This article was written by BionicleChicken. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.
|There Will Be Blood|
|Date set||1,000 AGC|
Chapter I: Let It Come Down
Jaller looked up at the sky while standing just outside of his hut in the village of Ta-Koro. Like all Ta-Matoran, he felt saddened by the lack of heat from the sun. It’s been several years since he found himself awakened on the beach of the island of Mata Nui. And several years after that, a dark being known as Makuta had cast darkness over the island. Now, the sky looked red and black, clouds of shadows hovering above.
The golden Hau-wearing Matoran made his way to a nearby campfire at one of the village’s squares. Surrounding the fire sat depressed-looking Ta-Matoran, who simply stared at the flames with deep thoughts running through their minds. Jaller sat next to the one known as Kapura.
“Who did we lose this time?” asked Jaller, exhaling heavily.
“We lost two more to a Muaka out there,” groaned Agni, a member of the Ta-Koro Guard. “It’s like every time we even step foot outside of our home, there’s something waiting to tear us apart.”
“I’m sorry,” said Jaller, with no idea how to respond.
The collective Matoran simply sat there for a solid five minutes. Nobody knew what to talk about. Food was growing scarce, and the blackened sky did no favors for the Ta-Koro crops that the Matoran tried to farm. A few lucky ones managed to survive, but overall, their numbers were few. Even the usually sunny areas of Ga-Koro, situated on Naho Bay, was having no so such luck. The natural darkness made the island a nozone for any Rahi smart enough to sense danger. Like the crops, few came through. These were the stupid ones that couldn’t tell what their natural sense were telling them.
Jaller could feel the evil Makuta watching him and his friends within the forest that surrounded Ta-Koro. Burnt black trees encircled the village of Fire like spikes that formed the bars of cages. Shadows overwhelmed what little light there were and seemed to envelop everything Jaller held dear, despite the light within all the huts, all the torches that lit the paths, and the campfires that littered across the village. Danger was everywhere. Any day (or night), some animal could burst into the village grounds and massacre all who lived there.
Then Jaller heard it; a sound like thunder. The others must have heard it as well, because they jumped and snapped their attention to the black/red sky above them. The possibility that a storm was coming floated in their minds. However, no rain came. There was no lightning either. It was then that the Ta-Matoran realized that the sound was only similar to thunder. The noise was more like a cannon being fired. A very big cannon in the sky.
Then they came.
Six lights made their presences seen through the blackness. They glew bright and brighter until six flaming objects burst through the dark. Jaller could see that the penetrations had created holes in the clouds. If he wasn't so focused on the objects, Jaller would notice the obscured stars behind the darkness. He would've realized that it was night right now. Like meteors, the objects descended at a very alarming rate, spreading out to cover more ground on the island. One of them hit the earth hard near Ta-Koro.
The ground shook on impact. Jaller could hear various Rahi beasts roar and shriek in surprise. Several birds could be seen in what little light there was flying away from where the object landed. In fact, where the site of the landing created a new source of light. A distant fire emitting smoke. Jaller heard footsteps coming towards the campfire and spun to face the source of it. It was the village’s leader, Turaga Vakama, leaning on his Firestaff as usual. His face had both concern and hope on it.
“Turaga,” said Jaller. “Something fell in the forest. Whatever it is, it made one hell of a thud that we could feel all the way over here.”
“I felt it,” answered Vakama. “Jaller, you and the Guard shall investigate the disturbance. If this is what I believe it to be, then we may be in much luck than I thought.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Kapura, staring at the Turaga like he was uttering nonsense.
“In time,” Vakama raised his hand. “First, I require confirmation.”
Jaller nodded obediently and nodded at Kapura and Agni. They nodded back and ran to gather as many Guardsmen as they could. Soon, there were a dozen Ta-Matoran armed with spears gathered around Jaller. The Captain of the Guard raised his own spear in leadership and led the company out into the forest. Their formation was like a circular phalanx. Jaller was in the very front, spear pointed forward. The group dashed towards the flaming landing site, a chill going up their spines whenever they heard some suspicious animal noises.
They made it safely and without any difficulty besides the shaky nerves. Jaller assumed that the landing of the mysterious object must have scared away the many dangerous beasts. This was good. A large crater laid out before him. The dirt within glowed with orange heat as steam rose from it. The company spread out around the crater, staring in awe at the object at the very center.
