The creature deep in slumber, felt the trembling of the earth.
It awoke. This time, there was no mistake.
It is time.
As the thunderous vibrations rocked the cave, another creature stirred, and another. Dozens upon hundreds upon thousands.
They shook off their long, deep sleep. Energy poured through them, along with absolute knowledge. Their duty waited. It was time.
It must be cleaned. It is time. Clean it all.
It is time. All obstacles will be removed.
Clean it all. It must be cleaned.
It is time.
* * *
* * *
“Look!” Pohatu, Toa of Stone, shouted, pointing at a figure revealed by the falling trees. “It’s one of Tahu’s villagers!”
Tahu leaped forward, surprised to find anyone from his fiery village of Ta-Koro so far from home. The Matoran was lying on the ground, his legs trapped by a fallen tree branch. He seemed stunned, and was muttering one word over and over.
Quickly freeing the villager, Tahu leaned closer, trying to hear him. “Speak,” he said. “What brings you so far from Ta-Koro?”
The villager was still babbling, not making any sense.
“What’s he saying?” Gali asked.
The Matoran seemed unaware of the Toa’s presence. He stared blindly ahead, his eyes cloudy with terror.
“Bohrokbohrokbohrokbohrok,” he muttered tonelessly.
“What?” Pohatu stepped closer, looking confused. “What is it? What’s he saying?”
“Little brother!” Lewa said loudly, touching the Matoran on the shoulder. “What is it? What’s wrong? We’re here to help you.”
The Matoran didn’t react. He hardly seemed to pause for breath as he babbled on in the same rapid, frightened voice. “Bohrokbohrokbohrokbohrok…”
“What’s he saying?” Pohatu repeated.
“One word, over and over,” Tahu reported. “Bohrok. I must return to Ta-Koro immediately.”
“We’ll go, Tahu,” Gali spoke up.
Onua nodded. “If there is a threat to your village, it is a threat to all our people.”
Tahu accepted with a quick bow of his head. Then, slinging the Matoran over his shoulder, he gestured for the others to follow.
He raced through the trees and meadows toward the foothills of the Mangai. The others were close behind him.
“I have just one question,” Pohatu said after a few minutes. The Toa had quickly crossed the flatlands and foothills and were now climbing steadily toward the village perched near the topmost slopes of the mountain.
“What’s that?” Gali asked.
“What’s a Bohrok?” Pohatu wondered.
Tahu, who was still in the lead, skidded to a halt. He stood on a ledge overlooking the village of Ta-Koro.
“I fear we have just found out.”