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Metru Nui: the Fall


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#1 Offline LanceMuch7

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Posted Jul 29 2014 - 12:11 PM

Review topic can be found here: http://www.bzpower.c...l-review-topic/

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

RUN!

 

 

Almost there! I can smell the sea breeze now!

 

My feet pounded endlessly against the forest floor. My knees collapsed beneath me as I slid behind a fallen tree, underbrush clawing at my arms and yellow mask. My color wasn't ideal for hiding in the woods, but I couldn't change that at the moment. I heard the steps of the other Av-Matoran behind me, each following my lead by ducking under a thick shrub or behind a large tree. Something didn't feel right.

 

A heavy rush of air met our ears as a huge, red being flew into view. His wings folded behind him as he swooped to the ground several paces in front of us, looking around intently for any sort of disturbance. He strained his ears, but we had already spent months learning how to stay hidden from the monstrous thing. Finally, a falling branch in the distance drew his attention away, and he left us to investigate. He would be back soon, so we had get to the coast before that happened. Not wasting a moment, I waved my hand above the trunk I was behind, pointed forward, and curled it into a gesture that had saved our lives up till now.

 

Follow quick!

 

We hit a wall of leaves and branches and began clawing our way forward, knowing that it could only be the edge of the forest. Falling forward into a large pile, we suddenly burst out into the sunshine. A glance around the rocky beach in front of us revealed what we had come here for. Several Matoran were busy loading boxes onto a small merchant ship that was beached among a larger outcropping, effectively hidden from the rest of the shore. One of the loaders noticed us and motioned to his companions. Calmly, they opened several of the crates and walked away to help tie down a loose pole on the boat.

 

We knew exactly what this meant and rushed down the beach to where the boxes sat. I was just joining the free-for-all race when I heard a thud behind me. Turning to look, I saw the blue and white legs of my closest friend sailing beyond her head, which was planted in the sand after she tripped over a rock. I rushed back to her side and hoisted her up.

 

"Now's not the time to trip, Radisi. We're almost there! Just a little farther."

 

We hurried to the last open box. After helping her get in, I squeezed into the bit of space left between Radisi and the false packaging that would hide us from inspection. I looked around one last time to assure that everyone was settled and safe before shutting the lid. With held breath, we waited for the workers to return for our crates and load us on the boat. We had tried to get word out about the Makuta turning evil, but so far these merchants were the only ones who believed us enough to help. Everyone else simply scoffed at the idea that Mata Nui's favorite species would turn on the rest of us, but here they were, hunting down and killing off everyone Av-Matoran they could find on the Southern Continent.

 

One by one, we finally felt ourselves get hoisted up and placed on the gently rocking vessel. The engines beneath us roared as they started up start and then lowered to a content hum as the ship pulled away from shore. Each of us let out a collective sigh of relief. For months, we had been running without sleep to reach this boat in time, with several of the Makuta trying to sniff us out all the while. Now, we were finally safe. The purr of the engine began to calm all of our nerves as time drew on, and Radisi soon broke the silence. She was never one to keep quiet and let a cheerful word go unsaid.

 

"Well, you always said you wanted us to be closer," she whispered timidly.

 

I thought for a moment, almost ready to shoot back a comment such as, "that's not not what I meant," but all that came out when my mouth opened was a hearty laugh. A few miles more and we had relaxed to the point where we swapped stories and jokes. After running for so long, it felt good to simply laugh, even if it was louder than we should have.

 

Several days later, we arrived at the boat's home port. The lids on each of our boxes were cracked open as we saw our first glimpse of the shining City of Legends. The seven of us crawled out, trying to stretch our cramped limbs after being cooped up so long. As we looked around in wonder, our eyes fell on a line of Matoran that were standing at attention, flanking either side of a short, frail looking figure. We gasped and bowed to him out of respect. As the one who lead the group up till now, I felt the need to introduce my group.

 

"You must be Turaga Dume! Thank you for meeting us. We never thought we could make it off the Continent! I'm Avoma. This is Radisi," I began pointing down the rough line we had formed, "Batorik, Tani, Takua, Velso, and Zavusi. We told you all that the Makuta were turning against us. Even these merchants can vouch for us now!"

 

The small Turaga simply chuckled.

