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Flash Fiction Marathon Entries Index


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#1 Offline Velox

Velox
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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 12:41 AM

Theme #1: A Dark Hunt

 

image

 

 

Entry #1:

Member Name: dotcomTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 747Story:  

The Fair Dark

  At his feet was a mangled corpse. Though only recently robbed of life, its face was so familiar; he still half expected it to talk to him like it had always done. His name was Dam. At the least, that is what they called him. At one time it had been an honored title. Now it was just a code, a falsity. His real name, along with everything else, had been stripped away. He looked at his companions, lounging around the huts of the village, cloaked in shadows. Their orders fulfilled, they sat and traded small talk. Their recent actions, if not ignored, were talked about in pride. Dam was horrified, but couldn’t seem to muster any words.   How had he come to this? How could he have ever done what he just had? It was a pointless, stupid question. He knew the answer too well. At one time they had called him the Dam of the Rusting Valley for his heroism. For centuries, his actions succeeded in maintaining all danger, natural and otherwise, from the small settlement located at the base of the valley. At one point, he had used his elemental powers to erect a massive stone wall to stop the flooding of the valley by a nearby river.He wasn’t alone. Another Toa, his best friend and closest partner, protected the Matoran inhabitants to the best of their abilities. They were inseparable and trusted each other completely. Together they felt they could do anything. They often clashed with Dark Hunters, who were after the meager resources of the Valley, but, together, were always able to overcome them.Unfortunately, Dark Hunters are rarely willing to give up so easily, or forgive such insults. One fateful day, a large number of Hunters mounted an assault on the Rusting Valley. With all their power, the two Toa were unable to defeat them. And when the Hunters were on the verge of overtaking the village, he murdered them. He wished he could wash away that act, to tell himself that he had only been acting to protect, but he had murdered them in anger and fear. Mustering every last bit of power he had, he opened the floor of the Valley and sent all the Hunters to fall, and then be crushed, by his power.           His partner couldn’t face him after that. He knew that a Toa could never act that way, and the Dam knew it as well.           So he left. It was an exile that both wordlessly agreed to, and felt was necessary.           It didn’t take long for news of this event to reach the ears of the Shadowed One. Enraged, he called for the killer to be brought to him. His punishment would be unique, befitting the severity of his crimes.           Lacking a home, the support of his closest friend, and anything to protect, he was apprehended easily.           The Hunters broke him down, physically and mentally, to his breaking point. They trained him to work for them and even sent him on missions, in vile hunts, the foulest the Shadowed One could find. Always he was instructed to leave survivors. Their judging eyes pierced him and only added to his torture.           He was surprisingly adept at the task, but not a single soul had any delusions about the chance of his survival.           Eventually, his last task came to him.           His partner, in his absence, had trained and redoubled his efforts to maintain the Valley safe. So the Shadowed One assembled a team to hunt him down, and assigned Dam to lead it.           Under the cover of dark, they departed, and overpowered his previous friend. As the Shadowed One hadn’t specified what to do with the village, the others razed it. His previous partner’s pained expression at seeing him with the Hunters, the destruction of their home, finally broke him. He stopped feeling.           When, in a last effort, the captive Toa broke free of his bonds and attacked them, he dealt with him, swiftly and brutally.           Once the task was done, he had a fleeting moment of lucidity. It was so horrifying he almost went mad again.           His friend’s eyes were full of judgment and despair.           As Dam stood in the growing darkness, he could feel no similar judging glances from the darkness.           Perhaps, he thought deliriously, those in the dark, robbed of sight, are truly the fairest judges…           His thoughts were interrupted then. His companions, free from judgment, followed their final orders. 

 

----------

 

Entry #2:

Name: Shuhei HisaguTheme: A Dark HuntWordcount: 406Story: Coldest Night"It was such a cold night when we went. It was too cold- that's what Nuju said. He told me we shouldn't have gone out tonight, but we did anyway. See, me and Matoro had been searching for our friend Kopeke for a few nights now. If we didn't find him soon, he'd be ruled dead. Then, we'd n-no longer be allowed to search for him. S-see, that's why we came out here. To find our friend."But as the night grew colder, we found that we had to retreat into a cave. As we now know, this was the worst mistake either of us ever made. For when the winds came in, the entrance was an entrance no longer. The once-life-giving portal to survival had become an iced-over trap- and a tomb. The cave was long- longer than any cave I'd ever been in. We realized we would never be able to dig our way out, and so we yelled. We yelled for hours. We yelled until our throats were sore, and then we tortured ourselves so that we would keep yelling. "But help never came. We found Kopeke, though. Oh, yes, we found him. Corpse preserved by the cold when we found him there, a slab of stone and an etching pen in his hands. It was almost a day later that I discovered how appeasing Matoran is when you're starving. If not for this discovery, I wouldn't have outlived Matoro. See, there was something else in the cave. We could always feel it, but we never knew when it would come. The first time, we offered what was left of Kopeke. The second, all I had to do was shove Matoro back. Just one shove bought my escape. And yet, I can still hear him. Why does he still talk to me?"With no light, I am the prey to hunter, always hunting me in the dark. And one day, very soon.""Is that all?""Yeah, that's where it ends. Nothing else. Turaga Vakama- do you know who's writing this is?"Vakama looked mournfully over the slab once more. "Unfortunately, this is definitely Takua's writing," he sighed deeply, "I knew he'd been missing, but I hadn't expected this. You said this has been buried for...""Three weeks.""Hmm. Contact Nuju immediately. He might know something about this.""Um, sir? He's currently hunting for more bodies right now. No one's seen him in days."

 

-----------

 

Entry #3:

 

Name: Nick SilverpenTheme: A Dark HuntWordcount: 741Story: Grin in the Dark

 

The yellow teeth were what made him hesitate. He’d never seen teeth so sordid, stained and pitted, yet smiling the same wide smile, as he watched from far away in the darkness. It made him hesitate, his muscles unwilling to push off the rock he spied from. He didn’t want to go near the Skakdi, he would rather slink away behind a rock and convince himself there would be some better assignment when he opened his eyes again.

 

Ahkmou was still a coward, but as a Toa of Shadow he had better ways to hide. Teridax had made sure of that. They were connected by that, he thought- never brave enough to get right in the thick of things, fleeing when it went bad... he shook all these frightened thoughts off as he felt a tug on his mind. Makuta was getting impatient, and he was letting his servant know. It was time to finish this hunt. 

 

He slithered from the rock, activating a Kanohi Huna as he crept along the cliffside. The group of Skakdi did not notice the shadows that followed, assuming them to be from the fire that crackled in the center of their group. While some of them growled and grinned stupidly, however, the leader, the one Ahkmou was sent to retrieve, stared from his throne, a few feet away from the action, something bigger in his eyes that was a pale reflection in the others. 

 

Like an animal defending his home, Ahkmou thought as he crept along. Most animals were more afraid of whoever explored their homes than the explorers were. His time exploring Po-Koro, of all places, taught him that. He would attack brutally so he wouldn’t expose his fear, so he could complete the mission, and they would never suspect... He readied his Rhotuka and shadow scythe, listening carefully to the words spoken along the campfire. 

 

“The Brotherhood will exclude our faithful service from their credentials,” the lead Skakdi told his brothers. “They will conquer the world on the impression that they are able to do it on their own, and the world will crumble before them. But they will not realize it was us that helped them, and as the ground crumbles we will be waiting under the rubble. We will show them it is merely their own ground they mine!” He licked his lips in a repulsive way that made Ahkmou shudder as he lined up his weapon to fire. 

 

The first shadow bolt struck silently at one who stepped away from the fire. Noone noticed as he was swallowed by the shadows. The second, he was the same, not realizing the night in which he celebrated was his enemy. Ahkmou pecked off a few more, mustering some courage as others disappeared due to his handiwork without notice. Anonymity granted him bravery, and for the first time that night, he smiled as wickedly as the Skakdi. 

 

Soon the Skakdi began to see the shadows creeping in, not shining out from their fire. The grins were still plastered to their faces, but the puzzle could be seen in their expressions. Ahkmou fired tight-lipped, as if speaking would let his courage leak out; though most of them panicked, the one of the creatures he feared seemed to glow in the dark, his plaque filled smile brighter as the Toa of Shadow increased his fire. 

 

He was crouching low on the rock he shot from, but somehow he slipped, and went tumbling down. Ahkmou crashed into the center of the campsite, and to the view of all of the Skakdi. The element of surprise was gone, and he waited for them to swarm upon him.

 

The blade at his throat was not meant to penetrate, but Ahkmou wished it did. His eyes remained shut as he felt fear creep back into his mind, trying frantically to replace it with the image of a Kualsi, anything that would help him. But the only thing that came were the words of the Skakdi in his ear. “You heard what we said. Flee to your master, and tell them of the Karzahni that will arrive at their door soon enough.” The pause was enough to send Ahkmou speeding out of the cave and back to Destral. 

 

As the Toa of Shadow fled, the beasts recovered their injured and unconscious, their grins returning as the fire lighted the cave once more. The hunter was now the hunted.

 

----------

 

Entry #4:

 

Member Name: Pahrak #0579Theme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 715Story: Vengeful Extermination

 

The Shadow Leech crawled out from under its rock and peered around.  It could sense a massive source of light nearby, more than enough to save it from the starvation it was barely staving off.

 

The light was coming closer.  Silently, it slithered out of its hiding place, sticking to the shadows as it moved towards the approaching meal.  The source stepped on a branch—it was close now, so close that the Leech could already taste that delectable light.  Just a few more steps, and the unlucky prey would be in the perfect position…

 

Unfortunately for the Shadow Leech, its “prey”—a Toa clad in white and gray armor—spotted it coming.  The creature advanced quickly, but not quickly enough.  The Toa raised the cylindrical cannon he carried, pulled the trigger, and smothered the mutant Kraata in flames.

 

“Serves you right, you little worm.”

 

Takanuva drew one of his Light Staffs and prodded the Leech to make sure it was dead.  Once satisfied that the monster was no more, he returned the staff to his back, rested the cannon on his shoulder, and marched on.

 

Recently, a Shadow Leech had found its way into New Atero and attacked a Matoran.  The Toa, who had assumed that all of the creatures had died off when their hive was destroyed, were quite surprised at the parasite’s appearance.  Worse, this seemed to be a special Leech.  Its brethren from Karda Nui lived only for a matter of minutes, and took hardly any effort to slay once they were found.  For some reason, this particular Leech was much more durable and had a far longer life span.

 

Where there was one Shadow Leech, there could potentially be more.  The most likely explanation was that Makuta had recreated and altered the species while in control of the Matoran Universe—or so the Turaga insisted.  Whatever the case, the Shadow Leeches would need to be dealt with, and it was recommended several Toa be sent to hunt down the vermin.  Takanuva had jumped at the chance.

 

The Toa of Light yawned.  It does get a little lonely out here, but I get it—the others need to help evacuate the rest of the population and finish getting New Atero in order.  Not like I need any help.  No way am I letting one of those things latch onto me again.

 

He eyed the new weapon he held.  Apparently it was something Nuparu had thrown together during his down time on Metru-Nui: a portable flamethrower powered by the Fire energies of the Toa Disk once belonging to Turaga Vakama.  Takanuva didn’t really understand how it worked, but he couldn’t say that he cared.  All that mattered was that it made his job a whole lot easier.

 

A quiet rustle drew Takanuva’s attention.  Trees and shrubbery lined the path he was travelling, so there was no telling where the Leeches could be watching him from.  Lowering the flamethrower, he took a staff in one hand and slowed his pace.

 

All of a sudden he whirled and thrust his staff, impaling a Leech that had lunged directly at his back.  He tossed the creature on the ground and prepared to finish it off, only to be greeted by a more disturbing sight.  At least a dozen Shadow Leeches were racing right towards him, their sickening forms twisting horrendously as they slithered their way forward.

 

“By all means, join the party.”

 

The cannon roared to life.  Takanuva held it steady as flames poured out of it, incinerating every last Leech and charring the ground before him.  A few seconds went by before he stopped to check if they were still alive.  When he did, he was pleased to find that none of them were.

 

For a moment, and not for the first time, Takanuva wondered if he should feel remorse for his actions.  The Leeches were, after all, living creatures, and Toa were not supposed to kill, let along take pleasure in it.  However, as he always did with these thoughts, he set the concern aside.  Shadow Leeches were created by Makuta for the sole purpose of enslaving Matoran.  In order to fulfill his duty to protect the villagers, the Shadow Leeches needed to be eradicated.

 

Shouldering the weapon once more, Takanuva trudged on.

 

----------

 

Entry #5:

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Member Name: The Remorseful Automaton[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Theme: A Dark Hunt[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Word Count: 750[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Story: The Music Box's Song[/color]

 

  It’s often said that the most curious piece of treasure in all of The Shadowed One’s collection is a plain, wooden box with neither value nor decoration. A key juts from its front and when turned, the box begins to sing. A hollow, melancholic trill fills the room and drowns it in pensiveness. The Shadowed One has never attempted to sell it, to barter with it or even dare to gamble with it.

 

  Why he keeps this box is known to few and fewer still who would speak of it. But yet it continues to rest amongst rubies and opals, broadswords and spears, trophies and spoils of war. It exists besides them without contest and most curiously of all, it has gathered the least dust in all its years of rest.

 

  The Dark Hunter trod through the collection, his feet whispering across the stony ground with all the subtlety his name would suggest. In the distance The Shadowed One marched these halls in pursuit of a separate purpose. Whatever it was, it was of no concern to Darkness. His intent was of a different nature, independent yet important enough to allow his game to wander from his watchful gaze.

 

  The music box lay where it had always been kept, on a pedestal between two tablets inscribed with a language older than the rocks used to host them. His fingers brushed the surface and left a trail of dust in their wake. Darkness made no noise as he lifted it from its resting place and held it to his face.

 

  Something shifted beyond and The Shadowed One’s voice floated over to Darkness’ ears. Whatever those words said was left unqueried as the Dark Hunters’ attention returned to the plain box before him. He turned the key and shattered the silence with its grating groan. The gears were wound and the song began to sound.

 

  Once upon a time Darkness had made it his goal to ascend to the Dark Hunter’s throne. His plan had been to follow The Shadowed One, to watch and wait. At any moment his prey would slip, would make a mistake, would show weakness. He would wait for the moment when The Shadowed One had finally proven himself to be unworthy for rule and then Darkness would slip in and take his rightful position at the head of the organisation with a well-placed knife. Once upon a time he had thought nothing of this plan. But once upon a time was a long time ago.

 

 He had watched and he had waited. Years turned into decades and decades into centuries. Through time, Darkness had grown proficient at his job. He learnt The Shadowed One’s schedule, his plans and his aspirations. He slipped into his prey’s mind as though it were a comfortable set of armour without realising the cost. In joining the Dark Hunters he had surrendered his old self to become Darkness. In the pursuit of his goals he had surrendered Darkness and become The Shadowed One’s shadow. He was no longer an independent being. He was only an echo of The Shadowed One now.

 

  And yet, the dark hunt might have been Darkness’ life, but the box held the key to something beyond. In its hollow notes it sang a song of a time gone by when the world was different and when Shadow was something else. Something now lost, not only to himself but to the universe itself. But the music box knew and through its gentle rhythm, Darkness would know as well.   

 

  The true meaning in the box’s elusive history was of course known to Darkness but it was a matter that was none of his business. He cared not for the object but for its produce. It was the music that enticed him to listen. It was the sounds it made, like a siren calling him home. Nothing could have drawn him from the thoughtful trance it cast him in, nothing besides the great shadow of The Shadowed One that loomed over him then.

 

   Darkness turned and the two regarded each other in watchful silence. Not a single word crossed between them as the box’s notes continued to unfold, for there was nothing to say. They simply stood and stared and waited for the empty desolation of silence to envelop them, and then their interaction would come to an end. Two individuals stood in this room but they would leave as one.

 

  Eventually the box fell into silence and the hunt resumed. 

 

----------

 

Entry #6:

 

[font="'Times New Roman';"]Member Name: NuileTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 734[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"]Story: Searching in Shadow[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]I come from the island of Cimmerrii. That is all you need to know.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]"The Star!" they cried.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]"The Star!"[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]"The Star!"[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]They thought it was just a legend. The Turaga, in their best moods, had told us the story to terrify us. They said The Star had long ago come to feed upon the Matoran of Cimmerrii, until a desperate mob had gathered to fight it and defeat it. The Turaga always believed it would return.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]Until that night, I didn't believe. When I heard the shouts, I thought it was only a cruel joke. But I knew I would never sleep with this racket. That was my excuse. I wouldn't admit that I was curious, and instead promised myself that, if I got up to look, it was only to kill someone to keep them quiet. With a smile of sadistic pleasure I collected my pickax and my dented shield and stepped out into the night.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]It was like nothing I had ever seen, when at last I could see at all. For a moment I was blinded, and I didn't understand why. It made me think I was dying. Finally I realized that I was seeing light.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]If you had seen it, you would have only seen a faint glimmer, if you could have seen it at all. To Cimmerrii, it was the first light any of us could remember, and it was blinding.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]As my vision returned I began to see Matoran everywhere screaming, fleeing, running against one another, murdering one another, clambering over dead bodies. Not that this was unusual, and normally I wouldn't have noticed. But that night, I did, and for the first time in my life I was revolted. I was ashamed of the petty viciousness of my people.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]The cry continued, "The Star! The Star!" I alone stood unmoving, watching, as I never would have done before, from my doorway. I noticed that the fleeing Matoran were all running away from The Star.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]The longer I stood there the fewer the passersby became. Only the weakest or sleepiest stragglers blundered past now, and soon the last of them went by and I found myself completely alone.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]With a snort, I squared my shoulders. Let my cowardly people run if they liked! I wouldn't. If The Star was so fearsome, I would face it myself and kill it or I would die trying it. It was terrible and dreadful . . . Then why was it so warm? And why couldn't I move? I didn't want to stay, I didn't want to run, but I didn't want to take even one step toward The Star, either. Why not? Was I afraid?[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]"Afraid!" I shouted. "You're afraid! Coward!"[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]That did it. With a roar I took the first leap and ran forward toward the light, toward The Star, shield up and pickax high. I ran away from the darkness, into the gloom that grew a little brighter with each step. I shivered at the thought but I didn't stop running, until finally I began to realize that The Star wasn't getting any closer.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]I halted, tired and gasping for air. Panting, I bellowed, "Are you afraid of me? You, the terrible Star who devours little Matoran? Come back here and kill me if you can!"[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]I broke into a run again, but as long as I kept it up The Star got no larger. "I don't care! I will hunt you to the ends of the universe if I have to!"[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]When I recovered I ran again, and paused again, and ran again and paused again, over and over. Every time I realized The Star was getting steadily larger, and nearer, I ran even faster.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]The ground began to slope upwards, and I kept running. I could feel the walls of a tunnel all around me, and I kept running. I ran on and on, up and up, until suddenly I rounded a corner and the brightest light yet dazzled me. I raised my shield and swung my pickax, striking walls or nothing at all.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]Gathering my every last ounce of courage I charged forward blindly, up the ascending tunnel, up toward the light. With a fierce battle-cry I plunged into the light and it devoured me.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]I came from the island of Cimmerii. And I have found the light.[/font][/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]That is all you need to know.[/font][/font]

 

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]---------[/font][/font]

 

[font="'Times New Roman';"][font="arial;"]Entry #7:[/font][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,128);][color=rgb(0,0,0);]Member Name: TolkienTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 750Story: "Fearsome"[/color][/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]"Fearsome"[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The waves still washed at the foot of the cliff. The spires of the ancient fortress that crowned the cliff still gnawed at the sky above. The figure still crouched, shadowed by the overhang, where the shore met the water of the Silver Sea. He crouched and waited with colorless eyes.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The ship must have wrecked last night. Debris littered the shoreline. It reminded him of a time he had almost forgotten, but not quite. Four millennia, was it? Maybe more.... But the years were meaningless to him. This was his home now—his realm. Even his name was lost to time.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Before him, the body of the blue-and-gold-armored creature bobbed with the tide. It was the only survivor of the wreck, it seemed. He squinted down from his shadowed perch, tail swishing back and forth as he weighed his options: It would be easy to end the thing where it lay. Just a glance, and the shore would be a wasteland of glass. Yes, it would be easy. Too easy.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Old memories arose: memories of rolling surf, sand against his face, coughing up seawater, and then struggling up the shore. It had been night, pitch black. He’d set one of the thorn-trees aflame with his vision to provide some light, then lay beneath it, weak and shivering. Eyes had glittered beyond the firelight, and fear had paralyzed him for a time. But then his will had returned, and he’d met the gaze of those beastly eyes with the fearsome power of his own.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]In the morning, he’d awakened to find the remains of their bodies. Ravenous Kavinga and razor-toothed Hapaka, feral and gaunt. Their corpses were burnt and half-destroyed, but worst of all was what he found among them: the seven-toed tracks of the night-stalking Muaka. Muaka Elnikrai: the Dark Hunter. He knew the tracks, but no body remained. The beast had escaped into the darkness. It was still out there, somewhere, and his fear of it had bitten deep....[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]A sound brought him back, and he focused once more upon the figure in the surf. It was moving now, struggling up. Water dripped from its armor and face. Was that a Kanohi it wore? No, it was no Toa. In fact, they were much alike. The same species, perhaps. Sunlight gleamed on the being’s armor as it rose. It did not see him yet, hidden in the cool shadow. It surveyed its surroundings: side to side, then upward. Its gaze lingered upon the fortress atop the cliff. Such irony, that both of them should end up marooned on this island; forgotten, just like the Beings who had raised that fortress in ancient days....[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Their eyes met suddenly, gaze to gaze. A long moment passed, and another memory leapt to the forefront of his mind then. It was amid the stones of the fortress high above. Years had passed since he’d been marooned, and he had survived. He had established himself as the strongest predator in this island realm. Any creature that opposed him fell to his gaze. All but one...the Dark Hunter stalked him still, cunning and terrible. It pursued him always, lurking just beyond his sight.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Until one night, when he had led it on a long, dark hunt through the night, high upon the cliffside, into the stony heart of the fortress walls. And there it had ended, same as now. For a moment he had hesitated, creeping through a courtyard, and in that moment the Hunter had struck. Claws raked, teeth bit, and he had thought his death was near.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]But then morning had poured over the broken walltops, and the beast had recoiled from him, blinking, as he collapsed in the shade. Their eyes met—one bathed in sunlight, one in shadow—and the Dark Hunter had perished at last.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]And now? The silence stretched. Neither figure moved. The one who crouched in shadow felt the sudden urge to act. He was the Dark Hunter now. He was the dark.... He would hunt. He felt the fearsome power welling up behind his eyes. And then—[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“What is your name?” the other being asked, and something changed. The moment was broken. The power.... It ebbed away.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“I...I have forgotten,” he said, hesitating. The words felt strange. “I have lived...in shadow...too long.”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Well, shadowed one, my name is old and forgotten too. In fact, it is beyond ancient. I see you wear the skull of the Muaka Elnikrai...”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“...I believe you must be a fearsome Hunter.”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]---------[/font]

 

Entry #8:

 

Member Name: Vorahk1Panrahk2

Theme: A Dark Hunt

Word Count: 722

Story: Stars

 

Lyke sat by himself in the dark. He was used to it, and he generally enjoyed it, but the jungle at night always disconcerted him. The way the tree canopies blocked the sky made him feel claustrophobic.

 

He jumped as he heard a rustling in the bushes, and instinctively grabbed a stick and thrust it toward the noise. Konepu barely had enough to leap out of the way before being impaled.

 

"Woah, Lyke!" he yelled. "No need to be so jumpy. Everything that can kill us is asleep!"

 

Lyke blushed behind his Akaku. He had a point. "Sorry-- where you able to find the nest?"

 

Konepu shook is head. "I went as far back as the river but I couldn't find any nests." He looked up. "We've still got some time left before light and I don't want to come out for another hunt tomorrow if I can avoid it. Would you mind checking south toward the coast? I can keep an eye on our stuff this time."

 

Lyke chucked aside his stick. "Certainly. If the glowbug nest is out there, I'll find it."

 

"And look carefully. I don't want to have to tell Matau we couldn't find Le-Koro's precious light source. We've been borrowing enough lightstones from the Onu-Matoran and they won't be happy to lend us another emergency supply."

 

Lyke offered a solute. "I'll do what I can, boss. Don't let the swamp rats get my berries." And with that he took off.

 

Lyke took out a lightstone so he wouldn't kill himself while bushwhacking. But when he came to a clearing, he put it away. Partially so his eyes could catch the soft glow of a glowbug nest, and partially because the stars where out- and he loved looking at them. Even where the rest of the Matoran wanted to look down, Lyke wanted to look up. Oh, he understood why no one shared his sentiments- Rahi were dangerous. Lookouts where necessary, and many precious materials necessary for defense came literally from down… in the Earth. There was no benefit to the stars. And no matter how hard he tried to persuade others to join him for late nights on the Ta-Wahi coast, he could not get anyone interested. "Science for the sake of science is a waste of time" he was repeatedly told. He acknowledge the truth in the statement, but still felt wished his fellow Matoran weren't so afraid to branch out their knowledge a bit.

 

His thoughts were interrupted by Konepu calling out his name. Lyke cursed- he knew he was spending way too much time out here. He got up and ran toward Konepu's voice.

 

"Sorry I took so long," he said. "I wanted to check out the trees for good measure. I didn't find anything." It was a lie, of course. And not a very opaque one, either.

 

"So you definitely weren't checking out the stars again," Konepu said sarcastically. "I know you think they're pretty, but we have a job to do. And if you had been paying attention you would have seen a nest not more than two hundred feet in that direction." He pointed back in the direction their camp was, and held up a jar of glowbugs for proof. Lyke couldn't deny his search was sloppy. He rubbed his neck with embarrassment.

 

"Sorry," he said. "But how can you not appreciate them? Mata Nui must have put them there for a reason."

 

"He also put the Le-Wahi swamps in for a reason. And I doubt it was for the benefit of Matoran. Now come on, let's head back. Matau will want these."

 

The two headed back to the Great Tree, the stars being blotted out by the lightstones. If only we can see them closer, Lyke thought. Maybe Matoran will appreciate them more. Discover more. Figure out their relevance. His thoughts then drifted toward his Akaku, and how the lenses allowed him to see smaller objects with greater clarity. What if he could replicate the device, modify it… and point it in the other direction?

 

Ideas formed wild in his head. He would build just such a device! And like a proud Ga Matoro resident shows off an ocean sunset, he would use his invention to show off the stars. And he knew just which coastline to put it on.

