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The Chronicles of Masuko

Masuko Order of Mata Nui Spherus Magna Dark Hunters

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#1 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Feb 22 2013 - 05:21 PM

THE CHRONICLES OF MASUKO

By Massimo A. Pisano A.K.A. Toa of Awesome

REVIEW TOPIC: http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=8773

 

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PROLOGUE

 

 

20 years ago…

 

It was a hot day, with the sunshine beating down on the backs of the Order of Mata Nui members. They were excavating for resources in a large clearing on a southern island. There were so many holes in the ground now that instead of land with holes in it; it was holes with a network of islands in it.

 

Around the scene—near the edge of the clearing—lay all of the greenish tents that the Order Members dwelt in. All but one was empty. In the occupied tent sat the Order Member assigned to defend this place in the case of attack, as he examined a throwing knife with a bored expression. He was clad in forest green and dark grey armor. His Kanohi Calix was grey on the bottom part, giving him a sort of five o’clock shadow look.

 

The being’s boredom was interrupted when he heard someone call “Masuko!”

 

Getting up, he put the knife back in its sheath on his thigh and got up. “Yeah?” he asked as he walked out of the tent, he had been summoned by the chief digger, Turmos.

 

“Look,” Turmos began, a slightly concerned expression on his face, “a couple of my guys say they saw something big walking around in the woods near here, probably a Muaka. Think you could go deal with that?”

 

“Yeah, that’d be fine,” Masuko confirmed.

 

“Alright, thanks.”

 

Masuko walked out into the woods. The leaves were translucent in the sunlight, the light bleeding through and making their shadows a florescent green. A small breeze caused the trees to sway back and forth, animating the forest. Birds chirped their routine songs.

 

Masuko suddenly felt a sharp pain in his side. He looked over and saw that something was sticking out of the tree he had just walked past. Bending over to get a closer look, he saw that the strange object was shiny and disk-shaped. It was dirty, clouding out the shine and gold color. Strangely enough, it seemed to have been launched into the tree with enough force to bury itself into the trunk, and the area around the gash was scorched.

 

Masuko wrenched the object out of the plant with great effort. Wiping off the sides, Masuko saw that it was a coin. On one side of the coin was engraved a normal Kanohi Hau. On the other side, another Kanohi Hau was engraved, but it was scratched up and cracked. It was a really creepy image, too. The mask didn’t look old or worn, rather violently pounded and hammered.

 

Masuko, fascinated by the strange object examined it with morbid interest. After a while, he started to feel faint, like he was fading away. He entered a strange trance as he stared into the eyes of the battered mask. He started to get tunnel vision. It was like an uncontrollable sleep was coming over him. Soon the coin was the only thing in focus, and everything else was blurry beyond recognition.

 

A deafening roar interrupted the phenomenon. Masuko shoved the coin into his throwing knife sheath and unstrapped his blade from his back. He scanned the scene, waiting for something to jump out. Before he could react, though, whatever made the roar jumped from behind, knocking him to the ground before landing in front of him. It was a Muaka, bearing its teeth aggressively.

 

Masuko suddenly pulled out the coin. He didn’t know why, he just did. To his horror, a voice sounded in his mind. Look at me, it said. He stared into the damaged mask’s eyes, unable to control himself. He felt the same fading feeling as he did before, and this time it was stronger, faster. The Muaka came over to him, probably to eat him, then suddenly his vision went black. The scene spontaneously changed in the blink of an eye. Now Masuko was lying on the ground, staring up at a stormy sky. It was raining, and thunder rolled loudly. He looked at his hands and jolted in surprise. They were covered in blood!

 

It didn’t take Masuko long to realize the blood was not his. He looked to the side and saw the rotting carcass of the Muaka lying beside him. He got up and picked up his sword. Looking down, he saw the coin in the mud. He picked it up and looked at it again, but something was wrong. There were still two masks on it—one normal and one beat up—but now the masks took on a different look… his mask.


Edited by ToaOfAwesome, Apr 10 2013 - 08:57 PM.

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#2 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Feb 23 2013 - 11:40 PM

Chapter 1

 

Present day…

 

Masuko tugged at the ropes he was tied in. He strained his eyes in the dim light to try and make out his surroundings, but to no avail. The last thing he remembered was patrolling an Order camp on Spherus Magna, and here he was now, his head throbbing painfully.

 

A slim silhouette walked into view. “Who are you?” Masuko asked.

 

The figure bent over to look at him. In the dim light Masuko could barely make out a female face with maroon eyes. “I’d like to ask you the same question,” the figure said calmly.

 

“Okay,” Masuko replied, “my name is Skeety. I have a pet Burnak pup that eats Matoran, and I also sell Nui-Jaga burgers as a part-time job.” Masuko’s outrageous sarcasm successfully conveyed his unwillingness to identify himself.

