Dibsed by Holly, who is being all dutiful and organised this week.|
The Dural Sessions were initially planned as an attempt to ease some of the tensions that would eventually lead to the Orbital Wars. Invitations were extended to the 500 foremost human-run entities or collectives then in existence (as listed in Galaxy Magazine's 500 Most Powerful Special Issue), comprising 337 governments, 42 non-profit organisations, 3 independent mercenary fleets, 117 corporations, and the Galaxy Magazine editorial staff social events committee. Given so many attendees, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Sessions endured for, by all accounts, at least 750 local days, though claims in recent years that these were in fact not local days but Alphas cycles can probably be dismissed as exaggerations.|
Though surviving records of the Sessions are sketchy and often self-contradictory, few outside the [Sessionic Cult]? dispute the interpretation that the first 700 local days were spent reaching an accord on how the discussion would be conducted: matters of time-keeping, translation, breaks for religious observances and meals, intellectual property and broadcast rights, and seating arrangements. After reaching an accord, the Sessions then went into recess, reconvening after 30 days (or 28, if the Cult is to be believed) to begin the serious discussion. By this time a spirit of camaraderie had developed among attendees, cemented by their recent days of restful socialising, and it was a shock to all present when the news of the outbreak of the Orbital Wars arrived and they realised that their discussions were not only irrelevant, but that (due to the Belated History Effect) many deep friendships had been formed between attendees who had, technically, been at war with each other.
Instead of creating conflict, this immediately caused the Sessionists to unite further; if they could reach harmonious agreement on matters as acrimonious as seating arrangements and timekeeping, surely it was their duty not to let this accord fall apart, but instead to reach out to those who had sent them and demonstrate how apparent conflict could be resolved to the satisfaction of all. Before bidding each other farewell and returning to their homes with this message of peace, however, the Sessionists (under the guidance of the Galaxy Magazine editorial staff social events committee) decided to hold a farewell gathering, culminating in a burst of fireworks for each cycle the Sessions had endured. It was during these fireworks that it became clear that although the Sessions had agreed to keep records by cycle, a definition of the term had never been explicitly reached.
Scholars have assumed that it was this realisation that led to the collapse of the Sessionists' devotion to peace, but conclusive evidence has yet to be found; neither Sessionists nor records postdating the celebration survived.