Buried Secrets


The Red Star. Once an object of mystery and legend, it was only recently discovered to hold many secrets. Now those secrets were lost once more, as the star had been forced to crash against the surface of the planet. There was nothing left but a pile of rubble.

Or was there?

In the middle of the ruins, the metal twisted and groaned, then began to shift. At first, it might have seemed like the remains were simply falling apart even further. Then the metal moved up, and a hand emerged.

That hand was followed by an arm, and then the rest of the figure. Slowly, he looked around at the rubble and wreckage, unable to tell what it was – or rather, what it had been. But he felt pretty sure that this place was the prison he had been trapped in for so long. He glanced up at the sky, seeing it for the first time in months. He was free.

And now he had places to go.

Slowly, he made his way through the rubble. He wondered if anyone else had survived whatever happened; it seemed unlikely, but then again, it was a miracle he had survived. He didn’t know what had happened, but any force that could cause this much devastation should’ve left no survivors. Smoke and dust made it hard to see very far.

Finally, in the distance, he spotted trees. Trees, and figures. A telescopic lens on his mask whirred and clicked as he zoomed in on them, though it did little to pierce the smoke.

Yes, it was them. They looked vaguely different from the last time he had seen them, but he recognized the Toa Nuva. They had come, just as he always knew they would. He knew, one day, they would find him and free him from that prison. Another being might have run up to the Toa and praised them for the rescue, but not him. The Toa did what they were supposed to do, why should he act like it was some amazing and unexpected heroic deed?

Besides, he had more important details to tend to. If the Toa were here, then the Matoran couldn’t be far behind. He had to find them, his old friends, the Matoran who he had lived with and worked with for centuries. He had to find them… and get his revenge.

After all, they were the ones who had killed him.

Decided I may as well post some of my final Bionicle stories. This one is one of my longest stories I’ve written. More chapters will come over the next couple weeks.

Ohoho, very interesting so far

I wonder who this mysterious stranger could be…


Content warning: mild dismemberment

Chapter 1

Once, long ago, Nobua’s mind was also on the Red Star. He had no idea what it truly was, however. To him, it was just a red dot high in the sky.

Why is it red? Why, out of all the stars, is this one different?

He didn’t have the answer. As far as he knew, no one did, not even the Turaga. There were legends about the star, of course – Matoran had legends about everything – and they ranged from the practical to the fantastical. Maybe one of them was true. Or maybe not.

Nobua shrugged, looking away from the stars for a moment. They were only a distraction, to keep him from thinking too much about what he was planning to do.

Around him, he heard the noises of the night, Rahi all around. In the past week, many of those Rahi had fallen under the control of the dark entity known as Makuta, and they had begun attacking the Matoran. The Matoran had responded by forming defense groups to protect their villages. In his home village of Onu-Koro, a Matoran named Onepu was in chage of the guard force. He’d heard that Captain Onepu was planning on giving his guard force a unique name, the Ussalry, named after the Ussal crabs the Onu-Matoran had tamed and rode. It sounded kinda silly to Nobua, but maybe it would grow on him.

Right now, Nobua wasn’t in Onu-Koro. He was on the surface, on the road to Po-Koro, on his way home. He shouldn’t have been out this late, should have gotten back to the village. He’d done it on purpose, though. He needed to have a Rahi attack him, a particularly dangerous one. Or rather, he needed the Matoran to think that such an attack had occurred. It would be easier to explain than the truth.

What kind of Rahi should he blame? He still hadn’t decided. He thought about the different beasts he’d encountered on the island. Maybe it was because his mind was still on the color red thanks to the star, but a Kane-Ra came to mind. Although the bull Rahi were known to come in a few different colors, they were usually red. Their sharp horns could inflict a lot of damage, and they were known to attack Matoran even without Makuta’s influence. They weren’t ordinarily nocturnal, but under Makuta’s control, any Rahi could be nocturnal.

Stopping for a moment, Nobua glanced around, checking to see if any Rahi were nearby. It would do no good to get attacked for real in the middle of what he was about to do. Fortunately, the path was very open, few trees or shrubs for creatures to hide. It would be hard to believe that a Rahi had ambushed him here – if he told them that’s where it had happened, of course. No, he planned to say it had happened in the rocks, where a Rahi could catch an unsuspecting Matoran by surprise. It kinda hurt to have his fellows think he’d let his guard down, but it was better than having them know what he’d really done.

Reaching into his satchel, he took out a small blade. It was the same kind of weapon the Ta-Koro Guard used, and Nobua had managed to obtain one. The Ussalry didn’t use them very often, preferring to use disks to fight the Rahi from a distance. Nobua liked to have a variety of different weapons, though. Always be prepared for anything, as he said.

Gripping the knife, he realized his hand was shaking, and he stopped for a moment to breath, to focus. He was just out walking, peacefully. Nothing was going to hurt him. Nothing… and then before he could think any further, his hand slashed down.

