Steve's Story Revised
So many weird things have happened to me, I don't really know where to start.
Life was normal at first. Well, as normal as you can be when your father's job takes you and the rest of your family around the world, changing countries every three years on average, and passing through lots more when we were on vacation. People say that this is a good thing, and broadens an individual's mind. I agree. But for a young child it can also lead to introversion, which happened to me, I guess.
Though a definite plus is an ability for languages.
Needless to say, Japan was one of those countries we lived in. Japan was... good, I suppose. I just wish I'd appreciated it more - when I was young it didn't really register that I was in another country with different customs and traditions. It seemed like just a different city, really.
And so life went. Every few years there would be a move to another country, and then eventually we came back to Australia. And though it was supposed to be my home country, I barely knew it. And, most aggravating of all, thanks to my foreign experiences I had an accent. Not just any accent, an Accent. The kind that's called 'International' by charitable people trying to be nice. Me, I just curse it. It makes me sound foreign anywhere I go. In fact, I probably speak Japanese with less of an accent than I speak English. One of life's funny little ironies. But I'm wandering off the point now.
So I was back in Australia, having been around the world. I'd even found some old friends, who were just as surprised as I was to see each other - we'd all thought we'd never see each other again.
This was when things started to become weird. The first notable thing was when I met Master Ryuu-ou.
* * * *
Now I'd been to the 'main' Asian countries - Japan and Korea, and some time in China, too. Something I did to pass the time when we there was to join a martial arts club of some sort - Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Karate, Wu Shu, Tai Ch'i, Kendo - you name it, I've probably done some of it. In a couple of them I was very good - probably black belt material but because a child wasn't allowed to hold a black belt I never actually got that far.
When I got back to Australia I canvassed around somewhat, trying to find a martial arts club that would hold my interest and would recognize the achievements I'd made overseas. This should have been easy, right?
I heard lots of weird excuses. Some instructors said I was too advanced for them. Others complained about me having done other martial arts and said this would stain my style. Some didn't want to recognize what I'd done overseas and wanted me to start from the bottom. And so it went. It seemed there was a curse on me.
One evening I'd just been checking out a Wado-Ryu Karate club, and the instructor had, as usual, turned me politely but firmly away. If I remember right it had been the "oh no, you've done other martial arts, this may be a problem" excuse again.
"Shucks," I said, or words to that effect, and started the walk home, kicking despondently at the ground.
"Huh?" I spun around to look behind me. Standing just a couple of meters away was an indistinct figure, swaddled in a large tenchcoat and a fedora. It looked like the man wanted to be indistinct and he was doing a very good job. Which made him all the more suspicious. "Who are you?" I asked.
"You can call me Ryuu-ou, boy."
Ryuu-ou sounded like a very Japanese word to me, and so did his accent. At the time I thought to meet him on his own terms, but looking back on it I realise I was just trying to show off. "So what do you want, Master Ryuu-ou?" I asked him in Japanese.
He sighed. "First," he started in Japanese, "don't try to impress me. It takes a lot more than speaking to me in Japanese to impress me." He paused. "I'd like to make you an offer."
"You've been looking around, haven't you? You've been trying to find a martial arts club that'll take you, haven't you, only none has offered to take you on."
"What? How did you -"
"Don't interrupt, boy, I was on a roll there." He sighed. "I myself am a martial artist, and I might take you on. If you're good enough."
This last comment got my interest. Most of the excuses I'd heard so far had been because I was too good for them. But I was also suspicious, as you would be.
"Alright, Master Ryuu-ou. I'm interested. But I know nothing about you. I don't know about the style you teach, I don't know where you teach, who your students have been, or anything."
He grinned. Well, I couldn't tell because he was so indistinct, but I got the definite impression from his tone that he was grinning. With what I now know about him, it was probably a somewhat predatory grin too, but there's no way to be sure.
"I teach a virtually unknown style called 'Ryuuenkioujutsu', boy."
I lapsed into English as I tried to figure out what this meant. "Art of dragon... um... fire ki... er, king?" That couldn't possibly be right. It wasn't.
"Close, boy," he said, chuckling. "But no cigar. 'Art of Dragonflame ki control'," he finished in English.
"Oh," I said, feeling very foolish.
