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The Shadows Coil (Book 2 Of The Xaterex Storyline)

Xaterex Chronicles

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#1 Offline Varkanax39

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Posted May 25 2012 - 06:19 PM

This is The Shadows Coil, the second volume in my now-completed BIONICLE fanfiction series, the Xaterex Multiverse storyline. If you haven't read the first volume, Into the Darkness, here's the link (the review topic for the first story is here). Note that this was written two years ago as of today, and while this installment is marginally more readable than Into the Darkness, it's still rather bad in comparison to most of the later Xaterex storyline novels.Anyway, if you read this, please take the time to tell me what you think on the reviews page. Thanks! :)

The Shadows Coil

By Varkanax39

Prologue

The tall Ix's cold, dispassionate gaze stared at the hazy image of the elemental standing before him. Like all of his kind, the Ix was wearing robes of the darkest black, and his eyes were cold and impassive, touched with the barest gleam of feverish light. The chamber they stood within was shrouded completely in mist, and the Elemental was barely visible, a faint outline of obsidian armor in the half-light."They escaped, Skorpix." he rasped at last. He was merely repeating a fact they both knew, but he needed to impress upon Skorpix that the narrow escape of the Spirit Toa had been due to chance, nothing more. Although he knew the elemental was not truly standing in front of him, it was merely an image of a faraway place he'd brought before him using his highly advanced auric powers, he still felt as though the Elemental's cold red eyes were burning through him, as though he knew everything the Ix would say."Silencer is dead, and Melnox has been lost in Illiera. Our allies there will see that he is exterminated."The Elemental merely nodded, his image flickering out of sight for the briefest of moments before returning. He raised one claw imperiously, and said at length,"We have learned of this. We have already ordered a group of Ix assassins from Illiera to hunt down and kill Ion and the Glatorian with him, and recapture the Toa. It was fortunate he was not killed in the Circle due to the overeagerness of the Fury...we need him alive.""However, this will not be enough." whispered the Elemental Prince. "They will not arrive in time to stop Ion from contacting his allies. Alert the demon Asgard. Tell him we are in need of his services."The Ix nodded, his face behind the mask coldly indifferent, but inwardly he felt a jolt of shock, quickly followed by satisfaction. Asgard would tear the Toa from limb to limb."Oh, and alert our other agents in the Void that the victor Fairon will be joining them shortly." Skorpix smiled coldly.The Ix bowed his head slightly as Skorpix waved his hand. The image of the Elemental vanished, and the Ix stepped back and vanished, the mist shrouding him from view.

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Edited by Varkanax39, Jul 02 2012 - 02:01 PM.

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#2 Offline Varkanax39

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Posted May 30 2012 - 04:24 PM

Note: The events of this chapter will make more sense when I've posted the contents of my short story, The Eternal Game. I'm currently in the process of revising it, and it should be posted soon. I'll post a link when it's posted. ~ Varkanax.

