Lingering is a supernatural/thriller story written by Repicheep - Toa of Irony, written around Halloween 2008. It takes place in an alternate future where Mata Nui has been reinstated at his place in the Matoran Universe.
It can be read on BZPower, here.
The story opens with Toa Matoro in his hut. He is then approached by Toa Lhikan, and the two leave Matoro by passing through the door. The two have been living as ghosts in the city, Matoro since his sacrifice and Lhikan since the events just prior to the Great Cataclysm. The pair make their way to watch the Heroes' Eve festivities taking place in the Coliseum, where the Matoran will remember those who have fallen defending them from evil and had gone to the Great Beyond.
Shortly after the events of the evening have come to a close, a giant vortex of dark energy appears over the city. The Toa Nuva, Takanuva, and the Toa Mahri gather in the Coliseum to prepare for what appears to be a fight.
Lhikan and Matoro notice the vortex and decide to investigate, but are stopped by another invisible being, the Great Being Unremitting Truth.
At the Coliseum, the Toa are confronted by the Shadowed One and a cloaked figure. At the same time, the vortex begins to release the spirits of The Inferno from their place and into the city. The Toa try to fight the Shadowed One and the other being, who reveals himself as the Great Being Vain Glory, but are quickly defeated as the Toa Mahri and Takanuva are incased in protodermis and the Toa Nuva are possessed by six incredibly evil beings from the past; Antroz, Roodaka, Nidhiki, Sidorak, Icarax, and Carapar.
After the possessed Toa leave the Coliseum, Unremitting Truth frees the other Toa and asks for their help. After revealing Matoro and Lhikan to them, he takes them all back into the past to show them what has led up to this point. They arrive on Spherus Magna as it was before the Shattering, and Truth leads them towards the Fires Beyond Imagination to see the Kanohi Ignika be formed. They watch as three Great Beings, Unwavering Confidence, Valient Honor, and Kind Benelovence, finish the mask and discuss its future. The Toa find they phase through everything as though they are dead, but Truth explains that because the past has already happened, it cannot be changed.
After seeing the mask made, Truth takes them to the Great Beings' fortress, the Castle Resilience, where the Mask of Life was kept. They see Vain Glory take it from its holding place and watch as it fills him with enough life to support a thousand beings. They then see Vain Glory imprisoned in the Space Between Worlds where there is nothing for his to animate.
While the Toa Mahri are in the past, the ghosts and their captains try to possess the spirits of the city's Matoran, while south of the city, four other spirits, Botar, Naho, Mavrah, and Hydraxon, move to help fight the hordes from the Inferno.
The Toa Mahri then see the Olmak that Takanuva used to flee the Dark Mirror world fall at Vain Glory's feet. He grants it life, gives it a body made of mud and dozens of living light beams to hide it, and sends it to find a way to free him from his chains of space-time. The Olmak eventually returns, having found a way to free him. Vain Glory then sends him to fetch the Shadowed One, and upon their return, the Dark Hunter uses his eyebeams to destroy Vain Glory's chains. The two then go off to visit the Inferno and gather all the spirits of the dead who would help them.
Truth then returns the group to the present to find the the other benevolent spirits, as well as Ancient, who has possessed the body of the Shadowed One, ready to help them. The six ghosts and the six Toa merge, melding their spirits together, Naho with Hahli, Mavrah with Kongu, Lhikan with Nuparu, Botar with Takanuva, Hydraxon with Hewkii, and Matoro with Jaller. The six go out to battle the possessed Matoran, while Truth enters the Inferno to repair the Ethereal Flow, which guides the dead to their rightful places.
The melded warriors fight the Matoran until Kongu/Mavrah summons a horde of Rahi, using his Zatth to summon them and Mavrah's power over Rahi to command them. The warriors move to rest but find themselves confronted by the possessed Toa Nuva.
Truth finds himself fighting Vain Glory as he tries to get into the Inferno. After maneuvering around his enemy, Truth rockets through the now barren plains of the Inferno, Vain Glory trying in vain to stop him by bringing the Inferno's energies to life. The two arrive at the Inferno's central pit and fight their way to the bottom where they find the dome energy Vain Glory has placed over the Ethereal Fountain. After defeating Vain Glory, Truth tried to destroy it, but, after failing, realized that the information given to him by Kind Benevolence was to be taken literally. Vain Glory was literally the key to restoring order to the world, and so, Truth gripped Vain Glory by the scruff of his cloak and tossed him at the dome of energy. Dome and Great Being fused together in a flash of light, destroying them both and restoring the Ethereal Flow.
At that exact moment, the melded warriors are loosing badly to the possessed Toa Nuva. Ancient has trapped Sidorak in a protodermis crystal, but Sidorak's spirit had emerged intent on finding a new body, only to pulled back into the dark gate he had come from. With the knowledge that Truth had accomplished his objective, the melded warriors are able to remove the spirits from the Toa Nuva by force, only Antroz leaving without a fight, knowing he cannot win against their combined might.
As the last of the Matoran was freed, the gates of the Inferno began to close. A final shockwave spread from the point at which they opened, sending restoritive energy throughout the city, repairing all the damage from the night's incident. As it struck the melded warriors, they were seperately and pulled by the Etheral Flow to their rightful place in the Great Beyond.
The story references Pirates of the Caribbean.
- "So what’s it going to be, Truth? Are we to be two immortals locked in epic battle until the end of time and the Greatest Being returns?”
- “Or you could surrender.”
- — Vain Glory and Unremitting Truth
- The Toa Nuva
- The Toa Mahri
- The Shadowed One