"It was Kim," Fabi said, as the world slowly came back into focus.
"What?" ParaFabi jumped and turned around. She'd been busy at her computer, typing in commands. Very much a Cavendish, Fabi thought bitterly. She wondered if that had been better for the other her, too, family relationships.
"Leela Chrysanthabelle Fulviana Kim."
"If you think that just by mentioning her name..."
"She's the one the refugees were running from."
"What... Oh, I considered that possibity," ParaFabi said carefully. "I guess it all came down to her in the end."
"Yeah..." Both Fabis were silent for a while. "Did you have that recurring nightmare about the swamp?"
"The one where a giant laptop was floating on the water and these men in orange vests were trying to get it to eat me?"
"Yes, that dream, but... I meant more the feeling of running around someplace you should know by heart..."
"...and everything changes constantly," ParaFabi finished. "I generally prefer not to dwell on that bit. The laptop was actually sort of funny."
"For me it was a pencil case."
"Really?" ParaFabi frowned. "I never really had a pencil case. I had a purple zipper-pouch thingy for my school supplies."
"So did I. The pencil case was for some of my art pencils."
"Oh. I was never really into art... I guess when I was really small, but Mom wanted me to be a successful computer programmer like her."
"I guess. I was studying engineering in college. I'd rather build something, like with actual solid materials. That's how I got into metalmagic."
"Same. Um... How old are you?"
When ParaFabi told her, Fabi raised her eyebrows in shock. "You don't look any older than me."
"It's called magic," ParaFabi explained with a grin.
"But that means..."
"Don't worry about it, don't even think about it," ParaFabi snapped. "If it happens, it won't be for years."
Fabi nodded. "Okay... Would you mind untying me?"
ParaFabi laughed. "You're so nice, I don't get how we're the same person."
"Whatever. Just don't touch anything." ParaFabi said, bending over the chair.
Fabi bit back something, she wasn't sure if it was a laugh or a sob. Even her alternate self didn't see her as a threat. Once again, she had to remind herself that that was one of her greatest strengths. It really didn't feel like one, though.
ParaFabi resumed her computer work, and Fabi sat in the corner, taking note of all the cameras and traps in the room. For someone who had just arrived in this reality, ParaFabi had a pretty cool base of operations.
Fabi's mind changed the topic, as it always did, first to some topics irrelevant to the plot, such as Fabi's codes (she wondered if the other her could understand them), chocolate-filled croissants (hey, Fabi gets hungry just like the next person), tennis (a sport Fabi had not been hopeless at, surprisingly) and then finally to what had been worrying her. The other dimension was several years ahead, so did that mean that this world, too, would someday explode?
ParaFabi had practically threatened her not to worry about it, but Fabi wasn't really bothered by the threat. ParaFabi was incapable of reading her mind, no matter how similar they were.
Dreams might be the answer, she decided. She'd seen mages sort of meditate before, and let their subconscious travel. They all did it differently, in ways that fit with their disciplines, but underneath, there was a basic technique she might be able to use, with a little help.
"Is there a computer I can use?" Fabi asked the other Fabi.
"What? Oh, sure." ParaFabi pulled out a mini-laptop and quickly created a new account so that Fabi wouldn't see anything she didn't want her too. Unless she guessed the password. "Here you go," she said, handing it over.
Fabi nodded her thanks and opened a web browser, typing in the URL for MageBay.