Light glinted off a dozen polished pieces of cutlery that had been placed out on a tablecloth. Upon closer inspection, one would have noted that the tablecloth was most definitely made of the finest quality silk, and that the cutlery lay on its soft surface was of equal value. Candles illuminated the dining table, their long wicks burning with little flames that seemed somehow gentle, and yet harsh at the same time.
The food in the dishes was also impressive - cumulatively, the cost of serving up that very meal could have probably fed an entire family in the slums, for a whole month. Subtle scents and faint flavors mixed in the air above the carefully arranged serving platters, teasing the noses of those present with hints of the culinary masterpieces that awaited their palates.
Salad tossed with virgin olive oil. Stewed lamb marinated in an exotic blend of herbs that compensated for the meat's heavy natural smell. Wine that had been poured with utmost precision into decanters, being of a year that would make a connoisseur nod in approval. A thick soup, red much like that lobsters and tomatoes that had been used to prepare it.
Somehow, all of the above were yet to be touched by anyone that was sitting at the table. Instead, all eyes were presently focused on a little piece of card, no more than six inches by eight inches in terms of its dimensions.
A man dressed in a meticulously tailored suit was holding the small card in one of his slender-fingered hands. Only the barest hint of a frown lingered at the edge of his mouth, indicating his possible displeasure.
"Distinctions in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. High credits in Economics and English," the man enunciated slowly, drawing the attentions of everyone that was present to himself, "High credits in Economics and English."
Silence hung heavily in the air after he finished his sentence.
"High credits in Economics and English," he repeated, a note of scorn very discernible in his words now, "Can you do nothing right? You lazy, good-for-nothing piece of scum?!"
One of the younger people sitting at the table fidgeted nervously, "But Father-"
"Spare me your excuses!" snapped the man, throwing the card onto the floor with a look of disgust on his face, "No son of mine shall ever be a man of the Sciences. NO son, of MINE!"
The young man he had been speaking to now had a pained expression on his face, "Please, Father. There is more to the Sciences than weapons development. Why-"
"You think you are so smart with your fancy mathematical proofs, formulas, and scientific theorems! You shall go NOWHERE with them!"
"Scientists will be the death of this world!" boomed the man, clenching his fists, "And if you wish to pursue your higher education in those abominable fields, you are no son of mine!"
"I can prove that-"
With an angry bellow, the man stood up abruptly, and overturned the dining table. Food and drink were splattered across the carpeted floor, staining the antique rugs with a stain that was nothing less than a very expensive mess. China shattered and glass broke, the cacophony of noise disrupting the orderly atmosphere which had once filled the room. Those who had been seated at the table let out cries of shock, and hastily sprung out of their chairs - all of them except for the young man who had incited his father's wrath.
"PROVE YOUR FOOLISHNESS, AND DEFY ME IF YOU DARE!"
Without sparing a backwards glance at the others in the room, the infuriated man turned around abruptly and stalked out, slamming the door behind him.
As several maids rushed forward to clean up the massive mess their employer had left behind as a token of his anger, the young man contemplated his finely-tailored clothes, now covered liberally in some of the most exquisite food on Gaia.
"In that case," he whispered softly, oblivious to the voices of the maid who was calling out his name, "I am no longer of this house."
Prove that the position vector of any point along the line LM is equal to 0.5a + 0.5k(b + c - a).
A finger moved across several lines of text slowly, guiding a air of eyes through the written workings of a mathematical problem. Diagrams, arrows, and words blended together within a dimly-lit room, a veritable island of silence amidst the nocturnal symphony of the forest that surrounded the Junon Institute of Technology. Built in the middle of a jungle to allow its students the maximum peace and solitude necessary for academic excellence, the university commonly known as JIT was renowned for its Engineering programs.
"If a parallel vector of a is equivalent to ka, then..." muttered the student, weariness evident in his voice. He hadn't slept in about two days, and the numbers he was trying to read kept swimming on the pages before his eyes.
