Abrogation: A Story Serial of the Origins of Voriki by DarkMaestro

This is a G3 Alternate Universe series of short stories about how Voriki came to be, along with a character study of Voriki and Karzahni. This all takes place before Karzahni’s fall.

Chapters:
0: Deficiency- Original Post
1: Genesis
2: Ethical Boulders
3: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
4: Devil Trigger
5: Take 5
6: Mr. Blue Sky
7: The Court of the Crimson King


**Chapter Zero: Deficiency**

She opens her eyes.
She stares at the ringed ceiling, a rib-cage of metal and stone that arches above her. Various cages dangle from above, gently swaying. The green-tinted light reflects off the silver bars, and engulfs the rest of the room in a sickly color.
_“Oh. You’re awake.”_
Her heart leaps as the voice echoes through the hall. She turns to see a large figure sitting at the end of the room, his body smothering the space. Large tentacles make up his lower body, the tips idly sliding about with minds of their own. The multiple eyes embedded in the being’s strange head stare at her.
_“I completed you a couple of hours ago; I was beginning to think I had come to another failure,”_ the being informs her, clasping his clawed hands together. _“I’m glad that was not the case.”_
She tries to stand up, but her knees buckle and she collapses to the floor.
She looks down at her hands.
Her left arm is a brownish color, with scratches and dents and a bulky hand. Her right arm starts off a blue color until it reaches the elbow, where it sharply shifts to a dark green. Her right hand is slender.
Something clicks in her mind.
She begins to panic.
The large being observes her newfound distress. 
_“I apologize, I haven’t changed the platings yet,”_ he shrugs awkwardly, _“I didn’t think uniformity was so important to Matoran; I’ll keep that in mind next time-”_
The female matoran screams, her body shaking with fear and pain. 
The large being bends down closer to the wailing Matoran. 
He frowns, _“Look, I understand my craftsmanship is quite… unpolished, to say the least. I admit; I used whatever spare parts I could find from earlier attempts. But, you’re still functioning, right?”_ 
She doesn’t hear his explanations.
_“... Mostly?”_
Her screams bounce around the room, creating a horrible ambience.
Annoyed, the being straightens himself back to his full height. He shakes his head in disappointment.
_“It appears you’re burdened with memories; a deficiency that I unfortunately don’t have patience with dealing with right now… you being a nuisance and all.”_ 
Tears pour down the sides of her mask and drip to the floor.
_“And now you’re leaking water; you truly are irredeemable.”_
A massive green tentacle wraps around the sobbing Matoran. Her cries sputter into chokes. In one quick movement, the tentacle swings in the air and smashes the matoran into a nearby wall. There is a sickly crunch as pieces of her mask and other metal bits fall to the floor. 
Which is then followed by the Matoran’s mangled body.
Karzahni sighs, _“How… inadequate? Uncivilized…? … Disappointing?”_
He looks the broken corpse on his floor.
_“Disappointing.”_ he confirms to himself.
Karzahni folds his spiked arms over his chest, fingers tapping his biceps.
_“Those parts are not worth saving; no point in using pieces of a failure. I’ll have to go get some more before I try again.”_
He peers up at the cages above him.
_“... Thankfully my brother is just as busy as I am.”_

^^^^^^^^^^^
I know I said I was going to do Pohatu next, but I've haven't got anything interesting yet to write about him and this has been bouncing around in my head for a while soooo
Why a serial instead of one story? Because honestly Voriki and Karzahni are my favs in G3, and I didn't want to limit myself in how deep I got with it. 
In other words, _it's going to be loooooong._
I'll try to update this every two weeks... maybe. We'll see. 
Stay Tuned.
**-DarkMaestro**
9 Likes

So dark, so sinister…me gusta :smiling_imp:

3 Likes

Chapter One: Genesis

Snow-covered summits.
A vast landscape of blue.
The breathing forest of greens.
Dunes of sand.
The bright sky, dotted with clouds.
A mountain that breathes fire.

The relentless storm.

Brilliant teal eyes open.
The female matoran slowly picks herself up and sheepishly observes her surroundings.
She is surrounded by metal bars, in some sort of cage. And judging how the room shifted when she moved, it was obviously being suspended from above.
She stretches, her joints giving a satisfying pop. Shifting to the bars, the purple tinted Matoran peers out of the cage.
A green eerie light illuminates the room; a large dome with arches of steel and stone, multiple cages like her’s dangling from the ceiling. Down below is a sea of shadows; she is only able to make out some metal tools of some sort reflecting in the dim light.
“What… what is this place?” she whispers to herself.
The cage suddenly lurches, causing her to fall to her knees. Above her, gears whine in protest and the cage begins to descend to the abyss below.
The prison arrives to the floor level with a clunk, which echoes in the large room. Wheezing with rusted bolts, the cage swings open on its own.
“Ah, elasa torgv.”
The voice seems to come from everywhere; a strange sound akin to multiple things speaking slightly out of sync. She does not move from her crouched position.
The voice muses to itself, “Irgil biab elasa?”
The Matoran slowly picks herself up, trying to calm her pounding heart. She looks around, but the room appears empty.
“I… I can’t tell what you’re saying… whoever you are,” she awkwardly calls out.
The voice gives a questioning tone, as if it were confused.
Suddenly, the voice bellows with something akin to laughter.
“Ha ha ha, de elzaodape! Ha ha, el oanio…”
The cage shatters as a large tentacle spawns itself from the ground. With a gasp, the Matoran is wrapped up in its grip.
“Let me go!” she shouts, “Let me-”
A smaller tentacle appears in front of her, the tip transforming into a thin, rigid claw. Fear clenching her heart, the Matoran thrashes in the monster’s grip. The clawed appendage circles around behind her and grabs the back of her head.
She freezes up as she hears something click in her skull.
“Gen elasa ome ol?”
She clenches her jaw in panic, terrified to move. After a moment, the voice hums sheepishly and another click is embedded into her head.
“Do you understand me now?”
Her eyes perk up, “Y-y-yes.”
The tentacle’s grip unravels and she drops to the floor. Panting, she whirls her head around to find the source of the voice.
“Good. My mistake; I was distracted and I forgot to… well, it doesn’t matter now.”
The floor begins to ■■■■■, a thin layer of some substance peeling from the stone surface and gathering in front of the shaken Matoran. The amorphous mass begins to pile upon itself, slowly make a more defined humanoid shape. The liquid forms into hard, bone-like shells, jutting glowing spikes, and writhing green tentacles that absentmindedly slide around on the floor. Soon enough, an eldritch being towers over her.
Karzahni’s pointed head tilts to the side, until a crack emits from his neck. Satisfied, he eyes the awestruck Matoran with his multiple glowing pupils.
“I am Karzahni, the Great Being who rules over causality and chaos,” greets the malformed deity. “You are my thirteenth attempt at…”
He ponders his words.
“… at creating a sentient being.”
The Matoran stares blankly at Karzahni.
“… oh.”
There’s a moment of silence. The Great Being flexes his claws anxiously.
“Hmm. I thought introducing myself would alleviate some of your tension… but my hypothesis seems to have been incorrect. Though I thought based on earlier attempts, this would have yielded different results…”
The female Matoran watches skeptically as Karzahni mumbles to himself. She pulls herself up and stands.
She clears her throat, “Uh… so are you… uh, can I ask you-”
Karzahni’s head swoops down, his one red eye observing her.
“It appears your motor functions are working as intended, and your thought-processes seem to be operating at a normal level; though it looks as if you developed a speech impediment in the form of a stutter.”
She raises her hands up in defense, “Wait, no. I don’t have problems speaking.”
Karzahni raises an eyebrow.
The Matoran scratches her head, “I mean, I just woke up and a voice starts speaking out of nowhere, then you grab me and mess with my head, and reveal your-”
The deity watches her in amusement. She takes a deep breath.
“It’s just a lot to take in. Can you… tell me who I am?”
The Great Being dramatically rises to his full height.
“You… you have a touch of destiny within you… a light within the shadows… You shall be named…”
His clawed finger points to her.
“… Takua.”

Silence.

She gives a confused look, “Uh… Are you sure? It sounds kinda-”
Karzahni suddenly jolts, spooking the Matoran. His multiple green pupils frantically jerk in random directions.
“No no no no I was wrong! Different time different person different world different different different where are you where are you WHERE ARE-”
Then he stops. After a moment, his body relaxes.
“Ah,” he sighs with relief, “I’ve found you.”
She stares at him cautiously as he folds his arms.
“Yes… a destiny indeed. You shall be named… “
He softly chuckles.

“Voriki.”

“Voriki,” she repeats, letting the name sink in, “I think… I’ll like that name.”
Karzahni clasps his hands together.
“Lovely. With that settled, let’s see if everything is set.”
He bends down again, all of his eyes focused on her.
“Motor skills and average thought processes have been acknowledged,” he assesses. “We will see how you handle solving problems another day; right now we’ll see if all of your body functions are working.”
His eyes begin to dart about, analyzing her. Voriki tenses up anxiously.
“Sight and hearing seem decent, your limbs and joints are able to move correctly and respond nicely; you are also are able to communicate well enough; though I will have to test to see if you actually do have a speech impediment…”
“I’m pretty sure I speak fine,” she retorts.
The red eyes glances at her, “You seem to have calmed down; or at least you’re using banter as a defensive mechanism.”
She looks away from his gaze.
A chuckle.
“Interesting; I wasn’t aware you’d be this complex already.”
She raises an eyebrow, “Were the ones before me not… “complex”?
Karzahni shrugs, “Some of them didn’t move, some behaved like beasts, and others…”
Voriki cautiously watches the deity as he mulls over his words.
“… others tended to be… disappointing.”
She goes silent as he continues to analyze.
“ The platings seem in shape, though I’ll have to get a few more to replace the temporary shells. Internal workings I’ll check later; for now, let’s finish with durability.”
Voriki gives a confused look, “Durability?”
Karzahni pulls himself back up, shrugging.
“Well I have to see how your body holds together; it would be counterproductive if you were be able to be killed easily.”
A tentacle snatches Voriki’s leg. Before she can even give a shout, it slings her in the air and slams her into a wall. The dust is still airborne as it pulls her from the debris and throws her to the opposite wall. Her battered body peels away from the wall and falls to the floor with a harsh impact.
Panting, she tries pulling herself up with her only functioning arm. She glares at Karzahni.
The Great Being, unfazed at the Matoran glaring daggers at him, taps his chin in thought.
“Well, you’re not dead, so you’re already performing better than seventy-five percent of the others,” he duly notes. “What’s more; you’re not screaming in pain or crying; I hadn’t expected such livid anger as a possible immediate reaction.”
Under the mask, he gives a sly smile as Voriki, unable to hold herself up, collapses to the floor.

