There was quick rythmic rap on the door. With a slight creak, the rusted metallic door slid open slightly and a pair of furtive eyes peered out from between the crack. With a whisper, the voice from inside asked,
"Which is the most gentle of Rahi?"
The Ko-Matoran on the other side of the door answered, "The Mana Ko!"
The door slid open just enough to allow the Matoran to step through the door and into the dimly lit Ta-Metru foundry. He stared back at the huddled crowd of Matoran who peered at him in gloom.
"Who are you? How did you know about this meeting?" A Ta-Matoran asked.
The stranger offered his hand. "Sorry, my name is Lumiukko. I was a friend of Agni... He told me about you before he was... taken away. I had planned to attend one of your meetings before, but I've had to wait for a good oppurtunity. It's risky to sneak around after curfew hours."
A look of sad recognition swept over the little group. Agni, a former member of the Ta-Koro guard, had been arrested and sentenced to death for conspiring to overthrow Turaga Ahkmou. The Ta-Matoran hesitated to take Lumiukko's hand. He looked puzzled. "You knew Agni? He never mentioned you to me."
Lumiukko paused, then shrugged, "Well, we didn't talk much really. I knew him from the labor force we were both assigned to, but we only really got to know each other shortly before his arrest. The day before he was taken away, we were both assigned to destroy an old mural dedicated to Mata-Nui, in Onu-Metru. He stopped working though, and when I asked him why, he asked me if I believed in the Great Spirit. I was surprised; you know how Ahkmou has forbidden any mention of the Great Spirit, and what kind of punishments he has promised for those who disobey! 'There is only the Great Makuta now, and no other...'"
"Yes, yes, I know." The Ta-Matoran nodded and beckoned for Lumiukko to continue.
"Well, I admitted I did believe; he then told me there were others who refused to bend the knee to the Makuta, and his false Turaga. He said we could help the Toa by working from the inside! We talked a bit more and at length he told me the meeting time and place of the Resistance. He had planned to escort me to this meeting, but the next day while we were working Turaga Ahkmou's agents came and arrested him. To the very end, he was fighting against the Makuta and Ahkmou- rallying the Matoran to rise up and fight back! His last words were, 'The Great Spirit will return! Unity! Duty! Destiny!'"
Lumiukko was silent for a few moments, then continued passionately,
"His bravery inspired me to take action too! I can't be content to sit in the shadows and do nothing anymore. I want to join the Resistance!"
The Ta-Matoran said nothing for a long moment. Finally he remarked, "It's a strange coincidence that the day after he confided in you, he was arrested... Isn't it?"
Lumiukko appeared flustered for a moment, "Wh-what are you suggesting? I don't know how they found out about him. Maybe one of those mind-reading Rahkshi read his mind! They can do that you know!"
"Yes," said the Ta-Matoran thoughtfully. "That's true... Some of them can even change form- appear as a Matoran, for example."
There was a tense silence among the Matoran, and Lumiukko seemed at a loss of words. "I- I just want to join the Resistance!"
Another voice interrupted him, "Keahi, he is a friend of Agni! Agni did not give his trust so easily to just anyone.If Agni trusted him, then I do too!"
The new speaker, a Ga-Matoran, shook Lumiukko's hand warmly.
"Any friend of Agni is a friend of mine! My name is Teka. I was a wealthy trader back on Mata-Nui. Now I am one of the cleaning crew for Ahkmou's Ga-Metru residence. Such is life under the new management," She sighed. Then she smiled. "Welcome to the rebellion!"
Lumiukko smiled thinly and returned the hand-shake. Teka laughed, "Your hands are so sweaty, I would think you were a Ga-Matoran! Ha ha! Don't be so nervous, you're safe now- with friends!" She inclined her head towards Keahi. "Don't mind him... For a Ta-Matoran, he can be pretty cold sometimes."
Lumiukko averted his eyes, and chuckled awkwardly. "Ah... It's okay... He's right, you know. These days, you never know who you can trust..."
Teka patted him on the back cheerfully and proceeded to introduce Lumiukko to the rest of the group. Matoran from every Metru were there, all united in a common cause. The colorful assembly went over and began to introduce themselves to him, but Keahi said nothing, studying Lumiukko silently. After the introductions, Lumiukko cleared his throat and asked,
"So... do you all have any upcoming plans? What's our strategy? How do we plan to defeat the Makuta?"
Teka began to speak but Keahi interrupted her. He addressed the assembly. "I don't think this is a safe place to talk. The meeting is over. I propose we regroup next week. We'll get in touch with all of you and let you know the time and place."
Teka looked at Keahi quizzically. "What's wrong Keahi?"
Keahi said nothing as he walked to the door. Teka ran over to him and they had a brief whispered discussion. Teka glanced at Lumiukko. Eventually they stepped apart and wordlessly Keahi tapped the control panel for the door.
"All of you will need to leave in intervals of about ten minutes. We don't want to get caught all going out at once."
The door slid open. The Rahkshi stared down at him. Before he could react, the Rahkshi dealt him a brutal blow with its staff that sent his Kanohi flying off his face. Keahi quickly crumpled to the floor in the midst of terrified shouts from the rest of the Matoran. In the ensuing chaos, one Matoran armed with a Kanoka launcher crept up behind the Rahkshi to get a good shot. He armed it with a disk and aimed it at the Rahkshi- too late! The Rahkshi used his power of magnetism to fling the launcher out of the Matoran's hands. The Rakshi then magnetized the Matoran, and the Matoran made a short, quick trip through the air into some large metal machinery lying nearby.
"Lumiukko has betrayed us!" shouted someone.
Lumiukko, in question, slowly crawled out from behind a support beam and towards the Kanoka launcher as the Rahkshi ripped into the other Matoran trying to get away. "Almost... there..." He whispered. Finally, he reached out and grabbed the Kanoka launcher. He quickly ran back behind the support beam and caught his breath. Suddenly Teka appeared alongside him.
"Death to traitors!" She hissed.
Before he could object, she began to wrest the Kanoka launcher out of his hands; she was surprisingly strong! The struggle was brief as Teka forced him to turn the Kanoka launcher around and aim it into his own face.
Lumiukko's voice was shrill with panic as he tried to reason with her. "No, wait-wait!! Listen, I didn't bring- I'm not a--!"
She snarled and pulled the trigger.
In a moment, Lumiukko was gone, teleported miles away, safe... for the time being. Teka's face fell as she realized what she had done- it had been a Teleportation disk; Lumiukko would live to fight another day.
She quickly turned to face the Rahkshi of Magnetism. A few of the Matoran had escaped, but the less fortunate ones had been magnetized and had become one big tangled ball, unable to pull apart from each other. Kanohi masks lay strewn around the foundry floor. A voice from the pile of Matoran bodies groaned, "Teka... Run!!" The Rahkshi hissed as Teka glared at it. Teka threw down the Kanoka launcher in rage.
"Some of them escaped!" the shape-shifting Rahkshi rasped. "Makuta will not be pleased."
Edited by bluefish, Jun 27 2014 - 10:59 PM.