The idea for this SS has been around for a while, way back during November 2008. I never got around to finishing that first draft (which was inspired by X2, one of my favorite movies), but the ideas for it never really died. Over time, they knitted together into a comprehensible whole, and with the upcoming Valentine's Day making everyone (especially at school :annoyed1:) lovey-dovey, I wanted something bloody to yank us (or me, at least) out of that mood. :P So, here it is, over a year in the making.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bionicle, and never will. I simply own the characters, the location, and the story, and since the plot was inspired by X2, I barely own that. Song, of course, belongs to Cryoshell, whenever they actually release their CD.

Creeping in My Soul

The night look temptingly like a warm velvet blanket studded with silver spots. For Air Toa Washi, it was all he could do to keep himself from closing his eyes and sinking into sleep he had lacked for over a week. But no, he couldn't – not until he was relieved from guard duty. And even when that happened, would he even want to sleep, with all the nightmares that had afflicted him and the other Toa Rohaya for the last few days?

Surreptitiously, he glanced at his fellow guards. Calhoun, Demetrius, and Matsu – the Toa Rohaya of Ice, Earth, and the Green, respectively – looked as bad as he felt, and Hesprides – a former Water Toa, mutated by the Brotherhood so her power was in teleporting instead of commanding the seas – appeared no better. Only Alvis, one of the two Lightning Toa of Rohaya, looked remotely alert, but it was probably a sham. She of the cheerful attitude and Komau mask was a notoriously good actor.

I see your face before my eyes

I'm falling into darkness

A noise caught his sleepy attention, and Washi looked away to scan the area in front of the fortress's front gate. This was stupid, since Rohaya had only once been invaded by the Brotherhood, and that had been 100 years ago. Still, Kronus and his deputies – Eos and Ares – felt it was for the best that they step up their security and keep on the lookout. So here he and others were, sleep-deprived and barely able to stand, looking out into the darkness of the pine forest and trying to pick out if the sounds they heard were a curious Rahi's footsteps or a Makuta trying to kill them.

Why must I fight to stay alive?

Another snap of crushed foliage. He and Matsu exchanged a look; the latter looked anguished as he heard his precious plants being trampled underfoot. Sometimes Washi thought his friend needed to let it go somewhat. It was okay to care about the plants here, but the Toa of the Green had to be the biggest tree-hugger he had ever met. (Not that he complained during a fight – watching him make trees walk and attack foes was an intimidating sight.)

The Toa of Air suddenly got the feeling he and the others were being watched; watched with unfriendly eyes. Nervously, he gripped his double-edged sword, trying to be as bold and intimidating as he could in his current state.

"Who's there?" he tried to call, hoping to Mata Nui it was either Paytah playing a prank or Kronus and Stara returning from their trip to Shi-Nui – but then he realized the words had never left his mouth.

Those were his final thoughts, just as a sharp pain appeared in the base of his throat from behind and the void consumed him.

Heroes fallin'

It was very quick – one instant, six Toa Rohaya were standing guard over the main gate of Rohaya's fortress, the next they were dead, struck down by Roporak and Camouflage Rahkshi that had snuck up on them.

Quickly, their masters flowed forward, followed by the rest of their invading force. Their leader – a winged, Shelek-masked monster with acid-green and black armor – pilfered their bodied as the others waited impatiently, finally coming up with the keystone for the gate. They could've easily torn the metal portcullis asunder with their powers, but they were smarter than that. Better to be able to close the door, and prevent anyone from getting in – or out.

With a rumble, the metal wall rose up, clearing the way. No one in the fortress reacted – they had been suffering from insomnia for a long time, and it would take more than a noise they had long grown used to make them awaken from the first peaceful night they had enjoyed.

The three tall, Makuta-esque killers slithered inside, silent as the troops that followed. A junction came quickly after they passed through the portal, and with a silent gesture, they split. The majority continued straight on with the green-black and blue-black masters, while the black-silver one led the others down the passage that went deeper into the fortress.

At the first door leading off the corridor, he tore the stone door off its hinges, throwing it aside carelessly with a loud crash. Little did Tayra, killer of Toa, Halfling of Earth, know, but their silent mission was about to get loud.

Wake me

Can't you hear me callin'?

Toa Sirein had always been a light sleeper. Even when she was no longer suffering from nightmares, even when her insomnia had finally broken, she could be awakened easily. That had been the reason she shared a room with the team's Sonics Toa. He liked this arrangement because of his tribe's weakness to their element. She liked it because the thick walls kept her from twitching in her sleep, and because of her very attractive roommate (at least to her – she had a weakness for music composers).

