Killgrace and the Pi Problem

Killgrace and the Pi Problem


Origin Timestream Period: 1920’s
Tech Development: Era 1
Mission Type: Exploration
Location: Offworld
Cover by Ragged Angel Ltd

Killgrace and the Pi Problem

Susan opened the Capsule door cautiously, and stared. The weight of the door pulled it open as she blinked, trying to make sense of the world outside.

“Cet, do you see what I see?” The alien moved forward, then stopped dead just before it knocked her out of the Capsule.

“Scanning results are…inconclusive.” Strange swirls and splashed of colour marked what she thought was a street, subtly distorted with edges and angles hard to look at. Above them the sun hung in the sky, a spiral bending in further and firther upon itself…Susan’s balance lurched and she stumbled against the door.

A silver-grey limb snapped out from behind her, slamming the door closed as she collapsed on the bench.

“Thanks. Umm…give me a moment and we will go and investigate the world according to Picasso.” She took a few steady breaths, trying to control her stomach. “I wonder what physics drives that?” Somewhere out there there was probably a world according to Lowry. She did not want to imagine the physics behind that.

“Readings only rationalise if Pi is equal to four.”

“Oh,” she said, trying to joke. “Not three.”

“point 1415927…”

“Normally when Pi is wrong or rounded, humanoids make it three.” she explained, before the alien could continue. She stood up, bracing herself, and opened the door. She could do this, she could – the wind blew and the splashes of colour on the street broke into spirals and arcs of movements. Susan swayed, thinking incongrously ‘Oh they’re leaves…’ and shut the door and sat down. Her companion had not moved.

“Look, I’m sorry but my scientific curiosity has been defeated by my travel sickness.” She made a private note to add paper bags to the Capsule’s internal inventory. “If you wish to investigate go ahead.”

“Negative.” The alien placed surprising emphasis on the word. She grimaced, feeling a little better that she was not the only one affected. She could close her eyes, but the alien could not turn its sensors off. If this was bad for her, it would be faring worse. She wondered whether throwing up in an environmental support unit was anything like as bad as being sick in a space suit, and decided to think of something else.

“I wonder what the residents are like.”

“The residents of a non-Eucledian universe must themselves be non-Eucledian.”

“Yes.” Her mind tried to imagine a non-Euclidean humanoid and failed utterly. “I don’t think I want to meet them.”

“Departure in fifty-six minutes and twelve seconds.” Cet informed her, and she nodded, setting her head spinning again. When they got back she would be adding Euclidean geometry to the universe requirements, along with breathable atmosphere, survivable for humanoids, and no excessive gravity. Although, even if she was going to be stuck in a Capsule for an hour playing I-spy with a irritated alien, she could think of one good thing to come out of this. She gave a sickly smile.

“Well, now at least you believe me that physics is not a constant between universes.”

# End #


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