Preparation~ Part One


That night I thought about what Skrybe had said. At the same time I also tried to forget about what Pailadyn had said. I sat down on the edge of my bed and began to list what I knew:

Anger was an emotion.
Anger hardened my will.
Therefore emotion hardened my will.
Pailadyn was crazy.

I exhaled loudly and punched my pillow. No. Bad. Stay focused on what was important.

What if Pailadyn is important?

It didn’t matter how important she was. She wasn’t the difference between life and death.

Who saved your life again?

I shook my head and tried to build on my list.

I don’t think that you can create emotion.
Skrybe didn’t say yes one way or the other.

Could you create emotion? I was sitting on my bed feeling bored, but I didn’t have any defining emotion. I could put myself in an angry mood by thinking about how Pailadyn wouldn’t talk to me. But I hadn’t created that emotion.

I tried to replay my conversation with Skrybe:

 “You don’t call that control?” said Skrybe.

“I… well no. Not really. I can’t control when I feel emotions.”

“You can’t? or you don’t think you can?”

No, I didn’t think I could control emotions. Simple as that. Creating them was impossible. They were stimulated. They were a reaction. You couldn’t have a reaction without an action. And I couldn’t create such an action.

Create. Control.

Control. Create.


There was something about those two words that just seemed to spark something in me. I could feel that I was close to making a connection. But what was the connection? Create and control weren’t the same thing! How could I-

Create and control… weren’t the same thing.

“I… well no. Not really. I can’t control when I feel emotions.”

“You can’t? or you don’t think you can?”

That was my mistake. I had made “Control when I feel emotions” synonymous with “creating emotions.” I could control when I felt emotions. I could repress sadness, I could ignore anger, I could be cheerful by thinking of a happy memory.

Anger hardened my will. Were there emotions that weakened my will? Will was a need to win. A need to be better. A need to achieve.

Up until now I had been trying to stay calm in the Arena. Calm was, in a way, complacency. Passivity. A lack of emotion.

But I couldn’t just abandon being calm. If I gave into anger completely I would become reckless. If I gave into fear I would be fighting like a cornered animal, but a cornered animal isn’t rational, it is berserk. If a cat cornered by a dog was acting rationally, it would realize it was more than likely outmatched.

I remembered a rafting trip that my family had taken back when I was just starting high school. We had come to a rock that you could jump off. When you got to the top and looked down, you began to think about the long drop and how it could be bad for you. That’s why they tell people “don’t think about it, just jump!”  They were told to abandon reason and leap without looking.

Jumping of a rock was one thing, fighting for your life was completely different. Leaping without looking would eventually end you up in a bad spot that hadn’t seen because you weren’t looking.

I didn’t need to be able to spontaneously make emotions. What I needed was to be able to switch between rationality and emotion. I needed to know when to fuel my will, and when to step back and plan my next move.

The key wasn’t to create, but to control. 

The End

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