Author's Note: Wow, this story just doesn't seem to want to die. O.O But I'm not complaining, I'm having a lot of fun writing this, especially this chapter. This chapter was requested by Sotwt who wanted a chapter about Turaga Lhikan training Onewa, Nuju, and Whenua in the jail cell. So, here it is, I hope you enjoy it Sotwt and I hope everyone else enjoys it too!

Disclaimer: Tollian does not own Bionicle, she is just borrowing the Toa Metru, Turaga Lhikan, and some extras from LEGO. No Toa were harmed in the writing of this chapter. (Except for Whenua who got a small bruise on his head.)

Six: Patience

"Vakama?"

The crimson Toa turned and attempted a smile. "Yes, Lhikan?"

"Forgive the intrusion, but I thought you might need some company, despite what you said earlier."

Vakama shrugged. The Vahki transport went over a large bump and the two fire beings braced themselves and the vehicle jumped. "I just . . . needed a break from my teammates," explained the Fire Toa. "But you're welcome to sit."

"Then I shall do so, thank you." Lhikan slowly lowered himself down, grimacing as his new Turaga form complained. "So, why do you feel the need to separate yourself?" he asked when sitting.

Again, the ember-colored Toa shrugged. "I just don't feel like one of them."

"Explain."

"You mean besides the fact they think I'm crazy?" Vakama asked, unable to hide the hurt in his voice.

"They seem to think you sensible enough to follow you," Turaga Lhikan offered. "Back just then, when the Vahki were chasing us, you showed you were a competent leader and Toa and led us to safety. Besides, I know you too well, Vakama; there's something else. What's really bothering you?"

The Fire Toa gazed out at the surrounding city, now abandoned as the Vahki transport headed for the Coliseum under the gathering storm. "It's childish," he muttered.

"Tell me anyway."

"It's . . . it's my mask power. I know it takes time for mask powers to reveal themselves. But the others have their powers!" He motioned to the hold where most of the Toa were sitting. "And I know more about masks than any of them! I don't see why I don't have my powers unless . . . ." Vakama let the silence finish for him.

"Vakama, listen to me. You are a Toa. It is a solid fact. Just because you haven't discovered your mask powers doesn't mean you won't. You just need a little patience. Besides," the golden Turaga said, chuckling. "Your brothers didn't discover them as easily as you think they did."

"What do you mean?" Vakama asked, looking at the smirking Turaga.

"Onewa, Nuju, and Whenua probably won't admit what happened in the cell we were in. Trust me; you aren't the only one who learned to be patient today. Since I won't be able to put you to a task to help you learn your mask power, let me tell you what transpired there and maybe you can learn something from your brothers' lessons . . . ."

--

Lhikan liked to think that for a Fire Toa, he was relatively patient. He had learned through the years how to keep himself occupied during long hours of waiting. During the Dark Hunter war, he learned play little games with himself to prevent him from drifting off in the trenches. On long patrols, his duty kept him alert. But now, as a Turaga, held in a cell somewhere underground with nothing to do but wait, there was nothing to keep the ex-Toa from being bored out of his mind.

He had paced every inch of the cell and felt that he could name all the rocks in the room. It was a very boring room; circular and rough, the only light coming from a beam that the grate let through. Lhikan was interested to find the ceiling was very spiky, large stalactites hanging from the roof in an intimidating fashion. There were piles of rocks littering the floor, Lhikan guessed from an earthquake that might have happened. It had been days since his transformation into Turaga and neither Nidhiki nor anyone else had visited him in that time. He was having a hard time keeping his mind off of the danger Metru Nui was in. The only item of interest had been a golden helmet, hidden in a far corner of the cell between two large boulders.

It was dusty from years of disservice. But after rubbing off the dust Lhikan saw it was beautifully crafted, colored deep majestic red and gold. For a long time he tried not to think of whether it had belonged to someone also trapped in the prison that perished there. But eventually he gave up and sat down on a relatively comfortable stone, and listened to the helmet's story. Lhikan would have assumed it was a ceremonial piece of armory if it wasn't for the fact the metal was scarred with scrapes and dents from countless battles. The style indicated it was very old; older than Lhikan, certainly. Judging from the size, it probably had belonged to a Toa long ago.

In his mind eye, he could see a brave Fire Toa, charging into the midst of battle wearing the helmet. It seemed almost tragic that the helmet was left in the cell; it belonged in the Archives where the Matoran could admire it. Instead, it lay here forgotten along with the Toa who bore it. Lhikan couldn't help but wonder if he shared the same fate. Was he to collect dust here in this cell, to be forgotten by the people he once protected?

Then, Lhikan put on the helmet. There wasn't really a reason to, but he did and surprisingly it fit, sort of. The Turaga laughed at himself and how he must have looked. The helmet was much too big to be a Turaga's helmet, so big in fact it was like a second mask. The flaps went over his shoulders and the metal pieces at the side and front hid most of his Hau. But he could still see out of it and it didn't rattle around his head when he walked. So he didn't take it off and therefore had it on when he had visitors.

Or fellow prisoners, to be exact. The Vahki brought in three Toa late one afternoon, heralded by cursing from one of the Toa.

" . . . pieces of scrap! We're Toa! T-O-A! Let GO! I swear, once my elemental powers recharge I'm going to crush you Vahki!"

"Will you shut up already? They're not listening!"

Lhikan looked up and saw two Vahki Zadakh lifting the grate above the cell. Three Toa were pushed into view, guided by two Vahki a piece, and were unceremoniously dropped into the cell. An Ice Toa was first, who managed to land on his feet with a bit of stumbling, but to no avail as the Vahki dropped an Earth Toa right on top of him and the two fell to the ground. Lastly, the cursing Stone Toa was thrown in and the grate replaced, the brown Toa landing on top of the other two with an 'oomph!' The Vahki left without another word and Lhikan backed into the shadows, waiting to see who these strange Toa were and why they were imprisoned.

"Get off me, Whenua!" hissed the Ice Toa, trying to twist his head to glare.

"Well, Onewa has to get off me first," the Earth Toa, Whenua, replied.

Lhikan clutched his staff with sudden ferocity. Whenua . . . the Onu-Matoran I gave the Toa Stone to! They got captured?

The Stone Toa, Onewa, quickly got off, not offering his comrades a hand up. Whenua stood and held his hand down to the Ice Toa who pointedly ignored it. Lhikan frowned.

The light reflected off the Ice Toa's white armor and lit the room a bit more. Lhikan studied the Toa from a far corner, hiding behind one of the largest boulders. The armor was almost pristine, with very few nicks or dents in it. Not a lot of experience then, Lhikan thought.

"Whenua, stand under the grate and give me a lift," Onewa instructed.

Whenua obligingly stood in the dusty light the grate let through and bent down to allow Onewa to get purchase on his shoulders. The Ice Toa roamed the cell, his face hiding his thoughts.

"D-do you think Vakama and the others got out alright?" Whenua asked, lifting the Stone Toa.

Lhikan felt his heart rise. So Vakama might still be out there! The city still has hope.

"Who cares? That smelt-head wouldn't know what to do even if he did escape. After all, whose idea was it to go chasing around for those stupid Great Disks? It was a total waste of time and energy. Lift me higher."

Whenua tried to straighten more. "Well, we did defeat the Morbuzahk with them."

"Yeah, then we got called imposters and got imprisoned."

"You're wasting breath," the Ice Toa said, turning towards the wobbling tower. "And time. There's nothing we can do now but wait."

"No! We gotta get out of here!" Onewa said through gritted teeth, grabbing the grate and pushing. When the grate didn't even stir, he swung himself up, tried pulling, and then let his feet drop onto Whenua again when nothing happened.

"Just great," mumbled the Earth Toa. "When I woke up, all I used to worry about was cataloging. Now I'll go down in history as Metru Nui's most wanted."

"What are you complaining about?" laughed the Stone Toa, trying to jerk the metal. "I'm the one suffering here, stuck with a Ko-Matoran big brain—" The Ice Toa turned and glared at this. "—and an Onu-Matoran stock boy!"

"Hey!" Whenua said, tempted to drop Onewa. "That's Archivist, to you, hammer-swinger."

