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Harvali

Of Villagers, Outcasts, and Heroes

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So it’s been a while since I have frequented BZPower, but I am getting back into the role playing and had an idea for a ”superhero” Matoran. Well I liked the idea so much I decided to write a little fanfic of this “Kanohi.” (Hey for a superhero, there are worse names than “mask”) It’s just a self contained story taking place after the sinking of Ta-Koro, while Takua and Jaller are searching for the seventh Toa. It was originally going to take place during the Bohrok-Kal saga, but I had already made a sprite of Kanohi with the 2003 Matoran design, and I had misremembered the order of when the Rebuilding took place, so that rewrote the plot. Regardless, enjoy. 

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Of Villagers, Outcasts, and Heroes

Word Count: 3090

In the forests of Le-Wahi, a Matoran sat at the base of a great tree. His metal body was black and orange, a  Great Mask of Night Vision was fitted atop his face, and a Volo Lutu Launcher lay hooked to his flank. He was covered in wooden masks, each carved to resemble a Noble Ruru. This wooden armor covered his body almost entirely, and to Rahi with poor vision he nearly blended in with the tree trunks.

He was staring at his hand, where he clutched a lit lighter. As the flame burned he stared deeply into the flickering light, searching, probing.

And then suddenly he lurched back and forth as images plowed into his face. First he saw Tahu Nuva in the ruins of Ta-Koro, the mighty Toa being poisoned by a strange green reptilian creature and it’s pronged staff, then he was ripped of that sight to a Gukko collapsing in the ice with two Ta-Matoran falling off, like a plow to the gut he could see a trio of Ta-Matoran being chased by a Muaka through a burnt patch of forest. Then everything melted away as the very island seemed to crumble like a dry clump of sand in a Matoran’s fingers.

The autistic Matoran gasped out, struggling to steady himself. Then shakily he stood up, balancing himself against the tree.

“Okay, okay,” he muttered as he fluttered his wrists, buffering. Even after a thousand years, he did not fully understand the prophetic visions he experienced. But he knew that those images were real, and whether or not they were Mata-Nui’s dreams, he knew they would come to pass, if they had not already. His visions always happened, even if he understood them too late.

This was Kanohi. He was said to be a Po-Matoran, but he lacked their raw physical strength, he only had more endurance than the average Matoran, along with his visions. He was an outsider among all of the Koro of the island, a freak like Midak and Takua. But despite being a freak Kanohi was a hero to the Matoran. In the centuries before the Toa arrived, he had gotten to work protecting the Matoran from the Rahi of the island. A vigilante hero of sorts, he traveled across the south of the island only by Volo Lutu Launcher, grappling from tree to tree.

His fingers drummed the air. Burnt trees and Ta-Matoran, then that vision might have taken place by the border of Ta-Wahi and Le-Wahi, maybe close to Ta-Koro. And that detail linked it to the vision of Tahu being poisoned. Kanohi didn’t know when any of the visions took place, but Vakama would know more, and he too lived in Ta-Koro. The old Turaga was the only other person Kanohi knew who could see visions, and thus Vakama had been a mentor to him.

And if at Ta-Koro was going to be destroyed, the village elder had to know. That was, if the destruction of Ta-Koro wasn’t happening already. And if the village was currently being destroyed, then Kanohi had a duty to hurry there as soon as possible. The Ta-Koro Guard were great warriors, but if Tahu was struggling against … whatever that reptilian beast was, then they needed all the help they could get.

Kanohi shook himself off, slipping his lighter into his back. Then the mask-covered Matoran unholstered his Volo Lutu Launcher, and aimed for a nearby treetop. A sphere blasted out of the weapon, affixing itself to the tree. There was a delay, before Kanohi hurtled into the air, his launcher drawn to the sphere like Sol Magnus’s gravity. He landed on the tree with a stumble, almost tackling the branches to hold himself steady.

He swayed on the tree’s branch for a time, before shakily aiming his launcher at another tree. He lacked the arboreal reflexes of a Le-Matoran, though he managed. He fired the Volo Lutu Launcher again, ensnaring another branch. He was flung towards it, though this time he missed and sailed past the tree’s limb. Quickly he fired the launcher again, hooking another tree and swinging him upward before he could smack into the rough ground below,

Soon enough Kanohi was grappling through the Le-Wahi canopy, making his way towards the border of the two regions of Fire and Air. He whipped through the jungle, speeding through the branches as leaves and twigs smashed into him. His wooden armor absorbed the bulk of the barrage, while his body could endure the rest.

