Missing Mass

The formal board of inquiry that had been empowered by The Cosmic Committee to investigate the claims of Humans that the Universe was missing mass had found cause. The not unexpected verdict was that mass was indeed missing, but that the astonishing magnitude -- 90 percent -- should be verified. This chore fell to the Auditors.

The Auditors were more than a little peeved. Of all the sentient life forms in the Universe, none were more troublesome than Humans. Though astonishingly primitive -- they were neither members of the Cosmic Community nor even aware of its formation -- Humans had unaccountably acquired powerful insights into the workings of reality. Never content to let the principles of nature dawn on them in a graceful acceptance of the obvious moment-by-moment demonstration of existence, Humans were constantly weighing, counting, calculating and figuring. Unfortunately they were so often inexplicably right (or nearly so) that they had to be taken seriously.

The Auditors had in fact been formed in response to the Humans’ invention of mathematics. Most of the Auditors were well versed in arithmetic, which should be sufficient to the mandated task -- a complete inventory of the mass of the Universe.

Never once had the Cosmic Committee suspected or even cared about missing mass. The Cosmos was what it was -- why worry about something that wasn't there and would make no difference if you found that indeed you couldn't find it? But the Charter that formed the Cosmic Committee had also established a Galactic Black Hole Library where all knowledge, no matter how trivial, was to be stored.

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