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No CalorxVenti shipping, please. They're just really good pals.
Anyway, this chapter makes me want to bring up something that I knew would have to be delved into sooner or later... so we may as well, now.
Even so, the whole mixed gender element of this story is still a pretty confusing thing for the modern Matoran. Even as alive as they've become, they don't have actual sexes. They still don't have all the necessary... equipment... to reproduce like the Agori were able to (though some, like the Po-Matoran, are getting pretty close to evolving to such a point), so at least for now, the only thing that really determines male or female status is whether they have a "male" personality or "female" personality, as if there is any such thing (though I do draw some, such as Banhi, with expressions and builds that convey femininity). Color-coded genders is such an outdated concept, one that I know more than a few Bionicle fans are tired of.
So yeah, I know I'm blurring a lot of lines with this story and these characters. I know Greg Farshtey said that Matoran are incapable of love... not a brotherly love for your comrades or a heroic love for your people, but you know... THAT kind of love. Macku x Hewkii shippers feel dejected, myself included, and to be honest, I think he only said that because he felt pressured to or something, to keep this children's toy line from becoming too naughty... You know, puritanical western society, blablabla... though we can safely say that was thrown out the window in 2009 with the introduction of the Agori, hence the modern Matoran. So where does it end? Where does it START? Can Matoran have relationships? Can they be life partners? Can they find a soulmate in the face of one who shares their gender? How much does their color or gender factor into their choices? Is their gender REALLY a significant part of their person, or something superfluous? All of these are... well, let's just say it's not our business.
I mean, we actually hear Calor say "Love you!" to Banhi, but it's that casual, spur of the moment way you'd say it to someone in your family or a friend you were really close to. They aren't actually an item, so don't go crazy just 'cause of that one line.
Again... I'm just showing how much the Matoran have become like us. Not just physically, but in the way they act.
Anyway, this is a pretty confusing time for the Matoran. They don't act like it because, well, this is all they know (this current generation, anyway), but I suppose you could think of these changes as being akin to going through puberty... only, you know, on a race-wide scale.
Sooooo yeah... that's all I'll say about that for now. Should make some good food for thought for the time being, though.
Anyway, as for this chapter... yeah, I did a time skip. I know it seems really early to do such a thing, but this is for the best. This is where the story's really going to take off. We have a lot of characters to juggle around, but to keep things from getting too jumpy, we'll be seeings thing play out from three characters' perspectives. Calor, Mieli, and Ahkmou. Anyone else they meet along the way will just sorta tag along with them until all of their stories converge into one later on in the first story arc.
Remember, this is "Mystery of The Toa Miro," as in, "Let's find out why the Toa Miro haven't come back." That's going to be the main focus of this first arc.
Yes, Matoran use actual beds, nowadays. Not a rock like in the old days, more like... a waterbed, but filled with thick goo. Some Matoran use blankets to keep warm, but for most, it makes so little of a difference that they don't bother... such as Mieli.
That motorboat has a lot of traditional system pieces thrown in there. It's nothing special, but still... I know there are a lot of brick snobs who have always hated Bionicle figures because "The pieces are so weird and complicated and you can't do ANYTHING with them!", so I threw that in there for them. ...Then again, they'll probably never read this story anyway, sooo..... eh.
We'll get a good look at another vehicle, Ahkmou's sandmobile, some other time. Yes, that would be a set if this had an actual toy line... so would Mieli's skiff. That would probably be the smallest and cheapest, and have a minifigure of her rather than an actual figure. Though, I suppose such a thing could also be made pretty easily for a Matoran sized figure if made with technic pieces.
While we're at it, I feel like bringing up just where the heck Ahkmou is... nickinamerica.deviantart.com/a…
I suppose I should've drawn the forest in the background of panel seven, but having the wounded Matoran pass through there just wouldn't work. I suppose I'll expand the northern border of the desert, but at the very least, we could say that Ahkmou's "gallery" is at the very fringe of it, a little ways past the forest. I know, it's screwy and inconsistent. Sorry.
I really love that last panel... and panel six.
Anyway, that's it for now! What do you guys think of the direction this story's taking as of this point?
It's be a coupla' weeks before the next chapter rolls around, as always, so feedback is much appreciated in the meantime.