Caution: This Young Adult Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Teenagers, Consensual, Heterosexual, Fiction, Science Fiction, Polygamy/Polyamory, Slow,
Desc: Young Adult Sex Story: Chapter 1 - What would you do if you had a couple of embarrassing sexual 'kinks' but still wanted to go into space to fight the swarm? Toby was in just such a dilemma. However when a friend got into trouble, he just put that all to one side to help, even though his father got the opportunity to go, and to include him. Was he better off by staying?
I am lying on the grass in Hyde Park in central London, not far from the Serpentine. It’s a beautiful day, tomorrow is my seventeenth birthday, and for some reason it feels like my life has just got far more complicated. How?
Well, I have just taken the CAP test and got a score of 7·7, which you’ll have to admit is pretty good for someone of my age. The problem is, I have three kinks in my life which have the potential to make life very awkward for me. And this was where my quandary lay.
As my birthday is at the end of August, I am one of, if not the youngest in my school year. Normally my dad tries to take the day of my birthday off as a holiday and then extends it to the August bank holiday weekend. This year my birthday fell on the Tuesday after the bank holiday, but due to some last minute complications at work he was going to have to work on that day. This disappointed us all, so for the bank holiday itself, as it was such a glorious day we had gone into the city centre and to Hyde Park.
It was as we were walking along Oxford Street that we had spotted a Confederacy recruiting centre. There was a lot of low-level worry and talk in the press, but in general the Confederacy was pretty much ignored. It wouldn’t be too long before that would all change very drastically, but for now, people were pretty much neutral.
As none of us had a CAP card, me, both my parents and my elder sister all decided to try our hand at the test and see if we could ‘win’ one. Yes, I know that’s not the way it really is, but that’s the way we saw it, understood it, at the time.
Two guys were sitting there looking incredibly bored. It’s illegal in the UK for any form of shouter to be outside any shop to try and persuade people to come in. It doesn’t matter what sort of shop or establishment, the only type of advertising has to be static boards. Sandwich boards carried by people are allowed, but the carriers themselves are not allowed to advertise or to ‘call’, just walk. That’s all very different for a temporary, licensed, market stall, but this was a shop.
Oxford Street was incredibly busy, even for a bank holiday when legally all shops except the smallest have to stick to Sunday trading laws. That is, they could open for no more than six hours, starting not earlier than ten in the morning and closing not later than five in the afternoon. Despite the bustle, the Confederacy ‘shop’ was empty of customers.
The two men looked up when we walked in and stood, welcoming us with broad smiles.
“Hello,” said Dad. “How do we go about getting these cards?”
“No worries,” said one who had a broad Australian accent. “Hello, I’m Alasdair. Come on in, we can do three at a time. Sorry but the fourth will have to wait until the first is finished.”
Dad looked a bit puzzled.
“These are only small premises,” we were told, “and there’s only room for three testing machines.”
“Oh, I see,” Dad answered, his frown almost vanishing. “Okay then, Toby, you go first,” he said, addressing me, “it’s your birthday.”
The second Confederacy official, who had spoken only to give his name, Tom, looked it me in slightly puzzled interest. “You turned fourteen today?”
I shook my head. “Seventeen, tomorrow.”
“Ah,” his slight puzzlement cleared. “Oh. You should really have taken it before now you know.”
I shook my head. This was something I really did know something about. “Nah. You forget, it’s not a legal requirement in this country. In your country,” for he had a very distinct American accent, “I know it’s a requirement, but not here. Anyway,” I grinned, “I’m here now.”
I knew some of the others in my year at school had CAP cards, but most didn’t, or at least, weren’t admitting to it. I knew of one girl with a failing score, about a 5·5 I think, and I knew of a few boys with passing scores. But out of about a hundred and sixty in the year, only eighteen had, or admitted to having, a card and a score.
I was led to a funny looking thing that looked a little bit like one of those sit in video game machines, except this seemed to be a bit more enclosed.
There was a comfortable chair and a computer screen in front of me. There was no keyboard, however Tom lifted a helmet off the floor and gently fitted it over my head.
“Comfortable?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded. The weight of the helmet was uncomfortable when I moved my head, so I just lay back a little and tried to relax.
“Good. Just be yourself.”
