Chapter 1: The Return
Paru had a grim expression as the boat sped towards Ora Nui. It’s been too long, the cloaked Onu-Matoran thought to himself. Too many years have passed since that day. He pulled a rope on the sail of his small boat; he was getting close to the shore. Pulling out his oars, he paddled the rest of the way to the island, docking his boat by a rock on a sandy beach. Well, there’s no turning back now, he thought as he walked across the shore, his cape billowing slightly behind him.
Ahi was slightly nervous as he walked to Kape’s house. He’d been fine on the Ussal ride to Ga-Wohe, but now that he was almost at her hut, he was becoming uncomfortably warm: something unusual for a Ta-Matoran. Get a hold of yourself, he thought. You’ve seen her a billion times. You’re best friends! …even if you sometimes want to be more than just friends… He scolded himself: he knew that the Ga-Matoran would never like him that way, despite how long they’d known each other. Speaking of which, he thought, I wonder if she ever thinks about what we used to do, all those years ago… us, Hiko, Mita, Pakohe, and… and… But Ahi couldn’t bring himself to think the other names; the memories were too painful. Shaking his head, trying to get the conflicting thoughts out, he continued walking toward Kape’s home in the rainforests of Ga-Wohe.
The gleaming lightning rod towers shone against the cloudy skyline of Al-Wohe, the lightning region, as they always did. And, as always, Hiko was at her workstation, in one of the buildings connected to one of the many towers. Her job was simple: make sure that the base of her assigned lightning rod tower was connected to what needed to be charged, which was almost always lightcrystals: made from a material easily mined on Ora Nui, and expertly carved by Po-Matoran, these clear stones would conduct a current from the outside to their center, but not the other way around, leaving a sparking light in the middle of the crystal. However, charging them with said current was slightly trickier: if undercharged, the light wouldn’t be visible, but if overcharged, they would burst, shattering into hundreds of sharp fragments. Over the years, however, Hiko had become talented at knowing when to attach and detach lightcrystals from the metal of the tower, and had become somewhat bored; in recent weeks, she had even found herself reminiscing about older days: back when she had been able to do something exciting, things that were always challenging. I wonder if the others ever think about it, she wondered, walking over to the tower to double-check that the current crystals’ cords were firmly attached (they were). If things hadn’t gone wrong –so wrong, at the end –the team might have wound up different. Looking up at the sky, and deciding that, though it was stormy (as always) overhead, it didn’t look like lightning would be striking her tower particularly soon. “Hey, Rila, keep an eye on this for me, will you?” she asked her assistant at the tower.
“Well, okay,” Rila replied, “But be back soo-” but Hiko was already out the door, off to visit an old friend.
Silent. That’s what it was like in De-Wohe: complete and utter silence. Occasionally, there were whispers, but these usually resulted in so much more whispering and murmuring that they were generally avoided. Noise was painful. No De-Matoran liked noise. No De-Matoran, that is, except for Mita. A skilled inventor, he had, years ago, with the help of a couple other Matoran, impressively modified his mask: it now had small devices positioned over the ears, which, when activated, dramatically reduced the level of noise coming in. Although, while that was nice all those years ago, Mita thought, it’s not exactly handy now, since nobody says anything. The only time that it’s at all useful these days is when there’s some kind of avalanche or somesuch in Po-Wohe or Onu-Wohe. Neighboring De-Wohe, the regions of stone and earth provided one real benefit to the De-Matoran: seclusion. Split off from the rest of Ora Nui by the piles of rubble over Onu-Wohe, as well as the mountain ridge that led to Po-Wohe, almost no noise ever made it into the region of sound. Or, as it should be called, the region of silence, Mita thought bitterly. I can’t even leave that often, because the noise that I create just walking out of the village and crossing the mountain ridge is too much for my fellows. He looked around at the gray-armored Matoran around him, all sitting still, some quietly sliding a perfectly smooth lightcrystal between their hands, though this activity received negative glances from their neighbors. That’s it, Mita decided. I’m leaving. With that, he got to his feet, walking quietly to the gates of the village (though perhaps with just enough noise that those nearby him grabbed their hands to their ears). I’m going to go see someone who I can actually talk to, Mita thought. After all, what’s the point of intelligence if you can’t share it? And with that, he left the village, beginning the trek through the rocky mountains separating him from the rest of civilization.
CLANG. CLANG. CLANG. That was all Pakohe could hear while he was carving, and he liked it that way. He enjoyed the seclusion of the mountains, because it let him focus on one thing, and one thing only: his work. He was currently working on his newest masterpiece: a statue of –well, it didn’t have to be a specific thing in order to be good, did it? No, Pakohe thought. Everyone will appreciate it despite –no, because of its abstractness! He let the end of his large carving hammer fall into his hand. Well, they’d better, anyway. He went back to pounding the rock, shaping it into what he saw fit. In the past, he’d done some work carving lightcrystals, but, as may have been expected by some of the other Po-Matoran, Pakohe’s blows were too… vigorous for the delicate work of carving the jewels. Hmph. Like I need to be a prissy crystal-carver to make a living, he thought to himself, as he continued to pound on the pillar of rock in front of him. Back in the day, they valued me for my strength. Hiko, Ahi, and the others… I was useful then. He paused his in his work, looking up at the rock before him. But I’m still useful now, right? Sighing, he resumed his work. CLANG. CLANG. CLANG.
Kape was swinging through the rainforests on the way back to her house. That’s right, swinging. She hadn’t gotten out her old grappling hook in a long time, but recently, she’d felt inclined to take it out of its dusty box in the corner. I’ve gotten a little rusty, she thought as she fell out of a tree for the fourth time that day. Then again, it’s certainly been a while since the days when I used to use it. After another few swings, and a fifth drop to the ground, she stowed the tool on her back and walked the short distance back to her house, close the edges of the forest and the Ga-Wohe Lake; it didn’t take long before she was back at her door. After pulling aside the woven curtain of grasses and reeds, she stepped inside, looking around at the familiar site of her small hut. On the left was her hammock, with a lightcrystal hanging above it that served the purpose of lighting the whole hutch; on the right, attached to the reinforced southern wall, was a water tank, which was fed by a gutter which encircled the roof outside of the house: a simple, efficient design, in almost every way the same as the huts used by Matoran across the island. After stepping inside, she headed for the back of her small home, where there was a metal box that housed most of her possessions. Taking her grapple, she was about to place it back in the metal rectangle when something caught her eye: a Kanohi mask, half-buried at the bottom of the box. Oh my, she thought, turning her face away from the old mask. I wasn’t expecting to have to remember that when I got out this old thing. Looking at the grappling hook, she was about to look back into the box when there was a noise outside her door. Shutting the box quickly, and stowing the weapon on her back, she walked to the doorway, intent on identifying the noise, almost like metal on metal. Is that… fighting? Who could be fighting around here these days? She thought, as she pulled aside the curtain and gasped.
And there's Chapter 1, re-posted for your reading pleasure. I apologize for the single-spacing; I can't seem to get the new posting format to do double-spacing... Maybe I'll get it to work, and hopefully I'll get the next four chapters re-posted soon; if not, they're still on the old forums archive!
Thanks for reading! And don't forget to post a comment in the Review Topic!
EDIT: The paragraphs are separated now! However, the italics still aren't present... For some reason, they were formatted back into normal font, and I haven't gotten around to changing them back yet. Soon, though!
Edited by TuragaNuva, Oct 18 2011 - 10:54 AM.