Legends of the Bionicle: Purity of Hearts

And here is the third story in the Legends of the Bionicle series. You can read the first two stories here and here. Credit goes to nuhrii-flaming and outofgloom on Tumblr for coming up with the word Bovaiki, a day of the week.

As usual, give me your honest feedback and I hope you enjoy.

Legends of the Bionicle: Purity of Hearts

1,005 AGC

Vamkoda pounded his feet down the streets of Ta-Metru, searching for his target. Ta-Matoran all around let out shouts of surprise as he nearly bowled them over. Nothing mattered except finding a particular Matoran. He was sure he saw him run down here, and it’s not like he could blend in very well.

The Ta-Matoran reached an intersection and stopped. He looked down the three streets before him as he caught his breath. Vamkoda closely observed the street to his right, looking for any sign of recent disturbances. There were a few lava rats that were scurrying deeper into the labyrinthine maze of the metru but any number of things could have scared them off. He was just starting to continue along when he heard a voice off to his left.

“What do you think he’s doing?” one Ta-Matoran asked another one. They were looking up at the roofs.

Vamkoda looked as well and saw a green flash run across the rooftops. There he was. “Out of the way!” Vamkoda shouted as he pushed the two gawking Matoran to the sides.

“Hey, watch it!”

“What the Karzahni?!”

Vamkoda sprinted to the end of the street where a ladder was set up against the building. By the time he scrambled up it, the Le-Matoran was already on the next rooftop. “Malohi!” Vamkoda shouted.

The Le-Matoran froze and looked back with a Rahi-in-the-lightstones look. “Just going out for a jog, Vamkoda. Nothing wrong with that, right?”

“Yeah right,” said Vamkoda as he edged toward Malohi. “I saw you running away from that building you defaced.”

“What did the building say on it?” Malohi asked, barely able to contain his laughter.

“It said… it said ‘Le-Matoran rule, Ta-Matoran…’ Well, you know what it said, you wrote it!”

Malohi burst out laughing, falling over onto the rooftop and clutching his sides.

“It’s not funny!” Vamkoda snapped.

“It’s hilarious!” Malohi gasped.

“It’s an inflammatory statement meant to provoke outrage!”

“And it worked! Plus it’s true!”

Vamkoda stamped his foot down. “Well, in my opinion, it’s not true!”

“Have it your way.” Malohi jumped to his feet and scrabbled to another roof with the ease of a Brakas monkey. He kept leaping and climbing, not seeming to have even a shred of fear. Vamkoda knew that was because the Le-Matoran was too stupid to be afraid.

Vamkoda jumped to another roof and barely grabbed the edge. He managed to pull himself up and saw Malohi was three roofs ahead now. He sprinted after him and clumsily ran across a connecting plank, almost losing his footing twice. He looked up to see Malohi waiting for him to catch up. The smugness plastered across his Noble Mahiki was infuriating. He got up to speed and jumped across to the next rooftop only to come up completely short and the last thing Vamkoda heard before his head hit the pavement was Malohi’s high-pitched laughter.

“Hey, Vamkoda, are you okay?” asked a voice out of the darkness.

Vamkoda slowly opened his eyes and found Lhikan and Nidhiki crouched over him. He sat up and rubbed his head. “How long have I been out?”

“No idea, we just found you,” said Lhikan.

“Where’s Malohi?” Vamkoda looked around furtively as if the Le-Matoran would be in hiding, snickering.

“He’s not here,” replied Nidhiki. “Were you chasing him again?”

“Yes, and I had a good reason.” Vamkoda was still a little cold to Nidhiki. It was only six months ago that the Resurrection had occurred. The Resurrection had been a time anomaly launched by an unknown foe which brought dozens of beings back from the dead. Vakama explained it like going to an earlier page in a book, ripping out a word, and putting it into a later spot. Most beings seemed to have memories up to when they died so they gained the name Resurrected since it was like they had been brought back to life. However, not all were in the forms they died in for unknown reasons. Most Resurrected proved harmless although there had been a few criminals that Vamkoda and the other guards around the city had had quite a time collecting.

Lhikan and Nidhiki had been among those wrenched from time and returned to the forms of Toa. There was quite an adjustment period for them and not everyone was comfortable with the idea of Nidhiki coming back into the Toa fold after all of the Turaga’s stories. But Lhikan seemed to have faith in him that he truly did wish to repent of his previous misdeeds. The Toa of Fire acted as a sort parole officer to him, keeping an eye on him to make sure he stayed out of trouble.

The Resurrection had also brought up philosophical questions like were these truly the same beings that had lived long ago or were they just clones with identical memories? Could they be held responsible for past actions? Should they be treated with the respect they used to be? Vamkoda left such questions to Ko-Matoran, he was more interested in the tangible stuff happening right in front of him, like Le-Matoran vandals.

