Shadow sniffed the air as he walked over to the very place where his master was attacked. He turned around as the Toa ran after him.
“Has he found anything?” Poldren asked as he came up to the Rahi.
Twilis frowned as his eyes scanned the area, looking for a clue regarding the culprits. The signs of the attack were subtle, with a few pebbles strewn across the ground, showing that there was some sort of struggle. He could also faintly smell the feces of the shadow mantis, as much as it disgusted him. “This might be the place,” he nodded.
Tamina didn’t say anything as she watched the other Toa observe the situation. They were all there…except for Kratos. He took his loss pretty hard, and was too depressed to head out with the Toa. She hoped that perhaps time alone to recuperate would get him back into the right state of mind, but part of her still worried that this would take much longer than preferred.
Lucarian walked over to where Shadow stood, who was looking down at the ground.
“Is this where your master was taken?”
Shadow looked up at the Toa. While Lucarian could not speak his language, the Rahi’s eyes seemed to confirm his suspicion.
Then he felt a strange pulse. It was weak, but enough for the Toa of Shadow to be caught off guard. Once he had regained his senses, he raised his right hand and closed his eyes. A shadowy, black and purple energy slowly formed from his hand as he concentrated, as if he was scanning the area. His heart then dropped as he realized what he had found.
“What are you doing?” Lucarian turned around to see the other Toa staring at him. Admittedly, this was an odd position for him to be in.
“I…I sensed something.”
“And what would that be?” Twilis asked, cocking his head to the side.
Lucarian wasn’t sure if he wanted to say. He didn’t need them to be following the same trail, getting hurt, or even dying in the process. But since one of their Agoran was involved… “The energy of Makuta,” he sighed.
The other Toa looked confused, wondering how this single Toa could detect that.
“Wait…Makuta? Here?” Vancus asked. He was confused, amused, and concerned at the same time regarding Lucarian’s statement. “But they’ve been dead for thousands of years.”
“How would you even know that they were the ones who did it?” Twilis asked, folding his arms across his silver-plated chest.
“If you think I’m working with them,” Lucarian frowned, “then you are mistaken. Besides, I never said that it was explicitly the Makuta. Just their energy. Their antidermis. Someone is tampering with it, when they shouldn’t.”
“So…” Vancus asked, slightly nervous at the response, “There are no Makuta here?”
“I never said that either,” Lucarian sighed.
“Alright, listen!” Twilis growled, getting more and more irritated by the minute. “Are you going to tell us what’s going on?”
“I only know as much as you do,” Lucarian responded, trying to remain firm in the face of Twilis’s anger.
“But you know of a Makuta’s essence. How would you? Does it have to do with you being a Toa of Shadow? Start talking.”
“Twilis, please!” Tamina shouted, getting exasperated at her leader’s behavior.
“No, Tamina,” Lucarian sighed. “He deserves to know. You all do.” He paused for a moment before finally speaking again. “Nearly 20,000 years ago, I was a Toa of Fire. As proud as I was powerful, and for my deeds, I was praised by the Matoran I protected, and even most of my fellow Toa. But then…the Makuta attacked. I tried to take them on, but most of my team was killed, all but myself and one other Toa, Morgana.” He said that name almost reluctantly and with pain, as if it brought back terrible memories.
“The Makuta were doing experiments on how to drain the light out of a victim, hoping to create slaves bound by darkness and shadow. And I was chosen to be their next test subject. That experience,” Lucarian growled, clenching his fists, recollecting the pain, “was worse than torture. It was Surken. Hell itself.”
“And yet you didn’t fall under the Makuta’s power?” Twilis asked. His face was still stern, but curious regarding this seemingly shadowed slave.
“They drained most of my light,” Lucarian sighed, “but not all of it. I managed to break free before they could, and destroyed their fortress during my escape. But…Morgana…my teammate…my sister…” The Toa of Shadow tried to keep his composure, but the sadness in his voice was clear as a pool of water.
“Didn’t…make it…” Tamina finished, her head bowing in sorrow from the realization.
Lucarian didn’t speak, only nodding at the response. “I knew no one would accept me, so I became a wanderer. The Makuta escaped the fortress as well, so I made it my mission to find the ones who cursed me and get my revenge.” As he spoke, his voice became rougher and angrier. His ruby eyes seemed to glow from the shadow and hatred.
“But…But the Makuta have been dead for years,” Poldren reasoned. “History says that one Makuta, Teridax, killed them before assuming power over Mata Nui’s body.”
“Not these ones,” Lucarian sighed, slowly walking around the perimeter as he continued his discussion. “These Makuta went rogue after my incident. Through my many encounters with them, I found that they wanted to take over the planet in their own way. They planned to go into hibernation until they could carry out their plan. And…they have reawakened. And now…I have my chance to fulfill my duty and make things right.”
