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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.

 

 

Chapter 1

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. This Southernmost point was the only point that Makuta could launch an attack on their home.

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 him.

But since Makuta's voice had boomed through the city, there had been no sign of any resistance. Whatever Makuta was planning, it appeared he could not interfere with them directly.

Ever since then, she - and the Toa Mahri - had been cycling 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. Gali was so bored. 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 either too busy rebuilding defenses for the city 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. Time to 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 for below the surface. The intruder kicked and screamed as it was dragged towards her. An armored shell protected it's hunched back, and it's 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. It fired a burst of electricity at Gali. She screamed as the current surged through her, but forced herself to send a powerful current 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. 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 more 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 to the South. He wasn't quite sure - but it almost looked like something was coming from the Great Barrier. Vakama waited - moment, minutes. It might be 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. Soon, sirens blared throughout the city. Matoran leaped into turret seats. 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 the blasts of water over the silver sea, and closed his eyes, wearily preparing to face another battle. Squinting 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. 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 beast crashed into the water, splashing everywhere as it struggled to pull itself out. Before Vakama knew it, the sea was ablaze, filled with energy blasts causing huge fountains of water to rise into the air. Many Rahkshi fell into the sea, never to rise again. It wasn't enough. There were simply too many. Shortly, Vakama knew he would join the fight. 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. Pohatu flew in, bracketing the first of many Rahkshi in his crosshairs. The Rahkshi was there one second. The next, the Rockoh's heavy cannon had blasted it to smithereens. Pohatu flew over the hovering forces, firing his heavy blaster again and again. He pulled up, having passed the vanguard, and flipped around for another pass. He looked back and 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 landed uncontrolled in 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. 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. She didn't want to embarrass 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," answered Gali. She held out her arms and worked her powers. Gali focused, gaining 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 stood off, trading attacks with the Rahkshi, Gali created a current to pull carry her towards one.

The Toa Mahri proved an excellent distraction. Gali sped toward the first Rahkshi, trident readied. She split the worm in two with a might blow, 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. She then used the ocean currents to pull the third one towards her. She parried it's 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 defensive wall, blowing chunks out of it. Yellow Rahkshi were firing 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.

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, forcing Pohatu to scream. Suddenly, Pohatu was spiraling out of control. He tried to grab the handle to steer himself left but missed the bar. He looked down, trying to figure out why he couldn't grab the handle. 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 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, he was certain.

Suddenly, he felt an enormous updraft around him, giving him enough lift - and enough time - to right himself. Pohatu came to a hover, turning to find the only Toa who could have been behind that gust of wind.

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.

But Lewa had noticed Pohatu's empty arm socket. "Pohatu, I think you are slowthinking. 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 battlefly, 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. 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, 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. Takanuva was perched behind a battlement, rapidly blasting light at the Rahkshi threatening to break through. Panicked Matoran fled the area, 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 was circling 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 in this 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. He readied his sword and shield and ran in to meet them.

Dozens more Rahkshi had already climbed through the shattered wall, rushing into the city. Onua caught a glimpse of Takanuva leaping down from the wall. He chased down the 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. It would hold up against the Rahkshi - at least, for a short while.
He looked to Kopaka, who was now trading blows with two Rahkshi. Onua leaped in to lend a hand. 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 jabs with another of the invaders. Movement to Onua's right caught his eye. Another Rahkshi was lunging at him. Onua swung his hammer out to meet it. Just as he would have batted the Rahkshi out of the air, it disappeared. Onua's hammer pulled him around. Where could it be? The obvious place would be behind him.

Onua circled around, 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 lunged at it. Once again, the Rahkshi disappeared. Just like I knew it would.

As soon as he saw the Rahkshi begin to teleport, Onua swung his hammer over his head and behind him. The beast regenerated 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? Retreat? 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 resisted, 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 spotted a group of Rahkshi taking aim at them on the beach. "Pohatu, highrise! Highrise!"

