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When The Month Ends

A lifetime begins!

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#1 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Oct 14 2011 - 12:34 PM

PROLOGUEprologue.png

Many years ago, during the Core War, the Great Beings knew they would have to find a way to help the planet, Spherus Magna. Their many ideas eventually landed on a massive robot that would require the presence of living nanotech to keep it functioning. This nanotech would come to be called "Matoran." Prior to the existence of Takua, the first Matoran, the Great Beings produced a number of prototypes, one of which almost succeeded. Angonce, a Great Being who had a strong fascination with the Agori people, was elected to oversee the project.

 

About three weeks into their project, Angonce was walking through their fortress down to one of the labs. Inside this chamber was the latest model of the Matoran nanotech. If this one worked, they hoped it would be the final version that would be used inside their massive robot. Heremus, another Great Being, was on the verge of completing the plans for the robot. Angonce knew he must pay attention to this creation: a small being that was based on the Agori species native to Spherus Magna. If they were lucky, then this was the final product and they could begin work on the larger robot.

 

However, he would be disappointed to learn that this was not the case.As Angonce came to the door of the lab, he heard his companions panicking. Looking inside, he saw something disturbing: the small being strapped to a platform in the middle of the room, was struggling against his bonds, and the readings on the monitors were rapidly alternating, indicating anything from overflow of power to loss of important data. The Matoran were not meant to be anything more than the nanotech that kept the robot running. This one, however, seemed to be developing a mind of its own, and was rebelling against its creators. Angonce ran over to one of the other Great Beings and quickly asked him what was going on. The answer didn't do anything to help his mood.

 

"We were trying to install his intelligence systems, but something went wrong. Something must have glitched, because he began receiving information on all the other life forms we have planned for their universe. Worse, he's developing a personality; a sense of being, as if he's not trying to do what is required of him, but what he wants to do."

 

Angonce grimaced. He knew this unlikely turn of events might have a negative impact on the project. He could think of only one possible solution: "Shut it down. Cut off the power supply before he's finished! Shut down the whole system. We can start again when he's disconnected."

 

He thought that the creature coming into being before him wouldn't be able to hear him; the intake of information and energy would keep most of his systems offline. But he was wrong. The little figure's eyes snapped open, and his muscles strained underneath his armour. That's when Angonce noticed something strange: the being was changing, growing, becoming something... else. What had once been a small green and black worker was now a seven-foot tall blue and white warrior. His bonds snapped, and the figure roared at the Great Beings. He unfolded a set of wings and leaped off the platform on which he was being created, stumbling a little upon using his legs for the first time. He blinked once, then looked down at his form, which was now larger and stronger than before.

 

But before anything else could happen, one of the Great Beings held up a hand and tried to appear calm in the face of this project-gone-wrong. The figure looked at him, but didn't seem to understand the gesture. However, the silence in the room seemed to calm him down. The being then visibly relaxed and took a step back. The Great Being spoke to him slowly and carefully,hoping this new warrior would understand. After all, if it had absorbed a lot of their data, perhaps it had picked up on some language capabilities. "We mean no harm. Can you understand me? Hello?" The being just glared at him, slowly flexing his jaw behind his mask. A moment later, the figure began to make a series of grunts and other sounds, but it wasn't any recognizable language. "Maybe this project wasn't a failure," the Great Being thought aloud.

 

Angonce walked over and examined the warrior. "Interesting... Maybe we can use this to our advantage. The smaller one became something larger and more powerful. Perhaps we can work that into the next version of the project. Like this one, but downgraded. This one will be allowed to function, but he must be finished first." He laid a hand on the warrior's shoulder and guided him over to the platform again. "Let's get you fixed up, okay?"

 

A few years later...

The Great Beings stood at the feet of their massive robot, the one which would carry the Matoran inside it as it traveled through space, learning as much as it could about foreign worlds before returning to repair Spherus Magna. Angonce was glad to see that the project was finished, that their greatest chance of surviving on their world was finally ready. However, one of the others who had worked with him on that project a few years earlier pointed out that their first success, the shapeshifting prototype, had disappeared, and none knew where he had gone. This worried Angonce. That being had learned everything that the Great Beings had planned, and if he could make it into the robot along with the Matoran, then there was no telling what he could do...

 

As the massive robot, christened "Mata Nui," was preparing to launch, the missing project of the Great Beings stood on the shores of the Northern Continent, waiting for his new home to take off. He knew that once it did, he would be safe from the Great Beings, for he knew what they were planning for him; given his unique qualities, they were going to experiment on him and try to reproduce his abilities, but not with the same powerful intelligence. He didn't want to live his life as a project, so he ran away. He didn't know yet what he would do here, but he would make the most of it.

END PROLOGUE

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Morning…

A small being in green and black armour awoke on the shores of the island of Stelt, his face buried in the sand. He sat up and coughed, trying to make his eyes focus. He couldn’t see his own hand, but he could still feel. Reaching up, he felt the mask on his face, his fingers exploring the angles and contours of its wedge-like shape. “Yup, it’s a Kakama again,” he said to himself. “Has it really already been a month?”The 1st Shadow tried to stand up, but his legs were not responding properly, and he fell over on to his back. Need to do this a bit more slowly, he thought. Sitting up, he looked around. He could see clearly now, and feeling was starting to come back to his limbs. About forty-five feet away, he saw his ship lying on its side on the shore, some of the cargo spread around it. Suddenly worried, he leaped to his feet and ran as quickly as his unstable legs would allow over to the wreck. Amid the scattered cargo, he saw a set of footprints going to and fro. The 1st Shadow grimaced and began searching for his most valuable piece: a small box that contained a very rare artifact.He intended to sell this object to a client on Xia, in exchange for a small container of energized protodermis and a few sheets of protosteel. These were some materials necessary for his special project, so he had to be extra careful that his clients never got too much information.After a few minutes of searching, he was starting to get worried. The box wasn’t here. Could it have been lost in…? He looked out to sea, at the storm that had apparently sent his craft to shore. If it had been lost to the waters, then he wouldn’t be able to find it until he had enough power to go searching for it beneath the waves! But that was impossible; he had been holding it when the storm hit. His last memories were of trying to secure it in a hatch near the stern of his ship, but then he found himself too weak to open it. Once again, he had transformed at a very inopportune time.“What’s that?” he asked out loud. Just a few feet away, partially hidden behind another crate, he spotted a corner of the intricate box. He pounced on top of it, pulling it out into the open. What he saw made him worry even more. Half of the box had been crushed, and its contents were nowhere to be seen. However, he did see something that might explain its absence: the footprints he had seen earlier had made their way through his cargo, but when they arrived at this spot, they turned and went back up the sand into the rocks nearby.Spotting his weapon sticking out of the ground near where he had awakened, he went over to retrieve it, feeling a familiar sense of comfort when he grabbed it. The staff itself was made of black metal, and was about the same height as he was. On the top of it was a functioning drill, which he used for defensive purposes.Returning to where he had found the box, he analyzed the shape and size of the footprints. The wind from offshore had disturbed the sand, so it was hard to tell who or what they might belong to. With no other option, he followed the footprints, hoping the thief wouldn’t put up too much of a fight.Coming up to the foot of a large boulder, he began to climb. One would think that his years of experience would have made him think more carefully about things before acting. However, he was confident that he could handle just about anything on his own. But in the last thousand years or so, he had been feeling more than just a confidence, but an urgency to do everything that suited his purposes.Ever since the Great Spirit Mata Nui had been put to slumber, he knew he had to act more quickly. He had heard that Metru Nui was deserted, so that closed off one of his more promising trading centers. However, places like Xia and Stelt would serve just as well. Now, he had to focus on getting back that which was stolen from him.Glancing out at the island before him, The 1st Shadow spotted a disturbance amid the bushes below. His quarry wouldn’t necessarily be lying in wait for him, if the thief had any sense. Unless… He leaped down to the ground and raced as fast as his small legs could carry him, calling upon his mask power to increase his speed. In moments, he found himself running behind a being that resembled a Matoran, but was taller and thinner than most, and faster than he looked. In the figure’s hand, The 1st Shadow spotted his missing artifact. Mentally willing his mask to grant him greater speed, he pressed on, leaping over bushes and rocks as he began to overcome his target.After a few minutes, the chase ended abruptly, when the new arrival stopped and caught The 1st Shadow by the neck and flung him to the ground. He didn’t stay down long, though. Springing to his feet, he lashed out at his attacker’s feet with his staff, activating the drill end of it in the process. Pinning his target down, he held the drill near the figure’s Kanohi Ruru. “Hello, Demrus,” he said, grinning with satisfaction. “May I have that back?”Demrus didn’t look the slightest bit phased. “You’re forgetting, Shadow, that I have what you came for. If you take this back, then I will be disinclined to give you the materials you need, am I right?”The 1st Shadow smiled and stepped back, helping the Matoran to his feet. Demrus had worked with The 1st Shadow in the past, and they had once come across an engineer who had shown them how to rebuild themselves into larger forms. Demrus had taken to the project immediately, but Shadow had refused, though he never stated his reasons. Now, they found themselves together again: two business partners, trying to make their way in the universe.Demrus glanced around, as if trying to make sure that no one had followed him. He drew his blade, then gestured toward a small stand of trees about a mile from where they stood. “Why don’t we take this back to my place?” he suggested, hefting The 1st Shadow's artifact. “We can talk in private there, and I can give you directions to someone who can get you what you need and have you on your way to Xia before long.”The 1st Shadow raised an eyebrow. “Now, how in Mata Nui’s name did you know Xia was my next target?”Demrus laughed, his deep voice carrying farther than Shadow would have felt comfortable with. On an island like Stelt, you never knew who you could trust, and The 1st Shadow hoped they wouldn't attract too much attention from the wrong kind of people. “Call it a hunch, old friend. Now, let’s get moving, before the rest of the island wakes up.”END CHAPTER 1

Here's a link to the review topic: http://www.bzpower.c...p?showtopic=541

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Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Jan 07 2014 - 01:25 AM.

