On (Story)

On is the first story in the Apocalypse Alternate Universe, where the construction of the GSR was delayed by a month, resulting in a much more disastrous Great Cataclysm, being dubbed "The Great Apocalypse" instead. The story focuses on AT001, also known as Niha, a prototype robot meant to replicate a Toa(elemental powers negated).

Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions right on this thread if you feel like it. I love constructive criticism.

Prologue

Helryx's dark office seemed even darker today, even though the sun shone brighter than ever outside. What all had gone on in the past five months? It was all too much to remember. She didn't want to remember. There was a knock on the door. “Enter,” Helryx said clearly. The door opened, revealing Krakua, one of her best operatives. “It's a pleasure to see you, Krakua.”

”As it is to see you, Toa Helryx.”

Helryx motioned toward an empty chair across from her desk. “Sit down.” Once Krakua was seated, and after Helryx took the time to rub her brow, she spoke again. “Four months.”

”What?” Krakua asked.

”Four months. That's how long it's been since we've had any successful communication with anyone stationed north of Voya Nui. It's been four months since the earthquake.” Helryx sighed. She felt weary. “Have you learned anything else of the Brotherhood's plans?”

Krakua shook his head. “We lost contact with our field agents soon after we received their reports of the Makuta's treachery. We haven't heard anything from them since.”

Helryx closed her eyes. Her bones ached. Her soul ached. She may have slapped age in the face—she was nearly 100,000 years old—but she felt frail and ancient. With the Order nearly cut in half, everything was falling apart. “What about the AT model? Do you have the Toa stone?"

"The AT model is fully assembled. All we need to operate it is the Toa stone.”

”Good.” Helryx stood up. “Let's go to the development wing now.”

Destral

The island of Destral—once a symbol of power and protection, it's name now blackened for eternity. The inhabitants of this island—the legendary Makuta—poisoned the Great Spirit Mata Nui, causing a great earthquake that killed thousands. None of the Makuta thought that many of their own species would be counted in the death toll.

On the island, where the Brotherhood's headquarters once was, was an enormous pile of rubble. A green smoke rose from the wreckage. One would almost be able to hear dozens of voices screaming and howling, begging to escape.

The green cloud was a collection of dying souls. Dying Makuta souls.

A being rose from the rubble. Through the living fog, one would be able to make out the maroon and lime armor that he was wearing. If you were a Makuta, you would know that this being's name was Erevayx.

Erevayx walked straight into the cloud, and collected two of the Makuta souls. After collecting them he picked his way toward two lifeless shells. The shells of two once-great Makuta. He bent over the first shell. It's armor was ebony and crimson, and bore the legendary Mask of Shadows.

Erevayx held one soul near the shell, and whispered, "Goodbye, Teridax, for putting us in this mess." Erevayx then incinerated the screaming soul.

The second shell was massive, and was blazing red. "Goodbye, Miserix, for never seeing Teridax's treachery." He burned the second soul.

He turned to the cloud, and roared, "Goodbye, Brotherhood, for never giving me FREEDOM!"

Burning. Screaming. Death.

But, not far away, on the island of Daxia, there was life. Or at least artificial life.

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Chapter One - On

Niha's eyes flashed open, looking around, scanning her surroundings, taking in as much information that she could, so as to orient herself. She was upright, her back leaning against a vertical metal surface. It was cold. She tried to move, but she was secured in place by metal bands around her waist, wrists, and ankles. The room was bright, very bright, and white. Everything seemed very clean and organized. Springs, pistons, gears and wires were all sorted neatly in little metal trays, and everything looked glossy and streamlined. There were four beings in front of her. The tallest one, a black and silver being, stepped forward, and spoke.

“Artificial Toa Prototype 001, can you hear me?”

Maybe this being could help her out of her restraints. “Yes, I can hear you, but I would like it if you called me Niha. Will you please help me out?”

The being smiled. “Yes, Niha. I'm sorry about the bands. I didn't know what you'd do when I turned you on, so I kept you secured to this operating table.”

Niha was puzzled. “What I'd 'do', sir? What do you mean?”