Onewa just rolled his eyes and instructed the black Toa to put him down. He then went over to the wall and started rubbing his hands on it, looking for weak spots. He tapped one grey rock, shook his head, and went on to the next. "Well, Nuju? Coming up with any brilliant plans while we're working over here?"

"The grate is too heavy to lift, there are no doors, no other windows, and we don't have our weapons or elemental powers," the Ice Toa said, entering the beam of light again and shaking his head. "I'd say you're wasting your time."

"Whoa, Nuju is even more pessimistic than you today, Whenua."

"No, I'm just facing the facts. We will never escape. Our freedom is gone, our future is hopeless."

Lhikan couldn't take anymore. They were teammates, not enemies. Toa worked together to get out of tough situations yet these three seemed content with arguing amongst themselves. The Turaga could see several escape plans and yet . . . He sighed, reminding himself that they were new Toa and had no training. So I'll give them some training.

"Toa? Giving up hope?" he said, coming forth from the shadows.

Nuju spun around to face him, Whenua jumped, and Onewa frowned, all three huddling in the beam of light. When Lhikan revealed himself only to be a Turaga, Onewa stepped forward.

"Turaga? I know you not," he said.

Lhikan frowned a moment, then realized that the helmet must really hide his features. He smiled. Perfect. "Your concern should be with your own identity, not mine."

The three Toa looked uneasily at each other. Lhikan thought they were all probably thinking, 'this guy's nuts' but he really didn't care. What was important now was getting out of the cell and helping Vakama save Metru Nui.

"Well, I'm Onewa, this is Whenua and Nuju," Onewa introduced, motioning at each of his comrades in turn.

"So what are you in for?" Nuju asked.

Lhikan chuckled. "Much the same as you, I would think. But again, my past is not important as your future is, correct?"

At this, Nuju actually gave a small smile. "Yes," he said.

"So, what do you plan to do about it?" Lhikan asked, settling himself down on a rock. "What are your plans and goals?"

"Well, we want to escape," Whenua offered when no one else spoke.

"And?"

"Uh . . . ."

There was an awkward silence while Lhikan patiently waited for an answer. "What about freedom?" he finally asked.

"That's what we said," the Stone Toa said, crossing his arms.

The Turaga shook his head, laying his staff across his knees. "Freedom and escape are different objectives but both are easily realized."

"What are you talking about? You're stuck in here with us," Onewa said, a little irritated. Lhikan thought he was probably the type who hated riddles and cryptic messages.

"I have freedom, even in here," the Turaga said, gesturing to the cell. "But for escape, Toa mask powers are needed."

"Uh, we, um, don't really know our mask powers yet," muttered Whenua.

"And I doubt we ever will," added Nuju, earning a scowl from Onewa.

"Oh, never doubt what you are capable of," Lhikan said, standing. "Your mask powers will come in time when you have fully realized yourself."

"We don't have time for that!" Onewa interrupted. "We need to find a way out of here."

"I agree, Onewa, we must not lose focus of our goal," Lhikan said, walking up to the Toa. "But you are wrong; we do have time, for without mask powers, we aren't going anywhere. There is a way to discover your mask powers quicker, but it will take patience, perseverance, and faith."

"Faith?" Whenua asked.

"I have tasks for each of you which you must do without fail. They will seem ridiculous, but you must trust me when I say it will help us escape."

Onewa seemed about to disagree when Whenua placed a large hand on his shoulder.

"In the end, this is your decision," Lhikan offered. "You may wait for your comrades to come for you, but I don't think you would be happy just waiting around, correct?"

"We need to talk it over," Onewa said, the other two nodding.

"Take your time." Lhikan walked back over to his sitting rock and waited. The Toa moved to the other side of the cell and talked in hushed tones. Nuju shook his head no and at one point Onewa yelled "You have anything better to do?" but at last they came over with their answer.

"We'll do it," Onewa said. "Give us these tasks."

Lhikan smiled beneath the helmet, his golden eyes glinting. "Then let's get started."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"You're . . . joking, right? You're not serious."

