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A Hero After All

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Someone is touching you.

His name is Cronus Ampora.

He is touching you, and you do not like it.
You know your name. Mituna Captor. Your favorite number is two and your favorite colors are all the primary ones. You like mind honey and your lusus and computers. You play videogames a LOT and you’re really, really good at them. Like, the best there is!

You think it’s funny to make Meenah frown and you feel clever when people furrow their brows up like they don’t get it. Most of the time you just know you’re a little smarter than them- they don’t get all the things you do. But sometimes they get really mad or upset or something and you feel really bad. You don’t want your friends to be angry at you, or hate you. You just wanted to talk.

Right now, Cronus is touching your shoulder. You don’t understand why. He keeps talking and talking, and he doesn’t stop, and you don’t get half of what he’s saying. You fidget nervously, feeling your brain work into overtime trying to understand why and how to get away. You’re uncomfortable. Not scared, just uncomfortable, and you want him to stop. You keep listening to him for the words that will mean he is done, or the ones to explain why he is touching you, but they never come and you grow more and more upset.

Your fingers twitch and your mouth moves fast, your eyes squeeze tight and then open really wide behind your visor. You struggle to speak but only a few words come out, and he STILL isn’t listening, no matter how many times you talk. You sputter and you get angry and frustrated because he can’t seem to understand you. You know you don’t talk like he does, or like anyone else does, but you know that people can understand you (sometimes) so he should know to back off!

Your skin feels tingly, hot, on fire, underneath your layers of clothes. You pull at the stretchy material of your suit and rove your fingers up and down the black and yellow pattern in familiar lines that make you feel better. You grind your teeth and clench your jaw, working your tongue in your mouth for a few seconds before you try to talk again.

You feel like your body is practically vibrating with energy. You don’t know how to release it, or contain it, or calm down. You just know that he is touching you and you do not like it and it is not helping you stop doing whatever it is you’re doing that you also want to stop.

You feel a scream coming up into your chest, it bubbles in your throat and you try so, so hard to keep it in, because you know it’s not right to scream. Everyone hates it when you scream and then people scream back at you and you hate the sound of their screams so you try to scream louder. You never know what people are saying when they scream, you just know that you need to be louder so they will stop. That’s what screaming is for, right? So people will stop?

You go to do exactly that, scream, so Cronus will stop- but someone interrupts you. Braids and fuchsia lips and dead eyes (like everyone else).

She speaks a bit louder and you almost wonder if you should still scream but you don’t. You press your lips together tight and she gets Cronus to stop. He … stops touching you.

Your body cools, but the energy is still flooding your system and you feel like your game console when it heats up from playing too much. You know that means you have to shut it down and play something else, but you don’t know how to do that with your body. You are really glad Meenah is there to help. She is really nice, you like her, and you remember a little tiny bit from when you weren’t all “burnt out” (the way Arenea says it). You remember that you made her angry a lot, but she was nice to you sometimes in ways others weren’t. Latula always said Meenah was really a pretty rad girl. You believe Latula. Latula is the best.

You are happy when Cronus stalks away, and you know he’s really angry, but soon enough he’ll get over it. Cronus always wants someone to talk to, kind of like you, but people don’t like talking to him. For a good reason, you think- then again, people don’t like talking to you very much either. But at least you have Latula.

You feel bad for Cronus. He doesn’t have anyone.

Then you remember how he touched you and how he made you feel and you laugh because he’s unhappy, the way he laughs when you’re unhappy, and that’s just how things are supposed to go, you guess.

Meenah leaves, Cronus sulks, and you stand near your lusus. You feel okay again. You want to try your skateboard- but Cronus broke that after you laughed at him. You cry a little bit to your Cyclops Dad but that never fixes stuff so you stop. You make patterns in the grass and are careful not to get too close to any leaves. You don’t like they way they feel or sound. Cyclops Dad is big enough to house you in his shadow so you feel safe until you’re ready to go get your skateboard fixed (maybe Latula can help).

Later, you do go to Latula. You tell her what happened (or, you try) and she seems to understand. She understands best out of everyone. You let her hold you gently and you tell her that you like when she touches you, but not Cronus. She is very careful with you, Cronus is not. Most people are not. She sets one arm under your chin, and you press down hard, hard as you can, putting pressure on your head and her arm. It feels nice. It calms you down. The pressure makes you feel better and when you’re all done she holds your hand (without her glove) and tells you stories and lets you do that pressure thing whenever you want, even if it’s right when she’s talking.

She tells you that you are one of the bravest people. You don’t think so, but you let her say it. Arenea and Latula and sometimes even Meulin say good things about you and everything you did before you “burnt out”, but you can’t remember them at all.

You are Mituna Captor. You do not know it, but you are a hero after all.