There was another figure, skulking in the shadows to the right and a little behind Echelon, slightly moving and shifting her position, like a restless wraith. She was tall and lean; and wrapped in a black shroud and hood that blended her torso so well with the surrounding blackness as if they were woven from the darkness itself.
The Vortixx was in her element: A shade, staying out of the light.Despite her past accomplishments and deadly skills she was not as infamous as Echelon or Utu. Her name was not being passed between Toa talking about the villains they planned to take down, it was not put on posters to offer bounties to mercenaries.
And yet, she had accumulated a body-count that would more than justify it. The dead of Po-, Onu-, Ta- and Ko-Koro knew her name well. The living however...there were only a few among them who knew her and associated her with all the deserved horrors she had visited upon the pathetic Matoran of the island taking comfort in the lie of their false great spirit. Even the prosecutors in Ta-Koro who had incarcerated her probably did not the full extent of her activities. Nor did most of her new allies for that matter, safe for Echelon. And when it came to her origins, the Vortixx was an enigma, not just to the world, but also herself.
It was safe to guess that she hailed from the same place the other Vortixx on Mata Nui did. But whoever she had been before then, that person had long since been forgotten after the Makuta had taken her into his service.
She unconsciously flexed the fingers on her left hand. The appendage looked downright repulsive, covered in organic tissue that appeared as appealing as rotten flesh, growing feather-like extensions from its pores near her wrist and on her shoulder. The phenomenon began on her left hand, where she wore a glove, half made of metal and the same tissue that had fused with the flesh of her arm. It was bound to her form and it had granted her the ability of telekinesis. It was nowhere near the power level of a Toa’s element, but it got close to the power of a noble Kanohi Matatu. But she had only learned of that power later, after discovering a more subtle, yet far darker change the glove had triggered. The transformation had begun after she had obtained a glove, from a cavern hidden somewhere deep below the mountains of Ko-Wahi.
Her earliest memory on Mata Nui was waking up there, in the dim glow of some algae covering the rocky walls, next to a small, empty pedestal that had once held the object she had found herself wearing on her left hand. There had been a throbbing, dull pain that was slowly fading away. Tentatively moving her fingers, she’d found the feeling to be damp and slick, but not cold. It felt almost as if the skin underneath the metal and leather-like material had dissolved and she could feel each twitch of the muscles underneath, sinews flexing and sliding over flesh and metallic joints.
She had tried pulling it off again, but it had not moved. Neither gentle application of force or sudden yanking had yielded results; nor had peeling at the edges; and after several more attempts she realized that that it had indeed fused with her hand. She remembered kneeling on the cold stone floor of the cave, staring helplessly at her hand.
That at least explained the pain, but not what had happened or how she had gotten to this place. She barely could remember her own name, much less who she was before then. Yet despite being confused and horrified, she had not panicked or gone into shock. Her mind had only a basic grip of her own identity, but it held on. She had felt like she was about to go mad, but she did not. She felt like screaming, but she stayed silent. Her mind was racing, yet her thoughts were clear. The dull throbbing in her hand, synched to her heartlight’s rhythm was fast and steady. Maybe the glove was bad for her, maybe not, but in any case the priority had been to find a way out of the cavern. The alternative was dying from thirst, which would come far sooner than any solution to her problem.
Looking around, she started to scan the surrounding area for an exit, but could see none. Above her, the rocks were shaped in such a way that the cast shadows made it impossible to tell if there was an opening among them or not. With no other option left, the Vortixx had begun to feel her way along the walls and that was when she noticed that the surface of the rocks was not natural. Yes it was rough, but her fingertips could feel shapes underneath them that did not feel natural: straight lines, almost as if they had been chiseled. Intrigued, she had taken one of the fluorescent algae growing between the rocks and brought it to the shadowy area, revealing that most of the stone wall was covered in inscriptions. She could not read the symbols; she had never seen any writing like this before in her life and yet there was something oddly familiar about them. The more she looked at them, the more she seemed to understand. There were thoughts that had run through her mind and revealed the information to her, thoughts that had felt so alien, as if belonging to somebody else.
Use the glove...
But how - ?
Before she had completed the mental reply, the other thoughts showed her the answer, as if the symbols from the wall were talking directly to her. She had lifted her left hand and noticed that the leathery tissue of the glove had start to change...parts of it had begun to cover her wrist as well.
She concentrated on the next-best rock she saw and it began to float.
It had been enough to convince her to trust the rogue thoughts to lead her out of the tight spot she was in. They gave her the strength she had needed to survive, to find her way through the darkness. The more she had listened to them, the more the thoughts in the back of her head had become like a voice, a dark passenger sharing her mind. Not long after, her sense of time had gotten warped. Seconds, minutes and hours had lost their meaning in the blackness and then she walked safely on the paths through the shadows.
By the time she had returned to the surface, the Vortixx had lost her fear - And embraced the shadows. Her dark passenger had given her the means to survive and had shown her a new path and the truth. She had been eager to return to the light, but when she finally stepped back into it it had been nothing but bright.
Many are not as fortunate as you. Many have spent all their time in the light that they have become blinded. You will have to prove that you are worthy. Show them the darkness. Guide them into the shadows.
What if they will not listen?
Then make them listen! Destroy that which keeps them distracted from the truth; rid them of their false virtues and leaders and open their eyes and ears to the truth!
Kohra glanced toward Echelon and the others. The dark passenger had been gone for a long time now...but his teachings still rang true. The mission had not changed. They would force Mata Nui to see - they would open the Island’s eyes to the truth in the dark.