West of Po-Koro – A BZPower.com Short Story Fan Fiction by BZPower.com member X-Ray
Hafu took a step back as he admired his fruits of his labor. In the weeks since the end of the Bohrok War, he had been hard at work repairing the damage the Bohrok had done to his home of Po-Koro. At the moment, he had just finished rebuilding one of the great statues that he himself had felled to stem a Tahnok swarm’s march into Po-Koro. It was a grand statue of an unmasked Matoran face, staring back at him with the soul that he had given it.
“Another Hafu original,” he said to himself, chuckling. He started to put away his tools, when a familiar voice called out from behind him.
“Hi, Hafu!” said the voice.
Hafu turned around to see a Ga-Matoran wearing a Noble Kanohi Huna approaching him. As his fellow workers headed into the village, he met the Ga-Matoran and said to her, “Maku, isn’t it? A pleasure to see you again, water maiden.”
The two shook hands, and Hafu walked with her to the gateway to the village. All around them, reprogrammed Bohrok and Bohrok Va were going about their work, rebuilding the destruction that they had caused. Thanks to the mechanical aptitude of an Onu-Matoran named Nuparu, the Bohrok were now their helpers.
“What brings you to Po-Koro?” Hafu asked Maku.
“I’m here to see Huki,” said Maku. “I haven’t seen him since he left Ga-Koro after the Bohrok were defeated. Turaga Nokama is finally letting me off of probation and letting me journey afar again.”
“Truly,” said Hafu, “it is a great thing that you are able to walk among us. Huki has been busy as of late, what with the repairs and all. Still, I think his spirit would be lifted greatly if he saw you.”
Maku blushed under her mask. Her close friendship with Huki had earned her more than her fair share of ribbings from her fellow Ga-Matoran. True, the Huki plush doll that she kept in her hut may have been a bit much, but she was nonetheless unafraid to maintain her friendship with the Po-Matoran. “Where is Huki?” she asked Hafu.
“Where do you think?” said Hafu, who then laughed. “He’s at the Kolhii field, practicing, as usual. That’s where the bloke spends nearly all of his free time.”
“Well, as the premier Kolhii player on Mata Nui, he needs to keep in practice!” said Maku. “Especially with the new version of Kolhii that he came up with back at Ga-Koro.”
“Huki is ‘the premier Kolhii player on Mata Nui?’” said Hafu, crestfallen.
“Oh, lighten up, Hafu,” said Maku, playfully punching Hafu in the shoulder. “Isn’t it enough that you’re the premier carver and artisan on Mata Nui? We all know that you can play a good Kolhii game too.”
“Oh, bother you!” said Hafu, shaking his head. Maku only laughed more.
The two Matoran finally reached the Kolhii field. It was flat affair, surrounded by stone seating and two large goal markers. Huki and some other Matoran were punting a Kolhii ball around with their Kolhii staffs, playing a simple game of keep away.
“Passing to you, Podu!” shouted Huki to another Matoran as he punted the ball towards him. Podu caught the ball with the cup shaped end of his Kolhii staff, and ran with it to the left of the field. The other two Matoran ran after Podu, the Hau wearing Matoran setting the ball on the ground, bunting it along with the hammer end of his staff.
“Hi, Huki!” shouted Maku to her friend.
Huki stopped to see Hafu and Maku standing at the gateway to the stands. He stopped running, and raised his hand in the air. “Time out!” he called out to his fellow Kolhii players. Podu and the other two Kolhii players stopped moving around.
“What’s the matter, Huki?” said Podu. “Getting tired again?” The other two Matoran chuckled at this.
“It’s no laughing matter,” said Huki. Ever since he had been infected by Ahkmou’s Comet Kolhii balls, he had occasional bouts of fatigue. Turaga Onewa had estimated that the effects would be gone within a few months.
Maku and Hafu walked down from the stone stands to the Kolhii field, Huki striding forward to meet them. “Hafu, Maku,” he said, smiling. “Just the two beings I wanted to see.”
“You’re just the being I wanted to see too,” said Maku, winking at Huki. Hafu cleared his throat loudly.
