This was written June 2018. I'll post the original author's notes below. Do not have the spoons to try to re-explain this one. Sorry that the author's notes are so long-winded, dang my dude. For what it's worth I could still pick this up as mentioned below but the chances of me doing so are slim compared to literally anything else I've written and could pick back up and write more.
gosh, how do i even explain this. uh, if you're here thanks for giving this a chance? this is such like a, niche thing, i'm pretty sure i'm the only person this would appeal to, i wrote this entirely for myself and i'm posting it purely because i can. i couldn't get the idea of this kinda au for zexal out of my head and before i knew it i was planning out who would fit where in my head, making these people go through practice in my head, and well...just kinda started writing it to keep myself going.
So, what is 'this', you may ask? I'm set to graduate from college soon, but when I was in middle + high school I was in this fun little intracurricular club called FFA, and there were tons of competitions, and the one I competed in the most in high school (it was high school only, at least back then), and my second favorite competition (after...meat judging, which i got first place in for the state competition during my like, second year of doing it, and then I wasn't allowed to do it anymore) was Parliamentary Procedure. I actually really like Parliamentary Procedure and I couldn't really begin to explain why? Or like, explain it at all. Parli Pro was a lot of fun, we had some good team bonding back in the day and we worked hard but had a lot of fun, too, and maybe I'm just kinda nostalgic lately, but I almost miss it a little. The Zexal kids, I felt like, would have a lot of fun with it barring that Parli Pro is super hard and there's no way in a normal world they'd actually be interested, but like, my AU I can make them do what I want so there?
And I knew what you were thinking the second I said 'FFA'! FFA isn't farmers only (dot com) anymore, it doesn't stand for 'Future Farmers of America' at all anymore, it doesn't stand for anything! It's just 'FFA'! FFA focuses on both agriculture and leadership now, you don't have to be a big farm person for it, heck, I certainly wasn't! I didn't turn the Zexal kids into big farming kids to make this AU work, I didn't have to! Although, learning a lot of knowledge about agriculture comes with the territory, but like, Yuma doesn't have a dairy farm here or anything! We're just (mostly) doing Parli Pro here! and to make things clear this is all based on american high school and not japanese school at all, because like, man i'm tired this is just for fun maybe one person will read this anyway just let me live.
and to end off this whole long thing, i'm sorry this is so long, in my obsessive thoughts about this i did in fact figure out a bit of a plot of sorts so while i won't make guarantees, i could easily pick this back up and continue it at some point. it's your worst nightmare, i know. man this note is super long lol sorry, if you're still with me here, ...enjoy...?
Their minute to look over their cards was over. Yuma glanced at the clock. 3:10. They had ten minutes to do this. Okay, Yuma, time to feel the flow. He tapped his gavel once. Everyone around him sat down in their seats. He tapped his gavel twice more.
"Is there any new further new business that should be brought up at this time?" he asked, trying to recite the question from memory. The words might not be exactly right, but he was close. He sat down his gavel on the podium and picked up his pencil. This would quickly become a numbers game.
"Mister Chair!" All five of his teammates stood up at the same time and called for his attention, but Yuma's sights set on one person.
"I move that three of our members attend the state leadership conference," Shark stated flatly as everyone else except Yuma sat down.
Quattro stood up. "I second the motion." He sat down.
"It has been moved and seconded that three of our members attend the state leadership conference," Yuma announced carefully, reading off the tiny card in front of him. He looked up at everyone else. "Is—"
"Mr. Chair!" Kite flew up from his seat, gripping the desk in front of him. "I object to the consideration of this question!"
Oh, boy. Yuma hesitated for a second as Kite sat down. Quinton was scribbling fiercely on a piece of paper to the side, but briefly paused to raise his eyebrows at Yuma. Yuma started talking. "There has been an objection to the consideration of the question. The...the question is, shall we consider the mo—" Yuma closed his eyes briefly. "—the question? All in favor of considering the question, raise your hand."
Kite was the only one not in favor of consideration, everyone else voted against him. Yuma tapped his gavel.
"Motion failed. We shall consider the question. Is there any discussion?" Yuma put down his gavel carefully once more and made a little mark on his card. One objective down, many more to go.
"Mr. Chair." Every one of his teammates stood up again, but Yuma called on Shark again, remembering to let the maker of the motion discuss first. He made another mark on his card.
"I made this motion because I believe this is a great opportunity for our members." Shark sounded bored, he wasn't into this at all. "The conference holds workshops every year that our members always learn a lot from. Therefore, please vote with me in favor of this motion."
