Primus Inter Pares

It's an unspoken blood feud fought on an Olympic track.

There are no shared last names or nationalities between the eight of you. What you have in common is deeper than the four runners that were sperm or egg donors for your conception. Deeper still than their infamy as the first and last athletes banned from the Olympics due to retroviral genetic augmentation.

You're equally notorious, partly because you have committed no crime. A nebulous team of legal and PR people and AIs — only slightly smaller than the crowd protesting outside the stadium in the warm Toronto night — made the point forcefully enough for the IOC to let you run. You don't care about the near-certain rumor that afterwards they will take all medals away.

Everybody in the world that could win the race is next to you on the track and ready to settle the question you all have in common.

A hundred meters in front of you awaits the answer.

The starter pistol fires.

Less than seven seconds later, you know.