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David Almontaser

"Mathematics define the world around us. God created a beautiful system to order all of existence - from Helper T cells to an hapless amoeba to the stars and planets in the sky all the way to our own mental processes! Math is good indeed!"

0 · 363 views · located in Canti's Diner

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Ylanne

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Registered citizen of the Terran National Government

Description

Photo Credit: Reaching Out by Dieter C, on Deviant Art. If you do not give permission for your image to be used here, kindly inform me and I will remove it promptly.

Personality

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So begins...

David Almontaser's Story

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David Almontaser strode into the bar, one hand in his pocket, whistling as he walked. Dressed in a casual suit, David had a large book perched in his other hand, open somewhere in the middle. If anyone happened to look over his shoulder, they would see a number of ridiculously difficult calculus equations, with many notes freely scribbled about the margins. David took a seat at an empty table, where he placed the book, almost reverently, a soft smile alighting his features.

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David Almontaser was clearly unaware that he'd walked into the strangest bar in the Multiverse, otherwise he would have been decidedly both more cautious and alert upon his entrance. Seeing as he was neither, any regular would easily be able to decide that David was quite green indeed. He himself, being unaware of this, merely continued to study his tome, his only movements an occasional "Hm," and "Ah ha," as he leaned over, and turned pages. After a moment, he realized Carrickfergus was looking at him, and David looked up curiously, only to see her looking at a bandaged wound. David, startled, drew back in his seat, though he was already halfway across the room. He blinked in astonishment. What kind of place was this? He was beginning to find out...

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David Almontaser , being the congenial, extroverted personality that he was, closed his book, sweeping under his arm as he stood in one smooth, practiced motion, as he approached Carrickfergus, with not just a little trepidation, seeming to study her face with his light eyes as he moved closer. "Hello," he said, nodding politely. "Are you all right?" He indicated her wound.

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David Almontaser took a seat next to Carrickfergus, settling into it. He noted the woman's Irish accent, not dissimilar from that of one of his international students. "Are you sure?" he pressed, his brow knitting in concern, in a look that perfectly mirrored the way his sister, Tahira Ali, appeared when she was concerned. "You don't seem to be all right."

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David Almontaser smiled politely, offering his hand. "Nice to meet you," he said, swallowing nervously at the mention of frequent assaults. "My name's David," he added, ensuring that he said his name slowly enough so his companion could pick up on the correct pronunciation. It was very often that people simply pronounced his name the American way, but there was way to do it... He glanced at her injury. "Are you sure there's nothing I can do?"

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David Almontaser frowned in concern. There was clearly something wrong. "What did happen?" David inquired further, folding his hands neatly in his lap, in a gesture that mirrored Ali's exactly, as he spoke. He seemed to be quite concerned, despite Carricfergus's admonition not to worry.

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David Almontaser shifted his weight as he put his book down on the table, then, leaning forward with one arm on the table as he looked up at the taller woman, again, in a gesture that quite resembled Ali's as he frowned thoughtfully. "I'm sorry for your loss," he said, his voice marked with genuine sympathy. "If there's anything I can do, please, let me know. I can take you to. . . a doctor, the police. . ." Unbeknownst to David, he was now at a perfect angle to Carrickfergus to compare his face to Ali's, his sister's photograph displayed prominently on the bar's infamous bounty board. Were she to notice, there was a striking similarity in their facial features.

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David Almontaser shrugged lightly. "All right, all right," he said, with the gesture of surrender. "I won't call the police. But you need medical attention." He settled into his chair, then, looking directly at Carrickfergus. "Oh really?" David asked, responding to her statement of a moment ago. "I wouldn't have guessed. My students, sometimes they tell me I resemble..." he then trailed off, embarrassed to say the name.

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David Almontaser frowned. That was the name. "Yes, Tahira Ali," he said, nodding. "They tell me that quite often. Personally, I wish they'd stop saying that all the time... I'd rather not have my face compared to that of a terrorist. It's not exactly a good way to go about in life." He didn't want to add that Ali was his sister. I mean, who would want to claim a notorious terrorist as their family member?

