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The Time Before Time

Dekar Nuva

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In the time before time, the world was tasteless and without colour. Then the Great One known as Marshy Mallow descended from the heavens, bringing light and sweet things. He created we, the Matoran, so that we may prosper in this new age and not waste that which has reached its expiry date. At first we were separate, without purpose, so Marshy Mallow bestowed upon us the Three Flavours: Sour, Salty and Sweet.


He gave us a home on the floating city of Metru Nui. Six districts were built, each home to Matoran of one of the six elements. Ta-Metru was home to those of Fruit, people of my kind whose tongues could withstand the most sour of unripe apricots. In Ga-Metru, rivers of Soda carried our favourite fizzy drinks and fed the bubbly lakes beyond. In Po-Metru, great fields were filled with Chocolate sculptures and mountains of fudge. Le-Metru was a green place of the element Mint, its residents having the freshest breath in the land. Onu-Metru was a maze of tunnels eaten into the Cookie basement of the city. Finally there was Ko-Metru and its magnificent, glittering peaks of Ice-Cream.


But our happiness was not to last. A shadow began to creep over Metru Nui, something our beloved Toa warriors could not halt. There would come a day when Marshy Mallow himself would fall, plunging our world back into darkness. The story of how this happened is not one of doom, but of hope. It's a story of how heroes are born and how the Three Flavours together can be mightier than even the sharpest spork.


This is that story.








Jeeve-Ahn was no ordinary Toa. While most Toa wore shiny armour and masks, he had abandoned these in favour of a tailored suit and monocle. He used his elemental powers of Fruit only in strict emergencies. Everybody in Metru Nui knew and cherished him. Matoran workers appraised him as he passed by in the streets. But his popularity wasn't due to him being a Toa; it was because he was the only Toa they had left.


He served as valet to Turaga Nom, the almighty President of Metru Nui. Nom made sure the city's heart kept beating, while Jeeve-Ahn did his housework and ran errands for Matoran from all the six districts. In previous years, there had been full-time Toa protecting their vast food stores, but after a suspicious number of mysterious disappearances, they were all gone.


Even with the remaining duo on top of things, it wasn't getting any better. Chocolate and ice-cream towers were melting in Po- and Ko-Metru respectively, breath mints were running out in Le-Metru, cookies crumbled in Onu-Metru and the soda streams of Ga-Metru were running flat. Worst of all, a dangerous and foul-tasting tomato plant had sprouted in Ta-Metru and was causing the fruit stores to over-ripen. Matoran morale remained high for the moment, but something had to be done.


That's why 'Jeevie' had done something – without telling the Turaga. He had stolen six gummi bears from the Temple of the Great Marshmallow. These weren't any ordinary delicious lollies. Each one was infused with some of the Toa's energy and each was a different colour. He intended to deliver each one to a Matoran from a different district.


With his immaculate outfit, he had little to mark him out as a Toa. One clue was his extreme height of almost nine inches. Jeeve-Ahn towered above everybody else. The other giveaway was his hoverboard, the one piece of Toa tech he had kept. Originally the board was a pair of special swords. They were permanently glued together during an outbreak of zombie PopTarts, rendered inseparable but able to fly.


In this manner, surfing through the sky above Ga-Metru, he approached the high school where Noca-Cola worked. This district was a place of learning and of passing on knowledge. A little stream of fizzy lemonade passed through the centre of the building. Jeeve-Ahn could see a pressure valve just upstream from it; this valve shut off the stream every lunch hour to stop students being hyper in afternoon classes. In the other districts, sugar highs weren't so easy to control.


After landing, the rogue valet concealed his hoverboard behind some empty Pepsi bottles, made sure all his shirt buttons were done up, then marched into the nearest classroom. Noca-Cola (or Noka to her friends) taught in this room five days a week, forty weeks of the year. His rich knowledge of Facebook had allowed Jeevie to ascertain all this. He'd also found that Noka had a fondness for vanilla yoghurt, a pottle of which he held up on his silver serving tray as he entered.


“...and as you should recall, the number pi is the ratio of a pie's circumference to how delicious it is. The best pies therefore have the lowest value of pi,” Noka was telling her class. She sniffed and turned toward Jeevie. “Oh my Great Mallowpuff, it's vanilla yoghurt!”


With surprising agility (for a Ga-Matoran), she vaulted over the desk and snatched the yoghurt from Jeevie's tray. Not even bothering to locate a spoon, she tore off the lid and licked the whole pottle clean in seconds. Only while wiping the white spillage off her mask did she acknowledge the valet. “Oh, hi Jeeve-Ahn.”


“Good day, ma'am.” He hadn't been met with the usual round of applause, but couldn't show any disappointment while wearing his suit. As he looked around the class, he saw the reason. All of Noka's students were asleep. Perhaps, he thought, they needed more lemonade during school rather than less.


“How can I help you? Is there another book Turaga Nom would like to borrow?”


“No ma'am, the Turaga is quite content to read titles shipped from amazon.com. I am here to speak with you personally, if you can spare a few moments. In private.”


“I see...” Suddenly she was very close to him. “I'm sure they won't mind if we sneak out for five, ten minutes.” Noka gestured at her class. Not one of the students had stirred.


“I am not here on social business, ma'am. There is a matter of dire importance to discuss.”


“Ugh, you men are always 'too busy,' aren't you?” She zipped her top back up.


“If you please, I do not wish to be overheard, ma'am. And the Turaga must not know I was here.”


“Okay, fine. What is so important and why are you telling me?”


They talked for several minutes and, when Jeevie had given Noka her answers (and one of the stolen gummies), he departed at once for Po-Metru. His message was received with much reluctance and he doubted any of the other Matoran would be cheerful about it. But his mission had to be completed. Time was already running out.


As he travelled, he saw the transport chutes that wound across the city, carrying cargo and thrillseeking Matoran from place to place. They were magnetized tubes filled with an inedible (but breathable) fluid called gooey protodermis. Anything that wasn't food in Metru Nui was made from protodermis: Jeevie's board, the Turaga's throne, Noka's revealing chestplate. Nobody knew where this stuff came from. Nobody was bothered to find out; all the sweet things were much more interesting.


When he could no longer hear fizzing and bubbling, but instead the excited munchings of the Choc-people, he knew he was above Po-Metru. This was the land of the sculptors. Below were Matoran with stomachs and teeth adapted for shaping mounds of chocolate into works of art. Statues of wild Rahi animals and of heroes like the Toa decorated their fields. The valet sought one sculptor in particular, a man called Lindta.


“It is NOT a girls' name!” This shout came from within Lindta's hut when Jeevie arrived. There was more. “Get outta my house, Achnoo! You're supposed to be working!”


There was a devilish laughter, then a Matoran with bronze armour came out of the hut. “Oh, hello Jeeve-Ahn! You good?” Without waiting for a reply, the troublemaker Achnoo departed for his work station.


Lindta himself was seated inside, surrounded by fragments of his work. All the furniture was covered in choc chips and there was a strong aroma of cocoa powder. “Hello, Jeeve-Ahn! You came at a bad time, I'm afraid. That rascal Achnoo has been in here, trying to eat my desk again.”


“Indeed, sir? Perhaps I can sweeten the mood for you.” When Jeevie raised his serving tray this time, it displayed a platter of licorice pieces.


“LICORICE GIMME GIMME GIMME!” Once again, the valet watched as a Matoran traded manners for the chance to stuff their face. When Lindta had recovered his usual composure, Jeevie delivered his urgent message. As he spoke, the sculptor's expression grew darker, until finally he appeared as though he were looking upon a plate of spinach.


