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Journey Into The Light -- Part I I: Peacetime


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#1 Offline GaliGee

GaliGee
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Posted Jan 18 2012 - 12:07 PM

The first half of this epic: Journey into the Light -- Part I: The Bohrok-Kal.Reply topic here.

Journey Into The Light

Takua’s Journal

Part II: Peacetime

Summer 2 : 4 (again)My nap was cut short this afternoon, but it turned out to be a good thing. As I was dreaming about the defeat of the Bohrok-Kal, and reliving the vision Toa Gali had sent to me from the Bahrag lair the day before, I heard voices. “Hey, leave him alone, he’s sleeping,” said one.“Yeah, maybe we can catch him later,” agreed the other voice, closer to my head. I heard the unmistakable sound of a lava board scraping the stone floor of my hut, and my eyes snapped open.“Aww, you woke him up!”I sat up and looked around. My surfing buddies, Raku and Lito, were tiptoeing out of the room.“It’s all right,” I smiled.“Takua!” they yelled, running over to me. They piled onto my bed and started bouncing on it. “Come on! We have time to catch a few waves before it’s time to go to the party!”And so we did. Puku, who had been snoozing in the adjacent cubicle, raised her eye stalks and chittered contentedly at me as we walked by with our boards. We crossed the bridge and hiked up the river bank above the village, then climbed the long staircase chiseled into the side of a cliff so we could surf the Maabu tributary that cascades into the main lava river fifty bios below.I had all but forgotten the pure joy of riding a current of magma, the heat waves caressing my mask and the lava casting a reddish-gold glow on the stark stone channel banks. We zoomed down the river of fire, reveling in the sting of tiny droplets spattering our legs, glorying in the sensation of going airborne over the rapids and the thrill of grounding our boards mere bios away from the edge of the Maabu Falls. Then we would run back uphill and do it again.Eventually Toa Tahu sailed wordlessly past us and disappeared over the Falls. We ran to the overlook and watched him plummet over the cliff, twisting gracefully around his magma-blade board and righting himself just before he landed with a splat in the hot fluid. He waved to us as he ran his board onto the rocks. Then he raced back up the jagged staircase with his Kakama and announced to us that it was time to leave.We watched him go over the Falls again. Then we descended the stairs and headed for the village. Jala was just inside the gate, organizing his troops for the long march to the Kini-Nui. It’s going to take a whole day to get there. Since we’re bringing a lot of food, Koli staffs, gifts for the Toa, and so on, he’s organized the Guard regiments so they can carry everything. There are four Matoran assigned to carry the Suva, too. After what happened with the Kal, Turaga Vakama doesn’t want to leave it here, even with a group of guardsmen. He says we can’t afford to take any chances. And besides, this way we can all go to the party.Turaga Vakama turned and glared at us as we came in. “You’re late,” he said sternly.Raku and Lito hung their heads. “I’m sorry, Turaga,” I stammered, dreading another responsibility lecture. “We were just—”“Skip the excuses, Takua. I know exactly what you were doing.” Then a smile spread across his mask. “You were enjoying what you love most, which your faithful attention to your duty has kept you from doing for over a month.”I grinned sheepishly. “Yes, sir.”“I think your friends really missed you,” he added, patting my back. Then he turned to the crowd and announced triumphantly, “Ta-Koronans, let us go celebrate the victory of the Toa over the Bohrok-Kal!”Everyone broke out into a big, loud cheer. Then I remembered Puku. “Turaga, I’ve got to run upstairs and get—“ Then I saw my crab scurrying down the steps to meet me. “Never mind.”Raku and Lito took their places among the ranks. Jala gestured for Puku and me to come walk next to him at the head of the column. He started singing a brisk military song, and the joyous procession strode out of the village, over the bridge, and onto the road, the guardsmen’s feet moving in rhythm to the music. I’m really glad we aren’t going to use the tunnel route, even though it’s a bit shorter because it goes under the volcano instead of around it. Those who aren’t in the Guard, about half of the villagers, walked in an unstructured group behind them. Toa Tahu and Turaga Vakama brought up the rear. Every now and then, above the sound of footsteps, the singing, and the low chatter of the Matoran, I could hear the Turaga’s chuckle or the Toa’s throaty laugh. It was a welcome sound after seeing our Toa experience so much rage and frustration of late.The river of red, yellow, and orange villagers flowed over the foothills of the Mangai like a current of lava. I’m sure it would look about the same to a sunsoaring Le-Koronan, except that lava doesn’t go sideways. After a few marching songs, everyone got tired of singing, and the guardsmen broke ranks and just began to walk normally. Their training keeps them in good condition, so they maintained a good pace. The other villagers, mostly lava farmers, have good arm strength from turning winch cranks and pushing carts and so on, but they’re not used to so much walking. They didn’t mind, though, because it was a happy journey. I’m not much of an athlete, but after spending the last few years traveling all over the island, walking long distances has just become second nature, and I’ve got Puku if I do get tired. So keeping the pace is no problem for me.When we got to the jungle, the going got tougher, obviously. Toa Tahu took the lead and started using his swords to clear the foliage and widen the path, which has become overgrown with brambles and vines during the time of the Rahi, Bohrok, and Bohrok-Kal. One of the things I’m really looking forward to, now that there is peace, is better road maintenance. Until now the only Matoran who traveled regularly were the Guard, and me. The Turaga kept telling everyone else it was too dangerous to travel unless it was really necessary. But now there is no reason why we can’t go visit other villages. Besides, it’ll reinforce the Unity that the Turaga hold so dear. (That’s personally my favorite virtue, because it’s the most fun.) In my own wanderings, I’ve heard a lot of Matoran—Taipu for example—express the wish that they could see the rest of the island. Now we’ll finally have the chance.There’s just one thing I’m wondering about. If Makuta is still alive… is he going to try some new nasty trick? When I started to describe the Rahi Nui vision at the village fire last night, Turaga Vakama motioned for me to hush and took over the storytelling. He left out Makuta’s appearance altogether, and only mentioned himself in passing. He made it sound like his desperate last-second dive to get out of the creature’s way wasn’t really planned, and that the Toa’s efforts had so weakened the horrible beast that it was unable to pull its horns from the wall. But if Turaga Vakama is confident enough in our safety to leave our impenetrable fortress village and bring us halfway across the island for a party, that’s good enough for me.Toa Tahu is obviously really glad to have his powers back. Whenever the brush resists his blades, he just hits it with fire, then extinguishes the blaze by drawing the flames back into himself. I think he’s overdoing it just a little, just because he can. But no one has any problem with it. Needless to say, no Rahi are going to challenge such a big crowd, especially with our Toa using fiery blasts to scour a wide swath in front of us.We got to a big clearing by nightfall, and Turaga Vakama declared that we would camp for the night. Then we’ll continue to the Kini-Nui in the morning. We should get there right at midday.Everyone was glad to set down his load and rest his feet for a few minutes. But soon the campsite was bustling with activity as we gathered firewood and prepared the food for cooking. Toa Tahu went from one group to the next, lighting fires. As he blasted our pile of branches, hitting it so hard that chips and sparks flew in all directions, he smiled broadly at me and Jala. “Now it’s my turn to do this for you.”“That’s as it should be, Toa Tahu,” said Jala, his face bright with reflected firelight.Raku, Lito, Agni, and Kalama—those last two are a couple of Jala’s guard friends—were also in our group. I was glad to let Kalama do the cooking. He grilled some meat and roasted some nuts, and we ate hungrily after our long march. Soon we were reclining by the fire, joking and telling stories. Finally Turaga Vakama came around and gently urged everyone to go to sleep, so we could get up early in the morning to continue our journey. But of course I pulled out my book and pen instead. Turaga Vakama nodded at me and moved on to the next campfire.I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going to be wonderful to see my friends from the other Koros. The Le-Koronans are probably going to bring their birds and musical instruments, and the Po-Koronans will no doubt try to beat everyone at the new koli. The Onu-Koronans always bring their crabs to race, and the Ko-Koronans rule at the Juma-Juvo tables. And the Ga-Koronans will have beautiful linens and flower garlands to decorate the temple—as if their very presence didn’t add beauty enough.Summer 2 : 5This morning dawned clear and bright, and we lost no time packing up our camp and hitting the road. We soon reached the pass between the Mangai and Mount Ihu, and we followed it to the great temple. As the majestic pillars loomed into view above the treetops, Jala announced, “The Kini-Nui!”A great cheer arose from the villagers, and we quickened our pace. We reached the clearing, the breathtaking stone structure standing proudly in the center to remind us of the enduring strength of our beloved protector, Mata Nui. As I craned my neck to admire the massive columns erected in his honor, I wished he could be as present to us as his temple is.The Ko-Koronans were already there, setting up five giant sailcloth tents on the western side of the clearing. Turaga Vakama and Toa Tahu walked across to greet their counterparts from the village of ice. After we had set down our loads, we Matoran followed. As reserved as the Ko-Koronans usually are, their quiet smiles and spare greetings seemed positively effusive.Jala organized teams to put up our tents on the southeast side and store the supplies in one of them. We’ll be here for two nights, so it’s worth investing a bit of time to get comfortable. Of course, with the Toa here, we won’t have to worry about bad weather. I suspect the tents are intended to make it easier for the Turaga to keep track of us all rather than to provide actual shelter. The Ga-Koronans wove and stitched them long ago for everyone to use during island-wide games, but because of all the Rahi and Bohrok trouble, they’ve been in storage for many years. In fact, we’ve all but forgotten how to set them up, and it took us a couple of tries to figure out the water girls’ clever system of bamboo poles, ropes, and stakes all over again. If the Ko-Koronans noticed our struggle, they ignored it. They probably didn’t want to insult us by offering to help with something so obvious.As Jala and I tightened the last of the ropes holding up the supply tent and began to drag the food and equipment inside, the earth erupted on the northwest side of the field. Toa Onua popped up out of the ground. Toa Tahu ambled over, and they clanked their fists together. Soon dark Matoran, and a few Ussal crabs, were streaming out of the hole like ants from an anthill. And then we heard a shout. The Po-Koronans were coming over the hill, singing a loud Koli song. After hailing everyone enthusiastically, they set about preparing their camp to the northeast. Toa Pohatu and Toa Onua’s resonant laugher rang out over the happy chatter of the mingled villagers.The stone and earth villagers helped each other set up camp, taking their places, as we had done, according to the geography of the island. Naturally the Po-Koronans were in a hurry to set up a Koli field. While the Onu-Koronans paced off the dimensions in the grass, their lighter-colored brothers hauled stones to mark the corners and goals. Toa Pohatu and Toa Onua, wearing their Pakari, picked up three huge rocks and carried them to the field. The bounce in their step made it obvious that to them, the boulders were about as heavy as Gukko feathers. Toa Pohatu gave two of the rocks a few strategically placed kicks, and the inside crumbled away to form a goal. Toa Onua carved out the other with his saws. Puku joined the Onu-Koronan crabs in helping to haul away the rubble. Then the group set about marking off an oval race track around the entire clearing. Onepu set colorful banners onto poles at the start and finish lines.Meanwhile, the ice villagers were busily arranging flat stones into a series of tables on which to play Juma-Juvo. Jala glanced over at them as he walked out of the supply tent. “Kopeke’s always been the guy to beat,” he told me. “And Jaatikko’s no slouch, either.” The ice architect was putting a small rock under one edge of a bigger one to keep it level. He looked up, met the eyes of his rival, and saluted him. Jala waved back.Raku and Lito had finished with their tent, and they came over to help us lay out a selection of food for everyone to snack on. Since we Ta-Koronans like to hunt, we had a variety of cold roasted Rahi meats. The Po-Koronans were serving up choice cuts of Maha, and the Onu-Koronans had crisp fried mushrooms in abundance. The Ko-Koronans shared their usual fare of fowl boiled in melted glacier water. They eat birds a lot, because the only edible animals in their region are the ones flying over on their way somewhere else.We all milled around, sampling exotic foods we don’t usually get to try. There was a lot of joking around. I heard Raku ask Tehutti, “You guys eat fungus on purpose?” He picked up a mushroom, looked suspiciously at it, then crunched into it. “Say... this is really good!”Faint strains of a lovely melody floated over the hills to the northeast, and a loud splash confirmed that it was the voices of the Ga-Koronans, coming up the Hura-Mafa River in a fleet of large and small boats. Everyone dropped his food and rushed over to the edge of the water. Maku led the procession in her canoe, with Turaga Nokama standing proudly in the bow. As the blue villagers docked and secured their watercraft, the rest of us scrambled to help them unload their cargo.I looked around nervously for Nixie. I spotted her in the stern of Kai’s skiff, but she was looking down at an object in the boat. I started walking over, hoping to carry it for her, but she lifted it herself and handed it to Hahli on the shore. At this moment I slammed heavily into someone. It was a Ta-Koronan lava farmer named Tapuko, or at least, that’s what I thought his name was at the time. “Watch where you’re going,” he grunted.“Sorry,” I stammered. I looked back at Kai’s boat, and it was already empty. With so much help, the Ga-Koronans were already setting up their tents on the northeast side of the clearing, between us and the Po-Koronans. Thank Mata Nui for the thoughtful way he put the bay next to the volcano when he laid out the island.A flock of wild Kewa had taken advantage of the distraction to forage on our abandoned snacks, and several Matoran were driving them away with a flurry of disks. Turaga Nokama, trying vainly to hide her amusement, called for some fish to be brought out, and once the water villagers’ tents were up, everyone returned to the buffet tables. Once again I searched for Nixie. She was sitting in the grass with Kai, Amaya, Hahli, and Jala, and I headed in their direction.A savage shriek split the air, and immediately the skies were full of Le-Koronans on birdback. Flapping and whirring, they began to dive-bomb the assembly, releasing melons at the nadir of their trajectories. The ripe fruits exploded as they struck, covering the tents, Juma-Juvo tables, and quite a few Matoran with pulp and juice. Everyone scrambled for the cover of the trees. Shouting and laugher followed as the pranksters landed and the remaining Le-Koronans sprinted into the clearing. Leave it to the jungle dwellers to make a dramatic entrance!And bringing up the rear was Toa Lewa with Turaga Matau riding on his back. Their triumphant yells rose above the whooshing of air under his katanas as they surveyed the impact of their prank. I paused to chuckle at the sight of a Turaga swooping down from the sky astride the fastest airborne creature on the island. Who knew Turaga Matau was such a thrill-seeker? But I didn’t think about it long, because I had to dive into the bushes to avoid the last of the melons. Just as I jumped, a sphere of sweet, juicy goodness burst into pieces right where I had been standing.Not everyone was taking the joke well. Tapuko pulled a large chunk of melon rind off his shoulder and strode up to Kongu, who was patting his Gukko at the edge of the clearing. “I believe this is yours,” he growled, smashing the rind over Kongu’s head.Kongu burst out laughing, but this was apparently not the response Tapuko had been hoping for. The Ta-Koronan gave him a provocative shove. It would seem that Kongu isn’t used to grumpy Ta-Koronans, because his eyes got really wide.Now, I really hate to get involved in this sort of thing, but I could tell trouble was brewing, and no one else was paying attention. So I decided to step in between my fellow villager and my highflying friend before things got out of hand. “Tapuko, it’s all right, it was just a joke. They didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”“My name is Tupako,” he snapped. “And what business is it of yours, anyway?”“Well, none, really, but there’s no point in fighting. We’re here to celebrate a great victory! Why don’t you just let it go, and come join the fun?”Out of the corner of my eye I could see a crowd gathering to watch as Tupako clenched his fists. “I’m not going to take orders from a blue-masked freak who just wanders the island instead of doing his job,” he hissed.I stepped back. “Come on, let’s not start any trouble.” Just as I finished talking, I saw his fist dart out. Then I felt a blow to the side of my head, and there was a bright flash of light.I woke up on the ground, stunned and dizzy. I felt my head with my hands and realized my Pakari was missing. I groaned, rolled over, and got onto all fours to look for it. Then I saw a blurry blue shape hovering in front of me. My mask! I quickly took it and put it on. I breathed a sigh of relief as my strength was restored. Then I looked up and saw Nixie standing over me.Well, I just about passed out again from embarrassment. Nixie sat in the grass next to me and asked gently, “Are you all right, Takua?” I smiled weakly and nodded.Next to us, Kai had grappled Tupako to the ground. Kongu was trying to pull them apart. Then Turaga Nokama showed up, and after a few stern words from her, everyone stood up and apologized.Once the Le-Koronans were settled, and Toa Gali had lined up all the sticky Matoran and washed them off, the Turaga gathered on the platform of the temple and announced the schedule of activities. After we cleaned up the mess from the Le-Koronans’ prank, we Matoran were free to play informal games and visit with each other for the rest of the afternoon. A committee of Matoran from each village, led by Turaga Onewa, would work out the rules for the new type of koli pioneered by Huki after the defeat of the Bohrok. Then at sundown we would eat a meal together and get some rest. Tomorrow there will be a ceremony before the tournaments begin.As soon as the meeting broke up, everyone pitched in to pick up melon scraps, tighten tent ropes, and otherwise straighten up. The Ga-Koronans draped everyone’s tents with garlands of water lilies and put bamboo poles everywhere. We Ta-Koronans put torches on top of the poles to light as soon as the sun went down. Some of the Le-Koronans and Ga-Koronans pulled out musical instruments and began to fill the air with music. The ethereal sound floated over the buzz of happy activity. Jala tried to get me to come help with the koli rules committee, but I couldn’t care less about that. Koli is fun, but since I’m not particularly good at it, I’d just as soon let someone else come up with the details.So I wandered over to watch the band, because Nixie was playing a fishbone xylophone. Fascinated, I stared at her hands, moving so skillfully over the notes. Then I realized she was looking at me. “Do you play an instrument, Takua?” she asked.I went back to the tent and pulled my flute out of my pack. I’m not very talented, but with this many musicians, mistakes weren’t very obvious, so I joined the band. Basically, I just wanted to stand next to Nixie.When we took a break, she invited me to look at her portable telescope. She led me into one of the Ga-Koronan tents. The apparatus she had unloaded from the boat was sitting on a wooden table. The protodermis frame held a blue crystal, and various gears and dials allowed the user to calculate angles and positions. As she talked about it, I nodded, and my mask slipped loose. I caught it with my hand before she noticed.“They’re making you work?” I asked incredulously. “That doesn’t seem fair.”“Since the Toa’s victory over the Bohrok-Kal, so much has been happening in the sky,” she said. “I can’t afford to lose three days of study, even for a celebration. But I don’t mind, because I love my duty.”I smiled at her, because I understood exactly what she meant. Well, sort of. Work is intolerably boring, unless it involves traveling or writing or both. I’ve been lucky that my Turaga lets me do something I like, and yet I can still call it my duty.I adjusted my Pakari again, because it felt strangely loose, and she looked at me inquiringly. “Takua, why is it that you have a blue mask?”“Uh, well, I don’t know. I suppose I was just built this way,” I said awkwardly. I’ve always felt like an oddball with my blue mask, and at that moment I would have given just about anything to have a red, orange, or yellow one.“Well, I think it’s fun that we match,” she grinned. Suddenly I decided I liked my blue Pakari, after all.Someone tapped my shoulder, and I turned to see Turaga Nokama standing behind me. My heart started pounding. She was undoubtedly mad at me for being in the Ga-Koronans’ tent! Or perhaps I was about to get a lecture about starting fights. But she just smiled and escorted me out of the tent. “Takua,” she said kindly, “Nixie will bring the telescope outside tonight, and then you will be welcome to look at it.”I nodded sheepishly. My Pakari slipped again, and I steadied it. After Turaga Nokama walked away, I found Jala at the koli field and pulled him aside. “Take a look at my mask,” I urged him. “See if you can find anything wrong with it. It keeps slipping.”I sat down so I wouldn’t fall from vertigo while my friend examined my Kanohi. He put it back on my face. “The attachment rod is bent,” he explained. “You should ask Turaga Vakama for a new mask.”So I did. Turaga Vakama smiled wryly. “Indeed. Let this be a lesson to you not to start fights!”At that moment a terrible cracking noise came from the field. We both turned to look. Kopeke was on the ground, his broken Kanohi lying next to him. “Well,” said the Turaga, “it looks like we’ll need to get two new masks.”Jaa helped Kopeke get up and put the fragments back on his face. He held them there as we walked behind Turaga Vakama, Turaga Nuju and Matoro. From time to time Kopeke stumbled and his friend caught him. The Turaga led us into the woods. After a brief walk we reached a cluster of boulders. Turaga Nuju produced a stone key and inserted it into a crack in the rock. A door slid open to reveal a vast cave.A side passageway led to a chamber with rows of gray masks lining the walls. Turaga Nuju clicked and squeaked, and Matoro told Kopeke to choose a mask. He selected a Matatu and put it on. The mask immediately changed to his sand-blue color, and Kopeke took a deep breath and stood up straight again.Turaga Vakama looked at me and gestured at the wall. “Takua?”I scanned the rows, but I didn’t see any Pakari. “Maybe I don’t really need a new mask,” I said.“Well, let me see your old one. I might be able to repair it,” suggested the Turaga of Fire. He studied it while I leaned against the wall. Then he applied his firestaff to it for a few seconds. Just as I was starting to feel really woozy, I felt the warm mask being shoved back onto my face. I shook my head, and even though it still felt a little bit loose, at least it stayed on.Turaga Nuju was whistling and snickering, but Matoro wasn’t translating anything. “Click all you want to, brother, but my old skills do come in handy once in a while,” said Turaga Vakama, rolling his eyes.I guess it must be another Turaga inside joke. But I’m just happy my mask stays on, and I still get to match Nixie. We returned to the party. The koli committee had just unanimously decided to add a rule making it illegal to throw a koli stick during a game. Various Matoran had started a big fire and were grilling fresh meat, and others were putting out vegetables and fruits. The Le-Koronans always set a colorful table.All of us, including the cooks as they worked, were soon watching the Toa, who decided to entertain everyone with displays of their elemental powers. Since they lost them almost as soon as they became Nuva, most of us hadn’t seen what they could do. Toa Tahu was making fiery circles in the sky with his blades, and Toa Gali shot arcs of water through them. Toa Kopaka raised majestic hollow pillars of ice, and Toa Lewa was sending wind whistling through them to make a sublime music. Toa Pohatu was kicking big rocks at an immense earthen wall Toa Onua had erected at one edge of the field. Compared to accounts of the last time the Toa had tested their powers against each other, this was very good-natured and playful.Soon we were silent for a blessing by Turaga Whenua, and then we ate a sumptuous feast of everything good the island had to offer. It was the first really good meal I’ve had in a long, long time. It seems good cooking is one of the first things to be sacrificed in wartime. But I think meals are a great way to promote unity. The Toa and Turaga sat among us, and somehow it felt like we were all really one big village. We ate until we couldn’t manage another bite.Then Nixie set up her telescope. Unfortunately, I was just one of a big throng crowding around her to look, but it was still fun listening her tell about how it worked. Then the Turaga herded us all into our tents for the night. Jala is making the rounds checking on everyone, and Raku and Lito are arm wrestling. I’m just writing in my journal as usual, peeking out of a gap in the tent every now and then to study the one who’s out there studying the stars. :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.

