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- 39th Dimension, 61st Timeline
- Luna Magnan Universe
- 100 years after the end of the Great Mining War
Deep in the mines of Luna Magna, an average Matoran of Iron was hunched over, going about his daily tasks.
Clank! Clank! Rang the sound of his pickaxe against the brittle white stone. He always came to the mine early to complete his daily excavation quota before anyone else. For some reason, the other Matoran hadn’t shown up to work yet, and he was getting exhausted working alone.
“Usually they’re here by now with the excavation equipment,” The Matoran of Iron muttered, “Even Matoro hasn’t shown up yet.” The Matoran continued to strike his tool against the cracked stone. Finally, with a loud crash, a small chunk of the wall fell, and a pristine vein of dark blue crystal was exposed. The Matoran sighed with relief.
“Once the extractors get here, I’ll be done for the day.” He said to himself.
Suddenly, a voice echoed down through the mineshaft, “Knoxus!”
“Matoro?” Knoxus shouted back. He rested his pick against the wall, rushed out the door of the mineshaft, and started up the stairs. Indeed, the voice came from his companion, who met him on his way up.
“There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere. Did you forget? Today’s the 100th anniversary of the Kingdom of Luna Magna, so we’ve all been given the day off!” Matoro said excitedly.
Knoxus frowned. “So that’s why no one showed up to work today. I just completed my quota too…”
Matoro laughed. “Hard at work as usual Knoxus! Even when you don’t need to be! Come on, the King is bringing out the ceremonial artifact soon! We have to hurry, or else we’ll miss it!”
They both began the journey up the massive staircase which spiraled down along the edge of the Great Mine. It was a trip they’d made thousands of times before. They’d had many conversations leading up these stairs.
“Why does the King bring out that artifact every year anyway? Wasn’t it where we got the crest for the Kingdom from?” Knoxus asked.
“The Luna Dial is the symbol of peace for the Kingdom. Remember the Mining war? It ended when the Luna Dial was created,” Matoro replied, “and when King Gringat became the first Toa.”
Knoxus barely remembered the Mining War. The problem with living for so long, he thought, was that memories fade so quickly. “Didn’t the war end after that? After the early Kingdom slaughtered any noncompliant Matoran?” Knoxus asked with a noticeable sharpness to his words.
Matoro recoiled at the question, “We try not to talk about those guys.” He responded.
The two Matoran stopped a quarter turn up the massive spiral staircase. There, an elevator waited to whisk them up the remainder of the way to the surface.
They remained silent on the way up the elevator, mostly because the elevator was far too loud to have a decent conversation on. Matoro seemed to have other things on his mind anyway, and Knoxus just wanted to lie down.
The elevator came to a screeching halt at the surface. All around them groups of Matoran hustled towards the glowing white horizon where Knoxus could just make out the spires of the Great Palace of Luna Magna.
“Did we have to build it that far away?” Knoxus groaned.
“C’mon, we’re gonna be late.” said Matoro.
When Knoxus and Matoro arrived at the palace, it was so packed that the crowd was spilling out the entrance. Knoxus jumped to look over the heads in the crowd. Upon a raised platform stood King Gringat himself. Lined up in neat rows behind him where the entire Luna Magnan Royal army, with recognizable faces standing at attention before the crowd.
The Captain of the Guard, Callan, Toa of Fire.
The army’s highest-ranking officers, including Cossy, Toa of Lightning,
Chilluno, Toa of Ice,
and Mynus, Toa of Magnetism.
Another face poked out from behind the King. It was the Matoran princess, Leimera. Knoxus still remembered hearing the news of her arrival, but he had never seen her with his own eyes. Apparently, she was found encased in a Moonlight crystal that shot up out of the floor in the center of the palace overnight. When she was discovered, Gringat declared her to be the heir to the throne, as she was essentially born from the planet itself.
She was carrying the metal box that held the Luna Dial. The outside of the box was worn and scratched from so many showings over the years.
“I guess we made it just in time!” Matoro said. “Look! They’re just about to take it out of the box.”
King Gringat stepped forward on the platform. He raised his hands and began speaking.
“My fellow Luna Magnans, today we celebrate our Kingdom’s 100th anniversary. As is tradition, I present our Kingdom’s most holy artifact!” Gringat turned to Leimera and lifted the lid from the box. Reaching inside, he slowly pulled out a silver chain, and the pale white artifact attached to it. “My friends, the Luna Dial!”
