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Showdown

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#1 Offline Taipu1

Taipu1
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Posted Nov 20 2011 - 05:09 PM

Showdown

Mazeka faced down Strakk in the arena. Normally he wouldn’t have taken on someone like this voluntarily, but he had faced worse, and he had a duty to fulfil. He had come a long way to do it.1 day previouslyThe ship tilted violently as a powerful gust of wind struck it, sending Mazeka stumbling. Strong winds and rain he could handle, Ko-Matoran were no strangers to extreme weather, but the rocking of the ship in the stormy waters was not something he was accustomed to. Another gust struck the ship, thanks to his years of combat training and honed reflexes he was able to maintain balance as he dashed across the ship towards the cabin. He climbed the ladder onto the top, his feet slipping on the soaked rungs and pulled himself onto the top. He was just in time for another powerful blast of wind to hit the ship, and to see the Captain of the vessel stagger away from the wheel, falling through the wooden rail at the edge of the ship.Moving faster than was possible for most matoran or agori, he leapt across the top of the cabin, landing on his chest and sliding, he seized the flying ankle of his captain, an agori of the water tribe. At the same time his other flew across the surface of wood beneath him, his finger finding a grip in a gap between planks. He let out a loud grunt, and the captain yelled, but nobody heard their feud over the roar of the wind. Mazeka pulled with all his might, but he could barely manage to maintain his grip on the captain’s ankle.Then the ship began to tilt ominously, and Mazeka quickly remembered that no one was steering the ship anymore. He pulled hopelessly at his Captain's ankle again, but he was only wasting his energy. Then he saw a Ga-Matoran stumble over the top of the ladder onto the roof of the cabin, followed by two Onu-Matoran. The Ga-Matoran seized the rapidly spinning wheel of the ship and struggled to regain control. The two Onu-Matoran both stumbled across the platform; reaching over the edge and pulling the Captain back aboard.Mazeka felt the weight leave his arm and relinquished his grip, rolling onto his stomach, breathing rapidly.“I’ll permit that slacking, seeing as you saved my life.”Mazeka was glad the Captain was pleased; he just hoped it was all worth it. He recalled how he had joined the crew of the ship a week previously, and the duty he had to fulfil.8 days previouslySince the reformation of Spherus magna, there had been huge developments across the planet. An agori of the rock tribe was walking through a port that had sprung up around an old Bara Magna village, which had suddenly become a picturesque coastal area. The agori was in the port looking for work, and had already come across a flyer for work on a large fishing ship. He walked across the threshold of an old inn that looked as though it had been around before the village become a port.The agori spotted his target, a replica of the flyer was pinned to a wooden pillar, and a member of the water tribe was leaning against it. Approaching him he said:“Are you the captain of the fishing ship?”“What’s it to you?” asked the Captain.“I want this job,” the rock agori said, gesturing to the flyer.The Captain looked him up and down once, then said:”Nope.”Appalled at this abrupt judgement, the rock agori burst out:”Why? You’re not even going to find out what skills I have. I’m strong, I’ve worked in mines, and I’m a good fighter-““Don’t care, jobs not for you,” the Captain said.The rock agori, angered at this extreme prejudgement swung a wild punch, knocking the Captains head against the pillar, sending him toppling sideways onto the floor.A whirl of white flew through the air, and just like that the rock agori was unconscious on the floor.A Ko-Matoran stood over the Captain, holding out his hand.“Well you’ve got the job if you want it,” the Captain exclaimed, taking the hand and pulling himself up.“Thanks,” the Ko-Matoran said. “But I’m not looking for work, just information. My name’s Mazeka.”“I’m Captain Baru,” the Captain said. “I guess I owe you something for flooring that bone hunter.”“He’s rock tribe isn’t he?” asked Mazeka, distracted. He was still getting to know the culture of Spherus Magna, and would like to think he knew the difference.“Yeah, but what’s the difference?” Baru said. “What can I do you for?”The two of them went and sat at the bar.“Can I buy you a drink?” asked Baru.“You don’t know a whole lot about matoran do you Captain?” Mazeka laughed.“Eh?”“We consume through our hands, cups are usually an obstacle, and it usually attracts the attention of your kind when done in public.”“Fair enough,” Baru said. “Can’t say I did know that. All I know is, you matoran are strong and resilient, and with an unrivalled work ethic.”“Yeah, back in the day our work was what kept the universe going,” Mazeka said. “Literally. Anyway I need help in locating a fellow matoran.”