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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
Writer Alan T. Tryth
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Chapter 6 - Slamm
Alan T. Tryth
Nov 10, 2016
18 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!qrfkdyH3xGpcRTQTVxN8posted on PENANA

After lunch, Tirinia, Mikaen, and Jeronem headed toward the arena in the west wing of the palace. As they neared the entrance, Tirinia asked, “So you and the Cygros started this game on Earth?”copyright protection62PENANARhfYnsAyTe

“Kind of,” replied Mikaen, raising his voice to be heard over the crowd, “It was more of a training exercise.”copyright protection62PENANAHjFWETvlX2

“I've never seen a slamm game before.” Jeronem yawned again; he had been sound asleep through most of the Council. “Not live, anyway.”copyright protection62PENANA2neTg5MbDA

“I have.” Tirinia said, her voice charged with excitement, “My mother played on the Akxeliv Alliance when Teria and I were little. She always thought I'd make a good blader, but dad thought I'd be great as guardian.”copyright protection62PENANAjvRztf14NV

“I bet so.” said Mikaen, eyeing her well-developed calf and arm muscles.copyright protection62PENANAiufYrTSWfQ

She blushed, no doubt sensing the direction his thoughts lay. There was something else, though; something that had been bothering her since he picked her up to go to the game. He didn't know if it was an effect of the bond between them or just his intuition, but he was pretty sure whatever it was concerned her sister and One.copyright protection62PENANAZidebtkYEX

Tirinia pursed her lips. “It's fine. I'm fine. Teria just needed to rest, that's all.”copyright protection62PENANAyYsqxVFzZs

“I didn't say-”copyright protection62PENANAuiXKhpEamU

Tirinia gave him a peck on the cheek. “You didn't have to. Don't worry, love. She'll get it worked out.”copyright protection62PENANA0lcdzoGTnl

As they neared one of the ticket stall, the idestan vendor smiled at them. “Greetings, honored Council representatives. How can I help you?”copyright protection62PENANARWkkmRg1rf

“How much for three tickets?” Mikaen asked, digging in his pocket for some shards.copyright protection62PENANAuWysGQRk0d

The ticket-tender shook her head. “No charge. You'll be sitting in the Royal Box.” She spun on her chair and pointed to the doors of a nearby lift, saying, “Go to the fifth floor, go right, and take the fifth door on the left. It's the one with the guards, so it'll be hard to miss.”copyright protection62PENANAe0zrd9PU3c

“Thank you.” Mikaen said politely.copyright protection62PENANAfV8zfvrvwS

Once they were in the elevator, Jeronem nudged Mikaen in the waist. “She was checkin' you out, Mikey.”copyright protection62PENANAL1PjtvalQa

Mikaen bristled. “Don't call me that.”copyright protection62PENANAz4a9woilim

“Why not? You were just thinking about it.”copyright protection62PENANAyyhH8wcz2J

“He was just thinking about Maria.” Tirinia told Jeronem. “That's what she used to call him. Besides, Mikaen's engaged.” she grabbed Mikaen's arm and hugged it tightly to her chest.copyright protection62PENANAsNKh7eNhAD

Jeronem gave her an apologetic look. “Sorry about that, Tirinia, but didn't his old boss call him 'Mikey' too?”copyright protection62PENANAraICje0CAj

“Syrin only called him that when they were in private, and only because they were close friends.”copyright protection62PENANAY9RfQZM3zO

Jeronem crossed his arms, an offended look on his face. “So I'm not a friend now?”copyright protection62PENANAM2BxkIM70m

“Of course you are, Jeronem. I'm just saying that-”copyright protection62PENANAKrwt3QH4si

Mikaen let out a sigh. “I remember when I used to be involved in my own conversations.”copyright protection62PENANAnqrfGheskO

Tirinia blushed. “Oh! I'm sorry, sweetie.”copyright protection62PENANAh7QSEbBqiB

“Hey.” He told her, rubbing her cheek. “You can call me Mikey if you really want … just not around the kid.”copyright protection62PENANAN33kw7aebD

