Chapter 1: A Turaga’s Council
Tahve stood tall as the doors to the Turaga’s chamber opened. He was Turaga Nolox’s personal guard for the evening, and he stood rigidly to show the reputation of the Guard. It was a great honor for a Matoran to guard the halls of the Turaga in the city of Keli-Nui, and Tahve had been stationed there quite often. He was proud of his job, and did his duty with pride.
However, his position was mostly ceremonial. The Turaga’s chamber was located in the Capital Building, the largest structure in all of Keli-Nui. It was located on the southern end of the city, on the foothills of the mountain that rose above the city. The Capital Building, in addition to having a constant patrol of Guards along its walls, was also home to the city’s Toa Team. There was not a better protected building in all of Keli-Nui.
The leader of that Toa Team was entering the chamber at that point. Rhagre, Toa of Iron, was the self proclaimed leader of the Toa of Keli-Nui, but he looked up to Turaga Nolox and listened to his authority. When Nolox had tough tasks that were too much for the Matoran, he recruited Rhagre, and the Toa followed his orders without question.
Now Rhagre entered the Turaga’s quarters, flanked by two other Matoran Guards. Noxol rose from his desk, and greeted the Toa. “Rhagre, you have returned!”
“Yes, I have, Turaga,” Rhagre said, bowing respectfully. “And I must make a complaint. My statue outside has yet to be polished this week. Already dust has settled upon it!”
“My apologies, Toa Rhagre,” Turaga Nolox said, taking his seat again. “One of the guardsmen shall see to it this instant.” He waved his hand to the Matoran behind Rhagre. One of the Guards rolled his eyes behind Rhagre’s back, but Nolox responded with an understanding smile. Reluctantly, they left the room.
Tahve suppressed a giggle. Rhagre was a skilled Toa, but he had a huge ego. He enjoyed nothing more than to brag about his grand adventures and be admired by the city’s Matoran. What made Rhagre unique was that he actually accomplished all that he bragged of; Tahve had been on a mission with him once and had seen his resourcefulness. But his attitude was sometimes difficult to deal with.
“I do hope you have come to see me on business, and not to simply criticize our cleanliness,” Nolox continued. “The Guard is very thorough, but the Capital Building is very large, and your statue is also very tall.”
“They are forgiven,” Rhagre said. “Besides, they are not the only ones who haven’t made progress; I have heard little of Kavihkli in the city, and seen nothing of him. There are rumors of him, but no specific sightings. If he is in Keli-Nui, he’s doing a good job at hiding.”
Tahve cringed at the name. Kavihkli was a Dark Hunter who had been causing trouble in nearby regions recently. Dark Hunters were bad enough, but Kavihkli was even worst; the Shadowed One, the leader of the Dark Hunters, had sent out news that Kavihkli was now a rogue. When the Shadowed One sent out a warning about his own henchmen, then things were really bad.
“Matoran have been warned about his possible presence, and precautions are being taken,” Rhagre continued. “But so far, there is no progress in locating him and capturing him.”
“I understand, Rhagre,” Nolox said. “I do hope that you continue to put your efforts into searching for him. We cannot let such a dangerous being have free reign in our city.”
Rhagre nodded, and turned to exit the room. However, the doors opened again, and another Toa entered. Rhagre smiled. “Well, hello, Ihrov.”
“Good to see you, Rhagre,” Ihrov said with a tight voice. Ihrov did not think highly of his Toa leader, but often forced himself to show him respect. Next, he turned to the Turaga. “Nolox, I have bad news for you.”
Tahve looked up at the green Toa of Chemistry. Ihrov had been on a mission of great importance for a number of days with his partner; if he was reporting bad news, then something must have gone wrong.
“We received information on the Gang Matoran headquarters,” Ihrov started. “It was located in an old factory on the northern edge of the city. We surrounded it and stormed it successfully, but it was empty. It appears that the Gang Matoran had left hours earlier. It’s as if they knew we were coming. We were able to confiscate some items, but nothing of great value. And we were unable to make any arrests.”
“Where are the confiscated items?” Turaga Nolox asked.
“Pyrah is bringing them in,” Ihrov said. Pyrah was a Toa of Plasma and Ihrov’s partner, who was very energetic but hardly ever spoke a word. At that moment, the red Toa entered the Turaga’s Chamber, and set down a box on the Turaga’s desk. “Many of these things seemed to be trivial items, forgotten in a hasty escape. But we weren’t able to find any weaponry.”
Tahve signed. A criminal group of Gang Matoran had formed in the last few months, and had challenged the Toa and Turaga’s rule in Keli-Nui. Ordinarily, the Toa and Matoran guards would’ve been able to subdue the criminals within a short time. However, these Gang Matoran had powerful projectile weapons that were capable of blowing apart buildings and keeping back Toa. Worst, they were sneaky enough to avoid capture so far, and whenever they were cornered, they were able to blow their way out.
