Wednesday, 28 August 2013

S5.180 - Drawing Perspective

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"Are you okay?" Root asked. He had come to Para's apartment immediately after hearing the news about Sine. And moreover, after hearing that she'd been the one who'd had to tell the others.

"No," Para answered, honestly. She moved aside to let him in, idly tugging on one of her drooping bunny ears. "Yet perversely... I think I will be."

"That's good, at least," Root concluded with a smile, as she closed the door behind him.

Para shook her head. "It is, and it isn't." She leaned back against the door. "On the one hand, Sine's death has given me additional perspective on how my own disappearance might have affected the rest of you. I miss her, even though I barely knew her, and I think such feelings would have been reciprocated." She lapsed into silence.

"On the other hand?" Root prompted.

"On the other hand, there had to be better ways to realize those things, and I... I sort of feel as if I should have died instead of Sine."

"Oh, Para, NO!"

The bunny girl quickly waved Root off. "Don't worry, I'm not about to do anything drastic. Still, I wonder if there's some sort of balance that had to be maintained. After I survived my fall off that cliff."

"You fell off a CLIFF?!"

Para nodded.  "Yes... wait, it wasn't you talking to me just before I did?"  Root shook his head, his long strand of hair twitching in the air.  Para frowned.  "Then who...? I thought it was a guy. Maybe... urk!"

Actions, louder than words.
Root had swept her up into a hug. "Oh Para, my dearest Para, next time PLEASE tell me before you take up any dangerous hobbies like cliff scaling! Okay??"

Para felt her cheeks get rosy as she returned the hug.  "Um. Yes, of course." She patted Root on the back. "Honestly, I think we should be more worried about Cosine at the moment. Not only because of her emotional attachment to her twin, but think about people trying to understand trigonometry. Where those questions are now going to be routed."

Root pulled back slightly to look Para in the eye. "Oh, wow. You're right, due to the similarity, Sine's former inquiries will all go to Cosine!"

Para nodded. "I can't even imagine. Worse, the change may become permanent, unless we can find another Sine function to take over as a replacement." She shook her head. "Yet finding such a function requires getting back into our mathematical area!"

"Bringing us back to the mission of Logan and the alpha group," the radical function finished. He shook his head. "What a mess."

The bunny function pursed her lips slightly. "And there's one more thing. Something about us, as personifications. Something I become aware of when I thought I was going to die, something... something..." She let out a frustrated sigh. "Which has retreated back out of my reach. Makes me wonder if Sine realized it too, in the end."

"I guess we'll never know." Root canted his head to the side. "Was it something about the human world, maybe?"

"Maybe," Para said dubiously. "I feel more narratively connected to their existence now, at any rate." At that, the quadratic paused.

Para then took a moment to shift her focus past her boyfriend, beyond her apartment, and indeed outside of the very constraints of her universe. To fire off a quick wink at you. "Which reminds me, thank you for reading..."

It's appreciated.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

S5.179 - Urban Decay

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Cosecant slammed her body up against the perimeter shield for the Hilbert curve so hard that she dislocated her shoulder. The reciprocal trig function collapsed onto the ground, now screaming as well as crying. QT ran over towards her, medical kit in hand.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," Julia Childset murmured. She had come out of a nearby monitoring post to meet up with the alpha group and step functions, after they had landed their gazebo. All of them were now looking back at the closed off region where Sine had vanished. "If we'd only been apprised of your arrival!"

"Maybe she'll make it out of there?" Logan said half-heartedly. "Trig often turn up where you least expect them..."

"It's hardly likely," Julia responded. "The overwriting would have been quick, if that's any comfort."

"The good of the many," Signum murmured. "Oh, Sine, I barely knew you." The group of them watched as Cosecant tried to physically push QT aside in order to tackle the perimeter again. The catgirl deftly produced a hyperspray to knock the trig function out.

"Csc's taking it hard," Hevvi grunted.

"Trig reciprocals are sworn to defend their primaries," Radik shot back at her. "Though also to respect their wishes, so we can HOPE that she'll get over it." He took a step forwards. "Of course, this is all because you tried to take over, why if you hadn't--"

Group dynamics, getting super deformed.

"Whoa! Stop! Not now," ParaB said, cutting between them before Hevvi could respond. "Not... not now." She reached up to press two fingers to her temples.

"There is, of course, no way to make this up to you," Julia said sadly. "But we will do whatever we can to assist! You mentioned looking for the question mark function, should I see if she left any sort of itinerary?"

"No, no," Logan said, waving off the fractal girl. "Our goal was actually to find probability. Which feels a tad pointless now. Unless they can raise the dead."

Julia blinked. "Well, I don't know about that, but I do know someone who can help you to find probability - statistics. Shall I set up a meeting?"

"Oh! That's... sure, but maybe give it a day or two?" Logan requested.

