She’s through. Shut that damn machine off.
“She’s hurt!” Ines yelled.
“I’m on it,” Florence said. “Hold on, I need to stop the bleeding. Katelyn, help me carry her to the infirmary.”
“Sure thing, Nurse,” Katelyn said. She levitated Sirvanna into the air. They quickly shuffled out followed by Ines, Alexa, Yuni and Alena.
This is why you don’t act on your own. She could’ve been killed thanks to your stupid machine.
“Zhao’s machine isn’t stupid,” Zhao said.”It just needs some fine tuning.”
I don’t think so. The damn thing is a hazard and it has to go.
“Would Naoko give up on saving Professor?” Zhao asked.
I’d give anything to be able to bring him back. Unfortunately, it’s too late. Meddling with the space-time continuum won’t change that. It will only bring more tragedy. This… thing needs to be dismantled for all our sakes. Furthermore, I forbid you to build another.
“Naoko can’t tell Zhao what to do!” Zhao cried.
Yes, I can. He left me in charge.
“Naoko needs Zhao more than Zhao needs Naoko,” Zhao said.
I won’t argue this point with you. It will be destroyed. End of discussion.
“Then Naoko can find another mechanic,” Zhao said. “Zhao will do fine by herself.”
Zhao took off in a huff. Jenny followed after her.
“Is Jenny coming with Zhao?” Zhao asked, smiling.
Jenny grabbed her hand. “Please, don’t go.”
“Naoko is going to destroy Zhao’s work,” Zhao said.
“I know,” Jenny said. “But don’t you think she has a point?”
“It was an accident,” Zhao said. “And Sirvanna wasn’t hurt all that badly. Zhao shouldn’t have to abandon her research for that.”
“Zhao, you know I love you,” Jenny said. “But you’re being stubborn. You’re machine didn’t just have a simple malfunction. It did something it wasn’t supposed to be able to do.”
“Zhao can’t just abandon Professor,” Zhao said.
“Is that worth compromising Sirvanna’s safety?” Jenny said. “What about yours or mine? Is it worth the risk to keep trying?”
“Zhao would never risk Jenny’s life!” Zhao cried. “Zhao loves Jenny more than anything.”
“Then let the experiment end,” Jenny said. “If not for your own sake then for mine. Please, Zhao. I don’t want to see you hurt.”
“Zhao understands,” Zhao said. “For Jenny’s sake she will stop trying to change the past.”
Jenny breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you. Come on, let’s head back to the lab.”
Sirvanna woke up in the infirmary. Her left arm was in a cast and she felt a dull, throbbing pain.
“Feeling better?” Ines asked.
“I feel fine,” Sirvanna said. “What happened?”
“Apparently you fainted from blood loss,” Ines said. “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”
“It hurts,” Sirvanna said. “But I feel mostly fine.”
“Good,” Ines said. “Cause I have a pressing question but I didn’t want to upset you when you’re hurt.”
“Is something wrong?” Sirvanna asked. “You’re acting kind of weird.”
“Just a little bitty, probably totally not a big deal thing,” Ines said. “Whose lipstick is that?”
“Huh?” Sirvanna asked. Ines ran out and was back within a few seconds holding a mirror. Sirvanna looked into it. She was a little pale and she had some smudged red lipstick on her lips. “It’s yours.”
“Mine,” Ines said. “Is it really?”
“Well, the other world’s yours,” Sirvanna said. “When I left she… that is to say…”