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City of the Skrall
Date Set
1,001 AGC

City of the Skrall is Outhra's first story on Custom Bionicle Wiki.


Chapter One[]

Deep in the deserts of Spherus Magna, Tuma walked alone. For thousands of years, he had been the Skrall people’s ruler, their guidance, their shining source of motivation and hope... Now he was an outcast. Because of those heinous creatures, the baterra, he had been struck painfully in the back, because of the shapeshifters’ cowardly tricks and scheming. Because of his wound, that sand flea Mata Nui had been able to strike him down, and his people had shattered. To whom would leadership pass now?

He supposed that it would be the Skrall that he had named, but many of those, despite their prowess in battle and great loyalty to the Skrall community, were not fit to lead. He had watched his former lieutenant Stronius lead scores of his tribe to their deaths fighting the Glatorian and several hideous mechanical creatures, and he supposed that most of the rest of his people were scattered screaming through the desert, to be brought down by Vorox or worse.

Three days ago, the moons had fallen from the sky. Only hours before that, two beings of bright metal had emerged from what seemed like nowhere to fight to the death. Now, the larger one lay dead on top of the mountains, and the smaller was nowhere to be seen. But Tuma thought next to nothing of it. No matter what he did, he would not be redeemed. The Glatorian hated him for doing what was best for the multitude of Skrall he had led, and would probably kill him on sight. As for his people, he had failed them. Even if he did return to them, they would probably shun him, and he did not want to return to face his shame. With a slight groan, Tuma fell to the ground, clutching his leg. He was weakening again.

“All this time out in the desert with nothing to eat but Thornax and scrap metal. I don’t know how the Bone Hunters stand it.” Tuma tore out the rock from the ground that he had stubbed his toe on, hurling it into the bushes.

He sat up with a start. Bushes? What bushes had ever lived here? The last time he had seen anything but creeper vines and stunted trees was on... Bota Magna, over one hundred millennia ago.

Suddenly, the full implication of what he had seen earlier hit him. The moons had fallen from the sky, so what was on the moons was now here, on Bara Magna. His back wound started to itch, which it had started doing these days when he was excited. Bota Magna was where the Skrall had lived before the Shattering, from before they had marched into the desert and never returned. There could still be Skrall in the homeland, Skrall that he could lead with what he now knew, and without the feeling of guilt and failure that would haunt him if he retook the others.

Tuma was so enthralled by his visions that he began to lose himself in them, not noticing the beings coming from behind him until one stepped up and put a blade to his shoulder. Tuma stiffened as he felt the metal dig into his armor; the only beings who would carry blades that high in quality would be... another leader.

“Well, aren’t we getting lucky!” proclaimed the pompous voice of the sword-holding Skrall. “First we get all kinds of new prisoners, then those new mechanical creatures come in bringing all kinds of new Skrall troops, and now you come along. How’s it been for the last few centuries, Tuma?”

Tuma groaned, partially out of disgust at letting his guard down so close to unknown territory, and partially because he both knew and disliked the being speaking.

“Hello, Illetrii. You sound as smug as always. How many troops have you led into smoldering ruin since we parted ways?”

Illetrii giggled, shaking his sword involuntarily deeper in Tuma’s armor as he did so. Tuma had always hated that giggle.

“Now, that’s not something you need to know, is it, Tuma? Now, I’m under standing orders to take down any unknown I see down here and bring them to the castle. I do know you, of course, but I’m not sure if that counts, and I wouldn’t want to get Karrinus mad again. Not after that little incident last week.” Tuma’s eyes widened in shock at the implied truth behind Illetrii’s statement.

“What? You mean Karrinus is in…”

Suddenly, one of Illetrii’s companions swung something at him, and Tuma felt a sharp node of pain materialize in the back of his head. Illetrii began to protest, but his words were lost to Tuma, who was slowly sinking into a dark mist that was dampening the sounds and light around him. Eventually, he gave up attempts to struggle out of it, and slipped into peaceful unconsciousness.

Chapter 2[]

The Matoran named Sarda laid back in his cell, staring at the bleakness of the area around him.

A jailor jailed. he thought to himself. I might find it appropriate if I wasn’t the one trapped here. Only a short time ago, he had reunited with an old Toa friend of his named Lesovikk to hunt down and re-imprison hordes of criminals who had escaped into the waters around the Pit. Some were paroled by the Order of Mata Nui, but more still roamed the black ocean, providing a stable role for himself, Lesovikk, and the enigmatic being Hydraxon. That was before the Flash came.

One seemingly normal day, he had been dragging a vortixx escapee back to his prison with Hydraxon when an immense wall of light came from the skies above; it illuminated the dark depths of the Pit for the first time in centuries, scouring through whatever it came across with thoughtless indifference. Sarda had felt something fall away, and realized something else; he was drowning! Panicking, Sarda dropped the prisoner, only to find that he was experiencing the same effect, along with numerous physical changes. It was not until later that he discovered that the light had boiled away the effects of the black water, returning the mutants in the Pit to their former selves, but then, he had enough to worry about staying alive. Fighting his way to the surface, he was unsure if he could escape in time when a second, paler flash hit the waters, returning to him his power of aqueous breathing. All across the Pit, the prisoners were fleeing; the flash must have weakened the bars. However, due to the cooperation of a few recovered Maxilos robots, the prisoners did not scatter, but were herded to the shores under Lesovikk’s direction. They never discovered whether what happened next was coincidence or part of an unseen plan.

