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  1. We all know the stereotype. French is a highly romantic language. It's sexy. But honestly, I don't get it. It doesn't sound ugly or anything, but I don't get the romantic connotation. And honestly, I have my biases, so when I hear the French language I think of a rude person with cigarette addictions who can never get his/her mind our of the gutter. That's not romantic, just sleazy. And of course, that's only a stereotype as well (but Titanic didn't do the French people any favors with the "Draw me like one of your French girls" line). (I'd like to point out that there's a distinction to be made between being a model and being romantic) There are certain things about the language that I guess could be considered romantic, like how often their words end with vowels. That makes things flow pretty well. Their words are, on average, shorter than Spanish and don't require being spoken with a rapid rhythm. But then there's those nasal vowels. I'm not sure why people like those. How do people hear that and not think of a smelly perv who hasn't taken a shower in months and much speak through his nose in order to tolerate his own fumes? I just don't see it. Anyway, there are other languages that I consider to be more romantic. Irish. Sweet and charming. Low German. It was used for fairytales by the Brothers Grimm. Dutch. Because I'm half-Dutch and I have my biases. But also, it was Audrey Hepburn's native language, so there's that. Swedish. It might be Germanic, but its pitch-tone accent makes it sound like something spoken by fairies. Hebrew. Natalie Portman's language. And Gal Gadot's. And boy, when you hear it coming from them in interviews, it's really pretty. Mandarin Chinese. It sounds sing-songy, but also very formal with its rhythm. Japanese. In addition to sounding pretty, it has all sorts of rules for politeness. Hawaiian. Everything in that language sounds so relaxed and uplifting and friendly. Sign Language. I mean, think about it. Isn't the very idea of it romantic? Italian. Because... Italian. Italian Italian. Okay, Italian isn't my favorite language, nor to I think that it's the most romantic, so you might be wondering why I would be putting extra emphasis on it. Well, the LangFocus channel on Youtube came out with a long-awaited video on French, and I found a comment that said "French is the most romantic language in the world, and this is coming from an Italian." Yo Rocky, have a little self-respect! Italian is way cooler than French! In addition to being easier to pronounce, it also has better connotations. Italy as a whole is just cooler than France, and that's not a knock on France. Hardly any place is as cool as Italy, and nowhere is as romantic. Paris or Rome? Rome, every single time. Audrey Hepburn went to Rome for one of the greatest romantic dramas of all time. And they have delicious ice cream. And they have they have the most romantic cuisine. And they have the most romantic music. And they throw the best wedding receptions. And they're real family people. And they have better vineyards. And they have the best operas. And they have Venice. And they have Cinema Paradiso. And they have the most Best Foreign Language films. And they have Andrea Bocelli. And it's apparently Hannibal Lecter's, the king of sophisticated villainy's, favorite hangout. And they sparked the Renaissance. And freaking ROMEO AND JULIET was set in Italy. Speaking of which, I need to see that play in Italian sometime. Oh, and my super-crush Floriana Bertone comes from there. Ain't nobody prettier than Flo. I'd learn Italian for her. But yeah, although I'm personally more into a lot of the Germanic languages (and Hebrew and American Sign Language), I would place Italian as the most romantic in the world. Among other things, it's the language that's actually spoken in Rome, which is where the word "romance" comes from. And Rome, Florence, and Venice are basically the most romantic places in the world. Although I've been to none of them. Oh, I guess French is associated with philosophy and some good essays have been written on it. Good on you, French. That kind of justifies the abundant complexity of your spelling and grammar. 24601
  2. Of all the potential topics of discussion, this is one of the few that I honestly don't have an opinion on. That's why I want to hear your opinion: should there be romance in Bionicle? To what degree? Is romance even compatible with the Bionicle theme? As always, your insights are very much appreciated!
  3. Note: The beginning of this story takes place during the first episode of The Journey to One. Edit: This was written before Escape from the Underworld and the final episodes to The Journey to One came out, and thus does not reflect certain plot developments found therein. Nilkuu, Protector of Stone, let out a growl of frustration as his blast went wide of the mark yet again. It wasn't his fault-he just couldn't get the hang of Vizuna's flame bow, which was a far cry from his trusty sandstone blaster. He had been skeptical about Vizuna and Korgot's proposal that the Protectors train with each other's weapons, and the more he tried it the more convinced he became that it wasn't for him. True, he'd enjoyed Korgot's drill, Izotor's saw, and Narmoto's swords, but those were melee weapons-the ranged weapons of the other Protectors just didn't suit him. "You're improving Nilkuu! A little more practice and you'll be a crack shot!" Vizuna clapped a hand on Nilkuu's shoulder, beaming behind his green-colored mask. He was somewhat surprised when Nilkuu shrugged it off and gave him a narrow look. "You're patronizing me, Vizuna." Shaking his head, Vizuna went on. "You think I could hit the broadside of a mountain when I first took up the bow? You're lucky I'm not my father-he used to hand me this mask so he could bang his head against a tree in frustration with me! For someone who's only been using it for a few weeks you're doing remarkably well." "Maybe Nilkuu and Jungle just don't mix," Korgot joked as she came up beside the pair. Vizuna tried-vainly-to stifle a chuckle with his hand, while Nilkuu groaned. Ever since he'd been late to the Temple of Time and then the rendezvous prior to their first journey into the City of the Mask Makers, the other Protectors hadn't let him hear the end of it. He almost wished they'd go back to being mad about his repetition of "We have nothing to worry about!" during that hazardous expedition. Narmoto came up to the trio and put his own hand on Nilkuu's shoulder. "I know it takes some getting used to, old friend, but this is preparation that could save our lives or those of our fellow Okotans someday. Though the Toa are formidable-particularly since Ekimu finished their new armor and weapons last night-we cannot relax our guard. Makuta's evil may call them away from the people, and the Mask Hoarder is certainly cunning enough to attack when he believes us to be vulnerable." Had Narmoto donned the Mask of Time he could not have made a more timely prediction, for at that very moment they heard the sound of screams from the city square. As one the four-with Izotor and Kivoda trailing behind them-rushed towards the square, where a grim sight confronted them: several shambling Skull Warriors with a number of Skull Spiders. The villains had not been seen since the Toa, Protectors, and Ekimu had imprisoned Kulta the Skull Grinder beneath the forge, but now it seemed they had returned in force. However, the Toa were already addressing the threat, using their new weapons and powers against the hapless skeletons. Suddenly Tahu called to his fellows, instructing them to target the Skull Spiders while the Protectors handled the Skull Warriors. Grateful to be trusted with such a task even though the Toa obviously had things well in hand, the Protectors scattered to confront the undead monsters. Nilkuu rushed towards the city bridge, fearing that the warriors might try to damage the structure or harm the Okotans who often made use of the crossing. He was in such a hurry that he didn't notice until he was almost to the city's sole entryway-unless one was a skilled climber or could fly-that he was still carrying Vizuna's flame bow. Before he had much time to process the development, however, he heard more screams as several villagers came running by. Looking past them, he saw that they had come from the direction of the ancient Protector statues, the same sculptures the Toa had come across shortly after entering the city after defeating the Lord of the Skull Spiders. At their base he saw a formidable figure he recognized from the heroes' descriptions of that same expedition as the Skull Slicer. Almost as terrifying as the three blades and the whip-like weapon held in his four arms was the mask upon his face: the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders. Thought lost when the Protectors destroyed the Lord of Skull Spiders' lair, it appeared that Skull Slicer had found it and used it to rally the remaining Skull Warriors and Spiders for this attack. To Nilkuu's horror, the monstrous figure was advancing on a pair of Okotans who had no avenue of escape, and despite them being from Vizuna's region both were familiar to the Protector of Stone. Bingzak, the same young boy who had led him to the Temple of Time and then gone back to the Stone Region with him, was hiding behind Harvali, the archaeologist he and the other Protectors had rescued from the depths of the city. Harvali was brandishing her trusty spear, and