Dume walked through the corridors of the Coliseum. He had remained in the building since Botar had brought him back, resting and steeling himself for the negotiations that would soon take place. Now word had come from Helryx that the Shadowed One’s airship was heading for Metru Nui. The Toa of Water would send him a message, telling him to fly straight to the arena of Coliseum; they would welcome the Shadowed One there.
Welcome him! To my city!
He still found that hard to stomach. For millennia, both as Toa and as Turaga, he had considered the Dark Hunters his sworn enemies. The memories of all the massacres, havoc and destruction that they had unleashed upon Metru Nui still haunted him. Now, within a few minutes, he would be sitting at the same table as the organization’s leader and he would be expected to negotiate peace with him, to figure out a way for Matoran and Dark Hunters to coexist and to forge an alliance.
An alliance? How can we possibly be allies of the ones who have been robbing and killing us for millennia? They will stab us in the back without a second thought. And how can we be expected to coexist with them? They have no mercy, conscience or respect for the Three Virtues. And am I supposed to forget the past and all that they have done?
He glanced at Vakama. His fellow Turaga of Fire was walking beside him. The other elders were coordinating the evacuation of the Matoran from the city, but they had all agreed that one of the Turaga who had lived on Mata Nui, and who therefore knew the island far better than either Helryx, Dume or the Shadowed One, should attend the negotiations.
He supported these talks. Somehow, he has chosen to forget already. Could he be right? Should I do the same? Perhaps I must. Throughout my life, I’ve always upheld peace over conflict, dialogue over violence. Now it is time for me to be coherent with those principles. Starting a war is easy, but ending it… that is the true challenge. Peace has a price… and, if necessary, I must be ready to pay it.
They found Helryx standing in the arena with a party of Order agents. It was the middle of the night and the air was bitterly cold; the floor of the arena, still wet from the rain of the afternoon, had largely frozen over.
“He’s coming, then?” Dume asked as they approached.
“Yes,” replied the Toa of Water, displaying no surprise at the sight of Vakama. “His airship has almost reached the coast of Le-Metru.”
“The middle of the night isn’t exactly the best time to begin talks. Are we sure he’s not planning anything? Perhaps trying to distract us while his forces make their move?”
“We have confirmed that the Shadowed One is on board that airship. If you were right, I doubt he would risk coming to Metru Nui himself.”
“Still, I would have thought that he would wait for his ships and his allies to reach the sea gates. He was certainly insistent about that and it would have placed him in a position of greater strength.”
“That was his plan, too. Unfortunately, plans have a tendency to go awry at the worst of times.”
He caught it: the glow of the lightstone one of the Order agents was holding illuminated the trace of a satisfied, even smug smile on Helryx’s face. It was a strange weakness on her part: for millennia, she had labored to maintain absolute secrecy over the existence and actions of the Order of Mata Nui and had been undeniably successful. But now that she had stepped into the light, it sometimes seemed that she couldn’t help herself, that the temptation to flaunt the power, the influence and the accomplishments of the organization she had built was just too strong. In a way, Dume was glad that it was so, for it was possible to exploit Helryx’s pride to obtain information that the Order wouldn’t have otherwise revealed.
“You know something we don’t, I gather.”
“It must be said for the Shadowed One that he conducted his war against the Brotherhood with undeniable ability. Although he sometimes engaged in open warfare, he was well aware that in battle his forces stood little chance against those of the Makuta. So, instead, he focused on harassing them, sabotaging their forces and bases, assassinating critical people, disrupting their sources of raw materials and their trade routes. Most importantly, however, he built a wide network of alliances: for the last thousand years, the Dark Hunters have been offering their services at a relatively modest price to any warlord, ruler or faction with a grievance against the Makuta or their servants. Many of the wars that have broken out over the past millennium have been wars by proxy, with the Brotherhood on one side and the Dark Hunters on the other.”
“The Dark Hunters’ weakness, however, was their own methods. Most of those who struck a deal with them soon found that backing out wasn’t an option. The Hunters exacted tribute, forced them to continue providing support and replaced the rulers who wouldn’t agree with more obliging ones; furthermore, if the Shadowed One decided that a certain partnership was no longer convenient, his operatives would vanish without a trace, leaving their former allies alone before the wrath of the Makuta. It all created a lot of discontent. That was our way in. Even as the Shadowed One forged his alliances, we set up our own, far subtler and more secret. The agents who struck those deals, naturally, never revealed their true allegiance, but they nevertheless created a network of people and factions who would join our side when the right time came. That time is now. The Shadowed One would have preferred to wait for his allies, but he is suddenly discovering that not all of them are as loyal as he would have thought. Many are reneging their deals even now and declaring for us instead. My agents have seen to it.”
