Word Count: 526
Story: Sidorak’s Zoo
It’s more of a long hallway beneath Sidorak’s Coliseum than a zoo. But he likes to call it a zoo anyways. The exhibit is made up of a handful of the most amazing Visorak Venom mutations in all of Metru Nui. The cages they are kept in are more like power-negating cells built into the wall with thick glass for observation purposes. Beneath each cage is an inscribed plaque that states the species of the animal before it was disfigured beyond recognition.
If one enters the exhibition hallway from the front of the Coliseum, the first cage on the right, holds a grand Fader Bull mutation. It stands taller than a Toa at the shoulder. Hooves have wicked claws growing from them at painful angles, and its jaw has twisted into a horrible, fanged under bite. A rhotuka launcher sits in the middle of its forehead.
The hordika mutation across from the Fader Bull was once a noble Gukko bird. Now its neck, formerly elegant and serene, is cricked and molting. Its beak is misaligned gruesomely and sickly green saliva drips from its mouth that never closes. Its wings drag on the ground behind it, fully dysfunctional. It has dead eyes and a hopeless spirit.
Moving on, the next exhibit on the right-hand side is a Takea shark. But the unfortunate thing has so much Venom coursing though it’s veins that it has become a land-rahi, and an ugly one at that. It has short stumps for legs, sprouting randomly from its underside. They resemble tumors more than legs. One of its eyes has migrated to the other side of its face, making it totally blind on one side. Perhaps to compensate, that side has sprouted a spinner-launcher. It’s impossible to tell how it can breathe air now, but the process looks painful regardless.
Set opposite the eerie corridor now is a mutated Muaka Tiger. The hordika rahi has top fangs so long that they almost reach the floor, making it impossible for it to lie down. Two large growths on its back occasionally shiver, possibly wings waiting to sprout. Between the prospect wing buds sits a useless and warped Rhotuka Launcher.
The last six exhibits are the most amazing. Not because of the pure horror of the atrocities they house, but because of what those atrocities used to be.
Primal and perhaps at one point sentient, they prowl around their cells like delusional wolves that are constantly in a state of suffering. They are hunched and walk with aid of their long arms, snapping savagely at any passerby and foaming at the mouth. Bestial intelligence can occasionally be seen glinting in their eyes. Each is equipped with a fully functional Rhotuka, and many of the cages bear marks of these. Through the glass, nobody can hear them. But if the glass was not soundproof, the entire Coliseum would be filled with anguished howling and wails of the condemned creatures for eternity.
Even though all six look like they could have once been from the same species, their plaques indicate differently. Each one reads a different species name.