I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by ‘be yourself’, and it worried me a little. He closed the door and a few moments later I heard a voice. “Welcome to the Confederacy CAP testing process. The first few questions are just to identify yourself and to get a level of brain activity. Brains are all unique. No two people will have exactly the same brain wave patterns for the same question and answer. By asking some standard questions, we can get a standardised reading of your brainwave patterns. Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes,” I said.
The accent was definitely English, but I couldn’t place it. It was a soft voice and at first I wasn’t even sure whether I was talking to a man or a woman. I started off being asking what day today was, what the date was, and even what colour the sky was. I was asked if I could calculate the cube-root of 343. When I came back with seven with hardly a pause, he, for by now I had decided it was a man’s voice, paused for a longer time then began asking me more and more complex maths questions. Fairly quickly I told him I couldn’t do the maths in my head, but I could do it easily with a piece of paper and a pencil, and told him how I would do it. I was asked a little bit about myself and my family, and then I was told I was going to be asked three simple questions, and I wasn’t permitted to answer any of them until all three had been asked. After asking the questions, I was then told I had to lie on one of them and tell the truth on the other two, but not say which was which. I paused and gave my three answers. “No,” I hadn’t seen my sister naked in the last six months, “No,” I didn’t have a crush on any of my teachers, and “Yes,” I did want to go into space. After those three there was a pause before I had been told that I was lying when I’d said I didn’t have a crush on any of my teachers.
Smiling, and slightly embarrassed, I’d had to agree. I had been asked my name, age, date of birth, national insurance number - which as it happened I couldn’t remember, where I lived, what I did for hobbies etc. I was asked about my schooling. What I liked, “Maths, physics, science in general, IT.” What I hated. “All my English teachers, sports.” What I’d had difficulties with, “History, English literature, French.” And what I’d found easy, “Art, maths, science, geography.” This seemed to go on for quite a long time, and some of the questions seemed really weird. I was even asked whether I was still a virgin. I was.
I think I was hypnotised next, because I seemed to be in some very odd situations. Looking back I can vaguely remember a burning building, an old lady, and possibly a baby or a dog. Then I seemed to be playing three-dimensional chess and losing badly. Except that somehow I knew there was no such thing. Then I seemed to be actually doing some of those maths questions I had been asked at the start. And more. After that I was walking down a road near to where I lived. Naked. Then I wasn’t naked. Quite. I was wearing just underwear. My mother’s underwear. Except that I also ‘knew’ she didn’t have such skimpy underwear. Then it wasn’t me wearing them; it was a younger woman who I couldn’t quite make out. I just knew I didn’t recognise her, yet we seemed to be talking about mutual friends. Then I seemed to be having a chat with an elderly woman I had easily recognised as my grandmother. Yet both my grandmothers had died before my older sister had been born.
Then it was all over and I was led, slightly shakily, back to a chair. “Here,” said Tom, and gave me a glass of water. Mum and Joanne were already finished, though it looked like Joanne had not been out long. Dad wasn’t around, so I guessed, and quickly had it confirmed, that Dad was in the machine.
“Well that was weird,” I muttered. I opened my mouth to try and talk about it and found myself taking a drink instead.
Alasdair smiled slightly. “You won’t remember anything about the test itself within a few hours or so, and maybe even quicker depending on what you go and do next. Also, while you do remember it, you won’t be able to talk about it.”
“Do we get a card?” asked Mum.
“They are just being prepared now. You can wait until your husband comes out if you want?”
Mum paused and then nodded. “Can I know mine?” I asked hopefully.
“Wait until Greg is here darling,” Mum said softly. “Let’s do it all together. Okay?”
I shrugged, slightly disappointed.
“That’s not always a good idea,” Tom told us. “In some cases it can be better to get them on your own. In private.”
Alasdair looked up at the ceiling, then down again a few moments later. “These’ll be fine. The AI thinks they’ll be better off having the reveal as a family.”
Tom also looked up, then down again and nodded his agreement.
“What was that?” I asked.
Tom gave a smug smile. “I was talking to the AI.”
“AI?” Asked Joanne.
“Artificial intelligence,” she was told. “Think incredibly powerful computer, really, really incredibly powerful computer, and you won’t even be one percent of the way there.”
We sat in silence and I closed my eyes and concentrated on remembering as much as I could about the test, and wondering what the few bits I did still remember might mean.
