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  1. Ever wondered why certain Mata Nui Matoran switched masks when they appeared in MNOG2, choosing an otherwise uncommon Kanohi? This story offers a possible explanation. Enjoy! SPARES Nuparu was no stranger to fear. Too many times had he found himself at the mercy of wild Rahi or some other creature who threatened to end his life. But no matter how real the danger was, he never let himself be swallowed by panic. As he stared at the broken black Komau on the floor of his hut, however, panic became a very real possibility for him. “I … am so … sorr-.” As he faced the mask’s former owner, his heartlight nearly went out again. Nuhrii was an exposed torso suspended in mid-air, his armour stripped down to his organic insides. He was next in line to receive the rebuild every Matoran was to receive after Naming Day. Despite rebuilding dozens of Matoran already, the sight of one in such a state still made Nuparu jump. Nuhrii’s maskless expression of horror and anger didn’t help. This is what happened: Nuhrii had complained to the engineer of a fault in one of his optical sensors. Nuparu had removed his mask so he could have a closer look, placing the Komau on the ground nearby. As he reached for his tools, however, he accidentally knocked over a piece of a broken down Boxor. This piece landed on the mask, shattering it beyond recognition. Nuparu now had to quickly find a replacement. Still stunned by the sight of Nuhrii, the engineer completely forgot about his unfinished apology to the Ta-Matoran. “Do you, uhm, …” he finally spoke with some difficulty, “… have any requests regarding your new mask?” Nuhrii visibly relaxed as he pondered which mask to choose. “Can I get a Hau?” “I’ll check the pile,” answered Nuparu. He hurried towards the room where he kept the spare Kanohi, jumping over the disassembled parts of inactive Bohrok on the floor. “A black one, if possible!” called the Ta-Matoran from his chamber. “I’ll see what I can find!” called Nuparu back. He began to rummage through the assortment of masks which, he soon found, had massively decreased in size since he last had to pay it a visit. He searched for black Haus but couldn’t find any. Then he tried to search for Haus in other colours, again with no success. It seemed there was only one type of mask left in the pile. Resigned, Nuparu grabbed the first black coloured Kanohi he saw. This’ll have to do, he thought and returned to the chamber to face Nuhrii. “Did you find it?” enquired the Ta-Matoran. Nuparu cleared his throat. “Well …” *** Nuhrii walked noiselessly into the Ta-Koro square, trying not to catch the attention of his fellow tribesmen. Unfortunately for him, everyone seemed to be looking at him. At the Suva, Keahi and some of his comrades were conversing. As Nuhrii came past, their conversation turned into a series of giggles. Keahi decided to speak up. “Going for a swim, are we Nuhrii?” The comment left the group of Ta-Koro guardsmen in hysterics. Nuhrii shot them an angry look and continued on his way. That stupid Onu-Matoran, he thought to himself. Breaking my Komau was one thing. But replacing it with a Kaukau, of all masks, now that is the work of Karzahni! Nuhrii continued to fume as a couple of visiting Po-Matoran hewers passed him. One of them broke free of the group and stopped where Nuhrii was standing, eyeing the Ta-Matoran with curiosity. He too was wearing a Kaukau. “Hey, Kivi!” his compatriots called behind him. “Are you coming or not?” “In a minute!” the Po-Matoran called back. He turned his attention back to Nuhrii. “Let me guess,” Kivi asked, pointing at Nuhrii’s new mask. “It was the only one left?”
  2. Edit: Upon reflection, I find this story somewhat lackluster. Until I decide what to do with it, I will be removing it from my list of stories and adding a STORY UNDER CONSTRUCTION in the topic title. Ever had a friend/coworker who constantly complained about something but you never had the guts to call them out, so you just kind off let them go on and on? Agni knows just that kind of Matoran. I'm back with another little snippet of Matoran life, this time focusing on members of the Ta-Koro Guard. Enjoy! AGNI AND KALAMA Agni and Kalama marched slowly back and forth on one of the fortified walls of Ta-Koro. “It’s so hot in this village,” said Kalama as he passed Agni. “Mm-hm,” mumbled Agni in response. After a few steps, the two Ta-Matoran reached the towers on either side, lifted their weapons, turned around and slowly marched in the other direction. Agni looked straight ahead. “Everything is so red and hot,” added Kalama as he passed Agni. “Mm-hm,” mumbled Agni in response. When the Miru-wielder reached the other side, he eyed the village entrance down below. Then he lifted his weapon, turned around and marched slowly in the other direction. Kalama soon came near. “I wish there was something to do,” moaned the Matatu-wielder as he passed. “There is nothing to do in this village.” Agni was about to suggest Kalama try lava-surfing. Then he remembered his comrade had already dismissed the sport as too dangerous mere minutes ago. Instead, he simply mumbled in response and marched towards the other side. There, he stopped, lifted his weapon, turned around and marched in the other direction. “What do you think I could do, Agni?” asked Kalama as marched towards his comrade. “To pass the time in this village I mean?” Agni paused so he didn’t automatically respond with another mumble. As Kalama came near, he suggested: “Perhaps, comrade, you could take time to ponder the virtue we guards live by.” “Yes, Duty,” said Kalama. “I will ponder the virtue of Duty. Thank you, Agni!” “You’re welcome,” replied Agni flatly. As the Miru-wielder reached the other side of the wall, he once again looked down at the entrance. To his delight, he saw a familiar figure with a black Komau standing at the gate. “Ho, Nuri!” he called. The Komau-wielder looked up. “Have the other guards returned from their mission yet?” “I’m afraid not,” called Nuri back. “There is no word yet from the Captain or the others.” Agni’s shoulders drooped. “I have to go back now,” called Nuri. “You and Kalama will have to extend your shift until they return.” Extend my shift … with that lethargic Husi named Kalama, thought Agni, barely stopping his optical sensors from twitching at the thought. Before he could plead with Nuri to take his place, the Komau-wielder turned back and left. Agni simply sighed and saluted. He lifted his weapon and turned around. As he composed himself Kalama, who had continued marching the entire time Agni was speaking to Nuri, was coming towards him to the other side. Agni straightened his back and marched forward. “I’m very grateful for you, Agni,” said Kalama as he passed. “You are my favourite marching partner.” “Mm-hm,” mumbled Agni in response.
  3. This originally started as me seeing what different kinds of Matoran Builds that I could make. What I ended up with sort of resembled the Matoran in the movies and that is what led me to build the Moto-Sled as well.
  4. Floral Fury Built for the "Plants vs. Horror" collab hosted by Bionilug. I know, it's not so much horror, let's say the real horror comes from the point of view of the Matoran in this specific situation. 13/11/2023
  5. Muli's a Ga-Matoran of Mata Nui, who helps watch over the docks of Ga-Wahi and keep dangerous Rahi from their shores, in-between fishing for sport. She likes to joke that her strength stems from being secretly a Po-Matoran whose copper oxidized to blue in time, but nobody takes it seriously. I always loved the medium blue hue for Kanohi, and I finally got my hands on the Ruru. Pretty good poseability! The one non-legal attachment is the 2L rods used for the elbows, split from a 4L rod. They can be swapped with a 2L axle for accuracy, but I prefer the articulation Bonus instructions here, built using Stud.iomulinew.pdf
  6. I tried to revamp the Mahri Matoran design and give them more articulation. The shoulders are a WIP but I like them. Also, Dekar got shafted in the story and should have become a Toa. Defilak is cool too.
  7. The wise and experienced leader of the Voya Nui Resistance.
  8. Water’s Wish “That was incredible!” the Matoran gasped. Tuyet smiled at the Matoran. “How did you do that, mighty Toa?” “Years of practice, little one,” Tuyet insisted. It was a simple elemental trick for a Toa of Water, but to the powerless Matoran’s eyes, it appeared like a miracle. “Who taught you? I need to know!” asked the Matoran. “If I became a Toa one day, I want to be coached by the same one that coached the great Toa Tuyet!” Tuyet frowned, slightly agitated by the Matoran’s pestering. She had hoped the Matoran would move on with her day, but she persisted to hang around. As much as she wanted, this Matoran was annoying at best. Tuyet knew a little about fate— enough to sense that this Matoran was not destined to be a Toa. A thought popped into her head. The Toa of Water smiled. “The Great Spirit, in all his wisdom, taught me,” Tuyet lied. “because of something my Turaga taught me when I was a Matoran like yourself.” “What was it?” the Matoran cried, excitement leaping from her voice. “I must know!” The impatience of the Matoran was starting to wear on Tuyet. She did her best not to snap. “It was when the twin moons of the Great Spirit were full, and his gaze was upon my island,” Tuyet began. A wolfish smile grew upon her mask as she ‘recounted’ the tale. “I went to the water in between the riptides on the beach. The beams of the moon were shining down on the water. I made my way into the ocean, and scooped it up in my hands.” “Scoop up the ocean water?” the Matoran asked, confused. “Why would you do that? Was it blessed? Tuyet held up a hand for the Matoran to be quiet. “My Turaga had told me if I scooped water and held the moon, I would have caught the sight of the Great Spirit,” she explained. “If either of the moons had stayed in the water in my hand, I would have caught the Great Spirit’s eye. He would see that I was a skilled enough Matoran to become a Toa.” “…did you?” “I stand before you as a Toa, little one,” Tuyet snipped. “Of course it did!” “My apologies, Toa,” the Matoran bowed her head. “If I may, I have one question.” “What is it?” she asked. “How did this catch the sight of the Great Spirit Mata Nui?” “It is said that the cupping of the moon gives you a month of good luck, little one,” Tuyet explained. “And in that month, the Great Spirit looked down from the stars and showed me wisdom that to this day I cannot describe. With that wisdom I was able to figure out where to find my Toa stone.” The two were silent for a moment as the Matoran reveled in the ‘magic’ of the tale. “I need to try this!” the Matoran breathed, incredulous. “If you want to be a Toa, you may,” Tuyet said softly. “But I must give you some warnings, and you must heed them carefully.” “What are they?” asked the Matoran. “I will follow them as you say.” Tuyet smiled. The Matoran was taking her advice without any question. It was ridiculous, she thought, as to what these villagers would believe. “If you want the attention and blessing of the Great Spirit, you must do so under two conditions. First, only go when the moon is full. If the twin moons are not at their fullest and brightest, then go nowhere near the water. The Great Spirit’s attention is elsewhere, and you will not find it on that night.” “That makes sense,” the Matoran supposed. “And the second?” “Make sure you go alone,” Tuyet said, her voice grave. “Go alone, and tell no one you are going. If someone comes with you or is even knows of your plans, then they will distract the Great Spirit from you. This needs to be your night and your night alone. No one else can be there. If there is someone else present, the Great Spirit will not be able to put his attention on solely you.” The Matoran bowed deeply. “Toa Tuyet, you are a wise Toa, and I hope to one day walk with you as a sister. I am forever in your debt.” Tuyet smiled and offered a fist to her. “Heed my advice little one, and we will have many adventures together as sisters of the tide.” The Matoran clanked her fist, bowed once more, and ran along. She did not happen to see the wolfish smile on Tuyet’s mask as she ran away. *** Moonglow danced along the sand in the stillness of the night, casting a silvery shine along the coast. The Ga-Matoran’s feet wove through this shine and the shadows that intertwined with it as she made her way down the beach. Excitement pulsed through her system as she breathed in the crisp air of the eve. She could hardly believe what was happening— the moment she had been waiting for was unfolding before her very eyes. To her, everything looked and felt just as she thought it should. The twin moons were brimming full as they looked upon the night shore. Their light spilled into a miraculous pool out on the horizon line, before trailing their gaze towards the beach through long, matching columns of light. The shine of moonlight sparkled as it refracted in the ocean. Long lines of whitewater toppled in to shore. They tumbled softly over the sand, before washing back into the greater ocean. The Ga-Matoran’s pace quickened as she crossed the sands and shells, making her way toward the water. Her hands were in front of her as she walked, cupped almost as if in prayer. Her breath was ragged as she stepped from the sand to the sea, so nervous with excitement as she was. The surf tumbled lightly around her legs as she waded into the water. She walked through effortlessly, not allowing anything to deter her from her goal. “Oh Great Spirit,” she called into the night. “Please let me catch your gaze in these waters tonight. Please see me out here, so I might be graced with your blessing.” The ocean glimmered with white light as she waded thigh deep into the ocean. Moonlight danced all around the Ga-Matoran, surrounding her in a nighttime glow. She took her gaze off of the sky and stared solely at the ocean. The night sky was mesmerizing, but it was not where she needed to focus her efforts. She needed to look to the sea. The reflection of the moon was there, bobbing to and fro in the waves. The Ga-Matoran cupped her hands and dipped them into the ocean. She held her breath in anticipation, anxious to see what would come with her. Her hands emerged with a hefty scoop of ocean being held so very carefully by her hopeful palms. Moonlight came with her, glimmers visible in the sloshing of the night ocean. Little pockets of white light flashed in the water in her hands as she gazed as it, the moonlight sparkling into her mask. The moon itself though did not come with her. The orbs were still only visible in the surface of the water, not coming with her hands. She let the water spill between her fingers to join the rest of the ocean. Her eyes, so filled with starlight and hope, grew troubled. Did she do it wrong? The moon had been right there. She had scooped it, but it did not come with her. She would try again, she decided. Fixing her gaze upon the reflection of the moon, she dipped her hands once more. She then lunged into the deeper waters, scooping at the sphere with her hands… But when she brought it to her mask, the water was only glimmers of moonlight again. It came up for just a moment with her that time. She had seen it in her hands. She was almost there! Toa Tuyet had not told her this would be an easy task, she understood that. The Great Spirit was not an easy being to get the attention of. He was testing her. If she really wanted his full attention, she had to try harder. She pulled herself through the water, closer to the moon once more. Putting her hands out, she reached once more, only for a wave to wash over her. The moon seemed to grow closer in her grip as she persisted. As it grew higher in the sky, the moon seemed to travel less, the Ga-Matoran had more and more of a grip on it. It was as if the Great Spirit was making her chase him, she thought. She would play his game, she decided, and in exchange she hoped he would give her what she wanted. She kicked in the water, propelling herself toward the moon. Taking a stroke, she stroked underwater and pulled herself toward the moon… A wave washed over her, tossing the Matoran back under the water. She let out a yell of surprise, only to feel the salt water rush into her mouth. Her world spun as the water toppled over her. She popped to the surface, gasping for air. Her head went in all directions, until she could see that she was very far from the coast. The shore was but a thin line of white sand in the dark. She had ventured out very far. The wave washing over her had awakened her in a way, driving all thoughts of the Great Spirit from her mind. She needed to get back to shore, she knew. It was dangerous to be this far out in the ocean at night. The Matoran started to swim in shore. She pulled herself through the water towards the land, trying with all her might only to make no headway. She could feel herself fatigued as she stroked, no longer energized as she had been moments before. The Matoran’s strokes grew more frantic, as she tried fighting whatever was keeping her from the shore. She stroked and kicked rapidly, using all of her fading might. But her limited skill in the water and her efforts were no match for the riptides that were keeping her from the shore. She moaned in despair, utterly exhausted in her fight against the ocean. She wanted to keep paddling, she wanted to kick more, but she was so tired… A glimmer of moonlight caught her eye. The moon, now at its peak in the night, reflected right next to where the Matoran swam. Her eyes went wild, suddenly remembering what she had come out here for. She could reach for it, ask the Great Spirit for a wave—something, anything that would help her get to shore… The water was pulling against her, and the moon was only a few strokes away. The Matoran had to get it, to make her wish— not for Toahood or power, but for the safety of the shore. The Matoran took a deep breath. It was now or never. She plunged herself under, ready to kick and come up right next to the moon… And after that the black water was unbroken for the rest of the night. The twin moons, eyes of the Great Spirit, beamed down to look at an empty beach and a still, uninterrupted sea. FIN *** Just a little write off exploring a couple of concepts. Every summer during the full moon I try to catch the moon in the ocean to make a wish. I have written a few fairy tale and light sided pieces about the concept, but had an idea to explore a darker side of it. I feel like Tuyet would have been the type of character to pull this. Hope you enjoyed!
  9. The Matoran rendition of my self-moc, Poraru, built for a Matoran collab I did with some other builders!
  10. Metru nui, which was the most densely populated part of the matoran universe, and had about 1000 inhabitants, so if i had to guess, comoaring the size of metru nui to the rest of the universe, there would be around 5000 other matoran in the matoran universe. But that's just a theory - a Bionicle the- ok sorry about that. Let me know your opinion, if i missed something, you found a reliable source, or if you have your own theory. I also included a picture of the matoran universe so you could do your own comparison.
