Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget is a story serial I'm currently working on that takes place in an alternate Metru Nui timeline. About once a week I'll edit this topic to add the next episode.

Prologue:

"Lest we forget our brothers and sisters who gave their lives to rid Metru Nui of the invading enemy, this monument will forever stand tall as testament to their bravery and sacrifice."

It has been a long time since Metru Nui was attacked. Many of the Toa I know weren't around when it happened, but I will never be able to forget. I was not the strong Toa I am today, no, not back then. I was a simple Onu-Matoran, tending to the Ussal in the pens. It may have been a long time ago, but I remember the day the skies turned black with shadow, and the sea turned dark with sadness. How could I ever forget?

Tending to Ussal crabs is not as easy as it looks at first glance. Ussal may be docile and hard-working, but they are also quite large. Unfortunately, the same size that makes them great workers also makes waxing their shells painfully tedious. I waxed their shells before work, in order to make their normally slippery shell rough and hard; otherwise we would never be able to use them to ride on or carry cargo. However, their shell is slippery for a reason. They absorb nutrients from the underground air through their shells, and they can't do that if their shells are covered in wax. This means after work I had to carefully scrape all that wax off. Ussals are polite creatures, so they don't show pain, but I still tried to avoid hurting the Rahi when I took off layer after layer of wax. Because the Ussal are needed for most of the work day, I had to wax the crabs before the sun came up, and clean them long after the sun went down. Cleaning them could take all night, so I generally slept during the day, only to be woken occasionally by a squad of Vahki, wondering why I was not working (it took a month or two for my exemption request to finally get through to Turaga Dume).

These long hours tending to the pens are also the reason I'm a Toa today, and not a dead Matoran.

Episode 1:

The Archives are not a small place. By definition, they have to be gigantic and labyrinthine, since they hold samples of every species of Rahi discovered and undiscovered. I am not a fan of mazes, and since my job did not require me to leave the area surrounding the Ussal pens, I rarely ventured out without a guide. That is, until Minas got lost.

Minas was one of the Ussal that I looked after. The Chief Archivist in that sector had told me she ran off in the Lower Archives. It was unlike her, she did not usually get into trouble, unlike Nimrut, my personal Ussal. Nimrut's tendency to get into trouble is also the reason he was my personal Ussal, I would never trust anyone else with him. The Lower Archives are home to some of the most dangerous Rahi, and supposedly some top secret things too. It is probably not necessary to say the Chief Archivist did not approve of me going to the lower Archives, so he told me to wait until morning. I was not inclined to disobey the Chief Archivist, nor did I intend to leave an Ussal down in the Lower Archives for the night. After cleaning all the Ussal with the exception of Minas and Nimrut, I gathered my lightstone, heatstone (for Kofo-Jaga), and set out on the back of Nimrut for the Lower Archives at just after midnight. Technically it was morning, of course no one else would be in the Archives at that time besides a few of the more dedicated Archivists and several guards, but I figured they would understand the plight of a lost Ussal.

Episode 2:

There is a reason low-ranking workers like myself were not allowed into the Lower Archives. Not only was it exceptionally dangerous if one of the specimens broke loose, but the Archivists were constantly digging down there, and sometimes they happened upon rather nasty things in the rock. The first time a Doom Viper was discovered, for example. Several Archivists died to its toxic breath upon unearthing its nest. Because of the uncertainty of the Lower Archives, and their significantly larger size than the rest of the Archives, the Lower Archives have always been closed to the public. My journey into the Lower Archives to find a lost Ussal was not just illegal, but it could very easily have cost me my life.

