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The Outlaws And The Dream

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#1 Offline Cederak

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Posted Feb 18 2012 - 03:52 PM

The epic version, Cenotaphs has been posted. You can go check it out if you're interested.


This is an idea I have been toying around with for a while, and it may even be expanded to become an epic at some point. Anyway, enjoy.

 
My name is Adrinor and I was born in the universe of the Great Spirit, Mata Nui. This place has been my home for thousands of years now, living and working among my fellow biomechs. I can assure you, there's nothing special about me. I wasn't gifted with elemental power, enhanced with immeasurable strength, or granted mental functions beyond what most others possess. For all intents and purposes, I am ordinary.
 
In the early days of my life, the universe functioned without order. It was common knowledge that Mata Nui presided over every land, silently, invisibly watching us. Those who might dare to break his laws had to be captured and sentenced by their brethren. Some took it upon themselves to uphold the law, and while Toa were the Great Spirit's chosen guardians, there were others who believed Toa were ineffective. There were those who would kill for Mata Nui, to rid our universe of undesirables. This system remained relatively effective for some time, until our maker implemented a change.
 
Mata Nui eventually decided to allow a half dozen biomechs to maintain order in his universe. Kalmah, Carapar, Takadox, Ehlek, Mantax, and Pridak were chosen for the task, but interpreted it for themselves. The peaceful era of their rule was short-lived, and they quickly began to conquer Mata Nui's many realms and divide the lands separately. Our protectors had become warlords, Barraki, that valued nothing but conquest and power. In time, the Barraki came together and formed the League of Six Kingdoms - an event so long ago, I can hardly remember it.
 
So instead, I'd like to tell you something still fresh in my mind. It began on a sunny morning, nearly fourteen thousand years after the League's inception. This is the story of my pursuit of a dream and the price some of us pay for our freedom.
 

<<<>>>

 
The skies above the Southern Continent were alive with fiery streaks of orange and glints of cherry red when I awoke in my cabin. As I stared up at the ceiling, I mentally prepared myself for the day ahead. I was a dreamer, and to be honest, I always have been. Resigning myself to an existence of expected monotony was not my ideal life, but it was modest work. Sitting upright in my bed, I tossed off the covers and unlocked the door to the cabin. Taking a glance at myself in the mirror on the far wall, I smiled at the reflection. As a male Meldin, I had a Toa-like frame, though my body armor (colored crimson and ivory) was thinner. I also lacked elemental powers. Grabbing a few tools from my worktable, I walked out the door and immediately found myself at work. Before me was a vast expanse of fields and the faint stench of unclean Rahi - Mahi to be specific.
 
The Torema Mahi Ranch supplied materials for making tools to crafters as far as Xia, and the occasional visit from far-flung lands like Nynrah. There were many grievances with the fact that the League of Six Kingdoms presently ran much of the world, but their armies needed weapons, and we had the supplies. I didn't concern myself with how they were used, but I always hoped to fashion a weapon of my own from Mahi horn. The horns never made weaponry of the same caliber as protosteel or anything, but most of our clientele had no intention of shredding through super-reinforced armor.
 
A familiar Rahi came bounding up to me, barking like crazy. One of Torema's Hapaka, Boomer, had taken a liking to me. The creature received its nickname from its ability to command the Mahi herds with a more booming sound than the other Hapaka on the ranch. I bent down to pet Boomer a few times on the head before continuing on my journey to the Mahi pens, closely trailed by the eager Rahi.
 
A slight breeze whistled its way into the ranch, headed south from the village of Kinatra, a tiny town that could get quieter than a Knowledge Tower. Living in the southwest part of the Southern Continent, however, meant life was often tranquil. It was a guaranteed peace, which only served to disappoint me. Most biomechs knew Barraki Takadox's forces controlled this region, but Kinatra and the ranch were of little importance to them. Unlike some of his fellow warlords, Takadox would not settle for second-rate material in a sword.
 
Marching down the hillside to the Mahi pens, I unlocked and opened each gate, releasing the Rahi corralled inside. Boomer barked as the Mahi filed out, as if ordering them to move faster. The idea of rushing these creatures toward another day of tedium almost seemed vindictive, but I wasn't about to stand in the way of Boomer's enthusiasm. Staring straight up, the bright yellow and orange shades of sunrise were giving way to the ordinary cool blue of the atmosphere. Deciding I ought to pay Torema a morning visit, I headed off for his office. Boomer started to follow, but a quick snap of my fingers was the indicator he translated as "stay."
 
I kicked a small rock along the dirt path leading up to Torema's main office, trying to keep the stone ahead of myself. I could see a few customers through the window by the front desk, and Torema was smiling happily at them. Torema was a Po-Matoran, armored in yellow with a sun-faded, gray Kanohi Pakari. I decided to enter through the storage room in the back, unlocking the door and stepping inside. The split second after, I heard the front door slam shut. Catching me by surprise, I quietly pulled the storage room door closed and crept forward. The storage room had a musty odor to it, but I stayed as silent as possible, anxious to hear the conversation in the next room.
 
"What can I do for you?" I heard Torema ask.
 
There was a short pause, and then I heard the distinct sound of weapons being cocked. There were maybe four or five, I couldn't be certain. Those sounds were followed by a few footsteps approaching the desk.
 
"There's an awful lot of Mahi out in those fields," a rough voice breathed. It was a male voice, and one that, despite its coarseness, sounded rather sophisticated. "Two horns to every head, if I'm not mistaken." I could imagine him smiling menacingly as he spoke. "It doesn't take a scholar to see that you're making a decent amount of money off of those Rahi."
 
"I can assure you," Torema began, his tone more shaky and nervous now, "the treatment of all Rahi at my ranch is entirely ethical and"-
 
The biomechs burst out laughing, somehow hysterical over Torema's remark. They then began exchanging small jokes with one another that mocked my employer. I couldn't make out any of their remarks over the constant laughter, but I caught Torema awkwardly laughing with them for a moment. Their laughter died down, but it was easy to tell they savored the humor in Torema's comment.
 
The rough voiced biomech hurled an object over the counter at Torema. Whatever it was, it barely made a sound when it landed on the floor. "The world has too few funny characters, sir. You start filling that bag with money, and I'll make sure you live to make someone else laugh."
 
I froze immediately. There was a roving gang of thieves on the other side of the wall, holding my boss at gunpoint. My eyes darted to the corner, where Torema's laser rifle sat. I had never seen him use the weapon, and the cobwebs and dust surrounding the object suggested no one else had either. Regaining control of my body, I tiptoed to the rifle and silently made my way out the back door. I lifted a small bag of laser shell ammunition off the barrel and tied it around my left hip's armor. Pulling back on the loading mechanism, I could hear the barrel charging a shot of laser energy.
 
I ran out past the front door to the office, heading for a far hill that overlooked the building. I then trained the rifle scope on the front door and held my position. There was no telling how fast these criminals were, or how fine of a shot they could be. The biomech I heard certainly sounded like he was accustomed to demanding money from innocent businesses. If he truly had an expertise in robberies, there was little doubt in my mind that his marksmanship was lacking. Otherwise, he'd probably be dead already.
 
