Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever own Outlaw Star or anything affiliated with said show.
The next morning Jim's alarm clock went off ten minutes late and he found himself rushing around so he could make it to the meet on time. Pulling on his new black speedo, which he still thought was a waste of money even if the swirl design on his right hip looked rather cool, he tugged a black t-shirt and khaki cargo pants on over it before running down the stairs to grab something for breakfast.
No one else appeared to be up yet so he was able to pour himself some cereal and gulp it down without interruptions. Tossing his dishes in the sink, he checked to make sure he had his ID and membership card for the resort in his pocket and then headed to the door. Slipping on his sandals, he took off down the street.
Choosing to jog the whole way there, he made it in a little over ten minutes so he had barely enough time to get to the pool before the meeting time. Racing through the lobby and down the hallway on the left, he threw open the door to the pool breathlessly. To his surprise, the divider wall hadn't been lowered for their match today and he wondered if that meant they'd have guests popping in now and then.
He didn't have any more time to ponder the thought because seconds after he entered the room he found himself being pulled across the room by Greg.
"Come on man, we've got to hurry up. Lisa is going to kill us if we're not there by nine!"
Looking at the large clock on the far wall, Jim's eyes widened when it showed eight fifty-eight. Picking up their speed, they slid to a stop next to Lisa just as the clock stuck nine.
Raising an eyebrow at the two boys, Lisa shook her head. "Nice of you guys to show up. Now get yourselves onto the bench."
Quickly pulling off their clothes and tossing them onto the pile with the others, they joined the rest of their teammates on one of the two benches set against the wall. The bench next to theirs was currently occupied by eight kids, three boys and five girls, all dressed in dark blue swimsuits. Jim noticed that their suits also had a symbol on them, a gold yin-yang shaped one it appeared, in the same spot as his team's. He wondered if that position, low on the right hip, was a requirement for all the teams or just the ones around Heifong.
Since Lisa was still over talking with the man he assumed was the judge for the meet, and the rest of his teammates were deep in conversation, Jim took the time to examine his opponents. They looked nothing like the Dragon's; all of them were sitting straight-backed and proper like with their eyes trained on the pool in front of them. Not one of them was talking, or even moving about like his team was. In fact, it looked as if they were all statues and for a moment he thought they were scared stiff. Until one of the boys, a taller guy with short black hair, glanced at him out of the corner of his eye with a look of pure hatred on his face.
Blinking in shock, Jim quickly turned back towards his team. "Hey, Julia." He asked the brunette next to him, drawing her away from her conversation with Sasha. "What's with that team?"
"What do you mean?" She asked, looking at him over her shoulder.
Chewing on his lip, he tried to figure out how to word his question. "Well, how come they're so angry at us?"
Nodding in understanding, Julia gave him a comforting smile. "Don't take it the wrong way, they hate everyone. Those guys belong to the Tenpa Galactic Resort and think those who don't have a membership to their fancy place are a bunch of worthless scum. They're all really rich and think that gives them the right to treat everybody else like dirt."
"Yeah, I hate matches against them." Sasha piped in. "If they lose they claim we cheated, and if they win we're forced to listen to them go on and on about how it's such a shame we're too poor to join a good swim team. Their parents are even worse though, at least during the meet the Hurricanes keep their mouths shut. The adults on the other hand have no problem insulting us."
Jim glanced back over at the other team. "They sound awful."
"That's not even the half of it," Trey added as he shoved his way into the conversation. "They also have the best swim instructors in the galaxy on the payroll, and their facilities are ten times nicer than these!"
Having a hard time imagining anything better than the Late Summer Moons Resort, Jim was about to respond when Lisa came up and clapped her hands. "Okay you guys, the judge has decided the match line-up." She said, motioning them into a huddle. "Jim and Kyle, you two will be taking on Mei-Li and Han in a ten lap butterfly relay. Kyle I want you to go first since you're the fastest, and then Jim you'll take the last five laps."
When the two boys nodded, she continued. "Trey, you'll be diving against Su-Lin in the freestyle round and Julia you'll take on Chu in the high dive. Remember we're looking for proper form and landing here so don't overdo it."
"Greg I want you to do the fifteen lap freestyle race against Chen, and Tony I'm giving you the single lap sprint against Yumi. Sasha will be sitting out this match, as will the Wong twins since we're only running five rounds today. Any questions?" She finished.
Everyone shook their heads and Lisa gave them all an encouraging smile. "Remember, they only look tough. You guys can definitely beat them."
As soon as she finished speaking the judge took his seat and flipped on the speaker system. "Welcome everyone." His voice drawled out. "My name is Spencer and I'll be the judge for today's match between the Tenpa Hurricanes and the Summer Moon Typhoons. The outcome of today's match will not be included in the official rankings; instead the winning team will be given tickets to a movie showing of their choice as well as a pizza dinner." Pausing, he pulled out his score sheet. "Alright, it's time for the first round to begin. Kyle and Jim from the Typhoons, and Mei-Li and Han from the Hurricanes, to the pool."