 

"Well, well. Whatever the reason, you are all welcome here. There are positions available for each of you in the city if you wish to join us. It will let you stay hidden from whatever you may be hiding from, and hopefully you will trust us enough to share the truth one day."

 

He ordered a few of his staff to stay and show us where to go, and then hobbled away while still chuckling to himself.

 

"Heheheh, the humor of some Matoran. Evil plot by the Makuta? It's a wonder the Southern Continent stays peaceful at all with jokes like that being thrown around."

 

Dismayed at the Turaga's carelessness, we muttered between ourselves for a while before agreeing that we could only accept his offer of protection. We followed as Turaga Dume's staff lead us around the city, pointing out were each of us would work or live. Apparently, our reputation preceded us as we continued on. For every street we walked, various Matoran would point at us and whisper among themselves. The more thoughtless of them would let a stifled laugh slip out.

 

Well this is going wonderfully. We've talked to a grand total of eight Matoran and the Turaga, and already the city despises us.

 

After everyone else was assigned their place to live and place to work, I waited expectantly to see what was in store for me. We came to a Protodermis Chute boarding station and waited for one of the large, hexagonal busses to be prepared for us. A puddle next to me caught my attention. The others had seemed tired as each parted ways, but the closer I looked, the more purely exhausted my reflection seemed. I eyed my yellow mask most of all, which showed more scratches and small nicks than I could count. At least the form of my Kiril was still clear beneath the rough marks. Lines and details starting from above the forehead narrowed down around the eyes and met at the "mouth." Cheeks were replaced by two cylinders that sloped downward to each side.

 

One of the guides mentioned with an officious air that my mask would have to be painted before I did anything else in the city. Puzzled, I looked around at the others and noticed that each one's Kanohi was adorned with a dab of silver paint at the top. I wanted to make a retort about his attitude, but was too preoccupied with another thought. A small itch reached my throat, causing me to let out a long, dry, hoarse cough.

 

That's odd. The air feels like sand. More dust than I'd expect for the 'pure' Ga-Metru…

 

I drew in another scratchy breath and hoped that I would be placed in a cleaner part of Metru Nui. Drawing in the puddle with my toe to pass the time, and ignore the pain, I decided to venture a question.

 

"So, where am I going to work then?"

 

The spokesman of the group looked up with a face that he was clearly forcing to stay expressionless and said, "We don't know, the Turaga said he had a more personal job for you and wouldn't tell us anything about it."

 

Great… so I get to work directly under him. How wonderful…


Edited by LanceMuch7, Oct 19 2014 - 08:07 PM.

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#2 Offline LanceMuch7

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Posted Jul 30 2014 - 11:08 AM

Chapter 2

Of Memories Past

 

 

Try as hard as possible, and you still can't walk softly when you have metal chunks for feet.

 

That's what I remember thinking as I strolled home after a busy day of reading printout screens and tensing up at every slight alarm. All I wanted was a little bit of silence after another day of noises everywhere. I doubt anyone on Metru Nui had a job quite as stressful as mine, and sometimes I would curse the day that Turaga Dume chose me to fill it. What made it so stressful? Simply knowing that someone would die if I ever made a mistake made it bad enough, but the real punch was that I, well, all of us were living inside that someone.

 

I finally reached my humble apartment and flopped immediately onto the small bed so I could unwind. All the worries and thoughts from the day slowly began to drain from my mind as I lay there. After about an hour, I hauled myself up and stumbled over to a small basin to splash some protodermis on my face. Fitting my mask back to its normal place, I couldn't help but stare at it for a moment. It had happened centuries ago, but I don't think I'll ever get over having a Kanohi Avohkii, a legendary mask of Light. If only these unsightly implants didn’t have to come with it--Or this Ash Bear of a breathing device for that matter, I thought as I felt the weight of the large mask on my face again.

 

I gazed at the strange reflection in front of me. The pulsing heartlight in my chest created an undulating effect across the yellow and silver highlights of my armor. My thoughts wandered back to how I got the precious mask.

 

It started when I first came to Metru Nui. Simply happy to have reached safety, I didn't notice the pain that grew with every breath. None of the other Av-Matoran with me seemed to have any problems with the air, but I struggled for decades to do even the easiest physical tasks.

