Predictions of the Unpredicted
Pleasant dreams, he said? No catch? Should’ve known better. Karzahni, that Vortixx was a random passerby. She should have realized that. She should’ve refused the offer.
It looked like a normal Suletu. Kanohi of that type didn’t generally have side effects, except for the fact that secrets were generally spoiled on accident. Not too bad, and a generally useful mask.
Problem was, some random Toa had come up to Fawae the other day and offered to give her this Suletu. He said it was specially forged to give the wearer pleasant dreams. That wasn’t too abnormal; after all, the art of slightly modifying masks in their forging was becoming rather common. The moment she handed him the widgets after she tested it, he was walking down the road again.
All this ran through her mind in those last seconds.
The night she bought the mask, she had returned from her patrol and greeted her team. A few had oohed and awed at the new mask, a few had said it was a waste, and the leader–Corus–seemed flat-out indifferent. Eventually, the Toa remaining in the camp fell fast asleep, with Fawae thinking of how good the following day would hopefully be.
She and Corus were the only ones awake in camp. Her leader informed her that they were all either gathering supplies or switching patrols. The early dawn painted a beautiful sky. The Rahi of the morning created a peaceful noise. The surrounding foliage let off a sweet aroma. Corus offhandedly commented, “Great morning. Hope it will be just as great of a day.”
Fawae awoke. The morning was picturesque. Corus glanced at her and offhandedly commented.
She nodded and replied, “Yea–wait, didn’t you just say that?”
“...No? You okay, Fawae?”
“Um... yeah. Fine. Just... Déjà vu.”
Corus shrugged and kept going about his work. The rest of the day was rather uneventful, but still peaceful and somewhat fun. Fawae found the coincidence that she had dreamed reality before it happened quite odd, but not anything to really be concerned about. That night she fell asleep while pondering the possibilities. “Oh well... Probably just a freak occurrence...”
Running. Some kind of freakish monster had just consumed Corus, and now it was chasing the rest of the present team. Where had this come from? There wasn’t any warning!
Fawae jumped from her sleeping pad. This time she was the second awake. One of her brothers was busy stoking the fire. Not that he really needed to, being a toa of fire. He just liked playing with fire, which the rest of the team found amusing.
An explosion rang through her ears, accompanied by bloinding light and searing heat. When her vision cleared, Fawae saw a gigantic, freakish monster. She screamed for everyone to wake up, and they were quickly engaged in combat.
It didn’t last long. The creature that had seemingly materialized from nothing was completely immune to elemental attacks; in fact, it seemed to become stronger with each blow received. Its maw clenched down upon two members of the team, but Corus wedged his quarterstaff between its crushing jaws just in time to save them.
Then he was gone. That set them running. This freakish monster had just consumed Corus, and now it was chasing the rest of the present team. She tripped and fell. In a moment, she felt teeth, and then nothing.
Fawae jolted awake, screaming. Her brothers leaped from their mats, asking what was wrong. After a few seconds of heavy breathing, she began to reply... and she couldn’t remember why she screamed.
And Nothing Happened
The Legends of Lhii
“Lhii was surfing, like he did any time he wasn't guarding the village or sleeping. After all, his board and his spear were both the only things that felt natural to him... Well, his duty and love for his Koro were natural, too. Yet, you are smart enough to know what I mean, young Matoran.
“Where was I? Ah yes! Lhii was surfing. The lava was especially fierce that day, and he was enjoying the thrilling ride between life and death. Now, I will not pardon lava surfing, and still discourage anyone from participating in it. Still, I will readily admit that that I got enjoyment from watching Lhii long ago...
“Surfing, right. My mind seems to be wandering today. Anyways, Lhii caught an especially furious wave and went into a wild flip. I was scared, but only for a moment. He came magnificently back to the swiftly flowing magma below him. The bystanders cheered and clapped, and another Matoran that was surfing tried to outdo him. He tried to do a flashy move. Ended up flying off his board.
“Time seemed to go in slow motion. The audience gasped. I gasped with them. Then, from seemingly nowhere, Lhii caught his foolish friend and safely transported the scared Matoran to shore. Needless to say, he gave up surfing for quite a while.
“Back to Lhii, though. He decided to wrap up that day of lava surfing, and quickly the activity at the river dwindled. Most of the Matoran there were there to watch him anyways. And so the majority of them trickled back to Ta-Koro. Lhii, of course, immediately went to go on duty, even though he was told to take the day off. No one could keep the captain from his guard.
“So he patrolled. Lhii went with two of the other guard members to perform the hourly rounds. They were about to check the cable leading to Ko-Wahi when Lhii noticed the cliff upon which they were standing was crumbling. He quickly dove to the side with one of the other Matoran. The other was able to jump out of harm’s way, or so he thought.
“It was after the fact that the Matoran realized his dilemma. He jumped off the cliff directly onto the cable... and he was now swinging from the snapped cord, over the massive chasm below him! Needless to say, he was scared out of his wits! He was so shocked that he let go of his lifeline!
