But enough of my gibber-jabbering. Here are some of my favorite story moments!
(Just a heads-up: if there are any weird sounding names, it's probably because it's a snippet from one of my LEGO Message Boards stories, and I had other users as the characters. I also apologize if the formatting goes a little wonky, because Blogger and Word don't exactly like each other too much.)
“Please.” Karnu fell to his knees, eyes gleaming with tears. “I can change. I can better myself. Give me a chance, Your Majesty. One chance.”
“Did you not hear yourself moments ago? You refuse to help innocent people. If you had any honor, you would rush to their aid.” Alaric spread his hands. “You are only concerned about you and how much power you can obtain. You betray the calling of not only a shogun, but also of every man.”
His body shaking, Karnu clenched his fists and hissed, “Please . . .”
Alaric sighed to himself. He is afraid of losing his position. I cannot keep him in the council a day longer. He solemnly stood to his feet. “As emperor of Yashan, I hereby declare—”
Karnu got up as well, eyes wide. “No . . .”
“—that the province belonging to Karnu and his bloodline—”
“You can’t do this.”
“—is no longer counted as such. It shall not be reinstated again—”
“Just give me a chance!”
“—nor shall it be considered inhabitable for any man.”
“I swear I can change!”
Alaric paused. “As for you, Karnu, any rights as shogun are revoked, and your seat is considered null and void. Because you refused to follow the code of honor, you are a samurai no longer.”
Karnu looked as though he were rooted to the floor, an expression of horror frozen on his face.
“From this day onward, you are a ronin. May you find mercy with the Life-Breather.”
The horror melted away and revealed a face contorted by visceral rage. Karnu snarled a curse and lunged at the dais. Guards moved in and surrounded him. He punched on in the face and elbowed another in the cheekbone. In an act of defiance, he clawed through the group, reaching for Alaric.
The guards grabbed him by his arms and legs and began to haul him bodily to the doors. “Does it please you to have ruined my life?” Karnu seethed. “To take everything away from me? What does that leave me with?”
“Nothing,” Alaric replied. “Only a darkened soul.”
“I vow to shatter your life!” Karnu writhed in the guards’s grips. “I will repay your deeds in kind!”
The sight before him was torture for Alaric. He knew his actions were right, but he felt sorry for the man who had been devoured by greed. I wish it hadn’t come to this.
Karnu was still yelling threats. Incurred wrath smoldered in his eyes. “You will come to regret this, fool! You and your precious daughter will never—”
Alaric’s sorrow snapped, and he thundered, “Silence your tongue! Never shall you touch a hair on Emiko’s head. You are forbidden to enter the palace ever again.”
The guards escorted the ronin out of the room. Karnu bellowed, “I will not forgive you for this! Do you hear me?! NEVER!”
The doors slammed shut, and Alaric slumped into his throne. I hope I didn’t finish the creation of my worst enemy.
He dropped down to the sidewalk in front of the three-story building. By all appearances, it resembled an unattractive lump of concrete and steel. But inside lay a vault of traffic footage and autonomous systems data from around the island. “The only question is,” he muttered, “how do I get in?”
“Have you tried knocking?”
Ryder put his hands on his hips. “It’s midnight. There’s no one around to let us in.”
“That was sarcasm.”
“Not funny.” He pursed his lips. “There’s no time to get clearance. I have to break in.”
“Hold your horses, big guy. I’ve detected numerous cameras, thermal sensors, and audio detection devices throughout the entire facility. The minute you step foot in there, the heavy police units will show up. I hear they’re programmed to shoot first.”
“Do you have a better idea?”
“No, I have a solution. Give me a few seconds.”
He bit back the remarks that threatened to spill out. I can’t tell what’s affecting me more: Ceinwen’s kidnapping or having to put up with Selah. It had to be 50/50.
“Yay, it worked!” Selah said. If she had a face, she’d be beaming from ear to ear. “I have overridden all security measures.”
“You can do that?” He made no effort to hide his skepticism.
“I can do many things. Unfortunately, security will be back online in roughly ten minutes. You’ll have to hurry.”
