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Lightfall - Looking For Answers

light shadow lightfall part 2 looking for answers

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#1 Offline Maganar

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Posted Apr 21 2012 - 09:23 PM

Welcome to the Part 2 of Lightfall. If you haven't read Part 1, why don't you go ahead right now. To access the central hub for all things Lightfall - the epic itself, artwork, and MOCs - go to the review topic. I will apologize in advance: this is the shortest part. It will seems to just fly by, but it sets the groundwork for Parts 3 & 4 where things really get cooking. It has a total of eight chapters to be released two at a time. With that aside, let's get going with Part 2: Looking for Answers (hyper-generic name, I know, but they couldn't all turn out creative).Lightfall-Looking for Answers

Chapter 14

Northern Continent, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

Welcome to my enclave intoned a musical, feminine voice within Emeder’s head when he approached the mouth of the cave. Looking around, he saw no one other than himself, Guftivei, and Tignioni. Guftivei had an expression of surprise on his face, so Emeder assumed that both of them were just as unprepared to hear a voice from within their heads. Tignioni had warned them it could come as a bit of shock to hear telepathic communication, but nothing really prepared them for the strangeness of it. Please, come in.

They quickly found themselves in a chamber dimly lit by lightstones. The lightstones were shrouded and this produced an effect that made it seem as if the very walls of the subterranean dwelling exuded an eerie and ambient glow. A slumped silhouette removed all the shrouds and the blue and gold form of the weary Toa of Psionics named Imegna became clearer with each increase in the volume of light in the room.

I am pleased to see that we are at last ready to begin. I have long waited for a survivor to stray near enough to my cavern that I could establish communication.

“How did you know of us survivors without having faced this creature?” inquired Emeder.

I have seen it all in my head. Over time, my psionic abilities have become more and more powerful. By now, I can reach out and hear the thoughts of beings that are continents away, but I can do nothing. The harder I tap into these extreme powers, the weaker I leave myself physically. That is why I have remained here.

“If you know so much -”

-then why choose you? It is simple; you have only underscored yourself over the years. You are not the failure you think you are.

“But they’re all dead and -”

It is not your fault. We share something in common Emeder. We both blame ourselves for something we could not have prevented. I have never forgiven myself for the near-disastrous incident at my village Tignioni told you about. We both ran from our villages and we both need redemption in order to forgive ourselves. This is our chance.

Emeder could feel both Tignioni’s and Guftivei’s eyes on him. He knew this conversation was being broadcasted into their minds as well. With a surge of anger he screamed “Then why haven’t you come and done something? Why did you just hide here and let both of us nurture our guilt and hate ourselves when you could track this thing? Why? I was hiding, too, I know, but I didn’t know where to go or what to do and you did! For all this time…” He trailed off as he realized she hadn’t interrupted and finished his sentence for him, already knowing the ending. That was when he realized he’d hurt something deep down inside her, something that hurt with as much agony as his own memories of failure.

I waited because someone had to find out the facts. This time pain racked the previously melodic voice. I didn’t tell Tignioni everything…and I lied about having never faced the creature. My village fell victim to it as well. The day I fled my village, I sensed its presence nearby. That was the first time I ran across it. When I tried to return to my village the next day in order to set things right and make amends for my mistake with my psionic powers, only charred husks of the buildings remained. I realized I was the only one who could track it down, and only if I tapped into my psionic abilities in a way I never had before. So I did…but it hurt. It hurt so much. I didn’t know where to look so I read every mind I could find, reaching out over continents. Only then could I find out enough. But when you listen to every thought in a few continents, it hurts. Just an hour ago, a Skakdi wanting nothing more than to be loyal to his leader is bleeding to death on Zakaz. A slave trying to lead a protest against class distinctions on Stelt was assassinated this morning. Five days ago, a Matoran died after a week of being tortured for information by Dark Hunters on Odina. I felt all them.