“This isn’t working!” Ihrov said, pounding his fist on the Turaga’s desk. “We’re being too soft on these guys. We need to come down hard and harsh on them, and stop this threat once and for all!”
“I understand your position, Toa Ihrov,” Turaga Nolox said. “But your approach would kill these Gang Matoran, and I want them captured. Matoran can change, if given a second chance. I am sure we can reform the Gang Matoran and turn most of them into model citizens again... but we cannot do that if they’re killed. Then we’ll just be wasting Matoran lives.”
“Turaga Nolox has a point, brother,” Rhagre said. “We’re here to protect all the Matoran, not kill them. Even if they’ve gone in the wrong direction, that doesn’t mean they deserve to die. You’ve got to give them a chance.”
“You just want them to start idolizing you like all the others do,” spat Ihrov before he could help it.
The insult just bounced off Rhagre. “If the Matoran choose to idolize me, who am I to stop them. Anyway, I’m sure it’s possible for you to capture the Gang Matoran without any fatalities. You are a powerful Toa, after all.”
“Yes, that is true,” Ihrov said, lowering his voice. “Unfortunately, Pyrah and I will be starting from scratch again, Turaga, so do not expect developments anytime soon.”
Nolox nodded, and began to go through some of the confiscated items. He picked up a shard of metal, and looked it over, and then pulled out chisels, dim lightstones, a knife, an old scroll, and a handful of widgets. “It looks like you are right, Ihrov. Nothing here is of exceptional value. I shall take a closer look in the morning.” He began to replace the items in the box, but he held up the metal shard again. “This is a unique piece. Rhagre, I would like you to analyze this and tell me its properties by tomorrow.”
Rhagre took the metal, and weighed it in his hands. “It certainly is something rare,” he said. “I’ll look into it.” Being a Toa of Iron, this wouldn’t be difficult for him.
The three Toa turned to leave when the doors burst opened again. A buff Onu-Matoran entered, followed by three Guardsmen. “We tried to restrain him, but he just kept pushing through...” one of them started, but the Onu-Matoran interrupted them.
“YOU!” he shouted, pointing to Turaga Nolox. “You’re the one responsible for all this! This is all your fault!”
Nolox calmly placed the box of confiscated items under his desk, and smiled politely at the Matoran. “I’m afraid I don’t understand, Saith. What are you claiming I am responsible for?”
“SUNI!” Saith shouted. “You have turned her into an outlaw. First, you arrested her and completely disrupted her work. And now you’re spreading word about that’s making her seem like the leader of the Gang Matoran. I can no longer tolerate it.”
“I think you are ignoring some of the fine details,” Nolox said. “First of all, Suni was arrested for conducting a dangerous experiment. Normally, I would give a warning, but this was her fifth offense, and her experiment had already gone wrong. If left to her devices, she would’ve blown apart half the city. And, as you are most likely aware of, she escaped from her prison cell last week. We have simply been spreading the word around in hope of recapturing her. She is extremely willful, and refuses to see the danger of her experiments. We are trying to arrest her for her own safety, as well as the safety of the Matoran around her.”
“But she was on to something!” Saith continued. “She was making scientific breakthroughs that could help out Matoran everywhere, but you treat all her experiments as criminal wrongdoings, and now she’s out there somewhere on the run. You’ve completely ruined her life and everything she stands for!”
Nolox looked hard at the Onu-Matoran. “Saith, I know that you and Suni had a strong relationship, but I will not change my mind. Suni’s experiments are too risky, and she cannot keep using such dangerous techniques. I tried to reason with her, but she refused to abandon her habits for safer ones. If she is found, I must lock her up again until an agreement can be made.”
“You’re a tyrant!” Saith screamed, jumping towards the Turaga. Rhagre and Ihrov reacted instantly, and grabbed the wild Onu-Matoran before he could reach Nolox. Saith was strong for a Matoran, but was no match for two Toa.
“Please escort Saith out of the Capital Building,” Nolox said sadly. “I do hope he can return when his anger has abated.”
“You have this city in your iron fist!” Saith shouted, even as the Toa carried him out. “You have too many rules! One day, we’ll kick you out. Just you wait. One day the Matoran won’t need you anymore!”
“Come on, Pyrah,” Ihrov said. The Toa of Plasma followed the two Toa and the struggling Matoran, leaving the room empty save for Tahve and Nolox.
“Quite a night, isn’t it, Tahve,” the Turaga said, taking a deep breath.
Tahve allowed himself a nod and a smile. “Yes it is, Turaga.”
