Better to Lose

  To be honest, I had forgotten how large a role the Polynesian actually played in my relationship with Chrysalis, or to be more apt, the unintended consequences of our fateful meeting that night. Indeed, for the sake of clarity, I will spare you the long, Rocky-esque training montage that the Polynesian and I engaged in from that moment forward, as it really has nothing to do with Chrysalis. However, suffice it to say, that with Castille's extensive knowledge of physics and quantum mechanics, we were not only able to hone our respective powers to their natural maturity at a greatly accelerated rate, but to explore the theoretical limits of our powers. And I think it is at this juncture that things became really interesting.

  Chrysalis took an active interest in my relationship with Castille. At first, I thought it was just the interest that any woman would show in a male whose plummage turned out to be far brighter and colorful than she had previously anticipated. So, when she first began to sit with me in the dining hall or next to me in a class, I was nothing short of ecstatic. Previously, my real world encounters with Chrysalis had been limited to our writing class, and even then we never paired up to do writing exercises -- that pleasure seemed to belong to Kip, and Kip alone. Indeed, like all the other love struck guys in my writing class, I was limited to gawking at her with feigned interest and delight whenever the professor read her papers aloud.

  But after I began working with Castille, that all changed. Now whenever we left class or finished a training mission, she wanted to know what I was doing, where we were training, did I like Castille, what was he like, how were my powers developing. Yet, at no point did she ever mention that she had watched our initial sparring match. In fact, even when I returned to the First Elder with the conch shell that the Polynesian had been guarding, she simply looked disinterested. The Zion's reaction was a little more normal, in that he seemed interested, asking if I was okay and how did I get the conch shell. And, pursuant to Castille's request, I told him "Luck, I guess." And I let the matter drop there. Kip was cool with that, not that he really cared what had happened to me, but once he determined that uninjured, he was just happy that the mission succeeded and we had gotten the conch shell.

  Which is not to say that Kip and I were not friends, indeed, I would have, and probably still would, kill someone over Kip. However, there was always a small rift between Kip and me, much of it related to everyone except Kip and me. Be it over his grandfather’s interest in me and his relationship with his grandfather, the strange triangle between Kip, Chrysalis and me; or even our radically different ideas of what the Sanhedrin Council should do about the world, as it is versus how it should be. Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be landing shortly. Please return all tray tables and seat backs to their upright and locked position Huh, that was the fastest 15 hours like ever. Not good. I must be far more tense than I realize.

  Obviously, given everything, it will be awkward to be in the presence of the First Elder and the Captain, but then also be locked in a death stare with their grandson. I mean, know what the First Elder wants, and I cannot believe that he will put me in this position, especially given the manner in which his invitation was delivered to me. No matter, I owe the old man, and I would raze the gates of hell for him, whatever his ultimate intentions for me may be. Funny, there have only been two people to ever claim such loyalty from me, and soon, there will be none. This saddens me more than you can ever know, but as a very small and insiginificant consolation prize, I will finally be free of all my earthly attachments. And then, as Antares says, the game truly begins once I have nothing else to lose. “We are landing soon sweetie, you need anything?” I consider responding with “you in my hotel room” but this meeting is too important. And since I am not sure how long the First Elder will last, I cannot tarry.

  So I settle for slipping my card in her back pants pocket as I firmly grip her arse. She turns and smiles entirely with her eyes. Geez, if I had been this smooth when I was younger, perhaps Chrysalis … no, things happened as they should have, and no other way was possible, in this world at least. Besides, I have seen realities where I won Chrysalis, and I cannot say that I liked it or me. In fact, given that you now know who the Polynesian is, perhaps I should share one such timeline that Antares showed me.

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