“What was he like?” asked Baru.“I heard he joined your crew for a short while I believe. Po-Matoran, where’s a noble Kanohi Rau.”“uh…?”“Brown armour, round-ish mask with a circular mouth, with ridges around it, fairly prominent brow.”“Ah right.” Baru said, now understanding. “Still not familiar with your matoran words. Yeah I’ve seen him, went by the name of Onukama.”“That’s definitely him!” Mazeka exclaimed, then more to himself said, “foolish.”“Sorry?” asked Baru.“Nothing, not you.” Mazeka said. “Think it’s a combination of Onua and Vakama. Or Nokama. Not very imaginative.”“I’m not understanding still,” Baru said.“Just put it out of your mind.” Mazeka said. “So where’d Onukama go exactly?”“Said if I gave him transport to a remote village far from the city of Mata-Nui, he would work on my ship for the duration of the journey without pay or food.”“Yeah matoran don’t need nearly as much food as agori, we could last a number of weeks without sustenance.”Mazeka drummed his fingers on the tabletop for a moment, staring into space. Then finally, he said: “I changed my mind. I’ll take you up on that job offer.”“Really?” Baru said, surprised.“Temporarily,” Mazeka conceded. “Give me the same treatment as Onukama. I promise to work hard during the journey. But this would be my quickest option to get to him.”“Old friend, this Onukama? Or enemy?” asked Baru.“The nature of my mission is top secret,” Mazeka said. “I’m not authorised by the people I work for to divulge some information.”“You’re hired then I guess,” Baru said, shaking Mazeka’s hand. 1 day previouslyThe fishing ship Tajun was now clear of the storm that had almost torn it to bits mere hours before. The sea was now calm and the skies clear, and the ship was cruising quickly to its destination. Mazeka was leaning against the rail atop the cabin, and Captain Baru was standing by the wheel, one hand holding it steady.A few of the Matoran crew were also with them, enjoying Mazeka’s stories.“You fought in the Destiny War?” asked one Matoran.“Yeah,” asked Mazeka. “I was in the core, chasing down a shadow matoran. Also fought several shadow Toa, and had to kill a Skakdi on Destral.””Destral,” the matoran said in awe. “Closest I got to being in the war was running from a swarm of Rahkshi.”“What was the Destiny War?” asked Captain Baru.“A war,” Mazeka said rather lamely. Captain Baru rolled his eyes, and Mazeka continued, “To fight for the destiny of Mata Nui. Some say we lost, others say we won.”“How can you not know who won?” Baru asked.“Because Makuta took control of the Great spirit. If I were to voice my own opinion I’d say we won, its just Mata Nui’s destiny was far more complex than was our understanding.”“You matoran set too much store by ‘destiny’,” Baru said. “I for one don’t believe my fate is written.”“Maybe it isn’t here,” Mazeka said. “Mata Nui knew Makuta had to help him reform the planet, even though when at his peak he could do it himself. He knew that Makuta would take control. Everything inside the Great Spirit was already written. If that was the work of Mata Nui, then maybe your future isn’t already decided. However the Great Beings have a lot of influence, and if it is them that chose our destiny, perhaps these things are still written now.”“Just a load of Ko-matoran hogwash,” Baru said.”You know the Ko-matoran ways then,” Mazeka said.“I know you’re a punch of absent minded futurists who can’t take their heads out of the stars.”“I wouldn’t describe myself quite like that. But I’m partial to looking up at the sky on a good night, see what’s what, observe the beauty of the heavens.”“The skies here are more beautiful than anything I ever saw,” chipped in one matoran.“Throw anchor,” Captain Baru said. “Time you acted like hard working Agori.”“Thought you said matoran had an unrivalled work ethic?” Mazeka said smartly.“Thought you said you would work hard.” Baru retorted.“Aye, Aye Cap’n!” Mazeka said, saluting and vaulting over the rail onto the deck, where all the other matoran were dashing about with nets, and several were working the winch for the anchor. He began to help another matoran unroll a net and hang it over the side of the ship.Mazeka didn’t like Captain Baru at all. He was a fair enough Captain, but he was extremely ignorant of matoran culture, yet exploited them as a skilled workforce. He was the only agori on board the ship, and all the work he had to do was boss people about and turn a wheel when he felt like it. Glancing back towards the cabin, Mazeka saw that Baru didn’t feel like it now, there was a Ga-Matoran at the helm.Over the next few hours the ship brought in huge quantities of fish, Mazeka was astounded by the diversity of the Spherus Magna rahi, and at the same time surprised how quickly rahi of the Matoran Universe had spread through the oceans.As the sun began to set, Mazeka looked to the horizon and could just make out the outline of the Mainland through the orange light of the sun. Then it dipped below the horizon, and Mazeka struggled to make out the land. He went back to the cabin and down the stairs, into the bowels of the ship. Beneath the deck were two rooms, one filled with fish, the other filled with hammocks and barrels, where the crew of matoran slept and spent their free time.”Hey,” one of the matoran said. “Kobyu is looking for you.”