A story about being alone, confused and cold. In space.
Written by Katuko.
It was dark. Everything was dark. Well, not everything. There were a couple of flashing lights inside the strange creature's head, but it was certain that came from... whatever had made it black out in the first place. It opened its eyes. Well, "open" may be the wrong word, given their mechanical nature. As they flickered back to life, however, they began glowing a deep red.
On, open, glowing... it's the same thing in the end, thought the creature.
Its thought processes paused momentarily as various signals pulsed throughout its body, relaying information back to the brain. The news were not good.
Shell damage extensive, but not immediately dangerous. Major damage to rear section: back, neck, head and leg joints. Minor damage to arms, hands, hand shields and facial armor. Krana cockpit secure. Stored air: 0%. Nearby sources of air: 0%.
The Bohrok frowned as much as a machine could possibly do, which wasn't much. As it processed the last few words, its mind suddenly jolted back to full awareness.
No air? Oh, you got to be kidding me.
It looked around, suddenly aware that everything was still black except a few lights here and there. It's weightless nature was now painfully obvious.
I'm in friggin' space. Nuhvok-Kal should have seen me now. That guy has a sick obsession with placing things in orbit.
Lehvak-Kal twisted his head, trying to locate his home, the island of Mata Nui. Unfortunately for him, the island was nowhere to be seen. In fact, the planet itself was nowhere to be seen. He tried to groan in frustration, but no sound came out.
Oh, right. Space.
With nothing else to do, he tried moving an arm. The limb shuddered a bit, but did not have any problems with operating as it should. Still, the outer armor looked battered and scorched, and the large, claw-like shields attached to the hands were slightly bent.
Son of a Rahkshi, I look terrible. Wish I had a mirror... my back's probably even worse.
A few minutes later, after checking all his limbs and other systems, Lehvak-Kal was bored. Really bored. So bored, in fact, that he couldn't come up with anything else to think about than how bored he was. Luckily, after getting bored about thinking about how bored he was – and briefly considering going clinically insane just to spice things up – something drifted into view. Something red.
What... is that? he thought.
The Bohrok tried moving his body towards the thing, but without any means of propulsion that proved impossible. Lehvak-Kal was left swimming in the vacuum, getting increasingly frustrated. He looked at his hand shields.
Yeah, you guys were terribly useful... you stupid pieces of scrap. 'Vacuum Shields', hah! You suck. Like, literally suck, because you are vacuu—ohforgetit. You're useless. Always needs to take in air before blowing it out again. Yeah, that worked real well, didn't it?
Lehvak-Kal flailed around, desperately trying to move himself, but in space there was nothing he could do. He kept complaining in his mind.
I swear, everyone else got cool stuff like super-hot plasma and magnetism and lightning, but I? I get vacuum. Not even air, just vacuum. I got the awesome power of controlling nothing! Friggin' Bahrag, they had it coming... And even when I finally got enough power to do some damage with these shields, they ended up blowing me through three miles of rock and into space. Thank the Great Beings they didn't give my body any way of feeling pain...
The red object had gotten closer now. Lehvak-Kal wasn't sure if it was moving towards him or if it was he who was still going forwards from him little mishap back on Mata Nui, but in any case he estimated that it wouldn't take him more than a few minutes to reach it. As minutes became hours, however, Lehvak-Kal got bored again. Whatever the red thing was it was obvious that he was on a collision course with it, but apparently he would rust away before he got that far. For the twenty-first time in twice as many minutes, he aimed his shields at his feet and set the triggers to "blow" before activating their power. And for the twenty-first time in the same amount of attempts, nothing happened. He cursed. Again.
Even as time passed, Lehvak-Kal's sense of time never failed, and he never lost count of his number of attempts to make his shields work. He was a robot, after all, and even though his "brain" was organic, his personality and way of thinking was hardwired into the body itself, along with several system instruments. Among them was a calculator, and a clock. He knew its way of dividing the day into hours was most likely irrelevant in the middle of deep space, but at least he knew how much time had passed. Lehvak-Kal knew he had blacked out some time after his organics got shaken up from the first three or four impacts on the rough way from the island's underground tunnels and up. He distinctly remembered seeing a bright flash of white with a black silhouette in the middle before he fainted. The Bohrok now realized that what he had seen was the snow on the top of the island's highest mountain, with the silhouette being himself – or rather, the hole he had made. The last recorded time before blackout was 14:10. The last system check happened at 14:42.