“So you’ve been following these creeps for all these years?” Vancus asked.
Lucarian nodded. “That is why I came near Voltus Mountain, and from there, found you,” he stated, looking straight into Tamina’s eyes. “Since they are shadow, as I am, we are in a way, connected, and I can track their darkness. I was headed towards their signature.”
“But you said they weren’t the ones who kidnapped Dongru, right?” Tamina asked.
“No. The amount is low. Enough to be detected. Not enough for the power of a Makuta.” With that, the Toa of Shadow turned away from the group and walked towards the other direction.
“H-Hey!” Vancus called out. “Where are you going?”
“I have a lead,” Lucarian replied, continuing his movement. “I don’t intend to lose it.” A few seconds later, he found Tamina, running in front of him, stopping him in his tracks.
“Then let us go with you. This isn’t your fight only. You’re after these criminals, whoever they are, because they have some sort of forbidden power related to the Makuta. We’re after them because they took two innocent Agoran. We’ll need each other for this. Your tracking. Our combined powers. We both get what we want.”
Lucarian frowned as he stared at the Toa of Water, neither of them moving from their positions. “This is more than a battle. At first, it may be that way, but what if you go with me and save the Agoran? Will you then be compelled to go after me and fight the Makuta? That is not a battle. It’s a war. One I have been fighting for far too long. And in your peace-times, you don’t want to get involved in that.”
“Tamina,” Twilis spoke, walking up to the duo along with the other Toa. “He may have a point.”
Tamina turned towards the Toa of Light, sending him a sharp glare. “Just so you don’t have to associate with him, Twilis? Keep him out of your sight while he does his own business.”
“We may be dealing with Skrall, we don’t need Makuta as well,” Twilis hissed.
“Skrall?” Lucarian asked, cocking his head in curiosity.
“Don’t change the topic!” Tamina snapped, turning back towards the black-armored warrior, her eyes becoming filled with sharp ferocity, like an angered Takea. “And what if this ‘war’ catches up to us as well? Especially with this ‘plan’ the Makuta have? How many of them are there? And how many are there of you?”
“I don’t need any more innocent blood on my hands!” Lucarian roared, his eyes flaring up with anger. Twilis drew his blade, putting it at Lucarian’s throat.
“Don’t move, you nightmare,” the Toa of Light hissed.
Lucarian growled, but slowly, began to calm down, slowly taking long, deep breathes. “I will help you find the Agoran,” he finally answered. “But, in exchange, you will leave me be once you find them. For my sake, and yours. And that is far as I will let this go.”
Tamina stared at Lucarian with a frustrated look on her face. She wanted to get to him, get him out of his cold, black bubble of a shell. But, if this was the way he was going to be… “Fine,” she muttered.
“I am the one in charge here,” Twilis glared. “I say what goes.”
“And how else are we supposed to find Dongru?” Tamina asked, cocking her head to the side. “Unless you have a better idea.” Twilis didn’t respond.
“Perhaps we should discuss matters back at Zorrin Nui,” Poldren piped up, breaking the silence. “We can grab Kratos as well as supplies. We should at least let the Turaga know that we are leaving for a longer period of time.”
Tamina nodded at Poldren’s thought. “That would be the best move for now,” she sighed. Twilis stormed off towards Zorrin Nui with a huff, leaving the others.
“You know, sometimes I wonder why he’s even our leader,” Vancus questioned.
“He was here before any of us,” Tamina responded. “He even fought against Teridax when he took over Aqua Magna.”
“He wasn’t the only one,” Lucarian sighed, slowly walking after Twilis. Soon, the others followed after them.
In his shadowy throne room, Zelcron had seen the entire scene play before his very eyes. As he sat in a massive throne made up of decorated black and silver metallic plates, he held a reddish-orange crystal ball in his right claw, revealing the Toa’s discussion.
“I am surprised that you managed to live for this long, Lucarian,” Zelcron spoke in a low, gravelly voice. “But at the same time, I am not surprised. You were always a resilient one. Too resilient, in fact.” He put his left claw on his chin, taking in the information which he had just witnessed. “That would explain the thieves Morath and Mutinex encountered earlier…” He turned back towards the crystal ball, where he watched the Toa walk towards their destination. “If you don’t find this place where your Agoran went, Lucarian, we shall. Either way, we’ll be sure to meet again soon. Count on it. I know I’ll be looking forward to it. If only to see you suffer.” With a cruel smile on his face, he shattered the crystal ball in his claws, leaving the broken remains on the floor as they slowly turned to dust.
Who am I? I am the shadows in the corner. I am the darkness in your soul. I am the blackness in your heart. I am the monster under the full moon. I am the evil in the twilight. I am Lucarian! I am Shade2800!...I'm actually a pretty nice guy once you get to know me...