And that’s when he screamed.

“What in the world happened?!”

At the entrance to Onu-Wahi, Damek stared at Nobua, shocked. Nobua was holding onto his left arm, where his hand used to be. He didn’t have to fake the pain.

“Ran into… a Kane-Ra bull… out there in… the rocks,” he said, gritting his teeth. “Got me with… one of his horns.”

“Mata Nui…” Damek breathed. “Get to Turaga Whenua’s hut, quickly. Kaj!” He called out to one of the other Onu-Matoran. “Go get the healers, send them to the Turaga’s hut.”

Although Ga-Matoran were the best at healing, every village had at least one person who knew something about healing. They couldn’t just send their wounded to Ga-Koro all the time, after all. Nobua walked off to Turaga Whenua’s hut, while Kaj dashed off to find the Onu-Koronan healer.

Nobua wasn’t looking forward to telling the story of what had “happened” multiple times over. Especially since he’d already rehearsed it in his head so many times already. Damek had been satisfied with “a Kane-Ra did it”, but Whenua was going to ask for more details. Then Onepu would ask, and then his fellow Guardmen would ask, and anyone who noticed he was missing a hand would ask. But no matter how many Matoran asked, Nobua would give them the same story. He’d gone over it in his head at least a dozen times, to make sure he didn’t forget any details.

He’d hidden the knife he used – part of his story was that he’d dropped it. If the Onu-Matoran found it, they might be able to tell what he had done. Eventually, he would ‘find’ it again. His hand was lying out in the open, where he’d left it when he “fled from the Kane-Ra”. It didn’t matter if they found that.

And then, he could move on to the next part of his plan…

“You want what?”

“You heard me.”

“Yeah, but I want to make sure I heard right. You want me to make you a hand?”

After getting his arm patched up, Nobua stood before Nuparu, the great inventor. Nuparu was the one who had designed the ussal carts, the elevator for the great mine, and many other things. And now, Nobua was asking him to make something unlike anything he’d designed before: a new hand, to replace the one Nobua had lost.

“It doesn’t have to be a fully functioning, feeling hand,” Nobua said. “Just has to work. I’m asking for something that can swing a pickaxe, not play a Le-Koronan flute.”

“Which is still quite a task,” Nuparu rebutted.

“What, you don’t think you can do it?” Nobua said.

That worked. If there was one thing Nobua knew about Nuparu, it was that he couldn’t resist a challenge. “Of course I can,” he said. “Meet me at my workshop in an hour so I can measure you. I’ll see what I can do.”

Nobua smiled. Nuparu didn’t know it yet, but Nobua was going to get more than just a hand that could swing a pick. By the time he was done, it would be able to do much more…

Nobua, the almost-canon Matoran from the Legend of Meta Nui game, felt like the perfect choice for this role.

Chapter 2

Damek walked along the beach, whistling.

The past few days had been hectic. Makuta’s Rahi attacks had gotten even more fierce, and they’d briefly managed to capture Turaga Whenua and poison the village’s Vuata Maca tree. Damek had been in the village at the time and they’d worked with Onepu to try to rescue their Turaga, only for a Matoran from another village to show up and rescue the Turaga instead.

Takua… Damek wasn’t sure what to make of him. He’d heard that Takua had gotten kicked out of his own village for being lazy. He certainly didn’t seem lazy when he was rescuing the Turaga and fighting the Rahi. Damek had the feeling Takua simply didn’t want to work, that he wanted to go on adventures instead. Maybe he ought to be a member of the guard force for his village. Or maybe they’d kicked him out too. Damek wanted to like the guy, to feel grateful that he had rescued the Turaga, but he also couldn’t help feeling frustrated that Takua had succeeded where the Ussalry had not.

Shortly after being rescued, Whenua had left the village. Onepu had strongly advised him not to, not when the Rahi attacks had stepped up, but Whenua had insisted that he had something important to attend to. Still, he had taken two members of the Ussalry with him. Damek and his team had left the village as well, out on patrol.

His team, a part of the Ussalry. For many years, Onepu had been the only one in charge of the Ussalry. Then, he had heard about how the Gukko Force had two commanders, in case they needed to be multiple places at once. Onepu had decided this was a good idea, and had named Damek as his second.

Damek glanced back at the Matoran following him now. He’d worked with these Matoran for years, and though he hadn’t led them, they all respected him. And he respected them all, even if some of them got on his nerves sometimes. There was Podzul, who was as quiet and inscrutable as a Ko-Matoran, always knowing what others were thinking without letting them know what he was thinking. Then there was Rakku, who acted like a rampaging Rahi disguised as a Matoran. And then… there was Nobua.

