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The Last Memories - Onua Mata's Prequel Short Story

Last Memories Onua Mata Prequel

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#1 Offline joev14

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Posted Nov 02 2012 - 03:03 PM

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Hello everyone! This is my first time posting here in the short stories area. So I tried my hand at writing shorter fiction, and I'm actually enjoying it a lot, I might do this more often rather than always doing full-length epics. This is a Short Story I wrote called the Last Memories, a short narrative by Toa Mata Onua.
Spoiler
I'm going to stop babbling now about why I wrote this, so you can actually read it for yourself, enjoy! And pleeeeease give me some feedback, I want to know how well I did at writing my first short story. :biggrin:

The Last Memories

Onua silently listened for the fifth click that would indicate the rest of his team had entered stasis within the Toa Canisters. He had made sure to close his only half way so the stasis would not activate.Tahu, the leader of the team, and Kopaka, the self-proclaimed deputy, had brought them here and ordered them to get inside these strange ‘Toa Transports.’He trusted that the Toa of Fire would not lie, but the big question that had come to Onua’s mind when he had been told to get inside was; What if Tahu and Kopaka had made a mistake?” He sat there in his canister pondering this; What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports? What if we’re needed, but nobody can call us for help? The world might crumble to dust around us, and we might never even know; or worse, what if we die here? What if something comes while we sleep and slays us? Who would be left to protect the Matoran and the Great Spirit?Onua’s thoughts were interrupted by something unexpected; a voice that said, “Onua, Toa Mata of Earth.”Onua froze, and then after a moment of silence he said, “What? W-who said that?”The voice replied, “It was I.”Onua looked around, and even though he didn’t see anyone, he whispered, “Mata Nui?”He wasn’t sure how he knew, but somehow he did; the voice that had spoken to him had been the Great Spirit.The voice spoke again, “Onua, wise Toa Mata of Earth. You seek answers to your questions, do you not?”Onua stammered a little, and then replied, “Y-yes.”The voice said, “You are very wise to consider these things before you simply obey orders.”Onua smiled a little and thought; So I am right! Tahu and Kopaka were wrong!The voice continued, “But you are losing sight of something. The reasons you were brought into being; Unity, Duty, and Destiny.”Onua had heard these three things said many times. They were the three virtues that the Matoran lived by. He too had tried to live by them, but Onua had never fully understood what they meant or what their significance was.The voice continued, “You are so concerned with accomplishing your duty as a Toa, that you have forgotten your destiny.”Onua thought for a moment and replied, “Which is...?”The voice replied, “Only by following all three of the virtues can you accomplish your purpose. Your brothers and sister will stay in stasis until they are needed. In order to follow the virtues, you must go with them so you can achieve unity, to accomplish your duty and-”As Onua understood what this was leading up to, he finished, “…and to fulfill my destiny.”The voice replied, “Yes, now you begin to see. As I have said before, you are very wise Onua. Through that wisdom you will save your brothers from doom many a time in the future.”Onua listened in surprise, he had always seen himself as one of the less important members of the team, not a good leader like Tahu and Kopaka, or as good at keeping the peace like Gali.The voice spoke up again, “Being humble is a great strength Onua, even stronger than your Kanohi Pakari, but never let that humbleness cause you to look upon yourself as unimportant. Evil will triumph when the good do nothing. And to answer another question that you are certainly thinking, you will not remember anything when you arrive at your destination, except your name.”Onua was saddened by this, but the voice continued, “But one day you shall return here, and your memories will be restored. And now Onua, you must seal your canister, and wait to fulfill your destiny, and I must go.”Onua quickly said, “Wait, I have another question. When you first spoke to me, you called me a Toa ‘Mata.’ Why?”The voice replied, “It is an ancient word, few know its meaning, or even understand it. Loosely translated, it means ‘Spirit.’ Think of it as the opposite of Piraka.”Onua full well knew what Piraka meant; it was a great insult meaning, ‘a thief and a murderer.’ To be referred to as the opposite of it was a great honor.The voice spoke again, “And now Toa, I must go.”Onua said, “Wait, don’t go yet! I have so many more questions to ask!”But the voice did not reply. If Onua had worn the Kanohi Elda, the mask of Detection, he would have realized that Mata Nui’s presence was still there, but he was simply not answering.Onua sighed, and then held up a razor-sharp claw, “Perhaps I won’t remember anything,” said the Toa of Earth, “but this canister can remember for me.”He began to etch a sentence into the wall, and if Mata Nui could have smiled in his current form, he would have done so. The sentence read, “Evil triumphs when the good do nothing.”Mata Nui silently thought to himself; Wise Onua. He did not choose to remember his past, nor his meeting with me, or even the pride of knowing he would fill an important role in the future. He instead chose to remember his destiny.Onua etched one last pair of words underneath that read, “Mata: 'Spirit'."And with that, he placed his weapons in a compartment and twisted the handle above his head, sealing his canister. He felt dizzy for a moment, and then fell into a deep sleep as the Great Spirit watched over him…

