A Cold Light Dawns
The ancient Turaga gazed out over the crystalline sub-metropolis know as Ko-Metru. The sun rose as it did every day, glittering across the sharp angles of cold obelisks, vibrant colors flowing from the carefully calculated prisms. A bright blue sky hung over the city. The home of the ice-dwellers was surpassed in beauty only by the pristine architecture of Ga-Metru.
The Turaga frowned and turned away from the balcony. It was an awe-inspiring sight to be sure, but beneath the flawless exterior, the elder of ice knew that the city was being corrupted. How or why he couldn’t say, but something in the pit of his stomach churned whenever he looked at the skyline of the city of scholars.
“Is something wrong, teacher?”
The former Toa jolted slightly at the voice and his eyes focused on the figure standing in the doorway. Ah. It was one of his students, come with questions about his lecture that morning no doubt.
“No, no.” He sighed with a slight rasp and stepped back into the room. “I’m just contemplating our future.”
“Oh! Please don’t let me keep you–” The Matoran held out a thin hand-crafted tablet. “I have this message for you from the leader of Onu-Metru.” He bowed and backed out the door, bumping into a vahki patrolling the hall. The robotic guardian chirped and scanned the nervous matoran’s mask.
“Processing criminal record,” it stated coldly. “Record has received one mark.”
The elder knew he shouldn’t mistrust the police force of the city, but their empty stares gave him unsettling chills.
He frowned and looked down at the tablet resting on his desk. It read as a simple invitation to meet on the Tower of Knowledge in two days’ time, but something told his that he wasn’t the only one with a premonition about the fate of Metru-Nui.
Two days passed slowly, with classes to teach in the morning and astronomers to philosophize with in the evening. Merchants exchanged their wares in the streets, scholars mused on the lastest of their teachers’ words and prophecies from the stars, and Vahki patrols changed stations like clockwork, faltering only when a less respectable citizen of the city of ice interfered.
As the Turaga ascended the last stairwell to the pinnacle of the Tower of Knowledge he could already see that something was wrong. The elder archivist, known city-wide for his punctuality, was nowhere to be seen. A single vahki stood guard by the staircase as usual and regarded him with emotionless blue eyes.
“Guard,” the elder rasped. “Where is the other turaga?”
The vahki’s eyes flashed dimly as it replied. “There is no other turaga present.”
“I can see that, vahki-bones,” the Turaga of ice replied, surprised at the venom in his own voice. He may have harbored a subliminal mistrust for the guardians, but he knew better than to voice a baseless opinion. “Was there another Turaga here?”
The Leader of Ko-Metru took a step back. However baseless his opinions, the entire situation felt uncanny. “What happened to him?”
“He is no longer present.”
“Where did he go?” The ancient scholar edged toward the staircase. Somehow he already knew the answer.
“He has been terminated.”
The Turaga nearly stumbled down the staircase, incredulous at the enforcer’s reply. Although he had suspected it, he couldn’t accept that the guardians of Metru-Nui could do such a thing. “You’re lying!”
The vahki didn’t reply as it dropped down to the bottom of the stairwell, cutting off the Turaga’s escape. The elder’s eyes widened as he backed away from the advancing robot. “You- You’re the ones responsible for this? The fall of Metru-Nui in my visions-” He stumbled against the railing. The glowing metropolis spread out far below him like a vast canyon, the white crystalline structures like rows of tombstones. “You’re to blame for the fall of the city!”
“Negative,” the automaton chirped as it raised its staff to deliver a lethal blow.
The vahki’s reply seemed to echo across the city, reverberating through every cold chill the Turaga had ever experienced, through every dark premonition and vision he dared to believe untrue.
The sun rises on the horizon as it does every day, glittering across smooth steel and spiraling through crystal prisms, heralding a new day for the scholars of the City of Ice. But today the sun brings an ominous chill to even the most carefree of citizens. Though they may not realize it, the light brings the birth of oppression, the beginning of the fall of Metru Nui. For today the city awakes without a leader. Today the city awakes without a Turaga who cares and visits with the young minds of the generation, as eager to teach them as they are to learn. Today the city awakes to a law and order brought about by pure, emotionless law.
Today the city awakes to the cold light of dawn.