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A Brief Word from Tahu

Master Inika

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            The lights above Master Inika’s studio flickered on for the first time in over a year. Master Inika and the six Toa Uniters stepped in. The theater-style chairs and stage remained, along with the overhead sound booth. In the center of the walkway still stood the protodermis statue of Shadow Inika, Master Inika’s evil twin brother defeated by the Toa Masters over a year ago.


            “Just look at this place,” Kopaka said. “Cobwebs in the ceiling, stone rats crawling all over the place… And is that a half-eaten sandwich on the stage?!”


            “I forget I left that there!” Master Inika exclaimed. He rushed forward to the stage and more inhaled than ate it. Suddenly, he cringed in revulsion and spat it back on the ground.


            “Ugh!” he cried in disgust. “I told the guy at the sandwich shop, no olives!”


            “Um, Master Inika?” Tahu asked, holding up the script Master Inika had prepared the night before.


            “Oh, right,” Master Inika said. “The announcement thing. Places, everyone!”


            The six Uniters stood on the stage as Master Inika went up to his sound booth. When Master Inika gave the signal, Tahu began:


            “Gathered friends, we’ve dealt with a lot since you last saw me. BIONICLE Generation 2, well, didn’t exactly pan out the way we wanted it to. But there’s something I’ve been feeling needs to be said, that I haven’t heard from anyone else yet.


            “No matter what LEGO gives you, they can’t give you your childhood again. No matter what kind of a line it is, if it’s BIONICLE or something new, or how close to the spirit of BIONICLE it gets, LEGO will never make you feel the same way you felt during Generation 1 because you can never receive it as a child anymore.


            “During Generation 1, Master Inika was in elementary and middle school. As great as BIONICLE was in of itself, part of the reason he liked the toys so much was because of what was going on in the rest of his life. It gave him something to do when he was done with homework, strengthen his creative energies when the American public education system tried to weaken them, turn to when he was rejected by classmates, and bond over with his friends.


            “I’m sure the rest of the BIONICLE fandom has similar stories, so you too must realize your lives are different now. Still problems, still things you enjoy, but different, and so, even if LEGO gave you something as good as the original, you’d never be able to enjoy it the same way. You probably wouldn’t even be able to tell it was as good.


            “The one thing you can cling to that BIONICLE gave you is the fan community. Write fanfiction, make a MOC, draw a comic, record a podcast. Fans have been doing that through most of BIONICLE’s existence and we’ve never stopped, no matter if LEGO was still making sets or how much we liked them or anything. For Master Inika, it’s the one thing about BIONICLE he still enjoys and gets the same fulfillment out of doing today as when he started doing it ten years ago, and it’s what he’ll continue doing even if he’s the only one who understands any of it. Hopefully, though, it won’t be just him doing it. That’s all I wanted to say.”


            Master Inika came down from the sound booth and exited the studio with the Uniters.


            “Why did the rest of us have to be here for that?” Onua asked on the way out.


            “Stand behind Tahu and look cool,” Master Inika answered.


            “Oh,” Onua said. “I flew all the out here from Jacksonville, just so you know.”

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
-- Turaga Nokama


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A great tribute, and funny; love the idea of the Toa having real lives/jobs when they're not on the series.

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