  11. Well, the BZPRPG is back, act 3 has begun. It’s been like a decade since I was in act 1, and things have changed both in-universe and out. For one thing, Dece has adopted the identity of Kanohi, much like in Six Kingdoms. Although actually I originally created the plot point ofKanohi for BZPRPG Act 3, it just took a while for BZPRPG to get started so I adapted him fir SKE in the meantime. And it did require some adapting, the rules are a bit different here, Mata-Nui lacks the Kanoka of Metru-Nui for one. So to help setup the Kanohi of act 3, and flesh out an off screen adventure, I wrote this short story about him. I am posting it today for the one month anniversary of act 3 beginning. It’s a standalone adventure, it’s not needed to read his adventures in Le-Wahi or vice versatile read this story. It just adds some context. I will say this story takes place three days before my first Kanohi post, for anyone following the timeline. With that said, enjoy this little story. … What do you see, Dece? Kanohi bolted upright and swiped up his Volo Lutu Launcher, his heartlight flashing and his many wooden masks rattling from the violent motion. His lungs pumped out a hacking gasp of air, as his optics darted around him. Their lens searched through the gasps in his masks, his head pivoting on its socket. There was nothing there, save the early morning sunlight that lit Le-Wahi. A beam of light had merely drifting across his head. He could hear crackling, but his optics identified the sound as a pair of Brakas chattering to themselves The cross-wired Fe-Matoran slumped against the tree, rustling the crude hammock he had made of vines and the trees branches. He lay there, tracing his metal fingers through the grooves in his masks, trying to stabilize his pounding heartlight. Another dream, another nightmare of that wicked Matoran with the Hau who thought himself the Makuta. Finally he sighed and holstered his Volo Lutu Launcher, before he began readjusting his armor, making sure each mask was secure. The straps for each wooden mask were made of braided plant fiber, each mask acted as plate of armor, greaves, shoulder pads, chest plate, he even wore one over his true mask. They can’t recognize me, I don’t look like Dece, I am Kanohi; the Mask. I help people. Dece couldn’t help people. Dece … Dece didn’t save people. I save people. He drummed his masks, trying to recenter himself. The thudding of metal fingers tapping wood centered him, helping him calm down. He was safe. He … he was safe. Kanohi sat fully up, he could hear the hammock creak and buckle beneath him, he wasn’t surprised. The rush job he made it in almost guaranteed it could not last to support the Fe-Matoran another night. It wasn’t the first time. So for now as it held, he would focus. The Fe-Matoran reached underneath a mask, pulling out of a slot a Takea’s tooth. The sharp fang had been gutted into a shell, housing a mechanism of metal and stone. He flicked it, and a small flame erupted from it. He stared into the flame, he could hear his vocal processor already beginning to sputter. S-still, he was Kanohi, he needed to help the travelers of the jungle. B-because then, maybe one day, he… The flame danced before him, rising and falling. His mechanized throat began to hack as he remembered that all consuming flame, even as the lighter’s fire seemed to grow, embers stretching from it before snapping off, like straining rope from his Volo Lutu Launcher. His heartlight was pounding again, imagining smoke gushing from the fire into his chassis. Finally the Matoran of Iron snapped shut the lighter. A vision wasn’t coming. But his visions were … it was the only thing valuable about him. It’s the only reason the False Makuta cared about him. It’s all he could offer. S-still, he was Kanohi, he would help the Matoran. He stowed the lighter away and shakily stood up, nearly toppling off the branch as he did so. Fe-Matoran were not meant to enjoy the treetops, it was not his environment. But that made it safer for him. And he could do more good here. Kanohi drew his Volo Lutu Launcher and steadied his aim at a nearby tree’s outstretched branch. He squeezed the trigger, and the iron hook hurled from its barrel. Trailing behind the hook was a tail of braided cord, linking the projectile to its launcher. Then with a thud the hook latched to a tree branch, wedged in. Springs in the Volo Lutu Launcher straining, yearning to draw close again. With a lurch Kanohi hurtled forward, yanked through the air on the rapidly recoiling rope. With a smash he smacked into the branch, the hook slotting back into the gadget. He climbed up onto the branch and fired again, launching to another tree. He was a Matoran of Iron, he could endure much more physical exertion or abuse than other breeds of Matoran, even without his armor. So he kept grappling from tree to tree, smashing through the twigs and leaves of the jungle’s canopy, the broken shards tumbling to the forest floor. Kanohi barreled through the jungle, startling Taku from their nests. He tried to call out “sorry” to the fleeing Rahi, but all that came out was a hack. Talking was still a luxury he did not possess. The jungles of Le-Wahi made up a large chunk of Mata-Nui, roughly the southern two-fifths of the island. All sorts of Rahi lived her, foraging and hunting among the trees. Le-Koro was here too, though Kanohi did not head into town much. He … there were multiple reasons why. Then he heard a cry. Immediately he grappled around towards the shouts, hurtling and smashing through sticks and twigs towards the sound. The tree branches smacked and scraped his armor, he flinched, but he had to keep going. Someone needed help. N-Nichou would understand. He had been unworthy of the Wanderer’s Company too. No, that wasn’t fair, that suggested the Wanderer’s Company was wrong. But Stannis and the other Maru, Kanohi had seen their deeds, had visions of their heroics. Had visions of … the ones who fell short. The Toa Maru were great heroes, the greatest in the history of Mata-Nui. Him not measuring up to them was because of his flaws. Not a fault of theirs. But even if he was not destined to be a great Toa, he would still help people as best he could. Because he was Kanohi, the vigilante of Le-Wahi. He slammed into a tree branch and scrambled atop it, before looking around. There, an orange Ta-Matoran was clutching his mask, screeching out a static squeal. His heartlight was pounding violently. He was in distress. The sound sent Kanohi’s heartlight pulsing, the noise making him unsteady. But he knew firsthand how overwhelming things could be, and Kanohi was “cross-wired” himself after all. He had experienced sensory overload before. It was not fun. And the simple fact was that Kanohi needed to help him. He sounded really hurt, and much pained noise might attack a predatory Rahi. Kanohi grappled down, coming to the Matoran of Fire. His first thought was to speak comfortingly, but his vocal processor was as rough as gravel, what sound he made was strained and indecipherable. The vigilante Fe-Matoran raised his hands to embrace the Ta-Matoran, then pulled back. Getting squeezed by a stranger was never comforting, he knew that from experience. And if his pain was physical, he might hurt the other Matoran. Ta-Matoran were not as sturdy as himself. What should he do? The screeching was jagged as gravel, it sent his pistons flexing with unease. He … the sound was overwhelming to the vigilante’s sensors. But Kanohi had to help. He clutched his head and drummed his mask, trying to help himself think. Okay, first, check the Ta-Matoran’s symptoms. Kanohi looked over the Matoran, he seemed fine, outside of the screaming … wait. Kanohi focused his optics, this Matoran’s chassis was not orange, his frame was actually red. The front of his torso had been plastered with some powder. A narcotic? Or pollen from a plant? Le-Wahi was home to many carnivorous plants, but could he recall one whose pollen caused pain? He was not really a botanist, but … he could vaguely remember once hearing a Le-Matoran telling the story of spores that made Brakas scream, until the Rahi was attacked and eaten by a Muaka. The spores would take root in the Rahi’s chassis and grow, they needed to be ingested by the large beast. The plants would eventually strangle the Muaka’s gears and it would be paralyzed, and as it lay dying the plants would bloom and release their spores. He … did not do the story justice, it was very nice, accompanied by panflutes. But the point was, if this powder was those spores, this would not only kill this Matoran but a Muaka too, along with Kanohi if he wasn’t careful. He had to move quickly to save three lives. The moral to that folktale was not to blindly accept an easy meal, it said nothing of how to treat the afflicted. The story would not help him here. Instead Kanohi grappled to the treetops, and yanked on the branch. He was dwarfed by the strength of Po-Matoran or Onu-Matoran, but the vigilante was active these days, he had some power behind him. With a rip he pulled off a leafy branch. He hacked out an apology to the tree, before grappling back to the forest floor. He grabbed his canteen and doused the leaves, and then slowly, carefully, he began to brush the Matoran of Fire. Theoretically Kanohi could try to burn the pollen away with his lighter, Ta-Matoran after all had resistance to heat and flames. But resistance was not immunity, and if he burnt another person… The Ta-Matoran stuttered out a scream, and his optics began to focus again. The wet leaves mopped and swept away some of the pollen, helping the Matoran’s heartlight steady its glow. He was breathing heavier, but he was breathing. Soon enough the branch’s leaves were all coated in pollen. Kanohi hooked a tree’s roots and grappled away, before pulling free a chunk of moss from its roots. Coughing out an apology to the mat of plants, he returned to the Ta-Matoran and wiped him down. “Th-thank you,” the Ta-Matoran managed, his optics clenched tight. He was still in pain. But before Kanohi could wipe down more of his chassis, there was a large thud behind them. Kanohi’s masks rattled as he swerved behind him to see trees shaking. Something big was coming towards them. Quickly Kanohi crouched and pointed to the Matoran of Fire, before pointing to his back. “I … if the pollen is still on me—” But then a closer tree shook, and the Ta-Matoran scrambled onto Kanohi’s back, trying to grip the notches in he mask playing his back. Kanohi swayed under the weight, and the sensors on his back seemed to prickle. But discomfort or not, the vigilante Matoran knew he had to hurry. Shakily he raised his Volo Lutu Launcher, hooking a branch near the top of a tree. In a rush the two Matoran were wrenched from the forest four, landing in a heap in the tree. Below them was a roar, and a yellow and black shadow broke through the clearing before smashing into the tree, cracking the trunk and shattering dark wildly. Kanohi staggered but fired his Volo Lutu Launcher again, hurling away from the Muaka. He thumped against the next tree but launched his grappling hook again, barely slowing to recover. The Ta-Matoran grunted and groaned with each collision, but he still held on. There was a roar in the distance, Kanohi tried not to guess if the Muaka was still pursuing them, instead focusing on moving away and keeping the other Matoran secure. His servos and pistons strained from the weight, the leaves blinded him, his back tingled uncomfortably, and the branches slashed him. But Kanohi kept moving, he had to. “Th-thank you, again,” the Ta-Matoran managed as Kanohi continued to grapple them along, “ m-my name is Tarama. I … I was just trying to scavenge a Muaka carcass, then everything was pain. I tried to run away, run anywhere, but eventually it got too much.” Kanohi nodded vaguely. He knew how dangerous Le-Wahi could be. It’s why he stayed here, to rescue travelers, explorers, even wanderers. To be there for those Matoran and other breeds that otherwise could have been lost and forgotten in the Jungle. Finally Kanohi collapsed, thumping into a tree. He lay among the branches, heartlight pounding, even as Tarama looked around with his telescopic lens. “I … I don’t see the beast, I think we got away. Thank you, so much. Um, but who am I thanking?” Kanohi lay there hyperventilating for a time, before shoving upright. He was tired, his body ached, and his back was on fire, the pollen irritating his chassis. Still, he had saved a Matoran, helped someone. It was worth it. Shakily he lifted his finger, and pointed to one of his masks. “Ruru?” The vigilante shook his head, and pointed to his masks again, as well as Tarama’s own Arthron. “Kanohi?” the Matoran of Fire guessed, and Kanohi nodded, slumping back down. “S-should we wait a bit, Kanohi?” Tarama offered, and the vigilante nodded. The Ta-Matoran awkwardly shifted onto the branch, trying to stay balanced. Kanohi leaned against the tree, his heartlight unsteady. As he laid there, Tarama coughed, “um, I hate to ask, but I don’t do well in the cold. I know it’s not that cold but my damp armor and it’s still barely day and all. Do … do you have a Heatstone I could use?” The Fe-Matoran flinched, but helping was the right thing. Shakily they pulled free their lighter, and offered it to the Matoran of Fire. He dipped his head in thanks and ignited it, huddling around the flame. The flame seemed to shift and twist in Kanohi’s optics, the flame shooting out like the cord of his Volo Lutu Launcher. It stretched and retracted, stretched and retracted, almost mimicking the beat of a heartlight. It seemed to reach closer and closer to Kanohi, growing thicker and thicker. Smack. Kanohi tumbled as a long wind smacked into him. He careened out of the sky as a Gukko flew above him, a Le-Matoran riding atop. A caravan trailed after the four winged Rahi, knocking about its cargo of lumber. Suddenly the Rahi bucked, and a log fell from its cargo, hurtling at Kanohi’s face. He rolled away, the log smacking right where he had been laying. Shakily he stood up, even as the log ignited. He stumbled back as smoke erupted from the chunk of lumber, the inferno engulfed his sight, blinding him to reality. Fire latched onto him like tendrils, strangling him in a cocoon. As he was dragged into the binds of smoke he flailed, his chest crushed between the gas. Then suddenly the gas condensed tightening into cords of vine. He slid out of them, thumping onto the roots of a tree. Before him he could see a fallen Le-Matoran, her goods scattered like the stars in the sky, her Mount impaled on a tree. She lay limp caked on mud before suddenly jerking upright, staggering on two legs. But her movements were unnatural, and in the gloom of the swamp, he could faintly see thick strings puppeting her limbs. There was a rush of wind and Kanohi was knocked off balance, nearly tripping again. He steadying himself, before realizing in horror he stood before the Gukko. The Rahi was still impaled by a jagged tree, oozing green lubricant dripping from its pierced chassis. The vigilante stumbled backwards, only to thump into someone his height. He spun around, and his vision seemed to blur and slow. He fell to the ground as the world melted before him, standing before him was the Le-Matoran, her body raising from the ground, strange arms suspending her upright, each of the limbs holding her bursting from a tree, and each vaguely resembled a Toa’s arms— Kanohi gasped out, heartlight panting. A vision. A Le-Matoran merchant was going to fall out of the sky? He … he had to get her— He fell back down, still too exhausted. He shuddered, closing his optics. He … his visions were vague, confusing, he had no idea when this vision would occur. Nor did he know if this vision was literal. Maybe it wasn’t a Le-Matoran trader crashing to the ground. Maybe it was the Le-Koro economy crashing, or the Gukko Force failing in a future battle. Regardless, Kanohi was too drained to do anything about it now. And Tarama was in trouble right now, he still had to get the Matoran of Fire to safety. He … he needed to get his fellow Matoran to the safety of a settlement first, then look for the Le-Matoran. And to do that, he unfortunately had to rest first. Weak, failure, what kind of Fe-Matoran struggled after only this much trouble. He was too weak, he was never going to be worthy. Still, his optics drifted to Tarama, huddling around the fire. This Matoran was alive because of him. He helped save him. He had even lent him his lighter to stay warm, the one relic he had kept from his life as Dece. He … he had done good. Kanohi sighed, heartlight still unease, but steadier now. He was no Toa Maru, no Akiri, he was not a great hero. But he still was a hero, and he still could do good. And helping out in small ways, saving singular lives, that mattered too. He just wished he could believe that.
  12. I haven't had the free time to cook up a proper entry for BBC Contest #78:The Good 20-20! unfortunately, but out of nostalgia and solidarity I was determined to participate in some way. As a result, I whipped up this quick and simple Matoran build dedicated to BZPower member and fan comic creator Dark709. Early in the history of Bionicle and BZP, as a wee lad and eager fan I happened upon Dark709's comics which introduced me to the fandom. I'd spend years lurking before joining the forum in 2007.
  13. Keep your eyes open for the end of August...
  14. https://youtu.be/8XElUAMXy0M A small preview of things to come...
  15. So it’s been a while since I posted a story here. Today however is the last day of Six Kingdoms Apocalypse, the final part in the trilogy of RPGs that brought me back to bzp. It’s been a wild time, met friends for the first time in nearly a decade, made some new ones, it’s been fun. And to celebrate, I figured I would post a new story. This one for once does not star Kanohi, this is about a PC I might use in the future for an RPG. This is a story about Matoran, and the flaws of their society. It takes place after the last canon pieces of Bionicle Gen 1, in a future after Marendar and Velika had been fought. Hopefully you folks enjoy this story, and here’s to Six Kingdoms. It’s been a fun ride. … Ko-Ka glided across the shattered streets, her feet sliding atop a cushion of ice. The cross-wired Ga-Matoran kicked her feet out as she skated, her hands outstretched as her fur-lined cloak billowed behind her. Blasts of light lit up the sky, frost covered the ground in unnatural patches. The very earth was a powder glued in place by a thick layer of ice, the city’s buildings crumbled under their own weight. Ko-Ka adjusted her hood to shield her optics from the light show as the city crumbled and cracked around her. The Matoran of Water hugged her cloak to her body with her left hand, even as she held her right hand outstretched, her servos fidgeting. Up ahead she could see a building crumbling, and she crouched to skate quicker. As she dived at it she clamped her hand around the walls, and from her hands frost erupted, plastering over the cracks in the concrete. Her vocal processor scratched as she screeched, “Get out of here, the building is collapsing.” Matoran and Agori piled out of the home, running out and tripping over their feet. She used her left hand to haul one up, shouting, “Take care, head for the south side of the city.” The Su-Matoran nodded and sprinted away, the group hurrying away. The building creaked as more of it cracked, and Ko-Ka planted both hands against it, solidifying it under a plaster of ice. Her optics narrowed as she continued to freeze over the wall commune home, even as explosive blasts of light hurled through the air. … Kofoka’s optics widened beneath her blue Noble Akaku. The Matoran of Water was crouching on her knees, pleading up to her Vo-Matoran friend. “Please, Vokarda,” The Ga-Matoran begged, “imagine if we could become Toa. Well, not Toa, but still. We could be heroes like the Voya-Nui Resistence. The Chronicler’s Company. Even Kanohi.” “Kofoka, a lot of weird people are mixed up in Project Mangai,” Vokarda sighed, “Vortixx, Dark Hunters, former servants of the Brotherhood—” “And a Turaga and a member of the Voya-Nui Resistance.” “Balta, who never even noticed one of his five closest companions was a total monster. If he had stopped Velika, maybe we would still have Toa.” “…Marendar killed the Toa.” “And Velika killed many too,” Vokarda shook her head, “no, Kofoka. I can’t join you. If you want to mutilate yourself for a chance at power, I won’t stop you. But I am not going to be experimented on with whatever they are planning. For one thing. Me and Mahrika have a date tonight, and I don’t want to risk crumbling her to bits.” “…F-fine. I will go alone,” Kofoka swallowed. … The lab of Project Mangai was a small Knowledge Tower, located on the north side of Metru-Nuva in the district of Ko-Metru. Ko-Matoran and De-Matoran eyed Kofoka as she walked through the frigid quiet streets, she was humming to herself, her wrists flapping at her sides. The buildings were marble white, with trace silver decorations. The windows were cyan, and the bulk of the buildings were crystalline, covered in harsh angles. Kofoka shivered as she walked, but was still too excited to complain. She eager clasped the door and slid it open, before happily walking into the building. Ko-Matoran eyed her as she approached, a few huffing in her direction. If she noticed their annoyance, she did not react. Instead she approached the front desk and said, “Um, excuse me, I am here to become a hero. Um, I mean, I am here for today’s K-Test.” She pulled a metal card out of her pocket, and passed it over. “Rrrrright,” the Ko-Matoran receptionist rolled his eyes as he handed the card back, “yeah, it checks out. Head back, third room—” But Kofoka was already gone, hurrying to the room. She knew the way. She hurried inside, only for someone to shout, “Hold it, Subject Ga-7.” She stopped as a Ko-Matoran technician approached her, and pointed outside, “wait out there. Subject Ce-3 is having her final K-Test now.” “Yeah, get out of here,” the Ce-Matoran spat. The blue and gold Matoran wore a dark blue Noble Kaukau, the navy translucent mask glinting. She was magnetized through electricity to a tight translucent metal container, which had a large slot in its back. A Ko-Matoran stood besides the slot, holding a large disk roughly the size of her mask. “Oh come now, there’s no harm,” offered Turaga Nuparu as he adjusted a few dials, “she’ll be undergoing the same kind of test shortly, she might as well be prepared.” “Agreed,” the Vortixx grinned a serpentine grin as traced their fingers against the Kanoka Blade that hung to their side, “but do not worry, friend. I will not let harm to to you.” Kofoka curtsied in thanks and sat cross legged on the floor, waiting. The Ko-Matoran sighed before lifted up the disk and dropped it into the machine’s slot. A lid slid over the slot, and the disk was pulled by mechanical arms into position in the machine, “Okay, beginning fusion process now,” Turaga Nuparu smiled as he flipped a few switches, and the machine began to tremble. Steam began to vent out of it as it compressed, and the disk began to to ripple. The Ga-Matoran watched with awe as the mechanical arms began to push the disk against Ce-3’s back, and she immediately let out a gasp in pain. She clenched up as tubing inside the machine began to pump a brightly glowing liquid, dripping into her body and the disk. Waves of energy