“This is going to be more interesting than I thought.”


It is hours later.
Voriki, with limbs put back together and battered platings replaced, lays still on a stone bed. Placed in a small cell-like room, she can only hear the soft downpour of rain from outside the building. She glares at the ceiling, the memories of the previous hours burned into her mind.
She should feel afraid; her creator was a sadistic god, an abominable entity who feels nothing towards his creations, only the fact that they’re his _things._ She had no idea what purpose she was supposed to fulfill, nor what steps would be taken to fulfill that purpose.

Yet.

Her soul is consumed with fire, her mind a restless storm.
Her heart as cold as the stone she laid upon.

Voriki will not suffer Karzahni’s games without a fight.

^^^^^^^^

I have a feeling this is never going to be considered for lore. If not canon or semi-canon, let's consider this a darker alternate universe or something :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Stay Tuned.
**-DarkMaestro**
6 Likes

"From this day, you shall be known as Darth… Takua!"

Amaizing.

4 Likes

Every purple spark is a failed Voriki

Karzanhi! I have come to Bargin.

5 Likes

And @DarkMaestro composes another masterpiece, following it with an orchestration that leaves one in awe.

Nice work my friend, this story is very good so far. I await the next segment to release me from the anticipation/curiosity you have left me with.

2 Likes

Chapter Two: Ethical Boulders

Karzahni’s patience was beginning to wear thin.
And he was quite the patient one; being unaffected by the passage of time and not shackled by the limits of lower creations really allows one to take things nice and slow.
Well, it should theoretically; two-thirds of the trio have disproven that without question. He didn’t have an itch to create, nor have the irresistible urge to control. In his eyes, Karzahni was much more calm than his brothers, despite being a God of Chaos and Causality.
The irony was always amusing.
But now the eldritch brother sits before a small empty chair, dwarfed by his massive size, with his eyes slowly becoming more and more narrow.
“I have been sitting here for two hours”, he hisses to himself, “yet she has not emerged from her cell.”
He said to be ready to wake up early; he had given precise instructions on how the day was going to go. Voriki, with a death glare plastered to her face, had given a reluctant confirmation.
“And yet the chair remains empty. I must see to thissssss-”
Karzahni’s sentence becomes drawn out and distorted as his form bends over onto itself, limbs mashing together and condensing into a long serpentine form. He weaves his body into tighter and tighter coils until he is the size of small python. He begins to slither his way to her cell.
“How annoying; I thought I was going to have more time to start working on the second project, but this subject decides to be inconsiderate of schedules…”
He makes his way down a small corridor, lined with multiple metal doors. It is quiet; only one resides in his cells, with the rest empty and locked away into the stasis of benign care.
At least for now of course.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
He slides his body up the door until he reaches a narrow viewing port. He sees Voriki lying on her slab of stone, her body softly rising and falling with each breath. Her face is relaxed, no longer clenched with anger; her bright teal eyes are hidden in another world, leaving the eyeholes of her mask a dark sea.
“She appears to be still asleep,” the deific viper whispers to himself. “Perhaps the physical tests these past few days had exhausted her; I’ll make a note of that.”
Karzhani makes his way to the sleeping Matoran, climbs up the rock and onto her body.
His small pointed skull draws close to her mask.
“It is time to wake up, Voriki. You are making my plans fall into turmoil and-”

Being a Great Being, few things can surprise Karzahni. Especially with the mask power that he had been burdened with.
But those clear blue eyes resurfaced within the dark abyss, her hand snatching his snake-like body at ludicrous speeds. Similarly to how lightning strikes the earth.
How fitting.
He feels the grip tighten around his neck as Voriki slowly stands up and glares at the snake.
“Got you.”
Karzahni’s body limply sways around in annoyance.
“You weren’t asleep at all; you were just gambling for an opportunity to attack me,” the Great Being assesses. “You’re quite devious, little one.”
The grip gets tighter.
“Yes I am,” she smirks, “and now you’re in my grasp. And I feel like today would be a great day to test your durability.”
He chuckles, “You don’t actually think you can do damage to me, do you?”
Voriki grins darkly, “Only one way to figure that out, eh? I wonder; how well will your small body handle being crushed underneath my bed?”
Karzahni rolls his eyes and sighs, causing Voriki’s grin to slightly waver.
“As much fun as it would be to see your futile attempts to harm me, you have wasted enough of my time already this morning and sabotaged my plans for the rest of today.”
Suddenly, his lower body thrashes around violently, slowly swelling in size. She raises her harm to block his writhing lower half. With a sickly sound, his enlarged tail and lower body peels apart to become a massive crab claw. Curling underneath him, it latches onto Voriki’s body. She snarls in protest as Karzahni’s upper body sprouts multiple legs that clamor to the floor.
“It’s time for some tests.”
With a shout, Voriki is dragged from her room and disappears into the God of Chaos’ realm.


This day was not going as Voriki had predicted.
She had known that she probably wasn’t going to be able to do much against the eldritch monster, but she wanted to get back at him somehow.
But alas; it completely backfired.
Being dragged down that hallway, she was sure she had sealed her death. Karzahni would tear her into pieces and label her as a failure. It would be like she never existed.

And yet…

Voriki sat in the chair, watching carefully as Karzahni explained today’s test. He had returned to what she assumed was his true form; a skeletal humanoid torso with a mass of tentacles for a bottom half.
_“... so instead, you will be answering a series of hypothetical questions,”_ he casually instructs the matoran.
This also was strange. What was the purpose of this test?
_“So; first question.”_
He leans himself against the wall, his hands folded on his… lap?
_“Let’s say that there is a trolley heading down the tracks, and-”_
“A what?”
Karzahni stops, peering down at the matoran. 
_“I beg your pardon?”_
Confusion has spread across Voriki’s face, “A trolley. I don’t know what that is.”
Karzahni raises his eyebrow in skepticism before it clicks in his head.
_“Ohh right. My apologies; wrong timeline.”_
Her face becomes more unsure, cautious of the Great Being.
Karzahni clears his throat, _“Ok let’s try again; there’s a… boulder, rolling down a hill. Still with me?”_
Her deadpan glare resumes, “It’s not my fault you don’t make sense, but yes I’m good.”
_“So it’s rolling down this path, which at a point splits into two,”_ he continues. _“Down one path, a matoran is tied to a post. The other, five matoran are tied down.”_
“Ok…” says Voriki slowly.
_“Now you have a chance to choose the boulder’s path. Whichever path it rolls down will result in the death of whatever’s in its way. The question is the following; which path will you send it down, and why?”_

She raises her eyebrow.
“Can I stop the boulder? Or destroy it?”
_“No. A choice must be made.”_
She frowns, “Isn't stopping the boulder a choice?”
Karzahni shakes his head, _“Not in this scenario.”_
“Tch, that’s stupid!” scowls Voriki. “Why does someone need to get-”
_“Let’s try another question.”_
The matoran exhales sharply, and leans back in her seat.
“Alright.”
The Great Being taps his chin, _“You pass by someone who is in severe need and you are able to help them at little cost to yourself. Are you morally obliged to do so?”_
She folds her arms.
“I guess, yeah.”
Karzahni hums to himself.
_“Next question,”_ he continues, _“You have a very close friend. You know that someone has been seriously injured as a result of criminal activity undertaken by them. You live in a place where the guard is generally trustworthy. Are you morally obliged to inform them about your friend's crime?”_
“Ye-...wait,  uh…” 
Voriki brows furrow in thought, breaking away her glare at the eldritch being. Karzahni patiently observes the thinking matoran.
“... this person my friend hurt,” she slowly starts, “were they a good person?”
He raises an eyebrow, _“Will my answer determine how you answer yours?”_
She sneers, “Well yeah! If they were bad, then... maybe I’d keep it secret.”
He smirks underneath his mask, _“And if the person was innocent?”_
The daggers resume their assault from her teal eyes.
“My closest friend wouldn’t do that, Otherwise they wouldn’t be my friend.”
Karzahni let’s out a soft chuckle.
_“That’s an interesting answer. Next question.”_
The two continue on for another hour or so, a number of sneers, snark comments and confusion passing between them both.
_“Now the final question.”_
Voriki idly looks to the side, a bored expression on her face.
A devious grin spreads across his face.
_“You can save the lives of ten innocent people by killing one other innocent person. Are you morally obliged to do so?”_
She rolls her eyes, “You already asked this question, remember? It’s like the boulder one.”
He shakes his head, _“My my, aren’t you a clever matoran.”_
“You already know my answer then,” Voriki snaps, facing the Great Being.
Karzahni rubs the side of his long mask, sighing in a disappointing manner.
_“It is naive to believe that you can save everyone, you know. Often times, I’ve seen people attempt to be perfect heroes; but upon their first failure, break down into nothingness.”_
She frowns, “What’s a hero?”
_“A hero is someone who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”_
Voriki sits in silence, deep in thought.
_“I’ve always seen heroes as a nuisance; always getting in the way of nature, stuck behind some self-righteous belief to beat the evil in their lives. Yet it is a fruitless endeavor; there will always be those who succumb to their inner demons, and no matter how self-less the intentions, they will always fall to the most important rule of all.”_
Voriki looks up the the towering god.
“What’s that?”
Karzahni bends down the the matoran, red eye meeting with her light blue ones.
_“That in this world, you will never be able to save everyone. In this world, your fate has already been decided, and you cannot change the causality of time. In this world… it’s killed, or be killed.”_
Voriki stands up, shoving the chair back. It sharply impacts to the floor, echoing throughout the hall.
“You’re wrong!” she yells, “There’s nothing useless about trying to help others! Even if you can’t stop all the evil in the world, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!”
Karzahni’s eyes have widened in surprise. 
_This was unexpected._
“You know what!? One day, I will be a hero,” she vows, her eyes burning with determination. “And when I do, I will make sure that you and everything you ever were are wiped away from this world!”
Her shout blasts through the building, as if it were powerful enough to send a fissure through the world. Her eyes gleam with defiance, fists clenched tightly, her body perfectly still and without fear.

