BIONICLE Fanfiction Story: Surrender or Run

UPDATE
Chapter 18 is here!


Chapter 18
Turaga Vakama’s Diary

Kopaka had tried to process the newly arrived information in his head, but it was just too much to take in. Revelations upon revelations, all being uncovered in a few dusty pages of a long-lost notebook.

First, it was Vakama’s condition, and now it’s … it’s … , Kopaka began to think. He finished the rest of his thought in spoken words.

“If Vakama had received a mental message while sitting at Tahu’s statue …” he began. Suddenly, a thought, however unlikely it may be, began to cross his mind.

“Is … is … is Tahu alive?” he said out loud.

There’s no way, Kopaka thought to himself with a tinge of sadness. He’s been dead for two years, and he even has a tomb to himself. He’s supposedly interred in the New Atero War Heroes Cemetery … , but is he?

Kopaka gently closed the book and cradled his head in his hands. He bent over the desk, and closed his eyes in a pensive state.

Marendar’s blast was powerful enough to raze the whole of New Atero to the ground in one sitting, Kopaka thought. The Golden Armor was only supposed to work to an extent, how did Tahu survive such a powerful blast? No, I cannot believe it. As much as it pains me and goes against my conscience to say this, I think Turaga Vakama was lying. Still, I have to find out more. It’s too early to make any assumptions.

Kopaka lifted his head apprehensively and slowly opened the book, flipping past pages with stains of teardrops. He adjusted the brightness of his desktop lamp and began to read.


Entry 3, 10/19/4010

What?

Is this really happening?

Am I really experiencing this? Am I really awake? Or is this one of life’s cruel jokes?

No.

There’s no way in Mata Nui this is happening.

But is it?

I don’t know.

Will I ever know?

So many questions are racing through my mind at this particular instant. I do not know what to make of this anymore, of life.

It’s too good to be true, but is it?

Is it just a coincidence I managed to have a hallucination while sitting in front of Tahu’s statue?

Or … did the impossible just become possible?

Is Tahu, the long lost Toa Nuva of Fire, … alive?

4 Likes

ooo short but sweet!
nice work!

Ooh this is very intriguing…
I’ll be interested for future chapters…

Alternate universe Tahu? If so, it’s Vezon’s fault…
Nice work on this story!

So, just as a cool experiment, I wanted to see how the story would turn out if I let an AI do the job instead of me. I fed NovelAI everything I had so far, 18.5 chapters, and allowed it to continue the story. It gets really weird!

