Midnight’s Dawn: prologue

“Gathered friends, listen again to our legend of the bionicle.” The great crafter, Artakha, said, as he sat upon a golden throne, in front of several matoran, and two Toa.
“This tale is one of loss, of gain, and of discovering who you are truly meant to be. This is a tale of shadows, but these shadows do not writhe in the depths of a great ocean, nor underneath a great island. These shadows face the light, and embrace it. These shadows are the greatest tool to the hero of our story, for without them he would not have the power to face his greatest foe. Now, that’s enough from me. Let’s get on to the tale of the midnight’s dawn”

As the sun rose over the island of Artakha, its master got to work. He used his mask of creation to grow some of the elemental crystals he discovered while on his travels around the new planet he found himself on. After the migration from the Matoran universe to spherus magna, many new things were discovered. A valley full of holes shaped like Matoran and Toa, a new place to call home, and the island these elemental crystals come from. As he began picking the crystals from their veins, he heard two sets of footsteps, as well as some voices
“Come brother. Artakha is the greatest crafter in the history of our universe, and this planet.”
Said one of the voices
“I don’t know Ekimu, even if he is one of the greatest, he still-“
The voices were cut off, as they noticed they entered the room
“Ah. Artakha, forgive my lateness. I had to convince my brother to come along with me”
Ekimu’s brother, Darack, scoffed. This caused Artakha to frown under his mask, before shaking his head.
“Come in Ekimu, Darack. For I was just about to combine the elemental crystals with the disks, to see what the outcome would be”
Artakha grabbed his carving tool, as well as some kanoka disks from the wall. He began melting the crystals, as well as carving the mask. It was to be a mask of shielding, a hau, but with one big difference. The top of the mask was left off, as to leave room for the fire crystals that were to be put on. When the ice crystals that were used to stabilize the fire crystals were finished melting, Artakha poured the molten crystals onto the open space, before placing the unmelted fire crystals into the mask. This caused a small flash, but other than that, everything seemed fine. Artakha let the mask cool, then began teaching the matoran to create the same type of mask with different crystals.

-=-=-=-

The queen sat atop her throne, reviewing several documents about strange flashes of light, and small, unrecognized creatures appearing in the city. It was boring work, but the queen did it with a smile on her face. Someone walked into the throne room, a small Toa, wearing a noble Akaku, he approached the queen, before kneeling. The queen chuckled
“Iriti, my friend, there’s no need to kneel. I’m a Toa, just as you are, and we’ve been friends since childhood”
Iriti spoke, he had a kind voice, one that sounded like he had knowledge beyond his age “my friend. You may be a Toa, but you’re also a queen. And I am your advisor. And as your advisor, I must give you a report on current goings on.”
The queen sighed, before sitting back.
“Go on Iriti. I’ve got a lot of time” she said, pulling up a small program for modeling.
Iriti pulled out a data pad, which had an incredibly long list of current events, as well as notes made by Iriti and small doodles made by the advisor. The queen chuckled, it seemed that the advisor had a more carefree side then he let on. As he was explaining the peace that had recently been made, a guard burst into the throne room, a worried look on his face
“VATHE. MY QUEEN” he said “A BEAST IS ATTACKING THE CITY”
“WHAT?” The queen, Vathe, said “Evacuate the city, get everyone out” Vathe picked up a club that was seemingly made of a thunderstorm “I’ll take the beast”

-=-=-=-

Artakha grabbed the crystals from their veins, allowing them all to melt separately, so as to not negate the abilities of one or the others. Artakha had been experimenting with these crystals for days, and had learnt many things about them, like which elements mix and which don’t. The mask was but a frame, before the melted crystals were applied, giving it a look of glass, as light went through the transparent material.
“And that’s one using 3 elemental crystals” Artakha said, pulling the mask from it’s quench. It was a Kanohi Kaukau, made with water, air, and light crystals. Ekimu looked up at the mask, his smile reaching from ear to ear. His brother, on the other hand, scoffed at the mask making process.
“So what if you’re able to make a mask with elemental crystals. What use does it have?”
Darack said, in an incredibly disinterested tone.
“Ahh. That does seem to be the question, doesn’t it.”
Artakha said, holding up the mask. While the outer shell of the mask was blue, the rebreather like protrusions were green, and the goggle like area in the front was a clear white
“This mask” Artakha said “is made for deep sea exploration. The air crystals that make up the rebreather provides protection from the crushing depths, and the clear white near the eyes produces light, allowing you to see in the water.” Artakha said, placing the mask on the wall
“Interesting…” the matoran said, looking at the mask “but it has no use in battle. Why are we making useless masks?”
“Brother!” Ekimu said, indigent “He is showing us how to make masks. Not everything needs to be about combat”
Artakha then spoke “your brother is right, Darack. The idea that combat is all is a foolish one. It’s what brought our old world to ashes. On this new world, we must strive to be better, to be more than what we were in the old world. That is why I wanted to ask something of the two of yo-“
he was cut off by a flash of bright light, which blinded the 3 for a moment.

