Turaga Vakama and Toa Nuva Tahu looked down on the former site of their home village. Ta-Koro had been a mighty fortress whose walls had never been breached by a foe. But that was before the terrible night when the Rahkshi came, raining destruction down and leaving the village to sink into the lava.
“Why have you brought me here?” asked Tahu. “Surely there was some other secluded spot in which you could tell me your tale of Metru Nui.”
“There are many such spots,” Vakama agreed. “But none that will serve as well as this one. You see, Tahu, this was your home on the island, and now it is gone. When Ta-Koro fell, you felt loss, grief, guilt, rage… isn’t that so?”
“You know it is.”
“Then it is the best place for you to try to understand the history I have to share with you,” the Turaga of Fire continued. “One thousand years ago, there were six heroes, the Toa Metru, of whom I was one. We lived in a great city called Metru Nui. But Makuta struck at our city, and despite our best efforts, the Matoran were imprisoned and the city… the city was damaged worse than we could know.”
Vakama shook his head slowly as the painful memories flooded his mind. “We escaped and found a new home, this island we call Mata Nui. But we had to return to save the Matoran and bring them here. There was no other way.”
“You sound as if you regret doing it,” Tahu said, puzzled. “You were Toa. Protecting the Matoran was your duty. What else could you do but try to rescue them?”
“We could have done it with wisdom!” snapped Vakama. “We could have done it with unity! If we had, perhaps the horror that was the Hordika would never have happened… perhaps the web of the Visorak would never have been spun.”
“Hordika… Visorak… I don’t know these names,” Tahu replied.
“Be glad you do not,” said Vakama. “Be glad they do not haunt your dreams as they have done mine for, lo, these thousand years.”
Vakama reached into his pack and removed a black stone. Tahu knew it well. When stories of the past were told in the sand, this stone represented the evil Makuta, enemy of all Toa and Matoran.
“I don’t understand,” said Tahu. “You and the other Toa Metru defeated Makuta and imprisoned him in an unbreakable shell of solid protodermis. Surely he was not lying in wait for you when you returned to Metru Nui?”
Vakama held up the stone. “No. Tell me, Tahu, have you ever really looked at this Makuta stone? It is no ordinary rock gathered from the beach of Mata Nui. No, it is far more than that. It is… a reminder. And before my tales are done, you will know how it came to be.”
As darkness fell, Vakama began to speak once more of times long past. Tahu sat silently, taking in his words, and fighting a strange sensation. Had he not known better, he would have sworn that the shadows themselves had gathered to listen to Vakama’s tale.