Dume didn’t reply immediately. He couldn’t help but be impressed by Helryx’s statements, but at the same time they felt somewhat too optimistic.
“So how much of a threat are the Hunters now?” asked Vakama, clearly thinking along the same lines.
Helryx’s smile vanished and she hesitated to answer, as if suddenly reluctant to speak.
“A considerable one, admittedly,” she finally said. “We never contacted some of their allies and others have chosen to remain loyal to them. The real problem, however, is that many of our agents died facing the Brotherhood and their contacts died with them. Still, we have managed to rattle the Shadowed One; he can no longer afford to wait, for once the news of what is happening breaks out, his remaining partners might abandon him and even his subordinates might rebel. He needs this deal as much as we do.”
The sound of an approaching airship suddenly filled the air. After a few moments, the flying vessel appeared above them, though it was barely visible, for it had no lights on. It coasted through the spires of the Coliseum and finally touched down at the center of the arena. Six Dark Hunters emerged first and spread out to survey the surroundings. Apparently satisfied that there was no trap waiting for them, one of them motioned towards the airship. Only then did the Shadowed One emerge.
Helryx had been right then, Dume thought as the Dark Hunter leader approached. The Shadowed One had decided to come himself, instead of sending an envoy. True, he had brought a bodyguard, a blue and white giant towering over everyone else, but it was still a sign of either trust or of complete confidence in his ability to escape an ambush.
It might also be that he trusts no one else to negotiate this deal, and that staying behind would have been seen as a sign of weakness.
The Shadowed One halted in front of them. Nothing in his stance hinted to his network of alliances melting away. His stare fell upon Helryx and Dume, making it clear that he considered himself their equal.
Strangely enough, it was on Vakama that his gaze lingered the longest. In fact, Dume could have sworn that an expression of fury had for a moment appeared on the Shadowed One’s face and that his eyes had turned crimson, as if ready to blast Vakama out of existence. The Turaga of Fire, for his part, met the other’s glare without blinking.
“Welcome to Metru Nui, Shadowed One.”
The words tasted bitter in his mouth. Although the greeting was customary enough, the significance behind those simple words couldn’t be denied. One of Metru Nui’s greatest foes was now being welcomed into the city; never, not in his wildest imaginings, had Dume thought he would one day say those words willingly.
Yet it was necessary. This was the first step towards peace. It was also the easiest one. The true test now begins.
The Bohrok Kaita summoned its powers, unleashing a hail of molten rock. Axonn simply swung his axe, slicing the machine in two. Three more took its place and bombarded him with their powers, but Axonn shrugged everything off and unleashed a blast of energy which downed all three Kaita at once.
The situation, however, remained dire. Several Bohrok Kaita had formed a protective ring around the Bahrag, while the rest were hurling themselves at their enemies; already, they had managed to separate them. None of them had so far fallen, but the Bohrok were relentless, driven as they were by the single-minded will of their queens.
Helryx underestimated them and so did we. Now we pay the price of our arrogance.
At the time, Axonn had even welcomed the task his leader had given him. He had spent the previous day at Brutaka’s side, enduring the bitter depression that had gripped his friend. In some way, it reminded him of the time when he had turned against the Great Spirit, but this time there was no anger, no lust for power, just a complete and desperate resignation; he had put his mask power to the Order’s disposal, he had done everything Helryx had asked him to do, yet it seemed as if the spark of life had gone out of him. Experiencing his own share of grief at seeing his friend in such a state, Axonn had been glad for a chance to vent it off in battle.
Now, though, he was wondering whether he had bitten on more than he could chew. The Bohrok Kaita were strong, a large enough number was a match even for him. Three were now running towards him: they separated as soon as they got close enough, the central one unleashing a wave of acid while the other two tried to flank him. Axonn charged, shrugged off the acid and plowed into the Bohrok that had released it. He didn’t stop, swinging his axe again and again, trying not so much to destroy the Bohrok permanently as to clear a path through their ranks. After a few minutes, he reached Kopaka, Pohatu, Onua and Gali, who were fighting back-to-back against the attacking Kaita. His arrival bought them a respite, but already the Bohrok were regrouping to renew their assault.
