Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Microstory 568: Once Again No Winner For Seven Day Wonder


Eight days ago, seventeen contestants gathered on a little-used planet with a thin atmosphere in the Nuy system called Nuy o for an annual contest. The Seven Day Wonder competition has been going on for the last twenty-three years, with fewer and fewer people applying each year. For those readers who don’t know, Seven Day Wonder pits the best scientists from all over the galaxy. They are charged with terraforming a planet within only seven standard days. The prize for winning is automatic ownership of all planets involved, whether terraformation was at all successful or not, along with a multitude of new Arkeizen thralls. As a bonus, the winner is allowed to employ all losers as halfrthralls (thralls with better living conditions, servitude duration limits, other advantages) with whatever term stipulations they would like. In more than two decades, hundreds of people have attempted to win this competition, and not one has won so far. All contestants have failed to terraform their planet, and they have all become halfrthralls for jarls around Fostea. The rules for the competition are extensive and complicated, but here are the basics. Contestants are not expected to build a full eden, complete with lush gardens and vibrant ecosystems. They are expected only to generate a magnetosphere, and an atmosphere, and show promise for complex life. Terraforming, as a process, was discovered centuries ago, but it’s only relatively recently that it has become possible to complete in a matter of days. Some yet believe that seven days is an impossible goal, however, and shun this competition as nothing but a means of artificially triggering a supply of halfrthralls for the galaxy’s wealthiest. The leaders of the competition deny all such claims, and treat any serious accusations as legal threats to personal and organizational reputation. Still, despite the organization’s claims that seven-day terraforming is physically possible, no one has ever even come close to winning. Perhaps next time. At least then there will likely be even fewer competitors than in years past.

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