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Aderia

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About Aderia

Year 10
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    Submerged!
  • Birthday March 3

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    'Aderia', like you're saying "I dare 'ya!" real casual-like.

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  1. Although I'm not really a gardener, I did save bell pepper seeds a few weeks ago, and they finally got big enough to move out of their original seedling containers, (their namesakes), and I repotted them today into a more permanent home. This is, Midgy. Midgy is small but he likes big pots and he cannot lie. If I wore it on my head, it would be like a sub-par umbrella. Shelly was originally planted in an eggshell. Icy was originally planted in an old icing container. Max was originally planted in an empty Maxwell Coffee container. Cuppy is the one whose nametag you cannot see. And I don't think anyone would ever be able to guess what his original planter was. I am very proud of their names. I have a spider plant, a larger pepper plant that's about a foot high and just began flowering, and a succulent of some type, and a lot of cat grass because I wanted the neighborhood stray to like me (didn't work). I also have a Lucky Bamboo who I've had for almost 3 years now, named Fenton.
  2. They could give the little green army guys a good run for their money. I could also see military vehicle sets being a hit. I think it would be hard for LEGO to have a celebrity/pop culture theme.
  3. Whoa. Mine is the same way for me and I thought I fed it too much. But when I log out, it's back to normal, everyone else's look normal to me either way, except yours. Love the corresponding blog title XD
  4. YES!! I recently re-read Adventures as well! I felt like a little kid again! Gotta love the city of legends. Haha, I'm currently stuck somewhere in Island of Doom (thankfully not stuck on the island of doom).
  5. Aderia

    ARC-5555

    So I've been on a recent Star Wars kick, thanks to Disney+ and a bunch of recommendations from friends. I don't often doodle or draw, and even less often do I share, but I was pleasantly surprised how this post-it turned out during lecture, and I naturally needed to document it on the internet : ) Never expected to like the clones as much as I did, really well done in the show, I think. Definitely used to be scared of them (stormtroopers in general, mostly from the original trilogy) as a little kid going to see the prequels on the big screen with my fam.
  6. Chapter 11: Lore and Legion Highborn, sea-bred, spawn of night, Swept from the north, the tyrant’s blight. Doling no mercy that’s not been earned. All wicked deeds in kind, returned. Erylist sat, perched on an unused work table, whistling. The tune, all too familiar, wound its way through the heavy air in Armonger’s forge, to the annoyance of Seja, who stood atop another table with arms and wings folded haughtily. She did not look comfortable, with her long neck bowed as low as possible, not because the ceiling was high, but from the assortments of this, that, and everything in between Armonger kept hanging from the ceiling. Whatever didn’t fit in the floor-to-ceiling shelves with crates and crates of other knick-knacks and experiments. The weaponsmith himself rummaged through the top row of shelves at the far end of the room, closest to the fires, and was apparently unperturbed by the heat. “Will you stop with that song?” Seja growled, opening an eye to glare at Erylist. They all knew the words. It was a song about them, after all. Erylist shrugged. “It’s catchy.” “Don’t make her mad,” Armonger called around two crates he was carrying over, one in his top set of arms, and the second in his second set of arms. The dragon-like tinkerer teetered precariously on his last set of limbs, barely making it back to his work table safely. “She’ll fidget, and the molds will be ruined.” Seja stood with her raptorial legs, from the mid-thigh down, completely encased in molds. Armonger’s plan was to cast boots for her that would make walking on solid ground painless and simple as flight. Although her talons were deadly enough in battle, they weren’t suited well for grounded work, of which they had been partaking more and more. When comes the shade of jaguar’s night And vain is hope of last moons-light, Soft through the dark slips raider’s end With silent steps and wrongs to rend. “Why don’t I get special gadgets?” Erylist hopped off the table and began to poke through the nearest crate. “What do you call your entire set of armor you’re wearing?” Armonger replied. He pulled loose two sacks of powder and began measuring the contents carefully into portions. “It’s not shiny, that’s what I call it,” she said. “That’s the point,” he said. "Matte. No reflection when you’re stealthing around.” “I can do other stuff, you know,” Erylist insisted. But, of course, her brother and sister weren’t the ones she needed to convince of that. “I passed that on to Av’Kra, and Axonn,” Seja sighed. “What? When did you see them?” Erylist demanded. You didn't meet with the commander of the Hand and his deputy for any idle reason. “On my debriefing from that mission to Ibonar.” “When did you go to Ibonar?” The Midnighter’s rising tone betrayed mounting indignation. “Do you know the last time they sent me on a mission?” Seja and Armonger exchanged a loaded glance, which didn’t escape her notice. “It was a diplomatic assignment,” was all Seja said. “You hate those." “Careful with that!” Armonger snapped, as Erylist chucked a device she’d been fiddling with back into its crate, none too gently. “I could learn diplomacy!” she protested. Seja closed her eye again, and Armonger pointedly engrossed himself in measuring glowing metallic shavings. “I can fight,” Erylist went on, petulant. “I took out a whole outpost of Nehrians! And I didn’t do too bad in that infiltration sting, remember? Kept it nice and low key the whole time, and-“ “We know all this, Eryl,” Seja interrupted finally. It was best not to let her go on, and work herself into a temper. “Take it up with Av’Kra.” “I’ll take it up with Artakha himself if I have to,” Erylist promised to no one. As operatives of the Hand of Artakha, they didn’t technically work for the Creator Titan, but as creations of Artakha himself, Erylist, Armonger, and Seja were few of the Hand operatives outside command who were privy to audiences with the titan. “You’re the best stealth agent we have,” Armonger offered, sweeping the metal shavings into a bowl, along with the powders. “But that also means the more