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The Dunce Conundrum was a virtual representation of one of Kassandra's genetic memories, relived by Layla Hassan through the Portable Animus HR-8.5.

Description

Kassandra met a philosopher in Patrai who was attempting to develop a new theory.

Dialogue

While in Patrai, Kassandra came upon a man who called out to her.

  • Demokritos: You! Come here. I need your help with something.

Kassandra approached the man.

  • Demokritos: Come to see the richest man in Achaia, have you?
  • Kassandra: You don't look rich.
  • Demokritos: The richest person in any land is the one who wants for the least. And I want for nothing at all.

  • Kassandra: Rich, wanting for nothing, and calling me over to help. Doesn't make sense.
  • Demokritos: Ah! A mind that thinks for itself. Someone save me from this horror.

Kassandra groaned in exasperation.

  • Demokritos: Relax, relax. The name's Demokritos. Renowned thinker of thoughts, writer of writes, questioner of answers.
  • Kasssandra: I'm... Kassandra. And I've never heard of you.
  • Demokritos: Probably says more about you than me, Kassandra. Now, you came here to help, hmm? So happens, I've uncovered the whereabouts of three divine mathematical discoveries.
  • Kassandra: Mathematical discoveries. Really?
  • Demokritos: Yes, really. The theorems, when combined with my own, will unlock the greatest mystery in the universe—which, as you know, is a place where mysteries strive to remain locked. Bring these three theorems to me, and I will reward you handsomely.
  • Kassandra: So, you get the theorems, and I get a reward... From a man who seems completely disinterested in drachmae.

Demokritos laughed.

  • Demokritos: Drachmae is for idiots. What I offer is far greater than that. But first the theorems.
  • Kassandra: Fine. What are they?
  • Demokritos: Only the greatest achievements of rational thought—the original transcriptions of the Golden Ratio, the Pythagorean Theorem, and Zeno's Paradox.

(If players choose "What do you know about Zeno's Paradox?")

  • Kassandra: Tell me about Zeno's Paradox.
  • Demokritos: Myself excluded, Zeno of Elea was the world's brightest philosopher, known for writing paradoxes that could stump anyone.
    His work was thought destroyed, but I happen to know the priests in Lokris saved it.

(If players choose "What do you know about the Golden Ratio?")

  • Kassandra: About the Golden Ratio...
  • Demokritos: Ah! The divine number. It's a guiding principle in architecture, sculpture, and is found in nature, too. The original is wasting away in the dirty hands of sculptors in Argos. It should be with a mathematician... like me!

(If players choose "What do you know about the Pythagorean Theorem?")

  • Kassandra: Where am I going to find the Pythagorean Theorem?
  • Demokritos: It's all around you, of course! Deceptively simple, but subtly mysterious, the equation was apparently etched in stone. I heard a tale... It was lost in sunken ruins between three islands that form a triangle.

(If players choose "I'll go now.")

  • Kassandra: I'll find these theorems for you.
  • Demokritos: Come back as soon as you have one.

Kassandra first set out to Lokris, where she visited the town of Alponos. In a small shrine overlooking the town, she looted a chest containing Zeno's paradox.

  • Kassandra: One of the documents Demokritos wants... This isn't even math. It's a child's fable.

Kassandra next travelled to Argos, visiting Polykleitos' Workshop. There, she recovered the Golden Ratio theorem on a table.

  • Kassandra: The Golden Ratio. Demokritos will want to know I've found it.

Kassandra then set out to the Aegean Sea, reaching a sunken ruin in a triangle formed by Thera, Paros Island and Anaphi. Kassandra dived underwater, recovering the Pythagorean Theorem in a chest. Kassandra returned to Demokritos in Achaia.

  • Kassandra: Chaire, Demokritos.
  • Demokritos: Kassandra. What have you brought me?

(If players choose "I found Zeno's Paradox.")

  • Kassandra: So I found Zeno's Paradox.
  • Demokritos: You did! And, what did you think of it?

  • Kassandra: The tortoise arrives at a point. Achilles, who is chasing it, runs after him. But after Achilles arrives at the same point, the tortoise has moved on. By the time Achilles arrives at the tortoise's new spot, the creature has again moved further.
  • Demokritos: Exactly! It shows how the universe divies itself infinitely.

  • Kassandra: A mathetical theory hidden in a child's fable.
  • Demokritos: Zeno was clever—every knowledgeable old man I've ever met was an idiot. But the minds of children are endlessly wise.

(If players choose "I found the Golden Ratio.")

  • Kassandra: I found the original Golden Ratio.
  • Demokritos: A discovery that will change the course of existence!

  • Kassandra: If you say so. It's just a rectangle to me.
  • Demokritos: Open your eyes. That "rectangle" is two shapes—a rectangle, yes, but also a square. The length of sides a and be is to the length of the side a, as a is to b.
  • Kassandra: So, how can this theory be used?

  • Demokritos: Used! It isn't used, only observed. It is the divine balance, occuring naturally in the most measurely beautiful places in the world. It is everywhere and nowhere.

(If players choose "I found the Pythagorean Theorem.")

  • Kassandra: It took some doing, but I found the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • Demokritos: The greatest breakthroughouh the world will ever know. And now we have it, in its original glory.

  • Kassandra: I thought it might be about the points of the triangle, but the theorem is about the length of the sides.
  • Demokritos: Astute! You're wiser than you put on. The two shorter sides squared, when added together, are rqual to the square of the hypotenuse.

  • Kassandra: That was... a lot to take in. But I think I've found everything.
  • Demokritos: You did. And with this, I can finally form my grand theory—the theory that simultaneously divides and unites all the universe.

(If players choose "What is your theory?")

  • Kassandra: What is this theory?
  • Demokritos: Using the theorems as evidence, I intend to prove that the universe is divisible into infinitely small parts. As we break reality down, the parts shrink, and the space between them grows.

(If players choose "What will you do with your theory?")

  • Kassandra: Once you prove your theory, what will you do with it?
  • Demokritos: Although I aim to prove that the universe is divisible, I hope that the theory can be used... to unite people.

(If players choose "That's ambitious.")

  • Kassandra: All of this sounds... ambitious.
  • Demokritos: One can't achieve greatness by attempting mediocrity. But I confess, I have a personal motivation.
  • Kassandra: Everyone always does.
  • Demokritos: Ha! In another life, you would've made a fine student. When I was a student, I loved a poet. But I was so consumed by study I never told her. I hope to use these theorems to show her my poetry. And, maybe to win her heart.
  • Kassandra: If that's what you want to do, let's do it.
  • Demokritos: What? Right now?
  • Kassandra: You missed your chance to tell her once, Demokritos. There's no point in missing it again. Let's go.
  • Demokritos: You're right. This time, I will do it properly.

Outcome

Kassandra helped Demokritos to recover the theorems needed to develop his new theory.

References

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