Disregarding the revived Joske's indignant commentary, Reordin turned to the Book of Chronicles, Takua's singular device that looked like a more primitive Onu-Koronan task pad. Its bulbous blue lens was flashing intermittently like a warning, and on its screen was written, "Low Battery Life. Review episodes before expiration?" Next to the top red arrow was the option "Yes;" next to the bottom one was the option "No."
Reordin, logically, pressed the up arrow, indicating "yes."
The screen went black for an instant, and Reordin was afraid he had been too late; but, soon enough, his concerns were assuaged, because a picture came into focus. Reordin saw the inside of a canvas tent, and a wind from outside battered the cloth back and forth. Into the frame, moving as if captured from life, was the Matoran whose face had been burned into Reordin's memory ever since he had led the Rahkshi away in that volcanic canyon. Reordin, though he always did his best to repress emotion, felt something in his throat as he saw Takua again; even a shadow of Takua's presence was inexplicably comforting, reassuring to the Ko-Matoran... but ghostly. It was different than losing a friend in battle, because those friends did appear again after their deaths. It was jarring.
Takua sat down in front of where the Book of Chronicles must have been, and gave the camera the same smile that Reordin remembered. "Hello," the book said in Takua's voice, in synchronization with the image of Takua speaking. It proceeded to speak.
"The fact that you are seeing this almost certainly implies my death," said the Takua in the screen. "It's nothing you should feel regretful about, because I faced my demons a long time ago. I only regret that I could not be there to answer any questions you may have; as such, I will explain everything I know, and I hope that you won't find yourself short-changed of something crucial because of my negligent forgetfulness.
"I hope that I was able to tell you, dear observer, before I was killed that you have a very important duty to the people of this island," Takua went on, peering earnestly into the camera. "That is, of course, if you are who I intended to be the one to hold this journal. I've resolved to keep it on my person at all times, especially after recording this crucial message and, if it's in my power, to destroy it if I am captured. If it is in your hands, know that I have either trusted you with it and I believe in your destiny to be one of our next heroes... or else, you must be my great enemy; if this is the case, I would encourage you to stop your hunt for simple happiness. It can never be yours, and your quest for it is vain in every sense. The hope of the universe will always stand opposed to you, and never with you. But I digress: I will begin in earnest."
In the small viewing window, Reordin saw Takua pull a familiar object into view: Tahu's Essence Stone. "This," Takua said, holding it up in front of the camera, "is an Essence Stone; but, as naming something can draw focus to it, I will simply refer to it as a 'stone' from here on out. This stone functions, at its most basic purpose, somewhat like a Toa Stone... when given to a Matoran with an aligning destiny, that Matoran will become a Toa, assuming the proper circumstances. But the stone is more than this: it holds in its temporal shell far more than just the customary Toa energies of its donor. These kind of stones hold vastly stronger power than the average stone, for one; this is reflected by their immutable elemental affiliations, and the fact that few to no Toa have enough raw power to funnel enough of it into such a stone and remain living.
"The transmission of so much energy, though is no clean process; when so much of a being's fundamental essence is sucked out of them, other things follow suit. You see, this kind of stone holds a portion of the soul of its donor. How much soul this is, I cannot say I know, but the stones are certainly aware of the presence of their fellows, and may even hold some of the personality of their sources, traits that may integrate themselves into the character of the recipient. In short, these stones are very special items, and incredibly rare. I may have the only six in existence - at least, I have them now." Takua's image grinned. "I took them from Makuta, and directly under his nose. Let that be your lesson - our enemy's sureness of his dominance is the greatest chink in it.
"The six stones I have were derived of the First Toa," Takua continued, spinning Tahu's stone to himself. "This is Tahu's, and I'm looking at the other five right now. They will not remain in one place for much longer. By the time you see this, I will have hidden the six stones in various places across the island, in methods that should not be in the vocabulary of Makuta's dumb servants. In my satchel is also a map showing the location of these stones.
"You and the others who have been chosen to accompany you on this quest must gather these six stones. I hope I will be able to lead you to at least one or two of the stones before my death, because once you have one stone, finding the others becomes much easier: each stone glows and pulses with a heartbeat when it nears its fellows. They also become harder to hold, somehow - I believe that Tahu's becomes hotter, for instance. A simple tap of one to another will nullify the stones' indicators towards each other, so that stones will only seek those that have not been 'registered' yet.
"Once these six stones have been gathered, you and the others will not immediately become Toa. To transform, you must bring the stones to the Suva Nui, which is in Le-Wahi; wholly by accident, the Nui Rama Swarm built its nest around this secret Suva... Perhaps they were attracted to its natural energies. In any case, you must make it past the Nui Rama somehow, get inside, find the Suva and, by placing the stones in the six notches there, you should transform."
Takua replaced the Essence Stone out of the field of view. He fidgeted in his seat, repositioning, before continuing. "But the stones are not all that must be gathered. The Great Spirit meant for you to have these stones ever since they were wrenched into existence against the will of the First Toa, but he also remembers that the power of these very Toa was, it seemed, not enough to defeat Makuta on the first attempt. There is a failsafe in place for your use; I cannot tell you what it is, because I have never seen it myself. I have only been to the failsafe's Keeping Place, and only been there once, in the wake of the First Toa's fall... Though I have searched throughout the jungles surrounding the Kini-Nui many times in attempts to relocate the Keeping Place, I have never found it since. I believe that it cannot be found unless the Great Spirit wills for it to be visited.
"It is a steep ravine in the jungle, with a white waterfall on the impassible far side. Positioned at the ravine's edge is a stone tablet, on which are written the six clues that I distributed amongst my former Company written in the Bird Speech; I was only able to understand them then because the Great Spirit inhabited me at the time. But, returning to what must be amassed: just as the six Makoki Stones opened the First Toa's path into Mangaia, so too does the Keeping Place have its special keys. These are six crystals, one stowed in each of the temples of the Koros, regarded by most as merely cosmetic artifacts. It's a wrongful assumption. I am sure that the clues inscribed on the tablet related to these crystals, and perhaps to the challenges that may await you in the Keeping Place.
"But I speculate, and in doing so, digress. Once you have transformed into Toa, unlock and enter the Keeping Place, and claim your failsafe. It may be the edge you will need to combat our mighty, misguided foe. I do not believe the Great Spirit would have taken such precautions to guard it from unwanted entry if what lay inside was not this powerful." Takua cleared his throat in the image. "I have spoke a long while. This is all I can think to say. Good luck; may the Red Star watch your progress kindly."