Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

Photo

Annus Mirabilis

The Year of the Miracle

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Mar 08 2012 - 12:36 PM

Posted ImagePosted Image

-----The island of Zakaz was indeed a lonely and foreboding place to go about your existence. Even for the most peaceful and harmless of beings, there wasn’t much you could do to alter the constant warfare between the Skakdi warlords, who hoarded what they could and destroyed what they couldn’t. After countless and endless years of warfare, it was impossible to think about life as anything else, anything but the constant state of turmoil for which the island had, for so long, been constantly embroiled – for that manner of life was the only life that any of them ever really knew, or even cared to know.-----No one but a delusional pacifist would go about their business on the island unarmed and unprepared for involvement in some sort of fight. In fact, one would have to be pretty insane to visit the island at all, for there was nothing even remotely palmary to be found on Zakaz. It was an annular wasteland, considered to be a long-lost cause by anyone who knew more about it than simply that it existed.-----On this particular section of Zakaz, towards the northern area, a green Skakdi known as Qazror walked along warily. His Zoom Vision had long since informed him that there weren’t any life forms in the immediate region – this was an excuse to relax, but he wouldn’t. There was probably a skirmish going on farther to the south, as two factions had been fighting over that useless patch of arid waste for months. Besides, on Zakaz, being on the alert was always a good precautionary move.-----Curious about the state of the southern fighting, he zoomed in to the area. To his surprise, he saw no battle. Instead, he caught sight of a group of Skakdi working together, building some kind of tower. One of the factions down there must have won – not like that fact was important or anything. Qazror had no real stake in the matter, and while he could be as belligerent as the next Skakdi, today he didn’t feel quite the same. He felt positively beaten at the notion of war, even daring to question for a minute why there was so much of it on his barren island in the first place.-----He shook off those ridiculous notions. For the first time in his life, he didn’t feel like fighting, and he didn’t really like that feeling. It was just too different.-----Presently, he realized that he had stopped in his tracks. In the past, he really hadn’t been much of a thinker or ponderer. It didn’t matter to him what his intelligence was, as independent thought had never been highly valued by anyone he had ever dealt with – but this was bothering him. Why did he feel so apathetic about violence all of the sudden?-----His train of thought deserted him as his brain refocused on what his eyes were seeing, which was a small and tender leaf singularly sprouting from the cracked and worn soil.-----A leaf?-----Qazror could not remember the last time there was plant life on Zakaz. If any Skakdi did, it had to be one of the warlords … Nektann, possibly, if any of them. Yet here was life, sprouting anew amidst all odds set against it. The very tract of land in which the plant had taken root had been burned and destroyed uncountable times, yet somehow, this resilient plant had made it through.-----He leaned down, prostrating himself on the tired earth. It was a leaf, all right, attached to a tiny stem and extending into the cracked ground. There were actually two leaves … on two stems. The smaller of the two was growing up right behind the first, larger one.-----Zooming in, Qazror studied the plants … or at least he tried to. Even if the plant’s movements in the windless ambience of the always-foul air were not visible to the unaided eye, zooming in showed that the plant was growing – and fairly fast, at that.-----Qazror was not a stupid Skakdi. He knew how the politics of warlord rule operated, at least on a base level. How much one controlled, and how powerful what you controlled was valued by everyone else, was the key to the fleeting success and power one could accrue on Zakaz. There was life here, and it would be useful to control, especially if the twin saplings continued to be as fecund as they were right now.-----Spending a little more time admiring the two growing plants, he was startled when he heard a small snap behind him. Always on the alert, he jumped up and whirled around to face the threat …-----But there was no threat. The sound was part of the rapid growth of a tree that had sprouted and matured behind his back in mere minutes. For some reason, Qazror was not very surprised at this, though he thought that he probably should be.-----He devoted the next five minutes to studying the bark of the tree. He could not possibly identify it, and he innately knew that his own attempts to classify it were futile. Frustrated at this, he turned his body and his focus back to the two plants.-----There were two of them no longer. They were only the first two members of an entire swath of flowering plants whose sweet and refreshing scents filled the rotten air with sweet odors that had not been sniffed on Zakaz in uncountable years. Its magnificence and miraculousness was even more overwhelming than its sudden appearance. Qazror felt stunned by this sudden turn of events, but he could not lose sight of what this lucky break might mean for him and for his future.-----As night began to fall, the trees and plants multiplied further. In a few, mere hours, the landscape was terraformed, using not the powers of its denizens, but by its own miraculous means. A beautiful grove of trees extended outwards behind Qazror, dipping branches producing a tangy orange fruit. In front of him, a picturesque meadow glowed, shimmering peacefully in the soft twilight sky.-----As he began to lay his head down to sleep, Qazror could not help but wonder at the astonishing miracle that had unfolded around of him, and dream at how he could use it to his advantage, to build his own future around that which already existed, rather than recreate his unchangeable and unalterable society for his own idealistic but foolish goals, which would be impossible. Instead, he decided to himself that this was the first step in his new future.-----Yes, he would put together his own empire on Zakaz, and he wouldn’t bother to concern himself with the activities of his inevitable rivals.

-----

Review

Edited by Phobophobia, Mar 08 2012 - 12:40 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#2 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Mar 19 2012 - 03:27 PM

Posted Image

-----It sensed, but it could not truly feel.-----For the timeless present in which it only ever knew, the anthropomorphic and foreboding shadow that effortlessly slithered through the air was never aware of what it truly was. If it knew even a modicum of the past as well as the sensations of the continually murky present, that particular mystery would still always elude it. The most advanced intelligences in the entire universe questioned their own fate and probed the mysteries surrounding and enveloping the distant past. How could this powerful pawn ever be expected to unravel its own wandering journey, its path across landscapes that it could not even begin to recall?-----Even if it could recall, in distinct and unequivocal clarity, its personal history, back to the time when it first began its life, there would still be further reason for questioning. Its generation was a truly bizarre inception, as bits of shadow slowly brought themselves from the reaches of an entire island, coalescing into a bulky but yet insubstantial being of pure shadow.-----Inchoate both in form and thought, the only thing that drove it was its instinct. Like any base Rahi, it had its own needs, its own required desires that drove its life along from moment to continually forgotten moment. It had no inner wants, no greater and ambitious goals in its life. In fact, it was barely aware that it even existed.-----Any mere beast could not be expected to have any concept of morals, let alone the barest sense or outline of philosophy. They were creatures that served their own purposes, but of what purpose that was, none could ever truly say. Conjecture and theorizing were the only two substitutes.-----While the shadow, taken as a whole, was possibly one of the most intriguing things in the vast universe, there was a bitter and ironic shame in the fact that it knew not anything but what it knew was immediately around it.-----As it slid over the ground, it happened to focus its attention downwards. There was a Matoran village down there, in a slight valley. The Matoran who lived in the village were a genuine mix – a classic Southern Continent settlement where Matoran of various elements lived and worked as equals. Some woods ringed this settlement, and that was where the shadow was at this moment, insubstantial and incognito amongst the trunks and branches of the thick trees, blending in with the natural shadow that welcomed and enveloped it.-----There were some spiked sticks dashed hither and thither about the rough and somewhat defined perimeter of the village. If it was a more intelligent creature, it might have realized that they were the barest of defenses against potential Rahi attacks – and it might have found a trace of humor in their inadequacy as a defense against a being such as it.-----Silently, the shadow moved once again.-----Instinct had kicked in.-----It kept low, near to the ground, as its instinct had unwaveringly commanded it to. The poles that had been erected as a barrier to solid Rahi aggressors proved to be no match for its powers – powers that, up until this point, had gone unused.-----Without even a hint of sound, the shadow moved itself forward, so one of the wooden spikes was inside its insubstantial body. Bolts of shadow cracked and sparked in dark arcs as the wooden spike bent, deforming along the grain of the wood and illuminating the interior of what was now a nearly opaque mass of shadow. Tentacles involuntarily sprouted from its back – or whatever could reasonably be called its back – to engulf and absorb the nearby spikes. The lower section of its ever-morphing body latched upon the blades of grass below, absorbing them, too, into its amorphous body.-----A green Matoran was the first to notice this careless destruction. Running towards the center of the village, he was able to sound an emergency alarm – a bell in a small tower served that purpose. It had been sounded a few times before, all in instances of Rahi attacks. The Le-Matoran got a sinking feeling that this might be much worse.-----The shadow being heard the clamor of the shrill alarm bell. Its senses, wherever they were located, did not appreciate the wailing monotonous shriek. The great cacophony of both the bell and the shouts of the now-panicking Matoran population was undercut by the barely perceptible tremor of heavy footsteps running towards it.-----Its instinct had kicked into overdrive.-----Leaping as fast as energized shadow can go, it launched itself through the streets of the village. Matoran continued to run away, but their speed was trivial compared to the velocity of shadow. Lazily and somewhat experimentally, it reached out with a thick formless tentacle and absorbed a vehemently protesting Ga-Matoran into its body.-----She cried out in pain, though her screams were muffled under the thick shadow. For the barest of instants, her organic parts were atomized and subsequently obliterated, turning into a pure form of energy that the shadow could utilize.-----As it slid away towards bigger targets down the street, the armor and mask belonging once to a cerulean Matoran leaked out onto the street, scattering at once as they hit the turf.-----The cruelness of this nonchalant murder, which it had so unknowingly and uncaringly committed, was shocking to any that caught even a slight glimpse of it. None who saw the great shadow could do anything about stopping it – save for four Toa, standing heroically abreast, boldly blocking the road from further advances.-----It did not care, and even if it knew the threat that might be posed to its existence by the Toa, it was not capable of caring. As fast as it had ambushed the unfortunate Ga-Matoran, it hurled itself forward upon the Toa.-----The Toa that was in the being’s crosshairs was the center Toa, who was, fortunately, able to leap out of the way of the hurtling shadow. A nearby Toa of Ice wasn’t so lucky; his hand got caught by the being and was instantaneously absorbed.-----Spread out! came the call from their leader, an adept Toa of Psionics. As was the norm with her, the command came mentally, in the event that their opponent could understand or interpret verbal commands. In this case, one had to take every possible precaution.-----Probe its mind, the Toa of Lightning responded mentally, ducking for cover behind a building. She knew that her sister Toa would pick the message up. Bracing herself, she whirled back around and blasted the shadow with two solid bursts of electricity aimed directly its main bulk, the power of the twin blasts just short of Nova levels.-----If shadow could howl in pain, it would have.-----The Toa of Psionics took a deep breath. “We’re safe to talk; it’s not sentient,” she called to the rest of her team. “But it’s so insubstantial, telekinesis doesn’t work!”-----“Keep trying,” the fourth Toa, one of Magnetism, said. “I can’t seem to do anything eith–”-----His sentence was abruptly cut short by the sudden movement of the shadow. As soon as the last crackles of electricity died down over its dark form, it leapt away and came down directly on top of the Toa.-----The shadow never would or could know this, but its pseudo-biology fed upon the absorption of (or conversion of organic matter into) pure energy. Considering the amount of energy that a Toa contained, this was a banquet compared to the relative crumb of a Matoran.-----“NO!” the Toa of Ice yelled, stepping out near enough to the shadow so as to appear as a threat to it – an attempt at diverting it from sapping the Toa of Magnetism of his elemental power. The shadow paid no heed to the sensations around him. In this moment, it derived its only pleasure from sucking dry the life force that was now being slowly absorbed by its body.-----“He’s dead,” came the desperate, distressing call from the Toa of Psionics. The Toa of Ice barely noticed it – he did not need to have confirmation from his Psionics-wielding sister Toa. He knew that, beneath the mass of shadow, Toa Kohi was dead.-----The Toa of Ice steeled himself for what he was now so quickly planning. There was only one thing he could try to do.-----As instantly as the plan had been formed in his mind, he blasted twin beams of ice from both his remaining hand and the wrist that used to connect to his now-absorbed one, curving them around the shadow to create a great dome, as wide as the street. Focusing, he created a deep lattice of ice beneath the protective sheath of the dome. This would, hopefully, seal the shadow inside it for good, though at the price of ever recovering the armor and mask of the always-valiant Kohi.-----There was silence for a whole half a minute.-----“Do you think …?” the Toa of Lightning asked. Her fellow Toa knew the rest of her question, so there was no need to finish it. Yet, in response, no one said anything.-----Deep beneath the ice, the shadow once again began to stir.-----White was all around it, that much was clear. Energy had been taken from its form, though it still had its untapped reserves. Lengthening its body to worm its way through the inevitable fissures and cracks, it began to lazily leak out the top of the ice, but slow enough that its amorphous form was barely perceptible.-----“We’ve still got company,” the Toa of Lightning remarked.-----“Three of us left,” the Toa of Ice responded coldly, emotion gone from the usually more exuberant inflections of his voice. He raised his hand and shook his head. “I don’t have much juice left.”-----“Can't you freeze it solid?”-----Squinting hard, the white Toa focused on the body of the rapidly reforming shadow. Crystals of ice exploded around it before they could fully form – exactly as he suspected would happen, which is why he had opted for the dome method. There wasn’t much use in trying out this technique for much longer than the few fleeting moments that he had.-----“And our masks are all useless …” She fired a bolt of lightning through the obvious wisps of shadow, dispersing them for perhaps a few more seconds, giving them time to possibly figure out some plan of attack. Her mask was Psionic in nature, while the Toa of that particular element wore a sometimes-redundant Arthron. The Toa of Ice wore a Huna. “I didn’t realize how much of that earlier blast took out of me either.”-----“Down to me,” the Toa of Psionics said, stamping her foot. “What good can I do? My element’s useless.”-----“Not yet. I’ve got a new plan,” the Toa of Ice announced. “Play along.”-----He activated his mask, shimmering into invisibility. He began to run as fast as someone could while being invisible, which was a lot slower than he’d like it to be. Still, it was faster than walking …-----He focused on the ice. He might not have much elemental power now, but if he could re-absorb it …-----Two consecutive trains of thought were cut drastically short by the sudden implementation of his spur-of-the-moment plan. He began to suck the ice back into where his missing hand would be, weakening the structure that he had created. As soon as he felt as if his stores of elemental energy were high enough, he began to use his small spear-like Toa tool to channel his generative powers, pelting the top of the shrinking glacier with sharp shards of hail.-----He’d never practiced this rare art of absorbing and re-distributing an element over an area, and now the safety of the village he had sworn to protect would be in jeopardy if he couldn’t pull it off.-----There was a severe underestimation in his plan: the Toa assumed that the ice spikes would slow down this unknown enemy.-----As the cracks in the former ice mass widened, the shadow was able to leak out faster and faster, reforming to a degree that it could go on the offensive again. It silently leaped down into the orbit around the small glacier that was being traversed by the Toa of Ice.-----He was, ironically, too caught up in the focus needed for the unique elemental trick he was attempting to notice the escape of the quarry he was trying to finally defeat. He was dead before he knew it, absorbed with great rapidity into the body of the shadow before his senses could convey the sensation of utter pain.-----“I feel … helpless,” the Toa of Lightning uttered. “First Kohi, now Tolak.” She took a deep breath, glaring at the shadow that left the armor and mask of Tolak on the ground, rejoining the visible light spectrum again. With steely resolve, she glared up at the shadow, which at this point appeared to be as close to a smug, confident gloating as it was likely to ever be. “Alright, I’m going in. On three, give me a lift.”-----The Toa of Psionics nodded. She knew what her sister was talking about, though she regarded whatever she possibly needed a lift for as unnecessarily dangerous. But then again, these desperate times indeed called not only for desperate measures, but also for risks that would otherwise not be considered as anything but contemptuously foolhardy or suicidal in nature.-----“One …”-----She ran at the shadow, waving her arms around. She let off a few sparks now and then to keep the being’s attention. With a little luck, she’d be able to get past it …-----“Two …”-----Everything was in slow motion now. The shadow moved incomprehensibly fast towards her, and there was nothing she could do about it now. She was being absorbed, as helpless as her brothers had been …-----“THREE!” She was barely able to yell before her head went into the shadows.-----Her sister Toa’s Psionic powers worked this time. She flew along, arcing a great parabola above the street that was now far below, the shadows attached to her as she tumbled high above. The tendrils of shadow began to worm their way into her organic parts, and began the process of sucking her power dry.-----With a last strength of will, she unleashed all of her remaining elemental energy. If she had had more power, what she released might have been considered close to a Nova blast – but for now, this final, agonizing, excruciating burst of power was her last-ditch attempt at defeating this thing.-----The murky substance of the shadow was dispersed just enough by the sudden shock to its innards. Without sound or feeling, it bent backwards and let go of the relieved Toa of Lightning. She attempted to twist mid-air, slightly succeeding in her attempt, landing roughly on her back and tumbling forwards as her inertia drove her along the bumps of the ground.-----If the shadow decided to come for her now, there was nothing she could do about it.-----With immense willpower, she rolled herself over to look back at what the shadow was doing. It seemed to have been unaffected, as it had turned back upon the perpetrator of her impromptu telekinetic flight. The Toa of Psionics was now in its grasp, and whatever she wanted to do to help her could not physically be done.-----"Cerra!” she yelled to the dying Toa. There was no longer anything she could even think about doing, as she was so far away from the scene. Her powers were utterly exhausted, and her mask was useless against the insubstantial form of the shadow.-----Her strength began to gradually return to her, and with it came the pain of her recent experience. Tears welled up behind her mask as she thought of what she might have done. Could she have done more? Could she have released a Nova blast sooner, or later? Could she have saved Kohi, Tolak, or Cerra?-----These questions, and more of their ilk, swirled around her mind as she ran dejectedly and painfully away, barely realizing that she was screaming for the Matoran villagers to run far, far away – and, inadvertently or not, leading them off into whatever lay beyond the sudden onset of terror incarnate, beyond the reaches of an abomination all dearly hoped would forever be far behind them.-----Trailing behind her was a Le-Matoran, who thought that, among other notions of terror, what he saw from the Toa of Lightning was the most miraculous and astonishing feat of heroics that he ever had the honor of witnessing.

