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They still don’t have their eyes open, though a couple of determined explorers have managed to escape the basket and go wandering, nose-first. Rusty collects them and dumps one back in the blanket-heap. Then he tosses the other gently upward, grabs the Slugger and connects nicely, right on the sweet spot. There’s an explosive squeak. Then there isn’t.

“Rusty,” muses Blythe as she takes the bat, “you ever think maybe dogball is kinda mean?”

“Less cruel than drowning ’em,” says Rusty, and spits. “You’re up.”

Blythe shakes her head, picks up the next one, and sends her to deep right center.