Chapter Forty Seven
Dappled afternoon sunlight skated over Kainda and Granny as they strolled through the wooded out lots that skirted the subdivision. Nightfall was on its way and it soon would be dark enough for Kainda to go about her business without being easily noticed.
“Grandmother, I have been thinking,” Kainda began. “You have been a part of the pursuits for many years, correct?”
“’Many’ is an understatement, my dear,” Granny replied.
“The participants are without a clue as to what they are chasing, although someone, somewhere does know what the prize is, correct?”
“Do you know what the prize is for this pursuit?”
“I can tell you that the prize will suit the winner. That is all I can say and that is all that I know.”
The two continued strolling as visions of the perfect prize swirled through Kainda’s head.
“I hope to win a pursuit one day,” Kainda wished.
“Why wait? Your ‘one day’ could be sooner than you think.”
“But I am an arbiter.”
“There are competitors and arbiters. You can’t be both.”
“Oh, little one, you are supposed to be the smart one,” Granny smiled. “To win the pursuit one must pay close attention to details. Recite the rule but think about what you are saying.”
Kainda recited the rule once in her head and then once aloud.
“Before the pursuit begins all participants must declare to be a competitor --one that seeks the treasure-- or an arbiter -- one that enforces the rules. Once a position is declared a competitor may only seek treasure and not act as an arbiter. An arbiter’s role is to assure rules are followed and a level of decorum is maintained.”
Granny clapped her hands in approval. “Bravo. That was very nice. It was as if you were reading directly from the rule book. Now tell me the rule again, but in your own words.”
“The rule says that you must choose to be a treasure seeker or a rule enforcer. Once you choose your role you may only act in that role throughout the game.”
“Ehhhhh!” Granny did her best impression of a game show buzzer.
Kainda was puzzled.
“The Pursuit is a game,” Granny continued, “that is won by the player that can interpret the rules to his or her advantage. The rule may imply that an arbiter is prohibited from seeking treasure but it never actually states that an arbiter may not seek the treasure. Tell me, why do you think I had Martha extracted from the game?”
“She was disqualified for killing her teammate.”
“Ehhhhh!” Granny buzzed again.
“The rules state that no competitor may fatally wound another competitor!” Kainda argued.
“That is true, “Granny agreed. “But Martha killed a teammate, not a competitor. No rule was broken. She understood that there is room for interpretation.”
The two strolled as Kainda mulled things over.
“So I can pursue this treasure as long as I don’t act in a manner that is unfair to the other teams. Is that even possible?” Kainda asked.
“Unfair would be a matter of interpretation. That kind of decision would rest on the shoulders of an arbiter.” Granny winked.
“So why did you disqualify Martha?”
“She wasn’t disqualified. She was extracted.”
“Why was she extracted, then?”
“That bitch ain’t got no bottom half!” Granny laughed.