Welcome to Endless Blue, the first epic in the “Rulers of the Sea” Saga (second of three) in the Bionicle Paracosmos, an Adventure Mystery fanfic series. As always and especially here, no need to read past stories – just jump right in! If you want the full experience, see the new Tapestry of Time Collection.
EB focuses on Bhukasa, a reptilian sea explorer, during Bohrok 02 story, as well as Toa Lewa, Hujo the Solver of Mysteries, and several other side-threads, including one so mysterious you’ll have to read to find out.
Many winners from the Blue MOCs contest and other Bones Blog contests are included in this story.
"NOW!" Bhukasa shouted. “Get everything onboard!”
The white reptilian being stood at the wheel of his wooden sailing boat, overseeing boarding and loading of supplies. He had a lizardlike head, a tail, and in place of hands he had scissorlike claws.
There was almost no time.
He had to get to the one island they knew was out there, beyond the golden beaches of Mata Nui.
It had been discovered yesterday after two Toa were taken there by evil beings and escaped. Though its people were small, they were powerful – and there was a chance, however slim, of an alliance. All he had to do was sail due east.
But right in between the two islands was a massive fleet of hostile ships.
The fleet was sailing right towards Mata Nui.
Bhukasa knew his only chance of getting to Kriitunga Island without being seen was to leave NOW, and angle north, out of the fleet's line of sight. South wasn’t an option – five scout ships had gone to Le-Wahi already. He’d be spotted for sure.
And he didn't have hours. Maybe not even minutes.
Thankfully, everybody who was coming had boarded. Time to go.
“Cut us loose, Twayzivl!” he shouted to a small being with razor-sharp claws. “We leave now, or the Kuambu will see us.” For that was the name of this new enemy, according to a secretive shapeshifter ally – and that’s about all the Kuambu let outsiders know.
The small being named Twayzivl did so.
With a cone-like forward-aimed head, huge silver claws compared to his tiny body, and a prehensile tail, the mutant Kriitunga hopped from rope to rope on the dock, slicing through them. Bhukasa hated to lose the extra rope, but this was an emergency.
As soon as Twayzivl hopped back on board, Bhukasa turned the wheel hard, and shouted, “Open the sails!”
Toa Gali, who was closest, unwrapped a rope from a metal handle, and let go. She and Pohatu were the two Toa who had discovered Kriitunga Island, and had vowed to return.
The big white square sail on the front mast fell and immediately filled up with wind from the southwest.
Also on the deck were some Tohunga villagers – or Matoran as they had now started calling themselves – and the strange Haze Glow Beasts.
These orange-glowing, white and black titans with wings were standing in place and moving their limbs in graceful, but agitated motions. They too were mutated Kriitunga – their island was known, it seemed, for its miles upon miles of mutagenic sands – and they had powerful senses. They could tell the Kuambu were almost here, even if the ships hadn’t quite appeared on the horizon yet.
They’d been getting more and more agitated with every second that passed.
Bhukasa carefully guided the ship away from the floating village, and soon reached the open water.
He waved back at Toa Lewa on the shore. “Thanks for the wind!”
The green Toa grinned and waved back.
The natural wind was actually coming from the west, right towards the enemy fleet, so Lewa had agreed to change the wind right here long enough to get them out to safety. After sailing far enough northeast that the Kuambu wouldn’t spot them, Bhukasa would turn east.
He steered with the rudder to keep them from hitting the northern side of the bay.
Once clear of it, the wind increased. Gali then created a strong water current to speed the boat up.
Bhukasa stepped away from the wheel, motioning for Maku to take over. “Stay on a northeast heading until I come back up – I’m gonna inspect our supplies.”
If anything had been forgotten, it was too late to go back, but he at least wanted to know about it. Or at least, he could get away the Haze Glow Beasts. They were now wailing, acting like the world was ending.
Bhukasa walked down stairs from the raised helm deck at the stern of the ship, to the main deck, then entered double wooden doors under the helm deck.
Here there was a single Gukko bird tied up, with two Le-Matoran tending to it. He nodded at them, and continued down another stairway. He climbed down past the quarters deck, to the storage deck. This level also doubled as an oar deck.
Truth be told, there was a lot more behind Bhukasa’s decision to embark on this journey.
He had explored the Endless Ocean before. He had lived on Mata Nui for three hundred years, then sailed away -- he’d wanted to know if it was truly endless. Or so the Turaga told him. Just a few days ago, he’d come back, with this very boat…
But without any memory of what he had done or where he had gone. Without any memory at all.
All of that exploring… Pointless. Unless I can get my memories back…
Somehow, Kriitunga Island sounded familiar. The Turaga had told him he’d sailed due east seven hundred years ago. Maybe by going there, his memory would be triggered.
Because the Kuambu sounded familiar too.
And there was more, he thought as he opened wooden boxes and barrels, checking the food, ammunition, and other supplies. But he didn’t finish the thought. It made him far, far too sad, even if it was just something the Turaga had told him he once knew…
Why am I doing this? he asked himself.
He was broken. An empty mind. An empty heart. The loneliest person in the world, yet surrounded by friends. He should stay on Mata Nui. Help them defend against this new enemy, and against the Bohrok.
Instead he was chasing memories.
He stopped in front of a black metal hatch.
It led to the lowest level of the boat. What was down there, he wondered? It didn’t fit the style of the rest of the boat. But none of them had been able to open it.
And… just looking at it made him feel dizzy, like faint whispers of terror… It made him feel even more lonely… He couldn’t make sense of the feelings.
But then he was rescued from his thoughts by loud shrieks.
Bhukasa ran back up.
As soon as he emerged from the wooden door to the top deck, he saw it was the Haze Glow Beasts. They were pointed due east now, flapping their small wings and waving their arms in dismay, making the radiating orange energy from those limbs look like wisps of flames.
“Ship! One! Not with fleet!” their leader said. His voice was jarringly quiet and wavery compared to the shrieks and wails – no doubt a side effect of their mutation that had made them more beastlike.
Bhukasa glanced east, but saw nothing.
Glanced at the wheel. Maku was steering them due north.
Toa Pohatu spoke into the air. “Toa Lewa, can you hear me?” The brown Toa had switched to a mask with a huge bowl-like speakerphone shape over the mouth area – a mask of Telecommunication.
“Hearclear!” Lewa’s singsong voice replied. “Troublefind?”
“Make the wind go due north, now!” Pohatu said. “The Haze Glow Beasts say we’ve got a single ship north of the fleet coming right at us!”
“It’s a combing pattern of sailing!” Maku exclaimed. “Our fisherboats sometimes drag nets in a pattern like this. Round the fish up and corner them – best way to catch them – but we’re the fish this time!”
Bhukasa ran up to a Ta-Matoran named Takua, and grabbed the spyglass device he was using. He looked through it, but didn’t see anything to the east.
“Not seen. Yet,” another Haze Glow Beast told him. “Sensed. Close.”
“How much time do we have?” he asked the beasts, as he climbed the steps to the helm deck and took the wheel from Maku.
“Minute. Seconds. Unsure.”
Bhukasa scowled. “Gali, Pohatu, get the water and wind heading northwest!” He tilted the rudder. “We need to head the same direction as them a bit while still dodging north.”
He saw the water shift at Gali’s command, and a moment later, felt the wind change.
“Take it again,” he said to Maku, who took the wheel.
He went to the railing of the helm deck, and looked through the spyglass. Saw nothing.
Then he looked up to the top of the mast. Sure enough, there was a crow’s nest he hadn’t really noticed before.
Bhukasa held a hand out to Takua. “Energy pack. Now.”
Takua blinked for a second, then handed Bhukasa the backpack device. Bhukasa quickly slung it over his back, and focused on the telescope. It flashed with light and disappeared – converted into energy and stored in the pack. Because the glass might break if he tried to just hold it for this…
The reptilian biped crouched low, then called on his powerful leg muscles, and leaped up in the air.
Some of the beasts and Matoran gasped with surprise as he launched himself up thirty feet into the air. But for him it was nothing.
Caught the rope ladder just beneath the crow’s nest, by tilting his closed scissorclaws in like a hook – pinching the rope with them would cut it.
