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  1. So, as many of you know, one of the first things I did since I returned to BZPower was participate in the Six Kingdoms Escapement. My character in the rpg was Kanohi, a Fe-Matoran “superhero” whose island was destroyed by the League of Six Kindoms, and who spent his days grappling around Metru-Nui trying to repair buildings and help evacuate civilians. He’s one of my favorite Bionicle OCs, just an anxiety-ridden Matoran trying to help others. He grew a lot over the first rpg, and he continues to grow in Six Kingdoms Rebirth. I have written a number of stories about a version of him that fits into the canon of Bionicle, but this story will be a bit different. You see, as SKE was wrapping up we discovered that one of the major NPCs wanted to use the Disk of Time to change history. To us players, there was some fear that our character development would be erased, all our growth and new friendships lost. So I began to plan a way to avoid resetting Kanohi to zero. Kanohi has an ability not unlike Vakama possesses in canon, he can experience visions of events yet to happen. Well he is a superhero, he needs at least one superpower. And it was based on this that I began to plot what to do if history was changed. Ultimately though history was not rewritten, but since the Disk of Time was used, and becauseI know some of us are a bit stressed by recent events in SKR, I thought it might be fun to still use my plan as the basis for a new story. So yesterday instead of sleeping I wrote this bad boi. This story takes place in a universe similar to SKE, starting with a failure of Fe-Matoran grappling through the swampland of his island home. With that said, enjoy. artwork by @Onaku The Impact of a Rebirth … The Fe-Matoran hurtled through the trees like a cannonball, tumbling and careening. As he was flung upwards, he fired from his Volo Lutu Launcher a small ball of gravity into a tree. As he fell from his arc he was yanked to the gravity ball, dragging him through the canopy. He flew past the tree, before continuing to grapple through the swampland of Bo-Wahi. A satchel dangled from his arm, stuffed full of herbs. With Turaga Bomahri‘s back acting up, some of the foragers of Bo-Wahi had searched for and harvested a few herbs to treat his pain. To get them them to the Turaga in time they needed a courier, and Dece was, well, available. Dece was an okay courier. Not a great one. He was decent enough at throwing a bamboo disk as well. Though most of Fe-Koro was his better. Still he at least was proficient at grappling through the swamp than he had been as a mask maker. Right? The traditions of the island of Okoto were simple. The Fe-Matoran lived in Fe-Koro, they made the island’s tools, masks, they mined Protodermis, and occasionally they fought Rahi if Toa Fehagah was too far away to reach them in time. On the other hand the Bo-Matoran grappled through the swamps to forage plants and other resources, and acted as medics if there was a crisis. Toa Fehagah protected them from aggressive Rahi or other disasters, while Turaga Bomahri led them with wisdom. That was how it was supposed to be. But Dece … he was a failure. He struggled to make masks, he had a few successes with easy Kanohi, but he failed on the harder masks. So much Protodermis wasted. Even Turaga Bomahri had gotten tired of his pathetic attempts at forging masks. And every time he tried to forge a mask, he could hear the Turaga’s disappointment, see the other Fe-Matoran looking in pity and-and… The Matoran spotted out of the corner of his optics that his heartlight was flashing. He swallowed and made a moan. Remember what Turaga Bomahri always says. Just … don’t focus on the big picture, break everything down to small manageable tasks. The Turaga had found a way for him to be useful as a courier, he was still helping the Matoran, still doing his Duty. Maybe he wasn’t trusted with particular sensitive cargo, but this was still going to help Okoto. It would help the Turaga even. Dece tried to force a smile he … he was helpful, he … he was. Then came a sound like a buzzsaw cleaving through a thick tree. Dece flinched at the sound and tried … tried not to look behind him. But he could see the shadow behind him, drawing ever closer. As he tumbled through the trees he used his left hand to reach into his satchel and pulled out a bamboo disk he … it wouldn’t be much help, but it might help him get away. Then with a grinding shriek the Nui-Rama was upon him, the giant bug lunging its claws at his mask. He wore a Kanohi Hau, the Great Mask of Shielding. Not that he could use its power, he was just a Matoran, and not even a very useful one at that. But as the Nui-Rama swung at him he threw the disk, striking its bulbous eye. It flinched, it’s flaw only slamming into his gut. Dece tumbled from the blow, slamming into the swamp. As he struck the murky surface, Dece felt his head shattered. Not literally, his mask was not even damaged. But as he sank into the mud the mud seemed to swirl and grab at him, dragging him deeper into the swamp. He struggled, but the world was smothered in mud, turning into a brown goop. And then … Dece’ s mind exploded. … “Turaga?” Turaga Bomahri looked up as he continued to rub his back. His hut was all but woven with iron like a quilt, with metal imitations of flowers blooming in it. In the entrance to his metal hut was a Fe-Matoran, wearing a burnt orange Hau and with a biomechanical body of the same shade or orange, mixed with black components. “Oh, Dece you … have arrived. We were worried you were lost in the swamp.you certainly look the part.” The Turaga of Jungle remarked. Dece was covered in mud, splattered all over his body. But that wasn’t what made Bomahri hesitate. There was … something in Dece’s eyes. “I have brought your herbs,” Dece said emptying his satchel on the table besides the Turaga. “Sorry, they got a bit muddy.” “Of course,” the Turaga said with a sigh. What was he going to do with Dece? Couldn’t even travel the swamp without making a fool of himself. “Turaga I … What do you think of Destiny?” “Destiny? It’s what we all seek to fulfill, to be the best version of ourselves, as the Great Spirit Mata-Nui desires. It is of the Three Virtues most honored by Bo-Matoran along with Unity. Why do you ask?” Such a basic question. “I … I saw something. Or … I was something. Or will be something. I … I don’t know if I understand.” “Don’t worry, we expect that by now,” Turaga Bomahri smiled, “thank you for the herbs, but you need to hurry along, more Matoran will need deliveries.” “Yes um, sorry Turaga. I … I’ll get back to work. Sorry, um, sorry…” Dece bowed and departed the room, but hesitated at the door. He started to look back, before clenching up and raving outside the hut. Then with a fire of his Volo Lutu Launcher he grappled away into the open air, hooking the surrounding huts to travel to the edge of the plateau. … “Matoran Dece,” Toa Fehagah knocked on the hut’s door. It was on the outskirts of the plateau, well away from the rest of the Fe-Matoran. There was a delay and then a shout of, “Um, you … you can come in.” She nodded and bent over, before fitting into the metal doorway. She was tall, her armor was blue and white, and she wore atop her face a Kanohi Kadin, the Great Mask of Flight. Dece was on the floor, welding something. “S-sorry, Toa. I know have not started my rounds today, I just … I saw something. I don’t understand it but I think it’s important. For all of us.” “Alright,” she nodded, sitting down besides him. Anything I can help with—” And then she realized he was welding something to his forearm. “Dece what are you doing?” She demanded in shock, reaching to pull his Firestaff away, only to hesitate. If … if he burnt himself because of her. “It’s okay, Toa Fehagah,” he swallowed, “I … I trust in Destiny.” “What Destiny is it to have a Volo Lutu Launcher stuck to your arm?” She all but managed to shout. He flinched and she added, “sorry but this … this isn’t like you.” “I saw something.” “What did you see?” “The future,” he whispered. The Toa stared at him, “you … saw the future?” “I don’t know how but I … I saw how I can help the village. How I can help our island. I know it sounds silly but I … Mata-Nui had to have given me this vision for a reason, right?” She stared at him, and finally said, “Dece, you had faith in my strangeness, even before I was a Toa. The least I could do is trust in yours. Scoot over, I can make this smoother.” His optics widened beneath his mask, “if … if it’s not a trouble.” “It’s not,” she smiled, “but, would you mind telling me exactly what you saw?” She pressed her finger to his welding job and metal began to secrete from her finger, sealing up the rough welding he had been doing. “Um, well um, is it okay if you do the other arm too?” “Yes,” the Toa of Iron answered, “but what exactly did you see?” “I saw you overwhelmed by strange people that were as tall as you. I … don’t think they were Toa. And I saw Fe-Koro demolished, Bo-Wahi burned to the ground. I saw me fleeing like a coward. I retreated to a great city, whose buildings towered above even the plateau. I saw … that city be destroyed too in the end, by the same army.” “…The pressure you must feel.” “But in the destruction of the city, I was doing things. Good things. Grappling around the city, rescuing Matoran from falling debris, snatching them before they could be executed, shielding them from attacks, using disks with strange powers to repair towers and bridges; I was helping. And if I can help Okoto now with what I had learned to do in the future, maybe we can survive this.” “…That is a great responsibility.” “Yes but … but I can help. A way to help that I can do, that others might not do as well. And that might take pressure off you.” The Toa of Iron was quiet for a time, her body tense. Dece looked away, his face beneath his mask growing crimson. But finally she says, “well, let’s get to work then.” … “Toa Fehagah, this is foolishness,” the Turaga nibbled alongside her, his wooden staff helping support his wright, “Dece is barely good as a courier, he can’t be a fighter.” “He won’t be. He’s going to be a vigilante protector. And he’s Kanohi now.” “He can’t just choose a new name.” “I did.” “Yes well, you underwent Naming Day.” “And maybe Kanohi will too one day,” the Toa dismissed, before using her long legs to speed past the Turaga’s pace. Soon enough she was at the edge of the plateau, where Kanohi was looking down at the swampland below. He was covered in broken masks that he had dangled from his body, like wind chimes. He had never gotten rid of those failures, clung to them. And now they hung to him as armor, the broken and failed masks repurposed to do good. “Ready, partner?” “Um I … I am just your helper.” “Well, you are doing part of my work, so you are my partner,” she smiled, and he blushed. “Now we should begin practice by…” She trailed off, catching sight of something in the swampland. “What’s wrong?” “Fire,” she pointed in the northern patch of the swamp, and he followed her gaze, “it looks like it’s in the path of some of our foragers’ routes. We will have to reschedule practice for another day.” “Okay, I-I-I’ll try to get them to safety.” She turned to object, but stopped. Finally she said, “before careful, alright? I’ll contain and smother the fire, you help them escape. Don’t try to fight it.” “Of course,” he nodded, his makeshift armor jingling at the motion. She swallowed hope … hopefully this would go well. She lifted him up and put him atop her shoulders, and he held on tight. Then with a glow of her mask she lifted into the air, and blasted off through the jungle, flying with all the speed she could manage. … Kanohi hung to his Toa as she flew through the swamp. There was only one Toa in the island of Okoto, and only one Turaga. The island was difficult to reach, the trees were packed closely and shredded boats, it was surrounded by swampland so there was nowhere to dock a ship either. The only settlement was atop a large plateau, so a traveler would need a mask of flight or a Volo Lutu Launcher to actually meet with the natives. And few actually cared to visit Okoto in the first place. The island had little to offer, just a vast swamp full of plants and large bugs, and a Protodermis mine built into the side of the plateau. It had no wealth, the technology it had was fairly basic except for the Iden Machine, but that was made by a traveler from outside the island. They had a few hovercrafts for shipping goods over the island, but the hovercrafts were small, and they were only able to maintain a few of them. Most folks who traveled just used Volo Lutu Launchers. Its people were poor, and they were not worth trading with. And yet, those warlords in his vision, they would burn it to the ground. He shuddered just, just focus on small manageable tasks. Right now there was a fire, he had to rescue Matoran, just … just tru to take it one at a time, He did not have time to dwell on those through though, as soon enough a wall of heat slammed into him. “Here, Kanohi,” Toa Fehagah shifted her shoulders and he climbed off, landing in a tree, “I’ll contain the fire, you rescue the Matoran.” He nodded in a frenzy, before pointing his right arm away. The Volo Lutu Launcher in his arm fired, and he was shot forward into the trees. Then with his left arm he hooked another tree, and began to swing across the swamp. It was … easier somehow, grappling with the weight of his masks and with two launchers. That vision had all but given him the experience of using a similar setup. The one in the vision was a bit more … hi-tech, but this new power was still useful. There, in the blaze he spotted a Bo-Matoran choking on the fumes. He swallowed this … it was real now. Mata-Nui, please let me not screw up again. Not with a life on the line. Quickly he latched a tree trunk behind the Matoran, and grappled through the fire. As he sailed past he extended his arm and hooked it around the Matoran’s gut. With a heave he dragged the Matoran from the blaze, before the two of them tumbled into the mud. As a Matoran of Iron, Kanohi had high physical endurance, so he stood up pretty quickly. He almost tackled the Matoran of Jungle, frantically over his injuries. He was still alive, but he was still unconscious. He … small tasks, just get him away from the fire, With a shove Kanohi hoisted the Bo-Matoran onto his back, before grappling away from the blaze. He swung and hooked his way across the swamp, until he tumbled before to a lone tree some distance from the rest of the woods. Slowly Kanohi lifted the Matoran, straining to carry him. He laid him against the tree, hopefully the tree was far enough away the fire wouldn’t reach it. He looked over, the Natoran was coughing now, spewing wads of black ash. He … he still needed to learn how to treat the injured. He was no Bo-Matoran. Still, he could hear the fire cracking, other Matoran would need help. Kanohi swallowed, before hook in a tree and grappling away, heading back towards the fire that chewed up the swamplands. Just focus on small manageable tasks. He hurtled and flung through the trees, swinging one arm at a time. Soon enough he spotted another Bo-Matoran, this one stuck in a tree as fire engulfed the lower tree trunk. With an outstretched arm he caught the Matoran, carrying him away from the flames. “What the heck are you doing?” The Bo-Matoran demanded as he coughed up mud, “who … who are you supposed to be?” “I-I am Kanohi,” the Fe-Matoran said, “can you climb onto my back, I can carry you away from the blaze.” “I don’t need the help of a freak—” The two of them staggered as a wall of heat slammed into them. The Matoran of Jungle winced before managing, “um, yeah, let me just get on your back.” Kanohi shook under his weight, he had enhanced endurance, not strength. Still his body at least could take the strain, and with a fire of his built-in launchers he grappled away. … Toa Fehagah waves her hands about, and iron erupted from her fingers. Her elemental power snaked and wove through the air like vines up a tree, and soon enough metal had ensnared the trees of the swamp. From tree to tree she grew a wall of iron, a barrier to halt the spread of the flames. The trees would likely die from her metal vines strangling them, but the rest of the swamp should be saved. She had been trained to use her element by Toa Bomahri, most of her lessons had been before he had become a Turaga. Back when he had the full elemental powers of a Toa of Jungle. Because of his influence, the metal she created almost grew like a plant, instead of crude geometric shapes it blossomed and crawled and strangled like any vine. She … had only met one other Toa, the traveler who she traded bodies with, but even with her lack interaction with proper Toa of Iron, she knew she was weird. For many reasons. She was quite aware that she was a freak, just like Kanohi. Kanohi’s vision was … horrifying. She wished she had a Mask of Mind Reading, so she at least could understand some of what he saw. Share his burden. But destiny chose only him to see that awful future. And all she could do was support her old friend. He had always been … anxious and a mess of issues, but Fehagah did not forget that when realized she was no man, Kanohi had accepted her instantly. And when she became a Toa he did not forget her truth. He was respectful, if terrified of messing up. And when she decided to switch bodies with that Toa of Lightning, he was nothing but supportive. Even her old mentor was a bit wary about the island’s only Toa using that strange untested machine. But Kanohi … he believed it was her Destiny from the start. What else could she do but believe in his own Destiny? As she formed her barrier there was a whoosh behind her. She turned to see Kanohi grappling past, dancing among the fire and the trees. She winced, the heat was dangerous. But he just hurled through it, looking for Bo-Matoran caught in the flames. She could not remember this energy from him, this speed and grace. Yes he still tumbled, but his swing through the trees was so precise. That vision, despite its horror, it had empowered him. Told him plainly ‘you don’t have to be a Toa to be a hero. And you Kanohi, you can be a hero.’ As terrible a burden that vision must be, the Toa still found herself thanking Mata-Nui for letting him see what he could be. … Kanohi threw his bamboo disk, striking a few branches. The branches tumbled to the swamp, even as the disk ricocheted towards him. It landed in the mud besides him with a splash. He leaned over to grab it, winching as he strained his back. Even with his enhanced physical endurance his body ached from carrying around the Matoran. Still he picked the disk up, before looking up at the tree he had severed. Without those branches the fire would not be able to spread this far. He turned to the four Bo-Matoran, three of them carrying their fourth. Swallowing he said, “o-okay, you need to wade through the swamp, I will move from above and divert the fire from you.” “Um, sure thing, Kanohi,” one of them managed. They looked at him like he had a Fikou perched on his head, but even still they began to move. He might be a mad Matoran, but he had been doing alright rescuing them from the blaze, so madness wasn’t looking so terrible. Kanohi grappled above them, encircling them to look for dangers. The Volo Lutu Launchers the Bo-Matoran had been used were broken during the blaze, but Fehagah had reinforced Kanohi’s launchers when she attached them to his forearms, they would hold. He was so lucky for the Toa of Okoto to give him a chance, As he revolved around the group he stopped periodically, dangling from one of his launchers to look back to the blaze’s growth and to look for any Rahi. The beasts would flee the fire, but they would still be dangerous. Nui-Rama, Fikou, Nui-Jaga, Nui-Kopen; all those insects stalked the jungle, and all would eat a Matoran if they had the chance. There was a boom as the fire engulfed another tree, and Kanohi grappled over, his bamboo disk at the ready. With a twirl he threw it, cleaving through branches before falling to the mud. He grappled down and hooked it in his hand as he swung over the mud, before hurling and flinging his way back to the four retreating Bo-Matoran. But as he approached he heard that buzzing sound, that terrible buzzing. The Fe-Matoran turned to see a Nui-Rama with a cracked eye flying towards him. Was … could it be the one from before? Kanohi swallowed, before grappling away from the large winged bug. It swerved after him, its claws swiping at the air behind him. He grappled left and right, hopefully throwing the bug off with his erratic movements. Still it pursued him, buzzing like a roar as it clawed at the air. And — argh, the jerking motions only made his body throb and scream. He … he couldn’t just dodge it could he? It was after him, maybe even for revenge. He … he had to make the chase more costly. With a flex of his arms he grappled to the base of a tree, just hanging there. He perched there for like a second, before launching away. The Nui-Rama all but slammed into the tree trunk to attack him, splashing into the swamp from the impact. “Um, sorry?” Kanohi called out, as the Nui-Rama dragged itself out of the swamp. With a sound like a propellor grinding against a tree trunk, it reared its arm back, before slashing its claw through the base of one of the trees. The Fe-Matoran swallowed and hooked another tree, resuming his swing through the swamp. In the meantime the Rahi shook off its wings, mud splattering wildly. The Rahi pivoted in the air, before spying Kanohi and charging towards him. As the beast charged he latched onto a tree, waiting. But as it rammed him with its jaw he grappled away, leaving the Nui-Rama to take a large chomp out of the tree. It spat out the biomechanical wood, before looking at the fleeing Fe-Matoran. It shrieked out a buzzing sound, it would get back at the four-legged Fikou another day. The Nui-Rama buzzed off, swiping a big gash in a tree as it left. Kanohi grappled away, heading back towards the Bo-Matoran. But as he approached them there was a sound he struggled to recognize. Like a cry, but the pitch was off. “Nice one, Kanohi,” he winced at what must be mockery, but then the Bo-Matoran said, “not everyone can drive off a Nui-Rama without even throwing a single disk. That was incredible.” “Oh um,” were they being genuine? “um, well, all I did was making it hurt itself until it lost interest. It wasn’t like I fought it.” “You didn’t have to, you used your head.” “No, I didn’t head-butt it,” Kanohi answered, “but oh um, thank you though.” “Everyone alright?” Kanohi turned his head around to see Toa Fehagah fly towards them. The fire was now contained, walled off from the rest of the swamp by a barrier of trees woven with iron vines. “Don’t worry, Kanohi saved us. He’s working with you?” “He is indeed, we are partners.” Kanohi’s face could have been redder, but it would have been hard. The Toa of Iron just laughed though, and said, “come on, we need to keep moving, even with the fire no longer spreading, it won’t be safe here. The Rahi will be all riled up.” “Um, right, Toa Fehagah,” Kanohi nodded, “Um, what do you need me to do?” “Just move among the trees, and get ready to help them if a Rahi attacks. I will follow from the air, but you can be closer to them.” “Um, okay,” Kanohi nodded. He … he was going to be guarding so close up. Like the first line of defense. He … his hands fluttered like a Nui-Kopen’s wings. He … he really was helping Okoto. And maybe, if he got to be a better hero, even when the league attacked, he could help evacuate Matoran and rescue them, while Toa Fehagah fought the league. And with her able to focus solely on fighting, maybe this time she could win. Mata-Nui had given him this vision of the future for a reason, he had to believe that. And whatever that wad reason, it had to be to help Okoto, to do what his future self failed to do and save his people. Not that he was better than that future self, that Kanohi had disks with strange powers that came out of a weapon, he had strange technology in his mask that let him aim his launchers better as well communicate from long distances. The Kanohi of Okoto lacked those abilities. But maybe one day? It seemed possible at least?
