Chapter Twenty One:
It's amassing how much can go on in a short amount of time, Pohatu mused as he shook his head and eased down so not to damage the boardwalk under him, especially here on Mata Nui.
Pohatu yawed widely, stretching as best as his hunched back would let him before relaxing at last after no less than five loops around the island. Sitting in the classic Bionicle pose in front of Lewa's personal storage area he settled down, planning on not getting up for at least a few hours and a nap.
Most of the time the Toa, and Turaga to a point, would make use of their younger Kora sibling to run to the different Koros for whatever reason for them. Mostly since the Toa were either patrolling or sent on a mission by the Turaga and the Kora were used to get a stronger back up if need (normally it wasn't, as well that Toa and Kora could link). Yet last night with the somewhat chaotic hunt for huminos that slipped into Le-Koro.
It had been annoyingly difficult until Kopaka and then later Lewa joined the hunt. Mostly it had been the- if the pun could be forgiven- the icy wrath of a slightly over protective brother that had not only found the cave/den of the mutated monsters, but incased everything inside in that deep-stasis kind of ice after finding out that the huminos had broken Tala's mask out of spite.
A new mask was being made in Ta-Koro, one of the errands Pohatu had done and now Tala was off annoying Tahu while she waited for the mask makers. For some reason a game had started between the Matoran to make the best new Rau that would make Vakama proud.
But, all that aside now, the stone elemental was happy to relax at the moment and essentially zone out. At least until someone attempted to edge around his bulk, only not to watch where they were going. Used to the rather amazing dives, tumbles and accidents that came from his village's more rambunctious spot nuts, Pohatu had a pretty good reflex of grabbing up someone Matoran size to save them for whatever reason.
"Careful," Pohatu chuckled, "Don't want to fall over in Le-Koro."
Major Charter brushed her clothes off of pollen, not dust, she was in her uniform pants (for the great need of pockets for all her new samples) and a skin-tight black under shirt. It was a must now not to be in full gear because of the day time heat of the rainforest day, the morning mists have long since burned off. Her hat had her camera rigged up to it for her lengthy lesions all morning in the Le-Koro medical level with go Le- and Ga-Matoran healers. "Thank you...Po..."
"Pohatu," The Toa smiled as he supplied his name, aware from the trip he took with the Kora and a few of the other Nuva awhile ago...and the Kora's reports of humans in general, he knew some of the most normal Matoran words were hard for humans to remember or pronounce.
"I didn't mean to run into your foot..." Sam smiled despite herself, she had been thinking of asking Kern to take her to a grove of trees Sam had just herd of 'in class.'
"It's fine, better that you run into me than I run you over." Pohatu grinned broadly at the look he got, he paused and noted the added things that hadn't been on the woman the night before, "Looks like you got caught by the musicians at some point."
Carter smiled, "Earlier this morning. Do Matoran ever sleep?"
"Whenever they're tired." Pohatu said amiably shifting until his permanently hunched back was as comfortable as he could be leaning back against the side of the door to the storage area.
It took a split second, where Samantha did a quick calculation and the fact that Pohatu was one of the more approachable of the Toa. Despite the un-nerving size difference between the guardians of this amazing island and the people (as well as SG1), the Major stepped closer. Resting a hand carefully on a bent, brown colored knee of the Toa, "What happened?"
"Hmmm?" The stone giant didn't turn his full attention back to the human for a few moments it took him to squint at a flying Rahi, making sure it wasn't an danger. Or worse a Nui-Rama scout, since those things liked to readily test the defenses of Le-Koro. "Happened? Nothing, just been running all night and need a sit down."
"I meant," Samantha motioned to the Toa's hunched form with one hand.
Pohatu blinked his orange and red eyes at the Major a few times, his expression not blank but interestedly confused. Then something seemed to click in the back of his mind, "Oh! This?" He jerked a thumb over his shoulder, meaning his back, and once he got a nod, Pohatu smiled ruefully with a light shrug. "I broke my back."
"You broke your back?" Samantha asked as her eyes widened. Knowing that with humans and most other organic beings and creatures that once the spinal structure was broke or shattered the being or creature in question was generally dead. At that moment a tiny click from the camera that meant it just ran out of memory and automatically shut down.
At the confusion and worry of the other worlder he reached down to brush the backs of his claws on Samantha's side and arm, "It was a long, long time ago little one. I have more than healed since then." Of course there was the fact that Pohatu like his brother Nuva couldn't remember the time before their island that well, thus Pohatu didn't know when or how he'd broken his back... Not that he was going to mention that to the humans. It was a kind of island wide understanding, along with some other things.
"That's good," Samantha said, managing not to say 'amazing' for fear of possibly insulting the Toa that, when standing, the Major didn't even clear his knee. Samantha reached out to touch the armor of the closer leg, but jumped as she saw a form standing in the storage room. He was bigger than even Onua, silver and gray armored with a blue visor over the eyes and... and...
...and no face?
Pohatu had turned automatically as the human jumped, his climbing claws that were attached to his wrists flexing back to a hocking possession, "Oh, don't mind the Exo-Toa." He said with understanding, turning back to smile reassuringly at Carter. Or he hoped it was reassuring since humans had a funny way of smiling.
"Who...what is an Exo-Toa?" Major Carter, now that she could see the new 'person' wasn't a person at and standing in a storage area too still to be alive (even the Bionicle being half mechanical still had many little movements, like breathing) was relaxing from her start and understandably cursing inwardly. Of all the times to run out of memory for the camera!
"Automated, external armor." Pohatu said shuffling a little so he could motion up at the still Exo-Toa, "That's Lewa's, looks like was in for repairs or a check up." The Toa heaved himself up, and motioned for the human to come closer. Pohatu spoke in a Toa sub dialect that the translation stone couldn't translate.
Samantha jumped as the massive thing moved on its own, widening its stance, arms lifting and then...it split apart. The Exo-armor opened up, showing that it was hallow... no not hallow exactly, the silvery inside gave the illusion of being larger than it should. Then again the Major remembered the unusually adept manipulation of subspace such as those personal storage pocks the Bionicle had, it wasn't that much of a stretch. "What do you use it…or them- since you said this was Lewa's- for?"
Pohatu smiled obviously approving of the correct guess and in one quick move he has twisted around slide into the armor. At once the Exo-Toa closed, conforming and altering itself to fit snugly around the stone elemental and his hunched back.
"We used them, to fight the Makuta and his minions." Pohatu said, his voice having a slightly echoing tone as he moved, the armor making soft sounds as it was controlled as if a part of his body. He spoke that word again and the Exo-Toa stepped back before opening again to let Pohatu out, shaking his shoulders free and giving the command for it to return to its silent watching of the space out beyond the door. In truth it was the direction that the Ramma Nui came from most of the time and a clear view of the space between the two trees that hosted Le-Koro and the surrounding forest. "You want to try?" he asked, an unreadable look in his multi colored eyes.