“But Jeeve-Ahn, how am I supposed to help?”


“With this,” as he passed over a stolen gummi bear of translucent brown colour. “Here is what you must do with it...”


A moment later, the meeting was concluded. Jeevie flew next to Onu-Metru, passing from soft-eating fields to the hard ground of the cookie district. There were few buildings on the surface, for the Matoran here mostly worked in the giant underground Museum. Down there were specimens of every edible substance ever discovered, from apple crumble to zebrajam. It was in this deep, doughy place that the archivist Munchu worked.


That day he'd been assigned one of the most important jobs of the upper level: sorting M&Ms. Munchu was calculating the ratio of green to yellow he required, when Jeevie burst in with a bottle of ginger beer. After downing it in one gulp, the archivist let out an island-rattling belch and grunted “Cheers Jeevie.” As before, the valet recounted his urgent message and handed over a gummi bear, this time black like a questionable piece of toast.


Like the others, Munchu showed less enthusiasm than a jar of sand. As they often said in the Museum, “Tough bikkies.” On his way out Jeevie nearly knocked over a sign reading 'Do not eat the exhibits.' He wondered what they paid the archivists with as he returned to the surface and headed for Ko-Metru.


In this coldest of districts, the Matoran all wore white armour and worked among translucent white towers; the Popsicle Towers. Everywhere were glints from the lenses of large telescopes operated by the residents. Their instruments peered beyond the mountains, composed of ice-cream of all imaginable colours, out into deep space. They were astrologers who used the stars to forecast the future. At least, that's what they called it. Ko-Matoran were actually brilliant at locating asteroids made of ice-cream which they hoped to harvest some day. Looking forward to the future meant looking for more things to eat.


Astrologer Fruju was adept at not only finding such asteroids, but thinking up ways to capture them. The diagrams the valet passed by in his observatory were exquisite plans for giant nets and other devices. Many diagrams there were, for Fruju was known for being so quiet he could go for years without speaking. Drawings were the only reliable way he communicated.


Jeevie found him staring into his telescope, hunched over like a gargoyle. When he finally realized he had a visitor (it took much polite clinking upon the serving tray), Fruju slid off his chair and rotated himself. An eyepiece retracted into his mask; some astrologers used these to provide maximum magnification. He said nothing.


“Good day, sir. Would you care for some refreshment?” Jeevie now produced a little cup filled with jellybeans.


Rather than lunge forward like any other Matoran, Fruju took one step forward and held his hands out. The jellybeans were passed to him and he raised them to his mouth, his arms bending like a drawbridge. After letting them tumble down into his tract he stood still with his hands clasped behind his back, awaiting information. It was given to him, without any verbal response, then Jeevie gave him a milky white gummi and left the observatory.


Le-Metru was the next destination, specifically the workplace of Peppau. Getting there required navigating a green web of protodermis chutes, for the workplace in question was a giant hub in the centre of the chute network. Locals had abandoned any imaginative food-related names and just called it The Hub. Or the BRT (Big Round Thingie). Jeevie landed and hid his hoverboard once again, the smell of mint strong in his face-holes.


Matoran here were tasked with providing efficient transport for all of Metru Nui. Without their efforts, it would have been impossible (a bit tiring, anyway) for the common citizen to access all the wonderful flavours of the city. They kept the chutes flowing and the friendly Ussal crabs scuttling. Some, like Peppau, risked their pride to test new transport methods. When Jeevie asked the BRT receptionist for his location, he was directed to the infamous Test Track, where prototype vehicles were driven to their limits.


He stood at the southern edge of the Track, where mint plants grew like weeds, waiting for a sign of Peppau. After just a few seconds, the test pilot swerved into view, atop some ridiculous jet-powered tricycle. When he noticed the valet waiting there, Peppau waved. But then the handlebars came off of his contraption and naughty words were emitted. The tricycle veered into the wall and sent its rider flying. He bounced across the Track like a potato, coming to rest right at Jeevie's feet.


“Ugghhhh... hi Jeevie. Not sure what happened there.”


“It would appear, sir, that the steering column of the vehicle has malfunctioned.”


“Oh yeah. Stupid thing, probably welded on with chewing gum.”


“Are you alright, sir?”


“Yeah, I've had way harder knocks in this job! Like this one time, I was in a car with an ejector seat, but they didn't tell me it was an ejector seat. So when I saw this big red button in front of me, I thought, “I don't know what that does, but if I'm gonna do a thorough test, I should push it anyway.” They had to get four men with giant spatulas to scrape me off the ceiling. And then...”


“If I may interject, sir, I have something of great importance to discuss.”


“Oh right! Sorry Jeevie.” Unlike Fruju, this Le-Matoran could chat endlessly if allowed to.


“I would suggest that we be prompt, for I fear the engine is still in operation.”


“Huh?” Suddenly the sound of an approaching runaway jet-powered tricycle hit Peppau's ears. Before he could jump out of the way, he was spinning through the air again. Jeevie managed to jump onto the trike and bring it to a stop, for such skills are essential for valet and Toa alike. Since he was both, Jeevie was four times as good at driving as anybody else.


After Peppau had come to rest again, he was offered a platter of Jaffa biscuits. These were momentarily reduced to orange crumbs. Again Jeevie delivered his message, again he handed over a gummi bear, again the word again agained. A mixture of reluctance and bruises contorted the Matoran's face. Jeevie wished him good luck, then returned to the BRT and retrieved his hoverboard.


There was only one more gummi to deliver, but Jeevie felt he was already out of time. In the distance was Ta-Metru, his former home. As he passed from fresh-smelling Le-Metru into the land of warmth and sour things, he thought of the creatures he was trying to evade. They were nasty brutes, showing none of a valet's courtesy, from a place far beyond Metru Nui. They didn't care for yumminess, or for the virtues of the Matoran. They were hunters – and that day, they were hunting Jeeve-Ahn.

Edited by Dekar Nuva
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New comedy: The Time Before Time 

New artwork: Keetorange Productions Animation Studio

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It's great to see you back, Dekar, and I must say this is a worthy beginning to your return. (Does that even make sense? :P )


It took me a few moments at the beginning to realize you were starting with 2004 rather than 2001, but that's my only nitpick. And in retrospect, it was probably more obvious than I thought at first. So never mind!


I really liked the food theme; it's pretty unique and brings something different to the story. There were also plenty of great jokes related to it too, for some reason the "LICORICE GIMME GIMME GIMME!" line cracked me up. The names were clever too, though some of them I had to pronounce out loud first to get the joke. The spelling, grammar, etc. was top-notch (and believe me, I'm very good at finding minor mistakes like these...) so keep it up! I'll definitely be following this one for sure.


:mirunu: Lewa0111 Nuva :mirunu:


(P.S. One more thing that just occurred to me: you may want to think about removing the references to Noka's...er..."chestplate." Might be a bit risque for BZP. But it's your call.)

Edited by Lewa0111 Nuva

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Greetings esteemed windflyer! It's great to see you here too, I absolutely loved your old comedies.


It took me a few moments at the beginning to realize you were starting with 2004 rather than 2001, but that's my only nitpick.


I actually wrote a 2001 parody set in the same food-based universe, it was one of my first ever stories and it was in script format. I'm going to adapt that as a sequel to this topic; starting the whole saga from the time of the Toa Metru makes more sense to me.


One more thing that just occurred to me: you may want to think about removing the references to Noka's...er..."chestplate." Might be a bit risque for BZP.


