This is the article about the story arc. For the species, see Kohm.
|Location||Surrounding Islets/Onu-Metru Archives/The Academy|
|Group(s) involved||The Minority/Rebels, the Loyalists, the Kohm|
|Character(s) involved||Zyrul, Shaul, Mythias, Tommi, Alta, Rahkar, Seshu, Liro, Lazok, Dwin, Pohaka, Kyshim, Vivex|
|Date||April 16 - April 17|
|Page(s)||24 - 27|
|<-||The Search (BZPRPG)|
Shaul agrees to Zyrul's plan, and Zyrul allows himself a grin before moving on to the next important topic.
"Shaul...you remember Mythias?"
"How could I forget?"
"He hasn't...been around lately, has he?"
Shaul looks at Zyrul as if the Headmaster is crazy, then laughs. "Are you kidding? He's been dead for years!" But when Zyrul remains silent, Shaul's eyes widen. "You...you think he's alive?"
"It's certainly possible, Shaul. Recent events seem to point that way."
"But...you know what that could mean? He could...he could spoil everything!"
"He could very well lead the Rebellion against you!"
"He could kill you Zyrul!"
"I know." Zyrul's red eyes flash. "He won't."
Shaul stands up, suddenly in a panic. "Zyrul...you don't seem to realize what power Mythias has."
"No, you don't!"
"Yes, I do. He was the one that discovered Toa Metamorphosis. Not me."
"So...he planned The Academy?"
"The basic plan we worked on together. We hadn't gotten too far into details before...the incident."
Shaul shudders at the memory of the incident. "But Zyrul...you've never fought Mythias before!"
Shaul is caught back. "You...You have? You've fought Mythias?" Zyrul straps on his belt as he prepares to leave. "Of course I have. Who do you think gave me the scar?"Original Post
The Rebels manage to make it out of the deep tunnels just before the cave in.
Rahkar wakes up to Seshu gingerly pulling shards of rock out of her body. Upon realizing that she's awake, Seshu blushes and apologizes, but Rahkar waves the apology off. They form a tentative bond.
Matuk frantically searches in the debris for his teammates, and finds that Tommi has protected Alta, Dwin, and Lazok with an air bubble. Matuk revives Lazok and Dwin while Tommi tends to an injured Alta, Alta coaching Tommi through medical procedure. Upon seeing their closeness, Matuk starts to crack a joke about the "two lovebirds", but is drenched with a blast of water. Neither Tommi nor Alta, however, deny it.
The rest of the injured or unconscious teammates are rescued, and the team travels back to the Academy. Unbeknownst to them, however, they have attracted the attention of an Academy Toa of Electricity named Komar who had also been visiting the Archives to search for something his ancestor stored there. Curious, Komar returns to the Academy, interested in what the others had gone so far as to cause a cave-in for.
Zyrul enters the gates of the Academy. He waves off questions from students about where he has been, heading wordlessly toward his office.
Kyshim sits at Zyrul's desk. "So this is how it feels..." Soon, he thinks, he will claim this desk as his own, this chamber as his own, this Academy as his own.
His examines his map of the Academy with his markers placed all over it. "Forces coming from the South will cause a distraction on the South Wall. Meanwhile, small bands will infiltrate the walls from the East and West. At this point, the North Wall will be under small guard, whereas I can allow my men into the building. Then we infiltrate the Central Tower, emerge into Zyrul's Chamber and..."
He stops as he hears the sound of the lock being worked.
Zyrul has returned.
The Headmaster greets Kyshim, the latter of whom has armfuls of packages and documents hastily gathered up from the desk. As Zyrul reaches his seat, something catches his eye. A small, tiny black marker on the floor that bears the emblem of one of the more extreme Dark Hunter clans. "What is this, my servant?"
Kyshim's eyes widen, but he musters up a quick lie. "I'm not sure, my master. I have been finding numerous items in the courtyards as of late, and I've been gathering them to see if any of them contain rebel information. I suppose that must have been one."
Zyrul's expression is unreadable as he tosses the marker up, playing catch with it. "You know, Kyshim, I've had many Right Hands in my time. You know why I always have to find a new one? Treachery. These Right Hands seem to get the idea into their heads that with such a position of power, they can actually overcome me. They can overcome the very person who taught and trained them. You know how each one of them has lost their position?"
Kyshim shakes his head.
"If you ask anyone else, they'll say that they had an unfortunate accident or were killed in battle."
He tosses the marker up again.
"If you asked someone who knew anything, they'd tell you that they had been murdered privately."
He catches it between his fingers.
"And if you asked someone on the inside, they could tell you who did it."
He directs a combination of a glare and a grin at Kyshim. "To date, that has been the fate of every Right Hand."
Suddenly, the marker disappears in a quick flash of flame, reduced to a microscopic pile of ash in Zyrul's palm.
"It would be a shame if such were to happen to you." His mouth twists into a devious grin. Gently, he blows the ashes into the air. Then he stands up, gazing directly at Kyshim. "Now I think we understand each other." Kyshim's heartbeat quickens. He understands. All too well.
