[color=#3A6378;]10: Takanuva's Blog[/color]
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My name is Takanuva, Toa of Light. For the past - day? month? year? - I have been traveling through other dimensions trying to find my way to Karda Nui. I was sent on my journey by the Order of Mata Nui, who gave me vital information I must share with the Toa Nuva. Unfortunately, the mask whose power hurled me into the space between dimensions was damaged, so the trip has been a rough one. Hopefully, my next stop will be my own universe.
I see a point of light in the distance. After three wrong destinations, I can only wish that this is Karda Nui. Fighting the currents of interdimensional space, I make for the spot. It is a portal opening to another reality. Desperately, I dive for it. On the other side, I land hard on a small island of mud. All around me is murky water and weird plant life. Have I found Karda Nui, the core of the universe, or simply another strange world not my own?
I am in a swamp, surrounded by mist. Now and then, I spot a fin or a tentacle break the surface of the muddy water, but I don't see many other Rahi around. Am I where I am supposed to be? Using my new power of flight, I rise into the air. That's when I spot her - a Toa of Water, being menaced by a pale-white, skeletal monstrosity. I don't know if that's Gali or not, but I know a Toa in danger when I see one. Let's see if I can shed a little light on this with my power lance!
A burst of light made the creature menacing my fellow Toa stop and take notice. I expected it to attack, or scream out its rage, or do something else I wouldn't enjoy at all. Instead, the look on its face was almost one of … sadness and resignation. Almost as if it knew that I, or someone like me, was coming, but had hoped against hope I wouldn't show up. Then it drifted down through the mud like a spirit and vanished. Wherever I am … this is a very strange place.
Using my newfound ability to fly (the result of a Makuta virus I was exposed to in an alternate universe), I traveled to where the Toa was just getting to her feet. As I got closer, I realized that despite the differences in her appearance, it was Gali. And despite how I looked, she recognized me. "What are you doing here?" she asked, even as I said "Are you all right?" I told her it was a long, long story, and there wasn't time to tell it. We had to find the others - they had to know how much danger they were in!
Gali looked at me as if she were just seeing me for the first time. "What happened to you?" she asked. "Your armor … your mask … and is it me, or have you grown bigger?" The darkening of my armor and mask I already knew about. It was a side-effect of the shadow leech attack on Metru Nui. But I had grown in size? Yes, I guess I had, though I had no idea why. hat did it mean? Would it stop, or would I keep growing larger? A Turaga might know the answers, but there were none around. Like far too many situations I had been in lately, I would have to learn as I went.
Gali was ready to head off in search of the other Toa Nuva, but I had something I felt I had to do first. I umlimbered the sundial I carried with me and placed it on the muddy ground. I shone a beam of light on its face and the shadow that resulted pointed to the east. "Okay, so I keep going that way," I said. Gali looked at me, confused. "Is that the sundial Lewa retrieved from the island of Mata Nui? How did it get so small? And what are you using it for?" Those, at least, were questions I could answer.
"You know of the Order of Mata Nui," I said to Gali. "They told me you did. They shrunk the sundial down and gave it to me. When I shine light upon it, it points toward the spot from which the Great Spirit can be awakened." Gali looked at me as if I had grown two more heads … which, the way things were going, I would have believed. She was about to ask me if I was quite sure I was okay when we both spotted a gleam of orange off to the east. It was closing on us rapidly, and the dark side of me urged me to prepare to attack. It was getting harder and harder to resist those impulses - and maybe in this case they were right. After all, I didn't know any orange Toa…
I was ready for anything as the orange figure approached, flying at impossibly high speed. Gali, though, looked undisturbed by the new arrival. She placed a hand on my arm, a signal that all was well. And it turned out the new arrival was Pohatu, though he did not look much like the Toa of Stone I remembered.
He looked me up and down for a moment, before saying, "I can't say I think much of the color change."
"You should talk," I replied. "You're orange."
"Yeah, but I wear it well," said Pohatu, with a grin.
