> Through the pounding waves comes a small boat, containing only one
> man. His back is bent with the task of rowing his craft to the
> rocky shore. As the boat reaches the shore, a titanic wave crashes
> it into the rocks, and smashes it to bits. As the surf subsides,
> it becomes clear that the pilot has survived virtually unscathed.
> He crawls up the beach away from the surf, and rests for a moment.
> Then he begins the long ascent up the cliff facing the beach. As
> he proceeds higher, each step is made more perilous than the last
> by the loose shale and gravel that cover the narrow goat path up
> to the summit. Finally, he reaches the top, and at once he is
> assailed by the gale-force winds blowing across the mesa before him.
> He bends into the wind, and trudges single-mindedly into the storm.
> After a time, snow begins to fall and the gale turns into a blizzard.
> Just at the last moments of visibility before the coming twilight and
> blowing snow swollow all chance of survival, his destination comes
> into view: a one-room wooden shack which looks fit to be condemed,
> but is never the less proof against the storm's fury.
> He opens the door, and the rusty hinges screem and groan in protest.
> The inside reveals nothing save a table and a chair in one corner.
> On the table is a terminal lighting the room in a ghostly blue-gray
> glow. The man sits before the terminal, which, as if sensing his
> presence, displays a message which first appears to be in some
> foriegn alphabet, but after a moment, it can be seen to be a very
> odd font. The message says:
> Speak, traveler. What question have you for the Oracle?
> For several long moments the traveler sits staring at the message.
> Then he slowly begins to type on the keyboard:
> Mighty Oracle: I have braved many hazards, risked my life, and
> forsook any hope of return to my native land to gain your
> wisdom. The question I ask has been pondered by the wise men
> of my country to no avail -- but surely you must know.
> This is the puzzle I seek to unlock: where lies the greatest
> treasure of life?
> After this, the traveler opens his pack, and makes camp in the
> corner of the shack, to await an answer.