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  1. Make it stop. It was a simple phrase, one he had heard uttered time and time again. Never before had he realized how desperate a remark it truly was. “MAKE IT STOP!!” The agony ceased. Gasping, the Toa relaxed his body and fell forward. The chains connecting him to the wall stopped him before he fell far. “I’m sorry, what was that?” He looked up, glaring hatefully at the gold and blue armored Skakdi before him. The creature sneered at him, putting forth not even the slightest effort to hide just how much it was enjoying the Toa’s pain. With a chuckle, the Ce-Skakdi added, “I can make it stop, you know. Just give me the password. That’s all you have to do.” His tone was gentle with an undertone of menace, though such details were lost on the battered Toa. All he wanted was relief. Maybe he should give up the password—none of his brothers were coming to save him, so why should he protect them? At least this way he could save himself from— “No,” he choked, shaking his head. “No, I won’t betray them!” From across the room, another Skakdi, this one with red armor, groaned in frustration. “Can’t we just kill him?” she asked. “He’s not gonna crack. If his friends are so important to him, let’s ship him back to them piece by piece.” The Ce-Skakdi turned to her and growled, “And how will we get in then? You want to charge headfirst into a Toa stronghold?” “Yes! Don’t you want to go smash something? Besides, even if we get this mysterious password, there’s no way they’ll actually let us through!” “Listen to me, you—“ Suddenly feeling heavy, the Ce-Skakdi paused and whirled on the Toa, delivering a blow to his maskless face. As the pressure went away, the Ce-Skakdi shook his head and grinned. “Getting your strength back, I see,” he said. “But it’ll take more than a little extra gravity to save you.” Both Skakdi extended their arms. Instantly the Toa’s mind was filled with a burning sensation, as if every thought was slowly smoldering away into nothing more than ash. The searing pain drowned out everything else, leaving him with nothing but slow, endless suffering that threatened to drive him mad. “NO!!” he screamed. “NO, PLEASE! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!” The Ce-Skakdi lowered his arms and the Toa went limp again. Angered, the Ta-Skakdi snapped, “If you let up every time he begs for mercy—“ “He will feel grateful,” the Ce-Skakdi finished. “Remember that I’ve been at this much longer than you. Ugh, this would be so much easier if your predecessor was still here. I almost regret killing that oaf…” The Ta-Skakdi narrowed her eyes. “Would you like to join him?” “Let’s not forget why we’re here.” He turned back to the Toa and grabbed his head, lifting it so that he could look into the eyes of his prisoner. “N…no…” the Toa mumbled. “You…I can’t let you enter the stronghold…you won’t get your hands on those weapons!” “So you won’t help us?” the Ce-Skakdi asked. “That’s all we want, Toa—just a little bit of help. With those weapons, we can free ourselves from Nektann’s tyranny. Won’t you help us fight for our freedom?” The Toa looked directly into the Skakdi’s eyes, his gaze filling with a resilience that should have been stripped away long ago. “Skakdi don’t fight for freedom. If you defeat Nektann, you’ll just take over Zakaz yourself…and then, a few months later, some other warlord will overthrow you. I have no love for you wretched creatures, but I refuse to have your blood on my hands.” The Ce-Skakdi frowned. After staring at his captive a bit longer, he stood up and took a few steps back. Waving to his partner, he said, “Very well then. Your blood will be on her hands.” With savage glee, the Ta-Skakdi advanced towards the Toa. The hero merely closed his eyes and waited for it all to stop.
  2. Are they really so different? Need they really be destroyed? Brothers and sisters, common heritage unknown or overlooked You lashed out in spite, attacking one, waking all And here you are, acting like the victim Did you think they would not defend? Wouldn’t you? Ah, but these are “Bohrok”, and you are “Toa” Those names are unalike, so why think these beings the same? It is the Toa we celebrate, the Toa who have control There is no place for Bohrok, nor the change they seek to bring Rigidity! Be strict! Defend your narrow ways! Or else those bizarre Bohrok will assimilate you all! Please Is this how Toa act? Are you as noble as you claim? Surely the world is big enough for the Bohrok to exist They aren’t alien, they were here all along You never saw any? Of course you did They were hiding, and for good reason I’d hide too if all these Toa sought me out! It’s prejudice, plain and simple, don’t think you can deny Maybe you should take one of those Krana they offer you “Ugh, those disgusting things? They make my skin crawl!” So you’re not comfortable? Oh dear, how unfortunate I’m sure the Bohrok have no idea what that feels like An ugly truth, no matter how repulsive, is never any less true You are wrong. You don’t want to face that. No one ever does But would you believe that Bohrok and Toa can co-exist? GASP! How strange—but I assure you it’s true! As it turns out, you may not be so different after all So scratch that gold paint off your mask and take a step back Try holding a civil conversation with the Bahrag, if you can manage I wonder how soon it will be before you realize… All the reasons for your actions? They’re nothing more than hate “Matoran become Toa, the way Mata Nui intended!” Guess what? Bohrok were Matoran too “It’s not natural!” How strange, that Mata Nui would intend the “unnatural”… Then again, if it were “natural” after all… Oh, there I go—I should let you figure it out If I tell you, you’ll just run and tattle to the Turaga “Help! We’re being asked to see logic To confront it, and be kind! Since when was kindness one of our Three Virtues?” Virtues? What about Unity, then? Have you applied that doctrine lately? Seems someone’s been slacking on their Duty But fine, don’t listen to me, there’s still another Virtue And without a doubt, things are Destined to change Good luck fighting that! Maybe you won’t see it, but others surely will Bohrok will be allowed to exist with Toa in peace Extremists like you may have sealed the Bahrag, but it’s not over The Kal fought. They succeeded in at least waking the Bahrag Now they are active, and everybody knows it One day, after a long overdue revelation, You “Toa” will realize your mistake You’ll finally stop hating, and the Bohrok will be free Argue all you’d like, but stranger things have happened Well, I guess it’s time to wrap it up So tell me, “Toa”: what am I really talking about?
  3. Nuhrii paced up and down the sidewalk, glancing around for any sign of Vakama. He should’ve been here by now. With a sigh, Nuhrii stopped pacing. Vakama had definitely asked him to be here at this precise time to tour the Kanohi shops, as they had often done ever since Nuhrii had begun training him. Lately, however, Nuhrii was becoming hesitant to agree to these trips. He advanced so quickly, the mask-maker recalled, as if he was born a veteran of the craft. Vakama was so soon able to put my work to shame… Nuhrii kicked a rock down the road. It was easy for him to tell when someone was better than him at something, but he was never happy to see this occur. Not only that, but there were very few who could best him in his life’s work, and this was the first time his student—his own student—had risen to that level. On one hand, Nuhrii wondered if this meant he was an excellent teacher. On the other, he was terribly, terribly jealous of Vakama. “Nuhrii!” Vakama came running down the street, pausing in front of his former mentor to catch his breath. “I was getting worried,” Nuhrii said. “Was there a chute leak again?” Vakama shook his head. Gasping for air, he stood up and looked at Nuhrii with a huge smile. “Nuhrii…the Turaga…he said…” Nuhrii held up his hands. “Don’t get ahead of yourself; I’ll be patient.” It took Vakama about a minute more to stop panting. When he did, he excitedly said, “Turaga Dume came to my workshop. He’s asked me to forge the Mask of Time for him!” Nuhrii went stiff. …Turaga Dume…the Turaga personally went to his workshop… Vakama cocked his head. “Nuhrii…?” He wants Vakama to make a Legendary Kanohi? The Turaga wants Vakama to create the Great Mask of Time?! “Um…well, I wanted to thank you, Nuhrii. If it hadn’t been for your teaching—“ “Shut up,” Nuhrii whispered. “What?” “Don’t patronize me!” Nuhrii shouted. “I already know you’ve surpassed me. You don’t have to rub it in my face like this!” Vakama recoiled at his outburst. “…But…Nuhrii…” Nuhrii threw his hands up. “I give up, alright? Congratulations on your great honor, Vakama. Now I know I’ll never be able to beat you.” He left, heading back for his forge. Vakama stood there, dumbfounded, wondering what he had done wrong.
  4. Blood-soaked fingers clutched the tablet firmly. A chisel was brought along its surface, carving an X over an image of a Kanohi Faxon. Now there are only five of them left… Setting the slab down, Vhisola went to clean her hands. She absent-mindedly mused over how much this project had expanded since she had begun so many months ago. Overcome with frustration one night, she had sat down and made a list: crude carvings of the Kanohi and names of all the Matoran who she held grudges against. There was some variety in the cause—stealing her Kanoka launcher, copying her notes, tripping her up in an akilini match—but most of her enemies shared in one particular sin. She ground her teeth together. They just won’t stay away from Nokama. Vhisola wiped the last of the blood from her hands and examined the rag. It was stained far too badly to disguise, so she merely tossed the evidence into her glowing fireplace and sat down before the tablet once again. They swarm her after class, and I can’t get a word in edgewise. Taking up her time with “tutoring sessions” and “scholarly debates” and whatever other excuse they can come up with. Did they really think I would be fooled? I know their true objective… She turned her head up, facing one of the many pictures of Nokama decorating her home. “They just want to keep us apart…” Her voice cracked slightly. Shaking her head slightly, Vhisola pounded her fist against the table and grunted. At some point in lamenting over these despicable acts, she had thought about the possibility of removing her enemies from the picture. How exactly, she did not know, but a change was necessary. That was when she started planning. Elimination was no easy task within Metru-Nui, with Vahki hiding around every corner and inside every chute. But Vhisola was persistent. She did not care how much effort it took, how elaborate her plans needed to be—this was to protect Nokama from the influence of the fiends seeking to corrupt her, and that was worth any cost. Vhisola’s eyes ran over the hit list. Every little X, all 43 of them, brought a shred of recollection to her mind and a smile to her face. Some methods had been crude, such as “accidentally” shoving a Matoran into a protodermis purification canal. Others, like trapping her victims in abandoned corners of the Archives with escaped exhibits, were personal favorites and had seen much use. Though results were the most important aspect, it was alright, Vhisola had decided, to attempt a little variety in her methods to further her enjoyment of the task. Her pleasant expression reversed as she reached the masks that remained unmarked. Just thinking about those fools still walking around, still spreading seeds of darkness in Nokama’s mind, made Vhisola so angry she could just— She paused. Taking a deep breath, she stood up and paced to the other side of the room, moving just slowly enough that she could admire every individual image of Nokama as she went by. It was a short distance, but her walk took a very long time to complete. Remember what Nokama says, Vhisola: you have to be patient. Just be patient, and wait for each plan to work. It’ll be fine. They can’t escape me. After all, there are only five of them left. There was a knock at the door. Moving swiftly but not frantically, Vhisola jogged back to the desk and slid the list into the bottom drawer beneath some seaweed samples. She next went to the door, leaned against it, and looked carefully through the hole she had carved into it. A Ga-Matoran with a Kanohi Volitak was waiting. “Vhisola? Are you home? I didn’t get the time wrong, did I…?” Vhisola smiled to herself. And soon, it’ll be down to four.
