I apologise for how long it's taken to get, well, anything up, though if it's any consolation the only thing I've posted on deviantART lately is a random satirical piece about the internet. :/ Curse you, reality. Curse you.
So yeah, here we have the end of Visitors. FINALLY. This is based on an idea given by InTheLight-Hija a while back. It's changed a lot (for which I apologise), but I still credit her since her original idea was what spawned this. It feels rushed to me, but that may just be me being nitpicky. (I have a tendancy to compare myself to professional authors and I'm still nowhere as good as my idol :( oh well.)
As for the song...go listen to it. It could've been written for Matoro's death scene. Seriously.
Also, Hafu. XD
This is the end of Visitors, so thank you to all of you who reviewed this or added it to their favourites or watch, especially InTheLight-Hija and Mazula, who have been there since the beginning. :) Thanks guys.
ONWARD TO GLORY!
Bionicle belongs to LEGO, and the song "Bright Eyes" belongs to Art Garfunkel because he's awesome.
Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Finale: Bright Eyes
Kopeke surveyed his new home. It was far too warm here. Not for the first time, he missed Ko-Koro. It was cold there, and quiet, and perfectly suited to his tastes. This 'Spherus Magna'...even if this was where the Matoran belonged, he still felt out of place.
To make matters worse, Matoro's statue was gone. When Makuta's head was destroyed, Metru Nui was damaged beyond repair, along with much on the island. This included the new Wall of History, the Coliseum, and, most importantly in Kopeke's opinion, Matoro's memorial statue.
It wasn't as though he could simply recarve it, either. Though no longer desert conditions, the climate they currently lived in was too warm for an ice sculpture year-round. It tugged at Kopeke's heartlight, but there wasn't much he could do about it.
Or was there?
An idea started to form in Kopeke's mind. Absurd as it was, Kopeke decided to give it a shot. He would need some help, though. The Chronicler whistled for his Ussal, Pewku, who came running. He climbed on and they headed off in search of their first assistant.
After all, Kopeke thought, what is there to lose?
Ehrye was exploring his new home when Kopeke found him. "What do you want?" Ehrye asked gruffly.
Kopeke slid off Pewku's back and kept his eyes trained firmly on the ground. He hated asking people he didn't like for help... "I need some help," he finally replied quietly.
The ridges on Ehrye's mask shot up in surprise. "You want my help?" The world's gone topsy-turvy, he thought.
Kopeke nodded, then explained his plan. Ehrye looked impressed. "Okay, but where do I fit in?"
"I need you to deliver a message to Toa Jaller. I have other errands to run, and I will not have time to make my request in person."
"Fine, fine. What's the message?"
Kopeke told him, and Ehrye nodded. "Fine, I'll ask him. But why me?"
"You are a messenger," Kopeke stated. "It is your job." He turned and re-mounted Pewku. As he was about to leave a scowling Ehrye, he added, "Also...Matoro would not have wanted quarrelling between us." Then he was gone.
Ehrye stared after him, then shook his head and went in search of Jaller. Sometimes he wished Matoro was still around, if only so that someone could understand what was going on in Kopeke's head.
Even though it was no longer necessary, most Matoran grouped themselves together by element. It was mostly out of habit, but it meant that finding Hafu amongst all his fellow Po-Matoran was more difficult than Kopeke had originally thought.
Finally, he found him at the far end of the new Po-Koro, the small bit of desert left behind when Mata Nui and the Ignika restored Bara Magna to its original state. He was working on making a new kolhii field—Po-Matoran did love their sports, after all.
Hafu grinned at the approaching Chronicler. "Can you tell what it is yet?" he asked cheekily.
"A kolhii field," Kopeke replied, dismounting from Pewku. "I need some help."
Hafu's grin widened. "Sure! What do you need?"
Kopeke chose his words carefully. "You have carved almost every type of material in existence, correct?"
The artist puffed out his chest. "Well, I don't like to brag, but yeah. Limestone, granite, soapstone, pumice, and of course protodermis, to name a few. I've even tried my hand at ice carving a couple times. You're still the pro at that, though." Kopeke gave a tiny smile at the compliment. "Why do you ask?"
The Ko-Matoran took a breath. "How much do you know about carving glass?"
Toa Jaller gave Ehrye a confused look. "What does Kopeke want glass for?"
"To make an ice carving," Ehrye replied, like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Jaller couldn't help but point out one tiny detail. "Shouldn't he be using ice, then?"
"That would melt in this heat." There was an unspoken 'duh' hanging off the end of that sentence, like at the end of many sentences spoken by Ko-Matoran.
Jaller rubbed his temples. "Okay, fine, I'll make him some glass. Later. I'm on guard duty for the next few hours."
