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Shades of the Past

The 1st Shadow

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For a little context, this story takes place in the same continuity as The Kanohi Force Comedy, Vanquished Alliance and Gilead by Irrie, as well as Fractured Light and Endless by Ghidora131.

I wanted to give a grand overview of the continuity my comrades and I have set up, so I've prepared this series for you all. It takes place in the BZ-Nui pocket dimension, which is tacked on to our reality. You'll catch on as we dive deeper into the story. ;) With that, let's get started!


Chapter 1


"'Take a shortcut,' I said. 'It'll be faster,' I said. If I'd known it would get this bad up here, I wouldn't have come!" 


The Po-Matoran's words cut into the icy gale that hammered against him and the surrounding mountains. He was on his way to New Ga-Koro, and instead of taking the usual route far to the south, Sigilix had decided to cut course and travel through the mountains to the northeast of BZ-Metru and BZ-Koro. Few had traveled this way in decades, but there were still some old service routes that had still remained. The trick was finding one that would actually take him all the way through. 


And the storm made it even worse. He had been warned that the weather could become hazardous in these parts, but he'd never gotten the chance to see it for himself at this proximity. The biting wind and pounding sleet and rain made it hard to focus on the path. Sigilix pulled his scarf tighter up around his Pakari and hunched down as he trudged onwards. 


He was of average height, for a Matoran, standing only a little over four feet. His broad shoulders and stout frame were covered in bronze, yellow, and black armor, and light blue eyes shone from behind his mask, which was currently dripping with rainwater. 


Too often, he considered trying to find shelter, but as far as he could see, there was nothing but steep slopes, thick trees, and the road for miles. He had a small tent with him, but there didn't seem to be anywhere open to him. So he just kept going into the stormy twilight. "A Chronicler's job is never easy," he muttered to himself. 


He tried to distract himself from the discomfort by thinking about his present task, but the weather was completely unforgiving. A small landslide somewhere above him sent rocks tumbling down around him. He leaped towards the mountainside and pressed himself up against the rock and dirt, trying to avoid any larger rocks that might harm him. After a few moments, the falling rocks ceased, and the Po-Matoran stumbled on. "Someone should really take better care of these roads." 


Finally, the darkness came and swallowed up the road. Soaking wet through his armor and chilled to the bone, Sigilix found his hands too numb to hold a flashlight. Giving in, he pulled out a heavy travel cloak from his bag and searched for a spot among a nearby stand of trees growing in a narrow valley between two peaks. Finding a spot where the road seemed to branch out into the trees, Sigilix hunkered down and tried to dry himself out before he got some sleep. An hour passed, and finally, he closed his eyes and passed out. 


Had he remained awake, he would have noticed a dark figure weaving its way through the trees towards him.



To be continued....


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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the wait, but here's Chapter 2!


Sigilix slept fitfully for about four hours. For a man always on the road, he should have been used to this sort of thing by now. But the conditions in these mountains were rumored to be harsh enough to turn even a hardened survival expert back home, and he struggled to get the rest he knew he would need. 


About two hours after midnight, he awoke with a start at the sound of a branch snapping. He blinked and rolled over, trying to find the source of the sound. But the light from the small fire barely illuminated the trees beside the road. His eyes cast about, trying to piece their grogginess and the darkness around him, seeking out the source of the sound. Fortunately, the seemed to have stopped sometime while he slept. 


Then another revelation dawned on him, and his eyes moved immediately to the fire. It's warmth calmed him, but he couldn't fight the chill that ran down his spine as the flames flickered from the burning chunks of wood. 


He hadn't started a fire. 


The Chronicler fumbled at the pouch strapped to his waist, pulling out his knife and flashlight. "Not much good, but it's better than nothing." He clicked the light on and opened the blade, pushing his travel cloak aside and climbing to his feet. 


"Not really. As you are, you probably couldn't even touch me." 


Sigilix spun around at the sound of the voice. A figure a couple feet taller than he stood in the shadows, a large coat and a hood shielding their features, a couple pieces of dried wood in hand. The voice was old, but strong, and definitely masculine, if a bit quiet. 


Sigilix ignored the words and raised the knife, aiming his flashlight at the others face. But the figure shifted his position and the light failed to reveal anything. "Who are you?" 


The figure ignored him and swiftly moved past him to the fire, placing one of the pieces of wood in pile, before moving to the other side of the road. "No one of any significance to you. Just someone still crazy enough to be living out here, even as bad as things have been these last few decades." 


At those words, the ground shook. Another quake, Sigilix thought darkly, though not as bad as most. The quakes were just the latest in a long line of natural disasters that had been plaguing BZ-Nui for the last forty years. In fact, he had been on his way to New Ga-Koro to record the reopening of the town after a recent flooding devastated most living places in the area. 


"What brings you here, Matoran?" 


The words brought Sigilix out of his reverie. He processed the words before replying, "Business. I'm on my way to Ga-Koro." 


The figure's body language relaxed. "What business?" 


The Po-Matoran wasn't sure how much he wanted to reveal. "I'm a Chronicler. I record events and report back to Lady Grey of the High Council." 


The hood shifted. "Lady Grey... You're the Head Chronicler, aren't you?" 


Sigilix nodded slowly. "My great grandfather was a Chronicler in his youth, but he didn't call it his true profession." Realizing he still held the knife and flashlight, he closed the former and switched off the latter before returning them to his pouch. "Listen, thanks for the fire, and for not killing me in my sleep, but I do have to be going. I need to find a way to Ga-Koro before the reopening in four... No... three days. The sooner, the better." 


