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Madness: Genesis


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Dramatis Personae

  • Xaedan, Toa of Fire
  • Tsukumi, Toa of Water
  • Caine, Toa of Air
  • Kaixin, Toa of Ice
  • Kavalus, Toa of Earth (minor appearance)
  • Anzix, Toa of Plasma (minor appearance)
  • Mata Nui, Great Spirit of the Matoran Universe
  • Infernum, Great Being
  • "Mary", Fiend



Madness: Genesis is the first installment of the six-book Madness Series, set in my "Infernum Universe". I focus solely on my own characters, with the exception of Mata Nui.


The Infernum Universe differs from the Prime Reality in only three ways:

1. The construction of a replacement for the damaged Pit.

2. The re-awakening of Mata Nui, thirteen years after the Reformation.

3. The implementation of Infernum's Great Deathmatch.


Madness: Genesis


gen·e·sis, /ˈjenəsis/ Noun - the origin or mode of formation of something.


Chapter I




Time: Thirteen years after Mata Nui's battle with Makuta Teridax
Location: Sunspike Valley, Spherus Magna




A cave.


How quaint.


Who would've known a Great Being, one of such grand stature, one of such a far-flung and well-known name, one of… I digress.


Basically, my old pal Mata Nui was living in this roughly-hewn cave in the middle of a desert.


A midday sun unobstructed by clouds shone brightly above me and a stiff breeze blew, showering me with sand. Normally, this would make me set the place on fire in a bout of irritability, but deserts are notoriously hard to set ablaze. And so, I tip my beloved top hat downwards, wrap my cape that much tighter around me, and bear it.


I reach the entrance of the cave.


It stinks.


It stinks something awful. Awful as in the month-old… excretions… of Nui-Jaga.


So. Not only does he live in a cave, but he's made his home in a Nui-Jaga nest.


That's low.


I step forward, not even bothering to hide my disgust at the rotten corpse. Time had not been kind to the huge scorpion. From the looks of it, most of the organic flesh had been eaten away. I also notice, to my eternal regret, tiny little white orbs dotting the carcass. Some lay completely still, looking all innocent. Others were wriggling, rocking to and fro. Still others had already burst and the Niazesk they held were already feasting on the Nui-Jaga.


Lovely. I'm tempted to just burn the whole thing, 'til not even ashes would remain.




A rich, cultured voice echoes throughout the entire cave network. A voice full to the brim with power. A voice seemingly equal parts amused and stern. I grin.


"Big Nui, my man," I holler back. "How's everything?"


He gave me no response, unless a shimmering of walls counted as a response. I was showered with multi-coloured sparks as the cavern around me peeled away.


An illusion. Just an illusion. It was just all an elaborate illusion.


"You like it, Infernum?" Mata Nui, seated on a flat lump of rock, swivelled towards me. In one hand was the Ignika. The other, an odd-looking gadget that slightly resembled a rounded hammer. I think Mata Nui once told me it was something called a… a microphone, or something. And, on his face was a Kanohi Mahiki, though one I'd never seen before. It was gold and shimmering, as if it was forged from pure light.


"Well, apart from the smell, I did. You got me."


Mata Nui sets down the microphone and his voice returned to its ordinary, friendly, and wise self. "It's another experiment I've been doing," he explained. "The Mask of Illusions is powerful in its own right, but making a perfect, flawless illusion? That is what I'm after, Infernum."


I smile and humour him. Ever since he finally found a reason to return to the world of the living, Mata Nui's been voraciously trying to find answers to any and nearly all questions. Understandable, I guess. After all, one does need some catching up after a decade of sleeping. And so, I leave him to his research.


Mata Nui continues on.


"So, what brings you here? Surely not for that favour I owe you!"


The last sentence has the barest hint of sarcasm in it. I've been holding onto an IOU from Mata Nui for years now, but I've never found a use for it. It's become our little idea of a joke.


