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literature

Takanuva needs a hug / Ussanui

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By bluerosekatie   |   
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Takua was a wanderer.

So was Takanuva. Old habits die hard, especially if they have a purpose. Sometimes, he’d wander for no reason, just using up energy until he felt like he needed to rest. Other times, he’d be delivering items for the Turaga or certain Matoran. Still other times, he just wanted to be with Le- or Ga- or Po-Matoran instead of his native Ta-Matoran.

Becoming a Toa of Light didn’t change his nature. Takanuva walked the path to Onu-Koro, on his way to deliver plans for a vehicle he’d suddenly remembered to Nuparu. Nuparu knows how to build things. He could help me with this.

But that wasn’t the only reason he traveled. Barely a day ago, he’d cradled his friend Jaller as he died of fear. Shortly afterward, he’d transformed into a Toa by wearing the Avohkii - the mask of Light. That didn’t make it any better. So, after Jaller had been buried in a dome beside the Great Temple and his mask set above it, Takanuva set out to do something - anything - that would help him forget.

The hill terrain was fairly easy to walk along, except for the fact Takanuva’s legs had tripled in length as he transformed. He nearly fell over his own feet, but managed to steady himself with the Staff of Light he carried. I didn’t ask for all of this - but Jaller died to help me. I owe it to him.

He stiffened. Nope, can’t think about that. Think about the plans. The vehicle.

That was better. He could do that without wanting to hide under a rock. He started walking again, and Pewku nudged him.

“What?”

The Ussal whined.

“I don’t know what that means. Sorry, girl.” Takanuva said. She seems as sad as I am.

As they walked into the tunnel entrance to Onu-Koro, Pewku greeted the nearest other Ussal crab with a friendly lick, and Takanuva unconsciously began to glow. His light bounced off Pewku’s hard shell and sparkled on the gritty ground.

Once he realized he was glowing, he tried to tone it down a bit. Onu-Matoran don’t like bright light. Don’t want to greet them like a lightstone.

He shook himself and reduced the glow to a shimmer. The Ussal finished her greeting and trotted onward with him.

Onu-Koro’s tunnels and caves were tall enough for him to walk in, but among the Matoran of Earth, he felt like a giant. It didn’t help that he had misjudged the other Toa’s height, which resulted in him growing an extra two inches taller than he should have. Turaga Whenua greeted him, as did some of the Onu-Matoran, but Nuparu wasn’t with them.

“Where can I find Nuparu?” he asked Whenua.

“He’s in his hut. Be careful not to break the roof.”

Ha ha. Last time was an accident.

Takanuva visited Nuparu’s hut, where he found the inventor working on a Boxor.

“Hey, Takanuva!” Nuparu said, removing the welding goggles he wore over his mask.

“Hi. Are you able to help me with something?”

“Sure, what is it? Did one of the Boxors in Ta-Koro malfunction?” Nuparu asked.

“No. I found - actually, remembered - the plans for an invention, but I have no idea how to build it.”

“Whoa! Cool! Where are the plans?”

“Uh, here…” Takanuva tapped his mask.

“You didn’t write them down?”

“How? They’re super complex. I don’t even know if I could draw them right if I tried.”

“Can you show me them somehow? You had a mind-link with Gali. Could you do that with me?” Nuparu was eager, despite the setbacks.

“Gali started that, I don’t think I could do it.” Takanuva said. He sat down - my legs are falling asleep.

“Hey. What happened to the Takua I knew? Before, you would have tried anything. Now you seem like you’re scared to do stuff.”

“I’m not Takua anymore. Takanuva, remember? And that Takua didn’t have to be chased by Rahkshi, watch his friend die, and suddenly get a whole load of powers and duties all at once.”

“Oh…” Nuparu said. He fell silent and adjusted a few connectors on the Boxor.

Pewku whined outside the door.

“It’s okay, Pewku - stay.” Takanuva said.

“What about your Toa powers? Couldn’t you use those to show me the plans somehow?”

“I barely know how to keep from glowing like a lightstone!”

“Well, let’s figure it out.”

Takanuva sighed and adjusted his mask - it fit much better than his old Pakari, and hadn’t fallen off once yet. He concentrated and soon a beam of light shone from it onto the floor of Nuparu’s hut.

“Okay, you can work with that,” Nuparu said. “Can you describe the plans for me?”

“It’s a vehicle,” Takanuva said. “It’s Toa-sized, and I think the rider holds on in the front.”

The light morphed into a rough shape.

“Hey, kind of like that?” Nuparu asked.

“Yeah,” Takanuva admitted. “Okay, let me try something.”

He closed his eyes and concentrated on the plans in his mind. The vehicle was made up of mechanical parts, some of which looked much like the limbs and weapons of the Bohrok and Rahkshi. It had a mount on the front for something, and shock protection in the form of a semi-rigid tube crisscrossing the front of the vehicle. “Can you see it?” he asked Nuparu.

“Yeah, looks cool! Let me diagram it and get it sketched out.”

“Okay.” Takanuva kept up the hologram and opened his eyes to check it out. The vehicle looked transparent, but three-dimensional.

What’s that though? The mount on the front bothered him. It looked suspiciously like a bare face or a skull, as if… no. Why would I need a mask on the front? And what mask?

He concentrated on the diagram in his mind again. Sure enough, there’s a mask that's supposed to go on there… it’s… it’s a Hau. Jaller’s mask.

Nuparu jumped as the hologram abruptly disappeared and Takanuva’s eyes darkened.

“Doing okay? I didn’t get the sketch done yet.”

Takanuva broke down. His shoulders shook as he cried harder than he had in a long time. Nuparu stopped sketching and walked over to Takanuva. He stretched up on his toes and hugged Takanuva.

“It’s okay. It’s okay, Takanuva. I saw it too. You can cry. I know you think Toa are supposed to be perfect, but they’re not.”

“I was too late. I didn’t do my duty and because of that Jaller died. You can’t fix that, Nuparu.”

“No, I can’t,” he agreed. “But you still have a duty. You have to fight Makuta.”

“Yeah. How am I going to do that, exactly?”

“I have no idea,” Nuparu answered. “But I have a feeling it starts with this vehicle you remembered. Could you project it for me again?”

“Okay,” Takanuva said.

Nuparu dislodged himself from the Toa’s torso and returned to his carving tools. Takanuva projected the image again.

“I got it,” Nuparu said. He showed Takanuva the carving, which was an accurate diagram of the vehicle, and explained what parts would be needed. “It’s called the Ussanui, right? Your hologram had that carved on one side of it.”

“Yeah. Thanks,” Takanuva said. “For the carving, and the hug.”

“You’re welcome,” Nuparu said. “I hear Tahu’s a good hugger, though I don’t know how true that is.”

Takanuva laughed. He took the carving, scooted out of the hut, and left Onu-Koro.

I’m ready to build the Ussanui and get going. Makuta’s been in power long enough.

© 2020 bluerosekatie
Takanuva just became a Toa and lost his friend all at once. He's also got these plans stuck in his head, so he goes to Nuparu for help. (Because Mask of Light barely touched on this - how did he make the Ussanui?) Crossposted on my AO3.
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