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This epic is a sequel to Vakama, Roodaka, and the Mask of Time, which can be found here.

This epic is a part of the archive. However, I have elected to post the full story here, and avoid a bunch of archive hunting.

Archived Chapters:


The Turaga

As the night embraced the Matoran/Agori encampment, the six veteran Turaga sat in counsel, the flickering flames playing across the sandy ground. For many of the hardened warriors of Metru Nui, the flames transported them back to a time when darkness came from within as well as without, when they had been forced to do what every prideful hero dreads - ask for help.

"To begin" said Turaga Vakama. "We must accept our ignorance. The Matoran of Metru Nui are asking for our guidance. But I am afraid, brothers and sisters that we have little to give."

None of the Turaga spoke up to object to that. Finally, Turaga Whenua spoke up. “Vakama is right. We must learn from the past. Ignorance is our past-”

“…and will be our future, if we do not act” Nuju finished. Whenua smiled and clapped his fellow Turaga on the back.

“Anyway” said Onewa, glaring at the Onu- and Ko-Metru Turaga, “We agree that ignorance is a problem, so why are we sitting here talking about it? Let us explore this new world, talk to its inhabitants, learn!”

“Onewa, that task is too great for us alone” Nokama said. “We are but Turaga, and this world is a great one.”

Matau broke in. “Perhaps we should quick-ask the Matoran to task-help.”

“Brother, we cannot risk harm to the Matoran. This world is full of dangers!” Nokama shuddered. “This is a job for Toa. Not for a group of powerless Turaga who must debate every point.”

All the Turaga looked at Nokama.

Then they looked at Vakama.

“I know” he said “That we are not powerless, Nokama.” Slowly, he pulled out the Mask of Time from his pack and set it on the ground in between him and the fire. The six Turaga gasped.

“I thought you said it was stolen” Turaga Onewa said.

“Even we have allies” Vakama whispered fiercely. “It has been recovered.”

“Who?” Nuju wondered aloud. “Who would align with a bunch of old fools?”

“Us” said a voice from the shadows. “After all, most of us have little amusement these days, and taking on the Shadowed One and a few paltry threats from this new world would be…entertaining enough to preserve sanity.” Flame danced across her form as she advanced toward the fire, her eyes glowing in refraction, her body shrouded in shadow.

“Vakama!” Nokama gasped. “What have you done?”

Chapter 1


Behind Roodaka, Makuta Teridax towered over a Keelerak and Mazeka.

“Great” muttered Nuju, “All we need is an enormous Rahi…” A hissing sound came from the Turaga’s seat, and he…disappeared into the dark. Whenua’s Ruru revealed a giant Rahi worm curled around Nuju, its gaping maw closed around the Turaga’s throat. Before anyone else could react, Roodaka snapped her fingers. The Keelerak launched a spinner, paralyzing the creature, which flew away from Nuju, his mask faintly glowing as a Lorahk was consumed in flame.

“Bad joke, horde-queen” growled Nuju. “Vakama, I hope age has not blinded you to her talents.”

“It was not her doing, Turaga.” The voice of Makuta Teridax made even Vakama shiver, given what they were discussing.

Onewa said “That’s right.”

Matau looked around. “Why is the old Makuta-familiar wearing light armor?”

“Vakama must have an explanation for all this” Nokama said.

“Well” said Turaga Vakama, “I suppose I have a story to tell…”

* * *

“Not Roodaka” said Nuju. “I will not trust her near any of our villagers.”

“Much as I think the Turaga of Ice has been disturbed by his unusual experience, I am inclined to agree” Nokama looked at the Turaga of Fire, wondering what might lurk beyond his eyes. But Vakama remained impassive as the other Turaga nodded their agreement to Nuju.

“Very well” he said. The words carried no emotion, but all the Turaga saw what Vakama felt, a mixture of relief and sorrow and disappointment and delight.

Roodaka turned and walked off into the shadows.

Nuju glared. “Watch your backs. I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of her yet.”

* * *

Old memories run deep, thought Roodaka. Young scars last the longest and cause the most pain. She almost smiled at the thought of outsmarting her enemy, of knowing more than they did. Did they really think I was trying to get them to accept me, and then betray them? For what? There are many ways of defeating my enemy…but information is essential to that end. Wandering aimlessly through the camp, dodging the light of various beings’ fires, Roodaka wondered whether she could still call Vakama an enemy.

Not exactly. That is the least of my problems. The thought of spending the rest of her existence as a wandering nomad with only a former jailer for company severely annoyed Roodaka, and the thought of aligning herself with the Toa and Matoran was next to impossible. She could return to her own people, but they were a species accustomed to hard work in factories in an area rich with resources to support them, not an unknown planet where any factories would have to be built and resources found, a process Roodaka found boring and tedious. The Visorak here might not remember their queen’s treachery, but they would have to be tracked down and trained to obey, which was too slow – by then, the Matoran and Agori would have spread across the landscape, leaving Roodaka no land base. The Spherus Magnans, however, might prove willing and useful subjects, if Roodaka could convince them to obey her.

Toward the western side of camp, three beings sat around a fire, shielded from the incoming night wind by a large piece of prototype robot leg armor. Roodaka approached slowly, staying well out of view.

The smallest of the three beings nodded. “The excellent location will allow all the villagers to travel an equal distance from their homelands, so that there will be no dispute.”

“And” said the being on the right, “The Fire Matoran and Agori will be able to settle near this ridge. I’m able to vouch for some of the those Matoran’s skill in weaponry and defense.”

The tall being on the left sighed. “We are all in agreement on the site for New Atero. But those two passes will have to be guarded, and scouts placed on that ridge.”

“What exactly are we defending against, Ackar? All the threats against us have been defeated, and we’ve been out here, in the open, vulnerable for weeks. They fear us.”

“No, Raanu. They are simply biding their time, plotting their next move.”

Raanu threw up his hands. “Whatever you think is best, Ackar. But I think you are imagining shadows and swords where there are none to be found, having lived under the eyes of your enemies for centuries.”

“Perhaps” said the third being. “But better to fear imagined swords than to be crushed by real ones.” He had the marks of having lived in Roodaka’s universe, and something about him seemed vaguely familiar.

It was at his point the conversation seemed to falter between the three beings, and the two Spherus Magnans left, presumably to get rest, and seeing that there was nothing more to be heard, Roodaka left.

She found a place outside the camp, unable to forget the expression on the Toa of Fire’s face - furious, burdened, and very much alone.

* * *

The light of the flames of Solis Magna slowly crawled across the encampment, slipping across a certain Agori’s eyes. A few minutes later, he was making his way across the encampment. He walked past a curved piece of prototype leg armor, then redoubled back, looking down at the map Toa Tahu had spread out before him.