“Well, this is the first time I've turned you on. You've only been assembled for a few days, now.”

“Assembled? Turned on? I don't understand, sir.” Niha was very confused. If a person is alive, they are“born” and they would “wake up”.

The being seemed uncomfortable. “First, Niha, you don't have to call me 'sir', you can call me Mersery. And before we discuss your creation, let's get you off this table.” Mersery waved his hand over Niha, and the metal bands opened up. “You can get off now.” Niha stepped off the table. Mersery motioned over to the other three beings. He pointed to the being that looked much like Mersery. “This is Vantelic. He helped me build you. He doesn't talk much, though.” He then walked over to a shorter being, who wore black and grey armor. “This is Krakua. He is one of the very few Toa in our Order.”

Toa? Order? Niha wanted to learn more. She opened her mouth to ask about it, but Mersery stopped her.

“You'll learn more about our world later.” He then put his arm around the third and final being, who looked female and wore blue armor. “This is Helryx. She's in charge. She is another Toa. She has requested to fill you in on who you are and what you're a part of now.”

Mersery went to the door, but stopped to call Vantelic and Krakua. “Come on. Helryx wants to speak to Niha alone.” Once the three males left, Helryx reached out for Niha's hand. Her grip was strong and reassuring.

“Your hand is cold. Do you know why?” Helryx asked.

“No.”

“Your hand is cold because you are not alive.”

This confused Niha very much. If she could think, feel and talk, how was she not alive? “What do you mean, ma'am?”

Helryx smiled sadly. “Watch this.” She pulled a knife from her belt, and poked a hole in her index finger. A crimson drop of something came out of the hole. “This is blood. All living things need it to survive. Now, I'm going to do the same thing to you. This will hurt, but only a little bit.” Helryx held Niha's hand out, and pricked her finger. Niha bit her lip as a small burning sensation ran up her arm. As soon as the feeling occurred, it disappeared. There was no crimson on her finger as there was on Helryx's. Niha was disappointed, but she still didn't understand.

“If I'm not alive, how can I see, and think, and talk?”

“Because we built you in a way so that you can. The only thing separating me from you is blood, though, so don't worry. Let's show you where you'll be learning and living around headquarters.”

“What? Headquart—”

“No questions right now,” Helryx interrupted, “you'll learn everything within a matter of weeks. Come on.”

Helryx lead her out of the room, and showed her around the entire building. There was the development wing, where Niha had just been. Helryx told her that it was where new technologies were made. Next was the training wing.

“This is where you'll spend the most time. Here you'll learn everything about the world, and how to combat it. No questions!” Niha shut her mouth. The next wing was the practice wing. It was much like the training wing, but Helryx said that full-fledged members had access to every weapon, vehicle, or mission simulation available.

The final wing was the dormitory, where everyone slept. Helryx showed Niha her room. It was small, with a bed, a map of the world, and a desk. She was glad she had a place to call her own, though. She already loved her room.

“Training starts tomorrow in the morning.” Helryx said. “In the development wing, room twenty.”

“Wait!” Niha shouted. Helryx looked surprised. “I mean, wait. Earlier you talked about the world. Can I see it?” Helryx's features were neutral, but Niha thought she saw a hint of a smile on her face.

“Follow me,” she said.

Niha followed her to the center of the building, called the Hub, and then to a pair of heavy metal doors. Two guards stood on either side of them.

“Niha and I are going outside for a moment. Please open the doors,” Helryx asked them.

“Yes, ma'am!” The guards said in unison. One of them entered a password into a key pad, and the large metal doors opened. Niha and Helryx walked through them, and stepped out onto the sandy ground. Niha looked around. The headquarters building was placed in a rocky valley between two sets of mountains. They were beautiful, Niha thought. She could just see the sun peeking over the hills, shining it's warm rays over everything.

“I like the world,” Niha said. “It's beautiful.”

“It isn't as beautiful as it once was, Niha,” Helryx said.

“How so?” Niha asked, wanting to hear more.

Helryx seemed to look weary. “The world used to be alive. I'm afraid that it's now dying.”

