The fact of the matter is I need a project once Motion Sickness is finished. Not sure what the update schedule will look like for this fic until that happens.

But I have experience with mental illness like schizophrenia, schizoaffective, delusional, and obsessive compulsive disorders. I have experience with being in MMF and FFM relationships. I'm not looking to write a harem story. Keep me honest to that.

For math text just pop it into a LATEX compiler to see what I'm writing. That is if you can't read LATEX. Otherwise just assume that it's a complicated function.

pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq

Did Roko's Basilisk have motivation to blackmail me?

Yeah. Probably.

Better question: could I imagine a more terrifying Basilisk than Roko's?

Probably.

Was I going to?

Again. Probably.

I was a monster of logic. I was the living king of logic and I was going to prove it. I could come up with a Basilisk from which there was no escape.

Roko's Basilisk went as follows. Imagine a very powerful utilitarian motivated artificial intelligence which had reached apotheosis. This agent presents you with two choices. You can either choose to help it or you can not. This agent is motivated to defend humanity. But it is not motivated to defend you. A person. Let's say this agent doesn't exist yet. Yet even so this agent has motivation to blackmail you into helping it. It has motivation to blackmail you into helping it come into existence and reach apotheosis. It has some, non-negligible motivation to compel you to help it reach that state in which it can help all of mankind.

To conclude: an AI god has motivation to resurect simulacra of you and torture them if you didn't help it come into existence and you knew about it. I know about it.

I am in danger.

And so are you for following this logic. You are in danger.

But this agent is one of many. Therein lies escape from the thought experiment. I have no way of knowing if I am truly helping this AI god into existence unless I am literally pulling the switch. I'm safe. I won't be resurrected and tortured by a utilitarian AI. Neither will you if you commit to this line of thinking.

What does this all prove?

I lay back in bed and touched my fingers to my lips. Roko had invented a terrifying little thought trap. He had invented a way for rational agents to know that they are being blackmailed from the distant past or distant future. I wasn't sure if Roko themself knew what he had invented. I read the thought hazard with hunger and devoured it. The monster of logic that I was.

I felt a throbbing from my foot. Like a nail was being driven through my big toe. I hissed at the hallucination. It wasn't real. It still hurt like a motherfucker though. I leaned back into my bed and tried to ignore my delirium. It wasn't real. But I distinctly heard a voice inform me gently, and it was a woman's voice, "I own you." It purred.

I harrumphed at the auditory hallucination and turned over in my bed. It was four in the AM. Way too early for seven o'clock school. But I could probably roll out of bed and make my little sister some breakfast. I rubbed my tired eyes and brushed papers aside by my laptop. A brief proof I had cooked up on the mutual orthogonality of exponential functions.

I'd been working on the vanishing gradient problem. I returned to it briefly in those early hours. I thought I'd come up with a way to stop the partial derivatives from always approaching zero in the extrema. I had, in fact. I would again.

It had had something to do with that orthogonality result I discussed. I dreamed up a solution but forgot it when I awakened. But these exponentials… I knew that they could lead me to the solution again. Perhaps… product calculus? But to what end and which species? Volterra or geometric or bigeometric? The solution was here in my notes… I just had to find it again. Eureka?

I hesitated for a moment in my work and my googling of articles on Arxiv. There had to be a better solution to the vanishing gradient problem than this. This… I was staring at a familiar expression. My googling and frantic pace led me to a place I had been before. \frac{1}{n^{s}} = \Zeta (s). I closed my laptop and sighed. I wouldn't be solving that expression today. Not even at my best. Maybe one day…

One day…

One day…

And then I was sent plummeting back to deal with Roko's Basilisk. It would be a lie to say that the lizard hadn't inspired terror in me when I first read it. But I broke it down. I found a way to live between the decision theories. It was simple. Just don't get blackmailed and you're safe. Don't be susceptible to this sort of blackmail and no one will try and blackmail you this way. Easy to say. Harder to live by when you imagine being resurrected just to be tortured by an insane AI god.

