From the diary of Makuta Teridax…
I am Makuta Teridax, and this is the story of how I came to be the supreme ruler of all that is and all that ever will be in this universe. In the beginning, the Great Beings created a universe, filled it with life, and appointed the Great Spirit Mata Nui to watch over it. Mata Nui created myself and my fellow Makuta to help him.
For thousands of years, we created the beasts that roamed and swam and flew. We watched over the Matoran villagers and protected the peace. And then came a day when we led our armies against the rebellious Barraki warlords, defeating them. They had hoped to overthrow Mata Nui and seize power. That was when I realized that they could never hope to achieve such a goal… but I could do it. I could rule a universe!
Ah, how strange it is, now that I have achieved ultimate power, to look back on the Makuta I was. It has been a long journey from overseeing Metru Nui to embodying the universe, but the end has made it worth every moment’s trial.
I cannot recall just when it was that I grew dissatisfied with my existence. I know that I had always found it troubling that the Matoran would fall all over themselves to honor Mata Nui, yet ignore myself and my brothers. Had we not created the Rahi they used each day in their labors? Did we not protect them from themselves? And where was Mata Nui? Keeping the stars in the sky, making the suns rise, with no idea what his people were up to at any given time.
After my glorious defeat of the Barraki, I began to ponder if overthrowing the Great Spirit might be possible. It was Mutran who showed me that it could be done, but it would take a being of great skill and daring to achieve it. I knew I was that being.
At first, of course, my ambitions were small. I sought only to disable Mata Nui and show the Matoran who they should truly be worshipping. I proposed this plan to my brothers, but as I expected, Makuta Miserix refused to agree to my idea. I knew it was time to take the final step. I challenged Miserix’s leadership and others stood with me. He was forced from power and I took over leadership of the Brotherhood.
My first command was Miserix’s execution, along with those of the Makuta who had supported him. It was only later I would learn that Krika had disobeyed me and merely imprisoned Miserix on the island of Artidax.
With that done, I set to work crafting the virus that would send Mata Nui into an unending sleep. At the same time, I acted to remove potential threats, such as the Mask of Light created on Artakha. I slowly and quietly mustered an army of Rahkshi, Visorak and Exo-Toa, and put the Dark Hunters to work eliminating Toa and Turaga around the universe.
When I launched my plan to take over this universe, I will admit that I did not think big enough. I thought I could be satisfied with seizing power in the city of Metru Nui. By doing that, I could control the flow of energy from the city’s power plants to the rest of the universe, not to mention being able to decide when – or if – the Great Spirit would ever awaken again.
Now, as I look back at my setbacks there, I realize it was fate’s way of telling me I was meant to rule more than just one city. Oh, the Plan began well enough – I captured and imprisoned Metru Nui’s pathetic ruler, Turaga Dume, and took his place. I reprogrammed the robot guardians of the city, the Vahki, to serve me. I hired Dark Hunters to eliminate Toa Lhikan and his teammates, and I found a foolish little mask maker, Vakama, and demanded he create for me a Mask of Time.
I was like a Visorak spider in the center of its web, watching as my prey became entangled in the strands. One by one, Toa were made to disappear, until only Lhikan remained. The Matoran of the city accepted me as Dume, never once questioning my order to close the sea gates and isolate Metru Nui from the rest of the universe.
If there was a moment when it began to go wrong, it was when Nidhiki and Krekka failed to prevent Lhikan from handing out Toa stones to six worthless Matoran. Those six became the Toa Metru, a new team of meddlers determined to interfere with my plans. I had unleashed an intelligent plant menace of my own creation, the Morbuzakh, on the city, driving the Matoran into panic. The Toa Metru used the Great Disks and destroyed it.
But even that I was able to use to my advantage. They had temporarily used up their elemental powers in the fight and had not yet mastered their mask powers. When they couldn’t show either to a crowd of assembled villagers, I branded them as frauds and ordered their arrest. But my Vahki and Dark Hunters were only able to capture three, leaving Vakama, Nokama, and Matau free.
