"What are you intending to do Bill???“
“I told you mum, I am entering the International Galactic Race.”
Now Mrs. Jones was quite surprised. Although her son Bill was one of the best on the planet Earth and had won many medals, she decided he was not exactly equipped to win against the elite members of other planets.”
“But Bill some of them extra terrestrials have more than two legs and can even fly. What chance will you have and what is the prize anyhow?”
“I will have as much chance as the others as well. We all have some sort of advantage and disadvantage. Take the Polypeds from planet Clump, they might have three legs but they are always tripping over one or the other. No mum, I have decided to enter.”
“What’s the prize son?” after all Mrs. Jones wanted to know what was in it for her family.
“I get a medal saying first in the Inter Galactic Race, year 5460.”
“That’s not much is it?”
“Mum the medal is made out of wishstone from planet Everlast, and you know what that means?”
“Oh yes son, you get a year’s wishes.”
The thought of such a prize was enough to decide Mrs. Jones. What could possibly happen, her Bill was one of the best.
The next week-end Bill boarded the ship for Planet Everlast where the race was taking place. He found that was not so bad, the gravity on the planet being quite advantageous for his earthly origins. It meant he could run even faster. When he arrived he was given quarters next to the Polypeds so he had a good look to see how they were preparing. They had entered two runners, and they spent most of the time trying to co-ordinate the movements of their three legs. It was as Bill thought, they had no big chance, they spent most of the time tripping over the leg in the middle that just did not want to co-operate. He was more worried about the Flungs from planet Flugel. They not only had very muscular legs, but had wings on their feet which they sometimes used to hop with, managing to achieve great distances in a short time. Bill himself was a sprinter, one of the best. He just hoped that the gravity would be of advantage to him, but realised it would probably be of advantage to the others as well.
After spending quite a restless night it was the day of the race. He entered the dining room for breakfast. Everyone had been equipped with a translator ear clip, so there was no problem in understanding.
“Good morning, you must be the Earthling; only two legs and no wings, probably don’t have a chance, but neither do I. Am just here for the fun of the competition.”
Bill looked at his neighbour on the table and found it to be a Plonk. Now Plonks were lovable creatures; spent most of the time jumping around and building craters in the ground. They would then jump into the crater and sleep for a few hours. No-one really knew if and what they ate, but they always seemed to be happy and it was thought that they probably found their food somewhere in the crater.
“Good morning Plonk, I hope it will be fun, but it seems to me that a lot of the competitors are taking things quite serious. I saw a Flung having a fight with a Polyped this morning just because the Polyped laughed at the wings on the Flung’s feet. Afterwards the Flung called the Polyped a three legged halfwit and then the trouble started.”
“I wouldn’t worry about such petty stuff” said the Plonk. “We will just do our best. Of course the prize is quite nice; when I think of the craters I could wish for without making them myself.”
“Tell me Plonk, why are you always building craters?”
“Tell me Human, why are you always conquering other worlds?”
As both were not able to answer the question they decided to end the conversation. It was time for the great event in any case. A Magibrain, that only consisted of a brain, so was neutral and did not take part, announced that the competitors should line up on the start line. He explained further
“Everyone should take their places, each groups of hum, hum, err, species staying together. No mixing of sorts, just to keep it fair.”
The start pistol resounded and they were off. At least all were off except for the Boggles. They had very sensitive hearing and lost all sense of orientation from the noise of the pistol. Bill found that the three Boggles were already out of the race.
The next problem arose amongst the Polypeds. As Bill had suspected, they got their three legs mixed up. Not only that, but they also got entangled with the neighbour’s legs and eventually fell into a heap on the floor. They lost so much time trying to disentangle their legs that they were overlapped by all other runners in the field. It was now a race between our human, Bill, the two Flungs and some Plonks.
“Out of the way you puny human” Bill heard as he was overtaken by the two Flungs. “We will show you what speed is. Now time to use the wings” and Bill saw that the two Flungs had really put their wings into operation, leaving the ground and flying very fast. The problem was that the gravity on planet Everlast was not as strong as that on planet Flugel where the Flungs came from and instead of flying in a direct line they flew so far upwards that they were only a small spot in the sky, so they were out.
It was the final part of the race now between Bill and the Plonks. As there were many Plonks in the race it was hard for Bill to overtake them. On the other hand they kept making stops to build a crater.
Eventually the finishing line was in sight and the last two in the race were Bill and a Plonk. However, just before the finishing line the Plonk decided to build a crater and so Bill was the winner of the day. Bill’s mother was so proud of her son and Bill? He had a feeling he had a good chance of winning. He did some reading before the race about the characteristics of some of the inter planetary organisms and the atmosphere of planet Everlast, so what possibly could go wrong?
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