Edited by joev14, Nov 05 2012 - 10:53 PM.

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Joev14, Owner of Infinite Inspiration Incorporated

 .
My Short Stories 
The Last Memories | Birth of the Kal | Key of the Codrex | Web of Karzahni
The Depths Below | Monster | Out of the Darkness | Archive

.

My Epics
The Powers That Be Continuation | The Yesterday Quest Continuation
Secrets of the Star Cont. | End of the Beginning Cont. (VIDEO PODCAST SERIES) | Element of Surprise Cont.

.

audio_narration_project_banner_wide.jpg.usro_photo.jpg

Bionicle: ANP aims to create narrated versions of all the Bionicle books, with voice actors for each character, and music taken from various media to enhance the story. Check here if you're interested in voicing a character, and here for the chapters that've already been released!

Bionicle: USRO, is a list designed for immersing both new and old fans of Bionicle in the various pieces of lore. Whether you're a new fan wondering how to get started, or an old fan who's looking to review the series in chronological order, you'll want to check this out!


#2 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 03 2012 - 10:07 AM

Overall this is a pretty nice piece. I like the concepts of most Toa Mata prequel stories I've seen (which is like... three), and this isn't an exception. So let's get down to business...

He sat there in his canister pondering this, “What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?...”

I'd suggest changing this section like so:

He sat there in his canister pondering this. What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?

He sat there in his canister pondering this: What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?

Use of both italics and quotation marks around thoughts is kind of excessive, don't you think? And these should either be two statements, or separated by... a colon, I think. Not exactly sure about that.

Onua’s thoughts were interrupted by something unexpected; a voice that said, “Onua, Toa Mata of Earth.”Onua froze, and then after a moment of silence he said, “What? W-who said that?”The voice replied, “It was I.”Onua looked around, and even though he didn’t see anyone, he whispered, “Mata Nui?”He wasn’t sure how he knew, but somehow he did; the voice that had spoken to him had been the Great Spirit.The voice spoke again, “Onua, wise Toa Mata of Earth. You seek answers to your questions, do you not?”

Not sure what I think about the whole "talking to Mata Nui" thing. It seemed you were going for a God sort of vibe, but with Mata Nui, eh... I mean, he's a giant robot whose chest the Toa Mata are inside, not a free-floating psychic entity. :lol:

Onua listened in surprise, he had always seen himself as one of the less important members of the team, not a good leader like Tahu and Kopaka, or as good at keeping the peace like Gali.The voice spoke up again, “Being humble is a great strength Onua, even stronger than your Kanohi Pakari, but never let that humbleness cause you to look upon yourself as unimportant. Evil will triumph when the good do nothing. And to answer another question that you are certainly thinking, you will not remember anything when you arrive at your destination, except your name.”

Maybe it's just me, but I think of Onua to be sure of himself and his team- not overconfident, but just confident that they would succeed. He knew his place and he was aware that they all had a part to play in their destiny. So, this section of Onua's uncertainty doesn't sit right with me. In addition to this, some of Onua's thoughts and dialogue here, and throughout the story, reflect that feeling of uncertainty. Not too big of a deal, anyway- and it certainly makes the story better for the fact that Onua becomes more emotionally identifiable.

