“Maybe you’ve been out closer to the edge of the Permeables before, but this is different. Things can take on a life of their own left out here.”

Hax gestured at the mirror forest filled with reflective crystals spread out before them. “This isn’t like planting an iron pipe and growing a boiler,” he said. “What caused something like this to sprout up?”

“A mirror and an idea.”

“You’re gonna have to unpack that for me a little,” said Hax.

“Well, the first part is just speculation, but I have the second from a friend that was in the know. Someone left a mirror here once, maybe just to see what it would do, and the result looked to someone passing by like something they’d once seen, maybe a movie or a comic book.”

“What about?”

“About a tree loaded with crystals that could imprison whatever touched them. We best be careful.”

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