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Breed: Twelve


  04:14:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 1700 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Twelve

?The prodigals return,? Linc said as Mayumi, Mikaela and Drake arrived, each holding a steaming drink carrier with four mugs in them.
?Is this the real reason you paid for our coffee?? Mikaela asked. ?So we'd mule some back for you??
?'Mule' makes it sounds so sordid,? Linc said.
?Also like we carried it in our butts,? Drake said.
?I prefer 'smuggled.' It makes you sound like pirates.? He took one of the coffees, peeled back the lid and drank. ?Yarr!?
The frisbee game collapsed, as the players gathered around for coffee. ?Creamers?? Ben asked.
?Yeah,? Drake said, balancing the drinks in one hand and reaching into his pocket. He dropped several sealed creamers into the center of the cup holder.
?So, now that you three are done running coffee for me,? Linc said, pausing to take a quick sip, ?how would you feel about a quick scrimmage? It would even out our teams.?
?Hell, no,? Rox said.
?The math checks out, Rox, no matter how vehemently you disagree.?
Cris made a show of counting on his fingers, before holding up both his hands. ?He's right, it'd be 5-5.?
?I meant we're not going to play with them. We're going to play against them.?
?I think seven on three is probably a little slanted, even if they're older,? Linc said. ?So I'll play for their team, too.?
?What?? she asked.
?We'll give you first possession. Sound fair??
She nodded.
?Good. Then get to walking.?
?What have you gotten us into?? Mikaela asked.
?Ultimate frisbee. Normal rules apply. Mostly. And you can use whatever powers you've got, provided you don't hurt the disc or the players. Except me. My powers aren't any good unless I'm willing to essentially cheat, so I'm just a normal guy, for the purposes of this game.?
?Kae?? a familiar voice said from behind them.
?Dem?? she asked, spinning around.
?You guys playing?? Demi asked.
?Room for one more??
?Sure. And I think I can even things out just a little more.? She pulled a compact out of her purse, and looked inside. A double of her climbed out of the mirror, stretching until it was a full-sized copy standing next to her. ?If anybody's got more reflective surfaces, I can pull a few more out.? She looked at Demi.
?Sorry,? she said, ?I do whatever touch-ups at home. I don't primp on the go.?
She shook her head.
?Oh well, that still gets us a team of six. Four of us essentially vanilla human, but hey, at least we're prettier.? Both Mikaelas grinned at the same time.
?Anything the rest of us should know about anybody's powers?? Linc asked. Drake disappeared, only to reappear on the opposite side of him. ?Teleportation. Cool. And Demi zaps things; it ain't our first rodeo together. All right. Since we're outnumbered, I think we'll have to at least partially run a zone defense. Drake will take the back field, since he can cover the most ground. At least coming up the field, we'll want to coalesce around specific players. Anyone have a preference for who they guard??
?I'll take Roxy,? the Mikaelas said in unison.
?You've got that backwards. It's their side that has more players, so only one of you can guard her.?
?I'll take Big Thunder- Ben. Dem, you think you can keep up with Rui??
?I can try.?
?That leaves Irene, Mira, and I'm forgetting someone, that's right, Sonya. Mayumi, you want to help Drake watch the backfield. It's likely the play is coming through one of the others, but if we give them too much leeway otherwise, they'll have an easy time of it.?
Linc reeled back with the Frisbee, and let fly. He bolted for Ben as Rox snatched the disc from the air. ?Endzone,? she yelled, as she threw to Ben. The disc arrived a second before Linc, and too high for him to catch otherwise.
Ben turned and threw the disc towards the goal as Rox ran past. Fast as she was, there was almost no chance she'd catch it, until a surprise wind kicked up, giving the disc just enough hang for her to dive beneath it as it fell.
?Well, crap,? Linc said laughing. ?That did not go to plan.?
?Enjoy the walk,? Rox said from the endzone, waving goodbye at them.
?My bad,? Drake said. ?I thought she was going to miss it, and we'd get the turnover from where they threw it.?
?It's fine. And on the bright side,? Linc said, we were already most of the way downfield. He shoved his hands in his pockets and his keys jangled. He frowned, and fished them out. A polished chrome US Army keychain dangled off them, and he furrowed his brow. ?Mikaela?? he tossed the keys in her direction. ?This work??
She caught them. ?Hmm. ?I'll give it a try.? Suddenly, another Mikaela crawled out of the keychain.
?So how does that work, exactly?? he asked. ?What do they arrive with??
