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Fight for Freedom

Complete G1 Alternate Ending Toa Nuva

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#1 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 06 2018 - 07:43 PM

Author's Note:

Crossposting this from Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own. 

 

This is an alternate conclusion to the Bionicle G1 story. Although there are references to G2 - such as some of the Toa's weapons - it does not connect to G2 in any narrative sense.

 

This fic diverges after the 2008 story, although most of Bara Magna-focused story still occurs in it.

 

I hope to present readers who were disappointed with the original ending with a more appropriate finale that centers on the Toa Nuva.

 

If you notice any grammatical or continuity errors, please leave a review and I will fix them as soon as possible.

 

This fic now has a companion piece, Wisps of Memory, which takes place during chapters 4, 5 and 6 of Fight for Freedom. Both stories can be read separately. Please see my profile for more details on the crossover if you are interested.

 
Chapter 1

My name is Teridax. I am a warrior of light, a guardian of peace. I have traveled to this world from my own, chosen by a Matoran warrior to help tip the balance of power.

 

This world is a twisted mirror of my own, with a violent history spawned by my counterpart. The Teridax that resides here has defeated the guardian protector of the universe and taken his place. Entire populations will tremble in fear of what he might do to those who fail to offer their every devotion to his self-obsessed desires. As an example of his inflated sense of self, he even calls himself by his title, 'Makuta'.

 

I will overthrow this tyrant. But to do that, I will need to gather an army. An army that will never be able to truly grasp my intentions, for the beings here do not understand the true nature of this world, and I intend to keep it that way.

 

Gali lay beneath the silver waters that made up the protodermis sea. Once again, she was on patrol of the outer perimeter of the dome that housed her home, Metru Nui. The Southernmost point held the only tunnel that Makuta's forces would be able to attack from.

Makuta. She still shivered at the thought. Months ago, she and the rest of the Toa Nuva had finally completed their mission to awaken the Great Spirit, Mata Nui, after his thousand year slumber. However, their victory quickly turned to defeat when they discovered that Makuta had somehow swapped minds with Mata Nui.

The day they awoke the Great Spirit, they heard Makuta's voice boom throughout the city. But since then, there had been no sign of any real resistance from him at all. Whatever Makuta was planning, it appeared he could not interfere with them directly.

Ever since then, she - and the Toa Mahri - had been cycling underwater patrol duties. The most likely attackers wouldn't be able to easily target a guard watching them from beneath the ocean.

The sea was beautiful, relaxing, sparkling, and teeming with life. Fish of an array of different shapes, of fifty-one different colors, swam every direction in huge schools. They searched for food, they remained on the lookout for predators.

Just as they had done every day for the past month.

The ocean was a part of her, and Gali, a part of it. Fish darted away in her wake, and she could feel the ripples they left behind. Every movement, every wave, every bubble, was an extension of herself. And yet, without someone to share it with her, patrol duty had become a dreaded part of her life. What was the point of swimming if you had no-one to swim with? But everyone else was too busy rebuilding defenses for the city, or training with their Matoran, to simply keep a Toa of Water company on her daily patrols.

Gali's thoughts were shattered as she felt the silver waters begin to tremble. Down here, she could barely make out the high pitched whining of something hovering above the surface. Gali continued to stare overhead, waiting to see the beings causing this disruption. The waters rippled harder and harder. A shadow zoomed overhead. Then a second, a third - ten, twenty, fifty. And more still came. I had better find out just who these intruders are.

Gali focused her powers to send a waterspout flying up into the air. One of the intruders was caught in the trap. Gali focused her energy to bring the water back down into the sea, dragging her trapped foe below the surface. The intruder kicked and screamed, trying to break free of her hold. An armored shell protected its hunched back, and its head opened into three sections to reveal the worm-like kraata controlling it.

"Rahkshi," spat Gali. "We've stopped the likes of you before, and we'll do it again." Gali prepared to finish it off, but the beast swiftly pointed its staff towards her and fired a burst of electricity. She screamed as the current surged through her, but forced herself to send a powerful torrent of water back to her attacker. Before the Rahkshi could recover, she powered toward it. With her free hand, Gali grabbed hold of its faceplate. The beast kicked at her ineffectively, and she pulled it in, wrapping her legs around its torso. Gali activated her Mask of Strength and pried the plates apart. The Rahkshi grabbed a hold of her wrists, desperately trying to stop her. It didn't have a chance against her enhanced strength. Its face was ripped open, and Gali rammed her trident inside, skewering the Kraata. The Rahkshi stopped moving.

One down, thought Gali. Looking overhead, she could see dozens of shadows passing over the water. Just five hundred more to go. She blasted another wave at more of the Rahkshi, ready to repeat the process.

 

Vakama walked atop the vast wall that circled the city of Metru Nui. Matoran workers shuffled past, building powerful turrets at regular intervals along the perimeter. It had been a month since the Toa Nuva had awoken the Great Spirit - and a month since the Great Spirit had been taken over by Makuta. Fortunately, since he had announced his presence, he had not actually done anything. A few times, his booming voice had rung through the city, demanding that the Matoran workers kneel before him and do his bidding. But when it became apparent that the workers wouldn't obey; it seemed he had given up.

But Vakama did not believe that his old foe of one thousand years had given up. There was an attack coming, and he had to do everything he could to prepare his home. Vakama looked over the ocean to the South. He wasn't quite sure - but it almost looked like something was coming from the Great Barrier. Vakama waited - moments passed, then minutes. It might be nothing He hoped it was nothing.

It wasn't nothing. Multi-colored specks lined the distance. "Sound the alarm!" cried Vakama. Two Matoran workers left the turret they were banging on and scurried away. Sirens blared throughout the city. Matoran leaped into turret seats and those that didn't have turrets prepared disk launchers. Three Toa jumped off the great wall, and into the ocean. Three aerial vehicles rushed past overhead.

Vakama watched as a blast of water rose out of the silver sea, dragging one of the distant specks down beneath the waves. Closing his eyes, he wearily prepared to face another battle. When he opened them, he squinted at the huge, multi-colored squad coming in, getting closer and closer. They were finally close enough for him to see what they were.

Only weeks ago had Metru Nui almost fallen to a Rahkshi attack. Back then, he had found a way to reawaken the Bohrok to fight them. But this time the Rahkshi numbers were even greater, there were no Bohrok, and even Krakua had left the city. The only edge they had this time was the Toa Nuva.

Minutes ticked by. The water erupted, again and again, swallowing the attackers, dozen by dozen. Kra-koom! Finally, the first turret fired a huge beam of energy, striking one of the attacking beasts. The Rahkshi crashed into the water, splashing frantically as it struggled to pull itself out. Before Vakama knew it, the sea was ablaze with energy blasts, causing huge fountains of water to rise into the air. Many Rahkshi fell into the sea, never to rise again. But it wasn't enough. There were simply too many. Vakama knew he would join the fight shortly. He didn't have the power of a Toa, or a powerful turret, or even the Mask of Time. But he had cunning - and his Mask of Concealment.

 

Pohatu kicked the Rockoh around, ready for another attack on the oncoming Rahkshi. He powered in, bracketing the first of many Rahkshi in his crosshairs. The Rahkshi was there one second. The next, it was blasted to smithereens by the Rockoh's heavy cannon. Pohatu flew over the hovering hordes of Rahkshi, firing his heavy blaster again and again. He pulled up, having passed the vanguard, and flipped around for another pass. Looking back, he confirmed that Lewa and Tahu were still behind him, piloting the Axalara and the Jetrax.

Bursts of light shone around Pohatu as Tahu and Lewa fired their Midak Skyblasters at the Rahkshi, frying their Kraata and turning them into empty, mindless husks that fell helplessly into the sea. Pohatu pulled back on the control bar, pulling his Rockoh up toward the sky, and prepared to make another pass.

 

Gali used her propellers to speed through the water, keeping up with the Rahkshi swarm. Around her, explosions of light peppered the surface. In the distance, Hahli, Jaller and Hewkii were using their powers to snipe the attackers from under the ocean's surface.

"Gali!" greeted Jaller, as Hewkii ripped a stone from the island and flung it at an overhead Rahkshi. Jaller kicked over to join Gali.

"How are you faring?" asked Gali.

"Between the three of us, we've managed to stop a handful of them," Jaller said, proudly gesturing to mechanical parts floating nearby. "How about you?"

"My count is a little higher," said Gali, wanting to avoid embarrassing them by revealing the number.

"Hey!" shouted Hewkii. "I know Jaller isn't much good for much except hot air, but you could pretend to give us a hand here!"

"Let's get them," said Gali. She held out her arms and worked her powers. Focusing, she gained control of the water around her until she could build up an enormous wave above the surface. She used all her might to bring the huge wave crashing down on the enemy forces, forcing a handful of the Rahkshi beneath the surface and down into their domain.

Jaller fired his Cordak blaster at one, sending a rocket careening toward the Rahkshi before exploding. The Rahkshi was sent flying backward but recovered quickly. As the Toa Mahri traded attacks with the Rahkshi, Gali created a current to carry her towards one.

The Toa Mahri proved an excellent distraction. Gali sped toward the first Rahkshi, trident readied. With a mighty blow, she split the worm in two, cutting off its horrific scream with abrupt finality. A moment later, she cut into another Rahkshi, once, twice, thrice! In moments, it floated beneath the waves, now in two pieces. Using the ocean currents, she pulled the third one towards her, parried its sluggish blow, and thrust her trident into its head.

Hewkii and Jaller looked impressed. Gali had managed in seconds what they had struggled to do in minutes. But the fourth - and final - Rahkshi remained in one piece. It fired a blast of plasma at Gali. But Gali had already switched to her Mask of Shielding, and the blast was deflected harmlessly away.

"There's an easier way, you know," said Hahli. She focused her own powers of water on the Rahkshi, increasing the pressure around it as it was trapped, kicking and hissing under the water. Hahli strained and groaned. Finally, the Rahkshi's shell buckled and collapsed in on itself.

Hahli panted, exhausted by the effort. "You should be able to easily manage that, right?"

"Now you are the one teaching me," said Gali, smiling. She looked overhead, toward the shadows still flying past. "Are you ready for more?"

"Let's get them," replied Hahli.

 

Turret fire vaporized oncoming attackers, and the Toa Nuva had helped to thin their numbers. But despite the Toa's minor victories, the horde kept coming. The first Rahkshi landed on the beach, organizing themselves into groups. Squads of Blue and Brown Rahkshi formed, firing their staffs. Blasts cut through the great wall, blowing stone chunks apart. Yellow Rahkshi shot their heat vision at the nearby turrets, melting them to slag and forcing the Matoran to leap off the wall to escape the molten metal.

Rolling to port, Pohatu pulled back on the throttle, giving him more time to line up his shots. Pulling the trigger three times, he blasted a group of Rahkshi apart with his cannons. He was fast approaching the surface of the city, presenting a larger target for the Rahkshi. Pohatu pulled up into a climb and pushed the throttle to its limit, blasting away from the Rahkshi before they could retaliate. He glanced down. The beach was littered with ruined husks of Rahkshi, their Kraata vaporized or split in two. But it wasn't enough. They were still cutting through the wall.

Pohatu sent the Rockoh into a dive, targeting one of the Yellow Rahkshi threatening his Matoran friends. Just as he was about to fire, Pohatu caught sight of a Rahkshi aiming its staff at him. He rolled right - a fraction of a second too late. A searing pain spread throughout his left shoulder. Pohatu screamed, as a stinging heat shot through his arm, worse than anything he had ever felt before. Closing his eyes, he tried to push the pain away.

When he opened them again, he realized he was spinning wildly out of control, his vehicle veering sharply to the right. Pohatu tried to grab the handle to steer left but missed the bar. Glancing down, he tried to find the control. The problem was obvious. The handle was fine - but his shoulder had become an empty socket.

Too late to worry about that now - he was getting perilously close to the ocean. With only one arm on the control bar, he pushed through the searing pain and tried to get enough grip to steer the vehicle. That was easier said than done. Pohatu slowed the spiral. It would have to do. Desperately, he pulled up on the bar, trying to rise before he crashed. It wouldn't be enough, and he was certain he would land hard in the ocean.

Suddenly, he felt an enormous updraft around him, giving him enough lift to right himself. Pohatu brought the Rockoh to a steady hover, looking around for the only Toa that could have saved him.

Lewa sidled up beside him. "No time for swimming now - wait till after we drive off these Rahkshi!"

"Thanks for saving me. Ready to follow me in for another pass?" asked Pohatu, ignoring the ache in his shoulder.

But Lewa was eyeing Pohatu's empty arm socket. "Pohatu, I think you are slow-thinking. You are missing something very important."

"Right now, we have a city to save. We can worry about patching up injuries later."

"You are in no condition to battle-fly, Pohatu! Get to safety. I will fight for both of us!"

"I am not about to let the Rahkshi take our home." Pohatu's eyes narrowed. "I'm armless, not harmless."

For once, Lewa didn't see the funny side. He didn't even crack a smile. But Pohatu sped off to defend the city before Lewa could stop him.

 

Onua stood behind the wall that kept the city safe. It was his job, his duty, to make sure the wall kept standing. Continued blasts of light from the other side of the great wall, where the battle took place, strained his eyes. I wish Pohatu were here, he thought. He's much better suited to this sort of thing. Onua looked up to the top of the barrier to see Takanuva perched behind a battlement, rapidly blasting light at the Rahkshi threatening to break through. Panicked Matoran fled the crumbling section of wall, abandoning their ruined turrets.

Onua heard more stone cracking and crumbling, as another part of the wall threatened to collapse. He was exhausted from the continued effort of holding the wall together, but he turned and held out his hands anyway. He willed dirt and soil into existence within the cracks, compacting as much into the spaces as he could.

He absolutely would not let the Rahkshi into the city.

Kopaka circled overhead, firing freezing blasts at the Rahkshi below. But the sound of Rahkshi screams and shattering stone never ceased. Suddenly, a dozen strikes hit a single point. The base of the wall was blasted open. Before Onua could do anything, the wall cracked and collapsed on itself. Dozens of Rahkshi climbed over the rubble.

An enormous voice echoed all around the city. "Citizens of Metru Nui. My forces have breached your city. Your defenses are nullified. Surrender to my rule, and your city will remain unharmed. Resist - and I cannot make any such promises."

As Onua suspected, Makuta was guiding the Rahkshi attack. The Matoran had already fled. By all means, the battle had already been lost. Now, only a dozen Toa stood in the way of Makuta's forces.

Kopaka corkscrewed in, dodging blasts from Rahkshi staff weapons, and landed beside Onua. "Looks like you could use a hand," he said, as he froze a Rahkshi leaping towards them.

"Always appreciate the help, Kopaka!" said Onua, slamming his hammer into the ground.

Rahkshi running towards the pair looked startled as the earth beneath their feet sunk ten feet down. Kopaka pointed his sword at the newly formed crater, freezing it over.

"There's more where that came from," said Kopaka, readying his sword and shield as he charged in to meet his foes.

Dozens more Rahkshi had already climbed through the shattered wall. Onua caught a glimpse of Takanuva leaping down from the wall, chasing down Rahkshi that were disappearing down the city streets, madly firing beams of light at them.

Quickly, Onua worked to rebuild the gaping hole. Earth and dirt rose up from below shattered columns, creating a new defensive barrier. It would hold up against the Rahkshi - at least, for a short while.

Nearby, Kopaka traded blows with two Rahkshi. Onua leaped in to assist him. Activating his Mask of Strength, he swung his heavy hammer at one of Kopaka's attackers. The Rahkshi tried to block with its staff, but Onua's swing was far too powerful. The Rahkshi's staff shattered, its body cracked, and its Kraata was crushed.

Onua didn't have time to celebrate. The sound of metal striking metal rang through the air as Kopaka traded thrusts with another of the invaders. Movement to Onua's right caught his eye - another Rahkshi lunged at him. Onua swung his hammer out to meet it. Just as he would have batted the Rahkshi out of the air, it disappeared. The weight of his hammer pulled him around. Where could it be? The obvious place would be behind him.

Onua circled, whirling his hammer to where he predicted it would be. The Rahkshi quickly ducked beneath the blow. Onua parried the Rahkshi's strike away and swung at it. Once again, the Rahkshi disappeared. Just like I knew it would.

This time, Onua quickly swung his hammer over his head and behind him. The beast materialized a second before Onua's hammer crushed it.

He looked up to check on Kopaka.

Kopaka held up his shield to block his foe's jab and countered with his own blade. He was wearing the Mask of Strength, and his blade sliced cleanly through the Rahkshi's head.

"Good work, brother," said Onua.

The perimeter wall was coming under fire again, already on the verge of a second collapse. The rest of the Rahkshi had already disappeared, having already entered deeper into the city.

Once again, the booming voice of Makuta drowned out the sounds of fighting. "Surrender, Toa - you cannot hold my sons off forever."

Give up? Surrender? They had never done that before. Even when all was lost, when everything seemed helpless, the Toa Nuva always pulled through. They would never abandon the Matoran to their fate.

But what if, by staying, the Matoran would be made to suffer? They had, effectively, already lost this battle. If they continued to resist, the Matoran might be tortured - or even killed. All because we don't know when to give up. What would he do? What should he do?

"Come on, Kopaka," he said, using his powers to rebuild sections of earth that had fallen from the wall. "We've still got a city to save."


Tahu hovered, high above the city, taking in the layout of the Rahkshi below. A small group on the bank were using Sonic blasts to breach another hole in the wall. None of them were paying attention to anything else going on around them. A rookie mistake. Tahu dived in on his Jetrax, taking aim at the intruders. The wall crumbled under the combined might of the sonic blasts, and chunks of stone and protosteel flew everywhere. Tahu squeezed the trigger.

Bursts of light consumed the Rahkshi, and moments later, they were all vaporized.

Tahu pulled up, looking for his next target. As he moved into position, he caught sight of Lewa and Pohatu making their own attack runs. As Rahkshi swarmed around weak sections of wall, the ground beneath them exploded into stone spikes, sending Rahkshi flying. Pohatu's doing, of course. Lewa swooped by, creating an incredible gale. The Rahkshi were sent flying out into the ocean. Tahu took advantage of the chaos to take a pass at the downed Rahkshi, destroying four with his Skyblasters.


Lewa followed Pohatu in for another run at the Rahkshi below. Lewa's Axalara was slower than Pohatu's Rockoh, but better armored. If they were being reasonable, Lewa should have gone in first, shielding Pohatu from any attacks.

Pohatu was not being reasonable.

The two Toa fired their crafts weapons at the Rahkshi, vaporizing two more. Then they rose, sending their craft into a barrel roll to evade any potential hits from behind. Once out of range, they'd flip around take another pass.

Lewa was just managing to keep up with Pohatu's passes. The Rockoh had speeds the Axalara couldn't hope to achieve, but Lewa had been flying for much longer than Pohatu had. He was one with the air, able to feel the turns and the wind. He knew how to turn tighter, how to evade better, and most importantly, how to plan his maneuvers.

He pulled back on the control handle, sending the nose of the craft rising up and over even as he rolled the ship to his right-hand side. The result was a fast and effortless maneuver that soon had him facing the Rahkshi again. He brought the targeting reticule over the Rahkshi and prepared to fire, even as Pohatu blasted past to catch up. Another pull of the trigger, another destroyed Rahkshi, and soon enough, another bank to the left to line up yet another shot.

The two Toa began to rush in for another attack. Lewa aimed at the next Rahkshi, this one a deep blue. But out of the corner of his eye, Lewa spotted a group of Rahkshi taking aim at them on the beach. "Pohatu, high-rise! High-rise!"

Lewa rolled his craft out of the way before the attack could come. Pohatu pulled back on the handle as hard as he could with only one arm. A blast of lightning struck where Lewa had been seconds ago - but Pohatu was caught in the middle of it. Pohatu forced himself to roll right and dive, trying to evade the blast.

Quickly, Lewa bracketed the Silver Rahkshi that was blasting Pohatu with lightning. Lewa fired. The silver Rahkshi was engulfed by light - and then, was gone.

Lewa turned back to check on Pohatu. Smoke was billowing out of the Rockoh.

"Pohatu!" Lewa shouted. "It's time to quick-leave!" he pointed away from the battle, toward the open sea. "You cannot quick-dodge with one arm. You are going to get yourself killed!"