emitted from inside the machine, bombarding Ce-3, the liquid and the disk. The Matoran of Psionics screeched out as the power pounded against her, and Kofoka stood up. “Is … is she going to be okay?” As Ce-3 shuddered the disk was pushed against her back, and slowly it seemed to stretch and squeeze into the cracks in her metal chassis. The Matoran of Psionics let out a moan as the disk sunk through her armor, gasping out loudly. Kofoka reached her hand towards the machine. “A-are you okay?” She asked, as Ce-3 shuddered inside the machine. “F-fine,” The blue and gold Matoran spat, even as the machinery began to hiss. Chunks of the chamber began to crack, and her body began to crack too. Her armor grew jagged as parts of it crumbled away, and her mask began to dissolve. The Vortixx lunged off from their platform, rushing to the chamber. Kofoka was not far behind, springing at her fellow Matoran. With their long arms the Vortixx forced the chamber open and tore Ce-3 free, dropping her on the floor. “Careful, friend.” Kofoka reached the other Matoran even as her mask crumbled to pieces. The dust fell onto Kofoka’s lap, and she cradled her. The Ce-Matoran’s heartlight had already began to fade. So soon? Matoran of Psionics were usually more resistant to loosing their masks. The Ga-Matoran swallowed and pulled off her own mask, wrenching it free of the magnetic pull of her metal face. She swayed, already getting woozy. It … it almost looked like the Ce-Matoran’s gold body was shining… Before she could hand her mask over, the Vortixx shoved it back onto her head. They says simply, “you need your mask, friend. I do not.” The much taller Protoderm pulled off their mask and put it onto the Ce-Matoran, whose eyes began to glow again. “What … what happened to me?” Ce-3 managed, putting her hands on the ground. Immediately the floor began to crumble, only stopping when she lifted up her hands. “Replacement mask of friend is not crumbling,” the Vortixx noted as they eyed her, “the initial empowerment may have been the cause. Friend’s chassis seems heavily damaged, will need repairs—” “No,” the Ce-Matoran answered quickly, shoving them away, though with their massive size she failed to move him. Ce-3 stood up and walked forward, cracks appearing in her steps. But with each step, the cracks diminished. She paused in front of a mirror, looking at her jagged rusted armor. She traced her finger in her reflection, only for the mirror to crumble. Ce-3 smiled. “It’s perfect.” … “No, we are not continuing this experiment.” “Vican, I know you are nervous, but the Kanoka machine is fixed and had been reinforced.” Turaga Nuparu explains as he leaned against his drill-shield, “It was just a minor miscalculation. Please understand Kanoka are not a new technology, Matoran have had them for over fifteen thousand years. This is just a variant on the Kanoka Blades of the Vortixx.” “It’s completely different when you give that kind of power to a monster,” snapped the mutated Le-Matoran, his claws flexing, “Giving the power of a Kanoka disk to a sword is completely different than fusing the power of a Kanoka to a Matoran. Matoran don’t even have the mental strength to use Kanoka Blades. We just hurl disks at each other.” “You didn’t object before,” Balta said quietly, “in fact you were the one to suggest using Kanoka technology instead of Viruses. What changed?” “Well you clearly didn’t vet the Matoran you tested on.” “Is something wrong with Kra?” “Is something wrong with ‘Kra?’” Vican was incredulously, “she…” He paused and said quickly, “well she enjoys her power too much for a start. First thing she does with it is shatter a mirror, refuses to have her armor mended. and she’s had a Jutlin as her replacement mask. She clearly loves destruction.” “We only have five test Kanoka, Protodermis is too tightly regulated. The Disk of Weakening had to go to someone. And she’s a Matoran, barely tougher than an Agori. She’s just unused to having power.” Vican scowled and said, “I will fight you on this.” “As will I,” a voice said in the room, though the speaker was not in sight, “I know too well what happens when Matoran experiment on people with no care for sense.” “Phantom and Vican vote to stop. Nuparu, Collector?” The Turaga said, “I trust in our Matoran. The work continues.” Collector nodded as well. The purple Vortixx’s fingered their Kanoka Blade, whiffs of frost coming off the cyan sword. Balta sighed, “I vote to continue too. We are too vulnerable right now. Without our Toa, we need something.” “You once said you don’t need to be a Toa to be a hero. Voya-Nui existed without Toa for a thousand years.” “I still believe that. But people still need heroes. The Matoran need hope. And the Kanoka Mangai will give them hope.” … “I am surprised you agreed to come back,” Turaga Nuparu said as Kofoka stepped into the machine, “No one would have blamed you if you left.” “I-I know, but I want to be a hero. Like the greats. Kanohi, Balta, Piruk, Macku, Tanms, Solek, Dalu, Kazi, Takua…” She forced a smile as she continued though her fingers drummed against the metal nervously. “Hey, you can’t be in here—” “Shut it,” A familiar gold and blue Matoran walked into view, looking up at Kofoka. Ce-3 eyed her and said “you ever punched someone before?” “Um, n-no, but I used to pretend I had claws like the great scout Piruk.” Ce-3 rolled her eyes, “okay, weirdo. Remember how it felt to tense up your ‘claws,’ holding them back to prepare to slash someone’s throat? And then how it felt to slice them through the air?” “U-um, yes?” “Tense up to hold your power in, remember the sensation of slashing to release it. There, we are even now,” Ce-3 marched off as quickly as she entered. “W-wait, thank you.” “We are even,” Ce-3 retorted as she left Kofoka’s sight, leaving the Ga-Matoran alone. “Activating the current,” Collector interrupted, and a surge of electricity set Kofoka’s jaw rattling beneath her mask. Her biomechanical fingers magnetized to the handholds, and her body rigidly locked into place. She was lifted into the air, as the machine locked into position. Behind her she could hear arguing, one of the Ko-Matoran was fighting with a Nynrah Ghost it seemed. “…She doesn’t deserve this power.” “None of your breed have wanted to take the risk, not after Ce-3. So until a Matoran of Ice is willing to take the risk, this Matoran is the closest to a match we have. So, are you volunteering…” Kofoka winced, she wanted to drum her fingers, to fidget and burn off her growing anxious energy. But her body was magnetized shut. Thump. She could hear the machine clung behind her. She wished she could turn around. Fluid began to pump into the chamber, the harsh glow of Energized Protodermis beat into her optics. She tried to close them tight, but the magnetism had locked them open. She couldn’t flinch, couldn’t brace herself, couldn’t even cry. She wanted to shuddered as she felt lukewarm liquid oozing into her, only for the fluid to suddenly drop to a harsh cold. Then came a blinding light as energy pounded into her. Her optics begged for release, to cry from the overstimulation. Then she shivered as cold embraced her. It was a harsh chill, making her biomechanical muscles stand on end. She felt frost creeping across her hands, chest, and mask, plastering them white. Her jaw chattered from the cold as ice began to form over the translucent wall of the room. Finally the machine slide back down and released her. Kofoka tumbled to the ground, her eyes leaking frozen tears as frost spread out of her like a web. There was a large crash besides her as Collector slipped on the ice, falling on their back. Shakily Kofoka tried to stand up, only to slip on the ice and fall too. Her mask hit the floor first, she felt it urgently, was it broken like Ce-3’s? “R-right,” she swallowed as memory hit her, and tried to tense up her body. She imagined herself in a dense jungle on Voya-Nui, hunted by the Piraka. The thick brambles locked her in, she would need to cut through them with her claws. She held her arms back in preparation, and the frost lofting off her diminished. The cold decreased. Shakily she crawled on the floor towards Collector, even as they stood up. “Are you alright, friend?” “I think so.” Cold air still embraced her chassis, but her tears no longer were froze, dripping as vented fluid. “I … I think I have a hold of it. And um, you can call me Ko-Ka.” The Spirit of Ice. … Ko-Ka imagined herself a spring as she released her tense and then restrained it again, frost emitting from her feet as she attempted to skate across the test track. Away from her Ce-3 was sculpting a slab of rock by weakening it in key areas, crumbling away chunks of it to shape it. The design was beginning to twist into a bat-like visage. “You are doing great, Jutlin-Ka,” encouraged Ko-aka as she skated past. “Just call me Ce-3,” the Ce-Matoran answered, “I’m not ‘the Spirit of Weakening.’” “I don’t know, you break that rock with such ease, folks might think you were a Turaga.” Ce-3 huffed in annoyance, right as Ko-Ka slipped on the ice and smacked on her back. Ko-Ka lay there dazed, before feeling a hand clench hers and lift her up. “Focus,” muttered Ce-3, “you are giving us a bad name.” “Oh um, sorry,” Ko-Ka looked away, shaking her hands in a frenzy. They felt numb, though not as numb as her feet, “it’s exciting isn’t it? Getting the chance to be heroes.” “Don’t want to be a hero,” muttered Ce-3 and she released her grip, dripping Ko-Ka to the ground, “this wasn’t what I was expecting, that’s all.” “Well, okay.” Ko-Ka stood up, before shaking out her numb feet, letting the frost shake off of them, “Thank you again for teaching me how to—” “Shut it, just focus on skating,” answered Ce-3 as she went back to sculpting, her fingers tracing lines in the statue. … Ko-Ka skipped across the sidewalk of Metru-Koro, dancing to herself as her rings strummed the air. Finally she was allowed to go home. It had been long enough, they had done so many tests. And she needed to return to Project Mangai first thing tomorrow. But for now, she was free to see her roommate. Boom. She stumbled as a rush of heat even penetrated her wall of cold air. Ok-Ka turned to see smoke billowing out of Av-Kofo, the small neighborhood for Matoran of Light. Was it a fire, she had to help. Quickly she began to skate over, ice propelling her across the ground. She ran forward as Av-Matoran retreated, some of them flying away on their jetpacks, others, blasting the ground with bolts of light to dig a trench to prevent the fire from spreading. Ko-Ka skated over the trench and began to sweep her hand over all the fires. Her fingers winced where the burn of the flames met her frost bitten fingers, and what ice she spread immediately melted. But despite the heat, the melted ice still extinguished the flames. She skated along, dousing the fire, before spitting a familiar sight. “Ce-3, good to see you. Quick, can you help deepen the trench? Sever some structures that could spread the flames?” The Ce-Matoran flinched, before grunting, “yeah, sure.” As she ran down the trench, her feet and hands widened and deepening it, Ko-Ka smiled. Good to see another empowered Matoran had responded to this crisis. And Ce-3 had said she did not want to be a hero. Ce-3 continued to widen the break in the ground, as Ko-Ka skated about, extinguishing more flames. She pirouetted as she went, happy to burn herself as she helped her fellow Matoran. Av-Matoran were the strongest Matoran. Not only could they change their colors to disguise themselves as other breeds, but they were the only Matoran to have any access to their elements. They could fire bolts of light, not as strong as a Toa, but still, it was impressive. It was strange that no Av-Matoran were allowed at Project Mangai, it seems like they would be a natural fit. The skating Ga-Matoran dived suddenly, her chest producing ice to slid on. With a scoop she caught a falling Av-Matoran, before lowering him to the ground. “Um, thanks you. How did you do that?” “Ko-Ka,” she smiled, “I’m a hero.” And then she skated away. Finally the fire sizzled out, and Ko-Ka skated over to Ce-3. “We did it, sister,” she shouted, holding out her hand for a fist bump. Ce-3 sighed, but fist bumped her regardless. “Excuse me,” a Av-Matoran squeezed forward, wearing a Noble Akaku, “Chronicler Solek here. Who are you? How did you do those things?” “I am Ko-Ka, and this is Ce—” “Jutlin-Ka,” interrupted Ce-3 suddenly, though she kept her head down and looked away. “Right. Anyway we are part of Project Mangai, an attempt to infuse Matoran with the power of Kanoka disks. I have Freezing, she has Weakening, there are three others, though they aren’t ready to leave the building yet.” “Incredible,” Solek clapped his hands, “a new breed of Toa, saving Av-Kofo. This is just like the Toa Mata saving us from the Avohkah. What can you tell us about yourselves? Why did you want to heroes?” A few Av-Matoran shook their heads at his excitement, but he ignored them. “Oh well, I am a Ga-Matoran from the isle of Mata-Nui. Used to have the name Kofoka, but ‘Little Spirit,’ doesn’t quite fit me now. Jutlin-Ka—” But as Ko-Ka turned Jutlin-Ka was already gone from sight. … “Part of your contract was not to reveal your powers. That was up for us to reveal,” Vican said angrily, “now every Matoran will be demanding powers.” “There was a fire, I had to do something. Turaga Nokama and Gaaki would be at the other side of. Metru-Nuva, I couldn’t wait for them.” “You did more than save them, you had an interview, boasting of your powers. You probably caused that fire in the first place.” “I … I would never.” Ko-Ka stumbled back. Did … did he really think so little of her? Had she done something wrong? “You are as cross-wired as they come. There is no limit to the justifications you could invent.” “Vican, she may be cross-wired, but she is not you,” Turaga Nuparu said quietly. Vican flinched, and looked away, his bat-like wings tucking behind him. “Sorry,” the Le-Matoran sighed, “Despite what our wise Turaga thinks, we still don’t understand most of this technology. It would be too easy for it to get out of control, or for it to be abused. We need to be careful. Understand?” “R-right,” she nodded, then swallowed, “b-but if people need help, I will help them. It’s what heroes do. But I won’t take more interviews.” “The cross-wired freak could have done worse,” interrupted a voice. Ko-Ka turned to see a solid white Ko-Matoran approaching, wearing a Great Akaku. “Councilor Konui. I was not expecting you,” Vican said as his claws stretched. “No? The stunt was across every telescreen in Metru-Nuva, and several outside it. Everyone has seen the power of Ice.” Councilor Konui did not match eyes with Ko-Ka, though he glanced at her curiously. “I believed we agreed a Ko-Matoran would receive the power of the first element.” “Ice was not the first element,” Collector interrupted, “the first Matoran were Av-Matoran, the first Toa was a Toa of Water.” They were crouching, struggling to fit in the Matoran sized hallway. “Silence, schemer,” Konui said, and Collector winced, their hand going to their Kanoka Blade, “Mata-Nui is dead, the Great Beings died in their Civil War. I only trust in the Cold Truth of science.” He thumped his staff to the ground, making the snow globe in his Spector shake. “It … if you check the records and date all Matoran—” “That is lie! Told by your kind, Vortixx. The first Ko-Matoran were silenced, to prevent the Cold Truth from being known. Even in the records, the first to make a Kanoka was a Ko-Matoran, and the only basic disk to have an influence of an element is Ice. Ice is the core, from the cold all life began, until cold engulfs the world.” Phantom interrupted, “Your cult aside—” “We are no cult, unlike the mad scientists who made you. The Cold Truth are the only reason your project exists. It is the only reason you have access to any Protodermis, let alone disks. Shall I revoke our support, and put your Protodermis towards making the Great Mothers?” “Yes.” Phantom answered simply and firmly, like a sledgehammer to an opened hand. “No,” Konui said slowly, “no. No, I should just remove you from the project. We don’t need a former Dark Hunter in our midst. In fact yes, you are gone, silenced! Begun from my sight, heretic.” “Fine. I needed to resuming guarding the city anyway. Since until your project is done, I am the best protector this city has.” Heavy footsteps echoed away, not with anger but with a coldness. “Now, where was I?” “I-I had not screwed up too badly?” Ko-Ka swallowed as she looked at Konui’s chest. She couldn’t match eyesight on her best days, and his anger, his many words, she’s felt suddenly very small. “No,” Konui muttered, “though I appreciate how even a Ga-Matoran with agony leave, of frost is more useful than the Matoran of Light. Then more clearly he said, “I remember, tell me, why was she given the power of Ice?” “Freezing is not true Ice, it lacks elemental energy,” then before Konui could interrupt Turaga Nuparu continued, “and it was because no Ko-Matoran were willing to undergo the enhancement. Not after one of our test subject’s mask turned to dust from the power.” “You lie again. Any noble Ko-Matoran would have trust in the Cold Truth. Let me first. The next Matoran you empower will be a Ko-Matoran with the power of Ice. If fact, I will go first.” “Fine. If you can supply us with more disks.” “I have been saving a level eight disk of Freezing for this purpose.” Collector coughed, their hand still grazing against their Kanoka Blade, “friend—” “You are no friend of mine. And if you try to strike me with the oversized knife, you will find your exiled to the Vorox.” “I … I understand. But a Level Eight Kanoka is as strong as a Great Mask. A Matoran cannot use the power of any masks, a Turaga can use Noble, and Toa, Makuta, and Vortixx can use Great masks.” “I know how masks work.” Collector seemed to shrink and looked away, but now Bakta was speaking, “Do you? Level eight disk are as powerful as a disk can be. Only a Great Disk would be stronger. That much raw power, you would not handle it.” “But I can, and I will. If a mere Matoran of Water can wield Ice, I can master it.” … “Hey Jutlin-Ka,” Ko-Ka skated up, though Jutlin-Ka did not turn around. “Yeah um, what do you know about the Cold Truth?” “Don’t mess with them,” Jutlin-Ka cut her off. “Yeah, Konui seems … intense. I know they were a recent religion—” “Ha. They are a bunch of idiots desperate to be important,” Jutlin-Ka laughed bitterly, “their god not only got usurped by the Makuta, but under this real sky they can’t ‘see the future.’ They are terrified they don’t have a purpose, that they are as weak as any Agori. People like Konui gives them meaning, tells them they matter. A higher purpose. He gives them someone to blame, ‘the other Matoran lie, they are just jealous. ‘Have you ever seen an Av-Matoran until the Makuta took control? They are imposters and usurpers, robbing your glory. They drain resources from Ko-Metru with their light shows, and they are arrogant, think they are better than you.’” She shook her head, “he’s not lying there.” “Point is he gives them a target and a meaning. Ans they would do anything for that meaning.” She paused, “Lot of folks are like that I suppose. Desperate to belong. Or maybe just to lord power over others. Av-Kofo is a bit smaller for the number of Matoran living there.” She gestured to the cramp complex of communal houses. “Well, is it so bad to want to belong?” “You want to belong, huh? Be a hero, be important?” Jutlin-Ka laughed, “trust me, you that desperate to be important, you’ll fall for anyone who promises you that kind of glory. Anything that contradicts that importance you reject, violently.” “They are violent?” “Don’t go in Ko-Metru at night is all I will say. They tolerate De-Matoran because they are quiet, but you start showing off your command of ‘their element?’ They won’t take it well. Not when their only connection to their element is ‘resistance to low temperatures.’” She laughed again. “I … I mean, I just have better lungs and better swimming skills,” she paused to shake out her numb metal feet. That cold resistance did not feel that dismissible to her. She continued, “All Matoran have pretty limited ties to our elements. Except Av-Matoran.” Jutlin-Ka was silent for a time. Finally she said with a coldness far sharper than Ko-Ka’s frigid feet, “…Why did you try to give me your mask?” “Well you are a Matoran, you need your mask.” “And so do you. So, why? You did not know me. All you have seen of me is a freak who hates everyone and loves destruction. Why care?” Ko-Ka paused, “well, I am cross-wired. I am a freak too.” “You have a condition. I am just a jerk. Why care about me?” “I don’t know. Because it’s the right thing to do, I guess.” “Right thing to do,” scoffed Jutlin-Ka, “well that’s not in my nature. I don’t do the right thing. Just make things worse for everyone else. You should avoid me.” “You saved Av-Kofo.” “Yeah, and I broke the generator to start the fire.” “…Don’t joke about that.” “Karzahni, you really are cross-wired. I served the Brotherhood of Makuta. Willingly. I served the Makuta when he usurped your ‘god’ Mata-Nui. And if the Makuta returned, the proper Makuta, I would serve them again.” “A-a lot of people served the Makuta. S-so did Vican, if the rumors are true—” “Look, I am evil!” Shouted Jutlin-Ka and a scorching light erupted from her hands. Burning radiance slammed into Ko-Ka, knocking her to the ground. There was a quiet gasp, but it did not come from Ko-Ka. The ‘Spirit of Ice’ groaned as her chest ached, before pushing herself upright. In the distance she could see Jutlin-Ka sprinting away, her armor a bright gold and pale white. … Ko-Ka stood up as Solek approached. She had been helping cool the backup generator of Av-Kofo, it had suffered damage in the fire. Or maybe it had been damaged before that event. “Amazing, do you tire of doing that?” “Not really. It’s pretty easy I … I am not supposed to talk about my powers, that’s supposed to be for Project Mangai to announce.” She stood up and shook out her hand. Not just to fidget, but because the frost had started to plaster over her servos. “Hey I am the Chronicler, I record history for all of Metru-Nuva. New heroes are my business.” “I … Chronicler, do you know of an Av-Matoran who might have done this?” “An Av-Matoran? Pretty sure we aren’t to blame,” he sighed, looking to a group of Ko-Matoran laughing as they threw rocks at the district’s edge. Ko-Ka flinched at the sight, her hand reaching towards them. B-but a hero wouldn’t fight Matoran. Would they? And they weren’t hurting anyone, just breaking windows. “Whoever did it vanished though, they could have changed color.” “Rather not blame my own,” he sighed, “but I know of one Matoran of Light who would. Unless she had a disk of weakening though, she couldn’t get far. And disks are harder to get nowadays, we are still hoarding the remaining Protodermis for the next generation.” “M-maybe she got one though. Who was she?” “Gavla. She always was an outcast in Karda-Nui, quick to anger, a bit weird. Most of the Matoran of her village avoided her, kept her busy away from them.” “She was friendless?” “I suppose so. Then the Makuta came. She was the first of us drained of our light, converted into a monstrous Shadow Matoran. She led all the Shadow Matoran, raiding our villages to convert more of us into monsters. Without the Toa Nuva, the element of Light would be extinct.” “…So