For Jake, the world is at once simple and complicated, ordered and unruly. And, above all else, it is always predictable. So when, one day, he writes down a three and finds that it should suddenly be a five (when it has been a three for two days and his dad is so close to making the last connections in the current pattern), it’s no wonder that he falls screaming to the ground, tearing at the offending page of his book. There are people around him, irrelevant people saying irrelevant things he pays no attention to, as he focuses on the universe rearranging itself inside his head.
After a short while the pain and chaos passes, as the patterns settle into new configurations. The intruder blazes brightly in his mind; the number eight, turned on its side, the sign of infinity. But what the symbol really means is something more mundane, yet ultimately more powerful and influential, something that he can’t quite grasp the significance of. Something that has intruded before, but never into an active pattern, and so he has never paid much attention to it before.
Smiling, Jake gets up and walks though the cluster of confused adults, heading to the arts table. He grabs a piece of paper and a blue crayon and starts outlining a rectangle while he waits for his dad to return. A new roadmap is needed, one that will lead them to a new and exciting ally.