Book 1 Unity: Ga Koro

Leverage

Ta Koran nights were always inhospitable, especially on the northern side of the island. The region’s lack of precipitation and cool winds leaves nothing but golden grass carpeting the flatland of the north. Occasionally the flatland would be interrupted by a hill, mountain, or volcano, but for the most part the entire regions coated in golden blades of grass. That is until the sun sets. Once the sun sets, the grass’s beauty devolves into a muted tan. The region’s relative peace is interrupted by faint humming. The humming trail led to a fire, with two individuals hunched over it. Nidhiki had been humming to his heart’s content while cooking some grasses over the campfire. Krika had been hunching towards the fire to protect him from Ta Koro’s cold arid winds.

Nidhiki: “Ta da, dinner is served!”

Nidhiki passes to Krika three cooked blades of grass. Krika did not look amused.

Nidhiki: “Made them just the way you wanted.”

Krika looks insulted.

Krika: “Just the way anyone would have wanted, Nidhiki. No one likes eating burnt blades of grass.”

Nidhiki looks to his side, seeing all the blades of grass which he burnt black from previous attempts at trying to cook them. Nidhiki feels bad for the burnt blades of grass. They were cut from their roots so that they could be eaten by him, and now they lay on the floor, burnt and useless, completely inedible, or at least, completely inedible to Krika, whose word was always final. Nidhiki associates feelings with the dead blades, as if they felt bad for not being eaten as their intended duty. Food wasted, was food without a purpose, and to Nidhiki, anything without a purpose was sad. He felt like the burnt blades of grass were jealous of the perfectly cooked ones that they were gonna be eaten, which was a feeling that made Nidhiki feel bad for the burnt blades. As a result, Nidhiki throws away his perfectly edible blades of grass and picks up the ones that had been burnt from previous attempts at cooking.

Nidhiki: “Oh yeah. Well I like them.”

Nidhiki takes a bite out of a wad of burnt grass and instantly regrets it.

Krika: “Still like them?”

Nidhiki: “Yes.”

Krika: “Sure you don’t want any of my golden licious blades?”

Nidhiki: “No.”

Krika: “Good, Because I wouldn’t have given you any.”

Nidhiki sits in a position where Krika can’t see him clearly through the fire, and spits out all black crunchy pieces of grass in his mouth. He then goes out to find the good pieces of grass he threw away. Nidhiki tries to bring up a new conversation in order to avoid Krika saying ‘I told you so’.

Nidhiki: “Hey Krika?”

Krika: “What is it?”

Nidhiki: “Why aren’t we back on makuta nui, to you know, regroup and plan things out.

Krika begins to stand.

Krika: “Plan what out? We failed, or more specifically, you failed, but no one’s gonna see it that way when we get back home, so that’s why we’re here.”

Nidhiki: “You sure we can’t just go back for a little bit?

Krika: “We can, but why would we do that? Icarax is gonna kill us if we do that.”

Nidhiki: “To me it sounded like he was joking.”

Krika: “With Icarax, a joke could be a threat, promise, lie, or even an actual joke. Talking to him is like talking to the barrel of a zamor launcher. It doesn’t care about what you say and it goes off whenever you least expect it. Mata Nui, what would you know? You’ve lived in a clocktower your whole life.”

Nidhiki:” 'Makuta don’t kill Makuta, it’s against makuta code’ Teridax told me that.”

Krika: “Icarax isn’t Teridax, and both of them would question that code if they heard we lost to a couple of matoran and a toa.

Krika sighs.

Krika: “And I won too. That makes it worse. They’ll think I failed, but I didn’t. I did my part. Why couldn’t you do yours! What happened to you again? Mutated to having normal hands?”

Nidhiki: “That was scary.”

Krika: “Uh huh, and look at yourself now, claws and everything. That mask didn’t even permanently scar you, all it did was temporarily disfigure you, before returning you your normal claws. That mask did nothing to you and you came running to me crying!”

Nidhiki stays silent.

Krika: “Why? Why is this happening? To me, of all makuta. It’s like one day I’m just minding my own business, then ding dong, ‘you’ve been assigned to navy duty’. So I do it, then a massive light bursts into the sky, I find out the Ignika’s real, I get paired with some physically and mentally handicaped makuta rahi thing, then get sent here, beat the living protodermis out of a toa, and now I can’t go home!”

Krika lays down on the floor and begins to weep.

Krika: “Oh how I’ll miss rahi duty, the wrestling matches with Antroz, even the pranks from Gorast I’ll miss. It all went by so fast and I took it all for gran-”

Nidhiki slaps Krika across the face with one of his massive claws. Krika stops weeping and falls back in shock, he’s surprised that Nidhiki would do such a thing. Nidhiki also falls back and is startled. Not only is he shocked at what he was able to bring himself to do, but he’s also afraid that Krika would retaliate in some way. Nidhiki’s going through fight or flight, and he chooses to fight.