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David Almontaser shrugged. "You'd be the first I've ever heard say that," he remarked. "Ali's wanted in something on the order of one hundred and ninety-three nation-states. Which is quite a high percentage of known nation-states here on Terra and in the surrounding systems." David seemed to sit up straighter. "I wonder what the average percentage of such nation-states is for a fugitive to be wanted in? If anyone keeps track of these numbers, I bet Ali's in the ninety-ninth or ninety-eighth percentile. At least several standard deviations above the arithmetic mean." He seemed to speak faster as he grew more excited. "Most countries I know of would love to see her dead or in prison."

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David Almontaser stopped, almost embarrassed. "Oh," he said, "I apologize. Sometimes I get carried away with the mathematical bliss of. . . quite. . . well, I find it fascinating. I'm a professor," he added, grinning guiltily, like a seven year old proud of having gotten cookies from the locked cookie jar. "Yes, Ali's quite notorious where I come from. It's why I hate being compared to her. If the students are always thinking about her, then most assuredly, their focus on mathematical bliss is inhibited."

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David Almontaser nodded. "So if you're a medic in training, then how is it you came to know some rather. . . unsavory folks?" David asked, raising an eyebrow. "You said they blamed you for your brother's passing..."

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David Almontaser happened to glance over at Deitrich, upon the messenger's entrance, eyes narrowing in concentration, in a gesture that was the exact copy of Ali's common reaction to the unexpected. Looking back at Carrickfergus, he said "You're affiliated with the military?" he asked. Well, that was certainly a surprise. The math professor would have never guessed that this woman was a military-woman, or, he supposed, a military medic. He didn't know, perhaps she had simply seemed too. . . well, not cut out for that kind of life. David cursed himself for making baseless assumptions about others.

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David Almontaser listened intently, hands folded in his lap, eyes on Carrickfergus as the woman spoke. "And what do you plan on doing with this...military training?" he asked, the question somewhat loaded, though he was genuinely curious. David didn't think it right that anyone should live all their life constantly exposed to war and such violence.

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David Almontaser nodded. "Well, that's quite interesting," David said. "That would make the percentage of the medic core at 100% Irish, an unprecedented overwhelming majority. I wonder how all other nationalities feel at this exclusion from the whole?" Again, with the math. "You should go into civilian medicine, really," he said. "You're much more needed there..."

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David Almontaser was silenced for the moment. "I'm truly sorry about that," David finally said, feeling quite awkward and incredibly inadequate. "I sometimes wonder if that's how Ali feels... no more family." And he regretted speaking as soon as he'd opened his mouth.

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David Almontaser stiffened, shifting uncomfortably, the gesture again looking exactly like Ali's response to certain types of statements. "She's my sister," he admitted, with shifty eyes, as if hoping he could ensure that no one overheard his remark, though he was quite obvious in the way he behaved.

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David Almontaser frowned, shaking his head. "I've never met her," he said, "not once." He sighed, looking up at the ceiling in exasperation. "Quite frankly, if I go around and make it very public that our world's most wanted terrorist is my sister, it could mean the end of my career, the end of my family, and....well, I don't want that. It's not like she's ever done anything for me."

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David Almontaser "Do I look like I know where Ali is?" David scowled, a dark expression flitting across his face. "And even if I did know where she was, what in the world makes you think I'd want to talk to her? I'm pretty damn sure, with an infinitesimally small range of error, that Ali is the reason I haven't heard from my parents in sixty years!" He was practically shouting now, though his voice level hadn't actually risen much in volume.

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David Almontaser let his eyes slide away from Carrickfergus's. "Forget I said anything," he muttered. "Let's talk about something else. Perhaps the integration of fractions?"

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David Almontaser let the tension in his voice drip away. Why did he ever have to go and open his damn mouth and make such a fool of himself? Bad enough he barely held it together when one of his students asked the same stupid question. Now here he was, losing it in front of a perfect stranger. "Well, if you ever need help, you can always ask me," he offered, proffering Carrickfergus his card, which read: "David Almontaser, PhD. Chair, Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA", with his phone and email. "I'm always glad to help others with their math problems," he said, laughing at his own horribly pun.

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David Almontaser "That's quite an outlier. The average amount of time required for any one question on a standardized test is between forty-two seconds and one hundred and eighty seconds, inclusive," David said. "Typically students omit questions in order to prioritize them, giving them the ideal time limit of around ninety seconds each."

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David Almontaser "The disparity between the ideal and the reality is often quite great," David remarked.

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David Almontaser "That's why we include a margin of error on our calculations."

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David Almontaser "Passing is typically a good thing," David nodded, returning the smile.

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