I knew I was going the right direction because of all the warning signs, and the guard that stopped me before a gate.
“What’re ya doing all the way down here at this time of night?”
“An Ussal got lost down here yesterday. I would like to look for her, if you please.” I replied. I could tell the guard was not going to let me pass easily because of the look on his face. “I will not take long, please, just a few minutes to see if I can call her out of there.”
The guard sighed, he could tell I was just going to find another way in if he stopped me here. “Alright, you’ve got thirty minutes. I expect to see ya back here by then, it’s dangerous down there.”
I thanked the guard and went through the gate, and before long I had lost my bearings. I could swear to Mata Nui it had only been five minutes, but I felt as if I were already Kios beneath the surface. The tunnels were endless, and besides the light from my lightstone, there was very little visibility. I saw a lighting system that ran the length of most of the tunnels, but it was turned off, no use for light when no one is using the tunnels, right? I had called out to Minas a few times whenever I hit an intersection, but I never heard anything besides my own echo come back. I had started to give up hope, it had been more than thirty minutes and I had no way of knowing if I was going in circles or just getting more lost in the depths. Then I thought about heading back, and realized I was completely lost. Even if I wanted to give up the search and head back, I had no hope of making it. I cursed to myself, why did I risk the life of myself and my Ussal for a crab that ran off? I thought about just falling asleep until the Archivists come to work and find me. Hopefully they would happen upon me before some rampant beast did. I told Nimrut to sit, and I put my lightstone away. I rested my heatstone near my feet and dozed off.

Episode 3:

It is worth noting that Ussal are not quiet creatures. Their many legs make a shuffling “click-clack” every time they move, and they have a tendency to chirp. Their scuttling and chirping is a sound most matoran in Onu-Metru have grown used to, though I have heard from matoran of other Metrus that the noise would be difficult to fall asleep to. Ga-Metru has its singing Dermis turtles, Onu-Metru has its chirping Ussal crabs.

I awoke to Nimrut chirping at me. The lighting system was off, so it must still have been night. I thought about the Ussal back in the pens, and how I should probably be waxing them before the workday started, when Nimrut took off. Like I said before, Nimrut has a tendency to get into trouble, but the way he ran reminded me more of what Ussal look like when they are called by their masters, attentive and excited. I ran after him, calling out for him to stop, but he was long gone. For creatures that make so much noise Ussal are extraordinarily quick. I could still hear the echo of his scuttling, but it was coming from every direction now. I had lost Nimrut. Before I came to the irony of losing an Ussal while looking for a lost Ussal, I saw a light turn on at the end of one of the side passages. Perhaps the Archivists were back at work? I went toward the passage, and shouted out.
“Hello? Is someone there?” No response came, though the light suddenly went out. I reached for my bag, only to find I had left it behind in my haste to catch Nimrut. I went deeper into the passage, placing my hand on the wall to keep my sense of direction. I ventured deeper and deeper before feeling an opening with my hand. I figured this was just as good a place as any to see where the light had come from, and went inside, though it was not my reasoning that made me want to enter, I just felt… like it was right. I walked into the chamber, and a wave of cold washed over me. I had the sudden feeling that I was trespassing, when I heard a voice.
“You really shouldn't be here, little one. Now that you are, however, my hand has been forced.”

Episode 4:

Onu-Matoran have good night vision, but it is certainly not perfect. If there is very little light, we can usually make do, but if there is no light whatsoever, we are just as blind as anyone else. This common misconception leads to plenty of jokes from outsiders, most of which are based on ignorance of Onu-Matoran culture. I tolerate it, of course. After all, we have plenty of names for Matoran of other Metru. Being unable to see in complete darkness is also why I could not identify the voice in the dark, and why at this point, I really wished I had a lightstone.

