“STOP!” The room fell to silence. The scientists turned to Jimmy. Even he was surprised by what came out of his mouth. “Sorry…I…I think we can get out of here. It seems like that, maybe, the Cloud can speak to us through our minds, with images we’ve seen, with our memories.”
“Yeah, we know. We read the folder.”
“Then maybe let me try again. Please…”
“Well,” Dr. Noritz said. “We’re not stopping you.”
Jimmy nodded and closed his eyes, and a moment later his body was tossed back into the whiteness. He saw the swingset again and walked over. New Jimmy was smiling, laughing, every time he ascended the air and fell. Then he saw who was pushing him.
“Jimmy McDougal. I’ve heard a lot about you. He’s told me a lot. Nothing but good things.” It was Captain Danica. But she seemed…different.
“Danica? You’re alive?”
“Not quite.” She kept pushing New Jimmy. “The Danica you knew is gone. But remnants remain. I’ve absorbed her memories, her dreams, fragments of her consciousness. But it’s never quite the same, every time I try to reassemble things.”
Jimmy, at first, was confused by this. Then he said, “Mindy?”
“Hm. I guess that’s what Dr. Yannis called me. After his ex-wife. The weirdo. You know, at first I was confused why humans felt the need to give everything names. But, I think you have no other choice. You need to make sense of the universe. Otherwise it’s noise and chaos.”
“So…what are you? Where’s New Jimmy?”
She smiled. New Jimmy finally fell back down and Not-Danica stopped the chains. “I’m…I’m not sure. I just know that we are.”
“Is it true? That you’ll eventually swallow up my home? My town?”
She shook her head. “Maybe. In the past. But, things are different now…I’m dying.” Her eyes hinted sadness, but yet she continued smiling the same smile to Jimmy. “But, I can’t control it. I have no choice but to consume, but I will soon fade. And it won’t hurt.”
“Can we get out of here?”
She then started pushing New Jimmy’s swing again. “If that’s what you want. You know, I was thinking maybe keeping you here, giving you the life you always wanted. But, New Jimmy wants to go back. He has a home now. A real home. Something I never had. Something I could never give. I can only give him a dream…a dream that will soon be gone…”