My name is Ikor. I am from the planet Humanitario. My commander has sent me to the planet Athletico. I just landed the ship in a deserted clearing. This is the spot my commanders have chosen for me to land because there are huge numbers of the earthlings gathering for some unknown purpose. My task is to ascertain what they are doing and report back to my commanders by the end of today.
I walk towards the loudest source of noise and discover the earthlings converging in their loud, stinky modes of transport. They drive up and down long lanes of road to try to get as close to the front as possible. As they get out of their vehicles, I notice that they are all wearing the same colors, black and gold. This must be their uniform. They wear the colors to symbolize that they are all in the same army. Most of the small ones are smiling and laughing. Some of the older ones are frowning and struggling with large pieces of equipment. The ones with the most status have pieces of equipment with wheels on them, and this makes them smile more.
I follow the crowds at a safe distance, curious as to where they are all going. I stop behind an available tree and peek around the corner. The crowds of the black and gold army are standing near tents. Strange smells waft over to where I am hidden. Some of the smells are good; some are highly unpleasant. It appears the Athletico beings are consuming resources in order to prepare them for the big event. As they gorge themselves upon meat and drink, they talk about their fighters and which ones might take out many targets on this day. Many of the creatures wear images of their fighters on buttons or shirts with numbers which represent their soldiers.
To warm themselves up, I also see folks practice aiming at targets. They have small pillow-shaped items that the try to get into a hole. When they make this target, the eaters pump their fists in the air and get very excited. They also shout, “Cornhole!” I wonder if this is their battle cry.
After having their fill of target practice, eating, and talking, the crowds all begin to mill towards a tall set of stairs. Here there are female athleticos shaking objects that make crinkly noises. They also stretch their mouths so that the corners turn up. They don’t tend to say a lot, but when they shake their crinkly things, they make high-pitched noises that hurt my sensitive humanitario ears. I think this is yet another way they have of preparing for the battle ahead. Then another group of athleticans arrives. These carry shiny objects of various sizes, and I am relieved and delighted to hear them play music, a joyous noise of which I am very familiar. When the music plays, the females with the shaky things shake even faster and make their high-pitched battle cries. The regular crowds then clap and shout things to the musicians.
Then a large vehicle arrives. Wow, this is almost the size of my parents’ ship back home. The vehicle pulls up to the curb and I am terrified to see larger, taller versions of the other creatures I have seen step out of the vehicle. There are all wearing black and gold, of course. Also, each person has a set of earphones. Although everyone is clapping and making noises, these new beings, clearly warriors, all have earphones, which means they are listening to their commanders. If only I could get a set of those earphones. What a promotion I would receive. The large giants then climb the stairs and and begin to disappear through a door. We only saw them for a moment, but the crowds seem to be rejuvenated and ready for action.
I slip through the door unseen, just as it closes. I follow the giants at a safe distance. They change into their battle clothes and then begin to practice for the challenges ahead. Some of the beings throw disks back and forth between them. The weapon is strange looking, like a large rock with white symbols. The symbols must give it extra speed or maybe those are the voice recognition features. Other creatures run from one end of the field to another. Yet another giant is actually kicking the weapon towards a net. I wonder what this is all coming to? There are still listening to their commanders give order through the headphones.
Although the creatures in the center are large, I am surprised to see that the leaders appear to be short, slightly heavy, older creatures. Perhaps they offer the most wisdom, but their physical condition does not seem threatening. When the giants gather around their commanding officers, you cannot even see them because of their short stature.
There are a few other sets of people before me. One set wears black and white striped shirts. Although the giants often ignore them and roll their eyes at them, they still listen to their orders. The black and white striped beings often shout their orders in an amplified speaker and make strange hand gestures. The hand gestures elicit cheers or yelling from the crowds and the commanding officers.
Then, it appears the main battle is ready to begin. The mob surrounding me on all sides is on their feet. cheering and yelling for blood. Oh, dear, we don’t do such things on the planet Humanitario. We mostly politely clap our hands in our seats. I don’t know what to make of these violent, bloodthirsty beings. The large brown object is tossed back and forth from person to person. Sometimes it is only thrown about for a few seconds. Other times, it is a goodly minute or two before the action is ended. The black and white striped ones have these loud noisemakers which hurt my sensitive ears.
Just ahead, there are other brown objects being tossed and kicked around by smaller warriors on the side. The ones standing on the side most be backup warriors in case the largest ones become wounded. Even though only a few fight in the middle, it feels as if the whole group is in battle. At any moment, I am worried the fight may spread into the area near me. Then my cover will be blown. These battles can get so easily out of order if commands are not obeyed. Let’s hope their commanding officers can keep any rebellion down.
For several athletico hours, by my calculation, the yelling, cheering, taunting, jeering, whistling go on and on. Finally, the fight for the brown object is over. The warriors begin to go their separate ways. They leave the fighting arena and stand outside in another crowd. I will say this for these athletico beings: they do a lot of standing around waiting on things to start. Within the few minutes, the warriors appear and the crowds cheer as they once again board the ship to their headquarters.
It is almost time to go home, but I have a few moments left. I follow the ship and notice some of the warriors all congregating inside a building with colorful glowing lights. They are sitting in groups around large disc-like objects, which they appear to be . . . eating. They are talking about what has happened the last couple hours in great detail. My analysis is that they are meeting for one last time to strategize about their next battle.
This world of athletico is a strange, interesting place. I will have to tell my commanding officer all I have seen. I hope this report is detailed enough.