Disclaimer: Bionicle and all related characters (c) LEGO
Through the Eyes of a Mask
As the Ignika turned black, it shuddered. Something bad had happened, it could tell. His bearer, Matoro, stopped swimming and knelt on the sea floor. The tone in his voice confirmed the mask's feelings.
More Toa joined the two. They had been with them earlier, but why were they here now? The Toa were talking. The Ignika wondered what they were saying. It had heard so much of spoken words over the last few days that it really wished it could understand them.
Now everyone seemed upset. Why were they sad? The Ignika really wished they would get going. It could see thousands of sea creatures coming towards them and they did not look at all friendly.
Now Matoro was swimming away. The Ignika could tell that he was heading towards where it needed to be used. But wait, the bad thing. What if they were too late?
Now they were going faster and faster and faster and faster. How was Matoro swimming this fast? Then, it saw why. A giant hole in the sea floor sucking in all the water around it. Matoro and the Ignika plunged through it, falling in a giant waterfall. The mask could see something up ahead. It could sense that it had been there before. It had seen the Toa make it sink a few hours earlier, so why were they chasing it?
Then it saw the reason. A bright light was coming from beneath the falling island. The light was coming from a hole that was the same shape as the island. Then the mask realized what was happening. The island was going to fill the hole and keep Matoro from going where he needed to go. If Matoro could not pass the island, the mask could never be used. It had to help Matoro; it had to curse him.
The mask had recently realized that some of its curses had actually helped those it had tried to hurt. And so, even the simple mind of the mask could tell what curse would help Matoro, a curse of speed.
The mask flashed, sending energy through its bearer. Matoro suddenly sped up. The mask could sense his momentary confusion and then his understanding. Matoro shot passed the island with ease and reached the hole a fraction of a second before the island smashed into place.
Now they were in free fall again. Yes, the mask could sense it, this was where it was to be used. Suddenly, the mask heard a voice. Matoro apparently heard it, too. He slowly put the Ignika on, and it filled him with energy. The mask and Matoro began to glow, and as they fell, they became one.
"I understand now!" said Matoro, already losing himself in the mask's power. "I can barely remember how it felt to be in battle - or to be lonely - or to feel pain or joy or sadness. I'm going beyond all that now."
He saw his friends, far off battling for the fate of the universe. "I am the Mask of Life and it is me. And while I still live, I will use its power...my friends will not die!"
The Ignika and Matoro reached out, took hold of the Toa Mahri, and transported them to Metru Nui. The last time it had been used, its bearer had been scared, afraid to die. No such thoughts ran through Matoro's head. He was a true hero, willing to die to save his friends and the universe, and so the mask honored him by allowing the remnants of Matoro's spirit this one final wish.
"Now I'm ready," said Matoro. The mask began changing Matoro into pure energy. And within a few seconds, in a blinding flash of light and life, Matoro was no more.
Now the mask fell by itself. It pondered its fate. What would become of it now?
The swamp below appraoched fast. Then the mask landed with a squishy thud. After a while, when no one tried to take it, it decided to take stock of its surroundings. The swamp and mist around were filled with life, but there was something about it that felt wrong. Some of the life forms that passed nearby seemed twisted and evil. Up above, the mask sensed more life. Intelligent life. But there, too, something seemed strange. Something was very wrong here, but it could not tell what.
Then, it sensed new life forms. It recognized them. They had tried to get to the Ignika when it was still inside that island up above, but they had changed somehow. They were also in battle.
When the Ignika had been merged with Matoro, it had briefly felt remnants of battle rage, of joy and honor. It suddenly realized how desirable these things were. Now was an opportunity to fight, to be honored, to be happy. It wanted to join the battle up above, but then realized that that was impossible. It was a mask, to be used by a Toa, a being with...a...body!
The mask got an idea. It sensed around in the swamp, looking for every molecule it would need. Then, it pulled them together. Swarms of bacteria flowed out of the swamp. Bits of dead plants and animals floated together. Protodermis from the armor of dead Rahi drifted towards each other. Within seconds, the body of a newly formed Toa stood in the swamp. Now all it needed was a mask. The Ignika rose up to its new body and attached itself to the face.
Ignika moved his hand, testing his new muscles. He reached up and over and down. He touched his toes, he nodded his head, he felt the armor on his limbs. So this is what it felt like.
Now that he had a body, he had to think about how he would get up to the battle. This body could not fly; he would have to make something that could carry him up there. Looking around, he saw something further off in the mist. Upon closer inspection, he saw that it was a crashed airship. Perhaps the life above had made it and lost it. Yes, that was it, there were dead beings inside. They must have died when the ship crashed.
Bits of Matoro's memories still floated in Ignika's mind. Some of them told of translating for Turaga Nuju, discussing airships with the other Turaga. Matoro had known how to make one. Maybe Ignika could make something similar.
Ignika pulled panels off the airship's sides. Using tools he found in the ship, he put them together into a board. Then, he went inside and approached the dead beings. They were smaller than him and carried small blades. They also had something on their backs. Ignika could tell that those things had been used for flight, another bit of Matoro's memories. Pulling them off their backs, he went back to his creation. He modified the rocket boosters, joined them into one big one, and attached it to the back of his board. Looking back one more time, he saw something sticking out of the ship, a large blade. He realized that this must have been why the ship crashed. Taking it for himself, he stepped onto his board and took off into the sky.
As Ignika shot upwards, he could see the battle above him. Now was his chance to be a hero, to be honored, to have friends. As he soared into battle, Ignika vowed to remember Matoro. Whether as a Matoran, a Toa, or a dying being, he had shown more courage and strength than Ignika could have imagined. He never thought of himself, but always what was best for everyone. Ignika hoped he could live up to that and knew that whatever happened, Matoro would live on, in his memories, always.
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This was my take on the Ignika's transition into Karda Nui. Written at the end of 2007.