29.03.2024

Friends

How The Script Once Was Almost Stolen

Once upon a time, there was a script of the Physics Olympiad. It had been created by Rafael, Barbara, Cyrill, Levy, David, Quentin, Lionel, Sven and Sebastian. It had been proofread by many other leaders and participants. The script had always been an important part of the Physics Olympiad, it would answer any questions the participants had. Therefore, it was a Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius and had to be protected.
[Translate to English:] the script at sunrise

After the threat to steal the script, the three guards flee with it. Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] the script and a guard on a tractor and a horse

At first, the participants fled with a tractor and a horse. Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] script in a tunnel

Later on, their paths passed through a complex mesh of tunnels. Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] script with the three guards

Even in extraordinary circumstances, the daily ritual with the script is to be performed. Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] script reaching the finish first

The script wins a tight race against the chasers. Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] the script eating Fondue

The victory is celebrated with Fondue… Image: Fynn Krebser

[Translate to English:] SPhO written on the sky

... and even some firework. Image: Fynn Krebser

Right now, the script is on holidays skiing and enjoying some time off after the exhausting weekend at EPFL. It had been a very intense time – quite the opposite of a regular training weekend. As the leaders on the first night returned to the classroom, they discovered a message on the blackboard: “We know where the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius is. If you don’t hand it over within the next 24 hours, we’ll make sure you won’t see it ever again.” Of course, the leaders were concerned. They immediately woke up all the participants and they all assembled at EPFL. After a heated discussion, they settled on choosing three guards. Their mission was to flee with the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius and hide it. In the early morning, the three left in the light of the sunrise.

After a short walk, they found a horse and a tractor. “This is perfect, we can use these to flee”, said one of the guards. Even though another guard would have preferred to flee by train, they decided on the horse as that is safer.

They departed right away. But the authors of the threat had apparently already found out that the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius had disappeared. One of the guards received a message: “You might have thought you could outsmart us. But we already know that you have fled. No worries, we’ll find you soon enough. Because unless you send us an image of the script right now, we will lock all the other participants and leaders in at EPFL. They had no choice but to follow the instructions. Now that the blackmailers knew about the horse and tractor, they had to continue on foot.

“Look – there is a tunnel. We could hide here!” a guard said. She had grown up in a very small village and knew quite well how to avoid other people. They entered the tunnel without knowing about the other end. Suddenly, they remembered it would soon be time to perform the daily ritual with the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius. This was not to be missed under any circumstances. Fortunately, one of the guards had enough experience in dealing with writings of unmatched, exorbitantly intoxicating and brain-shattering Genius because he attended a monastery school, and was able to perform the ritual underground.

Once more, the blackmailers requested an image. They knew that matters could not go on likewise for any longer, and figured out a plan: “How about challenging these morons to a duel with the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius? Maybe a 100-meter run? Surely, they will underestimate the real power of our Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius and fall for it.” “Even though this is very risky indeed, it seems to be the only solution.” With a queasy feeling, they send their chasers a message reading: “We’ll meet in exactly two hours at the Olympic Museum. If one of you can run faster than the script, we’ll give it to you.”

The chasers did indeed belief that this should be an easy task – a book won’t run too fast, will it – and agreed to the deal. The three participants were quite astonished as they saw the Austrian IPhO-team approach the meeting point. They must have found out about the power of the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius and have wanted to use it to their advantage. By now, it was dark outside, but in spite of the darkness, they prepared for the run. Finally, the faithful race took place. The tension was kept upright during the entirety of the whole run. After what felt like infinity, the final relief came – the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius was faster.

The Austrians were really upset. Reluctantly, they had to accept this decision and left. The three participants returned the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius proudly to the Physics Olympiad.

The relief was huge. The Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius had been saved. All the physicists got together and had a cheese fondue. As team players, they invited the Austrian team, too. This day was to be celebrated – a firework was organized for the Writing of Unmatched, Exorbitantly Intoxicating and Brain-Shattering Genius. Looking precisely, there even were a few letters, spelling “SPhO”.

 

Authors: David, Fynn, Luis, Noelia

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