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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Microstory 1189: Gabriella Perez

Not everyone who participates in the City Frenzy event is a runner, or has any plans to win the race. Gabriella Perez is one of these people who has other ways of entertaining the viewers. Technically, the Frenzy is not the place to showcase one’s other talents. A kid isn’t allowed to sign up, and then just perform a cooking show in front of the cameras at their starting line. There is a time and place for such things, and this isn’t it. Gabriella and Celestine are kind of exceptions, but there are some rules they have to follow. First, they have to satisfy all the physical requirements for entry, which they are always able to do, because they’re very athletic people. They also have to pretend like they plan on racing this time, even though everyone knows they won’t. They also can’t remain right at the starting point the entire time. They have to at least gradually move closer to their respective destinations, but like any race, there’s no minimum speed, so they can dawdle. Still, they don’t fight this restriction, and instead consider it a challenge to figure out how to work it into their routines. As with all racers, the two of them don’t necessarily start at the same place, and in fact, because of the nature of their acts, the Frenzy council makes a point of keeping them separate, even though the routes are meant to be randomized. They generally stay within two hundred meters of the starting lines. They dance non-stop for what’s usually just under two hours, until they’re given word that the winner of the race has finished. This demonstrates their talent as dancers, and their stamina. As the time grows, so too hopefully do their audiences. Viewers will watch remotely with split screens, deciding which one they like best. At some point, a fan will leave the television, and head for one of the dancers, to watch them in person. Agent Nanny Cam even worked closely with engineers to design a drone projector screen, so people in the back can still see what’s going on. Yeah, they patented a new technology, just for these two faux racers. Throughout, and at the end of, the competition within a competition, artificial intelligence within Agent’s drones will count the number of people who showed up to each dancer. Full statistics are monitored, such as audience engagement, and particularly well-received moments during the performance, but the last figure is what matters. The dancer with the largest following when that real racer breaks the finish line is a winner in her own right. While it sounds like something like this wouldn’t be allowed, because it remains separate from the rest of the event, it makes a hell of a lot of money for Kansas City, so the council, along with the local government, are perfectly happy with to make that concession. Without it, viewers may tire of watching the runners themselves, who are, most of the time, just going forward at a steady pace. Since they began this subevent, each of them has one twice, and the ninth City Frenzy will be the last for both of them.

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