  5. Thoughts of Spring “Granma, I’m gonna live forever.” “Now isn’t that something?” said Granma, bouncing little Timothy on her knee so he smiled and the sunlight caught his teeth, all eighteen of them. Birds chirped from somewhere beyond the backyard fence. Granma caught Timothy’s head and turned it back to her so his attention wouldn’t wander. “Don’t you know that that’s never happened before? Living forever, I mean.” “But it will, and you’ll live forever, too, and my mom and dad and friends—” “Timothy, nothing in this world is forever.” “God?” “Well, God’s not of this world, Dearie, what are they teaching you in Sunday school?” The strident sound of the church bell shattered his thoughts. Timothy hadn’t been to Sunday school in years. Automatically, he straightened his back and glanced to his parents to make sure they hadn’t noticed his reverie. Their faces were still downturned in prayer, their lids shut and faintly glistening with moisture. Tears. Heat rose in his cheeks. He quickly looked back down, trying to focus on the priest’s baritone homily, trying to focus his prayers onto the wine-red carpet, but he couldn’t conjure the necessary reverence to make his actions feel earnest. His emotions were expended. He’d cried when he heard the news of Granma’s death. A twenty-one-year-old man could admit to crying without feeling ashamed about it. He had admitted it. That didn’t calm the shame simmering in the back of his mind. “—to many of us, she was a loyal friend, but her devotion to her duty was what I think we all remember—” “—remember the bird calls you showed me?” Sunlight, a warm breeze, the rustling of leaves. Timothy could count the particles hanging in the air above his head. He looked back down, and Granma stood a meter from him, hands crossed over her lap and eyes gazing toward the trees behind the backyard fence. “I think I can try, but it’ll be difficult. You know how Granma’s lungs feel nowadays.” “Mommy says the smoking did it.” “Well, your mommy’s a smart young cookie.” “She’s not a cookie. I can’t eat her, Granma.” Timothy laughed, and Granma laughed too, and the warbling tones of an avian faded into the voices of a congregation in song. No laughter, just prayer. Timothy blinked and tried to follow the words. He couldn’t. He only knew “Amazing Grace”, “Here I Am, Lord”, and traditional Christmas tunes. Even the clothing around him was unfamiliar: black suits and ties and black dresses both floral and more demurely designed. Timothy was used to a more variegated array at college, blue, green, and red, more like the stained glass windows that lined the cathedral than the people beneath them, lined neatly in pews. The song trailed off. Mom audibly sniffled. Dad pulled her in, let her drain her despair into him. The soloist demounted the stage, and the priest, with his rumbling voice, implored the congregation to join him in prayer. “We are gathered here today,” said Timothy’s grandmother, and Timothy shook his head. No. Try to think better thoughts. Happier thoughts. Like spring, and flowers, and Grandmom categorizing them as easily as if she were a botanist. Bees humming and butterflies dancing on a breeze. Granma’s smile, the way it crinkled the skin around her eyes that made her seem both old and kind. And then, as Timothy watched in mute horror, the skin, desiccated now and colored with makeup so her skin appeared plastic, pulled her face taut and blank, and she was lying in her coffin very still while the priest intoned verses that were meant to comfort but were only words in the end. But Granma didn’t look like she was sleeping. She looked like she was about to open her eyes and say to seven-year-old Timothy, “Nothing lasts forever.” He should’ve slept more last night.
  6. The Queen of Gravity pulled on her horse’s reigns as she came up to the mountainside. It looked as solid as ever, peaks towering miles above her and a number of narrow ledges scattered about at random. The gray stone created an impregnable wall that curved inward to create a large ring around the city within, protecting it from all angles against whoever might wish to invade it. It’s good to be home. She dismounted and stroked the mane of her horse. Tall as she was, the animal looked slightly underdeveloped standing next to her. She tied her mount’s reigns around a nearby tree and then removed her tan travelling cloak, revealing numerous plates of heavy iron armor, and placed the garment in her saddlebag before walking over to the base of the mountain. It was there that the Queen of Gravity stopped and crouched. Her mind opened. Feeling the force of gravity’s embrace on her body, she pushed against it with her will, commanding it to loosen its hold to a mere fraction of its normal power. The force complied, and she felt herself grow lighter. With the magic active, the Queen pushed off the ground, launching herself upwards parallel to the rocky slope. The stone flashed past her in a blur and the wind pulled back her long black hair. Her armor rattled a bit at the resistance, but it held strong. The peaks grew closer and she could feel herself slowing, smiling as she anticipated the aerial view of her queendom. Her expression changed to one of terror as she soared over the top of the mountains. About a third of the area within the mountain ring was nothing but open field, and half of that was on fire. Most of the remaining area was filled with a multitude of stone buildings, once bearing great variety in size and shape, but now all were nothing but rubble. At the far end, carved into the inner wall of the mountains, was an imposing castle—well, a once-imposing castle, now with its walls sliced clean through and the guard houses along its sides totally absent. Oh no…Land! The Queen began to fall down into the valley, but she twisted her body in mid-air. Fixing her gaze on the mountains, she ordered a small center of gravity to form within it, causing her to be pulled out of her fall. She landed on her feet, standing perpendicular to the ground, and crouched once more. Now looking directly at the castle, she launched herself again, dismissing the artificial gravity as she did so, and rocketed over the ruins directly towards the castle. Gradually, she allowed the natural force of gravity to return, drawing her down until she was only a few yards above the ground. She was near the castle now. Putting her legs forward, she cancelled the last effects of her spell. The Queen braced herself and touched down, going into a skid that carried her along the dirt road in a matter of seconds. The wood double doors had been knocked off their hinges, so she slid straight into the remains of the foyer before finally coming to a stop. Dead guards littered the open floor, and a number of the stairs spiraling up into the ceiling had been ripped out. No… She leapt up the broken steps and dashed down an empty hall with huge chunks torn out of the wall. At the end was a large room deep within the mountain; with no windows to provide it light, it was usually lined with candles or brightened by magic, but it was now pitch black. The Queen searched the floor—enough light came in from the lamps in the hall that she was able to find a candle and light it, allowing her to go deeper into the chamber. She took each step very slowly, constantly moving the candle so as to view as much of the room as possible. Various pieces of furniture were strewn across her path, but she pressed onwards, stepping over or around each one as she continued her search. “Land? Are you here?” The sense of dread within her only intensified when there was no response. Perhaps she wasn’t here, the Queen reasoned. She could very well be in any other— The Queen of Gravity stopped cold. Just at the edge of her light was the Queen of the Land, lying in a crumpled heap on the floor. “Land!” She knelt next to the other Queen, set the candle on the floor, and took hold of her. The Queen of the Land’s dark skin had been ripped apart, the worst being one deep gash in her stomach through which massive amounts of blood had poured. There was armor encasing her body, but it appeared to have been thrown on hastily, and its protection had evidently not been effective. “…Land…? Come now, wake up. You have to be alright! Land, answer me!” No answer came. The shock began to wear off, and the Queen of Gravity felt the reality of the situation sinking in. Pulling the broken body of her wife close, she closed her eyes and started to shake. *** “It was the Queen of War,” the soldier said. The Queen of Gravity did nothing in response, merely continued to watch as the other remaining soldiers helped rescue people from their collapsed houses. “The platoon you were informed of was a trap meant to lure you out. She found a way in and challenged the Queen of the Land…Her Majesty fought as best as she could, but…” The Queen of Gravity cleared her throat. “That’s enough.” Turning, she looked at the soldier. He cringed when he saw the intense rage burning in her eyes. “We will hold a funeral ceremony tomorrow. The day after that…I shall be leaving again. I think I shall pay a visit to the Queen of War.”
