You are currently viewing The Final Flip- A High-Stakes Batey Game in the Anti-Gravity Sphere

The Final Flip- A High-Stakes Batey Game in the Anti-Gravity Sphere

(A short story created for a contest on Reedsy.)

Nico had always been a survivor. Growing up in the slums of a dying planet, he had learned to adapt and to make the most of every opportunity that came his way. When the Unknown Blues arrived in their massive spaceship, offering a chance for a select few humans to leave Earth behind and start anew, Nico jumped at the chance. 

The immigration process was straightforward, if a little unsettling. Nico was immunized against a range of diseases, and given a crash course in the customs and technologies of the Unknown Blues. He had never seen creatures like these before – massive, scaly beasts with shattered-hole eyes and multiple heads. They were smarter than any human, and their technology was far beyond anything Nico had ever imagined. 

But despite their intimidating appearance, the Unknown Blues were friendly enough. They explained that they had come to Earth to observe a rare phenomenon – a planet on the brink of environmental Armageddon. Normally, such volatile planets were devoid of life, but the Unknown Blues had been fascinated by the resilience of the humans they had encountered on their scouting missions. They had decided to offer a chance at survival to a few select individuals, in the hopes of preserving some of the unique culture and traditions of Earth. 

Nico had never given much thought to culture or tradition. He had always been too busy trying to survive. But as he settled into life on the spaceship, he began to appreciate the value of the things he had left behind. The music and sports of his home planet were a source of comfort and entertainment for him and the other immigrants, and they were embraced by the Unknown Blues as well. 

One sport, in particular, caught Nico’s attention – a traditional Taino game called Batey, which involved using only the body parts except the hands to move a rubbery ball around towards a circular and vertical ring, where the goal would be scored if the ball went in. The game was played with 5 players on each team at a time. The Unknown Blues provided the technology for humans to innovate the game in a futuristic manner, adding metallic and heavy balls that could be used in a 70-foot anti-gravity sphere, and futuristic jet boots that allowed the players to fly through the air with incredible speed and agility. Nico was fascinated by the sport, and he quickly became one of the best players on the spaceship. 

But despite his skill, Nico seemed to be plagued by a run of bad luck. Every time he stepped onto the Batey court, something seemed to go wrong. His jet boots malfunctioned, or the ball bounced the wrong way, or a rival player managed to outmaneuver him. It was frustrating, and Nico couldn’t help but feel that the universe was conspiring against him. 

He wasn’t the only one experiencing a run of bad luck. Across the spaceship, people were starting to notice a pattern. Certain individuals seemed to be cursed, while others seemed to be blessed with good fortune. It was a strange and unsettling phenomenon, and no one could quite explain it. 

But there was one person who seemed to be immune to the ups and downs of luck – a rival Batey player named Fred.RTG. Fred.RTG was older than Nico, and he had been a cohoba dealer on Earth before the Unknown Blues had arrived. He had a reputation for being cunning and ruthless, and he was known for using any means necessary to win, including cheating and unsportsmanlike tactics. 

Nico couldn’t stand Fred.RTG. He had always been a fair player, and he couldn’t understand why anyone would cheat or break the rules. But as he struggled with his own run of bad luck, he couldn’t help but feel envious of Fred.RTG’s seemingly endless supply of good fortune. It seemed like he couldn’t lose, no matter what. 

The final match of the Batey season was approaching, and Nico knew that this was his chance to turn things around. If he could beat Fred.RTG, he could prove to everyone that he was the better player, and that his run of bad luck was finally over. 

But as the day of the match drew closer, Nico started to feel nervous. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to go wrong, and he couldn’t help but wonder if Fred.RTG was planning some kind of trick or cheat to win. 

On the day of the match, Nico tried to focus on the game and not let his doubts get in the way. He warmed up with his team, running through a series of drills and exercises to get ready. As he flew through the air with his jet boots, he felt a sense of exhilaration and freedom that he had never experienced before. 

When the match began, Nico was ready. He and Fred.RTG faced off in the center of the court, each determined to win. The ball flew back and forth between them, and the crowd cheered as they battled for control. 

At first, it seemed like the match was evenly matched. Both Nico and Fred.RTG were skilled players, and they were evenly matched in terms of speed and agility. But as the match wore on, Nico started to get the upper hand. He was faster and more agile, and he seemed to have a sixth sense of where the ball was going to go. 

Fred.RTG, on the other hand, seemed to be struggling. He was slower and less coordinated than usual, and he seemed to be getting frustrated. As the match went on, he started to make more and more mistakes, and Nico could see the frustration building in his eyes. 

Finally, with only a few minutes left in the match, Nico had a chance to score the winning point. He flew through the air, his jet boots propelling him toward the ball. As he reached out to hit it, he could see Fred.RTG flying towards him, determined to block the shot. 

At the last second, Fred.RTG reached out and grabbed the ball. But as he did, his jet boots malfunctioned and violently exploded, and he started to spin out of control. Nico watched in horror as Fred.RTG crashed to the ground, his body twitching and convulsing. 

The crowd went silent, and Nico rushed to Fred.RTG’s side. He could see that Fred.RTG was in bad shape, and he knew that he had to do something to help him. As he frantically tried to figure out what to do, he heard a voice in his ear. 

“Nico, I’m so sorry,” Fred.RTG gasped. “I was desperate to win. I took a performance-enhancing drug to give me an edge, and it backfired. I knew I was taking a risk, but I thought it was worth it. I never meant to hurt anyone.” 

Nico was shocked. He had never suspected that Fred.RTG was cheating, and he couldn’t believe that he had put his own life in danger just to win a game. 

Nico was shocked. He had never suspected that Fred.RTG was cheating, and he couldn’t believe that he had put his own life in danger just to win a game. As he knelt by Fred.RTG’s side, he knew that he had to do something to help him. 

But as he tried to think of a solution, he heard a voice in his ear. It was one of the Unknown Blues, offering to help. The creature explained that it had been monitoring the match, and it had seen what had happened. It offered to use its advanced medical technology to save Fred.RTG’s life, if Nico was willing to accept the help. 

Nico hesitated. He knew that accepting the Unknown Blues’ help would mean breaking one of the most important rules of the Batey game – that no outside assistance was allowed. But he also knew that Fred.RTG was in serious danger, and he couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. 

In the end, Nico made the hardest decision of his life. He flipped a coin – a coin flip representing the choice he had to make. If it came up heads, he would accept the Unknown Blues’ help and risk breaking the rules. If it came up tails, he would let Fred.RTG die and follow the rules of the game. 

The coin flip seemed to take an eternity. Nico held his breath as he watched it spin through the air, his heart pounding in his chest. Finally, it landed on the ground, and Nico saw the outcome. 

It was tails. 

Nico’s heart sank. He knew that he had made the wrong choice, and he couldn’t bear the thought of letting Fred.RTG die. But he also knew that there was no going back now. He had made his decision, and he had to live with the consequences. 

As he watched Fred.RTG’s life slip away, and Nico knew that it was Fred.RTG’s own luck that had run out. He had cheated, and karma had finally caught up to him. Nico couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction at the thought, knowing that Fred.RTG had brought his own demise upon himself. 

But as he mourned the loss of his rival and friend, Nico realized that he had lost something else as well – his lucky charm. It was a small trinket that he had always carried with him, a talisman that he believed brought him good luck. But in the chaos of the game, he had lost it, and now he was left with nothing but his own wits and skills to guide him. 

As he walked off the court, defeated and alone, Nico knew that his luck had run out. But he also knew that he had learned a valuable lesson – that luck was something that could be fleeting and unpredictable, and that it was up to him to make his own way in the world. 

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