Thread: [Pokémon] Survival Project
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Old May 6th, 2012 (01:38 PM).
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diamondpearl876 diamondpearl876 is offline
you can breathe now. x
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Illinois, USA.
Age: 22
Nature: Careful
Posts: 1,543

SURVIVAL PROJECT

chapter 7 ; [SENORI]
oracle

*

Like everyone else, I wondered what was wrong with Sai. I asked myself that question all the time, but nothing good came of it. He was my clan now, and I had to figure him out. I tried, yet something else crazy always happened the moment I thought I had him figured out.

Why did he buy three phones? Didn’t matter—now he was walking into random peoples’ houses. Why did he suddenly want to be everyone’s friend? Well, then he was causing a ruckus in the pokémon center, I had to focus on that. …Why was I wearing this shirt? That stayed constant, at least, but it got me nowhere.

All I knew was that he was rubbing off on me now that we had been traveling together for a while. It was just like being in my clan again, except it felt like only the two of us, since the boy was overbearing and consuming, unlike Atis and Kuiora. When someone in the clan was upset, so was I, and I tried to fix it. When danger came about, I could have left, but I felt their fear and diminished it as best as I could. Now, when Sai got angry, so did I. He was feeling frantic… and so was I. But I didn’t know what to do with this anger or sudden energy, because I couldn’t trace it back to any source. There was nothing.

So I went through the motions. Fate would decide for me. I didn’t try to stop the fight between Sai and that boy who had saved me. I stayed with Kuiora while Atis spent the day with his new trainer. I had been hoping that Atis, who had had so much more experience with humans, could do a better job at figuring him out.

But the day after, Atis didn’t show up at all. Had he given up already? I simply watched Sai get into more trouble. I was frozen, seeing how the anger and energy had no particular outlet. Everything was random… and potentially destructive. How could I get rid of it? I feared that I couldn’t.

And the day after that, Atis came to my door, calling my name to try to get my attention. The sound was so quiet and hesitant that I thought I was imagining things—but he tried again soon enough, more urgent this time. I wobbled over to the door, tired from thinking too much though I had just slept. I put my ears to the door and asked what he wanted.

“Sai is gone! I mean, well, yeah, he’s gone…” Atis started. “I, uh, went to his room… and he wouldn’t answer the door or anything… He’s gone.”

“Are you sure he’s not just sleeping?” I said, rolling my eyes. I wasn’t concerned for Sai at all, but rather upset that he was still pulling stunts like this.

“No… Well, yeah. Just trust me!” he said.

“I think we should just go to his room and see,” I said, sighing. Atis was being difficult, and I didn’t know why.

“That’s, um, wasting time. He’s not there. Sai… never sleeps,” he said, his voice becoming louder the more he spoke.

That made sense, though. At first, Sai seemed to sleep just fine, but then he started sleeping less and less.

“Okay… Do you know where he’d be?” I said, finally giving in.

“No. I was hoping you could sniff him out or something, since you’re not eating breakfast this time…”

Atis was just as lost as I was when it came to figuring out Sai, apparently. And he was asking me to help him find the boy again, just like he had asked when Sai supposedly ran off to breakfast. How could we be playing this game of follow the leader when I no longer felt like someone that others could look up to?

“Fine. I can do that,” I said. I didn’t sound confident, but it was a step in the right direction. “Can you, uh, open my door for me? I’m not as tall as you.”

A few moments later, Atis opened the door and looked at me oddly. “It was… unlocked… all night.”

“I don’t know how to use a key, as Sai called it,” I said a bit too quickly. I walked out the door, pushing past him. This was about our trainer, not me, after all.

“You know someone could have walked in here and hurt you or something?” Atis said, closing the door, but not bothering to lock it, either.

“Oh well,” I said instantly, and changed the subject. “Should we get Kuiora?”

*

Sai smelled like metal. The smell of dirt had clung to him a bit over the past few weeks, but it wasn’t powerful enough for me to focus on. It was both a good and a bad thing. It was a bad thing because it was a terrible smell and not at all like I was used to. It was, however, easy to find him.

It was early in the morning, though there were a few people out and about. They stared at us, probably wondering if we belonged to a trainer or not. If they asked, how would I answer? I wasn’t entirely sure. I didn’t think about it since Atis kept asking me how long it would take to find him even though little time had passed, and Kuiora kept telling him to be quiet.