Nidhiki: “Umm… ok. You need to cut out your cry baby crap right now and listen. Our lives aren’t over, and even if they are, I won’t allow it. Someone’s gotta be the leader around here, and when it’s not you, it’s going to be me.

Krika, for once, swallows his superiority complex and actually listens to Nidhiki. He somewhat respects Nidhiki being tough. Nidhiki still hesitates a little before speaking.

Nidhiki: “Back home, at the clock tower, I have drawings of the mask of life all over my room. Teridax showed me an image of it in my dreams and I never forgot the way it looked after that night. So I drew it every day, melding it into the fringes of my mind. And from what I saw at that volcano, I can assure you that that mask those matoran have is incomplete. We still have a shot at stealing the mask before it’s too late. From what I saw, It looked halfway finished. Now, From what you told me, these matoran first uncovered the mask in Le Koro. And from what I saw, they got a second piece of the mask here in Ta Koro. From that we can assume that the next two pieces are either in Ga Koro or Onu Koro.”

Krika: “Congratulations! You found out something I already theorized. Don’t give me false hope.”

Nidhiki: “C’mon work with me here. You’re the brains between the two of us, think! Where would they be headed?”

Krika gives in and starts helping Nidhiki out with the plan. He looks up to the stars and thinks.

Krika: “Ga Koro’s farther, but Onu Koro’s more dangerous. From what I know, there’s only two paths to Onu Koro from which our matoran friends can go. Path A, through Makuta Nui, which they’re not gonna do, or path B, sail through Mata Nui and fight the ocean currents to Onu Koro. Technically, that would make Ga Koro easier to travel to, despite how it’s technically farther away. So Ga Koro, that’s where they’ll be heading.”

Nidhiki: “See, we have a framework to work off of. We can do this.”

Krika: “I wouldn’t be so optimistic. If you don’t recall, we left our only form of transportation way up north, deep into Icarax’s sphere of influence.”

Nidhiki: “Ever heard of stealing a boat? We just follow the beaches south and steal a boat. Those matoran won’t know what hit them.”

Nidhiki gestures to his head.

Nidhiki: “See this mask? It’s the kanohi mahiki, mask of illusion. Perfect for sabotage.”

Krika: “That’s a mask? The mahiki? That sure doesn’t look like any mahiki I’ve seen.”

Nidhiki: “Yeah, yeah that’s besides the point. Also, I’m planning everything this time.”

Krika: “No.”

Nidhiki: “Yes. Look, your plan of divide and conquer didn’t work, let’s be real.”

Krika: “That’s only because you didn’t do your part.”

Nidhiki: “If we worked together, that room for error diminishes. I know this is gonna sound crazy to you, but we should actually work together. This separation crap isn’t gonna cut it. Back at the volcano, the matoran I chased after stuck together, all of them solely dedicated to protecting the bearer of the mask of life, and overall it was an effective way for them to stall my chase after them. Perhaps we should do the same. Perhaps, we’re stronger together. You know, all that unity stuff.”

Krika: “That’s the most taraga prep talk I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Are you hearing the words that are coming out of your mouth right now? Icarax would skin you for saying such words.”

Nidhiki: “Our plan earlier today didn’t work, their plan did.”

Krika: “They weren’t united.”

Nidhiki: “Oh yes they were. Only the toa went solo, and look what that brought him.”

Krika: “I did get him good didn’t I”

Nidhiki: “The matoran who fought your rahi could not have won without cohesion. On average, one rahi is worth five matoran, yet they won. Why? Probably because they worked together to kill each rahi. I know every cell in your makuta body is telling you to say ‘no’, but I implore you to do the opposite. Besides, have you got any better ideas?”

Krika thinks hard, but inevitably gives up.

Krika: “No.”

Nidhiki: “We have no rahi and almost no resources, so we’re doing things subley this time, no big battles. Instead of making a dramatic entrance and fighting for glory, we do things smart. We get them when they least expect it, isolate the mask of life so we don’t have to fight anyone to get it.”

Krika: “What do we do if this doesn’t work, hmm. We just gonna come back home empty handed?”

Nidhiki: “No, we come back home with leverage.”

Note: This is the first chapter of the third part of book 1. So far, I’m looking forward to this part being my favorite to write out of all the parts. Unlike Le Koro and Ta Koro, this part has a lot more planning and overall feels more focused compared to those previous parts. The themes are more defined, character conflicts are more interesting, and the mysteries become more numerous. If book 1 was structured like a movie, late Ta Koro, all of Ga Koro, and early Onu Koro; would be like the second act. The act where the most happens.

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Ah here’s the third part. Nice job, I like the interactions with Krika and Nidhiki.

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I tried my best to make their interactions entertaining to read. So far I’m really trying to hammer in how Nidhiki has a very compassionate and open personality, while Krika has a more rigid and pessimistic personality. Their personalities are very different and due to that, they learn a lot from each other.

