Death. But you? You may call me…Rakahn."
"Daddy!" Kira screeched in fear.
"Hrah!" Mak roared as he spun around, his fist glowing as he lashed out at the shadow behind him.
"ARGH!" the shadow screamed in pain as the giant figure reared back, momentarily blinded as he shook his head. Mak wasted no time in turning tail and running, holding Kira close even as Rakahn roared in rage.
"It's okay, I've got you," he whispered reassuringly to the whimpering child in his arms, charging out the door and running through the snow as fast as he could. "Everything's going to be alright now. Don't be afrai—"
He had no time to react as a giant form barreled into him, knocking Kira from his arms as she tumbled away with a squeal. Arms shot up to grip the hand that had grabbed hold of his throat, slowly squeezing until he could hardly breathe as he stared up at Rakahn.
The larger hunter, who looked like a Hordika crossed with a rock lion, had him pinned beneath one knee. He began applying pressure to his ribs, leering down at Mak as he raised his claws to claim his victim. "Daddy!" Kira called out, drawing the attention of the black being.
"Kira…run!" Mak managed to choke out, turning desperate eyes to her terrified face. "Run! Go, now!"
Fear seemed to grip her as Rakahn focused on her, unable to move her gaze away from his. "Stay put, child," Rakahn whispered, his dual-voice shockingly gentle. "I will take you back home where you belong soon enough…right after I deal with this thief."
"KIRA!" Mak shouted, breaking the spell that had settled over the girl. "You have to run NOW!"
Like a shot, Kira took off, running into the trees as Rakahn roared and attempted to follow. Mak grabbed onto his tail and pulled, earning a snarl from the Hordika-like being as he rounded back on him. "Leave her be, Rakahn!" Mak snarled. "Your fight's with me!"
Rakahn snarled again and said, "So be it."
The snow bit my feet like hot needles as I ran through the trees, my shoes long forgotten back home beneath my winter coat. My night clothes were powerless against the cold, my cotton pants getting damp from the wet snow. Each breath I took was agonizing, clouds of white mist escaping with each puff of air I breathed out.
But I ran.
I ran as fast as I could, hoping and praying that Dad would be okay against the monster.
"He'll be fine!" a familiar voice called out over the rush of wind.
"Mahruk!" I gasped out as I clutched his body against my chest.
"Don't worry, he's going to be okay," Mahruk said as he tightened his grip on my arm. "Just keep running until we get to our secret base!"
That's right…this is the direction of our secret base. Last year I had found a small cave while walking with my parents, calling it the secret base so I had some place to hide when I wanted to be alone with Mahruk (which, of course, scared Mom and Dad every time I disappeared on them). The opening and the tunnel were just big enough for me to walk in at a half-crouch, but for someone the size of my dad, he had to crawl on his stomach just to get in.
So maybe…maybe the monster will be too big to fi-!
"Dah!" I yelped as my foot slipped off the path, the snow collapsing around me as my body slid down a small hill before stopping. Now my whole body was shivering from the cold, the wind biting at my skin and chilling me to the bone through my wet clothes.
A sudden scream echoed through the forest, startling me as I stared back in the direction of the house. 'That…sounded like Dad,' I thought slowly.
"Kira! Get up! We have to keep moving before the monster catches us or we freeze to death!"
Mahruk's voice snapped me away from my thoughts as I looked at him and nodded, stiffly getting up as my feet sunk into a deeper part of the snow. "I-It's so c-c-cold!" I chattered as I took off again, moving a little slower this time. For some reason my feet were growing numb to the cold.
"I know, but keep going," he said encouragingly. "We're almost to safety."
Each step felt like someone put weights on my legs as I kept moving, hugging myself and Mahruk to keep us warm. The wind seemed to be getting stronger the further I went, snow swirling around wildly until I can barely see in front of me. Finally, it was too much to bear as I collapsed in the snow, tears beginning to form as I curled up against the chill. "Daddy," I whimpered sadly, wanting to be back home with him and curled up in his lap near the fire-pit. "It's…so cold, Daddy…"
The snow slowly started to grow warmer around me, Mahruk's voice sounding far away as I felt myself drifting in and out of sleep. A quiet crunch of snow barely reached my ears as dark shadows appeared in front of me. My body didn't respond when something lightly touched my shoulder, a soft voice murmuring gently as the wind was blocked by something big. A dark shadow blocked the light above me before a pair of arms lifted me out of the snow, Mahruk slipping from my hands as the arms held me tightly against a warm body.
I wanted to sleep, but a voice kept speaking to me, gently nudging me in the side as my carrier shielded me from the wind and cold. My body slowly began to warm up against the chest I curled up against, and I was a little more aware of the words being said and the voice that was speaking.
"Come back, little one," the eerily familiar voice whispered as something sharp lightly touched my face. "Everything's going to be alright now. Just stay awake for me."