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, Mar 19 2012 - 07:15 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#3 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Mar 28 2012 - 11:19 AM

Posted Image

~Diary~

----------Three days until landing-----My name is Tapari. I am a Ga-Matoran from the northwest portion of the Southern Continent, and am currently on a boat heading towards an as of yet uninhabited but very promising island. Our small flotilla is equipped with an array of the most splendidly upbeat Matoran. I can’t imagine morale not being at a high level.-----Our own reasons for this expedition are well documented among the fellow Matoran we left behind. Our village naturally came to accrue various Matoran who felt as if exploration was their one true goal in their lives – more so than most, I might add. I do not personally feel as if this wanderlust is my only goal in life, but I do not object to this trip. In fact, I am quite excited, but also a little nervous, simply because everything is and will be so new.-----I hope to keep this little diary updated, though my own habits with writing a journal have been … somewhat haphazard over the years. If any future Matoran scholar finds this somewhere, I hope I have kept this up so as to aid any possible future historical research.----------Seven weeks since landing-----I’m horrible at updating this.-----So! We landed. Obviously. Everything is so picturesque here, on this little slice of paradise we have decided to name Kima Nui, after the now-archaic Matoran word kima, or “exodus” … just as we have gone through an exodus from our homeland, so now that is reflected on what we have named the land itself.-----Oh, I’m rambling again. I see how this goes. (So hard to keep on topic!)-----Wilipa, a bubbly Ba-Matoran, went out on an exploratory mission two days ago. He went out with his Fe-Matoran friend Zel. Early this morning, they suddenly returned, being chased by an unidentified and unnamed (for now) Rahi. It was rather long, with many legs and a short tail. As it ran through the camp, it upturned my tent and upset the construction of a few more permanent residences … in fact, I have to sort of credit the thing for the writing of this entry, as putting my tent back together led me to find this diary again.-----So where was I? Oh yes, Wilipa. He’s trying to get Turaga Luqyr to name the species after him. I wasn’t aware that Turaga had the authority to name new Rahi species, and I don’t think Luqyr did either.-----What else is new … the Le-Matoran population has officially taken to the trees. They’re constructing flimsy tree houses and actually living full-time in them, even though half of them aren’t even finished. I have to wonder if this is a protest against the living conditions in these tents, which were intended to be merely temporary shelter until permanent structures could be made from the materials already here. Unfortunately, Luqyr has decreed that we are to concern ourselves with more pressing priorities, and I have to agree that sustenance must come first.-----Another interesting little rumor has passed through the camp recently. There are a number of them that circulate every week, but for some reason this one’s staying. The rumor is that there are Toa stones somewhere on this island. Now that I think about it, Wilipa might have bought into it … I honestly don’t think that there’s any hint of truth in it, but it’s interesting to see how many are gullible.-----I’m sure I’ve missed most of the stuff that went on since we landed, but my hand is tiring and I believe I’ve covered most of the major items of interest.-----P.S. This sand gets everywhere. I should have set up my tent farther inland.----------One year since landing-----Yes, I know! I am a terrible Matoran for not keeping this thing updated. I apologize!-----So we’ve gone and done it – one year since we’ve landed and we’re not all dead. That might be a bit morbid, but we’re all kind of excited, with the one-year anniversary and all.-----I’m no longer living in that tent. It was falling apart, and for three months now I’ve been in a small hut built from wood in a clearing in the woods. The last of the tent-dwelling Matoran moved into permanent residencies two and a half months ago.-----I went up to the Le-Matoran system of interconnected tree houses for the first time three days ago. I have to say, I was truly impressed by their construction ability and creative ingenuity. Walking on rope bridges between tree clusters was terrifying at first, but I soon got used to it. Hakoar, Jishtha, and Raa went along with me, as did Turaga Luqyr, who is more nimble than I expected.-----Anyway, it’s one year since landing, and as I mentioned, we’re all incredibly excited. The optimism present here is electric, and everyone has ideas for the future, half of which are too ambitious to come to fruition.-----The little rumor about the Toa Stones kept going for a while. It seemed as if it would go away, but Zel eventually found something that looked like one. Turned out it was just some polished rock he found in some stream, but that didn’t stop him from trying to suck power out of it for a full week. I almost felt bad for him …-----Anyway, I mentioned that we’ve all moved into small houses now. They’re all the same – one-room houses constructed from wood and covered with mud and clay on the outside. Everyone has furnished their interiors in creative ways, so while everything looks the same from the outside, no two abodes look the same from the inside. They’re all arranged in concentric circles. The Turaga has his house near to the center. The very center is a large open area used for various celebrations and assorted events. The woods around it are where the Le-Matoran houses are, and they have extended it to link all the way around the clearing. I heard on my trip up there that they have even more ambitious plans for extending it to a second circle. As of right now, it’s rather sparsely populated, but I suppose the Le-Matoran want more room to work with. I can’t imagine other Matoran joining the Le-Matoran in their tree realm.-----Well, I think that’s it. Again, I do feel quite bad about not keeping this little record updated.----------Two years since landing-----I really hate my lack of remembering this. I really do.-----So, two years in. This has all really flown by … I don’t feel like it’s been two whole years since I last scribbled down what’s been happening in this small tome.-----As usual, I cannot think of many differences between now and what I described a year ago. I had so many ideas for what I was going to write before I began to do so, and now I’m completely out of them. Since this thing has unfortunately devolved into a once-a-year update, I’d like for this entry to contain more substance.-----Oh well.----------Two years and five months since landing-----Finally, an entry that’s not one year since the last one - I’ve been keeping track of this diary and where it is, and finally I’m able to have something to write.-----Igg, a Ta-Matoran with an interest in cartography, has undertaken a rather ambitious mission recently. Along with some of his friends, he has been out for the past three weeks carefully mapping the island. I’m fortunate enough to be out here with them – though I don’t really know much about mapmaking, my interest in taxonomy means that I’ve been able to categorize some of the new life forms we’ve encountered, such as beautiful iridescent butterflies and disturbingly carnivorous flowers that devour small but friendly creodonts, among countless other but no less impressive wonders. I don’t see the purpose in taking samples, as any interesting things we find are marked upon the great map, a thick three-bio by four-bio sheet that is delineated into sections, upon which Igg has drawn the entire outline of the island and a great amount of the interior by himself. I imagine there’s some perfectionism in him, as he wants no one to mark on it except for him – not even the locations of interesting life forms, which I have to painstakingly guide him through the notation of.-----I feel like we are finally able to turn both our collective thoughts and energies to pursuits that are not necessary for our continued existence. The fact that we’ve adapted to this new environment with such alacrity makes me proud to be of this group.-----Oh yes, another thing about Igg: he’s very … territorial. Two nights ago, a small Rahi came through the camp, which at that time was next to a small wandering stream. Akamu, who was on picket duty, claims that she didn’t think it would attack, as it was lapping up water from the stream. Unfortunately for her claims, she didn’t wake any of us up, which led to speculation that she was sleeping. (I don’t care for taking sides, so I don’t know what to believe.)-----The Rahi, which looked to be a cross between an immature hornless Kane-Ra and a large lizard, was careful not to upset our tents – save for Igg’s. He was awake, drawing a handheld version of his beloved map. He emitted a startled scream, which woke us up and intrigued the Rahi, who flipped over the rest of Igg’s tent and started unrolling the great sheet that the map was drawn on. This, to say the least, upset Igg, who, without thinking, leapt onto the back of this Rahi and began to harass it by kicking, punching, yelling, and generally causing mayhem. He’s lucky that the Rahi threw him down gently before galloping (or waddling) off over the stream into a thicket. Igg was slightly bruised on his right side, but we all got a laugh when he scrambled to make sure his map wasn’t damaged.-----Well, that’s about it for now. Our classification and mapping of the island is going along at not quite the rate that was expected, but we should not be more than a week later than expected when we return to camp. We’re roughly halfway done with it, and while Igg likes to think that he could have done it on his own, we all know that it’s a group effort.----------Two years and six months since landing-----We made it back!-----Turaga Luqyr organized a surprise welcome-back party for Igg and our little merry band of amateur cartographers and taxonomists. I think we all thought that something like this would happen, but none of us thought that Luqyr would lead it. He may have scarred us for life by randomly dancing maniacally to the beat of a few drums that the Le-Matoran made from thin slices of tree trunks.----------Three years since landing-----Well, six months since last entry is better than a year.-----Not much has happened since the mapmaking expedition returned to our little Koro. It’s been … fairly boring. Aside from the occasional Rahi that runs through, I can’t say that life has been anything but normal.-----I could use some excitement, something like Igg’s expedition. I had a lot of fun on that.----------Three years and four months since landing-----Today, work was completed on a small Kini, and within that, a small Suva. Personally, I’m not sure what the point of it was, but Luqyr seemed determined to have it built by the Po- and Fe-Matoran. Luqyr himself has been a little reclusive recently – I dearly hope to Mata Nui that nothing is wrong with him.-----Unfortunately this has re-ignited the old Toa Stone rumor. I would have though that the villagers here would be desensitized to such nonsense, as I have – though maybe they’re all grasping for something interesting to discuss and hold opinions on. Aside from those Matoran who have hobbies or other creative endeavors, we all seem to be a bit bored.----------Three and a half years since landing-----Tragedy has struck.-----Earlier today, a massive earthquake shook the island. While items within our ground-based dwellings were shaken up, the Le-Matoran tree-based complex did not fare well whatsoever. Some of the trees that it was supported upon cracked, and the rest of it got shaken loose by the jittering motion of the earth far below.-----Nearly half of the Le-Matoran died instantly. I never really knew them, though I knew of them. They were too far aloof and removed from the rest of us to easily interact. I wish I’d visited their tree complex more than the few times that I did, and I wish I’d been able to know all of them better before this horrible tragedy. Few were observing the three-and-a-half year anniversary of our first footsteps on Kima Nui, but now we’ll go through any celebration with heavy hearts, remembering our unfortunate Le-Matoran brothers.-----The surviving Le-Matoran are in the woods, burying their dead. Only some of the ground-dwelling Matoran – ones who were close enough to their culture – and of course Turaga Luqyr, who has been dealt his own more personal blow by this tragedy – have attended their solemn ceremony.----------Three years, six months, and two days since landing-----The last of the remaining tree houses fell down today in another massive earthquake. If the surviving Le-Matoran still lived there, we would have no more Le-Matoran in our little community.-----We’re all still in too much shock over the first earthquake to take in how strange this second one is. It’s too far after the first one to be considered an aftershock.-----I can only fervently hope that these aren’t small tremors before the might of a much more severe quake.-----Luqyr has told us to stay strong through these times, but I don’t think many are listening to him. His own strong leadership has been shaken along with the island, and in more ways than one. I feel bad for him, but at the same time I have to wonder what might be bothering him.----------Three years, six months, and three days since landing-----This is insane.-----Today began normally enough, or as normal as a day could be in the aftermath of two earthquakes. Early on, there was a brisk breeze blowing northwest at about roughly a kio an hour. Steadily, it increased throughout the day, never relenting. It whipped up to at least 80 kio an hour by midday, and by dusk the gusts were at least up to 150 or 160. Disturbingly enough, the wind never changed direction for the duration of the entire day.-----Some of the more compromisingly faced houses got some structural damage, but I’d wager that the damage to our Koro is more psychological than anything else.----------Three years, six months, and a week since landing----------Three days until the Exodus-----With heavy heart I write this, what is possibly the last entry ever to be in this journal.-----I am also writing this in the fervent hope that, eventually, it will be found by someone who will understand our plight. It’s a miracle that any Matoran is alive on this island.-----For the time that has elapsed since the last entry – four days, in all – we have lived in terror, a terror that is not from anything substantial or living, but rather by the inconceivable forces of the ground and the air. We now consider the rumblings of the ground a week ago to be nothing but minor quakes, as we’re lucky enough to go half a day without something under our feet rumbling.-----The air seems to have its own vendetta against us. While the intense one-way wind that blew only a few days ago has not repeated itself, strange forms of precipitation have fallen. Huge pellets of hail mixed in with balls of sparks and flame are currently falling, pelting and singing the unfortunate ground upon which it descends. It is so thick in spots that no Rahi that is stupid enough to go out has a snowball’s chance in Karzahni.-----The wind likes to go around in circles. This has led to more than one tornado, though thankfully not anywhere near our village. We all think that it’s only a matter of time before one hits it.-----I shall not put off transcribing the next account any longer. Our valiant Turaga Luqyr died yesterday, crushed by a falling tree that was weakened by unrelenting wind and shaken from its unstable roots by a tremor.-----I was there for his final words. He urged us to escape from the island in our own exodus, which is what our inevitable journey is now being called. That “kima” means “exodus” is ironic in a sad and troubled way.-----We’re all fervently working, night and day, on building boats on the beach upon which we first landed. We’re a quarter of the way through, which is why the new leader Qaiu, Luqyr’s right-hand Matoran, has set the date for the Exodus to begin in three days.-----I feel only a twinge of sadness and regret mixed in with my overwhelming feelings of fear for my brothers and sisters who are still alive.-----If this is the last thing that I ever write in this journal, then let it be known that no Matoran here believes that this is the result of anything remotely natural. Something big has happened and still is happening to us, something that none of us can begin to understand. No matter what is causing this, I can only hope that the mystery surrounding it eventually comes to a resolution.-----Three days until we leave.-----Three days. It can’t come quickly enough.