"Want an example?" he asked. Without really waiting for an answer, he looked around to see if anyone was watching, lifted up his right hand, palm-up, and a softly glowing sphere of yellow light appeared above it.
"Oh.. my..." was about all I could manage. "Just like in DBZ..." I breathed.
"Well, not quite that flashy and ridiculous, but close enough. You interested?"
Needless to say, I was.
But I've never known just why he asked me to be his student. I asked him back then. His answer was that he wanted someone worthy enough of being his student, not just anyone. It didn't sound like a very good answer but I never pressed him about it again.
Thus my training under Master Ryuu-ou began.
Ryuu-ou was a hard master. He drove me hard and long and asked me to devote my entire life to his art - much more than what you might call 'normal' martial arts training. Which was not what I'd had in mind, but it wasn't too bad at first.
His hard driving did pay off, though, for I was doing very well. You know all those things that we take almost for granted around here now? I mean things like manifesting your aura, and jumping very high with a lot of hangtime. Standard Nerima Martial Artist stuff. As normal and as standard as they seem, we all learned how to do these things somewhere. I learned them under Master Ryuu-ou, practically in my first month under his tuition.
But the main thing to Ryuuenkioujutsu was of course controlling your ki. I was surprised to learn that ki-blasts were only a small part of it. There were all sorts of things I could do, the ultimate of which was remote ki control - the most obvious of which are ki-blasts like the Chouryuuenbashira, but Ryuu-ou hinted that a lot more could be done. But when he started talking about remote ki control, he actually became sad and clammed up, refusing to talk about it anymore for days.
He did eventually teach me how to do the Chouryuuenbashira - at first he merely wanted to see if I could do it. He told me that of all the things he'd seen in the world, he'd very rarely seen remote ki control, and that it was an amazing ability if you could do it right. This cheered me up no end, even though everything else about my first Chouryuuenbashira attempt was pitiful.
When I had time, he would drag me off on all-important training trips. Which were good for my advancement but really strained the master- student relationship. These trips really brought out the worst in him. While he was merely superior and arrogant when we were training back in town, on the trips he became very hard and very difficult.
A lot of the time, it would be training trips into the bush, with very little money between us. The idea was to live rough and spend every day training and nothing else. Though his idea of training was... something else...
He'd decide to go to the nearest town - but have me carry him the whole way. Now, he may be an old guy, but after thirty kilometers he can get very heavy. According to him, this was for strength and endurance training.
Once, while we were in a town, he mysteriously disappearred and teld me to wait by a fruit stand. Just a few minutes later he showed up, being chased by a large mob of screaming, angry women, threw a large bag at me, and just as quickly disappearred again. I opened the bag out of curiosity - it was full of female underwear. Then the mob descended upon me and beat me senseless.
The second time this happened I tried to run away, but Master Ryuu-ou had prepared for this - he shoved me over then kicked me back towards the women. And the third time, and the fourth time - every single time I got left to the mob while he got away scot-free. In my opinion this was very unfair. In his opinion this was to increase my toughness.
And so it went. He took us to very expensive restaurants, then skipped out, leaving me to wash dishes. 'The repetitive arm motions improve striking and blocking', he would say as I staggered into camp and collapsed, my arms going into muscular spasms.
After a couple of years of this I must admit I was getting a bit tired of it. But I gritted my teeth and stuck with it; I told myself I had to endure, that this was a test of my dedication. And besides, as I said it was only on the trips that his treatment became particularly evil. Normally he was okay.
And then on a particularly tough trip I staggered back to camp after being badly beaten by a bevy of beauties, opened my bag to get something to read and relax by, and discovered to my horror that all the Terry Pratchett books I'd brought were gone. Along with almost all of my other personal effects. That was when something inside me snapped, and a rebellious voice started making itself heard.
It's just some books, came the wheedling reply.
AND my walkman, and half my tape collection, said the rebellious voice.
Whatever. It's just stuff. What about dedication?
Dedication be damned, he's just done the unthinkable. He KNOWS how much I set by them.
I looked back at him with a glare. He stared back.
"We need the money, boy."
"As if. You haven't needed money since this trip began."
"Oh?" He swigged some wine from the bottle in his hand.
The bottle I hadn't seen anywhere in camp that morning. The red I was seeing became redder.