“Hey!” Jeronem's furry ears bristled as they kissed.copyright protection62PENANAxy3YNKg2cB

As they walked out of the lift into a lavishly decorated corridor, Mikaen asked, “So, how exactly is slamm played anyway?”copyright protection62PENANARuIInnTZOc

Tirinia gave him an odd look. “Don't you know? I thought you and Jyle invented the sport.”copyright protection62PENANAABgEWML71W

“We invented the training exercise, not the game,” he reminded her, “Back home, we had a game called football that originated from soldiers kicking around a severed head on the battlefield.”copyright protection62PENANAKyvNxjyNlK

Jeronem's eyes went wide. “Awesome!”copyright protection62PENANAodf7VCuOBj

Tirinia, on the other hand, looked a little disturbed.copyright protection62PENANA1cVhQR4BY5

“Centuries ago.” he assured her, “We didn't come up with that one.”copyright protection62PENANAxJE3xbm5ZI

“Oh.” Looking a little relieved, she said, “Anyway, there are two teams, each team with at least ten members: typically three tekkers, four bladers, a guardian, and two watchers. The object of the game is to get one of the kyon into the opponents headquarters. Points are given depending who gets the kyon into the opposing team's HQ: bladers get three points, watchers seven, tekkers four, and guardians twenty.”copyright protection62PENANAPoV5vQH0Fj

“Twenty?” Mikaen let out a whistle. “I guess it would be pretty hard for the goalie to score.”copyright protection62PENANAjGvfXl61X5

Tirinia nodded. “Bigger arenas naturally call for bigger teams, usually more tekkers and bladers, though more guardians are called in for arenas with multiple scoring areas. More kyons too. It can get pretty hectic.”copyright protection62PENANA7vOMylXUqX

Mikaen nodded. “Except for the point system, that's pretty much the same way we played it.”copyright protection62PENANACglxlRn3R3

The royal box was a large covered balcony. As it was meant for royalty and VIPs, it was well furnished: lush, comfortable chairs, a full bar loaded with drinks of all hues, and large viewing panels set into the walls that currently were displaying 'The Muonsol Marauders' and 'The Balis Brigade'. There was also a large console with several headsets, presumably for the announcers. Given the extravagance of the seats in front of the console, Mikaen guessed that Jyle would be barking the match.copyright protection62PENANAmbJRqHdxIa

Letting Tirinia and Jeronem enter first, Mikaen said, “Still, I bet the arenas aren't the same as simplistic as-”copyright protection62PENANADQGsCeNA8e

As he stepped closer to the edge of the balcony, his jaw dropped. He grabbed the balcony with both hands, not believing what he was seeing. Beneath them stood the town of Bridges. Every dilapidated building, every ruined street sign, every detail of the city where Mikaen had first awoken after the Devastation had been perfectly reconstructed, right down to the unevenly placed streetlights.copyright protection62PENANAxLvTjRKHUC

He jumped as Tirinia touched his hand.copyright protection62PENANAKhNt9eanMT

“Are you okay?” She asked, sounding worried.copyright protection62PENANAypJeRmsFWB

“Tirinia,” he said, putting his arm around her shoulder and pointing at the city with his other hand, “This is a recreation of Bridges. I woke up here after the Devastation.”copyright protection62PENANAUunqnGh7nc

Now it was Tirinia and Jeronem who were staring eagerly at the city. In the center of the 'town' was the enormous Rip where he had awoken, his clothes in tatters and his past a mystery. Not too far away was the retail outlet that had been his home for almost a year.. Even the small gazebo where Mikaen had proposed to Maria had been replicated perfectly.copyright protection62PENANAK8uyBDMM0z