“Kobyu?” asked Mazeka, confused. He didn’t know any of the matoran on the ship by name, and while he told interesting stories, he didn’t get the impression any of them would seek him out personally for anything. “Where is he?”“He’s up in the crows nest, he hates being round us.”Mazeka’s confusion faded when he got back up on deck and saw that Kobyu was a De-Matoran. Naturally he would seek out the point furthest from the other matoran, but he couldn’t think of a more unusual place for a De-Matoran to be. The sea was noisy, and working on a ship more so.“Hey,” Mazeka said quietly. “You were looking for me?”Anyone else wouldn’t have heard such a quiet and understated greeting, but the De-matoran’s hyper-sensitive hearing meant he turned immediately and looked down. He vaulted over the rim of the basket and began to climb quickly down the rigging.“I know you,” Kobyu said. “You knackered my ears for a year, and kidnapped that weirdo, Krakua.”“What?” Mazeka said, surprised. “I didn’t do anything to harm anyone in that village. Vultraz let off that sonic bomb.”“Oh,” Kobyu said. “Sorry, I remember seeing you arrive and hearing you talking to Krakua. Then that thing went off, knocked the entire village out. When we awoke we were all deaf for over a week, and had headaches for months. And Krakua was gone.”“Sorry about that,” Mazeka said. “I had no idea Vultraz would turn up, he nearly killed me. I was just taking Krakua away to become a Toa.”“He’s a Toa?” asked Kobyu, surprised.“He was always going to be something, no ordinary De-matoran hums.”“True.”There was a long silence, which Mazeka found rather awkward, but Kobyu seemed to find relaxing.“So why’d you want to talk to me?” asked Mazeka.Kobyu frowned at the return to conversation, and then said, “Just wanted to know what happened that day, what your motive was. And why you’re here, because I heard you were getting off at some obscure port we only stopped at once before. Another matoran left then as well.”“Yeah well…” Mazeka said. “That’s kinda classified…”There was another long silence, and then Mazeka gave a nod to the De-matoran, and turned to the stairs.“Mazeka,” Kobyu said, and Mazeka looked back over his shoulder. “Remember this isn’t your world anymore.”“I will do what is necessary,” Mazeka replied, and then descended the steps to the other matoran.The next morning Mazeka awoke early, walking up on deck he was just in time to see the sun rise over the sea. The sight still held him in awe, and he envied the matoran who had lived on the island of Mata Nui, who had experienced a similar sight every day for a thousand years. Mazeka walked to the front of the ship, and stared out over the prow of the ship.“Morning.”Mazeka jumped, and spun round. Kobyu was sitting against a barrel; Mazeka had walked right past him without noticing.“Do you sleep out here?” asked Mazeka.“Yes,” Kobyu said. “It’s too noisy below deck.”Mazeka nodded, and stood in silence for a while. What with the quiet and awkward conversations of Kobyu, and the hypocritical and prejudiced attitude of Baru, Mazeka wondered if there was anyone on board the ship he actually liked.A few hours later the ship docked at the port, or arrived nearby. There was no harbour to pull up in, so Mazeka, Baru and a Le-Matoran had to go ashore in a small boat. When they arrived on the beach, the Le-Matoran left to try and sell the inhabitants of the nearby village some fish. Mazeka held out his hand to Baru, who shook it.“Shame to lose you,” said Baru. “I should make this transport in return for work thing more regular, you really turned out to be quite the sailor. If you ever need a job…?”“Thanks, but I doubt you’ll see me again,” Mazeka said. “Although a friend of mine may come looking for me, he was supposed to travel with me, but he got held up.”“Really?” Baru said, interested. “Another hard working matoran who might join up with my crew, temporarily at least?”“No, he’s a Makuta.”Stunned by this response, the word only stirred something in Baru’s head when Mazeka had left for the village.Mazeka stood in the village square looking around. This was far beyond where most matoran were, the locals were all agori of various tribes. This was the Bota Magna part of the planet, where the villages were small and far apart.Mazeka saw the Le-Matoran crewmember walk out of one of the huts, and walked towards the small building, peering cautiously through the door, to find a small shop.”You’re not here to sell me fish as well are you?” asked the agori sitting on a barrel in the corner.“No, I just came on the same ship,” Mazeka said.“Clear off then,” the agori said rudely.“I’m looking for someone,” said Mazeka. “A Po-Matoran, by the name of Onukama.”“I don’t see why I should tell you anything,” the agori said.Mazeka could see that this villager wasn’t a fan of outsiders. He would have to apply thumbscrews to get information out of him. In a fluid motion he swept the barrel from beneath the agori’s feet, slammed him against the wall, one hand covering the agori’s mouth, muffling his yells, the other drawing a knife.“Now when I take my hand of your mouth, you can tell me what I need to know. Or, you can try and yell for help, and I’ll cut the cry right out of your mouth, and be out of here before you hit the floor.”Mazeka removed his hand; the agori breathed heavily then said, “You matoran are all scum. You come here, assuming that you have as much entitlement to the land as agori do, and we kindly let you stay. Then you ask for more, you’re manipulative and abuse our land, you-“Mazeka put his hand over the agori’s mouth, said, “Not what I wanted to hear, try again,” and then removed his hand again. “Fine! Onukama came by, bought a map and asked which was the quietest village on it.”“Subtle,” Mazeka said. “Which village?”“It’s up in the caves on the volcano to the south west.”“Now that wasn’t so hard,” Mazeka said. “And I wouldn’t blab about this to anyone, because a friend of mine will come looking, and he’s quite capable of turning an entire village over if need be. You might have heard of him, his name is Makuta Teridax.”Mazeka turned and left, grinning to himself. Strictly speaking he wasn’t lying to anyone, the agori was just misinterpreting him. Makuta Teridax would be looking for him, just not the Makuta Teridax they had heard of. He sighed heavily when he looked southwest and saw the volcano. He could see a plume of smoke coming out of a crater at the side. This seemed the most likely spot, whether it was the sign of agori activity, or the volcano was just active. He’d have to go there to find out.Mazeka was walking along a jungle path, apparently alone. Unbeknownst to him he was being followed. He only became aware of their presence, when they spoke out loud to him.“Stop.”Mazeka ducked instinctively, spinning as he did so and drawing his knife and throwing it in the direction of the sound. Luckily for Kobyu, Mazeka was used to targeting taller assailants, and the knife embedded itself in the tree above his head.“Kobyu, what in Karzahni are you doing here?” Mazeka said loudly.Kobyu winced at this volume and said, “Easy, I’m a De-Matoran remember!”“Sorry,” Mazeka said quietly. “Why are you here?”“Because I know who you’re looking for,” Kobyu said.“Is that so?” Mazeka said. “Then you’ll know why my mission is dangerous, and that I work for a very serious organisation.”“I know what he did,” Kobyu said. “I want to help, I have abilities you can use.”“What abilities?”“Well,” Kobyu continued. “I can hear that a large creature is heading in our direction.”Mazeka swore. “What is it?”“I don’t know! I can’t hear what it looks like!”The two matoran moved more cautiously, Kobyu’s head darting from side to side, taking in sounds that Mazeka wasn’t picking up.“East,” Kobyu whispered. “Less than half a kio away.”Mazeka registered this, and leapt at a tree, climbing up and trying to get a better view of the surrounding jungle. He couldn’t see the rahi, but he could see detached trail of destruction where whatever it was had torn trees out of it’s path. He stepped casually out of the tree and fell straight to the bottom, landing gracefully beside Kobyu, and they continued to walk.A minute or so later, Mazeka could hear the sound of something large tearing through the trees. Gaging where the sound was coming from now, Mazeka gestured to a resilient looking tree that he thought was out of the rahi’s path. He gave Kobyu a boost onto the larger branches, and then clambered up after him. When he reached a stable branch, he drew his knife, and crouched, ready to spring. Then there was a huge crash, and a Tahtorak tore through the trees into their view. To Mazeka’s horror, the sound had struck Kobyu hard, and he had fallen out of the tree. He sheathed his knife and leapt down. Tahtorak were intelligent, his best hope was to reason with the beast.“Matoran,” hissed the Tahtorak when it laid its eyes upon them.“Please!” Mazeka said. “We mean you no harm.”“Why should I believe that, when you carry a weapon.”“It’s not for you,” Mazeka said. “I have a mission.”“My former masters carried weapons, meant for others. Yet they would slaughter their own kind for entertainment.”“I’m no Skakdi!” Mazeka pleaded, “I have a duty to fulfil.”“Fine,” The Tahtorak hissed. “I have a duty, you have yours. But bearing arms will bring your kind no luck. Continue, but there’s no turning back now.”The Tahtorak tore a tree down so that it blocked the path which they had come down, before trampling it’s way westwards, apparently with it’s own purpose to fulfil.“Kobyu,” Mazeka whispered. To most beings, whispering to something would seem about as likely to wake it up as leaving it, but Kobyu stirred instantly, sitting up and leaning against the tree.“It’s leaving,” he said.“Some creatures are more amicable than others,” Mazeka said, “No matter what their appearance might be. I fear that my objective will be less cooperative than any rahi.”The two matoran journeyed up the side of the volcano for many hours; looking back Mazeka could see the village, already bathed in shadow from the volcano. He could also make out the ship in the far distance.”We’re nearly there,” Kobyu said, pointing towards a cave below the crater they had been heading for. “I can hear voices.”Mazeka knew that if Kobyu could hear then it didn’t necessarily mean they were nearly there at all, but at least they now had a bearing on where the village was now. Within a no time it seemed, they were at the cave entrance, which was a short tunnel down into a large open cavern. The smoke was indeed from a large fire at the centre of the village, rising in plumes out of the crater of the volcano.“Welcome,” a fire tribe agori said.Mazeka nodded to him, surprised. Clearly it was a self-sufficient village, as their target had chosen it to hide, but it was much larger than he had been expecting.“Hey,” Kobyu said to the agori. “We’re looking for a matoran who goes by the name of Onukama.”“The carver?” the agori said jovially, making Kobyu wince, although he said nothing. “He lives by the bridge over the river. Friend of yours is he?”“Yeah,” Mazeka lied.Kobyu and Mazeka descended the steps down to a second level of the village, where they could see a river of lava splitting it down the middle. Spotting they bridge, they headed for the hut nearest to it.They walked into the hut without knocking, and the matoran inside looked up. He had enough time to swear, before Mazeka had pinned him to the floor.“Ahkmou,” he said. “You are under arrest for treason to the great spirit.”2 hours previously“You can’t just take away our chief sculptor,” protested the village leader.”He committed many crimes!” Mazeka said. “He tried to betray the great disks to the dark hunters, he obeyed the will of Makuta during the dark time and betrayed his kind during Makuta’s reign over the Great Spirit.” “He has done no harm to anyone here,” the village leader said. “You matoran can not just flout our authority by taking our workers because of what they’ve done in the past, and most certainly must not try and take him by force. If there is a need for conflict, then it should be carried out through official channels, by our village traditions.”Mazeka knew where this was going, but did not want to go there. It seemed unavoidable though, so he said, “I will take on Ahkmou in the arena.”“What?” the village leader said. “No! This is a conflict with my village, so you must settle it with our villages Glatorian. Your warrior shall face Strakk in the arena.”“I have no Glatorian,” Mazeka said.“Toa? Skakdi? Vortex?” the village leader asked.“It’s Vortixx actually,” Mazeka said, while Ahkmou frowned, as he stood quietly behind the village leader. “I will fight Strakk if that is what it takes.”“If you are to fight, then there is no need to wait, you have two hours to prepare.”1 hour previously Mazeka stood in a weapon storeroom, holding a shield in one hand and examining various swords, axes and maces closely, occasionally picking one up to test it’s weight. Ahkmou entered behind him, and Mazeka turned coldly to face him.“You should leave,” Ahkmou said. “I won’t bother the matoran again.”“You disgust me Ahkmou,” Mazeka said. “I’ve known matoran to do Makuta’s bidding, but you’re the first who did it without ever even seeing a shadow leech. You’re a coward, and a traitor and I will do what it take’s to bring yourself to justice.”“Suit yourself,” Ahkmou said. “But no matoran could beat Strakk. He used to be in the central Glatorian system, but was exiled for being too…brutal.”Mazeka had no intention with playing along with Ahkmou’s mind games. He only wished he could strike Ahkmou down and take him out of the village, but there was no way he could get out without being seen, and he had no idea where Kobyu was, and he had no intention of leaving the De-matoran behind.Ahkmou walked over to the weapons rack, pulling down a war hammer. He handed it to Mazeka saying, “Might as well give you a fair chance. I made this myself, as a gift to the village for taking me in. It’s the only weapon here that uses protodermis.”“If you made it, it’s probably infected by Kraata,” Mazeka spat.“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but everyone on Metru-Nui had their opinions about me, and they were all positive when it came to my crafting abilities.”He walked to the door, leaving Mazeka standing there with the war hammer.“By the way,” Ahkmou said, turning back. “You couldn’t drop the Great disk thing could you? Feel arresting me for that is unfair, I don’t even remember it!”Mazeka said nothing and Ahkmou left, a second later Kobyu entered. Wordlessly he handed Kobyu the hammer, who examined it closely, knocking on it with his knuckles.“Good acoustics,” he muttered. “Quality piece.”