Still, he had to admit, a lot of the Resurrected’s knowledge had been useful. Since they had full memories of how Metru Nui had been, they were a great asset in rebuilding. Of course, it was an open question of how far this time anomaly spread, and how many other Resurrected were out there, using forgotten knowledge to wreak havoc.

“So what are you two doing here?” asked Vamkoda.

“I was asking around to see if anyone in this area of the metru had heard anything about my nephews,” answered Lhikan. “And I brought Nidhiki along to try to acclimate the Matoran to him.”

“You would think I was still a four-legged monster the way some of them react to me,” muttered Nidhiki.

“So any luck about your nephews?” Vamkoda asked Lhikan.

Lhikan shook his head sadly. “No one heard of Kazahk or Tazahk but I have faith I will eventually find them, it’ll just take time.”

“So why do even bother chasing after Malohi?” Nidhiki asked Vamkoda. “He seems mostly harmless.”

“It’s the principle of the thing!” said Vamkoda. “Plus if he goes too far and gets himself into trouble, who else will be there to pull him out?”

“Not to discourage you from doing a noble deed,” began Lhikan, “but I have been wondering why you care so much about Malohi. You’re not the same element after all so I wouldn’t think you two would know each other very well.”

Vamkoda frowned. “I’ve known Malohi a long time… Nine hundred and eighty-five years this past Bovaiki actually. And I owe him my life believe it or not…”

20 AGC

Vamkoda stood stock still and proud against a small warehouse on the outskirts of Ta-Koro. He had only been a guard for a year but he couldn’t be happier. He had wanted to be a member of the Ta-Koro Guard for as long as he could remember. But Turaga Vakama had insisted that he was not yet ready to be a warrior. Vakama had kept him as a lava farmer until he felt Vamkoda was ready.

At last, Vakama allowed Vamkoda to become a guard. Vamkoda trained hard under Jala. The Captain of the Guard was unsure about Vamkoda at first but the young Ta-Matoran proved himself and made fast friends with fellow guards Kapura and Nuhrii. Due to his short tenure with the Ta-Koro Guard, Vamkoda was given small posts, such as guarding minor warehouses or the Ta-Suva, a sacred shrine built in honor of the enigmatic Toa Tahu.

So far, nothing exciting had happened on Vamkoda’s watch, which disappointed him a little. He wanted to prove himself to Vakama and Jala and he would never get a chance to do that if he wasn’t tested. He found himself praying now and again for a little action.

Movement caught his eye and he noticed the strange Ta-Matoran Takua venturing out of his hut. He was supposed to be going to work on making bidents for the Guard but Vamkoda knew better than that. Takua was most likely going to sneak out of the village again. Vamkoda started to get excited. If he caught Takua breaking the rules, he would show everyone he was worthy of being a guard.

He took one step in the direction of Takua when rapid footsteps sounded behind him. He whipped his head around and just caught something green vanishing into the warehouse door. Vamkoda almost thought he imagined it. But he couldn’t have, it was too clear. He tentatively stuck his head inside and looked around. It was too dark to see. “Hello?” he called out warily. There was no reply but he thought he could hear breathing.

Vamkoda withdrew and almost sounded the alarm. He was almost positive there was something alive in that warehouse. What if it was a really dangerous Rahi, or worse, some dark creation of the Makuta? Better safe than sorry, he thought as he reached for his horn. But he stopped himself. What if it was something harmless like a Mahi and half the Guard came rushing just to find that Vamkoda was afraid to go into a warehouse and face a domesticated Rahi? And what if his eyes and ears were playing tricks on him and there wasn’t anything at all in there?

Then one more dangerous and seductive thought came to mind. What if it was something really dangerous and Vamkoda was able to defeat it single-handedly? He would be hailed a hero, right up there with the likes of Lhii the Surfer. Without a second thought, Vamkoda pulled the lightstone off the wall and plunged into the darkened building.

Vamkoda swept the stone’s bright light across the small room, at one end first and working his way across. So far he saw nothing except lava farming equipment and lava boards. When he got to the other end of the warehouse, he found a green creature crouched on top of a crate. Vamkoda was too dumbfounded at first to react, but that changed when the creature said, “Boo.”

Vamkoda shrieked and stumbled backward out of the warehouse, falling on his back. He backed away quickly as he heard the creature leap down and start walking toward the door. It reappeared and Vamkoda realized it was actually a Le-Matoran. He had only seen a couple in his life, but Jala told him that they were a peculiar arboreal people that spoke in a code to confuse their enemies. Vakama insisted that the Le-Matoran and the other four villages were allies against Makuta but Vamkoda was not convinced.

