His tale finished, Turaga Vakama sat down. Tahu Nuva was the first to speak. “I see that the shape of victory was perhaps not so easy to recognize on Metru Nui, as it has been here. Still, I am sure the Matoran applauded your achievements.”

Vakama shook his head. “They were never to hear this story, Toa of Fire. We sealed the cracks we had come to find, then departed from the tunnels. On the way, we decided that it would serve no purpose to share our experiences with others. Whenua offered to warn the Matoran to be careful where they dug in future, to avoid harming the natural life below.”

“But if it was a menace –?” said Kopaka Nuva.

“It was defending its home against an invader, much as you did against the Bohrok,” replied Vakama. “Now that it knew that one could not hope to defeat six, it would not threaten the surface world again. Or so we believed…”

“That, then, is the lesson of this tale,” said Hahli. “When the Toa stand together, no force can overcome them.”

Vakama gave the Chronicler a smile of approval. “Very good. That is half the lesson learned. What is the rest?”

Hahli had no answer. The Toa Nuva looked at each other, equally puzzled. Finally, Lewa spoke up. “Stay topside. The underground is a nasty-dark place.”

The Toa Nuva – even Kopaka – had to smile at that. Vakama chuckled and said, “No, Toa of Air, although there is truth in that as well. We learned it is not enough just to trust – one must trust wisely. Nuju trusted the sight of Nokama and so wound up in an embrace of stone. The Krahka took our friendship and our reliance upon each other and used it as a tool against us.”

The Turaga of Fire leaned forward and spoke with quiet urgency. “Trust not in what you see and hear, Toa Nuva. Trust in what your mind and heart tell you. That is something which, even after this adventure, the Toa Metru had still not grasped completely.”

Vakama’s expression turned grim. “And it is a lesson that cost us dearly. Very dearly.”

“So what happened next?” asked Jaller. “Did you ever make it to the Coliseum? Were you recognized as heroes?”

“After we emerged from the tunnels, we decided to return to our own metru briefly to ensure our Matoran friends were safe. We also needed to secure some of the loose ends of our old lives before leaving them behind forever. Those are stories for another day. But, yes, we did finally come to the Coliseum to present ourselves to Turaga Dume and the Matoran assembled.”

“And –?” asked Takanuva, Toa of Light, eagerly.

“I can see you will not be content until you have heard the tale in full,” Vakama said softly. “Very well, my friends. I will share with you the legends of Metru Nui…”

The Turaga would talk long into the night, recalling for the Toa Nuva a world they had never known.

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