’Side the brittle anger that poured through their voices was a sweaty anxiety. There were 2 kinds: those who were in the right & were berating those who tossed the sprocket, & those who were wrong & were shakily shouting explanations that put the blame on others for too much pressure, too li’l help to e’en the field, “We’re s’posed to be working together, ¿aren’t we? ¿How could you be surprised what happened when you all kept your answers like a Soviet secret?”
But none o’ that changed the fact that the whole crowd screwed up. The godmotherboard had asked them 72,819 + 65,214, & the majority had said, “138,023” ( a tight 52% majority, to be fair, which should’ve made them skeptical ), making a fatal error on adding the 10s digit. The real answer was “138,033”, which they had later proven after deep analysis.
But ’twas too late to take back the original answer: the godmotherboard had given it & it had cost 10 lives who weren’t able to get lifeboats when the floods came in. 1 o’ those lives was their best captain — the captain always went down if anyone else had to. The same would now probably be said ’bout the godmotherboard & her audience.