Pohatu looked back at the Rahkshi pouring into the city, desperate to protect his home. But it was obvious he couldn't keep going like this. Pohatu sighed. "You're right. I'll find a safe place to land."

He flipped his vehicle around and looked back to Lewa. "You'd better fry enough Rahkshi for both of us." He revved the engine and was gone.

Lewa snap-rolled, and prepared to make another pass on the Rahkshi.


Onua continued to hold up a defensive, earthy wall as best he could. Kopaka froze his work, solidifying it further. But blast after blast struck against it, and Kopaka knew Onua was tiring. Kopaka coated the wall with another blast of ice when he heard the sounds of heavy footsteps approaching. He turned to see a squad of oncoming Rahkshi charging at them from behind.

"Great," Kopaka said. "Looks like they've found another way in."

Onua created one last layer of earth to hold up the wall as he turned around. "They aren't going to quit, Kopaka!"

Once again, Onua ripped apart the ground. Rahkshi fell in, and he pulled the ground back together. The walls of the hole crumbled and cracked as they crushed the Rahkshi within.

Kopaka fired a beam of ice at the ground, freezing more of the group to the ground. But for every Rahkshi that they stopped, two more seemed to appear. Rahkshi blasts filled the air, beams of heat and destruction. Kopaka summoned a wall of ice, and the two Toa took cover behind it.

Onua peered over and fired a ball of earth, quickly ducking back down just before an energy blast passed through.

"We have got to get out of here," said Kopaka. "This isn't a fight we can win. Onua, dig us a hole!"

Onua didn't say a word. He simply willed the earth to move out of the way, forming a tunnel below them.

Kopaka used his Mask of Vision to see take note of where the Rahkshi were without having to peer over the cover he had created. He focused, and froze the ground under the largest group, forcing the temperature lower and lower until the Rahkshi were frozen solid.

"Are you ready?" Onua asked, already climbing into the tunnel.

"I'm always ready," replied Kopaka. He climbed in after Onua.

Once they were both safely below ground, Onua pushed the earth back into place behind them and continued digging in the darkness.


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Sep 23 2018 - 07:58 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#2 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 07 2018 - 11:52 PM

Chapter 2

Gali looked up. The Rahkshi no longer flew overhead, now having reached the beaches of Metru Nui. The bottom of the sea was now littered with the parts of dozens of Rahkshi. There was no longer any reason for them to remain here, and it would be good to be able to coordinate with her teammates.

"We should meet up with the other Toa," she announced.

"Good plan," replied Jaller. "You look for Kopaka and the others. We need to find Kongu and Nuparu."

"Do you want me to go with you?" asked Gali, concerned that the Toa Mahri might be vulnerable without her.

"We'll be fine," said Hahli. "You don't need us holding you back. You and the other Toa Nuva should be leading this battle."

"Very well," answered Gali, shifting to her Mask of Levitation. "Look out for each other."

She kicked upwards, broke the surface, and floated upward. As Gali hovered in the air, her adaptive armor transformed. Her fins reconstructed themselves into jets, allowing her to hover and fly with ease.

Gali took a quick look at her surroundings. Lewa and Tahu were madly flipping through the air on their vehicles, dodging blasts striking at them from below. They rose and dived, firing at Rahkshi entering the breached walls.

Gali reached out to the ocean, feeling every wave and ripple. She asked for its assistance. And the ocean gave it to her.

An enormous wave formed, rushing to the banks. It crashed down on the Rahkshi camped beside the defensive wall, dragging them out into the sea.

Tahu took the opportunity to hover towards her. "Hop on!"

Gali climbed onto the side of the vehicle. "Where are the others?"

Tahu began firing the Jetrax's skyblasters at the spluttering Rahkshi. The Rahkshi were too focused on trying to escape the water to fire back or evade, and Tahu ripped through them with ease.

"Pohatu got himself injured, and Lewa forced him out of the fight," answered Tahu. "I'm not sure where Onua and Kopaka are."

That wasn't a good sign. "How are we doing out here?"

Tahu gripped the controls of his Jetrax. "They're in the city. We thinned their numbers, but there are too many this time."

Gali felt her stomach tighten. "What about the Matoran? Are they safe?"

"They all fled when the Rahkshi breached the walls." Tahu blasted the last of the Rahkshi into atoms. "But that's the last we've seen of them."

"We should go and check on Pohatu," said Gali. "Then we can plan out our next move."

"Good plan," answered Tahu. He looked out to Lewa, made sure he had his attention and made a hand gesture that said, follow us.

 

Gali had switched to her Mask of Vision and quickly located Pohatu. The Rahkshi seemed to have headed deeper into the city and had left the perimeter deserted. Tahu, Gali, and Lewa landed in the city, just by the protective wall. Pohatu walked over to greet them, nursing his empty shoulder socket with his remaining hand.

Gali checked over Pohatu's injury, washing the organic tissue with a sphere of water she had summoned. "You look clean enough, and I don't think you will get infected," she said. "When this fight is over, we will need to get the Turaga to build you a new arm."

Tahu looked around, alert for any potential attackers. "Lewa, you and I will head into the city and see what we can find. Gali, you stay here and look after Pohatu."

"Hey!" said Pohatu. "I'm not a useless sack of rocks! Arm or no arm, I'll protect this city!"

"Pohatu," insisted Gali sternly. "We need you to remain in one piece."

"A bit late for that," Pohatu muttered, kicking the ground indignantly.

"We are only going to scout it out," said Tahu, switching to his Mask of Vision. "We don't need an army to do that. The two of us will be more than enough."

Lewa pulled himself up from the ground. "Wouldn't it be better to cloud-sneak in the air?"

"They'd spot us in no time, and there's no way we could fight off that many of them," answered Tahu. "It will be better to sneak in on foot."

"Alright," said Lewa. "This sounds easy. We rush in, defeat the Rahkshi, stop Makuta, and bring Pohatu an afternoon snack."

 

Lewa had switched to his Mask of Speed and shared its power with Tahu. When Ta-Koro was destroyed by the Rahkshi, Tahu's Suva and his other five masks were consumed by the lava that had once protected them, so Lewa and the other Toa often had to share their mask powers with him. Tahu's only remaining mask was his favored Mask of Shielding. Lewa and the other Toa regularly had to share their own mask powers with Tahu.

The two Toa sprinted through the city at high speeds. The wind howled through the empty streets, their footsteps the only sound breaking the silence.

Where has everyone gone? Wondered Lewa. What dread-plan does Makuta have in store for them?

As they were about to round a corner, Tahu put his hand out to stop Lewa and peered around the side of the building. They had stopped running, but Lewa could still hear footsteps.

Tahu popped back and whispered. "The Rahkshi are rounding up Matoran and herding them further North."

"Heading to the Coliseum?" Lewa asked.

"It's a fair bet," Tahu replied, using his Mask of Vision to check the way was clear. "They're gone now. Let's tail them."

The pair crept behind the Rahkshi, using their Masks of Vision to keep watch while safely hidden behind street corners and empty buildings. Dozens of Matoran were being led deeper into the city. Rahkshi guards carefully watched for any sign of attempted escape.

Lewa saw one Matoran fall a few steps behind the others. The straggler was quickly struck by the flat of a Rahkshi's blade, and fell to the ground, dazed. The Rahkshi screamed, and the Matoran scrambled to his feet. He rushed back into step with the rest of his group, eager to avoid further antagonizing their aggressive captors.

Soon, another group of Matoran, also guarded by Rahkshi, approached the first group. The two groups merged into one larger group and marched across a bridge.

"Watch our backs, Lewa," said Tahu. "Make sure no-one sneaks up on us."

Soon, the bridge to the Coliseum came into view. Hundreds of Rahkshi herded thousands of Matoran over the bridge, and into the gaping entrance of the Coliseum. Matoran looked around nervously. But the hissing Rahkshi keeping an eye out for any sign of dissent kept them in line.

"This isn't pretty, Tahu," said Lewa. "How are we going to force-stop Makuta's rule?"

"There's no way we can take out a group this large," Tahu said, gripping his Magma Blade. His eyes darted around the Coliseum, his voice determined. "We'll have to take them out in smaller groups."

The last of the Matoran had entered the gaping maw that was the entrance to the Coliseum. Seconds of silence past, until -

"Matoran of Metru Nui!" boomed the voice of Makuta from all around. "I am your new ruler, your new leader - your new Great Spirit! From now on, you will bow before me, serve me, and work in my name! I have defeated the Toa, I have defeated the Turaga - and now, I will usher in a new age of prosperity to you all!"

Lewa watched Tahu as his eyes narrowed into an expression of anger and frustration.

"Do not fear," continued the voice. "I am not an unjust ruler. Just as betrayal will be punished harshly, loyalty will be rewarded. Loyalty, such as that shown to me by my dear friend Akhmou - who will now be your new Turaga!"

As Makuta droned on, Lewa placed a hand on Tahu's shoulder. Tahu's shoulder was hot, far hotter than a Toa would be under normal circumstances, and his body temperature was still rising.

"Do not be so ever-quick to give in," said Lewa. "We will find a way to make this right. But not here, and not now."

Tahu's head snapped to face Lewa. "Can we? How can this ever be made right? How can we fight a foe that controls the universe?" The Toa of Fire turned back to look at the Coliseum. "Makuta has taken my home from me again. And this time, he has more power at his command, more forces awaiting his orders, than he ever has before."

Makuta's rumbling voice continued to fill the surrounding area. "...for every Toa that remains on this island after sunset, I will sacrifice one Matoran. Speaking of which, Tahu, Lewa - you really should get moving."

At his command, a dozen Rahkshi flew out of the Coliseum in three different directions, moving to box the two Toa in.

"We had better quiet-leave, Tahu," whispered Lewa. He had already seen one of his teammates injure himself in a reckless assault on the Rahkshi, and he would not forgive himself if he allowed it to happen a second time.
 

But Tahu stood, looking out over the city he had sworn to protect, his eyes laser-focused on two Rahkshi racing towards them. A moment later, the ground before them combusted, flames arcing and crackling five meters high. Before Lewa knew it, the Rahkshi were flying through a blaze of fire, no longer visible through the smoke.

But Lewa knew that a little fire wouldn't bother the beasts for more than a moment. "Come on Tahu! If we leave now, we will live to fight another day! We can't save-help the Matoran now, but we will. For now, we need to seek-find Onua and Kopaka!"

Tahu stood his ground for a moment, before turning back toward Lewa. "You're right, Lewa," Tahu quietly answered, fury slowly leaving his voice. "Let's get back to the rest of the team."

 

Pohatu paced back and forth, waiting for Lewa and Tahu to return. He wanted to be out in the fight with Tahu, but Gali wouldn't have any of it.

He'd been less relaxed lately, and more easily agitated than usual. Makuta had already deceived them in the worst possible way, and he wasn't about to let something like that happen again. It would only take him a second with his mask of speed to dash away. Gali wouldn't be able to catch him unless he let her. But, he thought to himself, that would leave Gali vulnerable if the Rahkshi return.

Suddenly, the ground around him vibrated and began to burst open. Pohatu readied one Climbing Claw, ready to fight off the attackers. The earth crumbled away, as the crack in the earth was torn open by an invisible force.

Onua climbed out of the newly formed tunnel, squinting as his eyes adjusted to the light. A moment later he turned back to help pull Kopaka out.

Pohatu relaxed and approached Kopaka. "Oh good! Just the friendly face we wanted to see!"

Kopaka ignored the jibe. "Where is Tahu?" he asked, not bothering with greetings.

"He went looking for you with Lewa," said Pohatu. "Looks like he shouldn't have bothered."

Gali walked over to the rest of the group. "Hopefully they will find Takanuva and return to us shortly."

"The city is empty," said Onua. "It looks like the entire Rahkshi force has herded the Matoran away."

Kopaka looked into the city, activating his mask power. "We should go and look for Tahu and Lewa."

"Not a bad idea," chimed in Pohatu, seizing the opportunity that had presented itself. "Onua and Gali can wait for us here, and Kopaka and I will look for them from the air."

"Fine," Gali threw up her hands. "I am tired of arguing with you anyway. Trying to stop you from racing around is like trying to wrestle a Takea Shark away from its prey. Just try not to lose any more limbs."

Kopaka and Pohatu rocketed into the air, heading back over the city. With Kopaka's X-Ray Vision, it wouldn't take them long to locate the other Toa.

 

Takanuva should have been more careful. While he was following a group of Matoran being rounded up by Rahkshi, he had walked into an ambush. The smoldering husks of two Rahkshi lay on the ground, but another had grabbed him from behind, trapping his arms. Takanuva shoved and twisted, trying to break free, but the Rahkshi's grip tightened. His right shoulder ached but he tried to slam his arms down in an attempt to break free, only succeeding in making his muscles ache as they slammed against armor. Before him, the final member of the Rahkshi group pointed its staff at him, preparing to finish the Toa of Light off. This is it, Takanuva thought. I've finally met my end.

WHACK.

The Rahkshi in front of Takanuva toppled to the ground.

Three more whacks sounded in quick succession, and the Rahkshi holding him captive dropped to the floor as well. Takanuva didn't know what had saved him, but he wasn't going to waste any time arguing. He used his powers of light to destroy the Kraata of both Rahkshi, leaving two more empty shells in the street.

The air shimmered in front of Takanuva, and suddenly Vakama was standing before him.

"Vakama! You escaped the Rahkshi?" exclaimed Takanuva.

"I am not so powerless that I cannot evade these beasts," answered the Turaga. "It has been so long since I, too, was a Toa - but I have not forgotten all I knew."

"Have the other Turaga escaped?"

Vakama sighed. "I saw Nokama and Whenua being taken away. I do not know the fate of the others. But I must believe that, wherever they are, they are safe." He turned to look toward the center of the city, where the Coliseum stood, towering above the transport chutes that ran above the streets. "Takanuva, it is time for us to leave this city once again."

Takanuva asked, "Why should we abandon the city?! We have to defend our Matoran brothers and sisters!"

"Even united with the other Toa, you cannot retake Metru Nui. There are simply too many Rahkshi. You do not have the numbers."

"Vakama, I can't just abandon the Matoran!"

"Even if we vanquish some Rahkshi, more will take their place. And in response, Makuta will harm the Matoran to punish us. Makuta can be defeated, but not here, and not now."

Takanuva looked over the city. Ahkmou's voice continued to boom, as he told the Matoran what their new roles and expectations would be.

Takanuva didn't want to admit it, he didn't want it to be true, but deep down, he knew Vakama was right. "Let us leave then."

Takanuva turned to follow Vakama when he noticed a shimmer out of the corner of his eye. Suddenly, a hand had grabbed Vakama, and the wall next to them seemed to change color. A spindly, gold hand restrained the Turaga's arm, and a curved, red body seemed to materialize out of nowhere. Takanuva charged, swinging his Power Lance at the hissing Chameleon Rahkshi.

The Rahkshi slashed Vakama's chest with its staff. Vakama cried out in pain. Takanuva's lance pierced the Rahkshi's body and filled it with light. The Rahkshi dropped to the floor.

Takanuva caught the Turaga as he fell. "Vakama! Are you okay?"

Vakama looked up to Takanuva, his eyes going pale. "Takanuva, leave me here. Find the other Toa. I will only slow you down."

Warm fluid dripped onto Takanuva's hands, escaping from the wound. Vakama wouldn't survive on his own for long. "I'm not leaving you behind! We'll find Gali, I'll get you help."

Takanuva picked Vakama up and ran through the city as fast as he could. He leaped from a balcony, and weaved through the streets, desperately willing Vakama to hold on until they could find the other Toa. He glanced down. Vakama's eyes were closed. Takanuva kept running toward the edge of the city.

Vakama started mumbling as Takanuva raced towards the shattered perimeter wall. "Universe… Makuta… destroy the universe..."

Takanuva ran and ran, his heartlight raced, his legs burnt in pain, and he could only hope that he would find the other Toa in time. As Takanuva gasped for air to fill his lungs, so did Vakama.

"Takua" whispered Vakama, as his eyes suddenly flashed open, brightly lit. "Find Makuta… Northern Continent. Return here, and destroy Makuta."

Takanuva didn't have time to ponder what Vakama could possibly mean.

 

Once they were sure the Rahkshi couldn't target them, Lewa and Tahu rose into the air, hoping to get a better view to find the other Toa. Below they saw Takanuva running for dear life.

"What is he quick-running from?" asked Lewa. "There's nothing around."

But Tahu spotted the flash of orange in his arms. "He's carrying someone! They might be hurt!"

Tahu dived in to meet them. As he descended, he realized who Takanuva was carrying. Was he hurt? Injured? As he landed, he saw the enormous wound, the fluid pouring out.

"Hand him to me!" Tahu cried, grabbing a hold of Vakama. Without another word, he leaped back into the air and rocketed toward the beach.


Kopaka had located Lewa and Tahu quickly. Tahu was rocketing towards them at high speed. Lewa wasn't far behind.

"I guess we've found them," Kopaka announced.

A moment later, Tahu sped past, a jet of flame left in his wake.

"What's he in such a rush for?" Pohatu asked.

 

One moment, Gali was waiting patiently for the rest of their team to return. The next thing they knew, a blur of red appeared before them, throwing up dust and dirt.

"Gali," gasped Tahu, as he lay Vakama on the ground. "Vakama's hurt. Help him."

Gali stood over Vakama, preparing herself. Vakama's wound was deep, much deeper than any she had seen before. Pierced armor was digging into the flesh underneath. Gali acted quickly, and called upon water to create a soothing sphere, cleansing the injury and removing impurities. Vakama stirred but didn't wake.

Secretly, Gali was worried. Water had could purify and cleanse, but all the purification in the world couldn't heal a wound like this. If only she had a Mask of Healing.

 

As Gali worked, Kopaka and Lewa landed nearby. Lewa had carried Takanuva with him and dropped him gently on the ground.

As soon as he was back on the ground, Takanuva rushed over to see Vakama. Still asleep, he looked almost peaceful. Takanuva was about to leave Gali to her work when he saw Vakama's eyes slowly light up.

"Tahu… Takanuva… Toa Nuva…"

"Don't struggle, wise one," said Tahu, as he placed a hand on Vakama's shoulder. "We'll get you through this."

"Do not worry, Tahu," smiled Vakama. "Leave me. You must fly to the Northern Continent. There, you will find an ally. A Makuta… of light." Vakama suddenly began coughing and spluttering.

Takanuva held Vakama's hand. "Save your breath. You can tell us when you have recovered."

Vakama wearily continued, even as his eyes drooped. "Takanuva, listen to me. He will help you to defeat Makuta. Beneath the Coliseum… Makuta's mind… Destroy..."

Vakama began mumbling, as his eyes closed and he lost consciousness once again.

"Sleep, Vakama," whispered Tahu. "We'll do it. But you'll be with us when we do."


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Sep 23 2018 - 07:34 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#3 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 09 2018 - 12:07 AM

Chapter 3

Tahu assisted Gali as best he could. The Water Toa asked him to help cauterize Vakama's wound, and together they helped to stop the flow of liquid slowly congealing around his mechanical parts. Tahu could only hope that it would be enough to save the Turaga.

Meanwhile, Jaller and the Toa Mahri found their way to the group. It didn't take long for Onua and Lewa to bring them up to speed.

"I think it's time for us to retreat from this city," finished Onua.

"Retreat?" asked Jaller. "We need to defend our home! We can't just abandon the Matoran."

Tahu couldn't stand the thought of abandoning his friends in their time of need. But Vakama had obviously had a vision. They had to go South. "Gali," he asked. "Is Vakama going to be stable enough for us to leave?"

Gali was still tending to the sleeping Turaga, shrouding him in a fine mist. "I've done all I can for him, but he is lucky to have lasted this long. If we can't get him to a real healer, he won't stand a chance."

Onua put a hand on Tahu's shoulder. "We can't hold out here forever. The Rahkshi will come for us soon. Do you think Vakama will make it through another Rahkshi attack?"

Tahu looked at the ground, contemplating the unfairness of life. The Toa were supposed to be the heroes of the Matoran. Time and time again they had pulled through to protect them. Even when their homes had been destroyed, the Toa Nuva had continued to fight to keep the Matoran safe. The Toa Nuva were a beacon of hope, a symbol of a better future.

And now Onua wanted to abandon them to the graces of Makuta.

