Art by Adabune
|No. 11 – Santa Ana Spectrums|
|Species||Balinese Civet ( Viverridae )|
September 3, 1993|
Kuta Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
|Listed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Listed weight||177 lb (80 kg)|
|School||ASEAN Joint Venture Sports School|
|FBA draft||2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Santa Ana Spectrums|
|Pro playing career||2014–present|
|2014-present||Santa Ana Spectrums|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2021 Salary||$10 million|
|2022 Salary||$10 million|
|2023 Salary||$10 million|
|(IC) Agent||Blake Toivonen|
|(OOC) Usage||Only use if I opt-in|
Born in the red light district of Kuta Selatan (South Kuta) in Bali, Indonesia, Adi was born to a life of poverty, and was... obtained... at a very young age by the underground Slave trafficking network in Indonesia.
He ended up forced into survival sex by the chain of brothels in the area who took him in (with pickpocketing tourists in the area as a part time job), and over time ended up as a high demand 'company' part in due to the rarity of his coat colour he attained while growing up compared to other Asian Palm Civets.
To explain the above, as time went by, his fur colour went from dark brown, like other common Asian Palm Civets, to a shade of golden brown. The rarity of his coat variation caused the cartels to elevate him as an exotic source of excellent income, and made sure to force him to stay in shape in order to remain desirable to high profile, rich customers.
Due to the above, Adi was assigned to a bodyguard/handler, and while it was him who kept Adi on a leash, it was also through him Adi came to know Basketball and Pencak Silat, a form of unorthodox martial arts that was taught in many parts of Indonesia. He took it to these 2 sports to vent his frustrations, pouring all his emotions into them to forget all the horrible misdeeds he was forced into, and those he did in order to survive. He also often ran with his handler, who over time slowly, but surely became sort of the closest thing to a family he had, despite not seeing eye to eye most of the time.
At the age of 12, the regional investigative police network managed to crack the underground cartel he was working in. After a struggle on both sides, to which he witnessed his own bodyguard/handler's gruesome death by gunshot, he, along with some other child trafficking victims were smuggled to the island of Batam. The cartel members were arrested upon arrival on the island however, and since Adi and his fellow victims then had nowehere else to go, they started a new life on the island of Batam instead, ending up as labour workers to the 2 newly established holiday resorts there (Nongsa, Batam).
From Child Labourer to Soldier
As a worker at both Nongsa Point Marina and Turi Beach Resort, Adi spents a lot of his work time as a delivery boy and heavy labour worker, his duties spanning delivering goods, maintaining the condition of the resort chalets, and if the resort transportation vehicles breakdown, pretty much spending about half a day running across vast distances of land carrying goods and supplies needed for the resorts along with a few of his colleagues (the distance between Nagoya and Nongsa span about 25km, so Adi and some fellow workers spend at least 1 or 2 days a week covering distances greater than that of a marathon each), plus hauling and lifting motor boats manually back to shore after holiday goers are done with them, essentially building up his stamina and strength.
While not at work, he tends to spend his time brooding a lot at first, but over time learnt to redirect his focus to better himself at his Basketball and Silat abilities, aided by the fact that the resort has a half basketball court built in case any international guests wanted to play the game over there, his colleagues joining in on him every once in a while.
There have been a few times where he had been sexually harassed by some guests who had taken note of his rare coat colour variation for an Asian Palm Civet, coupled with his good build and a height taller than most Indonesian males at the age of 20. While he is successful in refusing some of them in their advances, some of the resort guests were more... physically persuasive... causing Adi to need to suppress and immobilize them... And with the physically larger and/or guests, things get violent at times.
While he does what needs to be done to be able to feed himself and keep healthy while working in Batam, the incidents mentioned above reminded him a little of the past, with days where he get harassed leading him to be unable to sleep while nightmares hounded him.
His opportunity to leave the resort for something better came indirectly to him in late 2008 (age 15), where a Singaporean rat-bunny hybrid male animator came to work with the Animation and VFX company setup in the resort, a series of events leading him to end up enrolled in the ASEAN Joint Military Venture Sports School at the very start of 2010, with him specialising in both Basketball and Hand-to-hand Close Combat.
In order to expedite the qualification to obtain a Singaporean permanent residence, Adi was drafted into the military proper. Under the request of CPT Aida Olivia Zhao, he was inducted into the MSS (Military School of Snipers), where he graduated as one of the top 10 of his batch (of a batch of 150) with a rank of Lance Corporal, and was assigned to the 1st Commando Battalion in Hendon Camp, Singapore, as a backup Sniper to the ASEAN Emergency Response Special Tactics Unit there.
While playing basketball, he was a high support emphasis player in his team fitting in the role somewhere between a Point Guard and Pass Specialist, specialising in getting the ball where it needs to be on the field while his team mates act as a distraction, keeping him in the open and unguarded quite a lot of the time, using his speed and immense court awareness to his advantage as a strong passer + setup player, specializing in either taking point or as an indirect passer. He doesn't, however take a lot of shots, and is quite a picky shooter.
With the opportunity given to him and the things he's experienced in the past, he lived frugally, and gave what he can, when he can, to the goodwill organizations (Such as the World Charity Fund, run by Cliff Matthiews' father Rowan Matthiews) that are helping to make Indonesia a better place for those who live in poverty, but making a basic salary (comparable to just almost US$1000.00 a month) still makes such a thing a faraway reality.
Learning that the 2014 Draft Pool for the FBA was open, he decided to submit his name into the league for trial, part because of his own ego, believing that the best of players in the ASEAN Military Combine (and with that, the Military World Games) can stand their own with the best of what the FBA had to offer, part because there were benefactors he wanted to live up to who had lost their lives, and part to make a difference for those who shared a history similar to his own, believing that they deserve a better chance to achieve their dreams.
Life in the Military
At the start of 2010, Adi began his term in the ASEAN Joint Military Venture by attending boot camp (3 Months) to get himself accustomed to military life basics, and also to gauge his physical abilities, before being assigned assigned to the 1st Commando Unit, trained as a sniper (And by extension, situational camouflage and stealth).
His weekends are spent in the Joint Military Venture Sports School (JMVSS) as long as he's situated in Singapore, with his specialization in basketball and close quarters combat, further expanding his Silat fighting style, with the faster Wing Chun and the brutish Krav Maga.
Having had experience as a Basketball Trickster/Performer back in the days working at the resort, and a good stamina already (even by military standards), he made the Joint Military Combine Basketball team as part of the bench by the middle of the year as the team's 6th Fur and backup PG, and was personally coached by the team's Captain, CPT Aida Olivia Zhao (PG/SF, Rabbit), who further refined his basketball tricks into very powerful, irregular passes based on martial art palm strikes/push/swipes.
While his weekdays were spent in Hendon Camp as an Assitant Physical Trainer, Assistant Close Quarters Combat Trainer and Backup Sniper, most of Fridays and the rest of the weekend were spent in the JMVSS with Basketball and Martial Arts, along with improving his English, picking up a secondary language (Mandarin), basic math and basic sciences.
With regard to his work in Hendon, he trains recruits in the art of Close Combat along with his superior, 2nd LT Depam Shealtiel (Ram, Krav Maga specialist), one of the best Krav Maga specialists from Israel, and an ex-underground cage fighter. He also assist Shealtiel in getting the recruits into shape as his assistant physical trainer.
As a sniper, he has been trained in the art of situational survival, fast decision making with regard to his environment and targets and also in the art of stealth and camouflage. This comes naturally to him, harking back to the days where he had to be extremely situationally aware when he was working as a pick pocket for survival while he was still a child, given how important it was for him and others to escape quickly, or risk certain death (roadside children where Adi was from are too poor to afford medical attention, and those who take part in criminal activities are in general left for dead).
On the field, he is also accustomed to working alone, as snipers usually do, or with a squad of 2-3 including himself at the very most, acting as either an infiltrator, a recon, an assassin or as a long range backup, accurate up to 800 yards with an M16 rifle. Survival comes into play when he's left alone for a long period of time, and aspects of his survival training covers the topics of camouflage, hunting and testing if unknown herbs are suitable for consumption.
His applied Close Combat skills have come into play during his security and special peacekeeping assignments, taking down targets without firearms. He has had to suppress targets much bigger, physically stronger than himself on multiple occasions. As Rules of Engagement state, firearms should be used only as a last resort, hence his CQC training comes into play, both serving to protect others around him, and preparing those who'd protect others in the future.
Adi is often deployed to the Thai region in 1 month stints for peacekeeping missions, often ending up playing quite a bit of Basketball with others there, who get assigned to the ASEAN Patrol units there from other ASEAN affiliated countries. He was also assigned to the Philippines from time to time, which resulted him in participating in the Biannual Philippine Iron Fur Competitions.
In Singapore, Adi actively represents the Hendon Camp's (where the 1st Commando Unit is housed) basketball team as their primary PG, being called on into the main ASEAN team when the main team (comprised of players from many other units) is called on to play against teams from nations outside of the ASEAN, an example being the Military World games in 2011 (Every single military Camp has their own sports team/teams of some sort, eg. Singapore's Sungei Gedong Camp has it's own Water Polo team, as does Hendon, and they go head to head within the National Military Games, a way to spot military sports talents, to possibly have them be developed to represent the country).
It was also in 2011 that the ASEAN Basketball team lost to the American Military Basketball team in the finals, taking 4th place. It was during this time that Adi first met and played against René Lacoste, and gained a lot of respect for the jackal, for how he plays and handles his team.
Born in South Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, Adi was drafted into the ASEAN Joint Military Venture Sports Team (Joint Military Combine, JMC for short) - Basketball Division, when first spotted by CPT Aida Olivia Zhao's (SG, ASEAN Commando) and MAJ Sayeed bin Hussein's (MY, ASEAN Engineering Corps) direct relative
He displays excellent ball control, having worked as a basketball trickster on the side while primarily serving as service crew in Nongsa Point and Turi Beach in Batam, Indonesia.
He was drafted into the Joint Military Venture Sports School in late 2009 (Woodlands, Singapore), where his basketball skills were further polished.
He also displays an uncanny awareness of the position of everyone on the court, as if looking at the entire court from a higher angle, and serves well in getting the ball into the right places at the right time.
Adi is highly athletic, possessing a strong lower body, a stable core and swift arms resulting from a history with Pencak Silat (An unorthodox, Indonesian version of Silat mixed with other forms of martial arts), and possesses quick reflexes and speed, which he uses in conjunction with his court awareness to swipe, intercept and/or steal the ball from the opposing team when possible.
While possessing the jumping ability to reach the hoop, going as far as jamming his forearm into the ring for a very showy dunk, he's not witnessed doing this much, doing so only to increase the team's morale and have the audience cheer for the team when the team's steam maybe running low. In fact, he's not a huge scorer, primarily focusing on his job getting the ball where it needs to be. The reason for this, he says, that someone of his height would be far too vulnerable spending too much time in the air, especially against a dirty playing team. Even if he can draw a foul, the risk of injury due to either party due to the extended airtime is high.
The above reason is also why he doesn't go for as many rebounds as he can, balancing his time on the inside for quick offenses, and staying on the outside a lot of the time to focus on his irregular passes, but there's little to worry about that as he knows his much taller SF, PF and C team mates are able to get the job done... That, and that they're far more suitable for doing that than he ever would be no thanks to his short height compared to most of everyone else.
Integrated into the ASEAN JMC Basketball Team, he tends to prefer playing with another Combo Guard on the court, with strategies discussed with the team to focus on quick, run-and-gun style attacks on the opposing team's hoop, with call playing falling approximately 60-40 between his fellow Guard and him, while he specializes in accumulating a large number of assists, and extremely quick passes. A 3 Guard Offense is his prefference attack strategy, one of the Guards doubling as a Swingfur or Point Forward.
In general, the ball never stays too long with him, quickly being passed from one point of the court to another when it reaches his hands. He has been witnessed making crazy passes with but a tap of the ball, perhaps stemming from his heavy hand-to-hand combat based martial arts background, and his work as a basketball trickster, where he assists with pushing the ball back in a 180 degree direction (pass reversal misdirection), accelerating the speed of an ongoing long distance pass with a palm push or side slap while the ball is in mid-air, or having the ball approach and leave his position to a pass target at very sharp angles in but a fraction of a second, essentially vectoring the direction of the pass.
From the time he started playing, he's trained himself in ball control using both hands, becoming equally proficient in controlling, dribbling, passing and shooting using both hands, so he combines this with his deceptive misdirection skills by starting out his play on the court using just his right arm, and should the opposing team adapt to Adi's pass heavy playstyle directed using his right hand, he'll switch the game up to throw off his marks using the left hand for passing instead, and then mixing his pass styles using a random combination of either hands.
In essence, while the team plays with Adi on the court, what they must pay attention to is not Adi himself, but rather the position of the ball on the field.
He primary deploys deception on the court, his usual moves ranging from postponed passes, behind the back passes, blind passes, pump fakes, shot fakes, direction changes (cross overs, ankle breakers), fadeaways, floaters and an unorthodox palm push/tap/slap (using the arms as if they were tennis racquets with his palm and fingers as the net) having the ball rebound on the floor or shot at chest level, an unorthodox pass style with great accuracy speed while on the court, all matched with an incredible stamina (He's a long distance running pacer in his Unit, a marathon runner, as well as a regular participant of the Biannual Philippine Iron Fur Triathlon), partly explained by the extreme long distances he has to cover on foot delivering objects during his youth in Batam (Public transport is virtually non-existent there then as the island is still being developed, and as of now in 2014, Batam is still a backwater island).
Another part to his deception is visual misdirection, where he uses his immense court awareness to maintain his knowledge of everyone's position on the court, while almost NEVER at once looking at his opponents directly in the eye, causing them to second guess his intentions if Adi and anyone were to be locked with them in a one-on-one, intentionally having them stay even more aware of WHERE he's looking at rather than paying attention to him. The only time where he locks his eyes with his one-on-one opponents however, is to lock their attention onto him while passing the ball to a team mate when their field of vision is focused on him, essentially making the pass invisible to whomever he's engaged against.
While he's in the open, his scores are usually a healthy mix from the 3pt. line, layups, reverse layups, floaters (teardrop shots) or hookshots. While Adi can dunk, he doesn't do that often, perhaps just once every few games, or to get team and fan morale up when need be.
His overall shot stats are decent, FG% at 57%, 3pt % at 53% and FT% at 88%, but looking at the numbers, he never really does take a lot of shots while on the court (Low overall shot count coupled with somewhat relatively decent accuracy equals low number of errors made, and higher than usual percentage results), preferring to enable his team mates do the job while he draws attention away from them, getting the ball to them and/or leaving them in the open to make their shots, himself making the shots only when both attention is drawn away from him and when the ball is in his hands. Statistically, most of his throws are from FTs and 3pts when he has the chance to make a still shot. Even then however, he rarely ever scores over the 5 pt. mark in any game. Excluding Free Throws, his mix of direct hoop shots average a count of less than 3 per game on average in all the games he's participated in thus far, with it not being surprising that he makes 0 direct attempts at the hoop. Rather, Adi focuses his playstyle to bolster his team's scoring strength through his supporting instead, with Adi placing a huge faith on his military teammates to get things done, getting the crowd roaring and the team heated up by setting up Alley-oops or unexpected Assists, be them direct or indirect.
Essentially, Adi's a Pass First mentality team player, with a strong emphasis on 'team' and much less of an emphasis on 'I', a valuable asset to any team seeking a player strong in dribbling, passing, stealing and assisting, with a somewhat above average scoring ability, able to fulfill both the role of a Point Guard and Shooting Guard, and when necessary, a Small Forward thanks to his jumping ability, and perhaps a 6th Fur with his specialty in semi-unorthodox passing techniques.
Adi places a heavy emphasis on teamplay and flexible strategies, and is a specialist in starting and following through many different variations and extensions of the gap-kick-swing offensive playstyle, with his experience in the JMC Basketball team has allowed him to meet players of all sorts of personalities from honest players to rough and/or dishonest players, allowing him to integrate into any team well, but in a team where trust and teamplay is the core foundation of things, Adi can make everyone else other than himself absolutely shine by performing to the fullest supporting the team in the shadows.
+ Teamwork focused
+ Unpredictable passing ability
+ Gap-Kick-Swing Defense Scrambling Specialist
+ Lasting stamina
+ High jumping prowess
+ Exceptional ball control
+ Able to pull of both unorthodox and textbook fakes
- Shot accuracy decreases exponentially the further he is from the board
- Average shot accuracy
- Blocks aren't his strong point (Height mismatch)
- Gap-Kick-Swing requires a very well integrated team
Aditya Anggun finished 9th Overall at the 2014 Ironfur Combine, placing him in the "Top 10."
In individual events, he won Gold in the Agility Trials, and Bronze in the Speed Trials.
|In honor of Memorial Day I had the privilege of interviewing the Corporal in his dress uniform prior to breakfast this morning. In every team scrimmage and drill I've seen him at the Combine, he's provided marvelous support to his peers. His short compact frame is somewhat quick and agile, though he shies away from personally taking shots. A bit more defensive awareness could help him be a great back-court asset to any team, but today I salute him for his service. -P.Suarez|
Adi was picked by the Santa Ana Spectrums during draft night, Aug 31st 2014, essentially beginning his career as a pro basketballer with the FBA.
|A Meeting Unexpected|
Written by Adabune
|A Meeting Unexpected
I remember that it was back somewhere in mid-late 2008 when I first met him... Was just assigned as a Junior Character Animator back then, into this company called 'Infinity Networks Co. Ltd' located in Nongsa, Batam, Indonesia
Was walking up the hills to where my quarters were supposed to be located when I heard the sounds of basketball dribbling, which was sort of a surprise... Basketball was not a popular sport in Indonesia at all, soccer was a much bigger thing for them overall
As I made my way up the hill, it was there I saw the half basketball court, setup for I think both the staff and probably interested visitors to the resort to play (strangely enough, the Animation company rented out a part of the resort for use as a studio, but I heard that the actual studio was under construction further down inland in the island). Strange, I thought... Considering the overall lack of popularity of basketball... But Turi Beach Resort is an international resort, with visitors coming in from Singapore, Malaysia, the Phillipines and China, amongst other places, so I guess it makes sense
Even more eye-catching IMO, was the one handling the basketball... I think he was an Asian Palm Civet variant... A Balinese Civet... Rare enough as it is already, and even rarer to find one of his overall height AND having him a basketball player... And he's... *ahem*... pretty... Well toned, neither scrawny or too big, and with a mesmerizing creamy and golden brown coat >//3//>;;
And I realised that he was tall, unusually so for an Indonesian... The average Indonesian male height aggregate was about 1.5m (About slightly less than 5')... And this guy looks just about as tall as I am (5'10") if not taller
'Hey ban (b-ahh-n, a polite term to address male strangers in Indonesia), mau main nggak?' He asked in Bahasa Indonesia
'E-eh? Saya? Eh, saya ini nggak terlalu bisa bermain bola basket ah...' I replied, my Indonesian a bit rusty after having not used it in quite a while
"Your Bahasa is good, but if want, English also I can speak to you" He replied with a grin. Nice guy, I thought... His English is quite a bit broken, but passable. Not sure where he learnt it from though... Most native Indonesians generally don't learn English for their entire life unless the situation calls for them to.
And with that... I joined him for a few rounds... And learnt how horrifyingly good he is at the game and his ball handling skills... (Then again, I just suck at sports... so...)
A few weeks have gone by, and I learnt that Adi here (Full name - Aditya Anggun) is one of the resort staff, balancing between both the Marina Point resort and Turi Beach resort (which explains his English speaking capabilities, considering the tourists and clients he has to deal with), and moonlighting as a basketball exhibitionist (not what you think, dammit) for special events when need be... Kinda explains his ball handling skills, with it not just being used to keep in shape but also for some extra cash. Jobs like that only came once in a blue moon though, since reputation here is spread by word of mouth, and Batam is a very rural, undeveloped island with sparse communities spread here and there, the only other major towns being Nagoya and Sekupang, the rest of the developeding areas dedicated to manufacturing or labour work
Anyways, I digress
Adi and I became friends relatively quickly, thanks in part to his very friendly demeanor (sometimes too friendly, I might add). He'd often drop by the resort area over at the Jetty I claimed as my private spot if there were no visitors around, sometimes chatting the evening away, sometimes looking over at what I was drawing... And sometimes just hanging out, not saying anything, me appreciating his company, given how different I was compared to the workers, and vice versa, given his more hardworking approach to things making use of time compared to most of the other resort staff and my own colleagues that I know of... Kindred souls I guess
Months have passed, and somehow, by some miracle, Adi and I were able to live in the same worker's quarter. It wasn't much, the place was small, but it worked. We got a sofa, an old CRT TV and the dining and kitchen area, and bathroom and single bedroom up on the '2nd' floor (in reality just elevated due to the hilly area where the worker's quarters were built)
Thanks to that though... I got to help Adi improve with his English, and learn more about him, his motivations, and why he was the one to approach me n the first place... With possible ulterior motives...
