OOC: from Kini-Nui
[Ta-Wahi beach; night]
I raced under the stars, a trail of sand the only marking of my passage. I ran towards the Great Telescope, towards the stone stairs, where there was another ancient place of importance, massive stone cliffs on my left, the ocean to my right. I ran towards that location, knowing that the Crystals I had gathered were guiding me to that spot. I ran because that was the only possible way I might be able to get to her in time. I ran against the clock, hoping and praying the Great Spirit that I wasn't too late.
I was running to save Cael's life.
I'm coming love... I'm coming... just... hang on. Hang on.
Please. Hang on.
A trek down a beach would normally be a laborious affair, but my Kanohi Kakama took care of that. Despite my speed the surface felt flat and smooth, my feet able to grip as if solid earth instead of a porous, shifting substance.
I ran because I had no where else to go. At one time I ran for the thrill, for the sport, for the adventure. Kohlii was my life, my love, my one desire and ambition... selfish ambition. It was all about me and what I could achieve. She had changed all that.
Through her I found a new purpose. Through her I realized just how self-centered, how self-absorbent I was... and how to let go. How egotistic, prideful, and greedy I'd become... and how to give. That there was more to life than just Kohlii... there were people and feelings too. Winning was the only thing I desired... and then she replaced it.
I love you.
I fought back tears as I ran, gritting my teeth against the wind I generated, my fists clenched. I had found love, true love, someone to be with and care for, someone that superseded even my own personal dreams and desires. My world had become hers, and through that my eyes had been opened to something far greater, far grander than any stadium. I had found something worth fighting for, something that transcended even Duty. Something better than Destiny. Something that made Unity more than just a virtue. Something and someone that I could hold and cherish for centuries to come, a life and hope that I had been so ignorant to in my blindness.
And now in an instant all that had been ripped from me. So I ran, clinging to the one shred of hope, my iron determination and stubborn refusal to give up fueling my desperation. I, Joske Nimil, the fastest Toa on Mata-Nui, was afraid; afraid of being too slow. So I ran like I never ran before.
I ran to save the life of the one I loved.
My chest heaved as I come to a stop on the top of the stairwell, my body shuddering at the sudden change in momentum and direction. Ignoring the pain I turned left, my back to the Great Telescope, following the compulsion of the crystals to the small dais of statues that was up before me. It was as if I being controlled by another force, my actions on automatic as I strode the last several stairs to the top. Here I had the greatest sense of compulsion... and then nothing. I was released. The gems faded, and I was left standing amongst the statues.
To say it wasn't creepy would be a lie.
I was at the edge of the circular platform, before me the two greatest rocks of legends: the Makuta Stone, a shard of the blackest protodermis, menacing and angular, and the Mata-Nui Stone, a perfect tan oval, serene and welcoming. Surrounding these two rocks were six stones, long been assumed to represent the Toa Mata, come to awake the Great Spirit and defeat Makuta, all cast in a dark, shadowy hue. These eight rocks were the foundation of almost all our legends, our hopes, our dreams, stories in which the turaga would gather and tell, these stones the physical representation of those characters. But Mata-Nui was still asleep. The Toa Mata had failed. The Makuta still reigned. And here I was.
So much for the original legend.
Walking slowly I took the time to closely observe the statues, using my element to bring light to what I could not see, my eyes sharp and perceptive this things not normally seen. My diligence paid off as I spotted the discrepancy: these stones each had an empty slot in them. Upon further inspection I could make out the symbols of the Virtues and the various Kohlii Skills carved onto the face of the stones. Bending down I took a finger and scratched away the centuries of dirt and moss; yes, this was the place. Only if one had taken the time to gather the Charms and Crystals would he be able to understand the carvings. The Skills were consistent with the Virtue and Crystal they represented, further accented by the Toa that represented that Koro. It was here that the secret of the stones would be revealed, and its connection to Heuani and the Keeping place. One by one I placed the respective Crystals into the slots, one by one causing the stones to emit a bright glow. As I did so I thought and meditated over each one, remembering the lesson that each temple brought. What it took to gather each charm. The work, pain, and change required personally to complete this quest.
It was odd. After all the struggle, after all the self-searching, the sacrifice and tears, this was the easy part. Place and go. Put in and find out. It was almost anti-climatic. Then again, the journey to this point was incredible. Without the stones, the lessons learned, this part would be impossible, simple as that. There was no need for some final soul-searching. There was no need for a final lesson, or task, or even riddle. The task wasn't this - it was acquiring the crystals. It's not the mountaintop; it was the climb.
The climb I made with Cael.
As I placed the final Crystal in the corresponding slot, my thoughts consumed with my love, the entire dais glowed with infinite energy as the six toa statues shone brilliantly against the night. Arcs of power formed between each one, bouncing back and forth until a frenzied climax was reached, in which two bolts shot forth, one to the Makuta Stone, the other to the Mata-Nui Stone. The two shook violently as they were imbued with power, and I felt myself being lifted off the ground. In this moment a small slice of the universe was opened to me, a plethora of knowledge presented to my mind. The secret of the stones was not a singular purpose, but one of many, depending on the destiny of the bearer. I could have been granted great power, or ancient knowledge... but instead I was given another: transport. A gate. As the energies of the statues focused in on me, I found out one of the secrets: It would teleport me to Kini-Nui. But not to the temple - no, directly to the Keeping Place. A place where no mortal can normally go. A place that is hidden from view. A location that is well-protected and fortified from evil. A place that the only way through was to prove yourself worthy.
I was about to be teleported there, past the shield, past the defenses, from which I could open from the inside out.
I was about to accomplish the first part of my destiny.
If I wasn't so distraught over Cael, my heart would have leaped for joy.
There was a final flash of light, and in a burst of power I was gone, only a wisp of smoke to mark the trail of my passage.
OOC: back to Kini-Nui