February 2nd – The Body Mathematica…and Pi
February 2, 2012 § 3 Comments
Prompt: Write a story where the first line is the first sentence of the last email you received (all identifying information removed, of course).
There’s an old urban legend about a state legislature that passed a law redefining pi so that it equaled 3. The legend, of course, has it all wrong. The arithemtical-advocates were only aiming for 3.1 not 3. And the law wasn’t put to any earthly body politic at all- it was suggested before the Conditional Courts of the Body Mathematica.
The Conditional Courts were in a mostly solid state, going through a violet to green transition of some kind with pillars of crystalline web becoming semi-luminous oak and a formerly marble rooftop now made of vine. The jurists were operating on the establishments of FOUR protocol with entities representing Euclidean Adventists, Ishango column-seekers, Mozi-philisophics and the Differentials each arrayed at cross section to the others.
I was presiding, jurist-head, as I usually am. My name is Prime.
It was the Ishango columnists that started it all, and those primitives had the Euclideans positively frothing. The janitors were mopping spare decimals, irregulars and logic frames for months afterward.
A lot of the case is fuzzy, now, there have been so many since then, with the C-Theorists and the Band-Noum and the sStringers and the Astral Movements and all those others given tangible reference by the ideologies of man – but I remember a little of what they said.
The shape their speaker adopted was skeletal, fairly typical of the breed, and vaguely elephantine. The ivory appearance of itself was grooved like circuitry, with little sparks of light dashing through them. Its teeth, carnivorous and pink.
“We believe -” it began in a voice very much like the one you’d hear from a professor. Maybe one used to being ignored. “We believe that the mathematical principles which patroned the superfluous Pi were perhaps, in error. Not, that their originators began with errant intent. We make no such assertions. However, we believe that 3.14159265 is a value impractical and a numeral unusual to be attributed the weight and importance invested…”
It continued on in that vein for some time, with a great many “we believes” and suggestions of inadvertent error and a great deal of sophistry. That wasn’t really the part worth remembering, I’ve just never been able to get his wheezing-lecturing tone out of my head. The part I remember is a bit more poignant, and befuddling. Pre-history is a place I’m glad I don’t remember.
“In conclusion,” it was perhaps the fifth time it’d used the phrase, “we leave you with this thought. Have you ever tried writing the value 3.14159265 onto the bone of an animal? Not a rabbit, of course, but perhaps that of a deer or a lion? Something with weight enough it’d be feasible a least It is no easy proposition, I assure you. This is a matter of great concern to those of us in the Ishangon contingent and, we think, to all Noumen of the Body.”
Shortly afterwards their case was, unfortunately, dismissed.
Unrelated Note: For those of you unaware, I wish it to be made known that though my official title of “Chrisian”bestowed on me by the people of Chrisalphari has been revoked – I am still entrusted with the protection and safeguarding of the Alpha Ignatio Chalice until such a time as a qualified recipient is approved by the Consulate.