12.4: Danger Reflex

“Oh.” That was all my bashful self could say while racking through my brain.

I tried to visualize Solana’s wake-up call again. My eyes were closed, but I knew she was charging up Essence. I felt nothing out of the ordinary. There wasn’t any heat emanating from her hand, no light coming through my eyelids. But I knew. I knew she was going to hit me with a fistful of Essence.

Oh? Wow, you really are something,” Solana crossed her arms and rolled her eyes, “Do you even want an explanation?”

“I think that answer is obvious,” I shrugged.

“Keep giving me attitude,” she clenched her fist and began charging Essence, “because I’ll make sure that face gets rearranged.”

I became nervous again, “U-uh, it’ll never happen again! I swear!”

“Good,” she glared at me, immediately losing her stern expression to an uncontrollable laugh, “This ‘discipline’ thing is too funny!”

“So, about that explanation…”

Solana began to calm down, “Ok, ok. So, this is actually one of the most basic abilities of Guardians. Our enhanced instinct helps us—how should I put this—sense danger. Yeah, like a sixth sense, a danger reflex, whatever you want to call it. Essentially, we can discern when something is trying to hurt us, and react to it. For many trainees, this is an involuntary reflex, but with proper training, it can become voluntary, and you can choose how to react.”

That explained my last confrontation with that Dweller. I caught his fist without thinking about it. But, I wasn’t the one in danger, Wyatt was.

“And that’s what you’re first days of training will consist of, building your ‘danger reflex.’ Any questions?”

“Yes actually. Does this ‘danger reflex’ also react to anyone in the vicinity, say, a friend?”

“Let me guess, you saved Wyatt one time and have no idea how.”

“Has anyone ever told you to become a psychologist?”

“Please, you’re an open book. I don’t need mental enhancement to read your mind.”

“Wait, we can read minds? Sign me up!” I cheered.

Solana smacked her face violently, then rubbed it down to her chin. “Oh boy, of all the people to be my first apprentice, it had to be you. And to answer your question, it depends on how close the person is to you, both physically and spiritually.”

I nodded, still wondering when I’ll learn to read minds.

“Let’s just get on with your first training regimen.”

Solana walked over to a control panel in the left corner. She scanned the various levers and switches with her hand, until she found a red switch, and held her finger over it.

Then, she pointed at the ground to the opposite corner, “Pick up that blindfold over there.”

I turned towards the corner, and there was a black blindfold tossed on the ground. I picked it up and examined it. The fabric was incredibly thick and opaque. There was no way I could see out of it.

“Put it on,” she commanded, and I did.

“To pass this first test,” she paused dramatically, “You have to dodge fifty logs. A single graze will force you to restart.”


The End

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