Seeing that the intruder was really a Matoran caused the fear to drain out of Vamkoda only to be replaced by anger. However, he was still wary as he saw three small picks in the Le-Matoran’s hand. He attempted his most serious and commanding voice. “Identify yourself and state your purpose for being here!”

The Le-Matoran cocked his head to the side as a Hapaka would. “I’m Malohi, who are you?” He spoke in an annoying high-pitched voice that contained a child-like innocence.

“I’m Vamkoda but that’s not the point. This is not a meet and greet. You are trespassing in Ta-Koro and I have every right to haul you in and let Turaga Vakama sort you out.”

“But that would spoil my fun!” Malohi whined.

Vamkoda nervously glanced at the pickaxes in the Le-Matoran’s hand. “And what fun would that be?”

Malohi held his finger up to his mouth. “Shh. That’s a secret.”

Realizing he was still on the ground, Vamkoda scrambled to his feet and took his bident off his back. “I’m not in the mood for games. I’m going to have to ask you to come with me. Surely you are not supposed to be outside your village. I am guessing you are a truant.”

“What’s a truant?”

“Someone who leaves their koro without telling their Turaga that they are going.”

Malohi’s face brightened. “Oh, like that Takua that comes to Le-Koro from time to time.”

“Yes, and if I have my way, I’ll be going after him as well.” Vamkoda held up his bident in a threatening manner. “Now come quietly.”

Malohi looked absolutely unconcerned. “No thank you.” Then he gained a glint of malice in his eye. Vamkoda was suddenly worried. What if this wasn’t some mostly harmless wanderer like Takua? What if he was an escaped maniac on the run from the Le-Matoran authorities? “I think I’m going to go and hide these somewhere,” said Malohi.

“No, we need those,” Vamkoda argued.

“Then you’ll come looking for them.” Malohi took off, laughing hysterically.

“Hey, get back here!” Vamkoda shouted, all traces of fear forgotten. He ran after Malohi but was surprised at how fast his quarry was. Malohi leaped onto a wheelbarrow, almost tipping it over and then up onto the roof of a hut. Vamkoda attempted to follow him and ended up on the ground under the wheelbarrow. Malohi laughed. Vamkoda growled and crawled out from under the wheelbarrow and looked up at the Le-Matoran. “You won’t be laughing in a second, punk!”

“Ooh!” said Malohi in a mock frightened voice. Then he turned and bounded off across the roofs. Vamkoda was shocked by his agility and how he made it look so easy. Not wanting a repeat of the wheelbarrow, Vamkoda followed from the ground. But taking the streets wasn’t as fast as Malohi’s route as the Kewa flies and soon enough, Vamkoda had lost him. He kept running in the general direction Malohi had been going but he was starting to worry he wouldn’t be able to find him.

Get a hold of yourself! Vamkoda admonished himself. He’s a Le-Matoran in a village full of hundreds of Ta-Matoran! How hard can it be? But it was surprisingly difficult to track down Malohi. He spent a full thirty minutes searching for him before he finally had to admit defeat and go report to Jala. He was making his way to the Captain of the Guard’s office when he saw Malohi standing at the edge of the village, looking out at the far end of the Lake of Fire where the rest of Ta-Wahi lay. He seemed to have lost the three picks but had now acquired a disk.

“I finally caught you, you little thief!” said Vamkoda with a manic hint in his voice. “Now I can add theft of Ta-Koro Guard property to your crimes!”

Malohi turned around casually. “I’m only borrowing it.”

“You have to ask to borrow, and you didn’t! Now, what did you do with those picks?”

“I told you, I hid them. You have to go find them.”

Vamkoda brandished his bident and took a threatening step toward Malohi. Maddeningly, the Le-Matoran still didn’t react. “This isn’t a game of lose-and-seek! In case you haven’t noticed, you are a Matoran from a different village standing in Ta-Koro without permission! And in case you haven’t also noticed, we are at war with a dark spirit and his army of Rahi! Maybe we could afford to be less cautious in times past before Makuta came here but not anymore! We can’t afford risks!”

Malohi yawned. “Are you done? Good.” He flung the disk at Vamkoda. He ducked but it would have missed anyway. It soared through the window of the guard shack and struck something inside. A moment later and the bridge out of the village began to rise out of the lava. “Fun playing with you, Vamkoda. See ya soon.” With a salute, Malohi stepped back onto the rising bridge.

Vamkoda ran to the edge and watched as the Le-Matoran ran across to the far side even as the bridge was still ascending. “There won’t be a next time!” Vamkoda bellowed after him. “Because if I ever see you in this village again, I’m taking you down!”