Doesn't this forum have an age restriction? Or was that the old BZPower? If not I might edit that bit. But I'm not sure why you said "chestplate" in quotation marks, it is an actual metal chestplate. :P



As always, your feedback is hugely appreciated. Now I have some good news, which is the next three chapters have already been written well in advance! Here we go with the second one:







It's here that I entered the story. My name was (and still is) Banana. In Ta-Metru I worked as a maskmaker, crafting masks for Toa and Matoran from solid protodermis. There were two main sources of this material: the buildings of the city and special Kanougat Disks. Since these Disks were about the same size as a typical mask I preferred to use them for the job. Other maskmakers went for the other option: for some reason it was still legal to melt down other buildings.


There I was, torch blazing in my hands and a half-finished mask on the bench before me. Metal bent at my touch and the final shape began to appear. Two perfect eyeholes, perfect ridges around the mouth. Almost done... unfortunately I didn't notice the messenger drone sneaking up behind me.






In my surprise I slammed the torch down. The new mask shattered and fragments flew off my bench, bouncing off the walls and leaving scorch marks wherever they touched. One shard sliced into the drone. I heard it blow a fuse and drop to the floor. Then all was silent.


There was no food in my workplace, except for what I could fit into the personal mini-fridge. Ta-Metru was the district of Fruit, but fruity things weren't helpful for smelting. Instead everything was metallic and the small furnace in the centre of the room gave off a brutal heat. So when something edible did enter, it would steal all my attention. Right then I could smell approaching sushi, which would almost make up for the destruction of another mask.


At the door I found Jeeve-Ahn, one of the last people I would have expected to turn up. As valet to Turaga Nom, he was usually in the massive Coliseum or doing important stuff elsewhere. But there he was, a slight crease in his otherwise immaculate jacket, his silver tray displaying the sushi I so craved.


“Good day, sir. Would you like some refreshment?”


“Certainly! Thank you Jeevie.” I was grateful indeed and tried to eat the sushi as politely as possible.


“There is a matter of great importance to discuss,” he said when I'd finished eating, “and we haven't much time.”


“Okay... why're you telling me?”


“Metru Nui requires you, Banana.” He stood there, stiff as a PopTart, his expression unchanging. But I thought I detected a more urgent tone of voice. “A time of darkness is upon us. Toa have gone missing and, as you will be aware, I am the last one remaining. I believe the other Toa have been murdered, or worse, sentenced to picking blueberries overseas.”


I shivered. Of all the many fruits in the universe, none was less desirable than the little blueberry.


“Recently I discovered who is responsible for the disappearances. Pray you never meet them.”


“But I'm not religious.”


“You believe in Marshy Mallow, do you not?”


I shrugged. “Evolution makes more sense to me. I found a fossilized Matoran once, when I was in Po-Metru.”


“That was a statue, sir. Composed of chocolate.”


“Oh. Well then, how am I supposed to help?”


“You, Banana, are one of my selected Matoran. You must take this gummi bear,” handing me a squishy red gummi, “to the Temple of the Great Marshmallow in Ga-Metru. Here is a map which may assist you. I fear this task will carry much danger and I caution you to remain hidden when possible. Avoid the Vahki police force and the hunters I have alluded to.”


“Why would the Vahki come after me? And who are these hunters?”


“You must depart immediately and, if knowledge of your absence from work comes to the Vahki, they will pursue. As for the hunters... I believe you will know them if you see them. They are two, not at all like any Matoran, from a place far beyond our city. Depart now, Banana. We must both be out of here!”


I nodded, stowing the gummi and map into my satchel. Matoran satchels are rather under-rated; they can hold vast weights yet never put any strain on one's shoulder. Then I turned with the intention of shutting down my furnace. It occurred to me that Jeevie was still in the room. Rather than leaving, he was moving toward me.


“Too late sir, they are arrived!” He adjusted his monocle and faced the entrance, still holding up his serving tray. I could guess who he was referring to and concealed myself under a stack of Kanougat Disks. There was a strange sound, a series of rapid clicks which quickly increased in volume. Insect Rahi sounded the same when they walked, but if this was such a creature it must have been very heavy.


An almighty crash rocked the surroundings. Something bulky and blue dropped down behind Jeeve-Ahn, bits of the ventilation system falling around it. “You goin' down, man!”


A second later, its green-armoured friend was at the door and its appearance made me want to scream. It had four legs like a giant spider, tipped with vicious blades. They carried a Toa-like torso with thin arms ending in pincers, and an elongate head with two pairs of fangs. A blue brick and a green arachnid; I had the impression they weren't there to sell cookies.


“Hello again, brotherrrrr,” hissed Greenie.


“With all due respect, sir, it has been a great duration of time since you relinquished the right to refer to me by that term.” Even with these monsters on either side, Jeevie was retaining his most gentlemanly stance.


It took Greenie a moment to decipher his words, then he hissed again. His voice made me think he needed throat medicine, but it sounded nonetheless natural. “Ah, still keeping up the act. You're cornered now, no escape this time! Now where is the Matoran? We heard you speaking with him and it would be a shame for him to miss our visit.” I felt his eyes turn toward me, as if they radiated heat. “Is he hiding under that shivering pile of Disks?”


“Dunno, what if it's just a cat under them Disks?” Bluey sounded more like he'd developed his voice from watching too many hip hop videos.


“A cat?”


I managed to emit a timid “meow,” which seemed to convince them. Jeevie still hadn't moved. Greenie looked around my workplace for a moment, his eyes narrow. His attention snapped back to where I was. “Wait... there are no cats in Ta-Metru! Remove the Disks, Cracka!”


I took Cracka to be Bluey's real name and, while processing this info, he introduced himself to me by hurling a toolbox to knock all the Kanougat off my back. Now exposed and with my lovely tools scattered everywhere, I couldn't think of what to do.


“Hey look Hiccupi, it's a Matoran! Where'd the cat go?”


“There was no cat! Now grab him!” Another mental adjustment: Greenie was Hiccupi. I couldn't imagine where that name originated.


Cracka advanced on me, his thick fingers outstretched and his single eye glowing red. I'd almost forgotten about Jeevie but he chose that moment to act. First he cleared his throat. “I do not advize that course of action, sir.”


“You wot?”


“Leave him be.”


“Or what, brotherrrrr? Does that monocle have a laser in it? Do you have a jam launcher hidden in those fancy pants?” Hiccupi raised his grotesque pincers and opened them just wide enough for a Toa's head.


“No, sir. But this I possess.” He threw the serving tray and its edge began to glow with an intense white light. It spun through the air toward Cracka and he barely ducked in time. Good for him; the tray buried itself in the wall, burning through an electrical cable and spraying out sparks. Half the lights went out.


“Weapon of a Toa, duty of a servant. Now gentlemen, I must advise you to depart.”


Hiccupi's answer was to swipe at Jeevie with his appendages. I'd never seen the valet move so fast, except in flight. He backflipped onto my bench, among warm mask shards. He kicked at Hiccupi and Cracka. He retrieved his tray and used it as a shield. Meanwhile I was hugging the opposite wall, edging my way closer to the exit.


Then it all went horribly wrong. Cracka landed a blow that would have pulverized any apricot. Jeevie's tray was sent flying. His wrists were clamped together. He was trapped.


“Get the Matoran!” Hiccupi shouted. I ran for the door, even as Cracka's thundering footsteps closed in. For a second it looked like I'd escape. But my good-for-nothing messenger drone chose that moment to restart. Whatever circuitry it had left jolted into life and caused it to leap across the floor and collide with me. I tumbled to the floor, uttering naughty words like “Koliballs” and fighting to keep my mask in place.