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, Aug 10 2012 - 04:43 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#4 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Apr 30 2012 - 08:43 PM

Posted Image

-----His feet slapped the ground, meeting the earth below with solid footsteps, footsteps that sounded of confidence and of achieved merit. He had nothing to be particularly proud of, nothing to be confident about, nothing but his own strong and effervescent personality to sustain him at this late hour. He was going back to Kini-Koro, his current village, soon, and after that … well, he wasn’t the type to plan especially for the future, but he was practical and hard to change from his set ways, habits, and patterns – as all Ba-Matoran were, at least to some degree.-----The sky and trees above seemed to rustle above him, shaking some loose droplets of water onto his square mask, droplets that were left over within the folds of the various leaves from the drenching that they’d received earlier in the week. In fact, this portion of the road was still a little damp, and he could feel it around his feet. They weren’t muddy, but they were a littl—-----A purple flourishing whoosh emanated from the vicinage behind him.-----Startled, the Ba-Matoran whirled around, backing up at a steady clip. He’d never heard any stories of particularly dangerous Rahi out here, out in this region (one reason for its newfound popularity), but one could never be certain. After all, the first story had to come from somepla—-----Another whoosh came and went; another startled whirl from the Matoran.-----“Hello?” he called aloud, trying to assume an air of normality, but his voice unmistakably revealed his inner trepidation at this frightening turn of events – and really, who could blame him?-----He whirled around once again, in time to catch something in the corner of his eye, something that was lightning-fast and most shockingly purple. He couldn’t get a real good look at it, though …-----Scared thoroughly now, he tried talking to this thing again. “Kagga? Is that you?”-----There might have been a response, but that might also just be the rustling of the brush, rustling due to the chilly wind that just picked up and now blew inwards at a steady clip.-----“Come on … this isn’t really funny …”-----Another whooshing sound … but was it the leaves? Was it the sea, a few kio beyond? Was it himself? Was he going crazy?-----“You stupid prankster,” he muttered under his breath, determined to get back to Kini-Koro. If he could ascertain that Kagga was responsible, then he would have to employ something from his own encyclopedia of practical jokes.-----He heard the brush behind him rustle once again, but not due to wind or any of the naturally occurring elements that controlled the environment. Turning around, a purple and translucent mass hurled itself unthinkably fast upon him.-----Even if he had the time to scream, it wouldn’t have done him any good.

*-----*-----*

-----“Another one?”-----“I don’t know. Give me another minute or so.”-----Two Toa stood – one with crossed arms, another akimbo – beside another Toa, who was on one knee so as to examine the body of a Matoran. Gently, he flipped the dead Matoran over, running his hands over the cold biomechanics of his back.-----“To Karzahni if I knew,” he said at long last, running his left hand over the front contours of his Arthron while standing up. Looking down at the dead Matoran, he sighed. “I have the answer to that question, though. He’s dead, but with not a single mark on his body, so definitely like all the others. That makes, what … eleven?”-----The gunmetal and orange Toa of Iron whirled around suddenly, violently kicking a tuft of wispy grass. The fact that the grass didn’t go very far only added to his frustration. “Twelve, actually,” he said.-----“Well,” the third Toa, a black-armored Toa of Stone, said. “What all do we know?”-----“They’re all 100% random. We knew that,” the Toa of Ice spat back, disgusted at himself, the murders, and the general lack of getting anything useful done amongst the three Toa. They had been on the trail of a mysterious killer for the past three weeks or so, a killer that left all of its victims dead in the same manner as this Matoran was.-----“… and there’s no pattern with the elements of the Matoran that are getting slaughtered, either,” the Toa of Iron continued.-----“Exactly.” At this point, the Toa of Ice felt like he’d be better off on his own – but then again, maybe he wouldn’t be. That’s what he really didn’t like – a sense of indecision due to a lack of knowledge. If he knew more, he’d be able to calculate the best course of action – but this killer wasn’t revealing any leads.-----“Names … no. We’ve ruled that one completely out. We don’t even know half of ‘em.”-----The Toa of Ice groaned. “Sumiki … you’re just going over things that we already know. Are you driving at a point?”-----Sumiki was well too lost in thought to heed Cantai’s criticism. “So … what haven’t we looked at? There’s no pattern based on who they are, so that would indicate random killings. I thought for a little while that it might be a strange epidemic, but none of the victims – as far as we know – know each other or have been in contact, so that’s out. The utter lack of marking is in and of itself a disturbing trademark of the killer … so, again: what haven’t we thought of?”-----“I thought we’ve thought of everything.”-----“There’s always a pattern. Always. We just have to look deeper.”-----There was silence between them for long, dragging minutes, with each Toa lost in his own individual trains of thought. All three began to unconsciously pace in a circle, orbiting the lifeless Matoran below.-----“What about location? Like, where they were when they were killed,” the third Toa, Carraig, piped up.-----Sumiki stopped, snapped his fingers, and pointed them at him. “Idea, right there. Cantai, the map please?”-----Cantai obliged, pulling his sack over his right shoulder and fetching a rolled-up map from its sparse contents. Though still disgruntled, he was cautiously thrilled that this novel thought, this brain wave, might lead somewhere – but if not (which is what he was realistically expecting), he didn’t know what he’d do.-----Sumiki and Carraig carefully unrolled the map, laying it down on the ground next to the body of the unidentified Ba-Matoran. This portion of the Northern Continent was mostly a hilly, wooded region, but small settlements cropped up everywhere – including in places where one would least expect a community to thrive. This particular death occurred on a winding dirt path between two minor villages, and just by happenstance did the three Toa stumble upon the body.-----“So … we’re right here,” Cantai said, pointing at the road.-----Sumiki fetched a few small pebbles from a nearby stream, and placed one of them on the place where Cantai was pointing. “Alright, and the last killing was in Kini-Koro, with that Le-Matoran. That’d be here.” He marked that place with another pebble.-----“The killing before that was … that Ko-Matoran, Crallin. Here.”-----Another pebble went down.-----“I’m sensing a pattern,” Carraig said, with just a hint of trepidation. After all, this could very easily end up as a fluke …-----He had no reason to be so pessimistic; his stated hunch was correct. The pebbles kept coming down on the map, all of them in a straight line. Small aberrations occurred, of course, but the majority of the killings occurred within the line.-----As the last pebble went down, denoting the first reported incident of this untraceable killer, Sumiki grinned. “Looks like we found something.”-----Cantai jumped up. “Alright, let’s work off of it,” he said. “Based on this, we might want to see if we can intercept this thing. It’s only targeted Matoran so far, but is that just luck?” Cantai began pacing again, trying to stimulate his cogitations.-----“Targeted?” Carraig asked. “I’m not sure they’re being targeted, to be honest. Isn’t it a possibility that this … thing … is waiting in a certain place, then trapping whatever comes along?”-----Cantai stopped his pacing. “Valid point there, Carraig. No, I don’t think we can be sure of anything, save that there’s a pattern here, and it’s taken us much too long to figure it out.”-----“Hold your Kikanalo for a second. ’fore we start moving out, this thing seems to be focusing its efforts upon whatever settlements or paths cross its predetermined, straight line path,” Sumiki added, bending over to consult Cantai’s map. Murmuring to himself, he eventually nodded tersely. “There’s a road right next to a beachfront settlement here.” He poked the map with his right forefinger, making a crinkling but not long-lasting indentation in the material. “If there’s no sudden change, and our extrapolations are accurate, that should be the site of the next attack.”-----“Let’s get there, then,” Cantai said, rolling up his map and placing it back in his sack.-----“I hope we’re not going to be too late getting there,” Sumiki added, softly.

*-----*-----*

-----The trio of Toa made good time along the paths, winding their way through small settlements and shortcutting through small tracts of previously untraversed land. Only occasionally did they have to consult Cantai’s map of the region, and only occasionally did they have to alter their path based on the land, so as to reach the beach in a shorter time frame. The distance from the site of the Ba-Matoran’s death to the beach settlement was not an exceedingly long one, so the only real time-consuming aspect of getting from point A to point B was found in following the system of pathways and roads, which were dictated by major settlements, which in turn were dictated by the terrain.-----As they walked, the three postulated bizarre theory after even more bizarre theory on the nature of their antagonist, stopping occasionally to comment on something around them, be it a colorful Rahi or a dark cavern, its maw yawning upwards, greeting day with pitch black.-----On the last leg of the trek, the path went from rocks and sparse tufts of grass to pure sand. The beachfront settlement – only about twenty buildings and a few piers with trading ships docked to them – was now visible out in the distance. The only interesting things about the tableau in front of them were enormous rocks, scattered about the beach helter-skelter, with fewer of them the closer one got to the pure, gently lapping waves of water.-----“Alright. According to our previous calculations, the second rock over there should be the site of the next attack.” Cantai rolled up the map again, stashing it in his sack. The rock in question was the ostensible end of the long trail that they had been on for quite some time now.-----“I sense a trap,” Carraig said.-----“We have two options,” Sumiki said, brooding. “Option one: we go over there and see if our killer comes out at tries to pull something on us. If it does, we’ll be more ready to take care of it than any Matoran could be, because we have powers and we know that something’s going to be coming. Option two: we wait near there and see if it’ll attack something else.”-----“Something else? Like … a Rahi?” Cantai asked.-----“It hasn’t yet, to my knowledge. I didn’t know if a Matoran might be willing to help us out.”-----“Are you crazy? We’re supposed to serve and protect the Matoran, not sacrifice them just to see what we’re up against!”-----“I am fully confident in our collective ability to destroy or sufficiently distract our adversary.”-----Cantai sighed. “Honestly, I’m not sure if either one is a smart idea. Now, if there was a possibility of reverse-trapping it …”-----“Like a net?”-----“Precisely, though it could just as easily get out of it if it has the wherewithal – or skill – to kill Matoran in its trademark fashion.”-----“Hmm.”-----“Guys?” Carraig said, pointing over to the rocks. “I think the problem is answering itself …”-----Sumiki was the first to break into a sprint, followed closely by Carraig and Cantai. A Ga-Matoran was walking up the pathway, towards them, and now was evidently shocked at the sight of these three Toa sprinting towards her.-----“Get out of the way!” Sumiki yelled – but the stunned Matoran just stood there.-----Something purple flashed around the rock. The trap had been set, now the kill could commence.-----Sumiki dove, knocking the Ga-Matoran over and tumbling her over into the sand. Sliding feet-first to slow his frame down, he willed his Toa tools to snap to his hands. His two Toa tools – rapidly spinning disks – immediately jumped off of his back and began to spin around his hands. Clambering up, he studied the rock, waiting for the next flash of purple around or on it. He didn’t need to wait long.-----“Did you see that?” Sumiki asked his two fellow Toa. They both nodded nearly simultaneously.-----Another purple flash, except this time it emanated from behind him. Whirling, he hurled one of his disks at the area – but it just whooshed harmless through empty air, bouncing off of another rock and returned to twirling above the hand that it had left.-----"I was almost thinking that this’d be something normal,” Cantai said almost wistfully.-----“What … what in the name of sanity are you three doing?” the Ga-Matoran uttered, spitting out granules of sand every few words.-----“Just saving your life,” Sumiki said, jumping over her and landing on the flat top of the rock. Did he see something purple on the other side, or was that just …-----Again, it moved too fast for the eyes to track, but it was most definitely a transparent purple … something. It was now rapidly orbiting the rock, seemingly torn between going after Sumiki and going after the Ga-Matoran.-----It paused, as if torn by utter indecision, for the briefest of moments – and in that moment, they saw what their adversary was: a beautiful, terrible, nocuous, purple flame, a translucent fireball that darted from place to place, a horrible miracle darting in the air as if controlled by a lumpish puppeteer.-----Without any words, and with only the briefest of pauses to take in the odd beauty of this thing, Cantai attempted to freeze it solid, but his valiant efforts were either a second too late or the purple flame was able to sense and evade the deadly elemental blow, diving down towards the scrambling Ga-Matoran.-----Without thinking, only reacting, Sumiki dove down off of the rock, swatting at the purple flame with his spinning disks. Instinctively, the purple flame went after him instead.-----Rolling over, he saw the flames eating into the patchwork armor on his chest. A horrific feeling of emptiness engulfed him … it felt as if this thing was trying to work its way into his soul to eat him from the inside, trying and succeeding at its job.-----A crack, then a blast, then a cold fury of ice and snow and sleet and hail came from the side, blasting and assailing his inchoate assailant, smacking and dispersing it up against the rock, the great monolithic stone cracking under the force of the ice hitting it. As soon as he felt like he could, Sumiki rolled over and slowly got to his knees, grimacing.-----“Are you alright?” Carraig asked, bending over.-----Sumiki coughed out some sand along with a few wisps of the peculiar purplish plasma. “I think so.”-----“What was that thing?” the Ga-Matoran asked as she lifted herself from the fine sand.-----“That’s what we were trying to find out,” Cantai said, running around the rock to see if the purple flame was gone. “It’s been killing Matoran around here for a few weeks.”-----“Is … is it gone?” Sumiki asked, staggering uneasily to his feet.-----“I don’t think we’ll know for certain. I hit it pretty hard, though,” Cantai replied.-----The flame had indeed dispersed, but it was still in existence, reforming itself out over another rock just a little farther yonder. Cantai had indeed hit it hard, but he did not hit it hard enough.-----“Oh, I still see it,” Carraig said, clasping his hands into fists. It tried to trick us, and it’s now running away. “You gave a laudable effort, Cantai, but it’s still over there.”-----Sumiki staggered forward, nearly collapsing. Winded from that tiny exertion, he leaned against the rock. Cantai and Carraig began to run towards it, but the purple flame was still too fast, darting into the tiny village on the beachfront ahead-----“Thanks for saving my life, by the way,” the Ga-Matoran said to Sumiki.-----“All in a day’s work,” the Toa of Iron responded, grinning.

