a chance meeting
His feet dragged as he picked his way over the rubble and twisted metal of the street. He kept his club in his right hand but the arm was weak; blood flowed from a wound near the shoulder. He gasped in pain as he dropped down into a crater. There were more and more of these things every day. The distant rumbling of artillery made sure of that.
He glanced over his shoulder and shook his head. “Forward...” he muttered, remembering the last cry of his commander. He ate a round from a plasma cannon shortly after that. He didn't know how far he had run since then. The Po-Matoran were knocking aside the entire advance; how many divisions were getting chewed up as he stood there? How many Matoran were dying in this pathetic war?
He couldn't say. He didn't want to think about it. He turned away from the sounds of death and war and limped along the deserted road.
He found an empty school to sleep in for the night. Desks made a good barricade for the door. This used to be a city-wide known school. Turned out some of the best thinkers of all Ga-Metru. Guilt pained him as he looked over the classroom. Many of the students put down their notes and picked up weapons. March, march little soldier, off to war over petty matters. Was it worth it?
He flopped onto the ground. He didn't know. He had fought before. To protect an innocent Rahi from some trouble-makers. To insure his co-workers got a fair shake. He fought for what was right.
He rolled over, drawing in a sharp breath. His shoulder throbbed in pain. Now he was wounded and running from a fight. Was it right to run? Was the fight right? He closed his eyes. He didn't know. He would think that over in the morning.
His rest didn't last that long. A clattering woke him in the night. He rolled over and hopped to his feet; the burning in shoulder didn't make it an easy or quiet task. He transferred his club to his left hand. “Who's there?” he whispered. He hoped the shaking in his voice wasn't noticeable.
“I'm a non-combatant.” a voice hissed back from the far side of the classroom.
He snorted. That trick had be used far too many times to overwhelm scouts and pickets. “And I'm Mata Nui.” he retorted.
The voice went silent and he could hear breathing. He raised his club, about to rush the being when it started talking again. “I'm a Ga-Matoran. This is my school. My name is-”
He hissed at her. “No names.”
“I don't want to know the names of the people I might have to kill.” He replied, voice shaking.
The Ga-Matoran grew silent. He tapped his club against the ground. “Why are you here, and not at the Temple like the rest of your people?” He almost laughed as that came out. There were enough Ga-Matoran sinking ships and marching in armies.
“I...I came to get my notes. I didn't want them to get destroyed.”
He laughed in the darkness. “You came to a war to get some slabs of stone? Are you nuts?”
“This war is nuts.”
He paused. She was right. It was nuts. And it was the Po-Matorans' fault.
He coughed in the silence. “There isn't much left here, teacher.”
Shuffling came from the other corner of the room, followed by the creaking of a drawer. “Just enough left. Do you have a light?”
He shook his head then smiled to himself. She couldn't see that in the dark. “No. It's too dangerous.”
She sighed in disgust. “I need to find the right-”
“You want to find the right notes. We need to stay alive. There is a difference.”
He could almost feel her gaze fall on him; he shivered a little. “Some of us are looking to this war ending.” she retorted.
He opened his mouth to argue, but shut it. He was just thinking about that earlier in the day. Or was it yesterday? He didn't even know the time of the day. He hooked his club back on his belt. She didn't seem dangerous to him. Just a teacher, trying to survive, like the rest of the Metru.
“How can we get back to the Temple?” he asked quietly.
There was a clatter of objects against the floor. His felt his heart jump from the sound, but he calmed down quickly. “What?” came the reply, a shaky voice.
“The Temple. How do we get back there?”
Feet scooted against the floor. “You're a soldier. The Temple is for non-combatants.”
He sighed. “There's no point to this war. I'm done fighting.”
“....I can't trust you.”
“I'm done.” His voice was firm, absolute. “I am done. This war has done nothing, started over nothing. Trade rights? The price of pots and tools? Laughable.” He sighed deeply. “I'm done. I don't want to pick up the pieces of my friends anymore, and I don't want to make the other guy do it either.”
He listened, waiting for a response, but none came. A sudden crash made him dive to the ground, club pulled and ready, but nothing followed. He listened for a few more minutes. “Hello?”
Nothing. She ran. She ran and left him there. He swore silently, swore at her, the war, and the entire city. He adjusted his position on the floor and felt himself begin to cry.
He fell asleep shortly after.
He dipped the mask back into the fire, frowning as he did it. The left-hand side of the mask wasn't matching up properly with the right, and that just wouldn't do. He let the magma flow over the mask slightly, and-
“No, no, no!” he shouted, pulling his tongs back quickly. What remained of the mask was just enough to make a spoon if he wanted. He swore and tossed the tongs to the ground. “Fifth one today!” he yelled at the forge in front of him. He turned on his heel and ran into a pair of pillars. “Oof!” he grunted, falling to the ground.
He blinked and glanced up at a pair of golden and red legs, attached to the powerful form of a Toa. He was holding a stone in his hand, and as he bent down, he said-
He jumped awake and glanced around the school. Still alive. Still in Ga-Metru. He took several deep breaths and climbed to his feet. “Freaky dream.” he muttered. He shook his head and yawned. Wouldn't be the last of them either; he'd been having dreams like that for....years now.
He checked his shoulder. “Huh.” A bandage was wrapped around the wound. “She..musta...” He nodded slowly. Somebody did it. There was still good out here. As he bent over to pick up his club, he noticed a note on the floor near it: directions to the Great Temple. He smiled.
He wanted out of this war, and maybe, someday, he would be out. Someday it would end. But not today. Not today. Today though, he would dream, and hope, for the future. He slid his club into his belt, hopped out a broken window, and began picking his way towards the Great Temple.
Author's Note: This is my first, and possibly not the last, of my Bionicle related writings. Set during the Matoran Civil War, a Mask Maker and a Teacher encounter each other on the streets of Ga-Metru, and hope is kindled in both.
I admit, when I first had the idea to write this, I almost laughed it off. Write a story based on a toy? Are you serious? But I took the task on, and it has been highly enjoyable. Details regarding finer workings of the Matoran themselves and the surrounding war might be wrong, but the central plot is fiction. The inspiration for the characters is certainly up to the reader to decide, but it isn't a well kept secret for the more knowledgeable followers of this toyline's lore.
Thank you for reading, and please comment below any comments or criticism. A tree cannot grow if it is not watered and trimmed, and a writer is the same.
Edited by FallenAtlas, Sep 13 2015 - 07:10 PM.