I found it hard to believe at first, but through that heart-to-heart, we got closer than I thought possible as friends.... Really close...
If we animators weren't so poorly paid, I'd have really wanted to help him out to be honest...
Thought it'd be a good time then. Sis and her BF would be coming back from a year long ASEAN joint military exercise and technology testing from Myanmar back to Singapore soon.
Basketball eh...? Thought to myself 'Why not?'
So out came the phone 'Oi Jie (Mandarin for Big Sis), some interesting things down here in Batam at my workplace. You and Sayeed-Ge (Ge = Mandarin for Big Bro) might wanna drop by and stay for a few days?'
Adi was confused at this, but his eyes widened after what I said next
"Bring the joint military sports league use ball too"
ASEAN (short for Alliance of South East Asian Nations) Joint Military Sports League - Basketball Division. That's where my big sis, Aida, and her BF, Sayeed, spends a lot of time now since they've been picked for the league division not just for their height, but skills as well
Aida's taller than I am, despite being my twin sis, standing at 6'2", and represents Singapore in the Division combine, playing the role of a Power Forward usually.
Sayeed though... Is unusually HUGE for an Asian, having a wide upper body frame with the legs to match, a soldier with both strength and stamina to spare, an a size extremely intimidating, standing at nearly 8 feet tall. Naturally, he plays the role of a Center, and is amongst the best pivots and 'walls' in the league.
'Excited?' I asked the Civet, grinning wide
'Ya... Able to play with very good players to baskeball, I am happy!' he replied
I chuckled, glad that he's much more fluent with his English now, but what can one do with work in the way eh? XD
'ADA!!!' came a shout
'Jie! Ohmahgawd, It's been well over a year now!' I said as we hugged
'And Ban-Sayeed, it's good to see you again too!' I continued looking up at the gargantuan Sumatran Tiger
'And this is Adi, Aditya Anggun, the Civet I've been telling you guys abo... Adi? Adi, hello? Ya there?'
I'm not sure why, but Adi was just standing there, mouth agape while looking up at Big Bro Sayeed.
It was an amusing situation, with Adi drawing chuckles from all the 3 of us. Guess a big part of the reason was the body size that Sayeed had, and that the fact that Adi was rarely ever outdone in terms of height, but suddenly in came a predatory animal that was almost 150% taller than himself. It took him a while to snap him back into reality, though he was quiet and following the rest of us in the back later on XD
'So then, what do you think Jie?' I asked as she swept her sweat off of herself, sipping water off of the bottle as the sounds of dribbling came from the court
'He's not a bad shot, plenty accurate all the way from the halfcourt to anywhere on the insides of the 3 point line in terms of free throws... But his Field Goal attempts need a bit of work' she replied
'His biggest issue so far is that his moving shots need work. He's not as accurate with his throws while running. Needs to get up close to the net.' she explained as I looked confused.
'Nothing we can't work out, he shows a lot of promise. His ball handling skills are exceptional for having being self-taught. Plenty capable of smacking the ball away from others and following up very quickly after. I can see him getting a lot better. Has more potential than a lot of our Joint League's present players I'd say. He'd make for a good Guard, it's possible for him to play the role of a Combo Guard' she continued
'So it's possible for him to enter the Joint League as a scouted player?' I asked her
'That depends, that's why you're recording his play with Sayeed here' She replied, pointing at my cellphone mounted on a cellphone oriented tripod clamp
'Also... How old is he?' She asked me
'To be honest, I don't wanna say... He's been a child trafficking and labour victim, though what happened to him was worse prior to. His documents were forged to have him having been 19 years old for a while now...'
'Ada...' Aida cut me off, glaring at me
'... 16, just recently... (late 2009)' I replied softly
'But we didn't do anything bad with each other, honest!' I continued, a little bit frantic
Aida sighed, placing her fingers over her temple
'No one else knows?'
'Adi says no, I trust him on that'
'Good, others don't need to know about this. Pretty sure Adi feels the same way too. His real age qualifies him for Junior Enrollment in the military for a specialized vocation before entering the League officially in 2 years time. I can pull my weight a little and try to influence the Indonesian and Singaporean divisions' she replied
'You serious Jie?'
'He deserves a chance, and he's in in for a noble cause' Aida said as she shrugged 'So I don't see why not. No one should have lived the way he does. Besides, you wanna help him too' she adds
'And that's reason enough?' I asked, giving a confused smile
She sighed, and playfully punched me on the shoulder, and looked back on the court. It was then Adi made a fast break for it, ball transferring to his right hand from the left, ducking in to the right and zipping past Sayeed's defenses after rushing in towards him, a directional feint, at a speed I've never seen him move at before, before jumping and then dunking the ball.
'... Age 16, potential to grow both physically and in terms of skill, excellent ball handling, astounding speed, broke past one of the best defenses in the ASEAN Combine despite the huge size disadvantage, excellent leg strength, and is a looker to boot...' She muttered...
'... Definitely marketable...'
'You got those recorded Ada?' she asked
I looked at the phone's screen, we're far away enough on the side of the court that the Field of View caught it all, and looked back at my big sis, and nodded.
She gave a wide, goofy smile back at me. 'That's reason enough'
It was early 2010, and I was seeing Adi off at the pier
'It's gonna get lonely here without you around big guy' I said to him
'I'm sorry Ada...' he replied
'Dude, don't worry about it. Not that we won't meet each other in the future. Aida can pull me to some of the International Military Game Combines whenever she wants'
'Not until 2 more years' he replied
'But you do get to go to the Combine Games to learn, trust me' I replied back
'Hush now, get out there and do your best. It'll be your time to shine' I told him as I took my flatcap off and placed it on his head. Perfect fit if you ask me, kinda natural considering we're similar in height' (5'10" VS 5'11")
Blushing, he lowered his head and placed his right paw over my shoulder
'Just work on it ya? They're counting on you. Show the world what you're made of' I continued, placing my own right paw over his own
With one last hug, he boarded the ferry bound for Singapore, where Aida and Sayeed were waiting, as I looked on from the resort Jetty
Things weren't gonna be the same without a close friend around... And I was missing him already
|Forging a Bond|
Written by Gustavo & Adabune
© Gustavo & Adabune
|Forging a Bond
"Sorry Warren, I did not mean to keep you up" said the golden furred civet as he stepped out of the hotel bathroom, dressed in a grey army t-shirt and a pair of midnight blue shorts, towel around his hair.
"It's okay Adi, all good." replied the hyena-yote hybrid as he put aside the time schedule for the Draft Combine.
Adi: "It's more scrimmages and competing with others from tomorrow on right?"
Warren: "Heh, yeah, I'm glad we got away early today. Finding that little court is nice. Quiet and allows us to focus on our game."
Adi sat on his bed, found to Warren's right, closer to the hotel's balcony. "You're good, and you perform very strong, if a bit rough at times. I'm glad you have asked me to be your hotel room mate, there's things I can learn from your game too."
The hybrid looked at the civet and chuckled a little. "Don't know why I asked, guess it had something to do with Twitter maybe, after I posted my own photo up."
Adi smiled, and nodded. There was sIlence between the both of them...
"I... hope that it didn't go too badly, or that I asked something wrong" the civet said, looking down on the floorspace between their beds, recalling the conversation they had after Adi first saw Warren's photo as he introduced himself to everyone else over social media.
Warren looked at his fellow draft candidate, and then realized what the civet was talking about. He placed a finger across his muzzle and averted his gaze from the civet.
The hybrid clasped his paws together as he sat on the edge of the bed, leaning forward as he looked down on his own paws and feet.
"Some people I know tend to badger me about them non-stop... It was worse when..."
"Sorry Warren, I should not have bring this matter up" replied the civet, as he looked at his fellow draft candidate.
Warren chuckled at what Adi said, and looked at him smiling as he said "brought".
"Heh, yah. My spoken English is not the best out there. I need to work on that." replied the civet as he smiled sheepishly.
"That said, you're really strong on the offense. You are very fast and good with attacking the hoop at any range." the civet complimented his room mate, diverting the topic into something more positive.
"Thanks Adi, you're really quick on your feet too, and nice tricks you have in misleading me at times." replied the hybrid, looking at the civet with a slightly brighter look on his face
"Yah. Should get some rest in though. It's gonna be quite a long next few days, and we've had our run today as well." replied the civet as he tossed the towel to the chair beside his own bed, further away from where Warren was.
Adi: "Are you excited?"
Warren: "Can't say anybody isn't, right?"
Adi chuckled a little "Yeah, you are right about that. Anyway, get some rest in alright? I will see you in the morning."
"Good night Warren."
The sound of a bit of movement, some shaking under the blanket and whimpering fell onto the civet's ears as he woke up in a near instant, staying as still as possible as he assessed the situation by listening
The sounds were coming from the further away bed behind his back, whimpering, almost begging of sorts. "...Warren?"
Adi turned the light to the right side of his bed, and the word 'worry' is an understatement when he saw his roommate curled into a ball, paws curled up tight, claws digging into the pillow as he was trembling - A vivid nightmare.
"Warren... Warren! You okay there!?" the civet asked, approaching his roommate, placing his right paw on Warren's right shoulder and tugging on it.
This alarmed the hyena-coyote hybrid and caused him to glare at Adi, all he saw being a black figure outlined by the light behind him.
"BACK OFF!" shouted the hybrid as he grabbed onto Adi's wrist, swinging an elbow towards the civet's direction.
Adi reacted instinctively and blocked the blow, but Warren being heavier than himself caused him to be flung back as his back hit the frame of his own bed.
Aching a little, Adi looked up at his roommate, the hybrid was breathing heavily, his being on full alert as his gaze was darting everywhere, as if trying to orientate himself on where he was after waking up from the nightmare.
"...I'm not a whelp..."
"...You can't do this to me..."
"WARREN! GRAB A HOLD OF YOURSELF!!" shouted the civet as he lunged forward and grabbed a hold of his room mate's shoulders, shaking him awake.
"I... Adi? What...? ... Oh no... Did I just try to... you?"
Adi slumped back as his roommate recognized him, feeling that the worst was over. The civet stood up as Warren rested his elbows on his knees, his forehead in the palms of his hands as he looked towards the floor.
"Relax Warren, nothing's going to hurt you, it's alright in here right now" Adi said, placing a paw gently over the hybrid's shoulder as he moved towards the bathroom...
The hyena-yote hybrid flinched at the unexpected contact, twisting his shoulder away, which made Adi stop for a very brief moment, and continued to head towards the bathroom as he gathered his thoughts.
The sound of running water filling two cups up stopped, the civet stepped out of the bathroom and walked towards his room mate, squatting down low in front of him as he looked up at the hybrid, offering him a cup of water.
"Thanks Adi..." Warren replied, taking a cup out of Adi's hands and then putting it on the little bedside drawer beside them.
"Are you okay? Feeling better now?" Asked the concerned civet, not taking his attention away over his fellow draft candidate.
"Yeah... I'm sorry man, happens sometimes..." replied the hybrid, as he opened the drawer and took a small prescription bottle out.
Several thoughts ran through Adi’s head as he observed Warren and his muzzle scars as he gulped a pill down with the water, all leading him to wonder how bad things were with Warren’s background, how similar it might have been to his own past. Adi was also reminded of medication that some of his ASEAN military superiors who have been deployed to combat regions and then get discharged take to help them cope with PTSD.
"I just... didn't expect this to happen, right on the first night of the Combine... I'm so sorry..."
"Don't worry about me, no harm on my end" replied the civet, all concerned. "I didn't know things were so bad till you have to take medicine for it. I'm sorry if I distracted you from them"
"No it wasn’t you... I... just forgot..." Warren said, appearing troubled as he put aside the cup away and prescription bottle into the drawer.
"Please... don't tell anyone about this alright?"
The civet nodded "It is not going to go anywhere Warren... Will you be alright?"
The hybrid didn’t respond as he rubbed the bridge of his muzzle with a paw, looking defeated, still diverting his gaze away from Adi. "..."
"Warren... Warren... look at me." Adi said as he placed his palm on the hyena-yote's knee, which triggered him to flinch away again, promptly causing Adi to let go.
'Okay... aversion to physical contact, so it's got a lot to do with that it seems, will keep that in mind' the civet thought to himself.
"Sorry Warren, I didn't mean to..."
"No, it's okay, problem's with me here."
"Warren, it is not your fault. Whatever has caused them maybe something I can... relate to. Maybe something I can understand."
"I don't mean to probe but... Warren, I know we just met not long ago, but if you trusted me to be your room mate for this event, then let me help you. Let me share that weight you're carrying..."
"I've been there..."
Hearing that, Warren looked back at the civet who was still kneeling down in front of the hybrid, a look of concern over his face.
Again, he diverted his gaze from the civet before quietly asking. "What do you want to know?"
"Nothing that you don't want to talk about Warren."
The civet looked at the hyena-yote hybrid above him and briefly diverted his own gaze from Warren, a hesitant smile across his muzzle "I... I'm willing to share what others don't know about myself too." Adi told Warren "It's only fair, right?"
Warren just sat there, pondering, weighing his options. Perhaps, just perhaps, he could trust his civet roommate. Others would find out eventually too, it was only a matter of time before those who are in power and curious would dig more than they should be allowed to, the incident with Travis Buckner coming into mind. Would Adi be just making things up just to get in on his secrets? The civet's playstyle was a deceptive one, often throwing Warren off in some sort of a misdirection... Would the way he play translate to how he is in real life? Warren pushed aside those doubts however, his fellow draftee had been nothing but honest ever since their paths had crossed. Adi had given him no reason to mistrust the civet and his motives, and there was nothing to suggest to Warren that he shouldn’t continue to trust the golden furred civet.
"I... wasn't always from Batam." Adi started as he got up and sat on Warren's bed beside the hybrid himself.
"Documents of me being brought over there while I was an infant and growing up there as a child labourer are only partially true, forged to protect prying eyes from my past."
"...past...?" Warren inquired
Warren stood silent on the matter, as if giving the civet the cue to go on when Adi looked to his side at him.
"I was... obtained at a very young age... By bad people who wanted to use me for their own living. I was forced into..."
The civet hesitated for a while, strongly recalling the events past... yet suppressing his own feelings as best he can, palms clasped together tightly.
"They made me become their slave, in a trafficking ring. Laborers, street pickpockets with quotas or anything that can earn them easy money, with our... Well-being put into question if we do not do what they wanted, or if they find that what we do was not good enough for them"
This perked Warren's own curiosity, Adi's story differed from his own, but since there were parallels that were starting to be relatable, it was Warren’s turn to show concern over the civet.
"What about your family? Wouldn't they have at least tried to get you back?"
Adi shook his head
"I wish that was the case back then. My father told me that my mother... left us not long after I was born, so I didn't even get to see her, and when I was already 3 years old, working conditions for my father was already bad to the point it was causing damage to his body."
Adi stopped for a moment, collecting his thoughts about how the incidents happened one step a time, piecing the pieces of his memory together.
"It was a surrounding, an environment where you have to grow up quickly. I hung out with the wrong crowd, picking up street survival skills from them under the influence of the older children in the village I was born in. Kuta, was a city under development and found near the beaches of the Indonesian island of Bali, famous tourist spots for surfers from all over the world, especially the richer Australians, so we tend to operate in that area, some of us as beggars, some of us more actively taking on the more dangerous tasks of stealing or acting as diversions to pickpockets."
"I'm not proud of it, but I got better at doing the more risky things. Misdirecting the attention of our targets, and we were doing good until about 1 year in. I was caught, and then handed over to the police there."
Adi clasped his paws together, burying his muzzle into them, his expression going blank as he slowly iterated what happened next.
"Part of the police force there back then were in together with the underground trafficking cartel, I was forcefully removed from my father, and then put to work under them, pickpocketing with quotas, with physical abuse as punishment if they were not met."
The civet unburied his muzzle from his paws, and looked at the yellowish gold fur on his arms.
"My fur... They started slowly turning to this gold colour as I was near 5 years old, I always thought of it as a curse back then..." Adi continued, stopping for a bit as he took some breaths.
Warren just sat there, observing the changes in tone and pace of the civet as he was telling his story, slowly starting to trust his roommate’s words the more he heard.
"It wasn't... always like this?" the hybrid asked
Adi looked at his room mate as he smiled weakly, shaking his head after that.
"No, it wasn't. I was largely dark grey with darker spots up till when I was 4, then it started to turn a regular brown like other ordinary juvenile Asian Palm Civets... just with lighter spots turning into a lighter shade... Then it largely turned gold. It makes me... how you say... Stick out like a sore thumb?" Adi answered as he gave a burdened chuckle.
"They took advantage of how I was the way I was, made me do a lot of things that were not right... Because I was what I was Warren..."
The hybrid took a deep breath, his right paw holding his left as he leant forward, looking straight on at the hotel room's balcony curtains.
"My... father... My biological father... He never wanted me, he never wanted a hybrid, someone like myself."
Warren's body was tensing up a little, his right arm instinctively rubbing up and down between his left wrist and elbow.
"My mother and... that man... After I was born, their relationship went on a downward spiral... He didn't want me, he didn't want a... hybrid kid... and he didn't... agree... with the fact that she cared for me more than him."
Warren stopped for a moment, as if collecting his thoughts, his right hand paw clasping over his left one tightly as he slumped further down, the volume of his voice going softer, his head looking down between his feet, his expression blank.
"I was forced by circumstance to live with him, as he married another... Was little more than a housekeeper who lived with them, I had nowhere else to go. Basketball was my escape, I kept myself together using it as much as I could... It helped me cope..."
"He said I should be thankful that he allowed a hybrid like me to live with them... living under him like a slave..."
That last part hit Adi in the chest hard, causing him to furrow his eyebrows, his expression one of distress as he grit his teeth. Warren's story, though different in it's own way, paralleled his own in that sense.
"... What... What about your new family members? They didn't do anything to help?"
"They couldn't... My step-family, they're good people, but they were too scared to go against my... that man... In fear of what would befall them after. He was... good to them... because they were purebred coyotes... like himself... so not only were they scared, but they were at conflict... and he was the family breadwinner. They were placed into a situation that made making... the right decision... difficult..."
Adi took a deep breath, piecing the pieces of the puzzle together as he separated the individual characters in the story... And despite his better judgement...
"... And... your mother?"
Warren's own eyes widened, he trembled a little, furs rustling outward and his breathing getting heavier, his eyes fixated on the floor still as he grit his teeth, fangs bared with his expression was one of pain, causing Adi to turn toward the hybrid, still sitting on the bed and not taking up a defensive posture so as not to agitate his roommate further, still leaned somewhat inwards towards the hybrid, but ready to react accordingly to defend himself if necessary.
"I lost her..."
Adi's own eyes widened as he arched his body back up, his worst fears about what he thought happened being true.
"I lost her Adi" Warren said weakly as he turned to look towards the civet, fighting back the tears before looking away again.
"I lost her... She died in a car accident before she could finish her divorce, so I was taken under his custody, his abuse... And then..." Warren raised his paw holding the side of his muzzle, Adi's attention directed towards the muzzle scars.
"One day couldn’t take it any longer and I... fought back Adi...I had found the courage and strength to stand up to him….but He didn't have any of it, it actually made things even worse, made me scared for my life... and worse... I..."
The civet looked onto his roommate's trembling paws, it was getting worse the more he was getting into it. There was only so much he was ready to even start to speak about, and Warren was only scratching the surface.
"Warren... Warren stop... You don't have to follow through with this, not right now... I'm sorry, but... May I?" The civet interrupted himself as he had his left paw raised, hovering over the hybrids shoulder.
Warren glanced at the civet, and then back down on the floor again, softly nodding.
With the, Adi placed his warm paw over the hyena-yote hybrid softly, taking a deep breath. "Thank you Warren."
Adi then clasped Warren's shoulder a little and then let go, his elbows resting on his upper thighs, his focus back towards the hotel balcony curtain.
The two room mates then stayed silent for a while, Adi keeping watch over the hybrid as he calmed down, over someone he genuinely wants to protect, but felt helpless that he couldn't, asking why such incidents had to befall someone like Warren.
"I kind of know where you're coming from... Abuse is something I'm familiar with..."
Warren looked at the civet as he continued to tell his own story.
"They... defiled me too Warren. Their abuse went beyond what was considered normal... They forced me into survival sex..."
Hearing that alarmed the hybrid, his ears perked up and his pupils dilating, the sick feeling of dread Warren felt was like a heavy stone in the pit of his stomach.
"Wasn't in my docket Warren, and other than the family that adopted me... you're the first to know about this - The trafficking ring made me a child prostitute..."
"The rarity of my coat, they used me as company for... high paying customers... who were into that, pretty much rich pedophiles, quite a number of them anyway."
Warren sat in shocked silence. As bad as his own past was, what Adi had told him was nearly unimaginable to Warren. But in some ways, the civet’s story hit uncomfortably close to home for him; yet he said nothing, allowing Adi to continue uninterrupted.
"I was assigned a handler, a bodyguard. He was the one who introduced me into the world of martial arts, and also basketball, both used to keep me in shape when I was younger... But... Both also became part of my way of coping with the misdeeds they had me do... It's something we have in common, I guess."
"... He... was also the closest person to a family that I had, taking care of me and helping me cope for nearly 7 years... He would have liked to do more, but he was stuck too, like your step family... Circumstances did not allow him.... He'd be killed, his immediate family will be killed..."
The civet stopped, looking straight forward, a sad smile went across his face as he recalled the events that passed.
"I lost him too Warren..." the civet spoke, tilting his said to the side, the sad smile still there.
"I lost him, he was killed by gunshot between the clash of the traffickers and the law enforcement, through his chest, saved my own life, but killed right in front of me... Told me to live to the fullest I can..."
"Back then, his blood, fresh on my hands, that metallic smell... It was scary... Was dragged onto the ship, as we were smuggled to Batam... But the traffickers were intercepted when we arrived in Batam, and those of us that survived the trip started a new life on that island, supporting one another the best we can..." the civet continued.
"Warren, do... many others know about your... past?" Adi asked.
The hybrid shook his head "Only... my agent, therapist, and like you, the family that adopted me"
Adi replied with a nod.
"Other than basketball and martial arts... It was my fellow victims supporting each other that helped us to cope as we started a new life... So..."
"Will you let me help you?" Adi asked as he placed his left paw over his chest.
"A large part of the reason of why I was part of the military, and now why I want to join the FBA, I want to protect people, and also inspire them to do better no matter who or what they are. If a 'poor kid from a backwater country' like me can do it, it'll motivate others too, while I work on aiding to raise the resources needed as much as I can."
Adi collected his thoughts for a while, and took a deep breath.
"And part of the reason why I could cope, is because I had people who understand to shoulder the burden along with me... So no matter what happens, I want to be able to in some way help you... or at least be able to share your pain, be someone who understands... And I would like to have someone else here who understands what I've been through myself." said the civet, his head tilted to the side towards Warren.
"I... don't want things to turn... funny... between the both of us but... It hurts me seeing you have to shoulder your burden alone... So... would you... let me? Let me share your burden?"
Warren looked at the smaller fur beside him for a moment, and as he looked away from Adi, he smiled, smiled for the first time ever since his rude awakening, and silently nodded.
The civet gave a soft chuckle of relief. Warren's reaction was all he could have ever asked for.
"We should... get some rest in, time flies when we're talking about things." Adi said as he got up.
"Also, thank you Warren, for trusting me with your story."
"It's... not all of it though" Warren said as he looked down for a bit, before he looked up at the standing civet who was now facing him. And there was much more he could tell Adi, things that he’d only told his therapist, and even then it was difficult to discuss.
Adi shook his head
"Warren... You were quite shaken when you got to that part... It.... hurts... to see you like that..."
"It's okay, there's a long road ahead of us. I'll listen to it when you're ready."
"It's... To be honest, saying that listening to your story, saying that it was a pleasure sounds wrong. Still, we haven't known each other for long at all, but it's an honour to have been able to listen to what you told me, what you... trusted me with." the civet continued, his hands on his hips, smiling softly.
Adi then rolled his right hand into a fist, and raised it between him and Warren
"I know it's not been long since we both met, but... Friends?"
Warren looked up at Adi, his expression a calm surprise, eyes widened a little, diverting his gaze momentarily, chuckling, smiling softly as he looked back at Adi.
With that, the hyena-yote's fist met with the civet's own, forging a bond...
Cementing all that's to come in their future.
|Intentions & Motivations|
Written by Adabune
|Intentions & Motivations
Monday 052614, 1523hrs, Huntsville-Madison County veteran's Memorial - Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.A Captain, 2nd Sergeant and Corporal stand by the pentagonal fountain.
"Courage. Sacrifice. Duty" Those were the words inscribed on the water feature, surrounded by a circular wall containing it in a small garden, 9 plaques mounted on the walls surrounding the garden and fountain, depicting words from important figures from the nation, words that honoured the nation, those in service, the fallen and it's people.
"A Nation reveals itself not only by the people it produces... But also the people it honours..." Read 2nd Sergeant Ada Olivier Zhao (ex-SG Military, Military Police Intelligence Division), a male Rat-Rabbit hybrid, off of the middle plaque in the most forward section of the garden's walls, the plaque proudly holding up the American flag.
Adi approached Ada slowly, taking in the scene his adopted brother was looking at. "Instills patriotism with the people here, doesn't it?" the golden furred civet commented.
"You can say that again, the way these things are built and arranged... Makes me feel envious in a way" Ada replied
"It'd be better off if we're not needed." Said the female Captain (Aida Olivia Zhao, CPT, ASEAN Military, S.I.T.E), looking at her own bionic arm, her brothers understanding what she meant.
"Yet because egos clash at a high level, and the appeasement of citizens is necessary..." Continued her younger twin, before falling into a momentary silence
A huge, heavily built pangolin, about 4" taller than Aida approached the Trio, looking a bit flustered at first, but managed to smile. "Hi. I was, uh, hoping that you wouldn’t mind my joining you, eh. I saw your tweet, and I just wanted to join you, to show my respect." said the huge Pangolin.
"Kevin? Kevin Malka, right?" Ada asked, looking back and forth at the Pangolin and his younger adopted brother. "Yes. We played a game just a while back. He's a strong defensive player." Adi replied, smiling as he puts his right paw out for a handshake with the Pangolin nearly a head taller than him.
Kevin obliged, and took Adi's paw in his own, then Ada's and then finally the cold surface Aida's bionic arm.
"Glad you could join us Kevin" The female Rat-Rabbit hybrid said as their hands shook, as her younger brother observed the Giant Pangolin with his 'blind' right eye, picking up signs of mental stress on him.
The 4 of them spent some time in the memorial, and after paying their final respects, laying flowers down by the plaques inscribed by the names of the fallen, the sky had turned a mix of magenta, gold and crimson.
Monday 052614, 2208hrs, Outside of the Explorer Stadium vicinity, Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.A
"I'm still surprised to see another basketball player built as large as you are. You're way buffer, or beefier, than everyone save for Daniel Quvianuq, if I remember my players right." claimed the bunny cheerfully
"Ada, you're flirting with him" claimed his older twin sister.
"Riiiiiiiiiight, I'm -SO- not flirting" replied the smallest of the travelling quartet, as he poked his left index finger into the pangolin's left arm. "Rock solid!" he continued as Kevin blushed a bright red.
Adi sneeze chuckled at the interaction between his adopted older brother and his fellow Draft Candidate, as the oldest of the 4 took a picture of the scene happening between the 3 of them.
"Sure, you aren't? I have blackmail evideeeence" Aida replied to her younger twin.
"You're the worst Jie*" Ada told her as he laughed
"Says the flirtatious one eh? Wait till Sean hears about this" she replied laughing, winking at her younger twin
"Oi! Sean and I aren't an item! And I'm not flirting with this huge, muscle cutie!" protested the male bunny jokingly, making the pangolin blush an even brighter red. "And 'sides, I got me some data and images to sort through. Would need your help with that Jie. Help me out. Oh, and Adi, c'mere a min."
With that, the bunny pulled his younger brother aside for a bit.
"You sensed it?" he asked "Ya... He is a bit stressed" replied the civet "A bit... You don't say?" the bunny replied, poker face looking straight at his younger brother "Anyway, I can't scan what's going on in his head, but since those symptoms happened in the memorial, and he approached you for your tweet, I'd reckon it's got something to do with those. Figured you'd figure just as much as well." he continued. Adi looked at his adopted older brother for a moment, and then chuckled "Ada has a crush on someone."
"For the last time, I'm not flirting!"
The blood siblings and the draft candidates went their separate ways, Aida and Ada heading back to the hotel to sort through and arrange some gathered data, Kevin and Adi walking towards the Explorer Stadium while having a small chat.
Upon reaching the stadium, the pangolin rested his heavy, muscular frame, sitting down on the steps outside the stadium entrance as Adi rested his own back on the railings.
"Are you feeling better?" "Eh?" The pangolin looked at the civet, puzzled. Adi slowly turned his head back at the pangolin sitting down on the steps. "It wasn't hard to tell, Ada could easily tell you were in some sort of stress, Aida kept quiet about it, but she was the first to notice you after you reached the memorial, and I could smell your distress from quite a bit away. Are you feeling better?"
"I..." replied the pangolin... unsure how to come up with a proper answer as the civet caught him offguard.
The civet sighed, turned around, and took a few steps down, sitting to the pangolin's lower right, looking up to him, an act of 'submission' to help him ease up. "Talk to me Kevin"
A few tears start to roll off Kevin's eyes, down his cheek as he buried his face in his paws.
"I... I'm s..s-sorry" the pangolin stammered, the civet just sat there looking on, giving the larger fur time, time he needed to get that emotional outburst out of the way.
"I see..." the smaller civet muttered softly, looking at the ground...
A moment of silence between the two.
"You are not a coward Kevin." The corporal comforted the much larger pangolin, arm reaching up to his right shoulder. "Not at all"
"All of us have something to contribute to the bigger picture. Little things that make up the big things. Strength comes in many forms, and what you said to me just now came from your heart. That counts for a lot of things."
Adi squeezed Kevin's right shoulder with his left paw, motioning him to relax, and then brings his both his arms to rest on his knees as he leaned forwards, looking up at the starless sky polluted by light. "In the military, there are those of us who carry guns, yet many from behind the lines provide us with support, the information team. There are also the medical teams, the reconnaisance teams, the firearms teams, all of them have a part to play."
The civet paused for a while, choosing his next words carefully, English not being his strong suit as he carefully translated his thoughts into the language from his Mother Tongue. He sighed, and leaned backwards, head still looking up at the blank sky.
"It's an... idealistic way to look at it, but everyone of you has a possibility inside worth protecting. While it is true that we exist to protect the political interests of the governments, much of what we feel when we undertake missions assigned to us are otherwise."
"In a way... Everything is interconnected. For professional athletes, they give them inspiration, those in the active civil service like the military, police force and fire fighters give them a peace of mind, and appeasement too, I guess, those in the medical field keep them safe, those in media provide them with information, knowledge and let them experience different emotions through words and images, such as artists and photographers like yourself and Ada. The people, in turn, give us purpose, strength to continue doing what we either have to or want to do."
With the above said, the civet raised his arm, resting his palm over the pangolin's
"My fight for the future is for the children who have a background that are similar to myself when I was younger. I continue to exist, because I want to give them hope, the same way hope was given to me. They give me strength."
"That is why you say I am strong, and why I want to believe that I am strong, but Kevin, you are strong too, much stronger than you think. Where you stand, you have the power to give a lot of people hope as a potential future professional athlete. Your skill with the camera too, it is a tool that has the power to relay information to the people, feeding them information in a way you see fit, and that in a way is a very powerful tool. Ada once told me that 'misinformation is a powerful tool, a tool more powerful than information itself when it falls into the wrong hands'."
"Of course, I cannot say that I am certain that what I do is correct all the time, I make mistakes too, feel regret over my actions. But all those emotions can be said as experience, things that help you grow and move on. They maybe small, but little things make something bigger, and they make you what you are."
"I don't know what the future holds for us, but if there is anything we should know, is that our own future is part of that bigger picture too, and we can influence other people through what we can do. We have the power to make a difference, and I want to see the differences I can make for those who were born with a fate similar to myself. That is my motive for being here, my drive."
Adi raised his right paw and placed it over his own chest where his heart is.
"You have a similar potential in there Kevin, you just have to find your answer, your drive, and I'm very sure that you will shine. There is no need for envy at all." ...
"So don't be afraid."
The pangolin looked at the civet, processing the all information that he was given. It was overwhelming, but he's digesting all of it, one bit at a time and painting the bigger picture in his mind.
"Yeah..." The pangolin said, smiling as he exhaled.
With that, Adi pressed a finger of his on Kevins left upper arm, and chuckled.
"Rock solid strong, like Ada said" he joked, a wide grin on his face.
"And no, I'm not flirting."
|Flux, Impetus, Re-Ignition|
Written by Adabune
|Flux, Impetus, Re-Ignition
May 27 2014, 2243 hrs, Explorer Stadium, Huntsville Alabama
The sound of dribbling echoed through the dimmed, empty court came to a stop, the lone golden brown civet with red ASEAN military basketball jersey stands on the Free Throw line, holding the ball in his arms.
"897" He muttered, the ball flying towards the hoop... It hit the rim before the board hit before it promptly flew back towards him...
"Yah... masih belum cukup... iya kan? (Yeah... It's still not enough isn't it?)" he muttered softly, once again taking position on the Free Throw line. The sound of dribbling once again echoed through the dimmed, empty court, the lone golden brown civet aiming at the hoop as a lone figure walked through the locker room hallway into the court...
May 27 2014, 2240 hrs, Explorer Stadium, Huntsville Alabama
The older cheetah just finished his interview with a certain Doritos loving coyote, dressed neatly in a suit that goes over a turtle neck sweater.
He walked down the hallways of the stadium, and heard the faint sound of dribbling coming from the court. He looked at the time, sighed after pondering for a moment... And walked into the locker room hallways... And into the dimmed, and what was supposed to be an empty court
May 27 2014, 2244 hrs, Explorer Stadium, Huntsville Alabama
"908..." Swish... Nothing but net. The civet ran towards the ball, retrieving it as the figure walked in from the other side of the court.
"It's late son, the stadium is closing." The cheetah told him
Adi looked at the figure walking in on him in the dimmed court, a tall figure in clad sharply in formal attire
"Ah? Oh, I'm sorry sir... Stayed here after 2100 hrs after everyone left. I have apparently lost track of time" replied the civet
The cheetah approached the younger foreigner, looking at him and then the hoop. "908...? Working yourself much at the end of the day son?"
"It's something that I needed to do sir"
"Needed to do?"
Why huh? Why indeed... The Indonesian civet stood silent for a while, holding the ball in his hands, unsure how to reply. He recalled his own past, how he was treated when he was a child, he and his friends, torture, loss of dignity, stripped of basic rights, exposed to actions inhumane, actions that leads to themselves being abused, or leading others lives to be depraved of the hard work that they went through... The an image, a komodo dragon he knew, a bullet hole, people around him screaming, guns fired, shots exchanged from both sides as he got onto the boat... And everyone was carried... smuggled away from that place...
"... To make a difference... Something personal..." Came the reply
The cheetah stood silent too for a moment, looking at the young civet with a stern expression, as if waiting for a reply.
The civet never thought about his past much, but a lot of it came back to him as he roomed up with Warren Doyle, a Hyena-Coyote hybrid, and they both clicked as they talked about their pasts... the event giving Adi a new, strong resolve as it brought about pain that he tried to hide inside of himself... A pain that drove him onwards, to work harder, to better his chances of getting drafted, to atone, to make things better...
"Ayah! Ibu! Kenapa!? Aku dimana salahnya? Kumohon, jangan dijual saya ini!" (Dad! Mom! Why!? What have I done wrong? Please, don't sell me away like this!)
"Ey! Itu punya-ku! kembalikan! Kembalikaaaaan!" (That's my stuff! Give it back! Give it back to me!)
"Apa-apaan anak ini? Busuk amat baunya. Loe yakin dia ini nggak ada penyakit STD nggak?" (What's with this kid? He stinks. You sure he's not disease laden or anything of the sort?)
"Bulunya! Bulunya dari warna coklat jadi warna emas nih! Luwak langka ternyata, dia ini Luwak Bali ya? Wah, bagus deh untuk kita, untung banget! Dia ini bisa jadi berharga loh!" (His fur! It's turned from dark brown to gold! He's a rare one, a Balinese Civet variant! We're in luck! He can fetch us some good money for sure!)
"Mau hidup nggak!? Nih!" (You want to live, yeah!? Suck on this!)
... ... ...
"Nih... Bola ini untuk mu. Lihat nggak, net yang disitu. Semua kemarahanmu, kesedihanmu, semua yang kamu benci, coba dilihatin di papan putih itu, lalu lempar bola itu kesana!" (Here... This ball is for you. See the board there? Imagine that the backboard hold everything you really don't like. Aim the ball there, use all of your strength and then throw)
"Kamu... sudah bebas... sekarang... ... Kalau bisa, hiduplah dan... membantukanlah... orang-orang yang seperti kamu sendiri... ya?" (You're... free now... ... Live on... and do what you can... save those... Like yourself... Yeah?)
His past was slowly eating it's way out of him, haunting him once more.
Moments he was spending alone before the intrusion, memories started overwhelming him, the emotionally stable one who has let go much of his past... or so he thought.
"No one has the right to put others through abuse, no child has to go through what I did... A slave trade hidden behind a paradise island..." continued the civet... "He was a good person... he didn't have to... He didn't..."
The older cheetah stepped closer and placed a paw over the distressed, young civet's shoulder, and inhaled slowly
"I don't know what happened son, but it does sound that you have something heavy there that you're carrying" the cheetah spoke, his voice baritone, stern, yet somewhat calming, understanding
The civet took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly, wiping his eyes with his wristbands... And then looked at them...
"These... They were his... It lets me remember... No one needs to live that way, no one needs to go that way..." he said, reminiscing
"We are different from our feral selves. We are able to think, make things better for others, respect others, yet many of us adults have caused a lot of pointless bloodshed, and those in power consumed resources unecessarily, selfishly tossing those who never had a chance aside... And it takes those willing to stand, those willing to believe in possiblity that lies within to make things better for everyone, to surpass their present. It takes those individuals to stand forth and fight for those who do not have such a privilige, open a path for their future." spoke the cheetah...
The older fur looked at the civet's worn out wrist bands... If nothing else, they looked familiar...
"You've carried on his will then, and you've come this far. You sure that your feelings will not waver? What you shoulder here is heavy son. You sure you have the confidence and resolve to continue?" Asked the older fur. Adi looked at the ball, and then back at the feline
"I cannot say that I have absolute confidence or resolve in that sir... What I do know is that they need me, and I'm needed." replied the civet, his expression stern, his reply filled with the determination to do more.
The cheetah looked back at the civet, his gaze strong.
"Remember, earnest desires to do what is right won't resolve everything. Things can just blow up back in your face, hurting you. Does that scare you?"
Adi took a moment to process what was told to him... and spoke...
"Someone told me before in the past... 'Trust in the possibilities within, try with all your strength in what you believe in for what is good for others, what you ought to be doing to make things better for those around you'..."
"I cannot say I am not scared. Really, I can be very scared, I don't know if what I am doing is completely right. When things from the past come back, it hurts, and sometimes it hurts a lot..." He then stood still for a moment, as if to gather his thoughts.
"But?" came from the older fur
"... But even if it hurts, I will pick myself up, to keep going, and in my own way make things better for those with my past, and more. They need me, and as long as they do, I will fight, and never stop fighting. To stop their cycle of pain - That is my desire, and his too..." the young civet continued.
The cheetah chuckled, recalling his own past and the changes he made about 2 decades ago, and now stands before him a youn foreigner, trying to do the same, albeit in a different way, for those who share a past similar to his own, likely from where he came from.
He raised a paw, and placed it over Adi's chest where his heart is
"Son, you have your answer. Let this guide you along your path... And remember, should things start to hurt, look inside, and tell yourself 'Even if that's so...'. This 'him' you've mentioned every now and then, he could not see this through on his own, but he was lucky to trust his will to you, someone not a stranger."
Adi looked down to his chest, and then back at the cheetah, and noticed his expressions have softened up more, and that he maybe smiling even.
"And something as small as that trust, is how the things in this world at large continues to set themselves on a right path... One step at a time" continued the older feline.
Adi smiled, the wavering emotions he's had for the past few days no longer disturbing him, his determination renewed as the path he was to take was once again clearly laid out in front of him, as painful and heavy the things he had to shoulder were.
"Thank you sir! I needed that" said the Indonesian civet.
With that, the older cheetah patted him on the shoulder and started to walk past him, motioning to Adi as if he should leave before the stadium closes, locking him in it.
Adi took a deep breath... and turned around, walking by the cheetah's side, basketball in his hand... exiting the stadium alongside him
|Things We Do|
Written by Adabune
|Things We Do
'The local government of [Confidential Information] is helpless under law to stop the slave trafficking cartel due to how they work around it and lack of evidence. S.I.T.E (Special Intelligence Tactical Enforcer) work outside the realms of conventional law as enforcers for the ASEAN Top Brass, and are allowed to act according to their own free will
The objective here is to search and liberate, and if necessary - destroy, under your own discretion'
Wednesday 072314 @ 0242 HRS
The Asian Palm Civet slung laid his duffel bag over his bunk bed, packing in only the bare necessities needed to facilitate his deployment
Only a few more things to do...
Helmet, Skeletal Battle Order, camo material, emptied military bag to be used on site, flashlight, first aid kits, sniper scope, his combat bayonet, the box containing his disassembled personal use sniper rifle along with magazine clips, and his own SAR21 rifle and at least 3 mag clips were all what he packed as he thought back to what happened earlier in the evening
Tuesday 072214 @ 2146 HRS
'Search, liberate... and if necessarily destroy... This is...' the Palm Civet gave a bewildered look as he went thogh the content of the document handed to him by Cpt. Luqman (Cream Coloured Giant Squirrel)
'S.I.T.E called on you, it's your older sister who picked you for the job' replied his superior Officer
Adi looked at the larger Giant Squirrel in disbelief... Of all the times...
Silence... nothing came from the Palm Civet as he surveyed the ground for what seemed like an eternity, till he looked up to his Officer in Command
'I have no objections with regard to the parameters of the mission, Sir!' 'Will take care of all that is necessary before departure.'
'Good. Meet up with everyone else and prepare for mission briefing'
Wednesday 072314 @ 0307 HRS
Adi and his immediate superior and fellow Sniper, 2SG ZunBin (Brown Rat, Sniper) were being escorted along with Cpt.Aida Olivia Zhao (S.I.T.E SpecOps, Infiltrator, Free-Acting Commando) and Cpt.Kenneth Julian Seabook (Medic, Intel) via military vehicle towards the Tengah Airbase
He took his phone out of his pocket, and saw a notification in the shape of a bird on his phone's status bar.
'It's bee a long time, I have not replied to Kevin yet...'
'I have not used this for a while, might as well get to it...'
- Just recieved word of this deployment ealier yesterday, we had not had much time to prepare
A few of us have been selected for a mission
- It is a critical mission, and it is one that is personal to me.
Due to information sensitivity, I cannot disclose where I am being deployed
- The deployment should take about 5-6 days starting 072314 (July 7th 2014) under ideal conditions - In preparation for it maybe taking longer however, or the worst case possible scenario of my death, I would like to have the FBA Committee get @AlbinomiteMM4, @J_Cross_K or have @Billyriotking to inform Ren Inoue to be ready to take my place for the Draft Combine Challenge - In the event of the mission being a success, my survival and return, I would like to attend the Draft Combine Challenge as a participant... but should the preparations for said stand-in personnel cannot be or is too inconvenient to reverse, I will gladly let them take my place - We are on the way to the Airbase now. Once out of SG boundaries, all forms of public communication will go dark. - I am sorry that things have had to turn out like this
After he made the necessary non-confidential posts of him going somewhere for a deployment was done, he texted Kevin, telling him that he had no plans for the Draft Night... He chuckled to himself lightly, pondering about the chances of him returning in one piece, or even alive
The military transport vehicle came to a stop in the middle of the airfield, where their dropship awaits
'Thank you everyone for your moral support... I'm sorry... And for now... Goodbye'
|Things That Have Been Done|
Written by Adabune
|Things That Have Been Done
0730 1813 hrs
"Di! Thanks a lot ah! Dunno what he'd do to me if you weren't around" said the brown rat, reaching out with a clenched fist as he approached to the worn out civet, resting on the floor with his back to some crates.
Adi replied to the gesture by reaching up to his direct superior's fist with his own.
"Ya, we were too careless" replied the slightly battered civet, chuckling.
The brown rat gave him a huge grin as his fist contacted the civet's own. "And you saved my butt this time, really owe ya man!"
"Eh, you'd do the same for me. Besides, Kenneth ran a quick diagnostics over me, I'm good." the civet replied "Anyway, how're the captives, are they okay?"
"Yeah, they okay. Your si... I mean, CPT.Aida called in for extraction already. I think we have 3 trans-choppers coming" replied the rat.
"Good thing... can't wait to get home... glad we made it through this in one piece..." the civet replied, sighing in relief.
"Oh ya man, super tired after all the tense days" said the rat as he stretched, looking chipper as he does so.
Heh, no wonder he's the coy (Company) assitant morale specialist - The tired civet thought to himself, days of highly tense situation needing to stay undetected and the recent life and death situation having worn him out, his adrenaline rush all gone. Adi looked at his blood stained right sleeve, Kenneth having had to stabilize the condition of that rhino as much as he could while everyone waits for extraction now.
"Captives were from all over man, and I think you are going to find one of them interesting" Zips claimed.
Zips did his signature loud clap, and a small figure walked down from the upper floor where the captives were held, his steps uncertain...
August the 1st 2014, Personal Audio Log, Ada Olivier Zhao -
It was 0730 1742 hrs
It looked like most of the traffickers have been immobilized.
Aida (Rabbit, CPT, S.I.T.E, Infiltrator) and Kenneth (Fallow Deer, CPT, Tactics, Intel, Medical, Logistics) had flushed them into the open methodically, one or two at a time, while Zips (Brown Rat, 2SG, Sniper) and Adi (Asian Palm Civet, CPL, Sniper) sniped the targets using lightweight, non-lethal tranquilizers custom 5.56mm rounds from from a distance of about 1/8th of a mile away while camouflaged.
5 days have elapsed since the small squad of 4 began their mission proper, the squad have had to trail their marked targets from the village they were dropped off at, a good chunk of time spent on locating and confirming where the victims were possibly held captive at, and the remaining time assessing their fighting strength, patrol time, usable structure for cover in the abandoned village perimeter and whether the 4 of them should go ahead with the infiltration and take down, or call for backup.
Under Kenneth's strategic forecast, the 4 have decided to go on ahead with the infiltration instead.
Both snipers moved in to reconvene with the 2 officers, and proceeded carefully to clean up and, if need be, take down any remaining traffickers the might have previously missed.
While Aida and Kenneth rounded all the immobilized traffickers and tied them together, Zips and Adi went to the abandoned small house where the victims were observed to be kept in.
It all happened rather quickly - Zips was floored down and headbutted by a huge figure not long after entering the building - an ambush.
Well trained as he was, Zips was not a close quarters fighter, so Adi reacted instinctively and tackled the large rhino off of him. The rhino however, was much larger and heavier than the civet, and he managed to pin Adi down after they rolled away and positioned both of them in such a way that Adi could not kick him off.
Adi was punched on the right side of his face hard, and the rhino took advantage of when he was dazed to strangle on the ground him.
With Aida and Kenneth too far away to help and Zips knocked out, Adi had to fend for himself. From what I was told, the rhino was careless enough being too fixated to strangle Adi with both his hands, giving Adi the chance to stab him using his combat bayonet before the rhino made him pass out from asphyxiation.
With all the perpetrators rounded upto be brought in for questioning, all that remained was to wait for extraction.
The mission was considered a complete success.
|What Still Remains...|
Written by Adabune
|What Still Remains...
"Well, I'll leave the both of you to it then, my turn to stand on patrol for now." Zips told Adi.
"Okay, will take over in 3 hours." Adi replied.
"O.T.O.T Adi, catch you in a bit." replied the brown rat as he started making his way out of the old, run down building.
"... Always have to play the hero do you?"
"You know it!" the rat smirked. "And don't talk back to your superiors! That's insubordination!" Zips joked, winking as he exited the building.
Adi chuckled, and he motioned for the younger civet to sit nearby him.
The young Gem-Faced Civet (Musang Bulan, Paguma Larvata Leucomistax) gingerly sat just close enough to the older Balinese Asian Palm Civet (Musang Bali, Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus Balicus) for holding a conversation, clutching his old, worn out basketball in his lap.
Moments passed, the little civet just sat there looking at the older one, looking at him with a bit of a disbelief, observing his face, the fur on the palm where Adi's gloves were open, and the golden fur that covers the entirity of Adi's tail.
Adi noticed this, and gave a bit of an embarassed and amused chuckle
"Wow, kakak bulu-nya berwarna emas nih..." the young civet said with a little bit of disbelief (Wow, your fur's gold all over)
The older civet was only slightly surprised that the younger one started speaking in Bahasa Indonesia, he was just more surprised that an Indonesian was carrying a basketball, and a worn out one at that, given the lack of popularity of the sport from that country.
"Iya, benar..." Adi replied (Yeah, true that)
"Kakak ini musang Bali ya? Bulunya kakak benar-benar halus dan indah lho!" the kid continued, somewhat excited, running his palm over Adi's tail. (You're a Balinese Civet? Your fur's not just really pretty, but also very soft!)
"Kakak adalah musang yang sangat langka lho!" (You're a very rare civet)
Adi chuckled as looked down at the rough, gravely floor between the both of them, his face giving a slightly pained, saddened smile - The last time he heard such things, he was placed through much physical and sexual abuse against his own consent.
Noticing Adi's expression, the young civet held onto his basketball more tightly, looking away from the older civet when a pang of guilt took over him.
"Maaf, aku ngomongnya terlalu..." (Sorry, maybe I've said too...)
Before the young civet could finish though, Adi wrapped his tail behind and around the little civet's own tail.
"Eh, nggak usah khawatir kok. Kakak ngakk apa-apa." Adi comforted the younger civet. (Eh, don't worry about it. I'm good)
"Loe ini datangnya dari mana? Namanya apa? Umurnya?" (Anyways, where are you from? What's your name? How old are you?)
"Iman. Namaku Iman." the younger civet replied. (Iman, my name is Iman.)
"Iman ya?" (Iman huh?)
"Iya. Sekarang tujuh tahun." (Yeah. I'm seven years old now.)
"Mudah amat... Nama yang bagus. Cuman Iman aja? Nggak ada nama keluarga?" (Geez you're young... Got a good name though. Just Iman though? No family name?)
"Nggak ada kak, mereka cuman memanggilku Iman" (I don't have one, they just called me Iman)
That tugged at Adi's heartstrings a little, all that was said was enough for the Balinese Civet to paint a picture in his mind of what happened to the kid, looking at his overall build, his worn out, tattered clothing and the bandages that covered his wounds, some fresh, on his body, notable ones over the younger civets upper left arm and left temple.
"Sakit nggak?" Adi asked, pointing at said wound (Did it hurt?)
"Sedikit sih, tapi aku sudah terbiasaan. Aku cukup kuat lho!" the little civet replied while flexing his right arm, seemingly a bit brighter since Adi showed concern over his injury. (A little, but I guess you can say I'm used to it. I'm strong you know?)
Adi got a genuine chuckle out of that.
"Kakak pikir kakak ini ngerti kok. Ceritanya kakak mungkin sama-sama aja dengan certa mu nih" Adi told Iman (I think I get it. Maybe my own story isn't that much different to yours)
"Cerita? Wah, asyik! Boleh di kasih tahu nggak?" exclaimed the younger civet as he scuttled closer to the older civet. (Story? That sounds exciting! Could you tell me?)
Adi patted the younger civet on his head, and they started chatting, time flying by as they shared their stories with one another.
Adi learnt that Iman's story parallels his own in many ways, but rather than being taken away by force, he was born into this life. He knew of better lives, and of correct morals from cartoons and some TV shows he sometimes catches from the village commune under the protection of the cartel he was then living in, sometimes dreaming of a life that the people in the dramas go through, seeing much of the problems they have being 'First World Problems' since they had money to take care of themselves. Iman wondered how many people he could help if he had those kinds of resources...
Iman hadn't a family proper, just spending time learning how to survive in the environment of the harsh and poor with those like him, with him and his friends being taken care of by a criminal cartel. If he wasn't able to earn enough money from pickpocketing in the touristy spots of where he came from in Indonesia, he would be punished physically and not be given anything to eat. Their cartel's base of operations mainly being in the vicinity of the City of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia.
The old, worn out basketball was one of the things he's found when he was even younger in the streets of Medan one day.
"Tempat yang kutemui bola basket ini ada tempat makan ayam goreng yand sangat sedap lho!" (There's place near where I found this basketball that sells some really good fried chicken!"
"Eeeehhh, kok topiknya jadi-jadi berubah begitu saja sih? Pernah makan di tempat itu ya?" Adi chuckled as he nudged the younger civet. (Well, that was a sudden change of topic! Got the chance to eat there before?)
"Ngakk sih, tapi ada satu hari, aku nggak medapati uang yang cukup untuk mereka, jadi malam itu kita ada berberapa orang mencoba mengambil orang-orang yang membeli makanan keluar." Iman replied (Not really. There was this one day though, that I didn't get enough money for them, so that night, a few of us planned to snatch the food from some people who bought takeout there.)
"Memang berhasil sih... tapi aku sendiri tertangkap, lalu sekarang ada di sini" he continued. (We succeeded that night, but I was caught, and here I am)
"Tapi, karena kita semua untung juga. Kebetulan bisa bertemu kalian. Tertolong deh!" the young civet grinned as he hugged his worn out, only partially inflated basketball. (But we're lucky that you guys came to all our rescue!)
Adi looked at the basketball, and asked Iman if he's played the game before. Iman explained that Medan has a few indoor basketball courts, and that the sport is gaining enough popularity to have had a few makeshift outdoor courts opened for public use. He knows a few tricks with the ball, and has won a few pickup games, but he didn't think he was any good.
The two civets continued to exchanged dialogue with one another, learning more about each other's past, Adi getting a clearer image of the lives that Iman and those around him were leading as time went on.
Adi motioned for the younger civet to pass the ball over, and Iman did so. Adi took out a micro air compressor from one of his vest pockets meant to be used with gas masks, and fitted the air injector into the basketballs' valve hole (it's compatible), and inflated the ball to the right pressure level.
"Untuk orang seperti kita ya... Hari ini karena bertemu kamu, kakak pikir kakak ini bener bener beruntung. Kakak jadi ingat apa yan kakak mesti melakukan, juga ketujuan kakak ini ada di mana..." (People like us huh... Guess it's lucky of me to have run into you today. Reminds me of the goal that I started off with, and what I need to do still...)
With that, Adi explained to Iman that he had a goal to help their kind, to get into the FBA organization and putting certain skillsets of his own into use, and help the right organizations to harvest the necessary resources needed to bring those in need up to speed with modern societies.
"Itu lah ketujuannya kakak, kenapa kakak akan terus berterus bekerja keras" (That is my goal, and the reason why I'll keep on fighting)
"... Jadi... Kehidupan teman-temanku di Medan bisa lebih baik nggak?" asked the young civet (So... will the lives of those I know in Medan get better?)
"Kakak nggak bisa memjaminkan kehidupan mereka akain jadi lebih baik atau nggak... tapi kalau bisa, kakak tentu akan mencoba menolong sebanyak orang yang mungkin." replied the older civet. (I admit... I can't guarantee that everyone's lives there will get better, but I'll work as hard as I can to make that a reality)
"Itu sesuatu yang penting. Kesempatan ini ngakk boleh dilewati." (It's something important I can do. Can't just let the chance slip by after all.)
Saying that, Adi put away the compressor, and proceeded to roll the ball on his right thumb, before tossing it in the air and did a few bouncing and balancing tricks with his left arm and fingers.
"Uwah! Kakak hebat lho! Boleh di ajarin nggak?" the young civet asked excitedly. (Wow, that was amazing! Could you teach me that?)
It's been a while since both older and younger civet had started to exchange dialogue with one another, and Adi slowly got up to his feet as he tossed the basketball back onto the younger civet.
"Boleh sih, tapi sekarang kak-Adi ada tugas yang penting" (Sure can do, but I've got something important to do right now)
With that, Adi put on his helmet and started to head out of the old run down building, ready to relieve Zips of his guard post since it's been about 3 hours or so.
"Janji ya?" Iman asked excitedly (You promise?)
"Janji deh!" (I promise)
Written by Paulshep and Adabune
© Paulshep and Adabune
14th August, 2047hrs, Biloxi, Mississippi USA
Adi ran through his customized G.H.I Andrill phablet as his adoptive brother parked the rented Folfo XC90 into place.
“@AdiAnggunBali I’m glad you're well and safe. But I still need to talk to you.” Blake Toivonen @OldMightyFinn Aug 1
Those were the words that Adi ran through over and over again in his head as he looked at the phablet screen, worried over what his agent, Blake Toivonen wanted to run through with him.
The sounds of the vehicle’s engines died.
“Khawatir?” the yellow ratrabbit hybrid asked the civet, using their mother tongue, knowing that it was easier for him when he got tense. (Worried?)
The civet sighed as he put away his phablet into his small sling bag.
“Masa laluku hari ini mungkin ketahuan… Ku’ sedikit takut nih… Mestinya gimana?” replied the civet, a look of worry across his face (My past might be revealed to the world today… I’m scared Ada… What should I do?)
“Tn.Blake adalah agen yang baik koq, jangan terlalu cemas deh. Dia orang nya, saya rasa boleh di percayain tuh.” the hybrid told him. (Don’t be too anxious, Blake’s a good agent. He’s someone you can trust, I feel)
“Jangan khawatir deh.” he continued, winking at his little adopted brother, patting him on the chest reassuring him. (Don’t worry about it)
“Mau gua ikutin nggak?” Ada asked his younger civet brother. (You want me to be there with you?)
“Eh… nnggak apaapa... Akan ku coba menghadapi masalah ini sendiri.” the civet replied (Eh… It’s o… okay… I’ll deal with this on my own)
“I’m here sir, sorry to have made you wait.” the civet told his agent, taking a seat to the massive reindeer’s right in a secluded corner of the quiet, nearly empty Steerbucks Cafe, his brother settled in on a table further away from both baller and agent, listening in on the conversation as best he can.
“It’s alright Adi, we scheduled this for 9 in the evening. You arrived a few minutes early.” replied the reindeer.
“So, shall we start then?” asked the reindeer.
Adi started to huddle into himself as he leaned forward, his mind going back to the people he helped saved especially the younger Indonesian GemFaced Civet, Iman to the time he received his confidential, but optional mission assignment, and then back to his own past as a victim of slave trafficking.
"You do understand that your actions have costed you a part of your draft stock don't you?" the reindeer asked. “I mean, I’m not trying to talk down on your efforts with the military. You’re doing a wonderful thing, saving lives amongst other things. But if you want to focus on your basketball career, I need you to focus on just that. Doing otherwise will exhaust you greatly and at your age, it’s just not right when you suddenly have to go somewhere else and leave the team behind. You just can’t take that risk, Adi. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say to you…”
The civet took a deep breath…
Both reindeer and civet were seated in the back of the SUV as Ada drove everyone back to the hotel all the top 24 candidates were staying at.
The rat-rabbit looked into his rear view mirror, and noted that his brother had fallen asleep. He took this opportunity to strike up a conversation with his brother's agent.
“Thanks for understanding Mr.Toivonen. I guess it’s a good thing you're in the know now.” the bunny started.
“It’d be better this way I guess. He’ll need someone who can, how you say… protect him when the time comes should he make it into the league, should anyone try to exploit his past to smear his name. Letting you in on the details would hopefully help with that.”
Ada gently applied the SUV’s brakes, stopping at a redlight across a junction, reading the GPS enabled map on his own customized G.H.I Andrill phablet. “Thanks for listening to him.”
The reindeer stayed quiet, still processing all the details the smaller sleeping civet beside him had told him. He put his oPad Air down on his lap.
“I never imagined that he would have such a past burdening him. His documents only mentioned him having been brought to by his migrating parents, where he unfortunately grew up as an orphan.” replied the older reindeer, his voice low, baritone.
“The documents aren’t untrue however. Details were rearranged and omitted to hide the more unsightly parts of his past.” the bunny hybrid replied. “All he wanted then… was to be normal...”
“I see…” the reindeer kept his words to a minimum.
“He’s usually strong about things yannoe, puts on a brave, calm front, acts mature and such given the environments he gets thrown into… well… not really acting but... this is something particularly sensitive and difficult for him to talk about. Now other than my big sis and me, you’re in the loop as well” the bunny added as he chuckled towards the end.
The light turned green and Adi made a left turn following the GPS’ instruction, causing the civet to lean onto the large, bulky reindeer. The civet’s older brother saw him as he looked back through the rearview mirror.
“I’m sorry about that Mr.Toivonen, it happens to him after he talks about his past… He’s been stressed about this meeting with you for the whole day now. Kid’s zonked out easy in civilian environments.”
“It’s alright, he deserves his rest” replied the older reindeer, looking at his small client resting his head on his upper left arm. He couldn’t help but look at the young civet, eyes closed and snoozing away.
With a deep breath, Blake pulled up his oPad Air again, running through the schedules, checking his Tweeter timeline and the game schedules for the Draft Combine challenge the next day.
“Ayah…” the civet muttered under his breath, both his agent and his older brother picking it up.
“Ayeyeah?” Blake asked.
Ada looked in his mirror again, his brother had leaned in further into the comfort of his agent, catching a hint of a teardrop forming in the civet’s left eye.
The bunny stopped the car gently once more at another red light.
“It’s… Indonesian for ‘Father’ Mr.Toivonen” Ada explained.
“Adi’s been without a father figure for a majority of his life, and my present family cannot provide him with that kind of luxury as well…” he continued.
Ada took a deep breath… his choice of words being pretty blunt.
“Kid lost his own dad soon after the trafficking cartel nabbed him… Then his bodyguard was killed right in front of him too. 2 father figures right there… poof” the bunny said as he shrugged.
Blake couldn’t respond. He simply swallowed and nodded towards Ada looking at him through the rearview mirror.
“After we adopted him, the closest father figure to him was my older brotherinlaw… pretty big age gap even with me. Can’t get into details, but military accident back almost 2 years ago, in September 2012….” Ada hesitated and drove the car into a parking space on the side of the sparsely occupied road.
“Nothing more of him left but a small piece of charred meat… hit all of us hard… ‘Specially sis…” the bunny continued, his tone lower and more lifeless than what it was previously.
“It’s something he’s always wanted, but every time he gets a taste of it, it gets forcefully taken away from him one way or the other not long after, all the damn time. That’s left quite a bitter aftertaste in his mouth. He can’t help but see himself as a jinx at times to whomever he sees as a dad… Had to talk him outta that.”
The bunny calmed himself down, and got the car moving again towards their destination as he shifts the topic at hand back to his younger brother.
"It is going to be difficult for me to keep an eye on him given the time zone differences we're going to be in if he does get drafted... And if he does get drafted, I can't say whether he'll end up being on the brunt end of being bullied once more he's strong in that sense, but there's only so much one can take if faced with attrition... Especially one burdened with trauma," the bunny pondered out loud.
"... Beneath that bravado of his is a lonely, vulnerable child... And if the time comes, I may need you to keep an eye out for him where I can't Mr.Toivonen..."
Engines whirring, the car continued its drive towards their destination as Blake looked towards his client trafficking victim, child prostitute, fatherless child…
For a moment, the middleaged reindeer closed his eyes and thought. This was far different from what he had experienced with raising Erik. The story just told to him was beyond his imagination. He felt like he was holding something very fragile, and it was up to him to keep it safe.
Reflecting on his clients, Adi was one of those kids that needed his help. Not just professionally, but emotionally as well. It wouldn’t be easy to keep in touch with his client if he got drafted several time zones away, but he firmly believed he could make it work. The reindeer has taken on a lot of clients, but he was determined to make sure he would not let any one of them down, especially the ones who needed a father figure like him.
With a deep breath, Blake outstretched his left arm and wrapped it around Adi, pressing him closer to him. There was not much else he could do right now, but closeness is what Adi needed.
|Initiation - Trial by Fire|
Written by Adabune
|Initiation - Trial by Fire
Oct 13 2014, 1917hrs, Prism Palace, Santa Ana, CA, USA
It wasn't something Adi was unfamiliar to, but even though this was a preseason game, the pressure he felt was great
It wasn't like when he was deployed for missions, the kind of pressure was different since it wasn't a life and death situation... But rather, the pressure he felt was one of which many were depending on him to take point, and that he was matched up against the legendary Buck Hopper himself as the starting Point Guard for the opposing team.
"Trial by Fire"... That was the start of the civet's career in the FBA, his initiation.
Adi shared the floor general position with veteran red fox Victor Vos, the civet playing for a majority of the first 3 quarters against the Texas Lone Stars before Victor picked up most of the slack in the 4th quarter.
While the civet could keep up in terms of mobility and physical stamina with the MVP rabbit, the difference in their experience playing in the pro league quickly started to show. He was outclassed in nearly every other aspect, the rabbit outdoing virtually everything he was doing.
The civet's playstyle was a careful one, methodically studying the individual Lone Star players in motion, and drawing quite a number of fouls from them, yet...
Even then, it wasn't enough, the Lone Stars pulled away right in the first 12 minutes of the game, and made sure it stayed there, from 25v22, 54v52, 84v81 in each progressing quarter of the game
There wasn't too great of a score gap between the 2 teams, they were pretty evenly balanced despite the Lone Stars almost consistently keeping the lead, which made for an electric atmosphere in the Prism Palace Basketball Arena, crowds supporting either side cheering and filling the entire stadium with energy with any goals made... It was electric.
A little into the 4th Quarter however...
"Spectrums call a timeout! Player substitution!"
"You did good kid. We'll take it from here." said the Black Panther as he patted the civet on his shoulder, both watching as the red fox made his way to the court. Adi headed back to the bench where the rest of the team was watching the game.
The time passed as Adi watched the veterans of his team clash with one led by a legend in awe.
The 4th Quarter ended... The entire stadium filled with a collective loud roar of positivity, cheering on a scale he has never experienced before. It was Lone Stars 111, and the Spectrums 117. The Spectrums took the lead in the 4th quarter with Victor Vos taking the team into the lead no more than halfway into the 4th quarter, turning the tides against the Lone Stars and making sure the gap extended even further by the time the game ended.
The overwhelmed civet was slumped in his seat on the team bus, filled with the sound of his team mates talking about how exhilirating the game was as the bus was driving from the Prism Palace to the training center back in the neighbouring city of Tustin. His team had won, but he couldn't help feel that he couldn't have done more, and that he was holding his team back by just being there. To prepare himself for the game today, he ran through plays, got advice from his peers and coach, and it wasn't enough. To add insult to injury, the rabbit who he held in high esteem belittled the veterans in his team, regarding them little more hacks...
"You okay kid?"
Adi turned to face his right, looking up at the red fox seated next to him.
"We won the game tonight, s'your first game too! You should be happy! Why the long face?"
"It... It's nothing really..."
"C'mon Adi, I haven't seen y'all down in the dumps like this before ever. What's up?"
The civet sat quietly for a while, collecting his thoughts as he stared to the back of the seat in front of him.
"Vic... you remember what it was like to go up against him? Against Buck Hopper for the first time?"
The red fox chuckled.
"Ahhh... now'bout that."
"Yeah, B-Hop's a vicious one on the court, everyone knows that. Smack talks y'all a lot. He 'showed me my place', as it were, first time I went up against him." told the civet.
"You got a first hand experience of that tonight. Trial by Fire you can say, first game and all" the red fox joked as he nudged the civet with his elbow. Adi chuckled, recalling the caustic words the rabbit threw his way on the court "I don't really care for the things he said about me, it's more of the things he said about everyone else, how he mocked everyone of you" Vic shrugged as he stuck his tongue out "Just gotta remember to not let him get into your head though, can't let him beat y'all like that" the fox advised the smaller civet.
Adi smiled weakly at the red fox "Yeah... You're right. Thanks for saving all of us on the 4th Quarter though. You and Shadow are just incredible, he was tutoring me as we play, and still got the PotG. I couldn't break the stalemate that we were in despite that."
"Kid, you ain't all alone here man. We got your back, same way you got ours, right?" Victor told the civet.
"I wanted to do..."
"More? Look kid, you went up against one of the best PGs in the league, you stood muzzle-to-muzzle with him, didn't back down, showed spine, and had the team keep up with his plays despite it being your first time, and you were the 4th best scorer in the team. It's a lot more than what I can say for a good number of guards with their first time going up against B-Hop." Vic interrupted
"Trust us alright? You'll be doing more, I'm guarantee, you have the discipline to, like I told you the other day... but it'll take time, don't rush it and break yourself. Ask us when you have questions, don't hesitate about that." continued the red fox
"We got your back, you feel me?"
"Thanks Vic... I needed that" the civet replied, a tired smile across his muzzle
"Good, now go get some beauty sleep in, I'll wake you once we're back at the TF" the red fox told him.
The exhausted civet slumped in his seat, smiling, zoning out to the sounds in the bus, trusted team mates all around. He soon fell asleep, Vic keeping an eye out for him.
The bus soon left the edge of Santa Ana and ferried everyone into Tustin, making a left turn to make it's way towards North Tustin, the momentum causing Adi to lean into the bigger red fox...
Victor looked at the sleeping civet as he felt the weight of the civet press onto him. He couldn't help but feel sorry for what the civet had to face, smack talked by the hero he's always worshipped, having been there himself, seeing a bit of himself in the civet...
The fox was the youngest one in his family. As appreciative as he was towards his parents, he was upset at how they tried to raise him... Yet seeing this civet somehow made him feel a little bit of how his protective his parents were toward him.
A weight started to tug him down in his chest - Beside him was a youngster who's willing to put his trust in him, a junior who looks up to him when many had dismissed him as nothing more than a sellout, a usually tense and alert ex-military fur so far away from home and family, willing to put his guard down and trust the red fox to keep and eye out for him as he rests... A younger member of the greater family he genuinely wishes to guide down the right path... Avoid the same mistakes he's done in the past.
Vic wrapped his left arm around Adi, his fingers running through the civet's hair as he eased the civet in closer to a more comfortable position, letting Adi rest his head on his thick yet fluffy neck, supporting him.
"Great job out there, kid."
Written by Adabune and Gustavo
© Adabune and Gustavo
Oct 16, 1723 hrs, Huntington Beach Shoreline
The sound of waves gently washing up the beach fills the air as both furs walked along the shoreline, the Biloxi Voodoo FBA team having arrived in Santa Ana one day prior to their Monday night pre-season game on the 17th.
“It’s quite nice out here this evening” Warren told Adi.
Adi smiled as he looked towards his friend looking out towards the sunset.
“Is this your first time seeing something like this?” the civet asked
Warren shook his head. “First time was during the ‘Show Your Colours’ event in Hawaii, about 3 months ago. It’s still pretty however.”
Adi nodded, thinking back to July “I would like to have gone, but most of the off time I have was spent for the Draft Combine in May.”
“I thought I’d bring you here since you grew up mainly in the East Coast areas of the United States.” The civet continued as he played with his fringe, his hair now much longer than it was back then in May.
Warren chuckled as he first looked towards the civet, then up towards the sky. “Thanks. Most of the sunsets I see are by the land however, still feels good listening to the sea as the sun sets, the clouds make it look prettier too”
Adi looked towards the sky too. “Cloud patterns like this don’t happen in Batam or Singapore where I worked”
Warren recalled that night back in May, the first night when the Draft Combine happened, and both him and Adi shared parts of their troubled histories with one another.
“You… worked at a beach resort in Batam right?” the hyena-yote hybrid asked his friend.
The civet turned towards the hybrid and nodded. “2 actually. A few of us started a new life after escaping Bali, and worked for both those resorts - Nongsa Point Marina and Turi Beach. I was a labourer, entertainer and masseur.”
“Masseur and entertainer?”
Adi nodded. “A dancer, and a basketball... trickster? I played tricks using the basketball, not sure what other words I can use to describe it. I danced traditional Indonesian dances for the tourists, and played the Suling Bali, or Balinese flute as part of those who work there who play music, part of a band to keep the guests entertained.”
“The masseur part, well, a few of us have better build than the average person. We acted as extra eye candy while we learn from those skilled in giving massages as well” Adi said as he rubbed the side of his neck, a little embarrassed from the fact.
“Something... happened?” Warren asked when he saw Adi act the way he did.
Adi sighed, arms akimbo as he looked out towards the sea. “Yeah, not all the guests are... reasonable. Sexual harassment wasn’t an unusual thing. I… we had to suppress a few of them. It got violent sometimes”
“It’s not perfect, but we couldn’t really complain, since it was much better than being a victim of trafficking, or out in the streets begging. We had shelter and food… The resorts and their working grounds was our home. It was fair enough, in it’s way.” Adi explained, ruffling through his own hair with his right hand as he turned towards his friend, unwittingly revealing a small scar on his forehead usually covered by his right-parted hair.
Warren motioned a finger on his left forehead, mirroring Adi. “What… left that?”
“Is something on my… Oh, wait…” Adi ran his finger to where that small scar is.
“Ini… kah…?” (This… huh…) the civet muttered under his breath.
Believing what he heard was Adi’s mother tongue caused Warren to worry, having seemingly hit a sensitive spot with the civet.
“Uh… Sorry about that, it’s okay, you don’t have to talk about…”
“No Warren, it’s okay, people may know eventually… I’d like to talk about it, at least share it with… with a friend… If you’re okay with listening.”
“Alright Adi.” replied the hybrid.
Adi nodded, and looked towards the end of the Huntington Beach Pier, where the Rudy’s Diner was located
“It’s quieter there at this day of the week, shall we go there?”
Warren and Adi both settled on the dining tables at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier, outside of the diner, the short walk over there gave Adi some time to think of what to tell Warren.
Both furs were sitting down facing one another, the sounds of seagulls and soft crashing of the waves surrounding them as the light from the sun bathed the both of them in a gentle, orange glow.
“You okay Adi?” Warren asked.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m okay, thinking on where to start, whether I should be keeping it brief”
“Whatever works for you I guess” the hybrid told his friend
“Thanks Warren, I appreciate that you’d listen”
Warren chuckled and smiled “Hey… that’s what friends are for. You told me that night that you wanted to share my burdens right?”
The civet’s eyes broadened, partly surprised, and partly elated what Warren remembered those words.
“Being friends… means that things like that work both ways. I’d help bear whatever it is that’s a chip on your shoulder, if you’ll let me.”
“Thanks Warren, this means a lot to me…”
Adi pulled his hair back revealing the scar that’s usually hidden by either his hair or a headband.
“I didn’t mean to lie to you over Twitter when I said I have no physical scars… this one’s sort of hidden away at the back of my mind because of how I got it, it’s why I forget that it is there… Thought I have forgot the whole incident behind it… but it’s coming back after all this time, keeping myself distracted… running away from it...”
The hybrid nodded, in essence giving the cue for the civet to continue.
“Do you remember that I told you that I had a bodyguard, a handler when I was under the slave traffickers?” Adi asked
“Yeah, I remember that part of the story” Warren replied.
“We didn’t see eye to eye quite a number of times, but he helped me cope, taught me self-defense and basketball, told me that whatever we needed to do in that kind of environment, it was to survive. The environment was dark, it’s one gang or the other, slave trafficking and/or prostitution, drug trade, all hidden under the front of a holiday resort, with money coming in from all sides of the world, especially the much richer Australians.
We viverrids were in huge numbers there, enslaved, made to work the coffee fields there with unsanitary, cramped living conditions. Many of us were killed, by work stress, disease...
Oh… Sorry, I’m going off topic.
My handler, he was a Binturong, a viverrid like myself. He’s a very big, strong man, and I was important to the cartel being a sort of a money maker for them, so they had him be my guardian and caretaker, keeping me in shape so I remain in desirable body shape for the them… I was tall for the age back then, so I looked older than what people tend to think I was.”
Adi slouched forward and down towards the table, his arms folded as if he was trying to protect himself as he diverted his gaze out towards the ocean instead… pondering on how to continue to tell his friend his story, Warren’s brows furrowed listening to what he had said so far.
“I was… no longer a virgin at the age of 5, shortly after my fur turned gold. It hurt… it hurt a lot…”
Warren’s eyes widened, feeling a knot form in his stomach when he heard Adi speak those words, despite somewhat knowing about part of this before. The age at which Adi faced his abuse and lost something important though, shocked him, leaving him feeling disgusted on how some people can be.
“But… He helped me cope, teaching me back then that it’s always a choice of the lesser of evils there to survive. If I had what it takes, I might as well use those to live on, find hope for our own future one way or the other…
“It’s not fair…” …
“You can stop… No need to…”
“No Warren, I can go on” The civet replied, rubbing both his eyes to dry them of his tears as he sniffled
“I need to be able to…can’t let this stop me”
Adi recomposed himself, clamping his arms in front of himself, using them to support his own weight on the table, and then continued.
“It was that night, we were raided by the authorities, and were forced to evacuate, possibly to be used or to be sold for use by other cartels… something like that… We were lost, scared, not sure of what to do but to listen, stick with one another...
The authorities used lethal force, on what I believe, were all the adults, and when we were ushered to escape it was dark…
I was already taller than most Indonesian males by that time, so I guess they mistook me for an adult… ushering the victims away... I had to hide, there was gunfire raining down on us…
When we were boarding the ship, to flee, I guess he noticed a gun pointed at me. Was sticking out like a sore thumb, bright gold fur and all, and being taller made me an easier target.
I… He took the shot for me… died… soon after… my father figure for 7 years… taken… gone Warren… I lost him then...”
The fighting back his tears at this point, his arms were trembling as he tried to hold himself together… revealing a side to the civet to the hybrid that few have ever seen... Warren realized how much his friend must have bonded to that handler of his for him to react this way recalling him.
“The bullet hit him after he pushed me down… pierced right through him… hit... no... grazed me on the forehead after. where this… this scar is… I wanted power Warren… Power to make sure something like this doesn’t happen… no more… no more unfairness for those who don’t deserve it…….It’s not fair…”
Warren could feel his friend’s pain to a certain extent, but wasn’t sure what to say, learning about the origin of that usually hidden, insignificant little scar opened up a whole can of worms he wasn’t fully expecting. Not wanting to see his friend distressed any further, Warren hesitantly placed his paws over the civet’s own, supporting him, just for that moment.
“Adi, it’s alright…That was then, you’re here now...”
Adi was surprised by Warren’s friendly gesture, but it knocked some sense of reality back into him, and the warmth of his friend’s paws over his own also helped to calm him down.
“I… thanks Warren… I failed… to keep in... control” Adi said, his paws wrapped under Warren’s own… feeling protected by a kindred spirit of sorts.
The hyena-yote gave his friend a nod, before letting his paws go.
Slightly embarrassed, Adi’s ears and nose were a bit redder than usual as he diverted his sight away from his friend.
“Will you be okay?”
“I'm... I'm good...Yeah… thanks… I owe you…”
The hyena-yote chuckled, his expression slightly pained despite the light smile as he shook his head “No Adi… we’re even at this point”
Adi looked back towards Warren, tilting his head to one side, a little confused
“Remember the time back in the hotel in May? You saw… a side of me I never wanted anyone else to really see… and you helped me through that too.”
Adi looked down at the table that separates the both of them, the sounds of the sea drowning out the silence between the both of them.
Warren was running a few thoughts over in his mind at the moment, and broke the silence between the both of them as he slouched forward too, his arms folded.
“Adi… Those are some really heavy things back there. I’m… thankful that you’d trust me with all that.”
The civet looked up towards his friend, and looked towards the scars on his muzzle and neck before he looked down towards the table…
“I trust you Warren, I feel that you’ve been through similar pains, even if... the actions inflicted were different to my own” Adi replied, trying to find coherent words on how to describe about what he felt about what caused the hyena-yote hybrid’s trauma.
“Remember that I said it wasn’t the full story?”
Adi stopped for a moment, and then nodded slightly “I do...”
But he still had to get used to at least talking about some of it.
“There are some parts of my history I’m more comfortable with sharing than others. And I rarely speak of it as it is.” Warren said to Adi before continuing on.
“ When I went down to Tallahassee to try and showcase some of my skills to possibly get drafted by the Typhoons, met their head coach, Hildegard Tetreault. She is tough, and likes to push her players and also test them.” Warren chuckled lightly .
“She certainly tested me; and wanted to push my buttons, she really did. I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t get drafted by the Typhoons so I wouldn’t be under her thumb.” He told Adi, explaining how Hildegard had him and the Typhoons’ players do drills for hours, before pitting him against three of their players; with him losing the short game, 12 to 21.
“But it was good to play against Korber. Anyway, Hildegard was talking with a janitor when the game finished, and I don’t know if she intentionally had him be an ass or not, no way to prove that. But he did get under my fur…” Warren recounted to Adi the insults the feline had thrown his way, and what he told the janitor in return.
He also told Adi about how he ended up shoving the Janitor, and the aftermath of that.
“I... ended up telling her about how I got these scars, how everyday for two years I was in constant fear for my life, all because I tried to stand up to my father.” Warren explained to Adi, telling the civet of what followed; of him getting muzzled and restrained. Of not knowing if or when he’d be able to leave a small, locked room; of the infection and the resulting scars.
“A doctor managed to get me to a hospital, I still keep in contact with him. At the Hospital, doctors removed more tissue to keep the infection from spreading. It took a while to recover because of my poor health.“ Warren told Adi, telling the civet everything he had revealed to Hildegard.
“I’m glad the doctor was there when he was, he essentially saved you.” Adi told his friend.
Warren nodded, “It’s why I can be here now”
“No one will know from me Warren, I promise you.”
Warren chuckled and nodded at the younger civet “Same thing Adi, nothing will get past these lips too.”
“When that time comes though…” the civet muttered “I’m still worried…”
“Yeah…” replied the hyena-yote “I know the feeling… Believe me… I so do…”
“But that’s for us to worry about for another time… should it ever come, I guess” continued the hybrid.
The golden furred looked up towards his friend, then back down to the table, nodding “Yeah…”
With that, the civet looked towards the quiet diner beside them…
“Just to change the subject… Dinner by the pier?” Adi asked his friend.
“Sure, let’s go grab something to eat.” Warren replied
“It’s okay, you don’t have to get up, I’ll get it for the both of us”
“Adi, no worries, we can grab our things together”
“Shouldn’t we keep the seats reserved?” the civet asked
Warren looked around, then put his arms on his waist “You see anyone else around?”
Adi looked around, and his ears and nose flushed a bright red once more “O… Oh yah… right… Am still too used to how we do it back in Singapore and Indonesia”
“Come on, it’s not going to get any earlier here”
Adi gave Warren a bit of a surprised look, but more than anything else, he’s glad that fistbump at the first night of the Draft Combine had developed into something so much more - A friendship based on mutual trust, and from a kindred soul no less.