“Why do we bother then? This world -”

-isn’t worth fighting for? On the other side of Zakaz, two Skakdi warlords did the unthinkable and formed a peace treaty for the first time in the history of the island. A friend of the assassinated slave on Stelt was inspired by his sacrifice to take up arms and performed a jail break that successfully evacuated over a dozen unjustly incarcerated slaves out to safety on nearby islands. A Matoran from the same village as the tortured one felt his death - don't ask me how - and made a wreath of flowers, which he then cast into the ocean to remember the other one by. I felt all them, too. All that…that’s what’s worth fighting for.

Chapter 15

Northern Continent, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

For a short while afterwards, an awkward silence hung in the cavern’s air. Imegna had added a new perspective to their view on the mission. Eventually, it was Imegna herself who rekindled the conversation. I already have an initial destination chosen. Once, when I managed to actually find the mind of the creature itself, I traced its point of origin from one of the creature’s embedded memories, if you can call them memories. As I mentioned earlier, it seems to have a “programmed” mind. Either way, I believe Tignioni himself was actually the first being to ever encounter this abomination.

“What? You can’t be serious. The day my village was lost was the when it first rose up – ever?

Yes. It originated at a location that is underground, but near the area of the Southern continent I have seen in your memories. The time period is also consistent. That is our first task. We must head to that portion of the Southern Continent and discover the details of its genesis, so that we may know how to destroy it. The only problem is that the particular segment of the Southern Continent in question had broken through this level of our universe and now rests in the ocean above.

“Oh, this is going to get fun.” Guftivei added with unenthused sarcasm.

Stelt is full of ports with many shipping containers. We should be able to procure something that could survive a journey from one dome of our universe to the next on that island.

“Best plan we have, I suppose.” Tignioni concluded as Imegna finished.

“Let’s go.”

Guftivei, Emeder, and Tignioni were all facing each other during this discussion, but the three of them now whipped around to face the new voice that had just spoken. To their great surprise, they discovered Imegna had just spoken non-telepathically. She was now standing erect and energetic rather than slumped with exhaustion as she had been earlier.

“Imegna…?” trailed Emeder.

“Did I not say that using my psionic abilities in the extreme manner I usually do was what left me debilitated physically? When I try to listen to minds that are incomprehensibly distant, as I was before, I can only communicate telepathically and move lethargically - ”

“But that would mean you were reading minds of beings kios away at the same time as you were talking to us. That’s impossible!”

“I…multitask. Under normal circumstances, I don’t have any problems.”

“You always seem to surprise me,” Tignioni responded.

“You've barely met me. Plus, did you really think I would task you with creating a team to take down some freaky ancient enemy without joining in on the fun myself? I’m coming with you. Before we leave, though, I have a little something for Guftivei.”

With that she left into a side cavern and returned carrying two armblades. With a glance to Guftivei she called out “Catch!” and heaved the two weapons at him. Then she continued “A replacement for your broadsword, since you always wanted armblades anyway.”

“How did you know?”

Imegna did not even deign to answer the question. She just gave him a bemused look.

Then it occurred to Guftivei. “Oh right…read minds from several continents. Guess I’m no exception. Yeesh - that’s weird to think someone knows all your thoughts.”

Definitely not all your thoughts. It’d be impossible to listen to every mind in reality simultaneously. By 'every mind in several continents,' I mean a process that takes months to complete because I can only read a few at a time. Plus, that’d just be too weird.”

“Still weird enough. Well, let’s get on over to Stelt. I want a chance to try out these new murderous friends of mine.”

Tignioni contradicted. “I’m afraid I would like to avoid a battle, for one. We should be able to obtain a suitable container without violence as long as everything and everyone in reality doesn’t decide to conspire against us, right? Either way, I agree. Let’s move. The quicker we put an end to this, the better.”

The team of four proceeded to Tignioni’s boat and set a heading for Stelt. It was time to get started.


Edited by Maganar, Apr 21 2012 - 09:31 PM.

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#2 Offline Maganar

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Posted Apr 23 2012 - 10:05 PM

Chapter 16

Stelt, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

A chemical reek drifted through the air as the team’s boat approached the decrepit ports on Stelt’s lesser-known, sleazy districts. On the peripheries of Steltian society, far from the gladiatorial arenas and centers of commerce, was an underworld where the less fortunate struggled to survive. Considering the four of them had nothing to pay with, they would need to steal a suitable cargo container. The disorganized society in this area would facilitate any attempt to do so. Suddenly, a shudder passed through the boat as it came in contact with the dock.