“We can’t go on like this!” exclaimed Gali. “We’re getting nowhere. We need to go back, get some reinforcements.”
“A fine plan, sister,” replied Kopaka. “But the Bahrag are ready for that too.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Pohatu.
“There are more Kaita waiting for us if we try to go back the way we came. They’ve blocked every exit.”
“You think they’re aware of the rest of the Order?” said Onua.
“All I can tell you is that they won’t let us escape without a fight.”
“Enough!” roared Axonn, unleashing a shockwave to keep the Bohrok back. “This is no time for a discussion. Share the powers of your Masks of Speed and Strength with me.”
“I have a plan.”
The Shadowed One had not shouted, nor did he sound particularly angry, yet his tone left no room for reply. Dume gave the Dark Hunter leader, who was seated in front of him, flanked by his huge bodyguard and by the twisted being known as the Recorder, who was jotting down every word they were saying, a weary look; ever since the talks had begun, the Shadowed One had shown no willingness to compromise on anything. Did he truly mean to come to an agreement? Or would his stubbornness persist until the talks collapsed?
Unfortunately, he’s not alone in his stubbornness, either.
“Impossible? Don’t be ridiculous,” retorted an incensed Helryx. “You’ve warred against the Brotherhood for a thousand years. You should have realized by now that we can hope to win only if we combine our forces!”
Most of the negotiations so far had focused on carrying out the evacuation of the Matoran and Dark Hunters already within the dome of Metru Nui. It had taken a great effort on Dume’s part, but finally the Shadowed One had agreed to wait until the Bahrag were defeated and the migration of the Matoran was complete before sending his own forces into the tunnels leading to Mata Nui. Now the discussion was shifting to the evacuation of the rest of the universe and to the contribution that each faction would have to make to that great endeavor. It should have been a less sensitive subject, yet the Shadowed One was clearly determined to make no concessions whatsoever.
“That may be, Toa,” replied the Shadowed One. “But cooperating to defend the island of Mata Nui is one thing, what you’re asking me to do quite another. The universe is dying and you want me to send my Hunters back into it? And what for? To selflessly save the lives of others? I’ll spell it out for you: we don’t care. You want to play the heroes and try to save everyone? Do it yourselves and don’t expect the Dark Hunters to help you.”
“I thought I’d made it clear that we’re not abandoning the rest of this universe. If your mercenaries can’t bring themselves to endure the proximity of Matoran, fine, it’s not like they would trust the likes of you anyway; but we can send them to their own species as ambassadors, or to contact warlords on Zakaz and Stelt. If we don’t, then the Makuta will. I have no intention of letting the Brotherhood grow stronger while we wait on Mata Nui for their attack to come. We must leave them without allies and we must also attack them whenever the chance presents itself, weaken them before the final confrontation.”
“You’d be fighting over the ruins, weakening us as much as them. Folly! You think I cannot see your real intentions? You are plotting to rob me of my forces and leave me powerless on Mata Nui.”
It was time to intervene. With all his misgivings about the negotiations, Dume certainly hadn’t been expecting that it would fall to him to act as the voice of reason, but it seemed that Helryx, for all her talk about this alliance being necessary, simply did not have the diplomatic skills to bring it into being.
And this deal is necessary, as much as I hate to admit it. And if Helryx can’t negotiate it, it’s up to me.
“I will be frank, Shadowed One,” he began. “I would like nothing better than to see you powerless. I therefore understand your concern. But this is not what we’re proposing. We want to send expeditions out into the universe and we want the Dark Hunters to contribute, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be consulted. We will decide on every expedition, every military operation together. The Order and the Toa will participate as well, the numbers will balance each other out. Is this so unacceptable? Shadowed One, surely you can see that Helryx is telling the truth: the Brotherhood must be weakened and we cannot do it without you. Your Hunters have fought the Brotherhood before, they are specialized in sabotage and covert assault. We need that.”
Perhaps it was the surprise of hearing Dume, of all people, praising the Dark Hunters, but the Shadowed One’s stance suddenly seemed to soften. When he opened his mouth, his tone, too, no longer seemed quite so uncompromising:
“Very well. That is possible. On one condition, however. The expeditions will be agreed upon together, but once a Dark Hunter party is sent out there they answer to me and only to me. I will not relinquish my authority.”
Dume wasn’t immediately sure how to reply. The risk of such an arrangement was obvious: there was no telling what the Shadowed One might order his people to do. He might authorize them to harm Matoran or other innocents and he might also give them instructions that would further his own ends rather than those of the alliance.
