One moment Dama is where she expects to be, and the next moment she is where she least expects to be - an unheard-of street under an astronomically bizarre sky, showing close, green-blue moons and two orange suns, one much closer than the other, glowing through the clouds. It is raining hard; people are bustling past her under various contrivances to keep the rain off. Nobody looks twice at her.
"I have to tell my friend about it. He'd be so happy."
"Do you know if it gets any easier? Missing people all the time?"
"Are there a lot of those?"
"Are backup people for just in case common?"
"Everything is so weird here. Or I'm weird. Or something. I was pretty good at things and then--I mean, I thought, or I think... I hate this."
"The round is fine. I think. I haven't really gone anywhere."
"It's hard, but m... I remember my friend teaching me how to learn."
Nodnod. "I had a lot of trouble learning how to read. He helped me figure it out."
"I..." She scrunches up her face. "I don't know how to talk about what I remember."
"Uh, it's a little convoluted but 'I started with a memory that'? Or - 'in the story I'm from' is a bad translation of an idiom about a thing some people do where they pretend somebody they're going to make already exists for a while, and then make the person with those memories, they think it lets you test out how they'll fit into your life. You could talk like you were made that way."
"I started with a memory that I learned how to read. Does that sound as stupid to you as it feels to say?"
"I guess I probably didn't really learn it, either."
"If I could have known both, that would have been nice."