Today we are welcoming back Matt with the beginning of his Through the Eyes of a Minifigure blog post - featuring Rogue from Series 16.
Zwip. Zwip. Zwip. Thunk-Thunk-Thunk!
Three arrows, three perfect shots. He had honed his archery skill by spending years out here in the forest. His green hood and leather vest marked him as a man of the forests, and here among the trees he felt at home.
Yet Archer was not his name. Neither was Ranger, Green Arrow, nor Merry Man. He would have even settled for The Hood, but no. His name was Rogue, and even though he tried his hardest to be helpful and nice, people treated him as if he were a liar and a thief because of his name.
I’m not a bad guy. I didn’t steal that apple from the shop, and I didn’t hurt anybody. This is what I get for trying to help... I should just stay in the forest and keep shooting my bow and arrows. He fired off three more shots, tagging his targets with ease. It’s frustrating, being judged before you’re even known. He lined up a shot without looking and let the arrow fly… only, instead of the familiar ‘Thunk’ sound, he heard a ‘Snickt!’
Rogue spun quickly, drawing another arrow and leaning back to avoid a possible attack, only to smile behind his mask. Lowering his bow, he bowed respectfully to the green clad figure with a sword. “Lloyd Garmadon. I should have known it was a ninja who snuck up on me.”
Lloyd pulled down his mask and smiled at his friend. “I wasn’t exactly sneaking Rogue. You were so lost in thought, anyone could have walked up. You only noticed me because I threw off your shot.”
Rogue looked at the cut halves of his arrow on the ground and shook his head. “Well, you did ruin a perfectly good arrow. Besides, it’s not like anyone else comes and visits me out here.” Rogue turned and hung up his bow. “So, what brings the Green ninja to my neck of the woods?”
“I heard what happened, Rogue. The kid in the market… you stopped him from stealing that apple. It was a good thing-”
“It was nothing,” Rogue cut him off. “Besides, all the shopkeeper saw was me with a stolen apple. Before I could explain what had happened, she was calling for the guards. I had no choice but to run.”
“You taught someone stealing was wrong,” Lloyd pointed out.
“But it doesn’t matter, because they all think I’m a thief. You know how it is, Lloyd. How it feels to be judged before anyone knows who you really are.”
“I do know,” Lloyd said softly. “My father is Lord Garmadon. I am a ninja.”
“But people trust you. Kids look up to you. You are a Hero!”
“That took some time Rogue,” Lloyd walked over to him. “I wasn’t always seen as the good guy, even when I was trying to do the right thing. It even took the ninja time to trust me.” Lloyd tossed a sword to Rogue, who caught it. “Trust me, Rogue. It may take some time, but people will see that you can be a hero too.” He smiled at Rogue, before drawing his own sword and taking a fighting stance. “They’ll probably figure out that you’re really just a big soft teddy bear. Now, do you want to practice, or pout,” he asked, sticking his tongue out teasingly.
“No Spinjutzu this time, ‘Luh-Loyd’,” Rogue said tauntingly, before dashing forward. Their swords met with a clash of metal, as Lloyd parried Rogues’ aggressive attack.
“Only my father can call me ‘Luh-Loyd’.” Lloyd deftly blocked every slash from Rogue with practiced ease. They had sparred together many times, and both enjoyed it. Lloyd was happy to practice, and train Rogue with a different weapon, and it took Rogues’ mind off of things as he focused on his swordplay. The ring of steal on steal rang throughout the forest, and even though Rogue was good, Lloyd was always a move ahead. They went at it for almost an hour before Lloyd finally disarmed Rogue, sending Rogue’s sword into a nearby target. Both of them stood there, panting, before they both burst out in laughter.
“You missed the bullseye Lloyd,” Rouge laughed, tears falling from his eyes.
“Me? I thought YOU were the one aiming,” Lloyd wheezed, clutching his sides from laughing so hard. After they got their laughter under control, Lloyd went to retrieve the sword while Rouge grabbed them some water to drink. They sat together against a tree, drinking their water in silence and peace.
“You know,” Lloyd said, breaking the silence,” the autumn festival is tonight. A lot of people will be in town to have fun, play games, and eat. Everybody IS welcome.”
Rogue looked down at his water bottle. Sure, everybody was welcome, but did he really want to be in town with all those people? Especially after what happened earlier today? But, Lloyd was his friend, and Rogue didn’t want to disappoint him. “I’ll think about it, Lloyd.”
Lloyd smiled and pulled up his hood. “Well, I hope to see you there. I gotta go meet up with the guys. Zane is supposed to be making a bunch of cakes, and someone needs to keep Cole from eating them all.” With a wink, Lloyd spun into a twister of green and gold energy, before disappearing off into the forest.
“I have to get him to teach me that,” Rogue muttered to himself.
* * * *
Autumn was here, and leaves had started to change color and fall. The oranges and yellows lit up the forest like wildfire, and the soft crunch under his feet made Rogue smile behind his mask. It was little wonder why so many people enjoyed celebrating this time of year. And I’m going to join them, Rogue thought to himself. I’ll just hang out with Lloyd and the other ninja, and tonight will go alright.
Suddenly, Rogue heard another crunch in the leaves- one that wasn’t from his feet! He quickly climbed the nearest tree to scout around. After a moment of looking about from the trees, he finally discovered the source of the other crunch. It was a girl and a cat, kicking leaves together. The girl was laughing and taking pictures of the cat, while the cat was playfully pouncing on anything that moved. Rogue watched for a bit, hidden in the trees, before deciding to silently slip past them. No need to interfere. Besides, they’d probably be scared of me.
Sticking to the upper tree branches, Rogue continued on his way to town. He wasn’t worried about the girl and her cat. There wasn’t anything dangerous in these woods, and he was sure she’d be in town before sunset. It wasn’t until he came to a clearing in the trees that he knew that something was wrong. All the trees in this clearing had been blown down forcefully, as if something had exploded in their midst. There were two craters, about twenty-four feet apart, that the damage radiated from. Nothing in the forest has that kind of power.
Suddenly, a scream came from back the way Rogue had come, and without hesitation, he ran back. He found the girl, holding her and staring up at a monstrous creature. It looked at least fifteen feet tall, and stood on two legs, with two long arms and a big silver domed head. Each arm ended in a silver shield that looked like a razor snowflake, and its’ glowing blue eyes were focused on the girl. Each tusk was easily as big as her cat, and its neck was swaying like a cobra preparing to strike.
Kohrak-Kal. A legendary Bohrok beast that attacks with sound waves emitted from it’s dual shields. Its head is attached to a long neck that can move very fast and is tough enough to shatter rock. The Krana in any Bohrok’s head is the only way to defeat it, but the armored head protects it. The eyes are said to be the only weak spots, but they are also hard gem stones. Rogue quickly ran through everything he knew about it, but it was bearing down on the girl, and he found himself drawing his bowstring back before he’d even realised that he’d drawn his bow. Well, it’s not like there’s time to get an actual hero to help, he thought with a frown. I guess it’s up to me to try.
He loosed the arrow right as Kohrak-Kal lunged forward- and it bounced off the protective plate over its eye. Fortunately, it had caused Kohrak-Kal to halt his attack. Unfortunately, it had also drawn Kohrak-Kals attention to him. So much for the element of surprise, Rogue thought to himself grimly. He quickly dove off his tree branch as a wave of sound blasted apart the tree he’d been in. His leather vest and heavy hood protected him from the flying shrapnel, as the tree was reduced to splinters behind him. He quickly drew and fired several arrows while hopping from branch to branch, but to no avail. Kohrak-Kal kept one shield up to deflect each shot while the second shield blasted apart tree after tree.
Knowing that he had to keep the fight away from the girl and her cat, he dove towards the beast, narrowly avoiding the blast that disintegrated the tree behind him. Now Kohrak-Kal was between the girl and him, with all of its attention on him. He hoped that the girl would take the chance to run away, but he couldn’t stop to look, as Kohrak-Kal was already attacking him again, the sonic blasts tearing apart the ground as he ran and dove to avoid them.
I can’t fight it from a distance. I need to get up close. Rogue slung his bow over his shoulder and crouched behind a fallen log while Kohrak-Kal continued to blast apart trees. Drawing a short emerald green sword, a gift from Lloyd, Rogue ran out and rushed towards Kohrak-Kal. The monsters’ large size gave him the slimmest of chances to evade the sonic blasts, as it was shooting down at him, but it took all of Rogue’s focus to ignore the earth exploding behind him. He kept his gaze locked on Khorak-Kal’s glowing blue eyes as he sprinted forward, confident in the wooded terrain from his years in the forest. With a roar, Kohrak-Kal’s head shot forward, intent on swallowing up the pesting woodsman.
It was at that moment that Rogue lunged, driving his sword into the gleaming eye of the beast. The blade skittered across the tough surface before finding purchase, and with a mighty twist, Rogue caused the gem to shatter. A deafening shriek came from the monster, louder than any of the sonic blasts it had sent at Rogue, as it was now blinded in one eye. Khorak-Kal shook its head, lashing about and despite the wound that had been dealt, Rogue could not hold on and was thrown from the beast.
Rogue lay in the dirt, gasping for air, his chest hurting from the rough landing. He took this moment to glance over to where the girl had been huddled when he’d first arrived. Surprisingly, she was still there, clutching her cat, looking at him with a mixture of fear, and hope. She seemed to be saying something, and although he couldn’t hear it, he understood. It was a plea for help. A call for him to stand.
Slowly Rogue rose to his feet, painfully taking deep breaths. ‘You can be a hero too’ ,Lloyds’ words rang in his mind, and although no one could see it, behind his mask Rogue let himself smile. His sword was stuck in the monster’s eye, and his arrows were ineffective, but someone was counting on him. As Kohrak-Kal readied to rush him again, he noticed a long thin shard of the eye he had blinded, laying in the dirt between him and the monster. An idea formed in his head, and as he readied his bow in his left hand, he slowly exhaled, and remembered.
* * * *
“What does it take to be a hero?” Rogue had wondered this question many times himself, and had finally decided to ask his friend.
Lloyd lowered his sword and furrowed his brow. “Well, I’ve never really thought about it. But I remember Master Wu quoting someone he called Mister Lee. According to him, ‘A person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real hero.’”
“Is it hard? Being a hero, I mean.”
Lloyd smiled softly. “Yeah, it is. Sometimes, doing the right thing has gotten my friends hurt. I had to grow up quickly. I’ve even had to fight my father.”
“So why do you and the other ninja do it? You put your lives on the line constantly, have saved the world dozens of times, and sometimes people aren’t even grateful for it.”
“Even if it costs us, we will help others. That’s the choice we all made when we became ninja. And I think it’s what makes us heroes.”
* * * *
This is what must be done. To protect someone I don’t even know. This is what is right. To help someone who cannot help themselves. Even if it costs me, I will be a Hero.
Rogue ran forward, and Kohrak-Kal blasted the earth between them, attempting to head off Rogues’ attack. But it was a feint, for as soon as Rogue picked up the eye, he dove backward. Kohrak-Kal lunged forward, attempting to snatch him out of the air with it’s gaping maw, and time seemed to slow. Rogue held the shard against his bow, drawing it back as he stared down the throat of this monster. Exhaling, he let the shard fly, as true as any arrow he’d ever fired, the gem slicing through all resistance as it found the Krana.
The titanic crash was the last sound the monster made. Rogue lay on his back, taking deep breaths, and watching to see if Kohrak-Kal rose again, but it was finished. He let out a painful chuckle. If only Lloyd had been here to see that.
Seeing that the monster had been beaten, the girl rushed over to Rogue’s side and sat beside him. “Are you ok? I’m so sorry, thank you for rescuing us! We would have been done for!”
“It’s ok,” Rogue said, slowly sitting up. “I’m just glad I was in the area. Are you ok?”
“We are now. I’m Cali by the way, and this is Boo, my kitty.”
He hesitated, before speaking. “My name is Rogue.”
Cali smiled and helped Rogue to his feet. “Well Rogue, will you accompany me to the Autumn festival? I want everyone to meet the hero who was here when I needed one.”
Rogue nodded. “I would be honored.” They walked off towards the town together, Cali holding his hand, and Boo leading the way.
My name is Rogue, and I am a hero.