  7. This was something I already thought of(can't say it's the best), and decided to twist it for the FFFC. Read on. *** I do not know who I am. Being lost can do that to anyone, even me. My name is the only thing I forgot as we travel through this dry, barren place. This place was the once-beautiful city of Metru Nui. Centuries of war and the abandoned feeling leaves it in ruins. All the canals have dried up. The buildings fallen. No other signs of life...or we thought. We, six Matoran, have been tasked with scavenging the area for...anything to help everyone else. But that's not important. Not anymore. Our team leader, Sarin stops abruptly. Frowning at a fallen building, he beckons to me. The light shining off his grey mask makes it hard to tell his expression beneath, but his tone is troubled. "Is that something?" I shrug. "Not that I know of." I walk closer. Seeing a shining object buried there, I try to pick it up. Stuck. I push away some of the rubble surrounding it. Better. Grabbing onto the object with both hands, I pull. Grunting as it raises a bit, I step back. It falls bask down, and I shake my head. Sarin raises an eyebrow. I kick back some of the crumbled walls this time, clearing more space. The shining object was more clear now, a trapdoor.Perhaps one of those that the citizens hid in during the war. I open it, easier this time. "All done," I say. Getting Sarin's nod of approval was just what I need. I hop down the hole, and find a large, empty space. The others will stay up there as I scout. Walking in there wasn't hard. Listening to voices were. Matoran... I ignored it. Probably just my imagination. I step over to a puddle of water. Looking at it, I happen to catch my reflection in it. The sight if my wild, crazed eyes startled me, enough to get me back to scavenging. I find some weapons, dusty but sharp. Leave... There. That voice again. Is it in my head? I do not know. I pick up a blade, turning it over. I feel a sharp pain as it cut my finger, drawing blood. Good. We could use some of those. I take the knife with me, and I head to the other undiscovered parts. Nothing special. No food, nothing else. Except for the puddle of water, really, but I cannot collect that. Get out... That voice again. This time, I call out. "Who goes there?" I watch, astounded, as a shape slithered into the space in front of me. No, not slithered. Crawled? Creeped? It was hard to describe. Normal beings do not move that way. And this thing was anything from normal. It had a strange, batlike look. Red, menacing eyes perch behind some mask. Not just any mask, one that strikes pure fear into you, which is what happened to me.He just stared at me, while I was trying hard not to soil myself. "What are you doing here, little Matoran?" he hissed. "Looking for stuff" was all I could manage as he stalked closer as a rock lion may do to its prey. "Who are you?" "Your fate," was the answer, but I wasn't expecting something unlike that. If my life was in his hands, as he is perfectly able to kill me if I did even something as simple as taking a step. "Tell me, what do you want in my realm?" "This is the realm of the dead. The non-existing. How did you manage to claim it?" I started to stall. If he was distracted, maybe I could leave. In peace.I then did something, something I will never forget. I tossed the knife. It sailed past the being, into a pile of crumbled rock.He turned, and I bolted. I headed for the entrance, but I was too slow. He saw me run. Crossing the room in three strides, I felt his talons, I guess, grab the bask of my neck and draw me up. I am dangling up above the ground with no hope of jumping. Useless. "Enough," he snarled, inches from my face. "I will make sure you never escape...without me knowing." With that, I thought he was going to let me go, then lock me here. I was wrong. Always wrong. Instead, flames began creeping along his arm, starting at the shoulder. Coming closer, and then reaching his hand. At my throat. I felt the heat then. It began as a smal, warm sensation. Within seconds, the warm feeling turned into a blazing inferno. He then dropped me. The fire has almost covered me from head to toe, reaching into my skin. "Remember," I heard him saying. "Fire always burns." I had no time to decipher the meaning. I was burning. I screamed, so loud I was sure that my friends could hear it. And what would they do? Come down and die? My last thought was, before my eyes closed, about them. They started outwith six. And now they only have five.
  8. Ehrye pushed open the crystalline door and strolled into the room. “Nuju, I have a delivery for you!” Not taking his eye off the telescope, Nuju said, “I have told you before, Ehrye: you must learn to knock.” “Well…do you want the delivery or not?” Nuju sighed. The scholar turned and snatched the tablet from Ehrye’s hand, noticing that its cloth covering had been unfolded. He gripped the item tightly. “You opened it.” Ehrye tried to back away slightly. “Well, I was curious. If I’m going to be a scholar someday, I need to start learning as much as I can. It’s some fascinating research you and Jaa are working on! I was wondering—“ Nuju held up his hand to silence the messenger. Very slowly, he walked over to his desk, set down the tablet, and then tapped his fingers a few times. Before long, he leaned down to open the bottom drawer and pulled out a stack of dusty tablets. He set them on the table, turned to Ehrye, and pointed to them. “Take these to Tower 19.” Ehrye’s eyes widened. “19?! You’re kidding!” Nuju said nothing. Remembering that the scholar never liked to repeat a request, Ehrye sullenly gathered the stone slabs into his bag and headed out the door. Tower 19 was far from Nuju’s tower, all the way at the border to Onu-Metru. But it wasn’t the long trip that bothered Ehrye. This particular Knowledge Tower had been designated as storage for things the scholars no longer saw any use for, with the intention being that they could be safely preserved until someone had use for them once more. However, in Ko-Metru, things with no further use for the future were considered little more than trash, and Tower 19 had become a thing of disgust. Nothing that went through its doors was ever seen again, earning its reputation as “the graveyard of ideas.” Scholars made use of it due to encouragement from Turaga Dume, but rarely travelled there themselves, leaving it a derogatory task assigned to messengers as punishment. This would be Ehrye’s tenth visit…or perhaps twelfth? He had lost count after dropping off Jaa’s disproven Spirit Star Theory. Regardless, it never became any less humiliating. When Ehrye stepped through the doors, he immediately spotted the tower’s caretaker asleep on his desk. He kicked the piece of furniture, providing enough vibration to jolt the old Matoran awake. “Huh?! Oh, Ehrye. Back so soon?” Ehrye scowled. “I have some old prediction logs from Nuju. Where do you want me to file them?” The caretaker mumbled to himself and went over some notes he had hastily chiseled down. The process took longer than Ehrye had hoped, but eventually he was directed to the far corner of the first floor, where an ancient cabinet topped with a pile of relics stood. Ehrye tried the door. It was stuck. He pulled harder to no avail, and then decided to give a violent tug. All he succeeded in doing was burying himself in a rain of debris. “Clean that up!” the caretaker shouted. “If it’s so difficult, then just leave the tablets there and I’ll put them away myself.” Ehrye dug himself out and sat up. A dizzy feeling overcame him, alerting him to the fact that his mask had been dislodged in the avalanche. Blindly grasping for it, he cut himself on the jagged edge of some glass object. Oh great. When at last he found his mask, Ehrye reattached it and sighed with relief. He took a good look at what he had cut his hand on: half of a broken globe of black glass with ancient star charts printed on it. Despite himself, Ehrye chuckled. This artifact was more infamous in Ko-Metru, for it was something else that became no less humiliating over time. Ages ago, an eccentric scholar had theorized that the world they inhabited was round and floated inside a shell imprinted with stars, which spun as the stars changed. Once the domes were discovered, that particular scholar had disappeared rather quickly. It seemed like a good place to start. Picking up the shattered globe, Ehrye stepped towards the ladder granting access to the top of the cabinet, but something made him pause. A tiny tablet could be seen inside the remains of the globe. Fishing it out, Ehrye squinted—tiny lettering had been carved into the piece of stone. Ehrye had trained himself to read small print (through reading the many detailed tablets of scholars that he had been tasked with delivering), so he was just barely able to make out the words: “In Ko-Metru, find where sky and ice are joined.” Ehrye frowned. What is this supposed to be? He absent-mindedly turned the stone over. On the side opposite the riddle, there was an image of a Kanoka with the code 429. A Great Disk. Gradually, the confusion gave way to surprised awe. Is this…a clue to finding Ko-Metru’s Great Disk?! The caretaker yawned loudly. Remembering that he was being watched, Ehrye tucked the stone into his bag and hurriedly cleaned up the mess. Once he was back on the street, he slipped into an alleyway and took another look at the small tablet. Ehrye was unsure how to proceed. If this really was a clue to the Great Disk’s location, he could easily rise to the rank of scholar—maybe even higher. But was a hint such as this really so reliable? It was likely planted by that eccentric scholar, and if he could be so wrong about one thing, perhaps he was wrong about this as well. He cast a glance back up at Tower 19. Cracks ran all along the crystal’s length, and there were places where entire chunks had been torn out. Ehrye smiled. If it’s wrong, no one will know. I’m not going to miss my chance. He ran off towards his next stop, already wondering which Knowledge Tower his office would be placed in.
  9. I grabbed my 3DS and leaned back, letting out a sigh of relief before I unfolded the device. Oi, that was a long day… My mind started to drift as the system turned on. Noticing my backpack over on the table, I suddenly remembered all the homework I still had to do. …Meh, it won’t take that long once I put my mind to it. I’ll just play for a little while and unwind first. So, I started playing. When I next looked up, the clock read 10 PM. This was how the past several days had gone: I would remember my schoolwork, talk myself into playing a game instead, and then forget all about it until the last possible minute. With a curse, I leapt to my feet and scrambled to my pack, pulling out the first assignment I found and swiftly completing it. It was sometime around 2 that I finished everything. I sluggishly stuffed the papers back into my bag, but one slipped out and fell to the floor. I picked it up—it was a quiz I had just recently gotten back, though more than a few points were missing. Usually I did better than this, but for some reason I just hadn’t been able to focus. I was more preoccupied with… Oh, come on. Video games alone can’t make my grades fall like this. True, my grades had fallen recently, but it seemed doubtful that the video games were the sole factor. I’ve been playing games when I should’ve been doing homework for years now, and results this negative were a recent occurrence. There was no causality there…right? I flopped into bed and tried to sleep. Unfortunately, the problem nagged at me. What if the games were getting to me? It would be stubborn not to at least consider the possibility…still, what changed, then? I guess some of my more recent games were from a new series, but the one pulling me away at this point was one of the oldest of the old. Well…maybe it’s cumulative? Hm, that sounds kind of ridiculous… Rolling over, I cast a glance at the clock. 3 AM, meaning I had maybe four hours to sleep. Ugh, I really don’t want to go to that stupid physics class tomorrow… It wasn’t that the subject was uninteresting, but I felt that the teacher didn’t do a very good job of presenting it. The early time certainly didn’t help. Still, it was the only time I could get, and it was required for my new major that I— Wait… I sat up. Of course—I had just changed majors this semester! I always did well in my classes before this semester, but I had thought that switching to a science degree would be wiser. The problem was that I just could not muster up enough interest to legitimately care about most of what I was learning in these new classes. So it’s the classes, not the games. Okay… Finally feeling relaxed enough to sleep, I collapsed and muttered that I would switch back to my old major sometime soon. Something still nagged at me, though: even if my game-playing habits weren’t becoming any worse, that didn’t mean that they weren’t still detrimental. …Fine, I’ll try to manage my time a little better. I managed to get a little sleep before dragging myself out of bed for physics. As I headed for the door, my hand hovered over the 3DS. I…guess I’m too tired to play anyway…maybe later.
