Mercy looks around the room for something to use, but when it’s apparent that her desired object is nowhere to be found, she decides to improvise. “Give me just a moment, if you please.” With this, Mercy goes over to the utensil rack from whence she pulls a lovely, silver tablespoon. “Not ideal, but it will do. But first, we must make sure it is perfect for the trick. We must have the desired effect, you know.” With this, Mercy vigorously washes it over by a sink and makes sure that this is the cleanest spoon in the entire history of the System. “Aha! Perfection indeed!” While the kids think she’s blown a gasket, Paul’s mom waltzes over to the table nearest them and points to the accepted mode of departure. “Lady Duplica, forgive me for not having the portal that I wanted, but I hope you will understand the reason I chose this spoon.”
Walking over to it, picking the utensil up and examining it thoroughly, the teacher gives her approval. “It’s a shaky method, but I do see its shining potential. Let us hope the students agree. Everyone, at my command, jump through the spoon. I’ll send you to our place of landing.” The team has used some interesting methods of teleportation, but this is weird, even by their standards. All the same, as Duplica walks around and holds the spoon in front of each student’s face, they all take their turns jumping into the thing.
Finally, with every other student already traveling amongst the storyboards, Paul is the last to make his attempt at spoon surfing. As he prepares to jump, he looks deep into the sparkling silver and voices a compliment to his mother’s care for this tablespoon. “Mom, you really did a great job of cleaning this thing. Why, it’s so clean, I can see my own reflection.” And with this, the final student follows the wishes of the teachers and uses this impromptu vehicle as the launching point to travel to the next location. With the final student out of the lunch room, the teachers laugh their heads off, figuratively, at the crazy nonsense Mercy just came up with.
“Oh,” Jo says, “Let’s just get there before the kids do, so we know they didn’t end up with a storyboard set in a giant bowl of cereal or something.”
“Too late,” Duplica warns. “Well, not for us, but I think Elena already ended up in a place like that once with Locket. It was an alien submarine that turned out to be a toy in a large alien baby’s bathtub. That was a horrifying existential experience for those mariners, ha ha.” The three girls continue snickering as they hurry to meet the kids in the new location.
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