Lewa flipped 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. The next thing Pohatu knew, his craft was being rocked and swayed. His joints burned and ached as lightning coursed through the Rockoh - and him. His muscles ached, but Pohatu forced himself to roll right and dive, trying to evade the attacks.

Lewa saw Pohatu was in trouble. Quickly, he 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 quickleave!" he pointed away from the battle, toward the open sea. "You cannot quickdodge 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 the wall, solidifying it further. But blast after blast struck against it, and 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," he 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, he 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 the cover and fired a ball of earth at them. He quickly ducked. Moments later an energy blast passed through where his head had just been.

"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. He had already begun 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, Jun 13 2018 - 06:22 PM.

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#2 Offline 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. You look for Kopaka and the others. We need to find Kongu and Nuparu," replied Jaller.

"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 past her. "Hop on!"

Gali climbed onto the vehicle, gripping Tahu around the torso. "Where are the others?"

Tahu began firing the Axalara's skyblasters at the splashing Rahkshi. The Rahkshi were too focused on trying to escape the water to fire back. 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.

 

Minutes later, Tahu, Gali, and Lewa landed in the city, just within Gali had located Pohatu using her Mask of Vision. The Rahkshi seemed to have headed deeper into the city and had left the perimeter deserted.

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 cloudsneak 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."

 

Tahu and Lewa had switched to their Masks of Speed, and were now running through the city. The wind howled through the empty streets, their footsteps the only sound breaking the silence.

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

As they were about to round a corner, Tahu put his hand out to stop Lewa. Tahu peered around the corner. 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 forcestop 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 Great Spirit, your new ruler, your new leader! 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 bring 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 going up.

"Do not be so everquick 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 control, more forces awaiting his orders, than he ever has before."

Makuta's rumbling voice continued to fill the Coliseum and surrounds. "...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 quietleave, Tahu," whispered Lewa.

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 savehelp the Matoran now, but we will. For now, we need to seekfind 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 others."

 

Pohatu had been pacing back and forth, waiting for Lewa and Tahu to return. He wished he could be out in the fight with Tahu, but Gali wouldn't have any of it. He'd been less relaxed lately. 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 burst open. Pohatu readied one Climbing Claw, ready to fight off the attackers.

Onua and Kopaka stepped out of the newly formed tunnel, squinting as their eyes adjusted to the light.

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's 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. 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. 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 each 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 not been so long since I, too, was a Toa."

"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 the city. 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 chores and jobs would be. He didn't want to admit it, he didn't want it to be true, but 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 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."

"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, hoping that he would find the other Toa in time. As Takanuva gasped for air to fill his lungs, so did Vakama.

"Takua" gasped Vakama, 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 rapidly descended, he realized who Takanuva was carrying. As he landed, he saw how hurt Vakama was.

"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.

"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 called upon water to create a soothing sphere, cleansing the injury and removing all 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 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, Jun 09 2018 - 12:06 AM.

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#3 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

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Posted Jun 09 2018 - 12:07 AM

Chapter 3

Tahu assisted Gali as best he could. The Water Toa had asked him to help cauterize Vakama's wound, and they had, at the very least, helped to stop the flow of liquid slowly congealing around his mechanical parts.

Meanwhile, the Toa Mahri had 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 from 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 for their protection. A beacon of hope, a symbol of a better future.

And now they were abandoning them to the graces of Makuta.

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

"Alright. We'll go. Let's get ready," said Tahu, with more than a hint of reluctance.

Tahu gently lifted the sleeping Turaga into his arms. Vakama wheezed but remained asleep. 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 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. He felt cold inside. Tahu held Vakama close, and could not 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 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. Carefully, he attached it to the front of its fuselage.

Gali hadn't moved an inch. She'd been lost in thought ever since she realized Vakama had died.

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.

Finally, Jaller finished talking. Pohatu kicked at the ground, and a stone pillar shot upward. 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.

The suns had moved to the West part of the sky, when Kopaka finally broke the silence. "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 anyone."

