Night fell on the village of Le-Huna as scores of Toa and Matoran milled around the town square at the base of the village. A gigantic canopy made of plant fiber, the storm shelter, was rolled up around the Enetai's trunk, ready to be raised should the night sky decide to turn stormy before morning, and judging by the thunderclouds on the horizon, it was certainly looking like it would. All around sat dozens of cots, some of which were occupied by Toa in various states of health. Matoran from all over the island had congregated here, to see to the Toa's needs and to meet the brave souls who had saved their island. Tahu sat along the edge of the gathering, holding an arm around Gali's waist, watching the ebb and flow of the crowd.
"This turned out rather well, didn't it?" he asked his Vhalentain.
"Indeed," she replied, "though something perplexes me."
"I've talked to several of the Toa, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the Visorak's attacks. Some of them had artifacts of power on their island; others didn't. Some had homes in strategic places; some didn't. It all seems rather…random."
"Well, Sidorak was something of a maniac."
"That may be true, but he was still able to command a horde of sadistic Rahi. That requires some level of mental coherence."
Tahu sighed, as she leaned against his shoulder.
"Well, whatever the case may be," he said, "the danger is over, and soon, we can forget all about it."
Gali nodded in agreement, but anything she attempted to say was cut off by a great flash of light in the center of the town square. The crowd fell silent as the light dimmed, revealing Toa Vyenta and another being of great size. His claws were long and sharp, the wings on his back were thick and foreboding, and the mask he wore commanded respect. As he looked around the crowd, his eyes fell on Tahu, and his face lit up in a smile.
"Toa Tahu!" he exclaimed. "It's good to see you, old friend!"
Tahu rose from his seat, his eyes wide with surprise.
"Makuta Antroz?" he asked, as he made his way through the crowd. "What brings you here?"
"Did you not send a message to the Brotherhood concerning your current predicament?" asked the Makuta.
"We did, but we did not expect a reply from you for several days."
The Makuta chuckled.
"Tahu," he said, "the Brotherhood would never sit idly and let a being like Sidorak sit on your shores for weeks on end. Besides, we have been after this mad man for a long time. For years, he has struck islands and vanished without a trace, leaving only destruction in his wake. Thanks to you and these fine Toa, you have helped us bring this madman to justice."
"But how will you take him and his horde away?" asked a nearby Toa of Lightning.
"They are already gone," Antroz chuckled.
Many of the Toa and Matoran crowed towards the southern edge of the village, where they could all see the southern shore of the island. In the bright moonlight, the telltale glint of the Visorak's battleship was gone, leaving only a shallow lagoon behind.
"The Brotherhood has a lot of resources at its disposal," said the Makuta. "Moving a single ship is a simple matter. Anyway, I just thought I'd stop by and let you all know that your island is safe once more," he turned to Vyenta, "and to give this charming young Toa a lift."
He turned to the crowd.
"I'm afraid I cannot stay, so I must bid you all farewell, but know this. The Brotherhood of Makuta does not forget so easily, and we will forever remember your acts of bravery this day."
The Makuta then turned to Vyenta and bowed to her.
"Until we meet again, my dear," he said with a smile.
With that, the Makuta disappeared in another flash of light.
As the light died down again, Gali caught a glimpse of Vyenta and saw her mask had turned a bright shade of purple. Chuckling, she made her way towards the Toa of Psionics.
"Something tells me there's a story behind all this," she thought.
A bright flash of light appeared in the dimly lit room as Antroz reappeared.
"Back already, 'Troz?" asked a voice from within the shadows.
"I am," he replied simply. "Why?"
"I just thought you'd take a little while longer to say goodbye to that nice piece of mask you had with you."
"Hey!" he exclaimed. "Don't talk about Vyenta that way!"
"Ooh! Trozzy likes a Toa! Trozzy likes a Toa!" the voice sang out mockingly.
Antroz sighed irritably.
"Shouldn't you be dealing with our 'friend' over there?"
The voice stopped, and a pregnant pause came over the room.
"Oh, you mean Sidorak?"
"Of course, you dolt!"
The sound of metallic feet withdrawing from the room, followed by a clang of a closing door, caused Antroz to sigh. Shaking his head, he turned to the room's single window and opened it, letting the moon's light into his personal chambers. As he gazed out over the metallic landscape of Destral, he spotted the Visorak's battleship sitting in the island's harbor and chuckled as he imagined what was in store for the swarm's leader.
Elsewhere in the island, Sidorak sat in an empty room. The only things to grace the room were a wooden table in the center, a lightstone on the ceiling, and an odd-looking painting on the wall which depicted a Muaka mauling a Nui-Jaga. Sidorak's breath was heavy and labored; never before had he felt so much fear.