But the way he and Gali had laid it out meant that there was only one real option.

"Alright," said Tahu, reluctantly. "We'll go. Let's get ready."

Tahu gently lifted the sleeping Turaga into his arms. Vakama wheezed but didn't wake.

Takanuva mounted the Jetrax, while Jaller and Hewkii took the other two vehicles. Tahu nodded to Lewa, who used his mask to levitate the group into the air. In moments, the Toa Nuva's armor transformed into flight mode. Pohatu activated his Mask of Speed, sharing his power with the Toa Mahri. The combined effects of the Masks of Speed and Levitation would allow them to fly alongside the Toa Nuva.

 

Tahu held Vakama close as the group sped over the ocean. The ocean gleamed under the effects of the sun, producing a beautiful, silver shine. Vakama appeared to be in less pain after his treatment from Gali, but his breath was still ragged and his heartlight slowly flashed. They soon approached the Great Barrier and began flying through the tunnels that led them out of the enormous dome that housed the island of Metru Nui. Gentle waves crashed against protodermis and rockface beneath them.

Tahu began whispering to Vakama. "We will soon reach the Northern Continent, and we will find some who can ensure you heal properly." Vakama didn't stir. "Soon you will lead us once more, guiding us with your wisdom and your visions."

Tahu waited a moment. The only sounds he heard were the waves beneath him, and the whine of jet engines. Tahu looked down at the Turaga, lying still.

His heartlight had winked out.

Empty. Blank. Faded.

Tahu felt the wind get knocked out of him, choking him up. A chill crept from his lungs to his heartlight.

He checked Vakama's vitals. His breathing had stopped, his armor was cooling.

Vakama couldn't be gone. Not yet. How would they go on without him? Vakama had always been their light, shining into the darkness. When Tahu had first awoken from the canister that washed ashore on Mata Nui all those months ago, it was Vakama who told him the Legend of Mata Nui. Who told him to find his masks. To collect the krana. To face the Bahrag Queens, the Bohrok Kal. To find the Mask of Life, and to awaken the Great Spirit. How would the Toa Nuva go on without the Vakama's guidance?

How would Tahu go on without Vakama?

Tahu held Vakama close, and he could no longer hold back his sobs.

 

Finally, the Toa landed on the shores of the Northern Continent. Gali's first thought was to check on Vakama.

"How is he?" she asked as she approached Tahu.

"He's gone," Tahu croaked, as he lay Vakama's body on the sand.

Gone.

Gali felt a storm of emotions whirling inside her. Fear. Sorrow. Despair. And underneath it all, anger.

Tahu knelt down next to the body and removed Vakama's mask. Without a word, he handed it to Takanuva. Takanuva carried the mask to the Jetrax, and carefully attached it to the front of its fuselage.

Gali hadn't moved an inch. She'd been lost in her own mind, trying to come to terms with this new reality. Tahu had trusted her to save Vakama, and she had failed. Takanuva, Jaller - all the Matoran.

They had trusted her. And when it came down to it, she wasn't enough.

She should say something.

She couldn't find the words.

Jaller was saying something about Vakama being brave and wise, but Gali could only catch a few words of it. Her vision blurred. She forced herself to stand straight alongside her brothers. They couldn't see that she was weaker than them. They'd be listening to Jaller's speech. They'd know that he was saying something profound. Would Jaller ever stop talking?

Why did they expect her to fix this? To heal an injured Turaga? She was a warrior, not a healer! From the moment Tahu lay Vakama in front of her, she had known it was hopeless.

The gashed armor. Cut organs. Leaking fluid. There was never anything she could do for him, except clean his wound and wait for him to die.

She tried to focus on Jaller's speech. "He was a courageous leader, always working hard to ensure the safety of his people. I remember when he used his Mask of Illusion to trick a Nui Jaga that was approaching Ta-Koro! The guard ensured the Jaga couldn't harm Vakama, and in turn, Vakama used his powers to protect us." Jaller stuttered, took a deep breath, and tried to continue. "He envisioned Ta-Koro as an impenetrable fortress, and he set out to build it. For us. For all of us. To keep us safe."

Finally, Jaller finished. The beach was silent again, except for the gentle crashing of waves. Pohatu kicked at the ground, and a stone pillar rose from the sand. He reached out one hand to the pillar and willed the stone to carve Vakama's name into itself.

Gali looked out over the ocean, where they had come from. That pillar should have been placed in Metru Nui. She could overhear Takanuva talking with Jaller and Hahli, reminiscing about the times spent with Vakama back when they were Matoran. Tahu could be seen slowly walking by the water, seemingly wanting to be left alone.

She wanted to say something to comfort Tahu, but she couldn't think of the words. And if Tahu needed space to grieve, then could she deny him that?

The suns had moved to the West when Kopaka finally broke the quiet atmosphere. "There should be some Matoran settlements on this island. We should try to gather support."

"Great idea, Kopaka," said Hewkii, sarcasm dripping from his voice. "When the Rahkshi come here, the Matoran can fight in our place."

Onua turned from the beach to face the mountains behind them. "At the very least, we need to get our armor patched up," he said. "We don't need soldiers, but we do need to stock up on supplies."

That seemed to settle it. Hahli stood up and stretched her arms over her head. "We'll travel around the shoreline and see if we can find any villages."

"We saw plenty around when Onua and I passed through here," said Pohatu. "You won't have any trouble finding some."

"Great," said Lewa, who sprang off his back, onto his feet. "We can far-search from the sky!"

And that's it, Gali thought. Already it was time to head back into action. There was never enough time for them to grieve, not even for a Turaga.

 

From the air, it was easy for Kopaka to find a village. Upon the snow-peaked mountain lay a small settlement, which he had quickly located by using the telescopic vision of his mask. Dwellings carved from stone were built into the mountainside and using his mask of X-Ray Vision, Kopaka could see a maze of tunnels leading down the mountain slopes - presumably for traders to climb up and down the mountain without being exposed to the harsh climate.

Of course, he should be the one to do most of the talking. A Ko-Matoran village would probably respond best to meeting a Toa of Ice. The seven Toa landed just outside the village and parked their vehicles.

"Greetings!" cried out Pohatu, as they walked into the small town. He waved enthusiastically to the villagers, although most did not wave back.

So much for Kopaka being the face of the Toa.

Matoran wandered up to them in awe. Many of the Matoran here had eyepieces built into their masks - even more than had them on Metru Nui. Some even wore gemstones around their necks, or on their hands - one even had them set into his mask. Kopaka might have expected this sort of behavior from Onu-Matoran, but it seemed out of place for villagers of ice to take much notice of outward appearances.

One hunched being looked over toward the commotion and sternly walked up to them. "And just who would these strange Toa be?"

Kopaka stepped forward to meet the Turaga. "We are the Toa Nuva. We seek a way to rid the universe of Makuta, and to free our home of Metru Nui."

"You will not find any assistance here," the village leader snapped. "You must leave my village at once."

"Turaga," cut in Onua, "We wish to free all Matoran from Makuta's reign, including yours."

"All who oppose the Makuta will be cut down," answered the Turaga. "Soon, Makuta's forces will come to us as well, and when that happens, he will not tolerate any dissidence. I am sorry, but I must put the safety of my people first."

Tahu angrily marched up, pointing his finger at the Turaga. "There won't be any safety for anyone if we don't stop Makuta!"

"And what do you intend to do to stop one who sees all and hears all? If we do not accept our fate, we will be destroyed. Now, I must insist - leave this village, and do not return."

Kopaka turned to leave, hoping the others would follow. The sounds of Gali pleading and Tahu begging carried over the winds as they whistled through the canyon, but by the time Kopaka reached the vehicles the other six were heading back as well.

 

The Toa soon found refuge from the cold in a nearby cave.

"Kopaka," mumbled Tahu, as he created a fire to warm them up. "Find us the next nearest village."

Kopaka used his mask to scan the area. "Why? The Turaga is right. Every village a Toa is in is a village in danger."

Takanuva threw some wood he had found onto Tahu's fire. "Every village deserves to be given the option to fight for themselves."

"No, Kopaka is right," said Gali, as she warmed her hands next to the flame. "Searching for help among the Matoran will only make them targets. If we fight Makuta, we must find a way to do it on our own."

"We need to recruit more help," said Pohatu. "We couldn't defend Metru Nui on our own. How will we take it back without assistance?"

"So you -" Gali said, pointing a finger at Pohatu, "want to send Matoran to fight Rahkshi? The same Rahkshi that destroyed your arm? The Toa Mahri can barely take on a Rahkshi without help. And you want to send Matoran at them?"

"Turaga Vakama told us to find allies," muttered Tahu. "That's what we're going to do."

"If I recall correctly," said Onua, "Vakama told us to ally with a Makuta."

The cave fell silent for a moment.

After a while, Gali spoke again. "The Matoran will not be defending their homes from simple Rahi attacks. Bamboo disks aren't going to be enough to fight against Rahkshi. But a Makuta might be."

"None of this is important," said Onua "The fact is, we need to find new ways to fight Makuta. How do we fight against a Universe, without destroying it?"

"Actually," said Takanuva, "Even if the Universe is destroyed, we can live on the island of Mata Nui."

Pohatu sat down on the cold, hard stone ground. "But the island has been destroyed by the Bohrok. There's nothing left".

"But we can still build on top of it," replied Takanuva. "It's been done before - while I was traveling to Karda Nui, I was sent to an alternate dimension where Mata Nui died. In that Universe, they evacuated to the island, building structures on top of it. It won't be easy, but we can evacuate everyone there and build the same way. It will collapse eventually, but it might work long enough for us to find yet another place to live."

As everyone pondered this revelation, Kopaka suddenly pointed his sword toward the mouth of the cave, blanketing the entrance in ice. From around the rocky outcroppings slid a grey Matoran, tumbling down an ever-shifting slide of ice. He managed to land on his feet, and a quick glance made it evident that he was taller than most Matoran. Clearly, he was a warrior of some kind. Kopaka eyed the newcomer carefully. "Didn't your Turaga warn you to leave us alone?"

"He hasn't been my Turaga for many years," the smaller being replied. "My name is Mazeka, and if you want an ally to save your Universe, I know where you can find it."

 

Mazeka - riding on Kopaka's back - led the way down the mountain, further toward the mainland. Kopaka scanned the area with his mask power, catching sight of a hidden, underground cavern that had no entrance. He felt a sense of dread come over him when he noticed the outline of an all-too-familiar being in that cave.

When they landed, Mazeka called for Onua to help dig into the tunnel. Onua's adaptive weapons shifted to his quake-breakers, easily drilling into the earth.

Meanwhile, Kopaka shared his vision powers with the other Toa, making sure that they could all see the being that dwelt beneath the surface. No-one spoke. If Mazeka was allied with this being, it would be best to not give the fact that they knew he was there.

A moment later, Onua ripped the earth apart, creating an entrance into the cavern. The tunnel was dark, but a light shone on the other side, where it connected to the previously-hidden chamber.

"Alright, follow me in," said Mazeka, as he stepped into the long, gaping tunnel. "Make sure you close the entrance behind you."

The Toa followed Mazeka into the cave. None of them made a show of reaching for their weapons, but Kopaka was alert and prepared. He prepared the elemental energies of ice throughout his body, ready to unleash a freezing blast at a moments notice. Behind him, Onua willed the dirt to seal the opening in behind them.

"It's not too far," said Mazeka.

 

Moments later, the Toa stepped out into a huge room built into the Earth. Lightstones were strung up all around, and two tunnels led into other rooms.

"Looks just like home, Onua?" said Takanuva.

"It's a little smaller than I'm used to", Onua joked.

The sounds of footsteps came through one of the tunnels, and out of the shadows stepped the familiar appearance of a Makuta. This Makuta's armor glistened pure white, a drastic change from the dark colors most Makuta preferred.

"My name is Teridax, and I am not from this world."

The Toa all unlimbered their weapons at once. "That makes no sense," said Gali. "Teridax rules the universe, and you are certainly not him."

"I've been brought here from another reality, very different to this one. I served the Great Beings, who in your world created the Universe."

"You came from another reality?" asked Pohatu.

"There are an infinite number of other realities, many similar, yet all different. In my reality, your Universe was never created."

"How can a reality without a Universe, without Mata Nui, true-exist?" asked Lewa, slowly unsheathing his twin blades. "Where did you ground-walk and wind-fly?"

Takanuva lowered his own staff. "This sounds like the reality I visited. That Universe died when Matoro failed to bring Mata Nui back to life. A reality similar to ours, but with some important differences."

Teridax continued, arms remaining firmly his side, showing no signs of aggression. "Your Universe is only a small part of your reality. You exist within the Great Spirit, living within his body. In our reality, the Great Beings never needed to create a Great Spirit. I, and the other Makuta, served the Great Beings directly. Unlike the Makuta you know, I was never corrupted by jealousy. And so, I have pledged myself to help rescue your universe."

Onua spoke up. "So what is it that has stopped Makuta from finding you two and wiping you out?"

The white-armored being gestured around at the cave walls. "The Great Spirit can see all around the Universe - but only from above. He is not truly omniscient. When we are underground - or even, in a building - Makuta cannot see inside. Until now, the comings and goings of a single Matoran have failed to capture his attention, but he has certainly been watching the Toa Nuva. This cave will not remain hidden for much longer."

Tahu looked him in the eyes. "We will trust you for now. But even with the two of you, what hope do we have of stopping our Makuta?"

Teridax looked at each Toa, one by one. Although Tahu had said they would trust him, many of their fierce gazes never wavered. With the exception of Takanuva, each was alert for the slightest hint of provocation. "Although our Great Beings never created a Great Spirit, they did have plans for one. I have seen those plans. We will build an army, and then strike at Makuta's weak points!"

 

Teridax left the Toa to talk among themselves. Apparently, he had work of his own to do. Pohatu grumbled about not letting him out of their sight, but when he prepared to activate his Mask of Vision, Onua stopped him.

"I don't think that's the best idea, brother," said Onua, as he placed a hand on Pohatu's shoulder. He spoke up, to ensure the entire group could hear clearly. "With Metru Nui captured, it is only a matter of time before our Suva are compromised. Sooner or later, one of us will try and switch to a Mask of Shielding, only to find it's been infected."

Tahu took a moment. "I've spent the last few months without any additional masks, and the rest of you managed without them in Karda Nui. From now on, the masks we wear now will have to suffice."

"That makes sense," said Gali. "It is best that we protect ourselves from all threats."

"I just wish I had switched to my Mask of Speed first!" said Lewa.

The sound of heavy footsteps interrupted their conversation. Pohatu wouldn't have needed a Mask of Vision to determine where Teridax was, and turned to face the source of the sound. Teridax rounded the dark corner, holding a strange, silver arm in his hands. An arm that would fit a Toa. Had Teridax already defeated one of their own? What was going on here? Pohatu prepared himself for a battle.

A second glance at the arm made Pohatu realize this arm was entirely mechanical. It couldn't have been ripped from a Toa - had Teridax built it himself?

"Pohatu," said Teridax, "Come here."

Pohatu slowly approached. "You expect me to trust you enough for this?"

"I hope this gesture will allow you to learn to have some faith in me," answered Teridax. "Please take a seat."

Pohatu looked to the ground and created a stool made of stone for him to sit upon. Teridax stepped behind him. Pohatu's senses remained keenly alert of every movement Teridax made. Without making any movement that Teridax would detect, he began creating an enormous stone above them. If the Makuta made one wrong move, he would find himself trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Teridax placed the mechanical arm up to Pohatu's empty shoulder, and it slid into place easily. Nothing unexpected. Then, the Makuta pointed his finger to Pohatu's shoulder, using a quick burst of plasma to fuse the joint.

"Ouch!" exclaimed Pohatu. "If you want me to trust you, that's not the way to do it."

"You're not done yet," said Teridax. With one last touch, he created a slight jolt of electricity. "There. Try to move it."

Pohatu obliged, moving the new arm about. It didn't feel quite right - like it was just a little bit too light, it moved a little bit too fast. "It feels fine, I suppose."

"It looks more than fine," cut in Lewa. "Now part of you looks almost respectable!"

"Ha ha," said Pohatu in a flat tone. "It's not going to strangle me in my sleep, is it?"

"I know you suspect me of wrongdoing, Pohatu," said Teridax. "But I hope this is the first step towards a mutually beneficial alliance."

But Pohatu still wouldn't believe that a Makuta would willingly align with Toa. Teridax had to have an ulterior motive, and Pohatu steadfastly refused to allow his friends to fall victim to this trick. He didn't know how he would manage it, but Pohatu would make sure that the Toa Nuva saw Teridax for what he really was.


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Sep 23 2018 - 07:42 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#4 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 09 2018 - 06:27 PM

Chapter 4

 

Takanuva squatted down, grabbing a hold of a large boulder. He pushed up from the ground with his legs, hurling it above his head, and held it in position for a moment. Then he lowered the boulder down, careful to maintain his balance and posture. He took a deep breath, and repeated the movement. He'd repeated this workout every day for the last fortnight. The muscles beneath his armor ached from the intense pressure, but it was a pleasant ache. One that instilled pride in the Toa, showed how far he had come.

During the first week of living in this underground cave, Takanuva had shied away from physical activity. The Toa Nuva and Mahri were being sent out almost every other day, seeking new Toa to recruit or keeping an eye on shipping lanes in the area. Both Toa teams were comprised of members that could breathe underwater, whether due to transformations or special armor.

Takanuva had no such ability. Teridax had warned the Toa that walking upon the surface meant that Makuta could track them. But by remaining in the underground chamber Nuparu and Onua had carved out, and leaving via a passageway that connected to the ocean, their base of operations remained hidden.

As the days passed, Takanuva felt increasingly trapped. The former Chronicler had developed a habit of wandering long ago, and earned a reputation for being hungry for adventure. His core muscles ached from the pressure of holding a boulder above his head, but his true ache was one for exploration. They were in a new land, the Northern Continent. When they first arrived here, Takanuva had seen the beauty of a village built upon a mountain-top. His teammates told him of watching from deep forests, of near-silent villages, of gems glowing a thousand colors.

And he was stuck here lifting boulders.

He dropped the rock one last time, leaving it beside a carved stone that served as his bed. Another training session complete, and he'd barely had breakfast an hour ago. He mulled over what he might do for the rest of the day. Perhaps he could find Jaller. It felt like they had barely spoken since they arrived here. Since the memorial.

Takanuva left his quarters, striding through the cool caves with purpose. Shortly after the Toa met Teridax, they destroyed the cavern he had created and tunneled into a new one by the sea. If Makuta had tracked them to their new base of operations, he hadn't shown it. Onua and Nuparu had worked together to create a network of tunnels and caves. It was not nearly as large as Onu-Koro had been, and it lacked any large open plaza. But each Toa had a small chamber of their own, and Gali had helped to create a tunnel that led into the sea, allowing the Toa Mahri and Toa Nuva to travel underwater - and even to other islands - undetected by Makuta.

He turned left abruptly at an intersection, and could already hear Jaller and Hahli murmuring to each other.

"Hewkii's Mask of Gravity could come in useful in a close-quarters fight," came Hahli's voice.

"Yes, but he'd give away Nuparu's position too quickly," replied Jaller. "I can keep an ear out with my Mask of Sonar to make sure Nuparu is safe, and the four of us can rush in to rescue him if he gets into serious trouble."

A few more paces, and Takanuva was standing in the archway to Jaller's quarters. "Jaller!" exclaimed Takanuva. "Hi, Hahli! What are you talking about?"

"Oh, hi Takanuva," answered Jaller, sounding irritable and mopping his mask. "Hahli and I are working on improving our mission tactics."

"That sounds great! Can I help at all?"

"I don't really see how," said Jaller. "It's more about coordinating our masks and powers together and fighting underwater. It's not really something you could help with unless you had fought alongside us."

"Oh. Okay. Well, maybe I could just stay and hang out with you?" Takanuva asked.

Hahli looked at him, frustration apparent in her eyes. "Takanuva, we've got to prepare for our next mission. I know you mean well, but can you come back later?"

"Alright," he answered. "Good luck with planning your tactics. Maybe come find me when you have a moment." But Takanuva doubted they would have the time. He walked away. Their rejection stung, and he felt awkward at their dismissal of his offer to help. Even as he left, he heard Jaller and Hahli debating whether one Toa was enough to infiltrate a ship.