"Actually," I reply, eyeing my old friend. "I think it is high time you repay me."


Not until now, it seems. I now have a use, a desperate, urgent use for it. Life-threatening, in fact.


A pause. An uncomfortable one. As soon as those words left my mouth, a heavy silence descended upon us and neither of us were very willing to break it.


It was Mata Nui who summoned up enough courage. With a hesitant clearing of his throat, he asked me the million-widget question. "I see. What do you need me to do, Infernum?"


I feel a relieved smile start to creep across my face. Though, in all honesty, I don't know why I would be afraid. Since when has Mata Nui ever broken a promise? "I need you to do two things, Mata Nui."


He huffs with exasperation. "Stop being so melodramatic. I've already told myself that this day would eventually come, so I'll do whatever you need done."


"Fine. I need a small book, two new scrolls, a chisel, and thirteen blank, stone tablets."


The Great Spirit, in the middle of tweaking his microphone, comes to a sudden, grinding halt. "Is this a joke, Infernum? Surely you can get those items yourself. I'm not your servant."


I ignore him and barrel forwards. "I'll also need a fresh batch of Toa."


At that, Mata Nui grows more somber, but the incredulity in his eyes began to die away. Clearly, he was expecting a large request such as this. "Do you have the Toa Stones, then?"


This time around, it is my turn to not respond. Instead, I shove a list under his face. Mata Nui snatches the list from me with a deft movement of his fingers. Almost as an afterthought, he then bats away my arm still stiffly stuck in his face.


Seconds pass.


The Great Spirit's face was unreadable, a literal mask, devoid of expression. In all my life, I had never seen a look like that on my old friend's face. I think… I think it was… suspicion?


At last, Mata Nui spoke. "What's going on here? You say you've got all the Toa ready, but you want to alter them? And how can you have seventeen Toa? There are only sixteen elements! And what's this business with an Olmak?"


I try not to allow a pleading tone slip into my voice, but it creeps in anyways. "Please. Just trust me."


Mata Nui simply glances at me. "Why?"


I hesitate. The only answer I'm able to give is a blank, helpless stare.


My erstwhile friend's gaze doesn't waver either. We go on for what must have been a minute like that, just staring at each others eyes; one a bright blue pair, the other a burning orange set. Each minute I spend here is a minute lost, and I don't have many left, I wanted to say.


But I didn't.


I couldn't.


At long last, Mata Nui holds up a finger to me, and then turns around. The finger so obviously meant "wait".


And that was exactly what I did. No, that was a lie. Instead, I allowed my gaze to wander. Though it wasn't the first time I've visited Mata Nui, I've never ceased to be amazed at the technology he boasts. Even on the old island of Arthaka, there was nothing this advanced. Every inch of the grotto was covered with a terribly confusing array of snaking wires, blinking lights, strange looking knobs, and huge, glowing windows. I believe the latter were called "monitors".




Mata Nui's voice derails my trains of thought and it careened off the rails, taking out the station out along with it. Yes, I was that shocked at being addressed. And the fact that Mata Nui now wore a Kanohi Rode didn't make me feel any better.


"So, tell me," Mata Nui began, a soft glow suffusing the Rode. "What's happening?"


I hesitate. Even with all my power, I cannot cheat a Mask of Truth forged by the Matoran's Great Spirit. Yet, I plaster the biggest, most fake smile I can muster on my face. I must look like a serial killer. "Nothing! I'm just trying to cash in that favour you've owed me for so long." It was the truth, wasn't it?


Mata Nui's eyebrows went up. "Nothing? Nothing at all?" The Kanohi Rode continued to shine. I swear, it felt like the light was burning away my denials.


"Yeah. That's right, nothing."


The two of us went back to staring at each other.


One pair of blue eyes, searching, searching, searching ever deeper for the truth.


One pair of orange eyes, wide with… fear? Impossible. I do not fear.


Mata Nui suddenly raises his hand. I jump. Will he strike at me? Will he…?