Niha couldn't grasp the concept. How could something so beautiful, so holy, so perfect, be dead? How could the world be lifeless? How? “It...it can't be! How can a world die? How is it possible?”

Helryx lowered her head. Niha could see she was obviously in pain. “I...don't know. I am unsure how a world can die, but I do know who is responsible.”

“Who?”

“There is an organization that was once a noble and powerful group of people called the Brotherhood of Makuta. They were responsible for creating the wildlife of the world, but that...has changed.

“No more than four months ago, the group proved to be traitorous. Somehow, some way, they caused a great earthquake that caused much damage, the extent of which we don't know. Now, the world's death is imminent.”

“How can we stop it?” Niha asked. A cold hand had closed around her, and she supposed that it was fear. The death of a world was unthinkable.

“I don't know that either, but our job is to find out.”

“I promise I will do my best to serve your Order, if that's what you want,” Niha stated, sure of her destiny now.

Helryx looked at Niha, no humor in her eyes, no look of reassurance. “There is no turning back if you choose to serve my Order, Niha. Are you willing to make that sacrifice? You will have no freedom, no mercy, and no break. You will be a slave to the will of Mata Nui.”

Niha didn't know who Mata Nui was, but she was sure that if Helryx believed that following his will would be for the best, it must be for the best. “I am willing.”

“Then be ready tomorrow morning for accelerated learning. It takes place in room twenty of the training wing.”

“I will.”

And she was there. She was there every morning for three weeks, learning about the history of the universe, about the history of the Order of Mata Nui, about the history and legends of Mata Nui, about the history of the Toa, and everything else. She learned about the Time Slip, the uprising of the League of Six Kingdoms, and the earthquake that fatally wounded the universe, which was called the “Great Apocalypse.” She learned about Lesovikk and the First Toa Team, she learned about Tren Krom, she learned about Artahka and Karzahni, and she learned about the Dark Hunters. She learned about Metru Nui, and Voya Nui, and Xia, and Destral, and Daxia, and Stelt. She learned about elemental powers in Matoran, Toa, and Turaga, and she learned about powerless, great, and noble Kanohi Masks. She learned about the Vortixx, the Skakdi, and the Zyglak. Niha learned about many other things as well, but they were not as important.

The one thing she hadn't learned about was combat and defense, which she was eager to learn. The day had come, and her excitement couldn't be contained. She was in courtyard twelve, the beginner's combat area. Eolas, the teacher, was going over hand to hand combat.

“Fighting is all about focus, knowing what your opponent is going to do as soon or before he does. Plan quickly, and if you are able to throw something in their face to startle and buy you time to deliver some elbow and knee strikes to sensitive areas.

“If you ever happen to be weaponless, and you end up on the wrong side of a bad guy's fist, don't consider yourself helpless. You may learn martial arts, if you like, but you don't need to know it to beat somebody twice the size of you. Instead of using a bunch of complicated blocks and punches, just focus on your more natural motor movements. Things that you can do without thinking about it. Things like pushing, walking, and simple punches.”

Niha was taking everything in. She was memorizing every word Eolas said.

One of her fellow trainees raised his hand. “What do you target?”

“Well,” the teacher said, “you need to aim for the head. Everything you throw at your opponent, aim for the head. Whether it's a punch or a push, either one will work more effectively when applying them to his head. If you want to get him on the ground, just give a good hard push, with both your hands, to his head. Any questions?”

No one answered, so Eolas clapped and said, “Okay! Let's take turns, and we'll have two of you fight at a time. Let's have Barom and Viosan fight first.

Niha watched each pair of members fight. They were sloppy, she thought, but she didn't voice it aloud. Maybe that's just how living beings worked. Maybe they couldn't remember things as well as she could. Maybe a brain wasn't as effective as a computer when it came to memory.

“Okay, let's have Gorand, and, let's see...Niha!”

Niha felt nervous. She walked up to Eolas, as did Gorand. He was huge.

“Fight!”

