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This article was written by Toa Hydros. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.

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Hearts of Heroes is a story series that chronicles the constant stuggles of two Matoran: Gravak and Distrex.


Chapter One

1,300 years ago…

As the Le-Matoran known as Gravak struggled against his captor’s grip, only one though echoed through his mind:

''How could this have happened?!

He struggled to remember how he had ended up in this situation.

He had been employed by a Toa of Plant Life to spy on the activities of the Brotherhood of Makuta. The Le-Matoran had been observing them for a few months when he was finally discovered by a Makuta named Kylla. While she had been commanded to execute the Matoran, Gravak had learned enough about Kylla to know she never made things that easy.

She would most certainly go out of her way to make Gravak’s life as miserable as possible.

Now, she was winging her way to an island south of Metru Nui with the struggling Matoran in tow.

“Let go of me, you witch!” demanded Gravak as he made a futile attempt to break Kylla’s grip.

The female Makuta simply chuckled. Matoran were so pathetic when they tried to sound tough. “Don’t fret, little Matoran.” Kylla replied as she pointed to the island below. “Our time together is almost at an end.”

The Matoran stopped struggling long enough to take a look. They were descending toward a bowl-shaped canyon in the center of the island. Dotting the canyon were what appeared to be forges and furnaces, while in the center was a huge, crumbling fortress. Scurrying this way and that were Matoran… but not like any Matoran Gravak had ever seen. They had smaller, weaker bodies, and were wearing Kanohi with designs he had never seen before. Swarming the walls of the canyon were giant, crab-like creatures.

“What is this place?” Gravak asked with a mixture of awe and fear in his voice.

“A place you will never leave alive.” Kylla replied as she landed on a ledge. She then smiled and said, “Welcome to Karzahni, Matoran.”

Gravak gasped. He had heard horrible tales of the realm of Karzahni. It was said to be a legendary place of death and torment no Matoran ever left alive.

“I bid you farwell, Matoran.” the Makuta said as she released her grip on the Matoran. Gravak dropped like a stone. Before he could hit the ground, however, Gravak felt his speed decrease to a safer level. He still hit the ground hard, but not hard enough to cause serious injury.

The Le-Matoran lifted his head just in time to see Kylla give a slight chuckle before vanishing from view, via her power of teleportation.

“Well, well, well.” came a voice. Gravak got to his feet and whirled around to see a black-armored Matoran standing a few yards away. He was similar to the other Matoran who were gathering around Gravak, but didn’t have the same look of fear and resign in his eyes. Instead, his scarlet eyes gleamed with menace and a small hint of madness.

“Who are you?” asked Gravak.

The black Matoran gave a sinister chuckle. “The name’s Distrex.” the Matoran replied “Now, let me be the first to welcome you to Karzahni. Oh, have you met this land’s ruler? I’m sure you would like him. He has a very… interesting personality.”

Chapter Two

1,000 years ago…

“You aren’t making this any easier on yourself.” said Karzahni as he deactivated his Kanohi Olisi, Great Mask of Alternate Futures.

Gravak sank to his knees as he tried to recover from the shock of the vision he had just witnessed. This was only the latest of many such torture attempts.

“Well?” asked Distrex. “Are you going to tell us where this device of yours is hidden?”

“Never.” Gravak spat. Distrex had heard rumors that Gravak had been creating a device that would allow him to escape Karzahni’s realm. So naturally, he told his master.

“We will find it.” Karzahni said as he prepared to create another horrible “what if” vision. “Then I will --”

The rest of the tyrant’s sentence was drowned out by a crashing sound. An instant later, a battered Manas crab smashed through the ceiling of Karzahni’s fortress and landed on the floor where it lay still.

“You stay here and watch him.” Karzahni said to Distrex. The despot then left to investigate.

“Alright, Gravak.” Distrex said as he turned back to his prisoner. “Why don’t you make things easy and just tell me --” That is when the Onu-Matoran noticed Gravak was gone. He turned this way and that, looking for any sign of the Le-Matoran. He managed to catch a fleeting glimpse of Gravak escaping through a window.

Giving a growl of frustration, Distrex chased after him.

As Gravak ran for his cave, he knew he would only have a few minutes to complete his device and escape. Suddenly, he heard a scream come from somewhere nearby. The Le-Matoran peaked around a boulder to see a Toa lying on the ground at Karzahni’s feet, the tyrant’s chains wrapped around his neck. Not far away, he could see two Matoran, Xakon and Nuzaka from the look of it, huddled together in fear against a rock.

Has the world gone mad?!

At that moment, a Manas crab came flying out of nowhere, striking Karzahni and knocking him senseless. The Toa was getting to his feet when he was joined by a tall, reptilian being.

If these guys can bring down Karzahni, maybe they can get me out of here!

Before Gravak could call out to them, however, he was tackled by Distrex. The Onu-Matoran pinned the Le-Matoran to the ground and flashed a wicked smile.

“You’re not going anywhere, you Le-Matoran slime.”

“I beg to differ!” Gravak replied. He then reached for his dagger and unleashed an energy pulse that sent Distrex flying. He then got to his feet and began to run.

He didn’t make it far, however. Suddenly, the ground began to shake. It started out as a weak jolt, only to grow into a feirce tremor that seemed to shake reality itself to its very core. Everyone in Karzahni, the Matoran, the Manas, even the Toa and his companion, had been knocked off of their feet and waited for the shaking to stop.

Once it did, Gravak forced himself to rise to his feet. The Le-Matoran looked around at the realm in amazement. At least half of the foundries had been reduced to rubble, Karzahni’s fortress looked worse than it ever had, Matoran where scrambling this way and that in panic, and the strangers Gravak had seen were nowhere to be seen. The only good thing that came out of the entire event was the fact Distrex was buried under rubble.

Making sure no one was watching him, Gravak dashed away toward the key to his escape.


To be continued…

Characters

Trivia

  • Both Gravak and Distrex's names were suggested by a member of YouTube.com known as Kualos337.

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