Jim followed after Kyle to their starting positions at the shallow end of the pool. They were joined moments later by a beautiful blonde girl who reminded Jim of a porcelain doll because of her slight features, and a tall brunette boy we looked like he spent quite a bit of time at the gym. Without a word, Han took his place next to Kyle. Mei-Li on the other hand gave Jim a look of disgust and moved farther away from him, holding a delicate hand over her nose as if he smelled offensive or something.
Trying not to take it personally, Julia had said they were snobs; Jim took a deep breath and waited for the start of the match.
"Swimmers on you mark, get set, go!"
o o o o o
Aisha looked up at the huge ceiling above her with wide eyes. The place was big. No, scratch that, it was enormous. She'd only been at the resort for an hour and already she'd gone rock climbing and sky diving…the latter of which she planned on never repeating. "Suzuka is going to be so sorry she missed this."
Turning down a random hallway, the place was so big she kept getting lost, she stared in awe at the doors in front of her. "Wow, even the doors look amazing. That creep sure knows how to build a nice place." Continuing on, she absently read the placks on the doors she passed and was disappointed to find most of them were offices. "There's nothing interesting down here at all." She whined. "I should've just gone with Gene and Mel when they headed upstairs to the restaurant." Pouting, she was about to turn around and retrace her steps when she heard what sounded like a starting whistle.
Following the noise, her ears perked up at the sound of splashing water. "The pool!" She said excitedly when she found herself standing outside the large doors that separated it from the rest of the building. Shoving the doors open she stepped inside and immediately froze. There, on the other side of the room, was Jim in a little black speedo.
It took her several seconds to process the image, but when she did she couldn't stop the laughter that spilled forth. "Oh my god, he looks hilarious!" She giggled uncontrollably. "I can't wait to tell the others." Turning back towards the door, she was about to go find Gene and Melfina so they could have a good laugh as well when her sensitive ears picked up some rather rude comments coming from a small group of adults near Jim's side of the pool.
Ears twitching, a frown formed on her face and her original planned was immediately squashed. Narrowing her eyes, Aisha stormed across the large room finally coming to a stop a few feet away from the ones she'd overheard. "Who the hell do you think you are, insulting a kid like that?" She asked angrily. "That was uncalled for, take it back!"
Jim looked up from his spot at the end of the pool with wide eyes as he recognized the high pitched voice. "Oh crap, it's Aisha!" Torn between his match and getting the Ctarl-Ctarl out of there before she could do anything stupid, he remained rooted to his spot for several seconds.
Unfortunately that was all the time she needed.
Before anyone had the chance to figure out what was going on, Aisha grabbed one of the nearby towel carts and began waving it threateningly over her head. "I said take it back!" She snapped at the dark haired woman who was wearing a very expensive looking brown dress suit.
The woman looked down her nose and scoffed. "As if I would ever stoop so low as to give in to the demands of a filthy creature such as yourself." She said haughtily, then looking over at the three women and two men next to her she continued. "The nerve of some people, addressing me as though they were my equal when they're not even worthy of licking my shoes."
One of the blonde women next to her, with shoulder length hair and a dark green dress, nodded in agreement. "I know. What is this world coming to?"
The rest of the adults all nodded their heads, completely ignoring Aisha as they turned their focus back to the match that was still in progress.
Pissed at their holier-than-thou attitudes and the fact that they so completely brushed her off, Aisha snapped. With a howl of rage, she brought the heavy cart down on them. There was a loud crunching noise as the metal smashed against the floor and towels went flying all around. Breathing heavily she released the tangled mess of metal and plastic, glaring when she realized they were all completely unscathed.
Jim had seen the fiery look in Aisha's eyes a few seconds before she attacked and without hesitation he ran over to shove the intended victims out of the way. Pushing himself off the ground, he turned narrowed eyes on his soon to be ex-crewmate, when a voice behind him spoke up.
"How dare you do that to me you uncouth little brat!" The dark haired woman yelled angrily. "Shoving me to the ground like that, inexcusable! I knew you were uncivilized, but I had no idea you were violent as well. I'll see to it you never swim on Heifong again!"
Blinking at the woman like she'd just lost her mind, Jim tried to figure out where all the hostility had come from. He'd only done it to save her from getting crushed, and here she was threateningly him. Looking from one face to another, he was slightly surprised to see that all of the adults near her wore identical masks of hatred. "… uh… sorry." He said somewhat hesitantly since he still had no idea what he'd done wrong.
Thankfully Lisa chose that moment to step in. "Hey, you'd better watch your mouth lady. Talk like that won't be tolerated around here."
Eyeing her disdainfully, the other blonde woman, dressed in black slacks and a cream colored blouse, made a shooing motion with her hand. "This discussion has nothing to do with you waitress, now remove yourself from our presence."