she had been corrupted, she wasn’t in control.” “That’s a nice thought. But when Takanuva cured her, she rallied against him. She said she had finally found a place to belong, the Makuta found her useful. Treated her better than we did.” He sighed, “maybe we should have been more understanding of her.” “Do you think she could change? For the better?” “Only if she had the chances and took it. Can’t force people to be better.” Ko-Ka was quiet, thinking “If you want to know more, there’s a Le-Matoran who could help. His name is Vican, he was the first Shadow Matoran to be cured, though he refused to have his physical mutations undone. He had agreed to be mutated by the Makuta in order to have adventures, and I think he kept them to remind him of his past mistakes.” “…Thank you,” she nodded, then paused. “Chronicler?” “Yes?” “I constantly produce freezing temperatures. If I don’t want to freeze everything I touch, I have to hold the power in. I have to use a special heated bed, so I don’t get frostbite.” “You aren’t immune to the cold?” “I am a Ga-Matoran. Not a Ko-Matoran.” … “Oh um, Jutlin-Ka,” Ko-Ka’s optics widened as the ‘Ce-Matoran’ walked out of the training hall, “you … you are still here?” “Don’t talk to me,” Gavla huffed and pushed past her. Her body was blue and gold, still disguised as a Matoran of Psionics. “Um, okay. Sorry I was weird about it,” Ko-Ka waved after her, “if you need someone to talk to, I can try my best.” “What, trying to ‘play Agori?’” remarked a Ko-Matoran, “disgusting.” Ko-Ka winced, but then bit her metal lip. “It c-costs little to b-be nice. She seems very lonely.” “Yeah, so you can squirt fluids on her. What a Ga-Matoran. That power is wasted on you,” he walked away, and Ko-Ka slumped to the ground. She shivered. She … she didn’t like rejection. B-but she shouldn’t just cower. She should be willing to stand up and fight cruelty. Even if it m-made her an outcast. Th-that’s what being a hero should be. She walked into the training hall, to see Kualsi-Ka teleporting around the chamber, vanishing in a flurry of light before reappearing elsewhere. As he blinked across the room he grunted in frustration, and she nodded in sympathy. Disks of Teleportation teleported the user randomly. Controlling it was difficult. A bamboo disk hurled from a launcher at him, and he punched into it, teleporting the powerless disk away. Back down the hall she heard a large crash, before shouts of anger. “H-hey,” she walked up, “you doing okay?” “No, Kohlii-head,” the Su-Matoran grunted, “can barely control this power.” “Oh, um, is there a way I can help?” “You know anything about disks? Masks?” “Well no but—” “Then don’t bother,” Kualsi-Ka teleported away, before reappearing five bios off the ground. He fell with a thud, muttering, “you know, not all of us won the lottery like you and Jutlin-Ka.” He gestured to a nearby stone wall. Small handholds had been gouged out of the stone, Jutlin-Ka was a strong climber. “Y-yeah,” Ko-Ka swallowed, “s-still, if you want someone to talk to.” “Don’t need you finding weakness of mine,” he answered. “Weaknesses? Why?” “You really think all five of us are going to get to be in the limelight? We are just the prototypes. If they get test subjects who respond better, or are more charismatic, we probably end up sent to some backwater Koro to protect. Me, I’m not getting exiled to some Karzahni-forsaken village like a Spiriah.” “It … it would still be being a hero, helping people.” He marched over to her, his feet clanking on the hard floor. Finally he said in a cold voice, “I’m going to be part of the new breed of Toa. I’m not going to be some footnote.” He punched her in her frost-coated chest, and she teleported away. … “S-stop,” Ko-Ka skated up towards a few Ko-Matoran. They were chucking rocks at an Av-Matoran who had fallen on the ground, the Matoran of Light looked bruised, their chassis dented by the hurled stones. A rock chucked her way and she flinched, starting to tuck into a ball. But she resisted she … she should stand up for people. “Wh-why are you hurting them?” “It intruded where it did not belong,” one of them said, picking up a stone and facing her, “I’m a reasonable man, if these lying freak keep to themselves, I ignore them. But when they start parading in public, opening flaunting the upgrades the Makuta gave them. Well, I “I-I didn’t even use my light. And it’s not from the Makuta, they tried to wipe us out..” “Oh sure everyone believes your lies, but we are smarter. Never saw one of your breed until the Makuta took over.” One of them kicked the Av-Matoran. “S-stop,” Ko-Ka skated between them, her arms outstretched, “they did nothing wrong. And I r-remember seeing them before the Makuta took over. I am from Mata-Nui, our Chronicler was an Av-Matoran who became a Toa of light.” “Sure, a savage Mata-Nui girl would say that” a Matoran of Ice laughed, “you folks can barely use stone,” then his eyes narrowed, “you are that heretic who stole our powers aren’t you?” She swallowed and said shakily, “I-it’s not really ice, just Freezing. “Yeah? You even know what freezing is? You know how it differs from Ice? You know the temperature differences” She shivered, her kind was struggling to think as the Ko-Matoran advanced on her, cocky sneers on their faces. “You stole our birthrights, polluted our Destiny, we aren’t going to let you go,” There was a glint in one of their hands and she skated backwards, just as a knife sliced the air. She backed up further and further, shaking. Behind the Matoran of Ice, the Av-Matoran had shakily stood up, and was limping away. G-good. She could bait the mob away. As one swing she ducked and picked his mask, forming a layer of frost on his Anthron. He staggered and snarled, his fingers flexing like claws. She skated away slowly, and they pursued, hurling stones at her back. Some tripped on her ice as she led them away, others merely staggered on it. Few of them refused not to run on her trail. … “Um, Collector, do you have a moment?” The genderless Vortixx spun around and swung open the door, nearly tripping on their long legs. Ko-Ka stepped in, eyeing him. He was more than twice her height, it … she didn’t see many Vortixx in Metru-Nuva. At least, see them outside of Ta-Metru. They frequently worked in the technological districts. “What is wrong, friend?” They smiled creepily as they bent over to fit in their own room, but she chose to ignore that. She had her freezing powers, though her back was still bruised from the hurled rocks. She had plastered first behind her as an icepack though. And even if she was far weaker, she still remember how they rushed to help Gavla and herself. “I … are you okay? When Vican was lecturing me, and Konui came, he was … very unkind to you. I … I should have spoke up then. But I will speak up now.” “Oh um, I am okay. It’s not like he spoke wrongly. I’m a conniving thief, selfish and obsessed,” he laughed, but Ko-Ka didn’t. “You really think that?” “Of course. Vortixx are the lowest of the low, cruel and ruthless in pursuit of money and prestige. No one wants to be a Vortixx. Save monsters.” “You didn’t seem ruthless when you rushed out to help me when I had no control over my powers. You moved so fast you slipped on the ice.” “I … I did not realize you would remember that.” “It was very scary for me. It felt good that someone tried to help,” she paused, “why did you want to make us Matoran stronger?” “Because I want to be a Toa.” “You … you want to be a Toa?” “I know, it’s impossible. Vortixx are not part of your breed’s lifecycle. We do not transform as you did. But I want to be a Toa. And Project Mangai could let me do it.” They licked their lips with their long formed tongue. “Why do you want to be a Toa?” “Matoran love Toa. Toa are the greatest heroes, the greatest people. They have statues, stories, friends. And friendship cannot be taken from you. Not even if you are a freak.” They smiled eagerly, and drew their Kanoka Blade. Ko-Ka tried not to flinch as they showed her. “Toa Kopaka was a Toa of Ice, as cold as they come. But he still had a dear friend. Pohatu and him were always together, supporting each other, never abandoning each other even in the worst moments. Some say they were such dear friends they understood Agori emotions.” “You wanted to be like him?” “I want to be a Toa of Ice,” they nodded, “and through the hard work of Noble Matoran like you, it’s possible.” They beamed, before sheathing their blade. Though they still fidgeted with it, their fingers tickling the glove that was built into the Kanoka Blade, eternally gripping the hilt. Her optics eyed that gestured, and she understood. “Hey, if you ever want to study me when I’m trying to help the city, maybe you could tag along. Maybe help some people too?” “But I am not a Toa.” “Neither am I. You don’t have to be a Toa to be a hero. And it would be fun to hang out with someone who also wants to be a hero. And Vokarda, my roommate, she loves like Agori too. Maybe she would want to hang out with you?” “Fun. Um, okay. Sure. I um, Sure,” their face turned maroon beneath their Great Akaku, and they could not match her gaze. “Alright. Sounds good. I look forward to hanging out, friend.” … Ko-Ka skated down the sidewalk, dressed in a thick fur coat, with heaters strapped to her torso. Her mask, chest, and hands were permanently bleached white, she looked like a Vo-Matoran. But at least now more of her body wouldn’t suffer the same level of damage from the cold. Besides her Collector walked, their legs taking massive strides. The telescopic lens on their Akaku adjusted and focused on everything they passed, even as the mask let them see through the many walls and buildings on the village. “Do you know if Konui wears a Akaku to be like Kopaka?” She asked abruptly. “I … I don’t know. I did not think to wonder. Though given what he is planning I doubt it … ignore that.” “Okay,” she nodded, “how is my body holding up?” “Less burns, there is overall less corrosion from the ice. My apologies, I knew you were suffering damage, I did not realize it was constant. And I am sorry for making Vokarda uncomfortable, I will consider trading my Akaku for a Pehkui. I might be less imposing shrunken.” “It’s okay, you are helping now. And it’s not your fault. I forget sometimes she’s from Xia.” “Poor Vo-Matoran. No one should live in Xia.” She cleared her thought, trying to change the subject, “so, have you ever tried using your Kanoka Blade to skate?” “Um, no. Too clumsy.” “So was I at first.” “...” “Sorry, don’t worry about it. If you want to try, you can, but don’t let anyone pressure you until you are uncomfortable, okay?” “I don’t understand this very well,” Collector admitted, “we are friends. You own me, and I own you. Why are not you forcing me?” “Friends are not possessions.” “They aren’t? Then what are they?” “They … they are a lot of things. They are part of the Virtue of Unity, they are sisters and brothers. They are supporting someone through rough times. They are being willing to tell someone when they are wrong, and help them when they are in trouble. They are respecting that they are not an extension of you, but without them, you aren’t complete.” “I don’t understand. But I wish I did.” “Well, maybe we can figure it out together.” … “And Ga-7 isn’t asking you for information?” For anything?” Vican rubbed his brow. “No, I am learning a lot with our time hanging out. About friends, and about harnessing the power of Kanoka, the drawbacks and the like.” “So she doesn’t know what Councilor Konui wants?” “No. Well, I suppose she remembers he wants freeze powers. But she is unaware of his adjustment to the plan.” “Two disks,” Vican shook his head, “what kind of maniac wants to put two level eight disks inside him?” “It makes sense to a degree, Toa have both a mask power and an elemental power. The best successes we have had is with Weaken and Freeze.” “There are variables he doesn’t know about,” snapped Vican. “I know, it is dangerous. Fusing disks in mask making can create a different power. An Akaku is made from disks of Regeneration and Teleportation. Mixing two disks in a body could have unpredictable results. Likewise Ko-Ka is not immune to her own powers, and neither is Jutlin-Ka. While his breed quirk of cold resistance might help him if he used a disk like Ko-Ka’s, there is not guarantee it would be enough to handle the power of a level eight disk. Similarly, he has no protection against weakening. That is why I insist we at least delay his treatment for another three years at least.” “He won’t wait that long. And he refuses to use weaker disks, or to use only one. A Ga-Matoran wielding the power of freezing? It makes his doctrine look less stable. Most are buckling down, denying her as a hoax. But he’s feeling pressure to show how powerful a ‘true Matoran of Ice is.’” Vican sighed, “We are in too deep. I … it has to work. It has to be worth it. It has to work.” Then quietly he asked, “Do you trust Ko-Ka?” “With my life.” “Okay. I’ve told Phantom to be in the building when we empower Konui tomorrow. With his strength and flight he can possibly get him out of the city if he goes volatile. Do you think Ko-Ka can be on hand as well, to help anyone caught in his power?” “I … her own powers hurt her. The heaters I develop compensate for most of it but against a level eight disk, she could die.” “I know.” “I will ask her.” “And the idiot will say yes,” a voice spat quietly. Vican startled and Collector spun around, hitting their head against the low roof. Vican scrambled over his disk and slashed through the door with his claws, searching about. But no one was in sight. “Here,” Collector interrupted, pointing at the wall, “there is a thin hole cracked from one side to the other. “Karzahni,” Vican screeched like an Ice Bat, slashing through the wall his his claws. Collector flinched at the display, even as Vican’swings began to flap, and he flew down the hallway. … “What’s happening?” asked Ko-Ka as she flapped her wrists to fidget. Her Vortixx friend was staring at the test chamber, their lens zeroing in as they stared through the wall. She was to stay hidden until things went wrong, if things went wrong. And Konui, he was happy to no longer have the Vortixx in his presence. “He has stepped into the machine, and it is turning on,” Collector made a laugh, “you know, I suspect he does not believe in the Cold Truth, not really. He had me make miniaturized heaters, smaller ones shrunken inside his armor. He does not fully trust his cold resistance.” “Well, at least he won’t die. What’s happening now?” “They are preparing to insert the first disk,” they fingered the glove their Kanoka Blade, ready to brandish it at the first sign of trouble. Ko-Ka meanwhile flexed her fingers and toes, readying herself to unleash as much of her freezing power as she could. “Attention guards, every guard, we need backup now!” A radio crackled to life besides the two of them, and Ko-Ka almost tackled it, struggling to hold it in her hands. “Hello, what is it?” “An Av-Matoran snuck inside, she was posing as a Ko-Matoran, got to the third basement before one of us realized she matched Ce-3 description. She’s hurling light bolts — Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah.” The radio transmission cut off. “Why were they looking for Jutlin-Ka?” She looked at Collector. “I don’t know, the crack. The person listening in to the meeting must have been her. But then—” “Yes, she’s an Av-Matoran. I think she disguised herself as a Ce-Matoran because they are harder to detect, only ability they have is their mental shielding, and few people this days have Psionic powers.” “…The variables,” Collector Ussal-crawled their way to the door, swiping up the radio as they did with one hand, “Vican said there are variables we do not yet realize regarding using disks of weakening. And he was furious when he found out she was in the project. Given his history as a Shadow Matoran—” “He knew her,” Ko-Ka stood up, “he knew who she was. But why didn’t he say anything?” “I do not know,” Colkector crammed into the hallway, “But if Jutlin-Ka is an Av-Matoran, this changes everything. Her physiology would be vastly different from most breeds of Matoran, her ability to not only change her colors but to harness her element, it’s likely that her practice wielding powers beyond most Matoran how she was able to control her power of Weakening so precisely and so quickly. There may even be a biological element to it. And like you she only had a level four disk fused to her. But a level eight…” “He won’t be able to control it,” Ko-Ka skated past them, “we need to get there now. Where are they in the process?” “They are inserting the second disk, and the first is merging with him,” Collector slid their hand into the glove of their Kanoka Blade. The glove unfolded to form an arm-guard up to their shoulder, even as a cyan light glowed in the pommel of their sword. Mist began to loft from their Kanoka blade and its conjoined arm-guard, the moisture in the air freezing it its touch. They smiled briefly, feeling the power of freezing in their arm. Then they shook their head and spoke into the radio clutched in their left hand. “Hello, Turaga Nuparu? Vican? Balta? Phantom? Ce-3 was an Av-Matoran in disguise. The fusion process is not safe. Do not fuse the disk of weakening into him. Karzahni, they must have activated the force field. No signal can get in now.” “Please let us not be too late.” Ko-Ka closed her eyes as she skated ahead, carving a frozen path behind her. Her arms outstretched as her cloak billowed behind her, hurrying towards Konui and the scientists and engineers about to empower him with a dangerous mistake. … “M-maybe it will be fine. Maybe it will be fine,” muttered Vican shivering, “it … it will be worth it. It has to be. It will be fine.” “Beginning the next stage,” Balta interrupted as he toggled more switches. The machine was completely coated in ice, but it was holding for now. They had reinforced it in preparation for this experiment. It had to be modified anyone to hold more disks, and all of them knew Konui’s inner circle would follow soon, albeit with level seven disks. “Pumping Energized Protodermis to begin the transformation.” Vican shuddered, his claws nervously scratching at his armrests. Then ripping through the arm came a screen like a telescreen bursting into static echoed through the chamber. Vican bolted up, diving to Balta, “It’s killing him, we have to—” “It’s gone too far, we can’t stop or risk a meltdown. Our employer will … will just have to deal with it. Sending fusion waves.” The ice-coated chamber seemed to tremble and shake among the screaming, like a Brakas throwing a fit. And then like a tree branch coat in snow blasted by a Toa of Air, the machine crumble into a fine powder. Grains of frost, Protodermis, and everything in between sprawled across the floor, leaving a Matoran screaming in the center of the pile. His mask was constantly shifting, shattering in an instant and in the same freezing back together. He stood on all-fours, the pile around him constantly solidifying into a single mass and then crumbling again. The pile, his mask, and his body seemed almost to pulsate, moving like the beating of heartlight. The Ko-Matoran shrieked in pain like an iceberg shredding a boat, even as more and more of the room shattered and froze together. Vican shoved off his seat, taking off into the air as Balta drew his Repellers and Turaga Nuparu’s mask activated, and he faded from sight. Vican swooped down as the technicians sprinted to the bulkheads, thumping desperately on the armored walls. As they struggled the floor weakened and froze, violently churning. Many Matoran were ensnared in the ice, before their legs shattered. The Matoran gasped out, wheezing even as they were ripped apart and reassembled into ice sculptures. The mutated Le-Matoran froze in the air, but not from the cold. People, people were dying. People were dying because of him. Then came a new scream, and a rip of metal. Vican stared to see a large twisted arm manifest in the air, only visible from the ice plastered on it. Then the ice shattered, and oil, coolant, and lubricant spewed from the sky, before there was a loud thud. Vican swallowed and dove at the source of the thud, tackling the ground. With shaky hands he felt for Phantom, following the oozing puddle of coolant. “You? You dare come here? It is your fault, you did this to me!” a screech echoed through the chamber, and Vican turned to see Councilor Konui staggering upright. On trembling legs he waded through the powder ground from ice, Matoran, and machinery, pausing only when the pile around him froze solid. His body continued to deform and twist, he was growing thicker and wider, while his body remained the same size the ice coating only grew. “You. You bot-him!” Konui shrieked words were monosyllabic and broken by the screeching in his voice synthesizer, “you did this!” “I … I didn’t—” Konui lunged at Vican, only to strike Balta’s Repellers. The crossed blades glowed from the impact, before hurling Konui backwards, his body completely caked in ice and cracks. “Thank … thank you,” Vican swallowed as he looked at the Ta-Matoran. Balta’s blades crumbled and cracked, the silver tools completely caked in ice. The Le-Matoran stammered, “I-I d-didn’t meant to.” “It’s okay, I can rebuild them,” the Matoran of Fire dismissed, before he stepped back. Vican followed his gaze, even as Konui stood up, his crumbling body now roughly made of ice. He was taller and wider, his legs almost mounds of debris. “You … you did this!” Konui dived at them, only to hit something invisible. Vican swallowed, he could see the outline of Nuparu, relying on his Mask of Stealth. Konui flailed and struggled to push past his similarly camouflaged drill-shield. “Sorry,” Nuparu said quietly as his drill began to spin. Chunks of Konui were sent flying as a hole was torn through his abdomen, but still the mutated Ko-Matoran waded forward, now clutching his rapidly shredding arms around the Badge of Office. “Karzahni,” muttered the Turaga of Earth as the drill began to shudder and stall, “I hoped the Protosteel would hold.” Then the drill exploded, hurling the camouflaged Turaga and Balta backwards. Vican watched them fall, his heartlight pounding. He swallowed, tightening. Then with some strain he shouted, “Look at your cold truth now, Councilor.” “SILENCE! You did this. You’re weak-in disk did it.” “I did,” Vican nodded, rising into the air, “and you know how I did? The Ce-Matoran who successfully bonded to the disk of weakening? The greatest success? She was a trick. Just a Matoran of Light posing as a Ce-Matoran.” “You swore! Those hair-a-ticks would not be in-vol-ved!” “Why? Because she shows just how pathetic you cult is? That the cold truth is alive” Konui shrieked and rose higher, his ice plastering more and more of the powder of corpses, frost, and machinery into himself. He towered above even a Vortixx as he swung his arm at Vican. The Le-Matoran dived underneath the arm as it crumbled apart, a before flying in front of the bulkhead. The mutant waded after him and hurled his fist at Vican. Vican dived, letting the hulking fist smash into the sealed door. The barrier cracked and crumbled before freezing back up in roughly the same shape. Vican hovered to look at the damage, even as Konui shrieked. “Hey, Ko-Hordika,” he called out, looking at this half-beast of ice. Konui hurled his fist at Vican, but as the Le-Matoran dodged the arm