The Tangram Enigma
It began with a retired astronomer discovering a comet on a direct course for Earth. He never really retired but officials really wish that he had after identifying the ball of fire and doom. Over the many days the world leaders were presented with very few options on dealing with the crisis at hand. Fearing they would make the wrong decision they decided to let the public choose. They swore to honour and uphold the people’s vote, no matter the outcome. But this was a world that thought “Boaty McBoat Face” and “Trainy McTrain Face” were great names for transportation vehicles. If the politicians had any mercy they would have just blown up the planet then and there. At least that way it’d save a major embarrassment.
Three options where put before the population of our once round planet.
Option One: Send a team of highly experienced, highly skilled, astronauts to the surface of the comet, plant an explosive device deep inside its belly, and detonate from a safe distance. This plan was given a sixty five to seventy percent chance of working. And was suggested by the Hollywood elite.
Option Two: Send several nuclear warheads into space and blast it to pieces. If it didn’t completely destroy the comet it would limit the damage to the planet. Some planet was better than no planet at all. This plan was given a meagre thirty three percent probability of success. But of the three options it was voted the second most favourite.
Option Three: Calculate the precise point of impact of the comet, dig a massive hole to the other side of the planet, then simply let the comet fly through. It was nicknamed “Holey McHole Face.” It had a minus infinity chance of effectively avoiding disaster but won by a staggering three quarters of the vote. The voting turn out was the highest in the world’s history and all the experts agreed that they wish it hadn’t been.
Before the hole had even reached the core of the planet (which they never fully figured how to bypass) the comet struck. Its destructive power was amplified by the giant crater we had provided it with. It caused the core to erupt and the Earth shattered into pieces. Billions died. It was absolute chaos. At least, that’s how the elders tell it. I wasn’t even born then. All I have ever known is this flat piece of rock we call Plana Petram. You can see the edge from every direction if you’re high enough. But I’ve never been that high. There’s only one building with that kind of view and if you’re smart you’d avoid it completely.
We were never told any other story other than the one the Governingmen taught. They tell us Plana Petram was formed by The Goods and gave Manly Men the power to rule. One Manly Man in particular, President Comfort. People forget what he looks like now. He’s not one for making appearances. But he has been in charge for as long as I’ve been alive. Before even. He resides in the tallest building at the centre of Plana Petram inside The Ministry of Stuff and Things.
It is here Governingmen deal with all the important issues that face our world. We’re not quite sure what they are but we’re told it’s extremely tedious and that there is seldom time to worry about the problems of the people, such as hunger and medicine.
But there has been a growing distaste towards our Governingmen as of late. People are sick and tired of the lack of attention they receive. But they better be careful for what they wish for. The Governingmen may not care about the everyday woes of us common folk, but they do have an interest in what we are up to. Those who were caught preaching tales of a round Earth were either mysteriously murdered or suspiciously killed. But those who managed to survive and are brave enough to tell their stories to whomever will listen, do so because they believe that we are only but one Plana Petram. In fact, they believe there are seven in total. They call this The Tangram Enigma.
I have been around for three hundred full moons. This world is the only one I have ever known. But the idea that there are other pieces of rocks like ours fills me with excitement. I can’t stop imagining them out there, floating about in space, perhaps thinking the same things we are. I wonder what their world looks like? Are the people a somewhat similar shape? Do they
tell the same stories of a round Earth? Do they worship the same Goods or different ones, or none at all? I have a dangerously curious need to find these answers. But I need to do it quietly, and away from the ever watchful eyes of the Governingmen. That is why, as of tomorrow, I start a new job inside the Ministry of Stuff and Things. There is no better place to find the truth and no better place to stay under the radar, right under their very own noses.
Brian has an itch… A mighty big itch. But it is no ordinary itch, oh no. It’s an itch for storytelling. Brian creates for a living. He can not see himself doing anything else. He has spent the last ten years building a portfolio of work, producing short films, music videos, and short stories. Brian studied film and television in IADT Dun Laoghaire and since graduating in 2011 has been evolving and honing his skills ever since. He has won awards for his work, winning Best Student Film at the Kerry Film Festival ion 2011, and has showcased several other projects in numerous festivals across Ireland, including the Jameson International Film Festival and Cork Fastnet Film Festival, to name but a few. Keep up to date on his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/dunsterpictures and check out some of his work on Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/briandunster