Sunday, 17 March 2013

S4.140 - Parabola Down

"So what's wrong?"

Para jumped a bit, untwisting her fingers from each other and reaching out for the cup of hot chocolate sitting on the table. Maud had recently attempted to create a smaller version of his bar, and had resumed serving drinks, so she'd decided to take advantage. "Wh-What makes you think anything's wrong?" she asked of Root.

The silver haired function took a seat next to her. "Well, for one thing, you've been kind of quiet lately. For another, I'm your inverse, so I pick up on things. Like how your ears are drooping."

Para blinked and reached up to her hairband, discovering that she was opening down. "Oh! Ah, a-ha-ha-ha! Must be a malfunction?"

"You're allowed to be sad from time to time," Root pointed out. He rubbed the back of his neck. "In fact I've been pretty moody myself lately, or I might have approached you sooner. So what is it then, are you still upset about how you can't do live singing?"

Para gave up on trying to manually pull her ears up, and instead wrapped her hands back around her mug. "Not really. That is... well, ever since getting kicked out of math, you know how we've been sort of existing in this Purgatory state?"

"Without all of our child functions, yeah," Root said. "But you said ParaB and the alpha group had found Signum, and were finally onto something."

"Mmmm." Para took a quick sip from her cup, then, "Have you been getting a lot of notifications for help lately? Ones that would normally have been handled strictly by our infinite set of children?"

"Some, sure," Root said, shrugging. "So you either ignore 'em, or offer back a flash of insight."

"No, I mean, like, a LOT a lot," Para insisted. "Like, to the point where it feels like 80% of the human population who see you can't figure you out, and you ultimately start questioning your own usefulness."

Root lifted an eyebrow. "It's been that bad for you?"

"No. Maybe. No. It was just a question, that's all, I was curious," Para hedged. She took another quick sip. "I mean, it's not like I have Elly or Radik's bizarre insight into the so-called human world, so I'm sure I'm overstating."

Root turned. "You want me to find Elly and ask--"

"No!" Para said, quickly reaching out to grab Root. "I don't want word getting back to Circe or Expona! They'd... look, never mind. I'm sure it's nothing." She smiled again. "Hey, I don't think I told you what ParaB discovered she could do with her tiara!"

Root accepted the change of subject. Though unknown to him, the subject of mathematics, and her place in it, continued to weigh heavily on the quadratic's mind.


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