A surge of homesickness washed over Mikaen. He wanted to go back, to be at the real Bridges, back in Misakren, or even at that old supply station where he had caught Echu sleepwalking. For the first time in months, his desire to return was just as strong as his desire to stay.copyright protection62PENANAGzZqNQMgwJ

He looked at Tirinia, who was still looking with interest at the arena. The chronoan seed pendant he had given her shone ever so slightly. His hand went to a lump beneath his shirt, where the pendant she had given him rested: an intricate bit of metalwork designed to look like feathers surrounding an orb of azure and jade that looked a little like a miniature Earth. It was all well and good to say he'd come back, but even the best plans sometimes went awry. What if it was years before he returned? Could he really put Tirinia through that?copyright protection62PENANASrefRBW9Jk

He heard the door slide open behind him. “Ah, fine day, isn't it?”copyright protection62PENANAltsP14tOQu

Mikaen turned to see Jyle and King Iniagus. It was hard not to stare; for reasons best known to the Wenapaj King, Iniagus was now wearing a toga that appeared to have been tie-dyed, and his hair was sticking out wildly in all directions from beneath and above his crown. The more Mikaen looked at it, however, the more he realized that the hair had been set that way purposefully. It was Iniagus's magnificent red mustache that caught Mikaen's eyes the most, however.copyright protection62PENANAnx3nXQeK7K

“It is indeed a fine day, my friendly friend.” said Iniagus, the tips of his mustache wiggling as he spoke, “Tell me, is it always this nice here in Ircandesta?”copyright protection62PENANAtZcIf3jcd3

“Usually,” replied Jyle.copyright protection62PENANAwyxYoz2RoT

“Splendid. I'd like to arrange a trade for some of these nice days. Wenapaj is absolutely frightful this time of year. All that rain and muck … so unpleasant. I sent a letter to the Creator, you know, telling him how inconvenient the rain is, but the chap hasn't bothered to reply. I mean, really! After all the trouble I took chiseling the letter on a sixteen-foot slab of marble then blasting it into outer space.” Iniagus giggled in a most un-regal manner before adding, “Spectaculous! Simply spectaculous.”copyright protection62PENANAlMro9ofn9n

“Say, Mikaen, what's that building right there?” Jeronem asked, not noting the arrival of Jyle and Iniagus.copyright protection62PENANA8CnkkDoEPB

Mikaen glanced where Jeronem was pointing. “Hmm? Oh, that's the old school. I went there a few times while I lived in Bridges. Good place to hide from looters and wild animals.”copyright protection62PENANAImagkyPnpe

“Ah, yes,” said Jyle, glancing over at them, “Today's match will be in the Bridges arena. I thought you'd appreciate that, Mikaen.”copyright protection62PENANAhL0Iaa7qxg

Jeronem's grin quickly turned to a look of horror when he noticed Jyle's companion. “Ah! King Iniagus!”copyright protection62PENANANFTa0eNpSD

Iniagus spun about, pointing at Jeronem. “Ah! Jeronem!”copyright protection62PENANA1BZbRkJHI9

With a yelp, Jeronem ran for the door. “Not the ears! Not the ears!”copyright protection62PENANAVZVVI55PvD

Iniagus chased after Jeronem, shouting delightedly, “Of course, of course! Today is a perfectly perfect day for a rousing game of tag!”copyright protection62PENANA6ijZtkdhJ6

Once they had both disappeared back inside the palace, Jyle started laughing.copyright protection62PENANAUKITWzeFgW

Shaking his head, Mikaen asked, “Is he always that strange?”copyright protection62PENANAPcVK8EPeul

“Iniagus? Yeah, never a dull moment around him. Don't worry; his wife, at least, takes her position seriously.” Jyle looked out over the field, a satisfied smile on his face. “Nice job on the recreation, isn't? Took me months to get it right.”copyright protection62PENANARADbA7vOoe

Glancing at Mikaen, he added, “It's only a holographic simulation, or course. We used this same space as a ballroom when Julia and I were married. Today's match is at the school, but it can technically be held anywhere in town. We even had a city-wide match once … twenty players for each team.”copyright protection62PENANAViZDcVdqBu

