“Okay, let’s see the complement rotation again.”
Gambit adjusted the viewscreen, bringing up the contestants’ personal history and resumés. So this is what being a God feels like.
“So,” I swirled a paper cup of Dr. Pepper as Gambit brought up Vegeta’s credit record. “Anything in there worth a yield?”
“Not unless you count buying ten jars o’ pickled eggs every other Tuesday.”
“Let’s see... who hasn’t gotten a yield yet?”
“Erm,” he held out his fingers to tick off the names, “Tak, Henchman, and Koma already got yields. De only ones dat haven’t been yielded yet are Jon, Vegeta, Warbird, Noel, and us.”
“And we certainly
won’t use our one precious yield on ourselves,” I added hastily. “We already lost time because of that idiot AMOK. Why did he have to try and stop us from saving
all those people?”
“It’s a mystery.”
“Yeah. So, how about those other four? What’ve we got on them?”
An image of Jon zoomed across the screen. “He’s clean as a whistle. Never been arrested by any reputable government, an’ a fairly rich science fiction mental library to boot.” Gambit clicked a red dial. “And dis is Noel of Neptonian. She’s-”
“She’s part feline! I thought Neptunians were canine.”
“You’re confusing Neptune with Neptonian. Again.”
“What’s the difference?!”
“Neptonian doesn’t exist anymore.”
“That’s so extremely sad!” I brushed a tear away. Somewhere, a tiny violin was playing. But not here- this was place for bold decisiveness.
“Should we yield her?”
“No... dere’s somethin’ much worse
I couldn’t possibly be more interested!
“Do go on.”
“Her! We must yield Warbird!”
Gambit balked, scratching his chin. “Why her? You didn’t even let me fill you in on her offshore-”
“When all the contestants are put in alphabetical order, she’s dead last.
We can’t compromise our principles- our rigid, alphanumeric principles have seen us through two world wars and three other world wars that never happened.
The screen went blank. Gambit scrawled Warbird’s name on our official yield card, and shot it through the virtual power tube (invented by Senator Ted Stevens in 2005) directly to the professor. When I looked down at her name, I knew we’d made the right choice. Still,
I thought to myself as I gazed out over the veranda at the beautiful skyline, using alphanumeric logic, Benedict Arnold was better than George Washington... but that would mean the Americans were supposed to
lose the Revolutionary War...“Once we compromise the superiority of our alphanumerics, we risk reverting to sequential searches. And that’s not something I care to see.”
— Provost Kostoy Narvin
“Alternatives to Binary, Volume 2”