In all honesty, Chuih was surprised his team was accepted into the races.

Perhaps he shouldn't have been. After all, several other 'unknowns' had auditioned and all of them were accepted. Opa Opa, the Bonanza Bros., and even Ryo Hazuki, none of whom ever showed up in any previous Superstars Event. Of course, not all of them managed to get accepted, mainly because they came in too late in the auditions, though even they weren't completely forgotten; NiGHTS had been dubbed the flag waver, and Ristar had dominion over the Death Egg (much to the chagrin of Dr. Eggman). Chuih was… pleased with that… though if he knew anything, Chubei was the only one of them that was truly and genuinely happy for them.

Such was his nature—it was rather rare for chu-chus to have any strong emotion. An overwhelming majority of them could only feel fear, since evolution deemed them the prey for kapu-kapu. The ones that had developed other emotions were deemed superior, and thus, pilots for the rockets. As such, Chuih's team already had a vehicle ready for the races; they could just take one of their many rockets. Though it did require a whole heap of remodeling and modifications to make it go horizontally and small enough to seat four chu-chus instead of 16.

It was difficult, especially on such short notice, considering that the Chu-chu Pilots hadn't even auditioned, but were placed into the roster anyway. Chuih had almost had a panic attack, worried that they'd never be ready in time and that they'd be doomed to fail and lose every single race with a defective rocket. It took quite a bit of slaps from Chupea and reassurances from Chubei to snap him out whenever he had a mood swing like that. All to get their leader thinking properly again.

Chuih still didn't know why he was the leader of the group. Each of them had developed different emotions, and the emotion he had developed was sadness, of all things. Why in the world would anyone want someone blubbering, easily breakable and prone to breakouts for a leader? This question popped up in Chuih's head about a week ago, and it wouldn't leave him alone. He had been deciding in his head which one of the main Chu-chu Pilots was more suited than him to be the leader.

If anything, Chubach was more suited for a leader, considering he had a bit more control over his emotion than the others, and that his emotion was useful in the first place. When you've got curiosity as your main drive for just about everything, Chuih guessed that it would be much easier for you to pay attention to things and stay focused on what you were doing. At least, that's what he thought from what he saw of Chubach.

So why was he deemed the leader? Chuih had asked himself this over and over again, and always when it was least convenient. Like right now for instance—he was supposed to be asleep. Maybe it was helped by the fact that it wasn'tnight time—in fact, it was almost 4 o' clock in the afternoon. But he had to get some sleep, because the next race was in Casino Park, and it was only properly operational at night. Though it was clear that Chuih was not going to get any sleep done, and he began to feel guilty.

What would happen if he didn't sleep before the race? W-would he be half asleep for the entirety of the race? What would happen then? Would he drive them off the track by accident? Would they have to extensively use the All-Star to catch up with everybody because they were going too slow? Would he fail his friends?

He hated that one thought. That he would fail his friends. That Chubach would be disappointed and that Chupea would get angry at him and that Chubei would frown one of his rarest of rarities. He curled into himself a small bit, feeling ashamed of himself already. Why couldn't he just sleep? Once he fell asleep everything would be just fine and he could stop worrying.

His friends were asleep—he could feel them breathing in their little pile. Chu-chus had always cuddled together to sleep, as a precaution or an instinct or whatever the word for it was. Chubach had researched it randomly one day, and tried to explain it to him, using big words like 'substicinchus', which he didn't understand. In fact, he didn't understand a lot of what came out of Chubach's mouth, but it worked for Chubach and that was good enough for him.

Chubach was sleeping right now, to Chuih's left. His little spiral-glasses were on the floor, and Chubei, being the biggest, was leaning against the wall and serving (happily) as the surrogate mattress for their little pile. Chupea, being her arrogant self, was also leaning against the wall, though she was still leaning a little bit against Chubei as well.

Chubei… what a nice guy. He always had a bit smile on his face, and his yellow space suit and ears always seemed to radiate pure happiness everywhere he went. Chuih himself was happy that he could be around someone like Chubei. He always knew just what to say to or about someone and make them happy. Chuih wished Chubei was awake right now, actually—it would probably help him calm down and get to sleep before the race.

And Chupea... well, she was Chupea. Her main emotion was anger, leading her to lash out almost constantly. Though she did mean well, and had some of the best ideas when it came to fighting or strategies. If it weren't for her then the chu-chus they placed on their rockets would never have been brave enough to come out of their holes, let alone walk among the kapu-kapu to get to the rockets. She had the most inspirational vocabulary, and really knew how to get you to do something.