 

Before long, I was too weak to even get out of my bed. My heartlight pulsed slower and slower until I felt myself drift away into death. In our universe though, death was rarely the end, and in my case it was only the beginning.

 

It took me a moment to realize that I was still thinking. Everything felt empty, but I could still feel--whatever that meant since I couldn't feel any body or see through any eyes. Slowly, like a senseless dream that you begin to see through before waking up, I began to think more clearly until I realized that my mind was the only thing I had at the moment. I could sense something else looking through me, sifting my thoughts as if checking for errors. Curious, I concentrated on thinking about what it was. After a slight struggle, the tides turned and I began reading the thoughts of whatever was reading mine. Most of it seemed like nonsense at first, but I began to realize it that must be a coding language--meaning I was in a computer!

 

I floated through the system aimlessly, trying to figure out how to get out of this when a sudden sight made me nearly jump out of my armor, if I had any to jump out of. My mind adjusted to seeing out of the eyes of… something. It seemed like a cramped area in front of me, crowded by numerous mechanical arms. In the center of my view was a lifeless body. MY lifeless body to be exact. That sight almost made me lose control of the system again, but after calming myself I looked around to see that my body was being fitted with several enhancements.

 

I tried moving my view around; the sight of my face was still jarring to stare at. After a moment, my vision tilted to allow a better view of the room my body was in. It was almost as cluttered as the machine I was in, with tools and piles of materials scattered about. A silvery glint in the center of the room caught my attention. It was a Kanohi, sitting on a small pedestal while other small arms moved deftly around it. The mask seemed to cough out sparks when I realized that the arms were welding a set of small cylinders and components to the lower half of the mask. The Kanohi's shape seemed vaguely familiar, but try as I might its name and ability escaped me.

 

Giving up, I turned my attention back to the machine. I watched for hours, fascinated by each movement of its many 'arms.' One moment they would be pressing down layers of a material, the next they might be etching out a plate of armor, and then next moment they would rapidly grow organic material between the armored sections or fit an organ into place. I began looking through the system for information about the machine, and began committing whole documents to memory by the dozens.

 

Suddenly, a short creature burst into the room and walked over to the glass separator on the front of the machine to see how my body was coming. I realized it might know something was wrong if he checked the computer terminal, so I relaxed control and let my thoughts fall freely as the system resumed its error check on me.

 

The next thing I knew, I sat up in my old bed. Sunlight was streaming in through the lone window in my apartment. I yawned a deep, painless breath before realizing what had just happened. It was a comical sight later that day when some of the Turaga's other officials panicked over how the new Kanohi was supposed to be painted with the customary Metru Nui silver blotch. I never did understand their precious little tradition.


Edited by LanceMuch7, Sep 15 2014 - 09:13 PM.

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#3 Offline LanceMuch7

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Posted Aug 05 2014 - 07:56 PM

Chapter 3

The Tournament

 

The clamor of Matoran startled me from my reverie of the past. I shook the useless complaints and daydreaming from my mind and set out to the Coliseum for the day's Kanoka tournaments. Turaga Dume had been announcing for weeks now that they would be particularly exciting, though I didn't see how. I had grown bored of the tournaments years ago, but still went every day because I had nothing else to do after work. The crowds were already beginning to form, slowly snaking their way towards the Coliseum. Might as well join them before it gets worse. Despite my lack of care for the game, I found myself getting excited about what could be so different about today's matches as I was dragged along by the masses of bustling Matoran.

 

"Oh! Avoma! Hey Avoma!"

 

I turned to see a familiar blur of blue and white weaving between the other pedestrians, dodging elbows to move closer to me.

 

"Wow I'm glad I found you in the crowd. So do you know what's going on today? Everyone's been talking about today ever since Turaga first mentioned it," She blurted out while catching her breath.

 

I groaned inside.

 

Why does everyone think I know everything about Dume? I'm not his secretary for crying out loud!

 

"No, I still haven't heard anything about it except that the tournament is supposed to be extra 'special' today. You asked me that yesterday, and the day before, and the week before that."

 

Her head lowered to the ground as she mumbled, "Sorry. I just wondered if you'd happened to hear something. No one else works as closely with Him as you do."

 

She sounded more than a little hurt by my remark.

