Welcome to the Realms of Imagination
Official website of Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Carol Hightshoe
Mariyan closed the door to the cryo-storage area. The amount and diversity of the material kept there was starting to dwindle. Soon it would be time to open the shields and invite visitors to their world. Soon it would be time for the Games.
~ * ~
Lesdema carefully read through the information in the transmission. Eleutheria would be opening their planetary shields in a few weeks in celebration of their Palingenesi Agon. After years of research into this mysterious society, he now had a chance to visit the planet. Eleutheria was rumored to be a matriarchal society, but they guarded their planetary space so well, no one had ever visited the planet—other than during the games they held every ten years. He had only managed to track down a few people who had participated in previous competitions and none of them had spent any time outside of the area where the games had taken place. And none would tell him anything about the competitions.
He glanced again at the information on his computer screen. There was no list of events only a brief statement that all competitors would compete in the first one and from there they would be selected to participate in others. It seemed unusual, but it was also in keeping with a society that was very isolated and secretive.
The only things spelled out were the prizes: ten people would receive partial shares in various mining interests held by Eleutheria, there was also mention of extended residences as well as citizenship on the planet. He wasn’t sure he really wanted to relocate permanently, but a chance to visit the planet he had been researching for the last ten plus years was something not to be missed.
He knew the transmission had been sent to all the worlds where humans had settled in the centuries since leaving Earth. Competition to be selected would be fierce, but he was going to try.
The information directed those interested in participating to transmit the attached application and to gather at the mining colony on Eleutheria’s sister planet, Themiscyria. From there, those selected would be transported to Eleutheria. While it seemed harsh to make people come to the system before they knew for sure they would be selected—he also understood this was one of the hoops potential participates were being asked to jump through in order to qualify. They wanted to make sure all those who applied were serious. Lesdema completed the required brief questionnaire, then began making arrangements for transportation to Themiscyria.
~ * ~
Ledesma stared at the well-muscled dark-skinned woman standing at the front of the hall where the remaining applicants had gathered. They had been waiting for three days since the last of the applicants had arrived. He glanced around and did a quick count of the those remaining. They were down to less than half the original number. He wondered briefly what had eliminated them from consideration, but found his attention drawn back to the woman.
“Welcome to Themiscyria. Your applications have been reviewed and you have been accepted to participate in the Games pending a medical scan. Because many of the events can be physically taxing, we require that all potential participates undergo this screening,” she said, gesturing to a large archway.
He watched as the first person stepped under the archway and it lit up. Another screen displayed information from the scan. The technician flagged several areas and the light of the arch turned red.
“I’m sorry, but you have failed the medical scan,” the technician said. “If you will take a seat in the room there,” she motioned to a red door, “we will make arrangements to return you to your home planet.”
Ledesma watched as the man nodded and left the area. He lost track of time as he waited his turn and watched as a large number of the men were excluded from the games.
He found himself holding his breath as he stepped into the scanner. His skin prickled, he felt an alternating cold and warm sensation flow through his body for several minutes. Then the light surrounding him turned blue.
“Congratulations, you have been approved to compete,” the technician said.
Ledesma grinned as he stepped out of the scanner. Another step toward visiting Eleutheria was completed.