  2. New story time. This one does not really feature Kanohi, but it follows up on some of his stories. I wrote this because of the RPG I participate in, Six Kingdoms: Escapement/Rebirth. Within the story there are a number of PC Turaga who still adventure like Toa. Likewise a plot point in the rpg is that the Matoran can be fairly prejudiced against other races. RIP Poison’s species. Also I wanted to setup the epic I have not written and might not write, that details the Toa Inika of this reality as they struggle against the Makuta. Gosh I hope I write that story one day. As for setting, this story takes place millennia after the events of my stories The Company of Cowards and A Village Against the Rahkshi, in a world where those stories are ancient history. It takes place on a poor village on the shore of Aqua-Magna, which has recently suffered some damages that might be the result of a large Rahi. Anyway without further ado, here is the tale, hope it keeps you folks entertained while we are all self isolating. Those We Choose to Forget … The water around Turaga Macku rippled like the fumes of the old Great Furnace. She slipped through the water in a rush, bending around her to propel her fast and far. She squeezed through the current, laughing underneath her squishy organic mask as she traversed the waves. Sparks danced from her harpoon as she cleaved through the waves, like stars in an ocean. “Turaga,” a voice called out as she briefly surfaced, “the Chronicler wants to speak to you.” Her head turned as she treaded water, spying two shapes. She focused, the blue blur looked like Dalu, her bodyguard. Then she focused on the second figure, and recognized the gold and white blur of an Av-Matoran waving on the shore. Turaga Macku swayed her hands and the water pushed her to the shore, letting her shakily wade onto land. Her legs trembled with age and her hands were unfocused, her vision gone. As she walked she slammed her harpoon down, using it to steady her unstable legs. “Chronicler, it is good to see you,” the Turaga said in greeting as she walked closer, “you do not often find your way to Mahri-Koro.” Her chassis was a bright blue, and she wore a strange almost fleshy Noble Huna over her face. As she walked her fingers drummed her harpoon in a flash of sparks, and the water dripping off her frame suddenly splashed to the ground in a sheet, flung off of her body so she could dry. She was a Turaga of Water, not as powerful as when she was a Toa in her youth, but she still had some lingering remnant of her old elemental powers. “Sorry it’s just, well, most of the Toa and the Matoran live in Metru-Nuva,” he answered, rubbing the back of his mask. “Oh, I think you’ll find we Mahrika still have our fair share of excitement, Solek,” Turaga Macku answered, stopping right besides the Chronicler, “tell me though, why have you come all this way to the shores of Aqua-Magna?” “I … was wondering is you could help me finish a tale I’ve been wondering about. What happened to the Fe-Matoran named Kanohi. The vigilante?” Solek rubbed the back of his head, and Dalu rolled her eyes. “His is an old tale,” she answered with a faint smile, “dating back to the days of the island of Mata-Nui, before the Toa Nuva had landed on our shores. I was just a Matoran back when he first became our protector, still Turaga Nokama’s right hand…” She trailed off, still smiling. “What was it like? When your team killed Teridax?” “It was … lucky,” she sighed, “we got lucky. Three Toa and two titans against six Skakdi and a horde of Rahkshi, and the Ma… the leader of the Makuta? It was just luck.” “And Destiny,” Solek offered with a grin beneath his noble Akaku. “Yes,” the Turaga nodded, “Destiny had its part to play. As did Unity and Duty. Despite what Velika might say.” Her optics tightened, and she clutched her staff hard enough for it to tremble. “Who?” “He’s a part of the story, I suppose you could say. His part is forgotten, for better or for worse.” “Was he a Matoran?” “No.” Turaga Macku answered simply. “Though he might as well have been,” spat Dalu, the Ga-Matoran’s face clenched under her mask. “As for Kanohi,” the Turaga continued, “I do not know what his last adventure was. Because as far as I know, his adventures have yet to end.” The Turaga walked off towards the coastal huts of Mahri-Koro, with the two Matoran following after her as she used her harpoon as a cane. “Really, where is he?” “He is helping many, those that are less fortunate than our people on Spherus-Magna,” Turaga Macku turned her head towards him, her metal lips turning to a soft smile, “some Matoran, some Skakdi, some Vortixx, some Zyglak. Some who have no name in our tongue. He helps them.” “But … where else would Matoran be? Or the others? The Red Star?” “Where he is, that is quite the story. He is not alone however. I believe he is with one of your fellow Av-Matoran, Gavla I believe her name was?” “Gavla? Why?” “I believe she felt out of place on Spherus-Magna and among the Av-Matoran. Since he was patient with her, she chose to leave with him.” “That’s it?” “That is it.” “But she wanted to be a Shadow Matoran, she attacked our people, she … she was the worst Av-Matoran I have ever met.” “Yes,” nodded the Turaga. “Why does she get to travel with a great hero?” “Because she was as uncomfortable in this paradise as he was.” “Wh — why would he be uncomfortable?” “Why indeed,” mused Turaga Macku, her smile wide beneath her mask. The three of them walked along the shore among huts woven of flax, some huts hanging on the ocean atop large lily pads. Matoran walked among the braided rope bridges and sandstone paths, most of them Matoran of Water, Lightning, and Psionics, but there were others too. They swam and fished on the lily pads, while others wove cloth from fibers of flax and seaweed, and others built spears and throwing disks out of bamboo. Vortixx were there too, the towering traders leaned over Matoran stalls, examining harpoon guns and fishing rods. They were shorter and leaner than the ones in Xia-Nuva, but even the smallest one still dwarfed even Toa. Some worked to hang up bug nets, others threw bolas to ensnare flying Rahi, bringing them down in time for Matoran to run up to catch the meal. Solek startled as he nearly thumped into a Skakdi, but as the Av-Matoran backed up the hulking character only grunted and gestured for Solek to leave. The Chronicler hurried away, but looked back enough to see the Skakdi going back to whittling a wooden Hau. Then he spied a large blue, white, and red reptilian creature, lumbering on wooden tools and surrounded by a trio of Ga-Matoran. “That … this is a Zyglak?” Solek managed, clenching his staff. “Yes, Far-Dive is lucky, all of the Zyglak here were recently injured in a deep sea dive. Luckily he was able to swim long enough to get to shore and was able to get help, we were able to recover the rest. Most of the others are recovering in our infirmary.” “They … live here?” “Some do, they help us dive for sunken huts or hovercrafts, maybe hunt deep sea beasts. And the few times we have been attacked by the Bone Raiders, they have been of great aid repealing them.” “But they … they were the Great Beings’ mistakes,” he stared at the Turaga. “All of us were their mistakes,” huffed Dalu with a tremble like a bioquake, “doesn’t mean we don’t deserve homes. And that at least give us aid when they can spare it.” It was … strange to an outsider like the Chronicler. Not just the many shady inhabitants, like the greedy Vortixx and the violent Skakdi and Zyglak, but the buildings, While the huts were humble, there were many of varying sizes, some wide, some lean, but all fairly tall and often with both a large curtain and a small curtain for doorways. Were those entrances for folks of different sizes. It was … the effort to engineer this town this way… “Is this how it was on Mata-Nui?” “Not really,” answered Turaga Macku, “electricity wasn’t so widespread then, medicine was worse too, and there were only Matoran there, and we all suffered under constant attacks by Rahi. This Koro is poor, but it is not cruel.” “But why live here instead of Metru-Nuva? Or any other Koro?” “Because … many Matoran have not evolved beyond their programming. Not really.” “What does that mean? That the Matoran here are simp—” Solek suddenly was cut off as Dalu swung her Charger at his neck, stopping just short of his throat. “Watch what you say.” The Ga-Matoran’s voice hissed like a boiler venting steam. “Um, right, sorry.” Dalu walked off alongside her Turaga, and Solek could only stare. That was … Ga-Matoran were not like that. That was more the anger of a Ta-Matoran. Why was she so angry? And why was she just … no one really was reacting either? And why were Skakdi here, they mostly spent their days beating up each other. Not … relaxing on a beach. Then Solek realized Turaga Macku was walking farther away. The Chronicler straightened his mask before running up after them, stumbling as he struggled to catch up. Finally he stood besides them out of breath, as Macku laughed, “Now,” the Turaga gestured towards a hovercraft tied to a hut floating on a lily pad, “I am wondering if you would help us with something, before I tell you a bit of Kanohi’s tales.” “Sure, Turaga. What do you need?” “A few days ago some of our hovercrafts were sunken. The Zyglak went to investigate and were brutalized by the encounter. From what Far-Dive says, I suspect both were attacked by a large Rahi. Dalu, Idris, and me were planning to descend into the depths to investigate it, but having an Av-Matoran to guide us in the dark would be a great help.” “Oh, um, I … Pit Mutagen isn’t there, is it?” “There shouldn’t be.” “Do you have a submarine?” “Why? Don’t you have Adaptive Armor?” scowled Dalu. “Well, yes, but what about you?” “Idris was exposed to Pit Mutagen long ago, she can breathe underwater. As for Dalu and myself, we can manage between the two of us.” “Can Ga-Matoran hold their breath that long? Are you going to use her Chargers?” “If something goes wrong.” “Do not worry, Chronicler,” the Turaga laughed, “the survivors of Mahri-Nui have many techniques and technologies for surviving underwater, many that put any Ga-Matoran to shame. Many of them moved here, and they have helped us in times like this. And our Vortixx residents are always happy to help us improve our tech and keep it in working order.” “Why are they here?” “The same reason any Mahrika are here. Oh, that is what we call us people of Mahri-Koro. Now would it be alright to count you among our voyage? “Um, yes, Turaga Macku.” … Idris took the lead, bubbles spurting from her back as she descended into the water. The Chronicler swam besides her, a glowing hand outstretched. His body had changed in shape and function, his feet and hands now had webbing, and built into his back was now propellers that shoved him through the water in bursts of speed. “So, Idris,” The Matoran of Light held out his hand as he radioed her, “why do you live in Mahri-Koro?” From his hand a bright light radiated through the gloom, a beacon to the swimmers. “Because I cannot breathe air?” She glanced at the Chronicler, her head tilted. “Yes but you could get a Breathing Helmet and live in Metru-Nuva? Or get your body upgraded to be able to breathe air again.” “Well … it wouldn’t be comfortable. My body is built for water since I was exposed to the Pit, and I spend centuries living beneath the waves. Metru-Nuva wasn’t built with me in mind.” “Built with you in mind?” “I don’t have the widgets to buy a Breathing Helmet, or buy replacement parts if it broke. I definitely cannot afford a body upgrade. And I don’t know if many Matoran would hire a worker who could suffocate in air.” “Yeah but that’s…” “It’s okay. Mahri-Koro might not have the best medicine or the biggest selection of comforts, but it’s still good. Close to the ocean, the other Mahrika will swim with me, they value my help and freakishness. It’s a nice place to live. More accessible to everyone.” “You aren’t a freak.” “I kind of am,” she looked off to the side, before abruptly saying, “but it would be better if I was enough of a freak to use my Ruru. Imagine if I could actually use my mask to see through this gloom. It would let us save your elemental power.” “Oh it’s no trouble—” There was a rumble below them, and Solek vanished. Though as Idris swerved in the water to look for him, she realized his light remained. “Chronicler? Are you there?” “Yeah, sorry. My armor changes color on reflex.” Idris turned towards the glowing light, she could just about see an indigo hand with a black forearm, both illuminated by the light. “Incredible.” “One of the many perks of being a Matoran of Light. If you want I can change back?” “Don’t,” Macku’s voice interrupted, as a hand grasped Solek’s shoulder. He spun around, only to find true emptiness behind him. “T-Turaga?” Solek’s optics swept about, searching for her. Then Turaga Macku laughed across the radio, “Come now, Turaga. I have a Huna, don’t I? Noble Mask of Invisibility.” “Oh, right,” Solek blushed. “But I suggest you keep those colors you have shifted to, at least fir now. Us girls naturally blend in with the water, even without my mask. If the Rahi is hostile, it could only help you to stay a little camouflaged.” “Quiet, I hear something,” interrupted Dalu, “more rumbling to the southwest, lot of water being displaced, other Rahi are fleeing from the rumbling too, some are screaming.” Solek turned to see her swimming up, her body was built in the Mata-Nui style, giving her long arms and short legs with big feet, an somewhat ape-like appearance. “Understood, rest for a time, Dalu. Chronicler, Idris, please investigating the sound, I will help Dalu rest, make the water support her. When you explore, don’t attack the source of the sound unless you must. We don’t know how dangerous it is, if it is enraged it could damage Mahri-Koro.” “Right,” Solek nodded, and extinguished his light. His hand reached out and grabbed Idris’s wrist, before swimming towards the direction Dalu suggested. His Adaptive Armor shifted slightly, and a visor formed in his mask. giving him a sort of basic night vision. Not as powerful as even a Noble Ruru could do, let alone a Great Ruru, but enough for the darkness not to blind him. As the two swam Solek remarked, “Dalu seems a bit … odd for a Ga-Matoran.” “She came from Voya-Nui.” “So did you, didn’t you?” “…Not originally, but then neither did she.” “Then why—” “She grew up on a hostile island with no Turaga for guidance, just unusually weak Matoran struggling to survive as they ran more and more out of resources, hunted by powerful starving beasts.” “You had to live underwater.” “Yes. But that doesn’t take away what she endured.” “But times are easier now, aren’t they?” “They are. But not everyone heals, and not everyone heals the same way.” “Her core processor is damaged?” “Don’t say that,” Idris spoke with a sharpness that Solek cut himself on. “Oh, sorry.” “Point is, she doesn’t fit together with most Ga-Matoran now, always ready for the next attack, her instincts ready to retaliate at the first sign of a threat. Most Matoran find a warrior Ga-Matoran disturbing, she was isolated in Metru-Nuva, and that only made her anger and paranoia harder to control.” “So she came to Mahri-Koro?” “Yes. She is fairly calm and happier here, but certain things can trigger her.” “And the Vortixx? How are they odd?” “Well um, many of them come here because Vortixx society is very rigid on gender. Many of our siblings here are more flexible, some have no gender, some have many, some are assigned as male by their people but prefer to be women, some the reverse, some have a third gender.” “I … never heard of such a thing.” “It appeals to some of the Mahrika Matoran too. Other Vortixx come because they are injured or disabled, and cannot afford treatment or prosthetics. And even with treatments, Vortixx don’t often get hired in Xia-Nuva if they might be a liability. And in Metru-Nuva, well, medicine is not intended for beings that size.” “What about the Skakdi, most of them are just bandits, raiding Koro or getting in street fights. Their uncontrollable rage is legendary, I never saw an artisan one before. And the false Toa were Skakdi too, but the Turaga lets them live here?” “The Skakdi feel great rage, yes, doesn’t mean all of them want to let it rule them. They are sick, but so am I, so is Dalu, so are all of us. And the false Toa were only six in number, they do not speak for their whole people. And do not forget, the Skakdi people were experimented on by a Makuta, they did not exactly chose to be wrathful.” “And the Zyglak? They are strange for their people?” “Not really. Well, they might be more … hopeful? When Kanohi and Turaga Macku reached out to them, they did not immediately refuse.” “Kanohi? He was here?” “Yes, he lived here for a while. Before he left. Gavla tried living here too.” “But why approach the Zyglak?” “Because as much as all of us Mahrika are considered freaks and outcasts in Matoran society, none of us are openly called “the Great Beings’ mistakes.” Solek’s face reddened, and he looked away “…How is the Turaga strange?” “She loves.” “Well, we all do.” “No, not like a sister, she loves like an Agori would.” “…I had never heard that about her.” “That’s surprising, she’s pretty open about it. I know you don’t come to Mahri-Koro much but I would have thought one of the other Turaga would have told you. Turaga Kapura at least.” “Well he doesn’t really talk anymore.” “From what our Turaga says Turaga Kapura never talked the way the Matoran approved of, but he always got his point across. Turaga Macku wonders out loud sometimes why he did not leave Metru-Nuva to live here with us, before she usually sighs and mutter, ‘but we were safe, weren’t we? We were the Hands of our Turaga.”” “…What was it like on Mata-Nui? The island I mean.” “I … never really went there.” “But what does Turaga Macku say?” “…Not my place to speak for my Turaga.” “What about Kanohi then? I know that right before he vanished he had spent much of his time here. Was that hero … he unusual too?” “…” Idris was silent, but as Solek started to speak again the water came to life. Not literally, but it began to squirm and twist, and then the water churned as the very ocean rumbled like a yawning Tahtarok. The darkness around them seemed to squeeze around them, something shifting in the gloom. The two Matoran startled, and Idris drew her electro-blade as the Av-Matoran drew his staff, a curved two-pronged two representing his status as the Chronicler. The two of them treaded water back to back, even as the very shadows around them seemed to move as an avalanche. As the water rumbled around them, suddenly a familiar voice declared “swim to your left.” The two Matoran broke to the side, and Solek startled when he realized he was all but a blur through the water, zipping away in a burst of speed. He flapped his hands to stop, before feeling a hand grab him and turn him around. As Idris redirected his gaze, Solek ignited his staff with elemental light. The glow illuminated a massive wall, one that was squirming about. “What … is that?” The Chronicler managed. “The Dweller in the Deep,” Turaga Macku radioed quietly, “I heard stories of this beast. A unique massive Rahi that had made its home in the Silver Sea of Metru-Nui. Turaga Nokama faced it once when she was still a Toa, it was the only predator of Tarakava and Great Temple Squids.” “I … am unfamiliar with those Rahi.” “A single Tarakava almost wiped out all of Ga-Koro, trapping the Ga-Matoran underwater in a hut rapidly running out of air. They would have died if I had not snuck past to get help from Toa Gali. And a Great Temple Squid all but destroyed Ga-Koro five hundred years before the Toa came to Mata-Nui.” “…And this eats them?” The Chronicler managed, the wall of fish scales still passing in front of him and Idris. It was … endless. As he stared the light from his staff grew larger, but still he could not see the edge of this colossal Rahi’s body. But he did see something. “Turaga Macku, the Rahi has some discoloration, a green burn is running down its side. Looks diseased, or maybe poisoned?” “Troubling.” “Turaga, could it be the world of a Lerahk? Could Makuta Krika be the cause?” “Shame, Idris. You know the last Makuta keeps to himself, and after saving Spherus Magna he deserves some good faith, despite … everything.” “Of course, Turaga.” Besides, without Energized Protodermis, no new Rahkshi can be made. Even if he wished to create some, he could not. Still, it does resemble the poison Tahu suffered. Perhaps it is the work of a feral Kraata, or even a wild Rahkshi that escaped our hunters…” “Can you heal it then?” “Possibly, though I have far less power than Toa Gali Nuva. Dalu, wait for me, then try to accelerate its healing.” “Right.” “Idris and Chronicler, you will need to distract the beast. Give us time to get to work.” “We are on it,” Idris declared, and the Chronicler nodded, before firing a flare of light through the darkness of the ocean. The light streaked through the water, and with a terrible rumble the Dweller winced as the light passed its eyes. The beast slowly began to swerve in the water, it’s snake of a body turning about slowly as Solek fired another flare. It winced at the radiance, before diving at Solek. As it opened its maw Idris thrust her electro-blade against the beast’s hide. It moaned and Solek jetted out of its jaws’ path, before sending another flare streaking past. … Turaga Macku’s fingers sparked with electrocity as they pushed and pulled against the depths, creating a current to shove her and Dalu through the water. Their feet kicked too of course, but the water did not fight them, letting them move swiftly through the darkness. “Okay, Dalu, enhance my finger strength.” “On it, Macku,” muttered Dalu, “not stopping there, gotta increase this dweller’s natural resistance to toxicity and ability to heal.” “Three enhancements? Are you sure—” “I can take it, Macku,” Dalu grunted, “I’m not some frail fisherwoman.” She drew her Chargers and they began to glow, illuminating the Turaga’s hands and the whole of beast itself. Dalu lurched as the water around the two rippled and churned, before going limp. “Dalu—” “Get … on with it, Turaga,” spat Dalu, and Macku just nodded with a small grin. With a flex of her sparking fingers she hurled through the water, flying at the beast just as it turned chasing the Chronicler. She stowed her harpoon on he back, she wouldn’t need it yet. Macku’s hand shot out and grasped the beast, clinging onto his scales. As she hung she began to climb along him, searching for the burns. Her body was all but invisible, her organic mask cloaking her from sight. Not that she needed it much in the gloom. The strange fleshy mask was … smart. She did not need to focus to use it, it empowered her on its own. Such a freakish mask, a Mahrika through and through. There, she heard the beast roar in pain as her finger grasped at a patch of flesh that was unusually soft. The beast bucked and thrashed, she clung to a scale desperately, her fingers straining for a handhold. As the thrashing slowed she closed her eyes, still clinging tightly. As she dangled off it she held out one hand, which sizzled with energy. Her Toa Team had been … unique. Infused with the power of the Red Star, their elements were bonded to electricity, their masks were sentient and organic, their bodies full of energy. Three of them had become somewhat more … conventional later on, but she, Kapura, and Hafu had kept their strangeness, even after Kapura and her had finally became Turaga. She breathed slow into her air bubble, digging her feet and hands into the gaps in the beast’s scales. Then the Turaga pressed a hand to the wound, and electricity burnt into the green fleshy patch. The beast lurched and thrashed, but she held. And as her hand sparked water rippled around the wound, soaking into it. The fluid seemed to glow a shade lighter than the ocean, as the waves from her hand pushed into the wound. The element of water could naturally heal, not as well as a Mask of Healing, but it could mend flesh. And now not only was she healing, she was flushing out the poison. Like Toa Gali had done long ago to Toa Tahu, before … things got bad. Macku was not a Toa anymore, and not a Toa Nuva like Gali, but she still had some healing left in her. As she focused the sparks coming off her hand burned away the infected tissue as the water healed it, as well as cauterizing and cleaning the wound. “Chronicler, be prepared for danger,” she said suddenly over the radio, “this burn, it is similar to the ones a Lerahk could cause.” “Then it is a Rahkshi?” “No,” she grunted as the Dweller suddenly lurched. She could feel herself getting low of elemental power, “the poison burns are in streaks, like something slithered there. It was likely a Kraata-Ye, I … think it would have to be at least stage five.” “Stage five?” “Yes, that would poison any Rahi. But since this is not just any Rahi, it might be a stage six of even a Shadow Kraata.” “How could a Shadow Kraata remain alive? How is it possible?” “It is a big universe, and there are plenty of things outside it,” she answered, “Do not worry, the Turaga hunted the Kraata for centuries on Mata-Nui, and none of them had the element of light to help them. At best they had Matoro and Kanohi to act as bait.” “…Yes but I’m not Kanohi.” “No kidding,” Dalu managed to radio, “Macku, I’ve got an idea. Still a bit winded, so if I pass out, you better bring me to the surface.” “Of course, warrior.” “Okay, I did this with Toa Tamaru once, before he … used the mask. Let’s try this.” And then Turaga Macku’s hands began to glow and a current of lightning and water unleashed from her fingers. “What are you—” “Enhancing … your connection to your … elem…” And then Dalu fell silent. “…Idris,” Macku ordered as her power washed over the beast’s wounds, “find Dalu and bring her to the surface.” “Of course, Turaga.” The beast’s wounds seemed almost to regenerate as the poison was flushed from its skin into a noxious cloud. As her power dwindled Macku called out, “Chronicler, get ready. If the Kraata is still here, it will try to stop—” And then a blast of light streaked past her, illuminating the Dweller’s back. As Macku’s optics adjusted she could just about see a green slug-like creature, hissing as it flinched from Solek’s light. The Kraata reared back lunged towards Turaga Macku, but whether it aimed to infected her mask or poison her, she would never know. For Solek fired a pure bolt of light energy, which streaked over her shoulder and plowed into the Kraata. The Kraata-Ye burst into a cloud of vapor, and a small cloud of greenish blackness hung in the water. “Are you alright, Turaga?” “Yes,” she nodded, before shoving off the beast, “the Dweller is still wounded, but the poison is expelled, and there should be no more.” “But where did it come from? And the Dweller—” “Is leaving for deeper water,” she pointed simply, and it was. The long creature slithered through the water towards the farther depths of Aqua-Magna, the ocean rippling in its wake. … “So, you will speak to Krika then?” “Well, not him, I don’t know where to look. But he keeps a Rahkshi with a Shadow Kraata in Metru-Nuva, it knows his will. If … if there are wild Kraata on Spherus-Magna, it should know. And if not, then he should know another Makuta still remains loose.” “You will trust him?” Turaga Macku said. “You … you all have given me a lot to think about. I never … thought about … never questioned … you are a strange Turaga, you know that? You still have wisdom but you fight, you go on adventures.” “Yes, well, I always knew when tradition should be ignored. Apparently even before Mata-Nui.” “…What was Kanohi like? I mean I know the stories but … I did not question them.” “He was an outcast,” she said almost casually, “we thought there were only six elements, the Turaga told us he was a Po-Matoran. But of course, he lacks their strength and his body is built differently, he failed in much that they did with ease. Then there were his visions.” She looked away to the horizon, “we thought he was insane, his other oddities didn’t help. Vakama taught him about his visions, he knew what it was like to have a glitch, especially such a strange one. But there was only so much time they could meet with each other. For centuries the six types of Matoran were kept apart, and while Kanohi was a traveler, he ‘belonged’ with the Po-Matoran.” “Why not tell him he was a Matoran of Iron?” “Because, Matoran like people to fit into nice neat boxes, and some of us can’t,” she sighed, “revealing other elements would only confuse the Matoran, cause disharmony. Or so they said when he found out. It drove a wedge between him and Vakama, and I wonder if it is why Vakama finally died seemingly of his body shutting down.” “Vakama died of guilt?” “I think that sometimes. You know, the most remarkable thing about Kanohi was not that his vision gave him visions or that he was a Matoran of Iron on