My second attempt at a contest; I'm hopping this time I actually get far. The protagonist is Gorast because I thought she needed character development. Here you go.
When Teridax's victory is told by chroniclers throughout the ages, there will no doubt be stories of his defeat over Miserix. They will also pass down stories of how one by one Miserix's Brakas monkeys were hunted down one by one. But I feel these stories of how each Makuta was defeated will only be side notes that only the most keen Onu-Metru Matoran archivist will touch upon. I wouldn't mind that, except one Makuta I chased down changed me forever. In writing this I hope to keep one story from becoming a mere piece of trivia.
It all started after Teridax's great revolution, because not every Makuta had agreed to Teridax's plans for a better Brotherhood. Five Makuta decided to fight for Miserix, who would undoubtedly keep the Brotherhood weak. But they were outnumbered; they could not fight for what was right for the Brotherhood of Makuta. However the five traitors realized this and joined the right side; but Teridax doesn't forgive traitors.
After Miserix's defeat, Krika was supposed to dispose of him. Why Teridax chose Krika and Spirah to do it is a mystery to me. I would've been more than happy to end the old fool's pathetic life, but there was no point in arguing once Teridax made his decision. The sad truth about Krika is that he allows his defeated foes mercy, even when they have nothing valuable to offer in terms of information, something I find repulsive. Suspiciously, he and Spirah returned without Miserix's mask. I wouldn't be surprised if he just threw Miserix in some cell Mata Nui knows where.
While I couldn't have the pleasure of finishing Miserix's pathetic life, I could end his minions' lives. But there was a hitch; I had to do it with Icarax. I saw it as counterproductive to say the least, but what was done was done. Despite working with Icarax we managed to track down four of the five Makuta. I enjoyed every part of it, though Icarax only saw it as practice for something bigger he was planning. Never bothered to ask him about it; I was more concerned with killing the defiant Makuta than hearing his bragging.
We had only killed four of the five Makuta; there was still one we had to track. I couldn't remember her name, only that she was supposedly the deadliest of the five Makuta. The more powerful the better I thought, as I assumed this would pose some sort of a challenge to me.
The fourth Makuta was hardly any trouble at all; he put up a noble (if pathetic) fight but he ultimately was defeated. I had him on the ground, my foot pressing down on his neck, and I decided to ask if he knew anything about where the fifth Makuta was.
"You want..." he paused as he gasped for breath "to hunt that crazed spawn of Karzhani?" This was odd I thought, why would he call his own ally a mad Rahi?
"He won't talk," Icarax said from the shadows, "just snap his neck and be done with him!"
I ignored Icarax's order, but I knew I couldn't for long.
"Where is the last Makuta hiding?" I asked, adding more weight "Just tell us and we'll make your death less painful."
"Listen to me.." he coughed. "She is nothing... to the Brotherhood. She... has lost all sanity, any sense of..."
"Gorast! Just put him down we won't find out anything from him!" He was interrupted by Icarax. Icarax was already on the verge of pure rage. I almost agreed with him, I was even considering that Icarax could have the killing blow, but we had found this Makuta by 'persuading' the one before him to tell us this Makuta's location. Could it work again?
"I know... what you doing," he said as he tried to breathe, "but I'm trying to help as... shocking as that sounds. She'll kill you, not just that, but she'll hack your limbs off and use them for torches! If you want to see your glorious leader Teridax succeed with his plan, you'll give up looking for her and say she's gone forever. I was afraid of her myself, and when you find her you will be too."
"Any Makuta against Teridax is always something," I retorted. "Besides, if she's anything like you described, I'm sure we'll get along real well. Now where is she?" I saw the look in his eyes change from fear to defeat. He lowered his head then closed his eyes.
"Then, you are forsaken. I tried to stop you. Remember that," he said before Icarax burst out of the shadows filled with rage. Icarax pushed me aside, falling face first onto the floor. The next thing I heard was the sound of Icarax's fist breaking the fallen Makuta's skull; with a deafening crunch. I turned to face Icarax and saw the Makuta's mask had just barely escaped the same fate its wearer's skull had endured.
"What was that for?" I asked as I got back on my feet. "I had it under control."
Icarax just glared at me. "You were just letting him live a little longer than he should have been. So I thought I'd help by putting him to sleep for you."
"He might have known where the final Makuta was!" I almost screamed. "And you just made our jobs a lot harder."
