Eventually, the tan and gray traveling Matoran exited the tunnels and arrived at Kini-Nui.
“Okay, if I’m right, the entrance to the Great Refuge must be here somewhere,” said the tan Matoran, looking around. “Imagine, a place where all Matoran will be safe from Makuta, and Bohrok forever!”
“Uh huh. Last time we were here, a Rahkshi showed up. I’d really rather not run into any more.”
“Don’t worry,” the tan Matoran responded. “Soon, we won’t have to worry about them!
“Look! I think I see an entrance!” he added, pointing ahead.
“There could be more Rahkshi down there!” his friend said. “I think we should explore more of Kini-Nui first before we go down any dark tunnels.”
The two explored the area for a bit, but didn’t find anything of note.
“I don’t see anything here,” the tan Matoran said. “I think we should go down the tunnel.”
He noticed that his companion looked uneasy. “What’s the matter?”
“I was just thinking about what Toa Tahu said… about how Ta-Koro is gone,” the gray Matoran responded, looking at the ground. “We should have been there to help.”
“We are helping!” the tan Matoran says. “We’re trying to find a way to save everybody!”
“Maybe we would do more good if we were with our friends.”
“Come on,” the tan Matoran said, “you’ll feel better when we find the refuge!” With that, he headed off toward the entrance he spotted earlier, his friend begrudgingly following.
The cavern they found themselves in was dim and foreboding.
“I… I don’t like this place,” the gray Matoran said nervously. “It’s dark and cold. It doesn’t look like a refuge to me!”
“Um, this is probably just the outside edge,” the tan Matoran responded. “I’m sure it gets lots nicer inside.”
“Right. And Rahi just want a nice bowl of water and a pat on the head.”
Once again, the two were greeted by a deep, ominous voice. “So you have seen fit to ignore my warnings. Then welcome, Matoran – welcome to the lair of Makuta!”
“Makuta?” the gray Matoran exclaimed. “Oh no! We have to get out of here! This way!”
“No, the other way!” his friend shouted. “To the right!”
“You cannot hide from the shadows,” Makuta taunted.
The Matoran agreed to head left, running as fast as they could.
“This doesn’t look like the right way,” the tan Matoran said nervously.
“I don’t like the looks of these big tubes,” his companion added.
Makuta’s voice continued to echo around them: “You cannot hide in the shadows. They serve my will.”
The tan Matoran suddenly turned and shouted at the darkness. “You’re just angry because we’re going to find the refuge and you won’t be able to scare us anymore!”
“You are in my refuge now,” Makuta responded, unperturbed. “Here you will stay, while my Rahkshi find the Mask of Light.”
“Did you hear that?” the gray Matoran said. “We have to get home!”
“No, we need to find the refuge!” the tan Matoran responded. “Come on!”
* * *
Jaller breathed out, awed by the sight that lay before his eyes. “Kini-Nui!” he whispered. “The Great Temple!”
The temple and the surrounding mountains were bathed in the colorful rays of the setting sun. The Mask of Light glowed as they crossed the Amaja Circle. As they approached a giant head carved into the stone at the edge of the plateau, the mask’s light faded.
“No way,” Takua said. “We’ve been all over the island, just to wind up here?”
“Why not? It’s a sacred place,” Jaller pointed out.
Takua grabbed the mask, which immediately glowed brightly again. “You sure you’re working this right?”
At that moment a beam of brilliant light shot out of the mask. It landed on the giant stone head. The ground quaked, shaking loose countless years’ worth of dirt and grime from the carving. As the outlines of a mask began to be visible underneath, the sun dipped beneath the horizon, plunging the temple into dusky dimness.
“Wow, this is it,” Jaller said. “The Seventh Toa must be here.”
An ominous hiss rose nearby. Takua and Jaller turned toward the sound in fear. Three Rahkshi stepped out from behind a rock – Fragmenter, Disintegrator, and Poison.
Jaller gasped. “Give me the mask, Takua,” he said grimly, grabbing it from his friend’s hands.
“Jaller, no!” Takua cried. “We both know the mask chose me. I am the true Herald.”
“Are you still sure, even now?”
Takua held out his hand. “Yes!” he said firmly. “I’m the Herald.”
Jaller hesitated briefly, then handed over the mask. Takua nodded. “And I say… run!” he cried.
Takua, Jaller, and Pewku raced down toward the lower plateau. The ground quaked again at the base of the steps. A fissure erupted in a shower of rocks and earth, and three more Rahkshi burst out of the ground!
Takua and Jaller turned to race back up the steps. But the first trio of Rahkshi were already descending from the top. They were trapped!