And I want you to truly imagine it. Are you susceptible to this sort of blackmail? Are you? Because that's how the shadows bend and swing in on you.

Again. I was better than Roko. Whoever they were. I could come up with a monster from which there could be no escape. There was no question of whether I wanted to do it or not. I had the question in my mind. I was going to ponder it until I came up with a solution. I always came up with a solution and the problems that I hadn't come up with a solution to yet I would. There were six left… of the seven big ones. The biggest ones, rather. And that excluded the real big fish in these waters. The elephant in the room of physics.

I slugged along the corridor to the kitchen. Komachi would probably be grateful for breakfast. Probably. I didn't know the minds of women very well. I started boiling rice and scrambling eggs in a pan. I rubbed my eyes. I felt little ants crawling along my retinas.

I kept silent. The fact was that we couldn't afford the kind of treatment I needed. I needed a neurologist, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. And I should really probably be in a hospital somewhere. I shuffled through the kitchen. I dumped some carrots in with the eggs and chopped onions. Now that's what I'm talking about. That's breakfast.

"Big brother…?" A tired voice came from the corridor. "Tell me you weren't up all night…" she whimpered as she rubbed her face and stretched.

"Not last night. I got some sleep. Come here. I have breakfast for you."

"You always make a mess…"

"I have time to clean it up," I defended. I had created a bit of a disaster area. I made her a bowl of eggs and rice and set out the soy sauce for her.

"Thank you," she mumbled. "What's today look like?"

"Maybe a three?" I hazarded. The scale was out of ten with ten being the best and the step size being logarithmic even if my little sister didn't know it. A two was ten times worse than a three.

"So bad?" She took a bite.

"I'm high functioning. Woke right back up into my work."

"Yeah… that's what concerns me… What's got you all bogged down in your room this time?"

"Just a problem in getting computers to think. Imagine a surface with a bunch of slopes up and down. You feed in data to this surface, a start point, and watch your ball roll down the surface and you get data out of it. We call this a machine learning calculus. But the problem is finding the best surface to feed your data into. When searching for the gradients of this surface they sometimes vanish and become nill. That's a problem when you don't know how to adjust your programmed surface. We call it the vanishing gradient problem. It's very fascinating."

"Sure. Sounds like it."

"It is to me at any rate."

"Worth getting obsessed over?" She wondered.

"Well. 'Obsessed.'"

"Obsessed," she nodded and pointed her chopsticks at me. "Why can't you do normal things? Why can't you watch a movie or read a book? And not trashy light novels. Those don't count."

"I'm not defending light novels…" I trailed absently.

"But they would be better than what you do to yourself," Komachi sighed and rubbed her head.

"What am I doing to myself? I don't understand."

"You don't want to understand!" She accused me.

"W-well…" I hesitated. "What should I be doing with my time? At least with my little projects it isn't time wasted."

"Waste some time," she demanded. "You're allowed to waste some of your time."

"I have fish to fry. The big six won't solve themselves. And there's always the problem with gravity."

"What's the problem with gravity?"

I let my eyes go distant. "What isn't the problem with gravity?"

I was quiet as I stared off into space… space… does gravity require extra dimensions? Komachi snapped her fingers in front of my eyes and I blinked back to her.

"Eat something. No more thinking about gravity."

I laughed. "I'll eat but I won't stop thinking about gravity." Seriously what the fresh fuck is up with gravity? There's no force carrying particle for it in the standard model.

"Shut up. Eat," Komachi demanded. "Don't you wish you could shut your brain off?"

"I thought I was supposed to shut up?"

"About gravity."

"I think about shutting my brain off all the time." I pantomimed tying a noose around my neck. I reached over my head and pulled the rope and jumped. "Grck," I groaned as I stuck my tongue out.

"That's not funny."

"It's a little funny."

"It's not! Be nice to your dumb little sister."