 

----------

 

Entry #9:

 

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Member Name: Flaredrick: The Sniper[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Theme: A Dark Hunt[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Word Count: 747[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Story: Hunt in the Dark[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Hunt in the Dark[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]Pittsburg Pennsylvania, home to some old steel work mills. It was night time, and the moon was in full bloom. We’ve been told to never do business before sundown, but we were naïve into doing so. This is the time, I survived the hunt.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]It was dawn, and me and my companions were waking getting ready to go into the mills to work some trading. We didn’t matter what it was we were trading our steel for, but we were always careful about to make business with. Jaskal, Horuos, Uganl, and I changed into our human disguises so we can blend in with human society. We made sure we got everything we needed, and proceeded to an abandoned mill where we set up our trades.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]I was a 5,7 albino with blonde hair, freckle faced, and pale blue eyes. Jaskal was a 6,1 African American man who was all muscle built. He had a very deep voice which he sort of hated. Underneath that he was a Fa-Matoran with silver Kulasi. Horuos was a 5,9 1/3 Germanic descendant with dark red hair and green eyes. Underneath the disguise is a Vo-Matoran with a Pakari. Last was Ugnal, he was a 5,11 Mexican American with a Spanish accent in his voice. He had grey hair like an old human, and dark brown eyes. Underneath his disguise was a Su-Matoran with a Hau.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]When we made it to our mill, our day was going smoothly. We made more of a profit than we did on most days by obtaining gold, silver, and some other oddities that are just too strange to describe.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]“Bet ya that this the day we make more profit than last year,” boasted Jaskal.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]“Let’s just see what happens. The day is still fresh,” I said feeling slightly happy.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]As the hours went by, it slipped my mind that we shouldn’t stay here at night. I’ve heard that dark things happen here at the moon rise. But I didn’t care; I was having a good time making deals for our steel. Then the sun set down upon us, and we were in a rush to pack up our supplies. When we were just a mere yard away from our vehicle, we were approached by mercenaries armed with machine guns and assault rifles. They were all wearing black, and their faces were covered in black as well, so I couldn’t see their faces.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]There were hundreds of them surrounding us, ready to fire upon us. I could then see in front of me, that they were stepping aside for someone, but I could not see who it was. Then when the mercenaries in front of us moved, I could see two glowing red eyes and the glint of some gold armor. Then the being looked at me closely in the eyes, and that’s when I realized that it was a Skakdi.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]His spines were shaped like the tip of a spear. His armor was black as coal and the body armor was a crude gold. His face was rigged and had some white tribal marking running down the left side of his face. He then said to me, “Your trespassing ends here Matoran. For too long we have seen you use our grounds for your worthless trade,” he explained with his harsh voice, as he knocked the bag that Jaskal was carrying off him.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]“And what are you going to do about it, huh?” Ugnal bursted.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]The Skakdi then grabbed him by the throat and lift him to his eye level.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]“We’re going to hunt you down like a pack a pack of animals. That’s, what we’re going to do.”[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]The lined us up side by side, as we were held by the hands. Then they let us go, shooting at our feet to get us moving. We were probably 20 yards away from them, when suddenly I heard a gunshot. Horuos went down fumbling like a rag doll on the pavement. Then I heard the hollering of the men as they began to charge at us, guns blazing in the air.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"] [/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]I saw Ugnal fall to the ground, and then a man lunged at him, leaving a knife in his throat. Then Jaskal fell to a shot to the head. I turned off my human disguise so they do not recognize me. To my surprise, I had reached the forest outside of the mills. This was the last time I saw them.[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]-[/font]

[font="'Times New Roman';font-size:14px;color:#000000;font-style:normal;"]--------[/font]

Entry #10:

 

Member Name: NeelhTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 492Story: "Nothing"

Nothing

 

There was nothing left for her here.

 

Shadow, yes, and the odd Matoran left for prey of some kind for something much bigger than she. But she was no longer a protector, and should not act as such against whatever Rahi was going to kill these unfortunate little souls. Letting go of them was much more difficult than she had expected to begin with, though.

 

The night was supposedly unwelcoming for Toa as she had been, but now she realised that she had never breathed anything more natural. Light was suffocating, bright, blinding. In the darkness she could be free to roam the darkness. She could be herself properly with no regard for the loathing that had begun to surround her perpetually.

 

People followed her sometimes. A large paw print, right next to a tiny little foot more like a Matoran's than anything else's was bound to be suspicious, especially with the blade marks that her arms had begun to leave. They had left quickly once they had either given up and gone to do something else, or found her.

 

Not many people did the latter, and even fewer survived to tell the tale.

 

She had been scared of the dark as a Matoran. Always terrified of some monster that wasn't really there and never really would be; always wanting another comfort to help her through the night. Nobody had really cared, but she had never put away a lightstone at sundown, and it was always replaced as soon as it had displayed signs of flickering out.

 

Aimless wandering.

 

Aimless thoughts.

 

Maybe she shouldn't think.

 

Maybe letting go was easier than she had thought.

 

Maybe in three breaths, it could all be over and she would no longer feel a strange attachment to these tiny, powerless creatures, and maybe the heavy-footed Matoran would finally stop following her, ruining the silence and stumbling along, completely out of his normal habitat.

 

Blank it out, blank it all out, and maybe nothing can permeate the sounds of your blood rushing through your head; nothing can drill through the psychotic state that you have driven yourself into; nothing can-

 

Rip.

 

Tear.

 

Scream.

 

Nothing.

 

But nothing soon becomes something, for nothing can be nothing forever. Whatever you think, there can be no lies that you can feed yourself without end; an endless feast of truth mixed with non-truth and a tiny bit of seasoning on the latter so that you will always prefer the taste.

 

There was a mask on the floor. It was shattered so badly, all it could be recognised as was a Pakari. She knelt down and sniffed it. There was no power in it. The corpse on the floor was something that her past self would probably faint at the sight of.

 

Nowadays, she could just turn away.

 

So that was what she did.

 

---------

 


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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#2 Offline 55555

55555
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  • 17-November 06
  • 3,032 posts
  •   Retired Staff

Posted Jun 30 2013 - 12:44 AM

Entry #11:Member Name: DreadheartTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 481Story: Colours on CanvasI started making swords as a Ta-Matoran. It promised an honest living.That was not what I sought.One thousand years later, I would wield a sword as a Toa of flames. I was promised glory.That was not what I sought.Another thousand years would pass, and I would wield a sword again. This time, no glory was promised; heroes and defenders had become commonplace to the Matoran. We had been demoted from legends to scarecrows. We had become the security blanket locked in the attic -- impotent, redundant, kept out of misplaced sentimentality. Our lives were put on hold, dulled and faded until they were a grey canvas.Many years later, a rogue Toa of the soil attacked the village, and my sword had chance to sting again.And sting it did. Earth met steel, and earth was transformed to blood. My opponent fell, his life leaking back into his element.Anger ignited, fear swelled, shame fell, horror took grip; I drank in those crisp, genuine, heartfelt feelings. They were deep blacks, muddy greens, vibrant yellows and burning reds splashing onto the grey space of my existence -- in a blazing moment my frustration had been replaced by fire, and my lethargy had been replaced by lust.Reprimands were given; trials held. I was warned that if my actions were repeated, I would be punished.That was not what I sought.If I stayed on the straight and narrow path, they said I would become a hero of legends.That was not what I sought.More years passed, and I returned to an existence of limbo. Grey creeped back into my life, but this was a darker shade -- it was not of boredom, but of resentment.History repeated itself; a mad Skakdi of the waves stormed our gates, and my team rushed to stop it. I was pushed back by my brethren, to keep me from the rapture that battle promised. But my will proved greater than their might, and the frenzied beast was reduced to red streams splashed onto shards of blue.I looked back to my five brothers and sisters, as they silently conceded that the final line had been crossed.How right they were.Axe, scythe, shield, flail, spear...names were lost to me. Steel sang, and my old team fell one-by-one, their lives returned to their Great Spirit, their colours feeding me.But five was not enough.So I drowned my village in death.As well as the next. And the next. And the next. And the next.Some desperate men and women promised me power in exchange for mercy.That was not what I sought.Power was a sedentary thing, and my hunger required me to move and chase and hunt. Only my sword could give me what I wanted, what I needed.It promised me life.And that was what I sought.-----------Entry #12:Member Name: Legolover-361Theme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 750Story: FaultA scream.The Vortixx Eris awakened, a film of sweat on her face, and fumbled in the dark for the knife on her bedside cabinet before realizing she had been dreaming.Just as she had been dreaming for the past month.She sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. She would sleep no more.* * *A few thoughtfully placed lightstones illuminated the Xian inn’s hallway and stairwell. Two flights of steps down, the corridor opened into a large lobby. Eris crossed the lobby between the front doors and receptionist’s desk and entered the inn’s modest bar and restaurant.Only a few people were awake at this hour: another Vortixx, slumped over the bar; two Matoran murmuring, their heads almost touching; and a Steltian with a scar over his left eye and a grimace on his face as though his drink was too bitter.After purchasing a frugal meal (she would eat no more of the inn’s second-rate breakfast than she had to), Eris deliberately took a seat two tables from the Steltian’s and ate silently. It was amazing that no one else could hear the boiling emotions incarcerated in her gut.One of the Matoran approached the Steltian with a few terse words. His response was equally brief, and the Matoran returned to his table, unbeknownst that he gave Eris the final proof she needed. This was the one.The Steltian finished his drink and exited the restaurant. Eris counted to three before following — risky, yes, but she was impatient. Her sheath felt heavy against her thigh.* * *The air outside the inn was cold, but it kept Eris awake.She kept her distance from the Steltian, stretching her arms and yawning a couple times as if she had just woken up. It was only an act (she tried to convince herself), but her subconscious nevertheless reminded Eris to sleep in tomorrow, or at least go to bed early tonight.When the Steltian finally looked at her, she was gazing at the sky, tinted violet by dawn. In her peripheral vision, the Steltian paused by the front display of a store as if window shopping. She didn’t stop walking till she was past him and he entered the store.No stores in Xia were open at this hour.There were two obvious possibilities: Either the Steltian was obtaining something in the store — legally or otherwise — or he was using it as a shortcut into a back alley.The third possibility, which Eris realized only after slipping into a neighboring alley, was that the store was his hideout. She prayed not.The Steltian wasn’t behind the shop. Eris approached the back door and placed her head against it, listening. Even her acute hearing could barely recognize words.“...not enough. I spent more than time getting this...”More mumbling. Something about being cheap. Then a tinkle of coins.Apparently the storeowner was a customer.When the Steltian exited, Eris had resumed her position and ploy of a tired Vortixx on an early morning stroll. She could tell he was suspicious by the glance he gave her, but he said nothing as he passed.She waited till his back was to her before leaping onto it and pressing a drug-soaked rag upon his face.He struggled mutely and then went limp. Eris dragged him into the alley and out of sight and fell to a sitting position beside his body, her heart galloping.This was it.* * *Eris’s knife was out of its sheath and resting against the Steltian’s neck when he awakened. His eyes were wary, but he otherwise displayed no surprise or recognition.“You know me,” Eris prompted.He was silent for a brief time before comprehending. “Yes,” he said, his tone markedly formal. “Yes, Eris, I do.”“You know Thora?”He was silent longer this time. “I think I’ve heard the name.”“You should. You killed her.”“I don’t kill people.”Eris’s knife hand was shaking. “You killed her,” she repeated.“I did not, Eris. That was you.”“You made me!”“You had every ability to deny the job—”“That’s false, and you know it!”“Regardless, I’m not a murderer.”“If you’d told me I’d been hired to kill her—”“You never asked,” said the Steltian.The final straw.The scream replayed in Eris’s mind. She nearly repeated it aloud. On an impulse, she pressed the knife against the Steltian’s neck—And froze.Recoiled, gut churning.Pulled it away and, cursing, ran back into the street with burning eyes.---------Entry #13:Member Name: 55555Theme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 413Story: A Scientist's ReverieThe Ga-Matoran scientist walked home slowly, enjoying the moonlit night. The muted sounds, the darkened sights, of these Ga-Metruan nights, she whispered poetically. Clouds blew quickly across the sky, but the full moon remained unshaded.She walked into the vast, black shadow of the Colosseum and shivered slightly. She increased her pace somewhat as she crossed the last bridge between her and her destination.Still, for a moment she paused. The gentle herald of a thunder, goes before the skies are-Suddenly a dark shape launched out of the canal below, arcing low over the bridge and carrying the Matoran into the protodermis on the other side without a hint of a splash. There was a sudden explosion above the surface, and pieces of the bridge fell into the water all around them. She feebly struck at the face of the humanoid who held her, as she was carried through the water at alarming speed. Then they suddenly halted, and through the water she could see a pair of glowing yellow eyes behind a Great Pakari, and a single finger held up to indicate the necessity of silence. Kind, though serious, eyes. Toa Naho's.She gasped as they surfaced, pulling in the air that she so desperately needed, the impact and the cold water having robbed her of what energy she had. Toa Naho kept them both low in the water, below the peaks of the small waves. The Toa scanned the surrounding rooftops and the walls of the canal. Then, without warning, submerged them both again.Projectiles splashed into the water where they had just been, sending silvery fountains into the moonlight. This time they swam a long way, Naho taking turn after turn through the canals without hesitation.They emerged in a large culvert, deep in the darkness. There was a horribly smell, and loud echoes of the water farther in the labyrinth of sewers. Surely we're safe here, she thought, her heart slowing.Release the scientist, Naho.A deep, female voice echoed into their hiding place. Naho's grip only tightened.Something fell into the water in front of them, but Naho had already made her move. They were going deeper, deeper into the sewers.You must take a deep breath, little scientist. And hold it.She did as she was told, just as an explosion brought down the tunnel, their route to safety. And they plunged again.Rushing water, black as Makuta's mind, a friend before, an enemy behind.---------Entry #14:Member Name: Timaka: Toa of TimeTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 511 (ha! A good bit under the limit this time!)Story: Creature in the DarkDarkness clings to the city like a plague. Even the silver light that extends its tendrils into a few cracks here and there fails to penetrate the darkness. The citizens of Metru-Nui are in a state of panic and fear. Seldom were any Matoran seen traveling alone nowadays, and not a single one ever came out at night in this time of darkness. Platoons of Toa patrol every street in the metropolis, wary and tense.In the very deepest shadow, two lightless eyes watch them carefully. . . Not here. Wrong Toa. Silent footsteps run lightly across rooftops, clinging to the shadows as a creeper vine clings to its host. Another platoon of Toa go by. Hungry eyes scan the small group carefully. Not here either.They had to be around somewhere. The intelligence had specified that they were. If the information had been wrong, there would be one unhappy customer later on. Crossing more rooftops, heading in the general direction of the city's center. Thunderclouds gather overhead. Cold, merciless eyes scan closely the features of every Toa they come across, and frustration continues to build. True, there were hundreds of Toa roving the various Metru in this time of strife, but the eyes belonged to a very impatient nature.Rain begins to fall. It becomes difficult to maintain footing. Forced to enter the city, alone, into the very den of the Toa Army, resentment grew. But the money would be good. Nearing the Coliseum now. Swarms of Toa crawl around it. Thunder flashes, forcing a creature of darkness to flee for cover. A black heart pounds wildly. No, the Toa had seen nothing. Cold anger and a return to the mission at hand.Scanning the crowds of Toa. Wouldn't you know it, there were the targets, right in the middle of the crowd.But what's this? A Toa of red-and-gold speaks to his companion, one of black-and-gray, and they leave the crowd, moving to a quieter area around the side of the Coliseum.Excellent. But how to. . . There. Silent footsteps moving at top speed, hugging a sliver of shadow.Made it! Climbing the sides of the tallest building in the city. Crowds of Toa down below, like the insects they were. Climbing higher, dodging statues and protrusions. Rain falling in sheets. Making way around the building. . . Slippng through a maze of shadows. Finally reaching the ground. Thunder flashing again. Hiding behind a wall. The Toa's backs are turned. Now is the time.Stepping forward, but still under the cover of the black shadow. A grisly hand extends, sickly green light emanating from it. Power flashes. The gray Toa crumples to the ground. Grim satisfaction. One more moment and. . .CRUNCH!Toa Zaluk looks up from his dead companion, shock and anger in his heart, as a great Hau statue crashes violently to the ground a short distance away. A long, decrepit arm sticks out from under it.A grim smile plays across the features of the Toa's mask before his gaze returns to his companion.-------Entry #15:Member Name: ExcelsiorTheme: Dark HuntWord count: 486Story: Blind Hostilities"Ow!" Nidhiki yelled, stumbling forward and colliding with the wall. For perhaps the three-hundredth time so far in his Dark Hunter career, he began cursing his imbecilic partner. (Obviously, this was still rather early in said career.)He also, for perhaps the hundred and fiftieth time, cursed the power of Roodaka's mutation spinner. The ability to crawl across walls and ceilings was all very well, but when trying to navigate a Makuta-black room he much preferred having two legs. And actual hands.Hissing imprecations under his breath, he had resumed his clumsy search, when suddenly a voice spoke from behind him. It was Subterranean, the third Hunter on this mission."What's the matter now, Nidhiki?" he said wearily. "I've been hearing you cursing and tripping over yourself for over twenty minutes." The arachnid could hear him smirk. "And while your opinion of Krekka's intelligence is probably accurate, I don't think the Shadowed One will be happy if you actually rip him to shreds - or do any of the other things you've been muttering about.""Oh, be quiet, Subterranean," the ex-toa snapped. "Don't you have better things to do than eavesdrop on people three rooms away?""Farther, actually. I was on sentry duty outside until a minute ago - watching out for any natives that might come by and discover our little hideout. And it's hardly eavesdropping if I can't help hearing you." The mutant's super-hearing was one of his greatest strengths, and also the reason he had been sent on this mission. Their target was guarded by a village of De-Matoran, some of the most naturally stealthy beings in the universe. "But you haven't answered my question. What's Krekka done this time?"Nidhiki's anger intensified at the mention of his partner. "Oh, nothing," he spat sarcastically. "That buffoon has apparently interpreted the instructions to 'show no light' as 'break all the lightstones,' that's all! So now I'm stuck looking for the mission instructions, in complete darkness!"Subterranean burst out laughing. "Really, Nidhiki? That's all? Honestly...if you can't handle a task like that, you shouldn't have become a Dark Hunter." He paused. "Not that you had a choice, of course - 'Toa' Nidhiki."Nidhiki stiffened. "I had more than you did," he shot back. "I heard you were run out of Metru Nui because of your looks. At least there's one good thing about this situation - I don't have to see you right now.""As if you're one to talk. Aren't you the one the Shadowed One mutated to ensure you'd be too monstrous to leave?""Maybe, but it was you who gave him the idea."Subterranean seemed to have no answer to that. Nidhiki grinned triumphantly before continuing."Now if you're not going to make yourself useful, you can leave. I have to deal with the mess created by my moron of a partner. Again."Subterranean silently obeyed, leaving Nidhiki to his dark hunt.--------Entry #16:Member Name: SonicBOOM XSTheme: The Dark HuntWord Count: 750 ( :D)Story: The Stains of TimeEliminator wiped his hands clean with the water of the Great Sea. Just outside Metru Nui, on a small fishing boat, he had killed another of his targets. The sea, even with its pure water, couldn't wash away the stains of blood on his hands.He decided to reflect on his life. He'd lived too long; anything before joining the Dark Hunters was a weak memory, possibly just fragments of a dream misconstrued as an actual event. As far as he was concerned, his life began when The Shadowed One recruited him without trial. His penchant for stealth and killing were just what made him so useful to The Shadowed One.There was a cough nearby. Eliminator didn't hear it over the roar of the sea.He was the hitman of choice for most. Even The Shadowed One hired him for his personal purposes: take out any rebels or incompetent Dark Hunters. He did so without prejudice or fear, attributes which all too often ruined an otherwise successful mission. Granted, the other Dark Hunters feared him and reviled him, and he personally knew of a group that plotted to eliminate him, but that didn't change anything.Metal scraped against the floor. A few grunts came from behind Eliminator, still drowned in the noise emanating from the storm.He'd been contracted so many times he couldn't count his missions anymore. His name popped up more often than any of his colleagues', and clients even offered to wait for availability. Of course he would be asked to work for Makuta Teridax, the leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta. Nobody knew what became of Miserix, but rumor had it he was executed in a volcano. The Shadowed One couldn't care less: he just wanted money. And Teridax was paying very handsomely.Footsteps, now, along with pain-ridden grunts and moans. Eliminator was too wrapped in his thoughts to hear anything.Teridax had assigned him to assassinate the Toa Mangai one by one. So far, he had killed one Toa of Water, two Toa of Ice, and was in a boat with the presumed corpse of a Toa of Air. His kills had been simple and elegant, a quick slice here, a jab there, a break here, and another dead Toa joined the ranks.So why was he so drowned in thought, why did he have doubt, why did he care?A dagger flew out of nowhere, breaking his thoughts. He caught it, only to be blown back by a strong gust of wind. Jurak stood, limping on one leg, a mini-cyclone by his side.“Don't even bother trying. You're dead. Maybe not now, but even so.” Eliminator taunted.“I know I am, but I need to know. You. I knew you before you became a Dark Hunter. We worked together, protecting Matoran, working with Toa. So answer me this. Why did you kill Kodan?”That was it. Eliminator froze in place, his inner turmoil rooting him down.It wasn't that Eliminator didn't remember anything before the recruitment, it was that he suppressed those memories. Or, rather, he had them suppressed by another figure. But suppressed memories can only be held for so long. After he killed Kodan, he'd nearly passed out of shock, something which should not have happened. Had another Dark Hunter been the clean-up guy, he'd be dead by now.He looked down at his bloodstained hands. He remembered his fights alongside Jurak, working to protect innocent Matoran with his powers over darkness. He'd fought for them. He could never kill a Toa or a Matoran. Anyone else, maybe, but them?Eliminator looked up, the rain mingling with tears in his eyes. He'd never cried before, but the sheer shock of this revelation forced them out.But he had a job regardless. And even his past could not interfere with his present.“I'm sorry, Jurak.”---------“Congratulations, you've eliminated almost all of my targets.” Teridax said as he paced up and down his chamber. Eliminator listened obediently.He looked down at his hands. The rain last night, however intense it may have been, could not wipe away the stains of bloods. The tears last night, however emotional they may have been, could not wipe away the stains of time.“Lastly, go and kill Toa Naho. She's our last little target.”As far as Eliminator was concerned, he had no past beyond the Dark Hunters, and the only thing left to do was embark on another dark hunt.----------Entry #17:Member Name: Toa OnaraxTheme: The Dark HuntWord Count: 730Story: The Extent of CourageA lone Matoran ran in the night, fleeing from shadows constantly nipping at his heels. The Matoran knew that if he were to falter, even for a moment, he would die. Like all living beings, the Matoran wanted to live. His mind kept repeating the same words over and over. Mata-Nui please give me the courage to survive. Please let me survive. I must survive.However, the more the Matoran prayed, the more frantic he became. As his mind fell further into despair, the forest around him appeared even more terrifying. The tree branches seemed to reach out, attempting to grab and devour him. The shadows of small Rahi cast themselves as though they belonged to larger, deadlier creatures. Everything about the darkness of the woods became more pronounced, more terrifying, more deadly. As the forest seemed to close in upon the Matoran, he panicked, letting out a cry for help.His cry was answered by a penetrating howl, followed by another howl, and then another. Soon, it sounded as though a network had been established, as more and more howls joined the first. The Matoran froze in his tracks and suddenly everything became deathly silent. Even the wind had died down, allowing an eerie silence to descend upon the woods. For a moment the Matoran couldn’t help but wonder if the wolves had stopped, if somehow he had been saved.Then he heard a slow rumble, growing louder and louder until finally it exploded into a symphony of howls and stampeding. The Matoran watched in horror as he saw Rahi, large and small fleeing from the forest behind him. They were running in terror from something, and it was only after the Rahi had passed him that the Matoran resumed his own flight of terror.However, it was too late now, far too late. Already the Matoran could hear light footsteps following him, no, stalking him. Their lazy gait seemed almost mocking, as if they had all the time in the world. It was as if they were laughing at the Matoran, daring him to try and flee. They were confident in the fact that escape was impossible.Just as the Matoran was about to give into his despair, he saw images of friends appear in his head. He could see the smiling villagers, men and women he had laughed and cried with. The Matoran did not want to die yet, not when he still had so much to live for. If nothing else he wanted to see his home again, tell his fellow villagers how much they meant to him. He especially did not want his death to weigh upon their hearts.I WILL SURVIVE!With newfound determination, the Matoran resumed running and this time a certain vigor had entered his legs: the vigor of a survivor. With every step his resolve only strengthened. He would not rest until he was home, and then he would thank every single person he knew, give everyone a hug for making his life one worth running back to.None of the Matoran’s optimism slowed the wolves; as the Matoran's pace increased, so too did theirs'. The dreaded moment came: the hunt was getting boring. Toying with him was no longer fun; it was time to end it. That was when the first Wolf leapt out of the woods, and the Matoran finally saw the face of Death itself.An Iron Wolf, lean yet powerful, was running alongside him. Then, when the Matoran tried to suppress his fear, the Iron Wolf responded by quickly outpacing him and then cutting his path off. As the Matoran turned to try and escape in another direction, he found that two more wolves were now blocking his way.All of the Matoran’s hope and courage was suddenly gone, replaced by a fear that no other can match. His legs locked up, his arms rigid: there was no way out, no hope, no future. The Matoran looked upwards, hoping against hope that something would appear in the sky to save him as often happened in the stories. Finally, just as the Matoran realized that nothing was coming to save him, the first Wolf pounced. There wasn’t even any glory in his death.The Dark Hunt satiated, they howled in unison, warning all people with a simple message: We are the Dark Hunt, and no one escapes us.--------Entry #18:Member Name: xccjTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 717Story: Escaping the Fiercest HunterKongu made his way through the jungle in the middle of the night. There was a full moon overhead, but none of the light reached below the jungle canopy. For those on the forest floor, it was as dark as the underground shadows.Ordinarily, Kongu would’ve never been out in the jungle this late, much less on the forest floor. But he had been flying his Kahu in the late afternoon, and his poor bird hurt its wing and was forced to land far from Le-Koro. After making sure his Kahu was safely roosted, Kongu started off for his treetop village, so he could return with medicine for his bird. And since the tree limbs above were filled with Fikou webs, he was forced to make the journey on the ground.Kongu heard the sound of something behind him. He knew of many predators in the jungles of Le-Wahi, and whatever was behind him was big. It could just be one of the larger, peaceful Rahi. Or it could be something out to get him.Kongu picked up his pace, leaping over tree roots and bushes. But then he heard the creature move, and a shadow leapt towards him. Using his quick reflexes, Kongu came to a halt and ducked down, and his attacker sailed over his head.Kongu managed to get a good look at the beast, despite the darkness. It was a ferocious Muaka cat. Of all the hunters in the jungle, Muaka were among the fiercest.Panic began to fill him, and Kongu started off at a sprint. He wasn’t heading towards Le-Koro or anyplace in specific; he just tried to get away from the Muaka. Unfortunately, the Muaka turned around and continued the chase.The beast was almost upon him. Kongu took a sharp turn around a large tree trunk, and the feline missed him. But it would be back. Kongu tried to brush aside his fear and think. He couldn’t outrun the Muaka, and his agility would only help him so much. He needed a way to outsmart the beast.But how could he outthink the jungle’s greatest hunter? What could possibly stop the mighty Muaka?A sudden idea came to Kongu. He jumped into the low branches of a nearby tree, and started to climb skyward. He was halfway up the tree before the Muaka below sighted him. If Kongu thought climbing would save him, he was sorely mistaken. The Muaka flexed its claws and sank them into the trees bark. The massive beast began to climb up the tree behind Kongu, tearing away the branches and foliage that got in its way.Kong climbed onto a long branch, and ran out across it. The Muaka reached it seconds later, and with a swipe of its claws broke it free. Kongu leapt at the last moment and snagged a vine hanging from another tree, and used it to swing to its trunk. But the Muaka pounced and leapt through the air, landing on the branches right below Kongu.Kongu ran and jumped, even as the Muaka’s claws slashed at the leaves directly behind him. Ahead, he saw what appeared to be a clearing beneath the treetops, and he dove into the darkness. Behind him, the Muaka leapt too. It extended its neck, and its jaws sprang towards Kongu and threatened to close down on the Matoran.Suddenly, something caught the Muaka and checked its fall. The Rahi roared, and tried to break free, but the thin strands wrapped around its legs and stuck to it. It had been caught in a Fikou web.Kongu had just been able to see the outline of the web when he jumped, and he aimed for an opening which was wide enough for him to pass through. The gap, however, was too small for the Muaka. Even as it tried to break free, the Fikou spiders moved in on their catch. They were no match for the Muaka, and the fierce cat would eventually break free. But not before Kongu could get to safety.The Le-Matoran landed safely on the ground below, and quickly resumed his journey towards Le-Koro. When he got back, he could tell all his friends of how he had bested the fiercest hunter in the jungle... in the dark, no less.-----------Entry #19:Member Name: BaltarcTheme: A Dark HuntWord Count: 366Story:The Toa’s body crumpled to the ground as I withdrew my blade from his back – the hunt, at last, was over. It had been a particularly challenging one – yes, that’s right, challenging, even for me. Hunting down someone who’s gotten his hands on an Olmak is no easy task. My partner would never admit to finding any assignment the slightest bit difficult, but I understood the value in recognizing my weaknesses. If I could understand them, I could conquer them, learn to succeed in spite of them. It was why I would be alive far longer than he would.Well, actually, that’s not the real reason, I guess. See, this mission had two parts. I knelt down beside the fallen Toa and wrenched the Olmak from his face; that, naturally, was our primary objective. The mask housed considerable power, power the Shadowed One wanted to ensure was in… competent hands. Phase two, well…“Excellent work,” came my partner’s voice from behind me.I turned, rising and giving a nod of appreciation. “Likewise,” I replied. He had concealed himself in the underbrush, using the powers typical of his species to cast an illusion over the clearing, distracting our quarry while I finished the job.“Lemme see that,” he said, gesturing to the mask. “The sooner we get out of here, the better.” We had planned on using the Olmak to quickly return to Odina – my partner could access the mask’s power; I could not.I tossed the mask in his direction. The moment he reached out to catch it, I lunged forward, my blade stopping an inch from his throat. To my surprise, he barely reacted, only raising an eyebrow in surprise. “What’s this?” he asked. “Treason?”“Hardly,” I said. “I’m told you’ve been compromised, that it’s my job to retire you. Personally, I’m not too thrilled about it, but you should’ve considered the consequences before you betrayed us, yeah?”Suddenly he—Laughed? “Something funny?” I demanded.He shook his head slowly, still grinning. “They told me the same thing about you.”I barely had a half-second to process the information before the Olmak in his hand exploded, a fireball large enough to engulf the entire island.-----------Entry #20:Member Name: GrantaireTheme: Dark HuntWord Count: 471Story:Apart from my BrothersThere were tears in my eyes when I fled across the plain. My massive legs churn on, throwing sand about in torrents as I run. But there was no sound in my ears, nothing to comfort that distressed sense.I have never been alone, nor do I like the idea. My brothers have always been by my side: we cared for one another, we had peace. Even if we were separated, I think we would be happy if we had peace.But peace is not about me, and peace is not what is pursuing me. I can throw about a Matoran, box about a vortixx while deciding what my lunch will be. But this thing that pursues me, I cannot beat down. I saw it move a little in the dark, swift in lithe as it spread its silence over me. I fear it, as mighty as I am.The land around me is desolate, terrifyingly almost in the early night: the grey sand edged by the grasping claws of the rocks. It is my home, and at day charming.But not at night, not with this thing hunting me. I am tired after a day’s travel. My doom is drawing closer. I look back, changing my angle. There!I flee even faster as I again see the faint shape of my hunter.My brothers are far behind. My cries did not wake them, nor could they have. For the cries themselves were muted.I am nothing alone, I never was.A cliff approaches and I change my angle, running close by its edge. Looking down I see a deep canyon beside me. My eyes narrow. None of my brothers would kill themselves out of fear. But is it death? I am not a weakling, and my bulk tells me I have much protection.It does not matter, for my strength fades. I turn about, facing my foe. I snarl. Bracing myself for the last futile fight. Its dark form confounds me: I cannot fight in darkness!It is upon me. I give one more muted cry as I feel deep claws on my back. But my cry turns, unheard, into triumph.It has given itself into my power. With one muted roar I spring sideways and forwards, twisting over. Another muted roar breaks out as I fall: but there is another cry, this one not muted.I lie stunned for a moment among the rocks: the world seems to be still. Lying on my back, I feel too shocked to move. I give a snort.I hear it.With a growl of triumph I struggle to get up. The dark form lies still and crushed beneath me, broken upon the rocks. I throw back my head, giving vent to a victorious roar.I am a Kikanalo. I do not surrender.