So when a very loud smash! rudely ripped her out of a lovely dream – the first such dream in a week – she sat up in bed, ready to blast the mind of whoever had interrupted her. By the time she was through with them, they wouldn't be able to walk for a day, maybe more.

However, such thoughts were driven out of the Toa of Psionics' mind the instant she saw the hulking being silhouetted against the hall's lightstones. Fear filled her. None of her teammates had a Mahiki, or were that big. And the feeling she got from him was so overwhelmingly dark, Sirein felt her soul shudder to be that close to him.

So, she reacted the only way she could.

Out of darkness they come crawling!

With the force of an explosive, she ripped into the minds of those in the fortress, including the behemoth before her and Baird, resting beside her on the bed, and filled their minds with white noise. Into the minds of her teammates, though, she passed a message, telling them Awake! Awake! Fear! Enemies! Awake!

Even as her enemy reeled, Baird shot straight up, his Huna misaligned as he woke. Before he could ask just what her deal was, he too saw the being in their doorway, and he too reacted. His voice, which in the past had charmed Rahi out of the trees when he sang with his harp, rose to a deafening shriek, shattering the windows in the fortress walls and making the ears of others bleed with the sheer sonic force unleashed. Were it not for the dampeners attached to his ears, he would've gone deaf. Since Sirein lacked such devices, she had to compensate by slamming her blue-gold hands against her ears.

Both held out their efforts, trying to rip their friends out of bed and into the fight, until a blast of solid shadow tore their armor and into their heartlights, shattering them instantly. Their bodies slumped backwards, suddenly nerveless as they were claimed by death. They lay there, in some hideous embrace, Baird of De-Koro and Sirein of Va-Koro, their blood staining the sheets red.

Here I am

I am lost in your land

And I hope you will be

Creeping in my soul

The sound and the mental alarm tore Ares from his sleep, jolting upwards and banging his head hard against the stone above his bunk. Swearing loudly, he crawled out from under the covers and hopping to the floor. Above him, Atlas dropped from the top bunk with a dull clunk of metal, his eyes glaring out from behind his Pakari. Across the room, Egan and Crevan jumped out to join them, grasping their weapons as they raced out of their room – they had taken to sleeping with their weapons since the last time they had been forced to fight on their own turf, a habit that was starting to pay off.

"What enemies are there?" yelled the Magnetism Toa as they raced into the great hall – the main meeting place of the Toa Rohaya during such emergencies. As they ran, the screaming suddenly ceased, but it wasn't silent now – the sounds of their rapidly-flashing heartlights and their footsteps thundered in their ears, and they could hear more yells; the rest of the team had responded to the call.

The Ice Toa activated his Akaku, seeing through the walls of their stone bastion like they didn't exist. His report was grim. "Washi's lot are dead, and so are Baird and Sirein. I saw Rahkshi, Visorak, and six Exo-Toa, along with three other people I can't identify. We've got a long haul in front of us."

As Crevan finished his sentence, Ares burst into the great hall, where Eos, Amaya, Althea, and Catrionia had already gathered, standing back-to-back so nothing could ambush them. Paytah shot in with his Kakama to join them a second later, followed by Cargan. They were the only ten remaining of the Toa Rohaya; with their leader and arguably their best warrior still away, and eight of their siblings dead, their power had significantly reduced.

Shadows fall

Let me out

Hear my call

And I'll always believe

Creeping in my soul

"What's going on?" the most senior of the Water Toa demanded of them, addressing Crevan, who then had to go and explain what he saw again. While the others listened, Atlas and Cargan used their powers to seal the exits; being Toa of Iron and Stone, they managed this easily. Atlas made his barriers of metal thin, but flexible and strong, unable to be cut by even diamonds. This did little to ease the fears of the Toa Rohaya, though: Crevan had seen Rahkshi of Disintegration and Shattering running around.

"We hold the line, then," Eos said grimly once Crevan's recitation was complete. "Once we thin out their numbers enough, I'll go through the back passage, swim for Shi-Nui, and find the others."

Before they could agree to this course of action, they heard approaching explosions, caused by the footsteps of Panrahk, and they backed tighter into formation, eyes flicking rapidly to the sealed exits, sweat beading their palms and making their grips on their weapons slippery.

SMASH!

One of Cargan's blockades shattered, stone fragments raining down on them as Rahkshi poured forth from the gap. But they were ready. Paytah and Egan's fire erupted from their palms in spirals that got larger in radius as they raced forward, scorching the armor of the creatures and making Ares and Atlas' jobs so much easier as they made the headplates crumple down, turning kraata into jelly.