I would not allow any delay in my plans. While some Vahki pursued the three Toa, the rest captured the city’s Matoran and put them into canisters where they would be forced into a deep sleep. Over time, they would lose their memories of how they had been imprisoned. Then I would free them and they would hail me as their rescuer, gladly giving me their loyalty and complete control of Metru Nui. Of course, it would take many centuries for that to happen… unless I had the Kanohi Vahi, the Mask of Time, and could speed time up for the sleeping Matoran.
Vakama had succeeded in making the mask, by combining the six Great Disks. But before the Vahki could get it away from him, he and his allies had succeeded in freeing the other three Toa Metru and Lhikan, who had now become a Turaga. Then they dared to mount an attack on me – me! – totally ignoring how hopeless their cause must be.
Needing more power for the coming fight, I absorbed the energies of the Metru Nui power plant, along with the bodies and minds of Nidhiki, Krekka, and my flying Rahi, Nivawk. Shapeshifting into a large, winged form, I challenged Vakama for possession of the Vahi, even as earthquakes crumbled the city around us. He was tricky, ducking and dodging and hiding from my sight until his friends could arrive.
Even then, I would have absorbed him as I had the Dark Hunters had he not suddenly realized how to use the Mask of Time. He slowed time down around me, delaying my revenge. But the fool could not control the Vahi’s power and trapped himself in the time slowdown as well. I knew I had only to wait until his will weakened and he would be mine.
I never saw Turaga Lhikan running toward us, or his leap in between us, but when time at last flowed normally, it was Lhikan who took the blast meant for Vakama and died. Given a second chance at life, the Toa Metru attacked, trapping me inside a prison of solid protodermis locked with a Toa Seal.
They thought me defeated and helpless, of course… Toa often make that mistake. They could not know that I was reaching out with my mind to a pair of servants, who would soon arrive in Metru Nui and avenge my defeat…
For almost 1000 years, I attacked the Matoran of Mata Nui with wild Rahi, storms, and plagues, all designed to break their spirits. Just when I believed they might be ready to crack, the Toa Mata arrived, to give them new hope. Or were they really the Toa Mata? I had to find out, and so set Rahi against them, knowing true Toa would be able to defeat them with ease.
That they did, battling their way even past the Manas crabs who guarded my lair and the Shadow Toa I unleashed upon them. When they reached Mangaia, I warned them of the power they faced, but they would not surrender. Instead, they attacked. Unwilling to waste my energies in battle with them, I let them believe they had beaten me. But even as they departed, secure in their victory, I was plotting to strike again.
A simple sonic signal awakened the Bohrok, creations of the Great Beings whose mission was to scour clean the island of Mata Nui (for reasons not even I understood at the time). In the tens of thousands, they swarmed across the island. Mountains crumbled, forests fell, rivers turned to dust before them. The Toa Mata were overwhelmed, trying to fight everywhere at once.
Oh, the “heroes” had their successes, such as discovering how helpless the Bohrok were without the krana, small creatures that controlled them. They were wise enough to ignore the swarms and strike at the two Bahrag, queens of the Bohrok, who lived below ground. While the Matoran battled the Bohrok above using their own mechanical creations, the Toa Mata made use of armored Exo-Toa suits they had found in the Bahrag chamber.
The Bahrag, of course, never had a chance – only a fool would have thought they could defeat six Toa. But they had achieved what I had wished, by delaying and exhausting the Toa. My victory was not complete, however – shortly after defeating the Bahrag, the Toa fell into tubes of energized protodermis. That strange substance transformed the Toa, giving them new masks, new weapons and armor, and greater power than before.
They called themselves the “Toa Nuva”… and they were about to find out that power can be a curse… and the loss of it even worse.