Lehvak-Kal was confused. I was out for barely half an hour, he thought. I can't possibly have left the planet behind in that time.
He shook his head.
Maybe Nuhvok-Kal made it collapse in on itself or something. You never know what gravity can do when turned up to eleven.
1356, said the calculator.
One thousand three hundred and fifty-six, muttered Lehvak-Kal to himself, despite the all-encompassing silence of space.
He pointed his shields at his feet again.
One thousand three hundred and fifty-seven.
The red object had definitely grown larger, but it was still miles away, as far as Lehvak-Kal could tell. He had spent the last hour speculating on his current life, and had concluded that he was lucky after all. Sure, he was trapped in space, but he was the sole survivor of an apparent global disaster, and that certainly trumped being a victim of it. At first he had felt a strange sense of loss when he remembered that all his Krana had been left behind in the hive, but he was a machine, and machines tended to get over such trivial matters. His personality wasn't stripped of all emotion, though. He distininctly remembered feeling glee, anger and confusion... but pride had always been the most prominent emotion, especially back when he and the rest of the Bohrok-Kal fought the Toa Nuva. In the end, it was also pride and egomania that resulted in him absorbing too much power. He felt like an amateur villain. Beaten by his own powers. His own, useless powers. How maddingly ironic.
His thoughts returned to the Krana stationed in the cockpit inside his brain. He knew that the thing was organic, and that every action he decided to take was somehow being calculated and then performed via it. It was his brain, after all, yet he knew that it had a mind of its own. Krana were shaped like masks, and they were possible to eject in case the Bohrok body got irreparably damaged. Their shape meant that they could also attach themselves to someone's head and control their minds. Krana also had special powers when inside a Bohrok, being able to draw from the Bohrok body's energy in order to do things like creating forcefields or make the Bohrok levitate. And yet, Lehvak-Kal knew that whenever his Krana was changed, he would just black out for a second. His mind did not move with the Krana. He ended up thinking of them simply as organic programs, but he was always a bit paranoid, afraid that they would end up relaying his toughts to everyone else in the swarm. It was their purpose, after all, to think and administrate thoughts. Still, with his personality firmly rooted in his own body, he felt reasonably certain that his thoughts wouldn't be stored in the Krana after removal. He could never be certain of what it was thinking while it acted like his brain, however.
Maybe it doesn't think at all? Or does it think whatever I think? Are my thoughts its thoughts until it gets removed?
His Krana hurt from thinking too hard.
Whatever the case may be, it's certainly strained right now. Better leave the issue alone.
With his philospohical debate done, Lehvak-Kal instead assessed the situation at hand. After nearly wrecking his body with an overpowered blast of air from his vacuum shields, he had been launched into space, where he had now been for hours. Luckily he didn't need to breathe, but the lack of air meant that he couldn't propel himself anywhere with his shields. Right now he was drifting towards an unknown location, while his home planet was assumed to be destroyed. All in all, not a good day. In his head sat a Krana Xa-Kal: a Liberator'. Unfortunately, its only power was to awaken the Bahrag, who were now gone. Definitely not his best day.
Space was cold. Lehvak-Kal could almost feel his limbs make cracking noises as he kept moving them to prevent freezing. Sooner or later, though, they would definitely freeze, and there was nothing he could do about it. He found himself wishing for a certain Krana which he knew provided resistance to both heat and cold when active, but shook the idea from him. There was no use in wishful thinking. Cold, tactical analysis was all that mattered. Lehvak-Kal fired up his system scan.
Warning: Extensive shell damage. Major damage to rear section, minor damage to limbs, hand shields and facial armor. Krana cockpit secure, though chilled. Temperature steadily dropping. Estimated time until fatal freezing: 2 days.
Soon enough, he turned the system scan off again and went back to wishful thinking. It made him happier.
Space wasn't just cold, it was also very empty. Sure enough, there were stars everywhere, but until now Lehvak-Kal hadn't seen anything else of interest. He had shut his system down in order to pour all the energy into defrosting his body, but it hadn't helped. The flashing message on his screen informed him that he had less than a day left before he would freeze to death. Or rather: His Krana would. With it gone, however, the Bohrok couldn't continue to operate. Lehvak-Kal's body would shut down, and then he would be left floating in space as a lifeless hunk of metal forever. If Mata Nui was truly gone, then there would never be any more Krana either, and so there was little chance that he would be picked up and awoken even after a few millennia.