"Great," said Lewa, who sprang off his back, his feet. "We can farsearch from the sky!"

 

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.

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.

So much for Kopaka being the face of the Toa.

Matoran wandered up to them in awe. One hunched being looked over toward the commotion and sternly walked up to them. "And just who would these strange Toa be?" asked the village Turaga as he approached.

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."

 

The Toa soon left the village, finding 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 weren't enough to defend Metru Nui. How will we take back Metru Nui 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," uttered 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 Rahi attacks. Bamboo disks aren't going to be enough. 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 had been killed. 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. 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. Kopaka 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. Kopaka shared his vision powers with the other Toa, making sure that they could all see the being that was inside. 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 had 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 was 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, trueexist?" asked Lewa, slowly unsheathing his twin blades. "Where did you groundwalk and windfly?"

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 pledge to 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 had 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, our shared Mask Powers 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.

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

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

"I hope this gesture will mean you 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 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."


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#4 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

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Posted Jun 09 2018 - 06:27 PM

Chapter 4

 

One Month Later

It had taken her weeks, but Gavla was finally allowed to speak to Ahkmou. Gavla walked through the large gates that led into the Coliseum, flanked by two Rahkshi. 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 this could not continue for long. 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.

Finally, she reached Ahkmou's throne. Gavla knelt in front of him and looked up at the being sitting before her. "Turaga Ahkmou" she exclaimed. "I've waited so long to speak to you."

"What is it you require?" Ahkmou 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, the title had been granted to him.

"Please, Turaga," she begged, "Turn me back to a Shadow Matoran. I know you must have the power to do it."

Ahkmou said nothing for a moment. "Why would you wish to become a Shadow Matoran?"

"Being a shadow Matoran made me whole, made me part of something greater. And that was stolen from me, by the Toa - by Takanuva!" she practically spat the name.

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 resistance groups. If you bring me that knowledge, and it 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, and she hurried from the throne room.

 

Shortly after the Toa met Teridax, they destroyed the cavern he had created and tunneled into a new one by the sea. If Makuta knew where they were now, 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 areas. 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 to travel underwater - and even to other islands - undetected by Makuta.

Takanuva walked down a newly formed tunnel. So far, no new lightstones had been erected, so Takanuva used his powers to brighten the dark chamber. At the end of the tunnel, he found Onua scraping and digging.

"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 kept digging at the wall. 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. However, 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 for security reasons. So instead we wait and gather our forces. The other Toa grow impatient. They want to liberate our home and defeat Makuta, and they 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 forces."

"Right now, I think everyone feels a little useless. 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 in Ta-Metru every other afternoon stood out. It was all too easy for her to follow one Le-Matoran through the Metru until he entered a building. She began staking out the building. Matoran from various districts, entering a single forge after most workers had gone home stood out. 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 had to be sure. 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 dark blue to red.

She waited some more.

The evening air turned cold, 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 flames 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, the Matoran began to leave the building in pairs and small groups, without a word of goodbye to each other. Each group headed back towards a chute station that would lead 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 walked incredibly slowly, 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. Chutestation you need on our way. Now, quickfollow!"

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 the two Matoran who were traveling at a snail's pace. "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 no more. 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…"

 

Pohatu was growing impatient. He had been waiting outside the briefing room, while Tahu directed the Toa Mahri on another mission to disrupt Skakdi ships. Finally, the briefing finished. The Toa Mahri left the room, heading toward the tunnels that Gali and Onua had prepared that led into the ocean. A moment later, Tahu stepped out.

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 Pohatu 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 straightbelieve 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 blindfollow 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 damp 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. Instead, we killed him and gave Makuta all the power he wanted. We destroyed our old home, we lost our new one, and we failed to protect the Matoran." Pohatu sighed. "And now we're following 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 deepexplain 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, and he strode 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.

