Part 3 – Forgive… and Forget.
The sobbing De-Toa sat slumped beside the Bo-Toa’s bed long after her frail body had gone cold and been carried away. This was all his fault…
No, not his fault. He hadn’t chosen to become a Toa! Mata Nui had chosen him, seemingly at random. That choice had left one life ended, another ruined, and dozens more changed forever.
Finally, after wallowing in his misery for what felt like days, but could have been weeks or mere hours (it was difficult to tell underground), the Toa got to his feet and walked slowly around the house, remembering all of the fun times the two of them had experienced here. First date, first kiss, first night together…
Nariya didn’t go out much; it seemed that all of the time they’d spent together had been here, in her quaint little house.
Then they’d woken up one morning to find that they’d both been turned into Toa. No explanation. One evening they’d been mere Matoran, feeble and helpless. The next morning they’d found themselves to be Toa, heroes to the same Matoran they’d counted themselves among mere hours before. The inexplicable transformations changed their lives entirely, but not for the better.
Understanding their powers had been incredibly difficult. He had relished in testing the limits of his new powers, while she had been more interested in learning to master her Kanohi – an Iden. And that was where it had all gone wrong.
Every day, Nariya had pushed herself further, trying to discover just how far from her body she could send her spirit. It was the only time she really left the house. He always remained behind to look after her body while she was gone, often practicing his louder skills while she wasn’t around to hear them. He’d never stopped to consider that her body could still pick up the sounds, and be impacted by them.
He’d quickly developed a habit of protecting his own, more sensitive ears. Muffling sound came as easily as breathing to him. Nariya’s body had no such protection.
On that particular, fateful day, he’d been experimenting with resonant frequencies, trying to see what sort of soundwaves it took to make certain objects break apart. He’d been working with a simple glass vase sitting on a table in the middle of the room, blasting it with all kinds of sounds. Nariya’s vacant body had been sitting on a chair just behind him.
When she returned to her body, he’d known about it immediately. She’d pitched down onto the floor, screaming in pain, clutching at her ears, which he now saw were bleeding. Horror and hysteria set in as he realised that this was his fault. He’d ruptured her eardrums, or worse.
He’d taken her straight to the nearest clinic, of course. They’d done what they could, but there were no Sana users on hand to help. They’d sent her home, informing him that they’d already sent someone to Ta-Koro to bring a Sana user.
The days went by, and Nariya grew slowly weaker. She was unconscious most of the time, or perhaps using her mask to escape the suffering of her body. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t speak except for three words. “I forgive you.” She grew limp and frail, her fading breaths short and far between.
And then, four days later, she’d stopped breathing altogether.
Now she was gone. They’d carried her body off to the morgue, leaving him alone, with nothing and no one. Dim realisation came to him: this wasn’t his house; it was Nariya’s. He didn’t own it. He couldn’t stay here.
Gathering up his things, he left the house, tucking his spare set of keys under the doormat as he’d always done. It was the closest thing he could do manage to a farewell. He turned his back on the empty house, and walked away.
He took to the streets, and eventually blundered into a bar. Without even really thinking about it, he threw down a handful of widgets and asked for the strongest alcoholic beverage on offer. He just wanted to forget everything.
When the barman returned, with a bottle, he snatched it up immediately and popped the cap, staring at the glittering contents with his teary golden eyes. He couldn’t see the bottom of the glass bottle through its murky contents. It was nothing. Darkness. Oblivion. Forgetting.
Smiling sadly, Reson raised the bottle to his mouth, and let the alcohol wash his sorrows away…