• Published 30th Nov 2016
  • 1,410 Views, 73 Comments

The Legend, Rebuilt - Caldoric

A tale in which a human is Displaced, and charged with managing the progression of both Equestria and the Bionicle universe. And, to top it all off, all is not as peaceful as it seems...

  • ...

The Enemy's Gate...!

Author's Note:

Just a warning, this chapter's about twice as long as normal, but that's because it's a crossover! Hooray!

Credit to Company Master Sebaste, who I am crossing over with for this and the next chapter...

Merry Christmas, by the way.

The small group of Toa and Equestrians waited as Caldoric made his way over to them, taking in his now-familiar form: his torso, shoulder and foot armor a midnight black that matched his mask, whilst his arms bore a shade of white rivaling that of Kopaka, his legs sporting a dark shade of gunmetal grey. The overall functional design of it all, while somewhat similar to that of the other Toa, had its differences, which made him stand out ever-so-slightly. His glowing lime-green eyes, while friendly, playful, or even concerned at times, were tinged with a hint of sorrow, more often than not.

"Alright, ladies and gents, what's up?" He asked, thumbs hooked into the unusual pockets built into his hips. "We got a plan of attack yet?"

"That was my plan: attack!" Tahu supplied, his tone implying that the idea had been shot down pretty quickly.

"Perhaps cooler heads should be behind that particular part of the plan," Kopaka suggested, completely deadpan, while Caldoric smirked at the unnoticed pun.

Tahu looked like he was about to retaliate in some way, but Caldoric stepped in first. "I don't know," he said, "I always thought that Tahu was the coolest out of all of you, growing up." Kopaka scowled, and Tahu momentarily inclined his head in Caldoric's direction before he continued. "Tahu here isn't too far off with his idea. There's a saying where I come from that I feel applies here: 'hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.' It's the best of both worlds."

"So," Twilight spoke up, "you're suggesting we return in a... diplomatic manner, but be ready to respond to hostile action?"

Caldoric nodded. "But if worse comes to worst, and fighting becomes the only option, don't fight fair, or aim to maim or incapacitate your foe." There were shocked looks from the Toa Mata and a couple of the Equestrians, but he carried on before anyone present could fully object. "Odds are, whoever's fighting us will be trying their best to capture or even kill us, so we can't hesitate to respond in kind. use any moves that will give you an advantage, though if you do get an opening for a KO shot, take it. We might be able to, I dunno, return anyone who was changed to their original selves."

"Well, that's a shadow-dark thought," Lewa declared from on top of a nearby hut.

"Yes..." Agreed Rarity, looking a little disconcerted.

"I believe we should set that topic aside, for now," Gali said, in an attempt to calm everyone down a bit. "Perhaps we could go over something else instead? Such as where our end of the portal is to appear?"

"I had been wondering about that myself," Onua agreed. "Maybe they'll set it to appear near our location at the time, locating us the same way they did when they sent us their message?"

"Or maybe we'll just have to go find it." Caldoric suggested. "In the meantime, we should head over to Kini-Nui, and get the Toa their golden masks, and roll from there. It was what they would've done anyways, if things hadn't been changed, and it sounds like we'll need the extra advantage. Besides, it's the most centrally located place on the island that isn't either the mountain or the Volcano."

"Wait, golden masks?" Rarity asked, her interest abruptly piqued. "I simply must see that, it sounds de-vine!"

"That's nice and all, but What're we going to do after we've found the way home?" Demanded Twilight, her hair beginning to frizz. "We need a plan to make sure this isn't a waste of time...!"

"Yo, Sparkle," Caldoric interjected, laying a somewhat soothing hand on her head, between her ears. "Not to be rude, but... riddle me this: when have any of you guys' long-term battle plans ever actually worked? If I remember correctly, the heroes of both this world and your own would carefully plan things put, then they'd get wherever they were going, followed by all hell breaking loose."

Pohatu chuckled at this. "Yeah, you do have a point there. We seem to have been getting a lot of practice in the 'improvisation' area lately."

"All in favor of just winging it?" Rainbow asked, raising a hoof as she hovered.

In the end, once they'd gotten Lewa and Pinkie's attention for the vote, the results were as follows: Lewa, Pohatu, Tahu, Pinkie, Rainbow, Spike, and Caldoric were for it, while everyone else was against. A perfect tie.

Almost as if they had been waiting for this moment, the six Turaga came up to the gathered heroes, tailed by Matoro, who was in his quadrupedal Runner mode.

"Ah," Vakama began, "gathered friends. Have you decided on a plan for tomorrow's voyage?"

"Actually, we're at a stalemate, Turaga." Kopaka informed him, almost disinterestedly.

"Yeah," Rainbow added, still hovering, "half of us think we should actually just wing it, and the others think we should try to come up with one."

Vakama gave a look of understanding, then spoke again. "It would be wise to have at least a general idea to work from, but become so focused on perfecting it that you plan yourselves straight into a corner."

Matau, the Turaga of Air, cackled madly for a moment. "Yes, share-take it from us, Toa, we had to learn-find that for ourselves, long ago..."

Nuju gave a few whistles and clicks. "Nuju said, 'If I remember correctly, Matau, you were the one who crashed the boat.'," Matoro translated.

"Hey, star-gazer, I was only order-takin' there, Vakama was the one order-givin'." Matau retorted.

"And yet we still put both of you in charge of your own villages," Onewa pointed out. There were a few snickers all around.

"Alright, brothers," Nokama said, good-naturedly, "let's not dredge up old fights."

"Indeed," agreed the short, ebon-armored Turaga, whose name was Whenua. "Perhaps we should retire for the evening, and decide upon the morrow?"

"I couldn't agree more, brother," Vakama said, wearily. "We could all use the rest. And worry not while you're gone, Toa, we and the Matoran held our own against the Makuta for a millennia before you arrived on our shores. Given what we've learned from our four-legged guests since they themselves arrived, we can surely survive your brief absence."

"Well' try to make it quick nonetheless," Tahu pledged, "I dislike the idea of being gone too long."

"Which brings up another point..." Nokama said, holding up a finger. "There is something we've decided to tell you, once you make it back."

"It better not be what I think you're thinking," Caldoric interjected, which gave the Turaga pause. "Tell me, Vakama... has The Shadowed One sent any more of his Dark Hunters your way recently?"

Vakama tensed momentarily, giving a small gulp, before shaking his head. The other Turaga merely looked at each other uneasily before dropping their gazes to the ground.

"What are... Dark Hunters?" Twilight asked, to muttered agreement. Fluttershy, however, seemed to cower at the evil-sounding name.

"A-as we said," Onewa replied, still a bit shocked, "we'll tell you that after your return. In the meantime, Twilight, would you mind taking us back to our villages?"

"But wait...!" Objected Onua. "When should we gather at Kini-nui?"

"Before noon," Gali suggested, "maybe by a quarter of an hour or so?"

"Sounds alright..." Kopaka shrugged.

"Agreed," Twilight seconded.

"Carried," Caldoric chimed.

