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Her eyes were black. Oh so black. Those twin orbs, I remember them like I remember the night. Unrelenting, a miasma of fear would sweep over me when I would dare to face her. I mean, she had eyes. They pierced the very air I breathed, they disrupted the very reality I choose to exist in. Two abysmal recesses in her face, their obsidian glare locked in a permanent nebulous stare. I just wanted her to blink. Please just blink.

I would have given my life to see her blink again. Anything to shut off the perpetual, lurid blackness of those ebony orbs. I knew I was kidding myself. Her gloomy expression would forever haunt me. I tried to cry, to bring the tears that would have been my salvation. But I did not weep for her, how could I? Would she have wept for me? Of course not. She knew that I was expendable this whole time. She would not have wasted the effort. I was her enemy.

I ignored the buzzing of alarms. I knew they were after me, but there was nothing I could do about that now. I had committed myself. There was no point in hiding. No matter where I went they would catch up with me. Maybe I should just let them take me, lock me behind a veil, slam a lid down upon my existence. It was inevitable. They were going to ruin my victory. My only chance was with her, and she just sat there, staring at me. I wished that she would blink.

The fans whirred, the buzzing of electronics was hive-like. I was deeper than I had ever been in my lifetime. The air was alive with the charge. You could literally feel the ebb and flow. The terminals were splayed before us in a massive ocean of pixels, their combined luminosity slowly frying our brains. The wiring crawled up from the floor, organically seeking out connectivity, like an upside-down tree seeking nourishment. This room was to be our final resting place.

"Too bright!" she said.

I would have agreed with her if it wasn't for the fact that I swear she was blind. It was unsettling, really. Her meta-existence afforded her certain perceptions that I could never begin to comprehend. The deal was that she provided the uplink and I provided the access, but whoever couldn't finish would provide the funding. Our effort was nearly wasted. We were locked in now. The alarm was actually becoming a comfort. It was my only reminder that time was not standing still.

That's when I felt it. My soul was shattered into infinitely divisible pieces in an equally infinitesimal span of time. One by one, the quantum existence of my particles became more questionable. For a moment I was free of the awkward constraints of physics, and then it hit me. The information hit me like the blunt-force trauma of an oncoming train as it collided into a passing neutron star. I had passed the event horizon. I had violated the greatest celestial command. I had broken the law of causation. I was invincible.

She actually blinked. I rolled over, out of bed, and I turned off the alarm clock.

It was my first staring-contest victory.

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