There was an awkward pause.
"What? You have something against kolhii or something?" Nokama asked defensively.
"Well, no offense, Turaga," Kotu said, "but - seriously, your "Great Thoughts" are about...sports?"
Nokama sighed. "I know, I know. It seems kolhii is the only thing that can hold Onewa's attention for more than two minutes. And the rest of us didn't really have a problem with it, so...looks like you're stuck with a kolhii tournament."
Macku raised her hand. "Turaga?"
"No, you still can't go to Po-Koro," Nokama answered wearily. "And can't you find anything else to do than hang around Hewkii all the time?"
"Actually, my question had nothing to do with Po-Koro."
"Really?" Nokama said, surprised. "Huh. That's a first." Several other Ga-Matoran nodded in agreement. "In that case, what was your question?"
"Well, does Turaga Nuju actually like kolhii? It just seems a bit too frivolous for Ko-Koro. I mean, aren't they supposed to be the zen masters who just sit around spouting cryptic prophecies all day?"
Nokama nodded. "I understand your confusion. Oddly enough, they actually have a pretty good team. Turaga Nuju expressed himself as strongly in favor of the Tournament - I think..."
"What's wrong, Turaga?" asked Kotu helpfully.
"Nothing. It's just that I suddenly realized Nuju's translator is also an ardent kolhii player..."
"Speaking of teams," said Okoth, who was bored, and wanted the plot to speed up a little, "shouldn't you be telling us who's on ours?"
"Who is on first," said another Ga-Matoran helpfully. Everyone turned and stared at her. Embarrassed by her bad joke, she jumped into the ocean and swam away, all the way to Voya Nui.
"Anyway," Nokamacontinued, "Iwill now announce our players. As everyone expected, Macku will be our goalie, and as absolutely no one expected, Hahli will be our forward. Sorry, Kotu, but that's the way it goes."
The lily pad erupted into chaos. Several Ga-Matoran fainted. Most of the others began booing Hahli, who slunk away in shame. (She would have fled Mata Nui forever, but then she might be stuck with the Matoran who made "Who's on first" jokes.) Kotu was weeping hysterically on Macku's shoulder.
Macku had a dazed look on her face. "I'm...I'm playing kolhii? All over the island?" She paused. "I'LL GET TO PLAY WITH HEWKII! YAY! THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED!"
Nokama sighed. "Maybe I should have left her out instead," she muttered. "Then again, Kotu is slightly more mature that her, so she'll probably quit crying sooner. And at least it gets her out of the village..." The elder walked slowly off to her lily-pad.
Hahli followed her, hoping to avoid the mob of angry villagers. After all, the ordinary Matoran avoided listening to Turaga rambles as much as possible.
She entered the hut, which was bigger than anyone else's, and had a giant pink flower at the end. Village leaders can get that kind of perk.
"Hello Hahli," Nokama said.
Hahli figured she should probably keep the conversation going somehow. "Why did you choose me?" she asked. Now she came to think of it, that was a good question. It had seemed a little strange, at the time.
"I looked in the waters for answers," Nokama said, "and to my surprise the face in the waters was yours."
"Uh, riiight," Hahli said. 'Cause that totally makes sense. "So, how long have you been managing Ga-Koro by random images you happen to see?"
Nokama shrugged. "Well, it's always worked for Vakama...sort of. You should probably go train and stuff, right?"
Hahli turned to leave, not bothering to say goodbye. In her experience, people generally got the message anyway.
As she turned to leave, she notced a shiny gold key on the floor.
She picked it up. Whatever it unlocked, she was sure it wasn't worth bothering Nokama about. It looked interesting... She put it in her pouch, along with her hatchet, sickle, fifty-seven cowrie shells, and twenty-nine seeweed.
"Just a minute," Gali said, popping out of a pool in the floor.
"Uh, Toa Gali!" Hahli exclaimed. "I...uh...didn't just take anything from the floor! Not at all! And even if I had, it was just lying around loose, anyway, it's not like anyone wanted it...and anyway, I didn't!"
"That's good, I guess," Gali said, looking at her with a slightly puzzled expression. "But what I wanted to ask was, did I hear Nokama say something about faces in the waters?"
"Indeed," Nokama said solemnly. "Last night, I was meditating on the beach. I looked into the water and I saw a face. I knew that it was the face of the one destined to play in the kolhii matches, and-"
"Actually," Gali interrupted, "it was just me. I'd gone for a swim, and I happened to come up right there. You just got up and left before I surfaced."
"Oh," Nokama said. She pondered this new development. "Well, this is awkward..."
"How could you possibly have thought Toa Gali was me?" Hahli broke in. "This is absurd!"
"Um, you both have Haus..."
"She has a Hau Nuva! It looks completely different from mine!" Hahli exclaimed.
"Um...excuse me?" Gali interrupted. "They're Kaukaus. The Hau belongs to Tahu...you know, the big red guy?
"Aside from that, though," she added, "I agree with Hahli."
Nokama and Hahli were both too embarrassed to speak for a few moments. Nokama recovered first, as her error was slightly more excusable that Hahli's - after all, at least she hadn't forgotten the name of her own mask.
"Your eyes are both yellow, too," she offered.
"Every - single - Matoran - in Ga-Koro - has yellow eyes," she said slowly.
There was a silence. It was broken by Hahli.
"Well, that's just great," she said. "Our best kolhii player has been replaced by someone who doesn't even know the rules, because of some stupid vision that wasn't actually a vision. And now everyone hates me for replacing Kotu."
"Do not worry, Hahli," Nokama said wisely. "Destiny works in strange ways. It may be your destiny to lead your team to victory."
Hahli shrugged, but felt slightly encouraged.
Of course," Nokama added, "if you lose, Ga-Koro will probably lynch you."
"No pressure..." Hahli muttered sarcastically, leaving the hut.
Edited by Excelsior, Jul 23 2012 - 03:07 PM.