Another Day in the Life of Kato

Kato stormed into the hallway for a breath of fresh air after his temper had very nearly boiled over upon learning that his geopolitics instructor had given him a lower score on a test than Kato felt he deserved. Kato had always hated schooling and classes, and Galbadia Garden hadn't been much better. He felt like most teachers were out to get him, especially at his old public school but he still felt it here as well.

"Why did I let you convince me that coming here was a good idea?" Kato growled out loud even though nobody was nearby. He wasn't desiring to talk to a person, rather he was complaining to a certain Guardian Force that was always lurking somewhere in his mind, waiting for an opportunity to make a snarky remark...

And sure enough, "Because this is how you will become great, laddy boy," Mithrat, Kato's Guardian Force replied. "I know patience and perspective are virtues you currently lack despite my efforts, but know that your efforts are not and have not been in vain. You are learning how to become a powerful warrior and you are learning about the way this world works. Learning takes time, and if you have to stumble a few dozen times in the process, so be it."

"I still hate this, though," Kato grumbled.

"You can hate it if you want to, but don't blame your loathing on anyone but yourself. These feelings of yours are the result of your own attitude," Mithrat explained.

"Is it my fault that my instructors treat me like dirt?!" Kato shot back.

"It is your fault that you are choosing to interpret their behavior toward you to be 'treating you like dirt'. These instructors are here to turn you into a warrior, not be your babysitter. I'm not quite sure what you are expecting of them, but from what I can tell, they are actually being more patient with you than you are giving them credit for. And, if we're being honest, you haven't exactly been particularly respectful to most of your instructors. If you can't be arsed to show respect to them, is it really reasonable to expect them to be respectful to you?"

Kato sighed. "I'm not going to win this argument, am I?"

"Indeed you will not," Mithrat confirmed, "but that isn't the point. I'm teaching you life right now, kid. You seem to think that your circumstances and the people around you are responsible for your mood, but that just isn't true. The way you choose to think about and interpret your circumstances governs how you feel and behave."

"I'll keep that in mind," Kato grunted.

"Just as you have 'kept in mind' most of the other lectures I've given you that you effectively ignored?" Mithrat challenged.

"Yeah, pretty much," Kato murmured. He heard voices in the hallway ahead of him and froze. Mithrat soon caught on and became silent as well. Although seeing students argue with their Guardian Forces wasn't unheard of, Kato usually felt embarrassed when others listened in on his conversations with Mithrat.

"Did you see Roy Mustang smile at me?" an approaching effeminate voice said.

Another female voice sighed, "Did you mean Instructor Terre?"

"Yeah, that's what I meant to say," the first voice responded.

The sources of the voices came around the corner and immediately saw Kato standing there.

"Hey, it's Kloudlo Ren," the first girl remarked.

"Are you talking to me?" Kato grimaced.

"Err, sort of," she replied.

"Why did you call me... whatever it was you called me?" he inquired.

The girl smirked. "Kloudlo Ren?"

Kato sighed. "Yeah, that. What is a Cloudy Wren?"

"No Kloudlo Ren, 'cause you look like a certain angsty blonde swordsman and you have powers similar to an angsty wannabe dark lord of the Sith."

Kato's jaw dropped and he made no attempt to close it. "Wha?"

"Sara gets like this sometimes," the other girl explained. "Just don't take her seriously. Most of it doesn't make any sense anyway."

"Yeah, whatever, my name's Kato, so stop calling me a cloud-whatever."

"Oh, Cato, that's a nice name," the first girl, presumably Sara, replied. "Ceterum censeo, delenda est Carthago."

Kato just stared at the girl, not really sure how to respond to that.

"I'm terribly sorry for Sara's behavior," the second girl mumbled. "We really should be going." She then guided Sara past Kato.

"See you around, Stormy," Sara waved, provoking an eye roll from Kato once she had left his sight. Kato wasn't a fan of nicknames, although he had been forced to endure them during his life in the gang. Cloudy Wren was just bad, but he could live with Stormy if he had to.

Kato took a deep breath. He had spent enough time getting air. It was time to get back to class, no matter how bad it was. Mithrat was right. Kato didn't want to be a charity case all his life. If he wanted to be somebody, he was going to have to push through this junk. His resolve restored, Kato went back into the classroom to try to salvage his geopolitics course. To Mithrat's point earlier, the instructor ended up being surprisingly understanding and accommodating once Kato explained his situation to her, and she gave him an opportunity to retake the test he had failed. Now all he had to do was pass it this time...

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Shortly after Kato got started on the retest, the intercom in the school buzzed to life.

"This is Instructor Terre, I would like all my students to meet me in the MAIN HALL at 0300 hours to discuss the field exam."

"Instructor Terre is your primary instructor, isn't he?" The geopolitics instructor remarked from behind her computer.

"Yeah, er, yes ma'am," Kato replied as he struggled with one of the test questions.

"In that case, you can go. We can do this another day."

"Will I qualify to be able to take the field exam?" Kato asked.

"Oh, I'm sure you'll be fine," the instructor replied. "I hear you are quite capable once you get away from pens, paper, and computers."

"Umm, thank you," Kato placed his pencil down and stood up. "I guess I'll be going then."

"Do take advantage of these three hours to clean up and straighten up your uniform. You don't want to look like a slob for your field exam!"

Kato nodded, then left for his room. He didn't really care what he looked like, but if looking "professional" was needed to the field exam, then he could take a little time to wash up. At this point, he would do anything he could do to get out of this school faster...

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