As the sun rose above the horizon, Jaller tried to keep his gaze on his goal – the craggy top section of the Mangai volcano. He struggled up a rocky slope, clutching the Mask of Light.
As he crested the slope, he groaned in dismay. Another steep cliffside still lay between him and the top of the volcano!
His legs ached, and his eyes strained in the bright morning sunlight. Would he be able to make it? And even if he reached the top of the volcano, what then? Would he find the Seventh Toa there – or would the mask lead him off in yet another direction?
“Mata Nui,” he cried. “Show me where my destiny lies!”
Suddenly the ground quaked beneath him. Jaller was thrown off his feet – and off of the ledge. He barely managed to grab onto it and avoid falling.
He sighed and glanced upward, rolling his eyes. “Well,” he said to the sky, “I guess I asked!”
The ground shook again. But this time, Jaller realized it was the rumble of galloping footsteps coming toward him.
“What now?” he wondered aloud.
Jaller’s eyes widened as Pewku galloped onto the ledge. Takua was riding on her broad back, holding a kolhii stick in one hand.
Takua leaned over Pewku’s side, stretching the kolhii stick down toward Jaller. Jaller grabbed it, holding on tightly as his friend pulled him to safety.
Soon Jaller was seated behind Takua on Pewku’s back. “What happened to ‘I quit’?” he asked breathlessly.
Takua grinned. “I tried that,” he said. “But no one will let me.” His face grew serious. “Bad news. More Rahkshi. They’ve taken Onu-Koro.”
“The Mask of Light was never at Onu-Koro,” Jaller said, confused.
Takua shrugged. “They don’t want the mask,” he said. “They’re looking for the Herald.”
Jaller still looked puzzled. “You’re sure they were after the Herald?”
Takua glanced at him over his shoulder. “Oh, yes,” he said. “Very sure.”
Tahu roared, struggling to free himself from the vines that trapped him. He crashed from side to side, the large, flat stone beneath him glowing hot with the force of his fury.
“The poison is destroying him,” Gali said quietly, watching from nearby.
Lewa and Kopaka stood beside her near a tunnel entrance in the jungle.
“We must act,” Gali continued. “Let us summon all the healing powers we possess.”
The three of them gathered around Tahu. The Fire Toa hardly seemed aware of their presence as he growled and fought against his restraints.
Lewa raised Tahu’s magma swords. They burned weakly, with nothing more than a sputtering flicker.
“His flame is but an emberglow!” Lewa noted in alarm.
“Kopaka,” Gali said.
Kopaka produced his own blade. He crossed it with the magma swords in front of Tahu’s face. The energy of two Toa’s blades exploded in a blinding flash of light, then flowed down into Tahu’s body.
Tahu roared defiantly as the energy flooded him. He was soon enveloped in glowing white steam.
“Enough!” Gali cried.
Kopaka and Lewa pulled back the swords. The steam dissipated, revealing Tahu – and the poison taint still covering his body. The Fire Toa lay still, his eyes dark.
“Brother!” Lewa cried, fearing the worst.
Gali brought her hands together. Water droplets rushed together at her call, forming a liquid sphere that spun in front of her. Liquid of life, do your magic, she thought, focusing all of her energy on the water’s cleansing power.
She unleashed the water at Tahu in a gentle mist. A rainbow formed as the droplets danced over his still form.
The water bathed him, washing away the poison along with the scratch on his mask. Within seconds, healthy red armor shone out.
Gali slumped, exhausted. Kopaka caught her, carefully helping her move away to rest.
Lewa gazed down at Tahu. The Fire Toa still lay motionless, but Lewa could see that Gali’s efforts had worked. There was no sign of the poison taint.
Lewa very gently clanked his fist against Tahu’s hand. “I’m right here, Toa brother,” he murmured.
Gali was kneeling beside a jungle pond. She held her hands beneath the water, taking energy from it. Kopaka stood behind her, watching.
“Kopaka,” Gali said with a sigh as she felt herself recharged. “Do you think the Turaga were right about us? Have we lost our unity?” She paused, gazing down at the still water. When the Ice Toa didn’t answer, she turned her head. “Kopaka?”
But he was gone. Gali sighed.
Just then Lewa called out for her. “Sister, he is openeyed!”
Gali hurried back to the clearing. Tahu was sitting up, unwrapping the vines from his wrists.
“Brother,” Gali greeted him. “Are you well?”
Tahu glared at her. “No, I am not well.” Then his eyes softened. “But I am alive and in your debt… my sister.”
He tentatively lifted his fist toward her. Gali smiled and gently clanked it with her own.