The route to Gali’s village took her through Lewa’s jungle-covered range. As she entered the moist shade beneath the tree canopy, she paused to listen. She heard only the normal sounds of dripping water and rustling wind.
Still, Gali sensed that something was not right in the jungle.
There are disturbances, she thought uncertainly. Strange pulsations…
Whatever it was, it was crashing through the underbrush, heading in her direction. A moment later she felt a blast of heat, and a dead tree trunk nearby burst into flames.
“Tahnok,” Gali muttered sourly as more than a dozen red figures burst out of the woods.
She paused, watching as one of them breathed a column of flame at a lush Vuata Maca tree. The intense heat scorched parts of the trunk, but the dripping branches didn’t catch fire. The Tahnok rammed the tree, but the Vuata Maca’s deep roots held against the assault. Other members of the swarm were having similar problems.
“Not so easy for you here, eh, my Tahnok friends?” Gali said with sly amusement. “This place isn’t suited for your brand of mischief.”
The Tahnok Va at the head of the swarm paused, and for a moment Gali thought it meant to turn and attack her. Instead, it stood for a moment with its firestaff held aloft. Then it turned and scampered off toward the northwest.
“Going to visit Pohatu, are you?” Gali said. “Somehow I don’t think he’ll appreciate the social call. Maybe I can thin the numbers a little before you get there.”
Grabbing a vine, she swung after the Tahnok. When she landed in front of them, they paused only momentarily before continuing on their way, clearly intending to bulldoze over her.
But the Water Toa was already gathering her energies, calling upon the elements to answer her. A moment later a rainstorm pelted down on the Tahnok, extinguishing their flame. The creatures gnashed their teeth furiously, darting beneath the trees for shelter. Soon the already swampy ground was puddled and soft.
The Tahnok at the head of the swarm scurried forward onto a particularly marshy spot. Gali held her breath, waiting to see if her plan would work. As the Tahnok took another step. she smiled as it began to sink, its powerful legs trapped by the sucking, wet soil.
The creature shrieked in annoyance, struggling to pull its leg free. As it did so, another leg got caught in the mire. Soon it was trapped, unable to move forward or backward. Every time it tried, it only sank deeper.
Now it would be easy for Gali to retrieve its krana. She wrapped a sturdy jungle vine around the Tahnok and lifted its headplate.
Soon she was holding the krana in her hand. It felt warm and alive, unlike the Tahnok itself, which had stopped struggling as soon as the Toa grabbed its krana.
“I see,” she murmured thoughtfully, staring at the Tahnok. “The Bohrok themselves do not really live – they are merely vehicles for the true life force of the krana.”
Gali wasted no more time. She raced for the coastline, anxious to see what was happening in her village. She resolved that once she had made sure her villagers were safe, she would return to the other Toa. Perhaps together they could figure out a way to stop the Bohrok invasion – before there was nothing left to protect.