Nat made a couple final notes on his clipboard. "Well, I guess everything checks out," he concluded. He then looked back at Para. "Though you do seem to be a bit on edge."
"I have a vertex," the parabola countered. "It's natural for a vertex to be on edge. Don't you agree?"
"What do YOU think?" Elly repeated for the umpteenth time.
Para's ears twitched... and she finally lost her patience, standing up from the couch. "What do I think? I think you should stop trying to understand me, and where I'm coming from, because there's no way you CAN understand! I think you should stop bothering me, and save your psychological pleasantries for someone more important! Like ParaB!" The polynomial marched to the door, yanking it open. "In fact, pass the word around - EVERYBODY, just leave me alone!!"
The door slammed behind the bunny girl. Nat and Elly exchanged a glance. "Well, that could have gone better," the trig function concluded.
"On the contrary," Elly said reaching for a crystal once again. "We got close enough at the end to see she's putting up a facade. She's still upset, perhaps even dangerously depressed, which I'm sure is due to the existence of ParaB. Hence we should make contact with Para's double on Logan's ship, as she may be experiencing something similar. Either way, she is probably the best person to resolve this."
The inverse trig frowned as he looked back over his scribbled notes. "Uh. Right, I was going to say that too," he yielded. "Let's get over to Hyper's lab."
For her part, Para was running. She ran from Elly's place all the way out to the nearby cliff, then stood looking out over the expanse of - well, nothing. No ocean, no panoramic vista, their Purgatory just seemed to end a few hundred metres out. In blackness. The end of everything.
Para shuddered. "Why did you say that?" she whispered aloud. "Why would you tell your friends to leave you alone?"
|FACTORED FORM IS SUSPICIOUS|
Para lifted her arm to look at the sleeve of her jacket. With a shaky hand, she pulled down the fabric to expose the small cuts she had made on her arm that morning. "But I'm covering it up. So there's no way they could know. I even said there's no way they could understand. So... so..."
So who cares? No one cares. They'll leave you alone now. Won't even notice you're gone.
"No. No, shut up," Para said, pressing the heel of her palm to her temples. "You... you're not even real, you're a voice in my head!"
I'm as real as ParaB, when she's a voice in your head. After all, think of the hundreds of people out there who hate parabolas! I speak for them. They want you to disappear. Your friends probably do too, you're such a burden on them in your current state.
The quadratic bunny became aware of tears spilling down her cheeks. "Shut up," she whimpered a second time. "Please, just shut up." She dropped to her knees and looked up at the sky. "Please, anyone... I know I said to leave me alone, but someone find me... Please! I can't take this anymore, I can't...!!"
|<— ART ASIDE #2||INDEX 5||ART ASIDE #3 —>|