The door opened again, startling Tahve. He had not heard any footsteps approaching, as he had with the Toa. But the new cloaked being who entered had approached silently, and was not escorted by Matoran guards. Worst, there was something about him that chilled Tahve.
“Turaga Nolox,” the being said. “I must speak with you.” He turned to the Matoran. “You will leave now.”
Although the being was obviously someone of power, Tahve didn’t flinch. “I am here to protect the Turaga, and I take orders only from him,” he said stubbornly.
“Tahve is my loyal Guardsman,” Nolox said. “I would like to know why I should dismiss him.”
“I will only speak to you in private, and I will speak with you before I leave,” the being said.
“What gives you the right to order us around?” Tahve asked harshly.
The being pulled off his cloak, and leaned down to stared at the Matoran mask to mask. “The right of my species!”
“Ah, now I recognize you,” Nolox said, getting to his feet. “Makuta Krika, the Makuta of our region. Why didn’t you announce yourself in the first place?”
“I am here on urgent business,” Krika replied. “Confidential business.”
Nolox nodded. “I understand. Tahve, please step outside for a moment. Allow me to converse with Krika privately.”
Reluctantly, Tahve stepped out through the doors. As they closed, he saw Nolox sit back down and face Krika. For a moment, Tahve felt great respect for their Turaga, who looked a Makuta eye to eye without even flinching. And then the doors shut, and he saw and heard no more from the room.
Ten minutes later, Krika emerged from the Turaga’s Chambers, draped in his cloak again. As he moved down the hallways, Tahve could’ve sworn that he floated off the ground. He turned away and reentered the Turaga’s Chambers.
Nolox was still in his seat, putting something away in his desk, but his mood was darker than Tahve had ever seen it. “Thank you for your cooperation, Tahve,” he said as the Guard came through the doors. “Makuta show minimal respect to Matoran, and further arguments only would’ve enraged him. Besides, the news he brought is troublesome in its own right.”
“What news…” Tahve started, but a look from the Turaga was enough to silence him. It was obvious that the Turaga was not in the mood to share it with him.
“I must thank you, Tahve, for your great loyalty to me,” the Turaga said suddenly. “There are few Matoran brave enough to stand up to the likes of a Makuta, and even fewer who would give their life to protect an elder such as me. I am very grateful for your service to me, as well as your friendship.”
“Turaga, is something wrong?” Tahve asked, shaken by the Turaga’s tone.
“Yes, something is wrong,” The Turaga said, looking to the ceiling. The stars could be seen through the windows in the domed roof. “This city remains at peace, but forces of darkness are shrouding it. Ill tidings are almost upon us, and I can only hope that the Matoran of Keli-Nui will make it through.”
Tahve held his breath. Makuta Krika must’ve brought very bad news to get Nolox into such a dark mood.
“But as long as the Matoran can hold to the Three Virtues, they can weather the storm,” Nolox said, half to himself. “And with that said, I must ask you to excuse me for another moment, Tahve. There is one last matter I must attend to on my own.”
Tahve nodded slowly, and exited the room. He held his spear at his side, and guarded the Turaga’s doors, but his mood was dark now. Turaga Nolox was not a Turaga to foretell sinister futures.
For ten minutes, there was naught but silence in the Capital Building, and Tahve had time to mull over his thoughts. Then the peace was broken by a scream and an explosion that shook the floor. Tahve turned, his heartlight flashing faster than ever before. The explosion had come from the Turaga’s Chamber.
He burst through the door and took in the scene. Nolox’s desk had been blown apart in some sort of energy blast, and the confiscated items were strewn across the floor. Nolox himself had been thrown back against the back wall, and was crumbled on the floor.
Tahve ran over to the Turaga, and tried to lift him up. But the Turaga’s body was already broken. His limbs and armor were cracked and bent in unnatural ways. Worst, Nolox’s noble Ruru mask was nearly cracked in half. Behind the ruined Kanohi, the Turaga’s eyes were dimmed and his breath came in horrible ragged gasps.
“Turaga!” Tahve cried. “Turaga, answer me! You can’t die! No, you can’t die.” Tahve’s logic told him that Nolox was fatally wounded. All he could do was comfort the Turaga now. But his heart wouldn’t accept such a dreadful truth so quickly.
“Tahve...” the Turaga started, his eyes focusing on the Matoran’s mask for a moment.
“Turaga! Turaga! Nolox!” Tahve said. “Don’t go!”
“Tahve... don’t look,” Nolox said. “Don’t... look...” And then the Turaga’s eyes glazed over, and he breathed his last breath.
Tahve howled in grief.
Edited by xccj, Mar 25 2015 - 12:55 AM.