Welcome to Chicago, Illinois. It is Saturday afternoon and two twins, Cody and Sophie live in modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 storey house on the edge of some parkland. Being the weekend, the twins didn’t have to go to work. Both of them work for the CPD and are in peak physical condition. Cody is a well built young man of 24 and Sophie has more muscle than most women aged 24. Sophie is 10 minutes older than Cody. They are both Lieutenants in the CPDs hierarchy. Cody is a master baller and Sophie is a master skateboarder. Having a ring at the back of their place and a skating bowl allowed them each to practice while watching each other. While Cody smashed the backboard with Tomahawk and Cockback dunks, he could see Sophie going up and down the sides of the bowl, getting big air and executing moves like the Backside Air, McTwist and grinding the edge with simple and advanced grinds like Tailslide, 50-50, Boardslide and Frontside Feeble.

Cody is the best baller around, earning him the name “Cross ‘Em Cody” because Handles is his best attribute. If he wanted to keep the ball, there was no one in Chicago who had the skill to steal it. Sophie has the best board in town because she is tight with Sonya, who owns the local skate shop, so Sophie gets mates rates for all her equipment she buys at Sonya’s Skate Shop. She even got to meet Sonya’s friends, Maxine (Kiri Ninja, Kuma Fodachi and Kunai Master) Wendy (Master Skateboarder) and Kiyomi (Jeet Kune Do, Falcons Talons and Rollerblading Master) and Kiri (Who was already a Master Skateboarder and Founder of Kiri Ninja) and soon learned that Sonya was a Black Belt in Kiri Ninja. Cody was introduced to her friends and got to meet everyone, including Kiri. Kiri wanted to gain some new skills and asked Cody to coach him in basketball. Cody wanted to get something out of it, so he asked Kiri to train him in Ninja. Kiri knows a deal goes two ways, so he agreed. Cody and Kiri decided to start training and coaching each other the next day, at first light. It was evening and the twins were packing up to head inside for dinner before the last rays of sunlight disappeared below the horizon. Cody was the chef tonight and called out to his sister in jest “Hey sis, what do you want for dinner tonight? Grilled cheese, grilled cheese or grilled cheese?” Then he got real and said “But seriously, would you like Garlic Noodles, a Monte Cristo sandwich or Beef in Oyster Sauce?”

“Gee, A, B and C sound awfully tempting but variety is the spice of life and I’m in the mood for an oriental dish. Put me down for Beef in Oyster Sauce.” She replied from the living room, which was attached to the kitchen where Sophie was watching the “X Games” on their 48” 4KUHD Flat screen TV. The living room was furnished with 3 white leather couches that they picked up on sale. There were two leather chairs either side of a small glass coffee table and a three seater leather sofa which faced the TV. The kitchen had everything a chef could want from hanging pots and pans to top of the line appliances. While Sophie watched “X Games” on the TV, Cody got started making Beef in Oyster Sauce for their dinner.

An hour later, he brought two plates of BOS with chopsticks into the living room and set them on the coffee table then instructed his sister to kneel on a cushion while her plate is on the table. He knew that when Sophie used chopsticks, she didn’t always get the food in her mouth. It would end up on the floor or down the front of her shirt.

“Come on C” she protested. Sophie knew she wasn’t the cleanest eater when it came to chopsticks. He gave in, knowing how self-conscious his sister was about eating. “Ok. But you clean any mess up if you make any, deal?” said Cody

“Deal.” They both start their meal and within a few minutes, a faint PLOP is heard. “DAM-“ Sophie cut herself short “Did I hear what I thought I heard?” Cody said without turning around.

“Nope, you heard nothing” she replied. Still chewing a piece of celery, he slowly turned his head to look at his sister, who was bright red and trying to hide a sauce stain on the front of her shirt. “You remember the deal, make any mess and you clean it up”. Hurriedly, she went to the kitchen to fetch a cloth, while holding the bottom of her shirt up so the sauce didn’t run down any further. Finding a cloth, she quickly wiped the sauce off her shirt before it dried. Cody wondered how she can be so awesome on a skateboard yet so clumsy using chopsticks. He felt sorry for her but didn’t say anything because he knew the one thing Sophie hated most of all was pity. He could easily see she was not 100% anymore and he got up, walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her for Sophie was almost in tears. The moment she felt his arms around her, she turned around and started sobbing into his shirt.

In between sobs, Cody managed to hear “Why can’t I do it?” In a comforting voice he replied, wiping away a tear “Hey hey, come on now. Can you tell me how you became the best skateboarder in Chicago?”

“I practised every chance I could get” said Sophie

“That’s right. You practised. Day and Night. Now can you tell me what difference there is between becoming a master skateboarder and improving your ability with chopsticks?”

“There is no difference” *sniffle*

“That’s right. Now tell me: Can you do it?” Feeling a new sense of inspiration and enthusiasm Sophie said “Hell yes!”

“That’s the right attitude! I’ll give you all the help you need. Starting tomorrow, it’s a new day of learning” They let each other go and headed to bed after cleaning up.

True to what he said, Cody was up and ready to go at first light. Ready to head out, Sophie heard him bounce his basketball and asked “Where are you off to so early in the morning?”

He replied “I’m headed out to Kiri’s dojo, we made an agreement that he trains me in Ninja and I coach him in basketball”

“Do you know how long you will be?”

“Nah, sorry I don’t. While I’m gone, this is a good chance to practise using chopsticks and then show me how much you’ve improved when I return” Cody went out the back door with bag in hand to his personal court just for a quick 360 dunk. Dropping his bag, he started bouncing the ball at the top of paint then ran towards the basket, jumping with both feet from between the stripe and the basket, spinning a full 360 degrees while airborne, Cody threw it down hard and landed after rim hanging for a few seconds. Gathering the ball in his arm he picked up his bag again and resumed the journey to Kiri’s dojo. Sophie saw his flashy dunk from her bedroom window and thought to herself “Show off. The only reason he did that is because he knew I’d be watching” And she was right. Before he started walking, he gave a quick glance up to her bedroom window, saw her standing there and winked at her.

To keep his skills sharp, he bounced the ball through his legs with every step until he got to Sonya’s Skate Shop. Cody was confronted with the neighbourhood bullies, Tony, Bill and Stump. All three tried to take Cody down a notch but couldn’t touch him when he started using his bball skills. Through the legs, off the head of Tony, off the back of Bill then off the shoes of Stump while avoiding them using dribble moves like around the back to through the legs and bolt forward. Taking all three down in minutes, even using the Hip Drop streetball move, Cody realised it was getting late and ran the rest of the way to Kiri’s dojo where he was met by Sonya, Maxine and Kiri.

Apologising for his tardiness, Cody got to work training in Ninja. In the first lesson he was taught meditation and the Mist Form. After the lesson, he got his basketball out for Kiri’s first basketball lesson and told Kiri to first keep the ball going back and forth between his hands which should be just less than shoulder width apart using only his fingertips for 2 minutes. If the ball touched Kiri’s palms or any other part of his hand apart from his fingertips, the clock restarted. While Kiri is only going to be using his fingertips to control the ball, Cody practised meditation while Maxine and Sonya kept an eye on him. To go into Mist Form, one had to completely clear one’s mind. Once that had been accomplished, Cody felt himself become significantly lighter and could levitate and descend at will. In Mist Form, he watched Kiri control the ball with ease using only his fingertips. Cody thought Kiri couldn’t see him but he knew! Kiri does mean “Mist” in Japanese and it’s his own technique that he was teaching.

After 2 long minutes, Cody descended back into human form and began teaching Kiri the next part of being a baller. Controlling it without looking at it. Finding out that Kiri is right hand dominant, he put the ball in his left hand and told him to just bounce it only with fingertips and control it by feel while keeping his eyes locked with his. That way Kiri can see an incoming steal attempt.

Back home, Sophie had made some Garlic Noodles and was determined to use chopsticks to eat them. She had found a video on YouTube on how to hold them and was getting her grip correct when Kiyomi knocked on the front door. Getting up from her seat at the kitchen counter, she walked towards the front door still so focused on her chopstick grip that she walked straight into the closed front door with a loud THUD, rebounded off it and hit the deck. Kiyomi heard this loud noise from outside and became worried.

“Sophie, are you ok? That sounded nasty!” Picking herself up off the floor, Sophie opened the front door with caution. “Oh, it’s just you Kiyomi. Come in, come in. Are you any good at using chopsticks?” asked Sophie. “I’m not the best but I can handle them” replied Kiyomi

“Good. I enlist your help to improve my skills” For the next hour and a bit the two friends helped each other with things that would be useful for the other friend. They watched the chopstick video that Sophie found, made more food to practise with and after eating both of them headed to the skating bowl out the back of the house. Kiyomi is a master Rollerblader and did some impressive tricks after dropping into the bowl. She was getting decent air, posing while grinding the edge of the bowl, doing 720 spins in mid-air and more.

Not to be outdone, Sophie dropped in on her “maxxed” out board and began her run. Going up and down the sides a few times and Pumping on the way down, her first trick was a Cannonball Grab after an Ollie at the edge to get more air. Pumping for speed on the way down, Sophie turned her board slightly to the right on the way up for a 50-50 grind, did a Heelflip back into the bowl and Pumped on the way down and got ready for a Handplant.

Kiyomi heard that something wasn’t right inside the house so after getting Sophies attention, they both headed inside to see what the problem was. Tony, Bill and Stump had come to their house while Cody was away in hopes of catching Sophie by herself but hadn’t counted on anyone else being there. Now they had a real scrap on their hands! What the three lummoxes didn’t know is Kiyomi is a master of Jeet Kune Do and can put down someone three times her size. Sophie can do the same, using her board. Do a 360 Hardflip to whack ‘em on the bean, pick up her board with both hands, smack the next guy across the face real hard and leave the last guy for Kiyomi, who is already laying on the combos. Punches to the midsection, kicks to the legs and a sweet uppercut to finish him off.

What Kiyomi was about to realise was that the three oafs, who had just been KO’d, were co-workers of Cody and Sophie. “My brother and I have to work with these three. It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t the only troublemakers in the CPD who make us their target because we got promoted to Lieutenant while they remained a Sergeant and that’s only due to their unruly behaviour” said Sophie.

“If you are a higher rank than they are, can’t you tell them to go clean the latrines or be put on report”

“The only time they ever listen to me is if a male officer comes and stands behind me. They are complete chauvinists. Every day I get challenged to a skating competition at the skate park near the PD every lunch and every time I put them in their place. That part I enjoy, I’ll admit. Cody gets challenged to a ball game every day as well, first to 21 with regular scoring. I always watch those. You’d think getting dunked on every day would make you stop asking to be humiliated but Tony, Bill and Stump keep at it!” It was now that Cody returned home from Kiri’s dojo. He entered the front door and saw the two girls standing in the living room having a good old yarn.

Looking down to see three bodies lying unconscious on the floor he wondered how they got there and what had happened. Seeing Cody look down at the bodies, a hush fell over the two girls. Sophie knew her brother would be wanting to know what went on so she waited for him to ask. “First things first, how did they get in?” he asked

“Well, uh, I was practising my chopstick grip when Kiyomi knocked on the door. But instead of stopping when I got there, I was so focused on my grip that I walked straight into the door and fell down. After Kiyomi came in, I must’ve forgotten to lock the door again. Then we had something to eat then headed to the skating bowl. While we were in there, Kiyomi heard them crashing around inside.”

Turning to Kiyomi, he asked “Ok, fine. Who knocked them out?”

“Believe it or not, Sophie did most of the legwork! She was a beast with her board, getting height enough with jump tricks to land on their heads then while sitting on one’s shoulders, grabbed her board with both hands and cracked the other guy full force across the face. All I did was punch ONE guy in the solar plexus a few times using a Straight Blast, kicked his legs and to finish him, an uppercut.”

“Nicely done, Soph. I know I should’ve been here….”

“I’m not totally defenceless, Cody! I don’t need your protection 24/7” she said, cutting him off.

“No, I didn’t mean…” said Cody, apologetically

“Yes, of course you did” Sophie now had an angry tone in her voice. “Um, this seems like a family matter so I’m going to scoot on out of here” said Kiyomi and quickly exited the house. Sophie was one to get over things quickly, after storming upstairs and CLOSING her door (The last time she slammed a door, it came right off its hinges!) she was fine the next day. So Cody was left standing alone in the living room with three unconscious bodies in front of him.

“One thing at a time, lets get these three idiots out the front door and hope I’ve got some rope to tie them up with. Then I’m calling the PD and charging them with Trespassing” he thought to himself. Going into the garage where both their cars were, he started the search for some rope. He owned a Nissan Skyline and Sophie had a Mazda RX-8. After getting the rope off the shelf, Cody went back outside and tied up the three rogues tightly then called the CPD for a pickup.

A squad car arrived 10 mins later and the officer driving got out, saw Tony, Bill and Stump were the ones causing the trouble and said “Do you guys ever learn?” while throwing them into the backseat. Satisfied all was well out the front, Cody grabbed his ball and headed for his court in the backyard. Making a conscious effort not to look at Sophies bedroom window as he so often does to see if she’s watching, this time she was but Sophie noticed that he never once looked in her direction. “I wonder why he’s not looking up here?” she thought to herself. But unbeknownst to her, he could see her out of the corner of his eye.

