|Wand first seen here|
There was zero effect. "Well, that means it's working," the parabola deadpanned. Wiping her wet cheeks off on her sleeve, she rose and walked right to the edge of the cliff. Looking down, she sucked her lower lip into her mouth and bit down. One more step. That's all it would take. Then, no more pain.
Or possibly a heck of a lot of pain, if she were to hit the sides on her way down. Though, she had always been good at calculating her descent to avoid injury. Her toes curled in her shoes. Wait. Did that mean her survival instincts would kick in? Would she be not be able to die, would she just be crippled forever? That wouldn't help matters. But then, there was no guarantee that dying would help either.
"Someone tell me what I'm supposed to do!" Para screamed into the void.
'What do you want to do?'
"I want... I want to do something so that people will like me! Will like who I am, and the things I can do!!"
'Sounds like you want to change yourself. That won't turn out well. Either you'll find you can't, risking terminal depression... or worse, you'll succeed, and lose everyone who likes you the way you are already.'
"But no one likes me now!"
'No one does, or you don't?'
That idea forced Para to stop and think for a moment. Humans didn't like her, obviously. She'd READ the messages about how they hated her, and everything she represented. And Expona hated her, and the conics did, and probably Root and Maud and Lyn and... and yet, without even thinking about it, she had joined them; now she hated herself too.
That seemed counterproductive. Why had she not aligned herself with people who liked her instead? Because such people didn't exist. Yet, Para suddenly wondered, was it more that she wasn't letting herself SEE that such people existed? After all, the loudest voices were the ones in opposition. That's how the entire math assistance system had been designed. Perhaps... perhaps the system itself was broken?
"It doesn't matter!" Para decided, again yelling off the cliff. "How am I of any use?! I can't even help myself!!"
'So allow yourself to be helped.'
'Stop! Stop the transfer!!'
Para blinked, as she realized two things simultaneously. First, that she hadn't been talking to a voice in her head; there was actually someone standing behind her. She knew this because that last shout HAD been in her head, from ParaB. Second, based on ParaB's message, something very bad was about to happen.
Sure enough, before the bunny girl had a chance to fully turn around, there was a loud explosion, the ground shook, and she lost her footing. With a gasp, Para fell over the cliff edge, and into the dark void below.
|Things can always get worse...|
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