Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PUZZLE (11/24/16)
TITLE: Problems Solved!
By David Butler
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The Doctor glared at every delegate present before he continued, making sure they all nodded submissively.
He had Ultimate Power in this conference now. Everyone knew it – even the most powerful national leaders present bowed to it.
War-weary, famine-weary, disease-wracked humanity was tired of political manipulation and endless, fruitless diplomacy. If they wanted to avoid rioting in the streets in every city on the face of the Earth, national leaders had to come up with Real Answers, not more of the same rhetoric that now nauseated the masses.
Desperately, they all turned to the Global Science Community as their last resort.
Everyone knew, of course, that Science is politically neutral and totally objective in its response to everything. People treated them as virtual gods – the Saviours of the World.
As President of the GSC, the great Doctor was virtually World Ruler.
A forceful, charismatic leader and master-orator, he had shot quickly to the highest rank ever achieved among scientists. He made sure they all acknowledged it.
‘Very well! Then you must give us ALL the resources and access to all the data we need. We must be independent! No political or capitalistic agendas are permitted in this project! But above all: No religious agendas! We must be free of assumptions based on faith. We will only accept FACTS!’
He turned toward the World Religion Alliance delegation, most of which squirmed under his stern gaze.
He noted a few absences, and smiled with satisfaction. The powerful Evangelical Christian Alliance had finally been banned from the WRA, even outlawed in all progressively-minded countries. Admittedly, their influence had brought stability, even prosperity, but who wanted to live under such an archaic, hypocritical and bigoted world-view anyway? Let them enjoy their weird “revival” without him.
The Doctor now waved his hand toward a hovering hologram before them, unveiling his Great Plan.
To make it easier for all “non-scientists” in the audience, it appeared in the form of a gigantic holographic jigsaw puzzle.
‘Anticipating your request, the GSC have gathered together whatever data we have available from our networks, including both known problems and available solutions, all thoroughly analysed and peer-reviewed. As you can see, it is extremely complex, because so many elements are interwoven with each other. Furthermore...’
With another gesture of his arms, he rotated the massive image to reveal large gaps and cracks in the puzzle.
‘....You will observe that there are "missing pieces" in our plan. Gaps which we rely on all of you to fill: Resources and information! Once we have sufficient “pieces of the puzzle”, we can finalize our Grand plan, invoke the solution, make our recommendations to implement that Plan. Any questions?’
No one dared ask if the Plan would actually work, naturally. That was a given.
It only took one year to gather everything needed.
The GSC officers made sure that everything was obtained – often using the threat of Zero Benefit for Zero Participation to intimidate the powers-that-be to comply.
Everything was duly added to the Puzzle, which had grown so huge, it had to be scaled down just to fit inside the auditorium.
As the delegates eagerly gathered, the hologram hovered over their heads as a magnificent Earthlike globe.
It was the Doctor’s finest hour.
After preliminaries, he rose to his feet and branded his special device before them all.
‘It’s the moment you have been waiting for, folks! Our networks have processed all the information! Now for the final step: You will now see simulated graphics-based solutions within this great puzzle, triggered by simply waving my hand over this device. We, the GSC, now deliver you recommendations that will change our world forever! No more wars! No more famine! Humanity has now fully evolved!’
The whole gathering held its breath, watching for the great puzzle to transform as he waved his hand like a magic wand.
The hologram began to vibrate. Strangely, the changes appeared to be distorted and fragmented.
Irritated, he turned to his technicians who promised a smooth presentation.
They shrugged helplessly.
To the Doctor’s dismay, it suddenly exploded and came showering down upon the delegates horrified faces, disappearing like bursting bubbles.
Then the blaming and finger-pointing began.
‘You promised us the Ultimate Solution! Where is it??’
‘But NOTHING is missing!’ he wailed. ‘Every physical law has been invoked!’
A voice from the audience spoke clearly.
‘Maybe there’s missing pieces outside the Physical Sciences after all!’
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