But first, let me tell new readers exactly what the GC is:
The Glatorian Chronicles is a series of BIONICLE fanfiction short stories/short epics that star each of the twelve Glatorian characters from BIONICLE. Each story is completely independent of the others and can be read by itself with little to no confusion on the reader’s part. All are written in the first person point of view from the viewpoint of the starring Glatorian.
This GC is, as I said before, the final installment. After this, there will be no more GC stories, even though there are other Glatorian characters in the BIONICLE universe. I only wanted to do the twelve characters released as canister sets, which with the posting of this last GC I have finally succeeded in doing.
This GC, FYI, stars Mata Nui and thus is written from his point of view. Hope you enjoy it:
Glatorian Chronicles #12: The Future Begins Where the Past Ends
I walked through a swamp, keeping a careful eye open for a certain someone. I smelled the boggy water, heard the sounds of Rahi swimming beneath the water or flying above the treetops, felt the mud clinging to the underside of my feet, and tasted the humidity in the air. I saw the fallen stalactites scattered around the area, towering above me like the Black Spike Mountains. It was all so real that I almost forgot that it wasn’t.
All these things that I smelled, heard, felt, tasted, and saw were the memories of a mask, a mask that had once walked among the living yet was not one of them. I had never physically been in Karda Nui before, but from the information I had gathered, this was how it looked just prior to my awakening. Or, I should say, prior to the awakening of Makuta Teridax in my body.
As I walked across the mud islets in the swamp, I mulled over what had happened only a few hours ago. I had used a prototype of my original robot body to fight Makuta Teridax for the fate of my people and the Spherus Magnans. Thanks to the actions of Toa Tahu, I had managed to slay Teridax once and for all, saving the inhabitants of both Spherus Magna and my own universe while restoring the planet to its original state. After that, I had returned to the Mask of Life, for I had one last loose end to tie up: Toa Ignika, the spirit of the Mask of Life.
Ever since Teridax forced my spirit into the Mask of Life so many months ago, my soul had dominated Ignika’s. Ignika’s soul had been dominant only once since I controlled of the mask and that when giving Toa Tahu the golden armor. Now I needed to talk with Ignika.
I had never mentioned this before, but for a while now I had felt Ignika’s spirit growing stronger within the mask. At first, Ignika didn’t seem to care that I was in control, but recently it has been harder for me to remain in control of the mask. I had concluded that Ignika was trying to become the dominant soul again, although I didn’t know why.
That was another reason I had rejected the offer to become leader of the new Spherus Magna. So long as Ignika was trying to reassert his control over the mask, it would be like having a ruler with a split personality: dangerous and unpredictable, maybe even worse than Teridax. As I favored peace and not conflict, I decided to figure out just what Ignika was so unhappy about.
The only problem was finding Ignika. While it was true that we both shared the same vessel, our minds were not one. Therefore it was possible for Ignika to hide himself from me, as he appeared to be doing now, but I knew that I would find him eventually. He couldn’t hide forever.
Just then, I heard the fluttering and buzzing of wings above me. Looking up, I saw all eight of the Karda Nui Makuta -- the ones Toa Ignika and the Toa Nuva had fought here -- flying toward me. Their weapons were drawn and they were not coming to say hello.
Just as I readied myself for combat, a yellow blur shot past me. Startled, I looked up into the sky to see a single yellow-and-silver-armored Toa on a skyboard fighting all eight Makuta at once. And amazingly, he was winning.
Every Makuta the yellow Toa hit with his blade screamed in pain and exploded into dust. The Makuta attempted to put up a fight, but they were clearly outmatched by this unstoppable Toa. Bitil summoned multiple versions of himself from the past, but not a single one survived the Toa’s onslaught. Icarax tried to come up from behind, though the Toa seemed to have seen that coming, for he whirled around and with one swift blow completely disintegrated the Makuta.
Soon, where eight powerful Makuta once flew, none remain. Only the yellow Toa still flew, looking down at me with cold green eyes as he sheathed his sword and put away his Midak Skyblaster.
“You are a great fighter, Ignika,” I said, clapping my hands. “And for that I applaud you.”