Then Cracka was upon me and I learned how it feels to be in a vice. His muscle more than made up for his lack of intelligence/manners/deodorant. I thought I'd burst like a grape as he hoisted me into the air. He took a few steps and I felt the extreme heat of my own furnace. The brute was dangling me over it! Health and Safety would tut at me for this.


“You see, you have failed!” Hiccupi laughed like a hyena. Jeevie and I were both helpless and about to be turned into apple crumble. Only a giant spider with a throat problem could find that funny.


“Laterz, strawberry man. You shoulda stayed as a cat.” The vice opened, to be replaced with the equally horrible sensation of gravity. My lovely workshop, my lovely bench, my lovely filthy ventilation duct, it all spun around me as I plummeted into my lovely fire pit. Cracka's ugly face peered down at me and I closed my eyes, waiting for the burning end...


Burning? It didn't feel like burning. More like flying through a protodermis chute. I opened my eyes and gasped – I was flying. Jeevie's hoverboard was underneath me and it carried me far from the furnace, up through the smashed duct and away from those monsters. Never had I known it could move without a valet upon it. Biggest surprise since I tried tasting vanilla essence.


As I was transmitted through the ventilation system, something came over me. My vision became hazy, then snapped and for a moment I saw only black. Then an object rocketed into view, a little red orb. It smacked into my face and I realized it was a tomato, however I felt none of the juice any normal tomato would contain. Everything turned to translucent orange, then shifted to green, then through a multitude of colours I didn't recognize. A herd of rhino-Rahi dived into a glass of water and merged into Jeeve-Ahn, and I began to suspect it was a hallucination.


Jeevie clambered out of the glass, his suit gone to be replaced with Toa armour that glowed like the sun. “Banana!” he cried, “time is short. Save the heart of Metru Nui! And don't lose my hoverboard.” He sounded most unlike a valet in this vision. What could it mean?


A metal grate appeared before me and I felt the air whip past again. Back in the real world. Bracing myself, I crashed through the grate and ploughed into a mountain of tomatoes. In the ensuing slippery chaos, I lost Jeevie's hoverboard in a storm of splattering. Being a Ta-Matoran, I was used to beating away round squishy objects, but even this obstacle impeded me. After the last tomato had fallen, I was able to stand and get my bearings.


I'd landed in one of the many fruit storage warehouses of the district, but I didn't recall this one being set up for tomatoes. Something moved in the shadows behind me and I whirled around. It was the hoverboard, taking off all by itself. Maybe it would shoot back to Jeevie's aid. But no; it planted itself in the floor by my side. I grabbed it and made for the door.


There was a window ahead of me and I stopped short when I saw through it. Hiccupi and Cracka were leading Jeevie past, his wrists locked in some kind of energy cuffs. He was well and truly defeated. Metru Nui was without protection!




This continued for about half an hour, then I remembered the gummi bear I'd been given. It gave me some comfort, but at the same time grief. Jeevie had asked me to take it to the Temple of the Great Marshmallow, a place I wasn't sure existed. If I got there, what was I to do? Clearly this gummi was important, but why I couldn't guess. Never mind. Few had ever questioned the wisdom of a valet, let alone the valet to Turaga Nom.


So it was that I departed for Ga-Metru, careful to avoid the roads patrolled by Vahki. Little could I imagine the perils and the bad aftertastes that awaited me.









EDIT: PS: NOTE TO READERS: You may or may not be wondering why the Almighty Turaga President Chap didn't appear at this point, as he did in the original storyline. Fear not, I didn't forget him!

Edited by Dekarnuva






New comedy: The Time Before Time 

New artwork: Keetorange Productions Animation Studio

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I think you meant the Matoran praised Jeeve-Ahn, not appraised him.


Right you are! I'd always thought they meant the same thing, but no, Wiktionary says otherwise. Thanks for pointing that out.




What have you got against blueberries?


Is it not said that the Makuta, threatened by he rebellion of the Barraki, took up a wild blueberry and smote his enemies with it, implanting within his mind the seeds of a foul plot to overthrow the Great One? Even If it isn't, blueberries aren't really the tastiest of fruit, are they?



Again, thank you all for your kind words and out-pointings! Here I now present the third installment:









Looking at the exterior of the Temple of the Great Marshmallow, I realized why so few people knew this place existed. It was shrouded in an unearthly mist and surrounded by a wide moat of what appeared to be Mountain Dew. The Temple itself rose into a gigantic dome, covered in thick chocolate. Where the outer wall was cracked and crumbled, or had bite marks in it, soft white marshmallow showed through. This was surely the universe's biggest Mallowpuff.


I located the entrance but couldn't see any way to traverse the moat. While a Ga-Matoran would have swum across with ease (or drunk it all), I didn't share that ability. Perhaps getting across this moist expanse had been Jeevie's idea of a test. I was determined not to fail any such tests. With me I'd brought the valet's hoverboard and I hoped it would obey me. Sure enough, when I laid it upon the ground it glowed with Toa energy and awaited my step. Carefully I positioned myself upon it. We took off – and it came right out from under my feet. .


As I plunged into the cold, fizzy depths of the moat, I wondered why this place was here anyway. Who builded it? Wasn't the Coliseum always our big national monument? How much taxpayers' money went into constructing this nigh inaccessible building? So many questions... so little air.


A hand latched onto me and I felt myself going up rather than down. My first thought was that Jeevie had found me. But this hand was small, belonging to a villager. Though I couldn't see anything (the bubbles stung my eyes), I sensed the presence of a Ga-Matoran. Thank the fridge!


“Wow, you men and your useless pride. Didn't you know you can't swim?”


My splutterings prevented me from replying for a moment. When I'd finally swallowed as much Mountain Dew as I dared, I said “Thought it was worth a shot. Where did the hoverboard go?”


There was no sign of it. My rescuer clearly thought I was mad; she shook me while still holding me clear of the water's surface. “Only Jeeve-Ahn has a hoverboard, silly.”


“Yeah, it was his. Hiccupi and Cracka captured him in my furnace and I had to use the board to escape. Then I had a vision of him telling me to save the heart of Metru Nui! And then-”


“Whatever. You want to get into the Temple or not?”


“Yes please.”


“Then hold on and stop squirming. You're lucky you're at least a little bit cute or I would have let you go by now.”




Her strong legs kicked us across the moat. She dumped me upon the shore, just as a shout came from behind. There was another Matoran there, wearing a bronze mask and armour, waving his hands and calling for help. Three more were running out of the mist behind him. Only two things can make a Matoran run at that speed: food in front or Vahki behind. In this case both were true.


“We have to help them!” I cried.


“I guess,” said the Ga-Matoran, “they might be good-looking enough...”


“There might be something helpful in the Temple! If I go inside and look, will you swim out for those guys?”


“Yeah, okay. Five men is better than one.”


Before I could ask her what she meant, she dived back into the drink and took off. I'd never seen anybody move so fast through liquid. Then I remembered flying through tomato juice, raising philosophical questions about whether I'd actually seen that. Such questions would only hinder me. I ran into the Temple of the Great Marshmallow.


While I couldn't see much as I'd forgotten my lightgummi, I noticed a number of obscure carvings upon the round walls. They showed things I'd never seen nor tasted before. There was writing as well, in a dialect so ancient it probably wasn't even listed on Wikipedia. One image I did understand, for it showed a side view of a flat bridge being lowered over a pit with a wavy line at the top. A drawbridge! Even better, there was a big lever underneath this carving. I yanked it down and looked back outside.


It seemed the two-dimensionality of the carving had deceived me. Instead of a bridge, a skinny metal pole was lowered across the moat. The lady who'd rescued me was just climbing onto the opposite shore; even she would have trouble balancing on such an object. There was little choice. She called out to one of the four arrivals and he headed for the water.


