Three days from now…
Toa Mahri Hahli sat on the shore of Metru Nui’s silver sea and gazed sadly out at the water. She had always hoped to see this city again, and its people – but even in her worst nightmares, she had never expected to return with the tale she brought.
Kopeke, a Ko-Matoran, walked slowly up to her and sat down without saying a word. Once the residents of Metru Nui learned Hahli had become a Toa, it was necessary that one of their number be appointed to act as Chronicler in her place. The choice of the city elders had been Kopeke, long a trusted aide to Turaga Nuju. He adjusted his mask and then waited in silence for Hahli to begin to speak.
“I don’t envy you,” the Toa Mahri of Water said finally. “When Takua was Chronicler, he wrote of many victories and many defeats. One of the first events I had to record during my time in the post was the destruction of the village of Ta-Koro. But never did I think such a tragic history as this would ever need to be written. Still, Turaga Nokama says sometimes the best way to make sadness go away is to let it float from you on a tide of words.”
Kopeke nodded, but said nothing. He was never the most social of Matoran, and this situation clearly made him uncomfortable. Still, the Turaga felt the so-often-silent Matoran was the best choice for the job of Chronicler – after all, it is impossible to learn anything while you are speaking.
Hahli took a deep breath. She knew it was getting close to the time that she would have to leave Ga-Metru and join her friends for the memorial in the Coliseum. But how she would make it through that ceremony, she had no idea.
“It happened… so fast,” she said. “One moment, he was there in front of me… the next…”
She paused, the words hard to come by. Kopeke looked away, not sure what he should do in this situation. “You know, Jaller always used to say that Toa were invincible, because the things they stand for – unity, duty, and destiny – are invincible,” Hahli continued. “Oh, we had seen them injured, even defeated temporarily, but somehow they – we – always stood to fight again. Even in the worst moments, I thought surely we would win out and return home again. That’s what Toa do, isn’t it? That’s what heroes do.”
Kopeke didn’t know how to respond. Even knowing that most Toa began their lives as Matoran, he had always thought of them as something different. They were better, stronger, more capable, and able to handle any problem. Seeing one so troubled and in so much pain shook him more than he wanted to admit. But he knew he had a job to do, an important job – to make sure no one ever forgot what happened in the depths of the Pit.
“If you write nothing else, Chronicler, write this,” said Hahli. “Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory. Sometimes, he has to make a sacrifice so that a lot of people – people he’s never even met, and who don’t know his name – can live.”
Kopeke scratched her words down on a stone tablet, and then waited expectantly. After a few more moments, Hahli began to speak again, her words transporting the Chronicler to the black water beneath Mahri Nui and a time only a few days past…