Damek wasn’t sure what to make of Nobua. His fellow guardsman was obsessed with… improvements, as he put it. He’d lost his hand in a Rahi attack, but didn’t seem bothered by it, and had convinced Nuparu to give him a new one with special features, such as drill fingers and a lightstone hatch. In addition to that, he also had a telescopic lens and an air bladder attached to his Kanohi Hau. “You never know what you might need,” he often said.

“What is that?” Nobua said abruptly, interrupting Damek’s thoughts. Damek turned to see something on the beach up ahead, something that didn’t belong. A silver cylinder, bigger than he was, sitting in the sand, looking as if it had just washed ashore. Nearby, another object lay in the sand, this one looking like a small dome, like a smaller version of the Suva that was flipped upside-down.

Damek stared at it for a moment, befuddled. It vaguely resembled the container that one might carry a heatstone in, though obviously far larger. Had someone made this? Damek could imagine Nuparu making such a thing, but where would he get the materials, and why? Nuparu didn’t make things just to make them; all of his inventions had a purpose. What was the purpose of this thing? It looked big enough for someone to fit in, so maybe–

That’s when it hit him. A legend Whenua had told many times, one Damek never really believed… until now. It was a Toa Canister.

The Toa had arrived.

Damek glanced down, seeing tracks in the sand that he hadn’t noticed before, walking away from the canister. There were no tracks to the canister. Someone had arrived in the canister.

Turaga Whenua had to be informed of this. Was he back at the village yet? Well, if he wasn’t, Nobua would pass the word along to Onepu. Better yet, he’d stay in the village until he met the Toa of Earth for himself.

Turning away from the Canister, he ran back toward Onu-Koro, the rest of the Ussalry members following.

“He’s already gone?”

Damek’s shoulders slumped. He’d led the Matoran back to the village as fast as possible. Upon their arrival, he’d been hopeful when Midak said no Toa of Earth had gone through the main entrance to the village. Midak had even gone with them, hoping to meet the Toa of Earth.

Then they got to the village, and learned from Onepu that the Toa had already come and gone. He’d accidentally stumbled into the village by tunneling in through the wall, and had run into Onepu, who had led him to the Turaga. Whenua had told him of what he was here for, and then he’d gone to find the other Toa.

“You just missed him, I’m afraid,” Whenua said. “Still, it is good that you told us. Had things been different, had he not accidentally stumbled upon our village, we would not yet know for sure that he was here. We would have had to find him, instead of him finding us.”

Damek sighed. He wanted to do just that: find him. He wanted to take his team and go after the Toa of Earth, chase him down, see him in person. At the same time, he knew he had a duty to see to. He couldn’t just go running off on adventures, or he’d be no better than Takua.

Whenua met Damek’s eyes, and apparently he saw exactly what Damek was thinking. And then, he said something that caught Damek by surprise.

“Damek, as a reward for bringing us this information, you are off-duty for the rest of the day. With the Toa around, Onepu should be able to handle things.”

Damek stared at the Turaga for a moment, unsure what to say. “Thank you, Turaga,” he finally managed.

“Good luck,” the Turaga of Earth replied. As soon as he nodded and turned away, Damek dashed off. He didn’t even notice that Nobua was following him.

A half hour later, the two Matoran stood in front of the Toa of Earth, staring in awe.

He was tall, taller than any Matoran. He had two large claws attached to his hands, and he wore the same mask as Onepu. He looked just like the carvings in Onu-Koro, except he wasn’t a carving, he was real.

The Matoran had taken an Ussal to catch up to the Toa of Earth, courtesy of Midak. They’d initially startled the Toa of Earth when they came up on him abruptly, but then he relaxed when he realized they were just here to admire him.

Nobua stared up at the Toa, a mix of awe and determination. He knew about the raw power a Toa had, not just their control over their element and the powers of their masks, but they were also bigger, taller, stronger than Matoran. Nobua looked up at the Toa, then down at himself, realizing how small he was.

Perhaps he would need to upgrade once again…

The names for Podzul and Rakku are obviously taken from the words Podzol and Rock.

Chapter 4

Rakku hated the Bohrok.

It wasn’t because they were destroying everything in sight. Rakku didn’t understand that, but he could deal with it. The Bohrok destroyed things, and he stopped them; it was just another threat to the village, just like the Rahi had been. And soon enough, the Toa would put a stop to it. In the meantime, the Matoran just had to do their best to keep the Bohrok’s destruction to a minimum.

No, the reason Rakku hated the Bohrok was because they were too easy. Rakku loved a good challenge. He’d been called both brave and mad by his fellows for his game of setting traps for the Rahi, using himself as bait, and attacking them head-on. He’d done that a few times with the Bohrok, only to quickly realize it wasn’t necessary. The Bohrok were dedicated to their task, and pretty much ignored anything that wasn’t right in their way. Rakku could just walk up to one and attack it, and it wouldn’t do a thing until he did. To put it bluntly: they were no fun.