Jaller carefully stepped into the crater. At first, the ground was too hot to step on, but the second time was cool enough. Jaller made his way to the center of the crater, followed by several of the Guardsmen. Few stood around the crater, either preferring to keep their distance or to prevent any unwelcome guests.
The Ta-Matoran that were brave enough to approach the object stared at it in shock. It was the last thing they expected to see. They expected something metallic, maybe even made of rock. But what they were staring at was wooden. It was hexagonal but vertically elongated. It was large enough to store something that was twice as tall as an average Matoran. Despite its material, it looked barely singed besides the smoking surface.
"How did that survive a fall like this?" asked Kapura, staring at the thing with wide scared eyes.
What the Ta-Koro Guard was looking at was a coffin. It was wide open. But that was not the unnerving part. The unnerving part was the series of footprints leading away from it.
The snow crunched under his feet. They sank in deep until the snow was just above his ankles. The being grumbled, despite being in his element. Even while he was of the Ice Element, it was still a universal fact that snow was one of the worst things to walk through. The being thought about simply floating above the snow, but decided against it. It was always better to leave nervous feelings when you arrived like he did. The being did not look back at the flaming coffin he had just pried himself from. He no longer had any use for it.
He continued to wade through the snow, half annoyed at the effort he was putting himself through and half enjoying the near pitch-blackness of the sky above. He saw the six holes in the dark clouds, exposing the stars above. Good news and bad news. Good news, the sun is mostly blocked. The bad news, he would have to avoid those particular spots during daytime.
The being continued his journey through the snowy landscape, which he had just realized was on top of an icy mountain. How conveniently appropriate, he thought. After a few moments of walking through the snow, the being paused. He twisted his head towards a sound he knew he heard. He trusted his hearing as much as he trusted himself.
The being grinned. "Come out, little one," he called out. "Before you catch a cold."
He heard a heartbeat increase in rate, and frantic footsteps trying to get some distance from him. The being looked at the sword in his hand, raised it up, and brought it down onto the snow. A wall of ice spikes erupted from where he brought his sword down and made its way to the spy. The being heard a yelp, and felt his ice lift the little one up from his feet. The small one was trapped in a block of ice.
The being chuckled as he made his way to the trapped small one. He could feel himself drooling as he neared, as he listened to the rising heart rate.
But when the little one saw him, the strangest thing happened. The heartrate lowered, as if he was calming down. The grin on the being's face faded into a frown. "We have things to discuss," announced he. "Who are you? And why are you following me?"
"I...I am Matoro," stammered the little one. "A Matoran. A Ko-Matoran to be exact. Everyone at my village saw you crash on top of this mountain. We've been waiting for you. We've all been waiting for you."
"Hm?" grunted the being, curiously. He waved his sword, and the ice melted away from the little one, who shivered and clutched himself to warm up.
"Yes, it's true," said Matoro. "Not just us, though. All of Mata Nui as well. Now if you can just reunite with the others and get the Masks of Power--"
"Wait," interrupted the being. "What others? And you say there's more of you? In a village?"
"Yes!" nodded Matoro. "I can take us there if you want. I can even tell you everything on the way there."
"Splendid," smiled the being. "Lead the way...Matoro."
"Of course, uh...what is your name?"
"Kopaka," replied the being. "You can call me Kopaka. Now onto your village, then. Shall we?"
The female didn't drown when she awoke underwater. The heat from her coffin could be felt beneath her as she swam for the surface. She could actually stay underwater, feed off the aquatic animals and avoid the sunlight. But something compelled her to go upwards. Plus, she somehow knew that animals wouldn't satisfy the thirst she felt tingling on her tongue. But there were no animals to be found here anyways. She felt it. A sort of natural ward that made animals wary of coming close to the island.
When she made it above water, she saw one of the most glorious things she never imagined to see. A blackened sky, blanketed in darkness so that no light above could hope to break through. Sure, there were six openings, but for the most part, this land was permenantly in shadows. If she didn't enjoy being the predator she was, she would go all out in these conditions.