I tracked the boy to the edge of the city before they started getting out of hand. After following the unmistakable metallic smell (and after wondering how I had missed his smell when he first attacked me), I realized that we would be following him down into some kind of cave, but it wasn’t the one we traveled through to get here. I made my way to the stairs and peered into the darkness. It was inviting, but I couldn’t stand staring at it for very long.

“I guess we’re going into another cave…” I said, taking a few steps back. I could only hope that this one wasn’t as dangerous as the other. “Maybe you two should stay here. I’ll get him real quick and bring him out.”

“You obviously need us,” Kuiora said. “Who’s going to fight the wild pokémon for you?”

“It doesn’t matter,” I stated, but I didn’t say why. If I was being honest, it would be better this time, since no one would be able to save me. Or maybe my newfound energy would provide me with enough power to win. “If it’s dangerous like the other cave, then you should stay.”

“That gives us more incentive to go in!” Kuiora said, making her way to the stairs as well.

Atis chimed in before I could speak. “Maybe Kuiora’s right… She should go with you.”

“And why shouldn’t you?” I snapped.

“W-Well,” Atis stammered, “I do have the most experience out of all of us…”

Kuiora turned around and stomped her feet. “So? I already told you that I’m going to be stronger than you. Didn’t you hear me?”

“I’m sure he heard you,” I cut in. “Look—”

“Professor Elm told me stories about this kind of thing. Someone always tries to be the hero and that someone gets hurt,” Kuiora said. Despite the morbid topic, she was smiling, and she was looking at Atis, not me. “I’m not going to try to be the hero. I really am going to be the hero, and to do that, I have to get stronger.”

“Those are just stories, Kuiora…” Atis said, rubbing the back of his head and refusing to look at her.

“He tells them like they’re stories, but they’re real. If you’re lucky, maybe I’ll tell them to you someday,” she said.

“You guys can follow, then. But don’t complain if you get hurt or something,” I cut in, turning my attention to the cave. I knew I could possibly regret it later, but I was too angry to care at the moment. I had the energy to stop their fight, but it was negative energy, and I was going to take it out on Sai, just like he was taking it all out on us.

*

The cave (or as Atis later corrected, the well) wasn’t even that big, nor was it dangerous. It was filled with clean ponds and the stone walls didn’t look like they’d collapse on us at any moment. The wild pokémon were friendly, saying that the residents from Azalea Town came there all the time to get water and to make deals with the fellow slowpoke that lived deeper into the place. I had to keep Kuiora from attacking them, and Atis seemed beyond relieved. We all had come in prepared to prove ourselves and to fight if needed, but there was no reason to fight. Would this cause our tension to grow?

If I had allowed the argument to escalate outside any further, it may have grown, for we found Sai at the fourth or fifth pond we came across. He was on his knees, crouched over the pond and reaching into it, seemingly searching for something frantically. Nearby was a large mound of pokéballs… all of which I knew were his, considering he had bought so many not too long ago.

“I guess he really did need that many pokéballs. I bet he caught a lot of water pokémon,” I said, turning to Kuiora.

“I guess so…” Kuiora said, staring at them with some discontent. “Water pokémon are obviously the best, but…”

“Anyway,” I said, focusing on Sai now. Admittedly, I was afraid to approach him. I couldn’t help him, so why bother? But I had to eventually, I knew… so I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He snapped his head toward me immediately, surprised.

“Senori!” he said. He almost sounded out of breath. Just what had he be doing down here? He stood up quickly, wiping off the dirt from his clothes. Whatever he was doing, he had been doing it for a while now. “Kuiora and Atis. What are you guys doing here?”

“Atis said you weren’t in your room this morning… We were worried,” I said, the last three words sticking in my throat.

“Oh,” Sai said simply. Then he smiled and picked me up, both of his hands soaking my fur. I tried to get out of his grasp since I was annoyed, but he wasn’t hearing any of it. He brought me over to the mound of pokéballs and extended his arms forward, making sure I saw them. “I’ve been fighting magikarp all night. I caught each one in a pokéball!”

“Oh…?” I said, still trying to get free. We certainly didn’t need more teammates at this point, but I didn’t dare point it out.

“We have… a lot of new teammates?” Kuiora said, her hands limping at her side. I guessed that she hadn’t been wanting more potential competition.

