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Legends of the Bionicle: Resurrection and Redemption

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Posted (edited)

So here is the second story in my series. I would recommend reading the first one here. However, I believe I do a decent job of explaining the main events of that story if you just want to read this one. Also as an aside, the Toa Mangai roster is different in this story than what is canon, the difference being that I replaced the Toa of Plantlife and Stone with different characters.

Anyways, give me your honest feedback again, hopefully these stories continually get better.

Legends of the Bionicle: Resurrection and Redemption

1,005 AGC

“I am proud to have called you ‘brother’… Toa Vakama.”

Those were the last words Turaga Lhikan spoke before he closed his eyes and felt his systems shutting down. He had little to regret, certainly nothing in the last few months. But he had wished he had done better by his team and family. Allowing Tuyet and Nidhiki to fall and losing the rest of his team to Makuta’s machinations were his biggest mistakes as a Toa.

But he didn’t regret sacrificing his life for Vakama. The Toa had been fighting Makuta with the Mask of Time but lost control of it and found himself trapped in its power as well. Lhikan had climbed up to where the battle was taking place and saw that Vakama was realizing too late that he was in danger from the Makuta’s shadow hand.

Lhikan didn’t hesitate. He sprinted as fast as his weakened frame could carry him and he jumped into the time vortex, calling on his Hau and bringing up his shield. Makuta’s shadow hand broke through Lhikan’s protective barrier and grabbed a hold of his shield, dark tendrils grabbing at his arm in the process. Lhikan let out a silent scream as his shield was ripped out of his hand and shadow energy shot through his system. Makuta absorbed the shield and the explosion of energy threw Lhikan and Vakama in opposite directions. The Vahi was knocked from Vakama’s face and skidded over the edge of the Great Barrier and plunged into the silver sea.

Vakama had checked on Lhikan and expressed remorse for the Turaga but Lhikan had assured him this was his destiny before he bestowed his Kanohi to the Toa of Fire. Yes, no regrets. He drew one last ragged breath and felt his heartlight go out.

And then Lhikan, leader of the Toa Mangai and last surviving member, died. And there was only darkness.

And then Lhikan did something he never thought he would do again: He opened his eyes. Shocked, he sat bolt upright and looked around. He was in Ta-Metru and it was early morning, that much he was certain of. He looked down to see his next surprise: he was a Toa again.

How? thought Lhikan. I’m alive and I’m a Toa again? It couldn’t have all been a dream, could it?

No, it wasn’t. Ta-Metru was in ruins, and not from the Morbuzakh. This was from the great earthquake that occurred after Makuta cast some kind of spell on Mata Nui to make him fall asleep. Lhikan still wasn’t sure how that was possible either, but that would have to wait for another day. He got to his feet and took his fire greatswords off his back, which somehow he still possessed. He threw the board out in front of him and jumped on, taking to the skies. He flew over the metru, observing the damage from above. It was going to take a long time to fix, and if Vakama and the others succeeded in escaping Metru Nui, he was going to have to do it by himself, at least for the time being. Perhaps he could track down Turaga Dume and rescue him from his pod, his Kanohi Kiril would come in handy.

Soon after Lhikan crossed the line into Le-Metru, he heard a shout from behind him. He almost fell off his board from the shock; he had been starting to get the feeling the island was abandoned. He turned to see two Le-Matoran riding Gukko birds coming up on him fast. So apparently Makuta had not been successful in capturing all the Matoran, although he didn’t know how they had managed to tame Gukko in such a short time.

“Quick-stop or be fired upon!” called one of the riders. “In the name of the Le-Metru Gukko Force!”

Lhikan brought his board to a stop and turned to face the Matoran, putting his hands up to show he wasn’t a threat. “Le-Metru Gukko Force? What is that?”

The two riders brought their Gukko to a stop and looked at each other perplexed. “He hasn’t known-heard of the Gukko Force?” asked one.

“Who is this funny-joker?” replied the other. “Has he been sleep-living under a rock?”

“Who am I?” repeated Lhikan. “I’m quite possibly the last Toa on Metru Nui.”

“No, we ever-have seven more,” said the first Le-Matoran.

Seven? Lhikan thought. So the Toa Metru are still here? And there’s another Toa? “Anyways, I’m Toa Lhikan, leader of the Toa Mangai. How could you not know me?”

The two Matoran’s eyes went wide and looked at each other. “Did he just speak-say ‘Toa Lhikan?’” asked the first one.

