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Mata Nui, once a prosperous world of his own, was now reduced to nothing more than an empty shell sprawled out on a dry, barren landscape. The eyes that used to shine green have long ago been burrowed out, leaving his empty sockets staring off into the horizon. The very foundation that held his body together for so many decades was now rusting and withering away. Relics of a lost civilization littered the corpse, and the smell of death lingered in every corner of the once-Great Spirit. Smoke still billowed from the large cavity in his chest ripped open by an apocalyptic disaster. The sole survivor, a Turaga, pushed aside burning rubble to see what he has done to his own world, before collapsing to the ground as his heartstone faded to black. Chapter 1 “Warning. Meltdown in Reactor Core #12 on level six. Evacuate to the Onu-Metru Archives immediately,” the old speakers shouted in the cold, narrow hallways of the Metru Nui Power Plant. Rusting pipes slowly hissed at the hordes of passing Nu-Matoran, Matoran of Radiation. Red lights pulsed and sirens echoed through the maze of underground tunnels. Even though everyone’s life was at stake, no one panicked. Almost every Matoran in the Plant had gone through this before, and for some, this had become routine. Ralis swiped his ID card as he clicked on his respirator. Two large, heavy doors slid open, and Ralis felt a large wave of radiation hit him like a warm gust of wind. As he walked in, he saw other Meltdown Managers, or the MM’s, run to and from Core #12 like a swarm of angry Nui-Rama, struggling to get it stable. It was hard to hear anything over the loud hissing of steam, melting metal, and the shouts of Nu-Matoran ordering one another around in the large cave. Ralis immediately went to work with several other Matoran attempting to remove the radioactive protodermis isotope powering the Core. Radioactive protodermis was unlike any other form of protodermis. Instead of being silver and smooth, Pr-135 was sluggish, green, and very corrosive. One drop of it could easily burn through most armor. Pour. Cap. Move. Pour. Cap. Move. Ralis repeated these steps with perfect precision. If he made one little mistake, and even a drop of Pr-135 got out, it would burn through the floor as if it were butter, and might even strike another Matoran. Although it had happened in the past, Ralis didn’t let a single drop get out of line, until the pipe began to overheat. Ralis watched as the pipe he had been using began to warp, and glow a dull red. After warning the people below him, he left his station behind and rushed to get a bucket of water. Once he got back, he noticed that the Pr-135 had already melted through the pipe and burnt a small hole in the thin, metal floor. Ralis slowly doused the pipe in water, being careful not to use too much water at once. If he had drenched the pipe in all the water in the bucket at once, the pipe would have become extremely brittle, and might have broken off. Emptying the last of his water on the burning pipe, he tried filling another barrel. Ralis quickly retracted his hand in pain as he touched the still burning hot handle. He had once been given gloves, but they had been rendered useless long ago. Determined to do his job, he took out a pair of pliers strapped to his waist and locked it around the handle. Pulling on the pliers, he opened the pipe and got back into his routine. The only Turaga of Radiation still alive held up his hands in the Core’s direction, doing his best to keep the radiation to a minimum. All the other MM’s were busy fitting the entire Core into a thick, protosteel shell, and filling it up with water. Metal screeched and water boiled as the cool water touched the searing hot Core. Ralis wiped the steam out of his eyes as he capped the last barrel of Pr-135, and the Core went inactive. The Core had been unstable for too long, and was deemed too radioactive to reuse. Large tracks and pulley systems slowly moved the massive core from its usual place over to “the chasm”. The chasm was a large, seemingly bottomless pit into which all radioactive waste was disposed, very close to the core reactors. Many Matoran watched as the large, heavy ball of metal was dropped into the darkness of the abyss, never hearing it strike the bottom. No one had ever been to the bottom of the chasm, but everyone agreed that it would be the worst place to be in Metru Nui. Nu-Matoran had been disposing toxic materials into the chasm for thousands of years, with no sign of stopping. Stories told of large, mutated Rahi waiting to feast on any “careless” Nu-Matoran who wander too far down. Ralis and his team pushed carts of barrels over to the chasm and poured out the radioactive sludge, finishing the clean-up job. The MM’s dispersed as the usual workers flooded back into their living quarters. The halls were once again filled with the black and yellow armor of Nu-Matoran. Many of the workers grumbled to themselves, since the Onu-Matoran they had met outside ridiculed them for “being lazy” and not going back into the Plant. Anytime a Nu-Matoran found himself in the Archives, he was sure to be mocked at by a passing Archivist for doing such filthy and demeaning labor. For this, Ralis was grateful he never had to leave the plant during emergencies. Ralis clicked off his respirator as he went back to his living quarters, eager to go back to the dream which Core #12 had interrupted. He dreamt of what it would be like if he was an outsider. Review Topic