snapped off, spinning in the air. The shoulder slammed into Vican as it revolved, knocking him to the ground. Vican gasped out, pinned under the severed arm. He shivered as frost crawled over his body, cracks digging into his armor. And then a strong kick knocked through the bulkhead. … Ko-Ka glided past Collector through the hole they had kicked in, skating into the room. She wheezed as she entered the room, something about the air. As she coughed Collector focused their mask, looking for more weak-spots to target. The empowered Ga-Matoran skated up the hill of frozen debris, streaking past Konui. She wheezed again, the air, her fingers felt so strange. S-still, there were lives to save. Clearing her throat she ready to taunt him, but lo9ing at his mask constantly crawling as it broke and froze back together, she could only stumble. “You … I am so sorry. That looks painful,” she finally said, and he roared on rage. “Lie-Err,” She wove between his legs even as she crouched on her skating feet. As she bent low she press her fingers to the floor, spreading frost like a spiderweb. She almost immediately hacked as the air grew stale, her skin crawling. As she slid underneath Konui the mutated Ko-Matoran swung his fist, striking behind her. She pirouetted and turned away, continuing her path of frost. As she skated away he began to move his long crumbling mounds of legs, beginning to chase. But as he moved he slipped on her eyes, and the pile off parts that made up his body swayed. With an explosion of parts he tripped and smacked into the ground, chunks of him flying wildly. Ko-Ka glided away from him, reaching Balta. With a press of her hands she froze the ground below and in front of him, before shoving off to slide them across the sleek ice. They glided across the ice as she lead the path, pushing them through the hole in the bulkhead. Collector grabbed the Ta-Matoran and moved him to safety, even as Ko-Ka gasped out. The air was so much better out of that room. She breathed shallow at first, trying to flush out the awful texture, before taking a few deep breathes. She slid back into the testing chamber, holding her breath. This was no ocean, but her natural Ga-Matoran physiology would help her avoid this awful air. With strain she grabbed the Turaga and the surviving technicians one at a time, and began to shove them through the gap. Each time she took another breathe, before diving back in. She ducked suddenly as Konui’s colossal arm lunges after her, hurling itself off of Vican. She … had not seen him, he looked so pale. As she skated away the arm struggled to reattach itself. He was taking so longer to reassemble, his body seemed to struggle to freeze its part back into one piece. As Ko-Ka skated towards Vican, she stumbled. She skidded to a halt, breathing slowly. “Moisture,” she muttered in realization. Almost all the moisture in the room had been used up by Konui’s freezing powers. The air was become dryer, it was harder to breathe. There was less moisture to freeze too, her fingers tricked out less and less frost. Konui seemed to realize it too. His body was continuing to crumble, but he was struggling to pierce it back together. He dragged himself like a crumbling pile of sand, slamming into the opposite wall of the testing chamber. He pressed all over the chamber, and it began to crack and crumble. The Ga-Matoran reached Vican just as the wall crumbled into a fine powder. As it collapsed the crystalline ceiling cracked and shattered, debris hurling down. Konui was no longer able to freeze without moisture, so his weakening power was unrestrained. The sound of icebergs slashing each other echoed around her, as a huge gash was cleared into the chamber. Konui sighed as fresh air flowed into him, and began to freeze back into a vague shape. But as air rejuvenating Konu Ko-Ka oils only stare up in horror as debris plummet into her and Vican. … Ko-Ka opened her optics and looked around. Debris had them pinned, Vican’s wings had spread around her, supporting up the rubble. The only light came from their eyes and their heartlights. And Vican’s heartlight was starting to flicker. She coughed, “Vican are, are you okay?” “Don’t talk, just breathe calm and slow. You … maybe you can make it until help arrives,” he wheezed, and she nodded. “I … I had served the Makuta willingly. Makuta Mutran offered me the chance to go on greater adventures, and I didn’t care what the price would be. I regretted it, but Gavla, she was turned against her will. I chose to serve.” “Even as a Shadow Matoran I hated these claws,”he said, “I thought ic I servedMutran and his brothers, he might give me a Virus to undo it. I was loyal, faithful, doing whatever he said for the promise to be healed. And in the end, an experiment of his went wild, and its rampage restored my mind.” “I … I couldn’t accept Mata-Nui’s final gift. After all I had did for Mutran, after my lust for power and to matter, I … I needed penance. So I remained a freak, to not forget. But I think I did forget.” He coughed, and Ko-Ka said nothing, just reaching out to offer her hand. He grasped it in his claws, cutting her finger. He recoiled, but she kept her bleeding hand outstretched to him, still silently focusing on breathing. “I … when the Great Being Civil War was fought, so many great heroes were lost, dying to Marendar or Velika. In the end the Last Toa and the Makuta of Light slayed them both, but by then so many were dead.” “I … Dark Hunters and more able-bodied Turaga stepped up to protect us, but Turaga were often better leaders and the Dark Hunters, most just wanted payment. Phantom was … lucky … for us. The Nynrah … the Ghosts built Fohrok and Vahki to … defend us, Bohrok were … were … were repurposed, but none of them could … understand the … the … th-the Virtues or the Principles. And so many Matoran were lost … lost in … in spirit, with our g-gods dead and no way to make more Matoran…” Something wet splattered on Ko-Ka. She felt it, before flinching. That oozing fluid was not melted water. She reached for Vican, but he pushed her hand away. “I … Konui … he… promised redemption,” he wheezed, “Did … he did not talk as much … talk about the Cold Truth. At first. Just wanted to make heroes. Inspire people, reassure them. The right way, using Matoran … Matoran tools. Not Hordika Venom, not … not Viruses. I mean not … not Viruses. Sorry. But we would be careful. Carefully selected Matoran. They would not be Toa, but far better than nothing.” The rubble shook, rocks ripping and deforming his wings. Vican spread his claws wide, before gasping out. His heartlight’s glow grew fainter and fainter, beat slower and slower. He swallowed, more coolant dripping into Ko-Ka. His voice was barely a whisper as he continued, “Banning Av-Matoran almost made sense when he said it, prevent them from getting more powerful, letting it go to their heads. But things kept changing. As he got more of his followers in the building he got more theatrical. Worse people were experimented on. And when I realized Gavla had snuck in, I knew he would blame me. And I…” “It’s okay,” Ko-Ka said quietly, just as more debris shifted. Then the Ga-Matoran whispered, “s-sorry.” Her hands wiped the coolant off her hands and smeared it against the concrete debris, freezing some of the stone together. Vican made a bitter grin, “Glad I … I could help.” Then with a clunk the Le-Matoran went limp, the rocks collapsed save where she had frozen them. Ko-Ka sat alone in the dark, her heartlight beginning to pound. Holding her breath was harder now, she could feel the Vican’s drippings oozing on her, secreting and freezing against her body. Her fingers shivered, it was all so wrong. And then a large chunk of rubble was hurled away. She looked up as Collector extended their hand, and she took it. “Th-thank you,” Ko-Ka shivered as she was pulled free, and hoisted onto Collector’s shoulder “Jutlin-Ka did the heavy digging,” the Vortixx dismissed, “she destroyed a lot of the debris, before she left. Nuparu’s connection to earth and my Akaku helped guide me.” “Did … did she say why she was here? Jutlin-Ka I mean.” “She said she had wanted to take Konui’s spot in the chamber, get that power.” “Do … do you think she was telling the truth.” “She wasted a lot of time digging up all of us,” Turaga Nuparu said quietly, “and according to the news, she’s still attacking Konui. Despite the fact that those disks and the machine are now gone.” Ko-Ka nodded, then her optics widened and shoved herself upright. “They are fighting? Where?” “You are hurt.” “Where?” Collector held up their hand, thinking. Finally they said, “I will tell you. But if I do, please do not fight him. You are out of breath, you are bruised, do not fight him. I know you make your own choices, but I will not let you kill yourself. Please avoid the main battle. The Chronicler and other Av-Matoran can help Jutlin-Ka enough. And the Turaga have a plan.” “I … okay. But I will rescue people?” “Okay. He’s in Av-Kofo, attacking any Av-Matoran and Su-Matoran in sight.” Ko-Ka dipped her head and leapt off them, breathing in the humid air. She began to skate on a cushion said, “would you like to help?” “I will. Go ahead, I have to hurry to my lab first. Nuparu will need the radio, he needs to coordinate with the Bohrok handlers, and to get me some equipment.” “Right, Tahnok?” “Yes. We only have some many in the city, most are in New Atero. But they are our best weapon.” Ko-Ka nodded and quietly whispered, “stay safe.” Before skating away into the city. … The Ga-Matoran hero focused, her frost spreading across the walls of the building. As she plastered it together she could hear whirling as Av-Matoran zipped on their jetpacksl hurling bolts of light into the titanic monster. The light had little heat, but it still disoriented him, and knocked aside chunks of his body. Konui was a blob of rubble now, barely any structure was left to him. He towered over the city, roughly the size of a Tahtarok. He slithered other Av-Koro, shattering and absorbing the landscape into himself. Behind him a few Ko-Matoran walked, hurling rocks at the Av-Matoran they could reach. Ko-Ka ducked as a chunk of the commune collapsed near her. “Anyone in this commune?” She called out, listening. There was no response. She hesitated, before seeing Konui’s long arm plowing through another commune, hurling Su-Matoran wildly. She swallowed and whispered, “sorry,” before skating over, streaking atop her freezing power. As the ‘Spirit of Ice’ glided and weaved among the destruction more of the city crumbled and collapsed, folding in on itself. As he swung suddenly Konui’s remaining arm ripped off, hurling through the air. Ko-Ka dived and slid underneath, gliding on ice underneath the crumbling meteor. The Ga-Matoran turned around, the arm collapsed into debris and rubble, whatever consciousness that had held it together had faded. She looked back to his body, he was beginning to reform his arm, but wait. She strained to look, she had no telescopic lens, but it almost looked like a blue Matoran was holding to his body where his arm had fallen off. Slowly she shoved back onto her feet and resumed skating, hurrying towards the smashed home. Ko-Ka glided up and began to freeze the buildings walls, try to prevent more of the home from collapsing. As ice glued the cracked building together she swung around to a chunk of a roof and skated towards it. She launched herself off the artificial incline, landing inside the commune. Ko-Ka skated through the damaged building, her feet freezing over the crumbling floor. Her optics searched about, before spotting a patch of orange buried by debris. She glided over and pressed her palms to the debris, frost spreading from her fingers. She swallowed and focused, the ice expanding in the cracks and gaps in the rubble. Her relish on tore through it, shattering the chunks of roofing. The hero pulled the Matoran of Plasma free, looking over his injuries. As she search him he moaned, “s-should have stayed in Ta-Metru. Thought Av-Kofo would be safer.” “Don’t talk,” she said quietly, before helping him to his feet. She skated to a jagged hole in the home and froze it, plastering a smooth slid to the city plaza. “Hurry,” she said, before skating past him to search the rest of the house. “Th-thanks, Ko-Ka,” he said, still dazed, before sliding down out of the house. … Ko-Ka walked out of the commune, holding an Av-Matoran on her shoulders. As she balanced him she winced at the wall of heat, the Tahnok and Fohrok were being pushed back past the commune, backing away from Konui as the living landslide tumbled after them. Their Fire Shields were flamethrowers, sending torrents of Fire into the giant pile of debris. His ice evaporated into plumes of steam under their onslaught, even as his one arm flailed to swat away the five red Bohrok. Chunks of him crumbled away without the frost holding him together. He no longer looked like a Matoran or an Agori. Let alone a Toa. Just like a heap of rocks swinging around a long tendril. He didn’t even seem to have a mask anymore. “If he doesn’t have a mask, he shouldn’t be conscious. His body has been torn apart some many times, it’s constantly shattering and plastering itself together. He can’t be alive.” Ko-Ka tensed up, gripping her passenger tight, before skating out of the destroyed commune, streaking down the ice before tumbling on the snowy powder that had once been a plaza. She checked over their body again, before glancing towards the moving mound. He was pursuing the Tahnok, driving them back into Av-Kofo. Was he still targeting the Matoran of Light? Or was he only targeting the heat? Or was he just moving aimlessly? His arm seemed to flail wildly, no longer targeting anything in particular. And he had no visible head, so it’s not like he could see. Was Konui even still alive? Or was this now something else? She rubbed her head, “I don’t know … it doesn’t matter. That’s not my part in this. I need to rescue civilians, get people to safety. That’s the kind of hero I need to be. I don’t need to be a star.” The Ga-Matoran hero leapt down and began to skate, heading past the bug-like robots towards the trail of destruction. As she glided across the landscape Ko-Ka shook her head. This much destruction, all over the need to belong. The Great Mother of Metru-Nuva was being built in Po-Metru, it wasn’t directly caught in this, but even still, all the repairs, the injuries. It might take another hundred years before the New City could finally begin manufacturing new Matoran. It might even slow down New Atero and the other major cities too. As she ran there was a crash, and a Ko-Matoran ran out of a commune, wielding a stolen Power Sword. He laughed and swung it wildly as she ran up. “S-stop, you can’t even use that.” “Shut it freak,” he swung the blade at her but she ducked underneath him, before pressing her palm to his mask. Frost coated over his eye holes, he lunged at her only to overshoot and fall to the ground. The Power Sword clattered away, and he pulled himself up, scratching at his eyes. His resistance would keep him unharmed, but he would find it harder to loot the shattering district now. As he cursed her Ko-Ka skated away. She streaked behind the Bohrok and Fohrok, only to suddenly stumble and winced. The raw heat of the Tahnok and their imitations, her ice melted so quickly, it was more of a slushy mess. She began to run the rest of the way, it would be slower and more tiring, but it was stabler. Project Mangai rarely had tested for the limits of her freezing power in heat, same as, nor its limitation of moisture. She knew her limits better from responding to disasters, from research that Collector had done. But the project… Her feet pounded as she wondered how much of that was Konui’s doing. Or his followers. Maybe they just had not wanted to hear the weaknesses of their ‘Ice’ elemental powers, or maybe they had been just setting up the Matoran of Water to fail. Finally she could feel the wall of heat fade as the Tahnok were pushed farther back, and she began to freeze the cracked streets once more, swooping over the landscape like a Gukko on a thermal. As Ko-Ka glided up there was a rumbling, the East of Av-Kofo seemed to tremble and shake. She kicked her legs to skate faster, even as Av-Matoran and Su-Matoran scrambled to get to safety. Behind them she could see Ko-Matoran shouting and hurling rocks at them, a number of Av-Matoran returned fire with bolts of light, one even shattering a Ko-Matoran’s mask. She swerved towards the scene, her fingers wiggling wildly. Mist lofted off them as she skated to the crowd, before she began to crouch low. This … the so called Cold Truth was monstrous. This rampage had been unintentional, but … Konui targeted Av-Kofo at first, his followers threw rocks at businesses, attacked Av-Matoran who left their distract, and that was even before this calamity. Her arms touched the broken ground as she skated, now shifting to a squat. As she slid ice spread from each of her limbs, sealing up some of the broken ground. As she did a Ko-Matoran shouted, “it’s the Karzahni-kissed thief. Get her, boys.” They ran at her, but she continued to skate, twirling and streaking across the ground. One lunged for her, only to slip on her trail of ice. He tumbled and smacked to the ground, and she looped back around. With a wipe of her hand she smeared his mask with ice, obscuring his vision. A rock slammed into her back, knocking her into stumble. But she had fallen a lot when she was learning to grasp her powers, she still fell now on occasion. As she fell she caught herself on her hands and kept gliding on her cushion of frost. She swooped back around as she shoved herself upright, before ducking beneath another hurled stone. A Ko-Matoran charged at her with a broken blade, cracks running down it. How close had he been to the living landslide? She skated right up to him before veering away, letting him slip on her ice. From behind him a blast of light slammed into another Ko-Matoran, knocking him to the ground. Ko-Ka skated up to blind him, frosting over his mask before pivoting and doing the same to the latest Ko-Matoran to trip. The rest charged after her, stumbling and wading through the thick layers of shattered ground and powdery ice. She stretched her legs to widen her ice slick, the Ko-Matoran quickly scrambling into the solid ground she had formed, only to slip hard to the ground below. As she skated away she looked towards Konui. What was left of him was incoherent, the supporting ice melted by the mechanical warriors. He struck out wildly with his arm, he didn’t even seemed to roll anymore, just held in place flailing. Boom. His arm slammed into two Tahnok, hurling them back and shattering them. Ko-Ka winced, most of the Bohrok were either in the New Atero Defense Force, acting as labor or spare parts for the Great Mothers project, or had been rebuilt into Boxers. They could still make more Fohrok though, if they could acquire the Protodermis for it. Without the Tahnok Konui’s ice began to regrow, but still he stayed in place. His pile was pulsating again, constantly exploding into shards and then freezing back together. It looked like his non-ice components became small and smaller, turning into dust. Ko-Ka’s optics focused in on his body. It might be still, but it was still growing. How did it have this much power? Great Masks weren’t this powerful, even if you got a Toa Disk, radiating the actual element of its creator, that disk would be limited. A Garai would not even work on its user. A thought brushed against her. Energized Protodermis was mutagenic, transforming or destroying almost anything it touched. It took ages to discover a way to handle it safety. Perhaps when the Weakening disk was beginning to fuse to him, his lack of control damaged the containers holding the EP, and it splashed into him, completely transforming the abilities and physiology him and his disks. It didn’t make much of a difference, he was still dangerous. She skated closer, only to see a trench emerging around him. She poked overhead to see Gavla carving a moat in the ground around him. “Trying to contain him like the fire?” “Shut it,” Ko-Ka nodded at the reply. She would worry about Gavla later. For now she skated around the moat, searching for anyone in the danger zone. She found a few soon enough. A few Ko-Matoran lay mangled, their bodies shattered and froze in a patchwork, fluids drooling out of their broken bodies. “This … this is all wrong,” one of them groaned as she skated up. And then he added, “he’s hurting the wrong people.” Ko-Ka stopped short, and found herself wondering if she should actually save these Matoran. She shook her head of those thoughts she … she should give a try. But not for the Virtues, these Ko-Matoran did not hold Unity with her. Just because too many were dying already. She skated over towards him, hand outstretched. With a press of her palms she plastered his cracked body with ice, sealing up his injuries. Or at least that was why she had intended to do. The empowered Ga-Matoran gagged at the feeling of coolant on her fingers, and began to shake her hands wildly. Not to stim, but just to shake off the foul liquid. Her mind reverted to being buried alive, she could see Vivian in her eyes, his body pierced by rubble and dripping fluid into her. She shuddered as she could almost taste the goop, feel it squirming down her metallic skin. “Get … get away, freak,” she was brought out of her revulsion by the Ko-Matoran. She … she had to stop more death. She swallowed and reached for his other injuries, but he weakly battered her hand away. “Help.” She spun around a the call of a familiar voice, before spotting Collector. Their Kanoka Blade was still attached to their arm, but the sword was pointed at the ground below them. Ice spread from its tip, and they were struggling to slide across that frost. Ko-Ka skated up to them, “y-you need any help?” “Yes,” their long legs quaked, before falling onto their back. They groaned as she offered her hand, and they pushed on her as a support. They managed to shove back upright, brandishing their Kanoka Blade in front of them. It was roughly half as long as Ko-Ka was tall, though the arm guard still covered the Vortixx’s full limb. It’s pommel was cyan, and it’s cross guard was the shape of a five-pointed star. From the pauldron to the blade a faint mist lofted from it, constantly chilling the air. Ko-Ka listened as Collector pulled free a series of large brick of machinery from their back. “This is based off the heater technology that helps you avoid frost bite,” they said, “it will let us constantly melt the ice, make him loose form. Though I will need to get close to use them.” “How are they going to stay together? That blob, it shatters everything in each.” “Yes, well,” they paused, “Nuparu was able to reach New Atero, and the council agreed to help. I was able to acquire a level eight disk of regeneration. I have incorporated it into this device, along with a level four disk of enlarging. When it activated, it will constantly heal, and will grow large enough to affect his whole body.” “But we still need to get close to him to insert it,” she looked back towards the pile of rubble, “Gavla is still there, she could cleave a hole for us and we could then drop it down into his core.” “That should work. Can you skate that way, stabilize the earth and give me a trail to follow? I can protect you from debris, I just not good at balance.” “Of