Sunday, 24 November 2013

S6.194 - Contact Lenses

The Story So Far: The personified math-tans have been cast out of mathematics. Seeking probability in order to return, Logan and his crew made it to Fractal City - but not without cost. As his group try to understand the fractal inhabitants, the other mathematical relations struggle to come to terms with the repercussions of losing a primary function.

"I think maybe I will take up the trombone before this is all over," Elly remarked from where she was seated. "We'll give Circe a French Horn, it'll be grand."

Lyn put another crystal down onto the ground before looking over towards the ellipse. "So which conic gets the trumpet then?" she asked. Elly merely smiled quietly.

Maud dropped his last crystal and dusted off his hands. "Let's talk about that another time," he suggested. "After all, we're pretty much in the middle of the Trig camp here. It'll be best if we get completely out of the area before they finish their latest rehearsal with Para."

It will be crystal clear?
"Point. Slope will warn me if there's real trouble though," Lyn reminded, tapping at her communicator watch. She then stepped back to look at the two rings of crystals, which she and Maud had placed around Elly. The ellipse was now seated at the intersection of those rings, in a Lotus pose. "Is that set up properly then?"

"Mmmm," Elly said. "Now I have to shift my focus. Well, foci."

Lyn and Maud exchanged a glance. A few seconds passed. Then a minute. Maud cleared his throat, and was about to speak, when Elly raised one hand with her palm out. She shook her head gently, so the dark haired function demurred.

They had triangulated the relative position of math's Origin Central, located in the heart of the Angle Zone... or they had tried to do it. The process had been quick, albeit difficult, as the only trigonometry they could talk to was Tangent. Fortunately, Circe had helped as well. In the end, if Versine was still in mathematics, it seemed like being in this area would have the best chance of reaching her. Moreover, Elly would be the best person to do it.

Even so, the minutes ticking by started to make Maud uncomfortable. Lyn began to pace back and forth. Elly simply sat serenely, though a frown tugged at the corner of her mouth more than once.

It happened fast. All of the crystals flashed a bright green as Elly gasped, her gaze snapping up into the sky. Lyn didn't catch what happened immediately after. Maud did. The ellipse looked scared. Usually calm and composed, occasionally sarcastic or annoyed... Maud had never seen her scared. Until now.

Then the moment was gone, and Elly stood up, expression neutral, adjusting her orbital hairpiece. "Right. That's not going to work," she said definitively.

Lyn looked from the crystals to Elly. "Something happened though. Was it related to Versine?" Elly stared impassively towards the horizon, as if she hadn't heard. Lyn turned an inquisitive look at Maud.

"Why won't this contact work?" the modulus function asked. "What did you see?"

Elly opened her mouth to respond, but it took a few more seconds before she was able to speak. "I'm not sure. I can tell you this." Another pause. "I think Versine is there, in mathematics... but that I'm there too." She suddenly strode forwards and grabbed Maud's hand, as if reassuring herself as to his presence. Her gaze went from his hand up to him, and they exchanged an uncertain glance.

"You mean it felt like you were in two places at once?" Lyn said in confusion.

The ellipse shook her head slowly. "It felt like I, or at least the being here before you, was an echo. Like..." She dropped Maud's hand, struggling for the words. "Like I'm old copy of a file, which has been tossed in the recycle bin. A file which has since been replaced with something new and better... and I only exist now because the recycle bin hasn't been emptied. Yet."

A little chill went up Maud's spine. "When you say you... do you mean all of us? Are we all echos?"

"I think I need an ovaltine," was Elly's last word on the subject.


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