This article was written by Invader39. Please do not add to it without the writer's permission.
|Date set||2,000 BGC|
|Release date||May 30th, 2017|
In Horto is a short story written by Invader39 as an entry into the Spring Writing Contest 2017. It centers around two Matoran: Agne and Avin, who work in a large farming village on the Northern Continent.
As the sun broke over the horizon, golden streaks of light seeped through the treeline. The light illuminated the leaves of the various plants in the field, causing them to seem like they were glowing.
It wasn’t until the light began shining in through their windows that the Matoran of the village began to wake from their slumber. One by one the villagers came out of their huts and stretched in the glorious light. Among them was an Onu-Matoran who bore a Ruru and a female Le-Matoran wearing a Mahiki, whose brown hair flowed over her shoulders.
The two walked to meet each other as the crowd moved from the village to the vast greenery beyond their humble dwellings. They joined each other and walked with the crowd.
“So,” the Onu-Matoran said, breaking the silence between them. “How’d you sleep?”
“Pretty good,” she replied. “Yourself?”
They crossed under the arch and into the garden, where every other villager was beginning to work, and which they would do until the sun went down in the evening.
The two walked through the massive garden, which spread across the entire field to the foot of the mountain overlooking their home. Together they walked to one of the sections of the field where several strange purple plants were growing.
Both grabbing a hoe, they took to a large patch of earth which was barren but already tilled. Each moving to opposite sides of the patch, they set to work, driving their tools into soil and dragging them across, creating trenches in the dirt.
“It’s funny how long we’ve been doing this,” Avin chuckled as he finished one row.
“Yeah,” Agne replied, moving over to start again.
“I can’t help remember what life was like before you came here,” he said, beginning another row.
She smiled at him. “Oh yeah? And what was that like?”
“I told you I helped construct this village, right? And that I helped fend off a Rahkshi?”
“Are you going to tell me a story, Avin?” she chuckled.
“I guess I am,” he smiled.
“So, about seven thousand years ago...”
“Avin, what are you doing?” the Ta-Matoran asked, shading his photographic receptors as he looked up at the Onu-Matoran.
“Oh, you know,” the Ruru-wearer said, looking down. “Admiring the view.”
He chuckled. “Well, get back to work.”
Sighing, he climbed down from his perch and walked back to where they were constructing their new village, which was only a few miles from the foot of a large mountain. They were a group of farmers who had come from the north after their previous village had been destroyed by Rahkshi, so hopefully the mountain would provide a bit of cover as they rebuilt their lives.
“How many more of these do we have to do?” Avin asked as he and another Matoran lifted the wall of one of the huts.
“We’ve got about twelve more left after this one,” the Ta-Matoran replied. “But we’ll have to stop at nightfall.”
So, for the next the few hours, they managed to build half of the homes when the sun disappeared behind the mountain.
“Alright,” the Matoran rejoined them. “Now of course some of you are going to have to bunk together, but just think that in the morning we’ll be able to finally complete our new homestead.”
“Sharing a bunk with someone else? Great,” Avin muttered to himself as he walked to his hut.
He came to the entrance to his new home and opened the door to see a De-Matoran sitting on his bed.
“Hey,” Avin quickly strode into the room. “What are you doing?”
The Matoran was taken by surprise. “We’re, uh, bunking together for tonight.”
“Who said that?” the irritated Onu-Matoran asked.
“I did,” a voice behind him suddenly rang out.
He quickly turned around to see the Ta-Matoran leaning against his door frame, arms crossed.
“We’re short on space and it’s just for one night, Avin,” he said. “Surely you can manage that?”
After hesitating for a few moments, he sighed and conceded to the leader of the settlement.
“Good,” the Matoran of Fire smiled through his Kanohi Pakari. “Now you two get to bed. We have a lot of work to do in the morning.”
“Yes sir,” they both replied before he left, closing the door behind him.
“Well,” Avin said, turning back to his unexpected guest. “I guess you can have the bed and I can go sleep on the floor.”
“No,” the De-Matoran stood up. “You are my host. You can have the bed.”
