Silence reigned for a long time after Vakama finished speaking. When it was broken, it was in a most unexpected fashion. Tahu began to laugh.

“A… a grand joke, Turaga,” he said. “Toa owing their power to Makuta… a wonderful tale, but surely not one meant to be taken seriously.”

Vakama looked up at the Toa Nuva of Fire. In that instant, Hahli could swear she saw the rage of the Toa Hordika in his eyes. “This is not a jest, Tahu. This is deadly serious. Even you, who have faced Bohrok and Rahkshi, cannot know what it is to have your very spirit turned against you.” The Turaga dropped his gaze. His voice grew quiet. “But I know. Mata Nui, how I know.”

“Then all of that, everything you and Onewa learned – it was the truth?” asked Gali.

“It was… a truth,” Vakama replied. “But there was more, and worse… much worse… to come.”

“Whatever your origins, Turaga, you wore the mantle of Toa with honor,” offered Kopaka. “You lived by the three Matoran virtues: unity, duty, and destiny, in all that you did. Despite your differences, you stood beside each other and faced every menace as a team.”

Now it was Vakama’s turn to laugh – a long, cold laugh that would haunt the Toa Nuva in their dreams. “There is more to tell,” said the Turaga. “Much more, but it must wait for another night. The stars shine too brightly on this evening, and the fire brings too much warmth. This story is one that must be told on a night as dark as Makuta’s heart, when the cold grips your bones like Zivon’s claws. We will wait for such a night… and then we will continue.”

The Toa Nuva watched him depart, hearing his final words in their mind. We will continue… was it a promise, they wondered. Or was it a threat?

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