When Lor came to once again, there were still seven Tors standing among the group. They were all fretting nervously and silently while the rest of the crew argued about which one was the real one.
It was like each member of the crew had picked one of them out, trying to describe their differences to each other. But of course there was only one member of the XSS Savior crew who could truly tell the different Tors apart, and that was her twin sister who had just woken up.
Seven Tors… it was an overload like no other.
It was her wildest dream.
But duty came before anything else, so she knew she had to hurry and figure out which one was real so that all of them could escape this strange place.
Brit Forager came up to Lor, a little bit too close for comfort, and talked to her quietly while everyone else was still arguing. “I don’t know which one is the real one,” she told her. “But I hope you can figure this out, honey– er, Ms. Lor.”
She went up to one standing a bit awkwardly to the side and let her whisper in her ear. This Tor told Lor all about the way they had been surrounded by six other versions of themselves, that they tried to convince the others that she was the real one, but nobody would relent, so they had just been standing there quietly ever since.
It sounded fairly reasonable.
She found a different Tor near the middle of the crowd and pulled her aside with a jerk. This Tor said that she was no longer sure if she was even the real one, that she could easily be a creation of imagination and she would never know it, that she was becoming increasingly worried that she would fade away from existence.
And then the one standing relatively close to Forager… she blushed as she saw Lor look at them both. She went up to this Tor and that Tor said only that she really missed her sister.
Lor knew which one was real.
The other six faded away quickly, screaming and shrieking. A real Tor would never do that, of course.
Tor saw her duplicates disappear, and felt, for a moment, that she too was about to disappear. Maybe she deserved it after what she did. They may never be able to forgive her, even Lor, were they to find out.
The world around them turned to mush, and Tor continued to fret.
It wasn’t what she did exactly. It was what she saw, and what she told no-one about, especially not her twin sister.
And what she saw before, she saw once again, in just a glimpse. It was something that could be easily forgotten if it were not so glaring.
She saw, two times now, my figure standing in the distance, watching them. I was careless, but even more, so was Tor.
But even so, she kept quiet as the seven women in the crew of the XSS Savior began to appear on a platform in the center of the Rainbow Star, looking for their final missing member.
They found Luminosa standing before them, wearing not her flight suit but a glittering dress flowing with color. She was grinning wildly.
“Welcome,” Luminosa said.
Tor would soon come to regret her decision.