Pranciblad

Bonkle: the Cronkle

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Pranciblad

Chapter 1 -- We Have Liftoff!

Spoiler

This is a story about two Matoran (when isn’t it?) who were meeting for totally unremarkable reasons only to be flung unexpectedly into a situation far more absurd that they could possibly imagine. 

“I’m glad that the chaff-chucker’s guild and the husk-hucker’s society could come to an agreement. We’ll start handing off the goods tomorrow,” Said our first unwitting victim, let’s call him “Bob.”

“Excellent! Shall we drink to it? I made this lovely wine for the occasion,” said the other one, who we will now refer to as “Rob.”

“Funny looking wine, where did you get it exactly?” said Bob.

“Oh, this? I made it from the Madu that were growing outside,” said Rob.

“Wait a second, aren’t Madu fruit extremely combustible?” said Bob.

“Oh nonsense,” said Rob, mere seconds before being brutally corrected. 

As soon as Rob pulled the cork from the bottle, the entire roof of his house was blown clean off in the resulting explosion, and the two Matoran were launched so far that Ga-Koro’s astrologer would spend countless nights afterwards trying to figure out the identity of the two strange meteors she’d seen fly over Mt. Ihu.

Of course, one would only need ask the chronicler to know that being flung immeasurable distances is a one-way ticket to adventure, but neither of our heroes knew that. In fact, they were even less aware of it than they were before due to the other effect of such a journey: plot-convenient amnesia.

Chapter 1 comments

Spoiler

Bonkle: the Cronkle was cooked up in my head one day when I had a case of writer’s block so severe that I was desperate to write anything I could, no matter how stupid. Since I had bonkles on the brain, it was a no brainer to write about that. And so we meet two heroes with names I made up in 3 seconds and no personality aside from being idiots. At this point I had no concrete plan for where the story would go, so having the protagonists be catapulted off to wherever I wanted via slapstick deus ex machina seemed the perfect way to kick things off. The title was a similarly hasty creation I intended to throw out as soon as I thought of something funnier, but I didn’t, and now I’m stuck with it.

Chapter 2 -- Fingers to Plug Your Ears With

Spoiler

It was at the crack of dawn when the two finally awoke, sitting on the edge of a massive stone outcropping with little else around it besides a few similar structures. The mainland was still in plain sight due to the elevation, but with no safe way down they were well and truly stranded.

Bob gazed out over the sea with no clue how he had wound up in such a strange place, let alone why he had a complete stranger in tow.  Being reminded of the stranger, Bob decided it was time to drill him for answers again.

“Surely you have some clue as to why we’re out here?” he said to Rob, wildly gesticulating like a first-year drama student.

“I’m telling you, I have only as much of a clue as you do, Bob,” replied Rob.

Bob noticed Rob peering over some writing in the sand. “Ok then, what’s that you’ve been writing, eh?”

“Oh. When I first awoke here I was in quite a daze. I had these words going through my head and I started writing them down in the sand so I wouldn’t forget them.”

Curious, Bob inspected the writings, and they were thus:

 

Atop three stone fingers

With ears to the heavens

As memories fade away

And fantasies turn real

~

 

All pasts are present

All futures become one

 

“Your poetry is terrible, you know,” He said to Rob, “Nevertheless, if neither of us has any answers, I say we start scouring the island for clues. I’ll lead the way.” And so Bob began marching inland and immediately collided with the giant metal pod that had been right next to them the entire time.

Rob calmly walked up to the discombobulated Bob to explain. “Ah, yes, I was going to tell you about this, but you seemed far more intent on asking me for answers to questions I obviously didn’t know.”

“How in the world does this thing open…” Bob said, peering over the surface of the pod, unable to find any sort of opening or feature that would suggest one.

“Well, I don’t know, that was a question I was going to ask you after you were done asking me questions,” said Rob.

“Perhaps there’s something on the bottom… Help me turn this thing over, will you?”

