Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

“Well, there it is Brothergod,” said Sistergod enthusiastically, “the space probe Voyager crossed the boundary of their solar system. By My reckoning, they did it in less than 20 revolutions around the galactic core. Therefore, I win the bet.”

“That was too damn quick, if you ask Me,” objected Brothergod. “If I were the suspicious type, I’d accuse you of having a tendril in there someplace.”

“Nonsense,” denied Sistergod. “I didn’t interfere one iota after We seeded their primordial soup. They did it totally on their own. I just sat back like an objective observer, and observed objectively. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Methinks you are protesting too much, Sistergod.”

“I’m just stating the facts, that’s all. Nature had to take its own course, just like we agreed.”

“Soooo, You had nothing to do with that asteroid whipping out the reptiles one quarter of a revolution ago. It was pretty clear to Me that those dimwitted behemoths weren’t going to achieve space flight before your time ran out. I think you decided to roll the dice with the rodents.”

“I swear to Fathergod, I had nothing to do with that asteroid. Besides, I thought those raptors had way more potential than those little mammals. But fortunately for Me, they evolved into primates that liked to kill each other more than they liked sitting in trees eating insects off each others backs. Yep, fear and military technology spurs magnificent innovation, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, especially when they get help from a deity with a stake in the outcome.”

“Face it, Brothergod, You’re just being a sore loser.”

“I still say you cheated. I demand a do-over, or I’m going to ask Mothergod to go back in time and see if you pulled any dirty tricks.”

Knowing She was on the verge of being caught, Sistergod transitioned to negotiation mode. “I’m not admitting to anything, mind You, but I do like a good wager. So, what kind of do-over do you have in mind?”

“We seed the second planet, and start the clock over.”

“The second planet? That’s not fair. It’s way too hot for carbon-based DNA to survive. And silicon life is so lazy it wouldn’t move to get out of the way of a lava flow. I want to do the third planet again.”

“Very well, but you only get 10 revolutions.”


“Twelve and a half, and not a second more,” countered Brothergod.

“Done. I’ll sterilize the…”

“Oh no you don’t,” snapped Brothergod. “I’ll sterilize the planet. You cannot be trusted.”

“Well, I never,” replied Sistergod, feinting indignation. “Do I at least get to keep the oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere?”

“Nope. The same gasses as before. And, Sis, I’ll be watching You this time. So You better behave.”


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