Etoru stood outside the BBA outpost. This was the same base he came to when looking for Zucceta. If that was telling him anything, there was a chance Vi-Poi could be here too! Sure, he could of just went to North Capitol and searched for him there, but Etoru was already on this side of the globe anyways. Might as well check it out before flying across the map!
So what was he doing here exactly? Despite his envy towards the premier, he understood how powerful he's gotten. He surpassed Ouroboro's himself! Which means Virtual Poi has to have some tricks up his sleeve. Maybe some secret training regiment that he tells no one about. And if that were the case...Etoru wanted in on it. There was just one issue though. He was absolutely certain that the guards wouldn't let him in. The boy was pretty infamous for his recent stunts. The moon, Vegeta's palace, though who knows how far that news spread, and finally the attempt to take over Satan City. So, the most logical conclusion would be to break in, right? Etoru could have done so, sure, but that'd just cause more trouble...and he was pretty sure Vi-Poi wouldn't want anymore of his antics. And if Vi-Poi couldn't tolerate Etoru, that'd equal no training.
Etoru sighed loudly. He clenched his fists tightly, took a sharp inhale, and trudged towards the entrance. His feet stomped into the soil beneath him as he approached the two guards guarding the gate. He stared up at them with a desperate expression glued to his face. "I want to speak to Vi-Poi!" ---
“You rannnnnng?” Vi-Poi asked Etoru . A long paint roller was holstered over one shoulder, denim coveralls splotched with eggshell office white. It saved a bit of Zeni on upkeep if Vi-Poi did some jobs. Plus, his multiform and super-speed came in handy. He repainted all the regional office exteriors on the planet in five minutes and change.
Paint was still drizzling off the roller.
Vi-Poi twisted his hat around and put one hand in a coverall pocket, fighting the urge to tap his foot impatiently. He knew Etoru was just a kid, but Poi hadn’t been that annoying when he was nine, had he? A dim vision of a chuckling Poi, eight or nine, putting his dad’s shaving cream in the mayo jar surfaced. Well, at least he hadn’t tried to vandalize the Moon.
“Guess you’re here for a rematch?” He asked, raising his eyebrows at the prospect.
Etoru grinded his teeth impatiently as he stared up at the guards. He nearly jumped in surprise when he heard Vi-Poi's voice from behind the gate. Etoru was about to explain himself right away, only to stop in his tracks, completely puzzled with what Virtual Poi was wearing. The man looked like he was fixing up a house! Wasn't he the premier? Couldn't he get his lackies to do it for him? Well, Etoru didn't have time to dwell on these thoughts.
The premier called him out, asking the boy if he was here for a rematch. Etoru clenched his fists a bit, growling lowly. "This guy...always so confident, thinking he could take on anything." Etoru loosened his fists, exhaling softly. He had to keep his cool. "Relax Etoru...don't blow your chance....." After taking a moment to collect himself, he raised his head slightly, though, it still wasn't facing him. Etoru was looking away stubbornly, his rosey red cheeks puffed up a bit in a pout. "E-Erm...no..." He grumbled. Crossing his arms, he continued to speak. "I'm....I'm here to...say sorry for being so...troubley, or whatever." Etoru cleared his throat a bit. "A-And, so you could...erm, well, train me..." The boy gripped his arms a bit as he had them crossed. That was harder to spit out than expected. I mean, it was a jab at his pride. First, apologizing to the man he envied the most, and then asking him for training. Etoru wasn't sure what he'd do if he was rejected.
Vi-Poi wouldn’t have openly admitted, but he was more than a little surprised. It wasn’t easy to ask for help. Maybe Etoru was finally growing up.