Awkwardly climbed up the rest of the way as fast as he could.
With his hand outstretched, the telescope materialized in his hand with another flash, unharmed. He put it to an eye and scanned the horizon carefully.
He saw the very tip of a mast, slowly easing into view over the horizon.
“DUE WEST NOW!” he shouted down to the Toa and Maku. “Haze Glow Beasts, down to the oar deck! Your glow is too easy to spot, and I need you to get the oars out NOW. Paddle with all your might. Somebody show them the oars,” he added to the many Ga-Matoran on deck, who were more familiar with his ship than he was.
He lost his balance as the ship lurched to the left again. Hooked a rope. Didn’t fall.
The rope went up to a red triangle flag, halfway up the thin pole reaching out the top of the mast. Too easy to see.
Bhukasa waited till the boat stopped turning, and gave a quick leap. Sliced the flag off with his left scissorclaws.
As the flag flitted down to the water, Bhukasa turned the telescope to the southwest. There was the northern tip of Po-Wahi.
Good, we’re clear of Mata Nui, at least.
Looked back to the east. Took him a moment, but he found the mast again, now with a red triangle flag flapping.
He thought he saw the very top of a head.
Looked up at the sky. Dark clouds.
“GALI!” he practically screamed. “Rain! NOW!”
He looked down, and saw the oars working furiously. Looked east.
Clearly saw a head. Of a… Ga-Matoran? Were the Kuambu Matoran?
No, he decided, noting that the Matoran had a spyglass too, but wasn’t looking here yet. Probably some kind of mercenary or slave. The Kuambu went to such lengths to keep their appearance a secret, it made sense they’d save this highly visible job for another species.
After what felt like a month to Bhukasa, as the Matoran’s spyglass turned slowly closer and closer, rain started falling.
Bhukasa held his breath as the rain slowly built up strength – but the Matoran was already looking right at him.
She – assuming the Ga-Matoran was a she, although they could rarely be male – put the spyglass down, and appeared to call down to other beings on the ship’s deck. Then she put the telescope back up and held it, right at Bhukasa.
She waved, just before the rain obscured his sight.
Bhukasa put his telescope down, exhaling explosively. She saw me and let me know it.
Was there a chance this was NOT a Kuambu ship?
But no, how could that be? It was too obviously a combing pattern with the fleet. Anything else would be too big a coincidence. No, he’d stick to the slave or mercenary theory. Slave would explain her wave, which didn’t seem unfriendly… but then how else could it seem, through the veil of starting rain?
“They’ve seen us!” he called down to the others. “We need to change direction again to confuse them. Due north!” He started to climb down, not wanting to risk a jump while the ship was lurching to the right.
Gali spoke as soon as he reached the deck. “I can’t keep up this rain and the current at the same time for long. I’m losing elemental energy fast.”
Bhukasa nodded. “Focus on the rain only.”
He climbed the ladder to the helm deck. Handed the energy pack and telescope back to Takua.
Then he faced the mapmaker, a Po-Matoran named Ruugon, and the Ga-Matoran handling navigation, Nireta, as well as the other Matoran helping them. “Are you all keeping up with course mapping? I know I’ve been changing things fast.”
“We’re managing,” Ruugon said. “But our speed measurer was thrown off by Gali’s currents.”
He was referring to a small waterwheel device on a long pole one of the Matoran was holding on the water’s surface behind the boat, to count its revolutions. A rope secured the pole to the railing.
“We’re just now resetting our start point based on our last sighting of Mata Nui to the south, now that Gali’s not doing that. I’d like to request no more unnatural currents from now on if you want to reach Kriitunga Island – our planned route was convoluted enough; this route takes the Fauii Cake.”
“I can’t promise that,” Bhukasa answered. “Besides, the Toa and mutant Kriitunga all say it’s a big island, hard to miss.” He hesitated. “But… I won’t ask for a current unless we have no choice.”
“Good enough,” the Po-Matoran said.
Bhukasa was going to give another order, when he heard a strange sound, and forgot whatever he was going to say.
