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Finding Your Edge

By Jadestar

It was a lookout over Keltor, and the fenced-off cliff offered the best view of the city around.

Over or under? Shockwave pondered how to pass through the fence, and in the end got on the ground and slid under. He stood, and absently dusted himself off, grimacing at the soot and dirt covering him.

He sat on the edge of the cliff, arms resting on his knees. Keltor was full of lit lights shining, but there was still that seedy atmosphere around it, like a smog that never left. Had it always been there? Probably, but the Invasion and Canard's regime made the sense so much stronger. So... dirty.

Somewhere down there was Hoshi, the nicest lady he'd ever known, and he couldn't even say goodbye. He was sure his name had been entered in at the CPA, and he knew that the smart man who looked after the electronic side of things at the Brotherhood... what was his name... wouldn't have missed it. Hoshi was probably under surveillance.

No one to say goodbye to at all.

His palms were sweaty, and the blackness of the fire he'd started made the salty water grey. He wiped them on his already disgusting jeans, and stood.

He closed his eyes. It was a cool, soft breeze, his favourite kind. Somehow, he'd picked the perfect night for this. No clouds, bright stars, gentle wind... a night of clarity. And he was about to try for the greatest clarity of his life.

A large tree was near the edge, and one of it's main branches hung out far over the cliff edge, providing a better view for the brave, insane, or suicidal. Shockwave ran his hand across the bark of the main trunk, following the cracks and crannies and carved graffiti. He concentrated all his being into touching the tree, and his hand tingled with the feeling. The gravity of the night fell and made him give a single, sudden sob. He leaned his forehead against the tree, closing his eyes tightly.

Don't cry. Don't cry. This is what you want. This is what's best. This is the way back home.

He stepped up to the edge quickly, and flung his arms out wide. A small baby step with one foot; still on solid ground. A move with the other foot, toes touching air now.

He was frightened, silent tears running down his cheeks. He was looking forward to death, but the part that actually required dying turned his insides to cold stone.

There always seemed to be so much possibility... so much I could do... Where did that all go?

He steadied his breath, and jumped.


Pain. Like someone was trying to scrap his feathers and skin off with a sharp knife, and succeeding.

This was death? Death was more pain? Shockwave felt rather let down and resentful at everything in general, until he opened his eyes.

He was being scratched because he was lying face down and on top of a very large spiky bush. He tumbled off the bush and lay on the rocky ground, staring up at where he'd jumped. Damn the outcrop.

Shockwave examined where he'd made his premature landing more closely. Sharp rocks, dry pointy bushes, and a small trail leading down back to the city. He sat up, beyond crying more.

Weakly getting to his feet, he began to stumble down the path. What was the point of trying again? He was obviously destined to fail at everything, self-destruction as well as life.


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