It was hard to tell how long I stood like a statue on the hill, waiting for the door to open. Minutes passed like hours, working at my nerves. I tried my best to hold the rifle steady, maintaining my sight on the door. After a long eternity, the door was flung open. My arm locked up and I watched four biomechs step outside. I thought I could catch them by surprise, but one of the criminals caught sight of me and instantly drew his weapon in my direction. Through my scope, I could see it was a lightning rifle he was holding out at me. He hadn't bothered to line up his eye with the iron sight, which meant he didn't intend to make a direct hit, or he was very confident of a direct hit. His onyx and topaz armor gleamed brilliantly in the morning light, and my scope could see the violet of his eyes.
 
There was roughly thirty bio of distance between us, and two more thieves trained their weapons on me. The one carrying a burlap sack (which I assumed was full of money), started toward the hill where I stood. Clad in thick armor of ruby and obsidian, his lime green eyes made an attempt to study me briefly. At the same time, I had a chance to study him. He was from Nohtal, apparent from the faint trail of shadow surrounding his left arm and wrapping around his gunblade. Nohtalians were difficult to discern from heavily-armored Toa physically, but only Nohtalians had access to shadow energies. He made no attempt to draw the weapon on me, grinning as he approached.
 
"I'll shoot if I have to!" I shouted with a notable lack of confidence.
 
"So will we!" one of the criminals yelled back. His armor was a mixture of midnight blue and emerald, but I could tell it was entirely part of his form. He was slightly taller than myself, with a pair of garnet eyes on each side of his head. I had heard of his species, known as Dectraz. His clawed hands were sharp, and his mouth was surrounded by four mandibles. Examining his insectoid form was like staring down a giant bug - a rather disturbing sight, even without his gun being pointed at me.
 
The Nohtalian carrying the burlap sack motioned for his allies to lower their weapons before turning his attention back to me. "That's quite a laser rifle you have there," he said, still coming closer. "Doesn't look like it gets out much though." His charming demeanor suddenly turned into a dark glare. "So if you're going to shoot me, you better shut your mouth and just do it."
 
Both the Nohtalian and I knew I wouldn't pull the trigger. I had never harmed another biomech in my life. Before I could realize what was happening, the Nohtalian tugged the rifle from my grip and set it in the grass. His smile returned and he extended a hand. "You made a wise decision to stay your hand. What's your name?"
 
My hands were shaking both from anxiety and anger. "Why should I tell a piraka anything?"
 
The Nohtalian leaned forward and whispered, "Because my friends can take your head off in an instant if I tell them to. And your weapon is on the ground. Now, I'll ask you again. What's your name?"
 
"Adrinor," I muttered, loathingly accepting his handshake.
 
The Nohtalian shook his head. "You're an awfully stubborn type, Adrinor. If you hope to keep an honest job, and eventually be promoted, I'd recommend you be a little more flexible. Words of wisdom, from one hard-working biomech to another." He looked over his shoulder. "Let's get going. You're keeping my friend Adrinor from getting his job done."
 
"We're friends now, huh?" I said sarcastically.
 
The Nohtalian smiled. "Unless you point that rifle in my face again, yeah. You have a good day, Adrinor. Remember what I told you."
 
The Nohtalian and his fellow criminals strolled by me, walking over the hill toward some Kikanalo tied to the entrance gate. Wondering where they might have stolen the Rahi mounts from, I could see Torema peeking out from his office window. I had failed him, and allowed those thieves to make off with his money. At the same time, though, I didn't have it in me to fire on them. Torema's Mahi Ranch was an honest job, but the dreamer in me envied the thieves. They were free to wander and take as they pleased. A part of me had always wanted that life.
 
As I stared down at the dusty rifle, I had a choice to make. I could head down the hill, speak with Torema, and get back to work. Or I could run away. The piraka led lives of adventure at the risk of losing their lives. They operated on a side of the law I had never dared to consider following, until this moment. I had always been a dreamer, and I knew that part of me would regret it forever if I didn't take this chance. I grabbed the rifle and ran toward the biomechs holding Torema's money. The same one that spotted me earlier managed to catch me again, lining up his lightning rifle straight away.
 
"What'd I say about pointing that gun at me?" the Nohtalian hollered, dropping the burlap sack.
 
My eyes went wide with fear as I realized the rifle was pointed directly at the criminals. I dropped it at once and stopped dead in my tracks. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Don't shoot!"
 
Each of the thieves flinched when I dropped the rifle, as if waiting for it to accidentally go off. The Nohtalian narrowed his eyes on me and growled, "You came back for the money, right?"
 
I stood still, unable to speak at first. My mind could hardly form into words the reason I had come after them.
 
"Adrinor," The Nohtalian addressed me sternly. "I asked you a question."
 
"I..."
 
"Just let me shoot him," the piraka who first spotted me suggested. A cold smile came over his face after the Nohtalian whispered something back.
 
"I want to come with you." I couldn't believe I said it.
 
The Nohtalian smirked, but his friend disdainfully lowered his rifle. "Is that right?"
 
"Yes," I nodded. "I want to come with you."
 
"We aren't accepting new hires right now," the Nohtalian chuckled. "But maybe I can make an exception." He glanced at the others, each grinning in return. He then looked me in the eyes, beckoning me forward. "Bring that rifle with you, but keep the barrel pointed at the sky."
 
I did as instructed, holding the rifle against my chest armor and tilting the barrel up. Carefully marching toward the group, I handed over the weapon to the Nohtalian. He looked it over, brushing some of the dust away before discharging the loaded laser shell. He then returned it to me and stared into my eyes.
 
"So, why did you leave your last job?" the Nohtalian asked.
 
I paused. "...What?"
 
"Your last job," the Nohtalian repeated. "You were a Mahi herder, right?" The other piraka were holding back their laughter at this point.
 
"Um...well...I..."-
 
"Freedom," the Nohtalian whispered.
 
"Excuse me?"
 
"You heard me," he nodded slowly. "Freedom. I can see it in your eyes, how badly you want to be released from this place. I've met a lot of biomechs over the years, but the intensity of your desire to be free from a normal life is a rarity. I pride myself on the ability to read others well, so I know what I'm talking about. You're looking for freedom."
 
"Yeah, you're right," I admitted. "I want to see the world, and I want to call the shots."
 
"Well I don't know about calling the shots," the Nohtalian replied, "but there are some beautiful places out there. Still, you're available to relocate." He looked at his Dectraz friend. "That's good for a job application, right?"
 
"You're asking me?" he said in surprise. "I haven't applied for a job in over 10,000 years."
 
"Okay, fair enough," the Nohtalian shrugged his shoulders, looking back at me. "What experience do you have as a...what did you call me? Oh...that's right. A piraka. What experience do you have as a piraka?" He placed an open hand next to his mouth and whispered with a grin, "If you've never killed anyone or stolen anything, just say 'none.'"
 
"None," I replied awkwardly.
 
The Nohtalian shook his head and sighed. "Then why should I hire you?"
 
"I'm a hard worker, a quick learner, and I'm a decent shot with a rifle." I was picking up on his game.
 
