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BIONICLE: Legends of the Red Star


Master Inika
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Chapter 1: New Arrival

 

For centuries, the Red Star had been a source of speculation and mythmaking for the inhabitants of the island of Mata Nui. It watched over them every night, outshining the thousands of other stars surrounding it, and the Matoran couldn’t help but believe it was in some way connected to them. They were more right than they could ever know.

 

Toa Tuyet knew none of those myths. Her mind was focused on the bizarre dichotomy between how she felt before being executed and how she felt after. For one thing, she was under the impression there wasn’t even supposed to be an “after.” And yet, she found herself kneeling down in the center of a sterile-looking white room. It was the same position in which she had died.

 

“Hello?” she said, yet heard nothing but her own voice echoing through the large room. She stood up a few moments later, but before she could take a step, the doors at the end of the room slid apart. Standing on the other side was a vaguely insectlike humanoid clad in purple and black armor.

 

“Welcome,” it said in an automated-sounding voice. “I need you to come with me.”

 

“Come with you where?” Tuyet demanded. “And where am I now?” She reached for her Toa tool, only to discover that it had not been transported with her. “What’s going on here?”

 

“All will be explained,” the creature assured her. “I am a Kestora, and if you come with me, all of your questions will be answered.”

 

Tuyet took a step forward. Whether she would go with this bizarre being or attack him when she got close enough, she didn’t know. She ended up not having to make the decision herself. A few steps later, a sideways rain of boulders came down from the hallway and slammed into the Kestora, knocking him out of sight. Tuyet ran out, almost colliding with a Toa of Stone.

 

“Whoa!” the brown-armored Toa exclaimed. “Wait, who are you, and how did you get here?”

 

“My name is Tuyet, and as for the second, that’s what I’m trying to find out,” she responded.

 

“Why weren’t you here when we did our first sweep through this section?” the Toa asked.

 

“I don’t know what ‘this section’ is!” Tuyet cried. She glanced over and saw the black and purple creature looked to be unconscious. “Can you please answer me before our little friend over there wakes up?”

 

“Sorry,” the Stone Toa said, looking down at his feet. “It’s been a stressful few weeks. My name is Toa Pohatu, and since you’re here, that means you’re dead.”

 

“Yeah, I was executed just now,” she told him. When she realized just how that sounded, she added, “Why isn’t important. Now please tell me what ‘here’ is.”

 

“The Red Star,” Pohatu answered. “It was built to revive us when we died, and teleport us back to our universe. But that second part hadn’t been working. The Kestora are supposed to keep the machines functioning.”

 

“By the sound of it, they’re doing a great job,” Tuyet said dryly.

 

“Have you met my brother, Kopaka?” Pohatu asked. “I think you’d like him. Oh, also, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a fellow named Gaardus. Gold Mask of Shielding, too many arms and legs. He got Kopaka and me up here and now we can’t find him.”

 

Tuyet looked back at the unconscious Kestora. “What about him? What happens when Kestora die?”

 

Pohatu conjured up a massive boulder above the Kestora and brought it down on him hard. A shocked Tuyet looked at Pohatu in terror, wondering if he was some kind of maniac. However, Pohatu gestured back at the Kestora, who appeared unharmed among the rubble around him.

 

“As far as we know, they can’t,” Pohatu said. “We need to check him for weapons, though. It doesn’t look like they were built with any of their own powers.”

 

Tuyet helped Pohatu search the limp Kestora. “He wanted to bring me somewhere,” she mentioned as they took the small bladed weapon from his hip.

 

“Did he say he’d answer all your questions?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Pohatu sighed. “I got here just in time then. The Kestora seem to have concluded that the teleportation mechanism is beyond repair. In light of that, they’ve decided to shut down the entire project—starting by killing all of us for good, like we’re ‘supposed’ to be.”