 

I sighed, "I'm Sorry Radisi, I didn't mean it like that. I'm just still edgy after another day's work."

 

I put an arm around her shoulders as we continued down the streets. We had no business being hostile to each other. The Metru Nuians kept us Av-Matoran at enough of an arm's length from their inner circles. Add to that our struggles to survive extinction by the Makuta, and we had all gone through enough together to form a tight bond. We should never lose sight of the unity that carried us all the way here, it was our salvation both that day and every day since in this city.

 

We finally reached the stands of the Coliseum and made our way to our normal spot with some other Avs. We chatted for a while about what types of games might be played and other things related to the tournament.

 

"So what do you think they'll use those balls for?"

 

Confused, I looked around until I noticed the neat piles of large spheres in the arena below. Something immediately bothered me about them, but I couldn't place my finger on what it might be.

 

"Maybe they're some kind of practice drone," I offered, although my guess was as good as anyone else's.

 

One of the more outspoken Matoran in the group piped up, "Or, maybe they're storage containers holding, like, different types of Kanoka disks. Maybe some even hold traps instead! That'd be cool. It could be a scavenger hunt type of game!"

 

"Oh be quiet Takua. Avoma's probably right and just doesn't want to show that he already knows what's going on," responded one of the others. I started to groan again at that statement.

 

And, they still refuse to believe that I don't know every last one of Dume's thoughts.

 

I didn't dwell on the thought for long. Takua's name for the spheres got me thinking. I was completely lost in thought when Turaga Dume finally began to address the crowds. Before he finished his first statement, a thought struck me.

 

Oh no, we need to leave. NOW.

 

I whispered loudly to the others, "I'm going to get some snacks, anyone want to come?"

 

Heads turned towards me with expressions of annoyance. I pointed towards a nearby concession stand. once I had caught most of the group's eyes, my fingers curled into a familiar gesture.

 

Follow quick!

 

Radisi got up to help me carry food back, but we only paused at the stand. Once we were sure that no one was watching us, we slipped into one of the hallways that exited out of the Coliseum. The next Av stood up to follow us.

 

"Why are we leaving now? Couldn't there be a better time to be all mysterious? And why are you using the old gestures from our hunted days?"

 

She began to blurt out other questions until I suddenly thrust my arm out, and shoved her against the wall of a dark nook.

 

"Because we may still be hunted," I whispered.

 

Footsteps padded down the hallway nearby, approaching us. We held our breath, half expecting one of the Makuta to appear around the corner. To our relief, Takua bounced into view and almost continued past us before glancing towards us and letting out a yelp.

 

"Mata Nui, you two scared me! What's this all about?" Then he noticed my arm still holding {} in place, "Or did you two just want some alone time?"

 

"What? No. I need to tell--"

 

A smirk from Takua forced me to glance back at Radisi, who was starting to blush slightly.

 

"Not helping," I pointed at her with an annoyed tone, "I need to warn you all about those pods--"

 

I was cut short again by a long chirp from behind Takua. We backed against the wall as he spun around to face a metallic, red leg. His eyes floated upward until locking with the cold, green eyes of a Vahki Nuurakh.


Edited by LanceMuch7, Sep 15 2014 - 09:15 PM.

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Every hero is born from his enemy; every leader, his followers; and every father, his children.
 
 
 

#4 Offline LanceMuch7

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Posted Sep 15 2014 - 09:17 PM

Chapter 4

Chaos

 

It stood for a moment, looking as if it was thinking. Finally, the Nuurakh forced its normally supersonic voice down to an audible frequency.

 

"What are you three doing? Matoran are to remain in the Coliseum until the tournament is over."

 

Knowing that it was hopeless to refuse, we trudged back to the stands with the Vahki practically crushing our heels behind us. I began feeling a deep headache, with a slight noise beginning that I could barely make out. Something was wrong below us. VERY wrong.

 

We had only been gone a few minutes, but when we entered the open air again we stopped in our tracks to take in how everything had changed. Metru Nui's twin suns were blotted out completely, leaving only a few rows of spotlights that were still trying to warm up around the edge of the Coliseum to pierce the thick darkness. Only a few surprised Matoran glanced at us. Everyone else was too enthralled by Turaga Dume's face, still speaking to them from the massive screens that circled the arena, to pay us any attention.