"Good answer," the Nohtalian said, clapping a hand against his weapon a few times. "Now, I've got one more question for you. What is more important in a job: money or work?"
 
"It's always nice to have money, but if your heartlight isn't in your work, it's not worth the money."
 
The Nohtalian smiled. "All right then. I'd like to offer you a position with my team, Adrinor. Before you accept, I should warn you that disloyalty will not be tolerated. You can call us piraka or anything you want, but we look out for one another. It's one of the few laws in our otherwise lawless lives."
 
"I understand and I accept." The notion of joining these criminals seemed absurd, but this was secretly the chance I had been hoping for. I was no murderer, true, but there was an entire world out there. I had to see it.
 
Without warning, the bitter piraka with the lightning rifle elevated his weapon and fired a single shot over my shoulder. As I observed the trail of dark energy on the rifle, I knew he was a Nohtalian as well. I whirled around and watched Torema drop an energy pistol to the ground.
 
"No!" I screamed instinctively, running to the Matoran's side. Judging from the clean shot to his heartlight, I knew he was dead before he hit the dirt. Seeing the Po-Matoran body in the grass reminded me of how dangerous these individuals were, and what I had just agreed to join.
 
"Why did you come out here?" I whispered, looking down at Torema's mask.
 
"No Matoran survives a shot like that," the Nohtalian told me.
 
The female in the group playfully shoved Torema's killer in the shoulder. "I think you just shot our new friend's job reference." I almost thought she might've been a Toa, but upon closer inspection, her frost white head was merely the shape of a Mask of Possibilities. The snowy texture made up parts of her armor as well, while other plates were a royal purple. There was only one species that had a head in her shape, and they hailed from Trelbin. Appropriately, they were named Trelbans.
 
"We'll have to take him at his word then," the second Nohtalian growled, putting his weapon on his back. He glanced at me. "Your name's Adrinor?"
 
"Yeah," I said with a glare, attaching my rifle to my back as well. "And that Matoran was Torema. He was a good biomech and a hard worker."
 
"No one said he wasn't," the Nohtalian replied with a smirk. "I was more interested in doing a hiring procedure of my own. I could've disarmed that little Matoran without hurting him a bit, but you needed to be tested. You're asking to live a selfish dream, Adrinor, and I don't think there's any shame in that. If you can't do it though, you better get a shovel and start digging that Po-Matoran's grave. What's it going to be?"
 
I glanced over my shoulder at Torema's corpse, trying to ignore my guilt. It was a silent moment and a chance to really think about the situation. Torema deserved a better end and a longer life, but asking to join this gang was my choice and left me responsible for his fate. It was a moment of impressionable foolishness - one I couldn't take back.
 
"I'm going," I breathed.
 
"Then it's settled," the first Nohtalian said. "I suppose we ought to introduce ourselves as well. My name is Rovaius."
 
"I'm Stalgrax," the Nohtalian who killed Torema added flatly.
 
I glanced at the Dectraz and he spoke a single word. "Trylac." He didn't appear irritated or anxious, so I assumed he just wasn't much of a talker.
 
"I'm Elendra," the female member said, climbing onto her Kikanalo. "And in case you have any curiosities about why a female is roaming around with these biomechs, bear in mind that I've earned my position here. But soon enough, so will you." She motioned me forward and narrowed her eyes. "Get on."
 
I started for the Kikanalo, watching the piraka do the same. I was with them now, but I wasn't one of them. Not yet anyway. I turned to face Rovaius and tilted my head. "Where are we going?"
 
"Doesn't matter much," Rovaius replied, disregarding the question. "What you learn on the way will be far more beneficial anyway."
 
With that ominous response, I rode off with the outlaws. I knew other employees at the ranch would be showing up soon to begin tending to daily tasks, and one of them would surely stumble upon my previous employer's corpse. I had paid Torema my silent apology, and I knew I couldn't stay any longer. I had adopted a new life, and as the Kikanalo dashed further from the Po-Matoran, from Kinatra, from my little cabin, and from the whole of the ranch, the gravity of my situation finally struck me. The world I was leaving behind suddenly felt more important than ever before, because I knew it was gone. I had ample opportunity to leap from the Kikanalo and hurry back to the ranch, explain Torema's death, and return to the job I had chosen so long ago. When I first left Meldio and came to the Southern Continent, I was excited about my new home, despite it falling short of what I really wanted. Only now was I really beginning to fulfill my life's dream. And yet, as energized as I felt, I was restraining a sickening feeling about how it all might conclude.

Edited by Black Six, May 20 2014 - 07:10 AM.

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#2 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 18 2012 - 08:15 PM

Wow. This is epic. In the truest sense of the word. It is so good that I want to read more. You should do an epic with this. For an short story, however, it is slightly stunted; you place more focus on character and description than plot; if this was the first chapter for an epic the descriptions would largely be appreciated, but in an short story needs to focus on a minimum of description and be a bit more plot driven. I like how you describe the main character's emotions over this scene, bringing it to life for the reader, but do we need to know details about the piraka (such as their names, etc) when that isn't as important to the story you are telling (a matoran going rogue). If the story were to stand on its own, I feel that there should be more dark emotions and the whole thing being a bit more of an ominous tone.The main character tends to feel like a defensive person; she says "I'm a dreamer.". Don't tell us that; show us that. You did a better job with the Piraka on that, characterizing them through dialogue instead of telling us. And Tenema...if it was an epic I could understand the flyby, but this is a short story. Why does the main character just up and leave him, other than the fact she 'wants' freedom. Is Tanema an oppressive tyrant? Your character is interesting...usually when people want freedom, they want it from what? Monotony? Boredom? You mention boredom as a condition, but I don't feel that along with your character. It almost would be nice if you started the story from the day before or had the character engage in a bit of Mahi herding, then go to the office. That way the audience can get a feel for how boring this is, and why your character wants to leave. Besides, it makes better sense that way; these are valuable Rahi; she's not going to just turn them loose without at least making sure they are settled in, right?Now that I think on it, you would likely be better off showing us the scene from the middle of the story first (Tanema imprisoned in his hut with the Piraka) and inserting backstory later. That's just an idea of mine; if you shock the reader from the first line to bring them in, they will be more likely to read your story (and less likely to be bored reading it. I wasn't, but somebody else...).Anyway, good story, keep writing, hope my advice helped, etc. :)
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#3 Offline Aderia

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Posted Feb 21 2012 - 09:37 PM