  10. The Innocent, the Victim They’ll see in time, I guess, but for now, this piece of paper is the only thing that listens to me without condescension in its eyes. I’ve always been predisposed to written rather than spoken language; fittingly, then, my final — and true — confession is contained within this letter. Four days ago, I killed someone. Today, I am going to be killed in recompense by the people for whom I drew my blade. “But aren’t you a Toa?” “What about the Toa Code?” “Whatever happened to honor?” Save your breath. I already know. The death row prison is open for the public to view. I’ve already been subjected to impromptu interrogations and how-can-you-live-with-yourself remarks. I even answered the questioners until I realized they didn’t want to hear anything contrary to their own beliefs. Forgive my digression, but there’s something about a cell that makes me want to write. I guess it’s like why the caged bird sings: What else has it to do? Let me backtrack. Yes, I am a Toa. My name is Kirhuu. I’ve always been the happy-go-lucky member of my Toa team, the jokester. They were shocked when they heard the news. The body of a Vortixx lies in a medical examination room somewhere, presumably torn open by a doctor with a high estimation of his own intelligence and an assumption that he already knows what happened. Yes. I killed that Vortixx; I do not deny it. But I killed him for the right reasons. It took a month for me to prove he was a threat to my city. I didn’t decide on the spur of the moment that I would murder him. My investigation was thorough, and it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the Vortixx was a cult leader who regularly led his followers to the Mountain — the central landmark of Xia — and picked one to feed to the Mountain as a “worthy sacrifice”. I staked out one such event and relayed my findings back to my team. They agreed that something had to be done. So I did what had to be done. I confronted him that night, a cold one, the wind howling and my exhales morphing into mist. I knew where he was hiding: a small, boarded-up building with a large basement. It didn’t take long to find, and it took even less time for me to break down the door. He emerged. I shouted. Silver gleamed, and his knife dug into my side. I ran my sword through him, he whispered one last lie about his innocence, and that was the end of it. Is it so bad that he’s dead? Xia didn’t lose anyone significant. He was the murderer, and I the exacter of justice. Such is the occupation of Toa. It’s funny, isn’t it, that killing for my home means my home kills me? It will only have five Toa left to do what has to be done; I pray that my brothers and sisters will actually do it.
  11. Wow, it's been a long time since I've written anything. This is just a quick story I wrote for the latest FFFC. Hope you enjoy: As the Sand Rises... My name is Amahki, and I'm not like other Fa-Matoran. You see, I have a habit of getting lost. You'd think that with our internal compass, that wouldn't happen, but I manage it just fine. It's actually a subject of mockery in my little village. That's why it's so surprising when one day I just felt like I knew where to go. I was in the middle of a delivery of some protodermis to a crafter on the other side of the village when I just felt this... tugging in my gut, like I needed to be somewhere. So, I did what I hoped was logical and ran with it. What I found was an old building that looked like it hadn't been used for decades; definitely not the crafter's home. Still, the tugging remained, drawing me ever closer to the collapsing doorway, though I began to feel an ominous aura emanating from that gaping hole. Inside, barely revealed by the dim light streaking though the holes in the roof was two enormous protoglass bowls connected at the bases by a slender neck. Inside was almost a desert's worth of sand, slowly but surely spilling from the top into the bottom, and the top was nearly empty. "It's called an hourglass." The ancient voice startled me out of my scrutiny, and I dropped the protodermis I still held in my hands. "Oh, I'm sorry," I said as I slowly turned to see a wizened Fa-Turaga limping towards me. "I just felt... like I should be here." His eyes sparkled at this. "You know, this isn't any normal hourglass. Read the inscription around the base." I slowly walked up to the gargantuan stone cylinder set into the ground and saw faded lettering spelling out: As the sand rises, so shall I. As the sand falls, so shall you. "What does it mean?" "Legends passed down to me through generations speak of a dark shadow that once visited this land. It threatened to wipe out our homes, but a single Toa managed to drive it back. Instead of destroying it, he offered the darkness a choice: they could continue fighting until one collapsed and was vanquished, or to show mercy and leave the village. The shadow chose to leave, but created this hourglass to count down its return." "That must have been a brave and powerful Toa." "It was a Toa of Light that drove the shadow back." I gawked at that. "Surely it is only a legend then. No one has seen the Av-Toa for... forever, if they even exist." "Oh, they're real alright. And it is only their power that can drive the shadow back again. Yet, it is you that has been chosen at this time." "But... I can't save us," I stuttered. "You have the wrong person! I just... got lost, as I always do." "What you may call coincidence, I call Destiny. It is your Duty to your people. Only through Unity can you fulfill it." He walked over to the hourglass and leaned against its polished surface. "Over the years, the Matoran have forgotten about this place, but not I. I have watched the sand fall for centuries, waiting for it to have finished its countdown, when the shadow will return to seek its revenge. Then, we will need a hero, a new Toa to defeat the darkness forever. "The sand is nearly gone. It is time to find our hero. And it just so happens that you walked in at just this very moment." I just froze. I could tell he depended on me, not just because of this "destiny," but because I was the only one here. I looked up to meet his eyes, just catching a glimpse of the last of the sand slowly pouring into the bottom. Sparks danced along my armor as the very air wavered and became electrified. The hourglass vibrated and shattered with an earsplitting crack, spilling an ocean of sand as the dim room began to brighten. As suddenly as it began, the strange effects ended, only now a tall being stood in the midst of the spilled sand. Darkness seemed to emanate from him where light had been before. His deep red eyes seemed to radiate power and authority. It could only be a Makuta of old. It was about this time that I managed to dig my way out of the sand and began brushing myself off to see the new arrival. I froze as his gaze seemed to penetrate me. I felt something smooth and hard slip into my hand from under the sand. I only had a chance to look down and see a glimmering stone when light filled my vision and I felt... changed. My body was lengthening, I began to feel power I didn't know I had, and my mind was filled with the buzz of an activating Kanohi. I looked down to see my new form as a Toa. And not just any Toa, but a Toa of Light. "Impossible," the Makuta bellowed. "You are a Fa-Matoran!" I laughed, enjoying my newfound power. "Well, then this won't hurt a bit." As I quickly grasped the new element at my disposal, I realized how much sense this all made. I was always different, and now, they would all see. I will save my village, for a new Toa of Light had risen today.
  12. BBBBalta

    The Kal

    It’s here. Somewhere. Tracking in the jungle is not my area of expertise. That particular duty falls to Lewa, naturally. I can do so to a certain extent, given my capability to sense the earth’s vibrations, but, of course, that is impossible at the moment. The Kal have robbed us of our powers, and we must now do without – we have, after all, brought this lot upon ourselves. I am perhaps the best-equipped among us to face this challenge – my mask still grants me strength beyond my belief; my weapons still carve through protosteel as though it were butter. Were it not for these factors I would not have refused even to consider the possibility of tracking the Kal alone. Given the circumstances, however, the opportunity that presented itself was simply too enticing to pass up. The Kal had passed beneath the cliff upon which I was standing, entirely unaware of my presence. And so I had followed it, awaiting an opportune moment to ambush it and slice its repulsive metal carapace in two. Of course, this lasted only until it saw fit to veer from its course and vanish into the jungle. Perhaps the wisest course of action would then have been to equip my Kakama and seek out Lewa as quickly as possible. But I did not. Another less than favorable situation brought on by carelessness. Another debacle I must make the best of. But then, discretion is the better part of valor, or so I am told. This search is fruitless, it would seem. The wisest choice at the moment would again be to alert Lewa that a Kal is hiding within his home. I raise a hand to my mask, feeling the Pakari’s smooth surface ripple into the ridged form of the Kakama. I inhale. CRUNCH I am lying on the ground, paralyzed. Or– Not paralyzed entirely, it seems. I can lift my fingers, though ever so slightly. I can twist my head to view my assailant. The sunlight glints off the silvery form of the Kal, briefly blinding me. As my vision returns, I am able to discern the black markings on its insectoid forehead, able to make out the saw-like shields that discern it as the Nuhvok Kal. Gravity. It is capable of speech, I know. But it says nothing. I make to stand, knowing even as I begin that it will be a fruitless effort. The Kal’s glowing green eyes glimmer with pleasure. My mask ripples again, its form shifting back to that of the Pakari. I call upon its power and make to stand again. I barely rise to a crouch before the Kal waves its shield. I collapse again. But collapsing is not an option. I lock eyes with the Kal and call again upon my mask, pushing myself to my knees. It raises a shield again, but I hold steady. And then I rise. I waver, but I remain upright. The Kal holds my gaze for a few seconds, contemplating, perhaps, my resilience. And then it is gone, leaving only a quivering leaf in the underbrush.