"Oh, come on! It'll take ten minutes! Can't you get someone to cover for you?"
"Rrg. Okay, fine." He spotted Takanuva passing by. "Hey! Taka! Can you cover me for a couple minutes?"
Takanuva made disapproving clicking noises as he approached. "Shirking on the job, Jaller? And here I thought you were the responsible one!"
"I really don't need this from you," Jaller snapped. He was getting a headache and it was making him grumpy. "Just stand here, okay?"
Takanuva grinned and waved as they ran off. "Have fun!"
Mata Nui was vaguely aware of what was going on around him—or more specifically, around the Mask of Life—as he slept. For example, he knew that he was placed on some kind of shrine. He knew that Kiina visited often, as did many different Matoran. Today, however, a Turaga of Ice named Nuju had apparently decided to pay him a visit. The Turaga was staring intently at the mask, his bright blue eyes as cold and hard as the element he had once controlled. This intrigued the former Great Spirit, since most beings that came to him were either friends who missed him or people in awe. Nuju looked like he wanted to use his staff for something other than walking assistance.
Nuju did, in fact, want to hit something with his staff. This mask, and the being within it, had forced him to leave his home, twice, and lose the one being closest to him—his translator, Matoro. He would never be able to see that Matoran again, never be able to take care of him again, never teach him legends about the stars, never, never, never...
He knew he should have been able to find solace in the fact that Matoro had died for a cause that he believed in, and in doing so, saved the lives of every living being within Mata Nui's shell. And for a time, he had taken comfort in that. But now here, faced with that which had caused Matoro's death, however inadvertently, he found himself shaking with rage and unshed tears.
Whirling, he stalked out of the sanctuary, silently willing himself not to cry.
"Kopeke said he'd be here looking for Hafu," Ehrye said, looking around, "but I don't see him."
Jaller looked across the sea of Po-Matoran, finally spotting a flash of white near the kolhii field. "There," he said, pointing. Ehrye scurried off in that direction, with Jaller and his added bulk having a harder time wading through the crowd. Finally, they reached the duo. Hafu was explaining something to Kopeke, who was listening intently for once.
"—And volcanic glass is harder to deal with than regular glass, but I don't think we need to worry about that for this, unless you need some for decoration." Kopeke shook his head. "Good, because I don't think we can get any on this short of notice—oh, hello Toa Jaller."
Kopeke stood up and looked at Jaller. "Well?" he asked.
Jaller scowled. He'd never been Kopeke's biggest fan—or a fan of many Ko-Matoran, to be honest. He was only doing this because he had a hunch as to what the carver was up to, if he wanted to make a sculpture that would never melt. "I'll make you your glass, but you've got to keep it a secret that I left my post, okay?"
Kopeke nodded and remained silent as the three of them watched Jaller fuse sand with heat to create a large pillar of glass. "Is that enough?" he asked.
The carver nodded again and Jaller turned to go. He was stopped by a hand tugging at his. He looked down to see Kopeke had grabbed his hand and was staring at the ground. "Thank you," he said, not daring to raise his head. This was embarrassing. To have to require help from so many people—!
Jaller put a hand on Kopeke's head, patting it a little. "Don't worry about it," he said gruffly. "Now I really should get back to my post before Turaga Vakama has a coronary." He jogged off in the direction of the new Ta-Koro.
Ehrye and Hafu looked at Kopeke. "Well?" Hafu said. "Now what?"
For the first time in a long while, a smile crossed Kopeke's mask. "We get to work."
"Turaga, I wish to speak with you."
Nuju looked up from his tablet. He was reading about the stars of Spherus Magna, trying to learn them as quickly as possible. He needed something familiar in this new place, and stargazing was the closest he would get, it seemed. Standing in his doorway was the familiar figure of Kopaka Nuva, adaptive armour and all. Nuju gave him a nod, then put away his tablet and gestured to a chair. Kopaka took it.
Neither spoke for a while. If Nuju hadn't known better, he would have sworn that Kopaka looked almost uncomfortable. That was very much not like him. "Well?" he asked. It came out as a shrill click, of course, but it seemed to get the message across.
"I...was wondering if you were adjusting properly to your new surroundings," Kopaka said, choosing his words carefully. "The climate is not one that you are accustomed to, and the Ko-Matoran cannot risk their leader falling ill."
Nuju patted Kopaka's hand. "Thanks for the worry, but I am fine," he replied.
