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fishers64

Bionicle Mafia: Imprecision

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The morning began with a crash. It was the sound of books falling over, off my bookshelf, and onto the floor. 
 
I looked up to see two glowing eyes, the irascent blue of a fellow Matoran. Seconds passed, as we breathed together, the tension binding us gently like a cord. I could feel his fear, as acutely as if I were a Psionics Toa. 
 
Then it all faded away. The sun rose, and I am a Ko-Matoran. He is, too, although like me I'm not sure if he wants to be. And my books were all in their place. Not one of them was missing or out of place. Almost as if it didn't happen, as if I were only dreaming. 
 
I wish I was, but deep down I know I wasn't. 
 
* * *
 
[CONTROL TO AGENT 64: We have a new assignment for you.]
 
I look at the picture. I know his face. The purple mask, the lime colored face, the expression clearly twisted into a snarl. I know that face. I once saw it gloat in smug satisfaction. Over my friend's dead body. Not something you forget, although I never forget much anyway. 
 
There's other details. With Control there are always details. Yes, this guy is a thief and smuggler and has some valuable item that could unbalance the forces of power and cause mortal havoc. It always lines up, makes sense, and throws logic into the whole thing so I feel better about the whole business of killing things. Yes, I read the details. I always do. But this time, the details seem to matter less than a white Matoran's face. Purple mask, white mask. Lime eyes, blue eyes. It's amazing how death can link something in your mind, sear it all with an air of finality so you don't forget it. Not that I forget much, anyway, so it doesn't matter. 
 
Sometimes you already know the details. 
 
I turn and stomp down to Weapons. Standard drill - sniper rifle, knife. I take a couple knives this time. It gets to become routine after a while. You don't think about it.
 
It wasn't always the same routine, though. 
 
* * *
 
The first time I met him was at the docks. He was merely a shadow - he wore a dark cloak and stood at the end of the pier, just watching the waves lap against the Ko-Metru coast. He didn't say anything, and I didn't bother him. I didn't own the pier, really, and if he wanted to stand there, he wasn't really affecting much. 
 
I continued with my business of casting line and reeling it in. A few times he faced me, and I saw a mutilated gray Hau, looking intimidating and regal and yet somehow content, pleased. I caught a glimpse of light blue armor like I wore, marking him as a Matoran of Ice. Even stranger, it looked like he was trying to say something, but what he had in mind didn't seem to come quite right. Then he would turn back to the ocean, it seemed, to think about it some more. 
 
On the third day of this, I wondered enough about him to consider speaking to him a little, but he was strangely absent that day. I wondered if I had failed some sort of test, but I was pretty sure that the "Talking on Ko-Metru Piers" test was too absurd for even the most obscure of Ga-Metru schools. 
 
On the fourth day, I chided myself for being so curious. He was just enjoying the pier and the beach, and he probably was trying to tell me the way that I was disturbing his meditations with my smelly, deadly work. "Hello, good fellow Matoran." I said cheerily once, dragging the hook out of a rather vicious biting catch. "Mind telling me what brings you to this place?"
 
He didn't even look at me. 
 
* * *
 
These days, I don't mind it so much. I mean, walking down this rather deserted street, nobody really cares to look at the midnight blue cloak I happen to wear. It's somewhat impractical for a trained assassin, but there's a reason I wear it. Actually two. 
 
I walk into an orange and red Matoran's bar. A bunch of clinking glasses greet me, but I only have eyes for the person behind the counter. "Have you seen a purple Matoran with green eyes around here recently?" I ask. 
 
His eyes say yes. He pauses. "No" he says. Another Matoran, blue and green, flinches. I sit down, and look into the Bo-Matoran's eyes for a second. "He was a friend" I say, my voice dipping low and sympathetic. He looks at me, terrified. "Not him" he says, "I was never a friend to any purple Matoran." I shake my head. "That's not what I meant." I say. He nods, and in a second we come to an understanding. 
 
I'm a bounty hunter. My job is to kill people. To destroy something, first you must understand. 
 
* * *
 
Destroying a career is easy. You grow tired of something, you march into your head master's office and you quit. Your eyes silent, your voice dead. 
 
Destroying a fish is easy. You bait it, it bites, you reel it in, it dies. 
 