Pohatu, Gali and I flew to the east, toward where my two friends said the other Toa Nuva could be found. Along the way, they brought me up to date on what had been happening – their arrival in Karda Nui, the discovery of the Makuta here, and the revelation that they had been turning Matoran of Light into shadow Matoran. That last sickened me. I knew now that I must have been a Matoran of Light in the past, though those memories were blocked. I probably worked alongside some of the Matoran the Makuta had corrupted. They might have even been good friends. Right then and there, I swore that no matter what – even if it meant Mata Nui stayed asleep, even at the cost of my own life – I would see to it that the shadow Matoran were cured.
We had only been flying a few minutes when Gali spotted something down below. A moment later, so did I - half a dozen insectoids, each about seven feet high, flying close to the surface of the swamp. Each had four arms with nasty stingers on the ends. "What are they?" I asked.
"I heard them called Niazesk," answered Pohatu. "Some little pets of the Makuta who got transformed somehow into big pests you see. Better off staying away from them, they're --"
An angry buzz interrupted him. The Niazesk spotted us and were coming in our direction!
"We don't have time for this," growled Pohatu. He used his power to hurl stone blocks down at the approaching Niazesk. But they were good flyers and evaded his attack. Gali took down one with a water burst, but they were closing fast. I didn't need to be told that sting from one of them would do more than itch. I started to lower my lance to use a light blast against them … but then I thought, what if it isn't powerful enough? What if one or two get through and Pohatu or Gali gets harmed? I made my decision … and raised my right arm to call upon the power of shadow.
I unleashed a blast of pure darkness at the oncoming Niazesk. It struck them like a solid wall. They spun, reeled, and then plunged down into the swamp. I turned to Pohatu and Gali, expecting to get congratulations for winning the fight. Instead, what I saw in their eyes was fear.
"What ... was I unleashed a blast of pure darkness at the oncoming Niazesk. It struck them like a solid wall. They spun, reeled, and then plunged down into the swamp. I turned to Pohatu and Gali, expecting to get congratulations for winning the fight. Instead, what I saw in their eyes was fear.
"What … was … that?" asked Pohatu. And he was actually aiming his weapon at me as he said it!
"There have been some … changes," I answered.
"So I see," said Pohatu. "I wondered where the Makuta of Metru Nui was still alive, and if so, where he had got to - I guess now I know, don't I?"
"Are you crazy?" I said, staring at Pohatu. "You think I'm a Makuta?"
"Well, you don't look much like a Toa of Light," The Toa of Stone replied, his weapon still aimed at me. "And we've all been fooled by Makuta before."
Gali looked from Pohatu to me. Even she was showing some doubt now - and who could blame her? I had grown in size and my armor color had changed from white and gold to white and grey. Frankly, if I had been a Makuta trying to impersonate a Toa of Light, I'd be doing a really lousy job.
I wracked my brain trying to come up with some way to prove I was me (try it sometime, it's not easy). I could use my light powers, but Pohatu might just think that was just a Makuta illusion. I could use my mask power to promote trust in him, but I had a feeling the second he felt a shift in mood, he would blast away.
"If you're really Takanuva, then I'm sorry," said Pohatu. "But if you're not, then all our lives aren't worth a widget. So I'm giving you to the count of 10 to tell me why I shouldn't skyblast you out of existence. 1… 2… 3…"
"6 … 7 … 8 … 9 …"
"What's a Toa?" I suddenly shouted.
Pohatu paused in his countdown and looked at me, puzzled. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"The first time you woke up on Daxia," I said, the words tumbling out of my mouth in my haste. "You were told you were a Toa, and your response was, 'What's a Toa?' There were no Makuta there, so how could one know about that?"
"There's only one problem," said Pohatu. "You weren't there either."
"But I saw it," I insisted. "I saw your creation, your training, I saw the team fighting avohkah here, and I saw the storm … that's why I'm here."
An idea struck me. I turned to Gali. "Remember, last year, when I was still Takua the Chronicler? You forged a mental link with me so I could see what you saw when you fought Makuta. Do you think you can do it again?"
"I … I don't know," said Gali.
"Don't do it," said Pohatu. "Makuta would just love to get inside your head."
"She has to," I said. "It's the only way. She has to look inside my mind, and if she doesn't like what she sees … you can kill me dead, right here."