Rob joined in and with almost no effort at all he and Bob succeeded in rolling the pod end over end and straight off the rocky cliff into the sea.

“Great going voodoo head, how’re we supposed to get in there now?” Bob said.

“Hey, does the sky look strange to you?” Said Rob.

Then suddenly the most outrageous storm broke out and waves as tall as Ta-koro gate began smashing against the rocks.

“We’re doomed!  We’ll be washed away in a horrible tempest!” Said Bob, clutching his head in his hands.

“Wait!” Said Rob, grabbing Bob and pointing him to the water, “we might have one bit of shelter left yet!”

“Are you utterly mad? You expect us to get in the pod now? Sure, throw yourself off to your death but I’m not goi…”

Before Bob could whinge any more, a massive gust of wind knocked the Matoran off their feet and into the waters below. Miraculously, both of them fell straight into the awaiting hatch of the metal pod, which slammed tightly shut just as the waves began dragging it out to sea.

Chapter 2 comments

Spoiler

Writing chapter 2 marked a shift of gears in this story. When I started writing chapter 2, I still figured it would be a series of short comedic vignettes with no concrete plans and no real continuity. I already had ideas for where to take future chapters, but they were just of random set pieces and gags with nothing to connect them. Then, on a sleepless night with nothing better to do, I began actually planning ahead, and one by one what seemed like totally disparate ideas all fell into place in a manner almost too perfect for me to believe. At the same time, Bob and Rob were starting to become more fleshed out, and becoming new and exciting kinds of idiots. Suddenly I was serious, or about as serious as one can be when writing a comedy. I had big plans. So big, in fact, that what had originally been chapter two is now split across chapters two and three (so stay tuned!)

If you couldn’t have already guessed by the presence of Three-finger Island, this story is set in a sort of “what if” version of Bionicle. No, it’s not an “alternate universe” because the usage of that term in relation to Bionicle makes me gag. I’d be stupid to spoil what the divergence is, but as chances would have it I nearly did. Much of the rewriting of this chapter went into the poem Rob writes in the sand. The initial version read like a point-by-point breakdown of the future chapters and spoiled everything. So to both keep things interesting and not shoot myself in the foot if I had a change of plans down the road, the poem was severely shortened and ambiguated.

Chapter 3 -- I Want to Believe

Spoiler

Bob and Rob next awoke hours later, with no sight of the island or any landmarks at all.
“Beautiful sunset, isn’t it.” Rob said, peering out the hatch.
“Look I’m happy to be alive and all, but,” Bob began to say.
“Yes?” Answered Rob.
“Is this what’s going to become of us, carried off by the sea to who-knows-where, never to see our home again?”
“I wouldn’t worry,” Rob said, “Though the path ahead may seem mysterious, perhaps these waves are carrying us to a place where we are truly needed.”
“That’s the thing though,” Bob said, “…about destiny and all that. It scares me! The thought that I might just get swept off my feet someday to a life of adventure and peril, and I wouldn’t get any say in the matter!”
Bob had to stop for a moment to catch his breath. In the meantime, Rob looked over the strange control panels and screens that lined the pod.
“My, this script looks familiar, but darned if I can remember why.”
Bob then took his head out of his hands for a moment and peered at one of the screens to see, at least from what he could understand, a map.
“You know, maybe, just maybe, there’s some way to get this thing to take us home,” He said.
“I’m not sure if it’s the best idea to be fiddling with those,” Said Rob.
Bob was just about to try and shake off Rob’s skepticism again, but he wasn’t able to let the words leave his mouth before something went wrong. The very first key he pressed had caused every screen to go static, all the lights to start flashing on and off, and the pod itself to start rumbling. Both of the Matoran clung to the sides of the pod as the hatch closed the whole thing began rising into the air. And then, in a brilliant flash of light, the pod was nowhere to be seen.