"You... hocked most of my Terry Pratchett collection and my walkman and half my tape collection... just so you could buy some cheap wine?" A small part of me noticed I was so angry I was manifesting a reddish black aura, but the rest of me ignored it.
"And beer, and I even found some sake in this neck of the woods." He wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. "You really should learn how to pack better. You didn't need half of that stuff with you on this trip." He waved a can of beer at me. "Want one?"
"You old freak..." I growled.
"What was that, boyo?" he snapped.
"I called you an old freak," I said, enjoying myself.
He fixed chillingly cold eyes on me. Suddenly I felt very scared. "You shall address me as 'Master' and no less, *boy*. Is that clear?"
"Yeah yeah," I mumbled. "Master," I added as an afterthought.
There was a dangerous, chilled pause between us. You know that cliche about the tension being so thick it could be cut with a knife? This was one of those situations it seemed to have been invented for.
Dedication won out and I stuck with him. For about two days, and then one night things between us went beyond my resolve.
The next day we were to start heading back home - a trip that could take several days. As I set up my bedroll, I tried to make some light conversation. "Better turn in for the night. Got an early start tomorrow morning, so we can get home in time."
"Who said anything about going back?"
"WHAT?!?" Just one statement from him and I was seeing red again. "It's the only I'll get back to school in time! And the agreement was that you could take me on these trips as long as they did not interfere with my education! You break that agreement, and-"
"You call that an education? It's all fancy algebra and the p's and q's of logic and who wrote what stupid poem two hundred years ago and stuff about gravity you never needed to know. Hardly stuff you need to know, boy."
"I see, master. Not only do you put me through hell and call it 'training' or sell MY things to buy alcohol fro yourself, you change the terms and definitions of the agreement after it's been made. Well good night. I don't care what you're doing tomorrow, I'm going home."
"Running home to your mother, boy? I thought you had more staying power."
"I HAVE staying power. I have no further patience for you. Good night."
He might supposedly be a venerable old man and a master of his craft, but just like the rest of us he can get drunk. Quite amazingly drunk, actually. That night, I waited until I heard his drunken snores, then picked up my bag and bedroll and left, under cover of darkness. That was the last I saw of him for several years.
* * * * *
On the several day long trip home, though, I ran into the other most annoying and hated person in my life - Locae, the Rogue Demon. Thankfully, unlike Ryuu-ou, he's unlikely to be coming back.
Well, I didn't run into him, he ran into me.
One night I was jarred from my sleep by a crashing sound through the bush. I immediately thought it was Ryuu-ou, but quickly banished that thought. The old freak wouldn't make so much noise.
So it was something else. But what?
I was going to get a chance to find out, real soon, for it now sounded like it was coming my way, as if it had changed course.
About ten metres away from me there burst into view this indistinct figure.
Actually, it's kind of funny the way the two most hated people in my life appeared first as indistinct figures. Maybe it's so I can't assess them quick enough before they start wrecking my life quite thoroughly.
All I could make out was that this figure was probably male, had red skin, and yellow hair in a long ponytail. And then its body fell to the ground, as a yellow transparent figure continued on its trajectory and shot straight into my chest.
I mean that literally. It actually entered my body, and I could feel an... essence... spreading throughout my body. And then I could sense things through two different sets of senses and I could hear another mind and its thoughts inside my head. This additional essence started to fade rapidly, thank goodness, for I don't know how long I could have handled that.
And then, before I could even think properly, a large mob of extremely ferocious looking redskinned things burst into the clearing. Some were inhumanly large, some had blazing inhuman eyes, some had fangs upon fangs, and all looked extremely ferocious.
I quickly shoved my fear aside. I could probably disorganise them with some well placed blasts, and then, if I was lucky, get away. If I was lucky. A voice I'd never heard before inside my head asked me if I was crazy and if I knew what I was up against.
Before I could start readying myself for this plan, though, one of the newcomers opened its mouth.
"'Scuse me, bud," it asked in a gravelly voice, "but 'ave ya seen a redskinned bloke with a poncy yellow ponytail run through here?"
I blinked, and could feel sweat on the back of my head.
"Ah... he - " I started.
What happened next was strange. It was like I was having an out-of-body experience, but I was still in my own body. I could feel my own body, but it wasn't doing what I'd told it to do, but something else entirely. Basically, like I wasn't in control anymore.