Toa Gali shut her eyes. After a few moments, I felt the unique sensation of her mind reaching into mine. For an instant, I could see myself through her eyes (which was pretty disturbing - even I hadn't realized how much I had changed). Then I felt the link snap as she pulled away. Pohatu reached out and grabbed her to keep her from falling.
"Amazing," she said softly. "A place where Mata Nui died … another where the Toa rule as dictators … your journey here was … eventful, Takanuva"
"Then he is --?" asked Pohatu.
"He is," confirmed Gali. "Darker, perhaps, and not quite the innocent Takua or the eager hero we remember … but he is our friend."
"What's the situation here?" I asked.
Pohatu pointed towards the east. "The Makuta are putting up a good fight, but we're holding our own. We'll have Mata Nui awake again before you know it!"
"That," I said, taking to the sky, "is what I am afraid of."
Pohatu had just brought up the fact that even he didn't recall the story I had told of his early adventures when we arrived in the midst of a full-scale battle. The Toa Nuva were fighting a group of Makuta I had never seen before. Pohatu and Gali split off to attack from the flanks, while I rammed right up the middle. If my appearance took the Nuva by surprise, it seemed to do even more than that to the Makuta. My light powers tipped the balance and the masters of shadow retreated to the east.
Tahu wasted no time on welcoming me. He produced six fragments of stone and asked us all to read them. They contained, he said, the secret to awakening the Great Spirit. I really wished I could share in the moment ... so close to achieving their destiny … but the time had come to tell what I knew.
I was about to speak up when someone new arrived - yet another Toa, though the others seemed a little wary of him. When he spoke, it sounded like he had just learned to use his voice. He related a stunning story. Apparently, he wasn't just wearing the Mask of Life - he was the Mask of Life. Worse, he was a Mask of Life on a countdown to the annihilation of every living being in the universe … something about things being out of balance and this the only way to make things right.
I gave the others a moment to absorb the news. Then it was my turn to add a little more cheer to the gathering. "We have another problem," I said. "If we succeed in waking up the Great Spirit, this place is going to be hit with an energy storm that will destroy everything in Karda Nui!"
I expected shock or anger or even panic at my news. I should have known better. "Then we'll just have to move fast," said Tahu. "We need to get into the Codrex. So we hit the Makuta hard and hope some of us make it inside. This may be our only shot at this."
I didn't have time to ask what a Codrex was before we were in the air and in combat with the Makuta. Lewa and Gali combined their powers to call down a raging thunderstorm while I struck with my light powers. The Makuta started to give way, and that's when I saw it through the mist - a great spherical structure, half-buried in the tip of a fallen stalactite, and looking like it had been here forever and was at the same time totally alien to this place. That, I realized, was a Codrex.
We forced our way inside the Codrex, using the keystones to get us past a force barrier around it. Once inside, the Toa stopped short. This place, they realized, was where they had been for almost 100,000 years, sleeping in their canisters, waiting for the time they would be needed. I noticed that Tahu looked uncomfortable, but having only been a Toa such a short time, I didn't feel right asking him what was wrong.
Onua started examining some of the machinery in the chamber. He must have hit something, because the floor in the center of the room started to descend. Curious, we peered down into the darkness to see what waited below…
Down below, we saw a huge, cavernous chamber. As the section of flooring touched bottom, six great lightstones rose to form a circle. We descended down and began to explore. There were six pathways leading from the center. Lewa was the first to reach the end of his. I couldn't hear what he said, but the next instant, a huge metallic cocoon erupted from the floor. A moment later, it was gone, and in its place was an amazing crimson vehicle with a nameplate that read, "Axalara T9."
Lewa always did have incredible luck…
We barely had time to marvel at the vehicles we discovered in the depths of the Codrex - for there were three - before disaster happened. A red armored Makuta suddenly appeared in the cockpit of the Jetrax T6. Before we could react, he had flown off! Pohatu and Lewa wasted no time in leaping into the Axalara T9 and Rockoh T3 and heading off in pursuit, leaving the rest of us to wonder what would happen next.