showed no fear despite the fact that Skull Slicer was easily twice her size and any one of his weapons could easily destroy hers. Undoubtedly motivated by the need to protect young Bingzak, she confronted Skull Slicer boldly. "Come crawling back out of your hole, Oris? I suppose it wasn't humiliating enough to lose to the Toa the first time, so you had to come back for another thrashing! Makuta must be getting quite desperate if he's having you lead the assault, but I suppose with Kulta and Tera imprisoned you're the best he has to work with! Let's see if you can handle someone when you have no shadows to surprise them from!" Despite the tension of the situation, Nilkuu couldn't help but admire her spirit. However, her taunts seemed to have little effect on the cruel Skull Slicer, who simply continued to advance towards the unfortunate pair. Instinctively he began moving closer, before remembering that Vizuna's flame bow had greater range than his sandstone blaster. Remembering his ineptitude with the weapon on the target range, however, he hesitated, but his movement drew the notice of Bingzak. Sensing the youngster's movement, Harvali followed his gaze with one eye...and her gaze met Nilkuu's. Where he found the ability, Nilkuu would never be able to say. But when he lifted Vizuna's bow, the Protector who had previously been as inept a shot as any Skull Warrior fired with the accuracy of Umarak the Hunter himself. His bolt thudded into Oris' back, and the Skull Slicer went rigid with pain. Caught off guard, he failed to react as Harvali lunged forward and swung her spear at his head. The weapon, though crude, served its purpose: the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders went flying from Oris' face, and after a few seconds the now powerless warrior dropped to the ground. The rush of the moment gone, Harvali fell to her knees, overcome by it all, with Bingzak cheering her once he recognized that the threat had passed. Nilkuu holstered Vizuna's bow on his back and rushed towards the pair, and after assuring himself that they were unharmed turned his attention to Skull Slicer. Working quickly, he pulled all four of the motionless villain's arms behind his back and used Oris' own chain weapon to manacle them. He then moved to retrieve the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders, just in time for the other Protectors-minus Narmoto-to arrive. Wordlessly Vizuna reclaimed his bow from Nilkuu and returned the Stone Protector's sandstone blaster, giving him an admiring nod at the sight of the scorch mark on Skull Slicer's back. He and Korgot then lifted the inert warrior while Kivoda took the Golden Mask from Nilkuu and Izotor recovered the Slicer's blades. Kivoda then gave Nilkuu an update, informing him that the rest of the Skull Warriors and Spiders had been defeated or driven off, with many falling once Harvali knocked the mask off of Skull Slicer. "I'll take it to Master Ekimu-he will insure it's destruction or safekeeping." "And we shall see that Skull Slicer joins his fellows in the vaults," Izotor noted as he hefted the three swords, each easily as tall as him. Seeing that Nilkuu was about to follow, Vizuna gestured for him to stay. "We can handle this, Nilkuu-right now I suggest you tend to Bingzak and Harvali." With that, the four Protectors headed off with their captive, leaving Nilkuu to attend to Harvali and Bingzak. As Nilkuu turned to regard them, he found that Harvali had overcome the stress of their ordeal enough to return to her feet, though she placed a steadying hand on Bingzak's shoulder. Looking at Nilkuu, she managed to smile gratefully. "Thank you for your timely arrival, Protector Nilkuu. I don't know what we would have done had you not come when you had." "From what I saw, you would have handled yourself quite well, Harvali. I'm surprised to see you and Bingzak together-I didn't know you were acquainted. Were you a resident of his village?" "Oh no, Protector-my village was closer to the Temple of Time. I met Harvali after I came here to the city with the Stone Tribe-I've been helping her catalogue and restore important sites! We were working on the ancient Protector statues when that horrible monster attacked us-would you like to see them?" Grinning at his young friend's enthusiasm, Nilkuu nodded, and he and Harvali followed at a sedate pace as the youngster rushed towards the statues. As they walked, Nilkuu spoke to Harvali again. "It is good of you to include Bingzak-since we've been rebuilding the city I haven't been able to spend as much time with him as I would like." "It's no trouble, and he's quite the eager student," Harvali smiled. "After a year spent living alone, it's nice to have the companionship of someone with such a zest for life...despite the tragedy he has seen. Has there still been no word of his parents or the other residents of his village? I would have though with the Lord of Skull Spiders defeated they would have reappeared." Shaking his head grimly, Nilkuu turned his gaze to the young Jungle villager. "So thought I and the other Protectors as well, and even Master Ekimu. But it seems that Makuta or the Lord of Skull Spiders had some more diabolical plan than simply enslaving them-many from all six regions have disappeared, and no trace of them has been found. We have sent search parties out for them but had no luck; hopefully once the city has been secured the Toa will have better luck." "Hopefully they are still alive to be found," Harvali noted sadly, following Nilkuu's gaze to Bingzak. "Oh, but Bingzak hasn't told you-we've been adding the Protector generations to the statue rosters. Due to the city's abandonment so long ago, the last names recorded were those who served at the end of the time of the Mask Makers: Mamuk, Uganu, Agarak, Owaki, Kerato, and Etoku." Nilkuu raised an eyebrow at the list. "I know some of those names-Kerato was my ancestor of course, but Ekimu used some of them when he thought that the other Protectors and I were our ancestors. However, I recall him calling Izotor Udapo, Korgot Epolim, and Kivoda Owa, instead of the three names you just used." "That's because those three were part of the second-to-last group of Protectors!" This exclamation came from Bingzak, whom the pair had finally caught up to at the base of the statues. "Udapo was Uganu's father, Epolim was Etoku's father, and Owa was Owaki's mother! The three of them served for several years alongside Mamuk, Agarak, and Kerato before retiring and passing on the roles to their children-perhaps that's why Ekimu mistook their descendants for them." Nodding approvingly, Harvali praised her young pupil. "Very good deduction, Bingzak! You have learned well the art of making connections between the ancient records and modern situations. It is amazing what one can piece together from knowledge of the past and present." "Is that how you knew the Skull Slicer's name-Oris, was it?" Grimly, Harvali nodded. "I am almost certain that it is the case, particularly given that Ekimu has made it known that the Skull Grinder is also known as Kulta. The pair were part of a group of warriors at the time the city was abandoned who disappeared, and it is believed by many that they struck a devilish bargain with Makuta or some other dark power in exchange for so-called 'immortality'-if existence as a living skeleton can be called immortal. The others were Tera, a hulking dual axe-wielder, and Likus, a skilled archer who I believe was the chief Skull Warrior; the Toa encountered him after Lewa went off on his own, and he briefly stole Kopaka's mask*. "Sadly, history tells us so little of what actually transpired immediately after the Mask Makers battled, including what became of the island's other warriors. What little is known is pieced together from legends passed down around campfires, and who knows how much of that is true? I dearly wish we could be certain of any of it: of Ackar, Kiina, and their comrades pursuing the Piraka pirates into distant seas and never returning. Or the tale of the mysterious Brutaka and Axonn, facing the evil Skrall overlord Tuma and his commanding general Stronius in a clash so great that their battlefield broke off of Okoto and sank into the sea, taking the Skrall hordes with it." Nilkuu saw that Bingzak was saddened by Harvali's frustration-undoubtedly it reminded him of the mystery of his still-missing parents. Seeking to turn the conversation to more pleasant topics, he regarded the sculptures, and noticed with pleasure that the names of his progenitors from Kerato on down had been added. However, he noticed two things that perturbed him-the first name on the list of Stone Protectors was unfamiliar to him, while the end of the list bore not his name but that of his immediate predecessor. He quickly inquired of the archaeologist and her pupil, bringing eager smiles to both their faces at the prospect of sharing knowledge. As the Protector of Stone listened attentively, the two revealed that the first names inscribed on each list of Protectors were those of the original holders of each respective title. The group had been formed at the instigation of its sole female member, Protector of Jungle Jagiri, in response to the threat of the Element Lords, seven Okotans who had harnessed the power of the six Elemental Regions and the powers of darkness that had given rise to such threats as Umarak the Hunter. Together with her comrades Flammik, Buzkayo, Bumonda, Droton, and Rokreng, she had sought out the Mask Makers Artakha and Karzahni, members of a