Fall of Destiny is a weekly serial written by Rattla. It chronicles the adventures of Vaaka. New chapters will be released whenever I can write them; with exams coming up at school, studying is my life now.
Vaaka shook his head and opened his eyes. His meditation had been interrupted by voices outside. He was deep in this cave, and yet sound had travelled past the boulder that blocked the cavern mouth and made its way all the way to the ears of an irritable Matoran.
He got to his feet and looked at his black-and-white armoured body. While his meditation had ridden him of his clawed feet and bat-like wings, it had failed to return his armour to its once magnificent colour palette of white and gold. And while he meditated when he could, the past few days had been peppered with distraction, no doubt caused by the Makuta that were still in Karda Nui.
Walking over to the boulder, Vaaka frowned behind his angular Kanohi mask. Lightning was gathering around the sides of the boulder.
Oh no, he thought. What if the Avohkah have returned somehow?
Vaaka's speculations were cut short by the boulder exploding violently, throwing the Matoran back several feet and slamming him into a wall. He groaned and slowly got to his feet, dragging his feet as he made his way back to the cave mouth. he could see lightning gathering in areas and arcing all around Karda Nui, striking stalactites and reducing them to rubble. Vaaka watched as three vehicles shot past him, one red, one green and one blue. There were Toa all over them, but they looked nothing like the Toa that had come to Karda Nui so long ago. Plus, there was seven of them.
Ohh, he thought. I've gone insane. We all knew it was coming.
Watching the lightning smash into and destroy rocks, stalactites, and Makuta, Vaaka was quite sure the Energy Storms had begun once again. Which meant...
The Great Spirit is awoken! he thought. But joyous as that is, I need to find a way out of here.
He looked to the spherical structure in the centre of Karda Nui. He had seen that... thing before, the Toa Mata had called it the 'Codrex'. It was the core of the core, and was completely immune to the Energy Storms.
Vaaka powered up his jetpack and lifted off, making his way towards the giant sphere. He knew that there was risks that went along with flying out into the middle of an Energy Storm; 'playing Kohlii in an Energy Storm' had become a saying among the Av-Matoran, describing doing something foolishly dangerous.
"And that's what I'm doing," he said aloud. "I'm doing something foolishly dangerous."
"That you are, little morsel," a deep voice rumbled from behind Vaaka. "But it is not your presence during the end of Karda Nui."
Vaaka turned to see a figure flying behind him. It had huge, black wings and was covered in crimson armour, holding a wicked blade in one hand and a sharp shield-like weapon in the other. Most intimidating was his eyes; they held no cool, calm expression like one might expect a Makuta to have. They held anger, contempt, and an emotion no one ever thought a Makuta could feel: fear.
Vaaka was being chased by Icarax. It was apparent he had not been killed by the Energy Storms yet.
Icarax swiped at Vaaka with his blade, who dodged quickly. Vaaka turned around and unsheathed his Power Blades and launched a bolt of power from one of them. It hit the Makuta square in the chest, causing him to drop the orange sphere from his chest. It fell a few feet before it was incinerated by lightning.
"What do you want with me?" Vaaka shouted. Icarax laughed, but much of the horrific noise was drowned out by the winds.
"The Makuta below think I'm dead, little Matoran. Imagine their shock when I absorb you into my body and gain enough power to survive the storm!"
"Nothing can survive this hellfire!" Vaaka shouted, turning back to the Codrex for a moment, then looking back to Icarax.
"I shall! I will absorb your power, then the rest of the Brotherhood, and I will continue to do so until I have the power to face and defeat Teridax himself! I shall reign supreme! I - GAHHHH!!!"
He was struck by a bolt of lightning, which pierced the Makuta's armour and electrified his Antidermis, causing his armour to explode outwards. His Kanohi of Shadows flew off the Makuta's face and whizzed past Vaaka, falling into the Codrex's gateway. In response, the Codrex began to close. Vaaka panicked, and exerted full power to his jetpack, hoping to make it in before the door closed.
Almost there... he thought. Just... a... little... more...
Yes! He had made it in! Vaaka fell through the downward tunnel into the Codrex, until his jetpack gave out. Vaaka's eyes widened. His jetpack had stopped thrusting. Vaaka felt his stomach drop as he fell a long way down to the floor of the Codrex.
Finally, he struck the ground with a mighty thud. He didn't move.