The crowd roared as King Gringat lifted the Luna Dial above his head. For the first time, Knoxus could get a decent look at it. It was a beautifully crafted white crystal moondial. Etched on its face was a crescent moon motif matching the crest of the kingdom. The artifact’s gnomon spanned the diameter of the design’s dark inner circle.
“To honor such a special occasion, for the first time ever, I will demonstrate some of the artifact’s power!” Gringat announced. He continued holding the Luna Dial high, as the white portion on its face began to glow brightly. The whole palace grew quiet as the Matoran felt the energy in the air, as if the Luna Dial was wirelessly drawing energy from the planet itself. Suddenly, a Matoran of Stone in the front row moved instantaneously up to the platform without a sound.
It took Knoxus and Matoro a few seconds to realize what had just happened. By the time they did, the whole crowd was applauding and cheering.
King Gringat spoke up over the noise, “Many years ago, I discovered the power within the Luna Dial. By extracting moonlight energy from deep within our planet, our Kingdom’s legendary artifact is able to manipulate time itself!”
The crowd was roused once more, but Knoxus and Matoro remained silently amazed. As the noise continued, the air began to feel strange. Knoxus and Matoro could feel the floor vibrating, even as the noise from the crowd died down. The other Matoran began to murmur and look around nervously. Even Gringat himself appeared to feel it.
Outside the palace, the strange energy in the air pulled Knoxus and Matoro’s gaze up into the deep, black sky. Suddenly, a thin seam of light shot across the sky like a bolt of lightning, emitting an ear-splitting screech. Knoxus and Matoro winced as the ground began shaking violently.
Slowly the edges of the seam crawled out along the sky, expanding to reveal a blue-green glowing rift. The crowd within the palace began screaming and running in every direction. Knoxus and Matoro looked at each other.
“What is that!?” Knoxus shouted.
“ I don’t know, but I think the others have a pretty good idea of how to react! Let’s get out of here, the mines should make a decent enough hiding spot from… whatever that thing might unleash!” Matoro responded. Knoxus nodded, and the two ran in the direction of the mines.
Meanwhile, King Gringat was desperately trying to maintain his footing amidst the rumbling of the palace.
“Soldiers! Find out what’s going on and put a stop to this panic!” Gringat shouted to his troops. The army dispersed, leaving only Captain Callan and Leimera at his side.
Gringat turned to Leimera and set the Luna Dial down on top of the metal box. A group of Toa soldiers rushed up behind the King, reporting the scene outside. Callan looked down at Leimera, who was fumbling with the metal box and the artifact. He shook his head, and as he reached down to help, the Luna Dial fell to the ground. Leimera knelt to pick it back up, but it suddenly shot out of reach, and flew toward the exit all on its own. Callan swiftly reacted, throwing one of his scissor blades at a frightening speed. It pinned the Luna Dial by its chain to one of the palace’s support pillars.
Gringat turned to see the source of the noise. The Luna Dial was floating in the air, pulling the length of its chain tight in the direction of the palace’s exit. Leimera looked up at Callan and smiled with gratitude. Callan looked down at her too, but their mutual relief was drowned out by a deafening crack. They all looked over to the pillar, which had cracked clean through where Callan’s blade had pierced it.
Matoran could suddenly be heard screaming from outside the palace. A bright blue-green light poured from the entrance, and the planet’s tremors grew even more violent. Leimera, Callan, and Gringat rushed toward the pillar holding the Luna Dial, but by then it was too late. Callan’s blade clattered to the floor as the Luna Dial flew outside. Callan activated his Mask of Speed, attempting to catch it, but it had flown too high. He watched it disappear into the sky, which was now fully engulfed by the glowing rift. Gringat and Leimera exited the palace behind him. The King visibly fuming.
“What in the world is going on here!?” he shouted. “This energy… my kingdom… my planet… it’s…” Gringat’s words were cut off by a sudden loud crash. The three of them turned to see the source of the noise. Through a cloud of dust inside the palace, they could make out the shape of the fractured support pillar, now collapsed. All around it cracks were beginning to form in the walls and ceiling. The whole palace was going to come down, but a few Matoran and Toa soldiers were still inside.