  13. That feel When You’re hanging in the air Free falling And there’s like Wind or air or something I don’t know Hitting your face And like there’s water beneath you or something And it’s like rushing closer I guess? Oh and by the way you’re Nick Cage And you just jumped off a boat Because you’re actually Ben Gates And You stole the Declaration of Independence but got caught Why’d you use a credit card Nick WHY That feel When You strike the water with all the grace of a rhino in a classy antique store That’s on a fancy street with a dumb French name Because you’re Nick Cage Nick Cage is always classy That feel When You can’t see anything and you don’t know where you are Because you’re in the freaking Hudson River that thing’s got more pollution than Something with a lot of pollution And you’re like Drowning But Nick Cage never drowns because Nick Cage cannot die Except if the bees get to him But there’s no bees here because bees don’t like water And you’re You know Underwater That feel When Some cool dude working for your enemy grabs you because he can see somehow And swims twenty feet away and surfaces And somehow the two dozen helicopters don’t see him So that’s cool you guess That feel When He’s like “Welcome to New Jersey Ben” And you’re like “My name’s not Ben it’s Nick and I don’t want to be in New Jersey” But you don’t really have a choice But hey at least you got rid of those tools from the FBI What’s their deal anyway
  14. Running for a Shooting Star David lost himself among the trees in the night, his dark coat and pants blending in with the black trunk. This was the second time this year that he had become somewhat lost in the woods, the second time that he was running from Jessica and her friends. This, however, was not a warm night on Spring Break, fleeing an unaware house to the shelter of an old, crumbling church on the other side of the wood. These were different trees in a different state, a different season, even a different world at time, with an active pursuit following from the convention center towards an unknown end in the cool winter air. It was the rust-gold mask clinging to his upper face that freed David from his own world, the mask which allowed him to approach conventions as someone other than himself, to go as Elion. Being unleashed as Elion, though, had caused him to dare to stand against Jared, Jessica’s violently protective confidant—protective not only of his friends, but also of his pride—and so now David ran from convention center, darting from darkness to deeper darkness like a wraith as he led Jared and his friend Brandon on the chase through the moonless woods. Elion’s grim smile twisted David’s face as he led his pursuers, toying with them at first but now wholly committed to escaping them. A tree presented itself, and Elion swung David’s body up into the branches with ease, staying close to the trunk to keep the tree from shaking too badly. Through the branches he could see nothing but the beams of Brandon and Jared’s flashlights as they ran some distance apart, searching for the masked offender. Their lights passed by Elion’s tree, and David’s eyes followed them uphill as they moved towards a row of houses set high on the slope. The lights turned back, moved together, and walked back towards the tree. David held his breath, and the passed by, Jared’s swearing floating up alongside Brandon’s conciliatory remark that “the rat probably wasn’t worth it anyway. He ran, and it’s payment enough to make someone turn coward in front of his girl.” David’s fingers tightened on a branch. The “girl” was Diana, self-introduced to him as “Valaina” at first: he’d called himself “Elion” at the time, a she’d picked up the gag and ran with it. As Valaina and Elion, she and David had met a few months ago, and whenever he and Diana could get together they still shared a dance floor in the guise of their Others, but those times were slowly becoming as rare as a passing comet. Looking around in his perch as Jared and Brandon moved further off, David’s eyes settled on those houses uphill. Valaina had told him she lived close to the convention; maybe one of those was hers. He couldn’t leave without making amends. With Jared and Brandon quite a distance off, he slithered out of the tree and began to make his way uphill, flitting among the trees like a ghost. Not feeling ready to be shot, he skirted the properties and made his way around front, looking for the lion’s head knocker that would mark her house. No need to look: Diana was extricating herself from a crowded car three houses away, her own mask pulled up over her hair. The car pulled away, and Elion dashed along the road to the foot of her drive. “Shooting stars and sliver moons,” He sang out the first line just loud enough for her to hear. She paused at the door, turned. Smiling, she pulled her mask back down over her face and sang back, “Disappear, disappear in the night, And safely, softly commune.” A smile spread across Elion’s face, and he touched his mask, bowing to Valaina. She returned a secret salute, pressing two fingers against her throat, and went inside. Elion drew his trench coat tight around David’s spare form, and quietly walked back to the woods. The comet had passed, and all was well.
  15. Maybe in Time It’s curious, don’t you think? Life is all about waiting. From the moment a Matoran’s heartlight begins glowing, he waits until he finds a purpose. Once found, he waits and works until he can master this purpose. He waits for recognition. He waits for success. The life of a determined Matoran is nothing but a test of patience. For most, their greatest strife will be in trying to be remembered. To be that great Archivist who discovers great and exciting new Rahi. To be that skilled mask maker, commissioned by the Turaga himself to forge Kanohi. To be the best sculptor, the best pilot, the best teacher, the best scholar. To leave a mark on history so great as to withstand the trials of time and fire. So they wait, tuning their skills, refining their work, waiting—hoping—that, in time, they will gain recognition. And so, they wait. Even those with greater goals wait. He that dreams of being a hero waits, endures, all the while hearing the great tales of Toa already existing. And he waits, because he must. He feels his Destiny drawing near. All he has to do is wait. *** Keahi was tired of waiting. He toiled day after day, working around every district of Ta-Metru, transporting and disposing of furnace waste. He was a trusted and responsible friend to many, yet he could not be any less happy with his situation. Keahi had always wanted to be a Mask Maker, but that option had been eliminated early in his career. He was not skilled enough for that sort of delicate work. He was too rough, too strong. He worked for years at mask making, waiting and working to improve his skills so as to one day become successful. But it had been a fruitless effort. Years went by, and he had nothing to show for it but dozens of cracked and useless masks. More than anything, Keahi wanted to protect Metru Nui. He wanted to make great masks to help the Toa protect the Metru, but that had become impossible. What could he do? Keahi wanted to be a hero more than anything. But he was still only a Matoran. Too strong for the work he desired, but too weak to be of any use in enforcing the law or protecting his fellow Matoran. So he swallowed his pride and began a part of the waste disposal system of Metru Nui, working under Kalama at the Protodermis Reclamation Yard. After all, most of his work had ended up at the Yard as well. But still he waited. Deep inside, he believed he was destined to do more. He had to believe that this toiling in a job he did not enjoy was all in preparation for something better. He had to believe that the feeling he still had—the desire to protect—would one day be fulfilled. He would one day become a Toa. He was sure of it. He would join the Toa and the Vahki and protect Metru Nui. All he had to do was wait. Time was his trial, through which the Great spirit tested him, challenging him to endure even in the conditions he found himself in. Do all you can for your neighbors as you are now. And in time, you will do even more. He would one day become a Toa. He would be remembered. He would endure the tests of time and disaster and become a true hero. His situation was beyond ordinary. But not for long, he felt. All he had to do was wait. Because one day he would become a Toa. He was sure of it. *** Not a very actiony or trialy piece, even though it's a Trial by Fire theme...Hmmm Also why did I ever stop doing these contests.
  16. CeeCee

    Fish!

    This is my first ever SS. Please be gentle. As I am entering this into the FFFC I had trouble keeping the word limit under 1000. Its actually just a little over. Still waiting on confirmation on that. I feel the start is a lot stronger than the second half but only because I was strapped with the word count. Fish! It’s a magical world the ocean. Being a Po-Matoran, Keprin didn’t have much interaction with it, so being this far out was something he treasured dearly. The rippling waves sparkled a vibrant orange, twinkling the reflection on the sun into his eyes, contrasting against the rest of the blue water that seemed too span from one end of the horizon to the other. It was early morning. Very early morning. So early in fact, that behind him the sky still wore a dimmed lilac prowess. He sharpened his knife with a stone he had picked from the Po-Wahi beach just before the two of them had set sail. “I hope you’re not thinking about killing that poor creature” Pezi, the Ga-Matoran said, standing over him and her hands placed firmly on her hips. There was a tutoring look in her innocent eyes, as if he were some barbaric creature who needed to be taught the civilised and tranquil ways of Ga-Koro. “You can never be too careful, my dearest.” he smiled, looking up from his blade. “Besides, poor creature isn’t exactly the words I would use for something that’s eating the fish we eat and sinking the ships we use to catch them.” The mission was to move the giant fish as far out to sea as possible so it wouldn’t disturb the island any longer. Pezi would do most of the work. Kerpin was just there for back up, really. She let out a sigh that contained mostly annoyance but with a slight hint of genuine laughter mixed in. “You arrogance will only get you so far rock head” she tapped the top of his Kanohi three times to get signify its apparent hollowness. “When will you learn that it is just the way of nature? Big fish eat smaller fish and protect themselves from anything that might be a danger to them. I feel it’s something you Po-Boys will never get the gist of.” Keprin shook his head and just laughed. From a distance it may have seemed like this unlikely couple were anything but friends. They rarely saw eye to eye on matters and would often send sly digs towards each other’s cultures or more personal acts. The truth was though that Pezi had chosen him for this mission and it want just because of his experience in military matters. Besides Keprin had hardly made any attempt to deny her offer. The ocean wasn’t the only magical thing out here today. The Ga-Matoran lent out a gentle hand towards Keprin, who sheathed his knife before taking it and lifting himself up. As he rose his eyes met hers, and their heads were unnaturally close together. Keprin looked away instantly and rubbed the back of his neck. It was the first time he had ever felt uncomfortable in Pezi’s presence although she seemed un-phased. Maybe she hadn’t really noticed it or maybe she just wasn’t bothered about the two of them being more intimate with one another. “Turn around” she said, pulling out an oxygen tank she seemed to be struggling with the weight of. “Do you want me to…” “No” She cut him off, he voice strained with effort. “I can manage.” Her strength didn’t seem to come through a physical sense like his, but more a mental perseverance. Something of which could be very, very dangerous at times. To those faced against it but also to herself. Keprin knew he well enough to know she had trouble giving up. She clipped the tank around his shoulders and waist and turned around so he could do the same for her. To Keprin’s, perhaps unjustified surprise, she seemed to have no trouble with the tank now it was balanced on her back. They both placed on a mask that covered their entire mouths. “This is what we use to talk to each other once we are underwater,” she said. The voice played directly through Keprin’s ears. He exaggeratedly staggered back clutching them. “Darn it girl, as if hearing your chatter wasn’t normally bad enough.” He jested and gave her a friendly wink. She gave him what was probably a smile, although hard to tell with the mask on, and fluttered her eyelids. They both dove into the water, the heavy tank dragging them down further towards the ocean floor. It was beautiful. The bright coloured plants coated the ocean floor and fish of all shapes, sizes and patterns swam past him just inches away from his face. Just before he could reach out to touch them he felt a sharp, numbing pain in his right arm. He turned around to see the fish they were supposedly hunting with its teeth sunk into his limb. Keprin let out a yelp that must have got Pezi’s attention as she turned around instantly. Without hesitation the Po-Matoran grabbed his knife and brought it down hard into the fish’s nose. It must have been at least four times the size of him. The fish opened its mouth to bare its hundreds of razor sharp teeth, like staring into the jaws of Karzahni itself. “Keprin!” Pezi squealed, unclipping her tranquilizer harpoon from her back. She swam towards it at speed that seemed to even shock the enormous monster. She buried the harpoon deep into the fish’s brain. Its huge eyes role back, then plummeted to the ocean floor. That was the moment when Keprin blacked out. He awoke on the small boat they had travelled on. He was slumped down against the front and when he looked down at his arm he noticed his hand was placed in Pezi’s. She appeared to be asleep but Kerpin new better than that. “What happened to following the ways of nature?” He teased, a huge grin slapped to his face. Pezi’s eyes shot open, ecstatic at first then turned to a look of anger. She punched him in his bad arm. Hard. He yelped out in pain. “You deserved that,” she said sternly, furrowing her brow. Then she started laughing. A laugh that Keprin knew was uncontrollable. He joined in too and put his arm around her. “I take it we’re having giant fish for dinner, then?”