Hours later, after a long practise of dunks, shooting, ball handling and playmaking, Cody went inside to take a shower. Coming out feeling nice and refreshed, he slid a note under Sophies door which read “What would you like for dinner? A. Steak and Chips B. Okonomiyaki C. Ramen” Sophie thought for a second before circling A. and sliding the note back under the door. In the hours that she had been in her room, Sophie had an epiphany. To prove that she is not as defenceless as everyone thought she was, she would ask Kiyomi to train her in Jeet Kune Do. Downstairs, in the kitchen Cody had made a tremendous 2 plate dinner of Steak and Chips. Carefully taking one upstairs, he laid it on the floor by her door and knocked twice, paused then knocked three times (Their own secret knock). Leaving Sophie to her own devices, he went back downstairs to play NBA Street V3 on their Xbox after finishing his meal and watching the last quarter of Spurs v Warriors.

Getting ready for bed, Cody felt a twinge of sadness from what he had said earlier that day. But both of them had work tomorrow and needed sleep and turned in at 8:30pm – 9:00pm. Up at first light, the twins finished their pre work routine, which for Cody consisted of throwing down a few dunks, hitting shots from any angle (the whole court was his hotspot) and practising his ball handling (executing crossovers from behind the back to through the legs and back again). For Sophie, this included Pumping on the way down for speed into a Backside Air, grinding the edge with a Frontside Crook, jumping back into the bowl with an Impossible, Pumping for more speed and finally finishing with a Varial McTwist.

After they were in uniform, badges and all, they were ready to go to work. Cody hopped into his Skyline and Sophie her RX-8. They got to the CPD in record time: 5:10. Cody retrieved his ball from his car and went inside. Sophie got her skateboard from the backseat and did the same. The day went on as usual, process criminals at the case map for clues. Once enough clues have been obtained (about 6 will do the trick), issue an APB on the perp and go looking for him or her.

At lunch break, Tony, Bill and Stump were up to their old tricks again, serving Sophie a lunch of noodles which chopsticks were essential. The three rogues took great delight in giving Sophie a good serve of abuse. Every day for the next two weeks, Sophie came home from work at little less happy.

First she became more reserved then she stopped going to work, which surprised Cody because he knew Sophie got a real high from catching criminals. But what floored him was that she had even stopped skateboarding! That was the #1 love of her life! Cody had seen her multiple times trying to get her chopstick grip right but when she saw him, Sophie quickly hid the chopsticks hoping he wouldn’t notice. She wouldn’t talk to him so he tried to get Kiyomi to get her to open up. No dice. Next was Maxine but again she wouldn’t talk, so as a last and final resort he contacted Sonya. Both being master boarders, Sophie might talk to Sonya. Success!

Sonya found out that the three punks Tony, Bill and Stump were really ripping into her because she couldn’t use chopsticks….yet! Sonya came out of the room, closed the door, relayed the information to Cody who could hear Sophie crying on the other side then he slowly opened the door so as not to startle her.

Giving her a big brotherly hug was just what Sophie needed then he said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Take a few days off, train with Kiyomi. I want to make sure you’re 100% when you come back to work. I’ve got a few things planned for those three. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure I record everything I do.” Now he knew the cause, Cody saw red. He was now on a mission to make those three pay.

Ordering some spy electronics express from Spy Guy Hardware so the equipment arrived later that day. Making Sophies favourite dinner, Chilli Dogs he delivered her food directly to her room where he found her practising basic Jeet Kune Do techniques. “I made your favourite. Chilli Dogs” he said.

Kiyomi explained that JKD is about adaptation. Example: If I’m talking on a public phone and get attacked at close range, I won’t be able to use a Forward Burst sidekick because the opponent is too close. So I have to adapt and switch to a close range counter attack, like a simple Straight Punch, Hook or Backfist. I’m able to hold my leg at head height for over a minute now!"

Towelling off, she replied “Awesome sauce! I’ve been training all day and Kiyomi has just left to go home. She was using the skating bowl to keep her skills sharp. Today Kiyomi ran me through some basic cardio drills of JKD. Then she needed to know where I am weakest. Turns out my punching power isn’t up to standard. My kicks, kicking speed, grappling and every other area is good enough for her. I like kicking, being only 150lbs, I’m only 20lbs heavier than The Dragon himself. My best kick is a Triple Roundhouse. That’s where I start with one Roundhouse kick, use the momentum from that kick to keep spinning an perform two more Roundhouses to the face. 

They both sat down in front of TV for a good meal of Chilli Dogs while watching Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. Sophie was enraptured. Taking in every movement and reaction, she was becoming a force to be reckoned with. She wanted to try some moves out.

Cody thought “Sure why not?” They made some space and squared off. He asked her what she wanted him to do and she replied “Throw a straight punch right at my head” So he did as she requested. Cody threw a straight punch directly at her head and before he knew it, he was face down on floor with a knee pinning him. The doorbell rang. He tried to get up but Sophie held him down saying “I like being in control. But I’ll let you up now.”

Which was a complete bluff. He remained pinned on the ground. The door needed to be answered so Cody cleared his mind and turned into his Mist Form. To Sophie, he had completely disappeared! Levitating, he moved toward the front door and turned back into a corporeal form and opened the front door to collect the spy equipment. Hearing the front door open, she turned around to see him standing at the front door!

“How on earth did you get from here to there without me seeing you? You just vanished!” exclaimed Sophie.

“All I can say is that it is a technique taught to me by Kiri. He’s the Sensei. You’d have to ask him. Privacy and all that” he replied

Gathering all the spy equipment together, he linked it via Greentooth to his iPhone X so he could see everything the cameras could from his phone. Telling his sister he had something important to do, a worried look came over her face for in her current state she did not want to be left alone. Understanding this, he rang Maxine and asked if she could come over and please keep an eye on Sophie while he was away from the house.

Being quite good friends, she agreed and came over. It was lucky that Maxine lived just on the other side of the park from the twins, so her ETA was a mere 4 minutes. As soon as Max arrived, Cody literally jumped into his Skyline (it’s a convertible) and drove to the PD. Taking his keycard with him for entry and drifting into a parking space, he got out and walked up to entrance of the Police building. Swiping his keycard and opening the door, Cody made his way to the showers to set up the first of his 3 spy cameras which all had microphones. Only being small things worked out well so they could be placed in the smallest of corners. It already had power so he placed it in an inconspicuous corner and pointed it to where Tony always showers and confirmed the picture by looking at his phone.

Next up was Bill. In the past, Cody had seen some strange things on Bill’s computer screen when he walked past his cubicle. In Bill’s cube, there was a small teddy bear with “I love you” written on the stomach of it. While ordering spy equipment, an exact replica of that bear had also been ordered with one slight difference: Its eyes were cameras and its ears were microphones. The real bear was switched with the spy bear but didn’t have to be moved much because the bear was with pictures of everyone else could only assume was Bill’s S.O. Just a slight pan to the left, check the picture on his phone and the bear was pointed directly at the computer screen.

It was then that Ryan, Cody’s best mate, walked past. “Hey C, what are you doing here this late?” asked Ryan

“Um, just finishing some paperwork” he answered with a guilty look on his face

“Paperwork? In Bill’s cubicle? Come on C, you can lie better than that”

“I never could lie to you” Cody told Ryan the whole sordid story about Tony, Bill and Stump bullying Sophie and his revenge mission. Ryan wholeheartedly agreed with his plan for everyone liked Soph but no one liked Tony, Bill or Stump. They agreed that’s why they bullied her. Ryan wanted in on Cody’s plan. He told his mate what he had already done and that Stump was left to go. Ryan had the idea of making a black plastic strip exactly the same width and length as on a basketball only with a magnetic charge so anytime the ball went near the basket, the charge in strip would repel the ball away from the basket. He knew where Stump kept his ball so it was up to Ryan to put the magnetically charged strip onto the ball.

Cody went out the back to the basketball court to put the last camera in one of the bushes but still with full view of both ends of the court. Choosing a bush near the halfway line, he placed the last camera out of sight inside it with the lens barely visible. It was quite dark so opening the camera app on his phone, he switched on NightVision. After placing the last camera in the perfect spot, he and Ryan met up inside to tell each other they had finished their part. All that was left was to wait for tomorrow. Bidding Ryan goodbye, he left for home in his Skyline.

Arriving home, he found Maxine and Sophie having a grand time watching Fist of Fury and hearing comments like “See what Bruce did there? He feinted low then punched high” from Maxine. The two were having such a great time Sophie asked Maxine if she wanted to stay the night. Thinking about this request, Maxine had to decline saying she had no security measures at her house before heading back home. Hearing that Max had no security, the twins talked about setting up a system for her for free. Before doing anything they needed to know if she actually WANTED a security system to be set up.

Deciding to head on over to Max’s place to find out how she felt on the security matter, Sophie took her skateboard in hand and Cody got his ball then they went out the front door, after setting the house alarm with a 6 digit code which changes every time the alarm is armed or disarmed and the new code is sent to both their iPhone X’s. Now on the street, Sophie started riding her board and Cody started bouncing his basketball while making the short trip to Max’s house. Along the way, she did random tricks and grinds on various obstacles and he used his ball skills to dodge them.

Reaching her house, the twins found that it was in the middle of a private jungle with trees and bushes dotting her 1 acre plot of land with her house right in the middle. Walking and skating down the stone path, neither twin saw the tripwire that Sophies board tripped, sending a 1 ½ metre long log swing down at shin height toward them both! From pure reflex and skill, Sophie saw the log just time and was able to Ollie over it. Also having lightning quick reflexes, Cody was almost taken out but managed to jump over the swinging log the same way he would dunk a basketball. Inside, Maxine heard Sophies board hit the stone path and quickly disarmed the rest of the traps. Going outside to greet them Max said “You guys really should have told me you were coming. Some of my traps can do real damage.”

“Like break a shinbone?” retorted Cody

“Hey, cool your jets bro. We’re fine” warned Sophie. Turning to Max she said “We were just coming over to see if you wanted or needed some type of security system set up around your house. But from the close encounter we just had, it looks like you’ve got your own DIY system going. I’d hate to think what traps are waiting further down the stone path. Since it doesn’t look like you need anything, we’ll be on our way”

“Hey wait! Do you want come in for a cup of tea?” asked Max

“Are we going to get eaten by anything or things swung at us again if we walk down the path?” asked Sophie with a hint of fear in her voice.

“No, no. I’ve disarmed the rest of the traps” Max laughed

Cautiously walking down the stone path, looking left and right and staying close to Max, the twins entered her small cabin in the centre of the private jungle. Staying a while to shoot the breeze and drink many cups of green tea, after what seemed only 5 minutes but had been 2 hours the twins bid farewell to their host after thanking her for her hospitality.

When Cody and Sophie got home, they went straight to bed. Still not wanting to go to work, Cody headed to the CPD the alone the next day. Entering the carpark of the CPD in standard uniform then finding a spot to park. Straightening his badge and switching on the CameraView app on his phone, all three spy cameras (the teddy bear in Bill’s cube, the shower cam and the camera in the bush) started recording. On his phone screen, he had three icons which meant he could switch between all three cameras with the touch of a button. A few hours later, Cody saw Tony come in from a patrol very hot and sweaty and thought “Switch on camera one”.

Doing just that, he saw and heard an ugly sight. Tony was a very heavy man at 150 kgs and Tony looked around the shower room to make sure no one was watching before breaking out into song and dance! Badly.

Switching to the teddy bear cam, Cody could see that Bill was cheating on his S.O while video chatting on a forbidden site. He knew this because the woman on screen was not the same woman in the pictures beside the teddy bear he had seen the night before.

Ryan had done his part well, for every shot that Stump put up was repelled by the magnetic strip when the ball got near the rim. This was seen on camera 3, the bush cam. He kept recording for the rest of the day and when Cody got home that night, out came the laptop to edit the footage that was now stored on his phone. Before editing the footage, he showed Sophie what had happened that day. Swiping up towards the TV put the camera footage from the phone onto the TV. On camera one, Sophie saw Tony sing and dance in his birthday suit and burst out laughing! On camera two, she saw Bill being unfaithful and scorned him. On camera 3 she saw Stump miss every shot even the ones that should’ve gone in. A confused look appeared on her face which Cody noticed and explained that the ball had a magnetic strip placed around it by Ryan. Sophie knew Ryan was Cody’s best mate.

Closing the CameraView app, he placed the laptop on the kitchen counter and connected his phone to it via cable. Editing the footage on his phone, Cody now had three short pieces of film, one from each camera which he planned to put up on the monitor at work tomorrow. Pouring himself and Sophie a drink and handing one to her, he said confidently “After this, these three won’t ever mess with you again. Here’s to revenge best served cold” and held up his glass

She reciprocated “To revenge best served cold!”

Clinking glasses, they drank. Going into the kitchen to fetch what she had been cooking for dinner, Sophie returned to the living room with two bowls of Beef Pho with chopsticks! Although he didn’t say it, Cody thought to himself “Oh, no…” She saw the apprehensive look on his face and brushed it off, thinking “I’ll show you just how far I’ve come.”

Turning on the TV to the movies section, they decided to watch “Die Hard” with Bruce Willis. Holding her chopsticks masterfully, she began eating. Not once did she make a mistake! Cody had only eaten ¼ of his meal when he turned to look at his sister, half expecting to see a mess but was pleasantly surprised when all he saw was an empty bowl and no mess! His eyes almost bugged out of his head! Sophie just sat there with a cool little smile on her face and didn’t say anything but glanced at him momentarily and raised an eyebrow as if to say “How do you like me now?”