“He did,” said the second. “We have to quick-bring him to the Turaga.”

“Yes, bring me to Turaga Dume,” said Lhikan. “He’ll sort this all out.” The two Matoran quickly led him back in the direction of Ta-Metru and soon landed where a group of Ta-Matoran were milling around. Lhikan disembarked and looked around the area. This section seemed to be in better shape. Ta-Matoran were hard at work repairing the surrounding buildings. “Wow, a fair amount of you managed to escape Makuta.”

A Ta-Matoran with a yellow Great Hau approached Lhikan and eyed him warily. “Go get the Turaga!” he barked to a Ta-Matoran who promptly ran off.

“Good, where’s Dume?” asked Lhikan.

“Dume is in the Coliseum still trying to sort out this crisis with some of the Toa Nuva,” said a wizened voice. Lhikan turned to see an unfamiliar Turaga of Fire approaching him. “I prefer to be out on the ground, facing the problem head-on.” The Turaga stopped and leaned on his firestaff for support. He smiled and looked like he had tears in his eyes. “When the reports started coming in of people returning, I hoped you would be one of them. It’s great to see you again, Lhikan.”

“Apologies, Turaga,” said Lhikan. “But I don’t recognize you.”

“That’s understandable. I suppose I have changed a lot since you last saw me, in more ways than one,” continued the Turaga. He brought his fist up in Toa salute. “I hope you’re still proud to call me ‘brother’… Toa Lhikan.”

Realization dawned on Lhikan’s face. “Vakama!” He grabbed the Turaga in an embrace. “What happened? How did you become a Turaga?”

Vakama laughed as he pushed away from Lhikan. “Nothing ill happened if that’s what you mean. We sacrificed our power for the Matoran, just like you did for us.” Lhikan’s mind was still playing catchup. “We did it, we escaped Metru Nui to an island beyond the Great Barrier, along with all the Matoran. We hit a few snags along the way, but in the end, we succeeded.”

“Hold on a second,” said Lhikan. “How long has it been since I… since you last saw me?”

“It’s been over a thousand years, old friend. We have a lot to catch you up on. Come, I think there’s someone you’ll want to see.”

***

As the two walked toward the Ta-Metru Guard base of operations, Vakama explained how he defeated Makuta and how the Toa Metru rescued the rest of the Matoran and became Turaga, not to mention the thousand years on the island of Mata Nui, somehow located above Metru Nui. He also explained about how an unknown enemy used some kind of time power the previous night to attack Metru Nui, resulting in the resurrection of Lhikan and others. The Toa of Fire’s head was still spinning when they reached the base. Two Ta-Matoran, one with a red Noble Ruru and one with an orange Noble Huna, saluted as Vakama and Lhikan approached.

“Welcome back, Turaga,” said the one with a Ruru.

“Thank you, Kapura,” said Vakama. “I assume the prisoner is still secure?”

“Yes, Turaga.”

The Matoran with the Huna looked up at Lhikan. “Is this really him? I wasn’t sure Jaller knew what he was talking about when he came and told us.”

“Yes, Vamkoda, it is,” said Vakama. “A living legend.”

Lhikan nodded to the two Matoran as he walked past them, following behind Vakama. They descended a staircase into a basement where two more Ta-Matoran stood in front of a cell. They saluted Vakama. “He was found wandering Onu-Metru by the Ussalry,” explained Vakama. “He put up quite a fight, they pursued him all the way to Ta-Metru before he was finally apprehended. Luckily he seemed disoriented, stumbling all over the place, and not using any other powers. We decided to take him in since our facilities were closer.”

Lhikan took a step closer to the cell. Whoever was inside was in the back, where it was too dark to see. Then a pair of orange eyes opened, taking in Lhikan with what looked like amusement. The figure stood up and started making his way to the front of the cell.

“Well if it isn’t the Matoran in Toa armor, changed quite a bit I see,” he said undoubtedly with a smirk. “And my ‘brother,’ so good to see you again, Lhikan.” The figure stepped into the light, revealing the unmistakable form of Nidhiki, Toa of Air.

Lhikan recoiled back. So he really wasn’t the only one who returned from the dead. “Nidhiki, you’re alive.”

“I am, and we’re Toa again. How’d we pull that trick off? Could probably make a fortune with it.” Nidhiki glanced down at Vakama, eyes smiling behind his green Volitak. “He could be our first customer. Time hasn’t been kind to him.”