The dark haired woman nodded. "Of course. In the meantime, I'll see about getting you temporary lodgings in Fractal City."

"I doubt we have your currency," Hevvi pointed out. "But I have skills to deal with almost anyone."

The fractal smiled. "Deal or no deal, my colleague Howie Mandelbrot will be able to find rooms for you," Julia assured.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

S5.178 - Dead Wait

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Para decided not to push her luck with her newfound powers of flight. Having managed to achieve a height of about 20 metres over ground level, she began to angle her way back down. She simultaneously adjusted her trajectory towards the large plume of visible smoke, which she identified as rising from Hyper's laboratory. Which had doubtlessly been the cause of the ground shaking.

The parabola coasted to the ground, running at first to slow her momentum, as her bunny ears readjusted their stretch factor to point back up into the air. She then brushed off her hands and rounded the corner of the building to see Hyper, Elly, ArcSin, ArcTan, Cosine, Secant, Maud, Cubi and Expona. Which made her wonder just who had been behind her on the cliff earlier.

"Um, is everyone alright?" she ventured.

Not a good (co)sine

All eyes snapped towards her. "No!" Cosine cried. She ran towards the bunny girl, but tripped, falling on the ground, tears running down her face. "Para! Talk to ParaB!! Please, what became of my sister?!"

"I... give me a moment," Para said, feeling flustered.

"Make no mistake," Secant said, turning back towards Hyper. "If Sine has been harmed in ANY way, I'll see to it that you never invent anything EVER again. EITHER of you," she continued, snapping her gaze over towards Nisano, who was trying to edge away.

"Euh. Look, if Sine couldn't rematerialize, she'd have ended up in the Cone's buffer," Nisano countered. "If not, it's completely Hyper's fault!"

"MY fault?!" Hyper shot back. "I... why, if... of all the..." And the tall green haired conic crumpled to the ground cradling her head in the hands. "Oh God, what if I killed her?"

"Para, PLEASE," Cosine repeated. Having stumbled back to her feet, she lurched forwards to grab the bunny girl by the dress. But ran directly into Cubi, as the tall polynomial stepped between them.

"Hey, hold up," the cubic inflected. "Hey, give Para a moment." She turned her head then, ponytail bobbing. "Hey, I see your ears are pointing up... and I don't know if it's because you've been working through your issues, or if it's something else. Hey, I'll even make a promise that we can chat about it later." She bowed her head. "Hey, thing is, right now, anything you can tell us about Sine making a trip through the Cone of Science - that would be appreciated."

Para nodded mutely, even as ArcTan and Elly moved to stand with Cubi. This seemingly gave Expona second thoughts about stalking towards the bunny girl herself. Smiling faintly at the gesture, the quadratic took a few deep breaths, centering herself before reaching out with her psychic connection. When she first managed to pick up her conic alter ego, all she got was 'Not now'.

A minute later, as more information came in, Para found herself going numb, wondering how on earth she could convey those details to the others.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

S5.177 - Sine Off

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As she emerged onto the deck, Sine could immediately calculate that the ship's flight was causing a tilt at an angle of 10 degrees and 40 minutes of arc. Which she then converted to 10.67 degrees in the decimal system, feeling briefly archaic. The decahedron was also rotating slowly as it flew. "No problem," Sine murmured. She avoided looking at the fractal scenery as it flashed by; it was a little difficult to comprehend.

The brunette leapt out. One shoe briefly touched the floor, pushing off, sending her into one of the gazebo's tall supports. Her arms and legs latched around it, and she shimmied up, to the point where she could see the blue light on the top of the structure. Just below it was Cosecant's phaser ring, which she would now have to turn counterclockwise, in typical trig fashion, to put it into a fully open position. "Big problem," she realized.

There were no handholds, and the wind was enough to blow her off the top of the gazebo if she ventured out. "Should have brought an... oh, of course." Still holding on with one hand, she reached down to her belt with the other, tapping on it in a sequence not unlike Morse Code. The buckle rippled like water. Sine grabbed for the top of the period cane and pulled it from it's extra dimensional storage space. The spherical crystal at the head flashed 360. "Yes, yes," Sine muttered. She didn't currently need it as a measuring tool or fashion statement; more as a battering ram.

Turning point?

The primary trig function stretched herself out onto the roof, well aware that she now had only about ten seconds left. Holding the cane with one hand, she knocked it against the phaser ring, causing it to turn slightly. She repeated the motion with identical results. Not good - one handed, this was going to take too long. Which was when she heard the whining noise, and saw the blue glow around the bulb getting brighter. Out of time.

"Heck with it," the primary trig function breathed. "We're due for a Sine change."

She ran another quick set of calculations in her head, and let go of the side of the roof. By two handing the cane and using momentum to help, Sine swiftly walloped the phaser ring the rest of the way around. The phasers fired then, a constant beam of blue light spilling forwards, helping the ship to get clear of the area.