Karzahni is silent. His tentacles are almost motionless on the floor, his multiple eyes focused on her.

_“... yes. You’re much more interesting than I anticipated.”_

Suddenly, his body sucks up into the air and folds itself into a green colored blob. Two wings spurt out of the body, and large eyes- one red and one green- emerge towards the front. 
_“That is all for our testing today. You overall have your morality in a “normal” perspective, though a bit too optimistic. Feel free to return to your cell, or whatever pleases you. Just don't break anything.”_
With that, he soars past her and down a corridor. He rounds a corner and disappears.
She stands there, panting with hands shaking from adrenaline. 
But one thing runs through her mind. A seed that will take root in her soul forever.

_Hero._

^^^^^^^^

I just keep on trucking past the canon event horizon, huh?
Oh wellll :kissing_smiling_eyes:
Stay Tuned
**-DarkMaestro**
6 Likes

Liking the direction this is going!

2 Likes

Chapter 3: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Crack
Crack
Crack

The purple fist sharply impacts on the wall, with small flakes of stone crumbling to the floor.
Voriki arm remained outstretched, as if awaiting for the wall to crumble to the floor. Alas, the gray wall stood its ground, oblivious to the matoran’s rage.
Unsatisfied with the small hole she was creating, Voriki sighs and collapses to the floor. She stares up at the ceiling, a frown plastered onto her face.
It had been a few days since her morality test with Karzahni. Despite her bold declaration to her tormentor, her vow to become a “hero” was off to a low start. She couldn’t actually do anything to him, nor the prison where she lived. It seemed like he was always aware of her plans, however implausible they seemed.
She once tried to trick him into lowering his head so she could bash one of his eyes in with a hidden stone she pocketed. Yet he gave a sly grin, flicked the stone from her possession, and proceeded to pellet her with a torrent of rocks.
“‘Enough to cause pain, but not to damage’,” Voriki seethes, recalling Karzahni’s cheeky reassurance. “Suddenly it’s making sense why he did those durability tests.”
Tests and tests and more tests; from the beginning that’s all she had experienced. He was assessing every single detail about her, from her strength to her moral code to the aforementioned durability.
She pulls herself up and slams her hands on the floor.
“And I don’t know why!” she snarls. “All of these tests and stuff and I have no idea why I am here!”
Voriki stands up, becoming agitated once more.
“He said he wanted to create a sentient being, but that can’t be it. You don’t need this many observations to determine that when I can speak clearly-”
She clinches her fists.
“-and pain has nothing to do with it!”
She begins to feel sick, a cold shiver that runs through her body.
The horrid, yet quiet thought seeps into her head once more.

I’m just a thing to him.

She begins to shake.

A source of entertainment.

“That can’t be it…” she tries to assure herself.

I live to feel pain.

She grits her teeth, shaking her head as if to thrash away the terrible thoughts.

For his enjoyment.

She gives a rough, guttural scream in frustration as tears begin beading up around her eyes.
“I’m here for a reason!! I’m not just a toy!!”
Her head is pounding, her vision swaying back and forth. Smoke begins to softly rise from her fists.
“I’m here-”

I’m here to suffer.

Forever.

With one final cry to the unseen sky, she reels her fist back and lunges to the wall.
Her fist impacts.
There’s a loud crash.
Then white.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

Thunder sounds off in the distance as Karzahni observes his brothers in conflict.
His elder brother (barely older, his mind autocorrects) had returned to their palace with the head of some monstrous creature. Makuta’s mighty armor was stained with soot and chipped at various points.
Despite being slightly battered, he towers over Ekimu, who was shaking in a mixture of sadness and fear.
“Why would you kill it!? The Rahi Nui was a beautiful creature; the apex predator who surpassed every other rahi on the island-!”
“It also was tearing apart everything in a blind rage,” Makuta states flatly, “and a creature like that has no place on this island.”
“It could have been legendary for matoran!” Ekimu snaps. “Image what kind of tales they could have crafted for such a beast…”
Karzahni notices the Overseer’s eye twitch ever slightly at the mention of the people his brother brought into existence. He holds back his growing smile as Makuta heaves his iron-slab of a sword before him.
“Even moreso of why a creature like that has no place here; have you already lost interest for your ‘magnificent’ creations?”
Ekimu folds his arms, “Not at all.”
“So you are content with them being slaughtered for your own amusement?” Makuta demands, his voice subtlety raised.
“What!? No, of course not! I’m not cruel; I don’t enjoy it when they die!” stammers the Creator. “But I find it torturous to have what could be extraordinary beings be locked away from reality!”
Makuta exhales in slight annoyance.
“You need to learn restraint brother,” he scolds. “Do not do this again.”
Ekimu maintains his ground as the Overseer stomps around him and down the corridor where the abominable one observes.
“Our brother misbehaving again?” Karzahni chuckles as Makuta walks by him.
The giant stops, his purple eye glancing over to his malformed brother.
“You’re one to talk, Karzahni. And I thought I told you to speak normally.”
The smile underneath Karzahni’s mask slides away into a frown.
He clears his throat in a gross manner.
“… Y-Yehu- you aare… kruewl… brather.”
“And you’re getting better at speaking in a normal tongue,” Makuta replies. “If you keep practicing, maybe I’ll actually have a decent conversation with you.”
Karzahni scowls as the iron behemoth continues past him.
As the slowly deliberate steps echo away down the hall, they are replaced with soft and almost gracefully footsteps. Karzahni turns to see his brother, face buried in a subtle contempt.
“I see that the creative alternatives have not stilled your itch,” Karzahni murmurs sheepishly.
Ekimu sighs, “I’ve tried to do what he asked; I tried to paint, to play, to expend energy with something else. But I have yet to find an avenue that has been able to give me the same gratification as watching something I thought of becoming reality.”
Karzahni’s tentacles idly wrap around his lower body, eyeing his upset brother.
“While I can confidently say our brother can be a bit overbearing,” the malformed god says gently to Ekimu, “I must admit that we are reaching close to the threshold of how many different inhabitants live on this island.”
Ekimu sighs and closes his eyes.
“… I know. It’s just… addictive.”
It goes silent. After a moment, Karzahni’s arm slightly raises towards his brother, but snaps back to his side as Ekimu turns towards him.
“By the way, I wanted to ask you something.”
“Yes?”
Ekimu walks over to a nearby window and peers outside.
“I’ve been noticing that matoran have been going missing.”
“…huh.” comes the feigned reply. “Well, it is not unreasonable to have a few matoran venture on their own, or perhaps are attacked by rahi.”
Ekimu’s brow furrows in concentration.
“…I guess,” he mumbles. “But it’s strange; it’s happening all over the island, and I don’t think there’s violent enough rahi in every region…”
Karzahni’s claws anxiously click against each other, his tentacles sliding around him tensely. He stares at the back of his brother’s head.
“… but you’re probably right.” the Creator concludes.
A subtle relief flows through Karzahni.
“Of course I’m right.”
Ekimu turns to him once more, his bright blue eyes shining in a mixture of wisdom and naivety.
“If you could just keep an eye out for anything that might be weird… I’d really appreciate it.”
The monster chuckles, “Don’t fret; I have plenty of eyes to go around. I will let you know.”
Karzahni musters up an awkward smile, and is met by a small warm one from his brother. Satisfied, the God of Chaos turns away and proceeds to the palace’s exit.
Out of view from his gullible sibling, his smile immediately collapses into a bitter grimace.
“It appears I was not as conspicuous as I had thought. I’ll have to pause my collecting until he loses interest.”
He shrugs to himself.

“Well… I have enough to work with anyway.”

Another thunderclap sounds off in the distance.

His form shifts, his tentacles folding in and his arms bending back. With two mighty wings, Karzahni sails off into the approaching storm.

^^^^^^^

Stay Tuned
-DarkMaestro

6 Likes

Chapter 4: Devil Trigger

The Three Brothers didn’t necessarily have a home. After all, they didn’t really need a home or shelter, as nothing could bring harm to any of them but themselves. The Palace of the Great Beings was really the only building that they resided in, but it served more as a meeting place than a real home for any of them. Sure, Ekimu would sometimes mediate in the garden, or occasionally Makuta would be found sharpening his massive blade on the main stairway; but most of the time each brother would be elsewhere on the island doing their own tasks.
So officially, the Palace was their only “home”.

Officially.

Unofficially is a different story.

Far north of the island, on a small isle in the middle of the sea, lies Karzahni’s citadel. It is a massive dome-like structure, with multiple spires jutting out like fingers scraping the heavens. Sitting on the top of the isle, the stronghold is akin to the shell of some monstrous tortoise. It is built from various stones dug up from the island itself, cemented together with crystalline structures. Despite its uneven surfaces and haphazard appearance, it is an indomitable fortress that is almost impossible to break into.

Likewise, it is very much impossible to break out of.

Which is why panic begins to trickle into Karzahni’s mind as he soars closer to his citadel.
Through the pouring rain, he can see smoke pour out a large hole in the upper left portion of the citadel. The brewing storm above frequently lashes out a lightning bolt at the building’s spires, with small bits of rock and crystal shattering off with each hit.
There are two scenarios that could have happened. The first; something with considerable power has broken into his base. Which will mean Karzahni would have to clean it up; no problem.
The second scenario is that it’s Voriki.

Karzahni really hopes that it’s not the second.

