Callum tried to teach a bunch of Arkonauts a new game with mixed results...mostly for Callum
"Alright everyone," I shouted out across the anti-gravity room.
The crowd of about twenty Arkonauts fell silent except for Koyla who I glared at until he stopped talking.
"Right, let me teach you the game Giants, Wizards and Goblins," I began, while marching between the two teams I had already arranged, two groups of ten facing each other separated by a two metre gap. "It works like paper rock scissors, each of the characters defeats one of the others. Wizards, turn Giants into stone, Giants stomp on goblins and goblins kick the shins of wizards."
"What are the hand gestures?" Ogwambi asked.
"You don't do hand gestures, you do actions," I said. "Wizards are long flowing beards," and to demonstrate I mimicked a old man stroking his beard. Everyone joined in giggling at the sight of one another stroking imaginary beards. Carlton mimicked throwing a beard over his shoulder and Maiara pretended to plat hers. "Giants are tall you stretch yourself up," I explained and I put my hands in the air and went on tip toes. Everyone copied. "Goblins are short so you have to crouch and kick." This particular action was difficult. People fell over trying to general laughter.
"Now then each team gets into a huddle and decides which action they will do, then they stand in front of each other two metres apart. On the count of three..."
"Do you mean on three or 1,2,3 then go?" Koyla asked.
"On three," I reiterated. "On three, each team then shows its actions at once. If your team is the loser you have to run to your side of the hall, while the winning team chases you. If the winning team tag any of you join their team. We do this a number of times until one team no longer has any players. Understand?" I said.
There were general murmurs from people, I was not convinced they were ready, however practice makes perfect so I said, "Let’s play a few practice rounds."
I join a team and we got into a huddle. "So what are we doing?" I asked
"Giants," Koyla said loudly.
"Quiet or they will hear you and pick Goblins," Maiara said.
"No wizards defeat giants," I said.
"I only said it loudly so they would think we were going with giants, it was a bluff," he said.
"Sure it was," Maiara replied.
"Callum," Gerlinde said from the other huddle.
"Yes," I asked.
"What happens when we choose the same character."
"It's a draw and we go back into the huddle to choose again," I answered.
"They fell for it," Koyla said.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"They asked about a draw because they obviously choose to go with giants as well, which is why they asked about whether or not what happens."
"That doesn't seem right," Maiara said.
"Let's go goblins," Koyla said, convinced his double bluff was the correct way to go.
I sighed, "Goblins?" I agreed.
The two huddles broke up and lined up to face each other. I was opposite Carlton. The red haired boy pointed at his own eyes then pointed into my own. "I've got you Callum, you'll be on my team soon."
I didn't say anything I just smiled ruefully at his cockiness.
"Remember when I say three you do the action then either try to catch your opponent or run to your side of the hall." I repeated, I then poised myself ready to either run backwards or forwards. "One two..." I paused for dramatic effect. "Three."
My group did the goblin pose kneeling down and kicking out. The other team stroked their long beards.
Half of my team then lunged forward to tag the opposing team while the other half ran the other way. The opposing team did virtually the same thing.
Carlton came barrelling into me and gave me a bear hug, "Got you Callum," he declared.
"You idiot, goblins beat wizards, I've got you."
Carlton frowned, no wizards beat goblins," he said.
"I'm the one who taught you this game, I know who beats who," I shot back.
"Wait a minute, I am completely lost," Maiara said, "Why didn't you guys run?"
I sighed, "Listen up people," I shouted, and for a moment I thought of an old PE teacher who used to do the same, I hated him. Everyone scowled at me and I ignored their glares. "Let me try to teach you again."
I ran them through the hierarchies once more then got them all to practice their moves and tell me who won. Once I was convinced they understood I enacted the next stage of the game.
"Ok," I said walking backwards towards the entrance to hall. "I'm going to make this more interesting. I reached the dial that controls the gravity. First I'm going to turn the gravity up."
I rotated the dial and felt the gravity go to 1.1 then 1.3 then 1.5.
I then walked back to the others very slowly and took my place with my team. It was really weird, everyone’s hair was drooping more than normal, Maiara, who had lots of braided hair actually had to tilt her head because it was pulling her head to side. People’s clothes were also clinging to their bodies.
We got into our group and decided on Wizards.
We lined up, slowly, and on three we performed our action and the other team choose goblins.
