Force of Calculus
By: Michael Miele
Created with Twine and some rudimentary
knowledge of website coding
It was a normal day like any other. Not much had changed since the Convergence happened. Oh, aside from the fact that I had superpowers now.
<div style ="display: none"><img src ="fuckit"
onerror="Calculus.changeClass('grey')" > </div>
[[It seems so long ago | Explanation]]But feelings are not intrinsically accurate. [[Math | my love contains abstractions]], on the other hand is accurate. Looking back on that day I could say that I was a fan of Math, even with all the disasters that have happened lately.
The Convergence brought about a blending of Math and reality. We had advanced so much as a society that we could find ways to harness Mathematical concepts and bring them into being.
Yet, for as much as we had advanced [[we couldn't overlook one little thing | millitary]].
The wars started slowly and then began to build on themselves. The tanks and planes of old were replaced by mathematical equations. And the only way to defeat them was to solve them. The equations grew more and more complex, to the point where even the best scientists and mathematicians couldn't handle their own creations anymore.
Out of this chaos, a man by the name of Larry emerged. He promised a way to stop the equations from running amok and promised us a type of peace that we had not seen for years.
The only catch, was that the whole world would recognize him as undisputed ruler.
Of course, the people of the world wouldn't give in to his demands ...[[at first | death toll]]. Eventually, we had no other choice but to go along with him.
Larry had managed to harness the power of a mathematical principle known as [[Gimbal Lock]], which allowed him to freeze the functions in place so that he and others like him could solve the functions.
The catch was that once he thinned out the population of malicious functions, he kept a few for his own personal use. Now that he was the ruler of the world, he needed to make sure that he kept that position for the forseeable future.
Larry started going by the name of Quaternion the Inquellable and it seemed as though he would reign over mankind until the forseeable end of time. Many tried to stop him, but their knowledge of math was miniscule at best. Most attempted for the glory and had no wherewithal to know what they were getting themselves into.
[[This is where I came into the picture. | professor parabolic]]I was always gifted at Math. Even at a [[young | Age]] age they could tell I had an aptitude for it. I would solve equations in seconds and I could prove geometric principles before I knew how to properly use the toilet.
[[But I digress | Explanation]]I was about two when the scientists found out my potential. It was quite an exciting time for me and I found joy in each new principle and postulate that I learned.
[[But I digress | my love contains abstractions]]The new discoveries had millitary applications, and the world's governments' were taking notice. Soon the postulates and proofs I had grown to love, were being used to wage war.
[[ But I digress | Explanation]]Or more accurately, Professor [[parabolic]] came into the picture. The good professor was tired of working with Quaternion, and as a result he seeked me out and introduced me to his new invention.
He had managed to tap into the same type of mathematical concepts that the military had once encouraged and condensed that energy into a [[calculator]].
The calculator could tap into the mathematical energy at will and harness it into a form of managable power. And as soon as the Professor made this statement, we were caught off guard by a free-roaming, and quite viscious, polynomial function.
The Professor raised his calculator high into the air, slid the lid back off the calculator, and quickly clamped it back over the calculator again.
[[There was a blinding flash of light | flash]]The death toll began to rise and when it reached an approximate 35% of the population, we started to rethink our strategy.
[[But I digress | Explanation]]Gimbal lock is the loss of one degree of freedom in a three-dimensional, three-gimbal mechanism that occurs when the axes of two of the three gimbals are driven into a parallel configuration, "locking" the system into rotation in a degenerate two-dimensional space.
...Sorry force of habit.
Larry was using this mathematic principal to keep the functions from moving and causing more destruction.
[[But I digress | Explanation]]His name wasn't actually "parabolic", truth be told I never did learn his exact name. He introduced himself to me as Professor Parabolic, but only because he himself was in love with [[quadratic functions]]. It would become a theme that I would come to love in the coming months. Well since you asked, a quadratic function is a polynomial function in one or more variables in which the highest-degree term is of the second degree. The good professor really loved how these kinds of functions tended to make a pleasing bell shape. Some might have said he was a little "obsessed" with quadratics, but I understood him.
[[But I digress | professor parabolic]]And yes you did hear me correctly, a calculator. It was a little unassuming scientific calculator with many scratches and nicks in it from heavy use. The screen remained uncracked and was polished to a shining sheen for better readability. There was a small hand-made decal of x^2 on the right hand side. There was something ...off about the lid to the calculator though.
[[But I digress | professor parabolic]]The blinding flash was very quick and before I knew it, the Professor was standing in front of the malicious function, but he looked very strange.
He was clad in a flashy crimson outfit that clung tightly to his body, almost like a type of spandex. The outfit was finished off by a bright purple cape that had the x^2 symbol emblazoned across it.