-=-=-=-

The queen caught the large, clawed fist of the beast with no face. It definitely wasn’t of this world, or likely any other. It’s legs were that of a rahi, 3 joints and a large, beast-like foot. Long, bony protrusions came from the upper back. They moved with the legs and connected to the heel of the foot, as if it’s own legs couldn’t hold up the weight of the beast. It’s face was blank. It had no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no nose to smell. Vathe had no idea if it needed these sensory organs to function, or if it was attacking on instinct. The beast’s arms were similar to that of a Toa, or matoran, excluding the razor sharp claws. As the beast tried to break free of her grip, she spun, throwing the beast over a city block, before using the wind to fly over to it. It laid in the rubble of buildings, it’s arms twisted into unnatural shapes, and dark black blood poured from each crack in its rock like hide. She watched the liquid pool into two large puddles, before they gained shape and jumped at the queen. She quickly dispatched them, destroying them with the club of zhans
“Beast!” She shouted “You shall leave my city!” She said, pointing her club at it “And never return!”
She brought down lightning bolt after lightning bolt on the creature, causing it to twitch and contort, twisting its arms into even more unnatural shapes. As she floated to the ground, the snapping of bones and popping of joints could be heard, as the beast began healing. It stood up, its claws aimed for the queen. She jumped, but not before her legs were separated at the knee. She gasped in shock, as a bright green liquid began flowing and squirting from the stumps. Her breathing became shallow, and her vision blurred. The beast stood over her, arm high above its head, before Vathe called upon her bloodline’s ability, as a tidal wave crashed into the creature, flinging it to the other side of the city. As it did, vathe laid there, thinking on what this day had been.
“I-Iriti. I’m… sorry” she said, as a flash of white light enveloped her and the city, and she and the city vanished from the face of Centauri magna.

-=-=-=-

As the mask came out of the forge, Artakha smiled, looking over the craftsmanship. He smiled, handing the mask to Darack, who fiddled with it. He watched the matoran, who ran his hand over the visor of The mask.
“It’s… amazing, great crafter” he said, as his previous attitude washed away
“That it is, my young matoran” the crafter said, turning down the heat on the forge
“keep it, and remember: even the most useless seeming mask can be useful in the right situation” Artakha offered
“Are you sure, great crafter?” Darack said, a smile spreading across his face
“Of course he’s sure brother” Ekimu spoke up
“Why, if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have offered.”
The three looked at each other, as good friends would. Then a light burst in front of them, temporarily blinding them. When they regained sight, they would see someone laying on the ground, without lower legs, bleeding from where they would have been. Everyone’s eyes widened, and Artakha motioned for the two matoran to get behind him. He would grab something that looked like a data pad from the wall, and he pressed down on the middle button. Soon, a Toa in robes came in, picking up the unconscious being. Artakha then sighed, before kneeling down to the two beings thought to be matoran.
“Ekimu, Darack. There are so many things I need to tell you, and I didn’t want to tell you until now. I know you’re both Makuta…”
the two both looked shocked, but before they could speak, Artakha spoke up
“Before you ask, I’ve known since you got here. Now come with me. There is much to discuss”
He motioned them along, and they followed, not sure what was next.