"Perhaps, though, Twilight could spend the night in another Koro?" Matoro suggested. "Otherwise, she'll be up till morning again, trying to decipher the Wall of Prophecy. And it's hard to meditate with her occasional... outbursts."

"Well, I've been meaning to take the opportunity to investigate Ga-Koro's Great Telescope, and if Nixie's in a good mood..." Twilight began, tapping a forehoof to her chin.

"No!" Exclaimed most of the folks who were present.

"Trust me," Spike told Matoro, sidelong, "you'll get used to her all-night study sessions soon enough." Matoro groaned with disappointment, while Nuju mask-palmed and Kopaka gave a heavy sigh. There were also a few suppressed chuckles.

"Nevertheless, we would be more than willing to take you in for the night, Twilight," Nokama assured her.

"I think I'll crash there too, if that's OK," Caldoric said, "because as much as I like Ta-Koro, it'd be too hot for me to comfortably fall asleep here."

"Oooh, oooh! Sleepover!" Pinkie exclaimed, immediately excited over the concept of a social gathering.

"No, no sleepover." Caldoric corrected her. "Just sleep."

And so, Twilight ferried everyone back to their village (temporarily adopted, in the Equestrians' case,) via teleportation spell, with Fluttershy joining in on the trip to Ga-Koro. She graciously shared her hut (built for her by the Ga-Matoran,) with Twilight, while Caldoric was given leave to sleep in Toa Gali's hut, since she intended to meditate at Kini-nui overnight.

Caldoric said goodnight to the two Equestrians as they made their way along a bridge to another of Ga-Koro's giant lilly pads, then closed the door to Gali's hut. The floor gave slightly under his feet as he moved over to the bed and carefully grabbed the woven blanket, and the hut rocked a little as he laid down on the floor. He'd never slept on a waterbed, but he imagined that, with the entire structure floating on the very ocean itself, this was closer to the real thing than anything Earth had to offer.

With the warm blanket around himself, and the nighttime waves gently rocking his curled frame, he quickly drifted off to sleep...

Ian woke with a start, cold, hungry, and with the grey light of "early" morning (by his standards,) shining in his face. He got up, blanket still around himself, and blearily looked out the window at Ga-Koro. The whole village consisted of domed seaweed huts perched on a network of ginormous lillypads, each connected to its neighbors by curled, half-pipe leaf bridges.

With a shiver, Ian put the blanket back on Gali's bed, and silently cursed his decision to sleep on the floor. Stupid, stupid...! he chided himself, running his hands through his hair, the ocean gets cold at night, and now I'm positively freezing... He stuck his hands under his arms, hoping some body heat would permeate through his shirts and warm the stiff digits... wait...

Ian looked down at himself, shocked to once again see his old, 5-foot-10 human self, wearing his usual arrangement of clothes, instead of... no, he wasn't fully human, there were still some robotic elements, but they were minimal.

OK, what the hell? Ian wondered, looking at his body. I know I was a Toa last night, what happened? Am I, like, some sort of "were-Toa" or something? Almost in response to this, his perspective suddenly shot upwards, and the sensation of "coldness" that permeated the area was severely lessened. He had become a Toa again... somehow. He decided not to pursue the issue any further today, since there were more important things to worry about.

Ian left the hut, closing the door behind himself, and made his way to the main body of the village. After some asking around as to where Twilight and Fluttershy had been sleeping, he was directed to one particular hut, where he found the yellow Pegasus engaged in trying to feed a snow-white rabbit, who wasn't having any of it.

A large, biomechanical, cerulean Unicorn head broke the water outside, startling Ian momentarily before it spoke. "Ah, Caldoric! Good morning!" She said, with Gali's voice. "I was just about to come and wake you."

"Wh-- who are you?" He asked, taking a step back.

"It's me, Gali!" The head said. "Here, give me a second, this should explain..." The head disappeared under the water again, before something huge and vaguely roboric shot into the air over the lillypad. Ian only got a short glimpse of the being, it's front half that of a Unicorn and its rear more akin to a mermaid's tail, before it Shifted. In the blink of an eye, it was Gali who landed gracefully on the pad, and smiled at Ian. "How was that for an explanation?"

Ian just stared. "Y-you're... A Unicorn-Hippocampus?"

"I am capable of Shifting into one, yes," Gali corrected, "though when on land, I merely become a Unicorn. Are we ready to go?"

"Um, Twilight's over at the Telescope..." Fluttershy said, startling Ian again. She had moved so quietly... "She's been there most of the night."

"Well then, let's go and get her." Replied Gali. And so, the trio set off for the beach, and made their way to where the Telescope was situated. There, they found Twilight slumped against the device's base, surrounded by piles of notes. When awoken, she laughed nervously, then gathered her stuff and teleported the four of them to Kini-nui.

Moments later, Twilight had gathered the rest of her friends and the other Toa.

Gali looked at the gathered Toa and Equestrians as those present waited for the arrival of the last three members of their group: Tahu, Rainbow, and Spike. Everyone was excitedly checking out the large outdoor temple, save for Kopaka, who merely stood still and threw the occasional curious glance. The greatest point of attention were the six, life-size statues of the six Toa, perfect down to the last detail. Perfect, that is, except for their lack of Kanohi...

Twilight chose that moment to finally appear with their remaining friends, Spike riding on her back, and Tahu stumbling slightly. "Makuta's shadow, I'll never get used to that..." He grumbled.

"Kopaka," Gali said, ignoring her fiery brother, "is something bothering you?"

"It looks just as it did in my vision..." He breathed, "from the Lava Lagoon, just before Lewa saved my hide."

"I too had a vision..." Gali began, but Twilight interrupted her.

"Alright, everypony, we're all here. Caldoric, what next?" She inquired.

"True-right, where are the Golden Masks?" Lewa asked.

The strange Toa looked up from where he'd been investigating the large, domed, suva-like structure in the center of the great Temple. "I think Onua might have the answer, actually," he said. "I want to tell you myself, honest, but there are some things that everyone must figure out on their own."

Onua looked around the temple, his gaze catching on the incomplete statues... He laid a hand on the face of his own statue, deep in thought. "Tahu," he said at last, "are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"I am, if you're thinking our masks would fit perfectly over these carved faces," Tahu replied, removing his mask of Water Breathing and holding it up to the carved figure of himself.

"Wait!" Kopaka said, holding out an arm. "Let's not throw away our powers so foolishly...!" The visiting Equestrians looked at each other in concern, then looked back to what was going on.

"Who says we're throwing them away?" Tahu challenged him, a frown upon his lips.

Gali placed a hand on Kopaka's shoulder. "It's ok, Brother, perhaps Tahu is on the right track... this time."

"Thanks for the support, sister," Tahu replied, and touched the mask to the statue's face. To the surprise of all, the mask seemed to melt into the stone itself, vanishing from sight, and a bit of color appeared on the statue. Tahu them proceeded to place the rest of his masks onto its face, each one vanishing into the statue and adding color to it, until he had placed his Kanohi Hau, which stayed in place, leaving a near-perfect copy of the Toa of Fire. The other Toa soon followed suit.