He exchanges the Rode for the Ignika. And, with a snap of his fingers, a pile of tablets materialize along with the book, chisel, and scrolls I had requested. They all settle to the floor with a soft whump.


Upon doing that, he turns to face away from me.


In a loud voice, he declares, "I think I need a break. A long break. I will head outside this room and I'll have no idea what will be done in this room while I'm gone. When I return to this room, it will be exactly as it was before. Therefore, that means nobody was here." And with that, he briskly heads off into the cave tunnels leading to the surface.


I am left all alone. Alone with the likes of hardware never seen before, never dreamt of by even the Great Beings.

This. This will be fun. Somehow, I feel as nervous as a Ga-Matoran on her first field trip. That was a terrible simile. I've never even set foot in a Metru Nui school, and I'm pretty sure I'm not a girl.


It was not long, however, before my elation faded, only to be replaced by anxiety along with a strange sense of haste. I came here with a purpose in mind, not to admire the many glowing levers and buttons. But the aforementioned levers and buttons were all just screaming to be admired.


For Mata Nui's sake, there was even the traditional big red button.


With a slight shake of my head, I turn my attention back to the monitors. Distractions are a luxury I can't afford at this stage.

I seize the keyboard nearby and direct my gaze to the vast multitude of monitors.


How Mata Nui manages to find his way through this labyrinth of virtual data truly beats me. My poor eyes are assaulted with constantly fluctuating bars, columns upon columns of descending numbers, and...


What do we have here...?


"Toa Digital Designer, V.3.1." This is perfect. At last, nearly a decade of constant plotting, constant thinking, constant searching, my dastardly scheme will bear fruit at last. Yet, one final hurdle stood firm against me.


How in Artahka's name does all... this... even work!?


I barely know what a microphone is. I wouldn't be able to operate a wondrous machine such as this if my life depended on it. Which, ironically, it did.


I lower my eyes to the keyboard. A fleeting thought races through my head: Why in the world are the letters all jumbled up? Ah, to heck with all this. I raise my hands, as if about to begin conducting a Matoran marching band.


And, with an odd sense of satisfaction, I bring all ten of my fingers crashing down on the keys. I believe I may be the first person in all of Spherus Magna to execute the "keyboard smash". I feel so proud of myself. The warm feeling doesn't last too long.


The moment the keyboard felt the full force of my ten-fingered wrath, letters and digits raced across the monitors. I manage to catch the barest glimpses: female Toa of Ice, combative Toa of Water, blind Toa of Sonics. My eyes widen with dismay. This was really not how it was supposed to go.


My fingers, still perusing the keyboard, hover over a large button with an arrow on it. Obviously, that meant going back. I press it. I'm met with a huge message which flashes before my eyes: Confirmed. Alterations being made.


Mata Nui is going to flay me.


Well, if he's going to be angry, then I might as make it worthwhile. As I rush from the grotto, I snag the Mahiki, which I now dub the Mahiki Nuva, and the modified microphone.


Oh! The tablets! I hurriedly scoop them up in my arms and book it. Hopefully, that program would actually do it's job and those botched-yet-interesting changes would take place.


I blow by Mata Nui who gazes at me with a peculiar look as I barrel past. It's instantly washed away by fury when he sees what's tucked beneath my arm: the Mahiki Nuva. There's no way in Karzahni he can catch me, and we both know it. All Mata Nui can do is shake his fist at me while looking very much like the irate Turaga.


Just watch. He'll be even more furious when he finds out what I did ins-


"Infernum!" Mata Nui's roar, one of great rage, halts a lone, prowling Iron Wolf dead in its tracks. It cowers, head bowed and tail tucked between its legs. The cave shrike it was chasing, however, was not so easily fazed. It continued to run, eventually taking to the air, leaving behind the hungry wolf to skip yet another meal. In fact, the ground itself trembled before the Great Being's rage. The distant mountains, too, seemed to quiver at the sound of such primal fury.