He wandered through the caves, hoping to find something to do. Someone to talk to. Anything. When he was left alone, his mind wandered to dark places. Metru Nui, and his Matoran friends. Were they okay? Were they being tortured, or forced to toil to build for Makuta? What of the Turaga? Perhaps they were being held hostage in the Coliseum, or being slowly ripped apart for daring to defy Makuta's will.

From there, Takanuva's thoughts inevitably turned to Vakama. Perhaps if he had moved quicker, or been more alert, he would have been able to stop that Rahkshi. He imagined all the various ways he could have vaporized the Rahkshi, a thousand ways for Vakama to express his gratitude for saving his life, punctuated by images of Vakama gasping for air, or his lifeless body being put to rest.

He shook the thoughts from his head. He'd seen enough death in the past weeks to last a lifetime. Torturing himself was not helping.

 

Kopaka watched as the Skakdi shipping vessel crossed the ocean waters above them. Makuta had recently convinced the Skakdi warlords to join him. Consequently, their shipping lanes were now full of newly built vessels traveling to Xia, the Northern Continent, and recently - Metru Nui. It wasn't possible for a group of a few dozen Toa to permanently disrupt the shipping lanes, but the Toa's hidden coastal base allowed them to keep watch of movements. And none were as well suited for this task as Kopaka, his Nuva Mask of Vision a crucial asset in their plans.

Onua and Gali kept close to him. Gali was glad to have company as she ventured underwater, all too keen to describe the various forms of life that lived in the ocean. And Onua rarely complained about anything, often keeping his thoughts to himself. It was nice to finally be paired with two of the more level-headed members of his team. Or so he initially thought. Unfortunately, Gali and Onua managed to keep themselves amused with long, philosophical debates.

"Prosperity is not simply owning material goods," Onua explained to Gali. "Although it is beneficial to have many weapons and supplies! But prosperity also applies to teammates, to wisdom, to inner attributes. It does not simply mean who has collected the most trinkets."

"But does that prosperity not blind you from purity?" asked Gali. "With so much happening in Onu-Koro, with so much metalworking and crafting, how does anyone find any peace?"

Kopaka would almost have preferred to come alone, so he might get a little peace.

"True peace can be found anywhere," answered Onua. "How does a focus on purity assist the Ga-Koronans as prosperity does?"

Gali allowed her arms to flow freely in the water, appreciating the near-weightlessness it provided. "Purity is derived from unity. When we can truly know ourselves and be free of inner poison, we can be united like no other."

The conversation suddenly ended as they noticed something heading towards them. A ship - a freight ship, by the looks of things - approached from the North, heading to the South. Making its way towards Stelt? Or perhaps the Southern shores of the Northern Continent, or even the Southern Continent? It didn't matter. Kopaka activated his Mask of Vision, sharing it with his teammates, as he glanced at the contents of the ship.

"I only see a pile of robotic parts," said Gali. "Do either of you see anything worth noting?"

"More of the same," replied Kopaka. "They look like the broken-down Vahki Nuju showed me."

Was that Makuta's plan? Creating new Vahki to enforce his laws? Kopaka took note of the dozen Skakdi in the ship. If it came to a fight, it would be a tough one. They could try and sink the ship and fly away without being noticed. It would likely be too difficult to bother trying to recover the load.

"Look to the rear," Onua said, pointing towards the ship. "Do you see the prisoner in the back?"

Kopaka glanced in the aft hold. A being was chained up against the wall a maskless head slumped over to one side. A Skakdi kept watch over the captive, but he looked distracted and bored.

"Is that a Toa?" Kopaka asked.

"It looks like one," said Gali. "If it's not, then Skakdi sadism has grown harsher than I remember."

Kopaka considered the options. He was reluctant to allow another Toa to be held captive and tortured by the Skakdi. On the other hand, the Toa Nuva had been bested by six Skakdi before, and this ship was crawling with them. The odds weren't in their favor.

If Pohatu were here, he could use his Mask of Speed to break into the hold, grab the captive Toa, and get out. That wasn't the case here. Kopaka would have to carefully use his Mask of Vision to sneak in, take out the guard, and sneak back out with the captive in tow. He would be relying on Gali and Onua to cover their escape, and if he were captured himself, Gali and Onua would have trouble locating him. They'd have to fight the whole ship to get him out. Kopaka sighed. But there was no alternative. That was their best chance.

"Right," said Kopaka. "I'll head in, grab the prisoner, and head out."

"It sounds risky, but I don't see an alternative," said Gali. "Onua and I can attack from under the water and create a diversion."

"We can break the water, fly out, and evade to draw their attention as well," added Onua. "And once you're out, I can force the ship aground."

"I'm going in," said Kopaka. Without another word, he kicked out toward the ship, jets on his armor speeding him through the water. The body of the ship cast an enormous shadow as he passed under it, and when the light began to shine through on the other side he quickly rose up, breaking the water's surface. His adaptive armor transformed into flight mode, and he hovered just beneath the main deck.

A quick check with his Mask confirmed that the coast was clear. The Skakdi remained in their cabins, unprepared for an attack coming from under the waves. Kopaka climbed up, vaulted over the railing, and landed aboard. Sinking down, he checked his surroundings again, before heading down the stairs into the lower deck.

All too easy. A moment later, Kopaka was at the doorway to the aft hold. Through the walls, Kopaka could clearly see the Toa shackled up. Her armor was scuffed, her mask long gone. She hung from the wall, barely able to stay awake, as a Skakdi tormented her with glee.

Kopaka didn't need to burst open the door and engage in any sword of swordplay. He focused on the Skakdi, summoning a prison of ice to encase him. The Skakdi panicked as his legs became trapped, firing a laser blast from his eyes throughout the room, setting the wall ablaze as he turned to face the doorway. He was too slow, and before he could finish the turn he was completely frozen.

Kopaka casually opened the door, stepping into the room. The ship trembled as if an earthquake had struck it. Gali and Onua had obviously decided Kopaka had taken enough time and begun their assault.

As Kopaka approached the chained Toa, he grabbed his blade, shattering her chains with one strike each. He soon caught her in his arms.

"A rescue…?" the Toa faintly asked, nearly collapsing to the floor. Kopaka had to hold her up.

"You were lucky we caught sight of you," answered Kopaka. "Any idea where your mask is?"

She shook her head.

"Can you walk?" Kopaka asked.

"I think so. Are you alone?"

An ear-splitting sound echoed through the room. Kopaka dropped his swords, but he barely heard them clang against the deck. His hands went up to cover his ears, trying to block the took every ounce of willpower to remain standing. The Toa he had freed fell to the ground, covering her ears and moaning in pain. A few moments of agony passed before the assault on his senses finally faded.

"Good job wriggling your way down here and grabbing our prisoner," came a voice, but Kopaka could barely hear it over the ringing of his ears. A Skakdi, her armor gunmetal grey, stood in the doorway. She bared her enormous teeth into the creepy grin that characterized the Skakdi. "But I won't let you escape."

Kopaka unbuckled his shield, drawing it into a protective stance, and knelt down to grab his blade. "How did you know I was here?"

"We have vision powers too, frosty. Care to guess what mine is?" Her grin widened, further exposing viciously sharp teeth. "You Toa aren't as subtle as you think."

Kopaka summoned a wall of ice in front of him to buy himself some time.

"Do you think a little ice will protect you?" shouted the Skakdi Captain. She sent another sonic shockwave throughout the room. Kopaka could barely hear the sound of chains rattling over the deafening tone. The ice wall vibrated before shattering into a thousand tiny particles.

Kopaka sprinted towards the Captain, his shield ready to block her first strike. The Captain drew her own weapon. Kopaka was momentarily taken aback by the emergence of a giant spike, ridged edges cascading towards the pointed end. She spun it in her hand a few times, and he could see the sheen of the curved spirals surrounding it. They looked just as sharp as the end. Focus. He looked back up at her eyes as she moved. She didn't strike, instead slipping to the left past Kopaka's charge. The Captain slashed with the spike, and Kopaka barely managed to duck underneath the attack, twisting on his foot to thrust with his own sword. The Captain parried it harmlessly away, the tapered ridge of the spike catching the blade as she prepared to batter down Kopaka's defenses.

They began a dance, the three weapons whirling against each other. The Skakdi favored sweeping counters and slashes, Kopaka preferred to shield and thrust. The sounds of clanging metal reverberated off each other, filling the Captain with a sense of glee. The captain rushed in, swinging her weapon.

Kopaka kept his mask activated, half an eye focused on watching through the walls. If he wanted, he could freeze the Skakdi in place; if she wanted, she could knock him back with another sonic blast. An unspoken mutual understanding meant that neither resorted to elemental attacks.

As he slashed out with a backhanded strike from his second blade, Kopaka caught sight of Onua preparing another elemental attack to fire at the ship. Kopaka surged into the air, allowing his adaptive armor to switch to flight mode. He fainted his blade toward the Captain. As she moved to counter, Onua unleashed his attack. The room shook violently, knocking the Captain off her feet. A quick blast of ice trapped her to the floor, even as a growing block of ice carried the freed Toa to lift her towards Kopaka. Grabbing her by the waist, Kopaka hoisted the Toa over his shoulder and flew toward the exit.

Moments later he was back in open air. Banking around, Kopaka got a better glimpse of the battle ahead. The main deck was covered in a thick mud, no doubt created by Gali and Onua combining their elemental powers. Onua hovered nearby, rolling and twisting to evade any attacks. A dozen Skakdi waded through the sludge, trying to get a firing position on Onua. One Skakdi created a blast of flame from his fingertips, and another fired his blaster at the Toa of Earth. Onua barrel rolled and dived beneath the waters, both attacks missing him.

An enormous wave formed, no doubt Gali's doing. As it approached, Skakdi grabbed onto whatever they could find, bracing themselves for the attack. The wave rocked the ship, even as Gali rose, firing streams of water at whatever Skakdi she could target.

Kopaka decided to finish the job. As he pointed his sword at the ship, he sent a cooling wave over the mud. The sludge quickly froze, trapping Skakdi within.

Still holding the rescued Toa, he flew back towards Gali. "Time to go. The Skakdi were kind enough to give us this gift."

Gali smiled. "They won't be going anywhere any time soon." Her mask began to glow as she shared the power of water breathing with the maskless Toa, before she dived beneath the waves. Kopaka followed her under and Onua soon caught up.

"We will need to get a new mask for this one," said Onua as he gestured toward the Toa they had rescued. "We should stop by De-Koro and see if they have one they can spare."

"De-Koro," said Kopaka. "It's nice and quiet there. I could go a while without having to worry about another sonic scream hurting my ears."

"Is that what you fought below deck?" asked Gali. "I heard the sound from out here, but I wasn't sure what caused it."

"A Skakdi with sonic powers decided to try and sing me a lullaby," answered Kopaka. "Unfortunately for her, I wasn't in the mood for a nap."

Gali snorted. "Didn't Hewkii just recruit a Toa of Sonics? You'd be best to avoid getting on his bad side," she teased.

 

Takanuva had taken a seat in the central chamber. A half dozen stone tables, each with seats, had been arranged - all created by Pohatu. After a while, Mazeka and Lewa joined him. While Takanuva was glad for the company at first, the discussion had soon turned to debating the merits of following Teridax.

"Teridax has done well to recruit so many Toa under one roof," Mazeka argued. "Without him, none of this would be possible!"

"Teridax quick-convinced Tahu to join him, and he soon had a dozen Toa under his command," countered Lewa. "We ever-defeated eight Makuta in Karda Nui, and the Toa Mahri saved Mata Nui's life. Those Toa aren't blind-following Teridax, they're following us. They're following Tahu."

"Lewa, I trust Teridax," Takanuva butted in, getting more frustrated by this chain of conversation. "Is it so hard to understand why? If you set off on your own, what do you hope to achieve?"

"I don't know, maybe we could actually fight-take Metru Nui," answered Lewa. "You and Tahu are too close-trusting of Teridax. How much difference is there between him and Makuta?"

"He's from another Universe," said Takanuva. "It could be completely different to ours. I've been to another Universe where Tahu and Kopaka helped Toa to rule over Matoran. I fought alongside that Universe's Makuta. You can't judge Teridax based on what our Makuta did."

Mazeka adjusted himself, looking up at Lewa. "Teridax is an honorable being. I personally chose him to come to our world. He's fearless and brave, and the only reason he keeps secrets is because he knows how cunning our Makuta is. You really should learn to trust him, Lewa. I did."

"An infected Manu bird hides in the Kewa's nest. The Kewa takes the Manu in, treating it as her own. The once-peaceful Kewa gives in to the Manu's demands, ever-foraging for more and more food for the Manu. Soon the Manu's appetite starves the Kewa, and the Manu feasts on its remains before seeking out new prey."

Takanuva brushed his hand over the table. "Teridax isn't deceiving us, Lewa. He opposes Makuta, just as we all do. He is growing our forces, not depriving us of resources."

Lewa stood up, evidently tired of sitting, and stretched his legs. "If Teridax is so ever-wise, why does he not understand how much his secrets are hurting his cause?"

Mazeka pulled himself onto the table to be face-to-face with Lewa. "You don't know how much it hurts him to see you Toa mistrust him. If we were plotting to take down any other being, he would tell you. But he values the success of the mission over your opinion of him." Mazeka looked down and sighed. "Just, try to believe in our cause. Look at the Toa we're gathering. I've never seen so many Toa in one place. Just have faith."

"Faith," Lewa practically spat. "I will not place my faith in another Makuta."

Takanuva sighed. Instead of finding a pleasant conversation, he had just found himself in another argument. He stood up from his seat and left. Behind him, he could still hear Mazeka and Lewa bickering.

Perhaps he should just appeal to Teridax himself. Moments later, he walked into one of the larger chambers, where Teridax could often be seen pouring over maps or meditating in silence.

Teridax had a dozen stone carvings - courtesy of Hewkii - littered around a table. The table itself was carved with a detailed map of the dome the Northern Continent and surrounding islands lay in. Teridax moved a carving of a Toa with bulky armor - like a Toa Nuva - into the ocean, before moving another slim Toa - a Toa Mahri - to the island Xia. Then he turned his head to look at Takanuva. "Greetings. What brings you to my chamber?"

"Looking for conversation, mostly."

Teridax nodded, then looked back to his carvings. "You wish you were going out there with them."

Takanuva fumbled with his thumbs for a moment. "I wish I weren't stuck in this damp cave, I guess."

"You know why you must remain here, of course."

"I could go out there with Gali, you know."

"And slow her down. Or do you think you could keep up with her in the water?"

Takanuva felt frustration rising in him, but tried not to let it show. Teridax was an exemplar of patience and gave off a radiance of calmness. He felt like he had to prove something to Teridax, as if to say a Toa of Light could project every ounce of wisdom the Makuta of Light could. "I could go out on recruiting missions. I could help communicate with other villages. I can be helpful, like the other Toa. I'm one of them."

"Does being a Toa make you a Toa Nuva, or a Toa Mahri?" asked Teridax. "You've supported them for so long, but your destiny lies elsewhere. Already they have recruited many more Toa to our cause. Do you see Krakua and Zaria begging to go on missions? They understand their place is here, for now. At this point in time, I need the Toa Nuva. I need the Toa Mahri. I do not need a Toa of Light who cannot breathe underwater any more than I need a Toa of Sonics who cannot tunnel underground."

Takanuva felt dejected. How had he failed Teridax already?

Teridax continued. "Soon, you will have a vital role to play, just as all the other Toa do. Your patience will be rewarded, and our victory will bring hope to all. And then, Takanuva, you will stand alongside your Toa brothers, proud and tall, knowing that you have saved the lives of countless beings."

"But, if you could just tell us what those plans are -"

"No." Teridax's voice was firm and harsh. "It is far too dangerous. We must maintain our secrecy."

"Who am I going to tell?"

"Jaller. Hahli. Tahu. Gali. Need I go on? A single drop of information - even revealed by accident - puts your friends at risk. What if you try to reassure Pohatu, or let something slip to Hewkii? The next time they go out, they might be captured by Skakdi. Those Skakdi would torture them for sport, before taking them to Ahkmou. And Ahkmou will have ways of making them reveal their plans, even if they don't mean to. One tiny leak of information puts our plans, your friends, everything we have worked for in jeopardy."

Takanuva looked at Teridax. "Kopaka and Pohatu could use some reassurance. They're beginning to doubt you have a plan at all."

"I know. But it is far too risky. If I lied to them, and they found out, they would be even less likely to trust me again. I must remain steadfast, refusing to break from this path. It is not easy to be of the Light, Takanuva. We must remain strong, even in the face of adversity. We must sustain ourselves, even when we want to rely on our comrades for support. And we must hold our teams together, even when they voice dissent." He picked up a carving of a Toa in his hand. "This path I now walk is a lonely one. But I must walk it. And when the time comes, the glory will be ever so sweet."


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Sep 21 2018 - 12:08 AM.

  • 0

My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#5 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 10 2018 - 11:52 PM

Chapter 5

One Month Later

It had taken her weeks, but Gavla had finally managed to petition Ahkmou to grant her an audience. Gavla walked through the enormous gates that led into the Coliseum, flanked by two Rahkshi keeping a watchful eye on her. Since the last remnants of open resistance had been stamped out, the Rahkshi had been growing more impatient and aggressive. They now attacked Matoran for minor transgressions - a Matoran who even stared at a Rahkshi too long could find themselves being struck by a Rahkshi's fist - or worse. It was clear to most Matoran that the Rahkshi were not fit to act as the cities law enforcement, and that casualties would soon pile up. The Rahkshi, no longer allowed to fight, grew more aggressive and impatient each day.

As long as she wasn't the one facing the Rahkshi's wrath, Gavla didn't care.

After a long trek through countless halls decorated with grand carvings, she reached Ahkmou's throne. Gavla knelt in front of him and looked up at the being sitting before her. "Turaga Ahkmou," she said. "I have waited so long to speak to you."

"What is it you wish to ask of me?" he asked. Ahkmou was not, technically, a Turaga. He still had the body of a Matoran and had never been a Toa. However, as he was the ruler of Metru Nui in Makuta's stead, he had granted the title to himself.

"When I was in Karda Nui, I had the light taken away from me. "Being a Shadow Matoran made me whole, made me part of something greater. I was connected to the Makuta, was a part of their plans. And that was stolen from me, by the Toa - by Takanuva!" She practically spat the name. "Please, Turaga, turn me back to a Shadow Matoran. I know you must have the power to do it."

Ahkmou said nothing for a moment. "What a surprising request. But it sounds like you have failed Makuta once before. How do I know you won't fail us again?"

"Seven Makuta challenged the Toa Nuva in Karda Nui, and not one of them survived. One Matoran doesn't stand much of a chance. But I swear, I will get my revenge on Takanuva."

Ahkmou adjusted his ceremonial robes. "Very well. I, of course, would be happy to grant this request for you. However…" he thought for a moment. "You must do a favor for me first. Prove your loyalty by bringing me the identities of one of the hidden resistance groups that have attempted to sabotage our Vahki production lines. If the knowledge you bring me leads to the capture of a resistance member - then I will grant you the power of shadow."

"It is my pleasure to serve you, Turaga", said Gavla, bowing once more. She hurried from the throne room, eager to carry out her first mission.

 

In the time the Toa had been living in this network of caves, it hadn't grown significantly. As Toa were recruited, Onua and Nuparu carved out more living chambers for them. But outside of a few extra living and storage rooms, the underground chambers had not changed much. It was almost becoming like a home for many of them. Almost.

Takanuva walked down a newly formed tunnel that he didn't remember being there that morning. So far, no new lightstones had been erected, so Takanuva used his powers to brighten the dark chamber. Although he couldn't see it, the sound of metal scraping dirt echoed through the chamber. Soon, he reached the end of the tunnel. Just as he suspected, he found Onua scraping and digging out the new chamber, his hands covered by metal claws he had fashioned for himself.

"Couldn't you just use your powers to make a new tunnel?" asked Takanuva. "And do we even need another one? It's not like we need any more space."

Onua's thrust a claw into the wall, pulling the earth apart, and pressing it into the sides of the new tunnel. After a moment, he answered. "This is for my own sake. Digging makes the world make sense. Digging puts me at ease."