-=-=-=-

The queen bolted up. Her armour gone and replaced with a comfortable fabric. She felt around her face, happy to feel her mask held snugly to it. She took in a deep breath, before looking around her room. It looked like an infirmary, and it looked seemingly empty, before she noticed someone in the corner, typing away at a computer terminal. He was muttering something to himself about “strange reading” and “different elements”. Before she could say anything he spun around in his chair, holding up a finger. He wore a black lab coat over his deep green armour, and his mask strangely resembled that of a Vantablack raven. He then began to speak
“Now I’m sure you’re wondering where you are, and what you’re doing here” he said, his voice was gruff and raspy, like someone who constantly had a cold “and I don’t know if I can answer it in anyway that makes sense to you”
Vathe rubbed her head, as she realized she had a minor headache
“What do you mean? Where’s Zhans? Iriti? My club?” She said, raising her voice
“Ya know?” The strange being asked her “I thought you would have asked what happened to your legs”
“My… legs?” She asked. Then it came flooding back to her. Her legs were taken from her by that beast. That didn’t stop her from trying to get out of the bed, before someone stepped in the room. This one was definitely a Toa, but not of any element she had seen. Before she could pull herself out of the bed he used his mask of speed to run over to her, stopping her from getting out of the bed
“Woah woah. You shouldn’t be trying that” he said, his voice smooth “you don’t have legs yet, we’re having our best men working on prosthetics for you” he said, smiling.
Vathe looked up at him, before laying back down “alright” she said “tell me where I am”
“Well” the unidentifiable Toa said, sitting on a chair “you’re in the left hand’s based on the island of Artakha.”
Vathe rubbed the back of her head “Artakha? What’s an… Artakha?” She asked, confused about the word
“You don’t know about the great crafter?” The Toa asked
“I don’t know anything about you either” Vathe chuckled “I do know that you can help me through whatever’s going on”
“Well I’m Kyron, and I hope I can” he said, looking into her eyes
“That… that would help”

-=-=-=-

Ekimu and Darack sat in chairs across from Artakha, looking up at the great crafter. Artakha’s face was warm and inviting, and his smile brought them peace. Just moments before, he had invited them to ask questions, but they couldn’t decide what to say.
Ekimu spoke up, his voice trembling “h-how long have you known” the Makuta asked
Artakha chuckled a bit “a little while after you took up residence on the old island. You two couldn’t exactly get your story down on what type of matoran you were. It went from Av to Ta to Onu, before you both settled on Ko.”
The Makuta looked at eachother, remembering that time. Then Darack spoke
“Why didn’t you get rid of us. You weren’t exactly how you are now”
Artakha’s smile turned to a frown “you’re right Darack. I wasn’t. I was cold and distant to the residents of my island. And I was foolish. Foolish enough to think to throw you both out. But I decided against it. You must have come to my home for a reason. So I took you both in, allowing you to stay.” He said, looking down
Ekimu’s voice rang out, a happy voice “I’m glad you did. Without you, we would have been killed by the other members of the brotherhood. We’re… we’re the last Makuta alive, as far as I know”
Artakha looked down at them, smiling. “You two. You deserve something for your perseverance.” He said “I’ve been planning something, and I’ve needed people to watch over it, what do you say”
The Makuta brothers looked shocked, after all. This was the great crafter offering them this chance. They both accepted hastily, and Artakha pulled out a map of an island
“I was thinking about calling it Okoto Nui” Artakha said

-=-=-=-

Only 10 years later and many matoran and two Toa ventured to the island that would become Okoto Nui, and the Makuta brothers began work, alongside the two Toa. Vathe had become an architect in these past years, and Kyron helped build larger buildings in no time with his iron abilities. Darack and Ekimu were rubbing their new masks, given to them by the great crafter. The brothers looked over plans with Vathe, before Kyron gave Vathe a little peck on her head. This caused her to run after him, leaving the brothers alone to look over the plans Vathe left them
“What did those old glatorian call that?” Ekimu asked Darack, smiling
“They called it love brother. I believe it was specifically romantic love” Darack said, track his finger over some lines before looking over at the two
“Romance” Ekimu uttered “I don’t think we ever heard that word in the matoran universe”
After Vathe had caught Kyron and tried to do the same to him, she walked back over to the Makuta, sighing and muttering something about her prosthetics making her too short.
“Sorry about that. I just had to deal with someone” she said, sending a death glare to Kyron, before directing him to put up a new steel beam about 2 meters away from her, which he did with a smirk on his face, and Vathe couldn’t help but blush
“It’s no problem Vathe, besides, Ekimu is incredibly patient”
“That I am, now. Where did you want to put the light crystal farm”
“Right over there” she pointed in the direction of what looked like a temple, with a large forge being built into it
“In there? But… why?” Ekimu asked, before Darack elbowed him
“That’s our forge. It will be better if the supplies are right at our fingertips”
“He’s right” Vathe said, shrugging, before Kyron kissed her on the head again, before running
“Oh that’s it” Vathe muttered, getting up and chasing him around, as the Makuta brothers chuckled.
“This truly is an island we can call home”
“That it is Ekimu, that it is”

