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500 years ago…

I have lost count of the years – the many, countless years I’ve spent on this dreadful place. The days are so dark and dreary, each like the one that came before. It’s always so cold and yet, the air is hot, scorching hot. What am I saying? This land has always been like this. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a clear day, if ever. For once, let the sky be filled with large, white clouds, and the clear blue beyond be washed in sunshine. Far too long I have hoped for cool water to bathe in, warm sunshine to bask in, and air. Oh, how I would love to breathe in cool, fresh air. But what do we get? Poison. Voya Nui is where I am. It’s an island, not the paradise that might come to your mind. It’s a harsh and desolate place; completely deprived of life, save my few fellow Matoran. This land burns and freezes, a never-ending torture. Tourists used to come, but that was a time far, far ago. But perhaps it’s for the best, as they wouldn’t have to suffer like us. Our Turaga died many years ago, a time long ago that I have forgotten. Everything seems hopeless; I try my best to find food, water, and to help out the Matoran, but I never feel like it’s actually doing any good. I wish that for one day… Just one, everything could go the way I want… But it never ends that way. The world is cruel and unfair, as Piruk points out sometimes, all the time really. I have wasted enough time writing, I need to go scout for water, which I am craving terribly now.

-Kazi

The Ko-Matoran placed down his pen, and stared at the tablet for a moment as he read it over. He sighed, still feeling aggrieved, waiting for a good thing to happen. But he shouldn’t complain, as he knew it would never happen. Stretching, he slowly got up and headed out of his hut, eyes set upon the ground as he rubbed the side of his mask with thought.

“Kazi, come back to Voya Nui!” The voice was clearly noted as Dalu, rushed and persistent to the point. Kazi looked at her and made a grumpy puffing noise.

“But that’s the problem, I don’t want to go back to that terrible place.”

“Well, quit complaining and make the best of it.” Dalu smiled, eyes bright. Kazi couldn’t resist agreeing, but these thoughts still drifted upon the Matoran’s mind. He nodded dryly.

“Fine, fine… And what’s the situation?”

“Nothing now…”

“Dalu, there’s always something happening.”

She shook her head and started rubbing her hands together. “Nothing yet.”

“Yet,” Kazi replied. “I’m off to find Garan, know where he is?”

“Probably at his hut, last time I checked,” Dalu replied.

“I need to head off. I also heard that some of the Matoran were having some trouble with Rahi; they say they’re acting pretty restless.”

“Who wouldn’t in this place?”

Kazi grinned. “Oh, try to be a little more encouraging?”

Dalu rolled her eyes. “Eh, never mind. Bye.”

Kazi walked down the old road toward Garan’s hut, not many Matoran were out: most were trying to search for food, or inside, resting before it was time to go back to work. It was a sorry sight; the place looked like some ghost town, cold, windy, and empty. Kazi tripped over a rock and slightly stumbled a few feet. He stopped and looked at the little crooked rock and mumbled something to it. Nearing his destination, he noticed the sky was darker, a stormy dark look unlike its usual depressed clouds. Big clouds loomed over, and then the cold wind came. Yeah, it just had to get worse, Kazi thought. Or maybe a good storm would do us good…

“Kazi, Kazi!” a voice called from behind. The Ko-Matoran spun around to see Garan running up with an old Ta-Matoran. Garan’s expression was full of worriment and alert. Uh oh, Garan has that expression again. Something bad just happened. Or will soon.

“What?”

Garan came up and took a deep breath, “We have a problem.”

“Oh, like what?”

“A big one.”

Kazi stood silent on a large cliff facing out to the ocean, where the waves were hitting hard against the cliff, and in the far distance, he could see something. He couldn’t really describe it, but something was happening in the clouds.

“Well, what is that?” Kazi asked in an impatient and sarcastic manner.

The Matoran with Garan was knowledgeable about the weather. He could usually tell beforehand when certain storms were going to happen from changes in the environment.

“It’s not any normal storm,” he pointed out, “though these storms are pretty common, I think, in certain places. Usually, I’d think we’re too down south to get it but…”

“Just tell me, what in the world is it?” Kazi snapped.

Garan gave him a rude stare, but the Matoran ignored his pushy attitude.

“A hurricane.”

Wind blew harder, and this time Kazi had to put his hand over his eyes, so little rocks and dirt wouldn’t get in them.

“A what?”

“It’s a massive storm,” explained the Ta-Matoran. “Its winds are terribly strong, blowing away almost anything in its path. Not to mention the occasional hail and flooding afterward.”

“How did you know about this?”

“It happened long ago… Though not many remember. And most alive then didn’t survive it.”

Garan was shocked. “Well, what if it passes us?”

“That’s a good thing. If it does hit us… We may be in a lot of trouble.”

