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  • majoki

Mandelbrot's monster

“It’s not a case that we can’t see the fuckdam forest for the fuckdam trees,” Lipton spat as she whirled on Parrati, “because anywhere, anyhow we look at it that fuckdamn beast is waiting, ready to bite our fuckdamn heads off.”

Parrati tapped slender fingers on the viewport and clucked. “Fuckdamn. That’s baby talk for you, Janelle. You’re obviously not too fazed about this.”

“About losing two of our crew? What the fuckshit are you talking about, Amai?”

“We’ve got seven more redshirts, Janelle, and the other two are salvageable.”

“Without heads?”

“Redshirts are built to lose their heads. You aren’t.”

Lipton snatched Parrati’s hand from the viewport. “I wish I could throw you and your calm fuckbitch self in the brig for insubordination. Like in the good old days.”

Parrati smiled. “Would it help, Janelle, if I called you Captain.”

“It wouldn’t knucklefucking hurt.”

“Of course, Captain.” She pressed Lipton’s hand gently and did not release it. “Things were never simpler then. That’s why we left the service. That’s why we’re here doing our own thing. Our own way.”

“Fuckfuck! You know I hate being told the obvious, Amai.” But she squeezed her hand back. “And we still have a whatthefuck monster out there chomping our bots to bit.”

“Mandelbrot.”

Lipton stared fuckless.

“Mandelbrot’s monster. That’s what I was getting at when I said that maybe we couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” Parrati explained. “Over a century ago, Mandelbrot rocked the science world by discovering fractal geometry. He single-handedly slew the non-differential Euclidian monsters that’d been terrorizing mathematicians for generations.

“His genius was to recognize the iterative patterns in natural objects difficult to describe and measure with traditional geometry. He developed the groundbreaking tool of fractal science, reimagining once-feared mathematical monsters not as terrors but as a wonders, not as obstacles but as features, not as beasts but as beauties.”

“Fuckstop with the fairy tale fuckfest, Amai. Get to the fuckpoint.”

“Whatever’s out there chewing up our redshirts is a fixed feature of this planet and has a pattern of behavior. We just have to discover the pattern and then co-opt it.”

“Fuckthat. We’re on a fuckslim timeline. If we can’t establish a major claim on this fuckrock in the next few days, then we go bankrupt. Back to squarefuckingone. No more doing it our way.”

Parrati knowingly touched her forehead to Lipton’s. “But that is exactly our way. That is always the way: learning nature’s patterns, understanding our own natures, and falling in love with them and all their fucking iterations.”

Lipton kissed her. “Amai, you knucklefucking kill me.” 

“Life is wonderfully deadly, Janelle.” Parrati kissed her back. “And all monsters are self-similar. Part of the grander pattern. Just erratic iterations of ourselves waiting to bite each others heads off--and fucking loving it.



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