He admired that in her. Especially because she was probably the strongest of them all and a girl at the same time. He had met some other girl-chus, and none of them really asserted themselves like Chupea did. Though there was one weird thing about girls—they always somehow knew when you were staring at them. Like right now.

"What are you doing?"



And boom goes the dynamite. Chuih was startled because of all the screaming. In fact, if he knew anything, all four of them were scared out of their wits with all the screaming. Screaming was nothing new to them. Being Chu-chu Pilots meant that they had suffered their fair share of crash landings, and they had all experienced the pain/deaths that resulted. The thought of being in pain scared all of them, especially if by the jaws of a kapu-kapu. The rest was self-explanatory.

Chuih, at the moment, was running around randomly afraid of nothing in particular. He couldn't see anything that was happening, just flashes of yellow and red and green. His panic attack only lasted a moment, before he crashed into Chubach and fell on his back. Luckily his helmet didn't crack, since if it did his not-oxygen supply would fail. He didn't know what it was filled with, but he knew that he couldn't breathe anything out of it.

Chuih stood up, a little difficult seeing as he didn't have hands. Though once he did, he was subjected to all of the other pilots staring him down, Chupea looking about ready to snap on him. Chubach seemed curious about why Chuih had screamed, and Chubei simply waited with a blank expression. Chubei didn't know it, but that expression always made him feel really uncomfortable. No matter how much his eyes 'sparkled', he always felt like a puddle of goo in just about any situation like this.

"Chuih? Are you okay?" Chubei finally asked in his abnormally deep voice—for a chu-chu, anyway. Chuih didn't respond for a moment, staring at the ground. Then he spoke up.

"Well, I've just been… thinking…" Chuih finally spat out.

"About what?" Chubach asked eagerly. Chuih must have piqued his interest now. Chuih thought for a moment, thinking of what to say to them to keep from getting them worr—

"And don't you DARE try to weasel your way out of this, Chuih! We know you've been lying lately every time we ask you and we just wanna help!" Chupea snapped at him. Chuih threw back a moment, pausing in shock. He couldn't move, or think, only stare at what was happening. Chubei was scolding Chupea for being a bit too harsh, and Chubach was still staring at him, eagerly awaiting his response.

Maybe… Maybe he should just tell the truth this time. Usually when things like this happened he tried to avoid telling the truth, mostly to keep from bawling his eyes out and to keep them away. He really just wanted to be alone when he was sad. Every time he had sad thoughts or scary thoughts he wanted to curl up into a littler ball than he already was and just cry. But he couldn't do that now; they wanted to help him. They were his friends. He took a deep breath of whatever he breathed through his helmet, and spilled the beans.

"S-Sometimes I wonder… y'know… why you guys want… me, for a… y'know… leader." Chuih finally said, avoiding their gaze as best he could. He slouched downward more than he thought possible for a chu-chu, trying to keep his friends from seeing his sad frown. He knew none of the other Superstars liked it when someone frowned. Oh great, now he got a new question. Why was he a Superstar if he was nothing more than just a blubbering little bag of tears? Why was he even chosen to be a Chu-chu Pilot anyways? Because he had stronger emotions? That didn't make sense! Why… why… why…?

Something started brushing against him, curling over him like some sort of blanket. Chuih's eyes widened a bit, confused as to what was happening. Did they even have a blanket? He peered up as best he could; trying to get as good a view as possible of whatever was encompassing him.

It was Chubei. Chubei, the nicest, happiest, most optimistic of all of the Chu-chu Pilots, was curling over him in what Chuih assumed was a hug. Hugging was nearly impossible for chu-chus, mainly because they didn't have hands, but this was close enough. Chuih wanted to cry, to thank Chubei and tell him and let him know what was going on in his head.

That was when Chubach and Chupea joined in the semi-hug. Now all of his friends, co-pilots, comrades, whatever you wanted to call them… they were all around him, giving him the closest thing to a hug as possible. They were trying to make him feel better, trying to reassure him.

They knew he was a bumbled mess of sadness and worry. They knew he had a lot of things on his mind that he couldn't stop thinking about. They knew that he was crying, though for once they were tears of joy. They knew all of that. They knew everything about him. They knew every bad, happy, good, strong, brave, sad, angry, confused, itty bitty tiny piece of him.

And they loved him anyway.