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Credit to Shattered Mask Productions for the signoff!


#2 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Nov 22 2011 - 10:21 PM

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There was only an hour till sunrise, and Demrus wanted to return home quickly so as to avoid being followed. As far as he knew, no one else on Stelt knew where he lived, and he intended to keep it that way. A few feet behind him, The 1st Shadow leaped from one large rock to a branch, and then down to another rock. He seemed to be in no hurry, despite the fact that he always had a tight schedule that he needed to keep to. Demrus had never learned exactly what his business was, but it never influenced his life in any harmful way, so he didn’t bother.Still, he couldn’t shake the fact that Shadow was hiding something important. He was always trading off valuable items for various materials, the likes of which Demrus had only heard about. Shadow always seemed to be hunting down large quantities of protosteel, and even more rare, containers of Energized Protodermis, among other items. He was a strange character, and while Demrus had some fond memories of The 1st Shadow from times long past, he couldn’t get over the day when he was forced to buy his own neck while Shadow walked away unthreatened.There’s something strange about him, and I’d like to find out what he’s up to, Demrus thought, not for the first time. Then, as he listened to Shadow whistling softly to himself in the branches overhead, a thought struck him. Korahn, a black and green armoured Toa he had worked with in the past, had mentioned being on the hunt for a being who hunted rare materials. “For a weapon of some kind, I suspect,” the Toa had said, though with much uncertainty. For the first time, Demrus wondered if this being had a connection to the Matoran who now walked alongside him. At this point, The 1st Shadow was growing impatient. He had kept his silence, hoping that would keep Demrus from asking too much. He trusted the Ko-Matoran more than he trusted any other being, but Demrus would sell his own mask to save his foot. Demrus wasn’t known to be a coward, but he was clever and cautious, and knew how to keep the upper hand in any deal. But he was willing to work with him if the situation demanded, and he wanted a private place to do business, so he finally spoke up. “How much farther?” His voice carried none of the music his whistling had contained only moments before.The expression on Demrus’ face never wavered, and he said simply, “Nearby. Not long now.” He didn’t trust anything on this island, not even the trees, so he revealed the location of his home to no one until they were there. The 1st Shadow nodded, muttering something about a Mask of Speed, but said nothing further. He had kept his ability to use Kanohi a secret from all. He knew that knowledge would raise suspicions, so he never used it unless necessary. So far, Demrus only knew he could run faster than most, the result of one of his experiments, perhaps. He had no idea that Shadow’s speed was tied to the Kakama on his face. In any case, he preferred a Mask of Strength or Shielding any day, but Speed would have to do for his purposes. As Demrus had said, it wasn’t long before they arrived at his home, nestled amongst some large boulders in the middle of the small overgrown forest. Shadow was glad for the privacy, but he knew he had limited time to complete this trade, but he had to get the crystal back from Demrus, and that would take negotiating. He couldn’t let the Ko-Matoran help with this deal. He would only get in the way. Demrus was sharp, but this one would require a blunt knife. Opening the well-concealed door to his hut, Demrus led The 1st Shadow inside. Once in, he sealed the opening, leaving both in darkness, for there were no windows. The 1st Shadow looked around, his sharp eyes piercing the darkness and taking the basics of the room. There was an opening to the left, and a closet on the right. Right in front of him was a fireplace. Demrus had now walked over to it, and was starting a fire. Shadow smirked at the irony. A Matoran of Ice, wanting to start a fire. How amusing. Demrus clicked a small container open, pouring just a drop some blue liquid on the wood in the fireplace. A moment later, flames shot up and filled the room with a deep orange light. Demrus put the container of liquid on a shelf nearby, and then pulled up a chair. He gestured to the corner, indicating another seat. The 1st Shadow narrowed his eyes, and reached over to grab the stool, then pulled it up to the fire and sat down. The 1st Shadow set his weapon against the fireplace and turned to Demrus. “So, you found my treasure, and I need it back. But I must ask, how did you know I’d be stopping here on Stelt? I keep my records with only my clients, so your appearance at my crash site leaves me a little suspicious, I must say. Care to explain?”The Ko-Matoran gave him a look that said he wasn’t up for talking about this, but he knew he couldn’t get anything out of his friend if he didn’t speak up. “Actually, it was by chance. I had a rendezvous with a Toa who was bringing information on a target of his. He never showed up, but I ran across your ship—you were nowhere to be seen at the time, so I rummaged through your things and located this.” He pulled a crystal, about the size of his hand, from his bag. Its frosty blue exterior hid a burning hot center, and was a rare find these days. Shadow had gone to great measures to steal this from a Makuta named Bitil who oversaw one of the southern island chains. Demrus grinned when he saw his friend’s eyes become dark green slits behind his mask. “How much were you selling this for? I’m quite interested in it, myself. But I must also ask, why were you selling it at all?” The 1st Shadow didn’t like being played, especially not by Demrus. “And how did you know I’d be heading for Xia? You didn’t say much about that.”Demrus smiled again. “Now, that was just an educated guess. Something like this doesn’t get handled by the traders on Stelt. I assumed you were looking for quality, if not just a good bargain. So, naturally, I suspected Xia.” Once again, the Ko-Matoran’s skills and quick thinking amazed Shadow. But now, it was time for business. The 1st Shadow shifted in his seat, getting comfortable. “Alright, now what is it you want? I have a client who needs that gem, I need a shipment of three-hundred lightstones, and you’re holding the whole deal in your hand. What’s in it for you? Behind his grey Kanohi Ruru, Demrus grinned. “I’m just looking for an adventure. I’ve had little business in the last year or so, and so I just want to help here. Besides, I haven’t been to Xia in a long time. I’d like to see what Kadrus has in stock.” Shadow grimaced. This wasn’t what he had in mind, but if Demrus could keep himself busy while he did his business with one of his many partners, then things might go more smoothly. The only problem was, this trip might take more than a month, and Demrus had never seen him change into his second form. He had to keep that a secret, because if word got out about one transformation, the universe would be at his throat in seconds. Still, if he offered the Ko-Matoran enough information, plus a little more, he would keep his mouth shut. With a sigh, he reached out his hand and took the crystal from Demrus’ outstretched hand, placing it in his backpack. As he did so, he said the word that, unbeknownst to him at the time, sealed his fate.“Deal.”END OF CHAPTER 2Next time: Meet one of The 1st Shadow’s partners, and a surprise visit from an old friend of Demrus’.Review Topic>>http://www.bzpower.c...p?showtopic=541

Edited by The 1st Shadow, Nov 22 2011 - 10:26 PM.

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Credit to Shattered Mask Productions for the signoff!