Once everyone had finished, they waited. There were some mutters of dissent, as if the heroes were beginning to suspect Caldoric of something nefarious, and then...

"And... here, we, go...!" Caldoric said, making a hand motion. Almost on cue, a great peal of sound, like great bells fused with laughter, rang out around the Temple, and everyone gasped. New masks had appeared on the statues' faces... rich, golden masks, of the finest craftsmanship.

"Oh, darling, they're just glorious!" Rarity exclaimed, eyes shimmering, as the others chattered at this revelation. "I simply must remember to get a better look at them later, when we're not busy."

Each of the Toa Mata took their masks from the statues, and put them on. To a one, the staggered from the waves of sheer power that coursed through them from the new Kanohi. Each mask posessed the powers of the ones that had been previously relinquished, both uniting them and making them stronger by far.

The celebration was cut short, however, as a mighty rumbling erupted from deep within the ground, and the temple began to shake and groan around them.

"What...? A trap?!" Tahu demanded, even as the Suva Kaita began slowly turning upside down. From the now revealed bottom of the structure, three armatures unfolded, each gently arcing towards the center, where what looked like a small radio dish had emerged. A beam of light lanced down from the sky, struck the dish, and rebounded, only to be caught midair between the armatures. The now crackling ball of energy stretched and flattened, becoming a hovering ovoid in shape with a reflective surface, and the rumbling settled. Then, a roll of paper calmly dropped out of it.

"Oooh," Pinkie said, as Twilight ran over and grabbed the scroll and everyone else freaked out a bit, "the good old 'ancient temple is really an alien portal device' trope! Nice!"

"That... wasn't supposed to happen..." Caldoric muttered. "It was supposed to open up and reveal a tunnel..."

"Guys! It's another letter!" Twilight cried. "It's from the princesses, and they say there's trouble brewing, and that we should hurry!" And, without further ado, she plunged herself through the silvery portal. The others soon followed suit, with Caldoric being the last to go through.

He carefully stuck his hand into the portal, noting how the surface around the point of entry seemed to fracture as if he'd broken a mirror, though the cracks seemed to be dragged after his arm as he moved it. It was like when he'd stick a spoon in warm milk that had sat out for a minute, and used the utensil to play with the skin that had formed on top. Caldoric pulled his arm back out, flexed his fingers, then shrugged. "Through the looking-glass it is, then," he muttered, and stepped through. The portal's surface passed over his face with a sort of tingly, crackly feeling, marking a soft spot in the boundaries between worlds.

As soon as he got to the other side, he knew something was wrong. Not only were they all in a very cramped and dark cell, but there were 12 quadrupeds and one biped piled on the floor, when there had been six and seven, respectively, that had gone through before him: it seemed that the Toa had somehow Shifted during transit, and each of them had semi-etherial manes and tails representing their elements, similar to how the Alicorn Princesses' were.

Speaking of which, Discord, Nightmare Moon, and a wildly fiery-maned Celestia were all standing in front of the cell door, each wearing uniform gunmetal grey armor, and smiling almost victoriously. All three of them had green eyes with red irises, with wisps of purple smoke curling off the outside corners as they sneered at the new arrivals. Cadence, for better or worse, was nowhere to be found.

Caldoric turned to leave, almost losing his footing in the tight space, but with a snap of Discord's fingers, the portal winked out of existence in the Toa's face. He was, quite rightfully, scared.

"Whoops," all three of their captors said at once, "looks like we... forgot to mention one little thing..." They stepped aside, as Chrystalla came walking into view.

"It seems that we were the ones who had them send those letters..." She said. Her voice was similar to how it had first been portrayed in the Canterlot Wedding episodes, with the three-level reverb and echo, but there was a slightly deeper undertone to it now, with a whole "voice of the legion" effect to it. "They fell to Discord's power mere minutes after your exile, and we've been in charge ever since."

"C-chrysalis...!" Twilight squeaked, as she extricated herself from the pile-up. "You... monster!"

"It's Chrystalla now, dear, try to keep up," the Shardling Queen snapped. "Now, thanks to you, we have eight new warriors for our army, as well as yourself and your meddlesome friends."

"Eight?" Twilight asked, confused.

"Yes, the dragon, that robot in the back, and the mechanical marvels keeping your friends so nicely pinned for us." Chrystalla explained, pointing at the Toa, Caldoric, and the young dragon.

"You can suck my biomechanical dick, Chrysalis, we aren't gonna fight for you." Caldoric snapped, giving her the bird with both hands.

"Oh-ho! This one has some spirit!" The Hive-Queen said, taken aback. "He'll make an excellent front-line commander... Well, we're off for now. Don't bother trying any magic while you're in there, though. We've warded the entire cell against it." And with that, she and her enslaved posse of the most powerful beings in the land left the captive prisoners.

"Hate to be, y'know, that guy," Caldoric said, after they were out of earshot, leaving the friends alone with the cell's single Shardling guard, "buuuuut... I totally called it." Everyone groaned, and began to untangle themselves from each other.

"What ah don' get is," Applejack said, as she stretched, "why'd y'all Toa Shift when ya came out th' portal?"

"It wasn't intentional, I assure you," Kopaka said, his newly revealed mane and tail a miniature blizzard of ice crystals and snowflakes. He gave his head a shake, and readjusted his pale, fluffy, white and grey wings.

"Is everyone ok?" Gali asked, looking around, her mane and tail flowing and rippling through the air like a babbling brook, her horn taking the appearance of a coral-like structure.

Everyone gave various answers ranging across the "we're ok" spectrum, and Caldoric moved to the bars for a look outside.

Ian looked to one side, judging the position of the guard, then stepped back a bit. Summoning a coconut from his Sylladex, which he'd picked up before they left, he made as if to kick the door with one leg, only to vanish and reappear outside the cell, a foot and a half up, with his foot against the far wall.

He pushed off and, before the guard could do anything, caught it a resounding crack! upside its head with the tropical item. It only staggered from the blow, however, so Ian whacked it again in the jaw, then a third time at the back of the skull. The guard slumped to the grown, a soft moan escaping it. He went to check if it was still alive, only for his hand to suddenly lock around it's throat against his will, and green lightning began to arc from the creature's lower jaw to his forearm as it pressed the being against the floor.

"Help! It's doing something, and I can't let go...!" Ian cried. The Shardling made a gasping sound, though it's mouth didn't move, and it's forehooves scrabbled uselessly against his forearm as his fingers maliciously tightened their hold. The crystals in his grip cracked, and the flow of energy sped up, with bigger and bigger arcs making their appearance as Ian's arm lifted the unfortunate 'ling by the neck and pressed it against the wall. He grabbed the rebellious arm by the wrist with his free hand, trying to do something to stop this.

There was a crash as Onua, still Shifted, kicked down the cell door, while both the strange energy's activity and the Shardling's resistance grew feebler. As Twilight rushed to his side, the neon green electrical arcs died and the creature went slack, its head slumping to the side, before a cracking sound was heard. All of a sudden, the crystalline surface fragmented, then exploded, leaving an intact (and suddenly very active,) Unicorn mare with mint green fur and a two-toned mane--

"Lyra!" Twilight exclaimed, as Ian finally released his grip on the few crystals that had still been against Lyra's throat.