It took Vamkoda a good hour and a half to track down the three pickaxes and once he returned them to the warehouse, he demanded an audience with Turaga Vakama. When he arrived at the Turaga’s hut, it was twilight. He flung open the door and found Jala and Kapura inside with Vakama who was seated before his fire. He didn’t care about making a scene, he had never been more furious in his life. “Vamkoda, what’s wrong?” asked Vakama, ignoring the Matoran’s aggressive entrance. “Nuhrii said you sounded very upset.”

“Yes I am!” shouted Vamkoda. “A Le-Matoran was in the village, robbing warehouses and hiding their contents elsewhere!”

Vakama couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, is that all?”

Vamkoda couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Turaga, this is a major breach of security! What if he took something else and brought it back to Le-Koro?”

“If it was something important, I will reach out to Le-Koro and have it returned at once. Vamkoda, I really do believe you are making a bigger deal out of this than it is.”

“I’m sorry, Turaga, but it’s you who is not taking it seriously!” shouted Vamkoda. “You need to contact… what’s Le-Koro’s Turaga’s name?”

“Matau,” said Vakama calmly.

“Right, well you need to contact him and tell him to get his Matoran under control! We can’t be fighting them as well as Makuta’s Rahi!”

“We are not fighting the other Matoran, Vamkoda,” said Vakama sternly. “Our only enemy is the Makuta.”

“Well, I don’t think the other villages get that,” said Vamkoda, giving voice to concerns he had long harbored. “You say they are our allies but where were they when the forest burned three years ago? I’m not the only one who has wondered this.” He shot a look at Jala who gave him a strong glare, not daring to look at Vakama.

“I already know Jala’s misgivings about the other villages,” said Vakama. “But I have every reason to trust the other Turaga. They’ve never let me down yet.” He seemed like he wanted to say more but he held his tongue.

“But maybe this is all part of a ploy to gather intelligence on us,” pressed Vamkoda. “Maybe this Matau guy sent Malohi in as a spy—”

“That’s enough!” roared Vakama as he got to his feet. “I will not have you questioning the loyalty of the other Turaga, especially Matau! He is one whose loyalty shall never be in doubt! Do I make myself clear, Vamkoda?”

Vamkoda looked down at his feet. “Yes, Turaga.”

“Good. Now, I believe you are simply frustrated that someone made you look foolish at your post. And I shall speak to Matau about this…”

“Malohi,” replied Vamkoda sheepishly.

“Malohi,” repeated Vakama. “But right now, go and get some rest. And try to not take your job or life so seriously. Because Mata Nui knows you’ll be lucky to live long enough to be made a fool again before your life is over.”

“Yes, Turaga,” muttered Vamkoda before he shuffled out of the Turaga’s hut. He wasn’t sure of too much, but he certainly knew he didn’t like being a fool.


A couple of weeks later, Vamkoda patrolled up and down the streets of Ta-Koro, guarding the Ta-Suva. He had been on the lookout for Malohi ever since his last encounter with the delinquent Le-Matoran but so far, he had not shown himself. Vamkoda thought he caught a flash of green every now and then but it was always just his eyes playing tricks on him. Sometimes he and other Matoran would complain about different objects missing and being found elsewhere, but Vamkoda was sure it couldn’t have been Malohi, he would have known if the troublemaker had entered the city.

Vamkoda nodded to Vohon and another Ta-Matoran as they passed by. They returned the gesture and Vamkoda kept walking, eyes scanning the rooftops. That’s probably where Malohi would show up. It was the closest thing Ta-Koro had to trees so it’s where a Le-Matoran would most feel comfortable. Still no sign of him.

But then again, maybe he wouldn’t see Malohi again. Vamkoda had gone around to all of the guards whose posts were entrances of the village and told them to tighten up security. They didn’t seem to like being told what to do by such a young member of the Guard but Vamkoda felt confident they would listen to him. Yeah, that must be it. Malohi couldn’t even get into the koro now. He breathed a sigh of relief. His Le-Matoran worries were over.

He turned around and found the Matoran that had been with Vohon now standing by himself, examining the suva. Vamkoda found this odd and approached the Matoran. “Excuse me, do you have authorization to be that close to the suva?” The other Ta-Matoran ignored him. “Hey, I’m talking to you!” Vamkoda said as he clapped his hand on the other’s shoulder. Black powder flew off him. “What the—?” said Vamkoda as he examined his blackened hand. “Soot?” Then he looked down and saw a glint of green on the other Matoran’s shoulder. Vamkoda turned him around and looked at his red Noble Mahiki, dripping in what appeared to be some kind of berry juice. Then Vamkoda saw those eyes… those same eyes that haunted his dreams. “It’s you!” he shouted.