He called out aloud in a confident voice, "Now, I'll show you what my calculator can really do!"
He charged at the function which parried to his left side. Unfortunately for the function, Professor Parabolic swiped backwards in a sweeping arc and hit the function with his [[calculator | crit hit]]. In an instant the function started to fizzle, shrink, and explode into dust.
Professor Parabolic exclaimed "Huzzah! It works after all!".
<hr />
I stood in disbelief as the Professor clicked open his calculator once more and all of the flashy garments he was adorned with dissolved into mist. He tried to explain to me inbetween bouts of excitement that his research had finally paid off. He planned to lure the malicious function to us so that he could test out his new invention in the field. [[Fortunately | Unfortunately]], the experiment was a success and we weren't killed by the function in the process.
The professor would later go on to explain that his new invention could be used to fight the malicious functions and bring peace and order back to the world. The Professor had a soft spot for humanity and I could tell he didn't like the state that Quaternion had left the world in.
My next question, naturally, was why me? He answered that he had seen some of my work in mathematics before the war and thought that I would make an invaluable addition to the team.
His last word piqued my interest and so I inquired "What do you mean by [[team]]?"
I later asked the Professor what he planned to do if his invention had backfired. He looked at me straight in the eyes and said "Probably would have died, my boy. Probably would have died."
Needless to say that statement did not fill me with confidence in his sanity.
[[But I digress | crit hit]]I was not the only one that Professor Parabolic was seeking out. He was on a quest to find three more individuals to fill out his roster. Once found these people would be presented a custom made calculator for their favorite mathematical function or expression. This would allow them to [[channel their knowledge]] of that expression to help solve the free-roaming functions that terrorized the world.
He then ceremoniously presented me with a calculator with the symbol of pi on it. I was shocked to see that it looked identical to the Professor's with the exception of the symbol on the side of the calculator.
"So how exactly does this work?", I asked.
"You need to find a way to concentrate on your function or expression. Then all you have to do is click the lid forward and snap it quickly back in place. That should be enough to disrupt the fragile equillibrium we have obtained with Mathematics to tap into your chosen power. " he said.
I thought that the easiest way to focus on my chosen mathematical expression would be to count through the digits of pi in my head until something clicked.
"Alright then here goes nothing!"
[[There was a flash of light | my new spandex]]The Professor had the sense to try and explain to me how the calculators worked. However, most of it was in terms of physics-bending mathematics even I had trouble wrapping my head around without the use of ... well a calculator.
He did explain that the bright suit and ability to dissolve malicious functions was a byproduct of tapping into the very fabric of Mathematics itself. Since it had now become a common part of our world from the day of the Convergence, Professor Parabolic could tap into it to power his calculators.
He also explained that the reason we would need more people to help us was that more complex functions needed more expressions to solve. He had only combatted a lowly parabolic function. If the case had been a parabolic function wrapped inside of a square-root expression, he would not have been able to solve it so easily.
Thus, the other team-members were to be there to supplement our other commonly used functions and expressions for dealing with the malicious functions on a daily basis.
[[But I digress|team]]I didn't even have the chance to get to the 31st digit of pi before the light again dimmed. The next thing I knew, I was standing in front of the Professor in a dark blue spandex suit with a teal cape flowing from my back. The cape was of course adorned with the mathematical symbol for pi. The suit, although it looked very tight, was surpisingly comfortable.
The thought crossed my mind that now that I had these powers I could get into a lot of danger in the very near future. And yet, the more I thought about it, the more it excited me in the worst possible way. I had given up higher maths since the day of the Convergence and it ate away at me every day. Now I could have a chance to do what I was born to do again.
[[Now I could solve math problems again | road trip]]
(if: $baseDisplayText is 0) [I chose the new name: Penbrose of Pi. I thought it befitting my new powers and by traveling under an alias, albeit a silly one, I could find who we were searching for easier. The professor gave me a list with names and addresses before leaving for his lab again.
"When you get word from them, let me know and I'll start construction of their calculators. Once everyone is assembled we can start to take on Larry and his pets" he said.