The unicorn coughed and retched, raising a hoof to her throat, before she gasped out a few words.

"Where'd you get the humans from?"

"Sorry 'bout that," Ian apologized, looking at his right hand. There were some scorch marks on the armor, but nothing to suggest anything unusual happened. What was going on...?

There was the sound of multiple hard objects striking the marble floor, and everyone looked up to see a contingent of 'lings blocking off either end of the corridor. With not so much as a word to warn anyone, Kopaka, now back in humanoid form, flicked his sword down one way to create a wall of ice, while Tahu and Lewa worked together to create a horizontal flame tornado down the other hall. The foes on that end scattered, and once the unconscious Lyra had been situated on Onua's back, they all set off at a run.

"Caldoric, what the heck was that back there?!" Twilight demanded harshly.

"I don't know, and I'd rather it not happen again!" Caldoric replied, summoning both the starry-bladed sword he'd bought back at the convention and the whip-blade he'd recovered in Le-Wahi. He had no real knowledge of swordplay, but he did know a few lightsaber flourishes that could possibly be used offensively.

They came to an abrupt halt upon being deposited into the Canterlot Throne Room from a side entrance. Facing them, and keeping them from the doors or windows, was a large army of Shardlings, headed by Chrystalla herself.

"So, you've discovered a way to remove the blessings we have bestowed upon our subjects..." She remarked, coldly, as the heroes spread out. "But now, we will reclaim our lost daughter! And as an added reward for your unexpected escape, you will join her in our ranks as we march upon the rest of the world...!"

"Ah don' think so, sweetheart," Applejack countered, pawing a forehoof at the ground.

"Yeah, we've faced monsters more fearsome, and come out on top." Rainbow bragged in midair. "We could take your sorry flanks down in a snap."

"Ideas, anyone?" Pohatu asked, a little concerned, as he flexed his fingers. "Tahu? Gali?"

"I might have one," Caldoric answered, then looked at the whip-blade, and appeared to start talking to it. "Guys, I can't remember your names off the top of my head, but if you can hear me or whatever, and it's not too much trouble, could we get some help?" He groaned and shook the sword a little. "How do I bloody activate this... Engage, or something!"

Suddenly, the chain-sword vanished from his hands, and Caldoric lifted his head slightly as if he'd seen something, before a glowing vortex-like portal appeared behind the line of heroes. It unceremoniously deposited multiple beings on the ground and disappeared, and then things got even more interesting.

Sebastian grunted as Viktor landed a blow to his midsection before he retaliated with a backhanded strike that sent the Spartan sliding. The two had been training for four hours now and were starting to tire out.

“Nice reversal, now attack while he’s recovering!” Sebaste called out, Alex and Rainblade standing next to him. The Astartes charged and slammed into Viktor, knocking both of them into the ground.

“Alright, that's enough for today. Let’s head back and- FAUST DAMN IT!” Sebaste yelped as a portal opened beneath him and Alex, Rainblade being dragged along for the ride.

“Seb! Hang- WHOA!” Viktor yelled as another portal opened beneath him and Sebastian, the two of them falling through. With a twin hiss, the portals then closed. In seconds, the five were spat out onto floor tiles in a heap and left groaning.

“Ugh… Next time, I’m gonna have a chat with whoever decided portals were a good transport choice….” Sebaste grumbled as he pushed the others off him and looked around, only to freeze as he saw they were not alone. “Guys…? You might want to get up… Now…”

“Wait… where’d they come from?” an unfamiliar voice asked, belonging to a biomechanical figure in brown armor, wearing a bullet-shaped mask.

“They’re my Hail Mary… I hope…” said another, whose armor was mismatched.

The other four stood up and stared in shock. “Okay… Anyone have a clue as to why I’m seeing the Toa Mata and the Mane Six in armor?” Viktor asked. “And what's with the walking crystals?!”

“I’m not so sure myself,” said the figure in black-and-white armor, “but we can explain later. Right now, we gotta fight these ‘Shardlings’ off…”

“Don’t you mean Changelings?” Alex asked as a spiker materialized in her left hand and arcane energy began to charge on her gauntlet, causing her palm to glow. Sebaste and Viktor each summoned a different weapon, with Sebaste opting for a heavy machine gun while Viktor went with dual SMGs. Sebastian settled for two Heresy style lightning claws while Rainblade flew up, her left hoof splitting open with a hiss, and aimed her built-in bolter at the foe. “And I’m guessing you’re the Displaced that summoned us?”

“Wait!” Cried the unfamiliar Toa. “Some of them might still have captive ponies inside them, like the Iron Patriot in Iron Man 3, but we can't tell which are which! And how did y--”

There was a dark chuckle from someone amongst the enemy lines. “Ah, yes, and now you see the beauty of our plan!” They said, their voice both familiar and strange at the same time. “The crystal armor also serves as a walking energy source for our hive, feeding off the very ponies who serve as our hostages! They’re unable to do anything but watch as the black crystals rob them of even their very will, and forces them to destroy their own homes and families, who themselves are loathe to fight back! It’s the ultimate weapon!” The large, crystalline-looking copy of Chrysalis then submitted to a short batch of maniacal laughter, standing momentarily on her back legs as she spread her forehooves to the sky.

“Seriously? You’ve got us practically where you want us, and you chose now to start monologuing?” The outspoken Toa asked, incredulously, as Pinkie tried and failed to stick a lampshade on his head. “I mean, now that we know about it drawing power from the folks trapped inside, all we have to do is overload them or something! Not to mention the fact that you're essentially using baby armor, or whatever you’d call it here, to hold us off...”

“I forgot to mention earlier, but they also regenerate damage really fast!” Supplied the resident Twilight.

“And does anypony wanna tell me why there's a robot version of me flying around?” The resident Rainbow Dash demanded.

“Look,” Tahu growled, “are we going to fight, or not?”

“Oh? Tell me then, stranger…” the crystalline figure said, “how can you 'heroes’ possibly fight me, when you're already so busy fighting yourselves?” With that, one of the Shardlings blasted Lewa in the face, and dark crystals slowly began to poke out of him in odd places. The Toa of Air turned and looked at the others, his eyes now vacant and glowing red.

“Shit… Alex, bind him before he can attack!” Sebaste ordered. She nodded before a burst of magic lanced out from her hand and slammed into Lewa, forming binds on his hands and feet that caused him to topple over. Sebaste then looked over at Chrystalla, and when he spoke, there was a note of steel in his voice. “If there’s one thing that ticks me off… it’s lording it over others and taking away their free will. And you…. just crossed that line.” he growled as he dismissed his machine gun in favor of a pair of CE magnums. He turned to the unknown Toa. “Keep those bugs busy, I’ll deal with Ms. Crystal over there.”