“No, I won’t use them. They aren’t fit to be on this team!” Sai said confidently. He finally put me down, and I shook my body to rid myself of the water. “I didn’t really, uh, think about it. I just wanted to do something and this was what I ended up doing.”

“We could, you know, release them…” Atis chimed in, picking up a couple pokéballs hesitantly. He didn’t seem to want new teammates, either.

“We could just bring them with us and use them as food when we need to. We’ll never run out of food at this rate!” Sai said.

I stared at him, dumbfounded. My instincts told me that it was a good idea. Having food handy was always vital. But these pokémon were probably expecting to be released at any moment to meet their new, friendly trainer and teammates. They were probably expecting to battle and journey with us… not get eaten.

“Sai, that’s not fair. You can catch pokémon to eat anywhere,” I said, glaring at the boy.

“Well, I’m not releasing them. I worked for them,” Sai said, but he wasn’t angry. He was smiling.

It wasn’t fair. I was only angry because he had been angry, and now he was smiling? I couldn’t keep up. This boy was exhausting.

“We’ll find something to do with them, something you’ll be happy with,” I said, trying to word myself carefully. Perhaps fate had a plan for all these poor magikarp, and in that case it wasn’t my place to intervene. But I knew Sai was meant for me, otherwise he wouldn’t have shown up when he did or forced me to come along as my punishment.

“Sounds good to me.”

We were all quiet for a moment. Kuiora was still staring at Sai, confused and frozen. Atis was looking at the pokéballs like he wanted to be in one at the bottom of the pile.

I finally spoke up. “Now what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know,” Sai said. “Could go shopping again, could go deeper into the well and stay there for a while…”

Neither of those sounded like good options. I wasn’t a human but I knew that money was important. Staying in this well would drive Kuiora crazy, which would, in turn, drive the rest of us crazy. We were all feeling tension that needed to go away, but that was the easier task. Sai needed stability. I had to keep him on track, somehow, both physically and mentally… for everyone’s sake, not just his.

“Why don’t we go battle the gym leader?” I suggested. It was the only feasible option that I could think of. The idea of a journey and gathering gym badges was the only thing that had kept Sai sane so far, after all.

Sai opened his mouth like he was about to speak, and then he appeared lost in thought. Eventually, he agreed that it was the best idea, and that he was sorry that he hadn’t gotten around to it earlier. Yes, he had gotten off track, and time was running out now. At least he knew it.

“Okay, let’s get out of here. Senori’s right. Gym battle,” Sai said, starting to gather all of the pokéballs that he had spent so much time trying to fill.

We all left the well, trying to carry as many pokéballs as possible. None of us planned on returning, and we ended up leaving a few magikarp behind, but I couldn’t bring myself to worry about them. They were not meant to be with us, and that was for the best.

*

“Someday, we’ll actually make an appointment for these gym battles,” Sai declared on the way to the gym. He must have been somewhat aware of the gym this entire time, because he actually knew where it was, and led us there without problems.

“Why do you need an appointment?” I asked. I would make an attempt to remember this for the future. The more information I could get that would help me keep Sai stable, the better.

“Because Falkner was mad last when I came in after he already had so many challengers.”

“I see,” I said, staying close behind him. He was walking quickly, almost running, and I was glad to be burning off some energy. Atis was much further behind, and when I looked at him, he was frowning and looked like he wanted to say something, but never did. Perhaps he was afraid to be used in another gym battle. Kuiora, by contrast, was making an effort to keep up with Sai, also frowning whenever she started tripping over her own feet since she was trying to move so fast.

Azalea Town’s gym, unlike the last one, was completely filled. Trees everywhere, small ponds and bugs everywhere, the quiet sound of nature. I wondered if it was a building at all. In fact, I felt like I was home, and it brought about an unsettling feeling in my stomach. I considered tugging on Sai’s pants and asking him if maybe we could come back later, but I decided against it. What was the point of prolonging the inevitable? I stayed behind my trainer, though I let Kuiora take my place in front.

“I just keep learning more and more about buildings, don’t I? This one’s interesting,” Sai muttered, moving forward through the gym, faster and more confidently than when he had traveled through the other forest—my forest. This wasn’t a forest… but I could see that Sai was learning and becoming accustomed to more and more things. It made me less angry, and I figured that I could deal with being in this kind of setting once more for him.

