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Class 9 – Norian Notation
The early morning sun broke through the frosted blinds and streaked across the training room. Kyane let loose with a fury of punches on the training post. She only got rhythmic thumps and swollen hands in return. She rested and placed her hands together. The images of her grandfather clapping, then decimating Nyansa was wallpapered in her mind. She reeled her arm back and let loose with another fury. Her arms began to shake after the first fifty or so. She ended with a fiery jab to the center of the post. It took all her will not to exclaim in pain and frustration. Sweat rushed down her body and onto her gi. She rested her hands on the top of the post and took a handful of breaths. The image slapped her in the face again. She backed off, examined the post, she yelled and hit it with an elbow strike. “I can’t get this!”
Shaotoro exited from his room in the back. He was in a navy pajama suit with kanji symbols, and temple entrances patterned around it. “What is going on?” he asked. He moved to the kitchen, turned on the electric kettle, and placed a tea bag into the closest clean mug.
Kyane pivoted to him and bowed. “I’m sorry to wake you, sensei. I am getting a jump on training.”
“Good for you,” he said. He poured the boiled water into the mug. “After that workout in the mall a few days ago, I needed the break. Would you like some? It warms and soothes the body.”
Kyane shook her head. She hopped up and down for a moment and turned back to the training post. She placed her hands together. “I don’t need calm and soothing.” She closed her eyes. The image appeared before her like it never left. “I,” she began throwing her punches, “need… to… get… this… arragh!” Her arms began to shake, her muscles began to ache. She fired another final punch at the post. “I hate this! If I was Dieous I could do that super move thing with like no problem.” She punched the air a few times. “Just one, two three, bam! Dead Harris, day saved, go out to dinner with Desmond. All problems solved.”
Shaotoro pulled out a second mug and tea bag and filled it with the water from the kettle. “It feels like we have the same conversation every day you train.”
“What do you mean?” She chopped the post a couple times.
“Why are you so frustrated at the post?” Shaotoro handed her his cup of tea. She took it with both hands and sipped a little off the top. Shaotoro ran his hands down its length and gave it a few light taps with his knuckles. It made a slight knocking sound.
“It’s not the post,” Kyane said.
“Good, so you are somewhat aware of what you’re upset about.” Shaotoro stood where Kyane did. He rolled up his sleeves and stretched his fingers and arms. “How long have you been practicing the Millenium Fury? A week? A year? A decade? Multiple decades?”
“Closer to the first one.” Kyane took another sip of tea.
Shaotoro clapped his hands. There was a pop and the air expelled away from the area. He let loose with his own barrage. There was no noise, no impact, just the whistle of wind around the post. He put his hands back together and the air rushed back. The tip of the post slid off like it was cut by a chainsaw.
Kyane jumped. “That’s so cool! That was like a blur. I want to do that! I need to do that!”
Shaotoro shook his head. “I created the Millenium Fury when I was 27 as a way to beat my own foes.” He rolled his sleeves back down. “I practiced it for years before that. I did not learn how to do that until I was in my 30s.”
“I get that, I do,” Kyane said. “But we are on an accelerated schedule here. The world is in danger.”
“You seemed okay before this point.” He picked up the second cup of tea.
“As okay as being a literal gnat to their boss, and almost getting squashed like nothing!”
Shaotoro took a sip of his tea. The sun cast a bright light behind Kyane. She felt warmth and determination resonate with her. “Okay, I will give you a hint to work on. It is not about the speed, it’s about the focus.”
“Ah huh… right… focus,” Kyane said. She slumped onto the floor.
Kyane did eventually manage to peel herself from the dojo to shower, change, and go to school on time. She looked at Jamie’s empty seat. The chatter and noise of the class around her faded away, and a strangeness passed through her. That seat had been empty plenty before when Jamie was absent for whatever reason, but now that she knew who the seat belonged to it felt like a space was missing. A black hole that had formed and only his return could fill it.
Desmond passed the seat and broke Kyane’s trance. “Hey, Ky. Psst. Ky.”
“Oh yeah.” She shook her head. “Hey Des. That was an interesting date.”
“No kidding.” He rubbed his wrist. “It feels like a dream. I can’t believe those flash mob guys in dinosaur suits attacked us.”
They chuckled. “So weird. I bet they couldn’t see in their suits and didn’t know what was going on.” That was the story Jerry and his team came up with. It was a group of flash mob pranksters that just got out of hand. It wasn’t perfect, but it did make those flash mob guys look bad for being so disrespectful due to the tragedy around what happened. Luckily no one aside from Desmond stayed around long enough to see the truth, and he got hurt so they could lie a little with him hitting his head.
“Was it still good, though?” Desmond asked. “You know, before the mob prank thing?”
“I’m still going to the dance with you.”
Desmond sunk into his seat. “Phew,” he sighed. “Thank God.”
“Did you take that toy to Jamie yet?”
“Nah, I was in bed sleeping like all the time after getting beaten up like that.”
“I gotcha,” Kyane said. “Want to, ahh, go visit him after school. Take homework and stuff?”
“Sure, I just have some batting practice with Harry, but we can go after that.”
“Can I watch?”
“Sure, I guess. It’s kinda boring.”
“I can manage.”
The bell rang. Mr. Ayer slammed his door closed. “Quiet, quiet. Yes, we all know about the human dinosaur prank at the mall this past Saturday. It was disrespectful to the memory of those we lost. We should have gotten it out of our system, and ready to learn.” He tapped the SMARTboard to life. It asked the students to break down the scientific classification of animals and give examples.