Day 23 was one I struggled to find something with. So I went with sports of the 41st Century, and Ion Ball, a game I created for the Nineteen Galaxies novels. Still not sure on the rules, but it’s a cross between basketball and American football! This story features a member of the Recon One-Five team after he’s left, and follows on from The Case of the Empty Killer.
The crowd roared as another point was scored.
Coach Dirringer roared with them, directing his team. Grant City were holding Maypoor to a running draw. When one scored, the other equalised. It was a game that would be remembered for a long while.
He had been coach for ten years now, with the New Terra Olympics team coming up next year.
He was a long way from his days with the Pathfinders.
“Go for the circle!” he shouted excitedly. “Defence, get it together. You’ve got to stick together and keep them out.” He knew they knew that, but it didn’t hurt to remind them, just as every coach in existence did.
The Ion Ball game was one of the last of the season after the debacle of last week’s game and the interference of the Police’s chase of the so-called Empty Killer. Grant City’s stadium wasn’t quite as big as New Amsterdam’s, but it reverberated incredibly well.
The energy ball bounced off one of his defenders and the attacking striker smashed into two of them, before diving for the floor and attempting to claim a foul.
It was the last few seconds of the game, and the score was tied at 115 each.
The striker was sent to the sin bin, essentially out of the game for the crucial remaining seconds.
It was a foul for Grant City.
Dirringer called a Time Out, and the energy field that surrounded the small court of play flashed open for a little while.
He gathered the team around.
“Gart, it’s your penalty. Jac, you’re the blocker. The rest of you run interference on the outskirts like we practiced the other day.”
They looked at him like he was mad.
“That was just schoolyard nark, Coach,” said Gart.
The team broke up, confused, but still excited. This was the final decided moment of the game and the RISE Cola Trophy.
Gart grabbed the energy ball, holding it in his specialised gloves, the light shining off him. Jac was stood next to him, whilst the rest of the team stood expectantly on the sidelines. The crowd looked confused, although the referees seemed to not notice.
The chime sounded, and Gart and Jac were running like sprinters off the block, charging towards Maypoor’s scoring circle hanging on the opposite wall of the energy field. The Maypoor team charged towards them with venom in their eyes. Jac got ahead of him, and ploughed into the front row. Gart dove, drew his arm back, and threw just as the others in his team slammed into the enemy. The entire group tumbled to the floor, amassing a gigantic penalty.
But the ball was still in play, released before the tackle.
It splashed dead centre into the circle.
The referees couldn’t believe it.
The Grant City half of the crowd jumped into the air, roaring and laughing. The Maypoor half were booing, but it was shouted down.
Dirringer clapped his team; he had won his last game in League Ion Ball.
His team, however, had other ideas.
They charged him, grabbed him, and threw him into the air, carrying him above their heads and chanting his name.
“DIRRINGER! DIRRINGER! DIRRINGER!”