Spirit Birth: Legend's Beginning
DescriptionChapter 1. Based off Lego's Bionicle toy line.
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The blade was stained black, almost disappearing in the shadows of the underground lair. Steam rose off it, hissing quietly from the unbearable heat. The sizzling sound was unheard, however, drowned out by the heavy breathing of the hulking Makuta, who had been driven to his knees. His blood-red eyes, though glazed over, pierced the full dark. His lips were peeled back in a pained snarl, though the energy was gone from him. His anger was, again, fueled. For this was his first death, it was not his first failure. For the last twelve years his plans had been foiled time and time again by a single hero. Kopaka, the Toa of ice. Makuta remembered the very day the white one appeared. He had watched, darting from shadow to shadow, eyeing this strange, new creature of intelligence and strength, followed him in secret as he was inexorably drawn, feet dragging in the sand, dirt, and stone, to the Ko-Koro mountains, where snow was more abundant than air. Normally Makuta did not venture into the six Matoran cities. Not out of fear of the small workers who did not reach his knee but fear of his self. Whenever he saw the Matoran he found himself full of a rage hotter than the lake of magma in which Ta-Koro floated. And Makuta could not let his anger control him. Yet. He must wait until the time is right. And with the coming of this white creature, Kopaka, it seemed to be drawing closer and closer. He stalked the man like a lion stalks his prey, waiting to see just what it will do. Just imagine Makuta's glee when the Matoran struck out of their homes carrying large discs, the weapons they could throw at long distances. Quickly they took place and readied their arms, letting Kopaka come into range. For a brief moment Makuta actually believed the Hall of Prophecies was wrong, that the Matoran would defeat and shun the man before the fortold could approach fruition. But a snarl, so close to the one on his face now, appeared when Turaga Nuju hobbled out of the gates and ordered the guards to stand down. The man, with a crooked back and still taller than the Matoran, bowed his head to the white creature. The whispers had begun then, but Makuta heard them all distinctly. Their wise one was kneeling? Makuta knew, once and for all, that the prophecies were not just careless tales and that he would have to fight this man, this Toa, of legend. And he had. And he had lost. But dying was not what Makuta had expected. He could feel his body fading, becoming more and more lost and separated from his spirit, but he was not being pulled away. His crimson eyes faded, closed. And opened, deeper in the earth, his body was weak, but strength returned at every passing second. In a moment he stood tall once more. He was not dead. Not anymore. There must have been something more to the prophecy, he thought. After all, Makuta could not read the ancient dialect in its entirety. Only one could do that, a gift given to Turaga Nokama by the Noble Mask she wore. Makuta touched his face with a black, clawed hand and then pulled it away. He looked at it with wonder. He was not dead, but only angrier. And that fury gave him a wave of strength. He was not dead. He could not dieat least not yet. This changed everything. Kopaka returned to the surface with weary feet, feeling his way along, sighing a relieved sigh every time the temperature dropped. The heat down there, underground, flowed like a child's anger and he did not like it one bit. His sword was blackened with Makuta's blood, and so he did not sling it on his back as usual. His shield was rent, but he had only the one so he hefted it up the sloping, winding tunnel. Where was he under the island? The tunnel was so long and Kopaka's sense of direction was gone. He could be under Le-Koro's forests for all he knew, or on the beach, where the water met the land. After a short eternity of decreasing pressure, the white warrior saw, quite literally, the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how much energy he had lost, or the small wounds he had taken, he broke into a run and let the sunlight wash over him. He could hear the quiet roar of a waterfall nearby and was blinded by the bright reflections of lush vegetation. Immediately the stains on his sword pooled together and roiled off like fog. It fled with a mind of its own, disappearing into the tunnel and into the darkness. Kopaka was too tired to care. He dropped his shield and sword and fell back against a concave wall, breathing heavily, his head drawing loops in the air. His left eye, a bit like a spy's goggles, flexed in and out, extended and pulled back, seeing through the rocky walls that rose around him. He was somewhere in Le-Koro, at the base of the Mangai Volcano, which rose in the center of the island. Kopaka sighed and scooped up his items. The sword, now clean, he slung on his