Gorand threw the first punch, which Niha ducked. She rolled between Gorand's legs and gave a shove to his back. The hulking Order member nearly lost his balance, but regained his footing just in time to receive a flying kick to his face. A metalic clunk! was heard, and Gorand was out cold.

Everyone was quiet. Niha was breathing hard.

“Niha,” Eolas said, “I think you'll be under the care of a new teacher from now on.”

Niha was worried. “Did I do something wrong?”

“Gorand wasn't a trainee. He's one of our best operatives. You did something very good.” He paused, then said, “It's time to meet Widsith.”

Chapter Two - Walk
Erevayx was sprawled out on the rubble that once had been Destral, where he had stayed for what felt like an eternity. His complete and utter rage that he felt had long passed, and he was questioning his very existence. He had killed many, if not all living Makuta in his anger toward Teridax.

And he had enjoyed it.

With what strength he still had, the crimson-armored Makuta pushed himself up to a sitting position, and his right forearm screamed in protest. Pain? Why was he feeling pain? His flesh and blood had long since evolved into pure energy, along with his pain receptors. When Erevayx looked down at the offending appendage, what he saw sickened him to his core. His forearm was inflamed, and it's color was a sickly shade of green-yellow. It was the unmistakable sign of the early stages of infection.

He remembered it all too well now. He was poisoned by his life's work: biotoxin.

In his mind, past events flashed before him. He saw his lab. He saw himself injecting a fluid into a struggling rahi. The memories were out of focus and hard to follow. He saw shaking, and he saw shelves crashing around him. He felt the pain again, of beakers and vials crashing around him.

He saw his forearm, in perfect detail, covered in toxic smoking liquid.

And he felt a pain greater than he had ever felt before. Erevayx was back in the rubble now, and he was strikken with grief. The poison must have messed with his very being. How long did he have to live? A virus this strong should have killed him by now. If he could survive this long, he must not have been too heavily infected. A searing wave of pain began in his wrist and traveled up his arm and into the rest of his body. He wanted to lie back down on the ground. The rubble was comforting. It would understand him. He wanted to sink back into unconsciousness, to fall into it's embrace. The pain would go away. No more hurting. No more toxin.

No.

He had to get up. If he let the darkness evelop him, he may never wake up. He lifted one shaky leg up and planted his foot firmly onto the ground, ignoring the flare of boiling pain. Erevayx then pushed himself up to a standing position, and took one step. He crashed back down to the earth, wishing he had never gotten up. His vision blurred, and the fog of death threatened to consume him. It would swallow him whole, and take away all of his pain.

No.

He heaved his body upward with all his might, barely hearing the bestial howl that escaped his lips. He was on fire, but his will was as unflinchingly cold as ice. It would extinguish the flames of agony, and his icy resolve would replace them. He stood up again, and moved his left leg forward, willing his body to stay upright. His foot landed heavily on the ground, and his leg wobbled dangerously, threatening to topple beneath his own weight.

No.

Erevayx would not let himself fall again. He moved his right leg forward, and planted his foot more firmly into the ground. Pain, again, was threatening to melt the ice that was his resolve.

No.

It became a chant. Left leg. No. Right leg. No. Left leg. No. Right. No. Left. No.

Again.

No. Walk. No. Walk. No. Walk. No. His body had submitted to his mind, as he had practiced all of his life. He would walk, and he would be in control.

He would keep his sanity.

In the distance, near Destral's shoreline, Erevayx could see a small being—probably a Toa Hagah— dragging a set of empty Makuta armor out of the rubble. A wisp of green energy circled and surrounded the Toa, almost looking eager to enter the armor.

So he missed a few. Limping forward, Erevayx felt a sudden urge to eliminate the Toa and the Makuta energy, but thought better of it. Why did he desire to murder his kin and a servant? The two may become useful in future, he thought.

Remember the others, something whispered to him. You can do it again.

Erevayx was afraid. Why was he thinking these things? He was not evil. It would be easy, his mind told himself.

The mental argument Erevayx was having came to a stop as the green-black smoke in the distance entered the dead Makuta shell, and, with a jolt, brought the shell to life. Erevayx could see that it was the shell of Makuta Serrakaan, who had been a feared assassin, even among the ranks of the Brotherhood. Any urge to murder such a powerful Makuta was extinguished immediately. Erevayx would not be capable of defeating Serrakaan in his weakened state.