“You’ve come a very long way since I last saw you use chopsticks” said Cody in awe

“Well, I remembered two things that have been said to me. First, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Second, the hardest trial often yields the biggest reward”

“You done good, sis. You done real good. Do you want to come to work tomorrow and help me embarrass Tony, Bill and Stump?”

“Consider me there. There are a few things I’d like to say to those goons” After the movie had finished, they went to bed. Getting up at first light for their pre work work-out, Cody shot around and did some dunks and was very pleased to see Sophie back on her skateboard and in the bowl. Starting with a Backside Air Indy Grab into a Starfish Stall, Pumping on the way back down she Ollied at the edge for height and executed a Crossbone tweaked grab, Pumping on the way back down for speed and using a Kickflip at the edge for more air, she went into a Frontside 540 spin. On the way back down the bowl, Sophie turned her board slightly to finish her work-out with a Tailslide grind along the edge of the bowl.

Donning their uniforms and getting into their respective cars, both headed off to work. Finding a place to park her RX-8 and his Skyline, they headed inside the CPD. Neither of them surprised to see Tony, Bill and Stump already there, the three goons saw their chance to have another go at Sophie. Quickly grabbing a plate of noodles and a pair of chopsticks, Tony made a beeline for Sophie and said arrogantly “You seem hungry. Would you like a little something to eat?”

Looking over to see Cody’s angry expression, she gently shook her head to say “Cool your jets bro, I got this” and calmly took the plate from Tony, scarfed the lot using the chopsticks and not spilling anything, handed the empty plate back to Tony and thanked him while enjoying the shocked expression on his face.

“Cody, I believe you have something to show everyone” she reminded her brother

“Ah, yes.” He then stood on a table and announced to everybody “Can I please have everyone’s attention”. Every single person in the packed squad room turned to look at Cody. “Right now, please direct your attention to one of the TV monitors”

Opening the CameraView app, he swiped up toward a TV monitor which showed the recorded footage from the day before. Every TV first showed footage of camera one, which was Tony singing and dancing in his birthday suit. The whole room roared with laughter! Next up was Bill video chatting on a forbidden website. A loud “Oooohh!” could be heard throughout the whole station. It was then that Bill’s S.O walked in the front door holding flowers but when she looked up at a monitor and saw he was video chatting with another woman, she dropped the flowers and stormed right back out! Sophie recognised her as Wendy, one of her best friends and skateboarding buddies. Bill chased after her but it was too late…. He came back in with a big red palm print on his face.

The next part of Cody’s montage was Stump and his ball with the magnetic strip around it. From then on, everyone started to pay out on Tony, Bill and Stump. Cody and Sophie coolly walked up to all three and said in a calm voice “See? It is very unpleasant to be on the receiving end of abuse, isn’t it?” To which they all adamantly agreed. Sophie said to them “Do you have something you wish to say to me?”

Bill went first “I’m sorry about all the hurt I caused you. I didn’t know how much pain it can cause”

Tony was next “Can you accept my sincere apology, Sophie? I promise I’ll never do it again”

Stump spoke last “Can you ever forgive me? I never meant to cause such angst” This time it was Cody who addressed them “Just remember, sticks and stones can break bones but words can ruin lives and shatter dreams. Think about it”

Minutes later, the Chief came into the squad room to hand out assignments. “Tony, Bill and Stump, there’s a small disturbance downtown which I want you to handle. Ryan, you team up with Cody and Sophie and investigate a suspicious underground warren behind the twins’ residence.” Tony asked “Chief, do you know anything else about this downtown disturbance?”

“Do I look like an information booth to you, Sergeant? Report back here at 12pm sharp. Dismissed” Ryan, Cody and Sophie got in their cars and took off towards the park at the back of the twins’ house. When they arrived there, it looked like the park had been abandoned for some time. Nevertheless, the trio found the suspicious underground warren and started to investigate. All around the entrance were bones of different shapes and sizes. Sophie got the courage to look down into the entrance and saw a pair of red eyes glaring back at her. She screamed. Ryan and Cody heard her scream and came running with their 9mm’s drawn.

“What is it?!?”

“A pair of scary red eyes were glaring back at me when I looked down the entrance to the warren” Sophie replied with obvious fear in her voice

“Stay here, we’ll check it out”

Backing up a few metres and still scared stiff from what she saw, Ryan and Cody cautiously approached the entrance to the warren with their 9mm’s pointed straight down the entrance hole.

“Identify yourself” said Cody with authority. Neither of them could see anything except blackness. The glaring red eyes appeared again.

Ryan tried “Identify yourself or we will open fire” Then a voice came out from the darkness “Why will you shoot? I haven’t done anything.”

“So there’s only one of you?” asked Cody The voice spoke again “There’s more than one, you can be sure of that”

“Exactly what are you?” asked Ryan “If you promise not to harm us, I will let you enter our sanctuary” said the mysterious voice. Sophie looked at her watch. It was 11:50. The trio had to be back in the squad in 10 minutes!

“Hey guys, we only have 10 minutes before we’re due back in the squad room” Ryan and Cody looked at their watches. She was right.

“You seem decent enough and we would like to talk some more. Is that possible?” asked Cody

“Sure. You are the first people not to condemn us on site. Come back here at 6pm every night and bring steak. And apologise to your female companion, I did not mean to startle her” said the voice

“Raw or cooked?” asked Sophie

“Rare will be just fine, thanks” replied the voice

The trio leapt into their cars and sped to the CPD, barely making in time. Drifting into three separate parking spaces, Sophie, Ryan and Cody jumped out of their cars and turned on their car alarms in mid run by holding the remote over each ones’ shoulder and pressing the ‘Lock’ button. Hearing the *beep*, they knew their car alarm was now armed. Entering the squad room with minutes to spare, the trio found a chair and sat down with a minimum of noise.

“Tony, what news of that disturbance I sent you to resolve?” asked the Chief

“Turns out it was just a group of minors loitering around a liquor store looking for some free booze. Bill, Stump and me tried talking some sense into them and even threatening to fine them for being a public nuisance but they wanted to get rough. We had to cuff them all and throw them in the lockup, they just would not settle down!”

“Expertly handled by not making a scene” the Chief responded.

“Ryan, Sophie and Cody. Any more news on the suspicious warren in the abandoned park?”

Ryan was the spokesman “The only information we could discern after an investigation were a pair of red eyes lives in the warren and there is more than one of them. Also, there are many different shapes and sizes of bones scattered around the entrance. We are thinking multiple species.”

“Excellent work. Take half an hour for lunch and be back here at 12:45” the Chief said Cody and Sophie went to their cars to get his basketball and her skateboard and headed for the courts and skating bowl, located out the back of the Police building after getting changed into their fitness gear. With ball underarm, he went to the courts while she went to the skating bowl, equipped with her skateboard.

Cody met Ryan at the courts for a dunking contest, like they did most lunchtimes. When the rest of the squad saw this, everyone started to gather around the court that the two were now stretching on. The whole CPD loved watching dunk contests and the two guys knew it. Standing on the stripe, Ryan tossed a coin to see who went first. Cody called it in the air.

“Tails” and waited for the coin to land. Both looking down, they could see that the coin showed Heads, meaning Ryan went first. With ball in hand, he started his run up and taking off from both feet, Ryan executed a 360 One Handed Rim Hang dunk. A big round of applause could be heard from the watching audience. He passed the ball to Cody, who was waiting and looking on in admiration at the stripe. Thinking for moment about how he could top that last dunk, he began his run up and jumping from both feet he executed a Windmill Under Both Legs Leaning Reverse dunk (a Windmill spins 360 degrees in mid-air plus the Reverse means he spun 540 degrees in mid-air). Everyone’s jaw dropped, they had never seen anything of the like! Being so proficient at dunking is how Ryan earned to nickname “Flyin” Ryan. Both dunkers received a well-deserved standing O.

Over at the skating bowl, Sophie was shredding rails as usual when she got challenged by Tessa, a random punk off the street. Sophie never loses so she accepted. Tessa was known by reputation as a good skater but she still had nothing on her competition. Challengers always go first, after Tessa dropped into the bowl she went up and down the sides a few times for speed and air. Her first trick was an Indy 360 grab but didn’t do a jump trick so not much height was gained out of the bowl. Coming back into the bowl and down the side, she didn’t Pump so no more speed was gained. On the way up the side, Tessa executed a Starfish on the side of the bowl. Coming back into the bowl, she popped an Ollie at the edge to get more air and tried to pull off a Backflip just barely landing it. The crowd that had gathered around the skating bowl to watch this impromptu challenge gasped when they saw Tessa almost bail! Concerned for her safety, everyone including Sophie rushed into the bowl to check that Tessa was alright.

Landing the trick but breaking her board, she let out a loud “Oh man! This board is brand new!”

Sophie said “Don’t worry, I’ve got some friends who can help you out. Since you were challenging me, I’ll even pay for your new board”

“No way! Are you for real? That would be awesome sauce!” she replied in amazement

“I am being very real. Meet me at the skatepark downtown tomorrow at 12:30pm and I’ll take you to Sonya’s Skate Shop. I have something important to do tonight”

“Cool. Downtown skatepark. Tomorrow at 12:30pm. Thank you so much” Tessa verified with appreciation

“No problem. Skaters stick together”

Upon seeing the time was now 12:40, the twins started to get ready for work again. Cody retrieved his ball and headed inside, Sophie bid farewell to the now excited Tessa and also headed inside where both got changed back into their uniforms. The rest of the day was a real bore, only doing run-of-the-mill fingerprinting and criminal searches. Come 5pm, the twins remembered their conversation with the voice in the warren.

Turning to his sister, Cody said “On the way home, I’ll get some meat to BBQ and could you please stop at any sports store to get some grid iron shoulder guards? I have a sneaking suspicion that who or whatever is down that warren might be vamps. No point in taking unnecessary risks”

“Yep, sure. I can do that.” Getting into her RX-8, Sophie headed to The Royal Guardener as her first stop. This was a well stocked sports shop but she wasn’t quite sure what she was looking for. The first question that came to mind was “What’s a shoulder guard and what it is supposed to look like?”

Standing in the middle of the store, looking around with a vacant expression on her face, she was lucky that a store clerk spotted her. Approaching Sophie, the clerk asked “Can I help you miss?”

“Oh, thank goodness! I’m looking for a pair of grid iron shoulder guards except I have no idea what they look like”

“Unfortunately, we don’t sell shoulder guards miss. I can show you what they look like on this computer. Just let me bring up an image” said the store clerk. Walking over to a nearby computer, the store clerk started typing things into the search page that was on the screen. Seconds later, multiple images of different styles of shoulder guards came up on the computer screen. Some of the images were marked with an “L” which meant they were made for Ladies to wear. “They are just a few examples of shoulder guards. See the difference in width between the Mens’ and the Ladies’ guards?” the clerk said, pointing at different images. Now knowing what to look for, Sophie thanked the helpful clerk and said goodbye.

Jumping into her RX-8, her next stop was Time Warp Sports. Exiting her car, she found out that to enter Time Warp Sports, she had to walk through what looked like a mystic vortex of swirling colours. Seeing no other way in, Sophie plucked up her courage and went head first into the swirling vortex expecting to come out on some other world but she entered the shop. Taking a quick look behind her and hoping to see an exit door, there was an exit but the exit wasn’t a door it was another mystic vortex. “What’s with this shop?? Haven’t they ever heard of doors before?” thought Sophie

Knowing what to look for, she browsed the shelves near the sign Grid Iron first. While she was looking up and down the shelves, one of the shop clerks looked over in Sophies direction and recognised her at once. Turns out Wendy worked at Time Warp Sports and approached her best friend to see if she could lend a hand.

“Anything I can help you with?” said Wendy. Delighted to see her friend was doing ok after the whole ‘Teddy Cam’ video chat debacle, they hugged each other hello.

“Yes, I’m looking for two pairs of shoulder guards. One for me and one for Cody. Got any that would fit us?” asked Sophie

“You’re in the right area of the store, for starters. Lets measure your shoulder length first and then get your brother a pair.” Wendy got out her measuring tape and after using it to get Sophies shoulder length, which turned out to be 20”, Wendy looked on the shelves for an appropriate pair for her.

“How about this one” she asked, getting a white with green trim pair off the shelf and holding it up to Sophies shoulders. The shoulder guards Wendy had picked out were a perfect size match. “Go over to the mirror and have a look”

She took the guards over to the mirror and held them at shoulder height. “I like them. Now I need to get Cody a pair” said Sophie

“Can do. What’s his shoulder length?” asked Wendy “He’s pretty ripped so he is bigger than most guys. Last I heard his shoulder length is 30”. Do you have any that size?”

“We have almost everything in every size. What style do you want?” Showing Sophie a whole shelf of guards in Cody’s size, she picked out a white pair with blue trim. Walking up the front counter with Wendy and the shoulder guards in hand, she said “I’ll take these two please” and set them down on the counter to pay for them. Reaching into her jacket pocket and pulling out her wallet, Wendy asked “How will you be paying for these? Cash, Cheque or Credit? I’ve given you mates rates plus the Policemans discount so that should come to $32.50 for both pairs”

Sophie gave her $32.50 cash. Opening the register, Wendy put the money into it. Time for her to go home, Sophie exited Time Warp Sports through the vortex after thanking Wendy for her help and the special discounts. Jumping in her RX-8 and putting the new shoulder guards in the back seat, she left rubber on the road on the way back home.