“I don’t want your applause,” said Ignika as he lowered from the sky. “I don’t want anything from you, Mata Nui.”
“Yes, I’ve noticed your less-than-friendly attitude toward me lately,” I said as Ignika landed. “That is why I have come looking for you. What have I done to wrong you? I cannot think of why you would be so upset at me.”
Ignika looked at me coldly, but didn’t answer. Instead, he folded his arms, turned around, and sat down on his skyboard, with not even one word of elaboration for this display of immature behavior.
I sighed. Ignika had what the Agori would call a very childish mind. I had seen young Agori villagers act like Ignika during my time on Bara Magna, but I had never had to discipline any of them. That was always their parents’ responsibility. Therefore I was unsure how to handle this situation exactly.
So I said, “Ignika, you know I can’t read your mind. Tell me what you are so upset about.”
He still didn’t look at me, nor did he say anything. I was starting to think it was easier fighting Makuta Teridax than dealing with a stubborn mask, but I didn’t give up then and I wasn’t giving up now. I needed to get Ignika to talk to me, and I knew the best way how.
“Ignika, stop this,” I told him. “Would Matoro act so childishly when he was upset? Wouldn’t he tell his friends the reasons for his anger, rather than keeping it to himself and leaving his friends to guess it?”
That seemed to do it, for Ignika looked up at me. His expression was still unkind, however. He was frowning and his eyes were narrowed, although I did not feel apprehensive or fear. Emotions couldn’t hurt someone unless they were acted upon and Ignika was not acting upon his emotions yet.
“You’re . . . right,” said Ignika reluctantly. “I just thought it was obvious why I am angry.”
“Well, it’s not,” I said. ”We may share the same mask, but that doesn’t mean I can read your thoughts, Ignika. Tell me what is upsetting you.”
Ignika stood up and turned to face me. I felt power radiating from his body like heat, but I stood my ground. Ignika wouldn’t intentionally hurt me. That much I knew.
“I want to be a Toa again,” Ignika said, pointing at his own body. “And I am angry because you’re not letting me create a new body for myself so I can be a Toa again.”
“Ah,” I said. “I didn’t realize you still wanted to be a Toa.”
“Of course you didn’t,” said Ignika, not looking me in the eyes. “You were too busy saving the world to care about the wants of a simple mask.”
I wanted to argue that that wasn’t true, but I knew that Ignika was right. During my time as the Great Spirit of my body, I had never really paid attention to what happened inside of me. My focus was always on the outside, on the planets I visited and cultures I observed. I rarely thought about what the people I ruled and protected were going through. It appeared that I had done the same thing with Ignika, except on a much smaller scale.
So I said, “Ignika, I apologize for not taking your own wants into account. I just did what I thought was for the greater good. I didn’t intend to upset you.”
“That’s a joke,” said Ignika with a laugh. “And that’s funny because I’m not good at spotting jokes. The only thing I got to do was give Tahu the golden armor, and that was only because Tren Krom sent me a message that activated the golden armor feature. You were the one fighting Teridax and saving two worlds while I just sat by and basically did nothing.”
“As you said, you gave Tahu the golden armor,” I pointed out. “If Tahu had never received the golden armor, I would never have defeated Teridax once and for all. And then we’d all be dead, Ignika, you included.”
“I know,” said Ignika, kicking a nearby stone into the muddy water with a splash. “But, unless you have sand in your ears, you’d have noticed that I said that Tren Krom sent a message to me that activated the golden armor feature. It wasn’t a conscious choice on my part.”
“Yet it was still a heroic deed nonetheless,” I said.
Ignika looked up at me with a scorching glare and said, “Was it, Mata Nui? I’m not so sure. If I was forced to do it, how can it be heroic? Aren’t heroes the people who choose to act when everyone else chooses not to? How can I be heroic if I wasn’t given a choice to act or not to act?”
“You have a point,” I admitted. “But giving you a body so you can play hero won’t change that.”
Too late did I realize the mistake I made in saying that, for Ignika’s eyes flared and he said, “Play hero? You think I only want to play hero, like . . . like a child?”