Edited by GaliGee, Feb 10 2012 - 01:53 PM.

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#2 Offline GaliGee

GaliGee
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Posted Jan 19 2012 - 11:22 AM

Summer 2 : 6Now, today was just about the strangest day I’ve ever lived through. It began with Turaga Vakama waking me up in the dark. In my sleepy confusion I asked him if there was some kind of emergency, even though his calm demeanor should have tipped me off that nothing was wrong.Silently he prodded Jala awake, and we followed our Turaga out of the tent into the night. He led us into the woods to the cave where we got Kopeke’s mask yesterday. But instead of going into the Kanohi room, Turaga Vakama changed to his Ruru and turned down a long, dark passageway. He used his key to open another door.Jala and I walked into the chamber, and I held up my lightstone. We gasped in awe. The room was stacked from floor to ceiling with parts. But these were not machine parts. These were the kind of pieces that normally make up living creatures.“What—what happened to these Rahi?” asked Jala uneasily. “How did so many of them die all together like this?”“These were never part of any beast,” replied the Turaga solemnly. “These are new parts. Extra parts. You are about to see how wonderfully we have been created. Because I am going to rebuild you.”Well, at this our jaws dropped. Rebuild us? I didn’t even know that was possible. But then I started thinking about the Toa Kaita. They had rebuilt three of themselves into one mighty being. So, yes, it was obviously possible.The village elder picked up an oddly shaped piece and turned it over in his hands. “This will be an extension of your torso, Takua. And these,” he continued, gesturing at a few smaller parts, “will make your legs longer.”As my eyes finally adjusted to the dim light, I realized that there were parts of different colors, presumably to match the Matoran from all six villages. “Where did these come from?” I asked.Turaga Vakama waved his hand as if to dismiss my question. “Don’t worry about that. What’s important is that we Turaga have finally had time to design an upgrade for everyone and make sure there are enough parts to do it. You and Jala will be the first, but by the end of today, the Great Spirit willing, every Matoran on Mata Nui will have a taller, stronger body.”Jala’s grinned broadly. “I like the sound of that! Stronger soldiers!”“And longer strides,” I added, imagining that it would be easier to cover distances with extended legs.“Yes, larger size brings many advantages,” sighed the Turaga. “Well, let’s get started. Takua, have a seat.”He tugged on my left leg as I gripped the boulder I was sitting on. I clenched my jaw as discomfort turned to pain and then sudden relief as the joint popped apart. Then he pulled off my right leg. I looked down at my truncated self with horror. But immediately Turaga Vakama snapped on the torso part and leaned over me to make sure it was properly connected. Then he snapped my legs back on.Jala watched, worried, until I had legs again. Then he laughed. “You look like a Dikapi bird, with that long body and those stubby legs!”“Hey, he’s not finished with me yet!” I protested. “At least, I hope not.” Turaga Vakama was removing my lower legs and splicing in a longer section. Then he put my feet back on. Now I looked really strange, with my arms too short for both my body and my legs.“Oh, that’s much better. Now you’re a Husi,” snickered my friend. I couldn’t help but laugh, too.After my arms were replaced by new ones, Turaga Vakama helped me to stand up. For the first time I was eye-to-eye with him. I cautiously moved my limbs. Everything felt great!Jala was admiring my new form. “Not bad. Not bad at all.”I loomed over him. “You talking to me, shorty?” I asked with mock gruffness.Jala turned to Turaga Vakama. “Turaga, please hurry up and rebuild me, too, so I’ll be able to stand Takua.”The village elder laughed. He went through the same drill with Jala while I tested my new body, jumping over the piles of parts and lifting a big rock over my head. I was quite a bit stronger than before. Soon Jala joined me, exploring his new capabilities, too.“All right, that’s enough,” smiled our Turaga. “Let’s not make a big mess in here.” He led us out of the room, locking the door behind us.“So, Turaga Vakama,” I asked as we approached the end of the tunnel, “how did you know how to rebuild us?”“Simple,” he answered. “We’ve always kept extra parts around, in case of serious injury. In the past, part replacements were fairly common because of industrial accidents and the like. But here, we’ve never really needed them, so they’ve remained in storage. Then—”“Industrial accidents?” I interrupted, puzzled.“Then something strange happened,” the Turaga continued, ignoring my question. “Long ago you were about the size you are now. But Makuta became angry at the Matoran for refusing to worship him, and he reduced you all to smaller forms. I just restored you to the size you were before by adding some pieces.”“Makuta did that to us?” Jala was incredulous. “But why don’t we remember it?”“Because he also erased your memories.”We emerged into the dark forest in silence, stunned at the magnitude of the revealed truth. Makuta seemed even more sinister than ever to me. How could a being expect to be worshipped if he treated lesser creatures like that? The most he could possibly hope for now was to be feared. “Were you Turaga bigger before, too?” I finally ventured.“We were able to resist Makuta’s repression through sheer force of will,” he explained. Suddenly I understood why the Turaga seemed to have all these distant memories that we didn’t. And I had new admiration for the Turaga. It must have been terrible to see the entire population shrink by one-third of their height and then forget everything that had ever happened to them. As we reached the camp, the other Turaga were the only ones awake. They came to look at us, nodding approvingly. The sun began to surge over the horizon, bringing the splendor of a glorious day. Turaga Vakama told Jala and me to go up onto the platform of the temple while they woke everyone else. We stood behind one of the pillars to stay out of sight.Soon the entire group was assembled. Turaga Matau blew on a large horn to get everyone’s attention. Then Turaga Vakama called the other Turaga to join him in the center of the platform as he gave a short speech. “Brave Matoran,” he began, “you have shown your valor time and again despite your small stature. Taking up disk and spear, you have defended yourselves courageously against foraging Rahi. And then, when the enemy of our Great Spirit began to infect the wild creatures, causing them to turn savage and destructive, you rose to the challenge, defeating beasts many times your own size with determination and clever planning. You have proven beyond a doubt that the valor of your hearts belies the small size of the bodies that contain them.”He paused. The crowd murmured curiously, and everyone looked at each other.“But now, my friends, the time has come for a change. By the generosity of the Great Spirit Mata Nui, we have the means to rebuild you larger. Witness the new form of the Matoran!” He gestured at us to come out, and we did.The Matoran gasped and rubbed their eyes, unable to believe what they were seeing. The Turaga of Fire explained that the Matoran would accompany their elders in small groups to be rebuilt. Those with new forms would help others obtain theirs. He asked for everyone’s patience, because it would take all day to reassemble a thousand villagers. But by dinnertime, we would all be reconstructed. The Juma-Juvo tournament would be unaffected, but the koli matches would be arranged so that no one would play until he was rebuilt. He dismissed the excited group.“Well,” said Jala, “that puts us in the first koli match.”I wouldn’t really have cared about that, anyway, but just then I was mobbed by excited Matoran wanting to get a closer look. Chattering excitedly, they touched my arms, legs, and body, asking me if it hurt, how fast I could run now, and a million other questions. I glanced over, and Jala was being subjected to the same happy onslaught of attention. I saw him hoist an unsuspecting Hahli onto his shoulders. She gave a squeal of surprise and held out her arms to steady herself.Then the crowd around me parted and became silent. Raku and Lito were dragging Tupako toward me. He was struggling and kicking to get free, but they were relentless.“Here you go, Takua,” announced Raku. “Now that you’re big, it’s your chance to get even with this scum!”They hurled Tupako to the ground at my feet. He looked up at me in fear.I gazed down at the cowering Matoran, now two-thirds my size, who had decked me the day before and humiliated me in front of my friends and the girl I was trying so hard to impress. My new muscles tensed with anticipation. Now I could teach him not to mess with me. But for some reason, I hesitated.Jala had set Hahli down and come over to see what was happening. “Go ahead, Takua. Give him what he deserves,” he urged.I shook my head. “No. It’s pointless. He’ll be rebuilt in a couple of hours, and then he’ll come after me again.” I reached down to help him up. Glaring at me, he ignored my hand, sprang up of his own accord, and hurried away into the crowd.“Wow, Takua,” mused Raku. “Are you sure you’re really a Ta-Koronan?”Suddenly feeling like an outsider again, I started to stammer an answer. But just then Nixie walked up to me. “I think you did the right thing,” she smiled.“Oh, I get it,” laughed Lito, nodding knowingly in Nixie’s direction. “Girls hate fights. Except for Kai, of course.” Kai playfully locked her arm around his neck and rubbed her fist on his head.But I hadn’t done it to please Nixie. It just felt wrong to hit one of my fellow villagers. Tupako wasn’t my enemy. What he had done was really stupid, and I would have been no better if I had retaliated in kind. And in retrospect, he was probably more offended by my restraint than he would have been by my aggression.“Thanks, anyway, guys,” I said to Raku and Lito. “I think we proved something to him.”Raku looked at me quizzically. “If you say so.”Lito’s answer was muffled because his face was in the grass. Kai was sitting on his back, tickling his ribs.Jala slapped me on the back. “You know, I think Nixie may be right, after all. Well, let’s go help everyone else get rebuilt, and then we’ll give them a hard time on the koli field.”For a little while I helped Jala and the guard lieutenants lead Matoran back and forth between the campsite and the spare parts cave. It was really hilarious to watch their reactions to their new forms. Some were overjoyed, others careful. The lawn around the Kini-Nui saw more gymnastics than ever before in history, I’m sure. And to think this was the place where seven of us held off a horde of infection-crazed Rahi not so long ago. Now that the master of those beasts has been defeated, the joyful Matoran were exploring the capabilities of the bodies that he had once stunted.As soon as a few more Matoran were rebuilt, the koli games began. Jala and I were in the first match, against Maku and Kotu, and Huki and Hafu. I guess they rebuilt the Turaga’s right and left hand Matoran first—I’m not sure how I got so lucky, because Kapura should have been done before me. The first team to score three points would be the winner. It was the first time I had tried the new koli, and I’ve never been all that good at the old koli, so my expectations of playing well were pretty low. But it turned out to be quite a fun game.We all played a little bit wild, because we didn’t have very good control over our new bodies yet. As soon as the first ball was launched, Maku whacked it so hard it flew out of the arena and bounced off one of the temple pillars, and she cringed in dread until she heard Turaga Nokama laughing. Then she stood up straight and laughed, too.Huki retrieved the ball, snickering about girls’ lack of aim, and tossed it back into play. Kotu snagged it with the cup end of her stick and sprinted for our goal. Jala jumped in front of her and blocked her stick, and the ball flew out. Hafu and Maku scrambled for it, and Hafu came up with the prize. He drove on toward our goal.Jala threw himself desperately in front of the shot, knocking it out of the way. It bounced out of the arena across the grass, and I went to fetch it. I threw it back onto the field. Huki caught it and spun around, flinging the ball to his teammate. But Maku intercepted it and tipped it to Kotu, who slammed it hard with the hammer end—right into our goal.The ball shot up out of the launcher, and I dove for it. I captured it in the cup of my stick, but Hafu and I fell on top of each other. Kotu casually leaned over, scooped it out, and ran for the Po-Koronan goal. Huki jostled her toward one side of the field. “Hey!” she protested. She elbowed him, and the ball fell out of her stick. Jala beat both of them to it, and he wove around Maku to score a point. “Way to go!” I yelled.Excited by his goal, Jala got the next launch. He flipped the ball behind him to me. Startled, I managed to snag it with my stick somehow, and I ran for the Ga-Koronan goal. As Kotu rushed me, I twisted to one side and passed it back to Jala. But Hafu stepped in and picked it off, then pivoted and flung it halfway across the field into our goal.“Nice pass, Takua,” remarked Jala. “Too bad it was to the other team.”“Well, I’ll get theirs next time,” I promised. And soon I had the chance. As Maku lunged at Huki, he passed to Hafu. But I jumped in front of it, turned a somersault in mid-air, and caught the ball in my stick. As I flipped over, the ball flew out, straight up in the air. I landed flat on my back and watched Jala and Kotu jump up to get it. I rolled out of the way just as they landed. Huki hit his stick against Jala’s, and the ball was loose again. He scooped it up, dodged me, and scored easily on our goal.Jala could have berated me for my poor goalie work, but instead he talked about my flip. “Whoa, Takua!” he panted. “That was great! You should work on that move.”I glanced over at the wide-eyed onlookers and laughed. “It seems to be a crowd-pleaser.” Even Puku was bouncing up and down on her six legs and waving her eye stalks.In between points, I had been watching the path to the woods to see when Nixie would come back rebuilt. She finally emerged from the underbrush, tall and lovely in her new form, a huge smile on her blue Pakari. She was walking with Amaya, and they were laughing and joking together. I caught her eye, and she grinned at me. Then I heard Jala yell, “Takua! We’re playing again!” right before the ball bounced off my head.Once again I had managed to make myself look like a fool in front of Nixie. But at least she hadn’t seen my wacky somersault! I quickly got my head back into the game. Soon I was diving for a shot from Kotu. I knocked it away with my foot, and Jala cheered. But Huki got the rebound and sent it flying at me again, and this time I missed. Point and game for Po-Koro.Jala slapped me on the back. “Well played, Takua,” he smiled, even though he had been the only one on our team to accomplish anything. Jala’s not as skillful player as the Po-Koronans, but he never stops running. He’s always after the ball, and he never lets up. All the players gathered to exchange compliments, masks radiant with excitement. Then we ceded the field to the next group. Huki and Hafu would play in the next round, but the rest of us were free to try something else.Naturally Jala headed for the Juma-Juvo tables. I watched him vanquish Mokali in short order. Mokali was in a great mood anyway, though. After Jala beat him, he got up and danced away from the table. When Jala gave me a funny look, I explained, because I had heard his story when I traveled to Po-Koro a while back. His leg had been injured in a fight against a Nui-Jaga, and he had been limping ever since. Toa Pohatu claimed it was his fault, because he had kicked a big rock at the creature and hit the Matoran instead, but Mokali held no grudge. He credited the Toa with saving his life. At any rate, he was probably the happiest one of us all to get new legs. I think Turaga Onewa must have chosen him to be in the first group with that in mind.Jala started a new game against Taipu, but since it was obvious how that would turn out, I wandered off to look for Nixie. She was playing Juma-Juvo against Jaatiko—and winning! After she took his last piece, he shook her hand solemnly. Nixie thanked him for a good game.The band started up again, the flute and horn players blasting louder than ever with the improved lung capacity that came from a larger chest cavity, and the drummers pounding enthusiastically with enhanced arm strength. Matoran from every Koro began to dance.Nixie was finally bested at Juma-Juvo by Kapura, who’s apparently smarter than he seems. After she congratulated him, she stood and asked me if she could ride Puku, and I led them around the entire field, watching all the activity. We walked to the river together to watch the canoe races, and then we celebrated Maku’s victory by dancing to a few songs. As I watched Nixie dancing across from me, I felt like the luckiest Matoran on Mata Nui. Maku and Kotu held hands and spun around until they were too dizzy to stand up.The Toa were very subdued today. They seemed to understand that it was our day, and they let us bask in the glory of our new forms. They strolled among the games, cheering for their villagers, congratulating winners, and consoling losers. From time to time I would see one of them sitting in the midst of a group of Matoran, conversing quietly. The Turaga, of course, were in the cave all day.The afternoon flew by. To no one’s surprise, Huki and Hafu won the koli championship, and Maku ran over to Huki and hugged him so enthusiastically that they both fell over. Soon the cooks were setting up spits and lighting fires. The sweet aroma of roasting meat and vegetables filled the air and wafted on the breeze over to the Juma-Juvo tables, where Jala was locked in a close battle with Kopeke. Nixie and I joined the large crowd that had gathered to watch this last, championship match. The inscrutable Ko-Koronan took a painfully long time for each move, and it was obvious Jala was losing patience. He drummed his fingers on his leg, shifted his weight from side to side, and rearranged his legs underneath him. Finally Jala cornered most of Kopeke’s pieces. But Kopeke outflanked him using an obscure technicality and gained the upper hand again. Jala clutched his mask in agony as the snow villager captured his last piece.“Great job, Kopeke,” said the Captain of the Guard with a reluctant smile.“You honor me, Jala,” replied his opponent with a little bow.“At least the Ko-Koronans don’t gloat,” Jala chuckled as we were surrounded by Matoran wanting to congratulate him on second place.A shout of triumph came from the path to the woods, and everyone turned to look. The six Turaga were returning with the last group of rebuilt Matoran. The entire crowd began to cheer. The tumult was incredible.But soon the sound of our joyful shouts was drowned out by thunder. Inexplicably, the beautiful clear blue sky had all of a sudden become obscured by heavy clouds. Lightning surged from the dark masses of water vapor, and several trees near the cave burst into flame. Another bolt hit the Kini-Nui, shearing off one of the columns about halfway up. Toa Gali raced to the temple platform and aimed her axes upward. The strain of her effort was evident on her mask as her arms trembled. The black clouds roiled and frothed. Toa Kopaka and Toa Lewa sprinted up the steps and stood beside her. Together, they drove back the storm front. Meanwhile, Toa Tahu had run into the woods and extinguished the fire.Even though the sun came back out right away, everyone’s mood had turned somber. The Turaga gathered around the felled pillar and were joined by a large group of Matoran.Jala and I looked at each other. “Could that have been… Makuta?” he whispered, almost too afraid to utter the dreaded name.I nodded. “Who else could have done it?”Toa Pohatu’s cheerful voice shattered the gloom. “I can fix that,” he assured us. “Lewa, please give me a lift. Onua, help me pick it up.” The two dark Toa each took an end of the broken piece, counted to three together, and jumped. Toa Lewa activated his mask, and up they floated. Toa Kopaka, Tahu, and Gali changed to their Miru and added their energies to the effort.Toa Pohatu and Toa Onua positioned the pillar, and then the Toa of Earth held it steady while the Toa of Stone put his hands on the rock. He closed his eyes in concentration. Everyone gasped in awe as we watched the fissure between the two pieces slowly vanish. Toa Gali waited until he had pushed himself away from it before she blasted away the burn marks with a powerful jet of water.As the two Toa dropped to the ground, Turaga Onewa slapped Toa Pohatu on the back. “Well done, Toa of Stone,” he declared. Everyone applauded.Dinner was served, and the conversations were lively. The other Matoran were still under the impression Makuta was dead, and Jala and I kept our mouths shut about it. The thought of a random natural catastrophe was much less unnerving than the truth, so we let it ride.Hafu and Lili came and sat with Jala, Hahli, Nixie, and me. The stone carver told us how Toa Pohatu had repaired the fractured statues along the Path of Prophecy as soon as he had turned Nuva. We all had a good laugh about the koli game. I was hoping no one would say anything about my goofy somersault, but then Hafu said, “Takua, that play where you did the flip was really funny! Are you going to work on that move some more?”“Naw, that was just a whim. I was just testing out my new form,” I said quickly. “Say, did you see how well Jala did in the Juma-Juvo tournament? And Nixie did well, too.”“I saw that!” exclaimed Lili. “Too bad Nixie didn’t get to play Jala.” I wondered who I would root for if they did.After supper, everyone sat around the largest campfire and listened to the Turaga take turns telling the story of the Bohrok war. Turaga Vakama began with an account of that first Kohrak and Pahrak attack on Ta-Koro, eloquently describing the frozen lava flows, the shattered basalt formations, and the combined elemental blast by Toa Gali and Toa Lewa that dispersed them. Then Turaga Onewa described the Tahnok assault on the village of stone, and we could almost feel the searing heat as the fire creatures blasted the great gates and brave Hafu jumped in front of them, to be saved in a daring rescue by Toa Pohatu and Huki. Turaga Whenua picked up the history as the Gahlok flooded Onu-Koro and the residents fled for their lives as the suffocating fluid filled their underground village, recounting in great detail Nuparu’s brilliant invention of the Boxor.Turaga Nuju hummed and clicked, and Matoro told us of the ruthless Lehvak attack on the icy Koro and Toa Gali, who was dying of a wound to her neck until Toa Kopaka and Toa Tahu worked together to save her. (As he told this part, Toa Tahu, who was sitting with us, sighed and looked at the ground.) Turaga Matau, with much drama and suspense, recounted the enslavement of his entire village to the Lehvak and later the Nuhvok. He explained how Toa Onua had put his life on the line to persuade Toa Lewa to tear off the krana, and how the Boxor squad had liberated the Koro. He paused to wink at me. And finally Turaga Nokama, with a twinkle in her eye, told of the unexpected arrival of the entire village of Po-Koro by sea, just as the Pahrak were preparing to destroy her floating huts. She recounted Huki’s bravery, Kotu and Maku’s rescue of the Boxor drivers, and my insane leap in front of the creatures just before the triumph of the Toa.Then Turaga Vakama invited the entire population of Mata Nui to Ta-Koro in two weeks for the reading of the story of the Kal saga from the Wall of History. I sat up with alarm. That means I have two weeks to carve the entire contents of this journal onto the Wall! Well, at least most of the contents. I groaned as I did the math in my head. Twelve days… over a month of entries… I’ll have to do almost two per day. And I was hoping to take a vacation!Finally, Turaga Vakama stood and thanked the Great Spirit for the gift of peace, and the enhancement of the Toa into Toa Nuva. Then he dismissed us.I noticed that during the story, Toa Kopaka left the group to sit alone on a rock. When we got up to go to our tents, I saw that Toa Gali was next to him, talking quietly. Then Toa Kopaka stood, nodded to Toa Gali, and walked away toward the Ko-Koro tents. She left for her village’s camp.Toa Tahu scowled and crossed his arms as he watched them. Fuming, he stalked off toward Turaga Vakama’s tent. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I didn’t like to see him so mad. I was hoping he and Toa Gali were finally going to get along, after they had worked together so well to defeat the Kal.I said good night to Nixie, and Jala and I headed off to our tent. It’s been a long day to live through and to write about, and I’m looking forward to some sleep. :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.
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#3 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Jan 20 2012 - 12:20 PM