He nosedives into the blackness spewing from the dome and lands hard on the stone floor. Through the smoke and flames, he assesses his surroundings.
He realizes he’s at the origin point of whatever caused this damage; multiple walls have been blown down in a radius around him. Makeshift beds and metal doors are laying in various places around him, either shattered into worthlessness or warped into artistic nightmares.
Karzahni coughs, “This smoke is becoming a nuisance.”
With his winged form, he reels his arms back and gives a quick burst from his wings. Wind rushes towards the fire and smoke; in an instant, the wrecked hall of containment rooms is clear.
As his arms morph back into their bony and spiked selves, he surveys the wreckage carefully. It was no doubt now that Voriki had caused this mess. The blast had originated from her cell, and it didn’t seem like a coincidence that a lightning storm had appeared above his citadel.
The issue now was-
“Where have you run off to, Voriki?”
He looks up to the massive hole in the ceiling, the downpour of rain freely splattering on the floor of the ruined cells. It didn’t seem likely that she had gained the ability to fly, but Karzahni was quite sure she was strong enough to climb her way to the exit. And if she made it to the exit, it would no doubt take a while to find her, even with his all-seeing eyes. And if she managed to escape the isle, it would be only a matter of time before one of his brothers discovered-

fzzzzzz-

It was like a high-pitched buzzing sound, mixed with the grating of metal.
Karzahni turns to the end of the hall, where the entrance to his main lair was. What was once shrouded in darkness was now illuminated with a light blue light, flickering.

fzzzzzzzzzzzzz-

He slowly makes his way towards the archway. As the lights jump around, the Great Being is able to get some glimpses of his main hall.
Cages are shattered on the floor.
The wooden chair is nothing but a splintered mess.
And there, in the center, with bolts of lightning radiating around her-

“I’m surprised you didn’t run away.”
Karzahni’s voice doesn’t waver; but there is something small buried within his calm observation.

Uncertainty.

Voriki slowly raises her head towards her torturer. Her eyes are glowing with an intense blue light, with sparks occasionally whizzing from the cyan gems that were her pupils.

“Why would I run away. After all, I wanted to see you.”
Venom is laced within her voice.

“Oh? And I assume you wish to kill me?”

“Yes.”

Karzahni chuckles, “Oh little Voriki, haven’t you forgotten? You can do nothing to harm me…”
With that, Karzahni’s form begins to ■■■■■, growing and elongating until he towers above her in his true eldritch form.
His tentacles idly sway around, “Well, I must say; I didn’t expect to gain your power so soon; but I’m afraid you overestimate how much you’ll be-”
Voriki snarls and throws a punch. Lightning blasts from her hand towards Karzahni’s face.
He raises hand to block the bolt.
His eyes widen.
As her attack ends, he closes his blocking hand and raises his other.
“Wait! Before you decide to attack again, I must give an explanation.”
Voriki readies her arm, “I don’t want to hear anything from that disgusting mouth again! All you spew is lies and-”
“Lies?”
Karzahni bends down towards her, eyes narrowing.
“Let me clarify some important details, you incompetent child. Since you were activated, I have not once uttered a lie to you, and I find it almost offensive that you would dare call me a liar.”
Voriki’s fists waver.
“Secondly, I want to congratulate you on unlocking your true abilities. You have exceeded my expectations.”
She raises an eyebrow, “You-”
“Lastly, and most importantly, Voriki…”
He slightly raises his body before bowing his head towards the matoran, placing his right hand over his chest.
“… I wish to sincerely apologize for any harm or anxiety I have caused you during your time here. It was a necessary strategy to initiate the evolution within you, by creating enough stress to trigger a reaction.”

Voriki blinks, “what.”
Karzahni doesn’t raise his head, “I know it may seem callous, but I assure you it was-”
“You’re… apologizing?”
The Great Being now raises his head towards her, looking at the perplexed matoran before him.
“Yes…? I was informed that it is the correct course of action to ask for forgiveness if you have caused a problem for another…”
The two stare at each other, unsure of their adversary’s words. The lightning that had flared around the room begins to die away, and the tentacles twitch with anxiety.
Finally, Voriki speaks.
“…You hurt me.”
“Yes.”
“A lot.”
“Yes.”
“Like… a lot alot.”
“I believe I agreed with you.”
Voriki clenches her teeth. Suddenly she gestures her hands randomly, as if she’s wrangling her thoughts in front of her.
“A-and I’m just supposed to believe it all was to trigger my powers?! To help me grow?!” Her voice becomes cracked as small tears form around her eyes.
“D-don’t you realize how much you’ve hurt me?! How can I believe you when you say you’re sorry!? How do I know you really mean a word you say!?”
Her voice rings out in the ruined hall, echoing away into the sounds of the decaying storm outside. Eventually, after an eternal minute of tension, the eldritch god raises himself upright and folds his arms with a sigh.
“I told you; I do not lie,” he states nonchalantly. “And if you still doubt me, I have an offer to ease your mind.”
“W-what’s that?”
He closes his eyes contently, “Ask me anything you want, and I shall answer truthfully to the best of my ability.”
A pause.
“… Anything.”
“Correct.”
Voriki looks down, unsure of what to do next. Just a moment ago she was ready to blow him into pieces; now…
“Alright, let me ask,” she starts, “and tell me the truth. Why did you create me?”
Karzahni opens his eyes, “My brother created the first matoran, with connections made to the various elements under the guidance of the elemental gods. They currently inhabit the main island of Arthaka in six different nations. I desired to create my own beings and wanted to see if I could connect them to an element that is without a god’s jurisdiction.”
Voriki blinks.
“Okay, I have… several questions.”

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

They go back and forth for about an hour. Through Voriki’s many, many questions, Karzahni explains to her about his brothers, the island of Arthaka, the elemental gods, the other matoran, and so on. As they go, she slowly becomes more relaxed, eventually taking a seat on the floor.
“Let me ask you one more thing; it’s really important.”
“Really important? That’s intriguing… please, go ahead.”
Voriki takes a deep breath, hands twitching nervously.
“What… what I am to you?”
The Great Being tilts his head quizzically.
“I’m… I’m not sure I follow.”
The purple matoran looks down, tensing up her body.
“What triggered my powers… I thought that all I was to you was some… toy to be played with. That all I was to you was something to be used for some twisted entertainment.”
She looks up at him, “What am I really to you?”
That stumped him.
The monstrous god, renowned for his vast intellect and abilities to see through time and space… was stumped.
“I… uh…”
He’s silent for a moment searching for the proper words to use; then he sighs and crouches down to her.
“You… you are my most important creation, Voriki; a light that guide the way to a more prosperous future. You are living proof of the impossible. You, Voriki, are the first Matoran of Lightning.”
There’s silence. Karzahni studies her face, unsure of what she’s thinking. Was that what he should have said? Was that the answer she was looking for?

“… thank you.”

It’s barely heard, but it feels almost as loud as if she were screaming. Karzahni remains composed.
“Well, if that is all, then perhaps we should call it a day. Since your previous living quarters are… indisposed of, you may use one of the observation room in the southeast spire.”
“Thanks,” Voriki says sheepishly, picking herself up. “I guess tomorrow I’ll, uh, help clean up this mess…”
“Don’t fret. I’ll take care of it.”
The matoran pauses, before nodding and resuming her path towards the opposite doorway.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|
He watches the door close, and waits until he cannot hear Voriki’s footsteps before his right hand lashes to the floor, his claws slowly digging into the stone. His tentacles writhe in agitation.

This is bad.

All of this is VERY BAD.

Karzahni had not lied to her; everything he had said was the truth to some extent, and he was honestly surprised she was willing to believe him so quickly. There was a concern that he would have to end her, but it appears he managed to successful talk her out of her vengeful crusade to end his life.
Yet there were still problems.
He didn’t expect her powers to emerge this soon, let alone at all. Karzahni had planned for it to possibly occur months from now; this had thrown a wrench into his plans.
“I have to start the second phase; I was hoping to wait until Ekimu was less suspicious, but now I don’t have a choice.”
He clicks his mandibles nervously as he raises his left hand. It had remained closed since Voriki’s lightning blast.
But this… this is much more dire.
He opens up his hand.
Through the soot from the blast, he can see the platings in his palm are cracked, with green glowing fluid slowly traveling down his wrist.

Her attack… had harmed him.

An artificial matoran… had harmed a Great Being.

^^^^^^^
So first off thanks to @UltimateMustacheX for writing his story of the G3 Mocs, cause that gave me motivation to wipe the dust off this thing and get back into it. The entire story for this has been planned out already, and dang it I’m going to bloody finish this thing, even if G3 is already sun-setted into oblivion. Though, I think I should say that this is probably more of an G3 AU than what should be up for canon interpretation.

:microphone: ALL OF THESE THOUGHTS RUNNING THROUGH MY HEAD!
I’M ON FIRE VEINS BURNING RED!
FRUSTRATION IS GETTING BIGGER!
BANG! BANG! BANG!
PULL MY DEVIL TRIGGER!!

Stay Tuned.
-DarkMaestro

5 Likes

I’m surprised I hadn’t read this sooner. While I can’t see it fitting into the current official canon (you did mention it’s more of an AU story), I really like how it’s set up.

2 Likes

Chapter 5: Take 5

Things have been… uncomfortable, to the say the least.

Sure, Voriki had settled down. But since Karzahni decided that it would be best to cease the harsh tests and evaluations a couple of weeks ago, the lightning girl had become rather elusive around the citadel. Karzahni was still sure she was within the walls of his fortress; but he would only see glimpses of her, scuttling away behind a door or a turn in a hallway, like some sort of startled fikou crab. On the rare occasions that she managed to stay within his sight, he noted that any movements in her direction would cause her to flinch.
It was also in these rare occasions that Karzahni would see how tired she looked. Her clear blue eyes have become dim and muddied, her body was hunching over as if she was weighed down by some massive, unseeable burden. Anytime Voriki decided to move, her limbs would sluggishly perform their tasks like it was an unbearable torture.
But the worst part was her staring. Those eyes would always track him, watching every minute detail of his movements. Even he, the abomination with many eyes and all-seeing vision, couldn’t help but feel uneasy sometimes.