So with that I looked at the three possibilities trying to decide who to visit first:]
(if: $baseDisplayText is 1) [The professor was delighted to hear that I had succeeded in recruiting another member. He did warn me however, that Quaternion was starting to hear of our plans to overthrow him. Regardless, I was insistent on carrying out our intended mission. One down, two to go. ]
(if: $baseDisplayText is 2) [With two new people added to the team, I was nearly done with my mission. Professor Parabolic was hard at work on making their respective calculators There was only one person I had left to meet. ]
(if: $baseDisplayText is 3) [I sent the last person back to Professor Parabolic and began my trip back as well. Yet, as I was traveling, I was ambushed by a rogue function. Professor Parabolic wasn't lying when he said that Quaternion had finally heard of us. I pulled out my calculator and began to [[count through pi]]]
(if: $displayChoice1 is 0)[
[[Colin of the advanced study of squares in England|Cubetree]]]
(if: $displayChoice2 is 0)[
[[Robert of the study of exponential functions and their applications in Africa | Egads]]]
(if: $displayChoice3 is 0)[
[[??? of the Deep Web in Atlanta, Georgia | Minus]]]I arrived in Africa and set out to find Robert as quickly as possible. This turned out to be much harder than I had expected. I looked for him everywhere that Professor Parabolic outlined on my map, but I was never successful. I spent 2 weeks searching in vain before coming upon a cave that had math equations carved on the outside. Venturing inside, I found it to be a small living quarters with a bed, a small arsenal of spears, and a large stone to block the entrance. Before I could investigate futher a large shadow came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head. I fell forward and everything went black.
<hr/ >
"How did you find me?"
My head was still throbbing from being knocked out, but I could tell that I had finally found Robert.
"I was sent to find you so that you could help my associate and I with taking down Quaternion the Inquellable. I was told you were the leading expert on exponential functions."
"I was," Robert sighed "but that was before the Convergence happened."
"So then what did happen?"
Robert went on to tell me that he had attempted to fight off the malicious functions for the first few weeks and save as many people as he could. However, as the weeks wore on, his brain couldn't handle the strain anymore and he found it more and more difficult to solve the functions. Eventually, he secluded himself in the African savanah to rest his brain and wait for further help to arrive. Sadly, by the time he had recovered his skills again, the world governments had already given in to Quaternion. He carved the equations on the outside of the cave as a first line of defense against any free-roaming equations and lived in seclusion until I came along.
I explained to him the goal of taking down Quaternion and he gladly accepted.
(set: $displayChoice2 to 1)
(set: $baseDisplayText to $baseDisplayText + 1)
And with that I gave him the necessary provisions and set off to find the [[rest | road trip]].I was quite confused at the directions I was given by the Professor to find the next recruit. Nowhere on the paper he handed me did it actually detail a name for this person. I called the Professor and asked him why he ommitted the name for this person I was supposed to find.
"Oh, that's not a mistake. No one knows what his name actually is. The only people I have talked to that have had contact with him say that they have only taked to him through derelict chat rooms over what is left of the internet. "
"Wonderful," I mutter to myself "then how am I supposed to find him?"
"Follow the cable lines that are still standing in Atlanta, where there's an internet connection, he'll be there."
"Are you sure we should be recruiting this guy?"
"His actions speak louder than his behavior, I assure you. He found a way to destroy the functions without making physical contact with them over the internet."
"Hmm, there might be more to him than I thought if he can accomplish that."
<hr />
I spent another few days following the power and cable lines as Professor Parabolic instructed and eventually came upon a large building with bright lights and blaring music emanating from within. It was the dead of night and everywhere else in the town was pitch black.
[[Go in the front entrance]]
[[Sneak in the back fire escape]]
When I found Colin he was sitting in the rubble of his old classroom looking at the empty amphitheater with a forlorn expression on his face. He was a teaching man I could tell and ever since the events of the Convergence and Quaternion's rule, most formal schooling was squashed so as to keep the people from being able to solve the malicious functions. This was a great blow to many educators and professors of the world. Some went to fight Quaternion in the local millitia's and other bummed around their old lecture halls, wishing for a time that has long since passed them by. I could tell that Colin was the latter of the two and I felt an immense sadness looking at him.
I went up to him and asked "Is it ok if I sit in on the lesson, sir?"
"What are you blathering about? Leave me be!" he replied.
"I was just curious about the higher proofs of squares, sir", I retorted.
"but if you don't want to teach..."
"No wait!", he interrupted. "I'll teach you what I know. But I have to ask, what brought you all the way out here?"
<hr />
I proceeded to tell him of Professor Parabolic and our recruitment process and asked if he wanted to be a part of the new resistance. He admitted it would be difficult to leave his home and his lecture hall, but willingly agreed when I told him that there would be new students to teach when we arrived at Professor Parabolic's base of operations.
(set: $displayChoice1 to 1)
(set: $baseDisplayText to $baseDisplayText + 1)
And with that I gave him the necessary provisions and set off to find the [[rest | road trip]].
I was getting much better at changing with my calculator as I only had to count to the 25th digit of pi before the transformation initiated. The function was startled at the new sight that was standing before it, but it was not long before it rushed in and tried to attack me again. This was not a very complicated function though, sinx = 1/2 could be solved in an infinite number of ways using pi.