Just as he was about to give up all hope, however, another system message flashed in his mind. Suprisingly enough, it was the altitude meter.
Height: 300 feet above ground.
Lehvak-Kal refreshed it. It must be a mistake.
Height: 250 feet above ground.
Confused, he looked around. There was nothing in front of him.
Height: 200 feet above ground.
50 feet above ground. Warning: Speed too high. Brace for impact.
Lehvak-Kal realized what has happening just a moment before he slammed violently into something very, very hard. The shock tore off part of his left leg and made a large dent in his left arm. The world spun until his system managed to recalibrate itself. Once it was done, he felt something strange: gravity. He could tell up from down again.
Rolling over onto his front, Lehvak-Kal used his good arm to lift himself slightly off the metallic surface. It was glowing in a bright red color, and was apparently quite hot. He couldn't feel it, but he still welcomed the warmth. The frost in his body was already melting away.
What in the blazes...
The Bohrok dragged himself over to an apparent seam in the metal. It was clearly marked: Emergency exit. Without a second thought, Lehvak-Kal rammed the tip of his right vacuum shield into the crack. Unfortunately, he was unable to wedge the hatch open. Before long, however, it was flung open, and Lehvak-Kal recoiled as a small, purple being in black armor pointed the muzzle of a laser gun at him. It lifted an eyebrow in surprise, then lowered its weapon and waved for him. Lehvak-Kal crawled over to the hatch and pulled himself into the little chamber inside. The being closed the hatch, then signaled via radio to another. A loud hiss was heard as air poured into the chamber. Lehvak-Kal was relieved to finally hear sound again.
"I don't know who you are," he began, but was interrupted by the smaller being.
"Shut up!" it said. "You are the one who's going to answer questions here."
"Uh..." Lehvak-Kal said, before being rudely interrupted in the form of a laser shot to his right foot. He cursed, and was rewarded with another shot to the same foot. With the Bohrok's left leg too damaged to be of use, they both crumpled under his weight. He was now without legs to stand on.
"I said shut up," shouted the being hysterically, "and when I say shut up, you shut up!"
"Hey, calm down, I wasn't trying to—"
Another laser shot sent one of Lehvak-Kal's shields flying. Hearing it clatter against the wall of the chamber, he wisely decided to shut up.
Things were looking slightly better than before. True, the insane purple alien had fired enough shots to melt most of Lehvak-Kal's body, but that had mercifully also melted his gun. After that, two of the being's coworkers had arrived, shoved him out the door and taken over interrogations.
"What are you doing here?" asked the first. "How did you get out of the robot?"
"What robot?" asked Lehvak-Kal, still confused.
The second being, who was holding a rectangular piece of metal in his hand, glanced at the other and pointed at something on the metal. "He wouldn't know," he said. "The Bohrok were never meant to see the whole thing."
"The whole what?" asked Lehvak-Kal.
"The robot whose face you've been cleaning, of course," answered the first being, grabbing the plate and turning it around. On it was an image of a large, Toa-like figure, with a shape resembling the island of Mata Nui carved around its head.
Lehvak-Kal's mind churned; puzzle pieces slowly falling into place. The tunnels... the island's "face"... the metal beneath... The purple beings noticed that he went silent and exchanged a telling glance.
"This must be one of the older models... it doesn't think very fast."
"What do you call this robot, then?" Lehvak-Kal finally asked.
"Why, Mata Nui of course."
"Mata Nui, after the Great Spirit?"
Another glance. Lehvak-Kal felt insulted.
"No," answered the being with the tablet. "Mata Nui as in the robot Mata Nui. 'Great Spirit'... What did you think he was? Some kind of god?"
The two beings giggled. Lehvak-Kal made a hollow, rattling sound, like metal parts being tossed into a crate.
"What was that?" asked one of them.
"Oh, nothing, just the last piece of my sanity collapsing, I think," answered Lehvak-Kal. "Never mind that."
"Good. Now that that's explained, it's your turn. How did you get out? Why were you in space?"
"I got out... around the time my shields overloaded and launched me through a few miles of solid rock and then into friggin' space," Lehvak-Kal answered. "That was two days ago. Since then I've just been drifting, until I finally hit you by sheer luck."