Suddenly a flare of brilliant fire rocketed overhead, illuminating the entire temple.
The Rahkshi shielded their faces against the glare. An urn atop the enormous stone head ignited, illuminating Lewa and Gali, who stood on either side. Tahu stepped in from the shadows, the fire reflecting off of his bright red armor.
Takua let out a breath of relief. “Great!” he called to the three Toa as they leaped into the air. “You can get us out of here!”
Tahu pulled out his swords. “We are done running.”
The Fragmenter-Rahkshi hissed, unleashing an arc of dark energy from its staff. Tahu lifted his shield, enveloping all of the Toa and Matoran in a protective force field. He staggered backward as the Rahkshi’s bolt hit, but recovered quickly.
“We will not be broken!” the Fire Toa shouted defiantly.
He and Lewa stood side by side as the Fragmenter-, Poison-, and Disintegrator-Rahkshi approached. Behind them, Gali led Takua and Jaller down the steps toward the lower temple.
“This way!” she cried.
Lewa summoned a whirlwind, sending it spinning down to grab the sand from the Amaja Circle. The sand cycloned feverishly, enveloping the advancing Rahkshi. Tahu crossed his swords, sending a blast of fire into the swirling sandstorm. The sand particles glowed red, then white-hot. When Tahu and Lewa both lowered their arms, their creation remained – the Rahkshi were trapped from the neck down in a prison of glass!
In the lower temple, the other three Rahkshi moved toward Gali and her charges, cutting off their escape. The ground between them suddenly rumbled and exploded. Three figures erupted out of the quake, landing beside Gali and the others.
Gali cried out in amazement as she recognized the Ice, Earth, and Stone Toa. “Brothers!” she shouted to Pohatu and Onua. “We thought we lost you.”
“You might have, but for our frosty friend,” Onua replied, gesturing toward Kopaka.
Kopaka shrugged. “It was… on the way.”
Gali raised an eyebrow. “Kopaka had to dig out the chief miner?”
Onua looked sheepish. “Well, he needs to get his hands dirty from time to time.”
The Hunger-, Anger-, and Fear-Rahkshi had recovered from the surprise of the Toa’s arrival. They advanced again, hissing menacingly.
The Anger-Rahkshi banged its staff on the ground, sending a ring of dark anger energy toward the Toa. But the energy passed right through them, leaving them untouched. The Rahkshi hissed in surprise.
“Our anger is no more, Rahkshi,” Tahu said. “We are united!”
Lewa and Pohatu leaped into action, somersaulting around the three Rahkshi faster than the eye could follow. The creatures swung their staffs wildly at their tumbling foes – but wound up striking one another instead!
The Fear-Rahkshi squealed in dismay as the Hunger-Rahkshi’s staff hit it. Its fear energy drained from its body, sending it tumbling helplessly to the ground.
The Hunger-Rahkshi hissed. Turning away from the circling Toa, it leaped toward Takua and Jaller. In the blink of an eye, Tahu and Gali joined together and summoned their elemental powers. A blast of steam burst from their tools, catching the Hunger-Rahkshi in its mighty stream and lifting it into the air.
The Toa moved in on the Anger-Rahkshi. The creature backed away, hissing in frustration.
Behind the Toa, the Fear-Rahkshi stirred. Its eyes began to glow as energy flowed back into its body. The creature climbed to its feet and started up the steps toward Takua and Jaller.
The Toa didn’t notice. All of their attention was focused on the Anger-Rahkshi in front of them. “Now,” Tahu shouted. “As one!”
The others knew what to do.
Onua slammed the ground, sending a wave of earth toward the Anger-Rahkshi.
Pohatu transformed the rolling wave of earth into a wave of boulders.
Tahu transformed the boulders into a wave of lava, which broke over the Rahkshi, enveloping it.
The Anger-Rahkshi tried to escape the lava. But suddenly the jet of steam dissipated, sending the Hunger-Rahkshi plunging back to earth – right on top of the Anger-Rahkshi!
Kopaka jumped forward, striking the lava with his sword and instantly freezing it solid. Both the Hunger- and Anger-Rahkshi were frozen along with it.
Tahu stepped toward them, examining the Toa’s handiwork. “They’ve been trapped before and were still able to escape,” he reminded the others.
Kopaka leaned in, yanking the kraata out of the Rahkshi’s armored bodies. “Not this time.”
A frightened squeal erupted from somewhere above. Glancing up, the Toa were just in time to see Pewku tumble down the steps, tossed aside by the Fear-Rahkshi. The creature turned with a hiss, backing Takua and Jaller up the steps.