 

"Do not worry. Do not panic! I, with the help of the Vahki, will take care of this great threat. However, I have decided that the best way to protect you all is to require each of you to enter one of the stasis pods in the arena. One Matoran per pod, please, and everyone must do so. I am afraid it is the only way."

 

The Vahki behind us nudged us forward as the crowds began to stir angrily. An uproar was starting form despite Turaga Dume's cries to stay calm. Matoran throughout the stands were furious at the thought of being imprisoned for doing nothing wrong. No one seemed to believe the Turaga's 'for your own safety' pitch.

 

The racket was short lived when dozens upon dozens of Nuurakh squads appeared above the stands--their Staffs of Command raised, forcing the affected Matoran to begin walking down to the arena's floor. Those that weren't affected met the horde Vahki Bordakh that followed closely behind with their Staffs of Loyalty. These Matoran lost control of their bodies and turned to overpower their fellows, dragging them to the arena with them.

 

Raising his voice above the clamor of fighting, Dume called out to the Vahki hordes.

 

"I hear that the Av-Matoran tried to escape from my request like cowards. Bring them up to my platform."

 

The three of us were quickly joined by the others as we marched towards the base of the huge spire that made up the speaker's platform. Several other Vahki joined our group to fly us up to where Dume stood, placing us down none too gently to face him. The screens all around the Coliseum flickered on again as he opened his mouth to speak.

 

"Avoma, I should have known it was you. You've thought yourself better than you fellows ever since you returned with that… mask," That last word carried an air of deep distaste, "After everything you and your Av-Matoran have gone through, I would think you all would know better than to stab comrades in the back like this."

 

He turned to the Vahki Bordakh that had carried one of the others up.

 

"Vahki, instruct four of these Matoran to kill the fellow beside them."

 

The Vahki raised its staff and four of us turned to strangle the poor Matoran standing next to them. The whole place froze still as four victims' heartlights blinked slower and slower, before finally fading out. Eight pairs of limbs went limp.

 

Dume nodded and the controlled Matoran dropped their victims. After an eternity, he broke the silence.

 

"Well, it looks like we have four murderers among us. Vahki Vorzakh, what will you do about it?"

 

I winced at the thought. Although all the Vahki were known for their efficiency, the Vorzakh above all others weren't known for their gentleness or patience. The green Vahki guards behind Dume straightened up and walked towards the killers. They kicked each of the Matoran onto their backs, placed their pincer-like staffs around their necks, and swiftly beheaded them. Only the three of us were left.

 

If the crowd had gone silent before, then now you could hear the tiniest widget fall from the opposite side of the Coliseum. We were all stunned. The Vahki had been designed to specifically not be able to harm Matoran until now. Many of us now turned to the nearest Vahki, terror filling our faces.

 

"Ahem, well that was unpleasant. Now if you all would enter your pods without further complaint, I have many other matters to attend to."

 

I heard a clank behind me. I turned to see three other Vahki placing pods down for each of us. Only as I glanced at the others did I realize that Radisi's hands had been clamped around my arm the whole time, her wide eyes searching mine. Dume stepped closer to us.

 

"I suggest that you three get into your pods. Now."

 

His slightly hoarse voice belied the toll that recent events had taken on him. I myself simply felt conflicted. I wanted nothing more than to get out of this situation, but I couldn't bear to have my last two friends die.

 

Still looking me in the eye, Radisi frowned and then responded softly, "No. Why should we do what you say? After being hunted and enslaved for centuries, why should any Av-Matoran do what you say? Again I say: NO!"

 

Her head whipped around to meet his.

 

"We will never be you slaves, Makuta! Your body cannot hide your hate for our kind! We will die before serving you!"

 

Dume looked surprised for a moment, then calmed himself to move closer and say, "Well then, die you may."

 

He roughly lifted Radisi up with a strength far greater than his thin frame would suggest. Try as I might to help, my feet seemed as if they were frozen in place.

 

"No, please," I croaked pitifully.

 

He held her over the edge for a moment, then looked back at me.

 

"Do I hear something? Perhaps an alarm down at the monitor? It looks like you've failed, Avoma, in protecting your band of misfits, in your job, in everything."