Summer 2 : 7When I woke this morning, I felt really disoriented. I lay on my blanket and stretched out my arms. Unfortunately, I smacked Jala in the head, since I forgot how tall I am now. Usually he’s up before me, before it’s even light outside. Personally, I like to wait for the sun. But he was so tired from all the excitement yesterday that he was actually still asleep. Well, he was until I hit him in the head, anyway.Then, I remembered Turaga Vakama’s promise to have the Wall of History finished in two weeks. And I also realized that one of those precious days was going to be spent traveling back to Ta-Koro.Then I thought about how this was my last time to see Nixie for a while, so I jumped up, apologized to Jala, and headed, blinking, out of the tent into the sunshine.Some of the Ko-Koronans were already folding up their tents, but everyone else was just getting up. A few of the Ga-Koronans had set out a light breakfast of fish and meal cakes, and as we milled around, talking and dismantling the camp, we stopped by to snack on their food. Nixie was one of the last to wake up. She must have been up late looking through her portable telescope. She lugged it out of the tent just as Amaya pulled down the main pole, and I helped her carry it to Kai’s boat. Amaya, Kai, Nireta, and Kotu rolled up the tent and loaded it onto Puku’s back, and they followed us to the river.Well, Jala’s a lot smoother than I am about a lot of things. He helped Hahli load a bundle of blankets into the boats, and then I watched with envy as he smiled at her, patted her on the shoulder, and wished her a safe journey home. She laughed shyly, thanked him, and got into the skiff. As for me, while Turaga Nokama and the rest of the Ga-Koronans finished loading their watercraft, I stood across from Nixie for an awkwardly long time, feeling like my mouth was stuck shut with Bula berry paste. She flashed me her inimitable smile and thanked me for all I had done for our people. I stammered a few undoubtedly embarrassing words which, mercifully, I can’t even remember. Then she stepped into the boat, and Kai pushed off. “Later, guys!” she called. She flipped some water at Lito with her paddle as she steered out into the open water.“Lito, I think Kai likes you,” said Raku.“Why do you say that?” asked Lito, wiping off his wet mask. “She’s always picking on me!”“Trust me,” Raku grinned.The trip home was pretty uneventful, and I don’t really feel like writing about it. Our longer legs really do make a difference. But all I could think of the whole time was how dreary the next two weeks are going to be. Carving is fun once in a while, but for twelve—no, eleven—days straight? I was really hoping to get some surfing in. With these rebuilt bodies, it’s going to be awesome! But not for me... at least, not yet.Raku and Lito chatted the whole way home about everything that had happened at the party and made big plans to ride the lava waves. They want to lengthen their boards, now that we’re strong enough to control something bigger. They’re really eager to go up to the Kalala Lava Cave and surf deeper inside it. I made a few remarks to them, but mostly I just kept quiet.Jala, on the other hand, talked about nothing but work. Turaga Vakama told him he would have to reduce the active Guard roster by about half and reassign Matoran to civilian duties, now that we had peace. But just to be safe, they would still undergo periodic training as reserves. By the time we got home, he had planned out the reorganization of the entire Guard in his head.Tupako pretty much avoided me, which was easy to do in such a big crowd. But every now and then I caught him glancing over at me resentfully. I just don’t understand that guy. Why can’t he just live and let live? I guess he’s jealous that I’ve gotten to travel. But now that the danger is past, he’ll have a chance to do it, too, if he wants to.My mind kept wandering back to Nixie. She was so nice to me! Maybe she really does like me after all, even though I keep making a fool of myself. I tried to come up with some sort of excuse to visit her before the two weeks are up, but then I decided I’d better just wait.And I thought about what I had learned about the Turaga and Makuta. I’ve got a thousand questions for Turaga Vakama. What was this business about ‘industrial accidents’? I’ve often wondered who invented all the amazingly complex machines we use in our day-to-day lives. Who built all that stuff? Nuparu is a really brilliant inventor, but even he is usually at a loss to explain how those devices really work. There must have been a time in history during which someone was making machines like that on a regular basis. Was that during the days before Makuta scrubbed our memories? More mysteriously, why haven’t the Turaga, who so delight in telling stories, ever talked about any of this before? My mind was reeling with unanswered questions. I resolved to sit down with Turaga Vakama and get some straight answers... just as soon as I finish carving a month of really intense adventures into a stone wall in less than two weeks. Sigh.Now I’m back in my hut, with Puku safely sleeping in her niche next door. I just flipped back through my journal, and it’s obvious I’ll need to spend my first day going through this long-winded thing and marking which passages to put on the Wall. Well, I guess I’d better get some sleep. Strong new legs notwithstanding, my whole body is really tired, and my brain even more so.Summer 2 : 8This morning I had little desire to get out of bed, but eventually I did. I hauled my hammer and chisel, my journal, and my weary self down to the Wall of History, and here I sit. I guess I’d better figure out how much I’ll need to carve every day to make the deadline Turaga Vakama has so generously set for me.Date of first Bohrok-Kal attack: Summer 1:1Date of defeat of Bohrok-Kal: 2:320 (entries in month 1) + 3 (entries in month 2) = 23 entries(I think I missed a day or two, but the subsequent entries are twice as long, so I’ll just do it this way to keep it simple.)Today: 2:8Deadline: 2:1818 – 8 = 10 days23 / 10 = 2 remainder 3So I must carve 2 entries per day for 7 days, and 3 entries per day for 3 days.Check: 2 * 7 + 3 * 3 = 23 OK.Today is halfway over, so it’ll be a two-entry day. I guess I’d better stop stalling and get to work.Whew, what a rotten day. I’m writing this in the evening. As soon as I flipped my journal open to the first entry and set my chisel against the wall, Turaga Vakama walked in. He greeted me warmly and handed me a special new tool he called a “Chronicler’s staff.” It’s a strangely shaped instrument, with one sharp edge, a pointed tip, and a flat spot where I can pound on it with my hammer. The cutting edge is a lot narrower than that of my chisel, so it will make nice clean letters. “This should make your job much easier, Takua,” he assured me. Then he looked at the wall. “What? You haven’t even made a mark yet!”I explained that I had just figured out how many entries I needed to carve per day. He walked over to my journal. “How many pages have you written in this book, anyway?” he asked.I suddenly realized that it was open to the page where I had written about not telling him everything. I quickly grabbed the book and flipped to the page where the Toa defeated the Kal. “Oh, quite a few.”“Goodness, that’s a lot of writing! I’d be happy to assign you an assistant,” he suggested.“Oh, no, that’s quite all right,” I stammered, mortified at the thought of someone else reading my babblings about Nixie. “I have to edit it as I go, because there’s a lot of unnecessary description and so on.”He smiled at me. “Well, suit yourself, then, Takua. But see that you get it done. The entire population of Mata Nui will be here in two weeks, expecting to hear it read aloud for the first time.”“Yes, sir,” I replied.I had forgotten what hard work carving is. Even with the new staff, it’s proceeding very slowly. After chipping on that blasted wall all afternoon, my hands feel weak and shaky. I made it through the first entry and half the next by dinner time. It’s obvious I’m going to have to cut out all of the dialogue except for a few of the Toa’s more memorable statements. Toa Pohatu is certainly not going to have to worry about me putting the goats on there. I’m not going to carve a single letter more than I have to.And I’m wondering who the genius was who designed our alphabet with a circle around each letter. It would be so much easier to carve if I just put the middle parts in! But it’s got to be done right.Now I’ve got to get some rest, because tomorrow I have to catch up on that last half-entry from today. No more sleeping late!Summer 2 : 9 Today would have been complete misery except for Jala. That guy is the best friend a Matoran could ever want.Well, I woke up really early this morning, ate a quick breakfast, and started carving on the Wall. Just as I was really getting into it, who should wander down there but Tupako. He was casually swinging his koli stick as if he were toying with the idea of using it on me. “How are you doing, Chronicler?” he sneered.“Uh, fine, Tupako,” I replied, being careful to get his name right this time. I turned back to my work.He sat on a rock and watched me chisel for a while, which really unnerved me. Finally, I turned around and asked him what he wanted. He said, “Oh, I was just wondering if you were up for a koli game. But it looks like you’ll be busy with this for quite a while! No more carefree sightseeing for you, eh?” Then, to my immense relief, he ambled out of the room.After he left, I struggled with my angry thoughts for a little while. “Carefree sightseeing,” indeed! Now, I have no delusions that I’m some kind of hero. Still, it should be obvious to everyone that my travels have been anything but carefree. I finally decided that I was just getting worked up over nothing, though. It was best to simply put the thought of him out of my mind altogether.Then, a few hours later, Raku and Lito showed up, carrying their lava boards. Raku had welded on an extra piece to make his longer. They were planning to go test out the new design in the Kalala lava cave, and they invited me to go along. “Come on, Takua. You need a break! You’re going to go crazy down here if you don’t get some recreation once in a while.”I was really tempted to go. But after falling behind on the very first day, I felt like it wouldn’t be a good idea. “Guys, I’d really love to, but I’ve got to finish this or Turaga Vakama will kill me. Let me know how the new board works!”They nodded and turned to go. I watched them dash eagerly up the stairs, my heart wistful and heavy. I went back to my carving.Finally, in the late afternoon, when I was starting to feel really sorry for myself, Jala came down. He brought some roasted nuts, and we sat down to eat. “Takua, you’ve been working really hard,” he remarked, scanning the wall. “I know you’re tired. But don’t get discouraged! You’ll have it done soon.”I smiled weakly and reached for more nuts with my aching hand. “Yeah, it’s hard to keep my spirits up. This is pure drudgery.”“Really? I thought you liked to write,” he said.“I do. But this isn’t writing. It’s transcribing. The exciting part is already over.”“Oh, I see,” he nodded. “But if you think about it, this is just as important as writing in your journal. If no one sees what you write, what good does it do? You keep talking about how journalism is spreading truth and light. That only works when others have access to your stories.”As usual, Jala made perfect sense. And it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I patted him on the back. “Thanks, Jala,” I smiled. “You’ve just given me a huge morale boost.”“What are friends for?” he grinned back.After he left, I had new energy. I carved two and a half days’ worth of writing onto the wall today. So I’ve caught up with my schedule. And my hands are still sore, but they’re starting to get used to the peculiar combination of movements, so I think by tomorrow, I’ll be all right.Yeah, Jala. Where would I be without him?Summer 2 : 10This morning I carved for a couple of hours straight. When my hands got tired and my stomach rumbly, I sat down with some dried meat for a snack. But then I started wondering about what had been written on the wall before the section I was working on. I took my food and walked all the way down the wall to the very end.Here were carved the very first recorded events in Mata Nui history. I held up my lightstone and began to read. The date on the first entry indicated it was over a thousand years old! The Turaga have never told us of anything that happened that long ago, except in summary form. It’s hard to believe I’d never gotten curious enough to read this old stuff before. But there was always a journey to make, or a wave to surf.“Arrival on Mata Nui. Exploration of the island revealed suitable locations for six new villages.” The text went on to describe in detail the construction of each Koro under the guidance of the Turaga. Apparently the villages were thriving for quite a while. There was a long section on the invention of koli, and extensive lists of champions of yearly sports tournaments. I recognized many of my friends, including Huki, Maku, and Jala. To my surprise, my own name was listed as winner of the Ignalu one year.Then there was a really long gap in the dates. The next entry revealed the reason. “A time of great hardship has come upon us. It appears the evil Makuta, brother of the Great Spirit who sustains us with his providence and his guidance, has followed us here. He has placed infected masks on the wild creatures of the island, turning them from their natural ways toward savagery and viciousness. Let us pray that before he was treacherously cast into slumber, Mata Nui, in his infinite wisdom, made arrangements to bestow new Toa on us soon. We await a sign.”There was some discussion of the tactics developed by the Matoran in the early days to defend the villages. Then there was another long gap in the record, followed by a slight change in the style of the letters. As I scanned the next section of the wall, I saw my name again. “The Turaga have been carried off by infected Rahi and are presumably prisoners of the Makuta. Takua the Ta-Koronan has defied orders to stay in the village and set out to do an errand requested by Turaga Whenua before his disappearance.”I scratched my head, wondering what had possessed me to do such a thing. I had been hoping, since I couldn’t remember any of this, that the wall would supply some answers. But I shrugged off my disappointment and kept reading.The chronicle related how I had gone to Onu-Koro, finding Turaga Vakama’s firestaff in the center of the village. Seeing the words on the wall triggered a flood of memories. As clear as day, I saw myself bending over to pick up the firestaff. I remember turning it over in my hands, admiring the intricate engravings worn by years of use until they were almost invisible. Then sudden fear gripped me. Why had the Turaga’s tool been so easy to find? And why hadn’t the Onu-Koronans seen it? It must have been placed there a moment before I arrived. Was this a trap?I quickly backed into the gloom of a nearby tunnel. But this offered no protection against a spirit of darkness and his shadowy minions. Panicked, I ran down the tunnel.Naturally, this led me right into the trap I had suspected. Surrounded by hissing, snarling Rahi, I desperately swung the staff at them. Then I remembered the Madu fruit in my pack. I hurled them in all directions. Meanwhile, rocks were rolling down one of the walls, forcing me to dance out of the way.To make matters worse, some of the “rocks” turned out to be alive! When I realized they were actually coming after me, I started spinning in a circle with the staff in my outstretched hand. They staggered away, dazed, but more kept coming. Then I saw the big one, the Vatuka. I had heard about these strange beasts around a campfire at the island-wide games, I think, but I had never seen one. It was huge and menacing, but I finally subdued it with my last Madu fruit.In the silence that followed this din, I heard a muffled cry. I looked around and saw a huge lever. Could this be a door mechanism? I rolled a boulder onto it, and luckily, my hunch was correct. The door latch released, and a grateful Turaga Whenua crawled out to greet me.As I was reading, a voice behind me startled me. I spun around to see Turaga Vakama. “Hello, Takua,” he smiled. “I see you are studying your ancient history.”“Uh, yes, I was hoping to remember some of it,” I admitted. “Why did I go to Onu-Koro to help Turaga Whenua in the middle of the infected Rahi invasion?”“I don’t know,” replied Turaga Vakama. “I wasn’t there, as you may recall. You saved me later on.”“Oh, right. Who wrote all this?”“I did, at first. When I was kidnapped, Jala took over for a while. He may be able to fill you in. In fact, I believe he was quite opposed to your leaving. He was often irritated with you back then for constantly wandering away from the village.”“Really?” I asked sheepishly, wondering what other trouble I had caused the Matoran who would later become my best friend.Turaga Vakama nodded. “Well, I’ll let you get back to work. Is everything going according to schedule?”“Yes, I’m keeping up,” I nodded. I wasn’t actually sure if that was true, but I figured I would do a little extra carving tonight if necessary.As soon as the slow tapping of his staff on the stairs faded away, I ran back to the place I had been carving and checked my notes. In the previous two days I’ve carved four entries, so I knew I had to get at least two more done today. I had already carved almost one day before I started getting distracted.So I went back to work. There was only one other interruption today. Raku and Lito came running in, all breathless. “Takua!” exclaimed Raku loudly, even though I was standing only a bio away. “My new long board is awesome! You have got to try it!”“Yeah,” Lito agreed. “You should have seen Raku catching those big surges only Toa Tahu could do before! I tried it, too, and it’s so much fun!”“That’s great, guys. As soon as I’m done with this blasted wall, I’ll be looking forward to that.”“Why wait, Takua? You’re going to turn into a Kofo-Jaga, all creepy and half-blind, living down here in the dark. Take an afternoon off.”“Raku, I’ll get really behind if I do that,” I protested. “And Turaga Vakama will kill me if I don’t get this finished in time.”“Well… at least let us take your board and lengthen it,” suggested Lito.“All right, that would be great. Thanks.”“We’ll see you later, then, Takua,” said Raku. They bounded up the stairs.With a heavy heart, I started chiseling again. But then I reminded myself of Jala’s encouraging words from yesterday, and by nightfall, I finished two whole entries of my journal.Now, as I sit on my bed and stare at the stuff I just wrote in here, I’m struck by two things. One, I’m really glad I won’t have to transcribe all THIS random nonsense into stone. And two, what kind of lunatic would carve words all day for his job and then write more at night solely for his own pleasure? I just rewrote a big section of the wall into my journal, too, the part about rescuing Turaga Whenua. I must be crazy!But somehow it’s really satisfying to write down my thoughts. It’s like talking to a trusted friend. And speaking of trusted friends, I’ve got to ask Jala why I went to Onu-Koro way back then. There’s bound to be a story-tale there, as Toa Lewa would say!Enough is enough. Good night.Summer 2 : 11Today was just work, work, work until Jala came down to see me. First, he apologized for not stopping by yesterday. “Things were totally frantic with the Guard,” he explained. I shrugged and told him I understood. It’s really nice of him to visit me, whenever he can show up.Then I asked him why I had gone to Onu-Koro to run this errand for Turaga Whenua. “That’s just it,” he laughed. “You wouldn’t tell us what you were doing for him. I figured it was an excuse to get out of the village and go sightseeing, instead of your real job.”“What was my real job?” I asked.“You were a lava farmer. I suppose Turaga Vakama will assign you to the fields again after you’re done with the wall.”I groaned, imagining how bored I would be doing that. “So, you carved some of this wall, too?”Jala nodded. “A little. After Turaga Vakama vanished, I wrote down a few things. And when he got back, he asked me to go ahead and record your adventures while saving him and the other Turaga.”“I like your style,” I smiled. “Very concise.”He laughed. “I’m not much of a storyteller. I like to get to the point.”At the end of the day, I stood in front of the Wall, covered with rock dust, admiring my freshly carved two and a half entries. Nixie was on my mind, because as I had read through my journal to know what to write, I had come across a mention of her. It occurred to me that maybe I should take her up on her offer to show me the stars.So after night fell, right before the guards lowered the bridge, I sneaked across with a lava board under my arm. Raku and Lito had taken mine to lengthen it, but I found an extra one lying in the armory. I walked the long, rocky path to the beach and approached the telescope. Imagine my delight when I saw a boat tied to the mooring at the base of the telescope cliff!I climbed the winding staircase cut into the stone and approached the telescope. I made some noise by dragging my board on the rocks so I wouldn’t startle her, and then I called out, “Nixie? Are you up here?”The door of the pedestal opened, and a slightly anxious Nixie peered out. “What are you doing up here, Takua?” she asked in surprise.I reminded her of her invitation, hoping she had really meant it. Fortunately, she smiled and asked me to come inside. She had a small lightstone to illuminate her desk, which was under piles of papers covered with numbers, an abacus, and a pen. The telescope, with its cryptic readouts of coordinates, was aimed at a big red star. She explained that this red star was like a time marker, moving through the constellations as the prophecies unfolded. Then she pointed out various stars that represented particular beings. There were six representing the Toa, and one bright galaxy that was Mata Nui, isolated from the others, as he was in his sleep.I asked if there was one for Makuta. Nixie swiveled the telescope across the sky. I looked into the crystal and saw a cloud of colorful gases with a dark spot in the center. “That thing represents Makuta,” she whispered. “It’s not really a star, but a dark mass that draws power from the matter around it.”I felt a cold shiver run up my spine. Even Makuta’s astral object seemed to radiate darkness and fear. “You know, Nixie,” I said slowly, “he’s still out there somewhere.” I immediately realized I shouldn’t have told her, because Turaga Vakama seemed to want to keep that a secret.But Nixie didn’t look surprised at all. “I know,” she said quietly. “I watched that thing explode when he was defeated, but then it began to coalesce again.”I was relieved that she already knew, and that my indiscretion really didn’t matter. But the thought of Makuta gaining strength gave me the creeps. I quickly turned the telescope away and changed the subject. “Is there a star for me?”“Of course. Turaga Nokama just asked me to locate it, actually. I think it’s that yellowish one, over there, not far from the Toa’s stars. But I still have some calculations to finish.” She gestured toward the desk.I was kind of surprised to hear that Turaga Nokama was interested in my star, but then again, she had been the one to name me the Chronicler and talk about my destiny. “How about your star, Nixie?”“I don’t know which one it is. I haven’t had time to locate something as trivial as my star yet!” she laughed.I told her that it wasn’t trivial to me, and she blushed. She said something about being really behind in her work, so I took the hint and excused myself. But before I left, she thanked me for coming by and flashed me that incredible smile of hers. She promised that next time we met, she would know more about my destiny. I didn’t really want to know that badly. I had just been trying to make conversation. But maybe she would find out something interesting, and it was flattering that she was working on my star. Even if Turaga Nokama had told her to do it.I reached the village by surfing across the lake and climbing the cliff, since the bridge was down for the night. Lito was on guard duty, and he waved me through his station. I wonder if he noticed that I skipped all the way to my hut. :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.
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#4 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Jan 21 2012 - 12:15 PM

