Hey everyone! I'm Drahcir Nosnevets, one of the head authors for the awesome Bionicle Legacy Project. I wrote this story last night as a way to garner interest and showcase some of what we've done to expand Okoto's lore. This is also technically my first ever piece of Bionicle literature I've written . Enjoy!
Bingzak stood below a glaring noontime sun on a high rocky bluff with his adopted family from the stone tribe, his mask a verdant green as a reminder of all that he and so many others had lost. Around them were crowded other families with their own children, many of them fellow orphans and refugees. Three years. Nearly three years he had lived with these people, ever since he had lost his family to the spiders. Then the Toa came, and drove out the darkness, but many captives were still lost.
Bingzak fought the urge to cry. He would not cry, not today, not on his last moments before he would join his peers among the adults of his village. An elbow jostled him out of his thoughts. It was his adopted brother, Tuma:
“Hey, Bingzak, snap out of it! It’s starting!”
Bingzak’s head snapped up just as a drum began beating away, he saw Nillku, the stone tribe’s protector, step up onto a ledge in front of one of the tall cracked pillars that dotted Okoto. With him was… Ekimu?
The Mask Maker himself is attending this? Thought Bingzak. What did we do this time?
Tuma whispered in his ear: “This is going to be either really bad or really good. You can never tell with the Big E.”
They both were silenced by a glare from their parents. Finally the drum stopped, and Nillku began to speak:
“Gathered friends, we stand here today to welcome new children as keystones within our tribe. They have survived and seen much in the wars, but they now stand with us as survivors, warriors, and much more. Those of you who have yet to claim your masks, step forward so that your elders may bear witness to your claim.”
Bingzak and Tuma stepped shyly to the front of the ring. On either side of them Bingzak could see his friends, Kellat and Kurtov the twins, Allasad the Strong, Shyla, Freilu, and all the others who he had lived with since Nillku saved him from the spiders. A ripple of excitement passed through them all as the voice of Ekimu boomed around the circle:
“Children, Ketar, your guardian spirit, and I have viewed your pasts and struggles and deem you worthy to receive this gift of power, a mask forged under my own hammer. Use it well and wisely, to build, invent, and bring strength to others, for such is the nature of our people. But beware the Shadows, for they will try and trick and deceive you with false promises of unimaginable power, so did fall Makuta.”
At this all assembled lowered their heads in remembrance of the legend.
“But today fear not the Darkness, for it cannot invade our unity, nor lead us from duty, nor even turn the tide of destiny, which today says that all of you are rightful owners of your own masks of power. You may receive and wear them now.”
A female assistant wearing golden armor hurried out wheeling a large, ornate chest. In the middle of the circle she opened it, revealing rows of gleaming brownish masks. As Bingzak approached he noticed that while each one had the same general shape, all of them had unique runes and small detailing carved on the edges and surface. One in particular, a tan one with what looked like a palm leaf design carved into the fins, seemingly drew him to pick it up. Gingerly, almost reverently, Bingzak removed his old, scarred, green child mask and placed the new one on his metallic flesh.
Suddenly, it seemed that a tap had sprung open in Binzak’s chest. A surge of energy that swelled from his core jolted him upright. Bingzak looked at his hands, now tingling with awakened power, not enough to move and shape stones like Nillku did, but enough to let him carry a boulder or, a more entertaining thought, break the spines of every skull spider that threatened his family.
“Bingzak! Come here!”
Startled, Bingzak looked around and saw Nillku beckoning him towards the podium. When he approached, Bingzak saw that Nillku was holding a small green crystal. Nillku, being rather tall and lanky, crouched down to Bingzak and offered the crystal to him.
“Bingzak”, said Nillku, “you have been through more than most of us. You lost your family and your village to spiders, and now have left the jungle for the desert forever. I would like you to know that you, after I rescued you, have been like a nephew to me, and I would like you to take this shard of elemental crystal from Uxar himself as a token of remembrance.”
As Bingzak took the crystal, he felt a large, muscled hand on his shoulder. Looking back he saw Ekimu come to stand next to him.
“Son, now is a time for looking to the future.” Ekimu’s voice came from behind the Mask of Creation. “We will remember the fallen with our new actions. Let us embrace the new day while it still lasts. Now you should return to your family, people are beginning to stare.”
Somewhat embarrassed, Bingzak left the chuckling Ekimu and went over to where Tuma was standing.“What did he say?! What was that green thing Nillku gave you?!” Tuma was obviously excited and also a bit miffed that he didn’t get to speak with the Mask Maker.
“Nillku gave me this. I think it’s an elemental crystal!” Bingzak said, gingerly holding up his crystal for Tuma to examine.
Suddenly, Ekimu’s voice boomed once more across the sands:
“Destiny has brought us here today for another reason, today we will fix that which was destroyed by the Shadows. I take it you see this pillar before us? Well these relics of a lost age once united all of Okoto with lines of power that carried our skyships and souls aloft. Though damaged by my brother’s fall, it is the belief of the protectors and me that we can repair them and revive our world. Ketar! I call on you to aid us!”
In the distance a golden glow sprang up on the horizon. Bingzak and Tuma looked at each other in wonder when they realized that it was the Temple of Stone. Then, Ekimu and Nillku pressed their hands to the old engraved stone of the pillar, a glow spreading through their bodies and out their masks. Almost as if compelled, the other villagers raised their hands towards the pair, and a glow spread through them too. Bingzak felt his newly awakened power surge to the ancient stone, and the crystal in his grasp let out a tendril of green energy.
Though it felt like hours, in the few moments where they all worked in unity the surface of the pillar healed and warped into new runes, gushing with elemental energy. Finally, with a great blast, a pillar of light arced into the sky, then split into hundreds more which arced down and connected with the temple, rocks, shrubs, and the other pillars dotting the plains.Suddenly Bingzak found his fist grasping empty air. The crystal had fully transformed into energy and was absorbed into the web.
As the ritual ended, Bingzak held back tears as he watched his only piece of his homeland drift away. But as he stared, a miracle happened.A spark of vibrant green light shot from the base of the strands of energy which were rapidly fading from view. It hit the ground at the base of the pillar and the villagers around him laughed in joy as the blasted sand and rock around it turned to rich soil, and an oasis rapidly took shape in the desert. Bingzak ran towards the pillar and in shock watched as runes formed on its surface. It was his family’s names! Carved into the unchanging rock, surrounded by living forest, his family’s memory could rest in peace. As he sat on a tree branch crying tears of joy, Ekimu’s words came back to Bingzak: “Son, now is a time for looking to the future. We will remember the fallen with our new actions. Let us embrace the new day while it still lasts.”