Zyrul overlooks the Academy from his window. It is his. All his. And soon, these very buildings will be fortresses of fear and destruction. Places that people will be afraid to come within a hundred yards of. And here he is, at the center of it all.
Kyshim breaks his train of thought. "Sir...the fleeing Toa returned while you were away."
Zyrul shoots up straight. "What?! What of our agent?"
"He's still tracking him, sir."
Zyrul sat down in his chair. The small resistance has been a pain in his side for a long time. Their numbers are multiplying; their rebellious ways infectious.
As the doctor, it will be up to him to deal out some serious medication. With a grin, he gives Kyshim his orders. "Track him. Send out the K-Squad."
The injured students rest in the infirmary while medic Toa treat them for their wounds. The remaining Toa are all discharged after a short period of treatment, except for Saeras who strangely remains sick. A wild Mahikuli, who has followed Saeras back from the Archives, stays with the delirious Toa of Animation, trying to cheer its new "parent" up.
While being treated, Rahkar thinks back to her years as a Matoran. A merc gang leader named Gringe tried to blackmail her into killing another Matoran named Zioc, and in the resulting argument it was revealed that the one who hired Gringe was the same person that killed Rahkar's parents...Kar-Nah. Rahkar shudders, ending the flashback and returning to the present. Upon exiting the infirmary, her injuries treated, Rahkar runs into Seshu who has been waiting for her, and the two strike up a conversation, both enjoying the other's company. They run into a cyborg Toa of Air with a prosthetic arm named Liro. Liro hits on Rahkar, and Seshu gets angry at the sight. Rahkar is amused, but, sensing a possible alpha-male fight about to start between Seshu and Liro, she offers to fight them both.
In the training room, Rahkar easily gains the upper hand against Liro and Seshu, but Seshu lowers the density of the floor beneath Rahkar, sending her falling to the floor below. Seshu then turns to Liro, and the two begin a match against each other. The fight quickly escalates, though with the help of a nearby Toa of Fire, Pareh, Rahkar manages to stop the fight.
Kyshim descends the stairway and to the ground level of The Academy. Winding through numerous passages and locked doors, he arrives at a damp, musty room, with the smell of saliva in the air, and an ever-present growl echoing throughout the room.
Kyshim makes a strange sort of noise, and at the signal ten creatures from within the cages open their eyes. Rising to his feet, their leader stands on all four legs, his tail swishing left and right, waiting for orders. He is a Kohm, and his missions are always enjoyable ones.
Opening a barred door covered with several locks, Kyshim leads the group to a set of tracks. Kyshim points. "Smell."
K-1, as he is called, takes a whiff. The scent locks in his mind. It is now the very purpose of his mission.
The canine Rahi grins. With a howl, he takes off after the tracks, ready for whatever tasty prey lies at the end of the trail.
He would feed on Toa tonight.
VMN and Striper are taking a walk in one of the forests at the edge of the Academy grounds, when the Kohm attack. A ruthless pack of hunters, the dogs strike strategically and mercilessly, quickly taking down VMN. VMN tries to send Striper to get help, but a few Kohm break off from the main pack, taking down Striper as well despite the Muaka's larger size.
Luckily for VMN, Dwin, Pohaka, and Lazok were in the forest as well, having a four-way sparring session with a Toa of Fire named Gera to celebrate their recovery. The three hear the commotion and leap onto the scene, Dwin rescuing VMN while Lazok tears into the pack, aiming for the one he recognizes as the leader. As he engages K-1 in battle, Lazok shouts, "No one harms my friends! No one!"
K-1's skills are superior to the rest of his pack, however, and proves this by brutally impaling Lazok after a short fight. As Lazok drifts out of consciousness, he is surprised to hear K-1 speak. The alpha Kohm utters a response to Lazok's cry of rage: "Rage makes you weak. Emotions hinder your concentration, and thus your power."
Lazok recognizes this saying from a line in Zyrul's Code, but before he has the chance to ponder this he passes out.
Pohaka rescues Lazok while Dwin takes on K-1, proving to be a more dangerous fighter with his shapeshifting abilities. K-1 still gains the upper hand, however, downing Dwin singlehandedly.
However, K-1 orders the pack to retreat, seeing that the Kohm have taken on heavier casualties than previously estimated, and the canines disappear into the shadows, leaving only a swath of blood.
Kyshim walks down an alley, the meeting point between him and his contact. He greets his contact, who is similarly disguised with a cloak to hide his identity.
"So you have it?" Kyshim asks.
"No. Not yet."
"Then what is the point of this meeting?"
"An update. It's almost done. The weapon is close to the end of its construction."
"Can you insure me that it will do what you have claimed it can do?"
"Absolutely. You COULD ask the people whom we tested it on, but it would take a while to collect the pieces for each one..."
"Good enough. I want it ready. And soon."
"I will inform you of when we strike. Do not attack before my word."
Kyshim pulls a blueprint from his cloak - a diagram of the walls of the Academy, the same one Kyshim was working on before Zyrul returned. "This should be enough for you to work out a strategy."
"Then we have nothing else to discuss." But as the stranger melts into the shadows, Kyshim adds one last warning. "And Vizex? Don't fail me again."