“Really?” Mikaen looked back over the recreated city. “Wish I could have seen that.”copyright protection62PENANAmqGibOX13r

As the players began to walk onto the field, the crowd roared loud enough to make the glass rattle in the windows of the royal box.copyright protection62PENANAmU205D7Brv

Mikaen watched the players with interest; in addition to what he recognized as tek-boots, the players were wearing sleek, brightly colored protective gear, a far-cry from Mikaen's crude plate armor.copyright protection62PENANAPnOO10Jerl

Jyle gave him a sly grin. “Ah, you like the armor, eh? I designed the basic slamm suit myself. The plating is lighter and harder than steel, and contains portable shield emitters to boot.”copyright protection62PENANAIOLp6Xe4Yh

Even as he spoke, glowing fields sprang to life around each player.copyright protection62PENANAvlcylibtTD

In addition to their unique armor, each player wore a pair of gauntlets. Some were bulky and reminded Mikaen of One's Headache while others were little more than elbow-length gloves.copyright protection62PENANAZI0Nx1Ohfg

“Tek gloves.” Jyle said in answer to Mikaen's unasked question, “I made those too. See, when I started trying to spread the word about this game, I came under attack from about a dozen different agencies.” He let out a snort. “Some nonsense about safety concerns.”copyright protection62PENANACY4ooblCfk

“Yeah, well it was a training exercise for knights.” Mikaen reminded his friend, “We both got our lumps back home.”copyright protection62PENANATKF5j1ouuh

Jyle rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I remember. Anyway, I put some thought into it and came out with the Impact series slamm gear.”copyright protection62PENANA7u08hx96Pp

He pointed to a red player taking position on the top floor of a three-story apartment. “See that tekker? His gauntlets are little more than arm-mounted cannons … surprisingly accurate, too. The skinny kid next to him is one of the Jenkins twins. He's a watcher. Each of his gauntlets can produce a low frequency energy blade. It's not very powerful, but it is strong enough to knock the kyon out of another player without seriously harming them.”copyright protection62PENANAmsoqQMBcpQ

At that moment, Jenkin's gloves both produced a blade of energy about two feet long. He took a few warm-up swings before deactivating them and scratching his nose with the back of his glove.copyright protection62PENANAwiBcoUdMpH

“Bladers have one of those, and one 'force glove' which lets them absorb and pass the kyon.”copyright protection62PENANA4xb4FtCPAs

“What do you use for a kyon?” Mikaen asked curiously.copyright protection62PENANAfXUEnLqZYQ

The crowd fell silent as two similarly armored men, one wearing black and the other white, walked out onto the field, each carrying a glowing orb in a see-through canister.copyright protection62PENANAQu8sGxnUkM

“Super-charged stream plasma. It's harmless to hold, but it saps energy from any technology that uses stream energy.” Jyle brushed off his shoulder, saying nonchalantly, “A particularly ingenious idea of mine.”copyright protection62PENANABokNtZh5PS

“I don't understand.”copyright protection62PENANAx4PrIdd9cb

“The energy fields of the armor operate off lifestream energy. When you're holding the kyon, your armor's shielding doesn't work and your tek-boots only have partial functionality. The armor's padded and all, but you're still vulnerable, especially if someone pegs you with the other kyon.”copyright protection62PENANAZ3G8wnGTh0

A large, semi-translucent rectangle appeared in midair over the replica town. The screen flared to life showing feeds from numerous cameras that were apparently zooming around the arena.copyright protection62PENANAGTp0HS0ZXP

“If you'll excuse me,” said Jyle, rubbing his hands together, “It's time to start the game.”copyright protection62PENANARvUGXDTaN6

He sat down in front of the console and grabbed a headset from the front of the panel. After clearing his throat, he called out, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first match of the Slamm Championship Tourney!”copyright protection62PENANAmM93VGqBAI