" - went that way," I heard myself saying, and found myself jerking my thumb over my shoulder. Internally, I was screaming defiance, but outwards I was all calm and polite and helpful.
"Thanks bud," said the thing, and it and all the rest of them started running off in the direction my thumb had pointed.
About ten minutes passed before I could control myself again. Which is a bloody long time to be out of control of your own body, let me tell you. The first thing I did when I found I had my body back again was to rant and rave and scream somewhat.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?"
"Interesting choice of words," said an internal voice. The same voice, I noted, that had asked me if I was crazy before.
"Don't shout out so loud, they might hear you and come back. Keep it to a whisper, or even better keep it internal."
"All right, you," I said in my head. "What's going on?"
"Hi. I'm Locae, a Rogue Demon. Ignore me, please?"
As if I was going to ignore him.
Stupid humans, they never ignore me when I ask them to.
Oops, forgot a host can hear my thoughts.
"Look", the voice said reasonably, "if you stand around shouting 'what' and 'hosts' all the time you're going to attract demonic attention. Something we don't want."
I really hate it when people talk reasonably to me.
"Oh?" I really hate it when humans are irritable and annoying like this.
"Look, this isn't going to work, whoever you are. So why don't you just go away?"
"You look. I'm a Rogue Demon, on the run, and those normally aligned demons are after me. I have to hide from them. They're not going to give up very easily, and will keep looking for centuries if they have to. If I hide in you, hiding my essence behind yours, then it'll be impossible for them to find. You'll find it impossible to sense any of me, either."
"Sounds good to me."
"If you ever want to talk to me, though, just say my name, and I'll come forth, okay?"
"Alright," I said grudgingly. I felt the presence inside me slowly fade out, as if it had never been.
Well. I'd ditched my master and been possessed, all in the space of a week. These were definitely interesting times. I hoped they got boring again pretty quick.
* * * * *
Despite a demon taking up residence inside my head, life remained pretty much the same. Locae was true to his promise - even though I knew he was there, I couldn't actually sense his presence.
Life went on, comparatively boring as I'd hoped they'd be.
I finished Year 12 among the top 7 percent. And at the urging of my Japanese teacher and the language department, I sat the Japanese proficiency test and managed to get a 'nikkyuu' level - that is, the second highest you can get. It might not sound as impressive as, say, an 'ikkyuu' level (the highest level) but as far as my Japanese friends, Japanese teacher, and the language department were concerned I spoke the language like a native. Which was all that was really important at the time, anyway.
Then I decided to take some time off from education before entering university - to get out there and do things and broaden my experience and horizons. So I went overseas, but this time not because of my father's job, but under my own power.
And I ended up going to stay in Japan for a while. And things started becoming weird again.
* * * * *
I discovered that the Nerima ward of Tokyo was the cheapest of the wards to live in amongst all the other areas of Tokyo. So I found an apartment there in a slightly run-down aprtment building. I did ask around, to find out why Nerima was cheaper to stay in than the rest of Tokyo, but the answers I got were so bizarre I didn't even give them a second thought.
But I soon realised that there was more to those stories after only a month, with all the weird things that were going on, and seeing a fight between two martial artists that clearly surpassed my own powers and abilities. I thought of leaving Nerima and finding a more normal place to stay, but then I thought why should I? Rent had been getting lower, and with all the weird things going on hardly anyone commented on me being a foreigner anymore.
And things went from there.
One fateful day, out shopping, I'd gone a bit further afield than normal, and found myself passing a large traditional house - the Tendo household. Sounds of extreme violence were coming from the other side of its wall, and there was the sound of an outside scuffle coming towards me. I retreated to a safe distance.
Soon I could hear voices, and was extremely surprised by them. The voices were obviously foreign, in some cases very heavily accented, and yet it was perfectly clear what they were saying. It was really... odd... like I was hearing their voices in both English and Japanese at the same time.
"Scougall-san!" I jumped in surprise, the voice had come right by my ear. "What are you doing here?" I turned, it was Mitsuya-san, one of my friends, and the man from room three - but he was almost unrecognizable. He was wearing a fedora pulled almost over his eyes and a long trenchcoat almost to the ground, and wore what looked like very expensive sunglasses.
"Well... ah... I was just shopping. I was thinking about going to see Dr. Tofu and was walking this way when I came across this dojo."
