“Ninety-seven bula berries, ninety-eight bula berries, ninety-nine bula berries… one hundred bula berries! Ready-hidden or not, here I come!”
The Le-Matoran glanced up from the side of his hut, a grin upon his mask as he stared intently into the forest around him. He may not have been the fastest or best seeker of their little group, but he knew they would help him out; a mimic of the breeze as one rocked a branch, a “Rahi” fumbling through the foliage… they were somewhere within the sun shafted canopy as he hobbled along, snickering to himself. He knew it wouldn’t be a clever reveal, as much as he hoped it to be, but he would find pleasure somehow in it.
The green of the trees around him remained still as he scanned through the vines, glancing up and down as one swayed here and there. The glow of their eyes or heartlight was not giving them away, teal and green and blue armor and masks blending in well with the surroundings. They were probably chuckling too, he thought, as he brushed aside a shrub on the side of another hut. Nothing, though he swore he saw something staring at him from within it.
Maybe there was someone in the hut, the Matoran thought as he glanced in the window. He peeked over the sill, expecting to be darkness from the leaves, but light was in there, in the form of a small cooking fire. The quiet crackling was startling, as he walked into the house, in search of a water bucket. A fire unattended would burn down this section of the koro. Sitting on the side was what he looked for, which he splashed onto the fire. He stamped the pile a few times, to assure that it was extinguished, and setting down the bucket, returned to the game.
They’d made a perimeter, boundaries on which they agreed to not hide beyond. The Le-Matoran’s smile had gone away though, as his searching was coming up fruitless. There were no snickers from the trees, no indication that they were even there. And the day was growing old; the white shafts of sun that streamed through the green were now golden yellow. Night was coming, and the game had to end sometime soon. He called out their names, through the trees, claiming defeat, but to no avail; no singsong, treespeaking voices replied to him. Standing in the center of his neighborhood, shoulders sagging, he looked into the darkening forest with worry.
“What happened to everybody?” he wondered aloud.