The crowd roared in reply. It was loud inside the royal box; it must have been deafening outside.copyright protection62PENANACgB2hjUiiS

“After a grueling season, it's all down to two teams: the Balis Brigade!” Blue flags and emblems waved from all over the stadium. “and the Muonsol Marauders!” Considerably more red flags waved in response.copyright protection62PENANA89o2PlGIwt

“Knights!” Jyle called out, “Present the kyons!”copyright protection62PENANAPTfZWbFnNf

The men in the black and white armor each activated their canisters. Immediately, the balls of energy ballooned to three times their original size and shot toward a glowing circle in a walkway located roughly in the middle of the school grounds.copyright protection62PENANA5pwHsO0n6i

The crowd fell silent as two bladers from each team approached the circle. The Black Knight and the White Knight took up posts on either side of the glowing field. Slowly, they raised their arms to the sky.copyright protection62PENANAgfsEhh0X0w

All players around the field seemed to prepare themselves. The tension was so thick that Mikaen nearly jumped from his chair when Tirinia slipped her hand in his.copyright protection62PENANAqQqGPmSuJF

Two bursts of light shot from the hands of the referees. Instantly, all four bladers shot toward the kyons, energy blades swinging as they tried to knock the other players away.copyright protection62PENANAKO5hvx5wUc

One of the Marauder bladers got the left kyon first. A Brigade blader took a swing at him, but the Marauder was already airborne, kicking off a nearby bench and landing on the roof of the school, his tek-boots leaving glowing trails in his wake.copyright protection62PENANAParhPJzPHA

The other Brigade blader managed to get to the other kyon before his opponent. He batted a Marauder aside and quickly shot toward the Rip in the center of the town.copyright protection62PENANAm8qMPf8HKS

Jyle was already in full announcing mode. “Merko and Sylva in possession, Sylva passes to Yenk, Merko … ooh, that's gotta hurt! Well, he'll walk it off. Yenk and Travers in possession, Yenk to Tryan, Tryan to Sylva … nice rebound off the road sign … Genel intercepts to Senestra, Travers hits it to Haley, Haley to … no, Leeroy intercepts from Haley, sends it to Leeroy, Leeroy's powering up, powering up, it's off, and …”copyright protection62PENANAmuGsMcZRIU

Mikaen had a hard time following Jyle. Keeping an eye of both kyons was hard, even with multiple video feeds.copyright protection62PENANA4y5wPUgoJX

The Brigade's guardian made a dive at the kyon, but the energy ball whizzed by him and into the concession stand at the far end of the football field.copyright protection62PENANAZ66pSVE1Dp

The crowd went wild as Jyle shouted, “SCORE! A great shot by Leeroy Jenkins! Score is zero to one, Marauders in the lead.”copyright protection62PENANAT0UAsGMryv

The bladers were a rowdy bunch, always knocking opposing players off buildings, smashing them into cars, and occasionally just flat-out decking them. If the energy blades had been weapon-grade, both teams would have been sliced to ribbons within minutes.copyright protection62PENANAlC3q9Tlph5

The watchers darted into the fray very selectively, a good idea considering their light armor. They couldn't hold kyons, but they could sure give them a good whack, usually to a waiting tekker who would blast it toward the goal.copyright protection62PENANAngbtG3pk42

The two kyons seemed to have a lot of force behind them. Mikaen saw a Brigade tekker shoot a kyon at the Marauder blader Jyle identified as Shelle. The shot blasted her into one of the cars hard enough to make the car skid back a few feet.copyright protection62PENANAKY2EyukkVS

“Don't worry, Mikaen.” Jyle whispered, shielding the microphone on his headset, “The armor's designed to handle just that kind of impact.”copyright protection62PENANAQhvUIEN344

Sure enough, she got up a moment later, looking a little dazed but unharmed.copyright protection62PENANA8rljU1njms