The other three hopped onto the pole. Two of them wrapped their arms around it and shimmied across, but the third flipped himself and proceeded to walk across on his hands. Obviously a cloud-brained Le-Matoran. They'd be in safety in a few moments, for no Vahki I'd heard of could swim and I could raise the drawpole at any time.


We were assembled at the entrance to the Temple, six strangers, each from a different district. Before we could all introduce ourselves, the Vahki appeared. “Ugly things, aren't they?” said the Onu-Matoran.


“They're law enforcers, they weren't designed to look cuddly,” I replied.


“Come on boys, let's leave them there. We have stuff to do inside, if you know what I mean,” said the Ga-Matoran. “My name's Noca-Cola, by the way. But call me Noka.” She gave us a wink.


Each of us carried a coloured gummi bear into the Temple. Jeevie had selected us for something, but none could guess what we were supposed to do. First problem was getting some light. It was darker than Oreo shells in the centre. If only-


“Hey pip-spitter! What do you do for a living?”


“I am a mask-maker, sir. My name is Banana.”


“So don't you have some tools with you?”


“I wasn't able to bring anything from work, except...” Then it hit me. Whatever it was, it felt big and flat and glowed golden. I identified it as Jeevie's hoverboard. “Aha! I knew it was hiding around here somewhere.”


Noka gave a gasp of surprise, then materialized at my side. “So you're honest and handsome. I see a connection here already...”


The Po-Matoran cleared his throat. “Well that's great, we better keep going and see what we can do.”


“What is your name?” asked the Onu-Matoran. An innocent enough question.


“Me? I'm Lindta.”


Echoing laughter basted from the shadows. It was the Le-Matoran, he who walked on his hands and acted as a living air freshener when he spoke. “Lindta?! That's such a girls' name!”


“IT IS NOT A GIRLS' NAME!!!” I didn't think even a sculptor of chocolate could cause a quake, but he almost did. “WHY DOES EVERYONE KEEP SAYING THAT?!!?”


Globs of marshmallow began peeling off the ceiling. One of them splattered all over the Le-Matoran's mask, which halted his scoffings.


“Well then, what's YOUR name?”


“I am Peppau, invincible test pilot and-”




This time it was just Lindta laughing, as the others watched him in silence. I still don't see anything funny about 'Peppau.' Looking back, I was surprised none of them had laughed at my name.


It was the Onu-Matoran who stepped in. “Alright,” said he, “the last thing we need is an argument. You two better keep quiet or we'll never figure out what Jeeve-Ahn wanted us for.” We'd later learn his name was Munchu.


Only the Ko-Matoran had yet to speak. In fact, he'd ignored us ever since the moat crossing. Guided by the light from the hoverboard in my hands, he'd found an inedible structure shaped like a massive dome. It was like a scale model of the whole Temple, just small enough to see over the top of. He waved a hand and we all walked over to him. When I was close enough I could see intricate apertures around the side of this thing. They matched the logos displayed on Kanougat disks, a different one for each district. One of the openings looked like a pineapple; that was the logo of Fruit.


“Hey babe, you know what this is?” Noka pointed her thumb at the dome.


Our icy comrade nodded, but still no words. I'd heard astrologers weren't exactly party animals. There were kebab sticks in Ta-Metru with more conversational ability than the man we'd learn to call Fruju. He was clutching his gummi bear and, in front of our astounded eyes, dropped it into one of the openings. There was a flash of white light, then a strange beam of energy rose from the top.


“Of course!” shouted Munchu. “It's a Toa Suva! An ancient shrine – I've seen pictures of these on the internet!” He raised his gummi and approached the Suva. “Alright guys, we need to cast these lollies into it.”


“What if we do that and nothing happens?”


“Don't worry. I think Suvas have built-in video recorders. Jeeve-Ahn has probably left a message for us.” He pointed to the energy beam, where a faint outline of a Toa's mask could be spotted.


So we all inserted our gummies and observed the beam grow more intense, until it flooded the Temple with eerie blue light. An image of Jeevie floated there, not as a respectable valet, but as a legendary Toa. I'd never seen him in this splendour before, except in my hallucination. Was it only that, or was what I saw a genuine message from a higher power? Either way, it hadn't saved the valet from capture.


“My friends,” said the recording, “the city of Metru Nui is in danger. A shadow threatens its heart.” Again he sounded much less like a valet. “Only you hold the power to save it. Don't be afraid, for Marshy Mallow himself will guide you in ways you could never imagine...” His image flickered for a moment. “Copyright Toa Jeeve-Ahn 1000 BTN.”


Jeevie vanished and the light grew more intense. We said nothing, just stared in bewilderment. The entire Suva began to rise, lifted up on a gigantic piston. The noise was dreadful, like being stuck inside the engine of an industrial cherry-picker. Explosions of light made me shield my eyes. Then a new sensation came over me, like nothing I'd ever felt before. Was I being electrocuted? It didn't hurt as much as I would expect, but pain there was, as if I were being stretched like bread dough.


It was all over in a flash. We heard the Suva drop back down with a terrific ker-sploink. Deafening quiet and blinding darkness took over. Everything was the same as before, yet everything had changed. I reached once more for the hoverboard and this time it blazed in my grip. It looked smaller than I recalled. Then I realized I had grown. My hands, my arms, my legs... my whole body looked different. There were gasps of amazement from the others. We'd all been transformed.


Noka got to her feet. She now towered above the Suva, same height as a Toa. “Are we... sexy?”


“We're Toa, baby! Woohooooo!” Peppau launched himself into a somersault, yelling with glee. Unfortunately his new taller figure would take some time to get used to. He landed hard on top of the Suva. On his butt.


“Toa? How can this be? I never heard of Matoran being turned into Toa like that. Must be a mistake,” muttered Munchu.


“Well sir,” said Peppau as he recomposed himself, “I say that if we appear to be Toa, we ARE Toa!”


“This is incredible!” said I. “But what are we to do now? There's a squad of Vahki waiting for us to come out and we still have little idea of our goal.”


“I think our goal now is obvious,” said Lindta. “Smash those Vahki into tiny pieces and make an oven out of 'em.”


“They're the police, chochead!” Peppau retorted. “Don't you know how the law works?”


“Well whether we're Toa or not, I say we make our own law. Now let's find some weapons!”





Turaga Nom was once a Toa of Fruit himself, which is why he felt a special connection to the sourness of Ta-Metru. Whenever he visited, it was to bathe in the nostalgia of his glory years. Or to visit a maskmaker; that day he sought me in my workshop. He almost certainly wasn't expecting to see what resembled an earthquake red zone. Only one light still functioned, the walls were buckled in various places, metal scraps lay everywhere and a stack of Disks had collapsed into my furnace.


“It seems we are too late,” said Nom in his throaty voice. Age had wizened his mask and stiffened his joints; he needed a Candycane to walk. But there was something in the way his eyes darted around that told a different story. He was alert, all-seeing. Like a real-life Fruit Ninja in disguise. “My valet has already visited... and it seems the Hunters have as well. I will have to ask Banana this favour at a later time.”


The Turaga turned to his two Vahki escorts. They were almost as tall as a Toa, but showed none of the aura or intelligence. Their brains worked like clocks; they were robots built with the sole purpose of catching lawbreakers. Since they considered any Matoran absent from work a lawbreaker, they'd be sent after Banana. Each one was constructed of dark red armour, with a massive pincered head that flashed green periodically. They carried a pair of special whack-sticks and held Kanougat Disks in their 'mouths.'


Said Nom, “it is time for the next phase of the plan to begin. You know what I mean. Execute order 69!”