Shivering as my body warmed up, I looked up at the speaker and stared through bleary eyes. "D-Dad?" I asked, hoping that it was him.
It was the monster that had attacked Dad, staring at me with poison-green eyes and a creepy smile on his cat-like face. "No little one," he shook his head, his voice as gentle as it had been before Dad had told me to run. "But you will be seeing your real father soon enough."
'R-Real father?' I thought as I tried to get out of his arms, only to find that he had an iron grip on me. "But I have a father already!" I protested as I squirmed around, trying to get out of his arms and away from him. "And he's much nicer than you are!"
His eyes narrowed a little, but he didn't lose that smile. "But my dear child: he wasn't your real father," he said firmly. "He was merely a pawn pretending to be your father. He never loved you like his own, nor was he ever going to. You were nothing to him."
"No!" I screamed as I kicked, managing to hit him in the chin as he jerked back in surprise. "You're lying! Daddy loves me and I love him! You're lying!"
A low snarl was enough to get me to stop as I stared up at him, trembling under the harsh glare he was giving me. "You need to learn discipline, little one," he growled before he turned, his giant hand pressing me against his chest as he started walking. "Now tell me: when was the last time he had taken you out of this forest?"
I looked up at him in confusion. What did that have to do with Dad?
"Did he ever let you make any friends with other children? Or did he and his mate keep you at that horrible place they call a 'home'?" he continued as the snow crunched under his feet. When I didn't answer, he sighed. "Just as I suspected," he rumbled as he stopped in a clearing. "They've brainwashed you into thinking that this forest is the only place you'll ever need…and there's only one way to fix that."
He reached into a strange pouch near his hip and held it up, the light reflecting off the surface of the glass tube filled with a strange blue liquid. There was even a skinny piece of metal two or three inches long with a slanted tip. He held the needle up in the air and pressed something on the other side, a stream of dark blue shooting out of the tip as whatever air was in the tube was released. Turning back to me, he said, "Now hold still. This will only hurt for a moment, and then everything will be alright again."
My heart started pounding suddenly when he gripped my arm between two fingers, his other hand moving the needle closer. A whimper of fear escaped as I squirmed around, trying to twist my arm free as I pleaded 'no' over and over again. "Daddy! Help me!" I cried out desperately.
He gave a jerk of surprise as he whirled around, giving a low growl. "You!" he snarled at the newcomer. "What are you doing here, Isan?"
"You should already know the answer to that, traitor," came the growled response.
The newcomer had snow-white armor, soft blue hues covering his body while his white mask sported dark gray scars shaped like claws. He looked similar in appearance to Rakahn, but he looked more like a tiger than a rock lion. Against the snow I could see that his hands and feet were black, while his eyes…they were a deep shade of turquoise blue, seeming to hold a great wisdom in those deep pools.
Rakahn took a step back from Isan, his hand tightening uncomfortably around me. "I do indeed, brother," he sneered. "And I know right now that you won't win. I defeated you years ago, and I can do it again."
"You lost the right to call me that when you betrayed the clan," came the calm response. "Let the child go, Rakahn."
"Never!" he snapped, clearly agitated by Isan's presence. "She belongs to me now, and nothing you say will persuade me otherwise!"
"…very well, then," Isan frowned, his eyes darkening. "You've been warned."
In a blur of speed, a gold-colored form crashed into Rakahn, fangs clamping down on the arm holding me. "ARGH!" he roared in pain as he let go, a yelp escaping as I fell to the ground.
With a quiet 'crunch' in the snow, I turned and watched in awe and fear as he struggled to pry off the jaws of the wolf. Its orange eyes leered at him with such anger and hate, there was no way it was a normal wolf! Before I could react, however, another pair of hands picked me up and moved away from the fighting, the air whistling around me as I clung to the fingers to stay balanced. Then, it all stopped, and I managed to get a good look at where I was.
Right in front of my secret base.
I suddenly found myself inside the mini-tunnel, blinking in confusion before I looked over my shoulder. Turquoise-blue eyes were the first thing I noticed before I recognized Isan, the one who tried to help me earlier.
Glancing warily around the area, he turned back to me and whispered, "Stay here, little one, and don't come out until I return for you."
"W-Who are you?" I asked him, shivering from the cold again.
"My name is Isan, and I'm here to help you," he explained before a howl broke through the air. "You have to stay in here where you'll be safe!"
Shaking my head, I whimpered sadly, "B-But I'm sc-scared!"
His face suddenly grew softer, his voice warm as he said, "I know you are, little one. But you have to stay strong." He slowly reached in and gently cupped my face in his hand. "I'll come back for you…I promise."
With that, he stood back up and disappeared without a sound.
Now alone, I pressed myself against the wall as deep into the tunnel as I was willing to go to keep out of the wind. "Brother, where are you?" I whispered as I held my knees to my chest.