“Better safe than sorry,” Kazi said, walking further up the cliff to get a better view at the large clouds out in the sea. “We need to get the Matoran to a safe area.”

“There will be no safe place,” replied the aged Ta-Matoran. “It will go right over this island. Sometimes hurricanes are not that bad, but sometimes they are very fatal.”

Kazi sighed and turned around, looking back at the village. “Then let’s at least try to do the best we can.”

Well, a hurricane is coming. A vicious and deadly storm, from what my friend has told me. But maybe the Great Spirit will be kind… But they never really have? We Matoran here feel so much on our own. Oh I wish, just wish, we had a great mighty Toa to come to our aid; I bet they would know what to do. But until then, we have our own plans to stick with. Garan said it would be wise to move the village east, as we think that area would be less likely to get badly damaged. I was thinking of staying in some caves while the storm passes, but Garan said we’d be in danger of a cave-in. So right now I am completely lost… I guess writing this won’t help the Matoran any, so why do I keep wasting my time with this?

-Kazi

Later that day, Kazi and Garan explained the problem to the rest of the Matoran, to the degree that they became worried. But they lived such hard lives, they really didn’t understand how bad this could be.

“We are going further east, where it should be safer,” Garan called out.

“Safer?” a Matoran retorted back, snorting. “There’s no safe place to go, a hurricane will wipe out the whole island!”

Kazi grimaced, “We WILL travel east unless you want to die. There are caves in that direction, hopefully, that can help us out during the storm.”

Everyone became silent, trying to think of a comeback or struggling to decide if it was wise. Finally, Dalu stepped out of the crowd, and nodded at Kazi. “I will come with you.”

She then looked back at the others. “We must work together, help each other. We must have unity! That is how we will survive this, and more hardships in the future. We need each other.”

Not but a few moments after, Dalu’s short but strong words brought everyone around. With many nods and even a few cheers, they were ready.

Kazi smiled slightly, then continued. “Then let’s hop to it. Everyone get what you need, and we’ll leave as soon as possible.”

The Matoran gave a hopeful look as they left to prepare, but it was clear they still had reservations about this plan. Kazi took a deep breath and jumped off the large rock he was standing on with Garan. He saw Dalu waiting.

“Thanks for that help,” Kazi said, smiling at Dalu.

“Oh, it’s no big deal. Just need to throw them some strong and encouraging words… Sometimes.”

“Surprising for you,” Kazi replied teasingly. “Now let’s get ready…”

It was raining now, and the winds were getting stronger. It was strange how one moment it was silent and peaceful (well, as peaceful as it ever got on Voya Nui), and the next a nightmare. The clouds were as dark as night, and thunder shook the ground with surprising force. Though worst of all was the wind: you could just tell it wouldn’t be long before it started blowing down trees and making a mess. How powerful the mighty air could be at times.

The Voya Nui Matoran had been walking nonstop for what seemed like days. They had made good progress toward their destination, but it still seemed so far away. They had to start traveling over rocky areas now, which was a good sign of nearing the caves. A little while later, they saw the large caves ahead. They seemed strong enough to keep the Matoran safe, and if there was a cave-in, were there not plenty of Matoran to dig their way out?

Kazi was helping some of the Matoran up the steep ledge when Piruk ran up. He looked worried, and kept scratching his weapons together and looking around, as if he was searching for someone.

The Ko-Matoran jumped down beside his friend and looked him in the eye. “What’s the problem?”

“Err. Oh, nothing…”

“Tell me.”

Piruk took a deep breath. “But…”

“Now!”

“Ok, ok! Goodness, keep your mask on,” Piruk replied with a wave of his hand. “Don’t get mad at me please, I told her not to…”

“Told who?”

“Umm, Dalu. She wanted to see the hurricane and she said she would meet us back here if anything went wrong.”

Kazi stared at him for the longest time. He couldn’t blame Piruk: once Dalu was focused on something, you couldn’t get her to change her mind.

“I’m going after her,” Kazi finally said.

“What? You can’t go alone, let me go, it was my fault for not telling anyone.”

“No, I can’t risk anyone else getting hurt. Go tell Garan what I am doing… after I leave.”

Piruk nodded, “Ok, hurry, the storm is already looking bad here…”

Kazi ran faster than he could ever imagine, his eyes filled with panic. Where was Dalu? She couldn’t have gone too far. Was she really this insane? These thoughts ran through his mind over and over, as he wondered if she… or even he… would make it out of this mess.

As he left a charred area of the woods, he saw her: up ahead on a small cliff overlooking the massive sea stood Dalu, her eyes wide with wonder at the approaching storm. Kazi gasped and ran over. In a second he had grabbed her arm and was about to pull her off the cliff and back to safer land, but Dalu’s fast reflexes caught the Ko-Matoran off guard.