Cody had stopped at Meaty Bites Butcher to pick up some Sirloin steak to show their new acquaintances in the warren they were upper echelon people. Not knowing how much to get, he bought all the Sirloin that Meaty Bites had which ended up being 2.5 kgs and at $30/kg, the meat set him back $75. Thanking the butcher for the top quality meat, it was time to head home and cook it. Looking at his watch and seeing it was 5:25pm, Cody vaulted into his Skyline with his one free hand, threw the meat onto the passenger seat and floored it! Being quite good at driving a manual and the fact he was 15mins away from home, Cody started weaving in and out of traffic to get home in time to cook the meat and to put on the shoulder guards Sophie was bringing home. Arriving home at almost the same time, the twins rocketed into the garage, stopped their cars and headed outside with meat and shoulder guards. The time was now 5:40pm. Luckily it didn’t take long to cook meat to a Rare consistency, Cody fired up the 4 burner BBQ and started cooking.

Sophie went upstairs to change out of her uniform and into an ensemble that could hide a pair of shoulder guards. After changing, she went into Cody’s room and got some clothes for him that served the same purpose and brought them downstairs to lay on the leather couch for him to put on. He was almost done cooking the Sirloin, just one more piece to go.

“Hey Soph, can you finish up this last piece of steak for me while I get dressed into those clothes you’ve laid out for me?”

“Sure thing, just remember to put the shoulder guards on underneath everything else” Sophie took over BBQ duty for the last piece of steak, pressing down on it with the steel tongs to check the softness, the last piece was ready. Putting it into the dish beside the BBQ with the rest of the pieces of cooked meat, she turned off the BBQ and gas pipe. Cody had gotten dressed into the clothes that were laid out for him, with shoulder guards on. Now the pair were ready to visit the warren. Sophie had on a classy black Tiffany & Co. cocktail dress, a white Burberry jacket to hide the shoulder guards and a pair of white Manolo Blahnik high heeled strap ons with gold trim. Cody’s threads started with an exquisite white Armani shirt with black jacket to hide to shoulder guards to match, a pair of long black Versace pants and to complete his outfit, white Nike socks and Michael Jackson style loafers. Looking at each other and giving a nod of approval, the twins set off for the warren.

Arriving at precisely 6pm, they waited at the warrens entrance until the familiar set of red eyes appeared. “You’re punctual. An admirable quality. Did you bring the pittance which I humbly requested?” asked the voice

With 2.5kgs of cooked to perfection rare steak in hand Cody replied “Yes we did, got it right here. Although I didn’t know how much to get so I bought all the Sirloin that Meaty Bites Butcher had”

“Sirloin? Only the best from you, eh?”

“Well, you know what they say. First impressions last and we wanted to make a good one” said Sophie

“And you have done just that, I can assure you” replied the voice

“May we enter your domain?” asked Cody politely

“Polite and spares no expense even with people you’ve just met. First you have to promise me that you will never tell anyone the password I am about to give you”

“I promise” said Sophie

“You have my word” said Cody

“Alright then. Just stand in front of the entrance and say ‘Blood is thicker than water’” That’s exactly what the twins did. Standing in front of the warrens’ entrance, both said ‘Blood is thicker than water’ and before their very eyes, a staircase leading down appeared out of thin air! Slowly walking down the staircase and looking all around them, it was like entering some other world! (Some Other World by Elton John link: https://youtu.be/ux1Ck54xJpY) The voice that had been talking to them when they were aboveground, introduced himself.

“Greetings, my name is Patrick. And you must be Sophie, which makes you Cody”

“That’s right. But how did you know?” asked Sophie, a mite confused.

“Oh, it was written on your nametags yesterday. Feel free to have a look around. Be careful who you talk to for now, my people aren’t used to strangers being here” Giving the plate of steak to Patrick, the twins continued to look around in complete awe. There were solid gold beams reaching from floor to ceiling, at the bottom of the stairway was a fountain on the wall, continuously spouting water. When the two reached the bottom of the staircase, Cody felt a small thump on his undercover shoulder guard which made him turn around to see a small child with red pupils and a confused look on his face looking at him. Patrick saw this and told the child “No biting visitors!” and threw the child a piece of steak.

“Apologies, Cody” he said.

“Think nothing of it”

Continuing to take in the sights, Sophie saw to her left an archway built with an early roman architecture style, it was absolutely stunning! Another water feature was built in the middle of an open space of grass with kids running around and splashing in it. Everywhere each of them looked, Cody and Sophie saw two things in common.

1. Everyone had red pupils.

2. Every single person they spoke to had impeccable manners.

Seeing red eyes everywhere was a little off putting but they didn’t want to be impolite to their host so putting the thought to back of their minds, the twins continued walking around this new underground world (so it seemed). Calling out to Cody, Sophie ventured through the roman style archway to find a dining hall with shelves stocked full of all different sorts of food, from cheese wheels to rabbit haunches to rare vegetables.

In the middle of this massive room was a long, varnished redwood dining table, easily able to seat 50. Catching up to Sophie, Cody was awestruck at first glimpse of the grandeur of the dining room. Looking toward to ceiling, they both saw it had paintings of lighthouses at night, vampiric paintings and they even saw the painting of the dogs playing poker. Patrick approached the twins with his female companion, Sy’eera. “Friends, I would like you to meet my mate, Sy’eera” said Patrick. She looked the twins up and down curiously for no one in Patricks domain dressed quite like they did.

“Pleased to make your acquaintance” the twins said, almost in unison.

“The pleasures all mine” replied Sy’eera. Turning to Patrick she said “You are right dear, they really are extremely polite” Checking the time on his Rolex pocket watch, Cody mentioned to Patrick that they both had a busy day tomorrow and needed to get going. The time was almost midnight.

“Of course. I will see you out.” He led his two guests back out through the Romanesque archway, past the water feature on the grass and up the stairs to the entrance.

“You already know the password. Will we have the pleasure of your company again tomorrow night?” asked Patrick

“Why don’t you and Sy’eera join us at our place for breakfast tomorrow? We can rustle up almost anything” countered Sophie. Trying to laugh off and hide the fact the everyone underground were vampires, he said “Um, heh, my people aren’t really ‘morning’ people or ‘sunlight’ people. If any of us are outside after sunrise and before sunset, we weaken considerably. Stay out for more than half an hour, our blood boils and we immolate. That’s why we stay near the warrens entrance if any of us go top side”

“We know that you are a vampire and it’s cool with us. But if you can’t come to us then we’ll come to you” said Cody.

“For reals? You two have to be the most decent surface dwellers we’ve ever met”

“Until tomorrow. Have a good one!” said Cody. Shaking hands with each other, Patrick and Sy’eera headed back down the long staircase to the rest of his kin, Cody and Sophie turned back toward the entrance and after saying the password ‘Blood is thicker than water’, headed up the magically appearing staircase to the surface and back home. Once inside, the two were glad to get out of their finery and into their pyjamas. Before hitting the sack, they decided to vs each other in NBA 2K19 on their Xbox One. It was a close game but Sophie won by 2 points after her player, James Harden of the Houston Rockets dunked on Cody’s defender, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Once in their bedrooms, they were both asleep as soon as their head hit the pillow.

Being Saturday, they had the weekend off. Up at first light, Cody started his weekend workout before heading to Kiri’s dojo for training and coaching. Beginning with light stretching for 5 mins, he grabbed his ball after stretching to practice shooting. He took shots from downtown, from the both elbows, the stripe and in the paint. Finishing shot practice, he moved onto ball handling. Using both hands, he utilised crossover moves like between the legs to around the back and simple left to right crossovers. Moving on to dunks, Cody didn’t showboat this time, only executing Two Handed, Reverse and One Handed dunks. Sophie began her weekend workout by dropping into the skating bowl, Pumping for more speed and air and starting with a simple Fakie Stall. Rolling back in and Pumping on the way down the edge, Sophie did more complex tricks now like a Backside 540 spin. Grinding the edge with Frontside Feeble, she Ollied back into the bowl. Wanting to do some grabs, after Pumping back down the bowl and getting air by executing a Heelflip at the edge, she had enough air to pull off a Crossbone grab. Finishing her workout with a Varial McTwist and Powersliding to a stop at the bottom of the bowl, she climbed out and walked over to the court, where Cody was watching her skate.

“I’ve got training at Kiri’s dojo pretty soon so I have to get going” he said

“That’s ok. I’m meeting Tessa at the downtown skatepark at 12:30pm” she replied. Their plans known to each other, Sophie picked up her skateboard and headed for the downtown skatepark. Cody got his ball, walked to the front door, looked at his phone for the 6 digit code to arm the house, entered it into the panel by the door and walked out after hearing the arming *beep beep* sound. “Kiri’s dojo, here I come” he thought. It only took 5 minutes to get to Kiri’s dojo by using known shortcuts, so shortcuts were used. Arriving there to see Maxine and Kiri sparring, Cody watched with interest until they were finished.

“It is time for you to receive your Ninja uniform, Cody. Step forward” said Kiri. He did as he was told.

“This is the uniform of the Ninja. Wear it each time you visit this dojo” Cody was given a headband with Kanji symbols on it, a jacket, a white belt, black pants and tabi boots.

“Today we’ll be focusing on what you are most proficient at. Punching, kicking or throwing. Put on your new uniform in the changeroom” said Kiri. For that lesson, Kiri took Cody through the basics of punching, kicking and throwing. Being a muscular man and not that flexible, he didn’t do very well when it came to kicks. Punching and throwing were almost second nature. He was already very fast because of his quick hands from basketball. Teaching Cody the proper stance, then some low level punching, blocking and evasion techniques for the next two hours, Kiri found his new student was a very fast learner. Practising the correct stance which was left foot forward and turned in at 45 degrees, back heel off the ground, left hand guarding the centreline at solar plexus height and right hand near his chin to protect his face. Having got the stance down, now he got to practice punching techniques with Kiri!

First was the Jab Cross combination. Cody would use his left hand to throw the Jab and his right hand for the Cross. Kiri would block said combo. Both squaring off and circling each other, Cody remembered seeing Bruce Lee feint low then punch high on the movie Fist of Fury. “That might work” he thought. Looking for an opening, he threw a low feint with his left after stepping in then a right Cross. Not falling for the feint, Kiri simply stepped back to avoid the Cross. “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Stick with building good foundations first. Without good foundations, everything else falls apart. Take basketball, did you learn to dunk before you could shoot properly?” Kiri asked

“I guess not. I could shoot extremely well before I learnt how to dunk”

“Exactly. Learn to walk before trying to run” Starting the exercise again, Cody stuck to the basics. Before the two hours were up, his Jab Cross combo had improved dramatically! After training, Kiri began telling Cody about Chi and how it is our inner spirit that can be focused to make attacks stronger, used to calm an over worked mind or even jump higher. Explaining further that the more he uses his own Chi, his body will start to glow with its natural colour element. (Fire=Red, Nature=Green, Water=Blue, etc.) Not knowing what colour element he was, naturally he was curious and so asked “What colour element am I?”.

They both walked inside the dojo to an astrology chart hanging on the wall. Telling his teacher his birthday fell on the 12th November, Kiri turned to the chart to look up his colour element. “Your element is Heaven, which is the colour White” he informed Cody (Meaning that Sophies element was also Heaven, being twins). “So the more I practise what I’ve learnt, meditate or even focus intently on doing something well, my body will start to glow white? Is that correct? What is your element?” he asked

“That is correct. My element is Metal, the colour Grey” replied Kiri

Both getting changed into their fitness gear and out of their Ninja uniforms, it was time for Kiri’s basketball lesson. “How are your crossovers coming?” asked Cody

Instead of telling him, he wanted to show his coach how far he’d come. Taking the ball, he started to bounce it back and forth between his left and right hands, while keeping his eyes trained on his coach. Bouncing lower, he started to crossover between his legs, left and right. Lower and lower he got, still never looking at the ball until it was almost touching the ground! “Wow! You’ve been practising!” said Cody

Time for the shooting lesson. Asking for the ball and receiving it, Cody taught Kiri the proper way to shoot a basketball. Being right handed, his right hand was placed under the ball with fingers spread apart for grip. Next, his right elbow had to be parallel to the ground with his forearm at 90 degrees to his elbow, making a right angle with his arm. Now his left hand went on the side of the ball for stability with his left and right thumbs making a “T”. His feet should be shoulder width apart and legs bent at the knees. To shoot, he needed to straighten his legs and push up and forward with his right hand. When Cody saw that all this was done, he said “Since you don’t have a ring, aim for a spot on the wall and try and hit the same spot every time. Or you can use my ring”

Practising shots without jumping, with a jump and with both hands for the next two hours until 12:30pm, Kiri’s jump shot kept getting better and better. Cody beamed with pride.

Over at the downtown skatepark, Sophie was waiting for Tessa to arrive. While waiting, a ride around this new skatepark was in order, she thought. Putting her board on the smooth ground and pushing off to get started, the first obstacle was a straight rail. Jumping onto it with a simple Nollie, she used a Boardslide grind to the edge and a Heelflip to jump off. Facing a quarterpipe with a ramp on both sides, Sophie realised she could Transition from one side to the other with enough speed. Pushing off a few more times for more speed, she hit one side of the quarterpipe and had enough speed to keep going up the side and Transition to the other while performing a Judo Air. Coming down the other side and leaning left to turn into a halfpipe, she went up and down the sides to gather speed while performing midair grabs like an Indy and a Mute. Having got enough speed to execute Vert tricks now, Sophie started getting tricky!

