((Beach, Casperia Prime))
Mason: You’ll get a hang of it faster than you think.
This was it- the chance to get his way, or the chance to loosen up a little. What Alvarez didn’t realize- or at least make obvious if she did- was that Shayne was winning just by playing. It felt strange to admit; he’d always required hard, set parameters for victory, otherwise the movement of goal posts would tear up the turf of value. But here… the game was different. And he was going to enjoy that fact.
The ball cruised towards him, and his instincts kicked in; though not an athlete by any means in the modern era, he used to play baseball. Quite poorly, but that was besides the point.
Shayne: I’ve got it!
The club his hands became was little more than a blunt object with which to defy the motion of the ball, and it careened away from his intended target. Nevertheless, it stayed in bounds, and manageable for the next set of hands.
Another hit, this one to Mason, who reacted in much the same way as the captain.
Mason: I got it!
The hit was more solid, and he enjoyed seeing success on his team.
As the master chief dove for the ball, Shayne could not help but notice a stricken, stationary and silent R’Ariel; her normal, flowing manner and gently looping tail had ceased, and she looked as though she were ill, or carved from ice.
R'Ariel: My ankle.
The captain held up his hand, calling for time as the ball was collected.
R'Ariel: I'm sorry, I think I need a break, anyone want to join in as a sub? We can do that right?
Ra: I don't see why not. We could always play with two person teams too.
This wasn’t what the captain had intended, but he was glad that the counselor was being cautious with herself. He imagined Mason had insisted she stick to light duty for the time being.
Shayne: Indeed- I’d much rather be safe than sorry.
Shayne knew his empathic and telepathic abilities- non existent as they were- would not compare to R’Ariel’s, but he had a sneaking suspicion that something more than a twinge in her ankle had invoked that reaction.
Ra: I don't mind sitting out the first round. It'll give me the chance to see how this is done.
Shayne: Gracious of you, master chief. Shall we continue?
Before the ball could be hit again, a loud voice hollered from several yards’ distant.
Burly man: Hey!
Shayne turned towards the quickly approaching interloper.
Shayne: Can I help you?
Burly man: You’re the Starfleet crew in orbit? From the Arrow?
Shayne tried not to sigh, but this could not possibly be good.
Shayne: Yes- Captain Randal Shayne. May I ask your business?
Burly man: Your people have been involved in not one but two specific altercations here. As the owner and proprietor of this beach, I’m telling you to scram!
The fat man tried to catch his breath, his face red as a prune. Shayne’s own face was flushed from indignation, and a less than healthy dose of embarrassment.
Shayne: If that is your wish, we will leave. But we had arrangements for a gathering on a beach near here, made with the dockmaster.
Burly man: That’s none of my business. But I want you gone.
He turned and left, and Shayne let the ball fall from his suddenly very disenchanted hands.
It was time for answers.
Captain Randal Shayne