Posted Mar 10 2012 - 09:05 PM
A roaring hiss echoed out through the jungle of Spherus Magna, followed by many more. The wind carried the serpentine calls for all to hear. But the forests were empty, villages too far away to hear the sounds. The only ones who could hear them were the creatures, the Rahi... and they knew not of what they heard, they knew not of the dark meaning held by the sounds. No one would hear the sounds, and because of this, there was no one to stop the sons of darkness.The legends about them still lived on, though the fear was gone. After Makuta had been defeat, killed in a mighty battle, they had faded from being a threat to a rare creature on the planet. They were not organized, they could not face a well prepared defense. They had been quickly killed off and the last of their kind were thought to be dead from mass extinction at the hands of the world's defenders.But in the darkest parts of the world, they had survived. Over time, the wise and clever stayed alive. No longer were weak Kraata alive on the planet. The lowest among them were stage six, and a rare few had gone beyond that point... Stage seven Kraata survived... but they lacked unity, they were as scattered as a broken piece of glass, their connection had fallen with the great Shadow of Makuta.But the sounds were not of a single Rahkshi, but dozens, maybe hundreds, They were unorganized, it was believed. That belief had been right for centuries... but now it was of little truth. The creatures were coming together, after centuries of separation. Only the smartest and luckiest had survived. Now they were together, and one Rahkshi, a single creature, was the reason. Because of his plans, it was thought that no Rahkshi would have to live in fear ever again.He had no name, only that of his kind. He was a Rahkshi of Fear, but it was not through fear that he had brought his brothers together, it was a plan, a twisted plan and a single promise, one that could seal the fate of an entire planet. He was going to bring the darkness upon Spherus Magna, and defy death itself.His brothers listened, heard what he had to say. And in the darkness, the creatures understood, and they knew what must be done. They were dying, living in fear of those who claimed themselves to be the heroes. Now it was time for the darkness to come alive, and give the Rahkshi a glorious world under its command. And then, the Rahkshi would truly live once more.~~~"Prepare, my brothers! Prepare, great children of the Glorious Makuta! For we will no longer face destruction, no longer shall we fear the Matoran and their Toa guardians! The lights shall be extinguished, and the sun will fear the darkness so greatly that it shall never shine again!" Came the voice of the Stage Seven Rahkshi of fear, as he stood upon a makeshift stage among ruins that were once part of a small village. "For now, our time of being oppressed is over! It is time for us to earn a place in this world for ourselves! For as long as any of us can remember, the light and its followers have hated our kind without mercy, and killed us just because we live!"A roaring cheer echoed out from the serpentine beings, and many staffs were raised to the air in support. Other staffs were slammed against the ground in applause. They were tired of living in fear, of being hunted down like Rahi. Even before, they had been hunted, hated. They had always been that way, even when the Makuta were not yet turning to darker ways. Rahkshi had become a name meaning little more than a monster, and often, was unjustified.They were loyal to Makuta, and he had lead them to what they hoped would be a new life, one free from hiding in fear from their foes, a chance to rise to power themselves, a sense of hope. That hope, that dream, that future... it had been shattered apart by the violence and ruthlessness of Mata Nui, who had been overthrown to give those forced into darkness the chance to have some time in the light. That time had not lasted long.The Rahkshi was not alone on the makeshift stage. In the far back were three cloaked beings standing silently, almost hauntingly. They seemed unnervingly calm among the cheers and roars of the serpents of Makuta. They remained like statues, to the point that not all of the Rahkshi were even certain they were alive."Now it is time for our master's return! The glory of Makuta shall be never ending, and his rule shall be great! But for him to come back to us among the living... we will need... sacrifices. These Three, they have crafted for us a glorious machine... it will return to us our father and leader! It will bring about a new age in the tomes of history, one that shall never end!" His staff pointed at the three as the audience went wild with applause. The Rahkshi stepped back, letting The Three walk up. They did so in what looked like perfect alignment, each one's steps matching the other two's exactly.The first of the three pulled back his hood, revealing himself to be a Vortixx, only something seemed a little off about him. His two eyes seemed as cold as ice, and he seemed to move as solid stone, not in the slightest. "The device can reform the Antidermis of a Makuta, should enough of it be placed inside. It will be able to bring back your leader.."The seconds stepped forward, pulling her hood back the same as the first. It was noticed that she was not a Vortixx, but a member of the same species as Guardian. She was as still as stone, like as the first. But about her, something seemed a little less cold, a bit more... unnerving. "But the device needs Antidermis from only the Makuta which it is wished to have reformed. Anything else will remove all chances of it working, and likely ruin the device itself."The last stepped up, removing his cloaked hood to reveal he was of a species many, if not all, of the Rahkshi had never seen before. Six eyes watched from above a fanged mouth, looking out at the crowd. "So you have been warned. The device is ready to begin its work now. Perhaps it would be wise to explain the way in which we shall find the Antidermis?" The Three stepped back, and calmly seemed to be speaking among themselves in a whisper so that the Rahkshi could speak.The Turahk stepped forward in front of his brothers once again, and then