Chapter 3 comments

Spoiler

Once again, I’ve managed to split what was supposed to be one chapter in two, though this time it’s less about the amount of content and instead because the bit that used to be at the end of chapter two sill produced a natural chapter break and it would be awkward to either tack this on to the beginning of the next chapter or go back and add it to the last one, so it stands alone now.
Besides that, I enjoyed writing this brief bit of character examination, and I think that even if you discard GregF’s downright nonsensical views on predestination in the Bionicle universe, Bob’s viewpoint is a pretty rational one to have. (Not that Bob is very rational otherwise.)

Chapter 4 -- Pick Up Sticks

Spoiler

Bob was starting to get tired of waking up in mysterious locales with no idea how he got there. And he certainly wasn’t amused with how Rob kept getting dragged along with him. In this case, they were tied up outside a dingy warehouse, watching some cloaked stranger rummage through the compartments on some sort of flying cart. The pod that kidnapped them and several others like it were all tossed in a storage locker behind them. Finally the figure turned around and Bob could get a good look at him. He was vaguely Matoran shaped, but all sickly and thin looking, with… A frog’s head?

“Ziffin’ heck, awake again? How in the world do you lot keep resisting deactivation? I haven’t figured out what you even are, let alone what kind of scrap value you got.”

“Are you telling me you were intending to rip us apart and sell our remains? What kind of psychopath are you? Is this just normal behavior in your world full of crazies?” Bob said. He was using what little he could move of his arm to jab Rob in the chest hoping he’d wake up faster.

“Not just you, mind. I run a reliable business. Xenotech retrieval is a tricky trade, ‘specially when you cast as wide a net as I do.” The frog-thing sneered.

Bob noticed Rob was starting to come round. If he could keep this creature distracted long enough, they could make a break for it.

“That pod was a trap? And we just stumbled into it like a bunch of gormless Rahi? Good grief!” Bob said, flinging his head back in the most overdramatic manner possible.

“Well, it wasn’t the only one I sent out to your world. I got lucky with you, considering the last one I sent out caught nothin’ but a large and rather stupid maggot.”

The frog-thing reached into a glass container and pulled out a wriggling creature that was about his own height head to tail. Rather than continuing to struggle, it soon went limp in his hands. He then turned around to Bob and held it out, shaking it around as if to taunt him with it. Bob felt horrible feeling welling up inside him in the presence of this creature, even though on the surface it appeared harmless.

Unfortunately for Rob, he woke up right as the creature was being waved in his face. He blinked for a bit, then yelped, then toppled over on to his back. So much for that escape.

The frog-thing put the maggot back, looking disappointed, like he’d expected them to want to eat it or something. While the his back was turned, Bob noticed the television sitting on the workbench and hatched a plan.

“Hey, could you turn that up? I want to hear what it’s saying.”

The frog-thing grumbled a bit, but nevertheless flicked on the speakers with a dangerous-sounding crackle.

“That’s right Bob, coming up this weekend is the 13th annual robot hockey competition. Yes it’s been 13 years since those mechanical weirdos launched from their more-than-likely-carcinogenic containers and into our hearts. Entries for new teams will be closing by 9:00PM intergalactic standard time tomorrow.”

“Y’know,” said the frog-thing, pointing at the unnerving yellow-faced things on screen, “if you want to avoid the scrap, I’ve got a proposition for you…”

Chapter 4 comments

Spoiler

Jeez, this chapter sure took a while to get out. It’d been sitting half-finished for months before I felt like working on this story again, and then of course the site going down multiple times and school sucking all my free time away just made things worse.

I’m not sure how people will take this turn of events. I know when given the prospect of crossovers with Bionicle people would reach for something sensible like HF or Slizer, but I really wanted to give a nod to the black sheep of constraction. At the same time, much of the hockeybots’ weirdness came from how they supposedly exist alongside minifigures, and I know Bionicle and System stories crossing over is like letting the peas and potatoes touch on a dinner plate. But I did it anyway. Bonus to anyone who takes a shot every time I refer to “the frog-thing”. Writing this was a slog and it’s probably no better to read but this was something that I needed to get through before the (hopefully) more interesting next chapter when we enter the world of creepy robotic hockey players.