“Keep in mind, we don’t want to attract attention to ourselves.” Tignioni reminded. “I’m talking to you Guftivei; I don’t trust you not to do anything rash.”

“Isn’t that why I’m staying back in the boat with Imegna while you and Emeder find the big box thing?”

“For the most part, yes.”

“Why else?”

“Well…I figured you could get to know Imegna a bit better. You looked like you were feeling a bit awkward around her back at the cave.”

Guftivei issued an exaggerated sigh and then went to the stern of the ship to check his armaments. Even if Tignioni wanted to prevent him from using them, he was going to ready if the opportunity arose. Emeder and Tignioni disembarked and began searching the seaside street for a shipping container of adequate size and durability for their needs. Their search gave them a depressing view into the desperation of some of the inhabitants. On the ocean side of the street, rusted-out containers, sometimes stacked, were used as homes. The buildings on the inland side were made out of any scrap materials that could be found in the vicinity. Some were granted the appearance of nests similar to a Rahi bird’s, but made of metal rods rather than twigs; others had façades that looked as if they were relics of a lost age, now crumbling and in ruin; and yet more had been built in the guise of nothing the mind is capable of conceiving.

Meanwhile, Imegna had been following their progress from within the boat. Since she was only concentrating on two minds nearby minds, rather than several distant ones (as she had become accustomed to) she was also able to hold a conversation with Guftivei, despite his disappointment.

“I have to say, Guftivei, I’m glad to finally meet you in person even if you did refer to me as Tignioni’s ‘spooky mind-shredding girlfriend.’”

Guftivei cringed. This was supposed to make things less awkward? Everything about Imegna made him feel awkward! “Huh…you listened in on that, too?”

“Of course I did. I had to know if Emeder would accept the mission. You know, it’s impressive you chose to join us. What we are fighting is something truly frightening.”

“I don’t feel fear. You should know that after being in my head and all.”

“Oh, but you do. You just face up to it and get a kick out of it when it’s over. Fighting something that can destroy civilizations, when you could have probably hidden on your island if it ever reached a point where it tried to destroy all intelligent life, requires courage. As far as fear goes, you’re facing a big one this time - the fear of everything coming to nothing.”

Despite the vague nature of the statement, Guftivei knew what it meant. He wouldn’t have admitted it before, but he had to face the fact that he would blame himself for any damage this menace caused if they failed, because he would have been part of the team that failed. Everything he had done with his life would feel like nothing if that happened. If he had simply declined, he knew he would not have to come to terms with that possibility. He eventually responded “I guess I did it anyway just ‘cause it seemed like the right thing.”

“I know you don’t see yourself this way, but you’re sort of a hero. You do things at personal cost and risk just because you feel they are right. Your only incentive is the fact you believe in it. I wonder if I'm half that heroic. I suppose…I only came along to bury my guilt with a redeeming act.”

Guftivei suddenly viewed Imegna from an entirely different perspective. The certainty and conviction Imegna appeared to have in the cavern had only been her attempt to seem normal on the exterior. Inside, she was unsure and lost. The fear he was now facing, the fear of everything he had done meaning nothing, was a fear she had already faced when the menace came to her village…and she had come out on the worse side of the matter.

“No, that’s not right. When you were doing your psionic…um..." He frantically groped for a suitable word. "…research of the surrounding continents, it must have quickly become clear that you were trying to accomplish a near impossible task…And-” he added with emphasis “-and you told us just how much it hurt to do all that. Yet, you kept on going anyways. If you were just doing something to redeem yourself and hide from your guilt, you would have found something easier to do. You kept going anyways, because you thought it was right, just like I did. You’re no less than me. You're... well, like you said - sort of a hero.”

“Honestly?”

“Yeah…I don’t mess around. I mean what I say.”

“You know…For all my views into other minds, I never had anyone to do the same for me and tell me what they saw. You finally did that. As I said before, I’m glad to finally meet you in person.”