#3 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Dec 04 2011 - 03:23 AM

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The 1st Shadow

CHAPTER 3

The next day found Demrus and The 1st Shadow making a trip to one of the markets on Stelt. Demrus seemed a bit anxious, a trait hardly common in a Matoran of Ice. Shadow didn’t feel that asking about it would help, so he kept his silence. Instead, he was thinking about a list of materials he would need for the trip, as well as his overall list of things to “collect,” as he always said.Not for the first time, he thought back to the time he first awoke in one of the labs of the Great Beings. It was a time that, though confusing, always amused him. Brilliant as they are, the Great Beings, it seemed, were not flawless. They had overlooked a few details during the creation of this prototype Matoran, and accidentally fed him all the information on some of the species within the universe. In addition, he had gained the ability to change form among some of these species, though only at the end of each month, for some reason. Not every creation is without its flaws, it seems, he said to himself. Not even this universe. He laughed softly, ignoring the look Demrus shot at him. He doesn’t need to know what I know.Demrus, on the other hand, was still a little worried about his rendezvous with the Toa who was supposed to bring information on a unique entity within the universe. He was on a wanted list among the Dark Hunters, Brotherhood of Makuta, numerous Toa, and even Artakha, some said. Demrus wasn’t sure how such a being could have existed for so long without being caught. He had asked The 1st Shadow about it the night before.“I’ve heard about this character before,” his friend had said. “I’ve met someone like that once, but he died about three years ago, when I was hired to help him with a mission of his. We were ambushed, and I barely made it out.”Demrus had been shocked to hear this. “You knew him? And you never gave him away? Or did you know he wouldn’t survive?”Shadow had simply smiled. “I said we were ambushed. I didn’t say I didn’t have anything to do with it.”“You killed him? And kept it to yourself?”“Yes. Who was I supposed to tell? The Hunters? Maybe the Makuta of Metru Nui himself? Tell them I cheated them of revenge? I like having a place to keep my mask, thank you.” After that, Demrus let the issue slide.So who was Korahn after now, if his quarry was indeed dead? Demrus had no answer, so he remained silent until they reached the outskirts of the village.Numerous beings of great size towered over the two figures entering the village. Many were large blue and grey workers with squat, ape-like bodies. Others were taller, and walked with an air of authority. The 1st Shadow caught a glimpse of a crimson-armoured representative of the taller species, and immediately moved to hide himself, but relaxed when he found no sign of the Visorak horde nearby. He had encountered Sidorak and his army not long ago, and he was sure the King of the Horde would remember him. But that had been in a different form, and there was no way Sidorak would suspect a weak little Matoran to have done him any harm. Besides, he knew Sidorak and his Viceroy had the Horde moving through the Southern continent right now.After a few minutes of walking through the village, The 1st Shadow spotted a small shape moving amongst the other beings in the market. He dismissed Demrus, who understood his friend’s business well enough to know when to respect his wishes. In any case, he knew he had to find the Toa who was supposed to meet him the day before. So he left The 1st Shadow to do his work.Triggering the power of his Kakama, The 1st Shadow darted forward, hoping he hadn’t overshot his target. He pulled himself to a stop in an alleyway, and took a look around. No sign of the Matoran he had seen a moment before. Then a hand landed on his shoulder and spun him around. For a split second, he found himself staring at a pair of blue legs holding up a white torso. Looking up, he found himself face-to-face with a light blue Kaukau, and behind that, a pair of blue eyes belonging to someone he knew well. This was Nijen, a Matoran of Lightning, and one of those who he considered permanent partners. Nijen gestured to an opening at one end of the alley, and both moved toward it.Once inside, Nijen spoke. Her voice was soft, but confident. “How’s it going? And why’s Demrus here? I thought you were trying to avoid him.”Shadow sighed. “It’s going well enough. And I have little problem with Demrus, as long as he keeps to himself. But why are you here? I sent you to Zakaz to get information.”“I was making my way there, but when I heard there was a storm the other night, I decided to stay here and make sure you made it through alright.”“Of course I made it through. I had no intention of drowning, as if that would stop me.”She rolled her eyes. His arrogance would be the death of him one day. “Anyway, how long will this take? You can’t risk Demrus finding out about your little trick, or he’ll alert someone and—““The universe will be at my throat. I know,” He finished for her. “It’s a risky business, but I’ve already explained why we need to do this. The Great Spirit has been struck down by the Makuta, and we need to finish my failsafe. I’ve already shown you all the flaws in the robot’s design, and in Mata Nui himself. Now that he’s asleep, it’s even more important that we complete the project. If we’re lucky, it can be finished within the year.”Nijen still wasn’t sure how The 1st Shadow knew everything he knew. Part of her wanted to believe he was just a mad Matoran with wild dreams. But she had seen him change forms many times, and his evidence was too convincing. She had heard his story of being built by the Great Beings and how he was given knowledge that rivaled that of the legendary Tren Krom. He also suspected the Makuta of planning something big for the universe, and he told them all how horrible it would be if he was right.Many years ago, Nijen had been living on the Southern Continent, in a village on the edge of the Tren Krom River. It had been peaceful, until one day she and her friend, a Ta-Matoran named Meyres, spotted a troop of Rahkshi heading for their home. They were almost too late to warn them, but it seemed that salvation had come in the form of a massive black and red armoured warrior wearing a Mask of Strength. She and Meyres had helped him by distracting the Rahkshi while he attacked them. Strangely, he did not kill them, but instead broke their staves and sent them on their way. Later that night, though, the two of them witnessed the hulking giant transform into a smaller form, now resembling a skeletal Toa. From that moment on, they found themselves working alongside him as partners in his grand scheme. Meyres had been happy to help the minute they got the offer. Nijen had been skeptical then, and she remained so to this day.“Just be careful.” She knew he hated it when others gave him advice or told him what to do. Given that he knew so much, she understood why. But she had come to depend on him and the others in their time together. Strangely, her words didn’t seem to bother him this time.“I will do my best. For the sake of this universe, I’ll make sure to stay in one piece,” he told her solemnly.* * * * * *Demrus walked through the open-air shops, occasionally slipping into some of the buildings to see if anything was being sold. At one point, he was caught by one of the traders whose home he had stepped into. His calm words and straight face convinced the ten-foot tall, emerald-armoured being of his innocence.Minutes later, something strange happened to Demrus. He found that he was unable to breathe. A moment later, he felt a faint breez that replaced the void around his head. He knew that signal: Korahn was near. He closed his eyes, feeling for the direction the wind was moving. East, down that alley. He took off in that direction, and soon made his way to the edge of the village. No one was there, but he knew that looks could be deceiving.A scrape of metal against stone sounded from the wall of the building behind him. He turned around slowly, already knowing what sight awaited his eyes. Apparently he didn’t turn fast enough, because a moment later, a mini-cyclone struck him in the back, throwing Demrus to the ground. Rolling over, he watched a tall figure detach itself from the wall, the stone-like image fading from its surface. Korahn deactivated his Kanohi Faxon, allowing the camouflage stolen from a land Rahi to reveal him in his entirety. “You’re a little late, don’t you think?”Demrus didn’t respond. The sight of the Toa of Air always gave him a slight chill. Slightly taller than most Toa, Korahn was a former Toa Hagah who had served as one of Makuta Chirox’s bodyguards. Where Makuta Teridax had given his Hagah metallic armour of silver, gold, and bronze, Chirox had endowed his with black armour that allowed them to blend in with the shadows. Korahn was almost completely covered in blackness, aside from a few areas of his natural green visible underneath, and his bright green Kanohi.Korahn and his team of Hagah had been released from their service to Chirox prior to the rebellion of Teridax’s Hagah, so their lives had been spared. Demrus didn’t know the whole story, but he was fully aware that only three of the original eight still remained alive. The others were either dead or unaccounted for. But now, their leader, Korahn, stood over Demrus, his eerily spiked weapon held in a way that made the Ko-Matoran wonder where its tip would end up in the next few seconds. “I came to the meeting spot, but you weren’t there, nor did I expect to see you.”“I was following my target. He arrived here just yesterday. I followed tracks back to your home last night, but there was no sign of him, just that strange little Matoran with the drill. I suspect your friend knows something.”Demrus scowled and pushed himself up to his feet, idly drawing his blade and twirling it over his hand. “That’s funny, because he informed me of our elusive friend’s death a few years ago. He does a lot trading, himself, and travels literally everywhere in the universe. Odds are he’s going to know a thing or two about someone like that. He even managed to kill off this target of ours.”Korahn’s mask had a unique visor on the inside. It allowed him to see out, but no one could see in. This meant that Demrus couldn’t see the look Korahn shot at him before growling, “I seriously doubt it. Your friend is hiding something, so keep an eye on him. I’ll be nearby in case anything goes wrong. Don’t try any tricks, Demrus. I know you, and I know you’ll do the right thing here…”And then he was gone. Just like that, but Demrus knew he hadn’t gotten far; he was just invisible, but still there all the same.How do I tell The 1st Shadow? He asked himself. Shaking his head, he pushed the thought aside, instead directing his focus on how he could profit from this. But a small, unfamiliar part of him still felt sorry for what was going to happen.

* * * * *

After The 1st Shadow had sent Nijen off to Zakaz, he went in search of Demrus. Picking up a trinket whose value probably didn’t amount to much, he continued walking until he spotted the thin grey and white form moving among the shops. Once he caught up to the Ko-Matoran, he pulled him over and discussed plans for travelling to Xia. “We should leave tomorrow, so pick up whatever you need and let’s get back so we can go over details, alright?” He turned and began walking back to one of the shops. After a pause, he gave a smile over his shoulder, saying, “It’s good to be working with you again, Demrus.”And for some reason, he felt as though he meant it.END OF CHAPTER 3Next time: Korahn’s back, a deal is made, and death smiles on one of our characters.Review TopicPosted Image

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Sep 24 2012 - 02:37 AM.

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#4 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Aug 14 2012 - 12:24 AM