Hey, so I have a lot to say about this here piece of work.First off, I liked it, and I would like to see this expanded into an epic, as other reviewers have said. It's a good story as a oneshot, but if you decided to expand upon it, I really think it could be awesome.I'm saying this based on the amount of thought you seemed to have put into this. For example, all the new species and locations you've got figured out, it’s kind of sad that all that we don’t get to see more of them. I really like the atmosphere you’ve created within the Matoran Universe and it would be great to see it continued.Another thing I think could be expanded on is the reference to the League of Six Kingdoms. Since there’s a deficiency of story and substance about that particular era, at least that I’ve noticed, this story would be a great way to fill that hole in my imagination. One more thing that could use a little more stage-time, so to speak, is Boomer, IMO. He really added color and oomph to the mood of the story.Adrinor’s life after turning Piraka would make for good epic material, and I’d love to see his character develop more, as well as maybe get some insight into his mind. It may just be me, but he seemed to make the transition from a small town country shepherd with big dreams to a rebellious Piraka tagalong rather quickly. Like, I noticed he went from loathingly shaking the Piraka’s hand and impulsively defending his employer to a rifle-wielding ruffian who disdismisses his old employer’s corpse without so much as a hiccup. It sets him up as a character with great potential, but with just a short story to flesh him out, I’m not sure he’s living up to all of said potential.I know it’s a lot, asking for an epic, but I honestly would love to see it happen.Ugh, it probably sounds like I hated the story. It’s not true, I promise!The thing I especially liked was how you portrayed the Matoran Universe. I may have touched on this before, but the atmosphere you’ve set up is wonderful. It’s kind of like a combination of medieval-ish (with the rahi-herding and all) and futuristic (the laser rifles, biomechs, etc), and it’s just really free and boundless. Also, the vivid descriptions caught my eye, especially when the armor colors were being depicted. Onyx, topaz, violet, ruby, obsidian, lime green, midnight blue, emerald, frost white, royal purple, etc, etc, you catch my drift. Beautiful.And, what also was great about this SS is that I couldn’t find any grammar or spelling mistakes. Kudos!Even if you don’t go through with the epic, good work has been done here. Thanks for a good read, and I hope to read more from you!
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#4 Offline Cederak

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 08:31 PM

Thank you two for looking over this. I wanted to let the both of you know that I've decided to turn this into an epic, actually. No idea when it'll show up here, but it's something I know I'll enjoy writing.-Ced

Wow. This is epic.In the truest sense of the word. It is so good that I want to read more. You should do an epic with this.For an short story, however, it is slightly stunted; you place more focus on character and description than plot; if this was the first chapter for an epic the descriptions would largely be appreciated, but in an short story needs to focus on a minimum of description and be a bit more plot driven.I like how you describe the main character's emotions over this scene, bringing it to life for the reader, but do we need to know details about the piraka (such as their names, etc) when that isn't as important to the story you are telling (a matoran going rogue). If the story were to stand on its own, I feel that there should be more dark emotions and the whole thing being a bit more of an ominous tone.The main character tends to feel like a defensive person; she says "I'm a dreamer.". Don't tell us that; show us that. You did a better job with the Piraka on that, characterizing them through dialogue instead of telling us. And Tenema...if it was an epic I could understand the flyby, but this is a short story. Why does the main character just up and leave him, other than the fact she 'wants' freedom. Is Tanema an oppressive tyrant? Your character is interesting...usually when people want freedom, they want it from what? Monotony? Boredom? You mention boredom as a condition, but I don't feel that along with your character. It almost would be nice if you started the story from the day before or had the character engage in a bit of Mahi herding, then go to the office. That way the audience can get a feel for how boring this is, and why your character wants to leave. Besides, it makes better sense that way; these are valuable Rahi; she's not going to just turn them loose without at least making sure they are settled in, right?Now that I think on it, you would likely be better off showing us the scene from the middle of the story first (Tanema imprisoned in his hut with the Piraka) and inserting backstory later. That's just an idea of mine; if you shock the reader from the first line to bring them in, they will be more likely to read your story (and less likely to be bored reading it. I wasn't, but somebody else...).Anyway, good story, keep writing, hope my advice helped, etc. :)

As a short story, I completely agree, it's structured all wrong. I put it here in SS because placing a single chapter of what feels like an epic (without originally intending to write more) just felt wrong. I think once I write this out further, and edit some of this section, it'll take on that darker tone you were looking for and give a better sense of Adrinor's motives. You also referred to the main character as a her, forcing me to realize that I never designated Adrinor with a gender. I'll have to fix that as well. Thanks for reading!

Hey, so I have a lot to say about this here piece of work.First off, I liked it, and I would like to see this expanded into an epic, as other reviewers have said. It's a good story as a oneshot, but if you decided to expand upon it, I really think it could be awesome.I'm saying this based on the amount of thought you seemed to have put into this. For example, all the new species and locations you've got figured out, it’s kind of sad that all that we don’t get to see more of them. I really like the atmosphere you’ve created within the Matoran Universe and it would be great to see it continued.Another thing I think could be expanded on is the reference to the League of Six Kingdoms. Since there’s a deficiency of story and substance about that particular era, at least that I’ve noticed, this story would be a great way to fill that hole in my imagination. One more thing that could use a little more stage-time, so to speak, is Boomer, IMO. He really added color and oomph to the mood of the story.Adrinor’s life after turning Piraka would make for good epic material, and I’d love to see his character develop more, as well as maybe get some insight into his mind. It may just be me, but he seemed to make the transition from a small town country shepherd with big dreams to a rebellious Piraka tagalong rather quickly. Like, I noticed he went from loathingly shaking the Piraka’s hand and impulsively defending his employer to a rifle-wielding ruffian who disdismisses his old employer’s corpse without so much as a hiccup. It sets him up as a character with great potential, but with just a short story to flesh him out, I’m not sure he’s living up to all of said potential.I know it’s a lot, asking for an epic, but I honestly would love to see it happen.Ugh, it probably sounds like I hated the story. It’s not true, I promise!The thing I especially liked was how you portrayed the Matoran Universe. I may have touched on this before, but the atmosphere you’ve set up is wonderful. It’s kind of like a combination of medieval-ish (with the rahi-herding and all) and futuristic (the laser rifles, biomechs, etc), and it’s just really free and boundless. Also, the vivid descriptions caught my eye, especially when the armor colors were being depicted. Onyx, topaz, violet, ruby, obsidian, lime green, midnight blue, emerald, frost white, royal purple, etc, etc, you catch my drift. Beautiful.And, what also was great about this SS is that I couldn’t find any grammar or spelling mistakes. Kudos!Even if you don’t go through with the epic, good work has been done here. Thanks for a good read, and I hope to read more from you!

Y'know, you mentioned the lack of "story and substance" during the reign of the League, and that was the initial inspiration for this. I've always been curious about that time as well, and this seemed like an interesting way to play with a bit of that. I'll agree that Adrinor could use a better transition in his views, and I'll have to work on that. Glad I painted a colorful picture for you though, and I suppose I was a pretty thorough editor too. I can't say when this will arrive in the epic sub-forum, but I'll let you know when it does. Thanks for reading!

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#5 Offline Click

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Posted Mar 02 2012 - 07:56 PM

Are you a member of Bionicle: Next Generation by any chance? Because I just posted there that I was working on a League of Six Kingdoms story too! I agree, there isn't much about this era, which is why I was writing about it too.This was really well written, and I hope you do turn it into an epic. This could easily fill out at least two or three chapters to get a few more details in there, some internal struggles, and a bunch more stuff. This would be awesome as a quiet herder becomes a thief and starts a new life. I would love to hear about these new places and the scenery in them that the piraka admire so much.Even though this could easily translate into an epic, it's still really good as a short story. It didn't seem too short or rushed, but not too long either. The plot was creative, and the descriptions really filled out what could have taken place in a few paragraphs. I also loved the colors you used, and wish there was some MOCs of these guys. All in all, great story, and I hope to see more!
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#6 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 02:08 AM

Thank you to the BZPower staff for choosing my short story as a Member Creation Spotlight piece, and thanks to everyone who stopped by to read it!