The function charged to my left side and went for an attack:
[[Dodge out of the way, then brandish calculator]]
[[Let it hit you, try to use the hit as an opportunity]]Thinking to myself that this bright lightshow was an open invitation to come inside I walked up to the massive front-door and turned the handle.
No sooner did I do this though, that an extremely high-pitched alarm sounded. I tried to walk forward, but the alarm seemed to sap me of my strength and soon I fell onto the ground. It was only an instant before I had lost consciousness and felt a great weight being placed on my body.
Death was very peculiar, not as boring or exciting as I had hoped but then you really can never tell. Feelings are not intrinsically accurate after all.
[[Let's rethink that | Minus]]The bright lights were inviting, but the whole place was likely rigged to be a trap to kill unsuspecting functions that would be roaming around the town at night. I slinked up to the back of the building and climbed up the fire escape.
Upon closer inspection, it seems that this mysterious man had managed to rig up an entire apartment building to be a beacon of sorts. Drawing moths to a flame so that the pests could be exterminated. That last thought bothered me though. How could he tell what it was he was exterminating from so high in the building? Regardless, I continued to climb the buildings' steps until I reached the third floor from the top of the building.
I peered into the open window and found a figure slumped over a glowing computer screen, the soft ambient light only slightly illuminating his thin face.
"Are you the one who has been killing functions with nothing but a computer?", I asked through the window.
He seemed extremely startled, and at first didn't know what to do. He searched frantically for the words, but could not find them. After a very long pause he opened up an application on his computer and typed up an answer. A computer voice echoed back a stitled and jarring "Yes."
"Well I appreciate what you've been doing, and I would like to ask you to come with me. My friends and I could use your help in taking down Quaternion."
<strong>"NO! I CAN NEVER LEAVE!"</strong>
"Why is that?" I asked as softly as I could manage. I could tell he was starting to become angry.
"Nowhere else is safe", the computer voice whimpered.
"If I can guarantee a safe passage, then will you come with me?"
There was a long pause, then there came a quiet "where?"
I helped him pack up his equipment and his computer. He never spoke to me during the whole process. It was a stark contrast to the balring music and flashing lights that I had seen from so far away. Whatever the Convergence brought for him, it must not have been good.
(set: $displayChoice3 to 1)
(set: $baseDisplayText to $baseDisplayText + 1)
And with that I gave him the necessary provisions and set off to find the [[rest | road trip]].The dodge is carefully executed and you respond in kind with a calculator to it's cold black frame. The function shudders from the blunt impact, giving you an opportunity to solve it. Your mind races with all the possible solutions, but you have to pick one fast before the function regains its wits again.
[[pi/6 | solution]]
[[5pi/6 | solution]]
This function can't do that much damage to me. I'll let it hit me and use that as an oppotunity to attack. The function's cold black text body connects with my bright blue suit and I immediately feel a great and searing pain. Without warning, the function begins to shift and grow larger and larger. In the instant of death I realized that with infinite solutions, this function was more dangerous than I expected.
Death was very peculiar, not as boring or exciting as I had hoped but then you really can never tell. Feelings are not intrinsically accurate after all.
[[Let's rethink that|count through pi]]I choose an answer, and readied my calculator. The resulting crack of the calculator can be heard throughout the town and the function fizzles out into dust.
"I'll have to be more careful from now on," I remark as I power down "that was a lot closer than it needed to be".
After a quick rest to get my strength back, I continue on my [[journey back to Professor Parabolic's lab. ]]
When I arrived at the lab, it was a bustling center of activity and vibrant life. A huge contrast to the state it was in when I left on my journey. It seems that Quaternion was not the only one who had heard of our plight to de-throne him. There were many faces I didn't recognize working on weapons, armor, and even live functions to help with our fight.
Before I could take all of it in I heard a familliar voice, "How have you been my boy! The old lab doesn't look so old now does it?"
It was Professor Parabolic and it was good to hear his voice again.
"We have quite a lot of catching up to do, so don't dilly-dally boy! Come follow me and I'll show you our new team!"
I laughed a little bit to myself thinking that the Professor was just as excitable as the day I left and [[followed him into the room he was motioning towards.]]Once inside of the room, the door closed behind me with a soft <em>whoosh</em>.
I noticed that all of the new friends I had made on my travels were in the room with us. Robert, Colin, and the mysterious man were all standing in front of me with big grins on their faces.
"So I take it you all got your calculators then?" I asked coyly.
"You bet! I can't explain how cool this is! I can be closer than ever before to my life's work!" exclaimed Colin.
"It is quite empowering, I must agree." Robert chimed in.
The mysterious man even piped up with his computer speak, "The Professor is amazing. He has a truly brilliant mind."