 

“Fine,” said the silhouette, “I’ll go first.” With a strangely mechanical sound she reached out pushed something on the wall. There was a sound of stone grinding, and with that a square opening formed in the ceiling, letting in moonlight. The moonlight illuminated the place, revealing what Masuko’s captor looked like, and, more importantly, that his weapons were leaning against the wall about ten feet away. “I am Lariska, a Dark Hunter. I have captured you because you have something… something I want.”

 

“And what—may I ask,” Masuko asked, “would that be?”

 

“A coin…” Lariska said flatly.

 

Masuko thought for a second, then realized what she was talking about. Trying his best to sound oblivious to the strange artifact, Masuko said sarcastically, “Really? A coin? How ambitious. Did The Shadowed One send you on some secret mission to buy his groceries, or are you just broke?”

 

“You know very well what I am talking about, fool!” snapped Lariska, drawing a wickedly sharp knife, “And I will find it, even if I have to kill you!”

 

Masuko fingered at the sheath strapped to his thigh. He still had the coin there, but he’d forgotten about it for so long. He assumed that Lariska must not have checked him for weapons other than the obvious, or she would have found the coin. Masuko was right, there was his knife—but he couldn’t just start sawing at his ropes right out in the open—he had to have a plan.

 

“Where is it?” Lariska repeated.

 

“Look, if you want a coin,” Masuko tried to distract Lariska, “go rob a bank like a good bad guy.” With that, he activated his Kanohi Calix and rolled through Lariska’s feet, tripping her. In the trip, Lariska hit her head on a rock and dropped her knife, which Masuko grabbed in his mouth. Masuko was only trying to disarm Lariska, so little did he expect it when the knife’s blade, having rubbed against the rope, started to make the rope corrode until a large part of the rope was burned away. Careful not to touch the knife’s blade, Masuko let the ropes unravel, then shot up. He vaulted over to his weapons, picked up his swords, and fired a beam of energy from each one, hitting a surprised Lariska in the back just as she was getting up.

 

With his opponent collapsed on the floor in pain, Masuko showed no mercy. He wasn’t usually brutal, but he knew a powerful enemy when he saw one… and he also knew an opportunity when he saw one. He kicked Lariska in the side as she was struggling to get up, making her go back down again. Her back smoked from the previous shots. Altogether, Lariska was in a lot of pain, but she said nothing, only letting a slight grimace escape. She kept trying to get up, a certainly futile attempt. To spare his opponent the pain, Masuko put his foot on her back so she couldn’t get up.

 

“Now it’s my turn to ask the questions,” Masuko said, “For starters, why do you want the coin?”

 

“You have no idea what it can do…” Lariska winced angrily, “It will destroy you… you’re just another Rahi stool who will get eaten up by… it!” Masuko responded to the mild insult by pressing his foot down harder.

 

“What do you mean ‘it’?”

 

You! You’re it! And when it kills you, it’ll be whoever the next person to find it is!”

 

“What does that mean?” Masuko demanded frustrated.

 

“Stop! It’s coming! You’re making it come!” Lariska screamed.

 

“Who? Who’s coming?”

 

Suddenly the scene changed like it had twenty years before, and this time Masuko was kneeling on Lariska’s back, his throwing knife in hand. On the floor nearby was her left arm.

 

“You see what you’ve done?” Lariska whispered, “You let him out…” Lariska suddenly went limp. Masuko frantically got off and turned Lariska over. She was extremely scratched up, much more than she was before the weird change. Her eyes were closed, but she was breathing, just unconscious. Masuko looked at the severed appendage on the floor, and was relieved to see that it was completely mechanical. Masuko’s thoughts raced about what he was going to do about this. He looked over at Lariska, and an idea formed in his mind.

 

The next morning, Lariska woke up scuffed up and in pain, but surprisingly not dead. She tried to sit up, but decided not to because of the pain. Instead she propped herself up against the wall and waited for her vision to come into focus. When it did, she saw Masuko standing in the cave entrance looking at something outside. She quickly reached for her other knife and threw it at the emerald armored being. Masuko caught it casually by the handle without looking back. Stupid mask, Lariska thought.

 

“You know, Dark Hunter,” Masuko said without turning around, “I need to know what you know about that coin, after all… you say it’s going to kill me.” Masuko turned around and walked towards her, “So, yeah, I’m not much of a bargaining person, but I have one for you anyway.” He crouched down to Lariska’s level “You help me with this thing, and you don’t die.”

 

“That’s a stupid thing to say,” Lariska challenged, “I’m trained in killing. Someone as cocky as you is just waiting to die.”

 

“Who said I’m being cocky?” Masuko remarked smugly, “I’m trained in killing too… only I’m trained to do it without pay.” Masuko got back up and walked off to the mouth of the cave to look at whatever it was he was looking at before. “Think about it…” he said as he was walking away, “There’s not much else to do.”


