Sunday 16 March 2014

S6.214 - Just a Moment

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.

Cosecant walked into the medical bay area of the ship. "You might want to come to the bridge," she advised QT. "We're arriving in... what's the matter??"

The quartic function had turned from where she sat on the floor, tears stinging at the corners of her eyes. "I can't figure it out," she said, gesturing at the 10cm by 10cm by 10cm cube next to her. "I don't know how to activate this thing! Meaning I don't know how to get to Statistics! For all I know, we hang it in front of the viewscreen like those fuzzy dice you see in cars."

"Oh..." Csc said softly. She knelt down next to the polynomial function. "Nothing from any scans?"

"Oh, I've got scan results." QT reached for her quadcorder and jammed the display at Cosecant. "Results for pretty much EVERYTHING, all with associated probabilities! No one thing over 10%! There's even a 0.1% chance that this thing is a Transcendental Pi-Type Being!"

"Huh. Okay. Well... in theory you still have time. Even after evacuating, we can tool about in hyperspace for a while... I think..."

"Five minutes or five hours, I don't think it will make a difference," QT said, throwing the quadcorder aside in frustration. It squealed as it hit the floor. "I don't even know why I took this cube anymore. There was a sphere nearby. Maybe I should have taken it instead, spheres have a more optimal surface area."

Csc crossed her arms.  "Stop getting down on yourself. The Characteristic Function chose you for a special reason... you have to believe that!"

"Believe," QT snorted. "Sounds like something you'd see on a cat poster."

Csc pursed her lips. "Well you ARE a cat... kinda... okay, look. How about we consider how polynomial thinking differs from trigonometric thinking?"

"How am I supposed to know that?!" QT demanded. Csc simply glared. "Fine, give me a moment," the polynomial sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

Csc looked from QT to the cube and back. After an extended silence, she offered up, "Maybe you don't cycle back to the same thoughts quite so much?"

"No, no. Moment. Give me a moment," QT repeated. "That's... familiar. Statistical." She scrambled for her quadcorder again.

Csc blinked.  "What, moment? I thought it was a physics term."

"No, no, different moments give information about distributions! I saw this when researching... moreover, moments are linked to numerical exponents!" She tapped at the device in her hands, then beamed and showed it to Cosecant. "Look, I'm Kurtosis!"

"Huh. So you are." Csc's eyes wandered. "Though flatness, not really an issue for you..."

QT had already turned back to look at the cube on the floor, setting the quadcorder aside again. "Since I chose a cube, which connects to cubing - this relates to the third moment. Yes! I know what will unlock Statistics!" She reached out to grab the object. "This cube in my hands.... it signifies skewness! Sigma cubed!"

A red glow came from within the object. "Stand by. Ready. Set up," came an electronic female voice. The cube then pulled out of QT's hands, rising into the air as it started spinning, shedding it's fuzzy exterior. The two math functions exchanged an uncertain glance as the cube became translucent, symbols appearing on the faces, the red inner glow persisting. Csc reached for her portable phaser.

QT reached for Csc's arm. "No, wait. I don't think it's a weapon. I think... it's intelligent?"

The cube began to pulse regularly with light where it hovered, then the voice came again. "Union device, ready for input." 

The two women again exchanged glances, then QT reached out to tentatively touch the floating object. The red light immediately tracked down over her body, and she gasped, even as Cosecant was forced to avert her gaze.

Works best with the music. (NSFW?)

Somewhat later, Hyper arrived at the Dial Out Device. She'd run all the way across the chasm bridge, scattering dirt as she did to make it more visible. "Hyperbola!" Para said, caught off guard. "Where did you come from? We thought all you Conics had left!!"

"Have ye come ta help us wi' th' flux capacitor?" Cotangent asked.

"Don't be silly," Hyper said to them breathlessly, before striking a dramatic pose. "I've come because my magical guide is finally about to arrive!"

Which is when Logan's gazebo blasted out of the nearby wormhole, spinning on it's own axis.


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