It was safe to conclude that Voriki was traumatized. Without her drive for revenge, the matoran’s fear had overtaken her mind.

And Karzahni… didn’t know what to do.

Which is why he now stands at the main stairway to the Palace of the Great Beings, fingers clicking nervously together in apprehension.

He really doesn’t want to do this. But at this point…

“Brother, I would like your insight on something.”

The whetstone pauses against the end of the massive sword. The giant figure slowly exhales, but doesn’t raise his purple eyes towards Karzahni.
“You desire my opinion on something?” the voice of Makuta rumbles.
“Yes, if you can take a break from your ever-so important task.”
The worn-down armor creaks as The Overseer rises from the steps, looking down at his malformed brother. His purple eyes narrow.
“You understand that I find this very suspicious.”
“Quite.”
Makuta shifts his sword to his back, where it clicks into its magnetic sheath. He cross his arms with an annoyed grunt.
“Alright Karzahni,” he sighs, “I’ll humor you. What is it you want my aid for?”
“How does one overcome their fear of something?”
“We, as Great Beings, have very little to be afraid of.”
Karzahni rolls his multiple eyes.
“I’m not talking about us, you fool. If a lower being, like one of those matoran for example-”
The eldritch being hears the metal of the armor grate together before he realizes how much closer Makuta is standing from him.

“What. Did. You. Do.”

Makuta’s eyes glint with anger as Karzahni instinctively curls his tentacles closer around his body.
“Relax, brother; I’m just talking theoretics-”
“It sounds more than just theoretics.
Their eyes are locked with each other for a tense moment before Karzahni barks a gross laugh.
“Oh come now, Makuta. I know for a fact you don’t care for Ekimu’s little ant farms he’s grown on the island; what’s the problem with messing with a few? It’s not like there’s already enough of them.”
“You are toying with the matoran to satisfy your perverse curiosity then?”
The monster snarks, “You make it sound like my hobbies are a bad thing.”
Makuta groans and shakes his head, “I don’t care what you do; as long as it doesn’t interfere in my business then feel free to go wild, you sickly worm.”
“Flattered.”
“Also, I shall make this clear; if Ekimu discovers this behavior and throws a tantrum, I will not hesitate to bring an end to your games. Understood?”
Karzahni shrugs, “Sure, whatever. Now about your advice?”
Makuta gives his brother a long glare before turning towards the stairs.
“Fear manifests as a natural instinct to survive, to be aware of potential dangers. If one wishes to overcome it, one must realize that whatever they are afraid of is not a threat. Whether that be understanding the true nature of the subject, or becoming something greater to the point of the subject being unable to harm them. To put it simply; one must embrace fear, or destroy it.”

With that, Makuta ascends the steps, leaving Karzahni processing his words.

Embrace… or destroy…

He’ll keep that in mind.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

The archive spire, the second tallest tower of Karzahni’s citadel, was home to the many tools, maps, and journals the eldritch god has made over the years in his quest to catalogue everything. From the island of Arthaka to the vast sea to the array of lights in the sky; every interesting detail was recorded onto tabletures of stone and crystal. The tablets vary from size and color, each glowing with their own light to bask the large room in a rainbow.

It is here that the lightning matoran finds asylum; judging by the amount of dust and how the various records are carelessly organized, it’s reasonable to assume that Karzahni no longer visits the room.

Which means Voriki is able to close her eyes and relax.

While she is unable to entirely forgive Karzahni for his treatment of her, Voriki understood it was not completely born out of hatred or sadism. The Great Being seemed genuinely invested to see her grow.
Voriki wanted to trust him, wanted to believe somewhere deep down in Karzahni, there was a sliver of care towards her.
But it’s not easy to forgive. And it’s much harder to forget.
After weeks of continuous thrashings, probing evaluations that lasted days to pick apart every thought in her head, sleepless nights waiting for the possibility of death or worse; Voriki’s body was conditioned to fear him.
Karzahni had an oppressive aura; it always felt like he was watching her, that at any moment the floor would ■■■■■ and he would rise out like fountain of nightmares.

But here… she was safe.

Her breaths began to slow, and soon she was asleep, curled up on the floor, surrounded by her own bright stars.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

Slowly, Voriki’s eyes begin to open.
The bright colors of the crystals wash over her sight as she groggily rises from the floor. She has no idea what time of day it is; hardly any of the rooms in the fortress have openings to the outside.
It’s when her eyes become focus and that she can see clearly is when Voriki notices it.
There’s a small stone tablet on the floor that wasn’t there before.
Her chest clenches up as she shakily kneels down and picks it up.

When you wake, please come to the main chamber.
We need to have a conversation.

Voriki lets out a strangled cry as she flings the tablet across the room, as if it were the vilest thing she had ever laid her hands on. With a sharp crack, it impacts off the wall, falling into stony fragments on the floor. Within a second, the matoran realizes what she did; she clenches her fists and bangs her mask.

Stupid stupid stupid! Stop being so afraid!

Her arms are shaking.

Breathing becomes difficult.

Calm down… calm down.

She feels like she’s about to pass out.

… calm down…

Her heart is racing, Voriki tries to breath but it comes in painful gasps for air.

… please…

Tears start flowing down the sides of her mask.

…calm down.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

Karzahni is eyeing his wounded hand when he hears the creak of the door opening.

Finally.

He found her earlier sleeping in the archive spire; not wanting to disturb her rest, he left a note for the matoran to meet him later. He left the tablet for her early afternoon.
It is now night.
He watches her slowly peek into the room, eyes wandering about until-

Ah, there it is. Now she sees me.

Her eyes lock onto him and she goes rigid. He can hear her fingers grip the wooden door so tightly that squeaks under her pressure. Her teal eyes dilate like a startled rahi, fixed on the Great Being.
Karzahni sighs, “I promised I had no intention of harming you anymore; come in Voriki.”
She doesn’t move her spot, but her hand does relieve some pressure on the poor wooden door. Her eyes are still on him, blue eyes meeting his multiple green and singular red ones.
“You don’t have to be right in front of me,” he tries to compromise, “but at least enter the room fully.”
“…ok.”
Reluctantly, she emerges from behind the safety of the door and enters the room. She takes a few steps before her body forces her to stop.
Karzahni gives a long exhale, sheepishly closing his eyes.

I suppose that’s good enough.

“Now then,” he starts, clasping his clawed hands together, “let’s get to the point. I know you are afraid of me, given how much you scatter and hide around my citadel like a Pokawi bird. And to be honest, it’s very reasonable to be afraid of me, based on all of my actions thus far.”
Voriki doesn’t look up, as if she feels ashamed to admit that he was right. She wraps her arms around her torso tightly as he continues.
“However, there is work that needs to be done.” If Karzahni had noticed her withdraw more into herself, he doesn’t say. “And that work requires that you be cooperative and at your fullest functioning capacity. So this-?”
He gestures at the large space between them. He holds his arm out and waves his hand until the matoran finally peeks up as sees what he’s addressing.
“-this? This needs to end. Quickly.”
The Great Being folds his arms and observes the lightning girl, judging whether she understood anything he said. She doesn’t look up, her eyes fixated on the stone floor. Noticeably, her hands were clenched into fists.
Karzahni’s tentacles twitch anxiously. It would be so easy, so so easy, to just fling her against the wall and just start over. Take the lessons he learned from this attempt and just apply it to the next one. It would take just about two weeks to reach the same point of progress. He’d have to get new parts, but he wouldn’t have to deal with a traumatized wreck.

But…

“So let’s try this,” Karzahni finally muses, after a long awkward moment began threatening to suffocate the both of them.
“Can I… Is there anything that could be done to make things more… relaxing?”
Voriki continues to look down, but her body is ever so slightly shaking. Karzahni is convinced that a wall would have a better conversation with him at this moment, if he didn’t want to bash his head against it in frustration. Maybe he should just take his losses and-”

“YoU’retOobIg"

Her voice sounds hoarse, as if she hasn’t spoken in weeks (which was very likely). Her position remains the same, but her shaking gets more agitated.
“Would you kindly repeat that?”
Voriki takes a sharp inhale, as if breathing was becoming difficult.
“You’re too… big.”
Karzahni blinks.
“I’m… too big?”
His voice is laced in confusion. The matoran quickly nods.
“So… you want me to be smaller. Your size?”
She hesitates before slowly nodding again.
Thankfully she remains looking downwards so she doesn’t catch the eldritch deity roll his eyes in fatigued annoyance.
These mortal beings are such bizarre creatures…
Voriki hears gross, wet sounds as he begins to shrink down. When it at last finishes, she steels her nerves and slowly looks up.
Karzahni stands about five feet in front of her, a miniature version of his larger self. Despite that, he still stands a good foot taller than her, though it’s mostly due to the length of his pointed mask.
“Well?” he inquires, but already the Great Being notices her shaking has died down, and she’s able to look… well, in his general direction. Close enough.
“Better,” she finally breathes, a small yet thankful smile appearing on her face.
Karzahni internally sighs.
This was going to be long, annoying, frustrating, and absolutely awkward.
He dismisses her and watches the lightning matoran quietly disappear behind the door.
It would be so much easier to start over.
A smirk creeps up behind his mask.

“But where’s the fun in that?”

2 Likes

This is really great!

I like to imagine Karzahni as a stepfather who’s trying to get used to his daughter and visa-versa… Well, if the stepfather was an insanely powerful and powerfully insane being of chaos with plans to use said child.

2 Likes

Chapter 6: Mr. Blue Sky

It’s been seven months.

And while Karzahni wasn’t one to brag, he had to admit; he’s been doing a pretty good job.
In these past months, he finally managed to get Voriki back to a mostly normalized state; she was talking to him without flinching, she walked around leisurely and unafraid. His lightning matoran was… comfortable.
It was a success.

