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A Scientific Perspective

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You scour the crowd for more instigators, but you can't seem to find any. Eventually you take a break and step out of the fray to rest for a moment in a mostly quiet grassy plot. While you're taking the breather, a woman walks up and stands next to you. She tilts her head toward the fray and says, "I've been watching this for a while. I think you're wasting your time in there."

"Yeah?" you growl. "You've got a better idea?"

"Actually, I do. I've seen you focusing on the instigators, but there's something else going on. The instigators aren't the real issue--there might not even be any left. When the most obvious solution is eliminated, you've got to look for a different solution."

You look the woman over a little more closely. She appears to be in her early forties, and doesn't fit well with the mostly young crowd rioting below. "What are you, a riot expert?" you ask, not quite as harshly as your previous question.

She laughs. "I'm a scientist. That makes me a professional observer. And sometimes good at logic."

"So what do you see that I don't?"

"I see a riot that broke out for no reason. I see that the people who were apparently driving the fight don't seem to have much of an effect when they're removed. That tells me something else is keeping the people angry. There's an X factor. Figure out what that factor is, and you can put an end to this. My guess would be there's something out there that's messing with the emotions of everyone else, making them angry when they wouldn't be. Maybe a device, maybe a person. But something like that. If you weren't so busy fighting in there, you might have felt it by now."

You sit for a moment, trying to figure out how to sense a projected emotion, but there's nothing on your emotional scanner besides the normal frustrations and pains of combat. Maybe the woman's right, though. You nod briefly to her, then shrug and wade back into the fray.

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