Gringat yelled, “Get out of there!” as the palace came crashing down with a mighty boom. He, Leimera, and Callan watched helplessly as those remaining in the palace were crushed. They turned and ran, coughing as dust poured into the surrounding area.
Within a few moments the Great Palace of Luna Magna was no more. Gringat slowly turned his gaze toward Callan as the last of the dust settled.
“I saw… your sword… this is your fault.” Gringat whispered viciously, pointing at the ruins.
Callan quickly responded, quivering, “I tried to stop it… the Luna Dial, but… something… that light in the sky, it must’ve pulled it free!”
“You had the ability to stop it, and you FAILED!” Gringat shouted.
Callan looked desperately at Leimera, who silently tilted her head to the ground.
“Please, sir. You must understand!” Callan started.
“My understanding is, you are solely responsible for the loss of the Luna Dial, and the destruction of my palace!” Gringat screamed, losing all control. “I strip you of your rank as Captain and BANISH you from the Kingdom! If my guards ever see you here again, I will personally see to it that you are executed! GUARDS!”
Callan had never seen such a look of madness in Gringat’s eyes. He backed away as two nearby Toa guards rushed to apprehend him, but not before staring into Leimera’s eyes, and shaking his head. Leimera’s shocked expression burned into his mind as he activated his Mask of Speed and dashed away, far into the outskirts of the kingdom.
Knoxus and Matoro were halfway to the Great Mine when they witnessed the palace fall. Their brisk escape was slowed by their disbelief.
“By the glow of the horizon…” Matoro gasped.
“This is no time to mourn our handiwork.” Knoxus replied. “At least we know most of the Matoran made it out, though I’m not sure what became of Gringat and the Princess. Regardless, we need to keep moving.”
Matoro nodded, and the two of them started once more toward the Great Mine. However, the earthquakes were growing so intense that even crawling in a straight line was difficult.
“This… is… ridiculous!” Knoxus screamed over the amplified rumbling.
“Up above! The sky, it’s… coming DOWN!” yelled the strained Matoran of Ice. Shifting his gaze upward, Knoxus saw the glowing expanse of the rift engulf the planet’s atmosphere. For the first time on Luna Magna, the sky shone brighter than the horizon. A massive boom erupted over the planet as the rift made landfall. Knoxus, Matoro, and every other being on the planet felt the impact and was thrown to the ground. Knoxus watched as the rift washed over the planet like a tidal wave from space.
“Here it comes!” Matoro shouted, “Think we’re gonna make it?”
“I guess we’ll see!” said Knoxus.
Gringat stood amidst the rumbling, facing the glowing wall that rapidly approached his position. At this moment he cared not for his own life, as the anger that engulfed his spirit had overcome him. He screamed and sprinted toward the rift which approached frighteningly fast. The rift struck him, sending him flying 8 feet into the air as it washed over the area.
Gringat’s eyes were open as he and everything else traveled through the rift. For the brief moment he was within it, he saw the thousands of places it was also terrorizing. Foreign planets, unusual nebulas, even desolate islands were all visible through its passageways. Luna Magna was being pulled toward the largest exit, through which Gringat noticed a giant humanoid robot firing massive energy beams into the rift.
Gringat plummeted to the ground after the rift finally passed over the area. He stood up and looked around. The remainder of the planet was still passing through the rift, and he still felt the aftershock under his feet. Matoran and Toa soldiers lay scattered about on the ground. Gringat noticed the two closest Toa were Cossy and Mynus, the first and third officers, respectively.
“You two, on your feet.” Gringat ordered the two Toa. They scrambled to attention, their legs still shaking from the rumbling.
“You alright sir?” Cossy spoke up.
“The rift seems to have done just short of destroying the entire planet. But I’m still here, which means the Kingdom is still here. We need to get everyone back in order. Cossy, can I count on you to see to that?”
“Of course, sir.”
“Good. I’m promoting you to Captain of the Guard. See to it you don’t betray my trust like the last one. Mynus, that makes you the second officer. I need you both to find out where Chilluno is and gather the Matoran for a headcount. Organize the Guard and get everyone to safety!”
The two Toa slammed their fists on their chests and rushed off to fulfill their King’s orders. Gringat refocused his gaze on the events unfolding in the sky. Even through the light pollution from the glow of the planet, Gringat could make out the silhouette of the giant humanoid robot which appeared to be manipulating the rift.
