Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Preface by Akutana Management
The Metru Nui Task Force was a group created by Turaga Bomupar to handle matters that were deemed too sensitive for the Vortixx mercenaries. It was made up of a small selection of Matoran who had proved their aptitude during the Matoran Civil War. As the Vortixx gained greater power and influence over the city, the Task Force was gradually disbanded, although it is believed that some of its members are still operating without the jurisdiction of Turaga Bomupar.
The following log was provided to the Akutana by my personal friend Paravhiki, one of the Ta-Matoran detectives, who was kind enough to share some of his own personal notes with me after discussing my travels with him.*
* [Points where Paravakhi had added his own personal comments are indicated as shown here]
The Head of the Task Force came to me again in Ga-Metru, right in the middle of my lunch. Before he spoke, I told him what I always tell him: "I'm not doing any more big cases."
Ever since my last big bust of Black Stone conspirators, I specifically asked for a demotion to smaller cases around the island. He knew good as Karzahni why, too. Apparently, he thought I'd change my mind this time, just like every time he comes to me.
"How many times am I gonna have to tell you I'm not doing this? Do I have to send you a letter every day explicitly telling you I'm not going to help fuel hatred anymore? I have to tell Matoran not to give me free drinks because I took out "those dust-breathers". The war's over, I'm not going to help start another." But this time, he was right about changing my mind, much to my chagrin.
"We got reports of a Po-Matoran hut being burned down...we found Ta-Matoran tools at the site. You wanted to stop this sort of thing, right? Well, now's your chance." Ta-Matoran causing damage to Po-Metru, definitely not something normal. I hate when he's right. I told him I'd take the case, but I finished my fish first.
Official Notes, Entry 1
Was called to Po-Metru to investigate reports of a fire burning down a home in the Assembler's Village. Ta-Matoran tools were found upon initial investigation. Victim was not in his hut at the time of the fire.
Arrived at Po-Matoran victim’s domicile without incident. Victim was being questioned by Po-Metru Task Force member* and Vortixx guardian Vohan**. Victim only gave in to questioning upon my arrival and introduced himself as Ahkmou***. Despite the evidence pointing to a Ta-Matoran burning down the hut, he insisted it had been a fellow Po-Matoran, who acted against Ahkmou’s sympathies to Ta-Matoran and therefore framed one as the arsonist.
* [The Po-Matoran reps liked to call themselves "the Protectors" like they’re the ones keeping order around here instead of the Vortixx.]
** [Speaking of the Vortixx, she was a merc who I recognized as Vohan. Add me into the mix and it sounded like the start of a bad joke. I knew this merc from her being called to cooperate in Black Stone busts with the Task Force. Check notes and debriefs from those cases for more information on her. She doesn't particularly care for me regardless.]
*** [As I got closer I could hear Vohan berating the victim. The Matoran didn't want to talk until I arrived. Most Po-Matoran only “wait” for me to finish speaking so they can call me "ashbreath" and spit in my face, so it was a refreshing change of pace.]
Transcript of Interrogation
Ahkmou: "Oh! You're here! I'm ready to give my statement now."
Paravhiki: "That's right, I'm here. So tell these nice concerned citizens who've been waiting so patiently what happened here."
Ahkmou: "Right, I was on my way home from a long night of trading when I came to see my home up in flames! I was lucky that I wasn't in it, can't say the same for what was in the hut."
Protector: "So then why bring this detective all the way up from Ta-Metru? This is cut and dried, a Ta-Matoran burned your hut in an act of aggression, and left his tools behind in haste to leave the crime scene."
[Protector motions to the tools, Paravhiki kneels down to examine them.]
Paravhiki: "These aren't mask-maker’s tools; they're replicas carved from stone, not very good ones either. That's Po-Metru rock it's made from, isn't it?"
Protector: "So it is, but what does it mean?"
Ahkmou: "It means that's the reason why I called the detective! I could tell these tools were made by a carver. This wasn't a Ta-Matoran that did this, it was another Po-Matoran."
Protector: "Why would a Po-Matoran do this to you? And if you don't mind me asking, I didn't get your name amidst the commotion."
Ahkmou: "Oh, right, my name's Ahkmou. And unlike my neighbors, I carry no ill will towards Ta-Matoran… It's obvious one of them didn't like that and decided that making it look like one burned down my home would change my mind. But it's like you said, they didn't do a good job."
Vohan: "So we waited half an hour for you to tell us that? You realize it'll take us days to find the perpetrator? He's had plenty of time to run off!"
Paravhiki: “Save it for after the perp is found. Now, Ahkmou, do you have any idea which of your neighbors would have the ability to do this?"
Ahkmou: “Well, you could try Vonau, he always made comments about it. He kept telling me I should take a jump into the protodermis pipes and be done with it. He's usually at the Wash, wears a Noble Akaku. He's there most of the time."
Vohan: "I'm not spending my time looking for one brown shortstack in a sea of 'em. Good news, Paravhiki, you can handle this one on your own."
[Vohan leaves crime scene]*
* [She turned to walk away, stopping a moment to talk to me. "I thought you gave up cases like this? You know this won't bring your little war buddy back from the dead." She enjoys trying to make me squirm like all the other Matoran she talks to. I don't give her that satisfaction.]
The victim said the Matoran responsible may have been an individual named Vonau, defining feature being a scar on the left across his Noble Akaku. Suspect was reported as frequenting The Wash by the victim. Po-Matoran Task Force member gave me unimpeded access to investigate further*, headed en route now.
* [He said it was because I had more experience in cases like this. But it was clear that he didn't want to get flak for arresting a Po-Matoran for framing a Ta-Matoran.]
Official Notes Entry 2
Upon arrival at The Wash, I began my search for the suspect.* After some tips from the locals that frequent the area, I found Vonau at a local diner.** He was sitting at the front counter with a cup of vofo when I entered.
He seemed to recognize me, or at least that I was a Task Force Member, as he gave me a panicked glance when he realized who just walked through the door. I sat down next to him and told the Matoran behind the counter I'd have what he's having, then I began to question Vonau.
* [Even with Noble Akakus being rather uncommon around here, it's still hard to find a specific Matoran in a crowd no matter what Metru you're in.]
** [The Po-Matoran at the Wash basically live there; they don't even attend the annual recharge. Instead, they choose to take sustenance from whatever they catch or trade at the port. Small diners can be found here and there along the Wash, certainly a culture shock for any Matoran who sees even absorbing energy from organic life as disgusting. Rumor has it some even eat with their mouths here.]
Transcription of questioning of suspect:
Paravhiki: So, you're Vonau, right?
Paravhiki: I have a couple questions for you, if you don't mind?
Vonau: [meekly] N-no...
Paravhiki: Good. Now I just came from the home of Ahkmou; it was burned to ashes. You
hear about that?
Paravhiki: He said you might have had something to do with it, have a problem with his Ta-Matoran sympathy?
Vonau: N-no...I didn't even know about that.*
Vonau: I-I've been here since yesterday.
Paravhiki: I see; thanks for your cooperation Vonau. Drinks are on me.
[A couple widgets are tossed onto the counter, Paravhiki exits]
* [Vonau looked surprised; he knew something about Ahkmou, and he did a poor job of hiding it.]
I checked Vonau's alibi with the locals - he wasn't lying. Still, he seemed rather nervous at my questions, and his eyes showed he knew more than he was letting on. According to the information about him from Ahkmou, Vonau attended the Sculpting Club almost every night until recently. I'll see if I can get any information from the members of the club, then check out his domicile if my request for a search permit goes through.
To be continued...