Calm before the Storm
Calm before the Storm

Pat Szostak

After his interview with Bacca and Ku-Sam, Siran left the tent and wandered the campsite. He was amazed by the number of soldiers, all of whom had a task to perform. The whole army camp seemed like a hive of bees, all buzzing around doing bee stuff. All the people and activity was very comforting to Siran; it made him feel very secure. He knew that his trackers would never look for him in the midst of an army.
But as he walked around the camp's perimeters, and then walked around them again, and then again, he began to grow bored. Amazingly, the soldiers were still working hard, but Siran was no longer interested in their activities. Instead, he got to thinking about who was looking for him even now, and where they might be.
There were only three other students who studied under Master Saotome, who had been Siran's master as well. He was sure that his long time friend Kuno would not be after him; he of all people would understand why Siran left. He could assume that Belliron would not be after him either. Belliron was extremely talented, and was always looking to the future. Even if he didn't understand why Siran had left, he would not give him any trouble. Belliron had too many other things to think about. Now, Ryoga, he was certainly after Siran. Ryoga, the most talented of Master Saotome's student's, was unforgiving of the faults of others. He would never understand Siran's flight from his master's dojo. To Ryoga, honor and pride were more important than anything else. He could never sympathize with someone like Siran, who could never meet such high standards.
Siran wished they all would leave him alone, and he wished that Master Saotome had never made such an impossible request of Siran, but the young martial artist knew that neither of these things could be undone. Rather than making his own decisions in life, he had chosen to sit back and let others decide things for him, and now he was paying the price.
The only thing he could do now was return to the tent set aside for him and a few other soldiers and practice his martial arts for the day when all his botched decisions would catch up with him.