“Actually, I think she might be a fusion between Chrysalis and Sombra,” the seventh Toa remarked, “but I could be wrong. Name’s Caldoric, by the way.”

“Eliteslayer.” Sebaste then activated his suit’s thrusters and charged forward, knocking a good majority of the Shardlings out of the way.

“Rainblade, give us some covering fire!” Viktor yelled as he tossed an energy drain bomb at a group of shardlings. As soon as it activated, the shardlings around it were suddenly weakened as their magic was drained by the alien device faster than it could regenerate.

“Alright,” said Caldoric, who summoned a Bruteshot (of all things,) and stepped forward… only to freeze for a second. “Shit, I don't have a Gunkind abstratus…” he then growled, re-summoning his sword and teleporting after Eliteslayer, with Tahu on his heels. “EULALIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” he cried.

Rainblade meanwhile, was swooping over the shardlings, laying down suppressing fire from her built in bolter. “The heck’s wrong with the rest of you?! Do you guys want to be like greenie there?” She asked the others.

That seemed to snap everyone into action, as Onua and Gali moved over to their fallen brother, along with Fluttershy and Twilight, and tried to bring him back to normalcy. Gali, however, caught Onua muttering something about a “second time,” but filed it away for later. Everyone else from Mata Nui and Equestria charged into the fray, tossing spells, kicks, and elemental blasts as they went.

Sebastian landed two slashing blows with his lightning claws before punching the shardling he had been fighting unconscious. “And I thought the Zerg were bad enough!” He taunted. “But I guess all you guys really do is just bug ponies!”

“Hah!” Exclaimed Pohatu, nearby, as he punted a Shardling into a wall. “Nice one! Kopaka would approve!”

The Astartes gave him a thumbs up before he dismissed a lightning claw for a bolter, and opened fire. “I’d say let’s rock, except that pun’s beneath me... but I’m gonna say it anyways; let’s rock!” he roared as he gunned down a group of Shardlings that were headed towards him.

Pohatu chuckled lightly as he charged towards a group of Shardlings that had begun to recover from their energy drain. “How 'bout we kick this into high gear?” He suggested. Leaping forwards and landing on his hands, he spun on his palms and Shifted into an Earth Pony slightly bigger than Celestia, and delivered a devastating kick with his new back legs, then Shifted back and punched another 'ling in the face. There was an audible crack from the impact.

“What in Holy Terra?!” Sebastian exclaimed, a dumbfounded look hidden behind his helmet, though his body language transcribed it perfectly. “That…. That shouldn't be possible! Since when did the Bionicle universe have that!?”

“Since forever, or so I've heard,” returned the Toa of stone, who abruptly stamped on the ground in the Astartes’ direction. “Heads up,” he added, as a spire of rock shot from the ground near Sebastian and pinned a 'ling that had been sneaking up on him to the far wall. “Maybe you should use that Kanohi Hau built into your helmet more often,” he finished, turning back to the 'lings around him. Sebastian facepalmed at that, muttering something that the Toa didn't catch, but it seemed to annoy the Astartes greatly.

Kopaka just rolled his eyes, and fought on silently.

Meanwhile, Alex and Viktor were fighting back to back, both having resorted to melee weapons. With a flick of her wrist, Alex wrapped her snake blade around a snarling Shardling and slammed it into one of its fellows, knocking them unconscious. “I’m really starting to hate bugs right now!” She growled. She raised her hand and unleashed a massive arcane blast that sent a majority of the Shardlings flying. She noticed Rainblade fighting alongside the resident world’s Rainbow, her wingblades slashing at a ‘ling and her bionic eye glaring at it.

The expresionless 'ling, in desperation, tried charging up a spell, only to be knocked sideways by Rainbow. “Don’t give 'em a chance to fire off a shot!” She chided, jokingly. “Haven't you fought Changelings before?”

“No… I had to fight and sometimes even kill other ponies.” Rainblade replied, as she blasted another Shardling with her sonic shotgun. “It’s not something I like remembering…”

“Oh, man, that sounds--” Rainbow began, only to be tackled by a crystalline Twilight-lookalike, which quickly brought its fangs to bear, ready to tear her throat out.

“RAAAAAAAH!” Rainblade roared before she smashed into the Shardling, her wingblades slicing into it. She kicked it back and flared her wings, both her organic and bionic eye glaring daggers at it. A ray of sunlight glinted on her metal wings as she displayed the built-in blades that gave her her name.

Rainbow took the opportunity to buck the 'ling off of herself and into the air, where Rainblade then grabbed it and it found itself staring down the barrel of the bolter sticking out of her forehoof. “I’m not letting anypony get hurt… Not after what I’ve gone through!” She shouted before she fired and let the Shardling fall, a massive wound showing where the mass reactive bolt had hit. She panted before she flew back down, the bolter retracting back into her hoof. The Shardling, however, merely crumbled into a useless (and distinctly smaller) pile of inert black crystals as it landed on the floor.

“Th-thanks, man,” Rainbow said, as she shakily regained her footing, then took to the air once more.

Alex shook her head as she knocked out another Shardling, Viktor stunning another with a Spartan charge. In a way, both Seb and Rainblade are the same... She thought, but I need to focus on this battle! If what Caldoric said is true… I don't want to risk killing any of the ponies this ‘Chrystalla’ enslaved.

Meanwhile, Pinkie and Rarity were holding their own in the crowd of foes, with the seamstress firing blast after magical blast, and the party-planner following suit with her party cannon. “Rarity,” asked the latter of the two, a bit of concern edging into her voice, “I've been wondering… d’you think Changelings have parties? I mean, I didn't get the chance to ask Thorax before he went into hiding…” She then blasted another group of 'lings.

“Pinkie, darling, I think that’s the least of our concerns at the moment,” Rarity replied, blasting three 'lings with magic and kicking a fourth with her hind legs, “but if I were to guess, they probably didn't do anything of the sort under Chrysalis’ rule.”

Pinkie halted for a moment, firing off one last blast. “Well then,” she stated, her voice going a bit weird as she stowed her cannon in her flattening mane, “let’s show them a party they won’t soon forget!” And, with that, Pinkamena Diane Pie pulled a very strange device from her straight, cascading locks of hair: it looked like a cyborg dolphin, into whose mouth had been shoved the mechanical workings of some form of gattling gun. This was Terraria’s legendary Space Dolphin Machine Gun, and it was equipped with the former rock farmer's favored ammunition.

With a whirring sound, the barrels spun up to optimum velocity, and Pinkamena pulled the trigger, deploying endless waves of tightly-packed, confetti-filled capsules at the horde of Shardlings, each shot exploding on impact with a small cloud of colorful bits of paper. She began to laugh maniacally, and pressed forward into the throng of crystalline bodies, walking on her hind legs as she cut a swath through the foes before her. Rarity, for her part, turned and cast a shield spell about herself and her presently less-than-sane friend, and followed behind the pink tank as she shouted “Waaaaaah! Cry some more, it makes me happy!” at the 'lings in a heavy Slavic accent.

