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Three Stories

flash fic marathon

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#1 Offline GSR

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Posted Jun 11 2012 - 12:22 AM

The Last Dangerous Visions

Theme: Visions


At times, Turaga Vakama dreamt of stars.

He dreamt of space completely unbounded, of planets and galaxies and universes stretching out beyond comprehension, packed with stories and struggles and losses and victories and life and danger.

And then he would open his eyes and see the walls of his hut in New Atero, the torch in the corner of the room flickering and casting shadows across the wall.

At times he would lift himself from where he slept, take his staff, and hobble out into the streets of their city, a hodgepodge of half-finished buildings, and walk for a while. Matoran and Toa greeted him warmly. Agori and Glatorian greeted him cordially - but that was good enough.

Once he was startled to find an old friend on a walk of her own, staff in one hand, tablet in another, heading back from a long night at the school, and together they walked and spoke of days gone by and days yet to come.

She never asked him if he still had visions, and so he never told her of his stars.

Another time he came upon the Toa he'd almost come to think of as family, and the two of them walked and he listened to his son describe the struggles he still faced in uniting the Agori and Matoran.

And his son never asked him if he still had visions, and so he never told him that his stars were getting smaller, that at night he no longer saw galaxies or universes, only a single planet, and he never told him that he feared that perhaps the planet was theirs.

But another time he stumbled upon two Toa he'd known well even as Matoran, and simply smiled and shook his head as the former Ga-Matoran insisted that she'd just been getting some dirt off her companion's mask, which was as red and unblemished as ever. And the three walked and he offered a few old tales to them, because that was what was expected.

And they never asked him if he still had visions, and so he never told them that yes, he did, but it was alright.

That night he bade them farewell and returned to his hut, leaned his staff against the small forge he kept, and laid himself down to rest. And he dreamt of a planet so far away, of its cities that put Metru Nui to shame and of heroes and villains, and when Turaga Vakama awoke he smiled, because it had nothing at all to do with any of them.

 



Faith

Theme: Flight


The reformation of a planet is not a pretty thing.

It may seem simple to onlookers; a bit of mask magic here, a giant robot there, a few shiny lights, and presto: one Spherus Magna, made to order. Breathtaking vistas and awe-inspiring oceans available at no additional cost.

But a planet has enough going on beneath the surface when it’s had millions of years to settle down; one that’s just been clobbered together by sheer force of will is going to be doing some heavy lifting behind the scenes to make sure said breathtaking vistas don’t collapse under their own weight, possibly into the awe-inspiring oceans.

Which was why Onua, Toa Nuva of Earth, had taken it upon himself to launch a one-Toa surveying expedition of the caves beneath what would, all going well, one day be New Atero. It took someone for whom life belowground was more natural than life above it to ensure there were no unpleasant geological surprises waiting beneath the surface.

“Listen, Onua, I know you can dark-see and all, but have you ever though it might not be a bad idea to bring something a little brighter than a torch? Maybe Tahu or something?”

It was slightly unfortunate that Lewa, Toa Nuva of Air and Onua’s closest friend, had insisted on coming along for the ride.

Onua continued moving forward. “I did warn you, brother. There is nothing as dark as an unexplored cavern, and there is nothing more foolhardy than burdening yourself with extra gear. If there is a cave-in, you must be able to move as quickly as possible,” he said in the voice of someone who knows that any opportunity to say ‘I told you so’ will be accompanied by a swift and painful death. “I would advise you to turn back, except that you refused the first three times and we are now far too deep for you to find your way back.”

Lewa snorted. “Oh, have a little faith, Onua. I’m a better path-finder than you think.”

“Perhaps in the jungle, brother. But I’d rather not add another count to the number of times I’ve had to rescue you.” Before Lewa could respond, Onua halted and ran his hand against the walls of the tunnel they were in. He frowned and gestured to Lewa to come forward; the two advanced cautiously.

Onua’s hand shot out in front of Lewa, stopping him a step away from the edge of the underground canyon they now stood at. “Underground river,” he murmured. “We can’t continue any further this way; we’ll have to search for a tunnel around.”

“Anything across from us?”

Onua squinted into the darkness. “There are openings on the far wall, but I can’t see any natural bridges. As I said, we’ll have to find another way across.” Beside him, he heard Lewa stepping back from the edge. Onua turned to follow, at which point the Toa of Air smashed into him at high speed, grabbing him in his arms, and sailed over the edge, whooping happily, his Miru Nuva glowing. Onua hung crazily from his friend, head tilted down just enough to see the massive drop beneath them.

They landed with a crash in one of the openings on the canyon’s wall. Still chuckling, Lewa stood and offered Onua his hand, who took it with a sigh.

“I suppose if I tell you that was borderline suicidal, it’ll only make you happier you did it?”, he asked wearily.

Lewa’s grin would be visible even if Onua wasn’t used to the dark. “A little faith, Onua. We Le-Korans swear by it.”

