“You know,” the voice came from under the blankets where Liv – where Abby’s Liv – had been sleeping. “I could say ‘you can’t be that bitchy, you’re me. But you’re all about how we’re all different, isn’t that what you were saying? So hey, you’re different, you’re smart, go you. Problem is, this Liv isn’t stupid either. So what’s the problem?”
“Oh, come on, are you all that ridiculously brainwashed or what?”
“Being rude isn’t going to make things any better,” Liv-Skinny pointed out. “And it’s really not going to help get Abby to do anything for you. Have you ever found that being rude to Abby – yours, mine, any of them – does any good?”
“There’s two problems.” Abby’d had time to think while the Livs argued. She cleared her throat now, because she wasn’t sure that this had anything to do with her. “There’s the problem that Liv here, uhm, Liv-Bitchy, wants a way out of this mall. I don’t know where she wants to end up, but she wants out of here and she was willing to sacrifice both of the other two of you to do it.
“The other problem is – well, something she said. That her Abby was willing to kill other Abbies to get what she wanted. The One True Abby. Liv, is your Abby the one that’s been killing Abbies? Is it – is it not the mall? Is it one of me?”
“Oh, you figured it out, did you?” Liv sneered. “And here I was thinking that you were as thick as your little minion-mes here. No? No, you actually understand the basic idea? You always were the smart one. The Mall is a trap. Maybe it was always a trap, I don’t know. It’s not like you confided in me. Maybe it just turned into a trap once it got your toxic personality bled into it. Either way, you all are bleeding plenty of stupid into it and, in the meantime, here we go, mall trap. And yeah, you’re not above killing a Liv or an Abby once in a while, maybe all the Abbies. Bet killing Vics is just like a holiday for you.”
Liv was looking at her – at this point, all three Livs were looking at her – but Abby got the feeling that she wasn’t actually seeing her. She was looking, for all her bitching about the differences between them, at her Abby.
“And what of it?” Abby asked, hoping – hoping with everything she had – that the other two would figure out what she was doing and not hate her for it. “Come on, we were nothing back there, back in the first world. Why not be something here?”
“Why not?” The abandoned Liv stared at her. “You know, you never did get it. Because everyone here is people! You can’t just, you can’t just do that.”
“Not all people.” It was an awful thing to say, but she was thinking about something one- someone? She couldn’t remember anymore. “Not all the malls are real. That means not all the people are real. That means some of these are just traps. NPCs, right? Like in a game. The world-” she caught herself, because this Liv hadn’t been to the same worlds they had. “You know the one. Do you really think those were people?”
“I’m a person!” Liv roared it at her. “Damn it, I am a person, and all those other Abbies were people, and the Mall, the mall is not a person and how could you – how could you – I know we’ve had our dark moments but I stood there and I, I, I watched you kill yourself. And then you, you started working with the Mall, I know you did! I know you’re conspiring. I know why you left me! And you’re never, never going to come back for me. I’m going to die here, stuck in this damn rabbit warren. Well, if I’m going to die here, so are you!”Want more?