They were the Toa Rohaya, after all, with strength greater than a normal Toa and a perfect willingness to kill if needed. For them, crushing Makuta spawn took as much thought as swatting firefliers: little if any.

[[Creeps from the dark

Gonna be freakin' up your mind

Creeps from the deep

Gonna be feedin' off your spine]]

The lizard-creatures fell back, allowing the Visorak to replace them, pincers clicking as they fired their spinner weapons. Eos and Amaya flung orbs of water up when they could, knocking them out of the air, and Crevan rose barriers of ice to intercept, but where they failed, Ares used his powers to divert them. Manipulating electromagnetic fields wasn't as easy as it would be with Stara or Alvis to help, but he could change their course just enough to keep them from hitting his friends.

The waves came on, but they were growing smaller. They dared hope that they might win. Althea and Catrionia used their altered elemental powers to heal those who were injured – like Hesprides, they had once been Toa of other elements, but the Brotherhood had changed that permanently into the power to heal – and played support roles, using their masks to fling debris and reopen holes in the ground for enemies to handle, making them exert more of their attention on other things, allowing their friends to finish them.

I fade away into the night

My eyes are closing in

Finally, the Exo-Toa smashed into the hall through another blocked door. Atlas took one look and snorted. "That's the best they can do?" he asked of the room at large, even as he pulled out a few metal throwing stars and flung them at high speed. While it wasn't enough to make them fail, where the stars hit they disabled some mechanism, allowing him and Ares ample time to tear them apart with ease.

"Ya!" crowed the Toa of Magnetism triumphantly. "Is this the best the Brotherhood can do?"

"No."

The unfamiliar voices made their attention turn. The three beings Crevan had seen with his mask had stepped inside the great hall, taking their time about entering – although the Toa Rohaya didn't realize at the moment, their enemies had every right to dally, since they were far more powerful than even them. One looked bigger and stronger than even Atlas, one had giant bat wings with claws topping it, and the last, while the smallest, seemed the most malevolent of the trio, with her black smiles behind her Kaukau and long fins, stretching behind her as she aimed her strange, ranged weapon.

If Ares seemed concerned, he didn't show it, even as his team slowly began backing towards the exit, their instincts telling them this was bad news. "Big deal," he snorted. "I've handled your kind before, Makuta." And with that, he brought the force of his element to bear, using it to rip away at the armor of all three and tear them, expecting Paytah and Egan to use their powers and incinerate the antidermis that would start leaking out.

Shadows fleeing from the light

To his shock, he saw flesh and joints beneath, not empty space occupied by the substance he'd been expecting. And they barely paid attention to that; they just examined themselves like their structures were very interesting, than snapped their eyes back up and fired a blast each of laser vision directly at him.

Before the Ice Toa could form a mirror to bounce them off, all six beams struck Ares directly in the heartlight, vaporizing it instantly. To their horror, the Toa Rohaya saw another of their brothers fall, directly before their eyes.

My nightmares can begin

With a roar of rage – Ares had been Atlas' closest friend and companion, even before they had helped found the Toa Rohaya – the Toa of Iron bounded forward, only to be struck by a blast of electricity. Without Alvis or Stara to absorb the shocks, they passed through his metal armor and made the powerful Toa collapse, fighting to stand.

"No!" both Toa of Healing yelled, throwing themselves into the fray, trying to get Atlas back on his feet, even as Egan shoved the remaining five towards the back passage that lead to their last hope of survival. "We'll stall for time; get going!" he snarled, even as he triggered a mechanism that sealed it from the inside. All of them – Eos, Amaya, Cargan, Crevan, and Paytah – tried to force it open for a second before they gave up and started running towards the library.

Wake me

Can't you hear me callin'?

Out of darkness they come crawlin'!

It didn't take long to get there. Eos ignored the bookshelves fit for a Knowledge Tower and proceeded straight to the back, where the Stone Toa that joined her rose his fist, activating a hidden door and letting it slide back, revealing a narrow, twisting passage carved into the rock. This lead right to the cliffs that their fortress sat above, and was their only chance of escape from the deathtrap their bastion had become tonight.

"Let's –" Before the Water Toa could finish her sentence, she paused, listening intently. From the direction they had come, they could hear a male voice steadily getting louder as it approached their hiding place. "Cover all the passages. The Toa must not escape!"

All five of them exchanged panicked looks, than Eos gripped her friend and pushed her inside. "Go," she ordered, even as she wrenched off her Kaukau and swapped it with the startled Amaya's Faxon. "We'll hold them off, but you have to find the others. Tell . . ." she choked slightly, but went on, "tell Kronus that we tried, and that I love him."