Summer 2 : 12Today started out great. I felt like I was on top of the world. All morning I carved with renewed enthusiasm. I wasn’t particularly efficient, but I was happy, humming a song to myself and thinking about Nixie. I'm no expert on these things, but I'm beginning to suspect she might actually like me. My mind kept wandering off to images of her peering into the crystal, her delicate hands moving confidently over the pages of calculations, and the soft, warm glow of her golden eyes as she turned to me to explain some astronomical phenomenon. I could almost hear the gentle melody of her voice in my head and smell her cool fragrance. I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I didn't even hear Jala and Puku come down the stairs. When I heard a chittering sound behind me, I must have jumped a bio in the air.“Puku has missed you,” Jala remarked. “She's been helping on a road construction crew since you've been down here. They just returned this morning, and she headed for your hut right away. When she saw you weren't there, you should have seen the sad look on her, um, face.”I looked up from caressing my pet and smiled at him. “Thanks for bringing her down here.” I was glad she had something useful to do while I was working on the wall, but I had missed her, too.With all the excitement at the big party, I forgot to mention the Ussal races in my journal. Puku participated just for fun, even though she's retired. Onepu himself rode her to a quite respectable fourth place finish in the ten-kio race against a dozen crabs who were in better condition. All that traveling had built up her stamina, even though she's not very fast anymore. She was exhausted but happy, having given it her very best effort. A lazy guy like me could learn some things from that crab, I'm afraid.Jala and I chatted for a while. He had some delicious melons that Turaga Matau had brought on a visit to our village elder. Jala sliced one open with a flourish, and the sweet aroma filled the musty cave with freshness. I congratulated him on finally finding something worthwhile to do with his knife, and he laughed.He told me Toa Tahu has been away a lot, “testing his powers against the great Mangai.” I get the impression that means he’s been stirring up the magma with his power of heat, and then surfing it. Besides doing lots of road work, the Matoran have been repairing the lava channels around the village, still damaged from the Bohrok. And they are enlarging the village considerably. Whenever I go ‘topside’ (as a Ga-Koronan would say), I see a lot of dust and palettes of stone blocks and tools and so forth. Jala said they’re making a really huge new koli stadium, too. That’s something we’ve needed for a long time, in my opinion. I’m no koli star, but even I can tell the pitiful little stone basin we’ve been playing in prepares us poorly for the tournaments, which are usually held on the bigger, nicer Po-Koro field. Naturally, there’s a rumor that the Po-Koronans are building a really magnificent facility now.Jala and Puku went back to work, and so did I. Unfortunately, my energy started to flag by early afternoon, since I was up so late last night. My eyes were getting bleary, and my hands, which have grown used to the work by now, just felt tired. But the hardest part was trying to focus on what I was doing. I carved half a sentence before I realized that I had carved ‘Nixie’ instead of ‘Gali.’ I had to go back and chip off a layer of stone and do the name over. Since Toa Gali's name is shorter, I had to space out the letters, and it ended up looking kind of sloppy. Good thing it wasn't ‘Pohatu’ I had messed up.Well, about this time Raku and Lito showed up with my newly extended lava board. Lito had been sleeping all morning, of course, since he was on watch duty last night. “How can you stay awake, Takua?” he mused, shaking his head.I looked longingly at my board as they went on about the fresh, extra-hot magma flows that have been welling up out of the Mangai lately. Finally the temptation became too great. “I'm not getting anything done today, anyway,” I rationalized. So, after checking to make sure Turaga Vakama wasn't watching, I followed them out of the village and up the jagged slopes of the volcano.They hadn't been kidding about the enhanced flows. The lava was running hotter and faster than ever, and it was certainly much more intense than last night. “I think Toa Tahu has been getting a little crazy today,” Raku opined.Oh, the exhilaration of sailing freely over the glowing waves! It felt so good after being cooped up in a cave for days. The change in the board was really noticeable, too. I felt like I was flying! We surfed for a couple hours, then went to watch Toa Tahu do the big falls a few times. With the increased volumes of magma, his moves were even more spectacular than usual. He was plunging THROUGH the lava stream, which I’ve never seen before. Raku and Lito told me they saw him fall all the way into the lava once, before he went Nuva. He yelled pretty loud when it happened. The magma hardened into a stone casing on him, but he used his powers to burst out. They said it was really amazing to watch. Now he’s even more resistant to heat, so I guess that’s what allows him to briefly pass through it.We went back to surfing ourselves. Then disaster struck. Inspired by watching Toa Tahu, and riding high on lack of sleep, thoughts of Nixie, and the thrill of catching air on my new board, I got careless. I took a really big wave I had no business messing with, and I started to fall. I caught my balance at the last second, but not before I dragged my right arm through the lava from the elbow down.Well, Raku and Lito immediately came to my aid. They hauled my board, with me on it, back to shore. I writhed in agony for a while, and they tried to comfort me as best they could. We slipped back into the village just before the bridge went down, and I dragged myself up to my hut. Lito brought me some water and some fruit which he pilfered from Turaga Vakama’s hut. I felt better just knowing my friends care about me, but I can’t begin to describe the amount of burning in my arm.I tried to go to sleep, but the pain is overwhelming. So here I sit writing. The distraction helps a little. I can still write, even though my letters are obviously sloppier with my left hand. But carving takes two hands. It’s going to be difficult tomorrow, if not impossible.Oh, how I am regretting what I did... it’s bad enough that I took the afternoon off to play, but I then I went and did something really dangerous. Could anyone be more stupid?Summer 2 : 13Well, predictably, today was a day of misery. I woke up from a fitful sleep and immediately remembered what had happened yesterday. It was pretty hard to miss the throbbing pain.So, I stumbled down to the Wall and tried to chisel a few letters. Needless to say, it was pure agony. I tried simply clenching my jaw and ignoring the pain, and that worked for about ten seconds. Then I made an attempt to use my foot to hold the staff while I hammered with my left hand. All I did was scratch up the wall. Finally, I gave up. I’m just going to have to wait. But I can’t go up to the village, or everyone will start asking me about what happened, and Turaga Vakama will find out. So I read a bit more of the Wall, flipped through my journal to decide what to transcribe as soon as I can stand to carve again, and generally moped around feeling sorry for myself.Lito and Raku came down shortly after I got there. They had gone to the sea and brought back a bucket of water for me to stick my hand in. That helped some.Then Jala showed up. This was really awkward, because even though he’s my best friend, he’s still the Captain of the Guard and Turaga Vakama’s right hand Matoran, and I knew he would get on my case about being irresponsible. I tried to act like nothing was wrong and hid my hand behind my back. But it didn’t take long for him to notice that I was being really nervous. And he asked me what the bucket was for. Finally, I confessed to him what I had done and begged him not to tell the Turaga.“Oh, man, that’s awful!” he said sympathetically. “How can I help you feel better? Is there anything I can get you?” I wasn’t expecting this reaction, and I was really touched. Of course, eventually he got around to chiding me for running off and surfing when I had this big project I was supposed to do. But he was very gentle about it.“I know,” I admitted. “It’s just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”“Do you want some help down here?” he asked.“No, thanks, that’s all right. I’ll get caught up as soon as it gets better.”Jala scratched his head. “You know, the Toa can combine their powers and do some very powerful healing. I’ll get Turaga Vakama to summon them, and—”“No! Definitely not. Then everyone will know what a goof-off I am.”“Takua, they already know,” he grinned. “We just put up with you because you’re such a great guy.”I groaned and sat down. “I’m the most worthless Matoran ever, Jala. All I’ve ever done is wander in circles and blunder into situations where someone needed help, and even a moron could do it. I feel guilty that others seem to think I’m something special.”“Oh, you’re definitely special,” Jala nodded. “No one else has that funny way of looking at things, seeing through the surface, and zeroing in on the truth. And you can write. I don’t think you realize how much better the Turaga’s stories have gotten since you’ve been the Chronicler.”I looked up, surprised. Jala was gazing into the distance. “You’ve taught me a lot, Takua,” he went on. “I used to think the secret to a happy life was following your duty to the utmost, making sure everything was prepared in advance and every detail was perfect. Now I’ve learned that the imperfections are what make things interesting, and how you react to the unexpected is just as important as making good plans in the first place.”Well, this just floored me. I’ve often wondered what Jala gets out of our friendship, and he had just given me the nicest answer. I all but forgot about my seared hand for a little while. “Thanks, Jala,” I smiled weakly. He patted me on the back and promised to return as soon as he had finished his noon rounds. Then he climbed the steps, and I was alone with my pain again.I remembered a story I heard from Turaga Vakama once about how Toa Tahu and Toa Kopaka had healed Toa Gali when she was injured by Lehvak acid. They had used water to do it, in conjunction with fire and ice. I daydreamed about Nixie walking in with a cup of cool water and pouring it over my hand, soothing me with words and caresses. But when she finds out what a miserably inadequate job I’m doing on something so important to the whole island, she’s going to change her mind about me, I just know it. She’s so devoted to her duty. She’s wasting her time with a misfit like me.Anyway, later this afternoon, Kapura popped into the cave with a big block of ice. Now, everyone knows Kapura is the oddest resident of Ta-Koro. He’s even stranger than I am. He’s really talented, though, because he can teleport himself from one place to another without walking. That’s how he managed to get ice into Ta-Koro, because if anyone else had tried to carry it here, it would have melted on the way. Well, maybe a Le-Koronan on birdback could do it.Kapura chipped a hole in the block, and I stuck my hand in it. The relief was almost instantaneous. Then my hand started to get too cold, and that hurt, too. So I let it warm up a bit and put it back in. With this method I was able to keep the pain at bay.I asked him how he knew about my accident, and he said Jala had told him. In fact, it was Jala’s idea for him to get me some ice. Jala had even asked Kapura not to tell anyone else. It’s easy for him to sneak in and out of the village, so that’s what he did.I’d heard he learned to translate after a particularly terrible lava surfing accident made him give up the sport altogether. I asked him about it, and he told me the whole story. It was even worse than my mishap. They had to get Turaga Nokama to come over and use her water powers on him.Well, after I thanked him, he vanished again. And later, Jala came back as he had promised, with some smoked meat and Bula berry juice. Raku and Lito checked in with me again in the evening, too. I feel really lucky that my friends are helping to make this torture pass more quickly.In between sessions with the ice block, I managed to carve about half an entry today. Out of my ten days to carve, I’ve used up six already. And I’ve gotten eleven entries completed out of the twenty-three I have to do. So I’m less than halfway done, and I’ve used up more than half the time. I’m going to have to work really hard once I can carve again. But I can still get it done. Especially with the encouragement of my wonderful friends.Summer 2 : 14My hand is better now. I have to carve really slowly today and take a lot of breaks, but I kept at it, and I think I might just make my deadline after all. So many kind friends came to cheer me up yesterday, and I’m determined not to let everyone down.Jala was the first to check on me today, and he brought me a mid-morning snack of fresh fish. It was left over from yesterday, when Turaga Nokama came to visit our village with an enormous Ruki that Hahli had caught. Jala beamed with pride as he retold the story. Hahli’s real job is making flax, but she goes fishing every chance she gets, and she was really excited to catch something this huge. Evidently this fish had given her a wild ride in her boat for about twenty kios before it tired out enough for her to her reel it in and haul it back to the village. He said it took three Ta-Koronans to carry it from Turaga Nokama’s boat to the main kitchen. While it was roasting, the two Turaga sat in his hut talking quietly and consulting the sacred fire. Then he gave her a tour of all the new construction. The villagers ate the meal that the cooks had already planned before she arrived, but the Turaga waited another hour for the Ruki to be done and ate that instead. (I’ve stayed down at the Wall during meals for the last two days because I’ve been too worried about being found out, so that’s why I didn’t know about this.) After dinner, Turaga Vakama walked Turaga Nokama back to the beach. When he returned, he was very solemn and thoughtful.Jala thinks they were discussing prophecies, but I told him the big fish was probably just an excuse for a long social call. At least, I hope so. Except for the coming of the Toa, prophecies have always foretold something really bad. After Jala left, it occurred to me that the Turaga never even tell us about them until they have already come to pass. I started wondering what else they haven’t yet revealed to us, but I put aside those thoughts so I wouldn’t demoralize myself. I’ve resolved to enjoy this time of peace, however long we’re blessed with it. Well, after my hand stops hurting and I’ve finished this dull task, I’m going to enjoy it.Then Kapura came down and offered to get me more ice. I thanked him and said I was all right. He stood and read the wall for quite some time while I carved. Finally he turned to me and said, “History moves in circles, and circles within circles, and every circle inscribes a triangle. Three virtues in our lives, three moons in a season, three Toa in a Kaita. I think our heroes will go underground a third time to confront an enemy before we are truly at peace on Mata Nui.”I looked at him quizzically. He always says weird philosophical stuff like that, but this time it worried me, because of the visit from the water Turaga. “Has Turaga Vakama been telling you things the rest of us don’t know?” I asked.“No, it’s just a hunch. I could be wrong. Well, I’m glad you’re better. I’ve got to go check on the stadium construction now. Oh, yeah—three teams in a koli match, and they play until one team gets three points.” He nodded and disappeared, leaving me to scratch my head.I went up to the village for the midday meal today, since I figured my hand looks normal enough now, and I’m tired of living on the snacks in my hut. Of course it was fish! I brushed off a lot of questions about why I’d been absent, explaining that I’ve been really busy working on the wall. Raku and Lito looked down at their plates.After I went back to work, my two surfer buddies showed up with some interesting bits of glass they had found while riding the waves. When the Kohrak disrupted the lava flows, some of it was diverted to the beach. The heat melted the sand, and the cool water hardened it into glassy lumps. We held them up to a lightstone and admired the way the image was twisted and distorted. In one of them you could even see a rainbow-colored halo around the lightstone. It was a welcome distraction for someone who loves the play of light on things.By the end of this evening, I finished carving one more entry on the wall. Now I’ve got three days to get the rest done. Oh, great, another three! Well, I know what I have to do, and that’s rest and heal for the big effort that is to come. Good night.Summer 2 : 15I carved furiously all morning. By noon my arms were aching more from the work than from my injury. But I looked at how much I’d completed, and how much was left, and I got pretty discouraged.Then I got the visit I’d been dreading. When I heard Turaga Vakama’s shuffling footsteps coming down the stairs, my body stiffened with apprehension. But it didn’t go at all as I expected. For one thing, he didn’t even yell at me. He just casually asked me how everything was going. I swallowed and replied, “Fine.” When he kept looking at me expectantly, I stammered about how many entries and days were left, adding a promise to speed up and finish by the deadline. But it was obvious I didn’t believe my own words.He waited for me to finish my pathetic little speech, and then he sighed. In a benevolent tone he began to reminisce about a time when he himself had been asked to complete a difficult task in a short time. “I understand your worry about something that seems impossible, especially with the pressure of everyone depending on you,” he said sympathetically. “You must put aside your feelings of inadequacy and reach inside yourself.”“What was this task? And who was it that asked you to complete it?” I wondered.“That’s not important right now, curious one,” he smiled enigmatically. “What matters is that when you let go of your anxiety, you can see new solutions to old problems.”I blinked a couple of times. “Yes, sir.” At this point I couldn’t see much past the reach of my arms, because I was so bleary-eyed from chiseling. But he’s wise, so I’m sure he’s right.“Oh, by the way,” he added, “be sure to omit any mention of Makuta’s presence.” I nodded vigorously, glad he had reminded me. I was getting close to that part, and it would have been heartbreaking to have to chip it all off again. Or worse yet, demoralize everyone and make the Turaga mad.He patted my shoulder and tottered away, and I went back to work. My friends came by as usual. But I’m in a hurry now. They could sense my urgency and didn’t stay long.Too tired to write more… did three entries today, got two more days to do eight more. Yikes! Gotta sleep now.Summer 2 : 16Today it was just chip, chip, chip. I forgot about the fact that the last few entries are so long, because so much happened as the Toa Nuva got closer to catching the Bohrok-Kal. I finished three and a half of them, and I wanted to keep working, but my hands are numb from the effort. It’s probably obvious from how bad my handwriting is. Must... sleep...Summer 2 : 17Jala is the nicest friend ever.Perhaps I should explain that remark, even though my hands are throbbing, and tell about how I finally finished the Wall on time. Or rather, how WE finished the Wall on time. Because of course it was thanks to Jala.He came down after lunch to bring me some food, since I had skipped the meal to keep working, in my desperation to get four and a half long entries done in one day. He offered to help, and at first I politely refused, because I didn’t see how we could work together without overlapping each other or creating a gap in the text. At this point I had pretty much abandoned my pride about Jala seeing my Nixie comments, especially since he already knows I’m a fool for her, but I was still concerned about editing. There are some personal reflections and so on in the book that didn’t really need to be on the wall, and I was paraphrasing some of the excessively wordy stuff as I went, too. So I kept working alone. But he stayed down there, just to encourage me, I guess.Raku and Lito brought me some dinner, and they were surprised to see Jala there. They went back and retrieved some food for him, too, and then they left.I took a break and ate with Jala. It was nice to have someone to talk to, and I was glad he was there. His sense of humor was helping me banish panicky thoughts and relax a little in spite of my predicament. And then, as I was cursing the benighted individual who had invented the alphabet with its pesky circles (which, as anyone who has carved stone knows, are the hardest shape to get right), the solution hit me.I asked Jala to carve the circles for me after I did the central part of each letter. Eagerly he went to fetch some more tools. I carved the lines and dots in the middle of the characters, and he chiseled a circle around each one. (Of course I had to carve the O’s, because all they are is a circle.) It worked great! His work was neat and methodical, like everything he does, and I got to the end way ahead of him, because I had the easier job. So I worked backwards, carving circles until we met in the middle of the last entry. We clanked our tired fists together in triumph. The Wall was done!Puku had come down to watch, because she had sensed something important was happening. She jumped up and down and chittered for joy. I was grateful for her presence, because I was almost too tired to walk. After we swept up the last of the rock chips and packed our tools onto her back, she carried me up the steps, with Jala shuffling wearily behind us. It was the middle of the night, and everyone else had long since gone to sleep. We broke into the kitchen storeroom and had a celebratory snack together, and then we all stumbled off to bed.So, I’ve got maybe an hour to sleep before I have to get up again, but I’m so relieved the Wall is done that I don’t even mind. I just hope I can stay awake tomorrow while they read the thing. With my luck, I’ll nod off right as Turaga Vakama calls on me to stand up or something.I can’t believe it’s done! I owe Jala a big one. I would never have finished without him. I guess Nixie won’t be embarrassed to know me, after all. I’ll see her tomorrow... :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.

Edited by GaliGee, Jan 21 2012 - 12:31 PM.