The Toa of Fire looked up. “The site for New Atero is here.” He quickly explained the map to the Agori, who quickly darted away, toward the far side of camp, zigzagging as he went. More Agori and Matoran joined him, threading their way into the area where Thronatus were parked. Several Agori leaped onto a vehicle, and the one who started it all drove the party away.

* * *

Roodaka stood on a small hill, observing what went on below. Hands on hips, armored feet on two boulders someone – Mata Nui, in Roodaka’s opinion – had jammed into the sandy mound, the former Visorak viceroy never saw the dark figure behind her until she felt the sting of the sword in her back.

Fortunately, Roodaka was able to roll with the force of the blow, snapping the long sword in half. The wound was poorly delivered, but it had severed some armor and tore through some of the muscle in her back, making it difficult to stand.

The Keelerak, approaching from behind, launched a spinner at the newcomer. He slumped over, paralyzed. Roodaka sauntered over and lifted him up and smashed his head up against the rock, grimacing in pain from her wound. Laying him out flat on the rocky hill, Roodaka knelt to examine him.

Mutating things requires a certain amount of knowledge. True, Roodaka could just launch a spinner at a form and will it to become another, but the more dissimilar the form, and the less Roodaka knew, the more energy it would require. Attempting too complex a transformation could be fatal. Fortunately, due to her training with the Dark Hunters, who had more than their share of dead enemies, acquiring a good deal of knowledge on Matoran Universe inhabitants was simple.

This being had all the marks of a Spherus Magnan, and Roodaka had thought to get a basic idea of his anatomy before releasing him. Organic Tissue, Roodaka thought. This being is completely organic. They just embedded the armor in his tissue to protect him…

The Keelerak chirped in the language of the Visorak. Five Skrall warriors surrounded the ridge. Roodaka scowled. The Keelerak fired two acid spinners, disarming two Skrall, who ran away.

Roodaka leveled her spinner launcher at the remaining Skrall, firing toward the lead Skrall, who dodged easily. Outnumbered, Roodaka retreated off the ridge. However, she kept her spinner launcher leveled, watching as the leader approached the ridge, the other two climbing over the rocky sides. Once they were inside the ridge, Roodaka gestured to the Keelerak.

Six more spinners and sixteen minutes later, the job was done, the details of which would make the Shadowed One smile. Suffice it to say that there was one very dead Skrall and later, three very confused Agori.

What Roodaka didn’t know was that she had made a very serious mistake.

* * *

Cautiously, and with a deal of pain, Roodaka mounted the mysterious machine. It wasn’t overly complex, but it took her a few minutes to get used to the controls. Intensely aware of her surroundings, the Vortixx eased the contraption through the encampment, increasing speed as she left it, flying over the sand to new realms to explore and conquer…

The air in front of her shimmered, and Roodaka, unable to see ahead, wrenched the transport to a dead stop, trying to clear her vision. The golden armor of Makuta Teridax appeared in front of her, emerging from his teleport right in front of the astonished Vortixx.

“All right” scowled Roodaka “You drive.”

Chapter 2


Mazeka was miserable. Obviously, being a Ko-Matoran, standing in front of a fire wasn’t exactly comfortable, but he had willingly had endured worse things during his Orader of Mata Nui training. The bigger problem was that his mind was full of questions and no answers which had always annoyed him.

Roodaka had been sent away. If Vakama’s history was complex, these other Turaga’s relation to her was simple – she was an enemy, and they wanted nothing to do with her. He had seen the same look of contempt on agents sent to interrogate prisoners. Whatever complex history Vakama had, it raised Mazeka’s suspicions. He knew from experience how deadly a traitor could be. He needed to discuss this with Teridax. Unfortunately, private discussion wasn’t a luxury he could afford, due to the Turaga in front of him and their discussing a plan, which he would soon be involved in.

Nokama was advocating a settlement not far from the original camp at an estuary, which the other Turaga reluctantly approved.

Matau still wanted to explore the Great Forest with a contingent of Le-Matoran. After some debate, it was decided that they should go, but take a number of Gukko Birds and scouts, and to seek out some Glatorian to go along.

The other Turaga sought to explore the mountainous lands to the North. By now Mazeka was lost in his own thoughts, but the end result seemed reasonable. At least, that was what the Matoran remembered before he lay back on the sand to sleep…

* * *

When Mazeka awoke, he experienced that terrible where-am-I feeling you usually experience after reentering life at a different place then you left it. Fortunately, the feeling was transient enough – he was in a tent on Spherus Magna – and he stood, ever watchful and wary.

“Good Morning” Mazeka’s fellow traveler looked up from his meditative pose. The tent was small, certainly not large enough for the armored colossus to stand, so he was forced to ease himself – backwards – out of the tent. If it had been any other person, Mazeka would have winced in sympathy for the person’s sheer humiliation. Well, he did wince, but he didn’t say anything about it, seeing as the veteran Makuta didn’t say anything about it.

“Vakama” said Mazeka.


“I think he could be a traitor.”

“He was a traitor” said Makuta Teridax. “Long ago. But his heart lies with the Matoran, not with Roodaka.”

“Yes.” said a voice from nearby. “I did betray my team - once – in times before. It is twice as painful for the betrayer as the betrayed, when you finally know what you have done…” He broke off, overcome by sadness.

Mazeka put a hand on his shoulder. “You came back. You overcame the madness which I saw overcome another.”

Vakama nodded bitterly. “If it is within my power to do so, you will not see it again. But I see that your eyes burn with curiosity, Matoran. Perhaps, when these immediate matters are settled, I will call Kopeke the Chronicler, and you can read the Tales of the Toa Metru. For I have walked the painful roads of memory once, and would not like to do so again.”

“I understand.”

* * *

“I suppose we will speak with Toa Tahu and see what he can be done about getting us some transport to the North.”

“Coward” said Mazeka. “Why don’t you talk to those Agori? I’m sure I could broker a deal.”

“Mazeka, don’t” said Makuta Teridax. “There is…no need.”

And the next thing the Matoran knew, he was standing on top of a machine of some sort, of the kind none of his kind had never seen. And Makuta Teridax was taking the controls from a certain renegade Vortixx. He spun it around, taking it back to the storage area.

“So” Mazeka looked at the nearby Agori. “Mind if we take this for a spin?” The Agori looked around, confused. “You see, she was trying to steal this…and we brought it back…and if you let us use this we’ll take her away so she will never bother you again.”

“Okay” said all the Agori.

“Are you sure?” Makuta Teridax said.

“Oh, no, it’s not a problem” The Agori looked at each other nervously.

“Excellent” Makuta Teridax replied.