*-----*-----*

-----Cantai and Carraig sprinted into the small beachfront settlement, evading the occasional Matoran that got in their way. There was one street, made from wood planks, mounted on top of regularly spaced wooden poles that extended into the sand below and the water beyond. Attached to this long street were three even longer piers, two of which were currently being utilized by various merchant ships, loading and unloading goods from different lands. On the other side of the street were a series of houses/shops, each of which looked at first to be the same, but on closer inspection were each different and unique.-----The purple flame did not care for this, and had not the capacity to care. It flashed along the streets, then took a hard left turn and raced along the easternmost pier. It showed no sign of slowing as it whipped itself around a boat moored to the pier, before hurling itself out over the open ocean, racing towards the horizon and whatever land lay beyond.-----Carraig and Cantai skidded to a halt at the far end of the pier. All they could do now was watch, as the adversary they had dogged for so long had now anticlimactically escaped over the open ocean. It speed and color accounted for how well it blended into the wavy contours of the sea, and it took all of their efforts to keep an eye on its rapidly diminishing form.-----“Who are you? And what was that?” a Kakama-wearing Ta-Matoran asked, hopping off of his boat and onto the pier.-----“I’m Carraig, and this is Cantai. We’ve been tracking that thing, and we’re as much in the dark as you are with regards to what it is.”-----“What was it doing?”-----“Killing Matoran. Without a trace, I might add, which made it rather difficult to track.”-----The Ta-Matoran swooned slightly. “I feel like I’ve just had a near-death experience, then.”-----“Just be glad that it was in a hurry,” Carraig said, smirking slightly.-----“Still … if it keeps on its path …” the Ta-Matoran turned. “You do realize where that thing’s headed, don’t you?”-----There was a short pause as the two Toa realized what the Matoran trader was getting at. “Metru Nui …” Carraig breathed. Cantai silently anathematized himself; he still felt that he had many chances to get the thing, and blew it. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.-----“That’s where I hail from,” the Matoran continued. “I was just dropping off some cargo here, and then going to bring some other goods back. Now … I don’t know if I’ll have a city to go back to.”-----“Oh, we’re going to track it down,” Cantai said, with renewed vigor and a hint of darkness in the timbre of his voice. “We’ll track it to the very end of the universe, and then we’ll destroy it.”-----Carraig shifted slightly. “You mentioned that you were going to go back. Would it be possible for us to catch a ride on your boat?”-----“Most certainly, and free of charge as well. By the way, my name is Vohon. Epigo, Myrmi, and Ignaam are my assistants on this trading voyage.” As he pointed out his various aides, they briefly stopped what they were doing and waved to the Toa. “Just you two?”-----“No, there’s a third member of our team, Sumiki,” Carraig explained. “He got a little laid up back there when that purple thing tried to eat him.”-----“How soon can we depart?” Cantai asked, jerking the subject back to a topic that he considered far more important. A second wasted could mean the difference between a Matoran being alive and dead, and that difference meant a lot to him.-----“As soon as this last shipment of dried Madu gets loaded,” Myrmi, one of Vohon’s two Rau-wearing associates, said.-----“What all did I miss?” Sumiki asked, walking slowly down the pier, the wood planks of the pier creaking faintly beneath his feet.-----Carraig hopped into the boat and leaned back against the mast. “Pack your bags, Sumiks. We’re going to Metru Nui.”

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, May 05 2012 - 08:02 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#5 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted May 15 2012 - 10:56 PM

Posted Image

-----For most inhabitants of the universe, De-Koro was an incredibly tedious place to be. Its inhabitants demanded complete silence, and even the barest whisper would, at best, net one some angry looks from the Matoran. To them, it was already too loud, a veritable bustling city, chock full of unnecessary sound waves.-----This, the all-too-peaceful abode of the De-Matoran, was ironically situated in an area that was one of the most uninhabitable spots in the entire known world, the Tren Krom Peninsula. It was very odd to see such a peaceful village, a ghost town with inhabitants, in the midst of such a brutal and unforgiving terrain, and those that set their sights on it often saw the utter ridiculousness of the concept – a band of recluses, due to their high sensitivity to hearing, living alone amongst others of their ilk in a terrain that did not seem to be fit for the inhabitation of Matoran of any element, no matter their element or habitation preferences.-----But maybe it was the perfect spot for them. After all, who would be dumb enough to look here to find them?-----It was the worst spot – yet, simultaneously, it was also somehow the best spot.-----This paradox, this very fusion of sheer opposites, rarely was on the minds of the De-Matoran who lived there. For them, it was their life, and no matter what the occasional outsider thought, they enjoyed it.-----It took a certain kind of Matoran to grasp this, to see the entirety of his little, encapsulated world, through the eyes of someone else.-----It figured that this Matoran would be the Matoran that didn’t like it, the one who didn’t fit in because he never did fit in, and never found it necessary to do so.-----He often would softly exit from the deafening wall of impenetrable silence surrounding De-Koro, sneaking a long ways off to a small cave, a cave that was lined with all kinds of musical instruments. He played all of them for the sake of his own enjoyment, and though he endured pain for this, the advanced hearing that he had made listening more enjoyable … he could hear every tone of every erumpent tintinnabulation, every insignificant quasihemidemisemiquaver, every small, overlooked, and unheard depth and detail in even the most simple of melodies.-----He thought it well worth the pain. Though it might have been masochistic, or sadistic, depending on your point of view, it was undeniable that he loved something that no one would expect him to ever love. The other, slightly snootier De-Matoran never thought him as ever being quite right in the head. Had they not been so sensitive to sound, they would have had their own version of the Onu-Matoran phrase that a particular Matoran was “not the brightest lightstone in the mine.”-----As it was, he never thought it necessary to make known what he liked to do. He went about his business, and though some suspected he had some secret hobby, no one asked him about it. They regarded him as being rather senile, since he was one of the oldest – if not the oldest – Matoran in De-Koro, and possibly on the entirety of the Tren Krom Peninsula.-----One day, he had simply disappeared. No one thought much of it – he was known to take short, unannounced hiatuses from his work – but they never lasted more than a few days. After six days, the De-Matoran knew that something had gone wrong, steeling themselves for whatever might have taken him. No one really disliked him or thought bad of him – while the nearly unbreakable air of utter silence that surrounded any given De-Matoran was often mistaken for terseness or brusqueness, they were just like any other Matoran, except for a vastly increased hearing capability. Sure, it got to some Matoran’s heads – it made them feel as if they had a snippet of superiority when their distinction was in fact a weakness, easily exploitable by a manipulative villain that could exercise it – but all in all they were a tight-knit group.-----They were all very levelheaded Matoran, and while their hearing was so good that they could probably hear the loudest thoughts of others if they really strained, they were all practical and realistic about the fate of their eccentric citizen. They all thought that he was dead – the more pessimistic ones, that he would never be found, or that this was the beginning of some crime wave that couldn’t be solved by mortal minds.-----Fortunately, the most dire predictions thought up by the most cynical of the group were not true – but, likewise, the faint hope that the optimists in the group carried, and thus treasured – the hope that Tepri would be found, alive and well – was also dashed to pieces.-----It was on the eighth day that a craftsman stumbled across the opening of the cave. The cave was not necessarily hidden, but it was concealed well enough so that if you weren’t looking for it – or did not know that it was there – you probably wouldn’t spot it, unless you were attentive and held detail in high regard.-----Carelessly scraping away the moss that had liberally infringed the cave entrance’s borders, he stepped softly into the cave, the sounds of his echoing footsteps and the syncopated rhythm of water dripping from ceiling to floor furiously tormented his ears.-----He ripped his attention off of the pain, bending down to examine the prostrate body of the now-dead De-Matoran. A quick check revealed no markings on the body – but there was no sign of a struggle, as the delicate instruments were still stacked upright along the wal—-----Instruments? the craftsman thought loudly.-----He spent time studying a few of the bigger or otherwise more interesting-looking ones. So this is where he always ran off to, he thought, running every quixotic habit, quirk, or instance that he remembered of the unfortunate Tepri through the filter of the knowledge that he had just recently obtained. Everything he knew – or thought he knew – about the eccentric music-making Matoran made sense – though that still didn’t account for why he liked music – music!-----“I found him,” the craftsman whispered. Not two minutes later, three other De-Matoran had entered the cave. The whole ordeal was self-explanatory: old age had gotten to Tepri. Foul play was not a factor.-----With just the faintest of nods, the four Matoran picked up Tepri, carrying him out to the outskirts of the village.

*----- *----- *

-----That night, the funeral service was held, and while others would think it quite eerie, the De-Matoran thought it perfectly normal ... for a funeral, that is. It was pitch black except for the stars above and for a few dozen candles, which were pitching what efforts they could into providing a measly semblance of illumination. In the faint light and the yawning shadows, one could make out the body of Tepri, placed on top of a simple wooden plank, which was held up by as many small columns as there were candles behind. His personal effects – in this case, the many musical instruments – were arranged symmetrically but haphazardly in a semicircle, half-encircling the table upon which Tepri lay, and in turn being half-encircled by the ring of tiny candles, each bearing a flickering flame.-----De-Koro’s inhabitant were lined up, one by one, each passing by at a steady pace, each thinking silently their last thoughts about Tepri, each silently moseying back to their abodes to sleep for the night.-----When all the citizens of the village had left, the last four to pay their respects slowly and ritually doused the flames with small pails of water, until they got to the last four, the flames of which initiated the fire on the ends of four torches, one per Matoran.-----Silent, save for the occasional crackle emitted from their torches, they carried the body through the main street that bifurcated De-Koro, and into the beyond.-----They kept walking until they reached the cave, a cave which Tepri had obviously enjoyed during his long life, a cave in which, it had been unilaterally agreed upon, that Tepri would forever lay.-----Tepri was laid to rest in the very back of the cave, amongst the lichen and moss and dirt and mud and instrument detritus.-----Only nodding betwixt themselves in the dim and creepy illumination of the torches, the four Matoran exited as silently as they had entered, as silently as they always had.

* -----*----- *

-----Blur. The world is blur.-----No, no it isn’t. It isn’t blur – no, no, blur is a bad thing … or is it?-----What is blur, anyway?-----Even better question: who am I?-----Instead of focusing solely on his cognitive functions – which obviously were not in order as of yet – he focused on his motor skills.-----Arms … two. Fingers … yes. Fingers. Lots of fingers ... ooh, they’re stiff. Legs … just as stiff.-----Experimentally, he extended his arm. He felt a ripping, but it felt good, as if something that had bound him no longer bound him.-----Oh yes.-----He pushed his arm through to the other side, to a painful but brilliant sound … the sound of foliage tearing. Propping himself up on his elbows, he blinked a few times in an effort to clear the blur from his head.-----He couldn’t see the rest of his body; it was cocooned – mummified, almost, in a sarcophagus of greenery. He didn’t particularly care for that feeling, as if he’d been cooped up in it for far too long. With enervated limbs, he burst forth from his tomb.-----Slowly, painfully, creakingly, he straightened up, and looked out towards the light of day peeking forth beyond.-----With a quizzical look over his visage, he impulsively shot over to some of the other moss that was growing around where he’d been entombed. As he ripped the greenery to shreds, the floodgates opened in his mind; he remembered not everything, but many things, each linking back to other things that re-jogged his memory down other routes.-----Smiling, he couldn’t have been more delighted.-----His instruments, his beloved instruments, were still there.

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, May 16 2012 - 09:43 AM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#6 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Aug 10 2012 - 04:16 PM

Posted Image

-----Vohon stood at the front of the ship, his muscles tensed from the strain of holding the wheel. His fingers ached from the prolonged exertion, but he could not bear the thought of doing anything else. He leaned forward, trying to will the ship with every fiber of his being to go faster, to get through to Metru Nui. His assistants went between sleeping and chatting to the three Toa that they had picked up on the Northern Continent, but he didn’t mind their inattentiveness; he didn’t need their help anyway. Occasionally, he would scan the horizon through a pair of binoculars, but he never caught a glimpse of the purple flame that they were following. It was too far ahead of them, and he occasionally wondered why he even tried. It was wishful thinking, he supposed, as he gripped the wheel even harder.-----“What’s our status?” Cantai asked.-----“Well, we shouldn’t be much longer,” Vohon said. “I’m delivering this particular shipment to Le-Metru, so if you want to hop out there, you can. If you don’t, I’ll sail you over to any Metru you want, free of charge.”-----“It’s potluck,” Sumiki spat. “We don’t know where this thing’s going. It could be in any Metru.”-----“I think we’ll just get off in Le-Metru,” Cantai said. “We might as well get off as soon as possible. I’m sure we can get around the island just as fast as you could sail us.”-----The only thing that lay between them and landfall was distance. The gentle, rocking motion of the waves beneath the ship and the silence that embalmed them could have been calming, but it was not. The three Toa and the four Matoran were too busy speculating within the confines of their minds to engage in further conversation, and too tense from worry to bother with rest.

*-----*-----*

-----“We’ll, we’re lost,” Sumiki said as he threw his hands in the air. “It’s official.”-----“We should have stopped by the Ministry of Tourism,” Carraig said. “Maybe we could have gotten a map.”-----“Nah, we should be fine,” Cantai said. “Look, where we’re going, we don’t need maps. We’re not going any place in particular, and the flame could be anywhere. Plus, if this thing begins to attack Matoran again, we can follow it. Victims wouldn’t be on a map.”-----“Well, if we’re going to be searching for this thing, I suggest we get ourselves to a central location,” Carraig said. “If something happens, I’m certain that we can get there faster from the Coliseum.” He looked along the skyline and spotted the distinct shape of the Coliseum nearly instantaneously. “And honestly, I don’t think we’ll have any trouble getting there.”

