Caiaphus sauntered through a glass walkway that was suspended in the air. His silver tunic was flowing behind his legs. He looked up to massive spire to his left, its crystal shining under the moonlight. He turned, and another walkway materialized under his feet, leading to a hexagon shaped entrance with a giant copper door in the middle of it. Caiaphus arrived in front of the door, and placed his hand squarely in the middle of it. A light burst from under his hand, and he heard a strange twinkling sound. The door suddenly opened, and he walked into a massive lit corridor.
Several minutes later, he walked into a wide conference room, where several Makuta were sitting around a concrete table that was neatly placed in the center. One of the Makuta, sitting at the head of the table, looked up to Caiaphus, their eyes meeting.
“Father, what do you require of me?” said Caiaphus.
“I wish to inform you, Caiaphus, of something that the Makuta Generals voted in favor of…unanimously,” said Nadle, as he somberly shook his head.
“…What? What is it?” Caiaphus said, his eyes widening and countenance twisting into one of confusion.
“Blackout…” Nadle said, as he pointed to someone on the other side of the table.
“Your little experiment, Subject A93112, has been conducting some experiments of his own. He even made his own Shadow Toa army, which goes against my orders, and those of the Generals. He practically threatened us.You were planning to overthrow us once the Vrai War was over, weren’t you? No wonder you failed to defeat our enemies multiple times.” Blackout raised his finger in accusation at Caiaphus, while the other Makuta began to shout in anger.
Caiaphus’s angrily pointed back at Blackout.
“My experiments and Apprentices are paving a path no Makuta has ever dared to cross. A power untouched. If we became friendlier to the shadows, perhaps…”
“No, Caiaphus,” Nadle raised his arm, interrupting him, “We have already gone far enough. There is no need for more tampering with darkness.”
“You…. father…you betrayed me,” Caiaphus growled, looking to the floor. He then looked back up at Nadle “You and your entire lot are ignorant…ignorant of the beauties of this science! Perhaps you all lack a drive…. the drive to dive deeper into the dark. You are all cowards.”
“You weak-minded infantile simpleton!” Blackout leaped from his chair, and slammed his fist onto the table.
“Blackout.” Nadle glared at Blackout, and the latter slumped into his chair.
“What a disgrace. The Generals of the Vrai War reduced to a bunch of bureaucrats sitting at a table. I apologize, father, but I have no wish to comply. Exile me, if you wish. But my experiments will continue there,” ranted the Makuta-in-exile.
Nadle sighed, his palms meeting his face.
“We have decided to send you to…another universe. Far from ours…it is identified as the Shattered Mirror Universe.”
“Good,” said Caiaphus, taking his exile all too well, “I shall go myself. Goodbye, my friends. Perhaps you will all one day see the dark.”
Several hours later, Caiaphus walked up to two metallic spikes in a field that looked like a massive motherboard. Electricity cackled between them, and suddenly, a purple swirl was formed.
“And so I exeunt into the maw of chaos,” he whispered to himself. “Let this not be an omen.”
He jumped into the portal, passing through the fabric between universes, the space between spaces. 2 hours had passed, but to Caiaphus, they felt like 10 seconds. He emerged into an infinite black space, a cavernous plane with white spots in the far distance. He quickly blacked out.
Caiaphus’s optics opened, and he found himself on a bed in a strange room. He sat up, and looked to his right. Standing there was a strange amphibious creature with wings, wearing turquoise armor. It flailed its arms.
“Hello, traveler! My name is Tahar’zok!”
“I.....” the Makuta spluttered out, while sitting up, “I am Makuta Caiaphus.”
“Pleased to meet you, Makuta Caiaphus! You were floating near my mining ship in space, so I took you in and put you to rest here. Boy, do you recover quickly!” Tahar’zok giggled.
He was peppy. Caiaphus hated peppy.
“Where am I, Tahar’zok?”
“Planet Tybion. You said you were Makuta. Who do you serve?” Tahar’zok uneasily looked at Caiaphus.
“No one, at the moment. Calm yourself. I am not from this universe. I am from another world. Another dimension” Caiaphus said, assuredly.
