------------------------------Which Way Is Left?
Chapter 1: Funding
If all of the reigning government’s assets were to be summed up, and compared to the wealth of Quentin’s educational facility, it would be significantly lower, possibly even less than their total accumulated wealth, and as such money was never an issue at the institution, except when money was in the headlines of the monthly magazine, and when the school had first opened, that clearly goes without saying... Anyways, the time of construction was approximately two hundred sixty years ago, at a time of economic instability, though that was a rather inaccurate description, as there is no such thing as economic stability. Regardless of the standard of living at the time, the funding for the school was entirely paid for by a few wealthy businessmen interested in turnips and eventual future revenue. Why they were interested in turnips, no one knew, but that strange fascination led to the development and construction of the most influential educational facility for all ages in the entire world.
The men in charge of the project, struggling to come up with an idea for how to gain a profit, assembled in an unnecessarily plain room, with the walls reflecting the light of the signs on the sides of the room too well, transforming what was once a magnificent ice sculpture into a mere puddle of cold water. The lights hanging overhead barely shone bright enough to make out the color of the Committee Head’s hair, which reminded one of a robin, in that their blood is usually red. The floor was exceptionally plain, and became the most apparent part of the room upon entering. A simple beige tiling lined the floors in a haphazard manner, as if the done by a drunk man, or Mr. Stevenson’s wife, and contrasted heavily with the multicolored desk at which they had taken upon themselves to be seated, perfectly ordered left to right, up and down by their grandmother’s maiden names, which none of them knew, but somehow managed to arrange themselves in the correct order. The multicolored desk was not selected by the Committee. In fact, they would prefer not to have it there, as Mr. Stevenson is liable to relapse into an epileptic seizure when staring at randomly changing colors, and the table was quite distracting, causing a few of the members of the Committee to forget why they had gathered in the first place. The Committee Head shook his head in abhorrence for the newcomers and proceeded to drop a book on the table that caused a vibration so massive, that one would have believed that there were in actuality two tables occupying the same space. Repositioning the black shades to their original position, he swiped a rogue piece of silver hair out of his range of vision and drew the attention of his fellow board members, whom he mostly regarded with absolute disgust, as they would be the ones to replace him when he was inevitably going to die.
The others quickly turned their heads, creating a small gust of wind as they did so, and silence permeated the air like nitrous oxide, except more instantaneous. Mr. Stevenson unfolded his legs and sat upright with his back perfectly parallel to the chair’s head, accidentally knocking his stack of papers to the floor in the process. He hurriedly reached for them, but he failed to catch them before they touched the floor, causing a loud fluttering noise to echo throughout the room as the table continued to change colors, shifting from blue to red. He quickly gathered them up and reorganized them rapidly and returned to his usual position and posture, but the others simply ignored the entire ordeal and waiting for the Head to speak, surrendered some of their focus to the distracting table, which now shifted from mostly red to a mixture between pink and yellow. Tiny beads of liquid began crawling down his cheeks, falling to the floor with a soft yet easily head splash, though the others continued to pay no attention to the man’s lack of self-confidence. The Committee Head, again angered by his potential successor’s incompetence and tentativeness, finally opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it as quickly as it opened, instead grabbing a lime green sheet of paper before him and performing a thorough scan of it as he prepared to speak.
“Today, we have gathered for the sole purpose of discussing the means of acquiring the funds for this new educational facility. As I am sure you are already aware of, the costs are staggering, and as the Committee for the Improvement of Education, it is our duty do spare no expense, to give from our own wallets to assist in paying for this insurmountable debt easily exceeding an imaginary number. As such, it is clearly impossible for us alone to procure these funds for what could boost the economy and the return the world to its former state of prosperity and peace. What we require is a simple plan, one that can be effectively established as soon as is physically and legally possible, and we need one soon, lest this trough become inescapable and chain us to the confines of despondency and doom. Are there any among you who may possess the possible solution to this appalling problem?”
The Committee Head scanned the table for faces that inspired confidence or reassured him, but he found nothing but blank expressions and empty stares piercing him like a knife would cut through a feathery pillow. Clearly none of them retained even the smallest light of hope or insight in their possession, though now they began seriously considering the situation at hand, though with little hint of success. The Committee had never been faced with so difficult a dilemma before, they usually merely discussed taxes, education reform, textbooks, and what would be deemed acceptable for a universal dress code. They rarely ever reached a conclusion with any of their prior predicaments, but this one demanded urgency and called for a simple game of word association in the hopes that one of them would be able to derive a remedy from the chaos that was usually associated with the practice, but it proved largely unfruitful. First word came up: tuna. That was out. Second: potatoes. Unlikely to prove useful. One after another, their answers came short of the conclusion or drove full speed in the wrong direction entirely, like a drunk racecar driver, but amidst the still partially jumbled mess of Mr. Stevenson’s papers came a possibility. The first words on each paper coincidentally crafted the words: nonexistent imaginary legal entity. Mr. Stevenson immediately considered the outcomes of such a daring move. If agreed upon, they would be directly challenging and perhaps even changing the legislative branches view towards business enterprises and could bankrupt society further on, but it was a risk they would have to take if they seriously contained the desire to improve the current educational system.
“Mr. Head, sir,” began Mr. Stevenson, fidgeting uncontrollably with his vocal inflection doing the same, “I have a thought, sir.”
“What is it this time? And it better be good, for your sake. I shouldn’t have to remind you that your name is on the list for removal from the Committee. In fact, I’m the one who approved your placement on said list.”