*-----*-----*

-----The Coliseum, the trio soon found, was more impressive when they were closer to it. It ubiquitous shape dominated everything around it, and images and descriptions of it defied the way it curved up into the sky, the way it was so awe-inspiring when you stood next to it and looked up. A special Akilini match was to be held inside in a little less than an hour’s time, and Matoran of all elements lined up outside to buy tickets. “AKILINI ALL-STAR GAME” blared the many banners tacked up around the entrances, and no one would take it for anything but a big deal. Some Matoran of odd colors were lined up, indicating that there were similar travelers from foreign lands to see the game.-----“Still want to be here?” Cantai asked.-----“Why not?” Sumiki asked. “If the purple flame has sentience, it’ll go for a big population density – and if this isn’t dense, I don’t know what is. We’re practically swimming in Matoran.”-----“You know, that got me thinking,” Carraig said. “They’re all out here now, but later on they’re all going to be inside. If the density theory is right, then we have more of a chance to catch it if we’re inside. If not, then we can still make a quick exit to any Metru. It’s a win-win, I think.”-----Sumiki looked at Cantai. “You for it?”-----Cantai gave a terse nod in response. “Let’s get some tickets. And for Mata Nui’s sake, I hope we get some good ones.”-----The trio soon found themselves at the back of one of the many lines, and then found themselves at the window.-----“Three … uh, Toa?” a stunned Ga-Matoran asked.-----“Yes. We’re just visiting,” Sumiki said, quickly.-----“I see,” she said, not totally convinced. “Anyway, I have three seats in 127G …”

*-----*-----*

-----“Good seats?” Sumiki asked Cantai.-----“Tell me about it,” Cantai responded as he squirmed. “They’re too small. They don’t accommodate Toa around here, do they …”-----“At least we’re on the end of the row,” Carraig pointed out. “If there’s trouble, we can get to it.”-----The playing field below undulated in time to the music that blared from loudspeakers. Matoran milled about in their seats, finding them well in advance of the match that was to come.-----“Now … we wait,” Carraig sighed.-----“Do you know anything about Akilini?” Sumiki asked. Cantai and Carraig both shook their heads. “Ah well. Let’s see if we can’t figure it out by watching.”-----“Hey … Toa! Sweet,” an Onu-Matoran cackled. He gave Cantai a friendly punch. “Don’t see many of ‘em ‘round ‘ere. Heh heh!” He turned to his purple masked friend. "Onepu! Hey look, Toa!"-----Feedback blared for an instant, silencing most of the crowd – including the annoying Onu-Matoran, much to the three Toa’s relief. The loudspeakers crackled and hummed before a voice emanated from them: “AAAAAND NOW … INTRODUCING THE CONTESTANTS!”-----The crowd erupted around the three Toa. Sumiki clapped lazily while Carraig and Cantai scanned the crowd.-----“FROOOOOOM TA-METRU: THE DEFENDERS! JALLLLLLLLLAAAAAA, TAKUUU-HNNNNNRRRRRGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFF-”-----Murmurs began to be heard from the suddenly silenced crowd. What was happening to the announcer?-----Looking around, the Matoran in the arena found the flamboyant announcer’s usual perch. High above the field of play, but below Turaga Dume’s private balcony, he grappled with an inchoate flame.-----He stood no chance.-----Keeling over, he tumbled end over end, crashing down onto the floor below. The waves of the playing field subsided along with the sounds from the crowd, and the awful noise of his armor smacking against the stone resounded through the stadium.-----“That’s our cue,” Sumiki said.-----The three Toa jumped up from their seats and ran down the steps towards the playing field. Three Vahki blocked their path, but they served as no major obstacle to their advance, as Cantai flippantly froze their interior mechanisms solid.-----Vahki of all colors swarmed down from their perches and moved to surround the Toa, who jumped down onto the playing field. But the Vahki were unrelenting.-----“We have to get to the tower,” Sumiki said, bouncing one of his disks off of a Keerahk's head.-----“Let’s focus on getting over this field first,” Cantai responded as he jumped up onto a rising hexagon. “I think it’s trying to kill us.”-----Presently, the field stopped, letting the Toa take a run for it … until ten blocks rose up around them, trapping them. Vahki appeared over the edge, ready and willing to use their weapons on the trio.-----Carraig waved his hand, and the stone blocks disintegrated. Soon, they were at the base of the tower, which they promptly broke into.-----“Where to from here?” Sumiki panted as he sealed the door with a bar of iron. Two staircases were in front of them; one went up and the other went down.-----“We could split up, but I’m not sure that’s too smart,” Carraig said. “Of all the things I expected of Metru Nui, I certainly didn’t expect them to be policed by oversized insects with itchy trigger finge—”-----The flame flashed and turned, whipping around one corner before darting into the next. It was definitely descending, but it made the mistake of doing so directly in front of the Toa. Carraig never got to finish his thought.-----Without words, they followed, winding down level after level after level. The lighting became sparser as they went farther down; often what they could see was given undertones of purple by the light of their quarry.-----Presently they came to a series of massive, solid, black doors. The flame had disappeared, but Cantai swore that he saw it go underneath them.-----“Well ... it’s not iron,” Sumiki announced after his unsuccessful attempt to bend the door. He felt its surface, running his fingers along the vertical and horizontal, but all he could detect was smooth, uninterrupted flatness; he could find no blemishes over the entirety of its surface.-----Levels above thundered, the ground shook, and the Toa began to feel more and more rattled. The Vahki were still coming, so they had to keep going on - and the only way to go one lay beyond this door.-----Cantai stepped forward, freezing the doors solid. Sumiki threw one of his disks at it, sending a wave of hairline cracks over its surface. When he pulled it back out, the door cracked and shattered, its pieces falling to the ground.-----“Come on,” the Toa of Ice muttered.-----On the other side of the double doors was a large room, with doors on each of its three other sides. The flame had stopped in the middle, as if it was unsure which way to go.-----Carraig reached out his hand and, without a sound, trapped it in stone.-----“That was … anticlimactic,” Sumiki said after a short pause.-----Cantai peeked out the door, back up the flights of stairs. “Vahki are coming. We’d best make ourselves scarce,” he said. “Which way?”-----“We go right,” Sumiki responded.-----“Why?” Carraig asked.-----“I think it’s a Le-Matoran saying: never, ever go left.”-----“I’ve never heard that one.”-----“Let’s just go, shall we?” Cantai interrupted.-----As one, the three Toa burst through the surprisingly unlocked door, ran through another complicated series of hallways, and finally ended up in another room exactly like the one they had been in before – except they knew that it could not be the same one, as the stone that encased the purple flame was not there.-----The design of this sub-level was like a crypt, with multiple, similar rooms to confuse potential robbers. Their only hope was that the Vahki would get confused as well, but they knew that hope was false. There was no way that the Vahki didn’t already have the floor plans already in their memories.-----“Well, looks like going right didn’t work. Straight?” Cantai suggested.-----“Let’s go,” Sumiki and Carraig said.-----They crashed through the double doors and caught a glimpse of what was on the other side. But a glimpse was the most that they could see, as they fell down, and down, and further down, slowly losing their consciousnesses and rapidly losing their grips on reality.-----What was real and what was not real twisted up. Time bent, space warped, and the whole of reality screamed out in the nanosecond in which it could – or the only nanosecond which it seemed like it was – leaving the three Toa helpless as they fell through what was quickly becoming the time without time, the space without spaces, the void of nothing and everything …-----Then, surely as it began, it stopped.-----Before unconsciousness claimed them, there were two things that they all remembered: a bright, blinding light above them, and soft sand beneath them.

-----

Review

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#7 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Aug 30 2012 - 12:13 PM

Posted Image

-----Carraig was the first to wake up. When he did, he almost wished that he hadn’t, for he had absolutely no clue where they were.-----The bright light - his last memory before he lapsed into unconsciousness - was no longer there. The light was muted; in fact, shadows seemed to congregate around him and all he could see. The sand that was under them was black, and paradoxically felt both soft and coarse.-----He gazed around, trying to take some stock of where he was. The possibility that he was still somehow underneath the Coliseum was out, unless this was highly advanced technology. But considering how utilitarian most things in Metru Nui seemed to be – and how utterly pointless a recreation of a beach underneath the Coliseum would be – he decided to assume that they really were somewhere else.-----He looked out over the ocean that gently lapped on the ebony shore. Even though he looked as hard as he could, there was no sign of other land.-----Behind him, there was a vast series of mountains and volcanoes. Many of the volcanoes were spurting ash or smoke, and Carraig didn’t think they looked friendly.-----Nearby, Cantai stirred. He spat out sand that had gotten into his mouth and sat up. “No, that’s a Fikou!” he exclaimed before realizing where he was. Expressionless, he looked at Carraig, and Carraig looked back at him.-----“Strange dreams?” Carraig asked.-----“Yeah, something like that.”-----“Alright.”-----Feeling somewhat awkward about the incident, Cantai got to his feet and proceeded to stagger around a bit before finally getting his footing back. “So … where are we?”-----“I have absolutely no clue. We’re either on an island or the edge of a continent … but considering these peculiar circumstances, I would assume that we’re on an island.”-----“So … we’re shipwrecked. Without a ship.”-----“Essentially.”-----“Castaways!” Sumiki yelled, spread-eagle on his back. The waves came up to the very edges of his armor. “Also, hi. Where are we?”-----Cantai shrugged in response as Sumiki got to his feet. Sumiki walked a little ways over to what looked like a strange rock, and pulled one of his Toa tools out of the sand. Meticulously brushing it off, he stowed it on his back with its twin.-----“First order of business is to establish where we are,” Carraig said, scanning the mountains. “I’m going to assume that we weren’t out for very long, since I remember seeing a light before we woke up here.”-----“I remember that too,” Cantai said. “But are you sure it was us getting teleported here, or some other light?”-----“Does it really matter?” Sumiki asked. “We’re here now, so we might as well try and make the best of it.”-----“I agree,” Carraig said. “The only explanation is that we aren’t dead, and we were somehow transported here.” He paused for a second, considering his next statement. “Or we’re actually dead, in which case, it doesn’t matter what we do …” His train of thought trailed off and he spotted a discolored patch of sand farther down the beach. “What’s that?”-----“I don’t know,” Sumiki responded. “Don’t think it matters, though.”-----“Strange things are going on, especially around us. First that flame thing, then waking up wherever the Karzahni this place is. I’m checking it out.”-----Cantai briskly walked over to the off-white patch of sand. He kneeled and put a finger in to test its consistency. As soon as he did so, the sand pulled away from him, its granules coalescing into …-----“What … is … this?” Cantai breathed.-----“I saw some of these in Metru Nui,” Carraig said, walking over. “They were usually just in the distance, but Matoran were very wary around them. I think they’re something like super-Vahki.”-----“Well, as long as we don’t break the law, we should be fin–“ Cantai didn’t get to complete his sentence when the Kranua punched him in the chest, sending him flying backwards, skidding across the sand.-----“This can’t be good,” Sumiki said, a bit more flippantly than he felt.-----Carraig wasted no time. He fired a blast of stone into its core … but the Kranua let itself transform back into its sandy state, and the stone passed right through, splattering down in the ocean farther away.-----Still out of breath, Cantai willed himself to flip over onto his back. He covered the Kranua with ice, but he did not possess the willpower to shatter it. The great Vahki shrugged it off.-----“Not yet, Cantai,” Sumiki called. His disks were spinning around his hand. “I think I’ve got an idea.” He began running around the Kranua, trying to get its attention. Surely enough, the Kranua spun to smack the Toa of Iron, but it missed as Sumiki rolled away. “Awwww … I’m afraid you mi-issed,” Sumiki said in his most mocking and condescending tone. “Here, I’m nice. Try again, sucker.”-----While they didn’t know if the Kranua understood his words or his tone, they seemed to be making an impression on it. It quickly lumbered over to where Sumiki was standing.-----There’s no way he can win the battle, Carraig thought. Time to lend a hand.-----He engaged his Hau and ran full-tilt at the Vahki. The force field slammed into the Vahki from behind, stunning it into disassembling into sand once again.-----Sumiki stumbled backwards and called out to Cantai. “NOW!”-----Cantai obliged, sending a wave of ice over the Kranua’s semi-sand form. Trapped in clear ice, they had stopped its transformation into sand … or at least most of it. Small bits of sand had managed to get outside of the ice and were jumping up and down, pathetically pecking at the Toa’s shins.-----Silently, they stared at the frozen Kranua for a little while, until Sumiki decided to pipe up. “I guess you could say we did well. That was very quick sand.”-----Carraig groaned. “Way to break the ice.”

*-----*-----*

-----In short order, they had decided to roam around the island, as there was certainly no distinct advantage in staying in the same place. They walked along the beach, careful to avoid any patches of discolored sand. While they found some, they did not provoke them, and the Kranua that lay within did not attack them.-----The three Toa traveled quite a few kio at a brisk pace, but were not able to go around the island – for they were sure that was what it was, considering the consistent curve which they were presented along their journey. They slowed to a halt as the sun began to set.-----Cantai scanned the horizon. “I think I see land,” he announced. Sumiki and Carraig, who were busy making a number of bad puns, immediately stopped and looked to where Cantai was pointing. “Looks like a big mountain to me. Can you both see it?”-----“I see … um … wait … yeah, there it is,” Sumiki said, squinting hard at the horizon. “Talk about good vision.”-----“I think I see it too,” Carraig chimed in. He looked at the direction the sun was setting in, and after a quick mental adjustment, pointed to the small, faint mountain on the horizon. “That’s north.” He looked at his two companions. “We’re going to have to end up sailing there,” he said. “Whether we want to get back to Metru Nui or the Northern Continent, they all have to be north of … wherever this place is.”-----Cantai and Sumiki considered this proposal for a few seconds, slowly nodding their heads in agreement. “As much as I think we’d all like to get off of this Mata Nui-forsaken island, I think we should settle down for the night,” Cantai said.-----“We can worry about getting off tomorrow,” Sumiki replied.-----In short order, Cantai and Sumiki went off to collect some firewood. Carraig stayed behind, forming stones to go around the fire. Before the sun fully set, a fire was lazily crackling in a pit, ignited by the strike of iron against stone.-----“I didn’t remember this earlier,” Cantai said, lying down on his side. “But I talked briefly with one of the traders that took us to Metru Nui. What was his name … Epigo, I think. Anyway, he said that there were tales … rumors about islands that existed far to the south. All of them were barren and uninhabited, aside from some native Rahi species.”-----“Why do you think we’re on one of these islands?” Sumiki asked.-----Cantai did his best to shrug while on his side. “I don’t know for certain. But if the only island we can see is to the north …”-----Carraig and Sumiki both knew where he was going with this. “You’re saying that we might be at the edge of the known universe,” Carraig said.-----Cantai nodded. “Of course, there could always be islands to our south, our east, and our west – but too far away to be seen.” He rolled down on his back, feeling the softness of the sand under his body. “Best we can do is go north.”-----Sumiki held up his fist. “To the north!”

