From the pages of Takanuva’s journal…
We seem to be safe for now. Kopaka and Lewa found Gali, she’s all right. The Turaga have brought as many Matoran as they could find to this chamber deep inside the Archives. While it is not much of a hiding place – can there be any hiding place? – it is defensible against Rahkshi attack. It is almost impossible to believe… Makuta Teridax in possession of the body of the Great Spirit, and so in control of this universe. Can any word be said he will not hear? Any plan carried out he will not know of in advance? Tahu says we will fight back… but how do you fight back against the sun and the stars and the world beneath your feet?
Onua is right, of course – we can’t stay here. We can’t hide in the darkness while the entire universe is at the mercy of that vile lunatic. Kapura reports that the surface of Metru Nui is teeming with Rahkshi, enforcing Makuta’s evil laws. So we must find another way out. Fortunately, the Turaga were able to find Krahka, a shapeshifting Rahi they once fought down here. She allied with them once against the Visorak, and is willing to do it again. She knows long unused tunnels that lead to the shoreline. If we can steal a boat, perhaps we can link up with other Toa in other lands.
Tahu has a plan. True, Makuta has almost infinite power now, but his mind was not designed to control it. If we can split up, stir up trouble, force him to focus his attention in dozens of different places at once, perhaps he will lose his grip on the universe… anyway, it’s worth trying. We encountered an Order of Mata Nui agent named Trinuma on Stelt. He says Daxia is destroyed, but there are still some Order members who survive. I have to believe that as long as anyone who loves freedom is alive, there is still hope.
I wonder what has happened to the Great Spirit Mata Nui? Makuta said he forced his mind and spirit into the Mask of Life, and then ejected the mask from this universe. But that doesn’t mean Mata Nui is dead – after all, the mask has already survived much. Could he still be out there somewhere, in the void beyond this universe? And if so… will he ever return to his people, who badly need him?
Pohatu and I have journeyed to Destral. There is precious little left here. How much of the damage we see was caused by the Order’s attack, and how much by Makuta Teridax himself, is impossible to say. I know one thing – nothing is left alive here. And from the shattered pieces of Makuta armor I see everywhere, it is hard not to believe that the new ruler of this universe has decided to eliminate all possible competition for his throne.
Pohatu is occupied searching for weapons, but I am combing the ruins of this fortress looking for something else. If I can find whatever the Makuta used to teleport Destral from place to place, perhaps I can use it to return to some of the other dimensions I visited in past days. Maybe I can find help in one of those places, or some clue to how we can overthrow Teridax. If I could find Brutaka, he could help me, but I do not know if he is alive or dead.
I received a message from Tahu via our new Rahi courier system – Teridax, it seems, pays little attention to the wildlife of his universe. The Toa Nuva of Fire reports that Rahkshi have overrun the island of Odina, but the Dark Hunters had already relocated to Xia. Teridax could, of course, destroy them at any time, but it seems like he wants the challenge of sending his armies against them. That may buy us a little more time.
I have found it! It is badly damaged and I do not understand its workings, but it is here. I have sent out a message requesting aid from Nuparu. I pray that he arrives in time. This may be our best hope.
Gali elected to stay behind in Metru Nui. The latest word from her is that a troop of Ta-Matoran evaded capture by the Rahkshi, and fled through the Bohrok tunnels toward the island of Mata Nui. They were supposed to send word back if they made it beyond the domes… but no word has been heard.
Things have never looked worse… but I swear by all I believe in, this battle is not over. And we will win, even if we must tear our own universe apart to do it!
* * *
Vezon walked between worlds.
At least, that’s how he saw it. Lately, it seemed like every step he took left him somewhere completely different. One moment, he was out in the sunshine, seeing Matoran and Dark Hunters working together in perfect harmony (granted, they were building a giant cannon, but they were still getting along well). The next moment, everything had shifted and he was in a quite different place. Here, a group named the Great Beings had built a 40 million foot tall mechanical being they named Makuta. Unfortunately, his brother, Mata Nui, was plotting a rebellion against him.