"On the contrary, Nuju. I am very serious. I warned you, these tasks will not make sense."

The Ice Toa looked down upon the gold Turaga and gave him an icy frown. "You want me to move rocks into a pile from one side of the cell to another? How will that possibly help us escape?"

"Start and you will find out," replied Lhikan. The Ice Toa sighed, mumbled something, but obeyed. Lhikan then went over to the other two Toa. "Whenua, I want you to walk across the room with this on." He held up a blindfold and Whenua looked at it, wide eyed. But he took it without complaint.

"This will make sense later, right?" he asked, securing the blindfold on his mask.

"Yes, in time," Lhikan assured him.

So Whenua started across the room and immediately almost ran into Nuju.

"Hey, watch it!" Nuju warned. Whenua mumbled an apology, started off again, and tripped over a rock.

At this, Onewa let out a laugh. "Oh, there is no way in Karazahni you're making me do something that stupid," he said.

Lhikan shrugged. "Fine. Then you may wait over there. When I think of a suitable task for you, I'll tell you." He pointed to the far side of the cell. Onewa looked smug, as if he expected this special treatment, and went over to the wall, plopping himself down on the floor and leaning against a large rock.

The other two Toa did their duty while Onewa watched and laughed. Nuju was starting to pant and shake from the effort; after all, he was a scholar and not used to such labor, even with his Toa strength. Whenua thought he had the room mapped out in his mind, every rock in its certain place, only to find it changed by Nuju and he would have to start from scratch. This went on for quite a while until the suns light from the grate had moved across the cell.

"Do not rely on your memory," Lhikan offered when Whenua stood in the middle of the room, looking uncertain. "Look beyond your history and see what is."

"Hey, I'm not a Rahi bat, okay? I can't see in the dark," Whenua said, just before tripping over a slab of rock and landed hard in front of Onewa.

The Toa of Stone laughed until tears started to come out his eyes. "Soon you'll be ready for a game of 'pin the tail on the ash bear,' record keeper," he said between bouts of hysteria.

Whenua growled in the direction he thought Onewa was, then picked himself up and tried again.

During this short exchange, Lhikan had gone over to the Toa of Ice's pile where Nuju was dropping his latest rock on the top. The pile had grown taller than Lhikan and yet only a portion of the stones in the cell were used.

"I could toil at this task forever and still learn nothing for the future," he said, almost pleadingly to the Turaga.

"Today you can learn that building the tallest tower begins with the placement of a single stone."

Nuju was about to reply when Onewa's laugh once again filled the room.

"Build a tower?" he asked. "A thinker would never lay hands on stone. They're too busy with their heads in the stars."

The white Toa was about to step forward but Lhikan held up his staff in front of the advancing Toa and Nuju stepped back.

"A Toa's duty is to all Matoran, regardless of village," the Turaga said, walking to Onewa. "So you shall help both your brothers." He held out a blindfold identical to Whenua's and a small stone, and Onewa's mouth fell open.

The look of dismay was too much for Nuju, who burst out laughing, and Whenua took off his blindfold, saw, and joined his white brother.

"Serves you right, builder," Whenua said.

"Or do you not want to work like the rest of us?" added Nuju.

Onewa scowled, snatched the blindfold and rock from the Turaga, and started to tie the blindfold, hands shaking with rage. The other two continued with their work, still chuckling to themselves.

"Here, let me help you with that," Lhikan offered, seeing the trouble Onewa was having with the blindfold. Onewa crossed his arms but let Lhikan tie it without compliant. However, Lhikan could almost feel the animosity emanating from the Toa. "This is not meant to punish you, Onewa," he said softly. "It is just meant to teach you a lesson."

The Toa snorted. "Yeah? What are you trying to teach me, Turaga? Humility?"

"If that is what you need to learn, then yes. In the meantime, help your brothers and ponder on what I have said."

"They're not my 'brothers,' they're a nuisance," the brown Toa replied, standing and adjusting the blindfold a bit. "They show me no respect."

"And what have you done to deserve their respect? Laugh at them? Perhaps you need to see it through their eyes."

Onewa paused, but said nothing.