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#3 Offline Velox

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 11:42 AM

Theme #2: The Chronicler

 

Entry #1:

 

"Easy Shadows"

 

There are not many stories that are fully true.

 

This is because most stories are old, and time twists tales in such a way that nobody can really be sure what happened or not. So many things happen over such a short period of time that the strings are bound to get tangled and there are so many discrepancies that someone has to sort them all out.

 

It is the job of a Chronicler to learn all they they can about the history of their assigned location or people. In such a vast world, to make sure that all the details of their history are correct and never too far-fetched.

 

This is quite difficult when you have to talk to a pathological liar.

 

The Vortixx's claw-like fingers drummed on the wooden table as she held her face in her other hand. Her name was Roodaka, and though her weapons had been removed, she was still deemed dangerous enough for the Chronicler to have guards assigned to her. However, when they realised that she wouldn't be talking to anyone other than the small Vo-Matoran, they had left the cell and locked the door.

 

"So, you probably want to know my motives for turning the Toa into Hordika first," she purred. The Chronicler shivered, but didn't let this deter her until she realised that she was too scared to speak. She nodded, knowing that if she shook her head then she would have to say something. The Vortixx smirked knowingly and looked at her with her right eye. "Their corpses would have been useful, and it was also my way of testing Sidorak. If he had accepted the idea, he would be again proved to me that he was unworthy of my time. If he had disagreed and mutated them - for almost no good reason I may add - then he had succeeded for once. Needless to say, this was yet another of my tests that he had failed."

 

As she finished the sentence in a harsher tone than before, she scraped her fingers down on the wood, tearing out a small chunk and throwing it at the wall.

 

"However, I had many plans for what happened next. If they had died, then I could have used their corpses for brokering deals and for a little thing that you know nothing of called power. But as they lived, I could use their new mental state for my own good."

 

The Chronicler leaned in, still scrawling on a piece of parchment given to her by an Agori of the Fire Tribe. Roodaka observed her haughtily before continuing.

 

"My first choice was actually Matau. He had darkness - so much that it was a shame to waste it. Nokama would have been a better choice to destroy their precious unity, but she was stubborn and unyielding. The others could have done the job, but Vakama was willing to walk straight into my web." She chuckled. "Just like a Toa should."

 

The Chronicler blinked. She should not have been surprised - Turaga Vakama had admitted it, after all - but to hear these words spoken by a known villain, and to be told how foolish their leader had been, brought a small chill to the Chronicler's soul.

 

"You know everything that happened in Metru Nui. I will not deny this, nor shall I add anything such as personal motives. I know that you want to hear about my weaknesses, so all of your new Orders and Federations can find some way to punish me.

 

"I have some advice for you, little Matoran. Rules, such as those that you live and breathe every day by, are nothing but restrictions placed on you so you don't usurp those who placed themselves in power."

 

She stood up and walked to the cell door. There, she picked the lock and opened the door. "Come, little Matoran. I will teach you about the benefits of the places that your Turaga tell you are shadows. You will never be powerless again, and wouldn't it be wonderful to not be looking over our shoulder every day to make sure that I am not there with my knife to your throat?"

 

The Vo-Matoran looked up from the parchment, before nodding and following the Vortixx out of the door.

 

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Entry #2:

 

"The Close of the Civil War"

Any good Chronicler knows that a story is no more than a sum of other stories.If a worthy Chronicler happened upon the Makuta-led massacre of civil war leaders in the Archives, that Chronicler ought not to think of only the heres and nows — the bodies strewn across the floor, the bloodstains on Teridax’s blade, the morbid satisfaction betrayed by his grin — but of the befores and afters.Such a Chronicler might say: There lies Odipheus the Po-Matoran, his right arm separated from the rest of his body, his eyes open in an empty gaze: Odipheus, who had pleaded in his prayers for the chance to face he who dared to incarcerate him, now free from bodily pain; who had asked that blood be shed and received his wish in more ways than one. And there lies Ta-Matoran Karhi, whose fiery temper ignited the hopes and fears of his kin, intimidating in death as he was in life: who drew his sword only to serve his friends and, in the end, gave up his life for them.That Chronicler might continue and note the Ga-Matoran Kokora, who courted Odipheus for a time before being repulsed by his rebellious streak and, for the duration of the Matoran Civil War, served only as healer and assistant. He may remark in brief about the passing of Ko-Matoran Irhu, perhaps the most pragmatic among those of the coldest Metru, who preached for cool heads and was rewarded being flung into battle with the opposite.But there was no Chronicler here.Teridax was cunning. As he had determined the war would end on his terms, so end it would — along with the talks of rebellion and the songs of heroes wrongly apotheosized and villains improperly labeled, of the very essence and hubris that had caused the conflict in the first place.Oh, Miserix would be furious if he discovered, and the Matoran would cry foul.But — and here lay the inherent pulchritude, the beautiful simplicity of his plot — Teridax would have cleaned the blood off his blade by then, and he would speak with squared shoulders and somber eyes of how he had been offered no other options. He would speak of a defender backed against a wall and forced to strike out against those he had sworn to protect. And no one would correct him.For he had made certain that he, and no virtuous individual, no Matoran or Toa — only he would write the chronicle of how the civil war came to its close. 

 

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[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Entry #3:[/color]

 

"Corruption"

 

The snow banks of Ko-Koro were some of the most beautiful parts of the island. The glistening ice portrayed a light show of epic proportions. There were many inhabitants, some Matoran, some otherwise. They could all feel the snow coming down with equal parts wonder and disdain.
 
In the middle of it were two white, figures- one tinted blue and the other a sort of alabaster. The latter was tall and resonated power, but left a chill in the already-cold air of Ko-Wahi. Not that the former, short and stout, was much of a juxtaposition. 
 
"Kopaka," said the shorter, brandishing a tablet of stone and a marker, "tell me again of how you defeated the Muaka."
 
'Kopaka' was obviously not much of people person. His traveling companion had to actively work to match his gait, rather than easily fall into step beside him.
 
"I've told you so many times, you should be able to recite it word for word, Kopeke," he said, sighing deeply, "but very well."
 
He proceeded to tell the story once again as they continued to tread across the snowy plains, Kopeke etching down each part. Just as they got to the good part, however, they were interrupted by a rather hungry pack of wild Rahi. 
 
"Stand back!" Kopaka barked, leaping out in front of the chronicler and drawing his sword. They didn't threaten him, however, and with a few slashes they had all been scared off or wounded. 
 
"What would cause those Rahi to attack us?" Kopeke asked, "they're usually peaceful. At the least, not this hostile towards us."
 
Kopaka shook his head, "corruption. That would be my first guess. Of course, it could be a number of things."
 
"Hey! Hey, help!" A new voice, far off, yelled. Kopaka turned his head towards the voice and saw its speaker: a Matoran frozen upside down in the ice. Unfortunately, there was a chasm between himself and the distressed Matoran.
 
"I'm coming," he yelled, conducting his sword at the chasm, even as a bridge of ice formed. As a Toa, these things were never a problem. He rushed across, but Kopeke stayed behind- after all, he wouldn't be too much help.
 
As it turned out, he just might've been. As Kopaka freed him, he took a closer look at his mask. His eyes widened and he stumbled back- an infected mask. Out of nowhere came a flying Rahi- also infected -that knocked him off his feet. Kopeke almost rushed to help him, but the ice bridge had weakened exponentially as Kopaka fell. It seemed to Kopeke that all hope had been lost, when a green blur came into view. He tackled the Rahi straight from the air. 
 
Lewa had arrived.
 
Though in the midst of battle, they traded banter just as normal.
 
"Nice of you to drop by," Kopaka smirked, standing and steadying his blade.
 
"I was in the area-vicinity," the cheerful Toa of air replied.
 
As far as Kopeke could see, they defeated the Rahi without trouble. Then, something completely unexpected happened. The two began fighting. The chronicler squinted, and spotted a glint of color on Kopaka's face- a Krana.
 
Kopaka had been corrupted.
 
----
 
"...and they were still fighting when I left."
 
Nuju nodded, "this explains the recent Rahi attacks. However, there is nothing we can do.
 
"The Toa must fight their own battles."
 
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[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Entry #4:[/color]
 
[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]They say that the life of the chronicler is more esteemed than that of a Turaga, more desired than anything else a Matoran can do.[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]They’re wrong. Dead wrong. Being a chronicler is like being a trophy, with no real purpose. You’re a burden and a nuisance for the mighty heroes you follow.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Even worse is what you see. Sure, a chronicler from Metru Nui or some nice and lawful place has it easy. Maybe some vicious Rahi, maybe a criminal or two, but nothing as ghastly as the scene we walked through. Ahead my team leader stood, looking about with a grim expression. The village we traveled to was deserted; bereft of the living that is. [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I winced as I trod upon a limp hand, picking my way through the corpses.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]“Who did this, Toa?” My voice annoys me to no end: shaky after the sudden scare. The Toa of Stone glances down at me.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]“Piraka, chronicler. That’s who did this. Skakdi, Vortixx, who knows. They’re Piraka to the core.” His voice was harsh, and he turned away before I could answer. I was stung by his tone before—glancing at his shaking shoulders—I realized that he too was overcome by the tragedy we stood in the midst of.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I turned away instead, hunting out the team healer, a young Lightning Toa. Unlike the rest of us she was at work, lining the still bodies next to each other rather than in the grotesque sprawling they had assumed before. I looked at her, not at the dead Matoran below me.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]“What are we going to do?” The real questions never come when they’re needed. Most chroniclers must get sick of reality sometimes when they depict the flowery speeches that go one between the Toa. She looked up at me, her soft blue eyes pained.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]“What we’ve always done these past years, Chronicler. We leave the dead and we move on.”[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I nodded, unable to look into those deep orbs, stumbling away. [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I sat down in a deserted building, at an old desk. My tablet was in my hand, but I couldn’t write. A dead Ko-Matoran lay next to the desk, his hands grasping futilely at a bundle of scrolls. No doubt those were more important to him than his own life. I left my tablet on the desk then, bending over him. As I moved him into a more dignified posture I felt the tears coming. I gave in, crouching against a wall and sobbing.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]These moments were not what they promised you when they handed you the scrolls and the tablets, when they welcomed you with speeches and cheers.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]These were moments that even Toa could not face. There was no overarching evil to face, no mastermind to bring to justice. It was only another band of scum, of no worth to the world, no worth save for that which they deprived the innocent of. [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I don’t know how long I crouched there in my grief, but at last I staggered back to the desk.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]It was then that I began writing this with a vigor I had never known.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Life is Karzahni when you really look into it. Recording it just adds another stage to it. Because you see these horrors, and then you relive them by writing them. And you make others live it, even if they can only glimpse it in your text. [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]But for me, right now, it’s the best I can do. I’m not a Toa, I have no powers or weapons or fancy masks. All I have is this tablet, all I can do is write this.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I’m a Chronicler. This is my ordeal.[/color]

 

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[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Entry #5:[/color]

 

"Treasure"

 

Takua's hut was a mess. But he liked it that way. Everyone told him he needed to organize, throw things out. But he liked all of his possessions, and knew where all of them where located. Need a five inch wrench for an air tube? Look in the pile by the northeast corner. Need a leash for an Ussal Crab? Hanging on the wall right next to a Mahi horn. Sure it wasn't professionally curated, but that was a job for the archivists. He wasn't an archivist, he was an adventurer. And today he was going to have an adventure. He'd heard rumors of a valuable object floating around Ko-Metru. And if there's one thing Takua loved, it was valuable objects.

 

His first stop was to talk to a Matron named Kapura. He was supposed to be on duty, but Takua knew he preferred the company of the junk piles. He made his way over to the Ta-Metru dump, and sure enough, Kapura was there digging as usual.

 

"Hey, Kapura!" Takua called. "I need you to--"

 

Kapura brought his fingers to his lips, halting Takua's speech. "Quiet!" He whispered. "Spies could be anywhere."

 

"Sorry," Takua whispered back. "I've heard rumors of a valuable object hidden in Ko-Metru. I know you have an ear in every rumor mill of Metru-Nui and was wondering what you've heard"

 

Kapura leaned in close and whispered in Takua's ear. "They say there's something embedded in the very top of Tower 43," he said. "Nobody wants to go after it, though. Vahki guard that place like it's a widget reserve." Kapura stopped talking, his eyes looking around panicked. "We're being watched!" he exclaimed, "Run!" And with that he took off. Takua looked around, but he didn't see anything. He carefully slunk off toward the nearest tube station.

 

-

 

He shortly arrived in Ko-Metru, and quickly made his way toward the Knowledge Towers. He noted from a map that Tower 43 was located below a cliff. Approaching from the cliff, he noticed about the tower. Unlike the rest, which ended in points, this one didn't. Instead it was capped with a flat platform. There must be something there. He went into his backpack and took out rope, stake, and hammer. Pounding the stake into the cliffside, he tied the rope around himself and made a makeshift rappel line. He breathed slowly, gathering his courage, before jumping from the cliff.

 

He climbed down quickly. The Vahki would see this. He jumped three feet from the top and immediately started to search. It didn't take long. He saw an object embedded in the ice, and without thinking grabbed his hammer and smacked the ice. The ice cracked. The object fell out. He threw it in his backpack without looking at it. He knew Keerakh were coming. He climbed the rope as fast as he could.

 

When he got to the top he just ran. The nearest tube station was a quarter kio away. Looking back he didn't see any Keerakh. But you never saw Keerakh until it was too late.

 

-

 

The tube station was in sight! Takua's lungs were burning, but he didn't dare stop. When he got to 22 bio away, he turned back. 

 

Nothing.

 

He looked ahead.

 

There was a Keerakh.

 

He sprinted. The Keerakh ran toward Takua, it's staff glowing. It swung. Takua lifted his legs, plopping to the ground like a wingless bird, and slid on the ice right under the staff. That move would have never worked anywhere else. Getting up, he continued to sprint, and  at what he figured was the last second, jumped into the tube. Takua was out of breath. He was choking on the protoermis, but he had to leave the Vahki behind. Right before he passed out, he jumped out of the tub. He landed hard, but the breath he took was heavenly. And as the green trees indicated, he was out of Ko-Metru.

 

-

 

Takua took a relaxing trip back home. When he was finally in his favorite chair, he opened his backpack and looked at his find. His jaw dropped. He couldn't breath. In his hand was the ultimate treasure: a gearbox from the original Vahki model! They should have all been destroyed, but here was one right in his hand! He guessed that it accidentally got stuck in the tower during growth.

 

He put the gearbox on his wall of fame. It sat right beside a Ga-Metru temple stone and an iron ingot.

 

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Entry #6:

 

"Uniform"

 

I’ll never fit in… Hielo thought Every time I have an adventure, everyone stares at me quizzically. As if they’re judging if I really am a Ko-Matoran. Hielo wandered into his flat in Ko-Ouda. He’d never applied for a job, he never wanted one. After all, who wants to sit around all day studying or working? Oh wait, that’s right; Everybody else. Hielo thought as he sat down. He flicked on his television and watched it halfheartedly. He was distraught to say the least. [font="calibri;"]No one liked him, no one appreciated his company, and no one thought that he was [/font]worth anything. Not even him. Hielo got up to go to bed when something of interest caught his attention: the chief chronicler of Ouda-Nui had been connected to a crime ring in Onu-Ouda and the Turaga was now seeking a replacement! I’m the guy for the job. Hielo thought as he grabbed his bag and set out for the central city of Ouda-Nui.

               

“Hey! Watch it!” A Matoran driver yelled as he jerked to a stop. “Sorry!” Hielo yelled back. Getting through the city was hard. There were too many side streets and roads that intersected, and the traffic signals being out of sync only made it worse. One had to have sharp wits and reflexes to make it out of here with a few cuts. Here I am; the Tower. Hielo thought. The Tower was the very center of Ouda-Nui. Only the rich, the famous, and the officials lived here. After a week’s journey, Hielo had finally made it. Now to get inside…

               

“Wow, they don’t like guest.”  Hielo said. He didn’t make it past the lobby. Apparently you needed a visitor’s pass, which Hielo did not possess, to get inside. Well, so much for plan A. Hielo thought. “Time for plan B” He said as he gazed upward towards the top of the Tower.

[font="calibri;"]               [/font]

In hindsight, this was most definitely NOT a good idea. Hielo thought as he looked down. He was thirty stories in the air and still had twenty stories to go before he reached the Turaga’s private flat at the top. By now, a large crowd of Matoran had amassed in front of the building. Great, just what I needed; extra attention.

[font="calibri;"]               [/font]

The Turaga of Ouda-Nui was just waking up from his afternoon nap when Hielo tumbled through a window. “What’s this?” The Turaga said, “An adventurous Matoran, I don’t come across many of those.”

               

“Forgive my entrance, Turaga.” Hielo said, exhausted. “I’ve come to apply for the job of chief Chronicler.” Hielo said.

               

“What is your name?” The Turaga asked.

               

“My name is Hielo, Turaga.” Hielo replied.

               

"Well then, Hielo, the title of Chronicler is not one that is given away freely. One must earn it by traveling throughout Ouda-Nui and keeping a detailed history of such an adventure.” The Turaga said.

 

“Very well, Turaga. I will return in one month with the stories of my journey.” Hielo said with a slight bow as he climbed out of the window.

 

“I would recommend that you use the lift.” The Turaga said.

 

“Nah, the welcome desk attendant doesn’t like me very much.” Hielo said as he jumped through the window.

               

The Turaga chuckled a little. He’s the one. I can feel it. The Turaga thought.

 

“Every Matoran has His or Her place. Hielos does not; he must be terminated” An ominous voice said. “Or have you forgotten, my dear Turaga, that every Matoran must be uniform. Have you forgotten you place? Must you be terminated?”

 

“No, master, I am making the call now." The Turaga said as he keyed in a com code.

 

I’m really glad that the parachute worked. Hielo thought as he walked away from the Tower.

Now it’s time to head off to Le-Ouda.

 

“He’s on his way toward Le-Ouda” A voice crackled through the intercom. “Make sure he doesn’t make it into the city, Korvux.”

 

“Sure thing boss, but Hielo isn’t a Matoran that’s so easily killed.” Korvux said as he assumed his sniping position in a nearby tree. He’ll have no idea what hit him. Korvux thought as he activated his camouflage.

 

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Entry #7:

 

"The Eternal Silence of A Bitter Man"
 
I never thought I would be tasked with this; I never imagined I would be asked to record the history of an entire universe. 
 
And yet, here I am, parchment in my hand, and ink stains tainting my snow-white fingers.
 
I watched as my friends grew into heroes, becoming characters in the legend I humbly wrote down. I watched others aspire for greatness, achieve greatness and become something that ascended beyond mere mortality, as I merely sat and watched, content to be the recorder. I could have been a hero; I could have welcomed the Toa Mata, become one of the Toa Inika, doing wondrous things, and feeling such great rushes of emotion.
 
Yet I do nothing but carry stone tablets, and I feel nothing but the rough wood of a chisel’s handle, scraping my once-delicate hands into a callous mass of bone, muscle and protodermis.
 
Am I a fool for letting them do such things? Should I have seized the day, should I have spoken when I was silent, and acted when I was frozen in my own lethargy? Should I have dared to not only dream, but to act?
 
I do not know. I merely write down the doings of Destiny; I have no knowledge of the force that sets the universe in motion, giving each of us a meaning and a task. 
 
There are so many that think my life is a glorious one. They think of me not as a slave to an unseen master, but as a loyal and hardy squire, recording the doings of a brave warrior. They do not see the apparent sadness, but only the absent glory.
 
I am a bitter man, having lived far too long for my own good. I have never seen the golden light of glory, but only the crimson and shadowy stain of suffering.
 
It is said that the Chronicler’s occupation is a post to be respected, but I am unable to see why. I am little more than a glorified clerk, working for a cruel, enigmatic master, at best mysterious, at worst treacherous. 
 
And yet I find myself unable to stop. The cruel, heartless force known as Duty has become the sword of Destiny, striking down any attempt to rebel. I write, I record, and I listen, but I never act or think. I am a husk of a being, forged by my job, and hollow inside, an automaton, born to serve an unseen Lord by performing an unclear task.
 
Only one of the Three Virtues I can claim to disown, for my role in society demands my ignorance of it. Unity, the principle that drives both Rahi and sapient beings into a stupidly gregarious mindset, is as foreign to me as the feeling of accomplishment. I can only watch as my peers work together, uniting to complete a task impossible for the lone worker, as I feel nothing but confusion.
 
Even before I was appointed this accursed office, I worked unaccompanied, relying on only myself to carve beauty out of the blocks of heartless, biting ice. I was always silent, for I saw the idiocy of my brethren to be unworthy of notice.
 
But I am naught but a bitter, cruel man. My intelligence may be tempered by cynicism, but it also tainted by a certain lack of empathy. My name is forgotten, replaced by my title. Perhaps if I hear the word one more time, some component of my soul will return.
 
Kopeke.
 
A rather nice name that belongs to a rather disagreeable man. Perhaps “Chronicler” is my proper name; I have chronicled and recorded enough to earn it. I suppose it can’t be argued; it has been given to me by Destiny, reinforced by Duty, and strengthened by a lack of Unity. 
 
I’m naught but a bitter man, with ink-stained hands, worn rough by the days of carving stone. I am the Chronicler of Spherus Magna, the recorder for not one, but two entire universes. I am a bitter writer, my words tainted with my scorn, my once delicate, beauty-crafting hands now as hard and callous as my heart.
 
Recording the sins of a universe has done this to me. I have watched false hope after false hope die; I have seen a universe in its death throes, and I have tilled salted ground. 
 
But I am unable to feel. I am unable to think. I can only record, writing down these things in eternal silence.
 
--------------------------------------
 
Entry #8:
 

"But Never Fun"

 

“Why?”

 

“Now, that’s too simple a question to too complex a situation.”

 

“I don’t think you believe that. You did it because you could.”

 

“There is some truth to that. But if you thought that was all it was, you wouldn’t have asked anything at all.”

 

“Enlighten me, then. Why?”

 

“Well, it all started when—well, you should know yourself. You were there at the battle of the Rotting Gorge, were you not?”

 

“Not close enough to know what you’re referring to, and that was an enormous battle to begin with. My account was written based off other’s, too.”

 

“That seems to be how most of your work is done.”

 

“Indeed. Which makes our present situation most awkward.”

 

“I suppose. But then, a coward would be expected to think that.”

 

“I prefer not to think of myself that way. I am simply not openly suicidal.”

 

“Then why won’t you come closer? Do you really think I could hurt you in my state?”

 

“I don’t know if you could or couldn’t. As it is, I’m trying to figure out if you would.”

 

“Be a little more trusting.”

 

“I would rather not.”

 

“Do you remember what happened at the Gorge?”

 

“A lot of things happened at the Gorge. Be a little more specific.”

 

“I mean the Nova.”

 

“You should have just said that.”

 

“You should have known that’s what I was talking about.”

 

“I’m not a mind reader. You should know that, at least.”

 

“…Do you remember the Nova?”

 

“Of course I remember the Nova. That’s all anyone talks about when the Gorge is brought up.”

 

“Yes…And for good reason. That devastated both sides and killed both Toa and Skakdi. It would be irresponsible not to discuss it.”

 

“Don’t make me laugh. You never had any intentions of discussing it. You probably made up your mind the second you saw it.”

 

“Oh? And what is it that I decided?”

 

“You decided it was awesome.”

 

“It was probably awe inspiring. But then, that’s your opinion as well.”

 

“Sure. But that doesn’t mean I would want to repeat it.”

 

“Empty words, Matoran. You do not have the power required to do it even if you wanted. Perhaps if you did, it would be a different story.”

 

“Perhaps. But maybe that’s why I am not a Toa, and why no fools like me should be, either.”

 

“You haven’t heard all I have to say yet.”

 

“I doubt your situation will improve either way.”

 

“Anyway, as you well know, that Nova ended the conflict. Our commander had been the one that detonated, while he was battling the Skakdi warlord. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of either left after the blast (Or of a few dozen others), and the front ranks were left in disarray. Truly a messy situation.”

 

“What’s your point?”

 

“Well, one of the commander’s main aides, one the casualties of the Nova, was a very close friend of mine. According to another mutual acquaintance,

she had sensed the commander’s intent before battle, but did not warn anybody.”

 

“Then she was a fool.”

 

“I thought so at first. But then I wondered why she would keep quiet about something like that. Then it struck me that none of us had ever seen anything like a Nova before. It is the grandest demonstration of a Toa’s power possible. Wouldn’t you be curious to see how much power you really had, even if the marker was only the extent of destruction you caused?”

 

“Not at all, but that aside, my question remains. You were there. So why again?”

 

“Because I wasn’t. The Rotting Gorge is enormous. All I saw was some smoke out in the distance. I only learned later that my friend had been killed.”

