The Game

   In the year 20xx, two... Bengal companies decided that the economic climate was against them and that the situation could no longer be tolerated.

   The market was heavily influenced by the older players, the rules tended to be made undemocratically and the chances they had were far from fair. After may months of deliberation, they decided that something had to change... A small number of private schools were created, where the teaching methodology was radically altered. The subjects the children studied were reevaluated and alternatives were considered. The results were as follows:

   1. Earth Sciences. A new subject was introduced, called Earth Sciences, which replaced geography, history, botanics and biology. It's purpose was to familiarize the children with their immediate environment: places, plants, animals, people.
   2. Medicine. A new subject was introduced, called Medicine, which replaced anatomy, biology, botanics and chemistry. It's purpose was to teach the children as much as possible about health related issues, hygiene, healing and poisonous plants and animals.
   3. Architecture. A new subject was introduced, called Architecture, which replaced geometry, calculus, biology and botanics.
   4. Engineering. A new subject was introduced, called Engineering, which replaced physics, calculus and chemistry.
   5. Visual Arts. A new subject was introduced, called Visual Arts, which replaced crafts, anatomy, biology and optics.
   6. Musical Arts. A new subject was introduces, called Musical Arts, which replaced Music, Acoustics and Crafts.
   7. Human Sciences. A new subject was introduced, called Human Sciences, which replaced history, languages, geography, archeology, religion, psychology and ethics.
   8. The Game. A new subject was introduced, called The Game, which replaced sports and included all of the above.

   Furthermore, it was decided that each year one subject - and only one - would have priority over all others. It was also decided that each child would chose his or her priority subject each year, thus selecting the path that attracted them the most very early in their development.

   All subjects were pursued from top to bottom and from the bottom to the top. The children were engaged in specific projects, which required new skills and new information, while helping to organize and revisit old skills and information at the same time. Creativity and innovation were encouraged.

   All new skills and all new projects were integrated into The Game, which was...

   The Game was the ultimate testing ground for all assimilated knowledge and physical training. It was a complex set of buildings and machines, which incorporated architecture, engineering, chemistry, medicine and required the children to use all of their skills to achieve maximum results.

   For example:

   - knowledge of geometry was required to select the optimum positioning and attitude of the body
   - physics was required to select the optimum amount of force to apply in order to achieve the desired trajectory
   - biology and botanics was required to identify conditions in a specific area of The Game (atmosphere, possible dangers)
   - architecture was required to build new Game features and to improve design
   - chemistry was required to create new dynamic assemblies and machines for The Game
   - visual arts were required to create optical illusions and other Game features

   At first, The Game evolved almost exclusively on the ground, but as the children progressed trough their studies and training, The Game became more and more complex. Soon The Game integrated aerial features: jumps, short flights and later water and other fluids.

   After that, The Game integrated underpowered suits, for longer exposure to different environments: air, water. After that came powered suits, fitted with adjustable blade-like wings, for sustained flight (more blades deployed meant more surface area but less speed, of course).

   After that The Game integrated hydro-engines, for sustained water and fluid propulsion.

   After that, The Game integrated underground excavation equipment. As the children created tunnels through the ground, construction materials were pumped into them, so that small structures were created. In time the structures evolved and became larger, bigger and more complex. As the capabilities of the suits and the strength of the construction materials available were enhanced, the underground depths reached increased. It became possible to go deeper and deeper underground and higher and higher above ground, respectively.

   At some point the skills of the children and the capabilities of the technology made it possible to drill down to the mantle and build structures by using nothing but molten lava, carefully guided in selected patterns. At some point it became possible to create aboveground structures in exactly the same way, with minimum effort.

   At some point it even became possible to create entire islands from the ocean. Or even continents!

   At some point it became possible to create reliable mathematical models to map and predict earthquakes. It then became possible to influence the movement of the mantle and the crust, in order to control, limit and eventually eliminate earthquakes entirely, harvesting vast amounts of tectonic energy in the process.

   At some point it was decided to enhance The Game to include the outer space. A massive new chain of islands was engineered, which would support a structure strong, light and inexpensive enough to reach to a height of 100 Km. To reach outer space, basically.

   The first proposal was a tower, but considerations like stability and exposure to the elements determined that the it would have been impractical; dangerous, even. The final structure was a matchstick pyramid, with a base equal to it's height: 100 Km. New machines were created, called Spiders, which built small sections of the structure as they went along and glued them in place, just like a spider's web. Powerful engines, flexible joints and computers provided the structure's stability.

   Work progressed rapidly, and new levels of The Game were designed to take advantage of the new structure which stood 100 kilometers tall, when completed.

   A Sky Drive was installed, which would ferry people and materials to the top of the pyramid. There was speculation even that actually the ancient pyramids served the exact same purpose, but the lack of materials and technology made it impossible to function in that capacity, obviously.

   At some point, construction of a new space structure began; a structure which was basically a circle, standing 250 kilometers above the planet, around the planet. The same spider machines were used to build it. When the circle was completed, another was built perpendicular to the first. Then another and another, until the entire structure gained enough strenght and stability, forming a cage around the planet.

   At some point after that, work began on a new structure, some 10.000 kilometers away from Earth, which would serve as a linear magnetic accelerator for Moon travel. When it was completed, a massive colonization effort began on The Moon. Very soon a pyramid was built on The Moon, then a cage and finally an accelerator. Soon after that the effort was expanded to Mars and Venus, and in a few short years the entire solar system was colonized, each planet with it's own pyramid, cage and accelerator.

   The entire system was powered by an unlimited supply of solar power, collected close to the Sun and then transmitted everywhere.

   After that, interstellar travel was considered. A new massive circular accelerator was built, which would accelerate a ship up to half the speed of light and then point it at the nearest stars. It wasn't easy but... it sure was a tremendous adventure. The prospect of traveling 8 light years to the nearest star wasn't pretty, plus the time it took to accelerate and decelerate the ship, but the people were confident that there would soon be ships that could travel much faster than that, ships which would pick them up long before they reached their destination...

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