"Hmph. A likely story. You know I've told you several times not to come by this way. It's too strange."
"What I find strange is such obiovusly gaijin voices speaking such good Japanese, almost perfect in fact, yet with such heavy accents."
Mitsuya-san nodded. "That is one of our concerns. By the way, do you know what accent that is?" He indicated one of the people who was wielding a wet smelly fish.
"If I didn't know better that's the New Zealand accent."
"Ah. I see. I shall see you later, then, Scougall-san."
"See you later."
With a wave, Mitsuya-san was gone.
I waved back, then turned to watch the two. From listening to them, I figured out that one of them was called Jason. This must have been the one with shoulder length hair. The other, the one holding the fish and with the New Zealander accent... I tried to translate what they were calling him. Possibby 'Insane Punk.'
The 'Insane Punk' said something about a guy called 'Ranma.'
A young teen with his hair pulled back in a pigtail suddenly jumped over the wall, furious. "What did you call me?" shouted the newcomer.
"Ah... well... er..." started the New Zealander. He gestured with his fish. He didn't get much further for the newcomer gave him an almighty kick. The New Zealander shot up into what looked like low Earth orbit and disappeared over the horizon. The newcomer - Ranma - hmphed and went back inside.
Another one that looked exactly like Jason appeared through the doorway and said something. He sounded the same, he looked the same, he had the same hair, the same face, everything. A slight difference to the pronunciation of his name suggested this one was called 'Jacen.'
Mind whirling, and completely forgetting about my bag of shopping, I watched closer. Something strange was going on, for sure.
A female voice shouted something about someone called Ryouga, there was an almighty '@bap' sound and a bald guy in a cape came flying from the grounds. And then, in defiance of all physical laws, the bald one stopped in mid air. He said something about 'nanobots.'
My mind gibbered, I took a step back and fell over my bag of shopping. I scrambled up, grabbed my bag, and continued backing away. This was all too weird. I had to get away. I tripped over and fell backwards again.
"Oh my," came a female voice. "Are you alright?"
Hardly the best way to meet someone like Kasumi, is it?
If I was feeling better I might have properly noticed her and spoken a bit more nicely. As it was... "I've just fallen over and hit my head on a bag of shopping. Of course I'm not alright."
I shook his head, trying to clear the ringing in his ears, and perhaps clear it, for I was feeling very confused and put upon. "Look, miss, do you know anything about that place over there, and why there are so many gaijin that speak Japanese so... strangely?"
"I live there," she said. "The gaijin there are friends of our family, I suppose."
"But they're ruining the place!"
"I don't mind cleaning up."
I gaped at her. They were doing more than getting the floors dirty, I could hear that. It sounded more like high scale property destruction.
"And when things get too messy our repairman Rol helps out, and if we talk to Jason sternly enough he can also fix things with his Admin power."
There were more sounds of random violence. There was a shout. "RANMA NO BAKA!" The one called Ranma came sailing up out of the house and disappeared into another part of Tokyo, screaming most of the way.
"Oh dear. He'll probably want some hot water when he gets back, too. I'd better put the kettle on. Anyway, nice meeting you..." she looked at me questioningly.
"Scougall. I'm Steven Scougall. Nice to meet you. I'd better go see Dr. Tofu, my head's quite sore."
"He's a good doctor. And so funny. Nice meeting you, Scougall-san." And with a wave she left.
* * * * *
The same woman came in to see Dr. Tofu while I was there. This was when I first found out Kasumi's name. This was also, unfortunately, the time I saw the effect Kasumi had on Dr. Toufuu. He went mad the instant he saw her, and instead of dealing with my injuries added new ones.
Back at the apartment block, Mitsuya-san was sorry he hadn't warned me about Dr. Tofu earlier.
"He's a really good doctor, most of the time. But when Kasumi Tendo visits him, he just goes crazy, and makes you worse than how you came in. I went in with a sore foot once and came out doubled over and a bent neck. I still had the sore foot."
"What is it with Kasumi and the doctor?"
"They like each other, and somehow this makes him crazy when she's around. I guess he's very very nervous when she's there."
* * * * *
The next day, I went back. Something strange was going on, and I was going to find out what.
I ran into Kasumi again. This time I asked her about Jacen and how he was related to Jason. He thought they were twins, it was the only sensible explanation.