* * *

After they were a safe distance out of camp, Mazeka and Makuta Teridax clanked fists. Even Roodaka turned at the sound, and they could catch a flicker of a smile.

* * *

Miles passed as the Thornatus shot across the desert. There wasn’t much conversation, mostly because the occupants, whether feeling sorry for themselves, being overcome by the scenery, or concocting a new master plan, were lost in their own thoughts.

As for Mazeka, he was cataloging motives. Why Makuta Teridax wanted Roodaka on board was beyond him – or maybe he just wanted to stop the theft of the Thornatus by Roodaka. Of course, what Mazeka had said had only made it worse. He wondered if their newfound speed of travel was worth their unwanted passenger.

Soon, they had left the terrain of desert canyon behind and glided under a canopy of greenery, which, after an hours’ travel, gave way to a grassy carpet. To the left were ice covered mountains of hard stone, and to the right were shorter mountains which emitted steam and smoke. Various Agori were scouting the area, some scratching notes on tablets, others huddled in groups, pointing out various elements of the area amid much nodding.

“The site for New Atero” said Roodaka.

Makuta steered the craft toward the right, away from the river that cut through the ridge that the Thornatus had just climbed. Slowly, they slid off the ridge and to the base of one of the smoking mountains.

“We’re looking for a site for the new Ta-Koro” Vakama explained as the group clambered off the machine, stretching stiff muscles and looking around for enemies.

“Okay, so this is going to be quick” said Roodaka. “Climb mountain, make sure mountain is not a hazard, climb down, reverse direction, and I end up…somewhere.”

The Keelerak sighed in disgust, muttering under its breath. Roodaka kicked it in irritation. “Move, you wretched beast, or I’ll throw you into the lava.”

And so they climbed up the mountain. Mazeka didn’t particularly have much trouble – there were plenty of hand and footholds, and it wasn’t like he was a complete rookie at this. He was also beginning to like the chance to enjoy a simple challenge – until he saw Makuta Teridax using his hammer to clamber up the slope with Turaga Vakama on his back.

“it is fair and just!” yelled Roodaka and Mazeka. Mazeka scowled and kept climbing, but he could hear Roodaka and the Visorak talking in excited tones behind him, which encouraged him to pick up the pace.

A web shot past Mazeka’s ear. He looked to see Roodaka swing past him, holding two ends of a Visorak web in one hand and the Visorak in the other. As Mazeka watched, the former Visorak viceroy flicked her wrist, sending part of the loop over another rock on the top of the crater. The anchorage swung the Vortixx forward as well as up, allowing her to land in a low gap in the crater.

“You cheat” said Roodaka, setting the Keelerak on the ground away from the Turaga of Fire. “I cheat.”

“And I don’t have to” said Mazeka, marching in between the two, into the cloud of gas and steam.

* * *

White swirled around the Ko–Matoran. Mazeka kept walking forward, knowing that soon that the humid heat would be too much for him to tolerate. Just before he thought he’d have to turn back, a cool wind blew out of the north, and the fog around him sifted away…to reveal a sight that no other Ko-Matoran would ever see and live to tell about.

He was standing half a kio from the center of a lava lake, on a long rectangular platform that protruded out into the lake. Directly in front of him, yet several kio away, lava cascaded out of a vent, perpetually filling the pulsing pool. Surrounding this, ribbons of pale blue cut through the dark rock, glowing in the evening light. But the sight was a comparably brief one – in spite of the breeze, Mazeka was already feeling dizzy from the heat exposure. He slowly walked away, and only strong mental fortitude allowed him to reach the side of his comrades before he was forced to rest on the rocky ground. Being a Ko-Matoran, he knew that he would have to leave the mountain soon or risk unconsciousness and death. He also knew that he did not have the strength to make the return climb down.

So Mazeka watched as Roodaka and Vakama walked out towards the center of the lake, hoping that they would make their decision quickly. He watched the lava bubble, noting the fact that it seemed to bubble in some places and not in others. He saw the twin columns of flame leap up and melt through the stone in front of what Vakama stood on. He heard Roodaka say “Vakama.” and then, “Vakama!” as she dashed forward toward the severed end.

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 3

Makuta Teridax

Makuta Teridax knelt in front of the dying Ko-Matoran, mentally running through all the powers he had at his disposal. And while this being had had training in all of his skills, this was one he rarely used, and it took a good deal of his focus to send the gentle snowfall around Mazeka. It took a matter of minutes for him to recover and stand, but it seemed like an eternity to the being that saved him.


“Look” said Mazeka.


A being was flying over the woods toward them. Fortunately, this enemy was convinced that he was flying over an army of beings bent on destroying him, and was not really a threat.

“He’s crazy” said the veteran of war and peace. “He means no harm.” Which, given a Vortixx flipping to avoid fire blasts from a being composed of Fire, was an extremely fortunate thing.


Roodaka, however, wasn’t enjoying the opportunity to show off her gymnastics skills, and was shooting spinner after spinner at the creature at every opportunity, in addition to the clouds of acid formed by the Keelerak. Then a rock came over the ridge, which the flame being melted in midair. Distracted, he missed a spinner of Roodaka’s, making him a pale, transparent form.


“No!” The Makuta shouted. “Reverse that!”


Roodaka looked about, confused.


“I don’t have time to explain – do it! Or the planet may shatter again!”


Rock rained down into the lava pool. A slab of rock fell into the lake, sending lava over the bridge. Only swift reflexes saved Roodaka and the Keelerak from being short feet.


“Listen to him!” bellowed the glass being, gesturing to Makuta Teridax.


“On one… condition.” said Roodaka, dodging a rain of rock. “I don’t want to see you here again, creature.”


“Very well.”


Roodaka let the spinner fly.


* * *


Lava and rock spun about, interrupted by clouds of acid and various spinners. An absurd flying being was blasting away at the two combatants, hot acid eating away at stone.


“Well” said Turaga Vakama. “Who are they?”


“They refer to themselves as element lords -” started Teridax.


“You fool!” snapped Roodaka. “I thought you were dead!”


Vakama simply tapped the Mask of Concealment he wore. “Even I can jump.”


Makuta Teridax smiled.


Mazeka chuckled.


The Visorak laughed, which was such a strange sound that they all joined in – except for Roodaka.


She picked up the offending spider and held him over the lava, shaking in absolute fury. After a few minutes, the former Visorak viceroy set him down on the stone platform with a harsh clang, turning toward Vakama.


“No” Makuta Teridax said. He wasn’t particularly sure what Roodaka had in mind, but he was sure that he wouldn't allow it.


“Of all the insolence” said Roodaka. “Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?”


“You might want to save your energy” he gestured to the ridge surrounding them, “for that.”