"Think of it as the opposite of Piraka.” Onua full well knew what Piraka meant; it was a great insult meaning, ‘a thief and a murderer.’

If Onua had worn the Kanohi Elda, the mask of Detection...

Meta much? XD

Mata Nui silently thought to himself, “Wise Onua. He did not choose to remember his past, nor his meeting with me, or even the pride of knowing he would fill an important role in the future. He instead chose to remember his destiny.”

This little section somehow reminded me of Native American lore. Something about the wording, or how the conclusion restates the story's purpose, I guess.In general this was nicely written: not too long or short, good amount of description, et cetera. Grammar was alright, although a few things bug me (such as the use of an apostrophe in a possessive "its"). Perhaps you should write short stories more often. :biggrin:

Edited by Chro, Nov 03 2012 - 10:08 AM.

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#3 Offline joev14

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Posted Nov 03 2012 - 11:30 AM

Thanks so much for giving me some feedback Chro :) I can't figure out this darn new BZP coding...all my replies appear to be stuck within the big quote box :/

Overall this is a pretty nice piece. I like the concepts of most Toa Mata prequel stories I've seen (which is like... three), and this isn't an exception. So let's get down to business...

He sat there in his canister pondering this, “What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?...”

I'd suggest changing this section like so:

He sat there in his canister pondering this. What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?

He sat there in his canister pondering this: What if we’re never released from our sleep within the transports?

Use of both italics and quotation marks around thoughts is kind of excessive, don't you think? And these should either be two statements, or separated by... a colon, I think. Not exactly sure about that.

I looked over it, and I think you're right about it being excessive using quotation marks and italics. i think a semi-colon is grammatically correct. fix'd

Onua’s thoughts were interrupted by something unexpected; a voice that said, “Onua, Toa Mata of Earth.”Onua froze, and then after a moment of silence he said, “What? W-who said that?”The voice replied, “It was I.”Onua looked around, and even though he didn’t see anyone, he whispered, “Mata Nui?”He wasn’t sure how he knew, but somehow he did; the voice that had spoken to him had been the Great Spirit.The voice spoke again, “Onua, wise Toa Mata of Earth. You seek answers to your questions, do you not?”

Not sure what I think about the whole "talking to Mata Nui" thing. It seemed you were going for a God sort of vibe, but with Mata Nui, eh... I mean, he's a giant robot whose chest the Toa Mata are inside, not a free-floating psychic entity. :lol:When I think of Mata Nui, I think of the giant robot, with the ability to speak to anyone inside himself, and acts as kind of a free-floating spirit. Kind of omnipresent if he chooses to be so.

Onua listened in surprise, he had always seen himself as one of the less important members of the team, not a good leader like Tahu and Kopaka, or as good at keeping the peace like Gali.The voice spoke up again, “Being humble is a great strength Onua, even stronger than your Kanohi Pakari, but never let that humbleness cause you to look upon yourself as unimportant. Evil will triumph when the good do nothing. And to answer another question that you are certainly thinking, you will not remember anything when you arrive at your destination, except your name.”

Maybe it's just me, but I think of Onua to be sure of himself and his team- not overconfident, but just confident that they would succeed. He knew his place and he was aware that they all had a part to play in their destiny. So, this section of Onua's uncertainty doesn't sit right with me. In addition to this, some of Onua's thoughts and dialogue here, and throughout the story, reflect that feeling of uncertainty. Not too big of a deal, anyway- and it certainly makes the story better for the fact that Onua becomes more emotionally identifiable.When I read of the stories of Onua in the first book, I feel like he's got a firm and strong confidence, but he couldn't have always been that way could he? I mean, you don't just wake up one day and think "I should be confident." I felt like there needed to be something that happened to Onua that made him feel confident in himself, but something that he doesn't fully understand himself because of his stasis in the toa transports, so I needed a way for him to know, and at the same time, not know, if you get my meaning. :P

"Think of it as the opposite of Piraka.” Onua full well knew what Piraka meant; it was a great insult meaning, ‘a thief and a murderer.’

If Onua had worn the Kanohi Elda, the mask of Detection...