“Gym leader!” Kuiora suddenly cried, breaking my train of thought and the quietness that was previously present. I wondered how it felt for her to be in a forest-like place though she grew up in a town. The gym didn’t look that big from the outside, but to her, it must have seemed large enough to warrant such a loud cry. It only went to show just how vast nature could seem—it was endless and it was everywhere. It was beautiful. Yes, I could stand being here.

I didn’t even change my opinion when Sai found the gym leader and sent me out to battle. Before, I would have protested against battling here due to being so angry and being reminded of home. But I could at least try here. This forest’s clan leader—a young boy who wore a sort of green ranger outfit—also made the place appealing. My clan was facing off against his, and who would win? I wanted to win.

“Why does Senori get to battle?” Kuiora said, jumping up and down and looking frantically at Sai.

“Does it matter?” Sai asked, peering down curiously.

“Yes! I’ve been training for this!”

“He hasn’t seen you train,” I pointed out. “I was with you the entire time and even I didn’t see you train.”

“You were in a pokéball!”

“My point still stands. No one’s seen you do much,” I said, smirking, and I turned toward my opponent. We were in a clearing, which so far was the only part of the gym that wasn’t crowded and full of trees. This area must have been set aside for pokémon battling, with the rest of the place being a home to these clan members. I was going to face one of them. There was a small green bug that was about half my size. Its red antennae were twitching randomly, and I wondered what it was thinking about me. The clan leader was smirking for some reason. Were they communicating somehow? It took a special bond to be able to communicate with silence… a bond that Sai and I didn’t have.

“You can battle if Senori gets knocked out,” Sai said after a few moments. “So, uh, we can get started, right? I want to get this over with and go get the next badge.”

“Yes,” the clan leader said, his voice eager and rather high in pitch. “The challenger is allowed to attack first.”

“I remember now!” Sai said. “Well, Senori, start out with a… tackle, right?”

So he had remembered some things from when we were fighting wild pokémon, too. Saying a single word instead of giving a full description of the attack surely helped things. I crouched down on all fours and then sprang forward, focusing on the power of the attack rather than the speed, since I didn’t think the little bug was moving anywhere.

Apparently, the clan leader knew this, too. “Caterpie, tackle it back!” he cried.

But I had had much more time to prepare myself and I was already close to it when the attack was called. We collided, and the little bug was sent flying back toward his clan leader’s feet. I had fallen forward, and struggled a bit to keep my balance. My head stung a little, but otherwise I was fine. The caterpie’s tackle was only successful in making me cautious about attacking it, knowing that I would get hurt as well. The little bug was still suffering the most, and it tried to keep himself upright.

“All right!” Sai cheered. “Now, uh, tail whip!”

I vaguely wondered how Sai could have remained so quiet during Atis’s battle at the last gym, when now he was anxious to call out attacks and cheer for our victory. Still, his excitement was contagious, and I was even more determined to win.

I got down on all fours once more and sprang forward, looking straight into the caterpie’s large black eyes. He wouldn’t look at me, because it knew that it was done. My tail alone was bigger than the caterpie itself, and it was, in my opinion, the strongest part of my body. How could a clan leader have sent out such a defenseless member out to fight? But I couldn’t worry about that. I didn’t bother with the fact that it was still trying to stay upright, and when I was close enough to it, I swung my body around and slammed my tail into its side. I landed on my feet and was able to watch long enough to see the little bug slam into a nearby tree with a wail.

“You’re doing good, Senori! One more tackle and it’s done for!”

I looked at the clan leader, who was still smirking for whatever reason, which worried me. But I had to listen to Sai, and I did just that. For what I thought would be the last time, I pounced at the caterpie’s defenseless body once more.

“Caterpie, use string shot,” I heard the clan leader say calmly.

Since there were plenty of caterpie back at my forest, I knew what the attack could do. I knew that it would be very, very problematic and dangerous if I let it succeed. But I was already going too fast to stop myself, and when my body slammed into the caterpie’s once more, it used the last of its energy to shoot its attack. Out of its mouth came a long, sticky, white string that easily wrapped around my body since I was so close by. I wouldn’t have been so worried if the string also didn’t restrict the movement of my tail. I tried to break free by putting as much pressure on the string with my body (specifically my tail) as possible, but that only helped me make the string tighten with each passing moment. And when I tried to walk away, I simply fell, since my tail was my main source of balance.

My tail was restricted, and therefore so was the rest of me.

