Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Microstory 618: Revive the Vector Tournament

Everlasting Sacred Light

When our ancestors first left the old worlds, they wanted to also divorce themselves from the old ways. Some traditions had to be kept for practicality’s sake—like speaking the preexisting language, or many scientific advancements—but we wanted to rid ourselves of anything unnecessary. One of the hardest things for people to give up, believe it or not, was a sports competition. Vector is played with multiple balls, and multiple goals, and has been a staple of Lactean civilization since humans were still living on just the one planet. Each player on each team has a job to do, and in order to carry out their responsibility, they don’t always have to even interact with their own teammates. A well-played Vector game is like a well-oiled machine. If everyone plays their part with proficiency, it should all go according to plan. Carefully executed plans are valued in our galaxy, so it may seem relevant to us, yet it is still technically a team sport. Our founders had trouble reconciling the idea of people helping one another despite a lack of reward. Most of the players aren’t even in any position to score goals at all. Their job requires they protect the scorer, and defend the advantage over the opponent, while only that scorer gains actual points for them. In the end, it was decided that the game of Vector be banned in Fostea. It is one of the few central laws that govern our system, but it has not gone without pushback. The eighteenth taikon predicted a revival of a Vector tournament, but said nothing of how this would come about. It seemed to be contradictory to the law, and original mandates by Sotiren Zahir himself that Vector is an unacceptable pastime. And as we all know, the Book of Light is a perfect specimen, and there are absolutely zero self-contradictions. Fortunately, nature has found a way to maintain the sanctity of both the passage, and the law. Another isolated solar system has handled the taikon for us.
The star system Anter carries within it the record for the highest number of naturally habitable planets orbiting a single star. A total of seven planets orbit Anter within what’s known as the habitability zone. As a gift of peace to one of our rival religions called Fathers of the Undisturbed, the Fostean founders donated the entire system, and promised to leave them alone. The Fathers of the Undisturbed do not value the same things normal Fosteans do, but they were as unwelcome by the dirty communists from which we came as we were. We escaped together, and instead of fighting over the galaxy, they agreed to isolate themselves from us by remaining in Anter. They were free to advance as much as they wanted, but never venture beyond their territory. Fathers of the Undisturbed have a set of beliefs that is difficult to understand, and even from as little we know of its secrets, it is terribly inconsistent. The basic tenet of their faith is to create life, and study it from above without interfering. They are based in a hollowed out asteroid, but maintain other secret bases on the planets themselves to keep a better eye on their children. These children on each respective planet know nothing of each other, let alone the universe as a whole. Some of them even believe stars are merely drops of paint splattered on some giant cosmic ceiling above them. Why exactly the Fathers of the Undisturbed are doing this to their inferiors is something no Lightseer can claim to understand, nor should we make an attempt. Again, they leave us alone, and we do the same. We do, however, from time to time, visit the star system to make sure they’re not planning some attack. This last audit revealed something interesting. On two Anterian planets—who are, again, completely unaware of each other—Vector was somehow reinvented. This phenomenon cannot be explained, but there has been no evidence that the Fathers broke their own religious law, or would have any interest in doing so. The Undisturbed Children just managed to do it on their own, with no provocation from any outside force. And this is lucky for us, for it fulfills the requirements for the eighteenth taikon. It also happened to provide for us with the means of discovering the nineteenth taikon.

Eido Ivanka

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