Edited by ToaOfAwesome, Mar 16 2013 - 01:36 PM.

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#3 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Mar 31 2013 - 03:35 PM

Chapter 2

 

Masuko looked out at the sky. He still didn’t know where this Lariska person had taken him. Great, he thought, just one more thing to add to my list of things I need from her. He sighed aloud, and then walked into the cave.

 

“Look,” he said, “I know you’re kind of giving me some sort of mortal-enemy silent treatment, but for truth, as much as you don’t need me, I do need you… so yeah…”

 

“Your argument is astounding,” Lariska said flatly.

 

“Look, putting aside that sarcasm is kinda supposed to be my thing, I really need you to talk, so for starters, where have you brought me?”

 

“We’re on Metru Nui,” Lariska replied.

 

There was a pause, then Masuko said, almost laughing, “Yeah, right. Why would we be there?”

 

“Because there’s nobody else here to save you… well… me now.”

 

“But why would you go back into here?”

 

            Meanwhile on Odina, Masuko’s question was being answered, for, at the heart of the Dark Hunter fortress on Odina, The Shadowed One sat in his throne. His Dark Hunters were all assigned to repairing the fortress, so it was quite empty there. Why was he still at Odina? It was simple; not long after the Mata Nui Robot was disabled by the moon Bota Magna crashing into it’s head, the more ambitious beings, such as the Barraki or the Skakdi, realized that, with the Matoran Universe deserted, there was an entire universe in there, one that many had tried for so long to conquer, that was not even occupied.

 

            The Shadowed One anticipated that many would try to seize this almost unreal opportunity at once. In the end, there would be a war and almost everybody participating would be taken by surprise. But the Shadowed One knew better. He had already got to work occupying the Dark Hunter homeland – preparing it - but he was sure that some ignorant warlord would eventually find this “undiscovered” island expecting only to have to face some rough terrain and bad weather. Whoever that ignorant warlord is, they will be very, very unfortunate, The Shadowed One thought.

 

            His malevolent thoughts were interrupted by a large being clad head to toe in blood-red armor. Even the being’s eyes and weaponry were red. His name was Firedracax. He was a Dark Hunter dedicated to killing Visorak, for it was the Visorak that had destroyed his village when he was a Matoran, and chased him and his friends into a pool of energized protodermis. He had been the only survivor. He had entered the lake a panicked Matoran and came out a brutal and fierce monster with a mortal hatred for Visorak.

 

            “What is it?” sighed The Shadowed One, bored, but also rather annoyed by the interruption.

 

            “My Lord,” Firedracax grunted, “We’ve had trouble locating and gathering some of the other Dark Hunters, and I’m afraid the one we call Mimic is amongst those missing.”

 

            “This is truly a loss, yes. He had quite a unique and useful power,” the Shadowed One admitted, “but I fail to see just how this is relevant.”

 

            “One of the prisoners that escaped while we were gone was… her,” Firedracax reported cautiously.

 

            “Please tell me that by her you don’t mean…” The Shadowed One trailed off.

 

            “Yes my lord, I am afraid that mimic’s companion, our leverage to keep him a Dark Hunter, has escaped.”

 

            For the first time in eons, The Shadowed one gave a hint of fear. “If he finds out she has been our prisoner this whole time, he will turn on us. With his…”special”…ability, he might actually be a threat to us.”

 

            “I agree,” replied Firedracax, “he will be a force to be reckoned with, and with things the way they are, even with our new weapon there is a chance that he could defeat us.”

 

            “Yes, there certainly is,” agreed the Shadowed One, “Chances are that he will attack when we least expect it, too. But then again, he’ll only do it if he finds out,” The Shadowed One’s face twisted into a wicked smile. “Firedracax, tell Sentrakh I want two search parties sent out; one to find Mimic, the other to find his long-lost companion.” Firedracax turned to leave, but then stopped to ask The Shadowed One a question.

 

            “My Lord, ” Firedracax began “what should the search party to find Mimic’s companion do with her when they find her?” The Shadowed One’s evil smile grew wider.

 

            “Kill her…”


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#4 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Apr 07 2013 - 06:55 PM

Chapter 3

 

            “So what do you really plan to do?” Lariska asked.

 

            “Well,” Masuko said, thinking, “First I’m going to get you out of here, then once you help me find a way to get rid of this whole coin thing. After that…” Masuko paused and thought for a second. “I don’t really know. I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it. First things first, how do we get out of here?”

 

            “I’ll take you there,” Lariska said reluctantly, “but you need to go where I say. After the… incident… I would rather not have to walk.” Masuko nodded understandingly.

 

            “How are we going to get you around, then?” Masuko asked.