It was not long after the Toa Nuva’s transformation that something most disturbing took place. Thousands of years ago, the Toa Hagah succeeded in stealing the Mask of Light from my fortress and concealing it somewhere. As it turned out, the mask had been smuggled to the island of Mata Nui, hidden inside a marker stone. A millennium later, it was found by a miserable Matoran named Takua… and suddenly, for the first time, I had reason to be concerned.
I am a creature of shadow, like my brother Makuta. Light is our enemy, and the possibility of a Toa of Light coming into being was a cause for dread. I had resisted unleashing Rahkshi on Mata Nui, knowing the destruction they could cause, but now I had no choice – the mask had to be recovered before a Toa of Light could be created!
My Rahkshi did what they did best – destroying, crushing, terrorizing. And they brushed aside Toa Nuva as if the heroes were fireflyer bugs. But for all that, they could not corner Takua and his friend, Jaller, long enough to take back the mask. Even my efforts to fill the Matoran with fear did not completely deter them from searching for the “Seventh Toa.”
In the end… ah, in the end, I was forced to improvise. My Rahkshi went down in dismal defeat before a reunited team of Toa Nuva. Takua himself turned out to be the destined Toa of Light, Takanuva. Worse, he was not satisfied with surviving long enough to transform – he was determined to invade Mangaia and challenge me!
I thought with the speed of chain lightning. I knew that the Matoran returning to Metru Nui would be the first step toward the reawakening of the Great Spirit, but I also knew that inevitably they would find the city again someday… and perhaps the time was right for them to do so. I also could not be certain that I could walk away from a battle with Takanuva and his allies undamaged.
Thus when Takanuva confronted me, I allowed him to think he had defeated me. I knew that if the Toa believed me beaten, they would move on, never imagining what I was truly planning. Oh, all did not go smoothly… a stumble into energized protodermis resulted in Takanuva and I being merged into one being, Takutanuva, a truly revolting experience I hope never to repeat. And when we returned to our own individual selves, a collapsing gateway shattered my armor… an annoying turn of events.
The Matoran had found their home once more… the Toa Nuva were triumphant… and the threat of the Makuta was over… or so I wished them to think.
For a Makuta, being without a body is most… disturbing. We exist as energy, but still we need a shell to inhabit – if not our armor, then a robot body or a living form with no spirit inside it (as difficult to find as an intelligent Toa). If we are without a body for more than a few weeks, we lose the ability to keep our energy intact, and we die.
I had been floating in Mangaia for some days in my energy state, pondering my next move. I had sensed that the Great Spirit was dying. I knew the Toa would soon realize this as well, and would seek out the legendary Mask of Life to save him. If I could delay their finding it, my ultimate plan could still succeed. But how?
The answer came when six ex-Dark Hunters calling themselves “Piraka” came to loot my lair. Subtly influencing their minds, I implanted the idea that they should journey to Voya Nui, rumored hiding place of the Mask of Life. They were thieves by nature, so it took little effort to convince them to go. I also made a few other “suggestions,” including the construction of a great crystal vat to house my energies on the island.
Did I truly believe this collection of misfits, robbers, and brutes would succeed in stealing the mask? No. But they would frustrate and delay the Toa, and turn time into my ally. They successfully invaded the island – posing as Toa! – and used Zamor spheres filled with a small portion of my substance to take over the minds of the Matoran population.
Then they began their search for the Mask of Life (looking in the wrong place, the fools), and stupidly allowed six Matoran to escape and hide in the mountains. They managed to forge an alliance with a warrior named Brutaka, although there was something about him I did not trust. But when the Toa Nuva arrived – a surprise to the Piraka, if not to me – they outdid themselves. Although it did not suit my plans to see Tahu and his little band killed on Voya Nui, I will admit to enjoying what happened next…
I once told my assembled brothers that there are times one can only win by losing… or, at least, appearing to lose. Anyone who had been present during the final battle between Axonn and Brutaka would have thought I had been defeated. The vat holding my essence had been shattered by Axonn’s axe, leaving me without a body again, and the Mask of Life was in the deep ocean, seemingly out of my reach.
