The fifth ballDate: 28 Mar 2007, somewhere above
I walked out to the observation gallery and stood next to DubyouCee. He sported a vacant look and didn't look around to my greeting. He did stifle a big yawn. There were others milling around, some taking an occasional look at the action below, but 209 is not something that is usually defended.
Xnis joined us. "That's two for Canas?", I asked with a raised eyebrow. "Things change", he said with a cocky grin. Asking fore-bodes of a fellow god is breach of protocol, but I came oh-so-close to asking "The French! What about Roland Garros?" But that's just not done.
DubyouCee remained motionless. "It's not been pretty this time, has it?" This got me a reaction out of him. His body went stiff and he turned around with a glare. Xnis joined in: "I hear mind-space for this has reduced by over 60% this week?". That set Dub off. "You will not believe the things I've had to take care of this time. It's a miracle things are not worse" smouldered the man in charge. He must be having trouble upstairs - SeeKayTee isn't the understanding type.
I turned to Xnis. "This game'll be over soon. What's coming up next?". Small-talk ensued. We didn't notice DubyouCee mutter his charms (but that would've been routine anyway). Some cheering below made us look down. One had fallen in this late stage. The usual mini-storm before the calm -- pretty normal -- there's usually one final gasp from the opposition before the last chop. We started to look away when more noises and gasps demanded our attention again. Another had been downed.
We looked at Dub. He was strangely flushed. "Are you doing this?" asked Xnis. A tiny smile took off and then perished. SASeeKayTee had just bounded in clumsily, like he always did. "What's going on here?", he asked angrily. Right off the bat came: "I don't have to answer that." "We know what you've done the previous two times with my team - this had better not be you", spat SA.
But it was him. We could tell. That nervous energy. It's happened before. He gets twitchy. Does strange things. There's even a phrase for it. It's called "glorious uncertainty".
Word seemed to have got around, and others started to gather around. You don't want to miss one of these. The recriminations are beautiful to watch. SA wa being a little harsh - Dub had caused only one of the two last ones, not both. It had been great though.
Nothing had happened for the last six, but now we were back to where the show had left off. Then: one more fell!. The involuntary spurt of godly expletives accompanying this told you something very unique was about to happen. Surely, Dub wasn't going all the way? That'd be crazy.
The angry voice of SA was back. I could sense people stiffening all around me. The big SeeKayTee was in our midst.
"And what is going on here?", he growled. "It's a game, sir. Things happen. That's almost a law around here, isn't it". His words were drowned out by even larger gasps. It now was four in a row. "Has that ever happened before?" whispered Xnis to me. I shook my head. Wow - we're in really oily waters here, Dub. Be careful for what you wish next.
The fourth had robbed SA of his faculties. He seemed to be slumping. Then, the blood rose back. SeeKayTee could read the danger signs. Insubordination was a fairly minor offence compared to what SA would do to Dub in a second if that happened. We waited.
It should have been one of those slow-motion moments, but it went by in a flash. The ball was bowled - batsman misses - ooh! just past the off-stump - a flying kiss. SA had to sit down.
I looked at Dub. He seemed calm now. I knew it was all over. SA wouldn't be spilling his guts over nectar a third time. At least not today.