Vaaka groaned as he slowly got to his feet. He hurt all over, and his armour was scratched and even cracked in some places. But he was alive, and he could move.
I'm too positive. he thought. I could have died in that fall.
He opened the back of his jetpack and peered inside. The heatstone that powered it had run out of the heat it produced, and had shut down the jetpack. He frowned. He wouldn't be able to get back out of the Codrex if he had no jetpack.
Hopefully there will be some heatstones in here... however unlikely that is.
Vaaka looked around the chamber and saw it was quite huge. He was standing in the centre of a circle of six gigantic purplish lightstones. There was a tunnel behind each one, with a door covering the tunnels. Each door had a mask carved into it; a Mask of Shielding, Strength, Water Breathing, X-Ray Vision, Speed and Levitation.
He walked away from the lightstones and toward the smaller chamber doors around the room.
From the shadows, a pair of red eyes watched intently. This Matoran had fallen into the being called Sahko's realm. She was not in the least bit pleased. She scraped her metallic white claws together, making a horrid scratching noise. She did this to all of her prey. It kept them on edge, intimidated them. Now was the time to begin her hunt.
She almost felt upset that her mask was powerless. A Mask of Hunger would have been a useful contribution to the following hunt. Her raw power would be enough, though. Now to see if this black-and-white being had the power he exerted.
Vaaka heard the scraping of metal. He felt worried, but only for a moment. It was probably just his feet on the metal ground. He walked into one of the smaller chambers, and looked at the shelves that lined the walls. They were filled with stone tablets; hopefully, one would have a map of the Codrex, if unlikely.
He pulled one out. It had a series of images alongside a language that was likely ancient when Karda Nui was new. There was a few words in Matoran language, if in an ancient form of the dialect. One said 'Agori', and another said 'Spherus Magna'. Then his eyes fell on two words: 'Tren Krom'. Tren Krom had been a Great Spirit of sorts, before Mata Nui took control. He had maintained the universe from Karda Nui, until being taken away prior to the awakening.
He pondered the terms 'Agori' and 'Spherus Magna'. Spherus sounded like sphere, and Magna sounded like it could have been some ancient form of the word 'Nui', meaning great. Great sphere? Was this the name of a planet?
Vaaka sighed and shook his head. Then he heard a scrape of metal on metal once again. He looked to the floor and saw it was made of stone in this room. He froze. Suddenly, a chain was slung into the room and struck Vaaka in the side of the head. He felt the power of a thousand electrical shocks running through his body, and screamed. He dropped the tablet, and it smashed.
"You are not welcome here, Matoran." The voice was gentle and subtle, but forceful. Vaaka dropped to the floor, spasming and writhing. He barely looked to the door, and saw a blue and white armoured... thing. It looked like a Matoran, with clawed feet and hands. It had wings, and a menacing mask, and a pair of blades pointing from its wrists.
Then, she spoke again. "How can I discourage future invaders, without making an example of a few?"
Vaaka eyed the Matoran-thing in front of him. She seemed to do the same to him, whipping her electrified chain around her head like a lasso. She quickly slammed it into the ground, and Vaaka rolled to narrowly avoid getting shocked again. He shot a bolt of shadow from his blade at the Matoran's eyes, where the black energy blocked her eyes. She struggled in vain to scrape it away, but it was useless. Vaaka made his way toward the door, but the Matoran there seemed to sense his movements. She struck him with one of her blades, when Vaaka flew back into the wall. Robbed of his concentration, the shadow bolt on the Matoran's eyes disappeared.
She stalked over and stood over him, her eyes gleaming with madness behind her savage mask.
"Why are you doing this?" Vaaka mumbled. "We're both Matoran!"
The Matoran before Vaaka seemed to ponder for a moment, then stormed over and wrapped her blade-like fingers around his throat.
"What do you know of me??" she hissed.
"Wha - what? I know nothing of you! You look like a Matoran!" The Matoran-thing thought again, and dropped Vaaka to the ground.
"I'm Sahko," the Matoran-thing said.
"Vaaka." Vaaka grumbled through his painful throat.
"I'm sorry, Vaaka." Sahko said, helping him to his feet. "So many have shunned me because of who - what I am. It's kind of you to say it, but I'm not a Matoran anymore. I'm... a monster."
Vaaka thought back to his struggle with Icarax. "No, one's appearance and one's being are two very different things."