 

“And because you weren’t present, you felt you needed to repeat the Nova.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then you are also a fool.”

 

“Yes. And now I am sure, so was she.”

 

“Her foolishness cost dozens their lives. Why would you do this?”

 

“Well, only one life is ending today, and it’s the life of a fool. I don’t see it as a great loss.”

 

“Then you are a greater fool than I thought.”

 

“Why?”

 

“You are a Toa. Without you here to protect us, how many more will fall?”

 

“That’s why you’re here, Chronicler. Tell others the story of this fool. Warn them of my stupidity. It should be fun.”

 

“It is true that that is my Duty. But if you think I will enjoy it, you truly understand nothing.”

 

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Entry #9:

 

"The Burning Truth"

 

  Teridax folded his arms and coldly regarded his brother, Mutran, so soon back from his mission. There was something amiss in the scientist’s behaviour. He refused to be seated and instead chose to float restlessly around the room, picking up objects and flinging them aside once done inspecting. Had it been anyone else, they might have been a pile of dust at this point. As it was, Mutran had information that Teridax wanted.

 

  “Tren Krom,” he said loudly. “What did you find out about him?”

 

  At the name of the beast, Mutran’s head swivelled and a manic glint twisted the otherwise cold eyes beneath his Kanohi. “Look at my memory,” the scientist chuckled.

 

  “What?”

 

  “That’s what it said, that Tren Krom, when it turned me into a chronicler. Oh, I did as you wished, my brother and I’ve seen much, so much. So much more than you could ever have asked of me!”

 

  For a moment, Teridax was taken aback by his underling’s behaviour. It was so erratic but filled with a passion that enticed his curiosity. “Go on,” he demanded as he settled back into his chair. “Tell me what happened when you met Tren Krom.”

 

  “Oh, Tren Krom. Hahaha! Yes! Tren Krom! I went! I did as you asked! I went to negotiate with him and I found him! He was a strange creature, all crimson slime and tentacles and eyes that darted this way and that. I almost mistook him for an old experiment! But I didn’t! Instead I told him of the Brotherhood and he silenced me. He said….He said he could take all the necessary information from me without me even needing to talk. I just stood and waited and all of a sudden, I heard this piercing wail and only realised moments later that it was my own. I was crumbling to the floor and clutching my head as it slithered all snake-like into my head!

 

  “’Look at my memory’, the beast cried, but it needn’t have bothered because I was already forcing my way inside. And just like that a door opened in its mind and all the horrors of the universe flooded out to meet me.

 

  “I screamed! Oh, but I didn’t scream, my brother, I didn’t just scream! I wriggled and squiggled and I writhed and thrived and I fought and I sought, oh, I sought, I sought, I sought for salvation! But salvation never came because salvation will not emerge to coil its burning wings around me and shield me from the blinding horrors of existence! I was so alone, so cold and so desolate but at the same time everything was with me.

 

  “I wish you could have been there, I wish you could have seen the things that I saw. My mind, my mind was so open, like a book, like a wound and all the bacteria of knowledge flooded inside! It corrupted me, it twisted me and I was reborn! I saw things! I saw the birth of the universe itself! I saw the fire that ignited the heart of life! I kissed the sun and I danced amongst the stars. Mata Nui was born under my watchful eye in that moment!

 

  “Everything became clear to me now. For the first time in my life, I finally understood. I knew, I knew the boundaries of our universe. I knew our limits, an answer that thousands and thousands of years of delicate research could not provide. I found the walls. And I discovered how to break them down.

 

  “Why do you look at me this way, brother? Do you doubt me or do you fear me? I beg you to understand the truth in my words. There is no feeling like this, no sensation and no words that can summarise my madness. No! No, it’s not madness, it’s so much more! It’s purity! I feel so pure! I feel so alive!

 

  “I…I’ve always looked for inspiration! I’ve looked for something to fuel my mind and when that idea hits, the euphoric feeling that burns! There’s nothing like it! And it’s my life now, it’s all I have! I live to create now, all over again!

 

  “Because you didn’t see what I saw! The truth to our universe! The secret that we’ve never been told! That the suns are fake! That the sky is an illusion! That our lives are not our own! Because Mata Nui is not our creator or our deity! Mata Nui is our home!”

 

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Entry #10:

 

"The Ash Bear’s Den"

 

A lone Matoran wandered through the jungles of Le-Wahi.  He had come to be known as the Chronicler, and he had gotten lost on his way to the jungle village.  Now, he was desperately searching for a path back to civilization.

 

Something dropped from the treetops behind him, and he turned to spot Lewa, the Toa of Air.

 

“Who be ground-walking this far from bright Le-Koro?” Lewa wondered.

 

“I’m the Chronicler,” the Matoran answered.  “And I’m sort of lost.”

 

“Chronicler, ‘eh,” Lewa said.  “I’ve tale-heard of you from my fellow Toa.  Well, I was on my way to quick-spot a Le-Matoran, but you’ll do in a pinch.  I need your fast-help.”

 

“Certainly, Toa,” the Chronicler said.  “But what can I do?”

 

“I am look-seeking a Kanohi Ruru in the den of Graalok the Ash Bear,” Lewa explained.  “We two be good buddy-friends, but she not-know that yet, and protects den very well.  She out hunting deep-wood, but I could use Matoran to warn-call of her return.”

 

“So, you want me to be a lookout?” the Chronicler asked, struggling to follow the Toa’s slang.

 

“Much-yes!” Lewa exclaimed.  He picked up the Matoran, and jumped into the trees.  “Quick, den-cave is in this direction!”

 

Five minutes later, the two of them arrived at the edge of the hills, and the Chronicler could see a small cave opening.  “You stay here and shout-yell if Graalok back-comes,” Lewa said, and he ducked into the cave.

 

The Chronicler settled into position and looked out into the forest.  The jungle was peaceful enough, and he began to wonder why Lewa had even brought him along.  But his thoughts were interrupted as he heard a roar, and in the distance he saw the orange outline of the charging Ash Bear.

 

“Lewa, she’s heading this way!” the Chronicler shouted.  “Lewa, can you hear me?  LEWA!”

 

The Ash Bear was on top of the Matoran before he knew it, and she swung her claw which threatened to tear him to shreds.  The Chronicler tried to leap backwards, and although he avoided her first swipe, he tripped and back down.  Now the Rahi would get him for sure.

 

But Graalok’s second attack was thrown back by a gust of wind, and Lewa appeared at the cave’s edge.  “Back, beast, or I will blow-blast you with high-winds!” he said.

 

Graalok merely roared again and prepared for another charge.  Lewa looked unsure about his chances, so he said, “Time for plan-change!”  He grabbed the Matoran and yanked him into the cave.  Before the Ash Bear could follow, Lewa struck the walls with his hatchet and caused a cave in.

 

The Chronicler blinks as the rocks ceased rumbling, but now he was surrounded by complete darkness.  “We’re trapped, aren’t we,” he said.

 

“Not-fear, for there is exit-tunnel in back,” Lewa said.  “I believe it will out-lead us to open air.”

 

“But how will we find it in here when we can’t see a thing?” the Chronicler asked.

 

“I have mask that will ever-help with that,” Lewa said, and he donned his noble Kanohi Ruru, the mask of night vision.  “I can well-see in shadows with this, and I’ll lead to escape-hole!”

 

After a minute of walking through darkness, the Toa and Matoran reached the end of the tunnel and emerged in daylight.  Lewa grinned, and summoned back his original Miru Kanohi.  “Well, that fun-time adventure, Chronicler.  Next time you’re in high-fly Le-Koro, you can speak-tell of our adventure.”

 

He was cut off by another roar, and Graalok appeared over the hill.  She leapt forward and swiped her paw, throwing the Toa into a nearby swamp.  The Chronicler drew a bamboo disc and prepared to defend himself, but now the Ash Bear seemed less aggressive.  With a grunt, she slipped in through the tunnel they had left and returned to her den.

 

“What was that about?” the Chronicler wondered.

 

“Oh, she just angry-mad that I slip-sneaked into her den,” Lewa said, crawling out of the muck of the swamp.  “She got in good claw-smack, and for her, that’s ever-good as apology.”

 

“You’re one crazy Toa to mess with an Ash Bear like that,” the Chronicler said.

 

Lewa grinned.  “Like I said, we be buddy-friends. . . someday.”  He looked down as the swamp grime that covered him.  “Oh, and perhaps when you story-tell of our adventure, you could out-leave the swamp-mess part.”


Edited by Velox, Jun 30 2013 - 11:48 PM.

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#4 Offline Velox

Velox
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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 11:52 PM

Entry #11:

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]"Stars and Memoirs"[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]An elderly Turaga sat at his desk, [/font]tablet, pen, and ink before him. His white-and-orange armor glinted in the dim light. He dipped his pen in the ink and began to write.

 

"I've lived a long life and a full life. I actually don't remember most of my life, thanks to the Makuta Teridax. But of the life I do remember-- Oh, such things as I have seen and done."

 

He set down his pen and gazed out the window at the moon rising over the ocean. Thousands of memories floated behind his eyes. He lightly touched the upper portion of his Kanohi, the Noble Vahi. After a moment he returned to the tablet.

 

"Before I pass among the stars, I have decided to create this Chronicle of my life and adventures. Heed, dear reader, within this volume lay many untold tales and once well-hidden secrets. But before I begin, let me give an introduction.

 

"I once lived on an island paradise we called Mata Nui. From there my people crossed the Silver Sea to reunite with our ancestral home, and before long I was dragged along on a string of other adventures, finally ending up in a strange and marvelous world. It was a place which I had never known existed, and one whom few even now know to exist. A time of great strife was passing over that forgotten land, and it was at this time that I found my destiny. As a Toa I devoted my entire energies to the task of caring for and leading my new people. From there things got even stranger, but I've already said too much on that subject for the time being."

 

He glanced out the window again, in reflection. So many adventures he had had, and the next would soon begin.

 

"The world of Spherus Magna has been at peace for many a year now, and I feel that it is the time for a change. My old components are itching to be traveling again, and there are many a younger being keeping watch over Natoro, the city for which I am Head Turaga. I have always had a love for exploration and adventure. Natoro is beautiful, it is true, and there are many here for whom I care, but they will do fine without me. Indeed, I have already explored much of Spherus Magna and encountered many beings, old and new, friendly and not-so-friendly. Now it is time for me to move on to the next chapter."

 

He paused again. His people, along with many hundreds of Spherus Magna's best engineers, had been hard at work for the last few months, working on a major new project.

 

"You see, I have recently discovered an old volume, one ancient in origin. Indeed, it seems that this tale is older than the Matoran Universe itself. It tells the tale of a brave band who, under the orders of those Ancients, the Element Lords, took command of a machine which the Elementals had invented, and set off among the stars themselves. There they encountered entire new worlds and great perils, worlds of paradise and worlds kept under iron fist. Indeed, they remained on this long quest, and never did stop reaching for that last, unreachable star, as it were.

 

"This tale has so inspired me that I took it upon myself to reinvent this old machine, the likes of which had never been seen or heard of before besides from the tale itself, so far as I am aware. The city of Natoro agreed with me, and indeed, so did many a city among the broad expanse of the United Cities of S.M., that in this time of long-lasting peace this oppurtunity to forge new frontiers and expand horizons will be more than worth it. They have agreed with me, and I am overjoyed that they have also agreed to let me take part in this mission myself. I shall be the Chronicler, a title which pleases me to no end. My people have been hard at work, and in just a few short weeks the new Star Explorer shall be complete.

 

"I am overjoyed at this new prospect. I could hope for nothing preferable before I pass into those realms of which only Mata Nui knows for sure. But now, dear reader, before this new chapter begins, let me consign to you these tales of the past. If you are brave, then press on into the depths."

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #12: 

 

"Preserving the Past"

 

Hey, uh. I don’t have much time to talk, so I guess I’d better make the most of it. Oh, yeah. Guess I’d better introduce myself, sorry. Name’s Greil. Not a Toa, no – I look like one, yeah, but I come from a species native to the Southern Islands. Which isn’t really that important, I guess. What matters more is what I do; I’m a… historian, I guess you’d say. The Matoran call me a Chronicler, or at least most of them do. I’ve been a lot of places, seen a lot of things. All of it’s recorded in that book over there, or at least the parts that aren’t in that one. Or any of those in that stack. Or… yeah, you get the idea.

 

That’s not really what I’m trying to tell you about, though. Yeah, adventures are cool. Watching history unfold before your eyes is something that never gets. But, see, it’s all there. All in those books. Feel free to read about any of it, if you like. Just bear with me for a few minutes here, all right?

 

See, as you can probably tell, I’ve got a thing for the past. Recording it, documenting it. Crafting a chronicle of our existence so the deeds we do won’t be forgotten. Like, uh… hang on a second, let me just… Yeah, here it is. Volume Six, chapter forty-three – “The Deeds of Toa Hydrac.” His exploits were the stuff of legends while he was alive. Now, though? You ask the people of his village about him, and all they have is vague recollections of a Bo-Toa who protected the island a while back, “or something like that.” A piece of the past lost. Events that may as well not have happened for all the thought they’re given. See how fragile the past is? The mere passage of time destroys it, melts it from our memory.

 

So yeah. That’s what I do. Preserve the past. Guard it, protect it. If I don’t, it’ll just vanish, and we’ll never recover it.

 

Wait, wait, I’m not done. ‘Cause, see, that’s not all there is to the past. Tell me – what’s the point of preserving it, huh? Why do we try to remember everything that happened before now? To honor the heroic deeds of those who came before us? Just for completeness, to have a full record?

 

Both of those have some merit, yeah. That’s what I had in mind when I set out on this quest, this endless, lifelong journey to record what’s happened in this world we call our home. But see, there’s something else that I realized.

 

Ultimately, the past is gone.

 

I mean, think about that, really think about it for a minute.

 

The past means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some recall the deeds of their heroes, wishing they could someday mirror such feats. But the thing is, you’ve got your own life to live – you can’t live it if you focus on the past.

 

Many live in regret of the decisions they’ve made, wishing they had done things differently. Wishing things had turned out better. But the things you’ve done – they’re gone! Because they’re in the past. When it comes down to it, living in regret doesn’t really make sense at all, does it? ‘Cause really, since you can’t change the choices you’ve made, what’s left to do but go out there and make better ones, yeah?

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: It’s good to remember the past, but don’t let it distract you from the present.

 

Well, uh. Looks like that’s all the time I’ve got. Like I said, feel free to check out those books. Or maybe you could go out there and live your life. I don’t really mind either way; I’ve got some things to take care of…

 

It’s up to you.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #13:

 

"Kodan's Last Chronicle"

 

Kodan’s Log, 34-18

 

We left early in the morning from the Coliseum to the northernmost of the sea gates that surrounded Metru Nui. For a very long time, they had been open to allow trade ships and refugees from less stable lands in. However, Turaga Dume has ordered they all be closed, as a threat against our city has been discovered. This is the last gate to close.

 

I travel with Toa Sesho, Toa of Psionics, and Toa Hetilus, Toa of Iron. I do not know why two Toa are required for a task as menial as closing gates; I, or any Matoran, could easily operate the controls alone, but Turaga Dume knows what is best. We can only hope that he will

 

Kodan put down his log book as the boat came to a stop. The three passengers disembarked and began for the machinery that closed a large door over the gate, and did so without word. As they finished, a shadowy figure emerged from the depths of the sea. He performed his task as silently as he did efficiently. Toa Hetilus’s Kanohi Kakama was knocked into the sea during the battle, and Kodan’s log entry was never completed.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #14:

 

"Letter From an Old Friend"

 

Takua,

If you're reading this then I'm either dead, or declared dead. I don't see myself dying or disappearing from Metru Nui anytime soon, but then again, being Chronicler isn't exactly low-risk,and there are a few things I should see to. This is one of them.

So, first of all, I just want to say you're a good friend. (Yes, it's cliched. Give the dead guy a break, all right?) True, you annoyed me the first time we met. I believe your exact words to me were, "Your job is to wander all over the island and be given a front-row seat to anything exciting? How did you find an excuse to slack off regular work for this?" I did not approve of the fact that you saw my dangerous and laborious position as "an excuse to slack off" and not “regular work.”

But after maybe the third time I ran into you around the city (since we are both wanderers attracted to excitement like lava eels to heat) I realized you didn't mean to be offensive. You just honestly didn't understand why I should get a free pass to do all the things you were forcibly restrained for doing. (Nor have you ever accepted the obvious differences.)

But we could hardly help being acquaintances, since (as noted above) we tend to wind up in the same places. (Jaller behind you, of course. You are undeservedly lucky to have a best friend who will try that hard to stop you from being an cool dude.) And, of course, you're the prime witness to (if not cause of) over half the noteworthy things I do miss, meaning I have to interview you about them. And then you started criticizing my writing style, which meant that you had to try it yourself, so Jaller and I could laugh at you instead.

Still, though, you absolutely refuse to admit my job as Chronicler involves any effort or unpleasantness, or, in fact, that it qualifies as a "job" at all. This leads me to the second thing I need to say: If you think it's so easy, do it yourself. No, really.

I'm naming you as my choice for the next Chronicler....

Having paused to allow you to recover from your shock, I will now explain my reasoning. (Consider this a rehearsal for the recommendation letter I have to write Turaga Dume.)Yes, you're reckless, but a certain amount of recklessness is necessary in a Chronicler. Yes, everyone says you're irresponsible, but they're judging that by how well you do at a job you are emphatically not suited for. (If you fall behind in any of your Chronicler duties even once, I will take that as your concession that it is at least as valid a job as mask-making or anything else.) And yes, you can be an impetuous, thoughtless, trouble-seeking cool dude, to a degree not beneficial in anyone but...

but...

 

...well, nobody's perfect, are they? And I think your various assets outweigh this defect.

What do I consider assets, you ask? You love travel and excitement of all kinds, even more than I do. (Yes, I enjoy it. That doesn't mean it's not a real job, it's just work I like - oxymoronic as I know that seems to you.) You're definitely not a coward. Though you have a pretty realistic worldview, you still believe in heroes and heroism. I'm not having some cynic like Onewa stealing my job.

And, though I hate to admit it, you're really not a half-bad writer.

So there you have it. In the highly hypothetical event of my death or extended disappearance you will become Chronicler. If you can't, I'd probably accept Kopeke from Ko-Metru (though I'm not going to explain that here too) but you're my first choice.

Your friend,

Kodan the Chronicler

Toa Takanuva stared at the letter before him, uncertain whether to laugh or to cry. When he and Hahli Mahri had been sent to search their fellow Chronicler's former home for important writings, he had not expected to find a letter from along-lost and now unknown friend. Nor had he expected the discovery that he had been recommended for the position of Chronicler, a thousand years and a universe away from his appointment.

He wondered if the formal recommendation was nearby, but did not search for it. Instead he called to his fellow Toa.

"Hey, Hahli. You know how the Turaga are trying to choose a new Chronicler - do you know Kopeke?"

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #15:

 

"Words by Kopeke"

 

I have never been one to do much speaking. I never had to. I let others talk their throats hoarse if they wanted. I let them discharge their views, right or wrong, whether I agreed or not, to their hearts' contents. Words never solved anything. I listened when I thought it was worth while, but what good would it have been to answer? I stood by and did what I had to do.

 

For many years it was my job to listen and observe. It wasn't my own story I was chronicling. It was the story of the universe. I was just watching. That was my duty and I stuck to it. Words are useless, idle things. Now, so am I.

 

The time of my usefulness is past. My destiny as a chronicler was fulfilled when I became a Toa. During those centuries I spoke even less. I did my duty and I wasted no time talking. My deeds have passed into legend alongside the feats of the many great heroes in our history. Still I was only an observer. Only I had become an observer of my own destiny.

 

That was a long time ago. We live in more peaceable times now. The world has little use for Toa, and even less for quiet Turaga. My destiny is over. My chronicles are written.

 

I spend my days now in tranquil seclusion. There is not much here for me to observe. Only memories. I have lost my purpose. I am now useless, idle.

 

In losing my purpose I have found it.

 

Idleness need not be useless if it is worthily devoted. If words are worthless, if I am idle, let us unite and find a destiny for us both.

 

Now I have a new gift to give the universe. My time has been well spent observing our world. I have done much, and seen more. I may have nothing tot tell that has not been told, but that does not mean my mind is empty.

 

In an idle chair, with words and stylus, I will create new legends.

 

For the first time I open my mouth to speak. After millennia of silence, I have a lot to say.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #16:

 

"Burdens Upon My Soul"

 

1…

 

2…

 

3…

 

4…

 

Four skips before the pebble finally sank into the ocean. The Toa responded by throwing another stone, watching it cut through the water in a straight line. This one managed three skips. In frustration the Toa released a gust of air with the next pebble, accomplishing only the drowning of the pebble.

 

Zero, just like me.

 

This latest war between the Toa and the Glatorian had been just as bloody as the previous three; even now the Toa could only take out his frustrations on rocks and lakes. Everything had become so terrible, so fast. For a short while there had been some semblance of peace and harmony after Mata Nui had died. This was thanks in large part to the Mata and the Glatorian Mata Nui had befriended. Then the horror crept in as a devastating creature had been unleashed upon the Toa.

 

Three skips.

 

The Toa of Air still remembered those days, despite being a rookie Toa  at the time. One by one the Toa heroes of old fell, alongside Mata Nui’s friends who attempted to help the Toa. It wasn’t long before only the Mata and a handful of Toa were left alive. The Toa often felt guilty for surviving.

 

Two skips.

 

Eventually Tahu and the Mata set out, hoping to rid the land of this scourge. Though they accomplished their task, they never returned. The news that their greatest heroes had been wiped out devastated all of the surviving Matoran and Toa, but soon their despair became hatred when they realized the monster never targeted a single Glatorian.

 

One skip.

 

Of course the Glatorian were just as angry at the loss of many of the heroes they had sent to aid the Toa. They blamed the Toa, for the arrival of this beast and so they too sought revenge. That was when all Karz broke loose.

 

Zero skips.

 

A gust of wind managed to fling sand into the Toa’s face causing him to drop the pebble. The sand only gave the Toa of yet another reason to hate this place. The small band of Toa accompanying him didn’t even have the luxury of being assigned to one of the more temperate climates. However even that wasn’t always the best option, the Jungles just meant more chances of an ambush. Everything about this place was terrible.

 

This time the Toa kicked the pebble, silently watching as it arced into the air. The pebble somehow managed six skips leaving the Toa swearing at fate for being such a cruel mistress. Why would she aid him when he did something wrong? Picking up another pebble he let it fly.

 

Eight skips.

 

Perhaps fate wasn’t always so cruel, but it certainly hadn’t been kind in the past few hundred years. He still remembered how wide-eyed the Toa had gone into the war, only to have their idealistic hopes of a bloodless war vanquished. On Spherus Magna it was kill or be killed.

 

Seven skips.

 

He still remembered his first kill. It had been a terrible experience that still shook his very core. Toa don’t kill. That had been the fundamental rule, the one driven into him since his early days as a Matoran, however on Spherus Magna none of that mattered.

 

Six skips.

 

Unfortunately the pain of killing only faded as time went by. Soon all of the Toa were laying waste to legion of Glatorian every day, and yet they kept losing. For every ten Glatorian they killed by day, the Glatorian killed fifteen of them at night.

 

Five skips.

 

His brothers and sisters hadn’t been spared from this fate either. One by one each Toa of his former team perished. Eventually only he was left. He had nothing but sympathy for the Chronicler. His own memories weighed so deeply upon his soul, he couldn’t imagine the pain of a Chronicler who had to deal with everyone’s memories.

 

Four skips.

 

“Brother!” A voice rang out from across the camp, alerting the Toa of Air. “The Glatorian are attacking!”

 

Three skips.

 

The news only served to further ruin the Toa’s mood as he lethargically grabbed another rock. However this one was different from the others, it was covered in blood. Picking it up he let it fly out towards the enemy.

 

Two lives.

 

However this time things it was his turn and so he could only resign his head as the counter attack was launched his way.

 

One life.

 

He was finally free from his memories.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #17:

 

"How to Be a Chronicler"

 

You want to be a Chronicler? You can’t just walk up, tell the Turaga you want to be a Chronicler, and get your badge just like that. For one, you go to the Turaga and ask for an application form, and secondly you need to follow certain qualifications. Luckily, we’re here to help! Here’s a list of 17 simple steps for any aspiring Chronicler-to-be.

 

1.      Be a Matoran. Toa, Turaga, Agori, Glatorian, Skakdi, Vortixx, Makuta, Visorak, Takea, Gadunka, Great Spirits, Great Beings, and whatever Sidorak’s species are called cannot apply. No, this is not species-ism in the slightest. It’s a story requirement. You think Takua kept his position after he became a Toa? Nope, he got ousted ASAP and Hahli took his place. And she got ousted when she became a Toa. In short, DON’T BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN A MATORAN.

 

2.      Be stupidly courageous, stupidly adventurous, and stupidly stupid. Do stuff that would make any daredevil cringe. I mean, come on, who wants a Chronicler that just sits down and writes? Go out and get yourself blasted into amnesiac status because of a few glowy stones. Go and chase a certain weird-looking rock even though you’re going to die unless a random Toa appears out of nowhere.

 

3.      Give up and just go mad. It would help a ton. Trust me.

 

4.      Bend the truth. No one wants to hear about how a random Le-Matoran ate a Bula Berry. That Le-Matoran did NOT eat a Bula Berry. He ate a whole bushel of EXPLOSIVE Bula Berries, while swinging on a vine, while fighting flying Takea mutations, while staring into Makuta’s eyes, without his mask, Gukko birds chasing him, all before he lets go of the vine, flips in the air, and hijacks one of the birds to engage in a daring dogfight. Now THAT’S a story. Did it happen? Yes it did.

 

5.      Look for loopholes. The above story happened…in my mind. There.

 

6.      Never go into specifics. They’ll be the death of you. I’m not even exaggerating.

 

7.      Exaggerate. This is different from bending the truth. Bending the truth is adding details. Exaggerating is amplifying them. The Gukko Birds in the above story were poised to self-destruct if the Le-Matoran even touched them, but he did and he lived. That’s exaggeration.

 

8.      ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS italicize and/OR capitalize EVERYTHING you SAY. IT ADDS A TON of emphasis and makes STORIES so much MORE INTERESTING. WE want INTERESTING NOT BORING. ALSO BREAK YOUR CAPS LOCK SO IT’S ALWAYS ON. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RESCREAMING THEN. WE LOVE SCREAMING.

 

9.      TABLET AND CHISEL ONLY. PENS ARE EVIL AND WERE THE REASON ELIMINATOR KILLED KODAN.  HE USED A PEN FOR A STORY SO HE DIED. ALTHOUGH HE RODE A VINE WHILE EATING A BUSHEL OF EXPLOSIVE BULA BERRIES. BUT THEY EXPLODED BECAUSE OF ELIMINATOR. DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE HE DID.

 

10.   EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS.

 

11.   GET INTO TROUBLE WITH YOUR LOCAL TURAGA. PUT A DISK LAUNCHER AGAINST HIS HEAD OR SOMETHING. OR BURN DOWN A VILLAGE. TELL EVERYONE THAT THIS IS A DREAM AND MAKE THEM WONDER WHOSE IT IS AND IF THEY’RE ENJOYING IT. ALSO EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS EXPLOSIONS.

 

12.   DO NOT TALK ABOUT HOW TO BE A CHRONICLER.

 

13.   DO NOT TALK ABOUT HOW TO BE A CHRONICLER.

 

14.   EXPLOSIONS.

 

15.   BE YOURSELF? YEAH, THAT SEEMS RIGHT. THAT’S WHAT EVERY HOW TO GUIDE ENDS WITH. BE YOUR MAD, INSANE, TROUBLESOME, EXPLOSIONY, EXAGGERATING, TRUTH-BENDER SELF.

 

16.   FIND AN IMPORTANT RELIC. MAYBE, SAY, SOMETHING LIKE A MASK OF LIFE? IT MIGHT BE IN A CAVERN WITH A POOL OF LAVA AND NO WAY OUT.

