Welcome, one and all! Please, please, have a seat. Allow me to introduce you to my very first BZPower-posted epic, The Protar Chronicles. I actually wrote this years ago, although as I post the chapters I'll be doing some editing. Who is this Protar person? Believe it or not, he's actually a real Bionicle character, although I named him myself. What's his connection to Roodaka? Read on if you wish to experience the riveting tale...
The Protar Chronicles
Part 1: Vinak Stumbles
"Well, Vinak, aren't you excited? Today's the big day!"
Vinak's eyes flew open and were flooded with light. It was morning, and he was laying on his bed. His good friend, Kondur, was standing in the doorway.
He sat up and glanced around his one-room home with undecorated gray walls and dull furnishing.
"Yes, but if I don't get enough rest, then I'll never make it, you know that..."
"Oh, come on. You've had plenty of time for resting, Vinak."
Vinak sighed. He knew his friend was right. It wasn't so much that he was still tired, but... He wasn't sure he could trust his partner. But then, around here, you often can't, he thought with distaste. Still, excitement at what the day would hold coursed through him.
Today was the day he would go through the Xian rite of passage. He was a Vortixx, and every Vortixx had to go through a rite of passage at some point in their lives. He was a very young Vortixx, but he did have a job at a factory on the island, which was dirty and unpleasant, and if he succeeded in conquering the mountain he would have a chance for better working conditions.
Although most likely it would be of little improvement, as he lived in a society where females harshly dominated. Nevertheless, the rite of passage was an important moment in the life of all Vortixx, and he couldn't help but feel excited at the prospect. Kondur had completed his rite of passage weeks ago, and now it was Vinak's turn.
- - * - -
Later that day, the two of them, Vinak and his partner, were standing side by side at the foot of the mountain located in the center of their island. Around them, other Vortixx were giving them final words of encouragement and wishing them luck. It was rather a small crowd, actually.
Kondur put his hand on Vinak's shoulder. "Good luck," he said. "I'm sure you'll be fine." His awkward smile betrayed his worry, however.
Vinak found it impossible to smile. The muscles under his green armor were twisting with apprehension. Climbing a mountain should have been a simple matter, and on any other island, it would've been. But the mountain on Xia was no ordinary mountain. No, this mountain had a taste for bio-mechanical beings, and an unfortunate habit of moving on it's own. Any plants that grew on it were full of acid, and even the sky was said to rain fire over it. Forcing down his mounting fear, he put on a resolute expression and turned to his black-armored partner.
His partner turned from another female Vortixx she had been speaking to.
"Why, yes. I'm so very much looking forward to it." She smiled in what seemed to be sweetness, but somehow her smile always made his spine crawl.
"Well, we may as well start, then," was his reply.
- - * - -
That climb was the most difficult and frightening thing Vinak had ever done up to that point in his life. He was scared out of his wits of getting eaten, and more than once the rock making up the mountain took a snap at him. His partner, Roodaka, didn't help, as she kept looking at him as if he was a well-cooked meal, or so he kept imagining it. He tried to shake this feeling off, but he knew too well about the tradition of Vortixx betraying each other on the mountain.
The other Vortixx actually seemed to congragulate members of their species who came back down the mountain alone due to treachery. Vinak had considered using such tactics himself, but even the sight of a dying rodent rahi on the seashore made his armor twitch. The thought of seeing one of his own put in that state by his own hand and without due cause, well, he didn't think he could bear it.
In fact, at one point during the climb he found such an oppurtunity to betray Roodaka into the mountain's stony jaws, but he chose not to take it. He wasn't even sure if Roodaka had noticed it.
However, halfway up the mountain, that fateful moment came. Vinak's foot got stuck in a crevice, and the mountain began pulling him in. He pulled with all his might, but the stone held him fast.
"Roodaka! Help me!" he cried desperately.
Roodaka smiled and said, in her most poisonously sweet voice, "No, I don't think so." She continued her climb, leaving him to die.
An icy dread shot down his spine. He struggled with the rock, gripping his leg and pulling with even greater might than before, driven by sheer desperation and fear. His leg slipped an inch or so out of the stone.
Elated, he continued the struggle, his own desire to live vs. the mountain's unquenchable hunger. Several times he was sure it had him, but then, with a yank that nearly tore his leg in two, he managed to get free. Trouble was, he was on a sheer cliff, and since his hands were on his leg, he had no grip on the rock. The only way from there was straight down.