Huki sighed deeply, and said, “Yes, I’m glad to see you too, Hafu. I’d be even happier to see you if you showed up to Kolhii practice once in a while. Or are you still busy running around with that Ta-Matoran… what’s his name… the Chronicler?”
“His name’s Takua, friend,” said Hafu icily. “For your information, I’ve been hard at work helping to repair the village. Those Bohrok don’t know how to fix art, I tell you, no matter what those Onu-Matoran big brains tell them.”
“Relax, Hafu,” said Huki, patting his friend on the shoulder, “I was just joking around.” Huki took his hand back, and turned to address Maku. “But now I’d like to say something serious.”
“C’mon, Huki!” yelled Podu. “Are you going to be talking all day?”
“Just a second, Podu!” Huki shouted back over his shoulder. He turned back to Hafu and Maku and said, “Kolhii practice ends in half an hour. Maku, meet me at my hut then. It’s important.”
“Alright, Huki. I’ll see you then,” said Maku, bumping fists with Huki. Huki waved goodbye, and went back to his game with Podu and the other two Po-Matoran.
“I wonder what he wants to talk about?” said Hafu, nudging Maku with his elbow. “By the way, how’s Takua doing these days?”
“Last I saw him,” said Maku, “he was giving Jala a ribbing because Hahli put a flower in his mask. Other than that, our friend the Chronicler seems to be doing just fine. You?”
“I myself am glorious as of late!” said Hafu in his usual magnanimous manner. “Thanks to our former enemies the Bohrok, our work has been cut in half. That won’t stop me from working anyway, though. But I am wary of those goat-dogs, the Bohrok Va. They’re… different, than their larger counterparts. That is to say, they don’t run on Krana, and that’s what worries me.”
“I’m sure it will be fine,” said Maku. “Ours over in Ga-Koro have been nothing if not servile. It’s like we were never at war at all.”
“Just you wait and see, water maiden,” said Hafu, turning to depart from Maku’s side. “Mark my words, the day we let those things into our village is the day we welcomed doom into our home.”
Maku shook her head as Hafu walked away. She herself had been wary of the Bohrok at first, but the fear that had gripped her when she had first seen them had gone away, replaced by apathy. But what if Hafu was right? Were the Bohrok and the “goat-dogs” as the Po-Matoran called the Bohrok Va really plotting against them?
Of course not, thought Maku as she made her way through the village to Huki’s hut. Our Turaga and the Toa wouldn’t let them into the village if they were a potential threat, right? And besides, even if the Bohrok are plotting our doom, the Toa Nuva will be there to stop them again. This time, more powerful and better equipped than ever before!
* * *
Huki walked along, his Kolhii staff resting on his shoulder. He had trained hard today. Train hard, play easy, he thought to himself. He approached his hut, glad to be done with practice. It wasn’t that he was tired of Kolhii, but that he had something important to speak to Maku about.
And there she is! he thought, spotting the Ga-Matoran leaning in the door frame of his hut. “Hi, Maku!” he shouted to his friend. “Sorry I’m a little late. Goylo didn’t want to stop practicing.”
“It’s okay, I’m good,” said Maku, going to greet Huki. They both entered the dimly lit hut and sat down on the curved stone bed, the hut’s sole piece of furniture. “Alright, Huki,” said Maku. “What’s this ‘important’ thing you wanted to talk about?”
Huki stared Maku in the eye and said, “Ahkmou.”
Maku’s smiling expression turned to confusion, and said, “Wha- what?”
“Ahkmou,” repeated Huki, his contempt for the word and the being associated with it obvious. “That traitor nearly killed half the village, and now he’s gone. We need to find him and bring him to face Turaga Onewa’s justice.”
Maku nodded grimly, not at all surprised by Huki’s bold declaration. Ahkmou had been a Matoran who had sold Kolhii balls infected with Makuta’s darkness, striking the population of Po-Koro with a deadly plague. Huki himself had succumbed to it, before recovering. Thusly, she understood perfectly why the Po-Matoran was eager to find the traitor.
“Do you have any idea where he might have gone?” Maku asked.