Guftivei thought about things. Maybe Imegna was a bit awkward, but she had some important stuff to say. Even more significant to him was that she needed some help, and there weren’t many others willing to lend it. Just for that alone, he was willing to spend some time with her. Even if it was awkward, he thought with amusement, it was the right thing to do. The…heroic thing to do, as she might have put it.

In the meantime, Emeder and Tignioni were about to wander headfirst into a veritable nest of trouble.

Chapter 17

Stelt, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

“Well, what do you know? There’s our ticket to the surface,” Tignioni remarked excitedly. Looming to the front of them were two loading cranes and three heavy-cargo shipping containers, any of which would do for their needs. On an unstable-seeming structure far taller than the cranes was a tank with a flammability warning in Matoran on the side. Tignioni asked aloud “Imegna, you got this?”

Absolutely. I’m notifying Guftivei right now. We’re going to bring your craft around so that you can load directly onto the back of it. We’re a bit of a ways downshore, so give us time. See you soon. Wait, hold on. There’s trouble coming your way.

“What is it? Give us some details!” Emeder commanded to the empty surroundings.

Look, if you want to see what I’m talking about, all you have to do is-

“Turn around.”

…what he said.

The words had been uttered with the austerity and coldness of a knife’s cutting edge. Tignioni and Emeder whipped around to face the being who had spoken. To their surprise, it was a Toa of Magnetism wearing a Kanohi Zatth. He had a brutal-looking slim blade that appeared to be his Toa Tool and a belt of conventional daggers strapped over his chest. Any relief at seeing another Toa was lost after his next words: “Yep, you’re the one, Greenie. Stand down and I’ll take you in alive. As for you, Red Head, step aside and we got no problem.”

Emeder knew the answer, but Tignioni asked in confusion “What do you want?”

With a nod at Emeder, he answered “Him. AlBeGam Corporation set a nice price on his head.”

“You’re a traitor to your cause!” Emeder spat.

“…Says the renegade saboteur who blows up buildings for amusement. Ha! I keep order, like a true Toa. You are a rampant destroyer. I’m taking you in for my payment.”

Tignioni cut in “It’s not like you think-”

“Yes, it is. I turn him in, I get money. The laws get enforced. That’s all I need to know.”

“Then Emeder’s right. You are a traitor to your cause, whoever you are.”

“Name’s Rynekaad. As for your name, Emeder, it’ll be forgotten. One more criminal put to justice. This discussion is over.”

Rynekaad unsheathed his blade. Tignioni leapt to action and shouted to Emeder “Get to the loading crane! Start getting a container ready while I hold this Lohrak-heart off!” Emeder expertly scaled the scaffolding and got in the control seat as Tignioni and Rynekaad locked blades

“You’re outnumbered traitor! Soon we’ll have help and we’re out of here!”

“No. It is you who are outnumbered.”

As their blades grinded against each other, Tignioni saw his opponent’s Kanohi glow. His Kanohi Zatth…Mask of Summoning.

Before Emeder could grapple a shipping container with the crane, the edge of the dock began to give way, and one of the three toppled into the ocean and sank. Immediately afterwards, they saw why. Nightmarish monsters rose out of the abyss and clawed onto the docks. Zyglak.

When Rynekaad saw what he had summoned, he abandoned the fight, turned, and fled the scene like all the bystanders in the area already had – leaving Emeder and Tignioni to pick up the mess.

Suddenly, they both heard Imegna’s voice. Tignioni, you must hold them off! We’re almost there, you just have to hold out while Emeder gets one of the two remaining crates ready.

Tignioni surveyed the scene quickly. Eight Zyglak, growling and snapping. This would be a losing battle, but like she had said, he just had to hold out. With a war cry nearly as animalistic as the Zyglak’s own, Tignioni charged forward.

The battle of the Steltian port had begun.


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#3 Offline Maganar

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Posted May 08 2012 - 08:45 PM

Chapter 18

Stelt, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

Emeder tried to concentrate on the task at hand despite the chaos as primitive knives, daggers, and more clashed against Tignioni’s sword and bursts of elemental flame whipped through the area. After the first container sank into the abyss there were only two left. After a few seconds passed Emeder thought he had figured out the loading crane’s controls. With a few motions, he positioned it over one of the containers and grappled it. A Zyglak that had climbed it for a height advantage began to try and destroy the grappling claw once it grabbed the target.

