A/N: last chapter...I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)
Tachi continued to walk down the hallways, her expression twisted in a mischievous and dreamy gaze. Her steady strides long and formal, her aura impervious. She was prepared to face the changes in this new life; she was ready to stop the evil and the suffering. She wasn't doing it out of hatred and revenge anymore; she was doing it for justice and mercy. Tachi was so stubborn and never allowing her emotions to get in the way. But that moment with Komas healed something that had been torturing her for years, she now felt so much more assured with herself. And though she didn't want to admit it; she did as she walked down the hallway. As long as Komas was around, she could face anything.
She came up to a nicely designed double-door and opened it with a simple thrust. As she came in, she nearly bumped into a Ko-Matoran who was heading out. The Ko-Matoran named Philo looked up and smiled at her.
"Oh, excuse me, ma'am. The chief is at the desk."
He bowed and then proceeded passed her. She watched the Matoran technician for a moment, and then turned her attention back to the main office of the confidential building.
Toa Niihlus sat at his desk and was holding a stack of papers and fussing about some dilemma to his secretary, Zimriah. Tachi carefully advanced on, reacting to the aura of the room. Bright natural light seeped in the window from behind the desk. It was a room where no matter the seriousness of the subject that could be brought in; there was some sort of inaudible serenity through its strict office air.
She looked down to study Toa Zerak reclining on a couch in the center lounge of the office's meeting area. His sly red eyes observed her suspiciously, but didn't say anything. There were reasons for cold strains between them; after all, Tachi did hit him pretty hard. The dent on his black mask still resided as a tense reminder.
But there was some console regardless, passed the uncomfortable aura of being unacquainted with everything. Tachi was never extremely social, nor did she meet many Toa in her life; this sort of situation was completely fresh and ideal for her, and she struggled with how to properly cope. But she had a feeling she would be seeing and working with this lively group a lot more from now on, she didn't have a choice. Nevertheless, it was a change Tachi was going to try to welcome.
Niihlus was finally poked by his secretary and he slowly returned his attention to what was about him. His eyebrows rose with mild surprise.
"You came sooner than I expected, is Toa Komas all right?"
"He's fine," Tachi said effortlessly as she looked about the room. "Komas said he'd be willing to offer his services again."
The aged Toa's mouth dropped. "What did you say to him? What did you do to him?"
Tachi allowed herself to smirk faintly. "I just told him was the right thing to do. He wants pardon from you, I think; just he's too stubborn to tell you that."
Niihlus leaned in his chair and hoarsely laughed, something unusual for the veteran.
"I thought I'd never see the day…" he paused and looked over to Zimriah and Zerak. "Give us a moment?"
The Vortixx female nodded kindly and shuffled off with an armful of tablets. Zerak continued to sit there and glower for a moment, but he finally stood up and walked out, slamming the door behind him. Continuing to lean back, Toa Niihlus laced his fingers against his chest and stared at Tachi.
"Is he okay?" Tachi inclined her head back toward the door, speaking about Toa Zerak.
Niihlus just scoffed. "He'll pout about it for awhile, but Zerak will get over it eventually. Assigning him to look around the city for you and Komas was a good thing actually, aside from knowing your motives more," The veteran grinned. "It…knocked some his much unneeded ego out."
He looked down at his desk for a moment, then turned back to study Tachi's purple mask carefully. Discarding the trifle talk, he jumped straight to the matters at hand.
"You really are prepared to do this?"
Tachi just nodded her head mutely.
"My agency—the prime security force here, is for the protection of Jiahk," he said sternly. "But I also offer my hand to other lands when it is needed. It will be a lot of work, we push the limits sometimes, but we're always the good guys. We get in there to solve a problem and then we get out. Terrorists, conspiracies, murders…we handle it all. You and Komas have been crossing the line for years. You've broken countless Toa codes, laws and even moral instincts. I trust you, but from now on I expect obedience and selfless acts. I can't afford having rogue Toa during these times, I need your strength."
He slowly rose from his seat and walked around his desk, straightening his vest in the process. When he neared her, Niihlus brought up a hand toward Tachi. She looked down at it for a moment, and lastly slipped it in his grasp, shaking it firmly.
"It's a deal," she said coolly. "I'll start immediately when it's sorted. Komas will be up to it in a few days, I'm sure."
Niihlus just gave a nod of approval and returned back to stand over his desk. He paused and rubbed his chin as his eyes looked back up to the stilled female.
"I'd also like to inform you that…I'll be leaving the details about your connection with the Makuta out of my report."
"But, isn't it important?"
Niihlus sat back down his seat, looking over the disorganized desk with ennui.
"No, it isn't anymore. I understand it took enough out of you just to explain the circumstances to me. The case is settled and your…situation with Makuta Szian is a private one. It's a subject that should not be brought up or studied, for your sake and for others unneeded curiosity."
