The furious storm pounded in vain at the window pane, trying to break in. Discouraged, it seemed to move its attempts to the front door, but again to no avail. As if in retribution for being foiled, it lashed at the soil and rock outside with relentless fury. Tomorrow, the area would be battered and flooded.
But inside the building, however, all was quiet, dry, and warm. And that’s just as it should be, mused the diminutive Onu-Matoran as he eased himself into his desk chair. Calm and quiet. Just right for me. He ran his hand along the arm rest of his chair, and smiled to himself. His office in the Archives had become a home to him, literally as well as figuratively.
A knock at the room’s single door broke the silence. “Come in!” called the seated Matoran. The door eased open, slowly at first, then with more vigor. “I’m sorry, Doctor, I hope I didn’t disturb you...” said the Le-Matoran at the doorway, just as diminutive, if not more so, than the one he was addressing.
“That’s alright, Avi”, assured the Onu-Matoran. “I was just getting ready for some late night work. Important things, you know.”
Clearly a bit more at ease, Avi grinned. “I’m used to it by now. Just don’t stay up too late working – I think you need more sleep than you’ve been getting - if you’ll pardon me for saying so. I’ve finished cleaning and storing all the stasis canisters in the Wing B chambers, so... will that be all for tonight?”
The seated Matoran grinned back. “Yes, that will be all. Don’t worry; I’ll get my sleep tonight. I just want to take a quick look at an artifact – just a late arrival, from the mines. Get along now – head to bed yourself.”
“Alright”, replied Avi. “Goodnight, Doc.”
“Goodnight”, said the Onu-Matoran, as Avi shut the door.
The Matoran archaeologist smiled inwardly. Avi, his young laboratory assistant, could be rather timid and apologetic at times – but he had a kind and helpful heart, and was always eager to please. I only hope that he didn’t drop one of those stasis canisters like last week, he considered. Now that was a disaster!
The small Matoran chuckled at the memory, then turned to his desk... and the object lying there.
It had been uncovered just that afternoon. Deep in the lightstone mines, the Onu-Matoran miners had bored straight into a massive cave. This artifact had been lying at a slant against one of the walls, as if it had been deliberately placed. It was an unusually clean cave, they had said.
“Almost artificial”, they described it. I’ll have to ask them for more details, the doctor considered. Or, better yet, perhaps I should go there myself... but first things first. These are strange markings...
He ran his hand over the cool, smooth stone. The artifact was an angular object of solid rock, clearly designed with a crystalline aesthetic in mind. It was flawlessly carved, without a scratch or a dent along its whole surface, save six, inwardly slanting lines on one of the four facets, and an almost imperceptibly faint set of curving lines above these.
The Onu-Matoran turned the object around in his hands, held it up to a lightstone, even spun it around on his desk top, but there seemed to be little evidence to determine the origin of the artifact.
Or, more importantly, what it meant.
Perhaps its destiny has long since come to pass...
The doctor leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and thought to himself. I tried holding it up to a light... perhaps, the opposite...
Playing on this hunch, he covered up the lightstone that provided illumination to his work area. In the darkness, his tiny heartlight glowed faintly, slowly pulsing with his life energy. With hands that trembled ever so slightly, he lifted the object close to his eyes. He turned it over... then over again. The strange, lined markings on the unique facet pulsed feebly. He rotated it again –
Wait... they pulsed.
Rapidly turning the object once more, the doctor scanned the marked side. Sure enough, the markings pulsed with a faint, red-brown light - weakly at first, then with greater strength, until the markings were clearly visible. With terrifying rapidness, the markings deepened, fleshed out, extended, until there could be no doubt as to what they represented...
There was fear on the Matoran’s face now; a cold, paralyzing fear, illuminated only by the faint yet rapid pulsing of his heartlight, now seemingly eclipsed by the glow of that terrible inscription.
Blindly, he turned from his desk; blindly, he staggered to his feet. In the midst of his stupor of fear, he tried to clear his thoughts.
There may yet be something that I can do, he murmured. Clutching at his heartlight, which now began to pulse more slowly, yet with more strength, he took courage. Sliding the now dark and cold artifact into a shoulder pack, he slung it over his back and felt around in his desk for the hidden drawer. It opened easily...
He took the emergency freeze Kanoka disk that was hidden there, and started for the door...
It was ajar.
The cold fear returned, striking his heart like the blow of a Tarakava. I’m certain that Avi had shut it securely...
A sliding, shifting sound above his head caused him to look up – and he knew no more.
The large being, nearly invisible in the darkness with his onyx armor - even after he had deactivated his cloaking device - stood over the motionless body. Clutching the tablet that he had removed from the body, he allowed himself a small chuckle.
“I waited a long time for this... Doctor.”
-----------------I write for two reasons:1. Because it's fun! :biggrin:2. Because I want to learn how to write better stories so that I can have more fun! :biggrin:Oh, and there might be a bit about "for the community's sake" somewhere in there. Of course there is. :)So I really appreciate criticism. Please don't feel bad about telling me what's wrong with my story, because that will help me to learn. Just post your negative views, and I'll be sure to send my Vahki after you. I'm joking, of course, please, criticize away. :)Thanks for reading.
Edited by Tehurye, Nov 09 2012 - 08:57 AM.