seventh Okotan tribe that had dwindled until only a few remained. After much pleading, the two brothers were convinced to join in their quest, and created seven masks intended to absorb and contain the Element Lords powers. The resulting conflict had been brief but intense, with each Protector challenging their respective Element Lord while the Mask Makers faced the Element Lord of Shadow, who had sought to claim the Temple of Time itself. In the ensuing battle, Karzahni had been thrown into the temple pool and absorbed some of its energy, thus gaining the ability to place others within visions of the possible future that he himself also witnessed. He and Artakha managed to drain the Element Lord's power into the seventh mask, which transformed into the Hunter Mask, while the Protectors' masks absorbed the powers of their Element Lords and infused them into their very forms as well, allowing them to wield Elemental Power. This ability would spread to their descendants, thus leaving them as the only Okotans besides the Mask Makers and warriors like Toa who could use Masks of Power. Sadly, Karzahni's abilities eventually drove him mad, and he proceeded to create many dark masks, such as the Golden Mask of Skull Spiders and those worn by the Skull Warriors. Unfortunately, his possession of the Hunter Mask drew the attention of the savage Umarak, who murdered him and claimed the mask for himself. Though saddened by the loss of his brother, Artakha and the Protectors worked together to establish a new, unified civilization where there had previously existed only divided tribes. Eventually he passed his Mask of Creation on to his youngest son, Ekimu, but not before crafting the Mask of Control for his eldest son Makuta. From that time forward, each Protector had inscribed their own name into the roster decorating the statues of their forebears, until the time of Makuta's betrayal. "With Master Ekimu's permission, Bingzak and I have carved the names of the Protectors from that time until now into the rosters. However, we thought it best that the current Protectors record their own names for posterity, so that the old tradition may continue. In fact, I was about to call for you and the other Protectors to do so when the attack occurred. Perhaps you would like to be the first?" Smiling, Nilkuu nodded, and Harvali picked up a carving tool and handed it to him. As she placed it in his grasp, their hands touched for a brief moment, which ended as Harvali nervously pulled away. However, she joined Bingzak in watching eagerly as Nilkuu inscribed his name into place at the end of the list of Protectors of Stone. With that done, he returned the tool to Harvali, and felt compelled to ask her a question. "So, what is your next project, Harvali?" "Well, with the Skull Spiders scattered and leaderless, I thought I would see about traveling to the villages they have emptied in the Region of Jungle and seeing if any valuable artifacts can be recovered. The problem is greatest in my home region, as the dense terrain and dangerous creatures were greater deterrents to my people than the natural hazards of the other areas were to the other Okotans. Bingzak and a few others have volunteered to assist me, but for now most of the islanders are occupied with rebuilding the City of the Mask Makers. I had planned on asking Protector Vizuna to escort us, but...perhaps you would do us the honor of your company?" Recalling his previous forays into the Jungle Region, Nilkuu hesitated for a moment. However, the hopeful looks in his friends' eyes-particularly Harvali's-convinced him to give it another chance. "Well, we shall have to clear it with Master Ekimu, but...I suppose with two jungle-savvy companions by my side, the adventure will be more enjoyable than my previous ones." Ekimu approved of the expedition wholeheartedly, feeling that the other Protectors could handle things in the city while the Toa searched for the Elemental Creatures. Thus, Nilkuu and his Jungle Tribe friends soon set out with with a handful of fellow archaeologists and villagers eager to recover possessions that they or their kinsmen had been forced to abandon in fleeing the threat of the Skull Spiders. With Harvali and Bingzak leading the way and Nilkuu keeping watch for any potential hazards, the group set off boldly into the jungle. The journey was quite fruitful, as the defeat of the Lord of Skull Spiders had left the wilds of Okoto largely free of hostile forces. Additionally-though none of the expedition members knew it-Makuta had formed an alliance with Umarak, despite previously interfering with the Hunter's efforts to capture the Elemental Creatures due to having his own plans and mistrusting his uncle Karzahni's murderer. The pragmatic Mask Hoarder had abandoned this tactic in the wake of Kulta's fall, and now that Umarak was aiding his agenda he no longer employed his power or minions to impede Umarak's hunt**. An unforeseen benefit, however, was that they were also no longer posing a threat to the Okotans. Nilkuu learned much of the Jungle Region as time went by, and soon became confident in leading the way alongside Harvali. The more they traveled, the closer the pair became, and the more they bonded with their mutual friend Bingzak. Though their interactions, Nilkuu came to love the Jungle Region as much as he did his old home in the Region of Stone, and did his best to share the wonders of that realm with Harvali and Bingzak. Enjoying his tales immensely, they promised that sometime soon they would mount another expedition to the Stone Region, so that Nilkuu might be their guide in a new place. Eventually the expedition returned to the City of the Mask Makers with many artifacts in tow, only to find the city looking ready for a war. Upon meeting with the other Protectors, Nilkuu learned that the Toa and Ekimu had left the city recently to deal with the threat posed by Umarak, who had apparently seized the Mask of Control from a previously unknown labyrinth. Fearing what might become of the Okotans in their absence, the other Protectors had turned all efforts towards fortifying the city, and soon assigned the expedition members to help. Thus, with heavy heart, Nilkuu bid farewell to Harvali and Bingzak before leaving with counsel with the other Protectors. "You've seem preoccupied ever since you got back to the city, Nilkuu," Vizuna noted that night as the pair overlooked the city from Ekimu's forge. "Was spending so much time in my jungle really that bad? Or are you more concerned about the absence of Ekimu and the Toa than you've been letting on?" Shaking his head, Nilkuu smiled wryly. "I actually quite enjoyed the expedition, Vizuna-you are fortunate to have such a beautiful region under your care. As for the absence of our heroes and the Wise Master, it does concern me...but that's not what's occupying my mind this night. It concerns a personal matter...one I'm not sure what to do about." "It must be serious indeed-I've never known you to be uncertain about anything." "In matters of combat or danger, I am usually quick to act. But matters such as this are more delicate, for they concern the heart-and such things have never been simple. I find myself drawing closer to someone, closer than I have ever felt to anyone before. You must know...it is Harvali." Uncertain of the source of Nilkuu's nervousness, Vizuna smiled approvingly. "That is wonderful news, Nilkuu-it is good that you have found someone to care for in this time of trouble. I am glad that at least something good has come out of Harvali's long exile in the depths of this city. Do you know whether she returns your feelings?" "Such would be my hope, but I fear the situation to be...complicated." "Complicated by what, if I may be so bold? If you care for her, and she for you, I fail to see what could be complicated about it. Surely you are not bothered by the ancient taboo against intermarriage between tribes! That nonsense about it being an invitation to disaster because no mask is meant to possess more than one element isn't being taken seriously by anyone anymore. Why, I've heard that a maiden from Kivoda's village is so taken with one of your sportsmen that she's trying to convince him to take up swimming!" Nilkuu digested that for a moment, but then looked his friend square in the eye. "Vizuna...I do not wish to cause ill feelings. I recall well how sorrowful you were when you spoke of Harvali's apparent death. I also recall how happy you were when we found her alive beneath the city. If there was something between the two of you, I do not wish to come between you." Vizuna's reaction was the last thing Nilkuu expected: he laughed out loud. Shaking his head, he clapped the Protector of Stone on the back. "I apologize profusely for giving you any misconceptions, my friend! It is true that I mourned Harvali's loss and was overjoyed to find her alive. But that was because she was my friend and a Jungle Okotan I felt I had failed to protect...not because I loved her in that way. "You should follow your heart, my friend, regardless of fears-and know that even had I once felt something for Harvali, I would have respected her choice had she chosen you. Now you must go to her and learn for sure if she shares your feelings. I think you will be a good match-true, Narmoto may have found love in his own tribe, but that does not mean the rest of us must." Before Nilkuu could reply, a loud voice sounded up from below. "Vizuna, are you coming? You promised that you would bring dinner on this watch, and I'm eager