“Tignioni, get that monster!”

With a glance, Tignioni unleashed a torrential stream of fire onto the Zyglak. To prevent itself from being boiled within its armor, it jumped off, ran to the ocean, and dove into the water. “Still seven in fighting condition,” Tignioni observed. With that he leapt onto the container himself and crouched underneath the crane’s grabbing claw. “I’ll give you close cover from up here on top.” Emeder began to shift the container into position as Tignioni unleashed flames on the Zyglak, searing the streets and lacing the air with fire.

One of the Zyglak reared back, and removed a small package. It then hurled it at Tignioni. The throw was a miss and hit the container that the crane was moving through the air. One impact, it melted a hole in its side. Tignioni relayed the situation to Emeder, saying, “Uh…Drop this load.”

“Are you insane?”

“It’s not going to be watertight. It sustained some collateral damage from the Zyglak’s attacks.”

“Mauka dung,” Emeder cursed. “I’m dropping this in front of the other container so you can use it as cover and still keep the fighting from damaging the other container. That’s the only one left.”

“Understood. Drop me anytime.”

With a twist, the crane dropped the container and Tignioni with it.

Emeder successfully got hold of the only suitable container left and moved it over the water in preparation. Meanwhile, Tignioni began to shower the assembled Zyglak in front of him with a rain of fire from above. A lucky hit torched one Zyglak sufficiently enough that it fled for the sea, ignoring the container swinging in the wind at the end of Emeder’s crane. Another Zyglak became too confident and tried to leap up to Tignioni. With his height advantage from standing on top of the damaged container, Tignioni simply landed a massive, elementally-infused blow with his Charger Blade. The combined weight of the weapon and heat of the elemental energy smote the Zyglak to the earth so powerfully it hit the ground motionless and smoldering, presumably dead. “Five left,” Tignioni declared.

At this time, the engine of the boat was heard. In their heads Emeder and Tignioni heard a voice announce: It appears we have arrived before you two were reduced to Zyglak food. Good. I had only just gotten to know you guys and it’d be a shame to see you die so soon, Imegna added with a touch of humor.

Tignioni fell back from his roost and hopped into the back of the boat. Meanwhile, Emeder released the container into the ship. Guftivei then exclaimed “Perfect! That’s just the thing!” Emeder then abandoned the controls and ran down the length of the crane’s arm. As he reached the end he acrobatically bounced off of it and landed in the boat.

At this point the Zyglak were getting extremely close. Emeder called out to Tignioni. “Get moving! They’re almost on top off us!”

With a look of horror, Tignioni screamed “The engine stalled!”

Guftivei however, was unconcerned. “I know you’re a Fire Toa, so you’re naturally hot and bothered or whatever, but – chill. I got this!” Imegna, mind-reading his plan, gave him a mortified look and said “You can’t be serious. You’ll kill us all!”

“Nah, I won’t. At least I don’t think so.” With that he fired explosive darts from his modified Cordak blaster at the flimsy scaffolding supporting the giant explosive tank Emeder and Tignioni had noted as they entered the area. As soon as it crashed to the ground with a metallic thud, he fired at the tank itself. When it ruptured, a wall of flame coursed forward scalding all the remaining Zyglak…and then continuing onwards to the boat. The sheer velocity of the explosion would make uncontrollable even for Tignioni.

Emeder, however would save all four of them. With a burst of air he split the wall of fire in two. The two halves passed on either side of the boat, leaving its passengers unscathed.

After a few minutes, the unharmed, but badly shaken crew got the engine working again. With that, they sped off, leaving the blazing shores of the burning port on Stelt behind them.

Chapter 19

Various locations, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

After Stelt, the party of four made the necessary modifications to prevent them from being injured in transit. A part was sectioned off to accommodate for weapons and padding prevented them from shifting too much on the rough seas that would follow. By the end, there was surprisingly little room left. As Guftivei put it “This is gonna be awfully intimate…,” earning a calculating glare from Imegna.