Though, it was certainly an interesting journey getting here…

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

“You… want me to get rid of my tentacles.”
Voriki sheepishly nods.
Karzahni, in his smaller size, peers down at his lower body. A mass of green tentacles coil around each other, holding his body in a proper standing position.
“But I’m quite fond of my tendrils. I can grab onto multiple objects, they offer me great dexterity, they can do many things-”
Voriki winces, “Like throwing me at the wall?”
The Great Being pauses.
“Oh. Right, that completely slipped my mind. My apologies once again.”
Karzahni erects his torso so his tentacles stretch to their tips. As if they had their own sentience, they coil around one another tightly into two groups beneath his lower torso. They clench together until they smear into one solid limb; then like the budding flowers of a nightmarish summer, bone-like plates emerge from the skin to encase the newly formed limbs into an exoskeleton.
Karzahni taps his clawed-like feet on the stone floor, adjusting to his new appendages. He glances at Voriki.
“Haven’t been bipedal in over a century. Feels a bit weird, but I can get used to it.”
He stretches out his right leg, then bends it. A wave of nausea washes over the lightning matoran as joints pop and crack as he moves his leg.
Karzahni notices her disgust, “Look, listen. Compared to Ekimu and Makuta, I got the short stick for looking like a respectable Great Being. However, it’s grown on me over the years so now I enjoy it as part of my chaotic aesthetic.”
Voriki gives him a look, “So… what you’re saying is that you’re gross on purpose.”

“I’m saying that gives me a unique look and an array of special abilities.”

“So you’re gross on purpose.”

Karzahni groans in annoyance. He eyes the lightning matoran, catching the slightest smirk creep on her face.
“Are you being snarky with me? I thought you were too traumatized to be capable of this nonsense. If you’re fine then I’ll just change back…”
Karzahni almost sputters a laugh as Voriki panics and begs him to keep the changes. Quite a whiplash of a mood.
And he, being the good eldritch horror that he is, keeps the requested changes anyway.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|
KA-KRACK

Fragments of a stone pillar scatter around the room, dust sprinkling on the floor. Voriki coughs as she waves away the cloud of debris flowing around her. Her hands tingle as the remaining electricity dies away.
Karzahni shakes his head, leaning against the wall with fatigue.
“Again, you’re outputting too much raw power. While you’ve become more precise with conducting lightning into one bolt, it would be useless if you’ve exhausted yourself after two strikes.”
Voriki half chuckles as she plops herself to the floor.
“I was thinking” she pants, “that could just blow them away with one massive burst. Just yell ‘EXPLOSION!’ and blow enemies away.”
“And then what? You’d be so worn out you couldn’t move.”
She falls to her back, giving a long sigh. She stares at the curved stone ceiling above her.
“Well, I guess you’d have to carry me back then.”
Voriki hears her impromptu teacher let out a sigh of discontent. A big grin plasters itself on her face.

Karzahni observes his lightning matoran slowly pick herself up to try again. He points to another stone pillar and watches her summon electricity around her arms.
He has to admit, training her to better use her powers was a stroke of unintentional genius on Karzahni’s part (as per usual, of course). As Voriki points two fingers at the pillar, he can see excitement once again build up on her face. Training really was a nice outlet for her.
Incidentally, training provided some comfort to him as well. As her teacher and nearby onlooker, he could analyze her techniques and her capabilities.

And…

The flash of lightning illuminates the scar on his hand.

And to make sure I find a way to defend myself.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|
The dome-like structure of Karzahni’s citadel housed many different rooms for various purposes. Of course there was the main hall, the holding wing, the archival and observation rooms in the keep’s multiple spires.
But there were many rooms and halls that remained a mystery to Voriki. So on most days, when she wasn’t training or talking with the abnormal deity, Voriki would explore the various hallways in attempts to find something interesting.
On this day, she had stumbled upon a rather unique sight. The stone corridor she had followed today led to a rather open room. Shockingly, there was a circular hole that poured natural light into the chamber, washing away the sickly grays and greens with a soft and relaxing blue tint. At the center of the room was a shallow pool; a fountain gently poured perfectly transparent water out of the various holes from its coral-like structure. Now that Voriki was looking around, it appeared the entire room was built (or grown?) like a big rocky reef. She timidly approaches the pool; the smooth stone floor was more perilous than she initially thought.
“Wouldn’t think Karzahni would have something like this in his place,” Voriki hums to herself. “What does he use this room for?”
She stands at the pools edge, peering down at the water. Her reflection stares back at her, bright blue eyes filled with curiosity. She tentatively tips her foot into the water; upon concluding that the liquid wasn’t going to melt her foot or become conscious, she walks further into the pool.
Finding a suitable spot, the matoran lowers her torso into the pool, her head and shoulders still breaching the surface. Instantly, her body seems to relax; her once sore forearms from training became as loose as the water around her. Her eyelids fall shut, and she gives a drawn out sigh of comfort.
“So glad I found this place,” Voriki murmurs softly to herself. “Why is this water so comfortable…”
“Because it is actually a substance known as galvanized protodermis, which-”

Teal eyes flash open.

Voriki whirls around towards the sound of the voice.

Standing a few feet from her is a figure she’s never seen before. The figure looked similar to a female matoran like herself, but not quite. The stranger had a more slender form compared to hers, her limbs almost skeletal. The greenish matoran(?) donned an elongated pointed mask, and behind it sprouted long flowing hair that swayed in a non-existent breeze.
But the eyes. Voriki felt herself almost trapped within the sharp glaze, the heterochromatic red and green eyes glowed with danger, yet hinted at a feeling of curiosity. The stranger chuckled in amusement, revealing pointed teeth; but Voriki couldn’t help but stare into-

Wait, her mind politely interjects, we’ve seen those eyes before.

The brows above the lightning matoran’s eyes begin to burrow as she realizes that the bonelike platings on the strangers limbs seemed familiar, or that the mask’s shape recalled certain memories; or how the “hair” on the female being’s head moved on their own like tentacles.

Realization smashes into Voriki as if she were getting tossed into the walls again.

Though at this point she really wouldn’t mind it-

“K-karzahni!?” she squeaks in abject horror and confusion, sparks unconsciously flying off her now raised hands.
The once mysterious being raises a clawed hand up to stifle her laughs.
“Of course it is I, Karzahni. There’s no one else within these citadel walls but you and me.”
Voriki’s eyes flick about the room, trying to avert her gaze.
“What- what are you- why- why are you- why are you a-?”
Karzahni chuckles, “Relax, Voriki. Let me explain.”
The female Great Being gracefully enters the pool, her long limbs barely breaking the surface tension of the protodermis.
“You see, I came up with an interesting hypothesis. If I were to take on a form similar to yourself, then wouldn’t that truly put you at ease? Instead of being in my normal form?”
Voriki’s eyes are plastered to the protodermis pool.
“I even changed my voice too to a singular, feminine timbre. Honestly the hardest part for me to get correct. Now tell me…”
The lightning matoran’s body freezes up as a pointed finger gently lifts her chin.
Karzahni’s mask is almost inches away from her. Beneath her mask, Voriki’s cheeks flare up.

“… what do you think?”

There’s a flash, and within a moment Voriki propels herself out of the pool with a burst of electricity and lands near the entrance. The matoran is stuttering and screaming and laughing and honestly Karzahni has no idea what emotion she’s trying to convey.
“I’MGOINGTOARCHIVESPIREI’LLSEEYOULATERORNOTORNEVERAGAINHAHAHA-”
Lightning crackles from her feet and she blasts away down the corridor, her incoherent noises echoing around the room.
Karzahni, dilated pupils and tentacle hair frozen in place, slowly sinks into the galvanized protodermis.
“Well then. That was certainly… unexpected.”
The deity taps her finger against her chin in contemplation.
“I guess I have made a mistake. It appears Voriki has great aversion towards other female matoran. I’ll make a mental note of that when we get to the second stage…”
Karzahni sighs. She should probably change back and go find Voriki before the flustered matoran flash-steps through a wall…
But instead she closes her eyes and rests her head against the coral fountain.

Sometimes, even Great Beings need a break.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|
“What are your brothers like?”
The question seemingly comes out of nowhere. The God of Causality and Chaos doesn’t look towards the matoran relaxing on the observation spire’s floor; Karzahni’s mission for the day was reorganizing whatever notes or analytics he took while watching the stars far above them. And he’d be cursed if it wasn’t going to be finished today.
Voriki tagged along with him, which is perfectly fine; he expected her to satiate her curiosity at the astral tools scattered around his observatory, or ask about the constellations he had charted a while back.
But this?
“I believe I told you about them before,” he states matter-of-factly. “Ekimu is the God of Creation, and Makuta is the God of Control. Both Great Beings like myself who watch over the island of Ar-”
Voriki shakes her head, “No no, I know who they are; I’m asking what they’re like.”
Karzahni absentmindedly clicks his mandibles as he thinks over her question.
“What are they like…”

Karzahni frowns. What are they like? He’d never really gave it much thought; Ekimu and Makuta were ever present constants in his life since his very beginning. How would he actually characterize them?
Well… Ekimu was annoying, right? Always complaining about being restricted in some way or another. However, the same could be said about Makuta; overbearing, trying to supervise and dictate every action any of them did… Well Makuta was a powerful figure, but then again they were all powerful figures…
“Karzahni,” Voriki interrupts, “your head is going to catch fire.”

The Great Being snaps out of his wandering train of thought. He gives a long exhale and furrows his eyebrows.
Sensing his growing frustration, Voriki sits up from the floor.
“Think like… what do you think about each brother, specifically? Like, what makes them who they are?”
Karzahni sits there for a moment, brow still furrowed. Voriki is about to tell him not to worry about it when he finally speaks again.
“Ekimu… is a… an optimistic, yet naive being. He’s like a child; always curious of the world around him and wanting to be part of it. He doesn’t like being held back; he’s a very creative mind. He can be a nuisance, but he has a good heart.”
He pauses, giving an expectant glance at the lightning matoran. She gives a kind look in return, encouraging for him to continue.
“Makuta… likes to be in charge. Likes to oversee everything and be in control of everything. He rarely talks to either me or Ekimu unless he wants to correct something. But… I think he cares about us, or Ekimu at least. He wants to do what’s best for not only us, but the world around us.”

Voriki nods thoughtfully, “I see…What about you? Do you care about them too?”

Karzahni glances to the side, avoiding the matoran’s piercing blue eyes.

