Princess Cookie’s cognitive pathways may have required a more comprehensive analysis. He knew that it was possible to employ certain progressive methods of neural interface, but he felt somewhat apprehensive about implementing them, for fear of the risks involved and of the limited returns such tactics might yield. For instance, it would be a particularly wasteful endeavor if, for the sake of exhausting every last option available, he were even to go so far as resorting to invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery, for this unorthodox process would only prove to be the cerebral equivalent of tracking a creature one was not even sure existed: surely one could happen upon some new species deep in the caverns somewhere and assume it to be the goal of one’s trek, but then there was a certain idiocy to this notion, as one would never be sure this newfound entity should prove to be what one wished it to be; taken further, this very need to find something, to begin with, would only lead one to clamber more deeply inward along rigorous paths and over unsteady terrain, the entirety of which could only be traversed with the arrogant resolve of someone who has already determined, with a misplaced sense of pride in his own assumptions, that he was undoubtedly making headway in a direction worthwhile. And assuming still that this process was the only viable option available and further assuming that Morell could manage to find a way to track down the beast lingering ostensibly inside of Princess Cookie, what was he then to do with it? Exorcise the thing? Reason with it? Negotiate maybe? How? Could one hope to impose terms and conditions upon the behavior of something tracked and captured in the wilds of the intellect? The thought was a bizarre one and the prospect of achieving success with it unlikely. Perhaps, it would be enough to track the beast, but also to let it live according to its own inclinations inside of her. This would seem a more agreeable proposition. Unfortunately, however, the possibility still remained that there was no beast at all, but that the aberration plaguing her consciousness was merely a side effect of some divine, yet misunderstood purpose with which she had been imbued by the Almighty Lord Himself. She could very well have been functioning on a spiritual plane far beyond Morell’s ability to grasp, which, of course, seared any scrutiny leveled against her with the indelible brand of blasphemy. To say the least, the fear of Godly reprisal which this brand was sure to summon up only served to make the prospect of engaging in such measures as invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery seem both risky and wasteful. And thus, it was a nonstarter.
Ashim Shanker
Sure, we'd faced some things as children that a lot of kids don't. Sure, Justin had qualified for his Junior de Sade Badge in his teaching methods for dealing with pain. We still hadn't learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something.Each time, you come out of it a little stronger and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind - gradutaing, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expecations. There's the sharp little pains of failure and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love and taking joy in their life they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you're very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last - and yet will remain with you for life.Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it.Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part and sometimes it isn, it's a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher