by Styrofoam monster [Reviews - 5]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst, Character Study, Hurt/Comfort, Introspection, Vignette

Author's Notes:
Because we all want to believe that some part of them remembered.

In the aftermath of the Cyberman crisis, Zoe settles down to re-catalog. She swiftly squelches her disappointment that the funny doctor has left. There's plenty to do, after all.


Zoe hates being illogical, but she has flashes of what her peers used to call the "mathematician's gut", named for her ability to always catch typos and incorrect equations.

Of course, if she caught them speaking of it, Zoe would go on to explain that she had subconsciously registered the mistakes and that there was nothing instinctual about it.

Still, when the urge comes over her to re check her work she does. Carefully she scans it for errors.

The only problem: nothing is wrong.


It nags at her, some missing factor, and Zoe frowns.

Finishing her work early, she strings out calculations upon calculations.

The numbers are correct, but the world does not get clearer.


Her dream scape is a black void, littered with floating equations. It is reminiscent of the training games she played in school, picking out her path. (Unequal, unequal, equal!)

Before her a voice beckons. "Zoe, Zoe!"

She moves faster, picks up speed, and the way clears until only one equation is left.

Infinity = Zero

She reels, cries, "But that's impossible!"

She stands frozen, as ahead the voice falls and fades, "Run, Zoe, run."


Once Zoe stays up into the small hours, computing furiously. She falls asleep with her hands still dancing on the keys.

In the morning she views her equation with bleary eyes, ignoring the strange variables. (What does d represent, what does j? And why does the first seem to be an unreal number?)

The solution stares at her, and she blinks again.

Zoe ≠ Zoe

And that is wrong, wrong, wrong. She shuts down the computer and goes in search of some breakfast.


The numbers are never wrong.

The numbers cannot be wrong.

She wonders if she can accept the answer's NO SOLUTION.

She tries.

She can't.


Zoe waits for zero to mean something more.

(And sometimes in her dreams,

it does.)