Chapter 5 is a long one, but I think it’s worth the wait
It was too late to stop the robots.
Blood and bullet-ridden bodies littered the ground in front of the Council building. They stretched as far as the eye could see, and probably even longer. The fortunate enough Matoran and Agori that were still alive after the massacre were quickly whisked away to hospitals for urgent treatment.
Amidst the scene filled with death and despair were six very stricken looking Toa.
“How … how did this happen??” Pohatu asked, kneeling over the dead body of a Po-Matoran.
Kopaka sat down on the steps of the council building and buried his mask in his hands.
“The RCF was trained not to kill any civilian Matoran or Agori,” Pohatu said sadly. “The only reason why they would do this is because someone gave them orders to.”
“I think it’s time we ask-demand an explanation from the Turaga,” Lewa said angrily, stalking off into the building.
The six Toa walked into the council building with the intention of finding the Turaga and asking them about what had happened.
They stormed into the main chamber, which was luckily sealed off from the mob of Matoran that had tried to storm the building. In a corner they had discovered the six Turaga and Raanu, sitting silently, expressions of varying magnitudes spread across their faces.
“Where’s Turaga Dume? He hasn’t been seen since the morning, much less even been here when the attack happened,” Onua asked.
“What is the meaning of this?” Jaller snapped at Vakama and the rest. “Takanuva and I were almost stoned TO DEATH by the mob!”
Onua lowered his voice and addressed the Turaga. “Look, Turaga, the city is starting to grow suspicious of you. They’re thinking that you had something to do with Nuhrii’s murder. Nuhrii wasn’t just a random Ta-Matoran, he was a key player in the politics of the Opposition Party. We’ve been noticing since last month; it’s as if the opposition party’s leaders are just vanishing into thin air. None of their bodies or even their ashes have even been found; whoever’s been murdering them has done a really good job so far. What makes it worse is that the general election for New Atero is fast approaching. The entire city is suffering, and it’s only a matter of time before their wrath reaches you. You see, I do not know if you were aware of this prior to today, but New Atero has been leaning towards the opposite party for a long time now. Just take a walk in the dark alleys of the city; you’ll see graffiti and negative messages and all sorts of threats scrawled along the wall against you guys. Believe me, I’ve been wandering there on countless sleepless nights. The city is suffering both financially and politically, and unrest and crime have spiked. The Toa are bearing the brunt of this hatred because the Matoran are thinking we are assisting in the murders. If you know something, just please, say it. I beg of you.”
This little speech Onua gave set Vakama’s eyes alight with rage. “Onua, how rich of you to assume we’re the culprits!” Vakama spat at the Toa Nuva of Earth. For a moment Onua could have sworn the Hordika part of the Turaga of Fire had resurfaced, even if for that one split second.
“Vakama!” Nokama screamed. She held him back from attacking Onua. “He’s not saying that!”
Kopaka, ever the silent and stoic hero, finally spoke up. “Turaga, Onua is right. Perhaps you should reconsider the way you’re running things around here. The Matoran, and us too, once looked up to you as idols, trusted elders who guided them out of the darkest times in their history. Now, look at what had happened. A giant massacre had just happened at the hands of the entities you trusted to keep the civilians safe, the RCF. And you’re nowhere to be seen amidst the death and suffering. The Matoran demand an explanation, and rightfully so. It would be in your best interests to address the city publicly about what had happened today.”
Vakama exhaled a sigh of exasperation and sat back down on the floor. “We need to contact Dume about this,” he finally said. “He hasn’t been seen since the council meeting in the morning.”
“I could go to his quarters and talk to him,” Onewa offered. “Brief him on the situation at hand, maybe.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Vakama remarked.
Later that afternoon, as the sun was just setting over the horizon, Onewa made his way across the meandering streets of New Atero to Dume’s small quarters. It was not a big building by any stretch; it was a very modest little house. It showed no indication that one of New Atero’s rulers lived in that house. Onewa rapped on the door with his stone hammer. It was a solid half a minute before Turaga Dume opened the door.
