Okay, I know that I haven't updated since last year. But I actually have the proper story all fleshed out for this now. So, expect updates. I am working on at least two other stories at the moment though, so yeah. Eh-heh-heh.

Anyway, do you guys think I should use the species name of the Remnants, or their ripped off Halo names? I'm not quite sure myself.

Tell me, please. Then again, I'm not sure how I can make that travesty any better.

Sahnok was in an annoyed mood. The giant being paced around the room of the Remnant base that contained the Crystal Pillar that Guude had turned traitor for.

Guude. Tch, thought Sahnok. The former Toa had been weak minded, and had chosen a path of power as a Ghulan Chieftain. It probably hadn't helped that the Hand had a habit of experimentation when they shouldn't.

Then there was the fact that he was most annoyed that a pair of Colossus had been able to restrain him. Sure, Colossus' were incredibly strong, and there were two of them, but that he had allowed them to restrain him in the first place... He shook his head. He had been careless, sure, but he needed to get stronger. That was for certain. If he wanted to protect the universe that he dwelled in, his home, he had to get stronger.

He lifted his head to hear a commotion. A pair of Skakdi and a pair of bruisers crossed their weapons in front of the door. Sahnok peered at the being that they were obstructing.

"Let her through, guys," said Sahnok.

The guards parted their arms, and Toa Helryx stepped into the room. She looked up at the Crystal Pillar. "Mata Nui preserve us..." she whispered. "It's huge."

Sahnok gave it a glance. "Really?" he asked.

Helryx scowled, unsure whether Sahnok was being sarcastic, or calling attention to his own size.

Sahnok shrugged. "Eh, not important," he commented. "Can you see if your mask tells you anything about this Pillar?"

Helryx nodded. "Shouldn't be a problem." The Toa of Water reached out and placed her hand on the Pillar. Images began to float through her mind – quite surprising ones. She heard a voice echo, a voice similar to Shadow Stealer's.

"We dedicate this monument to the discovery of the sacred Crystal Pillars, and all their power."

Helryx gasped, and removed her hand as if she'd been burned.

"Hey, you alright?" asked Sahnok.

Helryx nodded crisply. "I'm fine," she said. "This," she said, pointing to the pillar. "This is a fake."

Sahnok did a double take. "Eh-wha?"

Helryx sighed. "This isn't a real Crystal Pillar; it's a monument that they built in celebration of its discovery."

"Ahhhhhh," remarked Sahnok. He shrugged, and unfolded his massive second set of arms. "Good. Then I can do this."

With one massive punch, the titanic black and gold armoured being shattered the massive pillar. Shards of crystal were flung across the room as Sahnok fired off a stream of curses. This continued for about a minute until every piece of crystal was shattered into chunks the same size as Helryx's hand (the Skakdi had seen someone smashing things and decided to join in).

Helryx watched the destruction until the Skakdi and Sahnok had had their fun, and they were busy giving each other appreciative fist-clanks. "Are you done?"

Sahnok looked her in the eye. "Yep."

Helryx sighed and walked away. "I'd better bring the report to the Hand leaders," she commented. "They won't be happy about this."

"They won't be happy?" asked Sahnok. "I'm not happy!"

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Toa Purian, the Toa of Magnetism, was quite enjoying the training session in the Hand base. He was currently engaged in a sparring match with Axonn, due to the fact that his magna sword was as long as he was, and he felt that he needed a challenge.

Axonn was wiping the floor with him, of course.

The other Toa were watching the fight with some amusement. Toa Rahnkii leaned against the wall, and suppressed a grin as Purian was sent flying across the room for the sixth time in ten minutes. "You'd think he'd have given up by now," the Toa of the Green remarked.

Toa Daikii shook his head. "He's enjoying this too much," he explained heavily, yet holding back a chuckle in spite of himself.

Nikila shrugged. "Well, I guess we know who to put in front of the Hunters the next time we fight them without muscle," she commented, twirling her trident.

"I'm the muscle!" protested Purian as he picked himself up.

"Then use it," declared Axonn, who was doing his best to hide his amusement. "Use your Mask of Strength."

"My mask is a Mask of Strength?" asked Purian. "Wow! Who knew?"

If the Toa had been capable of producing sweat, they all would have sweatdropped. Instead, they settled for banging their masks into their palms in exasperation.

Axonn maintained his cool, and he assumed a battle ready stance. "You've been tapping into your Pakari's power simply to wield that sword. Focus on how you move that weapon. Overpower me with its power," he instructed.

Without warning, he lifted his axe and brought it down in a powerhouse blow. Purian quickly blocked the weapon with his magna sword, but Axonn was already shaking his head.

"No, no, no, don't use the edge to block your enemy's blows!" he said in exasperation. "Save the blade for your own attacks, but use the flat of the blade to block the weapon! Again!"