When Lisa snarled and moved to attack the woman, Spencer blew on his whistle harshly, pleased to note that every face in the vicinity focused on him immediately. "That's enough!" He bellowed. "Fighting like a bunch of children, it's wildly inappropriate. You should all be ashamed of yourselves." Shaking his head, he continued. "I have no choice but to postpone this match until you can get yourselves under control. Now I want everyone to grab their stuff and go home, and if I hear another word out of any of you I'll report this to the league and get both teams disbanded." When no one moved, he crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. "I said get going."
In a flurry of movement, everyone raced to grab their things and leave the room before anything else could happen. Even the women who'd spoken so rudely looked mildly worried by the threat. Throwing on his clothes and pulling his bag over his shoulder, Jim was about to duck out as well when a hand grabbed him by the upper arm.
"Oh no you don't." Lisa said in a tone that clearly said he'd better stay put. "We're going to have a little chat."
Aisha watched as the people left and grumbled in disappointment, she'd been looking forward to beating those snobs to a bloody pulp. Realizing that only three other people remained, Jim, a redhead who was currently glaring at him, and the man who'd broken things up, she shrugged and began walking towards the door. There were still a lot of places left to explore.
"You, cat lady. Get your butt over here right this instant."
Pausing, Aisha turned and raised an eyebrow at the woman next to Jim. "Me?"
"Yes you, now move it." Lisa growled, not in the mood to play games.
Doing as she was told, more out of curiosity than anything else, Aisha made her way over to stand next to them. "What's up?"
"Don't 'what's up' me." Lisa snapped. "This whole thing is your fault!"
"What whole thing?"
Closing her eyes and counting to ten, Lisa attempted to calm herself down. "You just ruined our match against the Tenpa Hurricanes." She bit out through clenched teeth. "And on top of that you ruined resort property."
"Match? What match?"
Seeing that Lisa was ready to explode, Jim took over. "We were having a swim meet Aisha. Now care to explain why you went crazy and started wielding a towel cart."
Aisha nodded in understanding. "Well that explains the matching swimsuits, though Jim I must say speedo's really aren't your thing." Grinning as she remembered the image of him she'd seen earlier, she was about to start laughing when a hand whacked her upside the head. "Ouch! What was that for?"
"Shut up and pay attention." Lisa said with narrowed eyes. "Since you're the reason we're in this mess, and you destroyed a cart and dented the floor, you'll now be reporting to me every day at nine-o-clock to work off the damages."
"But I didn't do any-."
Cutting her off, Lisa continued. "If you fail to show up, or I think you're lacking in any way, I will turn you over to security and let them deal with you as they see fit."
"Actually, I think I'll take my chances with se-."
"Also," Lisa added. "You will be required to write up an apology letter to the parents you assaulted."
"But they start-."
"Which I will be reading over before I send it out to them so make sure you do it correctly."
Watching them go back and forth, Jim was tempted to slip out unnoticed, but Lisa still hadn't released his arm.
"As for you Jim, I expect you to join her after you finish practice."
Jim looked up at her in confusion. "Wait, what?"
"I think I made myself perfectly clear."
"But I didn't even do anything!" He whined childishly.
Lisa snorted at the response. "That's precisely why you're going to help her. You should've done more to prevent things from escalating the way they did." Placing her hands on her hips, she leveled them both with a fierce glare. "Now I expect to see you both here tomorrow morning, is that clear?"
Glancing at each other and then back to Lisa, Jim and Aisha both nodded in unison.
"Good, now off you go. I've got to go find housekeeping and get them to clean this place up."
As Lisa walked away, Jim turned to glare at Aisha. "Thanks a lot, now I'm in trouble too."
"Can it pipsqueak. Besides, we can always just ditch. It's not like anyone knows where we live or anything like that." Seeing Jim's face pale, she groaned. "Don't tell me you gave them our information?" His silence said everything. "How much do they know?"
"…we'd better show up in the morning." Was all Jim said in response.
Rubbing a hand over her face, Aisha groaned. "This is just great, now my time off is all shot to hell." Then a grin broke out on her face as she glanced at Jim out of the corner of her eye. "On the plus side though, I get to tell Gene all about your little swimming thing. He's going to die of laughter when he finds out about your speedo."
"Say one word about it and I'll tell Fred you're the one who busted up his pool." Jim threatened.
Shivering slightly at the thought of dealing with the eccentric man, Aisha pretended to be unaffected. "Go ahead; I'm not afraid of him."
"Of him, no. Of his contacts within the Ctarl-Ctarl empire…" Trailing off, Jim was pleased to see her eyes widen in fear. "I wonder how long it'll take you to get back in their good graces when they find out you're trashing high class resorts for no reason."
Aisha held her hands up in surrender. "Point taken. So, we tell no one about this?"
"Agreed." Shaking hands, the pair walked out together in silence and made their way home intent on spending their last day of freedom anywhere other than the resort.