“Greetings, Onewa. What brings you here at this hour?” Dume asked, seemingly oblivious to the events that had just unfolded two hours prior.
“Dume, have you not been watching the news? There was a ■■■■ RIOT at the council building not even three hours ago for Mata Nui’s sake and YOU’RE ASKING ME WHAT HAPPENED?” Onewa barked, the obliviousness in Dume’s voice infuriating him. “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Two of our Toa were almost STONED TO DEATH by an angry mob, and you’re nowhere to be SEEN! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?”
“Come inside, Onewa, relax,” Dume said, ushering the Turaga of Stone inside. “Look, I’ve been watching the news,” he said with a tinge of worry, albeit feigned, in his voice. “I’m planning to give a public address first thing in the morning tomorrow. This situation has really escalated out of hand.”
Onewa nodded. “That was what we were planning to do, anyway,” he said, his anger abating.
He lowered his voice. “Dume, the Matoran are thinking that we’re behind the murders happening, especially Nuhrii’s.”
They’re on to something, Dume thought. Best to not slip up and reveal any more clues.
“Do you know anything about this?” Onewa asked.
“No, Onewa. If I knew something, anything about this, I would’ve already alerted the RCF to track down the murderers,” Dume replied.
“What about the other murders that had happened recently? Do you know anything about those?”
“Look, I don’t know anything about this. I’ve already launched a covert investigation with the RCF two weeks ago on this string of murders. I haven’t gotten back a single report containing incriminating evidence or evidence as to who the murderer is. Whoever’s doing these heinous acts has done a really good job of covering it up.”
“Are you sure about this?” Onewa asked, his eyes narrowing.
“Yes,” Dume replied. “I’m sure of it. Listen, If I get anything back, I’ll make sure to let you and the other Turaga know.”
He’s lying, Onewa thought, using his noble Komau.
As if on cue with his thought, Onewa noticed something on Dume’s back wall. Or rather, a series of things. He noticed a series of portraits lining the wall, each of them framed. He also noticed a gap in where one portrait was supposed to be.
“What are those portraits over there?”
“Those portraits? Oh, just nothing important.”
“I’m going to go check.”
Onewa stood up from his seat and walked over to the portraits.
■■■■ it, Dume thought. He’s onto me.
“How interesting, red X’s on portraits, and that too of councilmen that had gone missing,” Onewa remarked. “Explain to me what all of this is. Now.”
Before Dume could resist, Onewa’s noble Komau activated, and suddenly he found himself being willed to explain what had happened to the missing councilmen.
No, I can’t let this happen. I have to fight back! I can’t give in! I – I – can’t – AHHH! —
Turaga Dume tried to resist Onewa’s mental probe to will him to explain, but his mind was just too weak to stop it. Suddenly he found himself explaining the whole story.
After explaining, Dume paused for a few seconds. Onewa brandished his stone hammer and slammed Turaga Dume’s face with it. A crack appeared in his mask, and he was sent sprawling across the floor. The Turaga was snapped out of his mental trance.
“It was you. IT WAS YOU!!!” Onewa screamed. “YOU KILLED NUHRII!”
Onewa leapt onto Turaga Dume in a frenzied rage, pummeling him black and blue with his fists.
“I can explain —”
“THERE’S NOTHING MORE TO EXPLAIN! YOU ALREADY SAID IT ALL!”
Onewa stopped attacking him, grabbed his hammer, and stormed out of the house. Before leaving, he screamed one last final insult at Dume.
“I’m gonna put you in prison, WHERE YOU BELONG!” he yelled at Dume. Onewa then stormed off into the night, undoubtedly heading towards the council building to inform the others of this groundbreaking and horrifying discovery.
After Onewa left, Turaga Dume cursed silently under his breath, and took out his radio dispatcher.
“RCF Squadron 1, follow Onewa. Target heading east, tan Kanohi Komau, brown hammer. Shoot on sight, show no mercy. I’ll be following.”
He replaced his Kiril with a solid black Volitak, and put on a full body cloak. He set out the door with his loaded gun in hand, and took off into the welcoming darkness of the night.
“Let the hunt begin.”