Alberto made it to Lucerne’s Multigame Final. He had trained very hard and was confident of success; sure of putting in a good performance; giving it 101%, and performing well at every event. Whether or not he would win, of course, could not be known. That was in the hands of his rivals.

Multigame was the world’s most popular sport. The Authority had developed it from the Olympian decathlon, though changed some disciplines. They had added shooting and archery, feeling they were a good balance to running and jumping events, developing a different kind of concentration, and giving athletes a rest from strenuous exertion.

One hundred athletes had been selected for the Lucerne District Finals, with similar events taking place in every community in the land. Athletes were divided into groups of ten, competing in every event together till only one person remained.

Multigame was the most popular of the Authority’s Population Reduction programmes, known as PR’s. Since humanity had hit ten million, their stated goal was to reduce this total by ninety percent over ninety years. Multigame was the perfect metaphor for this, with each group of ten being whittled down to one, and to drive the message home further, the remaining ten held a playoff, from which a single winner remained.

Alberto’s family were cheering him from the stands; competitor’s loved ones received special treatment, including free food and drinks all day. His mother and father had hugged and kissed him, and told him how very proud they were. His father said that he didn’t have to participate if he didn’t want to, but Alberto was not changing his mind.

The groups of ten paraded around the arena together. Mt Alba rose before them as inspiration, its lone peak standing strong, for all to see and aspire to.

Alberto’s group began with the one hundred metres swimming. He took a gulp of water at one point, but otherwise did well, and came in third. His shot putt went further than he’d expected, and he was declared the winner. Then the 1500 metres hurdles, during which two of his group were shot by the group doing small-bore rifle shooting. He felt sorry for those fallen, but was pleased about his improved chances.

His favourite sport of archery came next, and he managed to hit two people from the next group doing the 1500 metres. There was a gasp from the crowd – he must have hit a favourite. The high jump was uneventful, except for another of his group being hit in the arm by an arrow. Then the hundred metre sprint, where he came in second from the seven athletes remaining in his group.

Alberto’s discus didn’t go as far as he’d hoped; he only came sixth. In the one kilometre canoe race he came second. Two more of his rivals were shot. It was down to five. During the pole vault, one more was hit by a shot putt – what an amazing throw! The last event was the rifle shooting, in which Alberto hit all his targets.

The judges announced the results of the heats. Alberto came top of his group. The other three athletes performed a lap of honour, and were taken away for humane endings. Only the winner of each group remained.

The last event of the day was inspired by the ancient pentathlon rather than the modern decathlon. It was a form of wrestling/boxing known as Pankration but with a twist. Each person was allowed to keep the weapon from their last event – shot putt, discus, oar, pole, or bow – and those without weapons were given a choice of rope net, sword, nanchuku, or throwing star. Alberto was sitting pretty with his small bore rifle. His concern though was that he had only nine bullets.


One Response to “Multigame”

  1. Did you watch Hunger Games? It’s a bit like that.

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