Airwatcher, Dark Hunter, leaped over the ridge, an entire contingent of Dark Hunters in tow. The Shadowed One loomed over the party assembled on the ridge. “I have come for the Mask of Time, Vakama.”


Teridax sighed.


More Dark Hunters lined up across the ridge surrounding the group. The Shadowed One walked across the bridge, glaring at the Makuta standing in front of him.“I’d like to think the Master of Shadows would find a better end then this worthless lava pit.”


“Perhaps the Master of Shadows would not.” said the Makuta.


“But I know little of shadow these days. Perhaps you would like to explain.”


A commotion of excited voices sprang up from the ranks of Dark Hunters. Weapons rang out, energies flashed, Rhotuka flew. Plants grew up to surround various Hunter’s legs, cracking armour. A wave crashed into the other side of the creater, sweeping many of them off their feet.


“Well” said Makuta Teridax, as The Shadowed One’s minions dodged fire, ice, and stone, “I may not know much about Shadow, but I do know how to make a plan.”


* * *


“Fall back!” yelled the Shadowed One. Several elite Dark Hunters marched onto the bridge. At sword point, the motley band of misfits was marched out of the crater. They were forced to climb down the hill, Vakama hopelessly slipping to avoid the sharp points.


Teridax managed to catch him and the Matoran, resuming the climb with two on his back.Roodaka was having her share of trouble, forced to climb of her own power with a Visorak on her back, cursing Makuta Teridax with every move.The Element Lords had grown tired of blasting retreating intruders and turned on each other, elemental blasts shaking the ancient lava lake.


“That is no ordinary volcano” whispered Vakama.


“Quiet” hissed Sentrakh.They came to the foot of the crater, panting heavily.


“That way” ordered The Shadowed One.


And so the prisoners were herded like Rahi beasts across the barren ground between the forest and the mountains, toward a makeshift encampment on an open plain. It was only then that the full contingent noted that Vakama was missing. Already disturbed, the Dark Hunters worked up into a fit of agitation.


“The Turaga” said the Shadowed One. “is of little consequence. I suggest you forget about him. If need be, we will track him down, and we can extract information from three prisoners easier than four.”


He only defeated this world’s Makuta twice, once using nothing but a legendary mask, and encouraged a group of Toa to do the same, survived more nightmares than any Toa or Turaga has, and saved Roodaka’s life. Let’s just forget about him.


They were shoved into a hut, surrounded by every angle with blades.


“Search them” ordered the Shadowed One.


Sentrakh scowled, then reached up and took down Teridax’s war hammer. It clattered to the floor due to sheer weight, and a second attempt to lift it yielded only a few inches.


Irritated, the Shadowed One called over a brutish Hunter, who lifted the axe a few feet off the ground…and the Makuta kindly took it from him.


“They don’t have the Mask of Time” said Sentrakh, gesturing to the Hunters who had searched Roodaka and her spider.


The armored colossus raised he arms in a massive shrug, sending the roof crashing down.


Furious, the Shadowed One blasted a section of the roof with his eyebeams, minimizing the diversion.


“So where is the Mask of Time, fool?” said the Shadowed One.




“Answer me.”




The Keelerak murmured something.


Roodaka scowled.


The Shadowed One raised a blade toward the Matoran’s throat.


Mazeka tried to move away, but the Shadowed One seized his shoulder with his other hand, holding him in place next to the knife.


“Where is the Mask of Time, Matoran?”


“I don’t know.” said Mazeka. He was flung away, and only swift action by the Keelerak prevented him from being impaled on the surrounding blades.


An explosion of chain lightening ripped forth from Teridax’s blade, stunning and shocking the surrounding Hunters.


Light flowed from his hands, temporarily blinding the Shadowed One. A shove sent the Dark Hunter leader into the crumbling hut walls.“You do not understand the concept of peace and harmony” said Makuta Teridax. “You understand force, so I have shown you force. It is a shame that you must be taught the same lesson twice.”He did not wish to harm these beings, who had suffered under their crooked leader, nor the leader himself, without which they could not hope to survive in this world of shadows. But the Teridax from the universe of light also knew that the Matoran should not have to live in fear of these beings.“Know that the Mask of Time will not be used against you if it resides with us. We, and especially I, do not seek a war with you, but we retain the right to defend ourselves against attack.”


The Shadowed One laughed. “Such great power, such foolish words.”


“There are greater forces set against you and us, Shadowed One. I propose a truce.”


“The price is simple.”


“And with that tool in your care, you could easily overrun us. Truces are broken more easily than masks.”


“And what we gain in return for this truce?”


“My assistance” Both Teridax and Roodaka spoke at once.“Roodaka, pleasure to see you again. Did he persuade you to join him?” He glared at Teridax.


“No” said Roodaka. “He forced me into it.”


“Very clever” said the Shadowed One. “Very clever.”


“I think you’re going to need a some of that cleverness.” said Teridax.A spinner flashed into the group, dissolving a Dark Hunter’s tool.


“Visorak” said Roodaka.


“Skakdi” said Teridax.


A bright red flare lit up the sky, raining fire down on the assembled Dark Hunters.


“Toa” said the Shadowed One.


“I will talk with him” said Teridax, thrusting blades aside as he sauntered toward the scene of battle.


* * *


The attack force of Rahi, Vorox, and Visorak was demolished within minutes. Oddly, the group of various beings had fought to their deaths, injuring more than their usual share of Hunters before being subdued.


“I dodged rhotuka for a bit” said Tahu. “But then I just shot up a flare and moved off – there wasn’t much point on wasting my energies on this battle. But why would all these go after the Dark Hunters?”


“Mind control” said Teridax. “Someone is testing their defenses.”


“Skakdi?” said Roodaka.Teridax shook his head. “I do not know.”


* * *

Turaga Vakama removed the Mask of Time from his pack. “If you need it for a right and noble means, you know where to find it.”


The Shadowed One scowled. Darkness loomed over the Shadowed One’s back, tense as a Rahi about to pounce.“Truce. As long as he holds that mask.” He walked down the hill, a sly grin plastered on his face.


Makuta Teridax looked down at his retreating enemy, his minions watching with various expressions. “He will be back.”


“Yes” said Turaga Vakama, “but as a friend, or a foe?”


To be continued…


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Chapter 4
The Keelerak

One month later…

The Keelerak wandered aimlessly throughout the new village. Roodaka had told him that he had a few hours to amuse himself. No doubt the Vortixx was seeking her own form of amusement, which the Keelerak wanted no part in and doubted he could stop.

