Scene 74 – Mathematica



Wednesday morning, the day after the disastrous screamer attack, was not proving to be very productive. Akane and I were in math class, and the professor was droning on about Pythagoras.

Akane hadn’t said anything about Ling, but I knew she approved. She tended to have a sharp and simple approach to problem solving, but that worried me. I don’t like violence, and I absolutely hate it against my friends. The fact that I’m good at it is beside the point.

We were both bored, but she was handling it better than me. It took me a few minutes to realize that her doodles were something a little bit more substantial.

I frowned and whispered “Is that a schedule?”

She nodded and whispered back. “Uh-huh. I got Flynn’s from Guland. We’re going to try and get him into a trainer position at Necessarius, teaching the kids swordsmanship. That should keep him out of trouble.”

I smiled. “You’re worried about him.”

She just glared. “Am not.”

I smiled a little wider.

She huffed and turned back to her work.

“Don’t forget we have that gargant hunt later,” I reminded her. “Though your boyfriend won’t be there.”

She scowled at the implication, but noted the important detail. “Right after class?”

“Not quite. Adam said he wants to come, and he doesn’t get off until an hour later.”

She didn’t say anything; I guess she didn’t have anything else to add.

But I got to thinking about schedules. More specifically, the screamer schedule. There was a pattern to everything, even if we couldn’t always see it, and surely this was no different. I got out my pad. I wasn’t some sort of math whiz, but I had enough simple programs on the device to draw some conclusions.

The first attack was the 24th, a Friday night. The next was the very next morning, twelve hours later. Then two days later, Monday, in the middle of history. The bats were almost exactly a week later, also interrupting history. The bleeders were three days after that, at one in the morning. And finally, five days after that the skins appeared, also in the morning.

It was helpful to have it all laid out, but it didn’t really tell me much I didn’t already know. The Composer avoided the middle of the day for some reason, but otherwise the attacks were completely random.

Maybe that said something about the Composer. Maybe he was a vampire, or even just a night owl. If he was asleep during the day, it would explain a lot. I’m not sure quite how that gelled with the theory about body jumping, but it was something to think about.

There were just too many questions. Why was there only one attack at a time? Did that mean he couldn’t do more, or did he just not want to for some other reason? Where did the powers come from in the first place? We still didn’t have the slightest idea how they worked.

Ugh. It was all so very tiring. The captured screamers were making it hard to sleep, and the random schedule was hardly helping. Waking up in the middle of the night, or even just getting pulled out of class, was hardly healthy.

Something about that bugged me.

Maybe if I did a more detailed comparison, calculating the actual hours or minutes, I’d have more luck. I didn’t quite have enough data for that, so I sent a text to Laura. She had advanced math with Lizzy right now, but she’d be able to shoot it over to me.

Something…what was it?

As expected, I got the info within a minute. I started plotting the times, but it didn’t seem any more clear.

But something was teasing at my brain…

The only consistent thing was that the attacks were getting more and more damaging. Did that mean that he was learning, or that he was stepping up his game? We didn’t know anything about this guy, other than he existed (probably), and he was inactive during the day.

During the day…

What was that? What was it my subconscious was trying to tell me?

I glanced over at Akane, but she was still absorbed in Flynn’s schedule. It was adorable how she tried to pretend she didn’t like him when it was so obvious. But that wasn’t helping me any, so I turned to the teacher.

She was still droning about the Pythagorean cult and everything. It didn’t seem like that was what my brain had latched onto, but you never know. What was I missing? The Composer didn’t attack during the day. Was there some deeper meaning there I couldn’t figure out?

Then it came to me.

It wasn’t that he was attacking during the day. That was just a side effect.

No, it was that he was attacking during the night. And during classes. Our classes. When we were tired, or busy, or asleep. He was intentionally interrupting our schedules.

He knew who we were.

More importantly, he was someone close.

Behind the Scenes (74)

I think a lot of people already came to this same conclusion, but its a good idea to have the characters reach it too.

Extra update Wednesday.

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