The figure waved his hand. "Don't worry about it. I know the mountains, and they know me. I can show you the way. But not tonight, no. Tonight, you rest. My home is just there." He pointed into the trees behind the Matoran. 


Sigilix turned to see light emanating from windows and a doorway. He turned back to thank the stranger, but he lost the words when he found he still couldn't see what the other looked like. All he could manage was, "Who are you?" 


The figure sighed. "I haven't used my name in a long time. I doubt you would know it. I suppose," he reached up and threw back the hood, "you can call me 'Amuran.'"



Stay tuned for chapter 3!


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Chapter 3


"You can call me Amuran."


Sigilix's eyes widened at the figure. It wasn't surprise at the name that held his focus—he knew it as an old Matoran or Agori word for "remnant, a living piece of history." Rather, it was the nature of the being's body. Unlike the biomechanical forms common to nearly every being member of the population, this one was composed entirely of a soft, squishy substance that he recognized as-- "You're a protoform?"


The flesh-being's worn and hardened face wrinkled up in confusion. "I'm a what?"


Sigilix gestured at Amuran's face. "You're, you know, a protoform. The beginning stage in a being's life. We're born as a creature of flesh, and then, as we reach the first stage of maturity, we evolve into the next stage of our life. Like this." He held up his own arm and turned it around as if to show off the mechanical parts. He lowered his arm and peered more closely at the other through the firelight. "But, you don't look like most protoforms I remember. The skin isn't smooth and the hair is rough and discolored."


The other nodded. "That's what happens when you get old. What do they teach kids these days?" He shook his head. "No matter. Time to get some rest." He pried a soaked branch from a nearby tree and smothered the fire with it, kicking dust on the orange coals to put them out as he did so. Plunged into darkness once again, he began walking along the previously-hidden path to the house in the trees. Sigilix scrambled to retrieve his belongings before following.


Once inside, Sigilix watched as Amuran hung up his coat and removed his mud-stained boots, revealing even more of the primal form underneath. He had never seen a protoform past the age of twenty. It was easily the strangest thing he had ever encountered in his 50 years as a Chronicler.


That's when Sigilix spotted something across the room that he found even more interesting. Four plaques hung from the wall above the stone fireplace. One was the logo of the craftsman's guild in BZ-Metru known as the Nui Ghosts—not a formal organization, but their roots could be traced back as far as society could remember. The other was the Seal of the Comic Makers, a well-known artifact in the Creative Archipelago.


The third one he had never seen before, but the fourth... Sigilix had seen that emblem before, in his great-grandfather's home, and on one of the more prominent hotels in BZ-Metru, the Voya Nui Inn. But anyone who had ever been there knew that it was once known by another name—Kanohi Force Tower. The logo depicted a mismatched Kanohi mask, comprised of the features of seven or eight different masks. It was the symbol of the fabled Kanohi Flashbaki, a powerful relic that had disappeared many years ago with the formal disbanding of the Kanohi Force.


Sigilix stared up at the emblem. "You were a member of the Kanohi Force? My great grandfather was, too." He turned to the other, awaiting a response.


Amuran stared at the closet before him for a moment before acknowledging the Po-Matoran. "I didn't always live here alone." He closed the door before coming to take a seat in a worn leather chair near the fire. "This place once housed myself and two others: The Irrational Rock, better known as Irrie; and Azon. Azon vanished a long time ago, and we never heard from him after that. Irrie died of age on top of injury about 30 years ago. I've been here alone ever since." He let out a breath as his shoulders slumped. "To answer your question, yes. I was a member of the Kanohi Force. In fact, I was there in the very beginning of the group, along with Ghidora, Dallior, and the others."


Sigilix sat in the chair opposite Amuran. For a few minutes, the tired pair sat and stared into the flickering light of the hearth. After a while, the elder being spoke. "The world has changed much since those days. These quakes and storms, for one thing. And the way you talk... makes me feel like the world I knew is long gone, or close to it."


Sigilix was tired, and he knew he would need an early start in the morning. But the Chronicler in him couldn't leave off like this. He had to know more. "I know it's late, but could you tell me about it? The world in your time?"


Amuran hesitated a moment before rising to his feet. He walked over to a shelf beside the fireplace, upon which rested numerous books. On the top shelf were eight large novels, each a different color leather with a different binding, and a word or two written on each, but the letters were not ones Sigilix was inherently familiar with. The first book was a bound in dark green leather with black binding; the second was black with bright red binding; the third white with black binding; the fourth, red with silver binding; the fifth was silvery grey with metallic blue binding; sixth was a brown volume bound in silver; seventh was a white one bound in a light blue; and the last was a deep crimson bound in gold. The silvery grey one with the metallic blue binding was the smallest of the bunch, easily less than half the size of the others.


Amuran pulled the green one down and brought it back to his chair. He opened the cover, expelling a small cloud of dust. He ran his fingers over the pages, maybe reading or remembering. "What is your name, kid?"


Sigilix was shocked. He had asked the other for his name, but in the ensuing conversation, had forgotten to give his own. "My name is Sigilix."


Amuran nodded. "Sigilix, huh? Mouthful, that is. I'll call you Sig, for my old self's convenience." He turned a couple pages more, scanning over the words, still strange to Sigilix, before he closed the book. "Well, Sig. Let me take you back almost 900 years ago. To understand this world, and to answer your question, I need to take you back to the world before the world, to the time of Shadow..."




Up Next, we dive into the genesis of the world of BZ-Nui, with Dawn of a New World. Stay tuned.


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