I’m in the tunnel again… I remember this place, though I can’t say exactly where it is. In the dim light all around me, I see others… other Toa. There’s Lewa, and Onua, and Gali… Takanuva towers over most of us, and there’s some more who I don’t recognize, including a full team armed with variations of shields and spears. All of us are looking forward, to a door or hatch of some kind that appears to mark the end of the tunnel. Kneeling in front of it, Tahu and another Toa of Fire are tampering with what looks to be a locking mechanism, heating it up in hopes of either making it cooperate and open or melting it altogether… we want out, we oh so desperately want out. A deep rumbling sound suddenly echoes through the space. We’re all on edge, looking around, wondering where it has come from as the whole tunnel begins to shake like an earthquake. However, it’s… muffled somehow. This isn’t a violent shaking, more a damped rocking back and forth that lasts for a couple of seconds, leaving the tunnel intact. I notice now that, in the reflection of the fire, this is not a natural tunnel; it is lined with metal plates, and we’re standing on a rusty, corrugated floor. The space is cavernous; the diameter of this tunnel has to be at least fifty feet, and the whole thing feels almost… industrial. Our attention is drawn upwards again as a thunderous voice echoes from everywhere:
“SO YOU FOUND YOUR WAY HERE, BROTHER…” it says in a slow, deliberate manner, but the sheer scale of whatever must be producing a voice like this makes everything it says take on a deeply threatening tone.
“We’ve arrived somewhere…” a Toa near me mumbles.
“Where?” another asks. I have no answer, nor does anyone else.
“We’ll find out soon!” Tahu assures us.
“AND YOU HAVE COME AT LAST, TO TRY AND FINISH ME, NO DOUBT,” another voice, slightly higher in pitch but no less threatening, calls out. It’s coming from outside, I’m pretty sure, and it sounds slightly muffled by distance.
“THIS IS WHERE YOU END, BROTHER,” the first voice declares as we start to feel some… movement. It’s slight, but it feels like the floor is tilting, yet none of us are falling. Another deep, loud crashing sound is followed by what I can only describe as an earthquake aftershock. All of us Toa stand, weapons at the ready, gaze still fixed on the door. At last, Tahu appears to be making progress; he’s reduced what was once a formidable locking mechanism to a red-hot, molten mass of metal, which a Toa of Iron is gradually guiding way from its original position on the door.
“Stand back!” Tahu announces as he stands up and takes a few steps back himself. He points at another Toa, one armored in purple and grey… a Toa of Gravity. “Open the door!” he orders. The Toa of Gravity obliges, kneeling down and focusing his power on the door, forcing it outwards… it creaks, it buckles, but then suddenly, with a tremendous crash, it blasts away, revealing a bright light beyond, so bright that everyone has to close their eyes or look away until they adjust… after a few seconds, Tahu shouts another order: “Out! Get out now!” As one, we start charging forward through the opening. A few feet below, a soft yellow-white sand awaits us. After landing, I look back for a moment; the tunnel we escaped leads into a titanic, metal structure, a monolithic skyscraper that reaches up into the dust cloud created by the hatch landing in the fine sand not far away. More Toa come leaping out, landing all around me as we proceed to dash away, up into the dunes. A great shadow is cast over the landscape as, miles above us, something moves in a swinging motion. Moments later, a gargantuan crashing sound, followed by another. I reach the top of the dune shortly after Tahu and look back again; the dust has begun to settle, and now I can see more clearly. The gods themselves are fighting above us. Two enormous robots, Toa-like in stature yet tall enough to reach the stars themselves, are engaged in a terrible fistfight, grappling and launching beams of light at each other, each act accompanied by a deafening racket of clanging metal, enormous creaking joints, and a constant yet almost deafening drone with each laser beam. The hatch we escaped from was located near the sole of the foot of one of them, and now it proceeds to rise up into the air again as the titan takes another step forward.
“YOU ARE WEAK, MATA NUI! YOU ARE OCCUPYING A PROTOTYPE, A LESSER VERSION OF EVERYTHING I COMMAND!” it declares. There is a distinct rage to the way in which this… thing, this being taunts its adversary.