"Funny, I thought you hated mercy," Icarax responded, regaining his composure. As we left the island of the slain Makuta I began wondering how bad the punishment would be if I "accidentally" flung a dagger through Icarax.
Back on the Tren Krom peninsula, I let my rage escape at the acid falls. Throwing daggers at any Rahi who was unlucky enough to cross my path. "I had it under perfect control!" I said to myself as I hurled another sharpened branch at an ash bear. "I thought I'd help by putting him down," I said with my best attempt at Icarax's voice, "Well maybe you should have waited!" while I was mad -- no enraged -- at him he was partly right I hated to admit. He would not have revealed the location of his former ally. I was trying to make a dead Matoran breathe again.
Another thought pushed aside my rage at Icarax; why was the slain Makuta afraid of his former ally? He had called her a "crazed spawn of Karzhani" and said she'd use our limbs for torches. I wondered if he was trying to scare us off. If that was the case he had failed beyond any reasonable doubt. Now I wanted to hunt down this Makuta more than ever before, if only for the challenge.
I continued to let my rage out until sunset. I heard a low moaning off in the distance, it was an easy target. While hunting Rahi wasn't as fun as hunting sapient beings it was still fun nonetheless. Besides I figured it help me take my mind off of Icarax.
I followed the moaning, careful not to make any noise. But as I neared my target I saw flames and heard Matoran voices.
"Hurry brother," one of the Matoran said. "We do not want this gift the Mistress has provided us."
"The Mistress"? Certainly I wasn't responsible for this. But if I wasn't then who was? It had to be some lost Ga-Matoran or some Dark Hunter that had wowed the Matoran. My curiosity urged me to follow them. Staying hidden in the shadows I watched the Matoran drag the source of the moaning: an injured Ash Bear.
I had to admire the perseverance the Matoran, I watched them lug the Ash Bear over a small mountain and through a forest. Soon they neared a large clearing in the woods. That was when I noticed something odd about the Matoran. They had painted their bodies and some had Rahi bones for armor. The paintings resembled claw marks, teeth, eyes, and horns. I turned my attention to the large fire; I saw shadows dancing around chanting "Praise our goddess". It was almost surreal.
I stopped at a nearby tree to watch. The Matoran had left the most likely dead Ash Bear in front of the fire before bowing and then backing away. Suddenly everyone stopped and turned their attention to a large shadow. A figure stepped out and I instantly recognized who it was.The figure had blue armor covered in what appeared to be tribal paintings. She towered over the Matoran, she may have even been able to almost tower over a Toa. Her mask was covered in scratches, but these looked like they were self inflicted rather than from battle. Her body was covered in Rahi bones that made up her new armor. She walked toward the Matoran; all turned towards and bowed their heads.
This was the final Makuta, I thought. I quietly backed away from the clearing, however I decided to leave some marks on the trees so I could remember where I had gone. I wanted to go after her, I wanted to hunt her down and bring her mask to Teridax myself. I couldn't do that though I needed Icarax and I had to wait until morning until I could inform Icarax about my discovery.
The next day, a fog had rolled in coating the land in a grey blanket.
"Gorast," Icarax spoke as we reached the mountain where the Matoran dragged the corpse. "Just think about it please. Why would a Makuta on the run hide in the place that her hunter lives? Perhaps it was a hallucination brought about by your need to catch this Makuta."
I ignored his disbelief as I climbed the mountain. I knew that what I saw had been very real. I reached the top of the mountain and began to look for the marked trees. I spotted one, then another, then another. There were markings that I don't remember placing. Someone did this, but how had the Matoran known I was there.
"Gorast, you're not listening," I heard Icarax say as he reached the top. "Just how stupid do you think this Makuta is? I mean, allying with Miserix is one thing, but hiding here is something else entirely. I've seen Spirah's creations act smarter."
I pretended to ignore him as we wondered the forest. A part of me was agreeing with Icarax. I kept trying to reassure myself that I wasn't imagining things, that there was a Makuta who was being worshiped. I kept following every path but every one led to the same thing: more marked trees. As much as I hated to do it I swallowed my pride and came out with it. "There is no one here. I could've sworn..."
"I think you're taking this assignment way too far. To the point where you're mistaking a little cult leader for being a Makuta. I've seen some Matoran worship rocks, not even the Rock of the Great Spirit, just rocks."