A series of green pulses travelled along their heads from snout to cranium. It was their way of communicating. Only Nom and Jeevie could have translated them: “Order acknowledged. Productions of Vahki units in all districts will be increased twenty-fold. Are there any other outstanding orders?”


“Yes please, bring me a mocha fudge sundae with sprinkles. No wait, hundreds and thousands. NO WAIT, milk bottle lollies! Thank you.” Being the Almighty President required him to speak very loudly when required.


The bots scurried off to carry out their dirty work. They crouched down and reverted to a quadrupedal mode, using their whack-sticks as limbs. In this fashion they attempted to evade Nom before he issued any more orders; even Vahki secretly dislike being bossed around. It-




It would be many a day before I realized why Turaga Nom had come looking for me, or what his words meant. And what a tasteless day it was to be.






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  • 2 weeks later...





“Now THIS is a Toa tool!” Peppau held one of his melon-splitting swords aloft, a melon-splitting grin upon his face. In addition to the Suva, we'd discovered a cache of weapons in the Temple, which it seemed only a Toa could open. No Matoran I knew could have chewed through the lock.


Naturally, Peppau had called shotgun on the first pair of sharp pointy things that were found. The others picked out their armaments in turn. Fruju selected a pair of heavy Spiked Popsicles, ideal for climbing ice-cream slopes. Munchu got rock-hard Gingernut Drills, able to bore into any type of cookie (unless they got wet). Noka grabbed two of the largest water pistols I'd ever seen; she was delighted to see they were pre-loaded with pressurized soda. Lindta chose a set of Licorice Pitons and proceeded to eat half of them, before remembering they might be useful against the Vahki. Each one was tipped with a triangular head like a piece of Toblerone.


I'd held back all this time, but when my turn came, there were still three options left. A gummi launcher, a jam cannon, a box of Tim Tams well past its 'best before' date. Vahki couldn't eat, so the toxic Tim Tams would be useless against them. I also doubted the capabilities of a jam cannon, especially this one, as it said “Made in Xia.” That left me with a splendid gummi launcher, a tool for the truly skilled Toa. Any squishy lolly smaller than a Kanougat Disk could be fired from it with extraordinary velocity. Being from Ta-Metru, I had a ready supply of ammo in my satchel.


“Alright,” said Munchu, “I've had a look outside to assess the situation. The police have us surrounded and they're all charging up their whack-sticks as we speak. That means it's too late for negotiation. For some reason they mean to arrest us... nobody did anything illegal on the way here, did they?”


“Does turning into a Toa count as illegal?” asked Lindta.


“According to the Fortuitous Transformations Act 1010 BTN, it is against the law for any citizen to have their appearance altered for the benefit, or otherwise, of the city of Metru Nui. Also we're kinda in a heritage site.” Noka pointed to the faded sign left at the door for tourists.


“For crying out loud, that law is ten years old! Surely Jeeve-Ahn would have known about it!” said Peppau.


“He did know,” I replied. “I believe this is a test for us. He needs competent Toa to protect the city and if we can't even get past Vahki, what good are we? We'll just have to worry about the consequences later.”


“Okay then... SMASH STUFF!!”






Units of the Vahki police are programmed to respond to movement, so a giant chocolate chip flying across the moat didn't go unnoticed. Just before it struck one of the Vahki, a silver whack-stick was raised and an electrical bolt fired. The choc chip was reduced to a charred crumb. No harm done, or so it seemed. But once discharged, a whack-stick takes time to power up again.


Time was something Noka never gave her enemies. Without warning (except for “Look out scumbags!”) she shot up out of the moatwater, pistols firing. High-pressure soda splattered all over the robot's armour and seeped into its circuits. Fuses exploded and it began to emit smoke. Since smoking was illegal in Metru Nui, the others closed in and attacked it instead of Noka. It raised its whack-stick in an attempt to fight back, but suddenly lost control of its arm and smacked itself in the head. The Vahki collapsed and a shower of sparks flew up. Noka laughed like a maniac.


Police on either side of her were closing in, ready to shoot. As Noka wasn't a fan of being electrocuted, she signalled her companions. “GET YOUR HINIES OVER HERE!”


I'd laid a range of gummies before myself and tried launching one of them. It shot across like a rocket, striking a Vahki directly in the head – and bounced off. My target didn't even register the attack.


“Come on, a gummi launcher? Why didn't you take that jam cannon?” demanded Peppau. He was standing in the door, the other three men sprinting into action.


“Well for one thing, it said “Made in Xia”.”


His mouth dropped open and his eyes bulged like a pair of muffins in the oven. “WHAT?! All the best equipment comes from Xia! You fruitcake!”


“Fine, I'll give it a try.”


“Good! I think our new friends could use some help.” He gave some kind of war cry and charged into the open, leaving me to re-open the cache and swap weapons.


I'd never considered the M4-DK jam cannon as an effective device against robots, or indeed anything. But if Peppau was right about the Xian thing, maybe it would surprise me. Again I aimed through the doorway. All potential targets were running now, but I knew I could compensate for a moving target. I fired again and...



Next thing I remember was disentangling myself from the remains of the Suva. Obviously the Xian military could handle a lot more recoil than I. Grumbling and cursing, I endeavoured to swap back to the gummi launcher, hoping it would work as a melee weapon. Then somebody shouted “HOLY MACARONI” and I ran to the doorway to see what had happened.


At first I had no idea what I was seeing. Noka and the others were standing around a translucent red blob, which appeared to contain several struggling Vahki. With caution I stepped out onto the drawpole. The blob almost looked like... jam!


“What did I tell you, huh?” Peppau laughed even as the sound of more buzzing whack-sticks hit his ears. “All the best stuff comes from Xia! Now come over and give us a hand, pip-spitter.”


Peppau whirled his swords like an expert ninja, managing to hit everything except the Vahki. He was still having trouble adjusting to his new self. Lindta lent a hand, extending one of his pitons as far as it went and swinging it around his head. It caught on one Vahki and dragged it around in a circle. This one tried firing its whack-stick but was flung into the moat with a splash. When it discharged, a strangely appetizing sizzle came from the drink, then an explosion.


“Thanks buddy. I knew I could count on you!” said Peppau.


“Don't be too optimistic, you wintergreen freak.” Lindta readied another piton for the next assault. His “buddy” decided to ignore his remark and check on how the others were doing.






I'd edged about half-way along the drawpole and could see more police approaching from both sides. They were surrounding Noka, Munchu and Fruju and it looked like they needed help. This time I took aim and braced the cannon solidly against my shoulder. It made no difference. While my jam shot was spot-on, my temporary aviation ability left no chance to celebrate.






Munchu dropped down and powered up his Drills, ramming them into the ground. Cookie shards were propelled in all directions and shockwaves blasted the remaining Vahki. They were confused by the shaking and reverted to their quadrupedal forms to stay standing. In this form they couldn't electrocute with their whack-sticks, which Fruju used to his advantage. As the shockwaves subsided, he charged forward and smacked as many as he could. His Spiked Popsicles sent them tumbling into my sticky jam trap.


Noka watched him and didn't even see a twitch on Fruju's face. “Uh... yeah babe! Keep it up!”


“Hey, where's Banana?” asked Munchu.


In the interim I'd fired again in mid-air in an attempt to direct myself toward my allies, rather than into the fizzy doom again. This technique had been effective; not only was the jam cannon ideal for pwning the police, it was also an aerodynamic aid. But since I wasn't a Le-Matoran, I didn't like anything that involved aerodynamics. Upon my meeting with solid earth, I questioned whether we'd destroy the Vahki or ourselves first.