course,” she crouched and began to skate, forming a thick path below her.. the Vortixx ran besides her, their Kanoka Blade clutched tight, held in front of them like a lantern in the dark. The ground pulsates and cracked as they drew closer, Ko-Ka plastered it together as best she could, while Collector swung their blade at chunks of rubble flung from the shattering earth. Some debris the Vortixx batted away with their blade, other chunks of rubble they sliced in half, the falling shards of rock plastered in frost. Their sword whirled through the air, swung with precision and speed. “Is that Protosteel?” “No, merely Protodermis,” they answered as they split a flying chunk of debris, knocking its two halves to fall harmlessly on either side of Collector and Ko-Ka. There was something in their voice, a certain speed to it, like when they said they wanted to be a Toa of Ice. “You are very graceful with that sword, you must train a lot.” “Oh um, yes. I … I have practiced with it some,” they blushed, looking away. Ko-Ka smiled faintly as she skated slightly in front of them, freezing the ground together to keep it a bit more solid. She shook the smile off her face quickly though, it was … it was not right. Not when the city was crumbling to pieces. As she plastered together the ground something whiroefnout of the corner of her optic. She turned to see a chunk of stone hurling at her, only to be battered aside with a clean blow of Collector’s Kanoka Blade. The now frosted rock tumbled away, before shattering on the ground. “Thank you, I … I hope you get your chance to become a Toa.” “I doubt it,” they sighed, “After this, I doubt Project Mangai will be allowed to continue. The priority will be rebuilding and the Mothers. If they need people capable of wielding the elements, they might just build more new Fohrok, since those are well tested. But fusing Protoderms to Kanoka Blades? I doubt the council will let it continue.” “I am sorry.” “It is the right decision,” they answered, briefly sprinting ahead of her as a large chunk of scaffolding crashed in front of them. They sliced at it with their blade, having through it before helping Ko-Ka through the gap. Collector sighed at they ran, “I wish it was not so though. I clearly did not deserve the power and friendship of a Toa. Too greedy.” “I wanted to be a hero too.” She said as the two of them reached the edge large mound of rubble. The debris that made up Konui was a fine powder now, the metal and rock shattered and froze together so much it only looked like a grayish blue wall of ice. Every second the mound shattered, and in the next it froze back into a solid mass. “D-do you think he is in pain?” “He screamed when he first was empowered. I cannot imagine if he is conscious, that this form is pleasant,” admitted Collector. “What are you doing here?” They turned to see Gavla pressing her palms against his edge, shattering chunks of his body. “I have a weapon we can use to prevent him from freezing back together. If I can embed it inside his body, it will keep the mound too solid to break, and device will be able to regenerate its injuries.” “You want to go inside that thing,” she turned to look at them, “you will die doing that. His weakening power will grind you into paste.” “Well um, yes, but—” “What, you can’t do that,” Ko-Ka rounded on the Vortixx, you can’t die, the city needs heroes like you.” “Hey, fake-corpse,” Gavla shouted over them, “Fohrok, or whatever you are called? Get over here.” “What?” Ko-Ka turned to look in confusion. The Fohrok clicked its mandibles and rolled up, before unfolding. As it towered over Ko-Ka and Gavla the blue Av-Matoran Frieda bolt of light into Collector’s leg. The Vortixx fell to their knee, and Gavla snagged the weapon off them. Ko-Ka stared in shock as Gavla began to shout at the mechanical creature. Finally she shook free of her daze and ran to Collector, helping them back to their feet “You … you didn’t have to do that.” “You’re heroes, probably would have gotten yourselves killed trying to be noble. Let the walking imitation of a corpse handle it.” The Fohrok indeed hooked the device around their right arm, a s began to roll straight at the mound. “Imitation of a corpse?” “Bohrok are dead Av-Matoran,” Gavla spat, “if the idiots don’t become Toa, their corpses transform into mindless machines. And the idiots think that’s a great honor. Part of the ‘Virtue of Destiny.’” “I … was not aware that Bohrok were once Matoran.” “Yeah? As much as they say it’s an honor, they still shut up about it with outsiders.” Ko-Ka shivered as the orange-yellow and blue robot rolled onto the top of the mound, before unleashing a focused torrent of fire from their shields, aimed directly below them. They began to sink into the structure as the ice and metal components turned into boiling fluid. “…How did the Nynrah Ghosts make Fohrok? H-how did they know how they worked?” “Dissections of Bohrok I believe. Though whether or not they knew what they handling, I do not know. But, I suppose if Av-Matoran can still transform without Toa Stones, it might open up new possibilities for recreating Toa,” they winced, “sorry, greed.” “It’s … okay,” Ko-Ka dismissed, even as the mound began to shudder, “how is it doing?” “It’s roughly at the center of the mound, and I believe it has activated the device.” Immediately the mound seem to squirm, she could guess it was the enlarging disks activating. “I feel like I should be doing more.” “Then let’s do more.” They nodded, and the two of them stepped back and began to circle the mound. Ko-Ka skated across the cracked and shattered ground, plastering it together. Running in the opposite direction Collector did the same with their Kanoka Blade, freezing the ground stable. As they ran past each other to keep circling, the mound crumbled. Steam vented off of it as the ice evaporated, forming plumes of rapidly fading vapor. The increased moisture in the air only fueled their mending of the cityscape, supplying them with ice. Finally the two of them rested, as the mound was reduced to a heap of fine powder. “I-is he dead?” “He likely was as soon as he breached the lab,” Collector offered, “as for if the power of the disks have stopped, I do not know. Would be best to keep watch, monitor the situation.” Ko-Ka nodded and glanced around for Gavla, but already she was gone, leaving only the Ga-Matoran, the Vortixx, and a bunch of mechanical life-forms. … “You can’t be serious,” Ko-Ka almost snarled, skating in front of Collector, “they helped save the city, their plan stopped the living landslide. They warned the group it would work.” Turaga Dume shook his head as the Bohrok approached, “Project Mangai has been found culpable for the destruction of Av-Kofo—” “W-well than why not blame Turaga Nuparu? Or Balta? O-or the technicians, almost all of them were in the cult that—” “Silence,” Dume thumped his Badge of Office to the ground, “Collector is Vortixx, a greedy race of arms dealers. They joined the group just to have power. It is clear where the fault lies.” “Y-you are wrong,” she said as she blocked the Bohrok, frost drifting from her hands. “That’s the problem with you Mata-Nui Matoran, you forget yourselves,” the ancient Turaga sighed, then said firmly, “this is how it has to be.” “No, it does not. The Cold Truth is to blame. They even looted buildings and attacked people during the chaos—” “I cannot blame Matoran for this disaster,” he said quietly, “it would not look good. Phantom is still recovering, so I only have one option.” “Th-this is monstrous. You … you are going to make Collector take the fall, just b-because of potential backlash? And the Cold Truth suffers nothing. This is wrong.” “I-it’s okay,” Collector offered, shaking, “I … I should have been wiser. Maybe I made a mistake that led to this, an error in my judgement. And besides, if they try anything,you will be there.” “You are not to harass them,” the Turaga spoke as harsh as a sandstorm against an Agori’s skin, “Later, when we have a new generation coming, maybe then we could afford to discuss it then. But not now. Not while we are so vulnerable.” “Would you have b-bent to the whims of the Makuta so easily?” The Turaga’s eyes seemed to burn at that comment, and his staff began to lit with fire. He tapped his staff and three of the Bohrok swarmed together, forming a single colossal being. “They come with us, end of discussion.” … Collector hated this warmth, this lukewarm feeling on their metal skin. Their cell was built for Matoran,too small, so they had to sit scrunched up. Their hand kept flexing and fidgeting, thirsting for their Kanoka Blade. The calming cold. “Heard about the Cold Truth temple that got attacked?” “Yeah, someone used a disk of freezing to erode it until it collapsed, right?” Collector’s optics pivoted to listen more as the guard continued, “all their servers were also shattered by ice.” “I mean the Council are trying to suppress news of it, and the Cold Truth can’t make up their minds who to blame and whether to actually mention the ice, but well, you know who they—” And then the lights inside the chamber shutdown. “What the Karzahni—” A shadow swooped through the darkness, striking both Matoran in their masks. They moaned as something reflective covered their heads, plastering their optics shut. One of them spun around, thrusting their Electro-Blade, only to clutch his hand in pain and drop his short sword. He fell to the ground, before ice spread to his hand, sealing him to the floor. The other guard fell down the same way, managing to shout, “h-help, s-someone—“ and then ice plastered over his jaw, silencing him. Collector struggled to look as ice sank into the forcefield’s controls, and the translucent barrier shimmered out of existence. They wearily stepped out, asking, “Ko-Ka?” “Here,” the cross-wired vigilante handed over a Great Akaku and a familiar blade, “we need to move quickly. They will have the Fohrok up and running again shortly.” “You … can’t do this,” they said as they stared at their personal items, “They will blame you, say you were driven mad by the disk, lost control.” “L-let them. Doing the right thing is more important than what the Matoran say,” Ko-Ka said firmly, “and we are friends, aren’t we?” Collector shakily nodded as they crawled out of their cell, standing up. Slowly they plucked up their mask and Kanoka Blade, slotting them on. Their telescopic lens immediately began to adjust and extend, probing through the walls. “Fohrok approaching, and Vahki.” “Th-then let’s go,” Ko-Ka began to skate, and Collector followed after, head bent, “we have a lot of work to do.”
  16. Yes, the title is a pun. Apologies for uncolored masks, but faces. Enjoy!
  17. Aderia

    "Takua, No!!"

    Been branching out in this recent quarantine. Branches include Clone Wars and drawing, thus I give you: (rough translation of Matoran and Galactic Basic ) Eheh, I forgot how Ussal crabs worked, so now we have puny Pewkew. As always, totally open to suggestions, would love to improve!
  18. Matoran concept and turaga comes later. New matoran build Prototype build Set form Kaita form Updates coming soon.
  19. The matoran are the 2nd sets i made for bionicle animated. This is what i do best. Matoran Kaita of loyalty mahuli Fastest and smartest, also kind. Kaita of courage hakato Strong in 3 ways, its determenation is durable Nui kaita akachi Strong and fast, but the only downfall is its temper
  20. So I wrote another Kanohi story because of course I did. This one takes place in the core universe and the kingdom, a little before the two timelines split. The premise for this is the hurt some Matoran feel as the Turaga reveal the true history of their people, as well as the disconnect some of the Matoran have with the so-called city of legends. So this is a story about the fallout of the Turaga revealing the truth about the 2004-2005 storyline. Anyway, without further ado, enjoy. The Willing Exiles … ”You … you sure we should go?” Ramaka asked, looking at the two Ga-Matoran. The sun was beginning to set, and the tent they were taking shelter in was rustling in the wind. “We have to. Those stories the Turaga shared, they aren’t us. Maybe there were once, maybe they never were. We don’t belong in some underground ruin, working like cogs in a lifeless machine.” Gajaga spat, as she packed her satchel. It was woven of faded plant fibers, contrasting against her blue metal chassis. “Maybe the rest of the stories will—” “—Tell us just how much they lied?” Gajaga sighed, “no. I prefer to have at least some fond memories of Turaga Nokama.” She began to wrap up her sleeping bag. “She’s right,” Cemahri reached over, grasping Gajaga’s hand, and the other Ga-Matoran blushed beneath her mask, “I … to know the Turaga lied for over a thousand years, about the most basic things. No, we cannot go with them. And … it’s better we don’t come. We don’t belong with the other Matoran. This is a chance for us.” Ramaka nodded, though did not match her eye contact. The two Ga-Matoran pushed aside their bags then, before embracing their companion. “Hey, we will get through this together,” Gajaga said, “we spent centuries on this island, we know it by heart. We can flourish in our beloved island home.” “We … we do have our unity to each other,” Ramaka smiled nervously, “okay, sisters, let us return to our real home.” The three Matoran picked up their bamboo disks and slug their satchels over their shoulders, before slipping out into the jungle. Their long arms pushed aside the ferns and branches, their big feet waded through the swamp. They would not leave Mata-Nui, not for some underground ruin that was likely infested by spiders the size of Toa. This was their home, not some broken city. … Kanohi held his lighter to his right arm, softening the orange and black metal. The lighter was infused with the element of Fire, probably a relic from when Turaga Vakama was a Toa. Because apparently Kanohi’s mentor had lied to him about everything. “There,” Nuparu said, “it should be almost in place now.” Kanohi was welding a Volo Lutu Launcher to his arm, as Nuparu fitted the tool’s machinery to mesh with his biomechanical body. The left arm was already complete, now was just the right. The two of them were in a tent this night, the stars mostly shone in the sky despite the many torches around Kini-Nui. Thousands of Matoran were camping in the jungle, as they built ships to sail though the underground Silver Sea. The sounds of hammers pounded under the stars, as the Matoran prepared to return to their home. A home only the Turaga remembered, As Kanohi welded the tool to his arm, Nuparu spoke up, “So, did the Turaga ever tell you—” “—No.” Kanohi answered quickly, and his breath became harsher. His foot began to thump against the floor, and his fingers began to drum against his lighter. The Fe-Matoran’s face was hidden, he wore wooden masks all over his body, as a sort of armor. Each mask was carved to resemble a Ruru, the Noble Mask of Night Vision. And his true mask was a Great Ruru, though he could not use it. Still both were appropriate, his power allowed him to light the darkness of the future. But clearly his visions were helpless to the past. “It’s … frustrating, isn’t it? If we had been able to use the technology of Metru-Nui to help us, our time in exile could have been so much easier. Just having Kanoka instead of bamboo disks…” “There are many reasons the truth is frustrating.” Kanohi stared deeply into his lighter, trying not to think too hard about Vakama. The fire swirled and lifted about, as he looked the flames cracked and turned to embers, and those sparks became the stars in the sky. As he stared at those stars he heard and noise and turned to see an utterly barren island of rock. The rocky crag towered above him, before shattering into an avalanche. Each tumbling rock splashed into the sea, before rising as a fleet of hovercrafts. Kanohi hooked a cabin and grappled over to a hovercraft, flinging above the waves as Matoran wearing linen clothes waved. “You okay? You seemed a bit dazed?” Kanohi startled as Nuparu’s voice cut through the blaze, and he looked away, “Just had a vision,” he answered, “maybe of us sailing to Metru-Nui.” “At least a Vakama didn’t lie to us about that,” Nuparu offered, but Kanohi could not crack a smile, “your visions are real, just like the Turaga’s was. And incredible gift.” “He lied to me plenty about my visions,” muttered Kanohi, “though I do know why. It doesn’t make things easier however.” Then there was a shriek from outside the tent, as a Ga-Matoran called out, “Kraata!” Immediately Kanohi turned off his lighter, and stowed it away. “Is my arm ready?” “Left one is for sure, but the right one isn’t done.” “We will continue it later,” nodded Kanohi, before sprinting out of the tent, his large feet stomping vines and roots, as he hurried out he raised his left arm, and from the Volo Lutu Launcher built into his forearm he fired a strange rippling sphere. A ball of pure gravity. It latched onto a tree before ripping him from the ground and hurling him towards it. Kanohi hurtled through the air, landing on a tree. From there he fired his launcher again, flinging himself after the ball of gravity. In this way he grappled through the jungle, searching among the tents and Matoran. As he flew his armor clattered together, like branches singing in a thunderstorm. A number of Matoran were fleeing from the northern part of the jungle, the Kraata might be there. As Kanohi grappled above, Matoran pointed and marveled. A few began to cheer, and he smiled warily as he hurtled through the sky. He was glad that they could feel some relief from him still. And as he came upon the scene, he spied a Ga-Matoran backing up as a bright green slug squirmed towards her. The Kraata oozed a trail of sickly slime, which wilted every plant that it passed by. The Matoran of Water was backed up against a tree, swinging her bamboo disk wildly at it. Quickly Kanohi fired past her, and launched through the air. As he hurtled towards her he outstretched his right arm, hooking her waist. He strained as he dragged her through the air, before the two of them smacked into the ground in a tumble, his armor rattling with each collision with the earth. As they rolled to a halt, Kanohi shoved himself up, drawing his lighter. He held it out to the Kraata, it’s elemental flame cracking. The slug hissed and flinched from the glow, before slithering away deep into the jungle. “Are you alright?” Kanohi asked her as he pulled her to her feet. “Better swimmer than a fighter,” she laughed nervously, then swallowed, “How … how can there still be Kraata? The Makuta is dead, isn’t he?” He looked away, “In the Turaga’s stories of Metru-Nui, Rahkshi go feral when the Makuta does not need them. This might have just been a wild Kraata-Ye.” “Of … of course. I should have know.” “There was little way you could have,” he muttered, looking at the trail of withering plants from where the Kraata had left, “the Turaga did not tell many about the plants.” “Th-there you are,” a voice called out. Kanohi turned to see a Ko-Matoran running towards them, his body sand-blue and white. The Matoran of Ice waved to him, but Kanohi did not wave back. “What do you want, Matoro?” asked Kanohi, folding his arms. His wooden armor clattered against each other at the motion, each collision a harsh thud, like drums beating. “Three Matoran were seen headed into the jungle, two Ga-Matoran and a Le-Matoran. Some of the Toa are looking but Le-Wahi is big. Well, you know that, you have patrolled it for centuries. So if you could help look…” “Fine,” he said, “once Nuparu finishes upgrading my arm.” “Listen,” the Matoran of Ice shuffled, “we have been friends for a long time—” “You were Turaga Nuju’s aide, I was the vigilante protector of Mata-Nui. That was all.” “I … I know it’s awkward knowing that the Turaga lied to you—” “—Did they tell you the truth?” Kanohi said quietly, his breath whistling through the holes in his mask like a faint breeze. His fingers began to wiggle on his sides with an anxious energy. “I-I … yes.” Kanohi huffed, but said nothing more. “Listen, they needed Metru-Nui to be kept a secret. If the Matoran knew about it they would try to return, and the Makuta would have just enslaved them—” “I understand why they hid truth. It might have even been necessary. But it was still wrong,” Kanohi said firmly, “simplifying our world only hurt cross-wired freaks like Midas, Takua, and me.” “…I know. You … you know they didn’t mean to hurt you, right? Vakama wouldn’t want that.” “I know,” Kanohi sighed as his hands flapped wildly, “But they still hurt many of us. That’s why I became Kanohi. And that is why I will help these Matoran. There are still Kraata squirming around the island, not to mention the Rahi.” “You know, the two of us both knew about the Kraata when no other Matoran did. We helped the Turaga hunt them, when the others knew nothing. We both shared secrets with the Turaga, hid the truth from our fellow Matoran.” The Ga-Matoran startled at that, and backed away back into the jungle towards the campsite. “Yes, we did,” Kanohi could see his heartlight speed up beneath his wooden armor, “and our secret left many Matoran vulnerable, none of them knew why masks become infected. If they had known Kraata were not just Rahi, many of them could have be spared the control of the Makuta.” “But you agreed to be quiet.” “Yes.” Kanohi’s wrists fluttered like a Nui-Kopen swarm. “Then why are you so mad at the Turaga?” “B-because millions suffered underground while we waddled around in paradise. Do you think I never had visions of the people suffering because of the Brotherhood? Do you think when I asked Vakama to explain, he told me the truth? Or do you think he told me those visions were just metaphors, that the only people in danger were the Matoran of this island? He only fed my fears that I was losing my mind. He only isolated me more.” “Kanohi.” “It wasn’t that he lied. It’s that his lies h-hurt people, and that the damage he caused did not inspire him to be honest.” The sound of wood smacking against itself echoed as Kanohi stimmed. “…You know they were Matoran only a year before they became our Turaga,” whispered Matoro, “its not their fault that they were not ready for the role of leadership.” “Its been a thousand years,” Kanohi said simply, before he waved in dismissal, “I need to get my arm ready. Then I will go rescue these Matoran.” He turned around and grappled away, back towards Nuparu. Matora watched after him with a sigh, his telescopic lens zeroing in on the vigilante as he swung from the jungle. Then finally the Ko-Matoran waddled away, he would need to return to Turaga Nuju. … Gajaga walked through the jungle as early morning crept into the sky. She tightly gripped her bamboo disk, ready to hurl it at the first Rahi to barge out of the underbrush. She had once served in the Ga-Koro Guard, before being dismissed from her post. Her dismissal was for a number of reasons, her anger and her … unusual attachments. ‘Like she thought with the mind of a Rahi,’ the other Matoran of Water would whisper when they thought she couldn’t hear. Oh but she heard. The point was, she knew how to throw the disk, and how to make it hurt. Ramaka called from the tree, “I see movement up ahead, and it looks like a number of trees are toppling over. I think it might be a Tarakava.” Le-Matoran were agile in the trees though clumsy on the ground, made Ramaka a better lookout, “You sure?” Gajaga gripped