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#5 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Jan 24 2012 - 10:56 AM

Summer 2 : 18Well, here’s how it went today.Turaga Vakama shook me awake. I was really incoherent at first, but as I stared at his glowing firestaff, I remembered that Jala and I had finished the Wall late the night before, and this was the day it was to be read to the entire population of the island. Turaga Vakama waited until I stopped mumbling to myself, and then he said, “Congratulations, Takua! You did a wonderful job on the Wall of History. Well, you and Jala, anyway.”“Thanks,” I nodded, wondering when he had noticed us working together. “He was a huge help.”“You really had me nervous near the end,” the Turaga frowned. “On several occasions, I was tempted to send a couple other Matoran down to help you out. But my faith in you was justified, because you did find a way to get it done.”“You... you were watching me?” I said uneasily.“With such an important job in the hands of someone with a rather, shall we say, spotty record when it comes to responsibility...” His red eyes narrowed slightly behind his Kanohi. Suddenly I realized that his reputation had been on the line, too, with everyone coming to hear the reading. “I’m sorry to have caused you to worry, Turaga.”“No harm done, Takua,” he reassured me, patting my arm. “I’m just glad it’s finished.”“So am I,” I agreed. “What do I need to do today?”“Nothing. You just have to sit in the crowd and enjoy the tale you’ve so beautifully composed and recorded for the future. The Turaga will take turns reading it to everyone.”I lay back in my bed with relief. “Good,” I smiled, closing my eyes.“That doesn’t mean you can go back to sleep now,” he growled. “Get up and get some breakfast. The others will be in the village in about half an hour.”I groaned and sat up as he shuffled out the door of my hut. But I’ll take physical fatigue over anxiety and dread, any day. So I stumbled down to the dining hall and joined my friends. They were all excited to see me. Jala looked almost as tired as I was, but he had a big grin on his yellow Hau. As we stood in line to get our bowls of steaming mashed Yola root, he said, “The sentries have already spotted the Ga-Koronans a few kios from the gate.”“Well, they would have come all this way for nothing, if you hadn’t helped me,” I replied. “I couldn’t have done it without you, Jala.”He laughed. “What are friends for?”We finished eating and went down to the Wall to find a place to sit in the area marked off with reddish stones for Ta-Koro. Jala gestured for me and Kapura to join him at the end of the back row, since we might be called on to come forward. Toa Tahu walked up to me and slapped me on the back. “Well done, Chronicler,” he laughed gruffly. “I stopped by early this morning and read some of your work. You really have a gift with words.”I thanked him for the compliment, infinitely grateful he hadn’t come by an hour earlier to find Jala and me chipping feverishly to finish the thing. He strode to the front of the group to talk with Turaga Vakama, and we Matoran sat down.A few minutes later the other denizens of Mata Nui began to pour in. The Toa and Turaga gathered in the front of the crowd and exchanged greetings. Toa Gali waved to me, and I smiled sheepishly back at her. The Matoran sat in groups by village, forming a semi-circle in front of the wall. I noticed that Maku slipped into the ranks of the Po-Koronans to sit next to Huki, though.The Turaga of Fire motioned for everyone to be quiet. In a solemn voice, he welcomed the guests. He began with a brief summary of the events of the Bohrok War, and then he introduced Turaga Nokama, who was the first to read. It was amazing to hear my words come to life in that clear, fluid voice. It seemed so long ago that I had carved them, even though it had been only two weeks. I listened with apprehension at first, wishing I had gone back and re-read everything for errors. Then it occurred to me that if Turaga Vakama had really been keeping an eye on me, he might have read it all himself. So I relaxed a little and watched the blue village elder. Her usual reserve was replaced by expressive gestures as she relived the drama of our noble protectors hunting down the cold-hearted creatures who had rendered them powerless.Turaga Nokama finished her part at the point where Toa Tahu, Toa Lewa, Jala, and I were trekking through Ko-Koro. She took a little bow and sat down, and Turaga Onewa began to read. His voice, gravelly yet steady as his element, gave the words a different feeling than the water Turaga’s had. While hers evoked a lyrical legend steeped in the mystery of the past, his boldly defined a battle epic, giving an even more heroic quality to the action scenes. Occasionally he touched his fingers to the graven surface as if to feel the story directly from the stone. He ended with my vision of Toa Gali losing her powers, and our decision to go to her aid.Then Turaga Whenua took over, and this is where I started to have difficulty staying awake. His low, resonant, almost melodic tones had a soporific effect on me, like a distant humming through the earth. Even though the story was getting more and more intense, I found myself starting to nod off. Jala prodded me awake on more than one instance. Finally, the word ‘lunch’ seeped through my fading awareness, and I realized everyone was standing to take a break for the midday meal. I staggered to my feet and followed the crowd to the dining hall.We got our food and sat down. The main course was fresh roasted meat smothered in the spicy sauce that Aodhan makes from crushed dried Hoto. The side dishes were from Le-Koro—tender Kele shoots and Papuka nuts. Jala saved me a place at a table with Nixie, Hahli, Amaya, and Kai. Lito and Raku saw us and came to sit there, too.Nixie’s Pakari was radiant with excitement. “I’m so proud of you, Takua,” she beamed. “That whole long story carved onto the wall in only two weeks! And it’s so wonderful to hear. Your words really make me picture the whole thing in my mind’s eye.”I thanked her and told her it was Jala who had made it all possible. He smiled modestly.The conversation mostly revolved around the reading we had just heard. Jala filled everyone in on the funny details I had omitted. I was glad he felt like talking, because I didn’t. Then he asked Hahli to tell us about catching the big Ruki. She began in a shy, quiet voice, but by the end of the story she was animated, waving her arms and making sound effects for the wind and waves. Then there was some discussion of a rumor that the Turaga were planning to hold a giant island-wide koli tournament. Jala kidded me that I should use that somersault move I had done at the Kini-Nui, and I wanted to disappear under the table. Then Lito exclaimed in dismay as he realized that Kai had slipped a bunch of Kele shoots into his shoulder armor, and we all had a good laugh.Soon the meal was over, and we reassembled for the second half of the Kal saga. To our delight, Hahli and Nixie sneaked into our row and sat on either side of me and Jala.Turaga Nuju began to read in his bizarre language of whistles and clicks, pausing to let Matoro interpret. But after a while Matoro just started reading the wall himself while the Turaga kept making his odd sounds. After all, it was really Turaga Nuju who was doing the translating. Since I knew more or less what he was saying without listening to Matoro, I tried to decipher his language, and this helped me stay awake. Because otherwise, sitting still after a big meal with so little sleep would have had me napping in no time. I figured out his sounds for Bohrok and Toa, but that was about it. The Ice Turaga’s impassive mask actually showed some enthusiasm when he recounted the part about the combat lesson Jala gave to the Toa. He finished with Toa Tahu’s unsuccessful attempt to lead a swarm of Tahnok against the Nuhvok-Kal. Toa Tahu leaned his head on his hand, frowning at no one in particular.Turaga Matau took over, and things got more entertaining. The air village elder’s amusing speech pattern crept in when he started telling the part of the story where Toa Tahu, Toa Lewa, and the the Le-Koronans used branch and rock traps to thwart the Nuhvok-Kal. It was obvious he was paraphrasing and embellishing my text, and we Matoran started glancing at each other. He started talking about how the “waddle-shell weight-bug” had gotten “all snarl-mean and hop-mad,” and Turaga Vakama loudly cleared his throat.“What?” asked Turaga Matau innocently. “It WAS hop-mad!”“Just read the Wall,” grumbled the Fire Turaga, glaring at someone who was snickering in the front row. So his green colleague rolled his eyes and continued, this time sticking to the script. He ended with the illusion walls Makuta had set up before the Toa fell into the cave with the Rahi-Nui. Of course, there was no mention of Makuta in this saga at all. I had transcribed the incident as Turaga Vakama had when he told the story to us villagers, using roundabout language to suggest that the Toa had worn out the huge beast and omitting our leader’s noble actions entirely. But I shivered as I remembered the bizarre patch of utter darkness I had encountered on the way, those creepy red eyes on the cave wall, and that horrible grating voice. Jala glanced at me meaningfully.Finally, Turaga Vakama told the last part of the story. His confidence as he read my words about the Toa defeating the Rahi Nui made me certain he had come down to the Wall to read it before anyone else got a chance to see it. I wondered if he had been hanging around with his Huna activated while I had been carving. It made me feel reassured and uneasy at the same time.He got to the last scene of the saga, when the Toa had confronted the Kal as they put the stolen power symbols into the lock to free the queens of the swarms. I remembered the intensity of my vision, the only time I had ever seen the Toa—the ones we relied on to keep us safe—looking so completely bereft of hope. In my mind I could picture Toa Lewa saying, “Then we have failed our people,” and Toa Gali nodding sadly. Toa Onua was looking at the ground, and Toa Kopaka’s Akaku was even more grim than usual. Even Toa Pohatu seemed resigned to their inevitable doom.And then that strange feeling came over me, as it did in Ga-Koro when I leaped in front of the Pahrak. I couldn’t stand by and watch my friends suffer helplessly. So I jumped into the gap between the Toa and the Kal. I reached back and pulled a koli staff out of my pack, and I aimed it at the creatures. My jaw clenched resolutely, I willed it to fire. A blast of brilliant power surged from the end, instantly knocking all the Kal flat on their backs. The Toa sprang forward and claimed their symbols from the cube, and the Bahrag shrieked in frustration as their prison of protodermis fibers tightened around them again and their eyes grew dim. Toa Tahu hoisted my small body effortlessly onto his broad shoulders, and a huge crowd of Matoran all around us began to cheer. “Hooray for the Toa!” “Hooray for Takua!”I heard Jala’s voice, and then Nixie’s, saying my name over the sound of shouting and applause. My eyes snapped open, and my head was resting on something blue. Then I realized it was Nixie’s shoulder, and I sat up with a start. I was back in the audience at the Wall. Evidently the reading was over, and Turaga Vakama was looking right at me, and so was the rest of the crowd. Everyone started laughing.I stumbled to my feet and tried to get my mouth to work. “Thanks to the, uh, bravery and quick thinking of the Toa, we’re here to celebrate a victory,” I finally stammered. “And thanks to my friend Jala, and Turaga Vakama, we can now read about it on the Wall.” Then I sat down, wishing I had never been built.Turaga Vakama shook his head with amusement. Then he announced that in one week, there would be a Naming Ceremony in Po-Koro. Finally, he invited everyone to the party that had been prepared in the courtyard of the fire village. We all stood and began to file out of the hall.Still woozy and disoriented from my dream, I responded to the barrage of compliments from the other Matoran. “Good work, Takua,” smiled Kapura. “Awesome job on the Wall, dude!” yelled Lito. “That was the best tale the Turaga have ever told,” commented Kotu. “Nice work on the carving,” nodded Hafu.I was swept along by the multitude toward the party, but I really didn’t feel like being there. All I wanted to do was find Nixie and apologize. Finally I saw her across the room and wove my way over to her. When I got there, I hesitated for a moment, and then the words tumbled out. “I’m so sorry I embarrassed you. You must really hate me now. And I probably got you in trouble with your Turaga, too.”“Well, Turaga Nokama did give me a gentle scolding, but that’s her job,” she said with a wry smile. “And I’m still proud of you.” She reached over and touched my arm.I blinked in wonder at her forgiving attitude. Then Kai came over and announced that the Le-Koronan band was about to start up, and they invited me to come dance with them. But I politely declined and tottered up the stairs to my hut, where I sit, writing. I can hear the band, and they sound great, but I’m not about to go back down there.Now that I’ve recounted my latest humiliation, I’m going to sleep. If I had had the self-discipline to pace myself intelligently on the Wall project, I would be down there enjoying the party with my friends. But I’m too weary and disgusted with myself to care at this point. I came really close to forcing Turaga Vakama to intervene, and then I brought embarrassment to the girl I’ve been trying to impress for so long.Well, at least everyone seemed to enjoy the story. I guess maybe I do have some kind of gift for bringing history to light. I should thank Mata Nui that I’m not completely worthless after all. I guess he’s known it all along, and that’s why he made me Chronicler.Summer 2 : 19Ah, the exquisite luxury of sleeping late.When I finally woke today, it was lunchtime. I ambled down to the dining hall, where my arrival was announced by cheerful shouts of “Chronicler!” I waved at them, still slightly uncomfortable after what happened yesterday.Raku and Lito were on their way out. They’re both working night shift this week, so they had just gotten up, too. They invited me to surf with them after lunch, and I gladly accepted.As they left to get our boards, Jala spotted me. “Hey, sleepyhead!” he teased. “Everyone missed you at the party. Nixie was really worried about you.”“Really?” I asked incredulously, setting down my bowl. “I figured she wouldn’t want anything to do with me now.”“Naw. She was afraid you had made yourself ill with too much work,” smiled Jala. “I think she likes you. She kept going on about how great your story was.”“How did YOU manage to stay awake?”He grinned. “I didn’t! I went to bed a couple hours after you did. But I did have the chance to show Hahli around the village first, to look at all the improvements.” I glanced up, and suddenly I noticed that the dining hall was much bigger. Out the doorway I could see the Atrium had been enlarged as well. Jala continued, “She especially loved the koli stadium. It’s not even finished yet, but already it’s really impressive. You should go check it out, now that you’re newly unemployed.”I nodded. A lot of things had happened in two weeks, apparently. Raku and Lito came back in with their lava boards, and I asked Jala if he wanted to come, too. To my surprise, he eagerly assented. After he gulped down his lunch, he ran off to tell his lieutenants their afternoon orders and get his board.“I’ve never seen the Captain surf, but I’ve heard he’s really good,” Raku remarked. I didn’t doubt this, because I’ve seen plenty of proof of Jala’s natural athletic ability.“Well, I guess we’re about to find out,” shrugged Lito.When Jala returned, we all set out for the Big Surge, just downstream of the Kalala Lava Cave. The rumors were true. Jala explained that he had been an avid surfer before his job responsibilities completely took over his life during the time of the infected Rahi. He seemed a little out of practice at first, but soon he was sailing over the waves with the utmost confidence. I traded boards with him so he could try a longer one, and he mastered the new conditions within minutes.Raku and Lito were acting a bit self-conscious at first to be surfing with their boss. But they began to relax when they saw how much fun he was having. Our mouths dropped open when Jala caught a really huge wave and disappeared into a tunnel of lava. He came out the other side, smiling broadly, and rode my board onto the bank. We all cheered.Then I realized someone was clapping behind us, and I turned to see Turaga Vakama. “Bravo, Captain,” he chuckled. “I’m glad you’re getting a chance to relax for once. And Takua, I see your friends are doing a fine job of helping you remember the pleasures of the fire region.”We all nodded politely. Then the Turaga got a thoughtful look on his mask. “Jala, the spirit of Lhii lives on in you, in so many ways,” he mused.Jala blinked. We had all heard mention of this legendary surfer named Lhii, but the village elder had never actually told us his story. It had become practically a tradition, whenever he brought up this venerable name, for someone to ask him to tell us more, even though he always declined. This time it was Raku. “When will you tell us his story, Turaga?”“Someday. Probably not anytime soon.” But then, to our delight, Turaga Vakama actually dropped a couple of hints. “His full name was Lhikan. And he saved my life with his board. Twice.” Then he turned and walked away.We surfers looked at each other excitedly. Finally, a morsel of information about Lhii—or rather, Lhikan. And it was a juicy bit, too. He had used his lava board to save Turaga Vakama! That certainly gave our sport a new respectability.As he stood silhouetted by the sunlight in the enormous cave opening, Turaga Vakama called back to me, “Takua, tomorrow morning you are to report to the lava fields. You can’t play all the time, you know.”“Yes, Turaga.” I forced a smile.So it’s back to the grind again for me. But that’s all right. I suppose being a Chronicler is a part-time job, and when nothing is happening, I need to be contributing to the village in some other way. Well, it was fun while it lasted.Summer 2 : 20Today was pure misery.First off, I had to get up early. Puku nudged me awake, and when I heard the cleanup clatter from the dining room, I realized I was late. So I barely had time to choke down a few scraps from the serving pans. And then I had to run all the way to the lava fields, arriving all out of breath and flustered to get my work orders.Aft sent me to join Aodhan’s team, digging a new diversion channel to fill a reservoir of magma to be forged into tools. Since I didn’t remember anything at all about lava farming after losing my memory, it was a suitably simple-minded task. It was boring drudgery, just as I anticipated, but once I figured out what I was doing and got into a rhythm, I could daydream.The purity and consistency of the material was of the highest importance, so the channel had to be very clean and straight. Some hard-working individual had to actually pay attention to his job long enough to discover the pure source high on the volcano, and some other hard-working individual had to figure out how deep and wide the channel had to be, given the slope of the ground and the thermal properties of the stone, lava, and air, so that it would stay molten and flow freely until it got to the tank. But as for me, I could just chop stupidly at the ground until the ditch was as deep as Aodhan told me to make it. So my mind could wander freely to more interesting things, like what kind of surfing moves this legendary Lhikan could do, or whether Nixie really did like me in spite of my idiocy.After lunch, things went from mediocre to intolerable. Aft assigned me to Tiribomba’s group, which maintains the pumps that circulate the lava in the tanks. The work—walking around checking fluid levels, applying grease to the occasional groaning gear shaft, and patching leaks in the piping—wasn’t so bad, even though I did have to pay attention. The problem was my supervisor. It was Tupako.Well, as I expected, the first thing he did was taunt me. “Oh, it’s Takua, the amateur astrologer. Been observing any celestial bodies lately?”I shook my head and asked what I was supposed to do. He led me around, taking every opportunity to insult my work as Chronicler, my koli playing, and the color of my Kanohi. (He didn’t say anything about the shape, at least, because he’s got an orange Pakari.) I finally stopped asking questions even when I was confused about something, because every answer was prefaced by a remark about my ignorance. I figured I would just find someone else to ask later.So he left me alone for a while, and I did my rounds. After fixing a few minor problems, I came upon a broken pipe gushing lava at an alarming rate. I grabbed a sheet of protodermis, some clamps, and my tools and got to work. But as I tightened the fasteners, the pipe split open further upstream. I managed to scramble up a ladder right before the cave flooded.Tupako, standing on a catwalk above me, started shouting. He shut down the offending pump, all the while spouting a tirade about what kind of Gukko-brain would try to patch a pipe before turning off the machinery first. And the sad part is, I had wanted to ask him about that earlier, but I just didn’t have the heart to listen to another rant about my incompetence.Fortunately for me, Aft’s pet Hikaki gave a long shriek to signal the end of the shift. I was more than happy to let the leak become someone else’s problem.In the dining room tonight, Jala listened attentively to my woes. Tiribomba was sitting with us, too. He told me not to feel bad about what had happened. Evidently that pipe run was constantly springing leaks, and the whole section was overdue for replacement. “Keep your chin up,” advised Jala. But I’m not looking forward to tomorrow.Summer 3 : 1I showed up at work on time today, just so Tupako would have one less excuse to yell at me. I figured he would find enough other things to complain about. And I was right.First, I got a long harangue about how much damage I had caused yesterday, and how long he had stayed after the end of the shift to re-route the flows around the ruptured pipe section. Then he shoved a pickaxe into my hands and told me to chip out all the rock that had solidified before he could bail the lava out of the flooded pump room. Even though I resented his tone, I felt sorry for him, because he had obviously worked hard to correct my mistake. So I attacked the stone with vigor, and by mid-morning my arms were aching. I acted as if nothing was bothering me, though.Then Tupako got me to help him replace the most heavily damaged pipe sections. He measured and cut the new pipe while I handed him his tools and acted as a living clamp to hold things in place. Without any explanation of what we were doing, at first I had a hard time guessing what he wanted next. But after a couple of sections were in place, I started to figure out the routine, and I was able to anticipate whether he wanted a measuring stick, a pair of pliers, a sheet of protodermis, or a heatstone. This cut down on the amount of growling on his part.Still, it was a big relief to see my friends at lunch and be able to smile again. I noticed that after exchanging a few words with Tiribomba, Tupako sat down by himself to eat. As grumpy as that guy is, it was no surprise to me. He finished his meal quickly and rushed out of the dining hall, probably to get back to work.I walked over to Tiribomba’s table. “Is there any way I could trade jobs with someone? I’m having a really hard time getting along with Tupako.”Tiribomba shrugged. “Join the club, Takua. But you might as well forget about a trade. No one wants your job.”In the afternoon, Tupako sent me to do my rounds again. Since we had spent all morning on major repairs, there were plenty of small leaks to keep me busy. The time passed quickly with no big mishaps. At the end of the shift Tupako and I found ourselves walking out of the lava farm together, so I got up the nerve to ask him a question. “Why didn’t we replace that whole pipe run? It seems like all of it—”The vehemence of his reply shut me up right away. “Because that’s all the pipe we had!” Then he started railing about Naming Day. “I bet you’re going to get a new name, just for hanging out with the Ga-Koronans and stumbling into the path of a Pahrak. Me, if I disappeared tomorrow, no one would have any new tools or weapons. But does anyone notice me slaving away down there in the pump room? Ha!” Fortunately, we caught up with some others on their way to the village, and he fell silent.After dinner I went to Turaga Vakama’s hut. He welcomed me warmly and invited me to sit down. I took a deep breath, explained my problems with Tupako, and respectfully requested a different assignment.The Turaga gazed thoughtfully at the flame dancing in the center of the hearth. “The sacred fire tells me you have yet something to learn from Tupako.”I groaned and stood up. If the sacred fire had anything to say about a subject, that was always the final word. At this point I almost hoped some new enemy will show up, just so I’d have an excuse to leave the village and chronicle something. Almost.But then I remembered another request I wanted to make of Turaga Vakama, and this time I was delighted with his reply. He gave me permission to interview the Toa and Turaga of each village!“That’s an excellent plan, Takua. I’m glad you’re so motivated to chronicle a few more of the many stories that have happened between the ones on the Wall. But you’ll have to do it on your own time,” he added.I was crestfallen. How could I get to another village, talk to two people, and get back during my one day of rest each weekend?“You could take two days instead, and do extra work on the other four that you are here,” the village elder suggested.“Could I… could I have some parts to rebuild Puku?” I asked hesitantly. “She could carry me all night while I sleep, if she were bigger and stronger.”“Not a bad idea,” he grinned. “After the renaming, I’ll see to it that you get that opportunity.”Then he agreed to let me interview him tomorrow after supper. Well, I walked on air back to my hut. I’m too excited to go to sleep. But I guess I’d better.Summer 3 : 2This morning passed quickly because I had so much on my mind. As I checked the lava tanks, I came up with a long list of questions to ask Turaga Vakama when I interview him tonight. Then I considered which ones he might actually answer, and the list became much shorter.I also thought ahead to the other Turaga and the Toa. Since they’re probably all busy with the rebuilding—every time I emerge from the smoking hole I call my workplace, I notice a new building or an enlarged foyer—I decided to focus on one simple two-part question: “At what times in your life have you been the proudest, and the most afraid?” That’s bound to elicit a few good adventure stories. And then, as time permits, I’ll ask them any other questions that come to mind.Then I started to daydream about the Naming Day ceremony. Jala says they change only the spelling of the honored Matoran’s name, not the way it’s spoken, so it really won’t matter except to add a few letters when I carve it into the Wall of History. I figure Huki and Hafu will get new names, and maybe Nuparu. But what Tupako said yesterday planted the idea in my head that maybe Jala’s and my names will be changed, too. How could they make them different without altering the sounds? Maybe Jaalha and Taakua or something. I wonder how Nixie will react. Will she turn to me, her pretty eyes lit up with joy for me when my name is announced? Or will she be avoiding my eyes altogether, sitting as far away as possible in her village’s section?After that I imagined all the ways I could rebuild Puku. I remember some of the extra pieces I saw while we Matoran were getting upgraded, so I can visualize it in my head. I’m thinking I’ll split my crab down the middle and add a broad, flat piece, so I’ll be able to lie down on her back. That’ll leave a gap beneath her shell, which I’ll fill with those connectors that store extra energy, so she’ll have more stamina. I’ll leave her main leg joints alone and extend each of her legs with one extra segment. Maybe I’ll double the first segment, too, to increase her strength. But these are just ideas. I might come up with a new design once I see what’s in the spare parts cave.I also thought about how to keep her calm so she won’t snap at me. Even though she trusts me, I doubt if she’ll just sit there when I start to pull her apart! And those claws can be pretty fearsome when she’s mad. Then I remembered something Tamaru told me. He knows all about plants and their uses, and he mentioned to me once that there’s a wild herb that makes you really sleepy. I’ll have to ask him to get me some of that.After lunch, my thoughts returned to what Turaga Vakama had said last night. I wondered what I could learn from Tupako. He’s a hard worker, and it’s certainly admirable how dedicated he is to his duty. But he doesn’t exactly inspire me to give it my all. His hard work doesn’t seem to bring him any joy whatsoever. He appears to be driven more by compulsion than by love of his fellow villagers or his Great Spirit. To me, his behavior proves that Duty is pretty worthless by itself.As I thought about all this, I suddenly realized how tired I’ve been for the last few days. And it’s not just the work. The way Tupako’s constantly criticizing, blaming, and insulting me has really been wearing on me. I know he’s right, that I’m a lazy, unreliable blockhead. But hearing about it over and over again is gradually pushing me toward despair. The only way I’ve avoided sliding into utter hopelessness is to ignore him and think about something more pleasant.My musings were interrupted by Tupako’s yelling. Evidently I had just walked past a huge leak in one of the trunk lines from the central tank to the foundry. I snapped to attention and ran to the pump control panel. The ancient machinery groaned and shuddered as I swung the giant valve shut. Then I went to the supply closet and retrieved my repair tools. After two attempts the patch held, and I started cleaning up the partially cooled lava that had gushed out. Under the crusty surface the interior was still molten, and the heat traveled up the handle of my shovel, burning my hands. But hey, I’m supposed to be learning devotion to Duty, right?Tupako started shouting again. “You shut the main valve, you moron! Why didn’t you just isolate that one line? Now the whole system is going to be clogged up!” He continued his rant as he turned various handles, pausing to glare at certain gages. “We’re going to be fixing your mistake all afternoon, Takua.”My heart sank as I watched him. I had once again made everything worse by not thinking things through. Poor Tupako, doing an impossible job with failing equipment and an incompetent helper. Suddenly I realized what it really was I was supposed to learn from him: humility. Now, I’ve never considered myself to be the proud sort of Matoran who likes to boast about his accomplishments. But it became painfully obvious I’ve been just as arrogant in my own way, refusing even to pay attention to the dangerous work we are supposed to be doing together. The answer to his constant criticism is not to ignore it, but to try harder. I took a deep breath and resigned myself to doing my job.The rest of the afternoon I applied myself to the task at hand, watching Tupako closely and asking questions, even if it meant getting a barrage of verbal abuse as a preface to each answer. And at the end of the day, I felt pretty good. Hard work is all right once in a while, after all. It felt like I had earned the right to eat dinner, to relax with my friends, and best of all, to interview Turaga Vakama.Naturally, this was the moment I had been waiting for all day long. He welcomed me, as usual, and gestured for me to sit next to him by the fire pit. He put his elbow on his knee and leaned forward. “So, what would you like to ask me, Chronicler?”“Well, it’s not what I would like to ask you, sir,” I began, “so much as what I think you might actually answer.”He laughed. “I’ll tell you what I can.”“All right. At what times in your life have you felt the most proud, and the most afraid?”Turaga Vakama scratched his long chin. “Well, for the first part of your question, there have been too many moments to count when I was bursting with pride in the steadfast Ta-Koronans for the way they’ve worked together to ward off far larger, more fearsome, and more numerous foes. Facing the infected Rahi and the Bohrok, they came up with brilliant and courageous plans, over and over again.”“Can you give me an example?”“Sure. Let’s see… how about the Battle of the Charred Forest?” He sat back on the bench, with his hands clasped around his knees and that faraway expression he always gets when he starts to tell a story. “That fight was drawn out for so long that it felt more like a war, actually. At first we didn’t know who our true foe even was. We thought the animals had simply gone mad with some sort of natural infection. So we resisted their attacks one by one, not realizing there was one sinister intelligence behind it all.“Communication among the Wahi was limited in those days, since each village had become isolated in its self-sufficiency. Rumor had it that the Le-Matoran were working on an herbal cure for the infection. A mild fever had struck the Gukko population at one point, and they were successful in suppressing it with Daikau extract, believe it or not. So they were hopeful they could find a remedy for this new affliction.”“You mean that nasty thing actually holds the cure for a disease?” I asked in disbelief. I remember Tamaru warning me about these carnivorous weeds whose woody jaw-like leaves can break your ankle. We once watched a Daikau close around a small Fikou, crushing it like a nutshell in its deadly grip.“Yes, Takua, even a very unpleasant creature can sometimes be useful,” he chuckled. I wondered for a moment if he was referring to Tupako. “Anyway, for some time we had been fairly successful in setting traps for the incidental crazed Rahi, like the one we accidentally caught Toa Tahu in. But then the pattern of Rahi attacks shifted suddenly, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t just crazed beasts acting on their own. The Hikaki, Hoto, and Ranama, in particular, would form a ring around a group of patrolling Matoran, increasing their own body heat to ignite the nearby trees all at once as if on a signal.”“When did you figure out who was behind it all?” I asked quietly.“Well, I was beginning to suspect it was Makuta about this time. As you know from the Rahi Nui fight, we Turaga have encountered Makuta before. But as you also know, you must keep that knowledge, and the knowledge that he continues to exist, to yourself,” he reminded me. I nodded solemnly.Turaga Vakama began to recount the Battle of the Charred Forest in great detail, and I scribbled notes as fast as I could write. Apparently, one day the Guard scouts reported huge numbers of fire Rahi gathering at the edge of the forest, all around the village. The beasts moved in closer, igniting fires as they moved. While lava farmers armed with shovels buried the flames that shot toward the village, and bucket brigades relayed sea water to the battle front, Jala sent small units to break through the lines, and they braved the searing heat to circle back behind the Rahi and strike. “They sowed enough confusion that the force of the attack was broken. But the infirmary was full of the fallen that dire day—victims of the very heat and flame that we Ta-Matoran have thrived on since the time before time.” The Turaga paused to pick up his firestaff. He turned it over in his hands while he continued. “In spite of the fear and pain, our will was not broken. That is why I am so proud of the Ta-Koronans.”“Wow,” I blinked, almost wishing I had been there to help at that point, instead of wandering meaninglessly across the island. After a moment of silence, I asked, “And what about the time in your life you were the most afraid?”Turaga Vakama sighed. He closed his eyes, then opened them again and fixed them on the fire. “I would have to say that was when I handed Toa Tahu the Great Mask of Time.”“Really? But weren’t you more afraid of the Bohrok-Kal and what they might do?”“Of course! That’s why I decided to go ahead and trust him with such a potent and dangerous tool. When I saw him lose his powers, I really feared the Bohrok might accomplish their mission. I’ll never forget the vision I saw so long ago in the sacred fire, when they rampaged across the surface of Mata Nui and left nothing but dead rock in their wake.”This made me wonder. “Turaga, what do you see in the sacred fire, exactly? You mentioned a vision… do the flames form images?”“Well,” he replied hesitantly, “it’s not the fire itself that creates the images. But I find that visions are more likely to come to me if I focus on the mesmerizing flicker of the flames. You have visions yourself, so you can probably imagine.”“Mine come at random times and places, when I least expect it,” I shrugged. “Visions are never random,” he corrected me. “Mine don’t always come when summoned, but I find it helps to sit in this place and clear my mind.” He explained that the very hottest lava always bubbled straight up out of the river here, and that’s why the village had been built in this location, with the Turaga’s hut in the center, its sacred fire fueled perpetually by the heat rising from the earth.I paused to look at the fire. “So, back to the Vahi,” I finally smiled. “Where did you get it?”“I’m afraid I can’t answer that, Takua,” he sighed.“Well, maybe you can answer this, then. How did you know its power? As a Turaga, you’ve never been able to use it, right?”He squinted at me. “True, a Turaga cannot access the power of a Great Mask. But that’s all I can say.”I seemed to be reaching a dead end, and it was getting late, so I decided I’d better wrap things up. I was very pleased that he had told me such entertaining stories. But I wondered about what happened in his life before the events he would freely share with us villagers. All his tales, except for the legend of Mata Nui, have happened within our memory—well, within everyone else’s memory—but we villagers all suspect he remembers things that happened many years before. “Turaga Vakama,” I asked cautiously, “are those really the proudest and most frightening moments in your life, or just during the part we’re supposed to know about?”A wide smile crossed the weathered orange Huna as his gaze dropped down to his hands. “Ah, Takua, you must not be so impatient. All will be brought to the light someday. And already you know more than the Matoran are supposed to know.” Then he looked me right in the eyes. “I know you’re probably tired of hearing that, with your thirst for truth. But more that I’ve ever allowed myself to be, I’m hopeful now that the time will be very soon.”This was really exciting! My mind started reeling at the prospect of more information about the Turaga’s past. Maybe it would clarify things that have happened since.So, now that I’ve written all this down tonight, at some point I can go back down to the Wall and carve a little section about these interviews. I’m sure Turaga Vakama won’t mind if I do a little extra work for a change. :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.
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#6 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Jan 28 2012 - 11:22 AM