Seeing this, Viktor facepalmed. “Really…. A TF2 reference?” He asked as he delivered a ground pound, the impact sending a few Shardlings flying. “What’s next, Nightmare Moon shows up?! Or a dragon does a song and dance number!?”

Almost in answer to his question a huge blast of wind raced around the room, unbalancing several Shardlings and throwing others on both sides somewhat off-guard while they braced against it.

“Wahoo!” Cried Lewa, getting up, “I'm back in the battle-fight!” he then sent out another bust of wind, blowing a channel of 'lings against the wall. This was followed up with a beam of water from Gali, and several magic blasts from Twilight. Onua, however, seemed to have vanished...

“Kyra, activate music file 9091, keyword: For freedom, we rise.” The Spartan said before a single song began blaring from his external speakers, accompanied by a “Hell yeah!” from Caldoric's general direction. Viktor then paused and concentrated before a single large mech with a heavy machine gun mounted on the left arm appeared next to him. “It’s Cyclops time!” He said, before he leapt in and sealed the cockpit. The walker then stood up and slamming a metal fist into its palm. With a roar, Viktor then opened fire with the heavy machine gun, targeting only the non pony shardlings with help from his scanners and striding forward.

Meanwhile, Caldoric, Tahu, and Eliteslayer were practically fighting for their lives against Chrystalla, the four of them enclosed within a circle of magical, color-changing flames.

Caldoric momentarily took notice of the giant, unfamiliar mech's appearance as he fought, and did his best to speak without breaking his rhythm. “What the hell,” He began, dodging to one side and delivering an upward slice to Chrystalla's abdomen that merely glanced off, “is that thing? It’s not a Mantis, and I’m pretty sure I--” Again, he rolled out of the way, and attempted another attack, “that I’ve never seen one of those before!” He finished, to nobody in particular, then lunged forward alongside Tahu for a double thrust, which failed to do more than scratch her crystalline hide.

Just outside the circle of flames, a black, three-clawed hand shot up from beneath the flagstones and seized a Shardling by the leg, pulling it under before it could blink. The whole was almost immediately backfilled, as another few 'lings were sent flying over their heads from somewhere else in the room.

“Heh, Vik always did like using the Cyclops…” Sebaste replied as he leapt into the air and fired round after round from his pistols, the armor piercing tips easily negating Chrystalla’s crystal armor. “So I’m guessing you bought something from an unknown vendor at a Con, dressed as a character from a video game or some other fandom and got sent to Equestria as said character?” He asked as he landed, his pistols raised and smoking.

“Uh…” Caldoric replied, a little confused, “more of an OC, but…” He ducked a wild kick from the now-enraged Chrystalla. “I’m not exactly sure what I'm capable of! I mean, I'm afraid to find out, really!”

“Most new Displaced are like that. I know, I was like you once…” Sebaste responded as he flipped over a swing and fired at Chrystalla before slamming into her with a Spartan charge.

“Wait, you were human too?” Caldoric asked. “Were you ever familiar with a webcomic called 'Homestuck’?”

“I’ve heard some of my friends mention it back before I was Displaced, but I never really got into it, and to answer your other question, I’m still human, just augmented!” He said as he jumped back, a massive hammer that crackled with energy now in his hands.

“Still human? Oh, you lucky bastard!” Caldoric replied, putting extra stress on the final word as he attempted a drop kick on the Shardling Queen, then rolled out of the way of her retaliatory stomp. “I’ve got some questions for you, assuming we make it out of this…!”

“And I’m assuming my friends might have a few questions for you, judging by Sasha’s startled yell earlier.” Sebaste chuckled before he swung his weapon. As it hit, a massive shockwave sent Chrystalla skidding backwards. “Now then, call off your bugs and release the ponies, or I’m bringing the hammer down!” he growled at the queen.

“I’d be careful with him!” Caldoric added. “He really loves his hammer…!”

“Less talking, more fighting!” Kopaka snapped as he skated by, momentarily leaving a trail of ice on the floor, and a more permanent trail of angry Shardlings hot on his tail.

“Sounds like a pl--!” Caldoric began, only to receive a solid kick to his back from Chrystalla, which sent him out of the flaming ring and slammed him against the nearest wall. He sat there, dazed momentarily…

Ian shook his head in an attempt to clear it, and looked at the battlefield around him. Things didn't look good, and there were always more 'lings pouring in from the various entrances, though it did seem to be slowing slightly… He sighed, and looked at his sword. He really shouldn't have allocated his Strife Specibus to Bladekind, as cool as it was… he had nothing that could do more than scratch her.

An idea came to him, then. A stupid, crazy idea, which had no chance of working, but… maybe. Summoning the two lightsaber replicas he'd been wearing at the convention from his Sylladex, he pushed it’s “on” button, and was rewarded with a lime-green blade of light springing from its emitter.

“Oh, now we’re cooking with uranium…!” He exclaimed softly, as he ignited the other, blood-orange blade, eager to return the fight.

“Y’know, you’re really vexing me!” Sebaste growled as he dodged another swing from Chrystalla. “But I bet you can't tell which is the real me!” He said as two duplicates of himself appeared on either side,each armed with the same weapon.

With an unfamiliar battle cry, the three combatants who remained in the circle turned to see Caldoric, back in action, swinging two glowing and humming blades around himself in a simple yet mesmerizing “X” pattern, carving a bloodless path towards the circle. Any Shardling near him backes off, unsure what to make of these strange weapons…

With a triumphant yell, he leapt over the Technicolor flames and performed a scissor-cut with the two blades in empty air. “C’mon!” He challenged. Tahu raised an eyebrow.

“Oooookay… Moving on…” Sebaste said just as he received a blow from Chystalla, sending him skidding on the floor, and knocking his helmet off in the process. He turned his head to reveal a mop of short reddish brown hair, green eyes and most distinctively, a face that had two slash scars over his left eye. Locking onto Chrystalla, Sebaste’s eyes narrowed into angry slits and with a growl, he summoned a pair of energy swords and charged forward.

Caldoric followed his lead, with Tahu not far behind, his Flame Sword ablaze. Soon, the three of them were landing flurries of blows upon her that bit deeper into her crystal-built body than anything had before. No blood came from the wounds, but they still pained her nonetheless.

“Time for you to pay for your crimes, Chrysalis…” Sebaste snarled as he stalked forward to land another blow.

“No… no!!” she cried, creating a thaumic shockwave that pressed all three of her foes nearly to the edge of the circle. “I will not be bested by the likes of you… you… you alien freaks! I will see this world fall to my whim! And you have no chance of stopping me!”

“I’ve heard that so many times, it’s gotten old! I’ve fought Chaos Marines, Covenant, even a Daemon Princess version of Twilight and won! I’m a defender of Equestria, and I don't give in, no matter what!” Sebaste roared before his thrusters activated and he slammed into her, sending her skidding and disrupting her spell.

Tahu tried to take the opportunity to attack her from behind, only for his blade to rebound off of her hastily-cast shield spell, which sent him flying backwards. Meanwhile, Caldoric was circling the errant Queen, with small green electrical arcs beginning to cascade up and down his frame, as he shook slightly with… was it anger? Fear? Suddenly, he stopped his pacing.

