(Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all of the episodes by clicking on the tag.)
Pommel horse, vaulting horse, parallel bars, basketball hoops, climbing ropes, dumbbells, a rack of Indian clubs on the wall, a medicine ball, padded mats on a portion of the floor….but mostly…space, scads of empty space with a very high ceiling, with old fashioned hanging light fixtures.
Abe and Iglesia were following Rogers into the gym, Abe was trying to estimate the height of the ceiling when Rogers whipped around and kicked him very hard, squarely in the testicles. Pinning them to Abe’s pelvic floor with the top of his foot and crushing them. Abe dropped to the floor and curled into a ball from the literally crushing blow. So hard that even Iglesia had flinched and clenched as she stood there in shock for a split second, before she launched into a vicious full body sweep of Rogers’ legs….which of course passed right through the very foot that Rogers had just used to try to emasculate Abe.
She shrugged as she gathered herself and sprung to her feet, hey, she had never tried a sweep on him, and you never knew til you tried. She looked down at Abe, who wore a very strange and almost comical expression of completely mixed emotion on his face. Iglesia analyzed it as part shock, part surprise, part pain….and a huge amount of….relief. Then Abe was unexpectedly rising to his feet. Unexpectedly because the last time she had kicked a guy there, that hard, (about two weeks ago) he still hadn’t uncurled from the fetal ball even when they were loading him into the ambulance. Which she had been in no hurry to call. But then again, her elbow striking the nerve ganglia at the back of the perps neck right afterward, as he was doubling over, might have influeced his decision as well.
Not only was Abe getting up…he was smiling! And now he was laughing as he swung his foot up in the same smooth motion that Rogers had used towards…and into….just as hard….Rogers testicles. Rogers did NOT go ‘transparent,’ but instead took the blow full on in the balls….and just winked.
“How did you do that?” Abe giggled, “why didn’t it hurt? When you slapped me back in the corridor, I remember it hurting, hurting more than it should have, come to think of it!”
“I cheated,” smirked Rogers.
“Snort,” from Iglesia, of course.
“You two have had occasion to observe enough of me,” Abe and Iglesia shot glances at each other, both with a raised right eyebrow, as the scene of the two Roger’s… forgotten in the intensity of their meeting…. leapt back in to their respective minds, raising multiple questions…. “and my, shall we say, skills, to comprehend that the rules of the phenomenal world function differently in this place….”
“You have some interesting, um… tricks, for sure,” Abe interrupted, “But…”
Rogers raised his voice to continue, “As I thought…you have perceived what you have observed as something unique to me. But I quite earnestly wish to assure you…as Iglesia discovered earlier while er, getting dressed, that you two share those very same abilities, here in this place, that I possess. In point of fact, they are essential to your mission. In point of fact, that is precisely why we have traveled in such a circuitous and elusive fashion to this very location. To give you both time to develop and train those skills in as secure an environment as possible, before you must make use of them. Your continued existence will most certainly depend on your mastery of them. You see…”
Iglesia whipped her leg forward and up as fast as she could, not holding anything back, aiming to connect with Rogers groin. A full commitment kick, containing all her frustrated fury at him. She didn’t care if it hurt him or not, she just wanted contact, finally. Such was the ferocity and emotional commitment of her kick, that when it passed right through him….yet again, the unanticipated follow through lifted her off of her feet and landed her on her ass.