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“Excuse me,” said Jen. “I couldn’t help but overhear.”

She slowed her stride long enough for Lachlan, Sam, and Angelina to catch up.

“So you were eavesdropping,” said Lachlan.

“We were talking right near her. It’s not eavesdropping if we’re talking near her,” said Angelina. “It’s not like she can just shut her ears down.”

“I don’t remember asking for your input,” said Lachlan.

“You didn’t,” said Angelina. “I gave it anyway.”

“I really didn’t mean to eavesdrop,” said Jen, “but I remember too.”

“I take it this is about my untimely demise,” said Lachlan.

“Yeah,” said Jen. “I didn’t remember at first, but then I heard what Angelina said. You know how sometimes you wake up from a dream, and you know you were dreaming, but you don’t remember it until something happens later that day to jog your memory?”

“Yeah,” said Angelina.

“Like the other day, I had a dream I was in this candy factory, and there were these lollipops that were the most delicious lollipops in the world, but if you ate them twice, you would die, and I didn’t remember until–“

“Is there a point to this little rant of yours?” said Lachlan.

“Oh, um,” said Jen. “Sorry. I was rambling again, wasn’t I?”

“You were fine,” said Angelina. “Lachlan’s just a big jerk.”

“He really is,” said Sam.

“The biggest,” said Lachlan. “It’s part of my charm.”

“Anyway, when I heard what Angelina said, it was like the memory, like, reactivated itself or something. It’s super vague, though.” Jen’s expression grew more serious. “I remember the feelings more than anything. Being really horrified and scared. It was like when you have a nightmare, and then you wake up and you’re jumpy for the rest of the day, even though you don’t really remember it.”

“Interesting,” said Lachlan. “I guess our little experiment has two more test subjects.”

“What experiment?” said Angelina.

“Should we be worried that you just called us your test subjects?” said Jen.

“Yes,” said Lachlan. “Extremely.”

“Nah, don’t listen to him,” said Sam. “It’s kinda this informal experiment we’ve been doing since we noticed my hand healed unnaturally fast. Our hypothesis was that there was a positive correlation between my exposure to this place, and my improved healing, coordination, and reflexes. Given recent events, it seems like our experiment’s gonna need rework.”

“Come on, Samurai,” said Lachlan. “You can’t rework a hypothesis mid-experiment. What kind of a scientist are you?”

“Whatever,” said Sam. “We’ll need a whole new experiment then. Our original observation was that I healed from a traumatic finger amputation in a matter of hours, and that I’ve seen a vast, rapid improvement in my coordination and reflexes.”

“How would you even sum up your new observation?” said Angelina. “You were flying with swords and apparently walking through time, Lachlan died but he’s not dead, and I don’t even know how to describe what happened to me.”

“Can you try to describe it?” said Sam.

“I fell through realities. I don’t know how else to put it.”

“Did it feel like falling backwards?” said Sam.

“Yeah! Yeah, it did, actually,” said Angelina.

“I felt that too,” said Sam.

“That’s all fine and dandy,” said Lachlan, “but we need to narrow down our observation. What do all your experiences have in common?”

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