A synthesized fanfare sounded above Sara’s head, followed immediately by disappointed groans from her rivals and a smattering of applause from onlookers. A dome of flawlessly clear glass (or was it glass?) extended itself from a point about fifty feet above the spire, locking her in and the other contestants out.

Then the light began in a cold wave, battering her even through the padding of the black bodysuit. Sara buried her head in her arms, eyes tightly shut. Her body began to tremble, not like someone with Parkinson’s in the old days, but like the motorized massager in her top drawer at home. She buzzed.

The excess light faded from the dome above, and Sara was able to open her eyes. The humans around her began to shout and chant: “Take it off! Take it off!”

She unzipped her bodysuit, and stepped out gracefully. The crowd gasped and cheered. The shirt and shorts beneath existed only as rainbow accents to her flexible crystalline exoskeleton through which she now shined.

So it begins, she thought. Sing.

View this story's 2 comments.