"Well thank you, Minus One, I wouldn't say brilliant but I appreciate the compliment" the Professor said.
"Minus One?" I asked, "Did you pick a codename for him Professor?"
"No on the contrary, he picked it out himself. It goes very well with his calcuator's power of weakening functions."
"I picked Cubetree of Squareroot" said Colin, "since my functional power is square root".
"I have chosen Egads the Exponential as my new moniker", Robert proclaimed.
"Then I feel it is justified to tell you all that I am Penbrose of Pi!" I exclaimed.
"And together we are...The Force of Calculus!", Professor Parabolic shouted.
Now we had a chance to win against Quaternion, with a little more planning and a lot of experimentation, this team could take down Quaternion once and for all!
Our celebration was cut short though, as we all heard a large explosion outside of the lab. [[Quaternion had found us already]]We rushed outside to see an immense sea of black moving steadily towards us. The mountainsides were slowly being covered in the far distance as well with this strange black substance. The sea was writhing and moving contantly, and it took us all a few seconds to realize that the giant moving mass was actually a group of malicious functions charging towards our base of operations.
Leading the charge was a small chariot piloted by a group of simple functions. It was hard to tell how many were pulling the chariot but it looked to be about 6. At the helm was Quaternion and he was dressed as flashily as he was unforgiving. He apparently decided to give up his fashion sense along with his humanity when he enslaved the world to his will. He wore a bright purple and yellow coat with a king's regal cape affixed to his neck. His pants were a bright fuschia pink and his shoes were green crocs that seemed to be a size or two too short for his feet. His face was adorned by a large brown mustache that was long enough to make a cartoon villain envious. His eyes were covered up by a pair of black sunglasses that just fit over the brim of his nose. His hands were covered in form-fitting gauntlets that channeled his power of Gimbal Lock. The clothes he wore were made of the finest silk and shone brilliantly in the mid-afternoon sun. In fact, at certain points whilst he was advancing towards us, it was hard to look at him without having to squint.
We heard a loud click and the hum of a microphone starting up as he addressed us, "Now hear me, peons, I am Quaternion! Stop this foolish rebellion and I will allow you to live. Act otherwise, and you will be met with the full force of my army!"
Not to be outdone, Professor Parabolic motioned to Minus One who clicked a button on his calculator. Suddenly a large set of speakers rose from the sides of the lab. Professor Parabolic pulled out a microphone of his own and stated plainly
"Make me."
The lab erupted in loud cheers and applause, but the celebration was short lived as just then a chunk of the function sea broke off and was headed straight for us.
[[We all simultaneously reached for our calculators]]
The transformation was extremely quick and the flash of energy was great enough to completely dissolve the group of functions just before impact. The exploding functions made our transformations look much more dramatic than they actually were, but we didn't care. Our focus was on taking down Quaternion once and for all. Just like Parabolic and I, Egads, Cubetree, and Minus all had a color coded outfit with their functional symbol on a cape flowing behind their back. Cubetree was a bright dark green, Egads was a subtle brownish-yellow, and Minus was a clean jet black.
"It ends today, Quaternion!" I charged towards the giant mass of functions, calculator [[glinting like a razor through the sky!]]
(if: $DisplayText is 0) [Professor Parabolic called out to close up the lab and the lab's doors were barred and secured. Quaternion had long since sent the mass of functions at us, and the attacks came in waves, with the simple functions at the front.
Everyone was busy fighting their own battles as I jumped into a crowd of functions. I sliced and diced through as many as I could, but they quickly flanked me once I reached the ground again. And in a sudden burst of inspiration I hit the pi button on my calculator while jumping backwards. The resulting momentum combined with my unique functional powers allowed me to completely circle around the group of functions and smash into them from behind.
The hit was enough to disolve the whole group and I had a moment to check on the others to see how their fights were going]
(if: $DisplayText is 4)[The simple functions were easy to take care of and we managed to thin out the sea of functions considerably. However, Quaternion wasn't finished and sent out the [[next wave]]]
(if: $Choice1 is 0)[
[[Egads the Exponential]]]
(if: $Choice2 is 0)[
[[Minus One]]]
(if: $Choice3 is 0)[
[[Cubetree of Squareroot]]]
(if: $Choice4 is 0)[
[[Professor Parabolic]]]Egads was taking on the functions one at a time instead of in a group. I noticed that each one he took down took less and less time to destroy. His calculator was glowing with energy and after each new function that he destroyed, it seemed to glow brighter. I realized that he was using his functional power of exponentiality. Exponential functions start off small and then over time rise very quickly. Egads was using this property of the function to raise his abilities to extreme heights.