The Matoran hero traversed Le-Wahi with as much clumsy speed as he could manage, barreling towards the northeast of this island of Mata-Nui with each hook of his Volo Lutu Launcher.

“Karzahni, we are lost,” muttered Valka, rubbing his head in his hands, “we could be mios away from the others, they could already be in Ga-Koro by now.”

Takarda grasped Valka’s shoulder and declared, “don’t give up yet, Toa Tahu will rescue us, if not the Ta-Koro Guard.”

“What were the Guard against those beasts? What good was Tahu?”

“Tahu and the Guard overcame the Bohrok Kal, and that was before the Rebuilding, and Tahu had even lost his elemental powers at the time. They will defeat these things yet.”

“But Ta-Koro is gone now, sunken into the lava. Even when Le-Koro was conquered by the Bohrok, the village still stood. Now we … we have nothing.”

In front of them moved Pomahi, a quiet reserve member of the Ta-Koro Guard. His companions were Lava Farmers, while Pomahi had training in fighting Rahi with a throwing disk. He held a shield in one hand and his disk in the other, ready to fling it.

The problem was, it was hard to listen to the sounds of this burnt landscape with the two other Ta-Matoran talking. The nearby churning of lava, the thick smoke, the cracking of burnt sticks under their feet, the crumbling trees and the stink of ash, all of that was already overwhelming his senses, but the two of them deafened him worse.

Pomahi attempted to clear his throat to get their attention, but Takarda raised his voice with a hearty shake of Valka’s shoulder, “Don’t forget, we built Ta-Koro once, we can do it again. And Tahu will be there to help us this time.”

“The Toa are not invincible, they almost fell to the Bohrok Kal. And Tahu has never failed like he did today. And if Tahu was helpless to stop Ta-Koro from sinking, what can we Matoran do? We are just villagers, even after the Rebuilding we were helpless.”

“Listen, we Matoran can still do things.”

“Not like the Toa. And Tahu failed us. What chance have we got?”

“Hey if you do not trust in me, then at least trust in the Toa, they are our saviors sent from Mata-Nui himself. Think about how much better our lives have been since Tahu and the other Toa arrived on the island. We no longer need fear the Rahi—”

The two of them thumped into Pomahi, who had stopped moving, his optics searching through the ashen trees. “What is it?” blurted out Valka, his eyes darting frantically about.

“Do not know,” answered Pomahi, before suddenly pivoting on his feet and hurling his disk. The disk whirled through the air, smacking into a Muaka.

The Muaka hardly flinched, only peering at them and rumbling out a roar. It was massive, its body was yellow and black, its two ears pulled down to make its colossal body sleeker, it had two powerful front legs and treads underneath its torso. The tiger’s treads whirled as it charged at the trio, snarling as it swung its paw at them.

Pomahi lunged into the other Ta-Matoran, helping them duck to the side. The three of them tumbled into the black earth, before picking themselves off and sprinting. Pomahi leaned over to grab his throwing disk as they ran, swiping it up.

Behind them was the sound of treads grinding into volcanic rock, the Muaka was still pursued them. The tiger roared as it drew closer, its enormous jaws reeling back—

Pomahi spun around and threw his disk at the beast, only for the throwing disk to thump harmlessly off the cat. Instead the Muaka chomped down on him, crushing his body in his teeth. With a pop the magnetized mask on his face was squeezed off, flinging it to the side. Pomahi tumbled to the ground, gasping as his mask skidding to the ground off his face.

The Ta-Matoran swayed as he stood up, his legs already starting to buckle. Without a Kanohi on their face; no Matoran could stay conscious for long. He staggered, his grooved naked head swerving around, looking for his mask. He could … he could just about … about … there.

He stumbled about, trying to waddle over to his mask. But he felt like the life was being drained of him, he … he fell to his knees and began to crawl, all but dragging himself towards them.

He was utterly helpless.

Elsewhere Valka was sprinting away with Takarda closely behind. Valka’s heartlight beat like an overzealous Le-Matoran drummer, this was … this was how he was going to die. Not to one of those new beasts, not to a Bohrok-Kal or even a normal Bohrok. Just to a normal Rahi.

