This is a tale of two brothers – Ralph The Repeater and Earnest The Explorer.
The two lived on the planet Erasnick, a place that prided itself on its athleticism.
The brothers came from a family of pedigree. Their father had been named the Interplanetary Player of the Year three times and many other members of the family had represented Erasnick at the Games too.
As with most brothers of a similar age, a fierce rivalry existed between the two. Ralph and Earnest would make a competition of nearly anything, including their daily chores. The two would race to see who could muster the family’s Keepel, a sheep-like animal, the fastest.
Of course, their keenness to compete led to some troubles. Once during mustering season, the boys rustled the Keepel with such speed that the creatures were worked into a frenzy affecting their Goopel (a purple plasma-like substance) production for weeks.
The brothers went down different training paths; this is how their names came about. Ralph, the older of the two, was known for his discipline. When working on a skill, he had the willpower and fortitude to train for hours. He would adopt the tried and tested methods that past athletes had sworn by.
Earnest opted for a different approach. He would tell you himself that he is a ‘shiny objects’ kind of guy. He wasn’t sold on the idea that methods of the past were the best way to achieve results. He didn’t possess the stubborn discipline of his older brother but was inquisitive and searched the galaxies for alternative ways to improve. His exploring came at a cost, though, as the time which could have been spent training was instead spent travelling and determining the effectiveness of the approaches he had discovered.
When it came to local and national competitions, the two excelled in different areas with Ralph winning half of the time and Earnest the other. An observer could not say who was the better of the two.
Interplanetary competitions were a different story. Although they often put up a good fight, neither brother was able to take home the crown.
Soon after another failure at the tournament, the brothers sat together consoling each other over a steaming mug of Jalapo. The planet hosting the year’s competition, Plidar, was famous for its Jalapo. The flavour of the drink was reminiscent of Earth’s cinnamon though rather than being watery, the drink was thick and creamy.
It dawned on Earnest, as the two were discussing where they had gone wrong, that perhaps they should try a different approach.
Earnest proposed they take a leaf out of each other’s books – that is, Earnest would teach Ralph about the more effective methods of training he had gathered during his exploration, while Ralph would train Earnest to improve his discipline and single-mindedness.
Having nothing to lose, Ralph agreed and the two went to work.
The local competitions yielded the same results as before their discussion. It was a dead heat between the two. The difference now was their competitors, who usually managed to stay within reach of the two brothers, were blown away. It had become a two-horse race.
It wasn’t long before the next Interplanetary event rolled around. This would be a true test of their new strategy.
The difference was remarkable. The competitors were fierce but the brothers from Erasnick proved too strong with Ralph winning the tournament by the barest of margins over his younger brother.
A similar thread would appear for years to come with the two trading places on the podium. Their approach, combining a doggedness to work hard with searching and applying the most effective training methods, created an unparalleled legacy of Interplanetary dominance that would never be surpassed.