I turned to the caterpie and scowled only to see it close its eyes and give no response. It reminded me that there was still another pokémon left to fight, and I thought that maybe Kuiora would get to fight after all.

“Caterpie, return. You finally got some experience and that was great,” the clan leader said, preparing a pokéball. My enemy was enveloped by a red light and was gone. I wasn’t sure who had won, and my confidence wavered. I stood in place, and just waited as the boy took out another pokéball and sent out his next pokémon.

I was expecting another tiny little bug. What I got was a big bug with long, sharp scythes. And a menacing look that sure put Sai’s angry face to shame. It was at least three times my size, and I was used to fighting enemies that were short and tiny. I was tied up and hardly able to move, too—even better.

The green creature let out a noise that resembled something like a battle cry. I might have whimpered.

“Senori, you can still use tackle, right?” Sai cried frantically. He knew how awful the situation was as well. That was a good sign, though I didn’t think he knew what to do about it.

“Yes,” I said as loud as I could. I could still tackle, yes, but I couldn’t run. I’d get close to the enemy and be stuck there. And I couldn’t prepare myself as well when my body was restricted by the sticky string. Could Sai understand that? I just knew that if he called the command, I would listen if that was what he thought was best.

“Scyther, use quick attack!” the clan leader ordered.

The scyther didn’t hesitate in its pursuit. The wings on its back fluttered wildly and soon it was in the air, heading my way. I could see it smirking, and though I knew that I had little hope, I tried to move out of the way. I was about to trip over my own feet when the creature’s head slammed into my belly, and I was sent flying into the same tree that the caterpie had hit. I scowled, making an attempt to not make any painful noises that would prove to the scyther that it was going to win.

“Even if I lose,” I started, then took a moment to catch my breath, “another clan member of mine will take over.”

“What are you talking about?” the scyther asked, its smirk disappearing only for a moment. “No matter. I’ll end you.”

“You do that,” I said, making an honest effort to smile.

“I will. I’m just waiting for the command,” it replied, turning its head to motion the boy to speak.

“Fury cutter,” the boy said confidently.

The scyther nodded and turned to me once more. He wasn’t moving as fast this time; he was probably trying to make this as miserable for me as possible. I had to admit that this was a rather admirable clan member that the boy had here. He looked strong, and he could probably ward off any potential predators by simply standing around. I closed my eyes and braced myself, knowing this would probably hurt. Those scythes seemed too sharp to only cause some mere scratches, and I knew it. I told myself it wouldn’t be so bad—it was my punishment for not being a strong enough clan leader, anyway.

I heard the scyther’s wings fluttering again. Over and over. It became louder with every passing moment, and I knew bracing myself was worthless since I would knw when the attack was coming now. A light breeze brushed against my cheek before I felt intense pain, before I felt some of my skin being dug in to. I screamed and screamed again when the other side of my body experienced the same blow.

And then it was over. The scyther hadn’t cut into me as much or as deep as he could have, but the pain lingered. I winced. Something warm was dripping down my sides, now—probably blood, since it couldn’t be tears. I wouldn’t dare cry. My theory was confirmed when I opened my eyes and saw blood dripping from the creature’s scythes through teary eyes, staining the forest floor. I feared for Kuiora—she would be next, and would possibly go through the same pain. And she was so young, too…

“Let the little thing stand up,” the clan leader said suddenly.

My eyes snapped open fully, looking around frantically for what could possibly be a trick. But the scyther was simply waiting in front of me, and the clan leader was standing on his side of the arena, his arms crossed. I also noticed that the scyther had cut the sticky string that was restricting my body. I was free.

“You heard him. Stand up,” the scyther said, its smirk gone and its scythes at his side. He showed no sign of wanting to defend itself. It was obvious that the scyther didn’t have to defend itself, but I could do anything I wanted to right now.

“Why should I? You said you’d end me, or something along those lines,” I said in between breaths.

“Stand up. I’ll let you get on free hit on me. You can do whatever you want… and then you’re done.”

So the scyther had cut the string on purpose. But if I was being honest, I didn’t want to move. My sides hurt and I didn’t want to see just how much blood would be shaming me, taunting me. But this… There was still a chance to win? I could somehow, possibly, maybe gather enough energy and concentrate on one attack. I was free from the string now, so that made things a lot easier. But I hadn’t hurt the scyther at all, so the chances of me winning was really low. Still, it was a chance. Wasn’t I trying to force myself to take chances lately?

