Friday, December 27, 2013

DISC ^ ONE

Flight Master belongs to Team Eno, one of the most elite disc teams in the world. He is preparing to compete in the last broadcast of the day.

He stands alone on the side of the stadium's sprawling floor - flat, polished and deep.

Modern even by the standards of 2151.

The ceiling floats high above the shining floor, an artificial blue sky with puffy white clouds slowly drifting in front of the brilliantly bright computer generated sun.

Hidden in that projection ceiling are the machinations that Flight Master is known for out-witting to win the last 4 world titles.

Disc, as the competition is known, started from an obscure game known as disc golf that was played over 150 years ago in outdoor fields and forests. Only a handful of people had the patience for throwing plastic discs that would only fly as far as a human arm could muster.  Apparently, quite a bit of time was wasted not competing, but simply looking for lost discs. The idea brings a wry smile to Flight Master's face - hidden under his obsidian face-mask.

It wasn't until bio-metrics allowed humans to see and feel the the forces of physics that all sports were changed indefinitely. Sports that had been popular in the day, like American Football , became unbearable to watch. Software was wired into the individual players and worked out the future outcome of every move they faced in real-time.  The software fed each players' nervous systems with powerful stimuli to help them make the optimum moves.

After the first season of football where every game ended in a scoreless stalemate, the public had lost all interest in the game. The corporations that owned the game could not longer justify the expenses of paying it's citizens to develop and maintain the football teams. The pass-time faded into history.

Early gyroscope technology.
Once the first self-spinning discs were marketed to the general public the ball was rolling for the next generation of sport. Using sense and drive electrodes on a disc that is tied directly into a player's consciousness meant that throwing what the old-timers called a "hole-in-one" became as routine as walking.

Disc started with youth-programmers playing in recreational leagues long before the sport caught on.  Each team would create an intelligent course for the other team to play. (It's amazing nobody was ever seriously injured with all of the unregulated insanity that went on in the early years!) But the core of the game was developed, a disc navigator putting his disc in a hidden goal in as few flights as possible.  Each hole studded with traps, hazards and an innumerable amount of computational power behind it, making it as dynamic and ever-changing as possible.

The discs spin and travels as you will it. To Flight Master, throwing a disc felt that he was sending himself on each journey. He was for all intents and purposes a part of the disc, seeing in his mind what it sees. Feeling what it feels. His disc was worth more than what the corporation had spent on thousands of programmers. It was power.

The floor of the stadium dimmed to a dark charcoal and the sky darkened to two stark spotlights. The last stream of the day was about to commence and Flight Master stood up. Thousands of feet away, the opposing navigator stood as well, barely visible in his spotlight. The team he would face were known as 'Infinite'.  Flight Master stretched in his disc suit, a black intel-fabric that was deep black with the elegant exception being burning white lines striping his arms and legs. He knew that the better part of the planet was watching him via the stream and he reveled in it for a brief moment before raising a hand to the sky.

Even through the walls of the stadium he could hear the roar of his city outside, screaming for him from there homes, the streets, from everywhere.  It had been nearly 50 years since disc was played in front of a live audience. The need to travel to a broadcast to watch from physical seats had been kept alive by the corporations for entirely too long. People could watch Flight Master's every move from any angle they so desired all via the stream. The roar of his city filled him with pride and screaming for your team was one ritual that Flight Master hoped never died.

Team Infinite had become stale and tired in their course methods and Flight Master had no concerns with his chances of winning. His own team, ENO, had been boosted to the top of the league by an acquisition they'd made of a promising company from Japindia. Their libraries of design intelligence had made ENO developers literally unstoppable.  Teams facing his programmers would often take double to triple the flights per course, just based on the fact that certain holes verged on unsolvable but remained legal by the strict laws of Disc. Difficult yes, impossible no.

Flight Master was ready and the floor lost all color as he stepped forward and gently spun his disc to life. His pulse remained steady, balanced by system intelligence that kept his biology as close to perfection as a human could be.

It was time.

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