"Hair's getting longer. Ever thought of tying it in some way? You know, don't let them get in the way of your game?"
|The Simple Things|
Written by Adabune and Gustavo
© Adabune and Gustavo
|The Simple Things
November 16, 2014 1717 hrs Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA, U.S.A
“To think we were here at this place about exactly one month ago” Adi told Warren as he approached him, carrying a can of Sports Soda in each of his hand.
“Yeah, quite a bit of a coincidence, but it’s cool don’t you think?” the hyena-yote hybrid replied.
“Haha, that is true” replied the civet, handing his friend one of the cans.
“It’s been 8 games… Are you coping well?” the civet asked.
“Doing okay. Game against the Bikers last night was just frustrating though… Double digit point deficit loss.” replied the hybrid as he received the soda can from his friend.
“Hey, don’t mention it, your team is our guest for this game, so you’re my guest for this small get-together” Adi replied, grinning.
“You look happy. Something up?” asked the hybrid as he pulled the ring off of the can.
Adi let his arms rest along the railings of the pier as rested his weight on them, looking out to the ocean as he glanced towards his friend.
“Can’t a civet be happy?” he asked jokingly.
Warren chuckled as he took a sip from the can
“Well, truth of the matter is, I was not expecting the Voodoo to be facing off with us this soon in the season, sorta thankful for that, been looking forward to it to be honest.” Adi continued.
“Well, I get to meet you, that’s a good reason!” the civet said, grinning as he pulled his own can open
“Eh? Why’s that?”
“You did very good so far! 3 PotGs so far for the Voodoo, strong numbers. You’re making a difference out there!” Adi continued, raising his can over to Warren as he smiled “If nothing else… I’m proud of you Warren… Keep up the good work”
The hybrid smiled and raised his own can to meet his friends' own as they gave each other a toast.
“Thanks.” “Don’t mention it”
|First Journal Entry|
Written by Adabune
|First Journal Entry
Aditya Anggun Player’s Log 221120142103
Categories to cover: Personal thoughts, teammates, teams we’ve been up against and player interactions
It’s been 11 games into the season, and with 7 / 8 wins and 4 / 3 losses, the team’s overall records aren’t bad, and I’m glad that I’ve managed to contribute to the team, spreading the ball around where I can.
There’s still much to learn however, and with our most recent game with the Edmonton Totems, I realize how great a gap it is that we have to fill, and I feel that that pressure falls onto me specifically.
During our games, things I took note of against the teams we’ve faced will be as follows. Due to my own position played however, I will have a bias towards Guards, Point Guards specifically.
LVG: Our first game started as a loss on home court, but it allowed me to observe how teams played in the actual season itself.
The pace was quicker than that of the pre-season, everything felt much more serious in general.
It’s not that different when compared to the games played between the different military representative teams of different nations, but the scale at which attention is given to the players is a different story altogether.
Even the Draft Candidate Combine was not at this scale, but I guess that was to be expected.
Victor and Shadow really showed what they can do in this game, Shadow’s shooting prowess is something on a scale I’ve not yet seen before, and Vic’s really quick with his paws with those steals.
That said, the LVG PG, Li Ho Fook, is also a very fast one, with very good ball control. His movements remind me much of a person who has learnt and is able to incorporate different styles of Wushu footwork into his basketball game. If that is allowed in the FBA, I will slowly adapt both Wing Chun and Silat footworks wherever I can into my game too.
Their bigfur, Barnaby Jazz, is huge though, and surprisingly quick on his feet as well. Very aggressive for those rebounds, and he ended the game with a DD2. With him, Mr.Li and Mr Kikovic, size, power and speed were on the side of the Wildcards, with our side leaning heavily on both Shadow and CPT,Cheval.
Due to how consistent they were and how all over the place we were, we lost the game by a single possession at home court.
As for fellow rookies, Sebastian is also proving his worth on the court much better than I had during the game, despite our different roles. He did well during the game.
HWI: 2nd official game of the season and another home court game.
From what I’ve gathered, HWI is a team that is presently being reformed, with a lot of new blood on the team, with about half of the whole team being formed of Rookies and Sophomores. This is almost the opposite of our team, which mainly consist of experienced players (that has it’s own problems however), so it was a game of experience VS, what they say, the power of youth.
Skeeter showed how much of a well rounded player he is in this game, and how dangerous of an attacker he could be.
HWI played far more aggressively than we did, starting of with a decent lead over us, but we managed to pace ourselves better in this game, and took things more calmly and managed to bring the flow of control back to our side of things for most of the rest of the game.
Overall, the first 3 quarters were very close, but we managed to pull through on the final quarter.
I’m glad to have made a contribution to the team as well within the limited time I was given, getting the ball to move. Speaking of movement, Mr.Norwich is a difficult one to get through. He’s a balanced player in terms of strength and speed and is a strong defensive player. Offensively, the power of his dunks cannot be denied.
Much respect goes to Mr.Masalia and Mr.Warren, both of them really know how to get the ball moving between the HWI players, and Aurora really knows how to shoot. Their combination makes her hard to shut down. The physical strength Mr.Barrett has is also undeniable, he’s a difficult one to stop when he starts to drive towards our hoop. Special note goes to Tanya, who managed to steal the ball out of my paws.
Overall, I’m glad that Aurora, Julian and Tanya are doing well. Have to admit that I have extremely limited to no interactions with the other rookies however.
WPG: Another home game, this time a visit from the strongest regular season team of the last season, the Winnipeg Voyageurs.
Right off the bat, we started off with a more aggressive approach to things, Vic and Skeeter showing an incredible amount of chemistry moving the ball around, scrambling the WPG defense using both passes and speed, creating a huge gap between both our teams right on the first go… But this resulted in reduced performance in the next 3 quarters where the flow of control fell mostly towards WPG’s side, with our first string of players losing steam and the WPG side of things balancing their game out between their strong players.
It was a back and forth struggle between both our teams, and all we did was mostly play defensively with WPG, narrowly defeating them towards the end by a single possession.
While Ms.Wilds was their primary PG, I enjoyed seeing how Mr.Timmids moved the ball about. He’s fast with those paws of his, swiping the ball off of Plushpaws’ paws… Which surprised me to say the least. His movements remind me of a boxer… was enamored by that... and I’d love for an opportunity of a pickup 1-1 basketball with him one day.
Am also glad that Kevin is also proving his worth, considering how nervous he was about not getting picked during draft night. When he goes for that rebound, his weight makes him virtually unstoppable by virtually anyone in our team shorter than him, since none of us are in the same weight class.
Just a thought… Mr.Stryker not only has a cool sounding name… He also reminds me of a certain military superior of mine.
SJT: Our first away game of the season
This wasn’t one of our better games, admittedly.
The Thrust had such control over the flow of the game, they just took it easy on us on the whole final quarter, with a whole 13 point lead at the start of the final quarter. All they needed to do was exhaust us and play ball keep away to win the game then.
Mr.Kellendyne and Ms.Walters both shared the PG position for this game, and both lead by example on how to get the ball moving about in my opinion. Fellow Rookie, Benjamin Durby also did well for the amount oftime he was on the court.
We were also very reliant on CPT.Cheval too, and he was exhausted by the end of the game. Skeeter once again showed how much of a versatile player he is.
TAL: This next game with the Typhoons was back at our home court. It is also the first game I started as the team PG.
The game was mostly a back and forth one, both our teams pretty evenly matched. For all 4 quarters, neither of our teams had anything more than a single possession, and both our teams kept the ball moving, be it through individual strong attacks, or good ball movement, making it an exciting match to watch overall.
Defensively, the typhoons were the stronger team overall, but Vic, Skeeter, Shadow and myself were able to keep the ball moving between everyone more consistently overall, so we emerged with a 3 point victory at the end of it.
Mr.Korber reminds me much of Skeeter though, their playstyles are extremely well rounded, and 2 of his alley-oops were quite a sight to behold - The whole stadium roared watching him do them.
Ren played well during his time on the court too, moving the ball with good amounts of misdirection, and his height, weight and strength gives him an advantage towards rebounds compared to myself. He’s quick with that steal off of my paws too - Something I had to make up for later.
I really need to work on my steals, need Vic’s help and advice for that.
Oh, nearly forgot… Somehow, I ended up as the PotG for this game and ended with a DD2, on my debut as a PG! o3o
That felt kind of different, but not unpleasant. That said, I’d prefer if the attention wasn’t directed at me, would let me function better as a team enabler.
ALK: This game was an away one over in Alaska - It was cold… I wonder how Kak.Cliff handles the weather here. Plush loved the weather though.
While we started off with a 1 possession lead, the Arctics left us in the dust after the 2nd quarter by a significant margin. It was an uphill battle after that, and things looked grim until the final quarter, which got everyone’s hearts pounding - Our points were tied.
During the last few seconds of the game, the Arctics were leading an attack towards our basket, but they slipped and I ended up with the steal. It was a desperate race towards their hoop, and I made the pass to Kamakani for an alley-oop, throwing off the defense with Kamakani’s dunk ending the game.
It was such a close call.
Also, I’m glad to see that Valentine is doing decently well in Alaska. He’s a lot… fluffier than I remember… Given his limited time on the court though, he did really well - Nearly 20% of the points made by the Arctics that day was thanks to him.
Outside of the game itself, it was Veteran’s day, or Hari Pahlawan as Kak.Cliff and I call is (it translates to ‘Heroes’ Day’). Kak.Cliff and myself lit up a lot of lanterns for those who have fallen, and we hope that the lanterns will bring some warmth and light for the souls of those of have passed.
Oh! Before the lighting of the lanterns, I went out of the hotel dressed in a penguin snuggie, in response to Brad Pullman calling me ‘Oddity Penguin’. I still wonder though, we are under the same agent and had dinner together too… Is my name that hard to pronounce?
ALB: This was a home game, Alphas visiting.
To be honest, this had been the game that I had been looking forward to for a long time.
Almost 4 years ago, during the Military World Games in 2011, the ASEAN Spec Ops basketball team lost to Team USA’s basketball team. That team was led by none other than SGT.Rene Lacoste.
I wanted to be able to face off against him early in the league, so my own emotions won’t get the better of me late in the league itself, so I requested to be able to start this game… That ended up with coach suspecting me of things I did not have in mind, but with some explanation and Vic’s support, things worked out towards the end.
The game in itself though… didn’t work out too well. We did okay in the first half, managing to hold our defense and gaining a 2 possession lead over the Alphas, but they managed to shave that to a 1 pt. lead for us by the end of the 3rd quarter, and beat us by a painful 1 pt. lead at the end of it all.
While we managed to keep the ball moving and play consistently well this game, it wasn’t good enough, and both Mr.Knutten and Mr.Umaechi’s presence and aggression were hard to not recognize. While our team was balanced, them being fed the ball ended up being as our undoing.
That said, I was glad to have been able to play with SGT.Lacoste once more.
Oh, also, note to self, this day marked my second DD2… Was playing with more motivation in a way, because SGT.Lacoste was there.
TEN: This was another home game, with the previous season’s champion visiting.
To be honest, I was nervous about this game, but managed to keep calm enough and complemented Vic covering the position of PG for the whole game. I was taking more towards Vic’s game this time round, and applied his tutelage of ball steals as best I could this time round.
Maybe I was focusing too much on that? My overall performance slipped a little in this game, but we still managed to keep a good ball movement going on the court.
Special mention goes to Mr.Exen. I cannot, for the life of me, make out what he is saying, but he showed incredible performance on the floor. Like Skeeter, he’s an all rounder, but he focuses less on ball movement overall, and is a deadly shooter and a shockingly good rebounder given his height and weight class. He’s shorter than Skeeter is, but 7 rebounds for a PG!?!? Wow.
Overall, it doesn’t look as if their team is gelled very well, I can sense a lot of conflicting ideals from the players themselves, so they didn’t have as good as a ball movement as a team should have.
We managed to pull a healthy lead during the first half of our game, but the Moonshiners managed to lessen the gap of the lead we made during the later half of the game. Despite that however, I’m glad we managed to pull through with a healthy lead and a win at the end of it.
In the pre-season, they beat us 115-113, but we pulled a 103-83 this time round.
BLV: Next game we had was another home game, with the Voodoo visiting us.
We had a rocky start in the first half, the Voodoo taking charge of the first quarter, so we had quite a bit of work for us in the 2nd quarter, but we pulled it off and made it a tie. The 2nd half was a different story however, and we managed to pull of a healthy lead in both the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Being mainly on the bench this game allowed me to observe the game that the Voodoo have - The low AST values of Mr.Calloway and Ms.Lancaster is very misleading, the team is very capable of keeping the ball moving, and they’re very capable of making use of the Gap-Kick-Swing strategy to scramble our defenses to score, poking holes in our defense.
The common strategy was Calloway -> Lancaster -> Evans -> Warren, Lancaster -> Calloway -> Evans -> Warren, Lancaster -> Evans -> Lancaster/Warren, Calloway -> Evans -> Lancaster/Warren.
In essence, the reason why Lee Evans ended up with so many Assists was because he was essentially working as a Pass Guard - A role I’m very familiar with.
That said, their own defense was quite lacking, something we made use of as well with our own playbook, and we finished the game with a 10 point lead.
For personal reasons, I wish that we would face the Voodoo again soon, partially because Warren is a good friend I wish to spend time with, and another being that the team was not at the best of their ability, with both Mr.Bobby Heron and Mr.Swinton suffering from severe injuries.
Speaking of which, it seems to me that the Voodoo are very reliant on Warren, I just hope they’re not taxing him too much… The risk of burnout is very real.
Something I really appreciate that Coach Foster is doing - He’s distributing playing times for all of the Spectrums pretty evenly… Even though I do hope that Plush gets more floortime.
NWK: This game was an away game, and from the reports I’ve gone over on my own, I was more on edge, mainly because of the high violent crime rates in the area, causing me to worry more about everyone’s safety… given my background. Was wishing I was first sent ahead to scout the area… But maybe I worry too much?
Talking about the game though, it was very reminiscent of the game we had with the Voodoo in a way, but we had control of the flow of the game right from the get go and all the way through till the 3rd quarter.
Our team seems to have found it’s pace - We’ve managed to pace ourselves and play a game of healthy passes and team-based strategy. I’ve managed to pace myself better this time round and applied what Vic taught me about steals too, managing to grab the ball away from the Pride twice during the near 15 minutes I’ve spent during the game itself.
Speaking of the Pride - Ms.Valencia Zeraus isn’t dubbed as ‘The Queen’ just for show. She’s very fast, and she can keep that speed up for extended periods of time as well. She’s a competent passer too. Be it on the court or from the bench, her passes were not easy to follow… Something I can learn to integrate into my own plays as well.
That said, I’m glad to see Adam doing well. He’s a fellow viverrid, there aren’t a lot of us in the league, just Michelle Sundos from LVG, Adam himself from NWK, and Crosby and myself from the Spectrums. Amongst all of us viverrids though, Adam’s skillset is probably the most well rounded, and in my personal opinion, he’s enjoyable to watch on the court - a competent player in all accounts, and one that’s making a difference on the Pride, being their 5th overall strongest player according to stat reports.
If both of us last till then, I look forward to the both of us being able to spend time around Huntington Beach and the areas surrounding it. It’s his place of birth, and I feel a certain guilt having been picked by the Spectrums… It’s as if I robbed him of a place in a team he deserves to be in in my opinion… He was someone everyone expected the Spectrums to pick, and I sort of came out of nowhere.
EDM: This game had been a fierce one, and an eye-opener.
The Totems left us in the dust, opening with a huge lead in the first quarter, which we had to work very hard to make up for, beating them in the Q2 with the same number of points they led us with. Q3 was a tie, and they ended the final quarter with a single possession lead… If only I had made the extra assist or shot...
Despite our loss, I realised the scope of the responsibility placed onto my shoulders.
I may not have spent a lot of time in this game, but it was enough to tell, be it from the bench or on the court - Amongst all the other PGs I’ve faced, Mr.Hirvonen is on an entire different level. His basketball IQ is higher than most, if not all, that we have faced before, but what makes him different is how unselfish he is, with a combination of skill and athleticism.
He’s got an excellent balance between dexterity, speed, skill, and offensive and defensive capabilities, his sense of timing is very well near perfect in my opinion, and his attitude, unlike so many of the veterans and the rookies this year, is that of genuine humility.
He’s also capable of coordinating ball movement between teammates on a level unlike all I’ve faced before.
Little wonder why he was awarded with the Rookie of the Year status in 2012, and was the Captain of the Spectrums before the responsibility fell onto CPT.Cheval’s shoulders.
His attitude serves someone like Crosby well from what I can see, and it is understandable as to why Crosby, given his personality, would be very infatuated with him.
To be honest, this is both inspiring and frightening - With him leaving the Spectrums for the 2014-2015 season, I can’t help but feel that I was brought in as a stand-in for him. There’s room for me to grow, but whether I can reach where he stands at the moment in both attitude and skill is something I worry about.
Vic makes for a good mentor, but there are at times that I do wish to see him around in the training center more often. At present, he’s spending a lot of time between and after practice recording his new album. While I do understand preparing one’s self for post basketball career while using the fame one has during the basketball career itself, I really wish he’d be around more often.
Shadow is very strong contender for being one of the best shooters in the league as far as my experience (which isn’t a lot, considering I’m a rookie and we’re only 11 games into the season) tells me. He’s also one of the nicest, most humble players I’ve met, quite laid back as well, but super intense while on the court, and he’s someone I look up to when trying to get a number of advice too, especially when there is a necessity to improve my shooting skills, which are sorely lacking at this point.
Ain is one of our defensive anchors and a very skilled player… but with little sense of self preservation. While there’s a fine line between being brave and being reckless, I’d say Ain is a bit of both. While I have heard about his tendencies of getting himself injured, I wasn’t expecting him to get injured so early during the season. Hoping steps would be taken to prevent that from happening, his skillset as one of our defensive anchors would be very much needed into the later part of the season, where everyone will start playing much more aggressively I imagine.
Panzer is one of our most senior member of the team, and while he’s not the fastest of us, his skills in the paint be it on offense or defense, and his tendency to successfully obtain a defensive rebound is something anyone has to recognize. He’s given both Plush and me more than just a handful of advice on how to get around defenses, and I’ve managed to put a few of his advice into practice. His experience is valuable, and in order to both improve myself and everyone in the team, I wish to learn more from him.
Captain Lance is another very senior member of ours. While the outside world has a lot of negative stigma around CPT.Lance, given his history (seriously, I wish people would learn to let go), his experience and maturity outside of the court is valuable in keeping the team together. CPT.Lance may not run the ball on the court, but he acts as the team’s mental core, shouldering the team’s mentality through thick and thin and keeping all of our morale in check during the games. That said, I have my fair share of worries… Not to talk down on Rudy, but we have a lack of strong Centers in our team, so we’re heavily relying on CPT.Cheval to cover that role, with Crosby and Caesar standing in for him where need be However, given their heights, quick as they are, our team has a distinct height disadvantage than most, considering some Power Forwards for other teams already rise beyond CPT.Cheval’s height.
Skeeter is a pretty laid back and chill guy, and is a very talented all rounder. He’s a very tall player for the role of a PG at 1.96m or 6’5”, and also another one of my mentor figures in the team. He’s the one I spend most time with in the training center right now, with him teaching me a few points about making defensive rebounds. He’s also very familiar with the layout around the area, having been born in the city of Costa Mesa, the city that neighbours Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and Tustin (where I stay now), so he’s shown a few of us some places in what little free time we have not spent in the training center. I really appreciate having Skeeter around. While most of the team ranged from relatively to very serious, he brings about some relaxed atmosphere while Crosby brings about the laughs. Skeeter is also a very capable player on the court, being a healthy mix of a SF, SG and PG combined, being able to fulfill any of the roles given his size, speed and power.
Plush is a skilled shooter and dribbler with the speed and endurance to complement those skillsets. Like Skeeter, he’s able to cover both the PG and SG positions, and he’s very cool on the court even when things get tough. His training regimen discipline is admirable. Very often he’s my go-to gym partner, and we go for runs together quite often, sometimes joining Caesar over at Huntington Beach every morning. I enjoy having Zack around. Despite his cool on court demeanor and relatively serious attitude, there’s a lot of positivity that emanates from him, and he has this tendency to hug after victories. He gives a good hug, I admit :) Personally though, I can’t help but feel that Zack is somewhat underutilized.
I’m not sure what to say at this point for Crosby, because I feel that while Luukas leaving had an impact on the team, it impacted Crosby the most, and I can only imagine how much it hurt. As far as I have seen, Crosby has been one of the hardest workers in the team, trying to make sure he gets more play time, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to help him with his ball control drills. It’s only appropriate that he was the one who has gone out of his way to make me feel welcome in the team.
Caesar is a common morning run partner of mine, and one of the first teammates to have shown me several places where I can stock up on supplies. His tastes are more towards the upper class though n.n; While I’ve heard stories of him being a selfish player, I don’t really see that as the case. He’s skilled over at the post, and has both the strength and grace for post-play strategies, which results in us Guards feeding him. As a person, he comes across as a poetic, romantic type, but from what little I’ve seen, and from what I’ve been told, he keeps falling in love with the wrong people. I certainly hope he ends up with the right person,rather than one who’s attached to him for his money.