But I wouldn’t even get the chance. Sai intervened before I could even begin trying to get on my feet. He charged into the battle arena, frowning and clenching his fists. He picked me up, and I winced again as he wasn’t trying to be careful about it.

“You know that walking onto the arena and interrupting the battle disqualifies you, right?” the clan leader asked. I couldn’t see his face, but he sounded confused and somewhat disappointed.

“No, I didn’t know,” Sai said. “But I don’t care. I don’t want to fight you if you’re going to go easy on me and treat my pokémon like they’re jokes.”

I flailed in his arms, ignoring the pain. I had suggested to come here, and we both knew that time was running out… I felt like so much had to be done in so little time, and I didn’t know why. But if it matters to Sai, it mattered to me.

“Sai, it’s fine,” I said. “You can still use Kuiora, and—”

“No, it’s not fine!” he cried, cutting me off abruptly. “Bugsy here used a weak pokémon on purpose. Now he’s obviously using a strong pokémon, but won’t use its strength because he feels sorry for you.”

Now I could hear the clan leader—Bugsy—was walking onto the arena, saying, “I didn’t do that to go easy on you.”

“Why did you do it then?” Sai said, holding me tighter, which only caused me more pain. I didn’t say anything else.

“Most trainers think that only strong pokémon are good for battling. But not’s not true,” Bugsy said, shaking his head. “Even weak pokémon are useful, and even strong pokémon have a chance of losing.”

“I don’t see why this matters. I came here for a gym badge.”

“Gym battles aren’t just about winning and losing! I wanted to teach you, a new trainer, about this as early in your journey as possible. It’ll be important—”

“Stop,” Sai said, taking a few steps back. “I’m really tired of people telling me what’s right and what’s wrong. Part of the reason I agreed to go on this journey was so that I could figure it out myself.”

“I understand… but we learn from others, you know.”

“That should be a choice. You shouldn’t be forcing it on me in the gym battle that I have to go through to complete my journey.”

“You’re right, I can’t influence your decision completely. But I did it so you could at least think about it,” Bugsy said, digging into his pocket. “I admire you, however, for standing up for yourself and your pokémon.”

“I don’t want your badge, so you better not be getting one out of your pocket,” Sai said defensively. He started to turn and go to where Kuiora and Atis were standing. They looked at each other and shrugged. Kuiora must have been happy since this would mean she could get a second chance, but I didn’t know about Atis. He was probably fine with whatever happened.

“I would give it to you if you would take it,” I heard Bugsy say, but his voice was becoming more and more distant.

“I don’t want it...” Sai muttered.

“Sai! This means we’ll be coming back soon, right?” Kuiora said, jumping up and down again. “Real soon, right? Because we’re running out of time and whatever.”

“This certainly wastes more time. We’ll just have to make sure I don’t stay in a town this long anymore, okay? If that’s even possible…” Then he looked down at me, and I winced again. Looking at the scyther’s eyes was terrible, but Sai’s eyes were still just as scary. “I’m sorry you had to fight and get hurt for nothing, Senori. Bugsy wasn’t trying at all and it was unfair.”

“It’s okay,” I said weakly, though I didn’t really think it was okay. I hadn’t seen it at the time, but the clan leader really wasn’t trying. A real clan leader should be putting his own pokémon above everyone else, no matter what. He shouldn’t have been worrying about us. And the fact that I had fallen into that trap made me feel like a terrible leader myself, all over again. I was angry and frozen—again.

I didn’t say anything more. He took us to the pokémon center. We were right back where we started, I thought. It was a fresh start, kind of.

The nurses took me to the back room and removed the rest of the sticky string. They stopped the bleeding and patched me up as well. I was hardly paying attention as they tried to say reassuring things and treat me like a baby. I just thought about how could I help Sai now? He was unpredictable, and his varying moods kept me from thinking straight. He couldn’t think straight, either, which didn’t help. If I hadn’t become angry and frozen, I would have told him to march right back in that gym and just use Kuiora for the rest of the battle. He could demand a fair battle if he wanted, but he couldn’t leave. But I had let him leave, and who knows what we would be doing next?

I wondered if I could try to become immune to Sai’s emotions. I would always put him above myself, sure. I just couldn’t get angry when he was angry, or excited when he was. His emotions couldn’t effect me or cloud my judgment, no matter what.

It would be difficult, I knew. But I could at least try.
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