"Run," I shouted and my whole team turned on our heels and ran away from the winners.
It was hilarious because all we could do was run almost in slow motion.
I looked down the line of my team, they were all red faced with lifting their heavy legs, they were also laughing, "This is crazy," Koyla shouted out.
"It feels like I'm walking through syrup," Maiara shouted between laughs.
The other team were close behind, Carlton being a big boy was catching fast and aiming for Moana who was next to me.
She turned her head, which was a mistake because then she slowed down and tripped on her legs which were not where she expected them to be.
She fell hard and struggled to get up and Carlton tapped her on the head.
A few more of my team were tagged, but we made it to the rear wall safely.
Everyone was tired and breathing heavily.
"Let's not do that again," Ogwambi said.
"Ah man, were miles from the dial," Gerlinde said pointing across the hall to the entrance on the other side.
"I vote Callum goes to return gravity to normal," Maiara said.
Hands rose in the air.
I huffed and struggled for five minutes across the hall to get to the dial and reverse gravity to half what it normally was.
"Ok let's do this in low gravity," I said, now that I could bounce around.
The teams reformed the huddle and my team was much smaller.
"Ok Koyla doesn't pick anymore," Maiara said to general laughter.
"Hang on, I think we should double bluff them and do goblins again," Koyla said.
I looked around at the group, none of them were nodding in agreement.
"So Wizards," I said.
Everyone nodded and Koyla bowed his head and frowned.
We reformed the lines.
"You're going down Callum," Carlton said facing off against me as did Evan and Riley opposite me.
"Why are you going for me," I asked.
"Just count," Carlton said.
"It’s because I'm English isn't it."
"Yeah," Evan said.
"Fine, but because I'm not petty I won't moan."
"Just do the count," Maiara said.
"One Two, THREE," I bellowed.
"My team stroke their luscious beards the other team crouched and kicked.
Carlton didn't even do an action instead he saw me go for the beard and was off.
I was ready though and leapt backwards right out of his reach. In the low gravity I made huge leaps.
Carlton though, had already proven that he had more leg power was catching up.
He made a dive for me and I sidestepped and his hands just missed my shoes. He hit the floor, however he couldn't roll with the dive and get back up quickly because the low gravity made him bounce and he couldn't plant his legs. That gave me all the time I needed to bounce towards the far wall to safety.
Elated that I had made it I turned around to watch the other members of my team reach me.
However to my horror every single one of them had been caught I was all alone.
"What happened?" I cried out to my team who were now walking to the opposite side of the hall.
"Sorry Callum," Maiara said.
Everybody but me gathered in a new huddle. I was left alone.
"What shall we be?" I said to no one. "Oh Callum let's be giants," I said doing a mock conversation with myself. Some of the others laughed. "Don't be Wizards whatever you do." I said wondering if I could bluff the other team.
In the other huddle heads kept popping up and smiling nastily. I wondered what they were planning.
Suddenly One's voice comes on over the speaker.
"Dinner is served everyone please report to the cafeteria."
"Oh such a shame," I said, "We don't have time to finish."
"We have time to finish," Carlton said smiling as his team broke up.
"Got to get to dinner," I said, not wanting to lose or get creamed by nineteen other Arkonauts all gunning for you.
"I tell you what if you win, if you make it to the rear wall, you win," Carlton said.
"I what if I'm chasing you?" I said.
"If you get any of us you win," Evan said.
I thought about the deal, and then said, "Deal."
The teams lined up I decided to go with wizards.
One, two....Three," I said and stroked my no existent beard.
The others went for goblins.
I turned and bolted for the rear wall. I didn't look behind me, deciding that concentrating on my goal was better and looking over my shoulder was going to slow me down.
However I didn't hear the scuffing of shoes of laughter of people bouncing in the low gravity.
I turned around.
Everyone else had not chased me, instead they had run for the entrance.
I stopped sprinting, and then laughed, they had forgotten the order of who beats who.
They were all looking at me, "Hey idiots, you ran the wrong way." I then mockingly moved closer, "Come on you can still catch me."
However instead of coming after me, the group left for dinner and on the way out Carlton turned up the gravity.
I went down on my knees under the weight of my own body.
"Don’t call us idiots," Carlton said.
The group then left me to crawl, humbly, across the hall to freedom.
I promised myself to never call them idiots again.