“At least I still have my soul, Nidhiki,” said Vakama.

“Vakama, do you mind if I have a word with Nidhiki alone?” asked Lhikan.

“Sure, we’ll be upstairs if you need anything.” Vakama led the two guards upstairs. Lhikan waited until they were gone before turning back to the traitorous Toa of Air.

“So, Lhikan, what do you—ah!” Nidhiki cried out as a fireball hit him in the chest and launched him into the far wall. “What the Karzahni!” Nidhiki shouted as he climbed to his feet. “What was that for? The whole Toa-Dark Hunter War thing?”

“No, that was for insulting Vakama.” Lhikan pulled out his swords, white-hot flames dancing along their length. “This is for trying to deliver Metru Nui into the hands of the Dark Hunters.”

“Whoa, whoa, hold on!” Nidhiki cried. “You can’t just kill me, that’s against the Toa code!”

“I don’t know, maybe I’m not a Toa anymore since I died,” Lhikan growled. “I told you to never come back, Nidhiki.”

“Well I didn’t have much of a choice, I just kind of woke up here.”

“I mean before that!” Lhikan snapped. “When you and Krekka murdered our brothers and sisters.”

“Okay well, first of all, I didn’t kill them. That was Eliminator’s job. Krekka and I were close support for Dume in scaring Matoran to the center of the city.”

“You mean Makuta.”

Nidhiki had to think about it for a second. “Right, but we didn’t know that before we took the job. But where was that Toa love and understanding when you exiled me? All of you couldn’t see why I made my choice, that I was the only one smart enough to actually look out for myself for once.”

“Mata Nui, I can’t believe you!” said Lhikan, powering down his swords and throwing them on the ground. “All you ever do is think about yourself! Do you even have a conscience?”

“Don’t give me that,” said Nidhiki. “You only think of yourself too! You wanted the glory of defeating the Kanohi Dragon, you wanted the glory of defeating the Dark Hunters, and you wanted to save your reputation so you threw me out to the mercy of the Dark Hunters!”

Fury burned in Lhikan’s eyes. “Why you—!” Lhikan heated up his hands to an incredibly high temperature. He grabbed the bars of the cell and pulled them apart. Nidhiki took a step back as Lhikan entered the cell. The Toa of Fire grabbed hold of his former teammate, earning a pained scream from Nidhiki as his armor was burned. Lhikan threw Nidhiki out of the cell and followed out right behind him.

Nidhiki spied his scythe hanging on the wall two bio away. He got to his knees only for a wall of fire to cut him off from his Toa tool. “You think I exiled you to save my reputation? Do you think I took pleasure in casting you out? It tore me up inside. You were my brother, Nidhiki! I did it because it was what was required of me! And it didn’t help my reputation because everyone still knew what you did! Do you know what they say about a leader who has a Toa go rogue? The leader is blamed for it, they say he should have seen it coming. They say he must be a terrible leader and Toa. Do you have any idea what they say about a leader who loses two Toa that way?”

“Don’t lump me in with Tuyet,” spat Nidhiki.

Lhikan kicked him over and knelt down over him. “You’re right. You’re a hundred times worse than her.”

“Okay, that seems like a bit of an exaggeration,” said Nidhiki.

Lhikan stood up and stalked to the other side of the room, keeping the wall of fire up between Nidhiki and his scythe. “Nidhiki, tell me, was it worth it?”

“Well, I died so clearly not.”

“So did I, but I don’t regret anything. So I ask again: was it worth it?”

Nidhiki took a deep breath. “No, it wasn’t.”

“Well, that’s progress,” said Lhikan. He grabbed a pair of handcuffs and placed them on Nidhiki’s wrists. He dispersed the fire, retrieved his swords, and picked Nidhiki up off the floor. “Come on.”

“Where are we going?” Nidhiki asked as Lhikan grabbed the former’s scythe off the wall.

“For a walk,” Lhikan replied as he pulled Nidhiki up the stairs. “We have missed a lot over the last millennium.”

“Wait, millennium?” Nidhiki repeated, shocked.

***

Lhikan relayed the story Vakama had told him. Nidhiki simply listened, not interrupting. Once Lhikan was finished, Nidhiki said, “Well… I guess we did miss quite a bit.” The two were standing in Le-Metru, overlooking the ruined Moto-Hub. “Remember that time we came here because Matau had commandeered that prototype vehicle, and they had deployed three whole Vorzakh squads to capture him?”

