Updated: Feb 25
Read Part 1 of The Kamaduisi Bust here.
Log Entry 04
As a transport arrived to take away our four new friends, I was able to collect the record as evidence, storing it in a large evidence bag and presenting my findings to the Task Force members who had arrived with the transport. While the suspects were delivered to HQ for processing and questioning, I was sent to Niragawa University to have my evidence analyzed.
Those Onu-Matoran got those records for a reason, but it was unclear as to why. Chemical analysis showed nothing unusual in its contents: it was processed Protodermis with grooves etched in like every other of its kind. It was only when one of the analysts noticed the grooves were made to be played backwards as well as forwards did we have something. When we popped it into a player and ran the record in reverse, the odd masking on the vocals became coherent! They were numbers - coordinates to a meeting place as well as a time, no doubt for a contraband trade-off.
The coordinates were traced to a location in Po-Metru called Stone's End, a barren lot of sand settled by Rahi and not much else. Most illicit dealings didn't risk using the place for transactions, lest a Troller Worm decide to eat you and your illegal goods. It was the last place people would look, making a precarious but useful place for a deal if you were brave or greedy enough.
A small team comprised of myself, Jaller, Voran, and Lihu were assigned to head to Stone's End and apprehend the other half of the deal. The hope was the Matoran handing off the goods hadn't heard the gossip about an arrest at a Le-Metru club and would still be at the drop zone. We traveled light - no Task Force transport to send us, no large tools.
We rode a train to the Assembler's Village and walked the rest of the way, the winds doing the work of covering our tracks in the sand. We waited till nightfall when the handoff would take place; thankfully, we had found a mid-sized rock formation to hide out in, so it wasn't too much trouble to wait it out. About a few hours past midnight, two Po-Matoran had walked to the spot, wheeling with them an Archives stasis tube containing a Fikou Nui. I recognized them in the dim moonlight: Rahi tamers with less-than-credible dealings by the name of Zirax and Trax, who we knew had been handing off Rahi for illegal cage fights for years now, but were too good at covering their dealings to have substantial evidence.
True to their dubious ethics, they carried lathprod crossbows, whereas other tamers carried shock weapons - this would prove an advantage for them, since we only had our shock batons, but we had the element of surprise. I signaled to the others that I'd go out ahead of them, as one Matoran would be less likely to be spotted than four. I would attempt to knock them unconscious before they even realized we were here, and the others would spring out should that go awry.
The two tamers were arguing about whether their cohorts received the coordinates, or if they had been caught. So busy in their debate they were, facing where they expected their allies to show up, I was able to knock Trax out before Zirax realized why his colleague didn't answer him. Unfortunately for me, it took him less time to realize that cry of anguish was not in disgust, but from being zapped by the Ta-Matoran standing over his slumped body. Zirax let off a bolt from his lathprod, signalling the rest of my team to spread out. When he saw that there not enough bolts in the built-in weapon clip for all of us, he dropped his bow in surrender and was promptly cuffed. We called in a transport to detain the tamers, and bring the Fikou Nui to the Archives as a new exhibit, where it'd be better served for study than for sport. After that, we were brought back to HQ, and I was brought in here to dictate my debrief to be written down. It's late, and I'd like to try to sleep before the suns come up - you got all you needed?
Data Pad Recording
[The following recording has been transcribed by Demak upon being received from Paravhiki. This is to be presented as evidence against the Tarakava Syndicate at such a time as "my [Paravhiki's] past doesn't hold so much weight that it calls the evidence into question". Recording begins as soon as Paravhiki enters his home to find a Ga-Matoran sitting in his chair.]
Paravhiki: "How'd you get into my house?"
Ga-Matoran: "That's not the question you should be asking, Paravhiki."
Paravhiki: "You know my name, too? Is that supposed to impress me?"
Ga-Matoran: "I'm not here to impress you, I'm here to congratulate you on that bust you pulled tonight."
Paravhiki: "How'd you find out about that? We haven't released the details to the public yet. Who are you?"
Ga-Matoran: "Ah, now you're asking the right questions. You have the privilege of speaking to Nanohi, the head of the Tarakava Syndicate. Not many get to speak to me in person, you know."
Paravhiki: "Right, and I'm a Toa of Electricity, friend to all Rahi. You really think I buy that?"
Nanohi: "I'm impressed you deduced the record with the coordinates being the one with a blue Le-Metru symbol. Most would just assume it was a printing error."
Paravhiki: "How'd you know that?"
Nanohi: "You know how; you just don't want to believe it."
Paravihki: "You're the real thing."
[Chair creaks, Nanohi stands up]: "Indeed I am."
Paravhiki: "Why are you here?"