 

Tamaru became to come around, realizing the danger he was in. How will we everflee from this feardread? he thought, terrified of the idea of losing his light. Of becoming a Shadow Matoran. He'd heard Lewa's tales of the Shadow Matoran that fought alongside the Makuta in Karda Nui. Soon, Tamaru would betray his comrades, and the locations of the remaining Turaga. And he couldn't do anything about it.

A bright light shone from the Suva, as Tamaru saw Gavla changing. Her body grew larger, her arms and legs longer. The light faded, and she tried to look at herself. She was now a Toa.

"What have you done?" cried Gavla, as she turned to Ahkmou. "This is the opposite of what I asked! I'm a Toa of Light, not a being of Shadow!"

"Just have a little patience, Gavla." Ahkmou pulled out a strange mask from his satchel, and put it on his face.

Tamaru felt Kapura's hand placed in his. Kapura must have been coming around to his senses as well. If they were going to be turned to shadow, at least they would do so together.

Ahkmou looked even more intimidating 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. Tamaru thought she sounded like she wanted it for herself.

Ahkmou activated his mask power, and after a moment, Gavla looked thrilled. "Yes!" she shouted. "Thank you, Turaga!"

She didn't look any different, but an air of menace began to surround her.

It will be me next, thought Tamaru. Kapura was slowly shuffling away from Ahkmou. Kapura tries to hang to each second before the darktime comes. It won't do any good with these Vahki dreadmachines hardblocking our escape. Kapura was tugging on Tamaru's hand, slowly pulling him away. Tamaru shuffled closer to Kapura. At least they would be together when darkness came for them.

Suddenly, everything seemed to change. Was Ahkmou moving slower? Were they moving faster? Tamaru couldn't quite explain it. Seconds passed - or was it weeks? Suddenly, the two Matoran had traveled far, far away, to Ta Metru.

"I've finally mastered it!" announced Kapura, with glee.

 

Tahu didn't waste time to find Teridax. He sought the Makuta out, walking swiftly through the damp cave network he had helped to create. He found the Light Makuta 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 a more controlled opposition."

"We're not holding Makuta back!" 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 we 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. Teridax is on the move. Gather everyone in the central chamber!"


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#5 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

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Posted Jun 10 2018 - 11:52 PM

Chapter 5

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. Then, 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 was finally high enough, a satellite that had been orbiting the planet latched onto his back, granting even faster travel through space.

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.

Finally, 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. 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."

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 get very upset if it got scratched."

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 Rahkshi looked overhead. Peering through the dense treetops, it saw 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. The surface of the planet cracked as Makuta landed. and 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."

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. He hoped, 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 cold here. It always was in the tunnels between the domes that housed the islands and continents. Finally, Pohatu slowed, bringing the Rockoh to a hover. Tahu hopped onto a stone jutting out of the ocean, he heard Onua land a moment later. Pohatu found a rocky outcropping to land the Rockoh on.

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

Tahu looked at the wall in front of them. Rock covered the metallic protodermis covering it. 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, disappearing into it. Tahu followed suit, passing through the solid wall.

He found himself in a dark chamber. He couldn't see a thing, so Tahu 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. Enormous pipes gave the Toa somewhere to land. Below those pipes, enormous 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 we must do everything we can to stop Makuta." He activated his Mask of Strength, sharing it with the others, and began ripping apart one of the nearby pumps. 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 one of the large 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 water poured out. If the water 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. Then, the Water Toa had created a water current powerful enough to help speed the group to the island. Soon, they reached the island. Almost thirty of them sat below the powerful turrets that protected the city. Protected under the sea, they 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 quicktake 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, firing an ice beam at and freezing it instantly. Even as his adaptive armor changed into flight mode, he aimed at the other Vahki, freezing it as before it had time to respond.

Gali looked away to face the others. Lewa activated his mask, and the entire group hovered out of the sea, and over the defensive wall. Now, they could see over the wall. Dozens of Matoran wandered from place to place, unaware of the battle that was about to take place. The Toa landed gently on the other side.

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.

"We'll split up here," Teridax announced to the assembled group of Toa. "Keep Makuta's forces off our backs!" Teridax turned to charge toward the center of the city.

