Akutana Stories: On Standby
This story is also available as an audio recording; please be advised that there is a volume warning for the audio version.
The following is a series of recordings found on a device recovered from an Onu-Metru warehouse; Kralhi units that were scheduled for decommissioning were stored on site, but have escaped. The time of each recording has been restored using metadata from each file. The Matoran who recorded the events has yet to be found as of this writing.
RECORDING START TIME 1800 HOURS
Alright, is this working? Hello? Hello, hello? Hahh, alright. My name is Urukai and I'm the only Matoran guarding the few dozen Krahli waiting to be dismantled. I'm recording because... Well, honestly I don't trust these things. They're being decommissioned for a reason. Their first and only solution to any form of crime a Matoran commits, even a misdemeanor, is sucking the energy from them. Left ‘em comatose for days or weeks. And it's...I know these things are machines, but… I don't know. I always felt like there was more to them. Sure, they're not on - that's why they only have me guarding them - but I'd rather go back to being security for the Archives than this. At least if a stasis tube cracked, you knew you'd have a minute before the Rahi broke the thing. These? I dunno how they work, I'm not Nuparu. They might come back on and think I'm trespassing or something.
Phuah, I'm probably just being paranoid, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. If something goes wrong tonight, I want others to know what happened. And if nothing happens, then I have a funny story to tell back at -
There's no way I just saw that. It's off, isn't it? They never told me if they're off or on standby. I really miss Rahi.
RECORDING START TIME 1845 HOURS
I swear these things are still awake. I'm hearing mechanical joints move, pistons hiss. They haven't actually moved, but...I think they're looking at me. Mata Nui, I can't wait till tomorrow morning. Hauhhh... Just gotta wait out the night. It'll go by like nothing, right? Eugh...
RECORDING START TIME 1912 HOURS
One of them moved this time. It's acting like I don't know, but I know none of them were that close to the corridor before. I turned and it made my heartlight flare seeing it just... Standing in front of me. Ak'akhta, I wish there were big doors to keep them locked in the main warehouse. Even the illusion of safety is better than this place getting to me.
RECORDING START TIME 1945 HOURS
I heard footsteps down the hall, they weren't - they weren't mine. One of them is -...it just -....Call it common sense or paranoia, but I'm trying to stay out of its line of sight. I've seen what they can do. I'm not taking any chances. I just hope it's only the one that's doing this. If they're all moving. Then… I don't wanna think about that right now.
RECORDING START TIME 2000 HOURS
Okay, so they're definitely awake now, I'm not sure how many just yet. Like I'm gonna stand still and count. I think they're looking for something, they've been moving like Rahi hunting prey. Which is weird, right? They're machines, they shouldn't be moving like that. Are they hunting for... For me? Why? What would I -
<metallic clanging and banging>
Zyga! what was that-....Mata Nui, they're trying to break down the doors to the warehouse! This place holds Rahi in and out of stasis tubes before being put in the Archives, so they're made to withstand a charging Kane-Ra, but I'm not sure they can handle the constant persistence of a machine...
RECORDING START TIME 2100 HOURS
More of 'em are waking up, and there's only so many places I can hide they can't reach. I'm lucky the hallways are only so big and only one can fit without getting tangled in their own limbs. I'm hiding in the vents now. I almost got caught prying open a vent with a crowbar with all the noise that made. I threw the crowbar at one; it gave me enough time to duck in.
I could just hide in here till morning. Hauhhh, and let those things break out, causing untold damage and harm to Matoran all in the name of my own safety. I couldn't live seeing myself as nothing more than a coward for the rest of my existence, with who knows how many lives on my hands. I'm not gonna let that happen. If they're trying to break free, then that means these Kralhi are more messed up than we all thought. I need to keep them distracted long enough until I have help keeping them contained.
...machines shouldn't be trying to escape, they shouldn't be hunting a Matoran like a stone rat. They shouldn't be thinking at all. What deal with Karzhani did Nuparu make building these things?
RECORDING START TIME 2203 HOURS
Alright, I have a plan. It's not foolproof, and I might end up losing a lot to gain very little, but very little is all I can gain right now. I've snuck around the warehouse through the vents, grabbing some supplies to make a decoy of myself. It's not very convincing, but I'm hoping the low light levels are enough to trick them into not knowing the difference till it's too late. I'm going to position it in an open spot in the warehouse; hopefully it'll lure a good few of them in. Then all I have to do is book it to the crane that's still got a large cargo container attached. Hopefully that'll be enough to do the job. Let's just hope they're not quick enough to get me before the job is done.
RECORDING START TIME 2300 HOURS
Hhh, I'm at the crane controls. Hhh, here goes nothing.
<Sounds of loud whirring machinery.>
Hey! Eat this, you dirty clankers!
<Long beep, cables snapping, a loud metal clang hitting stone. Sparking of machinery is heard, followed by the rapid marching of mechanical legs>
Okay okay gotta go gotta get goi-
RECORDING START TIME 2307 HOURS
I'm - hhh - back in the vents now, they almost caught up with me - hhh - but I made it. Hauhh..hahh...hahhhahahaha! I did it, I actually destroyed some of them! I got them with a...a crane that - that I can't use twice. That only smashed... Three or four of them....
Oh Mata Nui.
RECORDING START TIME 2408 HOURS
...it can't be much longer, right? I can't tell how much time has passed in here, but I know it's been more than a few hours. Help's gotta come soon, shut these monstrosities down and it'll all feel like a bad dream, yeah...
RECORDING START TIME 2510 HOURS
<The metal clanking of Krahli legs is heard>
Hhhh, nowhere is safe now. Hhh, they reach in the vents with their tails to try and shoot their energy-sapping bubbles. I made my way up to - hhh - to the arm of the crane to make it hard for them to get me. It won't stop them, but I won't make it easy for them. Hnnhh, I'm sorry I couldn't hold out, I think I did well given the circumstances. I don't know if I'll make it out of this, but in case I don't...
<clanging gets louder.>
Oh no -
<Unknown Audio distortion>
RECORDING ARCHIVE END