her disk, even as her free hand reached behind her to pull out a sharpened bamboo pole. Cemahri clung to her own throwing disk as well, though the latter’s eyes were wider, and she clenched her disk like one might dangling off a cliff. Cemahri was no guard, just a weaver with very little training in a fight. “I seen little of a large teal head poking out of the trees,” Ramaka answered, “and the way the trees topple over, like they are being bludgeoned by a big sledgehammer. I-I am not very familiar with the Rahi of Ga-Wahi, but I think it is one? At least going off what I saw in the Battle of Kini-Nui.” “We are going to need to move carefully,” Cemahri said, as her free hand shakily reached out and grabbed Gajaga’s wrist. Gajaga turned to Cemahri and smiled, “it’s okay, we can get through this.” She head-butted Cemahri softly, their masks clinking together. The two Matoran of Water embraced, as they stood in the muddy water of this swamp. There was a boom, and a number of trees trembled, no longer so far away. Cemahri flinched with each tremor, clutching Gajaga tight. “A single Tarakava devastated Ga-Koro,” she whispered, staring towards the rumbling trees. “Yes,” admitted Gajaga, “but we can get through this, okay? We aren’t trapped inside a sunken hut this time.” Cemahri nodded, and the two of them wadded through the water, before shuffling behind a tree half-submerged in the water. As they hung there, Cemahri poked her head around the log, her mask’s telescopic lens adjusting to close up on the beast. She was just a Matoran, she couldn’t use her mask’s power of x-ray vision. But the telescopic lens attached to a Kanohi Akaku could be used by anyone. “It’s a Tarakava,” she whispered. “With an infected mask.” “You sure?” “Yes and … and there is a Kraata riding on top of it, a Kraata of Poison I think?” “Karzahni,” muttered Gajaga, “you are right, we need to be careful.” “But how can a Kraata … exist without the Makuta?” “I don’t know. But stay quiet, stay low.” The two other Matoran nodded, waiting as the Tarakava rode past on the treads. As it drove through the water its powerful fists reeled back and punched systematically, knocking over trees with ease. It’s height towered over even the Toa Nuva, let alone three Matoran. But as the Tarakava rode through the swamp it suddenly halted, its treads grinding to a halt. Its head shifted about as it began to look around, its nostrils sniffing the air. The Matoran drew still, even as the Rahi’s Kraata rider squeaked out a hiss of pleasure. … Kanohi grappled through the jungle, firing one Volo Lutu Launcher, then the other. As his balls of gravity hurled him through the canopy he looked about, hearing the birds call, seeing the greenery and fruit. His armor only added to the melody, the wood clanking and striking with each swing like and drum. Mata-Nui was … so alive. While the stories of Metru-Nui sounded cold and lifeless. Of course, Mata-Nui was dangerous, with many aggressive Rahi. And when the Makuta infected their masks, they became even more dangerous. They became an extension of his will, driven to attack the Matoran. And Kanohi still wasn’t sure that the prophecy of the Bohrok had already been fulfilled. Elements of his visions … were incomplete. For over a thousand years the Matoran had lived on Mata-Nui, hunted by the Makuta’s Infected Rahi. The Matoran lived apart, Onu-Matoran in the caves, Ta-Matoran by the lava, Le-Matoran in the trees, Ga-Matoran in the water. They weren’t one people, just six tribes isolated from each other, terrified of leaving their Koro because of the beasts. Thinking Mata-Nui was the only island, that there were only six breeds of Matoran, that this was their homeland. That they were not in exile. That the Turaga would be honest about the important stuff. For the millennia of exile, the Matoran only had themselves to rely on, along with the Turaga he supposed. The Toa were just a legend then. They followed traditions the Turaga made-up, obeyed rules, travel between Koro was forbidden, you stayed with your kind. And if you did not feel comfortable with them, then that was a flaw of your own. Then a few centuries ago Kanohi grew tired of waiting for the heroes to come, and became a vigilante, grappling through the southern jungles to rescue Matoran from Rahi and disasters. He was always a cross-wired freak, not only plagued by visions but his brain functioned differently in general, his wiring was different. More musical, but in a different way, always in motion, calmed by seemingly random noses and gestures. Cross-wired. And his body was strange too. The Turaga said he was Po-Matoran, but he lacked their strength, just had great physical endurance. He knew something was wrong, that he could not be a Matoran of Stone. And of course he wasn’t. It was just another lie, to make the Matoran more unified. Six tribes, six villages. He belonged in Po-Koro. Only it made him more of an outsider. He felt out of place everywhere, and the Matoran had not forgotten to remind him. As an cross-wired outcast, Kanohi knew just how isolating the island could be. So he resolved to be there for the Matoran, especially the other freaks, instead of waiting for fabled Toa to arrive and save the world. To protect the Matoran, give them hope, and let the outcasts know that they were not alone. Because no matter how much Turaga Vakama said his visions were a gift from the Great Spirit himself, even from the start Kanohi had known it was just a glitch. He continued to grapple through the jungle, hooking the branches to catapult his way through the trees. Brakas hooted as he went past, the water lapped against the tree trunks; there was a music to Mata-Nui, one he doubted Metru-Nui had. Kanohi could hear thumping in the distance, maybe a Tarakava? The Rahi usually hunted in pairs, but he did not hear enough sound for there to be two. And it sounded like it was in the shallows, Tarakava preferred to ambush from the depths. That might mean it had an infected mask, and that its will was being overwritten. The Makuta … the Turaga said he had been killed by Takanuva, but they apparently would lie if they thought it necessary. And if they had told him the truth, a Kraata in a high enough stage would know the Makuta’s will. It might be able to continue the plans of its master. He swerved to face the thumping, before grappled towards the sound. If it was an Infected Tarakava he would need to know, to protect the Matoran. Not that the Matoran would going to stay in Mata-Nui for much longer. … The Tarakava sniffed about, its nostrils flaring. Its reptilian head pivoted side to side, probing the trees, searching for the Matoran it could smell. Its Kraata had hopped off, sinking underneath the swamp. The sun was rising higher, and a Kraata of its level knew to fear the light. Gajaga and Cemahri continued to hide, trying not to move. They … they couldn’t win a fight with a Tarakava, the only beings strong enough would be a Toa. And they were no Toa. Then suddenly Cemahri let out a scream, and began to thrash. Gajaga swerved without hesitation, all but tackling her fellow Ga-Matoran. “What’s wrong?” Gajaga demanded as she looked over her. Before her optics Gajaga could see that green rash had began to burn into Cemahri’s metal leg, spreading like rust. The Kraata. Gajaga stabbed her spear into the water in a frenzy, only for the tree they hid behind to be battered away by a giant fist. The Matoran were sent hurtling through the swamp, smashing against a tree. Gajaga shakily stood up, as the Tarakava reeled its arm back. Thump. Ramaka’s bamboo disk thudded against the Infected Tarakava, and the beast shrieked in rage. It swerved towards the Le-Matoran, who shook like a leaf. The Rahi slammed its fist into the tree, Ramaka barely managing to leap to another branch. In the meantime Gajaga clutched at Cemahri, holding her tight. “Come on, fight this thing, please,” she begged as she pressed Cemahri to her heartlight. There was a splash a few bios away, as Ramaka’s tree shattered. The Le-Matoran fell like a rock, only for a brown streak to slam into Ramaka mid fall. Kanohi held Ramaka in his arms as he grappled to another tree. “Ramaka right? She/her?” “Um, yes, you … you are Kanohi, right?” And he … he knew about Ramaka? He knew that she was … not like other Le-Matoran. “Yes,” he nodded, reaching into his bag and pulling out a piece of blue shimmering cloth, “listen, Turaga Nokama gave me this centuries ago, it should help reduce poison.” “You … you know about the Kraata?” “I can smell the poison,” he said simply, “get it to Cemahri, I will distract the Tarakava. Head to the south, okay?” “Wh-what about the Kraata?” “…We will try to do our best.” He grappled away flying right past the Tarakava’s snout. Ashe went past he swung his bamboo disk, thumping it against the Rahi’s nose. It flinched before roaring, and rampaging after him. Ramaka stared after him briefly, before hearing shouting. Quickly she jumped into the swamp, wadding over to Cemahri. Quickly she pressed the cloth to Cemahri’s infection, and the poison began to flush out of her body, forming a toxic cloud in the water. “How … how did you…” Gajaga struggled to speak as she held Cemahri tight. “We don’t have time to think about this, we need to get out of here, that Kraata could still be here, ready to poison her again, or one of us.” “R-right,” Gajaga nodded, cradling Cemahri in her arms. She began to wade through the swamp, with Ramaka returning to the trees. … Only a Toa had the power to fight a Tarakava head on. Their command of their element and their ability to harness their masks gave them the ability to take on the toughest beasts. Even Bohrok and Rahkshi fell before them. Kanohi was no Toa, just a Matoran of Iron who had visions and could grapple around the jungle with ease. Still he had fought again rampaging Rahi for centuries, he knew how to deal with them. Kanohi hung to a tree, waiting for the Tarakava to swing. As it punched him he grappled away, and its punch shattered the tree. Bits of debris smacking into the reptile, scratching up its chassis. “O-over here.” He called out, and the beast charged at him, thrusting out its fists. He hooked another tree as it rammed through the swamp, dodging as it hit the tree. The tree fell and smacked into its head, though the blow missed its mask. Kanohi grappled to another tree, before latching to another and hurtling away as the Tarakava smashed the tree to bits. He grappled besides the Tarakava and immediately launched away, dodging another fist. He grappling around the foe, circling it like a Nui-Rama around a Toa. It shifted through the swamp after him, but its treads could not pivot, and it stumbled on the roots and rocks of the marsh. He then suddenly hooked the beast and flew at it, smacking it in the head. It staggered and he leapt away right as it thrust its arm out, exploding a tree into splinters. It swung at him, but his Volo Lutu Launcher first, hurtling him out of reach among the trees. He was baiting it, and with each punch of a tree debris blew back into it. As it shattered another tree Kanohi launched onto another tree. He hung there, waiting as the beast charged. Infected mask or not, it was still an animal. The Tarakava punched at him, but he hooked a ball of gravity against its face. He flew over its fist, before wrenching off its infected mask. He hurled it into the swamp, before grappling over and stomping the mask. The mask cracked, even as the beast stumbled in a daze, its mind was clearing. It lurched about, confused how it had gotten here. Kanohi grappled away, flinging himself through the jungle canopy. As he tumbled he released a sigh he … he had not expected things to do that smoothly. But then as he slung across the marshland, he heard a cry. He swerved in midair and hooked a tree, heading towards the source of the cry. … “Stay back, Makuta-spawn,” demanded Gajaga, thrusting her spear at the Kraata. They were on a patch of mud, solid enough to stand above the water. The Kraata was hissing as the three Matoran stood in a patch of sunlight, enough to ward the Kraata off. The green slug hissed, the mud around it turning a sickly puke color. It paced about on its patch of shadow, trying to figure out how it could grow closer— Then there was a tumble as Kanohi landed besides them. He thrust out his lighter, and the slug flinched from the light. “Burn it, quickly.” “Not unless I can help it,” he said, waving his arm back and forth, aiming to ward off the beast. “It hurt Cemahri,” shouted Gajaga, grabbed his wrist and thrusting the vigilante’s lighter forward. Immediately the Kraata ignited, turning into a violent blaze. Noxious green fumes plumed off from it as it burnt to a crisp, and Kanohi kicked the slug away, into the swamp. “Fire-spitter,” Kanohi growled, before sighing, “now this patch of swamp will become toxic, it will be unsafe to dip your mask in the water for years.” “It needed to die.” “It did, but there are better ways to get rid of them,” Kanohi stood up, “you all alright? How is Cemahri holding up?” “Okay just … hurts,” moaned the Ga-Matoran, clutching her leg. “We need to get her to Toa Gali, she could cure the poison.” “But … of course,” Gajaga said, hoisting Cemahri onto her back. “Why did you leave into the swamp?” It looked like they packed heavy, tools, sleeping bags, maps, there was a lot of camping gear. “B-because this is our home. We don’t remember Metru-Nui, it’s just a story. Mata-Nui was our home, where we meet each other, where we grew. Where we … meet each other. We don’t know the first thing about the city, or living underground. It’s … it’s not our destiny.” He nodded, looking away, “I understand.” He said, and his wrists began to flap, his arms held out like a Tarakava ready to punch. But his posture wasn’t aggressive just … anxious. “You do?” “Of course. And does it hurt me that the Turaga lied for centuries. That the lies they used to keep most Matoran safe hurt the rest, and they found it acceptable. That when we came to them in confusion and fear, they lied more, to protect the rest. I … I had thought they thought higher of us.” “Would you want to stay here too?” “…What I want and what will happen are very different,” Kanohi sighed, “Duty calls us elsewhere, to the underground.” “But … that is the Duty the Turaga claim we have. What if they are lying?” “They mean to do what’s best for us.” “But you kn-know very well that’s what is best for the Matoran is not what is best for every Matoran. We are not just a monolithic people.” Ramaka stumbled, shrinking under his gaze, “some … some of us are broken. We don’t belong in Metru-Nui.” “…I understand,” he sighed, “I feel out of place in any Koro, let alone in some city I never traveled too. But first, let us return to Kini-Nui. Cemahri needs help recovering from the poison. And the other Matoran will need to know to avoid this stretch of swamp. The three other Matoran nodded, even Cemahri, and together they began to make their way through the tree, Kanohi grappling overhead. … Kanohi grappled across the camped village of Voka-Koro, reaching down to swipe up a fallen bamboo disk. “Um, over here,” a Ta-Matoran called out, avoiding his gaze. Kanohi hooked the ground besides the Matoran and landed besides the m, before handing over the disk. They curtsied in thanks, before reeling their arm back and throwing the disk again, aiming for a target dummy shaped like a Kraata. The small village held thirty seven Matoran, with Kanohi acting as their protector. In the treetops Matoran grappled with Volo Lutu Launchers they held in their hands, foraging food and resources from the jungle. Some wove flax into cloth, others cut bamboo into tools. A few worked to repair their hovercraft, which were made with large cabins to live in. Voya-Koro was mobile, hence the name. For the past month they have traveled about, foraging supplies from the old abandoned villages, having a tour of the island. He could hear laughter as Matoran discovered old adventures, old victories. As they traveled their hovercrafts were frequently rebuilt, the fleet’s ships growing bigger and bolder. “Your village is coming along quite nicely,” a shaky voice offered. Kanohi tensed up like a coiled spring, and did not answer. “I know you are still mad,” Turaga Vakama said as he appeared besides him. A Turaga could only use Noble masks like a Huna, but the Mask of Concealment still had its uses. The Turaga was using his Firestaff as a cane, though it’s flames were dwarfed by sunlight. “I understand why you did what you did. I might have even done the same in your position, though I would have been a very different Matoran then. But maybe I even would have been such a Matoran, before I lost my memories. And I know that had I known, I may have ventured below to help the Matoran underground. Could have enraged the Makuta, or just died. I understand. But all of that doesn’t undo that keeping our truths from us wasn’t cruel.” “We thought that if the Matoran were more organized, if things were simpler, they would be happier. And safer. We did not know how many would fall in the cracks.” “Least you don’t need to worry about us anymore.” He gestured to the nomadic village. Many of them had been outcasts in the old villages, considered freaks by their people. Some were the ‘wrong’ gender for their breed, some of them had strange urges for companionship, some had eccentricities, some were cross-wired. Few of them had ever belonged in their Koro, and now that the world was changing, they had clung to the only people who had been there for them. “I did not know our gulf was so deep.” “…I would not have stayed here if they did not need me.” And that was true. “…You and I do not always seem the exact same thing in our visions, but you must know, I have witnessed a new prophecy.” “The Bohrok?” Kanohi said simply. Instinctually his hand reached to his side, where one of his wooden masks covered his lighter. He winced at the gesture, and pulled his hand back, its wrist flapping with discomfort. “Yes. They will destroy Mata-Nui. Our war against them had only delayed the inevitable destruction of this island.” “I know. It’s why we travel in hovercraft. It’s not just to see the whole island, or to flee from Rahi. We will sail away from the island of Mata-Nui when that time of doom comes, we will find refuge in the open ocean.” “Are you so enrage at us that you would condemn yourself and these Matoran you protect to an eternity on the Endless Ocean?” Vakama’s voice trembled with exhaustion, and Kanohi’s fingers began to wiggle, an anxious energy sinking in. “No, but I have foreseen what happens when the Great Spirit will awaken. Only suffering will follow for the Matoran below. And the Matoran of Voka-Koro will stay here whether I stay or not, I know as much. All I can do is protect them, maybe guide them. And the Matoran suffering below … I could not protect them. I … a Brotherhood of Makuta is beyond me, I know that now.” “How could the Great Spirit awakening be anything but glad?” “…I see a giant machine towering above the Endless Ocean, eyes crimson with arrogance. I see the Matoran ruled by Rahkshi, the Turaga imprisoned in the Coluseum itself, and even the Toa Nuva forced to flee for their lives.” “How is it possible?” “I only tell you what my visions said. It may just be a metaphor.” He winced. He regretted that he had said that dig, deserved or not. “…I couldn’t tell you the truth. But … maybe I could have been less dismissive.” “I know many of the problems I faced you did too once,” Kanohi sighed, “for better or worse, the truth makes you seem less unreachable.” “Yes. I suppose I viewed Turaga Dume the same once,” he laughed, “I never fully learned the lessons I should have, even after a thousand years. And after the trouble we had with the fake disks, I inflected that kind of pain onto you? I failed you.” “…From the sounds of your stories, you did better that Turaga Dume and Lhikan. As long as we continue to do better for the next generation, we haven’t failed.” “Perhaps,” Vakama smiled wearily, “Maybe if we peer into the fire together, like old times, we could learn more.” “…Alright,” Kanohi nodded. If it would help the Matoran, that was most important. And he … he hated that he no longer could trust Vakama like he once had. He could still remember Naming Day, being honored that Vakama had appointed Kanohi his truth name, instead of just his masked identity. “Do you ever think you can forgive us?” “I have forgiven you. But there is a wall between us now, and there always will be. We will never be as close as we once were.” “I understand.” “How are things in Metru-Nui?” “Rebuilding continues. You could be a great help down there.” “I would, but the Matoran of Metru-Nui have seven Toa and seven Turaga. I can make a bigger difference here, among the Matoran who need it most.” “If the giant does rise, what then?” “I get my people to safety, then try to help all of you. Thank of us as a backup group of heroes, who will be there to save you in a ‘great rescue.’” Vakama smiler, “I noticed you listened to all my stories.” “Yes. And for the record, I have foreseen that our hovercrafts will make landfall one day. We will not wander the ocean forever.” “…We can send some supplies to you before then, masks and tools. Once we can make Kanoka again, we can send some your way. Dume would be resistant, he is not comfortable with you being out here, he wants to have the guards bring you back to Metru-Nui.” “I see why the Matoran bristle under him.” “Yes he … Metru-Nui was very different that Mata-Nui. More distant. And Dume would rather us Turaga maintain that distance.” Kanohi glanced at the Turaga. “Meaning?” “Turaga Dume … is used to announcing his decrees, and the Matoran listening. He has more experience that us, much more, but he has not lived among Matoran for a long time, and has not walked among them for millennia before the Makuta captured him.” The Fe-Matoran looked away, “Thank you, Turaga Vakama. If you can send us Kanoka, focus on disks of regeneration, freezing, and remove poison. Those should satisfy our needs. But don’t worry about powered masks, they would be wasted on us. The Toa Nuva and Takanuva, and your Turaga could use them more.” “I know, do not fear,” Vakama laughed, “And just in case your people ever need to know, a Kiril can be made with a regeneration disk. It’s fairly simple to make. Level seven is a Noble Kiril. Level eight would become a Great Mask.” “That’s good. If you can gives us tablets on how to make Kanoka and masks, it might be good to have that knowledge, just in case.” “Yes. Forming a Kanoka is not easy, they were only invented fairly recently. Well, recently in the history of Metru-Nui. But I would be happy to share that with you, late though it would be.” Kanohi looked up as drums began to pound. He looked towards the source of the beating, listening in. “A Rahi is approaching from the west,” he said as the thunder of music continued, “I need to handle this.” “Very well. Good luck.” Kanohi nodded before hooking a tree, and hurtling through the air. He grappling through the trees, launching himself among the branches past the parked convoy. In the distance he could hear a roar, maybe a Muaka? Their jaws were powerful, their claws too, but he knew how to tire one out. The vigilante protector of Voya-Koro hurtling forward, passing the waving Matoran of the village. He catapulted through the forest of Le-Wahi, hurtling through the many trees of Mata-Nui, his beloved island home.