This chapter is an outlier between Krika and Nidhiki’s relationship. Usually Krika’s the competent one out of the two and is more logical, while Nidhiki’s follows him around and usually the incompetent one out of the two. In this chapter, after the disastrous events from Ta Koro, the roles reverse when Krika truly challenged. Nidhiki’s rare moment of competence and leadership in this chapter is meant to make Krika gain more respect for Nidhiki and potentially see him as an equal in the future.

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Seeing Red

At the center of the Ga Koran archipelago, lies an island larger than the rest. Smaller than Ta Koro, but large enough for the island to have a swampy rural inland. Unlike the other islands across the Mata Nui realm, Ga Koro comprises over 10,000 islands and including water area, rivals the size of Le Koro. Its largest island, Ga Nui, is the center of Ga Koro’s culture, economy, and population. It’s a city island, where its metropolis lines the entire coastline. It only contains a small rural swamp at the center of the island, with most of it being reserved as a national park. Unlike Ta Koro, the cities of Ga Koro don’t clash with nature. It’s a place that seems very mature with its industrialization. A place where ga matoran citizens learned to industrialize without hurting the land and ocean around them.

On the island of Ga Nui, a familiar ship arrives on its many docks. It lifts a ramp onto the floor, where Tahu and Lewa make their entrance to Ga Koro. Tahu speed walks across the ramp and onto the city’s streets, not wasting any time.

Tahu: “Ok, here’s the plan. The most prestigious university on this rock is Gaki University, we go there, get the best geographer we can find, somewhere along the way get toa Nokama involved, journey to whatever mountain or cavern leads us to the second mask piece, get the piece, become heroes, leave this place, and journey to Onu Koro to get the final mask piece. You got that Lewa?”

Tahu gets no response, so he looks behind to see no one following him.

Tahu: “Lewa?”

Tahu looks around until he finally finds Lewa, relaxing on the beaches of Ga Koro. Tahu sees him hula hooping with the local ga matoran, wearing flower necklaces, dancing with the ga matoran, chugging tropical drinks, and overall having a very touristy time. Tahu walks to the beach, finding him laying down on a hammock, wearing a flower necklace, sunglasses, and a straw hat.

Lewa: “This place is nice, wouldn’t you agree Tahu?”

Tahu brings his hand up and slaps Lewa across the face. His slap is so strong to the point where it spins the hammock around in a circular motion before dropping Lewa on the hot sandy ground. Lewa gets back up with pain all over his body.

Lewa: “Hey! What was that for?”

Tahu: “Look at you, with that cute necklace and straw hat. Give me that!”

Tahu grabs the straw hat from Lewa’s head, throws it on the ground, and proceeds to step on it multiple times. He then does the same to Lewa’s sunglasses and yanks the flower necklace off Lewa’s neck.

Tahu: “You remember why we’re here Lewa? It’s to save Mata Nui, not t0 play tourist.”

Lewa: “Having fun is good once in a while.”

Tahu: “No it ain’t, not when your actions directly consequence every matoran in the universe.”

Lewa: “That still doesn’t constitute the need to slap me across the face.”

Tahu: “Oh yes it does, violence is the ultimate authority. Matoran aren’t built with moral character, Lewa. It’s learned through punishment, and punishment my friend is violence. Something which you clearly do not understand.”

Lewa’s optimistic carefree personality is shattered. Lewa begins to see Tahu less as a friend, and more of an undue burden, like a dreaded date on a calendar. Lewa wished that after he left Le Koro, he’d never have to deal with Kongu’s taunts of responsibility, yet he faces them again, this time with Tahu. In just a few words, Tahu goes from being a friend to a critic. He begins to see the negative traits of fire spitter culture: the honor, stubbornness, self responsibility, apathy, competitiveness, violence, value in skill rather than character, and the overall need to focus on the bigger picture; all traits which Lewa despises. Lewa’s mood is instantly ruined and he becomes more reclusive as he follows Tahu’s plan. Maybe, the ga matoran will be nicer.

Note: This chapter is meant to emphasis how much Lewa hates the feeling of responsibility. Lewa and Tahu’s friendship strain.

Inspirations: This entire chapter was inspired off of two things. One, the Spongebob theme Nostalgic Hawaii, and two, dialogue from Starship troopers. Two very different things I know (lol), but those were the two things running my mind while writing this chapter. Also, the geography of Ga Koro is heavily inspired off the Philippines.

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Chapter 1: What is Geography?

Outside of classroom 161, murmuring can be heard. A lecture is going on by one of the many ga matoran professors at Gaki University. She’s skinny, short, and dawns the kanohi kau kau.

Gali: “Geography. it is the study of what?”

A student raises his hand.

Gali: “You.”

Tamu: “It’s the study of land, climate, stuff like that.”