“Please, I do not wish for any trouble.” I said. I did not know at the time what kind of mess I had stumbled into, but I did not feel out of place. My mind was telling me to run, but I found that my feet were still. I could not will myself to move, even though I thought to run I did not feel a present danger.
“Little one, the only trouble you have caused is mine to bear.” The light turned back on, and before me I saw a tall figure, clad in brown and tan armor. He wore a mask, a style I had seen before on a friend.
“You are… you must be…” I could hardly speak, I could feel the power radiating off of the being in front of me.
“A Toa, yes. I know you must be wondering what I’m doing here and why, but I'm afraid those questions must wait. For now, my plans must be accelerated. Admittedly this is much sooner than I expected... but destiny works in strange ways. Perhaps this is what the sundial meant...”
The Toa did not seem to be talking to me so much as discussing with himself. His eyes never met mine, they just stayed on the table in front of him. I had not noticed the table when the light came back on, or anything in the room, actually. The shock of meeting a Toa was quite occupying. I looked around the room, finding my bearings. It was not a large room, and it had fairly plain walls other than the texturing of the rock. The Toa sat near the table, focusing intently on it. His hand covered his mouth, his brow furrowed. I looked to the table and noticed what the Toa was so focused on. A series of bright stones sat on the table, and a tablet with writing I couldn't make out. It wasn't round and organized like Matoran, it was harsh and cryptic. As I was about to ask what he was doing, the Toa stood up and took one of the bright stones in his hand.
“As I said, destiny works in strange ways, little one,” he said as he offered the stone out to me. “This is a Makoki stone, and it appears destiny intends for you to have it.”

Episode 5:

Most Matoran do not interact with Toa. Not only are Toa usually off island while Matoran are working, but many Matoran deliberately avoid Toa. I never understood why, but most of my friends never wanted to be near or around Toa as a Matoran. Toa are tall, armored, and incredibly powerful, so I guess part of it is just that Matoran are generally intimidated by them. Far from interacting with Toa is fantasizing about being one. Most Matoran are comfortable working and living in their simple lives, without the worry of getting killed. I was always a little different, but supposedly Matoran with the calling always are, like destiny is whispering to them and they simply cannot understand yet.

“What is… I mean, why are you giving this to me?” I had more questions than that, but at the moment I could not think to say anything more.
“Destiny has much in store for you, little one. Take this stone,” the Toa said, thrusting the stone into my palm, “and go to the deepest part of the Archives. You will know what to do next.”
I did not fully understand the Toa’s strange request, but I understood enough to know I should listen.
“But, I do not know the way.” I said, suddenly remembering how lost I was.
“Perhaps these two can help.” The Toa then whistled, and two familiar Ussal crabs entered the room. “I needed their assistance in excavating some of the rock down here, I hope you don't mind that I borrowed them for my studies.”
“How did…”
“I wear the Great Rau, the Mask of Translation. Asking them to help was a simple matter. Now perhaps they can guide you out of here. I will tell Minas the way there, ride on Nimrut and follow her, then let your instincts take over.”
It was all too strange to me, but I nodded and got on Nimrut’s back. The Toa clicked at Minas a few times, and Minas got up and started trotting out. I looked behind me as Nimrut followed her, and saw the Toa begin to study the tablet again. I turned back and continued deeper into the Archives. After a little while, the lights came on; the workday had started, but I was so wrapped up in the moment I did not even think about the unwaxed Ussal left in the pens. I did not have time to think much at all, as before I knew it a large stone circle stood before me on the wall. I got off Nimrut and walked up to it. It was smooth, and almost organic in look, with a convex shape. I reached out to touch it, and it disappeared, retracting into the wall around it. Behind where the stone circle used to be, was a passageway. I walked inside, not thinking at all. I was letting my instinct take over, and my instincts were telling me to keep going. I came to a large, round table, seemingly made of the same material the stone circle outside was. Around its edges were impressions shaped like stones. I knew what I had to do. I placed the stone I received from the Toa into one of the impressions on the rim of the table. Then there was a bright flash, followed by total darkness.

Episode 6:

A great Toa once said “No wonder we have to be chosen to be Toa. Nobody would ever volunteer for this job.” I can agree wholeheartedly with that statement, now that I understand what being a Toa is like. Many see Toa as heroic, unstoppable beacons of justice, infallible in every way. The reality is, Toa just try their best, like everyone else does.

