Story of Pehkui Nui
A long time ago (though not the Time before Time, as that would be very hard to tell a decent story about) there was a particular small island somewhere in the Matoran Universe. This island was called Pehkui Nui (meaning Great Diminishment) for some reason. On that island lived a diverse group of Matoran, who were content with their long, peaceful lives, except for one thing. There was a legend that told of treasure hidden on the island, and everyone was curious about it. It was allegedly concealed in a large metal dome in the center of the island. The Matoran did not pay much attention to what went on in their lives, and so had no memory of how the dome came to be. After thousands of years, the Matoran finally got around to studying the dome, and found it said something about unlocking it with the Lost Stones. Unfortunately, whoever had marked it had had terrible handwriting, and also had not engraved the letters deep enough, so that the millennia had worn most of it away.
It was another few thousand years before six Matoran located the stones. In a remarkable coincidence (read: Destiny!) they each found one stone individually, one by one, all within the span of two days. They considered waiting a few years before finding what they were for, but all six of them felt impatient, and so that same day they all traveled to the middle of their little island and met each other at the dome. To their joy, the stones fit in six slots in the dome perfectly. To their dismay, the treasure was not riches or power. Well, actually it was power, as well as increased size, and everything else that went with being a Toa. Along with the great responsibility to protect the Matoran.
That is, they would have had that responsibility if there was anything to protect the Matoran from. The little half-kio by half-kio (0.425 mile/0.685 km by 0.425 mile/0.685 km) island had no enemies on it to threaten the Matoran. That was Destined to one day change, or else their lives would tell a much less interesting story. The Toa and Matoran lived in peace for some more millennia, until one day disaster struck. In a horrible earthquake, every hut on the island was flattened. Luckily no one was hurt, but everyone was frustrated, especially the Matoran who had been working on a five-story tall house of cards, and afraid, for they had never suffered such a devastating quake before. Blame was quickly placed upon the strong metal shoulders of the Toa, as they were the only ones on the island with supernatural powers (that card house was the product of simple hard work!), and again, the Matoran had never experienced such a disaster before.
The fact that none of the six Toa were Toa of Earth did not matter to the Matoran. They banished the Toa to the other side of the island, and the Toa were kind enough to oblige and not slaughter them all for their impudence. They did not know much about being Toa, but were pretty sure Toa were not supposed to do such things. Their exile was a great hardship, as they were restricted to a 100 square bio area (do the conversion yourself if you want) and even this seemed rather pointless, as the island was so small the Matoran would still see them almost every day. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for them, this would not last forever. Before getting to what happens next, however, proper introductions for the Toa are very overdue. So...
The leader of the team, by virtue of “I call being leader!”, was a Toa of Gravity named Vallend. His second of command, naturally by virtue of “Hey, that's not fair!”, was a Toa of Fire named Brandend. The other four were Risweel, Toa of Iron, Wiidi, Toa of the Green, Shrinnc, Toa of Psionics, and Alternator, Toa of Magnetism. There were no weapons on Pehkui Nui, but the Toa had been carrying common tools with them when they were transformed from Matoran, which had transformed with them. And so, Vallend wielded a mighty Gravity Fishing Rod, Brandend wielded a Flaming Torch, Risweel wielded an Iron Hammer (he was the lucky one), Wiidi wielded a Plant Rake, Shrinnc wielded a Mental Writing Chisel, and Alternator wielded a large and unfortunately-redundant Magnetism Magnet. Of course they wore Great Kanohi too, but none of them had disciplined their minds enough to activate them.
Their exile would not last long, for important things were happening in the universe around them, especially in the Universe contained within Mata Nui's body. The things happening there were especially important to them. The earthquake they had felt was of course the Great Cataclysm, and in the wake of the Cataclysm war erupted between the Dark Hunters and the Brotherhood of Makuta, and many Makuta made sudden grabs for power. One of these Makuta was the Makuta in charge of the region that included Pehkui Nui. His name was Vilanix, and he was affectionately called Villie by those who knew him, though he hated the nickname. He terrorized the land under his control, except one little place that escaped his notice for centuries: Pehkui Nui. Six hundred and eighty seven years, three months, a week, and two days after the Cataclysm, he noticed the little speck on his map and the tiny text that labeled it.
