Dasher Soley's Final Flight: Part Three
There was chatter amongst the fans after Dasher Soley had been helped away, questions mostly. They wondered to themselves, was he alright, would he still be able to play? The team captain of the Terror Mountain team walked over to the pile of rubble and picked up the instrument. The fans roared angrily at her, but she merely examined it distastefully.
“What did you think you were doing?” Garven Hale demanded, storming over to her, followed by the rest of the Krawk Island crew.
“We told them not to, that it was against the rules, that it would do nothing but bad,” she said, and that was all they got. Snorting irritably, Garven Hale led the way out of the field. The crowd of people chattering in the stands didn’t even notice.
“What happened?” Ealyn asked back in the tent as he took off his Yooyuball gear and placed it in the chest. Garven Hale snorted once more, sitting down on the chair that Zayle Sufhaux usually sat in. The Grundo was sitting on the floor, glowering at a patch of especially tall grass.
“Basically she was getting at that she wasn’t the one who rigged the ball, but she obviously knew it was rigged,” the Bori growled.
“What about our captain?” Nitri asked, having already taken off her Yooyuball gear. Everyone shrugged at this, but Ealyn answered.
“He’ll be all right,” he said confidently. Garven Hale got up and the rest of the team turned to him. The Bori waved and left the tent without a word. With a quick glance at the others, Ealyn got up and left as well. Zayle followed, and only Nitri remained. Her lip twitched, and she knew that the others were thinking the same thing she was.
What would happen without their team captain?
Eloise closed up the stand early, to screeches of the angry customers, to go talk with the Terror Mountain team captain. She wasn’t really in the mood to talk, but she finally agreed, motioning to the other team members to let her be. They nodded grimly and left, and Eloise invited Prytariel into her stand and gave her a slushie.
“What happened with the Yooyuball?” Eloise asked, narrowing her eyes slightly but trying not to sound too accusatory.
“I knew you’d ask, so I might as well tell you to whole story,” Prytariel, the Terror Mountain team captain, said with a long sigh. Eloise situated herself, waiting for the cloud Aisha to begin.
“Well, we were talking with a few other Terror Mountain supporters about a strategy to win the match with Krawk Island,” Prytariel begin, but Eloise interrupted her.
“So you rigged the ball?” she asked furiously.
“No, the others suggested it, but my team and I completely refused, said it was completely against the rules and that it wouldn’t help at all,” Prytariel said, scowling slightly.
“They continued to persist, so we finally demanded that they leave,” she continued. “We had no idea that they would do it, but when I saw that Yooyuball, I recognized it as the one they had shown us.”
“And you hadn’t thought to tell the Krawk Island captain?” Eloise demanded.
“I was trying, but the Yooyuball had already exploded, he wouldn’t have heard anyway,” Prytariel snapped.
“You could have told the officials what those fans had suggested, so they could be watched,” Eloise pointed out.
“I didn’t think of it, alright? I didn’t think they would do it, I even partially thought they were fooling around,” Prytariel said.
“You thought it was a joke after they continued to suggest it?” Eloise asked disbelievingly.
“It might have been,” the Aisha said gloomily.
“Well, it wasn’t,” Eloise said sourly. She waved to the Aisha and left, leaving her completely alone in the stand. Kicking the counter and yelping in pain, Prytariel left the slushie stand to talk with the officials.
Dasher Soley opened his eyes and groaned, sitting up. His team stood around him, and Dasher wished he’d have some privacy.
“Did you know you snore when you sleep?” Zayle asked. He was shortly whacked by Garven Hale, and proceeded to keep his mouth closed.
“Are you alright?” Ealyn asked.
“Does it look like it?” Dasher snapped, grumbling.
“You know what I mean,” Ealyn said darkly. Dasher had to think for a moment about it. Thinking hurt. His head was still spinning slightly from that clockwork Yooyuball. He recalled the scene again, which also hurt. He wondered why it had exploded like that. Wondering hurt. Dasher resolved to stop thinking, wondering and remembering.
“Oh, yeah, I think so,” Dasher said finally. He still wasn’t quite sure what Ealyn meant, but he figured this was the best answer. The NeoHospital Gelert walked into the room and gestured for Garven Hale to follow.
“I don’t know if he’ll be able to continue with the Altador Cup,” he said, speaking quietly so that no one else would hear.
“Of course he will,” Garven protested, but the Gelert shrugged disbelievingly.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said, then walked away. Garven walked back into the room. Naturally, Dasher asked what the Gelert wanted.