“I…”

The Great Being’s head pounds as something clenches within his chest.
Something hurts inside him.

“…I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|
And here we are today.

Voriki takes a deep breath and slowly takes a battle stance. Ahead of her are a number of wooden targets hung to a stone wall.
Between the targets and Voriki stands Karzahni, a long wooden spear over his shoulder.
“Remember; the goal is to destroy the ten targets on the wall within a minute’s time, all the while avoiding being hit by the spear.”
Voriki’s body tenses up, electricity beginning to crackle around her forearms.

“Ready? Begin.”

Instantly she points both arms forward. Twin arches of lightning blasts over Karzahni’s head and decimate two of the targets. Before the debris can even hit the floor the two beings are already moving; Karzahni and Voriki sprinting towards each other, complete concentration etched onto their faces.
Karzahni swings the spear towards her head, but the matoran quickly slides underneath the pole and launches another burst behind him.
Another target falls to the floor.
Karzahni lashes out a clawed foot behind him, knocking back Voriki. She rolls into her stumble and lands in crouched position. Already the Chaos God is on her, spear swung to her head. Before it makes contact, she catches the wooden shaft and pulls her body off the floor. As she arches over the pole, she swings her legs out and strikes Karzahni’s face. As he recoils from the hits, she lands to the floor and raises her arm. A large blast of electricity travels to the wall and shatters a bunch of targets.
Three more.
At least thirty seconds left.

Karzahni, recovered from her blow, twirls the spear around before pointing the tip at her.
“Not bad.”
And Voriki ducks as the spear jabs the spot her head once was, and she strafes back as he continues to thrust the pole arm in her direction.
I have to get him off me, she thinks to herself. What can I…
The spear moves faster and faster-

Aha!

Electricity gathers at her feet, and she leaps into the air…

And lands on the spear.
Karzahni’s eyes grow wide.
Before he can react, she fires off another volley of lightning bolts.
Three.
Two.

And the last target crumbles into a burning heap.

The two stay where they are for a moment, Voriki panting through an almost smug grin.
Finally Karzahni lowers the spear and chuckles.
“Congratulations, you have succeeded.”

She smiles and steps off the spear.
“So… now what? What’s next?”
Karzahni, with his eyes glinting with an elusive glint of excitement, gives Voriki a devious grin.

“Now Voriki… we enter the second phase.”

Voriki’s smile slightly wavers, “The second phase? What’s that?”
Karzahni giggles, clasping his hands together and bouncing with energy.
“The second phase! Finally the second phase! The second phase of this entire endeavor Voriki; you should be very proud!”
Some of Voriki’s optimism returns, “So… what happens in the second phase?”
“You see,” explains the excited god, “The second phase consists of-”

“- matoran, and creating a new home!”

A cold shiver runs through Voriki.
What…
What just happened?

“I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

Karzahni tilts his head, “I said, the second phase consists of the construction of-”
Suddenly Karzahni is a few feet to the right of her, his index finger pointed upward like he made a profound statement. He’s giving her an expectant glace.
“What… what’s happening?” Voriki whispers, panic seeping through her body.
Karzahni lowers his arm, “Is something wrong, Voriki?”
Her eyes are wide in fear.
“It’s like… things are skipping… like time is-”
She stumbles forward.

And suddenly… she’s alone.

Karzahni is gone.

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Chapter 7: The Court of the Crimson King

“Now Voriki… we enter the second phase.”

He notices his matoran’s smile shifts a smidge towards uncertainty, but doesn’t comment on it.
“The second phase? What’s that?”
He can’t help but snicker in absolute delight. What happens in the second phase? The entire point of this exhaustive undertaking, the end goal of all of his experiments and research on matoran and elements…
“The second phase! Finally the second phase! The second phase of this entire endeavor Voriki; you should be very proud!”
That was a true compliment. Despite all the testing, the violence, the headaches; Voriki had blown away his expectations. Even if she once had the drive to destroy every atom of Karzahni’s being, he had taken a liking towards Voriki and her tenacity. Sure; few hiccups here and there, but she did it.

“So… what happens in the second phase?”

Karzahni is usually a calm and collected being; sure an outburst would occur on occasion, but the God of Chaos could keep his emotions under control.
(The irony was not lost on him either.)
But for this moment, all of his precautions and filters fell away against the onslaught of excitement that practically gushed past his mandibles. Sure, the passing of time was hardly felt by the Great Being, but for the first time in his deific existence did the many months of work tear away at his patience. Many days spent secluded on his private isle, in his secret citadel, slaving away on an idea that would’ve been considered foolish by anyone. Dozens of his brother’s beloved pets kidnapped and torn apart; reborn as twelve different failures that only fueled his ambition further-
-and now there’s Voriki, the thirteenth attempt; defied all the odds, a paragon of his ideas come to life and living proof that Karzahni wasn’t on a madman’s journey.
Though, as he unloads his excitement onto the matoran, the Great Being can’t help but notice that Voriki has had little reaction to anything he was saying. A slight tension builds within his chest.
“- matoran, and creating a new home!” Karzahni finishes.
Voriki stiffens sharply.
“I’m sorry, can you repeat that?” she asks, her voice small.

Karzahni gives an inward sigh, slightly disappointed. A majority of his vigor went with his first explanation; having to repeat it all again kind of takes the fun out of things.
However, the confused look she’s giving him convinces the deity that another bout of exposition wouldn’t hurt.
But as he recites his elaborate plan to Voriki, the matoran seems to… space out, for lack of a better word. No indication that she was listening to anything Karzahni was saying.
Maybe it sounds boring? Perhaps I should give this explanation some dramatic flair.
As he talks to Voriki, he begins to gesture with his arms in almost a comedic fashion. Despite the growing tugging sensation in his chest, the Great Being performs an erratic dance of sorts to his monologue.
As he reaches the end, he does a twirl and defiantly points to the unseen stars above him.
He glances to the matoran-

There’s finally a reaction, but it’s not one he’s expecting.
Fear is etched onto Voriki’s face, panic seeping into her blue eyes.
“What… what is happening?”
It’s not his explanation or his ridiculous body language.
No, something was seriously awry.
Karzahni lowers his arm, “Is something wrong, Voriki?”
Her eyes are wide in fear.
“It’s like… things are skipping… like time is-”

Then he feels it.
There’s a sharp tug within his chest, like some unseen force yanked his torso back. An elusive feeling of dread seeps into the Great Being.
What is… what is this?
He now notices Voriki has stopped moving.

At all.

The matoran’s mouth is still open, stuck trying to explain the strange phenomenon that was occurring. No breathing, no eye movement; it as if she were frozen.
And her purple platings. They seemed… diluted, leaning towards a grayish color.

What is going on.
What is going on.
WHAT IS GOING-
Karzahni shakes his head furiously.

No, stop panicking. You do not panic, you are always on top of everything. Analyze the situation.

The room he and Voriki are in has also become diluted in color. So whatever was causing this unusual event was at least encompassing the training hall. Though judging by how quiet it’s become, it was likely a much larger range. There was also no sign of a foreign presence in the citadel; thus if any being was behind this… attack? The closest they could be would be outside on the isle’s rocky cliffs.
Now for Voriki.
Karzahni carefully makes his way around the matoran. However, even with simple movements like walking, the odd sensation buried in his chest constricts him with every step. With a hiss of irritation, he pushes the feelings to the side and studies Voriki. His eyes dart all over her body, looking for some deviation.
No… whatever this is, it’s not directly connected to her, the Great Being concludes. But that doesn’t do much to explain what’s going on.
Tentatively, he touches her shoulder.

No response.

Is she stuck? Can she be moved?

With a little force, Karzahni gives Voriki’s back a shove,

For a moment, Voriki looks like she’s about to fall- but before gravity can take hold, her body slows to a crawl before stopping mid-fall.

So her body can be moved by an external force; however once removed, the effect returns…

Karzahni sighs. He didn’t want to resort to this; he would rather deal with this problem himself. But time was something he hated to waste.
He’ll have to consult his brothers.
He strides to the exit, slowly reverting back to his true form.

Time is something I hate to waste.

Wings unfurl from his back as he goes under the archway.

Time…

He freezes.

Time.

Karzahni slowly peers back at the frozen form of Voriki, his pupils slowly becoming smaller with panic.
“If this is what I think it is,” the deity whispers to himself, “then we might be in serious trouble.”

With a final lingering glance at his favorite creation, he propels himself down the corridor to the citadel’s exit.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

“Yes, this is a huge problem,” mutters the eldritch god.

Karzahni soars over the now frozen sea towards the massive island of Artakha, mandibles clicking with agitation. While the waters north of the island were more frigid, the waves were frozen not by ice, but trapped within their surging movements. Heck, even the few flying Rahi Karzahni soared past were pinned into the air, blissfully unaware of their entrapments.

Time has stopped.

As a Great Being, he and his brothers had lay witness to many unusual events; after all, the duties of god-like beings were almost completely based in the unimaginable. Creating life, molding worlds, remarkable miracles; commonplace errands of the three brothers. But the passage of time had an unspoken sacredness, never touched upon by any of the brothers. Of course, Karzahni had occasionally theorized how to go about time-traveling, but he wasn’t an idiot. Time-travel only brought headaches and endless, looping consequences.

And honestly? Makuta and Ekimu were probably too stupid to even consider about how time-travel worked.
Though as he approaches the Palace of the Great Beings, a nagging sensation creeps into his mind. His brothers were all-powerful beings, sure; but this was something new. Unknown. And now, Karzahni can’t help but feel slightly concerned for the Creator and the Overseer.

He lands on the balcony of the main hall and rushes inside. His many eyes scan his surroundings, searching for his brothers.

“Ekimu? Makuta?” he calls out.

Then, a tug in his chest.

Color seeps into his surroundings, the sounds of wildlife crescendo back to life as a weight is lifted off Karzahni’s chest.

Time has resumed.

And as he peers down the main hall, he spots his two brothers. A sense of relief fills Karzahni. He scurries towards them.
“Ekimu, Makuta! What has-”

Something isn’t right.