Mata-Nui. It was that he took all the ostracizing and judgement other Matoran pushed and him, and turned it into compassion. He became a vigilante while the rest of Mata-Nui waited for the Toa. He rescued Matoran, helped other outcasts build homes, he tried to make the world a little kinder, a little more hopeful. Especially for the most vulnerable of the Matoran.” “When he learned about the Matoran below, his heartlight broke,” she sighed, “on Mata-Nui, the bulk of us were bullies at worse, we could be cruel but not monstrous. Well, most of us were merely bullies, one Matoran served the Makuta willingly. But below our people were much worse. Some of our fellow Matoran committed genocides, viewed other races as savages. They experimented on other ‘lesser’ Matoran, they committed atrocities. And as far as he knew, he might have been monstrous too before the Makuta had destroyed all of our memories.” “So he and you made Mahri-Koro as a sanctuary? “Something like that,” she nodded, “a village that would take in the freaks, the outcasts, the monsters and the creatures.” “…The stories I hear of Kanohi are … different. That he was always beloved hero, honored by all of Mata-Nui and Voya-Nui.” “He was and is a hero, and most Matoran honored him by the end. The stories are not exactly wrong. But even now, acknowledging that he was first an outcast, that the villages did not see his potential for nearly a millennia, that for a time only the freaks admired him, well, it does not fit the simple view of the world that Matoran like.” “…I will have to rewrite some of the chronicles in the Wall of History.” She shakily stood up, using her harpoon to stand, “on a brighter note, the last day he was here, he told me that he had been wondering something. That when the Turaga took us to Mata-Nui, and rebuilt our society, if they had tried to make it kinder. It was not perfectly so, but if they had at least tried to make society nicer, more compassionate. And though their efforts had fallen short, now Mahri-Koro had learned from their mistakes and successes, and made a better village. And he wondered if one day, millennia in the future, if another village will come and put this one to shame.” “That’s beautiful.” “Forgive me, I still have not told you where Kanohi went.” “Isn’t he still here?” Solek smiled. “In ways,” she smiled back, “and in many ways though he is far away, often he is quite close to Aqua-Magna, if not Spherus-Magna. Rarely the Red Star, and even rarer farther than that.” “I don’t understand?” “It’s not known to many of us. I wonder if he knew about it all along, his visions might have given him glimpses. Makuta Krika might be able to tell you more, he was the one to use the Olmak in the end. Ask him when you visit him.” “Krika knows?” “A Makuta seeking redemption? Filled with regret? He is a freak, much like us Mahrika. He was kept in much of the loop in the early days.” “…You know, he still went along with the Plan, up until you killed Teridax.” “Yes,” she nodded, “and personally corrupted many of your fellow Av-Matoran. Nothing will make that right, undo the harm he did in the Brotherhood. But he might one day be able to fix some of the evils his brothers and sisters had committed.” “…You know as evil as Matoran can be—” “…They were not the Makuta?” She sighed, “I fear it is dangerous to view evil as a mere sliding scale. But so is assuming that every evil is the same and throwing aside trying to better things, even gradually. Ultimately though, you are right, the Matoran did not cause the scale of harm the Makuta did. But it does not mean we are innocents, and it does not mean we have no need to examine ourselves and try to improve ourselves. And do not forget, most Matoran are all but powerless. The damage we could cause the world was limited by our physical limitations. And we still caused great harm. Poison, Phantom, Gaardus, all victims of Matoran violence. And they were not alone.” Solek looked away to stars out over the horizon. “How are the Zyglak?” “Mending,” she answered, “some of their other tribes were able to send them aid, help us better take care of their injuries. A few Zyglak plan to hunt the Dweller for vengeance, there is not much we can do about that.” “They are going to antagonize it? After it wrecked the ones here?” “The Zyglak are used to being beaten and attacked,” she turned from the rising sun, “they have been outcasts since before the Great Spirit awoke. All they have is that they can stand together and show support.” “What about Mahri-Koro?” “They are wary, some tribes consider the Mahrika Zyglak traitors. Others they say they hope to erase the memories of all Matoran so they could become more like us. I think they are joking.” “I hope so.” “I hope that the Zyglak don’t find it,” she muttered. “Because it would kill them?” “Yes, or they would kill it. The Dweller is one of a kind, only one was ever discovered. It even held the Great Disk of Ga-Metru for a time, the disk wedged in its teeth. Turaga Nokama encountered it when she was a Toa, before the Great Cataclysm.” “…Once you knew what it was, there was no way you would kill it, was there?” “I doubt I would have killed it regardless,” she laughed like gravel tumbling, “the Toa Code still has some sway over this old Turaga. But knowing it was a freak, poisoned and abused, lashing out in its pain, well … I was never the most bloodthirsty Toa. Better to leave it be, instead of hunting it down. Aqua-Magna is big, I doubt it would come too close to here again.” “You are something of the Toa of the Mahrika, aren’t you? “Something like that. I am a indeed bit more … active in facing threats to the village than some Turaga, though I am far weaker than any Toa. Not to mention my tiny stature.” She laughed to herself, shaking her head with amusement. “Well, before you leave for Metru-Nuva,” the Turaga interrupted her own laughter, “would you like me to tell you the story of Kanohi’s last adventure here? And where he has gone?” “Yes. But … it also might be good to hear a new perspective on more well-known chronicle. I will have to leave soon, but someday, will you tell me what you remember of the War?” “The War,” she sighed, “you mean the tale of my team of Toa Inika, and our fight to save Mata-Nui from the Makuta? How we fought against the Makuta, his Rahkshi, and his Piraka; all while our brothers faced a horde of undersea monsters eight of the Makuta and the six corrupted Toa Nuva?” “If it would not bring up too many bad memories.” “I was spared the worst of it,” she said simply, “Toa Tamaru faced the worst, and Kopeke and Onepu did not fare much better. If not for Toa Krakua…” She trailed off, remembering that great sonic shriek that seemed to echo through the universe, and how it had changed the far off battle of Karda-Nui completely. She shuddered, “But yes, I can tell my part of that epic tale. I can even start it now. It began long ago, a week or so into our exile on Voya-Nui. Kanohi had conversed with Garan and Axonn for much of that time, guided by a vision he shared with few. And then one day, he had Axonn carry the Toa Canisters of our beloved Toa back towards the beach…”
  3. So I got laid off because of the coronavirus, and I have a cold. I hope it’s a cold. It’s not my best week, and a lot of folks have it worse. So as a distraction, I wrote a new Kanohi story. This is actually a sequel to my last short story, The Company of Cowards, which takes place in a universe inspired by the vision Karzahni showed Jaller in Dark Destiny. Both stories are also sequels to my original Kanohi Short Story; Of Villagers, Outcasts, and Heroes, though that one can fit into a couple universes like the Kingdom and the Core Reality. Point is, here is a new story about a grappling vigilante Fe-Matoran, with him back in the lead role. Please enjoy, at the least it’s a bit of a distraction. A Village Against the Rahkshi … Kanohi wiped the large wooden mask, a powerless mask carved in the shape of a noble Ruru. He hooked it atop his head, covering him a strange tribal appearance. He breathed steady, hands shaking. He … he had put on a brave face for the other Matoran, but here, the fear came out. He was not a Po-Matoran. He was a Fe-Matoran. And Vakama would have known that. His visions of an underground world under attack by monstrous spiders and Rahkshi, those were real, but Vakama had lied and said those visions were not so literal. There was so much Vakama had never told him. So much he still would not know if not for Axonn. So much of what he knew over the past millennia was just … lies. He understood the need for secrecy, he might have left Mata-Nui to help the underground Matoran, many would have. And despite Vakama’s mentoring, Kanohi was an outcast, a vigilante who did not belong to any one Koro but helped all Matoran. If people far away had needed him more, he would have left Mata-Nui with regret but resolve. But even though he understood by the Turaga had lied, it stung like a hundred Nui-Kopen. And it still wasn’t right. Necessary maybe, but not right. Kanohi held out his orange and black arms. Like the rest of his body they were plated with wooden masks, but sticking out of his firearms right before his wrists were small launchers. Between the technology of Voya-Nui weaponry, and the inventiveness of Nuparu, the Fe-Matoran had been able to get upgraded again. He how had two Volo Lutu Launchers; one built into each arm, to let him grapple across the jungle with ease. Even the strange jungle of Voya-Nui. Satisfied at his arms, he pulled out his lighter, gazing into the flame. As the fire danced he could see image dance in the embers. That was one honest thing Vakama had told him at least, how to focus his strange ability to prophesies with fire. Within the flickering flames he could see three of the new Toa; Macku, Kapura, and Hafu, all sailing with Hewkii and Axon. They were traveling back towards the island of Mata-Nui through the gloom of night, only the Red Star breaking the endless void of blackness. Axonn rowed and Macku pushed the ship with her elemental power, waves splashing from each push. As water foamed in their wake, the white bubbles broke apart like clumps of wet sand, before crumbling into an avalanche. Kanohi tried to grapple away, but it soon was upon, smothering him in darkness. He shivered in the gloom, before red rusted eyes consumed his sight, and a terrible voice shouted, “where is the Mask of Time!” “Kanohi, sir?” The autistic vigilante spun around, his hands shaking, his heartlight pounding beneath his wooden masks. Piruk flinched at his outburst, and Kanohi tried to settle his breathing. “Yes, brother?” “I … I was surveying the northern coast with Dalu, she enhanced my sense and … there are strange reptilian creatures flying this way. Six of them, all yellow, holding staffs.” “Rahkshi of Heat Vision,” Kanohi sighed like a hovercraft’s engine dying, “the Makuta has found us. Has Garan and Dalu already rallied the Matoran?” “Um yes.” “Is Brutaka joining us?” “No he … he says six Rahkshi are not worth his time.” “I think he will change his tune if we capture some Kraata,” Kanohi stood up. That was another thing Vakama had trusted him with, even more than all Matoran. The only Matoran to ever go hunt Kraata with the Turaga were Matoro and Kanohi, though more as bait than as fighters. “What are Kraata?” “What controls a Rahkshi, the Rahkshi is just a suit of armor a Kraata controls. They are not very smart, but they are dangerous, and can corrupt masks.” Kanohi stretched, adjusting his wooden masks one more time, before saying, “Piruk, I know this is a lot to ask, but report back to Garan, he might need you to report to the other village, and he will need to know these are Rahkshi of Heat Vision.” “M-m-me?” “We all must do our part. With half of the Toa Inika heading to liberate Mata-Nui from the Makuta and his false Toa, and the other half moving to find the Mask of Life, we need all of us Matoran working together. You don’t need to fight, just transmit news between the Matoran.” “R-right, easy. Well, you know what Balta always says…” “…You don’t need to be a Toa to be a hero,” Kanohi nodded, walking out of the hut. Looking about he aimed his right arm to a tree, and a sphere of gravity blasted out of his built-in launcher. It slammed into the treetop, and then in a rush the raw gravity pulled, ripping Kanohi off the village clearing and into the air. As he hit the tree he fired from his left arm, grappling to another tree. He ricocheted from tree to tree, patrolling the village even as other Matoran ran about in preparation for the Rahkshi. … Dalu focused her Chargers as a Rahkshi flew overhead, a tight glare in her optics. With some strange power emanated from her silver blades, striking the beast. As the beast turned towards her it lurched, suddenly as heavy as a Kikanalo. The Rahkshi plummeted like a stone, smashing into the ground with a resounding thud. She ran at the beast, but as she drew close it glared it’s eyes at her, and twin beams of burning energy slammed into her. She wheezed in pain, before that wheeze ignited into anger. “I am not so easily cowed!” The Ga-Matoran snarled, balancing on one arm and her legs. With some strain she fired her Chargers again, this time at the ground beneath the Rahkshi. The earth beneath the beast began to crumble, eroding what should take centuries in a matter of seconds. The Rahkshi was buried, and she slumped over, panting. “Take … that … Rahi,” she managed to shout. Using her Chargers was a big drain, she would need to rest or risk passing out— There was a hiss as beams of red hot flame erupted from the rubble, carving a hole in the debris. She stared up as the Rahkshi dragged itself out of the earth, its armor now scratched up, its legs sparking from when it fell from the sky. The mechanical puppet stepped towards her, its movements jerky like a Rock Ussal scuttling towards its prey. Two blasts of heat vision fired at her, but before it could hit a Ta-Matoran lunged in the way. Balta crossed his Repellers in front of Dalu, the weapons absorbing the full blast of the Rahkshi’s energies. And then with a thrust of his shoulders the Repellers hurled the energy back at the Rahkshi, frying it like the best Toa of Fire. The Rahkshi nearly collapsed, sparking as it used its staff to hold itself upright. With a cock of irs head it fired more heat vision, but not at Balta. The blasts struck a nearby tree, dropping it like a stone. Balta sounds around to repeal the falling tree— Two blasts of heat vision slammed into the Ta-Matoran, sending him tumbling. The good news was that thanks to the blast, the tree had missed hitting him. But the bad news with his injuries, he wasn’t able to lift up his Repellers, too aching from the blow. Balta’s head rolled over to take in the Rahkshi, just as a blur swung through the canopy. As another blast of heat vision flew at the Ta-Matoran a hand grabbed his arm, before grappling away in an instant. The heat vision ignited the tree, but no Matoran was hurt. Kanohi and Balta landed in a roll, as the damaged Rahkshi turned back towards them. Kanohi swallowed and fired a ball of gravity at the Rahkshi, and in a rush was hurled into the beast. He slammed into the servant of the Makuta, knocking it to the ground. As the Rahkshi shakily stood up Kanohi grappled away, calling out, “i-is this the best the M-M-Makuta’s son can do? To lose to three powerless Matoran?” If the Rahkshi was smart enough to understand and insult, it was hard to tell, but it immediately began to fire heat vision after Kanohi, blasting after him like a rampage Muaka. As the forest ignited, Balta suddenly felt some of his strength returning, his injuries mending just a little. There was a thud behind him, and he turned to see Dalu collapse again. She had enhanced his ability to heal. As the Rahkshi fired at Kanohi, the vigilante heard Balta call out, “over here.” The Fe-Matoran obliged, grappling besides Balta. The Rahkshi fired another pair of beams of heat vision, only for Balta to repel them. The blast pounded into the Rahkshi, shattering it in a fiery explosion. “We … we … killed a Rahkshi,” Kanohi managed to squeak out, dropping to his knees. “It’s not over yet,” Balta struggled to stand, putting his hands on Kanohi’s shoulder. The vigilante turned to see the Kraata had burst free of the Rahkshi, and was now oozing towards them. With a nod Kanohi drew a small capsule from his pack, and grappled over to the Kraata, slamming the capsule on top of it. The slug hissed and squirmed as he slid the lid underneath, sealing it away. “Try to rest,” Kanohi urged Balta, “watch over Dalu until she has recovered. I need to hurry back to the village, the bulk of the Rahkshi are headed there.” “Understood, Kanohi.” Balta lay down besides his fellow Matoran, as theFe-Matoran turned, hooked a tree and grappled away, launching his way through the jungle of Voya-Nui. … “Come on, Velika,” urged Kazi, uncharacteristically aggravative, “that Rahkshi is attacking the village, we need to form a Kaita.” “No,” Velika said blunt like a hammer. It was in fact unusually bluntly for Velika, no annoying sing-songs riddles of poems, just a blunt answer. Normally this would strike Kazi as odd. But since there was currently three large reptilian beasts the size of a Toa igniting the hunts and frying the Matoran, Kazi was not in the mood to ponder this. In fact all he could manage to say was simply “Why the Karzahni not?” “We don’t have time for this,” said Garan as he fired a blast from his Pulse Bolt Generators, the pulse flying through the air, growing larger and larger as it flew before pounding the Rahkshi with explosive force, “Piruk, Kazi, we will form the Kaita.” “M-me?” “Yes,” nodded Garan, “just concentrate on our unity, it should be much less of a strain than forming a Matoran Nui.” “I … I will try.” The three Matoran drew close to one another, holding hands as the village burned. Then in a flood of light they merged together, their green, brown, and black bodies fusing into one large Matoran. “Incredible, and I thought the strength we got from Nuparu’s upgrades was intense,” the fusion declared, eyeing his arms and his new two-pronged blades, “but this is on a whole mother level.” The fusion turned towards the rampaging Rahkshi and slammed his blades together, unleashing a powerful burst of sound that only grew sharper and louder as it flew. It slammed into a Rahkshi, sending sparks raining from it like an afternoon rain. The other Rahkshi turned, just as the fusion charged the first Rahkshi, slicing its staff in two. “That, is the power of our unity,” the fusion declared, before slicing and hacking his blades at the Rahkshi. The other two charged at the fusion, and the fusion only laughed boisterously, before lunged at them with clean sweeps of his blades. … “A Matoran Kaita,” Kanohi shook his head in amazement. It was … awe-inspiring to see this penultimate act of the Virtue of Unity, to see Matoran become one in drive and purpose. The giant was a little taller than a Toa, and was a flurry of sound and slashing. It was… Suddenly Kanohi spied a flash of red, and grappled to the side, avoiding a blast of heat vision. He did not have time to witness the unity of the Matoran, there were lives to save first. The vigilante grappled around, his wooden masks thumping and flanging as it went. The sensation the sound gave was oddly comforting to the autistic Matoran, grounding. It kept him calm, as calm as he could be in this moment of raw chaos. Plumes of smoke erupted from huts, ash plummeted to earth as if Mount Valami was erupting, buildings collapsed in explosion of splinters and Matoran collapsed, their metal flesh smoldering from being hit with heat vision. It was … it was just like when Mata-Nui fell. His hands trembled at the memory of Ta-Koro burning in the lava, the smell of roasting Matoran, the crushed remains of Onu-Koro, the sheer destruction caused by the first six Rahkshi, the Matoran of those villages sent as refugees to Po-Koro, to serve the will of the Makuta, then the arrival of those false Toa Piraka— And then he heard the jingling of his armor, and Kanohi let out a breath. They … they had defeated one Rahkshi, that was more than the Turaga ever had. The Matoran of Voya-Nui were strong, they … they could handle six Rahkshi. And since these were all the same type of Rahkshi, they couldn’t physically form a Kaita, same as how three Matoran of Fire couldn’t combine together. And that gave the Matoran a bit of an advantage. Kanohi swooped down towards a burning hut, scooping up a Ko-Matoran. His pistons and servos strained against the weight, but he was a Fe-Matoran, he naturally had better endurance than the average Matoran, and that was before he had been rebuilt to be stronger. Why didn’t you tell me that, Vakama? Just tell me the reason I was such a poor Po-Matoran was because I was not a Matoran of Stone at all, but a Matoran of Iron. The vigilante launched away from the fire, the Ko-Matoran in hand. Finally they tumbled to the ground, now away from the blaze. The vigilante stood up as the Ko-Matoran bolted, signing as the Matoran ran. It … his memories bubbled up inside him, the Toa Nuva could not stand against the Rahkshi, how could a village of Matoran? But he did not have the luxury to be lost in fear. Matoran were in trouble, he could not let Voya-Nui fall too. And he … he was a vigilante hero, he had protected the Matoran for centuries before the Toa arrived, protecting them from wild beasts, capturing Kraata, he was a hero. Not a Toa, but still a hero none the less. Kanohi swallowed, and then grappled back into the fray. … Nuparu slashed with his new electro-blade, frying a Rahkshi’s ankles. He was no great warrior, not the kind to become a Toa, but he had already fled the Rahkshi once, he would not do it again. As the Onu-Matoran lunged out of the way of the Rahkshi’s stomping foot, the fusion charged forward, skewering the Rahkshi’s central compartment. Ooze drooled out from the wound, and the foul smelling fluid pooled into the village center. The Rahkshi swayed, before collapsing down at Nuparu— Only for Kanohi to grapple past and carry the inventor to safety. The vigilante rolled on the landing before grappling away, streaking past the Kaita. “Please try not to kill the Kraata. I have had a vision about the Kraata, we need them to get Brutaka on our side.” “Why?” The fusion startled, “how would that convince him?” “I think he can eat them.” “Eat, like those Piraka you talked about?” The fusion stared after the vigilante, his mouth agape under his mask. Then a blast of heat vision hit him in the back, sending him tumbling. Kanohi swerved in midair and grappled back towards the fusion, as a Rahkshi focused his heat vision at the Kaita. The fusion shuddered, as two more Rahkshi flew into view. The three remaining ones were converging here now. Suddenly one of the Rahkshi became a blur, blasting forward at an inhuman speed. It slammed into a tree, shattering the wood with explosive force. As it stood there dazed Dalu stumbled out, stabbing it with her Chargers. She forced the Kraata’s compartment open, exposing the puppeteer. The slug hissing before lunging at her mask, only to be flung back by Balta’s Repellers. The Kraata smacked to the ground, right as Velika ran up to seal the stunned slug away. And then there was a boom. With explosive force the fusion separated, broken up by the barrage of heat vision. Piruk, Garan and Kazi were flung apart and landed with a resounding thud, too exhausted to function. Kanohi turned to the three other Matoran and said, “can you form a Kaita?” “No, not compatible,” answered Velika quickly. Balta and Dalu gave him a look, and he added, “if the Muaka falls, the Kane-Ra will not do better.” “…Okay. Then I’m try to distract them while you get these three to safety.” “I am not just running from these brutes,” Dalu all but snarled, and Kanohi let out a grin. It was good to see a Matoran who still had that much fire. “Fair enough, then we’ll fight them while Nuparu and you two take the fallen to safety.” “Right—” Heat vision swept at the ground, but Kanohi grappled a nearby tree, hooking Dalu and dragging her out of the way. He swung her as he flew past a Rahkshi, and she lunged at the beast, stabbing it in the eyes. The beast staggered about, and she slashed her Chargers against its thighs. Her friends’ fusion had really done a number on these Rahkshi already, now was just clean up. And as the beast crumbled, she stabbed it through the head, letting a noxious ooze drip out. Kanohi meanwhile was darting around the last Rahkshi, grappling back and forth. It’s heat vision pursued him, try to catch up. And then suddenly it pivoted around, aiming for Piruk. Immediately Kanohi broke left and grappled the Rahkshi, slamming into it. The beast stumbled, heat vision going wild, even as Dalu stabbed it in the head. There was a hiss as the slug dissolved, leaving a black stain on the ground below. And then the Rahkshi collapsed with a thud. Kanohi fell to his knees too, panting, while Dalu kicked the beast and shouted, “yeah, that’s how we do things in Voya-Nui!” … “Incredible,” Brutaka laughed like an avalanche, “I feel … incredible.” The titan slammed his fist against the mountain, shattering a crater in its side. He smirked beneath his strange mask, before punching the mountain again, and again, laughing to himself. As boulders fell Kanohi hooked a tree behind Garan and grappled, catching the Onu-Matoran’s wrist and dragging him to safety. The two Matoran tumbled into a heap, as Brutaka laughed. “And you little creatures killed these Rahkshi on your own?” He shook his head as he smashed open another capsule and slurped out the slug like a Rahi lapping water. He began to glow with more energy, the air rippling around him like the tip of Mount Valami. “Pity you only recovered three of these Kraata,” he scowled. “There are many more on Mata-Nui. And it’s said they are created from the essence of the Makuta himself. So the Turaga say.” Though they will lie if they wish. “Oh I know a lot about the Brotherhood of Makuta,” Brutaka laughed, standing up on his long gold and blue legs, “I’ve fought Rahkshi before too. But to eat one? I never even dreamed…” Under his mask Brutaka sneered, “I think I will visit this island of yours after all,” Brutaka decided, and his mask began to glow. Before the two Matoran’s eyes space rippled and ruptured, until a tear in reality formed. And within the rift, Kanohi could see a very familiar beach. “You could teleport that far?” Garan declared, “then why make your brother Axonn sail to Mata-Nui? Why not help evacuate my people’s northern brothers and sisters?” “I didn’t see the point,” Brutaka answered, before stepping through the portal. And behind him the gateway sealed shut, as if it had never been. “Do you really think we can trust him?” Garan glanced at Kanohi, “No,” answered Kanohi with a sigh, “but he will distract the Makuta, and the Toa Inika there will need all the help they can get.” “The Makuta is truly that strong?” “Yes,” Kanohi shivered, and then forced a smile, “still, I thought the Rahkshi were untouchable, and today we destroyed six of them. Nuparu and Velika are already busy salvaging their remains for more tools and weapons, even as your village is mended.” “You know, when the Makuta is defeated, and Mata-Nui is saved, our islands could learn a lot from each other. Trading goods, stories, knowledge, we are running low on food and resources, your richer island could save us. We already defeated monsters that could defeat your Toa Nuva. Imagine what we could do in a few years.” Kanohi’s face relaxed into a faint smile, before saying, “I better return to your village, we need everyone we can to fix the damage it suffered.” “Then hurry,” Garan laughed, “before my people defeat the Makuta without you.” Kanohi nodded, before grappling away through the jungle of Voya-Nui. The vigilante smile faded as he grappled, despite their words it wasn’t that simple of course. Not only was the Makuta a danger, but the false Toa themselves were powerful, though only ‘Toa’ Thok, ‘Toa’ Vezok, and ‘Toa’ Hakann seemed to be able to use their elements. But all of them had strange and incredible powers, allegedly because of the masks the ‘noble’ Makuta gave them when he appointed them the ‘protectors’ of the Matoran. Lies, all lies. The fights the Toa Inika would face in the coming days would not be easy. But the least he could do while the new Toa saved the Matoran and Mata-Nui was to protect the Matoran on Voya-Nui, both refugees and natives alike. He had a duty to all Matoran, he became a vigilante to protect them on an island with no Toa, to give them hope, and well, here he was again. And despite all his fears, his knowledge, there was another truth. Today was a victory. And that would keep him going. So Kanohi continued to grapple from tree to tree, hurtling between branches as he headed back to this island village, in a forest so alike but unalike his home. And this was the way, of the Bionicle.
