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Trials of the Shadow Toa


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NOTE: I have built MOCs of the Shadow Toa, which can be found here: http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/15347-the-shadow-toa/

Review thread here: http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/15352-review-trials-of-the-shadow-toa/


Chapter 1

He awoke to the sound of water lapping on a shore. The sound made him feel at peace, as though nothing could go wrong with the world. Then he tried to move, and excruciating pain shot through every molecule of his being. He felt his muscles, his organs, all soft tissue in his body dissolve. A horrid scream erupted from his metallic mouth as his body writhed in the sand. Finally, the convulsions ceased, the pain left as quickly as it came. Gingerly, the suspicious being tried to move his index finger. The appendage obeyed it's master's commands with no trouble. Odd, he thought. Deciding that laying on the sand wouldn't give him answers, he stood up. There remained not even a clue to indicate the torture he endured, save the fact that his whole body now felt...different. When he raised his arms, he no longer felt a muscle flex, but a hinge creak and a piston hiss.


      Realizing he could find no more answers about what happened to him, he decided to scan his surroundings to see where he was. On the shore about twenty paces away was a gold-colored kanohi. Noticing for the first time that he wasn't wearing a mask, he walked over to it, his stride wobbly and awkward. Another oddity, he thought. I don't remember having such long legs. He bent to pick up the mask. Come to think of it, I don't remember anything. He donned the mask, and felt energy surge through his body. This is more my style, he thought with a grin. Now, let's see what else is here.


     Seeing nothing else in the immediate area besides some flying rahi, the newly masked being strode along the coastline. He noted that since he donned the mask, he walked with ease, as though he had long legs his whole life. After about ten minutes of walking, he spotted a badly damaged cage smashed against a large rock. Upon inspection, he found a plate on what he could only assume was once the door that had on it the word "Nulehk". Nulehk. Hm. Seems to me that word is familiar. A name, perhaps? He turned the plate over in his hands, and found the image of the mask he wore carved into the metal. My name? He contemplated the word. "Nulehk. Noo-leck". He thought his voice sounded strange, but the word seemed right. Nulehk it is, then. Feeling like the island he was on was potentially dangerous, Nulehk grabbed two bars from the cage and walked inland.

* * * *

Kotan walked up the mountain, head groggy and full of dark memories and images. He hated it here, a barren place with sand and rocks everywhere. Not a single tree in sight on the whole island. He didn't even know why he was climbing the mountain(which was becoming more and more apparent was a live volcano), except for the feeling of high altitude winds. Kotan tried to shake the clouds from his mind, but couldn't. "Think, Kotan", he said to himself as he sat down on a rock to rest. "You are a Toa. Of air, by your armor color. You were given a special task...and you somehow woke up in a pile of metal scraps on this barren wasteland. And you developed a habit of talking to yourself. Or have you always done that?" He sighed as he could remember no more. "At least I remembered my name", he chuckled. "Talking to oneself is difficult when one doesn't even know their own name." He continued his ascent.

* * * *

The Toa grunted as he hefted his warhammer out of the mess that used to be a young Tahtorak. Rage burned within his very being, odium at the world in general. He hated that he was here, on this hot, rocky island. He hated that all he could remember were three names. He hated most of all, though, that he couldn't tell which one was his, or if any were at all. Nulehk, Mutran, and Outa. Each seemed familiar and foreign at the same time. He looked down at his hands. They were dark blue. That makes no sense. I'm a Toa of water? I thought they were only female. He looked out to the sea. It won't hurt to try, I guess.


     He lifted his hands and concentrated on the water, not entirely sure how a Toa uses their elemental energies. Suddenly, his arms burst with sky-blue and black crackles of energy, and a spire of ice shot out of the ocean. Close, he thought. This still doesn't explain who I am, how I got here, or why there's a broken cage  here. Calming himself, he put away his hammer and shield. I guess until I learn more, I can call myself Ko-Toa. After all, I must have been a Ko-Matoran once, right? Ko-Toa was not entirely convinced of that theory.

Edited by toajomo
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Chapter 2

As Nulehk walked, his mind was flooded by a stream of images, sounds, and events. Memories, he knew them to be, but it was difficult to make sense of them all. Nulehk had learned many new things over the past hour; He was a Toa of magnetism, his mask was the great mask of teleportation(though he hadn't remembered how to use it, and was afraid to try). He was a Matoran until very recently. His transformation into a Toa was part of a larger plan, a grand scheme of some sort. He also remembered others. A green Toa, a white and blue Toa, and a black Toa. While he was trying to decide whether these three were allies or enemies, Nulehk heard a strange noise.