It may have been rough, but the players all seemed to be having a good time. The two watchers for the Marauders, Leeroy and Trevor, were particularly rambunctious, often bouncing off walls and seemingly coming out of nowhere to intercept kyons. They weren't shy about taunting the much larger players of the Balis Brigade either. Fortunately, they were fast enough to avoid injury. Energy shields or no, a gauntlet to the face had to hurt.copyright protection62PENANAm7qoLYS5jO

After watching the game for a few minutes, it was obvious that the Marauders were more familiar with the arena. They even knew about a few of the shortcuts Mikaen himself had used back in the day, small surprise seeing as they were the Ircandestan team.copyright protection62PENANAYa6u4O8RRd

Covering his microphone again, Jyle asked, “Good, huh? See that shot Jek just blocked?”copyright protection62PENANAW0EikzkHTG

Mikaen glanced at the Marauder's guardian. He was standing in front of a partially collapsed house at the edge of the Rip, guarding the double garage door. His headgear covered his eyes, but Mikaen still recognized Jyle's son, Jek. After all, the young man was the spitting image of his father, albeit with his mother's dark skin.copyright protection62PENANAafNBEzAwET

“Your son's the Marauder guardian?”copyright protection62PENANAlD4r78gg08

Jyle thumped himself in the chest. “Yup. I naturally wanted him to be a tekker, but I can deal with him being one of the best guardians in the league. He coordinates the entire team. Oh, there he goes again!”copyright protection62PENANAtW88etHybA

Jek dove at an incoming kyon, catching the energy ball between his gauntleted hands. Without hesitation, he shot the kyon at the Brigade blader with enough force to knock him across the street, where one of the Marauders was waiting to gain possession.copyright protection62PENANAflQ3WuCw1h

“Whoa!” Mikaen exclaimed, “We never did that.”copyright protection62PENANAqnVuP2D5iD

He glanced at Tirinia only to see her smiling at him. “You're really into this, aren't you?”copyright protection62PENANAdMAmUPPCo0

“You kidding? After the Council?” He looked back over the city, continuing, “Peace is nice, don't get me wrong, but I do miss the action.”copyright protection62PENANAcEm3HiykPz

The crowd roared again as the Marauder blader Sylvia tossed her kyon in the air and smacked it with her saber into the Brigand HQ. As the kyon shot past the Brigade guardian, two of the Brigand players came out of nowhere and hit her in the same leg simultaneously. She fell to the ground instantly, her leg obviously broken.copyright protection62PENANACgWxLLzoRS

“Foul! Foul!” shouted Tirinia, pointing angrily at the screen displaying the injured player.copyright protection62PENANA24FDrAsgcR

Apparently she was correct; the knight-referees ran out onto the field moments later, whistles blowing. The black knight and the brigand blader started shouting at each other as the white knight helped Sylvia walk off the field.copyright protection62PENANAhpvDsdW0xM

“And that's a penalty for the Brigands, deliberate assault. Five minutes penalty for Merko.” said Jyle, a hint of anger in his voice. “Yenk takes the kyon, nice speed up to the HQ … and he puts it away easily!”copyright protection62PENANAA92wHNihc9

Jek shot a flare from one of his gauntlets. Nodding, Jyle tapped his earpiece and said, “Time out for the Marauders!”copyright protection62PENANA9eePRGpkWB

As the knights brought the kyons back to the center of the field, Mikaen asked, “What's wrong?”copyright protection62PENANAbe0HStUPts

“The Marauders have a problem. Could you and Tirinia come with me for a moment?”copyright protection62PENANAB3CDAjrTAD

The three of them left the royal box and headed for the lift.copyright protection62PENANA3KSizKYY4V

Tirinia was still bristling over the foul. “I can't believe they deliberately attacked her like that!”copyright protection62PENANAAg9BX14SRx

“Yeah, well, that's the Brigade for you. They set the record for most penalties last season.”copyright protection62PENANAksBW6cfx6Q

