Roodaka was furious. As she walked along the waterfront, clad in a cloak made of plant fibre, she imagined over and over again all the disgusting things she would someday turn Brutaka into with her Rhotuka spinner. One way or the other, he was going to pay for this.
Brutaka and his team – Roodaka, Vezon, Carapar, Takadox, and Makuta Spiriah – had arrived on the shores of the island of Stelt in a small boat. As soon as Roodaka recognized the skyline, she began to protest. Stelt was the home of the late Sidorak, her former comrade, and his people. Worse, Roodaka had set Sidorak up to be killed, and it was likely everyone on Stelt knew that. She would be about as welcome there as a Kikanalo stampede.
But Brutaka had insisted they would need a bigger boat to get where they were going, and this was the easiest place to get one. The only other team member to voice an objection was Spiriah, who believed Brotherhood of Makuta agents were waiting in every village to grab him.
“And just how are we going to purchase this boat?” Roodaka hissed. “We have no equipment, no arms other than yours, not even those ridiculous Matoran widgets. We have nothing of value to offer in exchange.”
“Of course we do,” Brutaka answered, as he pushed open the doors of a trading house. “We have you.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than Carapar had seized her from behind. The team, along with the struggling Roodaka, stepped inside the dimly lit and foul-smelling shack. The proprietor was one of Sidorak’s species.
“We’re here to make a purchase,” said Brutaka. “Your fastest ship, outfitted with supplies for a long voyage to the south.”
“To the south?” snorted the trader. “Meaning I will never see my ship, or you, again? Unless you can make me rich –”
Brutaka took the hood off Roodaka, who glared at him with murder in her eyes. “Would the reward you’ll get for capturing the killer of Sidorak be payment enough?”
The trader smiled and invited the party out to view his prize craft. So excited was he by visions of the wealth that would soon be his that he never noticed Takadox had slipped away. The boat turned out to be good-sized, well armed with disk launchers, and large enough to accommodate at least a dozen beings. A crew of large, blue and gray armored bruisers were at work on it now.
“We’ll take it,” said Brutaka. There was a loud splash from the ocean side of the ship, but no one paid much mind to it.
“And I’ll take the murderer,” the trader said. “Sidorak was no prize, but we can’t let Vortixx and Rahi kill our kind and get away with it, now can we?”
There was another splash, then another, and another. Brutaka ignored them. “Of course not. But if you want people to believe you caught this dangerous criminal, you will need to look like you’ve been in a fight. A light tap to your head would do the trick, perhaps. My colleague, Vezon, can handle it – you won’t feel a thing.”
“Ever again,” Vezon chimed in, smiling.
Splash. Splash. Splash.
The trader looked over Vezon, who was nowhere near as physically imposing as the rest of the team. How much damage could he do? “All right,” said the trader. “One blow – a light one! – just to look convincing.”
Vezon’s grin grew wider. Roodaka struggled against Carapar’s grip. Brutaka walked casually away from the scene, surveying the boat. Vezon drew his fist back. Then, in one smooth motion, Brutaka whirled and whacked the trader in the back of the head. The trader crumpled to the ground, unconscious.
“Hey!” said Vezon. “He was mine! I wouldn’t have hurt him… much… and I only would have needed three or four hours and the right tools, just to make sure he would be no trouble.”
“That’s the point,” Brutaka replied. “You enjoy your work a little too much. Now everyone on board – that includes you, Roodaka.”
They climbed on the ship to find Takadox standing alone. The Barraki took a little bow, pointed to his hypnotic eyes, and said, “The crew decided to go for a swim, all at once. Imagine that.”
“Why all the trouble?” muttered Carapar. “We could have just stormed in and stolen the ship.”
“And had all of Stelt after us?” asked Brutaka. “Not to mention every Dark Hunter and Brotherhood member around, as soon as they heard Roodaka was here?”
“But what about the trader, you fool?” said Roodaka. “He saw me!”
Brutaka laughed as the ship moved slowly away from shore. “Who’s going to believe anyone stupid enough to stand still and get hit?”