Because of this, the spider’s mind, the mind of the jailer of Roodaka, was bored and distraught. So far, he had not been able to contain the dangerous criminal Roodaka. More like he had been contained by Roodaka in his current state, which meant there was little he could do, and whether Roodaka was causing trouble was, at the moment, debatable. She had defeated a rogue team of Skrall, in some self-defense, and helped take the Mask of Time out of enemy hands.

The Visorak’s internal debate was interrupted by the voices of two Ko-Matoran drifting over the ridge.

“Impressive” said Mazeka, handing some stone tablets back to his fellow Matoran of Ice. “I finished reading these, and I would like to thank you.”

Kopeke said nothing. He just took the tablets and put them in his pack, climbing back down the other side without another word.

The Visorak casually decided to follow Mazeka. He had nowhere better to go.

* * *

Mazeka and Vakama stood on the high ridge, looking down over the ridge of the new Ta-Koro.“I finished reading the tales” said Mazeka. “I thought you should know.”

“I suppose” said Vakama. Several Matoran stood alert at watch on the ridge. No doubt, if they had turned, they would have seen the Visorak. But even if Vakama or Mazeka noted his presence, they paid him no mind as he skittered past - or so it appeared.

That was mostly the reason Roodaka had reduced him to this form – not many beings would pay attention to him. True, a Keelerak that spoke Matoran would certainly draw attention – but then Roodaka would grow tired of her pet and turn him into something far worse. The thought was not a pleasant one.

The Keelerak had little belief that Roodaka would reverse the mutation. He simply stayed around to carry out his mission – to stop Roodaka from causing major trouble. Even in this form, he was thrice as powerful as your average Visorak, and the mutation had not reduced his intelligence. Of the former beings of the Matoran Universe, only Roodaka knew how much danger truly lurked in that spider shell.

Roodaka looked up from her seat in the hut. “Any news?” she crooned in Visorak language.

“Nothing important.” said the Keelerak, shooting the former Visorak viceroy a wicked glare.

“What’s not important?”

“Mazeka finished reading Vakama’s tales, and he’s not leaving to join Nuju.”

“Vakama’s Tales” growled Roodaka. “What a load of rubbish.” She slapped her hand on the table in disgust, sending its contents rattling. Irritated, Roodaka lifted two daggers off the table, inspected them, and put them down.“Two of these” said Roodaka, lifting a slightly heavier knife of black steel, “will get us a lightstone.”

The swords were lined with red lines in an unusual pattern – the same pattern as the armor of the beings they had defeated earlier. Roodaka’s cache of their weapons and baggage had been brought up. “I should have sent some of those scrawny Matoran to do it” said Roodaka at the time. “They should answer to me.”

“They probably would drop it and ruin it” said the Keelerak. “And besides, they would turn on you as soon as you let them out of your sight. Not to mention - ”

“They do it for Vakama, the fool.”

“No, they only do it for themselves.”

“And what dictates their desires, Rahi? Who brainwashed them, made them weak?”

“And that was because Makuta mind-wiped them.”

“And because I failed” said Roodaka.

They walked in silence for a bit. “If the Matoran hadn’t been ‘brainwashed’ then they wouldn’t have sent messengers to save the Great Spirit” said the Keelerak. “We would all be dead.”

“Don’t try to trick me, you foul creature! We would have found a way to save the universe. Me and Teridax, together.”

“You sound more like Vakama all the time. Unity, duty, destiny – as long you control them all.”

“There is no use for philandering virtues when you control all.”

“But even if you won, back then, you would have been subordinate to Teridax. Did you ever think that he would treat you as an equal? That you could control all? That you and Teridax could work together as one?”

Roodaka shivered.

“You did.” said the Keelerak. “Unity. You wanted it, didn’t you? Unity with Teridax, unity of command over the Visorak. You would have embraced the duty of saving the universe. Duty. You believed that you had control over your own destiny. You were wrong.”

Roodaka shrugged. “Thanks for the information. And I still have control over my destiny, you twit. I have control over what I do, until you brainwash me.”

“Virtue is not a foreign concept to you, Roodaka. You don’t have to be…opposed to everything Vakama does. You can do good and… right. And you’re proving it more every day!”

“Shut up!” snarled Roodaka. “If you don’t keep your clap shut, I’ll throw you into the lava!”

“If you can’t face the truth, I can.” said the Keelerak. “Return me to my original form, and I will never bother you again. You deserve to go free, Roodaka.”

Roodaka laughed. “I am not dependent on your mercies, you wretched thing. I find you useful, and you better be glad of it, because you know what I do with useless things.”

The Keelerak snapped out of his memory. Roodaka sauntered past, carrying a handful of knives. “Come on, beast. You wouldn’t know anything about trade, would you?”

* * *

“I’ll take two for a lightstone.” said the Matoran.

“One” said Roodaka.

“Two” said the Matoran. A nasty-looking Rahi growled, chained to a loop in the rock.


Roodaka set a plain-steel dagger and set it beside the red-and-black Skrall blade.


“Deal” said the trader, handing Roodaka the lightstone.


“Keeps things quiet.” whispered Roodaka.


The Keelerak nodded. Stealing the lightstone would only draw attention to themselves – it was safer to give a Matoran to unneeded blades than to fight the entire village – or worse, lead them to where they were going.It seemed that convenience often put Roodaka on the path of right.Sometimes, thought the Keelerak, it is more efficient to do right to win other’s favor than to subdue them by fear. The spider knew that Roodaka knew that the quickest way to win authority on Spherus Magna was by doing right. This fact made Roodaka more and more uncomfortable every day, as her desire to rule waged war with her years of training with the Dark Hunters and the Brotherhood. It is unfortunate that Vakama cannot understand me, or he might learn a thing or two about his old enemy.


The Visorak scrambled up the crater, its legs gripping the chasm walls.


Roodaka climbed up beside him before he turned towards the lava vent. She extended her arm towards the lava stream, her arm passing between the thin lava-fall and the rocky edge.“Figured” whispered Roodaka. She maneuvered herself into the narrow space, gesturing for the beast to follow.


It wasn’t the first time the Visorak wished he was a Vohtarak. Needless to say, he didn’t escape without some scorch marks on his outer shell.It was a narrow space at first, so narrow that Roodaka and the spider had to go through single file. But gradually, the tunnel widened, and stopped, leaving nothing but a blank wall.Surprise, thought the Keelerak.


Roodaka, however, began examining the wall with her lightstone, tapping as she went.


After a few minutes with no result, the mutated jailer lost patience. It fired an acidic spinner, sending rock crashing down…on Roodaka’s foot.


Irritated, the Vortixx yanked it free, but the rock had made a sizeable dent in the metal, and from the way Roodaka winced, the spider knew it was painful, much worse than the wound the Skrall had inflicted, now healed.“You insane fool!” Roodaka sputtered. “Anymore of that and I’ll turn you into a Scarabax Beetle. You’re becoming more trouble than…” She reached forward, scraping at the weakened stone, revealing metal beneath.