“In a game, or for the season?” Mikaen asked.copyright protection62PENANAb9A3r9Np8S

“Both.”copyright protection62PENANAkJ9uk7woZn

The lift doors opened at the bottom floor. Jyle, Mikaen, and Tirinia walked down the hall to a large golden archway that opened out into the arena. Jek was waiting for them, his helmet in his hands. He looked worried.copyright protection62PENANAWjPygVLvtR

“Dad,” He said as they drew near, “we don't have a substitute blader.”copyright protection62PENANAlE0WHs6vRf

“What? What about Sahara and that Bennon kid?”copyright protection62PENANAocYxGiEdHD

“Out for injuries.”copyright protection62PENANAAEXqcdmXJP

Jyle snorted. “Injuries my foot! They're just fooling around somewhere. Isn't there anyone else?”copyright protection62PENANAO5uP1ch7H9

“Nope. We're gonna have to forfeit the match.” Jek's eyes darted toward Mikaen. “Unless …”copyright protection62PENANAm5llD2Ehfl

“Unless what?” Mikaen asked cautiously.copyright protection62PENANAVQZSgc6CaP

“Well, you are a blader.”copyright protection62PENANAsYUWNV853Q

Jyle snapped his fingers, “That's a thought.”copyright protection62PENANAepWALzDpRT

Mikaen was struck speechless for a moment. “Wha … you can't be serious, Jyle! Slamm may be based off our old training exercises, but it's a completely different game! I don't know any of the rules or penalties … besides, I've got wings now! How the heck am I supposed to cover that?”copyright protection62PENANALMJKF0XLD7

“I'm sure we can find a set of armor that'll work … and don't worry about penalties. Don't deliberately try to cause an injury, and avoid using magic, and you'll be fine.”copyright protection62PENANAA56u2UqbZt

“I'm not from Muonsol!” Mikaen protested, “I mean, is this even legal?”copyright protection62PENANA2eSYOExs3p

“Teams can draft on the spot if needed. I put the rule in myself.”copyright protection62PENANAlOb5zR5wCI

Snorting, Mikaen said, “You put it in so you could play tekker every once in awhile.”copyright protection62PENANAEdOKHRE72E

Jyle put his hands on Mikaen's shoulders, the same pleading look he used to give Mikaen just before getting both of them into trouble on his face. “We just need another player out there, or the Marauders will be disqualified. You and Tirinia are the best possible replacements on such a short notice, and Tirinia's out of the question.”copyright protection62PENANAA4St3H8B9b

“What? Why?”copyright protection62PENANA0uZcAz3F6G

Jyle looked at Tirinia expectantly. Blushing beneath her pale fur, she said, “Because I'm first guardian for the Axeliv Alliance and the winner of this game goes against us next week.”copyright protection62PENANAoKTdvB49I7

“Oh.” Mikaen said, feeling sheepish. Tirinia had mentioned she was a member of Longshore's slamm team several times.copyright protection62PENANANjcGNfnVQw

Jek glanced from Mikaen to Jyle expectantly.copyright protection62PENANA7R173CG7hM

“Come on, Mikaen.” Tirinia coaxed Mikaen, rubbing his arm. “I'd like to see how you play.”copyright protection62PENANANGxGT2iXc0

The eagerness in her eyes cinched it. With a sigh, Mikaen said, “Okay, I'll play.”copyright protection62PENANA5ZkhF8x34o

Clapping his old buddy on the arms, Jyle said, “Jek, show him to the locker room and get him into gear. Nine minutes!”copyright protection62PENANAAbfCijeZqw

As Jyle ran off (probably wanting to get away before Mikaen could try and object again), Jek gave Mikaen an apologetic smile. “Sorry about this, but we really do need your help.”copyright protection62PENANAMeckV5md3y

“Yeah, yeah. Just show me to the locker room.”66Please respect copyright.PENANAlSXBugUJgl
copyright protection62PENANAe8yyqeHXiL

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