Friday, July 6, 2012

Chapter 2 (b)

This is really a crazy riddle, but considering Rokudou's character this was to be expected. Behind his mask of a very professional man, he's a sadist at heart. I bet he was one of those kids that enjoyed burning ants with a magnifying lens.
But who am I to judge him in the end? All that matters is that his services are absolutely invaluable to me, I can't really live my usual life without him.
Anyway this riddle is absolutely cruel, I can see the many ramifications that this set up could generate, and the intricate design that is quickly forming in my mind is... terrific!

Erika: "I see where this is going, Rokudou."

Rokudou: "Is that so? Hu hu hu."

Erika: "This a set up that is meant to get the worse or the best out of people. Are you a hero or a villain? In this situation you're given the chance to become a true savior or a vile betrayer. There is no act that incarnates the concept of good better than relinquishing your very life to save others. I believe that the largest religion of this world revolves around this concept. Now I guess some would say that saving the world is quite different from saving three persons, but I once read that who saves a life saves an entire world. In the same book it's said that who destroys a soul destroys an entire the world. And what can destroy a soul? I think that being betrayed by whom you trust is among the most heart shattering experiences. And what worse betrayal than that which causes your death? Then you'd be killed twice, both in the mind and in the body.
But there is an interesting factor in this setup that makes it hard to perform either act."

Rokudou: "Please continue, milady, your reasonings are as always extremely fascinating."

Erika: "If it wasn't for this setup a hero could simply abruptly jump down into the fire. He wouldn't have to make the others agree with his plan. This would be a quick and easy resolution. The same way a villain would just need to push one of his 'friends' taking him by surprise. He could even make it look like an accident, if he's crafty. But because of the particular setup, you can't just do that."

Dlanor: "It would be possible if all the statues were on one platform, and all the people were on the other. However Mister Rokudou said that they are both equally distributed. That means there are two persons and two statues on one side and two persons and two statues on the other."

Erika: "Exactly! So in this situation if our hero decided to jump without saying a thing, or if our villain pushed the man closer to him, everyone would die!"

Rokudou: "How come you say that everyone would die? Wouldn't one person be saved in both cases?"

Erika: "Not at all! Maybe this is what a dimwitted villain would think, and it'd be quite hilarious if that were to happen! Let's think about the situation in realistic terms. If you realized that the platform you're standing on is going down, wouldn't you panic and quickly jump onto the other?"

Dlanor: "In other words suddenly there would be two statues on one side and three persons and two statues on the other."

Rokudou: "Terrific! Hu hu hu hu! Even if they quickly removed the statues they'd still weight more."

Erika: "I doubt anyone could manage to get rid of two statues and two men before reaching the bottom."

Rokudou: "But what about this? A truly evil mastermind decides to push the man near him. Then when the others panicking jump to his platform, he jumps to theirs."

Erika: "Hilarious! But quite risky. Who says that this plan would actually work?"

Dlanor: "In the end the first thing that should be done would be move all the statues to one side and all people to the other."

Erika: "Definitely, but it wouldn't be a simple task. You'd need at least two persons to move a statue, this would require a lot of coordination and cooperation. And I wonder if everyone would simply agree to do so before deciding what to do next.
Even if our hero volunteered to be the sacrifice, would everyone else simply agree with it? But this is an unlikely scenario anyway. I think in the end most people would end up deciding to choose randomly one to leave behind."

Rokudou: "And would the chosen one simply accept it, I wonder? Hu hu hu hu."

Erika: "No much problem there. It'd be three against one. I guess that's why the minimum amount of persons to play this game is four."

Dlanor: "So in the end you need to sacrifice one person to save three."

Erika: "Rokudou, let's say that we do that and that you lose at rock paper scissor, what would you do then?"

Rokudou: "That's an interesting question. If that were to happen I'd know I'd have little chances of survival."

Erika: "Chances of survival? I'd leave you with only two choices: jump directly into the fire, or move onto the next platform. I'd suggest the latter, so you could watch us as we'd slowly reach the exit while you'd slowly reach your doom."

Rokudou: "I don't think I could decide that so easily. In the end I'm quite attached to my life, I'd try to bide my time."

Erika: "There's no time! Soon there won't be enough water on those statues to get us out of here. If you can't decide, Rokudou, we'll decide for you."

Dlanor: "You have lost in a fair game. By the rules that we have established and that you have accepted, you are to forfeit your life for the benefit of the rest."

Rokudou: "Wait!"

Erika: "We won't wait! Die, Rokudooou!"

Rokudou: "But as I said, I can't simply accept to die without trying all that I can to survive!"

Erika: "And what do you think you can do against the three of us? You want to fight? Don't even think about taking the cleaver from that statue, as soon as you'd even try getting close to it I'd push you down!"

Rokudou: "No, I'd never think I could get away with it by fighting. It would be foolish."

Erika: "Indeed! It'd be completely pointless! So you might as well accept your inevitable fate without further delay!"