Sahko smiled softly. "I was a Vo-Matoran kidnapped by Mutran to be mutated and made into a Rahi servant of the Makuta. They transformed me into a monster in appearance, and were going to do something to my mind to make me think like a Rahi, too. I escaped, and made a new life here. What about you?"
"I was an Av-Matoran, until the Makuta took my light and made me a servant of them. I meditated and rejected the darkness, and now I have learned to balance good and bad."
The whole cavern shook. Sahko looked around.
"What's that?" she asked.
"Mata Nui has awoken." Vaaka said, as calmly as he might discuss the weather. Sahko looked surprised for a moment. She then ran over to the small black object laying on the ground among the lightstones. It looked like a mask.
"What's that?" Sahko asked, pointing at the mask. Vaaka walked over and looked into the eyeholes of the angular Mask of Shadows. For a second, the eyes of the mask seemed to flash red. The Av/Kra-Matoran bent over to pick up the mask. He felt pure power flood his limbs, and he screamed. The white parts of his armour turned black as night, and his eyes glowed red. When he spoke, his voice was many morphed into one.
"The Makuta are fallen; but such is the plan of evil. Light cannot exist without darkness. The Toa think the battle against darkness is almost won; but the darkness has already won, and has for many hundreds of years."
Vaaka fell to the ground then, his armour returning to normal.
Vaaka was awoken by a sharp strike to the side of his head, and his eyes flicked open immediately. He looked up and saw Sahko standing over him, pulling back her wrist blades from the Av/Kra-Matoran's head.
"Sorry," she said. "I thought you died or something."
"What happened?" Vaaka asked, getting to his feet.
"You touched the mask of shadows and your whole body turned black." Sahko said. "You said some kind of prophecy or fortune as well... that the darkness has won."
Vaaka shuddered. He worried about that mask; it was used to represent the Brotherhood of Makuta for a reason. He walked over to the mask and stretched out his hand, then hesitated. He looked to Sahko; she was visibly concerned, staring at the mask. When she realised that Vaaka was looking at her, however, she put on a fake look of calm. Vaaka turned to the mask again, and reached down and picked it up.
Nothing happened. Vaaka breathed a sigh of relief, and dropped the mask in his shoulder bag. He smiled and looked at Sahko.
"Sorted." He said. Sahko returned the smile for a second, then looked around at the chamber they were in.
It was a huge room with six great holes in the ground, each shaped like a triangle. There was several small doorways around the room, leading into small rooms with shelves full of relics and tablets. The centre of the room was dominated by six giant, purplish lightstones.
"As I said," Sahko said. "I highly doubt that you'll find a heatstone in here, so we'll have to find another way out. I think I know how we..." Her voice trailed off as she watched Vaaka slowly shuffle toward one of the lightstones.
"Vaaka!" She shouted. Vaaka shook his head and glanced back to Sahko.
"What?" He asked.
"What were you doing?" Sahko asked. Vaaka looked genuinely confused.
"I... I don't know." He replied. "I just needed... to touch the lightstone." With that, he began shuffling closer again. Sahko stormed over and grabbed him by the shoulders, and pulled him back.
"Snap out of it!" She shouted. He reached into his bag and pulled out the mask of shadows, and tossed it out into one of the holes, without even looking.
Vaaka blinked and realised what had just happened. "Nooooo!!" He shouted, running over to the hole. The mask fell out of view. He got up and looked at Sahko. "What did you do??" He hissed.
"I saved you!" Sahko growled, leaning on one of the lightstones. Purple lightning ran out of the lightstone and all over Sahko, and she screamed. Vaaka ran over as well, but the lightning struck him as well. He felt the pain of a thousand white-hot blades plunging into his whole body, and he writhed on the ground. Finally, the pain became to much to bear, and he passed out.
Floating gracefully through the light and cold air, Sahko felt as nimble as any Rahi bird. She looked down at her powerful form, covered in muscularly sculpted armour, blue and white with pointed gauntlets and spikes, electricity crackling around her joints.
Her mind was cast back to when she awoke after the lightning from the lightstone struck her. She had somehow been transformed into a Toa, though why was beyond her. Not only was the fact that electrical discharge turning her into a Toa strange, but all Toa were made with a purpose. What was hers? And Vaaka's?
She glanced down at Vaaka, who was stirring. Considering how lanky and spindly the Matoran had been before, his new Toa body was surprisingly stocky and ludicrously burly, covered in intricate, thick, pointed armour. His mask was similarly shaped, but with more emphasis on the blades on its sides. He slowly rose, and looked up at Sahko.