After a few minutes, Tom handed us some leaflets. “Have a read of these,” he told us. “They’ll give you some idea of what you might be expected to do if you are collected by the Confederacy.”
When Dad came out some while later, we were all a little bored, but no one else had come in. Tom and Alasdair, both it transpired only recent extractees themselves, answered a few questions, but for the most part just suggested we read the papers we had been given, and to ignore rumour and speculation on the internet and in the press.
Dad sat down, was given a drink of water, and a few minutes later Tom came over with our cards.
“Are you sure you want to take them as a group, not individually?” he asked.
“Whatever,” said Dad.
“All together,” Mum said, frowning at Dad.
“Okay. Lowest score first. Joanne. You got a 5·3. This means you are not sponsor material, you would be the concubine of some other sponsor.”
My twenty-three year old sister looked a bit downhearted, but it has to be said, none of us were overly surprised.
“Next, Hillary, you have a 6·1. I’m afraid you too will be a concubine, but with that score you could, should, be head concubine, and probably head of the household when your sponsor is away. It somewhat depends on your sponsor though.”
“Next is Toby,” he looked at me. “For your age, this is spectacular. You have a 7·7 CAP. This means you get to be a sponsor, and with that score you would have four concubines, and you would probably be either an NCO or possibly even a junior officer after your initial training.
“Greg. Only just higher than your son. You have a 7·9. You will likely have a similar start, and you will have a similar number of concubines.” He paused and looked at all our somewhat shocked faces. Smiling a little, he asked, “do you have any other under fourteen year old dependents?”
Mum and Dad both shook their heads.
“In that case, if and when you are collected, you may well all be in different homes. You almost certainly won’t stay together, and it’s also possible that you will never see each other again after you are collected.”
“Even if we were all collected together?”
“Even then,” replied Alasdair. “At the least you would be in two different homes, as you have two sponsors.” He looked at Joanne. “And would you really want to be the concubine of your father or brother?”
Both she and Dad shook their heads. “No.” Said Dad as Joanne said “Not a chance.”
Oddly Mum looked both relieved and disappointed.
“So that’s a minimum of three different homes.” He looked at Dad. “If you and your wife are collected together, that’s an instant divorce. There’s no requirement for you two to stay together.”
“But we can if we want to?” asked Mum.
“If you both want to, then yes. But you do have to both want to.” Twice he emphasised the word ‘both’.
Dad nodded. “So it’s true. Well I do want my wife, if she’ll come with me.” He looked at Mum. “I’m still in love with you.”
Mum gave a huge smile and hugged Dad. “And I still love you,” she whispered. Given the huge rows they regularly had, that surprised me a little, but I said nothing. Oddly I was actually quite relieved, though I wasn’t sure why.
“Well,” said Tom with a smile. “You just have to hope you are together when you are collected.”
“And if we’re not?” asked Mum.
“Then either you will end up with another sponsor, or you have to decline the invitation. That’s perfectly acceptable, but there’s never any guarantee that you might be around at any subsequent collection. They are never announced, and they are never in the same place twice.”
“Oh,” said Mum.
Dad looked a little upset, but he nodded his understanding.
We slowly stood, and they both shook all our hands on the way out. “Good luck,” they told us.
We left the shop slowly and continued on our way to Hyde Park. So here I am, lying on the grass in the sunshine not many feet from the Serpentine, and pondering my future and wondering what it will bring.
It was a thoughtful and pensive group that had left the shop, but it was now over an hour later and it was quite obvious that apart from some little snippets, we had all but forgotten the CAP test.
“Would you like an ice cream Toby?” I heard Mum ask.
I sat up. “Yeah, please.” And almost like that the remainder of my memories of the CAP test started to vanish and I stopped worrying. The rest of the day was a wonderfully relaxing day. By the time we got home it was almost midnight and we were all tired, but happy. I put my card on the little bedside shelf and forgot about it.
The following Monday, seven days later, I was back at school for the start of my final year, the second of my A-level years. I would be taking my A-levels at the end of the following May, and had chosen maths, physics, chemistry, and had had geometric and engineering drawing almost foisted upon me as my fourth option. I would have liked to have taken further maths, but the timetables didn’t allow it. In any case, I was certain I wasn’t nearly good enough. IT would have been my second choice, but the time table didn’t allow for that either, not with the rest of my options, and I definitely did not want to do a soft science: sociology or psychology; nor a language. The fifth ‘A’ level, the mandatory subject which everyone did and most failed, was General Studies This was basically a little bit of everything else. For me it included art, history, geography, English language and literature, drama, music, and French. For others the language might be Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin or Cantonese, Arabic, or even Russian. For the non-scientists it included the sciences, but excluded what they would be taking as their core subjects. Everyone hated it, very few people studied, and to the extreme frustration of the teachers, more than half failed the final exams.