     His finely honed senses picked up the sound of hundreds of clacking claws on the hard stone, and the sight of as many Vohtarak. This should prove interesting, he thought. Well, time to see about these elemental powers. Nulehk needed a weapon, and fast. He had the two bars from his cage, but they wouldn't be too effective against a legion of Visorak. He focused as hard as he could, and found that he could feel the essence of the metal. The way the molecules moved, the proper alignment of atoms that made the wonderful magnetic alloy. Closing his eyes and allowing his mind to slip into the rhythm of this elemental song, Nulehk deftly altered the construction of the bars. Twisting, elongating, flattening, the two became one. When again he opened his eyes, he held a spear with a long and elegantly curved blade.


     But now the Vohtarak were upon him, hissing and launching their rhotuka spinners. Nulehk toghtened his grip on the spear and raised the blade just in time to deflect the first spinner, and deftly dodged the second. But rhotuka were raining down like an avalanche, and he couldn't escape them all. Spinners rocketed into his metal body, causing unfathomable pain. The crippled Toa couldn't lift his spear to defend, or summon elemental energy to ward off the vicious visorak.


     And so Nulehk fell, and was bundled up in a tight webbed coccoon. Fear gripped him harder than the pain as the wicked Rahi reached in for the kill. But before the Vohtarak could sink their venom-dripping fangs into Nulehk's body, a war cry erupted from somewhere out of sight. Nulehk, unable to move, thought this to be the arrival of an even worse fate, until he saw ten Visorak frozen solid where they stood. A white Toa, the same one he recognized from his still-returning memories, leaped in front of him, fighting with valor and purpose.

The Visorak tried to flee, but the Ice Toa created a sheet of black ice on the ground, trapping them. The poor Rahi didn't stand a chance against the unbridled fury of the savage Toa.


     After the deed was done, the strange Toa freed Nulehk and helped him to his feet. "What's your name?" the Toa asked. 



     "Really? Cool."


     "I don't see how."


     "Never mind. I'm Ko-Toa. For now, anyway."


     Nulehk regarded Ko-Toa strangely, but accepted his offered handshake and thanked him. 

Edited by toajomo

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  • 2 months later...

Chapter 3

Kotan had reached the peak and was staring out into the distance. His memories were coming back, slowly, and he didn't feel like rushing them. "After all," he said to nobody in particular, "I don't even know where I am, or if there's anything here. I have no hurry." He pondered that for a moment. "But what if I am? I still don't know how I got here. What if I was in the middle of something very important that was delayed? I have no idea how long I've been here."  This made Kotan anxious, and he began to pace vigorously. "What if my brothers are in danger? What if they're dead?" He stopped. "Or was it sisters?"


     After a while of worrying aloud to himself, Kotan decided that there was nothing he could do except scout the island in an attempt to get his bearings, somehow. He knew he was a Toa of air, and he assumed that he could therefore fly. The only issue was that he had no idea how. He inspected his weapons and saw nothing remarkable about his twin swords, other than the odd manner with which they glowed in the center of the black protosteel. Kotan sheathed them and tried a more direct approach. He raised his arms high and concentrated on the winds of the mountaintop. He could feel them blowing, but he needed them to increase their power, otherwise he wasn't going anywhere. Wind buffeted his body, but he still wasn't moving.


     "Come on!" he shouted, agitated. "I thought this was basic air Toa stuff!" With that, a gale drove across the peak and threw him over the edge of the cliff. He tried frantically to call another wind to slow his descent, or even begin an ascent (this was, of course, wishful thinking on Kotan's part). The winds ignored his call, and he closed his eyes tight and uttered a quick prayer to the Great Spirit as the jagged rocks sped up to meet him.


* * * *

As Nulehk and Ko-Toa walked, minutes turned to hours and the sun slipped behind the horizon, painting the sky a brilliant red. Nulehk paused and gazed upon the glittering waters as the sun continued its lazy descent. "What are we stopping for?" Ko-Toa asked angrily. "We're unsafe out in the open."


     "I know, I know," Nulehk said in a calming tone. "But look at that, the sunset on the ocean. It's beautiful, is it not?"