Not noticing the crowd of local skaters that were now gathering around her location, she continued to skate. The first midair trick she performed was a Varial McTwist, on the other side of the halfpipe she executed the 900 which made all the onlookers go slack jawed for that was the first time any of them had ever seen it done before! Hearing the crowds applause, Sophie slowed to a stop and brushed her long, light brown hair back behind her ears in an attempt to hide her red cheeks. A mite embarrassed and not sure what to do, she simply smiled and gave high fives to those who were holding up their hands while walking past them. It was 12:30pm now, so she scanned the park for Tessa, who she saw enter the front gate without a skateboard.

Heading over to greet her, Sophie said “You ready to get a brand new set of wheels?”

“Let’s go, I can’t wait to meet Sonya and see all her awesome skate equipment”

“Well let’s not keep you waiting any longer!” On the way to Sonya’s Skate Shop, the two girls shot the breeze and got to know each other quite well. Tessa learned that Sophie worked for the CPD, had a twin brother Cody, was only 24yrs old and already that awesome of a skater and drove a Mazda RX-8. Sophie learned that Tessa was always on the outside, had no real friends, never wanted to go home due to the constant fighting between her parents. That’s why she always looked somewhat scruffy. Tessa was only 19 and had already been through more than any one person should go through in two lifetimes!

“You know what? After we’ve got your new board, it’s time to make you the object of every guys desire and every girl want to look like. You down with that? And if you ever need a place to stay, if you’re in trouble or you just want someone to talk to, you can always give me a call” said Sophie

A tear of happiness rolled down Tessa’s face because no one had ever show her this level of kindness and friendship, even when she needed it. Seeing the tear, Sophie gave her a hug and through sobs she could hear phrases like “Thank you so much” and “How can I ever repay you?”

“Your friendship is all the thanks I need. I’ll also teach you the Hellflip, it’s a trick I invented” replied Sophie. The two were now at the front door to Sonya’s Skate Shop. Heading inside Tessa looked at all the skating equipment stocked on all the shelves. Picking a board off a shelf and looking it over, she asked Sonya how much this particular board would cost. Having been caught up to speed on what was happening, Sonya knew Sophie was paying for it.

“I want to make sure that Tessa here gets the best of everything. If it’s the best, I want her to have it. Can you do that? In return, I’ll teach you the Hellflip.”

“The Hellflip? Never heard of it” said Sonya

“That’s because I created it after lots of practise”

After Sonya helped Tessa pick out a board that was the right size for her, they moved on to the trucks, bearings, wheels (Soft and Hard), a helmet and pads. Next came putting the board together. This happened in the workshop out back. Sophie patiently waited for them to come back to the front of the store. She decided to use the indoor halfpipe for practice while waiting, which wasn’t long.

Sonya and Tessa emerged from the workshop with Tessa holding her brand new skateboard and wearing smile from ear to ear. Seeing the two, Sophie exited the halfpipe and made for the register to pay.

“With mates rates and a protection discount, you do look out for me and this shop, it all comes to……$215.50”

Tessa gulped. She couldn’t believe someone else would pay so much just for her! Sophie got her wallet out and gave Sonya her bankcard saying the purchase would be on Savings.

“Now I’ll teach you both the Hellflip. May I use the halfpipe?” she asked “It’s all yours” Making her way into the halfpipe and putting her board down, Sophie began by saying “Step one of the Hellflip is to pop the front up and do the Bruce Lee kick like a normal Heelflip. Step two, use your back foot to rotate the board 360 degrees when it is upright with the wheels facing to the side. Like this”

Sophie demonstrated a Hellflip. First she popped the front up and Bruce Lee kicked, then used her back foot to rotate her board 360 degrees and landed back on the top of the board.

“Wow! That was something else!” commented Sonya

“Too impressive!” said Tessa

“Now you try”

It took Sonya a few goes to land it but Tessa seemed to be having trouble with the rotation part. With words of encouragement from the other two and some persistence on her part, Tessa landed the Hellflip. Thanking her friend for the new board, Sophie and Tessa exited the skate shop to go to Vidal Saloon.

Upon entering the salon, 1920’s ragtime piano music entered their ears, then they were greeted by two stylists who ushered them to two empty chairs. Getting their hair washed came first, then the two were asked in what style they wanted their hair cut. Tessa asked for a Pixie Cut for she always had short hair and Sophie asked for a High Ponytail. Whispering to Tessa’s stylist Sophie said discreetly holding a $50 note

“Can you please give her a full makeover. Makeup, eyeshadow, the works. I want her to look like a superstar”. The stylist took the hint and gave a wink of approval. Clicking her fingers to ask for more assistance, three helpers came over. The first two were nail specialists and got to work giving Tessa a manicure and a pedicure. Curious as to why the pedicurist was taking off her thigh high black boots, she asked “Why is this person taking off my boots?”.

Not wanting to ruin her surprise and knowing Tessa has trust issues, Sophie reassured her “Not to worry, my young friend. These people will not harm you. They are here to help. Relax, let them work and enjoy the ride” Hearing the word ‘friend’ made her feel better and relax back into the stylist chair and let the pedicurist continue. The third helper was a make-up artist who brought his table full of supplies over with him and put it next to the stylist chair for easy access.

After their hair had been cut and styled, their respective stylist asked each of them which colour they would like their hair to be. Not happy with her black hair, Tessa asked for the colour Intense Red. Sophie liked the sound of that and asked for the same. Getting to work mixing the correct colours together, the make-up artist continued to work, putting a touch of eyeshadow here, a little blush on her cheeks to bring out Tessas natural beauty.

The colour mixing complete, it was time to colour their hair. Putting foils in their hair and turning on the drying machine, they now had to wait 10 minutes for the colour the dry. The manicurist was now carefully painting Tessa’s fingernails with a very intricate design. The pedicurist had moved on to coating her now perfectly shaped toenails with a protective coat of acrylic. Putting the final touches of make-up on, the make-up artist was finished and turning to Sophie he asked “What’s the final verdict?”

Almost falling off her chair with delight she replied “Perfect. Absolutely perfect”

Her curiosity now piqued, Tessa asked “How do I look? Can I see?” The two stylist chairs were facing away from the mirrors while the hairdryers were on, which is why she asked. “Unfortunately, you need to stay still while the colour finishes drying and the nail specialists can finish up their work”.

That’s when a helper from the bar (It’s not called Vidal Saloon for nothing) came up and asked if they wanted something to drink. Being a hot day, Sophie ordered a Rob Roy with a Sidecar and Tessa put down an order for a Manhattan. With the drink orders written down, the assistant barman returned and gave their order to the bartender, who started mixing the drinks right away. Returning a few minutes later with the two drinks on a tray, Sophie took her Rob Roy with a Sidecar and Tessa took her Manhattan. Thanking the assistant barman and turning toward each other, Sophie toasted “Here’s to YOUR bright new future!”

Toasting back “It’s all thanks to you!” they clinked glasses. With the final sip of each drink, the dryer machines buzzed meaning that the 10 minutes was up. Removing the machines from their heads, the stylists asked them “Are you ready for Tessa’s big reveal moment?”

Sophie didn’t have her camera out, so out came her iPhone X and she set it to ‘Video’ to capture her reaction when she found out this caterpillar had morphed into a beautiful butterfly! Pressing ‘Record’ on her phone, the stylist swung Tessa’s chair around to face the mirror. “Stand up” they all said, “Take in your beauty”. Doing as they said and seeing her clean red hair styled in a Pixie Cut, the eyeshadow, the blush to bring out the colour in her cheeks and the red lipstick to complement her hair, she fainted from the shock.

Luckily Sophie caught her and set her back in the chair. “Whew! That was a reaction to remember.” Her camera was still recording so pressing ‘Stop’ their conversation resumed. Still taking in her transformation, patting her cheeks, looking at the blue eyeshadow with purple overtones and pressing her stunning red lips she gave Sophie the biggest hug she’d ever received.

“Do you think boys will want to kiss me now. I’ve never been kissed.” Tessa asked

“After our next stop, definitely. And maybe even some girls too!” replied Sophie

“What? Where are we going now?”

You will be the best looking skater Chicago has ever seen. “Thanks guys” said Sophie to the staff at Vidal Saloon.

“Wait, you got that for free?” asked Tessa.

“I’ve saved their store from being ransacked on more than one occasion so they said the next time I went in, it would be on them.” Making their way over to Sportsgirl, her next task was to buy two whole outfits. Starting from the top, she chose a snapback baseball cap and wore it backwards. “Are you sure you want to hide your new style of hair?” Thinking about this, she took it off. Browsing the shelves with tops on them and choosing a two white (to reflect her new attitude on life) and a red top. The first white top had Don’t Listen to Haters on it, the second white top had Michael Jackson Moonwalking on it and the red top had Sk8r Chik on it. The three pairs of pants she chose was a long black pair, a pair of jean shorts and a pair of white shorts with a red dragon on the side. Sophie was taking photos of every different outfit.

She also getting a black fedora to complete her Michael Jackson look. Billie Jean came on the radio so Sophie switched her phone to ‘Record’. To Sophie and the Sportsgirl staffs surprise, Tessa started dancing in the middle of the store! Sophie began recording Tessa’s MJ dance to show her. She was an extremely talented dancer, pulling off moves like the James Brown Shimmy, the Side Slide and the Moonwalk to the beat of the song. She even did MJ’s “Hee-Hee” perfectly.

After the song ended, a round of applause was heard from the staff, an audience that had gathered outside the door and even Sophie! Enjoying this newfound attention, she was warned to not let it go to her head and always remember where she came from. That is the mark of a truly humble person. Paying for the clothes, they went to another clothing store, a high class one this time. Entering Louis Vuitton, she told Tessa to choose an outfit for going on dates. Looking around the store, she settled on a full body halterneck cocktail dress, complete with white high heeled strap on open toed shoes with gold trim, just like the ones Sophie had. Paying for the outfit and leaving the store, their next stop was Foot Locker.

Sophie told Tessa to choose two pairs of new shoes to go with the outfits she was gifted. Looking around the whole store, a pair of white skate shoes with silver lines up and down the sides plus a pair of Dragon brand trainers were the go. Purchasing the new kicks, they decided to go back to the downtown skatepark in her new clothes to see what kind of different reaction Tessa received. And now she knew the Hellflip skateboard trick the impressiveness rating would be off the charts.

Walking side by side into the skatepark, it was just as Sophie thought. No more did the other skaters ignore Tessa but now she was a head turner! Stopping halfway to a flat surface where her young friend put her new board down and performed the Hellflip on the first try which gained the attention of nearby guys who started asking “Tessa? Is that you? How and where did you learn such an awesome trick?”

Not used to this kind of attention from guys, she looked over to Sophie for guidance or tips. Seeing this but not moving, she made a talk signal, the number two and pointed at the all the guys vying for her attention (Talk to them). Understanding this, Tessa explained it was her, how she got a new board, clothes and hairstyle, learned the new trick then beckoned for Sophie to join her. Hesitantly joining her and explaining she stayed back so as not to steal her thunder, she got out her phone and played back Tessa’s MJ dance for the guys so they could see what an awesome dancer she is. “That’s her?” said one.

“It surely is” exclaimed Sophie with pride

Soon noticing that all the guys were gathered around one girl, the rest of the female skaters got curious and went over to see what was happening. Quietly saying to Tessa “Don’t turn around now but all the girls are coming over. What’d I tell you?”

Keeping her back to said group of approaching female skaters, one of them piped up “That’s Tessa.” The obnoxious one of the group retorted “Nah, it can’t be. She looks too good and where’s the trademark black clothes and boots?”

Overhearing this snarky remark, Tessa turned around to face the group so they could see the “Don’t Listen to the Haters” on her shirt and talked specifically to the obnoxious girl “Yes, I know it’s a big shock to see me wearing anything other than black. Now read out loud what it says on my shirt. Sorry, I forgot. You never learned to read.”

All the boys laughed. A bit surprised to hear this come out of her mouth, Sophie sent a message saying “Don’t sink down to their level. Take the high road. You are better than that”. Reading the message, Tessa realised she was right. She didn’t want to become snarky herself. Speaking to the obnoxious girl again “If you have a problem with me, let’s settle it in the halfpipe”

The girl agreed saying “Let’s go”

Sophie gave Tessa a few last minute tips as everyone headed towards the halfpipe like “Always Pump on the way down for more speed. To Pump, lean forward on the way into the pipe to go faster”, “For grind tricks, turn your board to hit the edge at an angle” “For grab and vert tricks, start the trick the moment your back truck leave the edge and GOOD LUCK!”

The girl went first, going back and forth for speed. Her first trick was an Indy grab to which everyone said “Yawn”. Realising she needed to step it up, she tried a Backflip but didn’t get all the way around and bailed. On her second try, she performed a Frontside Air and on the other side, a Starfish stall. Back down into the pipe, and up the other side a Varial McTwist was attempted but was not successful. Bailing again, jeers were heard from the guys watching “Not good enough”, “Get out of the pipe”.