you’re deployed, more you and your skillset become known.” Seja had both eyes, blood-violet, open, fixing her sister with a scrutinizing gaze. “Rather be a Toa than a Kanohi,” Erylist said, spitefully quoting the popular Matoran proverb. Kanohi had one power, but a Toa using a Kanohi had many. It was one of the many sayings they’d learned in the three-years long mission in the Southern Islands, uncovering and taking down the multi-island slaver network. That was the mission that had, yes, broken and remade them as a team, but had also catapulted them to the status of legend in the South, as well as among their peers. That was where they’d first heard the song about them. ‘Gainst coast and corsair, the dragon’s fight Bane-ships and brutes flee venom's bite. To Karzahni’s twisted gates they fly, As victor’s roar thunders the sky. “So, that’s where you’re storming off to?” Armonger glanced up as she ripped open the door to his forge. “To find Av’Kra?” The leader of the Hand of Artakha wasnt’ even on the island. He was taking care of negotiations at the Southern Continent Citadel at the request of the large organization of Toa warriors and scholars there. Erylist didn’t answer, and it seemed futile to try and stop her. But that didn’t stop Armonger’s concerned gaze from following her out into the courtyard of the Hand’s fortress headquarters. “She’ll figure it out eventually, and hopefully tire herself out in the process,” Seja shrugged, also watching her go. “You’re not worried she’s starting to really hate us?” the dragon asked. “It’s misdirected frustration, that’s all,” Seja told him. “You sound confident.” The winged warrior’s only response was to tap the ridge of her Kanohi Suletu knowingly. 'Ware falling blades of wingéd sprite, With soul-sharp eyes and Inner Sight. Rains justice cold as low she flies, Knowledge vast, and counsel wise. “I didn’t hate you, you know. I was just…young,” the Erylist of the present said, now dropping into their midst from somewhere above them, from where she’d been watching this time. Seja and Armonger should have looked startled, to see an older, wearier Erylist appear out of nowhere. “I never hated you." “We know,” they said together, both turning and boring into her with unblinking eyes. “So why did you fail us?” And the sensation of falling and the sound of a windstorm drove Erylist to her knees. The forge’s fires went dark, and the whole foundry melted away. The Midnighter crouched, holding her breath, and when her world stopped spinning, she found she had a bird’s eye view of the scene below. It was night, and she was hovering above an all too familiar harbor. It was Xia, and the deck of the gleaming Brotherhood vessel spread out below her. She saw Seja, Armonger and herself, her past self, sprawled unmoving, and at the mercy of white-armored warrior. Pridak. “Why did you fail us?” their words echoed in the air around her. Again, she fell. From hard-fought battles to triumph bright They put the land once more to right Boasting proud Great Spirit’s light, The Children of Artakha’s might. With a splash, she plunged deep into a frigid, black ocean. She fought, but the water she was fighting had no substance, only cold. She may as well have been fighting void. This was the part of the nightmare that felt the most familiar. In the midst of her thrashing, she struck something solid, startling a gasp out of her. Opening her mouth was a mistake, and the icy nothing that was drowning her rushed in with unnatural ferocity. But that something solid held on, grasping her arm and burning her. She knew it would be death to let go, though. She was falling in reverse, at the mercy of this burning grip. When she finally broke the surface, she found a Toa of Fire hauling her onto a dock, stern but concerned expression somewhat foiled by his Kanohi Miru. “Sister,” he said to her. But her attention was consumed by the Onu-Matoran at the Toa’s side, who sat facing away from her. 'I need to see his mask.' She reached for the Matoran’s shoulder to spin him toward her. She leapt back with a cry. The Matoran had Seja’s face, and it asked once more, “Why?” She slipped back off the dock, and was falling again. But this time, Erylist could see where she was falling. Metru Nui, the Great City. She fell through rain and thunder and hail, with lightning zagging angrily around her. She caught a glimpse of the Avohkah Tamer, her mentor, through the storm. The fierce winds ripped her cry for help from her throat, and the Avohkah Tamer raced away into the gale. The unmistakable colossus that was The Coliseum spread out below her, calling the lightning to its pylons. Calling her. It was strong, and no matter how she twisted and turned in the air, she couldn’t control her fall. She was sure she was screaming, but what good had that ever done? An immense pain of impact wracked her entire frame, and she saw an energy pylon erupt from her heartlight, having impaled her straight through. With a groan, Erylist, the real Erylist, sat up and spat the city sludge back into the stream that ran over her, shaking off the lingering dream-terror as she looked around the dark tunnel, lined with pipes and bundles of wiring. She was still in one of Metru Nui’s many gutter-tunnels, but there was no sign of her quarry - a many-tentacled Takea-squid hybrid, amphibious, and as she’d just learned, capable of electrifying you straight to oblivion. This wasn’t the first Rahi chase that had ended in the Rahi’s favor, but it was the first one that had almost drowned her in the city’s slurry and runoff. It was time to get to the surface. There was no telling how long she’d been unconscious. Sore and feeling weak in more than just one way, Erylist scraped what slurry she could from her armor, and staggered to her feet. The slurry was a mix of various oils and machine fluids, granulated solid and metallic protodermis, various bits of organic matter, mostly plants from the smell of it, and some chunks of synthetic protodermis that refused to break down. She wouldn’t be surprised if she’d been out for a few hours, based on how little she’d been sleeping in recent weeks. Her dream sequences, when she did sleep, were mostly the same, and always ending at the Coliseum, one way or another. Usually it wasn’t a gruesome, impaled death. That was new, and perhaps she’d ask Helryx to have a contracted Toa of Psionics peer into her head to make sure everything was okay, once her mission in the city was done. Of course, at the rate Erylist had been going, for nearly a year now, her mission in Metru Nui would go on for centuries. Armonger and Seja, once fellow members of the Hand of Artakha, and now fellow