 

 

17.   OBEY AND SERVE ME. ADVANCE THE PLAN.

 

After these 17 simple steps, you should be ready to go out and apply for the job with no fear! Good luck, and may Mata Nui be with you always!

 

Sincerely,

By Katuma Xedirat

 

--------------------------------------

 

Entry #18:

 

"The Chronicler's Burden"

 

The Chronicler walked slowly, a massive pack on his back. He was Po-Matoran, and well accustomed to such a load. he had been gone a long time, nearly a year, off beyond the mountains. But now he had come back, to share the treasures that he had won, each story painstakingly etched in solid stone.

 

Word spread among the villagers that the Chronicler was coming. there would be much celebration after the sun set, culminating in the Chronicler telling a story. The story would not be long, and would not be followed by another. But it had always been something intriguing, beautiful, precious. And the Chronicler had a way of speaking, of painting a picture and evoking emotions that was legendary.

 

Then he would give his load of tablets to the village elder for safekeeping, and the elder would give him blank tablets in return.

 

And in the morning he would be gone again.

 

So they listened carefully.


Edited by Velox, Jul 01 2013 - 02:02 AM.

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#5 Offline Velox

Velox
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Posted Jul 03 2013 - 01:08 AM

Theme #4: Find the Power Posted Image Entry #1: 

"Find the Power"

 Just yesterday, I was a handsome Av-Matoran. Now, I'm a monster. A small, green and black Matoran thought as he sat down in his cave. What will I do now? Both sides hate me. All I can do is sit here and fight my own battles. "Hello Kranos." A familiar voice said. "Made a decision yet?" "No." Kranos replied flatly. "And it doesn't matter what you think. You're dead." "Oh come on. If I were dead, then how could I be here?" The voice said, stepping out of the shadow. "Zek, you died five weeks ago when the Makuta first attacked. I know because I saw you roll off that cliff and plummet into the swamps below. No one could have survived that." Kranos said. "And yet, I am here." Zek said. "No, you're not." Kranos said, annoyed. "You're just a figment of my imagination." "Oh really? Prove it." Zek said, snickering. How Kranos would love to pick up his sword and stab this ghost. But that was the evil talking. Five weeks ago, the Makuta began their assault on Karda Nui. Zek, Kranos, Kirop, Radiak, and Gavla had all been struck by Shadow Leaches, creatures that sucked the light out of you, leaving nothing but a shell full of darkness, hate, and evil. Zek had rolled off of a cliff in his agony and fallen at least forty-thousand feet into the swamps below, where the beasts that dwell down there would feast on his flesh. Kranos had ripped the leach off of his face before he lost his mind. At least, not all of his mind. Kranos' body had changed, but his mind was in a state where a perpetual conflict existed. A battle between good and evil; light and darkness. How easy it would be to let the evil take over, but Kranos would not allow that to happen. He would fight to find the power to keep the darkness at bay until he could find a cure. "Well? What are you waiting for Kranos. Kill me." Zek said. "I can't kill you. You're not real Zek." Kranos said. "Nice try, Makuta." He finished as Zek disappeared. "You're right, misfit. You can't kill him. But I can kill you." The Makuta said as he dropped from the cave ceiling. "This will be extremely fun. But I'll give you one last chance to side with the Makuta." "Why would I do that after what you did to me?" Kranos said, drawing his sword. 'What I did to you? I made you stronger, faster, deadlier. I made you perfect." The Makuta sneered. "Perfect? I'm anything but perfect." Kranos said, edging closer to the dark entity. "Well then, it's been nice knowing you, Kranos." The Makuta said. It was a fierce battle between Kranos and the Makuta. Kranos would go in for a low blow to the Makuta's legs, but the Makuta parried easily. The batle raged on and on for half an hour, twisting and turning. Both sides determined to win. But in the end, with a sword though his thigh, Kranos fell. "Farewell, Kranos. My work here is done." The Makuta said as he flew away. White was in the edges of Kranos' eyes, he knew that his time had come. Thank you, Makuta. Kranos said, he didn't even think that he would ever say those words. But the Makuta had ended his suffering and helped Kranos find the power to follow the light. As Kranos lay still on the cold, hard ground, he closed his eyes and greeted Zek on the edges of reality. ------------------------------------- Entry #2: 

"The Toa Stone"

 Everyone wants to be a Toa, to have a mask and pursue great things. I guess that throws me in with everyone else: only I’m a little more adventurous and successful than the rest. The others wait around for Destiny, play the good citizen and worship their Toa. Me? I don’t worship my Toa. I kill him. Toa are easy to kill, so despicably easy. They walk around in their bright armor with those impractical Toa Tools and their fancy Great Kanohi, basking in the adoration of the crowds. Have you ever seen it? Ever felt like vomiting at their pride? Because that’s all a Toa is. A buffoon who plays a demigod to us powerless shrimps. They don’t have to scrape about to survive, many don’t even get into a real battle their entire course. Or maybe once one presents itself they decide that their ‘Destiny’ is complete and that they should send out some innocent new Toa to get slaughtered. They tell me I’m too cynical about it: that my almost fanatical hatred of Toa makes me worse than the heroes themselves. I never answer them, I just give a sneer. Because I don’t care, and because my accusers are usually too stupid to even tell me what a Toa is. Toa are easy to kill. Anyone who studies the Toa dark Hunter war can tell you how lousy a fighting force they are. They want their foe to fight fair, they can’t even fathom them acting otherwise. A swift assassination they can never handle. A good knife is all I need, and I have it. Short little me, a flimsy Ta-Matoran. Tonight I’m going to be a Toa. I don’t need an alibi story. This village is never going to see me again after tonight. Unless I decide to torch the place to test my power. That might be fun. I leave my house in the early morning, before anyone can notice me. A note on my door to tell anyone who passes that I’ve gone hunting. I don’t think I would have planned it like this but for the fact that this is the last day of my Toa’s Destiny. Tomorrow he is a Turaga. Already the Toa Stone is prepared. I could leave him as a Turaga. But I won't. His house is bigger than the rest, but I force open a back window as easily as in any other house. The inside is comfortably furnished, better than most in the village. I’ll definitely torch this. There’s not much to do, so I hide myself away comfortably and wait, dagger in hand. It’s really no different than hunting. Hours pass my half opened eyes, and it’s almost evening before I hear the door opening. My eyes are certainly wide open now as I watch the Toa walk in, his black armor making him a dark figure in the waning light. He throws his short spear down by the door. Clearly very tired. Good. He comes closer. Killing him isn’t enough. I leap out in perfect timing, stabbing him deep in his leg. He gasps, falling to the ground even as I climb on top of him, stabbing him again. I let him see me for a moment as I raise my blade up, dripping with his blood. His eyes show fear and I drink it it. Then my knife puts out his heartlight. I search him, and give a soft shout of triumph as I grasp the black stone. Tonight my hunt is done, my search complete. I grasp the Toa Stone, feeling its energy coursing through me. I have found my power. ------------------------------------- Entry #3: 

"The Process of Invention"

 Turaga Dume,As per your request, I'm sending you updates with regard to the Metru Nui mass transportation system you have requested me to design. I've spent the last several weeks contemplating various methods. I've decided that ground based transportation will not do-- the Metrus are far too varied in terrain. Since Matoran are made of metallic components, I've figured we can use that combined with an electromagnetic field can propel ourselves along tracks. I've done small scale testing that this does work. Granted my small scale designs would result in Matoran death and island wide blackouts if I took them to large scale, but I'm still working on it. I move on to large scale modeling next week.-Your humble servant, Tuuri.   Turaga Dume,Large scale modeling has proved extremely unsuccessful. My current setup consist of three rings, each containing six electromagnets. The only thing I managed to do was almost start a fire-- too much power is required for the electromagnets. You suggested in your reply that I abandon my ring transportation and instead design new hovercraft. I respectfully disagree that this is more efficient. They will keep Matoran waiting, and they will be slower than my rings. I also feel that this method provides more opportunities for scientific breakthroughs. Anyway, I'm reducing the number of electromagnets to draw less power. I hope it works.  Most Noble Turaga Dume,With all due respect, Turaga, I'm not sure why you're so opposed to invention. Without dedicated craftsman we wouldn't have such a luxurious, beautiful city to reside in. Through innovation we can open up doors for future projects. If my system works we can create an entirely new industry! Doesn't that sound better for the city than relying on upgraded existing technology? I apologize if I'm out of line, but I hope I can convince you to let me keep trying the project. Anyway, I've finished constructing the new electromagnets and will test shortly. I will update you soon.  Turaga Dume,Reducing the number of electromagnets did indeed draw less power, but it created a much less stable field. Any object I put into the rings has a good chance of flying out, which means Matoran deaths. On a tangent, I've also been thinking about what you said, about innovation versus resourcefulness. I confess I didn't think about the benefits of boosting existing industries rather thank creating new ones, and I concede that you have a point. I'm honestly not sure what to do here. In the meantime, I'm going to investigate the potential for hovercraft I have a meeting with a Protodermis Engineer in Ga-Metru next week and she'll be sure to have some ideas of what materials work best.  Turaga,When touring the Ga-Metru refineries I was introduced to purified liquid protodermis. I think I may have solved my problem! My next letter will not come for a while, but when it does it will either have designs for rings or hovercraft!  Turaga!I solved the issue! Turns out that pure protodermis has similar properties to metals, as does the substance in liquid form. I won't confuse you with details, but basically by using four electromagnets I was able to create a field between two rings that carried along the protodermis, acting as a barrier, stabilizing the previously unsafe field. With your permission I'd like to build a full scale test model at the Le-Metru racetrack. I will use myself as a test subject.  Turaga Dume,Thank you for coming yesterday to oversee the full scale test! I've enclosed the full report of how I felt while riding the chute system, but the important part is that I think this will be an easy system for Matoran to use. With your permission, I will present my idea to formally launch the project at the committee meeting next week.  Tuuri,You have accomplished much over the past year, and you have a lot to be proud of! Your report was thorough, and I have no doubt the committees will be satisfied and will approve the project. I heard that Lhikan even took a test run through the test chute and found it an enjoyable experience. I foresee your system greatly improving communication amongst our great city, and I hope that you will continue to use your creativity to better Metru-Nui. For finding the power to persevere beyonds failures and doubts (of even myself!) you have my utmost respect and appreciation.-Dume ------------------------------------- Entry #4: 

"The Secret of Power"

 

“It was as if someone had taken rage and evil and given those qualities a body to walk around in.” – Legacy of Evil

 Power . . . Some work their whole lives for it. Some never find it. Some hunger for it. Some lust after it. I need it. I was destined for it. I was shaped and prepared all my life for it. I am only alive because I it is my destiny to become it. Power and I are as one. We are meant to be. Power . . . It gives life. It takes it. It moves mountains or it destroys them. It controls the world. Someday, so will I. I knew what power was since before I can remember. I was once a slave, domineered like all the rest of the lowlife, mortified and humiliated and beat into raw, submissive fear. Every slave knows the existence of power; it is what oppresses them, it is what forces them to their work each day. It is the force they fear. But from the first I recognized power for what it truly is. Strength. The strength I needed to become more than I was. I realized power has always been what I need. I fought for it. I worked and slaved for it. Every day in the mine I worked harder and grew stronger. Because, oh yes, power only comes to those who work for it. And I hunted it. I fought. I killed as many slavedriver as I could get my hands on. If a slave got in my way I would kill him, too. If a Stone Rat crawled by under my feet, I crushed it beneath my heel. That’s strength. That’s power. I was punished—oh! Karzahni! was I punished! I was lashed, and beaten, and starved, and chained, and they worked me harder than ever. Every punishment imaginable, and unimaginable, was inflicted on me in those days. But I never gave up. I always fought back. That’s power. The other slaves began to fear me. Even the slavedrivers feared me. They punished me because they feared my strength and my power. That’s when the Dark Hunters found me, and that’s why they “took me in.” No. I took them in. I took power into my heart and I was never letting it go. I had never tasted true power. I could still do nothing more than dream of it. I wanted more. I needed more. I trained. I fought. I fought harder every day, and I grew stronger. I gained respect and fear. I only needed one thing more. Power. So I seized it. I failed. I will never fail again. I might have died. I should have died. But I didn’t. I gained more power. That was my destiny. It is my destiny still. And now I’ve found it. From the most unlikely source, I’ve found it. Some fool of a Makuta, Tridax or Teridax or one of them, I don’t care which, left his plans lying around. Pure luck that I stumbled upon them. Luck? No. Destiny. This Makuta’s plan may be clever, but that doesn’t make him any less a fool. I was meant to discover his secrets. Power is my destiny. Not his. I will work for it. I will fight for it. It will be mine. My precious power . . . it is meant to be mine! I am Zaktan! I have found the power I need . . . ------------------------------------- Entry #5: 

"Awakening"

 “Well that guy was a bust, typical,” I groaned to my sole companion, a small hapaka, I had named Winter, based off when we first met, since then he’d always been by my side. Lately we’d been off a journey of sorts to find someone who could help out my village after a terrible drought. However nothing had been working, all the people we ran across tended to be mercenaries we couldn’t afford to hire. It left me wondering where the brave Toa Heroes of old had vanished to. Foolishly, I thought this last guy was going to be different, but the Turaga only mumbled some nonsense about the power to save my village resting within. I’d think I’d know if I had any sort of abilities to save my people, thanks for nothing you old hag. However if that hadn’t been odd enough he’d also thrown an odd blue rock my way, he said something about its power lying deep within, just like my own, and that it would awaken when I was ready. Another load of nonsense, but I figured I might be able to sell it at the very least, perhaps making a quick widget or two off it. “Hey Winter, what do you think,” I asked the Rahi while rubbing it behind the ears, “Think there’s someplace we can stop by to find some help?” He merely barked in response, but it was comforting none the less, at least I knew he wouldn’t turn his back on someone in need. That’s when I noticed a small tavern on the edge of the horizon, I figured stopping might be a good idea considering my throat was rather parched. So Winter and I began making our way over there, kicking up dust and sand as we walked across the barren lands. I hoped that this region hadn’t also been badly affected by the drought would have at least a couple drinks available. Yelling and loud laughter were the first things I heard when I neared the tavern, obviously the people inside were having a good time, I hoped that meant they’d be good people as well. However, the moment I opened the door everyone in the room went dead silent, it was rather unnerving to have all their glares focused on me and Winter. I noticed that in the entire Tavern there wasn’t a single Matoran, just Skakdi and other vile Piraka. Gulping, I nervously made my way towards the counter, planning for Winter and I to quickly get a drink and then be on our merry way. However the bartender‘s face just exuded obvious displeasure at my presence.   “Um, I’d just like to buy some water for me and my Hapaka?” I asked meekly. My question was just answered by laughter emanating from the Skakdi sitting next to me, “Hear that boys, the kid wants a drink, doesn’t he realize there’s a drought going ‘round, we ain’t got nothing for useless pieces of trash,” his eyes then darted towards Winter, who had started baring his teeth, the Skakdi merely responded in kind. “Or his pet for that matter.” Then without warning his clawed hands grabbed my neck and brutally shoved me against the wall. His large teeth then twisted into a sickening grin. “So boy, you know there being a drought and all we just can’t afford to let everyone have what they want now can we. Don’t be so selfish, in fact I don’t think there’s enough water to go around for your pet to have some too.” I watched in horror as his hand then reached down for gun resting on his hip, I tried to scream out for him to stop, I begged and I pleaded, but he wouldn’t listen. He aimed his gun at Winter and fired. I screamed, and time suddenly seemed to slow down as large glow came from the stone in my pack. Then a large surge of energy occurred and sent the Skakdi flying off of me.  His face contorted in rage and then shock as he laid eyes upon me. Then I noticed my image in the reflection of one of the glasses, only it wasn’t me, in my place stood a brilliant warrior in blue armor. I felt my Kakama working and dashed off towards Winter, healing the poor Rahi with my new found powers. Then my eyes turned back towards the Skakdi, “Guess what buddy, the drinks are on me.”  Water then enveloped them all. ------------------------------------- Entry #6: “Isn’t this just the best?” “…” “There’s really nothing better than being under constant threat of death.” “…” “Indeed, this is a fine morning for the suicidal. Why, if I wasn’t having so much fun, I would violently eviscerate myself!” Yrena tried her best to ignore her companion, but her patience was running out. In addition to making her even more nervous than she already was, Wofke wasn’t being particularly quiet (Not that he ever was…), and the danger of being heard was not negligible. “Please be quiet. You’ll get both of us killed!” “Gosh, I sure hope so. This wait itself is just killing me.” “Shut up! Someone will hear you, and we really will get killed.” “Oh darn, I guess I’m not being loud enough HEY PEoporghghg” “Why would you do that?! Do you really want to die?!” “Of course I do! After all, I let you of all people drag me here!” Yrena let go of him. He was being difficult and selfish, and he knew it. “Just…you know just how important this is.” “Yeeees! Finding the artifacts is so important enough that the Turaga thought it apt to offer two healthy Matoran sacrifices to the Great Spirit.” “This wasn’t their choice, and you know it. Toa Nuroka chose us.” “Doesn’t matter. So long as we still get to die, I’m fine.” Yrena sighed. Wofke was being terrible, but she knew it wasn’t fair to blame him for panicking. For as long as they’d known each other, he never once had been interested in heroics. It had always been her who had been most involved in the affairs of the Toa. She was fascinated, and longed for nothing more than to be one. Wofke had been a simple sculptor. His life began and ended with his work in his workshop. He and Yrena were lifelong friends, but their interests were completely dissimilar. When Toa Nuroka disappeared and the Turaga revealed that the two of them were Destined to be the next Toa, Yrena saw all of her dreams fulfilled. Wofke, in turn, saw his peaceful life fall to pieces. His life, as far as he was concerned, was already over. Could he really want to die? Yrena wouldn’t accept that. Unfortunately for them both, the Toa Stones required for their conversion had been stolen and hidden away when the Toa vanished. To receive their future power, they first had to find it. As they found themselves entering the Dark Hunter-infested canyon, it was only natural that their emotions would be on edge. But Wofke was practically delirious. “Say, dear friend, what says the map? The sooner we can find ourselves in as many little pieces as possible, the better.”Yrena had been given a special stone map crafted to detect Nuroka’s energies even if he was gone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t overwhelmingly accurate. “As far as I can see, we’re close. They should be somewhere in that general direction,” she said, pointing. “But chances are high they’ll be hidden and closely guarded. We can’t just walk in” “I don’t see any guards. I better go look for some in that general direction” As he ran rashly into the cave where the Toa Stones were located, Yrena tried to call him back, but decided it was futile. She ran to follow him and found himstanding alone, the surrounding area devoid of any sign of life. “Well, bummer. It doesn’t look like anyone is here to chop off our little Matoran heads. That is one disappointment I could have done without. “Wofke, you’re a moron…but it seems like this was the best opportunity we could have hoped for. Come on, help me look.” Then she noticed him already holding the two stones on his hands, looking at them as if mesmerized.  “How odd…they were just barely buried. What a poor digging job.” “You found them! Wofke, this is great. Now we can leave this all behind!” He was looking hard at his stone, his expression unreadable. “I don’t want to die either, Wofke.” “That’s good.” “I don’t want to die,” she repeated, pointing at a mound of sand he now saw concealed the body of Toa Nuroka. “Not like him. Not ever.” “Oh. So he died.” “He died the day he became a Toa.” “And us?” “I guess…we’re going to die soon, too. That’s what finding this power meant.” “Oh, joy.” “But I think it’s fine.” “How can any of this be fine?” “We’ll be together. Just like now.” ------------------------------------- Entry #7: 

"Lesovikk's Mistake"

 Lesovikk had been searching for days, it seemed. Ever since he had become a water-breather, nothing had gone right for him. After all, nothing hadever gone right for him, especially after the death of his team. As he trudged through the pit, in search of anything that could assist him in his journey to again be an air-breather, he thought that he ought to have died with them. He trudged through the water, each step yielding yet another cold wave of ice cold water. But he couldn't feel it- he was numbed beyond that. The lone Toa of air was about ready to give up for the day and rest, when, nestled against the peak of a rock formation, was it: The mask of life. Immediately bursting off, he tore through the water in the direction of the mask. Just as he reached it, however, it tore loose of its position and began falling. Unfortunately, it was falling right off of a cliff face- he would have to dive further for it. And so he did. Forming his body into an aerodynamic structure, he quickly descending faster than the Ignika. It was nearly in his finger tips, when out of nowhere, it was snatched by a tentacled being.  He stopped short, chasing the eight-tentacled beast into its cave. He pulled out his sword, even as they reached a dead end. "That mask will be mine," he said with a mad passion, the cries of a desperate man. He slashed and jabbed until the creature was mince meat, not letting up into he was sure it was dead, and then pulling it out of its cold, dead clutches. With a yell of triumph, he lifted the mask!... ...which was merely a rock carving, holding an egg inside. He had found what he thought to be the power to save him. However, he had merely brought more death to the pit. Indeed. He should've died with his team. ------------------------------------- Entry #8: 

"Fear of Failure"

 The vista shimmered and shifted in the relentless desert heat. Spreading low across the horizon was an incoming black cloud. Only she knew it wasn't a cloud. Toa Teor felt her knees trembling beneath her. They were coming. They were coming for her, and for the village behind her. Their relentless attacks had never ceased over the last few weeks. Their dead were heaped around the village, but they always came again. They came and they came and only when they were viciously repelled did they cease, only to return the next day. Raw terror gripped her heart. What was a lone Toa of Water to do? The rest of her team had already been killed in the previous battles, and she was left all alone. What if she failed? What if she couldn't stop them? True, they were fewer now, but there were still dozens of them. What if she couldn't do it, what if they reached the village? She nearly buckled in the sweltering heat. What was she to do? She was now the only thing standing between those monsters and the Matoran. And what if she failed? She couldn't blot out that thought, the fear of abject failure. The Matoran were depending on her, they believed in her, and what would happen now? They were all about to die. But no! She could still do this! Weak though she was, she was a brave, strong Toa, and surely if anyone could stop the incoming hoards, it was her! She said this to herself over and over, the words becoming a monotonous drone. You can do this, you can do this. . . Each time the words lost some of their meaning until they became an empty buzz. The Rahi weren't far off now. They would arrive in a few moments. Slowly she dragged her disagreeable legs forward, knowing that strategy demanded meeting them as far from the village as possible. This time she did buckle, before forcing herself to rise again. Who was she fooling? She couldn't do this. She was going to die, and the Matoran with her. She had no real hope. She froze, motionless, as the hoards began to converge upon her. Their gleaming fangs and slavering jaws loomed in on her vision, moving as if in slow motion. Her body felt like stone. Would she even be able to move, she wondered? Would she just stand there as they passed her by, leaving the doomed village to its fate? Her mind ticked down to a standstill. Then, tick by slow tick, the gears of her mind began to move again. They gained speed, and she knew what to do. Without any real conscious thought, she charged forwards with a terrible war cry, raising her scythe and summoning what little water remained in the air. Two of the monsters were dead before they realized that she had actually attacked them. Soon the ground was strewn with their dead. Teor didn't have time to think, she was in a constant state of action and reaction. Twice she narrowly avoided the giant claws, thrice the jaws. But finally she found herself caught between massive incisors. It was then that she saw a great light in the sky, and the cries and the tears broke forth from her before she died. She failed. But she had tried.

 

-------------------------------------

 

Entry #9:

 

"Desperate strength"

 

He landed the wrong way when the rubble collapsed on him. His body slammed on the floor, whiplash from the fall knocking his mask somewhere into the dust. It was impossible to see anything beyond the debris, and his dazed condition made it even worse now. Pinned and winded, he lay limp on the concrete floor. 

 

“What happened? Are you still there?” a panic laced voice screamed. The pinned victim clamped his eyes tightly shut, the stimuli too much for his weakened condition. 

 

“Trapped...” the word moaned meekly from his mouth. 

 

“I got clear! I’m going for help!” Footsteps scuffled as the owner of the voice ran off, leaving him alone. Coughing, he sagged under the slab of concrete that pinned him, its weight practically unbearable. There was something pressing- probably impaling- his shoulder and tears of pain dripped down his smudged face as he struggled to free himself. 

 

Up above, he could hear the roof shake. The sound of rocks falling reached his ears from afar, and he shut his eyes, praying he would not die here. Fear of death made him squirm, wiggling only to feel the beam in his shoulder bury itself deeper. Gritting his teeth he abandoned all hope of comfort, and jerked his shoulder away. The pain was excruciating, and he felt the slab shift to another mighty pressure point on his body. A yell of agony rang from his lips. 

 

He gasped heavily as dust entered his lungs. As he jerked from the episode, however, he realized that he could move his torso. Very little it was able to maneuver, but he could still shift a little. Opening his eyes, he could see the beam directly above him, and tried not to think of the end that was snapped off. Above that in the grey shaft of light, the concrete that pinned his legs slanted away. 

 

He pushed on the beam, feeling the weight of the room working against him. His shoulder was on fire, but he shoved harder and harder against it, feeling it shift. Please don’t let anything fall on me, please don’t let anything fall on me... he silently begged. Using his weakened strength, he painfully pushed until he could no longer reach the wood. 

 

There was a metal barb ahead of him, across the floor, some steel that had snapped in the collapse, and now jutted out. His fingers were teased as he reached for it, struggling for excruciating minutes until his hands wrapped around it. His strength was failing as he pulled, and he desperately wished for his mask. It was a useless power, but if he could focus... little did he know, however, was that his panic was propelling him more than any mask ever would. 

 

There was something in his back that cracked as his legs were freed from under the slab. Maybe his spine was separated. He curled up and silently wept, as he felt all of his body parts still intact. Peering around after those few minutes of pain and relief at the same time, he looked for holes in the rubble to climb through. 

A noise. His attention snapped to the ceiling, but it was no sound of rubble shifting. A voice was not far away. 

 

“He got me free, but trapped himself in there, said he was pinned...” 

 

He needed not to be called. Urgency flooded his broken body, giving one last surge of willpower, and he miraculously picked himself up. He was definitely broken. But the hole there just needed a little pry so he could wiggle through...

****

As a crowd gathered to see the collapsed building, he emerged. Disfigured and maskless, mangled in countless places and mangled, he stumbled out. Down the debris he tumbled as his body finally collapsed, but he needed not worry any longer, as he fell into the arms of a rescuer. 

 

-------------------------------------

 

Entry #10:

 

"Power Source"

 

Onua rose slowly, feeling the power of his mask flood his limbs as he pushed himself upright. The Pakari had always granted him strength far beyond the normal limits of any being, and even now it continued to do so. In fact, rather than being damaged in any way by… by whatever had just happened, it seemed to have grown in power, if that were possible – he felt as though he could lift the island itself as easily as any of the others could a pebble.

 

He called upon the power of the Miru—

 

He cleared his throat. The power of the Miru—

 

Nothing. So their little bath had destroyed his other masks? Quickly he reached out for his Akaku – nothing. Hau – nope. Kakama – still no. Kaukau? There wasn’t any way to test it here, but he expected the result would be the same.

 

He glanced down at himself for the first time. His form was bulkier, stronger, more powerful even than it had been before, which was certainly saying something. Sleek silver armor covered his body, accentuating every rippling muscle. He tapped the plating on his forearm softly – he doubted anything would be getting through that within the next millennium or three.

 

He examined the hand he’d just used. Minutes ago, powerful claws would have erupted from his fingers at a thought, but this, too, had changed. Simply a hand, he thought, flexing his fingers. How could he protect his koro without—

 

Slowly, instinctively, his hands drifted to his back and were greeted by cold, hard metal. He withdrew the weapons, examining them. Some kind of complex machinery – a long shaft fitted with a belt and dozens of sharp metal blades. Maybe he could…

 

The weapons roared to life, the blades dissolving into a blur and reappearing moments later as he mentally shut them off. Certainly these would be far more efficient at tunneling through the earth than his claws had been. And with practice, they would be deadly in combat.