Naturally, anyone who thought that would have been wrong. But then, you know that already, don’t you? By now you know that had I truly wanted the Mask of Life, nothing would have stopped my getting it. But I didn’t want it – I simply wanted to control when and how the Toa Mahri got their hands on it.
I could not let them know that, of course, so I behaved as they expected me to. I possessed the body of Toa Inika Matoro to sow confusion and doubt among them, then allowed myself to be forced out of that body. I moved to the armored shell of a Maxilos robot, taunting Matoro by letting him know I was there. I even enlisted his help in a ridiculous scheme to harvest the fragments of the Nui Stone from the remains of the late Toa Tuyet – a marvelous diversion, if I do say so myself.
I must confess to finding Mahri Nui a most interesting place. Where else can one find a heavily armed jailer who was a Matoran the day before and has no memory of it? And the Barraki – 80,000 years later, the same brutal bunglers, whose plans had the same delicate touch as a rampaging Tahtorak. How amusing it was to watch them fight pitched battles for the mask, scheming against and betraying each other.
(That is not something that will ever happen among my allies. Only one will matters: mine. Only one voice can be heard: mine. Only one fist holds the universe in its grasp: mine.)
Having won in the end, I can afford to admit that all did not go as smoothly as I might have wished. The pathetic attempt by Karzahni to stake a claim to power was an annoyance, and his efforts to frighten me with visions of my possible future a joke. I reached into his mind and tore at it until he saw himself for what he was… a sight he could not stand, as it turned out.
I had ordered one of my brothers to bring to me an artifact called the Staff of Artakha. My stated reason was that I wished to use it to restore the Nui Stone. In fact, I simply wanted to study it. Anything that powerful with that sort of potential for creation could also be turned into an incredible weapon of destruction. He did bring it… but I did not get to keep it.
Brutaka chose that moment to decide to be a hero again. He stole the staff back from me, and before I could get it back, he had passed it on to another with the ability to teleport. Just that quickly, the staff was gone from the ocean to I knew not where.
I turned on Brutaka, prepared to destroy him for interfering. He was a formidable foe, and fought with the reckless courage of someone who has nothing to lose. But even with that, I would have easily won in the end, had it not been for one fact he shared with me. The being calling himself Hydraxon had taken the mask and intended to destroy it.
This could not be. If the mask were smashed, there would be no way to restore life to Mata Nui if he should die. The universe would collapse and I would be left the ruler of ashes. I needed that mask far more than I needed the joy of crushing Brutaka. So I left him there, with a vow that we would one day meet again, and when to seek out the mask and make sure it wound up in the hands of the Toa.
Naturally, I could not suddenly start acting like their ally. I had to make a show of trying to take the mask away from Jaller. But when he passed it on to Matoro, I smiled inside. My plan was proceeding. The only possible flaw was the Barraki, who might take the mask back or in some other way interfere with my timing. So I challenged them, revealing my true identity, and providing the Toa with the time they needed to sever the cord. Then I let the Barraki “destroy me,” so they would be free to delay the Toa just long enough for my purposes.
Of my adventures on Metru Nui, Mata Nui, and Voya Nui, I have already written. But let me make it clear – I knew from the beginning my actions might result in Mata Nui’s death. I planned for it… I anticipated it… one might even say that at some point I hoped for it. I did not need him dead, at least not at the start – but he had outlived his usefulness. He was like one of the prehistoric Rahi so loved by the Matoran, Mavrah – big and slow and unfit for survival in this modern universe. Taking his rule, even his life, would be to show mercy to all those who lived here. For too long, they had been directionless, lost without their Great Spirit – now they would have a purpose again – and that purpose would be the greater glory of Makuta Teridax.
