BLP Serial #4: Evil in Training

Hey guys! So I know that the Bionicle Legacy Project hasn’t produced much of anything in the last few months, despite our promises, and that as of the moment we are pretty much “dead”, but I still wanted to try and continue our story that me and @TheMoltenKing were writing (and severely behind on, my fault). There are a few points in here that may need clarification, and I’ll try to get those covered in the next serial (whenever that is :P). But for the moment, sit back and enjoy the result of months of procrastination!

Axato let out a long string of curses as his unmasked face hit the floor for the fifth time. Struggling with fatigue, he heaved his body to its feet and thrust his sword forwards, towards where his enemy should have been. The problem was, though, that his enemy wasn’t there. Unbalanced, Axato felt a metallic claw seize him by the neck and toss him aside like a piece of heavily armoured trash. He lay there, stunned, as the leering mask of the Skull Slicer grinned hideously down at him.

“Enough!” roared the disembodied voice of Makuta. “Axato, if you mean to defeat the toa in battle one day, please, pay attention to your enemy. If you had used your senses, maybe you could have kept ahold of your mask and not have made such a sorry show today. Slicer! You are dismissed!”

One of the former undead lieutenant’s swords traced a leisurely line across the warrior’s throat, a reminder of what would have happened had this been anything other than practice, before the spirit inhabiting the desolated skeleton was swept back into the shadow realm. As the skeletal being collapsed once more into a pile of metallic bones and armour, Axato stood and brushed the dust off of himself, then retrieved his sword from where it had fallen. The instant he grasped the handle, Axato felt the dark presence of Makuta grasp him in a cold grip, and the deep, ancient voice of his master filled his head.

“You have improved, raider, I’ll give you that,” said Makuta. “However, as you have been whittling your time away beating up on old skeletons, the Protectors and Ekimu have sensed my presence and have begun to make preparations in the form of six ‘generals.’ They are still young and unproven, but they already seem to be doing better than you.”
Before Axato’s eyes, the air began to spin and twist, and a vision of six young Okotans appeared before him, each one of them representing the different regions. Axato watched with growing interest as Makuta showed him scenes of the Generals sparring with the protectors and Ekimu, fending off wild beasts, and even taking down the Skull Basher! This last one Axato asked Makuta to replay for him several times, a he had witnessed the brutish warrior in action before, and to see him taken down by children, well, it was nearly unbelievable!

Makuta’s voice echoed in the raider’s mind again:

“As you can see, if we don’t get you up to speed fast, they’ll be able to stop anything we throw at them, including you. You need to strike them when they’re weak, make them desperate enough to call the Toa, it is only then that you may have the revenge you seek. It is for this reason that I have made the decision to use some, unorthodox methods to enhance your sorely lacking capabilities.”

“Master, before we go through with these unorthodox methods, I need to ask one question,” said Axato. “What exactly do you want out of this bargain. I’ve listened to enough crones’ tales to know that whenever a spirit makes a deal like this, they always want something from the hero.”

Axato felt a sigh from the dark lord, the Makuta spoke again:
“I must remind you that I am, in fact, not a fairytale spirit from an old children’s story but your current reality. However, I do, in fact, require something. Something which, unfortunately, I need to rely on mortals like you for.”

“Hundreds of years ago, before you were even conceived, I desired to make this island a paradise for all, for both the Okotans and for your people who had been trapped below the surface. However my cursed brother, Ekimu, desired that the island remain as it was, stagnant and corrupt, so in secret I forged a mask of unimaginable power to achieve my aims, but I was stopped and banished by Ekimu and the Toa, and now my mask has been utterly destroyed save for one small piece.”

In front of Axato a vision swam into view. A golden orb, glowing from within with alien energies, cradled in Ekimu’s hand. The vision suddenly spun and zoomed out to reveal a giant airship, the six generals standing at its prow with Ekimu and the orb.
“Darn them all! They’re taking it away!” The voice of Makuta suddenly roared with fury in Axato’s skull. “We have no time to waste raider! We must hurry!”

Suddenly, Axato was gripped by a terrible cold force. The world dissolved into blackness and shadows and his mind seemed to unravel as his unprepared body was suddenly flung into some dark netherworld. Senses made no sense, conscious thought seemed impossible, and the oppression of death surrounded him.

With the same suddenness, Axato was back in the light, mossy stones under his feet and bright sunshine filtering through the waving palms above. Also above, silhouetted by the sunlight, was the airship. In a panic Axato looked around to see if there was any way he could get up to it, but then his gaze fell upon his sword arm.

All the armour on it had been stripped away, leaving his dark grey flesh exposed, but across its surface pulsed a network of bright, unnatural veins of energy. He could feel a strange, dark power coursing through him, and hesitantly held up his arm… and focused.

A wave of dark, bluish-black energy pulsed out from the stunned Raider, sweeping through the tropical woods around him. Wherever it touched, plants twisted and darkened, light dimmed, and a strange cold feeling of corruption lingered in the land, yet the most shocking change of all was in the animals.

Axato watched in shock as all around him monsters of nightmare skittered, flew, and trundled out of the undergrowth towards him. Some of them were at least partially recognizable, but wherever the shadow had touched they had been horribly warped, sprouting claws, fangs, even new limbs, growing and changing to the malevolent will of darkness. They all came to a stop in a circle around him, almost as if they were awaiting orders.

With realization dawning, Axato grinned behind his mask as he once again focused his newfound power. Wordlessly, a giant, mutated bat knelt before him, and upon clambering atop its broad back the newly empowered raider willed his new army forwards with all haste towards the airship with its precious cargo.