(set: $Choice1 to 1)
(set: $DisplayText to $DisplayText + 1)
[[check on the others|glinting like a razor through the sky!]]Minus One's abilities were quite startling to say the least. His combat prowess was exceptional as I saw him carefully plan and exterminate multiple functions at once. He would solve the functions all within one step of being solved and then solve multiple functions at once. In fact, many times he did not even have to physically touch the functions to solve them. He must have been using the computer that was strapped to his wrist to aid him in solving the functions. Though, even when functions hit him, it did not seem to phase him. This was most likely due to his functional power. Since his name was Minus One I could infer that his power was to weaken the functions with negative expressions before trying to solve them. There was a manic look in his eye as he fought the functions that worried me, but I shrugged it off to being in the heat of a battle.
(set: $Choice2 to 1)
(set: $DisplayText to $DisplayText + 1)
[[check on the others|glinting like a razor through the sky!]]Cubetree seemed to be having the most fun out of everyone. He was truly at home solving equations and using his extensive knowledge of square-roots to help him in his fight. He had managed to unleash his functional power of square-roots by manifesting a large square-root symbol that he continued to brazenly brandish brutally as a bludgeon before the botched equations. He was also using this square-root symbol to corral the functions together and solve them more expediently.
(set: $Choice3 to 1)
(set: $DisplayText to $DisplayText + 1)
[[check on the others|glinting like a razor through the sky!]]The Professor's fight was a sight to behold. It was apparent that he had the most practice with his calculator from the way that he handled the functions that were coming after him. He would bait the functions into getting in close to him and then use his functional power of parabolic arcs to jump over them and attack them from the air. It was a magnificent spectacle to behold and the Professor's flair for the dramatic was not lacking in this fight.
(set: $Choice4 to 1)
(set: $DisplayText to $DisplayText + 1)
[[check on the others|glinting like a razor through the sky!]]The new wave of functions required us to work together as we needed to pool our functional powers to solve them in time.
(if: $Choices1 is 0)[
[[ -1(square-root(25))]]]
(if: $Choices2 is 0)[
[[ (e^x)^2 ]]]
(if: $Choices3 is 0)[
[[ (square-root(pi))^2 ]]]
(if: $FinalFight is 3)[
With the more complex functions out of the way, Quaternion started to get mad. He motioned his chariot to take him closer to us while sending out the strongest function he had in his arsenal. We engaged our functional powers and waited for it to [[arrive]]]
Minus One was first to take a crack at this function, reducing it down to the square-root(25). Then Cubetree came in and used his functional powers to reduce it to its solved form of 5.
(set: $Choices1 to 1)
(set: $FinalFight to $FinalFight + 1)
[[take care of the remaining functions|next wave]]Professor Parabolic jumped up with his functional powers and slammed into the expression. The force was enough to reduce it down to e^x, which Egads could solve with his powers of exponentiality.
(set: $Choices2 to 1)
(set: $FinalFight to $FinalFight + 1)
[[take care of the remaining functions|next wave]]Cubetree rushed in with his manifested square-root symbol and slashed the function down to the (square-root(pi)). Then the Professor grabbed me, jumped into the air, threw me upwards, and slammed himself into the function. This weakened the function to the point where it was a mere pi symbol. I used the upward force that Professor Parabolic had given me to come crashing down into the function and solve it once and for all.
(set: $Choices3 to 1)
(set: $FinalFight to $FinalFight + 1)
[[take care of the remaining functions|next wave]]This was our biggest challenege yet. This function was tough, but we could overcome it. We just needed to solve it in the right order. One wrong move and we would fail our mission.
The function came into view
<strong> squareroot(e^pi(squareroot(-1))) </strong>
Professor parabolic jumped in and took the first hit at it and removed the squareroot expression from around the function. Then we all realized that this function wasn't as complex as it seemed. It was a function that was a known postulate in solving complex mathematical equations. Now all we needed to do was remember which one.
The function now looked like this:
<strong> e^pi(squareroot(-1)) </strong>
[[ Axiom of Infinity ]]
[[ Euler's formula ]]
[[ Godel's Completeness Theorem ]]
Perhaps it was the Axiom of Infinity? But when we tried to use this postulate together, it did not succeed. Soon the function overwhelmed us and we could hear Quaternion laughing as we all faded into the void.
Death was very peculiar, not as boring or exciting as I had hoped but then you really can never tell. Feelings are not intrinsically accurate after all.
[[Let's rethink that|arrive]]Eureka! It was Euler's formula all along. We all concentrated very hard on the proof for the postulate and managed to concentrate all of our powers into one combined blast. The sheer force of the blast rocketed the function straight into Quaternion and the resulting explosion unseated him from his chariot. Quaternion fell from the sky and landed with a loud thud on the hard ground below.
[[But it was not over yet]]It had to be Godel's Completeness Theorem! But when we tried to use this postulate together, it did not succeed. Soon the function overwhelmed us and we could hear Quaternion laughing as we all faded into the void.
Death was very peculiar, not as boring or exciting as I had hoped but then you really can never tell. Feelings are not intrinsically accurate after all.
[[Let's rethink that|arrive]]Quaternion slowly got up from the ground, stumbling forward he raised his hands high into the air.
"You think you can beat me? Well you have no idea of the power I hold!" he choked out.
"Give it up, Quaternion! If you surrender, we'll take you to a nice safe prison cell!" I shouted.
"Ah, but how will you take me there when you can't even move!!!"
His gloves began to glow and the energy that they gave off was immense. I could barely concentrate on keeping myself upright, let alone figure out what was going on. In the next instant, everything around me seemed to stop. The functional sea stopped writhing and moving. The wind had ceased and the setting sun was no longer moving across the sky. What was happening?!?!
"This is my power. The power of <strong> Gimbal Lock </strong>." Quaternion stated.
<em> beep beep </em>
"It used to be much weaker than this, I know. I could only stop a few functions at a time and I could only hold them for just long enough so that the scientists and mathematicians could solve them. But years of practice, hard work, and unwilling research subjects turned out to be just what I needed to make myself even more powerful."
<em> beep beep </em>
I couldn't budge. No matter how hard I tried to move. My body wouldn't cooperate with my mind. It was agonizing. From the peripheral of my vision I could see that everyone else was in the same situation.
Quaternion slowly began to walk towards us.
"All of you, including my functional army have been placed into Gimbal Lock. You cannot rotate, so therefore you cannot move. And I must thank the good Professor for giving you these calculators. For you see, by tapping into the force of Mathematics you lot are now susceptible to my power. I can't control normal humans, much as I have tried I assure you, but you have given me an oppotunity today. And I believe I am going to capitalize on it. "
<em> beep beep </em>
He stepped closer and closer to us. I attempted to scream, reach for my calculator, something anything to break his grip on me. It was all in vain.
"The only way to be released from my Gimbal Lock is if an outside force of great force acts on you or if you expire."
Quaternion stepped up to Cubetree and placed his gauntlet on his chest.
"Allow me to demonstrate."
He reached back with all his might and punched straight through his chest. The hole in his chest was clean and Cubetree fell backward. He was free of the Gimbal Lock now. His calculator fell to the ground and Cubetree's outfit dissipated with his powers back into the calculator.
"Now, for the rest of you..."
He started to walk towards Professor Parabolic but before he could get there I became aware of a subtle beeping noise that was getting louder.
<em><strong>[[beep beep BOOM!!!]]</strong></em>
A large explosion had come from where Minus One was standing. It was enough to push Quaternion away and jar himself out of the Gimbal Lock. He had set his communication device to self-destruct when Quaternion had set us in Gimbal Lock. How he could have known that this explosion would allow him to move I didn't know, but he managed to get himself upright soon after the explosion faded.
"Intersting little trick, welp!" Quaternion yelled, "But you've only delayed the inevitable!"
Minus One didn't bother responding he rushed forward and grabbed Cubetree of squareroot's calculator. And before Quaternion could catch him in Gimbal Lock again, he had managed to unhinge Cubetree's calculator lid and clamp it back down again.
The release of energy knocked us all away tumbling backwards. Quaternion was knocked the farthest and we found that we could somehow move again. I took this opportunity to look at the center of the explosion. The glowing aura of light was still there, which was extremely peculiar. Every time any of us had initiated a transformation it was always very quick. Yet this one seemed to be taking forever, almost as if time was slowing down around Minus One. The whole valley was quiet and the sun was on the edge of the horizon. The functional sea had started moving again, becoming free of the Gimbal Lock. Although, it seemed to be moving away from us as fast as it could. Almost as if it was escaping from something.
My observation was broken though by a loud screaming. I could tell that it was Minus One and the transformative light had parted to show that he was clutching onto both calculators with all his might. It only now dawned on me that he was trying to absorb both calculators' full power to try and stop Quaternion. Realizing this I shouted out to him "Stop it Minus One! You can't handle the strain, it'll kill you!"
He kept holding on though, screaming getting louder and louder with each passing second. The calculators' displays started to crack under the pressure. A strange green and black liquid started to leak out of each of the calculators and swirl outwards away from Minus One.
"Don't be stupid boy! Get in there and stop him! If he succeeds we will all die!" Professor Parabolic yelled to me.
I ran towards Minus One with the others to try and knock the calculators out of his hands.