There was a table set up with several items laid out on it. There were two vials, one of them containing green liquid, the other red. Next to the vials was a small bowl of what appeared to be a reddish-brown substance, which Kopaka assumed to be a mixture of the two liquids.
Kopaka moved towards the table and examined each item in turn.
A piece of paper with a diagram of the mask on it.
A small container filled with a green liquid, labeled as Vakama’s serum.
And lastly, a glass vial of red liquid, labeled as Turaga Dume’s serum.
Kopaka stared at the diagram of the mask for some time, then grabbed the paper and tore it in half.
Why would they want to keep this a secret? Why?
Kopaka placed the pieces of paper back together and read the words again.
“Vakama’s serum: A concoction of the green and red liquids, used to revive Toa Vakama from his coma."
Kopaka let out a sigh of relief. That explains why they wanted to keep this a secret. It also explained how they revived him after his battle with Marendar. It must have been the combination of the two substances that allowed him to wake up.
I can see why they didn’t want anyone to know about this, Kopaka thought. They were afraid that the public would panic and try to use the formula themselves.
Kopaka then looked at the bowl of red liquid, and noticed that it was empty. He then looked at the vials, and realized that there was no way for him to know what the contents of the vials were. If the formula was so simple, then it shouldn’t be too hard for him to replicate it.
“The blueprints,” Kopaka said to himself. “That’s where I’ll start. I need the blueprints of the mask.”
Kopaka began to rummage through the drawers in the desk, looking for anything related to the Mask of Life. He found a small box of papers inside one of the drawers, and began sifting through it.
After a while, Kopaka found what he was looking for. He picked up the blueprints of the Mask of Life, and looked at it closely. He memorized every detail of the mask, and kept it close to his chest.
Now all I need is a place to experiment with this stuff, Kopaka thought.
Kopaka took out his Cendox and began to search for a suitable location.
He decided on the place where the Great Volcano erupted, near the base of the mountain. He brought his bike to the foot of the volcano and locked it to a nearby tree. Then, he started climbing up the side of the volcano, using the large rocks as footholds.
When he got to the top of the volcano, he looked around the area. It was dark, and the only light came from the stars in the sky.
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, Kopaka thought. This will give me plenty of time to test out the serum without anyone seeing me.
Kopaka began to climb down the side of the volcano, heading towards the base. He passed by several caves along the way, but none of them seemed appropriate for his needs.
Finally, Kopaka reached the base of the volcano. He was exhausted from climbing all day, and he needed to rest. So, he decided to lie down next to the edge of the crater, where the lava had flowed over the land.
Kopaka sat up on his knees, and looked at the moon in the night sky.
I should probably stay here for a while, Kopaka thought. I can’t risk being spotted by someone else.
He lay down on the ground and closed his eyes.
The next thing Kopaka knew, it was morning.
He woke up with a start, and looked around the crater.
Where am I? Kopaka wondered. I must have fallen asleep here during the night.
Kopaka got up off the ground and stretched. He felt refreshed, but was still tired from the previous day’s climb.
Kopaka began to walk around the crater, searching for something to eat. After some time, he found a few berries growing in the crater, and picked them.
“Ah, these taste great!” Kopaka exclaimed. “They’re like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.”
Kopaka munched on the berries as he continued to look for a place to sleep. Eventually, he found a cave that seemed to be a perfect fit for him. He climbed up the side of the cliff, and entered the cave.
The cave was dark, but Kopaka didn’t mind. In fact, he preferred it this way. The cave was relatively big, with a large opening on one end. The walls were smooth and rounded, and Kopaka could hear the sound of running water coming from somewhere deep inside.
Kopaka looked around the cave and saw that it was quite spacious. There were several shelves built into the wall, and Kopaka thought it would be a good idea to bring some food and supplies with him.
Kopaka began to look around for some supplies, when he heard a voice calling out to him from behind.
“Hello?” Kopaka asked.
“Who’s there?!”
Kopaka turned around and saw a figure standing at the entrance of the cave. The figure was tall, with a long, dark cape covering their body. The figure was wearing a mask, which Kopaka recognized as the same one that he wore during his time as a Toa of Fire.
“Tahu!” Kopaka exclaimed.
“I thought I heard your voice,” Tahu said. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine. But who are you?”
“My name is Tahu,” Tahu replied. “You don’t remember me?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Kopaka said. “But we do share something in common.”
“What do you mean?”
“We both have the mask of fire.”
“That’s right,” Tahu said. “You must be Kopaka. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.”
“Wait, wait,” Kopaka said. “How did you know my name? What happened to the others? How did you know about the mask?”
“All will be explained soon,” Tahu said. “Let’s go somewhere more private.”
Kopaka followed Tahu out of the cave, and into the forest. As they walked deeper into the woods, Kopaka became more and more suspicious of Tahu.
Tahu led Kopaka to a large clearing in the middle of the forest. Kopaka looked around, and saw that the entire clearing was covered in snow.
“Where are we?” Kopaka asked.
“I brought us here,” Tahu said. “I wanted to show you something.”
“Show me what?”
“This,” Tahu said, pointing at the ground.
Kopaka knelt down and picked up a small object lying on the ground. It was a tiny crystal, shaped like a star.
“What is this?” Kopaka asked.
“It’s a seed,” Tahu said. “The seed of a plant called a Meloetta.”
“Meloetta?” Kopaka repeated. “Isn’t that the Pokémon from Earth?”
“Yes,” Tahu said. “The Meloetta is a Pokemon from the planet Earth.”
“Oh, yeah,” Kopaka said. “I used to collect them.”
“You used to collect them?” Tahu asked. “Why would you do that?”
“Because they were beautiful, of course,” Kopaka said. “I loved the way they looked, and I enjoyed watching them dance.”
“So, you were a collector of Pokémon?” Tahu asked.
“Yes,” Kopaka replied. “But I stopped collecting them when I was given the mask of fire.”
“Why?” Tahu asked.
“Because I wanted to focus on being a Toa of Fire,” Kopaka said. “I didn’t want to get distracted by the beauty of nature anymore.”
“I see,” Tahu said. “Well, this Meloetta is very special to me.”
“Why is that?” Kopaka asked.
“Because it was the last one I collected,” Tahu said. “I couldn’t find any more seeds after that.”
“Then why did you bring it here?” Kopaka asked.
“I brought it here because I wanted to give it to you,” Tahu said. “The last seed I collected was the one that helped me become a Toa of Fire. It gave me the strength I needed to defeat the Galiok.”
“What do you mean?” Kopaka asked.
“I told you already, didn’t I?” Tahu replied. “I became a Toa of Fire because of this seed. And now, I want you to become a Toa of Fire as well.”
Kopaka stared at the seed in his hand. He had never seen a Meloetta before, much less touched one. He didn’t know if he could trust this strange man, but he did feel compelled to accept his offer.
“Alright,” Kopaka said. “I’ll take the seed.”
Tahu smiled at Kopaka, and handed him the seed.
“Thank you,” Kopaka said. “Now, tell me everything you know about the mask.”


Kopaka stared at the blueprints of the Mask of Life. He had memorized every detail of the mask, and was trying to decide which part of the mask he should experiment with first.
“I need to start with the blueprints for the mask itself,” Kopaka said. “Then, I can move onto the blueprints for the mask’s headpiece.”
Kopaka looked at the blueprints and realized that there were many parts of the mask that he needed to experiment with. He decided to start with the mask’s main components: its mask, helmet, and shield.
Kopaka opened up his Cendox and searched for the blueprints for the mask.