“Oh dear,” Vilanix said to himself. “I've left those poor fellows out. I must make myself known to them, and make sure they know I mean business.”
Over the next decade, the Makuta formulated a plan. First, he considered sending enslaved Rahi against the inhabitants, but decided it would be too easy to stop that by removing their infected masks. Next, he tried to find out if there was an ancient horde slumbering under the island that he could awaken. To his frustration, he found nothing on the subject. Finally, he decided to just send Rahkshi against them. Nothing said “there's a Makuta around and he means business” than unleashing Rahkshi. Conveniently, there was a pool of Energized Protodermis in Vilanix's lair. He knew there were five Toa (poor Wiidi had since died of exposure), and so he picked up five Kraata and hurled them into the pool.
“Darn!” he said as the slimy creatures plopped into the pool.
He had realized too late that he had not selected Kraata, but rather the five specimens of Rahi slug he had been perfecting. As they were not Kraata at all, what came out of the pool was anything but Rahkshi. Three of the slugs were instantly destroyed by the liquid, as they were not Destined to transform. The other two were mutated in unforeseeable (unless you have foresight) ways by the mysterious liquid. One of them became an enormous, monstrous slug-beast that cracked the ceiling of Vilanix's chamber. The other became a small, pretty butterfly Rahi that had the wondrous power to grant a wish to anyone that performed a deed of kindness to it. The giant slug was the first to be kind to it, by allowing it to perch on its massive mantle, and so a few seconds later the slug was teleported into its own personal giant slug paradise. Vilanix shrugged and blasted the remaining hideous mutant into oblivion before it could make a mess of his lab.
Then he went and got some actual Kraata, a whole pile this time, and tossed them in. He cackled as the Kraata died and were transformed into empty suits of Rahkshi armor. Still cackling, he left the room and reentered with another pile of Kraata, for piloting the machines. As gaseous beings, Makuta did not need to breathe, so he was able to continue cackling as the Kraata slithered into the Rahkshi and activated them. Then he stopped, considered for a moment, and spoke as poetically as he could.
“Ah, a Rahkshi of Plasma. Yes, Plasma will burn and melt away... their, um, what were the Three Virtues? Ah yes, Plasma shall burn away their Truth, Stasis Field will... put their Justice in stasis, and Cyclone will blow them away from the Matoran Way... wait, that's not it.”
He began again, starting with another set of Rahkshi.
“Accuracy shall strike down their Unity, Molecular Disruption shall... disrupt... the molecules... of their Duty, and Ice Resistance shall, um, resist ice at their Destiny. But there are more virtues than that. What about Patience? Ah, Elasticity shall... stretch – I guess – their Patience, Sonics shall be loud... at their Kindness, Teleportation shall... teleport away their Cleanliness, Quick Healing shall... quickly heal at their... Chastity. Wait, that one doesn't make any sense in this setting. Forget that one. Now, Adaptation shall adapt to counter their Honesty, Electricity shall zap their Mercy, Mind Reading shall...”
He went on in this manner for quite a while. Finally, he decided that he should stick to five Rahkshi, for five Toa. It was only fair. He thought for a while about which five were the best to send, then decided to pick at random.
“Wazzy, wizzy, lazzy, zeel,” he chanted. “Catch a Muaka by the wheel...”
The five Toa sat miserably that day. It was a gray day, maybe rainy, but probably not, because it probably doesn't officially rain in the Matoran Universe. Regardless, it was cold, and a miserable day to be confined to a small section of land without any decent shelter. Risweel had tried many times to make them a shack of metal, but he was no good at building. Before he had died, Wiidi had attempted the same thing with plants, but they were obviously not enough. None of the Toa were any good at controlling their element anyway, although they practiced on each other once in a while. In fact, in addition to the exposure to the elements (meaning weather), exposure to the Toa elements in training sessions had also played a part in Wiidi's death.
As for the cold, Brandend had tried to keep himself and the others warm, but he was no better at controlling his element than the others. After nearly burning to death, the five of them agreed it was better to endure the dank day. For once, however, they had more to worry about than their own incompetence and unpleasant weather. For they heard screams, and could see five creatures smashing the island's huts. They waited for a Matoran to run past and suspend their exile, then they went to save the day. They came to the center of the village and faced their foes. They did not know why, but they could remember what these monsters were.