 

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 2: A Toa’s Destiny

 

Tuyet knew the plan forward and backward. She, Pohatu, and Kopaka would storm the hallway, fight their way through the Kestora, and make their way to the chamber at the very end. Inside the chamber was another batch of beings the Kestora were preparing to kill. If she and her brothers weren’t quick enough, all of their fighting would be for nothing.

 

The rescue mission was not unlike the numerous others she and the two of them had undertaken in the past week. It was becoming like a ritual now.

 

“Three… two…” Kopaka whispered, and then mouthed and gestured with his finger. Pohatu sent a massive boulder through the protosteel door, and the three Toa followed it. Tuyet flipped, twirled, and jumped her way through the dozens of Kestora waiting for them, mowing down as many of them as she could. Her new Toa tools, a multi-shot Zamor launcher containing explosive Zamor spheres and a large cruciform sword, were making it quite easy.

 

Kopaka and Pohatu were even better, though. The two of them seemed to wear some kind of armor that adapted itself to their situation. Normally, they appeared with breathing apparatuses built directly into their armor, in case the integrity of the Red Star itself was compromised, but when the battle began, the tubes connecting to their mouths became much smaller as the rest of the armor became sleeker and sharper.

 

Tuyet was no stranger to combat, yet the Kestora’s strange weaponry and eerily synchronized movements made her feel as foreign to fighting as when she first became a Toa. It wasn’t a time she enjoyed remembering. She was, like all Toa began, naïve and unaware of how truly dangerous a threat could be. In those days, she was idealistic enough to make the mistake of allowing an enemy the chance to harm the Matoran in the name of preserving the archaic, outdated Toa Code.

 

She forced herself to focus on the task at hand. Blow from the sword at one Kestora’s shoulder joint, another to another’s neck, three quick Zamor blasts at two approaching Pohatu. The ritual is as violent as it is brief, and Kopaka quickly freezes and then shatters the lock to the death chamber. Pohatu opens the door, and Toa, Matoran, and other former residents of the Great Spirit robot flood out. Pohatu and Kopaka lead them to safety.

 

Tuyet was about to close the door when she noticed the room wasn’t entirely empty. Inside was a Toa in battle-worn purple armor, sitting with his legs crossed, arms placed peacefully on his knees, and eyes closed.

 

“Um, hello?” Tuyet called. Maybe this one’s mind was scrambled in the teleportation process.

 

“Hello, child,” the Toa answered without opening his eyes or shifting his position. His voice carried the indicators of advanced age that his appearance did not.

 

“You’re, um, free to go,” Tuyet said. “The Kestora are all defeated.”

 

Now, the Toa of Gravity opened his eyes and stood up. “I’m aware,” he said. “But, tell me, where is it I’m free to go?”

 

Tuyet immediately understood his sentiment, or at least she thought she did. There wasn’t much freedom in the cold, restrictive space vessel. But a few rescued Matoran and Turaga were hard at work planning a way to repair the teleportation mechanism.

 

Her silence was answer enough for the old Toa, who continued: “I died originally during the war against the Brotherhood of Makuta. They were laying siege to my home island. Matoran were dying by the dozens. There were only thee in my team left, and we had but one airship with which to escape. It required two to pilot. My brother and sister took as many Matoran as could fit in the airship and fled; I remained behind to fend off the advancing Rahkshi as long as possible. I don’t know how much time I bought them, if they escaped to freedom or were shot out of the sky as soon as they left my sight. But I decided, no, realized it was my destiny to fight as long as possible to give them the opportunity. My being here, alive, is outside of destiny. I have no need to live any longer.”

 

Tuyet scoffed. “Look, that’s very noble of you, but we could use another Toa on our team. The Kestora have already purged most of us, and, unlike the two bumbling Vahki in Toa armor I work with, you seem to have half an idea what’s going on.”

 

The Toa smiled kindly. “The answer is no, Tuyet. And the precise way this room kills its victims is by releasing an electrical shock into the air, so unless you’d like to end up Kestora bones like me, I recommend you please leave and close the door. It was nice talking to you.”