But not I.


I was not afraid of Mata Nui.


I do not fear, for I am the god of the dead.

Edited by ChineseLegolas
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Chapter II


Toa Xaedan


Time: One year later
Location: Township of Haven, Xeno Nui, Spherus Magna


My mind.


It's wandering.

Where to?


Who knows, really. It's been tending to run off ever since I stepped foot on this island.


I remember that day clearly, more or less. Rainy, it was. Might even have been a thunderstorm. Wind lashing everywhere, nearly taking out the palm trees that lined the beach.


I, in my little Canister, came in with the terribly rough waves. Landed in the middle of a beach. Soon enough, the other members of my team decimated the beach with their own Canisters.


To this day, the huge furrows left by the Canisters are still there. That was over a week ago.

One after another, we emerged, all sixteen of us, each of us fully decked with Toa tools, masks, and armor. Each of us with a hazy memory and new Toa powers.


Each of us with a sole purpose burned in our minds.


Funny thing is, none of us knew what our goal was.


Ah, well.


A soft breeze quietly rolls by, rustling the tall willow's swaying leaves. And I open my eyes. The sky. It's blue. With clouds, a sun.


It feels right.


Someone tugs at my leg. I shift my gaze downwards, and I am met with a little Ga-Matoran. She's holding a slightly wilted flower, but it was a beautiful flower nonetheless. She thrusts her hand forward. Clearly, the flower, a rose, is meant for me.


Behind my mask, I smile and gently grasp the stem. It amazes me, the difference in our size. Her hand, small as it was, was barely half of mine. Yet, she is not intimidated.


A shadow looms over us all.


The bright sun vanishes, the clouds disappear, and blue shifts to green, silver, and black. Another Toa bends over. Caine.


Toa of Air. Huge. Strong.


The tiniest squeak escapes the Ga-Matoran. Caine is no ordinary Toa, however. The guy's nearly eleven feet, with spikes, skulls and claws covering his entire body. He's also been subjected to Hordika venom and is given to fits of devastating rage. His face has been brutally disfigured by the venom so he always wears a metal mask.


Caine's probably the nicest Toa I know.


"There, there," Caine says softly. The Ga-Matoran, seeing that the hulking monster before was indeed just hulking and not a monster, tentatively reaches out. Caine, in turn, extends one of his own clawed hands and gingerly grasps the Matoran's.


"Well, little Matoran. Do you have a flower for me, as well?" Caine jokes.


"Nuh-uh," was her response. Then she purses her lips. After a good moment's thought, the little Matoran rushes forth and hugs Caine's leg, just the right one.


Her arms barely reach across.


Cries from behind me catch my attention.


I crane my neck and look past the willow I've been resting against. A trio of Matoran, no, a pair of them with an Agori. The Agori was the one who caused the racket, waving his arms about and gesturing for the Ga-Matoran to return.


Without a second thought, she scampered off, rejoining her friends.






I wonder if I'll ever have one.


There's a whisper at the very back of my mind. "Yeah, I guess," I reply, quietly, tentatively.


And so, the two of us were alone, alone under the gently swaying willow branches.


I say nothing. I was never one for words.


Caine looks at me. I can feel his gaze on me, willing me to speak up, to at least try to start a conversation.


Like I said, I was never one for words.


He sighs. "Maybe next time, Xaedan, eh?"


By the time I can bring myself to look at him, I'm the only person under the tree branches.


It's been this way ever since the team got together. I'm a Toa of Fire. Naturally, the others look to me as the leader. They'll be sorely mistaken. Sure, I can cause a volcano to erupt. But can I hold a conversation?


Someone like Caine should lead.


The subtle wind has stopped.


The willow's branches fall still.


I get up, brush a speck of dirt from my leg and leave the park, thinking, still thinking.


My mind starts to wander.

Edited by ChineseLegolas
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