Lhikan smiled, remembering. “Yeah, he had led them on a chase through the whole structure before he finally ended up on the roof, trapped when the sled stopped working. We had to scramble up there to get Matau down. You almost slipped off a couple of times.”

“Only because you wouldn’t give me a ride up to the roof,” Nidhiki smiled.

“Look around you, Nidhiki,” said Lhikan. “Look at the damage to Le-Metru. This is what Makuta caused, what you helped him do. This is why we need Toa to help protect the Matoran. If you hadn’t betrayed us all those years ago, maybe the Toa Mangai with the Toa Metru could have stopped Makuta.”

“If I hadn’t gone with the Dark Hunters, it would have just been someone else they sent instead,” said Nidhiki. “And I would have died with the others.”

“Maybe not. You were my deputy for a reason. You saw things no one else ever picked up on. I lost my right hand the day you walked out of the city.”

A few seconds passed before Nidhiki spoke again. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry about your brother and his wife.”

“It’s not worth much, but thank you. They had two sons you know.”

“Really? Where are they?”

Lhikan sighed. “I don’t know. After Taga and Lehi never returned from their mission, my nephews were put in an orphanage. I was suddenly on my own, busy dealing with threats all over the city. I lost track of them, I still haven’t forgiven myself for that. But I will find them, I swear.”

“What are their names?”

“Kazahk and Tazahk. They were such happy kids, I shudder to think of what could have happened to them.”

The two Toa noticed the Ta-Matoran with an orange Huna from earlier, Vamkoda, chasing a Le-Matoran around, the latter screeching wildly in excitement. The other guard, Kapura, stood nearby watching. “Just be glad it’s not that guy,” said Nidhiki, pointing to the Le-Matoran.

“I know, I think I would go insane,” said Lhikan as they walked over to the commotion.

“Malohi get back here!” Vamkoda was shouting. He threw his bident at the Le-Matoran.

“No!” shouted Malohi defiantly as he skillfully rolled under the bident. As soon as he finished his roll, he was back on his feet and grabbed the bident, flinging it back at Vamkoda. The Ta-Matoran snatched it out of the air before sending it back at Malohi. The Le-Matoran reached a broken building and jumped straight up, dodging the bident which dug itself into the side of the ruins. Malohi grabbed a ledge above him and pulled himself up with ease before leaping to a cable and sprinting along at full speed.

“Idiot,” growled Vamkoda. He wordlessly reached his hand out to Kapura who replied by giving him his bident. “Darn fool is going to fall,” said Vamkoda as he took aim. He threw the bident, nicking Malohi in the shoulder and causing him to fall three bio to the ground with a loud shriek. Vamkoda was upon him in a second. “Told you,” he said as he immediately put the Le-Matoran in a headlock and started punching him in the head. Malohi’s response was to make a short repeating screeching sound that was a mix between laughter and terror.

“Well this is entertaining,” said Nidhiki as the Toa walked up.

“What’s going on here?” asked Lhikan.

Kapura turned to face the two newcomers. “Toa Lhikan. Vamkoda and Malohi are fighting. This is pretty standard.”

The two Matoran stopped their skirmish and stood at stiff attention position. “Toa Lhikan,” said Vamkoda as they bowed. “Apologies for that display. This is Malohi, a local Le-Matoran troublemaker. He can be quite a handful.”

“Not true,” said Malohi. “I fill at least three hands.”

“Is something wrong with this one?” asked Nidhiki, pointing at Malohi. “He seems disturbed.”

“I am,” replied the Le-Matoran. “I was having fun throwing hammers straight into the air and Vamkoda stopped me because he’s a meanie.”

“Turaga Matau believes it’s a mixture of Malohi’s eccentricity, the Mata Nui sun, and the fresh air,” said Vamkoda.

Malohi nodded in agreement before asking Nidhiki, “Why don’t you use Treespeak?”

“What the Karzahni is Treespeak?” asked Nidhiki.

“Turaga Matau said that he changed the name from Chutespeak to Treespeak because there were no chutes on Mata Nui,” Vamkoda answered.

“Only Matoran from Metru Nui use Chutespeak,” replied Nidhiki. “Why don’t you, kid?”

“My mind gets confused when I try. I’m guessing you know what that’s like. Turaga Vakama told us all about you, you piraka.” There was a silence. “What? We were all thinking it!”