2 Likes

this is painfully coherent despite being nonsensical

makes me wonder how NovelAI would handle Book of Dreams…

1 Like

Kopakemon

1 Like

so Kopaka is a Toa of Fire in this twisted reality? interesting.

It’s weird but the story somehow seems to flow, despite not being connected at all to the previous chapters.

that would be fun

Kopaka decided to do drugs and collect Pokemon while wearing the mask of fire :joy:

1 Like

Hello everyone!

Chapter 19 is out! I hope you enjoy! As always, you’re more than welcome to offer feedback on my writing! It helps me grow as a writer!


Chapter 19
(19:00)

Kopaka immediately slammed the book shut, and reached for the keys to his Cendox. He picked up his keys and thrust open the office door, and ran out into the yard.

The engine of the black Cendox flared up to life, and sped down the street. Kopaka was determined to find out for himself the truth of all of this.

His Cendox was an older model, but it still performed its job perfectly. He was able to get to his intended destination in no time, and parked the bike at the cemetery’s gate within five minutes of departing from his office.

Kopaka pulled up his cloak, and froze the lock on the gate with his icy breath. He tapped the lock twice and it shattered into metal shards which fell all over the ground.

Opening the gate made a very loud creaking noise which was sure to attract the attention of the watchman, so Kopaka put on his white Volitak and activated it. He carefully walked in and looked at all the headstones that were on either side of him. The New Atero War Heroes Cemetery was organized based on how recent dead bodies were interred into the graveyard.

Kopaka walked a bit further for some more time, until he found a large mausoleum made of red marble. On the top of the mausoleum was the Unity, Duty, Destiny symbol, and a bust of Tahu’s Kanohi Hau adorned the front face of the grand tomb. Kopaka turned to face the bust and looked straight into its dead, stone eyes.

This is it, Kopaka thought. A bittersweet reunion. With the Toa I least expected to be here. I’ll find out the truth, once and for all. And I’ll find you, wherever you are now.

Kopaka walked up to the golden door and slowly opened it.

Wait.

I’ve never seen this before, Kopaka said to himself. I’ve never seen this.

What Kopaka saw in the room knocked the wind out of his being and left him astonished beyond words.


What Pohatu saw under the dim lamplight in the dark cellar of the morgue shook him to his very core. He had examined Nuhrii’s body, albeit with an uneasy stomach, and managed to pull out a bullet. The wound from which he had pulled it out looked to be the exact same dimensions of the two wounds he observed on Onewa’s mutilated body.

The Toa Nuva of Stone examined the bullet, and the sight of the RCF’s logo emblazoned onto the metallic sheen of the pointed bullet instantly destroyed all his will to continue further.

So. The RCF killed Onewa and Nuhrii. They would not do this on their own. Who is so cruel as to have ordered their demise? What have they done to deserve such a cruel punishment? Pohatu sank to the floor in a fit of despair, relapsing into a wave of sadness.

As bad as this is, this is a key part of the puzzle. Now we know the RCF is playing a role in this madness. But who is controlling them? I need to send this to the others.

Pohatu mustered up the courage to take a look at the dead body of the Ta-Matoran that lay in front of him for one last time, and sent an image of the bullet to the other Toa with the following caption:

“We need to regroup. Now.”


“What?”

Onua and Lewa could not believe their eyes.

Surely the lab reports had to be fake or falsified in any manner. There’s no way this is true. How could have Defilak and Sarda, of all people, managed to pull off such a high profile murder? Lewa struggled to wrap his head around this disturbing fact.

I know both of them personally, there’s no way they could or would have done this. I refuse to believe this lab report. There’s more than what meets the eye here. An inkling of what was really going on started to form in Onua’s mind. This is a conspiracy against everything New Atero stands for. There’s a grand terror plot in the works here, and it may be too late to thwart it now.

Just as they were registering the information into their minds, they received a message from Pohatu. It contained an image of a bullet, and the text:

We need to regroup. Now.

Lewa showed his mobile device to Onua. What they saw shocked them even more. There was no mistaking the fact: it was the RCF emblem, emblazoned in blood red colors, on the bullet which took the life of an innocent Ta-Matoran.

“Our suspicions are confirmed.” Onua came to this sudden realization with a growing sense of dread. “We need to tell Kopaka about this.”


Right in the center of the grand tomb is a coffin with a lid, which both seemed to be made out of pure white marble. The coffin lay in the center of the grand tomb, with the walls and floor made out of the finest quality red marble obtainable in all of New Atero and its surrounding cities. Gold details of Tahu’s life adorned the walls. The sheer appearance of the tomb was enough to momentarily stun even the ever-stoic and emotionless Toa of Ice and rob him of words.

I’ve never seen this. How in Mata Nui did this even --, Kopaka thought in utter amazement, and increasingly frustration.