Tessa entered the halfpipe with board in hand. Dropping in and Pumping on the way down just like she was told and Ollying at the edge, her first trick was a 360 Rocket Air from the left side of the pipe to the right. Having never seen it done before, the onlooking audience gave cheers and whistles, except one. Landing the trick and Pumping on the way down she executed an Impossible at the bottom of the pipe making her lose a touch of speed so she only had enough air for a Crossbone grab in midair. Having not bailed once yet, Tessa was clearly the superior skater, so for her final trick she attempted a Varial McTwist and……LANDED IT! Powersliding to a stop and walking out of the halfpipe, she was greeted with cheers and congratulations. Even Sophie admitted she got worried she might bail on the last trick.

Walking up to the obnoxious girl, Tessa extended her hand saying “Congrats on a good skate battle”. Knocking her hand away saying “I don’t need your pity, you won. There, I said it.”

Replying with “Ok. You are free to act however you see fit. But unless you change your attitude, no one will want to be around you”, everyone walked away leaving her by herself.

“That was well said, couldn’t have done it better myself” complimented Sophie. One of the other girls said “I think you now have a skating rival”. In the skateboarding group that she was now a part of, there were four guys and three girls. Now that Tessa was no longer invisible, everyone introduced themselves starting with the guys. “I’m Randy” said he, shaking her hand. Randy had sandy blonde hair and a slim build.

“My name is Steve” and he shook her hand next. Steve was younger than Tessa but had a muscular build. “I’m Bruce” said he, shaking her hand. Bruce had black hair and was very tall. “Jimmy is my name” giving her a fist bump. Jimmy had curly brown locks and a stocky build.

The girls were next. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Vanessa” said she giving her a high five. Vanessa and Tessa were very similar in looks and height. “I’m Brittany” and she shook her hand. Brittany had collar bone length blonde hair, had long legs and was well endowed in the chest area. “My name is Layla” said she, shaking her hand. Layla was fairly short and her brown hair came down to her shoulders.

After meeting everyone and exchanging phone numbers, Tessa introduced Sophie. “Everyone, this is Sophie. The person solely responsible for the new me you see before you.”

“I need to shoot off now, will you be alright here with your new friends?” she asked Tessa. Looking toward her new friends “Take good care of her because she’s had it rough or I’ll hear about it then you’ll hear from me. Keep in mind I work for the CPD” The group of seven took the hint. Reaching for her keys and pressing the ‘Home’ button on the car remote, it wasn’t long until her driverless RX-8 parked on the curb next to her.

Putting her board in the backseat, she got into the car and took off for home. Little Miss Thing still stood in the corner, only now she had vindictive thoughts. The first chance she got, when Tessa’s board was left alone, she loosened the trucks to such a degree that one slight lean would make her fall off. Out of the corner of his eye, Steve saw her approach Tessa’s board and thought to himself “What the hell is she doing?”. So he started to record what she did on his phone. With the evidence recorded, he went for a drink. Little did he know that Tessa was about to use her sabotaged board. She did and in the middle of a Backside Air she fell off and broke her leg and arm. Steve showed the evidence to the rest of the group and they were gobsmacked! After tending to their new friend, the group approached Miss Thing (whose name was Victoria) all with furious looks on their faces.

Victoria saw them coming and said “Do you have something you want to say?”, sparking their ire even more.

“We know you sabotaged Tessa’s skateboard” said Steve

“Is that so? You can’t prove anything.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. We’ve got you on film, tampering with her board. We knew you didn’t like her but to wish injury upon her? That makes you the lowest of the low! All we have to do is call Sophie and you’ll be exiled from this skatepark” said Vanessa. Steve called Sophie and told her everything, that Tessa was hurt, about the video evidence, all of it.

Still in the car, Sophie executed a 180 degree drift around a median strip and headed straight back to the skatepark, gunning the supercharged engine of her Mazda RX-8. Going at full throttle and wearing her Lieutenant badge on her waist Sophie arrived back at the skatepark in minutes at which time she got out of the car the angriest she had ever been! First tending to Tessa by gently placing her in the backseat, Steve showed her the video evidence of board tampering. Making a beeline for Victoria, she legged it before Sophie reached her.

“Oh no you don’t!” thought the Lieutenant who now had a chase on her hands! Watching the way the perpetrator ran, which was around the outside wall of the skatepark toward the exit, Sophie sprinted across the middle and with a vicious Hip ‘n’ Shoulder tackle, Victoria was slammed up against the fence, face first. Holding her badge up to her face Sophie said harshly “You see this? C…P…D! Means I will knock your punk ass down!”

With badge in hand she said in a clear voice “You are under arrest for equipment tampering with the express intent to cause bodily harm” Placing her hands behind her back and slapping a pair of cuffs on her, Victoria was dragged away by the scruff of the neck. “Everyone make a note of this, you mess with my friends, you mess with me. Now you are looking at 3-5 years minimum without parole and you WILL pay any and all medical bills that Tessa might incur. Now I could read you your rights but nah, you already know what your rights are, don’t you?”

Through tears, Victoria objected “I never meant for her to get hu-“

Cutting her off, Sophie interjected “Girl, save it for someone who cares.” Everybody in the park saw Victoria get dragged away, cheered then started snapping pics of their own to post on the web. Only a few at the skatepark who already had their phones out were able to record the chase ending in a sweet Hip ‘n’ Shoulder tackle and their videos were posted as well. They went viral within hours, gaining 5 million views in 3 hours.

Stopping at the PD to throw her in the slammer, her next stop was the Hospital. Phoning ahead to have them ready and waiting, she sped into the waiting area and slammed on the brakes. The nurses, doctors and orderly’s rushed Tessa out of the car and into an examination room on a rolling table. Sophie had to wait outside. She was told by a nurse that Tessa would have to stay overnight for X-Rays to find out how badly the bones were broken. Since she had to pick up some meat and be home by 5:30pm and the sun was starting to set, Sophie jumped into her car and sped to Meaty Bites Butcher. Running into the store, buying a few pieces of Tenderloin, throwing a $20 note at the butcher to pay for it, saying “Thank you!” and running back out, she went home at high speed.

Cody was already dressed to the nines (his shoulder guards were under his black jacket) and the BBQ was fired up and ready to go. Dashing in the front door at 5:50pm, Sophie threw the meat to her brother then started getting changed into the clothes he had laid out for her while he cooked the pieces of Tenderloin until they were rare. Placing the cooked meat onto a plate, Sophie was now dressed in the finery Cody laid out for her (her shoulder guards were under her Burberry jacket). Turning off the BBQ switches and the gas pipe, they were ready to go to Patricks warren.

Upon arrival to the warren both twins noticed that the bone pile around the entrance had grown ever so slightly. Facing the entrance they both said in a clear but quiet voice ‘Blood is thicker than water’ and watched the staircase magically appear! Descending the long staircase to be met at the bottom by Patrick and Sy’eera, Cody gave him the plate of cooked meat.

“Tenderloin this time? This is too much. You must stay for dinner” he said

A little weary about that Sophie replied “As the main course?”. Feeling a sharp elbow in her ribs, she looked over at Cody to see a perturbed look on his face. Knowing what he meant, she zipped her lip.

“She meant no offense” he quickly said.

“It’s all good. We have heard far worse in our time. Come, this way. Oh, and if that child tries to bite either of you, just give him to me and I’ll put him in timeout.” Breathing a sigh of relief, they followed Patrick into the dining room. This time is was Sophies shoulder that felt a small dent on her undercover shoulder guards. Turning around, she saw the same small child as last time so following orders and picking him up with both hands, Sophie passed him over to Patrick. Taking the child from her, he went over to the corner that was equipped with a large cage.

Opening the cage door and putting the child in with a large piece of Tenderloin and closing the door behind him, Patrick said “He needs a 5 minute timeout. He’s quite content in there, munching on the meat.” Continuing to the dining room and being seated as Guests of Honour, the twins were handed a food menu and a drink menu each by two servers. After a minute of contemplation, they decided on their food and drink choices. Sophie chose Fillet Bearnaise, medium rare and a Rob Roy with a Sidecar. Cody’s meal consisted of Tortellini Alla Panna and a Jameson Select Reserve, three fingers, neat. Everyone else seated at the table of 50 ordered something to suit their specific taste.

Enjoying pleasant conversation with Patrick, Sy’eera and other nearby vampires, the twins waited patiently for their meals to arrive. Soon enough, a multitude of servers came up each side of the table with a different meal in each hand. Firstly stopping at Sophie and Cody because they are sitting at the head of the long redwood table. The first server handed over Sophies Fillet Bearnaise and Rob Roy with a Sidecar. The second server walked over to Cody and laid his meal right in front of him. When everyone had their meals, they all looked to Cody to start off their meal with a toast. A tad confused, he asked Patrick “Why are they all looking at me? Have I done something wrong?”

“Cody my boy, since you are at the head of the table, they look to you to start the meal with a toast.”

“Ah. Ok, then. Here’s my best shot: To new acquaintances, new friends and a lasting friendship.” Cody toasted.

“Hear! Hear!” Everyone responded.

The meal could now start. Midway through the meal, Sophies phone rang which surprised everyone out of their shoes. Knowing it was bad manners but also seeing that it was Tessa that was calling, she desperately wanted to answer her phone. Patrick could see this meant a lot to her, so he said “Go ahead, answer it!” Quickly leaving the table and entering the adjacent room to pick up her phone Sophie greeted her friend by saying “Hey Tessa! How are you feeling?”

“Like I’m going to start to glow green from all the scans anytime soon. I’m really lonely here in the hospital. Hope you can visit soon. The doctors say I’ll be here for another two days so the bones in my leg can start to heal properly.”

“I’ll get there as soon I can.” Sophie said before signing off. Little did Tessa know, she had something big up her sleeve. Before returning to the table, she phoned Tessa’s crew, all seven of them, telling them to meet her at the hospital entrance tomorrow at 09:00 and bring toys and balloons. Returning to the dining table with all haste, finding her place, sitting back down and resuming her dinner, Patrick asked “Is everything ok? I saw the devious grin on your face while you were talking. If we can help you in any way, shape or form, you just let us know, alright?”

Telling him the whole story about Tessa’s new clothes, hairstyle, make-up, skateboard, new trick and a bunch of new friends and how it all went south after she won the skate battle against Victoria after her board was sabotaged, her friends sticking up for her by recording the dirty act and Tessa ending up in hospital with two broken limbs and Victoria in the slammer, Patricks whole community wanted to pitch in by making soft toys for Sophie to take with her the next day. Sy’eera was an excellent seamstress, so after everyone had finished their meal, she formed an assembly line of toy makers.

Walking up and down the line, she barked orders at the toymakers “Good work”, “Is that a loose end I see?”, “Tighten up those edges”. Patrick went to the corner cage and let the small child out who was still busy chewing on his piece of meat. A few hours later, Sophie was presented with lots of toys to choose from but after all the hard work they went through to produce said toys she couldn’t choose some and not others.

Telling Patrick she had to run home to fetch some empty boxes for all the toys to fit in, she returned in 10minutes while Cody went up the long staircase to help her with all the boxes. Returning to Sy’eera’s assembly line where all the toys were stacked, the twins started packing them into the boxes that Sophie had carried from their home. All in all, there must’ve been at least 40-50 toys made for Tessa by Patricks considerate community of vampires.

“She will simply adore these!” said Sophie

“Here, let us help you tote those boxes back to your car” offered Sy’eera when she saw that the twins were having trouble lifting them all by themselves. Clicking her long fingers, some subordinate vampires appeared to pick up some of the boxes to help the twins.

“I thought you couldn’t go outside” mentioned Cody

“That rule only applies during daytime. Look at your watch, it’s 10pm. We’ll be fine” Sy’eera replied. Facing the entrance and saying the password ‘Blood is thicker than water’ to make the magic staircase appear, Sophie, Cody, Patrick, Sy’eera and a group of subordinate vampires made their way topside and over to her Mazda RX-8 to put the boxes of toys in the trunk and backseat of the car. The abandoned park was deserted this time of night so there was no chance of anyone seeing the vampires’ red pupils in the darkness. After all the boxes had been stored, the twins thanked their vampire friends for their massive amount of help and bid them farewell.

Sophie and Cody were tired so they went to bed after he explained to his sister all about Chi and how her element is Heaven, which is the colour White. Following up with the more she uses her Chi by meditating, using her mind to focus on her skateboard tricks and even just to calm down, her whole body will start to glow white like his does. Demonstrating this by focusing intently on the dunk he was about to perform, Sophie suddenly saw her brothers’ whole body start to glow white and he jumped higher than the backboard!

“So if I concentrate while training in JKD, will that happen to me?” she asked.

“There’s only one way to find out”. Focusing on every movement, every punch and kick, the same thing happened. Sophies whole body started to glow white and her speed and power increased threefold! Stunned at what just happened, Cody clapped saying “That’s the way to do it!”

Patricks mob decided to stay outside and enjoy the fresh air while they could, if anyone came along their robes made them look like boulders when crouched on the ground so all he had to do was say the word “Down” and every one of his crew would hit the deck and they would all look like simple boulders with their faces down, no one could see their red eyes. The next morning, Sophie got into her RX-8 and headed to the hospital, leaving a note for Cody telling him where she was.

Arriving at the hospital at 9am, she was greeted by all seven of Tessa’s crew, all holding some sort of toy or balloon with “Get Well Soon” on it. Opening the trunk of her car, the other seven saw the boxes of toys and after a few gasps and “Whoa”, Sophie asked if they could help her take these in with them.

