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Struggle In The Sky


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#1 Offline Alena Spirit of Hyperness

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Posted Nov 15 2011 - 01:40 PM

Another lovely day to post my first Bionicle fan-fiction story in a while onto BZP! This is just a contest entry for the newest contest (Obvious enough, if you recognize the title. ;3 ), although, it took a while to get me convinced to join. I decided to do just that, but added in a species that I've been working on for years. Just curious to see what kind of feedback the one Enmalian I added into this story gets. =P And yes, if you can stand reading all the way through this short story, the ending was meant to be abrupt. Adds to the drama a tad bit, no? =3And the Toa is meant to be completely on his own, too! Surviving with every method he can think of. Survival of the fittest!Now to cut my rant short! (Dunno why I love ranting so much before letting you guys read... xD ) (Or why I use so many emoticons!)___________________________________A green, armored arm cut through the air around him, calling upon another massive breeze to let him keep floating. The buzz around him filled his ears, ruining any chance of hearing anything other then the massive Venom Flyers. He twisted his body through the air, narrowly avoiding the strike of another one of the Rahi.Aima could feel another one right behind him, and activated his powers to form an intense air bubble around him, knocking the Rahi away with ease. Releasing his hold on the air bubble, he felt its power ebb away in an instant, disappearing with several tendrils stretching out around him. His Miru, still activated and working, allowed his body to float several feet higher then what he wanted. Flipping upside down, he bashed his foot into another Venom Flyer, sending it falling towards the ground below as it lost control of one of its wings.The powerful kick propelled him away from the Rahis original position, and the air pulses he sent out every few seconds warned him of another attack. Turning to his left, he dug his blade into the head of another one, swiftly pulling it out and watching it fall to the ground. His face grimaced, still unable to cope with the idea of killing Rahi, but survival called for it.Having rarely killed before the attack, Aima had to force his body to commit the acts, or risk being pulled into the waiting webs of the Visorak, and either become mutated, or in eternal sleep. Having survived for countless years, his mind having lost track of his existence, he refused to let an attack by Rahi bring him to his ruin. Any other Toa would refuse to do what he was doing, but, his mind reasoned, where was the wrong in ridding the world of a few more Matoran-killers?Another air pulse alerted him of danger, and he thrust his knife above him, stabbing another one in the stomach. This time, the body landed heavily onto his head, knocking him down several feet, and almost into the waking jaws of the Visorak below him and the Horde. He heard several overly excited squeals, only to be accompanied with disappointment as he sent several bursts of air below him, propelling his body higher up. His body felt the urge to sigh in relief, but the threat of several hundred Venom Flyers still pervaded his mind, and his knife-less hand pulled out a second knife, matching the other pair perfectly, and stabbed it into another one on queue.____________________________The fight dragged on for another hour, and despite slowly ridding himself of the swarm, his body began to feel intense fatigue, encouraged by the constant use of his air powers. He threw a punch into the face of another attacker, straight into the mandibles of it. Ignoring the way the jaws felt, and the burst of pain that went up his hand, he pulled it out, ignoring the crunched armor that dug into the flesh underneath.Buzzing noises still pervaded his hearing senses, but he could now hear a faint hiss from below them. The Visorak were standing underneath him patiently, eagerly awaiting their Toa captive, staring patiently at their newest victum. Normally, if any other Rahi had taken this long in capturing their prey, they would have either joined in with their spinners long ago, or left due to lack of entertainment. Aima shivered, hating becoming a form of entertainment for such emotionless Rahi.One of the Venom Flyers saw him shiver, and attacked him while he was in the middle of it, and he barely bashed his foot into one of the eyes of it, and slammed his other foot onto the top of its head, sending it too crashing into the ground. Exhaustion flooded his limbs, but he ignored it, the will to survive barely overcoming it. The others backed away quickly, giving him space. The other Venom Flyers had grown more wary of him, and weren’t attacking nearly as often as they had been earlier.His air pulses still went out every couple of seconds, alerting him to their every move. They caught another sneak attack, and he twisted around, slamming his knife once more into another one.Sensing another attack coming upon him, he whirled around in an instant, knife prepared to attack his latest victim. Instead, another hand quickly grasped his own, and his other hand thrust forward, narrowly missing his newest attacker.A flutter of feather wings began to fill his ears, and the other arm snaked around his waist, pinning him to the body of the newest creature. All happened within an instant, and he felt his body falling downwards, towards the Visorak. “Just relax.” Came a playful voice, and Aima’s face was covered by the feathers on the newest figure, effectively blocking his view.The Visorak beneath them roared with satisfaction, apparently mistaking the battle with a different outcome. Aima could feel his exhaustion shut down all his powers, and the figure seemingly took advantage of it. They freefell through the air, slowly increasing in speed, the wings opening within meters of the Visoraks waiting jaws. Powerfully beating, the wings carried them far away from the Visorak within seconds, the hissing and spitting they emitted in fury having fully left his hearing, along with the buzzing of the Venom Flyers. They still rang, but it was a soft thud.They were in the air for a good hour, the wings still beating powerfully before his rescuer flew closely to the ground, dropping the Toa of Air to the ground and letting him roll. As Aima finished rolling, a thud of feet, and rustling of feathers filled the air as the figure landed.Rolling onto his back, having regained energy from the battle, but still not enough, he finally had a good look at his rescuer. Staring into the golden eyes, white feathered head, and brown and black feathered body, his normal reaction would have been a slightly gasp, and he would have armed himself had it been any other situation. Instead, he felt his body tense slightly, before loosening again.“What are you?” Aima asked silently, calmly. “What Makuta formed you into existence?”A chuckle left the throat of his rescuer, and he could see silent laughter. “What Makuta could possibly capture the essence of an Bald Eagle so perfectly into this body, when a Bald Eagle doesn’t even exist here?” His voice gained a sarcastic tone to it when he said that, and Aima wondered what an Bald Eagle was. Despite the sarcasm in his tone, though, Aima still felt that he could trust this intriguing stranger. Study him, learn him, and be able to kill him should he ever become a menace.The creature leaned forward towards the Toa, his humanoid appearance strangely similar to his Toa form. Not all tall as the average Toa, but his form radiated strength. “Don’t think you can kill someone of my species so easily. Even the weakest could easily overcome a Toa.”