 

            “I don’t know, I guess I’ll try to walk, but keep me from falling,” Lariska said.

 

            “Um… okay,” Masuko replied, uncertainty riddling his tone. He tried to help Lariska to her feet, but she wouldn’t let him. She limped at first, and Masuko was afraid she would fall a couple times, but eventually Lariska started to walk more confidently, although still showing signs of pain.

 

            “Come on,” she said impatiently, beckoning for Masuko to follow.

 

            As they walked through the dark smoggy ruins that once were Metru Nui, the all-powerful brain of the Great Spirit Mata Nui, Masuko gazed at the coliseum. Bota Magna had hit almost the exact center of the giant head, and therefore Metru Nui. The whole island sloped ever so slightly and met at the coliseum, now a massive and heavily disrupted crater.

 

            “Nice shot, Mata Nui,” Masuko mumbled under his breath.

 

            As the two drew nearer towards the upturned wreckage, Lariska’s eyes widened. “No!” she said “No no no!”

 

            “What is it?” Masuko asked.

 

            “The defenses!” Lariska said, “I stationed defenses here so no one would follow me, and I planned to use them to kill you when we got here.”

 

            “You what?” Masuko exclaimed.

 

            “They’re the least of our concern now. See that smoke?” Lariska tried to point with her left arm before realizing it was gone. Frustrated and slightly indignant, she pointed again with her right hand. “The defenses have been destroyed. Somebody is in here and they know we’re here.”

 

            “Who?” Masuko asked.

 

            “I don’t know, but we can’t go that way, they’re probably waiting.”

 

            “Then how will we get out?”

 

            “My backup exit was only in case of emergencies. It’s in the left foot.”

 

            “All the way there?”

 

            “It’s either that or face whoever just killed three Dark Hunters and an array of high tech defenses.”

 

            “Fine!” The two of them went in the opposite direction until they came across an abandoned vehicle of some sorts. It was a hovering speeder-like vehicle that looked as though it could comfortably hold the two of them on it. Masuko got on, then waited until Lariska did the same.

 

            “Buckle up…” Masuko activated the speeder, expecting it not to work, but instead it did quite the opposite. It surged forward with surprising speed, almost throwing Lariska off had she not instinctively held on with her only remaining arm.

 

            The ride was not as long as expected, and the speeder soon rocketed to Le-Metru.

 

            “What are we doing here instead of going to Ga-Metru where the boats are?” Lariska asked, getting off the speeder.

 

            “Getting an airship; they’re faster,” Masuko replied.

 

            “Are you sure there are any working ones left?” Lariska inquired.

 

            “No,” Masuko said, “That’s why I’m checking.” As they looked around, Masuko saw how empty the Matoran Universe looked. The skydomes, now deactivated, looked grey and misty. The light was dim, too. Everything seemed less like a world and more like a machine. It looked so… deserted.

 

            Of course, looks can be deceiving, for on Daxia, was a fortress. It had stood there for centuries, and was only recently being reoccupied. Yes, this fortress was the mighty building that once housed the Order of Mata Nui. And now, it was going to do so again.

 

            Suddenly the grey and dull skies flickered to life, and the skydome was reactivated. Order Members cheered at the familiar sight of the sun, whether it be synthetic or not. Helryx smiled contentedly at the sound and looked around at the sight. She had expected this place to look exactly the way it had when she left it, and for the most part it was, but something was different. There were no birds chirping in the skies or lizards scurrying across the sands.

 

            “Ma’am,” Krakua addressed to the ancient Toa of water, “Are you sure reactivating the skydome was such a great idea? I mean, I just don’t see how it was that necessary, and it causes a detectable power surge.”

 

            “Krakua, my friend,” Helryx said, “the best way to keep an army ready for battle, is to keep them happy and to make them feel at home. Do you think seeing a grey sky every day and every night is something that could possibly help morale?”

 

            “No, ma’am,” Krakua said.

 

            “Good, I’m glad you understand. You see, I think we may need all the morale we can get.”

 

            “Why is that?”

 

            “I found this when our ships landed here.” Helryx held out a sword for Krakua to look at.

 

            “So? Maybe an Order Member dropped it on our way out,” Krakua suggested.

 

            “That’s what I thought too, but then I used my Mask on it…”

 

            “And?”

 

            “They’re here… the Dark Hunters are here…”


Edited by ToaOfAwesome, Apr 08 2013 - 02:37 PM.

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#5 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Apr 14 2013 - 10:12 PM

Chapter 4

 

            Masuko felt very lucky. He had found a fully functional Le-Metru airship stocked conveniently with about a day’s worth of supplies. It must not have been touched since before the Metru Nui Matoran left for Mata Nui, because the ship was filled with deactivated Vahki.

