Wicklow struck the crate with the butt of his rifle and it burst, scattering dozens of red bags onto the floor. “What do those look like to you?” he said to Ortiz.

“Doritos,” Ortiz replied. “My kids love ’em.”

“Look closer.”

Ortiz flipped one of the bags over gingerly. “What the hell? These say ‘Nachitos.'”

“Yeah. Lil’ Nachos,” Wicklow said. “The logo’s similar enough that most people don’t look twice. But it’s contraband. Snack chips from a dextrose-amino-acid skein.”

“I’ve heard of this,” Ortiz said. “If you’re from a different reality, you can’t eat our food?”

“The lucky ones can, but it’s about a fifty-fifty chance,” laughed Wicklow. “And you can, if you don’t mind it passing through you like a bucking bronco and maybe sending you into anaphylactic shock to boot. Some people even use ’em as a diet food, since you’ll lose a lot more than you gain–if you don’t wind up red and gasping in the hospital or dead, that is.”

Ortiz stomped on the bag, bursting it and scattering the chips. “I don’t get it. How can your reality be so bad that you want to squat in ours, and still be making snacky chips?”

“Bad’s in the eye of the beholder,” Wicklow laughed. “Besides, a lot of these snacky-snacks come from skeins that are doing just fine. Imagine if you were living in a dextro-amino-acid reality and you could sell ordinary snack chips for ten times what you paid for them over here?”

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