Edited by Alena Spirit of Hyperness, Nov 15 2011 - 01:56 PM.

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#2 Offline Meso Zehvor

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Posted Nov 15 2011 - 01:51 PM

Glad that this was posted. As I've already told you, I really enjoyed the story; the characters and the enviroment were both really interesting. I think there's potential here for more stories in the future *hint hint write more*. :PThe level of description used was also a positive to me; it felt like I was really there, and that's always a good thing.As far as things that could be improved, I still think the ending's kind of abrupt. But that's what you wanted to do, so whatever works for you, well, works for you. :P I can't really think of anything else that I disliked, honestly.Good story, and I hope it does well in the contest.-Mesonak

Edited by Mesonak, Nov 15 2011 - 01:51 PM.

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#3 Offline Eljay: Toa of Mangosteen

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Posted Nov 16 2011 - 03:07 AM

I really loved the story, as it really gave a depth of feel toward the Toa and the new mystery character. I couldn't find any spelling or grammar errors (not that you let me :P) I felt that the ending was kinda abrupt, but it works for the story. Love the inclusion of the Bald Eagle :P I hope this does really well, and I honestly believe it will have a really great chance!Posted Image
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#4 Offline Kahi

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Posted Nov 19 2011 - 05:14 AM

As per request, here is my paragraph by paragraph review of "Struggle in the Sky". Do bear in mind that most of the things I address here is very critically-based and nitpicky in nature. You told me to "bring my worst", so if I ever enter this contest you're completely welcome to go over my ramblings and show me how hypocritical I am in pointing out faults in your writing that are much more evident in what I pass as writing. =P

A green, armored arm cut through the air around him, calling upon another massive breeze to let him keep floating. The buzz around him filled his ears, ruining any chance of hearing anything other then the massive Venom Flyers. He twisted his body through the air, narrowly avoiding the strike of another one of the Rahi.

Good intro, love how you just throw us into the action. It gives the reader an automatic sense of worry, a good step into identifying with the character himself. However, unless I am mistaken, it should be "other than the massive Venom Flyers" rather than "other then the massive Venom Flyers". Then again, grammar isn't exactly my strong suit, so I digress.

Aima could feel another one right behind him, and activated his powers to form an intense air bubble around him, knocking the Rahi away with ease. Releasing his hold on the air bubble, he felt its power ebb away in an instant, disappearing with several tendrils stretching out around him. His Miru, still activated and working, allowed his body to float several feet higher then what he wanted. Flipping upside down, he bashed his foot into another Venom Flyer, sending it falling towards the ground below as it lost control of one of its wings.

I think the Venom Flyers themselves could do with a bit more description; while I can envision the Toa and his actions quite clearly in my mind, his opponents aren't as clear. I can't really remember what they look like off the top of my head, so it'd be good to have something to coax me along to envisioning them. For instance, I only became aware that the Flyers had wings when you mentioned Aima kicking them. While it may work for imagery that the viewer is more familiar with (for instance, Aima is assumed to be a Toa, so when you just mention the Miru later on in the paragraph, it works well enough), but as for things that the reader may have trouble imagining, you may want to think about clarifying a little more.Nonetheless, I like how you're using more descriptive words to describe the motion, "ebb" and "tendrils". I especially like how you used the word "bashed", as it is not only more specific and direct, but it much more empowering than just "kicked".

