“Wait!” I said just before activating the Accessory. “How do I get this thing to go super bright?”
“Ohmigod! You go into the tools menu and select the thing that looks like a flashlight,” Jill said sounding aggravated.
“Alright! Sorry!” I found the flashlight icon and felt ashamed. I quickly selected it and a level bar appeared in front of me. Using my index finger to flick the level up and down I quickly learned how to cause the Accessory to glow very brightly, even through the fabric of my drawstring backpack, causing everyone to wince and cover their eyes. Jim, however, did not, probably because he had no real eyes to damage.
I turned the brightness down and deselected the flashlight icon.
“Yay, me,” I said.
“OK, kiddo, time to go save your friend.”
I felt a surge of adrenaline as I activated the Accessory’s history menu and selected the Fire Escape on the asteroid and then stepped into the Fire Escape right in front of me, in Jill’s lab. The standard blue light enveloped me and I was gone. Half a second later, a woman appeared from that same Fire Escape in Jill’s lab, with a grave look on her face.
“Right. Things have gotten complicated.”
Meanwhile, or I guess, meantime, or maybe it’s elsewhen and where, I felt the extreme cold of that asteroid as the blue light of the Fire Escape blinked away. I immediately saw the two thugs standing over Wise’s body. They wore simple, white body armor like a SWAT cop’s back on Earth (“back on Earth”!) but not black or blue. There looked to be some kind of pattern on it—I thought it was maybe writing?
One of the thugs said something to the other in a language I did not understand and knelt down next to Wise as I cranked up the flashlight mode. They both winced and shielded their eyes as expected. I raced forward and shoved my fists under Wise’s armpits and started dragging him back toward the Fire Escape. Of course, I couldn’t activate the Accessory, so when the thugs aimed their guns at me I realized that we didn’t think this all the way through. Before I could curse myself for not having the worry stone handy, they shot me. Thankfully it was just a stun gun of some kind.