Not All Who Wander

S01E05: Into the Light

Will Kwon Find Meaning To His Path?

Responding to an emergency call from Xavier in the engine room, Kwon Lo Shi ran back to find the young lord fighting an electrical fire. He immediately called for Evelyn and went about fighting the fire.

As Kwon was putting out the small blaze, a burst of electricity arced out and hit him square in his chest.

The next thing that he knew, he was in the middle of a class at his first dojo, facing off against his master Lee Chen. The dojo was clean and well-lit and padded mats lined the floor and mirrors were on many of the walls.

Sparring against Lee Chen as they talked, both took their turns coming out on top in exchanges of punches, kicks, and throws. They talked about how he’d been picked on and eventually decided to learn to defend himself, but wasn’t sure about where he would go from there. Kwon definitely liked the idea of protecting others – he knew that much.

After a final “Find your path,” from his old teacher, the scene swirled until Lo Shi found himself walking into his second dojo. Quite a chance from his former training hall, this one was hard, with bare concrete floors and walls stained here and there with blood. The lights were dim, and there were certainly no mirrors. Looking around at those training and constantly slamming others and getting slammed into the walls, it was obvious why. This wasn’t a training hall for simple martial artists – these were combat fighters. The was the next level.

Taking a few steps in, training bag in hand, he was waved into the main office by an overweight old man with dark hair and a beard. He wore loose pants and a white, sleeveless shirt stained by food. “What do you want?” the man asked. It was Lao Feng (Old Wind), his second fighting arts instructor. The old man swiveled in his seat, sitting in an overly relaxed fashion with a cup of tea in front of him on his desk.

Explaining that he was there to train, Kwon explained that he’d left his old dojo and that Feng’s had come highly recommended. He’d decided that he wanted to learn to better not only protect himself, but others. His path was that of the bodyguard. The old teacher stated quite firmly that Kwon wouldn’t survive a single day of training.

Feng casually picked up the cup of tea and threw it at Kwon’s face. The young man was able to raise his bag up in time to block the scalding hot water, then throw the bag itself at the old man. After the bag hit Feng and rolled off of him to the floor, he shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe you have some potential,” the old man said. “Today you’ll clean the floors – the blood gets a little thick and it’ll help you work those weak arms.”

The scene swirled again and Kwon found himself years on in his training at Feng’s hall. He’d become hardened and saw everything as a potential weapon and everyone as a potential opponent whenever he would walk in.

Lao Feng entered and called for everyone to stop and simultaneously dropped half a dozen long, metal piped on the ground. With just a few words of instruction, the students around Kwon picked one up and formed a circle around him. “Are you ready to be tested?” the old teacher asked. “Actually, it really doesn’t matter.”

Like a swarm, the six other students descended on Kwon who dodged, blocked, and struck, fighting for his life. The old master stayed on the periphery of the fight. After sending one other student to the ground unconscious, Kwon was mobbed by the others and forced to the floor.

Feng got down on his hands and knees to look his student in the eyes. “Here is the lesson of being a bodyguard. Are you prepared to die to protect another? Are you willing to go to hell so that another can avoid it? If you can answer those questions with a yes, there is nothing more that I can teach you.” The master stood and turned, taking a step away. “Except this,” he said, landing the kick on the young man’s face that sent him into unconscious oblivion.

When Kwon opened his eyes again, he was walking into the Shield Protection Agency to interview for his first professional job as a bodyguard. The office was the picture of sterility and style and he was quickly let into a conference room where a corporate interviewer sat down across from him and started out.

It would seem that Lao Feng had sent a letter of recommendation to the company on Kwon’s behalf, saying that they would be literally crazy fools for not accepting his student amongst their ranks. As it turns out, Feng’s recommendation carried quite some weight, not only in the bodyguard community, but with mercenary groups as well. The interview went well. Kwon stressed that he felt a drive to protect others and that this was his calling. After just a few minutes of consideration, Kwon was brought on board and assigned to a bodyguard team.

Kwon’s mentors at the Shield Agency were Anton Vargas and Brie Stephanopolis. They trained him for another two years before they took the young man into an office and had them take a seat behind the desk. They explained that it was his new office and that they had both signed off on Kwon being fully certified and ready to go solo. With a few words and a couple of jokes, the two left the man to enjoy the news.

Moments later, a very attractive woman walked in with a smile. She explained that she had read his files and found him both attractive and intriguing enough to come to meet him. She then asked if he had ever spent time with a Companion before that.

The scene swirled and Kwon found himself in a room of blackness.

Lee Chen appeared and stepped forward into a beam of light. “You were a good student. You started your path with me, but where will you take it?” The light illuminating the teacher faded.

Another light brightened to show Lao Feng. “I asked you if you were ready to die for another. Are you also prepared to live for others? Death is our final destination, but it is the path that is important.” His second teacher’s light faded also.

Stephanopolis and Vargas then appeared. “You have what some would call a family,” Vargas said. “If you let them become so,” Stephanopolis finished. “Are you prepared to call them family, to live for them, and die to protect them?” the two said in unison before disappearing.

Suddenly, the room of darkness lit up all around Kwon until the light was blinding.

Kwon jerked, his chest rising off of the floor, his eyes opening to their fullest width, taking in a sharp and deep breath.

Evelyn sat over him with a set of medical paddles. “Kwon, are you alright? I thought that I’d lost you. You were gone for twenty seconds.”

Shaking his head, Kwon was able to sit up and look around. He was still in the engine room and the arcing electricity was gone.

The young bodyguard had a lot to think about.

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