But there’s no way he’ll accept anything else. No, this is the best deal we can hope for.
“Very well, so long as force is used solely against the Brotherhood, without damaging anyone or anything else.”
The words sounded hypocritical even as he said them. Anyone with the barest knowledge of the Dark Hunters and their ways would know that there was no chance they would ever uphold such a condition. Was he about to unleash the Hunters on the helpless populations of the universe?
The price of peace…
“Now!” bellowed Axonn.
Pohatu Nuva was ready. Calling upon the power of the Kakama Nuva, he shared it with the Order agent. Axonn broke into a run, making straight for the Bahrag. The Bohrok Kaita tried to block his advance, but Axonn was simply too fast to be stopped. Colossal amounts of fire, acid and water rained upon him, but the warrior enveloped himself in a nimbus of energy and plowed through every obstacle. He ignored the damage he had received: all that mattered was the goal.
In the blink of an eye, he had reached the Kaita that surrounded the Bahrag. He demolished the first few before they even realized what was happening. The rest clustered around him, managing with their powers and sheer numbers to bring him to a halt.
But at that moment the whole cave was rocked by a mighty quake, centered precisely on Axonn’s location, and even as the Bohrok Kaita struggled to keep their balance, the warrior felt a surge of strength pervade him, adding to his already immense power. When he swung his axe and hit a Bohrok with the flat of his blade, the blow was so strong that almost a dozen Kaita were sent flying, clearing the path to the Bahrag.
Some of the Bohrok Kaita were rising to their feet again, but their movements didn’t escape Onua. From the tunnel that he had dug below the feet of the Bahrag, he sent out his elemental power to create mini-quakes, earth waves and chasms, preventing the Kaita from regrouping. Meanwhile, he kept sharing his mask power with Axonn.
The Order warrior was now standing before the Bahrag. Before they could attack him, he channeled his energies into his axe and swung it, slicing through the force field created by the queens’ power. White-hot flames greeted him, but Axonn batted them away. He raised his axe again and swung it at Gahdok, leaving a deep gash in her flank. The red Bahrag roared in pain, even as Cahdok responded with a hail of boulder, only for Axonn to deflect them with a tremendous shockwave that drove the blue queen into a wall. Then he turned his attention back to her twin, using his super-strong fists to strike her again and again.
There was no warning. The ceiling of the tunnel Onua had dug suddenly crumbled. The Toa of Earth found himself staring up a hole, at the top of which two Bohrok Kaita stood. He tried to summon his power, but it was too late: ice cascaded over him, freezing him solid.
The abrupt loss of his enhanced strength brought Axonn to a stop. The opening was all the Bahrag needed. A blast of water drove Axonn back and before he could resume his attack, six Bohrok Kaita lined up in front of him. The warrior brought his fist down upon the first; a moment later, he roared in pain as his hand struck an invisible barrier. Behind the head-plates of the Bohrok, identical Krana Ca gleamed as their power projected a shield to protect their Bohrok hosts from attack. And then the Kaita charged, releasing a wave of acid and water. Axonn tried to fend the attack off, only for a chasm to yawn open under his feet. He fell and a rain of molten boulders followed him in, filling the hole until he was lost from view. The last thing he heard were the victorious screeches of the Bahrag.
It is the last obstacle, Dume told himself.
Plenty still remained to be decided, but they were now at the crucial point: how to settle the island of Mata Nui. When the Matoran had returned to Metru Nui, they had carried with them several maps to store in the Archives. Vakama had had a number of those maps brought to them and when the Shadowed One had seen a layout of the underground tunnels of Mata Nui, he had immediately laid claim to Po-Wahi, Onu-Wahi and Ko-Wahi.
“It’s too much,” Helryx replied immediately.
“How so? It seems to me that I’m leaving all the south to you. From what I see here, there’s plenty of greenery for your Matoran to thrive, while my Hunters will have to endure harsher climates. But we have no problem doing so; we’re used to a spartan way of life.”
And you also wish to control the tunnel network. Most of the tunnels leading to Mata Nui come out in Po-Wahi, thought Dume.
“I doubt that the vegetation has been spared by the Bohrok,” said Vakama. “The island as it is now could be very different from the one we see here. The tunnels, for instance, will have been mostly destroyed. Most likely, only the entrances to the Bohrok Nests will remain and most of those we never managed to map. You should take care not to base yourself too much on what you see here.” The Shadowed One didn’t answer, but Dume could see that Vakama’s words had struck their mark.