Meta much? XD

Mata Nui silently thought to himself, “Wise Onua. He did not choose to remember his past, nor his meeting with me, or even the pride of knowing he would fill an important role in the future. He instead chose to remember his destiny.”

This little section somehow reminded me of Native American lore. Something about the wording, or how the conclusion restates the story's purpose, I guess.In general this was nicely written: not too long or short, good amount of description, et cetera. Grammar was alright, although a few things bug me (such as the use of an apostrophe in a possessive "its"). Perhaps you should write short stories more often. :biggrin:

Thanks again for the feedback! I do enjoy writing short stories very much now. Especially ones that fill in little blanks that were never explained in the bionicle storyline. The problem is finding good concepts to build upon :P I'm considering doing one about a Matoran who goes to Karzahni, and another about the creation of the Bohrok-Kal. :)

Edited by joev14, Nov 03 2012 - 11:34 AM.

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Joev14, Owner of Infinite Inspiration Incorporated

 .
My Short Stories 
The Last Memories | Birth of the Kal | Key of the Codrex | Web of Karzahni
The Depths Below | Monster | Out of the Darkness | Archive

.

My Epics
The Powers That Be Continuation | The Yesterday Quest Continuation
Secrets of the Star Cont. | End of the Beginning Cont. (VIDEO PODCAST SERIES) | Element of Surprise Cont.

.

audio_narration_project_banner_wide.jpg.usro_photo.jpg

Bionicle: ANP aims to create narrated versions of all the Bionicle books, with voice actors for each character, and music taken from various media to enhance the story. Check here if you're interested in voicing a character, and here for the chapters that've already been released!

Bionicle: USRO, is a list designed for immersing both new and old fans of Bionicle in the various pieces of lore. Whether you're a new fan wondering how to get started, or an old fan who's looking to review the series in chronological order, you'll want to check this out!


#4 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 03 2012 - 11:34 AM

No problem! Very interesting ideas, I'd like to see those, and I might have to write a few more short stories myself on those concepts. :lol:

Edited by Chro, Nov 03 2012 - 11:34 AM.

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#5 Offline Cederak

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Posted Nov 05 2012 - 08:32 PM

So you're doing short stories now, huh, Joev? This actually feels a lot like some of your recent epics, to be honest. You're taking what people are already familiar with and changing it into something of your own. That is the definition of fanfiction and this isn't your first rodeo. You know the rules and so do I. Before this turns into a full-on Rickroll, I want to shed some light on the weaker points of this piece.

Onua thought for a moment and replied, “Which is?...”

Throw that question mark at the end of the ellipsis.

And now Onua, you must seal your canister, and wait to fulfill your destiny, and I must go.”

Maybe try something like this: "You must seal your canister and wait to fulfill your destiny, Onua. I must go now."

“Wait; don’t go yet!

Drop the semicolon for a comma.

If Onua had worn the Kanohi Elda, the mask of Detection, he would have realized that Mata Nui’s presence was still there, but he was simply not answering.

I'm not really sure what to address first on this. First off, an Elda can detect the Ignika and hidden beings. Mata Nui's "spirit" is essentially everywhere in the MU. I would think that kind of "presence" would be undetectable by Kanohi. Also, this felt like another overly-blatant reference to the 2006 storyline. Chro touched upon that point with the Piraka line and I can see why. References like those, if made at all, require tact and subtle placement. I would have to argue with Chro that this was not meta, but painfully deliberate.