In one motion, Ryder swung the plasma rifle off his back, fired three times, and returned it to its original position. The doors burst inward, and he hustled through.
“Not much for subtlety, eh?” She giggled. “That last bit was my Canadian impression.”
“Stellar. Too bad you can’t win an Oscar.”
“I knew an Oscar once. He was my predecessor, but male units don’t do well as personal assistants. We dated a few times, before he was scrapped.”
“How in the blazes can A.I. programs date?” Ryder shook his head. “Forget it. I don’t want to know.”
“We used EpicDatingSim3.exe, which has an astounding 69% success rate.”
He clenched his fists. “Just locate the footage vault already.”
She scanned the ground for her harpoon as she said, "So it's currently home team: one, sea beasties: zero. Not bad."
Egor replied, "Well, I guess you could say I fought a 'no-score'pion."
NinjaG couldn't help herself; she laughed, and she laughed hard. It wasn't that she found the joke terribly amusing, but it was good to banter and release the tension.
When she was finished, she said, "That was so lame." She looked up at him, smiling to let him know she was half-kidding.
He shrugged again. "According to the Universal Rules of Combat, the protagonist is allowed to make witty/corny jokes or puns about the antagonist while or after they do battle."
I sat on the porch of my cottage and stared at my hands, pale not just in the moonlight, but in the sunlight as well. It had been that way for a few months, and I could feel that the venom of the serpent, which was now called the Great Devourer, had almost broken all of my defenses.
Today, I knew it would overcome me completely.
I stood up. I have to leave, or I’ll hurt my family. I barely took three steps when the cottage door squeaked open. Misako, my beautiful wife, came out, cradling our baby, Lloyd. “You seem quiet this afternoon,” she said. “Is something bothering you?”
I was silent for a moment. “It’s taking over me. The venom, it’s almost got me. I can’t stay.”
She blinked, as if I had spoken the ancient language and she had to translate it. “Garmadon, you… you have to stay.”
“If I do, I risk hurting both of you. I would never live with myself if I harmed a single hair on your head in any way. You must allow me to do what needs to be done. Even as we speak, I can feel it changing me, corrupting me. I must leave.” I swallowed hard.
Tears slid down her face. “Lloyd needs a father. I need a husband. What am I to do without you?” Sobs wracked her body. Lloyd woke up, but remained silent.
I pulled her into an embrace. “Raise Lloyd for me. Be strong. And remember me as I was, not as I’m going to become.” Holding back my own tears, I whispered, “I love you, Misako. Forever and always.” I caressed Lloyd’s head. “Goodbye, Son. When you’re older, do not follow in my footsteps.”
Then I turned and began to walk away. I looked over my shoulder. Misako sat on the porch, crying softly. Lloyd stretched out a hand toward me.
My vision snapped into gray. I waited for it to fade. Lately, it took longer than it used to. I paused another moment.
The color didn’t return.
Not wishing for Misako to see me for the last time with red eyes, I took off and left the village behind me. And you left your family, you coward.
"YYYOOODDDAAA!!!" Dumble shouted. "SSSLLLOOOWWW DDDOOOWWWNNN!!!"
"Never," Yoda shouted. He veered around a corner, and Dumble held on for dear life.
"Up ahead!" Brickman yelled above the noisy motorcycle. "That's him!"
Indeed, Samukai had pilfered a bicycle, and was now riding it at top speeds. Which, truth be told, looked pitiful compared to the motorcycle heading straight toward him.
Samukai glanced over his shoulder. "Good grief!" he cried the instant before the bikes collided.
He flew up into the air, shrieking incoherently. Then he came crashing down, still doing his shrieking routine. He landed in (wonder of wonders) Brickgirl's convertible, right next to the birthday girl in the back.
SSTO grabbed her staff. "Take this, Bone Boy!" She turned on the stun feature and poked Samukai, jolting him. She did it again and again, saying, "C'mon, why aren't you unconscious yet?!"
"Because—ow—I'm strengthened—ouchie—by Dark Magic—YOWSERS!!!" Samukai threw himself out of the convertible and landed in front of the Yoda's motorcycle. "Seriously?!" he yelled.