“That would’ve been the end of him under normal circumstances. However, he was with the brilliant Lhii, a faithful friend in any situation! The brilliant little Matoran had seen the situation coming, and after getting up from his dive, he immediately leaned out, his left hand grasping a sure protrusion and his right reaching for his friend. His deft hand caught his friend’s ankle, and the third Matoran was able to pull them both back onto the ledge safely.
“Hmm... what happened next? Oh yes! Lhii and his two friends quickly were able to retrieve the cable with long poles and hooks, and they tied it off so that nobody would accidentally use the broken cable. They went to get supplies, fixed it, and the rest of the day was uneventful.
“Now, what is the point of this story? Nothing happened, you say? That’s exactly the point! Lhii was vigilant, and thus nothing happened that day! His acute observation, whether in a fun competition or a routine check, saved multiple lives! Learn from the example of Lhii and be ever vigilant, good Matoran.”
Fight or Flight
Running, running, forever running. The beasts were always behind, ready to consume her. Why didn’t they tire, why was there no escape? Did Mata-Nui, the Great Spirits, or whoever was in control of the universe find it fit for her to eternally suffer like this? Did she commit some overwhelming sin that had gotten her banished to this Doom Viper’s pit, this Karzahni?
She didn’t know, and she didn’t know why she didn’t know. She didn’t know how she could find these lost memories, either. She didn’t even know her name.
She woke up one morning here, or at least she thought morning was the correct term. She had vocabulary jumbled in her mind, and she knew what a lot of it meant, or at least she assumed she did. She also thought she was in a cave, and that the cries of these terrible beasts sounded like ferocious, starving Muaka. The grunts sounded like furious Stone Apes. The hisses sounded like venomous, hunting Doom Vipers.
But she couldn’t remember anything! She was a... Matoran. Of water, she thought, due to the blue armor she caught sight of in the brief light she entered every few hours. The beasts stopped when she entered these areas, staying out of sight. She thought she was safe. Then night fell, and she found herself fleeing again.
She still didn’t know why. She didn’t have a clue. She just remembered... blood. Oil. Torn flesh, shattered machinery. Dying gasps. Cold laughs. Utter fear. Bright red eyes. Fire on the water surrounding the village. Darkness. She thought she had died...
But she couldn’t remember anything. That was nothing. It was fragments of memory, not memories themselves. She remembered adrenaline pumping, fighting for her life. Against something. It was some beast, or maybe it was some sapient creature. She didn’t remember. She just knew that she couldn’t fight this time. She had to continue her flight, desperately hoping for a light at the end of this tunnel... A light that wouldn’t be from an impossibly tall, perfectly smooth shaft going straight into whiteness above.
Fate... that was the word. Why had fate taken her here? What was fate, truly? Was it that she would run until her strength gave out, that her flight would end and she would be torn to shreds by these Rahi?
Wait... was that light? She dared not hope. Yes, it was. It grew stronger. But it couldn’t be an escape. Was it? It seemed warm... unlike the previous rays. They were sterile, white. This was flickering, warm, orange.
It was a... candle? A torch? Those were light devices. They provided fire. Fire was warm, flickering, life-giving. They meant someone was near. With one final push of her tired legs, the Matoran stumbled from the tunnel and into the light.
Vezon fell through the dimensional hole. Instead of gracefully planting his feet into the snow, he face-planted into it. He immediately began to slurp it up. Then he realized that it wasn’t snow, it was... sweet. Smooth. Even though he had no idea what it was, he kept slurping away.
Then, once he had been sufficiently filled, the half-Skakdi stood and looked around himself. There was still plenty of the stuff, covering the mountains like it really was snow. The mountain itself, which he could feel now that he had eaten quite a bit of the substance, was squishy and porous. Shrugging, he dug some up, and popped it into his mouth.
Again, sweet. Squishy. Delicious. He licked his lips and began trudging forth. He seemed to be in some kind of land of food... that looked exactly like Mt. Ihu. Interesting. The squishy white substance came down from the sky in little drops, coating everything. It was certainly stickier than snow, aside from being extremely delicious.
Oh, there was Ko-Koro. Maybe the Matoran there could explain the odd weather. He liked it, but it would take forever to lick himself clean once he got out of it.
When he got to the village, he saw the citizens going about their work... and they were all brown, as he saw if one scraped off the sticky substance. He walked up and, not saying anything, bit the head off one.
Ignoring the ensuing panic, Vezon leaned against a red and white striped pole. Sweet, crunchy, with a little spice. This was definitely an interesting universe. He wondered what he would taste like, if he met himself. Shrugging, he strolled right on down the mountain, ignoring the screams and attacks. After all, the spears were made of something that broke rather easily and tasted quite delicious. The points were sharp, though they seemed to just be a hard version of the sticky stuff.
Soon, he was on the Mangai. It was tightly packed, but once he hit it enough, the substance was very crumbly and bitter. Yet, it tasted good. Shrugging again, he continued. When he reached the river of lava... he dove in. Five seconds later, he was out of it, screaming in agony. His face, tongue, eyes, and everything else burned. Whatever it was spicy. Good, but spicy.