members of Helyrx’s Order, were here in the city somewhere, trapped in stasis, as Erylist herself had once been, over a century ago. Erylist’s job was to get them back. Her job was to also find out what in Mata Nui’s name was going on in the city, since all exports and communications had halted years earlier. And that all looked simple and straightforward on the directives tablets, but when was anything in life actually that simple or straightforward. Shaking more slurry out of crevices in her armor, Erylist grumbled to herself as she keyed in coordinates to her holo-nav device. “I didn’t spend a year in intensive training on Daxia to get left for dead in the gutters by mutant crustaceans.” She didn’t even know what metru she was in - or, under. The display from her device said she was still in Ga-Metru, but on other side from where she’d started. A green pinprick appeared on the edge of her nav’s display. It was accompanied by a second pinprick of the same green light, which caught her interest. These were two of her tracking devices that were programmed into the device. She brought up information on the pinpoints with two quick commands punched into the device. “Matoran?” One tracker was her Le-Matoran contact, Larker, and the other was some Ga-Matoran she’d had a brief encounter with, and not seen in the months since. With a shrug, she scrolled on the display until she found the nearest maintenance tunnel exit, and loped off after the pinpricks of light. And the watcher in the shadows was satisfied. Sometimes, it was sure that the Midnighter knew it was there. But perhaps that was just paranoia. The watcher melted away. “You’re sure this is the way?” Tengi asked. Again. She was ninety-seven percent he was just as lost as she. “Right-sure,” Larker replied, obviously distracted. He whistled again, and shook a small box of dried Bula berries. “Subi!” “Do you really think that’s a good idea? Anything could be out here with us,” Tengi fretted. “The Rahkshi probably scared off anything else,” the Le-Matoran reasoned, and called his Ussal again. The two made their way through what used to be an Assembler’s village. They had to walk carefully. The center of the main boulevard had collapsed in, and was now the district’s newest canyon. It wasn’t that impressive, right now, but time and earthquakes would fix that. But this was a long-abandoned village. “Maybe we passed the village they said to go to?” Tengi suggested. “Hey.” “Hm?” “Who’s that Kesian Matoran, anyway?” She had a hunch that would be a sufficient distraction. “Who’s Kesian?” Larker repeated, turning to look at her. “He’s only the boss-chief of half of Le-Metru.” “Really?” Tengi was skeptical. One Matoran couldn’t hold that much power, surely. “He runs the Phase Dragon company, is an advisor to the committees of most of the other big-shot companies in Le-Metru, meet-chats with the Turaga, they say.” “But, you don’t know him?” “Well, now I do,” Larker said, as though he didn’t quite believe it himself. “If he’s your boss, how could you not have met him?” she pressed. “It’s a big business.” He shrugged, as though that settled it. “Sounds like a bad business,” she muttered. “Job-work is job-work,” Larker said. “Rare-precious nowadays.” “Well, it doesn’t much sound like he cares about his workers,” Tengi shot back. "He’s out playing Toa, whatever that was, while his workers are scrounging for spare widgets?” Larker said nothing, but whistled for Subi again. He didn’t have the energy to address the Kikanalo in the room, the hokey-pokey Toa-hero game they’d just witnessed. “If he can’t even be bothered to meet his workers, how can he even be in charge of any?” “Kesian’s been a high-flyer as long as anyone can remember,” he explained. “Some Matoran just have Mata Nui’s blessing like that.” “That’s ridiculous. You talk about him - scraps, you even talk to him like he’s made of purified protodermis. Nobody’s that special.” Larker didn’t meet her eye. “Subi!” he called, instead. Tengi growled to herself. If it didn’t mean wandering off on her own through the dangerous night in a completely new part of the city, in a more or less hostile Metru, she’d leave. She tried to think of a subject change, quickly getting tired of being for the Le-Matoran who wouldn’t be indignant for himself. “Subi can follow your scent, right?” “Let’s trust-hope so,” he said, also relieved she’d let off. “How old is he?” she asked. “I haven’t worked with Ussal much, but-“ “Shh!!” “Hey! I’m not the one who’s been whistling all night! Don’t-“ “Hush-quiet! Low-duck!” Larker pulled her off what was left of the main road, into the shadow of one of the assembler’s canopies that was still standing. Now Tengi heard it too. Frozen, they listened for a moment. Voices, approaching. Even as she relaxed, the voices called, “Hey! How’d you end up all the way out here? Yeah, we saw you.” “It’s them,” Tengi said, reluctantly relieved. She stepped out into the street once more, and Larker followed. And Larker and Tengi came mask-to-mask once more with Kesian and his Po-Matoran companion, Emyk. And, there was one more waiting to greet them. “Subi!” Larker cried, falling to kneel by his nipper. “How…?” Kesian grinned and offered his own trusty pouch of Bula berries. “He’s quite the snackster, this one. Even better, he led us straight to you.” “Where’s your friend,” Tengi asked, looking around. “What? The Rahkshi?” the Po-Matoran asked, and tried to suppress a proud grin. “I meant the Ko-Matoran.” She scowled. “But where is the Rahkshi?” “It’s…dealt with,” Kesian told them. “Don’t worry. Emyk? The Ko-Matoran?” “He had to go study,” Emyk, the Po-Matoran shrugged. “Come on, you guys are headed straight into crafter’s territory. I’m not sure a Ga-Matoran would be welcome there.” He jerked his head back the other direction, and headed that way. Larker and Subi followed, the former careful to avoid unnecessary interaction with Kesian. After a moment’s deliberation, Tengi followed. Kesian fell into step beside her, offering her some berries. “Thanks,” she said, taking a few to be polite. “I’m Kesian,” the Le-Matoran, apparently of some standing, introduced himself. “So I’ve been told,” Tengi replied cautiously. “I thought you said your name was Tines.” “Sometimes. That dependicates on the job we’re doing. Same with Emyk. Sometimes he’s Helix. Like, when whatever we’re up to would be bad for whatever jobs we have.” “Or whatever monopolies you control,” Tengi said, accusation coloring her words brightly. “Hey! You tellin’ my secrets, Larker?” Kesian called ahead, although judging by Larker’s flinch and quickened pace, Kesian’s joking tone wasn’t received well. “How many other