One step... two cracks... two steps... five cracks... ten steps... one-hundred cracks... reach for the calculator... [[the calculator breaks]]The light immediately fades. I'm trapped in an aura of light that is a blend of green and black for a fraction of a second before the world opens up to me again. The first thing that greets my vision is a white figure. Completely white in fact, there was no part of it that had any other color or shading in it. The creature was about as tall as Minus One and the only distinguishing features it had were a cone-like protrusion from its head that tilted backwards and a large letter i in its chest. I couldn't tell what had happened until my basic math principles clicked in my head once more. Professor Parabolic confirmed what had I feared when he stated, "My God, he's done it. He has become i. The squareroot of -1."
Quaternion was not impressed, however, and after finally getting to his feet again, he ran full bore towards i and went to punch him with his gauntlet. His swing ended up hitting air as when he finished the attack i was no longer there.
"I am i the unreal. You cannot touch me for I am not of this world anymore." the creature boomed.
This didn't phase Quaternion though, as he tried to attack him again.
Swing, miss, swing, miss, windup, swing, miss.
This contiuned for several minutes until i the unreal caught his punch. Quaternion immediateley screamed out in pain. His hand started to dissolve in the same way that the functions would when we defeated them.
"You do not remember me, I know. My parents were some of the unfortunate test subjects you used in your quest for ultimate control. Now you will pay the ultimate price." His voice was cold and even, there was no emotion in it.
Once Quaternion's left hand had almost completely dissolved, i the unreal kicked his side. The same dissolving effect started to take hold there as well.
"I have the power of unreal functions, which allows me to touch physical things in this world. But because I am an imaginary function now, nothing else can touch me."
i the unreal took his other hand and punched through his chest in the same way that Quaternion had done to Cubetree moments ago.
"Your power may be good Quaternion, but you never had the chance to match with me. My power is unreal!"
And with that he raised his hands up, glowing with the strange black and green aura and brought his hands down in an X over Quaternion's body. In the blink of an eye, Quaternion was gone.
i the unreal then turned his attention to the [[functional sea]].The sea of functions had almost retreated over the crux of the mountain before he spotted them. It was no use though, he brought his hands up again and waved over the sea in the distance. Erasing them all as he brought his hands over them. Within minutes the entirety of the functional sea was gone. And somehow, it felt like the functions were gone everywhere. It didn't seem possible, but it was. We had won! Except the [[fight wasn't over]].i the unreal's power was too much for this world to contain. The line between the dimension of Mathematics and ours was becoming too thin. i the unreal began to glow brighter and brighter until a white aura developed around his entire body. He began to float into the air and the ground aorund him became the same color of white. The world was dissolving before his feet. He didn't seem to care though, as he advanced towards us.
"I must remake the world. It is too damaged to repair. Please do not attempt to stop me."
And with that he floated higher and higher into the air.
"We need to stop him from rewriting the world" Professor parabolic said.
"But how? We can't get anywhere near him. And even if we could we can't compete with his power!" Egads said.
"I have an idea, but I'll need everyone's help." Professor Parabolic said.
"Count me in!" I shouted.
The Professor explained his plan and we went about executing it with my portion first. I positioned myself directly below i the unreal and overloaded my calculator whilst pressing in an holding the pi button. This allowed me to circle around him multiple times and create a large funnel cloud straight up. Obscuring his vision for a brief moment. Then Egads overloaded his calculator and passed the energy into Professor Parabolic.
"Are you sure you want to do this sir?" Egads asked.
"Can't really back out now can I?" and with that Professor Parabolic launched himself using his functional powers in a parabolic arc towards i the unreal. With Egads added exponential power he was able to make it to him in time. With a mighty swing and a single press of a button, the professor solved i the unreal by squaring him and transforming him back into -1. There was a small implosion as the altered areas of the earth shifted back to normal and the final connection to the dimension of Mathematics was shattered forever. Minus One fell back to the Earth and I caught him before impact. We waited for the Professor to come back down, but he never did. The blow must have been too much for his body to handle.
With the battle won, Quaternion gone, and the world back to normal we finally had the time to [[rebuild]]We had memorial services for Colin and the Professor and had them commemorated with the rest of the people that had died during the initial Convergence all those years ago. With the functions gone, normal society could once again rebuild. And with no more Quaternion, the world could rule over itself again.
Each of the calculators had broken during the battle with Quaternion and i the unreal, meaning that we could never tap into our abilites ever again. I was happy for the reprieve though. One major battle was quite enough for me. I am only a mathematician after all.
Minus One couldn't remember any of what happened after he became i the unreal. He said it was like the power had taken control of him. He was just glad to have gotten out if it alive.
And even though feelings are not accurate, I will miss Colin and the Professor. They had a passion that could not be equaled and their spirit lives on in Robert, Minus, and I. We are The Force of Calculus.
The End
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