Sunday, 23 February 2014

S6.211 - Uncomplementary

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.

"If you go to statistics, you won't die," ParaB murmured. She tilted her chair back and brought her legs up to rest on the table in front of her. She had been taken from the Council chamber to this small room on an adjacent level. It was pretty spartan, obviously an interrogation room of some sort - complete with a mirror on the wall that likely went two ways. But they'd brought her a fruit bowl and a comlink, and were obviously looking out for her well being. The parabola smiled as she remembered QT's big speech. Then her face clouded again.

"If YOU go to statistics..." She'd thought Koch had been referring to her. Apparently not. "...YOU won't die." Still, Weier's reuse of the phrase had made her think she was missing something.

There was a knock at the door. ParaB quickly righted her chair and stood up, even as it swung open, revealing Hevvi. "Hey," the step function said, crossing her arms and leaning against the frame. "Thought I'd drop in to say goodbye. Flora has procured us a Hyper Jumper, we step functions are returning to our steppe before the Fractals close their iris."

"Oh! Safe trip then," ParaB said. "Thanks for all your help." She came around the table. "I know our first encounter wasn't under the best of circumstances..." Her brow furrowed. "Nor, for that matter were many of our other ones..." She shrugged and extended a hand. "But no hard feelings, I take it?"

"Meh." Hevvi came into the room, reaching back to give ParaB's hand a quick shake. "None worth talking about. Just wanted to say, you high school folk are welcome to look us up. But don't get the wrong idea! We may not be enemies, but that doesn't mean we're friends."

"Of course n--" ParaB froze in place. "My God. THAT'S it... oh HEX."

With effort, the step function pulled her hand free from ParaB's seized up grip. "What?" Hevvi said in annoyance. "What's it?"

"Not being an enemy doesn't mean you're a friend. Not being DEAD doesn't mean you're ALIVE. If you go to statistics, you won't die -- will you LIVE?"

"Uh... well, the flip side of death is life, so... yeah?"

To assume makes an ass of you and me, yes?
"Tell that to a vampire," ParaB snapped. She brought her outstretched hand back to her forehead. "Such an elementary statistical mistake! If 60% of people agree with something, you might think 40% disagree. Except that's WRONG! Maybe 10% disagree and 30% are undecided! There can be a third option!"

Hevvi's gaze tracked over to the two-way mirror. She deliberately moved to stand between it and ParaB, then lowered her voice. "You think the Fractals are scamming you here? Sending you all to your death?"

"No. Or not intentionally. But YOU WON'T DIE - that could mean anything! Right? What if QT ends up permanently archived or something??? It's not death but... it's almost WORSE than death!"

"QT only?" Hevvi said, a hint of amusement in her voice.

"I have to warn Para! Except..." The conic's hands slid back to grab fistfuls of her orange hair. "Except where else can they go?! OH! To your steppe maybe??"

"Whoa! No," Hevvi said coldly. "Flora procured an energy device we can use as a temporary iris. We're protecting our land from your wormhole folly as well!"

"But then..." ParaB's forehead creased as she thought. "If only they could get back to mathematics. Except it's the ONE subject we've been locked out of! To even FIND it again we'd need some sort of tear in our reality! Some sort of cataclysmic event that would shake the whole of the universe as we perceive it, something like..." Her voice trailed off as her eyes went wide.

"Like an imploding Jump Gate?" Hevvi finished.


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