An immense horde of beings were standing by the shores, heavily armored and carrying weapons. At the first sight of the beings rising from the water, the horde reacted with surprise and rage, screaming battle cries and swarming over them. Sarda had been knocked out in battle with a vicious black-armored warrior, and woke up here, wherever here was.

A rattling on the bars of his cell roused him from his thoughts. Instinctively, he jerked his head over to find out the source of the sound, immediately wishing he hadn’t. The sound had come from the skakdi guard standing outside the cells, hitting the shaft of his ornate spear against the metal bars and grinning that horrible skakdi grin.

“Little reeeed?” he taunted, elongating the e so that it sounded like a motor malfunctioning. “Wakey wakey, little red.” Sarda glared at the guard with undisguised hatred; he had spent enough time in the Pit to recognize scum when he saw it.

“I wasn’t asleep.” The skakdi shrugged, either missing or not caring about the malice in Sarda’s voice.

“No pain on me if you are or not. Just wanting to wake you up so you can stay out of the way.”

“Of what?”

“You’ll see. Ah, there they are now.” From somewhere in the halls leading to the jail block, three of the larger, more muscular natives of this planet emerged, carrying a massive ebon-clad being between them. The skakdi turned back to Sarda, his grin growing wider and even more atrocious. “Okay, red, it’s time to meet your new roomie!” You’d better hope he isn’t the violent type, because I hate having to clean up after the prisoners fight in their cells.” Stepping back from the door, he provided room for the three newcomers to unlock and open it, throwing the captive unceremoniously onto the ground. The three then wordlessly departed, leaving the skakdi to relock the door.

Glancing both ways to make sure he wasn’t being monitored, the guard leaned in close to the bars, still smiling.

“I’ve seen your kind before, you know. I used to do this back on Zakaz. You start out all hateful and audacious, because you feel like there’s no reason for you to be here. But let’s check on you in a few weeks, once the misery sets in. We’ll see how defiant you are then, once you realize that there isn’t any hope for you.” Chuckling to himself, the skakdi shouldered his spear and continued his rounds, leaving Sarda alone with his new cellmate. Sarda glanced warily at the senseless being, noting a resemblance to the warrior he fought after emerging from the water.

“Your hands are bound.” Sarda said to the new prisoner. “What is it that they think that you can do, to tie you up in a jail?” The being groaned in response; it took a few seconds for the Ta-Matoran to realize that he was waking up. Jumping back against the wall, he armed himself with a broken piece of meal tray in case his roommate suffered from location shock; he didn’t want to be the subject of a confused attack by anyone, far less a being who needed to be restrained even in his imprisonment. To his relief, the being merely glanced around the area, looking put out; his gaze lingered briefly on the dead being in the cell across from Sarda’s. The small green native inside had apparently gone feral some time ago; even when he had been alive, the native’s only expressed desire was that of getting through the bars and mauling him. To Sarda’s relief, the newcomer showed no such tendencies, instead placidly sitting down and making another moaning sound. Sarda was experienced enough to know that the sound coming from him was one of pain.

“Are you hurt?” asked Sarda, instinctively concerned, but mentally still on the defensive. At these words, the being merely looked over at him and blinked in confusion. He doesn’t understand me. Sarda thought. Wondering what other ways he could use to communicate, he suddenly recalled the language that had been sent over to him by the second flash; at the time, he hadn’t known what it was, but maybe this is what it could be used for.

“Are you hurt?” he ventured again, this time in the new tongue. Now, the being rose up from his chair and gazed down angrily at Sarda; he was at least twice the Matoran’s height, perhaps more, and the effect worked exceptionally. Well, Sarda observed, that certainly got a reaction, at least.

“I am a Skrall!” boomed the being in the tongue that Sarda now realized belonged to his race, stepping forward on angry feet. “Even if there was a weakness of mine to be had, I would not reveal it to creatures such as y…” The being made a greater moan of pain this time, sinking to his knees from strain and leaving Sarda shaking his head.

“Well, that’s a very paranoid way to go through life.” the Matoran stated. “But each to his own, I suppose. I guess it must be a pride thing. Look, if you can hold still and promise not to throttle me while I do it, I’ll untie you.” The being on the floor gave a grunt that sounded like “Fine.”, and Sarda went to work with the sharp end of the broken tray, sawing through the vine cords around the being’s wrists. When he was done, the being rose again, the fire of rage dimmed in his eyes.

“This is a great injustice.” the Skrall muttered, seemingly to himself. “Disgrace, I can handle. Banishment at least has a purpose. But what use do these madmen have to imprison a leader? Who are they? What are they doing?”

“I might be able to answer a few of those questions.” Sarda cut in, putting his tool on the floor again. “Possibly, between ourselves, we can puzzle out something of what’s been happening here. My name’s Sarda, by the way, Ta-Matoran, formerly of the city of Mahri Nui.” Sarda put out his hand, well aware that his cellmate might not either of those terms, but taking a risk that they didn’t mean something unknown in the new tongue. The being hesitated for a few moments before grasping Sarda’s hand in his own: a gesture of alliance.

“I am Tuma, leader of the Skrall. Or at least, I was leader. Now, all that is left of my people is madness.” Sarda nodded, accepting the alliance, and sat down on the opposite bench.

“Pleased to meet you, Tuma. Now, let’s get to talking, shall we?”