to try some more of your Jungle dishes!" Looking down, Nilkuu spotted the speaker: an impatient-looking Korgot. With a wry smile he looked at Vizuna, who winked before turning to leave. The Protector of Stone watched his comrades walk towards the outer wall together for a few minutes, noting that Harvali's rescue might not have been the only good thing to come out of the Protectors' expedition beneath the City of the Mask Makers. Then, thinking of the woman who had gained his heart, Nilkuu set off to find her. Harvali was in her temporary quarters, a larger structure that had been converted into a makeshift museum while repair work on the city's buildings was temporarily postponed. She was in the process of cataloguing the artifacts recovered by the expedition, a lengthy but enjoyable process. Bingzak had been helping her, but the journey back to the city and the day's excitement had worn on the young Okotan, and Harvali had sent him off to his bed in a large shelter that had been set aside for children left without family to take care of them despite the Skull Spiders' defeat. As such, she was entirely surprised when a knock came at the door, and thinking that Bingzak had woken up in the night she went to open it only to find Nilkuu standing outside. "Oh, Nil-I mean, Protector of Stone, what a surprise! I was just getting a little work done before retiring for the night. Is there something I can do for you?" "First, Harvali, you may feel free to call me Nilkuu-there is no need for formality between us. Second, I have come to speak to you on a matter of importance-perhaps not to our fellow Okotans or the island, but to me. It has been some two months since we met, months that I have treasured the more for your company and friendship. But I would be lying if I said that I felt that was all there was to our bond. "I...I love you, Harvali. Never have I known a woman of your courage, compassion, or thirst for knowledge at the expense of herself. I think that my life would be less without you being a part of it, and the idea of being apart from you pains my soul. I would be greatly honored...if you would would do me the honor...of becoming my wife." For several seconds Harvali was silent, and Nilkuu worried that he been been too direct, or that she didn't return his affections. He needn't have worried, as she suddenly let out a shriek of excitement and threw her arms around him, pulling him into a crushing embrace. "Oh Nilkuu, you have no idea how long I have hoped to hear those words! You have been immeasurably kind to me-even before you caught me after I fainted when we met Ekimu!" Smiling larger than he could ever remember doing before, Nilkuu returned her embrace. After a moment, the pair broke apart, and moved to a pair of chairs. Taking Harvali's hand in his own, Nilkuu felt it right to speak of the future. "Once the Toa and Ekimu return, we can begin preparing for the wedding-though he wouldn't say it, I'm sure Pohatu would be upset with me if we held it without him. I would also prefer that this threat posed by Umarak be resolved-I do not wish our happiness to be marred by such darkness. "I have come to another decision, and I hope it meets with your approval. While I hope we shall be blessed with children of our own...I would like to take in Bingzak. Already he feels like a son to me, and though I do not seek to replace his mother and father, I feel he needs someone to care for him. Would you be willing?" Smiling, Harvali nodded. "Quite frankly, I was minutes away from suggesting the same thing." And so, some weeks after the Toa returned with the now taller and stronger Ekimu, the City of the Mask Makers enjoyed a great celebration as Nilkuu and Harvali were joined in marriage, and their new family was joined by young Bingzak. The Wise Master himself presided over the ceremony, with Vizuna and Korgot standing beside the happy couple while the other Protectors formed an honor guard with the Toa. Every Okotan who could be was in attendance, with members of every tribe cheering the union. The island's heroes joined in the merrymaking, and Pohatu was even seen shedding a tear or two that he blamed on the bright sun shining in a cloudless sky. Though the years ahead brought trial and difficulty, with the threat of Makuta looming on the horizon, the family enjoyed great happiness as time went by. They were indeed blessed with children, each taking after one or the other of them. Their first child, a daughter, would become the Protector of Stone after Nilkuu retired. Bingzak would not be left out, however, as he was named Vizuna's successor and added to the Jungle bloodline through a process Ekimu had learned from his father Artakha. Vizuna's blood would live on through his and Korgot's children, including a son who would become the Protector of Earth and serve alongside Bingzak, Nilkuu's daughter, Narmoto's son, and the children of Kivoda and Izotor. Thus did new legends awake; such is the way...of the Bionicle. The End *Oris, Tera, and Likus were concept names for scrapped Glatorian to be featured in the cancelled Bionicle 5-I thought it made sense to apply them to Glatorian-scale characters in G2. **A mock topic by Pohaturon recently pointed out the curious inconsistency between Umarak's hunting the Creatures for centuries and not catching them in all that time-the idea that Makuta was interfering with him due to having other plans to regain the Mask of Control or otherwise return to power was my take on it.
  4. This is just an epic where I write about the exploits of my personal LEGO collection. I've been playing with these guys since childhood, and now they get to have their stories told. Chapter 0: Great One Two minifigures made their way through a labyrinthine cave. A trail of glowing crystals could be seen behind them. These would show them the way to the outside world. It had been a lengthy journey, and both parties were left tired and cold. It was necessary, however. Much was at stake, and hope was growing faint. "It shouldn't be much further." said the minifugre in black. He had black hair, a black firefighter's jacket and black pants. He held a flashlight and it shone on the hard rock ahead. "Are you sure?" said a young woman with brown hair held back in a ponytail. She wore a white shirt with a collar and two front pockets and green slacks. Her eyes were black and her lips red. "Sure? No. Megan, no one has seen this being for centuries. There's a chance his existence is entirely fiction! We can't be sure of anything." He spoke matter-of-factly. "That's awfully optimistic of you, Jack." her words seemed to hurt as they escaped her breath. "We both knew this was a long-shot from the start. But if the legends are true, we will soon find out." It was not long when they came across a large chamber through a small opening in the stone before them. Jack shone the light towards the center of the room. There he sat, a great creature of green and red. He had one short arm, and the other long with two great fingers outstretched. His torso was full of holes, and on his right chest area sat a crooked, yellow, chisled head, its eyes closed. "He's real...." Megan whispered in astonishment. It was all she could manage. Jack pulled out a scroll from his pocket and let the flashlight illuminate it. He began to read. "Oh ancient spirit of light and shadow, we call for you to wake, The world outside has fallen low, and lest the heavens shake, We pray your wisdom holds the key to heal our earthly woes, We ask you now to grant us power that we may best our foes." The chamber began to shake with a moan like soft thunder. The creature's right eye glowed white. The floor began to glow, revealing a pool of water that was five feet below the cliff they were standing on. The chamber was now dully illuminated with blue light. "A thousand years... I have slumbered... And now I rise to your call..." The voice was ancient and booming. Megan and Jack stood in awe for a moment. Jack was the one to step forward and speak. "Oh great one, we have come here seeking-" "I know why you are here, Jack... and Megan... I see through the tree of time... I know its branches well... and its roots... You come seeking order... in a world of chaos... Witchcraft... Monsters... Fire... You wish to best them..." "Yes, we do!" Megan shouted eagerly. "What must we do to prove ourselves worthy of such power?" "Ha...ha...ha..." The laugh was wistful. "You have already done so... by finding my den... Megan... step forward." Megan hesitated, but then stepped towards the giant. He held out his long arm and wrapped his two fingers around her. Hoisting her up to his face. His head straightened itself within his torso, and his right eye opened wide. "Daughter of Yin... You shall become a child of Yang. Accept... his power.. But... beware... the light can easily... flare too brightly.. and consume..." Megan stared into his eye. It was as if the entire world around her vanished, the being's grip vanishing from her senses. She could see the stars and galaxies swirling throughout the universe. They grew brighter and brighter still. She felt warm, a warmth that filled her through to her bones. It was as if she was floating through the heavens, ascending to new heights. Her heart beat excitedly and it made her head spin. It felt wonderful and dangerous at the same time, her mind racing. The giant released his grip and Megan floated down slowly to the cliff next to Jack. Her mind was still swimming. "...Jack..." The great creature extended his arm down to the base of the cliff. Jack stared for a moment, but then walked to the edge, letting the great arm carry him up as well. The giant's right eye closed, and this time his left eye opened wide. It was pitch black. "Son of Yang... You shall become a child of Yin. Accept... her patience... But... beware... The peace of darkness... can be very tempting... and quell even the brightest passion...." Jack felt as if the world had faded into nothing. He saw the lights of the universe slowly fade into nothing. He felt cold, as if he had turned to stone. He felt as if he were falling fast to the earth, down into the abyss. His heartbeat had slowed to a faint pulse. It made his head acutely aware of the cold. It felt strangely calming and sad at the same time. The red and green creature set Jack down gently on the cliff, and he staggered; keeping his balacne proved to be difficult. "What... did you do?" Megan asked, still feeling lightheaded. "I have granted the two of you power... You shall both... cancel out the other... Use these gifts wisely... and bring order to your world..." And with that, the giant's eyes slowly closed and a low thunder rumbled through the cavern. The blue glow of the water slowly started to fade. "W-wait!" Jack yelled, stumbling to get to his feet. "We... will... meet.... again...." And with that, the chamber returned to darkness. Review