Upon arrival, Tignioni wanted to try and communicate with the villagers; maybe some were from his area before the Great Cataclysm. Imegna warned him against it, however. She spoke of hardships he would be devastated to learn of as well as endless distractions that could deviate them from their task. Reluctantly, he agreed to avoid meeting any of them, and the four hid away from any signs of civilization they came across.

On Voya Nui, little happened worth noting for a long time. Imegna located several beings that had shielded minds she couldn’t break through with her mind-reading…and it seemed they knew she was trying to get into their heads. She realized it was possible she had overlooked such beings in her previous information searches. How much information was she still in the dark about? All she gathered from these minds was something about an Order. An Order of Something or Other.

Finally she found what they were looking for. She could feel psionic waves similar to the light menace’s coming from somewhere underground. She didn’t know it, but it was the path to the Chamber of Life. They proceeded to it the next day.

A being in the caves felt his brain being searched and moved from his appointed cavern to the front of the underground pathway. He wanted to meet this mind-reading adversary as soon as possible.

That was why the group never came across any of the Chamber of Life’s trials. What they were coming for was ready – and it had come to them. That being had a name. And its name was Umbra.

Chapter 20

Voya Nui, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

The cavern seemed to be a maw of stone gaping open in front of them. It almost felt as if energy emanated from deep within. Imegna announced that the source seemed to be inside, but everyone had already assumed as much. The cave just exuded an aura of power. Unable to cope with the knowledge that they were this close to the origin of the light menace, the four of them stood in silence, staring into the void ahead. It was Guftivei who initially broke the eerie calm. “Come on; I don’t care how freaky this whole thing is – we’re not doing any good just standing here.”

Guftivei blazed a path into the darkness followed by Tignioni and then Emeder. Imegna took the rear. A soon as she passed the threshold of the cave’s entrance, a cascade of rocks sealed it off and reduced vision to nothing. Light returned as Tignioni allowed a flame to flare up on his fingertips and then course down his arm. The glow was just enough for them to make out each other’s masks, or in Guftivei’s case, face. Worriedly, Tignioni spoke “That seemed too convenient to be natural. Someone knew we were coming…” Before any of the others could speculate, a voice echoed indistinctly, yet regally, around the walls from an indeterminate source.

“You judge correctly. I am Umbra, and you have trespassed on the 777 Stairs. I am here to honorably defeat and then dispose of those beings with soul that attempt to reach the Chamber of Life. Now you shall fall at my hand.” Instantly, chaos erupted.

“Wait…”

“What in Karzahni’s…”

“We’re not…”

“ Stop! You don’t…”

Disregarding the protests, Umbra prepared to attack, transforming into light and illuminating the entire cavern, which now appeared to be a room of sorts. As he reflected off of the walls, Tignioni realized the time to avoid a conflict had ended and it was time to act. Taking note of this…Umbra’s extreme power, he decided to attract its attention to give the others a chance to formulate some sort of plan. He bellowed “Get me! I dare you!” and activated a Hau mask he had found many years ago. Umbra immediately charged him, still as a living beam of light, but he was in for a surprise. The Hau’s protection field reflected him off and he became trapped, reflected between the Hau’s shielding and one of the walls.

Emeder caught on to what was happening and began to shriek “He’s a light being! HE IS THE SOURCE! KILL HIM!” Imegna realized Emeder’s epiphany must have been correct and saw this as her queue to act. In a heartbeat, she projected every memory she had about the light menace into the consciousness of Umbra. As soon as she did this, the battle ended as suddenly as it had started. As the room lapsed into darkness once more, Umbra’s voice was heard “I understand now. You came about…that.”

Emeder, however, was not ready to end the conflict so quickly. “Murderer! Monster!” he ranted. “You killed them all! ALL OF THEM! I’m going to kill you!” he raged, lashing out randomly into the all-consuming darkness. Following the sound of Emeder’s shouts, Guftivei located him and wrestled him into a headlock. “That’s enough. We get your point. Now shut up or we’re never finding out the truth.”