Gali: “No… Well technically yes, but no. Geography includes those subjects, but I prefer to see geography as the study of conditioning. Anyone ever heard of conditioning? To put it in simple terms, conditioning is the process of molding another matoran to behave in a certain way. Whether you live on land or next to the sea, dry climate vs wet climate, mountain vs flatland, desert vs jungle, no matter where you live, you’re being conditioned. Geography conditions us, and that’s what we’ll be studying in this classroom.”

Gali is interrupted by a staff member. They mumble to each other while the students watch in confusion. The staff member then leaves as Gali proceeds to instruct her class. Gali looks back at the class with a massive smile.

Gali: “Due to national security reasons, class will be dismissed. Take that information as you please. Professor Ganu will be answering any question across the hall, and make sure to complete your chapter 1 notes for tomorrow.”

All the students leave, murmuring rumors among themselves on what’s going on. As soon as the entire classrooms are empty, two familiar matoran enter the room. A frowning Tahu and red headed googly eyed Lewa. Lewa has trouble walking as he approaches Gali. His mind begins playing the most romanticized music he knows. She was dreamy, perfect for Lewa. Lewa felt like most ga matoran tried too hard to impress. Lewa was never fond of the pink makeup ga matoran would use on their face and fingernails, or the artificial enlargement of body parts through thick clothing; so he was especially attracted to see Gali, a ga matoran who seemed impervious to her genders insecurities. Lewa also found her slim, but natural body, very attractive. He could tell that she took good care of her health. The jewel of Gali’s appearance however, was her kanohi kau kau. The attractiveness a matoran has towards a mask is subjective, but to Lewa, there is no mask more attractive than the kau kau. Despite how Lewa never spoke or knew anything about Gali before, he can’t help but feel an unexplainable attraction between him and her. He thinks it’s perhaps due to appearance. He thinks that maybe, there’s something from the way she looks, which makes her feel relatable to him. An unexplainable bond which makes Lewa feel like she’s his type.

Tahu: “Good morni-”

Lewa: “Hiiii.”

Gali: “Good morning to you both, I’ve been expecting both of you. Lewa and… who are you?”

In his head, Lewa goes crazy over the fact that Gali knows his name.

Tahu: “Tahu, one of the many commanders of the Ta Koran armed forces.”

Lewa leans forward on a desk to get closer to Gali.

Lewa: “How’d you know my name?”

Gali: “Well, who doesn’t? Your name is everywhere. The news, billboards, anything that matoran read. Day in, day out, they milk your name constantly, it’s insane.”

Lewa stands up in a prestigious position, trying to look exclusive.

Lewa: “It’s hard being a celebrity you know, hard looking good for the media.”

Gali: “Good? Have you seen the papers written on you? They’re clowning on you so hard, I almost feel bad. Gravestone pre orders rose 72% here in Ga Koro, just because of how confident matoran are that you’ll fail.”

Tahu and Gali burst out laughing as Lewa watches uncomfortably.

Tahu: “He can be a little incompitant sometimes. No offense.”

Lewa: “None taken haha.”

Gali: “Anyways, can I see that Ignika?”

Lewa holds the half assembled Ignika directly in front of his face so that Gali can see the mask. Through one of Ignika’s eye holes, Lewa sees Gali smiling. For a second, he thinks she’s smiling at him.

Gali: “It’s even more beautiful in person.”

Gali holds her fist up so Lewa can fist bump her.

Gali: “You did great work, don’t listen to what the news tells you”

Lewa returns the fist bump and begins looking like a ta matoran with how red his face gets.

Tahu: “Let’s cut to the chase, we’re here so you can give us information on where this next piece of the Ignika could be.”

Gali: “And what help would I give?”

Tahu: “You’re a geographer, perhaps you can help us find the most probable location for this piece. You knew this, so why’d you ask?”

Gali chuckles.

Gali: “Wanted to hear it from your own lips, nothing feels better than self gratification.”

Tahu: “Can you help us?”

Gali: “I need information, fire spitter. spill it.”

Tahu gets slightly aggravated by Gali’s dominant demeanor, but controls himself anyway.

Tahu: “In Le Koro, the piece was found in a mountain. In Ta Koro, the piece was found in a volcano. Each of the places were relatively remote locations on both of the islands. Know any places like that?”

Gali: “Hmm, from that information I’d say you’re a little screwed. Most islands in Ga Koro are below sea level, and the highest peak out of all the islands is 50 meters above sea level.”

Tahu: “Ain’t there at least someplace remote?”

Gali: “Nope, every island in Ga Koro is inhabited. Wait, no, actually there’s about… 3 islands with no matoran, but those islands are so tiny, that you’d be lucky to find a twig on them. Other than those islands, the most remote places in Ga Koro are national parks, which are constantly overrun by families on vacation.”

As the two discuss where the second piece could be, the words breeze through Lewa’s ears. All he could think of was Gali. The way she talked with her hands, her witty responses, She was the girl of Lewa’s dreams.

