i'd failed my mission to dispose of the three kete o te wananga (the tombs of all maori mystic knowledge) baskets... though i'd managed to alert ms. rhonwyn of the situation i didn't think there was much hope of her salvaging my bungle up...
whiro, maori god of suffering and darkness, had caught up with me in auckland. this was the end of the quest for more than one reason.
the most obvious being with him on my tail (nearly literally) there was no way i could safely hold onto this basket. besides that i had no way now of getting rid of it. i'd hit every spot on the list ms. rhonwyn had given me...
okay all but one. however picton (which i had to skip due to the LAST time whiro caught up with me) was halfway across new zealand. now i was out of tickets and money to get around the country. meaning i was stuck on my own two feet to get me anywhere, and with a tireless immortal deity chasing me down my odds of making it out of auckland, that alone to picton were pretty much 0%.
in desperation at the auckland war memorial museum i'd come up with a REALLY stupid off the cusp plan. one that almost seemed to be working. not that i knew how it was going to actually save the basket... and there certainly was no chance i was going to live through it. that was for sure.
the key to my plan was that whiro chase me. which could only end in him catching me...
the reason i say this is that after running dozens and dozens of blocks through auckland i couldn't run anymore!
i'd done pretty good if you ask me. i'd managed to keep ahead of the immortal whiro, with his seemingly never ending supply of energy, and for a guy with supernatural powers he runs like an edmontosaur! with the speed advantage i had on my ornithomimid-like juvenile tyrannosaur body, i'd nearly lost whiro three times. the problem was that was me sprinting, and i'd of course have to slow back down to regain my energy. at which point he'd catch up...
till i finally reached a point where i couldn't run anymore at all. my legs were dead, and i could hardly stand up because of my gasping for air. the spot was actually pretty cool (though i never did learn what it was called). it was a stadium of some sort, and in front was a polynesian style totem pole. had it been different circumstances this would have been a great spot...
but as craig used to say "this is the way it is." whiro was once again caught up with me, and there was NOTHING i could do about it...
he was right i realized out of my fear. i stopped screaming, and suddenly i had an odd calm about me. it was scary people of the web wide world. suddenly i didn't care i was about to die. i'd accepted it as matter of fact, and just started thinking through very detachedly how the last few seconds were going to play out...
i'd fallen in an exhausted pile at the base of the totem pole which is where whiro caught up to me.
looking at this photo i didn't realize how well i could have camouflaged with the flowers just beside the darn pole!!!
"you have given me a good hunt kauwheke te kura [ancestor of the moa], but you're lack of courage here at the end disgusts me. could my brother tane not find a more brave warrior to be his champion and face me in battle?" whiro seemed to complain as he close in on me. wielding his mere or maori jade stone club he showed his intent to end my existence...
i let out a scream... not that it mattered the stadium was quite abandoned during this dull afternoon.
whiro laughed. "i shall not lie to you kauwheke te kura, i take great pleasure in this deed. not just for the trouble you have caused me in recovering the kete o te wananga i rightfully deserve, but because of this pathetic display of cowardice you give me now!"
"very well," i agreed. though i was exhausted, i stood up before him. "i shall face you at least standing on my own two feet."
whiro made an audible sound of satisfaction. he seemed to take a moment to savour the anticipation of the kill...
however my fight or flight instinct had kicked back in, and for once... my suppressed tyrannosaur instincts must have been stirred... i wasn't opting for flight now. i was going to fight!
it was almost like slow motion, but not really. my brain just registered stuff really fast (definitely unlike normal!!!) as they happened. whiro gripped his greenstone club tighter, and started to draw his arm back for the killing strike. as he started to advance on me i lunged at him. bearing my full killer crushing jaws at his chest...
had he not been made of greenstone himself, and not immortally or magic (i'm not sure which one) invulnerable, my bite would probably have killed him dead as i punctured his chest with my teeth and crushed his ribs with my incredibly strong bite. sadly though he was made of greenstone and he was invulnerable.
i just slammed off his torso as though i'd run into a brick... er greenstone wall (though in my defense i was defending myself. normally i'd never run into a wall). some of my teeth broke... its a good thing that in my case they'll grow back.
whiro stopped for moment. "i'm impressed their is a spirit of warrior buried somewhere within you," he stopped and starred at me. a long penetrating glare as though he was reading my very essence. "yes. under all that pākehā [maori word for european... though i think whiro used it here to mean modern society vs. traditional mysticism fearing cultures] conditioning lies a monster's soul waiting to be unleashed. in fact it is ready to come out any moment."
was he referring to my tyrannosaurid ways i'd been spending my whole life to avoid?
suddenly stopping whiro became very distracted by something afar. he turned to face it. just as i contemplated running again, whatever it was hit me too...
it was as though a shock wave from a nuclear blast had hit me... but yet not. i was unbelievably dizzy. something majorly magic had just happened! i suspected i knew what it was.
indeed my suspicion was correct... for back at the auckland museum part of my plan had panned out in a way i'd never anticipated...
remember that panel i'd been really stressed about in the marae. well there was a very good reason i was stressed about it. take a really close look at the picture...
the plan had been to hide it there, and hope i could distract whiro long enough for ms. rhonwyn to arrange for someone else to go and retrieve the basket and get it to picton.
only something very unexpected happened...
despite my having spent a few hours in the auckland museum and it doing nothing, now the basket suddenly decided that there was actually enough mana in the marae and that it was going to finally phase out of our reality...
somehow my plan had worked!!!!!!!!!!
i certainly wasn't expecting any of that to work out.