His fellow Turaga of Fire exploited the opening to speak again.
“Besides, how do you intend to govern this land?”
“The way I see fit.”
“No. The island cannot be split into smaller realms. There will have to be laws that Matoran, Dark Hunters and everyone else has to follow.”
The Shadowed One’s eyes narrowed.
“I thought I had made this clear. My Hunters obey me and only me; that will not change.”
“Vakama is right,” said Dume. “We cannot give your Hunters free rein among the Matoran. There have to be restrictions.”
“This isn’t simply an alliance,” added Vakama. “We are shaping our future, common society. And a common society needs a common law.”
The Shadowed One smiled mockingly.
“You really believe that? What a ridiculous notion. A common society? My Hunters are outcasts, thieves and murderers. They left society behind a long time ago and they live to violate laws. The only rules they follow are mine, because they know the price of disobedience. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’ll stay. We’re wasting time with these absurd proposals.”
“I agree,” said Helryx unexpectedly. “But your claims remain unreasonable. You want your piece of Mata Nui to rule? All right, you can have the part of Po-Wahi to the east of Tiro Canyon. Take it and let’s move on. Decisions about a common society can be taken later. For the moment, everyone rules inside their own territory.”
Dume forced himself to keep his expression neutral. Helryx openly taking the Shadowed One’s side was something he had not been expecting. What was she thinking? Didn’t she understand that they couldn’t afford to appear divided? Besides, couldn’t she see that simply partitioning the island was a recipe for disaster?
But for her, it’s only a temporary solution, he reminded himself. She still believes the Order can destroy the Dark Hunters after this is over. Impossible. Such a conflict would benefit no one and the Matoran would be the ones to suffer the most.
“It’s not nearly enough,” the Shadowed One was saying. “You’re offering me a desert, to house all my Hunters and all my allies. I won’t accept this.”
“Your allies can live elsewhere,” said Vakama. “The Frostelus can settle in Ko-Wahi, others in the grasslands to the north of Ta-Wahi.”
“You are trying to separate my forces in order to…”
“I was under the impression they were your allies, not your slaves,” Vakama cut him off. “And as for Helryx’s proposal, it will pave the way to chaos and war. Common rules must exist.”
Fury flashed in the Shadowed One’s eyes and Helryx didn’t bother to mask her irritation. But Dume anticipated both.
“Listen to my proposal, then: the Dark Hunters will take what Helryx has offered. Your other allies will settle elsewhere and we will negotiate the location of each settlement. Once this division is accomplished, each faction will rule its territory as it sees fit. However, there will be rules: any member of a faction is forbidden from harming, restricting the freedom or committing any sort of crime against someone belonging to another faction. Should this happen, each faction will punish its own, but no crime will go unpunished. Order will be kept by a single force, which will draft its members from all factions. Finally, the leaders of each faction will join this council, which will have the task of addressing any controversies and disputes between territories.”
He glanced at the others. Vakama was nodding, while Helryx’s face was expressionless, but it wasn’t her who had to agree.
As he stared at the Shadowed One, Dume could barely mask his trepidation. The proposal was imperfect and many details still needed to be ironed out, but that would be relatively easy to do. However, if the Shadowed One refused the proposal, they would be back to square one and the entire talks might flounder.
If he accepts, on the other hand… peace; perhaps only for a short time, but peace nevertheless!
The time it took for the Shadowed One to answer seemed to last an eternity. Then, finally, the leader of the Dark Hunters opened his mouth to speak:
“Fine. I accept.”
Clean it all.
Lewa glanced down at Onua. The Toa of Earth was barely conscious and he was shivering violently.
It must be cleaned.
“Is he all right?” shouted Tahu.
“Ice-cold! But we were quick-fast enough.”
He was an obstacle. He was removed.
Tahu nodded with a grimace of a pain. He was cradling an injured arm, but the wound wasn’t serious.
“We need to…”
ANOTHER OBSTACLE HAS BEEN REMOVED! ALL OBSTACLES WILL BE REMOVED!
The four-armed Order agent collapsed to the ground. The Bohrok Kaita that had brought him down rushed forward and surrounded the three Toa. A hail of fireballs slammed into them, as Tahu tried to hold them back; Lewa could do no more than stare in shock and despair. The three of them had rushed forward to rescue Onua, but now another of them had fallen. The Bohrok Kaita were unstoppable; their numbers were endless and their voices…
All will be cleaned! You do not belong! You will be removed! You will not oppose your brothers again!
