Wednesday, 29 August 2012

S4.104 - Gamma Raise

"Are we gamma? I think that makes us gamma," Para remarked to Maud as Lyn and her group filed out.

Expona rolled her eyes. "Maud, you want some help dealing with Para?" the redhead asked. "Students say she's difficult to work with, plus it looks to me like you're an incomplete gamma function."

Maud shook his head. "No, no, we're fine, don't worry. I've got an integral role in mind for Para."

"Hey, does that mean I'm involved?" Cubi said in confusion.

"No, you should all... go about your daily business, I suppose," Maud said.

"Objection!" Toc stated, extending his arm out. "We don't even have homes to go back to now! Take that!"

"Look, how about we all report on news stories, whether we do videos or not?" Tangent suggested in a soothing voice.

"Oh! You mean like how Stephen Hawking will be at today's startup of those Olympics... which seem to be named after me?" Para asked brightly.

"Your disability isn't physical," Expona mumbled.

"I know!" Circe said. "We should point everyone at 'To Boldly Flee', the epic Channel Awesome scifi show that has part 3 coming out today!"

"Those guys aren't really in space," Nis protested, finally speaking up. "How about we report on the music coming back from Mars Curiosity?"

"Right! Laser robots - for science!" Hyper chimed in, rubbing her hands together. "Tangent has a good idea, let's all be honourary gammas! Any objection??" She looked pointedly at Toc.

Maud frowned slightly, glancing at Para for her reaction. The blonde merely smiled. "Well, I think that we should try it out to see!" Para suggested. "Yeah, Curiosity will never let me go..."

"Almost the lyrics I'm looking for," Maud concluded, motioning Para into the makeshift recording studio.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

S4.103 - Subjective Viewpoint

"Okay, well, that's the exploring team," Lyn stated as Group Alpha headed off. "So who's with me and Cosine for exploring subjects?"

"Me!" Circe said. "You need someone capable of a hostile takeover if the need arises!"

The line facepalmed at the prospect of working with the circle again. "We really don't," she assured.

"Yes, there's no need to combine Lyn and Circe, not when Secant's already there," Reci pointed out.

"I nominate myself to go," Elly chimed in. "As the representative of Conic interests. Seeing as I also have some awareness of the world to which Maud and Radik referred."

"Huh, that's true, she's the one who was talking to me about tweets," Expona recalled. "Why didn't you speak up sooner?" The ellipse merely smiled enigmatically. Circe frowned, but decided not to protest the selection of her cousin over her.

"Well, my comlink with Lyn means there's little point me going along too," Tangent remarked. "So I nominate my inverse to join her group."

"Dammit Tan, I'm a doctor, not a group therapist!" Nat groused. Regardless, he stepped over to join the others, and Tangent flashed him a smile.

"There should be one more guy," Maud decided. "And you're already heavy on Trigonometry. Root, how about you offer your technical expertise? Cotangent can help us here in your absence."

"Sure," Root said with a shrug. "I suppose in some sense I'm the solution to a mathematical equation."

"That makes us the beta group," Lyn concluded.

"Meaning we've got all the standard features but are not yet ready for widespread release!" Root defined with a grin. As the other group members turned to look at him, he shrugged. "Or I guess we could be a social game. They're all beta on Facebook, right?"


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

S4.102 - The i's Have It

"No, teams sounds like a good idea," Maud agreed. "Me and Para can be in charge of videos and commentary on the world out there."

"What? Why me?" Para squeaked.

"Because I need a female counterpoint, and Lyn seems to prefer checking out other subjects."

"I'm interested in those subjects too," Cosine piped up. "I hear they're taught in periods."

"I don't know," Sine said, placing her hands on her hips. "I think I'd prefer to go with ParaB. Seeking out new life or new civilizations, that sounds like it would be right up my alley. Anyone else with us?"

Radik III nodded. "I'll join! Since after we find those others, we can mount a strike force to take back mathematics!"

Cubi grinned. "Hey, I'm all over that as well!"