The water-breather saw a cliffside and swam to it. Once arriving, she lifted up her hooks and began pulling herself up. When her feet were planted against the surface, she let go of the rock face. Standing up, she walked up the side of the cliff, admiring the black sky before her. It then began to rain, the drops fell on her mask. The cliffside she was walking on suddenly became slippery, but she managed to make it to the top before more damage could be done.
Once on horizontal and flat surface, the being found herself faced with an animal. It looked reptillian in nature, with a body that looked design to strike fast and hard. It must have been travelling around these parts on its way to catch and devour fish. The female grinned and hissed. She raised her hooks in a defensive position. She was hungry, and she wanted a challenge doing it.
The beast charged forward. It roared as loud as it could, trying to fully display its animalistic fury as much as possible to put doubt and fear into its prey. But the female merely hissed back and charged forward as well. As soon as they got close, the female hooked her tools around the beast's shoulders. She leapt into the air and somersaulted over the animal, bringing it with her. When she landed, she still had a hold over the animal, which was on the ground and writhing. It was desperately trying to get free. It shook more when it looked directly into the female's eyes.
What it saw was not anything like it saw before. The eyes belonging to the female were fierce. They looked greedy and most of all, hungry. The creature continued to roar and tried to break free from the female's hold. She merely inhaled through her nose and exhaled in satisfaction. She could smell all the blood coursing through its biomechanical veins increase in speed. She savored all that her senses could pick up before opening wide and bringing her fangs down on the creature's neck.
Something drenched her. It wasn't rain.
The caravan felt heavier with the hunted game loaded onto the back. It didn't help that the others were also back there, admiring their catch and heartily discussing a potentially upcoming Kohlii game with their village champion, Hewkii. The driver, Golyo, had to sit in the front and steer the Mahi that were pulling the caravan. They were usually fast and strong in their movements, but the freshly hunted and killed Mahi-Lo (a large and rare cousin of the animals under Golyo's control) gave them a challenge.
Golyo wasn't a hunter, he was a Mahi Herder. So he didn't know the procedures behind a Po-Matoran hunt in the desert. Thankfully, the seemingly eternal night brought about by the Makuta didn't work when your hunting environment was a vast open landscape. Golyo had simply waited with his precious Mahi while the others hunted for food. When they returned, they told him that the Mahi-Lo had tried to ambush them, but their weapons and combined effort managed to bring it down. They dragged the body all the way to the caravan and loaded it up, teetering the vehicle in the process.
Golyo steered his Mahi through the near pitch-blackness before him, the only light being the twin lanterns hanging at either of his sides and...a bonfire?
The Po-Matoran herder did a double-take when he saw the raging fire in the distance. It seemed to be emerging from some kind of crater. Then he remembered: there were those strange objects that fell out of the sky. They were like meteors, but they didn't look like meteors, not the kind described to him by Turaga Onewa anyways. About fifty yards from the fire was a lone figure, his silhouette being the only thing displaying his form against the fire behind him. The figure waved, clearly asking for a ride.
With caution, Golyo pulled on his reins, stopping the Mahi right next to the figure. It was only close up that Golyo realized that the figure was twice as tall as a Matoran. Strangely, even while his Mahi are stopped, they continued to try to move until the Herder repeated tugged on the reins.
The figure smiled at the herder while the latter's mind began to process who he was seeing. His eyes lit up and his face became hopeful. "By Mata Nui!" Golyo exclaimed. "Are you...a Toa?"
"I suppose that I am, seeing I look nothing like you guys," replied the figure. "Who are you guys and what are you doing out here?"
One of the Po-Matoran in the back enthusiastically stared at the Toa and said, "We're hunters, sir. We just caught one of the rarest beasts in these parts and we're on our way to our village to show it. But imagine everyone's surprise when they find we bring one of the Toa along with us!"
"One of?" repeated the Toa. "There's more of me?"
"Yes," answered another Po-Matoran hunter. "Our Turaga can explain everything."
"Great," shrugged the Toa. "Well, if you don't mind I'm pretty hungry right now so you got anything to eat?"
The hunters looked at each other confusedly. "Well, the only thing edible back here is this Mahi-Lo, but I think it's obvious we won't let anybody get it, not even a Toa."