 

With that he let her fall, stared a moment as she plunged downward, then turned directly to the screens and called out.

 

"Vahki! Salute your Turaga!"

 

Takua and I turned to look at each other one last time. Words could not describe our pain. Without warning and without choice, our feet lead us to our stasis pods. I watched my arms crawl through the small opening.

 

Curse the Vahki; to Karhzani with Dume.

 

Radisi's last scream stilled filled my ears. The round door closed me inside, another moment and all that remained was emptiness.


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#5 Offline LanceMuch7

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Posted Sep 16 2014 - 10:26 AM

Chapter 5

The Island Above

 

The next thing I knew, I was sputtering and coughing in pitch darkness. Nothing looked familiar and I felt like I could barely move. I took a moment to orient myself. I was curled into a ball, lying on my back. Still trying to figure out what was happening, I began to feel around the dark space around me when my arm bumped a switch. A tiny crescent of beautiful light gleamed in front of my face. It was dim, but it was there. After wrenching my hand from its current position, I placed it on the small piece of light and was surprised to feel it move slightly. I gave a gentle push and the small crack widened until an entire hatch swung open.

 

The opening revealed a dimly light room with spheres lining the walls all around. Spheres. The recent events tumbled into my head without warning as I curled up more tightly than before, crying harder than I had known how to before.

 

Hours may have passed like that. I'll never know. Eventually, I calmed down enough to look around again. I realized that my modified Kanohi and implants must have actually rescued me. I reached a feeble hand out to the rim of hatch and began dragging myself out. I fell face first to the ground, coughing out a small chuckle to myself.

 

"Heheh, Mata Nui be praised for handicapped access."

 

My laughter was short lived as I doubled again over in tears, thinking about all my lost friends, thinking about Radisi.

 

Soft scraping noises brought me out of the second trance. It dawned on me that Vahki might be patrolling around me. Hardening my mind, I stood up and took in my surroundings. Spiraling upwards to the high ceiling, hundreds of stasis pods hung from the walls surrounding me.

 

Most of the island must be in this room!

 

Thankfully, my sphere had been near the floor. As I studied the room harder, I noticed that this must be one of the rooms I often passed when going to and from work. If I was correct, I was immediately below the Coliseum, only a few levels above the room I most commonly worked in.

 

A familiar alarm had been singing on high in my head: an implant I had gotten soon after returning from the dead to keep me informed when an issue arose in the Great Mind. I considered going down to the monitoring station to see what could be done, but the thought of Vahki patrols stopped me.

 

No, I need to make it to the Ga-Metru station. Dume probably won't think of that one now that all the Matoran are stored away.

 

There was a small door on the opposite side of the room that I figured would lead to an elevator. Sure enough, there was. I began to enter it, paused, and then backed out a moment to grab a Kanoka disk-launcher from a rack of several beside the doorway. I rode the elevator to the top and stepped cautiously outside.

 

Chaos lay all around me, far more than I remembered when I got in my pod. Vahki lay in pieces all around the arena.

 

Who could have put up this much resistance? No Matoran would dare say a WORD after what the Vahki did.

 

It occurred to me that the imposter Toa Team might have been involved. Some rumors had gone around that they escaped from confinement several weeks back. Reminding myself not to cross paths with the traitors, I began to make my way towards the nearest Protodermis Chute entrance. It would be the fastest way to get there; I estimated I could get where I needed to in the Great Temple within a few hours.

 

Of course, as great plans always seem to go, I only managed to walk all of three steps before finding myself with my face grinding into the ground. I rolled onto my back and shifted my Kanohi back into a comfortable position on my face. I looked around until my eyes fell on a jagged blade near my feet.

 

VORZAHK!

 

I leapt up and darted several paces away before realizing that I wasn't being followed. I turned back to assure myself that everything was fine. There lay the staff that I tripped over, and sure enough, just out of reach lay a battered Vorzahk, its other staff lodged in its chest, with…

 

Oh no.

 

I winced and turned away, trying desperately to shut the image out of my head. Radisi dangled from the pointed end of the staff, an arm swaying slightly in the breeze.

 

So that's why the sick monster ordered them to salute.