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Two weeks later… The 1st Shadow slept below the deck, among the cargo, and he dreamed……Running…An explosion to his left.…Looking back…Shadows nearly on top of him.…Falling…His body wasn’t built for this.…Afraid…Wait, “afraid?” He’d never been scared of anything in his long life. What was happening?Then the Faceless One was standing over his dead body.---The 1st Shadow sat up with a start. He knew he’d been dreaming, but it felt so real. The worst part was, he’d never known a nightmare in his many millennia of existence. Why now? He knew it couldn’t be good. Looking out the window of the small water-craft Demrus had acquired last week, Shadow saw the great rocky wall that made up the one of the passages between the domes of Stelt and Xia. They should have been moving much more quickly, he knew, but the boat wasn’t a fast one, and they had needed to make an unnecessary stop before leaving, in addition to trying to recover what they could of The 1st Shadow’s supplies from his wrecked vessel.What worried him was his transformation that should be coming up in the next week or two. First, it might alert Demrus to his true nature as the being he’d claimed to have killed. Second, each of his different forms carried a slightly different programming, and his personality was never the same as before. He was aware of the brutality and brashness of his second form, and feared that he wouldn’t be able to make the deal with Kadrus until his next cycle. By then, it might be too late.Walking outside, he found Demrus slumped over the ship’s wheel. A handful of water in his face woke the Ko-Matoran up so fast that he stumbled back and nearly fell of the back of the vessel. Glancing around, he took in the surroundings before remembering where they were. The 1st Shadow moved to the bow of the ship and stood with his hands clasped behind his back. He stared out ahead at the shore of Xia, at its factories piling smoke into the air, its endless activity like a swarm of insects in their nest, and the Mountain beyond them all. Xia wasn’t his favourite place to be, so he came here as little as possible.The 1st Shadow looked back at Demrus with an expression that relayed obvious annoyance. “We should get moving. I believe our schedule is more important than your beauty sleep, Demrus.”A little irritated, both at his friend’s harsh tone and for being awoken so rudely, the Ko-Matoran pulled a lever and the sails opened, and he steered the ship out of its makeshift port and into the open water of the sea gate, aiming for the now-visible Xia not a few miles ahead. Reaching into his travel bag at his side, Demrus pulled out a fist-sized crystal and began absorbing the raw energy from it, satisfying his hunger. It was then that he realized that he’d never seen Shadow eat anything. Perhaps he’d already eaten something before Demrus awoke. But then, there was still something strange about that little black-and-green armoured Matoran over there.Korahn’s words came back to him: “Your friend is hiding something, so keep an eye on him.” Demrus wasn’t sure what to think. Sure, he only saw The 1st Shadow once in a long while, and even then, it was only for a few weeks at a time. But, then, he was a busy Matoran, with a serious job, though it could get dangerous sometimes. Demrus had always liked that kind of work, but lately, he’d been keeping out of it as much as possible, so that he’d have a better chance of avoiding Korahn.Demrus checked to make sure that The 1st Shadow was still looking ahead at the island, and then he stole a quick glance behind. Sure enough, there was the small black skiff, not more than 2 kio behind them. Although far away, Demrus still could make out the two forms on board: Korahn and Kolvat, a Toa of Stone and one of Korahn’s teammates. He suspected that Geiad, the Toa of Fire from their team, was waiting somewhere on Xia. Giving a sigh, Demrus continued piloting the ship to its inevitable destination, the port of Xia.Though his eyes remained trained on the shore of Xia, The 1st Shadow had watched Demrus as he looked behind them towards their pursuers. He knew what Korahn was after, and he wasn’t about to let Demrus know that he knew anything about that Toa of Air and his friends or why they were really after him, though he knew they didn’t recognize the form of The 1st Shadow.They want my mask in their hands, he thought grimly. And my head on the end of a spear.Not long after they’d reached port, and Demrus paid the fee for the docking area, they made their way inland, the Ko-Matoran leading the way to an old workshop where they would find the Vortixx named Kadrus, a weapon smith who always knew how to get his hands on some of the best materials available. As such, anything bought from him was worth it. And, fortunately, Demrus was an old friend of his, so prices could be brought down if need be, for Kadrus always charged the full worth of his works, nothing less.Coming around a corner, Demrus thought he caught a glimpse of red and black armour slipping into a doorway across the street. He hadn’t seen the being’s mask, but the shape and size of the figure was familiar. It was Geiad, the Toa Hagah of Fire from Korahn’s team. Demrus knew there was no avoiding his watch, so he kept on moving as if nothing were wrong.In moments, they’d reached the door to Kadrus’ shop. They opened the door and walked inside. Kadrus was nowhere to be seen, but a loud crash and a low curse from the back room indicated that he was around. The 1st Shadow was willing to wait for the Vortixx, but Demrus walked through the door to the storage room, leaving him little choice but to follow. Without a hint of courtesy, Demrus held up a hand in greeting and called out, “Kadrus! It’s Demrus, and I’ve brought someone who wishes to see you!”With a grunt, Kadrus appeared from behind a pile of old disk launchers from Metru Nui. He was shorter than most Vortixx, but his bulk easily made up for it. He was carrying a large, handheld projectile weapon that was of a design unfamiliar to the Ko-Matoran and Shadow. The large figure in blue armour, with some hints of red underneath, was one who looked like the kind of person you don’t want to cross. Demrus kept his usual slick and easy demeanor up, though it hardly seemed to faze the Vortixx. “What do you want now, Demrus? And who is—” He broke off when he noticed the small Kakama-wearing figure. “Ah, my mysterious client. The one who asked about the lightstones and protosteel. A large order, don’t you think? Ah, well, as long as you have the payment, it doesn’t matter so much to me.”The 1st Shadow nodded in greeting, stepping forward into the light. “The 1st Shadow, as you recall. It’s been so many years since we did business, I’d almost forgotten.” Too late, he realized that he hadn’t done business with Kadrus as The 1st Shadow, but as The 4th Master. Wrong identity, he thought. Hurriedly, before Kadrus could think too deeply about it, he added, “I’ve brought the payment.” Pulling the stone out of his bag, wrapped in cloth to protect it, he held it out in front of him.Kadrus frowned for a moment. “’The 1st Shadow…’ Strange name, but I don’t care who you are, so long as you do good business. That’s how I remember my clients; the ones worth remembering are the ones who keep their end of a bargain on time and with great quality and efficiency.” Turning his attention to the stone, his tone and expression changed to one of great interest and respect. “Let’s have a look.”Taking the stone from The 1st Shadow, Kadrus uncovered it, revealing the glowing blue orb, its surface seeming to burn in the light of the workshop. “Yes… Most definitely! Very fine texture, solid, durable, produces enough heat…” He continued mumbling about the orb’s traits and potential usefulness for a few moments. Finally, he looked back at his visitors. “I see you’ve gotten only the best, Shadow. This will help me with the heating system in my forge, where I like to tinker with my various ideas and projects for other clients. A stronger heat source will allow for better quality and speed as I work.” He set the object aside on a table. “Now, then, let’s get you what you came for, eh? Follow me.” He began walking off toward the back of the room, Shadow and Demrus in tow.Demrus’ eyes flicked over the stone as he passed it, knowing he had to either destroy it or hide it somewhere for Korahn to take. At the same time, he felt a need to let Shadow do his business so that he could find out what he was up to. Something about his friend was still nagging at him, but he was still more worried about Korahn.As they walked, Kadrus explained to The 1st Shadow that there was a delay in the order. “I’d had the order put on hold until you arrived, so the lightstones will have to wait a few days. As for the protosteel, I have that back here…” Rounding a corner, he gestured toward the large pile of large, thick sheets of metal. “There you are. All yours. Do you want it moved out now, or shall it wait until the lightstones arrive?”The 1st Shadow considered it for a moment. Then he spoke up. “The sooner the better, I think. Would it be possible to have the lightstones delivered straight to my ship? If that would be more convenient, of course.”Kadrus tilted his head back, eyes wandering over the rafters, considering whether or not that could be done. After a moment, he said, “I can check to see if we can do that. There’s usually a policy that requires all materials to be checked over by the seller before handing them over, but if you don’t mind, then I suppose we can work around that. Why don’t you come back later, perhaps tomorrow morning? I should have an answer for you by then.”As The 1st Shadow and Kadrus thanked each other for the deal, they never noticed Demrus slip off toward the table where the stone lay. Finding a stone of a similar colour in a box nearby, the Ko-Matoran switched the two out before running to the shop’s entrance where he handed the stone to a waiting Geiad. Demrus had never heard the Toa of Fire speak, and today was no different as the red-armoured figure ran off towards where Korahnn was waiting.“Oh, I hope I don’t regret this later,” he said to himself, before turning back to go find Shadow and Kadrus.Demrus was hardly through the back door when he found the drill end of his friend’s staff pointed at his throat. He stepped around it in shock, only to find his neck in the hands of the muscular Vortixx. The deep voice of Kadrus boomed in his ears. “Going somewhere? Oh, please no secrets; we’re all friends here.”“Or are we?” The 1st Shadow lowered his tool and moved in closer. Demrus noticed that his posture and voice were slightly different, in addition to a change in his eye colour—no longer were they green, but red.Pulling free of Kadrus, the Ko-Matoran looked his friend over once more in case something else was different, but everything else looked unchanged. With a glance at the two other figures, Demrus gave a sigh of defeat, and began to speak. “I didn’t want to betray you like this, but I’m not being given much of a choice. He’ll-““Who’s giving you the choice, then? And why is it so important that you must threaten a business deal such as this?”Demrus frowned, annoyed at the interruption. “He’ll have my mask in his armour if I don’t help him. You know what he wants: that trader who seems to get around making the best deals and sneaking off with the materials he acquires, possibly planning to illegally smuggle them elsewhere or something. I don’t have all the information, but Korahn thinks you do!”The 1st Shadow suddenly looked very surprised, and more than a little interested. “Who’s Korahn? I’ve never heard that name before.”“That’s because I didn’t let him reveal it to you, monster.”All three whirled around, staring in shock at a shadow that separated itself from the back wall of the storage room and began walking toward them. Colour flooded the figure’s body as Korahn switched off his mask, and stepped into the light, the power copied from a chameleon Rahi leaving his form. A wicked grin spread out behind his Kanohi Faxon. “Surprise.”Before anything else could be said or done, Kadrus stepped up, looking angrier than either Demrus or The 1st Shadow had seen him. “Get out of my shop! You’re not supposed to be back here without my invitation. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!”A Toa of Stone clad mostly in black armour dropped from the ceiling and gave the Vortixx a powerful blow to the back of the head with his fist. “Sorry, but we’re too busy,” Kolvat said, sneering down at the fallen shopkeeper.Korahn and Kolvat stepped closer to the two Matoran. Korahn addressed them both in turn. “Very well done, Demrus. You’ve proven a most useful comrade these last few weeks. And you, The 1st Shadow (Strange name, by the way; never heard one like it before), I think you are more than just suspect. I’ve been trailing a particular trader, one not unlike yourself, who has been stirring up unwanted trouble for the last few centuries. I had followed his trail until, quite recently, I caught up to him on Stelt. Strangely, you were the most recent, most interesting trader to arrive at the same time… Isn’t that a coincidence?”“I was only passing through,” Shadow said, defensively. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe you’d better get out of that black armour. It seems to be clouding your vision.”Korahn chuckled and took a step closer. The 1st Shadow never backed down, but prepared to either run or defend, whichever became necessary first. “Maybe you don’t understand me, Matoran. All evidence has led me back to you. So, you have three options: One, you can willingly come with us and let us bring you to justice; Two, you can let us kill you right now; and three, you can fight Kolvat one-on-one, and when he crushes you, we will bring your remains with us. Your choice.”End Chapter 4.Chapter 5 is on its way. For this chapter, it was so long that I decided to break it up into two parts, so the next chapter will be here within a day.Review TopicPosted Image

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Sep 24 2012 - 03:44 AM.