Makuta, the immovable giant, is hunched over panting. For the first time in Karzahni’s life with his controlling brother, he has never seen this level of concern etched on Makuta’s face.
And Ekimu… looked different.
The God of Creation always donned his Mask of Creation, as he and his brothers all wore masks corresponding to their powers. But the mask on Ekimu’s face was one unbeknownst to him. It had a half disc-like shape covering the top portion of Ekimu’s head, and was arrayed with a plethora of strange symbols. The strangest part, however, was how the mask contorted the light around itself, making it appear almost blurry. As Karzahni got closer, he could make out tiny stands of light criss-crossing over the mask.
Makuta turns towards Ekimu, “It seems that I have limited movement while time is stopped. For some reason, you are more susceptible to the…”
Makuta’s voice trails off as he finally notices his third brother approach them. His eyes narrow.
“Makuta, is something wrong?” Ekimu asks. “Is there someone there?”
Karzahni stops a few feet from his brothers and crosses his arms in frustration.
“And here I was thinking that you two didn’t have the brains to figure this stuff out,” he says, with a twinge of annoyance. “Explain yourselves; what is that mask, and why does it exist?”
Ekimu’s head jerks towards Karzahni’s direction, as if he were spooked by his presence.
“K-Karzahni! When did you arrive?!”
The Chaos God raises an eyebrow in skepticism; though before he can voice his confusion, Makuta straightens himself up and points to Ekimu’s new mask.
“While using the mask, we have found that the user loses all visual ability, as well as a decent proportion of hearing,” Makuta says. “They can only see the realm within the mask.”
Karzahni gives the two a blank stare, as thoughts race through his mind. Were his brothers not aware of what just happened? The sheer scope of power that this object wielded?
“Did you… find this mask?”
He had an inclination of the answer already, but for once he wanted to be wrong.
“No,” admits Ekimu, who now has removed the time mask, “I created it.”
Karzahni glances at Makuta, his tentacles anxiously twisting around him.
At this point, Makuta would be giving a scolding lecture about being cautious of what Ekimu created; or hell, he would’ve destroyed the mask already.
But the giant was all but silent.
“Makuta, you have nothing to say? No complaints? No concerns over this very dangerous artifact that Ekimu has created?”
“Why should I? The Vahi was not a surprise for me; we created the mask together.”

The Vahi? So the mask has a name; wonderful. It’s like the two idiots before him were oblivious to what they just-
Then it hits him.
Karzahni feels a strange sensation in his chest, a foreign feeling that was completely new for him.
“You two… collaborated on this project?”
“Indeed.”
His chest gets slightly tighter.
“And… you decided to exclude me? To not tell me?”
“You… you weren’t around,” says Ekimu, “and if… I mean we would’ve wanted… we would’ve…”
The stammering Great Being doesn’t make eye contact with his brother.

Karzahni’s head is pounding; he’s not exactly sure what he’s feeling, but whatever it is he’s not familiar with it and it’s making it difficult to think. He feels his mandibles open wider and wider, tentacles uncoiling and spines flaring up; an aggressive display.
But it didn’t make sense. He’s been angry and frustrated many times before; why is this situation making him react in such an unusual way? Why is his chest so tight? Why did it feel like his head is swelling under pressure?

Distressed, Ekimu pulls himself back as Makuta steps forward.
“Ekimu. You mentioned you wanted to see how your water tribe was progressing. Take your leave while I… placate our brother’s temper.”
Makuta and Karzahni lock eyes with one another, daring for the other to make a move. Ekimu takes his brother’s cue and hurriedly leaves the palace. The footsteps fade away as the remaining brothers glare daggers at each other.
It would be a tense moment of silence between them; if only Karzahni’s head wasn’t pounding along with the subtle hissing emerging from his throat.
Finally, Makuta sighs and breaks the fatal staring contest. He strides over to an opening archway, with a clear view of the mountains around them.
“Honestly now Karzahni; you, a tantrum?” says Makuta, with a tone akin to a parent scolding a child. “You’re embarrassing yourself.”
Karzahni doesn’t budge, “Why did you create the Vahi? For what purpose?”
“For insurance. In case something goes awry, with the Matoran or those elemental gods. We will have the power to undo our mistakes.”

The God of Chaos tenses up, eyes widening.
“… the mask does more than stop time?”
Makuta stands comfortably in the following silence, but Karzahni doesn’t need confirmation. It only makes sense that the mask could alter aspects of time; but to what degree was a mystery. A mystery that he will not be getting answers to anytime soon.

“… Your idea? Or Ekimu’s?"
“He accidentally discovered how to see our timeline; with my aid we refined it, under the pretense that the Vahi would be utilized as a safeguard.”

Another hiss slips out past Karzahni’s teeth. Of course they discovered how to manipulate the very fabric of time by sheer luck. Honestly, dumb luck would be more fitting term for them.
“I still cannot fathom why you idiots withheld this information from me!”
That was his most pressing issue. The Vahi was undoubtedly the most powerful creation any of the Great Beings ever conceived, so why didn’t either of them say anything?
Makuta turns to him-

-and there’s a smirk on his face.

A small one, almost unnoticeable, but it’s there.

Karzahni’s hissing morphs into a low growl, and he feels his body elongate and grow in size.
Soon, he’s looking down at his formerly giant brother. His jaws thrash in anger, clawed hands clenched into fists.
“YOU’RE PITIFUL, MAKUTA! YOUR PATHETIC VENDETTA AGAINST ME WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR DUTY AS A GREAT BEING?! YOU WOULD RATHER I LAY IN IGNORANCE OF AN ARTIFACT THAT CAN BEND THE LAWS OF TIME ITSELF!?”
His massive tentacles push against the stone walls, cracking under the building pressure. Vitriolic anger vibrate through Karzahni’s skull; his calculated coolness succumbing to the building rage.
“AND EVEN WORSE!” he seethes to his nonchalant brother, “YOU DECIDED TO FORCE EKIMU INTO THIS COLLUSION! DRAG OUR NAIVE BROTHER INTO YOUR SCHEMES LIKE THE SHAMELESS, POWER-HUNGRY CONTROL FREAK YOU ARE!! HOW DARE YOU STAND BEFORE ME AS IF YOU HAD ANY FIBER OF DIGNITY LEFT IN YOUR BEING!!”

Makuta is unfazed by Karzahni’s outburst. He calmly walks over and stops a foot away from his brother’s monstrous form. He softly chuckles and looks Karzahni dead in the eye:

“It was Ekimu’s idea not to tell you. He doesn’t trust you anymore.”

As soon as the words leave the Overseer’s mouth, all of Karzahni’s aggression evaporates and leaves behind numbness. Confusion crosses his face as his mind tries to register what his brother just stated to him.
Makuta’s smirk returns to his serious demeanor as he returns to his position near the archway.
“You seem shocked. I don’t know why; you should have known this would happen. But of course, you always underestimated Ekimu.”
Karzahni begins to shrink down; he opens and closes his mouth, trying to speak but unable to find his voice.
“As much as I enjoy your confusion, I am obliged to explain on behalf of our brother wishes.”
He continues to stare out into the scenery, watching the twin suns slowly fall towards the horizon. The landscape is basking in a warm orange glow.
“He knows you’ve been taking matoran. He doesn’t know what for, but I can guess they’re either all dead or maimed, correct?”
Karzahni remains silent.
“Are you aware of how many you took? Ekimu verified who was missing from each village; the total number is around sixty matoran. That many matoran don’t disappear naturally.”
The only sound is the soft breeze blowing for the archway.
“You betrayed Ekimu’s trust; the brother he asks to keep an eye out for his missing people is the one behind it all; it’s frankly abhorrent.”
There’s no response. Makuta exhales, almost as if having to explain everything was exhausting.
“You know, my unfortunate brother, I can’t help but find your previous rant quite hypocritical. I wonder how you stood before us with any dignity, knowing you yourself were a selfish, lying, egotistical monster. You assumed that your intellect was invincible, that Ekimu was too simple and gullible to catch on to your schemes. For this past year, you placed yourself on a pedestal that you believed was indomitable; but all you’ve done is reveal your true colors.”
Makuta turns to his brother, disappointment etched upon his face.
“Pretend to be better than us; pretend to be untouchable and above consequences. Pretend to be unmatched in intellect and planning. But know this outcome is the price you pay for assuming you actually were.”
With that, Makuta heads down the hallway, towards the direction Ekimu fled towards. Karzahni, now smaller than he once was, watches Makuta’s hulking frame travel further and further. The heavy footsteps echo in the distance, before they too disappear. The hall is drenched in the crimson color of the fading suns, but Karzahni remains motionless.
Finally, he finds his voice.
“… I should return to the citadel. Make sure Voriki is okay.”
His chest hurts, his head is throbbing. His limbs don’t feel entirely in his control. And yet, all these pains and feelings remained unnamed to the God of Chaos.

Did he feel remorse? He wasn’t sure.
Was the Vahi out of his reach? For now at least.

… Would Ekimu forgive him?

Karzahni didn’t want to know the answer to that.

|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

It is night on Artakha.
The Overseer and Creator sit on the massive staircase leading to the palace. Firebugs dance around them, their soft glow illuminating the brothers.

“Makuta?”
“Hm?”
“… I… I’m glad you told me the truth about Karzahni and what he was… doing…”
Makuta side glances his brother.
“… but?”
Ekimu turns to him, “Was it right to keep him away from the Vahi? I’m not… I’m angry that he went behind my back but…”
“Trust me Ekimu. It was necessary for our brother to realize his mistakes, and he must learn that actions have consequences.”
Ekimu sheepish nods, “I guess so.”
Makuta chuckles.

“Do not fear, brother. It will all work out in the end.”

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I really like how you flesh out Karzahni and Voriki here. It’s a nice detail to have him distracted randomly as a result of his mask. I find that refreshing because usually writers would write him as “evil laughing InSaNe murder doing something crazy” so I like how you chose to be more realistic with his mental illness. And I like the father-daughter dynamic you wrote with Voriki. I find it interesting how the chapters are named after songs but other than that I’d like to see what you come up next.

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