“We come before you, the sacred oracle of the founders, to invoke our first request. We ask that all hydrocarbon damage to the ozone layer of our atmosphere be reversed back to ideal living levels.” The international chairman of the oracle committee performed the necessary rituals and waited impatiently to see what would happen.
Within minutes, the entire planet was a paradise of sparkling clean air and smog-free skies. For the first time in many years, citizens of metropolitan cities across the world could breathe deeply without inhaling pollution and deadly carcinogens. Skylines were not obscured by the opaque fog of factory smoke and automobile exhaust.
Without a doubt, the first consultation between man and the ancient problem-solving tool was successful. The chairman had correctly followed all the procedures necessary for invoking the alien oracle. It was evident from the clean air overhead that his short-sighted request had been granted.
In a short period of time however, the continued proliferation of fossil-fuel pollution started undoing the atmospheric cleansing. A far wiser request would have been for mankind to obtain environmentally harmless, transportation technology. The Earth would have rapidly cleansed itself once humanity stopped harming it.
With one precious ‘favor’ used up and gradually eroding, the committee members vowed to spend more time researching and deciding upon the remaining two requests. Around-the-clock guards had to be posted outside the top-secret location to prevent tempted individuals from squandering another of the requests. A double blind security system was in place to discourage rogue attempts by individual agents with clearance.
After a long series of votes were cast within the determination committee, a new agenda was agreed upon for the second consultation. The chairman once again went before the oracle to make their new request. This time he felt they were fully prepared to ask for the most beneficial thing in the entire world. The best possible item had been decided upon through the rigors of the democratic process.