With only one month left before the start of the next UAAP season, the University of the Philippines has kicked its sports program into overdrive. Spending their entire summer working in secret, the UP Sports department has been developing a new strategy for the next UAAP season. While it has yet to be made official, our sources deep in the heart of UP say that their new battle plan for season 78 will be: “Focus on the cheerleading competition.”
From leaked documents that we managed to obtain after breaking into faculty offices (not illegal due to the FOI/Freedom of the Press act), we have learned that the new program is codenamed “Cyberdancing” and will involve cybernetically-enhancing members of the UP Pep Squad with a combination of forbidden sciences and unethical technologies.
The project is led by Dr. Joseph Mengalo, who is an expert in the field of attaching cables and wires into people’s bodies. Along with a team of expert interns from the school’s various engineering and science faculties, they have created several cutting-edge (in the sense that they are really sharp and pointy) cybernetic enhancements that will increase their cheerleader’s abilities by at least 5%.
For example, Dr. Mengalo has replaced one cheerleader’s spine with one made of an Iron-Uranium alloy, which not only makes her a radioactive danger to everyone close to her, but also makes her glow in the dark, something that the Pep Squad is incorporating into their routine. Another cheerleader’s legs have been replaced with rockets, which gives him a top-speed of 110km/h, and a backflip altitude of 800m. Mengalo is most proud, however, of replacing one young man’s face with a steel mask modeled after the Oblation statue, which they didn’t really need but always wanted to try out just to see if they could.
Summed up, Dr. Mengalo says that the Pep Squad’s “Pep output” has been increased by 80%, but says that they still have a many more upgrades to go before the final event. “Right now, all our cheerleaders are running on the Mk. I OS, which is stable and effective, but inefficient because it has so much redundant code. The Pep Squad told us that they wanted to push their limits, so we’re working on a patch that will remove all the fail-safes and life-support systems that have been hampering their progress. The new patch will double their abilities and only cut their life expectancy by maybe one, three, maybe fifteen years tops.”
In spite of all their upgrades, the Pep squad says that nothing has changed. Still upholding their traditions, they have painted their outer-chassis red to show that they still remember who they are, even though some of them are now 100% machine. According to one veteran of the Pep Squad, they are bonded and connected to each other by camaraderie and school spirit, only now it’s just a little bit more literal.
“God has a plan for all of us, but it is up to us to do everything else.” – School Theocrat, Francis Turron.
Emerging from beneath the rock he spent his summer in, the hermit-slash-cheer-captain Jake Dee came to several realizations while on his spiritual retreat. For one, he now considers that maybe being a priest isn’t his thing. Secondly, UST needs to beat UP this year at all costs.
While UST is still the reigning UAAP champions and the Cheerdance has no real effect on the outcome of the UAAP Overall championship, Jake says that he had a vision while fasting under his rock. In it, he says that he saw UP’s cybernetic hordes overwhelming the competition with a dazzling array of lights, fireworks, and a suppressive volley of grenades, all while the judges said “there’s no rule saying that cybernetic enhancements and maiming the competition with explosives is illegal, so we’ll allow it.”
Afraid of what may come to pass, he says that the only way to stop them is by winning the competition and proving that determination and guts, not ammunition and guns, wins cheerleading battles. When asked if he should just petition the UAAP to add a rule banning the use of performance-enhancing machinery or explosives, he replied “But that’s too easy. No one makes a movie about the person who submits paperwork to the proper authorities, people make movies about cheerleaders who get badly injured and hurt but still manage to win against all the odds.”
Stepping up their game, the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe has created an exhausting regime of easily-montageable exercises, like push-ups, running, and the use of vaguely-legal performance enhancers, such as ingesting tiger blood to gain the animal’s powers, or summoning demons from the deepest pits of hell and bending them to their will. The school says that the last two exercises are not technically magic because magic doesn’t exist, and so it isn’t against the Catholic rules banning witchcraft. (Besides, all rituals were performed by men, and witches can’t be male, so checkmate, Vatican!)
They have also expanded their search for new members of their troupe, and added incentives to help them attract and retain dancers. Talented individuals who would have otherwise gone to other schools, or not have gone to school at all, enrolled in UST because of this: Natasha Silver, pornstar, model, and dancer, enrolled in UST’s architecture program because UST gave her hours as flexible as her body; Shaggoroth, Earl of Hell, Grand Knight of the Order of Judas, and Interpretive Dance champion, qualified for the Salinggawi scholarship, and now enjoys lower tuition so long as he can maintain his grades and regularly attends practice.
Jake hopes that all this would be preparation enough to help them win against their maroon rivals, but if not, then he has a back-up plan – “I could probably spread rumors about them using steroids and get them disqualified, because using performance enhancing drugs is unfair and against the rules.”