Breathless with adrenaline and fear, the Water Toa nodded, just before Cargan sealed the passage with his powers. Turning, she began to run, even as she heard a smash from behind the door.

Perhaps she was fortunate that she didn't have to see Cargan, Paytah, Crevan, and Eos turn towards the killers of their brothers and sisters; didn't have to watch them grip their weapons in a futile resistance to buy her a little time, hoping it would be enough for her to swim to Shi-Nui and find their last remaining friends; not witness their expressions, set in a grim line as they stared into the eyes of Death.

She didn't have to see her friends die. Ultimately, though, that meant she would be facing her own end alone.

Here I am

I am lost in your land

And I hope you will be

Creeping in my soul

Shadows fall

Let me out

Hear my call

And I'll always believe

Creeping in my soul

The ocean waters were cold, hitting her like a sledgehammer the moment she had dove off the cliff face and into its unforgiving realm. Amaya choked for a second before she switched on Eos' Kaukau, allowing her to absorb oxygen easily. Not for the first time, she wished that Washi was alive and with her. Though the Toa of Air hated swimming, he could enable them both to hold their breath for hours on end, or fly them to their destination.

She shook it off, even as she summoned a current, sweeping her northwest and towards Shi-Nui, racing underwater through the fogbanks that had protected their island from many threats for many years. She kept her strength reserved for the occasional kick in the right direction, and for the very definite possibility of a fight underwater. That Makuta-like female had a Kaukau, and there were Boggerak on Rohaya now. They could follow her.

Amaya suddenly felt vibrations on the water's surface, like someone was tapping on the thin divide between air and water. Not pausing, she flipped over underwater, and saw the feet of Boggerak skating across it, pincers snapping together – she was spared the sound, though. She swore that she could see a winged figure past them, but the refraction was making it hard to tell.

Well, no matter. She knew one definite threat, and by Mata Nui she wasn't going down like her brothers at the gate, killed before they knew what was going on. The spinners wouldn't be able to hit her from below!

Creeping in my soul

It's getting out of control

Abruptly, she shut down her current and channeled her power into a whirlpool, not fighting its draw, just letting it drag her down into the depths. Another glance allowed her to see the satisfying shapes of Visorak being sucked under too – and it was clear that while they could waterskate, they were poor swimmers.

Leaving the whirlpool to dissipate at its own pace, Amaya lashed out with her limbs and plunged deeper into the water, letting herself sink into the black water.

Got to find my escape and

Get out of this black hole

Above, Kiria clenched her fists as she watched her Visorak get sucked under. The whirlpool had emerged too quickly for her to save her troops, and anyway the Halfling of Water wasn't too proficient with her powers just yet.

That was it. If you want something done right, you had to do it yourself.

Kiria dove beneath the waves, wings shifting back to her fins. However, they didn't stay: she was shifting her shape, and to a monstrous one at that. Let's see this little Ruki outswim the Takea I am!

Cuz' justice in the world

Is hard to find

Amaya didn't need to look and see that her enemy had joined her – her connection to the ocean around her allowed her to feel water displacements. She kicked harder, trying to gain speed; she didn't dare create a current to pull her along, since her enemy could utilize it as well – at least, that was assuming it could swim as fast as her. She glanced to check, and her eyes widened in horror.

"Minali," she whispered, as she turned around and tried to fly underwater, diving deeper into the black waters that surrounded Rohaya. She had invoked the name of an ancient Matoran sea goddess – whose name literally meant "queen of sharks"; a name that fit her enemy's new shape very well.

Time has come

Gotta make up my mind

Kiria, now a giant Takea shark, hungrily tore through the ocean, her teeth seeking the flesh of the foolish Water Toa, who thought going into the black reefs would save her. She was a halfling now, a Makuta before then, and indestructible. Nothing could escape her.

A pod of sharks approached, summoned by her power to control Rahi. Part of their willingness to obey came from their dim, collective memory: it was wired into their minds to obey the biggest and strongest Takea, and she was huge in this shape.

Hunt her, she ordered – she had created these creatures; she knew how to control them best. Wear her down, don't let your prey rest. Obediently, they dove deeper into the reefs.

Kiria and her brothers had been sent to destroy the Toa Rohaya, destroy the ones that had dared defy them and hunted their ships. By her shadow, she would not fail with this Water Toa.

No matter how deep or remote you hide

All my thoughts seem caught up inside

Weave, down, up, to the side. No matter how hard she swam, Amaya couldn't shake the pod of sharks that had suddenly appeared to pursue her. Her limbs were terribly tired; she wanted nothing more than to sink into some dark ocean crevice or a reef cavern to sleep for a month.