“No,” the Onu-Matoran replied. “You’re my guest. You sleep on the bed.”
After a moment he nodded and laid down on the bed. Avin pulled out a sleeping bag and spread it on the floor, laying down himself.
“’Night,” the Matoran of Sonics said as the light went out.
“Goodnight,” Avin replied as he drifted off to sleep.
The first thing he heard was the Rahkshi crashing through the door. The next thing he felt was the wooden door falling on him. Then what he saw was the Turahk standing over him, staff glowing in hand.
Reacting purely on instinct, he pushed the slab of wood off of himself and bolted past the Rahkshi, which quickly swung its Staff of Fear after him, striking him in the back, causing him to fall to the floor, red energy crackling around him.
Inside him fear rushed in like a flood and surrounded and corrupted every thought, every notion turned into an overcoming anxiety.
Avin managed to look up and see the Turahk picking the De-Matoran who had bunked with him by the throat before he was also covered in red energy and screaming.
In that moment, he felt something inside him overcome the fear and he managed to call out to the sleeping village.
“HELP!” he bellowed before the fear overwhelmed him again, but he had done enough.
Suddenly the population of the village flooded out to see the Rahkshi standing in Avin’s hut.
“Rahkshi!” the Ta-Matoran yelled as they scrambled for weapons.
The Turahk snarled and dropped the Matoran of Sonics before aiming its weapon at the crowd of Matoran.
At that point the fear had faded from Avin and he had recovered himself from the ground before a few Matoran then came back with weapons in their arms. The Ta-Matoran tossed a sword to his Onu-Matoran comrade and he quickly turned it against the Rahkshi as they surrounded it.
Enraged, the Rahkshi swung at them with its staff, red energy trailing behind it. Most of the Matoran managed to dodge it, except for three who were struck by the blast and knocked to the ground in crippling fear.
“CHARGE!” the Ta-Matoran yelled as he and the others ran at the beast.
As they ran, the Turahk managed to strike two of them down, but not before Avin and the Ta-Matoran managed to strike the Rahkshi’s legs, causing them to buckle, bringing it to their height.
This, however, did not defeat it and it slashed at them, knocking seven more Matoran down, leaving three of them, which included Avin, the Ta-Matoran and a Bo-Matoran.
“Cut off the head!” the Matoran of Fire ordered, getting back up.
The Onu-Matoran attempted to swing down but he was blocked by the Rahkshi, who pushed him back. As the Ta-Matoran ran at the beast, he was blasted by the red energy and fell to the ground, holding his head in his hands.
As a wave of pure adrenaline surged through him, Avin shot up and swung his blade down on the Turahk’s neck cutting clean through.
The assembled watched as the beast’s head fell slowly to the ground before rolling to a stop at the Onu-Matoran’s feet. He watched as the rest of the body went limp and fell forward and landed dead next to its severed head.
“Good work, Avin,” the Ta-Matoran said, clanking fists with him.
He took his sword and drove it into the Kraata case, which was followed by a high-pitched screech before it died away.
“Now, I would normally say we need to pick up this mess,” he looked at their weary faces. “But right now it’s more important to just get some sleep.”
The entire village sighed in relief as they went back to their huts. As Avin walked into his home, he saw that his bunk-mate was waiting for him.
“You can have the bed.”
A smile broke across his Ruru as he gratefully laid down in his bed as the De-Matoran took the floor and Avin drifted off once more into a peaceful sleep.
“Why haven’t you told me that story before?” Agne said as they finished the dirt bed, leaning against her hoe as she took a break.
“It never occurred to me to tell you,” Avin replied.
“I guess not,” the female Le-Matoran picked up her hoe and began to walk to the next garden bed, the Onu-Matoran following her.
“Do you have any interesting stories from when you lived on Metru Nui?”
“Not really,” she said as they reached the new area.
“Come on,” he replied. “Surely you’ve got at least one.”
“Well, it’s not very thrilling, but a few of my friends and I met Toa Dume.”
Avin’s green eyes widened. “Toa Dume?”
“It was eight thousand years ago in Ga-Metru. A couple of friends and I were fishing and...”