"Are you still worried about Teridax?"

"I'm not worried about Teridax betraying us, if that's what you mean," answered Onua. "Vakama's prophecy said that we would meet a white-armored Makuta, who would help us defeat our Makuta. I am worried about the other Toa." Onua pulled a stone out of his way and went back to digging. "Teridax does not reveal the details of his plan to prevent security leaks. So instead we wait and gather our forces. The other Toa grow impatient. They want to liberate our home and defeat Makuta, and over time, they begin to wonder whether Teridax has a plan at all. You seem to be the only one who trusts him completely."

"Yet another thing that sets me apart from everyone else," said Takanuva. "I named myself after the Toa Nuva, but I no longer am one. You all fly around with your new armor, covering each other with your Nuva masks and finding new recruits. The Toa Mahri swim through our channels, attacking Skakdi ships. And I'm stuck here because I can't help any of you."

Onua took a deep breath and turned to face Takanuva. "Takanuva, we all respect you. You may not have a Nuva mask or adaptive armor, but you're an important member of our team. You managed to stop more Rahkshi than any of us. Your uniqueness is your strength."

"It just feels like I'm never out there with the rest of you," the Toa of Light complained. "I'm always on my own, defending Metru Nui or this dank cave, while the rest of you fight Skakdi or gather more Toa."

"Right now, I think everyone feels a little useless," answered Onua. "Your time will come, Takanuva. Just be patient."

 

It didn't take long for Gavla to find the hints of a resistance group. It was obvious who the members were - a handful of multi-colored Matoran heading into Ta-Metru every other afternoon stood out. It was all too easy for her to follow one Le-Matoran through the Metru until he walked up into the entrance of a building. Forge 77, read the sign above the doorway.

Gavla began staking out the building, watching from across the street. Matoran from various districts, entering a single forge after most workers had gone home. The Rahkshi were far too dim-witted as law-enforcers to be able to notice this sort of suspicious activity, and so as long as Matoran appeared to be hurrying off to work or home, they wouldn't be stopped.

Gavla could report this to Ahkmou, but she wanted to give him more details. Solid details. So she waited.

A Ta-Matoran walked past her, staring curiously at the blue-armored Matoran loitering in the district of fire. The moron probably thought she was a Ga-Matoran. Still, Gavla thought it would be best not to allow attention to be drawn to herself. Like all Matoran of Light, she could change the color of her armor at will. She glanced around to make sure no-one was watching, before shifting the way light bent around her body. After a moment, parts of her armor shifted from deep blue to red.

She waited some more.

The evening air turned cold as the twins suns set. The smoke from the Great Furnace was barely visible in the night sky, but it's flames lit up buildings in the far distance. Gavla huddled up to the entrance of a nearby building, where the embers from the fire pits inside licked her with warmth. Of all the districts in the city, Ta-Metru remained the most well-lit after dark.

Finally, Matoran began to leave Forge 77 in pairs and small groups, without a word of goodbye to each other. Each group headed back towards a nearby chute station that would take them back to their home district. Finally, she caught sight of the Le-Matoran she had followed in. He left with a Ta-Matoran she had never seen before.

Gavla ran to catch up to them, allowing her armor to shift back to her preferred blues. The two Matoran held an amazingly slow pace, and she caught up easily.

"Excuse me," she asked, "Can you direct me to the nearest chute station?"

"Of course, watermaiden!" replied the Le-Matoran. "I head to Le-Metru myself. Chute-station you need on our way. Now, quick-follow!"

This Matoran's chutespeak was even worse than most of the inhabitants of Le-Metru. How his companion put up with it was beyond Gavla. "Thank you, friend," she said, following next to him. "By the way, my name is Gavla. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"I am Tamaru of Le-Metru!" he replied. "Highfly Chutesman, Deepcity Wayfinder! Friend here is Kapura!"

Kapura nodded but said nothing. Tamaru raced on about a dozen different topics, his thick dialect making it difficult for her to keep up. But none of that mattered. She had their names, and soon, Ahkmou would have them as well.

 

She took the news to Ahkmou the next day. To her surprise, when she approached his throne she didn't see a Matoran sitting in it, but a Toa of Stone. Akhmou's voice came from behind the black mask of the tall Toa.

"Gavla, what news do you bring me?"

Kneeling before him, Gavla replied. "I've found the names of two members of a resistance group, Turaga."

"Excellent work. I will dispatch the first of my new Vahki to capture them."

Gavla was surprised again when a creature scuttled forward on two legs and two blades. No, this was no creature - this was a machine.

"The first of the new Vahki enforcers," explained Ahkmou. "It wasn't hard for us to find the plans for them. They will find your new friends and bring them to me. All you need to do is give me their meeting location…"

 

Tahu had just finished directing the Toa Mahri on another mission to disrupt Skakdi ships. The Toa Mahri worked well together and had proven themselves a match against some of the most formidable Skakdi before. Now, as they coordinated attacks from beneath the waves, they were able to dominate sea-going foes without having to confront them directly. Shipping lanes were disrupted with regularity, and the Skakdi were struggling to keep up or send their forces further South.

The Toa Mahri left the room, heading toward the tunnels that Gali and Onua had prepared that led into the ocean. These tunnels allowed the Toa to come and go from their hidden underground base without Makuta and his forces being able to watch. So far, they had remained hidden.

It was yet another attack in a long line of attacks. The Toa were used to getting to the heart of a challenge, to decisively defeating their foes - not these long wars of attrition, of denying resources and supply lines. It felt like they were floundering uselessly, and he hoped this would end soon.

Tahu stepped out of the briefing room. Pohatu was leaning against the wall, arms crossed.

Pohatu rushed up to him. "We're still just harassing the Skakdi, aren't we?"

Tahu strode onwards through the tunnels. "Like Teridax has said, we need to prevent Makuta from organizing an even larger army."

Pohatu had heard all this before, multiple times. "Tahu, why are we still waiting? We haven't located any other Toa groups in over a month. We're just biding our time!"

The two stepped into another corridor. A Toa of Sonics - Krakua, who Hewkii had recruited, brushed past them.

"Teridax is waiting for the right time to strike," answered Tahu. "You saw what Makuta's forces look like. We lost Metru Nui once, and I don't want to go back until we're ready."

"How much more ready do you want to be?" asked Pohatu. "We aren't gaining any more Toa. Skakdi are escorting new Vahki to Stelt. Rahkshi are heading South, and we're doing nothing. Teridax told us he could stop Makuta, but it seems like we're just sitting back while he builds his Empire!"

Tahu's eyes narrowed. He couldn't admit it to the other Toa, but he'd been having the same doubts. All the same, the only chance that they had at victory was with a large, united force. "Pohatu, I believe in our Unity. As a group, we can take Metru Nui back. Without Teridax; can we still achieve it?"

"Sometimes I can't straight-believe that we'd be taking orders from a Makuta," came a familiar voice from behind them.

Tahu and Pohatu turned around to see Lewa approaching. "Is this our Unity?" asked the Toa of Air. "To blind-follow a leader of shadow? Is Makuta just leading us in circles, ensuring we never return to our home?"

Tahu tried to keep his cool, but he was struggling to hide his frustration. "Vakama told us that we'd meet Teridax! Vakama foresaw this! I wouldn't have trusted Teridax if Vakama didn't tell me to with his last words!" The moisture in the tunnel turned to steam as Tahu's body temperature increased to extreme levels.

"Is that all we do?" asked Pohatu. "Follow prophecies blindly? Newsflash, Tahu, we already did that. We were told to awaken Mata Nui. Now we don't know where he is or if he's even alive, and we gave Makuta all the power he ever wanted. We destroyed our old home, we lost our new one, and we failed to protect the Matoran." Pohatu sighed. "And now we're taking orders from Makuta's double. Don't you think we're playing into Makuta's hands - again?"

"I won't forsake Vakama's last prophecy over a hunch!" cried Tahu.

"Then get Teridax to deep-explain his plan to you," said Lewa. "Give us something to believe in."

Tahu held back the urge to lash out. That wasn't how a leader should act. He needed to build a foundation of trust for his team to work with. "I'll see what I can do," he grumbled, as he stormed off to find Teridax.

 

Gavla had waited impatiently at the Great Temple, where Ahkmou promised he would meet her. The next resistance meeting was called for three days after her meeting with Ahkmou, but the day had finally arrived. Gavla wandered around, looking at the Toa Suva, wandering the halls, anything to make the time go just a little bit quicker.

Finally, she heard footsteps and the clanking of machinery. Tamaru and Kapura followed the Vahki without a hint of resistance. Like Ahkmou said, the Vahki Nuurakh can command anyone to do their will, thought Gavla. Ahkmou stepped in, followed by two more Vahki.

"Is this it?" asked Gavla. "I gave you their meeting location. Why didn't you capture the entire group?"

"These two will be all we need," Ahkmou replied. "When their allies discover their fate, they will be far too fearful to even think about taking up arms against us!"

Ultimately, Gavla didn't particularly care what Ahkmou did or didn't do. "So you will finally give me that which you promised me?" she asked.

"Of course, my friend!" said Ahkmou. "But first, I have another gift for you."

He presented a stone to her.

"A stone?" asked Gavla, incredulously.

"Place it in the Suva," urged Ahkmou.

Gavla pushed away any doubts she had, and approached the Great Suva, stone in her hand. A slot on the side of the Suva opened up. Trembling, she placed the stone inside.

A bright light shone from the Suva, engulfing Gavla within. She felt her body changing, shifting, growing. As the light faded away, she glanced down at herself. The ground was further away. She towered over the Matoran, she was eye-level with the Vahki.

She had become a Toa.

"What have you done?" cried Gavla, turning to Ahkmou. "This isn't what I asked for! I'm a Toa of Light, not a being of Shadow!"

"Just have a little patience, Gavla." Ahkmou pulled out a mask from his satchel and replaced it with the one he wore.

Ahkmou looked more powerful with his new mask on. "Makuta arranged to have a few of these transported here from Destral - along with some other curiosities."

"A mask of hunger," Gavla whispered. She was intimately familiar with this masks powers and abilities - a part of her hoped that Ahkmou might grant the mask to her.

The mask of hunger began to glow, and she felt the familiar effect of her light being drained.

"Yes! Thank you, Turaga!"

Her armor didn't change color, her body didn't feel different - at least, no different than she already felt in her new, larger form. But she felt a connection that she was worried might have been lost forever. She was valuable, she was needed.

She would be Makuta's enforcer.

A flurry of movement from the Vahki drew her attention. The two Matoran became a blur of motion, before vanishing before their eyes. Vahki scurried around, trying to follow them - but they moved so quickly.

"It seems our friends are more capable than I thought," answered Ahkmou. "Not to worry. Both were hands of the Turaga on Mata Nui. We know who they are, who their likely associates would be, and we have instilled fear in their organization. The Vahki will be on the lookout for them and their friends, and if they appear, we will destroy them."

 

Tahu didn't waste time to find Teridax. He walked swiftly through the damp cave network he had helped to create, checking each room for any sign of the Light Makuta. The Toa were growing impatient, and Tahu needed to get answers for them.

He found the Teridax in a briefing room, staring at a map of their universe carved into the wall.

"Teridax," said Tahu. "I need to ask, why are we wasting more time attacking Skakdi ships, instead of retaking Metru Nui?"

Teridax turned face to Tahu. "We're stopping Makuta amassing more forces," he explained, radiating a calm demeanor. "He's trying to bring more of the aggressive forces under his control, so he can wipe out those that oppose him. We are preventing him from taking total control of the Universe."

"We're not holding Makuta back at all!" Tahu was almost shouting. "He's captured Stelt, and we're seeing Skakdi escorting newly made Vahki! Rahkshi have reached the Southern Continent now, and every day, their forces grow stronger! You told us that you could stop Makuta. What are we waiting for?"

"Tahu. We must wait until the appropriate time," Teridax kept his voice level and calm. "We must wait until he is distracted, divide his attention, and launch an attack ourselves. Otherwise, Makuta will be able to stop us with a simple thought."

Tahu grimaced. They had all heard this before, but Teridax hadn't trusted anyone with the details of his plan. "You want to work together with us, but you've given us no information on your tactics. How can my team continue to trust you, if you cannot trust us?"

"I must remain vigilant. If word of my plan reached Makuta, all hope of its success would be lost. If he captured any Toa, he would delude them into giving up the details. Giving you more information than what you need is an unnecessary risk."

Tahu grabbed Teridax's arm. "You know, Teridax, you look just like Makuta. You claim to be better, but I wonder whether you really are the resistance leader you claim to be, or if you're just tying us up while Makuta closes his fist around the Universe."

Slowly, Teridax twisted his left hand to break Tahu's grip. A huge rumble was felt throughout the cavern. Teridax began to ignore Tahu, listening to the sounds.

"Your wish is granted. Makuta is on the move. Gather everyone in the central chamber!"


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Sep 19 2018 - 04:11 AM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#6 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 11 2018 - 08:34 PM

Chapter 6

Authors Note:

A number of lines of dialogue in this chapter are lifted from Journey's End, by Greg Farshtey. Huge thanks to Greg for being the primary storytelling force for Bionicle, which has inspired me so much.

 

Makuta reached out to the universe. For weeks, he had been learning to use his new body and monitoring the lives of those inside. Now, on a whim, he decided to locate the Mask of Life.

The Mask had landed on a planet. Even worse, it appeared to be moving. That wasn't right. Mata Nui should be floating through the loneliness of space, not wandering around with other life forms!

Makuta should have let it go. He should be focused on the lives of the Matoran that served him. Mata Nui spent too much time looking outward, without a care for the beings that tirelessly served him. Makuta wouldn't make that same mistake.

And yet, Mata Nui was still out there. It bothered him.

Makuta used his sensors to pinpoint the location of the Mask of Life as he fired the thrusters in his feet to lift his enormous body off the surface of the water-covered planet. The heat generated caused the oceans to bubble and boil, and enormous waves crashed to fill the space he had left behind. When Makuta reached a high enough altitude, a satellite that had been orbiting the planet latched onto his back, granting even faster travel through space.

Finally, he sent a message to his forces. Any available Rahkshi in his legs, any Skakdi forces that had yielded to his rule, would prepare for their attack.

Mata Nui has escaped from what should have been his eternal prison, he thought. I won't give him another chance.

 

Dozens of Toa gathered in the largest chamber of the cavern, buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Everyone was eager to receive Teridax's orders. Pohatu still remained suspicious, but he would give Teridax the benefit of the doubt - for now.

Soon, everyone was assembled. Teridax strode toward the map that was carved into the wall. "Makuta is now on the move. This is the time for us to strike." He used a short stick to point to Metru Nui, the Northernmost point of the map. "Most of you will travel to Metru Nui, where you will focus on pulling Makuta's forces to the beach. We don't know for sure what kind of resistance you will encounter, but we have evidence to suggest that they have been constructing law-enforcement robots known as 'Vahki' in the city. The Vahki have mind-altering abilities, so be sure to keep an eye on your fellow Toa. Takanuva and Kongu will give you a thirty-minute head start before providing air support with the vehicles."

Kongu pumped his fist into the air. He had been fawning over the vehicles ever since the Toa Nuva had first brought them back, and had been hoping for a chance to be able to ride one.

Teridax pointed to the tunnel West of the Northern Continent. "Tahu, Onua, and Pohatu will fly the Rockoh and travel to this point. There, you must break through the tunnel wall. In the chamber within is a large amount of machinery. Destroying it will hinder Makuta's movements, as well as providing a distraction. Once this is complete, you can rejoin the rest of us. Makuta will quickly become aware of your assault, so be prepared for enemy forces to come and investigate."

Pohatu analyzed his part of the mission, while Teridax continued giving out orders. He had been vocal about his suspicions of Teridax. Was this why he was one of the only Toa not to be sent to Metru Nui? Or was he actually among those best suited for this mission?

Teridax continued giving orders to the assembled Toa, his imposing frame demanding attention. "While the rest of you distract Makuta's forces, Kopaka, Lewa and Gali will escort me to the Coliseum. There, I will make the killing blow against Makuta. Time is of the essence, so get moving!"

Everyone scrambled out of the chamber, eager to do their part in the upcoming battle. Most of the Toa ran toward the lower tunnels, which fed into the ocean. Pohatu ran towards the side chamber that held the Rockoh. Takanuva and Kongu were already preparing their vehicles. Kongu climbed aboard the Axalara, feeling the controls for the first time.

"Make sure you bring that thing back in one piece," said Pohatu as he climbed into the cockpit of the Rockoh. "Lewa would never forgive you if you scratch it."

Kongu powered up the engines of the Axalara. "I've been flying for much longer than Lewa has. He doesn't have anything to worry about."

Onua and Tahu climbed onto the sides of the Rockoh. Pohatu glanced at Takanuva. He was whispering to the mask he had placed on the Jetrax. Takanuva and Kongu could take their time preparing, but Pohatu had somewhere to be.

He slowly twisted the handle, gently urging the vehicle out through the tunnel that would lead them to the surface. The Stone Toa felt a twinge of anticipation, of adrenaline. It had been too long. Too long preparing, sitting, waiting.

The Rockoh was approaching the end of the tunnel. A dead end, a sealed exit. Onua held out a hand, forcing the earth in front of them apart. Bright sunlight shone in, forcing Pohatu to squint. A moment later, they were out in the open air.

Pohatu banked toward the West, twisting the throttle. The trio accelerated over the continent, toward their destiny.

 

A group of Rahkshi stalked through the forests of the Northern Continent, on the lookout for any beings wandering unchecked. They had been on the prowl for weeks, ordered by the Makuta to search the Northern Continent for Toa. As of yet, they had found nothing - but that suited them better than being cooped up on Metru Nui, forbidden from harming the scurrying Matoran that infested the strange buildings.

One of the Rahkshi looked overhead. Peering through the dense treetops, it watched a strange machine fly past. That would normally be enough to grab its attention, but this was special. There were Toa on that flying device.

Rahkshi were not allowed to hurt Matoran without Makuta's orders.

Rahkshi were allowed to hurt Toa.

The Rahkshi screamed a beckoning cry to its allies, as it switched to flight mode. The hunt was on.

 

The Mask of Life hadn't gone far, landing on a fractured planet nearby. Makuta flew down to the surface of this hot, dry planet. Mountains littered the landscape, but the vast majority of it was desert, a far cry from the watery moon he had left behind. And there was Mata Nui. Somehow he had been able to procure another Great Body to inhabit. As Makuta landed, the ground beneath his feet cracked. He looked down on the being he had overthrown.

Mata Nui stood a head shorter than Makuta, and his new body was clearly inferior to the one Makuta now possessed. Makuta was sure Mata Nui was trying to think of some way to defeat him without harming the Matoran. He would not find one.

"Silence?" said Makuta. "No threats? No vows of revenge? You disappoint me."

"I don't need to do any of those things," Mata Nui answered. Although he was speaking quietly, the sound of his words still echoed all over the planet. "I don't need to prove myself in combat with you, either. We don't need to fight."

Makuta chuckled lightly. "No, of course we don't. You could just lie down and die right now. You would save me at least a few minutes' effort, and yourself a lot of pain." He raised his right arm. "Or do you need persuading?"

A burst of power shot from Makuta's armored gauntlet. It sizzled past Mata Nui's head and struck one of the peaks of the distant mountains. The terrific heat melted the mountain in an instant. Makuta's sensors picked up the screams of faraway beings in the split second before they were covered in magma.

"I could do that all day," said Makuta, "and into tomorrow. You would fight me, of course, and the two of us would lay waste to this planet - which gives me an idea."

Makuta lifted his arm, opening his palm. "Join me," he said. "In these bodies, we have the power to decimate entire universes. Together, we could rule all of reality."

"You know so much, and yet you understand so little," said Mata Nui. "You look at the body you stole from me and see only an engine of destruction, a weapon to be wielded against anyone you choose. Didn't you ever wonder why the Great Beings created it to be so powerful? Or why you felt compelled to seize control of it?"

"You mean your 'destiny?'" said Makuta, acid dripping from his words. "Yes, I know all about your mission – your great quest to reunite the three wandering pieces of Spherus Magna. Let me show you what I think of it."

Power lanced from Makuta's outstretched hand. It struck Mata Nui in the shoulder, staggering him and tearing a gash in his robotic shell.