"I'm sure we can make this work," the Toa said, staring at the Po-Matoran looking at him. He turned to Golyo and stared him straight in the eyes. "You don't mind if I head to the back for a second do you? This thing looks heavy and I want to help get stuff off so your little pets here have an easier time."
The Mahi shivered in unease. Golyo found himself wanting to follow all of the Toa's orders the more he stared into his eyes. He felt entranced, blissful. He slowly nodded. The Toa smiled and headed to the back. Golyo sat and stared at the darkened landscape ahead. Everything that he could hear suddenly became muffled. The caravan shook. He heard something along the lines of mumbled grunts and shrieks coming from the back. He almost felt tempted to look at the back, but he remembered the Toa's earlier statement about helping to get rid of weight.
Soon, the shaking ended. The muffled sounds stopped. Golyo turned to the empty seat next to him and saw the Toa taking his seat on it. The tall being wiped something from his mouth area and licked whatever was on his hand up. He sighed in satisfaction and turned back to Golyo. He smiled pleasantly and said, "We got some of the weight off, and they saw another Mahi-Lo in the distance so they took off."
"Are we going to have to wait for them?" asked Golyo in a soft monotone.
"Nah," chuckled the Toa. "They told us to feel free to head back to your village so I can meet everyone else. The Mahi-Lo they found is still back there though. So no worries."
"No worries," repeated Golyo quietly. He whipped the reins, and the Mahi nervously continued onward. The Toa leaned back and relaxed, his hands behind his head and his legs crossed. It was a good meal, and he looked forward to future ones.
Nuparu was walking down the street of the cavernous Onu-Koro. Teal lightstone crystals illuminated the subterrainian village as he travelled from the pub to his hut. He was upset because his blueprints were almost carelessly had Onu-Koran ale spilled on it. In a huff, he angrily scolded the drunken Onu-Matoran, who attempted to apologize before spilling it on his equally drunken friend, who laughed at his own misfortune.
The Onu-Matoran Engineer was coming up with a way to create a steady supply of water using a nearby underground spring. He had concocted a machine that could redirect flow into the village. Whether the flow would take the form of a river or a pretty waterfall was still being decided.
The Matoran had finally reached his home and was fumbling to find his keys when he read rock crumble. The caverns of Onu-Koro often had the common sound of rumbling due to some burrowing Rahi, but nothing this loud and brief. He listened for a moment when he heard another sound. It was the sound of a low voice. Nuparu couldn't make what it was saying but he definitely heard it and it was definitely a voice. He, cautiously, estimated where the noise might have come from and stepped to the left of his hut. He passed the giant boulder that was adjacent to it and saw something that shouldn't have surprised him as much.
It was a tunnel entrance. It was freshly dug and hollowed out, signaled by the various pebbles that scattered in front of it. Daring to step no closer, Nuparu bent forward and peeked into the darkness of the tunnel. His heart nearly skipped a beat when he saw what appeared to be two predatory eyes turning away from the hole. Further sounds suggested that whatever it was, it was fleeing.
Out of instinct, Nuparu inhaled the air through his nostrils. More cryptic phenomenons. He smelled something burning. He quickly snapped to a view of his village, only to see no smoke or fires, besides some candles that could be seen through the windows. Not only did Nuparu smelled burning, but he smelled something like flesh burning. It was a similar to the scent of meat being cooked, but only unpleasant. Nuparu then felt nervous. His mind raced and came across the idea that he might have just glimpsed yet another abominable creation of Makuta, created specifically to burrow into Onu-Koro and kill its inhabitants. But Turaga Whenua's advice about not surrendering to paranoia kicked in and Nuparu marginally calmed down.
Speaking of Turaga Whenua, Nuparu felt the obligation to dash to the Turaga's hut and report what he just saw. He would do so after getting into his home and putting away his blueprints. At this point, everyone was sleeping, so Whenua was slightly annoyed by Nuparu's sudden demand for his presence. The Turaga rubbed his eyes after opening the door, avoiding any temptation to scold the Engineer for waking him up from his slumber. But he saw Nuparu's worried expression.
"What's wrong, Nuparu?" asked the Turaga.
"I just saw something, Turaga," breathed Nuparu. "Near my hut, there was a hole. A hole that led to a dark tunnel. I saw a pair of evil eyes fleeing, most likely surprised by my presence or something."