I was glad to have gotten his gloating out of the way. We began the long trek back to the Acid Falls; surprisingly he kept silent through the entire trip back. Was he thinking up more insults to throw at me? The fog hadn't lifted yet, so it turned simple trees into giants. I kept checking every direction to make sure we weren't being followed. I wasn't taking any chances, even if I was with Icarax. I noticed a Matoran shaped object in the distance. It stood between two trees glaring at us. It made no movements or noises. I threw a rock at it and still nothing. I continued to follow Icarax but I noticed two more Matoran figures. These didn't move either; were we being followed? I noticed more figures that made no movements along our path.
"I warned you!" a voice called out. I turned around with great speed but there was nothing. All I saw were the motionless Matoran. I turned my attention to catching up with Icarax. He stopped to examine something, a Matoran?
"Gorast, you may have been on to something when you were talking about that little celebration you saw," he said showing me the Matoran. It was dead -- had been for a while -- with spears sticking out of his body. There was no denying it, we were being followed. I readied myself for anything, but what happened next took me by surprise. A sharpened branch struck Icarax in the thigh, then another hit him in the arm. I felt something sharp hit me; my vision blurred as I saw another spear enter my stomach. I fell to my knees watching Icarax shouting in all directions desperately looking for something to respond to. Darkness consumed my vision.
I woke up to the smell of burning embers and facing mask to mask with a Matoran. The Matoran immediately scurried away as I woke up.
"The Goddess was right," a Matoran on tall ledge said to a group. "Demons would come and condemn us!"
He then bowed as a tall figure approached him. "My, my, what do we have here?" The figure spoke. It was the Makuta I saw that night. She stood in front of a large fire; the Matoran were crowded around us.
"I never thought the wise Teridax would send a Makuta like you. Bravo to Teridax." I attempted to move but realized my arms and legs were bound together. "I wouldn't do that if I were you. Don't forget, I'm also a Makuta, so I can fry your pretty little face." She said as she held my head and dragged her finger across my mask. "Now Gorast..."
"Where's Icarax?" I asked throwing myself forward but hardly far enough. "He -- excuse me -- limped away. But that was alright with me, because you were the one I wanted to talk to." She chuckled when she finished. "I know exactly why you're here. Before you kill me, do you want to know why I didn't join you?"
"Why not, I don't have anything better to do," I replied as I tried to loosen the bonds.
She knelt on one knee and we met face to face. She smirked "Didn't I just say not try that?"
"Good. Do you know what every petty crook, every cheater, every fraud wants in life? Redemption of course. That is what I wanted, for you see I have done and seen many horrible things in my life, sights that would drive anyone insane. I realized the only way I would only gain redemption was if I sided with Miserix and I believe you know how that turned out. But soon I came to realize, because of who I am I can never achieve redemption; not even siding with Miserix could do that."
"What does this have to do with the Matoran?"
"I'm glad you asked. I remember how my kind could never receive redemption from the Great Spirit -- Teridax's victory made our chances even lower -- so then I came up with an idea. Perhaps I redeem those who believed they couldn't be redeemed."
Suddenly another version of her appeared from behind her. This clone spoke "You see, my 'cult' is made up of condemned souls. They saw no hope and no purpose in their life. But then I promised a path toward redemption."
Another clone of the Makuta stepped out from behind her. "That is why they serve me. Now I bet you're wondering what in the name of the Great Spirit is going on? Well, can you swim?" The clones began to laugh, I desperately tried escape as more clones of her appeared. I briefly looked upward as the stars made the shape of her mask.
Then bubbles appeared, the world began murky, and the sky disappeared. I realized rather quickly that I was underwater. Where? I wasn't sure. I quickly broke my bonds and made a mad dash to the surface. I broke the surface; finding myself deep in the forest. "How did she do that?" I asked myself. I wondered just what the Karhzani had happened. I quickly looked up to see that clouds blocked the sky. Then I looked around me to see only trees. I attempted to move but the pain in my left arm stopped me. I also realized that Icarax was nowhere to be found. Sometimes Icarax could be a pain, but I needed him alive.
I began the long trek through the mountainous forest, checking every direction for any sign of Icarax. Every part of my body was filled with anger at that Makuta. I thought of all the ways I could gut her and rip that smirk right off her face. I seemed be getting nowhere, as I only saw more of the same: trees. I also came across the occasional motionless Matoran but I knew they were dead. Midday soon gave way to sunset and there was no sign of Icarax. I sat myself down in front of a tree stump and examined my situation. I'd need a plan. "Get over here!" Someone called. I turned to face the voice, making sure I was still hidden; it was one of the Makuta's cultist. What was he yapping about?