It was at that moment that a sharp pain resonated through the back of my head. It wasn’t physical pain, for inside the mask I didn’t have a physical body. It was a mental or spiritual pain, the kind only a spirit could inflict upon another spirit. That meant Ignika was attacking me.
I cried out as I fell to my knees. The blow felt strong and concentrated, not accidental. Was Ignika trying to harm me? Or was he, in his anger, simply losing control of his powers?
Whatever the case, I knew I had to calm him down somehow before he went too far.
So I looked up at Ignika, whose arms were still folded and whose eyes were still cold.
“I want my body back,” Ignika said, his green eyes more feral than rational. “You know, the only reason I let you control the mask in the first place was because I thought you’d let me have my body back once you completed your mission. But if you won’t willingly give control of the mask back to me, then maybe I’ll just take it back by force.”
Another stab of pain in my head, but I kept my eyes locked on Ignika. I showed no weakness to him, because I now knew that he was intentionally trying to subdue me. And, with horror, I realized he would probably succeed, for up until now he had merely allowed me control of the mask. In a sheer contest of wills, I knew he’d crush me unless I could reason with him.
“Ignika,” I said, struggling to raise my hand. “Don’t do this. Toa don’t force others to give them the things they want. It’s not heroic.”
“Well, Mata Nui, you yourself said that I was just playing hero,” Ignika replied. “So, I can do whatever I want, since I’m not a ‘real’ Toa.”
The next attack was so fierce, so powerful, that I nearly blacked out. I hit the mud and slowly started sinking in. I couldn’t even move my limbs I was so weak. His will was crushing mine, as easily as a giant crushes an ant.
I couldn’t allow Ignika to become the dominant spirit or recreate his body, however. Repeating the Great Beings’ mistakes was something I had vowed to prevent at all costs. To keep history from repeating itself, the Mask of Life needed to be out of the picture, at least temporarily. And so I needed to defeat Ignika somehow, prevent him from regaining control of the mask before it was too late.
At first, I feared that I would not be able to dominant Ignika’s fierce, overwhelming will. Yet, as I sank deeper into the mud, I realized that Ignika, in order to attack me, must have made a mental connection between us. If he could attack my mind, then maybe I could attack his, as well.
I would not, however, attack with anger and frustration, which were Ignika’s choice weapons. Instead, I would hit Ignika with something even worse: my memories.
Using all of my mental energy, I found the mental connection between our minds. This move seemed to surprise Ignika, for the pressure he was putting on me lifted slightly, but it was just enough to give me an opening. Calling upon my memories, I projected them into his mind, allowing him to see the things I had seen repeated many, many times on my journey across the universe.
Whole planets at war with each other, fighting over badly-needed natural resources that they didn’t want to share. Dictators ordering the deaths of millions of innocent people for no reason other than to satisfy their bloodlust. Weapons of mass destruction blowing up whole cities, annihilating thousands of beings in the blink of an eye. Soldiers armed with deadly weapons going from city to city, killing anyone they came across, even -- or especially -- if that person was a civilian.
And, finally, I showed him one of my earliest memories, from when I first left Spherus Mana: The Shattering. I showed him the massive explosion that ripped through the planet. Showed him Spherus Magna shattering into three smaller planets as the population plunged into chaos due to the catastrophe and sudden lack of central government. Showed him the corpse of an Agori that was flung from the shattered planet, which drifted by my head even as I departed from Spherus Magna to begin my 100,000 year long journey around the universe.
And, without warning, I was back on the surface of the swamp at Ignika’s feet. Ignika’s will no longer pressed down on my own, so I stood back up and looked at Ignika to see how he had reacted to the memories I had shared with him.
Ignika looked like he had fallen over in the mud himself, for his yellow and silver armor was streaked with it. His green eyes were no longer cold with apathy, but wide with shock and horror.
For a moment, I wondered if I had gone too far. The horrors I had shown him had shaken even me and I had more experience with death and mass destruction than Ignika did. Had I shocked Ignika so badly that he could no longer speak? Had I somehow damaged his mind with the horrors that I had showed him?