employees of yours can you name?” Tengi challenged him. “Me. Larker,” Kesian began counting off on his fingers. “Kumo.” “That’s your second in command, that doesn’t count,” Emyk called from the head of their little group. He took a right-hand turn at the intersection of two boulevards. “Well, fine. I’ve given you enough names, by now. You haven’t given me any.” “It’s not a game,” Tengi said, regarding him cautiously. “Could be, if you play hard enough,” Kesian shrugged, offering her more berries and eating a few himself. “Tengi,” she told him, accepting a few more Bula. “Student?” he guessed. It was a safe guess, most Ga-Matoran were, at least part time. “I was. But the schools are shut down, I thought everyone knew that.” “Mmm. Slipped my mind. So, now what?” he pressed. “What do you mean?” “Well, work is hard to come by, I’m sure. And with no school, there are no dormitories,” he reasoned. “I have to move to the tenements,” Tengi admitted, still cautious. What was he after? Surely this wasn’t idle chit-chat. “Do you?” His tone suggested that she didn't. “What do you want, Kesian?” Tengi stopped, and folded her arms, glaring at this nosy Matoran who was much too full of himself for her liking. The long stretch of road slowly became dotted with Matoran homes. “Want?” he repeated, stumbling back half a step with a hand over his heartlight, offended. “What do you mean?” Emyk and Larker and Subi also stopped, Larker turning back and looking hesitant to interfere, and Emyk looking impatient. The Matoran homes, shut tight against the night, began to give way to some vendor and artisan canopies, with a large sector of warehouses looming behind. “Well, I can get you into a better neighborhood than any tenements,” Kesian said. She raised an eye-ridge, which asked, “How?” “Widgets. You said it yourself, I run a monopoly. I’m sure I’ve got widgets to spare. Any mask kept out of the tenements is a mask saved, I say. Especially nowadays,” he added. “I can fund myself, thanks.” Tengi brushed past him, making for Larker’s more-familiar presence, even if he was off balance and on edge. “I’m not sure you can,” Kesian returned. "You’re a student out of school and a home, your skiff-sailer got wreckified, and since you’re obviously not from Metru Nui, you’ll have an even harder time than a citizen getting a job here.” Tengi froze. “What did you say?” She turned ever so slightly so she could see him out of the corner of one eye. “You’ll be out of a job for a while,” he repeated. “Especially with how the city’s going, recently. Now that you mention it, I suppose I could hire you for nautical deliveries.” “No." She gave her head a frustrated shake. "You think I’m not from here.” “I know you’re not.” She turned fully to him, and the two sized each other up in silence. Finally, Tengi dropped her gaze, and said through clenched teeth. “How did you know?” She was positive she'd never told anyone here about that, especially not this so-named 'big-shot' transportation tycoon. Kesian just smiled and popped another handful of Bula berries into his mouth. “Nobody from here likes to snack.” “What do you want?” Tengi asked for the last time, quietly. “Access that your student ID would get me, like into the Archives. And, information, if you have it,” Kesian answered directly, also quieting his tone to match hers. “And, I can get you another skiff-sailer with a shipping license, which would let you into a mariner’s neighborhood.” “What, so I can be your errand sailor?” “No, we kind of owe you a new sailer,” Kesian said with a guilty shrug, and nodded to Emyk to resume their pace. “I’d still owe you, though,” Tengi grumbled. “Only if you want to think of it like that,” he replied. “What was that, anyways?” Tengi asked. Kesian glanced at her. So did Emyk, although she didn’t see. “What was what?” he asked, insincere and not even giving any effort to play dumb convincingly. “You know exactly what I mean,” Tengi snapped. At the same time, Larker, whom they were now walking beside, said, “You know, the three of you turning into a Toa-hero?” Emyk and Kesian exchanged a conversation in a single, silent glance, and Kesian grinned. “It’s not exactly that, Larker. It's called The Kesian Cohesion, I invented it myself. And, well, would you look at that, we’re here. What a convenience-idence.” “What? Here?” Larker glanced around the deserted street. They were in a silent warehouse block. “Here,” Emyk said, marching up a short flight of concrete stairs and holding his badge up to the electro-magnetic lock on the door. It opened with a click and a beep, and Emyk disappeared inside. “I’m not going in there,” Tengi said, shaking her head. There were zero reasons to trust these Matoran, and about four dozen reasons to blatantly mistrust them. “Can you find your way back to Ga-Metru on your own?” Kesian asked rhetorically, because they all knew she couldn’t. “Who knows, maybe there are more Rahkshi where that one came from…” “Rust in Karzahni,” she snapped at him, and pushed him out of her way, following Emyk through the door. In the scary stories told at a camp-out or on the docks, this was always how Matoran ended up dead - following strangers into remote, darkened buildings. Larker, however followed without nearly as many qualms. Cautious, yes, but mostly curious. What did Le-Metru’s most prominent Matoran do in his spare time? What in the world did Kesian have in Po-Metru? His curiosity, however, was met with disappointment, as the dark warehouse was lined with rows and rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves of product crates, and they seemed to be the only things moving. Their footsteps and Subi’s skittering claw-feet were the only sounds. Emyk led them along the wall, and they walked for what felt like hours. “Hey,” Larker whispered to Tengi, just ahead of him. “So, where are you from, then?” “From Karzahni’s scrap bucket,” she replied, not thrilled at all with the situation. “Keep moving,” Kesian urged impatiently. Emyk turned down one of the rows of shelves, seemingly at random, and led them about halfway through. They were standing in an aisle of solid crates taller and wider than they were. Kesian pushed his way to the front of their group, joining Emyk. Each pressed his key card badge to his respective edge of a product crate, as unremarkable and unmarked as all the rest. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the front of the crate slid upward automatically, with a hydraulic hiss, to reveal a staircase, lit by lightstones, leading down. Emyk smiled, and led the way down. “Guests first,” Kesian motioned for Tengi and Larker to follow. Tengi obliged, half-preparing to meet her maker. It took a moment of Subi pacing skittishly, and Larker said sheepishly, “He’s not great-good at stairs.” The two Le-Matoran worked together, carrying the whining nipper between them. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, which weren’t at all as treacherous as they’d first appeared, Larker’s jaw dropped. It was a huge room supported by many pillars, jam-packed full of Po-Matoran and Le-Matoran, all sitting around smaller crates and barrels like tables. There were even a few Ko-Matoran present. There must have been a few hundred of them. But perhaps more astonishing was the familiar mask sitting alone at the nearest crate-table. Subi rushed to greet the Ta-Matoran, and Larker sat down heavily on the stool next to him. “Rofto?” The Ta-Matoran smiled widely. “Larker! It’s been a little while. I see they hijacked you, too.” Larker sputtered here and there, having trouble taking this all in. Tengi, all too aware of all eyes in the room beginning to fix on the new arrivals, including herself, asked out of the corner of her mouth, “What in Mata Nui’s name is all this?” “This,” Kesian said, and stepped forward, raising both arms to greet the room, and raised his voice to address the crowd. “This is an army.” Review Topic If you’re at all curious about Erylist, more about her past can be found in this epic and this short story. (the epic more so than the SS) /shamelessplug Edit: Counting the short story, the previous epic, and the flash fictions, this saga officially broke the 100K word count!! I know that's nothing compared to some of the works here, but it's definitely a personal best.
  7. I don't want to make any claims based on merit or experience, but I'm happy to share some general writing tips and how they apply or don't to Bionicle and/or personal writing style. Apologies in advance if any of this comes off as patronizing, and/or is much of what you've already heard. General Advice 1: "Don't say 'Said' too much." Relevant Link: 467 Ways to Avoid Saying 'Said' (Infographic) 2 Cents: It's a balance. Don't get hung up on finding the best most perfectly nuanced synonym to describe this or that utterance. Something too out-there will pull the reader from the flow of the story, may start to distract you, the writer, from your writing process, etc. 'said' is almost a filler word, and unless it's completely repetitive, monotonous writing with no variance to the cadence or rhythm of the sentences, 'said' kind of acts like a 'rest' in music would. Considerations for your story: You didn't seem to have a problem with this in your writing. Where there was dialogue, there was a nice combination of a) "[name] [speaking verb-ed]", and b) the dialogue preceded or followed by a separate sentence to indicate the speaker, without directly stating they'd spoken. a) b) The only types of places I'd be careful is falling too much into relying on the reader to follow who is saying what in a conversation exactly, and having no dialog tags whatsoever. I'm very guilty of this. Even with a direct back and forth between just two speakers, it's easy (especially scrolling on a screen as opposed to flipping a physical page) to lose track of who's speaking. I tend to think this problem isn't necessarily the shortcoming of any specific writer or reader, but just kind of being human. Anyways, here's an example of where this happened to me, I had to scroll back a bit to keep track of who was saying what. (Note: this also may have been due to the special situation of Takanuva technically talking to himself? but yeah) Bioinicle-specific considerations for dialogue: If you're going for canon-compliance, sometimes conveying facial expressions, or other para-linguistic modes of communication becomes difficult. Like, I think you had Takua being skeptical in the section where Takua and Takanuva are meeting. One way to show skepticism is a raised eyebrow. Personally, the Bionicle characters I write have 'eye-ridges', which I'd seen others use, and seems to be a nice balance between 'non-distracting' and 'accurate'. Because I don't want greasy hair follicles on everyone's Kanohi just so they can frown and be skeptical more clearly with one another. 'Audio receptors' or some substitution for 'ears' is also something I"ve had to deal with, but usually I just try to work around it when necessary. General Advice 2: Sentence Variation (source) 2 Cents: I don't find sentence length to be something I actively think about when in the process of writing. More likely than not, especially if you're a native speaker of whatever language you're writing in (English, in this case). This also probably comes down to stylistic or narrative choices (the first being the author's choice, the second meant more to refer to the point of view the author is choosing to tell the story from). Before I go into relevant critique for your story for this one, I want to go over one more common writing tip I've heard throughout the years, then talk about them together. General Advice 3: Show, Don't Tell Relevant link: Writer Blog Post At the risk of sounding too much like Thanos, I will say that, again, you need balance here. as all things should be. Too much of one? Bleh. Too much of another? Bleh. The blog post I linked to (disclaimer, it was the best resource I found after clicking through the first half-page of google results) goes into how and why the 'show, don't tell' thing shouldn't be taken literally. I know in the past, personally, I've written myself into countless corners because I took this advice too literally (but non-literally? I thought everything was better linearly, from basically one point of view, story-wise, and I'd get stuck). Storywise: Your entire first section, up to when Takanuva starts hearing time-warp voices, is action description. It's not bad, but I don't think a bit of variety would hurt. The first paragraph serves to set the stage, and I think you did that pretty well. From there, Takanuva on his own. So dialog back and forth (which would add variety) isn't an easy option. Talking out loud to oneself can seem gimmicky, and/or forced, and be perceived as a bit loco. There's a time and place for it, and it's a totally viable option, but I personally have trouble pulling it off, and usually choose italicized internal thoughts when given a choice. This also depends on the character themselves and the author's writing style. General Advice 4: Writing Process 2 Cents: Find what works for you, don't get too stuck on one this or a single that. I'm not sure how much of a perfectionist or nitpicker you are. If you're like me, you are. If not, bully for you. NaNoWriMo wants you to writewritewritewritewrite