"We found one of the demons!" He had unknowingly gotten my attention. "He's putting a huge fight!"
I noticed an explosion off in the background. It was definitely Icarax, putting his rage to good use. The Matoran's friend finally reached him. "Hurry! Our brothers need us." With that the two disappeared into the forest in the direction of the blasts. I waited a little while before following them. I made it my top priority to remain silent as I followed the two Matoran. Soon the noises got louder and the explosions drew nearer. So much so I thought I could see some pieces of wreckage fly over head.
At last the two reached the explosions. I was right, Icarax was in the middle of it all, fighting Matoran. Normally I would've been laughing at Icarax being unable to fend them off, in fact I almost did, but I saw one Matoran fighting without an arm. All the Matoran had some sort of crippling injury. Once the two Matoran had ran down to help their 'brothers' I leaped into the fight. I sprinted through the onslaught of Matoran until I reached Icarax. "Glad to see you here," he said as he kicked a Matoran "Did she have you in you a mind trick too?"
I threw a Matoran onto the ground before I answered. "Yes, she made clones of her..." I was cut off by the Matoran I had slammed into the ground jumping onto me with a dagger in his hand. I threw him off then leaped onto him and delivered a killing blow to his face. "Forgot to mention that," Icarax said. He then summoned a bolt of lightning from the storm clouds and struck two Matoran that were both missing some limb. I dodged a Matoran that tried to jump on me. The Matoran held a torch in his hand and danced toward me twirling the torch as he did. I grabbed the dagger the earlier Matoran dropped and dodged his attack. I grabbed him and proceeded to slam him against a tree. I slashed his neck in one sweeping motion.
Icarax unleashed another bolt of chain lightning that knocked the last three Matoran to their knees. I leaped to the three Matoran and snapped his neck. I moved onto to the other two. One began his suicide charge which resulted in him getting smashed into the ground by me. The third one did something rather extraordinary. He gave up. He threw his hands up and just gave up.
I grabbed him by the neck and showed him the dagger. "If this is a trap then, you'll be on the business end of this!" I said.
"I know," he replied. I let go of him. He appeared to be an Onu-Matoran, his mask was cracked and scratched, his war paint was starting to peel, and his arm appeared broken. Icarax walked over to the Matoran. "You expect us to trust you after nearly half an army attacked us?" He asked with rage in his voice.
I placed a hand on his shoulder. "I don't think we have a choice." I said to him. The Onu-Matoran led us through a forest nestled near a dormant volcano. I had to help Icarax walk because he had taken a severe beating in the attack. He hated being seen like this, I secretly enjoyed every minute of it. "How did you know you were under an illusion?" I asked him.
"She just set herself on fire, then everything else on fire," he replied. "She also said you limped away, I couldn't remember if that was true."
"She said the same thing about you," I added.
"The Goddess is known for her mind tricks," the Onu-Matoran said. "She has used her ability to promise riches, or as she calls it, redemption."
I asked him when she first showed up on the island.
"Nobody knows, but when she did she used 'prophets' to spread her message. I was eager to hear her message, as much as I hate to say it."
"Why did you-" I was cut off because Icarax's foot had caught on something. Once we freed it I continued "-want redemption?"
He didn't speak for a moment "A long time ago I robbed a merchant, during my escape he was severely injured when a tree that I had cut down landed on him. I exiled myself from the village ever since. This being that promises redemption comes along and all my troubles seem to go. You know those Matoran you saw earlier? I did that."
His voice was filled regret, were the other Matoran cultists like this too? We reached a volcanic mountain.He turned to us "This is where she is. I'll run to the nearest village from here." He said as he pointed to the mountain.
"Matoran..." Icarax spoke "thanks." I never thought I'd hear him say that but he wasn't finished. "Do not expect any favors from us. Understand?"
The Matoran just smiled "No worries, you killing her is enough for me. Now go." The Onu-Matoran ran off disappearing from view into the woods.
We climbed the mountain though carrying Icarax made it difficult. When we reached the peak, we saw the Makuta speaking to her subjects. I set Icarax against a rock; I could already tell he wanted to give the Makuta a piece of his mind.
