Loopholes, Chapter 36

(Start here.) (Or just go backwards.)

We headed towards the tunnel, each of us trying to think of something, anything, that might work. “Tell me about the equation,” Jacob said.

“It’s just a contrapositive,” Emily said.

“What’s that?”

“It’s a logical deduction,” she said. “It’s just: when you have an if then statement that’s true, like, If you like One Direction, then you are lame. Then the only thing you can logically conclude from it is: if not B, then not A. So basically: if you’re not lame, the only thing I know for sure is that you don’t like One Direction.”

“Yeah, except probably Mom’s example wouldn’t be totally stupid,” I said.

“Fine,” Emily said, unfazed. “But it wouldn’t be as clear.” She shrugged. “But I have no idea how this is even supposed to have anything do with anything else.”

“Maybe, If there is a balance, then everyone won’t vanish?” I said.

Adam shook his head, frowning. “So what then: If everyone vanishes, then there isn’t a balance? We already knew that.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Maybe it’s something else entirely,” Emily said. “Was your mom an inventor or anything? Would she have a weapon?”

“No,” Jacob and I said at the same time. My mom and a weapon? Just—no.

“She doesn’t even like it when we say ‘shut up,’” Jacob said.

“But what could possibly affect the whole balance of everything?” Emily said.

Adam pursed his lips, thinking about this. “And what would they want so bad, that they would offer you the chance to leave a loophole open?”

“So I could betray everybody?” I said slowly. “Yeah. Because what if, I don’t know, if the connections are in balance, then you won’t betray everyone. So if you do betray everyone, then the connections are not in balance?” We looked at each other. My heart started to beat a little faster.

“Maybe,” Emily said. “I hope so. Because we’re here. And it’s time.”

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