Lewa: “Hey Gali.”

Gali: “Yes Lewa.”

Lewa takes the biggest gulp of his life and lets the words come out.

Lewa: “Would you like to go on a date with me?”

Tahu: “Lewa!”

Lewa: “Sorry…”

At first, Gali is stunned, but then she lets out a cute smile. A smile from someone who clearly never been asked that question before. It was a smile which conveyed the phrase ‘I really needed that’. A smile, which felt as if she thought the whole situation was cute. A smile that made Lewa feel like he got this one in the bag. She opens her mouth.

Gali: “Umm… Lewa, I appreciate that you asked me that, trust me, I really do, you have no idea. But, I don’t know you Lewa. Sure, you’re a sweet guy and all, but we’re not compatible, you know what I mean. I don’t know how to say this, but we’re just not a couple, we don’t fit I don’t think. Besides, what we have going on is strictly business, and entangling that with connections like this can hurt that process. Mata Nui first is what I say.”

Lewa’s standing, but mentaly, he’s on the floor, stunned from what he just heard. He couldn’t believe that the words he just heard came out from such a sweet and misleading smile. It was by far the most sociopathic scenario Lewa had ever seen. Holding in all the tears he can, he looks over to Tahu to seek comfort. That’s until he tells him the least comforting words a heart broken matoran could ever hear.

Tahu: “She’s right, you know. Mata Nui first.”

Tahu and Gali go back to discussing plans on obtaining the third mask piece. Lewa watches, feeling like an outsider to his own adventure. A pawn in their game. Nothing but an object to save Mata Nui. Lewa begins to remember what Tahu said back on the boat ride to Ga Koro, how the ga matoran were spoiled. Perhaps he was right, any matoran with the nerve to reject another matorans date offer with that little regard for emotion is spoiled. But Lewa doesn’t want to believe that, he’d hate for Tahu to be right about something like that, devaluing an entire culture of matoran to a single trait. Lewa preferred to view matoran as complex, because that’s how he wished to be seen. So many negative emotions and pessimistic ideas rush through Lewa’s head. Lewa begins to slowly distance himself from Tahu and Gali. Before anyone notices, Lewa has completely left the campus.

Gali: “Hey, you know where Lewa went?”

Tahu looks around the room fearing the worst.

Tahu: “Mother of Mata nui, not this crap again!”

Tahu rushes out the campus with Gali following him. They get stuck at a school pep rally trying to find Lewa.

Tahu: “Lewa!”

Lewa’s nowhere to be found.

Note: Gali is finally in the story! It’s about time. Everyone who’s been reading this fanfiction has probably noticed a trend by now.

Inspirations: The scene which inspired this chapter the most, was a scene in Breaking Bad where Walter White explains what chemistry is to an uninterested audience of students. That scene was really cool since Walter’s lecture foreshadowed how he was going to transform in the future. In this chapter, Gali’s lecture forshadows the future character conflicts of this part.

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Ah so love is canon in this universe?

Also nice job.

Yes, love is canon in this universe, but I won’t be getting into the details on how that works in the story, because it makes 0 sense. Overall the matoran in this universe are much more humanoid than orignial G1; they can eat food, drink water, and other human-like things that they weren’t able to do in original G1. Even though love exists in this universe, it will never be the focus. Love is only in this universe to make the matoran more relatable and act as a plot device. Original G1 bionicle never needed love to make it an interesting story, and I’ll be using that same logic when making this story.

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Red vs Blue

The officer leans forward.

“Where was the last time you saw him?”

Gali: “Gaki University.”

The officer writes that down.

“Okay we’ll be classifying this as a code red situation. All cops across the island will be active in the search for Lewa, curfews will be enacted island wide, and we’ll be blockading the entire island just in case things go sour. So let’s recap; Wearing Kanohi Miru, holding mask of life, colored green and lime green, is there anything else you’d like us to add in description?”

Gali: “That’ll be it officer,what can we do to help?”

“You and your fire friend can hold these up.”

The officer hands Gali missing Lewa posters. Tahu takes notice of the officers lack of armament.

Tahu: “Where’s your weapon?”

“Pardon me?”

Tahu: “Spears, bows, not even a knife?”

“Sir, we don’t do that here.”

Tahu: “I mean, since you ga matoran don’t have any standin army, i’d assume that at least you’re cops be armed.”

Gali begins brushing her head and avoiding eye contact. Tahu tries to justify his condescending and entitled behavior.

Tahu: “Back at Ta Koro, me and Lewa were surprised by two makuta while trying to find the second piece of the Ignika.”

Gali: “That’s Ta Koro. You could probably walk 3 meters north before running into Makuta territory.”

Tahu: “True, but you never know what these makuta are capable of. Officer, do you and your colleagues have what it takes to deal with that?”

The officer, trying to appease Tahu, responds in a respectful tone.

“Indeed we do.”