“I don’t care who you are, or what your story is, but you look strong. You could’ve stopped this.” Gringat said under his breath.
A sudden boom snapped Gringat’s attention from the giant being. Glowing fragments of unusual objects were falling through the atmosphere all over the planet, causing large explosions wherever they landed. Gringat alerted all nearby Toa and Matoran to run for cover, and he did the same.
Knoxus and Matoro were knocked back from the force of the rift as it passed over them. They felt a tingling sensation down to the very atoms that made up their bodies, but the moment was fleeting. The rift continued going, leaving the Matoran and the surrounding area unharmed. Blinking away the blindness from the rift’s glow, Knoxus rose from the ground.
“We… survived?” Matoro muttered.
“Don’t sound so disappointed.” Knoxus quipped, “I’ll be scrapped if some flash of light kills either of us.”
The two Matoran remained still, unsure of what to do next. They noticed a commotion in the sky. Flashes of light were going off in the darkness of space, like a massive battle was being waged overhead, and in the middle of it all was the silhouette of a colossal being. Fragments of shrapnel and other strange objects from the chaos in space were falling through the atmosphere above Knoxus and Matoro, exploding on contact with the surface. Panicked, the two Matoran resumed their desperate sprint toward the Great Mine.
Knoxus and Matoro could still see the rift engulfing the planet from a distance as they ran toward the Great Mine. The rift was slowing down, as if the last tenth of Luna Magna was clinging to the dimension it rightfully belonged in.
They reached the elevator to the Great Mine just as a massive pulse of energy blasted forth from the rift, knocking the Matoran off their feet. Matoro stumbled over the edge of the elevator, but Knoxus managed to grab his arm before he plummeted to his doom.
“I got you!” Knoxus strained, pulling Matoro back up onto the elevator. Exhausted, the two Matoran rolled onto their backs as the elevator descended into the planet. The sound of explosions on the surface resonated throughout the mine, increasing in intensity until finally climaxing in an epic boom. The rift’s hazy glow faded from the sky, growing dim once more. Besides a few crashes here and there, the air grew quiet. With all the noise, Knoxus and Matoro hadn’t realized the elevator had reached its destination.
“Just when we finally get safe, things settle down.” Knoxus said between sharp breaths.
“I don’t think we can be certain this disaster is over.” Matoro said, “The battle overhead may end up being a bigger issue. I think we should wait a bit longer.”
“I guess there’s no harm in that.” Knoxus admitted, “I’m going to grab our pickaxes then. Just in case the big guy up there wants to take a closer look.” Matoro nodded, and they proceeded deeper into the mine.
A few hours had passed since the rift disappeared, and the battle in the sky seemed to finally be over. King Gringat had since reorganized his army, who were patrolling the sands around the remains of the Kingdom, looking for missing Matoran and the Luna Dial. Gringat and Mynus stood amongst the rubble of his palace, as more Toa soldiers scoured the destruction to retrieve the bodies of their fallen brethren.
“Three dead Toa, and eight Matoran. So far at least.” Mynus growled, “That makes 22 total deaths counting the ones we found on the surface.”
Gringat turned to Mynus, “I know the anger and grief you are feeling Mynus, but for now, we must focus on rebuilding and preventing any future disasters.”
Their discussion was interrupted by a low hum in the distance. Mynus and Gringat turned, noticing three large, elliptical craft descending from space. Annoyed, the King started toward the hovering vehicles, as a crowd of curious Matoran formed nearby. Three grapples descended from each craft, pulling the ships to the ground. A ramp opened from the closest of the ships, and shortly after, six Toa stepped out and approached the crowd.
Gringat marched up to them, "Let it be known that you approach Toa Gringat, King of Luna Magna. Try anything, and my guards and I will end you where you stand.”
A thin but well armored Toa of Water stepped forward. She had fin-like wings folded behind her back and wore a strange, horned mask. “I am Helryx, Toa of Water. In my universe, I am the first Toa to have ever been created. The others with me are my team, and we come in peace.”
Gringat scoffed, “If this was your idea of peace, I’m hardly impressed. Far too many of my people are dead because of this disaster. Care to explain? Or do I have to ask the giant floating in the sky?”