Not the greatest discussion, but, it was one. Yuma looked around at everyone else. "Is there any more discussion?" Everyone except Shark stood up. Yuma made another mark on his paper. "Kite?"
"The previous speaker has made good points," Kite began, "But I believe three members is not enough. It is true that the conference holds informative workshops, but there are too many workshops for just three people to attend. I believe we should send more than three members to the conference. Please join me in striking down this motion."
He sat down. Better discussion, good, they were doing better. Yuma called for more discussion, then called on, "Trey."
"Mr. Chair, I move to suspend the rule where we have to stand to second a motion," Trey proposed, with Quinton quickly standing up to second him.
Yuma marked his card once more. Okay, two motions down, two people with their first discussion down. "It has been properly moved and seconded to suspend the rule where we have to stand to second a motion. All in favor of suspending the rules, raise your hand."
It was unanimous.
"All opposed, same sign. Motion passed. The rule where we must stand to second a motion has been suspended. Is there any more discussion on the motion to send three of our members to the state leadership conference?" Yuma asked. A few people stood up. He called on Quinton.
"I move to fix the time to which to adjourn to tomorrow at 6 pm," Quinton said.
Wow, okay, getting everything out of the way immediately. This was another tricky one, but Yuma didn't have the time to hesitate. Trey seconded, and he immediately went on, "It has been properly moved and seconded to fix the time to which to adjourn to— uh, so when we adjoun, we stay adjourned until 6 pm..."
"Motion passed. Meeting adjourned!" Yuma tapped his gavel one last time and grinned over at Astral. "Heartland Academy Team A is SO making it to States this year."
"Team A?" Caswell poked his head out of the back room, where he was typing away at a computer. "Don't get too ahead of yourself, Yuma. In the end, 'Team B' only has five members, and that's not a full team. We might not have a 'Team B' at all."
"There's still time, they'll find a sixth person," Yuma replied, lifting his chin.
"As Caswell put it, 'don't get too ahead of yourself'," Astral repeated from his chair in the corner. "We're not even at Districts yet. We're still practicing. Speaking of practice, we won't do oral questioning this round, but I have some comments."
Astral stood up and folded his hands behind his back. One of the advisers of the Heartland Academy chapter, Astral was...quite the character. Astral wasn't his last name, of course: he was one of the few teachers that insisted by going by their first name. He taught a wide variety of classes, and oversaw about half of the career development events being prepared for at this time, including the Prepared Speaking that Caswell was currently writing a speech for, and Team A for Parliamentary Procedure. Astral was incredibly smart, and had a strange sense of humor most wouldn't expect of him. He made the team work hard at practice, and take practice seriously, but they made it a bit fun, too, and the team enjoyed it nonetheless.
Astral was an expert at just about everything he involved himself in at the school, and parliamentary procedure was no exception. He looked over the team one by one.
"Shark, you only discussed once. You should discuss at least twice during the meeting. You got in an additional motion, and you picked a good one, but I feel asking if you can take a nap is not the most appropriate use of rising to a question of privilege."
"Well, I mean, we usually ask if we can take of our jackets, yeah?" Shark waved a hand through the air. "We're not wearing our jackets, so I'm not gonna pretend we are, so I asked something else."
"You should at least try to appear interested when we're discussing a motion you brought up." Astral sighed. "If you don't want to do the jacket example, you could...ask to close the door, or to open the door, or to use the bathroom."
"Make sure you pick a good one, Shark," Kite added with a smirk. "That way we can establish Yuma as the strict chair he is."
"I am not strict!" Yuma protested, gripping the podium tightly as he leaned forward, over it.
"You are, too. Remember when Trey had question of privilege and he asked if he could breathe?" Quattro recalled.
Trey hid his face in his hands. "I panicked."
"And you looked him in the eye, said 'no', and went back to discussing an amendment?" Quattro went on.
Yuma's shoulders slumped. "I panicked," he mumbled.
"The rest of you," Astral fixed Kite, Trey, Quattro, and Quinton with an icy stare one-by-one, "each did at least two discussions, which is good. But none of you did an extra motion."
Each of them received individual criticism, but Yuma tuned it out. He was lost in the memory of the incident Quattro brought up. He'd been trying to forget it, and both he and Trey had learned their lesson, but everyone else still remembered. No one on the team held back from using it to tease him. It was all in good fun and Yuma wouldn't mind, but he still felt bad for messing up so much during the whole thing. By the time he returned to reality, Quinton was being praised on the notes he had taken for the meeting minutes.