and don't go back to edit, just produce content, and edit after the fact (everything from spelling, grammar, and formatting nitpicks to character development, plot hole mending, etc). Some people have entire storyboards with the rising action/falling action plot diagram stuff and everything. Bionicle-specific: Writing within an established universe gives you a framework of constraints, which I find helpful. Choosing to write from the perspective of established characters even moreso. Using canon characters is something I avoid, purely personally, so great job with taking that on. I look forward to seeing where this leads. More about your story specifically: Takanuva's characterization as a new Toa who has a significant victory under his belt, so his overconfidence makes sense. Don't be afraid to explore more, internally for his character, why his overconfidence led to reckless action. Tahu. He does seem a tad inconsistent. Take that with a grain of salt, as 1) it's been years since I've read/watched anything with Tahu in it, 2) I don't mean to reduce Tahu to just one or two stereotypes, and 3) and that this might truly just be a nitpick. Either way, hopefully going through my thought process on this will at least be helpful. Here, where we first see him, he's ready for action, temper-driven, kind of like the Tahu we're canonically used to. These are Tahu's next lines, but it kind of seems like something Vakama would be more in the position to say. I don't have enough faith in Tahu's emotional maturity, that he's able to recognize danger, react to it initially (in the first line), then simmer down to disappointment by the next line. However, I do respect the emotional impact the words are meant to have on Takanuva, and it's significant. Why did Tahu's words hurt so much? Because, as a Matoran, Takanuva had looked up to the Toa so much? Still did? Is trying to figure out his place as a Toa now? And he tried (case in point, using the Vahi) and now is being rebuked? Just some trains of thought. Last detail I wanted to note: I'm not sure if this is a nod to Toa Metru Vakama's line right before he and his team were ambushed by Visorak and the horribly mutated etc. etc., but I love it! Anyways, I'm afraid I've about run out of steam at this point. Time travel is always fun to play with, and I hope you had and will have a great time exploring this. I'm always open to dialog more about writing and stuff. Hope this was helpful, and keep up the good work!
  8. (Aurebesh, the alphabet used in the Star Wars universe, or at least one of them) After a few months of futile resistance and a 'Oh, I'll just go for the free trial' which was a blatant lie to myself, I did break down and get Disney+. It was mostly because I was peer pressured into wanting to see the Mandalorian. Then, you know how it goes, before I realize, I'd made my way through the Star Wars prequels, then all of The Clone Wars. Yes, I'm the Disney+ equivalent of all the people jumping on the Avatar: the Last Airbender bandwagon because it's finally on a streaming site. No regrets. Two great shows technically aimed at kids but that also make grown adults weep. Great watch, one of those that captivates your imagination indefinitely after you shut your laptop. Granted, the Star Wars universe is one of the more impressive fictional universes out there, so ease of imaginative immersion isn't a shocker. Anyways, I ended up practicing Aurebesh toady during lecture (also started grad school a few weeks ago!! ...online learning is a whole 'nother blog post, I'll say that.) I really like how angular the lettering is, which is like the opposite of the Matoran alphabet in the circles. A couple mechanics I added for expediting the writing process: combining characters for common letter pairs (-er, -ed, so far) that aren't already accounted for in the system (-ch-, -ng, -sh-, -th-); adding an underline to a letter that is doubled in English (letter --> leter). I do intend to learn an actual shorthand system of writing someday, which would probably be more useful than fictional transliterations systems. But if I made choices based only on what's useful or not, I think I'd have a much more monochromatic life. (yes, in the grand scheme of things I know I have an average life, which is a privilege, but it's a beauty in the eye of the beholder thing, ya know?) Here's a sample of the fruits of my labors. Since I'm not sure how many of you read Aurebesh, here's the only super-relevant part I feel should be transcribed is toward the end, the bit with the Matoran word - "The only other fandom I liked enough to learn the alphabet for is (obviously) Bionicle." Also, May the Force Be With You, below. The rest is essentially what I said above, but in less words XD
  9. Oooh fun! Off the top of my head: Something kind of like the Jurassic Park ride except with the Piraka terrorizing children instead of dinosaurs. Chute system to travel around the park. Actual chutes from Metru Nui, of course. Tower of Terror, except it's the Coliseum. Spinny teacups would be a tribute to BZP's spinnies, somehow. Storytime at the Amaja Circle with the Turaga. Gukko shows in place of dolphins. Jungle gym of Visorak webs Laser tag, except you're in a giant sphere that's Karda-Nui, and you have Axalaras and stuff. Moto Hub/Test Track go karts Kane-Ra bumper cars Probably some kind of lavasurfing. Or maybe just a nice wave pool run by the Toa of Water. Less liability. The people who walk around with a broom and dustpan on a stick to clean up trash are dressed as (or are actually) Bohrok. They clean it all. It must be clean. This park could probably even operate during the pandemic because visitors would get Kanohi masks upon arrival.
  10. Thank you!! Haha, definitely let me know if you do end up printing it! Apologies in advance if the proportions aren't right. I should have measured things in in/cm instead of pixels originally, but I realized that like yesterday So glad you like it!
  11. Wow! I'm stoked this got featured! I'm glad you enjoy! Yes, I had a grand old time digging through the MNOG files to find graphics that would work. My favorite part was booting up VNOG and playing through to find a good scene for the Ussal Haha, yes, I was originally thinking of using Bohrok for that purpose, but Toa looked a lot cooler, and I had more source material to pick from. Maybe I should try to spin it "the Toa get a tribute from the grateful Matoran", instead of 'the Toa robs you". It's all in the PR spin, right? (or maybe I could have gone with the Voya Nui theme, because the 'toa' that showed up there definitely would have fit the bill) But yeah! I'm glad you like it!