  21. So, as many of you know, one of the first things I did since I returned to BZPower was participate in the Six Kingdoms Escapement. My character in the rpg was Kanohi, a Fe-Matoran “superhero” whose island was destroyed by the League of Six Kindoms, and who spent his days grappling around Metru-Nui trying to repair buildings and help evacuate civilians. He’s one of my favorite Bionicle OCs, just an anxiety-ridden Matoran trying to help others. He grew a lot over the first rpg, and he continues to grow in Six Kingdoms Rebirth. I have written a number of stories about a version of him that fits into the canon of Bionicle, but this story will be a bit different. You see, as SKE was wrapping up we discovered that one of the major NPCs wanted to use the Disk of Time to change history. To us players, there was some fear that our character development would be erased, all our growth and new friendships lost. So I began to plan a way to avoid resetting Kanohi to zero. Kanohi has an ability not unlike Vakama possesses in canon, he can experience visions of events yet to happen. Well he is a superhero, he needs at least one superpower. And it was based on this that I began to plot what to do if history was changed. Ultimately though history was not rewritten, but since the Disk of Time was used, and becauseI know some of us are a bit stressed by recent events in SKR, I thought it might be fun to still use my plan as the basis for a new story. So yesterday instead of sleeping I wrote this bad boi. This story takes place in a universe similar to SKE, starting with a failure of Fe-Matoran grappling through the swampland of his island home. With that said, enjoy. artwork by @Onaku The Impact of a Rebirth … The Fe-Matoran hurtled through the trees like a cannonball, tumbling and careening. As he was flung upwards, he fired from his Volo Lutu Launcher a small ball of gravity into a tree. As he fell from his arc he was yanked to the gravity ball, dragging him through the canopy. He flew past the tree, before continuing to grapple through the swampland of Bo-Wahi. A satchel dangled from his arm, stuffed full of herbs. With Turaga Bomahri‘s back acting up, some of the foragers of Bo-Wahi had searched for and harvested a few herbs to treat his pain. To get them them to the Turaga in time they needed a courier, and Dece was, well, available. Dece was an okay courier. Not a great one. He was decent enough at throwing a bamboo disk as well. Though most of Fe-Koro was his better. Still he at least was proficient at grappling through the swamp than he had been as a mask maker. Right? The traditions of the island of Okoto were simple. The Fe-Matoran lived in Fe-Koro, they made the island’s tools, masks, they mined Protodermis, and occasionally they fought Rahi if Toa Fehagah was too far away to reach them in time. On the other hand the Bo-Matoran grappled through the swamps to forage plants and other resources, and acted as medics if there was a crisis. Toa Fehagah protected them from aggressive Rahi or other disasters, while Turaga Bomahri led them with wisdom. That was how it was supposed to be. But Dece … he was a failure. He struggled to make masks, he had a few successes with easy Kanohi, but he failed on the harder masks. So much Protodermis wasted. Even Turaga Bomahri had gotten tired of his pathetic attempts at forging masks. And every time he tried to forge a mask, he could hear the Turaga’s disappointment, see the other Fe-Matoran looking in pity and-and… The Matoran spotted out of the corner of his optics that his heartlight was flashing. He swallowed and made a moan. Remember what Turaga Bomahri always says. Just … don’t focus on the big picture, break everything down to small manageable tasks. The Turaga had found a way for him to be useful as a courier, he was still helping the Matoran, still doing his Duty. Maybe he wasn’t trusted with particular sensitive cargo, but this was still going to help Okoto. It would help the Turaga even. Dece tried to force a smile he … he was helpful, he … he was. Then came a sound like a buzzsaw cleaving through a thick tree. Dece flinched at the sound and tried … tried not to look behind him. But he could see the shadow behind him, drawing ever closer. As he tumbled through the trees he used his left hand to reach into his satchel and pulled out a bamboo disk he … it wouldn’t be much help, but it might help him get away. Then with a grinding shriek the Nui-Rama was upon him, the giant bug lunging its claws at his mask. He wore a Kanohi Hau, the Great Mask of Shielding. Not that he could use its power, he was just a Matoran, and not even a very useful one at that. But as the Nui-Rama swung at him he threw the disk, striking its bulbous eye. It flinched, it’s flaw only slamming into his gut. Dece tumbled from the blow, slamming into the swamp. As he struck the murky surface, Dece felt his head shattered. Not literally, his mask was not even damaged. But as he sank into the mud the mud seemed to swirl and grab at him, dragging him deeper into the swamp. He struggled, but the world was smothered in mud, turning into a brown goop. And then … Dece’ s mind exploded. … “Turaga?” Turaga Bomahri looked up as he continued to rub his back. His hut was all but woven with iron like a quilt, with metal imitations of flowers blooming in it. In the entrance to his metal hut was a Fe-Matoran, wearing a burnt orange Hau and with a biomechanical body of the same shade or orange, mixed with black components. “Oh, Dece you … have arrived. We were worried you were lost in the swamp.you certainly look the part.” The Turaga of Jungle remarked. Dece was covered in mud, splattered all over his body. But that wasn’t what made Bomahri hesitate. There was … something in Dece’s eyes. “I have brought your herbs,” Dece said emptying his satchel on the table besides the Turaga. “Sorry, they got a bit muddy.” “Of course,” the Turaga said with a sigh. What was he going to do with Dece? Couldn’t even travel the swamp without making a fool of himself. “Turaga I … What do you think of Destiny?” “Destiny? It’s what we all seek to fulfill, to be the best version of ourselves, as the Great Spirit Mata-Nui desires. It is of the Three Virtues most honored by Bo-Matoran along with Unity. Why do you ask?” Such a basic question. “I … I saw something. Or … I was something. Or will be something. I … I don’t know if I understand.” “Don’t worry, we expect that by now,” Turaga Bomahri smiled, “thank you for the herbs, but you need to hurry along, more Matoran will need deliveries.” “Yes um, sorry Turaga. I … I’ll get back to work. Sorry, um, sorry…” Dece bowed and departed the room, but hesitated at the door. He started to look back, before clenching up and raving outside the hut. Then with a fire of his Volo Lutu Launcher he grappled away into the open air, hooking the surrounding huts to travel to the edge of the plateau. … “Matoran Dece,” Toa Fehagah knocked on the hut’s door. It was on the outskirts of the plateau, well away from the rest of the Fe-Matoran. There was a delay and then a shout of, “Um, you … you can come in.” She nodded and bent over, before fitting into the metal doorway. She was tall, her armor was blue and white, and she wore atop her face a Kanohi Kadin, the Great Mask of Flight. Dece was on the floor, welding something. “S-sorry, Toa. I know have not started my rounds today, I just … I saw something. I don’t understand it but I think it’s important. For all of us.” “Alright,” she nodded, sitting down besides him. Anything I can help with—” And then she realized he was welding something to his forearm. “Dece what are you doing?” She demanded in shock, reaching to pull his Firestaff away, only to hesitate. If … if he burnt himself because of her. “It’s okay, Toa Fehagah,” he swallowed, “I … I trust in Destiny.” “What Destiny is it to have a Volo Lutu Launcher stuck to your arm?” She all but managed to shout. He flinched and she added, “sorry but this … this isn’t like you.” “I saw something.” “What did you see?” “The future,” he whispered. The Toa stared at him, “you … saw the future?” “I don’t know how but I … I saw how I can help the village. How I can help our island. I know it sounds silly but I … Mata-Nui had to have given me this vision for a reason, right?” She stared at him, and finally said, “Dece, you had faith in my strangeness, even before I was a Toa. The least I could do is trust in yours. Scoot over, I can make this smoother.” His optics widened beneath his mask, “if … if it’s not a trouble.” “It’s not,” she smiled, “but, would you mind telling me exactly what you saw?” She pressed her finger to his welding job and metal began to secrete from her finger, sealing up the rough welding he had been doing. “Um, well um, is it okay if you do the other arm too?” “Yes,” the Toa of Iron answered, “but what exactly did you see?” “I saw you overwhelmed by strange people that were as tall as you. I … don’t think they were Toa. And I saw Fe-Koro demolished, Bo-Wahi burned to the ground. I saw me fleeing like a coward. I retreated to a great city, whose buildings towered above even the plateau. I saw … that city be destroyed too in the end, by the same army.” “…The pressure you must feel.” “But in the destruction of the city, I was doing things. Good things. Grappling around the city, rescuing Matoran from falling debris, snatching them before they could be executed, shielding them from attacks, using disks with strange powers to repair towers and bridges; I was helping. And if I can help Okoto now with what I had learned to do in the future, maybe we can survive this.” “…That is a great responsibility.” “Yes but … but I can help. A way to help that I can do, that others might not do as well. And that might take pressure off you.” The Toa of Iron was quiet for a time, her body tense. Dece looked away, his face beneath his mask growing crimson. But finally she says, “well, let’s get to work then.” … “Toa Fehagah, this is foolishness,” the Turaga nibbled alongside her, his wooden staff helping support his wright, “Dece is barely good as a courier, he can’t be a fighter.” “He won’t be. He’s going to be a vigilante protector. And he’s Kanohi now.” “He can’t just choose a new name.” “I did.” “Yes well, you underwent Naming Day.” “And maybe Kanohi will too one day,” the Toa dismissed, before using her long legs to speed past the Turaga’s pace. Soon enough she was at the edge of the plateau, where Kanohi was looking down at the swampland below. He was covered in broken masks that he had dangled from his body, like wind chimes. He had never gotten rid of those failures, clung to them. And now they hung to him as armor, the broken and failed masks repurposed to do good. “Ready, partner?” “Um I … I am just your helper.” “Well, you are doing part of my work, so you are my partner,” she smiled, and he blushed. “Now we should begin practice by…” She trailed off, catching sight of something in the swampland. “What’s wrong?” “Fire,” she pointed in the northern patch of the swamp, and he followed her gaze, “it looks like it’s in the path of some of our foragers’ routes. We will have to reschedule practice for another day.” “Okay, I-I-I’ll try to get them to safety.” She turned to object, but stopped. Finally she said, “before careful, alright? I’ll contain and smother the fire, you help them escape. Don’t try to fight it.” “Of course,” he nodded, his makeshift armor jingling at the motion. She swallowed hope … hopefully this would go well. She lifted him up and put him atop her shoulders, and he held on tight. Then with a glow of her mask she lifted into the air, and blasted off through the jungle, flying with all the speed she could manage. … Kanohi hung to his Toa as she flew through the swamp. There was only one Toa in the island of Okoto, and only one Turaga. The island was difficult to reach, the trees were packed closely and shredded boats, it was surrounded by swampland so there was nowhere to dock a ship either. The only settlement was atop a large plateau, so a traveler would need a mask of flight or a Volo Lutu Launcher to actually meet with the natives. And few actually cared to visit Okoto in the first place. The island had little to offer, just a vast swamp full of plants and large bugs, and a Protodermis mine built into the side of the plateau. It had no wealth, the technology it had was fairly basic except for the Iden Machine, but that was made by a traveler from outside the island. They had a few hovercrafts for shipping goods over the island, but the hovercrafts were small, and they were only able to maintain a few of them. Most folks who traveled just used Volo Lutu Launchers. Its people were poor, and they were not worth trading with. And yet, those warlords in his vision, they would burn it to the ground. He shuddered just, just focus on small manageable tasks. Right now there was a fire, he had to rescue Matoran, just … just tru to take it one at a time, He did not have time to dwell on those through though, as soon enough a wall of heat slammed into him. “Here, Kanohi,” Toa Fehagah shifted her shoulders and he climbed off, landing in a tree, “I’ll contain the fire, you rescue the Matoran.” He nodded in a frenzy, before pointing his right arm away. The Volo Lutu Launcher in his arm fired, and he was shot forward into the trees. Then with his left arm he hooked another tree, and began to swing across the swamp. It was … easier somehow, grappling with the weight of his masks and with two launchers. That vision had all but given him the experience of using a similar setup. The one in the vision was a bit more … hi-tech, but this new power was still useful. There, in the blaze he spotted a Bo-Matoran choking on the fumes. He swallowed this … it was real now. Mata-Nui, please let me not screw up again. Not with a life on the line. Quickly he latched a tree trunk behind the Matoran, and grappled through the fire. As he sailed past he extended his arm and hooked it around the Matoran’s gut. With a heave he dragged the Matoran from the blaze, before the two of them tumbled into the mud. As a Matoran of Iron, Kanohi had high physical endurance, so he stood up pretty quickly. He almost tackled the Matoran of Jungle, frantically over his injuries. He was still alive, but he was still unconscious. He … small tasks, just get him away from the fire, With a shove Kanohi hoisted the Bo-Matoran onto his back, before grappling away from the blaze. He swung and hooked his way across the swamp, until he tumbled before to a lone tree some distance from the rest of the woods. Slowly Kanohi lifted the Matoran, straining to carry him. He laid him against the tree, hopefully the tree was far enough away the fire wouldn’t reach it. He looked over, the Natoran was coughing now, spewing wads of black ash. He … he still needed to learn how to treat the injured. He was no Bo-Matoran. Still, he could hear the fire cracking, other Matoran would need help. Kanohi swallowed, before hook in a tree and grappling away, heading back towards the fire that chewed up the swamplands. Just focus on small manageable tasks. He hurtled and flung through the trees, swinging one arm at a time. Soon enough he spotted another Bo-Matoran, this one stuck in a tree as fire engulfed the lower tree trunk. With an outstretched arm he caught the Matoran, carrying him away from the flames. “What the heck are you doing?” The Bo-Matoran demanded as he coughed up mud, “who … who are you supposed to be?” “I-I am Kanohi,” the Fe-Matoran said, “can you climb onto my back, I can carry you away from the blaze.” “I don’t need the help of a freak—” The two of them staggered as a wall of heat slammed into them. The Matoran of Jungle winced before managing, “um, yeah, let me just get on your back.” Kanohi shook under his weight, he had enhanced endurance, not strength. Still his body at least could take the strain, and with a fire of his built-in launchers he grappled away. … Toa Fehagah waves her hands about, and iron erupted from her fingers. Her elemental power snaked and wove through the air like vines up a tree, and soon enough metal had ensnared the trees of the swamp. From tree to tree she grew a wall of iron, a barrier to halt the spread of the flames. The trees would likely die from her metal vines strangling them, but the rest of the swamp should be saved. She had been trained to use her element by Toa Bomahri, most of her lessons had been before he had become a Turaga. Back when he had the full elemental powers of a Toa of Jungle. Because of his influence, the metal she created almost grew like a plant, instead of crude geometric shapes it blossomed and crawled and strangled like any vine. She … had only met one other Toa, the traveler who she traded bodies with, but even with her lack interaction with proper Toa of Iron, she knew she was weird. For many reasons. She was quite aware that she was a freak, just like Kanohi. Kanohi’s vision was … horrifying. She wished she had a Mask of Mind Reading, so she at least could understand some of what he saw. Share his burden. But destiny chose only him to see that awful future. And all she could do was support her old friend. He had always been … anxious and a mess of issues, but Fehagah did not forget that when realized she was no man, Kanohi had accepted her instantly. And when she became a Toa he did not forget her truth. He was respectful, if terrified of messing up. And when she decided to switch bodies with that Toa of Lightning, he was nothing but supportive. Even her old mentor was a bit wary about the island’s only Toa using that strange untested machine. But Kanohi … he believed it was her Destiny from the start. What else could she do but believe in his own Destiny? As she formed her barrier there was a whoosh behind her. She turned to see Kanohi grappling past, dancing among the fire and the trees. She winced, the heat was dangerous. But he just hurled through it, looking for Bo-Matoran caught in the flames. She could not remember this energy from him, this speed and grace. Yes he still tumbled, but his swing through the trees was so precise. That vision, despite its horror, it had empowered him. Told him plainly ‘you don’t have to be a Toa to be a hero. And you Kanohi, you can be a hero.’ As terrible a burden that vision must be, the Toa still found herself thanking Mata-Nui for letting him see what he could be. … Kanohi threw his bamboo disk, striking a few branches. The branches tumbled to the swamp, even as the disk ricocheted towards him. It landed in the mud besides him with a splash. He leaned over to grab it, winching as he strained his back. Even with his enhanced physical endurance his body ached from carrying around the Matoran. Still he picked the disk up, before looking up at the tree he had severed. Without those branches the fire would not be able to spread this far. He turned to the four Bo-Matoran, three of them carrying their fourth. Swallowing he said, “o-okay, you need to wade through the swamp, I will move from above and divert the fire from you.” “Um, sure thing, Kanohi,” one of them managed. They looked at him like he had a Fikou perched on his head, but even still they began to move. He might be a mad Matoran, but he had been doing alright rescuing them from the blaze, so madness wasn’t looking so terrible. Kanohi grappled above them, encircling them to look for dangers. The Volo Lutu Launchers the Bo-Matoran had been used were broken during the blaze, but Fehagah had reinforced Kanohi’s launchers when she attached them to his forearms, they would hold. He was so lucky for the Toa of Okoto to give him a chance, As he revolved around the group he stopped periodically, dangling from one of his launchers to look back to the blaze’s growth and to look for any Rahi. The beasts would flee the fire, but they would still be dangerous. Nui-Rama, Fikou, Nui-Jaga, Nui-Kopen; all those insects stalked the jungle, and all would eat a Matoran if they had the chance. There was a boom as the fire engulfed another tree, and Kanohi grappled over, his bamboo disk at the ready. With a twirl he threw it, cleaving through branches before falling to the mud. He grappled down and hooked it in his hand as he swung over the mud, before hurling and flinging his way back to the four retreating Bo-Matoran. But as he approached he heard that buzzing sound, that terrible buzzing. The Fe-Matoran turned to see a Nui-Rama with a cracked eye flying towards him. Was … could it be the one from before? Kanohi swallowed, before grappling away from the large winged bug. It swerved after him, its claws swiping at the air behind him. He grappled left and right, hopefully throwing the bug off with his erratic movements. Still it pursued him, buzzing like a roar as it clawed at the air. And — argh, the jerking motions only made his body throb and scream. He … he couldn’t just dodge it could he? It was after him, maybe even for revenge. He … he had to make the chase more costly. With a flex of his arms he grappled to the base of a tree, just hanging there. He perched there for like a second, before launching away. The Nui-Rama all but slammed into the tree trunk to attack him, splashing into the swamp from the impact. “Um, sorry?” Kanohi called out, as the Nui-Rama dragged itself out of the swamp. With a sound like a propellor grinding against a tree trunk, it reared its arm back, before slashing its claw through the base of one of the trees. The Fe-Matoran swallowed and hooked another tree, resuming his swing through the swamp. In the meantime the Rahi shook off its wings, mud splattering wildly. The Rahi pivoted in the air, before spying Kanohi and charging towards him. As the beast charged he latched onto a tree, waiting. But as it rammed him with its jaw he grappled away, leaving the Nui-Rama to take a large chomp out of the tree. It spat out the biomechanical wood, before looking at the fleeing Fe-Matoran. It shrieked out a buzzing sound, it would get back at the four-legged Fikou another day. The Nui-Rama buzzed off, swiping a big gash in a tree as it left. Kanohi grappled away, heading back towards the Bo-Matoran. But as he approached them there was a sound he struggled to recognize. Like a cry, but the pitch was off. “Nice one, Kanohi,” he winced at what must be mockery, but then the Bo-Matoran said, “not everyone can drive off a Nui-Rama without even throwing a single disk. That was incredible.” “Oh um,” were they being genuine? “um, well, all I did was making it hurt itself until it lost interest. It wasn’t like I fought it.” “You didn’t have to, you used your head.” “No, I didn’t head-butt it,” Kanohi answered, “but oh um, thank you though.” “Everyone alright?” Kanohi turned his head around to see Toa Fehagah fly towards them. The fire was now contained, walled off from the rest of the swamp by a barrier of trees woven with iron vines. “Don’t worry, Kanohi saved us. He’s working with you?” “He is indeed, we are partners.” Kanohi’s face could have been redder, but it would have been hard. The Toa of Iron just laughed though, and said, “come on, we need to keep moving, even with the fire no longer spreading, it won’t be safe here. The Rahi will be all riled up.” “Um, right, Toa Fehagah,” Kanohi nodded, “Um, what do you need me to do?” “Just move among the trees, and get ready to help them if a Rahi attacks. I will follow from the air, but you can be closer to them.” “Um, okay,” Kanohi nodded. He … he was going to be guarding so close up. Like the first line of defense. He … his hands fluttered like a Nui-Kopen’s wings. He … he really was helping Okoto. And maybe, if he got to be a better hero, even when the league attacked, he could help evacuate Matoran and rescue them, while Toa Fehagah fought the league. And with her able to focus solely on fighting, maybe this time she could win. Mata-Nui had given him this vision of the future for a reason, he had to believe that. And whatever that wad reason, it had to be to help Okoto, to do what his future self failed to do and save his people. Not that he was better than that future self, that Kanohi had disks with strange powers that came out of a weapon, he had strange technology in his mask that let him aim his launchers better as well communicate from long distances. The Kanohi of Okoto lacked those abilities. But maybe one day? It seemed possible at least?
  22. New story time. This one does not really feature Kanohi, but it follows up on some of his stories. I wrote this because of the RPG I participate in, Six Kingdoms: Escapement/Rebirth. Within the story there are a number of PC Turaga who still adventure like Toa. Likewise a plot point in the rpg is that the Matoran can be fairly prejudiced against other races. RIP Poison’s species. Also I wanted to setup the epic I have not written and might not write, that details the Toa Inika of this reality as they struggle against the Makuta. Gosh I hope I write that story one day. As for setting, this story takes place millennia after the events of my stories The Company of Cowards and A Village Against the Rahkshi, in a world where those stories are ancient history. It takes place on a poor village on the shore of Aqua-Magna, which has recently suffered some damages that might be the result of a large Rahi. Anyway without further ado, here is the tale, hope it keeps you folks entertained while we are all self isolating. Those We Choose to Forget … The water around Turaga Macku rippled like the fumes of the old Great Furnace. She slipped through the water in a rush, bending around her to propel her fast and far. She squeezed through the current, laughing underneath her squishy organic mask as she traversed the waves. Sparks danced from her harpoon as she cleaved through the waves, like stars in an ocean. “Turaga,” a voice called out as she briefly surfaced, “the Chronicler wants to speak to you.” Her head turned as she treaded water, spying two shapes. She focused, the blue blur looked like Dalu, her bodyguard. Then she focused on the second figure, and recognized the gold and white blur of an Av-Matoran waving on the shore. Turaga Macku swayed her hands and the water pushed her to the shore, letting her shakily wade onto land. Her legs trembled with age and her hands were unfocused, her vision gone. As she walked she slammed her harpoon down, using it to steady her unstable legs. “Chronicler, it is good to see you,” the Turaga said in greeting as she walked closer, “you do not often find your way to Mahri-Koro.” Her chassis was a bright blue, and she wore a strange almost fleshy Noble Huna over her face. As she walked her fingers drummed her harpoon in a flash of sparks, and the water dripping off her frame suddenly splashed to the ground in a sheet, flung off of her body so she could dry. She was a Turaga of Water, not as powerful as when she was a Toa in her youth, but she still had some linger