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#5 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Aug 14 2012 - 05:33 PM

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The 1st Shadow didn’t like his chances. There were two Toa, both powerful in their own regard, and it seemed that even Demrus was prepared to take him down. He had suspected as much—Demrus was a shifty character, and there was no reason to believe that he hadn’t led him into this trap. Turning his attention back to the Toa, he estimated their strengths, and how much damage he could deal out in this form.This form… That made him wonder. He turned to look outside. From this point, he could just barely make out the darkened streets. If he could evade them for perhaps two more hours, he might have a chance to fend them off as The 2nd Project. He could already feel the first stages of the transformation, so it wouldn’t take too long. But that sounded almost too risky. Perfect, he thought. Any risk is worth the chance.Looking up at Korahn, he sighed, and began to lower his weapon. “Very well. But only on one condition: You take this…” Activating his mask power, he sped straight through the Toa’s legs, then back out the front entry to the shop. But they all heard him as he sped out of sight: “As a warning!”The two Toa and the Matoran ran after him in hot pursuit. Korahn was sifting through his memories of the various land and air Rahi he had encountered before, debating what power to use against his target. He recalled a hound Rahi that could trace a being’s energy signature from across the universe, but before he could activate his mask, Demrus stopped him. “He may be gone for now,” the Ko-Matoran explained, “but remember, I know him better than you do. I, at least, have an idea of how The 1st Shadow thinks. Now, his precious cargo is all here, and he won’t try to leave without it. No.” Pointing toward the slopes of the Mountain that dominated most of Xia’s landscape, he continued, “He’s most likely headed that way. He’s smart enough to avoid the slopes, but he’ll most likely keep to the forested area near the base. We’ll have better luck there. He doesn’t like cities very much, so looking for him here would waste our time. Let’s go!”Korahn, not entirely sure he could trust Demrus, simply nodded in agreement and took the lead. Spotting the nearly-hidden figure of Geiad in the shadows nearby, he signaled to the other Toa to scout out the docks, to make sure their quarry wouldn’t try to get away. Focusing his attention on the streets, he, Kolvat, and Demrus made their way toward the forest. You’d better be waiting for me, little one.The dim light of the moon and stars above them was just barely enough to reveal the faint traces of The 1st Shadow’s passing. Korahn knew he had been here, and would not give up the chase until he had his target’s head in his hands. Drawing up his memories again, he selected an aerial Rahi that could detect the passage of heat. He immediately found the trail that his quarry had taken, and the three hunters wasted no time in following.Before long, Korahn was able to determine the location of The 1st Shadow. “He’s up on that ridge,” he whispered to the others, pointing above their heads and to the left. Spread out, surround him. That way, his only escape will be to come with us, or to fall, hopefully, to his death. Either way works for me.”Kolvat wasted no time in speaking up. “What if he uses his mask again? And that’s another thing that concerns me: if he’s just a Matoran, how can he use a mask power at all? It just doesn’t add up! Plus, the way he was talking, he’s either crazy, or he really is something we’ve never seen before.”Korahn’s eyes narrowed. “Good point. A tough question, indeed. Okay, so new plan: I’ll use my powers to give off the idea that there are more of us, while Demrus sneaks up from the side. Kolvat, you and I will then use our elemental powers to create walls of stone and compressed air to narrow his escape route. Let’s go.” He moved off in the direction he had indicated earlier.Demrus wasn’t sure how well this plan would work, but it was all they had. Seeing no other option, he circled the ridge and made his way up to where The 1st Shadow was supposedly hiding. Out the corner of his eye, he thought he saw movement through the trees. He looked up, but all he caught was a glimpse of the moonlight reflecting off of blue armour. Neither of the Toa had blue armour, and The 1st Shadow had green and black armour, so it couldn’t have been any of them. Demrus dismissed it as some nocturnal Rahi, and continued on.Korahn and Kolvat Circled up and around until they were in view of the ridge. Kolvat spotted a small figure moving just ahead of them, apparently looking for an escape route. Korahn signaled to his partner to move in.The 1st Shadow, on the other hand, was panicking. The moon was almost at its apex, and he could tell his transformation was beginning, because, not only had his eyes and attitude changed, but his armour was turning blue, and he could already see the black fading to white. But the question was, did he have enough time?His answer came in the form of bolts of stone and air hurling out of the trees. His first instinct was to use his mask and escape, but the power of Speed had already deserted him. There was no way he could dodge the blasts forever, and the two Toa would be upon him sooner than that. He could already make out the form of Demrus closing in from the side. The 1st Shadow took a step back, and felt a part of the edge give way under his weight. He risked a glance down the slope. He could see a small lake at the bottom, but the closest edge of the water was shallow and filled with large, possibly sharp rocks. There was no way he could survive the jump.Turning back to face his attackers, who were now visible and closing in on him, he shouted out, “Come on, then! Do your worst!” He raised his drill for emphasis. “In a few moments, you won’t know what hit you!”A moment later, Kolvat delivered their answer. A huge spear of stone shot out of the Toa’s weapon, almost tearing Shadow’s arm in half, forcing him to drop his drill-staff. Screaming in agony, he fell to his knees. Not far away, he heard Demrus gasp in shock at the horror going on before him. Out the corner of his eye, he watched the Ko-Matoran turn away and run for cover, not wanting to see the rest of this.Focusing his attention back on the two Toa, he found that Korahn had rushed up and was now prepared to strike the killing blow. Acting as quickly as he could, Shadow grabbed his weapon with his left hand, preparing to block Korahn’s deadly-looking tool. However, he wasn’t prepared for a kick to his face, which knocked his mask off and sent it flying into the hands of the Toa of Stone, who had also moved forward to join his team leader. Grinning wickedly, he fired another spear of stone right at The 1st Shadow’s chest, sending him over the edge of the cliff and down to the waters below. He never screamed all the long way down.The two Toa watched as the small form sank out of sight, then turned away taking both his weapon and his mask with them. Korahn, for one, was pleased that he had carried out one of his tasks to completion.The 1st Shadow hardly thought or worried as he felt himself drifting down through the waters of the lake. But one thought continued to echo in and out of his mind: So, there is a way to halt my transformation: death… This is how it ends, then…As he struck the bottom, his eyes closed, and his heartlight ceased flashing…Review TopicPosted Image

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Sep 24 2012 - 03:53 AM.

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#6 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Aug 25 2012 - 03:43 PM

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A small school of fish swam around the still form resting at the bottom of the lake. They weren’t sure what it was, nor did they care. To them, this was just another free meal.But before any of them could take a bite out of the small figure, something remarkable happened. A stray shaft of moonlight cut through the water, highlighting the figure’s features. For a moment, nothing changed. Then his fingers twitched.Light exploded from underneath his armour, melting it, twisting it, warping it into a larger, more powerful form. The figure’s right arm was ruined, but the transformation repaired most of the damage, though it lacked the massive claws and muscle of the undamaged left arm. Two huge silver horns grew from the maskless forehead, the face warping to make up for the lack of a covering. The armour on its back tore open and a pair of silver wings erupted from within.Red light shone beneath closed eyelids. With a single, violent shudder the reborn being opened his eyes and gasped for breath. Finding no air, he pushed upward and swam for the surface, startling the school of fish even more. If anyone had been near the lake at that moment, they would have seen a monstrous, Toa-sized blue and white armoured being rise from the waters, almost demonic in appearance. Coughing up water, he took a huge breath of air, filling his lungs before looking down at himself.As his eyes wandered over his reborn body, a name echoed in his mind. The 2nd Project. "Yes, that is my name. Thought I'd lost it for a moment."The 2nd Project was amazed. He had felt himself die in his last form, but the transformation must have occurred fast enough to heal his wounds and bring him back to life. The next thing he noticed was that many of his injuries hadn’t healed over properly, resulting in a chaotic appearance. He had never had anything like this happen before, so he couldn’t be sure if the damages would repair on their own, or if he had to wait another month for his next stage in the cycle to restore his form.For once, he whispered a prayer of thanks to the Great Beings for making so many errors during his construction. This form used to resemble the basic form of Toa in this universe, but over time, his transformations had resulted in the growth of horns, claws, and wings. “Well, at least I’m almost complete,” he muttered to himself.Then he felt something pulling at the back of his mind. At first, he wasn’t sure what it was. Then he remembered—just before his death, Korahn had taken his mask. He couldn’t say for sure whether or not the mask changed form while it was separated from him. If it did, then Korahn would have noticed the difference between a black Kakama and a white Hau and been on his way back by now. If it hadn’t changed, then he should be safe until he recovered it. Unlike the Matoran, he didn’t need a mask to sustain him. Matoran, Toa, and Turaga all relied on their Kanohi to an extent, but he didn’t. He could function just as well without one, but he still felt odd without his mask.His first thought was to go back home, find Nijen, Meyres, and the rest of his little group that he had gathered up over the centuries, and go after Korahn. But he knew he’d have to wait for his cargo to arrive, and then find some way to take off without Kadrus getting suspicious. Setting his mind on that plan, The 2nd Project began sloshing through the water towards the shore.A movement among the trees caught his eye. Someone was watching him. Someone BIG. He readied himself for an attack, and then began moving in. He couldn’t fly yet—his form wasn’t stable enough to try something like that yet. But before he could move any farther, the figure stepped out into the moonlight, and a voice called out to him. “The 1st Shadow? Is that really you?” There, standing before him in all his blue-and-red glory, was Kadrus.The 2nd Project stared in disbelief at the Vortixx, unable to speak. Kadrus shrugged and resumed walking toward the water’s edge. “I woke up just as the Toa were leaving my shop. I followed them until they got here, but I was too late to stop them. I saw you fall, and didn’t think you’d ever come out again.” He paused, looking the chaotic figure before him over a few times before adding, “Can’t say I would have recognized your new outfit. That’s a pretty good trick. How’d you do it?”Seeing no other option, The 2nd Project told Kadrus the whole story of his creation, and how he’d selected names based on the individual forms his body took on each month. He finished by telling him all he knew of the current condition of the universe, and what he had to do to help. All the while, Kadrus’ face was a mix of both understanding and awe, although Project assumed that the Vortixx must think he had lost his mind after what he’d just been through.When he was done with his story, he waited for Kadrus’ response. When it came, it wasn’t what he expected. “I’m coming with you,” the Vortixx said, his body language and tone insisting that it was not a request. “I can help you. With my position and skill, I can relay information to you, as well as provide you with access to the materials you need.”The prospect of having another operative on his side was a tempting one, indeed. The 2nd Project wasted no time in giving Kadrus all the information he needed to know, and quickly thanked him before leading the way back to the main city. And then, he said to himself, Korahn will regret his mistake.END CHAPTER 6 Next chapter will be written soon (possibly with the help of my cousin, who was the inspiration for the Ta-Matoran Meyres, who has not yet appeared in the story)Thanks for all the feedback, guys! It's really helping me to improve my writing skills.REVIEW TOPICsignoffffff.png


Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Jan 06 2014 - 04:00 PM.