Gali and Kopaka rushed after Teridax.

"Stay everalert, 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 perched on the Coliseum, 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. "What now? Shut down the protodermis plant? Or is there a hidden powertreasure in the vault?"

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

"Even better!" replied Lewa. But 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, they 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?

Teridax shouted. "Hold off the attack! I will destroy Makuta!" and disappeared into nothingness.

The next thing Lewa knew, Gali had joined him on the ground. 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 this strange attacker. "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," said 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 darkfate, 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. Gavla was knocked 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 shadowagents 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 created a barrier of earth to block a series of energy blasts. "Watch your back, Tahu!" said Onua, as the energy 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 was drilling into one Rahkshi, grappling furiously as he bored through its shell. But Pohatu hadn't noticed a second Rahkshi, which was perched atop one of the protosteel columns and 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 firing an electric blast at Onua. Tahu quickly used his mask to shield his friend. Onua's screams subsided, and he scrambled away from the Rahkshi. The two remaining Rahkshi gave chase to Onua.

Pohatu flew over to Tahu. "Attack as one!" said Tahu.

Onua flew towards Tahu, 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 stones 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. They struggled against the molten liquid that engulfed them. No longer able to fly or hover, 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 being 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."

Suddenly, 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. The entire planet shuddered. Spherus Magna was whole again.

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

Finally, the blows stopped. Mata Nui's head was throbbing. He opened his eyes for a moment, only to see Makuta 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. Tahu was tiring, having expended his elemental energy on the rest of the machinery - and the Rahkshi - already. 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 used his Mask of Speed, 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 Mata Nui's body, 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 thrust 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 fairfight, so you have to resort to shadowstealth!" 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. He stopped himself using the Mask of Levitation. Lewa felt ragged. His power was returning to him, but too slowly.

"Now, Lewa," said Gavla. "Be a good boy, and give in to your new master." 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 on the bridge. And the enormous river that lay below the bridge she lay on. She felt it's ebb and flow, the ripples on the water.

Gali looked toward Kopaka. He gave her a small nod. Then, 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 trueshot."

"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. 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. "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.

"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 at the silent metropolis. "Either way, I certainly hope this was worth it."


Edited by ArchAngelleofJustice, Jun 10 2018 - 11:54 PM.

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#6 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

ArchAngelleofJustice
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Posted Jun 11 2018 - 08:34 PM

Chapter 6

Takanuva set down the Jetrax on the bridge. "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 happyfriends with Makuta's shadowpet Toa," 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," answered 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.

"He 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. Pohatu, let it go. 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 orange 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?"

"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."

Pohatu felt just a little sturdier inside. "Thank you, sister."

Kopaka looked 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."

Tahu looked at his team. They had come such a long way from the lost, bickering Toa they were, all those months ago. They'd learned to support and protect one another. He hadn't thought that even he would be able to manage that. "Let's go after him. 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 an enormous 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 everalert."

Minutes ticked by until finally, 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.

Tahu called out, "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. "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. 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 dragon was marked on it. Two shackles hung from the wall, 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 it was antique. It looked like a Toa had been held captive in here. Onua touched the armor. 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. "You used us this whole time!"

Onua grabbed Pohatu's arm, preparing to hold back his outburst. "Settle down!"

"No, he's right!" said Kopaka. "Teridax lied to us about his intentions all along!"

Teridax pulled himself up. He had 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."

"I ensured that your Makuta would no longer be a threat. 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. "We could have prepared a new home for the Matoran. We should have had something planned."

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 in pain. He wouldn't survive this for long. He created a wall of earth behind the group, absorbing the lightning attack, to protect his team. They pain subsided, and Onua caught his breath. "I knew something was amiss here. You've betrayed us, Teridax!"

The protective wall 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. The rest of the Toa took up positions of their own. Pohatu, Onua and Takanuva firmly stood before Makuta, while the others tried 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."

