|Shadows in the Sky|
In Karda Nui, Tanma and Gavla are checking on the village's scareRahi. As they are walking along, they spot the winged Makuta Chirox, who drops a strange leech. Tanma finds Gavla warped into a twisted version of herself; when the corrupted Av-Matoran attacks, Tanma decides to escape home. When he arrives, however, he finds three of the fliers over his village, with the entire Av-Matoran population of the village victim to the leeches. Eyes on the nearest vine bridge, he decides to warn the others.
A week later, there is only one village left holding out against the fliers, now known to be members of the Brotherhood of Makuta. Radiak is sent out to repair the lightvine surrounding the village, but he is caught by Vamprah and has the light drained out of him. When the Shadow Leeches have expired, Tanma peeks out of the Av-Matoran shelter to see Toa Mahri Matoro drop down through the falls wearing the glowing Kanohi Ignika. The mask's light intensifies until all of Karda Nui is illuminated by a stunning, blinding light. The three Makuta - Antroz, Chirox, and Vamprah - are caught out in the open and completely blinded.
Within hours, the Matoran press the advantage. The Makuta counter by making use of Shadow Matoran helpers in order to 'see'. The fight quickly turns against the Av-Matoran, but as they retreat, the Toa Nuva appear out of nowhere, throwing both Toa and Matoran into chaos. Ultimately, the Makuta retreat in order to take stock of the new situation. Just after the battle, the Toa realize with a shock that Karda Nui, though it looks different now, was once their home long ago.
Back at the village, the Matoran bring the Toa up to speed on the current situation, ending with the figure in the waterfall. The Toa identify him as Toa Matoro using the Ignika, and decide that the mask has to be retrieved from the swamps below before the Makuta retrieve it. Agreeing that the Matoran need aid as well, the Toa Nuva split into two groups: Kopaka, Lewa, and Pohatu will protect the village, while Tahu, Gali, and Onua will go after the mask. After Tahu's team leaves, Solek gives Kopaka a Keystone and tells of him of five others that the Toa will need: one held by the Shadow Matoran Kirop, one in the possession of the Makuta, and three more in unknown locations.
Meanwhile, the Makuta regroup in their lair. Antroz decides to summon Icarax to Karda Nui, and has Mutran engineer a flying creature to make the trip. Vican is given a tablet of transit so he can safely travel to Destral and inform Icarax.
Down in the swamp, the Ignika realizes it is in danger. Deciding that its prior guardians were insufficient, and wondering what Matoro's experience as a Toa was like, the mask decides to give itself a body. After constructing an air board and flying out of the swamp, the mask decides to name itself 'Toa Ignika'.
After Lewa shoots down one of the Shadow Matoran (Kirop) on a whim, Kopaka takes him captive, thereby claiming his Keystone. After a while, Kirop awakes in a hut, clearly a prisoner. Before he escapes, however, he overhears a plan to strike at the Makuta - just as the Toa intended. The three Toa and Tanma, Solek, and Photok follow Kirop back to the Shadow Leech Hive, following through with their plan. On the way, they are joined by Toa Ignika, and they accept the mute stranger into their group after he defeats a predatory Rahi just by raising his hand.
Inside the hive, Mutran faces Kopaka and Solek while the others search for the Shadow Leech vats. He quickly knocks out Solek, overwhelms Kopaka with a mental assault, and cloaks Ignika with an illusion so the others see him as a monster. When Pohatu, Photok, Lewa and Tanma attack Ignika, thinking he is a monster, the new Toa begins to suck their life out as Mutran prepares a final attack against Kopaka. Unknown to the Makuta, Kopaka is only faking defeat, and Solek's surprise activation of a hard-light shield aids him further. When the illusion flickers momentarily, revealing the Ignika, Pohatu and Lewa realize what is going on, ending the fight. They soon find out that their mysterious ally is wearing the Mask of Life. At that moment the other three Makuta show up, defeating everyone and taking them captive.
When the Toa wake up, the Makuta threaten to kill the Matoran if they try to escape. As they try to corrupt them into Toa of Shadow, however, Pohatu weakens the floor beneath them and knocks them off-balance. He then activates his Mask of Speed, phasing through his bonds and freeing the others. He grabs the Matoran and, on Kopaka's word, shares his power with everyone; they all wreck the Shadow Leech vats at top speed before escaping the hive. Though the Toa Nuva try to bring the hive down, the cord holding it up just grows back. It is Ignika who finishes the job, using his power to make the cord wither away.
The Makuta, now including Icarax, retaliate by assaulting the Matoran village. They find the Av-Matoran's secret hiding place and open it - only to find that it is empty. While the Makuta are distracted, the Toa and Matoran break into the Makuta's lair for the third keystone. When the Makuta realize this, they turn back, only to be ambushed by the Toa, who completed their mission. An all-out battle then ensues. During this battle, Antroz's armor is breached. Two Av-Matoran also join the fight, nearly getting themselves killed in the process. Other Av-Matoran also join the fight later.
Ignika watches the battle at first, but eventually decides to confront Icarax. Icarax bests Ignika easily, but as he reaches to take the mask, Ignika unleashes his power, devolving Icarax back into a biomechanical creature. Mutran, seeing Antroz out of the fight, Icarax in pain, and the rest of the Makuta outnumbered, unleashes a powerful blast of Shadow and calls for a strategic retreat to keep Tahu's team from getting the other Keystones. Mutran himself is caught, however, and the Toa agree that they should follow the Makuta down to the swamp.
Far from Karda Nui, Makuta Teridax arrives at a heavily guarded place. Though the defenses number many, they are designed to repel physical intruders, not beings of pure energy. There, Teridax begins some unexplained, final tasks that would make the plan successful...
- The Toa Nuva
- Shadow Matoran
- Toa Ignika
"For Christoffer, the true Great Being"
— Greg Farshtey
- Gavla's immediate mutation upon becoming a Shadow Matoran was a case of artistic license on the part of the author. In actuality, Mutran would have altered her later.
- An excerpt of this story was in BIONICLE: Makuta's Guide to the Universe.
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