“What's the situation, hun?” asked Noka as she wiped dirt and cookie crumbs off my armour.


“Lots more on the way. Weapons working scarily well. Dirt in my mouth...”


“I meant your relationship situation.”


“I'm single, but I don't see how that's relevant.”


“Oh, it's relevant.” She gave me another of those winks. “Okay boys, time to pack up! We're getting' our hinies outta here!”


I still wasn't sure what Noka meant by these remarks, but I was starting to get the impression she maybe liked me. In any case, we had to get away from the Temple and back to- “Hang on, where are we going?”


“What do you mean?” Lindta was running over to me.


“Where do we run to? We got to the Temple alright, but what is our objective now? Can't just beat up police forever and expect to be rewarded for it.”


“Noooo... what was it Jeevie said in his message?”


“Copyright Toa Jeeve-Ahn,” said Munchu helpfully.


“No, before that.”


“He said-” I began, but my mouth froze. Lindta's face was morphing into that of a small girl and it was starting to rain pink. Once again a herd of rhino-Rahi stampeded across the landscape, diving into a big blender already filled with evil blueberries. Jeeve-Ahn somersaulted out the top of the blender, again wearing his brilliant Toa armour.


“Time is short!” he cried. “You must find the Great Disks. There is one hidden in each district. Seek out the unfamiliar in the familiar! Do not delay! And DO NOT LOSE MY HOVERBOARD! Bye now.”


Our saviour disappeared from my sight, to be replaced by the concerned face of Peppau. He was shaking me from side to side and calling my name. I slapped him and he let go of me. For a moment I stood there, trying to peer through the mist, listening for enemies. No more Vahki could I see or hear.


“Um, Banana?”


“Yes, Peppau?”




“Sorry, I was having a vision. It was Jeeve-Ahn! He told me to find the 'Great Disks'... to seek out the unfamiliar in the familiar... and... Oh , where's his hoverboard?!”


“It's right here,” said Munchu. It was sitting in his hands, the glowing edges indicating it had just landed there.


“Well,” said Lindta, “sounds like somebody's been spending too much time in front of their forge.”




“YOU, you imbecile! Now stop daydreaming so we can get the heck away from here!”


“Hey!” shouted Noka. “Okay, so he did look like a prick just then. But if what Banana saw was a real vision, not just drug overdose, we can't afford to ignore it. It seems Marshy Mallow has commanded us to find these Great Kanougat Disks and use them to prove our awesomeness as Toa.”


“According to Wikipedia, one of the Disks is hidden in each district,” added Munchu, “so that bit sounds right. As for the 'unfamiliar in the familiar' part, I'm not sure what that might mean.”


“It means we have a little exploring to do!” said Peppau.


“Oooh, I like exploring. Wanna come exploring with me, handsome?” Noka asked him. Yet another wink.


“No thanks, I think I can handle Le-Metru on my own. Even with the Vahki stirred up. There was this one time, I was late for work, and a whole-”


“Speaking of Vahki,” said Lindta, “I think I hear more of them coming, so can we just MOVE?!”


That's exactly what we did, agreeing to split up and use our newfound Toa powers to find these legendary Disks. My first thought was to look around in the shower cubicle of fellow maskmaker Noodli; from his perspective it would be 'unfamiliar within the familiar.' But I suspected the answer to such a cryptic clue wouldn't be so obvious. As we fled from the police, our path shrouded in mist, I wondered how so much could be cast into mystery in so little time.






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Noodli was normally absent on Sundays, organizing the next social akilini match, doing his weekly shopping and such. So both of us got a shock when I saw him enter his bathroom and he, torch in hand, found a Toa of Fruit investigating his shower. For a few seconds he watched me in silence. Then he recognized me, to my despair. “Hey, you're Banana! I've been looking everywhere for you!”


“Uh... hi, Noodli. How're you doing?”


“Spare me the pleasantries! I've been wanting to ask you what the heck Turaga Nom came to see you for.” He put his hands on his hips and thrust his face up at mine. He didn't look happy to see me. Ever since I'd beaten him in that chilli-chugging contest, Noodli had acted this way.


I detected the smell of smoke and spotted a trail of said substance rising from behind my old acquaintance. “I think you're burning your towel.”


“Well I think you-” He sniffed. “Oh koliballs! Stupid torch doesn't switch off when it's supposed to...”


“As for Turaga Nom, I'd be delighted if he paid me a visit. But I haven't seen him.”


“Well he dropped in yesterday, asking where your office was. Said he some special favour to ask you, involving a mask. Well? Why does the Turaga come to you for everything? Everybody knows I'm the best maskmaker in Metru Nui!”


“Your towel is burning.”


There came another shout of “Koliballs!” and Noodli flapped his arms around, trying to slap the flames away. If Jeeve-Ahn were there, he could have used his hidden Toa power to douse them in an instant. Wait... who needed Jeeve-Ahn? There was a new Toa in Ta-Metru!


My hands outstretched, I concentrated all my willpower into the task of creating the moistest of fruits and launching it at the blaze. To my amazement, a bloated watermelon began to materialize before me. The gifts granted to me by Marshy Mallow were indeed powerful. But I'd forgotten to tell Noodli to stand aside, so when the object shot out of my reach, I could only watch in horror as it splattered all over him. Ripe chunks flew all over the room, propelled by an explosion of reddish juice.


“Banana, you-”


“Your towel is no longer burning.”




“Well Noodli, I...” This required some quick thinking. I'd decided to check his shower after all, but no sign of a Great Disk had I uncovered. I considered recommending a plumber to him, but if he knew what I'd been doing he'd just get madder. “I could use your help. I am looking for the Great Disk of Ta-Metru.”




“Well, yes.”


“Oh, okay then. You came to the right place.” His tone changed completely and I suspected he was coming down from a lunch-time sugar rush. “You see, Banana, just after Turaga Nom spoke to me yesterday, I was sent to the protodermis recycling centre. This Po-Matoran wanted some broken masks to decorate one of his statues with, but he couldn't afford it with widgets. We made a deal and I agreed to get the scrap for him.”


“What did he give you in return?”


Noodli cleared his throat and directed me out of the bathroom. His living space was rather boring-looking, just a standard Matoran hut, save for a massive bookshelf filled with what appeared to be DVDs. “Only all ten seasons of Seinfeld! You see, us maskmakers can always get the best deals. Anyway, while at the recycling centre I found this strange Kanougat Disk. It was so shiny! And as I looked it over, I couldn't find any sign of damage at all. There was no reason why it should have been recycled. Then I saw the code on the back, it had a power level of 42!”


“Holy macaroni! Toa Munchu said that power level is only possible with a Great Disk.” When I mentioned my comrade's name, Noodli gave me a confused look. “He is the new Toa of Cookies. There are six of us.”


“Well that's good, without Jeevie around, a whole team of you would be appreciated.”


“Could you please go and get this Disk for me? They won't let me into the recycling centre looking like this.” I didn't wish to scare him with the information that a squad of Vahki was probably after me, like Ko-Matoran pursuing a rolling ball of ice-cream.




“I will pay you with the first three seasons of Game of Thrones.”


“Then you got a deal, buddy! See you soon.”


He skipped out of his home, leaving me to make plans. I hoped he'd be in the same mood when we next met. I suspected not, if he discovered what I already knew: there were only nine seasons of Seinfeld.








“What do you mean you can't let me in for free? I WORK HERE!” Munchu wanted to throttle the man in the main ticket booth of the Onu-Metru Museum. They'd been arguing for ten minutes in front of a crowd of startled Matoran. It wasn't every day that a Toa tried to wriggle his way past the entry fee.