For a second, Tahu fears that his prejudices towards ga matoran could possibly be overturned. But he’s reassured when he sees the officer take out a pathetic looking can.

“We got this bad boy. Bet you fire spitters don’t have this.”

Tahu: “What is that?”

“Pepper spray, genius isn’t it. You see, back in the day, we had a big police brutality problem, so we invented pepper spray. Instead of impaling our criminals with potentially life threatening arrows, now we just spray them with thai devious chemicals. Remarkable.”

Gali, noticing Tahu trying to hold back his laughter, tries to diffuse the situation.

Gali: “Thank you officer, have a wonderful day.”

Gali pulls Tahu out of the police department and onto the street. Once outside, Tahu can’t control his laughter.

Tahu: “Oh we’re dead for sure, we’re so dead.”

Gali: “What is your problem? Degrading our police officers based on hypotheticals.”

Tahu: “That ain’t no police officer, that’s a caterer. Ain’t ever seen a ‘My I take your order’ police officer, only in Ga Koro.”

Gali: “At least we don’t break your jaw for selling psychedelic cucu leaves, or bring the army to a bank robbery”

Tahu: “That’s discipline, Gali. What if your officers ever needed to stop criminals who have actual weapons?”

Gali: “Never needed to, the last time a crime involving weapons happened about ten years ago.”

Tahu: “Oh I forgot, It’s because y’all are so perfect.”

Tahu turns his back on Gali.

Gali: “Definitely better than Ta Koro.”

Tahu’s eyes flare, he can’t stand leaving the conversation finished. He turns around, words blazing.

Tahu: “Of course you are, and since you are a geography professor, let me prove that to you, geography style. First off, your island, or should I say islands, is located thousands of miles away from Makuta Nui, farther than any other island nation from Makuta Nui might I add. Situated between Le Koro, Onu Koro, and Mata Nui. Le Koro, an tropical island nation, filled to the brim with food, so that your hungry ga matoran friends can eat. Onu Koro, an mountainous island nation, filled to the brim with natural resources other than food, so that you and your tummy filled ga matoran friends can create new inventions, healthy cities, a stable economy, a powerful navy, a viable education system, etc. And then there’s Mata Nui, an island where you and your friends can spread your culture, ideas, and products. ‘Better than Ta Koro?’, yeah I’d say so, but I wouldn’t be proud of it.”

Gali immediately comes back with her own.

Gali: “You think we have it so easy? Playing the guilt card aren’t we? I guess it’s expected from you fire spitters, to guilt us ga matoran. You know, other than geography, I also have a PhD in psychology. And you know what I saw when I interviewed ga matoran in your so-called, ‘honorable military’. I saw matoran with bruises and rampant with fear, scranny ga matoran soldiers who could barely stand-”

Tahu: “Hours in the military are rough and rahi are the ones who cause such bruises as you say.”

Gali: “Indeed, your work conditions are rough, which deserves its own tangent in itself. but I’ll leave it be, as you fire spitters always say, ‘it’s the best we can do’. Anyways, that’s besides the point. Those bruises aren’t caused by rahi, Tahu. The mortality rate from injuries sustained by rahi in the battlefield is incredibly low. What I found was that the overwhelming majority of ga matoran that I interviewed had significant others, the majority of whom were ta matoran such as yourself.”

Tahu: “What are you implying? I hate it when you ga matoran use them dog whistle phrases. Just say what you mean.”

Gali: “Let me finish Tahu, I let you finish when you were off on your tangent, now let me finish mine. A few of the ga matoran which I interviewed, did straight up say what they were going through. They were abused, Tahu. Beaten by their own boyfriends, your supposed ‘good boys’.”

Tahu: “I don’t condone that kind of behavior in my military! at least not with the matoran under my command. Wait, you were the one who started that scandal?”

Gali: “I didn’t start it Tahu, I simply uncovered it. And as you remember, the fire spitters who were rat’d out by their girlfriends ended up behind bars. You’d probably think that justice was property served on that day, But there were more, other ga matoran’s who were too afraid to speak out. And at first, I didn’t understand why. Why would they permit the system to keep taking advantage of them? That was until I came back t0 Ta Koro, only to find the abusive fire spitters back on the battlefield. What was the rationale again? ‘We need every matoran we can get’”

Tahu: “We do need every matoran we can get. Do you have any idea how many lives we lose fighting the makuta? So that matoran like you are safe from a makuta dominated world.”

Gali: “Tahu, I don’t respect that thinking. I don’t care how disadvantaged Ta Koro is, or how hard you fire spitters try to keep everyone ‘safe’, because that rationale gives you no credence for the truly terrible things that happen on your island.”

Tahu: “For matoran who promote inclusivity and acceptance, you ga matoran sure have a hard time learning how to understand others.”

Gali: “For matoran who value respect, you fire spitters sure have a hard time showing it.”

