Gali Nuva stood on a rock, looking out over Lake Naho. Her mind was troubled. It had been only a few days since the other Toa Nuva had decided to break up the team. She had pleaded with them to change their minds, reminding them that their destiny was to fight side by side. What would happen to Mata Nui if some new danger arose, and the Toa Nuva were not united against it?
No one had listened. Tahu Nuva and Kopaka Nuva were both proud and stubborn and the tension between them had reached a breaking point. As for the others… with the Bohrok defeated, and Makuta seemingly gone for good, they saw no reason to suffer each others’ company any longer.
The sound of waves crashing against the coastline pulled her abruptly from her reverie. The waters of the lake had grown angry, more so than she had ever seen before. Each successive wave was higher and more powerful than the last. The Toa of water knew that at this rate the tide would soon threaten Ga-Koro itself.
She mustered her concentration and reached out with her mind to calm the waves. She had done this dozens of times before. It required a relatively small fraction of her power, but perfect calm on her part – so closely was she tied to the waters of Mata Nui that her anger or grief could affect them without her even being aware.
Her mind touched the waters – and nothing happened. It was not that the waves resisted her, as they had when Makuta was asserting his dominance over nature. It seemed as if they simply did not hear her call.
With a knot of fear growing in her breast, she reached out to the ponds and streams of the island, even to the moisture in the air. There was no response. The waters had grown deaf…
Or I have grown mute, she thought, her fear growing.
Lewa’s eyes flew open. He realized he had closed them to shut out the view of the hard ground rushing toward him. “Oof!” he cried as his descent was suddenly stopped just above the ground.
For a second all he could see was a feathery neck. He clung to it, realizing he was still moving downward – but at a much safer speed.
“Are you okay, Toa?” a breathless voice asked.
“Kongu?” Lewa said. “Is that you?”
“It’s me and Ka,” the Matoran responded. “It looked like you were in troublebad, so we upflew to check.”
“Thank you, bravebrother,” Lewa said as he finally realized it was the beating wings and strong body of Ka the Gukko that had stopped his free fall. He glanced at Kongu, who was perched on the large bird’s back. “I – I know not what wronghappened, but the wind didn’t answer my herecall.”
With a squawk, Ka glided in for a landing, depositing Lewa on the swampy ground.
“What do you mean, Toa?” Kongu asked. “How could the airwind not respond to you?”
Lewa shook his head. “I don’t know, little brother,” he said. “It has not happened before.”
Not wanting to think about it anymore just then, he grabbed a vine and swung up into the village. Kongu followed aboard Ka.
As he landed on the main platform, Lewa saw that the villagers were clustered together, their eyes and voices full of fear.
“Don’t worryfret, little ones,” he called, assuming that they were concerned for his safety. “I’m all right.”
Matau rushed up to him, his eyes wild and frightened. “I’m gladhearted to hear that, Toa,” he said. “But I’m afraid there is other wrongnews. Your power icon has been stolen!”
“This creature,” Onua Nuva said patiently, “what did it look like?”
The Onu-Matoran standing before him, a sturdy villager named Onepu, bowed his head. “It was large,” he reported. “But I prepared to fight it.”
Onua nodded. “Go on.”
“I – I know not how else to describe it,” Onepu said, his voice shaking slightly. “It was hideous – terrifying. Its body had a metallic sheen, and its claws were huge. I shouted for help, knowing I could not hold it off for long on my own. Then it – it spoke to me.”
He was silent for a long moment. Onua waited, gathering his patience.
Finally Onepu continued. “Its words were as metallic and cold as its body,” he said, his voice twisted with horror. “It told me to step aside so that it might claim its prize. When I would not, it – it began to breathe in. Within seconds, it had sucked away all of the air within the suva. I tried to hold my post, but with no air I found myself helpless. It pushed past me and grabbed the icon – and then it was gone.”
Onua turned the story over and over in his mind. Who was this new, mysterious enemy with such strange and disturbing powers? What did it want with Onua’s power symbol?
“What does it mean, Toa?” Onepu asked meekly. “Why did it happen?”
“I thought these icons were merely that – symbols of we Toa’s elemental powers, artistic tributes to our destiny,” Onua said slowly, allowing the careful logic of his thoughts to unfold aloud. “But now I see that the icons actually held these powers within them. As long as my icon remained in the village, my power remained strong. Now that the symbol is gone, so are my powers.”
It was an uncomfortable feeling. Onua was accustomed to being the strongest of the strong. Now he was left helpless – and it seemed that a powerful new enemy had appeared on Mata Nui.
Just when we thought Makuta’s forces were stamped out for good… Onua thought. He recalled Gali’s words earlier that day. As usual, she had been right – she had been the only one with the wisdom to realize that Makuta would not be finished with them yet.
“What should we do now?” Onepu asked. “Should I call out the Ussal forces and go after the thief?”
“Not just yet,” Onua said. “Go tell the Turaga what has happened. I’d better check in with the other Toa Nuva. Together we will decide what to do.”