 

Tuyet knew that Pohatu and Kopaka wouldn’t approve, but she took a step back out of the room and closed the door anyway. She waited maybe a few seconds, maybe a few minutes, or maybe even many minutes before she heard the momentarily deafening zap of electricity in the room. It was only after she heard it that she realized she never told the Toa of Gravity her name.

 

Review

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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  • 4 weeks later...

Chapter 3: Front Line

 

In the center of the large room, Turaga Lhikan and Turaga Jovan outlined their plan. Assembled around them were at least three hundred Toa, Matoran, and other Turaga, along with Skakdi, Nalseri, Skantang, Argorna, and representatives from every other corner of their universe.

 

“Most of the Red Star is already under our control,” Jovan reminded. “However, our victories have been limited to its outermost areas. The Kestora have banded together in the interior, the Kestorina, where our previous tactics have failed to make an impact.”

 

“Keep in mind, they are trapped. They are on the defensive, holding out as long as possible until they inevitably must surrender,” Lhikan added.

 

“Trapped? You think they’re the ones trapped in here?” a hulking brute with battle-worn armor, likely a former Dark Hunter, growled at the two Turaga whose heads reached his knees. “This is their home. Admit it, Turaga, we are the ones trapped and holding out. Who knows what secrets they have in the Kestorina? They’re clearly waiting until we attack as one, and then they’ll unleash it and wipe out us all.”

 

The chamber was full of concerned murmurs as Lhikan and Jovan tried in vain to quiet the room. The murmurs threatened to become argument until a sharp whistle got everyone’s attention.

 

“Morons,” the voice of Hydraxon echoed through the now-quiet room. “We can’t afford to be split in two while the Kestora still fight as one. Whether we’re trapped or they’re trapped, we will lose and the Kestora will win if they can divide and conquer.” He turned to Lhikan and Jovan and said, “Wise ones, your input is always appreciated, but you must understand the Kestora and the Red Star are more than just inhabitant and habitat; one works to the advantage of the other. We are indeed fighting an uphill battle, regardless of how it may appear.”

 

The brute shifted his weight, creating a loud creaking noise in his biomechanical joints, as he folded his massive arms. The gesture did not escape Hydraxon’s notice, as the old jailed turned and said, “And as for you… Respect your elders, runner. I killed you once. I can do it again.”

 

The runner mumbled something under his breath about following one’s own advice, but sat back down among a group of similarly-sized beings. Hydraxon took a stance by the two Turaga and told the assembly his own plan:

 

“What I propose a full-frontal assault by three columns. In the central column, our weakest fighters will lead the attack, flanked by our stronger forces. The Kestora will make impressive gains at first and believe themselves to be winning, and then the flanks will turn in on them and turn the tide of the battle. Understood?”

 

Nobody had a plan better than Hydraxon’s, so he began dividing them up into their columns. One of the last he was to assign was Tuyet, who was lingering on the outskirts of the group.

 

“Toa of Water, let me think…” Hydraxon said, looking down at her. “Central column. In the front.”

 

Hydraxon was about to move on to the next being in the small handful not yet assigned, but Tuyet’s indignant claim of “Excuse me?” stopped in in his tracks.

 

“Is there a problem, Toa?” he asked with a sigh.

 

“Central column, with the weaklings?” Tuyet snapped, putting a hand on her hip.

 

“Yes, precisely,” Hydraxon answered. “We need at least a few strong fighters in that column so the Kestora don’t realize what we’re doing.” Without waiting for her response, he assigned the last few their roles, and then told them to await his command to move out. Before he gave it, he stepped out down the hall to where a few Matoran and his giant, bat-eared friend were hard at work toying with the Red Star’s engine system.

 

“How goes it, Botar?” Hydraxon asked.

 

“Not well,” the giant answered. “I’ve never seen teleportation like this. The kind of range we’re talking is bigger than mine, bigger than Destral’s. And this is just information receivers. There’s no kind of input, no controls. I don’t even know if this ship has controls.”