Kopaka remained silent, but whether that was because he hadn't understood Nuju or because he didn't have anything else to say Nuju didn't know. Finally he spoke again. "Also, the shock of everything that has happened over the past few months—"
Nuju's eyes hardened. He didn't want to think about that. Kopaka either didn't notice or didn't care, and he ploughed on. "Being in a new place without him must be—"
"Shut up!" Nuju roared, striking Kopaka across the face with his staff. Kopaka cringed, but there was little force behind the attack. "I don't want to talk about it," he snapped. "If all you came here to do is get me angry, you've succeeded. Now get out."
"Turaga, I did not come here to mock you. I want to make sure you are coping alright."
"I'm fine, damn you."
"I'm assuming there was a swear word in there. Turaga, I know about your visit to the Mask of Life earlier today." Nuju stiffened. "I thought so. No matter how much you try, you can't not think about Mato—"
Nuju fell silent, glaring steadfastly at Kopaka, who sighed. "Turaga, against all evidence to the contrary, I do care about you and your well being. I miss Matoro as well, and I am not ashamed to admit it." He looked steadily at his elder. "Yet you were much closer to him than I, and you refuse to. Why?"
Nuju refused to reply. What was there to say? He didn't deny missing Matoro. That wasn't the problem. It was the fact that the pain had refused to subside at all, even after he'd left behind everything that could possibly cause painful memories. It was the fact that no matter how much he said he missed Matoro, there was no way for his translator, his friend—dammit all, his son to come back. So what was the point?
There was a knock at the door. "Nuju?" It was Vakama. "Can we talk to you for a moment?"
Nuju didn't like the use of the word 'we,' but he pushed past Kopaka and opened the door anyway. All five of the other Turaga were standing there, Vakama in the lead. "There's something I think you should see," he said.
A crowd had started to gather. Kopeke glared at them, but otherwise said nothing. He was unused to so many eyes on him as he worked. Hafu, of course, was revelling in it, and Ehrye was ignoring them, focussing mostly on getting Hafu to stop posing and actually do his share of the work.
"What's going on here?"
The three Matoran stopped what they were doing, turning to see the six Turaga and Kopaka coming towards them. A passing Kiina joined them as well. Nuju was staring at their handiwork like he'd seen a ghost—though he supposed that he had, sort of.
Kopeke hopped off the statue and stood back to look over their handiwork. Hafu joined him. "Not bad, for your first time working with something besides ice," he said with a grin. "You too, Ehrye," he called to the other Ko-Matoran, who was trying to figure out how to get down from the very top of the statue.
It was a perfect likeness of Matoro as a Matoran, complete with one of the small flags he used while hunting on Mata Nui strapped to his back. He was holding the Mask of Life in his hands, his mask the picture of determination. The base read "Matoro—Toa, Hero, Friend."
Kiina leaned over to Kopaka. "Who's that?"
Kopaka's mouth twitched upwards in an almost-smile. "One of the great heroes from our homeland."
"Huh." Kiina looked back at the statue. "Wait, isn't he holding—"
Nuju stepped forward. Kopeke bowed his head, partially in respect, partially in shame. "I apologise for not asking first, Turaga—"
The Turaga silenced him by holding up a hand. "No, Kopeke. Thank you. I...thank you." He looked at the others. "You two as well. This is certainly what our new home was missing."
Even if they weren't sure what he was actually saying, most of the crowd understood the sentiment. One Matoran started clapping, then more and more, until the entire crowd was applauding. Kopeke wanted to die of embarrassment right there, but Hafu wrapped an arm around his shoulders and grinned. "Not bad, kid. Not bad at all."
Time passed, as time does, and eventually the time came for another of their number to depart for the next world.
Kopaka sat outside the hut, his face buried in his hands. Pohatu sat next to him, trying to comfort him as best he could. Nokama, Matau, and Onewa stood on one side of the bed, with Vakama and Whenua on the other. Nuju looked up at them all with a smile. "The Toa Metru," he muttered. "Reunited."
"Don't go," Nokama said quietly, even though she knew he had no choice.
Whenua started to joke that he'd have no one to argue with, but he was having trouble speaking.
Matau swiped his hand across his eyes. "I'm not crying," he said stubbornly. Onewa elbowed him, but Nuju just smiled.
Vakama leaned close and whispered something to Nuju, who nodded. "I will," he replied quietly.
"We won't forget you," Nokama promised. "There will never be a better Turaga of Ice."
"I'm going to...hold you to that..."
His eyes slid shut. When he opened them again, he saw a Ko-Matoran coming towards him. "Hello, Turaga," Matoro said.
There was a pause. "Vakama says to say hello," Nuju said. Then he grabbed his translator in an armour-crushing hug. "I missed you," he whispered.
"I missed you too," Matoro replied, willing himself not to cry. They separated, and Matoro offered his hand. "Come on," he said. "Turaga Lhikan wants to see you too."
Nuju took it, and they walked off together.