 

He finally looked up, taking in the dark cavern. His fellow Toa were, like him, mesmerized by their new forms. Tahu had gotten his hands on some new blades, blades which were now engulfed in fire and whirling about in a flurry of flashy maneuvers. Pohatu was repeatedly vanishing and reappearing in another corner of the cavern before Onua could register he’d moved at all. Lewa, like Tahu, had been engrossed by his new weapons, a pair of swords that he was clearly more than eager to learn to use. Kopaka was simply leaning against a wall, looking on in disapproval – typical.

 

Gali had focused her attention on something else. She stood at the center of the cavern, gazing at an object that seemed to hover in the air. It was a cube, a cube carved with odd symbols and glowing with blue light. Onua made his way toward it cautiously, both apprehensive about the object before him and worried that Pohatu might not be watching where he was going and run him over.

 

Within a few moments the rest of the Toa had gathered. Lewa was the first to speak.

 

“So, uh… what’s the deal with the glow-bright cube-thing?”

 

No one had an answer. They stood in silence for a few moments before Kopaka extended his arm.

 

“Wait,” Tahu interjected. “We have no idea what—”

 

The Ice Toa silenced their leader with a glare as cold as his homeland and snapped his arm forward, his hand tapping the cube and then retreating to its place at his side.

 

A brilliant flash of light flooded the cavern and the Toa backed up as one, Lewa aiming his new blades at the cube. Tahu angled his for Kopaka, a curse on his lips. Ah, priorities.

 

A moment later the light had cleared, and, oddly, the cube seemed to be missing a side. A side, Onua realized suddenly, that Kopaka held in his hand.

 

“What—” Pohatu began.

 

Kopaka cut him off. “It’s cold,” he said, gazing at the square of stone. “Cold even to me. It houses power.” He looked up. “My power.”

 

Immediately Tahu stepped forward, touching the cube and claiming a piece as his own. The remaining Toa followed suit, Onua stepping forward last. Reluctantly, he grabbed the only side left. What Kopaka said was true – he could feel his own power emanating from the symbol in his hands. Should something like this really be removed from its proper place?

 

But he said nothing.

 

-------------------------------------

 

Entry #11:

 

"Legacy"

 

In a cave far beneath the surface, a spire of crystal glowed.

 

It pulsed slowly in the darkness, a rhythmic sigh of light that cast a pale green glow on the stone and dirt that surrounded it.  Twenty thousand years had it pulsed, and twenty thousand more it was willing to, or twenty thousand after that.

 

A hammer swung out of the shadows and shattered it.  A thousand fragments hung in the air, as though they were supported by the light that turned them to stars for that single instant, and then they clattered to the ground. 

 

The hammer’s owner peered down into the remains of the spire, and a simple green keypad stared back up, its soft glow undeterred by the loss of its casing.  “Show-off,” the jungle Agori muttered, and punched in a string of numbers that had not been used since the day his planet had turned to three.

 

Silently, ponderously, the back wall of the cave fell away, and beyond it he saw stacks of machines humming to themselves, carrying out the instructions of a bygone age.  Vatomu stepped slowly inside, feeling all around him the energy of a peoples long lost. 

 

At the far end of the passage, he found a dais of metal and stone, symbols and circuits etched into it and given life by the same green energy that danced all around him.  He approached it silently, waiting for any sort of response.

 

One came.

 

The voice of the Great Being was soft and familiar, recorded long ago but somehow vibrant in a way that made him feel that if he turned he would see the creator before him, ceremonial robes and protosteel mask untouched by time or tempest.

 

If you have come this far, then I am long gone.  I know not how, or when, but we have fallen.

 

The fact you gained entrance to this chamber is proof that you were a friend to us.  I know not if you are Agori or Glatorian or Matoran or Toa, but you knew us.

 

I will not make false claims.  The knowledge stored within here is powerful, but it is merely a fraction of what we learned.  I ask that you take it, and build from it what you would. 

 

Bring glory to your world.

 

A pedestal rose from the stone before him, a screen and keys sliding out from it.

 

Vatomu stood there a long time, his eyes closed, listening to the quiet buzz of the machines around him, breathing the air that had an edge to it that he hadn’t tasted in years.  He thought of the voice that had spoken to him, of its owner, of choices he’d made and words they’d exchanged.

 

Smiling, he opened his eyes.  “Was this your way of making amends, Telerus? Or was this what you wanted from the very beginning?”

 

There was no response.  Sighing, he stepped forward to the controls and looked at them. 

 

Then he raised the hammer high and brought it down, and again, and again, and when there was nothing left he turned to the still-crackling machines and continued his work, pounding and pounding until he felt certain the hammer would shatter, and when it finally did he reached into his pack and drew out another and turned to the next machine.

 

In time, there was a dying whirr, and the lights of the chamber faded away, leaving the Agori alone in the darkness.  He stood there, panting; the tool slipped from his hand and clattered to the ground.

 

Shaking his head, he reached into his pack and pulled from it a torch doused in oil and a flint.  A few strikes was all it took to illuminate the chamber once more.  He smiled sadly at his handiwork.  “Wherever you are now, you piece of dirt, I hope you can see this.  And I hope it hurts you the way watching us die by the thousands never could.”

 

And then he turned and made for the surface.  There was surviving to be done.

 

-------------------------------------

 

Entry #12:

 

"Choices and the World"
 
He stumbled into the chamber, falling to his knees at the entrance, overwhelmed by the power residing within. A light shone on him, and he looked at it almost in awe. 
Before him on a pillar rested a golden Kanohi, the Ignika itself. Was it truly glowing, or was that merely the immense power flowing from it? It seemed to him that in another moment the power would overwhelm him, destroying the intruder of its sanctuary - but then it retreated into itself, merely resting before him. He could till sense its presence, but now it seemed...inviting? Hesitantly, the Toa reached out and touched it. 
Instantly, his mind was flooded with images and sensations - so many, many memories of things now gone. Its creation, the tests of its power, all its experiences of the Great Beings and their doings around it - things alien, breathtaking to the Toa passed into his mind in an instant, up to the moment the mask had been left in its chamber. It showed him all its purpose and its power, and then stopped. 
Then he felt a clear thought from it. Its purpose was to save the Toa's world. But it knew nothing of that world, and it was curious. In exchange for its memories, it wanted the Toa to share his own. Then it would accomplish its destiny and his.
 
Very well, he thought. A small enough price to pay for the life of the universe.
 
He opened up his memories. First came his days as a Matoran, in his little village surrounded by the wilderness. Tending the village herd of Mukau. Solitary walks in the forest. Friendly conversations in the square. Calm, peaceful memories filled with contentment and appreciation of the beauties of the world. 
Then he was made a Toa, and things changed. His village did not need him, so he began traveling. Wandering, helping anyone he could, never settling down. He had begun to see more of the world then, but those were lonely memories, and he was glad they only spanned a few years.After that, he met Jovan, a Toa of Magnetism, and his team, and was invited to join them. Traveling and adventure as a group; protecting the Matoran and each other from all dangers; forging bonds that could never be broken. That filled a thousand years, and he showed it all - every joy, every fear, every sorrow- until he reached their present mission. 
It was during the Civil War in Metru Nui that the world began changing. Plant life was dying, Rahi were decreasing and weakening. And then the stars began fading. Fear. Everyone afraid, afraid because the world is going wrong and they can't fix it. Even Jovan shows it
And Jovan had decided to do something about it, researching, tracking down rumors, legends...anything their team could find. The team called together, told for the first time about the Ignika. Hope. Finally, something to be done to save the world. 
Traveling to the site of the legend. Searching for any sort of clue - and then running into Axonn and Brutaka. Being told the whole, complete truth -being told one of the team would die. 
The Toa relived all the battles and traps as they descended the stairs, every one. Finding the Chamber of Life. At last. At last the power that will save our world is found. But...which one of us will it take? Let it be me, don't let it be me let it be me don't let it be- 
And then they felt the power, reaching out, evaluating them, and it settled on the Toa. 
It's me.
The Toa left his memories, reaching the present. Is that enough, Kanohi Ignika? He asked. Are you satisfied with my world?
 
The mask was...intrigued. There was so much in his world, so much good and evil mixed, so much life. And he sensed it also found him intriguing. It had seen throughout his memories that he had a strong fear of death, and yet here he was asking to use it. He knew the consequences...
 
He flinched. Yes.It's because of my world. I love it too much to want to leave it, but I also love it too much to let it die. Dying is my best choice, but still a bad one. He paused. Does that satisfy you?
 
The mask decided that it did. The Toa was granted permission to use its power for his beloved world.
 
-------------------------------------
 
Entry #13:
 

"Searching for a Power Source"

 

Nuparu turned the hand crank, which lifted up the mining elevator.  He was the engineer stationed at the elevator, and as such it was his job to operate it by hand when the miners needed to get out of the Great Mine.

 

The elevator wasn’t a bad design: Nuparu had been one of the engineers who crafted the system of pulleys which would lift up the cab and get Matoran to different levels quickly.  Unfortunately, it had to be powered by a Matoran.  They had tried to use Ussal Crabs, but the Rahi were too inconsistent with their pulling, so the job was left to the engineer on duty.

 

Nuparu knew it was inefficient.  If he could create some way to power the pulley system, then it would free him up to work on other useful tasks.  But where could he find a power source reliable enough?

 

As the elevator reached his level, Nuparu let off the crank and secured it into position.  The miners gratefully exited the cab.  Nuparu leaned back to rest for a bit, nut then Onepu, Whenua’s right hand Matoran, walked up to him.

 

“Nuparu, I am reassigning you to the scouting team that’s leaving for Le-Wahi,” Onepu said.

 

“But they’re just going to collect fruit,” Nuparu said.  “Why do you need me to go with them?”  He had been hoping to get home and work on some of his inventions in his spare time.

 

“The tunnel on the way isn’t in the best shape, so your skills might come in handy if there are any issues with the rocks or the cart,” Onepu said.  “Besides, we’ve called it a day for the miners, so you don’t need to work the elevator.”

 

Nuparu begrudgingly went to his new position, and before he knew it he was on an Ussal cart heading down a tunnel towards the jungle.  Once they got there, the other Matoran insisted that he help pick berries.

 

He approached one tree to grab its bounty, when one of the Matoran stopped him.  “Careful there,” he said.  “That’s a Vuata Maca tree.  Those pieces of Madu fruit are known to be explosive.”

 

“Explosive?” Nuparu asked.  “Why are they like that?”

 

The Matoran shrugged.  “No clue, but best to be wary around them.”

 

Despite the warning, Nuparu’s interested was piqued.  In secret, he carefully collected some of the Madu fruit and brought them back with him.  In his hut, he started experimenting with the fruit.  Their explosiveness, he learned, was determined by their ripeness, so some were safer to pick than others.  But the juices of the fruit contained a large amount of potential energy, and Nuparu wondered if he could harness it in ways other than explosions.

 

He began to fiddle with the fruit by inserting wires into the sides.  Over time, he discovered that he could power simple machinery in his hut with the fruit, although only for a limited amount of time.  He gathered more fruit and began building circuits, and soon his hut was full of Madu fruit that provided battery power to his many appliances.

 

But Nuparu wasn’t satisfied with just that alone; what if the Madu fruit could be used elsewhere, like in the Great Mines?  He made his project official, and got approval from the Turaga to begin harvesting Madu fruit in bulk.  Over time, he grew tired of the journeys to the surface to collect the fruit, so he collected seeds from the Vuata Maca tree and planted one underground, where he utilized lightstones to mimic sunlight.

 

It took months for the tree to start to grow, and it was another full year before it began to bear fruit.  By then, Nuparu was reaching the limit with what he could power with just the fruit.  It would not be enough to help in the mines.  But as he watched the tree grow, he realized that the energy in the fruit was also within the tree itself.

 

And then, after two years of hard work and research, Nuparu managed to draw electric energy directly from the Vuata Maca tree.  The energy was used to power all of Onu-Koro, including the elevators in the great mines.  And soon, the other villages learned about the discovery, and they started planting Vuata Maca trees of their own.

 

Nuparu had indeed found the power he was looking for.


Edited by Velox, Jul 03 2013 - 02:16 AM.

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#6 Offline Velox

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Posted Jul 05 2013 - 02:55 AM

Theme #6: The Order

 

Posted Image

 

Entry #1:

 

"New Order"

 

On the way back to the city, he looked up to see it on fire. Sky blackened and sun dying from the smoke arising from the surface. As he ran into New Metru Nui, he saw chaos and destruction plaguing the streets. The Order of New Metru Nui had fallen, and now everyone that he knows is either dead or hiding.

 

The Wander is a Toa of Magnetism. He has no name, but people just call him a wanderer since that’s what he does. He runs towards the Coliseum to find the Turaga and Helryx. Helryx is the only thing that could be the reason of the collapse.

 

As he reaches the Turaga’s quarters, he finds the head of the Turaga on the floor, and Helryx being bashed by a horrific creature with a massive jaw, claws and blades on his arms. Just as he was about to slam her to the ground, he turns to see the Wanderer standing there at the doorway. His face was pale as snow and horrified by the destruction of the Order.

 

“So, you wish to take me on,” boasts the creature.

 

The creature then throws Helryx to the Wanderer. He falls to the ground with Helryx on top of him. She is badly bruised and broken in spirit.

 

“Go, before it’s too, late,” says Helryx trying to muster the last of her strength.

 

The Wanderer gets up, holding a dying Helyrx over his shoulder. He looks at the creature who has won the battle for now, but it is now the Wanderer who he shall face. He leaves the quarters to take Helryx to safety and to heal her wounds.

 

“Yes! Run! Shelter yourself for I, Botar, will certainly be you demise.”

 

It appears whoever brought back Botar from the dead, has him under their control. He has taken control of all of New Metru’s systems including the security forces. Botar then turned on the video screens on in all of New Metru. His savage face can be seen on screens all over the place.

 

“Citizens of New Metru! I have liberated you from the Order’s corrupted system, and made way for a new one to take over! One, where no one will restrict you on what to do!”

 

The criminals of New Metru began to cheer; their roars of glory can be heard throughout the city.

 

“Welcome, to the New Order.” He then turns of the screens and he looks behind him. Three figures with crimson and black armor with what appears to be bat wings, approach him.

 

“Go forth and bring me the head of Helryx,” orders Botar.

 

The three nod and the ceiling above them opens. They fly off into the burning sunset of New Metru to find Helryx. They leave with blood curdling screeches and trails of shadow can be seen from their wings. The ceiling then closes, and Botar is left standing in the room. He overlooks at his New Order that has now caused chaos and destruction.

 

It has been too long since he has been trapped in the Red Star. While wandering the land of the dead, someone had approached him. The mysterious figure had somehow managed to gain control him to do his bidding. Then Botar looked at a map of New Metru, and punctured a location on the map with a knife.

 

“You cannot hide from me Helryx. I will find you.”

 

The location, in which he punctured, is a furnace in the Fire District which is a known secret hideout of the old Order. His bat beings will soon assault the base and kill anyone in there.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #2:

 

"Twenty Four"

 

One, two three, four, five, six.
 
The Toa stood in a row. They were the six the leader had chosen, along with six Matoran, six Vortixx, and six robots, two each made in the image of each group.
 
The Toa of Water gave a quick glade to the Toa of Fire to her left. He was trying to stop his friend of Air from falling onto his shoulder. Following him were Toa of Earth, Ice and Stone. The Matoran were organised in the same pattern, and the Vortixx in height order.
 
Their captor had their face shrouded in a thick veil, and a Vortixx wondered if they could see out of it. She raised a hand and stepped forward. "Yo."
 
"What?" snapped the decidedly female figure. "And get back in line, or I'll have to mutate you."
 
"The name's Valda," she continued, folding her arms. "What are we even here for?"
 
The veiled woman clicked her fingers. A Boggarak scuttled to her heel. "Are you sure you want to find out?"
 
Valda shrugged. "Sure, why not?"
 
She grinned as the person now ordering the Visorak in their language shook with anger. When pincers poked her back, however, her face fell into a state of shock.
 
"Take them," she heard the woman hiss in something that only just sounded like Matoran before she was swept away.
 
00110010 00110100
 
A flickering light told Valda that she was now awake. The veiled woman was now gone, but was replaced by protosteel shackles and a small, grey character who looked a little like a Matoran. The four groups of six were sat next to the wall on a stone bench.
 
"Oh, my!" they exclaimed, clapping their hands. "Friends!"
 
The Toa of Stone raised an eyebrow. "Friends? I do believe that is an incorrect term."
 
The Matoran (Was it a Matoran? Something seemed off about it.) frowned. "You don't have to be my friend," it pouted. "It may be optional, but I highly recommend it."
 
"I'll pass."
 
"Are you sure?"
 
With a quick glance at Valda, he replied, "Sure, why not?"
 
The echo of a Vortixx were his last words.
 
The Matoran looked up to see what would be the veiled woman, but she had removed it to show a grubby blue Komau. "Great, Flute!" it grinned. "I wish he had come to his senses, though."
 
"That'd be unlikely," she replied cooly. "Toa of Stone are as dense as their element. Let this serve as a warning to the rest of them to not speak out."
 
The Toa of Earth looked at his friend's corpse in shock, before moving to remove his mask.
 
"Uh, uh!" the Matoran said. "We're playing a game now. The rules are that you have to play it, and I choose the rules! Another rule is that you can't touch a dead player."
 
He stood suddenly, pulling the other Toa into awkward positions. "What am I able to remember him by, then?"
 
The Matoran tutted. "Another rule is that if they die, then they never existed."
 
As it was, the Toa of Stone's shackles were now empty. His brother slumped back down onto the bench. "I'll be your friend."
 
Valda watched him intently, quashing the desire to comfort that lost her many jobs.
 
"Hey, Vortixx!" grinned the Matoran suddenly. "What's your name?"
 
Valda looked up, but he was addressing the short male on the other side of the row. He looked into the Matoran's eyes, and Valda realised suddenly that they were black pits. She made a mental note to never look at them again when her fellow Vortixx stopped speaking.
 
"Is he dead?" asked the Ta-Matoran. The six Matoran had been silent, along with the robots. Now that they were being stared at, they fidgeted uncomfortably, and the Po-Matoran burst into tears.
 
"This is a happy place," it smiled widely. "You can't cry here." As the wails intensified, the Matoran's eyes narrowed. "Stop it. Stop crying now. I don't want to kill you. Actually, maybe I should. but then I'd have to kill that Vortixx and one of the robots."
 
Flute grabbed the short Vortixx, who hadn't moved since. "This one?"
 
"Yep!" he replied. "Can you decapitate this one?"
 
Valda closed her eyes and hoped for the slaughter to stop soon.
 
------------------------------------
 
Entry #3:
 

"Thirty Minutes"

 

“This is definitely the worst misappropriation of our abilities imaginable.”

 

“Putting aside the irreparable falseness of that statement, I’d say you’re right.”

 

“We’re Toa, for Mata Nui’s sake!”

 

“Indeed. This really is work best suited for Matoran couriers.”

 

“But no.”

 

“Nope.”

 

“They send Toa to deliver the Turaga’s food order.”

 

 

“A crueler joke hasn’t ever been told.”

 

Rimoto decided to stop talking to catch his breath, an act that his partner, Forr, also thought appropriate.

 

“Holy Mata Nui. This Turaga must be a glutton…what kind of food order requires two crates, and ones of this size? What even is in these?”

 

“Well, my dear Forr, you’re better off not peeking. You know how Greva is, always peeking around and sticking her eyes in other’s business with her creepy mask. I don’t want to have to be reprimanded because you were ogling the Turaga’s berries.”

 

“Hey now, these are way too heavy to be berries.”

 

“Anyway, you know it’s an order to not look into the order. It’s a secret. A secret secret.”

 

“That is the best kind of secret, I think. Also preferably the only one…”

 

“What kind of stupid rules are these, though? Deliver the food in thirty minutes or the negotiations are off? I get that we’re in a tense situation with that village, but this just seems excessively inane.”

 

“And why did we have to be the ones to go?”

 

“It might be because we’re so annoying.”

 

“Maybe. But that seems really risky. We waste so much time, we may not get it done at all!”

 

“That’s…unlikely. It’s a very safe road and we aren’t that terrible. There really isn’t any way to mess this up.”

 

“Yeah, but really…why us?”

 

”Greva is too busy to waste her time like this…though I worry about sending two thirds of the village’s defenses away on such a random mission.”

 

“What two thirds? That would be Greva.”

 

“Ha ha. I suppose…”

 

They reached their destination soon afterwards. Looming before them was a massive, ornate fortress carved of pitch-black rock.

 

“That…that is a really big house for a Turaga.”

 

“No joke. Not to mention dark and ominous.”

 

“Maybe he’s in a bad mood (because of the hunger) and redecorated to match.”

 

“…Yeah. That is definitely the most likely explanation.”

 

“I’m glad you agree.”

 

“Either way, how do we get in here?”

 

“Try knocking.”

 

“…yeah, okay.”

 

A shaken-looking Turaga answered the door, though, at seeing the two Toa, his expression brightened.

 

“Oh! The order has finally arrived. I was lucky. A few more minutes and I would have been in trouble. But by all means, come in, come in.”

 

“Uh, greetings, wise elder. We don’t mean to intrude. We’re just here to deliver the order. We’ll be leaving, if that’s all.”

 

The Turaga, deaf to their protests, ushered them in. “Oh, don’t say such silly things, come in!”

 

“But…”

 

The Turaga led them through a dark corridor, and at the end, they faced a grand door.

 

“This is where you go.”

 

“Sorry. I thought you ordered this?”

 

“Huh? Oh, goodness, no. The order was for food for the Master. I’m just the aide.”

 

“Hmm? So there’s another Turaga in here?”

 

“Oh…sure. But do hurry, he’s been grumpy lately.”

 

As the two entered the chamber, they noticed it was shrouded in total darkness.

 

“Hey, what’s with the dark? We might bump into a chair or something.”

 

Shutting the door, the Turaga apologized.

 

“Oh do forgive my Master, great Toa. He’s been out of it for a bit now. It's the hunger. You see…

 

…it’s been a while since we got a pair of fresh Toa around these parts.”

 

Then there was the sound door being locked, and silence.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #4:

 

"The Shadow’s Orders"

 

It was another sunny day in the Po-Koro market, and Ahkmou stood at his stand, where he sold Comet Kohlii balls.  They were currently the biggest hit in the village, because they were the best boulders to use in the stadium.

 

But the good news about his sales was countered by the epidemic, which was spreading across the village.  Matoran were falling ill, and nobody knew the cause.

 

Nobody except for Ahkmou, and the news pleased him.

 

“Weaken Po-Koro’s defenses,” the Shadows had said to him.  “Make it so I can take the village.  That is an order.”

 

Ahkmou had allied with the Shadows long ago, due to his dislike of the Turaga and Matoran on Mata Nui.  He had joined their civilization, but secretly plotted against them.  He had waited years to finally take Turaga Onewa and the other Po-Matoran down a notch.  And he had finally received his order.

 

But while the Shadows desired a particular outcome, they were willing to let Ahkmou select the method.  He had chosen to infect his fellow villagers with the Madness.  With help from the Shadows, he had crafted the perfect Kohlii ball, which was balanced and lightweight.  But the boulders were also tainted, due to them having been recovered from a Nui-Jaga’s nest.  After using them for a period of time, a Matoran would fall ill, and then the Madness would set in.

 

Already, members of the Po-Matoran guard were dropping like flies.  Kohlii was such a popular sport that all the Po-Matoran played it, and now almost all of them had a Comet.  Soon, they would all be too sick to properly defend the village.

 

Ahkmou daydreamed of the near future, when his plans would come to completion.  The affected Matoran would fall into Madness, one by one, and be no better than the infected Rahi who wandered the deserts.  Some, like Turaga Onewa, would persist.  He couldn’t sell a Comet to everybody, after all.  He had even tried to pass one off to a Ta-Matoran wanderer, but the traveler had passed it up.

 

But those who stayed sane wouldn’t be safe from Ahkmou’s vengeance.  When the time was right, the Shadows would send the infected Rahi to attack the desert village, and with so few defenders left, Po-Koro would fall.  Ahkmou had been told that the Rahi would spare him, and he relished the thought of watching a Nui-Jaga take down the tyrannical Turaga Onewa.

 

And then he would be the last of the Po-Matoran.  And he could begin plotting against the other villages in earnest.  He already had ideas for how to destroy them, from flooding the tunnels of Onu-Koro to burning down the trees of Le-Koro.  But before he could begin to get his revenge on all the Matoran on Mata-Nui, he would need to deliver Po-Koro to his master’s hands.  That is what he had been ordered to do.

 

The merchants around him started talking excitedly, shaking Ahkmou out of his daydreams.  He overheard their discussion, and doubt quickly began to gnaw at him.  The Ta-Matoran traveler, known as the Chronicler, had been seen heading for the Quarry, with a key in hand.  Furthermore, Toa Pohatu had raced off after him, and rumor was that they had discovered the source of the epidemic.

 

The Nui-Jaga nest where Ahkmou had collected the Kohlii balls was located in the Quarry, so that news was enough to make him nervous.  But he had locked away the nest, so it was unlikely to be discovered.  Yet as Ahkmou searched for his key, he realized that it was missing.

 

Ahkmou retreated from his stand and searched his hut, but the key was not among his possessions.  He was returning to the market when he happened to spot Turaga Onewa and two Ta-Matoran guards at his stand.  That was the last straw; he now knew that his plan had been discovered.  He didn’t know what had given it away, but now he had more important things to worry about.  He needed to flee before the Turaga could apprehend him.

 

His thoughts lingered on the Shadows, who had given him a direct order.  But he had followed that, Ahkmou thought as he raced for the village’s gate.  He had weakened the village’s defenses.  He had followed his orders.  Things had not gone exactly as planned, but he had tried his best.

 

Hopefully the Shadows would be merciful to him as he retreated out into the desert.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #5:

 

"Justice?"

 

“Chaos is the law of nature; Order is the dream of man.”

-Henry Adams

 

The Le-Matoran watched as the grinning Vortixx and the stoic Ta-Toa clashed in combat. The Matoran knew his fate lay in the outcome of this battle, yet all he could do was hope and pray. His hands tightly clutched the stone that had caused this predicament.

 

“I will gave you one last chance,” the Toa stated to the Vortixx, his voice noble and regal, “Back away from the Matoran and never speak of this encounter, otherwise I have no choice but to end you.”

 

“Hah,” The Vortixx merely laughed in response, “We issuing threats now? What happened to the ridiculous motto of Toa don’t kill, or are you guys above that stuff now? Then again, I always did find that policy idiotic.”

 

Even as he bantered, the battle continued to rage on: The Vortixx would leap in, his daggers locking with the Toa’s sword, the Toa would then try an elemental attack and the Vortixx would leap back. Eventually the Toa realized that the Vortixx was too fast for his elemental attacks and began focusing on weapon combat.

 

“Do not speak of that which you cannot comprehend,” The Toa retorted back, as his blade blocked another attack from the Vortixx’s daggers. “Our outdated code restrained us from properly carrying out justice and ensuring order.”

 

The Toa then stepped back, twisting his body away to allow his blade to swing towards the Vortixx’s side. The Vortixx, with only a moment to respond, swiftly pivoted on his foot, narrowly avoiding the attack.

 

“What a load of Muaka dung,” the Vortixx responded as he darted in, his daggers aimed at the Toa’s stomach, only to be parried once more when the Toa slammed his massive sword into the ground. Then, taking advantage of the lull in the Vortixx’s assault the Toa smashed a gauntleted fist into the Vortixx’s jaw.

 

Rolling away, the Vortixx spat out some blood and readied his daggers while the Toa ripped his sword from the ground. “Alright Toa,” the Vortixx snarled, “You want me to speak about what I can comprehend? Fine. What I comprehend is that your sense of Justice and Order can go to Karz.” The Vortixx stated before dashing in once more.

 

At first it appeared his daggers were again aimed at the Toa’s gut, but when the Toa’s sword came down to intercept, the Vortixx sidestepped, swinging his daggers to the side of the Toa’s chest. Unfortunately the Toa and his Calix were faster, allowing him to masterfully swing around, rip his sword out and block the daggers.