back, but he was forced to carry his broken shield. He set off at a steady walk along the base of the volcano. By mid-afternoon he picked up his pace, not wanting to be caught out, alone, at night. But with Makuta dead, what does it matter? He asked himself and had no answer. Something was wrong. As the last lights of the day disappeared, the sea sparkling in the distance, Kopaka saw the gates to Ta-Koro, nestled safely in the Mangai Volcano. He immediately broke into a run, sweat breaking on his masked face. He fought the urge to look back. Something was wrong. There was a shout as he approached and the outer gates first rose, then a series of rocks were lifted from the lava by a hidden series of mechanisms that only Kopaka's x-ray eye could see. In seconds he was across the pillars and through the inner gates. Ta-Koro was the same as the last time Kopaka visited. Hot. The Matoran were either as red as the lake of lava their city sat on or as gold as the lightstones that were set on the walls in place of torches. Kopaka allowed himself to slow. The few people out, the others already retired for the night, stopped and stared. Surely there had been whisperings of what Kopaka had been planning. He had, over the course of many months, scouted out the dreaded Makuta's hiding place. Nobody would have guessed it was right in the center of the island, feet from Mangai's base, though they all suspected it to be underground. The God thrived on darkness. Kopaka waved them off and, trying to remain calm, forced himself to walk the long walk without haste. Vakama's hut, larger than all the others, was just on the other side of the room. The huts were made of rock and connected to the ground itself, almost carved out. In reality, it was the Onu-Matorans who had made them with their expert earth know-how. Kopaka reached the two-room building and stepped inside, pushing past the bead curtain that acted as a door. Two of the Turaga were in the room, seated around, what else, a fire. They were Vakama, the Ta-Koro wise one, and Whenua of Onu-Koro. Vakama stood, using his staff. On top of the long stick was a ball which, on his will, would catch flame. Whenua did the same, though his staff was a drill, not unlike a spear. All the Turaga had canes to show authority, and all were the oldest in the village. They were also set apart by their Noble masks, which granted them limited powers. Kopaka loomed over both of them, as he did to all but Makuta and the Rahi beasts. "Kopaka, you return relatively unscathed. I am glad," said Vakama calmly, placing a hand on top of his cane for support. The Toa could not suppress a smile. Here, in the light caused by the fire and lightstones, he was safe. "I may be fine, but the evil Makuta is not. I have vanquished the dark God. Or so I think." Kopaka inclined his head. "I believe I was withheld information." Whenua and Vakama shared a grave look. Whenua sighed and nodded and began to speak in a gravelly voice. "Kopaka, we did not tell you because we needed to have it confirmed." "Have what confirmed?" The ice warrior tightened his grip on his shield. "In the Hall of Prophecies, it is said that the Makuta can only be defeated by the right person, at the right time," Whenua continued. Kopaka shrank closer to the fire. "I thought Makuta could be defeated by a Toa. That's why I exist, right? To kill Makuta?" Vakama picked up again. "Makuta can be killed by a certain Toa at a certain time." Kopaka's eyes narrowed. "Are you saying there are more Toa out there? Why was I not told?" It was a female voice that answered, from behind the white warrior. "Several, actually, but none have came to us yet. We believe that they will only appear when the time is right." It was Ga-Koro's Turaga, Nokama. "So what am I supposed to do until then?" Kopaka asked. "Wait around and let Makuta destroy Mata-Nui?" Vakama spoke again while Nokama hobbled to his side using her trident. "You are the first, Kopaka, and you will have the most experience when the Toa appears. It will be up to you to teach him or her how, exactly, Makuta can be most easily defeated. Until then, you must keep him at bay." Kopaka thrust his shield at the three. "Look at this! Makuta nearly had me this first time! There is no way I could hold him off a second time or a third or fourth! Look, none of you were there, underground, in his lair. None of you felt his anger, his fury, when I took him down! It was like I could see what he wanted, and he wanted fire. He wants the entire island of Mata Nui to go up in flames. He wants to shatter Mount Mangai and watch as the lava floods over everything!" Kopaka paused, feeling a fear colder than the deepest snows of Ko-Koro. "I think that...that with every defeat his power grows. With our every victory we come closer to defeat." For Kopaka, admitting that fear was almost as impossible as defeating Makuta again. One of the lightstones lining the circular wall, its time come, guttered out and went black.