This story, its characters, history, landmarks, etc., is entirely fictional; any content that appears similar to real world events and persons, past or present, is completely coincidental.Rated PG-13“How much will we suffer?How much will we gain?How much Misery, CrueltyAnd EvilWill our land have pained?So much Death dealt out,So much Suffering shared.So much Grief and Malice,Yet we’re here for each otherSo that It can be bared.”- Short Poem written by Lohii, Chronicler of Marak Nui, after The Exile.
Shades of Grey: Genesis
- Chapter I -“Why does it have to be so cold?” Trovin shivered. Even though the island, Marak Nui, was a wonderful place for almost anyone to live, the weather was a constant spirit-dampener. There was a chill in the air at all times, and the air was moist if it was not raining or snowing. Although snow covered about a fourth of the mainland, pretty much the only livable part of the island was blanketed in the frozen water. How the Settlers could have set up the Snow settlement in the middle of the coldest part of all Marak Nui was beyond Trovin.“Ah, come on, buddy.” Trovin’s friend, Johvii, grinned at the lime-green and black Toa of Air, The white and sky-blue Toa was next to Trovin in the preparation room. Checking to make sure all the moving parts of their Cevlek Rifles were in working order, the two Toa and their squadmates were preparing to set out for a scouting patrol.“You’re always complaining about the weather. Enjoy it for once, take in the smells of the crisp, clean air; I think you’d appreciate it.”“If I don’t drown from taking a deep breath, I be sure to tell you what I think, okay?”The Toa of Ice laughed, “uptight, as always.” While Trovin was sometimes annoyed with Johvii’s personality, he still loved him as dearly as a brother. No, he is my brother now, along with the rest of my squad, with all of the citizens. They’re all my brothers. Why can’t I move on? He stared off into space, fragments of past memories flooding into his mind as he recalled his life as a Matoran on one of the southern islands. Keeping out of sight of the Visorak. Collecting abandoned weapons to fight any wandering spiders that ran into him. Any cocoons he came across he opened up to see if any of the Matoran or Toa could have made it through before the venom took affect. Most of the time the sickly green, thorny webs, contained dead Matoran, a few times he barely escaped with his life from small, twisted, savage creatures that were once walking and talking, non-threatening beings. Trovin closed his eyes tightly as he remembered when he found his one friend, her body mangled and torn by something that had broken into the wrappings and had a meal, however it was probably driven off before it could finish. He shook his head slowly and rubbed the bridge of his mask with his hand as Rhonek, a Toa of Earth and leader of their squad of twelve, put one of his hands on the Toa of Air’s shoulder. His deep, cavernous voice rumbled, “you alright, brother?” Trovin looked at him and smiled, then stood up, “yeah, I’ll be fine.” Rhonek returned the smile then ordered for everyone to move out. After clipping on the extra ammo strap across his torso, Trovin and the others marched out of the preparation room and out into the dim sunlight with large, dark clouds slowly retreating to the south. The newly fallen snow crunched under their feet as they walked down the street. They passed many dwellings and shops, they passed many Matoran and several Toa as the citizens of Marak Nui went about their business. A few merchants were shoveling snow to be certain that potential customers didn’t slip as they browsed. Hammers and drills could be heard as a group of Matoran construction workers worked to repair a wooden overhang that had blown over in the storm; they were setting concrete bases for the support beams while the foreman gave out orders. After several minutes of marching down the main street, the squad came to the entrance of the military building, one of the three most important buildings on the whole island of Marak Nui. Marak Nui was a little over thirty kio squard, although many citizens joked that it really was thirty kio cubed. This was because of the massive snow-choked Mountain, which could be see from almost anywhere and was currently dominating the view behind the large metal and stone structure which Trovin and his squadmates were facing.Thick metal walls at the base protected the one hundred-foot-high building; most of the rest of the material was gray stone with metal support beams. Six smaller towers circled a large central one; each of the six towers had two Toa on guard, watching both the sky and the land for any Rakhshi attacks. A rectangle metallic door with a sort of scanner with a bright red light placed at eye-level in the center of the shut portal was built into the wall. Rhonek stared into the device. Turning from red to green after recognizing the Toa’s eye print and mask print, the light blinked twice, and the door slid open, allowing the squad to enter the building and receive their instructions from the military leader, Toa Tavka. A Toa of Fire, he is surprisingly even-tempered and kind, although firm. It was rumored that he was very old, despite his physical strength and mastery of swords. He always possessed