Even as Sine spun off the roof and into the fractal void behind it.
Sine Off

At that moment, almost an entire dimension away, Cosine reached up to feel a wetness running over her cheeks. She became very scared then, as she didn't know why she was crying.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

S5.176 - A Way Mission

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"You are not going to make it," Julia Childset pointed out from the main viewer.  "And we can't shut the process down. Can you portal back out?"

The engineering console gave off a shower of sparks, forcing Radik to jump back. "Nope," he said apologetically. "Worse, my Super Pursuit is a no go. Damn it! I'll go see if I can do something manually, but..." He ran to the ladder at the back of the bridge and slid down to the lower levels.

"How much time do we need to buy?" ParaB asked, trying to make sense of the sensor readings.

Julia glanced over at something out of their field of vision. "0.2 seconds."

"Okay, surely there's SOME way to give us THAT!" Hevvi barked. "Emergency thrusters?!"

"We're already over the max," Logan retorted, still manipulating the navigation controls, Signum next to him, offering minor corrections.


Hevvi jerked her gaze over to the security officer. "What??"

"If I fire the phasers at the perimeter of this Hilbert Curve," Cosecant explained, "the temporary phase shift should give us the time we need to blast free."

Trig know their phaser shifts

ParaB turned her head away from the science station. "She's right," the conic affirmed. "Though we've never actually TESTED the phasers."

"Yar... new rule! From this point on, we test any and all modifications you make to my base BEFORE they're needed," Logan declared, looking irritated.

"Also the phaser strength will need to be locked into maximum output," Csc admitted. "That can only be done manually - on the top of the gazebo."

"Forty two seconds," Julia announced. "Hurry."

"I'm on it," Sine declared, moving to the ladder at the back of the bridge.

"Sine!" QT protested. "Sit back down, I'm not done my medical assessment!"

"I feel fine. I'm also the only one who knows the phasing system as well as my reciprocal does," she countered. "Besides, you're in all trouble now on account of stopping to save me. Time to pull my own weight around here again!"

Also a ceiling function
Cosecant hesitated for a fraction of a second, her eye twitching. "Okay, be careful. ParaB, coordinate with me on establishing a firing lock."

Sine reached out to take hold of the side of the ladder... and suddenly found herself rocketed up, right to the ceiling exit hatchway. She glanced down in confusion to see Flora, who had one hand elevated high above her head. The step function smiled and wiggled her fingers in a wave. The red-shirted trig gave a quick smile back in response before opening the hatch of the moving ship.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

S5.175 - Being Parabola

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Things can always get worse...

I hear singing as I fall off the cliff. Is that me? Time collapses; seconds have passed, it feels like two weeks. I shift myself back into standard form.

It's said that, before death, your life will flash before your eyes. Yet I don't see Menaechmus or Apollonius or any of the greats. Perhaps this is because I'm a parabola who doesn't see herself as a conic? That's ParaB's job now. My job is merely to be studied by students who hate me, or who find me boring, as ViHart has said. And to model falling objects, though when you extend to free fall, you would merely use an orbital path. Oh, and I think I'm destined to be forever mixed up with exponential growth.

In short, my life is a lie.

Maybe that's why I don't get to see it.

What I get instead is everything being pulled into focus. Hey, I do have one of those, whether it's acknowledged or not! This lets me see how I have been letting others dictate not merely who I am, and the way I am to be taught, but ultimately, how I even feel about myself. Oh, they weren't always doing it consciously. But here's the thing.

When you accept the interpretations of others, it's as if you have simultaneously decided that you are powerless to refute them.

As a parabola, it made me turn on myself. Hurt myself. I thought that, if I could dislike myself too, I'd have something in common with those who hated me... which might make them like me after all. But that doesn't make much sense, does it?

It's clearer inside of me, who I will always be, here at the core of my heart. Feels like I'm singing, the dark still surrounding me, to do it all over again.

Except you can't do it over again if you're dead.

Every choice that I make, changes the course I take, won't be afraid, when I make mistakes. Do it all over again and again... come to the end... the sum of my dreams is all I ever wanted to be...

The trick with me, of course, is that even though my life feels real enough, in some sense, my very existence is all theoretical. I differ from you there.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this. The way we choose to see ourselves, it limits who we can be. Step outside the box, and you might learn something. Because we are more capable than we imagine. Because we all have it in us to do things we've never done before. Because sometimes, we can surprise even ourselves.

Here I am. This is me. Who am I? Wait and see...

I grab at the bangs next to my face and pull. My bunny ears flip up, finally minimizing my depression, and then they stretch out, almost horizontally, to match an exceedingly small stretch factor. Then they spin. Spin, until the lifting of my body can match the lifting of my spirits, allowing me to use my hairband as a propeller.