Then, Astral fixed his gaze on Yuma.
"Yuma," Astral said. Yuma sighed. Here we go. "First of all, and I shouldn't need to say this, but even once the meeting is adjourned, you shouldn't include unnecessary comments. Even if this is practice, if you continue to do so in practice you will be more likely to do so during the real thing. When the meeting adjourns, you should stay quiet and wait for the judges to ask questions."
"Sorry, Astral," Yuma mumbled.
"You also need to work on how you handle motions." Astral frowned. "For suspending the rules, we treat it as a rule for our chapter only, so you only need a majority vote, and you should have done it by ayes and nays. Yet you had everyone raise their hands as if you needed a two-thirds vote. For suspend the rules, you should stare what kind of vote you need and why. You got stuck on your words for objecting and fixing the time, so you should go over that as well. You have to be more confident in what you're saying."
"Anything else?" Yuma muttered, gloomily leaning his head down against the podium.
"As a reminder, for question of privilege, you should give a reason for why you're saying no. Usually for the examples we use, 'we are in an official meeting' works well enough," Astral went on. "And keep better track of who has discussed how many times and who has brought up their assigned and extra motions. You were so focused on the time that some opportunities were lost."
Yuma peered up at Astral. "Why not just have Kite be the chair and be done with it?" he demanded. "He's way better at this than I am."
There were only three positions assigned on the team: Yuma was their chair, Kite served as backup chair in case Yuma got sick or couldn't attend a practice or a competition, and Quinton was their secretary. And if Quinton couldn't show up, well, they were doomed. But everyone else served as regular members of the chapter for the purposes of this competition, with Rio being the team's substitute member, only participating if someone else was missing. With everyone in attendance this time, she was watching and listening carefully, learning from the team's mistakes.
"Kite's better at discussion than he is at being the chair," Astral responded. "You are better at being the chair than you are at discussing. We are just playing off of the team's strengths. As you practice, you will get better at this."
"I sure hope so."
"And speaking of practice." Astral turned to sot back down in his chair again. "We should practice bringing up motions one more time. We'll be going down the table of motions. Kite can start us off with fixing the time to which to adjourn."
Kite stood up. "I move to fix the time to which to adjourn so that when we adjourn, we stay adjourned until 5 pm tomorrow evening."
"So, Rio, I've been meaning to ask you something."
"What is it, Caswell?"
The two were in the back room, getting the pizza and soda ready for when everyone else had the time to take a break. The team's practices always went long, so they always chipped in to have dinner delivered to the school. With Rio not being needed by the team for the moment and Caswell only being there to work on his speech, it was up to them to actually receive the pizza and dig out the paper plates. Rio was looking for the plates while Caswell figured out which of the two pizzas was which.
"So your Heartland Academy Team A's substitute member, right?" Caswell asked. "Since Team A has one more than the number of people needed on a team to compete. But Team B is short a member. Why don't one of you join Team B so that both teams have everyone they need?"
"Because Team Astral is better than Team Barian by a long shot." Rio rolled her eyes. "The seven of us are a team and we don't want to be separated, especially not to work with them."
Heartland Academy Team B. The second team only had five members so far and was lead by Mr. Thousand, the other adviser. It was no secret that everyone on Team A liked Astral more than Thousand. It wasn't just that, either. Team B currently consisted of Dumon, Mizar, Girag, Alito, and Vector, who made it no secret that he'd rather be a substitute member if they had enough people for it. No one on Team A got along with anyone on Team B, and vice versa.
If Team B couldm't find enough members to compete, that wasn't Rio's problem. Her role in Team A was important; if anyone else wasn't able to participate, she had to be ready to fill their spot. This technically made her backup secretary as well, but it wasn't official given that Quinton aways showed up and never seemed to even get a cold. Usually, she ended up filling Kite's spot if Yuma couldn't be there, or she ended up replacing Shark for a day.
Being substitute was probably best in the long run. Rio wasn't exactly the picture of perfect health these days. If anyone else was subbing instead, they'd just keep subbing in for her, so it worked out this way.
"Well, I can't argue with you there," Caswell decided. "I'm a bit partial on that debate myself. It just feels unfair to see Team B be taken down over the rules rather than through the actual competition."
"It doesn't matter," Rio pointed out with a shrug. "Team A is going to win whether they get a sixth person or not."
Caswell laughed as Yuma ran out to dig into the food. "I certainly hope so!"