“It’s all right,” the docent said. “You’re all right. Thank you for using the GesteCo Galactic Teleporter Network.”

“Wh-what?” the woman said. “Where am I? What is GesteCo?”

“You’ve just experienced a rare but significant side effect of galactic teleportation,” said the docent. “You’ve materialized in a nearby quantum skein.”

“A…a what?”

“A parallel dimension. Come, let us get you to the GesteCo Recovery Room and talk about your options.”

Whittaker shook his head. “Shouldn’t they just be told about the parallel dimension first off? What is this ‘quantum skein’ nonsense?”

“We’re trying to keep them overwhelmed and confused until we can get them to sign the waiver,” said Mattheson. “Once GesteCo LLC GmbH has been relieved of liability in perpetuity throughout the multiverse, we can be a bit more real with them.”

“What’s done with them?” The executive watched the woman being led away. “Are they sent back?”

“It depends,” Mattheson said.

“Depends? Depends on what?”

Mattheson had the look of someone discussing an unpleasant memory or an upcoming colonoscopy. “Well, some of the…travelers…are from realities that are incompatible with their form of life. They of course are usually terminated through natural causes and taken for study. The others are given a thorough interrogation by GesteCo archivists and intelligence officers—the more you know, right?—before we attempt to match their quantum resonance to a carrier wave to send them back.”

Whitaker looked Mattheson in the eye. “And does it work?”

“Hell if I know. But they’ve never come back, so we have to assume that the problem has been handled. And GesteCo LLC GmbH has no liability either way.”

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