Lhikan smiled at Malohi’s wit. Clearly, his mind was sharper than it appeared. Nidhiki didn’t seem amused, however. “Well you don’t have to worry about him,” said Lhikan. “He’s not going anywhere or doing anything. We’re just going for a little walk and catching up on things. So if everything is fine here, we’ll just be on our way. Come on, Nidhiki.”

“Oh joy, more sightseeing,” groaned Nidhiki as the two Toa walked away.

“Bye-bye!” Malohi shouted as he waved after them.

“And, Toa Lhikan!” Vamkoda called. Lhikan turned to face him. “Welcome back!”

Lhikan smiled as he waved to the Matoran. “Thanks, it’s nice to be back.”

***

The two Toa crossed the border into Ko-Metru, walking mostly in silence. All around them, the damage from the Great Cataclysm was evident. Knowledge Towers were cracked and some were threatening to fall over. Nearly every street was littered with debris, a stark contrast to the normally pristine metru. “So are you really not going to ask?” said Nidhiki, finally breaking the silence.

“Ask what?” replied Lhikan.

“Why I was a giant spider monster.”

“I wondered that a thousand years ago, but I really didn’t care. I figured something terrible happened, but I had stopped caring about your wellbeing two thousand years prior.”

Nidhiki looked hurt but quickly hid it with indifference. “Yeah well I tried to leave the Dark Hunters but this Roodaka witch mutated me in order to get training from the Shadowed One.”

“Great, I didn’t ask,” said Lhikan. “It must have been a living Karzahni.”

“You have no idea.” Nidhiki’s voice was grim. “Why do you think I was so different?”

“Seemed the same to me,” joked Lhikan cruelly.

“Ha, very funny,” said Nidhiki sarcastically. “I think I’m still recovering from the whole thing, to be honest. You try living in the body of a thing you despise for two thousand years and see how you turn out.”

“I’d go crazy after one day as you.”

“Come on, what’s your problem?” Nidhiki snapped.

“You. I thought we covered that already.”

Nidhiki grimaced. “So that’s it? You just hate me until the time after time?”

“Look around you, Nidhiki!” Lhikan shouted. “Look at Metru Nui, you’ve been to four of the Metru! Makuta executed the ultimate betrayal in putting Mata Nui to sleep and causing this earthquake, followed by the Visorak invasion shortly after. And you’re really going to stand there and act like you had no part in any of this?”

Nidhiki growled. “What’s it matter if I do or not? It won’t change how you think either way.”

Lhikan was about to lie and say that wasn’t true when a cry rang out from further up the street, followed by a loud roar. Instincts took over and Lhikan sprinted down the street, Nidhiki right behind him. They rounded a corner and were almost run over by half a dozen Ko-Matoran running away frantically. The Toa looked up to see a Muaka raging in the street. It smashed into buildings and roared ferociously. “Get back, Nidhiki, I’ll take care of this.”

“Let me out of these cuffs, you’ll need my help.”

“I didn’t need your help for two thousand years against hundreds of Rahi, I don’t need it now.”

“Yeah, but you’re out of practice, spending a millennium dead will do that to you.”

Lhikan activated his Hau and looked back at Nidhiki. “Shut up and let me—”

The Muaka roared and extended its mighty neck, slamming into the two Toa and throwing them into the side of a Knowledge Tower. “Well that went great,” said Nidhiki as he pulled himself out of the tower, still in his cuffs.

“Just shut up and stay behind me!” Lhikan shouted as he leaped from the building. He sprinted forward and put his swords together into a shield and shoved it vertically into the open mouth of the Muaka as it tried to bite him. The Muaka growled as it tried to get rid of the shield. Lhikan leaped to the top of the tiger’s head and grabbed a hold of its ears to keep himself from falling as the Muaka thrashed around wildly. The Toa created a chain of fire around the Muaka’s neck and he yanked hard to try to get the Rahi under control.

The tiger spat out Lhikan’s shield, inadvertently throwing it at Nidhiki who dove to prone to avoid getting hit. Lhikan only lasted a couple more seconds before he was thrown from the Muaka and smashed into the ground. As the Toa of Fire climbed to his feet, he saw the tiger rev up its tread and race forward toward the Toa. It would have to make a choice for which Toa it would go for, as they were too far apart to hit both of them. Nidhiki activated his mask and the Muaka tackled Lhikan into another building.

