It started like a schoolboy's dare and nobody took it seriously. That it was ignored and even ridiculed were enough to cause it to grow and gain momentum until there was no way it could be stopped. The boasts had been made, the taunts had been taunted and backing down would destroy scientific reputations. Careers were on the line and the outcome would label the losers as rebellious, extremist quacks or stubborn, traditionalist non-visionaries whose feet had to be dragged through the mud.in order to achieve any scientific advancement. This was a war that had been fought for eons, ever since the first man with guts enough to suggest that something might not be the way everyone believed and the courage to push on.
It was funny to see it develop, unless you were down in the trenches, stuck in the middle of it. A speaker at a scientific crime convention mentioned that everybody knows that each set of fingerprints is unique, as is each DNA combination. During the question period, he was asked what proof he had of those assertions and the only answer he could come up with was that they were well-known facts.
More people joined in and someone said "Just because your mother said it doesn't make it so." It went from a general disagreement to something personal when the particular scientist it was addressed to took it as an insult to his mother. It wasn't long before the idea that no two snowflakes were alike was tossed into the mix.
Challenges were made; the scientific equivalent of "put your money where your mouth is." Grants were made and soon, a trillion dollar project was underway.
Three supercomputers were designed and built, one in Zurich, another in Tokyo and the third in Sydney Australia. The United States was discarded because of taxes and regulations and the growing PR battle between the lawyers and law enforcement. The lawyers were claiming that if DNA and fingerprints were not exclusive, that was grounds for freeing most of the people in jail and law enforcement was afraid they were right.
A computerized snowflake camera was designed and mass manufactured so that individual snowflakes could be digitally photographed. Measurements, size, and to a limited extent, weight could be cataloged for each flake. Half a million cameras were placed in areas of the world where snow fell and there was a five year period set aside to take pictures and gather data. Data was digitally transmitted as soon as it was gathered and fed to the supercomputer that had now been christened SNOWFLAKE.
While Team Snowflake was doing their thing, another team was gathering DNA and fingerprint samples from anyplace they could find it. They put a lot of effort into gathering supporting data such as pictures and ID information so it could be shown that any match in DNA or fingerprints was indeed from two different people, not two different samples from the same person. It was agreed that if any match was found, it would not be considered valid unless both individuals could be produced There was a procedure for subjects who died during the project.
Each supercomputer had a large screen showing the progress as each sample was compared to every other sample. Percentages and actual counts were displayed. For snowflakes, the date, time and location where the data was gathered was displayed as it was compared to every other sample. In the case of the body data, name and last initial and city where the sample was obtained were displayed. The data from all three computers was displayed on a web page and subscriptions were sold to help pay for the project. Most people said it reminded them of watching their hard drives getting defragmented but they were still pulled in, like watching a person standing on a ledge thirty floors up.
Almost 400,000 people were watching when all three supercomputers chimed each screen displayed the word MATCH.
It took less than three seconds for the universe to collapse into itself, into a pinpoint. Two seconds after that, the pinpoint exploded and the new universe was created.
Unfortunately, it was not shown on any screens and there was nobody there to watch it.