He tried to fight back, but resistance was useless. The voices, the ones he had been able to hear ever since a Krana had taken him over, the ones that he had believed defeated, were now back, stronger than ever, deafening. Tahu was yelling something, but he couldn’t hear him. He saw a Bohrok Kaita vault forward, saw its limb swing at him and knock his mask off. Weakness flooded his limbs along with knowledge, the knowledge of what was about to happen and the certainty that there was nothing he could do to stop it.
Before Lewa’s eyes, the Bohrok’s head-plate opened. A Krana flew out, hit his face, affixed itself to it and…
Clean it all. It must be cleaned.
The swarms’ thoughts were now loud and clear. It was so simple, so obvious. There was still so much clutter that had to be eliminated. There were still beings trying to oppose what had to be done. They all had to be cleaned…
No… thought Lewa.
There was something wrong about it, terribly wrong. There was a reason he shouldn’t do what he was told, if only he could remember it. A reason… a duty…
But that was absurd. Every Krana had only one duty… to clean.
And suddenly everything was clear. The island of Mata Nui had to be safeguarded, it had to be preserved, because it was now the only refuge for the Matoran Lewa was sworn to protect. The first time he had been taken over by a Krana, Lewa had needed Onua’s help to see this, but that experience had made him stronger.
He was about to remove the Krana when something stopped him. There might be a reason for doing what they were doing, but it wouldn’t matter if the Toa lost. The power of the Bohrok was enormous and the will of the Bahrag unyielding. And the Bahrag were doing nothing other than following the law of Mata Nui. Except that now it was different. Because Mata Nui was dead.
Lewa started advancing through the ranks of the Bohrok. They let him pass, how could they not? To them, he was another member of the swarm. Eventually, he found himself in front of the two Bahrag.
He could feel the queens’ confusion. There was a unit which didn’t obey to their commands. But this was impossible, because the unit was equipped with a Krana. Orders were repeated over and over again, but he brushed them aside, knowing that what he was doing was right. He felt their questing thoughts, searching for the reason he wasn’t doing what they were telling him to. And he told them that reason.
“Mata Nui is dead,” he said. “The Great Spirit is no more. Your mission no longer has any meaning.”
The queens were uncertain. If he had told them this as a Toa, they would have branded him a liar. But he was part of the swarm.
“Mata Nui must no longer be cleaned. Tell the Krana to cease all operations.”
As the doubts of the Bahrag grew, a good part of the Bohrok Kaita stopped fighting. The other Toa didn’t stop to wonder at this and dashed towards their teammate. When they saw what was on his face, they stopped dead.
“Brother…” said Gali.
He turned to her.
“Toa-brothers, off-take your masks. Take them off and put a swarm-Krana on.”
“Do it. Do it now.”
The other Toa were wary. It might be Lewa’s voice telling them this, but he was wearing a Krana. It would suit the Bahrag just fine to take them all over.
It was Gali who finally made a move: stepping forward, she took off her mask.
“Don’t,” started saying Pohatu.
“It’s all right,” said Onua. “This isn’t the Krana speaking. It is our brother Toa.”
“If you’re wrong…” said Tahu.
“I am not.”
Disabled Bohrok had left several Krana lying on the ground. Gali and Onua picked up one each and placed it on their faces. The other Toa hesitated, but the confidence in Onua’s voice had been unmistakable; one by one, they followed suit.
“Now you can see the truth from us all,” Lewa told the Bahrag.
“The cleaning has to proceed,” said Cahdok. “Every external influence is irrelevant.”
“We are not an external influence. We’re part of you now. You know that we speak the truth. You must change, adapt. There will be a place for you among us. There are so many things the Bohrok can do for us all.”
“Stop the Bohrok swarms. Stop them. Stop them now.”
And that final order was what did it. The Bahrag had seen their previous mission was purposeless. They had needed new instructions and Lewa had given them.
It took less than a second for every Krana on Mata Nui to receive those same commands. Thousands of Bohrok instantly stopped dead.
Lewa took off his Krana. A gust of wind carried his Kanohi back to him and he put it back on. The other Toa did the same.
“What now?” asked Gahdok, sounding lost, scared, even.
“We will show you,” said Gali. “The island has suffered, but with your help, it can be restored. What was destroyed will be rebuilt; and Mata Nui will thrive again, a safe haven for the peoples of the universe, a new home for us all.”