Enthusiastic, Vin heeded the steps needed to create a race. First, a course. A map of the entire island appeared on his screen, and he could designate the route and number of laps. There was a meeting in an hour, so he kept it short and made the starting line at the schools gate and the finish line at the auditorium.
"Rules? None. Skateboards only, 10 minutes from now. entry fee…."
"No one is going to join if the prize pool is small. 400 points entry," he decided, considering most people wouldn risk being late for a cheap race. And with thirty participants, the prize pool banked at 12,000.
He confirmed the race parameters. Then, not even a second later, a beep informed him a participant had joined. It wasn their real name but an alias, Shark Bait hooha. Vin noticed the option to choose a racer name too late, and all 30 spots were filled in less than a minute.
His dry face livened, and he clenched his chest in anticipation of challenging the worlds finest aspiring skateboarders. "We have a race, Miyo," he smiled. Its eyes enlarged, and it swiftly fluttered both its flaming wings.
"Considering our losing streak, we should aim for second or third; with 30 people and a 400 points entry fee, well still get a good chunk."
Vin closed the curtains to his room, grabbed Miyo, then disembarked. Excessively antsy, he added the ingredient of pep into his usually slow steps. He left in high spirits. But, while heading for the race, he realized something vital.
He stopped at the exit of the building, right outside the automatic double doors. Suddenly thunderstruck, he peered off into the crowded distance with an idle and dreary expression.
Anyone that crossed his cut-throat glance would have assumed he wanted the smoke, but it was only his face. "Miyo," Vin slowly called.
"My board... Its is at home," he added in a mumble, looking onward toward a meaningless scene.
"Well. There must be a shop somewhere, right? Otherwise, this many people wouldn have joined the race."
Upon the completion of his assumption, a student frantically flew past. Possibly another fool that entered a competition without the proper tools, so Vin tried to follow.
Due to the misfortune of an upcoming meeting, the campus was mostly active. Zone 3, the top point of the diamond shape, was bustling. The Dragons territory resembled a tightly knitted outdoor shopping center, with all buildings bearing a black and red flag.
It was difficult to follow the student who zipped passed crowds and dashed by diners, bookstores, and arcades, among other stores.
Before long, Vin lost sight of the swift individual that faded into the distance like a car into the sunset of a romance film.
After looking at his phones digital map, he accepted the truth. The nearby buildings, aka the indoor swimming pool, library, and theatre, likely weren selling anything useful. The chances of him finding a board were null.
Whenever Vin felt defeated, he always conferred with his wise partner. "Hey, Miyo," he said in a dry tone.
Always supportive, the dark phoenix adjusted its gaze to its owner. Vin plainly stared into the comforting eyes of the enlightened creature, then clearly confessed. "I **ed up."
Being the supportive being it is. Miyo raised its wing over the back of Vins head. Then, it nodded in a manner that conveyed, "Yep."
"Well, nothing I can do about it now. Lets go," he said, changing his course from the center of shops to the race location.
They arrived at the starting point, the campuss giant metal entrance, five minutes late. All thirty participants and even an unexpected audience were already present under the beaming sun.
A witch hunt was underway for the organizer, so it only took a small word to gain the attention of the tragically empty-handed students.
"Uh," Vin sounded, impassively raising his right hand. The pack saw this, then adjusted their burning gazes to him.
"Guess no one will mind If I cancel the race," he said. His left hand gripped his phone, already primed to withdraw the registration.
It was then one of the male participants stormed forward, then bluntly insulted. "What kinda idiot creates a race without a board?"
Vin was cold, as usual, but had worked up a sweat with all the walking. He loosened the red tie around the collar of his shirt while clarifying. "You joined too. We
e all idiots," he remarked.
The same student didn take well to Vins response. He marched up more, then stood on the tip of their white and yellow shoes. Even then, the boy only reached Vins chin.
He was light beige in tone and had loose sand-colored hair that came to his ears but parted around his eyes.
They looked up and locked their bright yellow eyes onto Vin, who stared at the top of their head.
e the bigger idiot, though," sneered the boy. It was hardly a comeback. Nonetheless, it missed Vin entirely because he was thinking of how soft the students hair looked.
"I wonder if it gets in the way while he skates," he thought.
Unmindful of his actions, Vin raised his arm and patted the top of the boys noggin. The stranger, of course, fumed and roughly swiped his hand away. When he did so, he lost balance and flattened out. Only temporarily, and they rose to their toes once again. "You wanna go!?" they shouted, jabbing their index finger into Vins chest.
Another would-have-been participant rose and separated them. They looked precisely like the kind of honest guy youd expect to mediate an altercation. Tall, tan, with short, and combed over dark hair. Not withholding the wide-framed glasses ripped from the 80s. Since his necktie and belt were blue, he was linked to the Sharks faction. Just in label though, he was no predator, quite the opposite; the student was cordial. Unlike the angry middle schooler, the sharksmen appeared like a proper college goer.
"Come on, give each other some space," he uttered collectedly, putting an arm between Vin and the grumpy student.