The Matoran were helpless. Takarda was lying to himself if he thought differently. The Ta-Matoran people were now homeless, scattered, and lost. The Ta-Koro Guard had been defeated, and Tahu had failed despite all his elemental powers. Ta-Koro was gone, their home was gone, and he was going to die to a gigantic cat.

Then something whirled through the air past Valka, he startled, only for a Matoran to fly in from the side, hooking his arm around a Valka’s waist. The Ta-Matoran was dragged away, sent tumbling to the side of the Muaka’s rampage.

As Valka lay in a heap Kanohi aimed his Volo Lutu Launcher up in front of Takarda. With a press of the trigger he launched the sphere, before being sucked in after it. As he arced by the Ta-Matoran he e tended his arm, scooping up Takarda and carrying him to the side.

“Kanohi?” Takarda managed to say as he staggered up, “listen, there is another Ta-Matoran; Pomahi, I think he lost his mask—”

Kanohi did not reply, only flinging himself after the Muaka with a blast of his launcher.

Takarda watched as Kanohi slammed into the back of the Muaka’s head, making the tiger buck. It began to lurch about, trying to swat at the passenger now on its back.

Kanohi was a bit dazed by the impact, but he endured. The Muaka was trying to knock him off, so he just held tight, his optics searching about as the tiger lashed out.

Then with a sudden thrust the Muaka butted him off, leaving Kanohi to tumble off his back. He landed on all-fours, panting for breath, before firing his Volo Lutu Launcher. Immediately he hurtled through the air, narrowly avoiding the Muaka’s bite.

Then Takarda felt a metallic hand grasp his own, and he was dragged upright to face Pomahi. “He already saved you?” laughed Takarda, “Mata-Nui provides.”

“Who is that?” asked Valka, staring after Kanohi as he led the beast away.

“Kanohi, a vigilante hero who protects the Matoran through the jungles of Le-Wahi. While the Ta-Koro Guard and the Ussalry remain in their villages, he traversed the south, rescuing travelers and helping the villages in its reaches.”

“Like Takua and the rest of the Chronicler’s Company?”

“Exactly. They even say he has visions like Turaga Vakama.”

“Guess there had to be something special with him, for him to fight a Muaka.”

“Can we get to safety now?” asked Pomahi.

“Yeah. You … you think he will be okay?”

“He’s survived worse,” shrugged Pomahi, before leading them away.

Kanohi grappled across the craggy landscape, maneuvering across the volcanic terrain. He stumbled as he landed, the raw heat and fumes was all-consuming, left his unsteady and uncoordinated on his landings. He was no Ta-Matoran, and thus had no protection from the heat. Not that Takua was comfortable in Ta-Wahi either.

Takua; now that was a Matoran. Someone far better than Kanohi. It wasn’t something the vigilante wallowed in, it was just a simple fact. Takua was just as much as a outsider and freak as Kanohi, but unlike Kanohi Takua was not a bandage. Kanohi saved lives, fought Rahi, but he didn’t change things, didn’t improve Mata-Nui. Just kept the Matoran alive and safe.”

But Takua? He had gathered the six Toa Stones and brought the Toa to this island, without him the Matoran would still live in fear of the Makuta. There would be no Rebuilding, no unified Mata-Nui, no real trade between the villages. There was a reason Takua had been appointed the Chronicler, while Kanohi had not been.

Kanohi meanwhile had built up enough of a lead to think. Spying a particularly rocky region he fluttered free hand, he knew how to fight the Muaka. As he landed in front of a crag he stopped, catching his breath as he aimed his Volo Lutu Launcher. As the Muaka barreled down upon him he launched himself away, leaving the tiger to smack into the pillar of stone.

The Muaka staggered from the impact, before Kanohi called out, “Not the Brightest Lightstone in Onu-Koro, are you?” The Muaka snarled and charged at him again, only for Kanohi to launch himself away, and the beast to slam into another mound of rocks.

“Wow, I was not sure that you would understand that. Not that I am saying you are are a Kohlii-head, well I suppose I am, but that was not my point.” The Rahi smashed into a rock pulled after him, but Kanohi once more launched away.