The center of the door was raised – Roodaka scraped off the dust to reveal a symbol of two curves and three dots.“Matoran” said Roodaka. “I found this in Metru Nui in places.”


The Keelerak did not respond. He remembered that the Order of Mata Nui had thrown that particular symbol around a good deal, but that wasn’t the point.As it turned out, neither reference mattered. The symbol glowed orange, and a voice spoke: “Matoran. Do you know of the Matoran?”


“Yes” said Roodaka.“Do the Matoran regard you with honor as a friend?”


“No” said Roodaka. “They treat me with indifference.”Well, I guess there is no good reason for Roodaka to lie. Or maybe she figured the truth would be harder to believe.


“What do you seek?”Roodaka considered this question for a bit. “I am not certain.”


“Something brought you here.”


“Power, of course.”


“You know little if you seek to find it here.”


“Something of this mountain resists elemental attacks. What is it?”


“That is not force. That is rock.”


“Ordinary rock crumbles under elemental blasts.”


“This is not ordinary rock. The blue mineral holds the crater together; regenerating the dull rock that partly hides it.”


“And who are you?”


“I am a Great Being. Angonce is my name. And you are Roodaka, queen of the Visorak, spy, and future ruler of the world.” The last line dripped with sarcasm.


“We should leave.” interjected the Keelerak. “Give the guy some space.”


“I welcome you” said Angonce. “I believe a Vortixx might be useful against a being that hunts Toa.” The door opened, dust swirling, revealing a tall, lithe, pale figure with black at the joints. He stood in front of a polished table, lights blinking from its depths.“You didn’t mention knowledge as one of the things you sought, but I think you will find this helpful.” He gestured to the table, on which a map of Spherus Magna was displayed. A red, blinking light moved across what was obviously the map of Bara Magna. Caption: Marendar.


“What is Marendar?”


“A robot bent on killing Toa.”


“Interesting” said Roodaka


.Angonce nodded, the Keelerak reading the bitter expression on his face. “I want it gone. We have been so misguided…”


Roodaka considered. The spider watched as she cogitated the possibilities, the chances, and the opportunities.“Prove the thing exists” said Roodaka, “and we’ll talk.”

* * *

The metal power cradle with a huge, gaping hole. The ripped, jagged wires, and the torn-earth tunnel to the surface.“It escaped” said Angonce.


“Something definitely did” agreed Roodaka.


“I would consider it a robot” said the Keelerak.


Roodaka said nothing to that. The Keelerak saw her mind weighing the options, the effort required, influence gained or lost, and the possible pleasure of a world without Toa.“About this robot…” said Roodaka.“It can turn invisible or intangible or both at will. It shuts off Toa power and drains their life force. The more life it drains, the stronger it is. That is all I know.”


“I am a Vortixx, from the island of Xia. There, the strongest rule and the weak are slaves. The services of the strong come at a price.”


“You did rule Xia. But that was not enough for you, and it led to your doom.”Pain flashed across Roodaka’s face. “How dare you insult me!” Her hands lurched towards the Great Being’s neck, only to find themselves frozen in midair.


Angonce waved a hand and she sunk to the floor, weakened. He held out his hand to help her up, but Roodaka scrambled to her feet of her own power and walked weakly towards the end of the corridor. The Great Being followed her, placing a hand into the middle of Roodaka’s back.


“Curse you!” the Vortixx sputtered. “You will have no authority over me or my people!” She spun and smashed her fist into Angonce’s face, then turned around and ran, drawing her spinner launcher as she went, firing it at the room without caring who it hit. Instead of Angonce, the spinner hit the Visorak spider who was trying to catch up. And that was the last thing that particular spider saw…

* * *

Botar’s replacement stood next to Angonce, looking befuddled, which would have been rather unusual for him. After nearly two months of a lower vantage point, the newfound hero nearly lost his balance.


“I believe you have learned your lesson, friend” said Angonce. “It is time to resume your former nature. I have a duty for you.”


“Living or dying at your whim is hardly a pleasant idea, Great Being.” said Botar’s Replacement. “She knew. Don’t push her.”


“She asked for it.” Angonce smiled. “But she is no longer a dangerous criminal, as some of your colleagues may think. The only danger Roodaka poses is to herself.” This turned his face into a frown. “She must choose her destiny – ruler or destroyer. But I digress. I am afraid –“ He turned back to the map, where Marendar rapidly approached the new village of Ta-Koro. “I am afraid that I must leave the life of Toa Tahu in your hands.”


To be continued…


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Chapter 5


Images flashed. He saw five, tall lithe beings standing around a table, light pouring in from a graft above, shadows crawling over the hillside near the bowl of New Atero. Where the shadows struck, Matoran fell by the dozens, falling prey to a terrible curse…

* * *

“Vakama.” His eyes snapped open, registering the world around him. He was resting against a rock near the edge of the bowl of Ta-Koro.


“You don’t know that the leader of Ta-Koro has visions?” teased a nearby Ta-Matoran. “Where have you been?” Vakama walked over to them. “Probably somewhere on the Southern Contient, doing work just as important as you have.” He then turned around to face Mazeka, who was standing nearby.

* * *

Toa Tahu, Toa of Fire, was fighting for his life. Standing on the top of the ridge of the city, the Toa’s life force was slowly being drained. Irritated, the Toa of Fire was able to sense the presence of the being, but unable to inflict real harm. A heat vision blast had produced a brief sight of scorched metal, but the Toa’s corresponding blast of fire had not worked, and by the time the Toa had recovered from his weakness, the being had moved or recovered. Tahu scowled tried to think. Every use of his elemental power had proved useless, and his other powers…Tahu tried to think of the legion of Rahkshi he had brought down – heat vision, weather control, distegration…I’m better, stronger than you, Tahu thought as he slumped to his knees. Rain poured down on the world, lightening crashed down on his foe…and then the world went black.

* * *

“Tahu!” Vakama saw the lightening and the rain. “He has gone mad! We must help!” He moved as fast as he could. Tahu was lying on the ground, unconscious in a pool of water, his eyes like the sleep of death. “Go, Mazeka. Fetch Teridax.”


Mazeka took off running.


“Greetings, Vakama” said a voice from above. “I see that your precious Toa has let you down. What a shame.”


“Not if I have anything to say about it” said a figure on the other side of the ridge. Makuta Teridax appeared beside him.


“Botar’s Replacement” hissed Roodaka contemptuously. “Now, how did you come loose from that Keelerak shell?”