“Do you know what your sins are… Chrysalis?” He asked, slowly, calmly. “Pride. Envy. Wrath, and Greed. And now, you feel that sensation on your spine? That tingling feeling creeping up beneath the hair on your scalp?” He settled into an aggressive crouch as the small lightnings seemed to intensity. “Those are your sins, crawling up your back. Chrysalis, you have failed this world, and have forgotten the face of your father. For this, and the harming of innocents across nations, you're gonna have a bad time.”

Sebaste jumped back and summoned what looked like a massive closed missile launcher, but as he pulled the trigger, the front of the weapon opened up, and a whine was heard as a small laser locked onto Chrystalla, and energy began to build in the barrel.

“It’s a terrible day.” Caldoric stated, with that strange calm. “Birds are starving, flowers are wilting… on days like these, bitches like you…” purple smoke began to filter through his mask's eyeholes as the electricity around him began trying to discharge to the ground around him, playing a familiar tune, and small bits of debris began rising. He held his hands off to one side in a pose anyone familiar with Dragon Ball Z would recognize, as his deactivated lightsabers hung in midair.

“Ş̕͡HO̴U͏̷̵L̷͡D ͝BĘ B̧UŔ̢N͟IN͝҉G̛̕ ͏Ì̷͏N͞ ̕H͢͠E̴̕Ĺ̢Ļ̶!” He exclaimed, his voice going wierd. “̕ KA͘M̶҉̧É.͢.̶.͏ ̴̵̵R̕͠AS͜E̴̡͟N̢͠.̸̀͝.́̕.̧͏ ҉Ḩ̸͡A͘M̀E̵̛,̀ ͏G͝AN̸͠,҉ ́̕H̴A-DǪ͢͏ƯK̕E̴̶̛N ̡͟F̸U̢C̵̨K͘Y̴͟O̸U̕̕͠Y͠O̴̧U̶M̧̨O͡͡T͏HÉRF͘͏UC̨̕͏K̨͡IN͜͠G̛͘B̸ÍT͝Ć̴̢H̴͡͞!҉͢!͢”͢

At that moment, both Caldoric and Sebaste released their pent-up attacks, which shattered Chrystalla's shield and sent her flying through a wall. The smoking hole she’d left allowed a bit more of the grey daylight to enter the room, but it didn't do much else.

Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing to see what had just happened, with Onua popping his masked head up from beneath the floor to join in.

Caldoric, bent over and panting from the apparent exertion of the combined attack, held up a hand, in which appeared a swirling ball of energy, the color of which matched his eyes and heartlight. “Y̶o͟u Sh̵a͏rdlin͝gs h͜ave ͞ti͢ll thȩ ̧c҉óuņt ͏of ͟te͞n t̕o̕ ̵g̕e̕t ̢y̸ou҉r̢ lousy,̀ ly͢ing,̶ ̢n͡o͜-gòod̴ cąrcàsses͜ ͘ou͏t ̷o̵f̢ ̵t̢hi͜s c̛as͡t̸l͢e̡,̢ ͡b͢e̕fo̡r̴e ͜Ì p̧u̷m͡p̷ ́your g͘u͞t̕s ful͢la p̨l҉a̵sma̸.” He stated,the lightning dying down, though the song it had produced was still going.

“O̧ne̢.̛” he said, and the Shardlings began to scatter, going any way they could before Caldoric could--

“̷́T̨ẁo̴͘.͏.̶̛̛.͞” There was an increased intensity in his voice, which the everyone present seemed to pick up on.

“̛T̵E̸̷̵N̶̨!́͟͏!̷!͘͢” He cried, and slammed the ball into the ground. Immediately, more green electricity lanced out from the point of impact, skittering across the stonework and leaping through the air, striking each and every Shardling in the room, with other tendrils snaking off into the rest of the castle. The arcs of energy totally ignored the Toa, ponies, and former humans, instead latching onto every Shardling present, encasing them in an electrical prison, and they began shaking, some more than others.

“Caldoric, stop! You're hurting--!” Gali began, as Twilight charged up a spell and Tahu made ready to hit him with the pommel of his sword, but then everything changed. The crystal of the Shardlings began to crack and fall off, some of them revealing different colors underneath, while others merely began to crumble from the inside. Soon, the trapped ponies (and a couple of captured Changelings,) were taking in gasps of air and retching, as Lyra had done, while the fully-crystallized Shardlings merely disintegrated.

The floating debris around Caldoric dropped to the ground again, as did his lightsabers. “Keep the change, ya filthy animals,” he spat sarcastically, then joined his lightsabers in a heap on the ground. The electricity that had danced across his armor moments before was gone, and the colors thereof seemed almost... faded.

“Holy Tartarus, the hell was that?!” Sebaste asked, having grabbed his helmet after spotting it lying nearby. Rainblade then flew up to him.

“I don’t know, but his power levels spiked to over 10,000.” She remarked, earning a facepalm in response.

“Of course you would have the equipment to make that particular meme….” the Spartan muttered, earning a confused look from the Cyberpegasus.

♪Mmmm, whatcha saa-ay...?♪ Pinkie intoned, sitting next to Caldoric's prone form, a forehoof resting next to his unblinking heartlight. ♪Oooh, that you only meant well? Well, of course you did...♪

Caldoric, for his part, suddenly sat up, jabbed a finger in her face, and said three words: “Too. Fucking. Soon.” His hand then delved into his chestplate, where it fiddled about a bit, before the heartlight finally flickered to life once more.

“Faulty wire?” Viktor asked as he walked up, with Alex and Sebastian behind him, the Cyclops having vanished. “Those can be a real pain. I’ve had to fix Alex’s arm more than once because of those!”

“Well, it’s more loose than faulty, but yeah,” Caldoric said, retrieving his hand from his armor, “though it’s been doing this since I put the costume together. Could've gone with a steady blinking light, but nooooo, I decided to have it so it actually picked up on my heartrate for the added realism. Stupid me.” he looked over at the Toa Mata and the Mane Six, who were gathering and comforting the former Shardling captives.

There were a few blasts of green magic that flew in through the Chrystalla-shaped hole in the wall, though they missed anything important by a mile.

“Now that Chyssie got sent flying Team Rocket style, those Shardlings can't hit the broadside of a barn!” Sebaste chuckled as Alex face palmed with her right hand, servos whirring.

“Come out and face me, you cowards!” Chrystalla’s voice commanded, from outside the castle walls.

“Yeah. I thought she might still be alive…” Caldoric complained, coughing slightly and attempting to get to his feet, his armor still paler than normal. “The bad guys have a nasty habit of doing that. But hey, that’s the Narrative Imperative for ya… what’s it look like out there?”

Alex quickly teleported to where the hole was, and peeked out. “We’ve got more Shardlings, along with Chrysalis and… what the….” She sounded confused.

Caldoric staggered over to the hole, and his eyes widened.

“What… what are those?” She asked.