-=-=-=-

Many years later, and the cities on the island neared completion. The mask maker’s city was finished a little under a year ago, and the mask makers themselves had planned for a festival celebrating its anniversary. The capital city was almost finished, all that was needed was what Vathe was working on. She had an earpiece in and was talking to Darack
“Yes Darack. This tower should be able to contain any power source you have. I need to go now. Yes, I hope to see you tonight, bye” she said, looking ver plans for a tower in the middle of the newly built capital city, as her daughter played by her side. Vathe looked down at the young Brix, smiling. A sound came from the door at the front of the house, and Kyron stepped in
“Vathe. I’m home” he said, dusting off his armour
“Anything interesting happen today?” She asked, holding out her hand
“Another attack by that ragtag gang matoran claiming to hear Teridax” he said, before kissing the top of her head.
Brix let out a gag at seeing her parents showing affection to one another “bleh” she gaged, causing her parents to laugh
“Come on Bri” Kyron said, holding up his hand for a high five “it’s no big deal”
“But it is dad” she whined “you and mom are gross”
“Even when dealing with bad guys” Vathe asked, while Kyron did a few fake karate moves in the background, causing Brix to flump back onto the couch
“Especially then”
A honk could be heard outside, as Kyron checked the time “kraz. It’s almost time to go” he said, before taking off his armour and rushing up the stairs
“Go where?” Brix asked
“Today’s the anniversary of the construction of the mask maker’s city”
“Can I come too mom?”
“I’m sorry kiddo” Kyron replied, running down the stairs in a t-■■■■■ andjeans “we don’t want you getting lost, so you’re gonna spend some time with uncle Kro in the mask maker’s city.”
“Awww. C’mon. I won’t get lost” the young Fe-matoran whined
“Tell ya what” Vathe said “we’ll bring you home a candy apple”
“Ok…” Brix said “but you better”
“We will.” Kyron said, as they exited the house as Kro had arrived to pick up their child
“Brother” Vathe said “it’s so good to see you”
”you as well Vathe, and Kyron. It’s so good to see you” Kro said, wearing his black lab coat, but his voice sounded much better than when Vathe first met him “where’s Brix?”
“Kro!” Brix shouted, before running into a hug with him
“Brix!” He said, hugging her and picking her up “you must have grown at least 3 inches from when I last saw you. In fact, one day I don’t think I’ll be able to pick you up”
“No way. You’re a super strong Toa. You’ll always be able to pick me up”
“Take good care of her Kro. She can be a handful”
“Of course I will, old friend. It will be a great night” he said, waving the two off to the celebration. It was a large festival to the foundation of the island, and the two Makuta Ekimu and Darack. Vathe and Kyron would go around, playing some carnival games and eating some… questionable foods, before speakers blared to life. The voice that came out was that of Ekimu.
“Hello my fellow islanders” he said, his voice jovial “we hope you’ve been enjoying yourselves”
“That’s right” his brother chimed in “we’ve been planning this event for months, and we’ve got something we’ve been dying to show you all” the brothers pulled out a multicoloured mask, each seemed to represent a different element of the main 6.
“This is the mask of ultimate power” Ekimu said “and it will benefit everyone”
Vathe got a chill down her spine, and her wire like hair stood on end
“With this we will eliminate poverty, hunger, and it will provide power to the city.” Darack said “But first, I will put it on, to demonstrate what it does” he spoke. He placed the mask on his face, and everything went light.

-=-=-=-

Darack looked up at the dark sky around him. Everything around him had a purple hue, and he could barely see his hand in front of his face.
“Hello?” The Makuta asked, his voice echoing off the buildings around him. Then he heard groaning from around him, and he saw the heartlights of tens of matoran. He felt at his face, feeling only his mask of control on it, not his and his brother’s new mask. After his eyes adjusted to the shadows around him, he could see that the buildings were incredibly strange. He recognized the architecture of Vathe, but also that some of the material that formed the buildings were not of spherus magna. That’s when it was heard, the shriek of a beast. It crawled around the corner, and Darack tried to call to his hammer, but it wouldn’t come to his hand. He scoffed it off, he was a Makuta after all. He should be able to take something like that. That’s when he heard the skittering of his citizens behind him, and he knew he had to do something. It had been thousands of years since he used a Kraata power, excluding quick healing on others, so he brought something forth: his shadow hand, which he used to grab and absorb the beast. At first, everything felt normal, and Darack turned to address those with him, before it started. The screaming in his head. When he absorbed the beast, he also absorbed its primitive brain, causing a painful, unending shriek of anger and primal rage. The pain this caused made the Makuta fall to his knees, clutching his head, screaming. Someone ran over to him, before they were thrown back by a twisted version of the Makuta’s arm, as it mixed with the beast’s. Soon the rest of his body followed the gruesome transformation, as the Makuta stood over everyone who was stuck with him. He began laughing, laughing in shrieks that would make many scared. He then stopped, looking over his new form, an aura of evil coming off of him. This was the birth of a tyrant.

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