It was a little like thunder, but instead of a loud crack or a rolling rumble, it was a single whump followed by a faint splash. The whoomp had enough energy in it to visibly shake the falling raindrops and hit the sails like a drum, making another sound; a cloth rustle mixed with rope stretching.
It sounded close.
“Everybody quiet,” he said.
“Did you see a purple flash of light?” another of the Matoran whispered. This was Taureko, a Ko-Matoran translator of a different type of Matoran from the others. He was larger, and had a complex history and much knowledge of the larger world beyond Mata Nui.
“I did,” Takua said.
“That’s the exact same color of a teleportation power the Brotherhood of Makuta use to move their base island,” Taureko said. “I was enslaved there for a long time. The sound could be the air expanding as an object appeared.”
“An object like a boat,” Bhukasa said. It wasn’t a question. He focused on listening, ignoring the little tidbit about a brotherhood of Makuta for now....
All he heard was the oars.
“Tell them to stop rowing for now,” he said to Pohatu. “But stay ready. ”
The Toa of Stone nodded and went below deck.
Flash of light.
A blue globe of energy sailed through the air from behind them.
It hit a rope, and blue energy flashed up and down the rope, which snapped in two with a whiplike sound. The square sail’s lower right corner broke loose and flapped loosely in the wind, leaving only half the sail to catch wind.
Then Bhukasa saw it.
A faint outline of a ship with sails, through the rain.
Twazivl tapped his leg. Bhukasa faced him.
The diminutive being’s birdlike head was shaking from fear.
“Kuambu,” he whispered.
What Has Gone Before
Six Toa recently arrived on the island of Mata Nui, to face a threat familiar to readers of these tales, for it was the way of events in the original Bionicle Cosmos.
But this was the Bionicle Paracosmos, a corrupted, expanded parallel dimension. Rahi, infected faster. A Matoran, questing for a Blue Fire Staff. A reptilian sea captain with no memories. Too many domes underground. Secretive shapeshifters called Unknown, lurking in darkness but claiming allegiance to the light. And a hidden enemy helping Makuta Teridax behind the scenes.
Now that first Saga in the tale of the Paracosmos has drawn to a close.
The hidden enemy -- the Rahunga, Tohunga who used the hateful mutagen rahudermis -- was revealed, defeated, and even betrayed by its own leader, Rathoa. He let the Toa apparently kill Makuta Teridax, then he unleashed the Bohrok swarms, as well as the Ghomboka, fellow servants with Rathoa of the evil Third Faction.
They triggered a deadly series of events on the dark Twisted Island. Before the end of that struggle, two of the Toa, Pohatu and Gali, were taken to the Ghomboka’s island of origin, Kriitunga Island, and later escaped. Meanwhile, Rathoa transformed himself into a Makuta and set out to take over the Brotherhood according to their laws, believing Teridax to be dead.
But Makuta Icarax claimed that Teridax was not really dead, and the Toa managed to defeat the Ghomboka, so both attempted power grabs failed.
It was at this time that one of the deepest mysteries of the Paracosmos was solved.
For the Paracosmos should not exist. It was spawned long ago by a Ga-Matoran scientist named Caroha, a shy inhabitant of the Cosmos whom its history has long forgotten. What Event could do such a thing?
Why, merely the innocent touching of a harmless blue liquid.
This chronoserum yanked her into the interdimensional void, copied much from the Cosmos, and drew from her dreams… and her nightmares… for the rest. As ruler of the cryptic “Unknown” people, she kept balance between the Three Factions, until the Ghomboka used chronoserum to make Twisted Island. Beasts, mutant Kriitunga, Toa – and Unknown – were trapped there for a time as the Ghomboka and Rathoa made their power plays.
This offset the balance of power in the outside world, and alerted a new enemy to the existence of Mata Nui Island. The Rulers of the Sea. The enemies of the second of three Sagas in the tale of the Paracosmos.
Caroha's worst nightmare come true.
Their shape unknown, their goals hidden, their true powers secret… yet their name proudly trumpeted for all the world to know.
They are the Kuambu.
They are coming.
Edited by bonesiii, Apr 16 2012 - 01:43 AM.