“Eh, nothing really,” he said. Dasher Soley narrowed his eyes at his goalkeeper, but Garven Hale said nothing more.
The fans waited impatiently the next day, staring at the door where the Krawk Island team would enter. They continued to mutter amongst themselves, while the other team waited on the field for their opponents to arrive. There was some question whether Krawk Island would even arrive, or if their captain would be with them.
It seemed like hours they waited for the team to come, the Make Some Noise crew was silent, the Slushie Slinging stall empty except for Eloise. In a few minutes, however, the Krawk Island team piled out of the door. Fans nearly crawled into the field to get a good look at the members.
Zayle was there, along with Garven, Nitri and Ealyn. That appeared to be everyone, and the other team, plus the fans, looked at each other strangely. The match wouldn’t be fair with only four players. Suddenly, one of the fans called out. Another figure was rushing out the door, the figure of a Krawk.
There was a roar of applause, thunderous cheering and booming screeches of delight. Dasher Soley had never known such a greeting, and he could think of nothing to do but bow. He bowed low to the ground while the crowd continued to cheer. Dasher straightened himself and beamed at the audience. He couldn’t have imagined a warmer welcome.
The moment seemed to last forever, Dasher standing in the middle of it all. No one noticed the irritated opposing team, waiting impatiently for the applause to end. It lasted only a few minutes, but Dasher Soley didn’t care. So far, this was the best thing about his day since the Gelert doctor agreed he could play.
Finally, the applause died down after the commentators yelled their heads of into their microphone. Everyone finally quieted, and the two teams shook hands. Soon, the whistle blew, and the match began. Dasher snatched the ball and fell back to pass it to Ealyn, who was running swiftly toward the goal.
He caught the Yooyuball with ease and shot toward the goal. The goalkeeper dove to block it, but the ball had already sailed into the net. The crowd went nuts, and slushies were dropped into the field. The first goal had been scored in a matter of seconds, and things only got better for Krawk Island after that.
The next ball that came out was a Fire Yooyu, and it quickly transformed into a Yooyuball as Dasher ran forward to grab it. He was nearly tackled from behind, but he managed to step out of the way. The other player that had been trying to get the ball crashed into the other member trying to get Dasher. The Krawk couldn’t help but snicker a little bit, and then he continued toward the goal.
Zayle jumped in the air for Dasher to shoot him the ball, and one of the opposing team members jumped in front of him. Dasher looked around, but no one else was open, so he ran toward the goal and shot the Fire Yooyuball toward the goal. It flew into the net in a flash and the crowd cheered again.
They continued to score, and the crowd continued to cheer. Finally, however, a Snow Yooyuball came up and Dasher caught it. He zoomed toward the goal, sending the ball at Zayle- who dropped it. The crowd gasped at once in one long, lasting gasp. Another member of the opposing team grabbed it and zoomed toward Garven Hale at the Krawk Island goal net.
Garven Hale dove for the ball, and it soared over his head. Before it could hit the net, however, Garven reached up and grabbed it. Instead of an uproar, the crowd froze. The commentators froze, and the Yooyuball players froze. They all looked around at each other, and then at the referee.
He appeared to be contemplating what had happened, thinking about what he should say on the matter at hand. The crowd began to whisper to themselves, and someone shouted out something to the referee. Garven growled something about wanting to get the crowd on the edge of their seats, but no one heard that either.
The referee opened his mouth and closed it again, shook his head. Garven rolled his eyes, and one of the fans shouted something rude. The referee ignored him and sat down, sketching something in the dirt. Dasher glanced at Garven, who growled. Dasher smirked and turned away.
The Yooyu proceeded to whack itself on the edge of the net, anxiously waiting to hear what the referee had to say as well. The Make Some Noise crew had long stopped, and was also waiting. The crazed Techo fan’s eyes were bulged and he seemed to be blowing steam from his nostrils.
Finally, one long call rang out from the stands by one of the fans, clearly heard by everyone in the stadium, maybe even in Neopia. “Get on with it!” The referee snorted distastefully and stood up. The whispers continued as he opened his mouth to speak.
Garven snarled menacingly, and for the first time, the referee noticed it. He gulped nervously and held up a hand. The whispers died immediately, and there was silence in the stadium.
Clearing his throat, the referee shouted, “Goal!”
Then the uproar came.
To be continued...