Malohi barely ducked the punch thrown at his face. He crawled away, cackling like a maniac. “About time you realized! I’ve been here for two weeks! I’ve been hiding people’s stuff all this time!”

“Little gremlin!” Vamkoda shouted as he leaped after Malohi, trying to stab him with his bident. Malohi rolled out of the way and sprang to his feet. He started doing a little dance as Vamkoda spied a stack of disks. “Dodge these, freak!” He dove for the pile and began flinging the disks at Malohi with reckless abandon.

The Le-Matoran expertly dodged each one, dancing all the while. “Gotta do better than that, Vamkoda! I thought they trained you fire-spitters how to aim!”

“Stay still and you’ll see!” Vamkoda growled.

“The Rahi won’t!” said Malohi as he executed a handstand to avoid a disk. He cartwheeled to his feet again and grabbed a disk out of the air. “In fact, they might even strike back.” He flung the disk back at Vamkoda with incredible power. He was sure it would have taken his head off had he not ducked. A lightstone shattered somewhere behind him and he stood up, bident in hand.

“Assaulting a Ta-Koro Guardsman?” A malevolent smile spread across Vamkoda’s mask. “Another charge against you. You’ll be spending the next century in jail when I get my hands on you.” He lunged forward and came within an inch of Malohi.

“No, stop it!” cried Malohi as he ran for a staircase.

“I’ll stop it when you come in quietly!” shouted Vamkoda.

Malohi bounded up the stairs, Vamkoda right on his heels. Malohi glanced backward and Vamkoda was glad to see a hint of fear in his eyes. But they were still mostly filled with a wondrous excitement. “You aren’t getting away this time, Malohi!” shouted Vamkoda as they ran along the top of the wall. “I know every inch of this city! You’re cornered like a lava rat!”

“Not yet!” said Malohi as he reached in his pack. He pulled out something shiny and Vamkoda thought it was a weapon. He was surprised to see it was a flute. Malohi put it to his mouth and played it, able to play a shockingly good tune given the fact he was running at full sprint. He put the flute away and ran to the side of the wall. “Woohoo!” he shouted as he leaped over the side.

“What?!” Vamkoda cried. Then something swooped past him and he was almost knocked off his feet. He looked to see a Kewa dive and grab Malohi in its talons.

“Bye, Vamkoda!” Malohi called as the Kewa carried him to safety. “See you next week!”

Vamkoda growled like a Muaka and snapped his bident over his knee, throwing the two halves into the Lake of Fire below. He couldn’t stand that arrogant Le-Matoran.

“Vamkoda, what’s all the commotion?” Vakama asked as he came up behind the steaming Ta-Matoran.

Vamkoda spun around. “Turaga—he—Malohi—suva—soot—weeks—disks—assaulted—flute—wall—Kewa!”

“Calm down, Vamkoda, you sound like a raving lunatic. Take a deep breath and tell me what happened.” Vamkoda did and recounted his whole tale. Vakama laughed at the end. “That Malohi sure is an ingenious little rascal, isn’t he? Matau should use him as a scout, he would probably come in handy.”

“How can you laugh, Turaga? Malohi is here causing sedition—”

“‘Sedition?’” repeated Vakama, amused as if a child was complaining about some trivial matter.

“Matau needs to extradite him here to stand trial!” Vamkoda persisted.

Vakama laughed again and shook his head. “I think Malohi is rather harmless. It’s all innocent pranks. Remember what I said, Vamkoda. Don’t take life too seriously. It’s far too short.” He turned and walked away, leaving Vamkoda to stare out at the horizon. He didn’t care what Vakama said. Malohi was not harmless, and it was only a matter of time until he revealed his true colors.


Over the course of the next few months, Malohi made regular appearances, hiding people’s belongings and pulling similar pranks. Vamkoda chased him down constantly but the Le-Matoran always stayed one step ahead of him. Vamkoda had even begun setting traps for Malohi but the hoodlum always managed to avoid them with what seemed like a sixth sense. It was just further proof that there was something maleficent about him. Maybe he was even working with the Makuta. Vamkoda spent little time doing anything else but searching for Malohi.

One day, Vamkoda was standing near the armory, preparing a snare trap for his eternal nemesis. He had a pile of bidents as bait, surely Malohi wouldn’t be able to pass that up. But of course, to get to them, he would have to step into the snare. There was no way this one could fail. He just had to make the finishing touches. He was so engrossed in his work that he didn’t hear someone come up behind him.

“Eh, what’s up, bud?”

“I’m just setting a little trap for an annoying pain in my side,” replied Vamkoda.

“What’s he look like?” asked the stranger.

“He’s a Le-Matoran. He’s stupid-looking, always walking around with a shocked expression as if everything he sees or hears is a new experience for him.”

“Hmmm,” pondered the stranger. “Have you tried looking behind you?”