“We can tell the truth clear enough!” Emeder retaliated, still in the headlock. “He caused all of this and we should kill him for everything he’s done.” Guftivei responded “Yah…sure, whatever. And then what about stopping the light thing? How will we ever find out how to do that with him dead?” As Emeder held his silence, Guftivei said “Yeah…Glad to see your brain started working again,” and released Emeder from the restraining grip.

Umbra spoke into the blackness. “As I stated earlier, I guard the Chamber of Life. Inside is a relic that could spell salvation or doom for our entire universe. In an attempt to strengthen the security measures, as would be a logical thing to do with an item of such power present, I tried to create a light elemental with my powers over light. It did not go as planned.”

Emeder was enraged by the nonchalance with which Umbra pronounced these words. “I’d say it didn’t go as planned- ”

“That’s enough, Emeder.” Tignioni cut him off. Then, to Umbra, he added “Continue.”

“My primary ability you have already witnessed: the ability to become living light. Other than that, I have limitations. I lost control over the Light Ravager I made and it broke loose. The Light Ravager was meant to kill any sentient it found and it attempts to complete this task wherever it goes. Fortunately, it cannot kill indefinitely without stopping now that my power no longer feeds it. Occasionally, weak areas between dimensional planes appear. From what I can tell, the Ravager forced one of these open into a plane where light and shadow exist almost as… substances.”

“How is that possible?” inquired Imegna.

“It isn’t, not in this dimensional plane. Other planes can have different elementary physical properties – different fundamental concepts of physics and science. There are alternate existences where gravity is non-existent, others where motion is impossible. Some may possess additional forces that are non-existent here. We call these dimensional planes...Realms. I’m surprised you aren’t familiar with the concept. You have had considerable exposure to a Realm over a different Rift.”

“What?”

“The Realm of Thought. An existence where psychic energies fuel all fundamental forces such as gravity, kinetics, and the elements. It’s not entirely dissimilar to the Light and Shadow Realm the Ravager returns to, but based off of Psionics instead.”

“How can you know this?” Tignioni pressed.

“A being with the proper training can detect residues of Realm Rifts. She is coated in them. Of course the residues diminish with time if you do not remain in the vicinity of the Rift. With that diminishment, she will lose some of her unnaturally extreme control over her element. You build-up is massive, however. That could take years before you would notice your powers reverting to a normal state. You must have been in the proximity of the Rift for over a century.”

“…of course,” Imegna whispered. “My powers spiraling out of control that one day…the ability to read minds continents apart…it isn’t natural. My village must have been on the Rift.”

Umbra continued. “The Light Ravager travels to an area near the Sea Gate south of Metru Nui in order to travel through this forced-open portal to the Realm, where it recharges its energies before continuing with another genocidal act. The amount of time it spends in this Realm before it leads another attack varies from days to centuries with no logical pattern behind it. I know this because, having made it myself, I can track it with my mind. I regret to say I am powerless to stop it, and had I not been, my responsibilities here supersede the responsibility to stop it.”

Now understanding the situation, Tignioni finally asked the question they were all burning to ask: “How do we stop it then?” Silence fell in the darkened chamber as they all listened for the answer.

“It has grown wild with its abilities from feeding off of the Light and Shadow Realm. No being with powers over light will be able to stop it. Elemental Shadow is needed. The only beings I can think of with enough power to do so would be a Rahkshi of Shadow or a Makuta. At a time such as this, the Brotherhood of Makuta would only benefit from the chaos this monster causes. I am sorry…If only there were such things as Toa of Shadow…”

Silence paradoxically thundered away in the ears of the four heroes. Only a Rahkshi of Shadow or a Makuta? Imegna thought. How will we ever stop it!

Chapter 21

Voya Nui, 993 years after Great Cataclysm

“Should you proceed with your attempt to defeat the Light Ravager, you have my endless thanks. Should you not, I wouldn’t blame you,” Umbra proclaimed. Then he concentrated light into a laser beam and obliterated the rockfall that had blocked the entrance. As daylight filtered into the chamber he said “I will see that you are sent back to the world below this one. Return to this cave at this time tomorrow with anything you wish to take along and I will have one that can send you back waiting for you.” With that, Umbra transformed into light again and disappeared into the depths of the 777 Stairs.