  4. I wasn’t going to post this one yet, but since the world is in quarantine I felt like I might as well share a story so folks have something to read. This story was inspired by … kind of a canon alternate universe, but not really. I was hit with inspiration by the vision Jaller experiences in Bionicle Legends: Dark Destiny, the world where he did not sacrifice himself for Takua. Makuta over, the Matoran enslaved, one thousand years later the Turaga are killed in an attempted assassination, and Jaller and Hahli are broken servants of the Makuta. Dark times. Now that vision … doesn’t exactly gel with the canon. I’m not sure Makuta would wait over a thousand years ruling the isle of Mata-Nui, or kill the Toa Nuva, not when he would know that Mata-Nui would die soon after MoL. Karzahni visions aren’t always accurate, so I’m not surprised it may have some continuity issues. So I used that vision as the basis for this story, but made some adjustments and changes as I plotted it. I have other ideas for this AU, Versions of the Toa Inika, someone using the Vahki with the willpower to use its full power, what really happened to the Toa Nuva, just rough ideas I haven’t really polished yet. Maybe they will appear as either an epic or a few short stories, not sure which, but leaning towards the latter. Also this story features my OC Kanohi, because I like him, though Macku has a bigger role in the story. Anyway without further ado, here is the Company of Cowards. … There was no dawn through this storm, the black clouds reigned above as they hurled their weapons down like a swarm of hornets. The rain was a barrage of arrows, thunder was the battering ram, and lightning had all the force of a ballista. Nature itself was tearing at the makeshift raft, striving to destroy it in an unnatural fury. The boat was made of everything they could find, parts were scavenged from the huts of Ga-Koro, others from their boats, others from trees of Le-Wahi, even the six Toa Canisters were used to build the craft. It was held-together more through prayer than the vines and ropes that lashed around it. Seaweed was plastered across its sides, until it looked more like a particularly large clump of algae than a ship. Shivering in the storm were thirty seven Matoran, all hiding underneath tarps of seaweed. Their metal frames were blasted with saltwater, only the Ga-Matoran and Ko-Matoran braced the weather with any real resistance, all the others struggled each to stay conscious, their heartlights faint. Only their heartlights and eyes glowed, no other light was lit in this ship as it plunged through darkness, Most of them were rowing, others adjusted the crude rudders to steer through the endless ocean that encompassed their world. And a few Matoran peered out through gaps in the seaweed canopy with spyglasses, daring to pry into the skies about. “Rahkshi,” a faint voice managed, pointing to the port side of the boat. Macku held up her finger for silence, before squeezing under the canvas of kelp to stand besides him. The Ga-Matoran held out her spyglass in the direction that he pointed, even as she unholstered a throwing disk from her back. Up through the lens of her telescope, Macku could see three reptilian shapes streaking through the sky. Each had sharp spines jetting out of their hunched-back, and their heads were all but serpentine. Each held a double-sided staff in their claws, which they swung and gestured with periodically. Their armor was a vibrant gold, almost mocking the memory of the Avohkii. She tensed up as the thought of that Mask, she had only seen it once, seven years ago. During the last Kolhii Match, when it fell out of the Chronicler’s bag, illuminating Jaller with light. Turaga Nokama had translated it, revealing it was the Mask of Light, heralding the arrival of a seventh Toa. But a seventh Toa never appeared, and the island of Mata-Nui was enslaved by the Makuta. And now she and all the other Matoran who could were fleeing their homes, abandoning their sisters and brothers to their horrible fate. Cowards. Just like Jaller. The Ga-Matoran swallowed, holstering her disk. “Spread the word to keep quiet, Tamaru,” she urged the Le-Matoran, and he nodded. They might be cowards, but there was no way they could win a fight with three Rahkshi. They were just … Matoran. Macku pressed her way back through the bowels of the ship, crouching low to not disturb the vessel’s disguise. Finally she squeezed over to Hewkii, Hafu, and Kanohi. The first two brandished a throwing disk in one hand and a Kolhii staff in the other, standing guard. Kanohi meanwhile was huddled low to the ground, staring deeply into his lighter. He was covered in wooden masks carved in the shape of Ruru, using them for armor. Besides him were three objects, the first was Turaga Whenua’s Drill Staff, the second was a Volo Lutu Launcher; last of its kind. And then besides the Turaga’s Badge of Office was something wrapped tightly in canvas and cushioned atop a pillow. Most Matoran did not know what it was, but Macku knew all too well what lay underneath it. “Three Rahkshi are on the port side,” Macku whispered, “I don’t think they have spotted us yet, but I’ve told Tamaru to pass the word to keep quiet.” “Karzahni,” sighed Hewkii, “we are tens of miles away from Mata-Nui, how did they find us?” “The Makuta’s reach is great,” answered Kanohi, “but he has not found us yet. All he knows is where we might be headed.” “And this other land, there are Matoran there?” “Many Matoran, though their bodies are weak, like ours used to be. I think between me and Nuparu we could upgraded their bodies too.” “And are there Toa? Not false Toa like Vezok and Zaktan, real Toa. Heroes.” “There … may be Toa, I see two strange beings, titanic in size, both wearing masks and brandishing powerful weapons. One is stout with armor of red and silver, the other is lean and is plated in gold and silver. I fear they are at odds however.” “Are they strong enough to challenge the Makuta?” Macku interrupted. “My visions are rarely easy to understand,” answered Kanohi, “I understand your frustration. To be blindsided by this tragedy, it is … humbling.” “To say the least,” muttered Macku. “Well, it’s not all hopeless, Macku,” Hewkii huffed and forced a grin, “we’ve smuggled some of our brothers and sisters to safety.” “Yes, until the Makuta decides to track us down,” she shook her head, before her face reddened and she added, “still, you’re right, we’ll probably have the Makuta dead in days and soon enough we’ll be after the seventh Toa again. She contorted her face into a smile beneath her mask. “Macku, you don’t need to hide your fears with me,” Hewkii said quietly, before cracking a more genuine grin, “and it looks like the effort is hurting you.” “True enough,” she shook her head, her smile not quite as forced now. “Excuse me,” a slow voice said. Macku turned to see Kapura, his crimson body covered in a thick cloak. The Ta-Matoran spoke like the slow approach of a glacier, even as his body trembled from the frigid cold, “the Rahkshi have diverted course … to the west.” “Then have they missed us then?” Hafu blurted out with a grin as big as the ocean. “…I think so,” answered Kanohi as he stared into the fire, “keep everyone quiet for now, but I think they are heading elsewhere.” “You are sure?” “Give me a moment to focus,” he said, gazing into the flames, “it’s not easy to steer my power enough to see what I want to know. Kapura, Macku; thank you for your messages.” “It’s the least we can do,” Macku sighed, sitting down, “I should return to my watch, keep an eye on the Rahkshi.” “What color were they?” Kanohi asked suddenly. “Golden, like the Avohkii.” “Before the Toa Nuva were overwhelmed, Turaga Vakama confided in me the types of Rahkshi. I believe the three of them would be Rahkshi of Weather Control, this storm is their work.” “They can even twist nature against us.” “Yes. Oh, sorry, I was thinking out loud. I … I can see nothing, but I will stick to my fire. For the meantime, watch the storm, and be careful leaving the ship. Macku, have your Ga-Matoran forage seaweed when they can, I’ll drill a hole in the ship to dive from.” Macku nodded, “I will pass it alone.” “And I will pass along your orders,” Kapura interrupted. Macku turned to look at him, but he had already vanished into the recesses of the ship. … Kanohi could see Vakama screaming, the Turaga being blasted by the power of fear. The manifestation of raw terror smothered him, as a voice snarled. “The Mask. Where did your pupil hide the Mask?” The waves of gaseous fear blotted out the stars, snuffing them out as Kanohi stumbled in the dark. And then he felt water splash into his face. He looked down to see a Ga-Matoran flailing in the rocky ocean below him, her leg engulfed by a Takea, the shark dragging her down— “Kanohi?” The autistic Matoran lurched away from his lighter, spinning to his feet and thrusting Whenua’s Drill Staff behind him. His optics darted around as the drill whirled. No one was there. And then he spotted Kapura, standing besides him. “You had a vision.” “Yes,” Kanohi admitted, “a Ga-Matoran drowning, a Takea attacking her. I couldn’t tell who she was, it was hard to see.” The starlight outside was all but extinguished, the only light came from the blasts of lightning striking the ocean.” “It may be happening.” “Karzahni. Who?” “Macku has not returned, Hewkii is considering diving after her.” Kanohi nodded, handing over the Drill Staff. “If you have to, shatter it.” “Yes.” Kanohi crouched and made his way through the ship, his Volo Lutu Launcher already back in his hands. It was meant for the jungles of Le-Wahi, but he had made it waterproof, at least as best he could. There, peering over the hole was Hewkii, his hands squeezing his spear until it nearly snapped in half. The hole had been drill in only a few hours ago, the rim bent upward as water splashed inside the boat. Seaweed lay stacked in mounds in this chamber, sloppy and wet. “Move,” said Kanohi, as he pulled out a bundle from his pack. “Please, just … bring her back.” Kanohi nodded and dived in, sinking into the water. With a whip of the cloth he uncovered the Lightstone, illuminating the darkness of the stormy sea. Clutching it in one hand he swam through the gloom, searching for any traces. He was no Ga-Matoran, he couldn’t hold his breath for long. He would have to hurry. … Macku moved her hands towards the object, formerly lost to the waves. It … it looked like a curved blade, a similar shade of silver to the Toa Nuva’s weapons. But it was small, seemingly built for a Matoran’s use than a Toa or a Turaga. As she touched it it radiated light, and a mild shock of electricity zapped her hand. She recoiled, her hand sore, what … what kind of Matoran tool has that kind of power? This could be useful. She grabbed the seaweed from her pack, and wrapped some of it around her hand. She reached over, grasping the tool, it singed the plant fibers but they held. Strange, was it damaged by the erosion of the sea? How long had it been here? As she held the blade in front of her, through its sparks she spotted something swimming through the gloom. She immediately kicked off the rocky patch and swam away, heading back towards the ship. The water curved behind her, something huge was getting closer, shoving aside the ocean like blades of grass. Macku swallowed and turned around, just in time for her blade to illuminate a Takea’s jaws, the teeth glinting from the electricity. She stared in horror just … not responding, as the Takea chomped down on her leg. Somehow she was numb to it, the teeth pierced her leg and she felt nothing. She just stared there. Then suddenly the water rippled, and a Matoran slammed into the Takea. The shark released her, and she drifted through the water, bubbles popping out from under her mask, her eyes motionless. … Kanohi wasn’t sure if Macku was already dead, but he couldn’t dwell on that much, ramming into the shark had staggered him, he had almost released his breath. He swerved in the water and fired a sphere of gravity besides Macku, and with a flurry of bubbles he flew besides her. Her heartlight was still lit, she was still alive. He grabbed her hand and squeezed, trying to help her store, and she almost strangled his fingers. He flinched, before feeling the ocean bend behind him. With a twist of his wrist he fired his Volo Lutu Launcher again, and grappled out of the Takea’s jaws with Macku hanging behind him. He winced at the strain dragging her weight behind him, but he held on. He was … he was different, he could endure it. Kanohi fired his Volo Lutu Launcher over and over, grappling across the ocean floor. Up ahead he could see the hole in the ship, they were almost there. He could feel his head burn from lack of air, not literally but metaphorically. He … he did not have much longer to make it through the water. Then with a rip Macku slipped out of his hands, throwing him off course. He sailed past the hole, struggling to right himself. He … he needed to get her. Finally he hooked something and went flying, before flying up back into the ship. He panted as fresh air filled his lungs, his hands trembling. He swallowed, Hewkii was shouting at him, but his words were utterly unintelligible. “Going back,” Kanohi managed to say, before diving back underwater. He grappled down to the seabed, before using the Lightstone to search for Macku. Through the gloom he spied a flickering light, she was standing up shaking, some tool in her hand flashing while the Takea swam around towards her. He grappled at her, hand outstretched. … Macku stared up at the shark, it’s jaws were nothing like a Rahkshi, but in its rage and aggression, she could see a resemblance. She blankly looked at it, her hand trembling. She used to be in the Chronicler’s Company, she was a great Matoran, she broke the blockade to get help when Ga-Kori was overrun. She defended the Toa themselves when they descended into Kini-Nui. She was … she used to be strong. But now … she felt like a Turahk was blasting her with raw fear, until her servos and joints couldn’t move. No matter how much she wanted to. The Takea barreled down on her, before Kanohi slammed into it again. He knocked the shark off course, missing her and smacking into rock. Macku stared as the shark shook itself off before swimming away from her, now pursuing the Po-Matoran. Macku’s optics followed after Kanohi, his Lightstone illuminating his movements. He grappled again and again across the jagged seabed, the shark gaining on him, its jaws opening up to engulf him. The Ga-Matoran she … she couldn’t let him get eaten. He was a hero. He had protected Mata-Nui long before the Toa landed on their shores, rescued Matoran from dangerous beasts. She … she couldn’t let him die. The Matoran would need him. Look at her. Weak, cowardly. She belonged in Karzahni, with the rest of the failures. Then suddenly she felt a hand grasp hers, and a familiar Mask of Speed greeted her. Hewkii. She hung to his hand tight, and he squeezed back equally hard. His hand seemed to speak in her hand, not with words but with feeling. You are not alone. She felt her heartlight tremble as she stumbled upright, getting a mild shock from her blade, as a Hewkii grasped her hand too. Then with a shove they swam at the Takea, Macku took the lead, she was a better swimmer after all. With a thrust she slammed the electric blade into the shark, and sparks ignited the ocean like a thousand heartlights. The shark gurgled out bubbles, and then with a powerful swish of its tail it turned and swam away into the ocean. Macku released the blade, which Hewkii caught. Trembling she grabbed Kanohi’s Volo Lutu Launchet of his hand, he barely fought her, woozy. She grabbed his hand and Hewkii grabbed his other, but not before pocketing his Lightstone. With a squeeze of the trigger she hooked the hole of the ship, and the three of them grappled into the watercraft. With strain Hewkii threw first Macku, then Kanohi inside the ship, before climbing inside the crude vessel himself. The three of them laid there panting, heaving as a few Matoran looked over them. Finally Hewkii stumbled upright with his spear for balance, and began to speak. Not that Macku could hear his words, she was numb to the world around her. She lay there limp and exhausted, before a Hewkii crouched besides her. He spoke to her and she stared up at him, unable to process his language. A Ga-Matoran bent over her, looking at her leg with a shaking head. “What’s wrong?” asked Macku, though she couldn’t hear her voice. What could be wrong with her leg, she couldn’t even feel it? … Macku slammed her makeshift crutches down, swinging her body around on her good leg. She lumbered through the gloom, with a Hewkii following her, his arms outstretched. “I can handle this much,” she said shakily. “I know. But you don’t have to, alone at least.” She sighed, “I know. Thank you.” “Hey, you Ga-Matoran value Unity most of the Three Virtues, if anything I learned it from you.” “Po-Matoran treasure Unity highly too.” You just treasure Duty more than I ever could. The two of them made their way to Kanohi, who was sitting down, Drill Staff at the ready. At his feet was the electro-blade, partly dissected. “Any luck understanding this weapon yet?” “Not really, the technology behind it is incredible, beyond anything on Mata-Nui, save the Bohrok and Boxers. Nuparu has made progress though. It must be from Voya-Nui. I … in my visions of the island I have seen Matoran with strange but powerful weapons, it must be one of theirs.” “Then we are close?” “Maybe. More importantly, the storm is dwindling, and I have had another vision. The Rahkshi have stopped searching these waters, for the moment at least?” “Really? What … what did you see?” Macku briefly couldn’t see the glow of her heartlight, too stunned for it to flicker. “From what I could understand they spotted a drifting patch of seaweed with Takea feasting on fish inside. I think they believed we perished and that was the wreckage of our craft. Again, we should lay low for a time, avoid fishing or repairing the hull, but I think we might have escaped.” Hewkii practically tackled Macku in relief, and she embraced him too, the two Matoran squeezing each other in a whirl of clinking armor. Their bodies almost seemed to intertwine with each other. Then finally they pulled back with a nod, and Macku said, “I should resume searching the skies, this time keep watch over him, alright?” “Of course,” nodded Hewkii, saluting her, and slamming his throwing disk into his forehead in the process. She laughed as he winced from the blow, and he blushed too. “I will go to Tamaru,” Kapura added slowly, “inform him of your vision.” Macku startled at his voice, she hadn’t even known he was there. “Of course—” Kanohi began to say, but Kapura was already gone. Macku shook her head at her fellow’s strange speed, before ducking under a beam and squeezing back through the dank ship. Her metal feet splashed against the floorboard drenched in saltwater and slime, puddles sloshing back and forth as the craft swayed from the dissipating storm. … By the fifth week of travel the Matoran had voted and had decided to name their ship the Voya-Suva; the Voyage Shrine. It seemed fitting, as they carried the prayers of the Matoran with them on this long journey, and Kanohi had had a prophecy claiming the island they sought to be named Voya-Nui. “What do you think?” asked Hewkii as Macku surfaced. She carried a net in her hands, full of seaweed to be ripped up into fibers. Hewkii held a net too, hauling in fish for the Matoran to eat. Turaga Vakama had empowered Kanohi’s lighter with some of his elemental power, easily enough to cook the fish the Matoran caught on their journey. “About what?” She asked. Her crutches lay besides Hewkii, her leg had ultimately needed to be amputated, and they did not have access to the tools to make a prosthetic. Still, she could still swim fairly well, and her lungs were still stronger than other Matoran “The latest vision Kanohi shared with us. That the Makuta may not only have cast the Great Spirit into a deep sleep, but that the Great Spirit might be dying.” She looked away, “I’m trying not to think about it. The last few days have been so tranquil, it’s best we do not dwell on a prophecy that is so … distant.” “Yeah, I guess we need to keep our senses sharp,” Hewkii agreed, “The last thing we need is to be gloomy on a day like this.” The two Matoran stole a glance at the sky. It was a bright blue, but worse it was clear. If a Rahkshi flew overhead, it would not be hard to spy their boat, and to discover its true nature. But for now, no Rahkshi could be seen. “Besides, Kanohi said so himself that his prophecies are not easy to understand, it might have been a metaphor for the Matoran being … beaten.” “Yeah, might be just them losing faith in the Great Spirit.” They both fell silent, Macku awkwardly treading water. Neither Matoran brought up the simple truth. Even if the Great Spirit was genuinely dying, or worse, if he already had, there was nothing they could do. The Makuta’s reach was as endless as the ocean, Mata-Nui belonged to him, his Rahkshi, and the false Toa who enforced order in the six villages. “…Do you think Hahli is alright?” “You want the truth?” “No, I already know it.” Then came a thunderous sound, and both of Matoran flinched, drawing their throwing disks at the rumbling. Their heartlights flashed violently, as they stood there watching. Finally they heard a Matoran shout in the distance, “Razor Whale scraping against the ship,” and the pair of them slowly stowed away their disks. But their heartlights continued to pulse. “…Hahli.” “She continues to resist to her dying breath, leading a guerrilla battle against the Makuta, using Volo Lutu Launchers to slip past the Rahkshi and throwing disks to shatter the false Toa’s masks.” “Lie better,” muttered Macku, “the false Toa don’t wear masks.” “I know. But there is not much any Matoran can do against those strange beings. Even if the Toa Nuva had still been alive when the Makuta first unleashed those Piraka, there is not much even the Toa could have done against them.” “Heh, here we are, we want to ignore those problems, and we are obsessing over them. Guess my cowardice is all consuming.” “You are not a coward.” “What do you call a Ga-Matoran who abandoned her sister to be ruled by a monster?” “So did all of us. We are leaving to get help.” “But are any of us coming back to Mata-Nui afterwards? No, we all will hide in our new refuge like good little Matoran, hoping these two Titans can fight our battles.” “…” “Some Chronicler’s Company we are. Our Chronicler dies and the six of us flee our island, not only forsaking our brothers and sisters but his own memory.” “I know … your guilt,” Kapura interrupted, coming up from behind them. Macku nodded towards him, hauling her catch onto the deck. As it slapped onto the deck Kapura started to speak again, but by then Macku had already dived back underwater. She was tethered to the Voya-Suva by a cord woven of seaweed fibers, to prevent her from drifting away. The Ga-Matoran had been in the Chronicler’s Company alongside Tamaru, Hafu, Kapura, Kopeke, and Taipu. They had worked with the Chronicler to help the Toa, famously defending the entrance to Kini-Nui so the Toa would not be ambushed. Oh if only the Toa had actually defeated the Makuta then. Shortly after Macku resurfaced, with another net of seaweed behind her. As she climbed up Kapura began to speak, but Hewkii spoke first. “Kapura says that we’ve spotted land in the distance, looks mountainous and icy, like Ko-Wahi back home. Might be the northern tip of Voya-Nui.” Macku let out a tightly held breath, before sitting onto the deck facing the ocean, her foot dipping in the saltwater. She reached behind her and pulled out her spyglass, scanning the endless waves. “I think I see it,” she smiled, then frowned, “it looks … thin. Is it really so small?” “No … just the tip … of the island. Its size rivals Mata-Nui.” “Incredible,” she shook her head, “ a whole other island of Matoran. Matoran who have never had the wisdom of a Turaga, or the protection of a Toa. And they live together, not separated into different villages based off their element.” “So Kanohi says.” She sighed, “even for the thousand years before the Toa, we still had the Turaga. To not even have that, not to mention how none of them know of the Titans on their island…” “They have been alone in a way we never knew.” “We know it now.” “They will have experience … to share.” “Yes. And if we can … work with the Titans … we might be able to overcome … the Makuta.” “And someone as large and mighty as the Titans might even be able to use Kanohi’s secret.” “Don’t speak it,” muttered Hewkii, and Macku nodded. The fewer knew what Kanohi had smuggled with them, the better it would be. As far as Makuta knew, Turaga Vakama had told Kapura to hide it. And hopefully the Makuta still thought it was on Mata-Nui. It was the only thing that could stay the Makuta’s hand from destroy the Voya-Suva. After all, the Makuta was a god onto himself, but he was no match for the raw force of time. But it was still unwise to mention it. Not even Toa Nuva Tahu could control its full power, maybe only the Great Spirit or the Makuta could. So Kanohi guarded it, ready to shatter the artifact with the full force of Turaga Whenua’s Drill Staff. And the resulting chaos … the universe would never recover. … Macku and the other Ga-Matoran struggled underwater, pushing the Voya-Suva across the shallows. The others had insisted she just rest, but she could not. She could do this at least, stand united with her fellow refugees in one task. And with all of them working together, the weight was less. In front of the Voya-Suva, the group’s Onu-Matoran and Po-Matoran strained, using their enhanced strength to drag the boat on the mountainous terrain of the shoreline. They meant to drag the boat onto the shore of Voya-Nui, to repurpose it as a crude shelter. It would take time to fully explore the massive island, alone find the Matoran. And then finding the Titans would be another problem altogether. So in the meantime, the Matoran refugees would need a place to hide and escape the predators on this strange island. They have traveled down the coast for a number of days, trying to find where the shore was shallow enough to land on. Finally they had reached such a spot, and had resolved to make it a base of sorts. It helped that landscape was a lot less frigid here. Still the Ko-Matoran remained the Matoran best suited for this landscape, able to endure the cold of the peaks. Kopeke had led a number of them into the icy mountains, to at least do some scouting. Kapura was scouting south, hoping to find a village in the more temperate regions. Hopefully down there, where it would be comfortable for more types of Matoran, there would be the village of the people of Voya-Nui. It would take time, but the Ta-Matoran’s strange speed made him great at trekking vast distances quickly, and he needed to stretch after his time cooped up in the Voya-Suva. Macku looked over to see Kanohi, grappling across the cliffs. The Po-Matoran was using his launcher to sling from ledge to ledge, pausing only to take in the view of the shore. He was watching for danger, as well as scouting the surrounding area. On the shore Ta-Matoran were standing guard, brandishing their bamboo disks and any other weapons they had carried. They were to ward off any Rahi, they could at least handle that. The thirty seven refugees were tired, hungry, coated in grease and saltwater, but they were alive and free, and that was better than most of the Matoran back home. Hahli … Macku prayed to the Great Spirit as she strained to push the boat, please let Hahli’s spirit endure. Don’t let her break. And then as Macku lifted her head to get air, she heard shouts. Her heartlight began to pulse frantically, and her hands trembled. She wanted … wanted to run, but where to? Ga-Matoran or not, on a good day she couldn’t swim long enough to get far away without her leg, and she was too exhausted to swim at all. But those shouts … she froze there, half-submerged. Her hand reached behind her to her throwing disk, pulling free the weapon of bamboo. She … she didn’t know why she clung to it, perhaps it was some old instinct from before destiny went astray. An instinct that Hewkii resurfaced with the Takea. There were more shouts, and the other Ga-Matoran swam away, heading inland. She just … were those cries from Hewkii, Tamaru, Taipu, Kapura, Kopeke, Hafu - even Hahli? They all blended together in her mind, roaring into her face. “Hey—” Macku swung her throwing disk with all her strength, thumping against someone. “Ouch,” muttered a small blue being with a mask that Macku had never seen before, one who held two long blades in her hands, each silver like the weapons of a a Toa Nuba, or the blade that Macku had found on the journey. . “You … you are a Ga-Matoran?” Macku managed as she flopped over, laying limp against the boat. Her chest heaved up and down, as the short stranger eyed Macku’s lower torso. “Yes. I’m a warrior, name’s Dalu. Piruk spotted you sailing in, I came to investigate. Glad to see some of my sisters from across the waves have spirit left in them.” “Not much,” sighed Macku. “Eh, more than most of your crew. Most of them look like they’ll just lying on the shore, waiting for the tide to drown them. While it looks like life has chewed you up, and you aren’t dead. Come on, big sister, let’s get you out of the water. Looks like you need to rest for a century.” The smaller Matoran shoved Macku upright, though she couldn’t stand, just prop against the boat. “But, the Voya-Suva—” “We’ll help you haul it ashore, once you all have had a chance to breathe. And we really need to discuss what happened to you.” “But … the Makuta?” Macku managed as Dalu handed her the crutches. Macku blankly stared at them, then back at the warrior. “Makuta?” Dalu shook her head, “You northerners keep saying that name with such fear, like se’ll sense you by his name alone. Although, I swear I have heard that name before. Maybe it was something Velika said, he’s always muttering stuff that makes no sense.” Shakily Macku stood up on her crutches, as Dalu slotted her bamboo disk back into Macku’s pack. The two of them began to lumber forward, inching their way to shore. As Macku drew closer to the shore she could see Hewkii wave to her, starting to run to her. She shook her head and he stayed back. Mustering her strength she let out a sigh, before wading towards him and the shore. Dalu glanced back and forth between the two of them, then grunted before sprinting off through the water, running to stand guard among some Ta-Matoran. As Macku stumbled ashore Hewkii tried to catch her, before they both collapsed. “Ugh, my body aches all over,” Hewkii shook his head. “I can’t even see my heartlight,” agreed Macku with a bitter laugh, as they lay there on the rough jagged shore. “”Neither can I, it’s so faint.” Dalu grunted and walked back over to them and held out her blades. The air around them seemed to ripple, and then Macku felt … different. Like her metal skin was crawling, and her arms were denser, but somehow lighter. As they stood back up, Dalu stumbled, before walking back to shore. “How … how did you do that?” Macku called after. “My Chargers. Let me temporarily enhance an attribute of a person, Rahi, or object. Can make a Burnak too heavy to move, or make a killer aware of all reality until they go mad. Used them to make your stamina increase. It’s draining to use them, I need to rest afterwards.” “How … how did you get that artifact?” Was it like the blade she had found? “Always had it, long as I can recall at least. Come on, we all need to rest now. Once you’ve told me your stories, I’ll head back, see if we can help haul your boat to shore. Then we’ll worry about hunting down this Makuta.” Macku nodded shakily at the strangely powerful Matoran. If a mere Ga-Matoran could have the power she claimed to have, even with such a weak body, and if Nuparu and Kanohi could upgrade the bodies of these Matoran too, and then build more weapons like Dalu’s Chargers and the electric blade… Macku smiled faintly despite herself. She hoisted herself back up on her crutches, and she and Hewkii followed after Dalu. The two Matoran did not even need to look at each other, both certain that the other felt a tiny glimmer of hope in their heartlights, one that had endured despite everything.