 

            Masuko, being relatively skilled with machinery, had crafted a basic prosthetic arm for his companion out of various parts of the once-feared robotic enforcers. Lariska had kindly expressed her gratitude by not using it to punch him, a flattering compliment towards an inventor in this bizarre case.

 

            “Our first stop should be at the Northern Continent, that’s the farthest we can go before running out of supplies, but I’m pretty sure even some of the canned foods are past their prime, so it would be best if we got there as quickly as possible,” Lariska said. Masuko, sitting at a control console, gave a quick glance towards some unfinished can of something by another computer booth. There was mold spilling out of the top, and it was moist and orange. Masuko, disgusted by the sight, nodded in agreement.

 

            “While we’re there we might as well do a little Spring cleaning, this place smells like rot and I’m pretty sure whatever’s giving the walls that green hue isn’t paint,” Masuko said. With that, the two continued flying off towards the Northern Continent that lay ahead. From what Masuko could tell, it was probably almost dark in the outside world, so it would be best if they got to sleep somewhere other then the floor of this moldy and aging vehicle.

 

            Meanwhile, on Spherus Magna, a being named Kethoris walked the beaches of this strange new world. She was a tall being, one adapted to survive in extreme places. Unfortunately for everybody on her island but her and one other, they just weren’t adapted enough. She still clearly remembered the day when her island was destroyed and everybody killed. She had had to survive on the ruins of the once glorious island with only the company of another living being to keep her from going insane. She and the other survivor, Nalthor, had become close friends, working together to survive alone on a deserted island that had once been a beautiful city.

 

            Then they came. The Dark Hunters attacked us. I was strong, and I fought them with all my strength, but they soon tired me out. They had me trapped. They wanted to kill me. I can remember the gleaming of the one dark hunter’s blade as he was getting ready to make the final blow. Then I also remember the look in his eyes as he was stabbed from behind by Nalthor. The other Dark Hunters tried to catch him, but every move they made, Nalthor copied it. No… not copy…mimic.

 

            Kethoris sat on a rock and sobbed. Every single day of each of the many years that she had been imprisoned she had grieved for the only friend she had left. Nalthor was out committing unthinkable atrocities and using his powers for incredible evil just to find her again. The day after the Dark Hunters had attacked their island they had taken her while he was gone. Days later they had offered to “search” for her in return for his services.

 

            “Mimic,” she said to herself. Her grief soon turned to anger as she remembered how The Shadowed One had smiled and said sarcastically, “I hope you have a nice stay here, after all, your friend would hate it if anything were to happen to you.”

 

            Behind her, she heard footsteps. She didn’t look back. She was pretty sure whose they were. “Stay where you are, prisoner,” came a deep voice, “get up and turn around slowly.” Kethoris did so. The Dark Hunter was about the size of a Toa, and was in black armor. He wore a black Kanohi Hau that matched his armor. His ebon body contrasted vibrantly with his blood red eyes.

 

            “Now,” continued the Dark Hunter, holding a weapon aimed at her, “I want you to slowly walk over here and--” He never got to finish his sentence. Kethoris’s rage fueled her as she lunged forward and wrenched the weapon out of the Dark Hunter’s hands. Before anybody could react, she ducked behind a boulder. The Dark Hunters ran to get her. When the first one to get there arrived, Kethoris rolled out from behind the rock and tripped him, making him fall and hit his head on the rock with a painful crunch. She got up and started firing blasts of red energy from the weapon. It worked against all the Dark Hunters except the one she had snatched it from, who seemed to be immune. The Dark Hunter laughed and advanced forward, drawing a wicked dagger with a red blade. Kethoris threw the weapon at him, and he dropped his blade. She got it and then stabbed him in the back. Crackling with red electricity, the Dark Hunter fell to the ground.

 

            As she was dragging the last dark hunter as far away as possible in case they weren’t really dead, she noticed something stirring in the bushes. She dropped the body of the hopefully dead Dark Hunter and grabbed the thing in the bushes by the neck. It was a blue Matoran. The Matoran tried to scream, but Kethoris covered her mouth. The poor thing looked horrified. When Kethoris took her hand off the Matoran’s mouth, she said, “It’s okay, I promise not to hurt you. Please follow me, it isn’t safe here.” Reluctantly, the small blue Matoran followed Kethoris to another part of the beach.

 

            “What is your name?” asked Kethoris when they got to a part of the beach that was rockier and more protected.

 

            “My name is Naila,” said the Matoran, “I am an Av-Matoran.”

 

            “What brings you to such a desolate area?” Kethoris asked, confused.

 

            “I was lost…really lost,” Naila replied.

 

            “I see,” said Kethoris.

 

            “Who are you?” asked Naila.

 

            “I am Kethoris,” she replied.

 

            “Who were those?” Naila inquired naïvely.

