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"Before his death, Toa Lhikan had asked that we safeguard the heart of Metru Nui. That heart was the Matoran. Now we were prepared to enter our wounded city and save them all. Our moment of destiny was at hand."
— Turaga Vakama, Maze of Shadows
|← Great CataclysmGreat War →|
Airships approach Mata Nui
|Witnesses||Toa Metru/Toa Hordika|
|Time||After the Great Cataclysm|
|Actions||Matoran of Metru Nui evacuated to Mata Nui|
The Great Rescue was the mass evacuation of the Matoran of Metru Nui to the island of Mata Nui. It was undertaken by the Toa Metru, who were mutated into beast-like Toa known as the Toa Hordika shortly after they began. They were able to return to their original forms and complete the rescue with the help of Keetongu and the Rahaga, after the defeat of the Visorak.
Makuta Teridax devised a plan to overthrow Mata Nui and take control of the Matoran Universe, his first step being to capture and brainwash the Matoran of Metru Nui. To accomplish this, he kidnapped Turaga Dume and imprisoned him in a special sphere. He then used the Turaga's form and influence to gather the Matoran to the Coliseum. There he commanded the Vahki, the robotic law enforcers of Metru Nui, to force all the Matoran inside more special spheres, which were designed to make the Matoran lose all of their memories and become physically weaker. Teridax planned to use the Vahi to speed up time, and then reawaken them and introduce himself as their rescuer; however, a novice team of Toa known as the Toa Metru managed to defeat Teridax by trapping him with a Toa Seal.
The Toa Metru were not, however, able to save the hundreds of Matoran from their stasis immediately, but they managed to escape through the Great Barrier with six of the spheres. Using a Vahki Transport that Toa Vakama later dubbed the Lhikan, they journeyed through the Great Barrier, intending to find a sanctuary where they could safely awaken the Matoran; however, one of the spheres—containing a Po-Matoran, Ahkmou—was lost during the journey. Despite their loss, they safely reached the surface of Aqua Magna and located an island paradise, upon which they docked their vessel. The Toa believed that the island would provide a temporary haven for the Matoran of Metru Nui once they were all rescued.
Return to Metru Nui
After some exploration of the new island, Toa Onewa discovered a new tunnel system, through which the Toa Metru could return to Metru Nui. Dealing with multiple Rahi confrontations, they exited the tunnels, constructed the Lhikan II using pieces of the Karzahni, and proceeded to cross over the Silver Sea towards Metru Nui. There they found the once-great city in ruins, covered not only with debris but with strange webs. At the urging of Vakama, the Toa Metru made their way to the Coliseum, unaware of the dwelling Visorak horde, summoned by Teridax to guard the Matoran and prevent the Toa from rescuing them. In a surprise attack, the Toa Metru were captured by the Visorak, wrapped in cocoons, and injected with Hordika Venom, a mutagen that transformed them into bestial Toa Hordika—half-Toa, half-Rahi creatures.
After mutating, the Toa Hordika were rescued from the cocoons by six mysterious beings called the Rahaga. Despite the warnings from their new allies and the desire to reverse their mutations, the Toa decided to proceed with saving the Matoran first. Toa Matau suggested building airships, which the Toa would use to get the Matoran out of the city. The Toa Hordika began scavenging for materials to build these ships, all the while having to battle the Visorak as their Hordika side grew more predominant, causing them to occasionally give in to beastial and Rahi-like tendencies. The Toa's mission was further endangered when Vakama, who had succumbed to the effects of the Hordika Venom, defected to the Visorak and was placed in command of the horde by Roodaka, viceroy of the Visorak, and Sidorak the horde's king. After the Rahaga were attacked in the Great Temple, Norik informed the Hordika of Vakama's defection. Worried by this development, the other Toa temporarily abandoned the goal of rescuing the Matoran to find Keetongu, a mysterious and powerful Rahi that would be able to cure their mutation and help them save Vakama.
They succeeded in locating Keetongu, who joined the Toa Hordika and Rahaga as they stormed the Coliseum and battled the Visorak horde. Despite the assistance of their new allies, the Visorak were too powerful, even without the now deceased Sidorak, Roodaka forced the Toa to surrender. However, by this time, Matau had privately convinced Vakama to see reason and master his Hordika side. The Toa of Fire was able to use his authority over the Visorak to disband the horde. Finishing the conflict with Roodaka, the six Toa simultaneously fired their elemental Rhotuka at her, accidentally releasing Teridax from his seal at the Great Barrier.
Return to Mata Nui
Following their victory, the Toa Hordika were returned to their original forms by Keetongu. They then loaded the sleeping Matoran trapped in the spheres into the airships they had constructed. After saying their farewells to the Rahaga and Keetongu, the Toa Metru took control of the fleet of Airships and sailed once more through the Great Barrier to the new home of the Matoran. When they arrived on the island, the Toa Metru sacrificed their Toa Power to awaken all of the Matoran, causing themselves to transform into Turaga. With the Matoran free to continue their lives on the newly-named island of Mata Nui, the Great Rescue was finally complete.
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