Still, I could plot and plan… I could try to anticipate every contingency… but in the end, I could not make this plan succeed. I had to rely on others. What is most amazing is that I had to rely on Toa! I had to trust in their nobility, their unwillingness to ever admit defeat, their ability to overcome every obstacle, and their long history of winning out, no matter the odds. I needed the Toa Mahri and the Toa Nuva to play their parts in this drama I had crafted… and if they did, it would be I who would finally bring down the curtain on the long reign of the Great Spirit Mata Nui.
How does victory feel? What is its scent, its taste? Can a being relive a moment of triumph again and again, or does it blow away like ashes in the wind?
I know the answers to those questions. You could even say I know the answers to all questions now – for I am the answer to each and every one.
The Toa Nuva and Takanuva escaped Karda Nui, of course – I wouldn’t have had it any other way. As for the Makuta, they would live only long enough to realize Krika had been right. The triumph of the Brotherhood would be my victory, and I had no intention of sharing it. No, I sent Antroz and Krika and the others to Karda Nui because they were the Makuta most likely to one day challenge me. Far better to have them out of the way, without getting my hands dirty eliminating them myself – and the storm did that quite nicely.
The heroic Toa returned to Metru Nui, even as the Great Spirit Mata Nui began to rise. Of course, no one but I truly knew what that meant. I had been to the places no one else had ever seen. I knew the ultimate truth – that Mata Nui did not rule the universe of the Matoran – he was the universe. The Great Spirit was a vast being of metal, a thing of armored power, within whom dwelled the Toa, Matoran, Makuta, Vortixx, Skakdi, Zyglak, and every other species. The land masses we dwelled upon were but parts of Mata Nui’s substance, existing to keep him functioning. We had looked to the heavens for our Great Spirit, when he was truly all around us.
No, for the residents of the City of Legends, it was enough that he was awake. They celebrated, they cheered, they bowed their heads to give solemn thanks to all of those who had died so that they could see this day… all the while thanking Mata Nui that it hadn’t been any of them called upon to die. All was right in their puny little world… or so it seemed.
I found I could not wait any longer. I sent a chill breeze through their assembly, and my laughter was the thunder overhead. Realizing I still lived, the Toa shouted their defiance. The poor fools still did not understand.
Mata Nui had died, not long before. As I expected, the Toa Mahri found some way to restore him to life. I had counted on that. In the microsecond between when the body was alive once more and Mata Nui’s spirit returned to it, my own spirit entered it. Once I was in place, Mata Nui’s consciousness was barred from residing in his own body, for there cannot be two spirits in one form. The Great Spirit rose, standing high above the unending sea… and it was I. No longer did I need to dream of one day ruling a universe – I was the universe.
What did I do next? Did I destroy all the Toa? Enslave the Matoran? Rain fire and ice upon my enemies? No, there would be time enough for that later. I had an infinity of years with which to torment Tahu, Jaller, and all the rest. I was the ground they walked on and the air they breathed. They could no more escape me than they could escape the starlight or outrace the wind. My reign of darkness had at last begun.
Ah, such changes I would bring. The Rahkshi would become the enforcers of my law, stalking every settlement. Visorak would sweep once more across the known lands, overwhelming any resistance, crushing any hint of rebellion. The Toa and the Dark Hunters would scatter before the power of my shadow, reduced to huddling in fearful anticipation of when I would end their pitiful existences.
Only two things still concerned me. The first was Mata Nui himself, whose spirit might somehow find a way to… inconvenience me. The second was the Mask of Life which, if left alone, would surely end all life in my universe.
My solution was, of course, brilliant. I forced Mata Nui’s mind and spirit into the mask, and then ejected the mask into the void beyond this universe, beyond the world upon which I stood. I know not where the mask will land, if it ever does, nor do I care. Of one thing, I am certain – I have nothing more to fear from Mata Nui.
But this universe and its people have everything to fear from me.