Erevayx had nearly reached the Toa and Makuta's location when they spotted him. The two of them exchanged a look, and seemed to come to some sort of agreement.

The Toa stepped forward, giving an almost imperceptible courtsey after reaching Erevayx. She was obviously a female, the curvature of her form, illustrated in white and blue, gave it away. This was Serrakaan's Toa Hagah of Lightning, Kemlar. Her bright, intelligent eyes roved over him, most certainly trying to decipher what he wanted.

"Your excellency, is your armor in working order?" Erevayx liked this one. She knew her place, as she should. Of course, that didn't mean he'd give her the benefit of knowing.

"I would not be able to inhabit this suit of armor if it wasn't in perfect condition." He leaned forward, speaking quieter, "Look first, fool. Then you can speak." The Toa politely nodded, unfazed by his belittlement of her. She then courtseyed, then spoke once more.

"My master tells me he is displeased by your murder of the Brotherhood. He also knows that you are in fact injured." A cool rage overtook Erevayx, a red haze blurring his vision, but he resisted, and continued to listen to the Toa of Lightning. "He also says he could kill you here and now, without taking a step, but he is merciful."

Kill her, his mind told him again. It would be easy, the voice said.

And this time, he listened.

With a snarl, he backhanded the Toa, sending her crashing to the ground. This servant did not, in fact, know her place. He would kill her without a thought, without feeling, and without pity. He took a step forward, but did not get far. Serrakaan was there, his large clawed hand around his neck.

Your arrogance will do you no good, fool.

Serrakaan's voice did not come from behind his fanged mask, it came from within Erevayx's own mind. He whispered in a low growl, one that would have come from a Muaka warning an invader to back away. Serrakaan used his other hand to grab his right forearm; the one that gave away Erevayx's infection.

Your own work will be your destruction.

Erevayx's arm glowed, and it seared with pain. He tried to hold in his agonized roar, but it quickly escaped his lips. His whole being was on fire. He felt sick, wave after wave of pain pummeling his mind and body with merciless torture. Serrakaan let go of him, and Erevayx crumpled to the ground. Serrakaan, the Hand of Fear, had crushed Erevayx's will in one blow.

I have increased the amount of poison in your body, but you will not die soon.

Erevayx, curled up in a ball, was, to his disbelief, able to get a strangled "Why!" out of his mouth, horrified by what Serrakaan had just done. He was in pain. Great pain.

No. He was pain. The Makuta, towering over Erevayx, did not smile, but an air of satisfaction was displayed by his body language. The Toa of Lightning just watched on, expressionless. Her torso was adorned with three long, bloody scratches, dealt by Erevayx himself. He hated her.

I have slowed down your biotoxin's effects drastically. You have only one year to live. I am quite displeased that you murdered my master, Makuta Miserix. And you have angered me. You injured my loyal servant, who only relayed my own opinion. He paused.

You are a fool, Makuta Erevayx. You will receive no pity from me, nor will you from my servant.

He left Erevayx on the ground, and helped Kemlar onto her feet. Erevayx was humiliated and in pain. He struggled to push out the pain, to submit his body to his mind. He could only struggle. The voice in his mind was stronger now, and was clearer. More persuasive. You don't need to fight against me. The pain will make you stronger. Erevayx continued to struggle, fighting against his own mind and body. Submit to the pain. Submit to me. I am Adversary, your companion. Erevayx stopped struggling, curious. The pain was extreme, but dulled.

I will make you stronger, more powerful. In time, you will be able to use your weakness as your greatest strength.

This "Adversary" was interrupted by Serrakaan, who had some news. Erevayx could only look, his vision blurred and red with pain and hatred.

We're moving to Daxia. It is barren, mountainous, and devoid of life. We will start anew there. Get up.

And Erevayx did get up. He lifted himself up, and this time, his stride was steady. He had submitted to his pain.

Adversary was his companion.