He felt frustration because he was not notified of Tahu’s funeral until two weeks after it actually happened, and he had no idea Tahu was interred in the cemetery until his fellow Toa had told him about it.

Kopaka cautiously crept towards the coffin, at the same time awaiting and dreading what he was about to see. He steeled himself for what he was about to see, and carefully opened the lid of the marble coffin.

What in Mata Nui?

How – how – is this even possible???

Vakama was right all along???

“Impossible, an empty coffin,” Kopaka breathed, amazement barely contained. “There’s no body inside. Tahu’s alive.”

Right then, he had received an urgent message from Pohatu.

Kopaka opened the image, and took one good look.

How fitting. The RCF insignia is burned onto the bullet in bright crimson letters. The crimson color of the blood shed by the thousands of innocent Matoran and Agori killed by these merciless robots.

Kopaka swiftly exited the graveyard and sped off into the evening.


is it just me or do any of you feel like the quality is going down?

3 Likes

:scream: woah the revelations are getting really intense

Uh I’m really liking how the story’s coming along. I love how you keep mounting suspense, forcing me to wait till the next chapter!

Doesn’t seem that way to me.

Nope - if anything its gone up!

Hello everyone! Chapter 20 just dropped! I hope you enjoy, and as always please do give feedback!


Chapter 20
(19:15)

“This is bad. Very bad.”

Pohatu, Lewa, Kopaka, and Onua were seated in Kopaka’s office as per the Toa of Stone’s request. So far, things are not going good.

“We’ve found all the pieces of the puzzle,” Kopaka began, “except for one thing.”

Who?

The question hung on the tips of each Toa’s tongue, despite not being uttered out loud. It is the final keystone to the Codrex that is the madness swallowing New Atero, and the Toa are running out of time to find it before all hope is lost.

“Our suspicions were confirmed,” Onua said, breaking the silence. “The RCF is in on this plan. They had killed Nuhrii, and they had allowed Sarda to pass with the package containing the bomb.”

“It’s my assumption that the RCF knew the contents of the box, which is why they let Sarda pass as soon as he mentioned that the package was for Turaga Vakama,” Lewa affirmed. “Someone’s controlling the RCF.”

“And that someone is definitely an entity in the government,” Kopaka finished. “How else would have Sarda obtained exploding Kanoka disks? There’s a traitor lurking right under our noses.”

“I’m sure all of us did and thought the same thing, but the forensic reports are fake. Defilak did not do this. Someone planted his fingerprints all over Onewa’s body,” Pohatu said. “We should check on him immediately, and at the very least let him know he’s being framed for a crime. He can get himself a lawyer.”

Just at that moment, a thought came into Kopaka’s mind.

“What if … the person who killed Onewa, the person who planted the fingerprints, and the person who supplied Sarda with the bomb … are all the same?”

“I would not be surprised if that’s truly what happened, Kopaka,” Onua said. “But none of us know what people are like in private. It would be wrong to assume anyone is the traitor without solid evidence.”

“That’s right, but we now know it’s someone with a lot of power. Still, we cannot let our guard down. We have to remain vigilant for clues. There’s not much time left before the elections, and all hell in New Atero could break loose. Someone’s trying to eliminate the Turaga so he can rise to the top, unopposed.”

“We should really check on Defilak,” Pohatu said, pulling out his phone and dialing in Defilak’s mobile contact pincode. “We don’t even know if he’s alive anymore. Something may have happened to him.”

Pohatu dialed the number and held the device to his ear. He put the phone on speaker mode and waited for a response. He dialed again, but still, all he received back was silence.

No confirmation at all.

After the third try, Pohatu received an automated message redirecting him to a voicemail.

“■■■■ it,” Pohatu cursed under his breath. “He’s not picking up.”

“Try again, Pohatu,” Lewa urged. “He may just be asleep. He has a tendency to fall asleep early.”

Pohatu dialed the number once more, but this time, he received a strange response:

You are trying to access a number which has been terminated by the RoboCop Police Force. Please note that further repetitions of this offense will result in serious legal action, as what you have just done goes against New Atero’s Penal Code. The RCF’s word is the final decision in this city, and if you try to access this number again, we will respond with force. Thank you.

The robotic voice on the other end sent chills down the spines of all four Toa Nuva.

Lewa turned deathly still.

“The RCF has gotten to him.”


Defilak awoke to a start in a damp, dark cell. There was barely lighting whatsoever, and the only sliver of light that entered the stone-walled cell was the fading rays of the sun from a small window about a brick wide in length near the ceiling of the cell. He could not see anything, and the door to the cell had but one slit. Every so often, he could hear gunshots ringing out in the halls, the sound of the RCF patrol units subduing any escape attempts. Somewhere in the corner, he heard the skittering and screeching of a rat scurrying across the floor. The smell of rotting rodents filled the air, and the cell reeked of mold.

The unfortunate ones destined to die at the hands of the RCF in the walls of a sweltering and ghastly prison were hauled off to an unknown afterlife, and Defilak had no intention of knowing any of the details.