 

My mind screamed to rush to her side and save her, but I already felt my nerves steeling themselves. I took first one, then another step in the opposite direction, forcing myself to walk away without a second look. Radisi was dead. The others were dead. I needed to find out what was wrong with the Great Spirit, and that couldn't be done if I kept falling over and bawling my eyes out every ten minutes.

 

The encounter did make me second guess my ingenious plan to use the chute system, however. After carefully making my way out of the Coliseum and reaching the ground level, I found an entrance to the Archives below and continued on my way to Ga-Metru using its extensive tunnels. It was a painfully slow journey, often I would have to stop and hide from a Vahki patrol or free-roaming rahi. In all, the trip was refreshingly uneventful.

 

If only the rest of my mission would go the same way. Soon after exiting the Archives into a misty, silent Ga-Metru, I noticed a large gust of wind rip through various curtains of fog. I didn't have to wonder for long about what the cause of it was. A deep rumbling from the southern end of the island reached my ears. Dust whipped up all around me as pebbles and random trash were brought to life, bouncing and ricocheting against everything. A mere second later and the volume raised to a screeching roar as I felt myself get launched into the air four times higher than I could stand.

 

I slammed back into the pavement a moment later, knocking my Kanohi clean off of my face. Not daring to move, I lay where I fell for more than a minute as whole segments of buildings split off from their normal places and slid down to the street below all around me.

 

Only a little debris ended up on me, and thankfully none of it larger than my hand. I fumbled around in the rubble for my mask, trying on several different large scraps of metal that looked enough like it to my dust caked eyes. I was starting to get worried, already getting weak without the mask, when I felt my knee bump against a familiar texture. Relieved, I wiped my eyes as best as I could and slipped the precious Kanohi back on.

 

Phew, thank Mata Nui I wasn't down below when that happened.

 

I finally reached the bridge that spanned the distance of water between the shore and the Great Temple. There seemed to be a few cracks in the stone, but the bridge looked safe in all. It was probably the crown of Po-Matoran craftsmanship.

 

I made my way inside the temple and turned down a few rarely used corridors until reaching a dead end.

 

Uh oh, I didn't think about this.

 

Apparently, the earthquake caused the ceiling here to collapse right in front of the elevator doorway that I needed.

 

It'll take me weeks to dig through all this, but I need to get in there NOW. There's no telling if a stray Vahki might hear me.

 

An idea struck me. I walked back to the Temple's central room, where the late Toa Lhikan's suva stood. A suva acts as a sort of "Kanohi bank," storing any currently unused  masks for whichever Toa was linked to it. A very rare suva, like this one, might have a special feature as well. I pushed on a small seam on one of the sides of the dome, causing a panel to give slightly. It slid away to reveal a button pad, which I deftly entered the code for.

 

I shook my head as the entire suva lifted up, supported by a large service lift.

 

I can only imagine how paranoid the Creators must be to have dreamed up SO many of these fail-safes. I guess they do come in handy sometimes though, so I sure can't complain.

 

At last, I stepped off of the lift and walked up a pair of waist high pillars. They were yet another fail safe to prevent a stray Matoran from thinking twice about what the room might be used for. Tapping on several buttons, I powered up the monitoring system and began sorting through the dump of corrupt files in Mata Nui's system. I was astounded. The number of errors had been increasing steadily in recent years, but the number of files before me now were simply mind blowing.

 

Basically, whenever Mata Nui found a file in his mind that had an error, He would automatically lock that file down into partition of his mind that could only be accessed from a handful of terminals like this one. Once someone else, meaning myself for the past few centuries, fixed the issue, the file would be tagged as "safe" and then absorbed back into the system. This time, however, it could take me a whole year to fix everything that was wrong.

 

Well this explains the darkness. There's no way He could stay conscious with this much damage, but what could have caused all of it?

 

No sooner had I thought the question than I realized the answer. Somehow, a virus must have been introduced through one of the "repaired" files, slowly taking root until making the entire system to collapse.

 

But if that's the case; there's only one other person in Metru Nui who knows about these terminals.

 

After witnessing everything else that blasted "Turaga" had done, it wasn't a far stretch to believe that he did this too. My mind started racing. I needed a quiet place where Dume wouldn’t find me but where I could still begin cleaning out this virus. Unfortunately, Dume was the one who put me in charge of the terminals, so he would know where to look if he noticed his precious virus getting cleaned out.