 

            “You don’t want to know,” said Kethoris.

 

            “Well,” the small Matoran started, “I hope that was the last of them.” It was then that Kethoris realized that, in this time of loneliness and grief, she had somehow managed to find a friend.


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#6 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Apr 27 2013 - 12:08 AM

            Chapter 5

 

            It had been about thirty minutes since Masuko and Lariska landed the airship on the Northern Continent. Thirty minutes of walking through unremarkable and mediocre Matoran villages and forests. It wasn’t boring, though… more like eerie. There was no sound whatsoever. From the howling of the wind and roar of the tides to the chatter of traders and songs of birds, this place was completely silent. And still—Mata Nui was it still. There was literally no motion except for Masuko and Lariska.

 

            After this long period of nothingness, Masuko spoke up. “Before we find a place to camp out, you need to tell me about the coin. It was part of the deal.”

 

            “Deals can be broken,” Lariska said grimly.

 

            “Yeah well this one won’t be,” Masuko said.

 

            Lariska was silent for a few indignant seconds, then finally said, “Okay… it started a while ago… a bit before you yourself found the coin…” She reached into a pocket on her belt that held her knives. In it was a small book-shaped object about the size of an index card. She opened it up, revealing writings on the inside. “This is the mission log of a Dark Hunter named Chaser,” Lariska said, “Read it, you’ll find all the answers I know so far in here.” Masuko took the book and flipped it open curiously. Inside was a sort of journal.

 

            “Who wrote this?” Masuko asked.

 

            “The recruit… then later Chaser,” Lariska replied.

 

            Masuko started to read, and soon became enthralled.

 

Day 1

            If you are reading this text, then you are in danger. You must be in some way affiliated with an artifact of sorts… a coin. It is dangerous, and if you or someone you know has this coin they are not only endangered, but also are in fact the threat themself. May Mata Nui have mercy on the soul of whoever owns this coin…

 

            I don’t fully understand this coin yet, but I am sure it will be the death of me. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but it will happen someday, whether it is directly because of it or because of something it has made me do. You see, I found this coin in the middle of the wilderness, and I soon became fascinated with it. After a few days I started missing time. I would be doing some random thing one minute and then suddenly I would be somewhere completely different. Just yesterday I walked out the door and after I blinked I was in the middle of the market.

 

            I have also been finding numerous dead objects in my home. Not people… yet… but small animals and insects, all disfigured terribly. I have tried to rid myself of the coin, but it keeps somehow making its way back into my possession. Hopefully further entries will explain to you this phenomena which I don’t yet understand.

 

            Masuko read on, and eventually he got to day sixteen.

 

Day 16

            It’s gotten worse and worse. I am afraid I might go insane if this keeps happening. People have started accusing me of having started major altercations and assaults. I am missing time more and more and for longer periods. I still don’t know what’s going on, and I am truly afraid of what the future may bring.

 

            When Masuko got to day 24, he noted that the tone had changed dramatically. Even the handwriting was different—more rushed… but as he read it, he realized the story had taken a dark turn.

 

Day 24

         Mata Nui save me! It’s only gotten worse and worse! I’m afraid to leave my home lest I hurt somebody. I have been charged with many crimes; even now I suspect local authorities have me under surveillance. I’m probably dead by the time you’re reading this. I’m afraid that any minute now I may black out again and k—

 

         I did it. I killed someone. He’s dead. They’re coming for me now.

 

After day 24 it seemed that this mysterious being no longer kept the date.

 

Hahaha! All gone! They’re all gone now! I’m the last man alive on this island. May the Great Beings bless my blissful soul I have never felt so happy. All my cares are gone. I can do anything; I have the entire island to my coin and myself. Oh my beautiful coin! Oh how I love it! It has helped me so much, it does the dirty work and I thrive on the results. I know what you’re thinking; “Oh it’s not fair to the poor coin! It has to do all that and you’re being lazy!” I thought that too, so I asked the coin. I told him I was being selfish and mean, and that maybe we should switch jobs for a while. But he told me that we didn’t need to switch jobs and that I was being a very generous person. He said he liked doing the dirty work and that it makes him happy. It makes me happy to. Now my coin and me can be happy forever without any other living soul to bother us! Hooray!

 

I haven’t written in you for a while Mr. Book. I’m dreadfully sorry for dropping you in the woods a couple months ago. It wasn’t personal, just an accident. One can only carry so many treasures, and I didn’t want to drop any one of my dead critters on the road, I had only named them the day before. But now I’ve found you. How are you? Oh really? That’s great! Here, have a cup of  (Masuko couldn’t read that part because it was covered with a suspiciously colored stain.) Did you like it? Why thank you! I made it myself. I learned it from my brother Kallus. Do you know where he is now? Guess where. Go on… guess. Nope! I’ll tell you. He’s off to Artahka! You see, he got his arm cut off, so he’s going there to get it put back on. Isn’t that wonderful! I hope he brings back gifts! And Matoran! I love those wonderful little people, I just want to skewer them on a shishkabob and eat them right there uncooked!