“I hate fishing,” the female Le-Matoran groaned as she brought in another empty line.
One of the Ga-Matoran with her chuckled. “You just have to be patient, Agne.”
“Yeah but I’m not naturally-skilled like you,” she said. “I was born a Le-Matoran.”
“Yes but you’re still our friend,” the other Ga-Matoran replied. “And I think you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
Agne smiled before suddenly their boat began to shake, knocking them off balance.
“Oh no,” one of the two Matoran of Water gasped.
“What?” the female Matoran of Air asked, an undertone of fear in her voice.
“Takea,” the two said in unison.
The Le-Matoran was now scared. “What do they want?”
“Dinner,” the one on the left said grimly.
Suddenly the boat shook violently, more than before. The three screamed as Protodermis splashed up and into the boat.
“What do we do?!” Agne asked, covering her head.
“Unless someone saves us,” the one on the right replied. “We die.”
Then one of the vicious sharks latched onto the boat with its mighty jaws and squeezed, the wood starting to splinter. And then other latched on, and then another.
Water began to pour in through the holes that the beasts made and the Matoran screamed, unsure of when they were going to die.
Suddenly they were surrounded by a wall of flame and before they knew it the Takea were fleeing before the scorching fire. But the damage had already been done. Their boat was badly damaged and their combined weight brought it well over the breaking point.
And it did just that.
The water vehicle shattered and the three female Matoran were plunged below the waves. Agne was completely blinded by the Protodermis running into her photographic receptors. Her companions would be able to see below, but that wouldn’t help them as they would drown within minutes.
Just then one of the Ga-Matoran was pulled out of the Protodermis by a red-armored hand before the other was rescued as well.
Now Agne was not buoyant like Ga-Matoran. No Le-Matoran was. Le-Matoran naturally preferred the high ground, away from any water or liquid. And this caused her to sink right towards the seafloor.
As the darkness closed in around her, she looked up at what might be her last glimpse of light in this life before she saw a shadowy figure coming down towards her through the Protodermis before she blacked out.
Minutes later she woke up on one of the pathways through the bay. Above her were three figures: her two Ga-Matoran friends and a new, tall figure. As his features came into focus, she saw that he was clad in black and red armor and bearing a Great Kanohi Kiril.
“Toa… Toa Dume?” she managed to say.
“You’re lucky to be alive, little one,” the Toa of Fire said.
“What… what happened?” Agne sat up.
“Takea sharks tore your boat apart,” he looked up at the others.
One of the Ga-Matoran chimed in. “Thank you for saving us, Toa Dume.”
“It’s a Toa’s duty to protect the Matoran of any island, any variant.”
The Toa of Fire stood up and helped the Le-Matoran to her feet.
“Now I must get going,” Dume said, smiling. “I have a duty to perform.”
Agne returned the smile and watched as the Toa ran off into the city, another duty awaiting.
She would never forget this.
“That’s incredible, Agne,” Avin said as the sun approached the mountain.
“Really?” she replied, stroking the hair behind her audio receptor.
“Yes really,” he nodded as they finished their last rows.
The Le-Matoran wiped her brow. “Well, that’s it for the day.”
The both looked to the sun as it began to dip behind the mountain that overlooked their village, a shadow beginning to spread across the valley. As the darkness began to engulf their home, the villagers began to move back towards the village, including Avin and Agne, only this time as they approached, their hands were interlocked.
“I’m so glad you moved here, Agne,” the Onu-Matoran said as they walked.
“I’m so glad I met you, Avin,” she replied.
As they came into the village, they bid each other goodnight and parted until morning. Soon the sun dipped behind the mountain, brilliant vibrant colors issuing across the sky before it was covered in shining stars.
And as it always does, the sun rose again in the morning, signifying another day in the garden.
- Toa Dume
- A Ta-Matoran
- A De-Matoran
- Two Ga-Matoran
- A Turahk
- Several other Matoran
- This story was written for the Spring Writing Contest 2017.
- In Horto is Latin for In the Garden.
- Initially written as a lighthearted story, some darker elements still seeped their way into the story.