Still, he had a duty: the Bohrok had to be stopped. Right now, that meant stopping the Nuhvok who were trying to collapse the tunnels of Onu-Koro.

“Hey Bohrok!” he yelled at the black Bohrok. “Toa Onua worked hard on this tunnel, so back off!”

The Bohrok ignored him, as usual. He wasn’t sure if they even understood Matoran. But when he ran up to them, swinging a large drill at them, they understood that. He could have gotten close to them easier by just walking up, making it look like he wasn’t a threat, but where was the fun in that?

The Nuhvok he’d attacked blocked with its own drills, but he swung again and again, trying to slip past and do some damage. His makeshift weapon was large and unwieldly, but he was stronger than most Onu-Matoran. This fact often led others to joke that he was actually a Po-Matoran.

Finally, the Bohrok got annoyed with his efforts, and after blocking his next attack, it lunged its head forward toward his mask. Rakku, however, had been expecting that, and he dropped the drill and grabbed both hands on the Bohrok’s faceplate and pulled hard, managing to wrench it open. He stumbled back, but recovered quickly, grabbing a pickaxe and swinging it down onto the Krana. The pick pierced the green face, and the Bohrok collapsed, unmoving.

“Huh,” he said. “Wasn’t expecting that.”

The fact that Bohrok were only machines, piloted by the organic Krana, wasn’t yet known to most of the Matoran, though many were learning it. For his part, Rakku had seen the strange things that looked like faces and made the connection to the infected masks that Makuta had used to control the Rahi, figured that was their weakness. He’d expected the Bohrok to run off and go do whatever Bohrok did when they weren’t destroying things, though, not just… die?

Well, he’d stopped it. And there were still more to stop. Two more of the Nuhvok were moving toward him, seeing what he’d done to their fellow. One of them charged toward him, only for a disk to come flying out of the dark and sweep its feet out from under it.

“Are you having fun?”

Rakku turned to see Nobua approaching. “Aw, c’mon, I can handle these guys.” He was blowing steam, of course; even he wasn’t sure if he could handle two of these things on his own.

“Of course you can,” Nobua said. “But two hands are better than one, right?” He chuckled slightly. It was a little joke of his, using that phrase. He considered it ironic, given his artificial hand.

Rakku nodded, turning back toward the Bohrok. “Let’s do this. You take the one on the right.”

A few minutes later, Rakku was gasping for breath.

It had happened so suddenly. One moment, he and Nobua were fighting the Bohrok, managing to take a few of them down. Then, suddenly, they heard a loud chittering, and the Bohrok suddenly fled. Rakku was relieved, but also befuddled… until a wall of water suddenly slammed into him.

As he found himself swept down the tunnel, he suddenly understood. There was another type of Bohrok, the Gahlok, with control over water. Apparently, they’d decided to wash everything away, and they’d sent out a warning to their Nuhvok brothers before doing it. Maybe the Bohrok were smarter than he gave them credit for.

A hand grabbed onto his, stopping his movement. He couldn’t see who it was, but he was glad for it. After what felt like too long, the water finally subsided, and he could see Nobua, the latter’s hand jammed into the wall. He’d used his drill fingers to get a handhold, and somehow managed to grab onto Rakku in the chaos.

“You all right?” he asked.

Rakku choked for a moment, gasping for breath. “Nobua,” he said at last, “I take back everything I’ve ever said about you. Your upgrades are amazing.”

“Thanks,” Nobua said, digging his hand out of the wall. “The air bladder was sure nice to have, too. Come on, let’s go see if we can find whoever sent that blast of water and wreak them.”

And then, suddenly, he turned to look at Rakku, a strange look in his eyes. “I wonder if it hurts them to get pulled apart piece by piece. What do you think?” Before Rakku could reply, Nobua turned and ran back down the tunnel.

Rakku paused for a moment, then ran after him. He tried to ignore how disturbed he was by his friend’s question.

“What… is that?”

Nobua and Rakku stared in wonder at the sight that that greeted them upon arriving at the main village hub. A group of Gahlok were there, facing against three Onu-Matoran. Taipu and Onepu were standing beside the thing that had prompted Nobua’s question, a walking vehicle, a thing that vaguely resembled a large Bohrok. Nobua could swear it was made out of Bohrok parts, in fact. And the crazy inventor Nuparu was sitting in the middle of it.

Nuparu had put the Bohrok to use, making a new weapon to fight back against them. But he had no way of knowing what else he’d just done. Something had clicked in Nobua’s mind, an idea. He was surprised he hadn’t thought of it before.

Nuparu’s new Boxor marked the turning point in the Matoran’s fight against the Bohrok… and the beginning of the end for Nobua.

Author’s notes: This story is a slow build-up, I know, but things are beginning to happen.