"I see," nodded Whenua.
"What do we do? Do you think Makuta made another monster specifically for us?"
"I don't know, Nuparu," Whenua shook his head. "Gather the Onu-Koro Ussalry Corps and investigate. I will try to find whatever I can about this creature."
"Yes, Turaga," nodded Nuparu, before running off to alert the Captain of the Onu-Koro Ussalry Corps, a purple-clad Onu-Matoran named Onepu.
Moments later, Nuparu was knocking on the door of Onepu's hut. Like Whenua, he was irritated by the sudden appearance. However, he did not hide his annoyance like the Turaga did and scolded Nuparu for disturbing him. The Engineer apologized and repeated all that he said to Whenua to the Captain. The Onu-Matoran's face went pale. He obviously didn't know anything about what Nuparu was talking about, but it was clear he was frightened by the prospect of a monster created and designed to kill him and his kind.
Then, more rumbling. As dust crumbled onto the village, the ground shook and both Onu-Matoran nearly lost balance. There was a loud CRUNCH and the shaking stopped almost as soon as it started. The pair stood confused for a minute until yelling came from the direction of Turaga Whenua's hut. Onepu called for men before he, Nuparu, and several Ussalry Corpsmen sprinted to their leader's home. The problem was, the home was no longer there. In its place was an enormous hole twice the size of a Kohlii goal. Within the opening was pitch blackness and the echoing sounds of water dripping. No signs of any life.
"Mata Nui," muttered a dumbfounded Nuparu.
"I think we're in trouble," replied Onepu.
Chapter II: Forever Night
The Ta-Koro Guards that weren't Jaller made frustrated noises as they used all their strength to drag the coffin back to their village. For a wooden box, it was surprisingly to heavy for a couple of Matoran to even pull. "I don't see why you get to not pull this," grunted Kapura.
"Hey, you'll get to avoid work when you get promoted," taunted Jaller. "In all seriousness, it's strange. All the Rahi noted to be in here are missing or staying back."
Just as he said this, the Ta-Matoran all heard ghastly roars and growls from faraway beasts. It was like they were angry for not being able to prey on the Matoran or something else. It was the something else that worried Jaller. A part of him was concerned that whatever lurks in these woods was now replaced by whatever came out of that coffin that laid in the crater. Just the way that thing was rather intact despite having been burned disturbed him, and he's seen his friends get taken into the dark by monsters in the past.
Behind a wall of trees, Jaller saw what he believed to be his home. The light in the distance appeared so much like the warm fires of the Ta-Koran torches. Jaller turned around and yelled, "There's home, boys!"
His fellow Guardsmen collectively sighed in relief, the strain of their labor clearly starting to take its toll on them. However, when Jaller moved forward, things became very hot. The temperature rose and the air became more humid than before. It became unbreathable as Jaller found himself inhaling smoke. The Captain stopped immediately and raised his hand up, signaling for the others to halt. Covering his mouth, Jaller moved closer to the light and discovered that it wasn't the torches of Ta-Koro he was looking at; he was actually looking at a large wall of fire.
Jaller cursed at the sudden occurrence. He turned around and began walking in the other direction. His Guardsmen grunted in confusion. "What gives?" asked an annoyed Agni.
"It's a wall of fire!" pointed out Jaller irritatedly. "It looks like it stretches for a long way, so we're going to have to get around it."
"Do we really have to drag this thing around?" complained Kapura.
"This is something we don't know anything about. If we take it to a safe zone, we can secure it and figure out what its deal is later. Now come on! You've lifted heavier stuff than this during training!"
"Yes, and we were glad that it ended," retorted Agni.
"Just move, soldier," snarled Jaller. Pulling the ropes over their shoulders, the Ta-Matoran tasked with the duty made another grunt and began their trek to get around the fire.
Several trees away, a shadowed being stood perched between to branches. He used his ability to levitate to prevent the branches from collapsing from his weight. He watched the Ta-Koro Guard drag his coffin away to find another way through the obstruction he had created to prevent them from returning home. He was slightly angered, as he hoped to hunt these little ones. Unfortunately, he heard in their heartbeats that they were some of the bravest people. They didn't fear the enigmatic darkness that surrounded their land, and only seemed to be concerned for their ability to return to their village.