Vi-Poi floated down in a mantis style posture so that he was eye level with the boy, holstering the paint roller on his shoulder. “Train you, huh?” He hadn’t really trained anyone, besides his typical sparring sessions with KAOS. But why shouldn’t he train someone? He had more fighting experience than most anybody, the kind that mattered, anyway. The high stakes. The big blockbusters. Those were his stomping grounds. Plus, Etoru was getting so strong so quickly, it was entirely possible that he'd become the strongest fighter in the Universe once he got a little older. It'd be a very good thing if Vi-Poi could instill in him a sense of discipline and responsibility for all that power.
Looking at Etoru’s stern expression, Vi-Poi decided to agree. On certain conditions. “Okay. I’m going to need a permission slip from your parents or legal guardian first, seeing as how you’re nine or whatever. Then I’m gonna need you to sign up to the BBA, in the adjunct Teal Tykes Army for minors ages four to nine. They’re kinda like the Bao Scouts,” He added mildly. “Soapbox derbies, campouts, some martial arts. But once you hit your tenth birthday, you can enroll in the Junior Corps.” He scratched his hair, thinking. “Aren't you in school, or something? I don’t really know a lot about you.”
Etoru sighed loudly as he heard Vi-Poi question his request. This was a dumb idea. It was pathetic, and a jab at his pride. Why would he even say yes? Etoru's caused nothing but trouble, and it's just going to end up as an embarrassing rejection. Etoru stared up at him as he floated down in an odd stance, the bucket of paint slung over the premiers shoulder. He stared at his sapphire colored eyes, waiting for the premier to turn him away with a harsh no. But it never came.
Etoru was surprised at his answer. Though, the conditions needed to be met were kind of annoying. He kept his yap shut and let him finish first. When he finished, Etoru finally spoke, whining slightly at his first requirement. "Why do I need to get a slip...That'll take foreeever.....and besides that, joining you BBA Nerds is cool and all...but Teal Tykes...?" Etoru crossed his arms with a sharp glare. He growled lowly as he spoke. "I'm not a kid you know! I can be on the real squadrons, I'm responsible...! I fought Xylo--I mean, what guy on your team can do that??" Finally, he closed his eyes stubbornly and exhaled. "...Andddd no....I don't go to school. What's the point? Fighting is everything around here, ya know~!"
Vi-Poi spread his hands. “If you want to train, you can only do it as a Teal Tyke. You’ll be real BBA. I’ll even give you a secret KAOS designation. But you’re still a kid, no matter what you say,” Vi-Poi silently selected a hover-freighter from BBA’s standby inventory, and ordered it loaded with remedial teaching materials, including selected texts and interactive holograms such as Ketchup Town’s Proven Program for Catch-Up Kids, My Dino-Friend Loves Math And I Do Too!, and Bao’s Booklearnin Blitz: Whoa, Comin Atchya!. “I’m sending a bunch of learning supplies to the Lookout. Maeve should have you studying them every night. Once you enroll in a proper elementary school of your choice, I’ll induct you into KAOS and we’ll get started on your training.”
He lifted up a finger, “You might be able to take Xylo, but ability without awareness is useless. Even dangerous.” He tapped that finger against his temple. "It's whats up here in your noodle that matters. If you go around the Universe without learning anything from it, you'll be no better than a big brainless meteor tearing through space." He floated in a slow orbit around Etoru now, trying to make the boy break his tense and defensive posture. "You've got a power that no one else your age has. Maybe ever. That's a pretty awesome thing to think about. Do you want to be the strongest person ever, but not know how to best use it? Or would you rather learn to understand the world, and yourself, more?"
Etoru sighed when he realized he was stuck in the Teal Tykes. But still, part of him felt a surge of pride with Vi-Poi's reassurance. In fact, he seemed kind of giddy. His own code name? That sounded so cool! It was kind of like those cool spy movies he sees on TV or in Theaters. During this time though, he just kept piling potential questions in his head. Everything from his own curiosity to concerns. But, this was cut short, along with his excitement for being in a real team. School. Apparently, this was a requirement, and a requirement Etoru really didn't like at that.