  5. Alrighty folks! This is my first time posting any of my work, so feedback is definitely welcome! (Review topic: http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/28099-universe-of-the-cyclical-paradigm-review-topic/ ) This takes place after Spherus Magna is made whole again and Teridax in destroyed. You may notice a few things that initially seem to conflict with the established cannon, so I wanted to clarify a few things to preface the story. First, I see just about everything up til the end of Journey's End as cannon, but I don't pick up where any of the unfinished serials left off-so Kopaka and Pohatu did not go to the red star in my story. I might at some point use some ideas or characters introduced in those stories, but in reinvented ways. Second, this takes place in an alternate universe, so certain things might be different. So! Without further ado, The Universe of the Cyclical Paradigm: Chapter 1 Mata Nui was gone. After defeating Makuta Teridax and restoring Spherus Magna, after having freed his people, after completing his destiny, he was gone. He was not precisely dead, however. His consciousness came to rest in the Mask of Life, and after leaving his people one last message, he began a long, well deserved, peaceful rest. Toa Tahu stared into the empty eye holes of the Ignika, the Mask of Life, through which Mata Nui's eyes once saw out. The pedestal on which the mask now sat was housed inside of the massive metal cave that once formed the skull of the now shattered robot of the Great Desert, the titan of Bara Magna. Mata Nui's last great act was to simultaneously call upon the Ignika's powers of restoration and to release all of the remaining energy reserves powering the desert titan. The resulting explosion rocked the entire planet of Spherus Magna; however, this explosion left not death, but life in its wake. The Ignika had summoned all of its powers over regeneration, restoration, and creation-a whirlwind of energy swirling and crackling with beauty and white light in the core of the colossus. Thus, when Mata Nui overloaded the desert titan’s energy reserves, the resulting explosion carried the power of the Ignika with it, spreading the forces of that whirlwind across the battle scarred and broken planet. Tahu himself had been at the feet of the colossus when the explosion occurred; his entire being was bathed in the maelstrom of healing. He could feel his armor growing hot, his body beginning to smoke and sizzle within and without-but there was no pain. He felt all his battle wounds being restored, even the old scar he bore under his mask from his battle with the Rakshi Lehrak, a wound which not even the greatest healers of Ga-Koro could heal, slowly grow together to form undamaged tissue. The familiar light "clomp" of Turaga Vakama's staff on the floor pulled Tahu's mind back to the present-all sounds, big or small echoed all through the cavern, growing to a volume that somehow felt both deafening and faint. "The Cave of Memory is indeed a fitting name for this place, Turaga. Your wisdom again brings our people much good." Tahu did not look away from the eyes of the mask as he spoke to the old teacher and dear friend behind him. "I benefited much from the council of Raanu, for through the eyes of him and his people we may see Mata Nui anew." The wizened mentor placed a hand on his former pupil’s shoulder. Vakama remembered well the day he realized his destiny was complete as a Toa. "Tahu, I know the path you walk." Vakama wistfully gazed at his own gaunt hands and stumpy fingers, remembering the strong fists that once grappled with Makuta Teridax, forged the Great Kanohi Vahi, bent fire itself to his will, hands that had surrendered their power to save the lives of millions of Matoran long ago. Vakama’s spoke in a mere murmur as his eyes saw memories of battles from long ago. "It is a difficult thing to be in complete control of fire, to become one with the flames dancing at your command...To be asked to surrender that power, truly there is no greater test that a Toa can face." Tahu looked away from the mask, slowly rising from his knees as he addressed Vakama behind him. "Turaga, your words mean well, but what I am asked to do is more than you know." He slowly turned, sorrow in his eyes. "Toa Mata, Toa Nuva, Mistika, Phantoka. We have born many names over the ages, fought with new weapons and armour, but always with the same objective-protect Mata Nui. But in his hour of darkest, most desperate need, I could do nothing to aid him. Yes I fought Makuta's armies, but what did it matter? Even in the final battle the role I played was trivial at best." "Tahu, if you were not a Toa of Fire, I would say this desert heat has addled your mind. Must I remind you of how your instrumental defeat of the armies of Makuta's Rakshi gave Mata Nui the moment he needed to deal the final blow to Makuta?" Tahu was silent for a long time. He slowly turned to look back into the eyes of the Ignika. "The Golden Armour failed. Turaga, I was not the one who killed the Rakshi." Chapter 2 <<>>one month prior<<>> There is an enemy more savage than a Kanohi Dragon, more cunningly cruel as Ten Krom, quieter than Stone Rat, and more deadly than the Dreaming Plague. Panic. In a time nearly beyond Tahu's memory, Hydraxon had once said "If you find yourself impaled on a spear or feel a deadly poison coursing through your veins, you may yet survive; however, if you lose yourself to panic even in the safest of situations, I assure you that you will not live long enough to even understand what killed you." Right now, there was only one thing that kept Tahu safe from panic-purpose; namely, the Golden Armour. Takanuva and Gresh raced toward Tahu, each carrying two pieces of the Golden Armour. The words of the Ignika echoed in his ears: "I can create the armor, but be warned... it can be used but once, and there is no telling what its use will do to you." This was it. The moment for which Tahu was created. The leader of the Toa Mata, the elite bodyguards of Mata Nui, was to save his charge from this ancient foe, Makuta Teridax. Tahu, taking the armour from his companions, donned the powerful relics. As he felt the Golden Armour's power surge through him, the sound of the chaos of battle, the touch of the swirling sand, and the blistering heat all grew dim and distant. Tahu looked up and saw the surrounding armies of Makuta charging through the sand, and in that moment, it became clear-he knew what he must do. Tahu saw the battle unfold as it should: using the Golden Armour to kill the Rakshi: Makuta's distraction, the impact with Bota Magna, and the restoration of Spherus Magna. But as he readied himself, Tahu happened to glance at Makuta, and saw something in Makuta's eyes. It was a glint of green, just a quick flicker. For a quick second Tahu saw in Makuta the eyes of Lehrak-the Rakshi of poison who had destroyed his home, turned Tahu against his fellow Toa, and gave him the painful scar across his face. In that second, the meaning of the word Rakshi became all too clear: Sons of Makuta. Makuta. Makuta the betrayer, Makuta the destroyer, Makuta the murderer, Makuta the thief, Makuta the deceiver, Makuta the manipulator, Makuta the dictator, Makuta the possessor, Makuta the fate twister. Fate twister. What if Tahu's face had never been scarred? What if Tahu had never turned on the Toa Nuva? What if Tahu had led the Toa to guard the Herald of the Toa of Light? What if Tahu, the leader of the Toa... had been destined to become the Toa of Light? To wield light against the shadow, fire and light as glorious as the sun.... but Makuta sent Lehrak to prevent it. Tahu felt his scar throbbing, burning, pounding through his whole being, like acid coursing through his veins. He knew he wasn't thinking clearly, but he didn't care. His vision became unfocused, a sickly green glow creeping around the edges of his sight. He knew that this was the power of poison, that somehow his scar had power over him again, that Makuta was reinfecting him, that he must not give in to the poison. But he didn't care. All he wanted was revenge. Revenge for his scar, for all the Matoran killed by mutated Rahi, for the destruction caused by the Bohrok and the Barang, for the savagery of the Rakshi and the destruction of the island of Mata Nui, for all the Toa that had died before him, for Matoro, for the evil of this long, long war. The pain of Tahu's scar burned hotter and hotter, bore deeper and deeper-until one thought filled his mind: "I should be the one to kill Makuta." At first, the Golden Armour resisted Tahu, as if it knew that this was not what it was destined to do; however, Tahu forced it to his will, and unleashed all of the power of the armour in one massive shockwave aimed at Makuta Teridax. The energy roared through and out of the armour, the metal itself dissolving away from his body. Tahu watched the shockwave gather before him, felt the energy depart from his possession-and enter that of another. Some unknown presence took control of the energy and sent it flying away towards the Rakshi, obliterating the mightiest army of Makuta Teridax in one massive blow. The shock of such a loss distracted Makuta for one critical second. Mata Nui used this critical moment to grab the evil giant and shove him into the oncoming path of Bota Magna, a distant moon summoned by the battle between the two titans. Makuta was obliterated. Mata Nui was safe. But Tahu was filled with rage. He was robbed of his rightful place. Chapter 3 <<>>present day<<>> "The poison didn't leave me until The Restoration. Then, once my mind cleared, I realized what I had done." Tahu stared at the floor of the Sanctuary of Peace, unable to face his old mentor. "When the time came, when my destiny was to be fulfilled, I failed." Turaga Vakama stood in silence, his emotions not registering on his face. When he did speak, his old voice croaked. "And you feel that to become a Turaga would rob you of any opportunity to redeem yourself" he murmured. He again fell into silence, one hand behind his back, leaning heavily on his staff in a posture he often adopted while thinking. After a long silence, the wise Turaga looked into the warrior's eyes. "Tahu, I remember when you first came upon the shores of Mata Nui and stumbled into Ta-Koro. I have watched you and guided you through your whole journey, as a friend and a mentor." The hunched shoulders of the Turaga lurched and shook as he slowly began to cry and his voice began to crack with emotion. "But when I look at you now, all I can feel is my shame." The old leader, now openly weeping, dropped his staff, covering his face and sobbing into his hands. He fell to his knees, wracked with sorrow and guilt. Tahu stood watching his old teacher Vakama, turning his back on his beloved pupil. He slowly turned to the exit and beckoned Tahu to follow. "You must reclaim your honor, now." Tahu eagerly caught up to Vakama, relieved to have a direct task set before him again. "Where do we travel to, Turaga?" The old Turaga turned his back on the leader of the Toa Nuva. Quietly, controlling his voice with great effort, Vakama spoke to his pupil; "Leave, Tahu. Leave and don't come back until you are redeemed." The warrior looked at the hunched figure, began to protest, but then closed his mouth, and fixed his gaze on the horizon. "Farewell, Turaga. I am sorry to have failed you." The Toa of fire began walking into the desert. With every step he took, he realized more and more that he did not know where he would go, but he took each step faster and faster until he was far beyond the sight of his mentor. "Farewell, Son of flame." Murmured Vakama as Tahu vanished into the desert haze. "I pray you will find peace faster than I did."
  6. Gathered Friends... Listen to my legend... of the Bionicle... In the time before time, in the far-off and distant land of the TFW2005 Funnies Forum, a place much like this, and yet so different, a young comic-creator grew somewhat bored with the typical storyline he had set up in his fancomic, Transformers Nexus. Then he had the strange idea of including the characters of Bionicle into a storyline that, for the most part, grappled with the interpolitical stories of massive mechanical aliens fighting in a civil war, whilst humanity prepared to stand between them. This comic is partially the result of the inevitable story disconnect between the Bionicle Storyline and everything else occurring in the comic, and partially an effort of the creator to set up a somewhat long-reaching storyline to expand on plots and ideas he could not fully expand in TF Nexus either due to time constraints or mere forgetfulness. But in the face of busy schedules, short attention spans, and problematic memory issues, will that effort alone be enough... for legends? STORY ONE: AWAKENING >>> https://biototn.tumblr.com/post/161609984194/more MORE TO BE POSTED ON A SPORADIC BASIS
  7. Mata Nui, once a prosperous world of his own, was now reduced to nothing more than an empty shell sprawled out on a dry, barren landscape. The eyes that used to shine green have long ago been burrowed out, leaving his empty sockets staring off into the horizon. The very foundation that held his body together for so many decades was now rusting and withering away. Relics of a lost civilization littered the corpse, and the smell of death lingered in every corner of the once-Great Spirit. Smoke still billowed from the large cavity in his chest ripped open by an apocalyptic disaster. The sole survivor, a Turaga, pushed aside burning rubble to see what he has done to his own world, before collapsing to the ground as his heartstone faded to black. Chapter 1 “Warning. Meltdown in Reactor Core #12 on level six. Evacuate to the Onu-Metru Archives immediately,” the old speakers shouted in the cold, narrow hallways of the Metru Nui Power Plant. Rusting pipes slowly hissed at the hordes of passing Nu-Matoran, Matoran of Radiation. Red lights pulsed and sirens echoed through the maze of underground tunnels. Even though everyone’s life was at stake, no one panicked. Almost every Matoran in the Plant had gone through this before, and for some, this had become routine. Ralis swiped his ID card as he clicked on his respirator. Two large, heavy doors slid open, and Ralis felt a large wave of radiation hit him like a warm gust of wind. As he walked in, he saw other Meltdown Managers, or the MM’s, run to and from Core #12 like a swarm of angry Nui-Rama, struggling to get it stable. It was hard to hear anything over the loud hissing of steam, melting metal, and the shouts of Nu-Matoran ordering one another around in the large cave. Ralis immediately went to work with several other Matoran attempting to remove the radioactive protodermis isotope powering the Core. Radioactive protodermis was unlike any other form of protodermis. Instead of being silver and smooth, Pr-135 was sluggish, green, and very corrosive. One drop of it could easily burn through most armor. Pour. Cap. Move. Pour. Cap. Move. Ralis repeated these steps with perfect precision. If he made one little mistake, and even a drop of Pr-135 got out, it would burn through the floor as if it were butter, and might even strike another Matoran. Although it had happened in the past, Ralis didn’t let a single drop get out of line, until the pipe began to overheat. Ralis watched as the pipe he had been using began to warp, and glow a dull red. After warning the people below him, he left his station behind and rushed to get a bucket of water. Once he got back, he noticed that the Pr-135 had already melted through the pipe and burnt a small hole in the thin, metal floor. Ralis slowly doused the pipe in water, being careful not to use too much water at once. If he had drenched the pipe in all the water in the bucket at once, the pipe would have become extremely brittle, and might have broken off. Emptying the last of his water on the burning pipe, he tried filling another barrel. Ralis quickly retracted his hand in pain as he touched the still burning hot handle. He had once been given gloves, but they had been rendered useless long ago. Determined to do his job, he took out a pair of pliers strapped to his waist and locked it around the handle. Pulling on the pliers, he opened the pipe and got back into his routine. The only Turaga of Radiation still alive held up his hands in the Core’s direction, doing his best to keep the radiation to a minimum. All the other MM’s were busy fitting the entire Core into a thick, protosteel shell, and filling it up with water. Metal screeched and water boiled as the cool water touched the searing hot Core. Ralis wiped the steam out of his eyes as he capped the last barrel of Pr-135, and the Core went inactive. The Core had been unstable for too long, and was deemed too radioactive to reuse. Large tracks and pulley systems slowly moved the massive core from its usual place over to “the chasm”. The chasm was a large, seemingly bottomless pit into which all radioactive waste was disposed, very close to the core reactors. Many Matoran watched as the large, heavy ball of metal was dropped into the darkness of the abyss, never hearing it strike the bottom. No one had ever been to the bottom of the chasm, but everyone agreed that it would be the worst place to be in Metru Nui. Nu-Matoran had been disposing toxic materials into the chasm for thousands of years, with no sign of stopping. Stories told of large, mutated Rahi waiting to feast on any “careless” Nu-Matoran who wander too far down. Ralis and his team pushed carts of barrels over to the chasm and poured out the radioactive sludge, finishing the clean-up job. The MM’s dispersed as the usual workers flooded back into their living quarters. The halls were once again filled with the black and yellow armor of Nu-Matoran. Many of the workers grumbled to themselves, since the Onu-Matoran they had met outside ridiculed them for “being lazy” and not going back into the Plant. Anytime a Nu-Matoran found himself in the Archives, he was sure to be mocked at by a passing Archivist for doing such filthy and demeaning labor. For this, Ralis was grateful he never had to leave the plant during emergencies. Ralis clicked off his respirator as he went back to his living quarters, eager to go back to the dream which Core #12 had interrupted. He dreamt of what it would be like if he was an outsider. Review Topic
  8. So, I don't know if anyone has brought this up before, but I had an interesting idea. I was reading about the Kingdom alternate universe, and I saw something I had forgotten about: when Vezon passed through that universe, he saw them preparing to launch a spacecraft. Now, this obviously has some pretty huge implications on its own, as it would mean that the beings from the Matoran Universe would obviously come in contact with the people of Bara Magna and Bota Magna. But something else occurred to me: in that universe, Velika had become a Toa. Of course, when Greg wrote The Kingdom, he probably hadn't yet decided that Velika was a Great Being in disguise, and so he couldn't have taken into account the implications of him becoming a Toa. However, knowing what we know now, these facts give rise to some interesting speculation. Some things to consider: the Matoran, and all other beings of that universe, have lived out their entire lives inside the GSR, and so should theoretically not have any concept of anything beyond. For 100,000 years, their world ended at the tops of the domes; on the island of Mata Nui, they shouldn't have thought that the sky was anything different. They would have no way of knowing that outer space existed, as nobody had ever told them anything about it. The only person in the entire MU that knows about the true nature of things is Velika. Also, if events played out the way they did in this alternate universe, Velika would be in a total panic. His goal is to rule Spherus Magna, but here Mata Nui's mission has failed, and Spherus Magna is pretty much doomed. Furthermore, he has no way of ever getting off the uninhabited world of Aqua Magna to return to his loyal agents. He's completely stranded, with no way of seeing his goal through. So, this is my idea: what if the Kingdom's space program was Velika's idea? He could have used his status as one of Turaga Takanuva's prime Toa to convince people that there was a whole universe in the sky, and that they should build a craft to explore it, as a ploy to get off Aqua Magna, return to either Bara Magna or Bota Magna to see his agents, find another way to reform Spherus Magna, and then take it over. I think it makes sense. What do you guys think? Do you think that this could have occurred to Greg, and, had the story continued, we would maybe revisit this universe? I think it would have some interesting story potential.