 

“If it does, we’ll find it,” Hydraxon reassured. “One more thing, friend. That Water Toa with the Mask of Intangibility. You’re sure she’s the same one you told me about?”

 

“Toa Tuyet,” Botar repeated with a nod. “Killed three Matoran back where we come from. I think one or two might even be up here now. Not the Ta-Matoran, though—she didn’t leave much of him to bring up.”

 

“As long as it’s the same Toa,” Hydraxon said. “I put her on the front line.”

 

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Edited by Master Inika

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 4: Assault on the Kestorina

 

The three columns of warriors surged forward, arranged as Hydraxon had instructed. Toa Tuyet stood in the front, brandishing her new twin axes, her eyes focused on staying alive and killing as many Kestora as possible. Every movement she made brought a blade down on another Kestora, but they just kept coming. It seemed as if each one she felled split in two and rose up to continue the fight. Even if that were the case, it was just fine with her. This was the most fun she’d had in centuries.

 

“Come on! Push forward!” she cried to her allies as battle raged on.

 

Nearby, far from the action, Hydraxon and Botar watched the conflict with grave disappointment.

 

“You shouldn’t have given her weapons,” Botar commented.

 

“I didn’t,” Hydraxon snapped. “What are we going to do about her? If we do find out a way to get this space station back to the planet, there’s no way I’m taking the criminals like her.”

 

“I haven’t seen her causing any trouble up here,” Botar noted. “Plus, she seems popular. The central column has only sustained minimal losses. I think they’re rallying behind her.”

 

Back on the battlefield, Botar’s words were holding true. Rather than being wiped out to give the Kestora a false sense of security, the central column was leading the entire assault, supported by the flanks. As Tuyet simultaneously decapitated two more Kestora, she was the first to see the secret to the Kestora’s overwhelming numbers.

 

In the center of the Kestorina, below them in what must have been the Red Star’s core, was a massive generator, a huge, clanking factory recycling spare parts and the remains of the dead into fresh new Kestora warriors. She forced herself to keep fighting instead of marveling the grand creation, for she understood each moment she waited allowed it to pump out more armed mechanoids.

 

“Side columns, keep the Kestora busy! Central column, with me!” Tuyet ordered. Without waiting to see who was and wasn’t going to accept commands from her, she leapt off the ledge toward the Kestora generator. To her pleasant surprise, an entire legion of Toa, Skakdi, and other warriors followed her.

 

Hydraxon had to do a double-take. “Is she insane?”

 

“Well, yes, I think she is,” Botar replied.

 

“But—But—That’s crazy, even for her!” Hydraxon cried. “I’m going after her.”

 

Botar sensed his comrade was about to pounce, and restrained him with a brotherly hand to the shoulder. “To help her, or slay her?”

 

“Does it matter?” Hydraxon hissed.

 

“If you’re going to fight her, you’ll have to fight every non-Kestora warrior in there.”

 

Hydraxon didn’t know what to make of his brother’s words. “Botar, listen to yourself!” Hydraxon roared. “She’s a criminal, a murderer of Matoran! It is our duty to the Great Spirit to see her imprisoned for eternity, and if we can’t do that, eliminated.”

 

Botar took a deep breath. “You’ve been up here longer than I have, yet you still don’t see what I do. She killed Matoran, yes. Three Matoran. Three pure, innocent Matoran. But still just three. We cannot administer infinite punishment for finite crime. That is the prerogative of the Great Spirit alone.”

 

“And we are his agents!” Hydraxon reminded.

 

Botar took a deep breath. “Oh, how we like to think we are.”

 

Tuyet’s small squad had managed to slip inside the generator, the Kestora effectively distracted by the war going on around them.

 

“All right, here’s the plan!” Tuyet shouted over the banging and clanging of the Kestora-making machine. “Break…” she began, her eyes darting around for an apparent weak spot before shouting, “everything!”