“An opposite dimension…interesting,” responded Tahar’zok, intrigued. “Well, you are welcome here, Caiaphus.”
“Thank you for your kind gesture.”
Millenia had passed. During this time period, Caiaphus became a well-known scientist on Tybion, and throughout the universe. He also dabbled in matters of the occult. Sorcerer and scientist alike sought his wisdom. Caiaphus also became an advisor to leaders of several factions, and began to learn military strategy.
But this was not enough for him. He had only penetrated an infinitesimal amount of knowledge and power regarding the darkness. The shadows were far more complex than they seemed. And there was only so much he could understand within the confines of this universe. He had to go farther. He would not stop until he became, in his mind, a god.
Of course, he couldn’t return to his birth universe. His exile would still be remembered by the other Makuta, and it would not be wise to launch a cavalcade of revenge against them at this moment. Besides, it would not contain the proper amount of knowledge that he needed. There was only one universe that did.
In his many travels, Caiaphus has heard rumors, stories, and mythologies of a universe of knowledge. The Knowledge Dimension, as they called it on Krustallos. Few know how to reach it, and even fewer received a glimpse of it. But this uncertainty was no dampener of ambition.
It was a dark night on the planet Dast. The lightning sliced through the sky. Thunder exploded as rain fell down all around the warehouse. Tahar’zok stood before a massive set of controls, flipping switches and pressing buttons. He looked towards Caiaphus, who stood in front of a strange metallic circle with runes written around it.
“Are you sure this will take you to the Knowledge Dimension, Lord Caiaphus?” asked an aged Tahar’zok.
“Yes. I made the proper calibrations after all.” Caiaphus said, hurriedly, “Now activate the portal. The time for my ascension is now!”
Tahar’zok pushed a large red button. A multicolored swirl of the most ominous gas emerged in the center of the circle. The Makuta smiled, and rushed into it. However, as he entered, a lightning rod crept through an open window, and sliced into the circle, the shocking pulsations of fate moving. An explosion knocked Tahar’zok into the wall of the warehouse, and he fell unconscious.
Caiaphus emerged unscathed and unaware in a plane of alabaster. He looked to his left, and to his right, observing the pure white nothingness surrounding him. He slowly made his way through it.
“I must have made miscalculated. This is a dimension of nothingness,” he said, as he whispered to himself.
Suddenly, an armoured warrior materialized before him. It wore a strange hat, and underneath its golden armor it wore a crimson tunic. It carried a pike as tall as a tree, and towered over the Makuta. The warrior was of a species Caiaphus had never seen in his life, a slim face with two narrow, enraged black eyes with black sclera. Its face was like that of a human’s, but with a colour that stood between all pigments of the skins of men.
“You are trespassing into a section of the Knowledge Dimension that is only for authorized guests. State your business, or die,” its voice thundered.
“I wish to learn of the ultimate knowledge,” said Caiaphus, unperturbed.
“You may not find it. There are things unknown even to the libraries of the Knowledge Dimension,” the being said as it shook its head.
“Funny, I thought it was a source of omniscience,” murmured Caiaphus.
“Neither of us can fully grasp the meaning of the word, trespasser. Now leave, or face my wrath,” said the being.
Caiaphus threw his fist at the guardian, but it quickly grabbed his hand. The Makuta felt the force equivalent to 2 falling cars slowly crushing his fist. To escape the being’s grasp, he blasted its chest with shadow. The being stumbled, and let go of Caiaphus’s hand. The Makuta then continued to fire blasts of shadow, but the guardian blocked it with them massive pike. It dematerialized, and reappeared in front of him, smashing the side of its weapon against his head. Caiaphus was quickly knocked to the ground, his head feeling splitting pain.
The being placed the bottom of its pike on Caiaphus’s back, and cackled.
“I have had my fun, trespasser. Now leave, or you will feel the other end of this weapon.”
Caiaphus’s rage had simmered for long enough. It was ready to burst. His mind quickly began to calculate his next move. This being is experienced against shadow, meaning that several other attacks would be like scratching its chin. Ergo, he had to resort to an ability that would mess with this being’s perception, something that tampered with a law of nature. Something like…. gravity.