Makuta sized up Takanuva. "You think you can challenge me alone? You are nothing, Takua. And I will send you back to nothing!" He hurled blasts of shadow at Takanuva.

Lewa forced a gale at Makuta, sending him off balance.

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. Despite the incredible speed behind his attack, Makuta swiftly slipped just out of the way, striking back with his hammer. Lewa nimbly flipped around it. As he landed, he saw the other Toa attacking Makuta furiously, moving so swiftly they looked like blurs. Amazingly, Makuta managed to dodge each and every attack.

Lewa couldn't dwell on this. Kopaka was swinging at Makuta, even as Makuta prepared to strike back. The next thing he knew, Kopaka was knocked down. 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. Lewa almost made it to the Master of Shadows, but his legs gave out beneath him. He fell to the ground, unable to lift himself up. His armor had been magnetized to the steel floor. The other Toa were having the same problem. Onua managed to take a single step before giving up.

Makuta swung his heavy hammer with amazing speed, cracking Takanuva's chest and knocking him down. His hand lunged down towards Takanuva, firing a 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!" he cried. Suddenly, the magnetizing force that had kept the Toa trapped disappeared. Lewa scrambled to check on Takanuva, while the others threw elemental attacks of their own at Makuta. Takanuva was twitching and writhing, as if in a nightmare. "You'll hurtpay for this, Makuta." Lewa glanced at his friends. Tahu gave him a small nod. Lewa summoned a whirlwind around Makuta, and Tahu combined it with flame. For a moment, Lewa 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 that my double! If you hadn't found that abomination, you would never have been able to stop me!"

Lewa wouldn't give in so easily. "We will everstand against you, Makuta! United, we will-" Lewa couldn't finish his sentence, as shadowy tendrils shot out of Makuta's body, sending him flying. He smashed into the wall, pressed against it. He couldn't breathe with the mounting pressure against his chest, he couldn't get clear of the tendrils. Lewa focused on his lungs, creating a well of air within himself to sustain him.

 

Tahu created an enormous flame, forcing Makuta's shadow attack back. Lewa fell to his knees, a look of determination still in his eyes. Tahu rushed back into the fray, swinging his greatswords furiously. Makuta managed to dodge each blow. Pohatu flew past, leading into a flying kick, but Makuta ducked beneath it, swinging his hammer overhead. Pohatu was swatted out of the air and crashed to the ground. This provided Tahu with an opening. He swung his blades low, certain he would strike true. Makuta jumped over them, kicking Tahu in the chest. Tahu saw Makuta's hammer coming down to finish him off and quickly rolled out of the way.

"You worshipped Mata Nui blindly," said Makuta, swinging his hammer at the Toa. "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 Makuta. Onua swung his hammer, but it passed harmlessly through the air. Makuta twisted around, striking at the Toa of Earth. 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. He wanted to fight alongside his comrades, to strike against Makuta, to deliver the blow that would finish him off. But that wouldn't win the fight, that wouldn't protect his allies. Makuta's hammer ripped through the air, heading straight for Gali. Tahu used his Mask to defend her, and Makuta's hammer was deflected harmlessly away.

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

"You fools have destroyed the universe!" Makuta cried, swinging his hammer at the smaller beings. "Is 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? The Matoran 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 struck at an opening. "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!" Gali 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."

Out of the darkness, from behind Makuta, Lewa leaped in with his twin katana. Tahu smiled to himself for a moment. Finally, they would strike a blow! But Makuta somehow managed to dodge the attack, even though he couldn't see it.

Makuta suddenly spun around, knocking Lewa to the ground. "You think you have a chance against me? How will you defeat a foe you cannot even hit?"

He has to have a weakness, thought Tahu. 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 took one look at the blaze, and screamed at it. The power of his shockwave tore the blast apart, sending burning dirt everywhere.

Onua created a barrier of earth to protect himself. He needn't have bothered. Tahu's shield protected him, and his teammates, from the flaming dirt.

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.