Nanohi: "Back on track, I see. As I said, I was impressed with your detective skills, but ultimately it was pointless for you to try and stop the exchange. Those Onu-Matoran were set to bring the Fikou-Nui to the Archives, heading through the underground trade routes for the Rahi cage fights. All you did was save me an extra step."
Paravhiki: "So you came to gloat? That doesn't even make sense. Why give it to the Archives when you'd get no money from it?"
Nanohi: "Because the Archivists paid a great deal to have a new exhibit. The restrictions set by Turaga Bomupar prevent them from paying hunters the amounts needed for...harder-to-find Rahi."
Paravhiki: "Don't tell me you got this big just by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor."
Nanohi: "We don't steal. All our resources come from imports that Bomupar has either tariffed or banned outright. It's less costly for them to distribute the things this island needs through us than deal with a Turaga who has failed to provide properly."
Paravhiki: "Is that what you tell yourself so that you can sleep at night?"
Nanohi: "Our Turaga has hired Xian thugs as a police force who jump at the chance to resolve any issue through violence, and then he sets up Matoran sheriffs to help enforce their wanton destruction. In his attempts to unite the city, he's only let the hatred fester further."
Paravhiki: "It's more complicated than that-"
Nanohi: "Is that what you tell yourself so that you can sleep at night?"
Paravhiki: "You think this is what a divided Metru Nui is like? You don't remember th-"
Nanohi: "The Civil War? I can't forget it. I was a coordinator for Ga-Metru to provide aid for the Metru and Matoran affected by the conflict. When I saw the job still wasn't done, even after the war, I took it upon myself to find a way to support those in need of resources. Despite what the Turaga thinks, we have hurt no one but his corrupt establishment."
Paravhiki: "And how are you so sure? You can't be everywhere at once."
Nanohi: "Maybe not, but I can still be in a lot of places. You'd be surprised how often no one will question a Ga-Matoran as one of the cohorts in a smuggling route. All I have to do is trade masks with one of my trusted insiders, and no one suspects their boss to be among them. If I see them skimming widgets, it's easy to "leak" their illicit doings to the Metru Nui Task Force and have someone more trustworthy take their place."
Paravhiki: "Why are you telling me all this? What's to stop me from taking you in?"
Nanohi: "I'm telling you all this because we have the same sense of justice burning within us. I'm extending an offer to drop this pointless exercise and help the Matoran in a better way than you can now."
Paravhiki: "You have no idea what my sense of justice is. It certainly isn't like yours. You don't know what I've seen, what I've-"
Nanohi: "I'm well aware of your past in the Civil War. I can't imagine how it must've felt to have killed your best friend to save an unarmed Po-Matoran. It's why Bomupar made you part of the Task Force, isn't it? Because you wanted to make up for your past sins? How many of them know about your “treacherous” act, or that the Black Stone member you brought in a few months back was that same Po-Matoran you saved all those years ago?"
Paravhiki: "Are you blackmailing me?"
Nanohi: "It's only blackmail if that information would hurt you. If what you've done here has truly helped repair the views of Ta-Matoran against Po-Matoran, that wouldn't have any effect on your reputation, now would it?"
Nanohi: "That's what I thought. If you continue to side with Bomupar, you'll find your attempts to stop me are going to be much harder than this. I intentionally kept any information about the Kamaduisi brawl from the hunters because I wanted you to get them. Why else would they show up? I gave you a free catch to prove a point. I hoped I could convince you that you were on the wrong side."
Paravhiki: "All you've convinced me of is that you're a lunatic! It doesn't matter what tricks you pull, you'll slip up eventually. And I'll be there when you do."
Nanohi: "Have you seen a Tarakava eat drowning prey, Paravhiki? They don't attack right away. They wait until their unfortunate quarry is weak from fighting the current, gurgling as water fills their lungs. Only when their victim has no fight left do they strike. I'm a Tarakava, I have the patience to see you drown. Whether it will be from your own mistakes or when Bomupar tosses you and the Task Force aside like broken toys, I can wait."
[Footsteps from Nanohi]: "And don't try submitting a record of this conversation, or else I'll be forced to make sure both of us drown."
Paravhiki: "How'd you know?"
Nanohi: "Your weapon is on your right; you reached for your left when you first saw me."
[Footsteps growing distant]
Paravhiki: "Is that your real name?"
Paravhiki: "Nanohi means "many faces." I doubt that's the name you always had?"
[Nanohi chuckles]: "It's a shame you aren't coming with me. Yes, I chose that name. My real name is among the many casualties in the war. No one noticed one more name reported dead amongst all the others. This is a special occasion for me, actually. This is the Noble Kakama I used to wear before I became Nanohi. You're the last Matoran to see my real face.”
“Goodbye, Paravhiki. Until we meet again."
[Door closes, recording ends]