Or was it the workers he decided to double cross and underpay that were the first to gaze at the magnificence of the Grand Canyon? It might well never be known. What Nera did know is she had to get off of this precipice immediately.
Nera sighed as the bulbous eyes of her fellow colleagues followed the professor, eager to impress, salivating at the mouth for the chance to ingest their knowledge. Knowledge of which Nera knew would change nothing. She realized it was futile, if she waited any longer someone would ask her if she was okay. Then, she would have to answer back and say “yes, I am doing fine.” It was a lie she had repeated ever since high school. There would be no backing out now, she was going.
Nera jogged to the furthest wall from the cliffside, near the exit. A few onlookers were puzzled by her sudden gallop, but, as usual, they lost interest almost immediately. She flicked the side of her head as she activated her first-person live feed. Now recording, with her back to the cliffside, Nera suddenly pivoted 180 degrees, set her feet, then ran as fast as she could.
Before anyone could stop her, Nera jumped off the sheer cliffside, plummeting 50,000 feet below. Instantly, she felt at peace. She drifted, silently above the clouds. The world below her was a portrait of blues and greens. Spreading her arms and legs out wide she felt the cool embrace of a small cloud as water droplets bathed her brown metallic skin. Eagerly, she stripped herself of her skirt, it had always been too constricting. Next was her shirt, which she had never fully understood why she was never comfortable, always too hot, or too cold. Bra and panties went as well, true freedom, but not yet. The ribbon that tied her glossy metal hair down was tossed into oblivion. Finally, socks and shoes torn off her feet, the last of her restrictions.
In her most primal form, Nera continued to descend. Sensors told her she was 30,000 feet from the ground. By now, she was fully enjoying the pleasant embrace of her new friends. The marshmallows that sat in the air, bothered no one. Everytime she fell through one she was reminded of life’s most fleeting emotion: feeling alive.
15,000 feet, Nera could clearly see the floor beneath her. It gave her no dread, she wasn’t programmed for that. Instead, she put on a classic song, it was by Lorde, called 400 Lux.
Leaving the inside of the last cloud, Nera seemed to fall in slow motion. 5,000 feet, at terminal velocity, she heard the words “We’re hollow like the bottles that we drink.” She looked up at the white pillows slowly closing the holes she had made. How heavenly it was.
1,000 feet, Nera closed her eyes. Right before impact she felt the serenity of life’s final embrace. Then, out of nowhere she realized that she had set her internal camera to picture mode and not video.
“Fuck” she said, before she collided with the ground and shattered into a million tiny pieces.
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