Green eyes opened at Antrim's approach. Merror lay on his slab of a bed, resting from his morning run. He sat up as the Toa-Protector addressed him, his abdominal strength easily hoisting his torso upright; the Toa of Fire certainly had not allowed his physique to deteriorate over his three-month seclusion.
"Yes?" he answered, one hand gripping the edge of the stone bed as he swung his legs over and rose.
"Joske awaits you in the village. I suggest you go meet him at once."
"Thank you for letting me know he's there," he said, swinging his shoulder and stretching the slightly cramped muscles. "As I said, I think three months is long enough. You didn't tell him I'm coming?"
Antrim shook his head. Merror had briefly discussed his plans to speak with Joske the previous day, and Antrim had agreed to inform Merror once the young Toa was up.
"Good," Merror replied, nodding again in gratitude. As Antrim left, Merror turned to the makeshift rack where his twin swords lay, picking them up, he examined the keen edges and shining metal momentarily, then sheathed them at his back. Sitting down on the end of the bed, he glanced at a pile of Mata Nui Daily copies in the corner of the room. The paper had been his main way of keeping track of the outside world; and a lot had changed in three months. Technology was advancing, the Koro were enjoying increasing prosperity, and the remnants of Makuta's forces had barely been heard from. When Merror had heard the news of the darkness' defeat, he'd felt some pangs of guilt that he had not been there to defend the Matoran against the Rahkshi's onslaught; but then, that was exactly why Skyra had wisely persuaded him to take this break in the first place. To let him get away from the worry.
And get away he had. His time here had hardly been wasted; he'd read the Daily and whatever scrolls and tablets the monks would lend him, contemplated and meditated, and (once he'd had the first week of total rest) followed a strict exercise regime. Pull-ups on the door-frame, long runs through the tundra, all manner of sit-ups, press-ups and weight-lifts, sword practice, even the occasional wild Rahkshi hunt...Merror was as fit as he'd ever been.
But his only contact had been with the quiet monks, the distant Antrim, and the occasional trader when the Daily's news wasn't enough. He'd noticed Joske and Cael's arrival in the village but he had kept his distance; until now. It was time to step back into the world of the living.
As Merror descended the stone steps leading down from the monastery to the village, the morning sun bathing the side of the Massif in a warm glow, he reflected on the last time he and Joske had met. It had not been under the best of circumstances; indeed, Joske had almost melted Merror's shoulder-armour. But Merror had been watching Joske, and he seemed a changed Toa. From what he'd heard from Antrim, it seemed that the ex-Kolhii star had lost his elemental powers. The Protector hadn't said much more on the subject, but Merror's curiosity had been piqued, and now, three months to the day since Merror had cloistered himself away, the Toa of Fire stepped into the small village in the great rock's lee, and made for the small training chamber where he knew Joske would be.
Reaching the entrance - neither of the couple within had noticed him yet - he leaned against the doorway.
"Good morning," he said.