“THAT MAY BE, BUT I AM NOT ALONE!” said adversary responds.
“BROTHER… NEITHER AM I!” the robot we escaped from says. Now there’s satisfaction, confidence… whoever this is knows they are going to win this most colossal of undertakings. My fellow Toa and I can do naught but stand and tremble at what is going on.
“Halt! Who goes there!?” A voice suddenly declares from behind me. I turn, as do my companions, to find a green Glatorian standing on the next dune over, maybe a hundred feet away from us.
“They came out of the Makuta!” another Glatorian appears beside the first; a female from the water tribe. “They must be his minions!”
“No, we are not!” Tahu protests, but more Glatorian appear over the dune and it is already too late. To my great surprise, the green Glatorian points one of his blades at us, then unleashes a cyclone. I dive down, barely dodging out of the way, but am then blasted by a jet of water from his companion. Some of the other Glatorian proceed to hurl various elemental blasts at us as well; Tahu activates his Kanohi Hau to shield some of them, while others dodge out of the way. The Toa respond in kind; now it’s a full-blown fire-fight, all elements being thrown back and forth over my head. From behind my shield, I hurl freezing bolts at any Glatorian that pokes over their dune; Tahu sweeps the place wholesale with a wave of fire, while Lewa is conjuring up cyclones and sending them in the general direction of the Glatorian, who now appear thoroughly outgunned.
“STOP!” A voice suddenly calls out, barely audible over the mayhem. In fact, it’s two voices… I look over from behind my shield to find that Gali and Pohatu are standing almost halfway between the dunes, back-to-back, each facing one of the warring sides. They appear to have… shape-shifted somehow; their armor and weapons have changed. Pohatu now sports a set of helicopter rotors on his arms, while Gali’s mask and arms have sprouted small, aerodynamic fins, and a bulky set of rocket boosters has appeared on her legs.
“What are you doing!?” I call out, but they begin to rise into the air, Pohatu with his rotors and Gali with the rockets, both looking up at the flood of elemental attacks being launched back and forth overhead. Coming into view of the Glatorian, they immediately come under fire; Gali, who’s facing that way, conjures up a wall of water to shield them, while Pohatu creates a solid wall of stone on his side.
“STOP IT!” they call again, and now that the two sides can’t see each other anymore, they are actually listened to. The Toa and Glatorian fall silent; I can’t see what’s going on beyond the stone wall, but by the sound of things, Gali has dropped the wall of water.
“We are not Makuta’s minions!” she calls out.
“What are you, then!?” a skeptical voice sounds from the Glatorian side.
“We are Toa!” Gali continues. “We serve Mata Nui; the body we just escaped from was stolen by Makuta!” There is no reply for a moment; I use my Akaku to see through the stone wall and find that the Glatorian are turning towards each other, apparently discussing what they just heard. “And who are you?” Gali asks in return.
“We know Mata Nui,” an older looking Glatorian stands up. “We fight for him.”
“Hey, it seems we’re on the same side, then,” Pohatu points out. “Could we, I don’t know, stop throwing things at each other?” In spite of the gravity of the situation, there’s a lighthearted sarcasm in his words.
“Prove it!” the female Water Glatorian shouts, holding a trident at the ready.
“You ask for proof at a time like this!?” Tahu shouts over the wall. “What do you know of Mata Nui!?”
“He made us Toa,” the old Glatorian replies, somewhat more calmly. “And yes, I believe we can stop throwing things at each other.”
“Wonderful!” Pohatu exclaims, relinquishing his control over the stone wall, which rapidly crumbles to dust. The firing doesn’t resume, but the air is still tense.
“We are Toa too.” The old Glatorian steps forward. “Some of us are, at least. I am Ackar, and I know Mata Nui.”
“You do, huh?” Pohatu says as he and Gali descend back to the ground.
“He’s a friend of ours,” the Water Glatorian adds, “and he’s in some real trouble right now. We’re here to help him.”
“Help him against that?” Tahu gestures at the giant robot, occupied by Makuta, standing over and behind us.
“We’re trying to keep everyone here safe,” Ackar explains, “but if you know of a way to make things more difficult for the Makuta, I’m all ears.”