Before I can hit the ground, I'm taking off, back up into the air.
...yet "per ardua ad astra"!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

S5.174 - Business is Booming

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"That should not have happened!" Nisano said, shaking his fist in the air. "We designed safety measures!" He frowned. "Unless..."

"Come along, I don't think this building is structurally sound," Nat said, grabbing his fellow inverse function, then dragging him through the smoke and out the front door.

About a minute previously, things had seemed fine. They had just transitioned Sine, and Elly had stepped up to be the next to go, given how an additional conic presence might be needed. Which is when Hyper hesitated. "My magical vibe is off."

"The board shows green," Nisano said. "Just wave your hands and stamp your feet like the last two times."

The green haired woman shook her head. "Elly, get out of the circle. I want to do an empty run." She ignored ArcSin's grumbling about it being a waste of power. Which was just as well, for as the circles of light started spinning in Hyper's eyes, and she activated the system... the first ring exploded as soon as it attempted to contract.

"Cone in motion on the other end!" Nisano barked. "Stop what you're doing!!"

Stop! In the name of lov... no, just stop!
"I... I don't know how!" Hyper said, a tinge of sheer terror in her voice as everyone dove for cover from the shrapnel. "It's not like some cute fuzzy animal has told me how to use these powers!"

The second ring also exploded as it rose, and Expona tackled the mad magical girl before she could be decapitated by the large chunk of material flying right at her. This seemed to sever her connection, but it meant that the final rings exploded while still in the mechanism, the force of the blast causing the entire ground to shake as smoke billowed out. Then the roof creaked and more material fell from above.

"Ooh. We should go. Now," Elly suggested. Rather redundantly, as everyone was already stampeding towards the exit. With the exception of Hyper and ArcSin, who had to be dragged out by Elly and ArcTan respectively.

"I... I just magicked my invention out of existence," Hyper said numbly.

"No," Nisano countered, adjusting his glasses. "We're idiots. Sine said they were in some far away fractal dimension. We didn't account for a temporal dilation. The transition obviously isn't instantaneous."

Hyper turned to stare at the trig function. Then palmed her forehead. "Right. Damn it!" She turned to look back at the broken building. "Well... we can rebuild it! Better than before! We have the technology!!"

"But before that," Maud put in. "We should try to regain contact with the gazebo. Does anyone know where Para is? She's all we've got now."

Eyes turned towards Elly and Nat. They could only shrug helplessly.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

S5.173 - Emergency Kit

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"Systems mostly normal. Go," Radik advised.

"Beacon to the left," Signum added, pointing with one hand as she rested the other on her forehead for concentration.

Logan grabbed the navigation joystick and the Gazebo lifted off, on it's way out of the affected fractal area. Their flight lasted for all of twenty seconds, at which point the rings for the Cone of Science started to hum. 

ParaB snapped her gaze over to the floor. "Oh, no, NO! Stop! Stop the transfer!" she both shouted, and simultaneously attempted to project telepathically.

The rings began to rise into the air, and simultantously drift to the right. ParaB dove for the controls, as Logan brought his hand up off the joystick, though that didn't stop the forward momentum.

The momentum did stop, however, when Radik flipped open a panel and slammed his hand down onto a large red button. It caused a few panels to flap out on the exterior sides of the gazebo, increasing the forward surface area while a jet of air was simultaneously expelled forwards. The interior lighting dimmed from the power drain, making the glow of teleportation coming from within the Cone that much eerier, even as everyone was thrown onto the floor. "The HECK was that?" Hevvi shouted at the radical function.

Glasses, where are my glasses?
"EBS, Emergency Braking System," Radik answered, pulling himself back up. "Previously untested. Installed on a whim while effecting gelpack repairs, along with a Super Pursuit Mode. Will we need that next?"

The teleportation rings clattered to the floor with several loud bangs, as they were now unaligned with the mechanism. QT managed to stumble forwards and catch Sine before the brunette could pass out on top of them. "That should not have happened," ParaB said through clenched teeth. "We designed safety measures!"

"She'll be okay!" QT noted, waving off Cosecant as she took Sine's pulse.

Cosecant nodded, then shifted her attention to Radik's console. "Nice system," she congratulated.

"Thanks." The radical function gave Csc a grudging look of admiration. "Okay, and good work on your part with that gravity thing earlier. I might not have thought of that."

The secondary trig beamed. "Maybe Logan knew what he was doing when assigning positions after all, huh?"

If moment involves perpendicular distance,
then they might be having a moment.

Radik rolled his eyes as he shut his EBS down. "Maybe."

Logan glanced back over this shoulder at them. "Hm? Oh, I just gave Security to Cosecant because of the abbreviation label on the station. Figured Csc would work well with Sec. Yeah?" The redhead shrugged.