  5. Hi there! I know Valentine's Day was last week. University keeps me busy, sorry And now, without further ado, here are the drawings! Whatever (Kopaka x Pohatu - As he keeps telling, Kopaka works alone... does he?) Love is in the air (Onua x Lewa - some might say Lewa looses his mask way too easily anyway) Hot air (Gali x Tahu - Unity, Duty, Destiny. And terrible pick-up lines) They're just silly ideas I had in my mind. I miss the days of the Toa Mata, I like how the relationships between each other evolved through the story. Do you have any favourite shippings? Leave a reply! And happy Valentine's Day 2016 way too late for that
  6. A comment by Greg F on the state of romantic relationships in the Bionicle universe has been a source of many arguments among the Bionicle fandom. That comment has been distilled over the years into the phrase "romance isn't canon." For many people it's a joke at this point, but for years a good chunk of the fanbase had been misinterpreting Greg's words as meaning that Matoran are unable to feel affection or love of any kind. This isn't true. What Greg really should have said in the first place was "Matoran can't have sex", but he used "romance" as a euphemism for sex since this is a kid-friendly site. That vagueness caused a lot of people to assume that love didn't exist at all in Bionicle, leading to a false idea that's stuck around for a long time. Sex and romance are not the same thing, and it's frustrating when so many people think that they are. Asexual people are still capable of having romantic relationships. Matoran may be canon asexual, but that doesn't mean they also have to be canon aromantic. So really, it should have been "sex isn't canon". (also this doesn't even apply to Okoto since Protectors have children)
  7. Obviously If you watched web of shadows you could see that Roodaka has love interests. Write your opinions here...
  8. Grant-Sud

    Warm

    ~Warm By: Marcel At this moment, I’m wrapped up in some blankets with my head slightly leaned upward. I’m fighting the urge to go into this coughing fit once more. I have a cool cloth on my head, but my temperature is still much too high I’m sure. My head hurts, but I’m trying to ignore that while I watch some old sitcom marathon on TV.My sprawled and long hair, well, a little past my shoulders and curly, has been placed up over the couch, so that my neck will cool down. Despite the heated and flushed feeling I have, my hands are very cold.I left the office a good four hours ago, much earlier than usual. As I’m sure you realize, I’m sick.Not in the life and death kind of sick, but sick none the less. It struck me like lightning. I was feeling fine this morning. Really good when I woke up, got out of bed, left my snoring husband there and made myself some breakfast. I had gotten up early, I had felt fresh and was even considering going out for a walk.Unfortunately by the time I ate breakfast and my spouse woke up, time kind of got ahead of me. To the store, get gas, wash our clothes, see him off to work and then get ready myself.It’s my daily routine and I get that that’s the marriage life. But still, it’s a Saturday. Aren’t we supposed to do something fun on days like these? Build those lasting memories the really old people talk about that took place back when they were young people?He and I get off around the same time on Saturdays, and we are young people. So why is it, that almost like every weekend, something gets in the way? Family visits, house troubles, car payments, working an extra shift and now sickness.The remote is in my left hand and without glancing at the button I turn the channel to the weather, tired of sitcoms. I fail to see the humor right now.Like I said, I became sick instantly. I don’t know how it happened. I was fine this morning, answering some calls and typing away some insurance information into the computer – which by the way, I’m one of the greatest employees there and I can type faster than anyone I know – when I suddenly was hit with a sharp ache in my head. I thought it’d go away and pass soon.I ended up requesting the rest of the day off. Fortunately I don’t take many sick days.My throat is killing me, like it's on fire. I know the pool of sweat that’s building up on the couch is making me smell fantastic. To top it all off this terrible headache hasn’t gone away yet and it’s been hours. I’ve been waiting for the aspirin to kick in.Sighing, I have to wonder how long this is going to be a trouble for me.I hear the front door unlock. In my quiet, dark room my eyes have grown adjusted to the darkness. But now with him hom-A light from the kitchen turns on and I wince as the pain in my head increases.“Hey,” he says quietly, walking into our small living room.“Hey,” I reply without turning to look at him.“Feeling any better?”“No. I’ve just been sitting here. Got a headache and a sore throat.” I turn down the TV, but I don’t mute it.“Did you take some Advil? That works fast.”“Yeah. It’s still killing me.”“Alright,” he says nonchalantly and removes his light jacket. It’s stiff looking and I can see from his shaky hands that it’s freezing outside. He walks back into the kitchen.It’s been a few months since we’ve gone out and that we did something together, really together where we could go out for lunch, or take a stroll down at the park, like we used to. But I just don’t get what’s been going on. Boredom maybe or just we’ve run out of things to do. Maybe we have too much time together or not enough time. Sometimes I long to be with him, but other times, like now, I wish he’d just go away.Especially now. He’s moving pots and pans in the kitchen. Every clang and clink sends a ricocheting bullet to the brain. I place my hand to my head and squint.“Dear!” I shout a little too loudly for our small apartment. A pause of the noise, and I pause myself. Calm voice first. “What are you doing in there? If it’s the dishes I’ll do them tomorrow, alright?”“Is there anything to eat in the fridge?” he replies, which somehow completely dodges my silent plea for silence. He doesn’t eat at work, so it’s understandable he’s hungry when he gets home.“Ah, no I don’t think there’s much in there to eat.” Because I couldn’t cook anything, I’m sick.“Hmm.”And that’s all I get from him. Thankfully it goes quiet in the kitchen and though the light is still on in there, I’ve gotten used to it.It’s only a few minutes later that I hear the sizzling of something being cooked, though I can’t smell anything like bacon or ham. My head is pounding once more, and I close my eyes trying to ignoring the Weather Announcement, something about a forty percent chance of snow tomorrow.It’s not like I don’t love him. I love him. More than I feel like I do sometimes, I’ll admit. But I think that’s kinda the humor of it all. The thing about the ups and downs of being with someone for the rest of your life is that there are downs. And for today - and all of last week I’m just going to add because I feel horrible right now - it’s been downs.I notice the digital clock on our DVR Player, and it says nine. I realize he was late coming home.It’s about a few more minutes before he comes back into the living room. I’m not sure what he wants, but if it’s to watch TV, I swear I’m getting up and heading to bed. I should have gone to bed hours ago, but I decided to stay up.And oddly I think it was for him, subconsciously waiting for him to get home. I almost laugh aloud at the thought. I’m too good to him sometimes.It’s only when I feel a pressure on the armrest of the couch that I turn to see what he’s doing.Knees on the carpet, the man is leaning over the armrest, holding out a coffee cup in his hands.He was boiling water, I realize. I don’t say anything, but I look in the cup to find a murky and light brown liquid steaming inside. Casually he moves it closer to me, prompting me to take it. I lift my head to look up at him as the damp hand towel falls off and on to the blankets. He’s staring at me with those big eyes of his, a small smile on his face that has a simple “here, please take this” look to it.Wrapping my cool fingers around the cup, I strangely, like I’ve only now just met him and not lived with him for the past six years, feel shy and avoid his stare. I know he continues to watch me.The cup feels warm in my cold hands.I take a sip, and taste the hint of lemon and honey in this green tea. I’m sure we didn’t have any lemon in the fridge, and I know we have no honey. He must have picked some up on the way home. It tastes good and it’s the way I like it; the best way he can make it.I turn to look at him now, and I have a small smile on my face too. Yes. I am very grateful.He’s still leaned forward, eyes shifting from the cup to my face, trying to see if it helped me at all, and I love how he doesn’t know it has, in its own way.I lean forward myself, moving out from the blankets and slowly place my lips to his forehead. We remain like that, still for a moment.