I'D ACCOMPLISHED THE MISSION!
not that i was going to get to enjoy the fruits of my victory.
as the pulse wave from the basket disappearing subsided (i'm thinking it was that much stronger a pulse of magic because the whole set of baskets had now gone) whiro snapped around to me. there was no need to guess what was going through his rock head.
gone was the composed god. before me was a crazed beast. he hunched over in a frightful manner, and emitted a most vicious growl. in this feral stance he advanced on me, mere posed before him.
as he closed, whiro pounced into the air to bring his entirety down upon me for the finished strike...
my life flashed before my eyes... wow had i seriously done so much and yet so little in my nearly five years of life?!?
i can remember in vivid detail, him descending on me in slow motion. my magic sense kicked in as an intense dizziness hit me once more. i thought this was my detecting my mystic natured doom finishing my existence...
little did i know behind me something was materializing...
before i know it a second greenstone figure swung in from over top me, and smashed whiro out of mid air! it was the awesome combat move i'd ever seen! (probably because it saved my life rather than it's kung funess). this new atua's (god i was assuming) hit sent whiro flying back several metres, and his mere flying from his clawed hands.
the comer took up a clearly aggressive stance between me and whiro (i smartly hid behind that statue). "you are to cease this at once whiro, and depart this realm forever!" it commanded in a really pissed off voice.
whiro's voice hissed in reply "so you finally dare to show yourself brother," ah i was right, the new comer was a god... as all the maori gods were related to each other. "this was your doing wasn't it. sending the kete back to the upper heavens. you and you're pathetic champion may have thwarted my reclaiming them, but neither of you shall live to enjoy your victory!!!"
suddenly a loud buzz filled the air as a great shadow fell from the sky to surround whiro. it was a massive army of his minions, the mosquitoes and sandflies, just like the ones that had attacked me in rotorua only there were way more of them here!... for a moment they menacingly, and very intimidatingly swarmed above their master...
than in unnaturally organized columns the legion of bugs charged my defender full on. sending him reeling from their impact. within seconds he was overwhelmed by the pests. though individually they were nothing. as an army their power was incredible. as the buzzing of their efforts grew deafeningly loud one could hear over the crunch and crack of rock... despite his greenstone composition my guardian was literally breaking under their assault!!!
just as all hope seemed lost for both him and me there came from under the buzzing and crunching a echoed voice, that despite being quite inaudible, resounded.
there was a great light, and my magic dizziness went into overdrive, as my defender finished casting his spell or incantation. the swarm of insects ignited as the powerful enchantment simply vaporized them (or something... i'm no wizard, and couldn't tell you the technical terminology for it... all i can say is they weren't there anymore).
my defender pulled himself off the ground. the breaks and fissures in his once smooth flawless greenstone body were now evident as this damage caused him to creak and crack as he moved.
"i warned you whiro," he bellowed in a both furious, but yet sadly disappointed tone. "just as i did thousands of years ago. once again you leave me no choice but to use the kete tuateu against you."
whiro who till now had been amazed and shocked into inaction by the destruction of his minions once again snapped into his bestial state and blindly rushed his brother.
once again my defender began his unearthly echoing chant, and a very very intense spell shot forth... striking whiro...
i could just make out through the humming of the spell, and the loud echo of my guardian's chanting whiro scream "i will not return to rarohenga [maori underworld]!" with this resolve he seemed to shoulder off the blast for a moment, but than the chanting increased volume and whiro started to demateralize!
moments later it was done whiro had been engulfed and swallowed by the blinding energy.
just like that the quest was over. both the kete AND whiro were gone... yet there remained something to remind me of what had just been happening.
my guardian walked over to me as i lay on the ground in a my exhausted, terrorified, and quizzy pile. looking up at him i expected him to speak. yet he said nothing. he just tilted his head so that it was alined with my own.
there we stayed for, what felt like anyway, a few minutes.
than from behind my saviour a bright glow erupted from... well it looked kinda like a crack through... thin air. he started to turn towards it as though to make his exit...
in all the confusion, action, and near death experience i hadn't pondered with my small brain who this might be. suddenly my neurons fired up on the subject, and i figured it out quick! like normal big brained human quick!!!
could this be tane? maori god of the forest. the one who had acquired the kete o te wananga in the first place.
rather than answer my questions about my guardian it simply raised more.
- why had he saved me?
- why hadn't he intervened sooner?
- if he could have sent whiro back to the underworld why hadn't he done that sooner?
- if he didn't want the baskets to fall into whiro's hands why hadn't he just taken them?
- why were the baskets going back the higher plains of reality now after being on earth for so long?
- was ms. rhonwyn in on all this?
- could he help me with my new magic problem?
- what was going to happen next? was i going to have to worry about whiro escaping?
as the glow increased, and he started to walk into it desperate for some answers i called out. "tane?"
with his back still turned to me the god stopped for a moment. rather than answer my question it simply said "i thank you."
it than resumed walking into the light which was incredibly intense now. a second later snapped off as though by a switch, and the god (tane???) was gone now just like whiro and the baskets...
of the museum quest anyways... my life would go on... and in ways i couldn't possibly imagine. which is saying something considering what i saw today!
(Production Note: So now begins Traumador: Year 1.5)