Both Tahu and Gali feel like they aren’t getting their points across to one another. In their minds, the right answer seems so simple, so they can’t fathom how the other doesn’t compute. They forgot how they started fighting in the first place. They both eventually come to a truce as they notice the sun set. The entire afternoon had passed without either of them hanging a single missing Lewa poster.

Note: This chapter feels a lot more political compared to the other chapters. This is because both Tahu and Gali are very representative of the island nations they come from. This chapter tackles sexism, spousal abuse, culture clashing, police brutality, and privilege. Very heavy topics for an adventure fantasy story. Personally, I do lean towards one side of the political spectrum, but I really tried my best to be neutral in this chapter. The point I was trying to make through Gali and Tahu’s conflict, is that they are both correct; Tahu and Gali are justified in their thinking and both make valid points. However, what they’re arguing about is irrelevant to the bigger picture. Their arguing gets in the way of finding Lewa, which is something that is actually important. They both think that the makuta are the ultimate villains against the matoran and that the makuta are the main reason why Mata Nui’s asleep, yet they don’t realize that conflict among themselves is just as detrimental to Mata Nui’s reawakening.

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very nice.

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Jail (Let it all out…)

The island of Ga Nui is predominantly flat, but further inland, small rolling hills covered in trees lay on the fringes of Ga Nui’s coastal urbanization. One of those hills contains a familiar matoran. Lewa watches as the sun sets over Ga Nui. As the sunlight finally drowns beneath the horizon, Lewa walks the opposite direction, losing himself to the more rural interior of Ga Nui.

As straddles the country, he comes across a small lake. Lewa looks at the Ignika, making an annoyed squinty face. He then throws the mask into the lake, walks off, and tries to forget the last few days. However, he hears the sound of waves. Lewa looks back to see roots bursting from the surface of the water, bring the Ignika with them. As the roots submerge under the water again. Lily pads clump together and carry the mask to shore. Right next to Lewa’s feet.

Lewa gets furious, runs to another corner of wilderness, and begins digging with his bare hands. He ends up creating a massive barrial, where he ends up tossing the mask, filling the hole, and leaves it be. That’s until tree roots begin bursting out the ground again, handing Lewa the mask once again.

Lewa has enough of it and begins losing his mind. He takes a rock, slamming it against Ignika’s golden metal; it doesn’t even make a dent. Lewa picks up the Ignika and starts slamming it on the ground; once again, no dent. Lewa slams it against every surface he sees before throwing it off in the sky, not even caring if he gets caught by matoran searching for him. He falls backwards onto the floor, teary eyed. For a second, he feels relieved of the mask; until he starts hearing moving organic matter, something touching his right hand, and a golden glow coming from where his right hand would be.

Lewa: “Dannn it…”

Lewa begins crying.

Lewa: “It all happened so fast.”

Lewa holds the half complete mask above his head.

Lewa: “Why me? I’m no commander or professor, I couldn’t even get my flying license. How do you expect me to take care of you when I can’t even take care of myself? Kongu told me I was right for this, but am I, or was he saying that to make me feel better? Tahu thinks I’m not, this whole Island doesn’t think I’m right. All I ever wanted was a simple Le Koro life; go to work, play kohli, listen to guitar, play in the rain,with friends, that’s all I ever wanted. And instead, all I got was you. Why?”

Lewa noticed the mask glow a little when he said ‘friends’, he took that glow as a rebuttal.

Lewa: “Who? Tahu, Kongu, Gali? Those aren’t friends, those are matoran trying to disguise themselves as friends, who really just want me to get the job done. They don’t actually care about me, they just want me because of you. They’re the type of matoran that would respond to my feelings with ‘Mata Nui first’”

The Ignika then uses the roots of nearby trees to create a hand, pointing at itself. The Ignika begins blinking.

Lewa: “You? Nah, no way. All you do is give me nightmares on boat trips and give me unwanted responsibility.”

The Ignika manipulates the tree roots to create words that Lewa could read.

Ignika: ‘I’m sorry, give second chance, please. All I want, protect you. I like you, you have what it take, definitely.’

Lewa: “Oh Mata Nui, you’re so creepy.”

The mask begins writing with roots again.

Ignika: ‘That what Gali think you.’

Lewa: “You leech!”

Ignika: ‘Friend don’t lie.’

Lewa: “I guess not, but they also don’t wreck their ho-”

Lewa’s sight turns dark, he finds himself in a burlap sack, with the only source of light being the Ignika.

Nidhiki: "I got him Krika! I got the vine swinger!”

Krika emerges from behind a tree to see a hyped up Nidhiki holding one of his claws up.

Nidhiki: “Come on man, hit me.”

Nidhiki gestures to his hand, implying that he wants a high five. Krika tries to control himself from acting animalistic, but he can’t help his instincts. He high fives Krika.

Krika: “Yeah, Let’s go!”

Krika begins to respect Nidhiki more. His plan worked, and without a single rahi casualty. He looks over to the burlap sack and begins speaking to Lewa.