Summer 3 : 3This morning I got up early—yes, early—so I could carve a brief summary of my visit with Turaga Vakama onto the Wall of History. Then I ran upstairs and grabbed some breakfast before I went to work. I was almost on time.After grumbling about my tardiness, Tupako explained that since we were all going to set out for Po-Koro this evening after dinner, the forges weren’t going to need any lava today. They would just be cleaning and storing their casting molds. So all we had to do was set up our equipment so that the fluid in the tanks will circulate safely until we return. We finished securing the pumps (with only one minor mistake on my part) just as the Hikaku screeched that it was lunchtime. Tupako said that after the meal we would just double-check everything. “In case you hadn’t noticed, the village is directly downstream of this facility. We can’t be too careful, you know.”Actually, I hadn’t noticed this until he pointed it out. I asked him why. Naturally I got an earful about the ill-conceived and hazardous layout of the village before he finally paused to answer my question. “I suppose things were set up this way to be more easily defended,” he speculated, “since the only two other lava sources as pure as this one are much farther away. But wild Rahi are not the biggest threat to the village, if you ask me. No one ever does, though.”It’s pretty obvious why no one ever asks him anything, if you ask me. For such a smart guy, he sure doesn’t understand his fellow Matoran very well.After lunch, I just didn’t feel like forcing myself to go back to work. I figured Tupako could do the double-checking without me. I decided to go interview Toa Tahu instead.But first I had to find him. As I tiptoed past Turaga Vakama’s doorway, I saw Jala inside. Jala usually has some idea where Toa Tahu is, so I waited for him to come out. “Oh, hello, Takua,” he said, surprised. “Why aren’t you at the lava farm?” When I explained what I wanted to do, he frowned. “Well, I really shouldn’t be helping you shirk your work, but... last I saw Toa Tahu, he was heading for the Tren Krom Break to do some surfing.”I decided not to take Puku. The terrain on the way up to the Tren Krom Break is extremely rugged, so she doesn’t go much faster than I can alone anyway. And she finds the hot, loud, splashy lava falls to be quite frightening, since she’s really an underground creature. (The rugged terrain and dramatic falls are why Toa Tahu likes it, of course.) So I started up the mountain on foot, with my board on my back. It took me most of the afternoon to get there, because it’s such a hard climb, but I figured I would get down much more quickly because I could surf.I heard Toa Tahu before I saw him, shouting joyfully and spraying arcs of brilliant magma drops against the ominous clouds that usually cloak the top of the volcano. As I came around a boulder, he was just landing from some sort of airborne maneuver. He saw me and rode his magma blades onto the bank.“Ho, Takua!” he greeted me cheerfully. He listened to my request. “Sure, I’d be happy to answer some questions. Fire away!”I asked him about his proudest moment, and he replied without hesitation. “Oh, no doubt about it, that would be the first time I surfed the very heart of the Mangai,” he beamed. “I’d been wanting to try it ever since I first set eyes on that fiery crater, but I wasn’t sure I’d survive. In fact, after we defeated Makuta, I was about to make an attempt, but Gali stopped me. I had already thrown in my board, and we stood on the edge and watched it melt into the magma.”My eyes widened. “Good thing she stopped you!”“Yeah, she’s pretty smart sometimes. But don’t tell her I said that,” he snorted. “It’ll go to her head, and she’ll become even more arrogant.”“So later you went back and did it?”“Oh, it was magnificent! After we became Nuva, I realized my pure-protodermis, heat-resistant tools would fare much better than the stone boards I had been using. So I went up there and gave it a try. It was the most exhilarating experience of my entire life. Say, you want to watch me do it again, right now?”“Sure!” I cried eagerly. But then I realized this might make me late for dinner, and then it would be obvious I had been ditching my work. And everyone would be waiting for me to get back so we could begin the journey. “But I can’t stay away too long.”He looked at me sideways. “Let me guess. You’re skipping some kind of normal work to be here?” I nodded sheepishly, and he smiled. “Well, good for you. Anyone can do those ordinary jobs. You, however, are uniquely gifted to tell our stories. You’re lucky, finding a useful task to do in peacetime. I almost wish we had some enemies to fight! But don’t worry about being late. We have my Kakama.” So off we went. The power of the mask of speed seemed to increase my coordination as well as my velocity, so to my surprise, I didn’t have any trouble cruising over the rough, rocky ground.We got to the top of the Mangaia and decelerated. The red Toa strode to the edge of the crater. I followed cautiously and looked inside. I was immediately overwhelmed by the incredible intensity of the heat and fumes. A vast expanse of boiling lava lay before us, the opposite side of the basin barely visible through the plumes of dark smoke rising from its turbulent surface. Toa Tahu glanced back at me as he slid his magma blades into his feet. “I just love this,” he grinned. Then he leaped off the bank, turning a forward flip before he landed on the glowing surface, splattering lava up to where I was standing. I blocked my mask with my arm, wincing as the tiny droplets burned into my armor.When I looked down again, he was zooming across the huge lake of fire, zigzagging between geysers and leaving a wake of serpentine ripples that were quickly swallowed up again by the lava. He pivoted to wave at me, and I was afraid he would run into something, but he spun back around in time to leap over a magma bubble. He receded into the smoky distance, finally stopping against the jagged basalt on the other side. I could see the blur as he raced around the crater using his Kakama, and in a few seconds he was standing next to me, panting. “Whew! It’s hot down there.”As usual, Toa Tahu’s surfing was technically excellent and incredibly beautiful to watch. But what amazed me even more was the fact that a living being could withstand such an inferno. There were heat waves rising off his body. Out of stupid curiosity, I reached out and touched his arm. I immediately jerked my hand back and clutched my scorched fingers. The Toa of Fire rolled his eyes. “I guess I’d better get you somewhere cooler before we go on to your second question, eh?”We raced halfway down the mountain and sat on a wide ledge overlooking the cave that houses the village. The sun smoldered low and red in the late afternoon sky. I asked my next question, about the time he was most afraid.He frowned. “I suppose that would be the time Gali almost died from a wound inflicted by Lehvak acid,” he said slowly. I leaned forward expectantly, and he explained. “It happened in Ko-Wahi. Kopeke came and summoned me to help, and I found Gali lying in the snow with Kopaka sitting next to her. He had frozen a patch onto her neck to stop the fluid loss, and he asked me to make a permanent repair with my fire power. So I did. I was really worried I would slip and injure her even more, but by some miracle it worked.” He went on to describe how her heart had stopped, but Kopaka used the signal from a seismic recorder to start it back up. Still, she was too weak for her heart to beat on its own. Her two rescuers noticed that in her delirium she was singing a song about healing waters. So together they used the healing properties of water on her, and she recovered completely.“Amazing,” I nodded. “It would have been really terrible if we had lost Toa Gali.”“Absolutely,” he agreed. “We could never have imprisoned the Bahrag without all six elemental powers. Or defeated the Bohrok-Kal. At least, not the way we did.”His curt reply made me think back to our discussion near the end of the Kal hunt, when he had told me a Toa couldn’t afford to let his emotions about his fellow warriors interfere with their teamwork. It was a little sad to me, because he was so quick to dismiss any affection for Toa Gali. I pictured the scene in my mind. Toa Tahu and Toa Kopaka are so opposite in every way, except for their desire to protect their lovely comrade—and their pride. “Was it hard to work with Toa Kopaka under so much pressure?” I asked.Toa Tahu rolled his eyes. “If Toa Gali had died, I would probably have killed him next, for letting her get injured. So, yes, it was pretty stressful. But fortunately, after a few tense words, we were able to focus on the task at hand and get the job done.”“I can see why that was scary,” I smiled. “But I was expecting you to say that using the Vahi was the most frightening thing in your life.”“I was definitely nervous. And it certainly was a challenge to control. But I figured Vakama wouldn’t have given it to me unless he thought I could handle it.” The outlines of the Great Mask of Time emerged over his Hau Nuva. I stared at it in awe at the ancient, powerful artifact as he described how it felt to slow time. He had poured every bit of his energy into the mask, forgetting everything else around him. It tingled on his face, blurred his vision, and filled his head with a loud hum. Then he leaned toward me and continued in a more confidential tone as he let the Vahi vanish again. “You know, it’s easy for me to burn stuff. I look forward to every chance I have to unleash incendiary chaos. But to do precision work is hard. It requires so much self-control. To channel the raging flame that pervades my body and soul into a focused beam that heals instead of destroys really goes against my nature. So that’s why it was more frightening to use my powers on Gali’s neck.”I looked at him thoughtfully. “Maybe Turaga Vakama knows that about you, and that’s why he was reluctant to let you have the Vahi until it was really our last hope. He was afraid you would lose control.”He gave a short laugh. “Vakama does his best to understand me, but he can never really know what goes on in the heart of a fire Toa. As a Turaga, his life is all about order and restraint.”“I’m with you on that one,” I groaned. “And speaking of order... and of time... I’d better be getting back. Thanks so much for talking with me.”Toa Tahu chuckled and slapped my back. “You’re quite welcome. It was my pleasure.” He put his long boards on his feet, and I picked up my smaller one, and together we surfed our way back to the village just in time for me to slip into the dining hall crowd.I had a tense moment when I bumped into Tupako on my way to the table. But as he started to rail about me skipping work, Jala interrupted him. “It’s all right, Tupako. I sent him on an assignment.” He winked at me. “Military reporting.”Once again, Jala proves to be the ultimate friend. I was able to enjoy my dinner and help pack for the trip. On a request from Taipu, who was here delivering a message from his Turaga, we all brought our lavaboards, although we have no idea why. We made good time and set up a quick camp. At dawn we’ll leave again to finish the journey to Po-Koro.I’m really flattered Toa Tahu had so much to say to me. But now that I’ve written it down, it’s time to get some rest. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. Who knows, by the end of it I might just be Taakhua the Chronicler, best friend of Jallha the Captain of the Guard!Summer 3 : 4Well, I can’t pretend not to be disappointed with the Naming Day ceremony itself. But the rest of today was absolutely splendid.As soon as we got to Po-Koro and set up our tents, the Turaga herded us into the koli stadium for the ceremony. Their new facility is amazing. Its pale stone gleams in the sunlight, as yet unweathered by the gritty wind of this region but still somehow looking as if it has already stood solidly for centuries. I recognized some of Hafu’s signature touches in the detailed carvings that adorn the entryway as I passed through.The Turaga got right to business. “Brave Matoran,” began Turaga Nokama. “You have weathered a time of challenges with courage, spirit and unity. We wish especially to recognize those who stood against the Bohrok in the final battle against the swarms. In the face of darkness, you were a beacon of light for us all.”Turaga Vakama raised his staff. “The defenders of Ga-Koro shall receive a special honor. Even as the Toa became the Toa Nuva, so too will these heroes have new names when their tale is carved in the chronicles.”Jala was the first to be called. “Captain of the Ta-Koro Guard,” Turaga Vakama declared with pride. “Your valor and dedication to duty are an example to all. When your name is inscribed upon the Wall of History, you shall be known as Jaller.”As the crowd cheered, Huki of Po-Koro and Maku of Ga-Koro too were granted new names. For their deeds at Ga-Koro, they will be known henceforth as Hewkii and Macku.At last, Turaga Vakama called one final name. “Chronicler Takua, inscribe these names upon the Wall of History, as is your duty,” he said sternly. “And try to spell them correctly.”So there you have it. Of course Jaller, Hewkii, and Macku deserve the honor. Still, I feel a little twinge of envy. After all, I was foolhardy enough to get Jaller to fling me in front of the enemy. Doesn’t that count as bravery? I’m guessing I didn’t get a new name because Turaga Vakama doesn’t want other Matoran to hold me up as a model citizen. If everyone acted like me, no work would ever get done. Curse that Tupako, for planting the silly idea in my head that I might get a new name! If he hadn’t mentioned it, it probably wouldn’t even have occurred to me. I glanced across the crowd, and he was smirking at me.Oh, and ‘koli’ is now ‘kolhii,’ since the Po-Koronans have reinvented it. Talk about your pointless extra carving work. The long-rumored kolhii tournament was finally announced, too. The championship match will take place in four weeks. I didn’t pay much attention as Turaga Onewa explained the details, since I won’t be on the team anyway. My mind was still reeling from my lack of new name.I felt a little better when Nixie came up to me afterwards and whispered, “I can’t believe you didn’t get a new name, Takua! What you did was just as brave.” Of course, she could whisper the parts list of her telescope to me, and it would make me feel good.Well, after that bit of misery was over, we found out why Taipu had asked us to bring our boards along. The Po- and Onu-Koronans have invented a new sport they call ‘sandboarding.’ They led us to a rocky cliff, and we all climbed to the top. On the back side was a sandy slope. We spent all afternoon riding our boards down it, over and over again. For those who didn’t have boards, the Ga-Koronans had crafted some extras of bamboo and brought them along.Sandboarding isn’t as exciting as lava surfing, and it tends to put a lot of wear and tear on your board. (Instead of having to chip off the slag buildup, you have the opposite problem—the surface of your board is literally sanded off.) But the great thing about it is that everyone on the whole island can enjoy it. I don’t think we’ll ever get the water or ice villagers to share our enthusiasm for riding the magma waves!The earth and stone villagers had been practicing, so of course they were proficient already. But it took time for the rest of us to adapt to the new element. The Ko-Koronans figured it out the fastest because they’re used to sledding down a steep slope, although the sand isn’t nearly as slick as their snow. The Ga-Koronans had to become accustomed to the incline as well as the gritty, solid texture of the sand, but they have a natural balance that we clumsier males seem to lack. We Ta-Koronans picked it up pretty quickly simply because we spend more time on boards than anyone else. The Le-Koronans, who don’t surf at all, were the most fun to watch as they learned. They spent more time rolling down the hill than upright.The Toa got into it, too. Toa Pohatu (skiing on his huge feet) and Toa Onua (riding his quake breakers) were showing off and jumping over each other, their deep voices shouting playful challenges at each other. Toa Tahu and Toa Gali (riding their connected tools) each exhibited a mastery of the sport right away, naturally on opposite sides of the slope. (I did catch Toa Tahu watching her once, when he didn’t think anyone was looking. He saw me and quickly headed down the hill.) Toa Lewa wasn’t used to so much friction, and at first he fared little better than his villagers. Then Toa Tahu showed him how to do it, and he figured it out. But eventually he settled on his own method, which was to crouch on his joined katanas, hovering just above the sand using his Miru, and push himself along with his hands. Whenever he passed too close to a Matoran, the wind would blow the hapless surfer sideways into the sand. Toa Kopaka preferred to freeze a thin strip of ice over the sand ahead of himself. This way, he was still skating on his own element.Toa Pohatu asked twenty of his villagers to lie down next to each other, and then he raced to the top of the slope. He skiied rapidly toward them, and then, just before he reached the first one, he sailed into the air over their trusting heads, his immense heavy feet landing mere bios past the last one. The mountain shook with the impact. He spun around, spraying a rooster tail of sand behind him. “Top that if you can, Onua!” he taunted.Toa Onua shook his head. “I can’t top that, Pohatu. But I can do better.” He arranged a score of his own people in the same configuration and took his place at the summit. But as he zoomed toward them, he sank into the ground, the sand caving in to fill the hole he had just disappeared into. He popped up just below the last Matoran and shook off the dust. Toa Pohatu laughed so hard it echoed off the cliffs a kio away.My friends, of course, had a blast. Jaller, with his incredible athletic ability, caught on right away. Raku and Lito soon were surfing like the natives, too. Nixie cautiously made it down on a board of bamboo, jumping off whenever it started to go too fast for her taste.It turns out that Kai is a really awesome surfer, probably the best in Ga-Koro. She kept zigzagging around Lito and teasing him about being so slow. Finally he reached out as she passed by and grabbed her leg. She flipped over, dragging him down the hill with her. They tumbled to a stop in the sand, all tangled up together, their boards lying a few bios down the slope.Lito rolled over and spit out some sand. Then he leaned over Kai, who was still giggling. He cleared his throat and asked, “Kai, will you be my girlfriend?”Kai sat up straight and glared at him. “You’ve got a lot of nerve,” she snapped, “waiting so long to ask me!” Then she tackled him and shoved his face into the sand. He came back up, sputtering, and lunged at her. They lost their balance and rolled down the slope together. Then Lito crawled onto his board and stood up, and Kai jumped onto the back of it, and they rode, swerving crazily, all the way to the bottom together.I was standing at the top, watching them and wishing I had the nerve to be that bold with Nixie, when she came up behind me and asked shyly, “Can I ride on the back of your board?”“Sure!” I exclaimed. She stepped on and lightly placed her hand on my shoulder to steady herself. I pushed off, and we wove down the slope. I could feel her shifting her weight to help me steer. And at the bottom, even after she got off again, my shoulder still tingled from the soft touch of her fingers.Taipu jumped onto the back of Mokali’s board, and Lau onto Kongu’s, and soon everyone was doubling up. Another new sport was created: tandem sandboard racing. The back rider on each board tries to knock the others off their boards while the front rider steers for the finish line. In the impromptu tournament that followed, Jaller and Hahli made it to the quarter-finals by shoving Nixie and me into a dune. But they were no match for Hewkii and Macku, the most ruthless pair on the slope, who left a dozen teams sprawling in their wake.As we sat around the fires this evening, life felt simple and pleasant. With peace and light reigning on the island once more, surrounded by friends, exhausted from joyful sport, I felt very lucky. The fact that I wasn’t recognized for my crazy, last-second action in Ga-Koro during the Pahrak attack didn’t really matter. I didn’t do it to be a hero, anyway, so why should I feel slighted?Jaller joked with me that at least I wouldn’t have to do extra work to carve my own name. Then he glanced at Puku and grinned mischievously. “Say, since you’re the one doing all the carving, you could...”“...give Puku a new name?” I burst out laughing. But now that I think about it, why not? So I’m going to add this: “From this day forward, whenever her deeds are written on the great Wall of History, the faithful Ussal crab Puku shall be known by the name of Pewku.” That ought to be pompous enough for Turaga Vakama.Tomorrow I’m going to stay behind and rebuild her. I’ve already gotten permission. And while I’m at it, since Pewku will be stronger and faster, I’ll stick around and talk to Turaga Onewa and Toa Pohatu. Then I can race back to my boring job. I’m sure Tupako will be gloating over my unchanged name. Oh, well, at least there’s always a good party after a kolhii tournament. It’s something to look forward to.Summer 3 : 5Everyone left for their village this morning except for the Po-Koronans, obviously, and me and my crab, the newly renamed Pewku. (It feels so odd to write her name that way! I guess Jaller and the others have to think before they sign their own names now. Sigh.) I reported to Turaga Onewa, and he took us down to the cave at the Kini-Nui. He opened the door to the secret parts chamber, and I breathed in the cool, musty air as my eyes adjusted to the dim light inside. Tamaru gave me the sleep-inducing herbs yesterday, and I fed them to Pewku with a big centipede wrapped around them. She crunched eagerly into the bug and gulped it all down. Within a few minutes her legs sagged and she dropped to the floor.I remembered how Turaga Vakama had carefully applied force in just the right direction on each part to pull our limbs apart with maximum efficiency and minimum pain. It’s really a brilliant design, because we can’t be accidentally dismembered by random forces. The deconstruction must be very deliberate. So I studied the first joint and described to Turaga Onewa how I planned to disconnect it. He nodded his approval, and I popped off one of Pewku’s legs. After a few minutes I had the leg dismantled, rebuilt, and reattached. Turaga Onewa complimented my design. “Nice work, Takua. She’ll be quite powerful, I think.” By the time I repeated the operation on her other legs, the herbs were beginning to wear off. She swiped at me weakly with her new limbs as I split her back apart. Once I assembled the middle section, the Turaga helped me push her back together with one loud, final snap. Then we backed up and let her stagger to her feet.My beloved crab lurched unsteadily a few times before getting used to her new configuration, but in minutes she was bounding all over the room. I escorted her back out into the morning sunlight while Turaga Onewa locked up the storeroom. I let her run a few laps around the temple before I called her. Breathless, she skittered up to me, and I climbed onto her new, broad back. There was plenty of room for Turaga Onewa, too. He accepted the offer with a grin. “It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a Rahi,” he chuckled as we made our way back to the stone village. I was sure there was a good story behind this remark, but in typical Turaga style, he kept it to himself.He did, however, agree to an interview. He sat down on a bench behind a work table in his hut and motioned for me to take a seat across from him. When I asked about his proudest moment, he smiled broadly. “That would have to be the way Hafu confronted the Tahnok, and then Hewkii and Toa Pohatu rescued him.”I smiled back and nodded. Of course I had heard the tale before, like everyone else on the island. But I was hopeful that, in this more intimate setting, Turaga Onewa would provide some extra insight, and I turned out to be right. The elder of the stone village described the entire scene in such great detail that I could almost sense the heat of the flames licking the sculptor’s armor and smell the stench of burning metal and sand. I felt the earth shudder as the beautifully crafted statues toppled over and cracked asunder. I sighed with relief when Toa Pohatu leaped into the fray and snatched Hafu from the path of the marauding machines. And even though I knew Hewkii’s small rock would hit its mark, tipping the large one to launch Toa Pohatu and Hafu into the air, Turaga Onewa told it so compellingly that I held my breath until they had landed safely on the bluff.The Turaga of Stone leaned back and clasped his hands behind his head. “Did you know Hewkii and Hafu used to despise each other?” When I shook my head in surprise, he explained. “The kolhii players and the stone carvers didn’t used to get along at all. They competed constantly for resources, for glory, for everything. It was getting really tense around the time Toa Pohatu showed up. It was almost as if I had two separate, hostile villages under my direction.”“I take it Hewkii was the leader of the kolhii players, and Hafu of the carvers?”“Exactly. And they were both working for me. I tried to keep their duties separate, because if they so much as passed each other in the square, you could be sure one would manage to ‘accidentally’ jostle the other, and taunts from their respective groups would follow.”I rolled my eyes. Matoran can be rather bull-headed sometimes, particularly those from the stone region. Turaga Onewa seemed to be waiting for me to ask the obvious question, so I did. “How did they become friends?”“Well, amusingly enough, it was because of a Ga-Matoran. Do you know Lili?”I nodded. “She’s a friend of Macku’s, isn’t she?”“Yes. Well, Hafu saw her sitting in the stands with Macku at a kolhii match, and he suddenly took a keen interest in the sport. To avoid offending the girls, Hewkii and Hafu pretended to get along that day. Hafu asked Hewkii for a kolhii lesson, and Hewkii noticed he had quite a talent for the game. So for the sake of the team, he swallowed his pride and trained his rival. They ended up forging a friendship after all.”“They do make a really good kolhii team,” I smiled. “Jaller and I played them at the Kini-Nui the other day, and they kicked our sorry rear ends.”Turaga Onewa laughed. “I don’t doubt that they did. After all, Hewkii is the one who invented the sport. And it’s amazing how much one can accomplish when inspired by an attractive female.”I wondered if the wizened, hunched-over village elder sitting across from me had ever fancied a girl himself. I was pretty sure he would duck the question, so I asked a different one. “Did Hafu teach Hewkii to carve in return?”“Actually, yes. The results weren’t quite as spectacular as Hafu’s mastery of kolhii, but Hewkii does have some natural skill,” he replied. “Did you notice the large stone flower Hewkii gave to Macku at the Naming Day ceremony?”“I did. It was really nice.” Seeing Hewkii’s gift left me feeling as if I should be making a present for Nixie. If only I were good at something besides wandering and shirking work! I moved on to my final question. “So, Turaga Onewa, what was the moment when you were most afraid?”The smile on the Turaga’s mask was replaced by a distant expression. “That would probably be when half the village was dying of infection.”“That was more frightening than all the enemies you’ve faced and battles you’ve fought?” I asked incredulously.“Yes, it was, and I’ll tell you why. No one could figure out the problem, and my people were losing their grip, babbling and drooling and delirious from the fever. They were slipping away toward madness and death, and I felt completely helpless to do anything for them. It was much worse than an enemy you can confront directly. At least when you face a vicious creature twice your size, you have the satisfaction of knowing you’ll win or lose, live or die, right there on the spot.”“I see.”“And you were the one to get us out of that mess, as I recall,” he added.I shrugged. “Just in the right place at the right time.”Turaga Onewa leaned forward and patted my arm. “And with eyes and mind open to see the clues.”All this praise was making me uncomfortable, particularly since I’m about the most clueless Matoran I know, so I decided it was time to conclude the interview. I thanked him for talking with me and asked him where I might find Toa Pohatu. “He’s around here somewhere. Just listen for the sound of falling rocks,” he suggested.After few minutes of wandering in the desert, I spotted Toa Pohatu standing on a high cliff, waving his arms at a rock formation. The massive stone outcrop immediately collapsed into dust with a deafening rumble. Then he summoned his power of stone to bring the particles back together. It was absolutely amazing to see the rock rise back up as if it had been standing there undisturbed for eons.I scrambled up a path of loose rubble toward him, with Pewku close behind. When I slipped and lost my footing, I fell backwards onto her shell. She snorted at my clumsiness and carried me to the top with no apparent effort. Clinging to her carapace, I grinned as I imagined how easy it was going to be to cross the island now.We crested the ridge just in time to see a vanishing reddish-orange blur. Unfortunately, Toa Pohatu seemed to have decided to practice using his Kakama Nuva just then, and we had barely missed him. I sighed and slid off Pewku, scanning the horizon to see where he would reappear. Then I suddenly heard a sound behind me. Pewku and I both jumped about a bio in the air.“Peek-a-boo,” grinned the Toa of Stone.“Hello, Toa Pohatu,” I groaned.He slapped my shoulder with his massive hand, and I just about fell over. “How’s it going, storyteller?”“Great,” I smiled. “Say, if you’ve got a minute, would you mind if I interviewed you?”“No problem.” He walked over to a boulder and gave it a kick, sending stone shards flying out of the center to form a rough armchair. He gestured for me to sit down. Then he made a second, larger chair for himself. “What does Pewku like to sit on?”“Oh, she’s fine on the ground,” I shrugged. I got right to it and asked him about his proudest moment.The brown Toa leaned back and crossed his powerful legs. “Ah, what a nice question that one is. Encouraging me to brag about myself. Well, I guess that would be the night I knocked a meteor out of the sky.”“A meteor?” I asked, astonished.“Yep. It was during the time of the infected Rahi. Gali came and warned me about it after her astrologer had spotted it with her telescope.”So Nixie was part of this heroic act, too! I couldn’t wait to ask her about it. But in the meantime, Toa Pohatu was continuing his story. “We could see it approaching, a fireball burning brighter and brighter. It looked like it was headed right for Mata Nui. Gali insisted I could kick a rock hard enough to deflect it. I had my doubts, to be sure, but of course I had to try.”“And you did it?”“Eventually. It took a lot of attempts. I used my Pakari to give myself some extra strength, and Gali used hers to fetch me a bunch of stones. First I kicked some smaller ones at it, as a range-finding exercise. When I had figured out the proper trajectory and knocked a few bits off it, I sent some larger ones. Finally I hit it dead on with a really big one. The explosion was spectacular.”My eyes grew wide. “I imagine so!”“Gali had to use her water power to subdue the tsunami that started when the biggest part fell into the ocean. And then I pretty much just fell face-forward onto the sand with exhaustion,” he chuckled. “Gali moved me while I was asleep, so the rising tide wouldn’t drown me. When I woke up, she showed me a chunk of the meteor she had retrieved from the sea. I still have it in my hut. It’s unnaturally dense, like the stone in Mangaia.”I shivered at the thought of the being that could compress stone. “I see.”“I don’t know why he sent it, honestly,” Toa Pohatu said darkly. “There wouldn’t have been anyone left on the island to worship him, if it hadn’t gone off course.”It did seem like a reckless move, even for the Master of Shadows, but I didn’t really want to think about him. “You mean if you hadn’t knocked it off course,” I corrected the Toa.“I had lots of help,” he shrugged. “Gali and Nixie were just as important as me in that story. Say, you’re a friend of Nixie’s, aren’t you? You should ask her about it.”“I will,” I replied with an embarrassed smile. “So, what was your most terrifying moment?”“Wow. There have been so many!” he exclaimed. “I guess I’ll just pick one.”I looked at him in surprise. It was hard to imagine the jovial Toa of Stone being afraid of anything. But I guess a hero doesn’t let on that he’s worried, even when on the inside he’s shaking like a leaf, because it would demoralize us little guys.“Probably the most scared I’ve ever been was the day we took on the Nui-Jaga in its nest in the quarry,” he remarked. “Being blinded was a truly unnerving sensation. My entire village was in mortal danger, and I felt so utterly useless.”I vividly remember the day I first saw Toa Pohatu. I had used the key I stole from the Comet salesman, and I was standing in the nest looking at all the infected balls when the huge arachnid scuttled into the chamber and rattled its tail at me. I turned to run, but then I heard a commotion in the doorway. A huge brown being materialized there, and I just about passed out from fear until I figured out it must be a Toa. Then I was filled with relief, because I knew he would save me. Evidently he wasn’t so sure about that himself, especially when the creature hit him in the face with its blinding venom.“But you defeated it anyway,” I reminded him.“With the help of a certain little multicolored traveler.” He rubbed his orange eyes as if they still burned at the memory. “‘A little to the left,’ you said. ‘Now up just a tad.’ Your voice was trembling, so I knew you were afraid, too. It was all I could do to pretend I wasn’t.”We laughed together at our moment of terror so long ago. He reminded me how bad it smelled in that dank cavern, and I remembered the nausea I had felt. I told him the dust cloud was really impressive when the nest came down. “I know,” he nodded. “I was just starting to see again at that point, and then I got my eyes full of grit!”We spent a few more minutes reminiscing before he whisked Pewku and me back to the village with his Great Mask of Speed. I climbed onto my newly beefed-up crab for the trip home, happy with the results of the interviews so far. It was interesting to me that in response to the pride question, both Toa had cited their own triumphs, whereas the Turaga had bragged about the heroism of their villagers. I suppose when you’re too old and hunched over to beat up on enemies yourself, you take pride in the next generation you helped to guide and train. All of them had mentioned an incident when they felt powerless as the moment of fear.I got in late, even though Pewku’s speed is really impressive now. Oh, and on the way home, I thought of something I can make for Nixie! I’m not going to even write it down until I make sure it works first, though, or else I’ll feel like a moron whenever I read my own journal.I ate a snack in my room, since the dining room was already closed. Pewku went right to sleep after finishing hers. Well, I guess I should do the same, so I can be rested for yet another exciting day in the lava fields tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to listening to Tupako gloat about how I still have my old name. Oh, well. :kaukaunu:If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.
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#7 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Jan 31 2012 - 06:15 PM