Tacked to the wall was what looked like a family photograph, all the faces blacked-out with marker ink save for two - the older of the two was circled and labeled with a tag that read 'PROVE THIS'.
Determine the direction and magnitude of the resultant force for three forces acting on a particle with magnitudes of five Newtons, eight Newtons, and thirteen Newtons with bearings of thirty degrees, sixteen degrees, and forty degrees respectively.
"And so, by applying the concepts of basic mechanics, we can..."
"Solving these differential equations of the second order..."
"Given the following conditions, nitration of the benzene ring..."
"When total internal refraction occurs..."
An endless series of lectures, all touching on subjects whose scopes were as deep as they were broad. Most of the students at JIT dropped-out after their second year, unable to take the strain any more. They would be snapped-up rapidly by other universities and companies with lesser recognition - such was the reputation held by JIT.
Out of the forty-five students that had enrolled for the 1976 batch, fifteen had dropped out by 1978. One of those that didn't happened to have a curious photograph in his dormitory room that had an even stranger tag taped to it.
It read 'PROVE THIS'.
For the two variables given, determine the optimum amount of commodities X and Y that can be manufactured under the following conditions...
Pens and pencils scratched furiously on sheets of paper, as graphs were drawn, calculations were scrawled out, and answers underlined. Professor Zudokorn Piyotte's examination papers were notorious for being tough, and this particular test was no different from the others.
He might have lectured for mathematics, but he insisted on setting questions derived from Chemistry, Biology, and Physics for his tests. And he claimed that it was all necessary to instill a solid understanding of the elegant simplicity called mathematical logic.
The students sitting for the dreaded paper perspired, cursed, and prayed, even as they struggled to solve the mind-boggling problems posed before them. Up ahead, at the forefront of the examination hall, their professor sat with his legs propped up on the lecturer's dais, smirking at nothing in particular. Above him hung the large, plain-faced clock that kept time for the exam, its matte black hands ticking away with a mechanical lack of mercy.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
No one had ever scored a perfect score on any of his exams to date. NO one.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
"AND," he boomed, enjoying the look of horror that had formed on most of his students' faces, "TIME, is UP!"
The good professor was hung over the next morning, after marking off a student who had somehow managed to ace the exam with a perfect score.
Scrawled in loopy writing next to the blank allocated student's name, was a smiley face and the words 'PROVE THIS'.
With a loud hiss of escaping gases, the first ever Mako reactor in Gaia's history started up, its deep-driven foundations greedily sucking up the miraculous substance from far beneath the planet's crust. Massive pipes, conduits, and cables crisscrossed each other in numerous areas, glowing with a sickly shade of green as they passed along the very compound that gave life to the world of Gaia. Overall, the operating mechanical behemoth would have resembled a scene from a Hell made of machines, if there did indeed exist such a place.
High up above the reactor's working components, a group of men in suits stood congratulating each other, the solid heels of their polished leather shoes clicking smartly on the metal mesh that served as a floor under their feet.
"You've done it!"
A particularly corpulent man in a red suit clapped a meaty hand on the shoulder of his significantly taller and thinner colleague, "I can say with confidence that you have a major promotion lined up!"
"I am overwhelmed," replied the thin man, who was holding a copy of the schematics for the monstrous reactor's basic operating components, "I am just a humble engineer, after all..."
"Nonsense!" laughed one of the other men present, dressed in a green suit, as he thumped his large belly with a large fist, "What's with this false modesty, Reeve? What you trying to prove? That you're humble as well as brilliant?"
Reeve Tuesti smiled at his superiors, as he folded the schematics and stashed them away in his presently empty briefcase, "That, gentlemen, is exactly the point."
As the group of ShinRa executives and stockholders left the platform, heading back to the helicopter that had brought them down into the bowels of the Mako Reactor, Reeve smirked at the sight of all that precious Mako flowing through the workings of the reactor. His reactor.
"Prove this," he whispered, before flinging his briefcase into the seemingly bottomless chasm that was right before him.