This was a very strange dimension. Shrugging once more, he continued trekking on his merry way, tears still pouring from happiness and utter pain.
Blood, dirt, sweat, grinding joints. Blurred blackness, muffled sounds. His enemy stood, the crowd jeered. Was this all Trymak’s training had come to? If Gelu were here, he’d be disgusted... and he would be cheering, too. However, he had, for some reason, opted out on watching the match. The Toa of ice grunted, rolling to the side right before his opponent’s blade would have pierced his shoulder.
Oh, Spherus Magna had been reformed, and everyone was at peace, for the most part. Still, old habits die hard, and the gladiatorial matches, while slightly tamed, were a massive attraction and competition for all the villages. Atero had been rebuilt, and in the center was a massive arena. The rest was a massive, sprawling city, filled with residents of all the villages; each village had rebuilt itself in an easily accessible location and laid down a road to the central city.
Society had quickly found itself to revolve, at least for entertainment purposes, around the tournaments. Every week the villages held their own tournaments for training and qualifying for the monthly tournaments in Atero. The top winners of these, in turn, participated in the yearly Heroes’ War. This had become the biggest event of Spherus Magna, and every ten years past champions were invited to return. If they chose, they could send another fighter in their place, training them personally for the whole year leading up to the event.
Trymak was one of those students. Gelu, the champion of a Heroes’ War long ago, had chosen the spry Toa as his trainee. Instead of conventional training, they travelled as merchants around the world. At first, Trymak was disappointed and ready to leave Gelu, but he realized soon that their travels were more important than he thought. He didn’t fight daily, but Gelu entered him in whatever village’s match was happening when they were in town. He learned the fighting styles of everyone, and though at first he often lost, he quickly learned to think fast.
This was the year of the Heroes’ War. Trymak had found himself in the second to last match and, after a vicious fight with a Glatorian of Tajun, he was placed into the final bracket. Now he faced the champion of Tesara, Gresh. He still entered into these tournaments, and constantly showed his skill in battle. Despite having been in the sport for centuries, the Glatorian was as energetic and strong as ever. He was, in fact, a very difficult opponent to face.
This difficulty was becoming all too apparent. Trymak was, to say the least, getting his posterior handed to him. It was all he could do to not get bested in the first few seconds. Gresh seemed to be everywhere, not missing a step in his dance around the Toa of ice.
Wiping blood from his lips, Trymak deflected Gresh’s blade with the grip of his war hammer. A rather unconventional choice of a weapon against a fast opponent, he knew. But I he could get one hit in, it would be over.
Well, it was pointless. It wasn’t all about winning, it was about the experience. Thus, completely exhausted, Trymak threw up his hands and fell to his knees.
Death and life. Both were facts of the world. Heroes came and went, villains were the same. The average Matoran lived the average life, worked his job, met with friends. This went onwards for centuries, until something brought him to his end, whence unfortunate circumstances caused his heart-light to blink out.
The funeral dirge echoed eerily over the dunes of Po-Koro. It was only fitting that the death of the village’s greatest musician was honored by a full, solemn orchestra. Drusteph had been a pioneer on Mata Nui, introducing the island to music that they had never before heard. Whether he played the violin with a rock or composed a piano piece involving sawing the strings, he was a brilliant Matoran. He used water wheels to create electricity–without the help of a Toa!–which he channeled into oddly shaped instruments that created previously unheard sounds.
This orchestra consisted of his friends, his followers, and his enemies. Yes, even those who were against his music. The ones who opposed Drusteph the most played most passionately at the ceremony of his death. He was their opponent, he was the one upon which they placed the blame of the wild actions of the day. Yet, in spite of their dislike, they could not say that the Matoran lacked skill.
Drusteph was the life of Mata Nui, he was the power behind happiness. He brightened the days with his magical music, his sorcery of sonic and electric energy. He was simultaneously the Matoran that discovered unnatural electricity and the father of music using the energy. The orchestra’s piece, incorporating more somber elements of the music, reached its end, and not a dry eye was in the massive procession. Drusteph was laid with his first instrument in a mausoleum dedicated to his legacy. The carving around his coffin were ornate, filled with bright designs that he would have wanted. The funeral would have been almost too solemn for the hero of Po-Koro were it not for these cheerful designs.
As the second orchestral piece began, the mood quickly brightened. Life was to keep going, and the music of Drusteph was still there. The distinct electronic noises echoed over the dunes, and though tears were still present, joy was felt in the hearts of the gathered Matoran. The music kept going after dusk, moving back to the village. Villagers from every Koro joined in the celebration of life, the song that was no longer a dirge, the music of Drusteph that was there, invigorating them and pushing them onwards.
Well, feel free to comment on any or all of them. =3 In addition, my CoT topic is right here.
Edited by Ballistic Jello Pickles, Jun 08 2012 - 01:23 PM.