"Mind your own business poindexter," teased the shorter boy. He disengaged from Vin, only to aggro the student in glasses and jab at his torso instead.
The taller male, unaware hed be so quickly roped into the spat, compelled a soft chuckle. "N-now, lets be civil," he forced.
His suggestion was overruled, and the brown-eyed male ramped up his antics and began employing both hands. Poking the mans chest like an elderly civilian using a keyboard.
Vin and Miyo quickly became bystanders and only observed the bizarre abuse. It reminded him of his younger sister, who was also physically expressive at times.
It didn take long before the boy in blue became fed up. He exhaled, slapped his agitators hand away, then retreated two steps. "PLEASE-" he started, but paused to gain his composure. "Please, just keep your hands to yourself."
"Keep your words to yourself," remarked the younger student, grinning with triumph. Clearly, the type that liked to push others buttons until they went haywire.
Both were odd characters, but Vin wasn the type to judge anyone on their initial encounter. He, too, was not the best at first impressions.
The entire time, he looked at them and wondered what kind of skating style they had. Thought about What type of ability they used or if they were faster than him on a straight.
With the situation getting nowhere, the displeased crowd began to vacate. It was a bummer to watch them all leave, but Vin wasn discouraged in the slightest. The fact that 30 racers figured out the existence of a race app, then joined within a minute of his races creation demonstrated their earnestness for skating.
Anyhow, Vin swiveled his head to loosen a tangle. Then, he and Miyo began a slow stride toward the auditorium.
They were toward the rear of the retreating gathering but could still see the front students. Because everyone was within 30 yards of the gate, they all heard the blaring horn that rapidly approached from outside the campus.
Bodies stopped and turned, then within seconds, the gate opened, and a black tow truck raced in. The vehicles tires skidded and drifted into a shaky halt that almost launched the man fixed in the bed of the automobile. The driver couldn be seen past the tinted windows, but the tan man in the trunk was scuttled and wobbling in a half-tucked, wrinkled shirt.
"W-Wait!" he hollered, releasing the handle that supported him, then jumping from the vehicle.
"We have the equipment for your race!" Even flustered, he maintained a compassionate, though firm, and audible tone.
It seemed too convenient, but the man began quickly unloading equipment boxes while the group returned. At the same time, he hastily explained the circumstances that led to his sudden arrival.
"Sorry for the wait. As soon as the office radioed in, I ran out to grab everything."
"Its a blindside on our part for not being prepared for a situation like this, sorry."
"We left time after the upcoming assembly for you to reclaim your inspected nanospheres and shop for equipment. But no one expected a race less than an hour before the meet."
As the man passed out the boards, he asked for, then recorded the students IDs. He explained the equipment was just rentals, and everyone would be charged the 30 points rental fee. In addition, since nanospheres were collected for inspection, the participants were offered a random sphere from a crate.
To be fair, Vin was banned from using Miyo, his support summon, and would also use a completely unknown ability.
"Chill for now, Miyo; Ill summon you after," he whispered. Then Vin held up his own sphere, dematerializing his partner and returning them to their dwelling.
With the equipment passed out, their last-minute savior gifted them with essential caution. "Be careful not to lose, or break these tools. The board cost 150 points in full, and theres another 500 points for lost spheres."
"Furthermore, theres a tardy fee of 50 points if you
e late to the upcoming meeting," he added, looking at his phone.
"Looks like the designated course will take 16 minutes on average. The gathering is in 15 minutes, so youll need a perfect run to make it on time," closed the man.
Between the entry fee, board rental, and late fee, 480 points could be lost. Vin, being the confident skater he is, didn even consider the possibility of damaging or losing the gear.
Not squandering any more precious time, the racers lined up. Vin needed to initiate the race on his device, and upon doing so, it was approved by an unknown entity. Likely from a control room of some sort.
With the race set, a countdown from 10 was activated. Bright blue holograms displayed over the air and drew arrows over the intended course.
It was a point-to-point race, which meant the route didn matter as long as you arrived at point A before going to point B. Each checkmark was indicated by a sizeable blue ring, like a lion leaping into a flaming hoop.
It was an oval-shaped course that went through a courtyard, around a café, then past a library where they would arrive at the auditorium building for the meeting.
Since the man supervising didn complain, Vin assumed the track he set was permitted. Though, he would have commenced it regardless of legality.
Their starting point was wide enough for the racers to start side by side, but the path would narrow when skating down the schools sidewalks. Fitting at most, four racers horizontally with little room to overtake the person upfront.
Once the timer dropped to 5 seconds, Vin hunched over his board in prep to launch as quickly as possible. Like the race that got him invited there, his plan was to blitz ahead before the chaos ensued. And with his competition being scouted from across the world, it was sure to be a hectic race.
From 3 to 2, then finally 1. A digital firework rocketed up and exploded, signifying the start. Even though Vin could feel the blood in his veins superheating, he held onto his poise. Then, with a sturdy kick off the floor, he was off.