The powerful kick propelled him away from the Rahis original position, and the air pulses he sent out every few seconds warned him of another attack. Turning to his left, he dug his blade into the head of another one, swiftly pulling it out and watching it fall to the ground. His face grimaced, still unable to cope with the idea of killing Rahi, but survival called for it.

Again, more good use of description here. Finding different words for the same action can be a bit of a hard work, because you don't want everything to become too repetitive; thankfully, you've avoided that here. On a more story-centered note, however, I found it kind of odd how his first reaction is how much he hates killing Rahi; I would assume care for animals would severely diminish while being chased by venomous airborne creatures. Still, that has nothing to do with the writing and may be a part of his overall character, so I will move on.

Having rarely killed before the attack, Aima had to force his body to commit the acts, or risk being pulled into the waiting webs of the Visorak, and either become mutated, or in eternal sleep. Having survived for countless years, his mind having lost track of his existence, he refused to let an attack by Rahi bring him to his ruin. Any other Toa would refuse to do what he was doing, but, his mind reasoned, where was the wrong in ridding the world of a few more Matoran-killers?

Now, here is something that got me a little confused when I first read it: why would he be caught by the Visorak if he didn't kill the Flyers? Was he flying above a giant Visorak nest at the time? Are the Venom Flyers just a winged subspecies of Visorak that serve to deliver to them their prey? There has been no mention of Visorak before, and there's no mention of why exactly he was in danger of being mutated by them. Perhaps if you had told us the connection between the two, it wouldn't be as abrupt, at least to me.Also, he seemed to go rather quickly from a PETA mindset to my mindset when it comes to killing animals =P. I do remember several instances of Toa killing Rahi before, but then again, this is your universe, so it is very possible that the Toa here have different rules that the canon one.

Another air pulse alerted him of danger, and he thrust his knife above him, stabbing another one in the stomach. This time, the body landed heavily onto his head, knocking him down several feet, and almost into the waking jaws of the Visorak below him and the Horde. He heard several overly excited squeals, only to be accompanied with disappointment as he sent several bursts of air below him, propelling his body higher up. His body felt the urge to sigh in relief, but the threat of several hundred Venom Flyers still pervaded his mind, and his knife-less hand pulled out a second knife, matching the other pair perfectly, and stabbed it into another one on queue.

I like the use of "air pulses", they are a good use of a elemental power in a way that I haven't seen used much in official story. Also, while you now established the Visorak is below him, there's several other question that have me wondering. For instance, where are they flying over? Are the Visorak chasing him below while the Flyers try to kill him above? Why aren't there any spinners being launched at him by the Visorak? Is the entire place Aima is flying over just a gigantic mess of web, or are the Visorak actively pursuing him?On the bright side, there is more descriptive action here. I really admire about this piece, mostly because of the fact that I can't do it well at all. As I said above, the use of specific verbs really help the reader with the visualization of the scene, and that's well represented throughout the story.

The fight dragged on for another hour, and despite slowly ridding himself of the swarm, his body began to feel intense fatigue, encouraged by the constant use of his air powers. He threw a punch into the face of another attacker, straight into the mandibles of it. Ignoring the way the jaws felt, and the burst of pain that went up his hand, he pulled it out, ignoring the crunched armor that dug into the flesh underneath.

Its good that you factor in the use of elemental powers into his fading strength, that's something I oft see disregarded. You're sort of playing up the fact that he's losing strength but still has to survive, and that is both showing a sign of weakness and increasing the danger that the main character is in. You described the pain he went through rather well. The only thing I would have to say is that you used "ignoring" twice in that same sentence there at the end; it looks a tad repetitive IMO.

Buzzing noises still pervaded his hearing senses, but he could now hear a faint hiss from below them. The Visorak were standing underneath him patiently, eagerly awaiting their Toa captive, staring patiently at their newest victum. Normally, if any other Rahi had taken this long in capturing their prey, they would have either joined in with their spinners long ago, or left due to lack of entertainment. Aima shivered, hating becoming a form of entertainment for such emotionless Rahi.

I do find it interesting that the Rahi have managed to chase him for so long, or that there were enough Rahi to give him over an hour's worth of trouble. Its good that you've at least addressed that in the story. Also, I do believe its "victim", not "victum".