They were called Protocairns. There was much devastation, but soon the Protocairn invasion was over, despite the fact that the Toa had utterly failed to stop them. For the Protocairns had a peculiar life cycle in which they would drop dead soon after attacking an island, and fuse together into a new landmass, conveniently patching the damage they had done to the landscape. With the invading creatures conveniently self-disposed of, the Toa's exile was officially ended, and they were allowed to roam the entire island. The next day was pleasant and warm in contrast to the last, but this day would also be interrupted by an attack.
Wiidi's grave was a shallow one, and his corpse was starting to become uncovered and stink up the island. The Toa were just discussing how he had been dead for almost two centuries and was due for a proper grave when that next attack came. This time it was actually the Rahkshi. Vilanix had ended up sending a Rahkshi of Limited Invulnerability, a Rahkshi of Fire Resistance, a Rahkshi of Illusion, a Rahkshi of Mind Reading, and a Rahkshi of Power Scream. As soon as the Rahkshi came to the island, and smashed up their hut, the Toa knew they were Destined to do battle with these invaders. The Matoran saw the teams of five each face each other and hoped with all their heartlights that Rahkshi also died after invading.
The Rahkshi made the first move, with the Rahkshi of Mind Reading reading the Toa's minds. It determined that the Toa were planning to attack, and the five Rahkshi adopted a defensive stance. The Toa countered, Brandend choosing at random to attack the aquamarine-colored one. Unfortunately for him, that was the Rahkshi of Fire Resistance, and he spent much of the battle trying in vain to burn it or melt it until it was defeated. Shrinnc attempted to assail the minds of the Rahkshi, but recoiled when her mental powers revealed that they were controlled by disgusting slug-like creatures. Risweel charged and attacked the Rahkshi of Limited Invulnerability with his hammer. Its invulnerability was limited, but enough to protect it from his clumsy attacks. Then the Rahkshi of Illusion created an illusion of a hundred Rahkshi, and the Toa panicked.
“We need to get out of here!” cried Vallend. “We'll fly!”
The Toa of Gravity used his powers to negate the effects of gravity on himself and his team. However, that did not grant them the ability to fly, instead they merely floated helplessly. Vallend realized this and stopped applying his power, causing them to fall to the ground. Luckily for the Toa, Vilanix had always been too lazy to properly devote himself to creating and caring for Kraata, so these ones and the Rahkshi they controlled were the weakest, most pathetic of all Kraata and Rahkshi. Had any other Makuta's Rahkshi been sent, the Toa and Matoran would have been dead in seconds. These Rahkshi only whacked the Toa feebly with their staffs, failing to prevent them from standing up and attempting to battle again. The Illusion Rahkshi had forgotten about its illusion and let it fade.
The Rahkshi of Power Scream decided to end this. It let out its mightiest roar, which knocked the Toa over and was loud enough to nearly deafen everyone on the island. Toa and Matoran alike rose up and demolished that horrible mechanical creature before it could utter another dreadful sound. With one of the Rahkshi now destroyed, the Toa were winning. That would probably not last for long. Alternator made his move then, planning to use magnetism to fuse the Rahkshi into a helpless ball, or even crush them utterly. However, he accidentally included Risweel in his attack, and caused the magnetic force to pull them all to him. At the same moment, Risweel conjured a large block of metal to smash his opponent with. Alternator ended up crushed beneath three of the Rahkshi, Risweel, and Risweel's block of metal.
Vallend and Shrinnc screamed Alternator's name and attempted to free him from the pile. With his powers over gravity and her telekinesis, they lifted the tangled Rahkshi, the Toa of Iron, and the metal block. Then they lost their mental focus and dropped the pile, causing Risweel to be smashed by his own summoned block. They tried again, and messed up again. Crushed three times, Alternator was now quite dead, and Risweel would soon follow if they did not change tactics. Vallend and Shrinnc decided to let it be, and Risweel and the Rahkshi got up by themselves. Risweel was quite angry now, and in his anger he shot metal spikes all around him. One of these punctured Brandend's foot and another pierced the head of the Rahkshi of Mind Reading, killing the Kraata within. The Toa now had one of their number down, but were in the lead again.