Then Ignika spoke. “I . . . I had no idea there was such suffering and evil in the universe . . .”
I nodded. “It’s hard to believe, but I hope you now understand why I cannot allow you to become Toa Ignika once more.”
“I . . . I think I do,” said Ignika, one hand on his heartlight. “But I would never do any of that.”
“I know you wouldn’t, but others would,” I said as I wiped some of the mud off my hands. “Even if you did nothing, the Spherus Magnans would divide into groups: those who support you and those who don’t. They would harm each other in their zeal for or against me. Yet it has nothing to do with you, Ignika, and everything to do with me.”
Ignika looked at me in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“I’m an important figure to both the native Spherus Magnans and to the inhabitants of my former body,” I said. “They want me to rule them, but I know that would be foolish. It’d be best for them to learn to rule themselves, rather than relying on another powerful yet fallible being to make all of the hard decisions for them. And besides, not all of them want me as their leader. Many, I am sure, want nothing more than to see me dead.”
“I see,” said Ignika, realization slowly dawning in his eyes. “I think I understand what you mean. You don’t want either of us to become dictators or somehow disrupt the new society, is that it?”
“Exactly,” I said, nodding. “Under different circumstances, I would let you become Toa Ignika again. As it is, though, too many people still associate the Mask of Life with me and will associate it with me for many years to come. I don’t want people to take advantage of you in order to get to me.”
Ignika nodded unhappily. “You’re right. Maybe it would be too dangerous for me to make a new body. I guess that it’s for the greater good that I remain a mask forever.”
Sighing, Ignika turned away, probably to leave, but I had to say one last thing to him. He sounded so sad, which made me feel sorry for him. I didn’t want to crush his spirits, yet at the same time I didn’t want to install false hope in him, either. I would give him something to look forward to. Something that would make the inevitable years of waiting that awaited us bearable.
“Hey, Ignika,” I said, putting one hand on his shoulder.
Ignika looked at me, frowning. “Yes, Mata Nui? What is it?”
“I just wanted to tell you that it won’t be this way forever,” I said. “Someday, we’ll return and live among the Spherus Magnans. Maybe if a new threat emerges, Toa Ignika can live once more.”
“And what if Spherus Magna is never threatened by a new evil?” asked Ignika. “Do I remain a mere mask forever?”
“No,” I said as I shook my head. “If the day comes when the Spherus Magnans no longer look upon me or the Mask of Life with the reverence with which they do currently, then we can return and live among them like normal people. You could even be a Toa again if you wanted to.”
Ignika smiled, the first time I had ever seen him do it. “Thank you, Mata Nui. You are a kind being.”
I took my hand off of his shoulder and said, “You’re welcome, Ignika. In the meantime, I think we’ll both have to be patient, because it’ll probably be a while before we can return to the physical world.”
Ignika shrugged. “Before I became a Toa the first time, all I ever did was wait for someone to come and use me to heal you. I think you’re the one who is going to have to learn patience, Mata Nui.”
It took me a moment to realize, but that was the first time I had ever heard Ignika joke. Before I could comment on it, Ignika started his skyboard and flew away. I stood in the swamp and watched him go, wondering what the future had in store, not only for us, but for Spherus Magna as a whole as well.
I was also making plans, arrangements for where the Mask of Life would be placed until its proper time. Right now it was in the hands of Toa Tahu, but I knew a better place where it could stay until the time came for Ignika and I to return. It was a dangerous place, one that most beings could not get to, but it was, in my opinion, the best place to hide the mask. I just needed to communicate to Tahu to contact the Order of Mata Nui and then, like Ignika, I would wait.
THE END of the Glatorian Chronicles.
To be continued in “Dawn of the New Century.” Coming to the Epics forum late 2012/early 2013.
And so the Glatorian Chronicles is finally, truly finished. It was a fun project, one I honestly didn't think I'd ever actually finish, but here I am, posting the very last story in the series, which just feels great. I should celebrate.
Comments, criticism, questions, etc. are all welcomed and encouraged .
Edit: Made a few changes in response to Yukiko's review below.
Edited by TNTOS, May 29 2012 - 09:29 AM.