Two Kings and a Queen
The Palif-Matoran of Dyteeli had a history of causing trouble. Two thousand years ago, they became responsible for a civil war. One month, the Pa-Matoran, who supplied the energy for the island, failed to meet the amount of energy production they needed to keep the island in balance. The Palif-Matoran's gardens, which were the sole source of medicinal and edible plants on the island, suffered without enough artificial light and warmth for the plants. The Palif-Matoran were extremely frustrated by this and tension began between the two tribes.
The other tribes living on Dyteeli at that time quickly took sides. The Onu-Matoran banded together with the Palif-Matoran politically, believing the Pa-Matoran's failure to do their job had disrupted the balance of the island. The Ta-Matoran, who were equally responsible for providing heat and energy, were looked down upon by the Palif-Matoran and Onu-Matoran and they took sides with the Pa-Matoran. The Ga-Matoran, along with the Ce-Matoran and Ra-Matoran, wisely remained neutral.
But regardless of their efforts, war broke out between the four tribes. The Dyteeli Civil War did not last long. When the Turaga of Dyteeli, a Turaga of Plantlife, was assassinated by a Ta-Matoran general, Hibuthil, the other parties realized it had gone far enough, turned on the Ta-Matoran as one army, and ended the war in one last battle.
In the absence of a Turaga, anarchy threatened to overcome the island of Dyteeli. The Ce-Matoran quickly elected themselves to government. Tension still existed between the Palif-Matoran and the Pa-Matoran, so as their first act, the Ce-Matoran had the feuding tribes exiled to another island. Along with them, they sent the Ta-Matoran, who had taken it too far and were too dangerous to keep around. The Onu-Matoran had fought too, but had not started the war nor ended it--just participated in it, and mostly politically so. They got off with a warning.
The island that the Ta-, Pa-, and Palif-Matoran were exiled to was eventually named Ayomeii. It meant "exiles" in the tongue of the native Kuraneiru. Unfortunately for them, the Kuraneiru attempted to stand up to the Matoran and drive them away from their island.
War broke out between the Matoran and the Kuranieru. When Dyteeli heard of this, they reluctantly sent their Onu-Matoran to help in the cause. With the help, they completely wiped out the Ayomeii natives. The Onu-Matoran had grown to like the island, and most decided to stay. The ones that didn't decide to stay didn't get a chance to leave.
The Palif-Matoran threatened to start another civil war, picking fights with the Onu-Matoran, unhappy with their sudden arrival. The leaders of Ayomeii, a Ta-Matoran and a Pa-Matoran, decided to split the population of Dyteeli even further, sending the Palif-Matoran and Onu-Matoran to another island. This one, however, was uninhabited. It was also unnamed, and never to be named, because that would seem to show respect for this forsaken rock. The Matoran just called it "the island".
The island's government consisted of two self-elected Matoran leaders. An Onu-Matoran called Gyotaren, and a Palif-Matoran called Onathei.
Before coming to the island, Gyotaren had been a nobody; another face in the crowd of Onu-Matoran. But Onathei had been highly politically influential, part of a group of Palif-Matoran that had rallied the others to war on Dyteeli. He'd had nothing to do with the tension on Ayomeii, but he did fully support the idea of a war with the Onu-Matoran, and was very open about it.
Once Onathei, Gyotaren, and the other Palif-Matoran and Onu-Matoran had been exiled, they grew together in their spitefulness at the leaders of Ayomeii and Dyteeli. Slowly, surely, the Onu-Matoran and Palif-Matoran became great friends again through their mutual hatred of everyone else. It was a sick kind of friendship, but it worked.
Onathei and Gyotaren were perhaps the best friends of all. The two never disagreed on any decision, and the island came to a time of peace. It lasted for years. And then came a team of Toa who spoiled it all.
"Visitors?! There have never been any visitors to the island!" Gyotaren was indignant. The Onu-Matoran who had delivered the news shrugged. "Bring them here at once!"
"That won't be necessary," came a strong feminine voice. A Toa of Water stepped into the "palace" of Gyotaren and Onathei, which was in truth just a wooden shack a bit bigger than all the other Matoran's houses. "We're already here."
"Who are you?" Onathei asked, even as two other Toa walked in. There was something different about one of the Toa. Some kind of strange charged feeling in the air. But Onathei couldn't pinpoint exactly which one it was.
"Who we are doesn't matter," said the female. "These are for you two." Each of the two Toa that had yet to speak stepped forth and handed each of the Matoran leaders a small stone.
"Toa stones?" asked Gyotaren.
The Toa of Water nodded.
"What is this about?" said Onathei suspiciously. "I've never heard of Toa busting in to give Toa stones to Matoran and then leaving."
"Who said we were leaving?" she said.
"If you aren't leaving, then what are you here for?"
"Oh, we are leaving," she said. "But I wanted to know how you knew." Onathei started to talk, then noticed the Toa roll her eyes and realized that it was a rhetorical question.
"So we use these to become Toa and then...what?" asked Gyotaren, turning the small stone around and around in his hands.
"Then you do what Toa do," she said.
"I want a better explanation," said Onathei. "Or you three aren't leaving." He gave a whistle. Within a minute, a hundred Matoran had surrounded the building. The Toa were trapped inside. So were Onathei and Gyotaren, of course, but the whole maneuver hinged on the fact that Toa would not hurt Matoran.