“What?” Vamkoda said, recognizing the voice at last. He turned and stood up in one motion, only to be pushed backward by Malohi.

“Did your mother ever tell you that you’re a rude little gafna?” asked the Le-Matoran.

Vamkoda snarled. “I don’t have a mother, I’m an orphan!” He lunged forward but ended up face down on the ground. He looked back to see his foot caught in his snare. He cursed as he began to hack away at the rope with a knife.

“Have fun with that,” said Malohi. “I’m going to go for a ride.”

“And what the Karzahni is that supposed to mean?” Vamkoda shouted as Malohi jogged away. “Blasted tree-dwelling, air-headed, stupid…” As Vamkoda worked on the snare, he tried to figure out what Malohi was talking about. Then as he freed himself, he got it. The cable cars!

Vamkoda ran full out to get to the cable cars before Malohi sabotaged something. He pushed past a group of guards and ran up the stairs to where the cable cars were located. He found them devoid of any life but he could see a car halfway across the Break. That must be Malohi. He wasn’t getting away that easily. Vamkoda ran to another car, jumped in, and started across after the recalcitrant Le-Matoran.

He looked out of the cable car nervously. He had never ridden it before and didn’t realize how high up he would be. The cable cars spanned the Tren Krom Break, a lava river that flowed all the way from the Mangai volcano to the sea. If the cable were to snap suddenly, he would plunge to a fiery and painful death. Vamkoda immediately began searching the car for any signs of tampering but saw none. It didn’t put his mind at ease, however. Before he knew it, he was approaching the far end of the Break and with it, the North March.

As he got nearer, Vamkoda could see Malohi’s cable car sitting at the station. The Le-Matoran was nowhere in sight. Was he really so stupid as to run off into the cold wilderness of Ko-Wahi? The car docked and Vamkoda leaped onto the snowy ground, immediately hit by the frigid air. He had never been outside Ta-Wahi before in his life. He wrapped his arms around himself and shivered. He looked for any sign of Malohi. The wind was blowing so fiercely that it must have swept away his tracks.

The young Ta-Matoran almost started walking in a random direction to find Malohi but logic finally seemed to stop him. He had no idea which way the Le-Matoran had gone and no knowledge of the region. He could easily freeze to death if he wasn’t careful. Not seeing anything else to do, he returned to the cable car to wait for his quarry. He opened the heatstone that was installed in the center of the cable car and got warm.

The next thing Vamkoda realized, he was waking up to the sound of loud screeching. He sat up and looked to see Malohi charging down a path toward the cable cars. He was wearing an expression of excited fear. Vamkoda jumped out of the car. “There you are!” he bellowed. “Now you’re mine!”

“Get in the car, Vamkoda!” Malohi cried.

“Oh trust me, I will, with you bound and gagged!”

“We gotta run!”

Vamkoda made a skeptical expression. “Why?”

“These guys want to kill me for some reason!” Malohi pointed back at a dozen armed Ko-Matoran chasing him.

“What the Karzahni did you do?” Vamkoda shouted as he back up a few steps.

“I just added to their Wall of Prophecy a little bit!”

“You what?!”

Malohi dove into his car and started it. “Run!”

Vamkoda was going to argue but he noticed the furious looks on the Ko-Matoran and decided it was better to have this sorted out later. He jumped into his own car and started after Malohi. A few disks flew past him but none hit their marks. He looked back to see the Ko-Matoran standing by the station, apparently resigned to letting them go.

Vamkoda glanced over at Malohi who was looking at him with a big smile. Vamkoda just glared. They were in big trouble.


I have to split this story into two parts.

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A week later, Vakama and Matau stood near the gate to Ta-Koro, a compliment of Ta-Matoran and Le-Matoran with them. Vamkoda and Malohi were among them. Malohi had really done it this time. He had actually gone into the Sanctum of Ko-Koro and defaced the Wall of Prophecy with childish graffiti. The Turaga of Ko-Koro, Nuju, was reportedly furious. Rumor had it that he had demolished an entire glacier in his rage. He had demanded a meeting with Matau and Vakama to sort out this debacle.

Vamkoda glanced over at Jala. He stood at stiff attention, eager to impress with his professionalism. Standing next to Matau was the Captain of the Le-Koro Gukko Force, Kongu. He looked rather unconcerned about the whole affair, like Malohi and their Turaga. It infuriated Vamkoda to no end.

“Ever-wonder where Nuju is,” began Matau. He was preparing to deliver his eighth joke in half as many minutes. “Perhaps he got way-lost in his own backyard.”

Vakama gave the smallest of smiles. “I believe we should prepare for Nuju’s arrival in as serious a manner as we can manage, brother.”

