1… 2… 3…
I closed my eyes and then reopened them. Carefully I counted again.
1… 2… and 3.. Yes definitely 3.
The cast member looked at me expectantly.
“Where did she come from,” I asked.
He shrugged, “No one is sure really. We think she wandered in from D12.”
“She doesn’t exactly fit the profile.”
“Yeah,” he shrugged again, “she must have snuck through a partner park. Regardless, she is your problem now. By the way, her D1 parents are in the lobby. They are starting to freak out.”
Two years ago I sat in a room with the rest of the security team listening intently as the Imagineers described their latest breakthrough. “Dimensional shifting”. It seemed like an overly complicated solution to the simple problem of people just not having any patience. But the more they talked about it, the more it seemed to make sense. As long as you didn’t try to understand the science. Fortunately, the presentation they gave was relatively science free.
“Dimensional shifting will go into effect within the next six months,” they began. “Initially we will just be targeting our largest attractions, but we anticipate that once the technology is proven we will introduce it to minor attractions and restaurants. Express riders will be shifted to another park where there is no wait and then shifted back at the end of the ride.”
“Another park.” Yeah. That was a simple way of putting it. Another park on another world is what they meant. On another earth. One that somehow occupied the same space and time that we did right on the other side of the dimensional gateway. It made my head hurt. I was just the security guy. I shouldn’t have to worry about these types of things. After 18 years at the park you learned to trust the Imagineers though. If they said they could spin you around so fast that you almost threw up but didn’t, then sure. If they told you that they could integrate different types of insects into the park to eliminate mosquitoes then you did it, and if they told you they could send someone to an alternate earth to skip the line then you knew they could do it.
Damn thing worked to. 12 different parks were chosen on 12 different earths. Supposedly they were others out there as well, billions of them, some with empty parks, even empty worlds to cover with rides that had no wait, and restaurants that always had a table ready.
Then about 6 months ago…. We get this kid..
His mother insisted that his hair was a slightly different shade of brown before he went on the ride. We got it figured out though. The security team found the right kid, and legal got everyone paid off to keep quiet. After an extensive internal investigation though we discovered that some of the alternate parks had started scaling. They went out and made deals with other worlds, and they in turn with others. Enough that minor variances were starting to creep in. We tried to tightened things down. But…
They are going to shut us down for this…
I looked at the little girl in the pink Arora princess dress standing in front of me. I counted one more time… as slowly and carefully as my patience allowed..
1… 2… 3…
Three giant tears filled three soft blue eyes and she stared back at me, and started sobbing again…