DISCLAIMER: I don't own Di-gata Defenders, Greg Collinson and NELVANA do.
The boy is too young. ("And then we'll be friends, right?" Adam can only nod mutely in response.)
Too inexperienced. ("Thank you for helping me, Mister Adam." The boy smiles up at him and Adam returns it, knowing full well that his aid is useless.)
Too innocent. ("But…isn't stealing wrong?" The others just laugh and Adam forces himself to join the group that he has found the easiest to manipulate.)
He'll never make it.
The task is quite simple at first glance – go into a house and take some valuables.
Except, this is no ordinary house.
Some time ago a large blonde woman came to town which is Adam's home for the month and moved into the most exposed house in the entire area.
Everyone believed Old Lady Willow to be an easy target in the town of criminals until that night when Toothy attempted to take some of her silver.
The bullet was already embedded in the wall of the house facing hers before he got a foot in.
After some more attempts, all meeting the same fate, none of the gangs bothered her again. The woman has uncanny precision and not even the sneakiest of them all could get past her guard.
However, when a scrawny boy of seven shows up one day with bruises to tell why he's not at home, he demands to join the gang Adam is a part of. Leader opted to humor the child and gave him a mission for the initiation.
The boy is eager to please because now he can be one of the big boys and Adam almost stops him because he knows that this is suicide and this kid isn't old enough to know better.
He doesn't though.
The boy never makes it to the front door.
Kara always knew that Erik would be able to do it.
Ever since her accident, Erik's been working away harder than he ever before. He's promised her that he'll find a way for her to walk again and he's determined not to go back on his word. Not that Kara thinks that he ever would as her brother is most trustworthy person she knows. It shows through the countless days of missed sleep and how he gives up all his free time, along with some training time which Alnar is not too pleased about.
A whole, hard year has passed in which both nearly gave up once and only once because Kara isn't going to let this stop her from living a good life and Erik isn't going to let his little sister down again. But it's all okay now, the depressing days buried in the past and completely worthwhile because Erik has done it.
He has found a way for Kara to walk again.
He must have found a way to cure her burns, or reverse the effect of the spell, Kara thinks. Or maybe he's made a time machine and he'll make sure it never happened in the first place! And he even tells her it'll be even better this time because she'll be able to jump higher and walk faster too. Not only has he brought back the ability for her to walk but he's made improvements too!
Kara has never been happier. She'll finally be able to stand on her own two feet and run around with the ground under her skin.
It takes a lot of willpower to keep the disappointment from showing when Erik presents her new boots.
It's like a chant in his head that won't stop, won't rest, and won't change.
Ever since the accident that took away her ability to walk things became different. Kara – determined, courageous, happy Kara – became moody and dark. The anger, the fright, the sadness are the only emotions evident on her person nowadays. The others fear will never go away and Erik can't fix this like he can his machines.
Despite the promises of helping her both orange haired siblings know those words are empty and nothing more than the light of a lamp in the place of a fiery Sun.
Some days when Kara refuses to even look at Erik things take and even worse turn. On those days the youngest of the soon-to-be Defenders refuses to make any effort at anything because what's the point? Likeexerciseswill magically cure me? The frustration will get to Erik as they sit tensely in Kara's room and he snaps, leading every conversation between them to the accusing fault game in which the atmosphere always tells Erik that he is to blame even though Kara never says that if the stones hadn't been there, no one would be in danger of them!
Erik can do nothing more at that point, save for walk away and hope tomorrow will be better.
It's like a chant in his head that won't stop, won't rest, and won't change.
The Dojo is nice and roomy with more than enough for him to live a comfortable life. There are training rooms that are always open for him, a bedroom that is his alone and new friends to stay with. Here he doesn't need to worry about going hungry or cold. Nor is it unsafe, equip with a security system of its own. There is even ample amount of places nearby for him to quickly visit when he wants to be alone.
On top of that, the Dojo is in a good position for the Defenders as any people who need help are easier to reach and is equipped with enough technology for the Defenders to know about distressing situations. He can help more people here than he could back in his old training facility and there is no more long training session for a monster he can finally fight.
He should be grateful.
He should be glad.
The Dojo is more than enough.
But it'll never be home.
She knows that it is selfish and wrong for her to be thinking this way, but she can't help it.
She doesn't want to leave the Dojo.
Their home has kept them hidden away from any potential danger and has let them escape the overwhelming responsibility of being a Defender for a while. This is where Mel can spend the night locked up the library, reading until she falls asleep on the table overflowing with open books she could not choose between.
The world out there is a harsh place, one that Mel is in no hurry to explore, unlike the others. The others have no idea what it is that they are stepping into – they have not read the books she has, some depicting horrible creatures that disguised themselves as the common villager. Or what about the one where the woman and man worked together to ruin the lives of childhood enemies? And what of the tale of people being sold to other people who enjoyed having someone call them 'Master'? Sure, most of her ideas of this outside world aren't so dark, and some of the more depressing topics come from fiction works. But the point is that they exist and Mel does not want to walk herself or the others into that sort of danger.
She wants to offer the option of remaining extra vigilant, of increasing security instead of leaving. Surely Alnar can protect them for some time longer, at least until their training is done and they are prepared for all the types of evil out there. But their mentor insists on sending them out anyway and Mel resents him slightly for it, but she says nothing since Alnar knows best.
Even though her mind screams that he is sending them to their deaths.
"Being a hero isn't about defeating the bad guys or collecting the Pure Stones. It's about doing the right thing."
How long did it take him to realize that?
Longer than he's willing to admit.
When he and the others first embarked on their journey, Seth was still under the delusion that they were some mighty saviors of the Realm, which made those slammed doors in the face hurt even more. What types of heroes were rejected by the people they were trying to protect?
He forgot that they'd been training away from the rest of the world for the majority of their lives. What reason did the people have to trust these supposed Defenders? What had they done to deserve the people's respect and acceptance?
Nothing. He'd done nothing.
He'd just sauntered up to their homes, requesting a place to rest, thinking that the people would be glad to be hosting the Defenders.
And still, what had he done? What justified his position on this team, as the leader nonetheless?
They'd collected a grand total of two Pure Stones so far, another two still out there somewhere, both which they need to find before it is too late for their planet. And he'd allowed their team to become sidetracked from the main mission, putting off finding the stones earlier in favour of smaller missions. What is right about putting the lives of millions on hold?
He's made too many mistakes on the way here. Expected too much from the title of Defender.
He is no hero.
Feel free to point out mistakes.