"Do you see? He can't dodge and use another power at the same time!" Onua whispered, attempting to crush Makuta between two earth pillars.

"So if we keep attacking, he can't fight back," answered Tahu, as he shielded Lewa from a strike from Makuta's hammer.

Lewa backflipped away, landing to Tahu's left. "We are having some hardluck in this fight. We need a smartplan 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 tiring from 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 something. Gali whipped at Makuta with a serpent of water, forcing him to step back.

The six Toa began to hover. Even Takanuva, still twitching helplessly, was levitated into the air. 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, and he sunk into it. Gali used her powers to shower a mist over the Toa, protecting them from the sweltering heat coming off of the molten metal beneath them.

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

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. 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. Once, twice he missed the two blurs. Swift, powerful blows from the two Toa began to dent his armor.

Gali couldn't give up. They'd find a way. They'd fight Makuta until their last, desperate breath. After all this time, there was no way that she would simply let him lord over her Matoran friends 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. Makuta, trapped in the molten metal, had no method of dodging their attacks, even with his incredible ability. But the Toa's attacks were no longer effective. He's switched to his Invulnerability power again, Gali thought to held his hands toward the ceiling, firing a blast of energy at it.

Gali felt herself get drawn upwards. She quickly inverted, allowing herself to hover normally again. Makuta had reversed the gravity in the room. Gali looked up at Makuta. He was slowly pulling himself free of the steel plating. Quickly, she blanketed the molten metal in water. A beam of ice from Kopaka appeared from her left. The liquid metal hardened and froze - just in time. Makuta had already pulled one leg free and now hung above them, one foot still trapped as he dangled above them.

Makuta smiled. "You can't defeat me, Toa." He held out his palm to the metal above him, firing a beam of 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, firing a desperate flame. Makuta moved his palm to counter. Gali barely ducked out of the way of the searing beam in time, before she saw Pohatu take a blast. An energy sphere from Tahu protected Pohatu, absorbing the blast harmlessly.

He'd get them eventually. They were tired, and sooner or later, Tahu wouldn't be able to maintain his shield. 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. A 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 didn't want to see her death as well.

The next sight was even more horrific. Makuta, hanging from the ceiling, one leg trapped. It would be funny if it weren't for the fact that he was firing an 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.

He - or Gali - twisted away from the fight and rocketed toward the corner of the room. Takanuva could see himself, lying on the ground in the most awkward position he could imagine. Gali grabbed Takanuva's arm, steadily arming his lance at Makuta. Makuta was trying to free his leg, as the other five Toa pounded him.

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

Takanuva focused everything he had into his lance. A brilliant white beam filled the room, piercing Makuta's chest. Light met darkness, and darkness could not exist where there was light. Antidermis sizzled and snapped, engulfed by the beam.

"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. Takanuva felt his arms yanked, as Gali 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.

"What now?" asked Lewa, hovering in front of them. 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.

"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. "Do you think we'll find anything?" asked Pohatu.

"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 out toward the 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?!"

"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 kicked off the wall, following Kopaka out. "Where are we going?"

"I want to check something. Give me your mask power."

"Only because you asked so nicely."

The two Toa sped up, flying at high speed. The air blew by, providing some relief from the hot desert sun. After a moment, Kopaka turned around. "Look at that." Spread out in front of them, was an even larger being.

"That's where we came from?" asked Pohatu. "We've been living inside a giant all this time?"

"I don't know what this place is," smiled Kopaka. "But I think it will be our new home."


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#7 Offline ArchAngelleofJustice

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Posted Jun 13 2018 - 12:52 AM

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 on the dunes, as they reminded him of their 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. The best he got was a wide-eyed expression when Onua told him about Vakama's passing.

"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 some time. Together, they 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 one 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, as 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 exploring 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 stand still for more than a minute - a testament to how exhausted he was. "With our adaptive armor, we could just fly everhigher, 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 everfollowing 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." 

 

 

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, Jun 13 2018 - 12:56 AM.

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