The all-too familiar blurring of reality and wave of nausea struck Vezon. He really did have to find a way to control this new power, if for no other reason than it was starting to make him feel really sick. He wasn’t sure how beings like Brutaka managed to move between dimensions all the time without losing their sanity... then again, like Vezon, maybe Brutaka didn’t have that much sanity to lose?
Anyway, here he was. He was here. Which, of course, begged the question – where was “here,” this time? The Kanohi Olmak that had become fused to his substance opened dimensional gates the way Matoran open gift boxes on Naming Day, and it was impossible to predict where one might end up.
He looked down. There was sand under his feet. In fact, there was sand in every direction. At first, he thought he was on a beach, but there was no water nearby. He could see trees and buildings in the distance, though, so he started walking in that direction.
The desert, as it turned out, was not very big. It gave way to a lush jungle, filled with a number of beings doing one of those things Vezon did his best to avoid: hard work. Some were obviously Le-Matoran... the others, Vezon did not recognize, though they had the look of villagers. He hated villagers. They were so... industrious.
One of the villagers loped over to him, using his arms as forelegs. He looked up at Vezon and said, smiling, “Are you a friend of Mata Nui?”
Vezon performed a complicated and challenging feat – he didn’t laugh. “Why, yes, little... whatever you are. I am.”
“Are you a Toa, then?”
“Nothing but,” Vezon said, giving his best “noble and heroic” smile.
“Come on, then,” the villager said, dashing off. “You’re late.”
Intrigued, Vezon followed along behind. This place had a Mata Nui and Toa, so it had to be something like home. But who were these other little runts? And just where was he?
“Um, excuse me, villager,” Vezon began.
“Tarduk!” the villager shouted back at him. Vezon ducked, like he was told, but saw no sign of any tar flying through the air. It took him a moment that it wasn’t “Tar, duck!” he had heard.
“Right. Whatever. Where am I?” said Vezon.
Tarduk paused and looked over his shoulder. “Oh, you must be from up north. This is Tesara. Now, hurry up, please – Gresh and Toa Kongu need more help.”
Gresh? Vezon said to himself. What’s a Gresh? But Kongu... him, I know.
They pushed their way through some undergrowth, and Vezon stopped short. There were Toa – a lot of them – and some other warriors he didn’t recognize. They were repairing a huge, metallic shelter. Jaller was using his fire power to weld shut a seam, while a female in blue armor urged him to hurry up. She wasn’t a Toa of Water, at least Vezon didn’t think so – Toa of Water usually weren’t that pushy.
Vezon knew he shouldn’t go into the clearing – after all, he wasn’t extremely popular with Toa. Then again, if they saw him and attacked, it might make things interesting. It had been all of two days since someone had tried to kill him, and he was getting antsy.
Head held high, he marched up to where the Toa were working. A few nodded in his direction. One smiled. One Toa of Stone even waved! Vezon decided that he really hated this place.
“So who are you, exactly?” asked Tarduk.
“My name is... ah... Toa Vezon,” he said, loud enough for all the Toa to hear. “I’m the Toa of... of... Anarchy.”
Tarduk frowned. “Okay. I see. We were really hoping for Ice... gets pretty hot doing this work.”
Vezon looked around. No one had reacted at all to his name... not even Jaller. Was it possible --? No, it was too horrible to think about. Such a tragedy, such a loss, was beyond comprehension. But he had to face the fact:
This universe didn’t have a Vezon. It had never had one. Otherwise, surely someone would be shooting at him by now.
“We don’t get a lot of, um, news up north,” he said to Tarduk. “What exactly goes on here?”
“You don’t know?” said Tarduk. “Well, I suppose I should send you over to see Takua, but I think he is up in Roxtus today. It’s pretty simple really – the Great Beings, through Mata Nui, made things right around here. Then Mata Nui went up north, and a few months later, the Toa and Matoran and all the rest showed up.”
“And what happened to Mata Nui?”
Tarduk shrugged. “Tahu Nuva said something about the Valley of the Maze and power going back where it belonged. I didn’t catch too much of it. I’ve never been one for history, you know?”
Vezon turned at the sound of marching feet. A tall figure, unmistakably a Makuta, was leading a column of black-armored warriors in a drill.
“They’re early,” said Tarduk. “Ever since Tuma got deposed and the Makuta took over the Skrall, they’ve been nothing if not efficient. I’m glad they’re on our side!”
A few more questions spelled things out for Vezon, or at least came close to it. In this universe, the Makuta had never rebelled against Mata Nui. The Great Spirit had been allowed to proceed with his mission – whatever that was – without incident. After it was finished, he let at least some of the Toa and Matoran leave and live with the natives. That included the Makuta, who had smashed the ambitions of some local warlord but held onto the army.
Vezon was wondering what they even needed an army for in such a happy, peaceful, idyllic, mind-numbingly boring place as this when his question was answered, in very dramatic fashion. Coming over the dunes in the distance was an army, marching right for Tesara. Some of them he recognized – other Skakdi, like the Piraka, Roodaka and her Vortixx, and Makuta Miserix in dragon form. The black-armored riders on the two-legged reptiles were new to Vezon, but he doubted they had come to deliver fruit baskets.
“It’s an attack!” yelled Tarduk. “Quick, Toa Vezon – go help the Makuta. Use your power. I’ll get the others.”
Use my power. Right, thought Vezon. My power is to get the heck out of here. I just have to figure out how to turn it on.
The invaders smashed through the ranks of the Skrall warriors and headed for the village. The Skakdi in the lead hurled torches, setting the jungle ablaze.
Now would be a really good time for a dimensional gate to... anywhere! Vezon said to himself. Come on. Come on! I don’t want to die in a universe where I never lived... who will remember me, then?
But the power of the Olmak was strangely absent. And all Vezon could do was stand and watch as an onrushing horde surged toward him...