Of course it wasn't that simple.
"Oh no," she said. "Apparently Jacen is a clone of Jason."
"It was to combat Alexis and his clone." She frowned. "Well, it turns out now it wasn't a clone but it seemed like it at the time."
"I don't believe this. I mean, clones? It just sounds so..."
"There are some other clones around the place too."
This was altogether too much. "There are way too many clones around here," I grumbled.
Someone that looked exactly like me, right down to the bad hair, wandered up to him. "I agree," said the apparition.
"So do I," came another voice from his back.
I whirled. There was another person that looked exactly like me.
"In fact..." started another voice that sounded exactly like mine, this time behind me.
"Perhaps there are too many?" suggested another.
I spun around again, to see nine more people that looked exactly like me. What was this? Steven Scougall Impressions Day? Just what the hell was going on?
The next thing I noticed was being pummelled, malletted, @bapped, and just generally beat into the ground.
Eventually the beating stopped and the crowd started fighting amongst themselves again, drifting back towards the Tendo dojo. I lay there in a world of hurt, groaning in pain and misfortune, but at least I seemed to be forgotten by my tormentors.
I staggered to my feet, brushing myself off, and looked around. Nine of the people that looked like me had disappeared - the only two left were the ones who had been beaten up along with me. My gaze rested on them. "Okay," I started, "why don't you two introduce yourselves?"
The two stared at each other.
"Well..." started one. I noticed this one's hair was ever so slightly longer than mine. So... not a perfect copy.
"It should be perfectly obvious," said the other. This one looked nastily agressive. "We're clones of you."
"I thought it wouldn't be something as simple as long lost triplet brothers," I responded sarcastically.
"Anyway," said the longer haired one. "I showed up third, so you can call me Steve Three or San-ban. He showed up second so he's either Steve Two or Ni-ban. You of course are just plain Steve, Steve One, Ichi-ban, or sometimes we will refer to you as our original.
"Now it is time to introduce ourselves to the rest of them." He indicated the Tendo dojo.
"They beat us into the ground! They're not going to be friendly! They're downright hostile!"
"Nah, that's just their habitual greeting for newcomers."
"They think I'm joining them?"
"But of course! Why else do you think you now have clones?"
Ni-ban hmphed and ran into the melee. His shouts could be heard above the general noise. He hadn't lasted long before a loud SPLAT could be heard, such as of a wet smelly fish hitting a human, and Ni-ban arced through the air, entering low Earth orbit like the Insane Punk had, and disappeared over the horizon.
"No doubt straight to Jusenkyo," commented San-ban.
I tried to work this out. "'Land of cursed springs'?"
"We'll find out. Come on, let's stroll in, and try not to be too annoying." I rolled my eyes. This guy could have easily annoyed even the most unflappable person. San-ban strolled over to the Tendo household and let himself in.
I stood there a moment. This was obviously one of those life choices, like I'd had with Ryuu-ou and Locae already. No doubt life would be really different if I went in there - but my life had already been pretty different and bizarre.
I went in.
* * * * *
So why'd I write this? Well, all the guys at Zuni's, and the guys at Ranma's Advanced class, and, well, everybody I know here in Nerima, really, have been asking about my past. They've wanted to know about the clones, that weird incident where I was a demon for a day, or where my ki-blasts originate from, or what relation I have to Master Ryuu-ou and other such things.
But in answering all the questions about where these things came from, another question comes up - why? Why did it all happen?
And I don't know. I don't know where the clones came from or why they showed up. I don't know why Locae chose me to hide in. I don't know why Master Ryuu-ou chose to train me.
Once I called Locae forth, to ask him why he chose me. I had a faint sense of his incredulity, and then he answered. "Well," he started, "you are aware that you have a great deal of power in you, right? You have to have it, in order to do those energy blasts of yours, right? What I do when I hide in somebody, is to hide behind that person's power. The greater it is, the more shielding I have. You see?"
And Master Ryuu-ou - I did ask him, but he never told me.
And the clones didn't know either. I have their memories now, and as far as they knew, they appeared out of thin air, with some basic knowledge and an imperative to make contact with me, and that was it. Though some of that basic knowledge has been... useful, I must say.
All very sketchy answers - hardly answers, really, all they bring up are more questions. But they're all I have.