Brutaka and his bizarre crew had been at sea for three days when he called them all together. “It’s time to let you know our mission. And before you ask, you were all chosen for this trip for one very good reason: You’re expendable. No one is going to care if any of you live or die, which makes you ideal for this job.”

Carapar grumbled something unspeakably foul. Brutaka chose to ignore it.

“We are going to an island far south of anything on any chart,” Brutaka continued. “But it’s not uninhabited. In fact, it has one very special resident: a Makuta named Miserix.”

Now it was Spiriah’s turn to mutter something, though his words were more in shock than in anger.

“Miserix, for those of you who don’t know, was the leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta before the current holder of that title,” said Brutaka. “He was overthrown and wound up imprisoned on a volcanic island. He’s guarded by Rahi and the Great Beings know what else – things someone figured would be able to kill an escaping Makuta. And it’s our job to break him out.”

At first, none of the team members said anything. Then Takadox spoke up. “And what do we get out of this? Money? Power? Our freedom?”

Brutaka smiled. “You get to live another day.”

“And what do we do with him after we have him?” asked Roodaka. “Hold him for ransom?”

“That’s not your concern,” Brutaka replied. “All of you have a role to play in this mission. When we get close to the island, you will be given weapons and equipment. Try to run, at any time, and friends of mine will hunt you down – friends who make me look like a big, cuddly Ussal crab.”

It was Vezon who spotted them first. A small fleet of ragtag vessels was approaching from the west. They were about the ugliest boats one could imagine, slapped together from remnants and wreckage and barely sea-worthy. But he wasn’t focused on the look of the ships, but rather the identity of their crews.

“Zyglak!” he shouted.

The others rushed to the rail to look. Sure enough, the reptilian beings known as “the Great Beings’ mistakes” were manning the ships. Notoriously violent and destructive, Zyglak hated the Great Spirit Mata Nui and anything associated with him. It was doubtful they were paying a social call.

Brutaka tried to steer the ship away from them, but the wind and waves were not cooperating. After a few minutes, he realized why: Makuta Spiriah was using his power over weather to keep the ship in place.

“Did you really think it would be this easy?” said Spiriah. “I deduced our goal days ago and passed a message to my Zyglak friends through channels on Stelt.”

Vezon looked horrified. He had spent many days a captive of the Zyglak not so long ago. It wasn’t an experience he was anxious to repeat. “Friends? Zyglak don’t have friends… just meals they haven’t eaten yet.”

“They are outcasts,” said Spiriah. “And so am I. Now, Brutaka, I am taking command of this ship. We will be setting a new course, for the island of Zakaz. It was there that I met defeat and disgrace – there that my grand experiment failed, because the inhabitants were too savage to know what to do with my gifts. It is their fault I was cast out of the Brotherhood – and now they are going to pay!”

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