Are you a member of Bionicle: Next Generation by any chance? Because I just posted there that I was working on a League of Six Kingdoms story too! I agree, there isn't much about this era, which is why I was writing about it too.This was really well written, and I hope you do turn it into an epic. This could easily fill out at least two or three chapters to get a few more details in there, some internal struggles, and a bunch more stuff. This would be awesome as a quiet herder becomes a thief and starts a new life. I would love to hear about these new places and the scenery in them that the piraka admire so much.Even though this could easily translate into an epic, it's still really good as a short story. It didn't seem too short or rushed, but not too long either. The plot was creative, and the descriptions really filled out what could have taken place in a few paragraphs. I also loved the colors you used, and wish there was some MOCs of these guys. All in all, great story, and I hope to see more!

Thanks, Click. Our story ideas seem to be purely coincidental, as I had to check your sig to figure out what Bionicle: Next Generation was. As I said earlier in the topic, I am already working on expanding this into an epic and I hope to begin posting it in late Spring sometime. Glad to hear you enjoyed this though - I'm actually interested in seeing your League-era story when you begin posting it. There's so many stories that can be told during that time, so I'm very curious to see where you'll be going with it.-Ced

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#7 Offline bleedingshadows94

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Posted Mar 03 2012 - 04:14 PM

This was probably one of the most amazing one-shot fics I have ever read! Like, it was amazing! I really liked your writing style. I did have a few issues with it, I will admit, such as the constant use of the term "biomech" (everyone calling each other one) and the full-on laser rifle (made me wonder if you had just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution or something). Regardless, this was a great fic!I really liked how you created three 4 new species that all just worked so well. As far as we know, there are hundreds of species in the MU, only a few of which have been seen/named, and the lack of it is annoying, but you created these amazing characters, gave them abilities, and gave them real human properties that I'm sure GregF would be a little envious of. I really liked your descriptions, too, of the look of the characters, their armor and eye color. Not many people do things like that, only giving a general idea. Heck, even Greg only described the original Piraka as "green-armored" or "wearing blue armor" when we all know there was more than that. You really gave your characters great attributes. The story was also very dark, yet sincere. As I mentioned before, you gave the characters human attributes, and it is plainly seen here. The alien-esque descriptions of the one piraka also made me smile with glee at the sci-fi references. I really enjoyed it.Just because I love this so much, I'm gonna screen-cap this fic. I'm not going to put it anywhere, except on my own computer to read and enjoy even when internet isn't available, don't worry, since I don't believe in stealing and sharing other peoples' work, especially when it's something so amazing. XD Anyways, yeah, you are an amazing writer and I'd really like to see more of this story in the near future. Who knows, maybe you can do some of Greg's writing for him. XD~Tobi
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#8 Online Iaredios

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Posted Mar 05 2012 - 05:05 AM

I didn't know other people were working on things having to do with the reign of the warlords... I find it weird. I'm personally drawing something with when they were both mutated and before/after their disfigurement.Anyway, I found the story very engaging, being very well written. I love how you used very specific color descriptions, makes it mentally come to life whilst reading it. I am also very intrigued at the different MU races we made, you described them well enough for us to come up with a picture without being too overly detailed and strict, creates room for the reader to come up with there own, imaginative appearance for them. Your writing style seems to reflect the way Greg writes himself, which is makes it feel at one with the rest of the canon Bionicle universe, that was my favorite part of this Short-Story.Only things that I didn't like was the laser rifle and the constant use of "biomechs"; the latter being a bit over used and not really appropriate when most of the people there are biomechanical beings (it is like saying, for example, "...and the organic picked up his firearm, and walked back to his steed." when it is another human describing it); and the former saying that a form of light could could potentially kill someone in the form of a "rifle" (unless you are using it to trigger some mechanical sensors to do something, or trying to blind someone, something of the sort). But then again, it is Bionicle, so real-world physics largely don't apply here. :lol:You really deserved having your story being put up on the front page, and I can't wait for your "epic" continuation of this. By all means, Keep Up The Good Work!Speaking of Greg....

This was probably one of the most amazing one-shot fics I have ever read! Like, it was amazing! I really liked your writing style. I did have a few issues with it, I will admit, such as the constant use of the term "biomech" (everyone calling each other one) and the full-on laser rifle (made me wonder if you had just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution or something). Regardless, this was a great fic!I really liked how you created three 4 new species that all just worked so well. As far as we know, there are hundreds of species in the MU, only a few of which have been seen/named, and the lack of it is annoying, but you created these amazing characters, gave them abilities, and gave them real human properties that I'm sure GregF would be a little envious of. I really liked your descriptions, too, of the look of the characters, their armor and eye color. Not many people do things like that, only giving a general idea. Heck, even Greg only described the original Piraka as "green-armored" or "wearing blue armor" when we all know there was more than that. You really gave your characters great attributes. The story was also very dark, yet sincere. As I mentioned before, you gave the characters human attributes, and it is plainly seen here. The alien-esque descriptions of the one piraka also made me smile with glee at the sci-fi references. I really enjoyed it.Just because I love this so much, I'm gonna screen-cap this fic. I'm not going to put it anywhere, except on my own computer to read and enjoy even when internet isn't available, don't worry, since I don't believe in stealing and sharing other peoples' work, especially when it's something so amazing. XD Anyways, yeah, you are an amazing writer and I'd really like to see more of this story in the near future. Who knows, maybe you can do some of Greg's writing for him. XD~Tobi

Greg did and still does a very good job at his writing with Bionicle, to say that he should be cast aside and have someone that writes similarly to himself seems kind of stupid, honestly. If I remember correctly, Greg also made vivid descriptions in his writings that are similar to those found in this SS, such as describing Zaktan as being "emerald green", Tahu as "Crimson Red", etc; not to mention his detailed accounts of Metru-Nui, Tren Krom, and the rest of the Bionicle Universe. How else do you think it has such a rich storyline and atmosphere that has created fans as loyal as ones that make fan-art or write creative writings based on it's lore?

Edited by RC-1505, Mar 05 2012 - 02:44 PM.