  12. Thank you! Ahaha, even though she was a fine arts major in college, I believe she bought the mug from the internet. Having trouble finding the exact one, but really similar ones pop up on a google search.
  13. REVOLUTION!! Create a new status quo! It's what we've all been waiting for! Establish a new and better world! As pygmies standing on the shoulders of giants are taller than the giants themselves, take the best ideas from the old systems and use them to create a... Hm. Maybe not that kind of power going out. I guess I'd get a lot more books read and the dog would get a lot more walks. What would you do if the world powers went out, forever?
  14. Haha, be overwhelmed. What would you do if you gained the power to control traffic lights?
  15. Chapter 10: The Greater-Than Sum “Are you okay?” Larker shook Tengi’s shoulder, none too gently. “Good, I’m good,” Tengi gasped, uncurling herself from around the trembling dome that was Subi. She staggered to her feet and clutched Larker’s shoulder for support. “I’m good.” She repeated, assuring herself. “You’re good?” “Fine-good,” he replied, on high alert, but surveying the absolute wreck of his hauler and Tengi’s sailer in dismay. “What was that?” Tengi turned in nervous circles, backing toward Larker unconsciously. They’d all seen reports of brute attacks in the outskirts, and seen the memorial shrines outside the Coliseum for the victims. “I don’t know, but it was huge-big, like a-“ Larker cut himself off with a yelp. “What-where did you come from?” He sputtered to a stop, dashing around to the other side of the wreckage. Tengi followed. “Well that was the worst. Ever,” snapped a Po-Matoran whom Tengi had never seen before. The Le-Matoran he was talking to, not Larker, shot back, “Don’t look at me! I’m not the decisionary here! You’re the one that said we’d go after the Rahkshi tonight! I wanted to wait until nice weather!” “Mata Nui!” Tengi yelped, finally able to see what the two strangers were trying to pull from beneath the wreckage of her sailer. Larker was wedging himself beneath what used to be the hull of the sailer, trying to lift it in vain. A third Matoran was trapped beneath. Stumbling over, she added her strength to the driver’s, and together they were all able to free the trapped Matoran. “Thanks,” the Po-Matoran helped her to her feet deftly, then Larker. “Will he be okay?” Tengi stared at the Matoran who had been crushed in the accident. He was leaning heavily - no, she realized, was being fully supported by the second Le-Matoran, legs useless. She sat down, following the sinking feeling in her gut. “Mata Nui, Mata Nui, Mata Nui,” Larker was whispering to himself. “Fired. No hope.” “I’ll be fine,” the injured Matoran said, sounding irate. “No thanks to you.” He aimed the last acerbic syllable at the Po-Matoran. But the Po-Matoran slung the injured Matoran’s other arm over his own shoulder so he was being supported on both sides. “You’re not…in pain?” Tengi looked confusedly between all three. A Po-Matoran, a Le-Matoran, and the injured one was a Ko-Matoran, she realized. “Your legs…” “No. I said I’ll be fine,” the Ko-Matoran grumbled. At the same time, his Le-Matoran companion chuckled, and said, “Don’t mind Bevs. He’s been through a lot worse. What I’m more worried about is your driver friend there.” Larker was kneeling beside the totaled cab of the hauler, muttering with a concerning frantic edge about not being able to pay back the Enterprise. “Larker?” Tengi asked tentatively. He snapped his gaze to her, and said in a defeated tone, “I’m sorry about your skiff-sailer. And it looks like you’re going to have to quick-find someone else to give that Archives job to. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to drive again, I’m sure Kesian will have my permits black-voided.” He dropped his gaze back to the wreckage, patting Subi, who had come to sit beside him. The three other Matoran exchanged glances. Shifting the weight of the Ko-Matoran so the Po-Matoran was fully supporting him, the other Le-Matoran approached Larker and knelt down beside him. “Larker, right?” he asked. No response. “Don’t worry about your permits, or the hauler, okay? It will all work out.” The despondent Larker shook his head, sparing the other Le-Matoran a glance that had the smallest hint of hysteria buried in it. “How can you speak-say that? Look at this scrap.” The other Le-Matoran sighed. “Larker, I’m Kesian, and I’m telling you that it’s going to be okay. I know exactamentally what happened, and it’s not your fault.” Kesian stood up, and addressed Tengi as well. “But you’d better call me Tines.” “Kesian…” Larker, already kneeling, plopped down entirely onto the road. He was nearing his threshold for surprises. “Tines, did you see the thing we hit?” Tengi asked. She was less familiar with whoever Kesian, or Tines, claimed to be than Larker. She was also infinitely more worried about whatever it was they’d hit and wrecked the hauler on. There was no sign of it. Although she’d never seen a Rahkshi in person, she fought down the rising fear that tonight would change that, what with new reports running every week about more sightings. It could be anywhere. “Which way did it go? It came out of nowhere!” “It…uh. Well,” Kesian, Tines, whatever his name was, seemed at a loss for words. He finally settled on, “We shouldn’t stay out in the open.” “I didn’t even spot-see it, until it was too late,” Larker put in, getting to his feet finally. “I didn’t even spot-see you three.” Larker was not a bad driver. In fact, he was a good driver. He would never miss three Matoran in the middle of the road, and he certainly wouldn’t have missed a hulking armored whatever-it-was that had wrecked his hauler on impact. And how had it gotten away so swiftly? Somethings just weren’t making sense. But Larker also wondered if he’d hit his head too hard in the crash. The three Matoran, Kesian and his companions, glanced between one another as they watched the gears turn behind Larker’s mask. Kesian rejoined them, again taking half the paraplegic Ko-Matoran’s weight upon himself. Their unspoken debate turned to