This time, Axonn let Purian strike first. Purian swung his sword at Axonn's chest, but Axonn swatted the weapon out of the way with such force that both sword and Purian were thrown into the wall – again.

"Again!" declared Axonn, charging forward. "Use your mask powers!"

Purian stood up, and briefly closed his eyes, focusing as hard as he could as Axonn ran at him. Axonn swung his axe in a one handed blow, and the Toa of Magnetism countered, locking his blade into Axonn's weapon. The two combatants strained at each other for a few minutes until Axonn caught Purian off-guard with a powerful punch that knocked him off-balance. The Toa reeled backwards, caught himself, and brought his blade down again.

Axon turned the blow aside and kicked out with a leg sweep, upending the Toa of Magnetism. He raised his axe and brought it down, fully prepared to block any blow that Purian tried to aim at him.

Purian brought his sword up and blocked Axonn's blow. As Axonn bore down on him, he struggled, and his mask began to glow. Slowly, he forced Axonn back and finally off him, and both of them panted for breath.

Axonn shouldered his axe. "We're done for today," he said. He turned to leave, but he looked back over his shoulder. "Oh…remember this, Toa. You're a team. Nikila can attest to the fact that a Toa team that operates for justice, a Toa team that fights to protect, is one of the most powerful forces in the universe."

With that, he ducked out of the room, returning to his quarters.

Daikii stood up from his leaning position. "Wow…I didn't expect that," he said quietly.

"Expect what?" asked Rahnkii.

"Any of that…" replied Daikii. "Purian learning to use his mask powers, and us working as a team…I mean, he's right, it makes sense for us to work together and master our powers…"

Dez, who'd kept silent the whole fight, spoke up. "No thanks…I prefer to work alone," said the Toa of Sonics. "Besides…I can hear all the tactics wherever I am."

"This better not be about that golden Sahnlei that attacked the base and the village," replied Rahnkii. "You're crazy if you want to take on that guy, he practically ripped me apart, and he took out Helryx in single combat!"

Dez gave Rahnkii a cold stare. "It's none of your business," he replied quietly.

"Yes it is," replied the Toa of the Green stubbornly. "Come on – we're your friends!" he said angrily.

Before Dez could reply, an alarm sounded through the base. A minute later, the door to the training room from the main hall crashed open, and a tall black and silver being crawled in.

Every occupant in the room fell silent. A pair of tall avian beings walked over to the fallen figure, and helped him up, but as soon as he was halfway up he shrugged them off.

"I need to speak to your leaders," he rasped. Standing, he was even larger, almost twice the height of a Toa. His hands were tipped with large claws, a herding blade was affixed to his left wrist, and his head was framed by pipes, with a triangular mouthpiece.

A Stetlan, thought Daikii.

"Well?" asked the Stetlan. "I demand an audience!"

"Who are you to demand an audience?" asked Kryant, flexing his four arms.

"I?" asked the Stetlan. "I am Mantax, Barraki of Stelt, and I come reporting a Remnant attack on my home island!"

There was silence in the room for a while.

"Follow us," said Daikii, stepping forward. "We'll take you to the Hand's leaders."

Mantax smiled, and he stepped forward, nursing his side.

Toa Rahnkii stepped forward, holding a vine. "You should take this. It'll help," he said grimly.

Mantax eyed the vine, and promptly took it from Rahnkii and ingested it.

The Skakdi in the room drew their weapons in case Mantax attacked them, but the Barraki wasn't interested, and he smiled a ruthless smile. "Don't be so quick to trust, Toa," he commented. "Though you have my thanks."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Vikutorei, one of the Hand leaders, was sitting in his work chamber, pouring over scraps of tablets that had been recovered from Remnant raids when Daikii brought Mantax in.

Vikutorei looked up at the Barraki. "Ah, Mantax, how good to see you," he said. He rose from his seat, his red armoured four arms flexing and his white, wing-like armour gleaming in the light. "Thank you Daikii. You may go."

Daikii wanted to protest, but he nodded, and left the room without argument.

Mantax was quite surprised to see the being that stood before him. Vikutorei was a living legend, since the creation of the Hand he had been a valuable ally, and obviously more than that now. He was a powerful and incredible warrior, rumoured to be unmatched even among his kind. "I didn't know you were in a place of power here," he admitted. "But it's a welcome discovery, in light of what has happened to my homelands."

Vikutorei frowned. "What has happened on Stelt?" he asked.

"The Remnant attacked in full force a few weeks ago," snarled Mantax. "They're using it as a base, and using my people as slave labourers."

Vikutorei frowned. "Stelt's a position of power, but it's not so important that they'd be so reckless," he commented.