I was silently extremely pleased when I found out who my subject teachers were for the year, and ecstatic when I found out who my form teacher was.
Miss Clarke, actually Mrs Clarke but all female teachers were always Miss, would be both my maths teacher and my form teacher. She had been my maths teacher last year as well, so it was pretty much a given that she would have been this year as well, just for the continuity. But for her to also be my form teacher was, to me, just the icing on the cake.
I told you at the start I had three little kinks. Well Mrs Clarke was one of them. She was a tall raven-haired beauty with dark brown eyes, a stunning figure, a smooth, almost unlined face, and a small but distinct bust. Her voice was almost musical and on the few occasions she really smiled, her whole face just lit up. I fancied her rotten. I was desperately in lust with her. I had sneaked a few pictures of her on my mobile when no-one was looking; and wanked over those pictures all the time, even though they were of poor quality and really did not do her justice, did not show her at her best. She had a stunning figure and the few times I had seen her with her hair down, she looked positively beautiful. Normally she had her hair up in a tight bun, which made her face look somewhat stern. She rarely smiled and could be a hard taskmaster, but always seemed to be offering praise to those who truly deserved it. Plus me.
The maths she had given me last year hadn’t exactly been difficult, so it was easy for me to keep up, yet she still praised me. Most of the others in the class had harder stuff that they had more trouble doing. I never actually saw what they were doing, yet I knew the rest of the group was more advanced than I was. I liked maths, but wasn’t truly good at it, and what she did give me to do was easy and straightforward. Yet still she praised me. I wondered whether I would catch up at all this year; what this year’s maths lessons would be like.
For physics and chemistry I was in with the main groups, neither trailing nor leading, but those particular teachers always seemed to complain that we were all slow, behind, not advancing enough and likely to fail unless we pulled our socks up. Naturally no one truly liked those teachers, yet we still tried our hardest.
On our first day back we all trooped into our new classroom. Mrs Clarke was waiting for us all. I frowned. She seemed a little up-tight about something.
She smiled grimly at us all, checked the register, then paused. Oddly there was one person missing but she made no comment on it. Not even the usual tart comments about being late on the first day of school.
“Okay. Who got a CAP card over the summer holidays?”
At first no one moved, then one lad slowly and hesitantly raised his hand, so I did too. A few moments later there were six hands raised. Four boys and two girls.
“Six of you. Hmm. Okay, so who else has one? Who had one before the end of last term?”
Another four people raised their hands. I’d known of three of them, but not the fourth. There were now three girls with raised hands, including a girl I hadn’t known about at the end of the summer term.
“Okay. Keep your hands UP if you have a score ABOVE 6·4. Slowly one boy and two girls lowered their hands.
She nodded. “Now lower your arm if you have a score below 7·0, so 6·5 to 6·9.”
There was now just me and one other boy with raised arms.
When she asked us to keep arms up with eight or more, we both lowered our arms.
She nodded to me. “I don’t want to know your actual score, but 7·5 and above?” she asked.
She turned to the other boy. “You?”
He shook his head, “no, er, seven to 7·4.” Andy was well known for being a bit of a smart-arse. Mind you, he also freely admitted to being a ‘bit of a gobby bell-end’. His words.
Mrs Clarke gave a slight smile. “Okay.” She started handing out our individual lesson timetables, letting us absorb our lesson plans for a few moments, then spoke up.
“Right. First lesson today is cancelled.” I could see from the schedule it was general studies, so I breathed a sigh of relief. When I checked the timetable properly though, I realised it was a double, so it probably wasn’t totally cancelled.
“Miss,” someone shouted out. “It’s games this afternoon. I didn’t know and I’ve not brought my kit.”
“It was assumed most people wouldn’t,” Mrs Clarke said dryly. “So games is also cancelled. Instead you have a double form period. The first half will be with me, the second with Mr Gomal.” I was pleased about the first, not so much the second. Mr Gomal was a physics teacher, one who almost turned me off physics in my first and second year, years seven and eight, when I was eleven and twelve. Fortunately I hadn’t had him since.
