You're probably wondering what my clan does when we're en route to a mission and have to travel in Vasily's airship for days, sometimes even a week or two.
Well, we take personality quizzes.
"Ooh, this looks like a fun one!" I said as I spread the latest issue of the Bonga Bugle on the table in the lounge. "'What Monster Type Are You?' Sounds elucidating." I looked up at my clanmates, who were relaxing on the lounge's comfy furniture. Vasily sure knows how to run an airship. Even though it's a cargo craft, not a luxury liner, it's his baby and he pulled out all the stops to make it the perfect home away from home for all of us.
"Why do you subscribe to the Bonga Bugle, anyway?" Saskia asked my husband as the viera sipped her chamomile tea. "It's a travesty of a newspaper."
Qrrog, who sat beside me on one of the couches, grinned. "That's what makes it so fun!" he said. "'Sides, the head editor's an old friend o' mine. I feel like I owe it to the guy."
"That doesn't surprise me," Saskia muttered.
"C'mon, let's start the quiz!" Coele said from beside her as she munched on a snack bar. "I can't wait to see which monster I'm gonna be! Maybe a werewolf—ooh, or a headless! Something strong and cool!"
"Only one way to find out, kupo!" Winn said from her perch on top of a chair.
So they grabbed paper and pencils and we all answered questions about ourselves, ranging from our favorite magickal element to what we did on rainy days. I felt it was a rather well put together quiz—even the Bugle's head editor had his shining moments, evidently.
When we finished, we tallied up the point values for our answers. Qrrog flipped the page and said, "Everybody ready?"
"Aye aye, cap'n!" Jihl said with a salute.
"What did you get, sweetheart?" Qrrog asked me.
"74," I said, quickly double-checking my math.
My husband scanned the page and smiled. "Yer a chocobo!" he said. "Says 'ere that yer always tryin' to make others smile and help 'em out."
"I think that's fitting," I said with a nod. "What about you?"
"I got 73," Qrrog said, "which puts me in range to be a Chocobo, too!"
"Again," Saskia said, "I am not surprised."
"We make an awesome team," I said, high-fiving him.
Everyone else's results were similarly fitting. Saskia was an ahriman because of her keen wit and knack for strategy, while Jihl was a wolf, a team player who was not to be messed with when things got tough. Winnifrith was an upsilon because of her love of machinery and innovative talents, and Katje was a tonberry because she was reserved, yet powerful. Hesketh was quite pleased at being a lamia due to her sage wisdom and cunning. I was curious about what Vasily would have gotten, but he was busy piloting the ship, and I don't think he would have gone for this kind of team-building exercise anyway.
"Awright Pinky," Qrrog said to Coele, "what'd you score?"
"11," Coele said. "That probably makes me a Wolf like Jihl, huh?"
"Hm," Qrrog said, studying the results. "Actually, says here that makes you a dreamhare. 'Cause—"
Coele stood up, her wings flaring. "A dreamhare?!" she said with a scowl. "But they're so tiny and weak! They can't even swim!"
"I know," Qrrog said, "but—"
"They just bounce around buffing and debuffing!" Coele said, stalking around the lounge, her long draconic tail lashing. "They don't even bother doing direct damage, those little wimps!"
"But they sure are cute!" I said in an attempt to be helpful. "Just like you!"
Coele spun around and glowered at me, her red eyes afire. "Is that all you think I'm good for?!" she asked. "You all just think I'm some adorable helpless little kid, don't you!"
"We never said that," Saskia said, one ear turning back although her expression remained stoic. "Please calm down."
"This quiz is stupid," Coele said, throwing down her paper and stomping out of the lounge.
For a moment, there was only hideously awkward silence. "I'm sorry," I said. "Maybe we shouldn't have taken this quiz. I didn't mean to hurt her feelings."
Qrrog pulled me into a hug. "'Twasn't yer fault, love," he said. "We just found out a sore spot o' hers, is all."
"It doesn't surprise me," Hesketh said. "I know she prides herself on her strength."
"Yeah," I said. "I'm not sure many mighty warriors would want to be compared to a dreamhare."
"At least she didn't get a tomato, kupo," Winn said. "Nobody wants to be a tomato."
Qrrog laughed. "True," he said. "I'm gonna go see how she's doin'."