One of the Venom Flyers saw him shiver, and attacked him while he was in the middle of it, and he barely bashed his foot into one of the eyes of it, and slammed his other foot onto the top of its head, sending it too crashing into the ground. Exhaustion flooded his limbs, but he ignored it, the will to survive barely overcoming it. The others backed away quickly, giving him space. The other Venom Flyers had grown more wary of him, and weren’t attacking nearly as often as they had been earlier.

Bashed is used here again, although since you used it before for the same action (and with the same body part), perhaps another verb like "ramming" could be used in that stead?

His air pulses still went out every couple of seconds, alerting him to their every move. They caught another sneak attack, and he twisted around, slamming his knife once more into another one.Sensing another attack coming upon him, he whirled around in an instant, knife prepared to attack his latest victim. Instead, another hand quickly grasped his own, and his other hand thrust forward, narrowly missing his newest attacker.

That last part is a little confusing...did you mean the new attacker made his hand thrust forward, or that his hand was thrust forward as a reflex to hit the attacker, or what?

A flutter of feather wings began to fill his ears, and the other arm snaked around his waist, pinning him to the body of the newest creature. All happened within an instant, and he felt his body falling downwards, towards the Visorak. “Just relax.” Came a playful voice, and Aima’s face was covered by the feathers on the newest figure, effectively blocking his view.

Two small potential mistakes (potential because I don't actually know for certain =P) here: "A flutter of feathered wings" instead of "feather wings" and "'Just relax,' came a playful voice" instead of "'Just relax.' Came a playful voice". Its really small, but something to look over.

The Visorak beneath them roared with satisfaction, apparently mistaking the battle with a different outcome. Aima could feel his exhaustion shut down all his powers, and the figure seemingly took advantage of it. They freefell through the air, slowly increasing in speed, the wings opening within meters of the Visoraks waiting jaws. Powerfully beating, the wings carried them far away from the Visorak within seconds, the hissing and spitting they emitted in fury having fully left his hearing, along with the buzzing of the Venom Flyers. They still rang, but it was a soft thud.

That phrase "mistaking the battle with a different outcome" just sounds a little...odd to me. Maybe it has something to do with mixing different tenses together?

They were in the air for a good hour, the wings still beating powerfully before his rescuer flew closely to the ground, dropping the Toa of Air to the ground and letting him roll. As Aima finished rolling, a thud of feet, and rustling of feathers filled the air as the figure landed.

Not much to say here, you did everything quite well.

Rolling onto his back, having regained energy from the battle, but still not enough, he finally had a good look at his rescuer. Staring into the golden eyes, white feathered head, and brown and black feathered body, his normal reaction would have been a slightly gasp, and he would have armed himself had it been any other situation. Instead, he felt his body tense slightly, before loosening again.“What are you?” Aima asked silently, calmly. “What Makuta formed you into existence?”

Hmm...I find it a little odd that he flew over an hour with this figure and in all that time was not able to get a good look at him. Still, I digress.

A chuckle left the throat of his rescuer, and he could see silent laughter. “What Makuta could possibly capture the essence of an Bald Eagle so perfectly into this body, when a Bald Eagle doesn’t even exist here?” His voice gained a sarcastic tone to it when he said that, and Aima wondered what an Bald Eagle was. Despite the sarcasm in his tone, though, Aima still felt that he could trust this intriguing stranger. Study him, learn him, and be able to kill him should he ever become a menace.

Huh, this I was not expecting. The introduction of the Bald Eagle is certainly a plot twist, and a rather unexpected one at that. The fact that it also alludes to the fact that it doesn't even exist here adds some more mystery to the sudden appearance. I'm very curious to see where it will go with this.

The creature leaned forward towards the Toa, his humanoid appearance strangely similar to his Toa form. Not all tall as the average Toa, but his form radiated strength. “Don’t think you can kill someone of my species so easily. Even the weakest could easily overcome a Toa.”

And it seems we've reached the ending. It was a little too abrupt in my opinion, and it does leave a lot of questions. I know you wanted a cliffhanger ending, and this does certainly achieve that. However, seeing as this is a contest and will be judged on this story alone, you may have wanted to try and answer a few more things before then.What I got from this story is that this seems to be a snippet or preview of a book. A very well-written and engaging book indeed, but one that seems to have a beginning and a end that is not clearly referenced in this story. It seemed to open with an already defined character and location, and seemed to end on a cliffhanger that left too many questions unanswered. The ending had a good plot twist, but it seems to end without doing anything with it. And while I definitely would read any sequel you gave to this, as it stands by itself it may be too abrupt for the contest judges to really get a feel for the entire story.Still, I enjoyed the pace and energy you gave to the action scenes, and any actual spelling mistakes or grammar errors were very minor. The variety of words you used were well placed and very descriptive, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it through. I guess my real complaint is that it needs more, and that's not a bad of a place for a writer to be in.

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