All I had was a knife.

It had armour plating, a disintegration beam, infrared scanning, antigravity flight, and the meanest set of pincers you’d ever seen, mounted on two articulated tentacles.

To be fair, I also had a decent set of sneakers on, and a five dollar bill in my pocket. It still didn’t amount to much. Certainly nothing that measured up against a disintegration beam.

“Alright,” I shrugged, turning to look at Sensei. “I give. What’s the point here.”

Sensei’s staff struck hard on the backs of my knees. I tried to move with it, “like the willow”, but he finished with a hooking motion that dropped me anyway.

I looked up at him sideways, keeping my head down. He was neither smug nor angry. He was just Sensei. Always Sensei.

“There is no ‘give up’. In any situation, you must act, or you forfeit your right to act. In this situation, if you don’t act, you will die.”

 

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