Krika: “Great performance you had out here, really. Loved it especially when you fell onto the floor, perfect for us to sweep in and sack ya. Come on Nidhiki, let’s go home.”

The burlap sack then begins to glow gold. Roots fly out at Krika and Nidhiki.

Nidhiki: “What the?”

The roots try to grab Nidhiki and Krika. However, due to their sharp limbs, they manage to cut off any roots which try to touch them.

Krika: “Give up mask, you’ve lost.”

The roots calm down and go back to their submissive positions.

Nidhiki: “Pfh, stupid mask. It gave up that easil-”

Tons of roots begin coming out of the ground. All the trees around come together, combining into one gigantic beast of a tree. A tree so massive that it engulfs the more inland urban areas of Ga Nui. From one side of the island, to the other, any matoran with eyes could see its supernatural growth. Cops begin flooding in from the city to see what’s going on. Nidhiki begins hitting the burlap sack against the floor.

Nidhiki: “Tell that thing to stop!!!”

By the time the tree stops growing, it’s already too late. An army of cops have arrived.

“Freeze!”

Every cop holds up a can of pepper spray towards the two makuta. Nidhiki begins laughing.

Nidhiki: “What is that?”

Krika: “Nidhiki, don’t be stupid.”

“Don’t move!”

Nidhiki: “Yeah I know, ‘don’t underestimate things you don’t understand’. But seriously what is this, that thing can’t even hurt a rahi.”

Nidhiki gets closer to the matoran, getting ready to kill them. He pulls one by the leg and holds it over his face, taunting it. The frightened matoran sprays his whole can into Nidhiki.

Nidhiki: “Aahhh! It burns! I can’t see!”

Nidhiki drops the matoran, but holds on to the burlap sack as if it were a stress ball.

“Get them!”

Krika: “Oh no.”

Nidhiki doesn’t know where to go, he’s completely blind. Krika has to hand over one of his arms so they can escape.

Nidhiki: “I think I’m dying Krika.”

Krika: “That’s what you get for being stupid! What were you thinking? Weren’t you the one who told me to not underestimate these guys?”

Nidhiki: “I never said that!”

Krika: “You implied it.”

Nidhiki: “What are we going to do?”

The pace of the cops was significantly faster than Krika guiding Nidhiki’s way through the forest. Krika knows that if they kept running, they’d eventually get captured. Krika thinks fast and comes up with an idea. Krika begins analyzing the weather, biome, and environment.

Krika: “Humidity, not too hot, not too cold, temperate, forest biome, flat land, urban coastline, abundant rahi.”

Nidhiki: “What are you talking about!”

Krika: “I think we can make it out of this. You know how makuta are assigned to create rahi from certain climate types, biomes, and geography’s? And how those rahi are forever bound to the will of their creator?”

Nidhiki: “Get to the point!”

Krika: “I got good news.”

Meanwhile, back towards the coast. Gali and Tahu continue putting up posters on the street for Lewa. They suddenly see massive tree grow from the interior of the island.

Gali: “You think that could be Lewa?”

Tahu: “It’s gotta be. I mean, unless it’s normal for giant trees to grow off into the distance in Ga Nui.”

Gali: “It isn’t.”

Tahu: “Then it’s gotta be Lewa, let’s go.”

Tahu and Gali run off further into the outskirts of the city, until they see a spinax dog creepily standing in the middle of the street, blocking their way to the outskirts of the city. Tahu stops while Gali keeps going forward. She notices and looks back.

Gali: “What’s wrong?”

Tahu: “What is a dog doing there?”

Gali: “I don’t know, It’s probably someone’s pet.”

Tahu: “I still don’t understand that concept.”

Gali: “Well does it have a collar?”

Gali looks back at the spinax dog and sees it has a collar.

Gali: “Yeah it has one, we’re safe.”

Tahu: “Are you sure?”

The dog begins to slowly walk towards them, with slobber drooling from its mouth.

Gali: “Now that you mention it, it does look a little strange.”

They begin to hear screaming from the neighborhood around them. On one side of the street, a ga matoran rushes out of her home screaming that her pet Kewa, a bird-like rahi, gouged out her boyfriend’s eyes. On the other side of the street, they see blood splatter onto a window.

Tahu: “You remember what happened at Le Koro a few weeks back?”

Gali: “Yeah.”

Tahu looks at Gali with a paralyzing stare.

Tahu: “Well it’s about to get a whole lot worse.”

The spinax dog starts barking and rushing towards them, with a clear intention to kill.

Tahu: “Run!”

Inspirations: There are a lot of inspirations for this chapter, almost too many to list. If I’d have to list movies and TV shows, they would have to be Raging Bull, My Neighbor Totoro, Breaking Bad, and Stranger Things.
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These are the rahi mentioned in this chapter of the story.

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Oh gosh things are gonna get really bad really quickly. Nice job tho

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