Sunday, September 18, 2016


The football final of the Nootra Tournament opposing Nootra’s Wings to the Gauntlet of Nootra was holding at that moment. Some minutes before half time, the Wings and Gauntlet were in a draw, each having a goal in their account. After making an important safe for his team, Voltz, goalkeeper of Nootra’s Wings, made a long clearance until the other half of the field. A midfielder of the Gauntlet trapped the ball on his chest. He passed it to another teammate and they ran together towards the Wings’ defence. Bruno, a defender of the Wings, tackled the striker and took the ball from him. He launched the counterattack by passing the ball to Papan.

When the ball was in Papan’s possession, instead of counterattacking, he juggled with the ball, tapping it with his feet many times, then with his knees and head. He continued by going in between two opponents and tricking them with a subtle handling of the ball. He bounced the ball repeatedly amidst other adversaries while maintaining total control of it. Papan was holding a show of his spectacular abilities in playing football and the spectators were well pleased, and they gave him an ovation of cheers and applauses. But his teammates were annoyed about what he was doing and they asked him to send the ball to them. He finally complied and passed the ball to Lucas.

Lucas and Ach continued the counterattack together. They kept on exchanging passes as they moved forward, which tactic destabilized the opponents. When the ball was with Ach, three adversaries came against him and Ach, with his hands in his pockets, dribbled them and came out of their midst without losing the ball. He passed the ball to Lucas and this time, Lucas ran fast forward, leaving Ach behind. When two midfielders of the adverse team tried to tackle him, Lucas jumped high with the ball on his feet as if it was tied to them. He made some acrobatic moves as he dribbled past several midfielders of the Gauntlet. Yann and Cesare shouldered him on both sides and when he saw an opening, he passed the ball to Cesare.

Knowing the potentials of Cesare, three defenders of the Gauntlet blocked him on the corner and he found no opening to shoot the ball to the goal. He tried to make a breach but there was no way for him to pass. He noticed that Benjamin had gone ahead of him and was waiting for his pass. Cesare made a long pass to Benjamin and the ball landed on the foot of the captain of Nootra’s Wings and clung to it. Benjamin tempered the game for a while to assess the situation. He observed that the Gauntlet surrounded him on all sides, having raised a wall in front of their goal. Most of the players of the Gauntlet were in the last twenty metres of their goal so Benjamin used his famous eagle’s wings technique and sent the ball to Roberto who was far away in the midfield. Roberto received the ball and made a sign to Eric who ran ahead to take position on the right side of the area.

Yann was on the right corner. He understood what Roberto and Eric wanted to do and having freed himself from all markers, he was in the ideal position for that combination to succeed. He made a sign to Roberto and this one shot the ball to him. Yann volleyed the ball, deflecting its trajectory sky high in the direction of Eric. Eric was in the middle of two defenders but he out-jumped them, and with a header, he hit the ball into the nets. The goalkeeper of the Gauntlet thought he had the ball but as he stretched out a hand to catch it, the ball multiplied and he couldn’t tell which one was real. So he was deceived by the notorious technique of Eric and conceded a goal. This was the second goal of Nootra’s Wings after the one of Cesare, and it gave them a lead in the final.

The referee’s whistle sounded a few minutes later and the two teams entered the changing room, and afterwards, went to the training pitch to prepare for the second half. It was still half time when Ryan and Zach landed on the training pitch and met Benjamin and his teammates. They informed them about the situation on Agnam and asked for their help in finding Son Gohan.

Benjamin: “You mean Broly has returned? He would have exterminated everybody three years ago if Son Goku hadn’t stopped him. This is an emergency Nootra’s Wings. We must help them find Gohan or this match is going to be our last.”

Roberto: “You can’t be serious! We can’t quit the match after all the hard work we’ve been through because of it.”

Voltz: “We’re leading Ben, and we’re playing well; we’ll definitely win the match. Let them go find other people to help them. Extra-Nootrans, in case you didn’t notice, we’re busy here and can’t assist you. Excuse us now.”

Voltz said this in a commanding tone to make it clear to the Earthlings that they had to leave. But not all of his teammates agreed with him.

Ach: “It’s Broly we’re talking about Voltz. We can’t pretend like it’s nothing. If he’s still mad at Goku as always, then we must prepare for the worst.”

Papan: “Did somebody say quit the match? You guys are nuts. The spectators will never forgive us for doing such a thing. And my trophy, the cheers, and ovation - all will be gone. I don’t want this to happen. Nooo.”

Benjamin: “Don’t make it a public show Papan; imagine that Cesare hears you. As for the match, there’s going to be a rematch when the organizers learn what was at stake.”

Eric: “Listen teammates, as citizens of this city, our priority should be the welfare of Nootra; not only by entertaining fellow citizens, but also by protecting them, like the agents. It’s just a matter of time before NSF announces the bad news to everybody. But time is running out for our heroes up there. A minute lost here is a heck of a problem to them.”

Though the players were speaking in a low tone so as not to attract the attention of two of their teammates, the ones they were trying to avoid had some long ears and they knew of what their comrades were preparing.

Cesare: “This can’t be done. So that’s what you had been planning all along Eric. Get me straight: no one leaves this place until the match is over. Nobody will rob me once again of my victory.”

Benjamin: “The galaxy is in danger and your only concern is this match?”

Cesare: “Exactly. Nothing is more important to me than winning this match. Understood?”

