Secret of the Mask 2

Chapter 1

Author's Note: Here it is – the sequel to "Secret of the Mask." Like with my previous stories, this story is prewritten. I'm planning on updating it every Monday afternoons. Enjoy!

"The tentacle of dark energy headed right for me…" Turaga Vakama said.

His audience, the Toa Nuva, Takanuva and Hahli the Chronicler, listened with rapt attention as the Turaga described his battle with Makuta over the Mask of Time.

Takanuva, the newest Toa, was on the edge of his seat. He listened in suspense as the Turaga spoke.

He could no longer contain the question that burned in his mind. "Did you die?"

The Turaga stopped and everyone turned to stare at the Toa of Light.

Takanuva shrugged awkwardly. It had seemed like a perfectly logical question at the time. After all, both he and Jaller had died before. With a sigh, the Toa leaned his head on his hand.

Turaga Vakama smiled, which only made Takanuva even more embarrassed. When the Turaga's mask grew somber – even sad – Takanuva raised a curious eyebrow.

"No, Toa of Light… I would have though, if not for a dear friend." Vakama's eyes glistened sadly as he said, "If it wasn't for Toa Lhikan, I would not be standing here today."

"Hey," Takanuva said, raising his head up, "that's the guy – the guy that Jaller met in heaven!" He turned to Hahli with an excited look on his mask, and then looked at his Toa brothers and sister.

Tahu glowered at him with crossed arms. "Do you mind?" Tahu snapped. Takanuva's smile faded. "Turaga Vakama's trying to tell a story…" He turned gruffly to his village elder. "Go on."

Takanuva frowned and Turaga Vakama made a calming hand gesture. "It's all right, Tahu. We'll get there soon enough..."

With visible difficulty, Vakama described the circumstances of his friend's death. Takanuva tapped his foot uncomfortably, thinking of how similar Lhikan's act had been to Jaller's. The foot tapping only won the new Toa another glare from Tahu, so Takanuva sat in awkward motionlessness for the rest of the story.

Vakama placed the stone representing the Great Spirit into the center of the sand circle. "This is the way of the Bionicle," he finished.

It took awhile for anyone to move or speak. It was difficult for the Toa and the Chronicler to comprehend a past beyond their memory. When the story had sunk into their minds, the audience rose and began to make conversation.

This was Takanuva's least favorite part. All of his life (of what he remembered, anyway) he had followed the Toa around, admiring them and wishing to stand among them. Now that he was one himself, doing so seemed strange…

It frightened Takanuva that though his dream was now realized, it might not be as wonderful as he had envisioned it.

Hahli smiled at the preoccupied Toa. "Well, that was interesting to find out more about the Toa Jaller met," she said.

Takanuva smirked. "Yeah… Happycheer."

When Hahli looked at the Toa strangely, the latter chuckled softly. "Sorry. Sometimes I speak Treespeak and I don't even realize it."

"What does it mean?" Hahli asked and the Toa slowly smiled.

"It means…when you're happy…I guess," Takanuva said. "I picked it up during one of my trips to Le-Koro."

Hahli smiled. "You were always different," she said with a chuckle and the Toa lowered his gaze. "What is it? Is something wrong?"

"No," Takanuva said. "I'm fine." He looked up at the Toa. They seemed so different from him…

"Well, I've got to go," Hahli said. "I promised to practice Kolhii with Macku. See you!"

Takanuva waved half-heartedly as his friend departed. He frowned as he watched Tahu and Gali have their daily fight.

Perhaps it comes from having no Makuta around to team up against, Takanuva thought wryly to himself.

"I can't believe you made a volcano in Ga-Wahi!" Gali scolded Tahu.

Tahu glowered. "Hey, you said you wanted some more variety in the landscaping."

Gali narrowed her eyes. "Yes…but not a volcano!"

The Fire Toa burned with anger and began to storm off. "Yeah? Well you get rid of it then."

"Fine," Gali said with crossed arms. "I don't need your help." Everyone present knew that volcano removal was not her specialty, but no one cared to point that out to her.

Tahu did a 180-degree turn and marched right back to Gali. "Yeah? Well, if you don't, then don't ask for it."

"Fine. I won't." Gali and Tahu then stormed off in different directions.

Takanuva arose from his seat and sighed inwardly.

What was that about Unity? he thought to himself. He began to think that none of the Toa were harmonious as Kopaka left and the remaining Toa argued over which village's industry was the best.

Takanuva was about to leave also when a voice stopped him.

"Hey, brother!" Pohatu called out. Takanuva turned around in surprise.

"Who, me?" he asked. Though he could not blame the Stone Toa or anyone else, the Toa had almost entirely ignored him as a Matoran. He was only their biographer, but now somehow he was supposed to be their peer.

Just because I found a mask… Takanuva thought to himself.

Pohatu laughed heartily and clapped a hand onto Takanuva's shoulder. "Kopaka bailed and we need another Toa for sparring practice."

Takanuva shifted his eyes nervously. "I don't know…"

"C'mon…!" Pohatu urged him jovially.

Takanuva looked at him, a hint of apprehension in his eyes. "Okay…"

"All right, he's in!" Pohatu declared. Lewa and Onua nodded their heads earnestly. Takanuva gulped, wondering what he had just gotten himself into.