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The Other Paradox (The Time Paradox – Holly's Perspective)

Prologue

At that moment, as they all stood amidst the chaos in Taipei 101, frozen, unsure what to do, she believed Artemis was right—he usually was. Fly them all out, keep the demons out of the reach of the authorities, and let him try to disarm the bomb on the way. It was the only thing that made sense, the only real option.

Every time she stopped and looked back, examining the situation in retrospect, she always saw the logic of how they had acted, of the sequence of events they had followed because of the actions Artemis had had them take. No other option. No other choice. And yet, there were times she still wondered. If she could have predicted back then the enduring torment and unpleasantness that would come of that moment, as her mechanical wings failed and they all spun toward certain death hundreds of feet below, couldn't she have done something differently?

Of course, it was absurd to dwell on the past and what might have happened. So often she had thought back to Commander Julius Root's death, and deep down wondered if there was truly nothing she could have done to save him, but she preferred to live the life he would have wanted, holding her head high, protecting fairies from the Mud People. What is done is done, she often told herself sternly. Look to the future instead of dwelling on the past.

And when she weighed the importance of what was lost with what was gained, what had certainly been the prevention of the disaster of interspecies war and the salvation of an entire family of fairies, logically, was not her own discomfort a small price to pay?