     "I suppose," Ko-Toa said dismissively.

     "Look at it, Ko-Toa. Yes, this island is hot and dangerous, yes, we were dropped here with no memories. But here, there is still tranquility. The waves have calmed, the sea has quieted. The setting sun has turned a harsh, hot sky into a brilliant work of art, which the sea complements in a glittering refraction of the former."


     "What is this nonsense? You're wasting valuable time. It will be dark soon, and we absolutely need to be hidden by dark."


     Nulehk held up a hand to quiet the almost hysterical Ko-Toa. "I am trying to quiet your troubled spirit. You've not calmed down since the fight with the visorak, which is abnormal for one of your ilk. A Toa of ice, fueled by rage? I'm amazed that you can even use your elemental powers, due to your absolute contrariness to nature."


     "I have no idea why I am the way I am, okay? I don't even know who I am! And you rambling on about beauty and colors won't help me!" Ko-Toa calmed suddenly, and said quietly, "I have no memories, save one. All I can see is red, all I feel is pain. I feel like...like my body is being torn apart and reassembled wrong. It's hard to keep my sanity as it is, and you're not helping with your foolishness. Now we need to find a safe place, or prepare for battle."


     Nulehk sighed and resigned himself to the fact that his companion would likely not lighten his mood. "Then let us depart," he said calmly.

Edited by toajomo

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  • 3 months later...

Chapter 4

Kotan awoke in total blackness. Am I dead? he wondered silently to himself. Gingerly, he flexed his muscles and found his whole body to be in working order. Well that's something, he mused. At least I'm not dead. He pondered that last bit for a moment. But then, maybe that's not such a good thing after all. I have no idea where I am. No idea how long I was out. Is this just nighttime on the island, or am I inside somewhere?


     As if to answer Kotan's question, a loud stone scraping sounded to his right, and a slab was pushed aside revealing a black and gray Toa with a lightstone. His mask was covered in dents and scrapes, and his posture was slouched, like a being burdened with too much for too long. Most significant, though, was that Kotan recognized him.


     "A...Alroy?" he asked, suddenly remembering the name.


     "That's right, Kotan." Alroy said softly. "How do you feel? We all had some pretty nasty falls, but it seems like you got a double dose."


     "Tried to fly." Kotan said meekly.


     "You seem okay," Alroy said after inspecting him with the lightstone. "Do you know where the others are?"


     "Others, yes," Kotan said, more to himself than to Alroy. "I know there are others, you see, but I don't know as of yet who they are or how many they are. My memories are coming back rather slowly."


     "You mean you don't remember what happened to us?" Alroy asked.


     "Nope. Do you?"


     "Yes. I'd rather not talk about it right now, though. First we have to find Nulehk and Outa."


     "Nulehk and Outa. Right on. Who are they again?"


     "Our brothers. Nulehk is a Toa of magnetism, and Outa a Toa of ice. How do you not remember them?"

     "Most of what I remember is my early life, back in the Northern Continent."


     "Fair enough. Let's get going then, we've no time to waste. When the sun goes down on this Mata Nui-forsaken island, terrible things come out. We must find our brothers before our brothers find trouble."

     And with that, the two Toa set out on a hasty rescue mission.


* * * *


Ko-Toa found rest impossible. He had found them a small niche between two stones where they might have shelter, but he was still nervous. He recalled the night he awoke, when he had seen the terrible giant beast skulking the rocks above him. It was easily three times his height, fully armored and bearing two menacing blades on its arms. Most of its face was teeth, large, sharp, Toa-shredding teeth. Blade-like fins protruded from the sides of its head. But worst of all were the eyes. How Ko-Toa had feared those eyes! They were small, and appeared smaller still compared to its massive teeth. But they looked with a ferocious intensity the likes of which he had never witnessed before. and they burned a fiery red that seemed to pierce the black night air. At that point, he hadn't cared about his name or his powers; only fear held him. The creature had turned then, and locked its tiny red eyes onto Ko-Toa. Ko-toa hadn't even stayed around to see what it would do, he just ran until exhaustion overwhelmed him.


     Looking back, he hated his cowardice in that moment. He tried to tell himself that he didn't even know his name. That he didn't know anything, and was already scared. That he wouldn't have fared well against the creature anyway. But in the end, as he fought for sleep, all he could think was tht he was a coward. And so as Nulehk slept, Ko-Toa berated himself and vowed to face the beast should he see it again.


