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Breed: Ten


  02:09:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 1714 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Ten

?I was thinking we should try out a team-building exercise,? Lincoln said.
?I think sharing pizza is already team-building enough,? Cris said through a too-big bite.
?Maybe,? Linc said. ?But now I also have to worry about all of those extra calories from the pizza. So this kills two birds with one stone.?
?Is this why you had us dress in layers?? Sonya asked.
Linc smiled while opening the door outside, picking up a red Frisbee from the top of a filing cabinet. ?It is. We're going to be playing a game called ultimate Frisbee. First, rules. You can use your abilities, provided you can control their use. That means no damaging another student or property, and it includes the disc itself- damage to the Frisbee is an automatic point for the opposing team. Once a player has the Frisbee they can't move their legs except to throw;. You can guard opposing players, including making reasonable contact, but there's no tackling. You have to force them to make a bad throw, or an interception.
?Our two captains will be Rox, and Ben. Now we've got an uneven number, so I'll flip a coin.?
?Uh...? Mira said.
?Right. That won't work. Ben, number between one and ten.?
Mira shook her head.
?Okay, Ben, you can have first pick, or you can have four people, second, fourth, sixth and final pick.?
?I'll take an extra member.?
?Okay, Rox you want to go first??
?Mira,? she said.
He looked across the remaining group, lingering particularly over Irene. Then he looked to Rox and Mira, standing opposite. ?Rui.?
?And of course,? Linc said, ?you get Irene, too.?
Ben flushed, realizing too late that a part of Linc's design had been to guarantee that no one had to be picked last. ?Rox, do you want to receive or kick off??
?We'll take possession to start,? she said.
?Huddle up and plan your strategy.?
Ben's team huddled around him. ?I'm beginning to think I chose poorly,? he said. ?Between Rox and Cris, they've got luck and religion on their side.?
?But we've got numbers,? Sonya said confidently.
?We'll run a one to one defense, except Irene. You'll stay in the back field; you're the safety net, if somebody manages to break through, you pick them up. Anybody got preferences for who they want to guard??
?I want Roxy,? Sonya said.
?Be careful with her,? Ben said. ?That probability ability of hers can be a real pain.?
?I can handle her,? she replied.
?And you better take Mira,? Rui said to Ben. ?I don't think I'm tall enough to cover her. Which means I've got Cris.?
?Sounds good to me. Irene, you think you can handle he kick-off from the back field??
She pondered a moment, then shook her head. ?No, um, you do it.?
?Okay. Everybody, ignore the Frisbee. Your goal is to make it to the person you're defending against.?
They lined up on the end of the field opposite Rox's team. ?You ready?? he called to her.
?Bring it,? she bellowed back.
Ben took a few big steps then loosed the Frisbee. It reminded him of learning how to throw a knife from his brother back on the reservation, and for a moment he was homesick.
Rox barely had to movie, the Frisbee seemed to come directly to her. Ben couldn't be sure if he'd spaced and thrown it to her, or if her powers were just that pervasive. He hooked to the side to cover Mira, but she was still too far down field, and caught a throw from Rox without incident.
He nearly caught a throw from Mira, but it sailed over his head to Cris. ?Crap,? Sonya said from downfield. ?I don't got her.?
?Irene?? Ben bellowed. But Rox was already standing further up field with the Frisbee. Irene and Sonya met to guard her, only for her to loose the Frisbee. It floated over Cris and Rui, who dove for the interception. But it was still too high, and curved its path, landing deftly in Mira's fingers.
She passed to Cris, who was standing in the goal area, open. Rui caught up to him a half-second too late.
?Losers walk,? Rox said, walking past him.
?I hate probabilities,? Ben muttered. ?But we've got this. Advantage always goes to the offense, and we've got an extra player. Just take your time with your throws.?
They turned around, to face the opposing team. Cris threw the Frisbee, and Ben caught it. ?Rui, go long.? He took off down field. Mira planted in front of him, either to slow him down or force him to lose momentum going around. He dispersed his atoms into a cloud, sending them shattering outward in a mini explosion, and recombined into a solid on the opposite side of her.
?The throw!? Ben yelled, and Rui glanced up. He couldn't be sure if the throw was long, or if Mira had managed to slow him, but it was going to go over his head. He wouldn't be able to dive to catch it, even.
