Monday, June 14, 2010

Diplomaths, 572 words

Near the border of the Kingdom of Wax, a small fiefdom has carved out a safe existence in the Nowheres. Treaties keep the smothering wax at bay for the lord of the land, Sir Pinski, has sworn fealty to the King. Sir Pinski has demonstrated the utility he offers the Wax King in his independence, as his soldiers and agents are more powerful and intelligent than they would be if smothered under a layer of wax.

Sir Pinski's greatest asset, however, is that he is actually one of the Awake. He was a mathematician and physicist in his slumbering life, and grew obsessed with esoteric maths designed to explore and explain higher-dimensional reality. Instead of string theory, however, what Pinski found was that his models kept leading to a much different interpretation of reality. One that bordered on the magical, even more so than the wildest dreams of quantum "spooky action" and nonlocalized phenomena. No matter how he checked and double-checked his models, no matter what he did, following the evidence led to the same conclusions. Pinski refrained from publishing his discoveries, but the stress and pressure of keeping such a secret destroyed him (and his career) as surely as revealing them would have, if in a less dramatic fashion.

He abandoned his own research and went to work with others, seeing if they ended up with the same discoveries. Not one of them did, and he jumped from project to project only to find the same results. Wrapped up in doubts about his own sanity, Sir Pinski finally Awakened and realized the magical world hiding around him all this time, heretofore caught only in his models. He tried to flee from the realization of his research, burning all the notes and evidence he'd built up on his model, but the Mad City still swallowed him up just as it has so many others.

Sir Pinski's power comes from Math. Or rather, it comes from the insane mathematics he constructed around the true shape of reality. He can bend and manipulate the mathematical laws underlying the Mad City, shifting space and writing new equations to serve his needs. One of his most valuable creations with this power has been the Diplomath, a living equation that he sends as emissary to other realms in the Nowheres. The Diplomaths have argued and negotiated many the beneficial arrangement and treaty for Sir Pinski, giving him great power in a short time.

The average Diplomath appears to be a complex arrangement of interconnected numbers and symbols, floating free a few inches above the ground. Each is two-dimensional, apparently the writing stripped off a page and expanded until it is almost half as tall as a human, and is suffused with a faint violet light. They can talk, though they have no visible mouths, and can see and hear without eyes or ears. They are sturdy to survive the journeys to foreign courts in the Nowheres, but their real power arises in debate and negotiation. Every one is a complete, solved equation that describes in intricate detail the utter mathematical certainty of their agenda, as they were written by their lord. They may not be swayed from their agenda, and surviving a debate with them with your own viewpoint intact is beyond most normal humans and more than a few Nightmares. The only surefire way of getting past them in an argument is not to have it.

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