by Karna Firaliz
PLON QUADRANT, Cornac Galaxy — The intergalactic sport, Ch’chup, a.k.a. “Asteroidball,” is one of the most popular sports in the known universe. It’s fast-paced action and elaborate space strategies has propelled eight professional leagues into the top grossing entertainments across thirteen galaxies. But there has always been collateral damage from each match, and more and more planets are getting destroyed along the way.
According to the Intergalactic Sporting Authority (ISA), which regulates the destructiveness of sports in the universe, Ch’chup’s planetary destruction rate has increased 20% in the past five Earth years. “Asteroids are regularly sent astray during a match,” read the report, “and generally, the leagues have representatives to catch those strays before they do any damage. But lately, the leagues have not been doing their jobs to the same effectiveness. As a result, more and more planets are being slammed by these asteroids, and many of them are inhabited by sentient beings, and in some cases, the destruction has nearly made some races extinct.”
The report lists a number of factors for the uptick in planetary destruction. The leagues have altered the rules on Ch’chup that favor the passing game, resulting in players throwing more asteroids than they did 10 Earth years ago*. The increased passing attempts have made for greater ratings, and if fans can catch a stray asteroid, they can keep it for a souvenir. And some leagues have let go some of their employees who catch strays to cut down on costs.
CCL Commissioner, J’ol Gordoon, has vigorously defended his league and has downplayed the statistics reported by the ISA. “Everyone knows that Ch’chup is a violent sport,” he said. “It has always been, and we’ve always done our best to avoid the complete annihilations of species. But we work with every solar system to have an arena** where the destruction will be minimal. And sometimes the gravitational pulls of planets and stars take over, and you can’t argue with physics.”
But not every solar system is happy to have a Ch’chup arena. The 8-Cnal system in the Cornac Galaxy nearly had their entire planet destroyed by a series of eight asteroids from one match. “If we didn’t have a force field to stop the first three,” said Ruler 134-Cpoll, “we would’ve been killed by the impact and dust clouds that would’ve blocked the sun for the next 300 years. 40% of our population died that day and another 20% died over the last two years. We’re barely surviving now.
“As much as I enjoy a good Ch’chup match, the CCL and other leagues need to take better precautions to stop genocide.”
Commissioner Gordoon did not comment.