 

Mr. Book! There are strange people following me. Coin got one of them, but there are still three more. He says he’ll get another one tomorrow, and if they still follow me he’ll get the rest. I love coin, he’s so helpful! Don’t you think so? Good, I’m glad you see how great he is, it would be a shame not to notice just how kind he is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1

      This is Chaser. I am a Dark Hunter. I was sent on a mission leading three others to go and find a strange reportedly schizophrenic being and attempt to recruit him. At the cost of two of my three companion’s lives, we finally sedated him. We were forced to kill him, lest he do the same to Lariska and me. The Shadowed one seemed to be aware of his insanity and therefore pardoned our failure.

 

      Among the being’s possessions was a coin. It was embossed with a picture of his mask on one side, and on the other side was the same picture only the mask was beaten and worn. For reasons I still do not understand, I was inexplicably drawn to take it for myself. When I did so, I promptly experienced the same “missing time” as described by him earlier in this book. After that, the mask on the coin was a Kanohi Hau… my mask is a Kanohi Hau.

 

            Things started to change for chaser too around the sixteenth day. However he was only notably getting crazy on the nineteenth day.

 

Day 19

     I keep killing people during training. The other Dark Hunters don’t care, it happens all the time in training at my level, but I see it differently. I fear becoming completely insane and out of control like my predecessor. I tried passing it on to somebody else, but it seems to make its way back into my possession like it did with the one before me!

 

            Masuko kept looking and soon he got to day 31.

 

Day 31

I’m barely holding it together. It’s taken all my strength and I know I will soon snap! I have obtained knowledge of what the coin does - what it was meant for - in my nightmares, but nothing on how to control it. I am making my way to an isolated island to inevitably let go of my grip forever. First, though, I will finish the purpose of this book that the being before me had started it for. This coin was originally developed as a weapon. I don’t know who made it or when, but it doesn’t take an expert to know it doesn’t work. What the coin does is it latches itself to a host and creates a duplicate of them. It stores the duplicate of them in the form of data inside of itself. When a host dies, the data dissipates, and it must move on to a new host. This duplicate of the host is exactly the same except that it has a maddening lust for bloodshed. The coin replaces the duplicate with the host when deemed necessary, then switches them back around when done. The only problem is that it has a mind of it’s own and it’s uncontrollable. The coin has a side effect, too. Constant use of it causes insanity and desensitizes you to everything. Wait I’m there now. I have decided to plant charges on the rocks around me in a clearing and blow them up. I didn’t want to do this, but I can’t let anyone else get hurt…

 

            The rest of the book was blank, and that was when it all came together. The blast must have launched the coin into a tree and that’s where Masuko found it. “Wait!” Masuko said suddenly, “How come my coin doesn’t keep activating like it did with them.”

 

            “That’s what I want to find out,” Lariska said, “Have you had any injuries lately?”

 

            Masuko thought hard, then realized what it must be. “A concussion! A bit after I got the coin I hit my head on a rock during a battle. My skull just fully healed a bit ago. Maybe it has put pressure or something on some part of my brain up until now that keeps the coin from sensing when I’m in distress! Maybe there’s still some pressure there so it’s harder for me to change.”

 

            “Of course,” Lariska said, “from the way Chaser worded it I always thought that the coin itself scanned the environment, but maybe it’s triggered by emotion.”

 

            Without warning, an explosion blasted behind them. Masuko cursed as he realized it had probably surprised him enough to trigger the coin. When the orange glow cleared, Lariska got up and looked at her fallen companion.

 

            “Masuko?” she asked, fearing both the coin and whoever had caused the explosion, “is that you?”

 

            “No.” It was Masuko’s voice. As smoke cleared Lariska could see Masuko’s face. But it wasn't really him; it was somebody else... it was his duplicate. “Call me… Masquerade….”


Edited by ToaOfAwesome, Apr 27 2013 - 02:47 PM.

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#7 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted May 12 2013 - 05:00 PM

            Chapter 6

 

            Lariska drew her knives. She knew that with both Masquerade and whoever was after them fighting her at the same time, not to mention her injuries and makeshift prosthetic, the odds were grim and obvious. She stared behind Masquerade and looked into the fire, from which emerged a figure covered in wickedly sharp spikes that crackled with electricity.

 

            More figures similar to the first emerged from the flames. It was then that Lariska realized that they weren’t being chased by a single being, but instead a small army. Masquerade turned around and stared menacingly into the blue reptilian eyes of one of Ehlek’s officers.

