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One Last Order to Give

Metru-Nui Dume Toa Metru

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#1 Offline Kakaru

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 01:35 AM

[color=#336699;]The Turaga's hand hovered over the paper, trepidant and remorseful. For centuries he had watched his city grow into a thriving metropolis full of happy, successful matoran enjoying their lives, but this-- this was not a decision to make lightly. The petition he had written himself, of course. Nobody else would have the audacity to suggest the crimes he was about to make into indisputable law, backed with the military might of the Vahki. But then, none of the decisions he was forced to make were ever easy, and they rarely ended well. He needed to do this one thing right to redeem himself, if not for his own conscience, then for the good of his loyal citizens. Ah, the matoran. Turaga Dume smiled sadly and stepped away from the paper for a moment, still clutching the pen tightly, his hand moving forward with a tremble as his legs pulled him back. He remembered being part of the noble proletariat so many centuries ago, honoured to work with his brothers in the glory of the forges. He remembered enjoying the simple life, the satisfaction of a job well finished and the inexplicable relief at returning home after dark through the streets lined with perfectly wrought lanterns. The city worked, it thrived, and when the time had come, he protected it to the best of his ability with pride as a great toa. His retirement came as he felt his destiny calling him to lead the matoran into an era of ever more magnificent peace and prosperity as a turaga, mentor and friend to those he had come to love. No, of course he hadn't been perfect. How silly it would be to disillusion himself like that. There was always a time when wisdom and valour may fail, and he had seen the darkest of those times. But as the saying goes, faith... ah, what did it matter. No hero can save everyone, right? There were times that he had called in others to defend the city. An island so grand couldn't last forever without drawing the attention of unscrupulous creatures and natural error. Dume suppressed a small chuckle in his throat. He hadn't seen the fight when the Nui Dragon broke loose, but he heard it took a team with three toa of ice to bring it down. The three most valiant of that team he had asked to stay as protectors of the city. A Ta-matoran from the very forges where Dume once worked, and indeed, one whose life he had saved many years ago, was now a Toa of fire, the very embodiment of duty. The second was a toa of water, rational and controlled, one whose face practically glowed with the virtue of destiny. The last was a toa of air whose honour and camaraderie was flawless, the picture of unity. Oh, how they would change. Dume's city, his very legacy he had entrusted to the caring and virtuous hands of the noble toa. Their dedication to the three virtues could not have been more clear. Dume could only watch in horror as the three guardians proved themselves far, far less than heroes.  How easily the three virtues could be forgotten. Unity broken through betrayal as the Toa of air gave his brother to the open mouths of Dark Hunters. Duty maligned as cowardice forced the betrayed brother into hiding, leaving the object of his sworn protection to die. Destiny consumed by madness and unflinching murder as a peaceful Toa littered the streets with the corpses of her brothers and sisters. Toa could not be trusted. It was clear that the legends of toa no longer held any merit as they were severed from the virtues that bound them all together. In their place, Dume constructed an army who would obey him if nothing else. His unflinching morals and commitment to the protection of his people would keep them from straying into anarchy. Metru-Nui needed no toa, for toa could corrupt, and toa could certainly kill. The thoughts and memories made Turaga Dume sick. He flicked the pen open and took a decisive step back to his desk, deftly marking the petition and even creasing the page a bit. Toa could not be trusted. This was all he could do to protect the matoran, even if it meant sacrificing six more. A tear pooled in the corner of his eye, but he blinked it back and firmed his stance, tightening his jaw to keep his constitution.[/color] 

[color=#336699;]Information wanted leading to the capture and arrest of traitors to the glorious city of Metru-Nui.[/color]

[color=#336699;]Whenua, the Archivist. Nuju, the Scholar...[/color]


Edited by Kakaru, Jan 12 2013 - 04:04 AM.

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#2 Offline Hahli Husky

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 01:52 AM

Micah, I love snapshot stories like this. Where it's not so much a traditional tale as it is a study of a moment and/or a character. This is a really neat theory and much more interesting than, like you said, oh Teridax did it because Makuta are EEEEEVVVIIILLLLL OH NO. It was very disappointing to learn that Turaga Dume being a fudgebucket was actually just Makuta. So I really enjoyed this premise instead. :) Also of note is how you decided to give just the progression and detail required, so although you painted a clear picture and didn't cut straight through the story, you didn't drag it out into something that it wasn't. Awesome!