*-----*-----*

-----The three Toa woke up at the crack of dawn. The fire had mostly gone out, but Cantai froze it over to make sure.-----The first order of the day was to begin the process of building some sort of boat. They traveled away from the beach and into some woods, where many different types of trees grew. They all noticed a good candidate for boat-making material – sturdy, lightweight, bamboo-like stalks that, while not abundant, existed in enough places to be reasonably collected. In about an hour, they had enough of the stalks lying down on the beach to begin boat building.-----However, they were still missing a crucial ingredient – something to lace all of the stuff together. Thus, they journeyed into the woods once again to try and find something that would do the trick.-----The forest became thicker the farther they traveled into it, and the canopy that provided abundant shade increased until darkness became the norm. The foliage came in all different colors, shapes, and sizes. Occasionally they’d see a Rahi, but no matter how big or terrifying they were, they were incredibly skittish around the Toa, having never seen one before.-----Eventually, Cantai spotted a sturdy-looking vine. He pulled it down from the tree it had wrapped itself around. Tying it around some smaller trees and smacking it repeatedly, he was impressed with its strength. This particular area seemed to have enough of it …-----His train of thought trailed off as he looked at the vines. “Is it just me … or are those things growing?” he asked.-----“I think they are,” Sumiki said. He bent down and slapped at his feet. “They’re trying to trap me, or turn me into a tree, or something.”-----“I’d kind of like to be a tree,” Carraig said wistfully. “But now is definitely not the time.” He pulled one leg up, ripping through the foliage that had engulfed his feet. “This is creeping me out.”-----The woods weren’t done with him yet. The branches of the trees around them grew and intertwined with other branches, forming a network that trapped the Toa in. Vines snaked down around the bodies of the Toa, down around their necks and under their arms, threatening to choke them. Cantai formed ice knifes in his hands and in the hands of his companions. They used these expertly, slicing through the vines that threatened their lives.-----But the power that the woods now inexplicably held was inherently weak against the powers of the Toa. We could break out of here if they could get some footing, Sumiki thought.-----Carraig had stopped moving, letting the vines slowly engulf him. Sumiki whirled around and sliced off some of the thicker and faster-moving branches. “What are you doing? You trying to get yourself killed?”-----Carraig cracked his eyes open. “This ground … it’s full of stone. I can feel it,” he said. Throwing his arms into the air, the ground exploded beneath them, sending them well above the canopy, perched upon a column of stone. Sumiki and Cantai were knocked to the ground as they struggled against the now-dying vines. Carraig brought his hands down, and the stone stopped moving. Exhausted from the strain, he collapsed near the other Toa.-----“That … was … insane,” Sumiki panted, spitting some rabid clover from his mouth. “Totally cool, though.”-----Cantai slowly got back on his feet, nonchalantly wiping the rest of the vines off of his armor. “I would say the vines are dead,” he said, matter-of-factly. “Since they are, I suggest we use them to construct our boats.”-----Carraig struggled to his knees. “No rest for the weary,” he breathed.

-----

Review

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#8 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Sep 03 2012 - 10:36 PM

Posted Image

-----Deep beneath the Coliseum, in a bleak, mottled, unprepossessing room that few others ever had the privilege of setting eyes on, the real core of the universe was kept close. Karda Nui, for all its scale and power, was only a massive power generator. Here, underneath the Coliseum, was the domain of the Great Spirit, guarded from the outside by layers upon layers of labyrinth and booby-traps. Directly below this room was a vast, complex system of machinery, where the mind of Mata Nui had been held. There were even more traps down there, which is why the being who resided within this room didn’t even go down there – not anymore. There was no point to; he was fine where he was, because he had what he had.-----Now, he was watching, like he often did.-----A large sphere that dominated the center of this room shuddered as it flashed images of three Toa breaking their way out of rabid foliage, as if it could feel the visceral struggle between Toa and element itself.-----Though he saw that one of his many agents of destruction was not having success at stopping these three Toa, he was not tense. How could he be? This monster of greenery was one of the weakest of his many creations, and the Toa couldn’t get near anything of importance without going through more powerful barriers he had arranged. In the end, all he could do was sit back and watch the show, wearing the Toa down until he could finally destroy them.-----He wasn’t altogether detached from the situation – far from it, in fact. His was the mind behind harnessing the spirits of the elements, binding them together in the universe, changing the fabric of their reality ever so slightly. It was for the better, in his opinion. He let himself enjoy a moment of pride at what he had done, but did not let it last for too long, lest he remember how utterly easy it all was. With the powers at his command, he could do anything he wanted.-----He thought back to his close encounter with the three Toa. It was a close call, he thought. But now I get to mess with them. Oh yes. Yesterday, the same three Toa were on the verge of knocking his door down and ending his fun prematurely. Now they were stranded on the island of Artidax … but not permanently. Oh, no, they’d get off that island, and then he could really have some fun. Sending Kranua and greenery after them would really get old, especially since they’d proven themselves to be adept at defeating each threat. Clearly, these Toa were not to be trifled with, which was all the more reason he looked forward to trifling with them.-----Presently, his train of thought trailed off, as it was prone to do. The Toa had followed one of these elemental anomalies to his doorstep. They had defeated it at the last moment, which never, ever should have happened. It was his own fault, and he knew it. He never anticipated being so close to one of his creations and not needing to communicate with it. Its failure to do anything cost it, and its failure felt like his failure. He was a perfectionist, to a degree. The purple flame had done its job well, but his one oversight made the entire endeavor seem pointless.-----Of course, the flame couldn’t think – not like some of the others he’d crafted. It still sat there in the room down a few hallways. Though encased in solid stone, it still functioned perfectly, a testament to its design. He could feel it, as if it was a very extension of his own self.-----He snapped his fingers twice. Three Vahki Rorzahk entered the room, saluting him with their Staffs of Presence. “There’s a stone block down that way,” he said as he gestured vaguely in its direction. “Bring it to me.” Soundlessly, the Vahki exited the room.-----Eventually, he knew, someone would find out, but he didn’t worry about that day. Turaga Dume, or one of his cronies, would undoubtedly figure out that these three Vahki were missing – but what could they do about it? Dume might rule the city in name, but his powers were puny, confined only to his Kiril and whatever small flame he could muster. The Vahki at his disposal were much more of a threat, but he could defeat them – after all, he’d been able to alter the Vahki mainframe, deleting records of units and programming them to ignore the death of the Akilini announcer.-----If given a little more time, and he could control the fabric of space and time itself – and when he achieved that, he would have no further use for the crude element beings, or the Vahki. But until then, he had to content himself with the power that he controlled. It wasn’t unlimited … yet.-----But that would come.-----Presently, the Vahki returned, snapping him out of his daze of what was to come. The lead Rorzahk was carrying the stone block by using the tips of its staffs, slightly digging into the stone before setting it down in front of the being. He dismissed them, and they exited to a chamber beyond, awaiting their next command. He placed the block down on a nearby table, and waved his hand over its surface. It split apart, freeing the purple flame once again. It made a quick lap around the room before hovering near him.-----“Fire,” he crooned, stroking the licks of flame that floated near his side. It was a strange, tingling feeling. “You have served your purpose well, but I’m going to need you in the future. You’re important.” He knew that the flame could not possibly know what he was saying, but that didn’t stop him. It would continue to flawlessly execute its program, a complex system of algorithms and heuristics, which he had created for it and for others of its kind. But there was a flaw, a fault not of the flame but of his oversight, a flaw that that trio of pesky Toa had accidentally exploited.-----Never again, he thought.-----He turned around and opened up a screen on the large wall. Though somewhat underwhelming, it displayed the code of the entire universe. His additions to this code, though long and tedious, did not even amount to a fraction of a fraction of one percent of the code. Quickly, he found the section that governed the functions of the elements, located the fire section, and found his own code for the purple flame. Within minutes, he had mentally modified the code, altering it by using the Psionic powers he had bequeathed himself. Now, threats to the flame’s continuing functionality would override its proximity to its maker, averting the possible exploitation of this in the future.-----But the code wasn’t finished. For his alterations to become permanent – at least until he found it necessary to alter the code again – he had to upload it to the main control panel. He dreaded doing this, but it was something that had to be done.-----He walked over to the far wall and accessed a few panels, which opened up to reveal a series of levers and switches that controlled various aspects of the room. He flipped a few of these, which turned the sphere off and raised it up into the ceiling, which opened before it and closed after it. He was going to miss the exploits of those three Toa after he had done away with them. He might keep them around as pets a little while …-----After the sphere had disappeared into the ceiling, he hit two more switches, and the floor opened up. What rose up out of the floor was a smaller, brighter sphere, with controls all around it. It rose up to eye level and stopped. The floor tightened around it, locking it in, and a pole descended from the ceiling to brace the jittering sphere.-----He steeled himself. No matter how many times he brought this control panel up, he never would comprehend its full power, for it was beyond understanding. Everything about the universe could be controlled from this panel, and he had abused it for his own purposes. But, whenever he did so, he felt the spirit of what he had trapped, felt its gaze around him and within him, and felt what he could only describe as a form of inchoate hatred directed at him. He did not reciprocate the feeling – in fact, he only could feel sorrow for the powerful being that he’d trapped in this innocent-looking sphere.-----“Good evening, Mata Nui,” he said.

*-----*-----*

-----Carraig, Cantai, and Sumiki had set out from Artidax without incident. Carraig and Sumiki were in a long boat made from Artidax’s foliage, while Cantai constructed a small boat of ice around a skeleton of light, flexible sticks. They had worked on the boats since sunrise, and now were sailing away from the island.-----Carraig had made six stone oars for their use. Sumiki and Cantai were originally skeptical about using them, but they proved to be effective and did not break or crumble under repeated strain.-----While all three of the Toa expected something to happen to them while they were on the ocean between islands, nothing did. The faint mountain on the horizon grew bigger and bigger and bigger still, until they could see its smaller siblings on either side. Spurred on by the sight, their boats ground on the shore as the sun was setting.-----The island appeared to be the twin of Artidax, insofar as terrain was concerned: mountains towards the center, sand on the beaches, and forest somewhere in the middle. But this island was different: the sand was not black, and the mountains did not belch ash and smoke into the air. Looking back, they could make out smoke and ash coming from Artidax, though fainter than when they had left it. Still, though from a distance and in low light, it still seemed like an imposing force.-----“I was hoping this island would be different,” Sumiki grumbled as he helped Cantai and Carraig haul the long boat ashore. Cantai had sucked the ice off of his boat, replenishing his somewhat depleted elemental stores.-----“Well, we’d better start a fire,” Carraig said as he helped lay the boat safely down ashore. He scanned the boat, looking for damage. All he found was some seaweed and what appeared to be a barnacle. “We don’t have much time left.”-----“I don’t think firewood will be a problem,” Cantai said.-----“What do you me–oh …” Sumiki trailed off. Half of the woods seemed to have been cut down. “How did we not notice this before?”-----Carraig reformed an oar into small stones and tossed them into a large circle. “Yeah, that looks like a problem.”-----“Something came through, then …” Cantai said before he ran up to the nearest of the felled trees. He rolled one over, checking them out with discerning eyes. “It’s recent,” he called to the other Toa. Something powerful came this way, and they might have to follow this path to its source come the next day. But Cantai was not there to speculate and plan, so he snapped off a few of the smaller branches and carried them back to the campsite. Sumiki produced a small bit of iron, Carraig some stone, and after a few attempts they sparked the embers of a fire with the wood he had brought back.

*-----*-----*

-----The sun had finally set, and the fire threw an eerie glow on their faces. All three Toa said nothing, each contemplating what had transpired, and what they thought might transpire.-----“That really worries me,” Cantai said at long last. “It seemed to have all be cut down before we got here … maybe by a few days, if that.” He sighed and leaned back onto a log. “Considering we just woke up on that other island, I have a hard time imagining that as a coincidence. Too many strange things.”-----“Could be some bad storm. Still, it’s bizarre that it was as localized as it was,” Carraig pointed out.-----“Well, thank Mata Nui something’s not trying to kill us,” Sumiki said. “I’ve had enough of that already.”-----Cantai smiled. “Oh, but that makes it fun,” he said.-----Carraig held up a hand. “I think I hear something,” he whispered. It was a fast pitter-patter, like rain … and it was getting progressively louder. The three Toa got up and wielded their tools, readying for whatever came at them.-----To their shock, a Toa of Earth materialized as if from thin air, stumbling over the end of the log Cantai was going to use as a makeshift pillow. His momentum made him tumble end-over-end, eventually coming to rest on the sand a number of bio away. The impact had hurled the Toa’s Kanohi away from his body, a few more bio down the beach. The Toa’s backpack had also been hurled away, but it had rolled close to his body.-----The shock of what just happened stopped the three Toa from immediate investigation. “What was he running from?” Sumiki wondered as he jogged with Carraig and Cantai to the still form of this Toa.-----“We’ll find out,” Cantai said, grimly.-----Cantai bent down over the black-armored Toa as Sumiki ran to get his mask. He returned in short order, affixing the slightly deformed Kakama to his face. Immediately, the Toa’s eyes brightened.-----“Save yourselves,” he said, panting. His breathing slowed down as he studies Cantai’s unmoving mask. “I’m serious … get out. Now.”-----“It’s alright,” Sumiki said. “You tumbled quite a distance; I’m surprised you didn’t hurt yourself.”-----The Toa of Earth gulped. “Water,” he said, shaking his head.-----“Here,” Carraig said, handing him a bottle from his bag. But he was waved off. The Toa, with mighty effort, pointed behind them.-----“No … water.”-----Sumiki, Carraig, and Cantai slowly stood.-----There was a three-bio tall wave on the beach, as still as could be. As they stared at it, partly out of shock and partly out of wonder, the sea rose up around them. But the water kept its distance, leaving the four Toa inside a circle of damp beach.-----Then, as soon as it had raised itself up, the water collapsed on them.-----Somewhere below the Coliseum, a lone being laughed.