“That certainly won’t be necessary.” Helryx interjected “I am a representative of the Great Spirit Mata Nui. I’ll explain the situation as it is currently known to us.”
“Great Spirit, huh? Alright. Spill it.” Gringat replied, gritting his teeth.
“The being you see in the sky is Mata Nui. He is our protector, and the vessel that carries what we call our ‘Matoran Universe’ through the cosmos. Currently, we believe a being from within our universe was responsible for summoning the rift that pulled your planet from the multiverse. As of right now, members of our organization are cornering him, planning to punish him accordingly, and confiscate any technology he may have used for such purposes.”
“What of our planet? Do you plan to utilize this technology to send us back?”
“We don’t yet know if that’s possible. The technology must be studied to fully understand its power. If such a thing were to be attempted now, your people and planet could be obliterated. Currently however, we are ready and willing to provide any assistance in rebuilding that which has been lost.”
“That which has been lost is not so easily replaced. Unless your ‘Great Spirit’ can bring back the lives of my people and our kingdom’s ancient artifact. I doubt it, considering he was blissfully unaware of what was transpiring in his own ‘Universe.’ A ‘Universe’ in which he had the power to prevent this disaster.” Gringat sneered.
Helryx silently stared at Gringat for a moment, “Your kingdom’s artifact, what does it look like?”
Mynus spoke up from behind Gringat, “It’s a white crystal Moondial. With a black circle surrounding the gnomon. It’s called the Luna Dial.” Helryx immediately turned and walked toward the closest airship. She approached a terminal near the landing ramp, and a few moments later, was returning to Gringat with an object in hand.
“The Luna Dial, I presume?” Helryx smirked, holding the object out to Gringat. He stared at it for a moment, then darted forward and snatched the artifact from Helryx’s hand. He slowly began to walk into the crowd but not before turning back once more.
“All of you are never to return here again!” Gringat shouted, pointing to the six foreign Toa. “Both you, and your so-called Great Spirit! From here on out, the planet Luna Magna is closed off to any outsiders!” Gringat then left the six Toa where they stood in stunned silence. Slowly, they collected themselves, and without another word to the Luna Magnan people, left for good.
Mynus caught up to Gringat who had rendezvoused with Cossy and Chilluno. The three Toa were discussing their next course of action.
“Cossy, I need you to immediately gather the troops and prepare several battle plans in case of an invasion. Gather as much intel on this ‘Mata Nui’ as you can.” Gringat ordered.
Cossy nodded and marched off. Chilluno approached Gringat.
“Your highness, I apologize for disappearing on you. I assumed, with my Mask of Levitation, I could scan the outer borders of the kingdom for Matoran stragglers much faster than our troops could on foot.”
“Chilluno, you are one of my most loyal officers, and I appreciate your quick thinking. Please consult your plans with me beforehand from now on.” Gringat responded calmly.
“Yes sir!” Chilluno saluted. “With your permission, I’ll continue my search. There’s still several Matoran unaccounted for.”
Gringat stared at the Luna Dial which he held in his hands. There was not a single scratch on its surface, and it was glowing just as softly as ever. “Our kingdom’s artifact remained here for a century. Then, in one fell swoop it was gone, seemingly forever. I never want that to happen again. With the power it contains, it would only ever be safe in Luna Magnan hands.” said Gringat, softly.
Chilluno stared curiously at the King, her question remaining unanswered. “Sir?”
“I cannot let it happen again.” Gringat spoke up. “Chilluno, I have a special request of you. I want you to be a guardian over the Luna Dial. You are our army’s most skilled fighter, and with additional training, I believe you could very well be unbeatable in combat. What do you say?”
Chilluno gasped. “You want me to be the Guardian of the Luna Dial? Sir… this is such an honor… You won’t regret your decision!”
“I will begin coordinating plans to build a place to hide the Luna Dial. Your job will be to protect it. With complete training, only those truly worthy of carrying the Luna Dial should ever be able to beat you.”
Chilluno nodded, “Understood sir!”
“Now you may continue to assist in the search efforts.” Gringat said, dismissing Chilluno, who flew off excitedly. Finally, Gringat turned to Mynus.
“That makes you the first officer, Mynus.” Gringat smiled. Mynus knelt in front of Gringat, gratefully saluting his King with his fist on his chest.
“Thank you, sir. It would be an honor.”