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#3 Offline Nick Silverpen

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 10:06 AM

I love the humanity you've put into this. An interesting "what if", it portrays pretty well how justified a villain can be. Characterwise, you put Dume in a relatable light, through the pressure he feels and the language you used helped Dume still be himself.The plot moved pretty well, not dragging out at all, and it looked at the Turaga's actions in ways I'd never thought about before... I'm not sure how I feel about you making him relate his Matoran-hood to those of Ta-Metru, but its alright to use it to relate to his troubles. I really dig how you incorporated "When wisdom and valor fail..." 

Dume's observations of the former Toa were brilliant, and were touching on the grounds of how people change throughout life. The conclusion you came to with them "proving themselves as far less than heroes" was beautiful. 

 

Great little short here, Kak, and my hat to you again for the human aspect being done so well. 


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#4 Offline Makaru

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 11:31 AM

Okay, real talk. Can we look at Dume, pre-plot twist?

 

Dume was built up as this Turaga of unquestionable right and virtue. Leading a city of Matoran through a series of increasingly huge threats leading up to what would be the Great Cataclysm. The push to do morally unthinkable things under the duress of a long time and the stress of time running short for an initially uncompromising character is compelling. I have a huge love for antagonists with purpose. Dume could have been that.

 

He was not.

 

Rant over. This is a great story. This is the breaking point for a character that never was but should have been. My only complaint is that this is too short and feels a little empty I guess? It's a great idea I think a lot of us from that era wanted or would have appreciated. But the greedy little parasite that I am, I think this could be fleshed out more. Possibly into something more akin to an epic after all is said and done.

 

 

Gosh I love Metru Nui.


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#5 Offline Cadmium Kyogre P~M

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 12:52 PM

Wow, that was really well-written. It's interesting to see things from someone else's point of view, and the thought of six very powerful beings in your city is not something that is going to seem like a great thing. The Toa couldn't have been trusted, as no one knew how they had become Toa, and the event was a rather large surprise. However, we have to remember that Teridax was still involved, as were Nidhiki and... erm... whatever his name was.


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#6 Offline Kakaru

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Posted Jan 09 2013 - 11:38 PM

[color=#336699;]OKAY REPLY TIME[/color]

 

Micah, I love snapshot stories like this. Where it's not so much a traditional tale as it is a study of a moment and/or a character. This is a really neat theory and much more interesting than, like you said, oh Teridax did it because Makuta are EEEEEVVVIIILLLLL OH NO. It was very disappointing to learn that Turaga Dume being a fudgebucket was actually just Makuta. So I really enjoyed this premise instead. :) Also of note is how you decided to give just the progression and detail required, so although you painted a clear picture and didn't cut straight through the story, you didn't drag it out into something that it wasn't. Awesome!

[color=#336699;]c: [/color]

 

[color=#336699;]Thanks! I had never really considered how pointlessly convoluted so much of the canon really was (even when Rob was explaining his far better alternative) until I began to explain the entire 04-05 arc leading to the 01-03 arc to a friend. That's when  first realized that Dume had every reason to order the capture of the Toa Metru for the safety of the city and it made so much more sense if Teridax wasn't involved period. [/color]

 

[color=#336699;]I'm glad you enjoyed it![/color]

 

I love the humanity you've put into this. An interesting "what if", it portrays pretty well how justified a villain can be. Characterwise, you put Dume in a relatable light, through the pressure he feels and the language you used helped Dume still be himself.The plot moved pretty well, not dragging out at all, and it looked at the Turaga's actions in ways I'd never thought about before... I'm not sure how I feel about you making him relate his Matoran-hood to those of Ta-Metru, but its alright to use it to relate to his troubles. I really dig how you incorporated "When wisdom and valor fail..." 

Dume's observations of the former Toa were brilliant, and were touching on the grounds of how people change throughout life. The conclusion you came to with them "proving themselves as far less than heroes" was beautiful. 

 

Great little short here, Kak, and my hat to you again for the human aspect being done so well. 

[color=#336699;]Thank you! The entire story was created simply to illustrate Dume's decision and the emotion behind it, so I'm glad that came through well! As for his matoran-hood, it was never really stated where he came from before his campaign as a toa, so it just made more sense to  give him an origin in Metru-Nui to strengthen his emotional attachment.[/color]

 

Okay, real talk. Can we look at Dume, pre-plot twist?