The Makuta silently raised his fist. Like a puppet, the armoured being was yanked into the air. It hung above Caiaphus, who stood up and turned around, his arm still raised. The Makuta’s countenance changed into one of smug victory.
“What…. what have you done? What is this sorcery,” the creature said as it panicked.
“I am a Makuta. We can temporarily control gravity,” Caiaphus said, angrily.
“What…what? PUT ME DOWN! PUT ME DOWN THIS INSTANT!”
“You’re in my way, guardian. Now, what is housed in this part of the dimension? Why am I here?” said the Makuta.
“This,” gulped the guardian, instantly filled with fear, an emotion it hadn’t felt in centuries, “This is the Room of Destiny. Secret parts of an individual’s destiny, past or future, are revealed, as well as possibilities…of good choices, and evil ones.”
“It should be interesting. Thank you, guardian, you were of some use to me.”
Caiaphus formed his hand into a fist. The armoured being screeched loudly as its back began to twist. Nothing broke, not yet at least. The Makuta grinned sadistically, and swung his arm outwards. The being flew into the distant blank, alabaster maw, screaming loudly into the near-infinite expanse. Caiaphus turned away, and sauntered down it.
Hours later, he found himself before two large doors. One was crimson; the other was as black as tar, swirling with purple energy. A book floated up to Caiaphus, its script written in an ancient language. Several words changed to one that the Makuta could understand.
One leads to death, the other is truth. Which do you choose, seeker?
Caiaphus looked quickly to the black door, and held out his hand. Its swirling energy began to reach towards him. It wrapped around his wrist, and began to pull him in. The door opened, revealing a realm of amaranthine haze and darkness.
The Makuta was thrown into this realm, and images began to flood his mind. Beings of great power: Toa, Makuta, spirits, demons, hellish realms of this universe and of the world where he was born…and one beyond. Caiaphus’s mind began to reel and twist, the information was hefty and overwhelming. But there was more.
He saw a group of beings. The word “User” came to his mind. They all sat around a large holographic display, hammering away at keyboards that stood in front of them. They would speak to each other, and laugh. One of the Users quietly inserted a small device labeled “VIRUS” into a port on his keyboard. Another image flashed into his mind. A red set of data began moving through a sea of blue strands of code. Caiaphus blinked, and saw a mass of darkness settle into a pool of antidermis. This mass was the red code.
The Makuta witnessed his creation, seeing his father Nadle reach into the antidermis, and place a massive amount into an empty shell. The amount was glowing with a crimson hue. The shell was overcome with life, and it blinked.
Caiaphus’s mind felt itself collapse. That data. He was that data. His universe, all the worlds he had seen in reality and in these visions, was also data. And he was a virus. A rogue program. But what was his purpose? What would he corrupt?
More visions. More sights. More images. His mind coalesced and split, folded inwards and outwards. He couldn’t take much more. His sanity had been crushed. Darkness, villains, shadows, death, eldritch abominations, all manners chaos began to fill his mind, and began to surround him! Suddenly, he heard a voice in his mind. It sounded like his, but eviler and more demonic.
Caiaphus…..embrace it…embrace your destiny.
“WHAT AM I?! I AM…I AM…. CHAOS!!!” he screamed, as his mind and body collapsed and swirled into the maw that was this new dimension of darkness.
Tahar’zok came to. The warehouse was still standing, as well as most of the controls. The portal, however, was heavily damaged beyond repair. Caiaphus was lost. Tahar’zok moved his way to the portal, sighing and slightly sobbing.
Suddenly, the portal opened, and all light in the room was replaced with the glow of evil. Caiaphus floated out of the rip in the space-time continuum, his hands crackling with energy. His eyes glowed red.
“I am the infection that spreads through the night. I am the cancer of the universe. I am the darkness that fills the souls of mortals with dread. I am the chaos that defies order, infinitesimal and grand. I am nothing. I am Caiaphus!”
Tahar’zok stared in utter terror.