“I might,” said Huki, glancing out the door. Today was the off day for the Po-Matoran, aside from the guards. What with the Bohrok helping to repair things, they had increasingly more leisure time on their hands. At the moment, it was two hours before noon, Kolhii practice being held in the early morning so as to avoid the hot sun in the afternoon.
“You might?” said Maku. “What’s your lead?”
“While I was out on patrol with the guard a few days ago,” said Huki, “I ran into an Onu-Matoran named Midak. I struck up a conversation with him, and he mentioned seeing a lot of things, as he spent a lot of time above ground.”
“Why would and Onu-Matoran spend a lot of time above ground?”
“I don’t know, but I thought he was odd to. Anyhow, he mentioned seeing a Po-Matoran with a Noble Rau heading towards the Papa Nihu Reef. Midak said that the Matoran tried to buy or rent an Ussal from him, but Midak wouldn’t have it.”
“So you think that this Po-Matoran could have been Ahkmou?” said Maku.
“Yes,” said Huki, standing up on the floor. “I sought out Onepu, and he told me that there’s a cave system on an Onu-Wahi beach that would be a great place for someone on Makuta’s side to hide.” Huki then flashed a dark grin. “You know why?”
Maku said, “Because they’re crawling with Makuta infected Nui-Jaga?”
“Exactly,” said Huki. There was a moment of silence between the two. Huki then said to Maku, “Well, you in?”
“In?” said Maku incredulously, “In for what?”
“For going to find Ahkmou!” said Huki, throwing his hands up in the air. “What did you think I was going to ask you to do?”
“Slow down there, Rahi herder,” said Maku, holding up a flattened hand. “It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’m not sure that I could go all the way to Onu-Wahi and back before sunset. Turaga Nokama would be really mad at me… again.”
“I’ve already talked to Turaga Onewa about it,” said Huki dismissively. “He agrees with me that we have to find Ahkmou.” What Huki neglected to mention was that Turaga Onewa had said that they ought to establish a multi-village search party to find Ahkmou. This wasn’t Huki’s idea of a good adventure, however, and he hadn’t brought it up again after that.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” said Maku. “Let’s head out!”
“I’m glad of your enthusiasm,” said Huki. “We’re going to need a lot of throwing disks and a couple of dikapi, which my pal Ally can provide.” He got off his stone bed, grabbed full pack lying against the wall, and walked out of the hut. “If you get in trouble with Turaga Nokama, I’ll vouch for you. Besides, with the help of our dikapi, we should be there and back in no time.”
The two Matoran walked from Huki’s hut to the Po-Koro guardhouse. There, they found Ally, a Matoran with a brown Noble Ruru. “You say you want to head out to Onu-Wahi?” said the guard. “Alright then. I have your dikapi right here.” He was about to show them to the stables, when Hafu ran up to the three.
“Hey, Maku, Huki!” said Hafu, out of breath from running so fast. “Where are you guys going now?”
“We’re going on a secret mission,” said Maku as they followed Ally to the stables. In a conspiratorial whisper, she said to Hafu, “We’re going to find Ahkmou.”
“Ahkmou!” said Hafu. “You’re going to go with Huki to find that lousy traitor?”
“Yes, we are,” said Huki, emerging from the stables with a pair of dikapi. “Isn’t it said that two is better than one?”
“Isn’t it also said that a cord of three is not easily broken?” said Hafu, putting his hands on hands on his hips. “I tell you, Huki, I will go with you, wherever you’re going.”
Huki paused to think. Hafu was a great friend, a great artist, and a great Kolhii player. He also knew that Hafu had more than proved his mettle as a warrior at the Battle for Kini-Nui a month or so before.
“Alright, you can ride with us,” said Huki.
Hafu pumped his fist, saying, “Yes!”
Huki turned around and said to Ally, “Ally, we’re going to need another dikapi.”
“Yes, Huki!” said the Po-Matoran. He ran to the stables, and then came back out with a third of the flightless bird Rahi.
“Perfect!” said Huki, taking off his pack. He opened it, revealing a cache of six bamboo throwing disks. “Here, take these,” he said, passing two to Maku and two to Hafu. “We’re going to need them where we’re going.”