twin Magma Blades; whenever anyone asked why he did so, he answered with a slight smile “just in case.” Tavka had his back to the squad as they passed the two guards and into the dimly light room, the only light was from the several Telescreens lined against the back wall.The military commander’s arms were crossed behind his back. His eyes behind his Kanohi Kiril watched the screens with undivided attention. Several of the pictures on the screens had a fine layer of white near the base, indicating that they needed to be cleared away of snow. A few others revealed beautiful scenery of trees and dirt. The trees rocked back and forth from the northern wind that blew the clouds into view, blocking out the sunlight. These cameras had not been spotted by the Rahkshi for some time, but Tavka knew that they would eventually. Turing around and saluting, Tavka welcomed Rhonek and his squad. They returned his salute and became at ease when the Toa of Fire motioned them to do so.“As you all know,” he spoke as he strode over to a console with several levers and buttons, “the Rahkshi have been getting bolder, and have been executing many more ambushes than we have recorded them doing. Our analysts have been speculating as to how they have been able to seemingly know where our patrols have been scouting, but we do know that these are not ordinary Rahkshi.” With this remark, he pulled one of the levers. With a brief grating sound, a panel in the side of the wall slid back and a smaller Telescreen emerged. Tavka pressed a button and a picture of a Turahk appeared on the screen. “This is an image,” Tavka stated, “of a Rahkshi of Fear from one another island.” A second image of a Rahkshi popped up, but this Rahkshi was much larger than the Turahk, and was covered in silver armor. The spine seemed wickedly sharp, as well as the claws and teeth. “As you can see, the Rahkshi of Marak Nui are severely different than other Rahkshi; we have made sure to cross-reference other sources to be sure that these creatures are roughly the same stature and construction as this Turahk here. So there is no question: we’ve got something different here, and that can explain why that these Rahkshi are able to handle and use Chevlek Rifles and how they are able to use different powers.” He zoomed in on the spines and pulled up some more close ups of other Rahkshi spines.“Notice the somewhat generic styling of the Marak Nui Rahkshi’s spine. We have an archive of images of all the forty-two species of Rahkshi, and we haven’t found a match. It seems to be a… combination of them all.” One of the squad members raised his hand, “sir, so you’re implying that Marak Nui might have the first living Rahkshi, and that we’ve been fighting antiques?”“It’s quiet possible, my brother, however, there’s a few facts that interfere with this theory.”“That the original landscape was wiped out by something, sir?”Tavka concurred. “That is exactly it. How could they have survived this destruction? We haven’t found any remains of Rahkshi, or of any sentient beings, for that matter.“There’s one theory I have, though,” Tavka turned back to the console and switched one of the Telescreen’s views to an image of a fairly large cave entrance. “The Underground.” Trovin’s mind developed an idea and was catching on, “so you think they came out of there, sir, and they fought the Visorak when they came here.”Tavka nodded, “while there isn’t any evidence against that theory, there is nothing against it, but that is what I believe. I assume, like you, that they were awakened or something similar to it, to defend the island from the Visorak that assaulted Marak Nui many years before Toa and Matoran inhabited the island.” “The problem with that idea is that the Visorak retreated to one of the Trinity isles and still live there. Given that Rahkshi are normally very territorial, I have no idea why they would not finish them off, if they did fight them off.” Rhonek grinned, “so we’re goin’ down there today and see what’s goin’ on, and if we find anything that fights we shoot ‘em?”Tavka smiled, but it seemed like a sad smile, “unfortunately, Kromahl and the Council have decided that the risks outweigh the benefits, considering that the search parties sent down there have not returned. It has been decided that exploring that part of the Underground will have to wait until more information can be gather and/or better weapons are developed.” Rhonek’s smile turned into a frown, “so what will our assignment be, sir?” The Toa of Fire motioned to the large crystalline protodermis table with a built-in Telescreen. He pulled up a section of topography of Marak Nui. “The south-western ruins by the cavern on the screen have not seen very much combat activity. We have seen only Rahi through the cameras, but there must be something there.” He whispered in a low voice, “and, just in case, check that entrance to the Underground. That picture was taken a while ago, and I want to make sure that they’re not doing anything suspicious there, but under no circumstances are you to enter, understood?” The squad saluted and shouted “yes, sir!” As they marched out, Tavka smiled sadly.Ah, so young and brimming with energy… Wouldn’t that be wonderful to have that feeling again…-------Review Topic
Edited by Zorrakh, Jan 02 2012 - 01:58 AM.