The spaceship landed on the reddish surface of the planet. Sword wielding lizard like creatures surrounded the craft. A ladder dropped down and an astronaut descended. He looked around at the lizards, fiddled with his translation unit and announced “Take me to your leader!”

He was taken to a large powerful looking lizard. “Hail mighty one. I am Captain Dodgson of the Inter-World Consortium. I come in peace.”

The lizard replied and the translation unit buzzed in the astronaut’s ear, “Hail stranger Dodgson! Your presence is welcome here. I am king Gherkinadoos III. We will have games and feasts in your honor.”

A great pit was dug. Gherkinadoos and Dodgson sat beside each other at the rim. high ranking lizards surrounded them. Several powerful lizards entered the pit. They hurled stones, ran from one end to another, lifted boulders and grappled with one another to the amusement of the crowd.

Gherkinaddos had finished his meal and lay relaxed on his seat. He turned to Dodgson, “What are your games like in your world?”

“Well, they are very similar, but we have a new one that is very popular.”

Gherkinadoos opened one eye, “what is this sport?”

“Why it is nothing.” replied Dodgson.


“Precisely, ten people spend months in a dwelling. living as they normally do. Each week, people choose a loser who has to leave. The last one remaining wins.”

“But isn’t that just a pageant?” asked Gherkinadoos.

Dodgson’s eyes twinkled, “The athletes here have to perform for only a few minutes. In this game, the person who wins had to display virtue for months. Don’t you feel that this is an excellent way to promote honor in society.”

On the twelfth day after his arrival, the astronaut said his farewells and returned to his ship. HeĀ opened a communication link to his home fleet. “Captain Dodgson reporting. Mission accomplished. Local resistance in terminal neutralization. You can send the colonization fleet in 20 years.”


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