Yoda collided with Samukai, launching him back a fair distance. He rolled a few times before he stood, eyes blazing with fury. "I will—" he started to say. But Yoda hadn't thought to move in a different direction, so Samukai's threat was cut short as he was thrown forward again.
During this onslaught of thoughts, Byron had been silently studying her. Now he spoke again. “Who sent you, Miss Mason? The Anti-Pirate Federation?”
“I came on my own accord. But I know Garrett.” She bit her tongue for giving unnecessary information.
He sneered. “Sir Turner? How dreamy.”
Alonzo snorted with amusement.
Bella felt her face flush. “We’re simply friends. What’s wrong with him, anyway?”
“Besides his bloody band of heroes to the public?” Byron shook his head. “He’s a snobbish upstart whose power was bequeathed at too young an age, and that’s made him manipulative.”
Her ire at the captain’s insults threatening to burst, she set her jaw and stared pointedly.
“So why did he send you?” he inquired.
Suddenly, he was in her face. “Don’t play the court fool with me, Mason,” he growled. “Why did the Federation charge you with the task of assassinating me?”
“Excuse me?!” she snapped, not believing her ears.
“You boarded my airship by force, you were armed, and you assailed my crew. And really, only Turner would send a woman, like the fox he is.”
She scowled. “I didn’t come to kill you.”
“Well then, Alonzo had better fetch the tea and crumpets!” he mocked. “You claimed you desired to meet me; why, pray tell, if not to murder me?”
“To ask a question.”
He rolled his eyes. “And that is?”
She rose to her feet. “Why did you kill my father, Micajah Mason?” Her query was met by an imposing wall of stillness. His polite expression returned. No, no, don’t seal up now! What was he hiding?
Byron said calmly, “Alonzo, bring Miss Mason back to her cell.”
“Aye, sir,” the pirate replied. He grabbed Bella’s arm and marched her out.
The last thing she saw in the office was the Beast gazing out the window once again.
-excerpt from Of Beauties and Beasts
What am I?
I was present at the beginning of the world, and I shall remain until the end.
Some forget about me, and others are aware of my presence.
None can buy nor sell me, for I am immaterial.
No man owns me, but I own every man.
I cannot be gained, but I can certainly be lost.
I am essential to life, but life is not essential to me.
Were I to be erased, the world would surely descend into chaos.
Waste me, and I will punish you eventually. Use me well, and I will award you.
What am I?
I am Time.
A cold wave of fear blasted through me. I yanked the reins back, bringing my horse to a jerking halt and almost knocking Ninja off.
Standing outside my shop was an armored warrior. His steely gray armor glinted in the early moonlight. His pauldrons and chestplate held glowing purple veins of what reminded me of the Dark Magic I saw this morning. A hood shadowed his face effectively.
In his grip was SSTO, chained up and looking positively frightened.
"SSTO!" I yelled. I jumped off the horse and raced toward the pair.
"Not a step closer, mongrel!" the hooded creep snarled.
Ninja came to my side. "I recognize that voice," she murmured.
The warrior threw back his hood, and Ninja gasped. "Bobsly!"
I took in the guy's blond hair with a black streak in the middle. "This is Bobsly?"
"He stole the Realm Crystal," Ninja said. "The one that could bring back Darkheart."
"I was never and will never be Bobsly," the man growled. "I am Vortex, Darkheart's chief servant. And I have already brought my Master back to Modlandia. Your land is already being consumed by Darkness."
Ninja gasped, but at this point, I couldn't care less. "Let. SSTO. Go," I hissed, seething with anger.
"Her?" Vortex shook SSTO's chains. "You'd trade the fate of your world for her?"
"Yes." It was such a simple word, but it meant so much to me in this dreadful moment.
Vortex chuckled. "I think we both know you're not going to be getting her back. You were warned, weren't you? By your friend there?" He tipped his head in Ninja's direction. "You knew there'd be consequences if you saw the Mods. Darkness has come, and you aren't ready. My Master wishes for you to see what happens when you underestimate the Darkness. You will witness its raw power, and you will wish things had been different."