I knew I had to go back into the swamp. In the moments after Pohatu and Lewa left, I found myself filled with rage. The Makuta had to pay for what they had done, both here and in the rest of the universe. I existed to destroy them - I knew that now. More, I knew that at some point I must have been a Matoran of Light (even if, for some reason, I didn't remember being one). That meant those people were my people out there, fighting for their freedom. Although Tahu and Gali tried to talk me out of it, I left the Codrex and headed back to the fight.
Kopaka had preceded me out. I caught up to him as he was pursuing the Jetrax and tangling with Radiak. I offered to deal with the shadow Matoran so he could go after the vehicle. Radiak jibed at me, calling me a "Toa of Twilight." I had to fight down an urge to show him just how much light power I still had. But seeing him reminded me of something else - that he wasn't a shadow Matoran by choice. He had been corrupted by the Makuta, and it was up to me to find some way to save him and the others. More, I had to get them out of Karda Nui before the energy storm hit.
I had managed to collect Photok, Solek, and Tanma, and together we dragged a struggling Radiak through the sky. I had no idea how I was going to accomplish my task. But I knew I had to try. As a Matoran, I had looked up to the Toa and dreamed of being like them. Now I was, and it was time to live up to being a hero. I was still lost in thought when I heard Photok cry out, and looked up to see a shadow Matoran flying right toward me!
That was when things got really strange. The shadow Matoran, whose name was Vican, insisted that he was no longer a slave to the Makuta. He said that a Rahi's attack had shattered the hold shadow had over him. The other Matoran told me not to believe him. But something in Vican's eyes, his voice, made me wonder. I knew what it was like to be attacked by a shadow leech, as Vican claimed he once had been. If what he was saying was true now, then maybe there was a way to cure the shadow Matoran of Karda Nui. It was a chance I had to take.
In a strange twist of fate, it was Radiak himself who found the Rahi he sought. Spotting it flying through the air, he hurled a bolt of shadow energy at it. He missed, but had managed to irritate the creature. It emitted a loud cry, the sheer volume of which seemed to stagger the Matoran. He struggled to get free of my grasp, and this time I didn't try to stop him. He looked around at Photok, Solek, and Tanma, as if he they were friends he had not seen in ages. "Are you all right?" he asked. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Tanma, of course, did not believe Radiak had returned to the side of the Av-Matoran. But the change seemed real. When pressed, Radiak revealed that the Makuta planned to allow Mata Nui to wake up, then slay the Toa Nuva and corrupt the rest of the Av-Matoran. But why? Why would they want to let the Great Spirit awaken, I wondered?
"Get the rest of the shadow Matoran here," I told Tanma. "We're going to cure them all, then we're getting you out of here."
"This is our home," the Av-Matoran protested. "And we'll stay and fight for it."
"Listen to me," I snapped. "In a little while, this isn't going to be anyone's home. When Mata Nui awakens, this place will be hit by the biggest energy storm anyone has ever seen. And that's why I am getting every Matoran out of here, even if I have to drag you."
Little did I know, as Tanma and his companions flew off, that I was about to come under attack.
There were eight of them. Makuta Chirox and seven different incarnations of Makuta Bitil. Under ordinary circumstances, one Toa against eight Makuta … I wouldn't have stood a chance. But since being attacked by a shadow leech and walking the fine line between light and darkness … I wasn't the same being. And these weren't ordinary circumstances.
Light can do a lot of things. It can illuminate. It can welcome. It can warm. As it turns out, it can also make laser beams that slice through protosteel. "Come on, then!" I shouted. "This won't be some kolhii match masquerading as a battle! Any Makuta who gets near me, dies!"
I confess, I remember little of what happened next. I recall blasting a hole in Chirox's armor, then charging into the midst of the Makuta. All I felt was rage. In that moment, the shadow was the closest it had ever been to taking control. I was so caught up in the battle that I never noticed one of the Bitils about to strike me down.
But he never got a chance. A bolt from the Jetrax T6, piloted by Kopaka, saved me. A second rocked Bitil so much that he lost control of his mask power, causing his duplicates to disappear. But I wasn't done fighting. Chirox was mine, and he was going to pay.