 

Immediately, a maelstrom of elemental powers blasted out in every direction from the center of the generator. Streams of fire, water, plasma, and air tore through the walls and roof, quakes of stone, earth, and iron rocked the facility’s foundation, and the forces of gravity and magnetism crushed and cracked all else. After a very long moment, the facility exploded in all directions, the flow of new Kestora ended.

 

The Kestora already produced, robbed of the benefit of an ever-growing swarm, hesitated in confusion and panic. They were easy targets for the hulking brutes of the rebel army. In the aftermath, a graveyard of Kestora parts and twisted pieces of metal littered the battlefield, the center dominated by Tuyet in a heroic pose with her crack team of underdogs.

 

“Oh, no,” Hydraxon whispered in horror.

 

“Tu-yet, Tu-yet, Tu-yet!” the assembled warriors chanted as Tuyet raised an axe to the ceiling.

 

Hydraxon could not allow this lawbreaker to undermine the order he had brought to the Red Star. He leapt into the crowd, unlimbered his Cordak blaster, took aim, but was stopped in his completion of the deed by a blade thrust through his back.

 

Hydraxon, feeling for the second time the coming of death, accepted it as quickly as it came. He dropped the weapons in his hands and collapsed to the floor. He did not speak, and he did not struggle except to turn his head to see his killer.

 

“Part of me will always regret this, brother,” Botar whispered over his victim as he pulled his weapon out of Hydraxon’s back. “But she has been reformed.”

 

As Botar and his team of Matoran engineers searched the ruins of the Kestorina for a way off the Red Star, one multi-limbed figure, lurking in the shadows, did not share in the atmosphere of victory and optimism. Gaardus was disappointed that the Kestora had not been successful in dealing with these rebellious subjects, but was confident he would succeed where they failed.

 

Review

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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Click here to visit my library!

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 5: Return

 

“There are no ways to teleport us off of this station,” Botar announced to the assembled beings. “However, there is a way to turn this station itself into a vehicle.”

 

At that, the beings in the room looked up in hope. Were they finally going home?

 

“My Matoran engineers have already input the coordinates to get us headed in the right direction. We are traveling to the planet of Spherus Magna. It is not the home we left, but it is where we belong.”

 

Gaardus was still listening, veiled out of sight. “No,” he whispered. “Where you belong, where we all belong, is somewhere much different.”

 

The Kestora were not wrong. Why could the rest of these beings not see it? The function of this station was something that should be impossible to do. Everyone one of them was supposed to be dead, but instead they were here. The implications of that kind of power were terrifying. Someone had to step up and make things the way they were meant to be.

 

Gaardus teleported himself to the cockpit. It was a part of the ship he had hoped they would never find, but lo and behold, the Matoran were there, manning the ship.

 

“How did you get here?” a Bo-Matoran demanded, raising a spear. “No authorized entry. Botar’s orders.”

 

No matter his current form, Gaardus would never forget he was once a Matoran himself. Weak, subject to the forces around him. No more. Now, he just saw cowards whenever he looked at them. He activated his Kanohi Mask of Shielding, protecting him from any attack he could anticipate. And it was Matoran with spears, so there was little they could do he couldn’t anticipate.

 

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m not here to put the ship off-course.”

 

Saying nothing else, Gaardus summoned his powers. He transported all the Matoran in the room into the grand chamber he just came from. He saw no reason to kill them before the rest. Once he was alone, he locked the door. From there, he did nothing except disable the ship’s landing protocol. Without that, the Red Star would slam into Spherus Magna. With luck, every being onboard would finally be restored to the state they were meant to be in. He knew that included himself.

 

Maybe, by some miracle, one of them would survive. He sat down and thought, searching his mind for a resolution, even as the Red Star grew closer to its destination. And he finally decided, maybe if Destiny chose to spare one or more inhabitant, that was Destiny’s imperative. And he set himself to just making sure the ship arrived the way he meant for it to.