Have I escaped the mountain's jaws just to die on it's jagged teeth below? As he whipped through the air, there was nothing he could do, nothing to grab on to.
Then he landed. Hard. Dazed, he spent several agonized moments on the verge of blacking out, before gaining enough awareness to realize that, though winded and bruised, he was neither dead nor quite dying. He had, he soon realized, landed on a ledge. He laughed and struggled to catch his breath. Thou donst hast me just yet, O thou wicked mountain!
Just then, a gaping hole opened in the rock beneath him. Uttering a startled cry, he fell into darkness...
But he didn't die then, either. Instead of closing in around him, the opening widened into a cave. The hole shut and he was left in the dark, and suddenly he found himself landing in a pool of strange liquid. He sank into it, struggling to swim, but he was still breathless and his lungs were on fire. His mind began to fade... Fade... Into blackness...
But then, something very strange happened. He could have sworn he heard a voice, very faint, but just audible... Be at ease, O favored one. You have a grand destiny awaiting you...
And then, as if it couldn't get any stranger, came the next part of one of the most bizarre experiences of his life. The liquid, which certainly was not water, seemed to electrocute him, ripping a part and rearranging the particles of his body. It wasn't a pleasant experience.
He could never recall exactly how long he'd been in the pool, but the next thing he could remember was when he managed to drag himself out and lay on the edge. The only thing he could think of was to reach daylight. As he desperately searched the wall for a way out, suddenly, miraculously, a crack opened up before him, leading out into the light, as if obeying his will.
He slowly stepped through the crack and found himself rather close to the bottom of the mountain. His mind was still in a daze, and he made his down the foothills with the vague intent of complaining to the other Vortixx about Roodaka's cheating.
But before he reached the city, he passed a puddle of water on the ground. As he walked past he saw a flash of something unexpected in it, and he stopped to get a better look. What he saw made him gasp. It was his reflection, but instead of his normal, green-armored self, a strange silver-armored Vortixx was staring back at him. The silver being, which couldn't have been him, had armor that was very smooth, not rough like a typical Vortixx's.
As he stared at this being and came to terms with the fact that it was indeed he himself, something tugged at his mind, as if some part of him was trying to tell him something. The buzz got so bad that he waved his hand as if to shoo a small bug.
Suddenly, his hand burst into flame. He gasped and outstretched his arm, but then he realized the fire did not hurt. Then it went out. After a few moments of thought, he tried to find whatever had tugged on his mind. He found it and reached into it. He willed the fire to return and it did. Then, acting on instinct, he waved his arm. Suddenly a wall of fire sprang up before him. He smiled and elatedly launched a roaring fireball into the sky. He grinned from ear to ear. Somehow, some way, he'd changed.
He was physically stronger, and he'd gained innate elemental power. This was unheard of among Vortixx! With a yell he whirled in a circle. To his further surprise, a small cyclone sprang to life, twirling away into the wilderness. Not just fire...? he marveled.
At this, an incredible idea occurred to him. He spread his hand over the puddle, and it froze over. Whoa. Standing up straight, he stretched his palms to the ground and a hole opened up in the dirt. Holy Muaka... He scratched his head for a moment, then waved his hand over the hole, and solid rock filled in the hole. He thrust his hand into the sky and a thin stream of water shot from his hand. He grinned again. Somehow he now posessed the six regular elemental powers of Toa! But how?
At the time it puzzled him, but later he learned that the pool of liquid he'd fallen in must have been energized protodermis. It had transformed him forever. No longer was he just a Vortixx, now he was something more. Much more. Words echoed in his mind: You have a grand destiny before you...
His first thought was to return to the Vortixx and try to explain what had happened to him, but something held him back. A grand destiny... He suddenly realized that he hated life on Xia. But still, this was the only world he knew. It was his home, his world... And yet... He couldn't help but feel he belonged elsewhere.
By the time he reached his decision, he had become quite well-acquainted with his new physique, as portrayed in the puddle. In the end, he snuck aboard a ship leaving Xia and never looked back.
Well, there's chapter one. Chapters will be posted weekly, so the next one should be posted on Thursday, January 3rd. I hope you're enjoying it so far.
Comments, constructive criticism, Grammar Hammering, nitpicks, complaints, praise, encouragement, nobel prizes, and the like are of course more than welcome in the review topic, which is here: The Protar Chronicles: Review.
1/2/13 EDIT: Made some formatting changes. Looks cleaner now, I think. Added a few minor wording edits as well.
Edited by TahuNuvaFan, Jan 05 2013 - 05:55 PM.