Brandend swore in pain and lashed out wildly with his arms and unpinned foot. The Rahkshi of Fire Resistance was struck hard and staggered back. Brandend realized at that moment that his opponent was vulnerable to any attack other than fire, and attempted to hit it again. But the Rahkshi had backed away out of his reach, and he was stuck where he was with the spike in his foot. He instead pivoted on the spike and released a blast of fire at the Rahkshi of Illusion, or so he thought. That Rahkshi had remembered what it was supposed to do, and had used is power to swap appearances with Risweel. Brandend did not notice the cries of a Toa, normally quite distinctive from those of a Rahkshi, and kept attacking. Then Vallend noticed what he thought was Risweel just standing around in the middle of a fight and smacked 'him' for that.
That broke the Rahkshi's concentration, and that illusion vanished. Brandend discovered he was burning Risweel, but continued to in revenge for having his foot impaled. Just then he ran out of elemental energy, as he had of course wasted most of it against the Rahkshi of Fire Resistance. Out of power and pinned in place, he was effectively out of the fight. He was even more pinned when Vallend crushed the Rahkshi of Fire Resistance to the ground, of course accidentally crushing Brandend to the ground too. Meanwhile Shrinnc was combating her fear of slimy things and the Rahkshi as she unleashed a mental assault against the Rahkshi of Illusion. The Kraata of Illusion was befuddled by her attack, and created a series of bizarre apparitions at random.
Shrinnc found herself in battle with a Ghekula, a pile of coconuts, giant, upside-down copies of herself, and other bizarre things the Kraata's addled mind conjured. Then she found herself surrounded by fish. As one who had been exiled and forced to eat nothing but slimy fish (and was not a Ga-Matoran) for over six hundred years, her reaction to that was quite strong. A terrific mental blast nearly knocked everyone on the island unconscious. The Rahkshi of Illusion was knocked out, and as the illusion faded, Shrinnc ran to the machine in a rage and viciously dismantled it with her Mental Writing Chisel. The battered Kraata slithered out weakly, and she screamed in disgust and stomped it flat. Meanwhile, the other Toa had destroyed the Rahkshi of Fire Resistance and only knocked one of their number, Vallend, out in the process. The battle was nearly won, but the Rahkshi of Limited Invulnerability would not go down quickly.
On the other hand, its attacks were equally ineffective. After a few hours of fighting too pathetic to be worth describing in detail, it was destroyed. The battle was over, but it was not a happy ending. The team had lost another, though at least this one had the dignity of dying in battle, if being accidentally crushed to death by himself and his incompetent teammates could be a death with any dignity. Shrinnc and Risweel woke Vallend and pulled the spike out of Brandend's foot. After a brief scuffle about the friendly fire that had occurred, the Toa gathered around Alternator's corpse to mourn. Then they decided to bury him, and properly this time, for the smell would be an issue here at the center of the village. Just then, a strange small insect Rahi fluttered by.
“That's a pretty butterfly,” commented Vallend.
“I guess it is,” said Shrinnc.
Just then, Alternator got up, suddenly alive. The Toa rejoiced, for they were heartlight-broken at his death. Not Wiidi's, however. They did not really care for him. And this wondrous resurrection had been born of Vallend's subconscious wish. For the insect that the Toa had showed kindness to by complimenting offhandedly was none other than the accidentally-transformed experimental slug, whose mysterious powers had saved it from Vilanix's thoughtless attempt to destroy it. Unfortunately for those who wished to take advantage of its enormous potential, this was the end of the butterfly's natural lifespan, and it fell to the ground and died. So don't go looking for it. You'll be wasting your time, seriously. And speaking of Makuta Vilanix, he found out about the failure of his Rahkshi, but decided the tiny island wasn't worth the effort. He went back to gleefully terrorizing his subjects, and so everyone had a happy ending. Or so it seemed (ignoring the terrorized subjects).
The giant, mutant slug lounged happily. It feasted on giant plants grown by its loyal Matoran servants and was surrounded by beautiful/handsome fellow giant slugs (slugs are both male and female). Wait, it was a Rahi. Forget that part. Anyway, its happiness sadly came to an end. For Shrinnc had complimented the butterfly too, and as you should recall, she hated slimy creatures. The slug and all its slug-friends in their slug-paradise died that day, for later wishes overrode earlier ones. And so, this story ends on a bittersweet note.
Edited by The Iron Toa, Apr 09 2012 - 01:51 AM.