 

Gaardus remembered the presence of Botar, the only other being on the ship capable of teleportation, as the bat-eared interloper appeared. But, unlike Botar, Gaardus could teleport other beings. The mercy he showed to the Matoran by sparing them did not apply to the gold giant. A moment’s focus sent Botar out of the craft entirely into the vacuum of space.

 

Normally, Botar would have been able to teleport himself back, even a nanosecond later. But a combination of the shock and the speed at which his target, the Red Star, was moving prevented him from doing so. It seemed Gaardus’ fatalistic plan was poised for success.

 

Outside, panic was threatening to take hold once again as the engineers alerted everyone else to the situation. Toa Tuyet rushed through, looking for the Matoran engineers. Finally, she found the Bo-Matoran leading them.

 

“You know this ship, don’t you?” she demanded. “There has got to be another way in there.”

 

“There is, but…” the Matoran said nervously. “It is not an interior pathway. It would involve going outside this ship and to the exterior porthole outside the cockpit. It would kill anyone who tried.”

 

“What do you think he did, exactly?” Tuyet asked.

 

“I’m not certain. He told me he wasn’t going to put the ship off-course before teleporting us out,” the Bo-Matoran said. “It’s possible he disabled the landing gear. This way, the ship won’t land properly. I can’t imagine there would be any survivors.”

 

“I’ve got to get in there,” Tuyet declared.

 

“You can’t!” the Matoran exclaimed. “It’s impossible!”

 

“I’m supposed to be dead right now, and so are you and everyone else on this ship!” Tuyet snapped. She took a deep breath and said simply, “Do not tell me anything is impossible. What would be the least improbable way for me to get in there?”

 

The Bo-Matoran looked down thinking for many minutes. He kept moving his arms around, mumbling to himself, examining hypothetical scenarios on a map only he could see. Finally, he declared: “There is a way that might work. It’s possible that we could tether you to something long and flexible. You exit the craft and, if we time it right, the tether allows you to arc perfectly onto the porthole. If you can punch your way in on the first try, you might be able to close the porthole before being sucked out. From there, you can unlock it and I could go in and fix the system.”

 

“That’s what we’re doing,” Tuyet declared.

 

The Bo-Matoran could have spent the next hour arguing with her, but he knew she was right. It was their only chance. He decided on fashioning unused protodermis wires into the tether. Using a schematic of the ship, he cut it exactly the right length she would need to arc to the porthole.

 

As he tied it around her waist, he said, “Good luck, Toa Tuyet.”

 

“Thank you…” Tuyet said, her voice trailing off as she realized she never asked his name.

 

“Laurus,” he said before she could ask. As he tightened it, he said, “Be careful. You’ve only got one shot at this.”

 

Tuyet stood at the edge of the Red Star, by her porthole, awaiting Laurus’ signal from behind the glass separating him in the next room. Once he waved his hand, she opened the porthole and immediately felt herself sucked out. She forced the feeling of panic back down as she realized the wire was still on her. It went taut, and she began her arc toward the next porthole.

 

Laurus’ measurements did not fail. Holding out a fist, she busted it open. Gaardus looked on in shock, unable to say or do anything for the single nanosecond before he was sucked out and met Botar’s fate.

 

Nanoseconds became seconds to Tuyet. She moved to close the porthole, knowing she had precious little time to figure out how to do it. As she felt herself being beckoned by raw force out into space, she moved it shut, and adjusted as the sensation of calm returned to her.

 

Wordlessly, she unlocked the door. Waiting on the other side was Laurus.

 

“Good work, Toa,” he praised, looking up at her. “I knew you could do it.”

 

Laurus quickly began reengaging the landing system. In little time, they were set for a safe, successful landing on Spherus Magna.

 

“What do you think we’ll find there?” Laurus asked as they stepped out into the hallway.

 

“New opportunities. Clean slates,” Tuyet answered as he closed the door behind her.

 

“I certainly hope so,” Laurus said.

 

The End

 

Review

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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