“Is this really what life in New Atero is like? Constant surveillance by the RCF, who don’t hesitate to use force for the most simple things? Severe punishment for innocent individuals? Is this really what the Toa fought for, and what the Turaga have built? Merciless robot soldiers trained to kill on sight? Is this all because we’re Matoran and not Toa? Is this how any civilized society treats their people?” Defilak wondered to himself, resigned to his fate, however shrouded in mystery it may be.

Defilak tried to massage his sore leg, and because of the electrocution he received, as soon as he touched it he felt a jolt of pain that shot up his body.

“It’s interesting how one simple event can change a life forever,” Defilak mused to himself. “For better or worse.”

He tried to stand up but promptly fell down.

“The city I once dearly loved, fought to protect with all my heart through the power of technology, has turned its back on its most vulnerable citizens, and left them to fend for themselves.”

“The city I once loved now left me with a crippling disability, and I don’t even know if I can stand anymore.”

“Where are the Toa? Why aren’t they doing more to listen to us? Has the fame, the glory, the power … has it really gotten to their heads? We once revered them as god-like figures, our saviors, but was all that for nothing? How can they be so oblivious to the injustices we face every day? We get paid less than even Agori, and everywhere we go, we’re the victims of crime and lies. We’re the victims of discrimination at the hands of the Agori and Glatorian, and that too in our own land. Have our own rulers become so corrupt as to ignore their own denizens?”

“Sarda and I were just Matoran trying to live ordinary lives on mediocre-paying jobs after a whole lifetime of fighting for survival in the harshest place in the universe. Our sacrifices were ultimately for a better future, but were they all in vain? Had Matoro, Lhikan, Tahu, Gali, and countless other Toa given their lives for a better future in a safe and secure land only to see evil returning in an endless loop? Sarda ultimately became a political tool used by someone to wipe out one of their enemies. My position in the RCF sold me to crimes and corruption committed by the very people we trusted to keep us safe, and now as I sit here in a cell my future is in jeopardy as I now realize the cycle of evil I had gotten myself into, and realize that this loop ultimately breaks with my death.”

Just at that moment, the cell door bust open, causing Defilak to shield his eyes from the light. Two RCF scout units stood at the door, each of them brandishing sharp hooks on their four arms. One of the scout units tossed a bowl of half-rotting food into the cell. Already a meager ration, more than half of it spilled onto the dirty and grimy floor upon impact with the ground. The scouts promptly locked the door before Defilak could make a run for it.

Defilak could barely see the bowl of food he was given, let alone try to figure out what it was. Extending his hand, he placed it on the bowl and tried to absorb the nutrients. However, he was met with a nasty surprise. He tried to absorb it, but he felt waves of pain wrack his body. He swiftly withdrew his hand and collapsed onto the floor, writhing in pain.

An RCF drone bust open the door and aimed its photon ray blaster at the bowl of food, cleanly burning it in one shot. The fire that resulted made Defilak very grateful for the natural light, but it burned out all too quickly. The drone kicked Defilak in the chest and jammed the rifle butt into his mask.

“Your trial is approaching,” the drone stated in a monotone voice. “Be prepared.”

“For what --”

The drone’s fist extended and punched Defilak’s mask. The hit caused a loud crack sound as a part of Defilak’s powerless Kualsi broke off. The drone swiftly exited the room and locked the door behind him.

The impact of the hit caused Defilak to double over in pain, clutching his face, moaning. For a moment, he had just forgotten how hard the RCF units can punch. Despite being one of the key figures behind the RCF’s workings, he often forgets what the robots he helped bring into being are truly capable of.

The pain washed over Defilak in waves, as it forced his eyes shut and slowly sapped the consciousness from his body.


A squadron of RCF units stood guard, AK-47s pointed, as the convoy of armored vehicles pulled into the front circle of Raanu’s sprawling residence in a rich outer sector of New Atero under the cover of night.

Across each of the ten vehicles, four RCF drones jumped off and immediately began to unload the massive sum of one million widgets each vehicle in the convoy carried. Acting like an assembly line, the robots worked in unison to unload the immense amount of money and deliver it to their master. The ten vehicles pulled into the massive garage and the RCF drones driving them unloaded the ten million widgets Raanu demanded into a large vault. The whole job was done in a short amount of time, which earned the squadron the praise of their master.

Raanu watched the whole spectacle unfold from the control chamber in his mansion, and could not help but praise the robots’ efficiency in doing what they were told. He smiled with glee as he picked up the phone and dialed Dume’s mobile number.

“The deal is on,” Raanu laughed with excitement. “Also, thanks for the ten million widgets. I really appreciated that.”

Even though he himself had authorized the large transaction, Turaga Dume was very frustrated to hear that the money had reached its target.

“Shut the hell up and just kill the Turaga for me,” Turaga Dume seethed through the other end of the phone. He immediately hung up, which made Raanu laugh even harder.

“Someone wasn’t too happy about losing money,” Raanu laughed. This time, his grin turned into an expression of gleeful malice.