Destroying a person is easy. You just have to know the details. 
 
* * *
 
The two of us stand next to his memorial stone. From the details on it, he was a Po-Matoran, but I can tell that doesn't matter to the gardener standing next to me. 
 
"How long ago?" I ask. 
 
"Two days" he says. 
 
I shake my head. No good. "Any idea where the other guy went?" I say. 
 
"I saw him get on a chute to Le-Metru." the Bo-Matoran says. "I followed him that far, but I figured killing him wouldn't bring him back."
 
I nod. And then I turn around and leave. 
 
Le-Metru.
 
No, I didn't take a chute. Teleportation is cleaner. I learned that quickly enough. 
 
I do ask the chute station attendant if he saw a purple masked Matoran. He says yes, he did. I walk. 
 
[AGENT 64 TO CONTROL]: 
 
I type out what I learned. But I don't tell them everything. They don't need to know. 
 
I walk up and down the streets. Le-Matoran pass me in various states of calm and hurry, but I see none of them, my feet guiding me by instinct. 
 
Then I see the body hanging off the window, off in a deserted alley. Purple and lime. I approach the scene nervously, looking around for traps. I hear yells, the signs of a struggle. I look at the body. It's purple and lime paint on metal and cloth, sewn together. Fake.
 
I pull out my sniper rifle, looking up, around, and below. I hear the struggle sounds begin to lessen, and I walk into the building. 
 
Weak light wafts in from the window, playing across a pair of lime green eyes on a purple face. 
 
I sense another pair of eyes in the room. Red eyes. The being that walks toward me looks like he's been assembled from a junkyard. He purrs in a low voice. "Kill him, bounty hunter, you know you want to."
 
* * *
 
Weeks and months of cold and frigid silence passed on the pier. Sometimes he would look at me, sometimes I would look at him. 
 
Then one day the mystery became too great. Employing the best forms of stealth I could muster, I followed him back to his hut. Not to my surprise, it was near the Towers of Thought in the central district. Terrified that I had been spotted, I nervously made my way home, sprinting the last bit to ease my rattling nerves. My run disturbed a flock of ice bats and I shuddered, wondering if the bats would deliver news of my evil back to their master in the center of the Metru. 
 
Nearly a week passed in my fear. Finally I was able to summon the pretense of going to the fish market, and nervously make it back into the center of town. I reached the hut. It was unlocked. He knew. I tensed, as if electrified. I stretched to ease my muscles and walked inside, half expecting to see someone there. But there was no one. 
 
I looked to see a bed, desk, and chair, modest and well appointed, in impeccable order. I opened the desk to see tablets, one after the other, scribbled on both sides. On the top I saw a name: "Ehrye". Then followed a description. I turned over another: "Nuju". 
 
These are all about people. He's making observations of people?
 
My curiosity became too much now. I pulled open every drawer and stacked all of the tablets on the top. I managed to contain my excitement enough to maintain the order - I didn't want it to look rummaged through. I flipped through them all until I found the one marked "fishers". Frantic, I copied the tablet using one of my own, careful to preserve everything. Then I put the tablets away exactly how I found them, and shoved the copy in my bag. I made sure I left no trace of my visit, then nervously shut the door behind me. 
 
I thought I saw a set of blue eyes around the corner, so I broke out into a full out run. I didn't stop until I had got back to my own hut, slammed the door and locked it tight. 
 
* * *
 
Without a single second's hesitation, I fired straight into the purple matoran's mask. He crumpled into the ground, dead. 
 
The Fe-Matoran's face looked pleased, as if I was responding to his persuasion. I shake my head. He is such a fool. I fire my weapon at him, but I never see it hit. 
 
[AGENT 64 to CONTROL]: TARGET ELIMINATED. AN UNINDENTIFIED FE-MATORAN CAPTURED TARGET. LOOKED LIKE HE WAS THROWN TOGETHER FROM SPARE PARTS.
 
[CONTROL TO AGENT 64]: THAT WOULD BE THE FE-MATORAN XAERAZ. HE IS NOT A THREAT TO OUR INTERESTS. RETURN AND REPORT.
 
* * *
 
That night, I saw his eyes. That's how I knew. 
 