“There’s many more trapped inside,” Tahu begins, but the thundering voice of the Makuta overhead cuts him off.
“YOUR SO CALLED FRIENDS ARE GATHERED BELOW, BROTHER…” he taunts. “THEY CHOSE THE WRONG SIDE; I’LL MAKE THEM PAY.” We all look up, angry and terrified, as the titan lifts up his arms and multiple hatches on the sides of his body open up; they’re mere dots at this distance, but there appears to be… some kind of swarm emerging. I zoom in with my scope to get a better view;
“Rahkshi!” I recognize them immediately; hunched over, metal creatures armed with spines and staffs. There must be hundreds of them, armored in a bright yellow with red, glowing eyes.
“Heat Vision Rahkshi!” Another Toa shouts, an identification that is confirmed within moments as some of the leading Rahkshi proceed to fire bright-red rays from their eyes on their way down. They can’t do much at this range, but they’re closing fast.
“WATCH, BROTHER, WATCH AS MY SONS END THE MISERY OF THOSE YOU FAILED TO PROTECT!” the Makuta declares, after which he lets out an ominous, deep-throated laugh.
“FAILURE IS NOTHING NEXT TO YOUR BETRAYAL,” Mata Nui counters, “AND SOON, YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST MY UNIVERSE!”
“YOU WILL NOT STOP ME, BROTHER…” Makuta continues. “YOU NEVER COULD.”
“We need to stop those things!” Ackar shouts, pointing up at the incoming horde.
“Already on it!” Tahu declares; I now notice he appears to have deployed a set of wings, and he soares up into the sky. Sporting a similar adaption, I do the same; in fact, all the other Toa Nuva are now, by whatever mechanism their armor is equipped with, taking flight to meet the Rahkshi head-on. Already, our allies below us are firing at any that come within range, picking off a few here and there, and we’re doing the same; I shoot freezing bolts at one Rahshi after another, my aim guided by a laser sight that seems to have just… appeared on my mask. Tahu indiscriminately hurls massive blasts of heat and flame upwards, sure to hit something considering the density of enemies in the air above, while Lewa is already whipping up a cyclone, ready to suck in and catch any Rahkshi foolish enough to get close. Gali’s adding water to it to make it a full-blown hurricane. Onua and Pohatu are controlling chunks of earth and stone, respectively, guiding them upwards to strike the Rahkshi at incredible velocities, like elemental missiles. Lagging slightly behind, Takanuva makes up for his slow flying by hurling searing beams of light upwards from his lance, taking down multiple Rahkshi with every shot. Yet the swarm above us is overwhelming, and soon we are surrounded, having to fend off enemies from all sides in three dimensions while more of them continue to stream down around us on their way to our allies on the ground. It’s proper chaos, this; heat rays being fired in all directions, Lewa and Gali’s cyclone now roaring around us as a shield of sorts while the rest of us fire at any target of opportunity; and yet they keep coming, their source, it seems, inexhaustible. All the while, intermittent sounds of thunder and huge, sweeping shadows remind us of the titanic clash happening behind us.
“I can’t keep the wind-storm going forever!” Lewa warns us.
“We can’t hold anything off without it!” Tahu calls back as he thrusts his sword upwards, goring a Rahkshi that was coming down on him, ready to strike him with its staff.
“If we can’t fight them up here, we’ve got to get down!” Onua suggests.
“On the ground, they at least can’t come at us from below!” Gali adds.
“We’re the first line up here!” Tahu argues. “WE WILL NOT DRAW BACK!”
“Most of them are going right past us!” Pohatu points out, “We need to meet them on the ground, where our allies are!” Tahu remains quiet, focusing instead on taking out a number of Rahkshi trying to fly in from below. Every second feels like an eternity, but eventually he replies:
“Fine, we’ll regroup below!” He declares, hurling one final blast of fire upwards before turning and diving for the battlefield below. Onua, Pohatu, and Takanuva do the same, followed by Gali and Lewa, who allow the storm to dissipate. I don’t want to go down, not yet… I can’t hope to hold off all the Rahkshi, but I’ve been sniping them left and right, sending them down, encased in chunks of ice… I line up another shot, take it, and another one goes down; I’m in a trance, it seems, laser-focused on what’s coming at me from above… another one down!
“CLANG!” The loud noise right beside me breaks my concentration. Its armor shattered into pieces, a Rahkshi is sent hurtling across my field of view; I look to my right to find Onua hovering right beside me.
“Kopaka! That one almost got you!” he informs me. “Come with us, down, now!” I wait for a few seconds, unsure of what I should do; I still don’t want to go down… Suddenly, a heat ray almost catches both of us, but I just manage to deflect it with my shield. Onua’s right; I can’t stay here alone...
“Fine,” I relent, turning tail and bolting for the ground, followed closely by the Toa of Earth. Ahead of me, the other Toa Nuva busy themselves by taking out whatever Rahkshi they can on the way down. Leading the way, Tahu turns forward.
“The high ground!” He points a sword to a rocky desert outcrop up ahead. The battle below us has spread around it already; Toa and Glatorian fighting hand-to-hand against the monsters, with elemental blasts thrown into the mix. The first to land, Tahu immediately knocks down a Rahkshi that was using the position to rain heat rays into the melee below. Within seconds, the rest of us arrive; slightly isolated from the battle, we can catch our breath and take stock of the situation. The Rahkshi outnumber us at least two to one, it seems, but Takanuva, who elected to land in the middle of the fray, is starting to turn the tide already; Light truly is a devastating weapon against minions of Shadow, capable of cooking them in their shells in moments.
“Heads up!” Pohatu calls out, hurling a boulder up at another opportunistic Rahkshi trying to come down on us.
“Hang on…” Gali looks upwards, specifically, to the openings on the Makuta from which the Rahkshi were spilling forth.
“What is it!?” Tahu demands.
“I think they’re slowing down!” Gali points out.
“By Mata Nui, she’s right…” Onua agrees. We all look up, and even at this distance, it does seem like the flood of Rahkshi has started to slow to a crawl.
“Good,” Tahu concludes. “We’ll only have to deal with what’s here.”
“YOUR MINIONS WILL NOT BUY YOU VICTORY, MAKUTA!” Mata Nui declares over our heads as he launches yet another series of lasers at his foe. “THE TOA AND GLATORIAN WILL TRIUMPH!”
“YOU THINK I’VE RUN OUT!?” the Makuta replies almost mockingly. “NO, BROTHER… I GOT BORED OF THEM, AND I’VE GOT PLENTY OF WILLING ALLIES ON THIS PLANET ALREADY!” He reaches back with one hand, casting a shadow over our entire battlefield, but it’s aimed right over our heads, at the dark, jagged looking spikes on the horizon beyond. Suddenly, a stupendous blast of shadow energy launches from his palm, hurtling towards the mountains… but instead of striking them full-force, it rapidly dissipates along its way, turning into a dark, ominous fog that descends over the entire range.
“What was that for!?” Tahu demands, but none of us have an answer, and the Makuta appears to be turning his attention back to Mata Nui.
“LET’S SEE, BROTHER, HOW THEY DEAL WITH THAT!” he declares.
I turn my attention back to the mountains, trying to use my scope to pick out any details of what exactly happened out there. A few tense seconds pass… I think I see movement. In fact, there’s a lot of it.
“The mountains!” I alert the other Toa, who had turned their attention back to sniping Rahkshi out of the air and the melee below. They turn and look, just as a dark blotch seems to start spilling forth from between the jagged spikes.
“What’s that!?” Tahu exclaims.
“Something bad, I’m guessing,” Pohatu chimes in.
“Oh yes,” I concur; zooming in on the blotch’s leading edge, I can see what it’s made off… Skrall. Hundreds of them. “Something very bad…”
author's note: well, I got to the final battle at last. I wanted to save it for a bit later, but couldn't really find a reasonable way to do so; besides, the last few chapters had been a little slower anyways, so I figured it was time for some action. There's probably some official 'canon' literature out there on how exactly the fight went down, but these events are how I imagine it, based on what notes various BS01 pages provided.
I'll post more chapters as I finish them. Enjoy!