It is among the stars and within the stars.
It has no name, no consciousness, no emotion. It sleeps in every atom, binds every molecule of the universe it inhabits. From it come flame, air, sea, light and shadow and soul.
All living things feel its presence, and blind themselves to it. Those who make that murmur solid within their mind fear it, for they know that once seen it does not allow its viewer to ever forget it.
It does these things with no malice.
It only waits.
On a battlefield, apocalypse beckons.
A world that was meant to provide peace and plenty is on the verge of tearing itself apart, of repeating the same mistakes that shattered it long ago. Two armies clash; one is led by a being that fancied himself a god, who lit the spark of consciousness in those he and his cohorts created. One is led by a glimmer of light, who has faced destiny many times before and is beginning to understand that this is his destiny’s end.
Elemental energy sears the air and slices through the screams of soldiers. Earth and stone sing and slide, lightning and magnetism dance in an instant. This moment is charged.
Six elements gather together, driven by desperation and fear. One of them speaks.
“Are you sure?”
One nods in response, her heart heavy.
They know what it is they call. Their legends have told them that their unity will chain it, bend it to their will. Their Kaita have warned them against ever taking this risk. But in this moment, as all they have fought for threatens to tear itself apart, their minds are set.
Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Stone, Ice. Six is all that is needed, for this universe is shaped as such. From six elements all others can be created.
From six elements, it is called.
Silence falls like a thunderclap. A pulse passes through every living creature, a call written in the base of all things.
It cannot be looked at, at first. The air tears, dark light spilling from a fold in space that cannot exist. For an instant the world is in agony; water, down to the tiniest atom, has become solid. Not ice. Simply solid water. The instant lasts an eternity and never happened at all.
It stands there, a perversion of form. It cannot understand what is before it, for it has never had a mind before. Consciousness itself is an insult.
It reaches for the world around it, to return this horrible order to the elements from which it sprouted, and finds itself chained. Six elements, rebelling against the countless others, forcing it into solidity and reality.
It screams, and the heavens split. Those upon the battlefield are overcome with a dread beyond measure; this scream will echo in the minds of all that lived this day for the rest of their days. For the first time, it feels an emotion. Fury. To be defied by its own components, these vile six, is an affront to existence itself. Never before has it been defied. Never before could it have been.
Then make the one who made this possible pay, they reply.
Its gaze falls upon a short, brown thing. A Matoran. A Great Being. A speck of dust that dared to spread the sickness of sapience. It recognizes him from an instant ago, millennia ago, when his people came closer to bringing it into this wretched plane than any others.
He opens his mouth to say something.
Its hand is atop his head. There was no movement; in one moment it was not there, and in the next it was.
No sound escapes him. But slowly, he begins to drift apart. His elements, freed at last from the abuse of form, tear away from each other and return to the world. A moment ago, he fancied himself a conqueror; now, he is less than atoms.
Its hand vanishes back into itself. It feels… satisfaction. And it understands. Physicality is an offense, but with it comes the tools to relieve the universe of that very burden. It finds this appropriate.
It turns, its body duplicating, and spreads its countless arms. It faces every being on this battlefield, all of whom are now seized with a fear that no living creature should ever know. It will start here; it will return this world to the elements that made it.
Words are meaningless to it, and yet it notices all the same. Those six elements suddenly flare back to life, reminding it that it is chained and held, and its fury resurges.
The light stands there, reaching up to the maelstrom above. “Toa Nuva! Please! This is enough!”
Time and space are fragile before a god, and so reality splinters. Countless universes are born, and in each of them this plea fails. The six elements succumb to their nature, and the force they serve reaches out and closes a hand around that light, absorbs it deep into itself in an instant. It scours the stars, one by one, and when its work is done eons later it finally allows itself to dissipate into this pure existence it has created.
But that is the cost of this moment – to birth and burn endless realities, so that one might be saved.
For in this moment, in this universe, the light reaches its comrades. Their minds and souls fight back, their faith in the world they have built outweighing reality itself.
It howls as its form is torn apart. To be summoned – to be chained – to be returned – each of these is an offense more unpardonable than the last. And yet it is unable to stop it.
The six Toa Nuva lie motionless on the ground. It will be some days before their eyes open, and when they do the minds that return to them are not the same. They are no longer the Toa Nuva, plural, but rather the Toa Nuva singular. There are days when Tahu cannot remember if he is Tahu or Kopaka or Akamai, or perhaps none of them at all; there are months where Gali reaches out to her element and finds that she now commands the air, not the seas. They spend the rest of their lives together, for they know that even a brief separation of one means madness for all of them.
The moment becomes warning, story, legend.
It is among the stars, and it cares nothing for all that has transpired. There is no regret, no anger. Endless time from now, all will return to it regardless. From this vantage point, the reordering of reality already has happened. It needs no form to do so; it needs only wait for the nature of things.
Were it ever called again,
It would enjoy finishing its work.
A/N: 'cause why make a Toa Nui a bigger Kaita when it could be an eldritch force instead.
thanks to demi for inspiring some of this