That morning, I read the copy of the tablet. And that's how I understood. 
 
I walked out to the pier. But this time I didn't cast my line off of it. Instead, I got out a smaller watercraft that I used to fish deeper waters. I saw the being walk over to me and my boat. I gestured for him to get on, and he did, and I rowed us out to the Silver Sea. 
 
That day, I told him what I thought of the tablet. What I thought of what it said. I asked him some questions, but he didn't answer. I knew by now that he couldn't. But I saw that he did want to answer. That's what made the difference.
 
I finished the day's bloody work - at least, my bloody work. The Silver Sea was kind to this fisherwoman that day. I pulled into the docks, and I saw a Matoran with purple mask and green eyes. 
 
And a sniper rifle. 
 
I heard the crack, and assumed the bolt was for me - but it wasn't. My friend's chest bloomed with blood, a weak smile on his face. Another shot. And another one. There was nothing I could do but watch the red on white, mixing with water on the bottom. The light blue eyes faded as my vision flashed between the two beings. Lime eyes. Blue eyes. Lime eyes. Blue eyes. 
 
Then somehow I found my muscles again, as the killer leaned over the pier to throw the rifle into the sea. I caught it. Seconds passed, and then I fired after him. But I was too late. He was gone. 
 
And that's how I left my job by the sea. 
 
* * *
 
Looking over the distant water, I stood in my friend's usual place over the crashing waves. It will be dark soon and I'll have to go back to Control and sleep, until my next task comes by. I barely remember the rest of it - the haze of anger, the running, the sickening inquiry after a purple Matoran. Eventually I ended up doing jobs for money until Control picked me up. Not that it was really that much of a change - killing Matoran instead of fish. I suppose you can get used to anything after a while. 
 
Still, getting revenge is what brought me back here. I wouldn't call it as much celebration as a reflection, but it pays to have those sometimes. Otherwise, you might go insane, or forget that there’s something more to you than what the Great Beings programmed in. 
 
I sense breath and heat behind me. I turn, rifle at the ready, only to see a mutilated Hau and shockingly luminescent blue eyes. I scream - the gun clatters to the pier.
 
"I'm sorry," he says. It's a beautiful voice, male Ko-Matoran, but somehow managing not a single grating edge. 
 
"I was wondering when you'd come back."
 
"So now you can talk," I say. 
 
"That's about right," he says. "What happened to you?" 
 
"I might ask the same about the fool who's standing in front of me." I say. He lets me reach down and pick up my gun. I put it away. 
 
"Someone tried to kill me. I died." he says, grinning. "But I can never truly die. You know that."
 
I smile. "Sure thing. I'm not just hallucinating this."
 
"I've always been dead, fishers."
 
I breathe in, slowly. "I'm not a fisherwoman anymore." I try not to scream. I grit my teeth. The purple Matoran killed this being, so he knew that he existed. And the Fa-Matoran and Control knew the purple Matoran. I'm not dreaming. I'm not hallucinating. At least, not then. I'm not so sure about now. 
 
"Don't you remember what the tablet said?"
 
"Yes!" I snap. "But I'm not that person anymore. That was your dream for who I could be. That's not what I am. I kill things, murder things. You just don't understand!" I storm off the pier, the gusts of wind signaling approaching rain storms. 
 
"fishers," the old Ko-Matoran says. "Your name is fishers."   
 
THE END (SO FAR)
Edited by fishers64
  • Upvote 6

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This story is cool. Really really cool. There's a lot I like about it, like the back-and-forth between past and present. Also, the voice of your character.

While it frustrates me as a reader that you did not include what the tablet said, I am aware of why you did it.

It gives me hope that the line at the end has an added 'so far', as I'd love to read more about this. :D

Edited by Fairy Paladin
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Thank you for the fine compliments, and I'm sorry for the slow response. :)

 

I wanted to leave some of this up to the readers' (and Voltex's) interpretation. :P This story focuses a bit on depth of emotion and themes, and I didn't want to ruin that with too many facts and figures. (Depends on what you view the old Ko-Matoran to be, really - what he might say about a fisherwoman.)

 

I'll see what happens after Extermination. I don't see myself being commissioned to write another one of these, but I'm not one for ruling it out. 

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