* * *
The three friends rode their dikapi over the sands of Po-Wahi at a very fast rate. Their mounts were widely known for their speed, putting the Ussalry of Onu-Koro to shame. The trio quickly reached the grey landscape of Onu-Wahi, just north of Tiro Canyon, where the Toa had battled a swarm of Tahnok during the Bohrok War. They continued on through Onu-Wahi, taking in the barren countryside around them. It was temperate, but not lush, rocky, but not too hard.
Finally, Huki, who was in the lead, brought his dikapi to a halt next to a lone tree, causing Maku and Hafu had come to a stop behind him. Huki dismounted, and tied his dikapi to the tree, saying, “We are here!”
Before them lay a small cliff face, indented with a large cave. It was dark within, pitch black for that matter. They were unable to see into it very far.
“Is that were we have to go?” said Maku.
“Yes, Maku,” said Huki, as Hafu walked up beside him. He took a throwing disk out of his pack, and said to his friends, “Get your disks ready.”
The three friends approached the cave warily, keeping an eye out for hostile Nui-Jaga. They slowly walked up to the cave, carefully scrutinizing the entrance before entering.
“We’re going to need a lightstone,” said Maku to Huki.
“Always prepared,” said Hafu, pulling a lightstone out of his pack. The gold colored stone glowed brightly, illuminating the cave before them. So far, there were not threats in sight.
“Let us go forth,” said Huki boldly, leading the way into the cave. They went deep into the cave, searching very corner of its dark recesses, or not so dark, thanks to the lightstone.
“Are you entirely sure, dear Huki, that this is indeed the correct cave?” whispered Hafu.
“I’m positive,” said Huki. “I scouted this cave a few days ago, and saw an infected Nui-Jaga go into it. If my reckoning is right, we should be finding the traitor in no time.”
Just then, a blood curling shriek echoed through the cavern, comparable to the sound of breaking glass. It startled even the three veteran adventurers, who all knew that it could only be one thing.
“Nui-Jaga!” said Huki, taking out a disk. “Stay together and get ready to throw your disks!”
The monster click-clacked up from the darkness ahead of them, crawling into the light. It was a purple specimen, with two infected Kanohi Pakari on the top of the ends of its forearms. It approached the three Matoran, hissing menacingly.
“Hup!” said Huki, hurling a disk at the Rahi. The bamboo throwing disk struck one of the infected masks, knocking it off, before returning to Huki’s hand. Thrown into disarray from the sudden loss of one of its infected masks, the Nui-Jaga spun around in confusion, crawling up the side of the cave wall.
“I’ve got the next one!” said Hafu, hurling one of his own disks. He was disappointed when his disk struck not the Nui-Jaga’s remaining infected mask, but its mandibles, which was of no help to him.
“Confound it!” said Hafu as he caught the disk on its return to him.
“I’ve got it!” said Maku, bravely approaching the giant purple scorpion. With a mighty heave, she hurled one of her disks at the Nui-Jaga, deftly knocking off its remaining infected Pakari. Once the last mask was off, the Nui-Jaga shook itself, before thundering towards the trio.
“Look out!” shouted Huki, who dive tackled Maku to the left side of the cave, while Hafu ran to the right wall. Fortunately, Nui-Jaga were slow, and they were able to wait while the Nui-Jaga lumbered past them, screeching as it made its way out of the cave.
Huki got off of Maku, and helped his friend up. “Are you alright?” he said to her.
“I’m fine,” said Maku, brushing the dirt off of her armor. “But thanks anyway.”
“Onward!” said Hafu, taking the lead. The group continued on, carefully avoiding the discarded infected masks, and descended further into the cave. After about ten minutes of walking, they discovered the object of their quest.
Hafu spotted Ahkmou first, cowering against the back wall of the cave. The carver’s lightstone lit up the portion of the cave the traitor was hiding in, causing Ahkmou to put a hand over his eyes to block the glare.
“P-please!” Ahkmou said, cringing. “Don’t hurt me!”
“Oh, we’re not going to hurt you at all,” said Huki, roughly grabbing Ahkmou by the arm. “Not yet anyway.” Hafu grabbed Ahkmou’s other arm, and Huki said, “Alright, traitor. Let’s get back to Po-Koro, shall we? By the way, ‘gone fishing’? Really?”
