Irrawaddy led his ‘guests’ through the decrepit remains of the lab. “The funding was cut off in the 1970s. But what we were doing was too important to abandon, so some of us volunteered to stay on and continue the work. Over time hunger, disease, cold, and wolf attacks took their toll, and now only I remain.”

A squirrel scurried over the rusting remains of lab equipment. “It’s only through my research, my devotion to Aquerna the Norse goddess of squirrels, and the companionship of Nibbles here that’s these 30 years have been bearable.”

“Squirrels…don’t live that long.”

“Of course not. I’m not crazy,” snapped Irrawaddy. “Whenever Nibbles dies, he’s reincarnated as another squirrel. Like the Dalai Lama. It takes a few months, but I find his latest incarnation and restore it to its rightful place. This is Nibbles XII.”

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