I recently came upon this question in the close-vote queue and I'm struggling to figure out what to do with it.
As @gnat correctly points out in the comments, this is obviously a "name that thing" question, which Jeff Atwood calls "guessing game" questions in his blog post. All of the reasoning in Jeff's post is accurate: this question is unlikely to help anyone else, may not even have a real answer, and is practically impossible to find via a search, or Google, or whatever. My experience on scifi, which seems to be bearing itself out in this question, strongly suggests that we'll get a bunch of "I think it might be x" answers that will be not quite what the OP wants and start endless comment debates.
But as much as I do think this question should be closed I can't find a good close reason for it. None of the close reasons seem to fit this question: it's about a specific programming problem that (in theory) has a single, objectively correct answer, and provides all the information we need to give that answer. (You might argue that "I want to know what this pattern is called" is not a "problem" but I think that's a stretch, since knowing the name of design patterns is a big part of modern development.)
Of course, we can enter custom close reasons, as @gnat did, but (Jeff's argument aside) these type of questions are generally not considered off-topic on other sites, so I don't know that they should automatically be off-topic here. And if so, should we find a way to roll that idea into an existing close reason (too broad or opinion based seem the closest)?
Just to add some additional data points, this question has come up on scifi (more than once I think) and as of right now, story-identification questions are considered on-topic there; I'm also pretty sure single-word-request are on topic on english.