It was much more satisfying to hunt prey that feared their predator. These would obviously not panic as easily. The creature leapt through the wall of fire of his own creation and landed on the other side, wiping away the fire that remained on his arms. Looking forward, he saw civilized lights. Smiling, he strolled through the forest towards the village.
The Onu-Koro Ussalry Corps had set up a perimeter around the hole where Turaga Whenua's home had been. The only ones permitted past the perimeter surrounding the scene were said Corpsmen or Nuparu, the last person to have seen the Turaga before the incident. Onepu and the Engineer could do nothing but stare at the giant crevice on the floor. Besides that they could talk about it.
"I can't even see anything inside, it must be several miles deep," said Nuparu, staring into the darkness.
"Then that means we've got a serious problem," the Captain observed. "We can't use any lightstones because the mines are now shut down. And the mines are shut down because of this. We use any and we might run out of one of our most useful needs."
"I forget if I told you, but I think the lightstones are more important than that," said Nuparu.
"What do you mean?" asked Onepu.
"Well, not only was I the last person to see Turaga Whenua, but I also found another opening near my own house. It was like something burrowed through that wall but backed off for some reason. I smelled flesh burning. So the closest guess I can think of is that whatever made this hole is sensitive to light, or at least the lightstones."
The Captain turned to the perimeter guards and shouted, "All of you! I will be accompanying Nuparu here to his home. I need two men, you and you!" he pointed at two random Corpsmen. "You will all remain here and prevent anyone from entering the premises. If you see anything come out of the hole, alert me, I won't be far!"
Onepu, Nuparu, and the two randomly selected Corpsmen marched in the direction of Nuparu's home and the opening.
"So what we know so far," reminded the Captain. "is that this thing can't be in the vicinity of lightstones."
"It's burrowing within the cavern walls, maybe even hiding in the mines where lightstones are still buried and yet to be mined. So that gives us good news and bad news. The good news is that we have its weakness at hand already. The bad news is that it's clearly smart."
Nuparu swallowed nervously.
"I know right?" agreed the Engineer as they neared the site. "It must've already figured out it's weak to lightstones so it's taken Turaga Whenua literally right under our noses. It can't be a coincidence that he took out our leader first."
"We don't know Turaga Whenua's fate yet, Nuparu," assured Onepu, who patted the Onu-Matoran's shoulder roughly. Nuparu nearly tripped when the strong hands clapped him on the back. The foursome finally reached the Engineer's house.
"It's right here," said Nuparu, walking ahead to lead the group to where he saw the opening. "Oh no."
The Captain stared at Nuparu after looking at a blank cavern wall. "It was here?" asked he.
"It's supposed to be," said Nuparu in an almost panicky tone. "I think this confirms our supsicions, Captain Onepu."
The four stared at the wall. There was no opening. In fact, it looked as though there had never been a hole on the wall at all if not ever. No cracks, no scars, nothing. It was like someone had stretched out the edges of the hole and fused them together into a solid surface.
The blue female found herself at the edge of a lush jungle. Far, far behind her was the cliffside where she first feasted after awakening. She had also left behind the rain, which ended a few feet away from the jungle edge. She listened closely for signs of anything. Within the army of trees and bushes before her was various sources of sound, echoing off and giving away their individual locations.
She could hear and pinpoint bats as they snarled whilst hanging from tree branches. She could hear the leaves rustingly even from all the way outside. Most interesting of all, she heard what seemed to be a familiar noise. The sound of fanged teeth crushing flesh. The sound of feasting. The female sniffed the air, trying to see if she could find a scent of what she believed to be what she thought she heard.
The odors of the jungle interfered. She figured she might as well take matters into her own hands. She took off into a sprint. The trees and bushes that rush past her were stretched blurs. She skidded to stop, dirt sprayed on her heels as she stood at the center of a ring of corpses. A collection of dismembered and bisected short green people laid around her. A camp existed here. The campfire was blown out. The inside of the tents were stained with the essences of those slain.
The female honed her ears and listened closely to her surroundings. There was something--no, someone, in the trees. Whenever she twitched in his direction, he lept to another tree, silent as a moth. Despite this, she still heard him land. The leaves of the branches gave him away. The female chuckled and slowly walked over to one of the corpses. She took one of the arms that were scattered around and raised the wound over her mouth. She opened her mouth and let the blood drpping out of the hole into her mouth. She let the taste lay on her tongue before swallowing.