 

Dume was built up as this Turaga of unquestionable right and virtue. Leading a city of Matoran through a series of increasingly huge threats leading up to what would be the Great Cataclysm. The push to do morally unthinkable things under the duress of a long time and the stress of time running short for an initially uncompromising character is compelling. I have a huge love for antagonists with purpose. Dume could have been that.

 

He was not.

 

Rant over. This is a great story. This is the breaking point for a character that never was but should have been. My only complaint is that this is too short and feels a little empty I guess? It's a great idea I think a lot of us from that era wanted or would have appreciated. But the greedy little parasite that I am, I think this could be fleshed out more. Possibly into something more akin to an epic after all is said and done.

 

 

Gosh I love Metru Nui.

[color=#336699;]Yes, oh my glob. Everyone can complain about the Bohrok-Kal or the Piraka or everything about 2009-2010 overall, but the biggest letdown both character and story-wise was failing to give Dume this sort of responsibility and depth of character, choosing instead to stick to the black-and-white morality that marred so many great ideas. I mean, I understand that this was a line of toys for kids, but just changing this one little thing, even hinting at it from afar, would have taken Metru Nui from "arguably the best story arc ever" to "indisputably the best story arc ever." Thanks![/color]

 

Wow, that was really well-written. It's interesting to see things from someone else's point of view, and the thought of six very powerful beings in your city is not something that is going to seem like a great thing. The Toa couldn't have been trusted, as no one knew how they had become Toa, and the event was a rather large surprise. However, we have to remember that Teridax was still involved, as were Nidhiki and... erm... whatever his name was.

[color=#336699;]Again, that's another intriguing character study. Nidhiki and Krekka were both Dark Hunters, and whether or not Dume was aware that it was the same Toa that betrayed the city so many centuries ago, he would have never allowed them to come to his city for any reason. When the Nui Dragon was released in the city, Dume's first reaction was not to send toa after it, but instead to dispatch a squad of vahki to destroy it. He trusted in his own military might, as it was the only force he believed that could not betray him, (and he was right) and that's what he would have used to capture the Toa Metru. Dume hated Dark Hunters, and they even cornered him in the Coliseum and threatened his life. It's more likely that Nidhiki's team was sent to Metru Nui after Lhikan and wanted nothing to do with Dume. The Toa Metru may have just been additional sport. Teridax was almost certainly not involved at all in the canon I'm writing from. [/color]

 

[color=#336699;]At any rate, thank you! I really appreciate everyone's thoughts. :3[/color]


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#7 Offline Janus

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Posted Jan 11 2013 - 11:26 PM

[color=#6699ff;]What, you thought that I wouldn't actually review this?  After I commented on your blog twice?  Pish and tosh my good man![/color]

[color=#6699ff;](Also colour tags on NuBZP don't like me, so this is not actual royalblue.  I'm sorry, you'll have to make due)[/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]Anyhow, first off I start with the crit, because I've learned that should start with the stuff that needs to be improved first:[/color]

[color=#6699ff;]1. Overall it seems somewhat fragmented and lacking unity.  Nothing seems to flow organically into the next thought--which if it was a first person narrative I could understand, after all, Dume is anything but rational at this point.  Honestly this may just be me, I just don't feel it.  I dunno.[/color]

[color=#6699ff;]2. "Unity broken through betrayal as the Toa of air betrayed his brother to the Dark Hunters. " That sentence makes me weep tears of much sadness[/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]Aside from that though I greatly enjoyed it, I like the way you attempted to work some canon into it as well, with subtle mentions of Nidhiki, Tuyet, and...I have no idea who else?  But seriously, the way we get a chance to get inside your Dume's head, someone knowing that he's taking a dark step that he can't undo, but seeing no other option--it's always fascinating to study such characters.  Plus you've got some lines with a lot of power in them.[/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]"Now Dume could only watch in horror as the three guardians proved themselves far, far less than heroes."  While something about the beginning of this line bothers me, the last part literally punches the reader with the feeling.  It's powerful and emotive and I love it.[/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]Also, the juxtaposition of praising the Toa with the simple "Oh, how they would change" is very evocative and potent.  You've got a lot of well structured pieces here, and I feel that they balance out the less strong stuff.[/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]Overall I quite enjoy it, and I adore you![/color]

 

[color=#6699ff;]-Robanus[/color]


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#8 Offline Kakaru

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Posted Jan 12 2013 - 04:42 AM