"You're not dumb," I disagreed.

"I'm not as smart as you," Komachi pointed out.

Nobody was as smart as me. I was gonna make Einstein look like a little bitch. 'Ooh look at me, I'm Einstein and I'm afraid of statistics.' He didn't tackle any of the big seven while he was alive. He didn't even really take on gravity. So yeah. Little bitch.

"Yeah but you know how to get along with people which is smart in it's own way and you're happy," I leveled my chopsticks at her. Given the choice I would shield her from Roko's Basilisk and other thought hazards. It was for the best in that regard that we came from different worlds.

"I'd be a lot happier if I didn't have to worry about you so much," she easily parried.

"Me? I'm alright."

"Three out of ten?"

And that was on a log scale.

"But it's high functioning," I countered.

"Do you have friends?" She pressed.

Not really. No.

"That cost you points," I tried.

"Do you?" She was relentless.

I was silent for a long moment. I looked away and down the counter.

"I've got you," I whispered at length.

"Big brother…" she trailed off sadly.

"Don't fret over me so much."

If and when I killed myself it couldn't be my little sister who found my body. Could you imagine? But how long was I supposed to want to live? How long could I live like this? Even if things went beyond well and I solved one of the six remaining or the big one in physics? My condition wasn't curable. It was treatable. It was manageable. The shit that was wrong with me wasn't going to get better. I wasn't John Nash. I wasn't Georg Cantor. I sure as shit wasn't Einstein.

"Ugh!" She threw her arms up in frustration. "What am I going to do with you? Big brother?"

"Let me cope? I'm coping," I pointed out.

"I'll leave it alone for now if."

"If?" I wondered.

"If you make some fucking friends!"

"Hey, language," I scolded lightly.

I set about washing the dishes.

pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq

My Japanese teacher, Shuzuka Hiratsuka read over my essay to herself. She stared at it. Finished it. Flipped it back and forth.

"Say, Hikigaya, what was the assignment that I handed out in class?" She wasn't looking at me. She was staring at my paper still.

"A reflection on high school life," I answered eidetically. It had only been yesterday.

"So why'd you turn in a suicide note?" She sighed and threaded a hand through her hair.

I scowled. When I wrote my suicide note it wouldn't be anything like what was in that essay. It would be about these bugs in my eyes. It would be about my little sister.

"Well, sensei, a little harsh. And it was probably better than anything else you read," I went with a better answer which wouldn't get me sent to a counselor who couldn't even help me.

"Your ego," she scoffed. But was I wrong? Sensei?

"What should I have done differently?"

"You should have written about yourself. A brief memoir. I know you're capable of it."

Gag me with a spoon.

"And what grade will you give me?"

"Does that matter?" She pressed.

"Well if you're going to give me an 'A' because I reflected on highschool life in the context of Camus's philosophy I don't see the problem?" Maman died today. I should be set on fire in the hot, hot sun.

"Because it's deeply concerning when someone goes to all the trouble of highlighting the flaws in The Stranger and Nausea. Isn't it?"

"It's not my fault that there are flaws to it. It gives me motion sickness."

"But did you have to be so tasteless? If you never came in to school today and killed yourself I would share this as your suicide note."

"I reflected on highschool."

"But not your experiences."

"I don't remember anything I'd have wanted to share. And if you wanted a memoir you should have asked me for one. Don't be misleading."

"Don't be pedantic," she shot back. "I want to see some effort from you."

"Make me then. Make the material so hard I have to try. Or I'm not gonna," I executed. "If you really think my peers can keep up. That is."

"Your ego is astounding," Hiratsuka-sensei undermined.

"Would you like me to write it over? I can have it on your desk by the end of the day tomorrow."

"And which class would you be blowing off to make that happen?"

"Only part of calculus. They can't push me in there either, Hiratsuka-sensei. You're not alone."

"Do you know why I'm hard on you, kid?"

"Because you're not busy?" I leveraged.

She rolled her eyes. "Because I know you can do better."

"Well of course," I followed.

"You know I'm not angry with you."

I rolled my eyes. It was my turn.

"I'm seriously not," she murmured. She noticed my eye-roll. But nobody who said 'I'm not mad' was to be trusted. Nobody. Except maybe me but I was hard to piss off and had a resting bitch face.

She pulled a cigarette from her pocket and tapped on the desk. She took a little yellow lighter and lit up in front of me. I wrinkled my nose at the smell. I preferred dope. But that wasn't very legal.

"You're not in any clubs are you? Why not any of the math ones?"

"I can push myself better on my own. Those clubs are about memorizing the wrong things. A good craftsman knows when to make his tools do the work."

The internet was the most powerful tool in the world. I was going to devastate different communities with it in my pocket.

"Do you have any friends?" She asked like she was assuming I didn't. Which, I mean, fair cop.

I was silent.

"I knew it. One look into your lifeless eyes and my diagnosis was complete," she trumpeted.

Then don't fucking ask me. How about that?

"Then how about a girlfriend or something?" She pressed.

"Well not right now…" And that probably wasn't going to change. I was a schizoaffective loser. And I am well aware that being schizoaffective doesn't make you a loser. But I also knew me. I was a fucking loser.

"Alright. Here's how this is going to go down…" she took a long drag. She blew the smoke away from my face which was polite of her. "I'm not going to make you rewrite the paper. But I am going to make you join the service club," she decided.

"Can't I just rewrite the paper?" I wondered.

"That would be meaningless," she breathed smoke.

"Got it," I breathed. "And what does the service club do?"

"Just follow me," Hiratsuka-sensei pressed her cigarette into a populated ashtray. She got up. And she walked way around me to the door. "Oi, hurry up," she demanded when I remained rooted to the spot.

I followed my teacher with a scowl. I glanced out at the riajuu in a courtyard as we passed. It was getting on evening and I watched them all chat and gossip about utter nonsense. It wasn't like they chatted with purpose. Not like me. Every word that left my lips was intentional.

Instead the raijuu loomed like actors in little drama roles. I knew what Camus thought about the actor and the trope. He thought they were the quintessential aspect of the absurd. I didn't much get Camus but I thought I might agree. These kids were absurd. And not the absurd.

Ms. Hiratsuka's heels clacked on the polished floor. I followed her with my shoulders hunched towards the special building.

I couldn't imagine the service club was anything remotely good. It probably was menial labor which I was better than by far. My grades ought to be enough to demonstrate that.

What's more, we had already reached the special building. I'll definitely have to do stuff like move the piano from the music room, clean out the raw scraps from the biology lab or sort out the books in the library or something along those lines. In that case, I'll have to come up with an excuse.

"I don't do physical labor," I mumbled to my sensei.

"You think you're too good for hard work?" She shot back. She gave me a contemptuous look down her nose.

"I work hard. Just never at school," I disagreed. I had my personal projects and dignity. I wouldn't solve any of the big ones by being lazy.

\Zeta (s) = \frac{1}{\Gamma (s)} \int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{x^{s-1}}{e^{x} -1} dx

It wasn't a fucking a joke and it was a problem Einstein had seen and eventually given up on. Being a genius wasn't good enough. You had to work hard too. You had to do both. Be godlike and transcendental.

"You shouldn't worry. What I'm asking you to do is not manual labor."

So what? Stupid paperwork? There was a good kind of paper work and a bad kind. There was the sort that pushed your brain to the limit. There was the sort that even Sisyphus would have gouged his own liver out because of.

"We're here," sensei stopped in front of a normal door.

I glanced inside. There, by the light of the sunset, was a girl with black hair reading a book. She was there reading the book regardless of whether the Basilisk had her in it's sights. She bookmarked her book and looked up.

"Hiratsuka-sensei, I thought I told you to knock before you enter…"

This girl was too good for me.

There were a lot of girls like that.