Eric: “Cesare, the orders are from Optimus Prime and Cyclops.”

Cesare: “I take orders from no one, and less from that lot of metallic men and mutants. They even violate the values of their so-called civilization. I thought living in this city meant to be free from being under orders.”

Benjamin: “I’m captain of this team and I say we go look for Gohan. We, players of Nootra’s Wings, are not only footballers but we represent this city as well. We’re a symbol of this civilization when we visit other planets to play football. Nootra’s Wings isn’t only about winning a match, it’s about upholding this civilization, which is nothing but the people of this city. We are of Nootra and we’re protecting our people with our Wings. That’s why as captain, I say we all go and find Son Gohan and do our part in saving our city. If you belong to this team Cesare, you do the same.”

Cesare: “I’ve heard speeches of that sort, full of choicest vocabulary yet all trash in the end. That grand talk doesn’t move me a whit. They’re just words used to manipulate those who lack faith in themselves. I never fall for that kind of trick. And I haven’t yet finished with this band of impostors from Earth.”

Ach: “You’re overstepping the limits Cesare. You can’t go against the expressed will of your captain. It’s out of proportion what you’ve done and I won’t allow you to disrespect Benjamin any further.”

Cesare: “I wasn’t addressing myself to you Ach but if you’re looking for me, you’ll find me. Don’t you see this is a set-up? How come intruders are now dealing with the vehicles? I warn you all: anyone who stands between this trophy and me will pay for it. As for you Benjamin, try to leave this pitch and you’re going to feel the hardness of my fist.”

The attitude of Cesare infuriated Zach and he raised his voice, and spoke aggressively to the haughty footballer.

Zach: “Look at the arrogant punk. It’s time someone got that out of you.”

Cesare turned away from Benjamin and faced Zach directly.

Cesare: “Well, the little kid has grown. Maybe we should finish with the impostor first before coming to Benjamin.”

Zach: “Good enough. Let’s see if your punch is as hard as your words.”

Ryan: “Knock it off guys; that can wait. Zach, control yourself; we have more important to do. Listen Cesare, if Son Goku doesn’t step in on time, there’ll be no more matches to play.”

Cesare: “Don’t care impostor. None gets in my way and goes unharmed.”

Bruno: “If you guys are going in for a fight, count me in.”

Voltz: “Cesare is relentless; there’s no reasoning with him. I’m not interfering this time. I’ll only watch and see how this turns out.”

Papan: “This is wastage. Instead of playing, winning and receiving applauses from the public, we’re here fighting each other. When you guys are done with the warfare, send me a note ’cause I’m out of here.”

Roberto: “You’re going nowhere Papan. Didn’t you hear the captain? We’re finding Gohan together. If you walk away, I’ll call you a coward.”

Papan: “Do as you please Roberto. You aren’t the one defining me. I am who I am irrespective of your opinion. Bye-bye squadies.”

Lucas: “I know who’s going to cry when Captain Nootra honours us and the public cheers us for saving the city from Broly.”

Papan: “You mean they’ll recognize me as someone who fought bravely for my city? You should have said that earlier. Benjamin, let’s go find the big green guy’s protégé.”

That wasn’t counting Cesare who was about fighting Zach. He was determined to stop his teammates from leaving the pitch. When Zach and Cesare were almost at it, Yann rushed in and stopped them before any one hurt the other.

Yann: “You won’t hit anybody here Cesare.”

Cesare: “Get out of my way. Don’t you see these aliens want to steal our victory?”

Yann: “Ben, take Nootra’s Wings with you and execute the mission. I’ll take care of him.”

Cesare: “Watch your words Yann. Take care of who?”

Yann: “Of you, of course. Is there any one odder in this place?”

Cesare: “You have no idea of what you’re doing. This is my match and I’m not losing it. This is also the last time I’m warning you; or you’ll regret it the rest of your life.”

Yann: “You used to boast of your chakra alerting you of impending danger. I guess you were only spinning yarns. Open your eyes for a while and look at the sky; Broly has returned.”

Cesare: “Don’t try to denigrate me Yann. I know very well that Broly is on Agnam. I also know Megatron and his deceptive creeps are there, with Thanoseid, Magneto and the cosmic horror. But that’s the least of my concern. What I know for sure is that I’m winning this final.”

Yann: “Then you’ll have to win it alone. And since you know everything, you certainly know this too. The moment you step on the main pitch without your teammates, the adverse team will win by default and there’ll be no rematch. It will be your fault if we don’t brandish the trophy. Then you would say bye-bye to your dreams of playing in the Galaxy Brave team until next year or maybe never. And worst of all, when people discover you were partly responsible for the destruction of the world, I don’t want to imagine what will become of you. Benjamin, you’re captain of the Wings; do what you have to do. Take your team and find Gohan.”

Benjamin and his teammates of Nootra’s Wings split into five groups of twos. Ryan and Zach equipped them with anti-gravitational gadgets, which the Autobots gave them as tools to fulfil their mission. They all took off and went for the search, leaving Yann and Cesare behind.

[1] Broly is a Saiyan who makes his debut in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993), the eighth Dragon Ball Z feature movie.

[2] Bulma appears in DBZ. Capsule Corporation is a structure in DBZ.

[3] Adamantium is a hard metal used in publications by Marvel Comics. It was created by Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith and Stan Lee and first featured in Avengers #66 (July 1969).