Sunday, 26 January 2014

S6.207 - Uncomfortable Setting

The Story So Far: The inhabitants of Fractal City have been teaching personified math about the nature of their existence. Very soon, a decision will be made as to whether the high school functions are reunited - or recycled.

Logan eyed his companion, a troubled look on his face. "QT, if we can't ask what to take, how will we know what to take?"

The blonde polynomial tugged at a couple loose strands of hair near her ear. "Consider that the characteristic function has the value 1 if input is in the set, and 0 otherwise. So... so this is a matter of us choosing something in the set. Something with good 'chi', if you will. We'll know it when we see it!"

The redhead frowned. "Feels a bit like making a snap decision. That's Expona's forte, not mine."

QT looked around at all the books and other items on the shelves. "Give me a moment then," she murmured. The catgirl began to walk through the novelties shop, her palm out in front of her.

Logan looked up at the ceiling again. "Okay we'll... take something," he assured. "I'll just leave payment here?" He placed the coins in his hand on a nearby table. There was no response. Logan thrust his hands into his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels for a moment. "So... um... calculate the size of any good sets lately?"

"The set of rational numbers," came the response from all around.

This caught Logan off guard, as he hadn't really expected an answer. "Oh yes?" he remarked. "What can you conclude about size for an infinite set?"

"Follow the link."

Game. Set. Unmatched.
A nearby book glowed briefly. Logan approached it, noticing a triangle stenciled on the side. He felt a chill run through him, and suddenly wondered if he was really ready for the answer to his idle question. In a set, not in a set - could math really be so straightforward? Should it be? He began to understood the Popcorn function's reluctance towards having the Characteristic Function around.

Yet despite his misgivings, he slowly reached out...

"I think I've got it," QT said, approaching once more. She carried with her what looked like a fuzzy six sided die, about ten centimetres on each side.

"Oh, good," Logan answered, feeling a sense of relief wash over him as he drew his hand back from the book. "Should we head out then?"

The question was sort of directed at the ceiling, but this time there was no response. After exchanging glances one more time, Logan and QT departed the shop without another word. They emerged to find that everyone standing outside looked rather troubled.

"We're fine, nothing to worry about!" Logan assured.

"Actually, our world's going to end in a matter of hours," ParaB said, her lips tight. "Julia just got a message from Can-Tor. I'm confirming mentally with Para. We're all headed to the X-Mansion."


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