  9. "Me" a Short Story by Kayori former title was "Breaking Myself" Everyone awoke when deep in the night the Wave Tribe had to flee due to the Elementars - a United Force of the Water Fire Stone and Air Imperiums - had invaded the land to grow in power and supplies. In the run three Matoran were killed four lost and the rest of fifty-two Matorans got to a safe place. The Lightwood Forest was huge and it was a wonder only seven Matoran got lost. Equalize and Sisd were two of them. They were alone and were stuck between thousands of Lightwood trees. Because neither of them had any plan what to do they wandered around in the forest. Days had gone by full of walking and sleeping on the cold ground, until they found a mysterious shelter. They saw it in the distance and ran as fast as they could hoping there was somebody inside. It was abandoned but luckily at a good condition. The Shelter had four Rooms: A kitchen, a sleeping room with four beds, a living room and a storeroom. It looked too good too be real, but it was real and both were happy. They looked if somebody was around. They shouted: "IS ANYONE HERE?!!" but there were no replies. Exhausted, both layed down in the rather dusty beds and slept throughout the whole day. For Weeks they lived there eating supplies from the storeroom. One day Equalize the De-Matoran asked Sisd: "What are we gonna do now...?" There was silence for a moment but then Sisd answered: "We could look for nearby Tribes or join the Elementals." Equalize responded: "I highly doubt they would even notice us. Ill go get me something to drink." Equalize walked through the kitchen into the storeroom. He looked for a bottle of Juice which still seemed healthy but he stopped checking the shelves when he found a glowing stone. He took it and ran into the living room. Suddenly Equalize slipped on spilled water,dropped the stone and fell on the ground right onto the stone shards. Sisd shouted: "Are you okay?" Because Equalize didn't respond to anything Sisd said, she walked over to him to check whats wrong with him. He seemed to have passed out. Sisd first tried to remove the shards and then dragged Equalize into his bed begging and waiting for him to wake up. In Equalizes Mind much was going on. He dreamed of being a Toa in a wide blank plane. He saw a giant Mask floating in the sky. He heard a voice: "Takanuva is that you?" Equalize said: "I dont know who that is but i know that im not Takanuva." The Mask then said to him: "So if you arent Takanuva tell me who you are." Equalize responded: "Im Equalize Mat... Toa of Sonics!" The Mask wanted to speak but Equalize saw the world around him change. Equalize woke up in a desert. No one was around and he was thirsty. Izen remembers a whole new Life he never knew of before. Again the world changes. The present one melts away, right before Izens eyes and the next one slowly builds up. He was swimming in a lava lake. Mox opened his eyes. He couldn't talk and he couldn't walk. Immobile he was floating on top of an endlessly big lake of lava. He was starting to go under the surface slowly drowning in the lake. When he thought his life would end he was somewhere else. Equalize screamed: "HOW DO I GET OUT OF HERE?!!! HELP ME!" A giant with 6 Faces each wearing a Pakari one white, one silver, one orange, one green, one purple and one with a deep black Pakari appeared out of nowhere. The Giant said: "What are we doing here? GET OUT!" The Giant opened a Portal and pushed Equalize into it. Sisd said happily: "Equalize your'e awake! Oh god it was only a short time but i thought youd never come back!" Equalize said: "You wont believe what happened to me..." _TO BE CONTINUED..._
  10. Now for ten years, we've been on our own. The radio in the corner was blasting out Don McLean. Part of a block party weekend or something. He rubbed his eyes, squinting at the light coming in through the window, licking dry lips. And moss grows fat on a rolling stone. He had a headache. But that's not how it used to be... The radio exploded, his headache receding after the intial spike from the sound of the detonating speakers. His toothbrush was somewhere around... He stumbled into the bathroom, nearly tripping over a drumset, splashing water on his face, reaching for his toothbrush. His mouth felt grimy. The toothbrush helped. He spat, watching the running water swirl down the drain, turning it off. His phone was buzzing. He ignored it, pouring some cold coffee from the pot he made the previous night and drinking it in one gulp, grimacing at the flavor. Some of his hair was falling in his eyes. He ran his hand through it, sending it into disordered spikes, pulling a black, rubber plated riding suit on, grabbing his helmet from where he'd dropped it when he came into his apartment the previous night. Plus side of a one-room apartment. Not many places to lose things. He paused at the door, looking back toward the phone on the counter and sighing, picking it up and sticking it into a pocket on his suit. He didn't turn the screen on, no reason to check the messages right now. The elevator creaked downward to the garage, pausing for a full twenty seconds at the bottom before the doors finally decided to screech open. He winced, the sound of the elevator bringing on a new throb of pain in his head as he stepped out, a plain black motorcycle sitting in a near parking spot. Well, it looked black. Bits of the original green paintjob still showed through, but repeated scorchings, scrapes, and general abuse had fractured it off. "This'll be the day that I die," he sang softly, the spark plugs deep inside the machinery of the cycle reattaching, the engine roaring to life. He got on slowly, pulling his helmet on, latching the airtight seal onto his suit. It was surprising how useful that seal was, especially because he could cut out a lot of sound if he wanted to. As the shout of the engine faded into blissful silence, he sighed-then grimaced at the smell of bad coffee on his breath. Oh well. Beast couldn't be picky. *** "Soundbyte and Remus will attempt to distract any enemy combatants while Errant tries to sneak in and free the hostages from behind. Errant, I'm downloading the blueprints for the building to your phone, along with my suggested route. Soundbyte, Remus: Be loud, be obnoxious, fight hard but not too aggressively. We don't want them getting worried and executing anyone before Errant can get to them." He nodded. True, a drunk didn't paint such a pretty picture... But Beast looked old, grey patches showing up in his blue fur, his catlike eyes weary from years of worry. Remus was immortal, so of course she looked the same. Alistair was still in his twenties, still looked good, their personal Knight Errant a tall, brown haired man with polite speech and smile. Might as well be the face of their little triumvirate. The X-Men. Down to a drunk, a knight, and a wolf. *** The X-Men. Down to a few seconds. He was running, his powers stretched to their absolute maximum, the entire universe creaking past him in slow motion, light starting to burst through the walls of the medical clinic- Reaching for the black-haired boy with him, gold brooch on his chest- Grabbing him, continuing on, dashing through the open door, glow melting through the room behind him. He had to go faster. His body started to tear under the strain of being yanked almost entirely out of the timestream. The light was burning closer. Faster. It was at his heels as he ran. FASTER. Time was disintegrating as the light caught up, burning him away, agonizing pain tearing through him so unmercifully slowly, tearing through his burden- The X-Men. Down to a few seconds. He was running.
  11. Specter Knight

    Nuclear

    A Tale from the Halkenverse <REVIEW TOPIC> The constant black haze shrouding Metru Nui at night is an Ideal place for crime. As if the city wasn’t any brighter than it was during the day, the choking darkness was only briefly relieved by the dim gas lamps and headlights on passing air-bikes. Most Matoran would shut themselves in their hovels at this hour, but those who worked late had no choice but to trudge home in the dark. And even so, they did so warily, constantly tense, as all sorts of thieves and murderers were active at this hour. Mere seconds to midnight, an alarm rang out on a local jeweller’s on one of the many coastal boulevards of Ga-Metru. Someone had broken in, and was scooping up all the precious jewels on display as easily as dust on the floor. When the Patrol Vahki arrived, the thief was already gone. The Commander barked orders, telling the rest of the squadron to search the streets. As they headed off, none of them saw the thief climb upwards on the rough edges of the wall above, heading far above the dimly lit streets. This thief was a Co-Matoran, A Matoran of smoke, and like their Suburban counterparts, The Le-Matoran, they are agile, nimble, and good at climbing. Away from prying eyes, the Thief began to make its escape. And he would’ve succeeded, if it weren’t for a Toa watching silently from the shadows. As soon as the thief climbed to one of the murky rooftops, someone leapt down from nearby, landing hard on the roof behind him. Despite the near darkness, the thief could see a faint silhouette, and an orange heart-light in the midst of the dense smog. On instinct, the thief ran, but the mysterious Toa was fast approaching. For every ledge the Matoran would climb, the Toa would effortlessly leap up. This continued until the Matoran was cornered at the edge of a tenement block. Knowing he could no longer run, the thief knew it was time to defend himself. He pulled out a portable Zamor pellet launcher, much to the Toa’s surprise. Knowing the type of thief he was battling, he might’ve got it off the black market. He fired a neon green blast at the silhouette, but his opponent was ready. The shell bounced harmlessly off the golden shield the Toa had deployed, and not only that, he had also brought and unsheathed a sword, which glowed a bright orange, as if it was composed of pure flame. In the dim glow, the Toa’s features could be seen more clearly, if that were possible. His armour was varying shades of red and orange, covering a heroic, muscular build. His mask was mainly concealed by a large breathing apparatus, with pronounced eyepieces. Panicking, the Thief let off two more shots at the Toa of Fire, but to no avail, as he approached rapidly, deflecting the pellets with his shielf, before using his sword to knock the thief’s pellet launcher out of his hand and into the streets far below. Before the thief could respond, the Toa sheathed his sword and charged right into the thief in one swift movement, knocking them both off the edge of the building. As wind rushed past them, the Toa secured his grip on the Thief, and behind his breathing apparatus, his mask began to glow slightly. As soon as they hit the streets below, a sphere of energy enveloped them, softening their landing. The force exerted on them was rather intense, but at least they were still alive. The Vahki arrived on the scene relatively quickly, and found the thief right next to his bag of pilfered jewels. He was arrested on the spot, but in the commotion, nobody noticed the mysterious Toa slink away into the night. Well, almost nobody. Unknown to him, a small floating camera drone had been recording his every movement, amplified with night-vision filters. From a discreetly parked air-vehicle, two Matoran watched the footage over and over, analysing his techniques. “He’s got initiative, daring, ruthless efficiency…” one of them muttered. “Do you perhaps think-“ The other one, sitting right beside him, cut him off. “I am certain, Vorris. This is exactly the one we need…” This story is purely non-canon. Any resemblance to any canon characters is purely a coincidence The Halkenverse was created by Xaeraz, expanded upon by Click, Nato, Ehksidian, and many others Bionicle Gen.1 © the LEGO company, 2001-2010
  12. SPIRIT

    Wildfire

    Chapter 1 Turaga Vakama’s eyes snapped open and his right hand instinctively shot for his Firestaff. It was still there; that was a good sign. He lit the end of his tool and checked the grey fieldstone-bricked walls of the room for anything out of place. Seeing nothing, he sat up in his bed and checked the wooden rafters above as well. After five minutes of searching had turned up no assassins, Vakama felt it was safe to get up and start the day. To the outsider, it might seem as though Vakama was paranoid, but you never can be too cautious– especially when you are at war. Vakama hobbled across the room using his Firestaff to support himself, unbarred the shutters on his window, and opened them so that he could watch the sun rise above the eastern horizon of the island of Mata Nui. The familiar scent of sea water and volcano smoke made the Turaga feel at ease. When the complete golden orb of the sun had become fully visible, he closed and barred the shutters and then left his chamber. It was at this time that the Ta-Matoran would awakening in their bunkers and then prepare themselves for their morning meal and begin either training or work in the forges. This was their daily schedule and had been this way for centuries. The only time it ever deviated from this was during an attack. There had not been an attack for several weeks so Vakama took this opportunity to get the troops ready. In any case, he was developing a military strategy that would certainly give them the upper hand. Even so, a little extra preparation could not hurt. Vakama made his way to Captain Jaller’s office so they could discuss the captain’s recent report. He arrived outside Jaller’s door and knocked on it. A sleepy groan from inside indicated that the door would be answered shortly. While waiting patiently, Vakama’s eyes wandered towards the sign above the door indicating that this was the office of Captain Jaller. The sign itself, although quite old, was still newer than the wall upon which it hung. This was because of the Naming Day ceremony in Jaller’s honour when he was promoted to captain not long after the beginning of the war. A new name meant a new sign and since Jaller was captain, he got one. Vakama’s train of thought was abruptly halted as the yawning figure of Jaller opened the door for him. Suddenly noticing who was at his door, Jaller leapt to attention. His right hand whizzed up to his yellow Great Hau and hit it with a soft ping. "At ease, Captain," said Vakama emotionlessly "What is this I hear of a rebellion?" "Well sir, I’ve hear rumours that a Ta-Matoran named Vohon may be trying to get the troops to desert." "Indeed..." said Vakama thoughtfully. "Order all the Ta-Matoran to assemble in the main courtyard. I have an announcement to make." "And what about Vohon, sir?" asked Jaller. "I will deal with him," said Vakama coldly "You are dismissed, Captain." Jaller gave a slight bow and left to gather the troops. While he did this, Vakama returned to his chamber. With a little difficulty, he pushed his bed aside and revealed a small trap door beneath it. Checking to see no one was watching, Vakama lifted the door and descended the stone steps which it concealed into darkness. He ignited his Firestaff for illumination and surveyed his secret chamber. The room was small with only three walls and the staircase which led back up to the trapdoor. It was completely bare except for a large dome which lay on the ground. It was roughly twice the size of Turaga Vakama and seemed to be made of a substance that was a like metallic form of sandstone. Into the dome’s gleaming, red edge, six life- sized faces were carved. Vakama knew that someday those faces would all hold masks of power– much like the way his own face held an orange Noble Huna. When that day came, he was certain that the war would end not long after. After running an aged hand over the dome’s smooth surface to see that it was still as perfect as the day he had carved it, Vakama turned to leave. "Soon" he muttered to himself as he extinguished his Firestaff and closed the trap door on the secret room. Once his bed had been pushed back in place, it seemed as though nothing had happened. Checking his room one last time for spies, Vakama left and headed towards the main courtyard. Turaga Vakama arrived to see well over one hundred Ta-Matoran assembled before a podium. He ascended three stairs to get to the stage upon which the podium sat. To his right stood Captain Jaller who was standing at attention with unnaturally straight posture. To Vakama’s left was the Le-Matoran ambassador, Tamaru, who gazed upon the crowd mildly. With a small tap of his Firestaff on the stage to indicate he was ready to speak, Vakama addressed the crowd. "Fellow Ta-Matoran, I have assembled you here to discuss a grave matter. It has come to my attention that one amongst you is a traitor. This individual seeks to destroy all we have fought for during these many years of war. This individual wishes to throw it all away for, as I suspect, personal gain. If any of you have any information about this particular Matoran, please come forward now." The crowd fell silent. "Of course," he continued in a gravely voice barely above a whisper "Not only would such a person be betraying Ta-Koro, but they would also be betraying the Great Spirit." Murmuring broke out in the crowd and Vakama began to speak a little louder. "For did not he grant us the three virtues long ago? Have you, perhaps, forgotten them? If you wish to win this war then you must follow them! Unity, duty, manifest destiny!" he cried boldly. "Unity, duty, manifest destiny!" the crowd echoed. Vakama stepped down from the podium and summoned Jaller close to his side to give him a quick command. "Double Vohon’s wood collection quota from the Charred Forest for today; if he protests, switch his food rations with the wood he collects." "Yes sir" said Jaller without hesitation. After saluting, Jaller went back to his office to plan the next battle strategy with Tamaru. As the crowd slowly dispersed with the Ta-Matoran setting off to do their duties, Vakama could not help smiling malevolently to himself. 1 000 years earlier... Whenua’s hands were shaking in excitement. All he needed to do was to win this disk flip and he would be one rich Matoran. If he lost, well, he would have to give up quite a bit of money he did not have which would result in quite a bit of trouble. In any case, Whenua was feeling confident tonight– he could not possibly lose. The Le-Matoran sitting opposite of him was named Tuuli and he was in charge of this secret gambling ring located near the Notch at the edge of Le-Metru. The game he and Whenua were playing was a very simple one– this was because Whenua was not very good at understanding Chutespeak so he could not understand the rules of the more complicated games. All Whenua had to do was to fire a modified Kanoka out of a modified disk launcher; if it landed with the side showing the symbol of Le-Metru on it facing up, he won. The Kanoka had been modified so that it was equally likely to land on either side and the launcher was modified to slow down the disk so it did not gain enough speed to unleash its power. Tuuli handed the disk and launcher to Whenua who took a deep breath and fired the disk. It bounced all around the small hut and then landed on the table and began to spin around so fast it appeared to have formed a sphere. Soon it lost momentum and slowly spun to a stop. When the ordeal was over, Whenua saw that it had landed blank side up. That meant he had lost. The Onu-Matoran tried to explain to Tuuli that he would pay him later, but Tuuli had learned from years of experience that ‘later’ often took quite a while. Whenua fell out of his chair and backed into a corner as Tuuli angrily demanded the money from him in rapid Chutespeak. Whenua tried explaining his situation one last time, but his pleas fell upon deaf ears. The last thing he remembered was a green fist coming uncomfortably close to his mask which was shortly followed by unconsciousness. Review Topic
  13. MAIN STORY TOPIC: http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/16205-bionicle-rise-of-the-antagona/ Voya Nui thought it had seen it's last days when the Piraka arrived. Now, they come to face with something equally worse. In the main timeline, these beings are known as the Toa Inika, but here, they are the Antagona, Sevants of Karzhani, and bringers of darkness. Will the Matoran of Voya Nui survive against their onslaught? or will the entire island fall to their shadowy forces? If you have Comments or Criticism about this story, feel free to post away! I'll update the story whenever I can.
  14. Some Legends aren’t what they should’ve been. You know the drill, you have your dashing heroes who gain mysterious powers, use it to combat evil, restore hope, and strive to save the land from peril. Things that have been apparent ever since the Toa first arrived on Mata Nui. But what if things didn’t go the way they were supposed to? What if the dashing heroes used their newfound powers for evil? What if they used them to side with evil and crush hope? What if they were determined to drive the land into even more peril? This is what would happen if fate didn’t take the path it intended to… prepare to take a look into an alternate world, where heroes are not always destined to be heroes… Gathered friends, listen again to the legend of the Bionicle… But not like you’ve ever heard it before. BIONICLE: RISE OF THE ANTAGONA PROLOGUE In a distant silver sea, a barren realm lay. This realm was home to the maddest of rulers, the great Karzahni. In turn, the realm was as mad as he was, with burning ice, cold fire, and vicious creatures. It would be suicide for anyone to purposely go into such a place. But someone did. In fact, six fearless Matoran ventured into the chaotic realm. They might’ve just never come there in the first place if they knew what would happen to them… They were soon captured by Karzhani’s elite guards, and set to work. If any of them stopped working and lay down to rest, they would instantly freeze into rock. The fact that their new master was a remorseless slave driver didn’t help. However, Karzahni had a soft spot for one of his workers, a Ga-Matoran named Hahli. She told him all about the outside world he knew nothing about, of the great metropolis that was Metru Nui, and the fabled oceans surrounding Mata Nui. After a full day of work, a brave Ko-Matoran tried to taunt him, but the overlord protested, saying that he wasn’t worth his time. However, the Matoran grew persistent, and eventually pushed Karzahni over the edge, demanding that he show him the worst thing possible. He Did. With his mask of alternate futures, he materialized a vision in each of the opposing Matoran’s minds. Karzahni showed the Matoran what would happen if their fabled leader, the Great Spirit Mata Nui, failed to wake up and was cast into oblivion. Chaos and darkness gripped the land. Shadows reigned unchallenged. The bravest heroes were turned into hopeless wrecks. And above all, the entire universe would fall into eternal madness. All the Matoran broke down in wake of this terrifying vision, yet Karzahni was distracted by the thoughts of this “Mata Nui”, this “Great Spirit”, unwittingly giving time for the Matoran to escape. In another universe, the Matoran would carry on to their destination, Voya Nui, to finish their mission. But this is not that universe. As they made their way to the Toa Canisters, they were stopped by Hahli. She told them that Karzahni had other plans for them, that what they were doing was wrong, and if they carried on, their vision would come true. They hesitated for a second, and that cost them their freedom as Karzahni stopped pondering and started after the Matoran. He heard what Hahli had said, and knew that everything was going to plan. In the conversation that followed, Karzahni told them that what they had been told was all lies, and that they were only on a suicide mission to Voya Nui. Protesting, a brave-sounding Ta-Matoran told him that none of what he said was true, and that they had to escape to save Mata Nui. So Karzahni did one more thing to convince them to stay. His mask glowed once again, and showed all the Matoran what would happen if they carried on to Voya Nui. He showed them vicious monsters, cataclysmic volcanic eruptions, death of their most beloved friends, and above all, the entire island of Mata Nui, which had once been their home, desolate and destroyed before their very eyes. The Matoran despaired upon seeing the vison, and the horrors that they witnessed were enough to drive their minds directly away from ever heading towards VoyaNui. Upon seeing the horrors Karzahni directed at them, they vowed never to let what they saw ever happen. What happened to them next remains a mystery, but despite their vision, they left the realm of Karzahni a few days later, on route to Voya Nui. What fate had in store for them, as well as Karzahni’s full intentions were, still remained a mystery. But they carried on regardless of what they saw, after all, visions were visions, just projected paranoia of a madman. They had already learned what they needed to do when they arrived. Soon they left the silver sea, and into realms unknown. A storm raged around them, pitching and rolling the canisters in all directions, sometimes in the space of a minute. Despite this, the Matoran stuck together, connected by a seemingly invisible rope. Then the lightning struck. Red lightning, beaming down from the heavens, hit all six of the canisters floating on the ocean. At first, nothing apparent happened, but when the canisters reached the shores of Voya Nui and opened, the Matoran inside… were changed. Crawling out from their ocean-battered canisters, the six figures stood up to their full height, much taller than any of them originally were, now bearing weapons glowing with immense power and armour made from precious materials. They had become Toa. But inside, they were anything but. It was at this point they remembered Karzahni’s orders. The six Toa turned towards the jungles, the lakes, even the volcano of the island, with one thing in mind: storm the island, enslave the inhabitants, Find the fabled Mask of Life, and raze the whole place to the ground. They were no longer Toa, as that name was only for stuck-up, righteous heroes. They were the Antagona, Destructive emissaries of Karzahni. Six corrupt monsters, one destiny. This is their story. This story was initially inspired by a Prompt from the alternate universe game by Dr. Johnathan Crane. Thanks, Crane! [post=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/13875-the-alternate-universe-game/?p=794399]The Prompt in question.[/post] This is my first attempt at writing a Bionicle-based story. This one focuses around the idea that the Toa Inika became villains instead of heroes. Yes, I'm well aware that "Antagona" Is directly inspired by "Antagonist", but then again, most '06-onwards Bionicle words are sometimes based on english. Comments, Criticism and feedbacks are welcome. I hope you enjoy this tale, and look forward to future chapters!