"Ordering your comrades around is not the way to get things done. You need to understand them and work with them. Now, get to your task and think."

"Here, builder," Nuju said, coming over and dropping a rock into Onewa's waiting hands. The Stone Toa stumbled under the sudden weight, but said nothing and followed Nuju as best he could.

Soon enough, Onewa was lost with Whenua and just as tired as Nuju. But oddly enough, Onewa found he wasn't mad at the Turaga any longer. In a way, he almost felt productive. When he was a Matoran and working on building a new village, there was a sense of companionship found among the workers. There was something bonding about a bunch of people doing the same, sometimes meaningless, work, an understanding among them. In the cell, sharing this experience with his brothers, Onewa had time to think and try to understand his companions.

Unfortunately, Whenua didn't feel the same. Throughout the exercise, he found himself growing angry. He couldn't remember ever hearing about a Toa doing something this stupid! He felt lost; he never felt lost before, even when in the most twisting place in the Archives. Besides, constantly tripping over rocks and getting more bruised by the second did nothing to help his mood. Then he and Onewa ran into each other, both falling to the floor and Onewa's rock landing on Whenua's head, it turned to be too much for the Earth Toa.

Whenua tore off the blindfold and threw it across the cell. "That was a complete waste of time!" he said. "I should be doing my duty!"

On queue, Lhikan was there to calm the Toa. "Without self discovery, you will never find your escape," he said, tapping the large Toa on the chest with his staff. "This is every Toa's duty to the Great Spirit." With that said Lhikan went over to the other side of the room and left the Toa gathered.

"The only thing I'm discovering is that the Turaga's nuts," Whenua murmured.

Onewa frowned. To him, Whenua didn't seem one to insult like that. He must really be mad, he thought. Like a landslide, powerful, and once started, almost unstoppable. I need to talk him out of this before he does something he's going to regret. "Whenua, you should sit down for a bit and cool off," he advised.

"And what if I don't?" Whenua spat back.

"Sit down, Whenua."

Instead of calming down, Whenua turned to face the Stone Toa and glared. "Taking orders from a Turaga is one thing, but from an overgrown hammer swinger—!" he yelled, ready to tackle Onewa to the ground.

Onewa frowned. Obviously, Whenua wasn't in a listening mood. Something clicked in his mind and without realizing it, Onewa's mask began to glow a bright gold.

SIT DOWN. The order entered Whenua's head like a hammer, making the charging Toa stumble.

SIT DOWN. This time it was like someone was pushing at him, the insistence not allowing Whenua to take even one more step forward.

SIT DOWN, NOW! The last was so forceful Whenua found himself sitting on the ground, panting from the effort of resisting.

"That's it. You're history, builder! Even if I don't know how you did that," the Earth Toa said, trying to keep the unease out of his voice.

By this time, Nuju had enough as well. He was sick of listening to his comrades continually argue while nothing productive got done! So he decided to end it. "Stop," he ordered, and looked over at the wall. I need a barrier, he thought. His mask began to glow white like a star and a beam shot from it, outlining a piece of the wall which broke into fragments and flew to hang in the air between Onewa and Whenua.

"H-how'd you do that?" Whenua asked, his surprise making him forget his anger. He tried to see around the rocks but to little avail.

Onewa turned to Nuju to ask the same when he and Nuju's eyes met.

"You're mask is glowing!" they both exclaimed, each pointing to the other.

Nuju reached up to touch his mask. It didn't feel different, not hotter than normal or anything. But as soon as he started thinking about that, the light from his mask slowly dimmed and the floating rocks fell to the ground, shaking the three Toa.

A small cough from Lhikan made them all turn. "I believe it is time to depart," the Turaga said, standing in the doorway unwittingly made by Nuju.

"You did it, Nuju!" cried Whenua, jogging towards the opening.

"Good job, scholar," Onewa said, patting Nuju amiably on the shoulder. "And you said we'd never get out."

"I . . . guess I did, didn't I?" He smiled, looking proud of himself. "Yes, I did!"

"Enough dwelling on the past," Whenua said. "I'm looking forward to getting out of here. Let's go."