My ears were ringing and my head felt like there were Kofo-Jaga crawling all over it. My body felt numb, and… unfamiliar. I slowly opened my eyes, and looked down. At first I thought I was hallucinating, still disoriented from the blast, but after blinking and shaking my head vigorously the sight did not change. Dreaming, that must have been it. That whole night felt like a dream: Minas running off, getting lost in the Archives, meeting a Toa, and growing a whole Bio taller. I tried to stand up, still not entirely believing what I saw. I put my hands on the ground and pushed myself onto my feet, and stumbled over again. My body was not my own anymore, I was not just taller but… stronger as well. I picked myself up and leaned on the stone “table” in the room, where I had put the stone. Leaning heavily over the ledge I saw the “table” had opened up, a series of weapons lay inside. Swords, disk launchers, axes, claws, and some things I could not even identify. Surely I was dreaming. There was no way, no remote possibility that this was real. I was looking into a Toa Suva, and I was now a Toa. Things were becoming clearer now, everything made more sense. No longer was my mind as a Matoran saying “this is all a dream,” but my Toa mind was saying “this is destiny.” I now had a decision to make, what tool would I use? A sword? No, that was not right. A drill? No, I was never an Archivist, I worked with the Ussal. Ussal… that was what my tool would be! Not a weapon, a shield, like the shell of an Ussal! I reached in and found a large round shield, organic but stone-like, the same as the door and the Suva. Thinking about Ussal, I realized Minas and Nimrut were no longer in the room. I rushed out, not willing to let my Ussal get lost again. I no longer felt out of place, I could feel the earth moving around me, sense every passageway and crevice. I saw Archivists starting their work up ahead, and ran past them. I could run so fast now, and I was certainly not tired; I felt as if I would never tire out. I went flying past the guards, and back toward the Ussal pens. When I got there I found most of the Ussal resting; the Archivists had started the workday without them. Where were Minas and Nimrut though? At that moment I heard running water. Not the most common sound in the Archives. I turned toward the sound. It was definitely water, and it was getting louder, almost roaring now. The chamber began to shake, and I had a sudden thought. Flood. Somehow the ocean around Metru Nui had found entrance to the Archives. I took a deep breath and braced myself for impact, then closed my eyes. What a cruel fate, the moment I gained power and felt like I could finally protect others, I would be reminded of my powerlessness by a force I cannot stop.

Episode 7:

We hate it when things don't go according to plan. {It makes everything so complicated} Don't you hate that, when things make themselves more difficult when they don't need to be? {Shhhhhh, don't answer that} You have many questions, and we’re afraid that's how we’d like it to stay for now. All will be revealed at the pace we choose. We’re not your little Toa friend. {In fact, I'm not really friends with anyone} We tend to put a blade through people’s throats before we ever get close to them. {So for your sake, hope I don't get too attached}

Manipulation is a skill we possess. {Shapeshifting is too, but I'll get to that later} You see, our job is to kill Toa, and we’re rather good at it. {Well, not exactly killing Toa, rather killing Matoran destined to become Toa} You see, our master is not particularly fond of Toa, he finds them too noble, honest, and most disgusting to him, bold. Toa are so bold that they present a threat to his plans, and although killing a Toa is certainly possible for us, it can be...risky. Underestimating Toa is done at one's own risk. They're surprisingly resourceful, and there can be no room for error in this plan, no room for a Toa to get away alive. Obviously, Matoran aren't difficult to kill, especially in the southern islands, where there's very little Toa influence, {Which is why I kill the Matoran destined to be Toa rather than the Toa themselves} Luckily for us, we get the entertaining job, killing them. {Finding out who to kill is a job for some other poor sod} However, on Metru Nui, there are Toa everywhere, and a Matoran going missing draws… unwanted attention. As such, our methods must be more subtle {More creative too, which is, by extension, more fun} when working in the larger population centers. {After all, “accidents” happen all the time in cities} Whether it be a Le-Matoran getting stuck in an unexplained chute collapse, a Ga-Matoran’s fishing boat sinking never to be found, a Po-Matoran “slipping” off the top of a sculpture, or an Onu-Matoran drowning in a flood.