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#7 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Oct 14 2012 - 03:05 AM

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Kadrus and The 2nd Project made their way down the Mountain, following the trail of the three Toa and Demrus, in the hopes that they might catch up to them before they could leave the island. The 2nd Project was still a bit shaken from both his near-death experience and the transformation, so they made slow progress. They made it to the docks just in time to see Korahn’s small ship passing out of sight through the sea gate, headed in the direction of the Northern Continent. Not ready to give chase, the two decided to go back to Kadrus’ shop and make plans there.They arrived shortly after sunrise. The 2nd Project sat down in the first chair he saw. By this time, he had mostly recovered, though he was exhausted from the events of the night before. Kadrus just leaned against a wall and watched him for a while. When the silence became too much, Kadrus grabbed a chair and placed it in front of the winged figure. He sat down facing The 2nd Project, took a deep breath and asked, “What’s your name?”The skull-like head snapped upward, burning red eyes staring in wonder and confusion at the question. “What?”“Your name. Before, you said you were The 1st Shadow. Now, you’re The 2nd Project. Why the name change? But what I meant to ask was what your real name is. Why use those strange titles?”“Ah.” The 2nd Project sat back in his chair and shifted his wings, trying to find a comfortable position. “As I said before, I was built by the Great Beings long before the Universe was created. However, they never gave me a name. To compensate for that, I took a specific trait or detail of my individual forms and applied it as a title. For example, The 2nd Project. After the Matoran, the Great Beings began work on the Toa, which subsequently come from Matoran. As they were seen as the next step in the process, and this was my second form, I took up the appropriate title. For The 5th Warrior, I take the form of a giant with near-impenetrable armor and incredible fighting capabilities. That explains it well enough for you?”Kadrus nodded, not entirely sure he believed the story. “It makes sense, yes. But there must be something you left out. You differentiate your various forms by giving them separate titles for others to recognize. But what about you? Is there a name you keep hidden, probably because it wouldn’t benefit others to know that you have yet another name?”“No, I do not have one. I was never given a name, nor do I feel that it is necessary to give myself one. I am best known by my titles, and what I do. Besides, each form has a different set of mental traits, having been taken from unfinished ideas that the Great Beings had data on. Because each of my forms is somewhat different in personality, I do not think it would benefit me to give them all the same name. I might like the idea of a name right now, but what happens when I change to, say, The 4th Master? In that form, I may not like the idea of having a name, or I may want to change it. It’s all very confusing, I know. But that is how I am, and I don’t think there’s a way to change it.”Kadrus nodded. “I think I understand. But it brings up another question. Do your, uh, other selves ever, you know, argue or fight with each other? If they can disagree with things in their own time, surely they have more immediate disagreements-” He pointed at his head. “In here.”Project shook his monstrous head. “No. At least, I don’t think so. You see, as the transformation finalizes each time, and the distinct personality associated with it settles, all memory of being someone else fades. I’m already starting to forget what it was to be The 1st Shadow. In an hour or more, I’ll believe that I was always The 2nd Project, despite the truth of it. Again, it’s just how I am.”Kadrus shrugged. The answers were vague, but their meaning was clear enough. This twisted creature before him was troubled, and there was nothing he could do about it. Not just then, anyway.Not for the first time, Kadrus reflected on his compassionate nature. Unlike his fellow Vortixx, Kadrus had more heart in him. It led him to come to disagreements on marketing ethics with his people, but they still accepted him for his usefulness, both as a trader and a weapon-smith. Still, it left him an opening to be of use to this being before him, but part of him questioned whether or not the reward would be worth it.“Well,” the Vortixx said as he rose. “Sounds like we’d best get your materials stored away on my boat. That Ko-Matoran will know to look for yours, and I somehow doubt that Toa would have left without sabotaging it somehow, in case any of your friends come looking for you.”The 2nd Project remained seated, some unreadable emotion clouding his features.Kadrus paused in the doorway to his storage room. Without looking back, he asked a question that caught the winged figure off-guard: “You would call yourself a remnant of the world that the Matoran call Paradise?”The 2nd Project didn’t know how else to respond to that. “Yes,” he said slowly.Kadrus looked back at him. “Well, then, let’s get to work, Amuran. You’ve got some big plans you need to keep to, right?” The Vortixx smiled and resumed walking into the storage room.The 2nd Project wondered over that name for a moment. Then it came to him. Of course, he thought. The Matoran word for ‘remnant.’ It does seem to fit, I guess. In spite of all he had been through during the last 99,000 years or so, he smiled, feeling a sense of identity that had never been present before.“And I didn’t even pick the name,” the newly named Amuran said to himself as he followed the blue and red-armored Vortixx.END CHAPTER 7Sorry this one took so long, guys. I've had my classes taking up a lot of time, and it just slipped my mind. Due to the same reasons, the next chapter may take a while. If it's any consolation, I'll try to update it before the month ends. :PIn any case, expect the introduction of at least two new characters next time, and don't worry. Demrus and the Toa aren't forgotten. We'll be checking in with them and their plans.REVIEW TOPICKADRUS MOC TOPIC (Check him out!) :)Posted Image

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Oct 14 2012 - 03:33 AM.

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#8 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Oct 26 2012 - 01:12 AM