?Usually the same kind of crap I've got on me.?
?Then maybe you should get yourself a reflective keychain, so you can pull as many as you need.?
?Might be worth doing.?
?Might it also lead to a self-replicating human virus, essentially the worst fears about nanotechnology, but made worse by the fact that it's happening on the macro and not the micro scale?? Demi asked.
?She may have a point,? Linc said. ?So use with care. As for our play, I want to Trojan Horse. If they haven't been paying attention they may not know we've suddenly got another play. All the Mikaela's group on the right side in a flying V, everybody else on the left, I'll take the center. Everybody else goes about a third of the way up the field before breaking apart, Mikaelas do the same at 2/3. In the confusion they'll lose somebody.?
Rox threw the disc, which went over Linc and was caught by Demi. She threw immediately to Linc. ?Go!? he yelled, and his columns advanced. Demi's group broke apart like a human firework, and Rox's group compensated. Then Drake began to teleport around the field.
?Teleporter!? Rox yelled.
?I'm on him,? Rui said, becoming larger as the space between his atoms increased, until he was invisible.
?I'm open!? Drake yelled, only for Rui to reappear in front of him. ?Teleporter?? he asked.
?No, it just smells like that sometimes when I teleport,? he deadpanned.
Rox's team had enough people they thought they could easily do man to man. Ben was coming towards Linc, and he was tall enough he wasn't sure how well he'd be able to throw around him. Mikaela's group fractured apart.
?Crap, there's another one,? Rox said. She bolted for the unaccounted for Mikaela, and he threw. Ben swiped at the air, just missing the disc. It floated past Rox, past Mikaela. She dove, with her arms thrust forward, as Rox did the same. Mikaela was just enough ahead that Rox landed on her without touching the disc as she caught it.
The impact knocked the wind out of both women's lungs, but it was Mikaela who recovered fastest. ?Much as I enjoy the warmth from this huddle,? Mikaela said, ?you should get up and start walking.? Rox looked up, and saw that she'd caught it in the endzone.
?Pure luck,? Rox said, standing, and offered Mikaela a hand to her feet.
?I thought that was your department.?
?We'll see next play,? she said, and started to jog down field.
?Take off the gloves,? Rox said.
Linc threw, this time giving it as much hang time as possible. By the time Rox caught it he was within a few paces of her. She tried for a pass to Ben, but he knocked it out of the air. He picked it up and handed it to her. ?You maintain possession,? he said.
She pivoted, looking for an open player to pass to.
?Do we have to introduce a countdown?? Linc asked.
?Little distraction, Ben?? Rox called.
Ben held his hands out to the ground, and the earth began to shake.
Mira made a run for it in the confusion. Electricity arced through Demi, and into the snow in front of Mira. She paused, then grinned, and stepped into the electricity. Then she grabbed hold of Demi's waist, and pulled her off-balance. To her surprise, Demi matched her strength, and they deadlocked. ?Ladies,? Linc yelled from downfield, ?this isn't a contact sport.?
Rui stepped off the snow, and floated before catching fire. He hovered above the heads of the other defenders. ?Have you got him?? Linc asked.
Drake teleported in front of him, before falling back to the earth. ?Kind of,? he said when he landed, then teleported in front of him again. ?Ish,? he said,? landing a second time.
?Sonya?? Rox bellowed.
?Can't,? she said. ?Too many people on the field, moving too quick- might actually kaboom someone.?
?Hail Mary it is, then,? Rox said.
?Crap,? Linc said. She threw over his head.
Rui saw the throw, and that it was going to pass on the opposite side of the field. He flattened his body out, and converted more of the atoms in his lower body to plasma, rocketing off in the direction of the throw. He had never flown like that, and even the slight wind buffeted him.
Drake teleported in front of him, narrowly missing the throw as it knocked into Rui's face.
Linc froze, and Rox stopped mid-step when she recognized her alternate literature teacher ducking beneath Rui as he flailed through the air with the Frisbee between his teeth.
?I caught it!? Rui said from the ground after spitting the disc out.
?In your mouth,? Ben said. ?Like a dog.?
?So I'm pretty sure we dropped it in something that came from a dog not twenty minutes ago.?
?Ugh,? Rui said, spitting and making a crinkled face.
?Ms. Fessuns,? Linc said, a little out of breath. ?Timmy fall in a well??
?I think I preferred the other variant of that joke, the one where you didn't intimate I was a dog. But no. You need to see this, all of you. Now.?

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