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#9 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 05 2012 - 07:25 PM

Considering you both brought the issue of "biomechs" up, I should address that first. In place of words like "man," "woman," "person," "people," "human," - words that have no place or real meaning to the Matoran Universe, I wanted something in their place. Biomech seemed like a good fit, and while I could certainly draw its use back a bit when the story becomes an epic, I don't think I'd do away with it entirely unless I had a better term to use instead.Second, laser rifles. The mechanics behind this have an energy shell containing dormant energies that react with the weapon when fired. This causes a solid beam of heated power to fire from the rifle and cause damage. There is zero science to support any of that, but as RC-1505 mentioned, real-world physics is out of the equation.-Ced

This was probably one of the most amazing one-shot fics I have ever read! Like, it was amazing! I really liked your writing style. I did have a few issues with it, I will admit, such as the constant use of the term "biomech" (everyone calling each other one) and the full-on laser rifle (made me wonder if you had just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution or something). Regardless, this was a great fic!I really liked how you created three 4 new species that all just worked so well. As far as we know, there are hundreds of species in the MU, only a few of which have been seen/named, and the lack of it is annoying, but you created these amazing characters, gave them abilities, and gave them real human properties that I'm sure GregF would be a little envious of. I really liked your descriptions, too, of the look of the characters, their armor and eye color. Not many people do things like that, only giving a general idea. Heck, even Greg only described the original Piraka as "green-armored" or "wearing blue armor" when we all know there was more than that. You really gave your characters great attributes. The story was also very dark, yet sincere. As I mentioned before, you gave the characters human attributes, and it is plainly seen here. The alien-esque descriptions of the one piraka also made me smile with glee at the sci-fi references. I really enjoyed it.Just because I love this so much, I'm gonna screen-cap this fic. I'm not going to put it anywhere, except on my own computer to read and enjoy even when internet isn't available, don't worry, since I don't believe in stealing and sharing other peoples' work, especially when it's something so amazing. XD Anyways, yeah, you are an amazing writer and I'd really like to see more of this story in the near future. Who knows, maybe you can do some of Greg's writing for him. XD~Tobi

Thanks for reading, Tobi. I actually tried out Deus Ex: HR a while back - lost interest a couple hours in. The laser rifle was more of a Star Trek/Star Wars-inspired idea. I have to say though, I'm flattered to hear the comparison to Greg, as it was really his stories that gave me the momentum to start writing here. I'm sure many BZP writers have a similar beginning. I like adding a degree of detail for characters, because I'm often left to wonder when reading other people's work. And eyes are very important when I describe individuals, especially color. Regarding the insectoid, Trylac, you were right to think of sci-fi. His form comes from several different "monsters" in sci-fi movies and stories, coming together as a mysterious entity. I'll have to give him a little more dialogue in the epic.While I don't think I could ever match what Greg has done with Bionicle, I really appreciate your commentary and I'm glad to hear you like this enough to keep it around on your computer.

I didn't know other people were working on things having to do with the reign of the warlords... I find it weird. I'm personally drawing something with when they were both mutated and before/after their disfigurement.Anyway, I found the story very engaging, being very well written. I love how you used very specific color descriptions, makes it mentally come to life whilst reading it. I am also very intrigued at the different MU races we made, you described them well enough for us to come up with a picture without being too overly detailed and strict, creates room for the reader to come up with there own, imaginative appearance for them. Your writing style seems to reflect the way Greg writes himself, which is makes it feel at one with the rest of the canon Bionicle universe, that was my favorite part of this Short-Story.Only things that I didn't like was the laser rifle and the constant use of "biomechs"; the latter being a bit over used and not really appropriate when most of the people there are biomechanical beings (it is like saying, for example, "...and the organic picked up his firearm, and walked back to his steed." when it is another human describing it); and the former saying that a form of light could could potentially kill someone in the form of a "rifle" (unless you are using it to trigger some mechanical sensors to do something, or trying to blind someone, something of the sort). But then again, it is Bionicle, so real-world physics largely don't apply here. :lol:You really deserved having your story being put up on the front page, and I can't wait for your "epic" continuation of this. By all means, Keep Up The Good Work!Speaking of Greg....

This was probably one of the most amazing one-shot fics I have ever read! Like, it was amazing! I really liked your writing style. I did have a few issues with it, I will admit, such as the constant use of the term "biomech" (everyone calling each other one) and the full-on laser rifle (made me wonder if you had just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution or something). Regardless, this was a great fic!I really liked how you created three 4 new species that all just worked so well. As far as we know, there are hundreds of species in the MU, only a few of which have been seen/named, and the lack of it is annoying, but you created these amazing characters, gave them abilities, and gave them real human properties that I'm sure GregF would be a little envious of. I really liked your descriptions, too, of the look of the characters, their armor and eye color. Not many people do things like that, only giving a general idea. Heck, even Greg only described the original Piraka as "green-armored" or "wearing blue armor" when we all know there was more than that. You really gave your characters great attributes. The story was also very dark, yet sincere. As I mentioned before, you gave the characters human attributes, and it is plainly seen here. The alien-esque descriptions of the one piraka also made me smile with glee at the sci-fi references. I really enjoyed it.Just because I love this so much, I'm gonna screen-cap this fic. I'm not going to put it anywhere, except on my own computer to read and enjoy even when internet isn't available, don't worry, since I don't believe in stealing and sharing other peoples' work, especially when it's something so amazing. XD Anyways, yeah, you are an amazing writer and I'd really like to see more of this story in the near future. Who knows, maybe you can do some of Greg's writing for him. XD~Tobi

Greg did and still does a very good job at his writing with Bionicle, to say that he should be cast aside and have someone that writes similarly to himself seems kind of stupid, honestly. If I remember correctly, Greg also made vivid descriptions in his writings that are similar to those found in this SS, such as describing Zaktan as being "emerald green", Tahu as "Crimson Red", etc; not to mention his detailed accounts of Metru-Nui, Tren Krom, and the rest of the Bionicle Universe. How else do you think it has such a rich storyline and atmosphere that has created fans as loyal as ones that make fan-art or write creative writings based on it's lore?

In the same way there is a very little we see of the League-era Matoran Universe, I don't see a lot of artwork on the pre-Pit Barraki - mostly a MOC now and again. That'll be interesting to see when you finish it - and I presume you'll be posting it on the forums.Anyway, thank you for reading this. Painting a mental picture for the reader has always been important to me, and it's easy to lose sight of that if you focus too much on the story aspect. Good to hear that I got the job done for you, and I hope you'll stop by the epic forums when the extended version arrives. :)

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#10 Offline bleedingshadows94

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Posted Mar 05 2012 - 11:04 PM

Greg did and still does a very good job at his writing with Bionicle, to say that he should be cast aside and have someone that writes similarly to himself seems kind of stupid, honestly. If I remember correctly, Greg also made vivid descriptions in his writings that are similar to those found in this SS, such as describing Zaktan as being "emerald green", Tahu as "Crimson Red", etc; not to mention his detailed accounts of Metru-Nui, Tren Krom, and the rest of the Bionicle Universe. How else do you think it has such a rich storyline and atmosphere that has created fans as loyal as ones that make fan-art or write creative writings based on it's lore?

Oh, no, no, no, I don't think you understood me. I'm not saying that he should replace Greg, no, not in the slightest! I'm just saying that, with Greg so pre-occupied, that perhaps some other side-writing (such as this) could be done by people like Cederak to expand on the preexisting universe, seeing as he just kind of pushes that to the side until it becomes... erm... "convenient" to write it in. Believe me, I love his work, always have, always will. Heck, I put aside a book for school just so I could read the Legends series again, because I valued them more. I definitely think there should be more. In fact, in my eternally moody lifestyle, I constantly wish that, during this long hiatus that we've experienced, that Greg didn't just say "HOST LOTS OF CONTESTS FOR THESE CHARACTERS" because I would love to see it. Now I know, leaving these things open to interpretation is part of the story, but the fact of the matter is, when you have characters such as Helryx, Johmak, Artahka, Tren Krom, etc., and no real depiction of them, it really leaves a little too much open. Anyways, I'm digressing. I still just think that some writing like this should be accepted into canon, and that Greg should allow people to write fics like this and accept them canonically (that is, as long as they follow specific guidelines, otherwise, every story about a biomechanical being would be accepted into the story XD)~Tobi

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#11 Online Iaredios

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Posted Mar 06 2012 - 04:12 PM

Greg did and still does a very good job at his writing with Bionicle, to say that he should be cast aside and have someone that writes similarly to himself seems kind of stupid, honestly. If I remember correctly, Greg also made vivid descriptions in his writings that are similar to those found in this SS, such as describing Zaktan as being "emerald green", Tahu as "Crimson Red", etc; not to mention his detailed accounts of Metru-Nui, Tren Krom, and the rest of the Bionicle Universe. How else do you think it has such a rich storyline and atmosphere that has created fans as loyal as ones that make fan-art or write creative writings based on it's lore?

Oh, no, no, no, I don't think you understood me. I'm not saying that he should replace Greg, no, not in the slightest! I'm just saying that, with Greg so pre-occupied, that perhaps some other side-writing (such as this) could be done by people like Cederak to expand on the preexisting universe, seeing as he just kind of pushes that to the side until it becomes... erm... "convenient" to write it in. Believe me, I love his work, always have, always will. Heck, I put aside a book for school just so I could read the Legends series again, because I valued them more. I definitely think there should be more. In fact, in my eternally moody lifestyle, I constantly wish that, during this long hiatus that we've experienced, that Greg didn't just say "HOST LOTS OF CONTESTS FOR THESE CHARACTERS" because I would love to see it. Now I know, leaving these things open to interpretation is part of the story, but the fact of the matter is, when you have characters such as Helryx, Johmak, Artahka, Tren Krom, etc., and no real depiction of them, it really leaves a little too much open. Anyways, I'm digressing. I still just think that some writing like this should be accepted into canon, and that Greg should allow people to write fics like this and accept them canonically (that is, as long as they follow specific guidelines, otherwise, every story about a biomechanical being would be accepted into the story XD) ~Tobi

Oh, okay, that makes so much more sense. Sorry for what I said then. :lol:

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#12 Offline X-Ray

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 11:59 PM

The pacing of this story of yours is alright, but I'm rather confused on the characterization of Ardrinor. On the one hand, he is stated to be a "dreamer," a hard worker, and a not unhappy about his job. But on the other, he sees his boss get shot by the bandits he just decided to join up with, and he's like, "Oh well, too bad for him." Perhaps you could have made a better job of describing him as an impulsive sort, as well as "dreamy."My favorite character was Rovaius. He seemed like bionicleized version of Captain Barbossa from <i>Pirates of the Caribbean</i>. We didn't get much information on the other two males in your group, but they both seem interestnig. Your female, however, sounded more like an evil palette-swap of Kiina with a dash of Aurra Sing. Sorry, but that's just what I felt.All in all, I'd desribe this story as a prolouge to a bionicleized version of "The Hobbit Gone Bad"; What if Bilbo had joined up with some random biker gang? ...Oh wait, that's almost exactly what he did.Your writing style is excellent, and while this story has it's issues, it's not entirely bad. Remember, practice makes perfect! : )Sincerely, :akaku: X-Ray :akaku:
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#13 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 03:32 PM

The pacing of this story of yours is alright, but I'm rather confused on the characterization of Ardrinor. On the one hand, he is stated to be a "dreamer," a hard worker, and a not unhappy about his job. But on the other, he sees his boss get shot by the bandits he just decided to join up with, and he's like, "Oh well, too bad for him." Perhaps you could have made a better job of describing him as an impulsive sort, as well as "dreamy."My favorite character was Rovaius. He seemed like bionicleized version of Captain Barbossa from <i>Pirates of the Caribbean</i>. We didn't get much information on the other two males in your group, but they both seem interestnig. Your female, however, sounded more like an evil palette-swap of Kiina with a dash of Aurra Sing. Sorry, but that's just what I felt.All in all, I'd desribe this story as a prolouge to a bionicleized version of "The Hobbit Gone Bad"; What if Bilbo had joined up with some random biker gang? ...Oh wait, that's almost exactly what he did.Your writing style is excellent, and while this story has it's issues, it's not entirely bad. Remember, practice makes perfect! : )Sincerely, :akaku: X-Ray :akaku:

Thanks for reading. I keep hearing that Adrinor's decision to leave his life behind is an impulsive one, and perhaps even contradictory, so I'll definitely work on that to make the final product a more smooth transition.Rovaius was a fun character to write about, and I hadn't considered his similarities to Barbossa until you brought it up. He's actually based on infamous characters of the wild west (Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, etc.) and given a bit of twist. I'll agree with you that Elendra and the others didn't have much of a moment to shine here, and I'll be exploring their personalities in greater depth with the epic.Thanks again, X-Ray!-Ced

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#14 Offline Velox

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Posted Mar 17 2012 - 01:43 AM

Offical SSCC ReviewFirst off, I apologize at the lateness of this review. Not for the SSCC (as it is within the week), but because I read this story a while ago. To put it simply, I loved it. I immediately recommended it for the front page, and am glad to see that it was featured there, as it was definitely deserved. This story was amazing, as has been shown by the reviews. The beginning was excellently done. Sets up the story nicely, and definitely leaves me wanting more -- more of the Six Kingdoms, etc., as others have mentioned before me. You can see from these few paragraphs that he has been through a lot, and is different from the normal "species" us Bionicle fans have known. And it is quite clear he has a story to tell -- a story that gives a new perspective; a perspective on various biomechs; of the world of Bionicle itself, and the thoughts and feelings of its inhabitants; of a singular character who, while is "ordinary" in the world Bionicle, is quite unordinary to us; and a story that seems very interesting. It's hard to put that into a couple introductory ("prologue") paragraphs, but you have managed to do so -- you were able to give just enough background on your character, just enough insight into the world he lives in, without making it seem rushed, boring, or unnecessary. Rather, it tells the reader that Adrinor has a good story to tell, one that we would be interested in reading on to find out what it is. I am really quite interested in this new way of looking at the Matoran Universe. For me, most of it would be Voya Nui, Mahri Nui, and...the Phantoka place (geez this is terrible, I can't even remember the name of that). I think it's really awesome how there is much more to the MU as we know it (of course, I knew that, as Greg has written/mentioned things, such as Tren Krom, etc.) and it's really cool to see some of those ideas here. It also could seem like this character is plain and boring, yet by the way you describe him, that is exactly what makes him interesting. Almost all of the stories I have read also feature someone who is special. Someone who has unique skills, powers, et cetera. It is not often that you find a character who is none of these, simply for the reason that they would be boring if that's all characters ever were, because it is fun to read about characters who are exceptional at something. Would the old TV series starring Peter Falk, Columbo, be any good if he never solved any of the crimes? Maybe it'd be slightly entertaining for an episode or two, but after that, it would lose all its flavor.However, once again you have been able to go against the crowd and accomplish creating a very good story without using a character that's special at something. How? Through characterization and making the character unique and interesting by himself. And because, simply, it works. If Adrinor was a detective but couldn't solve crimes to save his life, he would quickly lose his interesting-ness. But he's not a detective. He's not someone that needs to be good at something to keep the story interesting. He is an average guy but with an interesting personality and traits. I apologize for rambling, but he is really a fascinating character, and definitely is what makes this story, and I hope that made sense. There were a few things about his character, though, that I had a problem with. I have to agree with X-Ray about his point. It seemed entirely possible for him to join the robbers in the first place -- after all, he had been a dreamer, etc., which was a good build-up to his stating he'd like to go places (his dream, if you will) -- but for him to show now emotional response to his boss's death was something I felt was odd. Just a few minutes before he had shown incredible loyalty to him -- so much so that he risked his life in order to defend his boss (even if he didn't follow through with it, the fact is that, at the beginning, he did plan to use the gun, which could very well get himself killed). Yet, when his boss is killed in front of his eyes, he shows nothing. Not only should he have shown some response simply out of loyalty/knowing his boss for a long time/seeing someone he was close to killed, but also simply because someone died in front of him. I find it hard to believe that he would have give absolutely no emotional response except "too bad; you can't change what happened" when faced with a situation like this. Yes, he would have adopted that thinking later on, but for right when it happened, he would have felt something else, I think.Next: his decision to join the robbers. As I said before, definitely believable. He was a dreamer (though I do wish you would have showed us, rather than told us, as fishers said; again something I hope to be expanded on with the epic). While this wasn't exactly his dream, it was, in a way, part of his dream. So that works. So, it was fine for this short story, but if this is made into an epic (which I really hope it is), it would be nice to see more of his thoughts. Specifically, he needs to ask himself: is his dream of "seeing the world" greater than his not wanting to kill? Like I said, it's fine for now, because it's plausible that at the beginning his only focus is on seeing this chance to get away, but sooner or later it has to dawn on him what exactly it is that he's doing, and what that'll mean for who he is. He won't be the innocent herder any more. He's going to be a robber and quite likely a killer, just to see the world. Can he live with himself? And this of course opens up many more possibilities to expand on his character. As I mentioned before, he's an interesting character, another reason being because of this. What kind of person (well, biomech, technically), would do this? Another thing that seemed odd was the way the robbers acted, specifically the lead piraka, in letting him join them. Why would they let him join them? He has no special abilities and he was just about to kill them. Of course, this is hard to do with a first-person narrative, but perhaps they could have explained it more while speaking. Yes, Adrinor gave him a couple good answers, but that doesn't quite make him piraka worthy, I don't think. The piraka as a whole seemed a little...undeveloped, I guess you could say. Probably due to the first-person narrative, but I just didn't seem as interested in them as I did with Adrinor, even though they definitely could be very interesting characters (simply for being robbers, first of all -- you can do a lot with villains, and because they all had unique and interesting species). I guess I'm just saying I'd like to see more of them, further stressing my eagerness for an epic. =PThe last critique I have would be the Kikanalo. I thought it was weird to have them as their mode of transportation. Firstly, Kikanalo, if I remember correctly, are huge. It seems like, since they're robbers, they'd want something a little more low-profile. Secondly, they just don't seem to fit the characters...It's almost like humans riding Rhinos. It's not very practical, especially not in the modern day. Which leads me to: Thirdly, the fact that this is modern. If they have the technology for laser rifles (which, in response to another poster's criticism: I find nothing wrong with them. Nuparu Inika had a laser sniper rifle, I think, and so I don't find anything wrong with using one here. Plus, even if Nuparu didn't, this is Bionicle. Bionicle as a whole is very impossible and against physics. As such, very plausible there'd be able to be things like laser sniper rifles =P), then why not have the technology for a different form of transportation? Flying "motorcycles" or something? A flying "pirate ship" even. (of course, they wouldn't look like motorcycles or pirate ships necessarily, but rather some sort of slying "bike" for one or two people, or a larger flying ship for the whole crew if they traveled together)A couple other quick things I'd like to point out: I really liked the decriptions of your character's armor colors/eye colors -- you used very distinct and specific words rather than the boring "red" or "purple" or something, which I thought was very cool. I also liked the new species you mentioned, as they seem very interesting, and are yet another reason why I hope for an epic. I'd love to see more expandedon these species and the places they come from. Overall this story was an extremely enjoyable read. The descriptions were great and the writing was superb; even when there wasn't action I wasn't bored or drawn away from it. Rather, it kept me hooked the whole way. And there were no grammatical mistakes I caught, which is rare and just added enjoyability of it. Great job again, Ced. I really do look forward to reading that epic as well as other stories you may write. I apologize again for the monstrosity and rambling of this review, but I hope I conveyed my thoughts of this story well: I really did enjoy this, especially the whole idea around it, and cannot wait to see it all expanded upon.Posted Image
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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#15 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 26 2012 - 12:06 PM

Thanks for the lengthy review, Velox, and thank you even more for recommending this as front page BZP news. I can tell you really enjoyed it.In regards to Adrinor, and his normalcy, he really saved me from stopping my BZP writing career altogether. After the extensive metaphor that was Dynamic Paradigm, I wanted to make another epic immediately. The problem was that I kept revisiting the idea of heroes on an adventure, scrapping them and starting over time and time again. Despite its shortcomings, Paradigm was ultimately the "heroes on an adventure" story that I had always wanted to tell, carrying the symbolism and messages I had never given the stage to in previous stories. I went through at least five other ideas, from advanced biomechs visiting Mata Nui's body after he crashed on Aqua Magna and even a story about time travel. All the leads had the same issue - they felt like previous main characters with a name and body change.All the ideas were deleted and I was pretty much back to where I was after finishing Paradigm. So I started watching movies, looking for other routes to take a main character. It was around this time that I took an interest in Westerns, new and old, really intrigued by the dynamic between good and bad. I had worked to make these ideas a gray area through my last few epics, embracing the viewpoint that good and bad were just words. In these films, however, good and bad were understood much more clearly. There was the law, and the outlaw - that was that. Adrinor was my chance to toy with a character living in a similar world, a place where average people live and work while bandits fight the law and take what they want. It was only after posting this, that I realized I shouldn't put this off as a "may become an epic someday" idea. This was the story I wanted to explore now.Anyway, you've definitely given me some direction in terms of where this should go as an epic, what needs revising and what needs exploring/explaining. I'm tentatively looking at May to begin releasing chapters, and I've picked out a more interesting title for the epic as well.-Ced
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#16 Offline Cederak

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Posted Jun 16 2012 - 04:06 PM

To those of you interested in following the epic version of this, but don't often check the epic sub-forum, I wanted to note that it is out now. I hope you enjoy it.-Ced
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