...or Tyger finds a new hobby

It wasn't pretty. Not pretty at all. In fact, calling it a work in progress would hardly begin to describe the current state of the miniature potted tree that was sitting on the cluttered desk. A common cedar tree had already been dwarfed and shaped; it only needed the regular maintenance and pruning to keep that shape. Unfortunately, by all standards, the bonsai tree was a poor example of such an ancient art form. The only positive aspect of the tree was that it obviously looked like a beginner had been working on the tree and that it still looked better than what one could buy in stores.

Tyger had logged in over sixty hours at the plant nursery with Carpenter's wife, Elaine, and didn't even know it. At first he arrived as part of his community service. But eventually he started going on his own. He didn't frequent the nursery as often as he did before, but he showed up from time to time. Something about the fresh air that that place had kept bringing him back.

At least that was how Tyger reasoned it. After all, even though Angelus was on the open sea, it was still a very large place and the atmosphere was still choking at times. He had not realized exactly how much he missed the openness and fresh air that being out on the water provided, but that was not so common where he was, the nursery gave him that illusion of openness that he missed. However, if there was one complaint, it was that it was far too green for him; he preferred the deep dark blue of the sea contrasting with the light azure of the sky. Since that was the worst he could say about it, he figured that it wasn't all that bad.

The misshapen tree in question belonged to Tyger. He had acquired the tree during part of his community service and had been trying to figure it out. Since the destruction of the Blue Steel Special MKII, Tyger had found himself to be almost inconsolably bored. He spent most of his time in the hanger with his baby, and any hobbies he had to speak of involved the prototype suit of power armor. Now he had found out several things, one: he had a new hobby: Bonsai. Two: he enjoyed this new hobby... despite its frustrations. Three: he was not very good at it. But that didn't keep him from trying.

The Clade figured that he could have picked a far worse hobby; one that was destructive, or one that was hideously boring and useless. This one at least managed to bring his senses into focus and give him some manner of patience. Well, at least as much of these things as anything outside of Power Armor and mil-tech could provide at any rate.
A brief bout of insight smacked Tyger upside his head just as he was snipping one of the dainty branches during the shaping and pruning process. Is this what obsessive-compulsives do? Hobbies like this? Or do they even have hobbies? Was he an obsessive-compulsive? After all, he was quite obsessed with mil-tech in general and Power Armor in specific and he could easily be considered to be compulsive, often acting before thinking...if he thought at all.

"hmmm..." Tyger mused aloud to himself as he set the miniature pruning shears aside and looked at his handiwork. The purpose of Bonsai was to take a living tree, stunt and alter its growth to miniaturize it to such a degree that it was more than a small potted plant. But it was more than this, for the tree is supposed to be cultivated in such a way that it mimics the tree, but only miniature. A well crafted Bonsai tree in a properly decorated pot could look like just about anything one found in nature...only pocket-sized!

Well, that was what Tyger thought at any rate. When he looked at his own work in progress he felt less than impressed. The tree was warped and twisted. It was not dead or dying, it just did not look like a tree should. He wasn't sure exactly why, but it just looked...well...wrong somehow. Perhaps he just didn't know what he was doing, after all he had only just started this hobby. Perhaps he didn't really know what a tree was supposed to look like in the first place. Sure, he had been spending a lot of time at the nursery with Carpenter's wife, but were those trees in the nursery how trees are supposed to be like in nature...out there in all of that wild stuff? Tyger released a frustrated sigh and pulled the goggles he was wearing off of his face and rested them on his forehead. "Or is it because I'm just a Clade, and so I don't know about this artsy expressionist crap? After all, I was made for something, and it sure as hell wasn't for artsy fartsy shit like this."

Tyger stood quickly from the work bench that used to be dedicated solely to firearms and his mechanical models and animatronic miniature Power Armors, now turned into a sanctuary for his new project. He paced quickly from the bench to another part of the small two bedroom apartment he lived in, his tail flicking back and forth in angry agitation. He wandered the room for a few moments, seriously considering the idea of teaching the miniature tree how to fly, pot, tools and all.

He didn't though. He only paced around for several minutes, leaving the room and returning. After he had calmed down, Tyger sat back in the chair and looked sadly upon the misshapen tree. "Stupid bush." The Clade muttered bitterly as he once more took up the clippers and resumed the delicate process of pruning and shaping the miniature tree...


The next day, oddly enough, Tyger's desk would be cleaned and somewhat organized, the models and other mechanized decorations moved from their previous positions and perhaps poses changed a little. All of this was done so Tyger could make room for that small, deformed miniaturized tree that looked, for all the world, that a three-year-old's drawing of a tree had come to life, a strange addition to the otherwise cluttered disaster that was the Clade's desk.