Rokudou: "Wait!"

Erika: "There's no tiiiime!"

Rokudou: "This is a riddle, milady! A riddle! Surely there must be a way to save everyone! Is that really all right for you to give up so easily and choose the easy way out?!"

Dlanor: "..."

Erika: "Pfft... A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Well done, Rokudou! Well done! If you'd say so there's simply no way I'd let you go! I'd rather let everyone die while waiting than accepting my defeat in this intellectual challenge! And so we'd be suddenly two against two! No, Dlanor would be on my side too, isn't it? Ha ha ha ha!"

Rokudou: "Hu hu hu, well played, milady, but you can't fool me, you knew I'd say so, you just wanted me to say it!"

Erika: "Indeed! You really think I didn't already realize that the real solution to this game couldn't be that simple? But I needed you to show me how much you wanted to live first. I needed you to show me your determination! And you played your cards well, you've been found worthy to hear my reasoning! Now I can tell you what your real two choices are! You want to survive Rokudou? I can't promise you that, but if you want to try, then I'll tell you how!"

Rokudou: "I'm listening, milady..."

Erika: "All that we need in order to move up is a five kilograms difference. Then why do we need to remove a whole body?! Aaah! Just because of the existence of that massive cleaver, this level of reasoning is possible for Erika Furudo! The choice is yours, Rokudou! Would you rather die relatively quickly by throwing yourself into the fire, or would you rather suffer a lot more by trying your chances at living and letting me dismember you? Whatever you choose is fine with me! Either way I have already solved this riddle! What do you think, everyone?!"

Dlanor: "..."

Rokudou: "Terrific... Terrific! Hu hu hu hu... ha ha ha ha!!!"

What an awesome butler I have! Look at him, he's simply ecstatic! He's laughing and clapping his hands as if he just witnessed the Japanese football team winning the world cup. Now that would be something to celebrate, but me solving a riddle? It wasn't even that hard, seriously. And yet I must admit that it has been fun.
And then we hear someone knocking at the door, this time it must be Satsukawa. Finally!
I invite him to enter, and Rokudou recomposes himself.

Satsukawa: "Good morning, everyone."

Erika: "You came at the right moment, Satsukawa-san! Between dying burned alive and being dismembered by a cleaver, what would you prefer?"

Satsukawa: "Uh... huh?!"

Rokudou: "Pfft... hu hu hu hu!"

Satsukawa: "I'm sure there's a funny story behind that..."

Erika: "Funny, indeed! We were talking about riddles."

Satsukawa: "I don't want to know how I'm involved with that. By the way, I have the answer to your question! You thought I wouldn't find it, right? But I did! Ha ha!"

Erika: "Question? Which question?"

Satsukawa: "The question about the shed's door! You asked me how I'd close the door from outside!"

Erika: "Oh, that... So, did it take you a whole day to figure it out?"

Satsukawa: "Ugh... you're mean..."

Erika: "He said I'm mean! *giggle*"

Rokudou: "Did you notice only now, Satsukawa-san? Hu hu hu."

Satsukawa: "Rokudou-san too!"

Erika: "All right, what did you come up with to solve that problem?"

Satsukawa: "I'd use a string! It's really a simple thing when you realize it!"

Erika: "You should have realized it instantly precisely because it's extremely simple."

Satsukawa: "Well... anyway you just need to tie a string to the latch's handle, then you close the door and by pulling the string through the small crack you can make the metal bar slide into the locked position!"

Erika: "Clever, and what exactly would you do after that?"

Satsukawa: "After?"

Erika: "Do you plan to leave the string attached? Oh, that would be pretty stupid, even for you."

Satsukawa: "Well... I'd just pull the string very hard until it breaks..."

Erika: "Great! And I suppose the string will conveniently break where it's tied to the handle, right?"

Satsukawa: "Oh, come on! Give me a break!"

Erika: "Sigh... Rokudou, how would you do it?"

Rokudou: "Hmmm, I think there's no need to tie one end of the string to the handle. Rather, I think I'd wrap the middle around it, a single loop should suffice. Then I'd take both ends outside with me. By pulling both ends at the same time I should still manage to make the latch slide in position, then I'd pull a single end to retrieve the string."

Erika: "There you have it."

Satsukawa: "I would've get it, given the time! I just didn't think about this issue before..."

Erika: "The mere fact that you didn't think about it is a huge flaw in your thinking processes."

Satsukawa: "Okay, okay! You're the genius and I'm the idiot! You promised that you'd tell me about your reasonings, if I could find a way to close the door from outside."

Erika: "But you did it wrong."

Satsukawa: "The only thing you asked was for a way to close it from outside! You never specified anything else!"

Erika: "Interesting! What do you think, Dlanor?"

Dlanor: "It is a valid argument, you never asked anything more than that."

Erika: "All right, Satsukawa-san, I decided to reward you for finding this loophole."

Satsukawa: "Ugh... thanks..."

Rokudou: "Hu hu hu!"