Mila was laying on her stomach with her knees bent and her feet up in the air. She had a Twizzler sticking out of her mouth as she munched on the end. Absently, she twirled a strand of her dark hair around her index finger as if she was some valley girl in Southern California. “Oh, hey!” she exclaimed suddenly. “In Professor Park’s class today, he gave us a kind of interesting scenario to think about today.”
With her hands, Mila pushed herself up and pulled her knees forward until she was sitting on her butt. “So,” she said after catching her breath from her sudden movement. “There is this runaway train barreling down the tracks towards five people that are tied up. You are near the lever that will send the train down the side track, but there is one person tied up on that track. What do you do?” she asked excitedly. It had been such an interesting conversation in class, that she was hoping that she get the same results with her friends.
Cora groaned in annoyance from where she was leaning up against one of the beds. She looked up from her phone only to roll her brown eyes in Mila’s direction. “Weren’t we supposed to figure out what take out to get?” she asked disdainfully. If the conversation wasn’t about food, then Cora obviously didn’t want to be apart of it given her snobbish attitude on the matter.
“Aww, come on, Cora. It’ll be fun!” Milla whined playfully towards her friend.
“Besides, I already place an online order to Pizza Hut,” Zoey chimed in from her sitting position on one of the purple pillows. She placed her phone on the floor near her school books. “You liked sausage, right?” She grinned ear to ear at Cora as she took the blue band around her lightly tanned wrist, and pulled her black hair up into a ponytail.
Cora clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth, and looked back down at her phone. “Whatever,” she mumbled listlessly. Secretly, she was ecstatic that she would be able to fill her belly soon with delicious pizza. “I guess,” she said slowly. “I would save the one person.” Cora didn’t much care about the scenario presented, so she simply threw out the easiest answer.
Mila shook her head in disappointment, and looked to Zoey hopefully. One of her friends would play along, right?
Zoey pursed her lips together, and she leaned back on her elbows as the scenario played out in her mind. “I only have two options, right?” she asked. “I mean, I don’t have time to try and get more help?”
“Right,” Mila said with a nod of her head. “You can either save the five people, or you can save the one person.”
“Do I know any of these people?” Zoey asked thoughtfully. “Like, is the lone person on the other track a loved one?”
“Why are you asking these questions?” Cora asked. Despite the fact that her head was buried into her phone, she was paying attention to Zoey’s and Mila’s conversation.
“Stuff like this makes a difference when it comes to saving people,” Zoey explained to Cora. “I would like to say that I would be altruistic in every scenario, but I know I probably wouldn’t be. If loved ones were involved, then I would save my loved ones over a bunch of strangers. If children were involved, then I would save the children. I don’t get the option of being a superhero, so I can’t save both.”
“I think you are just making things more complicated than they should be,” Cora said.
“Maybe,” Zoey answered, then turned back to Mila.
“Uh, well, according to Professor Park, the group of five and the one person are all adult strangers,” Mila explained with a small smile. It seemed as if she had heard all of these questions before.
“Oh, well,” Zoey paused, and took in a deep breath only to let it out slowly. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one,” she recited. “So I would save the group of five.”
“The needs of the many…what?” Cora asked as she finally looked up to Zoey in confusion. “Who said that?”
“Spock. You know, from Star Trek?”
Cora and Mila looked bewildered for a few moments before they doubled over in laughter.
“What? It’s a good quote!” Zoey exclaimed, clearly aggravated that she was being mocked for quoting Star Trek. Thankfully, there was a knock at the door. Zoey stood up and tossed the pillow she was sitting on at Cora before she answered the door. “Pizza’s here!”