  17. “Yep,” Kualus commented, “it’s definitely been through here.” He dismounted the Thornatus and waited for Onua to climb out of the cockpit. The Toa Nuva’s adaptive armor shifted as he did so, reverting to a form identical to his original armor. Before them lay the Valley of the Maze—or rather, its ruins. The once intimidating labyrinth was now nothing but a shattered wreck, with twisted walls and scrap metal jutting out at random. A layer of soot covered the rubble, leaving a dark trail running directly to the massive volcano at the heart of the mess. “Guess the Great Beings didn’t do as good a job fortifying the place as they thought,” Kualus said. “Or they never expected a fiery dragon to come charging in.” In the confusion around the destruction of the Matoran Universe, a massive Rahi known as the Kanohi Dragon had escaped its prison on the island of Xia and flown off over the plains of Spherus Magna. It was difficult to suppress the panic that followed. The Kanohi Dragon was infamous for the destruction it had caused on Metru-Nui, and for the effort and time it took for the Toa Mangai to eventually defeat it. The thought of battling it while the evacuation was in progress was an unpleasant one. Luckily, word had arrived—a nomad has spotted the Dragon flying towards the Valley of the Maze, a cryptic location that had once been home to the Great Beings. At its center was the Great Volcano, a massive source of heat that must have drawn the creature’s attention. Kualus and Onua had been dispatched immediately to subdue it once more. Onua summoned his Kanohi Kakama Nuva and activated its power, reaching out with his mind to share the burst of speed with his companion. The two Toa rocketed through the ruins in a matter of minutes, coming to a halt at the base of the volcano. “You are sure that your Mask of Rahi Control will not work on it?” Onua asked. Kualus shook his head. “My team fought this thing before, remember? It’s an old and powerful Rahi—too strong to be controlled. Might have a chance once it’s weakened, but I didn’t try last time.” “I will draw its attention, then,” the Toa of Earth said. “You attack from another angle with ice blasts. If you see an opportunity where the mask might work, take it.” His armor changed again, this time sprouting jet boosters at his shoulders and ankles. Grabbing Kualus by the arms, Onua mentally activated the equipment and rose into the air, soon reaching the top of the Great Volcano and depositing the Toa of Ice on its edge. Kualus used his Sub-Zero Spear to steady himself. The heat is more intense than I expected…where’s the Dragon? Carefully, he peered over the edge. Pipes and tubes ran down the interior of the Volcano, some sticking out of the walls and forming ledges with what appeared to be maintenance consoles. Stretched across three of these ledges was the Kanohi Dragon, its wings folded in and its eyes closed. It’s asleep? Hardly looks like an engine of destruction when it’s like this. Kualus furrowed his brow. In fact…it actually looks peaceful. This volcano has become its nest, hasn’t it? It’s found a place where it can thrive without the annoyance of intrusions. Judging by the state of the Maze, it had to work pretty hard to find it. Onua floated down and landed next to Kualus. His armor maintained its jets, but it had now morphed into a thicker, larger shell to protect its wearer from the heat. Freeze cannons were mounted on its wrists, and his Kanohi had taken the shape of a bulbous helmet with a transparent visor over his eyes. “Are you ready?” Hesitantly, Kualus replied, “This may sound crazy, but…maybe we should just leave it here.” Onua turned to his fellow Toa. Most companions would probably berate Kualus for his statement, claiming the heat was getting to him and preventing him from thinking clearly. Onua merely waited for him to explain. “During my time as a Rahaga, I developed a real bond with Rahi—flyers, especially. You can’t imagine the bliss they feel when they find the perfect nest, or the agony when a hunter takes that away from them. It may be more reptile than flyer, but I think this Dragon has found his perfect nest. All the heat he could ever want is right here, perpetually generated by the Great Beings’ technology, and there’s nothing for kio around that he has to compete with.” Kualus turned to the Dragon. “He’s not hurting anyone by staying here. What real reason do we have for evicting him?” Onua silently regarded the Rahi and considered Kualus’s proposal. He was right, of course: the only living things they had passed in their journey had been a few Vorox and handful of other creatures he could not identify, none of which had ventured anywhere near the volcano. The Kanohi Dragon had to be captured because it was dangerous…but here, there was no one for it to pose a danger too. “How do you want to explain this to Tahu?” Onua asked. Kualus shrugged. “Spherus Magna is a big place. The Dragon was here before, but it’s moved on, and we have no idea where to start looking.” Onua chuckled. “He won’t be happy, but it’ll probably go over better than saying we just let it go.” Placing a hand on Kualus’s shoulder, he added, “A wise call, brother. We shall leave this Rahi in peace.” “Thank you,” Kualus said. “…Can we get out of here now? This heat is awful!”
  18. Inspired by real life, my imaginary friends in the IDES, and music from The Lion King. Under the Stars Out in Cameroon, John was entering his sixth year of service, building schools and homes for families. When he received the phone call, he remained silent, said "yes" several times, and then hung up. "Oh my God!" he gasped, and he let himself crouch down, with his elbows on his knees and one hand in his dusty face. He continued working, but didn't say anything to anyone. "Are you right?" asked Kate, sensing that not all was well with John. Whenever he was in a strained mood, everyone seemed to be able to know. How they knew, he wasn't quite sure, because he was never able to tell when others were not doing fine, but he was different. If this had been any sort of bad news, he would have lied and said he was fine, but he couldn't say that. "I can't talk about it now." They finished their day's work, spend time with their African friends, but John resigned early and started packing with some help of his friend Roger. "Still not talking?" said Roger. "John, your poker face is atrocious." John sat down upon one of his bags. There was very little energy in his movements, and he continued to avoid eye contact. He was withdrawn, not in the same place as Roger. When he talked, he sounded as if he was about to cry. "I've been off in Cameroon for six years...Things have felt so right, but my life is changing so much. I've been so lucky to have you as a friend all this time, and Kate. Have so much on my mind right now, and I don't know what it all means." Roger knelt down next to John. "Do you know where to start?" "My father's dying, Roger, and he's only fifty," said John. "I haven't seen him in six years." He began to cry, and Kate walked in. "The last conversation I had with him was an argument," continued John. "He told me I should go to college, but I thought that my calling was here. But I miss home. Most of all, I miss Mom. When my parents got divorced, I almost never got to see her. I only saw her once a month, and I never spent much time with her during my life except for when I was a little kid, about nine years old. I haven't had my childhood in a long, long time, and I always figured it would come back, because I would eventually find it and I could just have that one special moment with everyone in the family and all my old friends and that thing I had when I was young would be with me again, you know? Now I can never go back, because in order to have that I need my entire family there, and now my father's dying and I'm never going to have that relationship that I wanted, like I thought I was planning on returning to America in two or four years, a changed man, because it made sense. I thought he would see who I became, see the types of things I dedicated my life to, and he would be proud of me and love me for it, and my mother would love me because she always loves me, and I could have everything I always wanted, but - but..." John returned to crying and tears streamed down his cheeks. Kate sat next to him and held his hand. "John, I'm so sorry," she said. Then she embraced him. Roger joined in and turned it into a group hug centered around John. "I want to tell you so many stories about him," said John. "I know you can do that," said Roger. "You're the best person I know when it comes to telling stories. I'll listen to every word." They finished packing, and after a couple of days they talked with everyone there who knew them and explained why they had to leave. Since they did not have a car, they walked the whole way to Yaoundé. The hike lasted for a couple days, since they each had their own bags to carry. The second night, as they settled in an open field of grass, started a fire, and unfolded their sleeping bags, John looked up at the stars and thought about Heaven. "Grandpa, I know that I talk to you sometimes. I guess Dad's going to be there with you soon." Kate and Roger sat to his right, poking the fire with sticks. They talked somewhat, but most of all, they listened to John tell stories about his father. "And the thing is, I guess I'm just upset that he never got to know me," he said, answered by the distant, ever-present crackle of the fire. "He was never good enough for me when Mom wasn't there to support him, so maybe I thought that my relationship could never be so deep because it stopped feeling the way that it should have felt. I've spent the better part of my life hoping that everything would be perfect again and that I could have the family I had when I was a kid, or at least, that's what I always thought. I always thought it was actually running away, but now it seems the exact opposite. When I turned twenty, I suffered depression because I was growing, because I was shocked at how far away my childhood was, and I was in despair because my next birthday would never be eight or nine, and that the one moment that always stuck out to me, the one that my whole life seems to be centered around, could last fore..." He looked and saw Kate and Roger sleeping, the orange firelight illuminating their calm, peaceful faces. No longer aware, but still there for him. Maybe that one moment that was his entire life was behind him. Maybe his entire life was now in this moment. "God, make this last." 24601
  19. Did you know Takea sharks prey closer to Matoran settlements than one might think? They actually hunt within 1 kio of a settlement, since their preferred diet generally accumulates within that area. Just some trivia, but it's something to look out for if you ever go fishing. Like I was on that fateful day, the day I made my biggest catch ever. I'm a Po-Matoran. Guys like me, we prefer carving, shaping, Kolhii, anything that takes advantage of our strength. We don't lava surf, we don't swing on vines or dig out tunnels to other Koros. We don't predict the future, we don't find ourselves in snowstorms, and we absolutely do not go fishing. Or anywhere near the sea, for that matter. The closest I've gone is buying a Makuta Fish near the shore. I spent the rest of the day overcoming sickness from just being close to water. And so, one day, I find myself closer to the sea than I would ever have agreed to, at least under normal circumstances. I'm leaning back on my chair, situated in the middle of a fishing boat, floating in the middle of the sea, and looking as calm as possible. The key word here being “looking”. Because let's face it, EVERY Po-Matoran is scared of water. It's the darkness to our light, the Makuta to our Toa. You get the point. Anyways, I've somehow managed a straight face, which I wouldn't have been able to alone. Here, I have an Onu-Matoran and a Ga-Matoran for company. Which lessens the paralyzing fear in my mind. It's mostly the Ga-Matoran. I've had my eye on her for a while. She's not a bad pick, and word's being going around about her recently. Oh, how I want her heartlight to flash when I hold her, how I want her mask to touch mine's. First come, first serve, and I just so happened to share first with this joker. He's blind, has bad taste, and obviously doesn't want to be here any more than I do. That's one thing we have in common. The second thing is an interest in her. The third thing is enmity toward each other. There is one difference though: I had a plan. The Ga-Matoran is a major fishing enthusiast, so when I and this mini-Makuta asked her if we could go fishing, of course she took us out to sea. “All the fish are gathered in this spot. We're about three quarters of a kio away from the village, so we can get back pretty quick.” She hands us three rods, each made out of some strong bamboo. We get out our lures, chose a spot, and fish. Did you know Takea shark love the smell of a Makuta fish? I feel a tug on my rod. Something fell for the lure and is currently either a Takea shark or engaging in an unwitting act of cannibalism on a poor Makuta Fish piece. I look over. There they are, the unmistakable twin rubies, the twin wells of blood. They're situated on a snout, under which is a mouth filled with teeth which would make even Makuta cry for help. Those teeth are clamped on the little bite I used as my lure. My heart starts pounding. I'm not really doing this, right? I'm not going to actually go ahead with the plan. It's insane, it's worse than what that fool Akhmou was doing with the Comet balls. Where's your sense of Unity? I mull it over. I almost lose the shark. I strengthen my resolve. I'm trying to increase my sense of Unity. That Ga-Matoran is what matters now. It's my duty to get her. It's my destiny to be with her. “Hey, guys! I think I got something!” The Onu-Matoran rushes over to my side, tipping the boat over. “What, what is it? Lemme see!” He's oblivious to the absolute paralysis of the Ga-Matoran. Did you know the only thing Takea shark love more than a Makuta fish is fresh Matoran? “Alright, time to reel it in!” I yank the rod up, draw on all of my Po-Matoran strength, and watch as the shark flies, arcs through the air. It's so beautiful, so graceful, that I forget my inner nagging doubts. What's even more beautiful is the Ga-Matoran I will soon be calling my own. The shark lands perfectly onto the boat, its mouth wide open, then shut in the next instant. The Onu-Matoran is screaming and yelling for help as he gets devoured by the beast. The Ga-Matoran is in shock, rigid as a statue. Time to put my plan into motion. I start screaming, going crazy, acting out fear. I lunge at the beast, whipping out my handy carver's knife. It's the first time I've ever used it to kill, but you won't believe how useful it is. By the time I'm done, the Takea is about ready to be cooked and served, and I somehow obtained the Onu-Matoran's mask. The Ga-Matoran's passed out, and the Onu-Matoran...well, the Takea had a good meal before it went out. I start adjusting my mask, bring out the Onu-Matoran's mask as proof that I tried to save him, and start crying. Part of it's fake, and part of it's real. I shake the Ga-Matoran awake, who gets up and looks around to analyze what happened. When she sees the Takea, she remembers...and she starts crying. I hold her in my arms, tell her it will be alright. That I tried to save him. She replies by saying she's sorry, she should've told us Takea were around in these areas. She tells me I saved her. The tears mingle with the splashes of water on her mask. And all this while, I'm just thinking about how wonderfully it went. I went fishing, and I'm returning home with a catch. The best catch I've ever made. Oh, it's a magical world, ain't it? ------------- Word Count - 996
  20. BBBBalta

    Home

    Iraanus’ boat glided lazily over the surface of the ocean, barely leaving a wake as it drifted further and further from Ga-Koro. He was supposed to be fishing, catching… something. It didn’t really matter what, as long as they could serve it back at the Takea. Most restaurants bought their fish in the market, of course, but the Horde had been broke even before they’d bought the property the Takea was built on. The Ga-Koronan government had given them a bit of compensation for their aid in the defense and rebuilding of the city, but it wasn’t much. At Rhow’s request, they hadn’t done much merc work, either. “Unsavory clients,” she’d said. Didn’t help that half of them were still recovering from their injuries; Rhow certainly was in no condition to fight, and a couple others weren’t doing much better. The Takea, at least, was doing well – surprising for a Skakdi-run business – but when it came down to it, they had about as much now as they’d had when they got here. Which was also known as nothing.Iraanus cast the net over the side of the boat, not really focusing on the task; he’d done it often enough in the past three weeks to know what he was doing. Three weeks… that’s how long they’d been in Ga-Koro. Seemed like a karzahni of a lot longer. Already they’d bought property, started a restaurant, made connections. Settled down. Three weeks ago he’d laughed at the idea. Now they had a home.But what was a “home,” really? He gazed out at the horizon, staring at it as though looking long enough and hard enough would reveal what lay beyond it. Following the defeat of the rahkshi, his memories of the past had flooded back. There were still pieces missing, but on the whole he remembered – remembered who he was, remembered where he was from. Beyond the horizon lay another home.Briefly, an image of the Islets flashed into his mind. He and Rhow had propelled a broken boat from Xa-Koro to the mainland using the water itself – as far as Iraanus knew, they’d been the last to escape the Islets before they’d exploded and sunk. Well, aside from those other three ships… Yeah, they’d still have to look into that. Anyway, the point was they could do it again, probably, if they wanted to. Iraanus waved a hand at the ocean. For once, the water didn’t obey. In some ways, it was kind of a nice change. But with Rhow’s help – with the help of any of them, or all of them, even – they could sail for home.But again, what was a “home”? A month ago he’d have laughed, said it was something they didn’t have, never could have. Did they even need one? Of course not. Right?He sighed as he turned back to the net and hauled it into the boat. A decent catch. It’d be enough. He angled the boat back for Ga-Koro, listening in silence to the waves lapping against the craft’s sides.
  21. The fish slowly swam in a circle, surveying the area in detail. Something had disturbed the water nearby. No predators were visible, but it could not shake the feeling that it was being watched. Hahli felt a little guilty. While taking a swim, she had noticed a Rahi she was unfamiliar with and decided to observe it. Using her Kanohi Faxon, she had copied the camouflage ability of one of the creatures from Ga-Wahi and swam along behind her mark. Apparently it had detected her and, possibly suspecting she meant it harm, was now on high alert. The Rahi was remarkable. Though mostly organic, plates of red armor were attached to its sides, and what appeared to be thin blades jutted off its rear fin. It was rather large—about the size of the Toa’s head—but moved swiftly through the currents with powerful strokes of its fins. The other Rahi had done their best to avoid it. Though unsure, Hahli suspected they feared this one much as it did her. Perhaps I should find out why. She deactivated her Kanohi. Immediately she became visible, startling the fish and making it halt its movements. It remained still for a matter of seconds before charging Hahli. Being a Toa, Hahli saw no reason to fear the attack. That was when its organic components suddenly transmuted into armor. Hahli had no time to react—the now fully-armored fish rammed directly into her midsection, catching her off-guard and knocking the wind out of her. She attempted to recover, but the Rahi swiveled around and drew its bladed fin against her armor, leaving a shallow gash that was more surprising than painful. Despite its aggression, Hahli did not want to hurt the creature. Rather than using her claws or fins to bat it aside, she reached out to the water around her and summoned a powerful current aimed directly at her attacker. The Rahi refused to give up and fought against it. Hahli increased the power, sending the fish tumbling away, and then flexed her fins and shot up towards the surface. “Why are all the Rahi out here so mean?” she muttered as she stepped onto the shore. As she walked, she thought back to the attack, activating her Kanohi as she did so. Her skin turned to armor—she could feel herself getting slightly heavier, but she was still able to move about freely. If there were any drawbacks to the ability, she could not see them. Well, if nothing else…this should come in handy.