Chapter 1

"Hail, Fairon!""Hail!" The tall Toa of light replied to the speaker, a small, hunched Ta-Matoran He shook his head. Ever since the Eternal Game, his victory, and the return to Gigas Nui, all of the inhabitants of the ancient city had treated him like a celebrity. Fairon wished to shake off the Games forever, but no one would give him time to heal.The Empire makes sure these horrors never leave you. Fairon reflected as he strode down the narrow alleyway.If it was up to the Toa, he would forget about the games completely. Scour them from his memory. Destroy them. But the Empire made sure that this would never happen. They would soon begin another game, and after that, another, to continue the Games for all eternity. Fairon felt a wave of dark memories wash over him as he strode through the city. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. The memories left him feeling spent, as they always did. Fairon had always thought that the "Eternal Game" was so called as it continued forever, but now the Toa wondered if it was because the memories of the arena would never leave him, no matter how long he lived.Fairon shook his head again and sighed. There seemed no way for him to reflect on his world without the dark memories of the Game returning. He lifted his head from the scattered rubble and grime that coated the alleyways and lifted his face to the sun. Another day was beginning, the fifth since he had returned to Gigas Magna. Now, just as suddenly, he was leaving again. The Empire was going to take him on a trip across the universe to the Drakos System, their capital, where they would collect tribute from the other star systems for the victor, as well as rounding up other Toa for the never-ending Eternal Game.Lekhop's mangled corpse falling from the burning cliffs as the Kodax and the Fallen Six battled to the death amidst the raging flames-Fairon cut his nightmares off before they could return to plague him again. He could not let his mind wander from the task ahead. The Empire wanted him. The resistance wanted him. He had to choose a side. The Eternal Game was not over. There were more deadly challenges to come.But how? Fairon thought. Beyond the insane beings that would fight hopeless battles against the Kodax in the distant Fells, there were none who dared oppose the Empire and live. The fear of losing their lives in the Eternal Game held them in a state of perpetual terror. There was no way for them to resist without the Empire destroying them all in a bloody arena. Fairon cursed and kicked at the rubble-strewn ground with one armored foot. He could not rid himself of the horrible memories of the arena.But I will make sure that no one ever has to suffer through another Eternal Game again! He thought defiantly.Soon after the Games had concluded, a small group of rebels on Gigas Magna had contacted him, and he had met with one of their agents and agreed to meet them. While they were small, they hoped to strike a blow to the Empire that would keep them from gaining unending dominion over the universe. Fairon had agreed to meet them in one of the ancient, weakened towers of Gigas Nui, where the Gigas Magna Enforcers had once ruled. The city's once most powerful district had fallen apart, and was full of rebels, criminals, and other beings who fought with both Veiled Ones and slaves alike.And the Empire does nothing to stop it. Thought Fairon. Turning down a long corridor, the Toa saw a single dilapidated building at the end of the alleyway like a grim sentinel among the ruins of the district. Fairon walked silently though the rubble, making sure not to disturb the wreckage.Fairon opened the unlocked wooden door, pulling it so hard it came off the hinges. He crushed the door into the earth so hard it splintered into fragmented shards.He savored his victory for a brief instant before entering the chamber. A bolted steel door barred his way, the rebel's last line of defense. Fairon knew how to bypass that as well. Raising a gloved hand, the Toa stared at the door with intense concentration. Sparks of light burst from his raised hand, and the door swung open. Fairon entered the chamber and the door clicked shut behind him.He stood in a massive room filled with smashed armorplates, rusted swords, and cracked walls. The room seemed on the verge of collapse, and the ceiling above him creaked ominously."Oh, don't worry, It won't fall." Hissed a voice. Fairon turned as a clawed hand touched his shoulder. Reacting instinctively, he whirled around, blade drawn, to confront a tall Toa in gleaming silver-gold armor. He carried an icy sword that gleamed with an otherworldly pulsing light, giving the impression it was charged with lightning. His hands were covered by clawed gloves.Out of the rubble of the wreckage heap of weapons. A Toa of Water, eyes gleaming in the darkness as she appeared like a ghost from the wreckage. Then two Toa of air, a male and a female. They were armed with powerful, bladelike weapons and they stared at Fairon with a mixture of pity and hatred. Last to appear were five Glatorian, one armored in red, the others in white."Greetings." said the silver-masked Toa. "I am Toa Jareroden leader of the resistance. These Toa are Galika, Treedaka, and Sayna. He said, his eyes staring at each of the Toa in turn, first the Toa of Water, then the two Toa of Air. "Flardrek." he said, gesturing to the red Glatorian. "And Shardos, Xatax, Vorral, and Zhrek."The four Glatorian nodded a greeting, as did Galika, Sayna, Treedaka, and Flardrek. The four white Glatorian, however, remained silent, contempt in their eyes."Oh, don't mind them." Jareroden said. "They lost their families and friends in a search after Vinax fled the Empire."Fairon nodded. When he'd returned, the enigmatic Glatorian Vinax had fled from Gigas Nui for reasons that had never become clear. All of his friends had been killed. Fairon and his dead Leviathos would have been killed as well, but they had died in the arena before Vinax's betrayal. It was only Fairon's status as victorthat kept him alive. Vinax, however, had yet to be found.I