He raised his free hand. It began to pulse, more rapid with every second. It seemed to resemble my heartbeat.
Then there was a flash, and I could see something dark through my shop's windows. It looked like a starving, ominous hole in space and time. A portal leading to nothing.
Then the wind started. It grew stronger, harder. Loud cracks sounded, glass shattered, brick crumbled. I realized in horror my shop was imploding. The vortex was sucking it in, crumpling it like a discarded paper.
A horrible noise broke the still atmosphere, and the roof buckled. Chunks of the walls were inhaled, and objects inside the shop disappeared into the gaping maw of the portal.
I stared in horror at the chaos unfolding before my eyes. The wind screeched and battered the remainders of my shop. Parts of the stable broke away and vanished into the vortex.
The warrior himself did not seem troubled by the wind in any way, but he kept a firm grip on SSTO's chains. From where I stood, the wind was unable to pull me closer.
One final, earth-shattering noise blasted, and the rest of the building tore off the foundation and disappeared. Vortex's hand flashed again, and the portal diminished in size, though it didn't leave entirely.
SSTO finally spoke up. "Brickman, I'm . . . I'm so sorry."
"It was just a shop." I waved a hand.
"No, it was more than that." She looked into my eyes. "It was your home."
I wanted to say something like, "Homes are overrated." Or maybe even, "Home is where the heart is." But I didn't. Instead I aimed a hard gaze at Vortex. "You've had your little demonstration. Now release her."
Before he could reply, SSTO cut in, "Don't worry about me; just--"
Vortex cuffed her. "Silence!"
A buzz shot up my spine, and sparks flashed in my hands. Voice taut with fury, I growled, "You've crossed the line, creep."
"Have I?" He spoke in dangerously low tones. "Then let me cross it further." He grabbed SSTO with both hands and hoisted her up.
The ghastly realization slammed into me, freezing me in place. "No no no . . ."
He made as if to throw her.
"No-no-no!" I darted forward.
Vortex hurled SSTO.
Right into the portal.
"SSTO!" I yelled.
"BRICKMAN!" she cried.
Then she disappeared, along with the portal.
"NNNOOO!!!" I wailed. Vortex knocked me aside. I lay on the ground, completely still.
"I have done as my Master ordained," he said. "You can either retreat into your grief, or you can go to Brickbook and find your destiny." Then he ran off.
Some horrible sound pushed out of my mouth, a long, hurting cry. The buzz in me intensified. I lifted myself onto my knees and let loose a blast of electricity.
A crack like thunder shattered the night stillness. Street lights and Mod security cameras flickered and went out. I had caused a blackout with my raw power. But I didn't care. Darkness had indeed overwhelmed me.
Tears fell from my eyes, and I doubled over, shaking. "SSTO," I whispered. "SSTO . . ."
Ninja approached me. "I warned you."
I jerked toward her. "Don't," I snarled. "Don't you dare start."
She wisely kept her mouth shut. I walked over to my horse. "I'm going to call you Vengeance," I mumbled. "Because vengeance is mine."
*Brickgirl walks past, wearing her costume*
*Brickman and Soccer stare*
Gideon: *nearby* You know what's in the air? Lo—
*Brickgirl glares at him*
Gideon: Um, lasagna. Lasagna is in the air. I think I can smell the cheese. Far down this hall, I believe. Away. From Brickgirl. *walks away*
*Brickgirl goes away*
*moment of silence*
Soccer: I wonder if he knew we were staring at that spider on the wall.
Brickman: *shrugs* Dunno.
*another moment of silence*
Soccer: Did Brickgirl walk by?
Brickman: *shrugs again* Maybe. I'm not sure. I was entranced with the spider.
Soccer: Yeah, I know. Notice how it has eight legs.
"Hush!" Cecil said. "I hear a creature stirring."
Owen paused and heard it as well. He snuck around the bend and stopped instantly. A circular cavern lay ahead, lit by torches. At the center, in a lower area, rested a massive form.