She looked up at the trees, pretending not to notice the fellow predator lurking within them. "I see you're skilled with this kind of thing," announced she. "Thanks for leaving enough for stragglers."
"So are you like me, then?" asked the female. "Are you just like me, a hunter? One of those that bask in the glory of the shadows? Well, I have to say, you're sloppy in your kills."
"I've already drank the blood of a beast, and now the blood of an innocent," called the monster. "Since you're so much in a rush to hide and attack so quickly, I'm guessing you've only done half of the requisites."
"I can feel power coursing through me as I consume this blood, by the way," said she. "It doesn't feel complete, but I assure you, it definitely feels like I can do this."
She raised her arm. The leaves rustled as if a cyclone had formed around the jungle. Trees swayed and bushes shuddered. Out from them burst out a massive horde of bats. They screeched in a concussive collection of sounds. The female closed her open hand, the bats flying closer to her form as her fingers neared her palm. With a flick of all fingers, the bats all dispersed in all directions. As they flew outwards, a figure dropped like a stone out of a tree. He had been knocked out of his hiding spot by the onslaught of flying rodents.
Miraculously however, the figure stopped in midair. On his face was a Mask stretched into a sly grin. It glew as he rotated himself so he was standing upright in the air. He smiled at the female as if he had outsmarted her. "Well, I can do this at least," he said. "Not sure if it's this mask or because I drank their blood."
The figure was green, and looked to be much like the female. Around his mouth were stains of fresh blood. He appeared to be habitually licking his lips, trying to take any ounce of blood left. "Another one of me, eh?" asked he, grinning. "Well, I don't know if this is good news or bad news, but regardless, it's heartwarming to find someone with common interests."
"Indeed," nodded the female. "Where did you land?"
"Not far from here," replied the figure. He pointed in a direction. In the sky, the female could see the disappearing form of a smoke plume.
"Another question: do you know why we're here?" asked the female. "We've arrived rather spectacularly, and yet we've no memory of who exactly we are, and why we've even come to this island. All I've done so far is kill something and drink their blood."
The green figure landed. "I don't know either. But I know this: this is one big island. And considering how fast I ran into these guys, there's undoubtedly more where that came from. I also know my name. It's Lewa, yours?"
"Gali," responded the female. "Pleasure to make your aquaintance, Lewa." She held out a hand.
Lewa took it and shook. "Pleasure's all mine. Come on. Let's see what else this place has in store for us, eh?"
Chapter III: Prey
"This damn wall is still here!" shouted Jaller as he kicked the ground at his feet.
The Ta-Koro Guards let go of the ropes attached to the coffin and sighed a breath of relief, knowing that their captain's outburst meant a small break in their labor. There was a chance it would be very brief, but they were glad to have at least a little bit of rest.
"What could've made this thing?" wondered Jaller aloud, squinting at the inferno. "Alright change of plans. We're already too far away from Ta-Koro for too long. We're going to spend the next few hours trying to find a way through it."
"But I thought you said--" said Kapura.
"That was when I thought it was going to be just two miles or something", explained Jaller, still staring at the fire. "But this is something else. Like the wall's following alongside us while we tried to get around it."
"What could create a fire that could do something like that?" asked Agni.
"I don't know. I don't know if Makuta made this or not, but he's never controlled fire before," said Jaller.
"We barely know about him, though."
Suddenly, the fire vanished. Like the flame on a candle being blown out, it quickly disappeared as if someone blew them away in one swift gust.
"What the--?" Jaller stepped forward to where the fire had been. He carefully poked the tip of his foot at the singe marks. He expected a burn or a sting. But it was as cold as the ground a few feet away. Every last bit of heat that was once here had been taken away.
"What just happened?" asked Agni, staring in disbelief.
A scream echoed throughout the Charred Forest. Jaller stared straight ahead. The sound was coming from Ta-Koro. He could see the lights of the village in the distance, but he could also see sparks flying. He could see glimpses of bodies being thrown around and tiny flames being spreading into big fires. Soon, the huts of Ta-Koro were beginning to burn, creating a light that lit up the path towards it.
