Matau and his companion disembarked from the vehicle in two different fashions. The slightly more composed former climbed off confidently, his improvised yet solid looking sword strapped to his back, and chewing a small weed in his mouth. The latter threw himself off, landing slightly clumsily on the ground but not hesitating to hold his weapon up and aim it at the newcomers, the brain behind his noble Matatu tossing up whether to stare at the Toa or the Vahki. Both were a strange sight in those parts.
The vahki, on the other hand, had his optical sensors right on Orkahm.
Disk in launcher matches that of a level 5 Kanoka of Freezing manufactured in Ta-Metru. Target appears indecisive on selecting individual to fire upon first. Await further orders from superior before defaulting to standard programming of proceeding to disarm and confiscate weapon.
The earth-green Le-Matoran broke the silence.
"How odd-strange it is to see you here, Toa Nidhiki." He said, leaning against his Moto-Sled. The Event hadn't changed his cocky attitude.
"Yes! Very odd-strange. Why do you walk-travel with a Vahki, Toa?" The jittery Orkahm questioned further, blinking a few times too many. Krahka didn't say anything for a moment, simply watching the two's body language.
"The Vahki has been reprogrammed. A friend, Nuparu, did so." The faux-Toa explained, gesturing to her companion. Orkahm didn't react, but Matau flashed an unreadable look.
Superior is using deceit. Do not interfere.
Matau stepped closer to Krahka, his red eyes flicking between her and Ahurei. "Nuparu...is that right? Strange. I haven't seen that cog-fixer in a long time." Orkahm shot a look at Matau, lowering his launcher temporarily. "Nuparu...is alive?" The gun wielding Matoran asked his companion.
"He's around. I can state-say that." Matau said, looking at Krahka directly now. "Where have you been, Nidhiki? Our great city is soil-ruined. Monsters destroy anything that remains. Where were our Toa heroes in our greatest time of need?" He was very close to Krahka now.
"...What is your name?" Krahka asked the Matoran.
"Matau. My name is Matau. That's Orkahm. You're lucky I remember that. Most who still stand-live can't even recall that." Matau glances at Orkahm for a moment. "We came here to find-look. A Kahu flew past us, and went this direction. Did you see it?"
Krahka didn't react, simply shaking her head. "I haven't seen a Kahu in a very long time. Not since before the Event."
"Well, me and twitchy over here definitely saw it. It'd be pretty hard to ignore-miss." Red eyes were locked onto Krahka, watching her reactions. "Surely a Toa of Air could feel such a thing in the sky."
Krahka shook her head again, more slowly this time. "Why does it matter, anyway?"
This time, Orkahm spoke up. "Kahu make good scavenge-scraps! And quite beautiful, too!" He looked distracted and smiled for a moment, before his eyes narrowed again, holding tight to the launcher.
Matau nodded. "Yeah, that. Our shelter's crumble-falling apart. Could use a few scraps to repair it with." Krahka resisted expressing the inner feeling of disgust at the comment that the two Le-Matoran had made. She was, after all, a rahi as well.
The Mahiki wearing Le-Matoran noticed Ahurei's silence.
"Can it speak-talk? Did our Onu-Matoran buddy rewire that out?" He approached the vahki, curiously.
"He only speaks when asked a question or spoken to." Krahka cut in, before Ahurei spoke up for himself.
Subtext recieved. Do not speak.
"Don't like small-talk, huh, Nidhiki. Never pegged you for a loner." Matau chuckled briefly. "I can see why you and Nuparu travelled together. What happened to him, anyway? An invention of his finally crush-splat him?"
The shapeshifter looked at the Vahki for a moment before looking back at the dark-green Matoran. "He disappeared on us. We are unsure of where he went. When you saw him last...where was he, by chance?"
"...You too, huh. He ran-abandoned me when we got to Ta-Metru and I eventually wanted to leave. Have you been there yet? Even taking this karzhole into account...it isn't pretty. He was obsessed with staying, regardless. Kept saying Ta-Metru had something for him. Just needed time. I assumed he just lost it, and you can bet I wasn't waiting on cog-head any longer. Not in that place." Matau explained. In his hands were his sword, which he was examining. "Fix-built this for me, though. Good craftsman, that Nuparu."
Krahka looked at Ahurei, nodding. "I see. We didn't visit Ta-Metru. Do you think he's still there?"
The Le-Matoran placed the sword on his back again. "I don't know. He was pretty fixed-set on staying. I'd wager that if he isn't there if you make your trek-walk, he'll return. If he isn't dead, that is. Why's it you asking? Your vahki malfunctioning or something?"
"I have a few questions for him." Nuparu's expression shifted as she said this.
"Questions?" He asked.
"He's not likely to answer. He's a secretive guy, and the answers he gave me were always vague. He was working on something before The Event, I managed to gleam that much. Never told me what. After a while of travelling with him, his secrets drove me up the wall." Matau said. "Maybe you'll have better luck, being a Toa hero and all. Us Matoran respect you, doing such a good job protecting us." His words were laced with sarcasm.
Krahka didn't respond for a moment, thinking. "Vahki, Ta-Metru is our next destination." Ahurei nodded.
"Whoa, whoa, leaving so soon? Come on, Nidhiki, don't be like that! I haven't had proper company in ages." Matau protested, stepping closer in front of him. Orkahm twitched for a moment.
Orkahm spoke up, pointing his gun at Krahka. "No, you're not leaving! I don't like-trust you!"
Matau looked back, holding up a hand. "Orkahm, cool-calm it! If Nidhiki wanted to hurt us he could have blown us away when he met us. Put down the launcher, twitchy!"
The Le-Matoran shook his head frantically, blinking fast. "We keep them prisoner! Maybe break-scrap the Vahki for parts."
Matau moved closer to Orkahm. "Put the weapon down, right now. We're not going to take them prisoner, they've done nothing to us."
Krahka wasn't taking the chance of staying. She had what she needed, and she knew the volatile nature of the survivors that still lived on Metru-Nui. Her form shifted again, her arms transforming into claws and her body transforming into that of an Energy Hound, her canine jaws opening and closing as she ran into Ahurei, grabbing him in her jaws as she bounded across the strange smelling landscape of Le-Metru.
Suddenly, she was knocked backwards as an explosion of ice followed a light whining as a disc flew past her legs.
Ahurei fell out of her jaws, and she fell backwards.
A robotic hand punched away the rock cover of the hole he'd left in the Great Temple. What little religious value the place once had was completely gone. It didn't matter to the Operator. That wasn't why he was there, not at all.
However, it was a poetic place to hide the thing he needed. A place that was almost a testament to the old world, was a cloak for the thing that would help return him back the old world.
The Operator jumped out of his giant suit of armour, and looked into the hole for a moment. It wasn't especially deep, but he'd have to climb to get down there.
One final labour, before he could get back to prestige.
To be continued.