"Me too," I said as we both got up from the couch. "I need to apologize to her."
We found the gria in the room where we keep all of our equipment, sharpening her sword with a look on her face like she'd smelled something gross. Qrrog knocked on the open door. "Pinky?" he asked. "We didn't mean to upset you none. We're real sorry."
When she looked up at us, for a moment she still seemed angry, and then she deflated. "Thanks," she said, turning back to her sword. "You weren't the ones who wrote that quiz. I shouldn't blame you." With a grimace, she set the weapon down. "What if it's right? What if I really am just an ineffective little dreamhare?" Her fists clenched.
"I was gonna tell you," Qrrog said, "that the quiz labeled you a dreamhare 'cause yer such a vital part o' yer clan. We know we can always count on you to hit stuff 'til it stops movin'. The quiz said you got a sparklin' personality and you can always be counted on."
"You do so much for us, Coele," I said. "It has nothing to do with what kind of strength you wield—just the fact that you are strong."
When she did not respond, Qrrog said, "Mind if I ask why yer so upset about this?"
The gria looked aside and put a hand to her face. "Growing up… I wasn't very strong," she said. "I wasn't the most physically able, and I was a pushover. The kids at school made fun of me and bullied me."
"I'm so sorry," I said.
"After I got out of school, I wanted so bad to be a great warrior and do clan work," Coele said, "but no clan would take me. Of course not. I was a liability."
"That explains a lot," Qrrog said. "But yer so powerful now! I can't imagine you ever bein' weak."
"Well," Coele said, but then someone else appeared in the doorway and her eyes widened. "Saskia!" she said. "I'm sorry—"
"Don't worry about it," Saskia said, striding toward her. "We hit a raw nerve back there. I should have done something to prevent it."
The gria wrapped her viera friend in a fierce hug, burying her face in Saskia's blouse. "You couldn't have seen it coming," Coele said. "You're awesome, but you're not a future-seer."
Saskia put an arm around Coele's shoulders. "I hope you are feeling better," the Sniper said.
Coele nodded. "I was just gonna tell Terra and Qrrog—you're the reason I'm strong," she said, turning back to us. "I was hiking through the forest one day and met Saskia. I shared some of my lunch with her and after that we were pretty much friends. I found out that she lived by herself in the woods, and invited her to share my apartment with me. In return, she taught me combat."
"I merely taught you the basics," Saskia said, ducking her head modestly. "I had little experience with the blade—I just related to you what I remembered from my previous clan. But you caught on quickly and soon became my equal. So give yourself plenty of credit—you were only weak in the past because you had not been given the tools to succeed. Once you found the opportunity, you ran with it."
"Thanks," Coele said. "I hope I've made you proud."
"You have," Saskia said, giving her a squeeze. "And because of you, we found our third clan member during a stroll through the woods." She winked at me and I gave her a thumbs-up.
Coele broke away from her to approach my husband and me. "I'm really sorry I snapped at you, Terra," she said. "I wasn't angry at you. But I let my anger out in the wrong way. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings."
"I'm okay," I said with a smile. "I was just worried about you."
"I'm okay now, too," Coele said.
"Good to hear it," Qrrog said. "Is there anything else we can do fer ye?"
Coele shook her head. "Well—there is one thing," she said. "Let's go play a board game before lunch!"
"Sounds like a plan," I said, and we all headed back into the corridor.
"Coele," Saskia said, "would you do me the honor of being on my team? With you on my side, I feel we shall not fail."
"Or at least we'll go down fighting!" Coele said, pumping her fists.
"But you'll have Team Chocobo to contend with!" I said with a grin.
"I think we can manage," Saskia said with a fierce glint in her eyes.
As we walked, Coele skipped beside us, beating her wings to stay in the air longer. "At any rate," she said, "you're right. I am awfully cute."
"And ain't nothin' wrong with bein' adorable and ferocious at the same time," Qrrog said. "Like me wife!" He mussed my hair. "She's scary when she's riled up about somethin'."
I laughed. "Good thing that doesn't happen often," I said. "But yeah, nobody should ever underestimate our Coele. Not the least because of that enormous broadsword."
"I'm trouble walking!" Coele said. "Pink-haired trouble walking!"
"Aye, that you are!" Qrrog said.
It's nice to have such great friends and family.