Subtext: 'The Laxian Key' - for those who may wish to know - is the title of a short story first published in Galaxy Sci-Fi magazine more than sixty years ago.
Note: This is not the subject here. It only serves as a parallel for a far more real and urgent dilemma.
The author was Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) and the storyline centred around the chance discovery of an indestructible alien artefact, a so-called 'free producer' dedicated to furnishing unlimited quantities of food for a race of other-worldly beings.
Once activated, this machine taps into every type of power supply and energy source imaginable, overproducing so massively that blanketing the surface of an entire planet with its unceasing (and inedible) product is well within its prime directive.
And it can only be shut down by using something called a Laxian Key, a device whose very nature and whereabouts had become well and truly lost with
the passage of time.
Last line: "...but, if you ever find a
Laxian Key, come back. We'll erect ten statues to you!"