Grabbing a box each, it was now time to surprise the lonely Tessa! Entering the hospital and asking which room she was in and finding out Tessa was in room #104, just down the hall second on the left, they made their way outside her room. Sophie said “Everyone ready? On the count of three. 1, 2….3!” Then all eight of her friends burst into her room saying “SURPRISE!” Tessa was taken completely off guard but in a good way. Everybody in turn gave her their balloon or toy, then put down the box they were carrying. Hugs were also given, Steve said that Victoria had been thrown in the slammer after he called up Sophie and told her everything about recording the dirty deed and the pics that went viral.

Asking what was in the boxes, Brittany said “These were brought in by Sophie. Guys, open them on three. One, two, three!” All eight opened a box and seeing that they were full of soft toys, tears of happiness started rolling down Tessa’s face.

“You guys are the best!” she said to all her friends who were standing around her bed.

“We know you are feeling lonely, so we put this together for you” said Sophie

“You are missed back at the skatepark. We can’t wait for you to return” said Jimmy

The doctor came in with Tessa’s X-Rays and put them up on the light board. “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?” he asked.

“Fellas, which do I want first?” Sophie and the seven skaters consulted each other for a moment.

“We think the bad news first” said spokesperson Layla. Relaying this information to the doctor, he said the bad news is her Tibia has been fractured which could take up to 4 weeks to fully heal. The good news is that no bones have been broken, and her forearm is only bruised and should be 100% within the week. Until her leg is fully healed, she will have to wear a lower leg cast and use crutches to get around.

“It’s not all bad. Since you’re the best out of all of us, you are now our Skating Coach. Point out what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right” said Vanessa

Steve asked the doctor if Tessa could be released today. Saying yes but released into someone’s care, Sophie volunteered for that. After signing the release papers, she and the seven bought a set of crutches, helped Tess into the front seat of the RX-8 and loaded all the toys and balloons into the car as well. Meeting back at the skatepark and after helping Tessa get on her feet by putting the crutches under her arms, the group of eight walked side by side through the entrance. Randy said in a loud voice so the rest of the skaters turned to look “Hey everybody, look who’s back!”

Suddenly, everyone in the park came running over to greet the injured Tessa, shaking her hand, giving gentle fist bumps and helping her over to the nearest seat. Back home, Cody had a visit from Kiri who was dressed in his basketball/fitness gear instead of his normal white Ninja uniform with black belt and white tabi boots (the uniform of a Master Ninja), with sports bag in hand. Ready for his next lesson, the two guys went out the back to the hoop so Cody could now teach Kiri how to dunk.

Once there, the first thing that Kiri learned about dunking was “Don’t stop bouncing the ball, lest you get called for Travelling.” Not knowing what Travelling was, Cody continued. “Travelling is when you take more than two steps without bouncing the ball. If you have to stop bouncing for some reason, pass it off to a teammate. One more important point while bouncing, don’t hold the ball with two hands and start bouncing again. That is called Double Dribble.”

“Ok. Don’t hold the ball with two hands and start bouncing again. That’s Double Dribble. And don’t take more than two steps without bouncing otherwise that’s Travelling. Right?” Kiri said.

“That’s right. Let’s have a short game to 11. I’ll only go 50% on you. I want to see how much you’ve improved.” Kiri had improved out of sight. He couldn’t drive to the hoop yet but with Cody only going 50%, he was draining Stepback Jumpers, keeping the ball out of his grasp with good ball handling and bolting past him after faking him out.

Telling Kiri he’d have to ramp up his defense to 70-80% now because of how well he’s playing, Kiri responded “In return, I want to see you glow white now that you are stepping up your focus”

For the rest of the game, Kiri didn’t do so well and Cody started to glow white every time he had the ball. “Good game, Sensei. Good game” he said with a hand slap and fist bump. “Now I’ll teach you how to dunk.”

Starting at the stripe, ball in hand, Cody said “First I’ll demonstrate a normal throwdown” Kiri watched his every movement, from the starting run up to the take off from both feet to the final putting the ball through the hoop. “That’s how one dunks a basketball”

“Do you mind if I try it?” asked Kiri.

“If you think you can” he replied, passing him the ball. Again, starting at the stripe, Kiri replicated every one of Cody’s movements exactly. He went slack jawed.

“Are you sure you’ve never dunked before?” asked Cody

“Never.” replied Kiri

“That was incredible! A picture perfect slam”

For the next few hours, Cody taught Kiri all the finer points of dunking like taking off from one foot, two feet, when and where to jump for all different types of dunks. They both glowed their respective colours for the whole time, due to their intense focus. After basketball training, it was time for Cody’s first Ninja grading. Both getting changed into their Ninja uniforms, Maxine was called over to help with his grading.

Having no problem with this request, she came right over, after arming all the traps around her house. “I want you to demonstrate everything you’ve learned so far and do it while glowing white. If you can do that, you move up to Yellow Belt”

Demonstrating punches, kicks, throws, counters, evasion techniques against Maxine’s attacks and while she held kick and focus pads and all done while glowing white, means Cody passed his grading with flying colours. He was now a Yellow Belt. Reaching into his bag, Kiri pulled out his newly earned Yellow Belt and gave it to him saying “What I teach you is only to be used for self defence. Defending yourself is not a problem but if I hear from Maxine or anywhere that you yourself started something, I will cease to train you then and there.” Cody had been experimenting with different punch techniques, and with the increased power and jump height that focusing gave him, he came up with a combo attack called the ‘Cody Carousel’. Explaining it to Kiri, he told him that the combo started with a power uppercut and jumping after them then following up with a five hit punch combo and finishing with an Inverted Suplex, Kiri praised him for thinking outside the box but also warned him how dangerous the Inverted Suplex can be.

Revealing that the last technique he will learn in Kiri Ninja is the Izuna Drop (Izuna Drop link: https://youtu.be/WzkdrxpB56U) and that can be deadly if not done correctly. Ending the lesson there, Kiri and Maxine took their leave. Later that night, when Sophie and Cody had eaten dinner, they went upstairs to look out their back window with the light turned off.

What they saw took them by surprise! Patricks commune were outside, acting like rocks because there were other people around, they would lure one close by whistling then devour the person whole and spit out the bones.

“So that’s how the bone pile keeps growing” they both thought. Both feeling quite angry at what they had just witnessed, Sophie turned on the light so the twins were the only people Patrick could see and they were not happy! Both twins had their arms folded and they were looking directly at the head vampire with angry expressions on their faces.

Cody first pointed toward him then at himself as if to say “You and I need to talk!”. Feeling somewhat embarrassed at having been caught red-handed, the whole commune slinked back underground. The next day at the CPD, the Chief announced the arrival of a new transfer from the LAPD.

“He goes by the name of Percy. He’s on probation for the next week so if he does anything that isn’t ‘By the book’, tell me and he’ll be out of here faster than he can say CPD. Show him around, be nice, all that.” Percy had been teamed up with the twins and it wasn’t long before they found out he had a narcissistic personality.

Constantly in front of a mirror, brushing his hair or bragging about cases he’d completed while in the LAPD, Percy was a general nuisance to everyone. But come lunchtime was payback time. He actually had the nerve to challenge Cody to a basketball game!

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely. I can do anything you can, only better.” Percy replied

Everyone surrounding the court heard this and thought “Oh no he didn’t!”

Cody said to Ryan “I’m going to teach this punk a lesson by only going 50% on him so he thinks he has a chance. I’ll even let him steal it. I won’t let him score though. Spread the word” Doing exactly that, Ryan spread the word that Cody was only going 50% on Percy to the onlookers around the court.

“First to 21. Challengers go first. Half court rules.” Cody said passing him the ball.

“Game on!”

Like he said, Cody only went 50% pressure on Percy. Letting him steal it but not letting him score. Never dunking it, he only wanted to humiliate the new guy. Using simple crossovers like left to right hand, Cody had fun toying with him by rejecting every shot attempt made by Percy.

Scoring at will, driving past him whenever he wanted. For the final bucket, he did decide to sky over the top of Percy and dunk it with a 360 Windmill Jam. The final score was 0-21, Cody wins. Wanting to win something before lunch was over, he saw Sophie in the skating bowl.

Thinking “That doesn’t look too hard”, he challenged Sophie to a skateboarding battle! Cody whispered to his sister “I just schooled him in basketball. Do the same here. Bust out your best tricks.”

“Can do bro. He won’t know what hit him”

Asking the people around the skating bowl if they could lend Percy their board, it wasn’t long before the battle was underway. Dropping in, Percy tried to imitate what he’d seen others do. Attempting an Indy 360, he bailed. Hearing the crowd laugh, he got back on the loaned board and started again. This time going for a simple Ollie at the edge, he fell backward off the board! The crowd laughed again as well as Sophie this time.

“You think you can do better? Go on then!” Percy taunted Sophie.

Dropping in and Pumping, her first trick was a Frontside 540, coming back into the bowl and Pumping for more speed her next trick was a Varial McTwist, back in the bowl and Pumping again for even more speed and height she performed the 900 with a Mute grab, not done yet, she Pumped again for even more speed and height, this time performing a 360 Rocket Air, and to finish off her run, after Pumping again, Sophie finished with a Backflip. Powersliding to a stop, she received a huge round of applause from everyone surrounding the skating bowl.

“Let’s go again” she taunted Percy

“You were using a better board than me, that’s why you won.”

“Could it also be I’m a better skateboarder than you too?”

“’Course not. I’m the best at everything” Percy sneered

“You just can’t accept the truth, can you? First my brother beats you in a game of basketball, then I take you to school in a skate battle. Just accept that you’re not going to be good at everything” Sophie said

Back in the building, in Cell Block A, Percy got taunted by the prisoners as he walked past “Taste it!”, “You got schooled and he wasn’t even going 100% on you. We watch him play every day!”. Making him angry as he walked up to Victoria’s cell, seeing the grin on her face made him snap. *WHACK* Percy used his nightstick to hit Victoria’s fingers which were holding the cell bars. Everyone upstairs and outside came running when they heard her scream in pain. “That wiped the grin off your face, didn’t it?” said Percy

The Chief asked what happened. “Nothing” he replied, hiding his nightstick. The prisoners objected, “That S.O.B used his stick to hit her fingers, probably broke them”. Victoria had sunk to her knees and was nursing a limp right hand.

“Stay cool in there. We’ll take you to the infirmary as soon as possible, get those fingers looked at” said the Chief

“You realise you just assaulted an inmate for no reason while on probation” Cody pointed out. “That’s strike one. Two more and you’re history”. Taking a dislike to the twins ever since they beat him in the basketball game and the skate battle, Percy looked for payback. His chance came when he saw Cody go for a drink. “I’ll get him now” he thought.

Seeing Percy approach in the reflection of the silver drink fountain, Cody narrowly avoided a head punch by turning around and slipping it. Continuing to evade Percy’s attacks by leaning, slipping and parrying he also started to glow white due to his high level of focus.

Remembering what Kiri had said, “Defending yourself is ok but never start anything”, he started to counterattack. A jab to the face here, a body shot there, Cody finished him with a power uppercut, his five hit midair combo and a spinning clothesline as a knockback attack. The prisoners were gobsmacked at what they just saw! Seeing a police officer have to defend himself against another officer by turning white, giving him a speed and power increase? That’s unheard of! Ryan came around the corner just in time to see Cody dodge Percy’s attempted sucker punch, then witness him put Percy down while glowing white.

“That’s strike two” said Ryan

“One more and you are history”. Ryan came down to Cell Block A with Victoria’s cell keys to take her to the infirmary and find out if any of her fingers are broken. Unlocking the door, cuffing her then both going to the infirmary, Ryan found out that three fingers in Victoria’s right hand were broken from being struck with Percy’s nightstick. Relaying this information to the Chief and him witnessing an unprovoked attack on Cody, the Chief had no choice but to call Percy into his office.

“My sources indicate to me that you already have two strikes against your name. One for assaulting an inmate with your nightstick causing three broken fingers in Victoria’s right hand and one for an unprovoked attack on a fellow officer. You have one more chance otherwise it’s back to the LAPD for you” said the Chief, very matter of factly.

“Chief, I’m innocent on that last count”

“Really? Well I have a whole cell full of witnesses who said you started it”

“You’re going to believe a bunch of deadbeats over a highly decorated officer like me?”

“Who blows his own horn far too often? Yes. I am. Now get up on outta here. I’m fair but I’m firm” Spending the rest of the day doing boring police stuff, the twins couldn’t wait until 5pm.

Sophie went to pick up Tessa from the skatepark and say hello to her friends. While she was there, she decided to do a little skating. Dropping into the halfpipe and Pumping, her first trick was a 360 Crossbone, back into the pipe and Pumping for more speed she turned her board to the right for a Tailslide grind. Popping an Ollie back into the pipe and Pumping for more speed her next trick was a Frontside 540, coming back into the pipe, her final trick was the 900, going from the left side to the right side. Powersliding to a stop, Sophie exited the ramp to be greeted by all eight friends (Tessa had been helped to her feet by Layla and crutches put underneath her arms).

“Hey, it’s the Skatepark Saviour!” said Vanessa. From then on, every time Sophie came to the skatepark, everyone would start chanting “Saviour! Saviour! Saviour!” for it was her that got rid of the one bad element thus making it a pleasant place to skate again.

“How are you feeling Tessa?” Sophie asked

“Like half woman, half stilt”

“I’m headed home now and since you’re in my care do you want leave now or stay and watch for a bit longer?”