Chapter 5 -- A Swing and a Miss

Spoiler

Bob looked around the alien ship and noted that it looked nothing like the interior of the capture device that had taken them to this new world. Their captor had said he salvaged foreign technology… Perhaps it had converted the technology from elsewhere. The terminals strewn around the cabin (which he and Rob had been forbidden to touch, obviously) looked like he couldn’t imagine operating them, but those ones back on the sphere— He didn’t have to think. It seemed so familiar somehow.

Luckily the “captain” was currently preoccupied bickering with another one of the yellow goblins so that he and Rob were able to slip into the back room to snoop a little bit.

“So what’d you say your name was again sir?”

“Deneb”

“Sorry, what was that?”

“Deh-nebb. D as in Denmark, E, N as in needle, E, B as in bricks.”

“Hey, that’s rude!”

“No, bricks! Like, from a building.”

“Oh, Sorry. Odd name you got there, but we’ll put you down as a new captain.”

Meanwhile, Bob and Rob were busy peering over vast quantities of junk this creature had just lying around in the back of his ship. It looked like he had enough parts in there to repair anything, but as far as they could tell the two of them were his only other cargo.

“Wait a minute…” Bob said too late to finish his thought before Deneb dramatically threw open the door behind them.

Deneb smacked the object bob was examining out of his hands. “Look, for the love of ice cream sundaes, what did I tell you about those sticky fingers of yours? Whatever, I was gonna drag you back here anyway. Okay, look, from now on, you’re the Mars Marauders, got it? You’re gonna have to play some hockey, but as far as I see it, you’re not equipped at all to do that.”

There was a pregnant pause before Rob spoke up.

“Pardon the inquiry, but— what in the stars is hockey?”

“Well, you’re on ice, and you’ve got sticks, and you’re trying to use ‘em to hit a puck into your opponents’ goal and also stop ‘em from doing the same to you.”

“Sounds utterly nonsensical. Why would we use sticks when we have two perfectly good feet?” Bob said.

“Because,” Deneb replied, “that’s not the point, this isn’t football.”

There was another pause.

“What’s…”

“Same thing, except you’re in a field, using your feet, and there’s a ball.” 

“Oh, so koli then,” Bob said. “Nice to know you didn’t come up with these ridiculous sports out of a lack of good ones.”

“As I was saying,” Deneb said, “you’re never going to win any games with your current equipment. What do you say to some upgrades?”

“Sounds great, how do we—“

Before Bob finished his expression of clueless exuberance, he had his mask smacked off with a pipe wrench and was shoved to the ground. He finally lost consciousness around the time his head was being unscrewed.

When he regained consciousness, he and Rob were completely unrecognizable from the neck down… And the feet up, strangely.

“Good grief, what’s this?” Rob said. “I can… I can bend at the waist? Oh joy, it’s what I’ve always wanted! And are these knees?” Rob wiggled his feet back and forth. “Well, almost.”

Bob was a little more pensive about his renovations. “Hrm.” He grunted, peering over at every part of him could with his newfound modicum of articulation.

“Don’t spend too long admiring yourselves boys,” Deneb said, “I gave you these upgrades for a reason.” He was leaning against a rather large and intimidating exo-suit and a rack of long L-shaped apparatii. He boarded the suit and tossed two of the sticks to Bob and Rob, then brandishing the third. “It’s time to learn hockey.” With the suit’s other fist Deneb punched a comically oversized button and opened the shutters to a small ice rink. This spaceship must have been considerably larger than either Bob or Rob had initially thought.

“Come on, Rob,” Bob said. “Let’s get this over with, and then we’ll be home and never have to hear of this horrid stick-game again.”