“Well, I’ve got what I wanted, so now it’s time for me to honor my part of the deal.”

2 Likes

Ooh this chapter is really good. Poor Defilak…

1 Like

ooo one of the best so far
defilak cant catch a break…

1 Like

ALERT

NOBUA IS SHOWING UP IN THE NEXT CHAPTER

6 Likes

CHAPTER 21 IS HERE!!!

Chapter 21
The Next Day
(02:30)

“Keep trying!” Kopaka urged. “We don’t have a single second to waste!”

Pohatu and Lewa had spent the better part of the last four hours combing every single prisoner record for New Atero published, trying desperately to find Defilak listed somewhere, anywhere. Not even the Toa were sure about how many prisons were in the city, nor where they were. The RCF had a tendency to disguise their containment facilities in plain sight, often designating them as nondescript buildings with a generic facade. This made it almost impossible to determine which building was set for civilian use and which building was secretly a prison.

“I’m trying! I cannot find the ■■■■ entry!” The exasperation in Pohatu’s voice grew more and more by the minute as they struggled to locate the prison in which Defilak was being held.

“We have no choice,” Kopaka said in a grim tone, turning to Onua. “We have to go out and storm the prison, wherever it may be. Time is running out fast.”

“Do we have proof Defilak is even alive?” Onua asked. “For all we know Defilak has already been executed and is probably decomposing in a morgue somewhere in the city’s basements.”

“He has to be,” Lewa shot back. “He would’ve at least been given a false trial by the accuser just to get it out there that he’s the supposed culprit.” Lewa shut off the computer and readied his air katanas.

“We need to search for him,” he said, bracing himself. “We need to break him out before dawn.”

Weapons in hand, the four Toa went off into the night, splitting into four different paths, with one mission in mind.

The same, unnerving yet very familiar, voice reverberated throughout the minds of the four remaining Toa Nuva.

Time is running out, Toa, do you sense it? You don’t have much time left until everyone you care about and everything you stand for will all come crashing down.

Everything is crumbling to dust.

It’s up to you to stop it.

Time is running out.


“What is this?”

Raanu had opened the RCF command console in his control chamber only to see no fewer than a thousand logins into the prison records maintained by the government.

“What in Karzahni is going on? Why are there so many access attempts?”

After some quick tracing, the Fire Agori was able to pinpoint the location of the requests: an underground bunker in the northern district of the city, specifically in Nuva sector. Raanu suddenly realized that the underground bunker he traced the requests back to was Kopaka’s detective office.

The Toa Nuva know about the plan. They had figured out Defilak was being framed for the murders, and had tried to access the prison records to verify that he is locked up in a prison. It all makes sense now.

“■■■■ it,” Raanu whispered. “I need to stop them from breaking out Defilak.”

Raanu opened up the central command prompt and typed in a new objective:

Complete the trial and execute Defilak before dawn.


“Get up.”

The RCF drone landed a solid kick in Defilak’s abdomen, which jolted him awake. Defilak could have sworn he felt something crack inside of him.
“What --”

The Le-Matoran began to moan, but was abruptly cut off by an extremely loud boom which he was sure woke up every other prisoner in his block.

“Shut up and follow me.” The RCF drone dragged Defilak by the arm, powerfully resisting the Le-Matoran’s attempts to break free. At last, Defilak stopped trying to resist.

“May I know where I’m being dragged to?” Defilak managed to say, suppressing the fear of being pounded into oblivion again. To his utter surprise, the robot actually responded to him in a manner that was not a beating.

“Your trial is scheduled for taking place in another ten minutes. We are bringing you to the courtroom so you can face your destiny the way it was intended to.” There was no emotion whatsoever in the drone’s delivery of dialogue, reflective of the true nature of the RCF: mindless soldiers who do only as they are told.

“We had received word that the Toa are trying to break out you, despite you being a dangerous criminal. We need to complete the trial before then.”

The Toa? What – what made them do this? Had I misunderstood them? Are - are they really here to save me?

The robot initiated quick travel mode, which instantly teleported itself and Defilak to the courtroom. The room was a damp chamber made entirely out of metal, and was located in the highest floor of a tan, nondescript abandoned residential complex not far from the prison where he was held. About ten RCF drones were stationed on the roof, given orders to execute Defilak by firing squad as soon as he arrives.

Defilak was made to stand with supports behind a podium which stood at the front of the room, directly facing the table at which the judges sat. His hands and legs were shackled to the supports, meaning he could not move without them being a massive hindrance. On either side of the table stood two RCF drones, pointing their assault rifles right at Defilak in case he decides to make a run. The judges were both rock Agori who were employed by the RCF. A Ta-Matoran who Defilak did not recognize served as his “prosecutor.”

This isn’t even a legitimate trial. I’ve been thrown into a kangaroo court with a supposed prosecutor who’s here to expose my “crimes” to the world, when in reality that “prosecutor” is probably a Ta-Matoran poor enough to get bribed by the government to throw some falsified evidence at me and call it a day. I’ve lost this mockery of a trial before it even started. It’s completely rigged against me.