"I don't buy that. After the Bohrok-Kal disaster, we assumed you had been blown into the ocean and never bothered searching. That was year ago, by the way. The Bohrok swarms were released again a few days ago and cleansed the island like the extravagant housemaids they were supposed to be. I'll never get why the Great Beings bothered to make them instead of a giant pair of windshield wipers, but that's besides the point. The robot left Aqua Magna immediately afterwards, and arrived at Bara Magna as planned not too long after. After a rather entertaining fight between an old Great Being robot prototype and your own dear home robot, the moons were reunited into Spherus Magna. The prototype fell apart after fullfilling Mata Nui's mission, and your 'bot was, unfortunately, headshotted by a moon. Well, moon fragment; whatever, it was still wicked sick to witness. I wish I had caught it on tape, you would have loved it."
Lehvak-Kal was, at this point, more confused than ever. "Mata Nui... is gone?"
"Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Technically, he's not gone, his spirit's just dormant in a mask, but the robot is permanently offline, yes. Most of the inhabitants survived, I think, but I don't think we'll be needing the Bohrok anymore. You're without a job, pal. A year ago I wouldn't have thought it possible. But! I digress! Now, tell me: how did you get from Aqua Magna, the moon, to this station? We are approximately 120 000 miles away from your original location. If you were launched a full year ago, you should either have made contact with Bara Magna or lost in deep space after a few days.The chance of you randomly hitting us is next to zero."
Lehvak-Kal was still in shock. "One year? A whole year?"
The purple being stared at him for a moment before answering. "Yes, that's right. One year."
"I blacked out. I never thought I had been out for that long. If what you say is true..."
"It is, I guarantee."
"...then I'm no longer on the island of Mata Nui, I'm... where, exactly?"
"Why, you're in the Red Star, of course."
The hollow sound of rattling metal filled the air.
The sun was shining as Lehvak-Kal touched down on the surface of Spherus Magna. He looked up, and had to shield his new eyes from the sun. In the sky high above him hung the Red Star, which he now knew to be no star at all. Its inhabitants, the Kestora, had told him everything he needed to know about this new world, and they had been kind enough to fix his body. Well, 'fix' was probably not the right word. They didn't have any Bohrok parts accessible, so they had ended up transferring the parts holding his personality into an old Le-Matoran body. Why they had parts from dead Matoran lying around, Lehvak-Kal dared not ask. What was important was that it had worked. He could never pass for a real Matoran, given that the Kestora had still put a Bohrok-esque head on the body, but he wasn't worried about that. He didn't plan on acting like one either. He had asked where his Krana went, but the Kestora had just poked his new chestplate and grinned. He knew something organic was in there, but again he dared not ask just what they had done to it. His mind still worked, so evidently the Krana was either functional or... replaced. By something. In his head. He forced back the urge to scream at the realization. They had also only managed to salvage parts of one of his vacuum shields, but that was fine with him. The useless shields had been reduced to two prongs that now extended from his left hand. They still had enough power left to cause a breeze.
Even more useless than before, he thought at first, and tried to pry them off in favor of some other tool. He soon found that he couldn't.
"The little purple leprechauns have welded them on," he groaned, before looking over the rest of his arm. It was his old arm, with the dents roughly hammered out. "And yeah, good job on that one, Kestora," he muttered, before setting off in the direction of the fallen Great Spirit robot.
Two days, lots of walking and lots of muttered curses later, Lehvak-Kal finally reached the settlement he had hoped to see. Just down the hill, he could see Toa, Matoran, Vortixx, Skakdi and plenty of other species he didn't even know the name of working together. For some reason, he felt the urgent need to set up a cleaning and/or demolishing service. There were no fellow Bohrok in sight, however, and without a squad, he couldn't do much. Annoyed, he tapped a working Matoran on the shoulder, and asked:
"Hey, pal, do you need some demolishing done? You see, I'm a Bohrok, and—"
Lehvak-Kal had, for some reason, fully expected to get a friendly answer. What met him instead was a shocked face and a scream, followed by another few screams from the nearby Matoran, followed by Toa yelling, followed by people running around and panicking and then running some more. Lehvak-Kal could have sworn he heard the words "Franken-Matoran", whatever the blazes that referred to.
All in all, it was not his best day.