A New Dimension: Chapter Twenty One

        “Look at that!”  Deloris Squirrel stepped carefully out the “Window” of the the archaeological site.  Above them, dozens and dozens of little firework organisms floated effortlessly, and seemingly aimlessly above and all around the little group.
        “Don’t touch them or let them touch you!”  Nebraska said hastily. 
        “They don’t seem aggressive, or like they’re after us.”  Alise said.
        “They’re . . . they’re amazing!”  Maurice said.
        “It looks like we’re back in our own reality,” Mr. Rabbit commented, stepping out into the sunshine.  He wove his way through the miasma of firework organisms to the far side of the clearing.  “Our camp is here!”  He shouted, and then disappeared into the brush.  Several of the firework organisms drifted lazily after him.
        “Okay, if what Mr. Rabbit says is true, then we have found a stable way to traverse one reality to another,” the Gray Squirrel said thoughtfully.  “What we need now, is knowledge of where Crimson Hen ended up.  I would guess, and it is just a guess, that she ended up in your reality.”  He gestured to Maurice.
        “Yes, it’s certainly possible,” said Nebraska Rooster, but how do we confirm it?”
        “Guys?”  Deloris Squirrel said.
        “Yes, that’s the question.  How do we confirm where Crimson went without following in her path by touching one of the firework organisms.”
        “Guys?”  Deloris Squirrel said, again.
        “But that’s just the problem,” said Nebraska Rooster, “we can’t do any kind of test, because the moment we touch one of these things, we’ll be zapped away.”
        “GUYS!” Deloris Squirrel came over to where Nebraska Rooster and the Gray squirrel were deep in conversation.  She smacked each of them across the face.  Hard.  “Listen, you two!  Something is happening at the Window.”
        “What?” said the Gray Squirrel.
        “What?” said Nebraska Rooster.
        “Don’t ‘what’ me, come over and look!”  Deloris Squirrel grabbed them and bodily dragged them over to the Window.
        “Whoa,” said Nebraska Rooster.
        “Not good,” said the Gray Squirrel.
        “What are you all gawking at?” said Mr. Rabbit, coming up behind them. 
        “Yeah, what’s going on?”  Alise and Maurice had been absentmindedly watching the firework organisms, but came over when they hear Deloris Squirrel yelling.
        “Look!” Deloris Squirrel said.  “The glyphs on the wall, they’re shifting.”
        It was easy to see.  The carved lines were writhing and squirming on the wall.  Then, all of a sudden a little group of the glyphs seemed to lock into place, and then started to glow.  The group was speechless as they watched the glowing glyphs pulse and shimmer, and then sort of ‘Pop!’ off the wall, and become one of the firework organisms.  Alise had to duck to keep from running into it.
        “Well, at least we know where the little glowy things come from,” observed Maurice.
        “Yes, but look what happened after that thing popped off the wall,” said Deloris Squirrel, pointing down at the Window.
        “Gads,” exclaimed Nebraska Rooster, “you’re right!”  The little opening flushed fuzzy and then a little of the gap at the bottom became solid, closing off the Window by about a quarter inch.
        “The opening does seem smaller,” said Nebraska Rooster. 
        “This is not good,” said Mr. Rabbit without emotion.
        “Not good?!  This is terrible!” said Deloris Squirrel.  “This means that if Crimson is somehow in Maurice and Alise’s universe, then we have a very short time to find her and bring her back before this Window closes up altogether.”“Not necessarily,” said Mr. Rabbit. We could always use the same device we used to open it in the first place to open it farther again.”
        “Good thinking,” said the Gray Squirrel.  “I have a plan.”  Everyone leaned in to listen, like a huddle on a sports field.  The glowing firework organisms pulsed expectantly above them.  “So, here it is.  Mr. Rabbit, you stay here with . . . uh . . .” he paused, sure that someone should stay with, but unsure who the best candidate was.
        “I’ll stay,” said Maurice.
        “Okay,” said the Gray Squirrel, “you stay here with Maurice and set up your device.  Try to get the Window to stay open.”  He paused and pointed a paw at Deloris Squirrel.  “You’re going to lead a team . . . uh,”  he paused again.
        “I’ll go,” said Alise.
        “Me too, said Nebraska.
        “Okay, you go back through the tunnels to Alise and the rest’s universe.  You’re going to try to find any kind of evidence that Crimson has popped up in that Universe.  If she’s there, you’ll work with the rest of the team to get her to Lithuania and to the archaeological site.  If she’s in that Universe somewhere, no doubt she’ll be trying to get there anyhow.”
        “What will you be doing?”  asked Deloris Squirrel, taking his paw in hers in a gentle gesture.
        “I’m going to try to figure out what is causing the glyphs to become firework organisms, and if that’s reversible at all,” he said matter-of-factly.
        Deloris Squirrel nodded, then pulled him into a hug.  “Be careful!” she said, looking him in the eye.
        “You too,” he said, returning her steady gaze.  “Be quick!”  They gaped as another glyph began to glow and pulled off the wall, and, they all noticed, the Window became fractionally smaller.

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