Lhikan smiled and followed the Toa out.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Oookay . . . now what?"

"Don't look at me," Nuju said. "I did my part in our great escape. It's someone else's turn now."

They had wandered around the tunnels for what seemed like a long time. Onewa, who had an okay sense of direction, was lost without the suns for reference and Nuju was not much of a traveler. The Turaga simply said nothing and followed them as they wandered.

"Besides," the white Toa continued, motioning towards the tunnel ahead of them. "All that lies ahead is shadow. I don't see how we can continue forward."

"Hey," laughed Whenua, walking past Onewa and Nuju to be in front, suddenly taking the lead. "It has to be better than what's behind us, right?" He started walking forward, not noticing how the way ahead of him became brighter until Onewa pointed it out.

"Whenua, your mask power!" the Stone Toa exclaimed.

Whenua stopped and turned around, finally noticing how indeed a beam of light emanated from his mask.

"Hey, not in the eyes!" Onewa said, raising his hand, but smiling none the less.

Smiling, Whenua turned to face ahead again and started walking. "Follow me guys, our future just got a whole lot brighter." He was feeling confident and just happy to find his mask power. Now he felt like a true Toa.

The Stone Toa was happy to let Whenua lead until he stumbled over a small rock, hurting his foot. "Hey, Whenua, can that mask glow any brighter?" Onewa said, still finding it difficult to see in the semi-darkness.

"It's only brighter than you, brother," answered the ebony Toa. "Besides, we don't want it too bright; light can scare away Rahi, but it also can attract some dangerous ones."

Onewa considered making a snappy comment back and decided against it. Whenua had a point; as much as Onewa enjoyed seeing the path ahead clearly, he much more enjoyed not getting attacked by Rahi. He jumped when he felt something poke his back until he looked behind him and realized it was just the Turaga prodding at him, trying to get the Stone Toa moving again.

"Are you sure we're going the right way?" Nuju asked after a while. "We don't seem to be going anywhere."

"Relax, I know these tunnels like the back of my hand," boasted Whenua. "Now that I can see them, anyway. Have patience, brother, it takes a while to travel these tunnels. But we should be nearing an opening, soo—hold up!" The Earth Toa held up a hand to motion for everyone to stop.

"What is it?" Onewa asked, voice hushed.

"I heard something," Whenua whispered back.

"Vahki?"

"Or worse. Whatever it is, it's coming."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Hey, where did Matau go?" Nokama asked, looking around the dark tunnel.

"I think he said something about scouting ahead," offered Vakama. "It was odd though; he had the strangest expression when he told me."

"Like what?" asked the Water Toa, quickening her pace to walk beside Vakama.

The Fire Toa's expression was confused. "Like he had just heard some great joke. Anyway, he said not to wait for him, so we should keep moving forward. I'm sure we'll meet up with him eventually . . . as long as he doesn't get lost."

"Or something else meets with him first," Nokama added quietly. The two Toa looked at each other, both reminded of the danger that lurked in the tunnels, and quickened their pace.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"AAAAHHHH!"

Whenua's yell startled both Onewa and Nuju, both jumping into action as their brother was thrown down and back by a ferocious looking Vahki. Without the slightest hesitation the Vahki was on top of the Earth Toa, effectively pinning him down. Then, to everyone's confusion, the Vahki started laughing. In a familiar voice too.

But Whenua was still in defense mode and didn't register that fact. Instead, he made his mask glow more until it was painfully bright. Only then did the Vahki stop laughing. It held up its hands and then said, in chute-speak, "Hey, turn out the bright-light!"

That startled Whenua into realizing who it sounded like. "Matau?" he asked, turning off his mask.

The 'Vahki' stood, laughing again, and shimmered away revealing a very smug looking Matau. "Toa Matau to you, Whenua."

At that moment, Vakama and Nokama came around the curve, both looking very happy to see their brothers all in one place.

"Shape shifting?" asked Whenua, standing and brushing off some of the dirt.

"Yep," confirmed Matau, and gestured to Nokama who came to stand beside him, "and you should hear Nokama translate Kikanalo."

