Challenge #00793-B062: One Puzzling Afternoon in the Ambassador's Lounge

“Wait. Wait. I need to understand this.”

Shayde sighed. It wasn’t the first time she’d had to explain it in depth. “Go on.”

“Your people took seven goes to find a planet.”

“Yeh, the thing aboot space is… it’s big. There’s loads o’ stuff in it ye ken…”

“It was your intra-stellar neighbour on an inner track, with a high reflective index. How could you miss?”

“We were gettin’ our sights in.”

“And then you took seventeen tries to land something there, and a further nineteen to land it on purpose.”

“Look, there’s many a slip, awrigh’? We were learnin’.”

“And then you did it twenty-four times before you learned anything about the surface apart from ‘extremely dangerous’.”

“Well, aye, we had tae find out why the probes were failin’.”

“Before you reached reliable space flight, your people sent well over five hundred probes to that planet, none of which lasted longer than three hours. And then you were mad enough to try terraforming it?”

“It worked, didn’t it?”

“Only after you pumped half the atmosphere over to Mars…”

“Aye, but th’ Venusian spas are fookain brilliant.”


“Carefully monitored active cauldera, thanks. We’re no’ completely nuts.”

A stunned and awed silence, in which Lady Ambassador Grex got in a good boggle. “You could have fooled me.”

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