"Ah, I see," Makuta said. "You must be wearing an old model. Cheap materials, cheap construction … I'm surprised you would be caught dead in that."

"Makuta, listen to me!" answered Mata Nui. "My destiny … it's yours, too. We're supposed to work together to restore Spherus Magna to what it once was. I should have come back long ago. I never thought to come back, to check on my creators. I knew they would call me when they needed me - but I never asked why they didn't try to contact me. Maybe they disappeared long ago. But now, Makuta, these people need me - they need us! And we must help them!"

Makuta answered with a blast of energy that Mata Nui barely managed to dodge. The time for words was over. Mata Nui brought up his fists and took a fighter's stance, hoping desperately that Makuta might still back down.

Makuta threw a punch, and Mata Nui swerved to evade it. And the two giants threw fists and energy blasts against each other, in a battle that would decide the fate of a universe.

 

Tahu gripped onto the side of the Rockoh, as Pohatu rocketed them through the tunnels. Rock and stone rushed past as they sped through the long tunnel. It was always chilly in the tunnels between the domes that housed the islands and continents.

The chamber they flew through suddenly lurched violently. Boulders dislodged from the ceiling, and water splashed high enough to drench the entire chamber. Pohatu didn't flinch and swerved to evade a falling rock, before continuing to race down the tunnel.

"What was that?" asked Pohatu.

"I can only assume it's a part of Teridax's attack on Makuta," said Onua. "Or perhaps it's why Teridax chose to attack now."

Another crunch echoed through the cave, making Tahu glad he was hovering in the air. He tried to ignore his sense of dread and focused on the mission. Another ill-defined mission. Supposedly this was Teridax's end-game, but they still knew so little about his plan. What were they about to destroy? What would it mean for Makuta, and Mata Nui? Tahu was willing to place his trust in Teridax, if only because of Vakama's prophecy - but was he couldn't shake his doubts completely.

Presently, Pohatu slowed, bringing the Rockoh to a hover. Tahu hopped onto a stone jutting out of the sea and heard Onua land a moment later. Pohatu found a rocky outcropping to land the Rockoh on. The rumbling earthquakes appeared to have stopped - for now.

"So, do you see a door anywhere?" asked Pohatu.

Tahu looked at the wall in front of them. Rock covered the metallic protodermis. He could melt it away, but who knows how long that would take. "No," he answered. "But I'm sure you could make one for us."

"No problem," said Pohatu. "This looks like a good spot." He activated his Mask of Speed to speed up the particles in their bodies, allowing them to pass through solid matter. Tahu and Onua saw him transform into a brown blur. The blur ran into the solid protodermis and disappeared. Tahu followed suit, passing through the solid wall with no resistance.

He found himself in a dark chamber. Tahu couldn't see a thing, so he generated a flame from his magma blade to shine some light on the chamber. "I don't know what I expected, but this wasn't it."

The walls of the chamber were lined with enormous pistons and large pumps. Huge pipes gave the Toa somewhere to land. Below those pipes, towering cylinders pumped liquid to somewhere outside the chamber.

"It's a long way down," said Onua, as he peered over the edge of the pipe they were standing on.

"Sure is," said Pohatu. "Looks like there's plenty of machinery that's about to need some serious repair. Are we sure this is the right thing to do? Aren't we going to hurt Mata Nui?"

"Mata Nui is gone," said Onua. "If he returns, we can fix this, but for now we must do everything we can to stop Makuta." He activated his Mask of Strength, sharing it with the others, and flew over to one of the nearby pumps. He grabbed onto the side of the pump, his grip causing the casing to buckle. Now that he had a good grip, Onua ripped the pump apart. Sparks flew, and liquid splashed down into the deep pit below.

"Come on Pohatu," said Tahu. "We've got work to do." Tahu hovered over to another of the pumps. Summoning energy, he created a jet of flame which he fanned over the piston. The flame turned the protodermis yellow, then red. Moments later, the metal dripped away, and fluid poured out. If the fluid ever landed, he didn't hear it.

 

Gali swam through the channel with the rest of the Toa, Mazeka, and Teridax. She had shared her mask power with the group, allowing them to breathe underwater. Using her powers over water, Gali created a current powerful enough to help speed the group to the island-city.

This was it. They'd finally liberate their home. It was finally time for her to protect the Matoran once again. She felt a pang of guilt at having ever left them, even though she knew it was the right decision. The only decision.

It wasn't long before they reached Metru Nui. Almost thirty Toa sat below the ocean waves, beneath the wall that protected the city. Hidden under the sea, the Toa had been able to remain completely undetected.

Kopaka used his Mask of Vision. "Two Vahki are patrolling this section of the wall," he said calmly.

"How will we quick-take them out?" asked Lewa.

"Just watch." Kopaka kicked up to the surface, flying out into the air. As he exited the water, he pointed his sword towards one of the law-enforcement robots. His beam of ice froze the Vahki instantly. Even as Kopaka's adaptive armor changed into flight mode, he aimed at the other Vahki, freezing it as before it had time to respond.

With the sentries taken out, Lewa activated his mask, sharing its powers with the rest of the group. They hovered out of the sea, and over the defensive wall. Matoran going about their daily business stopped to stare at the force of floating Toa. As the group landed within the city walls, one Matoran shouted. "Toa! The Toa have returned!"

Gali looked up toward the frozen Vahki. "You made it look easy," she said to Kopaka.

"If this is the best defense Makuta can summon," said Kopaka, "none of us will have a problem."

A moment later, the sound of engines whirred around them. Gali looked to the sky, to see two aerial vehicles speed by. That would grab the attention of any Vahki and Rahkshi in the city.

They felt another earthquake rumble through the island. Lewa was thrown to the floor, enormous waves crashed against the defensive wall, and everyone struggled to keep their balance.

"The earthquakes are nothing to worry about," Teridax announced to the assembled group of Toa. "They are only proof of the force that attacks Makuta! While he is distracted, we will continue our assault! We will split up here. Keep Makuta's forces off our backs!" Teridax turned to charge toward the center of the city.

Gali and Kopaka rushed after Teridax.

"Stay ever-alert, and watch your backs!" added Lewa, as he raced to catch up.

Kopaka shared his vision powers with the rest of the group. "Keep an eye out for any approaching Vahki," he said to the others. "We'll be able to take them out before they know what's hit them."

 

Gavla knew something was up. Perched near the Coliseum, she'd been able to catch a glimpse of the flying vehicles. The Toa were more clever than this - they would be attempting a strike at the heart of the city. Ahkmou had stationed her at the Coliseum for a reason. She remained hidden on an outcropping, using her powers to cloak herself in the shadow cast by the huge building. They'd be here soon - but they wouldn't spot her until it was too late.

 

Makuta refused to let it show, but he had begun to feel a pain in his shoulder. It was the Toa, it must have been. Somehow, they knew the right moment to harm him. If he tried to look inside himself now, Mata Nui would be able to beat him to a pulp. Instead, he commanded a squadron of Rahkshi to go to the location of his ache. Even this split his attention almost too much, and Mata Nui threw a quick punch into the larger ruler's body. Mata Nui followed with another punch. Makuta knocked it out of the way before backhanding his smaller foe.

The two exchanged blow after blow. Mata Nui was probing Makuta's defenses, trying to find a weakness, an unguarded point to attack, a chink in his armor. That was fine. Mata Nui was far too afraid of hurting the beings inside Makuta to do any real damage. Makuta twisted to dodge a punch aimed at his head, and countered with two swift blows to Mata Nui's chest. Mata Nui recoiled, pulling out of reach of his foe.

"You rely too much on the bravery and spirit of your followers, brother," Makuta said, his voice heavy with menace. "Even here, on your adopted world, you gather starry-eyed fools around you who think you can save them."

Makuta lowered his right arm, palm pointed toward the site of the battle below. He began gathering huge amounts of power in his hand. This wasn't like the small blasts he had been hurling up until now, instead, this would be something incredibly destructive.

Gravity, Mata Nui realized. He is going to unleash the power of gravity on Bara Magna.

Makuta's red eyes gleamed with triumph. "You know, don't you? A single blast of gravitic power and this planet will fold on itself, destroying everything and everyone on it. I will survive… perhaps you will as well… but everyone else will be a memory."

"You can't do that! The consequences-"

"I stopped caring about consequences long ago," Makuta answered. "Those sort of worries are for the weak, and I am strong, Mata Nui. By right of power, I claimed your universe - and now I claim this one, starting here and now!"

Energy erupted in waves from Makuta's gauntlet, a planet-killing force that could not be stopped…

 

"Alright, we're here," said Lewa, as they crossed the bridge that led overwater to the Coliseum. "What now? Shut down the protodermis plant? Or is there a hidden power-treasure in the vault?"

"No," said Teridax, as the group stepped off the bridge. He took one hand off his heavy warhammer and pointed to the ground below the Coliseum. "We will teleport in here, and strike at Makuta's brain."

"Even better!" replied Lewa with mock enthusiasm.

But despite the joke, he was beginning to feel dazed. Something was wrong with his legs. It was as if his muscles had turned to water. Without more than a few seconds' warning, his legs buckled and sent him sprawling on the ground.

Gali ran over. "Lewa! Are you alright?"

Kopaka scanned the area around them. Was there an attacker somewhere?

"Hold off the attack!" shouted Teridax. "I will destroy Makuta!" Moments later, he vanished into nothingness.

The next thing Lewa knew, Gali fell to the ground beside him. Where was this mysterious attacker? Kopaka stood above the two fallen Toa, covering them with his shield. His head turned in every direction as he tried to locate their attacker. Suddenly, he stopped. Had he noticed something? Lewa struggled to look in the same direction as Kopaka. Above the archway, there was a shadow - strangely darker than the rest. Kopaka's feet gave out, but with the last of his energy, he fired a beam of ice toward the shadow. The archway froze solid, but not before a dark blue figure flapped out towards them.

"Too late, Toa Nuva!" she cried, as she landed in front of the three Toa, collapsed on the ground. "It's a shame Takanuva isn't here as well. I would have loved to turn him against you."

Lewa struggled to summon any strength at all, desperate to stop their attacker harming his friends. "G-Gavla?" She had changed, but he thought he recognized the voice of one of the Shadow Matoran he had faced in Karda Nui. But she had been brought back to the light, hadn't she? Lewa slowly began to pull himself back to his feet, feeling the smallest amount of energy return to him.

Then the strange Toa fired another beam from her mask at him. Lewa felt the light draining from him. Desperately, he fought it, feeling the goodness, the righteousness, the love for his brothers and sister disappearing.

"Now, be quiet and relax," urged Gavla. "Soon you will be reborn as a Shadow Toa, and you will feel for yourself just how wonderful Darkness is."

The more the light was drained from him, the less he fought back. It did feel good. Why was he fighting so hard against a ruler he could not defeat? Why work so hard for anything? Why not just join the Shadow Toa, and reap the benefits of a life lording over the Matoran? He could almost taste the delight in pain, the glee that Gali and Kopaka would soon join him in this sadistic form.

Gali. Kopaka. Despite the darkness creeping into his soul, the thought of his friends was enough to set free some half-forgotten feeling of warmth, companionship, and love. He had fought this shadow before, and he could do it again. No, he thought with desperate resolve, they will not join me in this dark-fate, not if I can do anything about it. He looked toward Gali, who was desperately trying to force herself up on her hands. Suddenly, Lewa found the will to summon a blast of wind, knocking Gavla back, just long enough for her feeding to stop.

Lewa could felt the light slowly return to him. "No, Gavla. I will not let you turn us into shadow-agents of Makuta!" Lewa threw out his hands, creating a powerful updraft that sent Gavla flying.

 

Six Rahkshi raced through the tunnels, chasing the Toa they had spotted before. The Toa had long since left them behind, but the commanding-voice in their heads had told them where they would go. They stopped at the place they had been directed to, yet could see no intruders. The Rahkshi hissed in frustration, eager to fight, eager to kill. Makuta had kept them as a security force in Metru Nui so long, and they had very rarely been allowed to even hurt the Matoran.

A blue-green Rahkshi listened intently, hearing the sounds of destruction coming from the other side of the cave wall. It stepped into the center of the group of Rahkshi, then used its power of teleportation to transport the group to where it could hear the strange sounds coming from.

A moment later, the six Rahkshi found themselves in a dark chamber, falling down a deep abyss. Not a problem. Each one pulled up its legs, switching to hover mode. Now, they had the ability to fly, and deep pits wouldn't bother them anymore. In the distance, above them, a bright, powerful flame lit the chamber. At its center, a Red Toa was creating the flame. Intruder. The everywhere-voice had told them to eliminate intruders.

The rest of the group found places to land and fire at the intruders, but the Teleport-Rahkshi charged into battle.

 

Tahu heard a crash from behind him. He turned to see Onua swinging his hammer, sending a Rahkshi flying uncontrolled. Onua then created a barrier of earth to block a series of energy blasts. "Watch your back, Tahu!" said Onua, as the blasts exploded against his barrier. "Makuta's sent his friends to crash our party!"

Tahu kept firing his elemental power at the machinery they had been commanded to destroy. "Sounds like Makuta wants to slow us down, which means whatever we're doing is hurting him. You hold off those Rahkshi!"

Onua rushed off, creating heavy spheres of dirt to hurl at his opponents. Tahu hovered above the next piston he needed to melt. As he heated it beyond its capacity, it cracked and shattered. Moments later, it knocked itself apart, superheated metal and steam tumbling into the dark abyss. One more down, just dozens left to go.

Meanwhile, Pohatu was in trouble. He drilled into one Rahkshi, grappling furiously as he bored through its shell. But Pohatu hadn't noticed a second Rahkshi, perched atop one of the protosteel columns, aiming its staff at him.

Tahu did notice. As the Rahkshi fired, Tahu used his Mask of Shielding to protect his friend. The laser blast was absorbed harmlessly.

Tahu wasn't going to let his friends be used as target practice any longer. He charged at the Rahkshi, peppering it with fireballs. The Rahkshi screamed at the heat and flames, and leaped off the column, changing to its flight mode. Tahu rammed it. The Rahkshi veered off, then turned back to face him. In flight, with no nearby columns to land on, it fought back the only way it could. It charged at Tahu.

The Fire Toa swung his blade, catching the Rahkshi as it charged. His blade sliced through the shell and the Rahkshi fell down into the deep abyss.

Tahu heard a sickly scream. He looked up. Another Rahkshi was shooting electricity at Onua. Tahu quickly used his mask to shield his friend. Onua's screams subsided, and he scrambled away from the Rahkshi.

Two Rahkshi remained, and they gave chase to Onua, ready to finish him off. Onua swerved and banked, throwing off their aim and evading their blasts, before flipping and inverting back towards Tahu and Pohatu.

Pohatu hovered close towards Tahu.

"Attack as one!" commanded Tahu.

Onua flew towards them, followed closely by the two Rahkshi. There was neither rock nor stone in this vast chamber, but Pohatu wouldn't need any. He held out his weapon, creating a shower of stone in front of him. Tahu superheated the boulders, transforming them into a wave of lava.

Onua dived down, and Pohatu thrust the lava wave at the Rahkshi. The lava splashed over the two Rahkshi, causing them to hiss and writhe. Struggling against the molten liquid that engulfed them, they were no longer able to fly or hover, and they fell helplessly into the darkness.

"We could have handled it, Tahu," said Pohatu. "You should have focused on destroying the machinery."

Tahu looked toward the pistons beneath him, dozens of them twisted and melted. "I wasn't going to risk it. Come on, we've got a job to finish."

 

At that moment, Mata Nui threw himself at Makuta, grabbing his arm and jerking it up into the air, sending the gravitic power surging into the sky. Makuta realized what an act of genius this was, as the gravity beam struck the moons of Bara Magna. Combined with the power Mata Nui had already sent into space, the moons began heading on a course - straight toward their original placements.

Makuta roared and pushed Mata Nui away, but the shorter giant kept coming. Makuta could see Mata Nui's robot body was damaged, but Mata Nui threw blow after blow at Makuta, forcing him back. The pain in Makuta's shoulder was getting worse, and he was struggling to keep up with Mata Nui's blows. Mata Nui threw one last punch at Makuta, sending him back into the Northernmost reaches of Bara Magna. But Mata Nui was exhausted, his power drained.

"You made an excellent effort," Makuta said, "but they don't remember who tried the hardest… only those who won. Today, that is I."

Using the last of his energy, Mata Nui leaped at Makuta to shove him backward. But Makuta grabbed Mata Nui's arm, twisted, and threw Mata Nui to the ground. Mountains turned to dust as Mata Nui landed. The shadow of the moon of Bota Magna passed overhead, as it returned to its rightful place.

Makuta shouted as he mounted Mata Nui's body. The two moons collided with Bara Magna, and the entire planet shuddered. The other beings on the surface would no doubt be thrown by the enormous earthquake, but to the giant, it was a light tremor. Spherus Magna was whole again.

Makuta pulled his right arm back, and Mata Nui shut his eyes, surely knowing he had failed everyone who relied on him. Makuta's fists rained down on Mata Nui's face again and again.

Finally, the blows stopped. Mata Nui looked dazed and confused, struggling through the pain Makuta had unleashed. Makuta smiled as Mata Nui opened his eyes, only to see that Makuta was readying one last punch.

 

Tahu hovered next to the largest cylinder, firing a powerful flame at it. This cylinder was easily thirty times his own height, reinforced with strong metals. Surrounded by the heat, the metals began to melt and crack. But Tahu was tiring, having already expended his elemental energy on the rest of the machinery - and the Rahkshi. The piston sounded as if it was pumping even more erratically as Tahu's flame ate into it, inch by inch. How much more could it take before cracking? Tahu willed his flames to even higher temperatures.

 

Makuta's fist came down, crushing Mata Nui's head. Metal twisted, crumbled, and flew through the desert. Electricity discharged from the robot body, like lightning strikes hitting the ground. The Mask of Life, inside the head of Mata Nui, was crushed instantly. "Goodbye, brother," whispered Makuta.

 

The piston continued to deform, shards of metal cracking off the section Tahu had set aflame. It quickly, violently twisted - and snapped itself in two. One half of the cylinder shattered off, cracking the pipes below it open. Finally, the sounds of pumping machinery ended.

"Whatever that was, I hope Makuta felt it," said Tahu.

"This better have been worth it," said Pohatu, turning back toward the protodermis wall they had passed through earlier.

"Come on," said Tahu. "Let's get back to Metru Nui."

Pohatu shared the power of his Mask of Speed with the others, and the trio phased back through the metal wall they had come through.

 

Makuta lay there, trying to pull his fist out of Mata Nui, but somehow he couldn't move his arm. He pulled himself up over the remains of Mata Nui's head, and awkwardly rotated his body to pull his hand free. He had won this battle - but what of the battle going on within himself? His right arm had been completely disabled, despite the Rahkshi he had sent in to stop the intruders. He would look inside and find the intruders - no.

The damage was done. He would need to check on Metru Nui first. Standing awkwardly over the world, one arm hanging limp, he looked inward to his old domain…

 

Gavla struggled to regain control of her flight, but Lewa's mastery of air prevented her from being able to escape his attacks. She found herself swept away by another gust of wind, pressing her up against the wall of the Coliseum, her armor scraping against the stone. Before she knew it, Lewa was in front of her, swinging his blades.

Gavla knocked the attack away and kicked him back. "You'll pay for what you did to me, Lewa!" She charged toward him, swinging her swords ferociously. Lewa dived, ducked and flipped out of the way of each of her strikes.

"You can't defeat us in a fair-fight, so you have to resort to shadow-stealth!" He thrust out his hand, blowing her back.

"And it worked, didn't it? I'd never be able to keep up with a single Toa Nuva in one-on-one combat, but now I'm going to get the better of you!" Gavla peppered shadow blasts at Lewa.

Lewa rolled to evade them, but one struck his shoulder, sending him falling to the ground. The steel surface rushed up to meet him, but Lewa stopped himself using the Mask of Levitation. Lewa felt ragged. His power was returning to him, but too slowly.

"Now, Lewa," said Gavla. "Relax, and give in to the comforting embrace of darkness."

Lewa found himself struck with another beam and felt the too-familiar sensation of the light being drained from him again.

 

Gali felt exhausted. Just moving her arms felt like a challenge. She could barely make out the aerial movements of Gavla and Lewa, each looking like a blur as they darted around above her. She heard Kopaka pull himself to his knees nearby.