He gulped. It was undoubtedly the mother of the spiders here, and it was currently slumbering, but that fact could change at any moment.
He backed up a couple of steps and waved the other two over. They crept to where he was. Frank let out a sharp gasp, and Cecil paled.
"Quietly now," Owen whispered. He skulked through the doorway and scanned the cavern. They had just exited one of six tunnels grouped together at one side of the cave.
Rotating, he found that each tunnel had a lever on the right side. He grabbed the lever and pulled it. The grinding of aged gears sounded from within the wall, followed by clicks and clacks of mechanisms.
Then a thick blockade sluggishly dropped from the top of the entrance. He frantically tried to lift the lever again, but to no avail. He could only watch as the blockade sealed off their exit.
"Look," Frank said softly, pointing. Directly across the room, a torch that sat higher than the rest had lit up. There were five more, all dormant, with it in a row.
"We need to pull the other levers," Owen hissed. Only one corridor was on his left. He tiptoed to the lever and yanked it. The snap of rusty metal echoed all around, and he was left holding a broken lever. He flicked a glance at the spider, but it hadn't reacted.
He gently placed the lever onto the floor, then gripped the remainder of it. He tried to press it down. Oh, bother. It's jammed. He put his weight behind it, straining as hard as he could. Another crack, and the lever's stub completed its task.
The noises from the system in the wall made it seem like something had broken. He held his breath.
It was jarred loose as the blockade slammed down. He froze in place, not daring to move. When there was no sound, he turned to look at the others.
A foreleg jabbed into the wall in front of him. He swivelled his head and shrieked. The spider was mere feet from him. Its beady eyes glowered, and it gnashed its mandibles.
-excerpt from An Old Face, a New Game
Burning hot, yet freezing cold.
Intensely bright, yet horribly dark.
All around, yet nowhere to be seen.
The warped paradox of fear.
The chaotic orchestra of fear.
Looking for his fear.
Cold reptilian scales.
Fangs flashing in the sunlight.
Pink eyes devoid of good.
Roars like a nightmare foghorn.
The Great Devourer attacking Ninjago City.
His fear of snakes.
Walls closing in.
His fear of dark spaces.
One word hissed.
Fear . . .
One word growled.
One word screamed.
He could only curl up pitifully.
Gideon gazed at the fortress with a wary eye as he fiddled with the mirror. He could spot only a handful of guards, but he was confident there were far more inside. The doubts he had were assaulting his mind, no matter how hard he tried to stave them off. "You can still back out of this scheme if you want to, Captain."
Brickman fanned himself with his hat, a slight breeze ruffling his hair. "Nothing will change my mind. You had best save your breath for our part of the plan."
"Captain, if we succeed, the governor will chase us to the edge of the world and back. We will be punished as pirates."
A wisp of a smirk touched Brickman's face. "That's the beauty of it. We're treasure hunters, a band of adventurers, not a gang of motley pirates. Therefore, Skul cannot treat us as such."
"If it's down to a matter of classification, he won't care which term we throw around." Gideon folded his arms and turned around. "We'll be thieves either way, and he doesn't tolerate those."
"The whole blooming empire doesn't tolerate thieves!" Brickman stared Gideon in the eyes. "So inform me why people can get away with stealing. And let me correct you on something: we are acquiring the diamond, not stealing it."
"Another matter of terms. Changing the word doesn't change the fact."
Brickman shook his head. "As I said before, there's no need for you to worry, my friend. We'll be out of here quicker than Skul can blink."
From the hill opposite of them came a short flash of light, then a longer one. "There's the signal," Gideon said. He reflected light back to the girls, then put the mirror in his sack. He looked at Brickman, who had moved closer to the cliffside, and spoke the words he had voiced dozens of times in the past: "Ready for anything, Captain?"
Brickman winked. "Always am, always will be."
But Gideon had to wonder if he really was prepared for everything.
Well, that ended up being longer than I thought it would! I hope you all enjoyed it; there were so many snippets I left out because they were too spoilery or I just didn't have room for them. Which excerpt was your favorite? Would you like to see more posts like this? If you do, would you prefer shorter or longer snippets?