My head snapped up as I stared at the entrance, spotting a familiar gold and white toy running lightly across the snow towards me. "Mahruk!" I gasped as I scrambled forward, catching him as he jumped in my arms and moving back inside. "I thought I lost you! Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," he said as he hugged my neck, just as relieved as I was to be together again. "Are you alright? Did he hurt you?"
I shook my head as I curled up against the wall. "No…but Isan and a wolf saved me," I told him. "…should I trust them, brother?"
He seemed to grow silent for a long time as we listened to the howls of the wind and the beast-like growls far-off. Mahruk was always the one that I trusted to tell me if someone was alright. If he didn't feel like they were safe, he'd tell me.
Finally, he nodded and said, "Yes. You need to trust these two, Kira. They're the only ones that can help you."
With his final judgment met we waited in uncomfortable silence, listening to the sounds of distant fighting and waiting for the victor to come claim us. A quiet cough tickled my throat as I tried to stifle it, sending Mahruk into big-brother mode as he checked my temperature. "I'll be fine," I tried to tell him, but an even harsher cough hit me. Mahruk's mask grew more worried, and right then I knew what was wrong.
I was getting sick.
I winced as the loud roar shattered the air, backing further in the tunnel as I shut my eyes. Mahruk hugged my neck and whispered reassuringly.
Then, everything went silent. I waited for what seemed like forever for something to happen. A minute went by before I heard the snow crunching outside.
A familiar face suddenly peered in, his eyes soft as he said, "You can come out now, little one. He's gone."
I looked from Isan's mask to look at Mahruk, unsure if it's the real one or not. Mahruk's eyes gave a brief flash before he went still. Looking back up at Isan, I slowly crawled towards him, my body stiff and shaking from the cold. He reached a hand towards me, allowing me to collapse weakly into his palm as he pulled me out the rest of the way.
He cradled me in the crook of his arm as he stood up, turning to a strange being clad in gold armor with silver hands and feet. They looked like a female Toa, but with more wolf-like characteristics. "She's freezing," he started as she moved a little closer. "Raeren, do you still have…?"
"Yes, I have it," she interrupted, her voice warm and musical. She reached behind her and pulled out a dark green blanket, handing it to Isan as he took and wrapped it around me. It was thick and unbelievably warm, and I couldn't help but huddle under it as best as I could to get away from the cold wind. A quiet whimper escaped as I clung to the silver chest.
"Sh-sh-shhh…it's alright, little one," Isan soothed as he pulled the blanket closer to my face. "Everything's going to be okay."
For a moment I just lay there, trying to warm up as I listened to the sounds he made. I remember Mom used to do this whenever I was scared.
"We need to head back to the island," Raeren started. "If we stay out here any longer…"
"Yes," Isan nodded before he turned back to me. "We're going to take you somewhere safe, little one. Someplace far away from that monster."
A wave of panic filled me as I stared up at him and asked, "But…w-what about my f-family? What about Daddy?"
He seemed to wince slightly at that last one before he said, "I'm afraid there's nothing more we can do for your father. And your family will understand that this is for the best. But if you stay here…Rakahn will return. And he will hurt them to get to you…"
I shivered, but not from the cold. Rakahn was the last person I wanted to see after what happened. But I had to ask: "W-Will they be safe? If I leave?"
Both of them nodded, Isan holding me closer to him. I noticed that the snow was flying around us like an angry swarm, but for some reason none of it was hitting us. Even the wind seemed to go around us. "Don't worry," Raeren said gently. "We'll make sure they're safe."
Slowly, I gave them a nod before a harsh cough struck me again. "We need to get you to a warmer place," Isan said, reaching out with his free hand and pointing at the air. Then, right before my eyes, a blue line suddenly formed as he drew his finger in the air, slowly connecting it to the end to form a circle. Stepping closer, I noticed that the air was distorted inside the circle, looking like the surface of a rippling pond. "Hold on, little one," he said as he stepped inside.
It was like a rush of cool water passed over me, yet at the same time it was warm like the rays of the sun. Before I knew it, I felt myself slip into sleep as voices echoed frantically around me.
Well, there ya go! The ending didn't quite go as planned, but hopefully it's still good. And yes, I introduced two new characters! They're still under works for some things, but otherwise these are the characters that you'll be seeing more of in the future. I also have a feeling that it's going to be a little harder to write Kira as a little girl rather than an older kid. XD BUT I WILL DO MY BEST! *strikes a heroic pose with dramatic background*
Onua: *pokes my stomach*
Me: Eep! O.O *glares at him* ...don't do that.
Onua: You just need to relax and have fun writing. It doesn't do you any good getting frustrated with the text, ya know?
Me: *sighs* I suppose you're right. *looks at everyone* Anyway, please Read and Review to let me know how you like it! If you have any ideas on how I can either improve or have an idea for a future scene of cuteness with the Toa or whoever, don't hesitate to add it!