Rudy is the tallest member of our team, and along with Anthony, overall physically the strongest amongst the 15 of us. Rudy’s strength lies in the paint, and while he’s decent on the defensive side of things, he doesn’t have a lot of offensive variety in general. He is quite athletic for his size though, so improvements on the offensive side of things would make him a dangerous player. Shadow, Skeeter and Zack are assisting both him and I with our shooting. I don’t know how much we can do within a season, but we need Rudy up and running to complement CPT.Cheval.
Kamakani is a swingfur with very well rounded capabilities. Amongst the team, he’s probably one of the more aggressive players, and has relatively impressive dexterity with the speed to back it up. Kamakani’s fast to the point where his reflexes and dexterity is pretty much on par with Vic, but with a greater tendency to go for the defensive rebound than any of the pure Guards in the team, as expected of his role. At times, like Zack, I can’t help but feel that he’s underutilized too… But if nothing else, he makes for a really solid, versatile backup to the Guards and SFs in the team’s first string.
Terrell is a very tall, well rounded player able to cover both the Small and Power Forward positions, and despite his history and reputation as a rough player from the Howlers, he acts otherwise as far as I can see. One thing I need to pick up from him is his ability for ‘pressure defense’ - he has a knack for that, but what he needs to be careful of is that it tends to get him into technical foul problems should his mark be able to agitate him enough.
Ura is another one of my running mates, and one that usually accompanies me to run over long distances over the Huntington Beach area over longer periods of time. Things about him that amuse me is his boisterous nature and overall positivity in general, though he tends to be somewhat aggressive and serious. He’s a defensively strong player, but tends to get into foul troubles sometimes. Did I mention that he can really eat?
Churro is amongst one of our senior members of the team. He’s pretty laid back in general, but I think that he always seems to have a lot on his mind. Humble and easy to work with, he has the drive to work hard, but from what I can tell, he’s worried that his age is catching on with him. He’s a very capable, all-rounded player with speed on his side, and I’m more than willing to work on his passes with him, which in general is his weakness, while he works with me on my jumps.
I’m glad to mostly get along with the rest of the Spectrums, there’s much I can learn from everyone, especially Scott and Victor. Zack and I tend to work on our shooting under McDyess’ guidance, and Plush likes to hug people a lot it seems. He gives nice hugs, I have to admit :)
Oh! We also have a new Assistant Coach to help Coach Foster too!
On a more personal note, I feel guilty in some ways for having what seems to have rightfully been Adam Tevela’s place here, since he was born and raised in the place I go to run every morning. He would have gotten along great with Skeeter I would imagine.
Most recently however, I’m starting to feel the pressure of the burden placed onto my shoulders. Luukas having left the Spectrums left a huge gap for Vic, Skeeter and myself to fill.
It is both scary, and inspiring as well, and I look forward to use what I’ve learnt so far into the game with Texas tomorrow, and beyond :)
- Aditya Anggun
Written by Adabune
Evening, February 19th 2015, Spectrums Training Centre, Tustin, CA
Practice was going well for the most part, Adi doing what he can to keep up with his team mates during the practice scrimmages. The accident about a month ago has kept him out of any kind of major physical activities for about 2 weeks, his body being considerably weakened because of that.
His stamina had suffered greatly, as did his explosiveness. The protective mask he wore reduced his overall spatial awareness, the few practice sessions so far not helping as much as they should since the pressure level on the players were nowhere near the levels of how things are on the court.
“Sorry Scott, everyone had to pick up the slack while I was out… And I’m not up to speed yet too.” the civet told his team mate.
“Hey, no probs dude, just glad that your cleared. You sure you’re up to speed on things?”
“Can only really tell when the time comes. We’re playing the Keystones in a few days right?”
“Yeah” the otter replied “They’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the season, so we’ve got to keep our guard up.”
The civet nodded. “I need to get back into shape…”
“Dude, relax, we got this!”
Adi turned towards the voice calling him.
“Coach Foster’s calling for you. Best get up there quick.”
“Yes sir. Catch up with you tomorrow Scott!”
The civet gave the otter a fistbump, and was accompanied by the black panther up to the head coaches’ office.
“Is something the matter Coach Onca?”
The black panther gave a little shrug, usual stern look over his face.
“Not sure kid… If nothing else, he looked serious.”
Both furs stopped in front of the door, the sign ‘Head Coach - Alan Foster’ on the side of the wall.
“Think it might be something to do with my recent performance Coach?...” the civet asked.
“Can’t say for sure.”
“Will you be alright kid?”
“I… I should be coach. It’ll be okay, I can take care of myself.”
“Alright… I’ll see you in a bit then kid.”
“I’d like to ask you a few things…”
Adi sat across his Head Coach, desktop littered with folders separating both furs.
The civet was nervous, he’d never seen Coach Foster looking that stern before, a sternness that felt mixed with an aura of disappointment and anger, the dingo just sitting there after he told the civet to take the seat, palms crossed at he looked at the folders on the table.
“... Just who are you? What were you before all this?”
“Just answer me…”
The civet tensed up, and realised what it is that maybe going on at that moment. The question ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ ran through his mind over and over again, but he decided to answer what’s known by the public at large at the moment.
“Aditya Anggun… former Corporal from the ASEAN Special Operations division… Sniper, sir…”
“Is that it?”
“... Yes sir…”
The dingo slammed his fist onto the table upon hearing his rookie’s reply.
"You lied to me! You lied to this team and to our fans! This! This is not who you are. So you had better bloody well tell me the truth right now, bucko, or sure as I'm yellow, you are done in this league, you hear me? I will not have a player that I cannot trust!"
The civet tensed further in his seat from his coaches' exclamation.
"But sir... I haven't done anything!"
"Haven't bloody done anything?" Foster snapped.
The dingo stood up, removed the copy of Adi's birth certificate, and the working certificate of the Turi Beach and Marina Point resorts of Batam from the folders, and shook them.
"Then why the bloody hell is this a bloody forgery!"
The civet froze in his seat for a moment, and then looked at the documents presented in front of him by the angry dingo, his mind racing, his worst fears realized...
He considered his options - Door was closed, he was in plain visible sight to his accuser, and physical options are all of severe consequences...
The civet was trapped, and at a loss on what to do, his past training dictating that he had to make a last stand since it’d be likely the end of him should be he trapped in such a situation.
"You what?" Foster asked, his voice quiet.
Easing back down into his chair, he tossed the birth certificate onto the table.
"You lied about something in your past so you could get picked up, here? You intentionally hid something about yourself? It wouldn't be the first time something like that was done to this team, but I can guarantee you the last man who tired it is now unemployed, with no chance of ever playing in this league."
Placing one paw over the other, the diminutive dingo stared straight into the civet's eyes, his yellow brow furrowing. "I suggest you come out with it, son. Because if you don't, I bloody well guarantee we will find out what it is, and you'll still have to face it. But if we find it, you'll be facing it on our terms, and I get the impression that isn't something you want."
Adi avoided his coaches’ gaze sat there for the time being, and curled his arms into himself, nervously looking at his coach and then back down at his feet...
He then reached for the papers, and took a good look at them.
"... growing up in Batam... That's only partially true. I only spent 5 years there, working as a labour worker in the resorts..."
The civet then put the papers back on the table, and folded his arms back into himself again, nervous and defensive.
"The rest... I've kept them to protect myself..."
Alan Foster could nearly taste his player's reticence, and that alone nearly made him back off. Nearly. Still, there was a deeper matter at hand, and as coach, he had to know what it was.
Not once taking his eyes off of the civet, he spoke softly "That still doesn't explain a forged birth certificate, Adi... It really would be best if you opened up to me right now. What do you need protection from, son? Did you break the law?"
The civet looked up immediately upon hearing that and shook his head.
"No... n... I don't know... We were running away, or we would have died..."
"Running from what?" Foster's question came without pause from Adi's response.
The civet slowed down to think of his response, recalling the night where he and his friends, fellow victims, were ushered onto the boat after the cartel he was caught by caught wind that the Paskus (Indonesian SpecOps) and the Indonesian National Police Force were cracking down on them in a joint operation.
"... The... authorities. They were shooting at them... and me as well... because I looked like an adult..."
The civet replied, as he moved his right paw towards his forehead, touching where the scar on it is, now that it's visible with his hair so short.
Foster waited longer before his next reply. He'd seen bullet grazings before, many times in his time with the Australian army, and he'd known what Adi's scar was after he first saw it, but he never brought it up. He knew Adi had been a soldier, and it is a soldier's prerogative to mention their battle scars only if they wished to, and never at the behest of another. Still, now that he knew the wound was from before the civet's time in the military, his curiosity was piqued.
Folding his paws together, Foster leaned forward, his face softening. "I know this is hard, I can see it in your face, son, but I think you need to come out with it and tell me the whole story. You're not making much sense, as it is."
The civet shifted in his seat, recalling the time he's had in the Spectrums so far.
Coach Foster has not given him a reason to distrust him, he's much like a father to all the younger players in the Spectrums, Plush and himself in particular.
The civet took a deep breath…
"I... We were part of a slave trade back where I was born, in Bali. The other victims, and myself, we didn't know what was going on then... All we heard was that we were being shifted to another location, then the raid happened..."
Adi placed a paw over the other upper arm.
"We... began a new life after the authorities caught the last of them... But had nowhere to go."
"The papers, they were forged to make me sound older than I was back then, because I was taller than the average Indonesian male back then… So we could begin working legally, so the resorts could avoid being labelled of using child labour… Most of us we from the age or 10 to 14… No one older than 16..."
Foster listened intently, nodding with each new delivery of information, yet his face did not change, either for better or worse. When it appeared Adi had reached a point where he wished to stop, the coach stepped in.
"I see. In that case, I have another question for you: how old are you, really, son? I want the truth."
Slowly, Adi looked at the multiple pieces of documentation laid before him, the Batam resort pieces not supposed to be there, but were there anyway, and then his official documentations.
"The present ones are the real ones sir... These from Indonesia were forged, to make me look older than I am.
Right now, I am 21, going 22 this year"
A deep sigh of relief escaped the dingo at that, and he leaned his head back against his chair, eyes closing, before a little laugh escaped his lips. "Thank heavens for that," he said, more than a hint of mirth in his voice.
Leaning back forward to look at Adi once more, he smiled.
"Here you had me worried I'd bought alcohol for a minor," he said, meaning the occasional time he'd treat the team for a celebratory round of drinks after a hard-fought win.
"Whew... Well then, back to business. You said slave trade. Now, I'm going to be blunt, so please forgive me, but... you're a handsome young man, and a rare color; I'm presuming you meant you were forced into being a sex worker, is that correct? I'll understand if you don't want to talk about it, so a simple yes or no will suffice, if that's all you want to say."
The civet trembled for a moment when he heard what his coach told him, but he managed to nod his head slightly.
"I… Yes sir... I was"
He then pondered again for a moment, but a reply just came out of him.
"For almost 8 years..."
Silence hung in the office for several moments as Foster simply nodded, and hung his head.
"I'm so sorry, son,” he said at last. “Most cannot imagine the horrors you went through. I know of the trade. I’ve helped children who came to Australia to escape it...”
His paws fidgeted with each other, and the dingo looked uncomfortable in his seat.
“It’s a pain that never goes away, and many aren’t strong enough to deal with it. You’ve been strong, son... Bloody hell, I didn’t expect it to be this, not from you. I was worried you’d killed someone, to be honest.” A nervous laugh accompanied his words at the end, before he looked back up into Adi’s eyes.
“But, my question is now... why didn’t you tell me? Why’d you make us worry, like this? Of all people, you didn’t think that I would understand? Do you not bloody know me at all, Adi?”
The civet looked back at his coach, still nervous, but much less so than before as a clasped his paws below the table.
"I... I didn't think it was an important detail sir, takes away focus on work we have to do and... My brother, the one that adopted me... He told me not to tell anyone, just in case."
He then pondered for a moment, and then continued.
"From what happened in the resorts... Where I worked... What he said made sense... I got harassed a good number of times because of how I looked."
“Like I said, you’re a handsome fellow, I could see why you’d get attention. But at the resorts you were free, if I understand correctly, so whatever choices of company you kept there are your own, and I’m not going to ask about that.”
“But your time before that, well, that’s your secret to keep, if you choose to,” Foster nodded.
“But if you need to talk about it, I’m here for you. And unlike most shrinks and therapists, I bloody know what you’ve been through. Not like I’ve tried to hide that.”
The civet listened to his coach, and nodded.
"I... would prefer it being kept a secret... The issue might cause some unwanted attention to be brought into light, and then my brother says that given how societies are, harrassment would ensue, some going as far as trying to bring physical harm to... what others would consider... a... an undeserving dirty whoring slut... like how a lot of people out there have considered those like myself… those of my history"
“You stop that right now,” Foster warned, his tone suddenly firm.
“What was done to you was not your will, and not your doing! You, and those made to do the things that you were, are not ‘dirty, whoring sluts,’ you were bloody victims of bloody monsters, you hear me! Don’t you ever think it was your fault!” By the time his tirade ended, he was nearly roaring. Clearly a nerve in him had not only been struck, but hammered.
Adi leaned away from his coach as Foster shouted towards him, realizing that he may have touched a sensitive subject, but didn't expect such a reaction from his coach.
"I... I'm sorry sir..."
“Don’t be sorry, Adi,” Foster seethed. “What was done to you was bloody fucking monstrous, and those who did it deserve death, slow and painful, as far as I’m concerned.”
It was a side of the happy little coach the team almost never saw, one practically boiling over with hate.
“I’m glad you escaped it, son. And... and whatever problems may arise from your papers, I’ll make sure I, and the team, make sure it’ll never be an issue. OMEN can make sure no one ever learns, I’m sure.”
His fist trembled on the desktop, the quiet pop of a knuckle echoing through the office as he tried to calm himself.
“I know exactly what you went through. I went through it, myself, and dare I say it worse. I’m proud of you for making it through, son. And I’m sorry that it happened to you.”
Adi looked toward coach, how he reacted, surprised at what he heard... surprised that not only he's been through it himself, but also that he'd helped others who have been through such things, others who were close to him.
Still, he wasn't sure how to react, seeing his coach that angry, and he could only meekly call out to him, much less formally
That quiet, concerned voice snapped Foster out of his rage, and like a passing storm it faded from his face.
Easing back in his chair, the dingo looked up at the ceiling. “I’m sorry, I thought the whole team knew. You at least know about my childrens’ charity, and the orphanage I own, right?”
A nod from Adi kept him going.
“I grew up in orphanages and foster homes through my whole childhood. Like you, I was abused. Except for me it was constant. I don’t remember when it started; it’d always been part of my life as far back as I could remember…
“The other boys, the orphanage headmaster, some of the staff, various foster fathers and foster brothers... I got picked on since I was small. I was an easy target, and... they did things to me that no child should ever suffer, or even know about. From as far back as I remember, until I was seventeen, it was a living hell. I joined the army just so I could get away from it.”
“And, after I got out, I wanted to help those who were still stuck in that hell, or hells like it. That’s why I created Foster’s Kids. My charity helps orphaned, fostered, displaced or disadvantaged children find safe homes, or protect them from those who have caused them harm, should that happen. I bought the orphanage I was left at as an infant so I could overhaul it, and make sure it was a safe place. A place where what happened to me could never happen again, to any child.”
“And just as I protect them, I will protect this team. You’re the closest thing I have to a family, and I will be bloody dead before I allow harm to come to any of you. Do you understand me, Adi?”
The civet listened to his coach with his eyes widened, and then looked back down towards the table, a weak smile forming on his muzzle as he felt... vindicated.
"Yes coach... I understand."
He sat there thinking for a while.
"I want to protect the team too, where I can... And use the resources I may have to help ease whatever the victims like myself maybe facing."
"The child, the civet who came with my brother... He was a victim I helped to save, and my brother is helping taking care of him now back in Singapore."
“I’m glad to hear that,” he replied.
“If your brother ever wishes to move to the States, and bring the boy with him, I do have contacts who may be able to help with that. Only if thats what they want, though, of course.”
“As for you, and this...” Foster reached out to pull the documents back.
“I can see there was clearly just some misunderstanding, and your paperwork is entirely in order.” A wink accompanied his statement as he dropped them into a drawer.
Adi let out a sigh of relief, understanding what his coach meant with what he's done and his gesture.
"Thank you coach!"
The civet then considered his coaches' offer, and then continued.
"My brother has his reasons staying in SE Asia, there are things that he can do that few others can.... But as for the child, he shows interest in basketball, and my family is working on getting a permanent residence back in Singapore for him."
Foster nodded. “In any case, if there’s assistance I can offer, please let me know. And, if you ever need to talk... I’ll be willing to listen. Now, how’s the head? Feeling better?”
Nodding, the civet replied.
"I still need to wear the mask to play for maybe the next few weeks, and having to get used to it during the intensity of the games… It’s different during the practice, body still needs to adjust… I performed badly last games against the Whips and Moonshiners too despite my floortime... but I'm feeling okay. Thank you coach."
“Well, we’re going to take it at your pace. If you feel you’ve had enough in a game, let me know and I’ll put someone else in your place. But, at the same time, if I see your play declining, I may pull you before you can give the signal. No offense, but I’d rather have you recovering instead of pushing past your limit.”
"I understand coach, thank you, I'll do my best."
“I’m sure you will, son. Now, is there anything we can do for you?”
The civet smiled as he looked towards his coach.
"I'm happy the way things are coach, can't think of anything else I want... If nothing else, this has been... a huge weight off of my shoulders."
Foster smiled back. “Glad to hear it. Now, I’d better let you get back out there to join the others as they head out. I’m sure Crosby is just itching to ask you how much Star Trek you were able to watch during your recovery. Lucky you, eh?”
Adi chuckled hearing his coach bring the series up.
"I've watched some with my brother, he would probably, uh... 'geek out' together with Crosby a lot. It's an enjoyable series though, makes one think, touches on serious matters often."
The civet then walked towards the office door
"Uh... not joining us though sir?"
The dingo shook his head. “Not tonight. Big game, in a few days, and I still have analysis to do on the Keystones. Probably just going to order a pizza, or something, and stay in, get as many things done as soon as possible. But you go have fun.”
The golden furred civet nodded his head, and then opened the door as he prepared to step out of the office.
“Oh, and Adi?”
“Does your family celebrate the Chinese New Year?”
“Back in South East Asia where we live sir, yes.”
“Happy Chinese New Year to you then son, enjoy the night.”
“Happy Lunar New Year to you too sir!” the civet replied, smiling, as he stepped out of the office, slowly closing the door all while facing his head coach.
A weight off his shoulders, he promised to get better for the team - his family away from home.
Written by Adabune
May 6th, 2015, 1945 hrs
Adi parked his 2 door hybrid hatchback, grabbed his backpack and got out of the car, making his way into the Spectrums training facility.
“Hello Adi! You’re here late. Getting some last minute training in?” asked the island fox receptionist.
“Hey Jeannette, you are correct. Is anyone else in?”
“No players from the team at the moment, unfortunately.”
“I see. Can I have the keys to the locker room and equipment room?”
“Sure thing, hang on for a sec.” replied the fox
“Here we go.”
“No problem Adi, just don’t overdo it alright? It’s the playoffs tomorrow night, we need everyone to be rested. I’ll be leaving in about 10 minutes, so I’ll leave a note for Oliver to check up on you in the gym”
“Thanks again Jeannette, and don’t worry, I won’t” replied the civet as he headed towards the gym.
The civet spent 15 minutes warming himself up, and proceeded to dash back and forth the length of the court.
“And that makes that. We’ll be starting with this lineup, try balancing out the time of everyone and adapt to whatever strategy Hawaii has in for us during the game. All this sound okay Julio?” the Spectrums Head Coach, Alan Foster, asked his assistant.
“It sounds right, They’re not too great of a threat at the moment, with Cross injuring his back. It’s mainly Masalia that I’m worried about, given the matchup we have for him for the first round, and if that dog tries to do anything…”
“Julio… Julio please, we’ve been through this. Nobody wanted that to happen, it was an accident.”
The black panther’s brow furrowed as he rubbed the bridge of his muzzle, leaning forward and sighing.
“I know… I know… It’s just that…”
“Hmm? Someone’s down there?”
Alan pulled back the curtain office, looking through the one-way, tinted mirror window down at the basketball court below.
“Well speak of the devil.”
Curiosity got to the big black cat as he looked down onto the court, and saw the civet running, dribbling zig-zag across obstacle cones and shooting over dummy obstacles taller than himself, training all alone just before the day of the post-season.
“He shouldn’t be pushing himself too hard… Hmm…”
Foster posted for a moment as he sensed that something was off about the Adi's movement - it was lacking the usual precision that the civet had.
“Julio, could you go down there and talk to him? I think he’s got a lot in his mind at the moment. I’ll finish up on everything else and fill you in on things later.”
“Alright, I’ll go get changed.”
Alan chuckled hearing his assistant’s reaction.