he started what he knew would be an unpleasant task. "The device can draw the Antidermis from our bodies, leaching it away to once again form into the pure form from which it has come. We can be returned to the greatness that is Makuta, but it will cost us our lives..."There was silence among the Rahkshi, a few hissing whispers to those near them, but no comments. It was eerily silent, and the fear powered being wondered if perhaps there would be no revival at all. "Those of you who wish to be part of this, line up before one of The Three, so that they can see if you were formed by our master... and then decide for yourselves which is more important... the life of Great Makuta, or your own.Slowly, they formed lines before The Three, each one running a separate line. The Three examined the Kraata of each Rahkshi, seemingly testing the qualities of the Antidermic forms. Before long, the three left the lines, returning back to the stage with a little over a dozen Rahkshi standing behind them. The first spoke. "We have chosen out those created by your leader, Teridax. And we have the needed number."Then, the second added in her own voice, saying what was next. "They shall be put into the machines and converted back into the dark energy of Antidermis. Please do not worry for them.""The screams will end swiftly, the pain is only momentary, and then it is over and they shall be no more." Finished the third, as they led their chosen towards the machine at the far back of the makeshift stage among the ruins."Do not fear for them, brothers, cheer their bold sacrifice in the name of the great one, our Magnificent Makuta!" The Turahk bellowed, followed again by the cheers of most of the crowd. "They shall become more than they ever were as a single being! They shall become a piece of the mighty one, part of the great future to which he will lead us!" It was clear to him that the Rahkshi were ready for their leader, and he could barely wait himself. The days of darkness were coming. Soon, things would change for the better.The Rahkshi were led inside, one by one. Their screams echoed out to the horror of those listening as their bodies were dissolved into shadowy energy. Many covered their audio receptors, and some even left the area to get away from the cries. To those standing in the line, awaiting their deaths, there was shown no horror, no sadness, no fear. They knew now what they were facing, and they accepted it with the braveness that could only come from sheer determination. And one by one, they were removed from their armored suits, and sent into the machine."It is done. The Antidermis is forming now." The second spoke, her eyes turning towards the last thing on the stage. It was a metal suit of armor, based upon the design of a Rahkshi. But it was far more, and far better. It stood at almost twice the height of a Toa, well above even a Rahkshi. Black barbs twisted back along its spine like the teeth of a murderous Rahi. Large talons were connected onto the fingers in a savage way. It was truly a set of armor that only a Makuta would be worthy of wearing."It is time..." The final spoke, stepping down off of the stage, leaving the second and first. The second followed, leaving only the first with the machine. He slowly opened the metal hull of the mechanical creation, letting a green-black mist sweep out and into the wind. The eyes of all Rahkshi were locked onto the twisting mass of Antidermis as it made its way to the empty metal hull.The once empty armor shifted slightly, and then it came to life. It took an unsteady step, followed by another. Then it appeared to test its arms. Makuta had returned to lead his Rahkshi towards victory and hope for a darker future where their suffering would be no more.The Turahk stepped before the Great Shadow, bowing before his master. Then he rose to speak. His voice was weak and he appeared to have trouble standing. It was years of hard work, and it had payed off in the end. He could barely believe it. The Kraata inside him almost reached the point of breaking out in tears of joy. "Great Father, you have returned to us, oh Wondrous and Glorious Makuta Teridax , Great Lord of the Shadows! We-"Then, the Great Shadow began to speak. "I think I see only one problem here. I was dead, but... I have returned to the living. That though, is not the problem I see. The problem is that I, am not... Teridax." He said the name with enough spite to show his hatred.The Turahk barely had time to move even a few inches before one of the metal claws sunk itself deep into his mechanical body, destroying mechanics with great violence. Then, he grabbed the outer shell, crushing the Kraata covering back like it was a piece of glass, and lifting out the startled and squirming Kraata. The panicked Turahk wailed and writhed, trying to get free from the ever tightening grip. Blackish liquid dripped from where the sharp tips of the claws dug into him, but there was no escape."I am not Terridax, insignificant worm. I am much, much more. My name is Makuta Kyrack, and it would be wise for all of you to learn it!: He roared, the last part being shouted out to the horrified crowd of Rahkshi, many of which were fleeing in fear. "Now little one, this... is what I think of your great Teridax." As much as the Kraata tried to flee, there was no escaping as the grip grew violently tighter.The Makuta wiped the slime from his claw, dropping to grotesque remains of what was once a Kraata. "Those of you who are brave enough to stay..." He spoke to the crowd. "You all shall have a place in this new world, under my control!" A few cheers, some weak, went out from the Rahkshi."My Three, I see that you have survived." He spoke, turning towards the robed beings, all of which bowed to the living shadow within the twisted metal frame. The Makuta was never intended to be anything but a worthless pawn in the games of others. Now it was his turn to play the controlling force."Yes, Great Kyrack... and we have much to tell you of this new world, for always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again. This time... that shadow will be you.""Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again." - From the Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "The Shadow of the Past"