-----

Review

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#9 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Oct 09 2012 - 05:27 PM

Posted Image

-----As soon as the water began to collapse around the four Toa, Cantai shot his hand outwards, touching the water as it began to fall. He forced as much of his elemental energy out of his hand as he could, solidifying the water before it could engulf them.-----The silence that followed lasted for a far longer period of time than it should have. Eventually, the Toa of Earth on the ground stirred.-----“You … you all saved my life,” he said, somewhat weakly. “Thank you.”-----“Well, it was mainly me, but hey, who’s counting?” Cantai asked sarcastically as the newcomer rose to his feet.-----“So who are you?” Sumiki asked the newcomer.-----“The name’s Maldro,” he replied. “Toa of Earth.”-----“Nice to meet you,” Sumiki said. “I’m Sumiki. This is Carraig and Cantai.”-----Maldro nodded. “Pleasure to meet you all. So why are you here?”-----Sumiki exhaled slowly. “Long story. We followed a sentient flame to Metru Nui, were chased underneath the Coliseum, and woke up one island over.”-----“Sentient flame, you say? That’s very strange,” Maldro said. “I’ve been on the trail of something similar – a strange creature of greenery. Foliage absolutely everywhere. That made it easy to track … well, relatively speaking. It choked a bunch of Matoran to death on the island just to the north. Nearly destroyed the entire village.” He shrugged. “I just kept following it ‘til I got here. Then tonight that wave thing chased me so … I ran.”-----“We encountered that foliage thing on that other island,” Sumiki said.-----“Wait … about the wave,” Carriag interrupted. “You ran from it? You didn’t fight?”-----“I use my Kakama as a reflex,” Maldro said, somewhat defensively. “Something I’ve trained myself in.” He produced his two weapons; twin Frisbees that he whirled dexterously. “Plus, these wouldn’t do a bit of good.”-----Sumiki eyed the weapons cautiously. “Strange,” he said, pulling out his twin disks from his back. “Talk about similarity. Wow.”-----“I actually first had a pickaxe, but I didn’t like that too much. A Matoran gave these to me as a gift.”-----“From what village?” Carraig asked.-----“Oh, I don’t really remember. I just travel around, y’know? Meet some folks, maybe save the day a couple of times. I’ve never been fond of the idea of staying in one place, protecting a village or an area. I like to think that I do more help just by traveling around. It keeps me going. Life gets boring otherwise.”-----“I don’t know about you all, but I think I’ve had enough new experiences for a lifetime. Maybe being a Turaga wouldn’t be so bad after all,” Cantai grumbled. Around them, the ice groaned. “Come on. I think it’s best we get out of here.”-----The four Toa clambered up the ice and onto its flat, slippery surface. There was a gentle incline down to the ground, and they all slid down it to the beach.-----“So what do you three usually do?” Maldro asked, almost stumbling on the same log he had earlier.-----“We’re just a small team,” Sumiki said. “We met on the Northern Continent, and then roamed around for a while without a plan. Villages eventually started contacting us to investigate murders, and that’s how we followed the flame to Metru Nui.”-----“What do you think is going wrong?”-----Sumiki looked puzzled. “Wrong?”-----“Y’know … wrong. Sentient flames aren’t what I’d call an everyday occurrence.”-----Sumiki shrugged. “I wish I knew what’s wrong. That’s what we’re trying to find out.”-----“Any ideas? Any leads?”-----“As a general rule, we try not to jump to conclusions. In our experience that only leads to trouble.”-----“But still. You’ve gotta have some idea, don’t you?”-----“I think we all have our own theories, but there’s not enough evidence for proof of anything. Talking about it would only lead to more speculation, and that certainly wouldn’t do us any good. The plan is to keep going north until we get back to more civilization.”-----The Toa continued to walk along the winding beach. Occasionally, one of them would glance back to see if anything was behind them. They had left the ice far behind them, and there was no sign anywhere around them that anything was out of the ordinary.-----“Y’know … about our weapons,” Maldro piped up after a lengthy silence. “Kinda strange, isn’t it?”-----“It’s just a coincidence.”-----“Are you sure?-----“You think that the coincidence isn’t simply coincidental?”-----Maldro nodded. “Precisely. Perhaps … perhaps fate drew us together.”-----Sumiki chuckled. “That’s silly. Whatever’s in charge of this universe now certainly isn’t concerned with niceties.”

*-----*-----*

-----While they could still see relatively well by starlight, the four Toa needed rest more than they needed progress. A long ways off from the frozen water, they started a new fire from some kindling that Maldro had in his bag. “I keep anything that might be useful in here,” he said as he provided it. “I never know when some of these things might be useful.” As if to prove his point, he pulled out half of a Kanoka disk. “Don’t know why this was on one of the islands. Maybe some moron tried to play fetch with a Muaka.”-----“I think that I’d rather listen to Sumiki’s puns,” Cantai said.-----Maldro looked at Sumiki. “You make puns?”-----Sumiki nodded. “I think they’re good, but he thinks they’re downright pungent.”-----“Well, that’s it, I think I’m going to go off and die now,” Cantai announced.-----“That’s cool,” Maldro said, ignoring Cantai’s complaints. “I do that too.”-----“Oh dear,” Cantai groaned. “Two of them.”-----“Y’know, I’ve got this theory … that Sumiks and I are somehow linked.”-----“What?” Carraig exclaimed. “We only just met you. This is crazy.”-----“First I’ve heard about this,” Sumiki said.-----“Nah, seriously. Look. We’ve got similar weapons, and we both like making puns.”-----“Yeah, I’m not so sure about that,” Carraig said, poking the fire with a long stick. “You two don’t seem alike in any other way.”-----“So, Maldro,” Cantai said, changing the subject before one of them could fire off another atrocious pun. “What’s your story?”-----My story?”-----“Yeah. How did you get here? What got you started adventuring around?”-----Maldro took a deep breath, and began.-----“Let’s see, where can I begin … well, I was a Matoran on the Southern Continent for quite some time, ever since I can remember. About a year or so ago, the Toa of our village, Morro, decided to retire. But before he did so, he handed us – me and a Po-Matoran named Reto – Toa stones. Long story short, I can see why the old guy retired. The village was boring! Very rarely anything happened, and when it did, it was only some small Rahi, no larger than a pet, and it did no more damage to anything than … well, you get the point. Boring.-----“Well, Reto didn’t seem to really like being a Toa, so he took to the routine pretty well. But me? Shoot, I couldn’t stay in one place to save my life. I didn’t set out for adventure until I asked Reto and Turaga Morro if they were okay with it. They deliberated for a good while but finally let me go.-----“I kept wandering around the whole entire continent, and I realized something. There were a lot of villages and towns – and in some cases, entire cities – that just didn’t have Toa. That kind of shocked me. I didn’t have a very large view of the world, so I thought most settlements were like my own. And in many cases, the fact that there weren’t Toa meant that there was quite a bit of crime. So I traveled from place to place, having adventures, and generally policing up the place. ‘Course, all the Matoran that have been getting away with murder – quite literally, in some cases! – didn’t really like the fact that I was stopping them.-----“Eventually they realized I was inexperienced and ganged up on me. I wouldn’t dare kill any of ‘em, but they had some success. They must have realized at some point that a bunch of Matoran going up against a Toa is kind of an unfair fight, even if there are a ton of ‘em. So they sent mercenaries after me. Dark Hunters. I got wise to the situation before anything really terrible happened and was able to avoid getting killed – obviously – but I was forced off the continent. It was for my own safety, you understand – even if I could no longer help on the Southern Continent, I could at least help elsewhere. I tried faking my own death by cracking a mask I’d found that was eerily similar to mine, but I don’t know if that worked – ‘cuz if they were perceptive at all, they would have noted the slight deformation of this one.-----“By this point I had realized the scale of the universe, as I’d helped out in enough port towns to get a sense of the known islands. I hitched a ride on a boat – well, maybe not hitched; stowed away might be a bit more accurate. I still kinda worry that the Dark Hunters are still on my tail, which is another reason I keep on the run.-----“And … well, I’ve pretty much been island-hopping since. I mean, as I said, I enjoyed roaming around … but that got me into the mess I’m in. But now that I’m in it – or rather, don’t know if I’m still in it or not – keeping on the move seems the best option. The thing is, the Dark Hunters don’t really give up, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. Eventually I’m gonna run out of places to run to. That’s the scary bit.-----“In some ways I’ve been able to improve lives, but at what cost? There’s no way to know the success or failure of what I’ve done.-----“I just wish I could go back. I just want to see if my work has amounted to good or bad. That’s all.”-----There was a long pause as the other three Toa considered what Maldro had said. No matter what, they were headed north, and there would be extra safety for all of them if they added one more to their small group.-----“We’ll be going north, and we’re going to keep heading north no matter what,” Carraig said. “If you like, you could come with us.”-----Maldro smiled. “Well, if you’re heading that way anyway, I might as well tag along.”-----“Generally I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘safety-in-numbers’ thing,” Sumiki said, “But there are definitely advantages to more Toa, especially if we’re going to be facing more of these crazy elemental manifestations.” I just hope his habit of running away from problems doesn’t get us into an even bigger mess, he added to himself.-----“I agree,” Cantai said. “Just … one thing.”-----“What?” Sumiki asked.-----“Keep the puns to a minimum, would you?”-----With that, the conversation concluded, and the four exhausted Toa fell asleep.

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, Oct 09 2012 - 05:28 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#10 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Oct 11 2012 - 12:30 PM

Posted Image

-----After three weeks of traveling, Carraig thought, I knew we’d eventually run into something. I just didn’t expect it to be this … bizarre.-----Carraig was crouched down next to Sumiki, Cantai, and Maldro, and with them, peered over a rock. Below, in a small and treeless valley, Matoran of all elements stood around a gigantic bonfire. The light it gave out was enormous, and the heat it produced made the Toa begin to sweat from a good distance away.-----It wasn’t just any bonfire, however. What the Toa were witnessing was clearly a ritual of some kind. The Matoran were chanting something, but they were too far away to hear them, and the crackling of the bonfire drowned any of the intelligibility their chant retained at such a distance.-----For about ten minutes, the Toa silently watched as the Matoran walked around in geometric patterns. Eventually, they grouped into two circles: one large one around the bonfire, and the other surrounding a Matoran a little ways off to the side. They moved in tandem, as if they had practiced this until they no longer could get it wrong.-----“Psst … Maldro,” Cantai whispered. “Have you ever seen anything like this?”-----Maldro shook his head despondently. “I’m sure I’ve been through here before, but … this isn’t right. This was just woods. It’s as if all the trees were annihilated.” He paused, looking up over the rock, almost standing fully upright before Sumiki grabbed his back and pulled him down.-----“What part of the word ‘reconnaissance’ do you not understand?” the Toa of Iron asked.-----“Sorry. Got carried away. But look: see how there’s a valley here? Looks like something happened, and I’ll bet it did.”-----“When were you last through here?”-----“Oh, about … a little over six months ago, I think.”-----“Do you think these fellows did it?” Carraig asked, gesturing to the Matoran who surrounded the bonfire. “They certainly seem to be dedicated enough to … whatever it is that they’re doing.”-----“I honestly have no idea. Does it matter, though?”-----“If we’re going to be dealing with another elemental force, then yeah, it matters a lot,” Sumiki said. He squinted his eyes. “Wait, what are they doing now?-----A Ko-Matoran had donned a gold cape and was loudly addressing the rest of the Matoran. All were on their knees, and had stopped chanting.-----“My fellow Matoran,” he said. “Now is the time to honor all that is honorable, and pay our dues to the only true righteous continuation of our society, and indeed, our very universe. All of us were joined together by a common bond: our realization that the universe has no laws, that it has no moral code, that all that we have been taught is a lie, that all that really does exist in the name of Mata Nui is sheer suppression.”-----The Matoran responded with a yell.-----“Oh, I get it now,” Carraig said caustically. “It’s a cult. Lovely.”-----Cantai held up a finger to silence him. While the chants were not intelligible, this Ko-Matoran’s voice was easily heard. Maybe that’s why he was the leader.-----“Mata Nui is dead. The three Virtues, which have been upheld as a trio of ‘goodness’ in the darkness of this universe, are lies. Indeed, Mata Nui is dead – if he ever was alive at all.”-----The Matoran crowd again yelled.-----“We are told throughout the universe that our lives have only one purpose – to work for Mata Nui. But there is evil in this universe! Mata Nui is against ‘evil,’ but there still is ‘evil.’ We must throw off these chains! We must abandon the notions of good and evil!”-----Once more, the Matoran yelled.-----“Our time has COME! The shackles are OFF! We are riding towards a new horizon in our history. With Mata Nui’s death, so too has ‘morality’ died.”-----Louder and more ferociously, the Matoran yelled.-----“We must turn AWAY from the old, towards the most ancient creature of all. The real core of our beloved universe, fuel of all but meddler in none … TREN KROM!”-----“TREN KROM!” screamed the Matoran.-----“Okay, this is really getting strange,” Carraig said, as the Ko-Matoran and the crowd alternated their chant. “A Tren Krom cult? Of all things …”-----“NOW!” screamed the Ko-Matoran. “Mata Nui!” He looked up at the sky. “If you wish to stop us, you had better do it now!”-----There was, predictably, no response from the dusky sky.-----“Very well then! Bring the tribute!”-----“I have a very, very bad feeling about this,” Sumiki said.-----“We have to be ready to move out,” Carraig said.-----The cultists who surrounded the Matoran in the center of the smaller circle converged upon him and picked him up. Immediately, he began to squirm, and the Toa could see that he was tied at his arms and legs, blindfolded, and gagged.-----The Matoran resumed chanting as the Matoran tribute was walked over towards the fire. As they made their approach, the chanting increased in forcefulness and speed.-----“That’s our cue,” Carraig said.-----The Toa ran out from behind the rock and down into the gentle valley, as the Ko-Matoran began to speak again.-----“Brothers and sisters, it is time once again for the tribute. Tren Krom demands it be so, and we shall provide for him. We must—” he stopped as he saw three Toa running towards him. “Well, well, well. It appears that we have company.”-----Sumiki pulled his weapons out and skidded to a halt a bio in front of the Ko-Matoran. “In the name of Mata Nui,” he said, spinning his weapons rapidly near the Matoran’s mask, “you are under arrest.”-----“You only go against me because I speak the truth, and you know that I do,” the Ko-Matoran said evenly. This elicited a cheer from the rest of the Matoran. “You see, Toa, I know how your little ‘moral code’ works. It’s a sham. ‘Don’t kill’ – well, sometimes a little death is the best punishment. They’re guaranteed never to do it again, and you provide a little incentive so others won’t emulate it. Death is the only answer. Death is whole, death is … perfect.-----“Okay, news flash, li’l buddy. You’re really messed up.”-----The Ko-Matoran smiled broadly. “I still contend that your morals are flawed. You’re afraid of what’s different. You’re afraid of the truth.”-----“I’ve seen what’s different. You’re just insane.”-----“Don’t tell me that it has never occurred to you to ask what the underlying cause of all this is? You fool! I know what it is, and you must too, somewhere deep in your core. You defend the flawed ideology of good.”-----“Says the guy who is about to sacrifice an innocent Matoran.”-----“Oh yes, sorry, thank you so much for reminding me.” He turned his head. “Sacrifice the tribute!”-----Slowly, the Matoran went into the fire … and then he was gone.-----“You se–AAAAAaaaaaagh” screamed the Matoran as Sumiki slammed his disk into the Matoran’s mask. It shattered into a dozen pieces, and its wearer slumped on the ground.-----Presently, the three Toa became aware of two things. The first was that Maldro had apparently fled. The second was that all of the Matoran were now advancing on them, and most of them carried weapons.-----“Can you put out the fire?” Carraig asked as he stopped a blade with his gauntlets, then kicked its wielder into a Le-Matoran who was wielding a twig.-----“Tried. Don’t have enough juice. It’s too big.” Cantai roundhouse-kicked another Matoran, then spun and punched another one in the gut, knocking him backwards a few bio.-----Then the bonfire went out.-----“Hey! Who turned out the lights?” a Matoran asked. Sumiki threw one of his disks at the direction of the sound. Two thuds and one groan later, he felt the disk return to his hand.-----“It’s alright,” came the voice of Maldro. “I did that.”-----“Thank Mata Nui. We thought you’d deserted,” Cantai said, irritated. He hadn’t stopped beating Matoran up, since he knew where they were standing by utilizing his Arthron. “Where were you?”-----“I engaged my Kakama and kept running around until the opportune moment,” he said. “I snatched that tribute guy and put him behind the rock. Then I waited some more, and then I ran around the bonfire fast enough that I created a vacuum around it. Not easy to do, let me tell ya.”-----“That’s … that’s brilliant,” Carraig said.-----Maldro smiled, though no one could see it. “I try.”

