The bout resumed its familiar pattern, the rolling wave aggression of Double-J crashing onto Rex’s spidery defenses, neither fencer leaving enough of an opening to allow his opponent to score. After trading off-target hits (an attack landing on Rex’s bicep, a riposte clattering against Double-J’s mask), Dan stepped away from the microphone, addressed his students: “We’re already past time. One more conversation, then I’m calling it.”
Rex nodded. “Understood.”
Double-J shook his head. “Whatever.”
Rune looked around the stands as he waited for the bout to continue. His eye caught a figure standing at court level, in front of the freshmen section. He peered at the figure closely, and recognized the girl he seen standing before.
Dan heard the crowd noise fading quickly, like an engine running out of fuel. This bout needed to end, now. He brought his palms together, his command to fence more an order than a request.
Double-J changed his strategy, running forward in a fleche attack similar to the one executed before by Rex, his tip aimed at his opponent’s left shoulder. The tall teen stepped to the side, swung his foil to parry the attack he expected — but did not arrive. Double-J pulled his arm back when he saw the parry coming, reached his hand back behind his head, the blade making a tight circle that began on his right side and ended on his left, the red plastic tip sweeping around and landing on top of Rex’s right shoulder.
The surprise move elicited a subdued exclamation from the remaining interest among the student body. Coach Dan’s command to halt came simultaneously with an excited yell from Double-J. Annie’s arm shot upward, as Rex let his shoulders and head droop forward.
“Attack from my left!” Dan’s voice exploded into the microphone, shot forth from the loudspeakers. He pointed to Annie, who confirmed the valid touch, then announced the final score of three to his left, two on the right. “Double-J is the winner of our short exhibition bout!”