The Toa sighed. "Fine. I have the ability to sense destiny. More specifically, Matoran that have the potential to become Toa. A few of my other friends have this ability too, and we have been handing out Toa stones to Matoran who need them. We have never been wrong yet."
Onathei and Gyotaren looked at each other with smiles. "By the way," began Gyotaren, "why did you bring three Toa if there are only two Toa stones to distribute on this island?"
"Well, that's because we brought you a friend," she said. "And we can introduce you to her if you'll tell these Matoran to disperse."
"Err, fine," said Onathei, whistling again. The Matoran dispersed.
"Feyain!" called the Toa of Water. "Come on!"
A very small Ga-Matoran walked in slowly, limping. She wore a pale blue Kanohi Iden, almost white. Her armor was snow white with streaks of sky blue. Onathei raised an eyebrow. If anything, Feyain was the strangest Matoran he had ever seen.
"Hello," Onathei said a bit slowly.
She stared at him, smiling. She raised a hand to adjust her Kanohi, which seemed to be too big for her face.
"She's a complete enigma," said the Toa of Water. "No one knows where she comes from or why she looks the way she does, except maybe her... Unfortunately, Feyain doesn't talk."
"She doesn't talk, or she can't talk?" asked Gyotaren.
"How should I know? I found her unconscious on a beach on one of the tiny islands that make up the archipelago to the west of here. There aren't supposed to be Matoran living there. In any case, she's destined to be a Toa."
"Well, I'm sure she'd be a welcome addition to our island," said Onathei, inviting Feyain to take a seat in between the "thrones" of himself and Gyotaren. She looked a little unsure, but nevertheless came and sat down cross-legged between the two leaders of the island. Onathei held out his hand, expecting her to shake it, but she recoiled in fear at the sight of it.
"Why--?" began Onathei.
"No one knows, like I said. Something that may be interesting to note, though... Feyain seems to be incredibly intelligent and can communicate to some extent through gestures, leading myself personally to believe that she understands Matoran and simply cannot speak it."
Feyain smiled and nodded. Onathei raised an eyebrow and turned his glance to his Onu-Matoran friend. Gyotaren shrugged.
"Anyway, we're going now," said the Toa of Water. "Feyain, you're going to be staying with these two from now on, understand? You won't be seeing me anymore."
Feyain nodded a bit sadly.
"Uh, bye, I guess," said Onathei.
"See you later," said Gyotaren.
"Actually, you won't see us later," said the Toa of Water. "Good luck with your mission... And take care of Feyain."
With that, the Toa of Water turned and walked away. Simultaneously, the two silent Toa turned and followed her. Onathei never saw them again, nor did Gyotaren or Feyain.
Onathei's right hand, a Palif-Matoran named Xironu, walked into the hut at that moment. "Permission to approach the two--" he saw Feyain--"Err, permission to approach the three great leaders of the island, sir?"
"Permission granted," said Onathei. "Hear that, Feyain? He thinks you're a leader. Actually, I like the sound of that. How would you like to be our island's queen?"
Feyain nodded and smiled widely.
Onathei immediately took it upon himself to help Feyain learn how to speak. But his efforts were to no avail. Weeks passed, and Feyain never even attempted to talk. Her past remained a mystery.
And then, late one night, Feyain woke up Onathei and Gyotaren. Holding their Toa stones, along with one of her own, she gestured for them to follow her.
She led them a long way, into a cave, down a few miles underground. Eventually they reached a small circular chamber, lit by three lightstones.
"Go," said Feyain a little shakily, handing them each their Toa stone.
"You talked!" cried Onathei. "I knew you could! Do it again."
Feyain was silent. Her smile seemed to mock Onathei.
"Well then," said Onathei, "I guess you only talk when you need to."
Feyain nodded. "Go," she said again, more firmly than last time.
Gyotaren and Onathei nodded and held up their Toa stones to the three lightstones hanging from the ceiling. Feyain followed suit.
The Toa stones shot beams of energy into the lightstones, which began to charge from the light. One-by-one, each lightstone shattered. And then the small chamber was filled with energy and light.
When it stopped, three Toa stood in place of Onathei, Gyotaren, and Feyain. Onathei and Gyotaren were typical Toa: tall, arms bulging with muscles, masks shining with a new level of power. But Feyain was a little different. The leg that she limped on had apparently healed, but it was a bit smaller than the other. She was at least a foot shorter than her friends, and she looked more like an enlarged Matoran than a Toa.
"How did you know about this place...and why didn't you tell us earlier?" said Toa Gyotaren to Feyain, after the initial excitement of becoming Toa had worn off.
She cleared her throat as if about to talk. "I...I fond--found...laft n-night."
"Grammar and pronunciation need some work," said Onathei, "but otherwise, good job on your first full sentence."
"Now, let's get out of this cave," said Onathei. "What if it collapses or something?"
"Paranoid," muttered Gyotaren.
Feyain gave a questioning hum, but Gyotaren waved his hand as if to say, "Never mind."
The three newborn Toa stepped out of the cave only to find the first light of dawn greeting them. Then there was another, more disturbing light.
Off in the distance, there was a reddish glow. Fire. And it was at the Matoran settlement.