Vamkoda frowned. He was not at all impressed with Matau. And why did Vakama tolerate him, and refer to him in such familial terms? Didn’t he see what an inter-village disaster this was? And it was all Malohi’s fault, and by extension Matau’s for not keeping an eye on him.

“The Turaga of Ice approaches!” called a guard from on top of the wall. “The Turaga of Ice approaches!”

Vamkoda matched Jala’s posture as did the rest of the Guard. Even some of the Le-Matoran stood a little straighter. Vakama and Matau looked as if they were about to meet an old friend. That’s when Nuju, Turaga of Ice, leader of Ko-Koro, entered the gates, followed by a dozen Ko-Matoran and wearing features chiseled out of ice. His very presence seemed to suck the heat out of the village. And he was not happy. Not in the slightest.

Vamkoda wasn’t sure what he pictured Nuju to sound like, but it certainly wasn’t what came out of his mouth. As soon as Nuju was a few bio from the other Turaga, he began speaking in a flurry of whistles and clicks, hands flying all over the place in complex gestures. A Ko-Matoran with a sand blue Akaku behind him nodded as he paid attention to what Nuju was saying. Vamkoda was completely taken aback by this. He guessed this must be some odd language Nuju spoke, gestures included, although he was pretty sure some of the gestures were not part of the actual language and just rude interjections. Vakama and Matau did not seem surprised by this outburst, but they did shrink a little from it, and Matau certainly wasn’t enjoying himself anymore.

Once Nuju finished, the Matoran with the Akaku spoke. “Turaga Nuju says that he has never seen such base behavior in his life. A section of the Wall of Prophecy has been ruined. You ignore the future at your own peril. He says Turaga Matau should be ashamed of himself, letting his Matoran have their run of the island like a bunch of deranged Brakas.”

“In my defense,” began Matau, “Malohi here is ever-hard to keep a Kahu-eye on. He is always quick-running around and—”

Nuju cut him off with a string of more bizarre noises and hand movements. Vamkoda expected the interpreter to have to translate Matau back to Nuju but it seemed he understood the other Turaga just fine. “Turaga Nuju says that you are making excuses, Turaga Matau,” said the interpreter. “He expects more out of you, even if you are just a Gukko-riding, foolhardy, glory-seeking pilot.”

Matau scowled and looked like he was going to say something but Nuju turned his attention to Vakama. He gave three short whistles and waited for the translation. “Turaga Nuju doesn’t want you to think you’re blameless in this situation, Turaga Vakama.” Nuju continued and the interpreter said, “Turaga Nuju demands to know why a Le-Matoran was able to access the cable cars with no questions asked. They should be restricted to authorized personnel.”

“You are correct, Nuju,” said Vakama. “We should have had that in place, but to be fair, we’ve never had an incident quite like this. Not all outcomes can be predicted.”

Nuju scoffed and made another incomprehensible reply. “Turaga Nuju says that’s the excuse those who don’t take the future seriously make,” said the translator.

“Well, don’t worry, that particular oversight will be amended going further,” said Vakama. “And I have complete faith in your ability to restore the Wall of Prophecy. If you require any of our help, we shall be willing to give it, even if that is just staying out of your way. And I believe there is one more thing that needs to be said. Matau?”

The Turaga of Air was still scowling and turned to look at Malohi. “Yes. Malohi, you should apologize and ever-promise you will never do anything like that again.”

Malohi considered it. “Sorry I guess. And I promise I’ll never do anything like that again… until I do it again.” He then took off running.

Matau shrugged. “I think that’s the ever-best you can hope for.”

Vamkoda seethed at Malohi’s impertinence. Then he saw him run to a trader and jump on one of his Husi. “I’m borrowing this, okay? Yah!” He spurred the bird and took off out of the village.

“That slimy, arrogant—!” cried Vamkoda before he ran to the trader, jumping on one of his other Husi.

“Hey, what are you doing?” asked the trader. “Not you too!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll bring back your other Husi along with that criminal hogtied,” said Vamkoda.

“Vamkoda, no!” shouted Vakama. “It’s almost nightfall, it’s too dangerous!”

“I have to do this, Turaga! No one else will!” Vamkoda spurred the Husi and took off after Malohi. Within a couple of minutes, Vamkoda found his prey. The Le-Matoran wasn’t going particularly fast, apparently waiting for Vamkoda to catch up. “You’re not getting out of this one this time, Malohi!” he shouted. “They all saw you! I’m going to haul you into prison where you belong!”

Malohi turned around and gave a taunting look. “You have to catch me first!” He put the speed on and began to pull away from Vamkoda.