“If you don't have a valid staff ID, I can't let you through. Okay?”


“But my ID is perfectly valid, look! It doesn't expire for another three months!”


“But it doesn't look like you!”


“THAT'S BECAUSE I'M A TOA NOW!!” His patience was running out. Finally Munchu relented, his hand moving to his satchel. “How much is the fee?”


“Fifteen widgets and a hug.”


“Fine...” He embraced the attendant with less enthusiasm than a jar of gherkins. A faint smell of cooties did nothing to elevate his mood. Then he laid fifteen widgets out on the desk and marched into the Museum. Widgets were the primary currency in Metru Nui, salty rounded objects harvested from a secret location in Le-Metru. Tempting though it was to eat them, doing so would earn a visit from the Vahki.


The Toa of Cookies did his best to fit in as he made his way to the staff area. His new armour was bulky and shiny, two characteristics easily noticed by the typical villager. Those who had before been gazing upon exotic foods in glass cases were transfixed by Munchu's powerful form. He gave up on trying to fit in and made a dash for his old office door. It was tucked away under a staircase leading to the attic, which hid him from the view of Ticket Guy.


“Now, where is that key?” While rummaging through his satchel, he discovered many things that weren't keys. Spare parts for his Gingernut Drills, a Toa-grade polishing kit, his vast collection of pull-tabs from ginger beer cans. Right at the bottom was the dusty office key. Munchu fished it out and was delighted to see it still fitted in the lock. Although it would have been easy, he hadn't wanted to bash the door down with his fists.


Between the door and a vat of cookie dough sat his desk. Within the top drawer of said desk was the item he required, a map of the vast subterranean levels of the Museum. It showed those areas below the public levels, places where exhibits too foul-tasting or even toxic were stored. Somewhere in this network could be found a specimen of every foodstuff ever discovered. It was also a great place to stash a Great Disk.


Munchu rolled up the map and carried it outside. He was careful to lock the door and not let his new gauntlets scratch its surface. But when he looked back at Ticket Guy's booth, he realized things were about to get very rough. Several Vahki police were waiting for him at the entrance, their whack-sticks sizzling with energy.


That's the one! Get him!” Ticket Guy's pointing finger looked like the barrel of a potato gun. Without hesitation the Vahki all fired at Munchu, forcing him to call upon his elemental power. There was a flash of bright black light, then something round and brownish spun toward the police squad. It shattered as their electrical bolts pounded its baked surface, each shard continuing on its flight with deadly velocity. One second later, none of the Vahki remained standing. They were blanketed in cookie crumbs, originating from a biscuit the size of an Ussal cart wheel.


Sorry guys, I have a job to do and those police are only delaying me. Could you do your new Toa a favour and not call any more of them?”


None of the assembled Matoran responded, but they were all staring at the remnants of the giant cookie. Ticket Guy had a piece in his hands and he proclaimed, “Marshy Mallow, this is delicious! He truly is a great Toa!” The others closed in, keen for a bite of the unbranded biscuit.


Thanks everybody. See you all later!” Munchu walked out into the streets, leaving the villagers to squabble over the biggest bites. It was time to start the search.








IT. IS. NOT. A. GIRLS' NAME!!!!!!!” Toa Lindta may have undergone drastic changes in appearance, but his attitude toward Achnoo hadn't changed a bit. The troublemaking carver had bumped into him at the nearby chute station and started harassing him from the moment he recognized Lindta.


Yes it is!”




Yes it is!”


Believe me, if I weren't programmed to protect Matoran from harm at all costs, I would shove this piece of licorice right up your-”


Girls' name.”




There came a shout from high above, “Hey, what's with all the cAPS lOCK?” It was another Po-Matoran working on a statue of what appeared to be Jeeve-Ahn, suit and all.


This rascal is delaying my quest for the Great Disk of Po-Metru, a Disk apparently of vital importance to the security of our city, but that came from a deep-fried pip-spitter. So really, I don't even know what I'm doing here! Auugh!” Lindta swung his Licorice Piton into the ground with fury. His anger made his new energies hard to control and, unfortunately for those around, said energies exerted their control on the fudge the ground was made of.


Achnoo was thrown off his feet by a sudden tremor, the likes of which he hadn't felt since the great Ga-Metru Belching Competition of 1064 BTN. The man working high up cried out and almost lost his grip. By the time Lindta realized what was happening, it was too late. Losing his grip on Jeevie's massive monocle, the carver tumbled down the chocolate face and plunged toward the brown earth. “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp! Om nom nom,” he decided he still had time for a quick last meal.


Something Lindta had learned better use of was his pitons, one of which he deftly swung high above his head. Its hard tip dug into the sculpture and held. He was barely even thinking about what he was doing. Perhaps it was an instinctive action for a Toa of Chocolate. He leapt into the air and shot upward in an arc, his piton guiding him around the statue. His free hand closed around the arm of the carver and together they glided down to safety. Their landing was not so graceful, for Lindta had to make a last-minute evasion to avoid a tack Achnoo had dropped.


I'm sorry about that, little one. Can you see how this brat frustrates me so?”


What is your name, Toa?”


I am Lindta.”


He let out a snort, struggling to contain his laughter. Finally it burst forth like lemonade from a Duct tape dam, echoing off the unfinished sculptures all around. “Woah, that is such a girls' name!”








In Ko-Metru, the act of “consulting the stars” was a code term for reading adult literature. When he wanted real information, Fruju sought the senior astrologers who worked in the highest storeys of the Popsicle Towers. He carried a diagram of a Great Disk, drawn from what he could guesstimate about its design. The number 42 on its back was clearly underlined.


An unusual sight met his eyes as he traversed a narrow bridge between two towers. At the other end was a mound of transparent cubes composed of some kind of protodermis-infused ice-cream. He could have studied their composition all day, but what really surprised him was the Matoran trapped within. He'd been completely enclosed by the blocks, which appeared to be cunningly rigged to collapse on him at the slightest provocation.


Hey! Toa!” The captive just had enough room to wave a hand.


Fruju casually waved back.


No, you don't understand! This is a trap, you gotta get me out!”


Fruju thought he was far too talkative for a Ko-Matoran. Then he remembered the identity of this chap, a messenger named Dairy. Once Dairy had applied for an astrology job himself, but had been turned down due to his extreme chattiness and inability to distinguish Goody Gumdrops from Rocky Road. As such, he was of less value than the asteroid-hunters and weathermen, but Fruju's duty was to all villagers.


After a quick scan of the arrangement of blocks, he concluded they'd been set up in the fashion of a Rubik's cube and had to be rotated and removed in the correct order. But he secretly hated Rubik's cubes, so he abandoned the intelligent approach and let loose with the Toa tools. Dairy covered his mask in Fright (a fantastic paint-preserving product), expecting to be crushed and turned into a vanilla smoothie. Yet Fruju's blows were true and he cleared it all away without any such fuss.


Thank you, great Toa. I was trapped by a hideous creature who expected me never to escape. He sought my knowledge, for I know the location of the Great Disk of Ko-Metru. I had a feeling you'd be seeking it; is this true?”


Fruju nodded and showed him the diagram. It was signed with a doodle of a ferret.


Man of few words, aren't you?”










WHAT'S WITH ALL THE RACKET OUT THERE?! I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF EAT!!” This outburst was followed by a quiet nomming and the occasional clinking of a teaspoon from inside one of the Towers.


Come, I will show you the location of the Disk. But I hope you are strong in will. The view really is breathtaking.”






New comedy: The Time Before Time 

New artwork: Keetorange Productions Animation Studio

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