     The hours slipped by calmly, and Ko-Toa found himself settling down. It seemed as though he had just closed his eyes when Nulehk shook him awake, frantically whispering. "Ko-Toa! Get up! We have to get out of here, now!"


     Ko-Toa was up in an instant, hammer and shield in hand and crimson eyes blazing. "What is it?" He demanded, perhaps a bit loudly.


     Nulehk pointed with his spear, were not one, but two of the frightening creatures lumbered towards them with their beady red eyes intent upon them. "I haven't the slightest idea," Nulehk said, "but I know they're more horrible than anything I've ever seen. Now come on!"


     Ko-Toa remembered his last encounter, he remembered his vow to himself, and then he did the unthinkable.


     He charged.

Edited by toajomo

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Chapter 5

Ko-Toa ran as fast as his powerful legs would carry him, shouting a war cry all the way. He reached the first giant, and brought his hammer in a heavy downward strike at its foot. The giant shifted, surprisingly quickly, and Ko-Toa's strike hit the rocky ground. The giant then brought its foot upwards and slammed Ko-Toa's jaw, sending him flying until he collided with a boulder.


     Nulehk entered the fray then, thinking it a good time to test his mask of teleportation, materialized behind the creature and slashed at its leg pistons with his spear. There was a loud clang as metal struck metal, but the spear didn't sever the piston. To make matters worse for Nulehk, the second giant placed tendrils of binding energy around his whole body, pinning him to the ground. He concentrated, and triggered his mask again.


     This time, he found himself on the second giant's shoulder. He wasted no time, and thrusted his spear straight into the creature's right eye. To his satisfaction, the blade slid into the eye easily. To his horror, the giant let out a bloodcurdling scream and flung him towards the rock where Ko-Toa had landed.


     Ko-Toa was faring a little better. He called upon his elemental powers, the dark corner of his mind filled with malice and anger, and opened it up. Deadly sharp icicles flew from his weapons, the air took on a sickly chill wherever he stood. His mask and body glowed a pale greenish-blue as he continued his barrage. The giant swatted the icicles away with ease, but its movements were slowing due to the cold aura. Ko-Toa, on the other hand, was becoming faster. He swung his hammer in a straight arc ahead of him, and connected solidly with the giant's knee. There was a metallic clash and a sickening crunch as the joint shattered under the furious rage of the Toa of Ice.


     The colossus roared, and bound its leg with tendrils of energy so that it could still walk. Then, unexpectedly, it disappeared. Its companion, however, was not so quick to leave. It flung a web of energy at Nulehk, pinning him to the rock. Nulehk decided it was time to bring out his elemental powers. He closed his eyes and concentrated, feeling the magnetic energy all round him, the harmony of metals in their atomic dance. He reached out, and felt the essence of the giant's armor and mechanics. Not all of it was magnetic, but enough was.


     Nulehk found the creature's arm blades had a strong magnetic pull. So he latched on to them, guided them. The blades drove into the beast's legs, causing it to howl out in pain and release the energy bindings. Just then, the giant decided that enough was enough, and it too dematerialized.


     "What just happened?!" Nulehk asked, more for lack of any proper response than anything else.


     "I think," Ko-Toa said, "we have just made some very powerful enemies."


* * * *


It was morning before Kotan and Alroy found them. They tunneled up through the dirt ten feet away from where Nulehk slept. The two sleeping Toa awoke with a start, and immediately drew their weapons.


     "Calm, brothers, calm," said Kotan. "You two look like you've had quite the rough night."


     "Yes," Nulehk replied. "We were attacked by two monstrous giants."


     Alroy piped in then. "That's not important right now, Nulehk. We need to get you and Outa back to the base I've set up. It's the only safe place on this rock."


     "Outa?" Ko-Toa asked, remembering the name. "That's me, then?"


     "Well, yes," Alroy answered as if it were obvious. "Do you really not remember anything?"


     "I remember some things," Nulehk said. "More memories come with time."


     "Same here, but you already knew that." Kotan said.


     "Well I still remember nothing." Outa seemed to be increasing in frustration.


     "It doesn't matter," Alroy said with finality. "We have to be out of here. Kotan will lead you through the tunnels, and I'll erase all traces of us behind." Seeing no better option, the reunited Toa descended below the surface.

Edited by toajomo

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