The Ta-Matoran was not going to give up that easily. He dogged Malohi relentlessly, chasing him all the way to the far end of the burnt and destroyed forest. Slowly but surely, Vamkoda was gaining on Malohi. Only a few more bio and he would have him. Once his Husi was right behind Malohi’s, Vamkoda stood up and leaped at the Le-Matoran. Malohi let out a loud screech as he was tackled off his mount and the two rolled around in the dirt. Vamkoda ended up on top of the scuffle and punched Malohi square in the face. The green-armored Matoran let out a cry of pain and surprise as he held his face. Vamkoda smiled at his victory.

Malohi lowered his hands and for the first time, Vamkoda saw anger in his eyes. He was suddenly not feeling like he was the one in control. Malohi brought up his feet and kicked Vamkoda off of him. The Ta-Matoran crashed back into a tree and slumped to the ground. He shook his head and could just barely make out Malohi running away in the darkness. He would not escape this time. Vamkoda jumped to his feet and chased Malohi. The Le-Matoran seemed to be carefree again, skipping as if he had all the time in the world. He let out a whoop of joy with a particularly big skip. Vamkoda was going to make sure he never had anything to skip about ever again. Malohi was going to be pining for the old days when he—

Suddenly Vamkoda’s feet were above the void. Malohi’s big skip hadn’t been random, he had seen a giant fissure and jumped over it. But Vamkoda, in a mixture of the lowlight and his single-minded pursuit of Malohi, missed it. And now he was going to plunge to his death. All of this shot through his mind in an instant.

He slammed into the opposite side of the fissure, his bident slipping off his back and falling into the abyss below. He dug his fingers into the soil but they didn’t even offer a shred of resistance to gravity. He watched in horror as his fingers slid through the dirt and inched ever closer to the edge and certain death. It was literally a visual representation of how much longer he had to live. Vamkoda’s hands slipped off the ground and for a second he was suspended in space, the full weight of the situation sinking into his mind.

Then something gripped his arm. He looked up to see Malohi holding onto him, heartlight flashing rapidly. “Hang on, Vamkoda, I’ll pull you up!”

Vamkoda couldn’t understand what was happening. But he forced those thoughts aside and focused on more innate ones, such as survival. He planted his feet on the chasm wall and managed to climb up with Malohi’s help. Back on solid ground, Vamkoda took a long time to say anything, simply catching his breath and watching as his life flashed before his eyes over and over, paying particular attention to the last few months. Malohi said nothing either, just watching the moon rising through trees with uncharacteristic calmness.

“Why did you save me?” Vamkoda finally managed.

Malohi looked at him with a genuinely shocked expression. It was an odd sight to see such sincerity from him. “Because we’re friends.”

“We’re… friends?”

“Of course. We spend so much time together, how could we be anything but friends?”

“But… but…” Vamkoda was too shocked and ashamed to say anything else.

“I’ll always be there to make sure you don’t fall,” Malohi continued. “And you’ll do the same for me. You help me and I’ll help you. United we stand, divided we fall. Right?”

Vamkoda stared at Malohi for a long time before he replied. “R-Right.” He stood up and held out his hand. “Come on, let’s go back to Ta-Koro. I’m sure Turaga Matau is worried about you.”

Malohi gave a big smile and took Vamkoda’s hand.

1,005 AGC

“And ever since then,” Vamkoda said, “we’ve been good friends. Malohi helped me to learn to trust the other villages, something that I believe was vital to our survival against Makuta.”

“So did he stop harassing you after that?” asked Nidhiki.

Vamkoda laughed. “Are you kidding? I think he did it even more. But I took Turaga Vakama’s advice, I stopped taking life so seriously. Sure, Malohi still annoys the Karzahni out of me sometimes—a lot of times really—but I’ve never questioned his heart after that night. I think he might have one of the purest hearts I’ve ever seen.”

“That’s a truly great story, Vamkoda,” said Lhikan. “I can tell he really is a friend.”

“He’s my best friend,” said Vamkoda, realizing that for the first time. “And I’ll always be there to back him up, no matter what.” He suddenly realized something else. “I guess… it’s kind of like you and Nidhiki. Maybe all hearts are not what they appear to be at first.”

Lhikan smiled at his brother Toa. “Yeah, I think you’re right.”

Nidhiki returned the smile. “Well, I don’t think we’re going to find anything else on your nephews today, Lhikan. How about we help Vamkoda round up Malohi?”

“Sounds like a plan. Come on, Vamkoda. Let’s go find your friend.”

“Okay. Can’t wait to see the look on his face when I tell him he’ll be scrubbing that graffiti off that building tomorrow.”

The End

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I’ll admit, I was initially just scrolling through to mark this off my unread, not actually reading it. Then I read a line or two, and before I knew it, was engrossed in the story. So many great nods and references, and an overall fun story.