"What are they going to do?" he wondered as he paced back and forth. "They won't kill; that's for sure. That'd be too easy and merciful. They'll dangle me over a furnace and let me roast for a hundred years. Then, they'll maroon me on that island where even fire freezes. Then, they'll lock me in the dungeon with the constantly screaming walls! Then, they'll kill me! Or maybe…"
A thousand other fates rolled through Sidorak's mind, each more gruesome than the last. Finally, after what seemed like years, he heard something rattle the door handle from the outside. Sidorak swallowed, trying in vain to calm his nerves and slow his racing heartlight. Moments later, the door opened, and a thick fog billowed in, drowning the room's single lightstone and shrouding the Steltian in darkness. The moments ticked by, as Sidorak stood rooted in fear.
"Sidorak," said a deep voice from within the fog, "do you know why you are here?"
The Steltian turned this way and that, but the voice seemed to be coming from everywhere.
"Um," he gulped, "I am here because I have…failed the Makuta."
"You are correct," said the voice.
Without warning, a hand shot from within the fog and gripped the Steltian by the arm. He screamed as he tried to pull away, but the hand held tight. A few tense moments passed as the arm pulled one way and Sidorak pulled the other. All manner of horrible fates poured through his head as he fought with all his might, but before long, the hand withdrew. Then, Sidorak began to hear someone laughing. However, it was not some malevolent, foreboding laugh of doom, but a cheerful, playful laugh, and this somehow made Sidorak even more afraid.
"Oh, oh my, aha ha ha," said the voice as the fog began to clear. "Oh, you should have seen the look on your face, ha ha!"
Once the fog had cleared, Sidorak saw another being standing in the room with him. The being was relatively small and weak in appearance, his armor a putrid green, but he had seen this being before.
"Makuta Xenato?" he asked, simultaneously perplexed and petrified.
"Oh, forgive me, Sidorak," chuckled the Makuta, "but this was too good an opportunity to pass up."
The Makuta's laughter died out in a satisfied sigh as Sidorak looked on in confusion. For a moment, Xenato looked confused, before a look of recollection crossed his face.
"Oh right," he exclaimed, "I was supposed to talk to you about the assignment I gave you. How did your trip to Huna Nui go?"
"Um," Sidorak stammered, "the island's Toa found a way to, um, reverse the Visorak's venom and led my, um, Toa trophies against me. The swarm…failed to capture the island."
Xenato seemed deep in thought for a few moments, before nodding to the Steltian.
"Okay, you can go," he said, before resuming his contemplative pose.
Sidorak stared at the Makuta for a moment, not believing what he was hearing.
"Just…like that," he asked.
Sidorak was growing more confused by the moment.
"But…the Makuta don't accept failure, do they?"
Xenato stared at Sidorak for a moment, confusion on his mask.
"Well, if you really want to get punished –"
"No no no!" Sidorak exclaimed. "I'm just…very puzzled by this situation."
"Oh," replied the Makuta, "and here, I thought it was obvious. We wanted you to fail."
Sidorak could not recall a point in his life when he was more confused.
"So you came to my ship to –"
"And you had me go there, so that –"
"So, I won't be punished."
"Well," Xenato thought for a moment, "we will have to keep the Visorak swarm on standby for a while, and we'll have to give you a new position, but other than that, no."
Sidorak was not sure if he should feel relieved or afraid, but since Xenato seemed to be in a good mood today, he decided to take his chance and bolted from the room. Xenato smiled as he watched him go.
"Ah, such a simple creature," he thought, "and so unsophisticated in his scheming. He makes a fine pawn to be sure, but he'll never make it big if his plans remain so one-dimensional. Still," he made his way out of the room and towards his personal chambers, "he's proven a valuable resource, and he shall be rewarded for his efforts. But wait," he stopped, "didn't he have a viceroy somewhere on that ship?"
Deep in the forest of Huna Nui, something stirred. Its lithe form was quick and silent, its weapons were sharp and keen, and its eyes glinted with malice and anger. Thoughts of vengeance and betrayal filled its head as it sharpened its blades, safe from the pouring rain inside its cave.
"So, they think they could get rid of me?" he thought. "They left me here to rot on this backwater island. I'll show them."
Twirling his blades, they shone even in the darkness that surrounded him.
"I'll get that artifact, and prove to them I'm better than that pathetic Sidorak."
Arcs of electric current ran down his blades as he continued to slash at imaginary enemies.
"And once I've taken his place, I'll make sure he suffers. It's no more than he deserves!"
Finishing his routine, he drove his blades into the soft earth, electric power lashing out in all directions.
"I shall be, Lord Elkana, leader of the Visorak horde, and regent of the Brotherhood of Makuta. The world will know my name, and they will tremble before my might!"
And there you have it, folks, the gripping conclusion to Scourge of the Visorak. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Huna Nui and will stay tuned for more. I've got some exciting stories coming down the pipeline, so be on the lookout in the months ahead.