quick, tense whispers. Tengi watched them, uneasy. Larker turned again to the remains of his vehicle, but she noticed he used that as an excuse to work a bit closer to the three Matoran. But, they weren’t making a huge effort to keep from being overheard. “So what now?” Kesian asked. “We just let them go?” “You aren’t seriously thinking about onboarding them, Tines,” the Po-Matoran said, incredulous. The Le-Matoran didn’t reply. “You are. Scraps.” “But a Ga-Matoran?” the Ko-Matoran cut in. All three un-furitvely looked in her direction. “We’re not lacking any means to control liabilities,” Kesian pointed out with a shrug. Tengi didn’t like the sound of that. “I don’t think they saw,” the Po-Matoran said. “Yeah but you wouldn’t bet our lives on it, would you?” the Ko-Matoran returned. They were suddenly talking, Tengi realized as her apprehension spiked, like they were the group in power here, and that an ‘us-versus-them’ line had sprung up. “…Larker,” she whispered out of the side of her mouth, trying to get his attention. It might be time to get going. Again, she hissed, “Larker!” Instead, Subi scampered up to her side, sure it was he who had been summoned. At least the nipper seemed unconcerned. But whatever thing they’d hit, big enough to wreck the cargo hauler and surely a wreck a few Matoran just as easily, was still roving the night around them. And with three increasingly sketchy Matoran before them, Tengi really did not like where she had found herself. The three Matoran glanced at herself and Larker once more, all three scowling. Conveniently, the reports of Matoran-on-Matoran muggings popped into Tengi’s mind. The reports were scarce, but they were there. “Well,” she shrugged, knowing she was trying to hard to appear nonchalant even as she did so, “We have to contact someone to help us clear this wreck, and I’m sure you all need to be on your way.” A bit quieter, "Larker, can we please go?” Larker returned, kneeling on the other side of Subi, ready to agree with her, and pick up the nipper and skedaddle out of there. But the Po-Matoran said sharply, “Not so fast.” “Listen, we don’t want any bad-trouble,” Larker said. “Nobody does, but look where the city’s gotten itself to,” the Ko-Matoran laughed. “We’ll walk away and quick-forget any crash-wreck ever happened,” Larker offered. “How does that-“ “Get down!” the Po-Matoran roared, launching himself at Tengi and Larker with startling agility. He knocked the two Matoran to the ground instants before the fragmentation beam would have turned them into just another part of the vehicle wreck to clean up. Flying bits of pavement flew past them, leaving behind singed divot in the ground that could have easily been Larker. The Rahkshi was back. Kesian and the Ko-Matoran, who had also dropped belly-down on the pavement, were making their way behind the wreckage of the hauler, Kesian dragging the Ko-Matoran unceremoniously. “Go!” the Po-Matoran pointed Tengi, Larker, and Subi to the Po-Metru border behind them, shadowed by the overhead highway, even as he rolled and ducked toward Kesian and the Ko-Matoran. “But what about you?” Tengi called, getting to her feet but keeping crouched low, keeping the wreckage partially between her and the dark shape of the Rahkshi that was advancing in from the dark docks toward them now. They could tell where it was by the menacing glow of its staff, gathering energy. “What about him?” She was especially concerned about the Ko-Matoran who obviously would hinder any escape attempt significantly. Larker began to drag her away, while simultaneously trying to keep Subi, blubbering in panic, from bolting. “Just get to the nearest Assembler’s village!” The Po-Matoran cried. “Tell them Emyk sent you. They’ll let you in.” All five Matoran hit the pavement again, but the massive blast from the Rahkshi sailed over their heads and struck the nearest girder of the overhead highway behind them. The shrieks of the Rahkshi rang horribly through the ringing in their ears left by the explosion, and huge chunks of ex-highway debris began raining down, accompanied by groaning and resounding cracking of splitting concrete, as the highway began to crumble. Larker and Tengi dove behind the hauler wreckage with the other three Matoran as debris began to fall and the two adjacent girders began to buckle. All the while, they could hear the Rahkshi gathering crackling energy. Subi was nowhere to be seen. “The navigator’s hut!” Tengi pointed across the road to the nearest hope of shelter, because clearly the wreckage they were hunkering down behind wouldn’t last long. She crouched, getting ready to make a sprint for it. “No!” Kesian barked, staying her with an unexpectedly firm grip. “When we give the signal, you two still need to get to the Assembler’s village.” He pointed farther into the city, indicating roughly where to cross the border. “But-“ “That's not now Rahkshi work. This harbor is done for.” “Which-what signal?” Larker asked as he cast about, searching for any sign of Subi. “Just step back a bit,” the Ko-Matoran said, in way of answer. Another blast from the Rahkshi took out another section of highway. Confused, but obliging, Tengi and Larker scrambled back a pace, nearing the edge of the wreckage. Tengi watched in incomprehension as Kesian and Emyk crouched level with their Ko-Matoran friend, all facing one another, and gripped one another’s forearms, forming a triangle. Her incomprehension turned to amazement as, faster than she could have described, the pulsing of their heartlights intensified and the glow became a blinding flash that enveloped all three of them. And where three had been, one now stood. “That was your signal,” Tahimatoru, the Matoran Kaita told the two Matoran. “Go!” And he scooped up his wrench from the wreckage where it had fallen, leaping up and charging at the Rahkshi with a whooping battle cry. Review Topic Note: Kesian is meant to be pronounced like ‘key-zhun”, rhymes with “cohesion”. Note II: also originally the last section of Ch. 10, but it was getting pretty long, at that point. So voilà.
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