Gali closed her eyes, as she reached out to the water around her. The moisture in the air, the splashes of water against the bridge - and the enormous river that lay below. She felt it's ebb and flow, the ripples on the water. Lewa was in trouble - and it was up to her to rescue him.

Gali looked toward Kopaka. He gave her a small nod, and she understood. They'd combine their powers to protect Lewa.

Gali hurled a stream of water toward Gavla. She hit her target. The torrent of water sent Gavla flying. Just as quickly, the water froze, sealing Gavla in place.

"Are you hurt, Lewa?" Gali shouted.

Lewa began floating down toward her. "I am fine, sister. I am glad you are such a true-shot."

"Kopaka's Mask is good for more than simply seeing through walls," Gali replied.

"Well," cut in Kopaka. "How are we going to follow Teridax now?"

 

Takanuva kicked his Jetrax around for another pass at a group of Vahki. Blasts of light destroyed them with ease. The battle had started frenzied and frantic, but the Toa had soon learned to hold their lines and protect each other from the mind-altering attacks from the Vahki. A group of Matoran fighters even joined in the battle. Between elemental attacks on the ground and energy blasts fired by Takanuva and Kongu, the Vahki hadn't stood a chance.

Takanuva flipped around, preparing for another pass at the Vahki when he saw something speeding into view from the Great Barrier. It was the Rockoh. Takanuva sped over to greet the riders.

"Glad to see you've made it!" said Takanuva.

"How is the battle going?" asked Tahu, as he looked over the city.

"The Vahki really don't stand a chance against us," Takanuva replied with a note of pride. "We're wiping the floor with them. The Rahkshi make them look as tough as Bula Berries."

"Really?" asked Pohatu. "So we waited all this time when we could have taken Metru Nui ourselves."

"Don't get ahead of yourself," said Onua. "We might have been able to retake Metru Nui, but the Rahkshi would return. There's a bigger picture here. In any case, we should check on Teridax and the others."

Then, Takanuva felt it. A shift in the universe. Nothing visibly changed in Metru Nui. It was as if there was a change in how the air tasted, how the waves of the ocean sounded. The look on everyone's faces indicated that they had felt it as well.

A feeling that, somehow, the Great Spirit had died.

Again.

Suddenly, an enormous earthquake shook the world. Towers trembled before crumbling apart. Roofs of buildings caved in, transit tubes fell apart, and the sounds of destruction reached the Toa even this high above the city of Metru Nui.

"Is that what the bigger picture is?" asked Pohatu.

"Makuta is dead," said Onua. "And with him, the Universe has died as well."

"But was this Teridax's plan?" asked Tahu. "Or is he in trouble?"

Pohatu looked over the metropolis as it fell silent once more. "Either way, I certainly hope this was worth it."


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Oct 16 2018 - 10:31 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#7 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 13 2018 - 12:52 AM

Chapter 7

 

Pohatu flew the Rockoh towards the Coliseum, where Kongu said Teridax and the rest of their team had last been seen heading towards. Takanuva was following close behind. It didn't take long for him to spot the enormous tower of ice rising from the waters, with Lewa, Gali, and Kopaka standing on the bridge that spanned between the Coliseum and Le-Metru.

Takanuva quickly set down the Jetrax on the bridge, before Pohatu could land. "Looks like I missed out on the excitement!"

Pohatu landed the Rockoh next to the Jetrax. "Where's Teridax?"

"He teleported beneath the Coliseum while we made happy-friends with Makuta's shadow-pet," answered Lewa, gesturing to the enormous, frozen tower beside the bridge. "He said he would complete his mission alone. I suppose that means stopping Makuta."

"So, was the Great Spirit dying a part of Teridax's plan?" asked Pohatu as he climbed down from his vehicle. "Sure would have been nice for him to let us in on that brilliant idea. You know, some say that Toa of Stone have rocks in their heads, but they have obviously never met a Makuta."

"Pohatu, you're not helping," said Gali, an exasperated tone entering her voice. "Even the mention of Teridax is putting you on edge lately. He has tried to stop Makuta, but you can't see that through your stubbornness. Please, can we just try and fix this?"

"That's done a lot of good for us, hasn't it?" Pohatu replied.

"Teridax fixed your arm! He brought an army of Toa together to liberate Metru Nui! Whatever else he has done, he has defeated Makuta and rescued this city. We've got bigger things to worry about right now."

Pohatu looked at his left hand. He'd had his mechanical arm for over a month, and it hadn't been any less effective than the one he had lost. In fact, the grip may have even been stronger. The only real complaint he could make was that the silver color didn't match his armor. He felt ridiculous, worrying about matching armor sets when the world had ended. "We've lost everything," he whispered. "Our home, our Universe. We sacrificed so much, only to have even more taken away. How do you remain so calm? How can you trust a Makuta after all they've done?"

"Because, no matter what, I have all of you to rely on," Gali explained gently. "But we need to rely on you, as well. We're a team, brother."

This made Pohatu feel a little stronger inside. Maybe he didn't have Tahu's courage or Onua's wisdom - but he had always had his friends to rely on. He had been so worried about protecting them from the potential threat of Teridax, that he'd begun pushing them away and ignoring their real foe. "Thank you, sister."

Gali's eyes hinted at a smile, and they bumped fists in a show of mutual appreciation.

Pohatu looked to the rest of the team - they had come such a long way from the lost, bickering Toa they had been when they first stepped onto the island of Mata Nui, all those months ago. They'd learned to support and protect one another.

Kopaka was peering toward the Coliseum, the eyepiece of his mask moving in and out as he changed focus. "We should check on Teridax. He's too far away for me to locate with my mask."

"Let's go after him," said Tahu. "It won't take long with the vehicles."

"Actually, it might," said Kopaka. "Teridax teleported beneath the Coliseum. We'll be able to get in using the Mask of Speed, but the vehicles will have to stay here."

"Alright then," Tahu replied. "We'll take the long way. Let's go!"

Pohatu used his Mask of Speed to increase the rate of the Toa's vibration. The Toa appeared to blur as their atoms vibrated at higher and higher frequencies. Kopaka's mask allowed them to see the hidden tunnel beneath the Coliseum. Lewa used his mask to levitate the Toa above the entrance to the tunnel.

"Here goes!" shouted Pohatu.

The group dropped down, through the ground, and reverted back to their normal levels of vibration. They found themselves in a long, narrow tunnel, slowly angling deeper and deeper below the city.

"Stay alert," commanded Tahu, as they rocketed down into the darkness. "Who knows what we'll find down here?"

"Thanks for reminding me Tahu," said Lewa with an air of sarcasm. "I never would have thought to remain ever-alert."

They traveled deeper and deeper through damp stone walls. Minutes ticked by until the long tunnel veered right. Staying at high speed, Pohatu felt a jolt of magnetism pull him toward the wall - but it only lasted a second before they had passed by, unharmed by whatever trap they might have sprung. What would they face down here? Would Teridax be unharmed? Pohatu couldn't be sure, but he was feeling a sense of dread building. He hoped it was just because of the loss of the Great Spirit.

Tahu called out, distracting Pohatu from his thoughts. "I think I see a light up ahead. We must be close."

The light got brighter and brighter, and soon the Toa landed in a huge amphitheater.

 

Smashed machinery and computer terminals lay everywhere. The fizzle of a cable sparking caught Onua's attention. And in the center of the room, hunched over in front of what must have been an enormous power supply moments ago, was the Light Teridax.

"Are you alright?" Gali ran over to help pull Teridax to his feet.

"I - I'm fine, Gali," he croaked.

Onua looked around the room, taking in the dozens of ruined computers lying around the room. An enormous structure lay in the center with a huge spherical pit carved into the top. What this device was for, Onua couldn't fathom. "What happened here? What is this place?"

"This is - was - the control center for the Great Spirit," answered Teridax. "This is where Makuta injected his consciousness into the Great Spirit, and where his memories were stored."

Onua kept searching the room. Nothing here felt quite right. There - against the wall, a patch of color against the steel wall. What was that?

"Wait," said Pohatu. "So if you've destroyed this control center, then the Great Spirit is…"

"He was dying from the moment Makuta ejected him from this world," Teridax finished. "Mata Nui will never rule the Universe again… but that doesn't mean that another being couldn't, given enough time to repair this mess."

Onua checked the wall. A strange image of a red dragon was marked on it. Two shackles hung from the wall nearby, each holding an arm. The body these arms belonged to was nowhere to be seen. Blue armor - it was difficult to tell, but he thought the armor looked antique, picked with marks pits and scratches from years of wear. It looked like a Toa had been held captive in here. Onua touched the armor with one finger, finding it was still warm. This Toa had been alive only moments ago. Quietly, Onua returned to the rest of the group, who were still bickering with Teridax.

Pohatu gripped his claws, pulling one back into a position that would allow him to quickly strike. "You used us this whole time!"

Onua grabbed Pohatu's arm, preparing to hold back his outburst. "Settle down! We don't need a battle within our ranks at this time."

"No, he's right!" said Kopaka. "Teridax lied to us about his intentions all along! We would never have joined you in destroying the Great Spirit!"

Teridax pulled himself up, revealing a gaping hole in his chest armor. He ripped a piece of metal off the nearby machinery. Placing the sheet of metal over the hole in his chest, he activated his powers of magnetism to strike it to his armor. Plasma zapped from his fingers, welding the metal to his armor. "It's time to leave, Toa. We must evacuate this universe. You should not have come down here."

"We must evacuate the universe? What do you have planned for us, Teridax?" demanded Gali.

Pohatu stepped beside her, crossing his arms. "Not once did you describe this plan to us. You expected us to go along with everything, without question."

"I ensured that your Makuta would no longer be a threat," explained Teridax. "Had I been honest, would we have been able to unite so many Toa? Would all of you stand before me? I may have destroyed your Universe, but I saved its inhabitants."

Gali was not satisfied with his answer. "We could have prepared a new home for the Matoran. We should have had something planned. A way to restore Mata Nui, perhaps."

Tahu stepped up, ready to point an accusatory finger at Teridax. But, at the last moment, he pulled back. "We can argue about this later. Right now, we have to rescue the Matoran. Let's go."

One by one, the other Toa Nuva turned to leave. Onua lingered a moment, feeling the touch of earth around them, ensuring it would obey his command if needed, before turning as well.

And suddenly, the seven Toa found themselves jolted with thousands of volts of electricity.

Onua's muscles failed him, and he fell to the ground, spasming from the pain. The other Toa screamed as they fell, a horrific sound that wouldn't end. Onua's entire body ached as electricity coursed through his body. They wouldn't survive this assault for long.

Onua created a wall of earth behind the group, absorbing the lightning attack to protect his team. The pain subsided, allowing him to catch his breath. "I knew something was amiss here. You've betrayed us, Teridax!"

The protective wall of earth shattered and crumbled, and Teridax slowly walked towards them. "Teridax? Surely you had this figured out, Onua." The bulky, white figure held out his palm, generating power. "Did you really think I would be so easily defeated? Your 'Teridax' came to kill me. But I killed him first. This room was destroyed, and my mind was shutting down. I needed a body - so I took his."

Makuta fired a blast at Onua. Onua rolled out of the way, leaving a sickly poison to pool on the steel floor he was standing on a moment ago.

 

Lewa brandished his twin katana, circling around the white-armored Makuta. He felt the powers of the wind surround him, feeling as though they could unleash themselves into a storm with little provocation.

The rest of the Toa took up positions of their own. Pohatu, Onua, and Takanuva firmly stood before Makuta, while the rest of the team moved to flank him.

Takanuva stepped forward. "Leave my friends alone, Makuta! This fight is between you and me!"

"No, Takanuva," said Onua urgently. "We fight as one."

Lewa knew Onua was right - the Toa Nuva had learned so long ago to trust in each other to overcome their foes. Hopefully, Takanuva would listen to Onua's advice.

Makuta sized up Takanuva. "You think you can challenge me alone? You are nothing, Takua. And I will send you back to nothing!" Shadows enveloped his fists, a swirling darkness that light wouldn't penetrate. He punched the air, sending blasts of shadow rocketing towards Takanuva.

Lewa forced a gale at Makuta, sending him off balance for a moment. But Makuta quickly regained his footing. Takanuva weaved through the blasts and fired a beam of light at Makuta.

Makuta held out his hand, absorbing the beam of light into a vortex of shadow. "I should have destroyed you the moment you entered my lair for the first time!"

"I stopped you once, Makuta," said Takanuva. "I'll end this once and for all."

Lewa felt the powers of the Mask of Strength and Speed shared with him, a silent signal from Onua and Pohatu. As one, the seven Toa charged at Makuta. Lewa swung his blades at Makuta. Despite the incredible speed behind Lewa's attack, Makuta swiftly slipped just out of the way, striking back with his hammer. Lewa nimbly flipped around the attack. As he landed, he saw the other Toa furiously attacking Makuta, moving so swiftly they looked like blurs. Amazingly, Makuta managed to dodge each and every swing.

Lewa couldn't dwell on this. Kopaka stabbed at Makuta, even as Makuta prepared to strike back. The next thing Lewa knew, Kopaka was slammed to the ground. Makuta lifted his hammer up, preparing to crush the Toa of Ice. Lewa rushed in to defend his fallen teammate, hurling a blast of air at Makuta. This time, Makuta remained planted firmly to the ground, grinning as his hammer came down. Kopaka rolled out of the way just in time to avoid being crushed.

Lewa charged in, his twin katana prepared to strike. He almost made it to the Master of Shadows when his legs gave out beneath him. He fell to the ground, unable to pry himself from the metal floor. Horrified, he realized his armor had been magnetized to the steel floor. He tried to pry himself free, but it was a wasted effort.

The other Toa were encountering the same problem, each struggling against the magnetic forces pulling them to the floor. Onua managed to take a single step before giving up.

Makuta swung his heavy hammer with amazing speed, cracking Takanuva's chest-plate. Takanuva grunted in pain, trying in vain to get away from Makuta before he was finished off. Makuta's hand lunged down towards Takanuva, firing a shadowy beam.

"Takua," whispered Makuta. "You'll never be anything more than a Matoran playing hero. You can't save them. You can't save anyone."

Lewa thrust his arms towards Makuta with every ounce of energy he could muster. He increased the air pressure around Makuta as much as possible, desperately trying to crack his protodermis armor. "Stay away from him!" Lewa cried, straining as he applied as much of his power as he could to his foe. Makuta took a step back to avoid the fierce winds, and suddenly the magnetizing force that had kept the Toa trapped disappeared. Onua and Pohatu stumbled forward as they were freed from the magnetism, and Lewa found himself able to move normally again.

Lewa scrambled to check on Takanuva, while his teammates threw elemental attacks of their own at Makuta. Takanuva was twitching and writhing, as if in a nightmare. Lewa whispered a threat. "You'll hurt-pay for this, Makuta."

He glanced at his friends. Most were swinging weapons at Makuta, but Tahu leaped out of the way of a shadow attack, landing nearby. He rolled back up, pulled himself to his feet, and took stock of the situation before giving Lewa a small nod. Lewa summoned a whirlwind around Makuta, and Tahu combined it with flame. The chamber filled with a ferocious flame, blazing winds whipping past so hard that Lewa felt he would pass out from the heat. For a moment, he thought they might have done it.

But Makuta casually stepped through the firestorm. The other Toa directed their own elemental energies - stone and earth buffeted Makuta, water and ice struck against him. But nothing fazed Makuta, and he walked through each attack as if it were nothing more than a light breeze. "You were lucky you found my double! If you hadn't met that abomination, you would never have been able to stop me!"

Lewa wouldn't give in so easily. "We will ever-stand against you, Makuta! United, we will-"

He couldn't finish his sentence, for shadowy tendrils shot out of Makuta's body, sending Lewa flying. He smashed into the wall, pressed against it by an enormous force. He couldn't breathe with the mounting pressure against his chest, and he couldn't get clear of the tendrils. His lungs burned, desperate for air, and spots danced across his vision.

Lewa focused on his lungs, creating a well of air within himself to sustain him. The burning sensation in his lungs went away as he focused on artificially sustaining himself with his powers. But he was too focused on breathing to be able to work on escaping the tendrils that had him pinned to the wall.

 

Lewa was in trouble.

Tahu created an enormous flame, forcing Makuta's shadow tendrils to retreat. Lewa fell to his knees, free from the attack, a look of determination still in his eyes.

Tahu felt his grip on his Magma Swords tightening so hard he thought he might shatter the handles. Makuta was toying with them, dancing around their attacks and striking back with brutal force. His vision narrowed, his blades glowed as he focused his power over fire, ready to finally cut down his foe in a sea of flame. Tahu charged back into the fray swinging his greatswords furiously, but Makuta managed to dodge each blow.

Pohatu flew past, leading into a flying kick. Makuta ducked beneath it, swinging his hammer overhead and knocking Pohatu out of the air. Tahu saw an opening and swung his blades low, certain the distraction would allow him to finally shatter Makuta's armor. But Makuta jumped over the swords, kneeing Tahu in the chest and sending him reeling. As he regained his composure, Tahu saw Makuta's hammer coming down to crush him and quickly rolled out of the way. Makuta's hammer struck the metal floor where he had been a moment ago, causing it to buckle and crack.

"You worshipped Mata Nui blindly," said Makuta, bringing his hammer around for another swing. "What did he ever do in return? I would have helped the Matoran grow and prosper. I would have guided them all to a better future! I would have rewarded the most loyal and hardworking! And you have destroyed that, because of your bitterness and hatred for me."

Tahu jumped to his feet and hurled a fireball, which hurtled uselessly past as Makuta twisted out of its path. "Enough of your twisted justifications! You will pay for all you've done to Mata Nui, for all you've done to the Matoran!"

Onua swung his hammer, but it passed harmlessly through the air. Makuta twisted around, striking back at the Toa of Earth. Onua landed with a thud, groaning as he pulled himself back to his feet.

They barely stood a chance as it was. They were lucky to have been able to avoid the worst of the attacks, but that wouldn't last forever. One by one, the Toa were being knocked down. Someone needed to defend the team. But not with gusts of wind or walls of stone.

With a mask.

Tahu pulled back from the fight. Every metal bone in his body, every fiber in his muscles, told him to fight alongside his comrades, to smash his blades into Makuta, to deliver the blow that would finish him off. But that wouldn't win the battle, nor would it protect his allies.

Makuta's hammer ripped through the air, ready to crush Gali. Tahu summoned the power of his Mask of Shielding, sharing its power with Gali, and Makuta's hammer was deflected harmlessly away.

Kopaka and Onua seemed to appear from nowhere, swinging their own weapons at Makuta. The Toa danced around Makuta, slashing, stabbing and striking with everything they had. And somehow, Makuta managed to dodge each and every attack.

"You have destroyed the universe!" Makuta cried, swinging his huge hammer at the smaller beings. "Was living out the short remainders of your life in a world becoming colder and darker worth it, just to usurp me? Was it worth stopping me, just to send the Matoran to their freezing deaths? They would have worked for me, as they did Mata Nui. Would their lives have been so tragic? Even you could have worshipped me in peace."

Gali saw an opening and struck. "You are a tyrant, Makuta! You deceived the Matoran, you betrayed Mata Nui!" She slipped past a swing from Makuta. "You've killed countless beings in your pursuit of power, and you will destroy thousands more if we don't stop you!" She gave three more sharp thrusts of her trident.

Makuta slipped around the blade, countering with his own weapon. "Your vendetta against me has doomed you all."

Lewa leaped in from behind Makuta, his twin katana poised to slash. Tahu smiled to himself for a moment, relieved that his comrade had found a way to strike a blow.

But Makuta somehow managed to spin around the attack, even though he couldn't see it. As he wheeled around, he swung with his hammer, slamming Lewa to the ground. "You think you have a chance against me? How will you defeat a foe you cannot even hit?"

Tahu cringed as the floor crumpled beneath Lewa. He has to have a weakness. There has to be a way to stop him.

He looked towards Onua and nodded. They combined their powers to send a wave of flaming earth toward Makuta. Makuta quickly responded with a power scream. The sound was like being punched with the power of a dozen fists. Stars danced across Tahu's eyes, and he was almost driven to the ground. The power of the shockwave tore the flaming blast apart, scattering burning dirt throughout the room.