Onua sighed, and then held up a razorsharp claw,

razor-sharpSo…story analysis time. You talked about going in a different direction from Greg, or at least adding on to what he did. The problem here is that Mata Nui laid things out a little too neatly. There's so much explanation and an entity like the Great Spirit is fully aware that he's wasting his "breath." But even so, Mata Nui runs through all of what will be required, acting like the MU's biggest contrarian on the subject of "which Toa Mata do you like best?" all because you're trying to reinforce a statement. That statement of course is that Onua deserves more screen time. But does he? Does he really? Greg laid out his character well enough. In fact, you used the facets of that character as the build for your Onua and the influence is apparent enough.Having read this, however, I can see why Greg didn't take this approach. It's much too calculated for a Great Spirit who Bionicle fans are accustomed to providing vague details - letting situations work themselves out with minimum intervention. To reference Chro's review again, he mentioned it was like Onua was talking with God. Again, I have to argue with that. Gods of any lore often seem to be aligned with the classic Mata Nui strategy, offering insight only when necessary.There's a few important points that I gathered from this story though. First of all, you need to space out your dialogue. If someone's talking, give it some "bubble room" to breathe and drop an extra space down. As it is right now, from an aesthetic view, this story is a blob. Second point is that you're obviously a fan of Bionicle universe and you wanted to strike up a conversation that felt genuine and loyal to the character we know. In terms of that, I think you shot yourself in the foot. You entered the "too much of a good thing" territory with the overly-detailed explanations from a Great Spirit talking to a biomech he knows is about to get his memory wiped. Not to mention the 2006 storyline references, but I've said enough on that front. Third point is the importance of story. I read your introduction…it was the most unnecessary thing since bowties on sharks. Let your work speak for itself. This is another example of playing your own worst enemy. Don't tell the reader all this stuff that you're going to be doing. Be brief, be simple, and to the point.-Ced

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#6 Offline joev14

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 12:07 AM

If Onua had worn the Kanohi Elda, the mask of Detection, he would have realized that Mata Nui’s presence was still there, but he was simply not answering.

I'm not really sure what to address first on this. First off, an Elda can detect the Ignika and hidden beings. Mata Nui's "spirit" is essentially everywhere in the MU. I would think that kind of "presence" would be undetectable by Kanohi. Also, this felt like another overly-blatant reference to the 2006 storyline. Chro touched upon that point with the Piraka line and I can see why. References like those, if made at all, require tact and subtle placement. I would have to argue with Chro that this was not meta, but painfully deliberate.

This wasn't intended to be a hint, just simply as a few things to add flavor to the story

That statement of course is that Onua deserves more screen time. But does he? Does he really? Greg laid out his character well enough. In fact, you used the facets of that character as the build for your Onua and the influence is apparent enough.

The goal of the story wasn't to give Onua more screen time, I chose Onua as the Toa who would have the conversation because Onua got the least amount of screen time. If I felt Lewa was the least recognized, I would have probably written a similar story, except with him (and made obvious changes since Lewa's personality is nothing like Onua's :P)

Second point is that you're obviously a fan of Bionicle universe and you wanted to strike up a conversation that felt genuine and loyal to the character we know. In terms of that, I think you shot yourself in the foot. You entered the "too much of a good thing" territory with the overly-detailed explanations from a Great Spirit talking to a biomech he knows is about to get his memory wiped.-Ced

I wanted to give Mata Nui a more living feel to him, one that allowed him to relate to Onua, even though he was going to have his mind wiped. If you knew a friend that you knew was going to suffer from amnesia the next day, wouldn't you tell them everything you've ever wanted to tell them, just to see how they would react? I know I would, and I would also give that friend a chance to write down everything important that they wanted to remember the next day.

Edited by joev14, Nov 06 2012 - 12:07 AM.

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Joev14, Owner of Infinite Inspiration Incorporated

 .
My Short Stories 
The Last Memories | Birth of the Kal | Key of the Codrex | Web of Karzahni
The Depths Below | Monster | Out of the Darkness | Archive

.

My Epics
The Powers That Be Continuation | The Yesterday Quest Continuation
Secrets of the Star Cont. | End of the Beginning Cont. (VIDEO PODCAST SERIES) | Element of Surprise Cont.

.

audio_narration_project_banner_wide.jpg.usro_photo.jpg

Bionicle: ANP aims to create narrated versions of all the Bionicle books, with voice actors for each character, and music taken from various media to enhance the story. Check here if you're interested in voicing a character, and here for the chapters that've already been released!

Bionicle: USRO, is a list designed for immersing both new and old fans of Bionicle in the various pieces of lore. Whether you're a new fan wondering how to get started, or an old fan who's looking to review the series in chronological order, you'll want to check this out!





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