[color=#6699ff;]What, you thought that I wouldn't actually review this?  After I commented on your blog twice?  Pish and tosh my good man![/color][color=#6699ff;](Also colour tags on NuBZP don't like me, so this is not actual royalblue.  I'm sorry, you'll have to make due)[/color] [color=#6699ff;]Anyhow, first off I start with the crit, because I've learned that should start with the stuff that needs to be improved first:[/color][color=#6699ff;]1. Overall it seems somewhat fragmented and lacking unity.  Nothing seems to flow organically into the next thought--which if it was a first person narrative I could understand, after all, Dume is anything but rational at this point.  Honestly this may just be me, I just don't feel it.  I dunno.[/color]

[color=#336699;]I was just waiting for this. :3[/color]

 

[color=#336699;]Nope, totally legitimate criticism. A lot of my stories are written this way, with the initial idea and main concepts introduced through a choppy narrative (and this is something that people have told me many times before) then fleshed out through critique. I mentioned this a bit in my blog, but to clarify:A friend of mine had been interested in Bionicle and casually followed the story as a kid, but he was interested in the specifics of some of it, looking back. He was wondering why the Toa Mata came to the island on the first place and asked me to explain. So I cracked my knuckles, and... realized the earliest point I could possibly start at was the beginning of the entire universe. Everything was going well enough until I reached the history of Metru-Nui and its protectors. The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet is one of my favourite stories because it shows the darker side of the Toa and a part of the Bionicle story that could never be integrated into the main line. As I was telling him this, it occurred to me that nearly every member of Lhikan's team had done something incredibly awful to contribute to the degradation of the city. Suddenly the entire police-state of the Vahki and the brainwashing-propaganda tone of the online Vahki flash animations made complete sense. The Vahki were literally a substitute for toa that couldn't falter. As I got to Dume's order to capture the Toa Metru, I nearly fell flat on my face, because if the entire history of the city and the power struggle between the Toa and the Dark Hunters was taken into account, Dume was entirely justified to give the order.I gibbered about this for a while because I had never realized the magnitude of the implication, and when we got back to the college I resolved to write a story to illustrate the emotional side of the story that should have been. I admit that, more than anything, this story is a rough draft. I would have loved to turn it into an epic if I had the time. As it was, I just wanted to share one idea without posting a couple of sentences about in in S&T, and a poem just didn't work.[/color] 

[color=#6699ff;]2. "Unity broken through betrayal as the Toa of air betrayed his brother to the Dark Hunters. " That sentence makes me weep tears of much sadness[/color]

[color=#336699;]Oh my face. Did I really write that? *has an awful flashback to the time he wrote "the metallic sound of metal against metal" and crawled under his sheets and cried for a week*[/color] 

[color=#6699ff;]Aside from that though I greatly enjoyed it, I like the way you attempted to work some canon into it as well, with subtle mentions of Nidhiki, Tuyet, and...I have no idea who else?  But seriously, the way we get a chance to get inside your Dume's head, someone knowing that he's taking a dark step that he can't undo, but seeing no other option--it's always fascinating to study such characters.  Plus you've got some lines with a lot of power in them.[/color] [color=#6699ff;]"Now Dume could only watch in horror as the three guardians proved themselves far, far less than heroes."  While something about the beginning of this line bothers me, the last part literally punches the reader with the feeling.  It's powerful and emotive and I love it.[/color]

[color=#336699;]Oops yeah. I totally blundered over the tense I was using. I'd probably rewrite the entire paragraph just to accommodate that sentence if I could. I've stuck a temporary fix in by removing "now." It's 3 AM here and I am bad at writing.[/color] 

[color=#6699ff;]Also, the juxtaposition of praising the Toa with the simple "Oh, how they would change" is very evocative and potent.  You've got a lot of well structured pieces here, and I feel that they balance out the less strong stuff.[/color] [color=#6699ff;]Overall I quite enjoy it, and I adore you![/color] [color=#6699ff;]-Robanus[/color]

[color=#336699;]You have no idea how much I appreciate this. Thanks a ton for being honest about what works and what doesn't (as well as for my writing style as a whole, because I know that's really something that needs to evolve beyond its current limits if I'm to improve). I'm equal parts ecstatic that it works as a character study and disappointed that it doesn't work as a complete story, as you and Mak have said. It's definitely something that could have been a much grander tale, but I didn't have the energy to draw out a single point in a full-scale epic. I guess I'm just not that dedicated.Anyways, thanks a ton for the critique! I'll be working hard on improving. :3[/color]

 

[color=#336699;]also I adore you too[/color]


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