  22. The Ruki swam through the tranquil oceans of Mata Nui. He watched Tarakava serpents slither through the water as they were stalking a strange blue figure, Takea sharks on the hunt, and many other things. It’s a magical world he thought as he swam on, still observing. Ooh! What’s that? He thought as he swam towards an oddly shaped sea urchin. What does it taste like? He wondered as he bit it. Yuck! Definitely NOT a sea urchin. He said as he spat the object out. When he turned around, he saw a very odd creature in the water. The newcomer wore a blue mask, like most of the natives, but a red and yellow body. What are you? The Ruki wondered as he followed the odd, multicolored thing to the object that was most definitely NOT a sea urchin. Take it. I don’t want it at all. The Ruki thought. The creature then swam up through an opening and disappeared. The Ruki followed and stuck its head out of the water and watched the creature place the object that it had picked up into a larger thing. Just then a hut that the Ruki had seen earlier, filled with little blue things, popped up and out of the water. Then the trouble started. A giant Tarakava, most were, burst out of the water and attacked. Time to go! The Ruki thought as he plunged back into the ocean. Several hours later, the Ruki was still hungry. What’s that smell? The Ruki thought as he approached a shiny object with something delectable on it. This looks good… The Ruki thought and he bit into the chunk of meat. Yum… So tasty… The Ruki thought. Wait, what’s happening? The Ruki thought as he struggled to stay underwater, his strength finally gave and stopped struggling. “I got one!” Something said. “Nice job Marka, I didn’t know that you had it in you!” Another voice said. What’s going on? Where am I? The Ruki thought, scared, as he flopped onto a lily pad. “You’re going to be my new pet.” The voice called “Marka” said. What’s a pet? The Ruki wondered as he was carried off.
  23. The Best Thing to Say Kate Huong was awakened in the morning by the ringing of a phone. She opened her eyes and blinked them sleepily. Her momentary disorientation faded fast; she was not at home but in the tidy if small guest bedroom of her grandparents’ house, lying on one bed while her younger brother, Zachary, lay on the one to her left. Yes. In her grandparents’ house. But only Grandmom was home. Her stomach grew suddenly upset. In response, she curled up and shifted underneath her blankets, too cold to forsake their comfort. The digital clock on the bedside drawer read 6:38 AM. Too early. Kate shut her eyes again, hoping sleep would follow soon after. The ringing stopped. Her grandmother’s voice filled the silence in its place. “...Yes... Right, I understand... Thank you...” Click. Kate tried opening her eyes again. She could hear more voices now: her parents engaging Grandmom in conversation. The murmurs proceeded for perhaps a minute; then footsteps approached the guest bedroom, the door opened, and Grandmom delivered the news. * * * The Saturday morning was cold in the manner of most autumn morns, but it was not unpleasant. The Huongs, however, had no time to enjoy it. They, plus Grandmom, were packed in their well-worn black Chevy Equinox and off to the hospital within minutes. Zach, as most twelve-year-old boys would, complained about the lack of breakfast but was stymied by his mother’s terse censures. This, said Mom, was more important. They entered the hospital, where the parents and grandmother whisked the children through hallways that looked the same, into a set of elevators with mirrored interiors, and down another hallway into one of the patient wings. Grandpop’s room number was engraved in Kate’s memory as it was in the gold plate that was mounted beside the door. He was wheezing weakly when his family entered. Transparent pipes ran up his nostrils and, Kate had been told, down into his throat. Kate had asked her grandfather on a visit some weeks ago if the pipes bothered him, and her parents had made very clear on their way back home that such questions should not (the word “not” was emphatically iterated and reiterated) be asked of a patient, and Kate had learned in her sixteen years of life that vocal disagreement with her parents would accomplish nothing. The question about the pipes seemed moot then and there, in Grandpop’s ascetic white hospital room, as he took what the doctors said would be his last breaths and Kate’s stomach levitated. When Grandmom got nervous, she also got fussy, hence why she was asking for the second time if the doctor to whom she was speaking had given Grandpop painkillers. “Yes,” said the doctor, a dark-skinned woman with braided hair and a nameplate on her medical coat that read Von Dyke, and she proceeded to list a series of names that sounded more dangerous than helpful. Grandmom seemed appeased. The doctor left soon afterward. Alone now, the Huongs crowded round the bed. Grandpop’s eyes seemed closed, but his eyelids were twitching. “Can you hear me, John?” asked Grandmom; Grandpop seemed to nod slightly, but the movement could have been involuntary. “Shh,” said Mom unnecessarily. “Come on, now, tell Grandpop how much you love him. Zach, you first.” Zach took his place by Grandpop’s head, leaned over, and said, “I love you, Grandpop.” He paused, trying to think of more words, but then sucked in a breath and held it as he moved aside for Kate. Grandpop’s breaths sounded more painful up close. Kate bent her knees to move her mouth nearer to Grandpop’s ear but couldn’t speak. She breathed through her nose to calm her jittery nerves and thought. “I love you” seemed inadequate, but “we’ll miss you” was too depressing; “get better soon” was out of the question, as was a simple goodbye; and Kate, at this moment, felt nowhere near eloquent enough to vocalize, without being depressing, how hollow she felt and how sorry she was that her Grandpop wouldn’t live to see her and Zach grow to adulthood. She felt acutely the barriers of spoken language and, on a whim, wished Grandpop could read her mind. But he couldn’t. Kate knew that. She also knew that her whispered, “I love you too, Grandpop; we all do,” was not the right thing to be saying. If it wasn’t the best thing to say, though, what was? She sat soberly on the chair nearest the window as her parents and Grandmom said their goodbyes. The sky outside was streaked with clouds that glowed with incandescent colors, red and orange and gold: a beautiful sunrise, but when she was called to leave the room with Zach and her parents led them to the hospital cafeteria, she could only think of sunsets.
  24. Trails of Fire So many burning trails are on my mind. Either that or it’s the fact that I’m lying down on one right now after suffering severe injuries on this walk of death. But it this is what I get after being a complete stupid Matoran, and taking the blame for something that I didn’t do. So how did I get into this mess? It all started when I was training in the lava fields, when a giant eel came out of nowhere. I heard someone had got severely hurt and had to get rushed to the hospital. Any ways, they thought I was the one who started it because I accidentally poked it in what was supposed to be his eye. Now I had no idea it was its eye, because it looked like a big piece of molten rock stuck in the lava. So they were holding me accountable for the accident, and told me to walk the, ‘Trails of Fire.’ I first I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t when they put me in front of trails that were actually on fire. They told me to choose my path carefully, or you will die. It’s so funny because they were three different trails that separated from each other at the beginning. Instead of choosing the one on the left or right, I went straight forward. Now it is a burning pit of disaster, since it is really hot in here! I have walked over four miles just to die on a trail that is made of burning rocks, and flames shooting out from the side. I know I talk weird with past and present tense, but hey, that’s me. My back is on fire, and my skull is going to melt soon if I don’t get up. “Okay time to get up from this burning pit.” I got up and looked around me, to see fire all around. “Why do I have to still walk this path? I mean it’s been four miles that I’ve walked on. Why not just walk out of it and find a new life? So that’s what I did and I walked off the field and on to a new life, which I really have no idea what it is going to be. Maybe I might get a job in another city, or maybe just get killed. Either way, life is like a trail of fire. It just burns right through you. So yeah, that’s my life so far. This was going to me be my second entry to the FFFC theme: Trial by Fire. But due to having to go to bed at eleven at the time I wrote this, I could not make it. So yeah, but at least my remix was good.
  25. Texas Sunset As I sit in my living room playing Forza Horizon, I pause the game and look out to my right. It has only been two or three days since my summer started, and all I’ve done is play games and do things on the computer. I have done nothing physically and I really want to get into shape. I open the blinds in my living room window, which is actually where the garage door should be. I let the rays come in and shine on down on my face. The rays began to give me new strength in motivation. I turn off my X-Box, Stereo System, TV, and look into the living room. I have no idea when this garage was transformed into a living room, but at least it looks nice. The right wall from where I sit on the red love seat looks brighter than it was. The white, beige walls surrounding it made it feel even more serene. I take a breath in and look at my MOCs sitting on the bookshelves. Each one placed there and posed to look good, and the plastic moldings of them look brighter. I then stand up from the love seat and wait for my eyes to adjust to the sitting position that I was in. I walk over to my room on the other side of the house, and change into some sports attire. I put on my black and red highlight New Balance shoes, black sport shorts, and my grey middle school athletic shirt and head out of the house. As I make it past the driveway, the rays hit my face, practically blinding me since I don’t have my glasses on. I take it all in and begin running to the nearby pond where I can relax and enjoy the scenery there. As I run to end my street I look out in front of me and see the green hills far from my home. The Lost Oak reserve would be a nice place to go to at this time, but I don’t know how to drive, with the only exception being in the games that I play. The beautiful burnt summer leaves are gorgeous and the houses I pass by are astonishing. Everything about the Texas landscape is alluring to me. From the Great Plains at the Panhandle, to the swamp in Houston, it looks great. From the Unforgiven desert in El Paso, to the hot border of Laredo, the pink sky intoxicates me. The trees, flowers, roads, and landscape make the beauty all possible. The prairie field covered hills make me want to just stop and feel the land around me. As I arrive at the duck pond, I take some time to look at it. The pond is rather small, with a little fountain in the middle of it. Ducks roam around the entire park area and feed off the plants that we don’t see. The trees provide shade and homes by breaking into the hillside, and make holes by its roots. If I walk around where I am standing, from the hill and back in a trip, it’s about 400 yards. But the rest of the park that has picnic tables, playground, gazebo, and basketball court add at least another 400, which makes it half a mile long. Small trees can be found on the side of the hill, including some other types of plants near the hillside. I make my way to a bench on the hill and sit down. I imagine myself finally driving a nice car with that girl that I’ve had my eye on for a while. Just driving with the top down and listening to either Hurting by Friendly Fires, or Encore by Digitalism into the sunset on the highway. The rush of the summer air and cooling breeze of the night hit my face, even though it is my imagination. Oh how I wish I’m sixteen already. It’s probably about 7:50 or 8 o’clock, so it’s best if I head back home. As I run back home, I change the song on my MP3 to Encore by Digitalism, a truly lovely great dub-step/electronic song to listen to at this time of day. The bass fills my ears and the ambient sounds surround me with their touch. It’s a magical world out there, so why nit head out and watch the sunset.
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