“Ahkmou made it,” Mazeka said bitterly.“Probably the best thing here then,” Kobyu said. “You can’t fault the guy for his successes, only his failings.”“Do you think I should let him go?” asked Mazeka, in spite of himself.“That’s up to you,” Kobyu said. “You have your mission, but is it worth it?”“I’ll soon find out.” The PresentMazeka was small and agile. Strakk was big and strong. Both had their advantages, both had their disadvantages. Mazeka was leaping this way and that, avoiding each swing of Strakk’s axe, which seemed to be chasing him through air wherever he went. He threw himself onto his stomach, pushing himself straight up as it went over him. It came swinging back, and he ducked. Seeing an opening, he dived to the floor, flipping on his back and sliding between Strakks legs, he swung the hammer into Strakk’s back, who stumbled forward. This gave Mazeka a chance to stand up before the enraged Strakk had turned around again. Mazeka realised the blow had barely weakened his opponent; he needed to find another tactic. This time when Strakk swung his axe, Mazeka swung his shield into it’s path, using the momentum of this swing to bring his hammer round, smashing heavily into the side of Strakk’s head.Strakk fell back now, looking wary. He had expected this to be a walk over, but Mazeka was a skilled fighter. He should not have retreated though, as this gave Mazeka an opening, swinging the hammer towards his arm, causing him to lose his grip on the axe. Strakk countered this by swinging his shield round into Mazeka.This was the first blow to strike Mazeka, who was knocked several feet, but he did not lose his footing, turning back round swinging the hammer, forcing Strakk to back away from his dropped weapon.“You think you have won Matoran!” laughed Strakk, in an attempt to distract Mazeka. This was far from effective, as Mazeka swung his hammer into the ground, launching himself into the air and sending a two-footed kick into Strakk’s chest. He brought the hammer round again; smashing Strakk’s other hand, causing him to lose the shield.Meanwhile in the crowd, Ahkmou could not believe what he was seeing. He was going to be sent to the Pit, or whatever prison was used by the Order of Mata-Nui now, unless Strakk somehow turned around a battle that seemed lost. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning he saw the person he least expected, and so hoped he would never see again.“You!” he said, staring into the eyes of Makuta Teridax. “You’re dead.”“The me you knew is dead,” Teridax said, and immediately Ahkmou could tell from the voice, this was not the Makuta he knew. He looked different too, with white armour, and the imposing mask of shadows was gold.“Call a halt to this,” Teridax said. “There is nothing more to be done.”Ahkmou did not know what trick this was, but it scared him. He turned to the village chief, who was staring up at Teridax, bewildered at the giant who had apparently come to watch the small village Glatorian match.“End it,” Ahkmou said. “Mazeka’s won, and he’s perfectly capable of killing Strakk.”“Are you sure, Onukama?” asked the chief.“My name is Ahkmou,” Ahkmou said. “And yes, I’m sure.”In the arena, Strakk and Mazeka heard the call to halt. Mazeka turned immediately, exiting the arena, leaving a fuming Strakk to pull himself up and gather his weapons.Mazeka spotted a familiar figure towering over everyone. Smiling, he went over to Teridax and said, “Hope this isn’t all too trivial for you, I expect you had much more important things to do in your universe.”Ahkmou was rather baffled by these comments, but Teridax merely laughed.”The Great Beings made a fair exchange, I will serve this world, as I did my own. This is my own now, there’s no going back. Anyway, are we taking him away?”Mazeka looked at Ahkmou, who was staring at his feet, his fists clenched. He looked at the village leader, who was sitting on a bench looking thoroughly disappointed. He looked to Kobyu, who looked back at him, his expression unreadable.“No,” Mazeka said finally. Ahkmou looked up, hardly daring to believe what he had heard. “You did some terrible things Ahkmou, but they don’t matter to the people here, and it make’s no difference to me if you’re here or locked up, as long as you’re not doing anything against Mata Nui. So you can stay here, but don’t ever return to New Atero. Don’t ever do anything against your own kind again.”Ahkmou nodded, staying quiet for fear of causing a change of mind.“This is yours,” Mazeka said, throwing the war hammer to Ahkmou, who caught it with both hands, staring at it. “It served me well.”Mazeka, Teridax and Kobyu all turned and walked to the cave exit.“So, who did he exchange for you?” joked Teridax to Kobyu.“No one, he didn’t even want me,” Kobyu replied.“Everyone makes mistakes,” Mazeka said, patting Kobyu on the back. “I couldn’t have got here without you. And of course, I won’t be leaving here without you Teridax.”The Makuta took the hint, and summoning up one of his many powers, teleported them away.

Edited by Taipu1, Nov 28 2011 - 11:30 AM.

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- Taipu1.

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#2 Offline Thunder on the Mountain

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Posted Nov 26 2011 - 11:33 PM

I really, really liked the overall story of this one. The hunt for Ahkmou under a different name, the Matoran/Agori relations, the Mazeka fighting Strakk, I thought it was all really good. Bringing back Alternate Teridax was a nice touch too. :PUnfortunately though, I do have one fairly big con. Mazeka...really didn't seem like Mazeka. In the serials, he was the stone-cold killer sort, carrying out his tasks brutally and without a second thought. In this one though, he seemed a little more...bland. As interesting as the plot twist with him setting Ahkmou free was, it wasn't Mazeka. Mazeka would have finished the job.Aside from that though, I really did enjoy reading it. A good job!
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#3 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Nov 27 2011 - 04:22 PM

What’s this? Why, Taipu1, I do believe it’s an official SSCC3 review. Imagine that.------Starting off, I’ll say that I really like the way you’ve presented the mixture of Matoran and Agori culture here. The different ways in which both sides have difficulty figuring each other out is very interesting. I especially liked the scenes between Mazeka and Baru and the various problems (masks, names, different tribes, etc.) they dealt with. Although technically the drink wouldn’t have been a problem—Matoran can still drink, they just absorb solids through the hands (sorry that’s the nitpicker in me talking :P).The plot of the story is also very interesting. I like the way you’ve taken Mazeka, who in my opinion, never presented a very complex character at all, and expanded on him in this new world of Spherus Magna. A good read, all in all.But now, the real reason we’re here: critique time.Overall, you’ve got a great writing style. Good sense of action and movement. Very good dialogue—it really is hard to find dialogue that’s good enough that you can distinguish characters by their lines alone, but you’ve accomplished this very well. In fact, because of this, I have very little to critique in these areas.So, the main issue I’d like to look at is the overall structuring of the plot itself—the pacing and flow of the narrative:The first point where the narrative flow could have been more effective was actually at the very beginning of the story. Some say (and I’m inclined to agree with them) that the opening lines of a story—especially a short story—are the most important, and so it’s crucial to make sure that they get the reader’s attention. As it is now, unfortunately, your story doesn’t quite accomplish this, and it’s mainly because the opening “scene” isn’t really a scene. The flashback technique you’re using, while it certainly works in other places, doesn’t quite work here. So basically the opening lines of your story start off a scene—the fight between Mazeka and Strakk—but just when you’re starting to engage the reader, you cut to another scene entirely. This might look like a lot of text devoted to something minor, but it’s really quite important. My suggestion here would be to expand that first scene—the Mazeka vs. Strakk battle—such that the reader is pulled into the action of that scene. You could even shift to the flashback when the battle is at some preliminary climax, making the reader want to find out what happens. These are all vital techniques for creating a gripping story, and you’ve got all the tools you need here.There were a couple of other points in the story where the transitions between the scenes could be improved as well. Actually, it may be the headings that you use to transition between these scenes that need alteration. It seems that, because the bulk of the story exists in two main settings (the present and one day before the present), the smaller divisions of time aren’t that necessary. The timeline starts with the present, switching to one day before the present, with a short switch to eight days before the present, then back to one day before the present, then two hours, then one hour, then the present again. The headings splitting up these scenes may not actually be useful to the reader, since the last three scenes all occur chronologically again. Also, related to the point made above about the opening scene, it is always tricky to pull off a “flashback within a flashback.” In this case, it may be more effective to transition from the “1 day previously” to the “8 days previously” flashback more smoothly than just splitting the two flashbacks off completely, since it can be difficult to keep track of where exactly we are in time.-----And that’s it. Really, there are very few thematic problems here—despite the large amount of words used to critique the few things that may need improvement. Again, I enjoyed the story a lot. I look forward to more.Nitpick time:

He pulled hopelessly at his Captains ankle again, but he was only wasting his energy.

Apostrophe there.

The two Onu-Matoran both stumbled across the platform; reaching over the edge and pulling the Captain back aboard.

Semi-colon could be replaced by a comma. Generally, semi-colons are used to join together two independent, yet closely associated, clauses; (!!) commas join dependent clauses to independent clauses.

Mazeka felt the weight leave his arm, and relinquished his grip, rolling onto his stomach, breathing rapidly.

Comma isn’t necessary here.

“You matoran set to much store by ‘destiny’,” Baru said. “I for one don’t believe my fate is written.”

“too”

He went back to the cabin and down the stairs, into the bowls of the ship.

“bowels”

“I know you,” Kobyu said. “You knackered my ears for a year, and kidnapped that weirdo, Krakua.”

Nothing wrong here, actually. Just wanted to note that “knackered” is a great word. Yep.

“What?” Mazeka said, surprised. “I didn’t do anything to harm anyone in that village. Vultraz let of that sonic bomb.”

“off”

Mazeka jumped, and span round. Kobyu was sitting against a barrel; Mazeka had walked right past him without noticing.

“spun”

Gauging where the sound was coming from now, Mazeka gestured to a resilient looking tree that he thought was out of the rahi’s path.

“gaging”

“So, did who did he exchange for you?” joked Teridax to Kobyu.

Delete.Edit: Ouch. Wouldn't you know it--I read the story, but missed the author's name. Taipu1 it is. JRRT

Edited by Tolkien, Nov 28 2011 - 02:22 PM.

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#4 Offline Taipu1

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Posted Nov 28 2011 - 11:23 AM

@Bite My Shiny Metal Armour - Getting the personality of an already existing character right is tricky, and I don't think I was totally satisfied with how I portrayed Mazeka, but that was more in his behaviour and personality. His morals in relation to killing I thought pretty good. In Brothers in Arms he was supposed to be a killed, but he actually doesn't kill anyone. He thinks he killed Vultraz, but that wasn't in cold blood. And he willing spares Vezon's life, with no particular wish to kill him. Appreciate the comments though@Tolkien - If I were to do a little nitpicking myself, I'd say my name were Taipu1, not Taipu2 :P . Nitpicking is the backbone of good critiscism though, I've got no problem with it. I'm not at all good at checking through my own work, so thanks for pointing out all the little things for me, I'll get them fixed ASAP. I wasn't particularly pleased with the flashbacks either, I felt I'd perhaps overcomplicated it a bit. It's certainly understandable, but probably causes the reader to stop and think a bit too much about what time it is, which probably isn't a good thing. Glad that you liked the story as a whole though.
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