* * *
It was slightly difficult to mount both Ahkmou and Hafu on one mount, but the trio managed to do so, saddling their dikapi and heading back towards their village. They rode for about an hour and a half, until the once again came within sight of the village of stone. There, the Po-Matoran and the Bohrok were hard at work, though the Matoran stopped what they were doing when they saw the arrival of the company. They stared in awe as the heroic Matoran rode into the village, with the traitorous Ahkmou in tow. Someone started clapping, and it spread to every one of the crowd, as they began cheering wildly.
“Hooray for Huki and Hafu!” said one, while another shouted, “The heroes have arrived!” Still another said, “Maku all the way!” Maku, Huki and Hafu could not help but wave.
Once they had entered the village, Huki and Hafu hauled Ahkmou between the two of them to Turaga Onewa’s hut, Maku following behind. The Turaga met them not far from it. He said to the Matoran, “So, this is where you’ve been off to. Ahkmou, eh? I’m very glad to see you, very glad.” He turned to Ally, who was attending him, and said, “Ally! Get some of your fellow guardsman and put our friend Ahkmou in a secure place. I plan to meet with my fellow Turaga to discuss his fate.”
“What’s there to discuss?” said Huki angrily as Ahkmou was led away. “He betrayed us to Makuta! He deserves to be pounded into dust!”
“Ahkmou’s betrayal will not be without its repercussions,” said Turaga Onewa. “I assure you, he will be punished. But even a traitor may turn a new leaf.” And then, mostly to himself, he added, “I knew one who did.” He then started towards his hut, saying over his shoulder, “In the meantime, we have a more pressing issue to worry about.”
“What would that be, Turaga?” said Maku as she and her two friends followed Onewa.
“Toa Pohatu Nuva’s symbol has been stolen,” said Onewa. “I have no doubt that the goat-dogs may have assisted in the deed. The guards described the creature who stole it as being like a Bohrok, but looking slightly different.”
“What are we waiting for?” said Hafu. “Let us summon the Chronicler’s Company at once! We will track down these thieves and—”
“Patience, patience,” said Turaga Onewa. “Honestly, Hafu,” he said, “you have more hot air in you than a Ta-Matoran. Anyhow, this is a terrible tragedy not only in terms of the honor of the Po-Koro guard, but also of practicality. Once the symbol was stolen, Pohatu lost his elemental powers over stone. Meaning that we are now without a hero to defend us.”
There was a silence for a few minutes, until Hafu spoke up, saying, “I told you we couldn’t trust the goat-dogs, Maku.”
“You might be right, Hafu,” said the Ga-Matoran. “I think- I think I’d better get back to my village, to see if every is alright there.”
“One adventure at a time, I suppose,” said Huki. “In the meantime, thanks for everything, you two. I really appreciate you coming with me, sharing in this adventure.”
“Oh, it was nothing,” said Hafu before Maku could say anything. “Though, I suppose I’m deserving of some accolade.”
“Great beings preserve us,” said Huki, shaking his head, Maku laughing. “Honestly, Hafu, you’re not going to be happy until you get an island named after you.”
“I just want my fair share of the glory!” said Hafu to Huki. “I mean, I did help defend Kini-Nui, and I did bring down my own statue to save Po-Koro. I—”
Maku shook her head as the two Po-Matoran continued arguing. We’ll never hear the end of it from him, she thought. Oh well, at least we caught Ahkmou, and we did have a good adventure. I guess I’d best be getting back to Ga-Koro now. Here’s hoping Toa Gali hasn’t befallen similar bad luck as Toa Pohatu. One adventure at a time, I guess. Right?
[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]Okay, so I know BS01 says that Ahkmou fled to Ga-Koro with the other Po-Matoran during the Bohrok War, but I don't think that he would have been so quick to return to Po-Koro. Ah well. I still have my stories. Also, I used Hewkii and Macku's pre-Naming Day names because this story takes place before the Rebuilding and the Naming Day ceremony. Anyhow, C & C appreciated.[/color][/font]
[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;] X-Ray [/color][/font]
Edited by X-Ray, Apr 09 2013 - 11:56 AM.