  15. Review topic here! Dramatis Personae Xaedan, Toa of FireTsukumi, Toa of WaterCaine, Toa of AirKaixin, Toa of IceKavalus, Toa of Earth (minor appearance)Anzix, Toa of Plasma (minor appearance)Mata Nui, Great Spirit of the Matoran UniverseInfernum, Great Being"Mary", FiendIntro Madness: Genesis is the first installment of the six-book Madness Series, set in my "Infernum Universe". I focus solely on my own characters, with the exception of Mata Nui. The Infernum Universe differs from the Prime Reality in only three ways: 1. The construction of a replacement for the damaged Pit. 2. The re-awakening of Mata Nui, thirteen years after the Reformation. 3. The implementation of Infernum's Great Deathmatch. Madness: Genesis gen·e·sis, /ˈjenəsis/ Noun - the origin or mode of formation of something. Chapter I Infernum Time: Thirteen years after Mata Nui's battle with Makuta Teridax Location: Sunspike Valley, Spherus Magna Huh. A cave. How quaint. Who would've known a Great Being, one of such grand stature, one of such a far-flung and well-known name, one of… I digress. Basically, my old pal Mata Nui was living in this roughly-hewn cave in the middle of a desert. A midday sun unobstructed by clouds shone brightly above me and a stiff breeze blew, showering me with sand. Normally, this would make me set the place on fire in a bout of irritability, but deserts are notoriously hard to set ablaze. And so, I tip my beloved top hat downwards, wrap my cape that much tighter around me, and bear it. I reach the entrance of the cave. It stinks. It stinks something awful. Awful as in the month-old… excretions… of Nui-Jaga. So. Not only does he live in a cave, but he's made his home in a Nui-Jaga nest. That's low. I step forward, not even bothering to hide my disgust at the rotten corpse. Time had not been kind to the huge scorpion. From the looks of it, most of the organic flesh had been eaten away. I also notice, to my eternal regret, tiny little white orbs dotting the carcass. Some lay completely still, looking all innocent. Others were wriggling, rocking to and fro. Still others had already burst and the Niazesk they held were already feasting on the Nui-Jaga. Lovely. I'm tempted to just burn the whole thing, 'til not even ashes would remain. "Don't". A rich, cultured voice echoes throughout the entire cave network. A voice full to the brim with power. A voice seemingly equal parts amused and stern. I grin. "Big Nui, my man," I holler back. "How's everything?" He gave me no response, unless a shimmering of walls counted as a response. I was showered with multi-coloured sparks as the cavern around me peeled away. An illusion. Just an illusion. It was just all an elaborate illusion. "You like it, Infernum?" Mata Nui, seated on a flat lump of rock, swivelled towards me. In one hand was the Ignika. The other, an odd-looking gadget that slightly resembled a rounded hammer. I think Mata Nui once told me it was something called a… a microphone, or something. And, on his face was a Kanohi Mahiki, though one I'd never seen before. It was gold and shimmering, as if it was forged from pure light. "Well, apart from the smell, I did. You got me." Mata Nui sets down the microphone and his voice returned to its ordinary, friendly, and wise self. "It's another experiment I've been doing," he explained. "The Mask of Illusions is powerful in its own right, but making a perfect, flawless illusion? That is what I'm after, Infernum." I smile and humour him. Ever since he finally found a reason to return to the world of the living, Mata Nui's been voraciously trying to find answers to any and nearly all questions. Understandable, I guess. After all, one does need some catching up after a decade of sleeping. And so, I leave him to his research. Mata Nui continues on. "So, what brings you here? Surely not for that favour I owe you!" The last sentence has the barest hint of sarcasm in it. I've been holding onto an IOU from Mata Nui for years now, but I've never found a use for it. It's become our little idea of a joke. "Actually," I reply, eyeing my old friend. "I think it is high time you repay me." Not until now, it seems. I now have a use, a desperate, urgent use for it. Life-threatening, in fact. A pause. An uncomfortable one. As soon as those words left my mouth, a heavy silence descended upon us and neither of us were very willing to break it. It was Mata Nui who summoned up enough courage. With a hesitant clearing of his throat, he asked me the million-widget question. "I see. What do you need me to do, Infernum?" I feel a relieved smile start to creep across my face. Though, in all honesty, I don't know why I would be afraid. Since when has Mata Nui ever broken a promise? "I need you to do two things, Mata Nui." He huffs with exasperation. "Stop being so melodramatic. I've already told myself that this day would eventually come, so I'll do whatever you need done." "Fine. I need a small book, two new scrolls, a chisel, and thirteen blank, stone tablets." The Great Spirit, in the middle of tweaking his microphone, comes to a sudden, grinding halt. "Is this a joke, Infernum? Surely you can get those items yourself. I'm not your servant." I ignore him and barrel forwards. "I'll also need a fresh batch of Toa." At that, Mata Nui grows more somber, but the incredulity in his eyes began to die away. Clearly, he was expecting a large request such as this. "Do you have the Toa Stones, then?" This time around, it is my turn to not respond. Instead, I shove a list under his face. Mata Nui snatches the list from me with a deft movement of his fingers. Almost as an afterthought, he then bats away my arm still stiffly stuck in his face. Seconds pass. The Great Spirit's face was unreadable, a literal mask, devoid of expression. In all my life, I had never seen a look like that on my old friend's face. I think… I think it was… suspicion? At last, Mata Nui spoke. "What's going on here? You say you've got all the Toa ready, but you want to alter them? And how can you have seventeen Toa? There are only sixteen elements! And what's this business with an Olmak?" I try not to allow a pleading tone slip into my voice, but it creeps in anyways. "Please. Just trust me." Mata Nui simply glances at me. "Why?" I hesitate. The only answer I'm able to give is a blank, helpless stare. My erstwhile friend's gaze doesn't waver either. We go on for what must have been a minute like that, just staring at each others eyes; one a bright blue pair, the other a burning orange set. Each minute I spend here is a minute lost, and I don't have many left, I wanted to say. But I didn't. I couldn't. At long last, Mata Nui holds up a finger to me, and then turns around. The finger so obviously meant "wait". And that was exactly what I did. No, that was a lie. Instead, I allowed my gaze to wander. Though it wasn't the first time I've visited Mata Nui, I've never ceased to be amazed at the technology he boasts. Even on the old island of Arthaka, there was nothing this advanced. Every inch of the grotto was covered with a terribly confusing array of snaking wires, blinking lights, strange looking knobs, and huge, glowing windows. I believe the latter were called "monitors". "Infernum." Mata Nui's voice derails my trains of thought and it careened off the rails, taking out the station out along with it. Yes, I was that shocked at being addressed. And the fact that Mata Nui now wore a Kanohi Rode didn't make me feel any better. "So, tell me," Mata Nui began, a soft glow suffusing the Rode. "What's happening?" I hesitate. Even with all my power, I cannot cheat a Mask of Truth forged by the Matoran's Great Spirit. Yet, I plaster the biggest, most fake smile I can muster on my face. I must look like a serial killer. "Nothing! I'm just trying to cash in that favour you've owed me for so long." It was the truth, wasn't it? Mata Nui's eyebrows went up. "Nothing? Nothing at all?" The Kanohi Rode continued to shine. I swear, it felt like the light was burning away my denials. "Yeah. That's right, nothing." The two of us went back to staring at each other. One pair of blue eyes, searching, searching, searching ever deeper for the truth. One pair of orange eyes, wide with… fear? Impossible. I do not fear. Mata Nui suddenly raises his hand. I jump. Will he strike at me? Will he…? He exchanges the Rode for the Ignika. And, with a snap of his fingers, a pile of tablets materialize along with the book, chisel, and scrolls I had requested. They all settle to the floor with a soft whump. Upon doing that, he turns to face away from me. In a loud voice, he declares, "I think I need a break. A long break. I will head outside this room and I'll have no idea what will be done in this room while I'm gone. When I return to this room, it will be exactly as it was before. Therefore, that means nobody was here." And with that, he briskly heads off into the cave tunnels leading to the surface. I am left all alone. Alone with the likes of hardware never seen before, never dreamt of by even the Great Beings. This. This will be fun. Somehow, I feel as nervous as a Ga-Matoran on her first field trip. That was a terrible simile. I've never even set foot in a Metru Nui school, and I'm pretty sure I'm not a girl. It was not long, however, before my elation faded, only to be replaced by anxiety along with a strange sense of haste. I came here with a purpose in mind, not to admire the many glowing levers and buttons. But the aforementioned levers and buttons were all just screaming to be admired. For Mata Nui's sake, there was even the traditional big red button. With a slight shake of my head, I turn my attention back to the monitors. Distractions are a luxury I can't afford at this stage. I seize the keyboard nearby and direct my gaze to the vast multitude of monitors. How Mata Nui manages to find his way through this labyrinth of virtual data truly beats me. My poor eyes are assaulted with constantly fluctuating bars, columns upon columns of descending numbers, and... What do we have here...? "Toa Digital Designer, V.3.1." This is perfect. At last, nearly a decade of constant plotting, constant thinking, constant searching, my dastardly scheme will bear fruit at last. Yet, one final hurdle stood firm against me. How in Artahka's name does all... this... even work!? I barely know what a microphone is. I wouldn't be able to operate a wondrous machine such as this if my life depended on it. Which, ironically, it did. I lower my eyes to the keyboard. A fleeting thought races through my head: Why in the world are the letters all jumbled up? Ah, to heck with all this. I raise my hands, as if about to begin conducting a Matoran marching band. And, with an odd sense of satisfaction, I bring all ten of my fingers crashing down on the keys. I believe I may be the first person in all of Spherus Magna to execute the "keyboard smash". I feel so proud of myself. The warm feeling doesn't last too long. The moment the keyboard felt the full force of my ten-fingered wrath, letters and digits raced across the monitors. I manage to catch the barest glimpses: female Toa of Ice, combative Toa of Water, blind Toa of Sonics. My eyes widen with dismay. This was really not how it was supposed to go. My fingers, still perusing the keyboard, hover over a large button with an arrow on it. Obviously, that meant going back. I press it. I'm met with a huge message which flashes before my eyes: Confirmed. Alterations being made. Mata Nui is going to flay me. Well, if he's going to be angry, then I might as make it worthwhile. As I rush from the grotto, I snag the Mahiki, which I now dub the Mahiki Nuva, and the modified microphone. Oh! The tablets! I hurriedly scoop them up in my arms and book it. Hopefully, that program would actually do it's job and those botched-yet-interesting changes would take place. I blow by Mata Nui who gazes at me with a peculiar look as I barrel past. It's instantly washed away by fury when he sees what's tucked beneath my arm: the Mahiki Nuva. There's no way in Karzahni he can catch me, and we both know it. All Mata Nui can do is shake his fist at me while looking very much like the irate Turaga. Just watch. He'll be even more furious when he finds out what I did ins- "Infernum!" Mata Nui's roar, one of great rage, halts a lone, prowling Iron Wolf dead in its tracks. It cowers, head bowed and tail tucked between its legs. The cave shrike it was chasing, however, was not so easily fazed. It continued to run, eventually taking to the air, leaving behind the hungry wolf to skip yet another meal. In fact, the ground itself trembled before the Great Being's rage. The distant mountains, too, seemed to quiver at the sound of such primal fury. But not I. I was not afraid of Mata Nui. I do not fear, for I am the god of the dead.
  16. Review topic here! Dramatis Personae Xaedan, Toa of FireTsukumi, Toa of WaterCaine, Toa of AirKaixin, Toa of IceKavalus, Toa of Earth (minor appearance)Anzix, Toa of Plasma (minor appearance)Mata Nui, Great Spirit of the Matoran UniverseInfernum, Great Being"Mary", FiendIntro Madness: Genesis is the first installment of the six-book Madness Series, set in my "Infernum Universe". I focus solely on my own characters, with the exception of Mata Nui. The Infernum Universe differs from the Prime Reality in only three ways: 1. The construction of a replacement for the damaged Pit. 2. The re-awakening of Mata Nui, thirteen years after the Reformation. 3. The implementation of Infernum's Great Deathmatch. Madness: Genesis gen·e·sis, /ˈjenəsis/ Noun - the origin or mode of formation of something. Chapter I Infernum Time: Thirteen years after Mata Nui's battle with Makuta Teridax Location: Sunspike Valley, Spherus Magna Huh. A cave. How quaint. Who would've known a Great Being, one of such grand stature, one of such a far-flung and well-known name, one of… I digress. Basically, my old pal Mata Nui was living in this roughly-hewn cave in the middle of a desert. A midday sun unobstructed by clouds shone brightly above me and a stiff breeze blew, showering me with sand. Normally, this would make me set the place on fire in a bout of irritability, but deserts are notoriously hard to set ablaze. And so, I tip my beloved top hat downwards, wrap my cape that much tighter around me, and bear it. I reach the entrance of the cave. It stinks. It stinks something awful. Awful as in the month-old… excretions… of Nui-Jaga. So. Not only does he live in a cave, but he's made his home in a Nui-Jaga nest. That's low. I step forward, not even bothering to hide my disgust at the rotten corpse. Time had not been kind to the huge scorpion. From the looks of it, most of the organic flesh had been eaten away. I also notice, to my eternal regret, tiny little white orbs dotting the carcass. Some lay completely still, looking all innocent. Others were wriggling, rocking to and fro. Still others had already burst and the Niazesk they held were already feasting on the Nui-Jaga. Lovely. I'm tempted to just burn the whole thing, 'til not even ashes would remain. "Don't". A rich, cultured voice echoes throughout the entire cave network. A voice full to the brim with power. A voice seemingly equal parts amused and stern. I grin. "Big Nui, my man," I holler back. "How's everything?" He gave me no response, unless a shimmering of walls counted as a response. I was showered with multi-coloured sparks as the cavern around me peeled away. An illusion. Just an illusion. It was just all an elaborate illusion. "You like it, Infernum?" Mata Nui, seated on a flat lump of rock, swivelled towards me. In one hand was the Ignika. The other, an odd-looking gadget that slightly resembled a rounded hammer. I think Mata Nui once told me it was something called a… a microphone, or something. And, on his face was a Kanohi Mahiki, though one I'd never seen before. It was gold and shimmering, as if it was forged from pure light. "Well, apart from the smell, I did. You got me." Mata Nui sets down the microphone and his voice returned to its ordinary, friendly, and wise self. "It's another experiment I've been doing," he explained. "The Mask of Illusions is powerful in its own right, but making a perfect, flawless illusion? That is what I'm after, Infernum." I smile and humour him. Ever since he finally found a reason to return to the world of the living, Mata Nui's been voraciously trying to find answers to any and nearly all questions. Understandable, I guess. After all, one does need some catching up after a decade of sleeping. And so, I leave him to his research. Mata Nui continues on. "So, what brings you here? Surely not for that favour I owe you!" The last sentence has the barest hint of sarcasm in it. I've been holding onto an IOU from Mata Nui for years now, but I've never found a use for it. It's become our little idea of a joke. "Actually," I reply, eyeing my old friend. "I think it is high time you repay me." Not until now, it seems. I now have a use, a desperate, urgent use for it. Life-threatening, in fact. A pause. An uncomfortable one. As soon as those words left my mouth, a heavy silence descended upon us and neither of us were very willing to break it. It was Mata Nui who summoned up enough courage. With a hesitant clearing of his throat, he asked me the million-widget question. "I see. What do you need me to do, Infernum?" I feel a relieved smile start to creep across my face. Though, in all honesty, I don't know why I would be afraid. Since when has Mata Nui ever broken a promise? "I need you to do two things, Mata Nui." He huffs with exasperation. "Stop being so melodramatic. I've already told myself that this day would eventually come, so I'll do whatever you need done." "Fine. I need a small book, two new scrolls, a chisel, and thirteen blank, stone tablets." The Great Spirit, in the middle of tweaking his microphone, comes to a sudden, grinding halt. "Is this a joke, Infernum? Surely you can get those items yourself. I'm not your servant." I ignore him and barrel forwards. "I'll also need a fresh batch of Toa." At that, Mata Nui grows more somber, but the incredulity in his eyes began to die away. Clearly, he was expecting a large request such as this. "Do you have the Toa Stones, then?" This time around, it is my turn to not respond. Instead, I shove a list under his face. Mata Nui snatches the list from me with a deft movement of his fingers. Almost as an afterthought, he then bats away my arm still stiffly stuck in his face. Seconds pass. The Great Spirit's face was unreadable, a literal mask, devoid of expression. In all my life, I had never seen a look like that on my old friend's face. I think… I think it was… suspicion? At last, Mata Nui spoke. "What's going on here? You say you've got all the Toa ready, but you want to alter them? And how can you have seventeen Toa? There are only sixteen elements! And what's this business with an Olmak?" I try not to allow a pleading tone slip into my voice, but it creeps in anyways. "Please. Just trust me." Mata Nui simply glances at me. "Why?" I hesitate. The only answer I'm able to give is a blank, helpless stare. My erstwhile friend's gaze doesn't waver either. We go on for what must have been a minute like that, just staring at each others eyes; one a bright blue pair, the other a burning orange set. Each minute I spend here is a minute lost, and I don't have many left, I wanted to say. But I didn't. I couldn't. At long last, Mata Nui holds up a finger to me, and then turns around. The finger so obviously meant "wait". And that was exactly what I did. No, that was a lie. Instead, I allowed my gaze to wander. Though it wasn't the first time I've visited Mata Nui, I've never ceased to be amazed at the technology he boasts. Even on the old island of Arthaka, there was nothing this advanced. Every inch of the grotto was covered with a terribly confusing array of snaking wires, blinking lights, strange looking knobs, and huge, glowing windows. I believe the latter were called "monitors". "Infernum." Mata Nui's voice derails my trains of thought and it careened off the rails, taking out the station out along with it. Yes, I was that shocked at being addressed. And the fact that Mata Nui now wore a Kanohi Rode didn't make me feel any better. "So, tell me," Mata Nui began, a soft glow suffusing the Rode. "What's happening?" I hesitate. Even with all my power, I cannot cheat a Mask of Truth forged by the Matoran's Great Spirit. Yet, I plaster the biggest, most fake smile I can muster on my face. I must look like a serial killer. "Nothing! I'm just trying to cash in that favour you've owed me for so long." It was the truth, wasn't it? Mata Nui's eyebrows went up. "Nothing? Nothing at all?" The Kanohi Rode continued to shine. I swear, it felt like the light was burning away my denials. "Yeah. That's right, nothing." The two of us went back to staring at each other. One pair of blue eyes, searching, searching, searching ever deeper for the truth. One pair of orange eyes, wide with… fear? Impossible. I do not fear. Mata Nui suddenly raises his hand. I jump. Will he strike at me? Will he…? He exchanges the Rode for the Ignika. And, with a snap of his fingers, a pile of tablets materialize along with the book, chisel, and scrolls I had requested. They all settle to the floor with a soft whump. Upon doing that, he turns to face away from me. In a loud voice, he declares, "I think I need a break. A long break. I will head outside this room and I'll have no idea what will be done in this room while I'm gone. When I return to this room, it will be exactly as it was before. Therefore, that means nobody was here." And with that, he briskly heads off into the cave tunnels leading to the surface. I am left all alone. Alone with the likes of hardware never seen before, never dreamt of by even the Great Beings. This. This will be fun. Somehow, I feel as nervous as a Ga-Matoran on her first field trip. That was a terrible simile. I've never even set foot in a Metru Nui school, and I'm sure as ###### not a girl. It was not long, however, before my elation faded, only to be replaced by anxiety along with a strange sense of haste. I came here with a purpose in mind, not to admire the many glowing levers and buttons. But the aforementioned levers and buttons were all just screaming to be admired. For Mata Nui's sake, there was even the traditional big red button. With a slight shake of my head, I turn my attention back to the monitors. Distractions are a luxury I can't afford at this stage. I seize the keyboard nearby and direct my gaze to the vast multitude of monitors. How Mata Nui manages to find his way through this labyrinth of virtual data truly beats me. My poor eyes are assaulted with constantly fluctuating bars, columns upon columns of descending numbers, and... What do we have here...? "Toa Digital Designer, V.3.1." This is perfect. At last, nearly a decade of constant plotting, constant thinking, constant searching, my dastardly scheme will bear fruit at last. Yet, one final hurdle stood firm against me. How in Artahka's name does all... this... even work!? I barely know what a microphone is. I wouldn't be able to operate a wondrous machine such as this if my life depended on it. Which, ironically, it did. I lower my eyes to the keyboard. A fleeting thought races through my head: Why in the world are the letters all jumbled up? Ah, to heck with all this. I raise my hands, as if about to begin conducting a Matoran marching band. And, with an odd sense of satisfaction, I bring all ten of my fingers crashing down on the keys. I believe I may be the first person in all of Spherus Magna to execute the "keyboard smash". I feel so proud of myself. The warm feeling doesn't last too long. The moment the keyboard felt the full force of my ten-fingered wrath, letters and digits raced across the monitors. I manage to catch the barest glimpses: female Toa of Ice, combative Toa of Water, blind Toa of Sonics. My eyes widen with dismay. This was really not how it was supposed to go. My fingers, still perusing the keyboard, hover over a large button with an arrow on it. Obviously, that meant going back. I press it. I'm met with a huge message which flashes before my eyes: Confirmed. Alterations being made. Mata Nui is going to flay me. Well, if he's going to be angry, then I might as make it worthwhile. As I rush from the grotto, I snag the Mahiki, which I now dub the Mahiki Nuva, and the modified microphone. Oh! The tablets! I hurriedly scoop them up in my arms and book it. Hopefully, that program would actually do it's job and those botched-yet-interesting changes would take place. I blow by Mata Nui who gazes at me with a peculiar look as I barrel past. It's instantly washed away by fury when he sees what's tucked beneath my arm: the Mahiki Nuva. There's no way in Karzahni he can catch me, and we both know it. All Mata Nui can do is shake his fist at me while looking very much like the irate Turaga. Just watch. He'll be even more furious when he finds out what I did ins- "Infernum!" Mata Nui's roar, one of great rage, halts a lone, prowling Iron Wolf dead in its tracks. It cowers, head bowed and tail tucked between its legs. The cave shrike it was chasing, however, was not so easily fazed. It continued to run, eventually taking to the air, leaving behind the hungry wolf to skip yet another meal. In fact, the ground itself trembled before the Great Being's rage. The distant mountains, too, seemed to quiver at the sound of such primal fury. But not I. I was not afraid of Mata Nui. I do not fear, for I am the god of the dead.
  17. What would have happened if the Red Star had never malfunctioned? I am wondering mainly due to curiosity, but I am also considering featuring such a situation in a fanfic, so I want your opinions. I'll start with what we know. Beings killed in the Matoran Universe would have been revived and repaired on the Red Star, then promptly sent back down to continue their duties. (According to some of Greg's answers, they would have reappeared somewhere distant from the site of their death.) Only the utter destruction of a body could prevent the person from returning to life. Obviously, execution and murder would be of no use to anyone, unless they had powers of disintegration. (Note that the Shadowed One and all Makuta have that power, so the Dark Hunters and the Brotherhood would be fully capable of permanently killing people.) It's possible that the Toa Code would be changed, as well, since killing would no longer have such an emotional weight. This one is of particular interest to me. Finally, just for fun, the concept that got me thinking on this: Reidak might figure out how to game the system. If the Red Star repaired him after every death, his body would adapt to resist whatever had killed him. Thus, as long as he avoided being disintegrated, he could develop an immunity to drowning, decapitation, and any other methods of execution. What do all of you think? How might the history of the MU have changed, for better or for worse? (I understand there's a rule against "What If" topics. However, since we don't have a lot to talk about these days, I am hoping that we can get an interesting discussion out of this idea.)
  18. I'm starting work on a BIONICLE reboot-style saga focusing on the aftermath of the return of Vultraz to the main dimension, and I need a bit of help getting some facts straight about Annona and the Melding Universe in general. So here they are: 1. Does Annona exist in the Melding alternate universe? 2. Does Annona have telekinetic powers like Toa of Psionics, or are her psionic abilities limited to telepathy? 3. Do any Olmaks exist in the Melding Universe? These questions (Especially the Olmak question) are basically what the whole plausibility of my saga hinges on, so these are slightly important. All thoughts are welcome! -Miras
  19. This is my first bionicle fanfiction. I wrote it so I could read it to my six-year-old cousin when our families went to Cancun together. He loved, it, but I'm assuming that you are harder to please. Please post comments in the review topic. I know that the ending is horrible, but I rushed it so I could finish the story in time for my trip. When the series is over, I will combine all the "books" into one and edit them over. Anyway, this series takes place in an alternate universe where all types of Matoran could be both genders. Gundaru Nui is a futuristic city. I myself don't like the futuropolis setting (i made it like that by accident), but I kind of have to continue with it. I'll probably change it to a more Metru Nui-type setting, unless readers like it as it is. Happy reading! And don't forget to post a review in the review topic!
  20. This is the second book in my fanfiction series The Gundaru Nui Saga. It's still a work in progress, but I hope you all like what I've got so far. Remember to post in the review topic!