The now irritated boy slouched, his arms drooping in front of him lazily. His eye lids were half open and his mouth agape while he stared at Vi-Poi with a look that said, 'really?'. "....Studying...Every night?? A-And, going to SCHOOL?! You're kidding, right??" Annoyed, Etoru stood straight, turned his head away from Vi-Poi, and crossed his arms. He was not having this! He wanted to get stronger, not go to some stupid school! Despite his stubborn demeanor and his head facing away from the android, his ears were still on full alert, paying attention to every word Vi-Poi had to say.
He frowned a bit. I mean, he did have a point...but Etoru was too stubborn and immature to really hear him out and be rational. His next quote caused the young hybrid to scoff slightly. Big brainless meteor tearing through space....really? "...Well I live on Earth...." He grumbled quietly. Just who did he think he was lecturing him like this? He came here for training! Training! Not to be sent to school to hit the books.
Etoru's eyes opened slightly as he saw Vi-Poi circle him, still continuing his little speech. What he said caused Etoru to feel a little flattered. After all, he didn't like nothing more than to be praised! Etoru sighed, looking at the floor and letting his arms drop back down to his sides. "...I guess...erm, I want to learn more about the world and how to use my power the right way..." But, before he could interrupt, Etoru shot back up quickly. "B-But is this whole school thing, ya know, needed?? Like, will you not train me if I don't sign up??" The boy's eyebrows curled upwards, his eyes forming into a pleading look. "Can't you like, give me some tips now? A few pointers, ya know? It'll be no sweat! Trust me!"
“Sure, I’ll give you some helpful tips now,” Vi-Poi grinned cheekily, then inhaled a huge breath while lifting a professorial finger, eyes closing. “Always eat your vegetables, floss after every meal, brush your teeth twice a day (but not too hard, or you’ll wear your enamel down), remember your pleases and thank yous and your p's and q's, plus dot your i's and cross your t's while we're at it, make sure to wash behind your ears, don’t put your elbows on the table when you eat, never walk with your shoes untied and clean up your toys when you're done playing with them, always be home by ten on a school night, don’t spit, don’t ask for things while shopping at the supermarket, when you go to school don’t pick on anyone because they’re different, be kind and gentle to others, be respectful to adults, don’t complain, be polite. There’s some other stuff, but start with that.”
He opened his eyes.
“If you want to spar, I guess we can. But it won’t teach you anything useful, even if I try. You can only learn when you’re ready to accept change. And right now you’re just thinking I can quickly shed some sort of secret knack or martial arts mumbo jumbo onto you, and you can go on like you always have. That’s not how my power works. It takes effort. Lots of it.”
Etoru's eyes lit up when the premier agreed to his request. "...Really? Sweet!!!" He said, barely holding back a giddy squeal. School was gonna be a drag, sure, but it was a small price to pay to get stronger. And he was going to get a sample of what his future training is going to look like! Unfortunately...it wasn't what he was expecting. His excited look slowly began to fade. His arms drooped ahead of him clearly irritated with his new teacher's sense of humor.
His eye twitched when Vi-Poi finished. Etoru crossed his arms, glaring at him. "...I'm this close from kicking you into a bucket of scrap metal...." Etoru growled. He sighed, closing his eyes, at least putting some effort into accepting this. "Alright...so, if I... 'accept change'...then I can really learn some new fighting moves? And you don't have to go back into all that school and knowledge mumbo jumbo, that's already knocked into the brains Vi-Poi, sir." The small boy let out a slight exhale. He put his arms behind his head pursed his lip a bit in a bored manner. "And if it takes so much effort to use your power, it seems kind of dumb...but seeing as how you're so tough, I guess its legit." Etoru hopped up and let his tail coil, using his fuzzy appendage as a seat. "Anyways, what now? Doesn't seem like you wanna spar, and if that's the case it's okay! I'm super duper responsible now I tell ya~ So like, I wont pry into it or beg you know?"