“Do I – do I have a lawyer?” Defilak cautiously asked.

As if on cue, an Onu-Matoran entered the room and stood next to him.

“There he is,” one of the rock Agori grunted. The Onu-Matoran introduced himself as Nobua, and wore a purple Hau.

Nobua’s voice sounded very timid, as if he was afraid of something. He sounded on edge, which made Defilak start to doubt his abilities as a lawyer.

On first impressions, Nobua almost felt sorry for Defilak, but quickly brushed his pity aside.

Poor Le-Matoran, being framed into a high profile murder case. He doesn’t even have a legitimate trial to save his face. He’s going to get killed within the next hour, and I’m powerless to stop anything. If only I could do something, anything … My life will be over before I can even think about saving his. I have no choice.

Nobua’s thoughts were interrupted by the strike of the rock Agori’s gavel, after which he was snapped back to reality.

“On this day, here we begin the trial of the Le-Matoran Defilak, who stands here, presumed guilty of orchestrating a master plot to kill Turaga Onewa and Turaga Vakama. Lawyer Nobua, do you have any remarks to add?” One of the rock Agori commenced the trial, and waited expectantly for someone to say something.

Defilak lowered his head and stared at the ground, shaking his head.

The only thing this city is good at is throwing up facades of glamor and splendor at its convenience. It’s all lies, and I’m now one of the countless Matoran and Toa and Glatorian to be ensnared in this web of shadows, this web of lies, never to be seen again. What’s the point? My fate is sealed. No one can change it now. Of course the Toa would not show up. It was my foolishness to think that they would.

The gavel’s strike on the table dispelled the thoughts from his mind.

“We shall begin, then, if you do not have any remarks to add,” the Agori said in a cold tone, as his eyes narrowed onto the crippled Le-Matoran who stood in front of him in shackles, badly beaten and bruised. The rock Agori did not like to deal with such despicable criminals or even look at them, but as a result of his job he has accustomed himself to dealing with such people. Still, he made clear his distaste for the shackled and condemned Le-Matoran by practically spitting out every word.

“Defilak, is it true that you orchestrated the murder of two of the city’s Turaga?” The other of the two rock Agori spoke up. He was also visibly concerned about being in the same room as a supposed criminal, but he tried his best to hide it.

Before Defilak could say anything, however, Nobua spoke up for him in his place.

“No, your honor. You’ve got the wrong Matoran–” Defilak started to defend himself, but he was cut off by the Agori. One of them pressed a button on their remote, and a projector screen rolled down. A video of Sarda delivering the bomb, captured live by the RCF units in the area, started to play.

“If you say you’ve got the wrong Matoran, explain to me this?” The Ta-Matoran had a smug look on his face as he pointed to the video.

“VAKAMA: Sarda, what brings you here?”

“SARDA: Defilak wanted me to give this package to you.”

“VAKAMA: Here, give it to me. Thank you.”

“SARDA: No problem, I’ll see you around, Turaga.”

The explosion that followed immediately after the dialogue was caught in all its detail in the video. At the sound of the blast, Defilak could not help but flinch and turn away from the screen, averting his eyes from the horrid moments that served as the grisly end of his best friend, not wishing to relive them once more.

“That’s clearly you mentioned in the video,” the Ta-Matoran said. “Unless we all have hearing problems.”

“Tell me one thing, firespitter,” Defilak said. “If I was the one to have given the bomb to Sarda to give to Turaga Vakama, where would I have gotten the materials necessary to make a bomb of such high explosiveness? Do I have the means or the money to buy such expensive materials? Do I look like I have the money?”

“You robbed the government armory,” the Ta-Matoran declared. “You, with your low paying job, would not have the means or the resources to get the bomb materials legitimately, which is why you had to resort to illegal means to make the bomb. Not only murder, but you also have theft of a highly guarded armory on your name.”

Before Defilak or Nobua could respond, the Ta-Matoran pulled up some papers and shoved them into Defilak’s face.

“See this? These are forensically proven test results of your fingerprints on Turaga Onewa’s body. They’re all over the corpse.”

“It’s all falsified evidence,” Defilak seethed. “With this wretched city, you don’t know what is true and what is not. It’s all deceit and lies.” Defilak lifted up his head and stared into the Ta-Matoran with a look of pure venom, his red eyes alight with rage. “And you’re falling for it.”

The Ta-Matoran took a step back and laughed. “That may be so,” he jeered, “but it’s only the losers in life that call injustice and unfairness.”

“Also, what’s in it for me if the evidence is falsified or not? I’ve been promised money, and that’s all I care about. Not some ■■■■■■ criminal who’s going to die in an hour anyway.” The Ta-Matoran then pointed at Nobua, who was shaking in a corner, afraid of something. “See? Not even your lawyer cares enough to defend you from your impending death. Maybe he wasn’t paid too much,” he muttered.