Summer 3 : 6Today at breakfast Jaller came through for me yet again. As I was shuffling reluctantly out of the dining hall, dreading another day of my nitpicking, grumbling boss, the Captain pulled me aside. “Takua, I have a new assignment for you. After all, technically you’re still a member of the Guard.”I smiled, wondering how he had talked Turaga Vakama out of his Takua-still-needs-to-learn-from-Tupako idea. “What is it? It can’t be any worse than what I’m doing now.”“You’ll like it, I think. Except that you’ll have to work at night.”I immediately stiffened because I don’t like the dark, but then I noticed a twinkle in Jaller’s eye. “Yeah, so?” I replied offhandedly.“You’re going to be stationed on guard duty at the telescope,” he grinned.My mouth dropped open. I imagined myself sitting on the rock outcrop scanning the horizon for non-existent threats while Nixie trained the precision instrument on the stars. We would take a dinner break together, and I would stare into her beautiful eyes while she talked to me about her observations.“With Kapura,” Jaller added.That brought me back to reality. Of course guards are always stationed in teams of two. Well, at least Kapura is a decent fellow. “Thanks, Jaller. That’s great! When do I start?”“Tonight. If you want, you can go back to your room and take a nap. But be sure to wake up in time for the kolhii tryouts this afternoon.”I groaned at this prospect. I like to play kolhii, but it’s obvious I’m not going to make the team, because there are at least a hundred Ta-Koronans who are better than I am. And I knew everyone would be showing off and trying to make the others look bad. “Okay. I think I could use some more sleep. I’ll see you this afternoon.”I took a good, long nap, and then I went to kolhii tryouts. It was almost as bad as I had expected. But I tried to ignore all the posturing, and I managed to have a pretty good time, anyway. Then, after supper, Kapura and I picked up a couple of spears and a stack of disks from the armory, and we set out for the telescope rock.Nixie was all smiles when we showed up. “I don’t know why the Turaga are so worried about me, but I certainly appreciate the company,” she beamed. We took our places at the base of the telescope while she did her work. I had never realized how hard she had to concentrate to do her observations. But after she took a break to explain to me exactly what she does, it makes sense. She doesn’t just admire the pretty stars and call it a night. She makes meticulous measurements and takes copious notes on where they are and how brightly they are shining, and then she uses all kinds of complicated mathematical formulas to predict where they’re going, check whether they are following previous predictions, and adjust the parameters if not. Doing that much math would give me a headache in no time, but Nixie seems to thrive on it. My favorite girl has some serious smarts.Anyway, it wasn’t exactly the romantic evening I had first pictured, but Kapura and I had some nice (if sometimes cryptic) conversations, and I did get to look at Nixie while she studied the stars. That alone was worth spending the night sitting outside in the dark. And, oh, yes, I didn’t have to listen to Tupako taunt me about my same old name! Have I mentioned that Jaller is the best friend ever?Summer 3 : 7(I guess technically it’s the eighth because it’s morning already, but just to keep from confusing myself, I’m going to call it the seventh, because that’s when most of this stuff happened.)Today I proudly used my official excuse to sleep past noon. Still, I got up a couple hours before the kolhii tryouts, because I have a new mission: to make Nixie a gift. The idea has been simmering in my head ever since Raku and Lito came by the Wall of History with those little bits of glass from the Kohrak incident. I didn’t get it finished today, but it looks like it might actually work.I walked down to the beach and scooped some sand into a bowl, selected a nice medium-sized piece of fine-grained basalt, and took them down to the foundry. Everyone had already left for the day except the night crew, who just hang around and keep an eye on things in case there’s a problem. So I pretty much had the place to myself. I know my way around, of course, because of the miserable job I used to have until Jaller rescued me.I found a crucible and poured some sand into it, and then I slid it into one of the protodermis furnaces. Even though it had cooled off some since the end of the work shift, it was still plenty hot to melt sand. While the sand was turning to liquid, I carved a shallow indentation into the basalt and finished it as smoothly as I could with my Chronicler’s staff. I poured in the melted sand. Then I picked the whole thing up using a pair of tongs and carried it to the cooling tank. I dropped it in, and a huge cloud of steam boiled up onto my mask.A few minutes later, I took the tongs and fished my creation out of the water. I held it up to the lightstone in the center of the room, and to my delight, it sort of worked! The image through the lens was about twice the size of the real object. Unfortunately, it was also very distorted. After staring at it and turning it different ways, I figured it must be because the lens was lopsided.I tried it again, carefully lowering the mold into the tank. The second lens came out a lot less warped. It was kind of opaque, but I think that’s just the rough outside surface. I’m pretty sure I can polish the glass and make it clear. I admired it for a few minutes, but then I had to get over to the stadium, so I put away all the equipment and slipped the lens into my backpack. I’ll have to polish it later. I borrowed a file from the tool room, too. Hopefully no one will miss it.Kolhii tryouts were unpleasantly tense. Turaga Vakama is incredibly obsessed with this tournament, and he’s making us do one drill after another, carefully analyzing everyone’s skill and temperament so he can pick the best team. The usual friendly rivalry with Po-Koro has been heightened by the fact that the championship match is scheduled for our new stadium instead of theirs. Evidently Turaga Onewa has vowed to hand us an ignoble defeat on our home field, and Turaga Vakama is determined to prevent it. I just hope he’ll hurry up and announce the team, so playing kolhii can be fun and relaxing again for the rest of us.Then it was back to the telescope rock. Even though I was anxious to work on my lens, I didn’t want Nixie to see it yet. So I left it in my pack and just reveled in her presence instead. Except that Kapura kept interrupting my daydreams. He would teleport himself behind a boulder or a bush and make a weird snarling or scraping or rustling noise. I would grab my disk, heartlight pounding, and creep around to see what sort of slavering carnivorous Rahi was stalking us, only to find him there, laughing. Finally I asked him to stop. Then he translated himself back to the village and returned with a Juma-Juvo board. This passed the time quite pleasantly for a while, although of course he beat me every time. He’s not as ruthless an opponent as Jaller, but just when you start dismissing his moves as totally random, you realize he’s cornered you.Nixie was really focused on her work, but eventually she took a break and enjoyed some of the roasted nuts I brought for her. Kapura suddenly decided he wanted to take a stroll on the beach, Mata Nui bless him. I guess he got a clue, after all. Nixie said Turaga Nokama was really preoccupied with the kolhii tournament, too. It’s been many years since the Ga-Koronans have won one, and no one is giving them good odds for even getting into the final match. But after listening to so much blustery talk by the stone and fire villagers, the water Turaga thinks it would be really hilarious to rout them both.As dawn approached and the glow of the sun rendered the stars more difficult to see, my beloved packed up her papers and got back in her little boat. I wanted to row it home for her, but she pointed out that it was only a short distance across the bay, whereas it was quite a long walk back to Ta-Koro. She assured me that Turaga Nokama would be awake by now, awaiting her arrival. So I stood on the beach and watched her little craft disappear on the glittering waves. Kapura waited for me, and then we walked back to the village together.I stayed up for a couple more hours in my room, polishing the lens. With the roughest bumps gone, the image is a lot easier to see. I’ve got maybe another two hours to go on it. Now that I’m caught up on my journal, I’m going to let my hands rest. :kaukaunu:That's everything I posted in the old forum. From here on, it will be new chapters!If you would like to post comments, please do so in my GaliGee's Stories topic.