  21. Makuta Sekatala dwelled in his private chamber on the island he ruled. It had been a couple months since Jalokim, leader of his secret Toa Hagah, had let the Toa of Air called Lesovikk escape his island. Sekatala had specifically ordered that Lesovikk be killed, but Jalokim disobeyed this order. Now Sekatala was at risk of his secret Toa team being discovered by the rest of the brotherhood. If the brotherhood discovered Jalokim and the other Toa Hagah, Sekatala would be arrested for treason. Sekatala thought of how he could make this Hagah team more reliable. The easiest solution was to just get a new Toa team, but then the previous Hagah may tell others of them working for Sekatala. Then an idea formed in his head. Of course! , Sekatala thought. I can use the Kanohi Olmak in Destral to take a version of each Hagah from different dimensions, except these versions won’t be afraid to kill! A knock on the chamber door interrupted Sekatala’s thoughts. “Enter.” The one who stepped inside the chamber was none other than Nerdak, Toa Hagah of Ice. This one seemed to be the most loyal to Sekatala. “Speak Nerdak, why have you come to my private chambers?” Sekatala said in a commanding tone. “I only wish to question why you chose Jalokim as leader of this team, as he obviously has no experience in leading a Toa Team, and I was leader of mine before I joined these Hagah. Wouldn’t I have made a greater leader?” “Ah, you see Nerdak, I did this so I could test your loyalty. If you followed my command as precisely as I have instructed, then I would have appointed you as the leader.” “But I have followed your every instruction!” “Then why did you let Jalokim go after Lesovikk by himself? I ordered that you were to capture him together.” Nerdak realised that he had indeed disobeyed that order. But Jalokim killed Lesovikk anyway, did he not? “No, Jalokim let Lesovikk escape.” Sekatala said. Nerdak had forgotten that Sekatala could read his thoughts. “So what are you going to do, oh great Sekatala?” Sekatala stood up. “I shall travel to Destral to fix this…. error. In the meantime, I want you to inform the other Hagah that I shall be absent.” “As you wish, Sekatala.” Nerdak turned to leave. Sekatala soon teleported from the room and re-appeared at the fortress of Destral. Sekatala made his way to the chamber where the fortress’s Kanohi Olmak was held. Getting there hadn’t been a challenge since he was already a high ranking Makuta scientist. Despite this fact however, he still wasn’t given a large role in the plot to overthrow Mata Nui. Because of this they let Sekatala keep his remote island near the southern continent instead of giving him a more vital island to rule over. Since then, Sekatala had vowed to show the rest of the Makuta that he was more than capable of helping to bring down Mata Nui. Perhaps even overthrow Teridax and claim leadership of the Brotherhood! , Sekatala mused. Finally, Sekatala reached the chamber of the Kanohi Olmak. This Kanohi was one of the few in existence. This particular Olmak was stripped from the face of one of the Toa on Jovan’s Toa team. This was the only team in known history that used the Kanohi Ignika to heal Mata Nui. The Brotherhood uses it to move the island of Destral to different places in the universe. Sekatala stepped up to the pedestal in the middle of the room and placed the Kanohi Olmak over his own Kanohi Avsa, the mask of Hunger. Sekatala felt a brilliant surge of power as he channeled its power to materialise a dimensional portal in front of him. Sekatala stepped through the portal and it closed behind him… *** When Sekatala emerged from the other end of the portal, he stepped into a lush jungle which he recognized as the island he ruled. As the dimensional portal closed behind him, he looked around for the alternate versions of his Toa Hagah, except none were in sight. Strange, either the Toa Hagah never served me, or they just don’t want to be found. As soon as he thought this, three of the Toa Hagah appeared seemingly from nowhere around Sekatala. These were Jalokim, Ailuj and Tetrak, but not as Sekatala had known them. These versions looked… different. The biggest difference being their Kanohi masks. Sekatala had never seen anything like them. Of all of them, Jalokim was the first to speak. “Sekatala! Where in the name of the Order have you been for the past 10 years?! We had almost given up hope on ever finding you!” Sekatala was confused. Then again, why wouldn’t he be? He had just seen three Toa with unrecognizable Kanohi. But the thing that puzzled him the most was that the alternate version of him had been gone for 10 years, now, why would that be? Sekatala decided to play it safe by telling the three Hagah that he had suffered amnesia and could only remember so much. The way back to the island was something he couldn’t remember. “Well, at least you could remember us Toa Hagah Nuva right?” Jalokim said. Hagah… Nuva? “Sorry Jalokim, but many things have escaped my vast, complex mind. Would you mind catching me up to speed while you take me to the other Hagah?” “Of course!” I had almost forgotten how eager you are to talk, Jalokim. “Well, it all started when you pretended to be part of the scheme that the brotherhood had to overthrow Mata Nui. Then, you chose me, my old mentor Nevets, Ailuj and Tetrak here, Iramahs, and Nerdak, in order to help you foil the Brotherhood’s plot. As we protected you, you started to work on a machine that would tell you of the destinies of those around you. When you completed the machine, you found out that I, Ailuj, Nerdak, and Tetrak were destined to become Toa Nuva. As we basked in your wonderful pool of Energized Protodermis, we were given new masks and armor. As well as the powers of our masks being stronger, we were now able to share our mask powers with those close by, as you have already seen when Tetrak was concealing us with the power of his Great Kanohi Huna Nuva. Armed with our new power, we stopped the Brotherhood from ever rebelling and in gratitude, Mata Nui appointed you the responsibility of leading his people while he did his duties. You had ruled for a couple of years when you decided to explore alternate universes to see what else you could do to perfect our world. And after ten years, you have finally returned to us! Toa Nevets will be so happy to see you, as you were the one who placed him in charge of us Toa Hagah.” So, in this alternate reality, I overthrow Teridax for the general well being of others. How… illogical. When Sekatala finally reached the original meeting place of the Toa Hagah, he noticed that the extra member that he had put in charge instead of Jalokim was a Toa of Plant life with a blue Faxon. An interesting detail was the life-support system that was attached to the Toa’s midsection. “Nevets! You won't believe who I found!” Nevets had an expression of pure shock on his face. “Sekatala! How is it that you are here? I saw you vanish in that dimensional gate myself!” Something about Nevets' voice sounded strange to Sekatala. Instead of having the tone of relief, it had the tone of fear. I will look into this later. The other Toa Hagah and Hagah Nuva were thrilled however. “Nevets, take me to my chambers.” The Toa of Plant life escorted Sekatala to his underground chamber. The Makuta was surprised to see the variety of trophies mounted on his walls. One was a Faxon which was labelled to be Toa Lesovikk's mask, slain by Toa Hagah Nevets. The one that caught Sekatala's attention the most was the Kanohi Kraahkan above his throne. Perhaps now is the time to investigate what was going through Nevets' head when he saw me. A quick peek at his memories will give me the answers I seek. Sekatala focused his telepathic powers on Nevets and dived into his mind. *** 10 years earlier... Nevets and Sekatala stood in Sekatala's private chambers next to a pedestal with a Kanohi Olmak sitting on top of it. “Behold the key to me perfecting our universe, Nevets. With this Kanohi Olmak, I can see what other universes have done that we haven’t, and we can mimic the superior qualities and avoid the mistakes of the other universes.” Sekatala said. “Yes, it will solve all our troubles.” Without Sekatala seeing, Toa Nevets grabs a lightstone rifle mounted on the wall. As the Makuta dons the Olmak and opens a dimensional gate, Nevets takes aim with the weapon. Probably the biggest mistake of our universe was letting you foil the Brotherhood's plot. The traitorous Toa Hagah of Plant Life pulls the trigger of the Lightstone rifle and blasts the Makuta into the dimensional gate. As the gate closes behind Sekatala, Nevets has a great smile on his face. “That should keep you from further destroying our universe with your sense of order. No Makuta could survive a blast of light like that.” *** The Present... Sekatala felt the tip of a lightstone rifle touching his back. “How did you manage to survive that blast of light?” Sekatala thought carefully, one wrong move and he would be dead. “I am not from this Universe. I am sure I can be of great use to you, as you can be of great use to me.” Nevets pondered this for a momment. “I dont care. This universe is beyond repair, even with your help. Now, say goodbye to this universe as I destroy you with your only weakness, light itself.” Sekatala closed his eyes and prepared for the pain. It felt like hours, but having a lightstone rifle pointed at your back will do that to you. Wait, it doesn’t have to end like this. Sekatala thought. “Wait a second Nevets, let’s be logical here. I can take you away from this universe, and bring you to mine where you can enforce your laws.” Nevets was confused. “My laws? Do you not mean your laws?” “I have peered into your mind Nevets, and I discovered that we both want the same things. Join me, and we will be unstoppable!” Nevets lowered his Lightstone rifle. “What’s the plan?” Nevets said. Sekatala turned around and faced Toa Nevets. “Using my Kanohi Avsa, we corrupt as many of the Toa Hagah as we can. Then we shall have a team of Toa to enforce our laws in my universe” Nevets nodded. “Understood sir, I shall order that the Toa Hagah meet at the center of the island.” Nevets turned and exited Sekatala’s private chambers. Excellent, with the Toa Hagah Nuva under my command, I can eliminate the Toa Hagah of my universe which will be useless, or convert them as well. Thought Sekatala. Sekatala noticed something out of the corner of his eye. It looked like a machine of some sort. He walked over to it and read the label under it. Makoki umbra hmm... this machine is called a Makoki Umbra. This machine, or weapon would be a better term for it, imbues any being with the elemental power of shadow. Quite useful for creating Toa of shadow. Sekatala looked at the weapon in greater detail. It was surprisingly small, being the size of an ordinary blaster. The Makoki Umbra had a short but narrow barrel, and the main component was a ridged orange bulb at it's center. Sekatala guessed that it collected shadow energy from the user, and released the energy through the barrel. Sekatala attached the Makoki Umbra to his back and made his way to the surface to wait for the Toa Hagah to arrive. *** The sun was beginning to set, and night-time was almost upon Jalokim Nuva and his teammates. Nevets had called a meeting at the center of the island. He said that Sekatala has a surprise for them. Oh, I can't wait! Maybe I'll get a new sword? Sekatala appeared in the clearing with a small blaster-like object in his hands. Hmm... I wonder what that does? Sekatala smiled. “Thank you, my Toa Hagah. Because of your outstanding service to me, you shall be rewarded with new elemental powers and stronger forms. Prepare yourselves.” With that, Sekatala pointed the Makoki Umbra at Jalokim, and fired. The beam of dark energy struck the Toa Hagah Nuva, turning the bright red and gold of his armour into a dark red and black. His Kanohi Nuva was mixed with a dark shade of red and black. His hands transformed into claws, and fireballs formed in his palms, laced with shadow energy. His eyes glowed a shadowy red, instead of the usual bright green. His transformation was complete. The other Toa Hagah and Hagah Nuva froze. They weren't sure if they lost a friend or not. There was a silence. Ailuj was the first to break the silence. “J-Jalokim? Are you alright?” Jalokim gave her a cold, hard stare. “Never been better.” Sekatala was curious whether the new Jalokim would be good enough to serve his cause. “Jalokim, what is it that you desire the most?” Jalokim thought about it for a few seconds. “I want others to feel my wrath, for it is survival of the fittest.” Ailuj and Saitamm gaped at Jalokim's last remark. “What has gotten into you?!” Saitamm said. “I have seen the light, well, shadow.” Nevets stepped up. “So, who is next?” “I would rather die than have my morals removed against my will!” Nerdak shouted. Jalokim advanced on Nerdak. “So be it, you are obviously not smart enough to know what is best for our survival.” Jalokim drew his Shadow Flame sword on Nerdak. “You know, I never liked you.” Jalokim lunged at Nerdak and beheaded him. “You always did complain about everything.” Sekatala was assessing the situation. He didn't need the normal Toa Hagah, just the Hagah Nuva. “Jalokim, you may kill the Toa Hagah, but leave Ailuj and Tehtrak.” “As you wish, oh great and powerful Makuta of the universe.” Jalokim advanced on Irahmahs. He made short work of him by blasting him with flames, burning him alive. Now it was Saitamm's turn. Saitamm was frantic, barely being able to parry all of Jalokim's thrusts and swings. Eventually, Jalokim cut off Saitamm's hand, which made him lose his blade. Jalokim raised his sword above his head, ready to deliver a fatal blow. “Jalokim... no....” Saitamm managed to croak as he was impaled by the Shadow Fire Blade. Sekatala was impressed by the display. This Jalokim was able to kill three of his former best friends in just under a minute. But... where did Ailuj and Tetrak go? Sekatala didn't notice Ailuj sneaking up behind him with a dagger in her hand. Just as she was about to plunge it into his back, Nevets noticed and clubbed her in the head, smashing it in. Sekatala glared at Nevets. “She would be useless if you weren't alive to command her.” Nevets said. “Tetrak has fled, like the coward he is.” Jalokim said. Looks like we are done here then. Sekatala thought. “Good work Jalokim. Because of your outstanding performance, you shall now be known as... Shadow Jalokim.” Shadow Jalokim bowed. “Thank you, Makuta.” Sekatala planned his next move. He only got one shadow Toa, and the rest were killed, with the exception of Tetrak, who fled. He decided he had no further use for this universe. “We leave for my universe immediately, Teridax won't know what hit him.” Sekatala said. Makuta Sekatala activated his Kanohi Olmak and a portal appeared in front of the three. Sekatala stepped through first, then Nevets, then Shadow Jalokim. The portal closed behind them. *** Toa Tetrak Nuva ran through the jungle of the island. His best friends were murdered by another one of his greatest friends mere moments ago. He knew now that the only one who could save Jalokim was... Jalokim himself. Tetrak stopped in a dark part of the jungle. This is where he should be. Tetrak thought to himself. “Hello? Are you here? Listen, I really need your help, or rather, Jalokim does.” A dark figure emerged from the shadows, he was slightly taller than Tetrak was, and was clad in black, grey, and silver armour. He wore a grey coloured Hau. “What's the matter?” The tall figure said. “How about Sekatala returning, corrupting Jalokim and Nevets, and Jalokim ends up slaughtering almost the entire team?” The tall figure paced as he thought this news over. “Hmmm... I was bound to stumble across a universe with a Shadow Jalokim. Where are they now?” “They went through some dimensional gate.” The tall figure looked alarmed. “That's not good, with a dimensionally-displaced Shadow Jalokim, a universe could accidentally be destroyed, or at least destroyed at the wrong moment!” “What do you suppose we do?” “You stay here, inform your superiors of what's happened. I, Toa Jalokim, Toa of earth, leader of the Toa Rozo, will do my duty and stop the unauthorized destruction of a universe.” With that, the Toa Rozo of earth pushed a button on his forearm and vanished with a flash of light. Alot of things were going to change in Sekatala's universe, and Jalokim was going to be there to stop it. The End
  22. In an alternate universe, Solek's unobtainable obsession with Toa slowly begins to drive him mad. In a desperate attempt to become a Toa, he begins to hide away during the night to perform experiments of questionable ethics on his friends, trying to discover a way to become a Toa without a Toa Stone, explaining their absence as Rahi attacks. Before these experiments come to fruition, however, one of his subjects named Photok manages to escape, and the fearful Av-Matoran have Solek banished from the stalactite villages to the mutagenic swamp below. During his travels, he comes upon a massive sphere sunk deep into the swamp with the legendary Mask of Life engraved on its smooth surface. As he explores, he falls into an old, abandoned laboratory full of high-tech gadgets that could only come from the Great Beings. One such gadget was a hovering drone that, once it's master is chosen, it will protect them at all costs and obey every command. Solek used the equipment in the laboratory to finish his experiments and managed to build himself into a Toa-like form, while losing his natural light powers in the process. He also found a sword similar to that of his hero's, Toa Kopaka, and quickly became a master at it defending himself in the swamp. As he continued to wander, Solek managed to find an escape from Karda Nui into the Matoran Universe, now as a cold and ruthless "Toa." He became a mercenary, but became so effective at his job that he became a Dark Hunter and took on many missions that included assassinating Turaga Dume, various espionage missions during the Toa-Dark Hunter War, and helping to spread the Dark Hunter's influence from Xia to Stelt. Solek is no longer the excitable Matoran he once was. Now, he is Dusk Front (Without Drone pack) Back (Without Drone pack) With Drone: 1 2 Drone Side View Drone Gun Mode: 1 2 This MOC and the creepy back story are the product of a building contest I had with my seven-year-old brother. Seeing as he can build much faster than I can (because he knows how to keep his MOC simple), I had to rush it a bit. It all started out with me seeing that marvelous Ice Sword (which I bought a while back and never used) and Solek's mask right next to each other and deciding I wanted to build a white-and-black Toa. Later on, my brother added building something random to the contest, which turned into building a piece of equipment for my creation. I decided to go with an asymmetrical build with a tank arm on one side. It also kind of adds to that "psychologically unbalanced, I-will-kill-you" look. The drone is an interesting piece of equipment. Solek usually hides it in a backpack form on his back, but when he finds something he can't deal with (which isn't often), it can detach and lend some cover fire. If he's really in trouble, he can reconfigure it into a hand-held plasma cannon to get out of those sticky situations. He generally keeps it secret, though, as if anyone knew about it, they may try to take it or counter it. There is not a single being that has seen it and lived so far. Really, the drone was a bit of an afterthought, but I liked it so much and it fit his color scheme so I had to include it. I really like the backpack mode as it gives him an easy way to store it. As always, comment, critique, and especially enjoy!
  23. I've had this idea in my head for a long time, ever since I started thinking about alternate universes. I finally found the will to write it down with the latest Flash Fiction Contest: "A Canister Ashore." In this universe, the rough relationship the Toa Mata had in the beginning takes an early turn for the worse, ending up in an island-wide war. I'm thinking about expanding it into a series equivolent to Bonesiii's Paracosmos, if I have the time to write. In the meantime, enjoy the first installement, coming in at 873 words: Warpath I:Cold Justice Ko-Koro was the only village left. All of the others had moved on or been destroyed by those whom they thought would protect them. Turaga Nuju gazed over the dejected village, with Matoran stomping around with heads down attempting to rebuild what little was left. He looked up at Kopaka next to him, knowing the Toa was thinking the same thing he was. The Toa of Ice finally put those thoughts into words. "How had this all gone so wrong, Turaga? The prophesies declared we would save this people, not destroy it. The Makuta still lives, and he laughs at our separation. What can we do?" Being through a war had changed the quiet Toa. When he had arrived, Kopaka was rash and silent to all, but now, he spoke his mind and joined in with the Matoran, his people, in their daily studies of the Wall of Prophesy. He had meditated alongside Nuju, who felt there was something heavy on Kopaka's conscience, and knew that he knew the answer to his question. So, Nuju waited patiently for the Toa to begin, and so he did... ------ The night before had been stormy, and the waves had brought in much more than destruction. A metallic canister rests on the shore, seabirds pecking at the hard shell. Suddenly, a hiss of pressure escaping scares them off, and the canister blows open, scattering mechanical components everywhere. As lights begin to glow, the parts magnetically are pushed towards each other, a mind becoming active that hasn't been for centuries. ...I have slept for so long... Pieces begin to click together, forming a basic skeleton. ...My dreams have been dark ones... The body pushes itself up weakly, pieces running up its arms like tiny metal insects. ...But now I am awakened... The last pieces find their way into place, and joints begin clicking as they flex. ...Now the scattered elements of my being are rejoined... Muscle tissue spreads from the core outward, binding the new being together. ...Now I am whole... A rounded object not far from the body catches its eye, and it crawls towards it, picking up a circular mask. Placing it on its face, color spreads from the face, encasing the being in snowy armor, bringing to its mind one word: Kopaka. "...And the darkness cannot stand before me!" Kopaka takes a tentative step, then another as he regains use of his limbs. All he could remember before the canister are dreams that tormented his fragmented mind about some kind of...evil on this island. Either way, he thought as his eye caught a sword buried in the snow, it is about to find out justice can be...cold. ----- After counseling with the strange inhabitants of this island, short beings called "Tohunga" and their leaders, the "Turaga," Kopaka learned that this island was plagued by a being called "The Makuta" who sent raids of Rahi at the villages constantly, and he needed to be defeated. Even with his power of ice, however, Kopaka was not up to the task. He needed to find Kanohi Masks of Power, said the Turaga of Ice, Nuju. "You will find the first at the Place of Far-Seeing." The elder communicated through clicks, whistles, and hand gestures, which were translated through a Matoran, Matoro. Kopaka quickly figured out the hint, knowing that from the top of that mountain the Matoran called "Mount Ihu," he could probably see all over the island. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of thunder, although there wasn't a cloud in the sky. While looking up, though, Kopaka saw an avalanche bearing down on him, with a sole brown figure riding it, who was calling out "watch out!" Kopaka whirled out of the way, and then sent his ice power to encase the brown being's body in a pillar of ice. "I've already been attacked more that I would like today," he said coldly, "so state your business, and do it quickly." "I was just...practicing," sighed the frozen being. "Could you please let me out of here, and we can talk like civilized people? Let's start with introductions. I'm Toa Pohatu, and you are?" "Practicing what, exactly?" "This." With that, Pohatu willed a rock to come out of the cliff, scraping Kopaka's mask and then shattering the pillar. "So, you are?" This being's name and powers gave Kopaka a spark of recognition, but he still advanced with sword drawn, and said "None of your business outsider. What are you really doing here?" "You know, I'm not too keen on being attacked either..." Pohatu's sentence was cut off as he kicked the sword far away. Kopaka responded with another blast of ice, but before he could finish Pohatu off, a shrill whistle split the air. Turaga Nuju and Matoro rounded the corner as fast as they could, the Turaga already making aggravated whistles and gestures. "The Turaga says you are brothers and you should not be fighting," Matoro quickly translated. "He is here to help you, not harm, and you should do the same. Work together to find the masks and defeat the Makuta." "Fine," sneered Kopaka. He would give this Toa his cooperation for now, but at the first slip, Kopaka would give him some cold justice. -----
  24. Way back when there was a contest to build the AU Teridax, I started work on this guy. He was never finished in time and I've gradually changed a little here and there over the years, most recently rebuilding his warhammer into something a little more unique. The overall structure is pretty stiff, especially the legs and forearms, but he has some pretty neat shoulder-joints if I do say so myself, which give a decent degree of flexibility. He can also move his head around and his middle arms On to the images! Front http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos.jpg Diagonal-left http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos2.jpg Back http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos3.jpg]http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos3.jpg[/url] Shoulders-displayed http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos4.jpg Weapon-upright(bad lighting, sorry) http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos5.jpg Weapon-front(more bad lighting) http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ToaMiracles/VarsaiNui/Makuta/Methos/methos6.jpg Thanks for viewing.
  25. The Madu Fruit A blinding flash of golden light. Even the Toa of Light, Takanuva, had to shield his eyes. Through his squinted eyes, he could make out the reptilian forms of Rahkshi all around him, spontaneously disintegrating. Tahu had unleashed the power of the golden armor. When Takanuva had regained his vision, he determined that Tahu might have just won them the battle. He grinned broadly. All around him, Skakdi and Skrall were startled and disgruntled at the sudden loss of a third of their troops. Grinning broadly, Takanuva wheeled around, preparing to fight off the remaining Skakdi and Skrall troops to put an end to the colossal battle once and for all. Before he could do so, he felt a sharp blow on the side of his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw was a Skrall withdrawing a closed fist, knocking his mask askew. It was the last thing he saw before he blacked out. Takua’s eyes flicked open. A bright light shone from above, blinding him. He squinted until his eyes had adjusted to the light. He could make out something along the lines of a palm tree. He heard a muffled voice speaking from somewhere nearby. He shook his head violently, his mask almost falling from his face. Now, he could see and hear with relative clarity. He adjusted his mask and noticed Jaller leaning over him, but it was not quite the Toa he had come to know in recent months. No, this Jaller was a Matoran, clad in Toa Lhikan’s Noble Hau and red-yellow armor. “Are you okay?” asked Jaller, worry in his eyes. “Ugh,” groaned Takua. He sat up, and immediately his head throbbed. “What happened?” “Man, that Madu Fruit really hit you hard, didn’t it?” asked Jaller. “You were out for ten minutes!” Takua noticed a Madu Tree above him, and a lone fruit lying on the ground nearby. “What?” asked Takua, genuinely confused. He looked down at his body and, to his surprise, saw the red armor of Takua rather than the white and gold armor that he expected to see. “What’s going on here?” demanded Takua. “You’ll never believe it!” exclaimed Jaller. “Believe what?” asked Takua. “Remember those stones you found?” continued Jaller. “Well, turns out they summoned the six Toa!” “What?” asked Takua. “Didn’t this already happen?” Jaller simply stared at him, believing Takua had lost his mind. “That Madu Fruit must have really boggled your mind,” said Jaller. “Now come on. Makuta won’t defeat himself, you know. And we have a Great Spirit to awaken!” ---- Yeah, I thought that this would be a cool plot twist, so I wrote a short story about it. Also I couldn't really think of a better title. XD
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