"Er," he stammered. "Hello there... Sahko?" Sahko nodded. Vaaka looked down at his body.
"We're Toa?" He said, without looking up.
"Yes... among other things." That made Vaaka look back up.
"Come again?" He said.
"We're free to escape. I scouted around with my wings... which are no longer a part of me, you may notice."
Vaaka looked more closely at Sahko. Indeed, her once-attached wings were now fully mechanical, all silvery and clanking and grinding as they flapped. Vaaka noticed at the same time how different her body was. It was completely humanoid, and beautifully symmetrical and graceful, fluid with her every movement.
"So, you found a way out?" Vaaka suggested hopefully.
"Not a safe one." Sahko replied, and Vaaka's eyes fell. "It involves jumping down there," she said, pointing down to the great hole that disappeared into the bottom of the Codrex. Vaaka looked at Sahko as if she had suggested Teridax be made the new Great Spirit.
"Are you joking?" He spluttered finally.
"Lining the walls below are the electrical power stations that powered the universe before it actually woke up. Lighting is always lancing back and forth from there, and among them, is the original dwelling place of Tren Krom." - Vaaka shuddered - "If we jump down there, after we reach a certain speed, the energy being transferred around down there should be powerful enough to throw us out of the Great Core."
Vaaka glanced down the black hole, spotting the flashes of purple below. He couldn't help but notice Sahko's usage of the word 'should be powerful enough' rather than 'will'.
"I'll do it," he said, glancing up. Sahko was gone.
"It wasn't a request." She giggled behind him, pushing him into the great pit. Vaaka let out a long, sustained curse as he fell, closely followed by Sahko, folding up her wings as she fell.
Vaaka watched the purple lightning flash past around him as he fell, screaming despite how entranced by the beauty of it all he was. Sahko dropped past him, and after a second, Vaaka noticed a pulse of power surround her, and she disappeared.
Here goes, Vaaka thought, as the pulse encased him, too.
When next the Toa of darklight could feel, he was standing on a rocky outcropping of what appeared to be an active volcano. Sahko was standing next to him.
"Are you alright?" Vaaka asked sincerely.
Sahko almost replied, to say she was fine. But she was no longer sure, as a truly chilling breeze swept through, carrying with it a shadowy laugh that shook the Toa to their very cores.
"What in Karzahni was that?" Tuhka wondered aloud. Someone was speaking, but he could barely make out the words. But the voice... it was sinister, young and old all at once. But when the winds broke, he could hear as clearly as he now wished he could not.
"Citizens of the Matoran Universe, I am your Great Spirit - Makuta Teridax. I have known leadership before today, but this is a whole new level... control of the observable universe. I am your new Great Spirit, and expect to be treated as such. All Matoran will be escorted to the city of Metru Nui, where they will work to serve me until the end of their days. Any Toa will be exterminated. Any Turaga will be imprisoned. All other species will have to wait in anticipation to learn of their role within the Makutaverse. That is all."
Tuhka looked to Sahko. She was nearly crying, looking out into the distance. Her grip on her wrist-mounted blade had tightened, but her other hand hung limply at her side.
"Even when there's only one left... the Makuta manage to ruin the lives of others." she said quietly.
"Not if the Toa have anything to say about it." Tuhka replied. Sahko slowly turned around.
"We'll find a way to help. Stop the Makuta's minions. Save the Matoran. All that good stuff."
"There's only two of us, Vaaka. And we don't even know how to use our powers!"
Vaaka frowned. Everything she had said was right. He lifted his hand to his eye level, then pointed it at a nearby mountainside, palm outstretched. He closed his eyes, willing a bolt of light. Then - bam. A glowing golden blast of energy arced through the air and slammed into the mountain, causing a small landslide.
Sahko had watched the whole event unfold. After the rocks settled, she pointed her wrist blades at the same mountain, and created a bolt of electricity to arc back and forth between them. Then, she launched it at the mountain, making a small explosion. Rocks flew from the shockwave, collapsing a piece of the mountain and making a crater.
"We'll manage." Vaaka said.
"INSURGENTS SPOTTED." Sahko and Vaaka both looked up and noticed a group of four Exo-Toa, standing a few hundred metres away at the top of a hill. They pointed their electro-rockets at the Toa.