 

Hmm, what if I could use something like a Rorzakh staff to access this terminal from somewhere else?

 

Rorzakh staffs are Staffs of Presence, allowing the user to hear through the ears of anyone that it is used on. All I would have to do is wire something similar into the terminal to receive input that I send to it. After a bit of rummaging, I came across a fancy long distance communicator, Le-Matoran designed as all the good gadgets were. I sighed.

 

Sorry Hahli, I honestly did mean to fix this for you. I hope you'll forgive me.

 

I broke the device down, separated out the parts that I would need, and then began fixing them in place inside one of the control pillars. Now, there was only question left: where can I possible stay hidden and safe? I could think of at least a hundred places where I would never be found in the Archives, but I shuddered to think of all the types of rahi that might have been set free down there, all of them eager to tear me into pieces.

 

I pulled up a general map of our Universe, wondering if I could reach a different island that would still be in range of my hacked communicator. Oddly enough, I saw notifications of a new island.

 

ABOVE Metru Nui? How can that be? Unless… Oooooh, that explains the earthquake. Mata Nui must have hit a planet after losing consciousness and accidentally triggered the cloaking island to be formed.

 

Well, I had my answer either way. That island would be both the closest to Metru Nui and the last place that Dume would look for me. I got the possible routes to get up to the island and then started packing up any supplies and notes that I might need up there. I sifted through one of my personal file bins when a thick folder caught my attention. I pulled it out and skimmed through the first few pages.

 

"Organic material then forms similar to crystallization, getting pulled by the support layer from a material rich liquid in which the body is suspended. The second and third stage arms can enhance the speed of growth by…" These look like my notes on the Red Star machine. Maybe I should bring them along as extra reading material.

 

I kept thinking about the notes as I gathered my other things. In the past several years, I had overheard a some details about the stasis pods that everyone else on the island was now fast asleep in. Two of the main purposes of them were to wipe the user's memory entirely and siphon off some of their body mass, severely weakening him until the effects can be reversed through other means. If that was true, then I couldn't be sure that the Matoran could ever continue their needed role as repair workers for Mata Nui, even if someone freed them and showed them how to, I doubted eight of them would be able to fill one Matoran's job.

 

But if that was the case, then what would it matter if I managed to fix the Spirit's mind? It would only prolong his death as vital functions began to shut down.

 

What if I could rebuild the Red Star machine? Mata Nui is stable for now; so what if I spent some of my time designing a new "Matoran?" Forget "What if," I HAVE to if Mata Nui is to live.

 

My things were packed, so I snuck out of the monitoring station to find a boat that would still work after the quake. Several hours of searching left me hopeless when I happened upon a small two-person vessel that didn't even have a scratch. It's funny how the things you look for the hardest always turn up close by, right where you wouldn't think to look. I sketched out a map of landmarks to get me through the nearest entrance to the island above.

 

I took a final look around the room before shutting it down. This would be the last time I saw this place, and leaving even this dank hole was painful because of its ties to Ga-Metru. I thought once more of all the beautiful sights that were left empty now, and all of the cheerful Matoran that were just as empty now below the Coliseum.

 

The Coliseum.

 

I walked back to the station's controls and pulled up the Universe map again. Scrolling to Metru-Nui and selecting an alternate view brought up an image of the Island Above with select details about it. I committed as much as I could to memory, and tapped a few buttons before telling it to power down. I walked towards the service lift, satisfied as the island's details blanked out, followed by the image itself flickering and returning to the Universe overview, which now lacked the new island. No one would know about my safe haven.

 

The fog had lifted from most of the Metru by now, revealing the shattered city in its full glory as I started up the boat. Even in ruins as it was, the island had such a beauty about it. I caught myself staring back at the view more often than looking at where I was going. I shook my head and faced forward once more with a resolute gaze. The next time I saw this coast, I would be ready to set things right.

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Avoma will return to save Metru Nui in Summer 2015!

Find out more about the journeys in between on my website.


Edited by LanceMuch7, Nov 01 2014 - 09:21 PM.

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Every hero is born from his enemy; every leader, his followers; and every father, his children.
 
 
 




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