Everyone gathered around, glad to see friendly company, except for Vakama who was staring at Lhikan with a frown on his face. Lhikan gave Vakama a steady look, debating whether to reveal himself to his friend yet or to wait. Vakama meanwhile felt a strange feeling of recognition as he looked into the Turaga's eyes, yet he knew he had never seen this Turaga before.

"So, we've all discovered our mask powers?" Whenua asked.

Vakama brought his head up with a snap, the feeling of confusion overwhelmed by dismay. All of them? he thought. They've all found their mask powers? As the other Toa nodded, the Fire Toa felt his dismay turn into depression. Everyone but me. He turned away from the group and therefore missed the concerned glance Nokama sent him.

But the other Toa continued their conversation, unaware of Vakama's disappointment. "How did you know we would be here?" asked Nuju, actually smiling.

"We didn't," corrected Nokama, turning back to the discussion. "We came for Toa Lhikan."

"Well, he's not here," informed Onewa. "Unless he can turn invisible."

Everyone's attention was diverted as the previously silent Turaga gave a small chuckle. "Well, not exactly," he said, and lifted his helmet, revealing the Noble Hau underneath.

There was a collective breath in as the Toa softly gasped and Vakama stepped forward. "Toa . . . Lhikan?" he asked.

"No, Vakama. You are Toa. I am Turaga Lhikan."

Vakama was about to say something else when Whenua interjected, "W-why didn't you tell us who you were?" The Earth Toa felt awful for acting so childish around such a grand hero. He could tell Onewa and Nuju felt the same way by the expression on their faces.

"You're task was to discover who you are. Only with such knowledge would your mask powers reveal themselves."

"Quick-stop!" exclaimed Matau, holding up both his hands. "Where did your power go?"

"It lives on, in all of you," said Lhikan. But he did not bother to further explain. He had more pressing matters on mind. Turning to Vakama, he asked with the concern plain in his voice, "The heart of Metru Nui, you have it safe?"

Vakama looked at his fellow Toa, then back down to Lhikan. "Well," he said slowly, sounding like an unsure student, "we're rescuing you now."

Lhikan let out a shaking sight, shaking his head. "No, no, no!" he said. "I'm not Metru Nui's heart! The Matoran are!" He was panicking now. If Vakama and the other Toa had spent time searching for him, then the Matoran were in more danger than he thought. There's no more time for patience, he thought to himself. The Matoran cannot wait.

--

Vakama nodded. "Yes, I know what happens next. We find Dume, the Vahki come, we steal the transport, and head for the Coliseum."

Lhikan looked at his obviously depressed friend. "Vakama, I must tell you: I do not blame you for thinking 'Metru Nui's heart' was me. You were misguided; it was my fault." He took a breath before explaining. "During the Dark Hunter war, my fellow Toa and I developed a system of code words to use when sending messages to each other. After the war ended, we were all so used to this new language we used it without realizing it. Metru Nui's heart meant the Matoran and it never occurred to me to explain."

"There's no need to apologize," Vakama said. "What's done is done. Now we just have to focus on saving the Matoran."

"Yes, there will be time for patience after this is done. But to go back to my original point, don't worry about your mask power, Vakama. It will come in time."

The Fire Toa sighed, staring out at the Coliseum and the surrounding black and red sky. "I certainly hope so," he said distractedly. A flash of lighting turned his red armor white for a moment and emphasized his frown. "I just hope it's in time to save the Matoran."

A/N:And Nuju is redeemed! . . . sorry, it's just a big problem I have with the movie. In LOMN they portray Nuju as a pessimistic, whiny, geek who is really whimpy (as can be seen by his lines ex. 'We will never escape! Our freedom is gone, our future is hopeless!') So now I have the chance to rewrite these scenes and make Nuju cool! Yay!
Ahem, anyway. Sorry if the end seemed rushed. The story just kept growing, I wanted it to end, but I couldn't find a good stopping point without writing another three pages. So I had to cut it off a bit.
Well, as always I love to hear what you all have to say! Please review.
Also, if any of you have suggestions or requests, I'd love to hear them. As far as the story goes, I might have an idea for another chapter but don't expect anything really soon. We'll see.