“Thanks,” I tell him in a softer voice.His eyes are closed, but he doesn’t simply stay there for long and slowly rises, reopening them. Now I kind of wish he would stay.“Yeah, of course,” he replies, with that edge of concern that I can hear in his voice. It was there before, maybe I wasn’t listening. “If you need anything, let me know. I’ll be right back.”It's not too eventful, nor too important. But I'll remember this moment. It's a memory I think I want to keep.Simply, I nod and he walks back into the kitchen, not too far way. I take another sip of my hot tea before slipping deeper into the couch and blankets, suddenly a little tired and feeling a little better.____Alright don't ask me why I decided to write this. It's a one shot, and yeah it's spring time. I'm feeling a little lovey.In all seriousness I've never written a "love story" before, if that's what this is even called. The story for me, is about trusting in someone even when they become a little too familiar to you; that they are still your friend. I also listened to Billy Joel's Just The Way You Are a few times.And while I feel like a more romantic relationship isn't fit for Bionicle, I've wondered how I'd do toward a personal in real life story where personal relationships are much more meaningful and necessary. So yeah. lol Anyway, if you've gotten this far, why not leave a comment? Much appreciated. ^^
  9. TNTOS

    New short story

    Yesterday I posted the Toa Chimoy short story I have mentioned before. Read it here. Enjoy . (Yes, I am aware that this blog entry is about a day late, but that's because I was tired by the time I was done posting it, so I didn't feel like making a blog entry about it the same day I posted it.) -TNTOS-
  10. Tutelary Spirit "Gone." This was the first word she uttered as I walked through her door. "Gone. No--no--it's--He can't be dead!"She gaped at her mother in horror. I could feel the emotions developing within her; fear gave way to astonishment and incredulity, while her heart slowly crumbled beneath the weight of growing grief. And there was something else. Something that pained me to see her bear, as much as it pained her to bear it: guilt.Her mother murmured, "He never opened his eyes after the ambulance took him. He was dead before they got to the hospital.""That's impossible! He can't--no, he can't be!" She was fighting to keep her voice level, but it was fluctuating dangerously."I don't know what I can say, Gwen. But it's true. He's gone."The tears began to flow freely now. For a moment she could only reiterate the word, "No. No, no, no . . ." Then her face fell into her hands and the first sob shook her.Her mother sat by her side and put her arms around her small shoulders. I seated myself on her other side and did the same, but neither paid me any heed."It's wrong," she gasped. "It's impossible. He--if he hadn't--If he hadn't pushed me out of the way--the car would have hit me. I--I should have been the one--I should have been lying there--looking up at him--but because of m-me--"She broke down completely. "I loved him!" she wailed. "He can't be gone!" Her voice shattered. Her body convulsed as weeping overtook her.I leaned closer, wrapping my arms more tightly around her. "I loved you too," I whispered. "You know I did. And I still do."Her head turned sharply, searching the room for the source of the voice. It brought a twisting strain to my chest. Could she really not see me beside her?I felt my throat choking with sorrow, but I forced out the words: "I'm sorry I had to leave you, Gwen. But you can't blame yourself. I don't regret what I did. It was my choice, and I'd do it again, for you.""It--it can't be," she said, half to herself. "He's dead!"Her mother misinterpreted. "Yes, he is. But he's not exactly gone. You know that, don't you? He's somewhere still, and if I know him half as well as you, I'm sure he's waiting for you."Gwen nodded. "I'm sure he is. And if he can do that--I--I can wait for him."I rose sharply, unsteadily, to my feet. Somehow, that hurt more than anything. I couldn't allow her to throw away her life for me; even if I had, mine for hers. I was dead. I couldn't let her live as if she were, too.I drifted through the wall into the next room and to the telephone. I didn't bother picking it up; I didn't think I could anyway. I just walked straight into it.It was effortless. I felt my mind flying to where I willed it. The phone only rang twice before a young man answered it."Hello?"I pushed down the old acrimonies rising within me. This was the only option. No more were we rivals in love, but two men with one in common; and only one of us had the beating heart to give it.I said, "Hi, Lance. Did you hear about Gwen?""N-no. What about her?""Well, not her exactly. Her friend, Arthur."His voice became cold. "No, I haven't heard anything about him.""He's dead." I paused, letting the astonishing words sink in with a cruel satisfaction. "He got hit by a car. He saved her life.""My--God! Is--is she okay?"I said, "She's not hurt. Well, not physically. But her heart's taken a bruising."His tone wavered. "Yeah, I--yeah, I know how she felt about him.""But what she needs right now is a friend, Lance. Maybe--something more than that?""I don't know if--""Go to her, Lance."There was silence. Finally he said, "Okay. I will.""She needs you.""I'll go right now. Goodb--Hold on. Who is this, anyway?"I merely answered, "That doesn't matter. Just go to her."I withdrew. If words can describe what I did, I evanesced, remolding in her room. She was in her mother's arms, crying vehemently, exactly as I had left her.I called to my mind the moment. Perhaps I really did go back to it, as physically, at least, as I stood beside her now. I saw the car coming, as clearly as I had that night. I saw her standing there, frozen like a deer. I heard the screeching of wheels, I felt my legs move as they had never moved before and never would again, I felt her in my arms as I lifted her and flung her to the side. And then I felt the pain all over again, exploding throughout my body.The next thing I knew she was by my side. I heard her speak as if from far away, almost as I can only hear her now. "No--Arthur, no! Are you all right?"It was an irrational question, and we both knew it. I gave an answer we both knew to be false. "Yeah--yeah, I'll be fine." The weak groan belied my words."You have to be," she pleaded. "You can't--Don't--Please, you have to be all right!""Don't worry," I said. I fixed my gaze on her face, absorbing for one more time every portion of her aspect. "I'll always be here for you. I promise." And then I had closed my eyes for the last time. The last feeling I remember was of her lips against mine, of her tears rolling down my face, and of her arms around me.I had always known I couldn't live without her. I wouldn't have to, now; but no matter what I felt, I couldn't let her live without someone.What really surprised me, though, was how easily tears could flow from eyes that would never open. A heart that no longer beats can still be broken.For a moment longer my eyes lingered on her gracile form. Even wacked as it was with woe, even with her face hidden, her beauty was peerless. It shattered me.My voice quaked as I said, "I'll always be here for you." I turned away. "For both of you."And then I evanesced into the night, leaving nothing left of myself in the world but a tear dropped on a young woman's floor. Nothing but that . . . and a promise. Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith
  11. It’s all finished, Vakama thought, looking out from his window at the glory that was New Atero.The Matoran had not had peace for this long since the days when they still lived cluelessly and peacefully inside the body of the Great Spirit Mata Nui--perhaps in their entire history. It took a while to get the Original Thousand* from Mata Nui used to living among other species, but after a few years they warmed up to it; there were no real conflicts aside from a few street fights; there was a stable government that he was glad not to be a part of. He had announced his decision not to be part of the Council with none of the backlash he expected, as three of the other Turaga felt the exact same way as he did; the remaining two, Nokama and Onewa, were now sitting high and comfortable in the Coliseum above New Atero, discussing the acquisition of land with a bunch of disgruntled Srakan and Glatorian diplomats. Vakama’s mind turned to the other Turaga. He hadn’t seen Nuju in ages; Whenua and Matau were retired, as he was, and living in other cities. He had heard rumors that some of the others were still meeting. He didn’t really care; though he was once the leader, he was now the excluded one, and the others had used this peacetime to vent some of their personal problems upon him. The Three Virtues were considered by all--including, increasingly, Vakama himself--an old myth. Nobody really needed to unite for any reason; there wasn’t any Great Spirit to take care of anymore; and there hadn’t been any Toa for three thousand years, so most people assumed Destiny in its ultimate form had been achieved. “Not an unfair assumption,” Vakama said to himself, shrugging as he thought of his last argument with Nokama.A knock came on the door. Vakama was surprised. He picked up his staff and hobbled to the door. It was a Toa; Vakama recognized him as Kooms, the leader of the local Toa team.Why would a Toa want business with me? Vakama wondered. He could only think of two reasons: that he was under arrest or that he was being summoned to the Coliseum. He wasn’t sure which one sounded worse.“Walk with me,” Kooms said. “Don’t worry, you’re not under arrest.”Coliseum then, Vakama thought to himself. He began to brace himself for the inevitable shots the other Turaga would take at him. Thankfully, Kooms led him away from the Coliseum, down the street towards the chute station.“There’s going to be another Time Slip,” Kooms stated casually, not even looking at Vakama. “A Time Slip?” Vakama inquired.“Do you remember on Metru Nui when everyone woke up and couldn’t remember a thing?”“Sounds like the morning after every Naming Day.""No, this is serious. Six months of history disappeared. You certain you don't remember it?""No.""Well, it happened, and it's about to happen again."“How do you know?”“Mask of Balance. Whenever something’s off in space or time, I’m the first to know about it. I felt it about three days ago.”“Why are you telling me, then? And where are you taking me?”“We’re going to the Bronze District. I’ll explain everything once we get there.”The two arrived at the chute station and hopped on the express chute south towards the Bronze District. Vakama had not been to the Bronze District in at least several years that he could remember; it was one of New Atero’s poorest neighborhoods, set on the periphery of the city, and was mostly home to Skakdi and Telkerrians who had settled in New Atero after the Great Exodus out of the Matoran Universe. To his memory, Vakama had never seen a Skakdi until his first time in that particular district; he had heard that they were violent and unreasonable, and to be safe, he never interacted with them.They disembarked from the chute. The Bronze District wasn’t half as bad as Vakama remembered. Rather than small iron shacks, there were rows of brightly-painted houses; there were a few Skakdi on the street but mostly Le-Matoran and Ga-Matoran. The Skakdi moved in tight-knit groups; the Matoran were aloof and did not seem to interact much with each other. Vakama could hear music; there appeared to be some sort of small street fair a few blocks ahead.“Is that where we’re going?” Vakama inquired.“Actually it’s this left.”Kooms led Vakama into a small, deserted alley between two of the painted houses. It was empty except for a few trash cans; a small catlike Rahi darted out from behind one and climbed a fence into someone’s yard.“This is our spot.”Kooms gestured to an inconspicuous pink-and-white house. He knocked on the door, very loudly. As soon as the door creaked open in response, Vakama was greeted by a blast of loud music and the smell of burning erriax flowers; he registered the Matoran at the door a few seconds afterwards. It was Hafu.“Hey, Vakama,” Hafu muttered; he carried a piece of paper in his hand, which he idly scanned. Turning to Kooms, he inquired, “Are you here for the meeting?”“Yes.”“You guys just made it in time. Come in.”Hafu’s house was filled with long, elaborate strands of Kiratan thread; countless small sculptures lay around, some mounted on furniture and windowsills, others haphazardly placed on tables. A rope hung curiously from the ceiling and lay coiled across the floor. The smell of incense and erriax flowers was overpowering. It was the house of an artist, albeit either a very lazy one or one so devoted to his craft that everything else was neglected. Another Matoran was sprawled on one of the couches, seemingly asleep, but there didn’t seem to be anyone else there.“I’d like to see the new machine you’ve been telling me about,” Kooms said to Hafu.“Well I’m about to show you,” the sculptor said with a half-smile. He walked over to one of the sculptures, a huge Mata Nui head, and rotated it; at first Vakama thought he was adjusting its position, but there was a click, and a massive trapdoor fell open beneath the rope. The rest of the rope unraveled and dangled down.“A Hafu original,” Hafu said.“You’ll have to explain to me how that works at some point,” Kooms said.“It’s simple. The statue’s attached to a lever, when I turned it the support beam fell. Are we ready to head down?” Hafu suddenly exclaimed to the room.“If we’re all here,” Kooms answered.Upon peering into the pit, Vakama was surprised at its shallowness; it was only about six feet deep, enough for a Matoran to stand in but not most other entities. Another small door was set into the wall. The Toa climbed down effortlessly, while Hafu and Vakama had to rely on the rope. Hafu came down first and took Vakama’s staff as the Turaga slid down, burning his hands from the friction. Vakama and Kooms were equally shocked to see what lay behind the door. Behind it was a small flight of steps that descended to the floor of a vast space, at least the size of the main square of Ta-Koro back on Metru Nui, though with a ceiling not much higher than that of Hafu’s house. It looked to be an old reservoir or storage room, most likely of Agori origin; clusters lightstones set into the floor every twenty feet or so illuminated the place with a harsh glow undercut by spaces of darkness. “What is this place?” Kooms asked.“It’s an old Agori reservoir. Must have dried up millenia ago. I put in lightstones and built the trapdoor. Nobody except me and my friends know about it. And now you do.”They walked through the vast space; there was still a slight smell of erriax flowers. As they moved deeper, Vakama became aware of the voices of people, then of a large group of at least twenty; most of them appeared to be Toa, but there were also several Matoran. The shapes became clearer. Takanuva was there, along with Jaller, Hahli, Kongu, Hewkii, Nuparu, Tahu, Gali, and Kopaka; Vakama wondered for a second why the others were not there before he remembered that Pohatu and Lewa had been on a mission for several months and that Onua was now a Turaga serving on the council of a distant city. Vakama recognized all the Matoran, for they were part of the Original Thousand who had come with the Toa Metru from the Old City to the island of Mata Nui. Kapura, the master of traveling great distances by walking very slowly, was there; so were Macku, Taipu, Midak, Tamaru, the hermit Kantai, and the Chronicler Kopeke. There were also three Toa Vakama did not recognize: a tall Toa of Air, an even taller Toa of Water, and what Vakama was pretty certain was a Toa of Sonics. Vakama was dismayed to see Whenua, Matau, and Nuju, but thankfully Nokama and Onewa were not present. Kooms addressed the crowd.“By being here you are sworn to secrecy. It doesn’t matter, because you will soon forget everything you learned here. When, I cannot say. If you reveal anything you have learned here to anyone else, you are endangering Matoran society and may potentially cause rioting and widespread panic.“Most of what I have already told you about the Time Slip is a lie. The Time Slip is an initiative by the group I represent, the Order of Mata Nui; it is being engineered specifically to erase the period between the first Great Cataclysm and the second, the one that occurred so recently when the body of Mata Nui crashed here and we left it to inhabit this new world we call Spherus Magna. This is so that the nature of the Great Spirit is kept secret from the world. The history of the Matoran Universe during that time is safe with us; however, none of you were in the Matoran Universe at the time. You were living on what you called the island of Mata Nui. Thus, your memories of this time will be lost if they are not preserved.“We have gathered every single scrap ever written about the island of Mata Nui in this room, accounts from the two Chroniclers Takua and Hahli. They stand before you as Toa, soon to have no memory of how they became such. But we need more. This is why we have called each of you here to provide as many of your memories of living on that island as possible. Unless you choose to leave, in which case you will forget every memory you ever had of Mata Nui with no hope of retrieving them, each of you will be given one day to recount as much as you choose. Tell stories; do not merely rattle off facts. We must know through your experiences, not the trivia you have acquired. These records will be kept by the Order, and if you come to us and ask, you may view them. I willl make sure you do not forget that piece of information. However, your memories will still be erased. You will not be spared by the Time Slip. This is only for safety. You will be as clueless as the rest of us. “And I would like to apologize deeply, to every single one of you, and assure you that this will never happen again. Not if we make sure it never needs to. Thank you.”The members of the crowd had been silently staring at each other in shock for a while, and they immediately burst into uproar upon receiving this news. Vakama had stood there silently, soaking up Kooms’ words; he had suspected this even before the Toa had begun speaking. As soon as he had seen the Toa of Sonics, and remembered where he had seen that face before so many years ago, he had realized the full truth.Review topic (and information on footnotes): http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=7436