“Those of you who do NOT have a CAP card, you are to go to the main hall. Those of you who do have one, please stay here for a few minutes.”
When the rest had left, she asked the ten remaining to all come forwards and sit closer.
“Have you all got your cards with you?”
I shook my head while everyone else nodded. She stared at me. “You should really carry it with you at all times. Particularly as you do have a qualifying score.”
“All right Miss, sorry.”
“Right, you all have a CAP card and more importantly, a score. Do you all know what that means? What your score means?”
For the next twenty minutes or so she went through what I later realised was a lesson of sorts. Telling us some of what we needed to know to at least start to prepare for a possible life in the Confederacy. Most of it had been on the papers I had read in the shop, but some was new. “Education is still important,” she told us, “so whether you are sponsor or concubine, you still need to concentrate on your lessons, and try and do well. For you concubines, I don’t know your scores, and I certainly don’t know enough about the testing process, but it’s always possible that you may be able to re-test at a later date and get a better score. So you concubines also need to study hard. Even if you can’t, you need to find some way of supporting whoever takes you as a concubine. For his or her sake, you still need education, if only to make your sponsor’s life easier.”
She went on for a bit longer, and when she had finished she looked at her watch. “Okay, we’ve still got a couple of minutes before you need to join the rest, so does anyone have any questions?”
“Have you got a card Miss?” one of the boys asked.
She just smiled, but didn’t answer. “Anything else?”
“Is it true,” asked one of the two girls that had admitted to having a score less than 6·5, “that female concubines are basically sex slaves?”
“Well,” began Mrs Clarke, “some people will definitely tell you that, but officially your job is to support your sponsor and raise his children. I don’t know what life will really be like, but in some ways it will be much harder, in other ways maybe easier.”
“Or her children,” said the one girl with a qualifying score.
Mrs Clarke nodded at her. “As you quite correctly say Talulah, or indeed her children if your sponsor is a woman.”
“So as a sponsor I would marry four women?” I asked.
“Not marry as we understand it, but yes, you will have an agreement, a contract if you will, with them. But as on Earth, I’m quite sure it would be possible to divorce them as well.”
There were no more questions and we were shooed out to go to the main hall.
I think we had all been expecting the rest to have been having some sort of lecture on the perils of not having a card, but when we got there it turned out that it had simply been a free period for them. I silently exulted as I realised that we would miss the whole of the double General Studies lesson. They had just sat and talked amongst themselves about the holidays, speculating what we might have been doing, with a few teachers making sure they didn’t all get too rowdy or cause trouble.
All the sixth form classes were there, years twelve and thirteen, so somewhere around three-hundred and fifty or so sixteen and seventeen-year-olds.
After a short wait the head master strode onto the stage. He stood and waited, and within probably no more than fifteen seconds, ninety-five percent of us were sitting looking at him quietly, waiting for the last few to settle down. These, naturally, were the troublemakers and those who thought they were too good to be in school, those who didn’t want to be here and resented it, and more to the point, didn’t care who knew it. Eventually even they settled down when a few of the other kids started shushing them.
“It took you long enough,” he said coldly. “Stewart, Kidds, Raphson. I’m still watching you three.” He looked at the rest of us. “Sports.”
There was a mix of groans and soft cheers, at which Mr Lewison smiled slightly. He was a slightly tubby man who taught modern history. So from about 1925 onwards. He had last taught me over a year ago and had got me to a B in my history GCSE. It was well known that although he encouraged sports amongst the pupils, it was more because he had to than because he himself was interested.
“There is a slight change this year. This term you all have to do a team sport. There is no cross-country, and there is no swimming. We have three new teachers in the school this year, all of whom, in addition to their primary subject, are qualified sports teachers.
“In addition to the usual football and rugby for the boys and netball for the girls, we will be adding hockey for both boys and girls. In addition, if there are enough takers, both football and rugby will also be available for the girls. You must all choose a sport.” I noticed teachers handing small piles of paper to the pupils at the end of each row. They took one and passed the rest along.
“When you get your choices slip, put a ‘1’ next to your first choice, a two next to your second, a 3 next to your third choice, and so on. Boys, you put a ‘4’ next to net-ball.” He paused for a moment, then added heavily. “And don’t forget to put your name and form at the top.”