*-----*-----*

-----When Cantai had finished off the rest of the Matoran (“it was easy because they hardly moved,” he later said), Sumiki and Carraig re-lit the bonfire so they could see what they were doing. The maskless Ko-Matoran was flailing weakly around, and Maldro insisted on putting a mask on him. He did so, and revived as soon as it was placed on his head. Before he could move, however, Sumiki reached down and picked him up.-----“Now. Listen here. We could have kept you maskless, so that you’d die. But that would have left us no better than the likes of you. So instead we thought we’d show you a little mercy and cut you a deal.” Sumiki stared at the Ko-Matoran, and the Ko-Matoran stared right back. “Would you like to know what this deal is?”-----The Ko-Matoran spat on Sumiki’s chest armor. The Toa silently and begrudgingly admired the Matoran’s determination, even if he was insane.-----“I’ll take that as a yes. So here’s the deal: you show the same mercy we showed towards you, and we won’t bother you any more. Deal?”-----The Ko-Matoran tried to spit again, but it dribbled out of his mouth instead of landing on Sumiki. “Deal,” he said at last. He knew when he’d been beaten.-----“You chose wisely,” Sumiki said, placing him on the ground. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some business to attend elsewhere.”-----The Ko-Matoran ripped his new mask off and hurled it into the fire, screamed something about the tribute that must be atoned for, and staggered into the fire. He burned, but did not scream. He would not give the Toa such a satisfaction.-----The Toa stared at this spectacle for a long while, before Carraig broke the silence. “Alright. Can anyone explain to me what just happened?”-----Maldro opened his mouth to speak, but closed it before anything came out.-----“I think our work here is done,” Sumiki said. “Let’s see if this tribute has anything to … eh, contribute.”-----Cantai groaned.

*-----*-----*

-----They ascended out of the valley and looked behind the small rock that had shielded them earlier. After Maldro had grabbed him and placed him back here, he had untied the tribute’s hands and feet, and removed his gag and blindfold. Being not fully adept at the powers of his Kakama, he had had to slow down to remove them. This tribute, so he thought, should recognize him.-----“Hello there,” Maldro said soothingly. “Are you okay?”-----The tribute slowly turned his head, his unfocused eyes glazing over the Toa as if they weren’t there. “These … these are all but dead. But he died … he died of Tren Krom? Hand of dead Matoran …”-----“It’s alright. You’re safe here.”-----The tribute’s eyes widened and he began to jitter. “No one is safe! Not here! Never. Never! You give us souls. You brought the madness … and you quell it.”-----“I think he snapped,” Sumiki muttered to Carraig.-----“No! Of course, there is no rest. I know, or you knew – at least, you should have. But for me, I believe! Yes! Here are the heroes, and their fight against themselves! What more is needed?”-----Maldro leaned down and tried to place his hand on the tribute’s chest. The tribute slapped it away. “What’s your name?” Maldro asked.-----“Unimportant. It is what I have to say that makes all changes, into that what happens – it is required. I know, but oh, that I will!-----“There is no reason to keep competing … before you all go alone, you must fight, and keep fighting. It is not against you, but against the world! It is not against each other, you see … but it is. That is what is necessary, and perfect. You are at fault, and at stake. Do not let yourselves die! When both ends burn, nothing matters … what burns leaves nothing else. Even so, the ashes … the ashes even burn. You are nothing …”-----The tribute turned to face Maldro, and for the first time, focused his eyes. “I know you not? The others must carry, but you none. The journey travels far, but you, skyward. Fight until it happens, but it must. Remember that, and remember me.-----“Goodbye.”-----With that, the tribute convulsed once, and then died.

-----

Review

Edited by Sumiki, Oct 11 2012 - 12:31 PM.

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png


#11 Offline Sumiki

Sumiki
  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Assistants
  • Hat Enterprises CEO

  • 11,195 posts
  •   BZP Assistant

Posted Oct 12 2012 - 05:33 PM

Posted Image

-----Sumiki, Carraig, Cantai, and Maldro had spent the four days that followed their encounter with the cult in relative silence. When they occasionally talked about the cult, it devolved into speculation on the meaning of the tribute’s last words.-----They came, at last, to a realization. The tribute was probably stark mad. But his words, and the way he said them, led credence to the theory that he knew something, a painful truth which let to the point of mental breakdown. Maldro seemed especially and excessively worried about what the tribute had said. Something in his words and his tone bothered him. When he wasn’t actively dwelling on it, the subject lurked in the back of his mind. It was always there in some form.-----Another strange thing about the cult was that it seemed so bizarre. Cults, by definition, are pretty much always bizarre, but this one was especially so, and not for the practices of its constituents – though that was creepy enough. It had simply sprung up out of nowhere, along with that valley. Maldro still swore that it wasn’t there when he had last come through the region, but the other three Toa knew how easily one could forget terrain, especially if you’ve only seen it once, and especially if it was all uninhabited. After all, woods anywhere look similar.-----Eventually, Maldro realized the truth of what Sumiki had told him when they had first met, just a little under a month ago: talking only led to rampant speculation. With the little facts that they had, and the little they could logically infer from those, speculation could easily be treated as fact. When such enemies were loose, speculation could only lead to more lost lives, and that was something that could not be tolerated. That’s not to say that he didn’t still came up with theories that ranged from the theoretically possible to the downright bizarre – he just kept them to himself.-----There was something that bothered all four of them, though: they hadn’t seen any elemental creature in almost a month. All four of them took this in a slightly different way, but all of them knew that another attack was imminent.-----Near noon on the fifth day since the cult incident, Maldro suddenly stopped, and halted their progress. “I know this place too well,” he said. “I have enemies in the town just ahead. They don’t just want my mask; they want my head.-----“So?” Carraig asked. “You don’t want to go in? I thought that was the point of your backtracking. Don’t tell me you want to stop now.”-----“Well … no, it’s just that … I’m kind of nervous. They know me, I’m sure – and they’re there now, waiting for me to return.”-----“You think they’re stupid enough to attack four Toa?”-----“Well … I don’t know, really. That’s why I’m kind of hesitant.”-----“Who cares,” said Cantai laconically, walking up the path that led to the town. “I’m going in.”-----“Yeah, me too,” said Carraig. “You coming, Sumiks?”-----“Sure.”-----Maldro was left standing by himself for a few moments, then jogged up to join them.

*-----*-----*

-----When the trio of Toa caught up with Cantai, he was standing still on the outskirts of the town.-----“Something wrong?” Carraig asked.-----“Yeah … look.”-----At once, they turned their collective focus to the town. It was clearly once a lively and bustling village, made up of mainly Ga- and Le-Matoran.-----This town was just like any other town in the Southern Continent, with one major exception: its residents appeared to be frozen in time.-----Upon closer inspection, the Toa realized that it wasn’t just the residents who weren’t moving. In front of a store, a Matoran had dropped a hammer. It hung there in midair, and the surprised looks on the Matoran faces created an odd humorous contrast with the horrific reality of the situation.-----“I don’t think I want to get trapped in there,” Cantai said at last.-----“Wait, hold on,” Carraig said. He formed a stone in his hand and hurled it with all his strength into the town. It did not freeze or slow down, but continued along its graceful arc until it plopped down in the middle the road far ahead.-----“Seems like an unnecessary danger,” Cantai said.-----“Don’t kid yourself,” Sumiki said. “If you didn’t like unnecessary danger, you wouldn’t be a Toa.”-----“There’s a difference between being a Toa and being stupid.”-----“I don’t think it’ll have any effect on us,” Maldro interjected. “Watch.”-----He stepped into the town, and immediately froze.-----“Interesting …” Cantai breathed.-----After a few seconds of stunned silence, Maldro stumbled over into the town, laughing. He continued to laugh until Cantai calmly walked into the town and slapped him across his mask, knocking it slightly askew.-----“Don’t do that again,” the Toa of Ice warned.-----Maldro adjusted his mask. He continued to chuckle, but he kept it soft.-----Sumiki walked over to the storefront and plucked the hammer out of midair. He let go of it, but it did not fall; it hovered at eye level in a gesture of contempt for physical laws. “Out of all the things we’ve seen,” he mused, “perhaps this is the strangest of them all.”-----“Oh, that is strange,” Maldro said. “What about the Matoran?”-----Sumiki reached down and heaved a Ga-Matoran up, then set her back down again. “Nothing. Still as a statue.”-----Before Maldro could suggest something else, Carraig called them over across the street.-----“Look at this,” the Toa of Stone said. He pointed to a web that had been strung between the knees of a Le-Matoran. A small spider squirmed at its center. “Whatever enters is unaffected.”-----“Then wait … what would happen if we took a frozen Matoran and took ‘em outside?” Maldro asked. “Would they … unfreeze?”-----“You mean melt?” Sumiki quipped.-----“I’d actually liken it more to a defrosting,” Carraig said. “Anyway, I think it’s pretty risky. It might kill them, for all we know.”-----“Who says we have to test it on Matoran?” Sumiki asked. “We could find a Rahi that got caught, and release it. If that works, we can unfreeze the town.”-----“How about these?” Cantai asked, swatting at a small swarm of Acid Flies. “Pesky even when they’re not moving, but they should do.”-----“How do we get them out?” Maldro asked.-----“I was thinking we’d use your bag,” Sumiki said.-----Maldo was reluctant to part with his beloved bag, but upon realizing that this use of it would only last for a short time, he emptied its various eclectic contents and captured the flies with it. Sealing it at the top, he walked out of the town, and opened the back. He cringed at the thought of the pesky critters inside …-----But when he opened the bag, a flurry of dead Acid Flies rolled out of the bag and onto the ground, forming a small dust storm as they settled to the earth.-----“That settles it, then,” Carraig said resignedly.-----“There must be something that we can do,” Maldro said. “If some vicious Rahi comes along, they’d all be dead before they ever knew what hit ‘em … and Mata Nui only knows how bad it’d be if one of those elemental things comes by.”-----“I have a pretty good idea of what would happen,” Sumiki said. “We’ve tried the only option. There is no way.”-----“Think, guys!” Maldro snapped. “There has to be some way of saving these Matoran. Failure cannot be an option.”-----“Failure is always an option, especially when the stakes are this high. I hate moving on too, but unless you can think of something radically outside-the-box that doesn’t involve potential death and destruction, we’re wasting time here.”-----Maldro looked at Sumiki, then at Carraig, and finally at Cantai. He sighed and looked at the ground. “You’re right. It’s just that I feel so helpless like this.”-----“You’re not the only one,” said Carraig.

*-----*-----*

-----Many kio away, the charred corpse of a Ko-Matoran lay in the midst of many ashes, the detritus of a blaze long since gone. At first glance, looked like snow – an apt environ for a Matoran of Ice, after all. The few organic parts that he had had in his body had been utterly immolated, and nothing was left save for the mechanical parts which made up the majority of the Matoran physique.-----A few days prior, the cultists had woken up, and wondered what had happened. They mistakenly believed – or perhaps they wanted to believe – that the tribute had been sacrificed, but yet Tren Krom had snatched up their glorious leader for his own reasons. Leaderless for the days that followed, they engaged in rituals and ate meals from their rapidly dwindling food supply. They steadfastly refused to gather more supplies, as they believed that, since Tren Krom had interfered, he would now interfere with their lives for the better.-----This, obviously, did not happen.-----Late in the fifth day after what some of the cultists referred to as the “Great Interference,” the cultists were preparing to burn the body of their leader once more. His original charring was concerning to them, as their preferred method of death – for cultists or tributes – was via their massive bonfires. Considering the Ko-Matoran was their first – and likely only – leader, they felt it appropriate to burn the body a second time.-----As firewood was gathered, a haze slowly descended from the sky. It looked like a barely visible heat shimmer, and if it had been seen, it likely would have been dismissed as such. But the air was cool. It was not overly cold, but it had a certain crispness and bite to it that made a heat shimmer impossible.-----It stayed there, directly over the body of the Ko-Matoran, until all the firewood was gathered and the cultists began the funeral rite. A slow, somber chant was begun, a great threnody to their former leader.-----The haze descended again, until it surrounded the body of the Ko-Matoran. The cultists continued to chant, and did not notice the shimmer.-----The second bonfire was lit, and light and heat multiplied and engulfed them. Slowly, the cultists picked up their fallen leader and carried him to the fire.-----The haze was now around him, and still engulfed him even as he was moved. Stopped a few bio short of the great fire, a Ta-Matoran – who claimed to be the leader’s next incarnation – began a short eulogy for himself.-----“Every so often, we must imbue the life of one into the life of another,” he said. “I died as I lived, and so I live once again …”-----The haze turned opaque, and began to roil around the obscured body of the Ko-Matoran. Lightning illuminated it from within, and its shudders rocked the ground. The cultists were enthralled with it, and suddenly began to chant “Tren Krom! Tren Krom!”-----The Ta-Matoran may have expected the crowd to interrupt him with an impromptu chant at a solemn ceremony. What he most certainly did not expect was the earthquake beneath his feet. Turning around, he noticed the gigantic haze.-----“Tren Krom …” he breathed. Walking towards the virulent cloud. “Come for us all …”-----He passed his hands over the cloud, and then plunged them into it.-----He died before he hit the ground.-----Even the most avid cultists were panicking. This certainly wasn’t right. If this was Tren Krom, it was not what they had come to expect.-----The cloud exploded from around the Ko-Matoran, its shock wave throwing the cultists away from his body. The lucky ones were knocked out. The unlucky ones were hit by errant bolts of lightning and were fried to death.-----Then, though his gait was as stiff as it was painful, the Ko-Matoran walked once more.

-----

Review

  • 0

sdadcomedy.png





0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users