Each of them was lost in introspection that night, and none debated the horrifying news. How could they hope to stop it, now knowing what they did? Little discussion took place the next morning, either, as they prepared their materials and carried them to the cavern entrance. Waiting for them was a very tall blue and gold armored being.

Even now, Emeder could hardly control his temper. “So you’re the one sending us back? Get it over with; I’m sick of you fools that make monsters you can’t control.”

“Emeder!” Imegna cried. “That is hardly a just accusation. You heard what Umbra said about that Chamber of Life he is trying to protect.”

Surprisingly, the being agreed with Emeder. “No, he’s right! This incident is just another example of what a group of incompetents we are. The Order of Mata Nui - ”

“- is an organization trying everything it can to set things right. It just has flaws – like everyone, even you Brutaka. Perhaps your greatest flaw is just that: your lack of faith in the Order,” interjected a gray armored being who had just walked out from behind a stand of trees while toting a massive ax. “Plus, Umbra is only loosely connected with us. We need to keep the Chamber here safe, just in case the artifact inside is ever needed to save Mata Nui.”

Brutaka, as they now knew him to be called, viciously replied “Sure, Axxon, that’s assuming our Mata Nui hasn’t just died. I never have believed your ‘Great Spirit in coma’ theory anyway and you know it. You’re just another Kikanalo telling yourself the leader of the herd knows what it’s doing until the whole herd goes stampeding over a cliff.”

Axxon turned to address the assembled party. “I have to apologize on behalf of Brutaka. The self-appointed genius here seems to think the universe would continue to function even with the Great Spirit actually dead. As I said earlier, the Order is doing everything it can to set things right, but we haven’t been able to deal with Umbra’s Light Ravager because of the complications we have recently had in our undercover war with the Makuta. Luckily, we managed to make a couple key…neutralizations…but there always seems to be more trouble inbound.”

“You hunt Makuta?” asked Emeder incredulously.

“Them and their cohorts. It’s an uphill battle, but we’re making progress.”

“Then…I’m sorry about what I said,” Emeder apologized.

“Don’t worry. You didn’t know the whole story at the time. Now you do, so you best choose your friends and foes accordingly,” Axxon declared.

“Glad to hear we’ve sorted things out. We gonna go somewhere know?” inquired Guftivei.

Imegna still had questions, though. “Your mind…I can’t read it and I can read every mind on a continent, given enough time!…Or at least I thought I could. And what’s this about this Order of Mata Nui? I’m…interested…in what you’ve said.”

Axxon smiled. “Even you have some things to learn about the mind. As for the Order, I’ve told you more than I should have already, but I felt you had a right to know. Listen to this, if you choose to take down the Light Ravager, the Order will notice you. We’ve wanted it out of the picture for a while. You have no obligation to do as much, but should you do so, the Order will make sure you know more about them. You can continue on with your lives in peace, or you can take down the Ravager – it’s your choice. Now, it is time for you to leave.”

Brutaka spoke up. “Use your psionics to give me a view of a destination.” With that, Imegna projected an image of the foothills leading up to the mountains where her cavern resided. Before anyone could ask what Brutaka meant to do, a dimensional portal, created by his Kanohi Olmak, opened with that exact spot visible on the other side.

Guftivei grinned and yelled “Awesome!” before leaping through. Tignioni wordlessly followed. Emeder gave one glance backwards to Axxon as if to say “I understand now; don’t worry” before he too went through the portal. Only Imegna was left. She turned to Axxon. “I don’t have any idea how we will, but we’re defeating it, whatever it takes. We won’t let you down.” Then Imegna did something very strange: she winked at Axxon.

“I thought I could count on you. Now go. Your future awaits you,” Axxon knowingly declared. Brutaka simply gave a curt nod of acknowledgment. With that, Imegna entered the portal and stepped onto the arid foothills on the Northern Continent. She had made a promise…and nothing in realm of Karzahni would stop her from fulfilling it. The conquest to put an end to the Light Ravager had finally begun in earnest.

:tohu: End Part 2 :tohu:

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!!!Part 3!!!


Edited by Maganar, May 20 2012 - 11:09 PM.

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