Onua created a barrier of earth to protect himself. He needn't have bothered, for Tahu's shield protected him and his teammates from the burning soil. Heat radiated from the dirt, and although it didn't bother Tahu, he saw Kopaka and Pohatu strafing to position themselves away from the flames.

Makuta held out his hand, preparing another energy blast. Pohatu struck him in the back with his claw before he could fire it. Makuta staggered off balance for a moment, turning to find the source of the strike. Pohatu spun around for a follow-up, but all of a sudden Makuta was dodging every blow again.

Onua sidled up to Tahu. "Do you see?" he whispered as he attempted to crush Makuta between two earth pillars. "He can't dodge and use another power at the same time!"

"So if we keep attacking, he can't fight back," answered Tahu, as he used his mask to shield Lewa from Makuta's hammer. "But if he doesn't fight back, we don't stand a chance of hitting him."

Lewa backflipped away, landing to Tahu's left. "We are having some hard-luck in this fight. We need a smart-plan to finish this."

Tahu blocked a shadow blast with his mask power. "I've got an idea. Lewa, get ready to use your mask."

 

Gali was succumbing to the exhaustion of constantly striking and evading. Again and again, she fired jets of water at Makuta. Again and again, Makuta slipped and ducked past each strike. From the corner of her eye, she saw Tahu whisper something to Lewa. They must be planning another combined attack. Gali whipped at Makuta with a serpent of water, forcing him to step back. She struck out again and again, herding Makuta away from her friends.

Makuta hurled an energy blast at her, and she ducked out of the way. Closing in, she stabbed at him with her trident, then spun around to slash low. Predictably, Makuta evaded her attacks with ease, and she had to duck out of the way of his next swing. Panting, she backed away for a moment to refocus her energy, ready to counter if Makuta made another move. Fortunately, Kopaka and Pohatu ducked back in, giving her a moment to recover.

Without warning, she felt herself begin to hover. Glancing around, she saw the other six Toa lift off the ground as well. Even Takanuva, still twitching helplessly, was levitated into the air. Lewa's mask glowed, indicating he was sharing its power of levitation. This is it, Gali thought.

Tahu's swords were red hot, and he thrust them into the metal floor. The steel beneath Makuta began to melt, his feet sinking into the metal. In moments, the entire floor had become a searing, viscous liquid. Computers and machinery drooped and deformed into the molten metal, sending sparks flying as the devices were set alight with flames. Makuta tried to pull himself free, but each step just made him sink deeper into the floor. He had nowhere to escape to.

Gali used her powers to shower a mist over the Toa, offering some small protection from the sweltering heat.

"Now," shouted Tahu. "Altogether, attack!"

Gali summoned all the water she could, and together the six Toa fired elemental blasts at Makuta. Fire and ice, earth and water, wind and stone - they would come together and trap Makuta in a seal he could never escape from. Makuta held out his hammer in front of his chest. A powerful burst of energy countered the six elemental beams, striking them away harmlessly. He held back his laughter. "A Toa Seal. How many times do you Toa think I would fall for the same tired trick?"

Gali and her teammates had thrown almost everything they had at him, but hadn't fazed Makuta. They had him trapped, right where they wanted him, and it still wasn't enough. What else did they have?

Pohatu and Onua zipped past Makuta, two quick blurs striking at him again and again. Makuta lashed out with his hammer, but he couldn't hit the fast-moving targets. Swift, powerful blows from the two Toa, enhanced by the Masks of Speed and Strength, began to dent his armor.

Gali furrowed her brow. We can't give up. We must find a way. We will fight Makuta to our last, desperate breath. After all this time, there is no way that I will simply allow him lord over the Matoran ever again.

She ducked as a beam of plasma passed by, lighting up the room. Kopaka, Lewa, Onua, and Pohatu darted around Makuta, striking quickly and backing away. Even with his incredible ability, Makuta had no method of dodging their attacks, while he was trapped in the molten metal. But the Toa's attacks stopped being effective. He's switched to his Invulnerability power again, Gali thought to herself.

Makuta held his hands toward the ceiling, firing a blast of energy.

Gali felt herself falling upwards. She quickly inverted, allowing herself to hover normally again. Makuta had reversed the gravity in the room - yet another ability on his list of seemingly endless powers.

Gali looked up at Makuta hanging awkwardly above her, as he slowly began pulling himself free of the molten surface. Gali quickly blanketed the molten metal in water, attempting to cool it down so it would harden before Makuta could escape. A beam of ice from Kopaka appeared on her left, landing at the same point she was targeting. The metal hardened and solidified, and they quickly worked together to freeze the rest of the molten surface before it could collapse on them.

Makuta had already pulled one leg free, but one foot remained trapped as he dangled above them. He smiled. "You can't defeat me, Toa." He held out his palm to the metal holding him, firing a beam of superheated plasma to free his trapped foot. "We could rebuild this world together. I am the only chance you have to save the Universe. Without me, the Universe, and everything in it, will die."

"Keep attacking!" shouted Tahu, desperately hurling a ball of flame. Gali gathered every droplet of water she could find, unleashing it on Makuta. The blast of water struck him, staggering him for a moment before he moved his palm to counter with an attack of his own. Gali barely ducked out of the way of the searing beam in time, but she saw Pohatu hadn't noticed the blast.

An energy sphere from Tahu's mask absorbed the beam, protecting Pohatu. Gali breathed a sigh of relief.

But Makuta would get them eventually. She could blast him with water a hundred times, she could flood the whole chamber if she wanted, and they still wouldn't finish this fight. Her energy was spent, she felt like it was an effort to just stand up. The other Toa must be feeling the exhaustion as well. How long until Tahu missed blocking a shadow strike with his mask? Or until Onua ran out of energy to share his power of strength? In a test of endurance, Makuta would win. They needed to finish this now, and there was only one Toa who could do that.

Gali closed her eyes, focusing. Takanuva.

 

Takanuva felt afraid.

Nightmares flashed before his eyes. Matoro, disintegrating in a blast of light. Dead. Jaller, leaping in front of the Tuurakh. Dead. Vakama, lying in his arms. Dead. The Toa Nuva, scattered on the ground in front of Makuta. Dead. An entire world with no light or warmth. Dead.

Takanuva ran. He ran from Rahkshi, from Toa, from being a hero. Everywhere he looked, he saw a vision of horror. He rounded a corner, only to find the Fear Rahkshi standing over Jaller. Takanuva kept running.

Takanuva, Gali's voice echoed. Where was it coming from? He wasn't ready to see her death as well.

The next sight made him cower in place. Makuta, hanging from the ceiling, one leg trapped. It would be funny if it weren't for the fact that he was firing energy beam after energy beam, trying to strike the exhausted Toa Nuva. Takanuva tried to run, but he couldn't. Suddenly, his arm stretched out with a mind of its own, firing a blast of water toward Makuta. But Takanuva didn't remember turning his arms blue.

Takanuva, we need you. You're the only one that can finish this.

Takanuva understood. This wasn't the nightmare he had found himself in. He wasn't seeing through his own eyes, but through the telepathic link he had set up with Gali all those months ago.

He - or rather, Gali - twisted away from the fight and rocketed toward the corner of the room. Takanuva could see his body splayed on the ground, legs tangled awkwardly. Gali grabbed his arm, steadily aiming his lance at Makuta. Makuta was trying to free his leg, as the other five Toa pounded him with their weapons.

"Enough games," whispered Makuta. A dark mist began to escape from his body, swirling around him, filling the room. The mist sought out the Toa, persisting even after they weaved away. Kopaka barely managed to duck underneath one of the tendrils before it grabbed him. Another of the misty tentacles wrapped around Onua, but a blast of wind from Lewa blew the dark mist back.

The mist kept on coming, filling the chamber, threatening to engulf the Toa.

I'm with you, Takanuva. It's time to finish this. I'll aim, and you fire.

Takanuva pushed his fears down, trying to quiet them as best he could. Gali and the others needed him now. He focused everything he had into his lance. A brilliant white beam filled the room, vaporizing the shadowy mist it struck and driving back the rest. The light pierced Makuta's chest, ripping the plate apart. Light met darkness, and darkness could not exist where there was light. Antidermis sizzled and snapped, engulfed and destroyed by the beam of light.

"Takua," said Makuta, his voice fading. "Together, you and I could have saved this Universe."

The beam ended. Gali blinked. Takanuva blinked.

His eyes adjusted, and he saw his regular, white arm stretched out in front of him. Suddenly, he felt himself falling upward as gravity righted itself. His arms were yanked as Gali caught him, and she lowered him gently to the ground. Takanuva took a deep breath as he regained his composure.

"Are you alright?" asked Gali. "It looked pretty bad in there."

Takanuva shook his head. "I'm fine now. Thanks for getting me out, Gali."

Onua grabbed Takanuva's shoulder, pulling him close. "It's finally over. You saved all of us, Takanuva."

Takanuva smiled. It was good to be back among friends. Back among the living.

 

They soon exited the Coliseum, hovering above the city. Using his mask, Kopaka could easily see that the inner streets were deserted, but the fighting near the edges of the city continued. Matoran had joined in the fray, throwing Kanoka disks and firing blasters to help finish off the few remaining Vahki. A handful of mechs had been deployed by the Matoran as well - clearly, they had been busy building them during Makuta's reign.

"What now?" asked Lewa, hovering in front of the team. His chest plate looked bent and misshapen from the fight.

"Our world is dead," said Takanuva. "We need to evacuate to the island of Mata Nui."

Pohatu looked upset. "You forget, Mata Nui is gone. Destroyed by the Bohrok. Waking them up doesn't seem like such a great idea now."

The rockets on Onua's legs thrust intermittently. "What other choice do we have?"

Kopaka glanced at the glacier he and Gali had trapped Gavla in. By now, it had melted enough for her to escape, and she was nowhere to be seen. That wasn't their problem now. But he had no idea where else they could search, and the slow freezing of the universe didn't sound like a pleasant future, even to the Toa of Ice.

"Teridax must have had a plan to evacuate us," said Gali. "There must be somewhere to go."

Tahu flew in front of the others, looking at the fighting beneath them. "Alright. Pohatu, Kopaka - scout out the Island of Mata Nui. Make sure it's safe, and report back to us. We'll help finish off the Vahki."

"Sure thing. We'll let you know just how inhospitable it is," replied Pohatu.

 

 

Kopaka and Pohatu flew off toward the great barrier, racing through the maze that led to their old home. As they approached the barrier made of stone and metal, Kopaka found himself lost in thoughts.

Teridax was dead, killed by Makuta. While Kopaka doubted he had evil intentions, he felt that, in hindsight, Pohatu was right to have voiced his concerns. Teridax had led deceived them, tricked the Toa into assisting him to slay the Great Spirit. There must have been another way to stop Makuta. Kopaka still had his doubts that they would be able to find a way to save the Matoran. Teridax clearly knew much more about the nature of the Universe than they did - he knew exactly where to strike at Makuta, and when. So why hadn't he made plans to save the Matoran? Why was he so willing to destroy the Great Spirit? Maybe Teridax had plans to restore the Mata Nui to life somehow, but if he did, he hadn't revealed them to anyone else.

And now that he was gone, the Toa couldn't know how or if the Great Spirit could be restored. And Kopaka would never be able to forgive Teridax for hiding that knowledge from them. For tricking them into helping him destroy the Great Spirit. For his betrayal of Mata Nui.

"Do you think we'll find anything?" asked Pohatu, shaking Kopaka from his thoughts.

"I think we'll find an empty wasteland," answered Kopaka. "I can't imagine it will be much better than in Metru Nui."

The two passed through the gate that led into Makuta's lair, and out into the enormous network of tunnels that led to the surface. Slowly, the gravity beneath them seemed to shift. Kopaka didn't remember the Mangaia having shifting gravity. And he certainly didn't remember the etched carvings on the wall. He could almost be certain that the circular carvings were on the ground the last time they had passed through. "What happened here?"

"Pretty concerning. This can't have been caused by Makuta, can it?" Pohatu stared at the tunnel ahead of him. Light shone through from the other side. But instead of flying straight up, like he expected, they would end up traveling sideways. "This can't be right. There can't be anything out there. The island will be on its side, Kopaka."

"Let's check it out anyway." Kopaka flew out of the last tunnel that would take them back to their home. Pohatu was right, though. Would the ocean have fallen beneath them? Or would they find that the entire island had become submerged?

The light got brighter, as they headed toward the outside world. They exited the last tunnel, and it was exactly what Kopaka expected - and somehow, not what he expected at all. They hovered a hundred kio above a sandy desert lay a hundred, and an enormous metallic wall lay behind them. The ridges and edges of their old home remained in one piece - but the entire island lay on its side.

"Where did the ocean go?" Pohatu asked, looking at the huge swaths of desert sand below. It looked like there was a jungle in the far distance, at the foot of enormous mountains - bigger than anything they had seen on Mata Nui.

But closer to them was what looked like the body of a giant. A being so large it could not possibly have ever existed lay before them. Its head was caved in, and no discernible features of its face remained. "What is that?!" Pohatu asked.

"Whatever it was, it doesn't matter anymore," answered Kopaka. "It looks like Takanuva was right. That jungle - it might be our salvation." He looked up at the cliff they were standing on. "Hang on…" Kopaka flew out of the cavern.

Pohatu kick

Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Oct 07 2018 - 10:18 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara


#8 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Sep 19 2018 - 04:10 AM

Epilogue

The ships began their long, slow journey to the new land Pohatu had described. Onua didn't entirely know what to expect. Pohatu had mentioned enormous deserts and huge swaths of sand that went as far as their eyes could see. Pohatu wasn't the type to exaggerate, but it did sound a bit excessive. Perhaps he had simply focused too much on the dunes, as they reminded him of his old home.

Kopeke sat down next to Onua. The new Chronicler was silent as always and listened intently as Onua briefed him on the events that had occurred in the past month. If Onua expected a reaction about them working with Teridax, he didn't get one. But when Onua told him about Vakama's passing, Kopeke gave him a wide-eyed expression.

"Vakama is really dead?"

It was the first thing Kopeke had said since they had departed. The words still threatened to choke Onua. "Yes, I'm afraid so. He rescued Takanuva, but he sustained wounds that even Gali could not heal. He fought to protect another, and he died... he died a Toa, not a Turaga." Onua looked over toward the decks, where Matoran gathered, watching as they left their home. "We've lost so much. Mata Nui is gone, and I do not know if there is any way we can restore him. The Toa Nuva have failed our mission. We've failed our destiny."

They sat in silence for a moment, while Kopeke tried to find the words. "Turaga Nuju said that 'in creation, there is destruction. In destruction, there is rebirth. There is no such thing as void; all things are in flux.'"

Onua thought about that for a moment. Perhaps Nuju was right. Teridax had led the Toa to destroy the Great Spirit, and that thought brought a terrible ache to Onua's chest. But this was a chance for a new beginning. Teridax had deceived the Toa, but had he done so for the right reasons? Onua couldn't agree with his decision not to inform the Toa, but he had delivered the Matoran from the wrath of Makuta. Perhaps the trade-off was worth it. Perhaps Mata Nui would still be alive somewhere, in some other form. And it would be the duty of the Toa to find him.

Together, Onua and Kopeke walked to the bow of the airship, watching as they left Metru Nui. There were plenty more beings to evacuate, but for now, they only had time to gather the Matoran in the city. All the airships used for hauling freight had been gathered and repurposed for the long journey. Now, an enormous fleet of ships flew single-file, heading slowly over the city. The ships would be back many times to help gather the various beings still in the Universe before it became completely uninhabitable - but Onua would never see the city alive again. Never see anyone rushing about, the forges of Ta-Metru lit, the travel chutes in transit, or the assembly lines in motion again. It was funny - Metru Nui could hardly be called home to the Onua. Almost as soon as they had discovered it, he was rushing off with the Toa Nuva on another mission to Voya Nui, or Odina, or Artakha. And yet, it was where his Matoran friends always welcomed him home.

They stood together in silence for some time. Soon, the ships passed through the Mangaia, through the tunnels that once led to the Island of Mata Nui. And finally, they were out in the open, the clear skies far above them - and below, he could barely make out the details of the land.

Pohatu was right, the desert did go on and on. But there were other details - mountains and forests in the far distance. He had never seen - never even imagined - a landmass this huge. Onua took a look over the edge and turned back quickly. Yes, he had become used to flying, but not at these heights.

Onua allowed himself to get lost in his thoughts. Soon, more villagers from other islands and continents would leave the Great Spirit, and then... what? Would they all come together to live in one enormous city, or would they split off into groups? Would they divide themselves by their former homes, their elements, or something different altogether? Onua was about to find Whenua and ask what he thought when the airship slowed its descent. Toa and Matoran gathered around the ledges, watching as the ship landed on sandy dunes. The ship stopped suddenly, landing not-so-gently on solid ground. Around them, a dozen more of the antique airships landed, kicking up dust and dirt as they landed.

Matoran crowded around the exits, eager to pile out of the airship. Onua was one of the last to leave the ship, finally stepping out onto the never-ending sands. This would be a harsh place to spend the night without shelter. The bright, twin suns were beginning to set overhead, and the airships would be too cramped to house everyone.

Onua felt weary from the long battles and extended use of his elemental powers. But still, he knew he must persist. It was warm now, but the night would likely be freezing, and who knew what creatures might stalk these dunes? Onua walked away from the airships, and, at his command, the sands before him parted. There was still much to do, and it would fall upon his shoulders to build a shelter for the night.

 

Tahu sat outside the makeshift village, at the base of the enormous robot that had once been their home. Toa of Earth, Stone and Water had worked together to build makeshift shelters for the Matoran near the exit of the robot. Lewa had wanted to explore the top of the robot - and perhaps see if they could spot any flickering firelights that would suggest another settlement. But right now, they were tired, and the robot was too large to bother climbing this late at night. Tahu had never bothered to get familiar with the stars, but they looked familiar to him. The Red Star still shone the brightest of them all.

Pohatu sat down next to him. "Think we can still read our destinies in the stars?"

"The stars here aren't so different than on Mata Nui," answered Gali. "If they had meaning there, they must have meaning here as well."

Takanuva laughed. "Well, we could go and find Nixie, and ask her."

"The astrologer from Ga-Koro, right?" asked Pohatu. "Do you think she'd tell us anything?"

"She'll probably tell us that she was far too busy looking at the stars and to bother her later!"

As the others discussed astrology, Gali sat down next to Tahu. "I still wonder what beings might be up there, you know."

Tahu was confused for a moment. "You mean, in the Red Star?"

"Remember when I told you about it when I looked through the great telescope? Strange, four-legged beings live up there. What could they possibly be doing?"

"We could find out," said Lewa. This was the first time Tahu could remember Lewa standing still for more than a minute - a testament to how exhausted he was. "With our adaptive armor, we could just fly ever-higher, right into space, and knock on the door."

"Sure, Lewa," said Onua. "I suppose they'll just let us in?"

"Pohatu can always make us a quick entrance," replied Tahu.

"Knowing Pohatu's luck," said Lewa, "We'd find ourselves battling an army of undead warriors."

"Finding ourselves in deadly battles is a weekly occurrence for us, isn't it?" asked Pohatu.

"Only when you're ever-following us."

The rest of the group laughed. Even Kopaka's eyes managed to hint at a smile. Tahu looked behind him, at the campfires in the makeshift village where hundreds of Matoran were working together to build a new home in the desert sands.

"You know, I think, right now, we're needed here."

Authors Notes: 

 

Well, this is the ending of this fic. Thank you all so much for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it. I began the first draft in December 2017 - from beginning to end, this fic has taken me seven months to complete. My writing has come a really long way, and I have many people who have helped me improve.

If you've noticed any spelling, grammar, or continuity errors, please let me know and I will fix them up as soon as possible.

I'm planning a sequel - we have an entire new world to explore! In the meantime, I have a couple of other, shorter fics planned in this universe. If you enjoyed this fic, I do hope you will enjoy them as well.

 


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Oct 02 2018 - 10:02 PM.

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My Fanfiction

 

Parts of a Whole Series: An Alternate Ending

 

Part 1: Fight for Freedom (On FFN, Ao3, BZP                        Wisps of Memory (On FFN, Ao3, BZP)

Part 2: Army of One (Coming Soon!)


Short Stories: The Great Takara





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