14 January 2009


Child's play. Is that what people call simple stuff? Sure, as you grow up is becomes easier. But for children, nothing further from the truth: it is serious stuff. For some of them, child's play may mean competition, for others maybe mastery of some art. For a few, child's play is a way to reach out. Because then, you don't play alone...

"Warp speed?"

"Thirteen point five."

"Ha, ha, twenty-two. Gimme."

The Owi card? thought Kena, ouch, I did not see that coming...

The thin sebiestor girl handed over her card with a sad expression on her face. Five more and I am out, she thought.

The other two boys playing with her in the garden, under Eram's warm sunlight, laughed. One of them, Rom, came from a warrior clan. His ancestors had been to all the Republic's wars and maybe all before; many brave Captains had carried his name before him, who knew, maybe all the way back to prehistory. At age 8 and the heir to a proud tradition of ass-kicking, Rom was all about winning. Which in his case meant enjoying seeing others lose.

"I am so going to kick your ass!"

Norri, the son of the local Shaman, was already out of the game. He quipped, "Maybe she will still beat you. That'd be cool." The look he got back from Rom was worth the entire card pack he had just lost, so he would not be going back home defeated. Empty-handed, but not defeated.

"Top speed?"

Kena braced for the inevitable. Five cards and, on top of the stack, one of her favourites was next. As things were going, it was time to say bye-bye... "Eight."

"Uh, seven? You are cheating, let me see!"

Silence. Stunned, she showed him the card: Kayleigh Jamieson, Dragonstar Team Captain. The Kay card. Now I have six again.

As if reading her mind, Rom replied, "OK, your lucky but you are still losing today, Ke-ke. Your turn."

Norri just grinned - he had a good hunch about what was going to happen. He knew all the cards by heart, he had been looking at them for an entire semester. He knew the numbers. He did not enjoy the game of late, not as much as he enjoyed predicting its outcome. He made a bet to himself, and smiled.

Kena looked at the next card. Not today, you bully, not losing today. Had it been Rom's turn, she could have lost it and the game. As it were, it was not his turn... and she knew exactly what to do.

"Gating time."

"Uh, gating time? Who does gating time? These are all the same! I will let you pick another."

Rom knows, haha, oh yes he knows. "Gating. Time."

"Fifteen seconds."

"Twelve. By the way, this one got a special ability: Venture Train!"

Rom's tanned face went red beneath, as he went silent and started counting his cards.

The coolest thing about the Venture Racing Team was its sheer size, and that it had so many great cards. The worst thing about Venture was its size, and that it was vulnerable to this one card. If you had Takashi Kurosawa, their best racer, the special ability allowed you to win any round of Venture cards from the other players, and again and again and again, until a non-Venture card popped up. Like a train. If someone else had Takashi and you had many Venture cards lined up... you were in trouble.

And Rom's cards were all lined up. He finished counting... "thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. There you go." And the game was not fun to him anymore.

Kena suppressed a smile. There is no point in making him any angrier. Oh, but the game had just become interesting. Maybe a little angrier is OK.

"My turn, again. Mass?"

Rom had an assault frigate racer and then two more cards. Not that it mattered. He went ballistic, "You are playing the slaver card, you cheat! I told you guys, no slavers! Those are the rules!"

Norri saw his cue, he would have to get the grown-ups to fix this. Again.

"Uh, this is not a slaver?" She showed him the card with the red-head, "see, Gallente, Scuderia Caille? Hello? Not a slaver!"

"She is! She like, grew up in the Empire and races their ships. My dad says that only two kinds of people who ever live in the Empire: slavers and slaves. She is a slaver! Cheat! You cheat!"

"Is not! Take it back!"

"Is too!"

Cards flew up in the air.


  1. ooooh, 10/10. You keep this up, you'll be my favorite blogger in NO time. And just remembered I need to add you to my blog list.

  2. Thanks! I hope it was as much fun to read as it was to write...

    Stay tuned, there is more :)

  3. I still say we ought to make these cards and sell them as ISGC League merchandise >.>