Many have fallen through cowardice, others through pride. But still more have fallen through curiosity. Perhaps the most, however, are the ones who fall through all three.
In the dark of night, the capitol of Dinaru shone like a star; its white stone seeming to be glowing, as it indeed was. Even at this time of night, it was not deserted, with some people still working behind the now locked gates of the building. In a relatively small building adjoining it, the leader of the republic sat, deep in thought.
Makuta Aola was not what one usually thought of when the word ‘makuta’ came to mind. He stood no taller than a toa, his armor black accented with deep blue. His eyes shone sadly from behind a black Arthron with the classic marbling of that mask in the same deep blue. His only weapon, a long ornate staff, rested against a wall.
The paper in the makuta’s hand was not read, nor had it been. It was the first thing Aola had picked up, if only to try to get his mind off the burning thought that seemed to intrude into his mind.
I am a Makuta, not a matoran. I will not allow myself to be read, ye fool. Show yourself plainly if you wish to speak, He spoke; in mind, not in voice.
“Very well,” came the quiet reply from behind the Makuta, in front of the door. Aola did not bother to turn his head, or even activate his mask. Instead he placidly looked to the wall in front of him, blank though it was.
“You wish to speak with me?” Aola asked calmly: in his own home, and in the dead of night, he still showed no alarm.
“Yes. I did,” his visitor replied. Aola now did turn, his eyes showing trace signs of amusement at the robed figure that stood in front of the still-locked door.
“Robed and mind-shielded. You take a great effort to remain unknown, I see,” he observed, toying with the paper which still remained in his hand.
“I do,” was the only reply.
“Very well, then. You’re not the first night visitor I’ve had, but you may be the first to leave alive. Speak your piece and be gone.”
“Speak and be gone?” the visitor questioned, stepping forwards uninvited to take a seat on a chair. “You act as if I am an assassin or a servant. But so it shall be! Your statement conforms perfectly with my intent, in your luck.”
“Then speak,” Aola said flatly, and his eyes portrayed a slight frown.
“You are aware of Destiny, Aola. I know you are; as a Makuta, it is not possible for you to know otherwise. But, are you aware of Mata Nui’s intentions in it?”
There was a pause as the eyes of the two beings met.
“In two hundred years of rule, such a trite thing has never occupied my mind. Nonetheless, the answer is… Yes.” In the last phrase, Aola’s voice seemed to become sullen, and his eyes certainly had changed from slightly annoyed to grim irritation.
“Then you have… Brought great clarity to me. Much more than any of my probing could have.” The visitor rose to his feet. “I thank you,” he said as he turned towards the door. In an instant, his feet froze where he stood, and as he looked back, he came face to face with Aola, now teleported next to him, his magnetic abilities keeping the mysterious visitor from moving.
“You may not leave,” the Makuta said coolly. “I am not done with you.” In response, the visitor motionlessly fixed his eyes, unhidden by the cowl of his robe, on the Makuta.
“Unhand me,” he said emotionlessly, and to emphasize this, the hold Aola had over him was thrown off like a man might shrug another’s of he leg.
“You command matter through magnetic forces, I command it through its substance,” he said, as if by way of explaining. “Cease your attempts, Makuta, lest I slow my patience.”
An onlooker would have expected Aola to disobey, or to attack, but instead the Makuta stepped back, almost resignedly.
“Your telekinesis is exceptional. Who are you?” he asked, not giving entirely up.
“Who I am is not your concern,” came the toneless response. “What concerns you is what I am: the voice of Mata Nui. You would do well, Makuta, to listen to that voice.”
With that last statement, the room once again was empty except for Aola. The Makuta stood for some time, eyes fixated on the same place, his frown evidencing his depth of thought.
For a second the silence was broken by the sound of paper being crushed. Then the Makuta turned away, the report he had been reading falling to the ground in a ball, until stopping almost where the visitor had been. Silence once again set in on the room, but to Aola, it had a ring of eerie unrest.
The second of my teaser short stories for my upcoming Nanowrimo epic, And to the Republic. Thought I'd set a bit of the theme, give some spoilers away... Besides, this was originally going to be the prologue to the epic, before i decided to write it for Nanowrimo.