Episode 8:

An… associate of ours finds Matoran with the calling through a complex process. {It involves stargazing, artifact hunting, and occasionally experiments with energized protodermis} He just tells us where to look, and we find the Matoran. Matoran with the calling aren't usually hard to spot, they're always the odd ones: De-Matoran who are noisy, Bo-Matoran who have unkempt gardens, Le-Matoran that are afraid of heights, Ga-Matoran that can barely swim, {And of course, the adventurers} Once we know where to look, identifying our marks is a simple task.

We had been trailing one particular Fe-Matoran in the Southern Continent for days, {And I was now fairly tired} We had been waiting in the dark to ambush him, but he was strangely paranoid, {Perhaps just a little mad} and avoided the shadows constantly. We would follow him and lose him every time he turned a corner. This time, we could've sworn we would get him, but we heard the sounds of heavy footsteps near the dark alley we were hiding in. We retreated further into the shadows, wondering what a Toa would be doing in the marketplace, when we saw something far worse. Makuta Gorast isn’t exactly ugly, {Quite attractive for a Makuta actually} but her reputation doesn't leave much to the imagination. This was her domain, and we’d be fools to let her catch us here. {A dead fool, too} We faded into the shadows, and shadow-shifted away. {Yes, I can turn into the shadows and travel through them at impressive speed} We were disappointed that we lost our mark yet again, but it wouldn't be long until we found him again. {Though this job was beginning to become tedious} We had plenty of time to complete this job, after all, our master has waited a long time for his plan to play out, he can wait a while longer. Killing Toa before they realize their destiny and not drawing attention is the goal, and we cannot make mistakes. {Time is not the concern, caution is}

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Oh wow.
That last sentence in Chapter 1 escalated the story very quickly.
Mommy. I'm scared.

I'll take that as a compliment.

Not sure why, but lest we forget made me think of Vikings for some reason
Promising start though!

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I'm intrigued....

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Thanks guys, I might upload new episodes bi-weekly if enough people see this and are interested. I'll have to actually spend time on writing it to stay on schedule then, lol.

Looks promising, the last sentence does make an impact as previously said.

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Alright everyone, there's episode 1 for y'all. Let me know if you think one week is too slow for updates!

EDIT: Episode 2 is out, not that anyone seems to be reading this anymore.

EDIT: There's episode 3. Don't worry, it picks up after this. I know it's been a tad boring so far.

EDIT: Episode 4 is out, don't know how many people are still reading, but I'll keep going.

Just read the last two episodes/chapters, so I'm around here at least (albeit a bit late). Just as a heads up though, I don't believe just updating the OP/first post makes it seen as updating. Either that, or everyone is just too lazy to comment.

But as for the story itself, I like where this is going.

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Well, I'd rather not make a new post every week, because that'd be kinda like spam-posting I think. Thanks though! I was just worried no one realized I was updating this every week (though I did write that I was in the original post).

That's reasonable, I'll just keep in my mind to check this topic more often. You're welcome!

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Wow. I just read Chapter 4.
All I can say is wow. Good job.

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Episode 5 is here, we're starting to get out of the exposition and into the plot. Prepare for potentially longer and more intense episodes from here on out.

Wow.

I... don't know what to say...

...Is he a Toa?

Hm, interesting... I wonder what the purpose of that stone was (I think I may have an idea, but still).

Oooooh. I quite enjoy this. You have intrigued me.

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Just wait 'til this Saturday when episode 6 comes out. I pull a pretty wicked cliffhanger.

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Here we go, episode 6. Enjoy everyone!

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Whereas my Toa just bumble along and hope for the best :stuck_out_tongue:

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