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Author Topic: EP730: When We Were Patched  (Read 448 times)


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on: May 01, 2020, 05:35:40 PM
Escape Pod 730: When We Were Patched

Author: Deji Bryce Olukotun
Narrator: David D. Levine
Host: S.B. Divya
Audio Producer: Summer Brooks

The last time we ever spoke, my partner Malik asked me whether I believed speed or power made for the best athlete. I was puzzled, of course, feeling that neither could explain why some athletes excelled more than others, even in straightforward competitions like sprinting or the javelin. “There are enough variables to make it unclear,” I observed, “whether speed or power offers a better advantage in competition, or whether some other factor confers the greatest advantage.” It seemed to me an unanswerable question.

“And how about elegance versus quickness of thought?” Malik asked. But he stormed off before I could respond, as if he had confirmed some awful quality about me. By then I should have known not to expect anything from Malik, because he was about to ruin my career.

​You see, I come from an illustrious line of sports officiants, spanning the world’s most dynamic and lucrative competitions, and I think my family would agree that my treatment by the FogoTennis Officiants Association was abominable. I should never have been suspended because of dishonorable behavior on Malik’s part.

​Like many referees, I remember the very instant I was called for the first time to officiate on the professional FogoTennis circuit, widely considered the most exciting and dangerous sport in the world. I had honed my skills by watching my parents officiate before me, and by observing my siblings, cousins, and extended family. You could say that I was an officiant from the day I was born. Not only did I learn from other matches, but I also visualized countless scenarios of FogoTennis so that I could fulfill my duties to the best of my ability, cementing my family’s reputation as impartial, efficient, and affordable judges. But there is a difference between officiating in theory—even when it is woven into your very soul—and officiating in reality, when you can find yourself with an irresponsible refereeing partner.

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  • Hipparch
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Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 09:46:40 PM
I really enjoyed the concept of this story, very fun! But I had a lot issues with details that are fundamental plot points. Would the appeals committee really just take the word of the human (and therefore more likely to be biased, or even corrupt) official even when there is no evidence to support the accusation?  It seemed quite the stretch for me and somewhat marred my enjoyment of this otherwise fun story.

Languorous Lass

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Reply #2 on: June 23, 2020, 02:27:07 PM
Crypto, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate the way you articulate your thoughts about a story.  I tend to jump all over what I see as the flaws, and lose sight of the big picture.  I can learn a lot from you.