"Bad plan," Quinn countered, reaching out to grab Cubi before she could move to join the others. "You'd spend all your time making out with your inverse. QT, you're nominated to go with the ParaB team to represent Polynomials."

"What? Why me?" QT squeaked, her exclamation having even more power than Para's.

"Don't worry, catgirl," Cosecant said reassuringly. "I'll make you're kept safe. Because Sine isn't going to be traveling without her reciprocal, for security reasons." Secant nodded in agreement, moving to take up her own position next to Cosine.

"Too many females in ParaB's group now," Logan said, adjusting his eyepatch. "I'd better go along too. Besides, I have a ship."

"Okay, six is a perfect number," Maud concluded. "Plus you've got Radik III, who seems to know something about the new world as well... er, where did your information come from, by the way?"

"It's genetic. From my imaginary roots," Radik said, grinning.

There was a pause. "Uh, does he have to be a part of our group?" ParaB asked.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

S4.101 - Group Theory


"Okay, our video episode got a couple tweets, over 100 hits and we've had a few comments," Maud remarked. "That's really good! The latest thing now seems to be Khan's success at Computer Science..."

"Oh, how does it compare to the Computer Science Circles instruction from the University of Waterloo?" Root wondered.

"Look, that doesn't solve our problem," Circe said in annoyance. "We've been cast off, set adrift from the math curriculum!"

"Yes, I can feel that," Para said sadly. "Though we still exist, it's without all our helpful children. Like x2 + 1, x2 + 2, x2 + 3 --"

Tangent nodded. "We feel it too, Para."

"(x + 1)2, (x + 2)2, (x + 3)2 --"

Cubi grimaced. "Hey, uh, Para..."

"2x2, 3x2, 4x2 --"

"Para!" Expona snapped. "We've all experienced an infinite loss! The question is what do we do about it!"

"We find a new curriculum!" Lyn said, clenching a first in determination. "I mean, didn't you see that Khan Academy website? There's so many other subjects out there that could use us!"

ParaB shook her head. "No. I think there are other mathematical personifications still out there, waiting to be discovered, as I was. We should seek them out."

"What happened to exploring this new world?" Maud protested. "I want to do more videos! Though... they do take a while to put together..."

"Split into teams," Sine said, crossing her arms as her command mode kicked in. "Alpha, beta and gamma."

Hyper glared. "You trig functions and your Greek letters... didn't they create enough trouble LAST episode?"

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

S4.100 - Yes We Khan

"Okay!" Root declared in triumph. "Me and Cotangent have hacked up a way to keep the story going on the blog!"

"And your 100th episode video is now up and running!" Cot said to Maud with a grin. "Don't worry if it pauses at 301 views by the way... that's more a feature than a bug."

"I've already seen it," Radik III said, shaking his head. "It's terrible."

"Hey, that took WEEKS of prior preparation!" Maud said in annoyance. "What's wrong with it?!"

Radik III eyed the absolute value function. "There's no robots."

Sunday, 12 August 2012

S3.41 - Bar None

"So that's the situation," Maud concluded. "This may be our last episode together." He looked out at all the other parent equations, which he had summoned to his bar, in order to impart the bad news.

"I should have realized who Maud was from day one," Lyn remarked to Slope, standing beside her. "It should have been as obvious to me as your identity."

"We all should have inquired after his remark about parenting," Root chimed in. "Though it's not like this is his fault."

"So now we're... unemployed?" Para said, her lower lip quivering. "Does this mean no more form changes?"

"No!" Circe declared, rubbing her hands together. "We can take over another curriculum! Turn people into animals if we have to!"

"I think a hostile takeover is premature," Maud said carefully. "There's a whole other world out there to explore first. The very world that registers on your mathematical assistance scans."

"Is this connected to that Facebook thing we managed to access after the creation of ParaB?" Hyper said, crossing her arms.

"Or that odd sense of deja vu deja vu we've been having lately?" Sine and Cosine chorused.

"I've also heard mention of tweets!" Expona cut in, Logan nodding his head slowly in agreement beside her.

"Precisely," Maud said. "Having anticipated the worst, I've spent the last month creating digital backups and alternatives, along with monitoring current mathematical trends. It's time to show we CAN expand our horizons! To that end, I have designed our one hundredth episode in video form!"

"Hey, that's extremely positive for once!" Reci said with a grin.

"Problem," came a new voice. Everyone's eyes turned towards the individual standing in the corner.

Radik III stepped forwards under the scrutiny. "I have heard of this world. However, when Specials are accounted for, our group has already passed one hundred. The next episode will be something like 119."

Maud frowned. "I was trying to avoid overcounting like that, for fear that we would get cancelled in the middle of a sent

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

S3.40 - Final Examination

"Here's another thing," Maud added, to fill the ensuing silence. "If I rule against them, does that not overrule my OWN existence?"


"Well, no... but your alternative seems to be that mathematics be done merely by automation! Or with numbers on a chalkboard! That seems so... so devoid of feeling... or intuition!" Maud stood a little straighter. "In fact, you know what? I rule in favour of keeping the Math-Tans. I think they - we - do serve a purpose!"

There was a long pause. Then, finally: *OVERRULED.*

"WHAT?!" Maud sputtered.


Maud clenched his fists. "So apparently you didn't need me to serve as an observer at all!?!"


"And how are they supposed to do that without a Taylor Series to act as a framing device??"

If the entity observing them were able to shrug, Maud sensed it had just done so.  *IF THEY'RE WORTHY MATHEMATICIANS, EXPANSION SHOULD COME NATURALLY... DON'T YOU THINK?*

Sunday, 5 August 2012

S3.39 - Hat's Off

Maud stared at the message. Well, he couldn't reveal himself to the others now... not before this meeting could take place. In fact, it was with a certain degree of trepidation that he approached the designated coordinates later that week. Once there, he removed his hat and sunglasses, and waited.

*ABSOLUTE VALUE?* came the voice from above.

"Call me Modulus!" Maud called back. "I'm a complex individual!"

A pause was the only acknowledgement, followed by: *WHAT IS YOUR DECISION?*

"I need more time!" Maud retorted. "I've only been observing the Math-Tans for, what, a year? And even then, it's only been the Polynomials, the Conics, and the Trig, I'm sure given another Earth cycle..."


"Look, thirteen months is NOTHING on a cosmic scale!" Maud said, getting irritated despite himself. "Are you seriously planning to wipe out an entire race of characters merely on my say-so?"


Maud rubbed his forehead.  "Can you at least stop SHOUTING?" he requested.  "You'll make me as deaf as my sister Signum..."

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

S3.38 - Slippery Slope

A few days later, everyone found themselves back at Maud's bar. This time, it was a farewell party for Slope. "It's not goodbye though," the brunette assured everyone. "Even though I'm moving back into the AZ, they passed the motion which lets me visit as Slope. Same as before."

At Maud's request, Para gave him a rundown of the events which Lyn and Circe had experienced. "Make no mistake, by the time we arrived, all the excitement was over," Para concluded. "Though apparently it's got Hyper interested in possible new applications for her asymptote rings."

"So it's a happy ending," Maud said slowly.  "That's fortunate..."

Para canted her head to the side. "Are you okay?"

Maud frowned slightly, then shook his head.  "Oh, fine, merely some things on my mind. I... well, I'll fill you in soon enough."

Across the bar, Tangent aka Slope approached Lyn, and held out a box. "Um, hey," the brunette said a bit uncertainly. "I got you a present. For going into the AZ and helping my sisters and generally being awesome."

Lyn blinked. "You... you didn't have to."

"Well, I did anyway," Tangent said, trying not to blush. "So open it."

Lyn smiled a little, then pulled the lid off the box. "Oh!" the blonde said in delight. "A pair of slippers! And they're ruby red, like your whole Trig Command motif."

Tangent nodded. "Not that you can forget me, what with our comlink, but it's so you know I'm thinking of you and... look, you get why I can't leave my sisters now, yeah?"

"I think so," Lyn said with a small smile.  "After all, what it really comes down to is... there's no place like home."