That was my first thought... yes, I remember. It's been such a long time, but I don't think any of my brethren have ever forgotten the moment of their creation either. To know for the first time, feelings and senses whizzing around your mind... it's incredible. I knew that, when I awoke for the first time, I had a destiny. I had no idea what it was... sometimes I wonder whether I've long since achieved it but I've failed to grow weak, and evil has failed to crush me. It was my creators, however, that had programmed my destiny right from the beginning... I can feel it in my metal... I was built to fulfil a purpose of theirs. But what was it? I am of course convinced that they left clues for me along the way. So here I am, sat at this desk with a pen and paper, thinking as I did that very first time when they flipped the switch to ON millennia ago.
No wonder we hailed them, and worshipped them as gods. To not only control life and death, purpose and being, but destiny itself truly demands such respect in return. Though... unlike the typical representation of a god... our creators were terrifying. Unnatural. False gods, toying with nature and twisting it to their own mysterious intentions. These gods were certainly not benevolent.
What happened to them? What did they program my destiny to be? I must remember. If I do still have a part in the future of this chaotic multiverse, the answer lies in the past. The question to that answer though... is will I be fulfilling my destiny... or theirs?
Vrmmm. Vrmmm. Vrmmm.
Vrmmm. Vrmmm. Vrmmm.
Vrmmm. Vrmmm. Vrm... why is it so dark?
With that thought, the newborn ignored the mechanical humming being emitted from all around him and slowly opened his eyes. The first picture ever presented to his mind began to come into focus. With concentration, he could just about make out several purple shapes moving around in front of him, with various curved hand tools close to his vision extending from those shapes. The newborn closed his eyes again, and tilted his head up. He could move, but not by much; there were tight restraints on his legs, both his arms were free, and something was holding the right arm up. Opening an eye and peering to his right, there was a soft and wrinkled yet muscular purple creature to be observed holding his arm up, bending a plate of armour round it with sharp, silver teeth. Once it had finished, it moved over to the newborn's chestplate, and stared into the cracks with piercing green eyes, adorned with multiple black pupils. At that moment the newborn discovered he could smell, and the creature's odor wasn't pleasant, though he didn't yet have the knowledge or experience to be able to compare it to anything else distasteful.
"Something's different about this one. Are you sure you've implemented all the correct information to his instinct core? He seems to already be showing an accelerated heartrate and an unusually bright heartstone, Iklimix." The creature muttered from just below the field of view that the newborn's restraints would allow. This voice was like a shriek, but somehow horrifically decipherable by the audio receptors, and caused them to sting for a few seconds.
Another high-pitched, yet slower and steadier voice responded from a short distance: "I think so! Whatever this is, it's just his augmented body responding to being activated. His personality core might already be damaged, but I'm sure that's not the ca-"
The other was cut off by the first, now standing erect and staring straight into the newborn's open eyes with a look of absolute terror. "Iklimix... look! He can hear us...! What have you done?! Shut him down! NOW!" He turned away and skipped over to a blurry control panel with lots of lights and colours, and began pressing manically.
A sudden pain rippled through the newborn's head a thousandfold worse than before, shortly followed by thoughts. Lots of thoughts, at once. As the aforementioned instinct core kicked in, however, one of those thoughts arose to dominance above all others.
They're trying to kill me.
With a yell of primal rage, the newborn ripped the leather strap off his right leg with his right hand and the other with his left. Jumping down from the small podium with a triumphant clang as his protosteel feet hit the protosteel floor, and with his vision still as blurred as before, he boldly fumbled around in front of him, took his first few baby steps. The first purple creature, (was it 'Iklimix'?) dived at him and pushed the newborn back into the operating station while the other came into view, looking identical to Iklimix from where he stood, carrying something shiny and jagged.
I have to get out of here. So the newborn rallied and pushed back on Iklimix with all his newfound might, sending the creature stumbling back into his friend and falling flat on his back. The newborn ran forward, but instead his second target spun round... round... until he was on top and the newborn lay on the floor.
His enemy, with teeth as shiny as the tool he carried, gave a cackling laugh.
"I'm proud of you!" He began. "Iklimix certainly picked a lively one for me to handle! Now, shhhh my dear, don't you worry, I'll go fetch your mask, and you won't remember a thing. Not for a long, long time."
The newborn's next image of life was a black, thick boot hovering over his vision. Then thump.
Agh... why is it so bright?
Kakamu opened his eyes for what he thought was the first time. Looking around him, he could see the various symbols and illustrations decorated on the walls with perfect clarity, and once his visual examination of the environment was complete, he came to the conclusion that he was in a domed room, with sunbeams entering through the circular glass in the center of the ceiling. The air was fresh as he took a deep breath, and he felt light-hearted and happy. Smiling, there were others just like him on both sides, but with different colours and masks, similarly looking around.
"Are you quite finished, my Matoran?" a deep yet feminine voice echoed around the room. Surprised, Kakamu and the others jumped, and were faced with a tall woman of their species clad in rich blue armour. She made an effort to stand tall and proud, Kakamu observed, but he noticed she was injured. A deep gash was noticeable in the side of her thigh, and she limped slightly while approaching, though she must have been trying to shake it off and ignore the damage done. Nevertheless, she laughed good-naturedly at the group of newcomers and spread her arms in a welcoming gesture.
"Brothers and sisters of the smaller kind, there must be explanation before exploration, so listen if you will! Don't be afraid, I am a friend, as is everyone else on this island to you, your home. You may address me as Toa Helryx." Her mask shifted slightly to accommodate her slight smile. "...And it will stay that way as long you obey the law. You are in Ga-Metru, in a school, in fact. Here you will stay for the day to learn all about your lives and roles. Afterwards, your teachers will redirect you to employment centers in the Metru you belong to. If you have any questions your teachers can't answer... well, you can always request a visit to the Knowledge Towers in Ko-Metru, if it is the season where your visits can be accommodated by the observers. Well, I must leave you here; I have important business to attend to. Talk to the staff... and stay strong for the Great Spirit."
And with that, she departed, her cloak dragging slightly across the floor of the domed room on her way out.
Something tells me she knows more than anyone else here, the young Ta-Matoran thought, and I have a lot of questions.
With that and a "Wait!", he jogged after her, reaching her side as she got to the arched doorway entrance of the building. Hearing him, she looked down inquisitively for a moment.
"What is it...", she said in a quieter voice, and laid her hand over his head, closing her eyes. A few moments later, her mask glowed and she snapped back to attention. "...Kakamu?"
Kakamu paused for a moment. Kakamu... that's my name "...yeah, that's my name!" he replied enthusiastically. Helryx chuckled.
"If you had questions, it seems as though I've answered one for you already! Now go on, back insi-"
"Are you the queen of the city?" Kakamu blurted out suddenly. She paused, and frowned.
"No, I am no ruler. I am this city's guardian. And right now, it needs protecting more than ever. Although this mask of Psychometry doesn't allow me to tell the future; quite the opposite, I can still feel bad tidings on the waves of the seas. Dark days await Metru Nui. Stay strong, Kakamu."
And with that, she stepped outside and shut the door. Suddenly the slowly-increasing pitter-patter of rain against the roof made itself all the more audible, and the last of the rays of light through the glass was obscured by the clouds.