“Alright then, I’ll leave it to you. Just don’t work him out too much alright? We still need him for tomorrow."
The black panther gave the dingo a thumbs up, and headed out of his office.
Adi was deeply focused with his training, alternating between lay-ins and perimeter jumpers with high intensity. He alternating both the lay-ins and shots using his left and right hands as the shooting arm as well.
He was lost in repeating the motions over and over until the sanctity of his training was interrupted the the opening of the gym door from the other side of the court.
The civet turned towards the noise, and noticed a black panther in Spectrums training jersey stepping into the court.
“Mc… No wait…” the civet corrected himself. This black panther was taller, without earrings, and with wider shoulders compared to McDyess, the primary Shooting Guard for the Spectrums, with jersey number was 71, not 0.
“C… Coach Onca?”
“Were you expecting someone else? Maybe McDyess, rook?”
“No coach, it’s just that… Well, Jeanette told me that no other player from the team was in here today.”
“Well, she’s right you know. Think about it.”
The civet thought about what was said for a moment, and lowered his head as he held the ball close to his abdomen, his ears and nose slightly redder as he realized what he missed from what the receptionist said.
“Don’t dwell over it too much.” the panther told the civet, a menacing smirk across his face.
The golden-furred civet looked towards his coach and tossed the basketball towards him, only to realise that his coach promptly posterized him.
“Your guard’s down rook.” said the black panther as he picked the ball back up and tossed it towards the civet.
“Keep this up and you either lose minutes tomorrow, or we’ll rotate you out of the lineup.” he continued as he tossed the ball over to the rookie civet.
“You best wake up, now bring it.”
Adi looked at the former FBA elite, his muscles ready for action, revealing the athletic, lean and muscular build under the short, velvety black fur, a fierce, competitive aura surrounding him as he took up a defensive position - The challenge had been issued, Onca was serious, and Adi, despite being taken by surprise at first, replied accordingly.
The civet’s facial expressions went into neutral, the usual expressionless face he carries onto his missions in the past, and now, the court, a layer of defense to prevent the opposing team to read what’s in his mind, as he took up a low dribbling stance, getting ready to attack.
From the woods to the point of the key, the civet took a high speed, hard turn towards the wing, the black panther adjusting his stance accordingly as he got into Adi’s face, causing him to brake and respond immediately by taking a stepback jumper, creating some space between him and his coach.
The ball was swatted out of the air shortly after the civet released it, the massive height difference between the 2 furs, with Adi barely touching 6 feet and Onca being slightly over 7 feet tall with a wingspan even greater than that, and Onca’s famous defensive game coming into play.
“Try harder rook!”
The civet was quiet as the went to retrieve the ball, heading back to the half-court line and taking another low dribbling stance. He then charged, the black panther taking up a defensive stance at the high post, standing in the way between him and the hoop. Adi adjusted his bearing, heading towards the left, and just as he reached his coach’s arms’ length, he pulled off a crossover and drove past the black panther, going for a layup from inside the paint.
Before he realized it though, the ball was swatted out of the civet’s hands from behind - Onca had anticipated the move and quickly turned around by pivoting himself towards the civet using his left footpaw, taking a light jump and using both his height and massive wingspan to his advantage again.
“That move is far less effective without a screen. Now get the ball and try again.”
The civet did so and tried once more, getting into post as he tried to make his way into the paint, shielding the ball from the reach of the panther, trying to push his way into the paint.
Adi was strong for his size, but that was the precise problem - his size. His training places emphasis on passing accuracy, floor knowledge, and agility, not strength, and it shows. With Onca’s center of gravity lowered, the civet struggled to even budge the black panther, the vast difference in their physical strength being extremely apparent, and without team mates to setup, the civet’s one-on-one play and lack of an effective, quick long range shot his his repertoire of moves was nothing short of obvious.
Knowing that he couldn’t overpower his coach, Adi planted his left foot down hard, uses it as a pivot, quickly pulling himself away from the black panther, right foot touching the hardwood as he pulled himself further away, eyes on the rim as he took to the air, jumping backwards - a turnaround fadeaway, creating a massive amount of space between him and his coach as he pulls up and lets it fly with a very high arc, the ball flying just right over Onca’s fingertips as he leapt for it.
Both furs had their eyes on the ball as it arced towards the hoop bouncing off of it towards the backboard and then back to the rim again, turning around and rolling on it after what was an agonizing 2-3 seconds, before mercifully falling into the hoop, the civet having scored against his coach, a former FBA elite defender.
“Good job rook.” said the black panther as he went to retrieve the ball, tossing it back towards Adi after he did so.
“Now let’s try that again.”
The civet was breathing heavily, having expended a good amount of strength against Onca while he was in post, but the small praise from his coach had encouraged him greatly. Game face back on, the civet tried again, and the both of them went back and forth, exchanging roles in both offense and defense for the next 8 minutes or so, with Adi spending more time on the offense.
The ball was in Onca’s hands as he got into post, using his strength to push into the paint with Adi defending, the difference between their strength, height and weight becoming apparent again. The panther was practically bullying the civet while making his way into the paint, Adi being completely powerless to stop him as Onca took up a low dribbling stance using his other hand to black the civet’s advances, the civet’s limbs far too short to even reach for the ball - a perfect mismatch.
After what he deemed was a comfortable distance, Onca turned and jumped toward the basket, the sudden force of movement pushing the much lighter civet away and down to the floor as he dunked the ball, hanging off the rim as the ball fell towards the civet, hitting him on his upper abdominals.
The civet was exhausted, eyes closed as he laid down on the floor, breathing heavily, his chest rapidly expanding and contracted, muscles visibly tense beneath the damp fur matted from his sweat, his core, legs and arms burning and trembling from the intense one-on-one between him and his coach.
Onca looked at the team rookie beneath him as he let go of the rim and landed, Adi struggling to get up as he rolled to his side, leaving a wet patch of sweat on the lacquered hardwood. The panther was panting a little, not having had to put in as much effort as the civet, given what roles they were filling during this little sparring session they had.
He knew he was a bad matchup for the rookie, given the civet's skillet, and lack of propensity of attacking on his own despite being able to orchestrate the offense quite effectively. All he had to do was get the civet on lockdown, and without teammates to pass the ball to, the diminutive rookie of a civet would remain mostly helpless against a larger player of equivalent athleticism, not forgetting that the black panther was a highly skilled, highly experienced 14 year veteran of the league.
The panther kneeled down and reached a paw out to the civet.
“C’mon, get up, get a bit of rest here before going back, you’ve got a game tomorrow.”
Both furs’ paws met, and Onca supported the civet on his shoulder, slowing placing him down on the bench near the stanchion, allowing the civet to catch his breath as he draped a towel over him.
“Thanks… ugh… huhh… Thanks coach…”
“Take your time rook, catch your breath first, talk later.”
After a moment of silence between veteran and rookie, the civet was rested enough, and looked up to the panther.
“I’m ready coach, we can go again…”
Onca shook his head and crossed his arms.
“Rook, no, you have a game tomorrow, I won’t risk either injuring you or wearing you out too much here. Why are you even here right now? You should be back home resting up for the game tomorrow, watch the games today while you’re at it.”
“... … Right, sorry.”
"Don't apologise to me, you've done me no wrong, not directly anyway." Onca retorted.
"And I still want to know why you're here."
"I was nervous coach, I was not able to take my mind off the game, now that the team is standing where it is."
This was one of the ways I know off to release the stress. With little else to do, I thought I might as well drop by for a bit of a workout "
"But your game was off a few steps. You didn’t sell your fakes as well as you should have, it’s as if you were on auto-pilot. You let me take advantage of that, and look at you now, still trying to get your breath back down to normal.
Also, you're putting yourself at risk prescribing without anyone else around. What if you injure yourself? What will you then? You'll be costing the team a lot in this important period of the post season."
Adi looked down on the floor, his expression tired and defeated. The panther was right, despite their difference in skills, Adi knew he could have, should have done better, yet he didn't. He was off his game right from the get go, mentally distracted to the point that he didn't even think of the consequences of a high intensity training alone.
Onca recognised the confused and downed expression his rookie’s head and sighed.
"So will I be hearing what the matter really is about? Or will you be going home keeping it a secret?"
Adi looked toward his coach, and took a deep breath.
"I've been wondering coach..." the civet said
"About my role in the team." he continued.
"How so?" the panther asked, leaning forward.
"I mean, I'm glad the team is doing well so far, given where we're standing in the league right now..." the civet said before pausing.
"But... sometimes, I wonder what my role in the team is, given that the team did so well during my absence, many times even more than even when I'm around…”
“I don’t want to hold the team back coach...” the civet said as he clasped his hands together
“But I don’t want to get left behind either… Not after missing out on so much after that incident… Not after not being able to contribute for so long.” he continued.
“I don’t want to let everyone out there that matters down too coach, not after we’ve come so far in the season… But this is different compared to back in my days where I get sent out on missions, with so much noise and media attention showered on everyone.”
Onca sighed, he understood what the rookie was talking about, considering how much negative media attention he got in the past from his antics. The difference was, he didn’t give a shit, whereas the civet was shouldering more than just the opinions of those who matter to him - A rookie mistake, not tuning out the static and letting it get to him.
“Adi, Adi, Adi, this isn’t the you I’ve come to expect to know.”
Onca shrugged, walked across the civet and took a seat to his left.
“Given your usual quiet, but many times intense demeanor, I never thought you would let your emotions get the better of you, especially during an important time like this, especially given your history as a cool and collected military sniper.”
“Sorry coach…This is different with everyone eyes looking at...”
“What did I say about apologizing to me?”
“It maybe difficult, but you have to tune out all the noise, and focus Adi. You can do that for us right?”
The civet stopped to think, looking back at what he’s done in the past before looking back at his coach, giving him a small nod.
“Good. I'm not saying that it will be easy, but you'll get there sooner than later, from what I can see anyway.” the panther replied as he patted the civet on his bare, damp back.
“Now go back and get some rest in.” he continued as he prepared to get up.
The civet leaned forward as he clasped his paws together, smiling, feeling better from the little encouragement his coach gave him.
“Thanks, I needed that. Managed to destress a lot from that workout as well.” he said, looking toward the large panther to his left, smiling.
The black panther gave a slight huff, smiling as he shrugged.
“No problem rook, anything else for now?”
“Nothing really, coach, I was just surprised you were here.”
“I was discussing a few things with Coach Foster, we’re going up against the Kahunas and formulating strategies based on what they maybe doing, given that their captain is injured.” replied the panther.
“They’re missing an equally capable player to fill his spot, and we were considering on the options we have in order to take advantage of the situation before he comes back for the matchup on the 13th.” he continued.
“Coach Foster is here too?” asked the the civet.
"In his office yes. We heard dribbling, and realised that you were using the gym."
“Both of you are hard at work, all the more the rest of us need to keep up.” muttered the civet.
“Just part of our job Adi, and yours would be to get some rest in in preparation for tomorrow. Do you understand?”
“Yes sir, coach Onca.” replied the civet.
“Good, anything else for now?”
“Something on your mind rook?”
“Coach… may I ask something personal?”
The panther raised an eyebrow.
“I’m listening.” Onca replied.
“I… was there any reasons as to why you left the league?” the civet asked, a hint of hesitation in his tone.
The question surprised the black panther a little, but it wasn’t completely out of left field.
“I’m just… tired Adi, it feels like age is catching on a little as well.”
“But coach, if I may?”
“I can’t… help but think that the reason lies elsewhere. From our workout earlier, I felt that you were stronger, faster, more skilled and athletic than many of the defenders that the rest of the team and myself have gone up against I feel, and you have a strong repertoire of offensive moves under your belt as well to complement your during defence.” the civet continued.
“You still have a lot that you can still contribute to the league and inspire Coach, so w… I’m curious.”
The black panther got a laugh out of that.
“Hahaha, inspire, that’s a good one.”
“It’s… difficult Adi, not with the history being the brutish savage I’ve accumulated in the league, and being distant with most other people. You know that right?"
“Still…” the civet replied quietly.
“To me, it doesn’t feel that way, not when you’re with us. You may have been distant at moments, but I feel that you’re more than that…” he continued, looking up towards the black panther.
“And I heard first hand from my brother, how greatly worried you were when I fell, how you stayed throughout as much as you can, and how you took care of Iman in my place.” he continued.
“And I’m greatly thankful for that.”
The black panther wasn’t used to being shown such appreciation. It was a different feeling for sure, but it wasn’t an unpleasant one. He just shrugged, and smiled as he looked down at the hardwood, appreciative of the civet’s words.
“... You really want to know?” the black panther asked.
“If... you’re okay with it Coach.” the civet replied.
“Only if we’re training more Coach.”
“No Adi, not with the game tomorrow.”
“Then I’m free till the game tomorrow Coach.”
The panther leaned forward and gathered his thoughts.
“Do you know of the history of my family Adi?”
The civet shook his head.
“I’ve never looked into it specifically, sadly. Most I’ve heard about you was from the media’s depiction of you, and I think I remember that you were once featured on the album of a lady Caracal singer one as well, but that’s about it. Personnel intelligence wasn’t my area of specialty back in the military.”
“Hahaha, oh that! That was unexpected! I didn’t think you’d bring that up. That Dayo.”
“Yeah, the name of that Caracal lady singer Adi.” explained the black panther.
“But back on topic… The reason why I left, was … Because I felt like needed to get off the court, after leaving a bad message about the sport - not caring about those I victimized then, causing what may have been irreparable bridges.
... An example being the clawing incident with Buck Hopper, and then there was the incident with Bounder, and a scuffle with Lance Wildfyre about 3 years ago while I was with the Alphas, don’t know what it is with me and rabbits, getting into trouble with them so often.”
The civet just kept quiet, listening to his coach go on.
“And then there was your brother.”
“Ada? What did he do?”
“I think he was subtly hitting on me, shortly after you regained your consciousness from that incident.”
Adi’s nose and ears turned red as he buried his face and muzzle into his paws, embarrassed.
“Yah ampun... Ada and his antics… I’m so sorry coach, he can be a... handful sometimes, but he’s not a bad person.”
The panther roared out with laughter.
“Hahahaha, it’s alright, it wasn’t the first time such a thing happened, though it’s a good thing that he is your brother, and he didn’t ask the me in the past, a still very angry version of myself.”
“Still…” the civet spoke, looking apologetic.
“It’s okay, it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened, although my experience with males trying to hit on me would be those who’re drunk.”
“You do know that I was known as one of the angriest players during my time in the league?” the panther asked.
Adi hesitated for a moment, but soon nodded.
“14 years… You can only stay angry for so long. While I calmed down somewhat after first leaving the Howlers, I still gave my anger management counsellor, a black leopard by the name of Sena McCallister, a tough time.
A few months before I left, I finally apologized to Hopper, with a few other members of the Texas Lone Stars present witnessing it…
It was one of the hardest things to do, facing him after knowing the wrong I’ve done to him all those years ago, and nearly costing him his life…
But it was the first step in righting all the wrong...
I’ve done a lot of wrong during my time in the league, caused a lot of hurt, and in more ways than one let my late father down, sent a lot of wrong messages about sportsmanship, going against what Ned Underwood’s vision of the league was - I acted much like the players before Healey Davis’ time.
By the end of it, everyone’s seeing me for what I was when I was your age, and I was tired, regretting the fact that the time I have left was too little to change anything here in the league.
I’m a large, heavy guy, and age was rearing it’s ugly face. By the time I was with the Wildcards, I no longer felt as efficient as the days I was with the Howlers, the Alphas, the Spectrums even…”
The panther than raised his right arm and closed and opened his palm a few times.
“Especially after the shoulder problems… So I decided to retire, go back to Colombia maybe, and hope to fade away into obscurity…”
Adi just sat there, absorbing all the information as his coach shared what he was willing to share with him, amazed by what he’s heard, never expecting the big panther to have such a soft side to himself, given how little everyone really knows about him, and how many who don’t know of him have portrayed him.
“I felt that you wanted to do more, from the way you said it.”
“You would be right… and the chance happened to come by shortly after I made my retirement known.”
The civet nodded. “The team, our team called on you?”
Onca gave the civet one soft nod. “Have you met the team’s previous Assistant Coach, Randall Yoster?”
Adi shook his head before looking back up to the black panther. “I’ve heard about him, but I’ve never met him in person before.”
“He was a very fatherly figure - strict, but down to earth, respected by everyone in the team, including Coach Foster, and back then, myself.
Back then, he was the one of the few who genuinely gave me a chance, without prejudice, even though others were skeptical at the time… It was why I was then motivated in playing the way I did, and it helped the team in reaching the 2013 playoffs, shortly after being traded away from the Alphas because of a something that happened early season.
After he learnt of my retirement, he called me up, asked if I was interested to take his place, to aid Coach Foster… I considered the offer for a while, and decided to take it up.”
“A change of roles, a change of momentum...” the civet said quietly.
“Poetic, but yes…” Onca continued. “I wanted to return a favour, but it’s become more than that now, I guess.”
“A bit more coach?”
The panther gave the light smile and gave another light huff.
“It’s something I can do, alongside Coach Foster up there” he said, pointing up at the tinted mirror where the Spectrums’ Head Coach, Alan Foster’s office was.
“And it’s a chance to make up for what I’ve done in the past as well.”
Adi smiled and nodded as he looked towards the other end of the court. “And I think you’re doing very good at that coach, considering where we are at right now.”
“Hah, much of the credit should go to Coach Foster, I’m still learning from him. Discussion of strategies and player analysis had never been my strong suit, a player from a Point Guard position would have been better for that…” Onca explained
“Coach Randall was decent at that, offering a second opinion to Coach Foster, but even with his age being over 70, he had abilities on the floor that Coach Foster cannot match.” he continued with a smirk.
“Really?” the civet asked, wide eyed. “Wow, I’d like to be able to maintain myself until I am that old.”
“You and everyone else rook.” the panther replied.
“But back on topic… I thought that I’d just fulfil my role here being a physical complement to Coach Foster, take the load off of him… But all things considered, this sport had become a huge part of my life, and it wasn’t easy to just up and leave, considering that back then, my father himself has given me his blessing.
Back when I was younger… I lost everything Adi… My father, his business folded and family went broke to try and free people from oppression. Despite all the good he’s done and then some… He lost faith, took his own life, and I went that way too, disappointed with how his efforts went unappreciated, I was scared, confused and angry to the point it developed into blind rage.”
Adi felt a weight tug on his chest, a familiar pain that only one who has experienced someone they love die in front of their eyes, a forlorn look across his face as he looked toward the panther, learning a side of his story few know about.
“I remained angry for so long, and towards the end, I was tired…” Onca sighed. “How Coach Randall carried himself as a person however, how he assisted with Coach Foster’s efforts with the orphanages he owns, how he treats the players including myself and his demeanor… I guess that was a start of a turning point, the start where I felt like I wanted to do something, you know?
Try pick things up where my father left."
Onca then took off his white headband, looking at it.
"Try to do what's right, make him proud."
"That belonged to your father Coach?" the civet asked, looking at the headband, and then back to the panther.
"No Adi." he replied, shaking his head.
"My father used to wear all white... This headband was in memory of that, but I've been doing it all wrong all that time..."
"It is similar..." the civet quietly spoke.
Adi proceeded to take out his own black, worn out headband.
"This headband, you picked it up and kept it for me ever since that incident Coach."
Onca smiled, and ruffled the civet in the hair.
"I know the story behind it, so it felt right."
"You do Coach?"
"Your brother Adi. Conversation to kill time while you were sleeping like a baby." the panther teased.
"I never was fond of the military. Back where I was from, they were extremely oppressive, so I didn't have the most positive impression of you back then after looking through your docket and its brief documentation…
But after hearing what you've done from your brother and Coach Foster for those who were suffering, putting your life on the line the way you did... And what your intentions for coming into the league are, Mr.Nooriman would be proud of you, I'm sure of it rook... I know I would be... So keep on wearing that headband of his, let his story continue through you."
Adi went wide eyed as he looked at the black panther, touched by the fact that not only did his coach know about his story, but even remembering the name of individuals significant to him and knowing their story, as well as the trust the panther had down him, letting him in on his past.
Instinctively, the civet raised his left arm, headband wrapped around his thumb, palm open, towards his coach.
“Coach… may I?”
The panther looked down, seeing the civet’s palm hovering above his own, before looking back at the court with a smile. “Go ahead…”
“Your father will be proud of you too, I’m sure of it coach…” the civet said as he rested his palm over the black panther’s right forearm.
“And I promise to do whatever I can to help you with this choice of yours too, with him as my witness...”
Onca looked down at the younger civet, Adi’s head facing down, palm trembling slightly as Adi held onto the old, worn black headband, as if the civet was holding back his emotions...
At this point, he still wasn’t used to receiving goodwill from many others, so he wasn’t completely sure how to react but…
“Thank you Adi...” the panther said as he rested a paw over the civet’s own, white headband draping over the black one.
“I appreciate it…”
2014 - 2015 Regular Season Stats
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats