Story:Showing the Ropes

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Showing the Ropes
Written by MigeYeFoxe

Adawosgi’s limousine pulled up to the main entrance of the main training facility that the Williamsburg Minutemen used. Although it wasn't entirely necessary, the team felt it was best to make the rookie’s introduction to the team memorable and more pronounced. When the light-furred otter stepped out of the car, he was greeted by an ocelot with straight brown hair that went down to her shoulders. She was dressed in a blue women’s polo shirt with the Minutemen musket logo on the right breast. She offered him a handshake.

“Welcome to the team, Ada!” she said with a smile. Her accent was clearly Hispanic, though not to the degree Vera La Tiérra's was. “My name is Manuela Martinez, and I’m the head trainer. Everyone inside is looking forward to meeting jou.”

"Wow thanks, dude. This place is wild!" The two began to walk to the building as Martinez gestured to it with a bit of a grin.

“Welcome to the Minutewomen Training Facilities!”

“Huh? I thought we were the Minutemen, but like, I'm all for gender equality and stuff," Ada replied with a confused look on his face. Manuela giggled a bit.

“Oh, it’s just a team joke because we’ve had so many women players recently. Is good for advertising campaigns.” Ada grinned back at that.

"Right on, I gotcha. Sweet."

Martinez continued as she ushered the otter inside: “Jou will get to know this place very well; it will be like a second home. There will be days where something makes it so that you aren’t allowed to use the facility. But that is very rare.

“We have just about anything jou could probably want for exercise. We have an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the east wing. A weight--”

"Whoa, no way? Olympic sized? That's awesome, dude! Wow!"

“Oh, jes, that’s right, you do like to swim. Well, jou will be right at home! There’s a weight room, massage room, and a track that runs around the building,” she said, circling her finger slowly in the air. “A catered cafeteria with a few corporate chefs that make sure that jou get what you need as well as a few in-house doctors and therapists.

“And, naturally, the main court where any shooting drills and all practices are. Did they send jou your key card?”

"Huh? Oh yeah, this thing? Got it right here," he said, showing it to her.

“Ahh, muy bueno. Feel free to come by any time. There is a heated garage downstairs and a few temporary bedrooms if jou want to just crash for the night after training.”

“Wow, thanks! This is all super rad."

“You’re welcome. Anyway, let’s get jou to your desk so you can drop your things off and then we can take you to go meet the rest of the team.”

"Wait, so, like, we don't get a locker or anything like that?"

Manuela laughed a bit. “Oh, jou get one of course! The office area is more secure than the locker room. Everyone wants to see the players’ locker room and so the room is almost always unlocked.

“Jou will be free to customize it however jou want; have jour own computer. There are tours that come around, so please watch what you have open on your desktop,” she giggled.

"I gotcha. Don't worry, I'll like, keep it family friendly and stuff," the chubby otter chuckled.

They walked up to a closed door and Manuela waved her badge over a small black box on the side of the door. A loud beep emitted from it, a blinking red light switched over to green and with a click, the door unlocked. Martinez opened the door and waved Ada through.

“Jour key card will get you into here, just like everything else. Anything you don’t want lugging around all day jou can leave here. If jou’re really paranoid jou can get a safe for your cubicle,” she grinned, still trying to put on the humor for him.

The two of them walked to the area with all of the players effects being stored in their own personal space. Each was supplied with a basic swivel chair, desk and standard model computer.

Ada noted that the cubicles were labelled with each player’s name above their space with a small red name tag and white text above it. Most of the team was obviously already there, as many of the spaces were occupied with things. Teo Masalia had a backpack put in his chair. Vera La Tierra’s screen saver was a picture of her and her husband Leonard Mack taken by a volunteer fan while they were on their honeymoon. Mikaylah Marley’s chair was adorned with a four-leaf clover decal with a cartoon depiction of her Happy Flappy Floof icon. Manuela gestured to a spot near the end with a basic computer and a pocketpilot placed on the desk. The red outer covering had his name printed on it in white.

“That’s a team calendar pilot for you, but jou can import it to your phone if jou wish. Anyway, like I said, leave whatever jou want here and it’ll be safe. The only ones with access to this room is security, staff and players and there are no tours scheduled for today.”

"Nice. I'll bring my stuff over next time I'm out here, dude." The two left the room and continued down the hall; Manuela pointed out key landmarks on the way. She showed him how to get to the garage from the office, where the weight room and shower rooms were located, and then finally lead the two of them to the large double doors of the main court. A few of the players are already in the process of practicing on their own; the true official practices weren’t scheduled to start until later on in the week. On the back wall hung a sign that said “Welcome to the Minutemen, Ada!”

“ADA, ¡ESTÁ AQUÍ!” squealed a voice. Ada looked to the side and was tackled by a shorter butterfly who grabbed and pulled him into a big hug.

“Whoa, dude!”

The players broke out in laughter as Marcella Oliviera, the over-exuberant, glass-winged butterfly guard hugged the chubby otter around the waist and amazingly lifted him off the ground a little.

“Welcome to the Minutemen!” she squealed.

"Haha, whoa, thanks dude!" He happily hugged her back.

Timothy walked up to the group and then stopped and stared at Ada for a moment. He lifted up his phone and compared what was on the display with Ada’s appearance. After doing this for a moment he put the phone down, seemingly satisfied.

“You’re the rookie. Hello,” he said before turning to Manuela, “I’m going to go run a few laps.” The deer then walked off toward the track.

Crystal stifled a chuckle at the straight-forward way Timothy greeted the otter and Ada looked at her.

“Don’t worry about it, Ada. That’s the way he talks with everyone. I’m Crystal Davis; nice to meet you.”

“Yeah, dude, same here.”

Vera, still the captain of the team, came over and also greeted Ada with a big greeting hug.

“Let’s continue on to the locker room. It’s just over here,” the ocelot laughed. She led the otter to the back of the court; the most veteran players on the team, Vera, Crystal and Teo, followed them in case Ada had any questions they could answer.

“Now, jou are free to put whatever you want here, but as I said, tourists want to see this. Jou should keep jour locker at least relatively in good order; it impacts the image of the team. Have jour locker in too bad a state, and they may fine you.”

Teo raised his hand. “That happened to me when I was a rookie. It’ll cost jou $2,500, amigo, so make sure to keep your locker neat like Manuela says.”

“Doesn’t happen often but for some players it is important. Oh, lo siento, I almost forgot…”

She reached into her pocket and pulled out what looked to be a credit card with the emblem to the training facility printed on the front. “Here’s your card for the vending machines.”

“What? They aren’t free?”

“Oh, they are, but only to those with these cards. Reporters, tourists, college and high school teams on a field trip to practice at our facility. They pay for the vending machines. For jou, the machines will see that card and mark it as having been paid. Of course, this also means that should you lose this card jou would have to pay out of jour own pocket.” She grinned. “So don’ lose it.”

They reached the locker room and stood at the entrance. A few of the lockers had some clothing tossed around them, indicating the players that were currently in some part of the facility. A few of the lockers had also been decorated to suit that player’s personality. Vera’s had a Puerto Rican flag draped on the back wall and an unusual Puerto Rican belt buckle set up on a stool and an outfit with a black halter top and camo capri pants hanging on the bar. Stan Shields, Jr. had a framed picture of him and his father taken from the brief time he was with the Bikers. Renee Fiora had a couple of clean hair brushes as well as a rubber-spiked scraper for stray hairs.

"Jour locker’s over there. Naturally the players that have been with the team the longest get first pick as to where their locker is located, as do the bigger names.” Manuela then pointed to the back.

“Jou’re stuck being in the back of the room. There is food over there, though,” she said, pointing to the side of the room furthest from the lockers.

“And don’ worry; they do a good job making sure there’s a good spread during normal hours.”

Manuela then took a deep breath and sighed. “Now jou must know: as the team’s rookie player, there’s going to be some expectations placed upon you by the rest of your teammates.”

"Uh… sure dude. Like what?"

“For jour first year on the team you will be effectively a go-fer for the other players. They need someone to pick up their laundry, they call jou. They need someone to go get snacks for the team, they call jou. Almost anything they want, they call jou. Is going to suck, but just grin and bear it. Every single player you see on this team has had to do it when they were rookies.

“Even me,” Vera laughed.

“You got out of a couple of requests from Leonard just by fluttering your eyes,” Teo quipped.

The vixen grinned at that and Teo laughed. “That won’t work for you, though, amigo,” she teases.

"Hey, man, you never know," Ada teased back.

Manuela laughed. “Think of it as like a rite of passage of sorts. Jou’ll just get laundry and food.”

“Laundry and food… but like, not drinks?” Ada asked.

Crystal rubbed the back of her head. “Yeah, about that. See, you met Timothy earlier.”

“The deer dude? Yeah, sorta.”

“Well, he takes care of all the drinks the team wants. He really likes to do it. Even had some of the tech guys design an app for him to keep track of everyone’s orders. You’re gonna have to get it if you want something.”

"Okay, sure dude. I guess so."

Manuela nodded. “Jou remember how I said that everyone has had to do all the go-fer stuff their rookie season?”


Crystal waved her hand. “Tim did all that. But the season afterwards, when we told him he didn’t need to do that anymore, he thought we were punishing him for doing something wrong. And ended up sulking for about a week.”

“Whoa. Was he okay?”

Crystal grinned at that. “Oh yeah, he’s good. We decided if that’s what he wants to do, we let him do it. Makes him feel needed and like he’s doin’ a good job. So he’ll take care of the drinks and you’re in charge of everything else the team wants, 'kay?”

"Sure, I guess that's no problem. Part of my job, right dude?"

Teo gave a thumbs up. “You got it, amigo. Now you get set up, we practice a little and I set you up for a test run for lunch!”

Ada chuckled at that. “Sounds great. I’ll be ready soon. See ya in a bit.”

As the others left to leave him to get dressed, Ada looked in his locker and saw everything laid out for him. It was a bit barren, like his work cubicle, but all uniforms, the practice and home game whites, were hanging up in the locker for him and the corresponding shorts were folded up neatly on the small footstool below with a fresh pair of socks placed on top. The blond otter took a moment to take the white jersey off the rack and look at it.

There was his favorite number: 35

Cheezburger’s old number.

He turned it around and couldn't help but smile at the backside: another 35 and "FLETCHER" scrawled on the back. Surely this wasn’t a dream. He had made it. And now, it was time to show the world what he could do.

Featured Characters

Adawosgi Fletcher Vera La Tiérra Crystal Davis Teo Masalia Timothy Svengaard Manuela Martinez