“What was my point?” muttered Kanohi, who had lost his train of thought. By now the Muaka was tiring, it’s joints were bruised and battered, and it was stumbling about in confusion.

“Oh right, just, I am impressed that you understood that metaphor. I struggle with them personally. Or maybe you just understood the tone. Which again, I also struggle with.”

He was being sincere. Kanohi liked to ramble off to the Rahi and Bohrok he faced, gave him practice in social situations, made him less of an awkward fool.

The Muaka meanwhile slammed head first into another pillar of rock, and stagger under its own weight, before collapsing. It lay faint, staring lazily up at the sky.

Kanohi approached the beast, looking it over. It didn’t seem to have an Infected Kanohi, so it was not a servant of the Makuta, just a beast. He nodded and then began to grapple away, heading back towards the Ta-Matoran trio.

Valka was silent, as Takarda chatted to Kanohi. The Po-Matoran kept to the trees above them, leading them towards Le-Koro. He didn’t say much, just nodded or told the trio to change direction.

“Seriously, what is it like seeing the dreams of Mata-Nui?”

“If they are his dreams, they are confusing.”

“What do you mean, if they are his dreams?”

“I do not know what they are, only that fire focuses them.”

“Well what else could they be?”

“I do not know. Tell me more about the three beasts that attacked you. You said they all carried staves? They could think then?”

“Who cares about that, Tahu will deal with them.”

“He was poisoned, he may take time to recover.”

“Ah he is the mightiest of the Toa, he can endure.”

Kanohi did not reply, so Takarda smiled with confidence. But besides him Valka asked, “why did you decide to become a Toa.”

“I am no Toa,” Kanohi said sharply, and Valka almost flinched with the raw emotion that had boiled out of Kanohi’s mouth.”

“Yes but … in the centuries before they came, well, it sounds like you tried to emulate the legends. You rescued Matoran, fought Rahi, saved us even before we were united. Why? You were an outcast, all but banned from Po-Koro. You were that Po-Matoran, right? Dece?”

“That was my name. I don’t use it now, nor should you.”

“Right but, why did your risk your life?”

“There were no Toa then, someone had to.”

“But why you? Why an outsider who had attacks in the city streets of Po-Koro?”

“…Symbols are important. A Hau means the Great Spirit Mata-Nui, it shows a place is shielded from harm. The symbol of a masked hero with special powers and a strange tool; it could make the Matoran feel less alone. Like Mata-Nui wasn’t ignoring them.”

“By why you?”

“Because I was alone,” Kanohi answered, “can we stop talking, I do not mean to be rude, but it’s exhausting, and I need to focus on my aim.”

“Of course,” answered Pomahi for the group. It was easier to speak up for someone else’s sake than for his own.

So the three Toa-Matoran and their protector trekked on through the jungle, Kanohi still dwelling on his visions. Ta-Koro had fallen, he could already heart the drums booming to warn the other villages. Kanohi would have to travel to the other villages soon, help them prepare. These strange beings, three of them had sunken Ta-Koro. And in recent weeks Kanohi had suffered visions foretelling the return of the Makuta. If these beasts were his doing, then the Toa would soon begin great peril.

And then there was the matter of this relic Takua had found. According to Pomahi, the Chronicler had discovered a strange Mask of Light; that foretold the arrival of a seventh Toa. And that mask was discovered right before the three reptilian beasts attacked. Takua and Jaller had left with the mask before the attack, so it seemed likely that the Makuta had been searching for them.

It would take time to catch up with the duo, and Kanohi’s face-blindness would not help much, but he would try to track them down. He doubted he could help on the quest, but he would do what he could, even if that was only to keep the Koro they passed safe. 

Edited by Harvali

"Danger is the anvil on which trust is forged"-Jaller(Jala) :smilejala: 
"We're on our own here-like we've always been-and we'll stand or fall on our own"-Tanma
"He may seem slow and strange to you, but his simple words often carry a hidden wisdom"-Turaga Vakama on Kapura

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Of Villagers, Outcasts, and Heroes: a Kanohi Fanfic A Restless Freak in Paradise: a Kanohi Fanfic The Company of Cowards: a Kanohi Fanfic  A Village Against the Rahkshi: a Kanohi Fanfic Escapement Profiles: Kanohi  Ka 

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