Chapter 5 comments

Spoiler

Y’know, for all the staunch refusal to call Deneb a martian in the last chapter (I mean, Bob and Rob shouldn’t know that, obvs.) I was surprised how quickly that secrecy evaporated. I was almost thinking I called him “the frog-thing” enough times that people might think he was an amphibib and I was secretly tricking you all into reading the Bionicle/Galidor crossover from Hell. As it stands, that was just me observing that Lego martians do, in fact, look very froggy.

Once again, this was a chapter split off from the one before it for the sake of pacing, or in this case, just wanting to get what I’d written out the door after having to sit on it for so long. Who knows, in the eventual complete & revised version of this I might just rejoin these two… And maybe the next, considering it got separated for the same reasoning. This entire arc was meant to be so much shorter, and it’s ultimately the most pointless to the overall plot, but once I started writing it I realized just how long it’d actually take, and that bummed me out immensely, so I would up just not writing for a while. It was counterproductive but hey, I had school as an excuse too. The problem was when I came back to the story it had actually been so long not writing for it that I couldn’t remember where I’d left off at. Thank god I make liberal notes of the upcoming plot or I’d’ve forgotten that too.

That said, you have no idea how happy publishing this makes my depressed ole self thanks to actually getting something done for once.

Chapter 6 - In Which Bob and Rob Are Crap at Hockey
COMING SOON

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Pereki

Fun stuff! Feels sort of like taking a stroll through early Bionicle - a comedic stroll. Interested to see where things are going - definitely gonna be keeping that poem in mind as I read the coming chapters.

No, it’s not an “alternate universe” because the usage of that term in relation to Bionicle makes me gag.

a good opinion :glasses:

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aidenpons
6 hours ago, Pereki said:

No, it’s not an “alternate universe” because the usage of that term in relation to Bionicle makes me gag.

a good opinion :glasses:

One has to wonder what Greg Farshtey was thinking as he wrote those...

 

... or smoking...

 

 

An... amusing short story... but I think cheese should be either not applied at all, applied in moments to break tension, or just spammed so that the pizza has nothing else on it, not even a base. You seem to be in an unfortunate middle...

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Pranciblad

I hate to sound indignant here, but I don't quite understand where your criticism is coming from. From what I can glean from the rather muddled analogy you made, stories can lack humour, use humour sparingly, or be largely humourous; and I'm not sure exactly how this story doesn't fall into that last category, unless you're expecting me to write a gag in every line or something.
 

6 hours ago, aidenpons said:

One has to wonder what Greg Farshtey was thinking as he wrote those...

 

... or smoking...


dude harakeke lmao

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Pranciblad

Chapter 3 is up, and chapter 4 is gonna be here real, real soon, I swear.

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Pranciblad

No, you're not hallucinating. I actually finished another chapter. Check the OP.

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Pereki

Oh hey I missed that chapter 4 was added. I have no idea what is going on! 

 

considering we already have a frog dude and a giant maggot, minifigs being in this universe doesn't feel that out of place. I look forward to robot hockey

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Pranciblad

Oh, we'll learn what those two are pretty soon. They're not as out-of-place as you'd think. I'm just being vague because Bob and Rob have no reason to know themselves yet. And also, while there's some very significant foreshadowing in this chapter, there's also a bit of a red herring. I'll leave you to figure out which is which.

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Pranciblad

It's been like a zillion years, but... New chapter, yo.

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Pereki

Rob and Bobs revelling in their newly articulate Sports bodies is pretty great. I knew that dude wasn't an amphibib, but I missed out on him being a Martian - I guess they do look pretty frog like!

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Pranciblad

New chapter up.

That is all.

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Pereki

aw yeah its back! seems like a transitory chapter to get back into the meat of things on Mata Nui, but still fun. I appreciate the nod to takua's goofy kolhii/makuta killing move. Curious to see what's gonna happen with Chekov's kraata, too. 

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