“Oh Kazi, you scared me!” she said, looking at him with a weak smile. “Sorry, I was following you and I got…”

“Distracted?” Kazi snapped. “Dalu, what in the world are you doing? We have to get back to the others.”

“But look at it! How can anything be so large… so mighty and scary? How can something like that just appear out of nowhere?”

“We can talk about those questions after it’s over,” Kazi replied. “Please, we need to –”

Suddenly, thunder boomed, making the two Matoran fall to the ground. A large surge of wind roared through the air. Kazi, who had covered his face, now looked up to see a tree teeter back and forth a few times, then crack.

“DALU!” Kazi yelled as loud as possible through the storm. The female Matoran looked up slowly to see the tree, and with a startled shriek, tried in vain to get up in time to move out of the way, fighting the powerful wind. With what little strength he had left, Kazi pushed himself up, grabbed her hand, and yanked her out of the way. The tree hit the ground where she had been less than a second before, and the impact shook the ground, sending the Ko-Matoran over the edge of the overhang.

Kazi desperately tried to hold on to the ground, but the wind blew harder and something hit his face, causing him to lose his grip. He felt himself slowly floating, then, with terrifying jolt, he started to fall at great speed toward the seemingly bottomless fall. He could faintly see the rocks and the deadly cold sea. Was this the end? Had this been his fate? He closed his eyes, waiting for everything to turn black…

A faded red and silver figure set the knocked out Matoran behind a large rock not far from where he had fallen. Sooner or later, he knew Dalu would find the Ko-Matoran, and hopefully, they would find safety. But Axonn would be ready to help at any time.

A cool drip of water splattered against his face, then again it happened. Kazi weakly opened his eyes. Everything around him was blurry. Where was he? Was he in some other land beyond life? Finally, everything became clear: he was laying in some mossy part of the woods. It was still faintly dark, but through trees he could see light.

“You’re up!” a voice called out. Kazi turned to see the overjoyed expression of Dalu. She ran over and hugged him.

“Oh, thank the spirits you’re awake!” she cried. “It’s amazing how you escaped that. I thought you were dead.”

“I… I don’t remember how I saved myself from that fall,” Kazi stammered with shock, “I thought you did…”

She shook her head. “No… But don’t worry about it, ok? You’re alive, and that’s all that matters. Just take it as a… gift from Mata Nui.”

Kazi was a logical thinker, and knew there was no way that he was saved simply by ‘magic’. Someone saved him…

“Come on,” she said. “If you’re up to it, I’d like to find the other Matoran and head back to village. The hurricane is well over, besides some rain and cloudy skies.”

“What time is it?” Kazi questioned, as he stood up.

“Little past noon I think; it just recently stopped storming. But come!”

They met up with the rest of the Matoran and Garan halfway there. Garan was really glad to see the two were well, and he said that all went fine.

“Scary, but we lived,” Garan said. “Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen again.”

After that, they continued back down to the village, worried about what had happened.

Kazi was speechless upon seeing the place. Rooftops were blown off, trees had fallen on many of the houses, and some were beyond repair. Not only that, the place was horribly flooded.

“Well, at least we have water,” Piruk said quietly.

“The water will dry up before we can use it,” Kazi sighed. “Oh, this is hopeless.”

He sat down on the nearest rock, and put his hands on his mask, “Why did this have to happen… Why did any of this have to happen? Why couldn’t we have lived a normal life with a Turaga and watchful Toa, living in some wonderful place? Were we put here just to be laughed at by the Great Spirit?!” he yelled out, looking at the sky, a mix of anger and sadness in his voice.

Dalu walked over and looked at him. “But we have something special, something that will always help us through this troubled mess.”

“Oh?” Kazi said, looking at her with a weary expression.

“Hope,” she said, “that in the future we will be free of this curse, that tomorrow will bring more hope as we walk on, with our heads up high. Let us not be troubled or put down by this, for that is what despair wants.”

She bent down and looked at him with a smile. “Hope that all the Matoran will have love and friendship, to the bitter or brighter end. That there will always be good, no matter how evil the world, and there will always be light, no matter how dark it may seem.”

Kazi was taken aback by Dalu’s wise words; he never knew she was capable of such a wonderful speech.

“Come on,” she said, holding out a hand. “Let’s start helping the others rebuild.”

The hurricane is over… It wasn’t as bad as we feared, but still caused a lot of damage. All of the Matoran are rebuilding our village, maybe even better than before. The hurricane brought lots of death and despair. But as Dalu said, there will always be hope shining somewhere, and it will always be lit if there are Matoran, Toa, and many more in this world that will let it shine, and believe in it. Love, Friendship and Hope… I guess it’s just another way of saying… Unity, Duty and Destiny.

-Kazi

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