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“Why am I here?”Of the three Toa on the ship, not one gave the Ko-Matoran any indication that he had been heard. Demrus scowled, glaring straight at Korahn’s back. The Toa of Air stood at the bow of their boat, intently gazing at something apparently only he could see. Kolvat held the wheel, his eyes scanning the sea and sky for changes in the current or weather. Geiad was sitting on a metal crate under the mast, using his Fire powers to shape a small scrap of iron into abstract shapes.They had hardly spoken a word since their small boat left port on Xia. They were still passing through the tunnel between the Xian dome and the Steltian dome. These stretches of water took time to travel through, but this trip felt too long for comfort.Demrus had been wondering what purpose he served now that The 1st Shadow was dead. He hoped that once the Toa dropped him off on Stelt, they would leave him alone. He loved having adventure and action in his life, but only as long as he didn’t risk his neck. As it were, these Toa didn’t seem like the kind to keep out of those dangerous situations.There was a chill breeze in the air as they sailed, but, being a Ko-Matoran, Demrus hardly noticed it. He tried again, a little louder this time. “Why am I here?”This time, he got a response. Kolvat glanced in the Matoran’s direction and shrugged, while Geiad momentarily ceased working on his sculpture. Korahn turned back to Demrus, eyeing him for a moment as if he were considering the Matoran for his next meal. Slowly, the dark-armored Toa walked across the deck to the spot where Demrus was leaning against the rail. The Matoran never flinched.Korahn seemed to be debating how much to tell Demrus for a few moments. Finally, he said, “You have information. You’re a Matoran. You have duties on Stelt, no doubt. And you would be quite useful for wandering around unnoticed while gathering more information for us. Once we have what we need, you will be free to return to your little life.”It immediately dawned on Demrus what the Toa meant. “You mean I’m here as your pawn? Your little slave who’ll do whatever you want? Not likely!” He stood up straight and glared into the Toa’s eyes. “I agreed to help you catch one criminal, even if he did turn out to be a friend of mine. That only made my job easier. What more could you ask of me?”The Toa of Air smiled. “You know what Toa do. We protect Matoran like you so that you may live your lives and do your part for the Great Spirit. I know—I once was a Matoran, living and playing and working, until one day, things changed. Here I am now. And my team—or what is left of it—is here to do our task in protecting the innocent lives of Matoran throughout the universe. We keep an eye out for beings that would seek to corrupt, destroy, or rule with an iron fist over you. There are a few out there that we’ve been tracking for months, or even years in some cases. We need help in bringing these beings to justice.”Demrus considered his options. Deciding that he could benefit from this, he nodded. “Who do you need brought down? Before I make any promises, I’d like to know what we’re up against.”Korahn looked over at Geiad. The Toa of Fire nodded, stood up, and then moved over to join his leader, continuing to mold and shape the metal piece in his hands. Korahn believe he could win Demrus over long enough for him to be of use. But, just in case the Matoran demanded more, then Geiad would use his Mask of Charisma to assist in “persuading” the Matoran to help.“We have a list of beings that we’ve been tracking. I’ll let you know the basics, and then maybe Geiad can tell you more, if you wish. Aside from that Matoran we just eliminated, there are a few other important ones, such as a nameless Turaga of Stone that has been rallying Matoran crafters to participate in a strike against their duties and help him in his mad schemes. Next, we have a merciless killer. All we know of him is that he’s tall, almost skeletal, and almost completely silver. Some describe a blade growing from his wrist. Following him, there’s a would-be conqueror with a mask of gold, who seeks the demise of anyone in his way. Last on our primary list is a madman with strange powers. He’s no Makuta, but whatever he is, he’s still given reason to believe that he’s a threat to society.“On the other hand, there’s one other we’re seeking: A powerful giant with incredible power. The Matoran of various lands tell tales of a mysterious hero that appears only in times of crisis. I’d like to recruit him to our cause. Which brings us right back to you. What do you say?”Demrus felt strongly compelled to agree. After all, how could he argue with the truth behind the Toa’s words? Unbeknownst to the Matoran, he was falling victim to Geiad’s mask power as the seconds wore on. Then some part of his mind snapped to the alert and reminded him of something. “What’s in it for me?”Korahn was taken aback. He hadn’t expected Demrus to be strong-willed enough to resist the power of the Mask of Charisma so easily. However, he recovered quickly. “You will be paid, Matoran. Name your price. But just remember: push it too far, and I may feel compelled to take that weight off your shoulders.” He emphasized his point by gesturing at his head. Demrus swallowed hard.“Understood, Korahn.” Demrus paused for a moment, before adding, “My freedom from you. The best in weaponry and equipment. And I wouldn’t mind a little glory for my work. You know, so other lands know to hire me should the need arise. You see, nothing too big, just a little recognition and aid for my future.”Korahn frowned. If only Demrus knew he might not live long enough to earn his profit, he might not have spoken so much. Still, if it got the Matoran to help, Korahn would give his word. “Very well. I’ll see to it personally that you get your reward. I won’t go back on my word. If we succeed, then you’ll have earned your cut.” He glanced back to the front of the ship, then over at Geiad. Then, he turned back to Demrus. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s planning to be done.” Without another word, he turned and went below decks.Demrus looked to Kolvat, who was still manning the wheel. The Toa of Stone glanced at him and shrugged. Then the Ko-Matoran turned back to Geiad. The Toa had cut off the power of his mask by now, as it wasn’t needed. The crimson-armored figure moved over to his seat by the mast, and Demrus followed, sitting down on the deck a few feet away.He watched Geiad mold the piece of metal with his fingers for a long while. Still, it didn’t seem to resemble anything. Demrus guessed it was just the Toa’s way of passing the time.“I’m not sure, yet,” a voice whispered.Demrus became suddenly alert. He looked around for the source of the voice. I had been deep, majestic, and reassuring, and couldn’t have possibly belonged to Korahn, talking to himself below the decks. And Kolvat’s voice was too rough. So, unless he had imagined it, then it must have come from—“Yes, I can speak. I just choose not to most of the time.” The Toa of Fire gave the Matoran a small smile. Demrus just stared in wonder. The Toa held up the scrap of metal. “I’m not sure what I’m trying to make here. It’s just a good way to pass the time.” Geiad’s grin faded and his tone became serious, almost conspiratorial. "Korahn doesn’t like you. Doesn’t like any of us, really. I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure why I stayed. I don’t like either of them much. I could be doing so much else for myself. Let Korahn follow his foolish dreams of being called a true hero. He knows all too well that he lost that chance centuries ago. Myself, as well.”Demrus’ curiosity had been piqued by this. He wasn’t much for a history lesson, but anything to make the trip go by faster would be welcome. “How did you get to be a part of all this?”Geiad didn’t hesitate to begin his tale, as if he had been expecting the question. “Many centuries ago, I was a Matoran just like you. I lived in a small village on the northern coast of the southern continent. All in all, it was a peaceful place. However, I always wanted more adventure in my life.“One day, my wish was granted. I had been sent out with five other Matoran on a border patrol. We were to ensure that our boundaries were undisturbed by any vicious Rahi and collect whatever food we could find. On that particular day, we found something unexpected. My friend Vortu, an Onu-Matoran, spotted a small stone building hidden among the trees. We went over to check it out. It turned out to be a shrine of sorts, though we couldn’t see any markings to indicate what it was for. It was a very old structure, and some of it had broken off and most of its surface was obscured by moss.“What happened next, I have no idea. We were looking over the shrine when someone touched something that activated it. There was a flash, and before we knew what was happening, we had all been knocked out. When we awoke, we were Toa. Vortu was appointed team leader. We served our cause well for many centuries, though I still had a longing for more.“Our actions were noted by the Brotherhood of Makuta at one point, and Makuta Chirox selected Vortu and me to be appointed to his personal team of Toa Hagah. The prospect of this delighted me, and I jumped at the offer. I finally had a chance to serve a higher purpose and extend my adventures to new places. It was a glorious life.“Anyway, Vortu and I were two of the last to join Chirox’s team. Korahn was the first, and had been there for months. Korahn was followed by a Toa of Iron and a Toa of Plasma. Kolvat and a Toa of Ice joined just before we did. A Toa of Water came last. We never did find out what happened to her…” His voice trailed off.Demrus asked no questions and made no comments. Whether or not this story was the truth didn’t matter to him. He just wanted a little entertainment.Geiad took a breath and continued. “We served under Chirox for many long centuries. True, the job was sometimes a little boring, but it was a good life. There were those occasions when we were invited into Chirox’s laboratory to assist him with his experiments. One such experiment was an attempt to endow us with greater powers, though it was only temporary. I secretly stole a small container of the virus, in case I ever need a little boost. Also, Chirox replaced our metallic armor, which was a sign of our Hagah status, with black armor. Kolvat and Korahn wear it better than I do, so I just accepted some of the armor in black, and kept most of my natural red. He also provided us with our current weapons, which the Makuta engineered himself specifically for our usage.“At one point, Chirox approached us, stating that some changes were happening within the Brotherhood, and that we should probably leave. Korahn and I argued that our duty was to the Brotherhood, and that we would stay. The Toa of Water, Plasma, Iron, and Ice departed then, leaving Korahn, Vortu, Kolvat, and myself as the sole protectors for Chirox. A month or so later, we’d received word that the Hagah team that served the leader of the Brotherhood had discovered the corruption of its members, and had stolen the Mask of Light from the fortress on Destral. They were ambushed and mutated by Roodaka, a Vortixx that served the Brotherhood. Even so, the Brotherhood’s leader ordered all other Hagah teams eliminated, to prevent them from causing any more trouble. Korahn stood up in our defense, displaying such loyalty to the Makuta cause that we were spared. The other four members of our team had vanished, and so we suspected them safe from the Hagah Purge. This was not so. The Toa of Ice was found dead, slaughtered by Rahkshi and an Exo-Toa. The Toa of Iron was hunted down and killed by Visorak. I found an orange Kanohi Rau along with an energized broadsword on the edge of Chirox's territory; both belonged to Diram, the Toa of Plasma. He supposedly stayed around, perhaps to spy on the Makuta. I never did learn where the rest of him went. The Toa of Water was never found, but I believe that she still lives. She wasn’t one to go down easily.“Chirox let the rest of us go some time later, having to devote his attention to more pressing matters. The four of us stayed together, serving the cause we do today. About two-hundred years ago, Vortu disappeared during our travels to the southern islands. We searched for him for weeks, but there was no sign of him. We had move on with our task of protecting the people of the universe, and so we returned. And here we are now, sailing around doing our part to ensure security.”There was a brief pause. The only sound came from the waves against the hull of the ship. The chill breeze came on a little harder now, and it seemed to make Geiad uncomfortable. As if to take his mind off of it, he resumed his work, melting and reshaping the piece of metal with his fingers.Demrus wasn’t done just yet, though. The evening was nearly gone, and he was already starting to get a bit tired. But he wanted more of a story than that. “What about Korahn? Or Kolvat? What do you know about them?”Geiad shrugged. “Korahn doesn’t tell us much about his past, just that he came from the Tren Krom Peninsula and became a Toa some time before being chosen by Chirox. Kolvat’s story isn’t really worth hearing, I say. You might have a different opinion on that, though. What I know about him is just that he became a Toa and was selected by Chirox as one of his bodyguards. There’s really not much more to the story than that, though you could probably ask him. Doubt you’ll get much out of him, though.”Korahn chose that moment to return. “We’ll be arriving at the Tren Krom Peninsula tomorrow. I have business there that I must attend to. Otherwise, we’ll need some more supplies. For now, I think we all need some rest. Geiad, I’d like you to take the first shift at the wheel. I’ll take over in a few hours.”There was something in his voice as he said “Tren Krom Peninsula” that sounded almost like sorrow to Demrus. The Matoran did not truly care for the Toa of Air, but it bothered him to think that the ever-confident Korahn could sound so hurt. It was not a comforting thought, and it would make falling asleep that night a difficult chore.--------Amuran and Kadrus made many trips between the Vortixx’s trading center and his ship. They were planning to move all the protodermis and lightstones to Amuran’s secret island hideaway the following morning. It was quite a difficult chore, mainly because they didn’t want to get too many others unnecessarily involved or asking too many questions. Amuran’s twisted new form was attracting enough unwanted attention, anyway. Amuran insisted that secrecy was a must—for now, at least. It took many long hours, and they worked long into the night, going back and forth through the darkened streets of Xia. Finally, their task done, they made ready to depart the next morning, and settled into a restful sleep in Kadrus’ private chambers above the shop.END CHAPTER 8This one was definitely more fun to write than some of the last, since it gave me a chance to give more insight into the history of at least one Toa. Next time, expect Korahn's tale and a little more on Kadrus and The 2nd Project (Amuran). I know I promised the introduction of Meyres, but that may be another chapter away. We'll see how it goes.REVIEW TOPICSorry, no MOCs to go along with this chapter. Maybe next time I'll show you The 2nd Project.Posted Image

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Nov 11 2012 - 03:15 AM.

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#9 Offline ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Nov 11 2012 - 02:12 AM

