Note: This story is written by Omicron and Fatala, we hope you like it. This is also part of the writing challenge Omicron issued.

In Matoran Care

Chapter Fourteen:

Down Deep

Stepping into the Archives, Aster felt a hint of deja vu. Of course the level they were currently on wasn't like the one she was found in. It even smelled different, there was fresh air not the stale old air she had awoken to.

Takua was a few steps ahead, looking all around before turning to eye the tram's track, and the blockage in front of it, "Well... looks like we're walking from here on out."

"Which way do we go?" Aster asked looking around. There were several different passage ways. One looked like it would lead them back the way they came; several others went in opposite directions and the last appeared too followed along the track line.

The Ta-Matoran considered all and then moistened Aster to fallow him as he picked a path, "I think this should put us under the section we want."

She followed after him down the chosen path. Though dimly lit there was plenty of working lights. From the looks of it the path had been used before though recently; at least by any Matoran.

"So, anyways," Takua spoke up, without looking he reached back to grasp Aster's hand and pull her even with him so they were walking side by side, "What were you saying about the place you woke up in?"

Aster thought a minute before answering. "I don't really remember much about... I was kind of out of it." Her mind had been in a fog. "It was an older area, the air was stale and there was dust everywhere. Vakama said it was in the Rahi storage; one of the older areas."

"Must have been pretty deep for no one to notice the damage, or someone would have been sent out." Takua thought, the location of cave in that blocked their former ride was filed away in the back of his mind for later, "Weird though that you were that deep, the lower levels are from a loooooong time ago."

"How long exactly?" Though she didn't expect an exact answer, Aster hoped that it may jog her memory if she knew how long her had been asleep.

"I'm not exactly sure," Takua said, the Ta-Matoran rumbling lightly as he scratched a seam of his Kanohi mask, "Longer then I have been around, and I'm five hundred and seventy two." he put a hand splayed over his chest and heartlight.

To her that sounded old but she reminded herself that she didn't even knew how long she had been stuck in the archives. "I was asleep for a long time." That was the only sure thing she knew.

"Maybe we can find something out," Takua offered, reaching over to pull Aster into a hug, before heading off, leading the disguised human with an arm over her shoulders. As much to guide her as to try and provide some farther comfort to the girl.

"Thanks, Takua." Aster said leaning into the Matoran's comforting embrace. She felt better from the small bit of comfort, or maybe it was the physical contact.

After some wandering Aster felt like she knew the tunnel they were in. It wasn't one of the tunnels Vakama lead her out of; yet it some how seemed familiar to her.

Takua slowed, looking up at the carved in writing on the side of the tunnel. The Matoran frowned a little and checked his data pad, "Huh, that's odd, how did we get way over here?" He asked no one in particular, but was far from concerned.

As the Ta-Matoran checked his datapad Aster walked towards another tunnel passage that led off in a completely different direction. The passage had an older feeling to it; and it a certain smell came to her mind as she walked into it a short ways. Fire, warm ash and comforting warmth; not exactly like Vakama or Lhikan but equally welcoming.

"Okay I think I know where we should go now," Takua looking up, grinning to show it was alright. His grin faltered and faded as he realized the Ga-Matoran wasn't with him any more. "Uh, Sati? Hello? ...Aster?"

He looked around, and then down. The tool maker didn't panic of course, one should never panic in the Archives anyways, but with this being an older tunnel and one that had a dirt/dust floor... Takua's brightly glowing red and orange eyes soon found the slightly smaller set of tracks. Fallowing them was easily enough and soon he found Aster at the end of the trail as he expected.

"There you are!"

The human in Matoran form had almost forgotten that she wasn't alone. Aster jumped as she was brought out of her trance like state at Takua's call as he trotted over. Blinking Aster didn't realize she had walked so far down the passage.

"Are you okay?" Takua asked, worried, reaching out to touch the female's blue shoulder.

"I think so. This place, I think I've been down this way before." she said touching one of the dust covered walls. "Though I'm not sure when."

The tool maker rubbed the back of his head, humming softly to himself as he lifted his data pad again. Poking the display, "This doesn't give very much information about this section... says something about old flames and... I think that says Kini..."

Aster looked from the Matoran, back down the tunnel that lead deeper. "Old flames..." she repeated as if the words may have some meaning to her though she couldn't remember way it could be.

"You're a living memory for the Great Spirit Ast...Sati," Takua spoke after a few moments of watching the disguised human, he reached out to take Aster's hand, giving it a slight squeeze of reassurance, though careful as even in her Matoran form she still had that softer metal, "Some things aren't going to come back to you right away."

If at all... but the Ta-Matoran couldn't bring himself to mention that added thought aloud. The human had already started coming to terms with the fact that she probably wouldn't remember anything, yet it wouldn't hurt to look down the tunnel. Would it?

"Can we go this way?" she asked. It probably would lead them away from the archives but she wanted to explore this way some more.

Had this been any other Ta-Matoran, then there would have been a long pause, hesitation to deviant from the chosen path.

This was Takua however.

He only blinked and then grinned wider as he took in the old, haven't been used in a long time tunnel, "Sure!" He said starting off in the new way. "You know this is how adventures start?"

Aster smiled and giggled a little. "From what Vakama said you go on a lot of adventures, right?" she asked as they followed the unused tunnel.

"Not like the adventures the Toa go on." Takua said, putting his hands behind his head, "I just like exploring! Lhikan has had to help me a few times though." The Ta-Matoran admitted with a sheepish look.

"Still, it sounds like fun." At least the exploring did; needing help from a Toa usually didn't mean fun. She had learned that already. Needing Toa Lhikan usually meant you were in dangerous trouble.

"It is!" Takua agreed, "But you learn real quick what you shouldn't explore alone." He paused and added, "The Toa doesn't explore that much with me anymore though."

"I think Lhikan has a lot to keep him busy." None of which seemed like they would be pleasant, "Hopefully he'll find a way to get rid of those roots." Though that was one problem she knew was plaguing Metru Nui, from the way she had seen him act Aster doubted it was the only problem.

The blue mask wearing Matoran nodded in agreement, "Even the Vahkii are having trouble. I don't know why the Turaga doesn't call for more Toa." He paused to inspect something on the floor, "I head Lhikan talking to himself about more Toa too…" he added, but more like a thoughtful comment to himself as they headed into the semi dark.