Tachi was simply relieved. It was a perfect word to describe her feeling that second in the breezy office room. Niihlus's humility toward her dubious past was somewhat unforeseen, but greatly appreciated. Only Niihlus and Komas knew of her true origins, and now she would let the past stay where it belonged, forever behind her. But having another's being soul within her…how far could she go to ignore it?
"How'd he take it?"
Tachi returned her full attention back to Niihlus when he asked the question. "He's…pretty much utterly confused."
"I think we all are, Miss Tachi," Niihlus took a deep breath. "It will take some time…this…is an interesting circumstance. I still think we should look into the matter sometime. I'd like to know what's really going on behind this. We confiscated all of the items in Szian's lab before the police bureau could get to it…but it'll be awhile before we tie up all the loose ends."
"Yes, I know," Tachi feebly nodded her head. "When Szian told me of this…I didn't know how to take it. I still don't know what this…all means." She let her voice fade, becoming uncomfortable about the discussion. She still couldn't grasp the drastic change.
Niihlus frowned, but his tired eyes looked at her with pure pity to her trouble state. As a second of silence flowed by, the security chief suddenly flung an index finger up.
"Ah, wait, that reminds me."
He quickly started to dig around in the piles of tablets, memory crystals and other trinkets scattered about. Finally, he brought out something and leaned across his desk to hand it to her. She accepted it and then looked downward, startled. It was the chip.
"I forgot all about it…"
"Zerak found that when he was going through your items," he responded. "I got the feeling about what it could be, so I didn't let Philo look into it until we received your permission and things settled down," he suddenly pointed a finger at her. "But I would be careful with it, it's a mighty dangerous piece of technology."
They had no idea how dangerous, though. Tachi studied the shimmering item; it was so small and simple. But as she coldly realized, it could be the most important technology that had ever been invented. It was a program for existence.
"Thank you again, Niihlus—sir. This all means a lot, it really does," Tachi tried to sound as serious as possible, but after what had all happened today, her emotions were building up again. Niihlus thoughtfully overlooked that fact for her and gave the young Toa a sincere nod.
"No thanks is necessary, I know you are," he tapped his tattooed mask, inclining that his Kanohi was a rode. "Just make sure Komas is really with us on this. I trust him, but…" He paused and studied Tachi's bright yellow eyes, his expression slipped to state silent melancholy.
"…tell him it wasn't his fault. He was a good leader and his team valued him. He and his squad did a great deal of help against injustice."
The Toa of Lightning indistinctly smiled again with gratitude. She made a simple bow toward her forthcoming boss, and quietly left the way she came.
When she had gone and closed the door, Niihlus was left alone in the quiet office and the brewing airships that passed outside. He executed a deep sigh and rubbed his neck, suddenly realizing how much sleep he had lost over this ordeal. He regretted wishing earlier that he was supposedly doing the easy work. Desk work had to be the most boring, stressful and tiring thing he had ever done in his aged life. And this investigation had been the biggest since he had started.
The whole tribulation with Toa Tachi was something he had never seen before—and he had seen quite a lot of things in his life, both of the natural and unnatural. How the young lady was able to keep her sanity through it all, he would never know. But as he started to flip through files and study about his recent doings, he was quite content with his choices for the team, regardless of the divergence involved.
Toa Komas, a mercenary Toa who struggled with his own identity and failures, never accepting forgiveness through his adventurous and difficult life. Then there was Tachi, who in truth had no identity yet, other than her troubling past with dark secrets involving Makuta and a bitter side to machinery. He knew that the two would make an excellent team, and their story was just beginning.
It was rather a long and perplexing thing to reflect in his mind, but the ways of unity, duty and destiny never did bore Niihlus. But this investigation was over now, and that encouraged his vigor and hope a little more than the usual. Maybe the world had some hope after all, maybe this time the good could make a difference.
Maybes were sometimes too optimistic for anyone's favor, but these were hopeful ones. Truthful dreams that could come alive; these dreams just had to be envisioned and pressed on by the ones willing to do so.
It was time to move on and prepare for the next missions and adventures. Enough thoughts about what they would do, now it was time for action. His plans were working and it was now time for the next step. To protect the city of Jiahk.
She ran with attentiveness and like a ghost across the roofs of the tall mountainous skyscrapers. Her feet rattled silently against the metal, and slid across the concrete roofs. But nothing but the wind noticed and met her. She ran as fast as she could, her black and purple armor glimmering against the neon lights and her visor over her mask coolly glowed with a synthetic sparkle. In her hand, she clasped onto a long buster sword, its protosteel metallic frame sharp and ready for action.
The situation felt vaguely like a situation she remembered all so well that happened not but a month ago, how the truth was unraveled from the lies. She could almost imagine the past scenery as she ran on. But there was one difference between then and now.
There was life here. No more vengeance, loss and ignorance. Toa Tachi had a purpose.
