Some great theories and thoughts. :) I'm debating back and forth how much to say and not say as I type this, so pardon if I reveal too much. :P
First -- Vaurukan is not the creature. A brilliant theory but if I let that one go I'll just be setting you up for a let-down. :P He's titan-sized, but that's all I can say for now. Also, the creature was built fairly recently, but Vaurukan dates back well into ancient times. Although, Vaurukan designed and owns the creature so you could make the metaphorical argument that it's an extension of him. :) (The black stone scaffolding is his doing specifically; it wouldn't have been buildable unless he existed before it, at least not economically.)
Second -- the creature is made (largely) out of that cold tech and the two missing domes from his island (placed together as a sphere), so it's smaller than his island. See Ito's reveal at the end of 21. BTW, when I say that character theories are usually wrong... that usually doesn't apply to Ito. :P What he says in 21 is accurate. Including, technically, his statement that "it's not a creature". I'll continue to use the term for now, for lack of a better one (a better one will be invented by the characters later).
Third -- the creature is identified on the map a bit to the left of Rumor (the one with the brain texture, not the wavy outline), also with a number 1. Whether it is connected to Rumor or not as well, you'll have to read on for.
Well, it really does seem like a prison-break story, completely fitting the pattern I've observed with such stories. My mind warns me that we may not mean the same thing by the term "prison-break story", but I don't want to post that wall of text I concocted to define it. By it, I mean a story pattern centered around a place the character wants out of, not an actual prison per se. I just use the term "prison-break" to make it easier to refer to. :shrugs:
Fair enough. Let's just agree that it's a story with a prison in it and many of the associated themes, for now. And yeah, the larger metaphorical theme of a prison or trap is definately what it's about, so granted. I would just hesitate to categorize it under the usual prison-break stories, for reasons that will become clear. I obviously can't comment further for now, heh.
It only occurred to me when the Magma hit and the domes that Onua saw didn't have Magma...wasn't there four? *checks back at the painting scene* Oh, yeah, five...
Yeah, there were five originally (the painting portrays what the island used to look like), but now there are just three, since two were used to make the sphere that the creature was built around. (The upper sphere is hollow and is where Nijire and company are trapped. The lower half is filled in, contents to be described much later but it's basically more of the inner workings of the creature.)
Theory: The painting inside the dome was painted before the dome was moved.
Nope. After. :) When it was painted, it was already inaccurate with the number of domes. Make of that what you will. :P
Theory: The person who actually painted the painting is no longer in the dome Nijre is in. Otherwise, he would probably give away to the prisoners that the island theory is false...either that, or he is a big fat liar. Or both.
Unless the apparent portrayal in-story is correct (no comment ;)) -- that Jaudrohk painted it (using those frozen-over paint cans near the exit from that room, briefly mentioned when Nijire first spotted him), and the Kuambu have been blurring his memories. :)
Also, just to be clear, Jaudrohk is the only other prisoner in here. The rest are all from Ko-Koro (including the Ko-Rahunga who had been from there originally). So if another prisoner did paint it, you would be correct. Of course, it's also possible the Kuambu themselves painted it.
Theory: The three domes on the surface of Vaarukan's island are tricks designed to fool and delay the invaders. The Ko-Matoran that the heroes are allowed to rescue are supposed to be an encumberment to further action. (Have to protect the little guys.)
First sentence: Correct, in terms of their current purpose.
The story about the prison domes and junk dome system that I have described and that was given in-story used to be correct (if you go back and read my older replies you'll notice I carefully avoided stating that it IS in place :P). One clarification: the advanced tech was actually spread out through all five domes (there's too much of it to all fit in one), so that one label on the painting is misleading (but it was presented as "I think I'm here", if mem serves, so yeah). Prisoners were also kept in all five domes, originally. But now that system has been disbanded, and any prisoners left that weren't to go inside the creature have been given to the Kuambu instead.
As for the rest, that's vague enough that I can at least confirm it in terms of what they want to happen inside the dome. The Kuambu may, of course, also have "kill two birds with one stone" plans for even those ones, though, to come into play later (not in this story though). They're the rejects.
Theory: Nijre and Co. were pulled down into the prison below by that red creature thing. (Well, I guess that one's obvious...)
Theory: The Kuambu use Teleportation Kuamor to get in and out of that prison safely, possibly magnified by the silver technology in the dome. As such, they probably have a stash of these somewhere. Or better yet, a teleportation machine.
I might as well confirm all of this. They can use Teleportation Kuamor, but as that's a lot more dangerous and they're inside the mantle, they prefer to use a machine they have somewhere. Nijire will be concluding this as well coming up. However, what I can't reveal is how difficult it may be to get to it. The Kuambu are certainly confident that it's unreachable to prisoners.
The chime mystery is much like the BE mystery from the last story, vague and confusing, but I'll try a theory: The chime happens whenever the creature sends up some of its tendrils to affect the outside world. Or when the tendrils return to the creature. The more tendrils are sent up/return, the louder the chime gets.
I don't think that the earthquake has anything to do with that, though. Cosmos Lurch?
1) A nice theory.
2) The quakes have been caused by two things -- first, the creature, damaged by the hatches opening and the magma hitting power and processor lines, started moving against its 'will', and collided with massive stone 'upside-down mountains' reaching down into the mantle (the natural texture of the underside of the crust). And second, it had some tendrils attached to the Mangai and to the Watcher Temple at the time, and it drew the line taut, so you can imagine what that would do (it'll be commented on more clearly coming up in-story). They lessen later because it dives deeper to get away from the crust.
Not a Cosmos Lurch, no.
Insightful remarks as to Nijire's character development. I'll let the continuing story speak for itself on that. :)
Or he escaped using his own teleportation power, and is using his illusion powers to conceal himself so he can go further his own plans and get away from The Endless Debate Society. Wouldn't put it past him.
I loled. :P
I wasn't that surprised when the magma started spilling into the dome as Nijire and co. were approaching. I did start to believe that they really were in one of the domes aboveground, especially when the interior and exterior descriptions of the opening windows matched up... clever move
I think we can be fairly certain that there's only one of those tendril creatures. Onua's observation of the hologram that recalled its brain-like skin matches up with the thin wavy line used by the artist. And the creature is definitely around the size of the island, as Onua discovered when he blur-travelled down to its home. And it being a rumor to the artist makes sense, since it's likely nobody ever has seen it until Onua did, or perhaps it was once seen long ago and that memory was passed around until it reached the artist.
1) Well, it's the one with the brain-texture on the painting a ways to the left of Rumor, which also has a 1. Whether that is accurate or not I can't say. It could easily also be Rumor, or Rumor could be something else, or Rumor might be a total lie by the painter. :P
2) As said above, that hologram was meant to identify the prison-dome as the creature which was meant to be matched up to the brain-texture one on the map.
3) It's the basic width of one of the domes. However, we're talking about a Rumor, and Nijire mentioned that how could you really know the size of a rumor, so who knows? :P
I'm gonna call it - the tendril creature is Vaurukan. The town and his palace are just placeholders. And even the Kuambu may not even realize this, since I don't think they've been able to see him directly either. They may only think they're working with a tendril creature that works under Vaurukan.
They have seen him. I can't comment more until later, but this is another thing it's good that you're thinking about. :ziplip: