Lone Guardian of the Silver Peaks - A Story by Toa Ekorak

I'm officially moving my story over from CBW. I might keep that area updated, but for now, I'm posting it here. To note, there are a few differences here and there where I've noticed things that I'd like to fix. This is the first segment of Ekorak's story, and is to be followed with quite a few more. Enjoy!

Prologue

Long ago, long before the Makuta went rouge, long before the Order of
Mata Nui was formed, when the Hand of Artahka was still around, they say
there was another entire group of Matoran. The Anti-Matoran were known
for many things, their excellent craftsmanship of weapons and armor,
their love for their fellow Matoran, and their dedication to the Three
Virtues: Unity, Duty, and Destiny. However, their abilities made the
other Matoran nervous, and the Hand of Artahka, fearing for the
Matoran's safety, banished the Anti-Matoran to another dimension, which
they named "The Silver Peaks Antiworld," for its colossal spires, made
of a strange material known as silverstone. Here, they were doomed to
remain, trapped and afraid, until the Hand saw fit to free them. As time
passed, the Hand of Artahka disbanded, and all hope seemed to be lost.
The only hope of escape was a portal, growing smaller by the century,
leading to the Mutagen infested swamps of Karda Nui. But the
Anti-Matoran were not alone: Along with the Matoran of Antimatter,
several infamous evil entities were sent into exile, and a mysterious weapon known as
the Staff of Perfect Alignment. No one on Spherus Magna knows what
became of the Anti-Matoran, for no one even knows they exist.....

Chapter One

Ekorak stood atop one of the tall, silverstone spires of the Silver Peaks Antiworld, surveying Anti-Koro from a distance. It was a
peaceful village, about half the time, and the other half was spent struggling
to defend the cliff-side Koro from creatures such as Silent Fire, and
“Nightmare.”  Ekorak’s job was pretty clear: Defend Anti-Koro at all costs, fix things that the Anti-Matoran
couldn’t, and whatever the heck else Turaga Ecezor wanted him to do. Right now, he was searching for a particularly nasty plant that only grew on silverstone,
Lightbloom. How such a horrible plant got such a pretty name, he’d never figure
out, but a Matoran in the village had gotten stung by one of the insects only
found in the Silver Peaks Antiworld, and couldn’t work until cured of the
poison, which said nasty plant was the only known cure.
“How goes the search?” A Matoran said behind him, walking up to Ekorak’s side.
“Not well. Don’t think we’re going to find any Lightbloom anywhere but the fog
level, Kreth.”
Kreth shuddered. The fog level was dangerous, and any who fell too far were usually never seen again.
“On the other hand, We’ve found fifty new silverstone pillars with plentiful
protodermis, so Anti-Koro should be set for a while on that.” Ekorak said, pulling
out a well-worn map of the area close to Anti-Koro.
“What should we do? Should we turn back?” Kreth asked, fingering his silver
heartlight.
“No. We can’t go back empty handed. Ecezor will not accept empty handed returns. Plus, Lecus is a good worker, and our building squad is practically crippled without him.” Ekorak replied, walking towards the edge of the spire that he and Kreth were standing on. “You stay here. I’m going to check near the fog level.”
“Are you sure? It could be dangerous!” The Anti-Matoran said nervously, stepping back from the edge.
“Kreth, we’re in the Silver Peaks Antiworld. Everything is dangerous.” The Toa of Antimatter said before leaping off the pillar of silvery rock.. Seconds later, Ekorak activated his ankle jets, suspending himself ten feet
above the dense, impenetrable fog level. He angled his clawed feet slightly,
rocketing himself towards the pillar of silverstone he had been on moments before.
“Are you okay?” Kreth called down from the pillar above.
“I’m fine, Kreth.” Ekorak replied, digging his razor sharp talons into the spire. He
pushed off once again, using his jets as a second boost, giving him the momentum to reach the next pillar over, then once again burying his claws into the silverstone peak. He continued over, leaping from pillar to pillar in search of
Lightbloom. Kreth followed him, spanning the gap above the peaks in a similar
fashion.
“Do you see anything yet? It’s starting to get dark.” Kreth called down. And indeed it was: the dim light emitted by the silverstone was beginning to fade, and
“Nightmare” would be out to hunt soon.
“Not yet. We may just have to hold out for a little while in the dark. The
Lightbloom should be easiest to find at “night.” The Toa called back, resting
for a minute.
“Are you sure? Maybe we should go back to the village and find it “tomorrow.” Kreth said, his mutated, powerless Hau gazing down at the Toa of Antimatter.
“Yes I’m sure, Kreth. We’ll have about as much luck “tomorrow” as we have today. No, we need to stay on the hunt. I don’t wear a Woltrak for nothing you know.” Ekorak called back, leaping to the next pillar with Kreth following closely.
Sure enough, some thirteen minutes later, the Toa and Matoran found a patch of
Lightbloom. The plant was similar to Lightvine in Karda Nui, but more closely
resembled a thorny mess of glowing vines, tendrils and small mouth-like
protrusions, attached to a base of fleshy mass covered in thorns, leeched onto
the silverstone peaks.
“How big is it?” Kreth asked, leaning over the edge of his pillar.
“Big enough for me. Does your jetpack work well?” Ekorak replied, clinging to the same spire as Kreth.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Came the nervous reply.
“Then come on down here. I’m going to need some help.” Ekorak said, releasing his grip on the pillar and activating his ankle jets, hovering a small distance from the plant.
“Okay, coming through!” Kreth called out, leaping off of the peak. His jetpack kicked in, halting his fall just next to Ekorak. “So, how do we harvest this stuff?”
“We don’t. We just need some nectar.”
“And how do we get that?” Kreth asked curiously, searching the plant for some sign of the nectar.
“Well, it’s not pretty.” Ekorak replied, reaching for his three bladed sword.
“How so?” Kreth was simultaneously curious and nervous now. Ekorak held out his left arm, drawing his blade with his right. The Lightbloom’s thorny vine began to snake around the Toa’s arm, almost intelligent in its movements.
“What’s it doing?” Kreth asked, his curious nature overcoming his urge to hurry up and get back to the village.
“Shhhh.” The vine seemed to finish its search of Ekorak’s arm. The tendril tightened, thorns digging into the Toa’s arm, a small bit of inky blood seeping from beneath his black and silver armor. A fluid began to fill the vine, glowing
slightly as it seeped toward Ekorak’s arm.
“What’s that?” Kreth whispered, pointing at the liquid. Ekorak suddenly lashed out with his blade, slicing the tendril clean off.
“That, my friend, is what we need.” He replied, raising his arm to prevent any of the fluid from spilling out of the severed end.
“Great! Can we go back to Anti-Koro now?” Kreth asked, a tinge of triumph in his voice.
“No.” Ekorak stated bluntly.
“Why not?”
Ekorak handed Kreth the slightly bloody tendril.
“Because we need to do the same thing twenty more times.”

Chapter Two

“So you finally got back, eh? Do you have the Lightbloom nectar?” Turaga Ecezor’s harsh voice rang out from across the village. For a mutated midget with a stick, he had a loud voice.
“We do. How’s Lecus?” Ekorak replied, walking towards the Turaga.
“About the same as he was when you left. We’d probably have the entire left side of the village rebuilt if you’d gotten back sooner though.” Ecezor said, turning towards Lecus’s hut. Ekorak followed the Turaga, leaving a thin trail of inky blood from the injuries on his left arm. He pushed away the thin layer of
fabric that acted as a door to the hut, providing a small amount of extra
warmth.
“Ahh, finally something to get me all fixed up?” Lecus asked. The Matoran’s entire left arm was swollen to the point of immobility, preventing him from working with his dominant arm.
“Yeah. If this doesn’t fix your arm, nothing will.” Kreth replied, pouring all of the
nectar into a chipped glass jar on a small table next to Lecus’s bed.
“Well then, I guess this had better work.” Lecus said, now slightly worried. Kreth
mixed the container of glowing liquid with some other herbs found in the Silver Peaks, creating a concoction that on top of looking disgusting, smelled like a Muaka who’d been
dead for a few weeks too long. The Anti-Matoran carefully picked the glass jar
up off of the table, and started pouring the serum onto the injured Matoran’s
arm. The effect was almost immediate, as the swelling began to fade, allowing
Lecus to move his arm a little bit.
“You go get some rest Kreth. I’ll take things from here.” Ekorak said, picking a
small raggedy cloth up from the table. The Anti-Matoran nodded, and walked out
the door, returning to his home. Ekorak began drying the Matoran’s arm of the
reeking concoction. A few minutes later, the Anti-Matoran’s arm was not only
dry, but almost back to normal.
“You’ll probably be ready to get back to work in the morning. Now get some rest. We’ll need your strength to help repair the left side of the village.” Ekorak said,
placing the rag in a small container of water. He walked out into the village.
An unnatural stillness filled the air, a feeling he had gotten used to over the
centuries he'd spent in this alternate dimension.
“Alright commander dirt-bag, let’s get your arm wrapped up.” Turaga Ecezor said from behind him. “Last thing we need is an injured Toa when “Nightmare” attacks. Who knows, Silent Fire may even come.”
“It’s nothing. I’m fine.” Ekorak replied.
“Suit yourself, you little idiot.” Ecezor replied,  jabbing Ekorak’s clawed toe with his staff, before walking back to his extra large home in the center of the village. Why Ekorak put up with this he wish he knew, although it probably had something to do with the Toa Code. There had been many times Ekorak wished he could ask someone if his mutations allowed certain
exceptions to the Code, or if maybe it had been rewritten or something, allowing him to be an exception, but he doubted it.
“Go get some sleep you moron! Don’t make me come over there and bash you over that retarded head of yours!” Ecezor yelled once more. Ekorak decided not to endure anymore insults, and just obey, and began to head back to his small home on the right side of the village.
Ekorak pushed the thin patchwork of cloth that hung from the entrance of his home away, revealing the interior of the small shack, which was hardly more than a hut. Inside, Ekorak hung his triple bladed sword on a set of rocks shoved into the softer stone wall. He sat down on the grey slab of stone that served as his bed, observing his small collection of spare Kanohi. While he had multiple masks, his Woltrak suited him best, making the others just a bragging right. He had a Mahiki, a Shelek, although he wasn’t supposed to use that, or the Crast, he even had a strangely shaped mask that he could never figure out what did. In
fact, it was less of a mask and more of a curved mouth guard with a spike
coming up the center. Whenever Ekorak donned the mask to attempt to figure out what is was, time simply seemed to slow to a crawl waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did.
Hours later, Ekorak woke, still sitting on his bed, staring at his mask collection.
That was one of the benefits of his mutations. He had no eyelids, just an
illumination level that he could alter like a normal Toa would move eyelids. He
saw a Matoran in the center of the village, walking around. No one should be up
at this time. The silverstone glow had completely faded, leaving the area
completely pitch black to all normal beings. Ekorak, being mutated, had excellent
night vision, allowing him to see in the dark easily. The Toa stood, and began
sneaking over to the Matoran, leaving the very tips of his toes off of the
ground to prevent them from scraping the stone surface.
“What in the name of Mata Nui are you doing?” Ekorak whispered,  sneaking up to the Anti-Matoran. The small black and silver form was trembling, staring at
something off in the distance.
“N..n…n….” The Matoran stuttered. He seemed terrified of something that Ekorak couldn’t see.
“Cmon, spit it out! What are you staring at?” The Toa said quietly, searching for something, anything, that would have a Matoran living in the Silver Peaks Antiworld terrified.
“Ni…..n..ni..”
“What are you blabbering about?”
“Ni…n….n…ni..” Ekorak turned once again, searching for something, finally making out a shimmer, moving from peak to peak off in the distance. Then again, there were all sorts of funky things going on with lights in the Silver Peaks Antiworld, and Ekorak usually passed the occasion distortion as just a trick on his eyes, possibly even enhanced from his mutation. Ekorak turned his gaze back at the Matoran, who was still blabbering about “n” and “ni.”
“Wait a second…..” Ekorak ripped his stare back to the shimmer. It was gone. Instead, he was left gazing into the poison green eyes of the creature only known as “Nightmare".

Chapter Three

“Ahhhh, Ekorak my old friend, seems like we have met once again.” “Nightmare” said, extending his long, snake-like neck to its full length. He had green and black armor, poison green eyes, and despite being hunched over at the moment, was massive.
“What do you want, “Nightmare?”” Ekorak said, stepping back a bit.
“Not much. I’ll put it bluntly though. Two things: You, dead.” The creature said,
lowering his neck once again.
“And the second thing?” The Toa asked, clenching his clawed fists.
“The Staff of Perfect Alignment, mine.” “Nightmare” said.
“Forget it. There’s no way I’m going to let you have that kind of power.” Ekorak said, secretly charging a bolt of Antimatter in his left hand, a bolt of Shadow in
his right.
“Doesn’t matter. I will terminate you regardless of whether you would let me have the Staff willing or not. Prepare to die.” The black and green armored creature
said, standing up, revealing triple-jointed legs, clawed hands, and wings.
“Bring it!” Ekorak yelled, waiting for “Nightmare” to begin attacking. The creature
began charging bolts of black energy, whipping his tail around behind him.
“Huh, you still actually think that you can defeat me?” “Nightmare” asked. Ekorak
realized that the Anti-Matoran that had brought him out here was still in the
line of fire.
“Yes, yes I do.” The Toa said, launching his blast of Shadow at “Nightmare’s” feet, creating a smokescreen of sorts, allowing Ekorak time to activate his Kanohi, giving him access to near impossible speeds. He ripped by “Nightmare,” snatching the Matoran up and carrying him to safety in the unrepaired left side of his village.
“Come back here!” “Nightmare” yelled, unleashing a blast of black energy, rocketing towards Ekorak’s location in the left side of the village. The creature
unfurled his wings, creating a small storm of sand and rubble from the ground
beneath him. The creature hurled the other bolt of energy, eradicating a
partially repaired home altogether. Ekorak returned fire with the Antimatter
blast he had been charging in his left hand. The bolt ripped through the air,
before being sent flying off course by the wind from “Nightmare’s” wings.
"You really are despicable.” Ekorak muttered, launching twin rays of Antimatter
energy at the creature.
“Pathetic! Do you really think that a mere Antimatter ray will kill me? That’s like
expecting rain to kill a Toa of Water!” “Nightmare” mocked, landing a short
distance away from the Toa.
“Alright, plan B.” The Toa said to himself. He dashed towards the creature, then jumped, spinning around. His plan worked: his razor sharp claw raked across
“Nightmare’s” chest, shredding his outer armor.
“Oh, you want to play rough now do you?” The creature said. He leaned over slightly. Armor on his chest clicked out of place, extending into four, smaller clawed arms. “Let’s play, little Toa.”
“Okay then, another change of plans.” Ekorak muttered. He too, had some tricks up his armor. The Toa dug his clawed feet into the ground, sharp talons slicing
through rock. He held up his arms creating a thin film of energy to coat his
hands.
“Huh. You truly and seriously believe that you can defeat me?” “Nightmare” said. The creature began charging energy bolts in all six of his hands, black matter
filling the air around his claws. Ekorak braced for impact just before
“Nightmare” shot, six rays of dark energy ripping through the otherwise still
air. The bolts hit Ekorak’s hands, his Antimatter shield cancelling out all
incoming matter. “Nightmare” redirected his blasts, aiming for the Toa’s feet.
Ekorak responded by extending his shield to encompass his entire body, and
firing off a shot of his own. The Antimatter bolt grazed “Nightmare’s”
shoulder, cancelling out a small portion of his armor. “Nightmare” countered by launching a bolt of lightning, something Ekorak had never seen him do before.  The Toa leaped to the side, allowing the strike to cancel out his shield. The
creature shot off a blast of orange energy, which Ekorak assumed to be Plasma.
The burning hot orb nearly struck the Toa, even scorching some of the metal
components in his arm, before melting a wall behind him.
“Had enough yet, fool?” The creature asked, whipping his tail around behind him. The Toa said nothing in return, opting instead to use his limited Shadow powers to fade away into the darkness.
“That won’t help you either, Toa.” “Nightmare” said, firing an orb of energy. The orb went a short distance toward Ekorak before beginning to spin around rapidly. By the time it had reached the Toa of Antimatter, it had a windstorm surrounding it. Ekorak leaped, allowing the newly formed cyclone to propel him towards the six-armed creature. “Nightmare” responded by unleashing yet another Cyclone orb, this time much more powerful. The storm began to pick up small Matoran homes, along with debris of all sorts, and, naturally, Ekorak. Just after the Toa was sucked into the windstorm, a partially destroyed Matoran hut slammed into him, sending him flying out of the cyclone. Ekorak landed a short distance away, before being picked up off of the ground by the fierce winds. Right before the Toa was about to disappear into the cyclone once more, “Nightmare”
lanced forward with impossible speed for someone not wearing a Kakama or
Woltrak, raking his claws against Ekorak’s body, ripping the metal apart like
liquid. Then the Toa was sent back into the storm, a fight against both wind
and debris. A stone hammer smashed against his hip, denting the armor and
pinching a nerve. Outside of the funnel, “Nightmare” launched a bolt of Plasma,
igniting the cyclone, and turning it into glass. The creature telekinetically
picked nearby rocks up, before sending them flying at the frozen Toa within the
glassy cyclone. They smashed through the translucent material, sending Ekorak
flying into the stone wall behind the village, burned and devastated, but still
alive. “Nightmare” walked over to the half-dead Toa, his long tail swaying from
side to side.
“Tell my brothers I said hello.” The creature said, just before unleashing a storm of dark energy onto the Toa of Antimatter.

Chapter Four

Ekorak saw the torrent of energy coming and acted as quickly as he could, which being almost dead, was not very fast. He rolled to the side, folding his shoulder boomerangs back as he did. “Nightmare” launched a hand of dark energy at the Toa, but Ekorak stood up, now realizing that he couldn’t move his left leg properly due a pinched nerve, and launched his shoulder boomerangs at the black giant. The hand gripped two of the bladed projectiles, but the other two struck “Nightmare” directly, slicing through his leg and body armor. “Nightmare” cursed, looking down at his leg. Ekorak summoned the boomerangs back telepathically, yet another advantage given to him by his mutations. The curved blades locked back onto his shoulders. Ekorak launched a bolt of Antimatter in hopes of his attack hitting his enemy. The shot headed for the six-armed creature, but “Nightmare” blurred out of existence for a mere second, seeming to be in two places at once. The creature released a shockwave of energy, drawing the Toa in like a vacuum. Ekorak dug his claws into the ground, slowing his approach down. “Nightmare” launched another blast, this time of lightning. Ekorak focused all of his remaining power towards his Shadow abilities, releasing a bolt of energy straight at “Nightmare.” The creature once again blurred away, appearing somewhere else for a split second while the attack sailed right through where he had been. Ekorak reached out with his power, pulling the Shadow orb back towards himself, with “Nightmare” in the line of fire. “Nightmare” lanced forward with all his arms, pulled back, ready to swing at the Toa. Ekorak activated his mask once more, leaping out of the way and allowing the Shadow bolt he had fired moments earlier to strike the creature in the back. “Nightmare” fell face first into the ground, left with a large hole in his back armor.
“Good, good." "Nightmare" laughed. "Excellent, actually."
Ekorak braced himself for the onslaught the he knew he was about to face. He looked back at his injured leg. It was nearly healed, yet another benefit of his mutated form. “Nightmare’s” mask shimmered, a glow spreading across the village turned battlefield.
“You thought that you could defeat me? Well you were wrong.” The tall dark figure
said. “Dead wrong.”
“Dare I ask what mask that is?” Ekorak questioned, pulling his stance tighter.
“Oh, it’s nothing special.” The creature stated politely. His expression grew
serious. “Unless you consider the Tintra special.”
Ekorak took a step back. The Tintra was the Kanohi Mask of Destruction. It allowed the user to destroy most known forms of matter, be it through energy, explosions, or even just wiping it from existence, and he was standing right in the area of effect.
“Goodbye.” “Nightmare” said, waving his top left arm. Then everything within the glow exploded, destroying practically anything that it touched. A few seconds later the glow faded away, revealing a large crater in the village grounds, with no
trace of the Toa of Antimatter. “Nightmare” laughed.
“I told you that there were only two things that I wanted. It seems that whether you wanted me to or not, I have achieved both!” The creature turned around, and began walking towards a small set of stone stairs leading to a temple of sorts, made out of a white rock. He turned his head so that his peripheral vision could see the crater once more. “At your
expense.”
“Nightmare” approached the temple, his footsteps cracking the stone beneath him as he walked. Inside was a large pedestal, upon which the Staff of Perfect Alignment had built its resting place. He walked inside, looking up at the Staff that he had coveted for thousands of years. He reached for the handle, almost worried that the Staff would trigger some form of a trap, before dismissing the thought as ridiculous.
“Finally, the Staff of Perfect Alignment arrives in the hands of the Brotherhood.”
“Nightmare” said, a sinister grin sneaking across his mask. “With this tool, I
shall complete the Kanohi Omnus, and travel back to the Prime Universe, and
rule all!”
He grabbed the handle, and drew the Staff out of its holder. He ran his claw
across the surface. Despite having been in the roughest environment known for
many thousand years, the Staff still appeared like it had been forged mere
minutes ago, with its smooth handle, razor sharp blades, and the glowing sphere
of silvery energy in the center of the large, bladed end. The room even
responded to the Staff’s new owner, the bright white light turning a sickly
green to match “Nightmare” himself.
“So, you finally overpowered that little idiot of a Toa huh?” A harsh voice said
from the stairs. “Nightmare” turned to find the village’s Turaga, Ecezor walking down towards the temple.
“What do you want?” “Nightmare” hissed, aiming the end of the Staff towards the
Turaga.
“Nothing. I’m merely noting to myself that you killed Ekorak.” Ecezor replied.
“I could kill you right now. Ekorak is dead, and I doubt he would save you even if
he was still alive.”
“Hehe, yes, maybe you could, but you won’t. After all, I know your little secret.” The Turaga replied, walking up to the edge of the temple.
“If you’re talking about a specific Kanohi, then you should probably just jump off
the cliff right now and save us both some time. But if you’re speaking of
another, far larger, more important secret, then do go on, and perhaps I will
let you live a few more minutes.” The creature replied, placing the blunt edge
of his new toy on the ground.
“I’m talking about what you actually are. You have always called yourself
“Nightmare,” to represent the fear that you have come to instill in the people
of Anti-Koro. Not even Silent Fire causes as much terror and panic when he
attacks.” The Turaga said, daring to come within physical reach of the Staff.
“But I know your real name, your real species, who you are, and most of all,
who you once were.”
“And what, pray tell, would that be?”
“Your real name I dare not utter, for fear of a much greater evil than yourself, but
you are a Makuta. You were once a proud creator of many creatures, even daring to create new, imaginative things. But then you failed the Makuta Code. An experiment went wrong, forcing your brothers to send you into exile. When the
Hand of Artahka made the decision to send the Anti-Matoran into the Silver
Peaks Antiworld, the Makuta tracked you down, and sent you into the portal
along with us. You grew hateful, and felt the need to take your anger out on
physical, living beings. Thus, you began your raids on our village. As time
passed, however, I believe you got lonely, out in the endless spires of
silverstone. Your focus shifted from destroying us, one by one, to creating a way back to the Prime Universe. You began creation of the Kanohi Omnus, The Mask of Omnipresence. You believe that this mask will allow you to exist everywhere at once, practically becoming a god among Makuta, and you planned to force your Brotherhood to accept you back.” The Turaga finished his speech, circling the temple.
“Good guess. You’re missing a few details, but for the most part that’s correct.” The Makuta said, leaning on the Staff. Ecezor grinned. It was a hideous sight, the
corners of the Turaga’s already twisted and mutated Komau forced into a devious smile. 
“I’m going to give you a rare act of mercy, Turaga. You could be useful in the future. But just know that if you tell a soul anything you just told me I will hunt you to the ends of reality and back if it means you will die a long and painful death at my hands.”
Ecezor backed off. He may be old, but he wasn’t a fool, and he knew that the Makuta meant what he said and was absolutely capable of it. “Nightmare” activated his teleportation powers, transporting himself to his base of operations eighty miles away.
“I guess this means that I can come out of hiding now, huh?” A hooded figure said in distaste, walking up behind the Turaga.
“Perhaps, now that Ekorak has died. I am going to run a sweep of the area. I want to make sure that he’s gone for good.” The Turaga said, walking towards the stairs.

1 Like

I need to remember who you are from Custom Bionicle Wiki again... I'm BIONICLEToa, so who are you?

I'm just Toa Ekorak. I'm not really big on there so you might not know me.


This must be you, then. Nice to see more Custom Bionicle members on here! First I saw Logan, and now you. I am not alone. smile

Yup. That's me. Who's Logan though?

Logan? Logan is the guy who wrote the story "On". It's one of the most popular stories on CBW. I recommend reading it. It's a great story.

Okay. Going to go read that now smile