Lhikan rubbed his head as he looked around bleary-eyed. The Muaka was sniffing around for Nidhiki who was still invisible. His shield was ten bio away from him, and the Muaka would surely attack him before he reached it. He almost jumped out of his armor when Nidhiki suddenly appeared next to him. “Ready to let me help yet?”

“No,” Lhikan grunted as he stood up. The Muaka’s head snapped over to where they were standing and got ready to run them down.

“Are you going to help us, Toa?” asked a voice. Lhikan and Nidhiki looked to see a crowd of Ko-Matoran packed into the building behind them.

“Get out of here!” said Lhikan. “This is going to be extremely dangerous!”

“Which is why you need me,” said Nidhiki.

Lhikan was about to respond when the Muaka roared and charged them. Lhikan stepped forward and activated his Hau. The Muaka was bearing down on them when two bamboo disks flew down from above, hitting the Rahi in the head and knocking it off course. It slid across the ground and smashed into a Knowledge Tower and shook its head to clear it. Lhikan looked up to see Vamkoda and Malohi standing on a rooftop, readying more disks. “I got something for your ugly face!” Malohi called as he threw another one at the Rahi. The tiger snarled as the disk hit it in the head and it charged the two Matoran. It tried to scale the three-story structure but only succeeded in tearing more of it down.

Vamkoda leaped over the Muaka’s gaping jaws and landed on its forehead, jabbing his bident at its face. Malohi moved to follow, but the Muaka collapsed the part of the roof he was on and landed on the Rahi’s lower jaw, almost falling into its mouth. Vamkoda scrambled up to the Muaka’s upper jaw and braced against Malohi, the two Matoran bridging the tiger’s great maw. It snapped its jaws shut, causing the Matoran to lose their balance and tumble down the Muaka’s back to the ground below.

Just then, a squad of armed Ko-Matoran appeared, throwing their own disks in order to get the beast’s attention. Lhikan knew he had to reach his tools but they were blocked off by the rampaging tiger. “Lhikan!” Nidhiki shouted. “You need me!”

“I can do it myself!” said Lhikan.

“Matoran are going to die if I don’t help!” Nidhiki snapped. “Starting with those two!” He gestured at Vamkoda and Malohi who were just coming to their senses, not knowing how close they were to being stepped on as the Muaka thrashed around wildly.

Lhikan growled as he realized he had no choice. He superheated his hand before sending a blade of fire at Nidhiki’s cuffs, severing the link. He tossed the Toa of Air his scythe as he said, “Don’t make me regret this.”

Nidhiki caught his scythe and smiled. “Don’t worry, it’s me.” He activated his Volitak and disappeared from view. A couple of moments later, the Muaka was blasted straight into the air from a hurricane-force blast directly under it.

Lhikan made his move. He sprinted for his shield and scooped it up, separating them into his swords. “Vamkoda, Malohi, run!” he shouted. “Get over to the Ko-Matoran!”

“On it!” Vamkoda replied as he yanked Malohi to his feet and they bolted for the armed line of Matoran.

As Malohi sprinted after the Ta-Matoran, a loud crash sounded directly behind him. “Hello?” he asked as he turned to see the Muaka extending its jaws right at him. “Why?” he cried as he cringed and closed his eyes.

“Malohi, no!” Vamkoda cried as he ran back to help. Lhikan was preparing a blast of fire but he knew it would be too late. There was a flash of green as Nidhiki jumped down and grabbed Malohi before using his air power to assist in a jump up to the roof of a two-story building.

“You’re safe, kid,” said Nidhiki.

Malohi opened his eyes and was surprised to see the traitorous Toa of Air next to him. “Hugs,” he said as he hugged Nidhiki.

“Uh, okay,” said the Toa, clearly uncomfortable.

“You’re still a piraka,” said Malohi. “But I think we can still become friends.”

“Uh, that’s not necessary.” Nidhiki pushed away from him and jumped back into the fight.

Lhikan smiled but pushed any other thoughts from his mind for now. He sent a powerful fire blast at the Muaka, trying to get its attention. Hopefully, he could wear it out enough that they would be able to subdue it. Nidhiki leaped down and kicked it in the side of the head. The Rahi snapped at him but the Toa of Air disappeared from view before it could grab him. Lhikan jumped on his board and flew over the tiger’s head, causing the beast to snap at him. He flew to a rooftop where Nidhiki reappeared. “Grab on!” Lhikan called as he reached out his hand.

Nidhiki grabbed his former leader’s arm and was yanked off his feet. As they circled around, Nidhiki fired a blast of air to get the Muaka’s attention. The Rahi tried to grab them but Lhikan was too fast. He began flying a tight circle around it with Nidhiki firing occasional air blasts. The Muaka tried to follow them as best as it could but only ended up getting dizzy and stumbling around in a daze. “Now!” Nidhiki cried.

Lhikan circled around to come at the Muaka from straight on and Nidhiki fired a powerful blast into it, knocking it back toward the three-story building. “Bring it down!” Lhikan ordered. The Matoran all threw disks at the building as Lhikan and Nidhiki unleashed their own elemental powers to bring the structure crashing down onto the Muaka. Lhikan landed as the last pieces of rubble crashed to the ground and he cautiously approached the pile of debris. It suddenly exploded in a spray of rocks that blasted Nidhiki off his feet and knocked Lhikan’s mask from his face. “Everyone get back!” Lhikan cried as he reached for his mask. Just as he grabbed it, he heard Vamkoda’s shout.

“Lhikan, watch out!”

The Toa turned to see the Muaka’s jaws coming at him. Suddenly his vision of his death was obscured and he refocused to see Nidhiki standing in the Rahi’s jaws, struggling to keep them open. “Nidhiki, what are you doing?”

The Toa of Air flashed a strained smile. “Don’t worry, Lhikan. I got your back. Because that’s what Toa do.”

“No!” Lhikan cried, putting his Kanohi back on. A length of fire started to form in his hands. Then the Muaka’s teeth slammed shut, but Nidhiki was safely out of the way, lying on the ground at Lhikan’s feet with a burning chain around his torso. Lhikan unraveled the rope around Nidhiki and cracked the whip of flame at the Muaka, driving it back down the street. The heat and energy expenditure to avoid it was too much for the Muaka. The Rahi finally collapsed to the ground, completely exhausted.

Nidhiki lay on the ground, breathing heavily. “That could have been terrible,” he said.

“Be thankful I still got the skill for a little maneuver like that,” gasped Lhikan.

Nidhiki looked at yet another new burn on his armor. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to do that.”

“Whoo!” cried Malohi from the rooftop. “Metru Nui forever!” He leaped from the roof and face planted. “Ouch.”

***

As the suns set, Lhikan and Nidhiki watched the Matoran cart the Muaka away to store it in the Archives where it wouldn’t hurt anyone else. “Still make quite the team, huh?” said Nidhiki. “Just like old times.”

Lhikan smiled, allowing himself to remember a thousand years of friendship and adventures. “Mata Nui, I wish I could trust you, Nidhiki. But too much has happened.”

Nidhiki nodded sadly. “I know.”

Lhikan escorted Nidhiki back to Ta-Metru where he intended to lock him up again. Nidhiki requested that he could watch the suns set one last time before returning to his cell. Lhikan felt compelled to accommodate him. He watched the Toa of Air sitting on a rooftop as he pondered the day’s events. “So you had an eventful day,” said Vakama’s voice.

Lhikan turned to see the Turaga walking up behind him. “Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that.”

“I heard that Nidhiki helped save the day, including the life of one of my guards. I was quite surprised to hear that.”

“Yeah, it was even more surprising to see it.”

“Nidhiki has my gratitude for saving Vamkoda,” continued Vakama. “He’s a good kid, he and Malohi were some of the youngest on Mata Nui and have had to deal with quite a lot. They mean a lot to all of us.” Vakama let a moment pass. “What do you plan to do with him?”

“Nidhiki?” Lhikan shook his head. “He has to face punishment for his crimes. Saving a couple of Matoran doesn’t erase all of the wrong he’s done.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Vakama admitted. “But maybe more similar acts over time could redeem him.”

“You’re saying to let him go free? My mind can’t wrap around that possibility.”

“But what does your heart tell you?”

Lhikan sighed. “My heart wants to forget all the evil and betrayal and just go back to being friends. But how can I make such a selfish choice?”

“Is it selfish? Or is it the selfless option? How much good can he do for the universe if he was to return to being a Toa? It is possible for a Toa to find their way back to the light. I know from personal experience.”

Lhikan was shocked. “One of your team turned on you? How? Why?”

Vakama shook his head. “Not one of them… me. When we became Hordika, the venom mixed with my doubts and guilt made me turn my back on everything. I briefly allied myself with Sidorak and Roodaka. But the other Toa stormed the Coliseum to turn me back to the light. They say they were mostly there to save the other Rahaga and Matoran and would only try to save me if possible, but they could have come up with a much stealthier plan if that was their true goal. They wanted to save me at all costs because they couldn’t conceive of leaving me behind. Just like you don’t want to leave Nidhiki behind.”

Lhikan turned to look back at his former brother. “You’re saying you think he can be saved too?”

“Maybe, if he wants to. But I’ll leave that judgment up to you. You know him better than anyone else here.” With that, Vakama left Lhikan with his thoughts.

***

The Toa Mangai of Fire walked up behind Nidhiki as the suns were just finishing setting. “You miss this view?” he asked.

Nidhiki nodded. “The sunsets were nothing like this on Odina. It just felt like a mocking gesture, telling you how stranded you were. How you could never leave that place and truly experience the universe again.” He looked up at Lhikan. “So what is your plan now?”

“I’m going to keep defending Metru Nui as is my duty. I’m going to help rebuild and I’m going to find my nephews.”

Nidhiki smiled and nodded. “Well good luck. I guess you know where I’ll be. I’ve been thinking about it, and I suppose I don’t really belong anywhere else, not after everything I did. You know, coming back has given me clarity. I realize now that my mind was clouded by my transformation, it made me bitter and angry, more so than usual. And if I could go back and change it, I would.” He sighed, got to his feet, and held out his hands. “I’m ready.”

“Yeah, about that,” said the Toa of Fire. “If you were free to do whatever you wanted, what is it you would want to do? Truly.”

Nidhiki thought about it. “I want to right the wrongs I’ve made.”

“You seek redemption,” said Lhikan. Nidhiki nodded. “It is possible for a Toa to redeem themselves, but depending on what they’ve done, it might take a long time.”

“Just give me that chance, I won’t let you down,” said Nidhiki, practically jumping at the idea.

Lhikan looked out at the horizon. “Today’s events have earned your freedom I’d say. You still have a long way to go to being a hero again, and I still haven’t forgiven you for what you’ve done, but… given enough time, I would be proud to again call you brother… Toa Nidhiki.” He offered his fist in Toa salute.

Nidhiki smiled and clanked his fist against the other Toa’s. They stared out at the horizon until there was nothing more to see and then returned to the streets of Ta-Metru, reminiscing of old adventures and battles until morning came once again.

The End

<-Previous Story Next Story->

Edited by VakamaMetruNui

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Library Topic ^ Credit to Llortor for the custom Nuva Symbols

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Hey, not bad! Not bad at all! 

The dialogue stood out as particularly well done and authentic. Specifically, Nidhiki and Lhikan had good back-and-forth. Would love to see more of Nidhiki's redemption arc. 


You got a chuckle or two out of me, with the Le-Matoran and his antics, especially interacting with Nidhiki. 


Something totally interesting, and I think you handled well, and would like to see develop - Toa Lhikan interacting with Turaga Vakama. Lhikan is basically the reason Vakama is a Turaga (technically Mata Nui, because it was his will and what not, but yeah), and Lhikan's own stint as a Turaga was shortlived and completely in incarceration. One qualm I have is how quickly Lhikan was able to get a grip on 1,000+ years of missed history (granted, most of that history was Matoran fending off Rahi on the island above), completely trust it, and  remember it all to relay to Nidhiki. 

One more thing - I know you mentioned in your first installment, I believe in your author's note at the beginning, that there are familial relationships. Lhikan and his nephews (his brother and brother's wife) kind of came out of nowhere, or at least that's what it felt like to me. It would't hurt to sprinkle in this-or-that familial detail a bit earlier on. 

The action scenes read pretty smoothly. That's another place where it's easy to lose readers, either with too much description, not enough, the wrong kind, etc, but I thought the Muaka showdown was clear and plausible with the stakes it set out and how it played out. Good use of elemental and mask powers, as well, without using them completely as a crutch to win battles. 

Keep up the good work! 
 


(disclaimer: none of this banner art is original, I just smooshed it together in gimp. Torchic, Matau)
ThosePeskyFirespitters.png.3dbdb65e6a28cbbc5957d81c09a685b6.png
Those pesky firespitters... 
Library | The Sculptors and the Smelters | The Ternion Review Topic 

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