I was correct, Defilak thought. He was bribed with money to present falsified evidence. I had an uneasy feeling from the start that I wouldn’t get a fair trial, and it’s playing out exactly how I envisioned it. Sometimes, it’s a curse to have correct predictions.

“That’s all I have, your honor,” the Ta-Matoran said. “Now make the right verdict.”

One of the rock Agori started to speak. “Nobua, it is your turn to present the evidence you have supporting your client.”

Nobua stood up and walked over to Defilak, still very apprehensive.

“You’re a lawyer. Your job is to defend your clients and keep them from legal action, instead of sitting in a corner, afraid,” Defilak spat, shaking Nobua hard. “How about you do something at least now?”

Defilak’s words tensed up Nobua. Inside the Onu-Matoran, an internal conflict raged on.

On one hand, I was given orders by Turaga Dume to stay silent throughout the entire trial, while on the other hand, Defilak is about to die in an hour and the best I can do is make up evidence to save him. But if I save him, I will be killed by the RCF for defying the orders of Turaga Dume. If I don’t save him, I’ll live with that guilt for the rest of my life, of having sent someone to their death.

I don’t want to get killed. I’m too young to die.

Mata Nui, please help me for what I am about to do.

Nobua tried to back off, but Defilak’s words kept ringing in his head.

I’m forced to make the ultimate choice between my life and my conscience.

Do I live, or do I die?

Is my life more important than my conscience?

The rock Agori sitting at the desk repeated his statement once more, hitting his gavel. “Nobua, anything to add?”

Nobua snapped back into reality. “N - N - no, your honor,” Nobua muttered. His voice was barely audible.

“That should be it, then,” the other rock Agori said. “We will go to another room to deliberate.”

The two Agori and the Ta-Matoran left the room to discuss the results, which were already clearly evident at this point.
I knew it, I knew it, Defilak thought. I had predicted from the start that Nobua would not be a good lawyer. I could have easily told that from his body language and the looks on his face.

“My fate is sealed,” the condemned Le-Matoran finished out loud. “And you’ve done nothing to save me.”

“Listen, Defilak, my life would be in danger if I chose to save you --”

“So you work for Turaga Dume. He set you up to be my ‘lawyer’ and not do anything so I can easily be executed. Is that it?”

“Let me explain --”

“There’s no more explaining you need to do, Nobua,” Defilak spat. “I know the full story.”

Nobua hung his head in shame and stared at the ground. He knew what he had done was wrong, and immediately started to regret it.

Was I right in choosing my life and my safety over that of an innocent Matoran, who is not guilty of anything?

“I - I - I’m sorry,” Nobua muttered. He left the room, not wanting to be in Defilak’s presence anymore and experience his piercing glare.

Inside the room, Defilak turned towards the red blinking light in the upper corner of the room that had been monitoring him for the whole trial.

“Turaga Dume, I know you’re behind this madness, and you’re going to pay for this with your life. Farewell, Dear Leader, and look out for your sorry soul. The Toa are out to get you, and it’s only a matter of time before you end up executed by your very own people.”

The last line was said with extra contempt and derision as Defilak raised two fingers to his battered and broken Kanohi mask in a final salute.

Turaga Dume got up from his chair, took two steps back, and laughed out loud.

“This secret dies with you, Defilak,” Dume smirked. “The Toa will not find out until it’s too late.”

“Too bad you’re just one more corpse to add to the pile growing under my foot.” Turaga Dume let out a long and evil laugh.

He reached over and clicked off the screen, stopping the live broadcast. He pulled out his phone and called Raanu.

“Make sure everything is ready. Defilak will be executed in an hour’s time. You must carry out the plan before then.”

Raanu looked around the main hallway of the Council Building and saw his men getting into place, instantly recognizable by the RCF emblem on their shoulder. Each of them pulled out their rifle and moved to flank Raanu on either side on the Fire Agori’s signal. Their rifles were drawn and they were ready to shoot and kill. Everywhere Raanu looked, he saw small nodes on the wall blinking bright red amongst the darkness in the hall, broken only by moonlight streaming in from the massive windows, and the red beam of laser sights attached to the Kanohi of the Matoran and the helmets of the Agori, who were all equipped with black gas masks.

Raanu hung up the phone with a simple nod right after Dume had delivered his message.

Raanu withdrew his own rifle and pointed it. He loaded the first round of bullets.

He held up three fingers in the darkness. Lightpads attached to his glove made his hand visible in the black of the night.

Rifles clicked, one after another.

Raanu held up two fingers.

Fingers curled on the triggers.

One finger remained.

The Matoran and Agori soldiers took aim.

Raanu lowered his finger.

Each node exploded in a blast of smoke as a tsunami of black clad soldiers wreaked havoc on the very foundations of New Atero itself, ready to destroy everything Mata Nui once stood for.

2 Likes

Yes, there is more! Really nice, though Defilak is probably dead now.

ooo fun new chapter
this was good - i liked nobua and defilak in this one!