"No," muttered Jaller. "No, no no!"
The Guard Captain turned to his subordinates. "Our village is under attack. Something's killing the villagers while we were busy!"
He clutched his spear and pointed at the coffin. "Leave it! We need to stop whatever's killing our people!"
With fear in their eyes, the group hurried towards the direction of their homes. It wasn't very far, but it will take a while to get there, and the Guardsmen will have to endure hearing their friends' cries.
"My younger days were spent in a museum of sorts," said Turaga Whenua, seated on a rock. He had no idea where he was, and the only thing he remembered was being inside his home when the ground beneath it collapsed. He remembered falling, and a darkness fell over his eyes that even his ehanced vision couldn't pierce through. He descended into unconsciousness as he descended into the depths of Onu-Koro.
"We called them 'Archives'," said the Turaga of Earth. "We catalogued and studied all sorts of artifacts and creatures that we could get our hands on. Or at least, those brave enough to approach said objects and animals could. I was one such Archivist, and I became an expert on all kinds of Rahi."
"What is your point?" said a voice from the darkness.
"My point is, stranger," said Whenua. "Is that in all the centuries I had spent in the universe's most informative facilities that I have never heard of a kind like yours."
The voice grumbled. "Shame. Surely there was something that matched what you know of me now?"
Whenua sighed. "Do you want me to evaluate?"
"Try, it'd be interesting to see your theories," said the voice.
Whenua pondered for a bit. It was only now that he realized he was surprisingly calm. He had just been potentially kidnapped by a creature of the night, and all he was doing right now was sitting on a rock having a friendly conversation about its identity. But fear still didn't come. Perhaps his experiences in the past had numbed whatever sense of terror came with a situation like this.
"Well for starters, you're aware, sentient. Not that animalistic like those in the Archives," said Whenua.
"Are you saying I'm not an animal?"
"Believe me, I know animals that are very intelligent."
"The complete darkness here indicates you are nocturnal or at least sensitive to light. The fact that even I can't seem to see anything suggests something you had done to prevent me from seeing anything. Have you blindfolded me?"
"Perhaps. What do you mean 'even you'?"
Whenua felt a smirk stretch at the corner of his mouth. "My mask. It's a Noble Kanohi Ruru, Mask of Night Vision. It allows me to see in the dark better than the others of my kind, the Onu-Matoran. I should be able to see at least a hundred meters of wherever I am, even in complete darkness."
"Have we established that I don't like light?"
"Of sorts. I mentioned you were sensitive. But then again, sensitivity can lead to dislike."
The creature was silent.
"Tell me, what do you eat?"
Whenua was silent. He was unnerved, but still unafraid.
"I see. So you feast on Matoran."
"If that's what those short people are called, yes."
"Tell me, are you aware of someone by the name of 'Makuta'?"
The creature paused for thought. "No, who is that?"
Whenua sighed slightly in relief. The rest of him was even more nervous by the implication. "The first suspect in your appearance due to recent events. I will be honest with you: your lack of knowledge of him gives me hope that at least this isn't another intentional attack on my people."
"Oh, I'm afraid I very much intend to hurt you. I'm very hungry."
"Then why haven't you feasted on me?"
The creature didn't say anything. Whenua sat still, waiting for the sudden roar, the feeling of death to strike him. But it didn't come. All that he heard was a gust of wind, and suddenly felt a cold presence standing before him.
"Curiosity is one of my most prominent traits, apparently," the creature said. Whenua could hear a sharp intake of air above where he sat. "We can discuss this later. If you make any noise, I swear you will be nothing but a dried up husk."
The Turaga felt strong arms and claws lift him up. His stomach was set on a shoulder. He could feel himself move with unbelievable speed. The spray of dirt indicated that the creature was digging. It was traveling by digging tunnels.
Far away, Whenua heard muffled voices. He recognized one of them as Onepu's. "The Turaga's staff..." the Captain said.
- Various hunters (deceased)
- Toa (Vampires)
- As Pirates combines BIONICLE with Pirate elements and the Westernverse combines it with Wild West elements, There Will Be Blood combines BIONICLE with Vampires.
- The primary inspirations for this story are the TV series The Strain, the graphic novel 30 Days of Night and the comic series American Vampire.