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07 October 2013 @ 11:55 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Selfishness Redefined  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #440 - Cure

Title: Selfishness Redefined
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Don, OC
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Pilot, UP
Summary: Charlie fields a difficult question after a presentation on his FBI math
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"Okay," Charlie said, putting his presentation notes aside. "Let's move on to Q and A..."

A man with a pinched and dissatisfied expression behind thick glasses approached the microphone.

"There are some in the scientific community who believe this work for the FBI is a waste of a scarce resource – your exceptional mind, Dr. Eppes. How do you respond to the suggestion that spending your time saving a couple of lives here and there rather than working to cure cancer, is a selfish endeavor?"

Charlie held his steepled hands to his lips, making the audience wait.

"As a preface..." he began slowly. "If someone were to have the chutzpah to actually ask me such a question without couching it in terms that made it sound like they weren't..." He paused for a tittering of nervous laughter. "I'd admit that I found them both rude and insensitive, since it's pretty much common knowledge in academia that my mother died of cancer." Dead silence for this pause; even the man sat down, chastened. "But then I'd answer and say 'yes, I am selfish.' We all are. Do I choose to work to save the lives of my brother and our friends in the FBI? Absolutely! I'd choose that ten times out of ten even if it means curing diabetes is delayed three more years. And if any of you wants to challenge me on that? I ask you this. All of you make high five to six figures annually. That amount can keep your families comfortable or save the lives of thousands of starving African children. So how many of you are leaving your families to fend for themselves and saving the children?" Silence except for a guffaw of satisfaction in the back that had to be from Don. "Didn't think so."

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on October 8th, 2013 07:09 am (UTC)
I confess I kind of prefer the ~400 word first draft better than this one. I kind of wish I hadn't tried to fit the concept in a drabble, but I do love a challenge.


Emma DeMarais
Simone Jestersimonejester on October 16th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
Right on, Charlie! Plus, he does applied mathematics. His work for the FBI is applying mathematics to immediate real-world problems.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 8th, 2014 05:53 am (UTC)
That's right, Charlie doesn't have to answer to some weenie who has never looked a serial killer in the eye.