  12. On The Planet's Roof LOIS SCURRIED DOWN FROM THE ROOF. Some heads turned. Everyone seemed to notice her excitement, save for Clark, who was too busy working on his economics article to take note. She sat down in her desk directly across from him and typed on her computer with a satisfied smile. The rapid sound of keys filled the otherwise silent room for a full minute...........Clark finally looked up. "Lois, do you want me to proofread your work?".........."What? No," said Lois. Of course not. This was too good for anyone to see until she was done...........Clark leaned over the desk space between them. Lois stopped smiling and glared at him. "I've never seen you so enthusiastic to work. Wasn't your normal typing rate forty words per minute last I checked?"..........Lois let her hands rest. "Clark, you'll find out later. Let's just say I scored gold on something.".........."On the rooftop?"..........Lois eyed him. Clark was the most mild-mannered reporter she knew, and yet there was no one else on Earth more frustrating. Although she could tell that the curiosities of other reporters had been piqued the moment she entered the office, only Clark seemed to have the guts to press any questions...........She held her tongue for a beat, or rather, her lower lip, which she tucked under her upper teeth as she eyed Clark. "Yes, on the roof." No point in denying that much..........."You must have seen something pretty incredible," said Clark..........."Yep. Sure did," said Lois. She returned to her typing, yet she maintained eye contact with Clark in some sort of staring contest..........."Whatever it was, given your spelling problems, which are already terrible, you're probably going to misspell half your words at this rate," said Clark...........Lois briefly broke the staring context to look down at her screen. Sure enough, half the words were underlined in red squiggles. Bullocks. "I have spell-check on my side," she said..........."You might still want some peer revision," said Clark..........."Nope. I have Chief to do that for me," said Lois, almost bursting at this point as she switched from the defense to her normal prideful state. Clark only responded with the facial equivalent of a shrug...........From the other end of the office, editor-in chief Perry White rang out "Don't call me 'Chief!'"..........Lois and Clark looked around and froze for a moment. As animation returned to their bodies, they turned back to each other and for a moment, neither saying nor expressing anything. Then, in unison, they laughed...........When Clark regained his composure, he sighed and returned to his work. "I admire you ability to multitask, by the way."..........Lois smiled to herself as she continued to write her article at top speeds. For whatever reason - she didn't understand why - it wasn't a smirk, but a real smile, the same she had felt come to her eyes when she was on the rooftop. "Thanks," she said...........When she glanced up, Clark was back at his work, adjusting his glasses and reading over his economics report. When he noticed her looking at him, he smiled, or at least tried. Suddenly she was struck at how sad he looked. "It's just something I wish I could do better."..........Clark returned to focus, but Lois was almost certain she saw him give something of himself away. She knew it was none of her business, but she was a reporter. She took note on everything. Clark was more complex than people gave him credit for. Most people were, as a general principle. Lois stopped typing as new curiosities popped into her mind. Her article could wait...........She averted her eyes away from Clark now and opened up a new document, the one where she kept a list of all her unanswered questions. She typed a new bullet point: "What makes Clark sad?" She saved and exited. The document that was mostly red squiggles returned to the front of the screen...........The sound of clicking keys that filled the silence now belonged to Clark..........."Hey, Clark, do you have any friends?" asked Lois...........Clark stopped typing. "I have my mother, and when I was in high school I had a friend named Pete Ross.".........."No, I mean friends right now.".........."Well I have you, Lois." He said it with a straight face..........."You have got to be kidding me!" said Lois. "I'm terrible to you. I'm a brat. I treat you like nothing.".........."You're a greater hero for me than you give yourself credit for," said Clark. "You're all those things, but you put up with me all the same. Whenever you have a rant, you come to me first. And let's not forget, we make an awesome team. Remember when we investigated to see if Lex Luthor was twisting the arm of Senator Jennings?".........."Clark, the only reason I took you with me was because Chie - " she caught herself and cast a glance to Perry White's office, "Because Perry think we're perfect. That, and you tripped and ruined everything for me. Some team, huh?".........."Well, to my understanding you were pushing the boundaries of honest reporting anyway," said Clark. "And you admitted as much."..........Lois lifted a paperwieght and feigned a toss at Clark. He flinched. "Yeah, well I still would have had the ultimate story.".........."Even better than the one you have right now?" asked Clark...........It was now Lois's turn to flinch. "You changed the subject on me.".........."I did?".........."Yes, Clark, you did, and it was totally a reporterly thing to do," said Lois..........."Sorry. I should get back to my own article," said Clark..........."Wait, you can get that thing done in two minutes flat. How fast can you type anyway?".........."Over nine thousand, when you're not looking."..........Lois chuckled, cuaght off guard. She didn't expect Clark to be the type of person to make that kind of reference. "Okay, how about when I am looking?".........."Four hundred words per minute with ninety-eight percent accuracy," said Clark..........."See? So at that rate you could get your boring business article done in a few minutes, plus a few extra just to organize your thoughts, but you're a genius anyway so it shouldn't take too long. I can't imagine you'd be a busy person," said Lois...........Clark looked like he was struggling for a response. In the end, he said nothing, just returned to his report..........."No, don't you do that to me," said Lois. "Clark? Clark! C'mon, let's just talk. What do you say to visiting Mickey's Diner?" When he looked up at her she realized what she had said. "No, not as a date. Don't let that enter your mind. As a friend. As a coworker, because that's what coworkers do.".........."Lois, no need to be defensive. I asked you there the first day I met you, remember? I understand," said Clark...........That was right. Lois remembered sitting across from him and sharing with him her ambitions. He had sat there, eating his food, taking it all in, and every once and a while threw in his little bits of Midwest wisdom. Now that she thought about it, he had been awfully nice to her. Maybe it was time she returned the favor..........."Well, it's a little more than that. I met someone recently, someone with a heart of gold, someone kind, and he's sort of inspired me," said Lois. "I want to be more like him, and this is the sort of thing he would do.".........."'Whatever you do for the least of these you do unto me?'" quoted Clark..........."Uh, yeah, I see your reasoning there," said Lois. "He would totally like you, by the way.".........."I'm going to pretend I have no idea who you're talking about at this point," said Clark with a wry smile...........Lois closed her tight and scrunched up her face. "Stupid...I can't believe I gave myself away there." She let her face relax and took a deep breath. "Yes, I guess I might as well share that with you, anyway. We're friends, after all, like you said. And Clark?".........."Yes?".........."You can proofread my paper when we get there."..........Clark smiled with his eyes, but then his eyes went completely out of focus. "Sorry, Lois, something just came up. I have to go! Sorry!" He turned off his computer and jolted out of the office, leaving his roller chair spinning and Lois surprised. What was with that Clark Kent?..........Lois rested her cheek on one hand and sat there for a while, staring into the distance. Her thoughts occasionally shifted back to her article, but Clark returned to her mind again and again, so much so that it surprised her. He was an odd character, but maybe it was worth accepting Clark as her friend...........Then something came to her. Her journalistic instincts came back, and she opened up her bullet list again to add her latest question..........."What's with that Clark Kent?" Review 24601
  13. So what does everyone think about the whole Hewkii & Hafu and Jaller & Hahli romance/side story thing?I thought it was just kinda distracting and out of place. Especially in the Bohrok animations. What do all you think?
  14. We have a Gundam thread. Why not have a Macross thread as well? Yes, this is because I'm more of a Macross fan then a GANDAMU fan.Was watching Seven and Frontier, but life called me away from finishing them.
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