RECORD LOG OF MR. CAMERON ALLAWAY.
I watched as the waves crawled up the shore and back down again. Their pearl white foam sloshed against the sand. I counted the time between each wave. 1…2…3… The next came and disappeared in a moment.
Out there, time was meaningless. Where the sun was in the sky meant nothing. I took a deep breath, letting my lungs fill with the salt air. When they were full, I exhaled with a sigh and relaxed. I closed my eyes as the wind brushed through my red hair and kissed my face. Despite the golden rays beating upon my forehead, the heat was no match for the cool breeze. Standing, I shoved my hands into my pockets and dug my toes into the sand.
This was my favorite part of the job; being able to have a retreat from the responsibility and stresses of being a Keeper. The Isles were beautiful places to live. They may not be Scotland, but they do just fine. I am always very grateful that the Headmaster invited me to be a part of it all.
Sadly, my time of relaxation was up. I received a message on the electronic clipboard that went with me everywhere like a faithful companion. Mr. Cameron Allaway, the text read, it is time for you to supervise the Bionics’ weekly combat training. Today I instructed them to fight with full strength as you ordered. I also forewarned them that it would be a tournament style fight.
After reading the message, I tucked the black tablet under my arm and looked out at the waves one last time. Sighing, I bent over, grabbed my sandy dress shoes, and headed back to the facility. Time for another day to begin.
Reaching the training area, I stepped onto the cold concrete where the Bionics were waiting. They stood uniformly in their armor waiting for my instructions. Before speaking, I looked in awe at all the children. They would never know how proud I was of them. These young adults who have become part machine for, not just their own survival, but to save others. They have sacrificed so much; they will never know.
A quick moment passed, and I quickly shook away the thought. Smiling, I greeted them and said, “Good morning, everyone. Are you ready for today’s tournament training?”
“Yes, sir,” was their unison response… like machines.
I nodded, looked down at my clipboard, and called up the first pair. “Robert and Axel.” Despite the fact that Robert was barely a teenager while Axel was 18, the two Bionics were scheduled to fight. I backed off the paved concrete of the courtyard and went to a comfortable folding chair on the sidelines. After I was settled, I gave the order and the two fought. The tension was high among the by standing Bionics, but I already anticipated the outcome of the entire tournament. I had it all figured out, but I knew they needed to learn for themselves.
After a brutal match, Robert collapsed to the ground, making Axel the victor. Without looking up, I marked it down on my clipboard and waved on the next pair. That one finished and I called the next…and the next… and so on. Some dragging out more than others. It’s not like I didn’t take pleasure in watching them fight, I was just used to it. Imagine watching a beloved movie you have seen over and over again until you were sick of it. Unfortunately, most of the Bionics’ moves were repetitive, predictable, and stale. They were getting used to each other and fought almost robotically.
Thankfully, the final match arrived with my two Veteran Bionics, as I predicted. They were the fighters I could count on for a show. Axel and Alison. The very first two I rescued from the Accident. I was thrilled to watch them fight. After asking each other if they were ready, Axel thrust and threw his powerful front kick. From there, the battle began. Friend against friend but that meant nothing. Winning was all that mattered.
I was on the edge of my seat throughout it all. My eyes jumped back and forth between the fighters and sometimes couldn’t keep up with their swiftness. Finally, I saw the end of the fight approaching. Alison held her stance as Axel flew in with a leaping side kick. I held my breath as the two collided; sparks flying from the impact. When Alison swept his leg out of the way, Axel crashed right into her and the two went tumbling; the fight ended in a tie.
Honestly, I was not surprised. Like I said before, I predicted the entire tournament. Whenever they fought each other, a victor was never determined. Standing up from my chair, I went over to them. I leaned over and stared at their faces. Scratching my crooked nose, I said, “I figured it would end in a tie.”
As I entered the results into my clipboard, Axel asked out of breath, “Then…why’d…we…fight?”
Normally, I would give them a scientific explanation about the reasons for repeatedly practicing techniques, developing strategy, and efficiency. But today I wanted to be honest with them. I smiled and told them the truth. “Because it’s fun!” Helping them both stand up, I told them, “Now, you two better go rest. You train again tomorrow!”
Drained, the two nodded and wobbled off the fighting grounds, leaving me alone. Chuckling, I looked around at the cracked pavement that needed to be fixed… again. That never bothered me. It was all worth it. Every last bit.