Tarau sat cross-legged, gazing into the distance where the pale blue ghosts of mountains stood, his telescopic eye humming gently.
"Po-rah!" Without so much as a flinch, he hissed his companion's name.
"Po-rah, wake up you useless hunk of waste, I've spotted one."
Po-rah rolled onto his side. "It's probably the heats, there's no rahi left here, good nights."
Tarau kicked some sand at the other matoran, causing him to groan. "Hey, who's the one with perfect vision? I saw one, and it's morning in any case, so wake up and help me catch it!"
"Ok Ok Ok" said Po-rah, "I don't see how I can helps anyway, we've only one bow and you're the best shots."
"You could stay here" replied Tarau, "-but if you do then you're getting the neck meat and not a scrap more."
Po-rah frowned and hastily got to his feet, stretching his arms and groaning some more. He begrudgingly scooped up the canopy and folded it into a neat square before packaging it into a rucksack. Tarau snatched a simple black bow which was propped loosely against the stone and then stood upright, still carefully examining the horizon-line. Po-rah appeared behind him and squinted in the same direction.
"I sees nothing..."
"For once do what's good for you and trust me" replied Tarau, "I could easily leave you behind, you know, it would be a great deal of nuisance off my back too."
Po-rah darted back a few paces. "No, don't leave me, I trust you! If you saws one you saws one, don't mind me, I'll just eat the neck meats and nothing more!" His eyes darted from side to side as he thought. "I'll helps you catch it too, I'll scares it and then you can kills it with your arrow!" He jumped up and down on the spot. "I can helps you eat the legs too, if you get all full up."
Tarau smiled. "You can eat all the leg you want if we catch it, but we should hurry up before the sun's too high, you run ahead over that direction-" Tarau pointed to a sparse collection of bent trees just left from the rahi, "-so that you can scare the rahi once it heads for some leaves, then I'll shoot it"
Po-rah nodded furiously and hoisted the rucksack further up his back, then hurried off into the distance. Limp clouds of dust blew away from his feet as he ran. Tarau jumped down into the gritty riverbed at his side. He stayed at the borders of the trench, shaded by the overhanging roots, before jogging after Po-rah.
Tarau had skilled feet, yet it was a great deal of time before he reached his destination. The sun had risen more than he had anticipated and the shadows he'd relied upon to keep him cool had withered to thin slithers. With some difficulty Tarau hauled himself from the river and paused, scanning his surroundings with his telescopic eye. There were no rahi, just swathes of empty grasslands and the small gathering of trees where he'd sent Po-rah. "That's where dinner's gone" thought Tarau, "I'd do the same in this kind of heat, were I as simple-minded as a rahi beast". He grinned and wiped his dry mouth on the back of his arm. Crouching low on the ground with arms outspread, Tarau shuffled towards the trees. When he could he walked into the direction of the standing stones that littered the grasslands, keeping his reflective metal body out of sight.
Tarau stumbled and halted as he approached the first shrubs and bushes. Somehow the trees looked denser close up, they formed an impervious wall that oddly contrasted the bleak deserts that Tarau was leaving behind him. He was almost daunted by them, their broad branches blotting out the sky and leaving him blind whilst his eyes adjusted themselves to the new alien conditions. "There must be an oasis ..." thought Tarau, "That'll keep Po-rah babbling for a week and a day". He blundered through the undergrowth, batting the rubbery fronds of lush green plants out of his path as he did so. Despite the shade Tarau had grown even hotter than before and beads of dewy condensation soon speckled his body. "Po-rah, I'm ready, aren't you hungry?" Tarau shouted into the humid air. He panicked, there was no reply, looking about him he suddenly realised his telescopic eye was redundant in the trees. "I'm not saying I'm sorry about earlier, you're just going to have to come out now or I'll leave you here forever!" The words fell flat, suffocated by the forest.
"I'm over here, matoran". Po-rah's voice picked Tarau up and he spun to face its direction.
"THERE you are, what have I told you about your little games? Po-rah, are you listening?"
The figure of Po-rah rose from the ground a few dozen paces from Tarau. Tarau run to greet him angrily. "Taking a nap? You've had more than enough of that today, I have to do all the work around here don't I?"
Po-rah stood limply, his shoulders hung forwards and his arms dangled before him. At his feet a young rahi lay curled up, its eyes were red-veined and dull.
"You caught one all by yourself? How on Spherus Magna did you manage that?", Tarau spoke with genuine surprise, putting his bow away behind his back. "I suppose all that training I gave you wasn't completely wasted afterall".
"What did you call me?" Po-rah gathered his shoulders together and stretched his arms one by one, examining his hands carefully as he did so.
"Why Po-rah, I called you a lazy excuse for a hunter who sleeps on the job but I take it back now-"
"Po-rah.." Po-rah tested the name cautiously.
"Hang on one moment" Tarau frowned and shook his head. "You didn't bang your head up did you? Some fearsome fight with that rahi you must've had." Tarau stepped over the body of the rahi and towards Po-rah. "There's an oasis here somewhere, you'll need some water to clear your head out."
Po-rah stood firm and held his palm out to block Tarau. Tarau walked straight into it and double-backed in confusion.
"I'm fine, really, you truly have no idea how long I've waited for a body that can talk. This land isn't as prosperous as what I'm used to.... 'Po-rah'... I don't like that name, I'll call myself Teridax."
Tarau pinched his eyes. Teridax... "I don't agree, Po-rah suits you fine, come on lets go."
"I don't think you appreciate what's happening here." Replied Po-rah, a deeper note creeping into his voice. "Po-rah is having a rest, your lord Teridax is in control for the time being." He smiled as he kicked around the ground with his feet, swinging them by the knee as if to free them up after days of slumber.
Tarau thought carefully... 'lord' Teridax, there was no dispelling the feeling that the name held importance... if only he could place it. He had to admit Po-rah could never be cunning enough to play a game this mentally engaging - this was real. Then the alarm set in. Po-rah was having a rest? "Fiend! You can't just take a body of your choosing, I don't care how long you've been waiting, Po-rah is my friend!" Tarau flared up in an impulsive frenzy of rage.
"What kind of friend would threaten to leave forever"
"What?" Tarau said.
"Your friend is in no danger, matoran, he is quite safe within this body and I assure you he is perfectly compliant with my presence. Just help me to the city and I will gladly leave your friend and inhabit my rightful body." Po-rah's words were like honey, sweet and unassuming.
"How can I be sure?" Tarau pushed the question weakly, already deciding that he trusted this new stranger.
"Not to put your friend down, but his body is not suitable for a lord of status like mine, and I'd dearly prefer not to keep a body that did not belong to me any longer than I deemed fair."
Tarau nodded in time to the sugary words. "I suppose I have no reason to mistrust you, I'm sorry, I've never met a real lord before. I don't really know how I should act."
"You're doing great, just great, now lets see about getting to the city - we can talk on the way, no time to squander by standing still". Po-rah strolled alongside Tarau and patted him on the back.
"Yes, of course, It's just this way. Long walk." Tarau led Po-rah from the site. As they parted, the body of the young rahi flinched and squirmed. It gasped slow, shallow breaths, its eyes fixating on the shrinking silhouettes of the matoran.
As the sun ebbed overhead the shadows waxed and drooped low. The body of the rahi fell into darkness.
Edited by PooZy, Mar 21 2012 - 09:00 AM.