Edited by GaliGee, Jan 31 2012 - 06:16 PM.

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#8 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Feb 10 2012 - 01:42 PM

Summer 3 : 8I woke about noon, and after a quick snack with Pewku, I explored the village for a suitable place to work on my lens. Since everyone is used to me wandering around looking clueless, I got a few warm greetings but no questions. I found a secluded parapet with a shaft of sunshine where I could file in peace, testing my work from time to time against the light.After some time, the shape of the lens seemed right. I gave it a finishing polish with an emery stone to make it shiny. I admired the way it bent the light, imagining Nixie’s thrilled reaction. Then I noticed a low din in the corridors below me. Kolhii tryouts.I carefully wrapped the glass object in a cloth, slipped it in my pack, and joined the pilgrimage to the stadium. It was all I could do to keep my head in the game. After the third time the ball knocked off my mask, Jaller took me aside. “Takua, are you all right?”I shoved my mask back on my face and smiled. “Yeah. I’m just... well, thinking about work for a change.”He laughed and tossed me the ball. This time I caught it in my stick.Raku and Lito are trying hard to make the team. It’s funny to watch them get serious about something. I think they might actually have a chance, because they’re really agile from surfing. In a group passing drill I tossed them setup shots, and they made acrobatic jumps to trap the ball and fire it at the goal. Kind of like the move I made at the party, except deliberate and graceful.Turaga Vakama paced in the sky box, barking at Kapura, who scribbled down his remarks. Kapura won’t be on the team, since his translation skills would throw the game into chaos, and without translating he’s incredibly slow. Toa Tahu watched, arms crossed, and offered occasional advice. He’s never played kolhii, or even the old koli, but he instinctively understands physics. Turaga Vakama won’t say if he’s ever played.Finally practice was over, and Kapura met me at the armory. Being the Turaga’s scribe, he might have an idea when the tryouts would be over. As I picked up a spear, I asked, “So, has Turaga Vakama selected our two best athletes yet?”Kapura took a stack of disks. “The Turaga is not looking for the best athletes. He’s looking for the players with the most heart.”A Turaga’s words, conveyed by Kapura. What could be more enigmatic? “I thought he wanted us to win,” I muttered. He didn't answer.We set off for the telescope promontory. I marched briskly, instead of ambling or running for my life (my usual modes of locomotion). Kapura slouched along. Whenever he started to lag behind, he would pop up in front of me. We arrived at the base of the rock, and I called out to Nixie.The heavenly astrologer waved from the doorway. Then we took our posts, me on a rock outcrop near the pedestal and Kapura pacing the beach. I fidgeted as if my armor were being needled by Kofo-Jaga. When enough time had passed that I didn’t feel I was being pushy, I poked my head inside the door. “Nixie?”Nixie gave me her radiant smile. “Come in, Takua.”“I made a thing, uh, something for you,” I stammered, stepping inside. “I don’t know if it’ll actually be useful, but, um, I was thinking, maybe it would... well, here it is, anyway.” I unwrapped the glass object I had been honing for days and all but dropped it on the floor.She lifted it from my shaking hand. “Thank you, Takua. It’s lovely. Oh, it magnifies things!” She held it over her fingers.“Yes, I thought you might use it to...” My hand was tingling where she had touched it, and I forgot what I was saying.Nixie positioned the lens over the telescope crystal. “This is wonderful!” she exclaimed. “Thank you so much! How did you make it?”“I melted some sand, poured it into a mold, and polished it. Nothing too complicated, really.”“Ingenious nonetheless.” She held up the lens. “Look at the rainbows around the edge. It's splitting the light into colors.”“Is that a problem?” I asked.“Not at all. I think it's pretty. You know, with red and yellow and blue, it’s possible to mix any color.”She liked my weird coloring! I watched her put the lens over the crystal again and lean her mask against it. “I can see so much more now,” she marveled.After a few minutes I began to feel eclipsed by my own gift. “So, what are you seeing so much more of?”She straightened up and looked at me. “Your star, Takua,” she said softly.“Oh,” I smiled. “How’s it doing?”“It’s more luminous than ever,” she smiled back.If only my prospects of winning Nixie were as bright! The way things were going, just maybe... I’d better not get distracted. “Aren't all the stars more luminous now?”She pivoted the gimbals and admired some other astral object. “Yes, I can see all of them more clearly. But yours is...” The scope swiveled back to my star. “Yours has an aura. And it’s sending out flares. Look.” She stepped back.I leaned over and saw the yellow star. Streaks of gold fire shot out from a blazing halo. I gave her a puzzled look. “What does it mean?”“You got me,” she shrugged.For once I said something in her presence that was almost clever. “I’ve been hoping eventually I would.”Nixie blushed.I blinked. She saw truth in my word play!I swallowed. Then I took a tiny step toward her. She didn’t move. I opened my mouth, hoping my brain wouldn’t turn to mush before words came out. “Nixie, I... I’d like...”Then Kapura materialized in the middle of the room. I jumped back. My foot caught on a stone tablet, and I fell backwards onto my rear.Nixie put her hands on her Pakari. “Oh, Takua, I’m sorry! I’ve let it get so messy up here.”“It’s not your fault. I’m just clumsy.” I straightened my own mask. Kapura was extending his spear handle, and I grabbed it. He pulled me to my feet. “Turaga Nokama is arriving by boat,” he announced. Then he vanished again.“I should get back to my post,” I said.Nixie winced. “It would be best.” She picked up her pen and leaned over the telescope with its new lens.I paused at the doorway and glanced back at her. I had to know whether she was displeased with me. “So... does Kapura have a star?”She looked up and grinned. “Oh, yes. It keeps me on my toes. Just when I have it located and mapped, it disappears and reappears somewhere else.”With a relieved smile, I stepped outside. Then, my mask sober again, I picked up my scattered weapons and resumed my position on the outcrop.Kapura saluted me from the beach and pointed at an approaching canoe. Soon I could discern the water Turaga in the bow. Maacku and Kotu were rowing.We walked up as the Ga-Matoran grounded the boat on the sand and jumped out. “Ho, Chronicler and Kapura!” shouted Maacku.“Hello, Turaga Nokama, Maacku, Kotu,” I said. Kapura nodded.“Greetings,” said the village leader, stepping from the canoe. “I trust all is well?”I cleared my throat. She had probably seen me racing out of the pedestal. “Yes, Turaga.”Maacku and Kotu had unloaded some rolled maps and were heading for the staircase. As they passed, Maacku whispered, “You just got fired, Takua.”“What?” I muttered. She was already climbing the steps. I glanced at Kapura, but his mask was blank.My heart raced. I had certainly been getting to work on time. Had she heard I was inappropriate with Nixie? I thought back on the previous day’s detail. I’d talked with the divine astrologer for a little while, but I hadn’t done anything wrong. I hoped the Turaga wouldn’t punish her.“Excuse me, Takua.” said Turaga Nokama. I was standing between her and the stairs.“I’m sorry.” I retreated out of her way. “Uh, Turaga Nokama, I know I’ve been distracting Nixie, but I can explain. I made something for her telescope.”“Really?” she asked, tilting her head.Nixie had come out. “Oh, Turaga Nokama, you should see this!” she exclaimed. “Takua’s lens makes everything so much clearer.”Turaga Nokama followed her into the pedestal. Maacku and Kotu were measuring its base and making notes on a map.Kapura had resumed his slow march along the beach. I clenched my jaw and took the position on the outcrop. Was the Turaga indeed here to chastise me? Would the lens change her mind?Soon her tiny, hunched form came out of the doorway and walked toward me. To my surprise, she laid a blue hand on my arm. “Takua, your lens is brilliant. Thank you for blessing Mata Nui with a tool to see the ancient prophecies more clearly.”“You’re welcome,” I said, remembering to breathe again.“And thank you for your service guarding Nixie. You may return to your village now. We’ll take responsibility for her safety for the rest of the night.”“I understand,” I nodded, even though I didn’t.It was almost dawn anyway. On the way back to Ta-Koro, Kapura did his fall-behind, appear-ahead thing. My feet kept a steady pace, but my mind was racing. The Turaga hadn’t fired me, she had given me a little time off. But if my misbehavior hadn’t moved her to sail before sunup, what had? Some astrological emergency? Did it have to do with my freakish star? And why were the Matoran measuring the pedestal?And more importantly, did I dream it, or does Nixie like me, too?I shuffled to my room and flopped onto the bed with a sigh. At least one thing went well today. My lens works, and Nixie was pleased. :kaukaunu:Reply topic here.

Edited by GaliGee, Feb 10 2012 - 01:49 PM.

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#9 Offline GaliGee

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Posted Sep 24 2012 - 02:17 PM

Summer 3 : 9Today was at turns confusing, amusing, and terrifying.Long story short, kolhii tryouts were misery. Turaga Vakama winnowed us into groups, and I was inexplicably placed with the athletes. That meant having to run faster and take harder hits, all while I struggled to pay attention to the game. After losing my mask a dozen times, I jammed a pebble between my face and the attachment rod, and that kept it from slipping.The Turaga finally pulled a chain on the parapet wall, and hot air screamed from the village whistle to announce the torment was over. I stumbled to the armory. As I removed a stack of disks from the weapons rack, my guts were churning. Nixie might tell us why we had been shooed off the telescope promontory last night, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. But I still couldn’t wait to see her. I reminded myself she liked the lens. And maybe even me. Kapura appeared at my elbow, and I dropped my disks. They clattered to the floor around my feet.“Hello, Chronicler,” he greeted me, bending to pick up the disks.“Thanks, but I’ve got it,” I groaned, leaning over. By the time I grasped one disk, he was handing me the rest of the stack.I looked at him in amazement. “How did—did you just—oh, never mind. Are you ready, then?”He shouldered his spear in reply, and we turned toward the doorway. Jaller was standing in it.“Hey, Jaller,” I smiled. “Thanks for deflecting that ball Hafu shot at my head. If it had connected, I’d be even goofier than usual.”“No problem, Takua,” he smiled back. “It’s my duty as Captain of the Guard to protect you. The whole island relies on your genius.” He looked us over, and it occurred to me that Kapura and I formed the flakiest possible guard unit in Ta-Koro. Fortunately, Nixie didn’t need guarding. Maybe tonight she would agree to a stroll on the beach.“Nixie doesn’t need guarding,” said Jaller. “You can take the day off.”I snapped out of my daydream. “What?”“Your guard assignment is canceled. Turaga Nokama sent word this morning. From now on, Ga-Koro will assure Nixie’s safety.”“Did—did I do something wrong?” I stuttered.“They didn’t say,” he shrugged. “It’s some female pride thing, if you ask me. You know how Maacku is.”“Yeah.” I forced a chuckle. “Always trying to beat Hewkii at arm-wrestling.” As I replaced the weapons on the rack, I felt a pang of envy. Hewkii’s girl was coarse and rowdy, but she was right for him. And I was further than ever from my perfect girl.So now I had a free evening, and except for the brief exertion of the kolhii tryouts, I was rested. I could travel and do a Toa or Turaga interview. But night would soon fall. Unfamiliar places are wonderful by day, but in the dark... The obvious solution was to go surfing. In the caverns of the volcano, the magma gives off a pleasant red glow, all the time.My friends were on guard duty at the village gate, and Kapura disliked lava. I would surf alone. I fetched my board and my crab.Riding the waves was joyous. Still, doubt gnawed at my mind about Nixie and the guard detail. And lava surfing requires full attention. After a near catastrophe with a vortex, I sprawled onto the rocky shore. I decided to go see what was happening at the telescope. I dropped off my board, told Pewku to stay in the village, and started down the trail to the north. As I ambled over the rocky terrain, I heard a loud crack. There was rumbling, followed by sharp voices. I broke into a trot. Panting, I crested a ridge with a view of the promontory.Toa Onua was holding the telescope over his head, along with a chunk of the rock it had been sitting on. Toa Gali, Toa Pohatu, and Toa Lewa were arrayed around him. A few Ga-Matoran, including Nixie, were standing on a barge tethered in the shallow water below.“Let go, Lewa,” Toa Onua insisted. “I’ve got it.”“No need, brother. I’ll make it feather-light,” said Toa Lewa, his mask glowing. Toa Onua and his burden lifted off the ground. Toa Lewa kicked him, and he floated over the edge of the cliff.“Hey!” yelled Toa Onua. He swung his burly legs as he dangled over the ocean. Back on the cliff, Toa Pohatu burst out laughing.“Stop fooling around, Lewa! It’s a delicate instrument,” the water Toa snapped. “Without Onua, it’s fairly light. I’ll just use my Matatu to get it on the barge.”“Where am I supposed to go?” asked Toa Onua, glancing at the water below. I remembered his fear of heights, and I felt a pang of sympathy.Toa Gali changed to her mask of telekinesis. “Just let go. Lewa can levitate you.”“You’re going to make a nice crater,” snorted the stone Toa.Toa Onua let go with one hand to wrench off a rock and hurl it at Toa Pohatu. The telescope wobbled. Toa Onua grabbed it again. Then it floated upward. “Lewa, I’m going to bury you!” he growled.Toa Gali flipped her axe, and a jet of water hit Toa Lewa’s mask. “Okay, okay!” he protested. The telescope dropped to the level of the cliff again.“Onua, let go,” called Toa Gali. “Please?”The earth Toa looked down and clenched his jaw. Then he released the rock. He plunged into the sea with a mighty splash. The Ga-Matoran braced themselves as his wave rocked the barge.Toa Gali’s Matatu glowed, and the telescope moved out over the craft. It descended onto the deck. Kotu and Maacku looped ropes around it. Meanwhile, Toa Onua trudged out of the surf onto the beach, dripping with water and sand. He sprinted up the cliff steps and tackled Toa Lewa. They tumbled onto the ground.Toa Pohatu doubled over with laughter. Toa Gali waved her finger at him. Then a plume of dirt exploded behind her, and she spun around. “Hey! Go clobber each other somewhere else! Grit is bad for the mechanisms.” She misted the air to make the dust settle.Toa Onua was pinning Toa Lewa to the ground. He raised his head. “Thanks, Gali,” he smiled. “You just made earth in this wasteland of a Wahi.” He scooped up a fistful and rubbed it on Toa Lewa’s mask.Toa Lewa’s Miru glowed, and the two Toa floated off the ground. The air Toa twisted sideways and landed on his feet. Then he wiped his mask and flung the mud at Toa Onua, still suspended in mid-air.“Like that’s gonna hurt me,” Toa Onua laughed. He switched to his mask of mind control.Toa Lewa started dancing. As he struggled to regain control of his limbs, the earth Toa dropped to the ground. He sprang. Toa Lewa whipped the katanas off his back. A blast of wind blew Toa Onua off the cliff. He flew straight at the barge.Toa Pohatu sprang into action. He kicked a boulder loose from the cliff, and it struck Toa Onua’s shoulder, knocking him off course. The Toa and the rock landed in the water a dozen bios from the barge.I gasped. The Ga-Matoran clutched at the telescope as the boat tilted perilously. Then the water around it was suddenly calm.Toa Gali called to her villagers. “Go ahead to Ga-Koro. I’ll meet you there.” Then she charged Toa Lewa with her axes. A blast of water sent him tumbling onto his back.Toa Pohatu activated his Kakama to whisk Toa Onua up the stairs in a green streak. When the black Toa materialized, the brown one grinned at him. “Lewa’s going down.”“You know it,” Toa Onua grinned back.The Ga-Matoran paddled frantically toward open water as a free-for-all erupted on the promontory. Water, stone, and mud flew through the air, buffeted by gale-force winds. Grunts and yells echoed off the surrounding volcanic foothills. Finally the combatants staggered apart, coughing and laughing.Toa Gali walked to the edge of the cliff and rinsed herself off. She waved at the barge, receding against the expanse of blue sea. The sailors waved back. Then she turned around. “Thanks for the help, guys,” she smiled. “Even though you were a bit ... difficult.”Toa Lewa blew the dust off himself with a katana. “Hey, a little fast-play was good. Broke up the boredom-grind.”Toa Onua rubbed his shoulder. “Anything to help with the prophecies.”“Yeah, for Onua it’s all about the prophecies,” said Toa Pohatu. “When the prophecies say ‘please,’ he’ll drop twenty bios into the sea.”Toa Onua grabbed Toa Pohatu in a headlock and rubbed the top of his mask with his fist.It was fun to watch our heroes. They need play just as much as we do, except they’re big and powerful, so it’s messier. And now I knew what was going on. They were moving the telescope to Ga-Koro, which reportedly is rebuilt with stronger docks. So it wasn’t my fault I lost my job. But I’d also lost my nights with Nixie. With a sad smile, I started back for the village.A blaze flared behind me, and I spun around. Toa Tahu was standing on a hill near the telescope promontory, his swords crossed over his head. A halo of flame radiated around him.“Tahu,” called Toa Gali.“You enter my Wahi and destroy it?” he shouted back. Wreaths of fire arced from his swords.“I’m here to claim the telescope, which belongs to my village,” Toa Gali replied evenly, hands on her hips. Her voice darkened. “I didn’t need fire.”I glanced at Toa Tahu. His mask was fierce. Then I looked back at Toa Gali and remembered watching her stand up to the Tarakava, that day in Ga-Koro.Toa Pohatu and Toa Onua exchanged worried glances. Toa Lewa levitated and deployed his katana as wings. “Hello, fire brother.” He flew toward the red Toa. “Sorry-sad for not inviting you. No hard-feels?”Toa Tahu blasted him backwards with twin jets of flame.The air Toa tumbled into a ravine. He got to his feet. “Seek-find me when you’ve cooled off,” he said with a wary smile. He sailed into the sky.“We’ll be on our way, then,” said Toa Pohatu, patting Toa Onua’s shoulder. His mask blurred, and they were gone.Toa Gali hadn’t moved. The lines of her Kaukau Nuva were stern. “Cut it out, Tahu. You don’t scare me.”Toa Tahu sprang. As he sailed across the gap toward the promontory, Toa Gali cart-wheeled off the cliff into the sea.She surfaced. The red Toa loomed above her on the bluff, flames forming a cape around his shoulders. She gave him a defiant laugh. “Go ahead. Burn up the ocean.”She dove as he aimed his swords. Fire rolled down the cliff and raged across the beach. When it hit the water, it became a scalding cloud of steam. The water retreated, hissing, from the sand. Fifty bios from shore, the heat wave finally succumbed to the cold mass of the sea, and waves crashed back towards the shore.I sighed. It was a good thing I’d been the only witness. I think the Turaga would have been horrified, and the Matoran completely demoralized.A glint of sun caught my eye, further up in the hills. A lone, pale figure stood amidst the basalt crags. I perceived the outlines of an Akaku Nuva before it changed to a Huna and vanished.I trudged home, gave Pewku her dinner, and wrote this entry. I don’t care what time it is, or when I wake up. I’m going to bed. :kaukaunu:Reply topic here.
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* New chapter September 24 * huriko-journeyintolight-sm.jpgPart II: Peacetime Thanks, Huriko!



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Get someone else to buy it for you! (Preview and order the paperback or ebook)

If you like my Makuta-GaliGee epic dark comedies, you may enjoy my metafiction adventure novel, DRAWN TO DISASTER by Lily Gee.

At www.lilygee.com you can read the first chapter, watch the video trailer, find maps & links, take a trivia quiz, and get e-mail updates.

 

<3 Thanks for the love, BZPower!  If you've read D2D, please review it on Amazon or Smashwords! <3





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