Through the dark void of space, a golden mask flew…
Seen from far away, it might have looked like a shooting star. Had someone been close enough to see what it really was, they might have wondered how such an object could have ended up among the stars. The answer would take years to tell, if one were to explore every mystery of it. But this is all the observer would truly need to know:
Once, there was a great ruler named Mata Nui. He was incredibly powerful – his body was made of metal and stood 40 million feet high. He traveled through space, exploring new worlds. His creators, known as the Great Beings, intended for him to fulfill a vital mission. But first, they wished him to learn as much as he could about the universe around him.
Unfortunately, while he focused on that universe, he ignored another one – one that existed inside his metal shell. Millions of beings lived inside of Mata Nui, and their labors gave him power. In return, he was to protect them from harm. But he grew so fascinated with the wonders of other worlds that he paid little attention to those who depended upon him.
As so often happens, neglect allows evil to breed. A conspiracy grew in Mata Nui’s inner universe. Those who hungered for power struck at him, casting him into a deep sleep that lasted for a millennium. When at last he woke again, it was to find that his greatest enemy had stolen his body. Mata Nui’s mind and spirit were trapped in the golden Mask of Life and hurled into space.
Now he flew through the void, out of control, knowing that his people were under the rule of a dark and unforgiving master. He had failed them. By not being vigilant, by not being wise, he had allowed himself to be forced from his body and exiled. In this new form, he had no hope of defeating his enemy.
Any other being would have surrendered to his fate. But Mata Nui knew he had a destiny to fulfill. Somehow, he vowed, he would find a way to return and free his people. It might take a thousand years, but only death would stop him from trying.
The mask’s direction shifted now, as the gravitational pull of a planet took hold. It sped up, diving toward the surface, its outer skin heating up as it entered the atmosphere. The next few moments would tell the tale. Would the mask survive the heat and the impact of a crash-landing, or would it shatter, taking Mata Nui’s spirit with it to destruction? Would his quest begin on the world so far below, or would it end there?
Within the golden mask, Mata Nui could do nothing now but hope…