“Can we stay for a little longer? I’ve been teaching everyone how to do the Hellflip” said Tessa

“Alright. Let’s see how they’re doing” Sophie and Tessa took a seat on the nearest bench and asked everyone in turn to demonstrate their Hellflip. Vanessa went first, almost landing it but having trouble rotating her board the required 360 degrees. Next was Layla, who had been practising and landed it first try. Brittany was up next but she had trouble with the Bruce Lee kick part. Randy tried next and he landed it. Steve went next, almost landing it but his front foot came off his board at the last possible moment. Bruce was up next and he landed it and so did Jimmy. Some tips for those who didn’t land it, practice the Bruce Lee kick while off the board and rotate the board 360 degrees with their back foot while off the board to keep balanced. Practise is key.

Sophie and Tessa then went home. Cody noticed someone new in the car when she pulled into the driveway. Making proper introductions, Cody this is Tessa, Tessa this is my brother Cody. Kiyomi was waiting for them for their final JKD lesson.

“Try and hit me with your Triple Roundhouse” said Kiyomi

Shaping up, the two squared off Kiyomi would attack and Sophie would block or Sophie would attack and Kiyomi would block. The last lesson in JKD is every attack is a block and every block an attack. Finding an opening, she focused and unleashed her devastating Triple Roundhouse, hitting Kiyomi twice with it while glowing white meaning her power and speed had increased threefold.

Kiyomi’s sensitive ears picked up sounds coming from the garage. “Shhh!” she said. “Someone’s here who shouldn’t be” All four made their way into the garage, where they caught none other than Percy, trying to vandalise their cars with spraypaint.

“It looks like that is strike three! You’re on your back way to the LAPD tomorrow” said Cody and Sophie.

“You can’t prove I was here” said Percy in his defence.

“You’re dead wrong about that. We have evidence and two witnesses” responded Cody

“Bring them along to testify to the Chief and take the spraycan to forensics and get them to lift a print” added Sophie confidently

The next day at work, Kiyomi and Tessa went with Cody and Sophie to testify to the Chief that Percy was at their house attempting to vandalise their cars with spraypaint. While those two were in the Chiefs office giving their testimony, the twins had taken the spraycan which they carefully picked up and put into a bag last night for today and took it down to the forensic lab and asked the lab technician to pull a fingerprint from the can.

Watching in amazement while the lab tech worked his magic to pull a print from the can and run it through the database, it came back positive for one Percy Bernhardt. Thanking the lab tech for this information and heading back to the Chiefs office, then presenting him with spraycan fingerprint evidence he had no choice but to call Percy into his office where all four of them were standing.

“You have run out of chances Percy. I want you on the first plane back to Los Angeles.”

“What are you talking about?” he said, playing dumb.

“Don’t play ignorant. I know you were at Cody’s house last night trying to vandalise his property. I’ve got the fingerprint evidence right here.”

“I’ll be glad to return to LA. This is a poor excuse of a police station anyway” Percy said, glaring at the twins. The Chief put it to Cody to drive Percy out to Chicago Airport and make sure he got on the first plane back to Los Angeles. In his uniform, he did as he was instructed and drove him to the airport, as usual Percy made a scene when they entered the airport, trying to break free of Cody’s strong grip, yelling obscenities at passers by so he ended up getting himself cuffed until they reached the Chicago to Los Angeles gate.

Explaining to the ticket checker why Percy was handcuffed, she understood perfectly. Approaching the boarding tunnel, Cody uncuffed him and with a mighty shove, sent Percy stumbling halfway down the tunnel. Saying “Get yo’ ass onto the plane!” then standing in the middle of the doorway with arms crossed so he couldn’t get back out, Percy had no choice but to board.

Back at the PD, Tessa found out from Sophie that Victoria is in Cell Block A and wanted to pay her a visit. Of course, she would be supervised by an officer to make sure nothing out of line is said, she was taken down to Victoria’s cell.

Surprised that she would make the time to visit her, Victoria started by apologising to Tessa.

“Tessa?! You actually took the time to come and visit me? Look, I’m really sorry for what happened to your leg. I never meant for you to get hurt the way you did” The observing officer warned her to keep it civil.

“At least I made some new friends out of this and learned a new skateboard trick. But you do look good in orange. Sophie, Randy, Jimmy, Bruce, Steve, Vanessa, Brittany and Layla all came to visit me while I was laid up in hospital and brought me toys and balloons. Here, I brought one for you too.”

Giving Victoria a small stuffed eagle she said “I don’t hold grudges. All that negativity just brings you down. This eagle is my peace offering. Now you have to learn to fly like one”

Feeling particularly bitchy now but also filled with regret, Victoria said with a tear rolling down her cheek “I’ll strive to live up to your standard, can you ever forgive me?”

“I can forgive, not sure about the others”. That lunchtime, Kiyomi and Sophie put on an exhibition for the rest of the Force. Both on the court after Ryan had finished his dunks, they shaped up and squared off, it was no holds barred this time. Sophie attacked first with a Straight Blast to the midsection, sidestepping her attack and performing a low sweep to drop her, Kiyomi was up 1-0. Starting again, Sophie was more cautious and while looking for an opening her focus level rose, making her glow white. Using this speed and power increase, she tried a close range Backfist that connected!

Having come up with her own unique attack called the Sophie Spin, she needed 100% focus before using it. Her focus came in the form of blocking Kiyomi’s attacks, low, medium and high. Letting loose an almighty “HEH!” after blocking the last of her attacks, she performed the Sophie Spin which was a spinning kick executed after jumping off the ground. The Spin could be done without 100% focus but it didn’t last as long. For maximum effectiveness, 100% focus allowed her to stay spinning in the air for 5 straight seconds but afterwards, Sophie lost all her focus.

Taking out Kiyomi with that one super attack, the contest was over. Slapping her gently to wake her up, Kiyomi eventually came to saying “Where did that come from?” Explaining she’d been watching Kiri in action and she had been studying, that was all the answer Kiyomi needed.

Doing exciting things like interrogations until 5pm, the twins were kept busy. On their way home, they saw the bone pile had grown even larger. Cody needed to wrap up his training with Kiri and he needed to teach Kiri Alley-Oops. Inviting him over for a final lesson before telling him the story of Bone Mountain, Cody rang Kiri on his cell. Five minutes later, he was over, ready to learn Alley-Oops.

Explaining the theory behind them, they moved on to the practical side. Handing Kiri his ball and saying “When you see me sky above the rim, pass me the rock so I can dunk it and that is called an Alley-Oop”. They started, Cody ran toward the hoop Kiri saw him jump and this was his cue to pass the ball. Passing the ball, Cody caught it in midair then dunked it with a Cockback dunk.

“Your turn Kiri”

This time Cody started with the ball while Kiri ran to the basket, jumped, received the pass from Cody in midair and dunked it with a Reverse Dunk. “That’s all I can teach you. You already have fast hands from being a Ninja, so steals won’t be a problem for you. You are now a Master Baller”

“Awesome! You want to speed up your training?” Tell me why. So Cody told him everything about the commune of vampires and the growing Bone Mountain and how they first met”.

“Ok, I’ll speed up your training starting now” said Kiri. Both getting changed into their Ninja uniforms, Kiri moved on to more advanced techniques. Like hard punch combos, air throws and kick counters. Teaching him the Air Spinning Piledriver, the Air Stomach Throw and a kick counter first, he found the kick counter the hardest to learn. Grabbing the opponents foot and using it to kick the opponent twice in the face by jumping over it. Punch combos included a six punch combo, three straight, a backfist then two more straight punches.

Speeding up training meant only basic weapon training. Nothing advanced. Choosing a staff from all the weapons in his dojo, Cody could level up the staff the more he used it. Training with the staff for a brief period of time to get the hang of how it felt in his hands. Calling Maxine for his Black Belt grading, she came over to Cody’s house, following the GPS signal. Cody was tested on everything he knew, punches, kicks, throws, air throws, evasion techniques, meditation, Mist Form, the Cody Carousel (with Inverted Suplex finish), Staff techniques and kick counters.

Sophie watched his grading with great interest for she had never seen one. Witnessing his Mist Form, the Cody Carousel with Inverted Suplex finish, Staff techniques, everything he passed with flying colours and he did it while glowing white. Reaching into his sports bag, Kiri pulled out a brand new Black Belt. Handing it Cody, he saw the gleam in his eye and couldn’t be prouder of his student. “It’s time to teach you the final technique of Kiri Ninja, called the Izuna Drop. Are you ready?”

“I am ready to learn it” said Cody

Kiri proceeded to teach Cody the final technique (There are some secrets, only Kiri knows EVERY technique in Kiri Ninja) called the Izuna Drop. First explaining that the opponent has to be airborne for this move to be performed then further clarifying that after the opponent has been grabbed and turned upside down, spinning is optional. Calling upon Maxine to demonstrate, she obliged, knowing that Kiri would let her go in midair so she could land safely. Using a Bokken (Wooden sword) to use instead of his sharp Katana Blade, he launched Maxine with an upward stroke of the Bokken then jumping up and grabbing her and turning upside down, he held on for ½ a second before letting Maxine go so she could safely land on her feet. “That is the final technique you will learn in Kiri Ninja. Remember what I have taught you and use it wisely”

Thanking Kiri for all he had been taught, Cody mentioned that it was time for he and Sophie to enter the warren and have a talk to Patrick about the Bone Mountain, now present beside the warrens entrance. Watching Kiri and Maxine leave, the twins walked over the entrance side by side then said ‘Blood is thicker than water’ and watched the magic staircase appear. Descending the long staircase to meet Patrick and Sy’eera at the bottom, Patrick spoke first “What an unexpected surprise!”

“Cut it! We saw you the other night pretending to be boulders, luring unwary people out for a walk to your direction, eating them and spitting out their bones onto the pile” said Cody angrily.

Sophie was more cool headed “I have a better solution. The jail at the CPD is getting full so I thought ‘Why not bring the worst offenders here each week as a deal and you stop taking innocent travellers. What say you?”

Thinking about this deal for a moment, Sy’eera spoke “Your terms are acceptable. We will gladly take you up on it”

The small child vamp had learned its lesson, it didn’t try to jump out and bite either twin. Starting that night, Cody and Sophie each brought a murderer or someone just as bad from the jail to the warren each week. Patrick and Sy’eera had to ration the men otherwise they would starve. An arm on Monday, a leg on Tuesday, but they saved the head for Sunday. Keeping their end of the bargain, the vampire commune never again took another innocent life.

4 weeks later

Every day before work, Sophie would drop Tessa off at the downtown skatepark so she could watch everyone else. Everyone at the park signed her leg cast as well as the twins with phrases like ‘We miss you’, ‘Come back soon’, ‘You’re the bravest of us all’. When Tessa got her cast off, she wanted to keep it as memento. She came to the skatepark, with her board under her arm (the trucks were tightened now) and when all her friends saw her WALK through the front entrance, they were ecstatic to see Tessa up and about! She wanted to see if she was still as good as before, so trying a few simple tricks like the Ollie, the Frontside 180, the Backside 180 and the Pop Shuvit. Tessa was relieved to know she could still land those.

4 years later

When Victoria got released, she went straight back to the downtown skatepark where she was shunned for what she did to Tessa 4 years ago, no one had forgotten that dirty deed she pulled. Victoria was greeted with ‘Get lost’, ‘No one wants you here’, ‘Go home’. Almost in tears, Victoria turned around but when Tessa saw the toy eagle in her hand, she ran up to her saying “It’s been four years, if I can forgive you I’m sure the others will come around”. Then Tessa gave Victoria a hug, in front of everyone, then Vic burst into tears saying “I’m sorry, I really am.” Continuing to speak, Tessa said to the skatepark “There’s an old saying ‘To err is human, to forgive divine. I’ve forgiven her, can you find it in your hearts to do the same?” Feeling somewhat shamed by her wise words, they all approached Victoria and said “We can forgive you but you’ll have to change your ways if you want any of us to like you”. And that’s exactly what she did. She changed her ways and became someone they all wanted around as a friend and as a skater.



In the paint :- Anywhere within the keyway

The stripe :- The free throw line

Left/Right elbows :- Left or right side of the free throw line

Downtown :- Beyond the 3 point line

Cockback dunk :- The player with the ball in one hand brings it back beyond his shoulderline then proceeds to slam it

Tomahawk dunk :- Usually a two handed dunk. Holding the ball with two hands, the player rotates the ball in a 360 degree motion toward the basket before throwing it through the hoop


Frontside 180 Ollie :- An air or ollie where the skater and board spin a half rotation frontside. Take off going your normal stance and land switch

Backside 180 Ollie :- An air or ollie where the skater and board spin a half rotation backside. Take off going your normal stance and land switch

McTwist :- An air where the rider performs an inverted backside 540

Tailslide :- A slide where you ollie with the tail and land with the tail on the edge

Salad :- A 5-0 with the front truck is turned over the far side of the edge (at 45 degrees)

Crossbone :- An air grabbing the nose or heel edge with your front hand and tweaking the board towards your back with the back foot

Rocket Air :- An air where the skateboarder grabs the nose of the skateboard with both hands and at the same time and places both feet on the tail

900 :- An air or ollie where the skater and board spin two and a half rotations

Feeble :- The back truck grinds the edge while the front truck hangs over the top or on the far side if it is a rail

Backflip :- An air where the rider does a back flip with a grab and lands fakie

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