The Southern Continent, approx. 10 years prior to Great Cataclysm
Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. The entire landscape seemed to be composed of them for Tignioni. As a veteran Toa of Fire on the part of the Southern Continent would one day be called Voya Nui, he was all too familiar with the endless rocks. His life seemed to be predominated by scrabbling over them. He felt…that, perhaps, he didn’t have a purpose a here. Despite this, he was obediently poised on a rock, staring out upon the vast, unending field of yet more rocks outside of a village constructed out of even more rocks. He was to await an important shipment of goods and was to make sure that no Rahi damaged it.
Suddenly, there was a magnificently bright flash. Could this be the supplies at last? He cared for nothing more than the end to the monotonous wait. He activated his Kakama and sped off absentmindedly in the direction of the light, certain it was the Matoran convoy. Yet, when he stopped he saw nothing other than a massive hole. With a sudden realization he murmured, “Why in Mata Nui’s name is it so bright?” Noticing the light came from behind, he spun around but immediately wished he hadn’t.
A dazzlingly radiant orb of energy, with a diameter as great as he was tall, was floating behind him. The sight almost blinded him instantaneously. In fear of some trap he activated his true mask, a Mahiki, and called forth an illusion that there were nearly a dozen copies of him present. Immediately upon doing so, the orb began lashing out at the illusionary versions of Tignioni with rays of energy, with which it was combing the area. Where these touched the soil they vaporized it for as deep as the eye could see, causing a sinkhole to form as the soil collapsed inward. Tignioni frantically raced his mind to try and make sense of the situation before he was obliterated. He thought: It’s trying to kill me. Maybe I can hide if… Seeing it as his only chance, and it probably was, Tignioni called upon his elemental energy to explode the whole surrounding area.
The brilliant orb searched haze caused by the blast, but left, noticing nothing more an oddly shaped rock uncovered by that massive explosion…
The Southern Continent, approx. 10 years prior to Great Cataclysm
Had there been anyone to witness the aftermath of Tignioni’s battle with the bizarre orb, they would have observed that an unusually shaped rock near the site collapsed into an unconscious Toa of Fire. Tignioni’s quick thinking to produce the illusion he was a rock and veil it with an explosion had saved his life.
A short while later, he came to consciousness. Tignioni stared up at the sky, and then thought aloud, “I believe… I have a newfound respect for rocks.” He chuckled to himself, but stopped abruptly. Where had that thing gone? What if it had reached a village? Wait…there was a village right behind him. Tignioni craned his neck in the direction of the village. There seemed to be smoke, and wasn’t it a little lower in the ground…
Tignioni suddenly felt a sinking feeling. A pit had formed when that mysterious source of light had attacked him as the dirt had collapsed inward. He reactivated his Kakama and sped off towards the village. Upon reaching the outskirts, his fears were confirmed. Buildings were destroyed, belongings knocked over, holes where concentrated light had burned through objects, and, most disconcertingly, no Matoran anywhere.
“Is there anyone here?” Tignioni cried out again, though he knew it would be futile. There were so many questions. Had it simply obliterated the Matoran? Or had it absorbed them? Was it growing in power? Could it be defeated? Where would it go next?
Tignioni circled once more, despite the fact he was sure nobody was in the area. He didn’t believe they had all died. He refused to. Yet the facts were overwhelming, and after six passes through the village and a fruitless hour searching, he surrendered himself to the truth. The village had simply been annihilated. Suddenly, Tignioni felt an urge to follow that thing, whatever it was, and stop it. He would have to get to work right away. He couldn’t stick around to explain to the nearby villages. They would just have to count him among the dead.
Tignioni set off, toward the horizon, not knowing his current, or final, destination. He knew only one thing:
He had found his destiny.
Xia, approx. 920 years after Great Cataclysm
A Vortixx rounded the corner, only narrowly avoiding a volley of zamor spheres and Cordak blasts. His name was Guftivei and he was running for his life. He had always been disgusted by his society’s way of life on Xia. His near-fatal mistake was speaking up repetitively against one of the largest corporations in weapon production, and, if he wasn’t careful, it would be a fatal mistake.
The company had no regard for anything except profit. Guftivei always hated them, but the final blow was when they destroyed the last stand of vegetation on Xia. It had hardly been more than a stand of a dozen trees, but it was all that remained on Xia as far as plant life went. Now it matched everything else on the island, a complex of gray buildings surrounded by hazy smoke. He couldn’t help it any longer; he protested to it, and now he was paying for it.
Guftivei stepped aside into an empty alcove. He had to leave Xia, but where could he go? He certainly wouldn’t be accepted in one of those havens for Matoran like the Southern Continent or that metropolis apparently made by the Great Beings just for Matoran…What was it called? Oh, yes: Metru Nui. Well, with those set aside, where could he go? Zakaz would be remote enough, but he would probably be caught between vicious warlords in no time. Yet, returning to the concept of the Southern Continent, wouldn’t there have to be some sort of barrier islands offshore from the Southern Continent? They would be small and uninhabited. Yes, if he could survive on one of those, he would be safe…
His thinking was interrupted by a crackle from a zamor sphere hitting a wall. He peeked out slightly. He saw two phalanxes of armed Vortixx advancing, one from each entrance. They had pinpointed him to this building, but didn’t know where he was. They thought he was unable to escape, but they had overlooked one thing: he could travel from one building to the next on their outsides because Xia was so industrialized and the buildings so close together. It was risky, since the ground was nearly fifty bios below him, but it was his only chance. He opened a ventilation hatch and climbed out holding onto a pipe on the wall. He grabbed a railing on the building next to him and began inching his way across the exterior of the building. Upon finding another ventilation grate, he pried it off with his spear, which he had slung over his back previously.
Suddenly, his hand on the rail lost its grip. Since he had removed his other hand to grab his spear, he suddenly found himself falling towards the ground, far, far, below…