Without thinking he found himself burning through the air. He was a plasma, using the energy of it to fly. It gave him enough of a speed boost he was going to reach the Frisbee. He realized at the last second that if he caught it while on fire, he'd scorch the Frisbee and give the other team a point, and extinguished his hands.
?Man to man,? Rox said. ?He's got to throw.? Rox and her team were all over their partners.
?Do I?? Rui asked. He was still propelled on plasma, and listing towards the goal.
Rox put one foot on Ben's knee, then the other on his hip, and finally leapt of his shoulder. She reached out to Rui's ankle, which was still on fire. He realized she was going to grab onto him- and hurt herself, so he extinguished the flame on his ankle.
She latched on, and between her and not having his feet, he lost balance, and tumbled towards the field. They landed in a pile.
?Everybody okay?? Linc asked, running up to them.
?Not a scratch,? Rox said, standing.
?Me, too,? Rui said, pushing off the ground.
?That was some unnecessary roughness,? Sonya complained.
?I'd say it was reasonable contact given what you were up to, Rui,? Linc said. ?But just this once, I'll allow it. And look where you fell.?
Rui checked the lines on the field. ?Goal??
?And losers walk,? Ben said.
Rox and her team started down the field.
Ben signaled for his team to come in close. ?That was a lucky break. We need to shut them down.?
?I might have an idea,? Sonya said. ?I could drop mines along this side. If we aren't subtle about it, they'll know there are mines there, so they'll avoid that half of the field. It concentrates them here, where our numbers will be an even more controlling factor.?
?How do they work, exactly?? Ben asked.
?Magic?? she asked. ?Okay, near as I can figure, they're essentially bubbles around a select quantity of air and antimatter, keeping the two separate for a set time. When the time's up, they combine, explosively.?
?Near as you can figure?? Rui asked.
?Okay, near as my physics professor could figure.? She stuck her tongue out at him.
?Can you make it more style than substance- make it look scarier than it is??
?I can make the biggest ones be in the front, and go off before they get there. That'd probably do the trick. And I'll need that side of the field, so I can keep peppering the ground with them; I can only do a few dozen at a time.?
?Sounds good. And Rui, you take Roxy this time. Irene take Cris. And everybody, be aware. If you're close enough to lend a hand without losing your partner, go for it. Let's do this.?
Ben threw the Frisbee, deliberately arcing it towards Mira. ?Cue the fireworks,? he said to Sonya. Mines began popping loudly, shooting sparks and colorful fire into the air.
?What the hell?? asked Mira.
?Area denial,? Rox said. ?They're trying to force us through a funnel.? She ran towards Sonya. Mira threw the Frisbee towards her, and Rox turned at the perfect moment to catch it. ?I'll see you in the end zone,? she said, as Cris and Mira ran past.
?Two to a person,? Ben said. ?We've got this.?
Rox through the disc straight ahead, into the minefield, then chased after it on foot.
?God,? Sonya said, stopping in her tracks. The mines continued to go off around Rox as she ran. She leapt, landed, and serpentined, and even rolled to the side as mines burst all around her. One sent the Frisbee spinning precariously into the air. Rox jumped straight up, and knocked the edge of the Frisbee, so it wobbled towards the end zone. Mira was there to catch it, and Cristobal caught her when she exited.
Linc was on her heels. ?That was crazy,? he said, winded by his run up the field.
?I didn't think she'd run through the mines,? Sonya said.
?You didn't think, full stop,? he said. ?It isn't on the rest of the world to avoid the problems you create. But, I also think making reasonable judgment calls is part of having our kind of power. I think this went too far, but I also think Rox used that. And even managed to get a free point out of it.?
?Free point?? Sonya mouthed.
Linc held out his hands for the Frisbee, and Mira tossed it to him. It was charred on one side, where a mine damaged it. ?So that play was worth two points, not one.?
?But it was still an unnecessary risk,? he said, turning towards Rox.
?I have luck on my side,? she said. ?And besides, I had Cris on my team, too.?
?I'm not a get out of third degree burns free card,? Cris protested.
?Not just that,? she corrected. ?You're also a hell of a catcher.?
?I'm pretty sure he prefers to pitch,? Ben said.
?Yeah, who doesn't?? Rox asked. ?And I shouldn't be able to hear you; you're supposed to be walking.?

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