Saturday, March 25, 3302

Pizza Baron

After hunting down a pollutant, the next obscure task the Gaalians had lined up for me was representing their planet in a pizza competition. I'd downed my fair share of pizzas growing up on my own, so I thought it would be worth a shot.

2 jumps later and I arrived just in time for the competitions to start. I fronted up to the sign in booth, but before I could complete the registration I was whisked away for an interview. The audience started to get behind me hearing I was representing a planet so far away, but the next question floored me. "Have you been in a pizza maying competition before?". MAKING ??!? Well, uhh, no. Honestly I've never made a pizza before. The crowd went wild. I found out later on that they love an underdog, and anyone entering the galaxy cook-off without being able to cook had them in fits of laughter.

The Gaalians wouldn't be happy if I rejected the competition outright, so I thought I may as well stick around and have a go. The first couple of rounds before mine were eye opening. Each group had a different set of judges to cook for, and the tastes varied wildly between meat-eating Maloqs, vegetarian Faeyans, seafood loving Pelengs, exotic Gaalians, and well-balanced Humans. Contestants tried to balance their effort to appease as many judges as possible, but some combinations were almost impossible. What do you do when you have both a Maloq and a Faeyan on your judging panel?

When they announce my division's judges, I blessed the stars. 1 human and 4 Faeyans! My luck was sweetened when a shadowy Peleng offered bribes for perfect scores from one of the judges. With the human out of the way, all I had to do was concentrate on cooking up vegetarian for the Faeyans!

With a vast array of toppings available in kitchen stadium, our group set off with a frenzy to build a masterpiece. I headed to the fruit stall first and grabbed a little bit of everything. Starting with what looked the most exotic, I layered on the toppings in a brownian motion. The crowd were really behind me, so I kept adding more veggies, some for shape, some for colour, some because it was there.

Eventually all pizzas were baked and ready. The tasting began and silently the judges marked their scores while the crowd were chanting out their predictions with fanatical support. Such a dichotomy of worlds. My pizza was up next and a fanbase I never knew chanted my name. The stadium was surreal. Is this actually happening? The first Faeyan judge happily rose a 10 from his deck of cards and the crowd erupted. Another 10 delivered silently kept the crown on their feet. Amazing! Is this for real? The third Faeyan pondered, and then, too, rose a 10. Perfect score so far! The human was next, and had been in a grumpy mood all night with his scores following his downward attitude. I guess you can't blame him having to put up with vegetarian pizza
time after time as the contestants played to the strengths of the panel. He looked nervous, but produced another 10 that lifted the roof! Four 10's, one more judge "Could this be a perfect score? Has that ever happened before? Who is this guy? Did he say he's never made a pizza? Surely we've been suckered in?" The last judge rose from his seat, attempting to calm the crowd. He intimated to speak, but the crowd noticed the card held absently in his hand. Another 10 was on it's way and the news drowned out the judges remarks. The roar was deafening!

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