hope they kill him quickly when they find him. Fairon thought. Not torture him or send him into the next Eternal Game."They believe that Vinax fled because you won the Eternal Game, and blame you for the deaths of their team."Fairon remembered the bloody corpses of the Toa lying crushed at the edge of the void, Kodax spears embedded too deep to ever be removed from the body. He remembered Tanuva, the Toa who had died so Fairon could win the Eternal Game, and Leviathos, who, though mortally wounded by Ghost's soul-eating scythe, had saved Fairon's life by dragging him into the Void.I, too, have lost my team."It was not my fault that Vinax chose to flee. His motives were never made clear. Maybe the Empire knows. Maybe not. But tell them I am sorry for their loss, and sympathize with them more then they know."Jareroden nodded. "They will eventually forget their anger. And while they hate any victors, they will cooperate with our plans, for they know it is the only hope for the Empire to ever be destroyed. While we cannot hope to overthrow the Empire, we can prevent them from gaining the ultimate power. The power of the Ignika.""The Ignika?" asked Fairon incredulosly. "The Mask of Life?""Yes" Jareroden replied."During the games, a group of our agents found evidence that supported the idea that Toa Crystillix, your rival in the games, was a traitor to the Empire. They managed, before he entered the arena, to attach a tracking device to him, without the Empire discovering it.""However, this device malfunctioned once Crystillix fell into the Void, as you might imagine. However, one week ago, the device appeared again-- in the Circle.""The Circle?" asked Fairon. "Why--""We have agents there as well, and yesturday we sent a transmission to Silencer a mutated Toa of Fire allied with our cause, asking why the beacon had turned up in the Circle. He stated that they had discovered the location of the Mask of Life, and after recovering the device, attatched it to the bearer. Soon after, three undercover resistance operatives in the Drakos System managed to trace the mask's whereabouts to a specific location- The Void.""The Void?" Fairon felt as though he'd been punched. His memories of the Void were so horrible, it took all his willpower not to vanish into his memories of the arena. "Surely it was destroyed, along with the entry to the arena. And even if it wasn't, the Void would have absorbed them. I watched it kill four contestants in the games. Ghost, Nightwatcher, and Leviathos all met their deaths there. Dredzek may have vanished into the Void as well.""We believe, however, that the Void does not instantly kill.""What?!" Fairon was shocked. "It kills beings and absorbs them. All who fall there are obliterated from the universe, used to feed the Void...""Yes" said Jareroden. "That is what the Empire wants you to believe, and yes, it does absorb beings and feed on them. While there is no doubt that many of those who fell were killed by the fall itself, there was one being we were able to trace who fell into the Void and survived.""Iruka!" said Fairon. "I was sure he was killed by the fall, yet he somehow emerged after his battle with Nightwatcher to attack me again. How?""We do not know for sure. However, we believe that Iruka encountered someone or something there that returned him to the arena for an unknown reason."These revelations were making Fairon dizzy. He asked. "So where is the mask now?""Possibly lying in the realms below the Void. Ancient tales speak of beings who live there, deities of death, space, and time, that control the fabric of the multiverse and would tear it to shreds if ever released. But the mask could enhance their powers to impossible levels, levels so great that they would break free from the Void and rip this world apart forever.""So you wish me and a group of resistance members to follow the Mask into the Void? How will I enter the Void?" Another thought occured to him. "And what of my status as victor? The Ix want to control me, to use me as a pawn to exert control over their Empire.""Yes, we are aware of that. If you agree to help us, Zhrek and Shardos will go in your place. You will go disguised as me, the leader of the rebels. Flardrek, Galika, Sayna, Treedaka, and I will accompany you.""So that's is where the Void entrance is, Drakos City?" Fairon guessed."Obviously," said Jareroden. "The Ix have been using it as a method of execution to destroy prisoners that displeased them. If the Void really is a portal, however, then they may be still alive." He locked eyes with Fairon. "I cannot tell you more unless you agree to join us. If they capture you the Empire will torture this information out of you, something we can't afford unless you join us."Fairon realized they had backed him into an inescapable corner. If he did not join, they would kill him, for they could not let the secrets they told him be known to the Empire. If he did join, he would be forced to commit suicide by jumping into the Void. Or worse, If he survived...Fairon let the thought trail off. They may have been forcing him into a a suicide mission, but he had vowed he would do everything he could to destroy the Empire after the Games."I will join you." He answered. He wished Jareroden had explained why and how Silencer had discovered the tracking beacon on Blast, but decided against it for now."Excellent." said Jareroden. "We have discovered another entrance to the Void in a place you know very well. The old arena."Fairon felt as though he'd been punched again. He would be returning to the scene of his nightmares."I know what you experienced there. But if we succeed in recovering the Ignika, we're one step closer to making sure your horrors are never repeated."Fairon relaxed, remembering his goal. While he certainly did not trust the Glatorian, he trusted these four Toa. They'd probably been victors themselves, or they would have long since been killed or turned into shadow Toa by the Ix."I will come." he said finally, sealing his destiny as an enemy of the Empire.

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