by: Jake Anderson
“As Above, So Below.”
Yellowstone Magic fans see these words as more than a slogan. It’s a mantra, a philosophy, an aesthetic. There’s beauty in balance, in symmetry. Losses follow Wins, good follows bad. What comes up must come down and vice-versa.
The Magic had a brush with greatness in Season 14. The team placed second in the regular season, made it to the Mild League championship, and had a stellar Election that seemed to set it up for future success. In other words, it got a glimpse of what it’s like Above.
Time for some Below.
Yellowstone finished Season 15 with 53 Wins and 46 Losses, missing the Playoffs. This may seem lackluster in light of the high expectations fans had at the start of the season, but the fact that the team managed a winning record at all is a testament to its resilience in the face of a savage series of events.
A difficult season was almost assured thanks to a brutal schedule. The Magic played 12 games against the titanic Baltimore Crabs and 12 against the mighty Canada Moist Talkers. To be fair, the Magic also had 15 games against the Seattle Garages, whose dismal season made Yellowstone’s look like a walk in the (national) Park. Regardless, scheduling woes would soon be the least of the Magic’s problems.
On Day 2, playing against the Crabs, Yellowstone’s Wyatt Glover caught a flyout hit by the recently-deceased York Silk.
The Crabs brought Silk back from the dead at the end of Season 14. Necromancy has consequences. Catching Silk’s hit caused Glover to be Observed. By whom? Nobody knows.
After Day 4, Glover vanished from the Magic’s lineup. They had been Redacted. The nature of Redaction is unclear, but Glover is gone, at least for now. It’s the latest development in a fraught career, which has seen Glover change names, be subjected to three failed exploratory surgeries, change positions, change teams, learn to eat fire, become a Credit to the Team, get sent to the Shadows, and return for just four games before Redaction.
There was some good news— Yellowstone batters Eizabeth Elliot and Oscar Dollie both returned after long trips Elsewhere. They would be replaced by Francisco Preston, one of the strongest batters in the Magic’s lineup, who was swept away during game 29. Preston would return on Day 93.
In Game 30, playing the Crabs again, Magic fan-favorite Chorby Short became Observed after catching a ground out from Silk. In game 33 Short hit a two-run homer before they, too, were Redacted.
Things calmed down a bit in the Midseason. More Yellowstone players fell under Observation but managed to avoid Redaction. Fans funded a whopping three improvements to the Stadium. A Grind Rail is the magnificent centerpiece of the new Yellowstone National Skatepark within Yellowstone National Ballpark within Yellowstone National Ballpark. The Park has more birds now, and the team was one of many around the League to build a Secret Base.
This, too, would have consequences.
Yellowstone Magic batter Kurt Crueller became Observed during game 75. On Day 78, while playing at home against the Pies, Crueller entered the Magic’s Secret Base. They didn’t come out. At first, it appeared they had been redacted, but moments later Crueller emerged from another Secret Base in Charleston’s Choux Stadium. Crueller had a new Modification — Attractor. Its exact properties are unknown, but it appears that Crueller can emerge from the Secret Base in any Stadium. If Crueller scores, they will join the Lineup of whatever team they scored it for.
The Charleston Shoe Thieves did not score a Run, and Crueller vanished again. They have not been seen since.
To make matters worse for the Magic, it appears building Stadium Renovations attracts the attention of hungry Consumers. Late in the season, the Consumers Attacked the Magic’s Eizabeth Elliot and Tiana Wheeler, causing significant stat drains.
The team battered and depleted, Magic fans attempted to regain some lost ground during the Election, with mixed success. The Infuse Blessing has made Inky Rutelidge a significantly better pitcher. The Afterparty Blessing gives the team a shot at much-needed stat boosts in Season 16, and the Dirty Bulk Blessing has turned Tiana Wheeler into a more formidable batter.
However, an attempt to rescue Chorby Short was unsuccessful. Fans tried to use the Plunder blessing to steal Short back from wherever Redacted players go. This did not work. Short instead gained the Unstable mod — making them more likely to be Incinerated. They did not return to Yellowstone’s roster. The Modification was accompanied by the following message:
Yellowstone enters Season 16 with an uncertain future. If it can recover its Redacted players it could reclaim its place near the top of the standings— but for now, that seems unlikely. The team will have to persevere Below for a while, waiting until the inevitable moment when it gets another chance to rise Above.