It was Kopaka who stopped me … who brought me to my senses before I killed the Makuta. As they fled back to the swamp, I told the Toa of Ice what I had learned: that the Makuta wanted Mata Nui awakened, for reasons I could not imagine.
Kopaka left me to warn the others, while I tracked down the last shadow Matoran needing to be saved. This was Gavla, and despite her protests, I managed to put her in the path of the klakk's scream … and myself as well. I could feel the barrier within me shatter and the light begin to return. I was cured, and so was she … but she was not so happy about it. The shadow, apparently, had been a place she felt she belonged, and I had taken her away from it.
I sent her after Tanma and the others. They would be making their way to the western portal and escape from Karda Nui. I had to rejoin my friends.
The storm had begun.
It started out small, just in the center of the swamp, but grew bigger rapidly. It was terrible and beautiful at the same time, light and power released in a fury that nothing could compare to. Even I, releasing all my power in one mighty blast, could never have equalled what was going on below.
As I flew by, I saw Makuta Mutran tentatively hovering near the edges of the storm. It seemed as if he was trying to study it … the last foolish act of a wasted life. A bolt of lightning incinerated him as I watched. I didn't have it in me to feel any regret … perhaps in some ways, what I have been through has changed me for good.
Along with my friends, I clung to one of the three vehicles discovered in the Codrex as we raced to escape Karda Nui. Around me, I could see the Makuta being consumed by the storm, and I thanked the Great Spirit I had been able to save the Matoran. Nothing could have survived this.
Toa operate by a code, one that says we do not kill our enemies. To do so would make us no better than them. But when Pohatu called attention to the Makuta, now in mortal danger from the storm, I have to confess - I felt nothing. They had brought this upon themselves. They had chosen to tamper with the natural order of this universe in a petty effort to seize power, and now the universe was setting itself right. And it was a universe that had no room for such as them.
I heard Pohatu say he thought he saw the Mask of Life. Gali told us of Toa Ignika's sacrifice, his decision to give up his new "life" to awaken Mata Nui. Although Ignika could not die, as Matoro had, he still put the universe before his own needs and desires. I wondered if I would have the strength to do the same, under similar circumstances.
I thought surely we were going to crash. A wave of energy had rocked the vehicles and now we were headed for a solid wall. But at the last moment, all three and their passengers shimmered out of existence, only to reappear inside a twisting array of tunnels. How Lewa, Pohatu and Kopaka ever managed to pilot us through there, I do not know. Behind us, the storm had reached its peak… anyone and anything that was still in Karda Nui was now disintegrated. The threat of the Brotherhood of Makuta was destroyed … or so I hoped.
We felt the universe jolt and tremble, as if the Great Cataclysm had happened again. But somehow we knew that this was no second disaster, but a sign of renewal and hope. I looked at the Toa Nuva, and I could see in their eyes that they knew - after so long, they had at last achieved their destiny. Mata Nui was awake once more!
The journey to Metru Nui took ages, or so it seemed, despite the speed of the vehicles. We were all exhausted and just longing to see our friends again. No doubt Jaller and the other Toa Mahri were wondering where I had disappeared to. I had no idea what had been happening in the universe since I left Metru Nui. Had the Order attacked the Brotherhood? Had the Toa Mahri been pressed into service? Was Metru Nui still standing?
Home! I can see the Coliseum, the spires of Ko-Metru, the Great Forge of Ta-Metru, and the beautiful gem that is the Great Temple. We made it … We're alive … and we have won!
Turaga Dume welcomed us warmly, even sparing me a lecture about deserting my post. There must be a celebration, he says, of the Toa Nuva's triumph and the awakening of Mata Nui. More, there must be a tribute to those Toa who lost their lives in the fight against the Makuta.
What an experience this has been. I have been a part of many celebrations of the Toa's heroics - after they first defeated the Makuta, after the Bohrok were driven off - but to be a part of one as a Toa is an amazing thing. I look back at some of the things I have seen in recent days - a dimension where evil Toa ruled, another where there was no evidence of any Toa at all - and I realize how fortunate I am to have adventured beside heroes like Tahu, Gali, and Kopaka. Hopefully, this day is the start of a new era of peace for our people.