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Demrus settled down into his corner of the ship’s cargo hold, hoping to get some rest before they docked on the Tren Krom Peninsula in the morning. He puzzled over Korahn’s behavior over the course of the last two days for only a few minutes, and then decided he really didn’t care. Korahn could go to Karzahni for all he cared. All he wanted was to get out of this situation with the Toa and go right back to his life. He shifted around a little bit, trying to find a comfortable position in which to sleep.That’s when he heard the screams.--------Korahn shook and shifted in his corner, trying to escape the dreams that held him captive.He was a Matoran again, living in his village on the Tren Krom Peninsula. His shift of guard duty was almost over, and he knew his friend would be waiting for him outside the west gate, just as she always did. Arina was a Matoran of Lightning, and his best friend in the village. Every evening, if the weather was agreeable, they would go for a stroll along some of the trails that wound through the bleak landscape that surrounded the village. Of all the Matoran here, he had never had a friend he was more close to, not since his friend Nidhiki became a Toa.His job as a guard was quite boring, to say the least. Aside from the occasional Rahi attack, there wasn’t much that threatened their safety. However, the two Turaga that oversaw the village both agreed that it was best to keep watch, especially for any Rahkshi. There had been an invasion of the monsters a few weeks before. The local Toa team, which included Nidhiki, had done their best to fend off the creatures. Their valiant efforts resulted in a successful liberation from the Rahkshi attacks. So far, there had only been two sightings of Rahkshi within their borders since then. The Turaga had ordered the Toa to make regular patrols to ensure there were none hiding nearby. To complement this, the Guard was required to double the watch, especially at night.There were some, like Korahn, who argued that there was nothing to be afraid of. It made many of the guards irritable, and some even skipped their shifts in favor of other activities. Korahn was one of those who would just as soon have left his post, but he felt obligated to protect his people at any cost, even if that meant his own boredom. So, there he stood, waiting for the sound of the bell that would announce the end of his shift. For now, he supposed, his only friend atop the wall over the east gate was the sound of the wind in the sparse trees.Arina, Nidhiki and Korahn hadn’t been from this village originally. They were from another part of the northern continent, where their village had been ravaged by a race of small, yet demonic creatures. A Matoran of Plasma had dubbed them “Horde,” and led a rag-tag team against the creatures. Korahn never found out what happened to that endeavor, and he really didn’t care. When he and his two friends escaped, they had to work together to survive while they sought out a new place to live. Finally, they had found their current home. It wasn’t the most beautiful land in the world, but it was a welcome refuge, and they took to it gladly.He was snapped out of his reverie by the peal of a bell. His shift was over. He waited until another Matoran came to take his place before climbing down the wall, and hurried off to meet Arina. He knew he wouldn’t be late, but he knew she could get impatient sometimes. His duty to his people came first, though, and he hoped she understood that. As he ran through the streets in the fading afternoon light, he found himself wishing his job didn’t force him to split his heart so much. When he spotted the top of the gate that indicated their meeting place, he sped up. Rounding a corner, he plowed into a Matoran going the other way. He almost got up and ran off with a broken apology before he realized he had collided with Arina herself.“Going somewhere important, Guardsman?” she asked with a friendly smile.He stared down at her white and blue form for a moment before realizing they were both still tangled up on the ground. He helped her to her feet and gestured toward the gate. “I had thought I was a little late, and I didn’t want to keep you waiting.”Her smile grew broader. “I’d wait all night if I had to. You know that.” With that, the two of them passed under the gate and into the wilderness beyond.There was never anything much to see on their walks, and Korahn sometimes felt awkward because of it. There was only one small forest near their village, as well as many rock formations. Few of them were really interesting, though. Mostly, they just spoke of old times, told jokes, and remarked on the events of the day.Today, however, was different. Korahn had some things on his mind. “You don’t think they’re all gone, do you?”Arina looked confused and a little surprised. “What do you mean?”They passed by a set of large boulders just outside the forest. “The Rahkshi. We haven’t seen much of them lately, but every time Nidhiki and the other Toa return from their patrols, they usually keep silent, as if there’s something they’re not telling us. Nidhiki is probably the worst out of them all. Whenever I ask, he gives me a sad look and acts as if there’s nothing he can do to make things better. The problem is he won’t even tell me what there is to make better! He’s really getting on my nerves.”They had entered the tree line by now, and the filtered sunlight came down through the sparse branches, casting twisted shadows across their path. Arina gave Korahn a look that he found he couldn’t read. “You two were best friends once. What happened to that? Just because he’s a Toa now doesn’t mean any of that has changed. So what if he doesn’t tell you everything. Maybe there really is nothing to explain, and you always asking makes him think he’s not doing his job properly. Just let it slide for a while. If the Toa feel a need to tell us if anything is wrong, they will. Our duty is to Mata Nui, and the Toa are here to ensure that we can carry out those duties in peace.“As for the Rahkshi, I don’t know. I haven’t seen anything myself, aside from some remnants of their armor and the occasional kraata. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”“I would agree with that sentiment, Arina.” The voice belonged to Nidhiki. Korahn knew the Toa was using his Mask of Stealth to avoid being detected. When the shapes of three other Toa appeared around a bend just ahead, Nidhiki stepped out of the trees and deactivated his mask. “We’re patrolling the perimeter, although we’ve hardly seen anything in days. I’ve already suggested that we either minimize the number of patrols or cease them altogether. As far as I can tell, all is well.”Korahn never took his eyes off of his old friend, even when the Toa of Fire, Ice, and Magnetism walked up. Nidhiki held his gaze for a moment, and then dropped his eyes to the ground. Korahn sighed. “You’ve really come far, Nidhiki. Maybe too far for my liking. I suppose I’ve been a little hard on you lately, but it’s really only because we haven’t seen much of each other since…” He gestured upwards towards the Toa’s head, indicating the transformation.Nidhiki nodded. Arina had already started talking to the other Toa, so he pulled Korahn aside and knelt down next to him. “I’m really sorry. But circumstances have given me a new life, and it’s hard to wake every day knowing that the life you once loved so much can never truly be yours again. I’m doing my best, but don’t think for a moment I haven’t forgotten you and Arina. If danger ever threatens again, I want you to know that I’ll be right there with you.” He looked up at the partially clouded sky. “Speaking of danger, I suspect you still think there may be Rahkshi around. I’ll keep an eye out for anything suspicious. If I do see anything, I’ll make sure to tell you first, alright? In the meantime, make sure you don’t take too long out here. If there is anything to worry about, I don’t want you being out at night where you could be caught unawares.”The other Toa had already resumed walking again, headed back the way the two Matoran had come. “I’ll meet up with you later.” Korahn felt a little reassured at the Toa’s words, and nodded his acceptance. Nidhiki returned the nod before racing off after the others.Arina was waiting just a little ways down the path. When Korahn caught up to her, he told her what had just transpired. She smiled. “See? I told you he was still your friend. He just has to deal with what everyone expects of him as a Toa. Who knows? We’re still young. Maybe one day we’ll walk beside him into battle. Wouldn’t that be exciting?”Korahn almost nodded, when he noticed a change in the atmosphere. Everything seemed to grow darker around them, and the air turned cold. Almost too late, he saw the source of the strange disturbance out the corner of his eye. Crawling out from behind a large rock, two Rahkshi hissed and screeched at them. Arina screamed. One was a Rahkshi of Darkness, Korahn knew. But the other one… He had seen it’s like before, but he couldn’t recall its powers. He heard the sound of footsteps coming from down the path. The Toa had heard Arina and were on their way. “Darkness,” he whispered to Arina as he gestured to the one on the right. “Brown armor… What is--?”The answer to his unfinished question came in a horrifying manner. The creature pointed its staff at them and hurled a bolt of energy. They barely dodged it, and it struck a tree right behind where they had stood, shattering it into a thousand pieces. “Panrahk. Rahkshi of Shattering,” Arina said, her breath coming quickly.Suddenly, the four Toa crashed through the trees, startling the monsters. The Rahkshi of Darkness dove at them, sending bolts of pure shadow out of its staff. While the other three grappled with the first Rahkshi, Nidhiki made for the Panrahk, hoping to distract it while the two Matoran got away. Korahn and Arina had just made it to their feet and were making their escape. They had hardly gone four steps when the Panrahk spotted them. It turned in their direction, ignoring the Toa of Air, pointed its staff, and fired.Korahn turned around just in time to watch the bolt of energy strike Arina in the back, blasting her whole body to bits. Only half of her mask remained amidst the blue and white shards.Korahn fell to his knees and screamed. After a few moments, he ceased. When he looked up, the Toa had apprehended the Darkness-Rahkshi and were making an effort to bring down the Panrahk. He rose to his feet and stalked over to them, just as the Toa of Ice froze the creature up to its neck. What came next was something none of the Toa expected.“YOU! You were here! And you watched her die at the hands of that thing!”Nidhiki opened his mouth to speak, but Korahn rounded on him. “You, especially! After what we just talked about. How could you do that? What god is having your special Toa powers if you can’t even save one who cannot protect herself?” If Matoran could cry, Korahn would have been in tears by now. “I’m sorry I ever trusted you to do your job. All of you!”“Korahn-” the Toa of Fire began.The fury in the Le-Matoran’s eyes made the other Toa take a step back. “No. You listen here. I’m going straight back to the Turaga and telling them just what happened here! We’ll see how the Matoran look up to you then!” With that, Korahn dashed off, heading back to the village to just as he had said. Had he chanced a look back, he would have seen a heartbroken Nidhiki kneel over the shattered pieces that had once been one of his friends.The Toa of Air gently sifted through the shards, picking out the parts that belonged to Arina’s mask. When he was finished, he looked down at the distorted puzzle that had only moments before been the likeness of a living Matoran. He looked up, but Korahn was long gone.Korahn would do just as he had claimed, and then some. He vowed that if he ever became a Toa, he would do everything he could to ensure the safety of his people, if only to prove that Toa really could be proper protectors. And one thing more: he would ensure that Nidhiki and the others knew what it was to feel helpless and ashamed in the face of danger, even if he had to threaten them himself.All he knew was that he would one day be a better hero than Nidhiki ever was. And as he let his hatred of his old friend overcome him, madness began to settle in and make his goals even more evident in his mind. He would not fail.“By Arina’s spirit, I will not.” He growled to himself as the village gates came into view.As he passed through the archway, he found himself surrounded by darkness. At first, he feared the Darkness Rahkshi had escaped, but then realized his eyes were closed. He opened them, and found Demrus watching him. “Who’s Arina?” The Ko-Matoran asked.Korahn snarled and shoved his way past the Matoran and made his way to the upper deck. He heard no sounds of pursuit, which was fine by him. His business was his business. He walked up to the Toa of Fire and said, “I’ll take the wheel from here, Geiad. Go get some rest. I’ll need you and Demrus to go after more supplies when we reach the port.”Geiad nodded and disappeared through the hatch that led below decks. When he had closed the door behind him, he found Demrus watching him. Geiad sighed. “When he’s dreaming, it’s almost always the same dream. Don’t ask about it. Now get some rest. You and I have work to do in the morning.”END CHAPTER 9Next chapter: We'll be joining Amuran once again and sticking with him for a while. Korahn's group won't be getting too far ahead of us, I can assure you.REVIEW TOIPIC(Again, no MOCs for this chapter. I'll introduce Amuran's "The 2nd Project" form with the next one.)NOTE: Sorry if my chapters lately are just too long. I'm doing my best to keep them concise, but somehow they all end up being 4 pages long in Word. I'll try to keep them shorter in the future if that sounds better for some people's schedules.Posted Image


Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~, Apr 25 2013 - 02:19 PM.

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Comics>>t1scomicbanner_by_t1shadow-d80jnae.jpgvultrazandcobanner_by_t1shadow-d80jn6b.j<<Comedy

Credit to Shattered Mask Productions for the signoff!





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