“Shale imps,” he said, as if in explanation. “Basically cannon fodder, they’re from Homestuck, though they can be potentially problematic if there are too many ganging up on you unawares… I'm more concerned about how they got here… I only hope she doesn't have anything worse.”

“That's another thing about Displaced… you get enemies from the series you dressed up as in the same world.” Alex said grimly as she unsheathed her sword, before reconsidering and resheathing it and pulling out her sniper rifle.

“Hey, how d’you keep doing that, by the way?” Caldoric asked, looking askance at her. His armor seemed a bit less faded, but it was still faded nonetheless...

“Our weapon summoning? It’s my only power, besides being able to use magic. I can also use different armor abilities, but that's the extent of what I can do. Seb and the other two are able to summon different vehicles from their respective game universes.” She explained. “Honestly, I don't know how it works, but from what I can guess, whenever we think of a certain weapon, it appears in our hands.”

“Hmmm…” Caldoric said, gazing off into the distance. A second later he held out a hand as he leaned against the wall, and a simple-looking ring with four pearl-white orbs on it appeared in his palm. “Nice, but what about…” the ring disappeared, and was replaced by a strange, somewhat cylindrical object, half black and half silver.

“Yeah, that’s cool. I can pull from both realities…!” He began, before Chrystalla's voice cut through the silence again.

“Answer me, or I will bring that blasted castle down around your ears!” She demanded.

“Kiss this, Chrysalis!” Alex shouted back before a sniper round grazed the Shardlings Queen's side. “Next shot I fire will be in your skull!”

“Not if I can help it…” Caldoric muttered, as the large object vanished, and was replaced with a slightly smaller and stockier six-barreled apparatus. “Eat Cordak missiles, assmunch!” He exclaimed, and fired off six shots. Six missile-like objects flew from the barrels, but none flew straight at the intended target. Instead, the projectiles slammed into random sectors of the amassed army in the streets, leaving behind craters, dead 'lings, and… large Gusher-looking objects.

“Oh I forgot, those were torpedoes. But hey, they drop grist!” Caldoric noted, before the army responded with a barrage of their own. “Pohatu, seal this hole!”

Alex quickly ducked behind the wall as it hit before peeking back out and sniping a few shardlings from their perches. Sebaste and the other three quickly ran to some of the holes punched by the blasts and returned fire with their weapons.

A second later, the hole in the wall seemed to melt and seal itself, and Pohatu gave a grunt of satisfaction.

“Toa and Elements, I have an idea!” Caldoric said, remembering something. “To the door!” Everyone minus the Spartans, the Cyberpegasus and the dark green Hulkbuster-lookalike made their way to the door, where Caldoric revealed his idea.

“Alright, you ponies put a forehoof against the doorframe. Good, now…” he turned to the Toa. “Do the same with your weapons.”

“Why?” Asked Onua. “What will this accomplish?”

“Just do it and see, it’ll be aweso--” Caldoric was cut off as the castle shook, raining dust on their heads. “Do it! Do it now!”

As one, the Toa Mata placed the ends of their weapons against the doorframe, (with Pohatu merely placing his foot against it,) and it glowed momentarily with energy. Soon, so too did the whole room, as did the entire castle, presumably.

“Caldoric, you’d better hurry! I'm not sure how long we can keep this up- AAH!” Alex cried out as a lucky shot from a shardling hit her right arm, the pain sensors built into it alerting her of the hit. She fell to the ground, grasping her now damaged arm. Sparks spat from where the shot hit.

“Blast…!” Tahu cried, and hurried to her side, as the glow from whatever had happened faded. He saw, through the few remaining holes in the walls, that beams of energy were now shooting off from somewhere else in the castle, bathing the enemy army in swathes of fire, or ice, or having small chasms open beneath them. What in Mata Nui's name is going on? he wondered.

“Alex!” Viktor yelled as he ran over to her. He skidded to a halt and stared at the damage the blast had done. “Kyra, I need you, now!” He said before a small blue glowing humanoid figure armed with a high tech laser rifle and flakk armor appeared in his hand. “I need you to scan her arm and tell me the damage report.” He ordered.

“Right away!” The AI said before she vanished.When she came back, her tone was grim. “She’s lost part of her motor functions in her arm, the blast somehow hit a major power line. I recommend fully replacing the entire thing, and fast.” Viktor slammed a fist into the wall, leaving an impression of his fist in the stonework.

“Damn it! Alex… I need you to stay here for now. I’ll be back to fix your arm as soon as I can. Will you be okay until then?” He asked, getting a nod from her.

Caldoric came rushing over too, and tried to slide to a stop, only for him to trip over a bit of rubble and slide the rest of the way there on his mask. “I may have a solution or two, if there’s a problem,” he groaned, his voice slightly muffled by the floor as he held up a finger. Tahu got up and joined his fellow Toa in providing defense through the holes in the wall.

“Unless you know how to fix a prosthetic arm, and a custom one at that, I don't think we can really do anything.” Viktor snapped. Sebastian put a hand on the Spartan’s shoulder.

“Let's hear him out, he might be able to get this done faster.” He said.

Caldoric sat up, and looked at the damaged prosthetic. “Oh dang, that's some damage. There’s a Mask for that, though, if I remember correctly.” He then held up his right arm, indicating the plate of slotted silvery metal on the forearm. “And if that fails… I could always try to simulate Alchemy from FMA!” He then held his hands in front of himself, and a Kanohi Mask appeared between them. He then put it on, and his armor immediately brightened back to its original luster as he nearly fell over.

“Whoah, head rush,” he muttered, as he then held his hands over the damaged arm. “Alright… fix!” the new mask began to glow with an inner light, and then, with a slight grinding of metal and a few sparks, the arm glowed too, beginning to stitch itself back together. In seconds, it was done. Caldoric was ecstatic.

Alex flexed the arm a few times before she stood up. “Thanks.” She said, giving the Toa a nod of appreciation.

“No problem,” the Human-turned-Toa replied. “So, an actual prosthetic, eh? What’s it based off of? I mean, assuming it's not a custom… design… that is.” He finished awkwardly, and switched to his original mask. “Probably a sore subject, I shouldn't've mentioned it… bad Ian, bad!”

“It's okay. I had it based off of Ivy Valentine's right arm armor, I’ve always been a bit of a Soul Calibur fan, so after I lost my arm in a car accident, we saved up enough money to have a company make it.” Alex replied. “But… it was really hard for us during that time.”

Caldoric gave her a half-smile. “Never heard of either the character or the game, but they sound fun. I personally would've gone for an Automail replica, but that’s just me. Heck, there was this one time I heard that a kid got an Iron Man prosthetic, and Robert Downey himself was involved in making it happen… but that was a few years ago, before Trump got elected, and the war started…” He sat up a little straighter, oblivious to the others’ confused looks, and pressed on. “But enough about the past, we need to focus on the now. How’re we gonna take back the city?”

Author's Second Note:
That was definitely fun! Can't wait to do the second part, which'll be even more fun! For those of you who may have had a hard time visualizing what I wrote about the lightsaber motions, here are a couple demonstrations:



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