Turaga Dume made a beautiful speech, honoring the heroes who had given their lives to save the universe. Looking back, I wish I could remember Toa Lhikan, or that I had gotten to know Matoro better. Somehow, you expect your friends to live forever … but I guess nothing lasts forever. Who knows? Someday, all that we have done, all that we are, may be nothing more than faded carvings on some long-abandoned Wall of History. But now isn’t the time for such grim thoughts … this is a celebration, after all.
I am writing this from deep in the Archives … Gali is missing … Tahu badly injured … I don’t understand … how could this have happened? They’re coming … we have to keep moving … Onua says he knows a place we can hide and regroup. More later …
We seem to be safe for now. Kopaka and Lewa found Gali, she’s all right. The Turaga have brought as many Matoran as they could find to this chamber deep inside the Archives. While it is not much of a hiding place – can there be any hiding place? – it is defensible against Rahkshi attack. It is almost impossible to believe … Makuta Teridax in possession of the body of the Great Spirit, and so in control of this universe. Can any word be said he will not hear? Any plan carried out he will not know of in advance? Tahu says we will fight back … but how do you fight back against the sun and the stars and the world beneath your feet?
Onua is right, of course – we can’t stay here. We can’t hide in the darkness while the entire universe is at the mercy of that vile lunatic. Kapura reports that the surface of Metru Nui is teeming with Rahkshi, enforcing Makuta’s evil laws. So we must find another way out. Fortunately, the Turaga were able to find Krahka, a shapeshifting Rahi they once fought down here. She allied with them once against the Visorak, and is willing to do it again. She knows long unused tunnels that lead to the shoreline. If we can steal a boat, perhaps we can link up with other Toa in other lands.
Tahu has a plan. True, Makuta has almost infinite power now, but his mind was not designed to control it. If we can split up, stir up trouble, force him to focus his attention in dozens of different places at once, perhaps he will lose his grip on the universe … anyway, it’s worth trying. We encountered an Order of Mata Nui agent named Trinuma on Stelt. He says Daxia is destroyed, but there are still some Order members who survive. I have to believe that as long as anyone who loves freedom is alive, there is still hope.
I wonder what has happened to the Great Spirit Mata Nui? Makuta said he forced his mind and spirit into the Mask of Life, and then ejected the mask from this universe. But that doesn’t mean Mata Nui is dead – after all, the mask has already survived much. Could he still be out there somewhere, in the void beyond this universe? And if so … will he ever return to his people, who badly need him?
Pohatu and I have journeyed to Destral. There is precious little left here. How much of the damage we see was caused by the Order’s attack, and how much by Makuta Teridax himself, is impossible to say. I know one thing – nothing is left alive here. And from the shattered pieces of Makuta armor I see everywhere, it is hard not to believe that the new ruler of this universe has decided to eliminate all possible competition for his throne.
Pohatu is occupied searching for weapons, but I am combing the ruins of this fortress looking for something else. If I can find whatever the Makuta used to teleport Destral from place to place, perhaps I can use it to return to some of the other dimensions I visited in past days. Maybe I can find help in one of those places, or some clue to how we can overthrow Teridax. If I could find Brutaka, he could help me, but I do not know if he is alive or dead.
I received a message from Tahu via our new Rahi courier system – Teridax, it seems, pays little attention to the wildlife of his universe. The Toa Nuva of Fire reports that Rahkshi have overrun the island of Odina, but the Dark Hunters had already relocated to Xia. Teridax could, of course, destroy them at any time, but it seems like he wants the challenge of sending his armies against them. That may buy us a little more time.
I have found it! It is badly damaged and I do not understand its workings, but it is here. I have sent out a message requesting aid from Nuparu. I pray that he arrives in time. This may be out best hope.
Gali elected to stay behind in Metru Nui. The latest word from her is that a troop of Ta-Matoran staged a break-out, evaded capture by the Rahkshi, and fled through the Bohrok tunnels toward the island of Mata Nui. They were supposed to send word back if they made it beyond the domes … but no word has been heard.
Things have never looked worse … but I swear by all I believe in, this battle is not over. And we will win, even if we must tear our universe apart to do it!