Condemnation is the third in the continuing saga of the Xaterex Multiverse.
12 years ago...
Flames crackled and lept, reaching up as if to ensnare the dimmed stars. The screams of the fatally wounded rang in the air as the beings trapped on the hillside desprately tried to flee. The hungry flames glowed bloodred, consuming all that they touched.
These were no ordinary flames.
They were dark, hungry Feindflames, summoned from a dark netherdimension. It had been years since they had been seen in the world, but now a Shadowy One had set them free once more.
And he was on the run for his life.
Using the link he and the other Shadowy Ones shared, Arcturas had called them all here, to this cliff, halfway between their conquest of the Matoran Universe. The Corpsians, their spectre-dark slaves, ruled the shadowy zones of darkness that had once been the Twin Universe, and most of the heavily damaged Matoran Universe. Now, on Spherus Magna, they had come to take. To rule. Or to destroy.
But Arcturas had seen the truth, just how depraved and evil these beings were, and, calling them to an indefensible position, summoned the Feindflames to destroy his erstwhile friends.
Now he was fleeing, running from the inferno that had consumed the cliffside, and now ate away at the plains. Alert to every movement, he watched like a startled Rahi as the ragged screams of dying warriors peirced the air, cries of despair and terror and pain. Deathly pain. Scars that never healed.
Arcturas bowed his head. They had been his friends once, before they turned from the Three Virtues, serving none but themselves. And he had been just as guilty as the rest. No, more-Atarus had warned him about these beings, but he had not listened, and laughed in his brother's face.
Another distorted screech cut through his mourning. Another being had appeared on the ridge. A tall, dark, proud warrior. Arcturas tensed. Was it the dark Skorpix, or his servant, the brilliant and deranged Windeus? No, it was Nex, a visiously powerful warrior, who would persue him to her death.
Leaping to his feet, he saw her morph into a Spinax Hound. They were fleet enough to run him down and kill him in his weakened state.
Nex gave chase. Leaping like a shadow, she sprang on him before he went ten feet, her claws tearing into his shoulder. Blood seeped from the wound, dark, tainted blood. The mark of a Shadowy One was on your soul, and nothing could ever, ever wash that stain away. Arcturas cut his blade across her side, then while she was distracted, turned, and cut her down. Regret for what he was about to do filled Arcturas. As Nex rose, her blood itentical to his across her side, Arcturas shot forth a brilliant burst of all-consuming power at Nex, flinging her to the ground. As Nex realized what he was doing, she tried to morph back, but halfway through the morph, stopped. Arcturas knew he had locked her in this form. She would never morph again, and be locked in the hideous half-prince half-hound fusion forever. Nex screeched and tried to claw at him, but Arcturas was already gone, racing away from the flames. Finally, at some distance away, he stopped to watch the conflagration fade awaty, the fiendflames go out, and smoke rising. All was silent.
Arcturas hoped that none of them had survived, but in his heart, he knew that some had.
They will return. Arcturas thought. I have done so much wrong. Now it is time for me to correct that mistake, at least partially.
Arcturas turned away from the dying flames, and fled from all of his terrible memories.
He would pass the Ignika, with the Great Spirit within, onto someone worthy. And he would create a being, using Elemental Prince technologies that he had stolen from Windeus, with the power to destroy the Shadowy Ones completely, if they ever returned.
But first, he would find solace and shelter. Away from all who knew him, away from all the terrible things he had done in Mata Nui's name.
He turned and ran, but then collided with someone.
A dark hooded figure, with a skelatal hand.
Arcturas felt corpse fingers tilt his head upward, to look into the creature's veil, and let out a gasp of horror and shock.
He was staring down an empty hood.