I got my sheet and looked at it despondently. I hated football. Both playing and watching. I loved watching rugby but hated playing it. I didn’t mind playing cricket, but that was a summer sport. My preferences were swimming first, I wasn’t very good at it but at least it was indoors, and for cross-country running. This I was quite good at. I rarely won, but usually came in the top three or four for my year.
I didn’t know much about hockey, so I put a 1 there. I may have hated football, but it was a less physically demanding game than rugby, so that got the 2 and rugby got the 3.
“I hate football,” I whispered to the boy next to me. “Just a bunch of fucking lawn-fairies.”
He scowled at me and I remembered that last year he been one of the lead players for the schools second team, he would almost certainly be in the first team this year. “Piss off Simpson,” he growled. “You’re just a fucking wuss.”
“At least I can run faster than you,” I muttered quietly, then smiled to myself as I realised I could probably actually say that to him, knowing he wouldn’t be able to catch me if I then ran for it. I didn’t say it though; I wasn’t quite that stupid.
The rest of the day went smoothly and quietly enough, and I gently lusted over Mrs Clarke during the two lessons I had with her that day. Two mornings later I discovered I was doing rugby.
“Fuck,” I groused, looking at the sheet on the notice board.
“What?” someone next to me, also looking at the board, asked me.
“I’ve gotta play fucking rugby. I fucking hate playing rugby. Do I fucking look like a fucking rugby player.” When I was annoyed my use of the word ‘fuck’ went up exponentially.
“Well,” he said, looking at me speculatively. “You could be a back or a winger. Are you any good at running?”
“There you go then.”
“I’m a cross-country runner, not a sprinter.”
“Oh. Well, that just means you have stamina. So maybe not a winger, maybe a back, number twelve or thirteen.”
I shook my head. “Don’t have the speed. My size suggests the number ten position, fly half, but I don’t have the skill or knowledge for that. I’m not chunky enough for the props, so I usually end up being the hooker, right in the centre of the pack.”
“The number two?”
I nodded, furious and depressed. “If I’m really lucky I get the number six position, one of the second row flankers, but I’m just as likely to get the number four, one of the locks, which I hate almost as much as the number two.” I loved watching it, but I hated playing rugby.
My first games lesson was the following Monday. And of course, despite being early September and still, theoretically, warm; it was raining and windy. I was surprised. With seven years in the school, both sixth form years had games at the same time. So around, or a little over, three hundred pupils, yet out of that there were only about thirty pupils, boys and girls, huddled around the rugby posts, waiting for the teacher or teachers.
My heart sank when I saw who it was. I hated Mr Miley with a passion. He was a geography teacher, and ever since I had told him, about three years ago, that I knew where most countries in the world were, and what did I need geography for, he had despised me. My standing in the class had gone up a little amongst the pupils, but I had had after school detention every day for a week afterwards. And he had failed my class work. Luckily I had passed my end of year exams, and my GCSE the following year. I had then dropped it for my A-levels and had hoped to never have to come near him again.
There were fourteen boys and fourteen girls out, so we were split into two separate games of seven-a-side rugby. I was happier with that. There was less tackling, the scrums were smaller so I was less likely to do myself any mischief, and though there was more running - it was played on the same size pitch as a fifteens game, I was a runner anyway so I didn’t mind that too much.
Since there was only one pitch set up for rugby, the boys were sent to sit on the side lines while the girls played for about thirty minutes. When they had finished, they were sent back to get showered and dressed again, while we went on to play. When they came out again, they came to stand on the side of the pitch, but Mr Miley told them they could finish a little early and go home as it was raining. If they wanted. Most headed off, but a couple stayed on for a while, watching the boys.
I was on the losing team, but we only lost 15-13, three trys, to two trys and a penalty, so it could have been a lot worse. Oddly, I found I enjoyed it. It had been fun watching the girls play. On multiple levels. It was almost, but not quite, sexy; on the other hand it had been hilarious watching their uncoordinated incompetence. All the boys had had to play rugby for at least one term before now, usually more than that, but the girls had never played. I’d played in years seven to nine, two terms all three years. Since then I’d had the option of cross country which I had taken, so I’d never played rugby since. At least I knew the rules and knew the techniques, even if I was no good at them.