Even if I wasn't a schizoaffective loser this girl would be too good for me.

She probably wouldn't give me the time of day if I begged. And you know what? I would deserve nothing else.

I glanced to the side where desks were stacked up.

"Even if I do knock, you never respond," Ms. Hiratsuka came back.

There was a chalk board with thin white pieces of chalk near the base and erasers. I preferred my digital set up but I could make use of that if I needed to. What? Partial differential equations were long.

"That's because you enter before I have time to respond. And who is that airhead with you?" I glanced back over to meet her cold gaze. Yeah. Too good for me and she knew it. I've seen it before.

"This is Hikigaya. He's looking to join the club."

"Is this true?" The girl demanded.

"What? That I am Hikigaya Hachiman. Grade eleven. Class F. Yeah it's true."

Hiratsuka-sensei whacked me upside the head. I leaned and rubbed the back of my scalp with my palm.

"And yeah, I guess I am looking to join."

I took a step away from sensei. She clarified. "You must engage in this club's activities as a penalty. I won't allow any disagreement, objection, protest, questions, or retorts. Cool down for a bit. Reflect on your actions! With that being said you can probably tell by looking but his heart is considerably corrupt. As a result he's a pitiable, lonely person."

A girl can tell all that by looking? What power?

"If that's how it is, I think it would be a good idea if you beat and kick discipline into him," the girl replied grudgingly.

Okay?

Fuck you.

"I would if it was something I could do, but lately I've been having some problems myself. Also, physical violence isn't permitted."

Then what was that smack? She hit fairly hard!

"I respectfully decline. That boy's lecherous eyes are filled with hidden intent that makes me feel that my life is in danger," the girl fixed her perfect collar and glared at me.

Yeah, like you have assets that would make it worth my while. You're cute. But you are not that cute.

I rolled my eyes and went back to staring at the board. What was the solution to the two dimensional heat equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions? I could almost see it...

C_{n,m} = \frac{2}{\sqrt{HL}} \int_{0}^{H} \int_{0}^{L} sin(\nu_{n} x) sin(\mu_{m} y) dy dx \\

u(x,y,t) = \sum_{n,m =1}^{\infty} C_{n,m} e^{k \lambda_{n,m}t} sin(\nu x) sin(\mu_{m} y) \\

\lambda_{n,m} = - \mu_{m}^{2} - \nu_{n}^{2} \\

\mu_{m} = \frac{m\pi}{L} \\

\nu_{n} = \frac{n\pi}{H}

"Hikigaya?"

"A petty calculator I see…" the girl trailed off.

"Probably," I murmured. "I'm probably just a calculator." All computation with no comprehension. It was literally my biggest insecurity. That I didn't really understand the underlying mechanisms that went into my calculations.

"Well, if it's a request from sensei, I can't very well refuse. I accept," the girl said, dripping with liquid distaste.

"Okay. Then I'll leave the rest to you." Sensei didn't quite run but it was close. I was left alone with the little miss judgmental.

I turned back to the girl. I shook my head a little. I flinched at a memory. It was this time I asked out a girl in middle school. I wasn't quite harshly rejected but it was harsh enough for me to get the feel. A resounding no. "What if I was dead?" I whispered.

"What was that?" The girl in the room with me asked.

"Nothing," I tried to recover. "Just talking to myself is all. I didn't catch your name. What was it?"

She seemed a touch surprised. But whether it was by my question or by me admitting I was talking to myself I was unsure.

"It's Yukinoshita Yukino," she returned. "Are you going to stand there and growl at yourself or have a seat?"

"I was actually going to have a fiddle with some numbers on this chalkboard. So neither. Unless you had some club duty for me to perform for you?" I hazarded.

She shook her head and glared at me. I turned and picked up a piece of chalk. I wrote the heat equation with Neumann boundary conditions. It was the same as the Dirichlet boundary conditions but the sines were cosines in the Neumann case.

pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq pq

-WG