 

Their blades locked once more, the Vortixx continued speaking his mind. “What sort of Order requires you to kill a Matoran?” He demanded. “All I see is a bully afraid of the power that Matoran may acquire, you’re scared of a new Toa.”

 

However, the Toa would have none of it and flames erupted from his blade to send the Vortixx flying back. The Vortixx collided with a tree next to the Le-Matoran with a sickening thud. He struggled to get up, but found only the Toa’s blade at his throat.

 

“You understand nothing!” There was rage in the usually stoic Toa’s voice. “We do this because we must, a new Toa would upset the balance of power, order needs to be established. Without it the entire land would be plunged into chaos. How can you not see that this is our Duty?”

 

The Vortixx only laughed bitterly, “Don’t feed me that nonsense. There’s no justification for the murder, no, genocide you commit upon your own people.”

 

“Then this is your end.” The Toa responded as he hefted his blade in the sky before bringing it crashing down towards the Vortixx’s neck.

 

“STOP IT!” A new voice begged in desperation, it was the voice of the Le-Matoran. “Kill me, but please let him go. He’s only protecting me, he’s done nothing wrong!”

 

“I cannot do that,” the Toa began to reply only to be taken by surprise when the Vortixx seized the opportunity and tackled him.

 

“Run kid!” He yelled before being skewered by the Toa’s blade.

 

“Fool,” the Toa grimaced as he began to make his way towards the Matoran, never noticing the barely standing figure of the Vortixx.

 

“Hey mate,” the Vortixx coughed out as he hefted one last throwing dagger, “I’ll see you in karz.”

 

His dagger flew straight and true towards the Toa’s heart causing both beings to collapse.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #6:

 

"Artahka's Hand"

 

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.
 
That had always been the order. 
 
Fire. Water. Earth. Air. Stone. Ice.
 
Tahu. Gali. Onua. Lewa. Pohatu. Kopaka.
 
But before them was a different order, and before them was an even older order. 
 
Artahka's Hand. This is the story of an Order before all others...
 
-------
 
Helryx rose her shield, blocking a strike from the sword of a Dark Hunter. She quickly struck back with her mace, sending the opponent over the edge and into the water. It was raining wickedly. His head went under and never came back up. But that wasn't Helryx's problem- she spun around and kicked out a Hunter's legs, sending him skidding across the wooden deck of the Hand's ship. As Hydraxon finished off a Hunter of his own, she slid down to her prey and grabbed ahold of his head. At first, he thought she was going to kill him. But no, he was too useful for that. She activated her mask, and instantly saw the inside of the ship he had come on. She looked up, nodded to Hydraxon, and saw him- The Shadowed One -standing there on the deck of the opposing ship.
 
"Helmsman! Ram that ship!"
 
The Matoran at the controls turned their vessel, ramming the entire thing into the starboard side of the Hunter's ship, creating cracks all through. Helryx, using the connection, leaped across, followed by Hydraxon.
 
The two pointed their weapons at The Shadowed One, securing themselves against the railing.
 
"You are under arrest by the authority of Artahka," Helryx called out. 
 
The large being laughed, and this laugh was the last thing Hydraxon saw. He was tossed into the water, sinking quicker and quicker. Helryx never saw him again after that. The Toa of water and the leader of the Dark Hunters clashed weapons, each formidable and strong. She blocked strikes with her shield, but he simply redirected the mace blows with his staff. Even then, Hand members were streaming over and fighting off Hunters as their leaders fought. But Helryx was downed in a few seconds, not by her opponent's blade, but by a Hunter from behind, slashing at her back. She fell, head hitting the ground with a loud noise. The Shadowed One stood over her, ready to kill.
 
"You are declared dead, by the authority of-"
 
PSSHHHHHHH
 
A nova blast destroyed both boats instantly. Everyone was dead, it seemed, save for Helryx, who had forced the water away from herself, and the Shadowed One, whose method of survival was never clear.
 
She awoke later to see Artahka and an incarnation of Mata Nui.
 
"Helryx, we're going to need a new Order..."
 
------------------------------------
 
Entry #7:
 

"Dark Days of the Glatoarian Order"

 

My name is Toa Tahu.

 

As the most powerful member of my Order, along with being one of the most experienced warriors and leaders among us, I was chosen as Head of the Order. I oversee all the doings of the Order around the globe of Spherus Magna, as well as being the personal guardian of New Atero.

 

The Order also includes those who recently joined our ranks of elemental guardian warriors, the Glatorian, whose experience with their newfound powers does not yet match many of our own, though they are learning quickly. The one called Ackar is a trusted advisor of mine, while the exploits of Gresh have been most noble. Together we merged the Toa with the Glatorian into a single unit, the Glatoarian Order.

 

I stand watch over New Atero and the entirety of the United Cities of Spherus Magna as the foremost guardian. During all my time here, the reign of peace has remained seldom unbroken. Very rare were the circumstances under which I was forced to exercise my Makuta-level of power.

 

That is, until now.

 

It all started when, after a century or two of peace, our imaginations turned to the stars. The peoples of our planet had solidified themselves into one united civilization, and we thought that if we could extend our reach to the stars, why not?

 

So we invented machines and other devices that could transport us through the vacuums of space. Why, the Kanoka Disks of Interstellar Travel were a marvelous invention by our own Toa Nuparu, and from these we were able to forge Masks of Power with the same capabilities.

 

It was soon after this that we discovered: We are not alone. Even within our limited reach were other civilized worlds capable of interstellar travel. This fact didn't perturb us at first, because we were quite confident by this time of our united strength and power.

 

Oh, were we so proud. . . Fools, we were. Fools!

 

Our ignorance is destroying us. Our First Contacts were nothing if not diplomatic and friendly, but as destiny would have it, the first race to which we extended the hand of peace spat in our face and prepared for war.

 

They invaded us swiftly and decisively, without warning of any kind. Powerful as we were, these invaders brought powerful machines of their own. Complex, incredibly advanced technologies that made many of our own look like mere toys.

 

I cannot describe to you the black anger that consumed my proud heart when I witnessed their preemptive and unprovocated strike, which brought much death and destruction. After the death of Teridax, so long ago, I had not suspected that we would ever come across beings not only as vile, but just as powerful. I suppose the long years of peace had dulled my imagination.

 

In response I marshaled our own forces and fought back in a terrific battle. In our pride we still thought that victory would be assured. What fools we were. . . We were decimated. The memory still brings me great pain. I alone survived that day, and not because I was trying to.

 

From there I returned to Spherus Magna and did what I could to strengthen our defenses, even during the chaos of invasion. I was forced to watch as the Order crumbled around me. Toa were slain by the thousands, and the Glatorian by the tens of thousands.

 

From then on our pride was shattered and we strove in desperate fear to repel the invaders. New Atero was destroyed and much of the Order forced into hiding. We have been a Rebellion ever since, striking on occasion and simply trying to help our people survive.

 

The invaders have not destroyed our people, but rule over them as dictators. They remind me so of Teridax. But I swear, by all my power, that even if it means my death, I WILL see Spherus Magna free again. Mata Nui, I know I promised you rest, but the power of the Mask of Life must be called into action once again if we are to survive.

 

My name is Toa Tahu, and I watch in agony as my beloved Order crumbles around me.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #8:

 

"The Disorderly Orderlies"

 

Two axes rested on a table, one beside the other. To the right was a respectable looking round shield, and to the left a zamour sphere launcher. These were the weapons and defences of Mal and Sordak, two members of the Order, who sat just in front of the table.
 
Behind the table was an empty chair, hard and straight backed so as not to provide any incentive to slouch. The chair was empty, as it was not yet time for its owner to enter the room; she had said that she would enter at a quarter after, and she was not one to go back on her word. It wasn't a matter of the immorality of lying; this Toa was not faint hearted, nor was she moral without reason; it was the simple fact that a lie can cause havoc, confusion, and disorder - likely the worst facets of existence, in her opinion.
 
At precisely one quarter past, the Sordak and Mal were not in the least surprised to see Helryx; they were, however, extremely disappointed that they had not been able to arrange their weapons and defenses in a proper manner before her entry. Now it was their duty to themselves to pray to the one they were sworn to serve that Helryx was in a good mood. They hastily did so as they rose in perfect, practiced unison to welcome their leader.
 
The Toa of Water flowed smoothly around the desk, and sat in her chair, relishing the structure that it leant to her back. Just as her mind began to obey her commands to order, her eyes fell upon the horrid pile of vile weaponry that scarred her desk.
 
She rose at once, though still maintaining her air of discipline. Immediately the two orderlies of the Order followed suite, each wondering why the Toa before them was of water, which was surely a very disorderly yet calm element, and not at all suited to her personality. Soon, however, they came to understand that no element could be quite as ferocious as water, and as such perhaps it was the perfect element for her personality.
 
Shortly thereafter they found themselves in the briefing hall, awaiting their leader. Whispered conversations were hushed as the doors parted, and in walked Helryx, with a cold air that would put of Toa of Ice to shame.
 
“Today I feel it important to share with you the importance of law and order; from the simple task of aligning one’s equipment to the care of a land, our organization has sworn to bring order to the chaos that creeps throughout the lands, threatening the Great Spirit Mata Nui.” Her eyes swept the crowd as she spoke, and every member with any sense cowered beneath her gaze.
 
“In order that we carry out our duties, we must be inwardly organized. This begins with your lifestyle and discipline, which allow us to enforce important routines, bringing us together into a strong agency, with its feet planted firmly in the ground, rooted against the winds of change. Without structure we are useless at our jobs; we would have failed at every victory, been reduced to scattered vagabonds. One way to organize one’s life would, for example, be to respect authority and align axes in a perpendicular fashion...” soon her words were drowned out in a sea of thoughts.
 
Every member of the Order secretly cursed those two orderlies, who surely must have been the root cause of this wearisome lecture; now they could expect for rules to be upheld with more vehemence than ever! And to say nothing of their leader’s mood.
 
------------------------------------
 
Entry #9:
 

"The Law of the Jungle"

 

Nui-Kao: the Great Tree, its topmost branches reaching to heights in the sky no Le-Koro treehouse could dream of. There was no bigger tree in all Mata Nui, none even came close. The canopied roof of the jungle spread out far below, like a sea of green, disheveled and wrinkled, rippling in the whistling winds. In odd places a family of colorful Kewa or playful Brakas breached.

 

That was my home. The most Mangaian abysses of the jungle, where no Matoran foot had ever dared to tread. I only ever shared it with the trees, the Rahi, the wind and the rain--and Hahli.

 

My companion and I sat alone on the highest branch of the Nui-Kao; it was our private cloud, floating us over the vivid colors of the sea below.

 

"You know the sea, Hahli," I said. "I know the jungle. But they're not that different. Look out over the ocean and you'll see dangerous enigmas and inconceivable wonders. It seems like chaos, but when you get closer, you realize it's nothing but an order you don't fully understand.

 

"I am the jungle. I feel every tree, every stone, every Rahi; all speak to me, and form a unity that I can't describe. I know the whisper of the wind through every tree in this jungle, I've seen the sunset on every leaf, I've smelled every flower, growing between the lowest roots in winter, or blossoming in the springtime sun above the highest stem in all the jungle. It's all different, it's all unique, and none of it's ever the same. But somehow, every day it all blends together to make a new order that I've never seen before.

 

"The rain comes, and waters the jungle; new plants grow; Rahi eat the plants; Rahi die; the plants and earth absorb their bodies; the plants dry up, and the water returns to the sky, where it's taken away until the next rain comes. The only jungle law is that everything must go on. It's not even about survival. It's about the survival of the whole jungle.

 

"It's life. And death. Plants die, Rahi die, only to be reborn, or replaced. Someday, I'll die. I'll be replaced. There must always be balance. The jungle is balance, and it's chaos. It's light and dark, good and evil, joy and woe, hope and despair, strength and weakness. It's awe-inspiring, and at the same time it's pathetic. It's planned to every finest detail, it's just--just everything, Hahli--but--but it's not--"

 

I shook my head. "It's just always been there, to me. It was all I had ever known, nothing particularly special; but then you came here, and saw it with fresh eyes. I showed you the beauty of the way it all comes together in one perfect, eternally perfect order. And suddenly, I could see it, too. You made me see that."

 

Soon the sun began to set. This was the most magical time of all, and it was always Hahli's favorite. The sun would disappear; the gilden greens would fade into bronzes and blacks; the jungle’s bird-chorus would sing a lullaby so sweet, so perfect, it would take Hahli’s breath away; and then she would lean on me, sighing contentedly, and I would wrap my arm around her.

 

"Nothing," I said, as the last sunlight died, "nothing ever made me as happy as the moments when we would sit here like this.

 

"It's beautiful today. I've never seen it prettier. I only wish you could be here to see it too, Hahli . . ."

 

My companion let out a screech, chittered throatily, and brakiated away down amidst the branches. I watched the Brakas until it disappeared, then turned my deformed face north-eastward, casting my mind toward Ga-Koro.

 

"I wish I could see it. No--I wish I could see you. Hahli--without you this jungle, all this glorious beauty--has become nothing. It's lost the magic you showed me it had. I can't see it anymore! It's lost any meaning--even the order I once reveled in, taking it for granted, is gone. No matter how hard I look, it doesn't make any sense any more. Nothing--nothing makes sense anymore."

 

I raised my face to the stars. I loved seeing them best; they reminded me of the twinkle in her eyes.

 

"Without, you, Hahli, the jungle is a troubled sea of confusion and chaos. And . . . I am the jungle."

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #10:

 

"In Which Artakha Almost Gets Me Killed, Multiple Times"

 

Screw Artakha. I hate that guy.

 

Man, most of the people in this universe don’t even think he exists. Spirit knows how bad I wish they were right. Dude has an insane superiority complex; thinks he can boss us around, do whatever he wants, just because the Great Beings made him out to be some kind of god-figure. Which, by the way, he’s not. OOOOOOH, look at me, I’m Artakha! I can use telepathy that’s a little bit stronger than anybody else’s! I can teleport anywhere, not just to places I can see!

 

Yeah, sure, he builds cool stuff. Seriously, though, who cares? Give me a mask that shows me exactly how to make whatever I want and I’ll do the same thing! So basically his powers are being a little bit better at reading minds and at getting places than most people are, and he can wear a mask. Amazing.

 

Seriously, this guy is infuriating to work for. Like— Okay, I could rant on and on about this, but I’ll just give you an example: the crystal serpents. Ol’ Arty thinks he can make rahi all by himself. Guess what, he can’t. Creates these giant crystal snakes that kill anything that moves with some heat ray thing. But of course he’s too conceited to admit he failed and decides to – instead of killing ‘em off before they murder anyone else – release the things into the wild where they can laser anybody they like! And since he’s too busy designing (read: copying a design from his mask of) some upgraded kanohi thing, he tells me to take them out and set them free.

 

And then, a couple centuries later, when he’s getting worried that “Northie” (as he calls the one that lives on the north coast of the island) is sick or something because there haven’t been any reports of laser-induced death from the north in a while, guess what he does? He figures that I should go check on him, since I was so good at not getting melted by heat rays the first time he had me deal with them.

 

Yeah, so, after the thing ambushed me and lasered my left arm off is when I called it quits. Just triggered my Kualsi – what do you know, I can teleport too – and landed behind the thing and crushed its head in with my warhammer before it had any idea where I’d gone.

 

Stole a boat, ditched the island, blah blah blah. Got the Ghosts to build me a new arm – those guys are so much better than Artakha, seriously, their craftsmanship is almost as good and they’re actually reasonable, imagine that. Settled down in the Southern Islands, found people there who actually appreciated my skills and whatnot. Started up a good business building stuff that a mask didn’t churn out the blueprints for.

 

‘Cept then yesterday some guy in a Sanok comes knocking on my door and tries to put a dagger through my heart. Artakha’s behind this somehow, that piraka. No way to prove it, of course, but… Spirit. Met up with one of my old contacts, a merchant with his ear to the ground. Says the guy after me’s with the Order. I know Arty had some dealings with them a while back, but why he wouldn’t have just gone with the Hunters if he wanted me gone is beyond me…

 

Eh, it doesn’t matter. Either way I’m probably dead.

 

Screw Artakha. I hate that guy.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #11:

 

"Execution"

 

“We have our orders, Krika. Teridax specifically asked us to execute Miserix. And you know how much Teridax hates being disobeyed.”

 

For the first time, Krika didn't see holes in Spiriah's logic. Teridax, newly elected leader of the Brotherhood, wasted no time in executing his Plan. Of course, he was bound to assign a few Makuta to perform The Order. The Order, as any organization knows, is the execution of a deposed leader.

 

And so Krika found himself with Spiriah, a Makuta who would better have served as a Matoran, weak and cowering. Their escort was Makuta Miserix, former leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta, currently a shackled denizen of the Fortress's dungeon.

 

“Look, Spiriah. I agree, Teridax would vaporize us on sight if we let Miserix go. But if you have any sense in yourself, you'll know that Miserix was right: Teridax's plan could destroy the universe. I don't want to kill our former, and in my opinion better, leader.”

 

“Could, not will. It's a mere word, but it makes all the difference, Krika. His Plan aside, we've already established he will kill us if we let Miserix off. And not just kill, he'll...well, you know.” As if to punctuate the point, Spiriah mock-slit his throat. “I'd rather not let that happen.”

 

“Spiriah, I...” Krika paused, reorganizing his thoughts. “I was thinking we'd 'dispose' of him, but not actually kill him. Say we hid him somewhere far away. I mean, it would technically dispose of him.”

 

Spiriah huffed. Arrogant as ever. Shame he didn't have anything to back it. “Krika, I think you're too attached to Miserix. Say Teridax found that out, what would he do? Maybe you're a detriment to the Plan? He wouldn't like that...”

 

Krika figured out this was going nowhere. “Don't dare doubt my loyalty to Teridax. While his Plan may be suicidal, his intellect is not. We'll discuss this tomorrow.”

 

The meeting of two adjourned.

 

--------

 

In the dark of night, as every Makuta either slumbered in their quarters or concocted in their labs, Krika stole to the dungeon. Once inside, he moved straight to Miserix's cell.

 

The sight that met him wasn't pretty. Draining cuffs sap the wearer of their powers, and Miserix was no exception. He was bound with a pair around his wrists. The former leader was sitting with his head down, no doubt aware of Krika's presence.

 

“Miserix, it's time to go.”

 

“Well, if it isn't my personal executioner. Weren't there two of you? Or did Spiriah's incompetence get him kicked from this most important of honors?”

 

“Miserix, it's time to go.” Krika repeated himself.

 

The former leader, under the impression that this was truly the end, went into a passive state. He let Krika guide him out of the dungeon and to the execution site.

 

Then Krika did something no one would have expected: he shattered Miserix's shackles. Miserix, taken aback by this sudden action, said the word most appropriate for the situation.

 

“Why?”

 

“Hurry up and turn into a dragon. Fly us to this island.” Krika pointed to a map, lit only by a small flashlight he'd brought along. Miserix complied, and in less than a minute they were on their way.

 

“I repeat, why? I understand you're the most reasonable of those fools that dare call themselves Makuta of the Brotherhood, but the answer still escapes me.”

 

“It's simple, Miserix: you're a leader I would follow, not Teridax. We're going to a volcanic island, where you will be chained with draining cuffs. Rahi will stand guard, and you will be a prisoner yet again.”

 

“So you're simply moving me from one prison to another?”

 

“Miserix, this isn't a prison, it's a test. Someday, when you're powerful, you'll break out of your chains to take back the Brotherhood. And besides, we both know your rage requires culling. This isn't the right time for a rebellion.”

 

Miserix sighed, then nodded. “Krika, sometimes I wonder why I didn't make you my lieutenant.”

 

--------

 

“Well? Where's Miserix?” Spiriah was furious. This was the execution deadline, and a missing Miserix meant absolute death.

 

“I killed him, Spiriah. He's dead. I didn't want to waste my day setting up the equipment and all. Our work is over. Report that to Teridax.”

 

Spiriah, still grumbling, walked away to deliver the news.

 

Krika smiled. The Order had been averted.

 

Teridax wasn't the only one who could formulate masterful plans.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #12:

 

"Change"

 

Vakama sighed, looking out over the island below him. He stood high on the slopes of the Mangai Volcano.It was from here he had first planned Ta-Koro, a fortress amid the lava. Now he saw the bustle of working Ta-Matoran, and the slowly forming outlines of walls.He smiled for a moment at their work. But then another picture rose up before his eyes - Ta-Metru, glowing not with flowing lava but the controlled fires of the forges, with the Great Furnace and the massive protodermis plants - and he sighed, leaning more heavily on his staff."Mata Nui," he whispered. "Why did this have to happen?"Three months ago, I was a Matoran. We had Metru Nui - we were a people of crafters, scholars, scientists. Dume was the Turaga and the Mangai were our Toa. Life was right. It was the proper order of things.And then it was all destroyed. The Mangai are dead, the Turaga has left us, our city is a heap of rubble we cannot return to. Everything and everyone that defined our way of life are gone!Now look at us. We six are the Turaga. Our friends and co-workers - our superiors, some of them - look up to us as the wise ones, the guides. I went from a maskmaker to an elder with his prime behind him in less than a month.There are no Toa at all here now, no protectors. We are alone and undefended.And we who once belonged to a great city are now trying to carve out a living in a savage wilderness. The Matoran of Metru Nui are degenerated intomalformed farmers and miners and trappers!He stared at the island below with angry eyes, seeing only the glories of Metru Nui. "Why, Mata Nui?" he said between clenched teeth. "WHY?""Turaga!" a cheerful voice called from below, interrupting his black thoughts.He looked down again. Directly below him was a small red-and-yellow figure, with a distinctive light-blue Pakari.Of course. Vakama rolled his eyes exasperatedly. "Do you have an actual reason to be here, Takua, or were you just looking for an excuse to avoid work?""Umm...a little of both?" Takua glanced away. "Jala wanted to ask you something about construction...""So you took off up here without bothering to check if he actually wanted you to ask me?""It's just so...boring lugging rocks, Turaga!" He paused. "But how did you know?""Because I'm your Turaga." Because I've known you for fifty-nine thousand years. He supposed that was one advantage. He knew every inhabitant of Ta-Koro, if only slightly."Should I assume you also neglected to find out what exactly Jala's question was?" Vakama shook his head, but couldn't help smiling. "Never mind, I should go back down anyway. Just try to stick to your work after this."He nodded soberly. "I'll try, Turaga."Vakama lingered a moment, wondering what to do about Takua. He did mean well, but it was too much to hope his work ethic would improve now. How would Turaga Dume have handled him? he wondered. By siccing the Nuurakh on him and shutting down his mind, his brain replied.He realized suddenly how grateful he was that this island had no Vahki. Surrender or Run seemed better suited to Makuta than to the leader of the Matoran.He supposed Dume had seen no other way to keep the thousand Matoran under him orderly and efficient. And it wasn't as if he had had any personal exposure to the Vahki's enforcement techniques.But here, Vakama thought, maybe here, we can all work together. Maybe he'd been too caught up in nostalgic memories of Metru Nui to realize the bright sides of their new life.Maybe he needed an unbiased perspective.He turned back to Takua. "Takua," he asked, "what do you think of the island?"His face lit up. "It's amazing!" he said enthusiastically. "Actually, it's probably too amazing - I just want to explore all the time." And he grinned at his Turaga in a way he never would have dared to with Dume.Vakama smiled, looking out again. Now he saw beauty as well as wildness. 

The old order changeth, yielding place to new,[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] [/color]And God fulfills himself in many ways,[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] [/color]Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] [/color]

 

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#7 Offline Velox

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Posted Jul 07 2013 - 02:30 AM

Theme #9: Paradise

 

Posted Image

 

Entry #1:

 

"Paradise"

 

Paradise.

 

It's an ideal, a virtue, a dream. It's a beautiful ideology of a utopia, a place where everyone is happy and no one has to feel alone or excluded. A place where people can live their dreams and do what they love.

 

Paradise.

 

It's a thing that beings always strive for. Any land full of abundance and peace could be considered a paradise. Any place where beings are happy and prosperous and joyous is a paradise.

 

Paradise.

 

It's a thing that many beings have fought and died for. Beings who believed so strongly in their ideals and cared so much for their people that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifices in order to achieve the dream, if only temporarily. If only to hold back the crushing grip of darkness for a time, that people can live in light for as long as there are heroes to fight for it.

 

Paradise.

 

Who wouldn't want to live there? A place where hard work, perseverance, and dedication can make miracles happen? A place where your dreams can literally come true? Unless you want to live in Fairy-Land. Sorry, but without a mask of Interdimensional Gates I don't think it's gonna happen. But then, if that's your shtick and you want to work hard enough to come by such a mask, then more power to you.

 

Paradise.

 

Seriously, who wouldn't love utopia? A place where everyone's a brother and a sister and where each has personal responsibility of some form or another to preserve the sanctity of the society. A place where people are free to work hard in the way they choose, where no one will offer negativity but always encouragement. Unless you're the type who likes to be challenged, in that case I'm sure they can offer that, too. A place where hard work is always rewarded in more ways than one and every moment of every day is filled with joy and peace and beauty of some variety.

 

Paradise.

 

A place where everyone is family, and everyone is pure and good. This is my dream.

 

This is what I fight for.

 

This is what I've always fought for.

 

This is what I lead warriors into battle for.

 

This is why I lead my fellow Matoran against the tide of darkness, to strike in the name of righteousness in this paradoxical world.

 

This is why I'm willing to die if need be, or to live if need be, to preserve the reality of my dream.

 

This is why I die every day and bear tremendous burden. This is why my fellows possess undying loyalty to me and my cause. This is why we brave the shadows where no one else is willing to go.

 

I'm surrounded by war and violence, chaos and destruction. Every moment is filled with fear and doubt. Yet every moment is filled with joy and honor. Because I know what I am fighting for:

 

Paradise.

 

What are you fighting for?

 

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Entry #2:

 

"The Agori and the Turaga"

 

It had been so long.

 

The stars were bright and glittered in the sky like shattered crystal, while the moons were like two mothers looking down on their children, holding them close but letting them roam free. The Agori found a spot by the lake near the Water Village where she was temporarily staying and sat down, removing some of her heavy armour and resting for a short while.

 

Kadnin remembered her past, and the pain that was felt not just by her, but by every Agori in Bara Magna. The Matoran and Toa had it easier, but they also had their fair share of troubles and harm. She wasn't so sure on the other species of the Matoran Universe.

 

Life had been quieter than what she had expected. Little Agori rarely checked under their beds for the monster that was really in their heads. She could live in peace with a nice girl, and maybe settle down and raise a family.

 

All of this speculation had her aching for anything to happen, something to drive this little life she lead along. Spherus Magna was less dangerous than before, and nobody was killing anyone yet. The paint of silence seemed to have been brushed over the past, but that was the only thing she would care for right now.

 

"Kadnin."

 

She looked up. The Turaga of Water - Nokama, maybe - was standing over her. To say that the Agori did not trust her would be incorrect, but she felt a vague sense of wariness around anyone without enough organic parts. Kadnin patted the ground beside her lazily, and Nokama slowly sat down, laying her trident by her side.

 

"So, why aren't ya sleepin'?" she asked, putting her hands behind her head and streching out.

 

"I have not felt very tired for a long time," replied the Turaga.

 

Kadnin raised an eyebrow. "That ain't healthy."

 

Exhaling, she smiled. "I have lived like this for a long time, so I don't think I need to stop."

 

The Agori jumped up. "Yes, ya do. We ain't on Bara Magna or Metru Nui anymore. This is a new world, and we can't mess this one up as well. Come with me."

 

Nokama stood carefully, and was about to pick up her trident when Kadnin blocked her hand. "Nuh uh. We ain't takin' what we don't need."

 

"What do we need, then?" asked Nokama, humouring her.

 

"Both hands."

 

-

 

The fruit was bountiful and mostly safe to eat. Kadnin took small tastes of each one, determining which ones were good for the Turaga to take. Both finished their jobs with arms full of food with varying firmness and colours. They made their way back to the lakeside with amiable conversation filling the silence. When they had returned, Kadnin had flopped down onto her back and bitten into a succulent fruit. The juices ran down her chin and onto her chest and the Agori let out a rare giggle because, Nokama realised, for one night neither had worried about the future or the past, and both worked together in harmonious unity. The Turaga joined Kadnin in finishing off the pile of fruit that they had gathered together.