How had this all begun? He tried to remember, never the easiest thing for Vezon to do. He had donned a Kanohi Olmak, the Mask of Dimensional Gates, which he had found on Destral. A portal opened up in front of him then. Eager to escape the island, he stepped through it – only to find himself facing an oncoming tidal wave. It washed over him, but he did not drown. Instead, he fell through another portal, winding up in the middle of a swamp. And then another, and then another…
It took him quite some time to figure out what had happened to him – that his body, his essence, had fused to that of the Olmak. He was now, for all intents and purposes, a walking dimensional gateway.
There was still a lot to learn, of course. Was the effect permanent? Could he ever learn to control the power, so he could pick and choose where he went to? If he was holding something or someone, would they travel with him?
Wouldn’t that be interesting? he thought. First thing I’d do is find Makuta Teridax and give him a great… big… hug.
Tahu used his elemental powers to light a small campfire. It was foolish, he knew. There were Exo-Toa in the area and they would zero in on the heat. Then again, being a Toa of Fire, they probably couldn’t miss him anyway.
He glanced around the camp at his “team.” It was not a sight to inspire confidence. In the days since Teridax took over the universe, the Toa Nuva had scattered (they were too easy of a target if they stayed together). Hooking up with other fugitives as they went, they made for places of relative safety in order to regroup and plan.
This explained why Tahu was sitting in the blasted ruins of Karzahni with a Ko-Matoran, Kopeke; Johmak, a female Order of Mata Nui member with the ability to shatter and reassemble her body; Krahka, female shapeshifting Rahi; and two Dark Hunters, Guardian and Lariska.
Not exactly Gali, Lewa and Kopaka, thought Tahu. But they will have to do.
“We’ll stay here a few more hours, then move out,” he said. “Onua said there were a few Order of Mata Nui agents somewhere south of here, looking for a cache of weapons and supplies. We’ll hook up with them.”
“And then what?” grumbled Guardian. “Throw rocks at the sky? Challenge the wind with Cordak blasters? All we’re doing is delaying the inevitable – and we all know it.”
“And the alternative?” asked Johmak. “Bow and scrape before Makuta, begging him for one more moment of life in which to serve him? Let me die, then, as long as I do it as a free being.”
“Tahu… what are we going to do?” Kopeke asked, in hardly more than a whisper. “Guardian is right. We’re trying to fight the universe itself.”
“No, we’re not,” said Tahu. “We’re fighting a mad being who controls the power of a universe. And it’s not like learning a new machine at a Ta-Metru forge – it takes time and practice to master so complex a system. And we’re not going to give him that time… we’re going to do a Pohatu on him.”
“A Pohatu?” asked Kopeke.
Tahu smiled. “That’s right. ‘When in doubt, smash everything and hope you’re somewhere else when it all goes boom.’”
Guardian got up and walked away from the fire. He had nothing against Tahu, but there had to be a better way. Maybe instead of running from place to place, they should be trying to find a way out of this universe. Could be this place was lost, and it was time to accept it and move on. It wasn’t an easy choice, but those weren’t the kind he was used to making anyway.
Beneath his feet, the ground opened. Bonds made of solid stone wrapped around him, yanking him down into the hole even as he screamed. Then the barren earth slammed shut again, and he was gone.
The team was on its feet. “It’s Makuta,” said Tahu. “He knows where we are. He’s toying with us!”
“Tell us something we don’t know,” snapped Lariska. “Like what do we do about it?”
Before Tahu could answer, a dozen Exo-Toa appeared on the rise. Their missiles were loaded and aimed at the fugitives. The lead machine spoke in the voice of Makuta Teridax.
“Citizens of the Makutaverse, you are in an unauthorized area. You will accompany these Exo-Toa to Metru Nui, where you will be… retrained for new work that will benefit all my people. You will live out your lives there, in peace and prosperity, wanting for nothing… or you die, now.”
“You know what?” said Lariska. “This may turn out to be the shortest revolution on record.”