Too bad these killing machines weren't going to give her a chance to rest, save the painful one that their jaws would bring. Despite her pain and weariness, she pushed on. Inside, though, she knew she was going to fight these sharks if she wanted to escape to Shi-Nui and tell her friends what had happened.

Amaya didn't like the thought of it; she loved animals the same way Matsu had loved the plants of Rohaya. But she was more than willing now. She had seen Ares die before her eyes; saw the invincible Magnetism Toa collapse, heartlight obliterated, in the great hall. Her grief for him and her other friends had transmitted into rage, making even the gentle, somewhat fussy Water Toa willing to fight Rahi.

Her eyes spotted a crevice in the reef. It was just big enough for her to fight through, but she doubted this pack of sharks would be able to fit inside unless they went in one at a time.

Not even caring now – at least it gave her limbs a chance to rest – she wiped up a current that flung her towards the narrow gap. Jaws snapping hungrily, the Takea chased after, so close together that their rough armor was pressed together tightly; Amaya could hear the screeches of metal plating on metal plating. Perfect.

At the last second, the Water Toa turned on her side and blasted through the coral. Even as she twisted her body in split-second reactions, she was pleased to hear the angry snaps as her pod of hungry pursuers got stuck in the reef. They might wriggle out at some point, but it wouldn't happen for a while. That rock was tough stuff.

Laughing to herself, she let the current carry her through another crevice and back into open water, still heading northwest.

Creeps from the deep

Gonna be freaking up your mind

This was getting too close for Kiria's liking. The Takea had worn out the Water Toa, but she had tricked them into getting stuck in a reef. Now the Water Toa was less than five kio from Shi-Nui; five kio from civilization. The halfling couldn't afford for the other two Rohayan Toa to learn of this. She and her brothers needed to make them walk innocently into their trap.

That meant she would have to take things into her own claws. She'd prolonged the hunt, toying with her prey; now it was time to end it. The Toa was tired; sending in the Takea sharks had enabled her to stay fresh.

Grinning a shark's grin, rowed with sharp teeth, Kiria flipped her tail and shot after her, shifting back into her base form again as she did. When the Toa died, she wanted her to look into the eyes of Death, not the empty ones of a shark.

Creeps from the deep

Gonna be feeding off your spine

Amaya could sense it; she was closing in on Shi-Nui. The purity of the protodermis was dropping – despite the city's emphasis on alternative energy sources, even using sails in conjunction with their ship engines, the rest of the universe hadn't quite caught up yet – and that meant a city was near. Shi-Nui was the closest to Rohaya; her marathon swim was almost over.

Before she could let that comforting thought suffuse her mind, a whirlpool suddenly erupted around her, sucking the air she had drawn in with Eos' Kaukau straight out again. There was one vortex in the waters around the city, but she had set her course so she'd avoid it, and anyway it shouldn't have formed at this time of night.

Determined to wrap this up and get to Shi-Nui, Amaya lashed out with her elemental powers, trying to calm it. This endeavor failed, though; if anything, it got stronger.

That meant that there was someone else manipulating this elemental eddy. And judging from the giant, bipedal creature with fins bearing down on her location, the Water Toa had a pretty good idea who it was.

Death was coming for her. She knew it in her heartlight; the part of her that had been shattered in the Magnetism Toa when he had fallen. But by Rohaya, she wasn't dying like this, trapped like a Ruki in this whirlpool. She was going down like her sister Eos: fighting!

Here I am

I am lost in your land

And I hope you will be

Creeping in my soul

Just as the thought blazed through her mind, an eruption shot through the water; there wasn't even time or a place to evade.

The eighteenth Toa Rohaya died just minutes before the end of her race, going out with a whimper instead of the bang she had wanted.

Shadows fall

Let me out

Hear my call

And I'll always believe

Kiria laughed harshly through the bubbles that issued from her mouth, as her whirlpool swirled the limp body of the Water Toa around and around. Blood gushed from the large wound her sonic shockwave had ruptured in her heartlight, creating a dark red veil in the clear liquid that tinted the ocean around the spinning corpse.

Still laughing, the Halfling of Water swam forward and snatched the body, not even caring when it flopped over her arm, and swam back to Rohaya, dismissing her whirlpool as she did. By tomorrow morning, this cadaver, along with the seventeen others, would be hanging off the fortress parapets; a warning to those that would challenge the might of the halflings and the Brotherhood they served.

The Massacre of Rohaya was complete.

Creeping in my soul

XxX

And with that, it's over. Come on, H&H fans, you have to admit that you've always wondered how eighteen Toa got killed in one night. Admit it. :P

C&C is highly appreciated.

-Inferna