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Helvetica Scenario

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The Helvetica Scenario is a thought experiment in subatomic physics that originated in universities on the planet Terra, but the experiment is very popular amongst scholars at Enigma University on Katia.

It has to do with the atomic structure of the element calcium; while it tends to be a very stable element, the nucleus of a calcium atom can be removed using quantum superposition, leaving the electron shell "free". While this would cause the collapse of most shells instantly, the shell of a calcium atom can sustain itself for a full second or two after its nucleus has been removed.

Various attempts to use either the liberated electron shell or nucleus for various tasks have been attempted over the centuries, but all of them have ended in failure. The most tragic of these is when a liberated calcium nucleus interacts with other biological compounds in living tissue, resulting in sudden chemical reactions.

The most catastrophic biological change was theorized (and later simulated) by Professor Maxwell Haas of the University of Bern, in the Terran state of Switzerland. Professor Haas was able to show, using computer simulations, a chain reaction brought about by quantum superposition of a calcium nucleus into fatty skin tissue on humanoid creatures. A very fast mutation began, resulting in cellular growth which caused the skin to grow over all open orifices on the skin's surface.

Shortly after the computer simulations were verified by interstellar agencies, the experiment was attempted on a laboratory mouse. The chain reaction did in fact begin, but the animal's heart failed before the experiment could be completed, with scientists theorizing that the shock of having its body change so quickly overloaded it.

The threat of this sort of thing ever happening in nature, or as the result of an accident, or the result of a very sophisticated terrorist attack, has led to it being very well-documented, even though it has yet to occur in any of the above situations. The entire experiment was published in a highly publicized research paper called "The Helvetica Scenario: Quantum Calcic Superposition and Dangerous Mutation". The name "Helvetica Scenario" was picked from the old Latin name for Switzerland, Helvetia, since the entire experiment was spearheaded by scientists from that region. The report was groundbreaking, insofar as it showed the dangers of superposition, thus leading to the strict regulation of such quantum devices.

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