Above her the stars stubbornly shimmered against what it was competing with far below. The island city of Jiahk's night lights blared upward into the heavens, all sorts of modern lights flowed about like a trance. The noise flowed about with the different rhythms and sensations of the mass metropolis. One distinct noise at the moment though, was the blurring sounds of sirens, as the Thrandax police charged against the immoral, criminals and dark secrets the city possessed. Even if Jiahk was somewhat of a new and fresh city, already the villains were slipping in. Niihlus's agency though, was obdurate to stop this and keep them at bay for however long. It was their job as Toa to stop the evil and to protect the innocents. There was no rest in the futuristic land for either side, as they battled on.
Tachi quickly stopped before continuing her spree over the various buildings, and let her feet edge near the edge of a tall skyscraper. She looked down, seeing the crystalline reflections against the buildings glass, and the golden void far below. It was both a strange beauty, and a darkening emptiness gesturing her, daring her almost with mock apathy.
She looked downward, taking in the characteristics of the upbeat nightlife. No matter the danger, the powerful idiom of the land fueled her with exhilaration. Her element helped her feel more within this mood of a virtual abstraction. It was times like this when she truly did understand what her brother Uchik had said to her in that real dream; she was a bridge between synthetic and life. She was what she was, and nothing more.
Alive more than most, but in a different way. Not beyond, but not less; it was a strange sentiment for her to think about whenever her mind dwelled on such thoughts. To have a will, a sentience was a complicated theory. And then, of course the fact that not only she possessed a soul, but truthfully shared one. Her mind was her own, but the soul was Szian's. What did this really mean? Was Szian no more than a whisper in her head, or was he really there, almost as if a second conscious?
Everything was still so vague, it still didn't make sense. Even when Niihlus had made the study of it to be a side investigation for the agency the weeks before. The further she delved into it, the more she realized the complexity. And that vision she had a month ago, it opened a way to so many different inquires not only about what she was capable of, but what her brother was as well.
She brought her hand up and looked at what she delicately held in her grasp. The small chip that she had taken from the base of Szian's copy resided there in her clutch.
It wasn't foreboding or haunting anymore, even though its mysteriousness resided, but at the same time, she knew its purpose. She had not the courage to allow herself to delve into it yet, nor did she feel it was the time to even do so. So she let it be a reminder of what was, and what was to be. It gave her courage, a passion, and to believe in something more.
But she would, someday. There were secrets that she had to unravel, and more questions she would have to ask Szian. As she would live on in this beautiful city, she would discover what she really was.
She clasped it and held it close to her heart, still looking outward in the sea of lights. She didn't know what other dark secrets that were hiding, or what would come back to haunt her. However this time, she would be prepared for them. And this time, she wouldn't do it alone.
She promised her brother, Toa Uchik, that she would see him again. She would never forget him, and her mind would never loose sight of his encouragement whenever she struggled through acrimony.
Footsteps came from behind in the shadows of the skyscraper's roof that she stood on. Turning around and forgetting about her intricate thoughts, Tachi watched a silver coloured being lined with blue come into view from the shadows. A cool grin stamped on his goggled-mask as he looked over her glowing visor.
"Next time, don't take the stairs," Tachi jokingly retorted to him, as she put the chip away. Her partner just let the sadistic excitement control him as he brought out his gun and spun it with ease.
"Hear that noise?" He asked. "That's the music of trouble brewing, sweetheart. I just got a report from the chief; we got a wonderful situation involving nasty criminals. Are you up for it?"
Tachi looked at him a long moment, her eyes sparkling behind the visor she wore. Komas, Toa of Sonics just gave her his trendy smirk, light reflections in his goggles sparkled at her with anticipation. She finally took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a second as she felt the wind press peacefully around her. Her lips slipped up into a frank smile. This time it was noticeable in her roguish aura, all the while being true to her emotions.
"What do you think?"
Without saying anything else, she spun back around and suddenly flung herself off the roof and into the dazzling space. Her arms wide as the wind embraced her and the lights sparkled all about her. She fell into the lights, falling far below to her mission. She fell from the city's sky like a fallen angel that still contained all its mysteriousness and beauty. In the blinding sensations of Jiahk, Toa Tachi's body faded and disappeared into the magnificent lights, toward her next mission.
Ignorance was bliss, but ignorance was also the base for all strives to know the truth. Without it, without the desire to know, there was no purpose, there was no destiny. Though questions and secrets are daunting and forlorn, all it needs is the true desire and stubbornness of the living to push on to know those secrets.
That was Tachi's new saying, her new theology from now on. Even through her struggles to fight against weaknesses and fears, she would push on to know those secrets, and to destroy the lies.
Jump from the sky
Fall away from lonely nights
Embracing the city's lights
They shine like stars
As you fall,
Fall from such great heights
They say ignorance is bliss
With a dangerous kiss
There are little laws, only flaws
Trapped at gunpoint
But I won't run
I won't run
Don't say goodbye
Fight back against brutality
Escape the virtual reality
Jump from the sky
Away from lonely nights
Embrace the city's lights
They shine like stars
As you fall from such great heights
I'll be waiting, down below
Just don't forget me
The truth will set us free
Further reports pending