 



Updates

Theme: Legacy

“Great Spirit” Planetary Evaluation and Reconstruction Program
Excerpted Changelog (17/15/3332 – 19/16/3332 [Most Recent Change])

17/15/3332: “Tohunga” AI System Updated (User #15A7, improved recognition of internal environmental failures)
17/15/3332: “Toa” AI System Updated (User #15A7, improved recognition of internal environmental failures)
17/15/3332: “Rahi” AI System Updated (User #15A7, improved recognition of internal environmental failures)

17/20/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, increased oceanic environmental evaluation efficiency)
17/20/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, improved trans-planetary path mapping and obstacle avoidance)

17/33/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, added “Makuta” self-protection subroutine)
17/33/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, improved recognition of internal damage)

17/41/3332: “Tohunga” AI System Updated (User #15A7, adjusted core priorities to increase importance of protecting core AI modules)
17/41/3332: “Toa” AI System Updated (User #15A7, adjusted core priorities to increase importance of protecting core AI modules)
17/41/3332: “Tohunga” AI System Updated (User #15A7, adjusted core priorities to increase ability to co-operate with Toa units)
17/41/3332: “Toa” AI System Updated (User #15A7, adjusted core priorities to increase importance of protecting Tohunga units)

18/3/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, adjusted core priorities to improve internal homeostasis by making small changes to protect Tohunga and Toa units from damage)

18/7/3332: “Tohunga” AI System Updated (User #15A7, decreased limitations on self-learning)
18/7/3332: “Toa” AI System Updated (User #15A7, decreased limitations on self-learning)
18/7/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #15A7, decreased limitations on self-learning)

18/18/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #15A7, “Three Virtues” priority adjustment subroutine implemented)
18/18/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #15A7, decreased limitations on AI actions during periods where no specific task is being undertaken)
18/18/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #15A7, relaxed assumptions on operating environment)

18/23/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #15A7, increased ability for AI systems to identify other units and adjust behavior depending on past interactions with specific units)

18/33/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #1B99, changes by user #15A7 reverted)

18/40/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #1B99, adjusted core priorities to focus on gathering material for final reconstruction)
18/40/3332: Core AI System Updated (User #1B99, added additional methods of termination)
18/40/3332: “Tohunga” AI System Updated (User #1B99, adjusted core priorities to reduce downtime between finishing one task and starting another)
18/40/3332: “Toa” AI System Updated (User #1B99, adjusted core priorities to prioritize structural preservation over Tohunga unit preservation)

19/2/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #1B99, increased reliability of post-reconstruction standby mode)

19/15/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #1B99, final reliability adjustments in preparation for launch)

19/16/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #1B99, reverted changes by user #1B99, note: secondary user verification not provided)
19/16/3332: All AI Systems Updated (User #1B99, restored changes by user #15A7, note: secondary user verification not provided)
19/16/3332: “Tohunga” Subunit #0001 Updated (User #1B99, updated subunit ID to “Takua”, note: secondary user verification not provided)
19/16/3332: System locked in preparation for launch (User #1B99, note: secondary user verification not provided)

 

While the first was done over the course of an evening, the latter two were done within the space of an hour or two each due to time constraints. As always, any comments are appreciated!


Edited by GSR, Jan 08 2014 - 01:54 AM.

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The Q&A Compendium
Stories: Fractures | An Aftermath | Three Stories | LSO 2012 Epics: Team Three | The Shadow and the Sea | The Days They Were Needed | Glitches | Transformations

BZPRPG: Komae · Soraya · Bohrei


#2 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 11 2012 - 10:04 PM

I liked all of these stories - the first two remind me of the classic GSR style, but the third one stuck out to me as unique. At first, I thought it was a reference to Makuta's takeover, but upon a second rereading, it appears to be Tren Krom you are referring to. It's a nice theory that he might be slightly responsible for Matoran sapience - I note the "changes" that the first user is making seem to be conductive to that. It gives the whole thing a meaning, and I applaud the unusual method of storytelling.
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#3 Offline GSR

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Posted Jun 11 2012 - 11:04 PM

I have a classic style? News to me. Usually I just sort of bounce a ball off the keyboard for a while and then run spellcheck.Anyways, that's an interesting (possibly better) take on the final one... but I'll be honest here and say that wasn't my intent when writing it. The story I had in mind goes like this: a pair of unnamed Great Beings working on the system, the former gradually expanding Mata Nui/the Matoran/the Toa's capabilities as he recognized their potential before being removed from the project for getting too off-track, the latter his replacement focusing on making them 'do their jobs', and the former finally posing as the latter to return these hints of sapience before the system is finished (and leaving the first Matoran unit with a unique identity to help things along).But yours is a perfectly valid interpretation; something as stripped-down as this has plenty of space to fill in the gaps.In any event, glad you enjoyed them.
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I am moving across the country! Please allow me time to reply to any messages/etc. Thanks!


newbforumleader.jpg
(That's a blog link for what it's worth)

The Q&A Compendium
Stories: Fractures | An Aftermath | Three Stories | LSO 2012 Epics: Team Three | The Shadow and the Sea | The Days They Were Needed | Glitches | Transformations

BZPRPG: Komae · Soraya · Bohrei


#4 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 11 2012 - 11:19 PM

Yes, jokes aside, you usually have a definite lyrical style/ voice. I could tell in the stack of flash fiction polls when your story came up - which isn't a bad thing. Not at all. I like that the last one is open to interpretation...just makes it that much better. :)
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