She flicked a spinner toward the being as a storm crashed down from the heavens, raining down on a being that dissolved shortly after the water hit it. Roodaka’s spinner shot through it, but energy bindings wrapped around the dissolving being, and as Botar’s Replacement moved to dodge the wheel, the bindings weakened, allowing Marendar to escape.


Reforming outside the rain, the being found itself wrapped in bindings of energy, only to try to dissolve himself to escape. But the being tightened his grip, and Marendar snarled, trying desperately to move. “That’s enough” said Botar’s replacement.


“Vakama.” said Makuta Teridax.


Roodaka had another spinner primed, ready to launch at the only being that held Marendar.


Botar’s Replacement was weakened enough that he would never be able to escape such a spinner.


“Roodaka, remember the Mask of Time” said Vakama. “Don’t do this.”


“What is that?” asked Makuta Teridax.


“It’s a machine that destroys Toa. The Great Beings…made it…they didn’t know” Botar’s Replacement said.


Roodaka swung her launcher back…Chain lightening flared out of the Makuta’s hands, lancing toward the Toa blasting monster…Vakama reached out his firestaff in front of Roodaka’s foot. The Vortixx crashed to the floor, her spinner’s energies scorching into the ridge.


Botar’s Replacement hurled Marendar away, yelling in pain as his energies overloaded.

* * *

Vakama landed flat on his back, his world spinning. He could see beings running from the room, yelling in confusion. One was demanding a need for more tests, another was shouting something about alternate dimensions, and a third was saying something about Angonce being a traitor…


“Vakama” said Mazeka. “Wake up.”“Who is Angonce?” said Vakama.


“What are you babbling about? The battle is over. We’ve won.”


Vakama sat up, straightening his noble Huna. The malicious being Marendar lay in scorched pieces on the ground.


Makuta Teridax helped Botar’s Replacement to his feet. But Vakama couldn’t take his eyes off of Tahu, who lay nearly up to the top of his mask in a pool of water. Solemnly, he walked to the head of one his most beloved friends. A wave of water struck him as the melding Makuta lifted the Toa free and set him down on the hard ground of the ridge. Two Matoran ran forward with a stretcher to care for one of their own, but the veteran Makuta waved them off.


Roodaka struggled to her feet, scowling with disgust. “I should turn you into a Visorak” the Vortixx snarled.“That almost would be better. There are few beings worse off than a Turaga.” He looked off into the distant realms of Spherus Magna. “Age brings the weight of responsibility crashing down upon even the strongest of heroes. There are few adventures left for me, I am certain.” He walked past Roodaka. “Besides, I am the guardian of the Mask of Time, and I pose little threat to you.”This made Roodaka laugh. Then Vakama joined her, and soon the entire ridge echoed with laughter, joined by one important voice.Toa Tahu’s.

* * *

Toa Tahu sat up, looking over at the benevolent being who had healed him.


The Makuta put out a hand to steady himself – it was clear that this use of his power had drained a good deal of energy from him.


Botar’s Replacement walked over to aid Teridax, but he waved him off and sat down against the boulder, closing his eyes in what seemed to be a meditative state.


Tahu stood up, shaking his head in bewilderment at the scene in front of him.“I thank you, noble one” said Tahu to the white armored colossus who sat against the rock. He might have meant for them to be warm words of thanks, thought Vakama, but they came out cold. He shivered in the advancing night, wondering if this battle was to be the beginning of countless battles, to be the herald for yet another war. We cannot fight against ourselves. We have yet another enemy, in a world where we already have far too many. He walked away, back toward the village. Vakama knew the Toa of Fire would be tired and embittered after his recent defeat, and he would either confide his feelings to his Turaga or he would not. There would be no facing down Tahu’s temper.

* * *

It was silent in Vakama’s hut. Fire played shadows down and up the walls, but the old Turaga felt little warmth, even surrounded by fire.“Turaga?”




“No, I am not Tahu, wise one. I wish it were. The Toa of Fire is alone, no doubt waiting for his temper to cool down.” It was Kapura, one of the Vakama’s own from Mata Nui.


“Is there more?” The Turaga stood up and paced across the room, bracing himself for more bitter news.“Yes. The Makuta has called a meeting. If it helps you, he has also called Roodaka and the…um…one with the scorched armor.”


“And Mazeka.”


“And Mazeka.”


To be continued…


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Chapter 6

The Team

I…am…Tahu! Toa of Fire! And whatever that was, don’t you forget it! Tahu paced the floor inside his hut, brooding over his defeat. It was the Mask of Life, that wretched thing that took the power away that did this. It was not enough to reduce me to this form, to yoke me with powers that I cannot use – no, you seek to kill me instead. All I wanted to be was to be Toa of Fire. Toa Nuva of Fire, by Mata Nui! He slammed his fist on the table. And I could never defeat you. It was Takanuva who defeated the Makuta, the Inika who defeated the Piraka, and when we finally told the Mask of Life where to go to awaken Mata Nui, we created a monster that only Mata Nui could destroy. And the only way to defeat the Rahkshi legions the monster unleashed was to make me a monster, which noble beings had to fight to save because he was a failure. A failure!

Knock, knock, knock


Go away. I don’t want visitors. Maybe it was just as well as if I had died on the ridge. One less monster for the Matoran to fight…


Knock, knock, knock


Oh, don’t bother me. You know I don’t take it well after a defeat. I had to be rescued, and I’m the one who should be doing the rescuing. Not sitting here in this room, trying to get rest. You should leave me in peace. Unless you’re an enemy. But I’m not letting you in. I’m tired, and the last enemy I had destroyed me.


Knock, knock, knock


I’m no coward, am I? Hiding behind this door, waiting for my enemy to break it down. Angrily, Tahu thrust open the door, his face a mask of fury. “What is it?” The being beyond the door held up his hands. “I simply wanted to speak to the leader of the Toa and Matoran on Spherus Magna. I understand…”


“Yes, yes. Get on with it.”


“The machine that defeated you this past evening was a machine designed to slaughter Toa.” said the hooded being in the doorstep. “You should not blame yourself, Toa.”


“Who are you? Did you send that thing after me?”


“No, I did not. I was opposed to its construction, and it escaped the prison I had made for it. My colleagues made it, against my will. Can we talk?”

* * *

The sun rose over Spherus Magna, home to the Great Spirit and his followers. Five of them sat in a crowded hut, watching the lamplight turn to the light of the sun, looking over maps, eyes furrowed with concern. “If what you say is true, we have little time” said the Makuta. “Whoever sent this being may have legions in reserve.”


“Or they can construct more” said Mazeka. “Though if they do have to construct more, that gives us more time. After all, they thought one of these things would be good enough.”


“It could be just a test” said the being on the right with the singed armor. “The Order has done things like that, where is has unleashed one to see a reaction before unleashing a legion.”