 

They were found the next morning by a couple of worried Ga-Matoran, who were quite surprised at their elder's happiness. They were joined by Kadnin, who carried the remaining fruit in a makeshift basket made from her non-vital armour.

 

Nokama wasn't tired much anymore.

 

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Entry #3:

 

"Light"

 

If you asked a Matoran about what they considered “paradise,” they'd no doubt point to their own Wahi. Occasionally you'd get the odd one who called another Wahi paradise, and maybe one or two who preferred the exact opposite of what their compatriots did. But for the most part, everyone had a consistent definition of Paradise: the place best suited to my own natural elemental alignment.

 

And on Mata Nui, each Wahi was not lacking in its element.

 

Of course, one can only know as far as one has learned, and the extent of the Matoran's knowledge was Mata Nui. After the Matoran Sphere mass-mindwipe, no one remembered Metru Nui, or any island in the Matoran Universe for that matter.

 

Takua pondered his lack of knowledge. He was the only one out of all the Matoran on Mata Nui who did not consider anywhere “paradise.”

 

There was nowhere right for him. Ta-Wahi was too hot, Le-Wahi too jungle-y, Ko-Wahi too cold, Ga-Wahi too wet, Onu-Wahi too dark, and Po-Wahi too dusty.

 

Takua did not know it, but he was an Av-Matoran. His place belonged with light. So he absolutely hated Onu-Wahi. Ta-Wahi was the closest he could get to light.

 

But that's not what he was pondering. He pondered how he couldn't think of the best place for him. How his lack of knowledge about everything, even his twice-amnesiac self, prevented him from discovering the true paradise he sought.

 

“Guess it's time for an adventure.” How else was he supposed to find his paradise?

 

And so he strapped on his backpack, got his gear, and set off with his buddy Pewku.

 

The thing is, even amnesia can't stop internal tendencies. Av-Matoran will always try and follow the light. So when Takua decided to start at Ta-Wahi, he noticed light shining from behind a boulder. Rolling it aside (with considerable effort and a botched attempt at his new Kolhii move), Takua dropped into a cave. Lava flowed in a river in front of him, and beyond that...beyond that was the thing. The thing that his internal voice sought.

 

It was a rock. On a glowing pedestal. But something about the rock seemed...different. Like he could find his paradise if only he took it along.

 

Beckoning for Pewku to stay, Takua began hopping on rocks on the river. All the while nearing his paradise. He'd find his paradise. If only he got that rock.

 

His inner voice beckoned him further. Take it. Take the rock. It's your paradise. It's your destiny.

 

“TAKUA!”

 

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Entry #4:

 

"Medicine Man"

“Fine — look — I’ll give you a roll from my dinner. I saved it.”Kenari’s lupine grin, visible as a gleam even in the darkness below the ship Rogue’s deck, was a clear rejection to the offer.The hunchbacked prisoner who had given the offer, a Toa whose face and body were covered in grime, tensed his shoulders in frustration and ground his teeth together. One twisted hand became a fist. A pause — “S’all I have to give,” he grunted, his fist uncurling but his fingers still tense.Kenari didn’t move from where he sat against the wall, not even as the ship shifted and water sloshed outside. “You’re in no position to bargain,” said the Toa of Lightning.The prisoner growled. “Karzahni’d have fun with you.”Kenari lifted his eyebrows, calling the prisoner’s bluff. “I’m sure he would.”Another growl; this time, however, a roll was pressed into Kenari’s hand. He held it to his face and sniffed. Satisfied it wasn’t old, he pocketed it and gestured for the Toa to sit beside him, then placed his hand on the back of the Toa’s neck and closed his eyes.“What do you want this time?”“An island.”“That’s awfully little for me to go on.”“Fine. Make it a small one — in the middle of the ocean — like, coconut trees or something. Gukkos. Daytime.”The prisoner’s brain, just like any other being’s brain, operated using electricity. Kenari took that electricity and rerouted the signals so they would return to the brain, then took control with his Great Mahiki. The combination was such that the prisoner, after entering a stupor, only twitched his eyelids and the corners of his mouth. He wasn’t even here, really, if you thought about it.Oh, the lengths people go to find a paradise...Though simple when outlined, the delicate maneuvers Kenari had to perform to maintain the hallucination were tiring. It was like a dance: a tweak here, a twist there, and match the Toa’s brain waves. That fellow prisoner could’ve just gone to sleep and hoped to dream, but he wanted a sure thing. That was how Kenari, otherwise an unassuming character, survived in the brig of the Rogue.If only someone could place him under...After the set time of seven minutes, Kenari released his concentration, gasping, and regained his composure before the prisoner fully awoke. The other Toa stood, gruff once more but faintly abashed, and strode back to his claustrophobic cot without saying anything to, or even looking at, Kenari.The Toa of Lightning remained where he sat before as if nothing had happened, smiling a bit as if enjoying a private joke. Illusions didn’t have to be mental. 

 

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Entry #5:

 

"My Paradise"

 

Darkness.

 

Pitch, black darkness was all I could see, it surrounded me, engulfed me. More than that, the darkness was me and I was the darkness.

 

However those fools were unable to see the beauty, the truth I saw. They weren’t willing to accept that my darkness was a good a thing. They continued to cling to their heroes of light hoping they would drive me back. They had their own foolish definition of paradise and my own world was rendered a curse. They just couldn’t understand my joy.

 

The foolish Matoran only clung to my brother, even the one’s I saved abandoned me soon after. They were all ungrateful and they all traitors. No matter how many futures I saw, it was always the same. They always left me, they always refused my gifts.

 

So I sent them off to a different, lesser land but beautiful none the less. I had hoped that they would then see the beauty of the paradise I lived in. Unfortunately then the Turaga turned on me, once they had helped me help their Matoran, but now they had just abandoned me, refused to let me continue helping them.

 

They were all fools!

 

How could they not see how I was helping them, were they really that blind?

 

Then it began to dawn upon me, it must’ve been my brother’s fault. He was twisting everything, making it appear as though their world was a lovely place and making my own so horrible Matoran thought it was the worst place to possibly end up in.

 

What was wrong with them all!

 

Oh I can see it now, that arrogant brother of mine is always trying to rip everything away from me, he won’t allow the Matoran to see my land for the beauty it is. He was just jealous, so he claims that my darkness was an evil, terrible place.

 

He is wrong; my world is greatest land that has ever existed. I created this! I didn’t even need any help from some stupid mask. My land isn’t evil; my land is a place for Matoran to get better. They come here broken, but after my help, they leave stronger.

 

Yes, yes, yes!

 

My land is the best in the world, why would anyone ever want to leave, in fact I won’t let them! They love it here after all, they don’t want to leave so I won’t allow them to. They will love it here, more so than any land my brother has created. This is a beautiful paradise they will never leave!

 

Yes, I am Karzhani and I have carved out Paradise with my own two hands!

 

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Entry #6:

 

"He Got It from the Discount Aisle"

 

“Well this is shameful.”

 

“I’ll say.”

 

(Gosh, Artakha! Such a mythical, wonderful place of rest for hard-working Matoran. And hey, no boring work! It might as well be paradise.

 

So…this was Artakha?)

 

“I don’t think this is Artakha, Moden.”

 

“Ridiculous. Didn’t you see the sign? The sign said Artakha. It was on the sign. ‘Artakha.’ In big fat round letters.”

 

“No, I know but, this…wasn’t this meant to be a sort of paradise realm?”

 

“It’s not…that…bad.”

 

“Yes. Yes it is. We were promised something more paradise…ey. Paradisical? Parasitical. Paradispy? Paradingy.”

 

“You done?”

 

“Paradissiful?”

 

“I think the proper term is paradical.”

 

“That doesn’t sound right at all.”

 

“Either way, I don’t disagree that this is a poor fit for our expectations, but maybe they were just too high.”

 

“Moden?”

 

“Yes, Qoroo?”

 

“The ground is screaming. The freaking ground is literally freaking screaming right now. That the ground not be screaming is not ‘high expectations,’ unless you are seriously deranged.”

 

“…You’re right. This is just…wrong.”

 

“Right.”

 

“…but maybe we’ll get used to it!”

 

“Moden.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Are you listening to me?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You are acting like a total imbecile right now.”

 

“That’s harsh, brother.”

 

“We are not staying here, and I don’t care what the sign says, this isn’t Artakha!”

 

(So I suppose we’re leaving. Qoroo is right, obviously. This…place can’t possibly be Artakha. It’s preposterous. And we simply cannot stay.

 

But…what can we do? My arm won’t work. Qoroo doesn’t say anything, but I know his eye pains him, and his foot must be killing him. The trip here was hard enough. Where will we go?)

 

“What are those?”

 

“I…think we should head back.”

 

“Now that, my young friends, is a wonderful idea!”

 

(This day just keeps getting better. Monster crabs. Gold and black-armored giants.

 

Just.

 

Great day.)

 

“Tell me, good Matoran, why would you ever want to leave my realm? Isn’t it wonderful?”

 

“Sir, no disrespect, but we were seeking Artakha.”

 

“Artakha? Why would you ever want to go to that awful place? This here is Karzahni! A brighter paradise couldn’t have been imagined by the Great Beings themselves.”

 

“So this isn’t Artakha! I knew it.”

 

“Why would you ever think my realm was anything like that terrible island?”

 

“Uh. It was the sign, sir. The sign that said Artakha.”

 

“Oh, that old thing? I thought I tore it down ages ago. Oh, but I’m ever so sorry to have misled you with my sign. That was unfortunate…or rather, rather fortunate. Now you have the chance to stay on Karzahni, which is far superior! Indeed, follow me!”

 

(That…guy… has gotten all excited and run ahead. Me, I can’t figure it out. This place…how can it possibly be a paradise, by any standard?)

 

“That guy is insane.”

 

“I noticed.”

 

“Where did he even get this ‘paradise’?”

 

“I don’t know. But wherever he got it…”

 

“He got ripped off.”

 

“Yeah. I know.” 

 

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Entry #7:

 

"Passing Through Paradise"

 

The sun blazes down, scorching the back of my neck. The sand beneath me is blistering; I feel as though I’m walking barefoot on a frying pan. My mouth burns; my throat is dry as cotton – it’s been forty-eight hours since I poured the last drop of water in my canteen through my chapped lips. The pack on my back seems as heavy as an obese kikanalo; with every step I take it threatens to pull me to the ground. But I trudge on.

 

Where I’m going is not important – all you must know is that this desert lies between me and my destination. I have lost count of the years I’ve spent out here, pushing ever onward towards my goal. Years? you question. Yes, I know. It amazes me as well, sometimes, when I pause to contemplate it. I am no Toa; I claim no great powers to ease the path before me. I am but a Matoran, a single, weak being alone in a sea of sand. But my goal lies ahead, and I must reach it. And because I must do so, I will.

 

I reach the crest of the dune and halt for a brief moment to observe the landscape. Sand. More sand. And, off in the distance, a small dark speck.

 

It is not until hours later that the speck becomes a narrow swath of green in the midst of the endless tan. An oasis. A sliver of paradise in a world of endless pain.

 

It is hours still before I reach it, but at last the sand turns to grass beneath my feet. The foliage radiates from a pool of water, deep and clear. I unshoulder my pack by its shore, dip my canteen into its depths. The water is cool and pure, life in the midst of death. I fill the vessel and seat myself beneath a towering palm, the tree shielding me, protecting me from the merciless sun. As I drink I dig my feet into the ground, relishing the feel of grass between my toes.

 

I finish off the canteen and turn to the tree, wrapping my arms around its long, limbless trunk and pulling myself upwards. I manage the climb on willpower alone; my strength, certainly, is not sufficient to carry me to the top. I draw my knife and cut free a cluster of bananas before dropping to the ground myself. I peel one of the fruits and eat it slowly, enjoying the sweetness that fills my mouth and the fullness that barely begins to fill my belly. I continue in this manner for the remainder of the day – drinking, sitting, climbing, eating. At dusk I curl up on the ground, grateful to be able to sleep on the soft grass rather than my coarse bedroll.

 

The next morning I wake, bathe, and begin again my routine of eating and drinking. I have gone long without water and longer without food; my energy must be replenished. I search the rest of the oasis, finding nuts, berries, and more fruits. No rahi have made their homes here, it seems, which is somewhat unfortunate – meat it would’ve been nice to have a bit of meat. Nonetheless, I gather what I can and return to the pool.

 

The next day, too, follows a similar pattern, but with the added task of drying and preserving any food I can find. By the end of the day my supplies have been replenished.

 

I wake the following morning and bathe quickly before refilling each of my canteens. I take a final sip of the pool’s cool water before shouldering my pack.

 

An hour later the sun is again scorching my neck; the sand is again blistering my feet. My throat is again dry and my lips are again chapped. Again my pack threatens to drag me to the ground. Paradise is behind. My goal is ahead.

 

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Entry #8:

 

"Paradise?  What Paradise?"

 

A paradise.  That was what they called this island.  A paradise.

 

Agni wouldn’t currently call it a paradise.  It felt more like Karzahni.

 

It was raining; the downpour drenched Agni and turned the ground around him to mud.  He was wet and cold and miserable.

 

Normally he wouldn’t feel like this in Ta-Wahi.  In fact, those in Ta-Koro were not in such a state.  The heat of the lava around them turned much of the rain to steam, and even then, the fact that they had roofed huts protected them from the precipitation.

 

But Agni was not in Ta-Koro.  Instead, he a guard was stationed in the burnt forest, on the lookout for Rahi.  The remains of the trees offered no cover from the torrential rains.  Winds swept across the land and sprayed the rain water through his mask and into his eyes.

 

This was not what paradise was supposed to be like.

 

Agni heard something hit the ground nearby.  Perhaps one of the dead trees had fallen over into the mud.  He trudged through the muck towards the sound, but froze at the sight of a Kane-Ra.  The mighty bull Rahi was crawling through the mud, heading towards Ta-Koro.  And it was not alone.  Sand Tarakava and Nui-Jaga followed behind it, trudging through the tread marks in the mud left by the Kane-Ra.

 

That was another reason why this island wasn’t a paradise; there were too many infected Rahi out to get the Matoran.

 

Agni spun around and started to run towards the village.  He needed to warn them of the oncoming attack.  But his feet sunk deep into the mud, and make loud slurping noises every time he took a step.  Even with the roar of the storm, the noise was enough to get the Kane-Ra’s attention.  It sighted the Matoran and changed direction.

 

At least the Rahi weren’t going to attack the village first, Agni thought.  They would get him instead.

 

He tried to run faster, but the mud slowed him down, and the rain water clouded his vision.  The Rahi were closing in behind them, but they were also slowed by the mud and the storm.  Unfortunately, the Kane-Ra was able to power through it faster than the Ta-Matoran.

 

Agni cursed to himself as he pushed on.  He was done for.  He was a well trained guard, but the storm was hampering his abilities to run and fight.  The Rahi would surely get him.  And then, what would it all be for?  To protect this island paradise?  It wasn’t worth it.

 

Agni stumbled one last time, and fell mask first into the mud.  He was barely able to pull himself out before the Kane-Ra caught up to him.  The beast roared, and snapped its head forward, where it would break Agni’s body with its horns.

 

But something struck it mid-stride, and the beast drew back.  A volley of bamboo discs flew threw the air with the raindrops, striking the Kane-Ra’s infected masks and knocking them off.  With a final grunt, the now uninfected beast decided to retreat from the mud and seek shelter elsewhere.  The Sand Tarakava and Nui-Jaga fled from the mighty bull, now that it was no longer their ally and leader.

 

The Rahi would be back, but not until after the storm had abated.

 

Agni pushed himself up, and although his vision was blurry, he could see the squad of Ta-Matoran walking towards him.  Another of the guardsmen had sighted the Kane-Ra chasing him, and had gathered a resistance to fight the Rahi back.  Had Agni not diverted the Rahi’s attention, they would’ve managed a successful sneak attack on the gates of Ta-Koro.

 

The other Guards helped Agni out of the mud and led him back to the warmth and shelter of the village.  After all, Agni was their comrade and friend, and they had gone out of their way to help him.  An Agni knew he would do the same for all of them.

 

No, this island wasn’t a paradise, Agni thought.  It was full of dangers and discomfort.  But he had good friends on this island, and they were worth fighting for.  He could tough it out with them.  And together, they could build their own paradise.

 

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Entry #9:

 

"Gainful Employment"

 

A rowboat bumped against the shining steel dock of Artakha’s southern shore.  The Av-Matoran in it hopped out gracefully, a single small pack slung over her shoulders as her only luggage.  Without stopping to look around, she began to stroll along the dock towards the gate that separated it from the shining city beyond.

 

At the gate, an Onu-Matoran stepped from the guardhouse and raised a hand to halt her.  “Halt.  Your name and purpose.”

 

The Av-Matoran smiled serenely.  “My name is Enea.  I have come to work here.”

 

The Ta-Matoran shook his head and sighed.  “You aren’t the first.  But I’m sorry – we don’t simply allow people to paddle up and start living here.  We were chosen by Master Artakha for a reason.”

 

“And don’t I deserve a chance to give him just such a reason?”

 

The guard frowned.  “Actually, the general policy on that front is no.  The interest is appreciated, and it’s nothing personal, but I have to ask you to leave.”

 

Her smile was unwavering.  “And if I told you I had nowhere to return to?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Tell me, have you heard of the Barraki?”

 

The guard scratched his head.  “Well… yeah.  Yeah, they’re the warlords in charge of the rest of the universe.”

 

She tipped her head and nodded, the smile growing.  “Good.  Then, have you heard of their campaigns?”

 

The guard shuffled uncomfortably.  “We don’t much concern ourselves with the politics of the rest of the universe.”

 

“Very well, then.  Allow me to explain.  I was an island Matoran.  I lived to the south of here, on a small island that was quite splendid in its own little way.  We fished and made our own little industry with whatever traders came by.  We even had a Toa, a wonderful Toa of Plasma who guarded us with all his heart.”  A still sort of sweetness had entered her voice, and the guard found her gaze oddly unnerving.

 

“It turns out we were supplying some war effort or other with our little trades.  Oh, I’m not quite certain who, myself, but it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is what happened next, and what happened next was that one of the Barraki sent his army to ensure we wouldn’t make those trades again.  Our Toa fought, he fought so very hard, and for that they clapped him in chains and took him away.  That was years and years ago.

 

“Then last month they came again, and they brought our Toa with them.  He didn’t even look at us as he burned our land to ashes.  I imagine they wanted to send a message of some sort, don’t you?

 

“In any event, us survivors are quite adrift.  Most everyone else is headed to other islands, or Metru Nui.  I came here instead.”  The smile again.  “Is there a problem with that?”

 

The guard swallowed nervously.  “That’s- you have my sympathies, but-“

 

“But?”

 

He drew himself up as best he could.  “But Master Artakha’s word is absolute.  I’m sorry, but you’re not wanted here.”

 

“I see.”  She sighed.  “What was your name?”

 

“P-Perdonus.”

 

“Perdonus.”  She smiled.  “That’s a nice name.  Perdonus, I’m afraid you misunderstand me.  I’ve decided to come work here, and so I will.  It’s really not up for debate.”

 

The guard could feel himself tensing.  “It doesn’t matter what you say-“

 

“Well, actions speak louder than words.”  In a flash, she was moving – not the practiced grace of a trained warrior, but the raw determination of someone with something to prove.  Perdonus had barely registered it before she sunk her fist into his stomach, and he collapsed to the ground.  She strolled past him and towards the open guardhouse.

 

A small receiver was hooked up to the wall.  Enea plucked it from its cradle and spoke into it.  “Hello? Master Artakha? I’m sure you saw that.  Someone like you doesn’t actually rely on guards for watching his borders.  I’ve come to work for you.  I’m rather tired of all the wars, you see.  I’d like to try my hand at creation.

 

“And when the rest of the world comes knocking at your paradise’s door – I’d like to help you stand up to that.  If your guard is any indication, you’re badly lacking in knowledgeable employees on that front.

 

“That’s all.  I’ll be outside.”

 

She hung up the receiver, and, humming, walked back outside, past the still-wheezing Perdonus, seating herself on the edge of the dock.

 

It was a lovely day.

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #10:

 

"The Fall of Paradise"

 

"It will always be like this," I said. "Just the two of us together."

 

"Always!" she agreed.

 

She pointed suddenly off to the distance. When I turned, she pulled my Kanohi down over my eyes and ran off, laughing.

 

The first memory came back to me with a half-warm, half-cold jolt. What I experienced when I returned to Karda-Nui for the first time, I have never told anyone. The memories were too painful.

 

I had chased after her and caught her by the wrist, holding it tight.

 

"Always?"

 

Gavla straightened my Kanohi. "Always, Takua."

 

---

 

Those were the happiest days in my memory.

 

And what can I say about them now? It's strange, how good things are so difficult to tell of; yet things that are miserable are easy to describe, and take so much telling.

 

Those were the early days, when there was much work to do every day in constructing the universe; but Gavla and I would always find time together to walk through our gardens alone, in our private paradise. It was beautiful. And so was she.

 

I've inscribed countless words on the walls of history telling of terrible tragedies, but of the times of peace, what could I say? "They were happy . . . until, all too soon, they were not."

 

---

 

"What do you mean, we shouldn't let them put the Makuta in charge?"

 

"Exactly what I say!" she insisted. "We were here first! Toa should be masters and guardians over the universe, not these codeless shapeshifters."

 

"But why?"

 

"They have too much power. I don't trust them. If we became Toa--"

 

"Toa? Us?"

 

"Yes! If we became Toa, maybe--maybe--"

 

"Maybe what? Gavla, that's not our Duty. The Great Beings gave us our own purpose."

 

She scowled. "Forget it. I knew you wouldn't understand. Let's talk about something else."

 

I reached for her hand but she pulled away. Nevertheless, even in silence, we walked side by side through the gardens, and I couldn't help but cherish each moment.

 

---

 

As we became busier we saw less of each other. Still, when there were no other distractions, it was just her and me. And that was special to me.

 

I remember those days when we would walk, side by side; when we would talk, word by word; when we would laugh, smile by smile. And those days--oh, those wonderful days, oh so long ago, meant everything to me . . .

 

That's just it, isn't it? They meant everything to me, but they won't mean anything to you. Misery likes company. That can be shared. But it's hard to share bliss.

 

It's too bad that there aren't more words for joy, and fewer for sorrow.

 

---

 

"I have--unfortunate news--Takua, sir."

 

"Yes?" I turned to the messenger.

 

"She's--disappeared. And she's taken the Toa Stones."

 

Somewhere in my chest a spring tightened. "Who?"

 

---

 

The Toa Stones were recovered. But Gavla wasn't. Not really. She was never the same after that.

 

She was punished; she was forgiven; she came to be respected again. I tried more than once to make things right, but--how often the offended is the quickest to forgive, while the offender is pitiless!

 

---

 

"Gavla. We need to talk."

 

She ignored me.

 

"I'm leaving Karda-Nui."

 

"Good for you."

 

"Gavla, I'd like to say--"

 

"If you're expecting a tearful goodbye, save your breath."

 

"I won't see you again--for a long time. I'd like to think, before I go--"

 

"That was always the problem with you. Too much thinking! For once in your life Takua, don't look first, and don’t look back. Just leap."

 

---

 

Her words changed my life. I never forgot them.

 

Still, I can't help but wonder if I took the right leap. Destiny is whimsical. Would ours have been different, if instead of following orders I had followed her advice then and there, and took a different leap?

 

All these millennia--was that what she wanted?

 

---

 

For the first time since I had turned away from Karda-Nui, I was looking down on all I had once shared with Gavla. Things had changed--more than I ever could have imagined . . .

 

But had they--so much?

 

I was here to save the universe, but I was here for another reason . . .

 

---

 

"It will always be like this."

 

"Always. It's our Destiny, Takua."

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #11:

 

"Ten years"

Paradise island. Lush trees, singing Rahi, adventure hiding behind every bush, tree, mountain. Mystery in every cave, secrets frozen in the glaciers. Peace and unity in every Koro, love in the hearts of the Matoran. There's no place like Mata Nui.A great city like no other, Matoran fill the streets, hard working to keep peace. Automated police patrol the streets, enforcing order. A prospering enterprise, the headquarters of the universe. Metru Nui.A savage island, weathered by strong-willed inhabitants. Raging seas all around, a raging volcano within. Danger and adventure always guaranteed. A treasure of immeasurable worth below untamed Voya Nui.Mahri Nui. A township like no other, survived by sheer will, awaits below sparkling waves. Fear creeps from the deep, the darkness of the ocean, the recesses of the Pit.The Great Heart, the life force of the universe; Karda Nui. A deep caved choked with light, the delicate candle of the world flickering, shrinking, challenged by sliding shadows.A desert beyond the universe, a world united, Bara Magna becomes Spherus Magna once again, suffering ended and strife over. A world to explore, a universe to discover, and possibilities endless.Paradise. Adventure. Bionicle. 

 

------------------------------------

 

Entry #12:

 

"Life Outside Paradise"

 

"Mata Nui, our Great Spirit, has renewed the life of this planet!" Turaga Vakama proclaimed to the crowd of Matoran recently emerged from the robot's head. "He has given this new world to us and the peoples of Spherus Magna, that we may build a new life - a life free from the tyranny of the Makuta!"Some of the Matoran cheered at that. For a thousand years, as long as they could remember, these villagers had lived under the shadow of Makuta's attacks upon them. Perhaps now, they hoped, they could finally forget his darkness.The Turaga's speech drew to a close. "I ask you, my people," he concluded, "to honor all who fought and sacrificed for this day, whether they are living or dead -" the Ko-Matoran fell especially silent then "- to do all in your power to preserve this new paradise we have been given, and, above all, to continue to uphold the Unity which has brought the villagers of Mata Nui so far." The six villages erupted into cheers.As the crowd began to disperse, a Ga-Matoran murmured to her neighbor, "Am I the only one waiting for infected Rahi to jump out of the forest?""What do you think-mean, Macku?" the green Matoran asked, tilting his head to one side. His name was Tamaru, and they had been friends since the formation of the Chronicler's Company."Oh, nothing," Macku shrugged. "It's just the Turaga's speech reminded me of the one he gave us when we first came to the island. The legend said itwas a paradise given to us by Mata Nui too. It wasn't exactly perfect, was it?""True-right you are," Tamaru agreed. "But this world-place he did make to give to us, at least. And there will be no dark-slave Rahi here with him dead-gone." He did not have to specify whom he meant.Macku sighed. "Yeah, we can be grateful for that all right. But...I don't know...it just seems like people keep saying this place or that place is 'paradise', when really, they're just...places. I loved the island of Mata Nui - I still miss it sometimes - but I never thought it was perfect. There was a lot of work just to live, and dangerous Rahi that weren't even infected, and other Matoran got on my nerves and I probably got on theirs. It was just normal life!"And I heard Turaga Vakama once said Metru Nui seemed like paradise to them before. Didn't it have robot guards to enforce all its strict laws? It wasn't much like paradise when we got back there, either. I suppose it was our real home, but it was also a city-sized pile of rubble, that  we had to put back together. Life actually seemed a lot worse than on Mata Nui."And I've heard that 'Artahka' place they talk about isn't so wonderful either. So I'm not really sure what the Turaga mean when they say this new place is a 'paradise,' too."Tamaru had listened attentively. Now he grinned at her. "All true, water-sister. I f you want a place free from all the evil-bad parts, I'm afraid we'll have to wait till some other life-world."He threw a stick he had picked up into the air and caught it again. "But now we've got light, fear-freeness, a world full of life-beauty and everyone from Metru Nui to work-help each other. I'm joy-happy with that."Macku smiled, bad mood blown away on the fresh breeze of Le-Matoran philosophy. "I suppose you've got a point, Tamaru." She looked around: the bright sun of her Ga-Koro days above, a lush world around her, and almost all her comrades within her sight. "Yeah. I guess this is good enough for now."

 

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender





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