Posts Tagged ‘edan’

Fourth Visit (Sahila Tournament Part II)

June 18th, 2009 No comments

Visit 4 Continued, in which Steve and Stacy view the Sahila Tournament on Fruitoka.

Steve and Stacy noticed that the circular playing field was divided into four “pie” sections by two lines running all the way across the field.  Each team’s players wore a different color uniform.  The team’s colors were red, yellow, blue, and green.

All the teams were in their own quadrant warming up.  

“As they start playing, the teams each get one disc or frisbee at a time.  If that prymal goes into the goal at the other side, or if it gets deactivated, then that team gets a new one,” said Nyani. “You’ll see what happens when the other team intercepts a throw.”

Stacy said, “It looks like they are getting ready to start.  Those prymals are bigger than our frisbees.  They are almost 2 feet across, and hollow in the middle, so it’s actually a ring.”

“Yes, and they get very good with throwing and catching them, as you will see.”

They heard the piercing sound of a gong and suddenly all nine members of each team ran to their own back wall.  Steve noticed that he couldn’t see the red team. This was because he and Stacy and Nyani were sitting near the red team’s “starting place” and the playing field was about 13 feet below the stands.

Another gong sounded, some long flags unfurled around the edge of the stadium, and suddenly the players leaped into action!  

Nyani said, “Watch the front players.  Four on each team are what you call the offensive team, trying to get their own prymal into the opposing territory and into the goal.  Three others stay near their own back wall to block the other team from scoring.”

“So,” asked Stacy, “The red team tries to get their red frisbee into the slot on the opposite wall, which is green.  And the green team tries to get their green frisbee into the wall below us, which we can’t see too well.  The blue and yellow teams do the same, across the field.”

“Yes…   Oh, look there!”   Steve and Stacy saw a brown skinned red player catch the prymal from his teammate.  He then leaped far into the air to his right to avoid a green defender.  While in the air, almost sideways, he threw the prymal from behind his head using his thumb, and it zinged into the slot for a goal.  The crowd cheered, especially the people sitting in the “red” stands.

“That’s an early goal,” Nyani said.  “There are no substitutes in this game, like you often have in your earth games.  Endurance is part of the contest.  You can see how big the field is and how the players must run constantly.”  

Steve saw a yellow player intercept a prymal from the blue team. 

“Oh, watch what happens now.”  Nyani got Stacy’s attention also as the yellow player did something to the prymal and then laid it on the ground where he caught it.  Suddenly a cylinder of yellow light rose from the prymal into the air, straight up to about 30 feet.

Stacy gasped as Nyani said, “It’s part of the strategy and scoring.  The yellow team gets a half point for the interception.  The players have to avoid the cylinder.  Any player touching it loses a half point for their team.  You can also see that the cylinder partially blocks the goal.  Any prymal touching any cylinder of energy instantly disintegrates.”

The players showed fantastic feats of energy and vitality.  They were strong, with physiques like triathletes.  They were agile and quick and could jump amazingly high when catching the prymal.  Goals were made, and colored cylinders rose to mark interceptions.

Stacy suddenly said, “Look, the borders between the playing fields are rising!”  The people all around them in the stands laughed out loud at Stacy’s surprise.

Sure enough, Steve looked and saw that the lines crossing the field were raising into walls.  They were now about 2 feet high and still rising.  “Another obstacle,” said Nyani.  “I wondered when you would notice.”  

“Any player can go anywhere in the entire playing field,” she continued.  “But these walls make it more interesting.  They will reach five feet just before halftime, and again near the end of the game.”

Steve asked, “So they have to keep jumping them to get to different parts of the field?”

“Yes.  Right now they hurdle them, as you can see.”  

As the walls rose the players began to vault the walls, putting their hands on them and then doing a front flip onto the other side.  “Yes, many people on earth would think that this kind of physical activity would be impossible,” Steve remarked.  “And even if possible, they would say that the players needed to eat meat to ‘build strong bodies’ and get enough protein.”

After the first half of play, the walls were lowered, and fifteen Fruitokan girls danced a lively dance that Nyani said was the “National Dance of her country”.  

The score at halftime was Red: 8  Green: 9 1/2  Yellow: 5  Red: 7.   The players didn’t get much rest, but began with as much vigor as ever.  The cylinders of light were taken down at the half also so they started the second half with a clear playing field.

Very soon, however, the playing field was again a buzz of activity, with players vaulting walls and catching prymals.  

“The red team  is what you call my ‘home’ team,” said Nyani.  “That’s why we are sitting in this section and why I cheer so much for their goals.”

“Well, I hope the red team wins them,” replied Stacy.  “But it looks like it’s going to be close.  Red and green are tied at 13 each.”

“I know, and there’s only a minute or so left in the game.”  The defenders of all teams made valiant leaps to block goals.  The offensive players also gave their energy to making a final score.  

Steve suddenly noticed the same brown skinned red player deep in the green territory, the one that made the first goal.  Steve also noticed that Nyani’s hands were clasped very tightly as she watched the same player.

The red player jumped and caught the prymal.  This could be the winning score if he made it.  He seemed to jump left and the defender started to jump with him.  Then suddenly the red player jumped right and again flipped the prymal with his behind the head throw.  Zing.  The prymal sped into the slot and the score was registered.  The red team had won.

The people in the stands exploded into applause and cheering.  Nyani looked like she might cry, or faint.  

A few minutes later, as the people started leaving, the brown skinned red player came walking toward Nyani and Steve and Stacy.  He was carrying a young boy about three years old.  He came right up to Nyani and gave her a big kiss.  Nyani said, “Steve and Stacy, this is my husband Peto.  And this is my grandson Edan.”

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