Mantax cursed angrily. "Voporak and I considered the possibility that they were just using us for resources," he admitted. "I left him behind so that I could get word out, but I got ambushed by some gold-armoured Elite, and that traitor friend of yours with the hammer."

Vikutorei nodded. "You look fine now," he pointed out.

"I had some assistance from the Toa of the Green that was in the training room," admitted Mantax.

That gave Vikutorei a few ideas. "I'll think of something to help you start taking Stelt back," he reassured. "In the meantime, you should get some rest. The other Barraki have been having dealings with us recently, so we've had chambers prepared for them. You're welcome to use whichever you feel you need."

Mantax laughed coldly. "I'll pass on Ehlek's chambers if that's the case," he remarked sardonically.

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Daikii returned to the training chambers to find Dez sparring against Rahnkii and a Skakdi. The Toa of Sonics was outnumbered and outgunned, and yet he held his own quite easily, angling his vibroblade so that it caught more than one strike from the swift attacks of his enemies.

Rahnkii attacked with twin leaf blades as long as his forearms, held in a similar reverse grip to Dez's vibroblade, and delivering twice the number of attacks that Dez was, but again and again, the Toa of the Green's attacks were parried. Rahnkii kept his cool, despite this, and focused on distracting the Toa of Sonics so that his Skakdi ally could fell him.

The Skakdi, a blue armoured brute named Nektann, also clutched two weapons, long curved blades he called crescent scythes. The curving blades had forced Dez to alter his fighting style, and even then the sweeping strokes of the Toa of Sonics' blade countered each strike perfectly.

Rahnkii delivered four quick slashes, even as Nektann delivered three heavy ones of his own. Dez blocked them simultaneously, and retaliated with a strike that knocked Nektann over, and pushed Rahnkii back a few paces.

Nektann snarled as he hit the ground, and charged forward, slamming past Dez's guard and knocking him to the floor, but Dez had stopped resisting the attack, and Nektann was flung into a wall with a powerful push from the Toa's legs. The strike had left the Toa of Sonics open, however, and Rahnkii quickly disarmed him, trapping his vibroblade under his own.

"Satisfied?" asked Dez.

Rahnkii looked quite surprised. "Yes, I am…my point was proven."

Dez gave him a strange look. "You sure about that?" he asked, and the Toa of Sonics triggered his elemental power through his vibroblade, sending shocks through it that dislodged Rahnkii's weapons, allowing Dez to leap up and pin the Toa of the Green to the ground.

"I see no point proven," remarked Dez.

Rahnkii grinned. "You sure about that?" he asked.

Dez frowned, and then he realised what the Toa of the Green was talking about, and he turned and dealt a powerful blow to Nektann as the Skakdi rushed in, throwing him backwards again.

Rahnkii's face fell. "Oh," he said.

"Clumsy fool!" snarled Nektann, picking himself up. "You gave me away!"

"Sorry," replied Rahnkii as he too got to his feet.

Dez gave them a condescending look. "Such unnecessary noise," he muttered.

Nektann gave the Toa of Sonics a filthy look. "What's he on about?" he asked.

Rahnkii sighed. "He's a Toa of Sonics. They have enhanced hearing that's probably picking up everything we're saying, and furthermore they're vulnerable to their own power. So they don't like any more noise than is necessary."

The Skakdi scoffed. "Toa!" he muttered loudly as he turned and left.

Before he'd gotten far, Vikutorei entered the room.

"Hands!" he called. "We've received word of Remnant activity on Stelt from its leader, Barraki Mantax!"

As soon as every Hand member in the room heard that statement, they all spun around and paid attention to Vikutorei.

"The main objective of our mission is to drive the Remnant forces off the island," explained Vikutorei.

"How will we do that?" asked Axonn. "Even though this room is full of powerful fighters, the Remnant has sheer numbers on their side, and an emplacement that we'll have to besiege."

Vikutorei smiled. "You make an excellent point, Axonn, and you are right. But there will be no besieging, because our largest attack force will be a diversion for a team of operatives to infiltrate their position and capture the on-site leader. Then, we can bargain for their cooperation."

Axonn nodded, and stepped back into the crowd.

"And the infiltration team will be?" asked Hydraxon, who was sharpening his wrist blades.

"I've chosen a few infiltration teams from the Toa among us," explained Vikutorei. "They have the skill to take out those in the way, and to do so quietly, while our main force battles the bulk of – and the most powerful – Remnant forces.

"What if the leader is a Sahnlei?" asked one of the Skakdi, cracking his knuckles.

"If so, he'll likely be garbed in golden armour," replied Vikutorei. "Then your main objective will be to capture him, and bring him before myself, and Mantax."

He turned to leave, with the parting remark. "In one piece, I might add."

This really didn't flow, plus, I had other projects.

I think I'll have this as a distraction for myself.