 

            “It appears we have found you,” the officer said, “We had hoped we were the first to arrive, but we must be wrong. I’d kill the both of you where you stand, but I first must find out who you are and who is here.”

 

            Lariska feared for her enemy, afraid that this so-called Masquerade would do something terrible to these new hostiles, things that even an almost completely desensitized Dark Hunter like herself wouldn’t dare imagine. She had seen what these duplicates are capable of, and she was definitely hoping that she wouldn’t have to again.

 

            As these dark thoughts passed Lariska’s head, darker ones, if any were going through the head of Masquerade.

 

            “Greetings, gentlemen,” Masquerade said happily, “my name is Masuko. Fret not, I mean no harm.”

 

            “Don’t listen to him!” Lariska said “He’s not who he says he is! You need to run. Run as fast as you can, or you’ll suffer a fate worse than death.”

 

            Masquerade chuckled at the warning, as though dismissing the ridiculous tall tales of a young child who didn’t know any better. “Don’t mind that outrageousness, I assure you she means nothing of it.”

 

            “I’m not here to get to know you,” the officer said, “Tell me who you are!”

 

            “Oh, what a shame. I was looking forward to getting acquainted with all of you,” Masquerade said.

 

            “Shut up and answer him or that head of yours will be down on the ground next to your feet!” the officer demanded impatiently.

 

            “Please, let’s be civilized here,” Masquerade said calmly, “I would dread having to stoop to killing. Actually, I really don’t, but you will if I do, which I probably will.”

 

            “You have three seconds to cooperate,” the officer yelled, “One… two…”

 

            “Stooping it is then,” Masquerade said, his orange eyes narrowing. Lariska predicted that the coming massacre would start before weapons could even be drawn.


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#8 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Jun 10 2013 - 11:40 PM

            Chapter 7

 

            Lariska awoke amongst some sort of orange light. At first she assumed they were flames, but as she looked around she realized that she was within some sort of glowing orange dome that was only about ten feet wide. Lariska’s painful injuries throbbed as she willed her muscles to make her stand up.

 

            As she looked around, Lariska noted that there were no outside sounds, and that aside from her own raspy breathing and the dull growling ambience of the dome, it was completely silent. Lariska turned around and jumped when she saw Masuko standing inside with her.

 

            “Masuko?” she said cautiously, “That is you, right?”

 

            “Lariska,” Masuko said, “you have to save me.”

 

            “From what?” asked Lariska, “the coin?”

 

            “No,” Masuko said, “when the last rib falls, I will try to kill myself. You cannot let me do that.”

 

            “What?” Lariska inquired, confused.

 

            “I can’t explain. All I can say is what you tell me I said,” Masuko said, as though regurgitating something he had already said.

 

            “I don’t understand,” Lariska said, “How is this relevant?”

 

            Masuko ignored her statement and said, “When I try to kill myself, you must stop me, then destroy the coin.”

 

            “But--” Lariska started to say.

 

            “No matter what I say when you try—no matter what you think may happen—you must destroy the coin, you must.” As he said this, Masuko started to fade away.

 

            “Wait, you have to explain! Tell me what you mean?”

 

            “And by the way,” Masuko said, barely visible now, “duck.”

 

            Lariska ducked, and just then the dome dissipated and a blade flew above her back, right where her neck would have been. There was a blood-curdling scream, then a thud. From the darkness emerged Masuko, staring mortified at his bloody hands as he realized what he’d done.

 

            “Lariska,” Masuko whimpered, “how many were there? How many did I just kill? How many?”


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#9 Offline ToaOfAwesome

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Posted Jul 25 2013 - 03:50 PM

Chapter 8

 

            As Kethoris and her Matoran companion made their way through the dense tropical vegetation, she asked Naila a question she had asked her before. “What were you doing out there anyway?”

 

            “What do you mean?” asked Naila.

 

            “On the beach—what were you doing when I spotted you on the beach?” Kethoris specified.

 

            “Oh…” Naila said, her expression darkening, “nothing... I was just… taking a walk I guess.” Kethoris knew she was lying—if Naila had been telling the truth then she would have said the same thing she said last time—but she decided not to dwell on it.

 

            Apparently sensing that Kethoris knew she was lying, Naila sighed and told the truth. “I was… hiding.”

 

            “From what?” Kethoris asked.

 

            “Not what,” Naila said, “who. I am an Av-Matoran. Although there is an Av-Matoran city, there are also several smaller villages the rest of us live in. The villages aren’t very well protected, and Dark Hunters have been coming in and attacking. They loot houses and harm citizens right out in the open. One day I tried to escape from the village and they chased me down.”

 

            “But the Dark Hunters I fought were after me, not you. Are you saying there could be even more out there?”

 

            Naila said nothing. She simply nodded, a grim expression upon her face.


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