Spares - a Mata Nui short story

Ever wondered why certain Mata Nui Matoran switched masks when they appeared in MNOG2, choosing an otherwise uncommon Kanohi? This story offers a possible explanation. Enjoy!

SPARES

Nuparu was no stranger to fear. Too many times had he found himself at the mercy of wild Rahi or some other creature who threatened to end his life. But no matter how real the danger was, he never let himself be swallowed by panic.

As he stared at the broken black Komau on the floor of his hut, however, panic became a very real possibility for him.

“I … am so … sorr-.”

As he faced the mask’s former owner, his heartlight nearly went out again. Nuhrii was an exposed torso suspended in mid-air, his armour stripped down to his organic insides. He was next in line to receive the rebuild every Matoran was to receive after Naming Day. Despite rebuilding dozens of Matoran already, the sight of one in such a state still made Nuparu jump. Nuhrii’s maskless expression of horror and anger didn’t help.

This is what happened: Nuhrii had complained to the engineer of a fault in one of his optical sensors. Nuparu had removed his mask so he could have a closer look, placing the Komau on the ground nearby. As he reached for his tools, however, he accidentally knocked over a piece of a broken down Boxor. This piece landed on the mask, shattering it beyond recognition.

Nuparu now had to quickly find a replacement. Still stunned by the sight of Nuhrii, the engineer completely forgot about his unfinished apology to the Ta-Matoran.

“Do you, uhm, …” he finally spoke with some difficulty, “… have any requests regarding your new mask?”

Nuhrii visibly relaxed as he pondered which mask to choose. “Can I get a Hau?”

“I’ll check the pile,” answered Nuparu. He hurried towards the room where he kept the spare Kanohi, jumping over the disassembled parts of inactive Bohrok on the floor.

“A black one, if possible!” called the Ta-Matoran from his chamber.

“I’ll see what I can find!” called Nuparu back. He began to rummage through the assortment of masks which, he soon found, had massively decreased in size since he last had to pay it a visit. He searched for black Haus but couldn’t find any. Then he tried to search for Haus in other colours, again with no success. It seemed there was only one type of mask left in the pile. Resigned, Nuparu grabbed the first black coloured Kanohi he saw. This’ll have to do, he thought and returned to the chamber to face Nuhrii.

“Did you find it?” enquired the Ta-Matoran.

Nuparu cleared his throat. “Well …”


***

Nuhrii walked noiselessly into the Ta-Koro square, trying not to catch the attention of his fellow tribesmen. Unfortunately for him, everyone seemed to be looking at him. At the Suva, Keahi and some of his comrades were conversing. As Nuhrii came past, their conversation turned into a series of giggles. Keahi decided to speak up.

“Going for a swim, are we Nuhrii?”

The comment left the group of Ta-Koro guardsmen in hysterics. Nuhrii shot them an angry look and continued on his way. That stupid Onu-Matoran, he thought to himself. Breaking my Komau was one thing. But replacing it with a Kaukau, of all masks, now that is the work of Karzahni! Nuhrii continued to fume as a couple of visiting Po-Matoran hewers passed him. One of them broke free of the group and stopped where Nuhrii was standing, eyeing the Ta-Matoran with curiosity. He too was wearing a Kaukau.

“Hey, Kivi!” his compatriots called behind him. “Are you coming or not?”

“In a minute!” the Po-Matoran called back. He turned his attention back to Nuhrii.

“Let me guess,” Kivi asked, pointing at Nuhrii’s new mask. “It was the only one left?”

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