"I'll be right back," I said before sliding down into the volcano.Shadows danced on the walls, all armed with staffs and spears. I heard the Makuta's voice echo throughout the room. She stopped speaking she knew I was here; just as I wanted.
"It seems we have an uninvited guest in our meeting," she said.
I leaped out from hiding spot, dagger tightly clenched in my hand. "I'm here to put an end to all this," I said.
The Matoran readied their weapons but the Makuta stopped them. "This is between me and her only," she said, readying her weapons -- two wavy swords. The Matoran lowered their spears. "Let's get started shall we?" She asked. All of a sudden there was a bright flash that blinded me.
I opened my eyes to a burning forest. "This is what I protect my followers from," her voiced echoed.
I saw someone made of flames walk toward me, it was the other defiant Makuta. "I warned you, now we'll be together in Karzhani," he said.
As he fell apart the female Makuta lunged at me. I managed to dodge her but she struck me from behind. She swung her two swords at me I blocked both with my dagger. She struck; I dodged but she shattered my dagger. I didn't need it now.
She swung both her swords but again I dodged both. The traitor swung and struck in the upper arm. That made me mad; I had to get one her swords to make this a fair fight.
Now the scenery changed, we weren't in a burning forest but we were in a stone tower. She almost had my head when she swung her sword but now it was my turn. When she swung her sword at me I dodged then kicked it out of her hand. I grabbed the sword. Now it was even.
Our swords clashed with speed and ferocity, the sound of colliding metal echoing throughout the illusion. I attacked but she jumped out of the way of the sword's blade. I chastised myself for letting her dodge that. I swung again and our swords made contact with a loud ping.
"There is no denying it," she said "one of us is leaving this island and it won't be you!" She swung her sword, her arrogance increasing the speed at which it was swung. I managed to dodge it; my sword was still intact miraculously but I couldn't handle another blow like that.
The fight continued, with every miss I grew angrier. My rage propelled my sword to incredible speeds. I knew I would have to finish this soon. I finally let all my rage go at her and I managed to strike her. I struck her again and again before I kicked her in the face and sent sliding across the floor. Consequently the illusion disappeared and I returned to the real world.
I walked over to the fallen Makuta. She was about to reach for her sword but I swung my blade in her face.
"Well done Gorast," she said making no effort to resist. "I guess I can't run anymore. You can kill me."
"Why are you so smug?" I asked with suspicion. "I beat and I will kill you; you won't be able to fight Makuta Teridax now."
"I know, but wherever I'm going, I'll see you there soon," she replied. "Teridax will lead you down a path of darkness and cruelty. He will kill you all, he does not care about you at all."
What happened next was something that I never regretted. I made one quick slash across her torso then drove the sword through her with all my anger. I believe I saw her eyes close before I killed her, accepting her fate. I turned to face her followers; the look on their faces was that of horror. I saw them all scramble to leave the volcano, probably to remove all reminders of their service to their mistress and blend into society.
I turned to the body, I removed her Kanohi and piece of her shoulder armor. I walked back to Icarax who was readying to strike the Matoran.
"Don't," I said to him dropping the Kanohi at his feet.
When morning came I snuck into the village the Onu-Matoran had run off to that night. I found waiting outside a hut with a sling on his arm. I gave the shoulder armor to him.
"She's dead, here's the proof" I said. "If you speak of this to anyone your head will be my next trophy."
He looked at me and gave me an approving grin. "Because you killed that Makuta I will respect your wishes. Thank you Makuta."
I turned to walk away from the village. "You too," I said with haste. I gave him a death glare and he got the message.
I met up with Icarax at one of the peninsula's beaches. "I hope you're not going soft on me Gorast," he said "aren't Matoran below us?"
"Don't worry, after this no Matoran can expect kindness from me," I reassured him. Icarax teleported back to Destral. I took one last look at the mask I had gotten from my victory. Did she get what she wanted? I asked myself. Was she right about Teridax? I knew she was very wrong about that, so very wrong about that one. The threat of Miserix -- if he posed any -- was eliminated; that was all that mattered.
Now whenever any being sees the last mask in the convocation chamber they will know the story behind it. It will always be known to every Makuta who reads this. It will also be unforgotten throughout the history of the Matoran Universe.
Trivia: The sword that the rebel Makuta is using is called a Kris. Look it up for more.
Edited by bonesiii, May 22 2014 - 06:05 PM.
Format reconstructed after a BZP glitch. -bones