“Umm. Well, sir. I think that this entire set of… Uh… What was I going to say?”
The Committee Head contemplated the benefits of lunging at him with the mechanical pencil sitting beside the documents he had been holding earlier, but he managed to restrain himself, deciding that it required too much work on his part. Instead, he sighed with utter contempt and placed his hand on his head in a manner that suggested that merely speaking to Mr. Stevenson was enough to cause him real, physical, and psychological, pain.
“Well, sir, I believe, if I may so bold, that our troubles can be solved by merely forming an, uh, nonexistent fictional entity.”
“What the hell does that mean?” said the Committee Head with his face beginning to traffic more blood that it should, and his eyebrows collapsing into what can only be assumed to be the next level of the usual disdain he displayed to his inept coworkers.
“Well, sir, since the entity is fictional… Uhhh, there’s much you can do…”
“What I think he means, Mr. Head,” began Mrs. Bleach, “is that the government can’t tax or bill anything that doesn’t exist, as such, we can borrow financial resources without having to pay back the loan later. Also, we don’t get taxed.”
“While that is true, how are we supposed to pay the wages of the teachers?” inquired Mr. Rumsley.
“We never said that this school was going to be a nonprofit organization,” reminded Mr. Phobbes. “We could simply make the classes extremely rigorous so few students are capable of passing, and to get more money and increase attendance, we could keep the entrance fees low, thereby increasing the number of people who can attend, while still making a profit margin large enough to sustain a rather large faculty.”
“Hmmm. Yes,” agreed Mr. Rumsley. “We’ll be able to pay our employees quite a bit since we don’t have to bother with hiring an official to do our taxes. We also don’t have to pay the taxes.”
The board members twisted their heads in the direction of Mr. Head, who returned an insightful stare towards the center of the table. Finally, after much contemplation, his mouth opened and he began to speak.
“Perhaps, Mr. Stevenson, I have misjudged you. It is true. The government cannot tax that which does not exist, but how do you suggest that we prove to them that our facility is nonexistent?”
“We’ll need a lawyer, obviously,” said Mrs. Bleach.
Unfortunately, they recruited a lawyer, and the school’s construction could no longer be halted. In order to finance the construction, the Committee requested and procured a loan from an unsuspecting loaning institution, which soon discovered that it had no means, both legal and physical, of seeking retribution for the loan now lost to it. The owners then committed suicide, with their money now exchanging hands between the Committee Head and the contractor, who wore a tie.
The plan they developed proved to be more successful than they could have ever imagined was possible. Their plan essentially followed the outline they developed at their meeting: allow anyone to attend, no matter their score on standardized tests, Grade Point Averages, transcripts, amount of volunteer work, and time participating in extracurricular activities, and then charge people very little to attend. In addition to allowing anyone to attend and making the courses cheap, they agreed to make the courses as challenging as possible, so the probability of receiving a passing grade in any course was very minute and quite generally reserved for those who have either taken the course numerous times, absolute geniuses, and those who have absolutely no social lives whatsoever.
The school began construction nearly forty years before they came up with the idea, and it almost immediately gained much popularity and was highly regarded as one of the greatest schools that would ever grace the continent of Canada, which decided it was a continent seven years after the United States’ Second War on Terror, which was simply a video game released that received relatively decent scores. Nonetheless, Canada, now having a major export other than maple syrup, immediately began to see a general improvement in their financial situation, though some argue that the cause of the improvement was the government’s active use of fiscal policy in order to decrease the rapidly increasing inflation. The Canadians paid those people little mind, however, as they deemed their opinions as “too scholarly,” and otherwise lacking a sense of accomplishment.
Mr. Stevenson, now second in command of the Committee, was driving to Canada’s capital, which was moved to Sherbrooke, as they had forgotten how to pronounce the name of their previous capital of Ottawa. Stevenson was given an important assignment which involved destroying the members of the Committee’s personal records so that they could begin acquiring loans again, as all banks and loaning institutions were now aware of the fact that the Committee no longer had to reimburse their lenders for any funds lent out to them. It was a difficult task, as the Canadian Mounties were highly regarded for their new sniping division, which was comprised mostly of ex-mercenaries who decided that they were less likely to be sent to prison if the government compensated them for their assignments. In the opinions of most of them, it certainly beat out their alternative of arriving in a prison that retained men dressed as clowns who were exceptionally more willing to rape people than other prisons possessed.
The phone sitting in Mr. Stevenson’s pocket began to vibrate, and he immediately pulled it from the pouch, pressing the accept button as he brought it to his hear.
“What is it?” he asked with mild hesitation present in his voice.
“I’d just like to remind you,” began Mrs. Bleach, “that you only have twenty minutes to meet your objectives, Mr. Stevenson. If you fail, there will be consequences.”
“I… I understand,” he said, returning the silver phone to its spot in his pockets.
Now at the front step of the new capital building, Mr. Stevenson retrieved the handheld pistol from the trunk of his car, remembering to load it beforehand, so as to avoid any undesirable predicaments that may arise after his presence had been made known to the security presently watching over the building. The metal detectors at the entrance, having already been deactivated earlier in the day, would prove useless as Mr. Stevenson walked past the two white pillars on either side of the crimson doors with a nervous smirk. The two guards standing by allowed him entrance and Mr. Stevenson swiftly pushed the door out of his path without making a sound.
---That's all for now. Some parts may not make any sense, but just roll with it. Can anyone guess what genre it's going to be yet?
Last edited by Fievel on Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.