For a long time I didn't understand stormriders. I didn't understand the fights, the feuds, why Air Treck was so popular in the first place - any of it. It didn't really worry me; I was there to help, not to try and make sense of it all.
As a child I never dreamed of flying, so perhaps that's why it never occurred to me that flight could be something people longed for. My dreams were of other things: gears and wheels and music so beautiful it hurt.
When I saw Ikki falling I didn't even think before diving after him. I didn't worry that I was interrupting not only a stormrider battle but a battle of ideologies between the Wind King and Thorn Queen. I didn't stop to consider the whys and wherefores. As afr as I'm concerned, whys and wherefores don't matter; so I had told myself in the past.
The sensation of falling is one I'll never forget. The feeling of space all around me, the danger; even my fear was exhilarating. I'll never forget those endless short seconds as Ikki and I plummeted towards the river. The tools in my hands felt like wings. I could fix an A-T in three seconds flat. I could do anything.
And then it was all over and I was just Kururu again and absolutely terrified. Terrified because of what I'd just done, how reckless I'd been - I don't know, but I was still scared and shaken for a long time afterwards.
And I thought, stormriders do things like this all the time.
There was something that can't be expressed in words in Ikki and Ringo as they fought, something utterly foreign to me. It was there again in the look that passed between them as they stood in the midst of the destruction we'd unleashed and told me they'd see this through to the end. I've seen it in other stormriders since then - something like a spark.
I do not have that spark. I don't want it. I am not, will never be, a stormrider.
But I think I understand a little better now.