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Danika's POV

"Welcome to your Fear Landscape!" exclaims Yael Cohen, a member of Team Magma I don't know very well. She had short blond hair, and wore a bright pink shirt and leggings. She seemed nice enough. 

"I am Yael Cohen, your Fear Landscape Technician! It is my job to analyze your worst fears in this high-tech simulation room! All it does is scan you and put you into a battle with your worst fear! If you survive, you're in!"

I clutched Leader Maxie's hand tightly. I knew for a fact I wouldn't last long. He gave me a knowing look, as if he knew I was uncomfortable. I was relieved that I wasn't the first, though. That honor went to Sarah Rivest, a Sinnoh born 17 year old. When she emerged in glitter and clouds of glory, I knew she beat hers. According to Aidan, Sarah's worst fear is water-type Pokemon in general. Cassandra went third, and came out shaking in fear, but she won her battle with Dragon type Pokemon. After several agonizing minutes, my name was called. I turned to face Leader Maxie, looking at him anxiously, when he gave me a reassuring look and held my hand.

"Danika, don't be scared. I have faith in you."

"Please, can you come with me? I-I can't do this without you!"

Leader Maxie seemed distressed. He knew he couldn't assist me in any way, but instead, tried to reassure me. I clutched the necklace he gave me in my hand, knowing that if I wore it, nothing would happen to me.

"Come on, Danika!"

"Danika, I know you can overcome your fear. Just remember, I will always be with you, even if I'm not physically with you."

"You know? I will win...for you!"

I entered to Simulation room and closed my eyes. Yael offered me a bright pink liquid, which I drank with caution. Before I knew it, I was thrust right back into my ordeal that almost left me dead. But Leader Maxie...he couldn't save me this time...

I was covered in sweat, shaking and close to tears. Though it wasn't real, I could feel the pain being inflicted. I was so scared I started crying not only in the simulation, but in real life as well. I thought I was going to die. Even though Leader Maxie woulf still allow me to stay, I wouldn't be able to repay him for saving my life. I knew it was over...until I caught sight of a figure in front of me, deflecting an attack that might've otherwise killed me...Leader Maxie...

"Team Aqua, you unjust organization preying on the innocent! I, Maxie of Team Magma, will not allow you to continue this! Come claim your revenge, if you can take the heat!"

"L-Leader Maxie?" I said, confused.

"Are you alright?" he asked me, as Team Aqua took off, defeated. "I should've known. You're just so innocent and weak that I will not afford to let you out of my sight. Take my hand, Danika. Stay close to me, and they will not hurt you."

Almost immediately after, I woke up, nervous and scared by the whole ordeal. Interestingly, Yael thought there was something wrong with the system, so she said I was still in. Once I exited, I rushed to Leader Maxie's side, only for him to take me by the hand, and stare at me.

"Danika, come with me. There is something serious I must inform you about."

"What is it, Leader Maxie?"

"It's about your Fear Landscape. It's very serious, so come with me."


A few minutes later...

I've never seen Leader Maxie this way before...

"Danika, I've never seen the likes of this before. You manipulated the system. That is quite serious, you know."

"L-Leader Maxie!" I said, on the verge of tears. "I-I didn't know! I-I'm so sorry!"

Leader Maxie seemed distraught, now that he had actually come close to making me tear up. He held me close to him, staring into my tear filled eyes.

"First of all, Danika, I must apologize for how I treated you. I shouldn't have intimidated you. For that, I am truly sorry. However, manipulating the system is very serious. I have seen many of my female team members get seriously hurt, and even killed because of their reliance on me. You're a special case, though. You need to stay close to me for your own good. If the other initiates find out, they will certainly kill you, Danika. My team members are very well trained, but I'm afraid that not even Tabitha could save you in this case. I didn't mean to intimidate you, but I'm really concerned for your welfare, Danika. As long as you stay close, you'll be safe."

"How did I manipulate the system?"

"The Fear Landscape plays out in your mind. How you react determines your result. You were so scared, you didn't know what to do, and thought only of me. That's why I ended up being in your simulation. I'm not disappointed, Danika, but I'm concerned. I don't want them to hurt you. Just stay close to me."

"Will Courtney & Tabitha know?"

"Even if they did, they have strict orders not to touch you in any way to intimidate or strike fear in you. I trust them with my own life. I trust that Team Magma will never do anything to hurt you. The new candidates are a different case though. I kept you out of initiation to save your life. I never should've let Yael put you through this."

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