Vakama shook his head. “I trust in the Great Spirit, but the Great Beings we are to contact, to tell them we have succeeded. Perhaps they do not appreciate our success.”


Teridax shook his head. “We are working in the dark. We do not know the shape of our enemy.”


“That is our problem. How do we know when these things arrive at our doorstep? How do we defend against an enemy that can turn intangible and go over and around any wall?” Botar’s Replacement looked around the room. “The day legions of those things are unleashed, every Toa is handed a death sentence.”

* * *

“Who are you?” asked Tahu, backing into the room and pulling up a chair. He found his blade, still on the table, cursing himself for forgetting it in his agitation.


Angonce removed his hood. His face glowed dimly, and reflected an ancient wisdom, but his features were softened by a calm affection that surprised the hardened hero. “I am a Great Being. Angonce is my name. At least, that is what your kind know us by, but I often feel that we no longer deserve the title. Our foolishness is greater than we know, and has cost us greatly.” He bowed his head.


Tahu sat back, stunned. “We created your kind to restore this planet, after we destroyed it in the first place. We, in our selfish desire to leave the ruling of this wretched planet to somebody else, created six monsters to rule the place. They went to war over the substance that was inside this planet. We created your kind to save this planet after it was destroyed. We got what we wanted. The planet is saved, and the Agori and Glatorian can now govern themselves. The only thing left to remind us of our wretched past are your people, who we built a failsafe to prevent you from causing the same trouble our previous creations did. Your friends destroyed it yesterday. I thank them.”


“So we will not hear from them again?” “Not for a while. The Great Beings you know have long since left this desolate wasteland in favor of more productive projects across the galaxy. They will not return to this one for a long time, and when they do return, they will come with fear and disgust in their hearts when they find the Matoran and Toa still here. They will not take it lightly.”

* * *

Roodaka, Vortixx, former Visorak viceroy, was in a bad mood. Her plan to imprison the evil jailer of her past in the form of a Visorak had failed miserably, and he had escaped, preferably to safer ground under the leadership of the alternate Makuta Teridax. Her attempts to change him back had failed because of a Turaga. A Turaga! It seems I have a score to settle, first with an old fool, and then with a “Great Being” who should know better than to meddle in other being’s affairs, most certainly not mine.Seizing a knife, the Vortixx strode through the narrow thoroughfare, heading for high ground where she could view the entire village. Along to the way, Roodaka passed a small hut where the lamps were still lit. That must be where the fools are holding counsel. A flash of red caught Roodaka’s eye. Toa Tahu. The Vortixx pressed herself into a cranny to avoid notice. The Toa passed by, but then Roodaka felt a hand at her throat. Angry, the Vortixx shoved her knife into the hand, but the Being’s grip only tightened, shoving Roodaka out into the open. Shadow energy fired from her fingertips, injuring Angonce.


Tahu’s flame sword flared to life, only to show a black mist. Angry, he charged into the mist, blasting at the source.


Roodaka howled in pain and leaped after Tahu, who squarely nailed the Vortixx mid-leap with heat vision. But that wasn’t the point; the Vortixx landed behind Tahu, to run off into the night. The door opened, and a less-than-pleased Makuta Teridax stuck his head out the door. But before he could do anything, Roodaka collapsed.


“One more mistake” Angonce murmured, as he reached out to help Roodaka to her feet. “I am sorry, Vortixx. We cannot see beyond need, much like any other foolish race. There are few who value honor above life, even among my kind.”


“Stop meddling in my affairs, you…thing!”


“You chose to meddle in mine, first, although it was in ignorance, I’ll admit.” The Great Being settled back towards the wall he as pulled Roodaka to her feet.


Roodaka shoved him off. Her expression revealed that inwardly, Roodaka was cursing herself.


“I have some insight for this counsel of yours” said Angonce. “I believe you do also, Vortixx, although many refuse to listen to it.”


“Of course, wise one” said Roodaka. “My wise counsel is often ignored.”


“That’s because it is tainted by your own ambitions. Many here resent those ambitions, Roodaka.”


Roodaka shrugged.


Angonce sighed.


“While I appreciate the personal counseling session, we have much to discuss.” interrupted Teridax. “Why don’t we all come in and talk?”

* * *

It was crowded in the small room. Botar’s Replacement, Roodaka, and Makuta Teridax of the Melding Universe sat on one side, with the massive giant in between the former two to prevent a war. On the other side were Mazeka, the Order of Mata Nui trained Matoran, Vakama, veteran of the shadows of Metru Nui and wielder of the Mask of Time, Tahu, skilled Toa of Fire who had gained power from the Golden Armor, and Angonce, Great Being.


“The Great Beings will not be pleased when they hear that their creations have escaped their failsafe” said Angonce. “They do not know of your strength of mind and your skill and cunning, which is something we can use to our advantage.”


“What do you mean?” said Tahu.


“They do not know that you are sapient, conscious, aware. They think you are merely machines.”


Roodaka laughed. “Merely machines? Ha. They should have known.”


“The Great Beings are preoccupied with other projects. It will take them some time to remember this place. It will take them longer to create a solution, if they see it as a problem.”


“Wait” said Tahu. “Mata Nui gave us a mission – to contact these people to tell them that our mission was fulfilled.”


“And in doing so, you will be able to prove your sapience and save your people.”


“I pity those whom we have sent on that mission.” Silence. “And if they fail? Who will protect the Matoran then?”


“We will” said Makuta Teridax, gesturing to the group of misfits about him.


Tahu smiled. “Oh, please.”


Vakama laughed. “Or, as an old hero once said ‘Never doubt what you are capable of. The Great Spirit lives through us all.’ That’s all of us, Tahu.”


“Including you, Tahu” said Angonce. “Remember.” He stood up. “I believe that, for now, the Matoran are well protected. They are in the most capable hands.” He vanished then, leaving them awestruck and befuddled.


“Why didn’t he stay?” said Mazeka.


“Remember Mata Nui? He said that he didn’t want his shadow hanging over us. He doesn’t want his shadow hanging over us, either.”


The meeting was over. The six beings walked out of the room, up on top of the ridge to watch the last ribbons of sunrise. Not one of them was fooled. There were far too many shadows lying over them, ones not of ancient wisdom. Some had Skakdi grins. Some had Dark Hunter staffs. Some were leering faces of beings yet unknown, with plots and schemes beyond their own devising. Today, however, they all stood in triumph, if only a small one. Tomorrow they might be embattled. But whoever they were, they were a team. Thrown together by destiny, stuck together by necessity, they were dedicated to protecting the Matoran of Spherus Magna. A new day has dawned, one that should leave the Matoran’s enemies trembling with fear.




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