Chapter 7:

Incidental Introductions: Lucas

Insurmountable Odds


After the mayhem of the last demonstration between the newcomer Cole and the Captain, the crowd was uneasy. Some, myself included, were in awe and excited about the prospect of the club and MMA. On the other hand, most were shaken up or even disappointed in the complete defeat of someone who is supposed to represent our university.

After some brief concluding statements and rushed reminders about the next couple events in the near future, everyone left the club hall. At this point, the club fair had already ended and, despite being rather fit, the heat combined with the stuffiness of that room left me feeling worse for wear.

I trudged back to my student dorm, thanking God that I was given a map earlier today. I spent the rest of my afternoon unpacking boxes and decorating my new room. I’d seen plenty of school comedies and dramas showing the character’s dorm rooms, so I tried to model mine after them to the best of my ability.

After finally tacking up the third Dreaming Wyverns poster above my bed, ensuring it was tilted just enough to seem like I was cool and rebellious, I was met with the growling of my stomach. After making a small meal with what little I had on hand, I settled down for the day and prepared to get to sleep early, knowing tomorrow was going to be exceedingly eventful.

The next day I was out the door by 11:00 AM, map in hand and dressed in the most athletic clothing I owned. I was not taking any chances. After tracking my steps diligently, I arrived well ahead of time at the MMA club room. Anxiously, I grabbed the handle and yanked it down while walking forward.

Thud.

The immediate resistance I felt from both my head slamming into the door and my arm being repelled by the handle were jarring. Before I could fully comprehend what had happened and compose myself, I heard a laugh from down the hallway.

“It’s locked, y’know?” The vice-captain sauntered up behind me, swinging a key ring around her finger. “I’m glad you’re enthusiastic about today’s session at least.”

I moved out of the way awkwardly, allowing her to unlock the door and go inside, following after her sheepishly.

“Any reason you’re here so early? Not that I mind, just curious is all.” She asked while setting up the box fans in the corners of the room.

“Oh, ahem, sorry, I get lost easily and I didn’t want to miss this, so I left really early.” I coughed through my sentence on the dust being kicked up in the small room. “I was really impressed by your demonstrations yesterday and am excited to learn!” I stood up as straight as I could as I finished talking.

She glanced over to me briefly while continuing to set up the room.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it at least…” She mumbled.

“Heyo!” Suddenly the door swung open, and the captain walked in along with the newer girl from the demonstration.

“Oh sorry, am I interrupting something?” the girl winked at the vice-captain upon seeing us alone in the room, prompting her to throw a loose pair of gloves directly at their smirking faces.

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you!” The captain shouted as he batted the improvised projectile away, turning towards his partner in crime.

“My hero,” she swooned mockingly, prompting an eye roll and fake gag from the vice-captain across the room.

“So, in all seriousness,” the captain turned back towards the vice-captain, breaking out of their routine, “who’s the new guy?”

“Oh, he’s a freshman who was inspired by our demonstration yesterday and showed up early to join.” She replied dryly, not looking up from her work, “So inspired in fact that not even our locked door could stop him…”

The two looked at me confused but I just stared at my shoes, embarrassed.

“Anyway… Does this freshman have a name, or did you forget to ask again?” The girl next to the captain chimed in.

“Of course I didn’t forget! His name is… Kyle?” The vice-captain stammered in protest, staring daggers into all three of us.

“My name is Lucas, Lucas Haname.” I said to the couple, too afraid to turn around, “But my friends call me Kyle.”

As I said this, the remaining two members of the MMA club entered the room together, having seemingly been listening in from outside the door.

“Wassup Kyle,” the shorter guy said casually, giving me a fist bump before walking on to the mats to stretch.

“Glad you could make it Kyle!” The shout caster pat me on the back while walking by to talk to the vice-captain briefly.

“Well then,” the captain continued, seemingly pretending as though that never happened, “My name is Sam Keener, I’m the captain of this club.”

“The one cleaning gloves over there who has affectionately named you ‘Kyle’ is Madison, the vice-captain,” Sam continued, pausing for an affirming ‘yo’ from Madison.

“Right here next to me is my girlfriend, Quinn,” Sam squeezed her tightly around her shoulder while he talked, “she’s pretty new so she should be a good sparring partner for you going forward.”

“Nice to meet you Kyle,” Quinn interjected, smiling brightly at me.

“Last but not least are Andrew O’Hogan, our wannabe shout caster, and Alix Warden, the fun-sized gym rat.” Sam gestured over to them who were helping each other stretch on the mats right out of earshot.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you all,” I said, turning to the room as a whole and bowing my head respectfully.

Upon looking up, the small analog clock that hung between the two rectangular windows near the ceiling read 11:54. Once a few more new people arrive, we’ll begin my very first class!

“Come over here and stretch with us Kyle!” Andrew beckoned me on to the mats, “You wouldn’t want to get hurt in the taster session.”

I guess I’m Kyle now...

Miao Miao
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